Birth of the Demonic Sword - Chapter 226: 226. Holes
Of Daniel’s group, only three of them had a rank 4 body.
One was, of course, Daniel, while the other two were Milo and Phoebe.
However, with the exception of Daniel, all of them had their mental sphere still in the first rank, even though some of them were extremely close to the breakthrough.
It couldn’t be helped, the sea of consciousness was the hardest center of power to train: not only it required a long amount of time and a painful training, but it also needed for the mental sphere of the cultivator to be thick and sturdy.
Such requirements could not be met by such young cultivators, especially if their social status was lofty and comfortable.
Sufferings and hardships were required to harden the mental sphere, things that nobles of wealthy families rarely encountered.
They had access to a large number of pills and potions that targeted that center of power but their effects could not match real-life adversities.
Only Daniel, who lived under the constant pressure of being the focal point of the Cause, could achieve a rank 2 sea of consciousness by the age of twenty-three.
Being made of rank 1 mages though didn’t mean that the party was weak.
They were still rank 2 cultivators equipped with protective items in the second rank.
They all had a rank 4 martial art and inscribed weapons that suited their combat style, underestimating them would be a mistake.
The five nobles crossed the entrance of the dungeon and immediately noticed something.
“Someone is here!”
Milo exclaimed, giving voice to the thoughts of his companions.
There were clear signs of Noah’s passage on the dusty floor, it hadn’t even passed half a day since his arrival after all.
“Someone from the Royal family?”
Phoebe asked but Daniel shook his head.
“Unlikely. The footprints belong to a single person and the Royal army always sends at least five men on each mission. It can only be a hunter or some lone cultivator looking for hiding.”
Milo snorted when he heard those words.
“Lone cultivators… This name is too nice to describe what they really are: criminals!”
In a political system like that of the Utra nation, a lone cultivator was almost always a criminal or a fugitive.
Techniques and spells were held by the nobles after all, it was impossible to accomplish something in the cultivation journey without having any relationship with them.
“So, what do we do about this?”
Troy asked timidly, turning his gaze to Daniel.
“If he is a lone cultivator, we will question him and decide if he needs to be apprehended. If he is a hunter, we will try to buy the corpses of the worms that he has killed.”
Daniel answered casually, as if what he was saying was the most obvious thing in the world.
The others in the party nodded at Daniel’s upright decision.
In their situation, anyone could have easily decided to take advantage of the unlucky fellow and make some gains out of him.
They outnumbered him and that location was quite remote, no one would find clues of a battle if they were thorough in covering them.
Yet, Daniel didn’t even consider that possibility, improving even more his image in front of his party.
Such behavior was the complete opposite of the cultivator that was in the lower layers, smilingly killing magical beasts.
Noah waved his sabers with impeccable dexterity, in only a few minutes, the last beast was killed, leaving more than thirty corpses laid on the ground.
‘I’m getting closer but I still have to see any rank 1 or 2 worms. Are they in the center of the pack being fed to stronger beings?’
Noah thought about the possible options while he gathered the corpses.
‘It should be like with the Albino snake, just for a different reason. The environment doesn’t have enough “Breath” so they resort to cannibalism, the terrain can’t match a living being after all.’
He moved toward a deeper area, raising his attention to the peak.
‘I’ve killed more than fifty rank 3 beasts, if this is still far from the pack, then the report must have been quite old.’
He was certain by then that the Royal family was periodically cleaning the dungeon.
Magical beasts weren’t as smart as humans but they weren’t completely idiotic either: if the situation didn’t force them, they would have already changed the location of their lair, especially with a rank 4 specimen leading them.
The fact that the pack still occupied that area was the confirmation that the beasts were purposely being kept there.
‘All these efforts just to create a source of money, being the head of a country seems really annoying.’
Noah sighed internally thinking about how much time the Elbas family had invested in that place.
When he arrived in the lower layer though, the sight changed drastically.
It was still a detention room, with cells scattered randomly on the ground.
Yet, the walls were full of holes, signing the passage of a high number of magical beasts.
Also, the cells had biting signs on them and were vividly consumed, it seemed that something had sucked off the metal from each bar.
‘Were these cells inscribed items?’
Noah guessed, nearing one of the cells to inspect it more carefully.
‘Mh, they have eaten the inscriptions on them, I wonder how populous the pack is. Excavating worms are known for their high reproduction rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Elbas family had purposely planted those beasts here for this reason.’
More magical beasts meant more “Breath” dispersed in the environment when the cleaning operations happened.
That method sacrificed the final amount of Credits obtained but accelerated their creation.
‘I don’t really know how much does it take for a Credit to form but two thousand years had passed already, the fact that I didn’t find a single crystal means that I’m still at some distance from the core.’
Then, a sound forced him to stop his thoughts.
Each hole in the walls began to emit a crawling noise that echoed through the entire underground room.
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‘I can’t really guess how many there will be like this, I hope they don’t destroy the place.’
Noah wielded his sabers and prepared himself for the imminent assault.
At that moment, more than fifty worm’s heads came out from the cavities around him.