Chapter 1373: Hidden Valley
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The moment Han Sen entered the tangled complex that was Hidden Valley, he felt his Dongxuan Aura become overwhelmed. The knotted labyrinth was almost too much for it to process, and it suffered, becoming little more than a garbled transmission.
Of course, Han Sen did not need to use it like radar. He could still detect and sense the lifeforces of the land around him.
Thrusting into that messy region, Han Sen made sure to remain fleet of foot. Nan Litian was still pursuing, and he swung wildly at the plants that sought to slow his feet.
Han Sen was not slowed down by the brush, though. He utilized his Dongxuan Movement and Heavenly Go to sidestep every vine and leaf that reached out to slow him down.
Amongst the staggeringly tall trees and plants, vines wreathed their way through that wretched landscape, giving Han Sen flashbacks to his time in the Third God’s Sanctuary. Many of those vines were so thick, not even Nan Litian could cut his way through them, and he had to clumsily dodge around them instead. For the first time that day, Han Sen was at an advantage. With the delicate grace of his maneuvering, he went for the deepest, furthest, creepiest reaches of Hidden Valley.
Green Cow told Han Sen there were many strange growths in the valley. There were trees composed of hideous, tangled snakes, and there were even vines that had bloodshot eyeballs that blinked ferociously.
Although most of the plants in that area were just there, and did not seek to bring harm to those brave enough to explore, the ones that did were extremely dangerous. Han Sen had to stay on his toes, not only for the enraged madman chasing him, but for what he might unwittingly find himself running into.
But this was sort of what Han Sen had hoped for. The last thing he wanted was to become swallowed by a man-eating plant, but he needed to lead Nan Litian into a hostile plant. If he was crafty enough, he could get the plants to free him from his pursuer.
Suddenly, Han Sen detected a nearby plant that possessed a mammoth lifeforce that blazed like the brightest bonfire. Han Sen ran towards it, ready to risk alerting its attention not to him, but to Nan Litian, who was still hot on his heels.
When he was ten meters away from that lifeforce, the knots of the overgrowth swarmed Han Sen’s vision, obscuring where and what exactly that plant was. It was all a great mess.
This had forced Han Sen to slow down, and it had provided Nan Litian the opportunity to catch up. His enemy thrust forward with his sword, ready to deliver a final strike. When his sword found a target, though, the sound of a metallic drang rang out.
Han Sen raised his head, now alerted to Nan Litian’s alarmingly close presence. When he searched for what his foe had hit, he noticed the jade-like trunk of a tree he had not seen before.
It must have just appeared there, and when Han Sen examined this tree, he looked down to observe the roots. There, half-submerged in the soil, were many jade bulls.
Only their heads were sticking out of the soil, and one of them had taken notice of Han Sen. The bull stared at him with red, frightening eyes.
Nan Litian must have struck the horn of one of those bulls, and Han Sen now noticed the fiery lifeforce he had previously detected was a combination of the tree and those bulls.
Suddenly, the bull Nan Litian had struck made a sound.
The bull stomped its way out of the soil with the ground-shaking march of an elephant.
It lowered its head and exhaled a flame-tinged lung-full out of its twitching nostrils. It was mad, and it looked ready to chase down not just Nan Litian, but Han Sen, as well; making a fine kebab with its horns.
Its speed was terrifying. Before Han Sen could bring himself to dodge the creature, it was before him.
Han Sen only had the time to reach out and grab the horn. But when his fingers fell upon it, the bull lifted its head upwards, throwing Han Sen into the air, towards the twig-pricking tops of a tree.
He broke through several branches on his way upwards, but he found himself brought to a stop against something soft.
Han Sen felt himself fall into the center of a silver flower. The bud inside was around the size of a double-bed. It was plush and comfy; a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
Han Sen felt a wash of relief come upon him, and for a brief instant, he thought himself safer than he had been all day.
But he soon saw that this was not a place for respite. Han Sen’s landing there was not a coincidence, for he saw Nan Litian also fare an upward launching. His nemesis of the day ended up on another flower exactly like his.
Han Sen wished to escape before something worse was to occur. That which was most wretched, often disguised itself as the fairest, after all. And as soon as he tried to make a move, that proved to be true. The pleasantness of the flower swiftly evaporated, as a number of vines reached upwards to tie Han Sen up with the ease of a shoelace. Han Sen turned his gaze towards Nan Litian.
And the same was happening to him. He too had been captured by a flower.
They were wrapped up so much, they now looked like mummies.
Han Sen thought it might have been a carnivorous flower, but after it wrapped him up, nothing else occurred. No digestive acid was released, and no chomping teeth were revealed.
The bull shouted in their direction again; then, it returned to the soil.
The bull went inside head first, and all they could see was its tail, sticking out at the base of the tree like a stubborn root.
Han Sen could not imagine how strong and hardy the tree was.
But with nothing better to do, Han Sen was now able to examine it and record its finer details. He noticed there were eight bulls encircling the tree.
The tree also had many more of the silver flowers the two had been trapped inside.
Han Sen looked around and saw Nan Litian struggling in an attempt to escape. It was a far tougher wrap than even he anticipated.
“Why are you chasing me? Can you just tell me? Are you really willing to risk your life this much, if it means you get to kill me?” Han Sen asked.
Han Sen still had Super Spank, so if he wanted to escape, he believed he could.
But seeing as nothing else was going on, Han Sen thought it best to ask as many questions as he could, while his enemy was also restrained.
“I need to kill the traitor,” Nan Litian coldly responded.
“I thought you wanted my Nine-Life Cat pendant?” Han Sen asked.
“Who would want that? It’s just a trinket belonging to your family.” Nan Litian spoke in a voice that suggested he was humiliated by the question.
Han Sen eyed him queerly, thinking his reaction to be strange.