Chapter 49 – King

Yuan Ming had no time to think, he could only swim with all his strength, trying to reach the next place where he could breathe before Chen Wan's breath ran out.


Chen Wan also waved her arms to help them move forward quickly.


She joined this trial adventure in order to become an inner disciple and didn't want to die here.


Time passed bit by bit, and the breath she had left in her chest and lungs was almost depleted. The suffocating feeling in her chest had turned into a painful sensation as if it was about to burst.


She was reaching her limit and couldn't hold on any longer.


Just as Chen Wan's body was about to convulse uncontrollably, she suddenly found Yuan Ming quickly swimming upwards with her and they burst out of the water.




In the instant Chen Wan resurfaced, she exhaled the stale air in her chest and immediately felt a needle-like pain in her lungs, causing her to let out a soft exhale.


But then, she greedily took in deep breaths of fresh air.


After finally recovering a bit, she looked around and saw that they were still inside the cave. Not far above their heads was a pitch-black dome.


"How much further is the cavity you mentioned?" Chen Wan took a deep breath and asked.


Yuan Ming's gaze became serious as he answered, "We're already there."


"We're already there?" Chen Wan was thunderstruck upon hearing this.


"The underground river is rising too fast, and this place is about to be completely submerged." Yuan Ming sighed and said.


In the darkness, his gaze fell on Chen Wan. Her clothes clung tightly to her slender body, and her wet hair stuck to her snow-white cheeks. She looked a bit disheveled but still beautiful, which evoked a sense of pity.


But at this moment, Yuan Ming couldn't afford to feel pity. He was only thinking about his own life and whether he should abandon her.


After all, if it was just him, he would definitely be able to swim faster and hold his breath longer, perhaps even lasting until they found the exit of the underground river.


Just as Yuan Ming was considering this, Chen Wan suddenly raised her hand high, and a ball of fire suddenly lit up in her palm and shot towards the dome of the cave.


Yuan Ming was about to question her when he saw the fireball rise higher and higher, eventually disappearing into the dome.


In the next moment, his eyes flashed with excitement.


"There's a vertical hole in the dome." Chen Wan exclaimed with joy.


By now, the fireball had flown up to a height of seven or eight zhang before violently burning for a while and then extinguishing.


"Could it be a dead end?" Yuan Ming and Chen Wan's hearts sank when they saw this.


"I'll go up and take a look." Yuan Ming said.


After speaking, he used his frog legs to forcefully push out a stream of water from between his legs, and the upward force lifted his body, propelling him out of the water and crashing into the dome above.


As he entered the vertical hole, Yuan Ming used his hands to support himself on the walls. Then, using both his hands and feet, he quickly climbed to the end of the hole, where the residual heat of the fireball technique still lingered.


"How is it?" Chen Wan anxiously asked from below.


After a long silence in the darkness, Yuan Ming's voice sounded somewhat muffled, "There's a slanted hole connecting somewhere, but I don't know where it leads."


"Pull me up first. The water level is rising too fast, and the current is getting stronger." Chen Wan urgently said.


The water level had already risen too much, and she was only three feet away from the dome.


After waiting for a moment, a hand reached out from the vertical hole above and pulled her into the hole.


Yuan Ming crawled cautiously in front, and when he reached the end, he turned into the slanted hole. Chen Wan silently followed behind him, feeling a thousand emotions in her heart.


She never expected to experience such an ordeal with a beast slave she had just met not long ago.


They crawled on all fours in the dark and cramped cave for who knows how long until Yuan Ming suddenly stopped.


"What's wrong?" Chen Wan's heart tightened, and she quickly asked.


She was afraid of receiving an answer that it was a dead end.


"It seems like there's a sound up ahead." Yuan Ming lowered his voice and said.


"A sound… does that mean we're almost out?" Chen Wan's heart immediately filled with joy, but she quickly noticed that Yuan Ming's body was tense, and she immediately realized that something was wrong.


Could it be that they encountered another danger?


"What… what's wrong?" Chen Wan couldn't help but lower her voice.


"That sound doesn't seem to be made by humans. Something feels off. I'll go ahead and take a look. Don't follow me in a hurry." Yuan Ming said, retracting the frog beast skin and putting on the white ape beast skin again.


He didn't use the beast skin transformation technique, but instead crouched down and crawled forward.


After a while, a faint light finally appeared in the darkness ahead, and they reached the entrance of the cave.


Yuan Ming reached the entrance but didn't rush out.


After carefully observing for a while, he found that this exit was actually on the wall of another underground cave, and there happened to be a hanging stalactite that covered the entrance, making their position very concealed.


Yuan Ming quietly stuck his head out, bypassed the hanging stalactite, and looked into the distance.


