Chapter 1367 Inkdeep Valley
As the most frightening point of spatial weakness in the east of the continent, this place was a natural land of death.
Looking from high above in the air, Inkdeep Valley looked like a massive gash left upon the black earth. It was slightly wider in the center and tapered off at the ends, stretching for nearly fifty kilometers. There were no signs of any greenery within several kilometers.
Wisps of black mist emanated from the depths of the valley, even in broad daylight, obscuring what was happening down there.
According to the historical records kept by the Adept’s Association, Inkdeep Valley was not a natural valley. It was one that had been created by a single sword slash. It was a scar left behind from the battles of the Great Adepts of ancient times.
As this slash’s might had been too powerful, the principle powers contained within it had lasted up to the present. Despite the World of Adept’s self-regenerative abilities, the damaged planar laws here had yet to be entirely restored after all these years.
Thus, Inkdeep Valley became a place of extremely chaotic planar laws.
At this moment, numerous war towers stood along both sides of the massive rift that was Inkdeep Valley. The adept towers’ light could be seen everywhere, piercing through the mists and illuminating the scenery below.
Large groups of magical eyes patrolled above the valley, continually monitoring for changes below.
The so-called Inkdep Valley didn’t exist here on the surface, but ten thousand meters down in the valley’s depths.
That was where the planar law chains had been severed, causing space itself to be thrown into turbulence and the flow of time to fluctuate wildly.
The fifty-meter-long spacetime rift still constantly fluctuated, even today. Thousands of tiny spatial tremors would occur in the nearby space, creating a myriad of illusory effects and spacetime vortices.
Countless adepts had come here to study the changes in spacetime over the past tens of thousands of years, but none of them had returned with anything to show for their efforts. The few individuals that got too close to the spacetime rift had been dragged into it and vanished entirely, never to be seen again.
Some had tried to pass straight through Inkdeep Valley. Half the time, they found themselves outside the World of Adepts’ planar barrier after passing through the rift. Of course, the other half had likely been teleported to a random corner of the universe. Moreover, the location of the teleportation through the spacetime rift was different every time. There were no patterns to speak of.
It seemed like this spacetime rift was exactly what it was claimed to be– a rift created by the destruction of mighty principle powers from an adept of ancient times. There was nothing particularly unusual about it beyond that.
Most of the time, the Adept’s Association kept the spacetime rift beneath Inkdeep Valley sealed. However, this didn’t stop unusual things from emerging every so often.
With the magic surge’s arrival, the Adept’s Association’s seals had been broken, and the rift was active once again.
A series of strange and powerful monsters and magical creatures emerged from the spacetime rift with every wave of the magic surge. These monsters would roam the bottom of the valley and fight each other. Occasionally, some of the more powerful creatures would charge out of the valley and attempt to break into Association territory.
When that happened, the war towers above the valley would fire with all their might!
It hadn’t even been a month since the eruption of the magic surge, but the pile of magical creature corpses at the bottom of the valley was already a dozen meters thick. Corpses also littered the exit to the valley, the ground scarred by terrifying marks left behind by elementium bombardment.
The patrol in the sky used to be formed by squads of Association adepts. However, ever since a squad of adepts had been lured into the valley by the gaze of a particularly powerful magical creature to become fodder, the patrolling was left entirely to the magical eyes.
Association adepts released magical eyes from the safety of the war towers, covering the entire valley and monitoring every single change in the spacetime rift.
Occasionally, high-grade Association adepts would lead elite parties into the valley to exterminate the magical creatures piling up in there. They wanted to prevent them from establishing any kind of order and organization that would make them even more challenging to deal with.
Every time this happened, Inkdeep Valley turned into a battleground filled with blood and slaughter!
Inkdeep. A demon’s abyss soaked with blood as dark as ink.
Dense mist roamed before the eyes.
An acrid and pungent odor lingered in the polluted air.
The odor was so strong and overpowering that an ordinary person would suffocate to death in moments.
The black earth beneath their feet was obscured by the innumerable corpses below them. The Association party was literally stepping over corpses as they advanced.
This party only had seventeen members, but three were Fourth Grade, and the rest were Third Grade. It was an unbelievably powerful squad of adepts.
