Zhao Ge Chapter 91-100

Chapter 91

Chapter Ninety-One, Gates to the Lowest Reaches of Hell, the Slow- witted and Clumsy. (九幽之门, 冥顽不灵)
“It is not important as for who [the responsibility] falls upon.” Xie Yi suddenly laughed in a mocking manner, and his black-coloured overcoat fluttered around, while the luxurious bordering gold-threaded embroidery were like flames burning away, “If the heavens must expel commoners, there must first be a thing such as principle. But Heaven……”

“Is originally unprincipled!” Xie Yi’s voice suddenly turned fierce. The strikes of light like falling cherry blossoms danced up in the wind, and the stone steps outside Jiu Xuan’s branch were suddenly enveloped by the myriad of lights.

When the light from the strikes covered over the entire long stone staircase, the ghost fire in the surroundings sprung up with a “fwoosh”, and turned from bits and specks into a blaze with the force of a prairie fire[1]. Orchid light illuminated the exterior of the Jiu Xuan branch while the atmosphere surfaced with countless, minute, grieving crying sounds, like the people who died to injustice in the underworld were gathering together to cry.

On top of the pale-white skull of the Skeleton of a Myriad that climbed out from the box, the empty eye sockets suddenly turned gloomy and abstruse like a black hole, and the crying sounds seemed as though it made the atmosphere vibrate along with it. That myriad of strikes of light were swallowed by the dull-blue flame, and when the strikes were swallowed by the ghost fire, the faint and unrealistic feeling from the Skeleton of a Myriad like tens of thousands of bones overlapping each other turned more and more intense.

Skeleton of a Myriad.        Gathered from several tens of thousands of skeletons, accumulating the obsessions, unwillingness, grievances and other emotions before death. A single Skeleton of a Myriad was a human realm’s hell- a ground-level underworld.

As though the bamboo hat man did not see those strikes, he very respectfully made a bow towards the Skeleton of a Myriad.

“Spirit, oh spirit, who hast restrained you?” The man started chanting the ancient ode using an archaic hard-to-understand language. His voice was indistinct, like it crossed through from an era several tens of thousands of years ago. The tone was archaic and abstruse, carrying an old and strong, primitive feeling to it.

Specks of the dim-blue flame were swept into the air by the fierce winds, and in the night, it suddenly transformed into tens of thousands of human apparitions. At once, the long stone staircase outside Jiu Xuan branch turned crowded, and countless ragged-clothed souls layered over each other—— those were tens of thousands of remnant souls, wearing rough fabric clothing, while the remnant souls’ faces flickered between a hazy and clear appearance.

A bone-seeping hint of coldness spread out, and the stone staircase was suddenly iced over.

“Where have the dead gone? The living turn grieved!” The bamboo hat man’s voice turned loud, and finally was not as calm as before. Just like the mouth of a suppressed volcano, it finally could not hold back, and completely and thoroughly exploded its wrath and hatred.

—— Qing Province’s seventy thousand, Yong province’s hundred thousand, an uncounted number from the south- for the people who died in pain and despair within the famine, how were their souls able to peacefully return? If the people who bore hatred in death did not obtain an answer, even beneath the Spring, they would not be able to die in content. And the people with lingering breaths struggle to live on, just to find answer for them!

A pale-white light appeared in the barren eye sockets of the Skeleton of a Myriad. A dull-blue flame covered over it joint by joint, and by the end, the entire skeleton was set on fire.

Even Xie Yi, at his level of cultivation, could feel a kind of coldness that deeply entered his spirit. Those overlapping remnants of souls opened their eyes within the ancient ode, and surged up like tide waters- they were attempting to drag Xie Yi into the underworld along with them.

Because of the presence of the Skeleton of a Myriad, the strength from these myriads of remnant souls could gather together, that even the space started to faintly warp, and the sound of the ghosts’ cries turned sharp and fierce.

“Rite of the ancient. You are from the Yi[2] clan.”       Faced with the several tens of thousands of remnant spirits, Xie Yi’s face had no surprise whatsoever. He calmly opened his mouth, while the sound of the blade in his hand did not stop.

The bamboo-hatted man did not answer. He continued to bow towards the Skeleton of a Myriad, and his voice turned sorrowful and stifled.

“Return, return, for I will be like the shadows.”       “Come, come, for time does not rest.”

The rite of the ancient’s ode was extremely strange- that odd tone seemed as though it contained a strong power, and when it was recited from the bamboo hat man’s mouth, it formed into a resonance with the heavens and the earth, and faintly drew out a primitive strength from the elapsed eras several tens of thousands of years ago.

At this moment in time, Bing Province suddenly turned silent and soundless. The chickens and dogs turned silent, the watchman shuddered, and no human dared to speak.

As though as long as one was living, they would feel a kind of fear that swept over from the deepest part of their memories—— that was the fear that the ancestors left behind, the dread towards the primitive rulers.

The tens of thousands of remnant souls turned fierce all of a sudden, and their figures more or less warped, while malice pretty much accumulated into a viscous substance- added with that obscure power that came from the primitive times, even with Xie Yi’s cultivation, he had to use his spiritual insight to resist with his full power. If a person whose strength was beneath his stood here, their spiritual insight would long be severely injured at this time, and their soul would eternally be damaged.

Faced with the several tens of thousands of souls from the netherworld commanded by the Skeleton of a Myriad, against the trembling and warping space, Xie Yi suddenly laughed.

“The Yi clan, after all, is still the Yi clan.” He laughed brightly, carrying a disdain and arrogance to it.

“In the end, they are still mere cowards, seeking their ancestors’ blessing!” Xie Yi’s voice resonated like thunder. The space that warped along with the bamboo-hatted man’s ode slightly shook, and the fluctuations drawn in from the ancient ritual actually faintly got interrupted by this casual laugh of his.

——I’m already old, so old that I cannot draw my sword.
When Bai Li Shu had not yet left, this was what Xie Yi had previously told him.

Nevertheless, at this time and moment, he was just like when he was young, with his talent recklessly on full display, freely expressing his emotions, and being wild and arrogant without restraint.

Xie Yi’s overcoat fluttered about. No one knew just how many strikes he let out at that moment, but the disorderly strikes of light once again sprinkled and flew around around like falling cherry blossoms. He whirled around, and his overcoat fluttered, while the gold-threaded embroidery on the borders seemed like a flame that burned in a rage during the dark night, so bright that it forcefully covered over the dim-blue ghost fire.

When one looked at the current Xie Yi, no one would believe that he called himself “gradually getting old”!

This kind of elegant blade was brandished in his hand, while each strike of light that fluttered around carried a killing intent so overbearing it engraved itself into the bones. Even though he was clearly just wielding his sword in his place, the strikes of light filled the entire skies and earth, and where the ghost fire laid over, the strikes of light would follow.

The strikes were like a long river of stars.

The big river emptied out, and the blazing fire was buried into oblivion.

On Wu Peak where the Jiu Xuan branch was, an elder draped in black robes sat cross-legged on top of the rooftop of the Jiu Xuan disciples’ dorms. If one looked down from the highest skies, they would find that the entire Bing Province’s Jiu Xuan branch was covered over by a faint light at some time ago, with the sole gap being at Jiu Xuan’s gates where Xie Yi was at.

The face of the black-robed elder carried a bit of weariness from rushing over from a long ways journey.

He was one of the black-robed elders who left Jiu Xuan’s main sect that day, however, the disciples who knew him at Jiu Xuan Sect were very few.

He was one of the almighties of Jiu Xuan Sect who went into isolation. After the Qing Ming tower opened up, he rushed over, and within the sunken night, when it would not draw any attention, he entered Bing Province. Pretty much all the black-robed elders who left the sect were just like him- not one rode a flying vessel, and they all relied on their own cultivation to avoid the Qing Ming tower, hiding and concealed their traces.

When Xie Yi and the bamboo-hatted man exchanged blows, the black-robed elder sacrificed a strange jade box, and borrowing the power of the spirit stones, he spread out a barrier, and had the Jiu Xuan branch where Xie Yi was at enveloped within it, warding off the aftershock of their blows, protecting the Jiu Xuan branch’s disciples.

He came to Bing Province to be a line of defence in suppressing the sky pillar, and also be the “shield” to protect the branch.
While Xie Yi was to be that blade that dealt with the enemy. “Walking in luxurious clothes during the night, while drawing
swords in the snow.”         When Xie Yi drew his blade out and brandished it, the black-robed elder who closed their eyes to rest before this suddenly opened their eyes. He slowly said this aloud in a hoarse voice, and his face let out a complicated expression.

Within Elder Qin’s generation, the one who was most well-known was not the current sect leader, Yi He Ping, not Elder Qin, master of Li range, nor He Zhou’s father, He Qing Chuan, but was today’s nameless, Bing Province Jiu Xuan’s person-in-charge, Xie Yi.

—— Walking in luxurious clothes in the night, while drawing swords in the snow, like a flower in the dark.

The Xie Yi of the past’s fame that spread throughout the vast lands of the twelve dynasties, whose elegance and lethal fame both simultaneously rose up, was one of that generation’s most dazzling people, that even the current sect leader of He Huan Sect admired him.

However……

When the black-robed elder watched that side’s drifting strikes of light, they let out a long, long, stifled breath. However, that one most outstanding person, in the end, to suppress this thing underneath, had their vitality was completely drained of, as though an elderly person. Even he did not think that Xie Yi was able to take such a resolute step. Xie Yi…… He merged his own blood essence with the ground that Bing Province’s Jiu Xuan owned, and forcefully had himself refined into a portion of Jiu Xuan’s branch.

Using blood essence to water the earth veins, using the soul to bring up spiritual energy, and in the end, turning himself into something like Wu Peak, a part of Jiu Xuan branch.

And so within Bing Province’s Jiu Xuan Sect, no matter from where one sneaked from, they would all be discovered by Xie Yi. Thus, in these several hundreds of years, he was the one that restrained the sky pillar up to today. And that’s why, he could not leave Bing Province even half a step anymore.

Xie Yi could no longer return to Jiu Xuan’s main sect to look at it once anymore.

The black-robed elder retracted his spiritual insight that focused on Xie Yi and the bamboo hat man’s battle. The person fighting against Xie Yi actually did not see his most brazen of times, when the young Xie Yi would brandish his sword while presenting his own views vehemently, so arrogant like there was no one in the entire world able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him.

Sneering with an “imploring the forefathers’ protection” was already particularly moderate.

