Chapter One Hundred Forty-one, Impermanence At Play, the Past of Immortals and Demons. (⽆常作弄, 仙魔往事)
The black cloak quietly stood across from He Qing Chuan. There was no might he could be letting out, but simply by standing there, the surrounding space slightly warped, like it received some formless influence.
Wherever he stood, that area’s world would start being corroded by the darkness.
“Jiu Xuan Sect’s executioner?” The black cloak opened his mouth. His voice did not seem to be transmitting from vocal cord vibrations, but instead seemed to come directly from hell—— in any case, it didn’t seem like a living person’s voice.
“Executioner(blade-holder), not so much, I am merely looking after the blade for someone else.” He Qing Chuan swayed the jar of wine in his hands. There was not much left, and with a lift of the head, he poured down all the wine, “What a joke, I didn’t think that in this era, you people of the very first Eighteen Clans of Old, would be reduced to associating with those people, those existences that want to personally call upon your end.”
“The demons of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals have also become Jin Tang’s secret guards now?” He Qing Chuan finished the final bit of wine, and tossed the jar of wine away.
When the black cloak appeared, the suspicions that were slowly forming before this finally received confirmation for the first time—— the ones who joined hands with those people who spread out the so-called “Heaven’s Net”, were most certainly the remaining demons from the severance of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals.
All that the demons and immortals of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals were, was just a label on the surface.
They were all the first group of people to steal the ancient emperors’ strength.
Of those people who seized the ancient emperors’ powers, some succeeded, and later, they were called immortals. Some failed, and their bodies underwent a terrifying change, and they were then called demons. If those people who schemed in secret had the figures of “demons” among them, then many things could be explained.
No matter how the current legends wrote about the demons on the surface, in the very beginning, they were all certainly the very first members of the Eighteen Clans of Old. Their power directly originated from the ancient emperors, and when the differentiation of immortals and demons did not appear yet, they were the Eighteen Clans of Old too. Within the era of Chaos, they also directly participated in plan after plan of killing the ancient emperors.
Thus, if those people scheming in secret obtained the “demons’” aid, then knowing the locations of the ancient emperors’ burial grounds, being able to draw in the revival of the ancient emperors’ will, was not something hard to understand.
Such painstaking efforts! This net that was falling down on Jiu Xuan and the immortal sects.
“We are only taking back, what belongs to us.”
The surrounding liquid-like black fog around the black cloak soundlessly spread out, and the clearing in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million was being swallowed by the darkness inch by inch. The black cloak’s voice seemed like it transmitted from all over, ghastly and thick, and in the next moment, a wrath that seemed like it accumulated for a long time suddenly burst out, and the tone suddenly turned shrill like a steel needle.
Freezing cold, resentful, like giant waves that suddenly billowed up to the surface of a large sea.
That viscous liquid-like black fog erupted out at the same time, and the overspreading darkness, like layers upon layers of thick clouds pressing down, shrouded over the Mausoleum of Ten Million that was burning with Ye fire.
“These soils…… are not yours, they are ours!”
A terrifying might finally burst out, and fierce winds suddenly swept up. The sturdy rocks on the ground emerged with splitting lines like spider webs in a succession of “ka cha ka cha” sounds, and black demonic aura sprung up from the crevices, then spun into countless black little snakes swimming on the surface, heading towards He Qing Chuan in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
In an instant, He Qing Chuan only felt a pressure like the deep sea coming down from the skies, like he could hear his bones letting out crackling sounds.
He was the present-day Jiu Xuan Sect’s elder, however, in front of these demons left from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals—— these failed Eighteen Clans, he was completely in the position of the one being suppressed.
However, it was also at this time that the clearing in front of the Mausoleum suddenly lit up with a bright radiance from the place everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect died as the center. Lines and lines of the formation emerged, and a silver light exploded from the floor like balls of thunder.
The black cloak’s icy and ruthless sound was still echoing in the air, like this voice already forcefully melted into the world. And when the lines of the formation lit up, the atmosphere of the place where the few people of Jiu Xuan Sect sat suddenly shook a bit, continuously buzzing, and in the next moment, the sound of several people reciting 《Tai Yi Record》 aloud resounded at the same time as the illumination.
A faint light emitted from Jiu Xuan Sect people’s corpses.
The pressure on He Qing Chuan alleviated all of a sudden, but the hand he gripped the sabre with abruptly trembled a bit.
Within those resounding voices, he caught a seemingly eternally lax, eternally free-spirited tone.
Guan Zhi Yu.
This was when the Jiu Xuan Sect disciples who died sitting here recited the 《Tai Yi Record》 together, and the name of the formation they placed down was: Tai Yi Divinities Formation. They used their bodies as
formation nodes, used their own souls as an augmentation, and read the
ancient scripture, engraving the scripture of suppressing all beings onto this space.
As long as the space did not perish, the scripture would forever exist, and the entire world forever suppressed.
When the formation activated, the sound of the initial recitation would resonate along with it. After so many years, He Qing Chuan finally heard Guan Zhi Yu’s voice once again.
He closed eyes, rotated the sabre, then reached out and gripped the blade’s body, and swiped from top to bottom. Blood poured out, and seeped into the edge of the sabre.
Inside the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
Elder Jiu sat down in a cross-legged position, and sat inside a warping space’s passageway, facing against a grand vast sea-like pressure of an ancient emperor. The long robes on his body fluttered loudly, and the hood had already fallen off.
Underneath the hood was an extremely young face, but between the forehead was a pretty flame. At this time, the flame was a red colour, slowly pulsing.
It was the person Bai Li Shu once saw in the library pavilion, Wen Ren Jiu.
He was sitting down, while his surroundings spread with endless and boundless flames, fighting against the pressure that slowly rolled out from the burial grounds of the ancient emperor through the spacial passage. His forehead slowly came out with fine cold sweat. By his side, the fires of Ye raged and burned on, like even the space itself could be burned altogether.
Why Yi He Ping would choose to ask him to come assist Jun Wan Bai and the other two to take the 《Three Wise Emperors’ Map 》, was because he cultivated in the Ye fire.
Ye fire, in the sayings of the immortal cultivation realm, was the trial the world gave to the immortal cultivators who dared to seek longevity through Heaven-defying means. However, after ascertaining that truth concealed by the layers upon layers of history, all the way back to the original source, the immortal cultivators’ strength rose from the very first Eighteen Clans who stole the ancient emperors’ strength.
The immortal cultivator’s strength originated from the ancient emperors, thus, the so-called Ye fire was also not some trial the world had for the immortal cultivators.
That was the wrath and curse the ancient emperors had towards all the people who dared to seize their power.
After peeling away the many grand and majestic layers, the truth was this barren, and did not carry a sliver of glory. The Ye fire was one of the decrees that the ancient emperors left, and Wen Ren Jiu who refined the Ye fire, to a certain degree, could deceive the ancient emperors’ senses. So, Wen Ren Jiu would not directly face the ancient emperor’s killing intent, he only needed to keep off its pressure. However, ancient emperors of the era of Chaos themselves were able to order the world, while the leftover graces of a bit of research into the ancient emperors’ power was able to bear the current era’s flourishing immortal cultivation civilization.
How could keeping off this kind of existence’s might be some simple matter?
Especially when this was the erupted ancient emperor’s will after the 《Three Wise Emperors Drawing》 was drawn out.
This operation was just like dancing on the tip of a blade, risky and dangerous, with ominous dangers rising from all sides.
The Ye fire that accompanied Wen Ren Jiu for many years swept around in front of him, slightly similar to the flames on top of the plume of a phoenix.
Wen Ren Jiu bore the pressure that gradually came out stronger as time passed from the passage with a calm expression, yet the cold sweat on his forehead already gathered bit by bit and slid down from his cheeks.
He was thinking about some things.
Regarding demons—— those failures who were of the first to steal the ancient emperors’ strength.
In the very beginning, demons also belonged within the scope of the Eighteen Clans. They merely underwent a terrifying change, and turned into something like a monster, but at the same time, also took hold of an enormous power. They were also the very first rebels to kill the ancient emperors, and within the long period of time, they were even more resolute than the people of the Eighteen Clans who succeeded, and even more unfearful of death. Just when…… did the differentiation appear?
It was later on, as ancient emperors fell one after another, that the laws of the world gradually changed with the ancient emperors’ fall, and those failed first bunch of people in the Eighteen Clans who at the same time obtained strength, appeared with deterioration—— they were still not yet called demons then—— started gradually losing control.
Gradually losing their reasoning.
It was at this time, they were then called demons by the commoners who did not know the inside story.
The differentiation of immortals and demons rose up from here. That it even, in the final period of the era of Ten Thousand
Immortals, gave rise to the matter of the Three Emperors taking advantage of the gradually senseless demons to inflict heavy losses on the Eighteen Clans.
—— After ancient emperors, the demons had also become a killing tool that threatened the people.
The fight between the immortals and demons that circulated in today’s era also started from then- the ancient emperors were only left with the final three, with the lingering ones maintaining the remnant glory of the era of Chaos, and the Eighteen Clans of Old started a purge against demons.
Wen Ren Jiu surmised, it was precisely this battle that erupted out internally within the Old Clans that gave the final three emperors an opportunity.
The severance of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, should be related with that fight of immortals and demons.
The matters here was far too hidden, Wen Ren Jiu only received some information in the process of refining the Ye fire, but as for what exactly happened back then, he did not know either. Only……
To brandish swords and blades against former comrades-in-arms, that purge, just from looking at the bits and pieces of remaining records in the secret territories, one would only feel it was incomparably dreary, incomparably heavy.
Matters of the world were impermanent, yet the impermanence of worldly matters was this…… ridiculing.
The final result was considered the Eighteen Clans’ victory, and after the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the figures of demons already disappeared from the top of the land of the twelve dynasties like the ancient emperors, and immortal cultivators carried out the orders the immortals put down every generation—— suppress all things related with demons.
However, those who disappeared too, included the people of the Old Clans who succeeded back then.
The Eighteen Clans of Old that did that many world-shocking things concealed their figures in history just like that. The world did not know, the commonfolk did not know, thus becoming an ancient secret.
And the Eighteen Clans of Old, only remained with scattered and few bloodlines.
 诸天- back in chapter 102, I ended up translating this as the entire world/sky, and while that interpretation itself is not wrong, in the context of Buddhism, this term also refers to all(诸) the gods/god-like beings(天⼈), to which English borrows the Pali-Bhasa word, devata (or deva, for a singular
 瀚海- you think with so much water and reference to the ocean, it must refer to a body of water or something as vast as the ocean. It did before, but now it largely refers to a big desert, specifically a place as vast as the Gobi desert.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-two, a Short Grave, Unable to Remain. (⼀
Wen Ren Jiu remembered when Shen Ye would occasionally talk about these things with him, and use a mocking tone to ask him, “What do you think, is it hilarious or not?”
What was hilarious? What was not hilarious?
Shen Ye. By now, this name was already known by very few, but in the beginning, this name spread all throughout the land of the twelve dynasties. It was the name of that renowned number one weapon-smith of that time.
The bow called “Golden Crow” in later legends was something he used his entire life to craft after walking through the lands of the twelve dynasties- a longbow modelled after the ancient divine bow of Setting Sun. When the Golden Crow longbow was forged, those within a hundred miles could see an apparition of a golden crow soaring up to the skies.
The common people only knew that the Golden Crow was modelled after the divine bow of Setting Sun, but only Wen Ren Jiu knew the secret behind it.
Shen Ye created the Golden Crow bow, not to reproduce the magnificence of the divine bow of Setting Sun, but…… but for a much more insane plot. He wanted to draw out that Setting Sun divine bow covered in countless secret mysteries.
The myths passed down orally through the common people actually denoted that distant history from the far-past eras. If one said that in the era of Chaos, the ancient emperors were that sun up in the skies ruling over the commoners, then the Setting Sun longbow that made the ancient emperors fall, actually shot down the scorching sun.
In that distant, heavily-concealed history, only left with varying remnant pictures in old broken spaces, the Setting Sun longbow’s shadows would continuously appear. And every time it appeared, it would accompany the destruction of the imperial cities, and the ancient emperors’ fall.
The Setting Sun longbow, in stages after stages of horror-striking massacres in the era of Chaos, played a very important role.
And this kind of longbow, was lost after the end of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals.
Shen Ye, he wanted to draw out this kind of longbow.
