Zhao Ge Chapter 61-70

Chapter 61

Chapter Sixty-One, Constellations and Flowing Clouds, Jiu Xuan’s Disciples. (星⾠流云, 九⽞弟⼦)
The tip of the lofty black tower submerged into the sunken dark clouds. The Qing Ming tower was spread all over with countless warped spaces, and in the skies, layers and layers of thick dark clouds obstructed the rays of light, making the world look dismal and obscure. And within the darkness, hovering all around the black tower, were cloud-like constellation lights indiscernible like a dream and fantasy. The light from the stars revolved around the warped spaces, and layered and twisted, seemingly near and far, real and fake.

This was a beautiful scenery that made people felt stifled yet also made one gasp in admiration.

No matter if it was the giant tower ninety-nine floors tall, or if it was the revolving clouds of stars, all seeped out with a kind of ancient, grand air.

Within this gloominess, that half wooden tablet falling down from midair looked incomparably insignificant, like a negligible speck of sand. It fell down on an angle, and in its path, were still several warped spacial crevices present.

And then, there was someone who already lightly sprung up.

That person’s garments were wide and broad. In the murky world, their clothes were as white as snow, and their sleeves in the air spread out like flying cranes in the clouds. He flew past several warped space crevices, and flew past the slivers of cloud-like floating starlight. The light of the stars instantly lit up that person’s features that seemed like it was enveloped in ice and snow.

Just when the deep-black wooden tablet was on the verge of falling into a spacial crevice, the hand of a lonely wrist bone reached out and caught it.

When the youth came down, a sliver of starlight like a water weed floating on the surface of the water seemed like it was blown by the wind, and floated towards the youth’s back.

“Your back!” Jun Wan Bai suddenly moved forward a step, and the swords in her hands were immediately gripped tight.

That scene just before of Zhou Wen An’s blade silently perishing within the starlight still remained in everyone’s minds. Pretty much everyone abruptly held in their breaths, and sweated for Bai Li Shu.

As though they long already knew, the youth’s body lightly slid towards another side a fair distance like it did not have any weight to it, and the moving cloud of stars drifted past the youth’s side with the ever slightest difference. Following which, the thin youth once again brushed past two warped spacial crevices, and landed onto the ground in front of Ye Qiu Sheng in the end.

When they saw that white-robed youth soundly and safely reach the group, with their hand holding that pitch-black spiritual tablet, just about everyone involuntarily let out a breath.

“Incredible……” Liao Qian exaggeratedly closed his open mouth. He released the hand that pulled at Zhou Wen An, and watched the youth who slightly lowered his head to look at the name on the spiritual tablet, then used his elbows to poke at Zhou Wen An who turned a bit absent-minded to his side. “It’s good to have a reliable senior.” Liao Qian said this with extreme admiration. Seniors like his were all bastards who cultivated in the “Best Policy of the Thirty-six[1]” and “Knacks to the Word Run” particularly perfectly and incomparably skilfully.

Zhou Wen An held up his weapon that was broken off from the chain, and did not say anything.

After Bai Li Shu finished looking at the words on the spiritual tablet, he turned his head to look at Zhou Wen An. He raised his hands, then the pitch-black spiritual tablet flew past everyone, and flew to the front of Zhou Wen An.

Zhou Wen An’s hands slightly shook as it reached out, and caught the spiritual tablet lightly flying over.

Just when he wanted to say something, the thin white-robed youth already turned back and continued walking towards the black-coloured tall tower.

“Let’s go.” Li Xin who was always gloomy and unlike a living being turned his head to say a brief word to him. After saying this, Li Xin followed along Bai Li Shu’s steps.

“If you don’t have the skill, don’t go randomly showing it off.” Jun Wan Bai stiffly opened her mouth, “If the spiritual tablet fell in, could you scoop it up successfully? When we go back, go copy the sect rules twenty times.”

After saying this, Jun Wan Bai very quickly turned and walked forward. It was only now that she then slightly relaxed the tight hold of the swords’ hilts, and the cold light on the swords also gradually dimmed down.

Qin Jiu who had his wine flask suspended in midair for a long time finally raised his head, and poured down the wine into his mouth that did not drink for half a day, then turned over and naturally walked forward. Chu Zhi Yuan whose eyebrows were always wrinkled finally relaxed a bit. He slightly nodded his head to Zhou Wen An, while Shen Chang Ge once again opened his Yin Yang Fan.

The other Jiu Xuan disciples who stopped before this did not open their mouths, and signalled for Zhou Wen An to hurry and catch up.

Zhou Wen An lowered his head, and stroked the words on the pitch- black-coloured spiritual tablet. He looked at the broken portion of the deep- black wooden tablet, and the corner of his eyes gradually reddened. Liao Qian sighed, and put his arm over Zhou Wen An’s shoulder like a good brother, and pulled this fellow to walk ahead.

“Fine, fine. Your senior’s the most reliable in the world. Don’t stimulate this unlucky bastard who’s always being tricked by his seniors everyday, okay?” Liao Qian complained on and on, “To pull you back just now, this old man used a high-class Azure Cloud Chain talisman. Three hundred mid-class spirit stones. Don’t forget to pay me when we get back.”

Zhou Wen An quickly raised his head again. He twitched the corners of his mouth, wanting to say something, but did not say it in the end.

“Hey, you brat, it can’t be that you want to go back on the debt, right? I’m telling you right now, don’t you think about denying even a single copper coin from a Nine Provinces Private Bank disciple! I won’t say anything else, but our ability in demanding repayment is definitely number one out of the entire country.” Liao Qian vigilantly looked at Zhou Wen An. Ah crap, this brat guards the tower the entire day. With a look at his clothes, he knew it was something Jiu Xuan Sect hands out to everyone, where would he have the money?

Zhou Wen An very carefully put away the spiritual tablet. When he heard Liao Qian muttering, he stretched his hand out and felt around, and took out a low-class spirit stone and handed it to Liao Qian in the end.

“What is it?” Liao Qian slightly blankly took the low-class spirit stone. Zhou Wen An slapped away the arm put over his shoulder, and with his gaze towards the front, he opened his mouth without changing his expression, “All my assets.”

All his assets?

Liao Qian speechlessly lowered his head to look at that pitiful low- class spirit stone in his eyes, then once again looked at Zhou Wen An, and fearfully discovered this brat likely wasn’t deceiving anyone.

“Fuck me……” As Zhou Wen An walked ahead, two words jumped out from Liao Qian’s mouth. He held the low-class spirit stone in his hand, and then once again recalled that spiritual talisman worth three hundred mid-class spirit stones he used up, and in a moments time, his heart ached to the point the flesh on his face was all quivering.

“Motherfucker, poor bastard……”     After exasperatedly cursing out once, Liao Qian followed everyone.

Fine, fine. If it’s a poor bastard, then let it be so. Even if they were anything more, it was better than a madman who didn’t even want to live on.

However……

Liao Qian raised his head to look at the imposing and erect tall tower, and genuinely shivered…… He then put on a grave face. He wasn’t like this bunch of fierce people that was Jiu Xuan Sect who were able to break into mountains of knives and seas of fire[2] without changing their expression…… H-he’s afraid of dying!

◈◈◈
The Qing Ming tower was ninety-nine stories tall.

This was a formation tower used to connect the world and the flow of water, confirm the direction of the constellations, and guide the routes for flying vessels, not a mortal realm’s tower that offered people a place to go up and play. On the tower’s body, there was not even a single window, and the area inside the tower’s mid-section was also empty. Before the Qing Ming tower met with a mishap, the center-most place of the tower was flooded with power of the space and stars that circulated according to the formation.

The sole place that could draw in light was the top-most floor, and it was also the area that was placed with the spiritual tablets of the Jiu Xuan disciples who died protecting the tower.

At this time and moment, the heavy main door of the Qing Ming tower was shut tight. Bai Li Shu’s group of people passed through the area spread out with warped spacial crevices and rays of starlight, and arrived to the front of the Qing Ming tower’s main door.

The thick big door was constructed from the deep-black rocks extracted from the “earth” vein just like the ones used on the tower’s body, completely of one body, ten zhang tall, and approximately eight zhang wide. When people stood in front of it, it was apparent they were particularly insignificant.

The black stone door was symmetrical on both the left and right, and when they were combined, it formed a complete diagram of a magic formation. To open the main door, one must go through the unique method of using the formation to move it. However, the formation on the door was slowly being worn down- there were already comparatively fine and small marks that already disappeared, and apparent that activating this kind of incomplete formation was very dangerous.

When listening to Zhou Wen An’s explanation, Jun Wan Bai raised her head to look at the formation diagram on the stone door, and could not help but recall that Thunderstorm Azure Dragon Formation she randomly linked together under the Spirit Star temple.

When she recalled that “Thunderstorm Azure Dragon Formation” that almost buried Li Xin and herself, Jun Wan Bai could not hold back from nodding her head, expressing complete approval of Zhou Wen An’s words. “This formation looks a bit familiar……” Ye Qiu Sheng muttered to himself. He took a few steps beck, and raised his head to look at the formation diagram engraved on the stone door from a comparatively farther place.

He felt like this formation diagram was a bit familiar, but could not recall where this familiar feeling was coming from.

Bai Li Shu slightly turned his head, and took a look at Ye Qiu Sheng, but did not say anything.

Since Zhou Wen An guarded this place for seven years, the formation on the stone door was engraved in his heart, so everyone waited for a while to let him mend the missing lines on the stone door. In the process, Li Xin used the corner of his eyes to look at Jun Wan Bai who had a solemn expression.

Compared to Li Xin who did not even look at half a word of
《Formation Principles》, or Jun Wan Bai who could turn a Thunderstorm Azure Dragon Formation into something with the power of shaking the heavens and earth, Zhou Wen An was, without a doubt, more reliable. Everyone only waited for a third of a incense’s time, and Zhou Wen An finished temporarily mending the stone door’s formation.

As for why it was said to be temporarily, was because these newly engraved formation lines were slowly being worn away by the same unknown power, and could not be maintained for long in the same manner.

After the formation diagram was finished mending, Zhou Wen An took out the formation pearls, and placed them into the formation’s holes one by one.

When Ye Qiu Sheng saw him put formation pearls in, he finally recalled why this formation diagram looked familiar. Turns out this feeling of familiarity was not due to the formation itself, but it was because this formation and the sealing formation on the black-iron door under the Spirit Star temple were the same, and similarly relied on formation pearls that were like luminous pearls to activate it. And when the final pearl was placed in, the formation on the black stone lit up.

It was just like a pitch-black sky that suddenly appeared with bits of starlight. Along with the heavy sound of giant stone rubbing against each other, the shut stone door blocking everyone’s path finally slowly opened inward.

Before the stone door opened, Zhou Wen An’s mind emerged with an image he was extremely familiar with—— inside the black tower, scripts engraved on the walls brilliantly shined, while the spirit stone embedded in nodes of the formation lines would be twinkling like diamonds. In the very center of the archaic and mysterious Qing Ming tower would be a pillar of light pouring down from the top. The starlight being restricted in the center of the tower would circulate like clouds, changing along with the changes of the constellations in the skies…… magnificent like a dream.

But there wasn’t any.

There were no lit lines of the formation, no twinkling spirit stones, nor any flowing constellation clouds. And furthermore, no senior brothers and sisters leaning against the stone pillars waiting to be on duty.

Behind the stone door was a span of pitch-blackness, a stretch of deathly stillness.

That faint bit of hope of Zhou Wen An’s disappeared. He absent- mindedly looked at the Qing Ming tower that seemed to be completely foreign to him, and in an instant, felt like this was only a dream.

“Let’s go.” Liao Qian saw that Zhou Wen An’s face was not looking all that good, and thus patted his shoulder, “Um…… I won’t chase you for the remaining money.”

Zhou Wen An barely managed to smile at Liao Qian, and tightly gripped his own hands. Bai Li Shu was similarly observing the pitch blackness behind the door. He lightly, inconspicuously sighed, and following after, instructed everyone to be careful and not to carelessly touch the things inside the tower with his usual expression, then was first to enter inside the Qing Ming tower.

When the last Jiu Xuan Sect disciple stepped into the Qing Ming tower, a distinct sound of stone grinding and moving resonated in everyone’s ears. This sound was not loud, but because it was a span of deathly stillness inside the tower, it was particularly distinct. When Zhou Wen An heard this familiar sound, his expression suddenly changed.

“Not good!”        Zhou Wen An’s voice raised up all of a sudden, and brought with it an unconcealed anxiety and panic.

“It’s the defence magic!”

[1] Derived from 三⼗六计, ⾛为上计, which means, of the thirty-six plans one could come with, running away is the best one (in face of enemies you cannot fight back against).

[2] Expression for, very dangerous places.

Chapter 62

Chapter Sixty-Two, the Tower of Silence, Darkness Without Boundary. (沉默之塔, ⿊暗⽆界)
Within the darkness, the sound of stone grinding was particularly distinct. In the next moment, bits and specks of light lit up in everyone’s eyes, fine and fragmented, and a bit fleeting. Following which, the pitch- black stone tiles on the path in front emerged with line after line of dazzling formation patterns, apparent that a certain formation spell had been activated.

Zhou Wen An’s mind turned into a complete mess. He could confirm that he did not engrave even a single line of the formation diagram wrong, the formation pearls were also placed in without error, so why would they be recognized as intruders, and set off the defensive magic in the tower?

“Your Jiu Xuan’s spells attack without differentiating between friend or foe?”      Seeing how the formation quickly lit up line by line on the ground, the entire formation was going to be activated with the blink of an eye, and Liao Qian’s face instantly turned white. As a formation spell used to defend a Qing Ming tower, who cares if it was the most impressive one or not, Liao Qian did not want to test it at all.

During the time Liao Qian was in fear, Shen Chang Ge at the front
moved.

