Even down inside the ruins, things to find were hard to come by. Occasionally they would find wolves similar to the ones they would find above ground however there was nothing that seemed of importance. Above ground or below ground, it didn't seem to matter in the grand scheme of things. The entire area was like a maze. Each corridor would lead to the next with no distinct pattern. If they haven't been setting down markers, Xin Fan would have sworn that they were going in circles.
"Where are we?"
Xin Fan turned to look at the person leading the way. For a while, he didn't see him use the orb at all so he just assumed that they knew the way.
"I don't know. I'm just going off by instinct."
"Oh! did I not mention? The orb stopped working like an hour after we got in. I was just following the way it showed us."
Chilong injected some primal essence into the orb however nothing really happened. It was as if the orb could no longer absorb any more and malfunctioned.
"Now what do we do?"
"We just keep going. Eventually we will reach somewhere."
Xin Fan agreed and they moved onward. As they moved on, the beasts they encountered slowly changed. Rather than beasts, a more accurate term would be monsters. Sure it released the same aura a beast does however a moving corpse could hardly be considered a beast. Almost half of the monsters they encountered are without flesh, simply a skeleton with automated movement.
"Ew...Xin Fan, can we not go this way? It smells horrible!"
The girl next to him started to complain. She was right though. All that could be smelt at this moment was the smell of decomposing flesh as these 'zombies' walk around. Contrary to their appearance, they were not aggressive and ignored their presence.
"No can do. If the smell is becoming stronger, it just means that there is something up ahead."
As they moved onward, they found themselves in a place not of the maze they originally were but a necropolis. Although they were underground, the sky could somehow be seen and the space above them cleared up. If it wasn't for the fact that the constellations in the sky were different, Xin Fan would have thought that they returned back to the surface. The dank musky air reminded him of the times he entered the nearby swamps that were extremely humid.
Rows of coffins decorated the entire area each with unique designs. Among them, a large majority have been opened with a select few towards the center being untouched. As they headed to the center, a large monument could be seen. It appeared to be some sort of shrine to worship some sort of deity.
"I...I think we should not go...I have a bad feeling about this."
Tianfei was extremely cautious and seemed reluctant to go further on. She could feel an ominous air surrounding the whole necropolis.
"It's going to be fine. As long as we don't touch anything."
"Necropolis is it? I wonder if that thing has respawned."
"Oh it's nothing. Just a guardian."
"Oh? Does it have treasures? Of course it does. They are born with it."
The group headed up into the shrine. Under the large arc of the monument, was a stone tablet with cryptic writing. The stone was covered in moss so it was hard to decipher. As they slowly burnt away the moss, the writing became clearer. It seemed like it was written in some ancient language as Xin Fan could not recognize anything. Chilong knelt over and put his finger over it and started to scan the words.
"Those who enter must pay respects to the supreme ruler. Those who don't would face his wrath under the rod of flames."
Xin Fan turned to Chilong in surprise. "You can read it?"
Chilong nodded. "Indeed. My mother had taught me this language once. I believed that it was the language of the Xiu Dynasty. It's no surprise you don't know. After all, it is a few millennia old."
"So do we enter?"
"I don't think it is a good idea."
Xin Fan turned around and headed around the building. This was the only place they had been to in a long time. If they go back, their days for journey would have been for naught. They headed around the outskirts of the necropolis on the opposite side of the maze. From that point onward, all Xin Fan saw was a dense forest of trees. There didn't seem to be anything ahead. Or perhaps, there was but that would mean going back to the days of exploration.
As he was about to step into the forest a skeleton bumped into him. The skeleton didn't seem to do this voluntarily. It just so happens that he walked forwards into its path. The skeleton slowly moved off as if nothing had happened.
At another step, a few more walking corpses started to bump into him pushing him back into the necropolis. This area especially seemed to be crowded with them. They didn't seem to have to do anything with him sending a chill down his spine.
"Xin Fan! Why can't we pass."
"I don't know...Let's go back to the maze."
The team circled around the necropolis back at the entrance/exit of the maze. The stone arcs looked just the same as before giving him a sense of relief. Just as he was about to step back in, he felt a force to his side.
A skeleton ran past him and entered the maze. If Xin Fan didn't know better, he would have thought it was a coincidence. This is not right...Are we trapped?
'Xin Fan, You should try to force your way out."
'Do you think it would work?'
Xin Fan looked around him to see a surprisingly large horde of undead just wandering around aimlessly. It was as if something was giving orders. Xin Fan turned to his teammates and nodded.
"We should break out."
Xin Fan charged the qi in his feet and dashed out as fast as he could. He didn't care what was going on however he knew that staying was no option. Just as he did so, Xin Fan was met with dozens if not thousands of corpses blocking the corridor. No matter how strong he tried to force his way through, he would be pushed aside. Eventually, they was forced back to where they started, in the necropolis.
"What do we do now?"
Xin Fan turned around and asked Tianfei for suggestions. Out of all of them, she was the only one who objected coming here. Xin Fan just hoped that there was some way out. Chilong took out his axe and stared at the corridor.
"We could always try once again."
A burst of qi erupted from his body as he lifted up his axe. He seemed to get ready to break his way through with brute force. Just as he did so, he heard a sinister voice behind him.
"Who dares disturb my slumber."
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