Since the information they had gathered only needed to be handed over and did not have to be copied right away while the disciple waited either the person of the Zhen Yan Sect soon returned. Zhi Guan nodded at them and finally, the group made its way over to the last door on the first floor that they hadn’t taken a look behind yet.
Just like before, Zhi Guan opened it while Shen Lei stood aside, ready to attack any enemies that might be on the other side. But just like the previous times, there was nothing for him to attack. There was merely yet another corridor that was left completely empty.
The disciples peered into it, feeling that this was indeed quite odd. By now, it was likely to assume that there really wasn’t a single person in this place save for them. It made their previous ideas about this building’s past and possible use more likely.
But even though it was likely true that there was nobody else here, they couldn’t slack off. They had to stay vigilant. Otherwise, they might receive a nasty surprise in return.
At Zhi Guan’s gesture, the disciples all filed into the corridor after him, silently following while they kept an eye out for anything suspicious. At first, this hallway seemed pretty much like all the others that they had walked through. But after a while, they couldn’t help but feel that something was odd.
Shen Lei squinted his eyes. “Ah Guan, isn’t this corridor a little long?” He hadn’t counted the steps but he felt that they had already walked pretty far. When he glanced back, he could still see the door in the distance but it definitely wasn’t close. And turning to the front again, he still couldn’t see the other end up ahead.
Zhi Guan furrowed his brows, having thought the same just moments prior. The other corridors hadn’t taken them this long, not even the one at the entrance. “It seems that the rest of the building reaches much further into the mountains than we thought. That probably explains why we didn’t have the feeling that this was a stronghold of the demonic practitioners before. Anything really important will probably be up ahead.”
Shen Lei clicked his tongue. “In other words: What we thought before was just based on us being misled. The real size of this thing still can’t even be guessed.”
The other disciples’ expressions darkened at the thought. Still, there was nothing they could do about it. Thankfully, they had already sent some information back before coming here. Now, no matter what would happen, at the very least that information would already be with the sect.
They continued through the corridor and finally — after several minutes had gone by — they reached the other end. Once again, there was a door in front of them that wasn’t quite unlike the one at the entrance. It really was as if they had suddenly found two buildings there that just so happened to be connected by one hallway.
Zhi Guan and Shen Lei opened the door again and the disciples were greeted by a dark room. By now, they should be deep inside the mountain so there was nothing strange about that. Even in the previous rooms, everything had been shrouded in twilight. It was just that now, the darkness around them seemed to have increased even further.
Not only Zhi Guan but the other disciples also raised a hand, lighting up the room first. What greeted them was another hall that wasn’t that unlike the one they had just come from save for the fact that it was less empty. There were braziers standing to the side but none of them were ignited. They could also see an incense burner not too far away. Stepping closer, there wasn’t the slightest hint of anything having burned there previously though.
Shen Lei narrowed his eyes. “Rather than this place having been abandoned, it looks like this place has never been in use in the first place.”
Xi Ju Hai nodded, feeling that that was really what everything pointed to. “Then what is it for? What exactly are they preparing? A new kind of headquarters? But then the size …” She trailed off and shook her head. “No, if what we saw before were just the outer parts, so maybe this is indeed bigger than we imagined. It wouldn’t be impossible.”
The other disciples murmured their agreement and then everyone proceeded further. The impression they got of this place had changed. It seemed like nobody had been here but this place had everything that one would need to live. Although it didn’t really seem like what a sect would use. Maybe it could be one building on the sect grounds like what the Sect Master would use to greet guests or take care of organizational matters from.
Soon enough, the disciples had gone through the whole room, taking everything in. Still, there was nothing too special about this place that would distinguish it from anything else. It really was difficult to say why they would choose this place or build it this way. The only difference so far had been the slightly bigger amount in spiritual energy but that didn’t have to mean much considering that it also wasn’t that big of a difference. So unless the demonic practitioners wanted to transfer all the spiritual energy over here that they had collected, that really wasn’t a reason. In short, this whole place continued to be a big mystery to them.
From this hall, there were once again several doors leading away, although there weren’t as many as before. They had a quick look around and then picked the one closest to the door they had come from, making their way deeper into the building. And finally, they were about to get a rather big surprise.