"Huh? Where am I?" Opening his eyes after felt like years, an unfamiliar scenery presented itself before him. Emblems of obsidian hexagrams behind a huge axe, both the floor and walls were some of some high quality Black Ironwood.
Black Ironwood was the sturdiest of all the Ironwood Trees, it was also the only source of money of his village which was why he knew so much about it.
Looking down, he realized his clothes had been changed into a set of white linen shirts and pants, making him a little surprised. Even back in the sacred soul sect, the members all used robes made of a certain beast's skin after being refined by Vital Power which gave the fabric a nice resistance against both fire and water.
He didn't think he would find clothes similar to the ones Levi gave him, yet, the craftsmanship and form of the shirt was a lot more rustic than what he had seen.
Hearing noises coming from below, he guessed somebody was walking up the stairs in order to meet him. And like he already thought, Erin, followed by a short-haired old man opened the wood door and walked inside the room thinking he was still asleep.
With eyes closed, he kept his breath as calm as still water. He couldn't know just from Zin's memories that those from the obsidian pavilion are to be trusted, they are cultivators after all and he couldn't trust them fully.
"Is he the boy?" The old man pointed with his finger to the youth sleeping on the bed. Out of combat, the youth's skin had returned to its former milky white color.
"Yes, Doctor Gu."
His body still had too much muscle for any youngster at his age, but nothing too serious. The old man then went to examine the youth's pulse and to his surprise he didn't have any internal injuries or any problems other than his irregular breathing.
"Huh? This... He's a non-cultivator?" Seeing the old man's face drastically change, Erin grew anxious. Yet, the man didn't even notice because he was too shocked by what he saw.
Hearing Erin call him, the old man finally recovered his senses and turned to her. "He's fine, in fact I would say he is too healthy. His heartbeat, blood flow and physique are extraordinary, but there is no such thing as a vital core within his body. Miss Erin, there is no need to worry. For a person like this, he shall wake up soon."
Leaving those words, the man left the room. Erin, who was left alone with Kallen, observed his thin face before thinking something. "Hey, you can open your eyes now."
The moment she spoke these words, the youth's bright eyes suddenly opened. "What is it?"
"I knew it!" Erin put her hand on her forehead when she saw he was truly pretending to be asleep. "Don't worry, we are in the Obsidian Pavilion. No one from the Ji family would dare do anything to us after what happened."
For the next hour the two chatted about the events that happened back in the mine. Knowing how serious that young master Ji was about that relic he wanted to know what it was.
"I see, so young the Ji family has the secret to open the tomb and they are working together with another force on the Sacred Soul Sect's level. This can end pretty badly if this tomb is as close as you told me..." The tomb of this ancient expert has existed for forty thousand years, if another force sent their forces over to explore the tomb within the territory of the SSS the city would become the battlefield between the two factions.
Not just that, in fact other factions around the continent could also decide to travel all the way here as well as this ancient expert seemed to know some of the secrets about the realm above the Undying Lord.
At the same time, in the dungeons of the Sacred Soul Sect. A skinny middle-aged man was tied to the wall with golden chains filled with runic inscriptions all over his body.
An elder wearing a 6-golden star robe walking down the stairs with a torch in hand. Stopping in front of the dark and cold cell, he observed the middle-aged man who didn't speak a word since he saw him.
*Sigh* The old man felt complex emotions when seeing the state of his most talented disciple. "Ray. Are you still holding onto those feelings? When I first picked you out of thousands to be my disciple, I knew your justice-craving heart would prove to be a problem. The boy you wanted to protect has long since gone and soon your other disciple will follow him as well. After all the ruckus you caused in the sect because of that boy, it is already a miracle that the sect master has not killed you on the spot."
"..." The middle-aged man was staring at the old man with bloodshot eyes, with strong killing intent seeping out. Ever since he joined the sect as a highly respected son of heaven he believed the sect he belonged to was a force of justice.
Little did he know that all the medicine the sect gave him for many years, medicine that only the sect possessed was in fact made with the souls of mortals. Since he was a child his righteous and modest manner was what first set him apart from other geniuses.
But who would have guessed that countless people have been used as cultivation resources for the sect members such as the elders and the sect master.
Only after a couple minutes did the man spoke in a hoarse voice. "Maste... No, Grand Elder Thorat, I've known for some while already what the Sect Master and you elders have been doing, but I didn't do anything. I knew it all along, but I kept quiet because I was afraid, afraid of losing the relationship and all else that I needed to protect.
"Ahhh! All the innocent souls you made me consume, just the thought of it makes me want to rip my heart out of my chest... Now I know all of you are heartless monsters, the only reason I'm stuck here is because of being weak otherwise this whole sect would have been wiped out even at the cost of my death."
The secret of the Sacred Soul Sect is something he discovered in the past three years, but he didn't dare do anything because with his pitiful strength, he would only get himself and many others killed. But who knew even that young man would have been thrown into this mess while he was away on a mission for the sect master.
Hearing his disciple's words as his eyes were filled with hatred made the old man slightly falter. He completely understood Ray's actions and he didn't find it strange at all given he knew his disposition for a long time. He wanted at least for his disciple to be a bit more understanding, it is true that actually there is only Undying Lord expert within the sect.
But in fact they had a few other old monsters still alive that most people didn't know, they were all the descendants and fellow brother disciples of the sect master that decided to live in seclusion underneath the Sect Master's mansion.
Knowing his disciple won't change his mind, the old man then left an old iron plate with some bread and ordinary nutrient pills before leaving quietly.
Seeing his master leave, Ray murmured. 'Kallen, I am so sorry. Teacher has failed you...'