Chapter 1596: Going Back The Way They Came
After getting out of Phantom City, Lin Huang and the other two quickly contacted Lan Ling and Tu Tong.
Within half an hour, the five of them finally met up together again.
Lan Ling and Tu Tong were obviously somewhat moved upon seeing that Lin Huang, Virtuoso, and Saber9 all appeared to be in one piece and that nobody was missing.
“Did you find the Phantom City?!” Tu Tong asked, restraining his emotions.
“We did.” Virtuoso nodded.
“Did you get the stuff?” Tu Tong hastily followed up with this.
“Yes, we even managed to obtain it a little more smoothly than anticipated,” Virtuoso replied, smiling.
“I thought all of you wouldn’t be coming back…” As Lan Ling spoke, tears welled up in her eyes.
“This girl has been crying goodness knows how many times over the last couple of days,” Tu Tong said, somewhat at a loss for words.
“Silly girl, stop crying. Look, aren’t we all here now in one piece?” Lin Huang comforted her rather helplessly.
Although age-wise, he was the youngest within the group, he was considered on par with Virtuoso and Saber9 in terms of ability. Naturally, he thought of Tu Tong and Lan Ling as his juniors.
He also knew that Virtuoso and Saber9 were not the types who would comfort people. He had no choice but to step into the breach himself and help Lan Ling calm down as soon as possible.
“All of you have been missing for over twenty days. To be honest, when you didn’t return on the third day, I guessed that you might already have gone ahead and entered Phantom City right away. You didn’t come back either as the days went by, which further confirmed my speculations.”
“There was a powerful guardian at Phantom City. We went in directly, after considering that you might not make it past the guardian, given your level of ability,” Virtuoso explained.
In reality, this was just an excuse. The real reason was that right after passing the guardian’s test, the three of them had been so impatient to get inside Phantom City that they had hurried through the gates, completely forgetting about Tu Tong and Lan Ling.
It was not until after they had passed through the gates into Phantom City that they belatedly recalled there were two remaining members of the group who had not entered yet. Therefore, the three of them discussed the matter and came up with this explanation.
Fortunately, Tu Tong and Lan Ling believed the explanation and did not dwell further on it.
Tu Tong said very frankly, “To be honest, by the time both of us had waited until the fifteenth day, we were sure that all of you had perished in Phantom City. But this girl was unwilling to leave; she insisted on waiting some more. She told me to wait for another fifteen days and see. If you hadn’t come out by then, she would leave with me and say nothing more about it. I couldn’t sway her, so I had no choice but to wait with her. Honestly, we didn’t really hold out much hope. I can’t believe that we did actually wait until you came back…
“Of course, we haven’t been idle all this time either. We’ve been cultivating while hunting the monsters that are nearby…”
When Tu Tong saw that Lan Ling still could not calm down, he had no option but to describe in detail what they had encountered in the last twenty or so days.
By the time he finished speaking, Lan Ling’s emotions had finally settled down at last.
Under questioning from the pair, Lin Huang and the other two also gave a brief account of what had transpired in Phantom City.
At the end, when they heard how Lin Huang had killed Nine Gloom, Tu Tong and Lan Ling’s gazes were filled with admiration when they looked at him.
The five of them conversed for a while, then Virtuoso finally got down to business.
“I’ve obtained the castellan’s seal of Phantom City, so my objective for this trip has been achieved. Do the rest of you have anything you want to do in the Abyss? If there is, do speak up if you need help so we can work together and finish it as soon as possible. If not, then let’s get ready to leave.”
As he spoke, Virtuoso glanced around the rest of the group, his gaze lingering on Lin Huang very briefly.
Everyone shook their heads.
As far as Lin Huang was concerned, he had already elevated to tenth-rank. Although he had yet to reach peak tenth-rank, there was no need for him to finish this in the Abyss.
Furthermore, the most urgent matter at hand was to get Virtuoso and the rest out of here. After all, Virtuoso and Saber9 were not in the best of conditions.
As for the rest, Virtuoso had invited them to come along and help, so they did not have any other objectives.