Even the weakest member of the party was an intermediate Third Grade. Such power alone would have qualified that adept as a clan leader of a mid-sized clan in the Central Lands. Here, he was no more than a porter meant to collect magical resources.
It was Fourth Grade Body-Refining Adept Horner who walked at the forefront, followed swiftly by Fourth Grade Elementium Adept Schreiber. The third Fourth Grade adept was Neve. She was the last person in the formation, in charge of covering the rear.
The rest of the party members were all Third Grade, without even a single Second Grade to drag them down. These Third Grades covered almost every single profession found in the adept power system, from array masters to sealing masters to psionics and enchanters. They were a versatile and well-rounded team.
The three Fourth Grades in charge of combat were also a well-balanced team. Body-Refining Adept Horner was the tank, Fire Adept Schreiber was the offense, and they had the more versatile Bloodline Adept Neve. Even a combat squad like this was very well-rounded, capable of dealing with any situation that came up while also retaining the necessary combat force.
The incredible might of the Adept’s Association could not be more evident than here!
The party had been proceeding toward the bottom of the valley along a steep slope ever since they entered the valley. Greenish-brown steelrock was in the valley’s walls around them as they walked, carved with numerous defensive arrays.
These arrays were to prevent some of the more unusual magical creatures from tunneling into the earth and escaping Inkdeep Valley that way.
As they walked, it became obvious that many magical creatures had emerged from the rift over the past few weeks. Several deep claw marks and signs of damage could be seen in the sturdy stone walls around them.
The adept with the lowest grade in the party was a female adept. She wore skintight white leather armor and had her hair in a ponytail. She held a half-meter-long wand with a tip that constantly glowed with lights of different colors.
All of a sudden, she pointed her crystal wand at a pile of corpses beside her, and the tip of the wand glowed deep purple.
“My lord, there’s the corpse of a flame salamence over there!” The adept hurriedly cried out.
“A flame salamence,” Schreiber, who was walking second in the formation, couldn’t help but stop and give out orders, “I want its hearts. You can collect what other parts you find useful! Riven, Garr, the two of you protect her!”
Two adepts bowed at the same time and escorted the female adept toward the pile of corpses. Meanwhile, the other members of the party spread around, resting silently as they waited for the organ harvesting to be completed.
While Inkdeep Valley caused enormous trouble for the Adept’s Association, it also brought them incredible benefits. That benefit was the wealth of magical creature resources from all over the universe.
Many of these magical creatures were monsters not found in the World of Adepts. Their magical organs and body components had incredible research value for high-grade adepts. It was only natural for them to harvest some resources every time they took a trip like this.
While they were waiting silently in place, Body-Refining Adept Horner frowned. He flickered and appeared in the center of the valley’s narrow path, gazing straight into the turbulent mists below.
The other members of the party were veterans as well. Through their own means, they had all picked up on the abnormality below. They took up positions and prepared for a battle.
Schreiber stood firmly at the center of the formation, palms facing upward as fire gathered above them. Two blazing fires could also be seen more clearly in his eyes.
The trembling of the earth was becoming more prominent.
Suddenly, the mist parted as a gigantic creature ten meters in height lunged out from within. It tackled Horner with agile movements.
“Careful…its a corpse hound!” Schreiber was instantly able to identify their attacker with his knowledge.
Corpse hounds were undead creatures created by fanatical necromancers or death gods. They were dogs whose bodies, upon closer inspection, would be revealed to be sewn out of countless rotting human corpses.
The process of creating a corpse hound was incredibly cruel and horrifying. These human corpses might be long dead, but they would still let out haunting cries and death throes every so often, making every witness to their screams quake in fear.
The corpse hound that the adept party had run into was a powerful Fourth Grade undead. Moreover, it was one with its own aura of fear.
The corpse hound charged at Horner without any hesitation when it emerged from the mists.
Horner’s gaze turned sharp. He took a big breath, and his right arm swelled several times in size, becoming as large as a giant’s arm.
He let out a roaring bellow.
Horner stomped forward with his feet and extended his right arm, meeting the Fourth Grade corpse hound’s tackle head-on.
Just as Horner’s overwhelming strength blew back the corpse hound, Schreiber waved both his hands. A series of fireballs exploded on the monstrosity’s body.
The other members of the party also took out wands and scrolls, drowning the corpse hound’s position in a barrage of spells.