As Zhang pulled on the chain the shrieking came closer and closer toward the group. Moments later a large black shadow descended upon the camp. Once light from the surrounding crystals and fire shone on this shadowy figure the group saw something horrendous.
“Wa-wa-what is that!” A sailor cried out.
“It’s a Titanic Golden Spider.” Zhang said calmly.
Before him was a giant spider that was easily twice as large as a human. Its body looked just like any other spider however all of its limbs was a golden yellow. Zhang’s dagger was lodged in the beast’s abdomen and it seemed like the dagger had managed to sever a couple of it’s legs making it unable to stand up.
Once the spider was in full view Zhang pulled out his 2nd dagger and shot it toward the monster’s head. In an instant the dagger punctured one of its eyes and plunged into its brain killing it.
After ending the spider’s life Zhang began cutting it apart.
Titanic Golden Spiders rank at level six but are one of the more dangerous demonic beasts to run into. Their silk is extremely durable and hard to deal with. While they also possess neurotoxins which would render those that are bitten by them unable to fight back. That and the fact that they live in massive colonies of hundreds of thousands and may even reach up to the millions.
Each colony had only one queen spider that was vastly stronger than the rest of the colony. And since each colony could only have one queen when a new queen is born the old queen kills it and absorbs its undeveloped powers.
So the longer a queen Titanic Golden Spider was around the stronger it is.
“Brother! That’s gross what are you doing!?” Yuying asked as she watched Zhang cut open the giant spider.
“I’m collecting it’s silk and venom of course.” Zhang replied as he formed canteen with essence and began storing the spider's venom within it. Unlike the Lightning Eater’s poison, the spider’s venom was not as power but it would have its uses.
After the poison Zhang began gathering the spider’s silk. Its silk had many uses such as making clothes, rope and this and that so Zhang made sure to collect as much as possible.
Once he collected all he could and store it within his interspatial ring Zhang turned back toward the group.
“Everyone go rest we should be ok for now. But tomorrow we will not rest and push toward the exit.” Zhang said.
“Why? Didn’t you just kill the monster that was making everyone disappear?” One of the sailors asked. “We killed one but there are probably hundreds of thousands of them. However, the fact that we are alive still and not all dead yet means that we are not close to their colony.” Zhang replied.
A mixture of relief and fear fell upon the group. Relief that they were not close to the colony of spiders but fear that there were hundreds of thousands of those monsters lurking around down here somewhere. Just knowing that they were out there chilled the members of the group to the bone.
After resting for a few hours the group decided to head out they were roughly two thirds through the underground passage way and would reach the exit in the next day or two. So the group would continue moving without rest until they reached the exit.
While galloping through the passage on top of their steeds the group began encountering large spider webs. They had not encountered any before on the trip so seeing the webs made the group remember the horrifying beasts that made the webs.
Zhang’s would collect as much webbing as he could and store it away for later.
However, the group did not encounter any more spiders and soon a light at the end of the tunnel could be seen. Light shone in from the exit of the cave and once the group reached the exit they would not have to fear the Titanic Golden Spiders anymore.
But something else that everyone noticed was that the ground would occasionally vibrate. At first the vibrations were very subtle and unnoticeable but as time passed they became noticeable but not the extent that the group had to worry.
Although the Dragon’s Maw is dangerous it is definitely not as dangerous as encountering a whole colony of hundreds of thousands of man eating demonic beasts. Inside the Dragon’s Maw there were demonic beasts but these beasts stayed in their own territories and did not attack unless provoked.
And the most dangerous thing one could encounter besides demonic beasts were bandit so the Dragon’s Maw could be compared to heaven for the group.
“WE MADE IT!!” One of the sailors screamed.
That was when the ground began to shake and tremble. Soon cracks could be seen on the walls of the cavern.
“Quickly! Rush for the exit now!!” Jian Wei cried how.
However, before they could make it to the exit the floor of the cave collapsed and a pit full of darkness appeared right under their feet. The horses and people alike all due to gravity fell downward into the pit.