He flew out, and his figure rushed into the darkness where the
formation lit up. Some type of poison rapidly flew out in a series from the folding fan in his hands like lightning, then separated into several in the air, and correctly fell onto the lit formation nodes in front of everyone.

Everyone only heard a series of eroding sounds resonate that made people’s ears slightly hurt, and a dim white smoke rise up from ten or so points from the ground.

—— Before the spell completely activated, Shen Chang Ge moved first, and used his severe poison to destroy the several points of the formation.

The formation that had been lit up two-thirds slowly died out, and the space inside the tower once again returned to the darkness. Shen Chang Ge landed on the ground, and his face let out an uncertain expression—— too easy. Even if the formation had not completely activated, for the nodes to be so easily destroyed by him was still obviously too easy.
Shen Chang Ge didn’t even use the next hand he predicted to use. “It’s a bit strange.” Shen Chang Ge took a look all around, and
opened his mouth. The sound of stone grinding still continuously resounded beside everyone’s ears, and the bits of light sparkling in the darkness flickered around.

Jun Wan Bai waved her hand, and let all the Jiu Xuan disciples light up torches. The flames blazed, and illuminated the stretch of space of the Qing Ming tower’s entrance. Shen Chang Ge stood at a relatively farther place from them, and in front of Shen Chang Ge was a giant formation diagram hidden underneath the black stone.

When the flame lit up, everyone then knew why Shen Chang Ge was able to that easily destroy the spell’s nodes just now.

Because this formation diagram was already missing a large half to
it.

Just like those old scripts engraved on the tower’s body, the
defensive formation engraved within the black stone similarly was being slowly worn away by an unknown power. The lines were already extremely light, and in the middle, there were many places already broken off. Ye Qiu Sheng went up a few steps, and recognized that it was a Soul-warding[1] Formation that once activated would turn into something like a powerful army bursting out. In normal circumstances, this formation moved quite fast, and could not possibly be intercepted in the middle at all.

—— Either this incomplete formation goes halfway into motion, and due its incompleteness, actively die out, or the force it put into motion has no way of completing its loop, and explode as a result.

Ye Qiu Sheng looked at Shen Chang Ge once, with something in
mind.

In those past couple of moments, Shen Chang Ge damaged the main
cores of the spiritual energy circulation, apparent that they were extremely familiar with the formation. However, before this, he and Shen Chang Ge had fought with each other quite a few times, and last-named Shen had never revealed any proficiency on formations before.

Jiu Xuan Sect, Jiu Xuan Sect.    Ye Qiu Sheng coldly laughed inside. As expected of the number one of the Eight Immortal Sects, Jiu Xuan Sect. Not one of them were simple characters.

Bai Li Shu who did not have any movements at all after the defensive formation lit up slightly raised his head, and looked towards the top of the tower that was off from the ground for who-knows how high. The ninety-nine-floored Qing Ming tower’s topmost floor was the sole place within the tower that had light coming in. In the regular day, the sky’s light would trickle down from there, and mingle with the constellation lights hovering within to have this tower illuminated.

But at this time, the place that originally should be transmitting light was a stretch of gloominess.

The entire tower was incomparably oppressive. When everyone light up torches, Zhou Wen An stepped out a fair distance, and looked at those twinkling bits of light closest to him- those was engraved spirit stones inlaid on the tower pillars. However, the spirit stones that were normally lit to the extent of being dazzling was dim at this time, flickering as though it was candlelight that could could die out at any time.

Zhou Wen An had never thought there would come a day where the Qing Ming tower would dim down to this kind of extent.

He touched a spirit stone that was faint like the light of a firefly, and recalled Senior who complained of how bright it was when replacing the spirit stones not long ago. He heavily, depressingly took in a breath, and tightly clutched the body of the ice-cold pillar.

Liao Qian cast glances left and right, and in the end, still very carefully crossed through the formation diagram of unknown circumstances, and walked over to Zhou Wen An’s side.

“The five elements are already in disorder.” Bai Li Shu lightly
said.

He observed the pitch-black, wide space within the tower. The
architectural style of the era of Chaos’ large and grandness as well as the era of Ten Thousand Immortals’ magnificence and intricacy was preserved in the Qing Ming tower. The first floor already took up space close to a small-scale city.

—— The five elements are already in disorder.

When they heard Bai Li Shu’s words, everyone stopped with what they were doing, and understood why even though Zhou Wen An clearly restored the formation according to its original appearance before opening the stone door, it would still trigger the defensive formation within the tower. In the interior of the Qing Ming tower, the spacial and stars’ power that had went through a long period of precipitation and accumulation spread out, and even influenced the entire Bing Province City’s boundaries of Yin and Yang. Naturally, the interior of the tower would be much more affected.

Formation spells were originally a type of method for moving the world’s five elements and spiritual energy, and when the five elements were in disorder, the formations would very naturally have no way of circulating according to its original pathway.

Bai Li Shu took out the Golden Crow longbow, and just like when he was underneath the Spirit Star temple, he put down a long arrow smeared with light oil, and shot it out towards several directions within the Qing Ming tower.

The light arrows burned up and turned into a ball of fire, yet could not act like it did underneath Yan Men, and illuminate the space inside the Qing Ming tower. It very quickly disappeared within the darkness, as though it was swallowed by something.

—— This area’s space already approached being warped.

Bai Li Shu lowered his eyes, and did not feel disappointed. He signalled everyone to not directly walk into the center of the tower originally circulating with the power of space and stars, and to follow him and walk along the circular-shaped encirclement and check.

Ye Qiu Sheng constantly kept his eyes open for Bai Li Shu’s movements, and he quickly entered deep thought. The Universal Constellations engraved within the Qing Ming tower were separated within the ninety-nine floors. The constellations were a representative of the sky, and after Guan Ling proposed connecting it with the flow of water, the Qing Ming tower was once again engraved with the terrain’s image that represented the streams, marshes and river’s flow.

The location in each Qing Ming tower where core force circulation took place was an absolute classified secret. Other than the sect leader and the powerful elders guarding the tower, other people did not know. Thus, if they wanted to investigate clearly as to what kind of accident happened with the Qing Ming tower, they must first find the position that represented the celestial bodies and terrain’s image.

However……

As the person in charge of this time’s operation for Jiu Xuan Sect, Bai Li Shu…… Did he really not know the location of the constellations and the terrain image?

Ye Qiu Sheng faintly felt some obscure thing.

Bai Li Shu was taking precautions against something!

[1] 御 魂 阵 - the same character as Yu in Yu Shou Sect, but in consideration of its function, it should mean to ward off, resist, or to keep out.

Chapter 63

Chapter Sixty-Three, Yu Shou Sect, Terrain’s Shape and Place. (御兽宗门, 地相和⽅)
The interior of the Qing Ming tower was spread all over with magic scripts related to the constellations. Other than that, there were not much else. A stone staircase spiralling up had the ninety-nine floors of the tower all connected up and down, while the stone stairs itself seemed just like an ancient giant snake coiling inside the tower. The ring-shaped railing had the lower floors’ central area separated out, just like a giant plaza laid inside the tower.

The long arrows that Bai Li Shu smeared with light oil could not light up the entire tower’s area, proving that this space that had been enveloped in darkness was certainly much more dangerous than the surrounding space outside.

Under the guide of Zhou Wen An who was most familiar with this place, the group of people held up torches, and walked in the middle of the long corridor within the circular tower, and first investigated the rooms in the lowest floors.

The guarding disciples lived on the tenth floor and above. In the tower floors thirty and below, the lowest ten floors’ stone rooms here did not have much excessive items inside, barren and empty. The center of the stone rooms were separately placed with various statues symbolizing either various stars, divine beasts, or vegetation, varying and many. Perhaps it was because these monuments were not very severely broken down, there weren’t as many warped spacial crevices in the surrounding stone rooms and the corridor compared with the tower’s central area.

Bai Li Shu left a majority of the people outside the stone rooms to be on guard, while he himself as well as Ye Qiu Sheng and a few core disciples went into one of the tower’s rooms.

This room had residual air of spirit stones, and the surface of the black stone was emitting with a faint broken-up ray of light like dirt and dust.

Bai Li Shu held up the torch to check the statue placed in the very center of the room.

The statue used turtle jade with the name of “Du Shui[1]”, that had a spirit with extremely good water-absorption ability. When large-scale formations were placed, turtle jade would typically be used to symbolize one of the Four Beasts, the Black Warrior. From looking at the design, this should be modelled after the ritual-specific statues of the era of Chaos.

The attitude immortal cultivators held towards the era of Chaos has always been very conflicting. On one hand, the immortal cultivators pursuing “the relationship between the heavens and the earth, [lies in] freedom and leisure” had an aversion towards the type of ruling of the ancient emperors of the era of Chaos that did not allow for any opposition, and on the other hand, also revered those various miraculously strong powers that emerged from the ancient era- when creating tools, cultivating, and more, they would subconsciously learn the mannerisms from the era of Chaos.

The turtle jade statue inside the room was carved with a human- faced, fish-bodied mermaid, with the carving skill itself very fine and detailed.

Ye Qiu Sheng who followed in knelt down, put the torch close to the bottom area of the mermaid statue, and saw an ancient character that represented the number “zero”.

Of the core disciples, He Zhou guarded outside the room. He stood in front of the stone railing, and watched the hollow dark region within the tower, then recalled Guan Ling’s book that he turned over to Bai Li Shu before.

It wasn’t wrong that it was not easy for him to find Guan Ling’s book. However, regarding this sort of thing, He Zhou did not have much interest in it, thus, he only looked through that book of Guan Ling’s once, and after confirming it was certainly on Guang Han Prefecture city’s architecture, he no longer carefully looked through it. Afterwards on the Black-Plumed Light Vessel, he treated it as remuneration for Bai Li Shu saving his life, and gave Guan Ling’s book to Bai Li Shu.

At present, when He Zhou saw the sunken darkness within the Qing Ming tower, he recalled the diagram in Guan Ling’s book regarding the Mausoleum of Ten Million, and attempted to find a clue.

Since the Mausoleum of Ten Million was originally planned to be constructed as a Qing Ming tower, then architecture-wise, there must be a few places of similarity with the present Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower.

“The universe inscribed up top, the terrain’s image engraved on the bottom.”    He Zhou thought back to those words in Guan Ling’s book, raised up his hand with the torch, and illuminated the top part of the circular-shaped corridor. Within the hazy light, he could faintly see a portion of the intricate constellations diagram, and after thinking about it, should be the so-called “universe”.

Then, what was the terrain’s image?

He Zhou walked forward two steps, and the torch’s light fell to the ground, then cast onto the deep-black stone, just like the sun tumbling within the black night. Underneath the flame, other than the inscriptions of the defence formation on the ground, there was nothing else.

At this time, Bai Li Shu and the others came out from the room. Other than the formation being destroyed, there was no other clues in the room. He Zhou looked around for a while and did not find the so called “terrain image” either, and thus once again went back.

“Let’s go. We’ll go up.”

As they walked in a circle around the floor, they found that the interior of the rooms would either be severely damaged, or relatively intact. However, whether it was traces that the Jiu Xuan guarding disciples left behind, or clues to the Qing Ming tower’s abnormality, they could not find it. Bai Li Shu left Shen Chang Ge behind to let him to lead the Qian Range disciples to guard the open main door at the Qing Ming tower, and took the other people up the stone staircase.

◈◈◈
The implications of the Qing Ming tower were very important. After Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower had an accident, be it sooner or later, all the sects received the news.

Of those who hurried to Bing Province, other than Bai Li Shu’s group, there were still a few other various sects’ disciples. And before this, there were also quite a few disciples of each sect who were carrying missions nearby Bing Province City that were sent to observe. Since Yu Shou Sect was not far from Bing Province City, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples already hurried over to Bing Province City before Bai Li Shu’s group did.

“Finally broke away of those damned shady things.”

The group of Yu Shou Sect disciples in clothes unlike those of the Central Plains[2] came through from the dense ghost realm. When they just arrived at Bing Province City, they did not find out that letting their spiritual insight out would cause the ghost realm to appear close by themselves, and thus, on the entire journey, they were worn out from facing against those damned things, and even lost quite a few brothers.

The one leading the Yu Shou disciples was not that similar to other Yu Shou disciples. Yu Shou Sect was located in Huang Ling dynasty, and was the local state religion*, and was thus very prestigious within the Huang Ling dynasty. The people of the Huang Ling dynasty who lived within the grasslands and mainly lived a life of nomad-ism typically pursued the ruggedness and beauty of strength. Yu Shou Sect’s disciples hence were also typically big and strong, valiant and full of vigour. However, this Yu Shou disciple leading the group was obviously particularly gentle- looking[3].

If Liao Qian saw him, he might not feel like Zhou Wen An was a little pretty face.

The mid-length black hair hung down loosely on their shoulders, and Yu Shou’s leader who looked like a woman had a fire-red ceremonial long robe draped over them, while a delicate bronze bell hung over their waist. However, if one looked closely, they could see that this Yu Shou leader’s face had a shallow scar from a sword.

And it could be seen that he had used many ways to get rid of that scar, however, not one was successful.

When he heard other people’s grumbling, the Yu Shou leader coldly swept a gaze over. Although he seemed gentle-looking, his gaze was extremely cold, just like a knife dipped in poison.

The Yu Shou disciples originally talking nonstop instantly shut their mouths, with one more obedient than the next.

Qiu Qian He[4] retracted his gaze with a bit of weariness inside, and looked towards the Qing Ming tower within his eyesight.

On his face was a sombre expression, and very easily made people think towards “femme fatale[5]” and “unpredictable[6]” type of phrases, as though he was constantly thinking of some sinister plans inside himself. Thus, no one knew, the thought that hovered over his mind the entire time was actually this:

—— How long can this bunch of idiots stay quiet this time? As expected, with not even a moment of peace, the disciple brothers and sisters behind once again started to create a big long discussion over the surrounding Central Plains architecture.

Qiu Qian He felt his head started to hurt again.

