Chapter 902: Creepy Valley
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Han Sen and Qu Lanxi continued their journey, and after a dozen miles of walking, they hadn’t managed to find a single iron bug. From his slaying of the tree crabs, Han Sen was able to obtain three beast soul armor sets.
They didn’t slay any tree crabs they encountered after that, but snuck around them instead. The sack they had brought with them was already stuffed, so killing more would be pointless.
Han Sen walked past a bunch of Blood-Scale Snakes, too. The groups were too large, however. Fighting them was a dodgy prospect Han Sen was keener to avoid at his current strength.
“That’s strange. We really can’t find any iron bugs, can we?” Once Qu Lanxi told Han Sen about the large host of iron bugs that supposedly occupied that area of Thorn Forest, Han Sen made doubly sure to scan the environment. It was all to no avail, however.
They had now walked thirty miles in total. By all accounts, they were still considered to be at the outskirts of Thorn Forest, but still, they should have encountered the bugs by now.
“Iron bug?” As Han Sen was walking, he turned to see Little Wind growling in a certain direction. They approached the area the wolf was indicating, and they finally found the insects. There were many iron bugs, all gathered in one place.
The iron bugs were fist-sized, and they had black shells. They skittered across the ground, all in unison, like a river of black oil. They seemed to be vacating the area.
“What are they doing?” Han Sen asked.
Qu Lanxi said, “I knew there were a lot of iron bugs, and they are supposedly social and tend to stick together, but this behavior is unheard of. I’ve never heard of it, at least.”
“Well, let’s take a look.” Han Sen was very interested in seeing what they were doing. If there was one thing he had learnt during his time in the sanctuaries, it was that if creatures were behaving strangely or abnormally, it was a sign there was treasure lying in wait.
Han Sen followed the bugs, and before long, they came to a valley that was shaped like a gourd.
The bugs were like a tide, flowing into the valley.
Because the bugs were everywhere, their presence veiled and marred the entire area. Han Sen could not see what lay beneath them.
“You and Little Wind wait here. I’m going to advance and take a closer look.” Han Sen pointed at the valley.
“Again, just be careful,” Qu Lanxi said.
Han Sen cast Aero to fly up the side of the valley, away from the bugs. Han Sen wanted to see what the bugs were doing in the valley all by themselves.
“Are there any high level geno fruits maturing, perhaps?” As Han Sen thought, he pushed his head forward and squinted his eyes to get a better look.
Han Sen caught sight of a meadow of rose-like plants. They were deep red in color, and they were beautiful. The bugs were all headed for them.
But outside the field of flowers, there were many cracks in the earth and dead bodies lay scattered and strewn across the area. It was like a river of dead bugs.
Still, the bugs seemed determined to head there. It was unclear what was damaging the bugs, but they unceasingly marched forward to their demise. The bugs that had died leaked a strange water.
“I wonder what level those plants are? They seem to be drawing all those bugs there to die.” Han Sen was shocked, watching the roses on their murder-spree.
Han Sen then saw a human-like shadow inside the rose bushes, but he could not discern many details. He wasn’t quite sure who that person was.
Han Sen didn’t want to remain out of the know, however, and he was curious who the person was and what they were doing. To discover this, he changed his position.
But there were too many roses, and they obscured the figure from every angle Han Sen could look from. Regardless of how he shifted his position, all Han Sen could make out was the faint outline of the person just sitting there.
There was one further detail Han Sen noticed, however. It wasn’t the roses themselves that compelled the bugs to go there and die.
Han Sen saw that there were many candles placed around the roses. They were scented candles, and they seemed to be what was attracting the bugs, like a pheromone.
And Han Sen noticed that the cracks in the ground, many of which were filled with the corpses of the bugs, were half man-made and half-natural.
Han Sen thought this was the tricky work of someone: a person devoted to slaying those bugs.
“Is that a human or a spirit? Or maybe even a humanoid creature?” Han Sen was eager to find out who or what that shadowy figure was.
But from his current position, Han Sen could not tell. He’d have to get closer; and dongxuan aura and his eighth sense did not have a sufficient range to clarify things for him, either.
“I should have practiced the second tier of the Dongxuan Sutra and Jadeskin,” Han Sen said to himself, depressed.
Still, he was very happy. And it looked as if the candles were going to burn out very soon. If the man inside used candles to attract and kill the bugs, he’d have no choice but to unveil himself when he came out to change them.
Patiently, Han Sen waited until the candles burnt out.
One hour later, the candles were on the precipice of going out. Yet even so, the shadowy figure maintained its position. It remained sitting down in the meadow of flowers, not moving an inch.
When the light of the candles went out, and the smell they released began to fade, the iron bugs snapped out from their daze and stopped pressing into the valley that had killed so many of them. Many of them began to leave, returning to Thorn Forest.
“I don’t think this person is going to reveal himself.” Han Sen frowned. If the person did not come out, then Han Sen wasn’t going to go in, either.
Whoever was in there had to be very powerful, to gather the resources to attract so many creatures there to die. Han Sen did not want to make his presence known to that person, so he remained in hiding.
The iron bugs were almost all gone from the valley, and still there was no movement. But just as Han Sen prepared to return to Qu Lanxi, that changed.
Quickly, Han Sen scrambled back down to peer at the roses. He watched a person emerge from them, and when he saw the person’s face, his jaw hit the deck. His mind was suddenly a mess.