Why the 《Three Wise Emperors’ Map’s》 rubbing could become an extremely incredible spiritual tool, was because when something reached the level of the imperial map as an ancient divine item, the existence itself would be close to a kind of law, thus, it would create an invisible kind of resonance with a shadow of itself. Shen Ye speculated, since the Setting Sun longbow played an important role in each of the killings, its existence
should be not much different from the 《Three Wise Emperors’ Map》.
Now that he thought about it, Shen Ye should have already perceived the abnormalities with the burial grounds of the ancient emperors at that time.
Back then, Wen Ren Jiu asked Shen Ye, why did he have to be so fixed on drawing out the Setting Sun longbow? “I want to verify something.” Was how Shen Ye answered.
Before Shen Ye bid farewell, and started creating the Golden Crow longbow alone, they entered a secret territory together that was related to the era of Chaos. In a cave deep underneath the ground, the stone walls were engraved with an ancient wall drawing.
Shen Ye held up the torch, and illuminated a part of the drawing.
On that part of the wall, a person with their back to everyone holding a longbow, was walking toward a stone pillar that connected to the heavens and the earth. On the drawing, that person was dressed in a long robe, wearing a bamboo hat, veiling their face.
The hands held that longbow that repeatedly appeared in the era of Chaos and Ten Thousand Immortals, the Setting Sun.
The reason why Wen Ren Jiu and Shen Ye would become good friends, was because the two studied the Eighteen Clans of Old for many years together. On the surface, Shen Ye was a weapon-smith with nowhere to belong to, but in truth was Jiu Xuan Sect’s secret elder, wearing black long robes and travelling the twelve dynasties. And because Wen Ren Jiu obtained the Ye fire, he also held clues that nobody else knew of.
The two studied many fragments of history regarding the era of Chaos and Ten Thousand Immortals, and in the end, found within the era of Chaos, just what the most mysterious branch of the Eighteen Clans was.
That was the Bai Li clan of “Zhao Ge’s Bai Li, herd to Dong Ling”.
They surmised, the Setting Sun bow should be kept by the people of the Bai Li clan, and during most of killings of the ancient emperors, a person from Bai Li carrying the Setting Sun bow would participate in the most dangerous portion of the plan.
However, one strange point was, pretty much in all the wall drawings and fragmented records, the figures of the people holding the Setting Sun bow were all extremely identical. Long robes, bamboo hat, very thin.
But in the drawings, the timeline running with the figure of the person holding the bow was honestly too long, from the era of Chaos all the way to the end of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, all had their presence. Thus, they always believed, that should be a trait of the Bai Li clan.
And then, that day, when Shen Ye held up the torch and illuminated the figure on the wall drawing, he instead opened his mouth and revealed a shocking hypothesis:
—— He believed, this entire time, the people holding the bow were all the same person. Not only that……
“Not only that, he might not have died.” Shen Ye held up the torch and spoke. The flames fell into his eyes, like a pulsating madness.
As for the first half of Shen Ye’s guess, though Wen Ren Jiu did not express agreement, he did not oppose it out loud—— in reality, the more they studied, and the more they investigated, even he also faintly had this kind of suspicion inside. The uniformity of the wall drawings’ figures certainly could be explained with it being the symbol of the Bai Li clan.
However, as long as one personally saw those wall drawings, they would feel, that figure would give off a kind of…… a kind of unique feeling.
Solitary, eternal, advancing.
In all the drawings, the person who held the Setting Sun bow would give people this kind of feeling. It made people unable to help but have all the pictures drawn with an equal sign. Except, the time between the wall drawings were truthfully too long, so it made people not dare to believe in this kind of feeling.
This conjecture was already mad enough, the remaining half of the guess that Shen Ye had, was even more mad. He actually felt like that Bai Li person who held the bow did not die.
“Since he is able to go from the era of Chaos to the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, then why can’t it be possible that he also exists in this current era as well?” Shen Ye said, “He possesses the Setting Sun longbow, that is the actual longbow that shot down a golden crow. The ancient golden crow’s spirit is attached to the longbow, that bow itself is a golden crow.”
“And golden crows…… are the legendary undying birds.”
“The person holding the bow, has a high possibility of not dying too!” Shen Ye said as such.
He was much more perceptive than Wen Ren Jiu, and at that time, felt there was some turbulent and irreversible thing sweeping here, and so he always had a kind of anxiety that was incomprehensible to others.
“What kind of crazy are you on?” At that time, Wen Ren Jiu looked at the wall drawing for a long time, and dully said this.
“Jiu Xuan Sect is nothing but lunatics, it’s not like the first day you knew about this.” Shen Ye laughed, and said.
After that day, Shen Ye started using up his entire life to create the Golden Crow. In the end, the longbow was created, and Shen Ye disappeared too. In the final segment to the completion of the Golden Crow, it was Wen Ren Jiu who personally went to guard for Shen Ye. He was the only person in the world who knew what happened on the day the Golden Crow was completed.
The apparition of a golden crow sprung up, and lofty thunderstorms poured down from the skies, while a terrifying, invisible pressure turned up.
Wen Ren Jiu was severely injured by the thunderstorm, and when he walked against the thunderstorm into the centre of the weapon-crafting area, he only saw the already-shut spacial passageway, And then, Shen Ye disappeared. Wen Ren Jiu did not know what was the result of Shen Ye’s attempt.
Is it that he managed to lure the bow of Setting Sun with its whereabouts unknown, or did he see that Bai Li person who he surmised to not have actually died.
Later on, the Ye fire got out of control, and he was restrained within a mountain by Jiu Xuan Sect, and gradually regained control of the Ye fire once again.
However, Shen Ye’s conjecture, the Bai Li person in the wall drawings, always perplexed him.
And then, there was one day.
“My surname is Bai Li, given name Shu.” The very thin young man stood outside the door, and lightly said this.
Wen Ren Jiu suddenly recalled again those many wall drawings he once saw with Shen Ye together. On the wall drawings, the person holding a bow walked past crowds of people, walked through streets, walked through imperial cities, while the solitary back figure passed through the proliferations and the ends of the eras.
After seeing Bai Li Shu, Wen Ren Jiu went to look for Yi He Ping. However, Yi He Ping did not tell him anything.
Even if his cultivation was higher than Yi He Ping’s, he could not do anything to this person.
The people of Jiu Xuan Sect, were certainly all a bunch of lunatics.
The Shen Ye who exhausted his entire life to create a bow for a single conjecture was a lunatic, the current Jiu Xuan Sect Leader Yi He Ping was a lunatic, Guan Ling who first proposed to connect the Qing Ming towers was a lunatic, those three people outside who said they were a disciple of Jiu Xuan Sect then did not ask a single thing and came barging into this sort of place were also lunatics. From top to bottom, not one was normal.
While thinking about these distant matters and guessing the identity of the current Jiu Xuan Sect eldest disciple brother, Wen Ren Jiu blocked off the ancient emperor’s pressure.
Suddenly, his facial expression changed.
The surrounding space start to warp, and turned extremely unstable as though the spacial passage was about to fall apart. The spacial passageway was opened by relying on the Mausoleum of Ten Million, and now that the passage appeared with a problem, it was apparent that the outside of the Mausoleum of Ten Million had an accident.
Wen Ren Jiu humphed, then turned his hand and hit the spacial passageway that started emerging with a chaotic state with his palm. He bit down, and at the same time he blocked the pressure of the ancient emperors’ will, he stabilized this spacial passageway by force.
When the pressure on Wen Ren Jiu was abruptly increased, outside the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
He Qing Chuan’s heavy sabre pierced into the ground. He knelt down on one knee to the ground, and coughed blood out from his mouth.
The black cloak held up the black-hilted blade, standing not far
Since they started fighting, He Qing Chuan might not have had the
upper hand, but by relying on the formation Guan Zhi Yu and the others put down with their bodies, he was able to forcibly stall the black cloak.
In He Qing Chuan’s eyes, a part of the formation was dimming
A part of the formation…… was destroyed by someone. Precisely because a portion of the formation was suddenly destroyed, the demonic aura would suddenly sweep up high, and attack towards the Mausoleum of Ten Million that was enveloped by Ye fire.
He Qing Chuan lifted his head up, “Not just you, huh……”
He spoke with a hoarse voice. On the hand holding the blade, the cracks between his fingers started flowing with blood.
The black cloak did not speak, but the black blade slightly trembled.
—— Outside Xiang Tan Lake swept with black fog, at the murky lake shores, the mound of earth He Qing Chuan piled up simply for Jiang Ge no longer existed.
He Qing Chuan seemed to have recalled something, and laughed hoarsely, “So you guys…… touched that bastard’s grave…… something like digging up people’s graves, you guys would dare do it too?”
His voice seemed to be very steady, but in the next moment.
The heavy sabre was taken out, and He Qing Chuan suddenly jumped up.
“Who let you touch the grave!”
Chapter One Hundred Forty-three, Body with the Formation, the Final Answer. (以⾝为阵, 最后答案)
The relationship between He Qing Chuan and Jiang Ge was not that good- they mutually found each other eyesores, and when they were in the sect, they got into fights everyday.
They cut at each other before, quarrelled before, fought with faces full of anger, and beat each other until they injured arms and broken legs. Anxious to personally kill the other person off. But no matter how they argued, how they fought, that was their own Jiu Xuan Sect’s matter.
Just when was it other people’s turns to bully Jiu Xuan Sect’s people?! Just when was Jiu Xuan’s graves able to be dug up by other people?!
“Who let you touch the grave!” He Qing Chuan roared, sprung up, and strikes from the heavy sabre erupted all over the place. In an instant, it was like the world was only left with the roar, and only left with the strikes.
Nevertheless, the black cloak only silently stood there, silently watched, and silently listened.
Letting He Qing Chuan’s rage sweep up like fierce winds.
A momentum like big mountains breaking apart, large rivers flowing backwards, and all by the ears were sounds of wind brought by the fierce edges. The strikes poured down like a river of stars, in the number of tens of thousands, like wild and overbearing tides, resonating like manic dragons.
When the strikes of light emptied out, the black cloak raised their head up.
“That’s right……” He opened his mouth lightly, with his voice hollow and fleeting. “And just when, did we actually deserve to be banished from this…… land!”
The sound of the final word suddenly turned shrill like thunder that exploded on the plateaus, yet also like the thick ice on the surface of an immensely deep sea splitting apart, piercing into people’s ears.
The blade held in the black cloak’s hand moved.
The pitch-black blade drew over the air, and turned into a long rainbow, flatly cutting towards He Qing Chuan who swept up countless strikes of light.
Outside the black fog, by Xiang Tan Lake.
The crude earthen grave He Qing Chuan personally piled for Jiang Ge was dug open, that tablet was half-buried into the soil, and the tablet only revealed the five words, “Jiu Xuan Sect, Gen Range”. A man dressed in short robes stood in front of the gravestone. His clothes were not of Jin Tang’s styles, but was a bit like those of Old Chen’s martial warriors.
His waist hung a dagger, and the formation underneath Jiang Ge’s corpse was already broken up by a few lines.
But to truly shake up a formation, simply destroying the formation lines was not enough.
One must destroy the formation node.
“Jiu Xuan Gen Range’s, Jiang Ge, is it.” The man’s hands held up strong liquor, and he poured it down on the ground, “Doing this may not be that ethical, nor is it what the principles of the martial arts stands for, but……”
Once the hard liquor had been completely poured out, he patted his hands, and released the dagger from his waist.
“But in society, one has no control over themselves, apologies.”
Just as the voice fell, the surface of the dagger burst with a bright silver light, from the top to bottom, transforming bright like a silver dragon, then submerging into the crown of Jiang Ge’s corpse. The instant the dagger sunk in, the remaining formation lines on the ground erupted with a dazzling light, and the corpse itself also burst with a powerful spiritual pressure.
The man groaned, like he received some serious injury, and the corners of his lips slowly seeped out with blood.
The hands he held the dagger with were still tight, not loosening up even one single bit.
Primordial energy madly circulated, and completely flowed into the dagger, turning the light of the dagger more and more magnificent, that by the end, one could only hear the sound of glass being broken, and the silver light completely erupted out like a ball of lightning rolling and exploding. Within a string of cracking sounds, Jiang Ge’s corpse completely turned into dust.
Don’t mention bones, even scraps of clothes were unable to remain.
The instant Jiang Ge’s corpse was destroyed, the dagger in the man’s hands also broke apart.