[1] Cross through water.

[2] To clarify, the ‘central plains’ is where a majority of Chinese culture and technical advancement is gathered. In history, the area outside the central plains are typically populated with tribal clans, with nomadic culture where hunting and gathering is more prevalent as a lifestyle.

[3] Unlike the more common 温柔 that just means gentle/warm, 阴柔 is a term when used to refer to personality, describes how one was introverted and amiable. Typically a term used to describe a woman and how they were extremely feminine, gentle and lovely-looking.

[4] 仇千鹤- qiu, also read as chou (for revenge, enemy/foe, or hatred). To mean, companion. Qian, for one thousand, and He is again, the word for crane.
[5] 蛇蝎美⼈- literally, vicious(as snakes or scorpions) beauty.
[6] 阴晴不定- reads as unclear whether rain or shine. Mood is variable, essentially.

Chapter 64

Chapter Sixty-Four, Qiu Dragon’s Apparition, Vortex inside Qing Ming. (虬⻰虚影, ⻘冥漩涡)
The surroundings of Qing Ming tower was filled with warped space. Qiu Qian He shook the bronze bell on his waist, and a blue-green light flew out, then formed a zigzagged, warped connection extending forward, all the way towards the tower’s door.

“Go.”

The channel evaded those warped spaces, however, it looked very unstable, and was obvious that it could not maintained for a long period of time. When Qiu Qian He swayed the bronze bell once, his face turned slightly white immediately, as though activating that primitive and old bronze bell put a very big burden on him.

The remaining Yu Shou disciples did not dare to dawdle around, and hurriedly stepped onto the pathway, then quickly rushed forward along with Qiu Qian He.

Qiu Qian He’s pace was extremely quick. The red robe only fluttered for not even a while and he already arrived at the end of the passage.

Then, a mark of light with the Yin Yang Tai Ji suddenly greeted at the front.

—— Someone already arrived at the Qing Ming tower in advance! Behind him was the unstable passage and that bunch of brothers and sisters who made people troubled, so Qiu Qian He could not dodge. He coldly snorted, and did not go forward but instead retreated, then the woman-like slender and fair-skinned hand extended out from his long robe.

The hand that looked particularly tender and harmless fleetingly lashed out a palm.

A fierce tiger apparition sprung out, and went towards the Tai Ji’s Yin Yang seal coming down from midair. He only heard a muffled sound, and the fierce tiger’s apparition and the Tai Ji Yin Yang seal both turned into shattered bits of light in the air.

Qiu Qian He stepped out from the passage, and raised his eyes to look with a cold gaze, “Do Jiu Xuan Sect’s bastards only rely on surprise attacks to take victories?”

“Something like the principles of martial arts can only be applied after seeing who it is.” A voice with hints of a smile neither hurriedly nor slowly resounded, and Shen Chang Ge in water cloud-patterned robes swayed his fan while coming out from the inside of the Qing Ming tower, then stood in the middle of the main door.

“Isn’t Yu Shou Sect proclaimed to be the friend of all beasts and (non-human) intelligence? Then the principles of the martial arts should not be very important to you guys.”     Shen Chang Ge smiled as he said this, and bad-mouthed in a roundabout manner without using dirty words that Yu Shou Sect’s people and animals were of the same kind. He swayed his fan, and his smile turned even more bright. “With the great length of
several thousands of words, the one who cursed the 《Principles of Martial Arts》 from beginning to end, seems to be Yu Shou Sect, no?”
What Shen Chang Ge referred to was the matter of how after Huang Ling dynasty, under Yu Shou Sect’s support, failed in their attack against Jin Tang dynasty, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples furiously cursed[1] at the principles of martial arts from head to toe within the sect. However, this matter was like a woman hysterically cursing out in the public streets and alleys. Yu Shou Sect’s elders all felt that spreading it would ruin their image, and thus clearly prohibited it from being said to outsiders—— although it was true that the elders themselves also mocked the Central Plain’s principles of martial arts.

So…… How did Shen Chang Ge know?

Qiu Qian He was full of puzzlement inside, but his face was still that expression of cold and viciousness. His gaze swept over Shen Chang Ge’s figure, and opened his mouth with a skin-deep smile, “To think that there would be a day Jiu Xuan Sect Qian range’s representative disciple would actually act as a watchdog, truly, beyond people’s expectations.”

As he said this, Qiu Qian He rapidly thought.

It was apparent that the people from Jiu Xuan Sect who came was not limited to just Shen Chang Ge and those few disciples from Qian range, and of those able to have this bastard Shen Chang Ge who was prideful down to the bones left to guard the main door, was definitely not one of the same generation. But according to the Eight Immortal Sect’s secret pact, elders could not so easily take action. Then this makes it strange……

Wait a second!       Qiu Qian He’s gaze suddenly turned sharp, and he looked towards the pitch-black space behind the giant door.

No, that’s not right. There certainly was a person within Jiu Xuan Sect able to order this bastard Shen Chang Ge who won’t look up to anybody.

“Bai Li Shu……” Qiu Qian He pretty much bit down and squeezed out this name from the gaps.

Bai Li Shu. When these three words were said out loud, Qiu Qian He felt like the scar on his face start to faintly hurt. He seemed to have seen that snow-white strike that came down from the sky from that time, and his ears resonated with the faint sound of the sword that was distinct yet cold. At this time, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples all came out from the passageway.

When they saw Jiu Xuan’s people standing beneath the tower’s door, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples’ gazes abruptly turned malicious, and each of them stepped up, then stood behind Qiu Qian He, with their hands each placed on their sabres or swords’ hilt.

“That damned bastard’s finally willing to come out of Jiu Xuan Sect?”     Qiu Qian He’s voice was uncertain and gentle. Both his hands hung down, and a faint, pretty red light emitted from his hands.

The Yu Shou Sect disciples behind Qiu Qian He did not say a single word. Those who drew their sabres drew them out, and those who drew their swords drew them out, and the spiritual rings containing beast familiars started to emit with a dim light.

Shen Chang Ge lightly laughed, and instantly opened up his fan with a “fwoosh”.

The fire-red ceremonial robe slightly swayed, and Qiu Qian He flew towards Shen Chang Ge. His pair of hands quietly came out, and bent like a claw. That layer of dim red light roamed on top of Qiu Qian He’s hands in a warped manner, and formed into a pair of burning phoenix claws.

Shen Chang Ge took one step out, and the Tai Ji Yin Yang diagram on the fan suddenly rotated.

Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s disciples could pretty much start a fight at any given place and time, however, at present, this place was definitely not some good place to go fight. Thankfully, the formation on the tower’s gate seemed to have some uses to it, and the place beneath the giant door did not have many spacial crevices around.

After exchanging a few blows, Shen Chang Ge suddenly felt something was not right. —— Yu Shou Sect’s disciples still hadn’t released their beast familiars at this time.

Just as this thought flashed by, Qiu Qian He suddenly raised his head, and his face revealed a mocking smile. In the next moment, his figure swayed, and floated up.

“Soul Bond!”     Just as Qiu Qian He’s voice resounded, the Yu Shou Sect disciples who were exchanging blows with Jiu Xuan Sect suddenly retreated back. Figures of odd beasts’ apparitions sprung up from Yu Shou Sect’s disciples, and low and deep growls of beasts spread out like muffled thunder.

As the odd beast apparitions stepped into midair, rays of light flew out from their feet, and joined together into a formation that pretty much covered over the entire space beneath the stone door, while the one in the center of the formation was the red-robed Qiu Qian He.

This Yu Shou Sect leader who was gentle-looking unlike a person from the Huang Ling dynasty raised both his hands, and performed an action akin to dedicating something to the heavens and earth during a sacrifice.

Rays of light burst out from the formation, and all the odd beast apparitions gathered together, then combined into a giant Qiu dragon in midair. The space the Qiu dragon’s figure hovered over pretty much occupied the entire giant door. The dragon’s head swung back, and eyed the Jiu Xuan disciples like watching ants from a high place.

The ancient and primeval aura rushed forth, and the Jiu Xuan disciples watched by the Qiu dragon were fixed in their places, unable to move. Shen Chang Ge who originally jumped up to attack Qiu Qian He came face-to-face with the dragon’s aura and fell down from midair with a muffled sound.

“Go!” Qiu Qian He shouted loudly, and led the Yu Shou Sect disciples to rush inside the Qing Ming tower. Shen Chang Ge gripped his Yin Yang Fan, and the Tai Ji diagram on the surface of the fan flashed, them woke himself up from the fright of the Qiu dragon. He closed up his fan, and a layer of a faint and dim light burst forth, then swept out, waking up the rest of the Jiu Xuan disciples.

However, at this time, Qiu Qian He and others had already rushed into the Qing Ming tower.

When thinking how he was deceived by this bastard Qiu Qian He, Shen Chang Ge’s face sunk down, and brought the Qian range disciples to follow into the Qing Ming tower.

Before Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples could move, Qiu Qian He and others stopped in their steps.

A low and deep dragon’s cry resounded inside the tower. Then, just like taking a heavy hit, Qiu Qian He fell down from midair, and blood spilled out from the corner of his lips. The figure of the Qiu dragon that was summoned by the Yu Shou Sect disciples soul-bonding with their odd beasts suddenly rose up sharply in midair.

Within Qiu Qian He’s panic-stricken gaze, the remaining unbroken spirit stones within the Qing Ming tower suddenly all lit up, and rays of light shot out from all around, then poured into the suddenly-out-of-control Qiu dragon apparition.

The Qing Ming tower abruptly lit up.

This was certainly a lofty tall tower mixed with the styles of the era of Chaos and era of Ten Thousand Immortals- with big and tall tower pillars, the entire body’s imposition was extremely majestic, yet, the formations spread out within were incomparably intricate decorations.

When those spirit stones embedded within the nodes of the formation instantly lit up at the same time, an array of stars covering the sky appeared atop the deep-black sky. Rays of light gathered together in the center of the tower, and formed into a light pillar that ran through the entire tall tower.

The Qiu dragon that suddenly lost control hovered at the center of the light pillar, and the spirit stone’s lights accumulated in its body, then the originally transparent figure suddenly turned solid. This kind of divine beast that was said to be only seen by the virtuous and wise monarchs hovered within the tower, and held its head up towards the topmost floor of the Qing Ming tower, then let out a low and deep growl.

Bai Li Shu’s judgment was not wrong. The middle of the Qing Ming tower that was originally the place gathered with spacial and stars’ power was certainly incomparably dangerous.

The rays of light that fell all around illuminated the central area of the tower. When one stood on one side and looked at things on the other, all was obscure and warped, nor did they know to what extent that space was warped and chaotic either.

The giant Qiu dragon coiled within that warped space. Its pair of wings rose up, and the scales on its body shined brightly. As it let out a deep ear-piercing roar, the sound echoed around the space of the circular tower, and the echoes mingled and connected into a series of thundering sounds.

Qiu dragon. This kind of beast that appeared since the era of Chaos, up to the present, was still the symbol of power and the strong.

Following the Qiu dragon’s low roar, its pair of wings flapped, and then within the Qing Ming tower, series of strong winds suddenly circled inside. The momentum of the wind was swift and fierce, and scraped the surface like the edge of steel blades. The chaotic space within the Qing Ming tower’s central area spiralled along with it.

Like lake water being disturbed, the central area of the tower formed into a giant vortex.

Qiu Qian He looked at that giant vortex dumbfoundedly. —— Shit(ghost)! He never knew that the Qiu dragon apparition he formed from soul-bonding could turn into this terrifying thing!

Dammit, within the ten and so years, he always took this thing as something used to drag out time, an empty paper toy with a dragon’s might!!! Other than using a dragon’s might to scare people, this thing had no other use at all!

Was this half-a-tower-long thing able to agitate warped space really something he brought out?

“What have you done?!” The Qiu dragon’s low roar continuously resonated within the Qing Ming tower. When Shen Chang Ge rushed in, he pulled up the Qiu Qian He who had not recovered from the countering effect, and teared at his throat and angrily yelled at him.

What have I done?! How the fuck would I know! Qiu Qian He pretty much wanted to reply like this, but he coughed, and pulled up the corners of his mouth to let out a cynical smile, “Can’t see for yourself?”

Shen Chang Ge almost threw this bastard into the center of the tower that had been wound up into a vortex.

At this time, the Qiu dragon’s low roar had already reached the last sound.
—— Cries of nine tones.

The final cry of the dragon carried a pressure that came from the era of Chaos, and echoed continuously within the tower. The spirit stones embedded in the Qing Ming tower’s formation line nodes cracked open one by one, shattering into the bits of dust-like specks of lights that Jun Wan Bai saw before, fleetingly fluttering down.

When the space in the middle of the tower had completely formed into a swirling vortex, the Qiu dragon’s enormous body suddenly turned back. At the time Shen Chang Ge was questioning Qiu Qian He, there were also people on the third floor of the Qing Ming tower tearing at their throats asking what happened.

“What the hell!”

All the people who stood in the corridor on the third floor of the Qing Ming tower only felt they were being pulled by a strong force. The stone railings on their side broke off section by section, and were swept into the giant swirling vortex.

Everyone used their primordial energy, and barely stood in place.

Liao Qian’s strength was the weakest, so he tightly hugged the tower pillar so that he would not get swept away, then closed his eyes shivering. Zhou Wen An who was injured was pulled by a few Jiu Xuan disciples. Jun Wan Bai stood in front of a few Jiu Xuan disciples, and supported herself with a bit of effort by propping up with the pair of swords. Not only her, but all the core disciples stood at the very front, and bore the greatest pressure.

—— The so-called core disciples, were the people who were first to take danger on at the times it came!

Bai Li Shu stood at the very front, with his longsword blocking sideways. A faint ice-blue coloured light then laid over everyone’s figures.

The accident came all of a sudden, so there was no way of knowing what happened. Everyone could not care to think of the reason, and could only first brace themselves, and not let themselves be swept into that terrifying space vortex.

