“They’re about a hundred yards away from us. It won’t take them long to reach us. We need to go now but we can’t dash around madly. If we do that, we’ll b e dead for sure so there’s only one way we can take. Follow me!” said Jackie icily and determinedly.
He quickly pulled Nash and headed for the cave entrance. Both Dwight and Jed hesitated for a second, but only a second. They were all out of ideas and though Jackie did not explain himself, he was still their best bet. They exchanged one glance and quickly supported Albion up and followed Jackie out.
The cave entrance faces south and by right, if they wanted to escape, they should head north or east, but no, Jackie chose to go south instead. Moreover, the path they were on was extremely remote. Judging by the dense weeds around, even the beasts and monsters did not frequent there. Their path became more and more remote until an unknowing layer of fine mists appeared around them.
By then, both Dwight’s and Jed’s faces had already darkened but Jackie showed no signs of stopping. Finally, Jed could not hold it in any longer and asked him, “Where are we going? Why are there mists here?
A mile away, the masked man and his group were following them at a tempered speed. He was not afraid of losing them, not when he had the cyclops canine with him. The Corpse Pavilion had spared no expenses for what they were about to do and the masked man would not let anyone interrupt their plans. Especially the Thousand Leaves Disciples who had gotten away from him before. Besides, he would be the laughing stock of the town if word got around that he, a spring solidifying level fighter, could not even take out a few final stages of innate level fighters. Therefore, he must kill them no matter what.
A pointy-chin Corpse Pavilion disciple looked left and right then suddenly moved closer to the masked man and said, “I think something’s not right. They seemed to be going in the direction of…”
“Cliff of Sorrow,” said the masked-man icily, finishing the pointy-chin disciple’s sentence.
The point-chin disciple nodded vigorously. “Yes, the Cliff of Sorrow. They must have thought that it would be better for them to jump off a cliff than to suffer in our hands.”
The masked man scoffed and shook his head. “They won’t die so easily. Master has told me a long time ago that below the Cliff of Sorrow is not the ten thousand precipes.
Meanwhile, Jackie and the others had already arrived at an extremely narrow path. The vegetation around them had disappeared and was replaced by ugly black rocks which threatened to trip them anytime.
Jackie did not answer Jed’s previous question and just walked on quietly. After ten minutes or so, the mist around them was so thick that they could only see five yards ahead of them.
Jackie stopped walking and Jed and the other two quickly caught up to him.
“Another ten yards or so and we’ll arrive at the Cliff of Sorrow,” said Jackie.
Everyone’s expression changed drastically when they heard that. “What?! Why did you bring us here? You’re not going to ask us to jump, right? How is that different from getting killed by them?”
Dwight’s face turned ugly but he did not say a word; he just stared at Jackie.
Jackie heaved a sigh and turned around to look at the mist-covered surroundings. According to the map, another ten yards and they would reach the Cliff of Sorrow. No one knew just how deep the cliff was and it was named so because no one had ever made it out alive once they jumped down the cliff, filling their loved ones with deep sorrow.
“I’ve brushed up on all the dangerous areas before coming to Mount Beasts so I am very familiar with the Cliff of Sorrow. One thing all the classics and the other disciples agreed on was that you won’t die from the Cliff of Sorrow,” explained Jackie slowly.
Dwight’s lips twitched, he could not help but say, “We don’t need you to tell us that. Everybody knows that a cultivator can use his true energy to support his body while falling down the cliff and this will ensure his safety. The reason people die in the Cliff of Sorrow is because of the ancient array!”
Jackie nodded. That was what he came to understand too. “I think the ancient array is a kind of trap array too and because it’s so old, it has lost its effectiveness. Look at the mist around you… these are all the energy that was released after the ancient array fell into disrepair.”
Jed became more and more confused, not understanding exactly what Jackie was trying to get to so his tone became a little aggressive, “What are you trying to say exactly? Just get straight to the point and stop confusing me! Are you saying we should jump down the cliff to save ourselves?”.
Jackie shook his head and turned around to look at everyone with a grave expression on his face. “I know of a senior who has been to Cliff of Sorrow before, and he has personally experienced the mist that pervades the surrounding area. He said that these mists are made from the energy that escaped from the trap array and that they can confuse people’s hearts and even shield perception. The reason why I brought you here is for the shield perception. It’s easy to get lost here but with enough time we can still make our way back so there’s no need for us to jump down the cliff.”
Finally, it dawned on Dwight why Jackie had brought them there. “In other words, you brought us here to shield us from the cyclops canine’s perception so that it won’t be able to find us?”
Jackie nodded. They were lucky enough to not have bumped into any of the Corpse Pavilion disciples here, it was because even the Corpse Pavilion disciples knew no one in their right mind would go there. One being no monsters or spirited beasts could be found there and the second reason was there were no spirited plants either. Only those fed up with the world would come here since it would take them a lot of effort to get out of there.
