77 Tracking Footsteps
It was a peaceful morning in the Wangyou Forest. The sun was shining through to the leaves on the ground and the drops of morning dew could be seen on the leaves, colorful from the refraction of light. Whiffs of a fresh green fragrance were sent by the wind into Lin Huang’s tent. He was awake early that day and he had a good night sleep all through the night. Although he had Leng Yuexin’s news on his mind, he did not worry about it as that would have been unnecessary.
He had breakfast and departed after dismantling his tent and packed it away. He chose Bai and the Viridian Wolf as his companions this time. If he summoned Charcoal, monsters that were below silver-level would run away from him but gold-level monsters might consider it a challenge. Moreover, there was a possibility that there was a transcendent monster in the forest. Lin Huang was mistaken as god’s descendant the last time and that had attracted a transcendent monster. If Charcoal, his dragonkin monster was discovered by the transcendent, he could not imagine what kind of trouble that would bring him.
Moreover, flying above the Wangyou Forest would make him an easy target for an attack by powerful monsters as there would be no trees around. Although it would have been a different story with the Viridian Wolf. Its keen nose gave it a useful advantage against any lurking dangers as it could detect enemies from a distance. With its speed, the 300 kilometers to the coordinates where Leng Yuexin was last seen would only take the beast a mere two hours run.
Lin Huang and Bai rode on the back of Viridian Wolf. They made stops in between to rest up so in case a monster attacked them midway, they'd all still have the energy to fight even after the long journey. Whenever the Viridian Wolf caught the scent of a nearby strong monster, it would deviate to another route and continue. When it was close to noon, they finally arrived at the first coordinate where Leng Yuexin was last seen.
Lin Huang then activated
and caught the scent of Leng Yuexin and Li Yanxing. He followed the odor and arrived in front of a giant rock. It was a black rock that was 10 meters high, and a small part of it was buried in the ground while the top was showing. The smell was strongest near the giant rock so Lin Huang was sure that they made a stop at the giant rock or at least touched it as they traveled.
He walked around the rock but he could not find anything. However, it was absurd for such a huge rock to be lying there in the middle of Wangyou Forest. If it was a meteorite, there should have been craters around it, but the terrain was flat and undisturbed. With a few doubts in mind, Lin Huang browsed through the Heart Network for anything that mentioned a giant rock in the forest. Surprisingly, there was quite a lot of information about it and it was once a hot topic in Division7. How the topic of this black giant rock became popular was peculiar as it all started when many claimed that no one could move the rock. People saw the thread on the network and tried to move the rock but even a Gold Hunter who was among the top 10 on the leaderboard tried his best to no avail. The rock remained firmly planted in its position. That was why it became one of the hot topics for quite some time in Division7 as many were guessing the origins of the rock itself. Many of them thought it was a meteorite while others thought it was moved there by a transcendent out of boredom. There were even some that said it was a seal for the back luck of the city buried beneath it...
After browsing through the many speculated theories of the topic, he realized that it was totally unrelated to the transcendent monster. He turned off the network and looked around the place again. He could not find anything and left. 10 minutes later, Lin Huang and Bai found the second spot where Leng Yuexin was last seen. He activated
again and found the exact location where Leng Yuexin and the rest had been.
It was scorched ground - dead earth with cracks that looked like spiderwebs that spread as far as 10 kilometers. The burnt soil bulged around the cracks, seemingly cracking from the inside out. Lin Huang found a crack that was as wide as a palm and tossed a stone in to find out how deep it was. He did not hear any sound to confirm if the stone had touched the ground so he was not able to tell how deep it was. He browsed the Heart Network again but there was nothing about it.
"It seems like these cracks just appeared recently…" Lin Huang took a couple of photos of the cracks, looked around the area and left. Within half an hour, he found the third and fourth coordinates where Leng Yuexin and the rest were last seen and both had the similar strange cracks like the second location. Aside from that, he did not discover anything else. He took some photos once again and left. This time, he headed to the last location Leng Yuexin was seen at before she went missing.
Within 20 minutes, the Viridian Wolf brought Lin Huang and Bai to the final destination. They got off the Viridian Wolf’s back and Lin Huang activated
again. Following the scent he was familiar with, he found the exact coordinates where Leng Yuexin had last been. The Mission Card showed that the coordinates were 300 kilometers to the north and Lin Huang found the location easily. It was a giant waterfall with a giant pool beneath the waterfall. Leng Yuexin and Li Yanxing’s scent completely disappeared around the waterfall.
"There must be something here. Perhaps there’s a cave behind this waterfall?" Lin Huang thought and frowned as he looked around the waterfall but there did not seem to be anything unusual.
He then recalled the Viridian Wolf and summoned the Specter. As it was a spirit, it was similar like the crows he saw previously, lacking a physical form so it was able to pass through objects.
"Specter, see what’s behind the waterfall," Lin Huang instructed the Specter. The black phantom floated on top of the lake and disappeared into the waterfall. Soon, it came out from the waterfall.
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"Is there a cave or cavern that connects to another location?" Lin Huang asked.
The Specter shook its head.
"No cave?" Lin Huang was skeptical. "It doesn’t look like there's anything else nearby…"
Lin Huang then looked at the quiet pool and thought, "Could it be under this pool?"
"Specter, go underwater to see if there’s an underground cave beneath the pool!" Lin Huang gave his instruction immediately.
The Specter dived into the water without making a single ripple on the surface.
Lin Huang sat by the pool and anxiously waited for the results. If there was no clue under the pool, he would have no idea how he would find Leng Yuexin at all.
It took more than half an hour this time. If it was not for Xiao Hei who would notify him if the Specter was dead, he would have thought that it had been killed by an underwater beast. 40 minutes in, the Specter finally emerged from the pool.
"Is there an underwater cave?" Lin Huang asked immediately.
The Specter nodded.
"That’s it!" Lin Huang concluded that Leng Yuexin and the rest had dove down under the pool and prepared himself for the descent.