Since the beginning, the black-robed elder did not think that there would be any other result other than Xie Yi winning.

“The gates to the Ninth Hell open wide, with not a single slow- witted spirit missed.” The black-robed elder used today’s language to slowly recite these two lines, then shook his head, “The disarray really is soon to come, to think that the old and decrepit things are jumping out from the corners one after another.” If Jun Wan Bai and others heard the words that the black-robed elder recited, they would definitely be in shock.

Back at the martial stage, when Bai Li Shu broke down Li Xin’s “domain of death”, what he recited were precisely these words. Only, Bai Li Shu of that time and the elder were the same, using today’s language to recite it, while the bamboo hat man used a very ancient language instead.

◈◈◈
The long stone staircase once again turned clean and tidy, cold and cheerless, and the myriad of remnant souls that died due to famine all disappeared.

Xie Yi slowly put down his blade.

The front of the gated archway of Jiu Xuan’s branch was once again left with him and the bamboo-hatted man.

The bamboo-hatted man half-knelt to the floor, while his body had many blade injuries. One of his hands pressed onto the box, while one hand propped against the floor, and he himself coughed out big mouthfuls of blood. Xie Yi’s face was slightly a bit white. He held his sword, unable to be seen whether he had any injuries or not. The black-coloured overcoat was fluttering just like before, and the gold-threaded embroidery on the borders were bright and dazzling.

And in front of the bamboo hat man, was a white-boned giant door that stood in the air, while the Skeleton of a Myriad hunched its back, carrying up this giant door. The several tens of thousands of remnant souls before were only to drag out time- the true killing move was this white- boned giant door held up by the Skeleton of a Myriad.

A door to the Ninth Hell.

The door to the Ninth Hell stood in midair, and gave people the most direct feeling of fear and awe, while it represented the enemy that the living beings must face—— death. The bamboo-hatted man coughed out blood while taking in breaths- their face was a badly-mutilated bloody mess. Just before, in the instant the bamboo hat on his head was sliced off by the strike of light, he raised his hand up to directly destroy his own face without any hesitation.

Xie Yi slowly rotated the blade. He did not look at that Ninth Hell door that emerged in the air, but slightly narrowed his eyes, and looked at that mutilated and hard-to-discern face of that bamboo-hatted man’s, “This look of yours right now, on the contrary, seems a bit like Jin Tang’s secret guards.”

Jin Tang’s secret guards always had a mask, so other people could not see their faces. They concealed their names for a lifetime, and lived just like a mole.

“The people who come through the black night, originally could not be said to be of moral principle, let alone when one did not know if they would live or die, or win or lose. Before there is an outcome, letting others see your own face would give other people trouble. Since it is like so, then why not directly destroy this face.” The man hoarsely laughed.

“But the person who must die today, is you.” Xie Yi calmly
stated.

Even though the bamboo hat man used the Skeleton of a Myriad as a
medium to summon the gates to the Ninth Hell, this kind of terrifying burden would similarly have his heart meridians cut off. And so from the very beginning, no matter if he succeeded or not, this person must die without a doubt. Even if he was lucky and did not die because of the door to the Ninth Hell, he could not live on.

The dispute between the immortal sects and dynasties was still surging within the darkness, so those people did not dare to actually reveal their true faces at this time. Thus, no matter if they succeeded or failed, the dynasty’s people would kill him, and not leave the immortal sects an opportunity to chase the source of the matter. If one did not know the origins, even if it was Jiu Xuan Sect, they could not possibly launch an attack towards the entire world’s twelve dynasties.

“I said……” The bamboo-hatted man propped against the box, and stood up with a sway, while blood slid down from his face, and the one part that could be distinguished, was that pair of exhausted eyes.

“I brought all my assets with me.”      He lightly said this, then raised his hands and made a gesture of opening a door.

The Skeleton of a Myriad in front also opened up its pair of hands, and slowly opened the door to the Ninth Hell in the air.

The door made of countless bones slowly opened up, and the black fog behind the door came out with a rustle of chilly winds in layers, and faintly contained expansive sounds of water, as though there were black waters rushing out from the underworld’s capital behind the door. A kind of terrifying traction swept out from the door to the Ninth hell, just like it wanted to have all the living beings all brought into the underworld.

After opening this door to hell, the Skeleton of a Myriad’s figure also gradually collapsed, and that kind of overlapping feeling also turned more and more heavy, just like it would burst onto the scattered bones at any time.

When the gates to the Ninth hell opened up, the space all around could be seen to be warping with the naked eye.

Xie Yi’s expression still did not have much of a change to it. He rotated his wrist, and shook off the one drop of blood from his blade, then raised his head to look at that opened door, with a complicated gaze.

—— Just like he was looking at an old friend after a long separation.

[1] 燎原之势- to describe things that are once initialized, cannot be stopped from developing bigger. [2] 遗- for, something left behind (in death), or lost, or the remaining.

Chapter 92

Chapter Ninety-Two, Dying Without Regrets, Overlapping Murderous Intentions. (死⽽⽆憾, 杀机重重)
When first entering society, the master would always warn the young, one must be cautious, then be more cautious. That was because this word, society, was a deep pool that did not spit out bones when consuming people[1]– as time went on, no matter how many lives were tossed inside, not even a single ripple would be made, and you would never know what kind of power people concealed, nor what kind of cards they held.

Just like the Sword in Snow who clearly already faded in the world’s eyes, their power far exceeded their early anticipations.

How could there be such a technique in this world? And how could there be someone who could draw out that kind of blade? When the bamboo-hatted man heavily fell onto the ground, he could not help but think of this question.

His eyes seemed like it was still left with that one graceful strike a moment ago. The trail of light just like an illusion, so extremely beautiful.

Just before, the person dressed in a black overcoat, who said that they themselves were gradually turning old, rose up from the ground and turned midair. The black overcoat spread out like crow feathers, while the gold-threaded embroidery on the borders were like a raging fire burning in the night. Xie Yi’s left fingers gathered inward, and slid from the top to the bottom over the back of the blade, while the right hand tightly gripped the handle. The big doors to the Ninth Hell opened in midair, wanting to engulf all the living beings, while Xie Yi instead went forward, and soared up into the air. He leapt up high, and the dark clouds in the sky suddenly dispersed, and revealed a pale-white round moon. Xie Yi’s figure cast within the moon’s, then he let go of his left hand, and the right hand’s blade drew out an elegant arc.

A crescent moon-like, unimaginably beautiful arc that was as graceful as a dance.

This was the most beautiful strike he saw in his lifetime, as well as the most dangerous strike- a strike that could cut down everything. The shockwave after the strike fell down exceeded his imaginations, while that door to the Ninth Hell that was summoned through the Skeleton of a Myriad was cut into two, and the white bones collapsed like a waterfall, piece by piece, falling down all over from the sky.

Walking in luxurious clothes in the night, while drawing swords in the snow, like a flower in the dark.

This was a celebrity who was once the most dazzling of all- even if he concealed his face and faded from people’s visions, when he drew his blade out and cut down, it remained frightening like all the world’s gods and demons could be killed off.

The black-robed elder who sat cross-legged on the rooftop slightly
sighed.

When the Ninth Hell’s door was cut into two, the man spit out a
mouth of blood, and his heart meridians were cut off, then, he heavily knelt down onto the ground.

He propped against the floor, and barely raised his head up.

Xie Yi dressed in the black overcoat put down his blade while standing, and his pair of hands remained gathered within the black overcoat. He stood on top of the archway at the end Jiu Xuan branch’s staircase, and the Black Warrior stone tablet’s two words, “Jiu Xuan”, above his head looked powerful, swift and fierce, yet matchless.
This was Jiu Xuan Sect, the Eight Immortal Sect’s Jiu Xuan Sect! The bamboo-hatted man suddenly laughed in a hoarse voice, “Jiu
Xuan Sect! Immortal Sects’ number one, Jiu Xuan Sect! Is this your answer?!”

—— The place where Xie Yi stood at, was still the position he was in at the very start.

“This is Jiu Xuan.”     The bamboo hat man’s words were unclear, but Xie Yi understood what he meant. His expression was calm, and he indifferently said this.

Be it the Eight Immortal Sects, or the scorching sun which people wonder when it would die off- Jiu Xuan, all this time, would be the world’s matchless Jiu Xuan. No matter what is was for, the imperial dynasty’s authority, or the famine-starved commoners who died of injustice…… All was of no matter. As long as one was bold enough to encroach upon Jiu Xuan Sect……

Then die.

Yan Men Prefecture recovered from that strange kind of deathly stillness just now. The sound of the night’s watch coldly transmitted, while there would occasionally be the bark of a dog. The people asleep would start to turn over, and the winds once again passed through all the streets, carrying a hint of coldness from some place, scraping up to the stone stairs of Jiu Xuan branch’s outside.

How cold.     The man thought. The hands that man held the box with loosened up bit by bit, and his body slowly slid down, while blood dyed the stone steps red, and the scattered myriads of white bone looked ghastly. Xie Yi held his blade, then looked at those scattered white bones, looked at that unidentified night guest, and discovered his face pulled up with a slight smile. Except, that slightness turned a bit hideous due to the mutilated face.

“Are your assets enough to fix the stone steps?”    The nightly visitor was about to die, yet Xie Yi did not ask any questions like where they came from or what goals they had.

For this type of person who concealed their name and came from far away, there was no need to ask these kinds of questions. They carried magnificent aspirations and missions like the Eighteen Clans of that year that overthrew the ancient emperors, full of hot-blooded temper, and long already made the preparations of dying in a foreign land. This was a sacrificial warrior, a person who did not even care for their own life, and was the person whose mouth was the most tightest in the world.

“By good fortune, there are my assets.”     When the bamboo hat man spoke, it was still considerably stable, however, no matter if it was him or Xie Yi, they both knew he was about to die, and very soon at that. Nevertheless, he was smiling just like he completed his mission, while his voice gradually turned low.

Xie Yi knitted his eyebrows.

He swept a look over those scattered white bones. The other person’s plans have clearly failed, yet why would he have that kind of look like he already completed his responsibilities, and had no regrets of death?

“When will the times die, what can the thick earth store? Vast and hazy white waters, come console my numerous borders.” The man raised his head to look at the pale-white cold moon in the sky, and recited
the opening lines to Change of 《Tai Yi Record》, with his voice like a night owl passing through the night, hoarse, like a funeral bell sounding.

