Chapter 1072: Cold Pool
The Great Snowy Mountains weren’t called that because of the present snowstorm; that was what the towering and precipitous ridges were actually called.
The elevation was high, the conditions were vile, and the mountains were permanently covered in snow; that was why they were called the Great Snowy Mountains.
The highest peak of the Great Snowy Mountains was called the Great Snowy Peak.
Not only was it covered in snow year-round; at sunrise, only that peak alone would be bathed in sunlight and glow with dazzling golden brilliance.
That was why the native tribes and fiend races all viewed the Great Snowy Peak as a sacred mountain.
There had been many legends related to the place since ancient times.
For example, there were some tribes that believed a deity had been born there; some tribes’ saints were believed to have received enlightenment there; some believed their god had descended there when they entered the mortal world…
There were many such legends and rumors.
Even though the cultivators of this world were much stronger than ordinary humans, the Great Snowy Mountains’ biting cold blizzards were still not an environment humans could live in.
Together with the various beasts that roamed the area and the presence of certain mysterious forbidden regions, even though there were still some who wished to make a pilgrimage to Great Snowy Peak, very few returned alive.
The two of them had already been climbing the mountain for a while, but they were still only in the outer region of the Great Snowy Mountains.
They hadn't reached the forbidden regions yet.
“I cannot help but feel that this place is a bit strange.
We need to be careful.” Yu Yanluo looked around and warned Zu An.
The Great Snowy Mountains had too many mysteries surrounding them, so she didn’t dare to treat the place lightly.
Zu An said reassuringly, “The fact that it is strange means we came to the right place.
It seems we are getting closer to the truth.”
Yu Yanluo was stunned.
Then, she smiled and said, “You are surprisingly optimistic.”
The two of them chatted as they looked around.
In the end, they stopped at a cave.
Zu An remarked, “This was where they disappeared just now.
This should be the place.”
All that remained so high up in the Great Snowy Mountains were blizzards and snowstorms.
It was difficult for Zu An to even find any smaller creatures to control.
Fortunately, there were some faint footprints leading toward the cave, so it was likely the right place.
Yu Yanluo agreed, saying, “Be careful.”
Even though they had the cover of the snowstorm, Jian Taiding and Uncle Ming were crafty individuals.
It was hard to say whether they had noticed that they were being tailed, and thus set up an ambush inside.
Zu An nodded.
He exercised full vigilance as he and Yu Yanluo snuck into the cave.
The howling wind and snow outside disappeared as soon as they entered.
It was shockingly silent inside, as if they had entered another world.
The stone walls of the cave were bluish-white like jade, but also like ice.
Yu Yanluo couldn't help but shiver.
She hugged herself, grabbing her own shoulders tightly.
Zu An couldn't hold her hands in that position, so he pressed his hand against her back.
A stream of warmth entered her body.
A flash of redness entered Yu Yanluo’s face.
She had covered her chest before on purpose because she was worried that Zu An would see she was cold, then grab her hand to transmit heat again.
Even though their relationship wasn’t bad, old habits weren’t so easily shaken.
She still wasn’t too used to physical contact with other men.
However, she hadn’t expected him to still be so enthusiastic, putting his hand against her back.
Still, Zu An had done it out of good intentions, and her back wasn’t a sensitive and private place, so she couldn't really blame him.
She spoke to him through ki transmission in order to hide her embarrassment.
“The strange cold we felt earlier should be coming from here.
But this is so strange; I have resided in Cloudcenter Commandery for so many years, and yet I have never heard of this kind of cave existing here.”
“The Great Snowy Mountains are so large; it’s unsurprising that madam doesn’t know about it.” Zu An replied seriously.
“This place is strange; there might be trouble ahead.
Yu Yanluo nodded slightly, then took the lead.
That way, she could free herself from the palm that had left her embarrassed.
Zu An quickly followed along.
The further in they went, the colder it became.
Yu Yanluo wanted to stay a bit further away from Zu An at first, but as time went on, even her long lashes were starting to be covered in a layer of frost.
She found herself unknowingly leaning against him.
Zu An couldn't help but smile. This woman’s body is surprisingly honest. He held her soft hand again, sending in heat.