A big mouthful of blood spurt out from him, and he tumbled onto the ground, with his muscles and tendons all completely broken- he had already become disabled. The surrounding ghost realm silently spread over here, and very soon enveloped him inside as well. The moment before he was completely swallowed by the ghost realm, the man laughed briefly.
The instant Jiang Ge’s corpse was destroyed, the atmosphere of the Mausoleum of Ten Million violently shook abruptly. After a low and deep buzzing sound that made people’s primordial energy turn chaotic resonated, the light of the formation instantly dimmed down by a large part.
—— This was the manifestation of an important formation node being destroyed.
Formations were particular about completeness, and a formation with formation nodes under duress, would have its might instantly impaired quite a bit—— this was even a formation with not only one formation node, from this, one could see the importance of formation nodes.
When the formation’s light suddenly dimmed down, He Qing Chuan heavily dropped down from midair, and crashed into the clearing before Guan Zhi Yu’s corpse. He gripped the sabre’s hilt, and coughed out blood in big mouthfuls.
His strength was originally much weaker than the black cloak of unknown origins that was highly likely one of the demons left from the era. Before, he relied on how the formation weakened the demonic aura of the black cloak to then manage to fight with the other party, but now that the formation was under duress, the overspreading strikes of light He Qing Chuan turned up was cut up one by one by the black-coloured rainbow from the other party.
In the end, that blade aura directly cut at He Qing Chuan’s heavy sabre.
The vision in front of his eyes was a bit hazy. tap, tap.
Distinct sounds of footsteps, like the sound was made from wooden clogs hitting the stone tile. The blade in the black cloak’s hand pointed to the ground, and he neither hurriedly nor slowly approached He Qing Chuan. Before this, due to the presence of the big formation, he was unable to truly go inside the boundaries in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million, and could only control the demonic aura to corrode the Mausoleum at a further place, and fight with He Qing Chuan.
But now that the formation had been destroyed for the most part, the obstructing power was no longer that strong anymore.
—— What a good-for-nothing. —— That’s all? Get up.
—— Can’t take this much?
In his vision, the black cloak’s figure slowly got closer. The surrounding demonic aura gradually turned thicker, and would very quickly be able to take hold of this clearing. It was like He Qing Chuan’s ears resounded with that annoying, disdainful and lax voice of Guan Zhi Yu’s once again.
“Ke ke ke.” He coughed out big mouthfuls of blood, and on the blood-stained face, he warped, and twitched the corners of his mouth, revealing a smile.
“Who the fuck can’t take this much?!” He tore at his throat and shouted, and gripped the extremely heavy sabre tightly.
He Qing Chuan’s left hand slapped the ground, and he leapt up from the ground—— just like the young man in the memories laying on the floor while looking at Guan Zhi Yu had also leapt up as well.
To hell with saying it after coming back! To hell with waiting for her to come back!
He should have just jumped up, and should have just chased after her!
He should have……
Should have drawn his sabre out. The black cloak let out a light eh sound, like he did not think that He Qing Chuan was able to burst with energy again. But He Qing Chuan could no longer hear all of the sounds in the outside world anymore. The sabre in his hand danced—— along with the young man in the memories who was beaten by Guan Zhi Yu time after time when he first practised the sword, dancing together.
The strikes of light were elegant and unconventional, grandiose and yet majestic.
That is Qian!
The sword technique that Guan Zhi Yu displayed with the Han Blade in her hands.
What is “Qian”? It was rage, it was punishment, it was judgment, it was all the emotions that erupted like magma.
The thick demonic aura was cut open, and the scorching sun came crashing down, giving the people of the world punishment from the heavens. Each strike all carried a terrifying momentum and resolution.
It was that rolling thunderstorm, overturning the world. It was that fierce strong wind, blowing away the sky pillars.
Imparting the rolling fire of the heavens’ fiery wrath, coming down with a loud crash.
In the final form, the heavy sabre flew out from He Qing Chuan’s hands, and poured down with a loud crash towards the black cloak.
That was no longer a sabre, it was meteorites and raining fire, carrying the heavens’ rage, falling down like a long rainbow.
The black cloak’s strength far surpassed He Qing Chuan’s, but locked in by this one strike, he who constantly lightly responded finally switched and used both hands to hold the blade, then retreated one step back, and used all his power to respond. Like shooting stars colliding together, yet also like mountains collapsing at earthquakes, a sound like muffled thunder continuously rolling endlessly resounded in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million. Demonic aura, dust, rocks…… like a golden crow rushing onto the surface of the big seas, it all violently turned over, and in an instant, the world was submerged into a vast, boundless chaos.
He Qing Chuan groveled onto the ground. His sabre was already out of his hands, and his primordial energy was also already in the state of being depleted and was about to go out of control. The situation was so bad it could not get any worse.
The clearing gradually recovered a bit of visibility, and He Qing Chuan saw that black cloak get forced back into his original position.
But he looked to not to have received that serious of an injury.
Is this what a demon was? No wonder they dared to participate in the plan of killing ancient emperors in the era of Chaos and Ten Thousand Immortals, they were certainly so strong it made people despair. He Qing Chuan thought, yet started laughing.
“Guan Zhi Yu, I came to find you for that answer.” He Qing Chuan lowly said with a hoarse throat.
He could not stand up anymore. His hands propped on the ground, and half-crawled, half-moved to Guan Zhi Yu’s side, and barely sat in a cross-legged position.
The black cloak seemed to realize what he wanted to do, and wanted to go interrupt him, but that one strike that He Qing Chuan burst out with his all just now contained a conception that had a natural restraint towards him, and for the time being, had to neutralize it first.
He Qing Chuan ignited his own sea of mind, burned his own soul, and primordial energy poured into the formation lines, so bright it burst out with a vast and glorious light. He was merging himself with the formation as one. Transforming his body as a part of the formation.
The space around He Qing Chuan already appeared with faint warping. He was refining himself into the formation’s missing formation node, to make up for that place Jiang Ge left out.
—— Once this was done, he wouldn’t be that much better off than Jiang Ge.
He too could no longer return to Jiu Xuan.
With the primordial energy exhausted, the power of the formation flowed back into the body, and within the pain like scorching fires burning the soul, He Qing Chuan slightly turned his head, and looked at Guan Zhi Yu by his side.
He grinned a bit.
Like he wanted to smile, yet also wanted to call out Guan Zhi Yu for the last time.
Nevertheless, that last call could not be voiced in the end. In the clearing in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million, the originally already deficient and dimmed down formation lit up once again. He Qing Chuan was like his senior sister, turning his body into the formation, and making up for the broken formation node.
The big formation once again circulated wholly.
The demonic aura that pretty much already took over the entire space of the Mausoleum of Ten Million was instantly forced back once again. The Ye fire shrouding the Mausoleum of Ten Million brightened up, and suppressed the demonic aura’s invasion.
The black cloak stood in front of the restored formation with his blade. He saw He Qing Chuan’s body erupt with a light that was just like the formation—— that was a sign that the transformation of the body into the formation was successful.
A few brief moments later, he did not move at all.
After a short while, the blade in his hands shattered, and transformed into hovering and dancing black butterflies. The black butterflies flooded this area endlessly, and the demonic aura temporarily being suppressed by the Ye fire seemed to have received some powerful assistance, and its vigour turned powerful once more.
The black cloak slowly lifted his hand up, like it was holding up something from the void.
Along with his action, Xiang Tan Lake’s water to his back rustled loudly, like pale-white corpses were slowly climbing up right now.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-four, Fire of the Scarlet Flames, Burn My Soul. (⾚炎之⽕, 灼我魂魄)
“This land……” The black cloak slowly spoke, facing all the Jiu Xuan people guarding outside the Mausoleum of Ten Million who transformed their bodies into a part of the formation. “Is not yours……”
Grieve my native lands, hesitate for a glance.
“It’s ours!” He repeated, like making a pledge for something. The swishing sounds of water suddenly turned extraordinarily loud,
and figures and figures—— pale-white, sombre, lifeless—— sprung up from Xiang Tan Lake that was enveloped in black fog, and stiffly walked towards the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
It was those tens of thousands of commoners of Guang Han Prefecture sunk in Xiang Tan Lake’s waters.
After these many years, they finally “saw the day of light” for the first time.
Bodies and bodies of pale-white corpses dragged damp algae up the shore, treading with wet and damp steps, walking towards the tall black tower. The formation in front of the Mausoleum of Ten Million that He Qing Chuan and the rest used their bodies to put down circulated, with its light all brilliant and shining, and when the watered corpses stepped into the formation, they would be burned to ashes from head to toe.
The number of watered corpses were truthfully too much, and wore away a portion of the formation’s strength. The black cloak then cleared his hands to mobilize the demonic aura with full power to quickly corrode away at the Mausoleum of Ten Million. The formation that was originally repaired of the defect from He Qing Chuan turning into the formation and the Ye fire that was equal with the demonic aura then retreated in defeat step by step once more at this time.
The pitch-black substance-like demonic aura slowly advanced, gradually corroding into the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
The Mausoleum was originally cast from black stone, and at this time, when the Ye fire was suppressed by the demonic aura, the scene of demonic aura sweeping up looked a bit like the Mausoleum was currently gradually recovering its original character.
Nevertheless, the air emitting from the Mausoleum of Ten Million that was being eroded by the demonic aura, was already completely different at this time.
The former majesty, already carried a faint nefarious air within it. Inside the Mausoleum of Ten Million, in the passageway Wen Ren
Jiu opened connecting to the burial ground of the ancient emperor.
The flame on Wen Ren Jiu’s head was already scarlet-red at this time. Big drops of sweat fell down from his cheeks, and the Ye fire swept up like tides by his side. The back of the hand he placed within the spacial passage burst with veins, with its knuckles all white.
As expected, not one of the successive generations of Jiu Xuan’s sect leaders were ordinary characters.
Back when his Ye fire was out of control, the sect leader of that time did not forget to exploit labour, and let him watch Jiu Xuan Sect’s library pavilion for that long. Now that he managed to leave Jiu Xuan Sect, Yi He Ping handed such a life-risking job for him—— at the same time he shouldered the ancient emperor’s might, he had to maintain the stability of the spacial passageway.
Wen Ren Jiu almost suspected, was it because of his repeated instability in the refining of the Ye fire these years, accidentally burning some things in Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak, that he offended that heartless and cruel sect leader, and was hence sent here to do this kind of work with very slim chances of survival.
Cold sweat dripped down from Wen Ren Jiu’s forehead as he shouldered the ancient imperial pressure that did not lighten up due to the accident with the passageway, while single-handedly pouring out primordial energy, maintaining the spacial passage.
But the circumstances did not get that much better.
If it was purely maintaining the spacial passageway, with his cultivation, he should be able to do it.
But at present, he had to go up against the ancient emperors’ pressure, otherwise, once this almost-recovered ancient emperor’s will rushed out the passage, the three little Jiu Xuan Sect brats outside did not even need to breathe, and would immediately lose their lives.
Moreover, what’s even worse was……
The pace of the collapse and warping of the spacial passage was rapidly getting quicker.
Wen Ren Jiu knew that the outside must have met with some abrupt change, someone was trying to seize the control of the Mausoleum of Ten Million—— able to invade the Mausoleum of Ten Million under the protection of both the Ye fire and the formation, looks like the other party’s backing was probably much bigger than he imagined. “Turns out, you were the one with the foresight.” With a face all pale-white, Wen Ren Jiu bitterly laughed, and spoke with self-ridicule.
Back then, he felt that Shen Ye’s anxiety was hard to understand, but now that he truly faced this power hidden in the dark, he finally understood
—— Shen Ye was right.
Able to convince this level of existence to act, those hidden in the dark already had a strength that even the Eight Immortal Sects needed to use their full power to go up against.
“Heaven’s Net. Heaven’s Net is about to spread open.” Before leaving the sect, Yi He Ping went to see him, and said this.
Now, Wen Ren Jiu also saw, that one corner of that invisible Heaven’s net shrouding down.
There would actually be a day where someone wanted to act against this giant existence towering on the twelve dynasties that was the Eight Immortal Sects? Wen Ren Jiu thought.
The spacial passageway already appeared with big chunks of warping. Wen Ren Jiu estimated the time- even if it progressed even more smoothly, at this time, Jun Wan Bai and the other two’s progress in refining
the 《Three Wise Emperors Map》, would not exceed one third.
“It’s become a bit hard to do now……” He lightly said, and lifted his head up.
