Chapter 61: A Volcanic Cave
The screaming wind brought with it a billowing heat.
A marvel appeared before their eyes.
The yellow sand and the red soil contrasted sharply where they met as the terrain abruptly altered. The traces of artificiality were obvious.
Zhen Jin and the others were in the midst of a desert, not far from them, however, was a red land without a single grain of sand.
“This place resembles the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.” Cang Xu exclaimed in surprise.
Zi Di’s exquisite nose twitched: “The air is filled with the smell of sulfur.”
Suddenly, gray smoke appeared from a black ground not far from them. Then, a jet of red lava surprisingly burst forth from it like a fountain.
Like molten iron, the lava sprayed across the surroundings as thick clouds of smoke began to plume.
The smell of sulfur in the air became stronger, bringing a great deal of irritation to their nasal passages.
“If the lava splashes on us, won’t we die?”
A look of apprehension appeared on everyone’s faces, including Zhen Jin.
“I thought that the desert was the most arduous and hazardous region, I didn’t expect that the island would still have such a perilous place. Compared to this place, I feel the desert is more tolerable.”
“Lord Zhen Jin, what should we do next?”
Everyone was out of their wits and the young knight had always been their backbone.
The original plan was to leave the desert.
Although their goal was achieved, it seemed that the result was even worse.
Their direction shouldn’t be wrong. Before, when the exploration team was trapped in the desert, this was the direction they chose which allowed them to eventually escape.
“It seems the place where we originally teleported is far from where we thought it was. The desert terrain is bordered by a forest terrain as well as a volcanic terrain.” Cang Xu analysed.
Zhen Jin nodded and a gleam of light flashed in his eyes: “Everyone, this is actually a good thing.”
His voice immediately attracted everyone’s attention.
“This volcanic terrain is indeed dangerous, even more daunting than the desert.”
“But risks come with opportunities. Think about it everyone. This place is dangerous for us, but also for the spear scorpion group. Their bodies are suited for the desert, but here, how can they dig? The subterranean churning magma would annihilate them.”
“Is there golden granite here? Most likely not, and even if there is, it would be melted by the magma. Without golden granite rocks, what can the scorpion group eat?”
The team’s morale greatly rose from Zhen Jin’s logical words.
“Let’s set off and enter. This is our chance to get rid of ourselves from the scorpion group!” Zhen Jin ordered the exploration team to go into the volcanic terrain.
Some time later.
The spider sword fiercely struck the silver level spear scorpion’s head erupting with a loud metallic clash.
Zhen Jin jumped back to dodge the attacking giant pincer.
A white scratch was carved into the silver level spear scorpion’s head where Zhen Jin failed to break through the spear scorpion’s golden armor.
The silver level spear scorpion retreated and did not attack again.
The large scorpion group immediately flocked to its side and protected their leader.
Zhen Jin’s hands felt numb and his arms were also slightly shivering. He stood in place with a straight body, but he could incessantly feel the tiredness of his legs.
The fierce battle had exhausted the limits of his endurance again.
Fortunately, the spear scorpion leader retreated.
The scorpion group encircled the silver level spear scorpion and after retreating for a distance, they stopped.
The situation was just like it was the desert.
The exploration team entered the volcanic region and the scorpion group still followed, completely undeterred by the terrain.
With safety temporarily assured, Zhen Jin turned around and returned to the team.
The faces of the team members all looked unsightly.
“Damm it, this scorpion group is determined to eat us!”
“Their food is obviously the golden granite, but they keep following us. Isn’t that too aggressive?”
“Hadn’t Lord Cang Xu guessed this was the case? This should be the island master’s specific arrangement. Being aggressive is the greatest advantage of living weapons!”
Upon seeing Zhen Jin’s return, all discussion ceased.
Someone immediately went up to greet him: “My Lord, the scorpion group is still on our heels. What should we do?”
Zhen Jin’s face was grave and stern, he reached out with his finger and pointed northwest to a large and dark shadow: “We are going up that mountain.”
It was a short mountain that was black and dark green.
It was very likely to be an active volcano!
No one opposed Zhen Jin. At this moment, in the exploration team, the young knight’s words were absolute.1
After all, all of their lives hung on his shoulders.