Virtuoso nodded slightly after seeing that Lin Huang did not say anything. “Alright then, let’s go!”
Lan Ling immediately said, “We’ve already worked out our return route.”
Previously in Phantom City, everything was cut off from the outside world. Therefore, Lin Huang, Virtuoso, and Saber9 had dared to use dimensional teleportation techniques.
However, they did not dare do so now that they were back in the Abyss.
This was because there was a definite chance of the spatial fluctuations attracting the attention of half-step Lords or even Lords.
The safest way of returning was to go back the way they had come.
Fortunately, since Lan Ling and Tu Tong had had nothing to do for the last few days, they had already figured out part of the return route.
With Tu Tong leading the way, all five of them rose slightly into the air. They set off in the distance, flying low the entire way.
Along the way, they did encounter obstacles in the form of Night Demon Firs and Dead Spirit Vines in the dense forest. These were instantly dispatched by Lin Huang’s flying daggers. Virtuoso and the rest did not even have a chance to attack.
After getting out of the Demonic Fir Forest, the five continued hurrying along.
On the way, Lin Huang easily killed off any monsters that attacked them. None of the creatures required a second flying dagger to dispose of them.
Virtuoso and Saber9 initially thought they would be able to help if any of the creatures got away from Lin Huang.
They had not expected that Lin Huang would not even give them a chance to do so.
Secretly, they were grateful when they saw this. They thought that he had taken all the fighting upon himself as he was worried about their injuries.
In reality, however, Lin Huang was grabbing all the monsters for himself only so he could plunder more Rule Bending Powers.
In less than half an hour, they had returned to the familiar toxic fog swamp.
Sensing that Tu Tong was slowing down in the lead, Lin Huang immediately said via voice transmission, “There’s no need to slow down. I’ll get rid of all the monsters we encounter along the way. Just prepare to defend yourselves in case.”
If it were anyone else, Tu Tong might have hesitated. After all, the toxic fog swamp was different from other places. The Fiendish Swamp Monsters and Poison Arrow Frogs were extremely skilled at ambush and stealth killings. Not only that, they were immensely poisonous.
However, after hearing the story of how Lin Huang had killed Nine Gloom—a ninth-rank lord-level powerhouse—and after seeing him kill the Night Demon Firs and Dead Spirit Vines in one hit, Tu Tong chose to believe Lin Huang with barely any hesitation.
The five of them continued flying at full speed over the toxic fog swamp.
Almost immediately, the Fiendish Swamp Monsters ambushed them. Lin Huang sent his telekinetic flying daggers shooting out, easily slicing through all the tentacles that besieged them. Not only that, the flying daggers impaled the Fiendish Swamp Monsters one after the other.
The initial ambush instantly turned into a massacre.
Lin Huang had originally planned on killing his way through. He had not expected, however, that before all of them had even gotten halfway over the swamp, there would already be very few monsters trying to ambush them.
It was not that there were no hidden monsters in the toxic fog swamp. It was just that they saw how forcefully Lin Huang suppressed their attacks and did not dare try anything more.
This proved that even monsters with low intelligence had survival instincts as well.
After passing over the toxic fog swamp, the five of them found themselves out of the foggy area at last.
“If we proceed any further, we’ll come to the Disaster Abyss Land.”
Tu Tong and Lan Ling were still a little worried about such a place.
Not only did the Disaster Abyss Land have many different Disasters, but the various extreme negative emotions were also frighteningly infectious. It would be extremely problematic if any of them were contaminated.
“Don’t worry. Now at least we can basically confirm that we’re only in the middle layer of the Abyss. The highest combat strength of the Abyssal creatures here is only ninth-rank heavenly god-level—no higher than that. It’s the same in the Disaster Abyss Land as well,” Lin Huang was very casual when saying this, “Just head back using our original route.”
Although he sounded indifferent, the other four could tell that he did not take ninth-rank Heavenly Gods seriously at all.
When they heard this, Tu Tong and Lan Ling’s worries immediately settled, almost miraculously.
The two of them proceeded to lead the way and swooped into the Disaster Abyss Land with practically no slowing down.