Chapter 2133: Mine Slaves
Thus, Han Li immediately rose to his feet and exited the inn before hailing a beast-drawn carriage toward a certain city gate.
The private mine naturally wasn't situated on the island. In fact, it was very far away, and even at his speed of flight, it would take him several days to get there.
Three days later, Han Li was flying through the air as a streak of azure light.
Instead of a rippling lake, there was an undulating dark green mountain range down below.
All of a sudden, a mountain that was as straight as a giant sword appeared up ahead. The mountain was over 100,000 feet tall, and appeared to be extremely majestic.
An elated look appeared on Han Li's face at the sight of the mountain, and he immediately descended toward it.
The azure light faded, and Han Li landed on a giant rock at the peak of the mountain, then closed his eyes and released his enormous spiritual sense downward.
A short while later, he reopened his eyes before making a hand seal, and a series of yellow runes suddenly appeared over his body, following which he abruptly vanished from atop the giant rock.
In the next instant, yellow light flashed deep within the belly of the mountain, and Han Li re-emerged.
He looked around at the dim environment, and his brows furrowed slightly as he swept a sleeve through the air to release a ball of white light. The ball of light drifted up to hover above his head, and everything around him was illuminated to be as bright as day.
Even though Han Li would be able to see everything using his spirit eye ability, this was naturally far more convenient.
Only then did Han Li discover that he was situated in a dilapidated mine tunnel, and that the stone faces around him were all riddled with pits and bumps.
He cast his gaze forward and discovered a winding tunnel that led forward, and it seemed to be extending deeper into the belly of the mountain.
Han Li swept his gaze over the surrounding area, and his attention was drawn to a nondescript piece of ore embedded into one of the stone faces.
This piece of ore was of a very low value, and its surface was riddled with cracks, so no one would develop any interest in it.
However, a faint smile appeared on Han Li's face as he appraised the piece of ore, then reached out and made a grabbing motion.
The piece of ore was immediately wrenched out of the stone face by a burst of enormous power, then drawn into Han Li's grapes as a streak of yellow light.
Han Li then closed his fingers around it, and it exploded into a ball of yellow light.
After the light faded, a black talisman that was shimmering with faint light appeared in Han Li's hand.
"Hehe, they're quite crafty, I'll give them that!" Han Li chuckled as he swept his spiritual sense over the talisman, then stowed it up his sleeve before continuing onward.
The mine tunnel that he was situated in was very long, and there were countless crossroads making it resemble a convoluted cobweb-like system.
However, Han Li seemed to know exactly where he was going, taking one turn after another without any hesitation. After a short while, he had already traveled 5,000 feet, then finally stopped at a crossroad.
There, he inspected his surroundings, then suddenly pointed toward a certain corner of the crossroads. A rock on the corner exploded, and another black talisman emerged.
Han Li swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of azure light, which swept up the black talisman before drawing it into his grasp.
After stowing away that black talisman as well, Han Li made his way into one of the mine tunnels and continued onward.
It was clear that these talismans had a certain guiding effect, and Han Li was able to use them to travel toward the deepest part of the mine.
Thus, through the detection between the talismans, Han Li was able to pull talismans out of various parts of the mine tunnels at regular intervals.
Around eight hours later, he had already reached a very deep point in the mine, and the crossroads were becoming fewer and fewer.
The pits on the walls also gradually became less and less prevalent, and at the end, they became almost nonexistent.
However, from the ore fragments that were scattered on the ground, it could be seen that the quality of the ore here had clearly improved significantly.
It was no wonder that the mine slaves were still unwilling to abandon this mine tunnel even though they knew they had already deviated from the designated route.
Just as Han Li was thinking this to himself, his footsteps suddenly drew to a halt.
The tunnel up ahead had been filled by countless loose rocks, indicating that someone had intentionally collapsed the tunnel.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly as he continued onward, and the white ball of light above his head vanished as yellow light flashed from his body, and he phased into the rocks up ahead as if he possessed no substantial form.