“GRAB ON!!” Zhang screamed as he tossed his chains to everyone. And with a sweeping motion of his hand he sent one of the Inferno Wind Walkers into the Ruler's Domain. There were simply too many people to all fit within the domain and he was not going to play favorites.
As for the steeds only one could possible fit within the domain so Zhang picked the best one there was and sent it inside so he could use it later.
Zhang launched his dagger into the wall of the pit lodging it between the rocks. Thank to this the group was no longer falling. Well besides one man whose gripe slipped when the chain jerked as the dagger lodged itself into the wall.
Now they were hanging god knows how far from the ground. When suddenly a shriek could be heard coming from the top of the pit. Moments later a Titanic Golden Spider could be seen crawling downward.
“Fuck… Of all the times for it to appear.” Zhang cursed.
“Everyone hold on tightly!!” Zhang screamed as he let go of the chain.
Using the wall as a kickstand Zhang propelled himself away from the group. Then from his hand shot out his 2nd dagger which pierced one of the spider’s eyes. Had it landed a few inches elsewhere then the spider most likely would have died. The dagger that he launched although missing the spider was able to lodge itself in one of the walls preventing Zhang from falling down deeper into the pit.
With its eye destroyed the spider shrieked and jumped at Zhang. But out of nowhere an arrow shot through the air and pierced the spider's head. The arrow had ended the spider’s life making it hang lifelessly from the strand of silk that was coming out of its behind.
“We have your back brother!” Yuying yelled.
When Zhang looked toward her he could see that a bow was in her hand that was free while Ai was holding an arrow in her hand. The two had used one hand each to help each other shoot the arrow.
“Alright time to get down from here.” Zhang said as he jumped over and grabbed the end of the chain everyone was gripping.
A white light appeared within his hand and the chain began to extend. The group seeing this began to climb downward. Zhang being the one extending the chain was the first one to reach the bottom. The pit was actually a hole in the layer of rack and lead to a massive chamber.
When he landed he saw the fate of the man whose grip slipped and the fate of their horses. Surprisingly enough the two Inferno Wind Walkers survived the fall but sustained heavy injuries to which Zhang treated.
In the chamber there were hints of light from glowing stones however the visibility was very bad. So Zhang decided to ignite a fire using some of the spider silk he collected as fuel. He wrapped the spider silk around an arrow he had and ignited it with magic.
Once the fire was lit it illuminated a part of the chamber. In the distance Zhang could see something reflect the light from the torch and walked closer. When he walked closer he was stunned. It was a pile of ice jade bricks!
As he looked around he could see tens or maybe hundreds of these bricks scattered about. Of course he collected them if he used them to make a cultivation room or a medicine storage room then they would be extremely useful.
A short while after the rest of the group had descended and caught up to Zhang and he provided everyone with a torch. He then told them about the bricks that he found. Upon hearing what Zhang said a weird look appeared on Jian Wei’s face however he did not say anything.
Yuying and Ai now lead their horses to follow the group.
The group began walking in one direction hoping to find an exit and not to run into anymore spiders. They found a tunnel and entered it the tunnel stretched for miles on end and after a few hours the group finally was able to navigate through it.
When they did however they saw a marvelous sight. In front of them was a lake that shone and emitted dazzling light that could blind people. Water seemed to be dripping from the ceiling down and over thousands of years formed this lake.
Thinking back Zhang remembered the Xi Ning mentioned that there was a hidden spring that was great for cultivation along the path however Zhang only saw signs of where there used to be water.
Throughout the lake pieces of buildings were sticking out and all of these buildings looked very ancient and old. In the center of the lake sat a large brokedown palace.
That was when Jian Wei yelled out.
“It can’t be!! This is the lost capital of the Sai Empire!!”
“The Sai Empire?” Zhang asked
“The Sai empire many thousands of years ago was the first and only empire to ever unite the warring states region. But their reign was short lived because a natural disaster happened and their entire capital along with the royal family sank beneath the ground. Many say that the empire had angered the heavens and the entire capital was dragged to the underworld.” Jian Wei said.