The light of the Ye fire fell onto his face, while the flame on his forehead was scarlet-red like blood. To his front was the pressure of an ancient emperor, that kind of pressure that was like an entire stretch of the deep sea’s weightiness, to the side was the warping space. If this continued on, once his primordial energy was completely consumed, if he was not swept into the completely collapsed space, then it was that he could no longer shoulder the ancient emperors’ pressure, and die right on the spot. But if he got away right now, and borrowed the spacial relationship between the Mausoleum of Ten Million and other Qing Ming towers, he could be transported to another Qing Ming tower, and then would be safe and sound.
Only…… Was he able to do it?
This kind of matter of tossing the three younger generations outside, while he himself escaped.
The space Wen Ren Jiu was at already faintly appeared with overlapping…… he had to make a decision.
“Whatever, whatever.” Wen Ren Jiu laughed out loud. After all, compared to Shen Ye, he lived for this long, so just consider it as having repaid for the loss of burning Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak’s things those few times, “Last-named Shen, you owe me a favour!”
He spoke with himself, then lifted one hand, and put together two fingers and tapped the flame between his eyebrows.
When the forefinger pointed at the flame, all the Ye fire in the passageway seemed to solidify in an instant.
In the next moment, all the flames started being completely dyed in a sliver of gold colour from the bottom up.
He completely lit up the Ye fire.
Ye fire, as the punishment the ancient emperors created for the later generations that stole their power, was always the thing that immortals cultivators all feared- merely just that little speck that appeared at the time of trials was enough to make people’s heads explode. Yet, what was sealed in Wen Ren Jiu’s forehead was Ye fire’s core, something that he once took from a secret territory from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals.
That was from one of the Three Emperors within the Ten Thousand Immortals era, White Emperor’s Fire of Illumination, the scarlet-red Ye fire tinder.
For these many years, he did not dare to completely ignite the Ye
fire. Back then, he accidentally completely ignited it, completely losing control, and after having been suppressed at Jiu Xuan Sect for many years, was he then able to control it a bit.
All this time, the Scarlet Flame was in a state of being sealed.
But these days, Wen Ren Jiu had a feeling, the Scarlet Flame seemed to be more vigorous than usual.
——Was this its foreshadowing?
That saying of, those good at swimming drowns to water, would arsonists burn to fire?
When the flames were cast in a gold colour, the inside of the passage seemed just like it was gilded. The spacial passage was still collapsing, but Wen Ren Jiu no longer cared for the passageway. He stood up, with his entire body already covered with a layer of flames from head to toe, and he directly walked within the raging flames.
He walked towards the end of the passageway, then sat down in a cross-legged position.
The flames coiled like melted gold, and slowly formed into a circular seal.
Wen Ren Jiu let the spacial passage completely collapse, and used the Fire of Scarlet Flames between his brows forcefully form into a seal right at the entrance connecting to the burial grounds. This way, even if the spacial passage completely collapsed, the ancient emperor’s will would be sealed and stopped.
Only, like this……
He would eventually completely lose his own senses in the fire. He would be assimilated by the scarlet fires. He would turn into the Scarlet Flames.
Wen Ren Jiu suddenly recalled when he saw Bai Li Shu that day, he said that “I am not Jiu Xuan’s elder” —— so, what was this considered as?
Clearly, he was protecting those three little brats from Jiu Xuan Sect, yet he still said he was not Jiu Xuan’s elder.
“I’m not protecting them, I am just returning Jiu Xuan Sect’s favour.” Wen Ren Jiu said to himself.
The ancient scroll was suspended in front of Jun Wan Bai, Li Xin, and Chu Zhi Yuan.
The ancient scroll did not open, but simply like that, the space it was suspended within emerged with a kind of warping state, like this space had no way of bearing the weight of the ancient scroll.
Jun Wan Bai, Li Xin, and Chu Zhi Yuan sat around the ancient scroll, with their foreheads full of cold sweat.
Even with the Old Seals, them wanting to refine the 《Three Wise Emperors’ Map》 was not an easy task. It was practically hard to imagine, just what kind of people were the Eighteen Clans of Old back then, that were able to make the ancient emperors fall.
However, all of a sudden, Jun Wan Bai and the others only felt the pressure suddenly lessen up, and the speed of refining turned faster.
They opened their eyes, and only saw the entire pitch-black Mausoleum of Ten Million turn into a bright gold colour at this time, with flames like molten gold covering over the entire tower. The inside of the tower body was a span of glory and magnificence, so resplendent it was like a divine scenery. And their bodies, were also surrounded by the gold flames. Not one of them knew what happened.
“Refine the imperial map with all your power. After you guys succeed, get out of here immediately.” Right when the three were astonished, Elder Jiu’s voice resounded by their ears.
Very stiff, stern, cold, and detached.
Jun Wan Bai and the other two looked to each other, and knew this was Elder Jiu helping them, but didn’t have the time to think why the other party would suddenly change plans. After the three closed their eyes, they used their all to refine the imperial drawing.
The Mausoleum of Ten Million that was originally largely corroded by the demonic aura suddenly erupted with a bright and dazzling gold light.
The molten gold-like flames enveloped the entire Mausoleum with a blink of the eye. The tall tower looked practically like those golden-walled Buddhist pagodas of Fan Yin Pavilion, glittering and sparkling like it was cast in pure gold, and in the dark and dim world, it was dazzling like the scorching sun.
The instant the scarlet-gold flames burst out, the demonic aura was like snow met with fire, and rapidly withdrew.
The black cloak abruptly retreated a fair distance.
He was like when the demonic aura was forced back from the Mausoleum of Ten Million, receiving quite serious injuries.
“Fire of Scarlet Flames?” He spoke out with a low tone, not hiding his surprise. In his astonished gaze, the Scarlet Flames burst out, and the entire tower turned into a torch. Within an instant, the world in front of his eyes was only left with a gold colour.
After the gold colour scattered, the Mausoleum of Ten Million no longer existed anymore.
 悲我故⼟兮,彷徨得⼀⻅ Fuck me for all I know OTL Will revise when I finally understand what I’m reading.
 重⻅天⽇ The precise wording is an expression for… Regaining freedom, in the context of imprisonment/injustice.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-five, the World Grieves, Oh Spirit, Come Back. (天地憯凄, 魂兮归来)
Elder Qin who left the sect before was draped in a black robe, sitting underneath a dead tree at a nameless small mountain one hundred miles out from Guang Han Prefecture.
A floor of withered and deprived leaves fell by his side, unknown how long he sat here for, as his body too had fallen with quite a few dried- up leaves. The harsh cold winds blew over the mountain peaks, and blew at the deranged and interlacing tree trunk to Elder Qin’s back nosily, shaking the shadows into the solitary skies.
When the Mausoleum of Ten Million erupted with dazzling light and turned into ashes within the Scarlet Flame, the leaves on Elder Qin’s body rustled down.
But he still did not open his eyes. Just like he was sleeping.
And at the same time, outside Guang Han Prefecture City, a Jin Tang secret guard wearing an iron mask was concealed in the dark like a ghost, waiting for something.
As the forbidden area of the living that all the people knew of, Guang Han Prefecture had gone for long without seeing anyone, yet, these days were probably the time it had the most visitors. The city gates not far were wide open, letting winds coming from the south pour in. The inside of the city was still stagnate, as though even the winds could not move that oppressive sombreness that pretty much froze there. At this time, the roads connecting to the open city gates were not swallowed by the ghost realm, but the streets were barren and empty, without any traces of pedestrians.
No, it couldn’t be said that there weren’t any pedestrians.
When a gust of wind sweeping with some leaves entered the city gates, the black cloak walked out from the sunken darkness from the end of the road. His hands still held the pure-black long blade, with his thin and tall figure unlike a living person’s.
When the black cloak walked out the city gates, Jin Tang’s secret guard also revealed their figure.
He tossed the Jin Tang secret guard a bronze box, and did not say anything. The Jin Tang secret guard did not ask anything either, and just nodded their head, reached their hand out, and a trumpet bird flew out from somewhere.
The Jin Tang guard tied a scroll of thin paper onto the trumpet bird’s leg, and lifted his hand up, then, this bird that lived in the clouds and did not draw in people’s attentions flew high to the skies.
At that instant the Jin Tang secret guard released the trumpet bird, on the peak one hundred miles out from Guang Han Prefecture, Elder Qin suddenly opened his eyes.
He grabbed the blade placed by his side, and stood up.
The blade silently slid out of its sheath—— that was a blade that did not conform with the so-called spirit of the martial arts. The blade underwent the process of matting, so even under sunlight, it was incomparably dim. And the blade’s body could be described using the two words, “simple and unadorned”- there were no patterns, merely simple lines, grey and dusty, with no sense of aesthetics to be found. And Elder Qin held this kind of blade, standing in the strong winds head-on.
A leaf was swept up by the wind, fleeting and mobile while spinning in the air, and swimming about. When it flew past Elder Qin, he moved.
A strike of light cut towards the skies from the mountain peak.
That was a very self-contained strike, so contained when it flew out from the top of the mountain, and entered the clouds, that leaf still slowly falling and spinning down in front of Elder Qin did not receive a bit of interference.
A trumpet bird borrowed the winds, and flew towards the northwest. It spread its pair of wings, moving nimbly and keenly.
Yet, when it crossed through the clouds, a strike flew up from beneath. That strike of light was so fast yet silent, when the trumpet bird realized it, it was already too late.
A thin line of blood spurted out.
The trumpet bird fell down from the skies.
Elder Qin silently flew up, and caught the dead trumpet bird from
On the relatively small trumpet bird’s corpse, there was only one
fine scar as thin as a piece of paper.
After catching the trumpet bird, Elder Qin could see that the bird’s foot was tied with a paper strip with one look.
“As expected……” Elder Qin took down the paper strip, and muttered to himself in a low voice. He lifted his hand up, and then, another trumpet bird flew out from the withered tree to his back. Elder Qin tied another paper strip on the bird, and lifted his hand to release this trumpet bird. Once he put the blade back into the sheath, Elder Qin stood on top of the mountain peak, and observed Guang Han Prefecture City far away being covered in resentment.
“Rest assured.” The lines on his face were like they were frozen, all stiff. “Senior won’t hit you this time.”
The winds on top of the mountain were so cold it would go inside the bones. Elder Qin took out some alcohol from his ring, and patted the jar lid open, then, while welcoming the wind, poured down jar after jar in the direction of Guang Han Prefecture City.
“Oh spirit, come back! Soul of the gone, why do you go? Abandoning one’s place of happiness, leaving us is inauspicious! Oh spirit, come back! The East cannot entrusted with you…… Oh, come back! You cannot be entrusted elsewhere!” Jar after jar of hard liquor emptied out, while Elder Qin, with a hoarse throat, recited the words to the completely-useless soul-beckoning like an ordinary person.
He read through it line by line, his voice was not loud, and the tone was a calm and collected one.
And yet, tears slowly slid past his aged face. Spirit, oh spirit, why do you not come back? Jiu Xuan Sect.
Yi He Ping was walking between a bunch of graves.
This was a place that Jiu Xuan Sect’s ordinary disciples did not know of, that was in a hidden place behind the main peak’s extensive ranges, low-lying and concealed, with formations protecting it. When the sect held ceremonies, the graves here would be unable to receive its blessings.
Laid to rest here, were all those elders who draped on black robes and silently left the sect, and then never came back- they were those Jiu Xuan Sect people who could not be written into Jiu Xuan’s books openly, and placed inside the spiritual temple. They were the sect’s secret guardians, the sect’s blades, the sect’s swords.
They were also the scars that the sect could not let anyone see.
Yi He Ping carried a jar of wine, and passed through the familiar gravestones, and walked to one area.
Here, stood a crude gravestone—— as though some craftsman with terrible technique made it. The gravestone was engraved with a line of words, “Grave of Jiu Xuan Sect’s Qian Range, Eldest Disciple Sister, He Qing Chuan’s wife, Guan Zhi Yu.”
Yi He Ping closed his eyes, and was able to recall the look of He Qing Chuan back then, bearing reddened eyes, not using primordial energy to engrave this gravestone just like an ordinary person. That fellow’s technique was really lousy, he couldn’t even hold the knife steady, and cut out line after line of injuries on his own hand, making it all drenched in blood.
“When he came to find me to say he wanted to go to the Mausoleum, should I have not agreed to it?” Yi He Ping put the jar of wine down, and sat down in front of the grave, then took out limestone from his ring, and started engraving.