“Tai Yi Record?” Xie Yi knitted his eyebrows, and asked. The man did not answer. His eyes widened and cast with the image of the pale-white moon, while his face carried a smile like “the mission’s already ended, although death has come too.”

He died.

Inside the opened box were some top-class spirit stones. These should be his assets, not much. However, just as the man said, it was already enough to fix the broken stone steps.

Xie Yi expressionlessly looked at the already-deceased night guest.

He waved his sleeves, and a gust passed through, then closed the man’s eyes.

All that lived, in the end, would have that moment when it died- and once one died, no matter if it was the crude beasts or the ancient emperors, no matter if it was immortal cultivators or ordinary people, they needed to turn into white bones.

Thus, people feared death, and immortal cultivation and eternity originated from this instinctive fear.

However, at some times, even if one knew they must die, they still needed to do some things.

When the man died, within the space of the Battle of Di Fen.

Shen Chang Ge closed his fan up, and slightly sighed while standing in the lowest floor. The eight bronze statues shattered into pieces, and scattered over the floor. He rotated his aching wrists, and pacified the constantly trembling primordial energy. Just as he turned around and walked over to the cell door, the relieved engraving of the Battle of Di Fen on black-iron cell door flickered.

He walked over, then half-knelt down, and took out a square stone box from his ring, then very respectfully placed it on top of the black-iron door. “Forefathers bless me.”        He said in a light tone, then extended his hand close to the cell door.

Just as Shen Chang Ge pressed his hand on it and was about to use his primordial energy, his movements suddenly came to a halt. In the next moment, he retracted his hand, but remained half-kneeling on the ground, and slightly lowered his head, concealing the expression on his face with the darkness.

“Come out.” He did not get up, and coldly said this.

There were no movements whatsoever from the darkness, just a stretch of stillness. Shen Chang Ge seemed like he was talking to himself, however, he did not let go of his vigilance due to it. The folding fan slowly slid out, and was held in his hand.

And then, in the darkness, the sound of a mocking laughter suddenly resonated.

[1] 吃⼈不吐⾻头- the term is fairly common for being ruthless, or inhumane, as well as greedy.

Chapter 93

Chapter Ninety-Three, Talisman of the Ancient Emperors, Fate Is Variable. (古帝之符, 天命反侧)
clatter clatter.

Along with the sound of the pearls moving on the floor, the luminous pearls that Shen Chang Ge threw out earlier seemed like it was being pushed by some shapeless hand, and rolled around on the dark-red floor, then gathered together, illuminating a certain corner of the darkness.

In the northeast corner of this Qiu Huang tower’s lowest floor, stood a person.

That person’s face had a iron mask, and looked to be lean and tall. They wore a long robe, and their back carried a sword that was wrapped with fabric strips. He stood in the dark corner with his aura contained, so when spiritual insight swept over, there was no way of perceiving that there was a person there.

“The Yin Yang Fan lives up to its reputation. Could I venture a question, how did your Lordship find out?” The thin swordsman stepped out, and walked out from the corner. This person’s voice was a bit strange- it was hoarse and unpleasant, just like their vocal cords had been cut apart, and the sound they let out was no better than a crow’s.

“Cang Pu’s concealment technique is the world’s second-to-none, as expected.” Shen Chang Ge’s back faced the swordsman, and he slightly narrowed his eyes. The hand that was placed over the stone box on the cell door brushed by, then held the closed Yin Yang Fan, and he slowly stood up. Throughout the entire process, whether it was the swordsman, or Shen Chang Ge, their bodies’ primordial energy hurriedly raised up, and the spiritual insight gathered up to a high degree.

However, nobody was in a hurry to move.

Shen Chang Ge turned around, saw the iron mask on the swordsman’s face, then slightly knitted his eyebrows, “When did Cang Pu’s extraordinary warriors defect to Jin Tang like scheming a tiger for its hide[1]?”

“Just like how Jiu Xuan Sect’s representative disciple would also have other identities, even the extraordinary warriors are not exempt from these messy things.” The swordsman’s voice carried a natural taunt to it, “He Huan and Fan Yin occupied the southeast, so the scattered warriors could only find a big tree to seek refuge in- is scheming to eat not a very normal thing?”
—— Jiu Xuan Sect’s representative disciple has other identities. When Shen Chang Ge heard the swordsman’s purpose-filled words,
he indifferently laughed.

The standing swordsman suddenly withdrew and immediately retreated to another side. The instant he dodged, a cold light flew over to the place he was originally standing at. He only saw Shen Chang Ge’s figure that stood over top the cell door slowly dissipate—— he appeared in the place where the swordsman just stood at, with his hand holding a closed fan.

Shen Chang Ge’s face could not be seen to have indication of suddenly attacking- he remained to have a smiling expression, holding his folding fan, and acting amorous and elegant, “How unfortunate, your vigilance isn’t all that low.”

“Compared with Jiu Xuan’s representative disciple, it is still quite a far ways off.” The swordsman slightly lowered their head, and looked at their clothes that had been cut off from his chest. If he did not withdraw in time, he would have probably received serious wounds at this time.

Shen Chang Ge opened up the folding fan, and the seemingly jade yet not jade fan frame at this time faintly circulated with a sort of faint grey- coloured light that everyone from Jiu Xuan had never seen before, while the Tai Ji Yin Yan diagram on the surface of the fan also silently had some obscure changes to it.

“Looks like that thing underneath is certainly an old imperial talisman without a doubt.” The swordsman slightly turned his head to look at the tightly-shut black-iron door, and he recited a line from the 《Bamboo Book Record》, “The emperors cast talisman plates to command the world. What the talismans order, be it the heavens, the earth, human or beast, not
one would disobey it.”

This was an old matter recorded in the 《Bamboo Book Record》that happened in the late period of the era of Chaos.

In the late period of the era of Chaos, the ancient emperors launched attacks on each other in attempts to unite territories. With the Northern Empress[2] as the start of it, the ancient emperors began to cast imperial talismans that were able to summon all the commoners within the territories. Legends say, the imperial talismans contained the archaic emperors’ secret to becoming an emperor, and where the imperial talisman reached, no matter if it was the world’s mountains and marshes, or the netherworld’s humans and ghosts, they had to submit to the ancient emperors’ orders.

However, the old imperial talismans that represented the ancient emperors’ utmost highest authority, after the era of Ten Thousand Immortals was established, suddenly disappeared from the world’s eyes. In legends, the old imperial talismans and the ancient emperors’ spirits were closely interrelated, thus, along with the fall of the ancient emperors, the imperial talismans also spoiled and disintegrated. The poets who chased after the past once lamented with a “being fully aware that the decree of Heaven is variable, how could one speak of retribution and favour[3]?” But there were also people who surmised, the old imperial talismans were not lost due of the fall of the ancient emperors, but that the imperial talismans’ disappearance should be related to the immortals and demons who burst out with the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, that at the same time, was one of the reasons for the battle between immortals and demons at the start.

Of course, for the people who believed that the old imperial talismans contained the ancient emperors’ secret to becoming an emperor, in a similar manner, they believed that the last three ancient emperors in the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the Three Kings, could be emperors precisely because they obtained the old imperial talismans left behind from the era of Chaos.

Within several varying legends, the old imperial talismans of several tens of thousands of years ago was covered in a strong and mysterious hue, as well as that ancient majesty of the distant eras.

Nevertheless, at present, this iron-masked swordsman who arrived at the lowest reaches of the Tower of Qiu Huang at some unknown time, used a kind of very casual and light tone to say something like “that thing underneath is the imperial talisman”.

“Who knows?” Shen Chang Ge smiled as he said this, and the folding fan in his hands faintly emerged with flowing light.

clang——

The sound of metal clashing together burst out in the lowest floor of the Qiu Huang tower, ear-piercing and sharp.

The two were just like people with nothing to do, conversing with rubbish all this time like guests of a teahouse, talking about trivial matters of the society. While they were still speaking with their mouths, in the blink of an eye, they started exchanging blows. The longsword wrapped with fabric on the thin swordsman’s back was taken out at some time, and held in his hand. It was held on an angle, and drew out a bright and light outline. The strike was blocked off by a Tai Ji Yin Yang mark.

When the light of the Yin Yang Tai Ji burst forth, a thin and light dagger flew out within the bright rays of light, and was so fast in the air it pretty much warped, and directly went towards the swordsman. That dagger was thin as a cicada’s wing, and the entire body of it appeared translucent. They didn’t know what kind of metal it was made of, but in an instant, it arrived in front of the swordsman.

The extremely cold sword just now suddenly transformed, and the hilt gently rotated in his hands. Once the longsword flipped, a cold frosty light erupted out, and also blocked that thin dagger.

When the dagger was knocked flying, it didn’t fall onto the ground, but instead rotated midair, and drew out an arc, then returned to Shen Chang Ge’s hand.

In a brief moment’s time, Shen Chang Ge and the swordsman once again exchanged blows.

The long robe slightly waved, and the iron-masked swordsman nimbly descended onto the ground, and by chance, stood where Shen Chang Ge originally stood at. With two exchanges, he once again returned to his original position, whereas Shen Chang Ge’s figure instead disappeared, and this time, it was Shen Chang Ge’s turn to hide inside the sunken darkness.

The swordsman laughed, and his hoarse and unpleasant-sounding voice was just like an owl flying through burial mounds[4].

“Looks like if I want to take that thing, then I’ll have to use my real strength.”    As he said this, his finger was pressed onto the edge of the blade, and slowly slid down.

The edge cut open the swordsman’s finger, but what was strange was, the blood flowing out was not the blood-red that normal people should have, but a blue-purple colour that made people uncomfortable, just like it had been poisoned. Where the swordsman stood, Shen Chang Ge also stood before. And at this time, the floor was rising up with a faint white smoke.
—— Turns out, that dagger of Shen Chang Ge’s just now was not his actual attack. The fierce-looking Yin Yang light mark and the strange dagger was actually a cover for the spreading poison. Shen Chang Ge laid poison over this area, and when he moved, by accident or design, he broke apart the places where the swordsman stopped over.

They didn’t know what kind of poison he put down either, but in the blink of an eye, the swordsman’s blood already changed colours.

Shen Chang Ge’s figure was like it melted into the darkness, only leaving that neither big nor small stone box he placed on top of the cell door.

