Chapter 11: The Burrowing Technique
The first night in the demon cavern was hard for the captives.
With their spiritual powers sealed, the young cultivators started to shiver due to the low temperatures. They were forced to embrace each other to keep warm and prevent themselves from suffering from hypothermia at night.
Chen Jingzhai was the only exception, as he sat alone in the dark corner and did not stop circulating his spiritual power.
Although he had no idea how long it had been since he was taken away from the Aspirant Cultivator Academy, he did not stop circulating the Rock Technique in an attempt to use his spiritual power to slowly break the seal.
Technically speaking, it would take him around 21 hours to circulate the technique 365 times.
However, because he had fully mastered the Rock Technique, the rich earth essence power in the cave gently seeped into his body as he circulated his spiritual power and managed to strengthen the pure spiritual energy inside of him.
The speed of the circulation increased, and he had recently managed to reach his goal. Once he had circulated his spiritual power 365 times, he broke the Qi Restricting Seal.
The spiritual power inside of him started to flow smoothly again, as if it was a huge river. If there were people near him, they could’ve heard the sound of water hitting rocks.
Fortunately for Chen Jingzhai, no one was near him. After regaining his power, Chen Jingzhai slowly opened his eyes. There was a glitter in his eyes for a second—the mark of one who had perfected the Meditation Plane.
It might have seemed like it took Chen Jingzhai two years to perfect the Rock Technique ever since his cultivation talent was awakened, but the truth was that it only took him half a year.
He spent the next year and a half studying spells. The spell that he had mastered the most was the Earth Elemental Technique. He even used the Earth Elemental Technique that he had perfected to learn the Burrowing Technique.
[Spell: Burrowing Technique]
[Effect: It allows the user to burrow through the ground and move freely around in it. One of the best spells to save the user’s life.]
[Flaw: To master the technique, the user has to master sand digging, mud traveling, rock sprinting, and cave digging in that order.]
The flaws of the Burrowing Technique could be seen after he had mastered the Earth Elemental Technique.
Chen Jingzhai had learned each part of the technique according to the flaw. He had dug through the sands for a week before walking on mud for another. After that, he sprinted on stones and walls for a week before digging the ground to make caves inside an abandoned building.
It took him two months to master the Burrowing Technique. Unfortunately for him, he was still at Level 3 of the Meditation Plane, and the technique was taking its toll on him.
The biggest challenge was that it was not just the earth element that could be found inside the ground. There were things like roots, water, metals, and even essence power.
He was reluctant to use the Burrowing Technique back at the Aspirant Cultivators Academy because he was afraid he would get stuck in the ground and die from suffocation.
“But I can feel something has changed. The earth essence power is very pure here. I felt it when I was meditating just now. Maybe, just maybe, the Burrowing Technique will become my only way to leave this place…” Chen Jingzhai thought before raising his head to look at his fellow cultivators who were asleep.
Due to the extremely low temperature inside the cave, the other cultivators had lost consciousness and were unaware of what was happening around them.
Knowing that no one would be able to notice what he was going to do, Chen Jingzhai began to use the Burrowing Technique. His feet started to sink into the ground. It didn’t take long for his waist, his chest, and even his head to be below floor level.
The Yellow Sands Cavern was hidden under the desert, and it was a Blessed Land formed by nature itself.
Chen Jingzhai was amazed by how useful the Burrowing Technique was. He moved freely inside the ground and among the stones without making any noise.
When he left the cave he was kept in, even the terrifying lizard monster did not notice him. That gave him a confidence boost, and he started to move about the huge cavern to his heart’s desire.
It didn’t take long for him to locate the rest of the young cultivators who had been taken by the Yellow Sands King as well.
He had also scouted the entire cavern and remembered every route in it. A rough map of the place had already appeared in his head.
Without attracting any attention to himself, Chen Jingzhai continued to explore the cavern.
Due to the rich earth essence power inside the cavern, he was able to perform the Borrowing Technique without any problems.
