Chapter 293 – Calm Area
Shang traveled through the tunnel at a slow pace. In comparison to the upper Caves, this place was far quieter since there were far fewer beasts running around.
Just like with warriors and Mages, the further one traversed on the path to power, the fewer beings on the same level one would find.
There were probably over ten times as many General Stage beasts than Commander Stage beasts. So, while the upper Caves had the occasional beast running around, the deeper Caves felt empty.
But this couldn’t be avoided. In order to advance on the path to power, one was required to consume more and more resources. Every Commander Stage beast had probably killed hundreds of other beasts in their lives.
Shang didn’t find any other beast for several minutes, even with the help of his Darkness Vision.
But after 30 minutes, Shang finally felt something of interest.
However, it wasn’t a beast.
Shang looked towards the north with interest.
He wasn’t sure what he was feeling, but this feeling felt strange.
‘Am I imagining things?’ Shang thought as he looked to the north. ‘I can’t see anything in my Darkness Vision, but I somehow feel like I should go to the north.’
For a while, Shang wasn’t sure if this feeling was real or not.
‘I should investigate. If I get closer and the feeling is real, it should become stronger.’
Shang walked down one of the northern paths and consulted his map again when he came to an intersection.
For a couple of minutes, Shang chose paths that led further to the north, but it wasn’t that easy to navigate, even with a map.
Shang went a bit deeper into the Caves, but he didn’t descend too much. After all, he didn’t want to meet Mid Commander Stage beasts.
“I can feel ore,” Sword suddenly said.
Sword very rarely spoke, and Shang looked at it in surprise. “What kind of ore?”
“Entropy Ore,” Sword answered. “It is the same feeling as back when we were in front of the Old King’s Trial, but this time, the feeling is incomparably stronger.”
“Does the feeling come from the north?” Shang asked.
“Yes,” Sword said.
Shang furrowed his brows. ‘Weird, I couldn’t feel the ore in the Old King’s Trial. As far as I know, I can only-‘
And then, Shang’s eyes narrowed. ‘Could it be?’
Shang remembered the last Day of Chaos he had participated in. Back then, Shang had felt very similar to now.
During the last Day of Chaos, Shang had felt the Abomination in the Northern Ice Wyvern Zone.
Shang looked to the north. ‘Am I feeling an Abomination? But how? Abominations are only supposed to appear during the Day of Chaos, and that is still about two months away.’
‘Even more, I’m not the only one hunting down here. If there were an Abomination here, the other warriors and Mages would have already found it.’
Nevertheless, Shang decided to investigate. Even if there were no Abomination, the ore would still be useful.
Shang continued traveling to the north, consulting his map several times.
When Shang entered a particular tunnel, he noticed something on the map that he hadn’t noticed before.
‘The Calm Area?’ Shang thought.
The area where Shang had just entered was colored in a slight blue hue. The blue hue stretched for about five kilometers and was round.
This area was called the Calm Area, and there was a short note beside the name.
‘Nearly no beasts,’ Shang read.
At that point, Shang realized why there were so few beasts. Sure, there were fewer Commander Stage beasts, but traveling 30 minutes without seeing one was still a bit weird.
Additionally, even though Shang had traveled for 30 minutes, he wasn’t walking very fast, and he was walking in circles at different depths. He hadn’t been inside the Calm Zone until now, but he had been rather close to it.
‘Beasts can feel Abominations. Usually, they attack them when they see them, but if an Abomination is far above their level, they probably avoid it,’ Shang thought.
‘I feel an Abomination from the north, and the center of the Calm Area also happens to be to the north?’ Shang thought with furrowed brows. ‘This doesn’t seem like a coincidence.’
Shang continued walking to the north in as straight of a line as possible.
He didn’t meet any beasts.
Eventually, Shang reached a dead end and had to go around it.
Shang traveled to the northeast for about two kilometers before he stopped.
‘Okay, the direction has definitely changed,’ Shang thought.
Right now, Shang was to the east of the center of the Calm Area.
And where did the feeling come from?
At that point, Shang decided to grab one of the many pieces of coal and took out his map.
Shang closed his eyes and focused on the feeling.
Then, he drew a straight line through the entire Calm Zone on the map according to his feeling.
After that, Shang went to the southwest again.
Every kilometer, Shang drew another line according to his feeling.
Lastly, he traveled to the western side of the Calm Zone.
And then, Shang stopped and looked at the map.
Five black lines of different directions went through the entire Calm Zone…
And all five lines met at the same spot.
However, the point where they met was in the middle of nowhere. There were simply no tunnels or caves in that area.
Shang took out the next map, the one for the even deeper Caves.
He put both maps above each other and compared them.
Shang’s eyebrows rose when he saw the maps.
‘The upper and lower areas in the Commander Stage part of the Caves both have an about two-kilometer-wide circle with no caves.’
‘All the caves avoid this circle, and in the middle of that circle should be my target.’
One had to remember that the Caves were over a hundred kilometers wide. A two-kilometer-wide circle wasn’t very noticeable on a map covering such a huge area.
Lastly, Shang took out the map for the General Stage area of the Caves.
However, this time, there was no circle.
The General Stage area was completely normal.
‘This means that this entire thing only starts at about this depth, which should be six to seven kilometers deep.’
By now, Shang was certain that there was something here, but he also realized several other things.
‘Such a strange area as the Calm Area obviously didn’t go unnoticed,’ he thought as he scratched his chin, looking at the map. ‘The Mages definitely thoroughly researched and analyzed this area, and they definitely noticed this empty circle.’
‘I refuse to believe that they didn’t try to dig to that location.’
‘Yet, the maps say nothing about this place. If there is something threatening this place, the maps would say so.’
Shang looked more closely at the map. ‘If I were a team of researchers, I would get to the closest location to the center and dig from there, which would be… there!’
Shang noticed one small cave that ended in a dead-end, pointing at the circle. It was to the southeast of the circle, and it was around another 500 meters further down, which should still be safe for Shang.
‘Let’s check it out.’