Originally, the one to bring Jun Wan Bai and them to the Mausoleum of Ten Million, was not He Qing Chuan, but another elder in the sect about to reach the end of their life. But on that day, He Qing Chuan went to find him.
The first words he said was, “I want to go to the Mausoleum.”
At that time, Yi He Ping was playing chess, and his hand was suspended in the air.
He Qing Chuan was still carrying that heavy sabre that would never leave him, but Yi He Ping was able to perceive that the sabre’s aura had a slight change to it—— the thing inside the sabre he was also familiar with, seemed to no longer be present.
He Qing Chuan always wanted to go to the Mausoleum of Ten
But he never said it out loud.
He Zhou wasn’t grown up yet, and did not have the qualifications to receive the thing Guan Zhi Yu left behind just yet. Jiu Xuan Sect, as the number one of the immortal sects, be it in public or in private, had countless responsibilities pressed on each person’s shoulders the entire time. All of Xuan Li Peak’s disciples still needed to be protected by him, and so, He Qing Chuan also knew he could not go, he had to stay.
Right now, that blade was gone as well. He Qing Chuan held it in for these many years, and finally could no longer hold back.
And so, he went to find Yi He Ping, saying he wanted to go to the Mausoleum of Ten Million.
The look He Qing Chuan had while saying he was going to the Mausoleum, was very much like when he first entered the sect, a face of obstinacy and wilfulness.
“Are you going to come back?” Yi He Ping placed the chess piece down, and drew his hands inside his sleeves.
He Qing Chuan did not answer, and silently looked at the pagoda Yi He Ping normally sat in—— back when he fought with Qin Song, Yi He Ping also sat here, playing chess with Xie Yi, while Guan Zhi Yu sat on top of the pagoda, putting her legs up while swaying wine.
That many years had gone by, the pagoda was perfectly intact, but instead, the people could not be gathered complete again.
He Qing Chuan did not respond, but even if he did not, Yi He Ping knew the answer anyways. After all that was said and done, Yi He Ping was still an ordinary person, and in the end, could not truly do everything with the whole situation in mind. Pretending to not know that He Qing Chuan wouldn’t return if he left was the only thing he could do for him as his senior.
The departure of Xuan Li Peak’s peak master, and even at this kind of time of turbulent undercurrents- without having to think about it, the following troubles would probably be a huge mess. Only, Yi He Ping thought, at any rate…… at any rate, he was the senior brother.
If a junior wanted to be wilful, even if they made a blunder, though there may be scolding, but as the senior brother, he still had to clean it up in the end.
Though matters may be troublesome, it was not to the extent that he could not handle it.
The gravestone in his hands slowly took shape. As Yi He Ping started engraving words on the tablet, he faced Guan Zhi Yu’s gravestone, and started chatting.
“But it’s not like I am you, that fellow would not listen to me that well.” Yi He Ping smiled.
Back then, they laughed at He Qing Chuan a fair bit about how he was just like a little wife in front of Guan Zhi Yu. Don’t look at how he fought with Guan Zhi Yu all day—— perhaps it should be said it was a single-sided beating, and how he never called her Senior Sister, in truth, what Guan Zhi Yu let him do, he would do.
If Guan Zhi Yu let him leave, he would be all unwilling with a whole gloomy face, but would still obediently leave.
If Guan Zhi Yu let him wait, he would continuously wait, wait until the grave was snow-white on the surface, and wait until today.
Yi He Ping recalled the looks of the brothers ridiculing He Qing Chuan, and laughed out loud. And then, after laughing and laughing, he turned silent.
He slowly inscribed a line of words on the tablet:
Grave of Jiu Xuan Sect, Xuan Li Peak, Peak Master, Guan Zhi Yu’s husband, He Qing Chuan.
“That fellow is an idiot. In the entire world, only he idiotically did not know the answer.” Yi He Ping set the gravestone by Guan Zhi Yu’s side, then looked at the gravestone, and said this in a low voice.
He recalled that day when Jun Wan Bai and the others were leaving, He Qing Chuan went to see him for the last time.
“Senior.” Before leaving, He Qing Chuan called out to him.
What use was there calling him senior now? He still had to clean up the pile of messes. Yi He Ping faced He Qing Chuan with his back, and did not turn his head to look at him.
For the first time, after that long, He Qing Chuan called him “Senior” once again.
And then, he really left.
Yi He Ping lightly sighed, then opened the jar of wine, and poured it in front of Guan Zhi Yu and He Qing Chuan’s graves—— dying together, being buried together, this was probably considered the best answer.
“I’d rather there be someone to ruthlessly punch me again.” Yi He Ping poured the alcohol out, but he did not drink it.
He could not drink alcohol. He could not be drunk, he was Jiu Xuan Sect’s sect leader. The gravestones were pale-white, with winds blowing by coldly. The world grieved, while Yi He Ping alone stood in front of the two gravestones.
Oh spirit, unable to return in the end.
 萎⻩- to be deprived of sunlight, or natural vigour. Etiolated.
 Guess who’s back? Qu Yuan. This is from his poem, 招魂 (beckoning souls), which from the title, is about beckoning a soul to come back. Honestly, if people can read and understand the original, I highly recommend reading it some time. It’s really beautiful and touching. Looking at it now, the choice of words used here is reminiscent of the author’s death poem back in the first few chapters, likely inspired from the wording found here.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-six, Returning to the Homelands, Knowing Nothing in the End. (重回故地, 终是不知)
Spirit, oh spirit, who hast restrained you? The dead return, where the living grieve.
The ancient Boyikh legend passed down for thousands of years in the Khlajöwwma Desert, they believed that Namu’s army of Zangmu would come to the vast lands through the winds, and take away the spirits of the deceased.
All of Namu’s subjects would return to Namu’s kingdom after death.
—— Starting from a very, very distant time, the Boyikh believed it was like this, hence, they wandered in the big deserts of Khlajöwwma for several hundreds of years like a single day, finding their former homeland.
Like the unresting scorching sun, they would soon re-obtain glory.
And today, the Boyikh tribespeople finally reached the homelands they were searching for.
Ye Qiu Sheng and the aged a’Sa leading the Boyikh together, walked over from the chains between the lone islands suspended in midair, and finally stepped onto the black city upon the eight pillars.
They entered the black imperial city from the northwest. The city gates used a giant crude beast skeleton in its creation- the skull was half-opened, and the teeth intertwined outside the gates. When the Boyikh tribespeople stepped into the imperial city, the city gates were wide open, with noisy winds pouring into it. It was as though due to Namu’s subjects stepping onto the homeland once again, the Scarlet Flames above the city gates already burned once more, and that kind of primitive strength from the city gates of skull became more distinct in the raging flames.
A’Sa said, that was the fire that Namu lit up for them, and the flames would protect them as they walked in the homeland.
As for a’Sa’s words, Ye Qiu Sheng disapprovingly sneered inside. But he didn’t say anything.
What the Boyikh tribespeople did not see was, after they went inside the black imperial city, all the suspended islands they passed through were quietly burning with blazing flames. Inside the grand and dark space, these lone islands that were enveloped in flames were like there was someone with a lantern diligently walking through the darkness.
A’Sa, as Boyikh tribe’s shaman, seemed to hold many secrets others did not know of- after entering the stone city, he used a kind of old and abstruse language to recite a verbose ode.
Along with his recitation, the Boyikh tribespeople started burning with the flames that appeared during the ritual in front of the bonfire.
Ye Qiu Sheng perceptively sensed, after entering the stone city, the aura on these Boyikh tribespeople quickly changed with a speed that exceeded normal convention—— the ancient power concealed in their bloodline was slowly reviving,
That strength, its aura was ancient, carrying a kind of veiled
Ye Qiu Sheng was not unfamiliar with that kind of pressure. It was similar to an ancient emperor’s pressure. So it was like that.
Ye Qiu Sheng carried his blade just like he did not perceive the changes to the Boyikh tribe, and walked among everyone with an usual expression, but instead, a series of thoughts quickly flew through inside of him.
The blood inside the Boyikh had the aura of an ancient emperor, they were the descendants of that ancient emperor…… No, that’s not it. Ye Qiu Sheng recalled the Zangmu within the legends of Khlajöwwma Bai Li Shu mentioned that day. The ancient emperors in the era of Chaos would bestow a portion of their own strength to their army, so the descendants of those people who obtained the ancient emperor’s graces would very naturally carry a weak sliver of aura from that ancient emperor.
And in the legends of Khlajöwwma, the Boyikh tribespeople were Namus’ subjects, where Namu’s human Zangmu would appear among them.
Therefore, hidden in the Khlajöwwma’s legends, the worshipped deity Namu that was seen as laughable by the immortal cultivators was actually an ancient emperor from the era of Chaos, and the Boyikh tribe were the descendants of the ancient emperor’s army, the Zangmu.
With that, Jin Tang dynasty wanting to kill the Boyikh tribe would hold water.
They probably long knew of the Boyikh tribe’s identity, and thus wanted to obtain the clue regarding this ancient emperor, Namu.
After the string of clues were connected, many things could be speculated.
Perhaps…… Bai Li Shu and him getting transported to Gua Province, was not some shady accident either. Bai Li Shu probably knew of it.
While Ye Qiu Sheng was thinking of these things, he followed a’Sa, walking past street after street. In the places they walked past, the doors to the stone houses on the two sides of the long street would silently open up. Through the opened stone door, one could see that the inside of the stone houses were burning with pairs of eyes surrounded by flames.
This scene was extremely terrifying, but the people of the Boyikh tribe seemed to feel no terror.
In the belief of the Boyikh tribe, eyes were originally a divine existence, sent by Namu’s graces. In addition, these eyes that burned up after the stone doors opened were repeatedly mentioned in their long poem of past events.
They only felt excited. Because they finally returned to the homeland.
Except for one person. A’Mu.
A’Mu walked by Duotana’s side. Her body was also burning with fire, and the flames blurred her face, thus, no one discovered her peculiarity. Ever since they entered the black city, a’Mu’s face had no expression whatsoever. She followed everyone into the majestic and silent stone city, while her eyes already completely transformed.
The pair of eyes turned incomparably jade-green, and intensely contracted into one thin line.
So cold it did not seem like a human’s eyes.
Ye Qiu Sheng suddenly turned his head, and looked a’Mu.
A’Sa lead everyone towards the temple in the center of the city throughout the journey. On the way, as long as they encountered a black tower, he would bring everyone inside. The black towers were engraved with various and differing wall drawings inside.
The Boyikh tribespeople pieced together the distant history from those wall drawings.
As they got closer and closer to the city centre, the black towers also gradually turned bigger and taller. When the Boyikh tribespeople walked into a black tower again, Ye Qiu Sheng slowed down his pace, and walked at the back.
His body did not have flames, so after falling to the back of everyone, the darkness concealed his figure.
The imperial throne not cast by humans was suspended over the very center of the temple.
The temple was enveloped in a gloomy darkness.
Bai Li Shu carried the Golden Crow, and stood in the deep part of the temple by himself. The walls all around were drawn with countless extensive drawings, with contents related to the ancient emperors and kings from the era of Chaos, and related to the flock of beasts that died off in the Savage era.
And in the very center of this temple, was a sacrificial altar pulled up from the earth.
The four sides of the altar were inscribed with various strange patterns, those patterns seemed to carry an archaic strength itself, making the altar look usually mysterious.
Bai Li Shu stood below the altar, and lifted his head up to look at it. The answer he wanted, was on top of there. He recalled that day once again.
The black-robed man that walked out from the boundless white snow knelt down in front of him, and told him, his surname is Bai Li, given name Shu, and was Bai Li clan’s family head.
But in the end, that black-robed man called Shen Ye, died in his
“Who am I?” This question was something in the images of the
memories that continuously flashed by since Bai Li Shu came to the lands of the twelve dynasties, that he repeatedly saw himself—— if the people in those images were certainly himself —— ask different people.
Only Shen Ye gave him an answer.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-seven, No Place to Return, Origins Unknown. (⽆处归去, 不知来路)
Bai Li Shu walked up to the sacrificial altar step by step. In the places he walked over, the patterns on the altar would light up.
Him coming to the twelve dynasties was not some accident.
Or perhaps it should be said, this was the place that he actually lived
All this time, Bai Li Shu clearly knew there were many strange
points about himself. Before…… before he was Bai Li’s family head, he did not have any memories regarding himself, and absentmindedly walked through street after street. In the places he passed through, not one person called out to stop him.
