They saw a vortex appear in the desert beneath them, sucking the surrounding sand into it.
The middle-aged man's face revealed a look of awe. "This is…a phenomenon associated with the birth of a treasure!"
They never expected that, just after deciding to leave soon, a phenomenon would happened! This was truly an example off every cloud having a silver lining! The phenomenon happened right beneath their feet! As a result, other warriors would not be able to beat them to it.
"This phenomenon…" The black-dressed woman looked at the vortex beneath her in astonishment.
Indeed, such a scene looked like the birth of a treasure.
As for the young disciples, their excitement grew after the initial surprise.
"Ah? Phenomenon?" Ru'er covered her mouth.
The Heavens must have heard her prayers and raised the luck of the downtrodden Red Cauldron Sect.
The middle-aged man's originally disheartened feelings were once again reignited with hope.
Gradually the quaking stopped, but the middle-aged man had remembered the location of the vortex.
He carefully probed the now-silent spot of the vortex. Nothing about it seemed extraordinary. When he stabbed at it, there was no response.
"It's safe. The treasure is probably still underground. Let's grab it quickly before other warriors arrive," said the middle-aged man.
The other disciples watched the middle-aged man do the probe and, when they heard what he said, eagerly surrounded the area.
"Everyone, let's work together and dig out the treasure," said the middle-aged man.
However, an immense suction suddenly came from underground. All of them plummeted simultaneously into the vortex.
There was no need for them to dig for the treasure because they had already fallen into it themselves!
Screaming all the way, the Red Cauldron Sect group fell into a massive empty cavern.
The sand around the vortex gathered in the hole, burying the terrifying cavern entrance once again. The entrance was like a speck of dust in a desert that stretched out endlessly. Without the vortex, it would not have caught anyone's attention.
"Ah, ah, ah!"
Amid the screams, Ru'er had no idea how far she had fallen. She only heard the howling of the wind by her ears as she constantly plummeted. The terrifying heat constantly bombarded her protective Yuan Qi, preventing her from even stopping.
This was a massive Yuan Qi vortex formed by natural powers. The suction strength was irresistible and also prevented them from flying.
The pure Yang Yuan Qi outside in the Sun Burial Sandsea had already weakened, but it was still extremely strong in here.
"Second Martial Uncle, Sixth Martial Aunt!"
Some of the young juniors yelled. However, the two seniors were no better equipped than their juniors to handle the present circumstances.
The middle-aged man was powering his Yuan Qi with all his might but all he did was to reduce the speed of his fall. As for the black-dressed woman, she was in a similar situation.
In their state, they had no means of saving the young juniors.
Gradually, Ru'er saw red glimmers of fire beneath her, as though she were descending into hell.
The so-called treasure could not be seen at all.
"To be suddenly sucked in here, is it fortune or misfortune? Can we find any opportunities?" Ru'er thought uneasily.
"Bang! Bang! Bang!"
The sound of the disciples landing sounded one after another as all of them felt their bodies hurt.
The middle-aged man and the black-dressed woman landed as well. Their expressions were ugly.
Although they had tried their best to use their Yuan Qi to help the disciples while they plummeted, the suction from the terrifying Yuan Qi was enough to make the disciples suffer.
When they looked up, there was no sign of the cavern entrance, save for some sand falling from above.
As for this place…
Ru'er felt numb all over from the fall. When she stood up and saw the scene in front of her, her heart skipped a beat.
There was bubbling lava, boulders baked red, and a terrifying pure Yang power that constantly melted their protective Yuan Qi like it were ice. They could not stay here long or the heat toxins would invade their bodies, leading to an excruciating death.
Upon thinking of herself as a desiccated corpse left in the deep depths of a cavern, Ru'er revealed a look of despair. "Martial Uncle…"
"I can't do anything either." The middle-aged man was having the same thoughts as Ru'er. If he were alone, he could attempt to barely climb back up. However, with so many disciples in his care, that was completely impossible.
At that moment, the disciples were looking at him and the black-dressed woman in a panic. However, they did not know that the duo was also feeling great unease.
"Everyone, produce your Yuan Qi barriers and walk close together. It will conserve your Yuan Qi. Let's walk around and see if there's a way out," said the black-dressed woman.
Both she and the middle-aged man had to conserve their Yuan Qi, so they only left Yuan Qi at the surface of their skin. Such an act could not isolate them from the heat, so it was excruciating.
"Yeah, with both our seniors here, we should be able to walk out of this place, right?"
"It should be possible. Who knows, we might even find a treasure."
