A whole new world!
These were the first four words that flashed through his mind as he witnessed the unfolding of the scenery. The tunnel ended, revealing a vast open space and environment with life, light, and activity. The chatter of adults, laughter of children, and vibrant steps resounded out without end. A grand city revealed itself before him.
As the lizard traversed further in, Wei Wuyin could see young children playing with a ball roughly the size of a watermelon. It was bouncy yet hard, and they were using their knees and elbows to move it with some skill. They seemed to be fond of playing near the entrances or exits of the city.
When these young children dressed in darkly colored rags saw the lizards, they whooped and hollered as they moved out of the way, discussing rather animatedly amongst themselves. They would even point at him and snicker, some would reveal desire on their young faces as if they wanted to be one of the two men that were currently escorting him.
These children revealed the racial origin of their group, likely the men that captured him as well. They had pointed ears, bright eyes, sharp edges to those eyes, and slender bodies. While there were some that had slightly thicker bodies, they were by no means fat.
They were elves.
Nearby, there seemed to be wooden caravans on iron wheels traversing the edge of the walls that led to the tunnel. They were likely transporting whatever was within to another part of this space. The elf performing this duty was whistling to himself in boredom.
Wei Wuyin looked at the grand scene, observing the astonishing sight before him with rapturous awe. The world was encapsulated in an earthen dome with curved walls, and at the center of this dome at the world above was a brilliant and radiant ball of light that mimicked a solar star. It even effused rays of heat alongside the light, seemingly containing a special power within.
After a brief inspection, Wei Wuyin figured out that the rays of light and heat dispersed the desolate power lingering on the lizard, the men escorting him, and himself. This was why life thrived so miraculously here.
”To think there is an underground city! ” Wei Wuyin couldn ’t help but once more be shocked by the brilliant ways of civilization. While he had experienced the Beast-Taming Sect ’s internal mountain lifestyle and Eden Earth Sect ’s tree living lifestyle, he hadn ’t seen an underground city before. In fact, he ’d never even heard of it before in the starfield.
The concept might have been theorized by numerous scholars, but it was hard to put into practice for numerous reasons. Mortals were too weak to sustain the needs of an underground city, and ambient essence grew thinner the lower you went, prompting cultivators to reject such a notion. While cultivators might burrow into large structures such as mountains and giant trees, they wouldn ’t venture underground. There were very few benefits to it.
But in this case, when he recalled the power of desolation that existed above, this might actually be the better, if not only, alternative.
The rider shouted out, causing the lizard to up its pace slightly as they ventured deeper into the city. Wei Wuyin was exposed to the indifferent glances of the fellow elven citizens of the city, the amused chatter of curious youths, as well as the unique architecture of the city.
The buildings were made of dark iron-like material, likely mined from nearby. There wasn ’t much wood present, but it wasn ’t entirely absent, which made him curious. This was an underground city, where did they obtain the wood from? As for the outside environment, it lacked a single tree in sight. Despite that, wood of various types were still present here and there.
”Trading? ” His silver eyes brightened. It seemed there was evidence that other cultivation civilizations existed, and they might be entirely different from this once. One of the reasons mortals can ’t sustain underground cities was the lack of agriculture and food, making it very hard to survive within. However, from the relative healthiness revealed by the outer edges of the city, which were likely poorer from the rags on the children ’s bodies, food wasn ’t an issue here.
This intrigued him further, prompting him to want to learn about the city ’s development, history, struggles, innovations and compromises to ensure success. ”An genuinely unique world, and its made by elves, not demons or beastmen of a specific lineage, ” he said as he lifted his head a little, causing the shackles and chain connected to his neck to rattle.
”Hoh! ” The escort assigned to oversee him tugged at his chain, causing him to stumble a little. He couldn ’t help but wryly chuckle to himself. Who would believe that the Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn, an Era-Defining Character, a Mortal Sovereign Alchemist, and powerful cultivator would be treated so viciously?
”Their spoken language is different as well, ” Wei Wuyin could hear the various conversations held by the inhabitants of the city. Their language was entirely different from the common language of the starfield, causing him to be baffled. It wasn ’t possible for this secret realm to exist prior to the Divine King Han Xei ’s existence, right?
Why was there a unique language here? The universally common language was used by most, if not all, races of humanoid species. It has been that way even before the King of Everlore, even before the Divine King Han Xei. So why was there a new language here?
But he realized that the characters inscribed on various buildings signifying their names were marked by characters he was familiar with. There was some variation to some noun characters, likely signifying new things he had never seen or heard of before.
He had to ride on this lizard for several hours, causing him to be awed by the sheer size of this city. He realized the entire city must span at least five hundred miles, and they were traveling rather slowly. ”This might not be the only underground city…my spiritual sense scanned at least ten thousand miles of empty desolate land, and the tunnels from earlier seemed to branch in many directions. A network of cities underground? ” His eyes brightened at the possibility.