However, when the final note of the “cry of nine sounds” came down, the surrounding spirit stones broke apart, and the swirling spacial vortex swelled up a full circle. The place everyone was standing in was also drawn into it. The hovering and turning Qiu dragon apparition came down from above, and was pulled into the spiralling vortex head-first.
space. —— As though there was something calling to it within that warped

“Go in.” Bai Li Shu’s voice resounded in everyone’s ears.

A ice-blue-coloured light erupted out, cold yet dazzling, and bright like the accumulated ancient ice of a thousand years in the highlands. The room to their backs broke out with a large hole, and Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples as well as Liao Qian and Ye Qiu Sheng were pushed into the room by some force.

A familiar layer of ice sealed the room’s opening.

The layer of ice suffused with dim-blue light separated them from the sword-like fierce winds, separated them from the Qiu dragon’s pressure, and separated them from that giant vortex.

“Bai Li Shu!”    Jun Wan Bai propped against her pair of swords, and climbed up from the ground.

On the stone steps with broken-off railings, the thin youth in white robes fluttering about held a longsword and stood there. When looking through the ice layer, that person seemed like they were standing a place far, far, away from everyone, and the expression on his face was still as always, cold and indifferent.

Within the deep-black tall tower, were the Qiu dragon’s echoing cries, the spirit stone’s rays of light, the vortex-like chaotic space……

—— Go in.

That person’s cold and indifferent voice seemed like it was still resonating in their ears.

The spirit stones shattered, and the Qing Ming tower once again returned to the darkness.

The moment before the darkness, that straight figure that seemed to eternally be to their front as well as the giant Qiu dragon apparition were engulfed by that vortex.

[1] 鞭⼫- literally translated as whipping corpses. In ancient times, this refers to mocking or satirizing a work (or person) after they are long gone
with the goal to insult the dead. Modern day usage of this term will refer to mocking posts/threads that have been posted a long time ago.

Chapter 65

Chapter Sixty-Five, Matters of the World are Impermanent, and the Three Ancient Emperors’ Drawing. (世事⽆常, 三⽞皇图)
The Qing Ming tower that originated from the end of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals returned to the darkness, and the dust-like bits of light from the fragments of spirit stones that acted as the most magnificent ornaments came fluttering down. The heavy black-stoned tower body gave people a feeling of silence of the eternal night, and after the spirit stones flushed with the style of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals completely shattered, the style from the era of Chaos modelled in this sky-connecting tower became particularly prominent.

Giant, magnificent, and imposing.

Inside the tower was a span of silence. The Qiu dragon’s apparition disappeared, the madly sweeping vortex disappeared, and the figure that stood in front of everyone when the incoming irrefutable force came forth also disappeared.

The layer of ice that sealed the room’s wall broke apart with a ka cha, and turned into white bits of ice rustling down.

A sliver of cold air was still left in the atmosphere.

Jun Wan Bai rushed out of the room, and stood on top of stone staircase with the completely destroyed railing. As she looked all around, the dust-like bits of light from the spirit stones very quickly disappeared. Just from looking, that soundless darkness seemed like a wild beast that engulfed everything.

When she raised her head to look up, the ninety-nine-floored tall tower continuously extended upwards, and carried an imposition that was unchanged since the ancient times, just like it was a soundless warning.

No matter if it was those tower-guarding disciples, that enormous Qiu dragon apparition, or that eternally lofty person…… All that dared to challenge the existence of ancient history, were destined to be all extinguished.

Jun Wan Bai held her swords, and dumbfoundedly stood there.

She recalled that winter day with fighting all around, recalled the first time she stood under the several-ten-thousand-stepped Connecting Heaven staircase, recalled back to the first time she saw that indifferent youth with a face still carrying a few bits of immaturity, and recalled that bone and fire current that violently surged onto the Black-Plumed Light Vessel, when that person turned their head back, with that sliver of astonishment that passed through their eyes ……

Was this the so-called “impermanence”?

Was this what Master’s words of “matters of the world, in all manners are all impermanent” referred to?

The fog raptor from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals would once again appear in the layer of clouds ten thousand zhang up high in the skies, the Bing Province crowded and numbered with millions would suddenly turn into an empty city, the Qing Ming tower that guided the astray would suddenly turn into a chaotic misdirecting place of deathly stillness, and the person who would always walk at their front would suddenly disappear without a trace……

What kind of shitty(ghost) impermanence is this!

The sounds of fighting suddenly resonated within the darkness. Everyone who came out from the room all lowered their heads to look towards where the sounds were coming from. In the area where Qing Ming tower’s front doors were, lights from sabres and swords crossed and flashed, and primordial energy burst out and collided together.

“Go!”       The blankness on Jun Wan Bai’s face only appeared for an instant. Her wrists turned, and a pair of blades came out pointing to the ground. Without caring if the spacial vortex still had some remnants left or not, she directly jumped down from the third floor of the Qing Ming tower. The wind blew at her deep-blue long robes, stern and harsh like a secular realm’s general’s battle outfit.

Liao Qian watched with wide-open eyes and mouth as Jiu Xuan’s disciples silently jumped down directly from the tower one after another, with each and every one of them steaming with killing intent, and their gazes so ruthless like wolves and leopards.

Ha-have these people gone crazy?

Their senior already blocked off the danger for them, and left them with a safe path. At this time, shouldn’t they turn their sorrows into speed, hurry up and leave, and not let that ice-cold Jiu Xuan Bai Li’s sacrifice go to waste? Leaving green mountains so one won’t need to worry about not having firewood to burn, this was the motto that the Nine Provinces Private Bank always upheld as the standard.

Liao Qian moved his gaze towards the not-Jiu Xuan Sect’s Tai Shang Scholar.

Ye Qiu Sheng lowly laughed once, and the spacious Confucian clothing’s sleeves fluttered, like a big crane flying down, “There is a principle among the gentlemen that goes, how could one abandon life and death and forget them?”

What elegant shit is “there is a principle among the gentlemen that goes, how could one abandon life and death and forget them”, Liao Qian almost broke out into profanities. What kind of scholar was this, this was clearly a madman draped in the skin of a Confucian scholar! In between the wavering and hesitating, only Liao Qian was left all by himself standing on top of the stone staircase.

In the surroundings was a sunken-black darkness, under the feet was still falling pale-white bits of ice, and the atmosphere was left with slivers of cold air. Liao Qian shivered, and when he turned his head, he saw statue that did not get damaged within the room. Jun Wan Bai and Li Xin jumped down too quick, otherwise, they would discover that the statue placed inside this room was a “Wei ghost”.

The instant his gaze made contact with the Wei ghost, Liao Qian abruptly retreated back.

He seemed to have recalled something, and his face revealed with an expression of terror. Thus, Liao Qian bit down, and also jumped down from the third floor of the Qing Ming tower.

The Qing Ming tower’s third floor was a span of deathly stillness.

The statue of the Wei ghost of “mostly strange forms, who uses its bones to clash against each other, like the calls of a pipe zither” seemed to be smiling, yet not.

◈◈◈
Of the Eight Immortal Sects, Jiu Xuan was number one.

Within Yu Shou Sect’s disciples’ private evaluations, the phrases used most to evaluate Jiu Xuan Sect with were “lunatics” and “insidious”. Qiu Qian He always felt like those storytellers of the Central Plain’s dynasties must have turned silly from reading the principles of Confucianism, to be filled with prejudice towards the Huang Ling dynasty that mainly turned to nomadic lifestyles, otherwise, how could they think that the most battle-charged and fierce were Yu Shou Sect’s disciples?

The lunatics of Jiu Xuan Sect were clearly more suited to these words than Yu Shou Sect. The interior of the Qing Ming tower remained with some fluctuations of the power left from the spacial vortex, who(ghosts) knows if it would burst or not- but they didn’t want to leave, and instead wanted to go settle debts with themselves, just like the Nine Provinces Private Bank disciples who ate pills all day. Did they eat the wrong medicinal pill or something?

The bronze bell on Qiu Qian He’s waist was already gripped in his palm, while Yu Shou Sect’s disciples spread out in a half-arched shape behind Qiu Qian He.

Both parties already exchanged blows once. On Yu Shou Sect’s side, only Qiu Qian He was a core disciple. In the end, he has to use that bronze bell used to create a passageway outside Qing Ming tower once again. The Qiu dragon apparition formed from soul-bonding exceeding his control already created an absolute harm to his spiritual insight, but thankfully, that thing was originally a paper airs used to scare people. Although there were countering effects, it wasn’t considered to be lethal.

However, under injured circumstances, taking risks to use the bronze bell was truly quite a burden for Qiu Qian He.

Qiu Qian He was draped in a fire-red long robe, while the sides of his mouth had some bloodstains. He actually had a delicate face like one of a girl’s, that leaned more towards the appearance of a Central Plains person. However, due to that sombreness in his features, he looked to be extremely dangerous, very much like a pretty, bright-coloured poisonous snake treading through moist and cold areas. The bloodstains on the corners of his lips were just like the remnants of the prey’s blood left on a poisonous snake after choosing a human to target.

Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples stood on the other side with a swift and fierce imposing manner.

Jun Wan Bai’s pair of blades was held at an angle, saving up its strength waiting for it to be released, while Li Xin’s face half hid within the darkness, and turned more and more ghastly like ghosts. Between Qin Jiu’s fingers that no longer held his wine were a few connected thin blades whirling with cold light, and Chu Zhi Yuan half-raised his longsword with a solemn expression……

Qiu Qian He recalled the various sayings regarding this old rival Jiu Xuan Sect.

This was a very strange sect. Within the sect, the disciples all found each other to be eyesores, and every day, they would go at each other on the arena. However, if you killed one of Jiu Xuan Sect’s people, then the first one to come killing you would definitely be those bastards who fought to the death with them at the sect arena all day…… This was a sect formed with lunatics.

So……

Qiu Qian He laughed, that the sword scar on his face slightly warped, “Looks like that damned bastard’s in trouble. What? Did he get swept up in the spacial turbulence?”

His face smiled without restraint and ruthlessly- his mouth was filled with cruel words, yet his mind was quickly thinking of ways to attack.

He was still carrying this bunch of idiots with inconvenient brains, and the people they were facing against were Jiu Xuan Sect’s few lunatics who were the most strongest of the disciples. Only ghosts would think of wanting to go head-on with them—— fine, these idiots behind him certainly was thinking like this.

However, Qiu Qian He was aware that he was not an idiot. Dying at the hands of Jiu Xuan Sect’s people was truthfully a loss of dignity.

“As for whatever happened, you group of bastards who are friends with animals has no need to know.”    Jun Wan Bai coldly opened her mouth. Her features were valiant to begin with, but at this time, it furthermore had a harshness to it like a great general who slaughtered a city’s millions. To the side, Shen Chang Ge looked at her once, and did not know if it was an illusion or not, but this kind of Jun Wan Bai had the slight disposition of a son or daughter from a general’s family…… Even though she was clearly just a immortal cultivator.

Faced against Jiu Xuan Sect’s unconcealed killing intent, Qiu Qian He’s face still had that gentle-looking smile that seemed as though it was dipped in poison. The hand that held the bronze bell slightly swayed, and the sound of a bell that seemed very faint resounded again and again, “Then that is truly regrettable, I was still thinking about whether or not to open the spacial passage…… Looks like everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect will not be needing it.”

Along with Qiu Qian He’s words, Jun Wan Bai and others’ gazes turned sharp at once.

“Senior!” The Yu Shou Sect disciple standing by Qiu Qian He’s side instantly changed in expression, and called out to him in a low voice.

The bronze bell in Qiu Qian He’s hands certainly could open up a spacial passageway, however, with Qiu Qian He’s strength, a stable passageway could only be opened once every month. Just a while ago, to go through the area outside the Qing Ming tower, Qiu Qian already used up that single opportunity, and if he were to use it to open it once again, where the opened passageway would connect to, Qiu Qian He himself would have no certainty.

“Shut it, imbecile.” Qiu Qian He really wanted to give the bastard behind him a slap, but his face maintained a cold smile as though seeming to have it all together in regards to the movements just now, and shouted with his voice down.

If one were to go head-on with this bunch of lunatics that was Jiu Xuan Sect, they would definitely all die without a doubt. And as for the matter of using the bronze bell, Qiu Qian He himself considered it wasn’t as though he completely had no certainty. Opening up a independent passageway separated from other spaces was comparatively hard, however, connecting with other spaces, was much more easier.

Let alone when there were still remnant fluctuations from that giant spacial vortex within the Qing Ming tower, as well as the sliver of invisible perception Qiu Qian faintly had towards the Qiu dragon apparition.

He looked towards everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect, and his tone was light and fleeting like a poisonous snake sending out signals.

“What, does everyone want to make their move now?” He smiled, carrying a ghastly hint of coldness and intimidation.

In the next moment, Qiu Qian He’s pupils suddenly contracted.

Li Xin whose face half-hid within the darkness and was sombre unlike a living human suddenly disappeared from the front. In the next moment, Qiu Qian He felt a coldness on his own neck.

A sabre nestled into his neck.

The instant the ice-cold blade moved away, Qiu Qian He’s face sunk. Dammit, Yu Shou Sect’s strength largely came from the servant beasts. However, inside this Qing Ming tower that turned strange after the mishap, with the lesson from the failure from just now, they did not dare to so carelessly summon their servant beasts at all.

Li Xin’s figure re-emerged in his original position like a ghost.

He hung his head down, while his fingertips slowly brushed over the body of the sabre, and briefly and directly opened his mouth, “You can start now.”

Qiu Qian He no longer smiled, and he swayed the bronze bell.

The sound of the bell that seemed to transmit from the far past carried an illusory aura, and a light flew out to the front in the Qing Ming tower’s central area. The spacial fluctuations left there quickly combined together, and formed an extremely small vortex when compared to the one just before. Under everyone’s gaze, a passageway connected to the middle of the vortex.

