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*Where am I anyway, why is there a sky in here, am I in that big tower?*
He tried scanning the surroundings with his senses again and picked up some life signs, but something was messing with his abilities so he couldn't really tell if it was a human being or not. He brought up his system map to check, but after pulling it up he just got an error message.
[ Error Error System map is being blocked by an outside source Error Error ]
*Wasn't this supposed to be some kind of super system, why isn't it working in here?*
He wanted to give his system window a smack but he would just be slapping the air. He also tried using his crafting abode but was constantly getting the nearby enemy prompt. It never went away though, making him think that the system might be considering this whole secret ground an enemy of some kind. The second option would be, that it was getting blocked like all the other system functions by the unknown force.
He decided to check the nearest life signal in the area, hoping that it was some of his clan members. He wouldn't take any chances though, he was ready for a fight. He hid his aura as much as possible and started sneaking with the sword in his hand already drawn and ready to slice and dice. There were some nice footwork manuals that his clan had, not everything required water elemental affinity so he could use some of the neutral ones.
His feet shuffled in a pattern as he moved closer, even if he stepped on some twigs they wouldn't snap alerting any enemies to his location. He came up to a big tree and could feel that the thing that he felt was on the other side, he could even sense some movement from it. He slowly wiggled next to the tree, trying to not get spotted by the potential enemy and peeked out to check.
*Wait... is that a... Goblin?*
Yes, it was something that Matt knew well, it was a creature that was a popular mob in a lot of games and novels alike. The goblin came up to his waist and was quite thin, it had a protruding belly and was wearing only a moist loincloth to cover its nether regions. It had no boots as you could see the calluses on its feet, the nails looked more like claws. It was carrying a short sword that was rusty and probably would break the moment it hit something hard. The other interesting thing besides that it was a goblin, was the system indication above its head.
[ Common Goblin (Formation Establishment Late stage) [ Summoned creature ] ]
*Why is a trash goblin mob in the formation establishment stage, even in the late one...and what is that summoned part?*
It was still weak, he could take it on without any problems but how would his clan members fair when the strongest person was at the great circle of foundation establishment. He really hoped that his clan members were sent to some other spot with weaker enemies if they run into a big group of these goblins they would get wiped out. While thinking about that he scanned the area, there were no other life signals close by so he decided to test things out.
He came out of his hiding spot, letting the Goblin spot him wondering what the creature would do. Would the thing gauge his superior battle aura and run away? Or would it blindly attack him instead? It did the latter part, it's beady eyes going red and it just charged at the larger man that was holding a sword. Matt didn't falter while just waiting, the monster charged jumping upwards and grasping its weapon with both hands as it brought it down with an overhead swing. The goblin was flying through the air, focused on its enemy but suddenly the man in front of it vanished. Appearing right next to it, the thing was mid-jump so it couldn't really stop itself now.
Matt slashed upward with his sword in a lazy fas.h.i.+on, cutting off the weaker goblins head. The creature's momentum sent it cras.h.i.+ng into a tree, its head went flying upwards and landed a couple of meters away from the fallen lower-body.
[ Common Goblin Slain ( Formation Establishment Late stage ) Earned 5 Spirit Points. ]
"What? How was that only 5 points?"
He wasn't sure if the system was just lowering his point count due to his cultivation level, or if he was getting fewer points because of the monsters having that 'Summoned' part in the name.
"This thing acted like a game monster, the moment I got into its line of sight it got aggroed."
He rubbed his chin and then poked the dead body with his sword, wondering if this thing would have a beast core in it. But after a few moments the body started vanis.h.i.+ng into light bubbles, nothing remained beside the used up loincloth and the sword that the creature was welding. Matt looked at the chipped weapon, getting surprised that it was a mortal graded item and even at the middle level. It looked like trash but was apparently deadly.
"This is bad if my clan members get jumped by these things..."
He started to worry, this goblin looked weak but was carrying good gear and could hold its own against a foundation establishment cultivator his Qi condensation juniors were in trouble if they were scattered around this palace as well. Time was of the essence so he decided to search for his team members, he wanted to take the rusted weapon that could be used as resources but couldn't put it into his storage ring.
He started running into more goblins, taking care of them with his sword skills. There was a problem though, the further he went into the forest and killed more of these trash mobs, the less he knew where he was. The area was covered with bushes and greenery so he had no way of telling where he was, his system map didn't work and his aura detection technique was getting blocked as well.
*d.a.m.n, I should have learned some regular tracking skills...am I running around in circles?*
He brought up his system window, but he couldn't use the cash shop either getting the same error message as before. This showed him how reliant on the system he really was. Before coming here he thought that if he ran into some trouble, he would just spend some points on some skills or items and that would be it. But now, he was left with only a sword in hand and couldn't even use his storage ring to get anything out.
*Guess next time I'll get a backpack...*
He thought while slicing the thick bushes with his sword using it like a machete to get through. The further he went in, the more goblins he came across, they were variations of the creatures. There were warrior variants, scouts and archers making him feel like he had changed genres and was now in an RPG world and not in a xianxia one. The goblins weren't the only things in here though, there were your typical slime monsters that spit acid at you, snake monsters that looked like vines. Luckily his detection skill still worked it just had limited range, so he could tell when something was trying to hide and pounce on him.
