It grew darker and darker and finally, thunder rumbled in the distance. Jing Yi looked up at the sky above the clearing just in time for the first drops of rain to fall onto his face.
He closed his eyes, muttering to himself for a moment before he retreated to the edge of the clearing, and sat down below one of the trees. It seemed that this day wouldn’t get any better. Well, not that he had expected anything like that. To be honest, he would be happy if this whole journey would be over soon. He really couldn’t wait to get home.
He pulled his knees up to his chest and rested his chin on top, hoping that Liu Cheng would soon return. Unfortunately, even after waiting another hour, nothing of the like happened.
By now, the rain had gotten stronger, dripping down through the foliage and making the temperature fall. The fire in the middle of the clearing had long given out, leaving Jing Yi in pitch-black darkness. Nothing could be seen, not even his own hands. On the other hand, everything seemed to get louder. He could hear the leaves rustling above, the rain pattering onto them and falling into the small puddles that must have formed on the ground, and also the growling thunder that seemed to get closer. Nothing could be heard of Liu Cheng though.
“Nothing would have happened to him, right?” Even though Jing Yi still felt that Liu Cheng had done the wrong thing, he didn’t want for anything to happen to him.
Jing Yi continued to sit on the ground, silently counting the seconds. He was hoping that maybe time would seem to pass by faster if he did so but on the contrary, he only noticed that he had to start over again and again. Whatever Liu Cheng had found and was doing right now, it seemed that it wasn’t going very well.
He waited for a while longer but couldn’t help but become more restless. In the end, he couldn’t take it any longer. He got up from the ground, carefully reached out for the tree behind him, and then went after Liu Cheng.
Anyway, he had gone in that direction. He would probably be able to find him as long as he went there as well, right? Anyway, he should at least be able to hear him even if he couldn’t see anything. And Liu Cheng was a demon hunter. He should have some special skills, right? When he got close, he would likely notice him.
Jing Yi wasn’t sure if he was doing the right thing. But after everything that had happened — first almost losing Qiu Ling and then having to watch how Yawen died — he couldn’t just sit back.
He had enough of that. He wanted to help. Even if he couldn’t do anything in the end, he at least wanted to have tried. Otherwise, he would only be in the same position over and over again, always regretting after the fact that he hadn’t done anything.
He slowly made his way through the forest, making sure that he didn’t fall in the darkness while trying to listen for any sounds ahead of him. Even though he was walking below the canopy of leaves, the rain slowly dripped down, wetting his clothes and making them cling to his body, weighing him down.
He shook himself, trying to ignore the feeling and just continue on. Soon enough, he couldn’t help but feel cold though. He rubbed his arms and glanced up at the sky, hoping that the rain would let off soon. Unfortunately, his luck didn’t seem good today. Instead of getting less, the rain even seemed to get stronger, making it drip down regularly now. The ground below his feet became slippery and Jing Yi had to slow down. Maybe it would have been better to stay where he was after all.
He sighed but still continued on. Anyway, if he turned around, he likely wouldn’t be able to find the clearing again. He should just continue. Sooner or later, he would meet Liu Cheng.
After several more minutes of walking, he was sure to have heard something. He didn’t know if this was Liu Cheng or something else but he continued forward. Anyway, if there were other people here, he could at least ask them if they had seen somebody come by who fit Liu Cheng’s description.
He continued through the forest, and soon enough, he saw light between the trunks. His expression lit up and he hastened his steps, rushing toward that source of warmth.
Just when it seemed to get closer, Jing Yi slipped. He grabbed onto a tree but the ground below him caved and he fell down with a scream, his hands gliding off the trunk that was just as slippery from the rain.
He only fell for a moment before he landed on the ground again, his whole body aching. Ah, he really shouldn’t have gone faster. Even though there was a source of light in front, he still hadn’t reached it. Naturally, he should have considered that something like this might happen.
He grimaced and then fought himself back onto his feet, reaching out to get a sense of his surroundings.
In front of him was a wall of earth. He furrowed his brows and reached to the side, grasping a few short roots. He turned further to the side, continuing to touch what was in front of him to find a way out.
Walking a few steps in that direction, he discovered a few stones protruding out of the wall but the sand around them crumbled under his touch, making them drop to the ground with a thud. Jing Yi waited for a moment and then continued. Apparently, this earthen wall was formed like an arc. It might have been some kind of slope. No wonder he had fallen down.
Jing Yi continued on with his examination but soon enough, his hands touched a few roots. He hesitated, not sure what else to do. “This … Wouldn’t be the ones I touched earlier, would they?” His voice trembled slightly but he forced himself to continue on. Somehow, he had a bad feeling about this. But without being able to see, his senses might also just be playing a joke on him. Anyway, this would likely be just him assuming too much. If he continued on, he would soon find the way out of here.
Encouraging himself like that, Jing Yi continued but soon enough, he found a few holes in the wall in front of him as if there had been some stones before that had fallen down.
Jing Yi backed up from the wall, carefully going back a few steps. After not even a dozen, his back hit a wall. He closed his eyes, exhaling deeply. He had been right. He was somehow caught in a hole in the ground.