When the sound of the bell stopped, Qiu Qian He stopped his hands with his face a pale-white.

Jun Wan Bai placed her fingertip onto the edge of her sword, and cut it. Blood poured into the sword’s blade, and the longsword was suffused with slivers of cold light. She raised her sword towards Yu Shou Sect’s disciples, signalling them to first step in.

Qiu Qian He coldly laughed, brought Yu Shou Sect’s disciples, then passed by Jun Wan Bai and entered the passageway.

“You can leave Bing Province now.” As Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples entered the passageway one after another, Zhou Wen An suddenly stopped, and said this to Liao Qian.

Liao Qian shirked towards the back of the line, and his calves were slightly shaking. He wasn’t even a lunatic of Jiu Xuan Sect, of course he would be scared. When he heard Zhou Wen An’s words, he turned stunned, and without waiting for him to answer, Zhou Wen An already turned his head without looking back and stepped into the passageway.

“Fuck!”    Seeing that it was going to be him left all alone again, Liao Qian’s face instantly turned flushed.

“Dammit, don’t always go persuading other people to hurry up and leave and not go seeking doom, while you go seeking doom yourself without any hesitation whatsoever!”

This would make people very easily feel like he was a coward. Even though being scared of dying and having little courage was something normal people would have, if this kind of people who didn’t fear death at all appeared by one’s side, it would make people start to suspect, whether this world was crazy, or only you yourself lived to the point of being a good-for- nothing, and lived to the point you weren’t fit to be called a man. Liao Qian finally understand why the soldiers of the secular realm’s battlefields could be so brave they didn’t fear death.

The people to your side already rushed up, can you still stay in your original place?

Only if you admit you’re are not a man.
Liao Qian believed he was, and thus, he bit down and followed in. When a vortex was swept inside Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower,
the other sects’ disciples who reached Bing Province City stopped in their steps, and they felt that invisibly, a type of calling was being emitted from the Qing Ming tower—— a summoning towards immortal cultivators. Qing Ming tower, this tower of ancient formations that guided the astray was just like how it would be guiding the flying vessels, guiding them.

“What’s going on?” At the same time, the sects’ disciples who arrived in Bing Province City muttered this question.

And at the same time, at Jiu Xuan Sect.

Jiu Xuan Sect’s sect leader who sent Bai Li Shu and the sect’s other core disciples to attend the Medicine Valley master’s birthday celebration, Yi He Ping, stood at the topmost floor in the Jade Harmony Pavilion. To his back, stood the almighty who were supposed to be in isolation that Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples never saw. The last time they came out of isolation, was when Yi He Ping brought Bai Li Shu back to the sect.

Other than them, there were also a few elders who all wore similar deep-black robes standing to the side. Even Elder Qin who was aggressive, at this time, was wearing a deep-black robe, and stood among these few people. From how Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples saw it, Elder Qin was the most short-tempered, irritable person, however, at this time, he did not even say a word, and every line on his face was just like it had been carved out.

He focused to the northeast, Bing Province’s direction. After a long while, those almighty beings of the sect who ended their isolation left by themselves, only leaving the black-robed elders. In the beginning when Chen dynasty’s Emperor Chen Ying died of illness, there were also three elders dressed in this kind of robe who appeared at Chen dynasty’s capital within the snowy night.

“Sorry for the trouble, elders.”       Yi He Ping retracted his gaze, and very respectfully bowed once towards the elders dressed in the deep- black robes.

The black-robed elders silently nodded their heads, and left one by
one.

The last to leave was Elder Qin. His hair was all white, and his
features were aged. Yan Men Prefecture Jiu Xuan branch’s elder-in-charge called Yi He Ping his senior brother, so he and Xie Yi were people of the same generation. Xie Yi and Yi He Ping both still maintained a youthful look, yet he completely had the appearance of an old person.

“You really sent them all over there?”    Elder Qin coldly asked, with not a single hint of respect in his voice for Yi He Ping.

“What is it?” Yi He Ping was already accustomed to this kind of tone of his, and slightly smiled, “Are you talking about Bai Li Shu? Did you not hate people of the surname Bai Li the most? Why are you suddenly concerned about him?”

Elder Qin coldly laughed, and with a hoarse voice,“I only don’t want to see a second Brother Xie again!”

His tone was sharp, that the smile on Yi He Ping’s face inconspicuously froze for an instant.

“And so you rushed first, and forced him to take on the task in the Mausoleum of Ten Million? You want him to receive the recognition of the
《Three Ancient Emperors’ Drawing》? Why did you not let Li Xin go?” Yi He Ping asked in a light tone. “Bull(dog)shit. I just hate to see a person with the surname Bai Li being Jiu Xuan’s sect leader.”          Elder Qin’s face slightly changed, and he left without turning back.

Yi He Ping watched the figure of Elder Qin leaving, and said to himself in a low voice, “Of those in this world who has seen the Imperial Drawing, in the end, is only left with me, you, and Brother Xie by now?”

He recalled the little senior brother who got into a big fight with He Huan Sect for a single beauty face pill, recalled He Zhou’s long-deceased mother, and recalled Elder Qin back when he wasn’t like now, opposing him in every place, when he could still call him “senior”. Thus, he painfully laughed.

To think that the variability of the world’s matters could be so laughable to this extent.

[1] Derived from the expression 舍⽣忘死, meaning to not care for someone’s life and death.

Chapter 66

I apparently double-posted on Thursday so no Saturday chapter. IsworeIscheduledcorrectlybuthat’swhathappenswhenyoudothingshalf-asleep

Chapter Sixty-Six, Skeletons of Crude Beasts, the Battlefield of Di Fen. (荒兽骸⾻, 帝芬战场)
Sometimes, the variability of the world matters was a sort of thing that was nothing but nonsense.

For example, the senior brother who previously wasn’t considered to be too detestable would become a jerk who made people have urges to draw swords towards them; or for example, there would be a day that you too would drape on the deep-black-coloured robe, and walk into the world that could not see the light of day.

However, there were also many things that, rather than saying it was impermanent, would be better called destiny(fixed number).

Elder Qin actually knew about those matters between the core disciples. He knew that within the eyes of those young and aggressive, prideful youths who were filled with confidence towards the position of Jiu Xuan’s eldest disciple, Bai Li Shu was an abnormality that appeared out of nowhere.

But in reality, it was not.    This was something that was long already determined. Bai Li, that was a surname that was purposely erased of traces from the history.

“Zhao Ge’s Bai Li, herd to [the] East Tomb.”

The people who knew these eight words up until now were already of a few number. Nevertheless, once that person named Bai Li came here, everything turned into a predestined matter.

Up until now, Elder Qin still obstinately rejected to recognizing Bai Li Shu as Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother, because…… as though by negating this matter, one could negate those invisible fates.

When all was said and done, he was only just an obstinate idiot.

Elder Qin thought over things, and passed through the guarding disciples’ sides.

The guarding disciples did not give him a bow, because they did not perceive Elder Qin passing by at all.

He was just like a ghost.

In Jiu Xuan Sect, once an elder put on this deep-black robe, they would no longer appear in the disciples’ visions. They would be just like spirits, soundlessly leaving the sect, and appearing in various places within the lands of the twelve dynasties. At this time, they would no longer be the sect’s elders, but the sect’s blade, the sect’s sword.

However, no matter if it was a blade or a sword, they were just things used to kill people.

The disciples competing at the martial stages would not know, the disciples practising their sword on the peaks would not know, nor would the disciples guarding the mountain gates know either. Since many years ago, of those elders in the sect who were announced to have failed breaking through or went into isolation that gradually disappeared from everyone’s memories, many would drape on this kind of black-coloured robe, and silently leave the sect, then never return again.

Oh, how he previously resented this black robe.

But now, even he himself was draped with this kind of deep-black robe.
Eight Immortal Sects, Eight Immortal Sects.

No matter how much more lofty immortal cultivators were, in the end, they would still be closely interrelated with the secular realm. Where did the spirit stones for absorption come from? Where was the place the spirit ores excavated from located in? From where did the food for Jiu Xuan’s disciples who did not yet cut off food come? How many disciples were sacrificed, and how many new disciples did they need to take in? And from where would one take in these disciples?……

The Eight Immortal Sects, in the end, was only the Eight Immortal Sects on the vast lands of the twelve dynasties.

Just like a pale, snow-white giant divine mulberry tree- didn’t it also need to grow on the thick soils?

During many times, Elder Qin already could not distinguish whether what he was doing was right or wrong, however, he only knew one thing- no matter what, whoever wanted to make a move against Jiu Xuan Sect, he would then draw swords towards whoever.

When Elder Qin left Jiu Xuan Sect, he raised his head to once again look towards the northeast direction.

At this time, the skies in the northeast were enveloped in layers over layers of clouds, while those layers of clouds seemed like a slowly opening sky net that one did not know when it would be completely exposed.

“Yi…… Senior, did you want to force this net out?” Elder Qin asked in a low voice, as though asking that senior brother standing in the Jade Harmony Pavilion, who was in control of the situation the entire time, yet seemed like he was asking himself.

He deeply looked at the gates erected at the end of the Connecting Heaven staircase, then turned and left without turning his head back.

The direction he was heading in was the dynasty located to the southwest of Jiu Xuan Sect.

Jin Tang.

◈◈◈
The ground was a stretch of dense, heavy darkness. Deep-black stone ruggedly layered over the vast land, while the surface was rough and uneven, and there was no plant life whatsoever. Pale-white, giant bestial bones toppled among the pitch-black stone, while some had a portion buried within the loose rocks, and only revealed a ghastly rib bone half of which could measure ten zhang long. Battle spears pierced towards the sky, with some revealed with skulls twice the height of castle gates, and the empty eye sockets facing the sky.

This was a strange world.

The ground was laid with countless giant terrifying bones of beasts, and the stone and sandy soils were all a complete deep-black colour. A circular blood-red-coloured sun hung on the horizon of the west side, and cast the sky into a stretch of stifling dark-red. Rather than calling that sun a sunset, it would be better to call it some savage giant beast’s eyes, suffused with a ruthless killing aura.

ta, ta.

Light sounds of footsteps resounded. On top of the black stones, Bai Li Shu who was swallowed by the spacial vortex slowly walked close to a set of bones with only its head revealed. Not a single bit of astonishment could be seen from his face, as though entering here was not due to a momentary accident, but was long predicted. These were not ordinary bestial skeletons that the people of the present age could find- they were so big, so horrifying, with bony spurs dense as forests, and fangs like swords. Judging from the size of their heads, when they lived, they could even possibly be just as big as a single city.

They were…… Crude beasts.

“When will the times die, what can the thick earth store? Vast and hazy white waters, come console my numerous borders.”    Bai Li Shu raised his head to look up towards the white bones that still maintained its paramount majesty and fear after death, and lightly recited the opening
portion of 《Change》 from 《Tai Yi Record’s》 first three parts.

In the time of the Savage era, the giant and terrifying wild beasts ruled over this world, while the human race lingered on their lasts breaths like ants, and cursed for the fall of the fierce sun-like crude beasts. That was until Kong Jia lead the humans to start up that bloody battle called the “Battle of Di Fen”. From that time on, the crude beasts that ruled the day gradually disappeared from people’s visions, and their descendants gradually turned into today’s odd beasts.

And at present, within the age-old and strange space linked to the Qing Ming tower, the deep-black reef was filled with the bones of crude beasts.

Bai Li Shu waved his sleeve, and brushed away a layer of loose rocks under the beast’s head, and saw a long spear pierced into the back of the skull.

As expected, “the day dies when the waters arrive, and the vanquished then become deceased”.

The uncivilized first people’s curse turned into reality, and the crude beasts that ruled an entire age were buried in the thick soils in the end, while the skies hung with a dead blood sun.

Bai Li Shu took a few steps back, and scanned the area. On top of the pitch-black land, the deathly-pale skeletons, due to its size being too big, would seem like bizarrely-shaped mountain ridges when looking at it from a far distance. Comparing with them, humans would be just like ants.

—— The space connected with the Qing Ming tower, was the burial place of crude beasts, and also the old battlefield for the Battle of Di Fen.

This was a place forgotten by others, a place that had been concealed from history, and laden with dust over time. The beings that once ruled the mainland several ten thousands of years ago, were worn down by time. The white bones quietly laid atop the deep-black stone layer, and let the blood-coloured sun shine on it like destiny, in response to the “when will the times die” curse.

The white bones formed a forest.         Fierce winds blew through the forest of skeletons, and shaved down those black-coloured giant rocks day after day, with its sound distant and indistinct.

The Qiu dragon apparition that was swallowed up by the giant spacial vortex just like him circled and prostrated in front of a skeleton that only had its spine exposed, and lowly roared, as though calling out its predecessor’s spirit.

The white bone emitted a faint dim light, and the light shined, then left a faint mark of light on the Qiu dragon’s figure. After that ray of light flew out, the bones completely lost its lustre, as though it would collapse with the slightest touch. That ray of light was extremely dim, however, it gave people a very dangerous and terrifying feeling.

As expected of a fearful existence that once ruled over the world for an entire era- even if several tens of thousands of years had gone by, it still maintained a hard-to-oppose mysticism for people.

The Qiu dragon apparition that obtained the mark of light turned more solid, and like a snake, it swam over the rugged vast land of black stone, and quickly moved in a direction. The Qiu dragon was a divine dragon born with a pair of wings that would fly over clouds and mist, however, over here, it did not dare to spread open its own wings, as though in fear of agitating those skeletons buried by the black rocks, and moved on the floor in a prostrating position like a snake in a fearful manner.

Because Bai Li Shu was standing underneath a giant beast’s skull, his figure was enveloped by the shadows, thus, the Qiu dragon did not discover his presence.

