No matter how worried Yan Chang was, she couldn’t change it anymore. Hua Lin Yu was already down there, out of her reach. In fact, even if he had still been with them at the bank of the lake, she couldn’t help but feel that it might not have changed a thing.
This person, he was the youngest disciple of the Sect Master. He had always been spoiled by his senior martial brothers and sisters. To tell him not to do something, she wasn’t sure if that would actually work.
Just look at how his senior martial brother had tried to hold him back. Had that changed anything? No, it hadn’t. So it was very likely that he would have listened even less to her.
So far, she hadn’t run into this problem because Hua Lin Yu had never been of a different opinion than her. But as soon as that wasn’t the case, she didn’t think that she would ever have the chance to make him submit to what she had decided. It would not be a problem with the other disciples but with him, it was different.
This situation, it really gave her insight into a valuable lesson. It made her realize that on this mission — while things might go wrong on the way — there really was a lot they had to learn. This was just the first of many things that would likely show her that. She just needed to keep her mind and eyes open.
Thinking of that, Yan Chang kept her gaze trained on Hua Lin Yu’s figure down there, watching as he finally reached the ground of the lake.
Hua Lin Yu reached out with his fingertips, brushing away some of the sand, and exposing what lay beneath. To be honest, he wasn’t sure what to expect. What could there actually be at the ground of a lake? Something somebody had lost once upon a time? But that seemed unlikely in this kind of realm that only cultivators and other practitioners entered.
What he had seen from up above was merely something reflecting the light differently than the water did. This was also why he hadn’t been sure at first if he was really seeing something and just what that something might be. But now that he was down here, things became clear.
What was reflecting the light were a couple of crystals embedded in the ground. When Hua Lin Yu wiped away more of the sand, he found about a dozen of them, forming a complex symbol.
He stared at it, remembering the shape before he pushed off the ground and then broke through the surface of the water. He swam back to the edge of the lake, getting out of the water where the others were still standing. Even the rest of the group had finally gathered there, trying to figure out just what was going.
“It’s a bunch of crystals that form a symbol. I’m not quite sure what it is but I guess it should be some kind of array.” He pondered for a moment and then got out a piece of paper and charcoal, hurriedly drawing what he remembered.
To be honest, since he hadn’t been able to go out, he had learned a lot of things in the Jian Yi Sect. When it came to arrays, he also had a solid understanding of them. But this one, it was unfamiliar to him so he had taken extra care to get it right.
He showed the piece of paper to everyone and the disciples crowded around, the younger ones only shaking their heads.
“Never seen that one.”
The disciples looked to one of the boys, raising their brows at him. “Junior martial brother Zi, aren’t you studying arrays?”
The boy in question nodded. “I do but I’ve never seen something like this either.” He furrowed his brows and then reached out to take the piece of paper from Hua Lin Yu, turning it this way and that. “It’s definitely not something that is in use at our Jian Yi Sect. Considering that this is a realm made by an ancestor of the demonic faction, maybe it’s demonic.”
At that, all eyes turned to Xiao Li.
He felt a bit uncomfortable at that, not too happy to have his non-human side referenced this often. If it was up to him, people would slowly start forgetting about that. But then, he himself had brought up that he had been part of the demonic sect before so he probably couldn’t complain about that. Anyway, taking a look couldn’t hurt. If he managed to actually figure out what this was about, he could even benefit.
He accepted the piece of paper from the boy and looked it over slowly, giving a hum after a while. “I haven’t seen this exact array either. But I do believe that I’ve seen something similar before. Maybe it was another variation of this.
“Anyway, this should be some kind of array of passage. Those are similar to transportation arrays but usually, they aren’t used for long distances but just for a very short one.
“Using such an array of passage is a bit like stepping through a door: You enter the array and then come out directly on the other side. So since this one is on the ground of the lake, I would assume that there is something beneath the lake. Something underground.”
He continued to look at the piece of paper for some time before he turned to She Fen. “Senior martial brother She, I don’t know if it’s alright to ask you whether you have seen this before? You don’t need to tell us what exactly it is but I wouldn’t want to make everyone step right into a trap just because of my lack of knowledge. So if it’s possible, maybe you could just verify whether I’m right or wrong.”
She Fen took the piece of paper from him but couldn’t help but give Xiao Li another glance. The bad feeling that his senior martial sister had mentioned about this guy … at this moment, he also felt it.
His words just now, there had been nothing wrong with them. In fact, it had been the perfect response. But it was precisely this perfection that made him wonder if there was something more to it. Well, that wasn’t the question right now. No, he first had to deal with this matter because something told him that it wasn’t as simple as it might look from the outside.