That was why Jackie did not hesitate to bring them there. The white mist that pervades the surroundings formed a natural barrier. It would be difficult for the cyclops canine to find them now. Jackie would have come here, even if Jed and the others did not want to. After all, it was definitely the safest place on the mountain.
Jed’s face softened a little after this. Jackie quickly gestured for them to put Albion down so he could tend to his wound himself. It was best not to exhaust him further since their little journey here had taken a lot out of him.
After putting Albion down, they began to meditate. Their faces were still filled with anxiety even though they were safe for now, they did not know for sure whether the natural barrier would work.
Would they make it out alive?
Dwight’s voice drifted into Jackie’s ears just when he was thinking about that. “How can you be so sure that the ancient array below the Cliff of Sorrow is a trap array and not a kill array? It’s not as if you can tell from the mist around us.”
Jackie opened his eyes and looked around everywhere but him. “Actually I’m only seventy to eighty percent sure about it.”
“Then what do you base that seventy, eighty percent on?” Dwight was prepared to ask as many questions as she needed to get to the bottom of this and it annoyed Jackie a little.
In truth, Jackie was a hundred percent sure that the ancient array below the cliff was a trap array and not a kill array because he had come across this type of trap array before, albeit not with his own eyes. However, in the memory left by the predecessor, there was this kind of trap array. This kind of trap array has a characteristic where as time goes by, the energy inside will slowly escape and turn into a white mist clouding the surrounding area. These diffuse mists have the function of shielding perception and disorienting people and the white mist here basically has the same function too. For this reason alone, Jackie was sure that the ancient array below the cliff was a trap array.
“If I’m not mistaken, this array is called the Ten Absolutes trap array. This array can trap a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Even our divine senses would be useless against it. But what I really wanted to know is why would this array appear here…” said Jackie breezily.
Dwight was struck dumb when he heard Jackie mention the Ten Absolutes trap array. He had never heard of it. This would not be surprising but the fact that he spent a lot of time reading about ancient ruins in his spare time and had never come across the Ten Absolutes trap array; It was as if this trap array was not of this world.
Jackie looked around him again and ‘By right, the Ten Absolutes trap array should not appear in a small place like West Cercie State. After all, the most powerful Clan association is only of the fourth grade. While it’s true they’re powerful beasts in the mountains, they don’t use arrays like us humans.’
Dwight gave it some thought and said, “So you’re saying the martial artists who were accidentally trapped here, died because they could not break the array or find the eye of the array?”
Jackie nodded. Although the array’s name sounded impressive, it did not possess the ability to kill. Those who accidentally entered into the array could only wait for death if they did not have enough power to break through the array.
Dwight’s hair stood up when he thought about spending his last moments here. It was definitely a fate worse than death. He would rather be killed by somebody than wait day after day for death to claim him. Even just thinking about the despair terrified them.
“I can’t believe the two of you still have the mood to talk about all this under the circumstances we’re in. Aren’t you worried that the mist would not be able to shield us from them? That they’re on their way here as we speak?” asked Jed anxiously.
Dwight glanced at Jed speechlessly. “Even if we wait here obediently, can this stop them from finding us?” Jed was trying every possible way at a time of crisis and was not thinking straight. He wanted to cause trouble when he saw people chit-chatting. What Dwight said immediately stopped Jed from speaking. Jed was so embarrassed that his face and neck flushed a crimson color but he was unable to refute Dwight.
Just like what Dwight said, were they able to prevent themselves from being captured by those people if they kept quiet and sat there meditating to restore their breathing? In fact, their current situation was akin to leaving their life in the hands of the gods. They did everything they could and if they were still unable to escape the fact of being captured, this proved that they were fated to die.
Dwight turned around and looked at Jackie, who had been calm the entire time. “I’ve never expected you to be so calm when you’re only in the initial stage of innate level. Aren’t you afraid of being implicated by us?” This was what Dwight really wanted to ask after they came out of the cave. The cyclops canines had strong hunting powers but no matter how strong they were, they required items left behind by their targets to search for these people.
The masked man had their senior brother’s torn up clothes and this meant that they were being pinpointed. The two of them could never leave their senior and escape on their own and they would have to die together no matter what happened. However, there was no need for Jackie to run for his life with them. If they went on different ways, Jackie would have a better chance at survival. However, from Jackie’s calm expression, it looked like he did not think about leaving them to save himself. Dwight was extremely puzzled by his actions.
