Swallowed Star - Volume 9 - Chapter 20
Volume 09 Chapter 20 - Black Hole
’’So many?’’ Luo Feng was shocked, looking at his surroundings, he could barely make out the silhouettes of two to three teams.
’’A large number of teams are close to the Valley, they are all hidden, hence if we don't look carefully, it'll be hard to actually spot them.’’ Babata's voice resounded.
’’Understood.’’ Luo Feng said
The mountain range was bare, the stones on it were mostly all black, mixed with the occasional silver. Luo Feng's team carefully progressed, the center region of this mountain seemed as though it was struck by a heavenly battle knife, splitting it completely open, creating the Valley.
This enormous valley that seemed to have been split in two by a blade, is the Valley of Wind and Thunder.
With universe energy as it's core and source and the winds blowing violently about, mixed with large amounts of stones, amongst them were wind corner stones, dancing in the wind. And within the valley at the two sides of the mountain, groups from families from the Black Dragon Mountain Empire, various powers and youths from different planets.
They were the younger generation, youths who hadn't yet become true Universe warriors. This time, was their first step and exam into becoming strong!
’’Luo Feng, this is the map, on it the location I've marked out is an extremely good spot. It'd be best for your team to hide out there.’’ Babata communicated mentally.
Luo Feng lowered his head and looked at the screen on his arm.
’’Follow me.’’ Luo Feng said softly.
Hong, Thunder God and the other two quietly followed, the closer they got to the valley, the more violent the winds got. Luo Feng came to a particular huge stone and fiercely moved it away, revealing a cave, communicating mentally, ’’Everyone get in, there's a cave within connecting directly to the valley mountain.’’
’’You can even find such a place?’’ Thunder God couldn't help but compliment.
’’Go in.’’ Hong led the way in.
In this World of Thunder, the spirit readers' area of scanning was very small, that was their ability in the air, and for their spirit reading to pass through the universe energy infused stones, Star levels and below weren't able to do so. Without spirit reading to scan, these sort of places were extremely hard to find.
And for someone to actually dig himself? With the mountain rubble that had been strongly ground and moulded for long periods of time by the mad winds, it would take at least one to two days of work to dig through.
’’Good thing we have Babata.’’ Luo Feng jumped into the cave, covering it with the boulder.
This cave was within the mountain.
Following the cave, it led directly to one of the Valley of Wind and Thunder's mountain walls, on it was a hole that was about 30cm wide.
’’What's this?’’ Thunder God's eyes lit up.
’’Hm?’’ Hong picked up a smooth little stone that was close to the hole's entrance, it was mostly black, but its membrane seemed to emit a peculiar blue color, the normal stones here were all black, or black stones mixed with a little silver. Only the wind corner stones' surfaces had that layer of blue shine, from what they heard, these wind corner stones had endured the lightning strikes and not get vaporized, absorbing some on the lightning's power and forming the peculiar stones.
’’Wind corner stone, it's a wind corner stone.’’ Thunder God said.
’’I'd never expect to be able to just pick up one wind corner stone.’’ Luo Feng laughed as he walked towards the hole's entrance, outside, the wind outside howled bloody murder, and as the cave was completely sealed up, the wind inside was very small. Luo Feng turned over to the other four, ’’The wind outside is terrifying, it'd be hard to obtain another one like that.’’
The only reason why there was one within the cave, was probably because it coincidentally flew into the hole because of the wind.
However these sort of things were purely based on luck, otherwise there wouldn't even be one.
’’Second and third brother, according to the book, we have three options right now.’’ Hong said softly, ’’The first is to go to the peak of the canyon and risk our lives to pick up the wind corner stones. As the winds get stronger the deeper we get, the more we get to the center the stronger it'll be. Hence, the wind above at the peak is much lesser, at least Star level 7 and 8 stages can withstand it. The only danger is...as it is the highest point, it'll be easy to attract lightning! Those cumulonimbus clouds above could easily strike down, no chance of survival at all.’’
’’The second method is to get close to the valley and rely either on spirit reading or raw energy, collecting stones from the winds as they blow past and bring them in! This is much harder than just picking them, but the dangers are also much lower. It requires patience.’’
’’The third method, is to kill and obtain from the other teams, stealing from them!’’
’’Everybody decide, which method should we use?’’ Hong looked at Thunder God and Luo Feng.
Luo Feng creased his eyebrows and pondered.
Heading towards the peak to retrieve the wind corner stones would definitely be the fastest, if there wasn't any lightning, it would be as simple as picking stones. However...according to the experiences of the earlier generations, when retrieving the stones at the peak, with all the metal on one's body, the more metal there was, the more likely it'd attract lightning.
If one arranged for a metal robot to go, it would 100% get struck down!
And humans wearing their normal clothes, the possibility of being struck was about one out of two. If he wore alloy battle uniforms, the probability rose to two out of three. These were all experiences from the generations of elders who had been in the World of Thunder before.