No matter if it was officials of the government, or the clerks of stores, not one recognized him.
He was not some missing noble young lord from some family, nor a stranded refugee from somewhere, he did not know his own origins, or know where he belonged.
In those memories, at that time, he walked through many places, and what accompanied his side was only a bow- a dimmed, gloomy longbow. He carried the bow on his back, and walked through place after place along with the winds. Sometimes, he would encounter some not-so-friendly people. For example, the robbers he encountered halfway.
The hands of the robbers held gleaming swords, saying how he should hand over all his belongings.
He did not have anything, and so he went silent.
The robbers thought he was provoking them, and went into an uncontrollable rage. And then, they brandished their swords and came killing. At that time, he was ill, and was just like a good-for-nothing. Other than a bow without arrows, there wasn’t anything else.
But he did not know why, when he saw those malicious-looking robbers, he was still able to remain expressionless.
Just like the word “scared” did not exist in his consciousness.
When the sword cut down, his eyes were imprinted with the strike, then, there was nothing.
When he woke up again, he appeared in another unfamiliar place, still with nothing other than a longbow. What happened before, how did he go against those robbers, what happened to those robbers later, and why did he appear in this place?
He did not know at all.
His memories were a span of emptiness.
But this kind of situation happened too often, so often he was used
And so, each time he woke up in a completely strange place, he
would continue to carry that bow, and aimlessly walk all alone, like a person that belonged outside the world.
During that time, he was always carrying an illness. Sometimes, he would walk and walk, stumbling and wavering, then fall down. The blood would gradually go cold, and the vision would dim down bit by bit.
Every time, he felt like he should have died.
But each time, he would wake up once again, and after waking up, the memories before he fell would all be forgotten, and so, he was ignorant of how he walked through many places before. It was only at the times he fell again, that he would feel like it was familiar, and then would he remember—— he seemed to have fallen down like this many times before.
At that time, his eyes would clearly be cast with the blue skies, yet in his vision, countless fragmented images would emerge of him all by himself, walking through mountains, through cities, through waters.
The memories seemed not to be his.
However, at times, he would encounter some very good people. Once, there was a time when he woke up, he appeared in a small
Jiang Nan village, sitting beneath the eaves dripping with rain. The Jiang Nan house eaves were wasted, so the raindrops would shoot off and fall down, emitting a drip, drop, drip, drop.
By his side was still that gloomy and ashy, arrow-less longbow.
He sat on the icy limestone tiles, and discovered he was in an empty small alley. The skies were grey and sunken, while the rainwater in the stone alley filled up and trickled by.
He did not remember who he was, nor did he know why he would appear in this place, but strangely, he felt like it did not matter. Thus, he lifted his head up, leaned against the stone wall, and observed the murky skies.
Then all of a sudden, his line of sight got blocked.
“Big Brother, why are you here getting wet in the rain?” A little girl with hair tied into two little balls stood in front of him, holding up a faint peach-coloured oil paper umbrella, propping it above his head. The little girl’s eyes were clean and pure. Even if he did not answer, she did not immediately leave, and tilted her head and quietly looked at him.
“Watching the rain, probably.” Thus, he thought, and answered.
The little lady replied with an “oh”, as though she did not quite understand this response. He thought she should be leaving, but who knew the little lady came close instead, and crouched down by his side, holding up the umbrella, “I’ll help you hold up the umbrella then. Big Brother, if you watch the rain like this, you would not be drenched.”
Underneath the murky skies, he leaned against the wall, while the little lady crouched down, holding the umbrella for him.
Everything seemed like it wasn’t all that bad.
Afterwards, a family member of the little lady’s went to find her to come back. She answered and got up, then ran off with a “tap tap tap”, and the raindrops fell down once more. He hung his eyes down, and quietly watched as the water flowed by his side.
tap tap tap.
Sounds of footsteps resonated once more. The little lady ran back here, handed the umbrella to him, then bounced and jumped as she rushed into the rain and ran off.
He held the umbrella, got up, and stood in the darkened little alley, carrying the bow, and watched the little girl leave.
He thought this was it.
Though his memories were a span of emptiness, he subconsciously felt, occasionally encountering some people, and then no longer seeing them again, without a matter of intersecting once more, was very familiar.
Like this was a normal part of his life. But on the second day, he saw that little girl again.
The little lady stood in the streets, while the candied hawthorn in her hands fell to the ground, and the rims of her eyes were all red like she wanted to cry. He stood at the other end of the street and stopped. After a while, he used a small little jade accessory on himself—— he did not know where it came from either—— to exchange it for a stick with the candied hawthorn vendor.
“For you.” He came over, and gave the candied hawthorn to the little lady.
“Thank you, Big Brother.” “Big Brother, what’s your name?”
He stood by the street watching the little girl smile and eat the candied hawthorn in small little bites, then, she lifted her head up to ask.
—— What’s your name?
How simple a question. But……
“I don’t know.” He hung his eyes down, and said softly. “Sorry.” After a while, the little girl spoke up in a small voice.
What was there to be sorry about, it was he who did not know his own name. So he thought, yet did not say anything.
The little girl lifted her head up, and looked at this very very very good-looking Big Brother, and did not know why she felt like he was very sad.
So sad, even sadder than when she saw it was raining. Just by looking, one would feel like they were sad too.
She thought for a bit, then gave the candied hawthorn to the big brother, and very carefully tugged at his sleeves, asking, “Then, Big Brother, why don’t you live in my home, and wait for them to come find you?”
In the little lady’s mind, if one was lost, there would definitely be family out looking to find them. No matter if it was early or late, they would eventually be found.
He did not correct the little lady.
For the first time, he settled in one place.
The little lady’s surname was Zhou. She did not have a name that was all that good to hear, so her grandfather called her “xiao’Qi(seven), xiao’Qi”. Zhou xiao’Qi was the seventh child, and so, she was called xiao’Qi. However, her parents and siblings all died in the chaos caused by war, so she followed her grandfather and sought refugee in the south.
When Grandpa Zhou saw she brought home a weary-looking person, he did not say anything either.
And so, he stayed there.
At that time, he suddenly felt like he was pulled into this world. The old carpenter Grandpa Zhou, the unsuspecting and innocent Zhou xiao’Qi, a small little house, and the always raining south.
Zhou xiao’Qi’s parents died on a rainy day, so she did not like the
Thus, every time it rained, he would sit underneath the house eaves
with Zhou xiao’Qi, and talk about a few stories to her, talk about how somewhere, there was a mountain, that mountain was tall and steep, while waters turned around at the bottom of the mountain. There, the people were good at paddling canoes…… When he spoke, his eyes would genuinely emerge with the image of the mountain and waters.
Zhou xiao’Qi would listen very seriously, and then speak up in a small voice, Big Brother, you know so much, have you been to all of them? Did he ever go? Did he really see those mountains, those waters, and those people who were good at rowing canoes?
He did not know.
“Perhaps.” He would answer.
But like how water droplets bouncing from the eaves would break, the time in the little courtyard too would be broken. The strife of war in the north spread to the south, and when the Hu troops came through the little village, they set it on fire, and many people died.
Grandpa Zhou escaped with them.
On the way, they met a roving bandit, and the roving bandit held up their bow against Zhou xiao’Qi.
He protected Zhou xiao’Qi behind his back, and the arrow hit him.
Zhou xiao’Qi was a little lady who loved to cry. Her eyes completely turned red all of a sudden, and choked on tears while calling out Big Brother.
With a look of being very sad.
“Don’t be scared, I won’t die.” He thought, then stroked the little lady’s head, and spoke up softly.
And then, the world went dark.
When he woke up once again, the skies fell with snow, fluttering and dancing snow, as though it was to come down constantly until the world ended.
He stood in the floor of snow, with no one around.
Placed by his side was that greyed longbow. He touched the bow, and observed the snow spinning down. Afterwards, he saw a person, a person dressed in black long robes, slowly walking out from the snow. That person knelt down on one knee in front of him.
“Finally found you.” That person said, their voice all exhausted.
Who was it? Who once told him, if they were lost, there was no need to worry, their family would definitely come find him?
Who was it?
He did not remember anything at all again, and only felt a hard-to- describe fatigue.
Thus, he looked to the person who said they finally found him, and asked, “Who am I?”
That person said, your surname is Bai Li, given name Shu, the family head of the Bai Li clan.
The obscure snowy night suddenly lit up, and he lowered his head.
—— That dark, gloomy longbow that accompanied his side suddenly lit up. A gold light was lit on the body of the bow like flames.
Bai Li Shu. He read this name out loud once, then gripped the warmed longbow, while his eyes reflected with the traces of snow flying by.
The skies danced with unrooted flying flowers. Though the falling snow came from somewhere unknown, in the end, it would fall onto the surface of the land.
He finally had a place to belong in.
When he returned to the Bai Li family clan, the entire clan’s fate fell onto his shoulders, and he was pulled into the world once again. Those young members looked at him like a god, they trusted him.
He was Dong Ling’s Bai Li. Dong Ling’s Bai Li of Zhao Ge’s Bai Li, herd to Dong Ling. ……
As countless, fragmented, unordered memories passed through Bai Li Shu’s mind, he stood at the very top part of the sacrificial altar.
These were the memories that gradually recovered at the time he woke up in Jiu Xuan Sect and came to the land of the twelve dynasties.
Just like, the memories he did not possess in that world was finally returned to him.
 To note, they’re not actually related. It’s just common courtesy to address others by seniority/visible age. Always address your parent’s generation with aunties and uncles, and those who could possibly be your older sibling’s age by big brother or sister.
 胡- term for the non-Han tribes in the north and west of China e.g. the Xiongnu.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-eight, Immortal, the Cursed One. ( 永⽣不死, 被诅咒者)
Chaotic memories continuously resurfaced, and he recalled the clouds and skies he saw every time he fell down, and also recalled that little girl who reddened her eyes in the very end.
Within the disorderly memories, he saw himself repeatedly asking different people who he was.
Only Shen Ye gave an answer. And so, he would be Bai Li Shu.
He would die, he would be immortal.
His vision flew past with tall and steep mountains, with the bottom of the mountain hovering with lakewaters, and people rowing canoes passing by those azure-blue waters…… Bai Li Shu finally stood at the very top of the sacrificial altar.
The top part of the altar was a bit strange, there was nothing else, just a bright, mirror-like spring. The mouth of the spring was surrounded by deep-black stone laid into a shape of a pool, while the edge of the pool was engraved with several kinds of odd beasts. The stones were so black and deep, but the pool water remained to seep with a cold, snow-like misty light. Water vapour coiled on the surface of the pool.
Bai Li Shu stood by the pool, and lowered his eyes to look at the vapour, and did not move for a long time.
In the end, it was like he finally made the resolution, then sat down cross-legged by the pool, and placed the gold longbow by his side before slowly reaching his hand into the pool water.
The instant his fingertips touched the water, a cold snow-like light erupted out, enveloping the entire altar along with Bai Li Shu in it.
The Boyikh tribespeople arrived at the divine temple.
The big doors to the temple were tightly shut, with black ancient pythons coiling on the surface of those big doors, and fangs opposing each other. The respectfully standing divine temple formed from seven was lofty, towering and imposing. When people stood in front of it, it was apparent they were incomparably insignificant.
A’Sa held the lit torch up.
The people from the Boyikh tribe sternly stood in front of the temple, while the flames on their bodies raged on. In the fires, each person’s face was all unswerving like the most valiant of soldiers.
A’Sa’s gaze slowly swept by each person’s face.
He was old and full of white hair, but his eyes were keen like a knife, like it was able to look past the flames, and very distinctly see each person’s expression.
At some time ago, the inside of the stone city was filled with wind, so everyone only heard whistling sounds by their ears like the legendary Wind Earl was running around the big and small streets of the black stone city. A’Sa, in the whistling sounds of wind, slowly opened his mouth, with his voice carrying a power it never had before.
Each word and sentence, was just like a thousand-jin bronze cauldron.
“Namu’s fire shall burn down time, Namu’s will shall come stepping through the distant past, bringing down the most paramount of glory.”
The noisy mad winds could not blow away a’Sa’s voice. His white hairs were blown into a mess by the winds, but his voice remained stable and powerful.
“Namu’s fire—— shall—— burn down time——”
The hands of the Boyikh people held the strange bone blades, and lifted them in their hands up high, then shouted out loudly. The sound was full of power and grandeur, oppressive and heavy, like it was calling out to the archaic glory.
