Ascending The Heavens Chapter 52: Pills, Pills and More Pills
Not wanting to be abandoned and left to face the undead by themselves, the group of seven reluctantly followed Zhang and Wenji as the duo silently entered into one of the many passageways leading away from the main chamber.
Figuring that most of the other people within the tomb beside the two groups comprised of the people from the Mang Clan, the Serene Lotus Sect, the Tiger Claw Dojo and the main body of the Jiang Clan, had already been killed by the undead Zhang was hoping to see if there was any more treasure laying around for him to take.
"Hopefully the people who entered this passageway before us died before they were able to take any treasure…" Zhang said to Wenji once he noticed trails of blood and signs of struggle all around him as they walked a considerable distance into the passageway.
If the people that came before them were able to take the treasure before being attacked and slaughtered by the undead, any gains that could have been made by going into this particular passageway would have been long gone.
"On the bright side, it shouldn't take us very long to reach the chamber at the end of this passageway since all of those pesky traps have already been tripped." Wenji said with a faint smile on her face.
"I guess it's good we don't have to deal any traps this time." Zhang said as he looked at Wenji with a faint smile also.
So as the duo conversed with each other, while the pups took the lead and the group of seven trailed behind, a light at the end of the tunnel soon came into view.
Coming closer, Zhang's saw hundreds of shelves lined with countless jade bottles of all shapes and sizes.
"A pill chamber!" One of the seven cried out in disbelief.
One must know that besides Zhang's and Wenji whose core operations within Twin Blade City revolves around gathering herbs and concocting pills, the other forces had to expend a large amount of funds to buy expensive dans from either traveling medical practitioners or from other cities.
Twin Blade City's history was simply too shallow and the families that ruled it did not have enough resources to entice a skilled pill concocter to stay and concoct pills for them. Which in part was one of the main contributors as to why there were so many untouched herbs growing within the mountains.
So, when considering how scarce cultivation pills were for most people within Twin Blade City, one could only imagine the looks on the faces of the group of seven once they saw thousands of bottles of pills laid out right in front of them.
"With all of these pills at my disposal, it'll only be a matter of time before I break through into the Core Realm like Wenji." Zhang thought as he eyed the shelves that stood in front of him.
"However, what shall I do about those seven? For their sakes, I hope none of them get any funny ideas." Zhang thought as he glanced at the seven members of the Jiang clan through the corner of his eye.
Although they had their uses, Zhang already decided in his heart that if the group of seven even so much as think to plot against him, he would put an end to their lives. Once overcome with greed people often went to the extremes and Zhang was not willing to risk increasing the amount of danger within the tomb by allowing others to plot against him.
"There are so many pills here, everyone quickly grab what you can. But be sure to not take too many things or else when we come across even more valuable treasures you won't have space to hold your share." Wenji said, interrupting Zhang's train of thought and prompting the group of seven to rush forward and begin grabbing bottle after bottle of pills from the shelves and stuffing them into their robes.
"None of them have interspatial rings, if we allow them to satisfy themselves and take as many pills as they can first, conflict can be avoided. One our way out, we can even take the shelves if we want to." Wenji whispered into Zhang's ear with a giggle before walking up to one of the many shelves and putting a few bottles of pills into her robes, pretending to be doing what the seven were and soon to join her was Zhang who was accompanied by the two pups.
True to Wenji's words, since none of the members of the group of seven possessed an interspatial ring even after they stuffed their pockets full only a tiny fraction of the bottles of pills were retrieved.
Realizing the limit of things, they could carry the group of seven had decided to pick out pill bottles that looked out of the ordinary, thinking that they were retrieving the best and rarest pills in the chamber.
However, to ensure that she and Zhang reaped the most benefits, Wenji who was moderately skilled and knowledge in regards to medicine and pills, the only person present that could tell which pills were rare and which were not, took the liberty of stashing away most if not all of the rare pills before the group had even come up with the idea of doing so.
From the labels on the pill bottles and faint aromas emitted from them, Wenji was able to identify many of the pills stored in the pill chamber.
"Is everyone ready to leave? There are other parts of the tomb to explore, and more treasure to take. Also, an exit to look for." Zhang said as he tied a sack full of pill bottles onto the backs of Little Red and Little Blue, turning them into his pack mules.
"I'll give both of you a few big steaks once we get out of here." Zhang chuckled, putting on a show for the seven to see at the expense of the pups who eyed him with silly expressions on their faces.
Although they were quite envious of the number of pill bottles that Zhang openly took, the group of seven did not voice any objections because after a bit of comparison they realized that Zhang did not actually much more than they did.
So, with everyone within the group of seven satisfied with their hauls and without sparking conflict Zhang and Wenji began to head back toward the main chamber. Of course, before leaving Zhang made sure to leave behind his interspatial ring, which he attached a strand of essence to, once they traveled a short distance back toward the main chamber Zhang used his essence to manipulate his interspatial ring and store away all of the shelves of pill bottles within the pill chamber.