Though it was clear they were poisoned, the swordsman was still of that unhurried appearance, and as his finger rubbed over the edge of the sword, that sword that originally did not look to be anything special appeared with a strange transformation.

[1] 与虎谋⽪- expression for, the party in which one wishes to deal with has conflicting interests. The deal is doomed to fail. Mostly used to refer to
the doom to failure one is sure to meet when trying to get the other party (usually refers to a bad guy) to sacrifice their own benefits/interests.

[2] or, north borderlands. The empress portion is comprised from 姬(way of referring to a woman, or can also be used to refer to a concubine) 帝 (emperor), and not the regular 皇后 that can also refer to a queen (of a king).

[3] ( 天命反侧, 何罚何佑) Derived from again, Qu Yuan’s Heavenly Questions, which asks, since the mandate of heaven is repeatedly impermanent, where is this inevitable punishment/retribution and inevitable blessing/favouring? Does fate, does karma truly exist? What does this mean here? Like their titles, you will often find that people will often refer to emperors as being destined to rule- between son of heaven, dragons (rulers of the sky) etc etc- so if even the emperor, said to live long and forever, with the supposed grace of heaven, dies, what can be said of other’s fates? Or, with the existence of the talismans, is it really up to Heaven to decide who is the emperor if anyone in possession of it is able to become one?

[4] 乱葬岗- specifically, refers to a place where people randomly dump bodies. Due to there being too many bodies to take care of in a short amount of time (either due to plagues, war, or natural disasters), these areas appeared, and later, due to the hastiness, there would a lot of white bones and weeds all around.

Chapter 94

Chapter Ninety-Four, World’s Jiu Xuan, Qian Range’s Representative. (天下九⽞, 乾脉⾸席)
The edge of the longsword in the swordsman’s hand gradually warped, and grew out a ferocious fang-like arc.

The sword was held sideways, while a strange purple light circulated around the sword’s body.

“Jiu Xuan’s representative…… Hah.” The swordsman laughed. With a flick of the wrist, he suddenly turned around, and the longsword turned into a ray of light.

In the darkness, the longsword and metal clashed together.

Shen Chang Ge’s figure ghastly appeared in the air. That Tai Ji Yin Yang Fan half-closed up, and the frame fended off the fang-like edge of the longsword.

Shen Chang Ge slightly lowered his eyes.

That face of his that would always be hung with a smile in the former days already disappeared at some time ago- his face was covered with slivers of coldness, like a sword that pretended for a long enough time already, that suddenly shook off the dust, and revealed its fierce sharpness.

“With a representative like you, Jiu Xuan Sect dares to be the Eight Immortal Sect’s number one!” The swordsman sneered. The longsword rotated, and a purple light spread like smoke. The iron mask on his face, under the illumination of the purple light, looked more and more like the underworld’s Yan Luo.

Shen Chang Ge held the folding fan in his hands, while the veins on the back of his hand were distinct, and the knuckles turned white.

The two people’s primordial energies burst out instantly and once again clashed together. Neither of the two parties could be considered to be having a good time, yet, at this time of confrontation, Shen Chang Ge instead recalled another matter.

He recalled at the plaza outside the Qing Ming tower spread all over with spacial crevices, how Zhou Wen An risked his life to retrieve that partial spiritual tablet, recalled that youth who seemed like an immortal soaring up into the skies whose white robes fluttered in the air, recalled that barren and empty Qing Ming tower, and the desolation on Jiu Xuan disciples’ faces……

He arduously closed his eyes.

“Whether Jiu Xuan Sect is the Eight Sect’s number one, a bastard like you has no qualifications to make that judgment.” When Shen Chang Ge once again opened his eyes, his gaze turned particularly malicious all of a sudden.

Just like a lone wolf filled with hatred struggling to run in the darkness.

The edge of the longsword that transformed into something like a fang was instantly shaken off, and the swordsman retreated several steps, while the longsword pierced downward with the momentum to stop his figure.

The swordsman lifted his head up, and looked towards Shen Chang Ge who was standing within the darkness. The young man dressed in Jiu Xuan Sect’s water cloud patterns had no expression whatsoever. He stood in the darkness, with the Yin Yang Fan held downwards. The seemingly jade frame of the fan seemed just like it melted, with liquid dripping down- the Yin Yang Fan that the Jiu Xuan disciples were familiar with instantly congealed into a neither long nor short blade.

At this time and moment, Shen Chang Ge was already no longer like the Qian range’s representative disciple that Jun Wan Bai and others were familiar with.

His entire body was covered with a ruthless aura. And yet seemed…… so upset.

“Jiu Xuan Sect……” Shen Chang Ge raised the blade, lifted up his head, and spoke with a dry and hoarse voice.

——“Is the world’s number one…… Jiu Xuan Sect!”

Fierce winds gathered up, and all around was a piercingly cold sword aura. The stone box Shen Chang Ge placed on top of the black-iron door broke apart, and turned into countless powdery bits of stars, then instantly blended into the black-iron door.

Shen Chang Ge waved his sleeves, and the completely formed blade let out a clean sound.

His aura changed all of a sudden- it turned violent and ruthless, and turned imposing. The floor of the Qiu Huang tower that turned dark-red lit up with lines and lines that were like blood vessels, and a terrifying, oppressive aura spread out from all over the tower—— this Qiu Huang tower that had slept for several tens of thousands of years had awakened!

“You speak with such dignity and honour, but Jiu Xuan Sect’s people, I’m afraid, will not be happy to recognize a bastard like you anymore!” Shen Chang Ge’s aura turned more dangerous, nevertheless, the swordsman standing across from him started laughing, and he raised his head. “Hey, shouldn’t the bystanders come out now?” “Amitabha…… Very well, very well.”

The darkness suddenly rose up with a faint gold light. That golden light was vast and expansive, carrying a type of merciful and pitying feeling to it. The name of Buddha lowly resounded from all around. Along with the sounding of Buddha’s name, they only saw a monk draped with a cassock walk down from the stone steps, and when he stepped onto the lowest floor, he put both his hands together.

“Amitabha.”

“Is Fan Yin Sect incapable of reciting anything other than Buddha’s name?” An impatient voice resounded.

The sound came from over their heads. Three people jumped down from the top.
Shen Chang Ge expressionlessly raised his head to look.

Jun Wan Bai with her pair of blades, Li Xin who looked to be no different from a dead person, as well as Qiu Qian He dressed in a red ceremonial robe.

“What a coincidence.” Jun Wan Bai’s pair of blades twirled, and pointed towards the ground. She looked at Shen Chang Ge, and let out a skin-deep smile, but her expression looked to be a bit gloomy, “So Representative Shen’s also here.”

Shen Chang Ge’s gaze passed by Jun Wan Bai and Li Xin’s figures.

The swordsman retreated back a few steps, and stood in the top-left corner—— turns out, this person was actually dragging out time. The iron- masked swordsman as well as Clear-hearted Monk, Jun Wan Bai and others formed a faint encirclement, while their auras all locked onto Shen Chang Ge’s figure.

“So the Yin Yang Fan is a blade, we were the ones out of touch.” The corners of Li Xin’s mouth twitched, as though he wanted to let out a ridiculing sneer.

Shen Chang Ge’s gaze fell onto Qiu Qian He, and in the next moment, he laughed, and his expression once again returned back like when he was Jiu Xuan Sect’s prideful Qian range representative disciple again.

The smile concealed a blade, making people detest it.
Jun Wan Bai gripped her swords, and primordial energy flowed out. “What a coincidence.” Shen Chang Ge casually said, “It’s fine too.
Leaving without bidding farewell is always a bit discourteous.” The body of the blade in his hand shook, and let out a buzz.
—— The ancient blade cried, because it felt it’s master’s killing intent.        Jun Wan Bai recalled this saying believed by the commoners, and she suddenly wanted to laugh out loud.

Shen Chang Ge really wanted to kill them! Kill off the people who lived together at Jiu Xuan Sect for so long! He really had the intentions of killing! How laughable!

Before Bai Li Shu entered Jiu Xuan Sect, each peak and range’s core disciples fought for so many years, and fought to the point that with any one movement from the other person, one would know what kind of technique they wanted to unleash, fought until they felt even if the position of the eldest disciple was not their own, it would be the position of the other detestable bastards. For those many years, they looked at each other as opponents, and mutually looked at each other like eyesores.

But it had been that many years.

No matter how many times their mouths spoke of ruthless words, how many times they said they “were unable to coexist, so we’ll send you off to your reincarnation”, of which times was someone actually sent off to reincarnation? Each peak and range’s disciples had fought and cursed for that many years, but during the accident at the secret territory five years ago, when Li range’s disciples all died in battle, the Qian range disciples who were the worst off with Li range arduously carried their corpses out. At that time, the person who opened up the Yin Yang Fan and took on the heaviest attack…… was who of Qian range!!

“Shen Chang Ge! Are you out of your mind!” Jun Wan Bai heard Half-crazed Li’s angry voice.
—— How hilarious, Half-crazed Li was asking if someone else “was out of their mind”.

Li Xin’s strike flew out, and he cut towards the entrapped Shen Chang Ge.

Shen Chang Ge’s face carried that familiar smile, yet his hands held a blade they were completely unfamiliar with. Underneath his feet, the formation lines lighting up continuously gathered a shocking strength, and by the end, accumulated into Shen Chang Ge’s blade.

When the lines lit up, a spirit bird that looked to be no different from a normal trumpet bird flew through the skies of the battlefield of Di Fen.

It was like the taboo of flying in the ancient battleground lost its purpose on this spirit bird’s body.

It gracefully danced in the wind and hovered around, and flew faster and faster. Its figure gradually turned into an illusion, and in the end, merged into the void.

“Not really.” As Shen Chang Ge’s pupils were cast with Li Xin’s strike of light, he lightly said this. He suddenly recalled that day—— that time when he went to find Bai Li Shu, that young man dressed in white robes walking up along that long stone staircase, coming out from the clouds and mist, with his features being cold and indifferent. “It’s just……”       “Immortals ascending the clouds, looking down to observe the sea of mortals!”        Shen Chang Ge’s voice turned loud all of a sudden.

A ray of bright light burst out, and the bottom floor of the Qiu Huang tower was illuminated.

When Jun Wan Bai saw Shen Chang Ge’s face, that familiar face already turned completely foreign.

—— He bore murderous intentions. A person who said Jiu Xuan Sect was the number one in the world, made a choice.

The veins on the back of the hands Jun Wan Bai held her pair of swords with burst out, and she firmly bit down to not let herself curse out loud.