After all, if he was in Jackie’s shoes, he would definitely distance himself from these people to prevent himself from being involved. Jackie glanced at Dwight and remained calm as he spoke. “From how the Corpse Pavilion is acting, I would not have a high possibility of surviving even if I leave you guys and run toward the opposite direction. The Corpse Pavilion plans to kill everybody and I don’t think that I’m lucky enough…”
Jackie was not telling the truth as he was full of secrets himself. If he told the truth, he would naturally raise Dwight’s suspicion. Dwight subconsciously raised his eyebrows and did not continue the conversation after he heard Jackie’s reply. However, Jackie knew clearly that Dwight did not believe in what he said.
At this moment, footsteps could be heard coming toward them from far away. All five of them were stunned and they immediately stood up. Jackie stepped forward with a frown on his face and shielded Nash behind him. Dwight and Jed did the same thing as they completely blocked Albion behind them. They should have turned around to run at this moment but what Jackie said flashed through their minds. They would arrive at the Cliff of Sorrow if they ran another 10 more yards.
They could only run toward the sides if they wanted to but there was a huge boulder and below this huge boulder was the Ten Absolutes trap array. Even if they moved toward the side, they would arrive at the border soon. This forced them into a desperate situation where there was no place to hide.
The figure slowly became clearer through the white mist. Their hearts dropped the moment they saw the person clearly as the worst situation had occurred. The masked man was holding onto the cyclops canine’s leash as the animal breathed heavily with his long tongue hanging out of his mouth.
He seemed to be extremely excited now that he had found his target. He wagged his tail hard as he focused his huge eyes on Jackie and the rest.
The masked man sneered as he took a piece of meat out and threw it toward the sky. The cyclops canine rushed forward in excitement as he opened his mouth to swallow that piece of meat, letting out a crunch! “I thought you guys were smart enough to escape to some special place. Who would have expected you guys to still be here? Do you think that the mist around this place can prevent you from being detected by the cyclops canine? This is hilarious and childish. You people really look down on the cyclops canine’s capabilities.”
The masked man stretched out his hand and caressed the cyclops canine’s huge head. The pointy-chin man from the Corpse Pavilion chuckled as he looked at Jackie and the rest. He had a smirk on his face as he spoke with his sharp voice, “Do you think that the cyclops canine my eldest senior brother has with him is a normal cyclops canine? Today, we shall give you some insight. This cyclops canine was groomed with our sect’s secret method and an unknown amount of spirited crystals were spent on him. Although he isn’t strong in fighting, his senses are three to four times stronger than usual cyclops canines. Although the surrounding mist has a certain barrier effect, it isn’t sufficient to block this cyclops canine’s senses!
Jed and Dwight closed their eyes at the same time as despair filled their hearts. Their last hope was gone and they were unable to evade the attack. The masked man sneered and he looked relaxed like a cat who had successfully captured a mouse. He was not In any hurry and he wanted to toy with the captured mouse around before he killed it. “To be honest, I could have captured you people the moment you step into the mist area. However, I didn’t because I want to see what you guys were planning to do. I thought that maybe you guys ran over here to meet the others. It looks like I’ve been overthinking it…”
Jackie lowered his eyes and secretly thought to himself, ‘No wonder these people were moving so slowly.’ However, he was able to see how cruel this masked man was. He slowly forced them into a desperate situation and gave them some hope before instantly crushing them. The masked man must love this feeling that brought him a hint of satisfaction when he saw the despair on the faces of these people. How could normal people remain calm when they encounter somebody like this, Jackie took a glance to his side and sure enough, Jed was trembling badly.
Although he was a brave man, he could not help but feel a wave of chilliness when facing a person like this. Dwight was still able to remain calm and Albion was extremely calm as he seemed to have accepted his miserable fate.
The masked man took a four-feet scimitar out of his storage space. The weapon was red as blood and had a hint of eccentricity to it, causing others to feel a wave of chilliness after they looked at it. “You guys were able to escape from me previously and I wasted so much time tracking you down. It would be a blessing for all of you and a waste of my time if I let you die easily.”
What he said caused the group of five, who was frightened, to be extremely stressed out. This was the worst ending for them as they were not even allowed to die in peace. They could be tortured until they begged for their deaths before they were allowed to die. The members of the Corpse Pavilion had always been well known for their cruel ways and were extremely proficient in torturing others.
Jed’s hands started trembling so badly that the weapon he held tightly, started to tremble too. However, he was not a coward who would just give up and accept his fate. “It’s just death! I will make sure that I pull them into hell with me if I am going to die. Guys, listen to me! We can’t just allow them to kill us without fighting back!”
The masked man started laughing coldly until his shoulders started trembling when he heard what Jed said. To him, Jed’s inspirational speech at this moment was a joke. With his presence, how could he allow them to kill the disciples of his sect!
Nash frowned as he lowered his voice to speak to Jackie, “What should we do? Shall we just stand here and wait for our deaths?” Nash was also filled with despair at that moment. Although he knew that Jackie had some hidden means, he did not know what Jackie had up his sleeves. He wondered if they were able to escape the place if they took the Mustard Seed out at this moment.