The conversations between the young disciples made the middle-aged man and the black-dressed woman trade looks, and they saw their own bitter looks reflected in each other's eyes.
This was a place where people far stronger than them would struggle to survive, let alone their group.
Deep underground, the lava river incessantly surged.
Ru'er wiped the sweat off her forehead as she slowly proceeded with her martial uncle and aunt, as well as her senior brothers and sisters.
They had already been stuck underground for three days as they followed the lava river. That was the only 'path' they found.
Here, in the underground world, only the tunnels bored through by lava could be deemed paths. The burning lava was also the only source of light. However, as they continued forward, their hope of getting out alive waned.
"Junior Sister Ru'er," said her senior sister with an ashen look in her eyes. "I don't think we can walk out of this alive. I never expected that we would end up being buried here. We haven't even seen any corpses here. And if we don't return with treasure, the Red Cauldron Sect will also fall into decline. With Sect Leader unconscious, it would be meaningless even if we had the Soul Nurturing Wood."
"No, Senior Sister Luo. Don't give up." As Ru'er spoke, she secretly lifted her hand and dabbed the corner of her eye.
In reality, she knew that it was very difficult for them to find a way out of this underground cavern. They had plummeted an unknown depth that was at least hundreds of thousands of feet. Even worse, she did not sense that they were walking towards the surface. There was also the matter of the pure Yang powers and heat toxins that constantly encroached on their protective Yuan Qi. Even if an exit did exist, they might not be able to make it that far.
Upon realizing that she would die soon, Ru'er could not help but want to cry. She did not want to die.
This feeling was not limited to Ru'er. The rest of the people from the Red Cauldron Sect were also feeling immense despair. They originally thought they had seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but who knew that it would have such an outcome?
The land they were in was like a burning hell that silently devoured them, and no one outside would ever even know their fate.
The middle-aged man and the black-dressed woman had heavy expressions. The pure Yang laws here were rich, and mixed with many chaotic laws. These prevented them from discerning their direction, and also prevented them from escaping by breaking through the landmass.
It was truly a land of peril.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
At that moment, they faintly heard a muffled thunder sound from in front of them.
The middle-aged man immediately looked up. The sound they heard resembled the sound they had heard before they fell down.
Could it be that they had gone in circles this whole time and had returned back to their original location?
"Let's go take a look," whispered the black-dressed woman.
They had fallen from the surface because of the vortex that this commotion had stirred. Now that they were about to die, there was truly not much to fear, even if the area that produced the sound was dangerous.
As they continued to proceed forward, the muffled thunder became louder. How could such sounds be produced in such deep depths?
Soon, they came to a cavern that was relatively larger. They quickly saw everything in the cavern. There was a lake of churning dark gold lava. The deep lake was violent and the heat that it emitted burned their skin. It was impossible to approach.
Immediately after taking in the scene, Ru'er's eyes widened. She pointed toward the lava lake and shouted, "Martial Uncle, Martial Aunt, Senior Sister! Look there!"
Ru'er could not believe her eyes. She believed that there would be no one other than the Red Cauldron Sect in this god-forsaken place. However, there were others!
There were two people. One of them was lying on a boulder beside the lake while the other person was soaking in the deep lake.
In fact, the middle-aged man and the black-dressed woman had instantly noticed the two figures when they entered the cavern.
Unfortunately, the figure lying on the boulder did not show any signs of life. As for the one deep lake, how could a living person be soaking in it?
"So," said the middle-aged man with a sigh. "There are others as unlucky as us. That person lying there looks like a young girl but, from the looks of it, she's already dead. As for that one in the lake…I wonder how excruciating the pain is before his death."
The black-dressed woman looked at the two figures and felt like they would share the same fate.
As for Ru'er, she was feeling downtrodden. In their present condition, there was no way they could approach the lake, nor retrieve the two corpses that had met with misfortune.
It was then that the figure soaking in the lake suddenly stood up. There was a muffled thunder that came from within his body, as well as a sharp screech!
The man turned his head over and opened his eyes.
It was a pair of calm eyes. And in the deep recesses of his pupils were two gray flames that flickered strangely.
His gaze made the people from the Red Cauldron Sect jolt in fear!
He was actually alive!
And from the looks of it, he was extremely young. He was a youth not much older than the juniors of the Red Cauldron Sect.
Heavens, he was living in such a place? Cultivating? From the looks of it, he had been there for quite a period of time.
As for the girl in front of him, what were her circumstances?
Just as the group from the Red Cauldron Sect were shuddering in fear, the youth spoke, "What were you talking about earlier? Soul Nurturing Wood?"