What happened with this world?

—— The underground of the ordinary Yan Men Prefecture would bury a bronze prison using an ancient emperor’s personal sword as the center of the formation, and the Qing Ming tower that connected to the skies would be linked to an archaic battleground several tens of thousands of years ago, whereas the Senior Bai Li who always walked in front of them would have everything fixed in writing, and the Shen Chang Ge who said Jiu Xuan was number one would bear a killing intent towards them……

Has this world gone mad?

Jun Wan Bai recalled Qiu Qian He’s words:

—— Are you guys really idiots, or pretending to be one?

Chapter 95

Chapter Ninety-Five, Heaven’s Net Expands, But Where Does It Fall? (天⽹恢恢, 落在何⽅)
“Are you guys idiots?” Liu Wu Yan put the long sabre over her shoulder, and she looked at the two people on the ground from high up—— Nine Provinces Private Bank’s Chubby Liao and Zhou Wen An. She raised her eyebrows up, and the corners of her eyes gave off a fiercely raised arc. “Rashly going in blind- waiting for your eldest brother to clean up for
you?”

The seriously injured Zhou Wen An coughed, and propped up against his broken blade wanting to climb up, but when he heard Liu Wu Yan’s words, he opened his mouth wanting to retort with something. Liao Qian to the side hit him once with his elbow, and madly signalled for this bastard to not parade around.

“Much thanks for Senior Liu’s saving graces.” Liao Qian rushed before Zhou Wen An to say something, with his face filled with smiles. His skin was thick, and so looked to be not as seriously injured as Zhou Wen An. He said this while climbing up, and extended his hand to have Zhou Wen An pulled up as well.

In front of these three, was a messily spread floor of corpses.

—— Some were dressed in Yu Shou Sect’s clothes, as well as Jiu Xuan Sect’s, and Fan Yin Sect’s. After Zhou Wen An was poked by Liao Qian, he no longer said anything. He climbed up in a stagger, then walked over to check those people dressed in Jiu Xuan Sect’s clothes, and his face turned more and more sombre.

After coming out of the room with the bronze odd beast statue, Zhou Wen An searched the entire way, and wanted to gather with other Jiu Xuan Sect disciples. However, the floor he was at had no other people present other than himself. And within the Qing Ming tower, the staircase was typically placed with formations defending against intruders- Zhou Wen An tested this tower’s stairs that were similar to Qing Ming tower’s, and discovered that the stone steps were indeed placed with a very terrifying prohibition.

With Zhou Wen An’s strength, he had no way of breaking through the stone steps’ formation, and just when he found no fruit in trying to find the prohibition’s weak point, the entire flipped tower suddenly shook, and the black stone to his side lit up lines and lines of formation patterns.

It was also at this time, that Zhou Wen An discovered the prohibition on the stone steps disappeared.

But the prohibition disappearing did not mean that it turned safe. Even if Zhou Wen An’s strength could not be compared to the core disciples, he could also feel a kind of obscure, extremely terrifying power awakening at the bottom of the tower. The entire tower was undergoing a kind of palpitating and terrifying change.

Zhou Wen An bit down and stepped onto the stone staircase, and planned to search around floor by floor to see if he was able to meet up with Jiu Xuan’s brothers.

After going down several floors, Zhou Wen An’s face gradually turned unsightly.

He saw corpses. Yu Shou Sect, Fan Yin Pavilion, and He Huan Sect’s corpses. Those disciples seemed to have gone through a short exchange, and were killed. Zhou Wen An checked the remnant primordial energy on the corpses, and discovered that the people who killed these disciples seemed to have complete understanding of them, as the techniques they used vaguely seeped out with a restraining power.

—— Who killed them?

Zhou Wen An was startled inside, but at the same time, his heart was raised. He did not want to see that the next corpses to lie on the ground, would be wearing Jiu Xuan’s clothing.

As a result, he did not see any of Jiu Xuan’s disciples, but met with this fatty Liao Qian of the Nine Provinces Private Bank. After the two went down two floors, Zhou Wen An heard the sounds of fighting, but when he went towards the sound, he only saw the last Jiu Xuan Sect disciple get killed by an iron-masked person.

“Shit……”   When they saw the iron mask, Zhou Wen An heard Liao Qian burst out with a profanity, hauled him, then turned wanting to run.

In the end, Zhou Wen An who Liao Qian wanted to pull back turned around, and saw some other bastards emerge from the darkness wearing black masks, unknown if they were humans or ghosts.

“Those are Jin Tang’s lapdogs, the black-armoured secret guards.” Liu Wu Yan also walked over. She did not go to see those Jiu Xuan disciples’ corpses, but came over, and lifted off the iron masks from the black-armoured secret guards’ faces one by one. It was about the same as when she saw last time- underneath the mask was a very ordinary face,
some young ones, and also old ones.

“Jin Tang’s secret guards?” Zhou Wen An knelt in front of a Jiu Xuan disciple, hung down his head, and asked in a hoarse voice. Liao Qian also recognized a few familiar Jiu Xuan disciples—— it was when they were at Bing Province City, those Jiu Xuan main sect disciples who came over to heal his wounds. But at this time and moment, they all died, and their faces bore an astonished expression.

“They came prepared.” Liu Wu Yan lifted off the masks off the black-armoured secret guards, and at the same time, also checked their weapons once through. She stood up and walked towards Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples’ corpses, then looked, and said this.

The spiritual weapons that these black-armoured secret guards used had attributes against Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples—— restraint, and the Jiu Xuan Sect disciples who died seemed like they were killed off through their weak points. There was nobody in this world who was completely flawless- a cultivator’s specialties were different, and so their weaknesses were also different. The momentum of some people’s techniques were not enough, and for some, their shoulder was the place where primordial energy was the thinnest…… these weak points were an immortal cultivator’s vital points.

When facing enemies, only if they weren’t an idiot, they would very carefully hide their own vital points.

Nevertheless, these Jiu Xuan Sect disciples were killed off through their weak points.

The killers knew their weaknesses in advance.

—— They came prepared.

Liao Qian understood the meaning outside of Liu Wu Yan’s words, and shivered, while a hint of coldness slowly climbed up along his back.

In what kind of situation would Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples’ vital points be known by outsiders?

—— When a person who knew them very well had their strengths and weaknesses leaked out to these “Jin Tang black-armoured secret guards” mentioned by Liu Wu Yan.

Jiu Xuan Sect emerged with a…… traitor. When the word traitor appeared in Liao Qian’s mind, his mind suddenly appeared with a scene for some reason:

—— “One hundred seventy thousand……” Said the young man in water cloud-patterned robes. He looked at the ghastly white bones spread over the black-stoned vast lands, while the dark-red blood sun’s light fell onto his face.

Shen Chang Ge……

Liao Qian’s eyelids jumped, and he hurriedly suppressed down this thought of his. Shen Chang Ge was Jiu Xuan Sect’s Qian Range representative disciple- Jiu Xuan Sect couldn’t possibly not know what kind of identity their own representative held, right?

Liao Qian turned his head to look at Zhou Wen An, and saw the little pretty face with a deathly poisonous mouth expressionlessly kneel down on the ground, and the lines on his face turned cold like it was engraved from marble. Liao Qian opened his mouth, but did not know what to say.

“Surprised, my ass.” Liu Wu Yan sneered, and looked at those corpses from above. Her tone carried a bit of mockery to it. “The Eight Immortal Sects has many people with lots of work, could it be that there are still people actually so naive to think that every person who enters the sect were all that clean? Hey, you can’t possibly think like this, right.”

Zhou Wen An did not say anything.

Liao Qian thought inside, this was hard to say- an idiot like Zhou Wen An who, when their seniors died, did not want to live on, maybe really thought the entire sect was all of the same devotion.

Liu Wu Yan tilted her head, and looked at the pale-faced youth kneeling on the ground, then suddenly let out a ridiculing smile.

“The sects take that much tribute from the mortal realm every year, how is there such a thing as freely taking things in this world? Some influential clans provide assistance to the immortal sects, enabling the immortal sect’s influence to spread out. The immortal sects and prestigious families, the immortal cultivation realm and the dynasty, has always been in a relationship of mutual exploitation. Shouldn’t the numerous scouts that each side put in reach an uncountable number by now?”   Liu Wu Yan’s tone was implicit. She slightly narrowed her eyes, and looked at that iron mask on the floor.

—— He Huan Sect’s disciples never knew just how she received the elders’ attention, and use an impossible speed to rise up from an outer disciple all the way to the position of the eldest disciple sister.

That year, she left Jin Tang, and came to Cang Pu in a complete mess from top to bottom. When she stepped into He Huan Sect, she discarded all and any kindness and righteousness, and started to live despicably and shamelessly, using all means necessary.

As a person of Jin Tang, she sold out Jin Tang.

She gave a piece of information to He Huan Sect, a piece of information that their Liu family originally rigidly defended.

—— That was a secret Jin Tang’s imperial clan planned for several hundreds and thousands of years.

“Heaven’s Net”.

Chapter 96

Chapter Ninety-Six, Chaos’ Characters, With Someone Who Could Read It. (混沌⽂字, 有⼈诵读)
If one said “Heaven’s Net”, the first thing people would probably think to should be about how “Heaven’s net spreads far and wide, loose and yet leaves none out[1]” from the sayings of karma. However, in some other people’s eyes, these two words, Heaven’s net, were far from being simple.

In the present era, other that the Eight Immortal Sects, who else was capable of being called a presence that was like “Heaven”?

Using “Heaven’s Net” as a code name, the name itself was a provocation and arrogance towards the immortal sects. Heaven’s net, Heaven’s net- the net of the heavens that hunted down all life. Even if one was a superior existence like the Eight Immortal Sects, they were to be the prey on the spider web.

Liu Wu Yan did not know much about the Heaven’s Net, but even if she obscurely knew just that little speck, it was enough to make people appalled.

When she was still Liu family’s young miss, she did not see her father that many times in a single year. Father was always in a hurry to depart, always shutting himself inside the secret study. When they were still small, she and Big Brother put up a fuss saying they wanted Father to accompany them, but their bed-ridden mother only lightly stroked her and Big Brother’s hair. Their gentle mother told them, Father is doing a very incredible thing, telling them to understand their father.

“How incredible?”

“Very incredible, as incredible as the greatest hero of the country.” Mother lightly laughed, with a gentle light in her eyes.