The fire on their bodies sprung up, and swept towards the high
“Namu’s subjects have already returned to the homeland once again,
glory as it was of past, oh slumbering deity—— may you awaken to protect your subjects!”
The atmosphere trembled, flames burst out, and sprung up from the Boyikh tribespeople’s bodies. With a blink of the eye, it spread to the floors of the black stone city, from bottom to top, and hovered over to the large doors of the divine temple composed of seven overlapping temples. On the surface of the divine temple’s doors, it was like the giant ancient pythons suddenly revived in the flames.
“Oh Namu’s subjects——” The old desolate voice transmitted along with the fierce winds. “Together with me, call awake our god
——” A’Sa suddenly tossed the torch in his hand, and the torch flew straight up, then shattered in the air into a myriad of golden fires. The fire was like a rainstorm, rapidly falling down towards everyone on the ground.
When the gold-coloured fire fell onto their bodies, the flames on the Boyikh people started transforming into a dazzling gold colour from the bottom up.
They knelt down on the floor towards the temple, prostrated, with the bone blade thrust into the stone in front of their heads. The gold flames enveloped this tribe that wandered in Khlajöwwma’s desert for thousands of years, like the former glory came back, and their honour returned to the vast lands once more.
A’Sa turned around, then also faced the temple and slowly knelt down.
On his face, the lines were like a statue’s, cold and hard.
An archaic, abstruse language was recited out from A’Sa’s mouth. This language itself seemed like it carried a strong power, the tone resonated with the atmosphere, and the world buzzed.
A’Sa had his back faced to everyone, while his hand weakly pressed on the ground, and moved the bone bracelet.
Among the prostrating Boyikh tribespeople, a’Mu who was beside Duotana maintained her crouching position, and gradually lifted her head in the golden flames.
Her face did not have any expression at all, apathetic like a wooden
A’Mu’s eyes met with the ancient pythons coiling on the surface of
the temple’s big door, and the eyes of the ancient pythons with teeth opposing each other turned into a cold deep-green colour. And at this time, the ancient language a’Sa was reciting from his mouth suddenly turned loud and penetrating. The ground slightly shook, buzzing by the ears.
The ancient pythons on the big door swam away and no longer intertwined and bit at each other, then the big and heavy stone door opened up slowly.
The instant the big door to the divine temple opened up, everyone’s ears seemed to echo with a wave of majestic and deep sound with unidentifiable meaning—— the terrifying power contained within it was just like the oracle Namu left here several tens of thousands of years ago resounding once again. The tribespeople of the Boyikh trembled as they kowtowed.
The bone blade in front of them gradually transformed. Patterns of flames appeared on the body of the bone blades.
And a’Mu who was the only one that did not kowtow still had her head raised up.
Two lines of blood gradually came out from her eyes, and slowly slid down from her cheeks.
“The traitor finally receives punishment. On the day Namu’s subjects return, the Scarlet Flame will burn once more, and Namu’s might will shine on the lands like the sun.” Chen Ge Guang read this line out loud, and dumbfoundedly stood in front of a stone wall that was taller beyond imagination.
When he and Mr. Yan entered the first black tower, after they discovered that the drawings on the walls recorded down the history regarding the era of Chaos and an ancient emperor, they started entering the black towers one by one, and examined the wall drawings one after another.
There were still a lot of incomprehensible parts for Chen Ge Guang in regards to the things of the drawings, but Mr. Yan’s knowledge was extremely extensive, and was able to decipher a majority of the contents contained within the drawings.
Combining those drawings they saw, they were able to surmise, on the third-last picture they saw in the very first black tower, the person wearing a cloak and bamboo hat was the so-called traitor.
“That person should be someone from the Bai Li clan of the Eighteen Clans of Old.” Mr. Yan speculated.
Though he did not tell Chen Ge Guang which surnames there were to the Eighteen Clans of Old, he still told him some bits regarding the clan of Bai Li—— why it was a little bit, was because Mr. Yan said, he also went though various clues to speculate upon the existence of this clan of “Bai Li”. That in which he knew of was limited.
That even completely confirming this clan’s existence, was after the discussion that time when he saw that person dressed in the cloak and bamboo hat kneeling towards Namu.
This branch, Bai Li, was like the most mysterious existence concealed within the Eighteen Clans of Old.
Their figures would not appear in the open, and yet, behind each ancient emperor’s fall in the era of Chaos, seemed to have their clan’s meddling within.
And that “traitor” who deceived Namu, who caused Namu to fall into darkness alone, that took the Scarlet Flame, should be a person from the Bai Li clan.
From looking at that line about how “the traitor finally receives punishment”, this person of the Bai Li clan, very likely also received the retaliation of the ancient emperor—— though the ancient emperor was already like the sun setting at the west mountain, that kind of existence’s power was definitely not something the people of today were able to imagine. There was a very large possibility that because the Bai Li clan played far too important of a role in the fall of the ancient emperors, they had to conceal their presence, thus reducing the price they had to pay with the ancient emperors’ rage.
This speculation obtained a certain amount of confirmation in the final stone wall they found.
This stone wall in front of Mr. Yan and Chen Ge Guang that was taller than what they could imagine was located in the city’s southwest area. The stone wall was inscribed full with many words all compacted together, and according to Mr. Yan’s judgment, these characters were inscribed on at different times.
And on this wall, there was a written record, saying that when Namu fell, they cursed that traitor.
“The traitor will eternally fall into chaos, burdened with a hundred illnesses, with the army of Zangmu hovering at their side at every moment.”
This content regarding the curse was extremely obscure and hard to understand- being burdened by a hundred illnesses was still relatively easy to understand, and the army of Zangmu could be understood as Namu’s army, and also could be interpreted as the definition of death in the lands of Khlajöwwma, but there was no way of deciphering what “eternally falling into chaos” was.
But no matter what, that Bai Li person who schemed against Namu, would definitely pay a large price.
Other than this, the stone wall’s writings also recorded down many strange and odd things, and the characters used seemed to not be completely all the same. It seemed like after the ancient emperor’s fall, the people who left the stone city continuously returned to this place, and then engraved about things in between the either long or short time gaps each time.
Mr. Yan also found it very hard to recognize these words, and could only read a portion. In the last half of the words, it recorded down the various efforts Namu’s subjects did to rekindle the Scarlet Flame.
In the place near the end, it engraved the method they finally obtained to rekindle the Scarlet Flame after countless people’s attempts. Only, this portion of characters was very strange, and Mr. Yan could only manage to guess a portion of its contents.
It said that when the human Zangmu was born in the tribe, her eyes would connect with the past and future, and when the time was right, Namu’s subjects would be able to return.
With the Scarlet Flame already extinguished, Namu’s subjects suffered exile, with the glory no longer. But the scorching sun does not die, Namu’s subjects would soon return to the homeland, and the Fire of the Scarlet Flame would soon light up once more, while Namu’s might will shake the entire world.
After this line, there were no other records, as though the final group of the emperor’s subjects living in the black stone city, after this ancient emperor fell, had to leave this place as well.
Mr. Yan calculated the time this line was written according to its characters.
It was precisely when the Boyikh tribe appeared at the Khlajöwwma
The Boyikh tribe, was the ancient emperor’s subjects that would
“soon return to the homeland” to light the Fire of Scarlet Flame!
 ⻛伯- God of Wind in Chinese mythology, with the body of a deer, patterns of a leopard, and a head of a peacock.
Chapter One Hundred Forty-nine, the Scarlet Flame Rekindled, the Awakened City. (⾚炎重燃, 苏醒之城)
Chen Ge Guang recalled his group of soldiers that chased after the Boyikh tribe but instead fell into a trap in the end, those camel bells with the symbols of the Boyikh tribe and ropes tied in the air that created a strange formation, that in the end, drew in Ghost City’s sudden abnormalities.
Yellow sands that spread across the skies and earth, the stone Buddha opening its eyes, and the shadow-like army of Zangmu appearing in the sands.
Ghost City was the homeland of Namu that the Boyikh tribe were searching for many years. They returned here to awaken the ancient Namu, and re-obtain their glory.
Only, Chen Ge Guang could not understand, just what was the stone Buddha they saw? Just what kind of relationship did it have with Namu, the ancient emperors…… and these ancient secrets?
In the legends regarding Gua Province, Ghost City was originally a Buddhist city, but afterwards, due to Heaven’s wrath, the monks of profound cultivation all turned into stone statues. In the deepest parts of Ghost City, one could find eighteen big and tall rock mountains that if looked at from afar, would be like monks standing with their heads hung down. And before Chen Ge Guang and Mr. Yan entered Namu’s imperial city, they saw a stone statue opening its eyes in the sands. Since the legendary Namu’s homeland already became a reality, then was the legends of the monks turning into stone also real?
Namu’s legend was hidden with the era of Chaos’ ancient emperor’s secret, then, what would the monks turning into stone hide?
Chen Ge Guang felt like he seemed to have faintly touched upon something, but it was unclear.
There was only a sort of feeling, a feeling like he was standing outside the long river of history hidden away by many people, and peered into a corner of this world’s iceberg.
The things Mr. Yan knew of were much than him, so the things he was able to guess from connecting with the stone wall, would be more than Chen Ge Guang as well. At this time, he turned absent-minded in front of the stone wall too, as though speculating some much more terrifying truths.
After a long time, Mr. Yan came to, and gripped the luminous pearl used for lighting, then told Chen Ge Guang to leave.
He seemed to plan on going to the temple in the very center of the stone city.
From looking at the stone wall’s records, the way to leaving Namu’s imperial city seemed to be related with the temple in the middle of the city.
And then, just when the two turned and were about to go towards the very center of the city, the thick stone beneath their feet trembled all of a sudden.
Chen Ge Guang was originally in a state of high alert in this kind of dark environment, so when the stone shook, the blade in his hands suddenly turned, and was prepared to be brandished at any moment.
Mr.Yan suddenly detained his hands, pulled him back, and the two leaned against the wall. Just when Chen Ge Guang was about to open his mouth, he heard Mr. Yan’s voice directly resound in his mind, “Don’t speak.”
Afterwards, his vision went dark- the luminous pearl in Mr Yan’s hands was put back in his ring. But the darkness in his sight lasted for an instant, and in the next moment, his vision emerged with a dazzling light.
There was a giant clearing in front of the stone wall, with several long streets that connected to here. Just before, they went along one of the streets and walked to the end, and arrived at this place. The stone beneath their feet unceasingly shook, as though the entire stone city trembled altogether. This kind of tremor very easily made people think there was something slowly waking up.
The clearing suddenly appeared with lines of shockingly-bright cracks—— no, not cracks, that was a searing-bright magma-like fire. Just like the earthen shell cracked open with magma flooding out, the surface of the deep-black stone slowly burned with a bright fire. One line, two lines, three lines…… With a blink of the eye, the entire clearing was enveloped in flames, like magma filled this place.
The atmosphere turned scorching hot all of a sudden, even hotter than it was in the Khlajöwwma Desert.
The only place not covered by flames, was a long and narrow area in front of the giant stone wall they were leaning against.
If Mr. Yan did not pull Chen Ge Guang, and let him lean against the stone wall together, Chen Ge Guang would have probably been surrounded by flames right now.
That would definitely not be some good end. “Heavens……”
They read the written records on the stone wall just now, and then with the blink of an eye, they saw this strange scene, truly making people unable to not connect with that one line repeatedly mentioned on the stone wall:
—— The traitor finally receives punishment, on the day Namu’s subjects return, the Scarlet Flame will burn once more, and Namu’s might will shine on the lands like the sun.
The thing they saw in front of them, was this the so-called…… Scarlet Flame?
Just like a hole broke in the earth’s crust, magma flowed out from underneath. The flames poured out along this clearing’s streets like a flowing river—— akin to refilled rivers before the rainy season came. After the magma-like flames spread to the streets, it sprung up into the air with a “fwoosh”.
Scorching fire burned ablaze in the darkness.
The first deep-black stone house was enveloped by the flames, then the second, third…… Wherever the river of fire flowed to, would be where the flames would envelop.
The world that was covered by viscous substance-like darkness just now, suddenly turned bright like the daytime.
This city…… This city was burning up!!
The flames were rekindled, Namu’s subjects returned to this place, they woke this ancient city up, and next, they would also……
Now, even without a luminous pearl, the expression on the face could be seen very clearly. Chen Ge Guang’s face was a pale-white, with sweat all over it. Mr. Yan who was by his side was wearing an iron mask, so he could not see clearly what kind of expression it was, but Chen Ge Guang was able to feel, the hand the other party held his wrist with suddenly stiffened.