When he saw what was inside the cave, his eyes widened in an instant.


In a corner of the cave, a beam of light shone down from a hole above, illuminating a relatively bright area.


In that area, there were a large group of creatures covered in white fur, with thin arms, black claws, and a strange appearance.


"Humanoid demons!" Yuan Ming almost instantly thought of these two words.


He silently counted and found that there were as many as seventeen of these humanoid demons.


However, what puzzled him was that all these humanoid demons were gathered together, standing with their hands hanging down, their bodies swaying slightly, like a group of drunken men, looking very strange.


He knew very little about these creatures, so he didn't dare to act rashly and could only retreat and call Chen Wan over.


The two of them squeezed at the entrance of the cave and looked outside.Upon witnessing this scene, a look of shock flashed across Chen Wan's face, followed by a profound sense of bewilderment.


"This can't be, it's impossible…" she murmured softly.


"What's impossible?" Yuan Ming immediately asked.


"Judging from their appearance, these creatures are definitely human ghouls, but… but human ghouls are mindless, painless creatures that only know how to fight and devour. They even treat their own kind the same way. It's impossible for them to gather together peacefully like this." Chen Wan couldn't make sense of it.


"They're all gathered here, how are we supposed to get out?" Yuan Ming was more concerned about this.


At this moment, Chen Wan's expression changed again, as if she had thought of something terrifying, her mouth slightly agape.


"What's wrong?" Yuan Ming frowned.


"There's only one reason that could make the human ghouls gather without fighting…" Chen Wan said with a trembling voice.


Upon hearing this, Yuan Ming's eyes narrowed, guessing an answer, "They're being controlled by something?"


"It's a king. A king has been born among the gathered human ghouls. Only a ghoul king can control these creatures." Chen Wan explained.


"A ghoul king…" Yuan Ming mused.


"This is bad, I need to report back to the sect immediately." Chen Wan said, her face filled with urgency.


As she spoke, she was about to rush out of the cave.


Yuan Ming quickly stopped her, scolding in a low voice, "If you want to die, I won't stop you, but don't drag me into it. Rushing out like this, do you want to feed those creatures?"


"You don't understand, if a king has been born among the human ghouls, then this trial has gone wrong. Many people might die." Chen Wan said, her face pale, struggling to speak.


"Explain clearly, what's going on?" Yuan Ming grabbed her shoulder, demanding.


The novice disciple of the Bi Luo Cave in front of him was obviously inexperienced in facing danger. Her panicked behavior clearly showed her lack of experience, which made Yuan Ming look down on her.


"This trial is an entrance examination for us novice disciples. The task is to investigate and kill human ghouls. The disciples who perform well might be chosen by the elders of each hall to become inner disciples." Chen Wan explained, finally calming down after Yuan Ming's grip.


"What do you mean by 'if there's a ghoul king, there will be problems'?" Yuan Ming pressed.


"A ghoul king has a soul bead in its body, so it can control the human ghouls to act together. Its strength is far beyond that of ordinary human ghouls. All the novice disciples participating in the trial, at most, are only at the sixth or seventh level of Qi refining, and most of them act separately. If they encounter a ghoul king leading a large group of human ghouls, they're doomed." Chen Wan spoke hurriedly, with an uncontrollable tremble in her voice.


Upon hearing this, Yuan Ming also frowned.


No wonder Chen Wan was so panicked. Their novice disciples' trial might result in massive casualties due to the appearance of the ghoul king.


"If only a few individual human ghouls appear, the sect won't care as long as they don't exceed their activity range. If multiple human ghouls exceed their activity range, the sect will intervene and organize trials like this. But if a ghoul king appears, the level of danger increases exponentially, which is beyond the risk of a normal trial. If we don't let everyone know in time, the consequences are unimaginable. The best way to handle this is to let the sect send an elder to deal with it." Chen Wan continued to speak quickly.


Just as Yuan Ming was about to speak, he suddenly heard a "whoosh" sound.


He quickly gestured for Chen Wan to be quiet, then quietly looked towards the human ghouls. He saw a tall, white-haired human ghoul jumping down from the place where the daylight was leaking from the top of the cave.


Its appearance was not much different from the other human ghouls, but the hair on its face was sparser and shorter, and the contours of its facial features could be vaguely seen, which were surprisingly similar to ordinary humans.


The difference was that there was a white bony protrusion on each side of its forehead, less than half an inch long, looking like two protruding horns.


Although its appearance was ugly, its body was upright, exuding an inexplicable aura of a heroic overlord.


In its hand, it was holding a young man in a red short robe.


The man's robe was embroidered with a flame pattern on the chest, which seemed to indicate that he, like Chen Wan, was from the Fire Refining Hall.

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