Liu Wu Yan had no way of tying this phrase “greatest hero of the country” with Father- in her own perception at that time, a hero should be just like a general, commanding large armies of thousands of horses and soldiers, massacring for the country. Yet, Father was learned and refined, completely filled with a scholarly air, thin and lean, and could not even fight.

But as Liu Wu Yan gradually grew older, she started to faintly perceive that a lot of people in the capital appeared to be scared of her own father- Father seemed to really be an amazing person.

And Big Brother also gradually turned into a second father, and started to do many, many things that she of that time did not understand. The fame of Song Over Clouds Liu family’s young lord spread throughout the country. Because of her identity as Liu family’s young miss, even if Liu Wu Yan was any more muddleheaded, she still faintly knew of some things.

Some fragments and pieces regarding the Heaven’s Net. Of which, was that the Eight Immortal Sects was planted with the dynasty’s seed.

The Eight Immortal Sects were no fools. Be it the influential clans, or the dynasties, the sect would definitely be on guard against these people. The true core positions in the sect would definitely belong to the direct line of descent that the sect raised with all their strength. However, everything was not absolute- after putting in painstaking efforts, the dynasty still planted down a seed in the sects.

And the Liu family was the existence that Jin Tang dynasty concealed in secret, that planned to send the seed into the immortal sects. The prestigious clans and immortal sects’ relationship was just a little bit better compared to the relationship between the dynasties and immortal sects. And on the surface, the Liu family, due to resentment regarding the fight for the throne when the country was founded, did not have a good relationship with the imperial clan. In the government, they were close with the sects and opposed with the imperial faction on the surface, but secretly, the Liu family had pledged loyalty to the imperial family with their life.

—— Even though this loyalty, in the very end, became a joke.

That day Liu family perished, when Big Brother risked his life to have her sent away, he also stuffed a broken, bloodstained jade book into her hands.

That jade book was shattered for the most part, and the names were fragmented.

Liu Wu Yan pretty much did not recognize the names written on the jade book, but their surnames were very familiar.

Just about all of them were Jin Tang’s prestigious clans’ surnames.

There were also lines of small characters commented after each name, written with times of unknown meanings. Liu Wu Yan surmised, it was highly possible that those times were when they were sent out of the dynasty.

On the top part of the jade book, were two names that were more
special:

Ji Yi Yan, Ji Gui Yun[2]. Ji, was the imperial surname of Jin
Tang dynasty.

When Liu Wu Yan saw those two names, she suddenly recalled something- on the fourth year of Jing Yuan, the empress gave birth, and birthed two princesses. The emperor, hence, detested and rejected the empress for it. The empress and the emperor were once childhood friends[3], and were mutually in love for tens of years, but in the end, it came to an end with that. At that time, the relationship between her and Big Brother was not as bad as it was later, and she expressed her outrage against the injustice towards the empress to her big brother.

Who knew after Big Brother listened to it, he instead shook his head and sighed.

—— “That person can do away with everything, but only Empress……” Big Brother said halfway, then stopped, and immediately turned and left.

When Liu family perished, and Liu Wu Yan saw those two names on the jade book, she then quickly realized the truth. In the beginning, what the empress gave birth to, were probably not two princesses, but princes, right? The emperor could even lay his hands on the Liu family who were loyal to Jin Tang for several hundreds of years, yet, the only hesitation he might have would probably be towards her Majesty the Empress that was childhood friends with him.

Jin Tang dynasty tried to cast a “Heaven’s Net”- no matter if it succeeded or failed, it was extremely dangerous and risky.

And detesting and distancing, was probably the only protection that the emperor could reluctantly give to the person he loved.

How affectionate, so affectionate that Liu Wu Yan had the urge to draw her sabre out and cut the Jin Tang imperial palace into two.

—— What about the Song Over Clouds Liu family? What about the Liu family that spared no efforts for Jin Tang in secret?!!

Liu Wu Yan carried her long sabre over her shoulder, and swept her gaze through Jiu Xuan’s disciples’ bodies. Was this the thing they got in exchange for sacrificing the Liu family? Has Jin Tang’s net been cast out? Have those people started gathering in the net now? She didn’t know, when they gathered the net, would they think of the Liu family that vanished up in smoke in the blazing fires, or would they have that instance of feeling shame and regret?

Liu Wu Yan lowly sneered. Her long legs then stepped through, passing by Liao Qian and Zhou Wen An, and walked directly towards that stone staircase connecting to the bottom of the tower. When she passed by Zhou Wen An, her steps suddenly paused, and she took out something and tossed it to Zhou Wen An.

“Take it, and get out. If your luck is good, you might be able to return to Bing Province when you reach the surface.” Liu Wu Yan leisurely said this, while her features dimly carried a bit of the insolence of Liu family’s big miss.

“Why are you helping us?” Liao Qian cautiously looked at Liu Wu Yan, and constantly felt like this He Huan Sect eldest disciple sister whose fame was not that great didn’t seem like some goody two-shoes .

“Don’t misunderstand, I’m not some good person.” The long sabre over Liu Wu Yan’s shoulder turned to a direction and pointed towards Zhou Wen An, “I owe Jiu Xuan’s eldest disciple brother a life. Right now, the thing that he let me do looks to have no way of being finished, and so I can only take care of his disciple brothers. As for you……”

Liu Wu Yan looked at Liao Qian once, and raised her eyebrows, “It’s just in passing.”

“Senior Bai Li……” Zhou Wen An who constantly had his head down finally raised it up.

Liao Qian only felt like he was going to be annoyed to death.

Never mind, never mind. I know your Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest brother is the greatest in the world, the most reliable, is that enough? Does everyone just look at him like a crutch? This old guy here wasted so much saliva, yet not a single reaction was given, but once Bai Li Shu was mentioned, you instantly have a reaction…… Fine.

Liao Qian recalled that strike of light that flew over through the skies, and that young man who stood all alone in front the ice wall faced against the spacial vortex. He had to admit, if he also had this kind of a senior, he would definitely be happier than Zhou Wen An.

But, how is that person now?

Liao Qian always felt, a person like Bai Li Shu, no matter at what time, would always be in clothes like snow, not dyed in a speck of mortal dust, and always lofty and superior.

◈◈◈
“Emperors rise with Dong Ling, the Heavens befall with the constellations, forming a resonance together……”

Separated by a thin barrier, inside the darkness that put on the netherworld’s Battle of Di Fen once again, Ye Qiu Sheng and Bai Li Shu were just as insignificant as specks of dust. The giant apparitions of crude beasts mingled together, and got caught up in a fervent battle with the revived ancient emperors’ majesty.

Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng’s figures, in front of these enormous existences, were so negligible it was like they had no presence whatsoever.

However, in this world, there was always a type of person who, even if the skies collapsed and the earths split open, the netherworld flipped and turned, and doomsday was about to come, would remain just as always- his expression would be cold and indifferent, and his figure thin and straight, just like a lofty immortal coldly watching by the side.

Outside the light barrier, was a battle that would probably instantly turn Half-God boundary people into ashes from the shock wave of it, and yet, the inside of the light barrier was calm and tranquil, safe and secure.

That even the outside noises were partitioned out. The inside of the light barrier resounded with Bai Li Shu’s voice. He opened up the jade book placed on the bronze table, and neither hurriedly nor slowly recited it aloud. Ye Qiu Sheng glanced at the words on the jade book- it was thick and compacted, and used a set of extremely old characters from the eras of Chaos, bringing with it a character of wholeness, while the handwriting itself carried a kind of dynamism that the present- day’s characters did not have.

Just like each one of those characters were alive.

Even the things left behind from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals were pitiably small, don’t mention the era of Chaos. The words from the era of Chaos were discontinued at an even earlier time. The shitty old man once taught Ye Qiu Sheng some, but it was very fragmented. When Ye Qiu Sheng looked at the words on the jade book in Bai Li Shu’s hands, he could only recognize a sparse few.

Yet, after Bai Li Shu opened it, he directly recited the contents written on it.

Without any difficulty, practically like the characters on the jade book were not the characters from the era of Chaos, but the current era’s words.

[1] 天⽹恢恢, 疏⽽不漏- or in the English expression, justice has long arms. Means that the Heavenly principles are fair and just. While it looks not to be thorough, in the end, it would not let the bad guys go.

[2] 姬以⾔- ji, from woman/concubine. yi, ‘using’ or ‘taking’, and yan, for words, or speech. Using words to ? 姬归云- gui, for return, or belonging to, pass away, or coming together. yun, for cloud, or talking.
Returning to the clouds?

[3] ⻘梅⽵⻢- Literally read as, green plums and bamboo horses, where the green plum represents the girl and the bamboo (stick) horse represents
the boy. A completely innocent childhood relationship. Like brothers and sisters. 

Chapter 97

Chapter Ninety-Seven, Record of the Ancient Emperors, the Beginning of Chaos. (古帝卷录, 混沌之初)
Emperors rise with Dong Ling, the Heavens befall with the constellations, forming a resonance together……          Bai Li Shu recited the pictograph characters off the ancient jade book. As he read on, those characters floated up one by one from the jade book, hovered around Bai Li Shu, then, went up to a higher place one after another, and dispersed all around.

Each character carried a dream-like light, and when those characters hovered over Bai Li Shu’s side, a kind of indescribable power forced Ye Qiu Sheng a few steps back, and distanced himself from Bai Li Shu for a bit.

In the dark world of the battle of the netherworld, the features of the youth dressed in white robes were illuminated by the dream-like light.

No joy nor grievance, just like an immortal. Looking to be particularly distant.

Along with Bai Li Shu’s recitation, the interior of the barrier faintly resounded with another voice, using an archaic and abstruse and obscure language, as though it was reading the same contents as Bai Li Shu. That voice was unlike Bai Li Shu’s indifference, and carried an endless majesty to it, as though it was a giant standing in the long river of history, turning around to oversee the people who appeared throughout the times. Just like the person who once wrote this jade book was slowly reading out the contents he wrote himself.

That voiced overlapped with Bai Li Shu’s voice, but when Ye Qiu Sheng wanted to listen to what Bai Li Shu was reading, he only felt his mind receive a heavy hit, and almost spurt out a mouthful of blood. He hurriedly sat down, with his ancient blade pierced at his front. According to their previous plans, he had to start putting down a formation Bai Li Shu gave him, to which he did not know what it was for.