When Bai Li Shu saw that the Qiu dragon was heading in a direction through the forest of white bones, he slowly came out from the shadows. He did not rashly enter the thick forest of white bones, but instead observed all around, and in the end, walked towards a set of wing bones with several spread out, that were like giant sickles half-exposed on the ground. The edges of the wing bones were suffused with an extremely thin layer of cold light.

That was a fog raptor skeleton almost completely submerged into the ground.

While standing before the wing bones, Bai Li Shu took out the jade box that previously contained the Emperor Magnolia, that now held a blood-red rectangular-shaped crystal sealed with a fog raptor’s apparition.

He pressed the blood-red crystal close to the half-exposed wing bones on the ground.

A faint white light seeped out from the wing bones, and formed into a mark of light, then merged into the blood-red crystal in Bai Li Shu’s hand. Once the light mark flew in, the fog raptor apparition sealed within the crystal suddenly spread its wings, and the crystal instantly lit up.

And before the fog raptor apparition’s aura could burst out, a gold- coloured longbow appeared in Bai Li Shu’s hand.

The prism-shaped crystal lit up a few times, but in the end, unwillingly dimmed down once again. Bai Li Shu brought the blood-red crystal sealed with the fog raptor’s apparition, with the gold-coloured longbow in hand, and walked into the forest composed of white bones in neither a hurried nor slow manner. He walked towards the direction where the Qiu dragon left in a while ago.

Suddenly, Bai Li Shu stopped in his steps.

After the pitch-black stone shattered, the fragmented rocks piled into a thick layer, with white bone peeking out from within. And in front to the left, there was a small, inconspicuous object on top of the rocks.

Bai Li Shu walked over, and placed the longbow on the ground.

He picked up that object, and lightly brushed off the dust on the surface. That was a half-severed deep-black wooden tablet. On the surface, wrote powerful and forceful words with white-coloured spirit lacquer:

“Jiu Xuan Qian range, Xie”.

Bai Li Shu stared at this half of a wooden tablet, recalled something, and put it away after a moment.

—— That was a broken spiritual tablet.

Jiu Xuan Sect’s, Bing Province tower-guarding disciple’s spiritual
tablet.

Chapter 67

Chapter Sixty-Seven, Crude Spirits’ Sacrificial Rite, History in Dust. (荒灵祭祀, 历史尘埃)
Bai Li Shu put away that partial spiritual tablet, then picked up his longbow and directly walked towards the direction where the Qiu dragon left in, and no longer made any stops.

A single spiritual tablet, a couple words.

This was all that was left of a single Jiu Xuan disciple.

At many times, a person’s life, in front of giant things, would be just as insignificant as a rock. History, fate…… In front of these things that came out in torrents, even the giant terrifying crude beasts could not be exempt from being trampled on in the end, turning into white bone, let alone for humans.

Bees and moths having minute lives, what it was talking about, was this principle.

However, even if one was a kind of insignificant thing such as a bee or a moth, they would erupt out with an unimaginable strength for certain things. “Bees and moths have minute lives, so why is their strength so firm[1]?” The mortal poet traced back to the ancient times wrote down these words, praising the feats of Kong Jia leading the humans to overthrow the domination of the crude beasts. And today, Bai Li Shu walked through the burial grounds of the crude beasts with a longbow. Beneath those giant bones, his figure was thin and slender, and looked just as insignificant as the bees and moths that absurdly dared to challenge the sun.

However, he walked forward with his back straight, without making a single stop, gradually disappearing within the hazy dark lands.

Winds scraped by from distant places, and the fog raptor’s wing bone faced towards the sky, as though a spear of the deceased.

Not long after Bai Li Shu’s figure disappeared, in the middle of the air among the black stones’ clearing underneath the dark-red sun, suddenly emerged with a fairly small spacial vortex out of thin air. A moment later, several people stepped out from the vortex.

And then……

They all tumbled down from midair one after another.

“Fuck you bastards!” Liao Qian heavily fell to the ground, and his back hit the protruding part of a rock. At this time, he was in so much pain his entire face twisted, “Yu Shou Sect you bunch of bastards, you fucking plays tricks on people? The opening of your passage is in midair?!”

Qiu Qian He also fell down quite heavily.

Actually, he would not have fallen so heavily, but when he fell, his face was facing down. And from the looks of it, he was going to crash into a small sharp rock, thus, he forcibly turned to another direction in midair, and as a result, he heavily smashed into something, and was in so much pain his face that was always wrapped in gentleness almost warped.

When Qiu Qian He heard Liao Qian’s angry cursing, he replied back without any courtesy, “Who knew this place prohibited riding on the air? Do you know or does your old man know?” —— A spacial passageway’s opening did not necessarily need to be on the ground.

Qiu Qian He and other people actually knew of this, however, as immortal cultivators, they all had the capability of temporarily walking through the air, and thus, each person would not mind directly stepping out of the spacial passageway.

As a result, at the instant they stepped out of the passage, their foot fell through, and when they used their primordial energy out of habit to slowly fall down from the sky, a wave of terrifying aura suddenly descended onto everyone’s bodies, and the primordial energy was instantly cut off.

Everyone did not even have the chance to let out a stupefied expression, and just like how one put down dumplings, they fell down from midair one after another.

This really could be called a scene that happened “once in a thousand years”.

To think that there would actually be a day that Yu Shou Sect and Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples would not get into a fight, and under circumstances of both sides being at a loss, they “harmoniously” fell into one pile, that it even lasted for quite some time. Yu Shou Sect’s people walked at the very front, and thus fell down first. The instant they stepped onto blank space, the people who reacted relatively faster made a response, and thus when they hit the ground, they rolled out a bit. Those who did not roll off then became the meat cushion for Jiu Xuan Sect who fell afterwards.

However, not all of Jiu Xuan Sect’s people had the fortune of having a cushion.

Because the few core disciples whose reactions were the fastest changed directions in midair, then attempted to stabilize themselves, but they instead thoroughly fell onto the solid rock. They didn’t know what kind of strange thing existed here- not only could they not fly in the air, but the rocks on the ground were also incomparably hard. To think that when falling onto the ground, they who were immortal cultivators could actually fall down like a normal person. Each and every one of them were in so much pain they could not climb up for half a day.

Even Chu Zhi Yuan who normally had a stiffened face all day had emerged with a sliver of a crack in his expression.

“Fuck you bastards……” When Qin Jiu was walking in the passageway, his hand did not forget to hold his flask of wine. When he fell down, he was scared the wine flask would be lost, and so he tightly grasped it, and the result of it was that he solidly had his face facing towards the ground, and ate in a mouthful of loose rocks. With a “pei pei”, he spit the rocks out from his mouth, so Qin Jiu could not help but let loose profanities.

“Hurry and get up!” The few Yu Shou Sect disciples who originally fell down quite heavily were pounded into by the Jiu Xuan disciples who fell down later. Their features were already about to twist, and could not say anything for the meanwhile. But then, they actually heard Jiu Xuan Sect this group of cowards actually have the face to complain, so after they came to, they could not help but hurl out all sorts of abuse.

—— Motherfucker, Jiu Xuan Sect these of sons of bitches, each and very one of them normally looked super thin like ladies, how could they be this heavy?!

“What kind of damned place is this……”          Liao Qian propped up against the ground and sat down in grimace. He was about to mix within Jiu Xuan Sect and take advantage of the timing to curse at Yu Shou Sect a few words, but as a result, when he raised his head, he turned stupefied, and dumbfoundedly looked at the scenery in front of his eyes. His voice was just like his throat had been clutched by someone, and suddenly turned hoarse, then forcefully went down several pitches.

Not just only him. The Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect disciples who were yelling at each other while climbing up shut their mouths one after another, and after all the people who climbed up from the ground saw the environment they were in, they all subconsciously no longer opened their mouths. Even the fake scholar Ye Qiu Sheng who always loved talking did not make a sound at this time.

The blowing piercingly cold winds scraped by from a far away place, and swept up the fragmented black-coloured gravel.

After everyone climbed up, the surroundings sunk into a span of quietness, with only sounds of wind left, emitting out a long, sad and shrill screaming sound like when wind blew through the winter day forest.

In front of their eyes was certainly a humongous, shockingly giant forest, but it was not one of trees.

—— Those were countless savage and terrifying white skeletons.

What they knocked against were countless knife-like edges, and rugged strange deep-black-coloured giant rocks. Buried within the giant rocks were countless bones of animals so huge they exceeded people’s imaginations. A single skull was just like a pale-white mountain, while the deep and empty eye sockets were tunnels of unknown depth, and a single rib was a several zhang-long arched bridge. They did not know what kind of odd beast’s spine laid at a place far away from them, but it was just like a ridge of icy mountains stretched out like knives.

These skeletons turned more pale-white when set off from the dense deep-black giant rocks.

Winds wandered within the forest of white bones, emitting out a sad and shrill, sharp, long sound, just like the earth’s sound of crying.

A circular, pretty, blood-red sun that gave people an extremely oppressing and ominous feeling hung on the horizon to the west, and cast the sky into a dark and sunken red colour. The instant one looked at that sun, no matter who, they would feel it was a dead sun. The remaining red- coloured light was just like the blood of a golden crow who died along with the sun.

For a very, very long time, no one opened their mouths to speak.

Faced with skeletons that were as big as cities, bony black-coloured rocks, piercing winds that flew through the land, and the dead sun that hung as though it wanted to drop down…… They seemed to have barged into a primitive and ancient ruins buried by several tens of thousands of years of history.

“What are those things?” After a very long time, someone finally opened their mouth. Their voice was very light, as though in fear they would alarm something.

“Crude beasts.” Ye Qiu Sheng who was focused on those ghastly white bones answered. He turned his head to look towards Jun Wan Bai and LI Xin, and from their faces, saw the same type of astonished expression. “With many as big as cities, the descendants would not dare to go against them…… Those are crude beasts’ skeletons.”

Ye Qiu Sheng recited what was recorded in the 《Bamboo Book Record》 regarding the Savage era: “In the savage and wild are beasts, its figures an enormous one, that cover the skies and block the sun, with many as big as cities, that the descendants would not dare go against them”. This
was why within the Savage era, the rulers of the land of twelve dynasties would be crude beasts.

In that ancient era several tens of thousands of years apart from the present, in front of the crude beasts as big as cities, the most sturdiest city of the humans would just be like paper mush, so frail it would collapse at the first blow.

However, what Ye Qiu Sheng was surprised about was not this. Other than the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, one single era consisted of thirty thousand years. As three time periods had passed, these archaic histories long already turned into one or two words of legends on paper, while records related to it were of the utmost smallest number.

Nevertheless, Ye Qiu Sheng, Jun Wan Bai, and Li Xin saw a picture not long ago that had a few parts matching with the scene in front of their eyes!

—— That ancient engraving inscribed on the bronze prison walls underneath Yan Men.

Battle of Di Fen!

Archaic crude beast skeletons that filled the lands, the dead sun that hung on the west…… Could it be that this place was the ancient battlegrounds where Kong Jia lead the humans to set off the end of the Savage era?

But why would the Qing Ming tower that guides incoming flying vessels be connected to this ancient battleground connecting eras?

Jun Wan Bai just about turned dizzy from these giant suspicions continuously falling down these days. As the wind scraped by her face, she calmed down, and she gripped the pair of swords, then slowly observed all around, trying to find Bai Li Shu’s figure.

She scanned through the area- all was a span of emptiness, while the deep-black lands only had countless skeletons, but not that thin figure.

“Shit! What are you bastards doing?” Suddenly, a Jiu Xuan disciple dumbfoundedly yelled out loud.

Everyone looked towards the sound, and only saw all the Yu Shou Sect disciples with Qiu Qian He as the lead actually kneel down towards those savage and terrifying crude beast bones.

Even Qiu Qian He who would always have a face of bearing unknown malicious ideas changed in expression.

It turned incomparably pious, incomparably respectful. Bearing a unspeakable solemness to it.

It was at this time that everyone then recalled in hindsight, this gentle-looking bastard who looked like a girl, was draped with a fire-red ceremonial robe from the Huang Ling dynasty.

Under all the other people’s gazes, the Yu Shou Sect disciples including Qiu Qian He heavily kowtowed towards the crude beasts’ skeletons to their front.

[1] A question posed from Qu Yuan’s Tian Wen ( 天问, or ‘Heavenly Questions’). Why would the civilians who seemed little and weak possess so much strength after joining forces? No matter what one’s position was, if they were as united as bees or moths, they would form a very strong and firm power.

Chapter 68

Chapter Sixty-Eight, Disappearing Without a Sound, the Trajectory of Fate. (⽆声消失, 命运轨迹)
The blood-coloured sun shed down its light. In front of everyone’s eyes, the terrifyingly giant white bones seemed like silent statues on the deep-black vast land. They quietly stood on top of the ground, and silently accepted the worship several tens of thousands of years late. With Qiu Qian He as the lead, the Yu Shou Sect disciples chanted a kind of hard-to- pronounce, strange-toned language.

Jun Wan Bai’s expression inconspicuously changed a bit.

Yu Shou Sect, as Huang Ling dynasty’s state religion, believed that “everything has an intelligence”, and believed in the strong power of the primitive. And up to today, they would still hold grand ceremonies and rituals on the the grasslands located to the north of the long river that belonged to the Huang Ling dynasty.

And the target of the ritual was not anything else, but were the crude beasts that ruled the world in the Savage era!

Huang Ling, Huang Ling*.

Jun Wan Bai recalled the ancient legends regarding this dynasty. Within the twelve dynasties, it was the most oldest, and was also the dynasty most closest to the ice sheets to the far north. There, lived countless odd beasts on the grasslands in Huang Ling dynasty, and every winter, the starved beasts would gather into flocks and head south. This was the beast wave, and also the reason why the Huang Ling dynasty was not taken fondly by the Central Plains’ immortal sects all this time.

Huang Ling dynasty’s people mainly lived as nomads, and even the most plain people of the Huang Ling dynasty had a fixed capability of driving away odd beasts. The dynasty was formed from the combination of different tribes, while each tribe had their own totem.

