Hua Lin Yu saw Xiao Li’s downcast expression and couldn’t help but feel a pang in his heart. He reached out and grabbed his hand, hoping to make him feel better.
Xiao Li looked over and used the opportunity to pull him into his arms. “It’s been a long time since then. I made it through and maybe others found ways as well. No matter what, this is just one possibility. It would fit the time frame but we can’t be sure.”
Ao Wen gave a hum at that. “Yes, for now, everything is just a conjecture on our part. The only thing we can say for sure is the rough amount of time this place has to have existed at the very least.”
Having made sure that everyone understood that part, she turned to look down the path toward the middle of the realm. By now, she really didn’t think that they would be able to get many more clues from the herbs at the side. No, the important part would be the middle of this side of the realm. Over there, what would they find?
She narrowed her eyes and observed how the path still stretched a long way into the distance before she turned to the others and waved. “Well, we’ve done our due diligence in looking for clues here. Let’s move on to the middle of the realm. Slow down on the way and continue observing. If somebody is here, they are likely at whatever place lies in front of us.”
The others nodded and then, everyone went on their way.
By this time, they had spent several days on this side of the realm. Usually, covering this bit of distance wouldn’t require as much time but they had checked almost every inch of the ground and paid close attention to the herbs growing there, stopping every now and then to convene and discuss their findings.
Even though the important clues were still sparse, this was the way it normally went when exploring a new realm. And although this second side of the Demonic Ancestor’s Poisonous Herb Garden wasn’t a new realm in the real sense, it was still an unknown place with unknown dangers. Precautions had to be taken.
In fact, Ao Wen would have liked to check the whole periphery of the realm first before going to the middle. But from the lake, they already knew that there were arrays nobody but her little junior could see. They didn’t know why but this was something that worried her. If an array of passage could be adjusted in that way, then others could as well. So, she couldn’t even split the group up without needing to fear that the other half would walk into a trap.
In the end, it didn’t seem worth it to go the long way around. Instead, it was better to directly go to the middle of the realm and check. Maybe they were lucky and this place had already been abandoned. Then, they could slowly explore everything without needing to worry.
This time, they were moving in a straight line. Even though they still took a look around and stopped if there was something close by that drew their attention, they made faster progress than before. After resting on that path for one more night, they finally reached the middle of the realm early the next morning. It was just … it wasn’t what Ao Wen or any of the others had expected.
The one who first spoke up after staring at the place ahead was Zhu Zan. “Why is the palace missing? I thought this place was supposed to be a direct replica.”
Ao Wen turned to look at him and realized that this was the young disciple who her little junior had told her had been trying to find secrets in the palace on the other side. Most likely, he had been looking forward to continuing his mission here. She didn’t answer his question and instead turned to the front, her gaze brushing over the place.
Hua Lin Yu did the same as his senior martial sister. To be honest, his thoughts had been the same as Zhu Zan’s just now. He had really thought they would see the same palace here and maybe even find the same things inside. But now, what was in front was not the palace but just more fields with herbs.
He was confused and looked up at Xiao Li in search of an answer.
The half-demon froze slightly. This was something he hadn’t gotten used to yet. Whenever Hua Lin Yu didn’t understand something, he’d turn to him as if expecting him to have all the answers. Even though there was a lot he had learned both in the demon realm and in the mortal realm, he was far from omniscient.
Even though that was the case, he couldn’t just ignore the question. He might not know the answer but he had to at least give it his best guess. Don’t mention Hua Lin Yu’s opinion of him, he might even be able to win over his two seniors. So far, while they were respectful, he still felt that they were ambivalent about whether they preferred him or that dragon who had been with Hua Lin Yu before.
Thinking for a moment, he finally came up with a few words. “Well, maybe it was just the general layout of the second side that was created like the first one. Anyway, things like the herbs will develop independently so there will be some changes. Also, we might have gotten the purpose of this side wrong. Maybe instead of being a hideout, it was only meant to be a more advanced garden that others wouldn’t have access to. Although that would pose the question just what they need all these herbs for.”
When he mentioned that, the disciples around all couldn’t help but show a complicated expression. High-grade herbs in this amount … somehow, they didn’t have a good feeling about that.