“Over the countless years the exact location of where the capital city had been long forgotten but to think we would be the ones to find it. When you told me about the ice jade bricks I had a feeling that they were related to the Sai empire. This is because it was said that before the capital sank the emperor had order for thousands of those bricks to be made so he can create a grand palace out of jade. But before construction began the entire city disappeared.”
“If this is the capital then we must explore it! There is something that is extremely valuable here that may decide the fate of the entire region!” Jian Wei said with excitement in his eyes.
“Alright looks go but we can stay for long or else we may run into those spiders again.” Zhang said. To reach the ruins they would have to tread through the large lake so the group left their things by the shore along with the two wind walkers and jumped into the lake.
Once in the water Zhang felt its energy rush into him. What Xi Ning said was true the lake possessed high concentrations of energy and just by soaking in it one’s power would slowly raise.
Deep in the water of the lake many skeletons could be seen. These probably belonged to the citizens of the Sai empire within the capital at the time of the disaster.
As they got closer the group noticed that one some of the ruins there were strands of webbing. However, they did not see or hear any of the spiders so they kept moving forward. After a while they reached the center of the lake where the ruins of the palace had ended up.
The part of the palace was submerged while parts of it was sitting on top of land. Once in front of the palace Zhang somewhat marveled at how some of the buildings were built. The architecture was outstanding and beautiful from what’s left of the now ruined palace.
A massive gate was still standing and it most likely was the entrance into the palace. By the gates side there was a small crack in the wall which probably happened when the city fell into the earth.
The crack was big enough for one person to barely squeeze in. One by one the group squeezed their way into the crack. Once inside they saw what used to be a lavish hall with scattered things all around on the floors.
Surprisingly the interior of this part of the palace was pretty much intact. Statues were still standing with slight damage and treasures from the ancient empire was lying about on the floor.
Jian Wei told the group to especially go to the throne room where the thing he said would affect the fate of the region most likely was located.
Zhang of course wanted to go take a look at the treasury. An ancient empire that ruled over the warring states region had to be filled with treasure and the best treasures of course with be in the empire's treasury. There had to be lots of mystical weapons, riches, and other unique things just there waiting for him to take.
A while later the group reached the throne room. Large columns of gold extended toward the broken ceiling and at the end of the room a lavish throne made of gold and jade could be seen, the group walked up toward the throne and began searching.
Jian Wei had told them to look for a small cube made of jade, he mentioned that this was the imperial seal of the empire. However, after searching the entire throne room they found nothing except golden plates and this and that.
“It might be in the treasury.” Jian Wei said.
The group began heading toward the treasury but before leaving Zhang with a wave of his hand took the throne made of gold and jade. Only the trio and Jian Wei had interspatial rings so naturally only they could take large things such as this throne while the sailors would take smaller things.
The treasury was located just behind the throne room. Two beautifully carved gates stood in front of the entrance to the treasury.
Everyone in the group had to work together to push the gate else it would not even budge. Once the room opened and the light from their torches shone into the room they could see mountains of dazzling gold.
“You three take your shares, as for everyone else I will hold onto your shares within my ring and give it to you once we return to the city.” Jian Wei said.
“Thank you my lord.” All of the men said in unison.
Beautiful swords gleamed in the mix of gold coins. Jewelry and many other things were hidden within the piles of gold. The trio each took their pick of things they wanted. One thing that stood out the most a large map made of golden silk. Zhang took the map because he was the first one to notice something shown on the map.
The trio was going to pick out the more unique items before just storing away their portion of the gold. This map did not map out cities or empires but mapped out the dragon’s vein. Which are places where essence is highly concentrated. If he could find one of these veins and use the underworld heart to absorb it his power would increase greatly.
“I found it!” One sailor yelled out
The man was pointing at a skeleton and in that skeleton’s hand was a cube made of jade. The cube as carvings of dragons all around it and looked extremely delicate.
The sailor wanting the merit of being the one to present the imperial seal to his lord run toward the skeleton and began working the seal loose from its grasp.
As the man was busy getting the seal a yell rang out.
“Get back now!!” Jian Wei screamed with a face filled with horror.
When the man looked up the blood in his face drained and became pale as a piece of paper.