"Thank goddess, I find those Demonic Devil Spheres first and learned how to mold my essence or else this wouldn't have been possible." Zhang inwardly celebrated as he stealthily controlled essence string attached to his interspatial ring causing the ring to fly through the shadows and back into his hands.
Like they had done before the group made their way back to the main hall before entering a different passageway to search for treasure.
With a quick glance, they were able to deduce that the two other parties trapped within the tomb were still alive and well seeing as the undead were still crowding into the two passageways on the opposite side of the main hall.
"The poison should kick in soon…We should finish up we are doing and leave this place soon..." Wenji mumbled as she took a glance at the opposite side of the main hall before walking into a passageway with Zhang.
Walking down the third passageway, Zhang noticed many more signs of fighting compared to the passageway prior. There were even a few grotesque looking corpses laying on the ground, with limbs missing and dozens of bite marks visible from head to toe.
"Everyone be on alert." Zhang said as saw the number of bodies laid out in front of their path and how blood soaked the floors appeared to be.
Oddly, rather than keeping an eye out for any undead that could pop out from the darkness in front of him, Zhang began to examine the corpses on the ground. From what he knew regarding undead, whomever or whatever they kill are also turned into undead. So, he found it very strange that there were corpses remaining on the ground.
"Should I burn them just to be on the safe side?" Zhang asked as he looked toward Wenji, hoping to gain her insight on things.
"Hmmm let me have a look first, although they may look like regular corpses I have a strange feeling that something is off." Wenji said as she arrived beside Zhang and released a stream of essence from the tips of her finger into the corpse, examining it for any abnormalities.
"This person didn't die due to the injuries, but rather died because of a sudden loss of all of the essence within their body. In the early stages of one's cultivation base had yet to be established and solidified, the essence within one's body and the essence of the world floating about all around us is essential to maintaining one's livelihood. Only after passing through the fragmented realm would someone be able to survive losing or expending a large amount of essence from their bodies." Wenji concluded and spoke after checking the corpse.
"So, what should we do with these corpses? Should I still burn them just in case?" Zhang asked.
"Hacking off their heads or disabling their jaws should be good enough, it is best to save up as much essence as we can in situations like this. Since we can't be sure if these people here simply used up too much of their essence and died or something attacked and robbed them of most of the essence within their bodies. The latter would fit the bill more since there are so many corpses here that seem to have all died under the same circumstances." Wenji replied as she withdrew her belt sword and proceeded to sever the jaw muscles on the corpse.
Following Wenji's lead, the others soon used their weapons to cut and slash at the dozen or so corpses that were lying on the ground before proceeding down the passageway again. Filled with questions and subtle fears they walked into the darkness.
Little Red and Little Blue were situated at the lead with four members of the Jiang Clan with spears stood to their sides, then followed by Zhang and Wenji with the remaining three members of the group at the rear, the group was pretty much prepared to fight no matter which front an enemy appeared from.
One could call it good luck or bad luck but once they arrived at the chamber located at the end of the passageway, Zhang found their destination empty. Within even a single gold coin to be picked up the chamber at the end of the passageway was totally void of riches. Of course, there were a few bloody corpses scattered here and there but besides those, there wasn't anything else that was noteworthy within the chamber at all.
"Although I'm kind of bummed that there isn't anything here to take, I'm also kind of glad that we didn't run into anything here either." Zhang with to Wenji while softly chuckling.
Back in the main chamber of the tomb, a reddish colored silhouette could be seen hopping up and down with its two arms pointed straight toward its front. Clad in blood red armor, armed with iron spiked gauntlets, and intimidating eyes full of malice and hunger, this silhouette released an extremely oppressive pressure with every single one of its hops.
As the hopping silhouette neared one of the passageways crammed full of undead, a strange event began to occur. The previously brainless and unresponsive sea of undead cramming into the passageway actually began to disperse and open up a pathway for the silhouette to use. Serving to make things even more peculiar, many undead that were garb in the same armor that the armored undead that Zhang had previously fought would fall in line and follow behind this hopping undead as if it was their leader, their master. Like an emperor leading his subjects, the hopping silhouette inched ever further down the passageway toward where the members of the Mang Clan and the members of the Serene Lotus Sect were.
One could only wonder what will become of the poor people who end up in the path of this hopping silhouette for only misfortune can come from such an encounter. Before long blood would begin to spill and anguish filled cries would ring out throughout the tomb once again.
Meanwhile, in the outside world, many people who had paid to be a part of the second group to enter the tomb anxiously awaited their turn. Without knowledge of what had occurred inside, ignorant of the hellish nightmare that had been unleashed, many people patiently waited and continued to dream about finding riches and gaining prominence.
Sadly, for them, only the possibility of death would be given to them if they were allowed to enter the tomb with so many undead present inside. Also by the time Zhang was done combing through the tomb, the possibility of obtaining treasure would drastically decrease if there was any possibility at all remaining.