Upon entering the corridor, the picture that the disciples saw wasn’t unlike the one of the corridor that had led to the gate at the entrance. There was nothing special about the walls, the floor, or the ceiling, making it look virtually the same. The only thing lacking was the faint breeze that had greeted them before. Otherwise, they really might have thought that they had just walked through some kind of portal and were back at the entrance of the building.
At the end of this corridor, there was another door as well. But this one finally differed slightly from the one they had seen before, dismissing all the worries they had had before. Compared with the one at the entrance it wasn’t as sturdy, clearly not intended to be used as a fortification against any enemies.
The disciples didn’t let their guards down though. At this place, anything could become dangerous. So it was important to stay vigilant no matter what was in front of them.
Just like before, Shen Lei stepped to the side, his hands raised to attack while Zhi Guan opened the door. But once again, they were greeted by only emptiness.
The disciples’ brows also furrowed. This whole place did indeed seem abandoned but that was something that made no sense at all. This kind of big structure that they hadn’t known about for so long … It should have been full of demonic practitioners running around.
Unless there was some kind of reason to abandon it, that was. And clearly, if there was a reason, that reason was not the righteous sects. Because in all this time that they had been keeping an eye on the border region nobody had ever found out about this place. It was only this mission that had been brought about by more movement from the other side that had finally made them stumble over it. Clearly, the demonic practitioners did not need to be worried about them.
The disciples started to look through the room behind the door but there seemed to be nothing of worth here. Instead, this seemed to be some storage of sorts. In this kind of big building, that wasn’t anything strange. In fact, it should have been expected.
The disciples looked around for a moment longer, making sure that they hadn’t overlooked any secret places and finally turned back to Zhi Guan.
“I’m afraid there is nothing worth finding here, senior martial brother Zhi. Should we go back?”
Zhi Guan nodded and they took the same way back that they had taken to get there, still paying attention to their surroundings to make sure that nothing had changed. It would be much too easy for the demonic practitioners to attack them if they let their guard down just because they hadn’t encountered anyone in the first couple of rooms. In fact, this kind of thing might also be a tactic that they were applying. Who knew if the building was really empty?
Upon reaching the hall again, they didn’t linger and instead took the next door, finding themselves in yet another corridor. They followed the length of the hallway and at the end, they finally found something different again. There wasn’t just one door there but instead, the corridor made a turn to the left, exposing yet another door at the side.
Zhi Guan narrowed his eyes. “This room should be behind the one we just investigated.”
He motioned at the door and opened it together with Shen Lei again before the disciples filed into the room. Once again, they didn’t find much. But at the very least, they also didn’t come back completely empty-handed. Contrary to the room just now, there was the staircase leading up one floor.
The disciples looked at the steps and then turned to Zhi Guan to ask his opinion. They still hadn’t finished investigating this floor or even the corridor leading to the room next to this. Whether it was smart to go up there and take a look at a second story while they hadn’t made sure of what was down here was a question worth pondering.
Zhi Guan took some time to ponder. Before this, there had never been a question of where to go. Now though, things were getting a little more difficult. And this was an important decision going forward because they would surely find more twists and turns on their way. If they always followed the path in front, they might not get to take a look around the other rooms here. And thus, they might miss out on important clues.
After a while, Zhi Guan shook his head. “Let’s take care of this floor first unless there is anything that indicates we definitely have to look up there. It is important that we get a feeling for the layout of this place. Probably even more important than to see what exactly is up there. That will tell us more about the actual size of this building and what to expect further inside.”
The others nodded and left the room again, going to the one next to this. As it turned out, there still weren’t any surprises. The only thing that they finally found when they checked the doors in the main hall one after the other was that there were clearly rooms meant as resting places for the people living here. The number of beds was quite small though. For a building of this size, it didn’t seem quite adequate. Unless … there were even more hidden deep inside or on the other floors. That was a question for later though.
Soon enough, they had looked through all the rooms on this floor on the left side of the building. Without having stumbled over any surprises, they weren’t quite as tense anymore as they went over to the right side of the building. From what they had surmised, this place shouldn’t hold as many surprises as the other one. Although maybe the fact that they hadn’t found much on the left side went to show that they shouldn’t be too sure of that idea. Maybe things were just different from what they had expected.