94 Chapter 94
The large gate-like door slammed itself open, the moment that happened you could feel the change in heat as the warm air started surging from the created opening. Matt didn't receive any points for slaying one of the snake-men, maybe it was the system acting up or maybe the thing they were fighting wasn't considered a normal beast.
Everyone's mouths opened wide as they saw a narrow path in front of them, there was lava coming out from the sides and dropping down into what looked to be a giant lake below. The path in front of them went on for a while, bending a couple of times before you could see a giant castle-like structure in the distance. This time around, there was a clear path towards the next destination the lava was everywhere so they couldn't really go anywhere besides forward.
Before they moved onwards Matt looked at the large sabers that the creatures dropped, they were quite high quality and there were four of them. Though he picked up the two that the monster he was fighting had on it, the other two were picked up by his companions. He was about half done into the great circle with his body refining technique by now, these two weapons would probably add quite a bit. Even more, if he got four of them, but the items were already gaining new owners.
The mutton chop elder took one, while the other one got snatched by the new guy. He was thinking about getting them to cough those items up, but on second thought the new guy lost his weapon on the way and the Huo clan member earned his keep already. He would probably have a hard time beating the previous boss if he was alone, you have to share the loot some times, he thought to himself. He wanted to propose a short break so he could absorb the weapons, but the door started slowly closing itself.
"Damn... will those monsters revive or will this entrance be blocked for now..."
They had to make a decision, there could be other places like this that they could enter or they could be lost in the jungle for eternity. Matt didn't feel like he wanted to gamble on that so everyone rushed inside the lava chamber.
Feng Liana aired her robe a bit, sweat running down her neck and making her cleavage glisten in the red light. Everyone felt that this place was really stuffy, the two Huo clan members weren't as uncomfortable as the rest though.
"Hah, this heat is nothing!"
Huo Qiang proclaimed as he strode inside with large strides. Matt's body refining skill was keeping him safe from the heat, but he wasn't sure about the rest.
"I think we shouldn't linger here, that castle over there isn't that far, let's go there just stay vigilant, we have no idea if more beasts are going to show up while we are crossing."
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They were in a disadvantageous position, the path was about ten meters wide but the drop-down was close to one kilometer. Even if they survived the drop, the burning hot lava would probably burn them to a crisp.
This was closed off space, the door slammed itself shut behind them soon after they entered. There was clearly a ceiling with many sharp stalactites coming out of it. The walls around them had openings throughout which lava was rushing down, filling up the flaming hot river below them that run on both sides of the bridge they were walking on.
They were about halfway through without anything coming out to bother them. The large castle started getting closer and they could now clearly see what it was. It was situated on an island surrounded by a lava lake, the path they were on was leading towards the gate. It was quite sharp looking with many pointy towers coming out from the structure with the middle one being the largest of them.
They weren't able to digest its looks as the moment they passed the halfway mark something started rumbling. They could feel the rocky bridge shaking below them, something was clearly wrong.
"Oh no, the bridge is collapsing"
Feng Maling shouted as she pointed behind them, in the distance from where they came from the bridge was collapsing. Sections of it just started crumbling and falling into the lava river below them. Everyone started running with all their might, quickly going towards the ominous-looking structure on the island.
Matt looked back and could see one of the cultivators falling behind the others, it was the baked potato of a lady that was huffing and puffing, clearly running wasn't her strong suit. Being the gentleman that he was he stopped and backtracked, he grabbed the woman like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder and bolted for the fort in the distance now having to catch up to the rest of the cultivators.
"Ahh... Zhang Patriarch, you have my gratitude!"
"Don't talk or you might bite your tongue, I'm going to increase my speed..."
Matt replied while gathering spiritual energy in his legs, his feet made deep indents in the rocky ground as he pushed off with long strides quickly catching up to the remaining running cultivators with granny in tow. The whole place was shaking and crumbling, but everyone managed to make it the last one being the monk-like character whose sweaty head looked like a shiny marble.
"Sabbe satta dukkha pamuccantu..."
He took off his beads and started doing some chants, a holy aura surrounded his being as it washed away his anxiety. The people had unwillingly charged into the large castle-like structure, the gate was open but the bridge leading up to it had crumbled as the rest.
"At least this place isn't crumbling..."
Matt noted while he placed the granny that he was carrying back on the ground. The woman was blushing a little bit, but he couldn't really tell due to her dark complexion.
Feng Liena run-up to the two, her finger pointing up as if she wanted to say something but stopping mid-sentence.
"Ah... uh ... thank you for your help brother Dong, granny isn't the youngest anymore..."
He wasn't sure why the woman was having a hard time talking now, guess the previous conversation was showing some effects as she wasn't acting all hyperactive anymore. Matt just smiled at the woman and nodded.
"No problem, you can count on me!"
He replied while looking at the girl, she, in turn, covered her mouth and giggled a little bit.
"He he, brother Dong is really reliable."
The reply came with a cute smile, which made Matt stare slightly.
'What's with this comfortable atmosphere all of a sudden?'