—— From looking at the circumstances now, that formation was used to separate the voice that resonated with Bai Li Shu’s recitation.

No one knew at this moment in time, what kind of feelings Bai Li Shu bore while reading out the words from the jade book.

—— Emperors rise with Dong Ling.      —— Zhao Ge’s Bai Li, herd to Dong Ling.

Since he came to this world, the guesses that endlessly rose up were being proven right now.

It was like Bai Li Shu saw that snowy day once again, when the black-robed man walked out from the boundless heavy snow, and slowly knelt down on one knee in front of him. When he asked that question, that person dressed in black said: You are Bai Li Shu, Bai Li of Zhao Ge’s Bai Li, herd to Dong Ling.

He continued reading on.

The jade book was a record of names of the ancient emperors using the characters from the era of Chaos. Starting with Kong Jia from the very beginning, it recorded down the entire lives of the ancient emperors that emerged in the era of Chaos using succinct sentences.

In the era when ancient emperors still existed, the ancient emperors’ prestige enveloped the vast lands, and at that time, the people did not dare to casually read the ancient emperors’ respected names out loud. If there was someone so bold enough to have the ancient emperors’ respected names written down, the emperors’ wrath would descend upon them, and the writer would be crushed down by the ancient emperors’ imposition.

At that time, the ancient emperors’ names themselves were synonymous with power.

But this jade book in Bai Li Shu’s hands had very clearly written out the ancient emperors’ names without any restraint.

This was a record on ancient emperors.

Ye Qiu Sheng did not know, but if an ordinary person were to pick up this jade book, forget reading it, even at the instant it was opened, the power contained in the words written on the surface would surge out, and crush the person who opened it into ashes. This was the emperors’ prestige- even if it had been several tens of thousands of years, the might of the ancient emperors from the era of Chaos could remain strong to the point of making people tremble with fear.

But when Bai Li Shu opened the jade book, it was just like opening an ordinary book scroll.

The jade book acknowledged him.

The ancient scroll written with the era of Chaos’ record of ancient emperors seemed like it waited several tens of thousands of years, just for Bai Li Shu to open it, and read those names forgotten by the people out loud.

As each emperor’s name was recited by Bai Li Shu, those characters were released from the scroll, and transformed into flowing light, hovering by his side in a circle, then rushed out of the barrier. When each emperors’ brief history was read aloud by Bai Li Shu, the back of the bronze throne outside the light barrier would appear with a giant, majestic apparition just like the crude beasts. The ancient emperors from the era of Chaos, after several long years, were summoned out by Bai Li Shu as their apparitions.

Once the apparitions appeared in this mysterious space, they joined in the battle with the crude beasts.

The ancient emperors’ apparitions appeared one by one out of thin air, and the the emperors’ prestige swept out, and intertwined with the crude beasts. As though due to being unable bear this might, the entire space started to tremble and warp, like it could collapse at any time.

“…… Heaven’s decree ever variable, the imperial destiny ever transient……” Bai Li Shu slowly recited this final line, and his tone changed all of a sudden, and turned ice-cold and fierce.

The history of the era of Chaos could approximately be separated into three periods: Unification of the Ten Kings, Dispute of the Kings, and the Fall of the Emperors’ Prestige.    And this jade book in Bai Li Shu’s hand was not the complete era of Chaos’ record of ancient emperors, but the first part of the record, merely writing down the ten ancient emperors of the first ten thousand years of the era of Chaos. And the final few lines, contained a written wrath and questioning.

To be capable of using the characters from the era of Chaos to write down the past events of the era’s ancient emperors, the person who wrote it themselves should be on the same level as the people recorded down, an ancient emperor. This record on the era of Chaos’ ancient emperors should be written by that ancient emperor who was imprisoned and killed by them, and when they wrote to the end of this scroll, they could not help but put down their own feelings into it.

From how the ancient emperors saw it, them ruling the vast lands, was the mandate of Heaven.

But then fate actually turned out to be this repeatedly impermanent thing- when they reached the end of the era, people actually dared to usurp and kill[1] the emperors. When the final character broke free from the jade book, the entire scroll flew out from Bai Li Shu’s hands, and broke apart in midair, turning into a myriad of lights. The instant the jade book broke apart, the space that originally started warping began to collapse in big chunks, and apparitions and apparitions of crude beasts got engulfed by the warped space.

A darkness more terrifying than the previous dimness continuously rose up.

The instant the jade book was released, Bai Li Shu’s face turned white all of a sudden.

He stifled in a cough.

At this time, the scrolls left on top of that bronze table in front of Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng began shattering and disintegrating one after another. Bai Li Shu then took out that bronze tablet he obtained from the underground of Yan Men.

Bronze metal clashed together, letting out a crisp sound.

That bronze tablet obtained from underneath Yan Men that was engraved with a Qiu dragon’s bestial patterns was put down on the bronze table by Bai Li Shu. When the bronze tablet was put down on the table, if one carefully looked, they would discover that the style of the beast pattern on the tablet was particularly similar with the engraved patterns on the bronze table, as though derived from the same origin.

The instant the bronze tablet was put on the table, a fierce and swift whirlwind swept up all around.

Bai Li Shu’s white robes blew about in a flutter, then, Ye Qiu Sheng who was sitting down stood up. He drew out his blade, and cut open his own wrist, then let the blood drip in a circle along the bronze long table.

After the blood dripped down, the patterns on the bronze long table lit up, and the winds swept up more rapidly, while the long table trembled, as though wanting to shake off that bronze tablet Bai Li Shu put down. Nevertheless, the hand of the helpless-looking wrist bone was like a mountain’s inscriptions, pressed on top of the bronze tablet, and did not move a single inch the entire time.

“Blade!”

Bai Li Shu pressed on the bronze tablet with one hand, and the other extended out towards Ye Qiu Sheng.

[1] The specific wording here (弑) is to kill someone more superior than you. e.g. when the children murder the parents, the subject killing the emperor, etc.

Chapter 98

Chapter Ninety-Eight, the Unfalling Castle, and Cloud Emperor. (不落之城, 云上帝君)
Ye Qiu Sheng tossed the blade over to Bai Li Shu.

That blade was not as light as it looked, and was very heavy.

When Bai Li Shu caught the blade, his thin wrist sunk down. He rotated the edge of the blade, and cut open his own left wrist.

Bright-red blood poured out from the pale-white skin, looking a bit glaring. Once blood flowed over to the surface of the bronze tablet he pressed onto the table, the tablet’s Qiu dragon engraving instantly came to life. Then, the Qiu dragon’s low “cry of nine tones” exploded in Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng’s ears.

That sound of the Qiu dragon’s cry contained a might that came from the grand ancient times, so powerful that Ye Qiu Sheng and Bai Li Shu were simultaneously shaken into having their blood boil.

Bai Li Shu dully coughed, and he lowered his head, with his face extremely pale-white.

clang——

Bai Li Shu moved his left hand over, while the right hand gripped the blade and pierced it into the bronze long table, nailing the bronze tablet firmly into it. At the time the ancient blade was pierced into the long table, the final scroll placed on the table completely shattered.

The instant the scrolls all broke apart, the space outside the barrier already collapsed for the most part. The space rapidly shrunk down, and large pieces of the extreme deep darkness that made people tremble swallowed up the battling crude beasts and ancient emperors’ apparitions. The surrounding space turned rampant and terrifying, and the things swept in were definitely dead to the point they left no complete corpse behind[1].

The space continued to collapse and shrink down.

Ye Qiu Sheng could hear Bai Li Shu say something in a low voice, using a language with archaic tones that he could not understand, reciting out a brief command.

A formless wave then erupted out from Bai Li Shu, and that bronze throne coiled by a myriad of beasts to their backs started shaking. Ye Qiu Sheng turned his head, and in an instant, only felt the time around the throne return back to several tens of thousands of years ago, and he saw
——

throne. A king wearing a magnificent crown, imposingly sitting atop the

The surrounding world had already changed. A sky pillar connecting to the world stood up, while inside circulating clouds and mist, was a black-coloured, majestic castle constructed on top of the skies. That was the Cloud Emperor of the far-north’s “Unfalling Country”.

Ye Qiu Sheng clearly understood that what he was looking at was only an illusion, however, this scene, those lands, the grandness of the era of Chaos, the not-yet-fallen emperors’ might all came right up into his face. The heavy and majestic castle in the clouds, and the apparition of the throne suspended over top of the castle—— that was a castle in the sky under the rule of an emperor. Too much of the past of the era of Chaos had been buried by history, that even a few words or two left were all extremely precious.

So Ye Qiu Sheng rapidly memorized the “Unfalling Country” in the illusion.

Suddenly, he froze for a bit.

Within the image of the era of Chaos revealed by the reversion of time, an army dressed in a coat of mail walked through the black-coloured city’s streets- that was an army about to go on an expedition. What did the Cloud Emperor send an army against?

But what made Ye Qiu Sheng astonished was not this army, but a
person.

Inside the “Unfalling Country”, a person was walking over from the
giant city gates. That person was draped in a white cloak and wore a bamboo hat that was ill-fitted with their surroundings, while their back carried a gold-coloured longbow- that was a longbow that seemed like it was burning up by simply looking at it.

The person carrying the longbow came walking up against the black-armoured cavalry current, yet, that cavalry seemed like they did not see him, and continued travelling forward. No one felt that person passing through their side. After the mail-donned cavalry went out of the city gates, the odd beasts similarly covered in layers of bronze mail that were tamed into being mounts spread out their giant wings.

The bronze soldiers, from within the clouds, seemed like they were gathering down, about to destroy the people on the vast lands who dared to provoke the Emperor’s majesty.

While the person carrying the longbow silently walked along the axis of the city atop the clouds.

That person’s back was slender, just like a stalk of lean bamboo. In a place close to the inner city, that person stopped in their steps, and took down that seemingly burning longbow from their back. Then put on an arrow, and pulled the bowstring.
The white-robed person with a thin back figure stood in the castle on top of the sky pillar, and shot out a single eternally-striking arrow towards that throne suspended in midair. After the long arrow passed through the skies, Ye Qiu Sheng only saw an overspreading red fire burn up, and the imposing bronze throne burn into a magma-like colour within the undying fire.

And the deep-black city turned magnificent all of a sudden.

The spread-out flame was just like the golden crow of previous times dancing around here- the sea of flames swept up, and the world shook. Grand, and magnificent.

That was a grandiose and exceedingly beautiful scene that put people’s hearts in awe.