But he soon revealed a pondering expression. ”Why capture me, then? ” That was a baffling question. They didn ’t seem lacking or needing labor. Furthermore, he saw working servants of the relatively rich citizens, but they didn ’t seem like slaves.
Furthermore, he hadn ’t spotted a single human here. It seemed unnecessary to bring him here to kill him. The environment above could accomplish that and dissipate his bones into grey-dirt, and he couldn ’t be a special case, no? Was it just coincidental timing?
”Their practiced fashion betrays the truth of that. They arrived near me and came directly towards me. Their objective was clear: Capture. ” He murmured to himself, causing the chain-holder to tug at his chains again. He pouted, looking at the chains as his patience was nearing its end.
Just as his patience was about to reach its limit, the lizard stopped before a beige-colored citadel with a light tower that reached a mile high, startling him as he strained his neck to look up. The citadel was quite familiar to his own civilization, elevated slightly higher than the other buildings beneath it.
Its fortified walls of iron-like structure seemed extremely durable. It truly lived up to its name as a stronghold. The half-oval gate made from iron started to tremble as it opened up, revealing activity of numerous elves in grey clothes, similar to his captors.
”They ’re soldiers? ” He immediately realized that, despite being an underground city that likely establishes their main resources in ores, this city ’s soldiers didn ’t wear metallic armor, deciding on a lighter attire. These grey clothes seemed suitable in resisting the ambient desolate power.
If that ’s the case, then perhaps the iron would decay or rot in the face of that power, so it wasn ’t a tangible option. This theory of his was quite keen, and if he mentioned this right out the bat to these citizens, they would be startled by his deductive prowess.
He was brought into the citadel by his captors. They trekked with purpose, arriving at an open space that housed a large iron cage. It was square with thick iron bars where one ’s finger could barely poke through. This startled him as he noted that there were humans in this cage!
His captors spoke to each other, and the one that kept tugging at his chains grabbed him and brought him to the cage. Wei Wuyin analyzed the cage, realizing the restrictive formations placed on the cage, and its highly durable nature.
The humans inside weren ’t lacking. They were all at the Astral Core Realm, and they numbered at least three dozen. When he swept a glance at some of their curious faces and defeated expressions, he was startled to realize he couldn ’t recognize a single one, their clothes or aura.
They were all natives of this world realm!
That or they were a part of the San Clan ’s hundred. With that in mind, while the guard was unlocking the cage, Wei Wuyin said to those within: ”Do any of you understand me? ” This caused all the humans to react, seemingly suggesting they all spoke his language.
”Interesting, ” he muttered. ”Do any of you recognize me? ” His appearance was unchanged, and it had spread wide and far through his starfield, so they should know him if they originated from there, especially if they were geniuses. When the human captives looked at him, some shook their heads while others just ignored him. But there wasn ’t a single one that seemed to recognize him.
”Oh? Why should they know of you? Are you very important amongst Ganshus? ” A soft, powerful and authoritative voice sounded out from behind him. His captor stiffened, immediately stopping his attempts to push through Wei Wuyin the now-opened cage entrance.
The elf soldier hurriedly turned around, giving a salute that seemed military. It was with his index and middle finger extended, his pinkie and wedding finger touching one ’s palm, and thumb tucked between the pinkie. He pressed this to his glabella with the back of his index and middle finger, palm facing outwards. He shouted something indistinguishable to Wei Wuyin, likely a greeting.
”Ganshus? ” Wei Wuyin turned around, curious if it was a new human captive that had just arrived. But he was startled to see a woman, an elven woman! She could speak his language!
She had sleek, waist-length black hair with light grey highlights. It was placed into a boho ponytail, suggesting that her hair was even longer. The sharp contours of her eyes was accompanied by a beautiful pair of dark green eyes with grey flecks giving them a bewitching yet strong appearance. Her nose was a little longer than average but it paired well with her heart-shaped face and thin lips.
She was a beauty, and she wasn ’t of the paler white-ish shade, being light bronze instead. This coupled with her perky bosom that was perfect for an adult hand and slim figure covered in tight-fitting grey clothes gave her an exotically sexy aura.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes shone brightly as he chuckled with excitement. ”An elf that speaks my language; what a pleasant surprise. ”
The elven woman seemed to find Wei Wuyin ’s interest and words amusing, smiling with both her lips and eyes. ”Oh? Is it? So you must be very important. ”
Wei Wuyin ’s brows lifted, ”What makes you so certain? ”
The elven woman inspected Wei Wuyin up and down, finally revealing a sweet grin. But this grin caused the soldier standing next to him to tremble as if he was about to soil himself with fear.
”You think your status will make us treat you differently? Return you from whence you came? ” She replied with questions of her own.
This caused Wei Wuyin to figure out a little about the situation. He looked at the human captives and realized why they were still alive, why they were brought here, and it wasn ’t to be slaves or killed; it was to be sold.
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