Those totems symbolized different crude beasts that lived in the Savage era.

Unlike the Central Plains, Yu Shou Sect in the Huang Ling dynasty had a very exalted position, where each tribe’s priest would be a Yu Shou Sect disciple. Just like Qiu Qian He, not only was he Yu Shou Sect’s core disciple, but the red-coloured robe on his body symbolized that he was also a member of a certain tribe within the Huang Ling dynasty.

Red…… Red……

Jun Wan Bai rapidly thought. Her mind passed through many and various Huang Ling dynasty’s tribe’s totems, and pretty much instantly recalled within the unending sea of fire in the ten thousand zhang-high skies, the white-clothed youth who welcomed in the sea of fire with his back straight, and the longbow held in that person’s hand.

That longbow called “Golden Crow”.

Golden crow! Qiu Qian He was the priest of the tribe that worshipped the golden crow!

As this thought passed through Jun Wan Bai’s mind, when she once again looked at the countless pale-white skeletons in front and the dark-red blood-coloured sun, she slowly shivered.

The picture of the end of the Battle of Di Fen on top of the bronze prison that Bai Li Shu headed towards genuinely emerged in front of her eyes. They were standing within the ancient battlefield linking the Savage era and era of Chaos, to their front were countless crude beasts’ skeletons, the ones who came with them were Huang Ling dynasty’s Yu Shou Sect disciples who worshipped crude beasts, and Qiu Qian He who was a priest had a very high possibility of coming from a tribe that worshipped the golden crow……

Was everything really just a coincidence?

Jun Wan Bai only felt that her mind was a complete mess, as though the matter started to develop into an unforeseeable direction since the first moment they left the sect. No matter if it was her, Qiu Qian He, or Bai Li Shu…… they all were stepping onto an invisible path right now.

She turned her head to look at Ye Qiu Sheng and Li Xin, wanting to see if they had the same feeling as herself. Li Xin’s face still had that gloomy and sombre look, however, his eyebrows were wrinkled very tightly. Jun Wan Bai slightly let out a sigh, thus, she went to look at Ye Qiu Sheng.

However, with this one look, Jun Wan Bai’s face abruptly changed. Ye Qiu Sheng! He’s gone!
“Where’s that last-named Ye?!”

In the place where everyone fell down, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples were all still devoutly kowtowing towards those ancient crude beasts’ skeletons, not one of Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples were missing, and Liao Qian this Nine Provinces Private Bank disciple that came out halfway was talking over and over again about how much money these crude beasts’ skeletons were worth right now……

However, the place where Ye Qiu Sheng stood just before was empty at this time!

In this short and brief moment when everyone’s focus was drawn in by Yu Shou Sect’s actions, Ye Qiu Sheng went missing! Jun Wan Bai waved a bit, then her pair of blades came out pointing the ground, and she started to slowly observe all round. As expected, this fake scholar full of improper and flippant words had no bit of credibility to speak of.

“Last-named Ye?!” She called out in a raised voice, but no one responded. It was like Ye Qiu Sheng did not come out from the passage, and disappeared without a single trace or shadow.

Jun Wan Bai cursed out loud, and yelled out, wanting to search the Jiu Xuan Sect disciples all around, and let them gather over. The way Ye Qiu Sheng disappeared was far too strange. Although Jun Wan Bai felt that there was a strong possibility this bastard similarly filled with secrets left by himself, she could not also exclude other reasons.

Within the “Battle of Di Fen’s” battlegrounds, in this kind of odd place, no one knows what kind of thing would exist! And them being prohibited from flying in the sky was the greatest evidence of it.

It was also at this time that the Yu Shou Sect disciples led by Qiu Qian He also ended their ritual. After that mouthy and verbose chanting ended, they only saw a crude beast skeleton in front of the Yu Shou Sect disciples have a dim light suddenly fly out, and combine into a light mark, then submerge into the Qiu Qian He’s forehead who was dressed in the red ceremonial robe.

It was also when that line of light flew out that everyone instantly felt the surrounding atmosphere’s temperature abruptly rise up, and a sliver of scorching feeling faintly permeated within the air.

At the instant the light flew in, Qiu Qian He hit the ground with his palm, and just like a white crane flying close to the surface of the water, he gracefully and nimbly brushed the ground, and flew towards the white bone forest. His speed was extremely quick, however, there was someone whose reaction was even faster than his.

A light mark of black and white fell down from midair, and instantly blocked Qiu Qian He’s path. “Why be in such a hurry to leave?”    Shen Chang Ge’s figure lightly descended from midair. He swayed his fan, and asked with his face with a slight smile. “Even if you want to leave, you should let us know, right?”

At the time everyone else’s attentions were drawn in by Ye Qiu Sheng’s disappearance, Sheng Chang Ge actually focused on Yu Shou Sect’s actions the entire time- or perhaps it should be said, from the beginning, he particularly paid attention to Yu Shou Sect disciple’s each and every move.

Qiu Qian He did not reply, but his figure moved, and the fire-red long robe suddenly spread open in midair. A ball of fiery scorching fire suddenly burned in front of Shen Chang Ge, and the blaze swept towards Shen Chang Ge, carrying a sliver of vague pressure of the divine bird, golden crow.

Shen Chang Ge recalled that light mark that just entered Qiu Qian He’s forehead, and did not dare go up against that ball of fire, thus, his figure swayed, then retreated to another side.

Just when Shen Chang Ge dodged, Qiu Qian He’s figure silently appeared to the left, and directly rushed towards the forest of white bones.

Turns out he did not plan to exchange blows with Shen Chang Ge at all. That fire that carried the golden crow’s aura just now was used to just temporarily delay Shen Chang Ge, so he himself could take the opportunity to rush towards the forest of crude beasts’ bones. He seemed to have an absolute certainty that as long as he entered there, Shen Chang Ge and others would not be able to do anything to him.

And from the looks of it, Qiu Qian He was about to enter the white bone forest.

When suddenly, Shen Chang Ge’s raised voice transmitted from his
back, “How long do you feel like your disciple siblings are able to persevere under White-Blue?”

*Huang(荒) Ling, the Savage(蛮荒) era, and crude(荒) beasts. Refer to chp 4 footnotes for additional explanation on the name and connection.

Chapter 69

Chapter Sixty-Nine, Home to Many Families, the Changes of the City. (万⼾之家, 城池之变)
The red-robed Qiu Qian He stood in front of the crude beast skeleton forest, with only one step away from completely entering inside. His back faced all of Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s disciples, while the hand hung to his side was gripped tight.

Shen Chang Ge had a smile on his face, but he smiled a bit coldly. The fan in his hand was half-open, and tilted towards Yu Shou disciples direction.

Yu Shou’s disciples did not look all that good- their backs were against each other, faced with Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples who were about to have them surrounded. That disciple who was closest to Qiu Qian He just now pressed onto his hand, bit down on his teeth, and did not make a bit of sound.

A thin, rice paper-like dagger pierced into that Yu Shou Sect disciple’s arm, putting a stop to the action of his in swaying the bell.

At a time unknown to them, Qiu Qian He gave the bronze bell that could create a spacial pathway to the brother who was closest to him.

To the side, Liao Qian’s brain turned dizzy- it was at this time that he then barely realized what happened within this moment: the Yu Shou Sect disciples who kowtowed to the crude beast skeletons, seemed to have obtained some revelation; when Ye Qiu Sheng who came with them silently disappeared, Qiu Qian He took the opportunity at the instant everyone was preoccupied to give the bronze bell to his own disciple brother, while he himself wanted to borrow the chance when everyone was preoccupied to enter the forest of crude beast skeletons, then, the remaining Yu Shou Sect disciples would use the bronze bell to leave this place……

“Fuck!” Once Liao Qian clearly understood what happened in this moment, he could not help but burst into profanities “As expected, not a single one of the little pretty faces under this sky are a good one. Each one is more sinister than the next.”

Jiu Xuan’s disciples surrounded Yu Shou’s people in, while the fan in Shen Chang Ge’s hand pointed to them.

White-Blue. The severe poison that even Fan Xu boundary people had no way of fighting against. Even if it was the fog raptor from the beginning, it would be paralyzed by it for a moment. The Yu Shou Sect disciples below Half-God definitely had no way of fighting against it.

“Isn’t Yu Shou Sect’s people the ones who advocated for a direct and straightforward fight the most?” Jun Wan Bai held up her pair of swords and slowly walked forward. She did not know what the mark of light that shot out of the crude beast was, so she did not dare to carelessly step within the range of where the crude beast skeletons stood. “So how is it that you’re running even faster than rabbits right now?”

Qiu Qian He only needed to take one step forward, and he would completely step into the range of the crude beast skeleton’s cover, however, he did not move at all.

In reality, he knew too- if his brothers wanted to run away from these core disciples and Shen Chang Ge, even if the bronze bell worked, the possibility was very low. Before they acted, they already made the mental preparations, however……

Qiu Qian He closed his eyes. The brothers and sisters to his back who loved to make lengthy tirades and get nervous and excited did not utter a single thing, and his ears seldom was a peace and quiet. Qiu Qian He heard the sound of blades going through the air, heard the sound of blood splattering, but did not hear their sounds. Just before when the ritual had not been finished, he as the priest could actually communicate with other people, and by then, there was already a potty-mouth[1] who asked “and what if we can’t run away?”.

—— Then Senior should just leave, it’s not like we’ll be afraid of Jiu Xuan Sect these bunch of cowards.

“Senior! Hurry and leave!”      Seeing that Qiu Qian He did not move for a long time, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples turned worried, and thus they shouted out loud. Under the desperate situation, they forgot to maintain their outer image of Yu Shou Sect “not saying a word, and if there was disagreement, then directly make a move”, saying words hurriedly and quickly.

“Don’t worry, we won’t say that the reason why you hate that last- named Bai Li of Jiu Xuan Sect to the point of grinding your teeth was because he scraped a line on your face, don’t worry! We don’t know that every time you look at your sword, you’re not actually looking at your sword, but would be looking at how good-looking you were……”

“What? No wonder, every time I see Senior so full of tender affection towards the blade’s body, I even felt that it was because Senior was conceiving swordsmanship, comprehending arcane truths! Turns out it was just because Senior felt embarrassed to use a mirror in front of us, huh……” Another Yu Shou Sect disciple whose neck was held up with Chu Zhi Yuan’s sword could not help but butt in.

“So it was like that! Last time, I……”

In an instant, his back turned noisy once again. Qiu Qian He vowed that he heard that Jiu Xuan bunch of cowards’ unrestrained sounds of laughter, and at the time, felt his vision go black—— it’s over, so many years of fame has all been destroyed by these few imbeciles’ mouths. “Fuck!” Qiu Qian He could not help but burst out in profanities, that veins even jumped out from his forehead. He suddenly turned around, and swept his poison-dipped gaze over the Yu Shou Sect disciples within Jiu Xuan’s encirclement who started discussing enthusiastically. “Shut up! Idiots!”

What tragedy, what sorrow, all of it disappeared in this instant, without a single scrap left.

Qiu Qian He took in a deep breath, and under Jiu Xuan disciples’ strange gaze, he walked back step by step.

“Fine. But if you guys kill these bunch of idiots, you wouldn’t even be able to go inside.” Qiu Qian He slowly said.

“Senior!” A Yu Shou Sect disciple wanted to interrupt Qiu Qian He, but Qiu Qian He darkened his face, and swept over his knife-like gaze over with a “shut it”, then they once again obediently shut their mouths, and turned quiet.

The corners of Jun Wan Bai’s mouth twitched. She kind of didn’t want to admit that the true face of Jiu Xuan Sect’s sworn enemies were actually these kinds of idiots…… With this kind of bastard as a sworn enemy, she felt like her own status was pulled down with it.

“Just what was that light mark just now?”       Shen Chang Ge did not put away his fan, and slightly narrowed his eyes and asked.

When Qiu Qian He heard this question, he strangely started laughing.

“That is a permit.” Permit?
Everyone slightly turned stunned, and did not really understand what he meant. “You guys can go try……” The smile on Qiu Qian He’s face turned particularly ill-willed. His gaze swept over everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect, and carried a sliver of ridicule, “Directly walking from these…… into this ancient battleground of Di Fen.”

The ancient battleground of Di Fen.

When they heard Qiu Qian He’s words, Jun Wan Bai and Li Xin exchanged glances, and the previous guesses received a confirmation at this moment.

Under Jiu Xuan’s people’s gazes, Qiu Qian He started explaining with a bit of unwillingness.

As the rulers of the Savage era, even if time had passed for several tens of thousands of years, the silent skeletons of the dead crude beasts remained with a sliver of spirit in them. The forest of skeletons that looked to be calm was actually located under the cover of the crude beasts’ remaining imposition the entire time, and this was why at the time they just came through from the spacial passageway, they would directly fall down.

Hastily stepping into the domain of the crude beasts’ remainders, would be seen as a provocation towards the crude beasts.

The crude beasts that would be described as a “tyrannical sun” was definitely not some magnanimous or generous existence, and at the time of the Savage era, those who dared to challenge the crude beasts’ majesty only had an end of being suppressed.

Yet, Qiu Qian He went through the ritual, and using the identity of the golden crow’s descendent, received the permission to enter the crude beasts’ domain from those beasts’ skeletons.

That was the golden light that flew out from the white bones.

When they heard Qiu Qian He’s words, Shen Chang Ge, Jun Wan Bai and other core disciples exchanged glances—— according to Qiu Qian He’s explanation, to enter the forest of crude beasts’ remainders, one must have that light mark, however, how do they get an ancient crude beasts’ bloodline?

“No wonder you guys keep saying over and over again that you guys were friends with beasts, and everything had intelligence, turns out you bastards really aren’t considered to be some decent or proper people……” On the side, Liao Qian bore resentment towards these bastards who caused him to step into this damned place, and muttered in small voice by the side.

