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Chapter 604: The b.l.o.o.d.y Mud
The air in the desert had been dry and unpleasant. Although they were all cultivators of a higher rank, they still suffered when breathing in the sandy air that made their throats dry.
However, upon entering this strange forest, the air had changed from dry to humid, but the change was not something that they appreciated. The humid air was stale, and the smell resembled a puddle of stagnant and rotten water that could contain almost anything disgusting.
The trees were all stretching towards the skies, but unlike the usual green leaves that hungered for sunlight, these trees seemed to shield themselves against the rays of light.
“This place is extremely uncomfortable.”
Luoluo could not help but frown as she looked at the grime on the ground. The forest floor did not contain fallen leaves, moss, or other standard things you would imagine from this type of environment.
With each step that Xue Wei and the others took, they felt how their feet would sink into the mud, but the mud itself did not seem to be the regular kind that was made from water and soil; instead, it seemed that the liquid used to create this mud was blood.
One could only imagine the amount of blood needed to create this much mud, but the amount was not the biggest issue, the stench was enough to make any weak person sick, and even this group was influenced by the disgust they felt.
“The gloom is getting more intense the further we go. I am not sure if this area is especially bad, or if it is going to be even worse when we reach the next area.”
Xue Wei could not help but frown as he looked around, but he did not reply to Luoluo’s statement. Although she might have some theories, it was not possible for them to reach any conclusions as it was now, so instead of wasting time on these worries, he would rather focus on surviving for now.
Even so, he did not admonish Luoluo either. Although she was worried about something that was unimportant for now, she was merely worried about their future path.
“Don’t you find it too silent?”
After looking around for some time, Xue Wei finally asked. They had been in this strange forest for a long time, but up until now, they had not encountered even one living being.
In fact, they had not even heard any sounds, not even a rustling of leaves or a snapping branch. The silence was almost suffocating.
“Before arriving, we were already aware that the beasts would have a better chance of camouflaging in this forest, but we have not met anything at all. Do you think that there are no beasts at all?” Hei Gou could not help but frown as he asked. He looked around with some confusion in his eyes.
“I cannot perceive any breath of beasts. It is as if this region is indeed devoid of all living beings.”
“But, if there are no living beings, then where does the blood come from?” Ling Xiao did not doubt Hei Gou’s words, but after looking around, his gaze could not help but land on the mud underneath their feet once more.
Although they had not personally seen the blood wetting the soil under their feet, they had shed enough lives to know that it was high graded blood that created this muddy ground, and thus they dared not relax their vigilance.
“Could the blood have flowed here from another region?” Although it sounded unlikely, Xue Wei could not help but ask. He was not familiar with these strange smaller dimensions, and thus he had to ask the two experts, Luoluo and Bai Tianyi.
“This realm is weird.” Luoluo was the first to speak, and her eyebrows were deeply furrowed as she looked around. “It does not feel like one realm but many that have been cut apart and put together. If they are all from their own worlds, then it might be difficult for the blood to come from elsewhere, as the two smaller regions are unwilling to integrate.”
Xue Wei nodded his head and looked around. It turned out that the land itself was unwilling to a.s.similate with this new world, so it would not likely accept blood from elsewhere.
“Maybe the blood is the reason for the silence?” Ling Xiao finally rubbed his chin.
“Look at how soggy the ground is, it is clear that the blood is fresh. At the same time, the silence in the area can only show that all the creatures close by have died. Hence, I a.s.sume that this ruthless forest has killed all beasts for some reason.”
While Ling Xiao was usually the least likely to come with reasonable theories, his sudden idea made sense.
“Could the forest have killed all these animals after knowing that we have entered No Man’s Land?” Hei Gou looked around the area, but the only thing he felt was that while the theory was reasonable, some things seemed a little off.
“Even if we have entered this realm, there does not seem to be enough reason for this forest to slaughter all beasts. We are not the only humans who have entered No Man’s Land, so there is no need for such desperate actions.
“At the same time, you also have to remember that if the forest wanted to kill all the beasts, it would suffer greatly. Beasts, if there had indeed been beasts living here, then they would have been a part of the natural habitat, and would have an influence on the survival of the forest in one way or another.
“At the same time, if the forest really killed off all these beasts, then where are their carca.s.ses? Even if the trees are able to absorb the nutrients of the beasts, why would the blood flow like this? Also, if they are consuming the corpses, why are we only finding their blood?”
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