After a while, he had learned a lot about the place. There were two different parts of the Yellow Sands Cavern, which could be separated into exterior and interior parts.
Thousands of demonic soldiers stayed in the exterior parts. These were all monsters born in the desert. The biggest problem with those demonic soldiers was that they had sentience. Their size and power were both exceptional.
The huge lizard guarding the entrance of the cave was one of the demonic soldiers as well.
Although these soldiers could not take on human form and only a handful of them could speak, they were powerful. Either they had hard shells covering their bodies, or they had poison and unique powers to attack their enemies with.
They came in different shapes and sizes as well.
Not only did Chen Jingzhai see lizards and snakes among the lineup, but also he saw cacti. He had spotted a few cacti, larger than a normal human, moving slowly on the wall.
These cactus monsters were extremely sensitive. Any normal scorpions or ants that got close to them were immediately killed by their spikes.
The strength of the demonic soldiers was already enough to give Chen Jingzhai goosebumps, but he knew that 10 generals resided in the Yellow Sands Cavern as well.
Those 10 generals could transform part of their bodies into humans, and they were all as powerful as cultivators in the Foundation Plane. Each of them was a leader of their race.
She Ya was a great example. She was the leader of the psychedelic sand vipers.
The demonic soldiers and their generals all resided in the exterior part of the Yellow Sands Cavern.
However, that was not the actual cavern. The real one was the interior part of the cavern, the center of the Blessed Land.
It was a place that only the Yellow Sands King could use. It was because of the interior part of the cavern that he could become a demon king. It was a fact that everyone knew about.
With the help of the Burrowing Technique, he overheard a conversation between some of the demonic soldiers while he was moving through the walls.
Since it was his second life as a human, he knew how important information was.
There was a human saying that went, “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
After getting the information he needed, Chen Jingzhai was presented with two different options.
One was to head into the interior part of the cavern to check the Blessed Land out, while the other was to search for the cultivator of the Soaring Clouds Clan.
It wasn’t that he did not want to escape, but the problem was that even though the cavern was divided into two different parts, they were still connected.
It would’ve been impossible for him to leave undetected as the Burrowing Technique was not omnipotent.
Not only would the Yellow Sands King be able to detect him if he tried to leave, but also even the generals might notice him.
That was why, instead of just leaving, Chen Jingzhai decided to look for another method.
“So the female cultivator from the Soaring Clouds Clan is wounded, and she has refused to marry the Yellow Sands King…” Chen Jingzhai thought as he rested in the wall.
“That She Ya is the queen of the psychedelic sand vipers. She should be around the Intermediate Meditation Plane, which means she’s too powerful for me. I’ll risk exposing myself if I head there without any preparation. For the time being, since the female cultivator is wounded, there’s no way she can fight back. Even if she did, she wouldn’t be able to defeat the Yellow Sands King. There’s no point in looking for her now. Instead, the interior part of the cavern is large. From what I’ve heard, the Demon King and his generals are all drunk, so I might be able to sneak in.”
Since he had the Burrowing Technique and the Presence Concealment Technique, he wasn’t worried that the generals might notice him as long as he didn’t try to leave the cavern.
The only one he was worried about was the Demon King. After pondering for a while, he decided that there was no better time to enter the Blessed Land.
He could get into the deeper part of the cave when the Demon King would lower his guard.
Once he had entered the Blessed Land, he would be able to hide and cultivate without getting spotted. It would be a bonus if he could find a way to escape the cavern in there as well.
“If I recall correctly, Hermit Guangmiao mentioned in his diary that the Blessed Land is always connected to ley lines. I’m pretty sure that I will be able to find a ley line in the deeper part of this cavern. I see! That’s why the earth essence power is so dense here! It’s because of the ley lines! If I can find the location of the ley line, I could destroy the Blessed Land. Even if all else fails, I can still escape with the help of the ley lines!”
After a thorough analysis of his current situation, he finally came to a conclusion.
Since Chen Jingzhai was never the type to stay still and hope for the best, he immediately moved toward the interior part of the cavern with the help of the Burrowing Technique.