’’The first method is very dangerous, and it's purely on luck, it's not beneficial for us.’’
’’The third method, robbing and killing other teams?’’ Luo Feng shook his head, ’’Right now the position of the cave we have is extremely good, the cave's hole is also on the mountain itself, we'll use the second method for now. At the same time, we'll see how the other teams obtain the wind corner stones and discuss again then.’’
’’That's good too.’’ Hong nodded.
Thunder God agreed, hence Luo Feng and his group began their waiting game.
To catch the flying wind corner stones through the hole of the cave, one, it required luck, two it required strength! As the howling winds made it impossible to see clearly, with large amounts of rubble flying about, only occasionally would there be one or two wind corner stones flying by, hence it required luck. And one had to grab them when it flew past the hole!
Grabbing them in a blink of an eye! If you missed it, then you have to wait for a long time again for the next one.
There was no way around it...with the mad winds infused with universe energy, one's spiritual force, the moment it was materialized and extended, it would immediately be destroyed and dispersed.
The spiritual force hand that Luo Feng conjured could only be maintained at about a distance of 20 cm outside the cave before dispersing. And the Star level 9 Ao Gu's spirit hand could only be extended to about 1m without dispersing. More than 1 m and Ao Gu couldn't maintain its stability.
The thing that made Luo Feng the most pleasantly surprised was the currently Star level 4 cloud contact vine, after shrinking, could form a vine that was extremely sturdy, and swiftly extend about 2 meters into the mad wind and grab back, even though the vines would be damaged, its regeneration speed could maintain it's lightning fast extension and retraction at 2m!
This was indeed a pleasant surprise for Luo Feng!
This universe energy infused howling winds probably had a destructive effect on spirit reading and these forms of energy existences, however it had lesser damage on plant like things like the cloud contact vine.
Within the Valley of Wind and Thunder, most of the teams used this waiting method to try and catch the wind corner stones, while some others forced their slave bodyguards to head to the peak to risk their lives to acquire the wind cornerstones. However this was rarely seen as the slave bodyguards were after all battle strength, losing one or two of them had a big impact on the team overall.
On the third day of being in wind thunder canyon, Luo Feng's group acquired their second wind corner stone.
On the fifth day, they acquired their third wind corner stone.
On the ninth day, they acquired their fourth stone.
This was also mainly because their position was good, normal teams would usually require at least about one and a half years to travel across half of the World of Thunder, and another one and a half years to acquire the wind corner stones. Hence using a few years to complete the mission was very normal. Luo Feng's group was operating on extremely high efficiency.
On the thirty second day of being at the Valley of Wind and Thunder.
’’This cave's position is really good, if this keeps up, in another month, we definitely would have collected enough wind corner stones.’’ Thunder God laughed.
Luo Feng, Hong, Thunder God, Tie Nan He and Ao Gu sat crossed legged.
A particular vine had extended from Luo Feng's hand and was stationed at the hole, ready to swipe at any time.
In front of the five on one of the cave's walls was a screen, that was something Luo Feng had ordered his living AI Babata to make, on the screen were four different scenes, surveying the images and scenes within their 20km area.
’’Even though we are in a cave, we can still see the teams within a 20km area clearly.’’ Luo Feng laughed.
’’It's so comfortable.’’ Thunder God praised.
’’Look, there's another two teams fighting over there, their evasive skills are really quick, this spirit reader is not bad too. Thunder God's eyes gleamed, evaluating the two teams that suddenly appeared on the screen, however his expression ashen, saying, ’’It's Heruo!’’
Luo Feng's expression changed.
Back then he and his two brothers met a few good friends within the Killing Fields of the Virtual Universe Network, one of them was Heruo and Buleimu. Back then, the two had said they were going to join the Universe Mercenary trainee exams. The entirety of the Black Dragon Mountain star field participants would all gather here, hence the fact that Heruo was here was extremely normal.
’’Let's go.’’ Hong was the first to rush out, Ao Gu and Tie Nan He looked at Luo Feng.
Luo Feng didn't hesitate too, immediately the five swiftly followed the cave's other route and rushed out, using spirit energy to move the inconspicuous stone, the five left and placed it back.
In the distance.
The team Heruo was in was under pressure and attack from another team. Heruo's team only had two Star level 9 stages, and the enemies' team had five Star level 9 stages, however both teams were injured, obviously they battled fiercely.
The two teams swiftly noticed another team rushing over in the distance.
’’Heruo!’’ A spirit reading messaged resounded in his ears.
Heruo turned to look, the five lightning fast silhouettes rushing over were Luo Feng, Hong, Thunder God, his three good friends, he immediately revealed an expression of glee, and the two rushing ahead of them Tie Nan He and Ao Gu, especially Ao Gu who had long released his spirit weapon, becoming a beam of golden light.