The more they approached the mountain, the hotter the air temperature got.
The ground beneath them was spongy, even with boots on, it still scalded their feet as if being placed in water that was fifty degree celsius.
Many of their feet blistered.
The land here was black with some parts bulging up and others becoming craters. According to Cang Xu’s guess, this terrain was formed after a volcanic eruption where lava flowed, spread and cooled, forming this kind of ground.
The scorpion group was clearly more heat tolerant than the humans as they continuously followed the exploration team up the mountain.
Halfway up the mountain, Zhen Jin and the others found a cave.
Zhen Jin sent a person to scout out the cave.
Scouting was a very risky affair and Zhen Jin did not want to take risk himself.
If there was a monster living in the cave that could survive in such an environment, it would no doubt be more dangerous than the scorpion group.
The team member entered the cave cautiously, after walking ten paces forward, he saw a stone wall.
“Nothing is living here, it is very safe currently.”
After getting the report, the exploration team entered the cave.
The cave was very hot.
There were many pores in the cave walls, floor and ceilings that sprayed some fumes from time to time.
This fume contained large quantities of water as well as sulfur.
The fumes interfered with Zhen Jin’s vision and his eyes felt a sting of pain after spending a short while within the cave.
As for the others, their eyes were already red.
The cave was very sultry and walking into it made many people sweat.
The long trek had consumed the exploration team’s energy and stamina to the extent that a portion of them were having dizzy spells. In this short time, it was difficult for them to adapt to the environment here.
“My lord, we had better move on quickly.”
“I don’t think I can go on anymore.”
“We cannot spend the night here.”
Zhen Jin swept his eyes around with a firm face, and in a clear voice, he overruled it: “No, this place is ideal. We will not spend the night here, rather we must fight the scorpions here!”
The young knight could not shake off the scorpion group so he had already decided to fight it. He had come here in order to create a favorable battlefield.
Everyone was confounded.
Zhen Jin turned his head and smiled: “Don’t tell me that you all didn’t notice during our journey here? Those scorpions seem to fear the fumes here.”
Everyone recalled their memories one after the other and their spirits were lifted.
Someone blurted out: “That’s right, all of them kept far from the fumes as they traveled.”
“Perhaps the fumes are very harmful to them. Thus they never went close to it.”
But Cang Xu pursued his brows: “According to common understanding, scorpions and spiders have respiratory organs on the sides of their anterior abdomens, they have a pair of air sacs-like structures, called air chambers, they have about 15-20 air chambers in a thin sheet that can fold and overlap like book pages, and are thus called as book lungs. When blood flows through the book lungs, it exchanges gases with the air inside, absorbing new air while expelling wastes gases from the body, completing the process of respiration.”2
“However, based on how much they avoid the fumes, one cannot determine how harmful the fumes are to them. It is also possible that they just dislike it and the fumes are not a fatal threat to them.”
“That is indeed a possibility.” Zhen Jin sighed, “But we have already reached our limit. Who can still continue trekking forward?”
Everything went silent.
Zhen Jin spoke the truth.
Everyone’s physical capacities had already reached the edge of collapse, for the last five to six hours, they had relied on the fear of death and the thirst for life to support themselves.
If there wasn’t a scorpion group behind them, the exploration team would have long collapsed to the ground lifelessly.
Zhen Jin paused, then continued: “We are also running out of food.”
The youngster turned his gaze towards Zi Di.
Zi Di immediately understood and opened the bundle in front of them all.
The food reserves in the bundle were even fewer than what everyone expected.
“Can you use a potion to corrode the cave wall? Zhen Jin asked again.
“I should be able to, it is not difficult. But I still need to test it to make sure.” Zi Di replied rigorously.
Everyone attentively watched the young girl take out a potion and splash on the cave wall.
The cave wall immediately resembled a burning candle as it rapidly dissolved.
Zhen Jin saw this bizarre scene and knew that this was the potion that had allowed Zi Di and the others to evade the sandstorm.
The air became more unpleasant to breathe and almost to the point of making them vomit.
But after ten breaths, the original cave wall was gone, and the cave had extended deeper by more than a dozen paces.
Zhen Jin finally relaxed.
Using this potion, they could create a favorable terrain for battle in this cave.