Qiu Qian He’s gaze coldly swept by.

Liao Qian got scared by him, and opened his mouth wanting to continue to scold, but he suddenly thought—— no! He wasn’t Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciple. If he really offended these rough people of Yu Shou Sect who liked to get into fights to solve problems, they would immediately make their move when they get back. He definitely could not fight over them, and thus he could only shut his mouth.

“Then……” While everyone was pondering, Shen Chang Ge seemed to have thought of something.

He walked up two steps, and took a look at this vast and strange world. His pupils cast with those scarily giant white bones, and the expression on his face had a bit of gloominess to it, as though he recalled something not good.

Other people only heard him lightly say, “Were Bing Province City’s people, Qing Ming tower’s guarding disciples…… swept up in there?”

Shen Chang Ge’s voice was not high, and within the whirring winds, it was quickly blown away by the wind.

Nevertheless, everyone turned quiet in an instant.

After Shen Chang Ge said it out loud, everyone imagined it, however, everyone subconsciously avoided this matter. They all were people who entered Bing Province City, and came here through the Qing Ming tower. The scene of Bing Province City being empty and deserted, silent as a grave still emerged within everyone’s minds the entire time.

The inside of Bing Province City did not have any blood, nor corpses- everyone just disappeared.

There was a strong possibility…… The residents of Bing Province City, as well as Jiu Xuan’s tower-guarding disciples, long already entered this place before them due to the erupted spacial force from Qing Ming tower in the very beginning. However, the world they faced was a span of deathly stillness. In other words…… There was a possibility they were swept into the forest of white bones.

Making a guess based on Qiu Qian He’s words, there was only one end for people who hastily enter the crude beast skeletons’ domain without a light mark: death.

An entire city’s people died.

This kind of estimate was far too depressing, so much so that everyone subconsciously avoided it, and subconsciously did not mention it.
But in the end, at this time and moment, it still had been said aloud. “One hundred seventy thousand……” Shen Chang Ge lightly
said.

He looked at those ghastly white bones, looked at those deep-black
giant rocks, and looked over the dead sun in the sky. The dark-crimson sunlight fell into the bottom of his eyes, like a beacon silently lit up.

Bing Province was the seldom seen big city of the west region of Chen dynasty. With Yan Men Prefecture in front guarding against natural disasters, and fertile soils brought by the Yan waters, even if they were limited by droughts and floods, the population within the city numbered around one hundred seventy thousand. This place was a big city “home to all families”!

[1] 乌鸦嘴- or literally, crow’s mouth, for their incredibly stinky mouths. To describe someone whose words are particularly loathsome.

Chapter 70

Chapter Seventy, Jiu Xuan’s Fate, How the Chessboard Is Now. (九⽞定数, 棋盘如何)
“A hundred seventy thousand……” When Liao Qian heard Shen Chang Ge’s voice, he raised his eyebrows all of a sudden, and looked at Shen Chang Ge who was staring at the crude beasts’ skeletons in astonishment. Bing Province City’s residents certainly was around one hundred seventy thousand, however, Shen Chang Ge was Jiu Xuan Sect Qian range’s representative disciple, how did he know this number?

It wasn’t as though Bing Province’s population was some unspeakable secret, but it should be said, with Shen Chang Ge’s identity, he wouldn’t care about these things, right? Other than disciples of a sect like Nine Provinces Private Bank who wholeheartedly wanted to calculate how to rationally get rich, which immortal sect’s disciples would care about your mortal realm city’s population numbers?

Perhaps, this smiling tiger-like[1] Jiu Xuan Qian range representative’s interests were comparatively peculiar. Liao Qian thought of this, and very quickly tossed this suspicion to the back of his head.

Everyone started to feel troubled towards the crude beast remains- according to Qiu Qian He’s words, if one did not have a mark of light, they had no way of entering the battlefield of Di Fen where crude beast skeletons filled the land.

No one made any comments back. Jiu Xuan’s people were very aware that Qiu Qian He must have concealed something and did not say it- for example, exactly what was in the deep part of the crude beast skeleton forest, that could let this bastard almost not care for his own sect’s brothers and sisters, and go in by himself. Also, there was also a strong possibility that Bai Li Shu went inside too.

Other than that, it was also the one faint hope everyone held inside.

—— Perhaps there was someone still alive, and did not die inside that forest of white bones?

“Maybe……”       Jun Wan Bai’s gaze slowly swept by the figures of Yu Shou Sect’s disciples. She suddenly smiled, and let out a set of pale- white teeth that when looked at, would make Yu Shou’s disciples hairs directly stand up. “I have a suspicion……”

The reason why the spacial vortex was opened was because the Qiu dragon apparition Qiu Qian He summoned formed a certain resonance with this place, and analyzing from this present situation, it should be that the Qiu dragon apparition felt its predecessors’ bones’ summons from the warped space inside the Qing Ming tower. Since it is like this, then it could be said…… Other than the bloodline of the crude beasts’ descendants, the apparitions of odd beasts should be able to draw in a certain use.

And from the looks of it, aren’t there a bunch of Yu Shou Sect disciples right now?

Yu Shou Sect’s disciples boasted about themselves all day long, didn’t so and so subdue so and so divine beast or extraordinary bird’s spirit. The finances of Yu Shou Sect and Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples were just about the same, poor, however, with respects to bestial souls, Yu Shou Sect would definitely not be lacking.

Those of the same sect’s thoughts were just about the same, and in an instant, the gaze other Jiu Xuan disciples used to look at Yu Shou Sect with changed, as though they were looking at moving light marks. “Hey! What are you guys thinking! Don’t even try to scheme against our bestial[2] souls!”     The Yu Shou Sect disciples who pretty much took their bestial souls as their own lives all retreated a few steps, with their hairs almost blowing up.

Shen Chang Ge closed his fan up, and smiled warmly and appropriately, “Friends of Yu Shou Sect, please don’t take any offence. Don’t worry, we’re not borrowing. We’re…… Robbing.”

—— To hell with borrowing! When Jiu Xuan Sect raises their hands, does it look like they would politely and amiably speak of any reasoning?

Jun Wan Bai half-propped up her pair of blades, and her deep-blue long robe moved by itself without any wind, “I heard that pretty much all of Yu Shou Sect’s people have seven, eight, or ten beast spirits?”

Qin Jiu tossed his wine flask with one hand, while the other hand whirled around several piercingly cold lit daggers of unknown material, and let out a pondering expression. He looked towards Liao Qian, “Hey, Private Bank fatty, how do you guys value beast spirits when you take them in?”

Liao Qian dumbfoundedly looked at everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect who instantly transformed from an immortal sect’s disciples into robbers, and swallowed his saliva, then stuttered, “We ta-…… take into…… take into account the level and degree of rarity, as well as the the degree of how intact the spirit is itself.”

“Is that so……” Qin Jiu seemed lost in thought, and his gaze swept through his own sect’s figures, “Calculating according to how each person in Yu Shou Sect would bring seven bestial spirits on average, after each person gets one, there should be quite a bit left.”

“Fuck……”         Yu Shou Sect’s disciples including Qiu Qian He all numbly looked at Jiu Xuan Sect.

—— How is it that they did not discover that Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples’ true faces were actually bandits before today? When they thought about how these kinds of greedy[3] poor bastards were their own sworn enemies, they suddenly felt it sort of didn’t fit with their own identity and status.

Liao Qian with a body full of spiritual tools did not know why he felt like he was a bit cold.

He silently took a step back, and hide behind Zhou Wen An, in attempt to disappear from all of Jiu Xuan Sect’s line of sight.

In the end, although “bestial souls were pretty much just as important as Yu Shou Sect disciples’ lives”, all in all, it was only a “pretty much” and not “more”. After a moment of pondering, Yu Shou Sect’s disciples did as Jun Wan Bai said with a face of apathy[4], and summoned their own bestial souls to try.

And the results of the attempt made it clear- Jun Wan Bai’s idea was
usable.

By using bestial souls, one could certainly get a reaction with the
crude beasts’ skeletons, and in the same manner could obtain the mark of light symbolizing the permit. However, with this, the object that carried the light mark was not the person itself, but was the contract tablet sealed with the beast spirit. In addition, there were also requirements for the beast spirit, and it definitely needed to be an ancient kind of beast that had connections with the Savage era.

—— In other words, pretty much all of them were the most valuable of Yu Shou Sect’s bodies.

With this, Jiu Xuan Sect had to temporarily form a cooperation with Yu Shou Sect.

Yu Shou Sect’s strength could not compare to Jiu Xuan Sect with the few major core disciples- if they did not give their contract tablet to Jiu Xuan Sect, they would immediately be buried in the black sands along with the crude beasts to their front. However, the contract tablets were formed from Yu Shou disciples’ spiritual insight. In respects to bestial souls, Yu Shou Sect’s methods were certainly second-to-none, and as long as they were willing, they could definitely risk countering effects to their spiritual insight, and destroy the contract tablets, then make Jiu Xuan Sect have no way of obtaining the light mark, making them incapable of entering the forest of crude beasts’ remains.

——Dammit!

Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s disciples looked at each other, and similarly turned their heads to one side. Their gazes looked towards two completely opposite directions, and had the mutual dislike for each other all written over their faces without concealing any of it.

Liao Qian…… Liao Qian was only a regular Nine Provinces Private Bank disciple, he very much wanted to suggest opening a passageway to return to Bing Province by himself once again. After all, no matter how dangerous any place was, it was better than directly getting involved with an ancient place of the Savage era.

But unfortunately, no one paid attention to him.

“Aye……”   Liao Qian once again let out a heavy breath. This matter demonstrated once again, going into the correct sect was very important. Once a person chose the wrong sect, if there were difficulties, there wouldn’t even be a senior who would protect him. This was too tragic.

Once everyone got hold of a light mark, Shen Chang Ge, Li Xin, and Qiu Qian He took the lead, and Qin Jiu, Chu Zhi Yuan, and Jun Wan Bai brought up the rear, while the regular sect disciples walked in the middle, then the entire party very carefully entered the deep part of the crude beast skeletons.

Before they went in, the wind that scraped by from a distant place turned more violent.

Those crude beast skeletons from where the light marks flew out from and imparted their permission dispersed in the strong winds bone by bone, and heavily fell down onto the incomparably rigid deep-black craggy rocks. The crude beast skeletons that completely lots its lustre broke into fragments, and trickled down onto the ground in batches, losing the mysticism it maintained for several tens of thousands of years.

As though unwillingly announcing an era’s end.

Jun Wan Bai turned her head to look at those skeletons, and suddenly, her gaze slightly stopped.

—— In her line of sight, a few giant scythe-like wing bones that were spread open were being blown into pieces by the bitterly cold strong winds.

That was, a fog raptor’s skeleton!

“Fog raptor……” Jun Wan Bai’s hands suddenly gripped tight, and she recited this in a light tone.

Qin Jiu who was walking by her side heard that she was saying something, but did not hear clearly, thus, he turned his head and sent her an uncertain gaze. Jun Wan Bai smiled with her usual expression, “It’s nothing, just sentimental is all.”

“Sentimental?” The slovenly loose and unruly Qin Jiu seemed to have been moved, and recalled something. He looked at the distant crude beast bones shaped like icy mountain ranges, and smiled with disappointment, “I guess so…… Then again, who would want that?”

As for who wanted what, Qin Jiu did not continue speaking, and Jun Wan Bai did not press on either.

Due to the fluctuations in her mood, the knuckles on her hands that gripped the pair of swords turned into a white colour.

Fog raptor, fog raptor, why does it have to be a fog raptor?! She pretty much wanted to shout and ask this. ◈◈◈
After Jun Wan Bai and the others figures gradually disappeared at a distance, at the place they just stopped at underneath a giant beasts’ skull twice as tall as a city’s gates, within the shadows where Bai Li Shu previously stood, a figure slowly came out.

It was Ye Qiu Sheng who previously disappeared silently.

He was still of that appearance of a talented and romantic Confucian scholar, while the spacious robes were blown fluttering by the wind. It was unknown what kind of method he used, but even though he stood at a place not far from everyone, no one detected his presence.

“Jiu Xuan’s people really are keener than the next.” Ye Qiu Sheng sighed, but his face still carried the usual frivolous and loose smile.

“Except, once they know that they themselves were also part of the calculations of that eldest brother of theirs, how would they feel then?”
Ye Qiu Sheng smiled, and spread his hands open.

In his hands held a long and narrow rice paper, and on the paper, the words were clearly long written out before, as the ink was long already dried.

—— How laughable!

Ye Qiu Sheng smiled, and also stepped into the forest of crude beasts’ skeletons. Tai Shang Sect had a pair of eyes, Jiu Xuan Sect had a (chess) player, then what about Yu Shou Sect? And what did Yu Shou Sect set the red-robed Qiu Qian He as? And what about the other sects, Tian Ji Valley[5], Fan Yin Pavilion, Nine Provinces Private Bank, He Huan Sect- who were the people that they decided on?

At this time, Ye Qiu Sheng could already completely confirm it.

—— Bai Li Shu, was the person who Jiu Xuan Sect chose! And that was, the fate that would receive all that came!

[1] 笑⾯虎- a term for people who are friendly on the surface, but were as fierce as a tiger inside.

[2] 御魂- to be revised when I figure which ‘yu’ this one is. Yu Shou sect has Yu souls. It’s definitely not soul-warding like back in chp 62’s soul warding formation (despite being the same characters).
[3] ⻅钱眼开- open their eyes wide at money, or, be tempted by money.
[4] ⽣ ⽆ 可 恋 - a rather modern term that translates to having no attachment to anything in life.
[5] 天机⾕- Also, Heaven’s will valley.
Cayce hanya seorang mahasiswa yang kebetulan menyukai cerita silat, kesukaan cayce dengan cerita silat dimulai pada saat saya SMP. Banyak kesan tersendiri buat cayce mengenai cerita silat itu sendiri…

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