*Still, the monsters aren't giving me many points...*
He didn't get much more from even the warrior gobbos that were in the great circle stage, just between 6-10 points for them. He would need to kill hundreds of thousands of those things to get his upgrade at this rate, but he had other things to worry about. Where were his people? Was there something to eat around here? He had no water or food, though being a core formation expert he would last a couple of months without that by just meditating. Still, he would feel hungry and parched, he needed to at least find some water. This was a rain forest area so there shouldn't be a problem, it was even raining already.
He finally saw some light as he was walking out of the forest, he could see a narrow river and some rocks that lead into a hill. In that hill, he spotted a cave, something he could use as he didn't want to be stuck in this rain all day. It was also getting dark, so he headed inside. He was sure that there would be some kind of monster living in there, though he hoped that there wasn't goblin p.o.o.p all over the floor.
[ Large Fang Bear ( Core formation early stage ) [ Summoned creature ] ]
He got startled a bit, this was a core formation creature but he could still handle it. The monster growled at him and tried charging as it used its huge body to attack him. The cultivator just gathered his spiritual energy into his longsword and held it in a somewhat fencing position, he then thrust it forward releasing a condensed shockwave from the tip that punctured a hole in the monster's head.
*These things sure like to charge at you with no plan eh? and only 500 points for that thing?*
The bear dropped dead instantly, the glowy lights forming from it as it vanished into the ether. Matt wondered if everything in this dungeon area was a summoned creature, maybe he would have to find himself some fruits or berries to sustain himself. Also, he needed water, though that problem was solved by the clear spring that was close to this cave that he was in. It was still raining and was getting cold, the inside of the cave didn't lead anywhere, the only things he found inside were bones from some animals which made him think that some of them could be eaten and hunted.
He had been trekking for two days now, there was a day and night cycle and some strange creatures came out at night. He was concerned about his people, but even after spending the entire previous day and night, he still couldn't find anyone. This place was huge and he couldn't use his flying sword so he had to move on foot, there was also another problem.
When he tried to use his range javelin skill, throwing it high into the air. It started flickering and dissipating after about 100 meters. He wanted to see if this palace had a ceiling or if perhaps someone would notice his attack from afar. But due to this, he noticed that ranged attacks would fizzle up prematurely. Cultivators that were dependant on long-range skills would probably be severely weakened. The spiritual energy seamed to weaken the moment it left the cultivator, he was lucky that he always could go back to his body refining skill which left him unscathed from most attacks.
*Guess I'll stay here for the night.*
He wasn't sure how long he was in here, but it had been at least a day. He spotted some bamboo and having the knowledge of survival videos on his side, he knew exactly what to do. He found himself a st.u.r.dy looking bamboo pole and sliced it up so that the segmented parts weren't damaged. He then poked a hole on one side, which would be used for drinking while the bottom was left untouched. He was surprised at how st.u.r.dy the bamboo was, guess it was some special spirit bamboo. He also used the bamboo narrow top part as a cork to the bottle so that the water wouldn't spill outside and ended the whole construction with wrapping vines around it so that he could even carry it over his shoulder.
He filled it up, but before drinking, he examined the water wondering if he'd catch some parasites if he drunk it. Luckily for him, it looked clean and this bamboo was quite special as well, as it could resist his lightning energy somehow and was partly heat resistant. He could heat it up like an electric tea kettle, which meant that he could even make some tea if he found some good leaves. For now, he just drunk the boiled water and meditated, he didn't want to stay here for longer than he needed as he still was lost. He couldn't find anyone and he was even meeting core formation monsters from this point on.
The night went by without much happening, so he filled up his water bottle and went further in. He started running into stronger and stronger monsters the more he traveled, there was quite an abundance of core formation monsters now. They weren't giving him many points though, but not like he could spend it on much at the moment with the cash shop closed. After three more days of travel, he felt something. There was a large gathering of life signals in a spot about a kilometer away from his position, from the type of the signal he reasoned that it were probably goblins but there was one that was a lot stronger than the others.
"Is it a boss? Maybe a goblin king?"
He couldn't really tell as he was still far away, so he slowed his pace and hid his aura sneaking up at the goblin encampment. He shuffled up getting closer and closer while almost falling to his doom as there was a large river below him while the goblins were on the other side, separated by a deep chasm. He could see their dwellings built into the side of the chasm, there were stairs leading up where he could see more of the green skins. They were gathering in a spot and they looked like there were preparing a feast with a large cauldron in the middle.
But then he noticed something, there was a different life signal coming from there, it felt like a human. He used his enhanced vision to zoom in on the area, spotting a person there. This person was getting carried by two larger looking goblins, though they looked more like a hobgoblin. The person had their hands and feet bound to a large log and the monsters were carrying them out like a hunted deer. He could see the person's status, so he knew that they were alive, so he would help them. This was the first human that he came across after almost a week of traveling alone, maybe they had some answers. Also, he wouldn't just let the monsters eat someone if he could stop it.