He just nodded and tried steering the conversation away from himself and to the lair of potential monsters they were in. He couldn't feel any life signals for now, but a monster could just be summoned out of thin air here so they have to be warry of their surrounding.
"How about we check this place out, don't stray too far away from the group though we don't know if there are any more beasts here."
Huo Qiang's retainer chimed in while holding onto his new saber weapon. He looked like he was eager to chop someone up with that thing. There wasn't much inside the structure, the area looked deserted. The structures around here looked old and shabby, there was dust everywhere and no sign of life anywhere. In the middle of the castle-fort stood a giant spire-like tower, there was a large door there with peculiar familiar writing.
*Those who enter here abandon all hope.*
The door had a palm drawn on it, probably something used to activate the opening mechanism so, for now, he told everyone to not go near it. This was also a tower structure, so there would probably be some levels with increasing difficulty.
"I think the next part is behind that door in the middle, I propose we rest and recover our Qi for now and then try opening it. We might not have time to do that later."
Matt proposed, wanting to absorb those two weapons that he got and it was also good to take a breather for the other people. No one had anything against that, the cultivators already gave up the motion of working separately here there were just too many strange things around for one or two people to handle.
Everyone scattered to their own corner to prepare for the next battle, but before Matt could start absorbing those weapons the more friendly version of the Feng Matriarch came over to chat with him again.
"Could I have a moment~?"
She said in a cheery voice, Matt just stood up from his lotus position not really having a place to sit down comfortably for a chat so the two just stood there opposite each other.
"Sure, how can I help sister Liena"
Guess he could drop the big sis part and just go with how peers talked to each other in this world. They were both in a Patriarchal position in similar clans.
"Could we talk about the ancestral scriptures?"
Matt gulped a bit, not really wanting to talk about those as he wasn't really sure how those people interpreted those manga panels like that.
"You see, the texts were incomplete but they were supposed to guide us on the path of Dao..."
Leliana asked while sitting on a more well-kept piece of the castle wall.
"Um, well the texts that I saw were similar to yours. It's not like everything that's in the secret scriptures is false, you just need to look into them on your own... and pick out the truths."
Matt replied while trying not to show his sweaty palms, arms behind his back as he stood straight up hoping the woman would buy his response.
Liena looked to the distance, appearing like she was thinking about something for a moment, uncomfortable silence filling the surrounding which prompted Matt to speak up.
"F-for instance... your lovely darkened complexion, It's a lot better than the pale one most female cultivators stand by... like you get a lot more vitamin D3 ... it's good for your health and will progress your Dao further..."
Matt kind of trailed off at the end, his voice getting fainter as he wasn't sure what he was even talking about.
'Why are you talking about vitamin D3, you dumbass!'
"Vitah-min Dee Tree?"
'Does he mean that I need to be steadfast as an unmoving tree... or bend like a slim tree that survives even great cyclones. Is that the name of some kind of secret technique... D-did he say I had a lovely complexion?'
Feng Liena thought to herself, while Zhang Dong wanted to hit his head on the nearby wall.
"Tee hee~, you sure have a way with words brother Dong. Maybe the texts weren't all that wrong, I'll have to examine them once more when we return."
She looked at him while covering her mouth with her sleeve, she then walked away after excusing herself with a proper bow. Matt wasn't sure what the cultivator woman took out from his nonsense response, but at least she looked happy when she was going away. After the coast was clear, he gave out a sigh and went back to cultivating managing to absorb the two weapons within the hour. His body refining progress jumped up by ten percent, these last boss weapons were a lot better than the ones he found along the way in the jungle.
'Guess it's time to check that tower out... will it be that hell motive... think limbo came first...'
Everyone gathered up in front of the large locked door. Matt nodded as they decided that one of the weaker members would try to place their palm on the door. They didn't want their strongest members to activate any traps as they needed them for fighting. The monk volunteered for this and after placing his palm on the door they heard gears moving as it opened up.
The moment the door opened a peculiar sweet fragrance hit their noses, Matt covered his mouth and churned his cultivations to stop the fragrance from going further into his body, not knowing if it was poisonous or not. Then they entered inside, the inside looked quite high class. It was only a short hall at first and another door inside, they tried opening it but it wouldn't budge probably because not everyone from the group had entered through the door just yet.
"Okay let's go then..."
The door shut itself behind them, the red carpet on the wooden floor guided them forward as the previously shut door finally opened. Inside it looked like a ballroom, many crystal chandeliers lit it up and there were some people dancing inside. Matt narrowed his eyes, the people were wearing fancy dresses but there was something peculiar about them, they had horns and thin black tails
[ Incubus (Core formation middle level) ]
[ Succubus (Core formation middle level) ]
They were dancing in pairs around a certain woman. The woman had larger horns and a larger tail, her eyes were glowing in a red hue. She was wearing something that looked like a Victorian-era dress, with a lot of space to see her ample cleavage, that corset was doing wonders for it.
[ The Sin of Lust ( Core formation Late Stage+(Half Step Great Circle)) ]
'Wait, never saw that plus sign before... Sin of Lust? did they mix up the genres?'
Matt was expecting the nine levels of hell, but it looked like he would be getting the seven deadly sins instead.