’’Two Star level 9 stage warriors?’’ The enemy's team looked, their quantum computers long detecting their opponents' strengths.
The team leader ordered without any hesitation, the team quickly retreated.
Even though they were five Star level 9 stages, there were three with serious injuries...one had to know, even within the Star level 9 stage, there were strong ones and weak ones. The strong ones were able to fight up to ten of the same level. Heruo's only had one pretty strong Star level 9 within his team, this was also the only reason why even though they were at a disadvantage, they could hold out for so long. And the two of them charging forward...that meant that they had confidence!
With the two teams joining together, the enemy team concluded they weren't a match.
Even if they could fight back, with both teams incurring huge losses, that was something they didn't want, hence they just retreated!
Luo Feng's team and Heruo's team united.
’’You all are?’’ Immediately a bald youth with green marks on his both sides of his face walked over to say his thanks.
’’They are my friends.’’ Heruo said, walking forward at the same time.
’’Luo Feng, Hong and Thunder God.’’ Heruo said.
’’What happened, how did you end up like that?’’ Luo Feng and the other two looked at Heruo, Thunder God said, ’’Heruo, aren't you from the Northern Dragon organization? How did you end up like this?’’ Thunder God and Hong had realized the importance of universe language after their first time in the Virtual Universe Network, hence they studied and learned it.
With their brain aptitude, learning was indeed very fast, while it wasn't completely fluent yet, communicating wasn't a problem.
’’Talking about it, it's really tragic.’’ Heruo shook his head, ’’Our team originally had five elites and five bodyguards. During the time we went to acquire the horns from the horned iron rhinos, we were surrounded by ferocious beasts and lost one bodyguard.’’
’’After that, along the way to the Valley of Wind and Thunder, we were even attacked six consecutive times by other teams, and in that process, we lost another two bodyguards and three elite comrades.’’ Heruo's expression was pained, ’’Right now, our team only has two elites and two bodyguards left.’’
Luo Feng felt a chill as he heard the story.
Even though his own team had experienced about ten life threatening situations, they were mostly dangers from ferocious beasts, as for robbing? With Ao Gu's power combined with the hybrid copper essence shard, it was a clean sweep! Along with Babata's surveillance system, Luo Feng and his group had had an arduous journey along with injuries, but they hadn't lost anyone.
However Heruo's team actually lost more than half of their members!
’’What about Buleimu?’’ Thunder god asked, ’’Is he in another team?’’
’’He's dead.’’ He Ruo shook his head.
Luo Feng was shocked, that build and sturdy youth who looked like a black bear, he was dead? Luo Feng still vividly remembered the scene back when he, Hong and Thunder God wished the two of them a safe return. He never thought that within the blink of an eye...Buleimu was dead.
How did it end up like this?
’’There's no point being depressed about it.’’ Heruo shook his head and smiled bitterly, ’’The many brothers and sisters I've lived with for many years, I've already lost many of them. This is our so called elite's first exams, only through experiencing life and death struggles time and again will we finally be able to break through and become Universe levels, only those have the right to be called strong, and become an important member of the organization.’’
Beside, the bald green marked youth shook his head, ’’This is filtering, large numbers of the so called geniuses and elites, are eliminated through these life and death missions, dying! And only through these trials are some Universe levels are produced! Our training camp has tens of thousands of elites, the ones who manage to become Universe levels, if there are ten of them, that's not bad already.’’
Luo Feng, Hong and Thunder God exchanged glances.
These were the rules of the universe organizations, collecting large numbers of geniuses and elites, giving the best education along with large amounts of conditions, before giving them the most cruel forms of elimination, finally producing a few strong warriors! One could say...joining the Universe Mercenary trainee exams couldn't even be deemed a strong warrior.
This was all to prepare the strong warriors, going through with a ratio of a 1000:1, no, that was the probability of the elites of the large organizations. Accurately speaking, it was tens of millions to one, they may be able to produce a Universe level.
The entire World of Thunder suddenly fiercely vibrated, without any warning, it quaked!
All the teams were shocked.
’’What's going on?’’
’’This world is about to collapse?’’
The entire World of Thunder, with its 1000 km area, with tens of thousands of people taking part in the exams, the Star level explorers, all of them looked up and around terrified, looking at the world. And Luo Feng's team and Heruo's team naturally too were shocked as they looked up and surveyed their surroundings, the entire world was trembling, even the mountains were shaking.
’’What's going on?’’ Luo Feng looked around.
’’Over there!!!’’ Somebody shouted out.
About ten thousand Star level warriors, as long as they were in the mountain range, they all saw simultaneously the not so distant mountain tear open, with black holes that seemed to have been rips in space and time appearing. Half of these holes were on the mountain range while the other half were within it. The space around it was getting ripped apart, it was extremely terrifying and peculiar.