John and Adam stared at the cave opening for a short while. They both sent their divine senses down into the cave, but the cave was longer than their senses could reach.
"What do you think is down there?" Adam asked curiously, completely forgetting the fact that John had just dragged him for dozens of miles.
"I'm not sure. Our divine senses revealed nothing. We're here to explore these lands, so let's head inside," John mumbled as he began to walk forward.
Adam nodded his head and followed behind, although he could tell that John appeared to be distracted by something. However, he didn't ask about it.
As they were walking towards the mouth of the cave, John's mind was elsewhere, as he had observed something concerning.
'I only fully noticed it now, but ever since I decided to run from Hunter, something has been nagging me, as if something was wrong, and I think I know why now.'
John had slightly noticed it as soon as he started running, but ignored the feeling as it was fleeting. However, it grew more intense the farther he ran, until he eventually found the cave and stopped. The feeling stemmed from his dantian, and eventually spread all throughout his body.
The way it spread throughout his body reminded him of the meridian pathways needed to cultivate the Immortal Asura Body, which is how he finally figured out what was making him feel this way.
'My body dantian, and also my Immortal Asura Body...almost seems to be rejecting me.'
Although it was only slight at the moment, John could tell that his dantian body, and by extension his Immortal Asura Body, was not operating as smoothly and efficiently as before. In fact, there seemed to be a slight rejection by the dantian itself in its willingness to send Qi to his body, as if it was a sentient thing.
John didn't know how such a thing was possible, but when it came to the mysterious dantian, he didn't rule anything out.
Although he was not one hundred percent sure, John was mostly sure that this feeling stemmed from the fact that he had run from Hunter. It started as soon as he did so, and grew in intensity until he stopped just now. It was the first time he had run from a battle of a similar strength opponent without at least trying to fight back, and also the first time he was experiencing this feeling.
'Retreating from Hunter was the smart decision, as I would most likely lose in battle with him. What the fuck does my dantian want? For me to fight a futile battle to the death?'
John was quite perplexed by this development. He had done the smart thing, but his body seemed to be disagreeing, as if it had a mind of his own. John didn't know what to do about it in the meantime, and so he decided to ignore it.
'Maybe it's due to the fact that I have a safety lifeline, and still chose to avoid the fight. I can't do anything about it now, so I'll just keep an eye on it and notice if anything makes it worse.'
John shook these thoughts from his head and focused on the cave in front of him. He had some bad experiences with caves in the past, and knew to be careful when entering them.
John and Adam stood at the mouth of the cave and peered inside. The intense glow from within was even brighter, but they were still unable to see the end of the cave, and it snaked in many directions at it went deeper.
"Let's go," John said in a firm tone. He was still in a bad mood from his current predicament, and wanted to find something to do to relieve his confusion and stress.
Adam nodded and followed closely behind, as if he were a child being escorted by an adult. John pushed his divine sense to its maximum, peering several hundred yards into the cave ahead of them.
The cave snaked down for over a mile, and the intensity of the glow continued the deeper they went. John's eyes finally lit up.
"It's the end of the cave up ahead."
The two of them turned the final corner, and were finally able to see the source of the glow. Their eyes widened in complete shock at the sight before them.
"Are...are all of those...spirit crystals?" Adam asked in a dumbfounded tone.
"I think so," John replied.
The cavern before them was several hundred yards deep and wide, and contained thousands upon thousands of large spirit crystals embedded into the walls of the cave. John did a quick mental check against his current wealth, and estimated that there were at least ten million spirit crystals worth in this cave alone. However, they were much larger than normal spirit crystals, and so he didn't know its true value.
"This is an extremely large spirit crystal mine. It must be due to the constant Qi nourishment from the storm," Adam commented.
The storm had existed for thousands and thousands of years, battering the land with dense Qi. Over time, the Qi must have accumulated and crystallized, ending in the spirit crystal mine before them.
John nodded his head, as such an explanation sounded quite plausible. He carefully inspected the entire cavern and did not find another sign of life. After confirming the cavern to be empty, John walked into it and stood directly in front of one of the large spirit crystal geodes.
His hand reached out and attempted to pry it from the wall, but even with his immense strength, he couldn't make it budge. His scythe suddenly appeared in his hand, and he slashed down on the cavern wall, attempting to loosen the crystal.
However, his scythe bounced off the wall, leaving only a small mark on it. John frowned, as he assumed extracting the spirit crystals was going to be an easy task.
Divine Reaping Scythe!
John utilized his divine reaping scythe, and his scythe carved into the wall with some effort. It cut off a small section, and the spirit crystals fell to the floor.
'This must be worth about fifty thousand spirit crystals. It's a large sum, but each Divine Reaping Scythe uses a considerable portion of my essence Qi. At this rate, it will take me weeks to completely mine this dungeon.'