A bit of color quickly returned to Yu Yanluo’s pale cheeks, making her already gorgeous face look even more tender and beautiful.
Just then, they heard a burst of intense coughing in the distance.
It was followed by Jian Taiding’s faint curses.
“Damn it all! Why is this place so cold!”
He was a master rank cultivator, so he should have been able to resist such cold.
But he had been seriously injured not too long before, making it somewhat difficult for him to tolerate the place in his current state.
Zu An and Yu Yanluo’s eyes lit up.
They had found their targets after all.
“The duke insisted on returning here while at death’s door.
I have always found this place a bit strange.
Second master, be careful.” Uncle Ming clearly sounded cautious.
Zu An was startled when he heard that.
It seemed this was where Cloudcenter Duke had been buried after all! With Yu Yanluo’s support, his act really had fooled them! He looked at Yu Yanluo excitedly, but saw that she looked dispirited.
There was a hint of sadness between her brows.
Only then did Zu An remember that Jian Yanyou had been her husband.
Even though it was only in name, they had worked together for so long that they were good friends.
Now that it was confirmed that her missing friend had died, she would obviously feel grief.
Zu An patted Yu Yanluo’s hand in consolation, and she snapped out of her daze.
She collected her thoughts and continued forward.
They passed through what seemed like a tunnel.
The opening at the other end led to a spacious area.
The voice had come from there.
Zu An felt conflicted.
If they went in immediately without knowing the details of what was inside, they might be discovered by Jian Taiding and Uncle Ming.
However, he wouldn’t know what happened inside if he didn't go in.
He tried to use the jade badge to look for little creatures, but once again, there were no such creatures present.
Yu Yanluo took out a sparkling and translucent stone.
It was the recording stone from before.
She gestured for Zu An to hide in a corner with her, then carefully extended the recording stone.
It wasn’t big at all, so unless the two villains focused on their direction, they wouldn’t notice anything.
Then, she took out another recording stone carved with some complicated runes.
She arranged the two pieces in a special manner, and a soft beam of light emerged from them and hit the wall on the other side.
The image displayed a clear scene.
It was a spacious area the size of several soccer fields.
Because of the surrounding light blue ice, there was good visibility in the cave.
Sharp icicles that were several meters long hung overhead.
Some fell from time to time, dropping from several dozen meters above.
Even a cultivator might be impaled to death if they were caught off guard.
However, when the dangerous icicles hit the ground, they exploded into endless shards of ice, but the floor below took no damage at all.
The ground was somewhat rugged, with strange stones everywhere.
However, there was a pool deep inside the area.
Above the pool hung a giant icicle that was several dozen meters long.
Calling it an icicle wasn’t all that suitable, however, because it looked more like one of the stalactites from the karst caves in the south.
But the area was bitterly cold, so how could there be stalactites The icicle was much larger than the others, weighing down on the area like Mt.
It almost felt as if the entire place would be destroyed if it fell.
However, Zu An and Yu Yanluo were more curious about something else.
How could there be a pool in such a cold place It should have frozen over a long time ago.
Meanwhile, Jian Taiding and Uncle Ming were standing in front of the pool, staring at it in a daze.
“I really did not want to come back here again.” Jian Taiding’s voice was shaking a bit; perhaps it was because of the cold, or because of his guilt.
“I did not want to either,” Uncle Ming added after having remained silent for some time.
“But we have no choice because of that imposter.”
“Then I will have to trouble you to go down.
I am still injured, so I might not be able to endure the cold pool’s power,” Jian Taiding said as he looked toward the pool; he was clearly a bit apprehensive.
Uncle Ming was a bit hesitant, but he still nodded and replied, “Fine!”
He made some preparations, and after warming himself up, he jumped straight into the pool.
A while later, he returned with a large chunk of ice.
He was dripping wet, and the water began to freeze at a visible rate as soon as he climbed ashore.
He immediately used his ki while moving toward a bonfire that had already been prepared beforehand.
Only then did he snap out of his daze and ecclaim, “Second master, the duke’s corpse is still here.
That man was an imposter after all!”