Chapter 741: Ice Lake
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The subterranean bamboo forest was enormous, but it had no stone pillar or significant stalagmites to support it. Supporting this humongous cavern was the bamboo itself, as the countless bamboo shoots rose from the ground and supported the ceiling.
Han Sen had traveled thirty miles through this subterranean kingdom, but he had yet to see an end. It looked mostly the same, as well; the only difference he noticeed was in the temperature. The deeper he went, the lower the temperature seemed to tick.
The thickets of black bamboo all around him grew denser, and after another fifty miles, the bamboo stalks were as thick as the trunks of trees.
Frost covered the ground and the temperature had dropped to what would be an insufferable level for most people. Han Sen proceeded, unfazed and unchilled, and it wasn’t long before he ventured into a wholly ice-veiled area. The bamboo there was thicker than ever, and it would take three grown men, with their arms outstretched, to circle just one shoot.
“If there are Dark Silkworms in here, I wonder how big they are?” Han Sen used his dongxuan aura to investigate but could not see through the black bamboo to tell whether or not there were silkworms inside.
Deeper in this wondrous bamboo forest, however, Han Sen managed to detect one particular lifeforce. This force was like a babbling brook of spring water, and he was curious what manner of creature would possess such an enticing lifeforce.
Han Sen approached it with moderate alertness and strode through the bamboo forest with a little more care and caution. He came across an empty meadow amidst the bamboo shoots.
The meadow was skirted by the thick bamboo, but not a single one of the shoots grew atop the field.
Despite possessing Jadeskin, this frosty area and the icy lifeforce that swirled around it had Han Sen shivering with the cold. The energy he had followed was strange, indeed.
As he drew closer to the sparse meadow, Han Sen’s eyes remained fixed upon it in deep observation and contemplation. It was thickly iced and in the center was a chilly—but not totally frozen—lake. In the lake, a plant that looked like a narcissus rested. The flowers were white.
Han Sen had seen his fair share of strange flora before, and although the narcissus was strange to see there, it didn’t stand out or even unnerve him.
If there was a super creature guarding the narcissus, Han Sen would be glad.
But that wasn’t so, as he couldn’t espy the presence of any super creatures around the lake. What Han Sen did see, however, was a man sitting beside the still waters. He stared at the narcissus without moving, and this surprised Han Sen.
Han Sen could tell that he was a human due to his attire; he was wearing a human battlesuit. Creatures and spirits wouldn’t wear what this man was currently geared in.
“Why are there other people here?” Han Sen used dongxuan aura to observe the fellow and the results surprised him. He had quite the lifeforce, one that was far from weak.
This place having an actual living person surprised Han Sen, as he believed himself to be the first person to ever set foot here. After all, the only entrance he knew of was the one that the twin-tail scorpion had made. But it wasn’t as if he had reached the end of this place, and perhaps further ahead was another more accessible entrance.
“Friend, what is your name?” Han Sen carefully walked across the ice and tried greeting the man.
Provided there was no conflict of interest, Han Sen was not willing to make another enemy. After all, meeting others of the same kind in a place such as the Black Desert was a delightful thing. And even a simple correspondence or dialogue with someone of your own kind was nice enough.
The man did not respond to Han Sen, though, and it looked as if he was sleeping. Of course, Han Sen couldn’t properly tell, as the man was facing away from him and toward the narcissus. His position was set to suggest he had been observing them, but with his back towards Han Sen, he couldn’t quite be sure. Neither could he wholly deduce what the person looked like.
“Friend, I come without cause for alarm. I mean you no harm and have found myself wandering here of my own accord and curiosity. Would you like to have a chat? If not, I’ll be happy to move along.” Han Sen continued talking as he approached the man.
Still, there was no response. He didn’t turn around or give any reaction. All he did was continue gazing at the narcissus in the lake.
Han Sen continued his approach, despite the lack of engagement from the other person. By now, it was starting to be a little unnerving, and Han Sen felt as if something wasn’t quite right.
Han Sen got closer but did not go near the man. He didn’t approach him head on, and instead walked around him a bit, so he could get a look at him from the side.
When he saw him more clearly, Han Sen was shocked—it wasn’t a living man. The man’s clothing was fine, but the body inside had been frozen solid. It was like an ice statue.
The fact that only his flesh had been frozen was strange, indeed. His clothing didn’t even have a speck of frost upon them. Also, he did not understand why the lifeforce inside him seemed to swirl and suggest that he was a living person.
Han Sen’s face quickly became grim. The man before him wore a battlesuit, but its model was something that hailed from the previous century. It seemed to be a relic from over a hundred years ago.
“How can this man be frozen here? Is he dead or alive?” Han Sen’s heart had been given a shock, and as he inspected the person, he noticed something in his pocket.
Judging from its shape, it appeared to be a notebook or wallet. Han Sen came a little closer and attempted to take it out of the pocket, as he was direly interested in a clue that would tell him who this person was.
Suddenly, Han Sen’s heart leapt inside his chest and the silver fox on his shoulder stood up in alarm. Its hair was all standing up, and it made grunts of caution towards the water of the lake.
Han Sen retreated without falter and stared at the frosty lake.
The water in the lake suddenly arose into a thousand airborne threads—with Han Sen as the target.
Han Sen attempted to evade them, but the crystal threads were faster than Han Sen was. He summoned his Flaming Rex Spike and swung it towards the crystal threads that came towards him.
The Flaming Rex Spike smacked against the threads like burning charcoal tossed into water. Many of the icy threads evaporated into steam, but there were too many, and they came from every direction. They quickly wrapped around Han Sen and became entangled like a spider web.
Han Sen felt as if a frosty air was beginning to invade his body. There were too many threads, and no matter how much he swung his Flaming Rex Spike, the threads he smacked weren’t enough. More and more threads wreathed their way around him, draining him of warmth.
It wasn’t long before the threads had wrapped him up completely, encasing him in a cocoon of sorts. His hands were tied up and he could no longer lash out with the Flaming Rex Spike.
The silver fox wasn’t doing very well, either. He kept blasting the threads with his silver lightning as much as he could. It did nothing to end their unceasing advance.