While such a thing was not out of the question, John was unwilling to do so. A few weeks were far too long to spend on obtaining mere wealth, when there were potentially much larger treasures deeper into the wastelands.
John turned to Adam and spoke up. "Let's forget about this place. It will take far too long to mine it all."
However, he noticed Adam starting closely at the walls of the cavern, as if deep in thought. John sat down on the ground and watched as Adam closely inspected the walls, seemingly trying to think of something. A while later, Adam turned to John.
"I think I might have a solution. These walls are so hard because they have been reinforced with Qi from the storm, and a dense Qi still flows within, hardening it to an extreme level… I may just have a solution to this."
John's ears perked up as he listened to Adam. If he really could have a solution to this issue, that would be extremely helpful. John did not want to leave such a sum of wealth behind.
"What solution?" John asked curiously....
"I'm not too sure, but I think I can make a formation that forcefully extracts the Qi from the wall, weakening it. At that point, it should be much easier to break the spirit crystals free," Adam replied.
"A formation? Alright, lets see what you can do," John replied.
'Maybe Adam's formation expertise really can be useful for once.'
Adam immediately set about his work. He extracted a strange looking item from his spatial ring, which looked almost like a disk. There were many fantastic runes carved on the surface. Adam then took out many other items, such as spirit crystals, and other things John had no idea what they were.
He started carving lines into the ground with a certain item, and John quickly saw the lines take the shape of runes. Adam laid spirit crystals and other power sources at certain locations within the cave, and did many other things John was unfamiliar with.
The process lasted for nearly half a day, and John sat there lazily against the cave wall watching it all take place.
'It seems he really does know a bit about formations.'
After a long and arduous process, Adam finally breathed out a sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from his brow.
"All set. It should work," Adam said to John as he stepped into the very center of the formation.
"Will it? I don't feel anything from it yet," John replied. To him, it just looked like fantastical lines carved in the cavern floor, and certain items layed about in a haphazard fashion.
Adam smirked, and a prideful expression appeared on his face.
"You clearly underestimate this formation master. Watch and learn."
Power began to build up within Adam, and he quickly sent an extremely strong burst of Qi into the center of the formation, where the strange disk laid. The disk absorbed the Qi Adam sent out, and John's eyebrows raised as he watched the Qi from the disk spread throughout the formation lines on the cave ground.
Before long, the entire cave was glowing brightly from the formation lines, and the entire cave looked incredibly mystical. John could feel a strange power build up at the center of the formation.
Something seemed to finally click in place, and John was shocked to find that there was a forceful suction force targeting the Qi in his body. He hastily raised his defenses and was able to resist the suction, but he was still shocked that Adam was able to accomplish something like this.
After a moment, John could feel the flow of Qi become much more erratic within the cave, and everything seemed to be flowing towards the disk in the center of the room.
His eyes lit up.
"It's actually working," John said to Adam, quite surprised. He had actually been able to accomplish what he said he would do.
"Of course it's working. I'm the one who made it after all," Adam replied with a prideful scoff.
"How long is this going to take?" John asked curiously.
"About a day, and then the Qi from the walls should be fully extracted. Not only that, but the amount of Qi here is quite dense, and it will serve as a nice power source for my formation disk in the near future."
John nodded his head, fully willing to wait. Additionally, it seemed as if Adam was also getting something else by doing this, and so the wait was well worth it.
'I guess it really is nice to have a formation expert following me. If I was alone, I would have to leave these spirit crystals.'
The two of them waited a full day, and John could slowly but surely notice the cavern walls begin to weaken. After a full day, the formation suction stopped, and Adam cleaned up his formation materials.
"Try it now," Adam said to John.
John stood up and walked to a nearby spirit crystal spot, and slashed his scythe down.
The scythe sliced through the wall like butter, causing the spirit crystals to fall to the floor.
"Haha, it worked," John replied as he began to slash at the wall repeatedly.
He didn't even need to use his Divine Reaping Scythe, and instead was able to extract the spirit crystals with ease. Both him and Adam quickly got to work, and before long, most of the crystals had been extracted.
"Hahaha, we're rich. Rich!" Adam shouted enthusiastically.
Just as they began to work on the final section, John's ears perked up, and he turned to look at the entrance of the cavern. Three youths soon came into their line of sight, and noticed John and Adam standing nearby a large amount of spirit crystals.
Their eyes all lit up in unhidden desire, and they immediately noticed John and Adam standing nearby.
"Haha, we not only get these spirit crystals, but also get to eliminate some Heavenly Lightning Sect members. How refreshing," one of the boys spoke up.
John looked at the three in an uncaring fashion. There were two boys and one girl, and they all wore robes familiar to John. Each had a cultivation in the Late Qi Condensation Realm, although a quick inspection revealed they had all just recently broken through.
'Bloodfiend Sect huh? Seems like I can start cultivating my Immortal Asura Body again much quicker than I expected.'