He knew why Mr. Yan would have this kind of reaction. Because…… A much more bigger, much more brighter fire, burned up in this dark space.
In the middle of the black city, that giant, magnificent throne that did not belong to what humans could touch suspended over the temple also burned up. Scarlet-red fire tumbled on the imperial throne, and slowly dripped down from the throne. That was no longer like an imperial throne, but much more like a thawing sun!
The throne was slowly ascending, just like the sun rising up.
Like in the old legends of the Boyikh tribe, Namu’s might would soon shine on the vast lands like the sun.
The scarlet fire dripping from the throne fell onto the black stone city, thus burning up the stone city. This city that sat still in the darkness for several tens of thousands of years was slowly waking up right now. The former glory was slowly enveloping this place right this moment.
This was a soul-stirring yet also an extremely frightening scene. Seeing this scene face-on was like directly facing a miracle.
Humans, in front of this kind of power, turned as insignificant as passing dust—— no wonder in the beginning of the era of Chaos, the ancient emperors were able to command the world, it was because they themselves were this kind of frightening existence.
Chen Ge Guang opened up his mouth. By facing this kind of scene that made people feel like they were practically dust, it was as though one’s linguistic ability disappeared in an instant.
Mr. Yan was the first to come to his senses. He tore at his throat and ordered in a stern voice, but his voice seemed particularly sharp. Flames turned and rolled out, and at this time, the crackling noises of the fire burning gathered into a giant echo found everywhere. The tremors of the city also turned more and more violent.
Chen Ge Guang came to, only, he still did not understand what Mr.
Run? Run where? Run how?
All around was a boundless raging fire apart from this small little place they stood at in front of the stone wall. Chen Ge Guang did not know if that raging fire was the legendary Scarlet Flame, but with just the searing heat in the air, it made people feel like their muscles and tendons faintly ache, unable to breathe- if one touched those flames, the resulting end could be imagined.
Just at this time, sounds of heavy horse hooves they heard before in the stone alley resounded once again.
But this time, they saw the owner of the hoof sounds.
At the end of the street spread with scorching fires, a cavalry appeared.
Several zhang-tall odd beasts appeared in the fire. Sure, those odd beasts looked quite similar to horses, but whose motherfucking horse was this big and even grew a steel-like pair of wings? Chen Ge Guang felt like he wasn’t even as tall as a single hoof. The abnormal horse’s body was draped with bronze mail, while the grinding of the mail let out a head- numbing sound. That armour probably weighed as heavy as several ten thousand tons.
So that’s why the horse hooves would make such a heavy sound like thunder. And on the bodies of the odd beasts sat giant-like figures, only, those knights similarly draped with mail did not have any flesh or blood
—— they were frames and frames of white skeletons. The white skeleton knights’ hands held spears. And what made people much more in fear was, the armour on the bodies of the knights was embedded with pairs and pairs of eyes. At this time, those eyes were open, and the pupils were burning with fire, all nefarious and unusual.
Chen Ge Guang couldn’t help but think back to those big and tall stone houses that didn’t seem like it was for living people to live in, with those walls engraved with countless densely-placed eyes, with pair and pairs of real eyeballs behind the pictures of the eyes.
The hell, the deity that the Boyikh worshipped, that so-called Namu, just what kind of ancient emperor were they, and why would they have such a strong enthusiasm for eyes?
But the reason why the armour on these knights’ bodies would be embedded with these many eyes, seemed to be very easy to understand.
These knights, they did not have heads.
A helmet was suspended above the neck, but the area above the neck, was barren and empty.
Because there was no head, there would be no eyes, hence, they would then need to embed so many eyes on the armour to see?
Chen Ge Guang did not know how to evaluate it anymore.
No matter if it was Chen Ge Guang or Mr. Yan, they all had a kind of feeling like being observed by some extremely terrifying thing- those eyes seemed to really be able to “see”. And at this time, they were looking right at Chen Ge Guang and Mr. Yan whose bodies were not burning with fire and not Namu’s subjects. —— This was the reason why Mr. Yan ordered him to leave with a stern voice.
To their front was the clearing covered with magma-like flames, to the streets at the end of the clearing was the big, tall, scary and strange cavalry, and to their backs was a stone wall, where does one run?
Mr. Yan pulled Chen Ge Guang, then hauled him and lightly flew up, moving almost parallel to the unimaginably-tall stone wall. This stone wall had a semi-circular arch, with the two ends separately connecting with other streets, forming into a half-sealed structure. What was behind the stone wall, no one knew.
And Mr. Yan seemed to plan on directly passing through the top part of the stone wall, then flipping to the other side of it.
—— Who cares what was behind the stone wall, whatever it was, it wouldn’t be worse than going against those terrifying soldiers head-on.
At the time Mr. Yan rapidly flew along the stone wall, streams of fire passed by the back, covering towards Mr. Yan and Chen Ge Guang like showers of arrows.
Chapter One Hundred Fifty, Life and Death Up To the Heavens, Beneath the Mask. (⽣死由天, ⾯具之下)
Mr. Yan carried Chen Ge Guang while dodging the shower-like streaming fire.
The molten fire came down rapidly- even if Mr. Yan used all his cultivation to avoid it, he could only very dangerously dodge it. Furthermore, he was also carrying the cultivation-less Chen Ge Guang, making things much more difficult.
As Chen Ge Guang was pulled by him, he heard sounds of wind blowing by his ears, and turned filled with doubt:
—— How has this bastard not just thrown him off yet.
Chen Ge Guang did not believe a bastard who could casually use black fire to burn a normal person would be that benevolent. And yet the truth was, even if the skies were filled with rains of fire, with dangers all around, Mr. Yan dangerously avoided the flames time after time again, yet still firmly caught onto him.
Chen Ge Guang did not understand.
While avoiding the overspreading rain of fire, Mr. Yan quickly brought Chen Ge Guang towards the top of the stone wall. He did not turn his head to see the situation to his back, but in his ears, the sound of horse hooves slowly got closer, as though that cavalry was slowly walking close to this stone wall. As the cavalry got nearer, the boundless rain of fire turned more and more pressing.
Just as they were about to climb over the stone wall, their surroundings were enveloped in flames all of a sudden.
The scorching feeling behind their backs already reached a point that even a cultivator like him was unable to tolerate.
Their line of sight was that bright, as though there was a terrifyingly-giant ball of fire coming towards him and Chen Ge Guang, moving very fast. The top part of the stone wall was already within their sights, but the final short little distance was incomparably far at this moment in time.
The forehead underneath Mr. Yan’s mask was already filled with cold sweat.
The hand he pulled Chen Ge Guang with had tendons bursting out.
At this time, if Mr. Yan were to throw Chen Ge Guang down, and save the strength from protecting him, his pace would be enough to go through this stone wall before the fireball hit.
But he did not.
When the giant fireball enveloped Mr. Yan and Chen Ge Guang, he still tightly held onto Chen Ge Guang.
Inside of Chen Ge Guang’s vision was a span of brightness, so bright it was enough to scorch the eyes, and in that instant, he thought he was being swallowed by the sun, as all that it made contact with was brilliant. Nevertheless, there was no feeling of being burned into ashes by fire as he thought there would be. The moment before they were swallowed by the fireball, Mr. Yan turned his hand and sacrificed his blade.
That strange long blade shattered in midair, and erupted with a similarly eye-dazzling dark-purple light. The power that burst out from the blade Mr. Yan sacrificed forcefully stopped that giant fireball for just a moment when it exploded in midair. But when the long blade shattered, Mr. Yan seemed to have received a serious blow, and his figure shook intensely for a moment.
Nevertheless, the giant shockwave created from the fireball and the purple light’s clash became their aid at this time, and the two flew up along with the impact, and went past the top of the stone wall.
The injuries that Mr. Yan sustained in that one instance just now seemed to be very serious, that when he flew by the top of the wall, he had no strength to turn over it.
That he even almost didn’t hang onto Chen Ge Guang.
With one look, the two were about to brush shoulders with the top of the stone wall, and fall down once again, and fall into the sea of fire on the ground. Chen Ge Guang, in this moment of life and death, extended the blade tightly held in his hands towards the stone wall to forcefully stop the momentum of falling down.
He yelled out angrily, and turned over it along with Mr. Yan.
Because he used too much strength, the web of the hand gripping the blade instantly cracked, with blood pouring out.
Once they climbed over the stone wall, the world behind the stone wall seemed to be of a completely different state from the other side. The environment behind the stone wall remained to be enveloped in darkness, with no scorching fire wave either.
Chen Ge Guang’s blade was stuck in the stone wall, with one hand caught on the wall, while his body was suspended in midair, taking in breaths intensely.
He was only an ordinary person without any cultivation. Even if he trained in martial arts, at this kind of time, the fright from the pressure far exceeded that of a cultivator’s- that one action of his just now as an ordinary person was pretty much unimaginable already. And after climbing over the wall, Chen Ge Guang’s strength was just about all used up. It was that final sliver of reasoning that told him if he let go and directly fell down, he would probably die on the spot.
While Chen Ge Guang was taking in big breaths, he suddenly felt his shoulder go light.
With a turn of the head, he saw the hand Mr. Yan caught him with already let go.
When he saw that Mr. Yan was about to directly fall down from this unimaginably-tall stone wall, Chen Ge Guang cursed out loud, and unconsciously extended his hand to pull Mr. Yan up.
Immortal cultivators falling from a wall this high would definitely not die, but it might not be the case for an immortal cultivator who was so seriously injured they already lost consciousness.
As Chen Ge Guang dangerously caught Mr. Yan, he felt his arm sink down.
The other person seemed to have lost their consciousness already. Without waiting for Chen Ge Guang to slightly let loose a breath, he discovered that their circumstances did not get that much better.
Chen Ge Guang originally did not have much strength left. It was thanks to the blade stuck in the stone wall supporting the body, that they then did not fall down from the wall—— directly falling from here was almost no different from jumping off a cliff. Now that he let go of the hand grabbing onto the wall to pull the unconscious Mr. Yan, he already had not much strength left to persevere. “Shit……” Chen Ge Guang subconsciously spat out the curse word he learned in the army.
With a bite down, Chen Ge Guang turned resolute, and he pulled out the blade.
Just when the blade that was the sole point of support was pulled out, Chen Ge Guang and Mr. Yan rapidly fell downward.
In a short moment’s time, the two people already fell several zhang down.
clang—— A buzz.
When Chen Ge Guang was falling down, he forcefully thrust the blade sideways into the stone wall. Though it was not enough for him and Mr. Yan to stabilize their bodies, it still acted as a bit of buffering.
In the process of the two falling down, the blade drew out a long, long line in the stone wall, with sparks flying all over the place.
The speed falling hence slowed down by quite a bit.
When Chen Ge Guang estimated there was about several zhang off from the ground, he let his hand go, and jumped down from midair with Mr. Yan in tow.
He did not know what was on the floor behind the stone wall.
If it was still a floor of stone, then the two would fall into a complete mess. If it had other traps…… then one could only say that Heaven did not plan on letting them live.
By the fortunes, Old Man Heaven protected them.
The bottom of the stone wall was still the floor, neither swords nor blades lying in ambush. When they fell to the floor, even if Chen Ge Guang already exhausted all his strength to use a forward roll to discharge a portion of the impact, they still fell down quite heavily. All from head to toe was pain- he felt there must’ve been a bone in his body that broke.
He laid down in the darkness completely mentally exhausted, while there was buzzing by his ears. Chen Ge Guang silently cursed while paralyzed to the floor, unable to move at all. After a while, the buzzing by the ears quieted down, and his consciousness gradually recovered.
Chen Ge Guang propped against the floor and climbed up as he grimaced. The surroundings were a complete darkness, so he had to extend his hand out to feel around.
When he jumped down, he turned muddled as he fell, and didn’t have a way of holding onto Mr. Yan any longer- where the other person fell to, he did not know.
After groping around, Chen Ge Guang touched a metal object- it was Mr. Yan’s mask, it should have fallen off when they fell down. When Chen Ge Guang touched to the side of the mask, he found Mr. Yan.
“Dead yet?” He asked.
Mr. Yan seemed to have also woken up, and replied with a sound, then took out a luminous pearl.
When it lit up, Chen Ge Guang looked over there. He suddenly froze.