Mei Chao Bing didn’t move immediately. Instead, he looked around first. It had been a long time since he last came to the southern chasm. In fact, thinking back now, it seemed that the last time had been shortly before his Master betrayed the sect so that should be about five or six years.
It might not seem much compared to the lifespan of a cultivator but at twenty-eight, six years still seemed significant to him. It was also a period of time in which one would forget quite a bit about a place they had once seen, not to mention that he hadn’t paid that close attention back then. Either way, reacquainting himself with this place was the right choice of action if he wanted to heighten his chances of survival.
The bottom of the abyss was dark to the point where you likely wouldn’t be able to see anything if you descended here fast. Thankfully, with his much slower climb, his eyes had already gotten used to the lighting and he was able to make out his surroundings quite well.
There wasn’t anything down here save for some stones that had fallen from the top of the cliff on either side and a few depressions in the ground that had filled with water over time. Other than that, the whole chasm was empty.
Mei Chao Bing hummed to himself and looked at the sides of the chasm next to him more closely. The evil spirits of the chasm would get more numerous toward the edges because that was where they had tried to crawl out. So here in the middle of the chasm, he didn’t need to be too worried yet.
This also meant that if he needed to flee without blue butterfly’s help, he should better do it here. That would require spotting a path that would lead him to the top though. And, more precisely, one that would lead him there without having to use spiritual energy so it couldn’t be the one he had taken down here.
A few steps away, blue butterfly watched Mei Chao Bing closely. She wasn’t sure what he was doing but she really would have loved to find out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like she could simply ask.
She pursed her lips and looked around herself, trying to see if there were any hints. Just like Mei Chao Bing before, she couldn’t spot anything out of the ordinary though. Well, on the bright side, this at least meant that he wouldn’t be attacked outright.
Coming to that conclusion, blue butterfly didn’t continue to hover right next to him and instead focused on the chasm itself. She had already thought that it was spreading when she came here with Zhi Guan and she had gotten the same impression now that she had returned with Mei Chao Bing.
It wasn’t that odd when you thought about it: The ones who had perished here had all been strong so their spirits wouldn’t simply dissipate. On the contrary, if they were left unchecked, their resentment might actually grow and, well, turn into what it was today.
So really, the current state of the southern chasm was the fault of the four great righteous sects. Because nobody had wanted to admit just how wrong everything had gone, they had simply ignored this place and left it to itself. This had clearly been the wrong approach.
They should have thought about how to calm down the spirits of their own people at the very least so that they could find peace and enter the cycle of reincarnation. Not only would that have been the right thing to do with the ones they had lost, but it also would have meant that they would only have to deal with the spirits of the demonic practitioners in the future.
Now, it was too late. The ones who had fallen here had all turned too vengeful to make them pass on peacefully. The lost disciples and Elders of their sects couldn’t be saved any longer. One day, their remaining existence would have to be extinguished together with that of the demonic practitioners.
It couldn’t be helped but thinking of some of those who had fallen — people she had known herself — she wanted to weep. If there was one regret she had in life, it would be the creation of this chasm. Even the defeat of the righteous sects in that war back then might not have been as bad as this. Although then again, who knew what kind of threat it would have set free if the array shared between their sects dissolved because they ceased to exist?
Blue butterfly sighed and turned back to Mei Chao Bing, trying not to think about it any further. It seemed that the disciple from the Teng Yong Sect had finally found what he was looking for.
Mei Chao Bing had indeed made some progress. It had taken him some time but he had finally found a path from the bottom of the abyss that seemed to reach up to the top. If he wasn’t wrong, the spirits wouldn’t be able to leave the chasm so as long as he was able to reach this path and rush up to its end, he should be safe. And judging by what he had seen so far, this path could be taken without having to use any spiritual energy. So, even if his spiritual reserves were completely empty, he could get to safety this way.
He nodded to himself and then started to gather a few of the smaller rocks that were lying around on the ground. Getting up there wouldn’t be the problem even if things got hectic but he couldn’t waste time looking for the right place again. Thus, he had to mark it before he left. If things went south, he could find the right spot at a glance.
Thus, for another few minutes, Mei Chao Bing carried the rocks over there, making sure that they were distributed in a way that clearly distinguished this spot from the rest of the bottom of the chasm. Only when he had finished that did he turn away and venture further toward one of the ends of the chasm to try and see whether Yan Hong Min’s magical box could absorb the energy of the vengeful spirits here.