Shortly thereafter, Han Li had passed through the collapsed section of the tunnel and emerged on the other side.
The yellow light emanating from his body faded, and he began to inspect his surroundings.
As a result, he discovered that there was still a tunnel up ahead, but this one was far smaller and cruder than the previous ones, clearly having been created not long ago.
Han Li's gaze was then drawn to a black and white shard on the ground, and he waved a hand through the air to draw it into his palm before carefully examining it.
"It really is Foreign Devilish Metal! This is the place," Han Li murmured to himself as he tossed the Foreign Devilish Metal shard aside with an elated expression.
Immediately thereafter, he closed his eyes and released his enormous spiritual sense toward the area up ahead.
A short while later, Han Li reopened his eyes, and a surprised look appeared on his face as he murmured to himself, "Hmm? This mine tunnel is remarkably long, and there seems to be a natural restriction up ahead that's keeping out my spiritual sense. There seem to be people in there as well; judging from their lowly cultivation bases, they should be the mine slaves. Perhaps they can be of some use to me."
After that, he continued into the dark tunnel up ahead.
Shortly thereafter, he arrived in a small cave that had recently been excavated, and there were three dark-skinned devilish mine slaves with tattered clothing kneeling on the ground with horrified expressions.
These three mine slaves each had a pair of horns on their heads, and it was clear they were of the same race.
"So you're saying everyone aside from the three of you have been slaughtered?" Han Li asked with a calm expression.
One of the mine slaves, shuddered, and hurriedly replied, "Yes, Senior! We were quite alert and separated ourselves from the group in advance to hide here. Otherwise, we would most likely be dead as well."
"I suppose it's only to be expected that they would try to silence you. I'm assuming all of the Foreign Devilish Metal here was mined by you and your fellow mine slaves, right?" Han Li asked.
The mine slaves didn't know why Han Li was asking this question, but they could only reply, "That's right, Senior."
"Alright, I have a few questions. If you can offer satisfactory answers, I can save you. Otherwise, you'll eventually starve to death in this collapsed mine tunnel," Han Li said.
"As long as you're willing to save us, we'll be sure to tell you everything that we know, Senior!" one of the mine slaves immediately replied, and his two companions were also ecstatic to hear this.
"Firstly, when did you discover the Foreign Devilish Metal, and was there anything abnormal about the mining process?" Han Li asked.
"We discovered the Foreign Devilish Metal here over two months ago. There were over 100 of us at the time, but the soil here was as hard as iron, so it took us a very long time to mine all of the Foreign Devilish Metal in this area. As for the mining process, something did happen near the end; a few of our companions suddenly slumped to the ground while digging and were reduced to dust right before everyone's eyes" the mine slave replied as a hint of fearful reminiscence flashed through his eyes.
"Was it something like this?" Han Li raised an eyebrow as he pointed a finger toward a black rock on the ground nearby.
A green thread shot forth from his fingertip amid a flash of green light, instantly piercing through the rock before flying back toward him.
In the next instant, the rock was reduced to a pile of grey powder.
The three mine slaves were horrified to see this, and the one in the middle hurriedly yelled, "That's exactly what happened to those companions of ours!"
Han Li nodded in response before asking, "Did your supervisors not send someone to investigate after the incident?"
"Someone did indeed come to investigate, but they didn't discover anything abnormal there, and nothing happened to the people who mined there after the incident. Thus, no one bothered to investigate any further as the lives of us mine slaves aren't worth anything in their eyes anyway," the mine slave in the middle said with a wry smile.
"So the abnormal occurrence only took place once before stopping, eh? That's rather interesting; point out the sites where the incidents took place to me later," Han Li instructed.
"It's our honor to be able to assist you, Senior!"
The three mine slaves naturally didn't dare to object, and they all offered respectful replies.
"Alright, I have one final question; tell me if the Foreign Devilish Metal in this area really has all been mined," Han Li said with a serious expression.