While this discussion was going on in the Yun Zou Sect, Shen Qiang had made his way over to the demon realm and the ancient tombs that Jinde had mentioned. He knew of this place even though he had never been here in the past. It was a burial ground for the royal family that had supposedly reigned over the demons in ancient times.
To be honest, the demon hunters of the Chun Feng Sect had never really had any evidence that they had actually existed. From what they knew, the demons didn’t give a fuck about family. Why would they have had a royal family then? A ruler? Yes, certainly. Whoever was the strongest would definitely be able to keep the others under their thumb. But that person likely wouldn’t have a family. Demons just weren’t like that. At most, they would have some shallow relationships for their own amusement that could be discarded just as fast as they had begun.
Well, after everything that had happened so far, Shen Qiang couldn’t help but wonder. Maybe the demons were different from what he had thought. Maybe it wasn’t just the human or beast blood in their veins that had made those half-bloods less bad. Maybe even the demons were different.
He didn’t know. Right now, that also was the question he should ponder. No, he had to focus on this task alone to make sure that nothing would go wrong. After all, while this was a burial ground for demons, it had also become the final resting place for quite a few demon hunters. He didn’t want to end up among them.
Shen Qiang looked around, feeling a shudder down his back. The whole place seemed shrouded in a gloomy aura, completely forsaken. From the originally proud buildings, only a few were left untouched. The majestic columns had collapsed in large parts, the doors of some mausoleums were unhinged, the vibrant colors flaking off the paintings, and the tiles fallen to the ground and shattered into hundreds of pieces. Among the rubble, creatures could be seen squirming around, hiding and laying low to finally make a move on something weaker than them.
This really was a place that crawled with demonic beasts and demons of the lowest kind. Whoever came here was basically offering themselves as food. But he didn’t have a choice. This was what he had to do. There was no way back.
Shen Qiang unsheathed his weapon and then slowly walked forward, looking for the hill that Jinde had described. From the way he had spoken about it, it should be pretty obvious. But from where he stood, he couldn’t see it. So most likely, that hill would be further inside. He could only slowly inch forward and hope that he wouldn’t be attacked before that. Or that if he was, he would be able to fight them off.
His boots made crunching noises on the ground while his gaze continued to scan the area around him. So far, none of the beasts had come closer but that could happen at any moment. He made his way toward one of the buildings, seeing a path leading around it. He stopped at the spot, turning in all directions once before he continued. Behind him, the same crunching noises could be heard but they were much quieter. It seemed that something was already sneaking up on him.
He continued to walk at the same pace but gripped his weapon tighter, as well as reaching out for the dagger that was secured at his waist in case he needed another weapon. Thankfully, the people of the Yun Zou Sect hadn’t taken anything from him before he left. Instead, they had allowed him to take everything with him that he would need to defend himself. Well, they did need him to return if they wanted to save their disciple.
When he turned around the corner of the building, something jumped at him from behind. He whirled around, the blade flashing through the air and striking down the beast. Shen Qiang took a step back when he had made sure that he had hit it squarely in the chest and killed with one strike. He took a closer look, making it out to be a demonic beast about half his size. It had some semblance with bears but was more slender, giving it even more agility. If he hadn’t noticed it before it leaped, this would have been difficult to get away from. He would indeed need to pay attention to every small detail.
He narrowed his eyes, glanced around, and then turned back, continuing on his path. When he reached the next corner, he once again stopped. Ahead of him, there was another row of buildings and he was still not able to see the hill that Jinde had mentioned.
He furrowed his brows and then jumped up on the balustrade surrounding the building next to him. With another leap, he made it onto the edge of one of the overhanging roofs and then crawled up to the highest point. From this high vantage point, he was able to look over the other buildings and finally spotted the hill two rows behind them. It seemed that he would still need to cover quite some distance.
He continued to crouch on the roof, taking the time to study the path he would need to take to get there. It would be enough to just go in a straight line but judging from what he could see from here, there would be quite a few places where demons and beasts would be able to hide to attack him.
If you really wanted to make it over and then back out of here, he would need to be extremely careful or come up with a plan. He definitely couldn’t just charge over. That would be more than dumb.