Ye Qiu Sheng held his breath in as his eyes reflected with the flame’s colour. He exhausted all his strength, just to want to see the face of the person who was holding the longbow clearly.

But that person had their back faced to him the entire time. He could only see their thin figure, and their clothes flutter around like white cranes.

With an unspeakable sort of familiarity.

Ye Qiu Sheng unconsciously took one step forward, wanting to step into the image emerged from the reversal of time, wanting to see just who it was that shot out that one arrow that extinguished the throne. However, just as he stepped out, the image shattered all of a sudden, and the sky pillar connecting the world, the Unfalling Country within the white clouds, the boiling pretty sea of undying fire…… all completely turned into crimson- red specks of light. The myriad of bright-red lights fluttered down, and the pitch-black space was illuminated.

When Ye Qiu Sheng got startled awake, the crude beasts and ancient emperor apparitions in the surrounding space already turned chaotic and hard to discern due to the collapsed space’s warping.

ka cha.

A clean and crisp sound resounded.

The bronze throne, bronze long table, and bronze tablet appeared with lines of splitting.

Bai Li Shu staggeringly retreated two steps, but he very quickly stood straight, and took out “Golden Crow” out with a backhand. The gold- coloured longbow was brilliant and ablaze, and the moment the longbow appeared, the surrounding atmosphere turned scorching hot all of a sudden.

Ye Qiu Sheng’s gaze fell to the longbow in Bai Li Shu’s hands.

In the illusion of the recalling of the era of Chaos just now, Ye Qiu Sheng also saw a longbow, a gold-coloured longbow.

Except, within the scene of recalling, that longbow in the white- robed person’s hands, compared to the Golden Crow held in Bai Li Shu’s, was apparently much more stronger- that longbow itself was the eternally imperishable undying fire.

Ye Qiu Sheng recalled the legends regarding the “Golden Crow” in Bai Li Shu’s hand.

—— The genius craftsman exhausted all their life to create this “Golden Crow”, modelled after the legendary divine bow of Setting Sun.

Could it be that the person in the image, what they held in their hands, was the legendary divine bow of the Setting Sun? And in the old ancient times, the divine bow, Setting Sun, other that shooting down the golden crow, also once shot down the throne of the Cloud Emperor? Then, what kind of relationship did the destruction of the “Unfalling Country” have with that person carrying the longbow, and what did Bai Li Shu, who held the “Golden Crow” modelled after the divine bow Setting Sun- what kind of relationship did he have with that person?

In an instant, many questions passed through Ye Qiu Sheng’s mind.

Things regarding this person, Bai Li Shu, seemed like as long as you got more and more closer, you would feel like you were getting further and further away.

The bright-red specks of light fluttered down, just like a illusion.

The shattered bronze throne, bronze long table, as well as the bronze tablet that Bai Li Shu took out broke down, and then within Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng’s line of sight, slowly formed into something.

[1] From the idea that when people die, they must a) be left with an intact body and b) buried in an appropriate place, otherwise, it was believed that it would affect the family’s luck down the generation. The worst possible outcome, in other words.

Chapter 99

Chapter Ninety-Nine, the Awakened Tower, With People of Desperation. (苏醒之塔, 亡命之徒)
The barrier by Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng’s side turned more and more unstable, while the space outside the barrier already completely broke apart and warped. The instant the bronze throne disintegrated, the apparition of the throne had also disappeared as well, however, nothing mattered anymore.

This Battle of Di Fen underneath the netherworld already had no need to decide on an outcome.

No matter if it were the crude beasts, or the ancient emperors…… Everything was already swallowed by the warped space.

Just like the conclusion of the previous era, the ancient emperors that defeated the crude beasts would soon fall in succession by the end of the era of Chaos.

Ye Qiu Sheng took out a few materials for a formation, and put down a new barrier, in preparation to maintain for a while at the moment the light barrier shattered—— even though this barrier actually did not have much of an use in front of the warping and collapsing space.

This was a truly a life-risking deal. Once the light barrier breaks, regardless if it was him or Bai Li Shu, they would be twisted apart into an incomplete corpse by the warping space. They used their own small lives to carry out a gamble—— wagering if the barrier would shatter first, and they would be swallowed just like the apparitions, or if the barrier would be maintained until that thing completely formed.

An old imperial talisman.

Ye Qiu Sheng turned his head to the side. After the bronze throne, the bronze tablet that Bai Li Shu took out, and the bronze long table broke apart, they gathered together, and again transformed into a burning-like fire- red bronze liquid. The bronze liquid dripped down and accumulated in midair, and gradually outlined the shape of a rectangular ancient talisman.

Intricate patterns, an overbearing imposition that the entire world’s living beings would all submit to……

In midair, summoned into the world once again by Bai Li Shu all by himself, was a long rectangular talisman- the talisman was inscribed with countless ancient letters, and those characters themselves were the decrees that the ancient emperors wrote down personally in the legends. Bordering around the talisman and gradually forming within the bright-red bronze liquid, were engravings of all the creatures.

“The emperors cast talisman plates to command the world. What the talismans order, be it the heavens, the earth, human or beast, not one would disobey it.”

The legendary old imperial talisman gathered up and appeared in midair. When it emerged, the surrounding air seemed like it could not support that overbearing might that even the world and netherworld could not help but submit to, and started vibrating.

Just like a net that held up too much weight, the space surrounding the old imperial talisman also started warping.

From the looks of it, once the old imperial talisman completely formed, this originally unstable space would soon turn into something like a spider web that could not be propped up any longer and start breaking apart, and then, the old imperial talisman would fall into an endless chaotic void in that instant. Ye Qiu Sheng’s forehead was filled with cold sweat.

The old imperial talismans themselves were the symbols of the ancient emperors, so this kind of imperial pressure was much more terrifying compared to that revived ancient emperor’s will underneath Yan Men Prefecture. Facing with this kind of imposition at such a close distance, Ye Qiu Sheng was forced to half-kneel due to the heavy pressure, and the ancient blade held in his hands pierced into the ground to forcefully support his body.

Bai Li Shu stood right in front of the old imperial talisman, and directly faced the imperial talisman.

His face was a pale-white, while the wound on his wrist did not set yet, and his forehead was also already filled with cold sweat. The Golden Crow longbow held in Bai Li Shu’s hand let out a dazzling light, and the undying bird’s apparition emerged from the longbow, then hovered around Bai Li Shu’s side and took on a portion of the pressure for him.

When the old imperial talisman actually appeared in front of people, those who saw it would understand why the poets who pursued the ancient past would have a feeling of “being fully aware that the decree of Heaven is variable, how could one speak of retribution and favour”.

The emperor’s might was ever expansive, thus the heavens and earth would submit to it.

With a pale-white face, Bai Li Shu, before the bright-red magma- like old imperial talisman completely finished forming, extended his still- continuously bleeding hand.

Blood essence was forced out from Bai Li Shu’s wrist, and fell on top of the old imperial talisman suspended in front of him.

As the blood essence dripped down on it, the originally bright-red magma-like old imperial talisman was rapidly receded of its fire-red colour, and gradually turned into an old bronze-like colour. On top of the old imperial talisman, the final lettering finished forming, and the blood essence dripping from Bai Li Shu’s wrist also completely seeped inside the old imperial talisman.

And it was also at the moment the old imperial talisman completely formed, that the light barrier by Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng’s side completely shattered.

At the instant the light barrier shattered, that guarding formation that Ye Qiu Sheng put down also merely maintained itself for a moment, and then was engulfed by the warping space.

From the looks of it, the place where he and Bai Li Shu were standing at was going to be swallowed up by the warping and chaotic darkness as well. Ye Qiu Sheng coughed once, and stood up in a stagger.

He slightly lifted his head up to look at the darkness that swallowed both the crude beasts and the ancient emperors’ apparitions surging over, and grinned and started laughing.

It was successful! “Go!”
Bai Li Shu coughed to the side, and blood spilled over his snow- white clothing. His left hand tightly held that old imperial talisman, while his face had no colour to it, and he extended his right hand holding the Golden Crow longbow towards Ye Qiu Sheng. The old imperial talisman in Bai Li Shu’s hand was emitting a faint light. The might carried within the imperial talisman itself struck the collapsing space, and so the two would not be swallowed up.

Ye Qiu Sheng did not say anything, and picked up the ancient blade dropped to the floor, then reached out to hold Bai Li Shu’s hand.

When he held Bai Li Shu’s hand, he slightly froze.

Bai Li Shu’s hand was very cold, and did not possess the warmth that a normal person would have, while the pulse was faint and slow, hard to discern.

Before he could carefully analyze it, a feeling of weightlessness came over.

Ye Qiu Sheng only heard Bai Li Shu to his side use that unrecognizable language to recite something in a low voice, and in the next moment, they were forcefully swept into the ripped-open spacial passage.

◈◈◈
The instant the old imperial talisman completely formed, the originally shaking Qiu Huang tower completely transformed.

Red lines like blood vessels distinctly and conspicuously appeared, and spread all over within the entire tower. Those statues of bronze odd beasts within the tower’s rooms seemed to have been faded of its bronze colour, and once again revived into fierce and ruthless odd beasts inch by inch. They let out raging cries either high or low, and the stone doors that imprisoned them for tens of thousands of years shattered into dust.

Giant odd beasts rammed open the room’s stone walls, and appeared within the interior of the Qiu Huang tower. Their eyes were the same blood- red colour as the formation lines.

The flock of beasts howled, and the ruthless beasts’ auras erupted
out.

The Tower of Qiu Huang buried in the underground had completely
awakened.

This was most certainly a living tower.

The formation lines spread over the tower’s body were its blood vessels, while the crude beasts that lost its intelligence were its claws. The person who first came here put down layers upon layers of formations, and used them to imprison and kill an ancient emperor- the violent airs within the place buried with an ancient emperor, the blood that dripped down before the ancient emperor died, and the remnant grudges of their divine spirit all seeped through this tower.

In the era of Chaos, the ancient emperors were existences that even the heavens and the earth submitted to. Even if it was a deceased ancient emperor, his blood essence and remnant grudges were enough to allow the Qiu Huang tower that originally did not have any intellect to gradually transform into a demon.

Only, before this, in the deepest area of the Qiu Huang tower, was a slightly incomplete old imperial talisman present.

The presence of the old imperial talisman frightened the Tower of Qiu Huang, hence why it would retain the appearance of a formation tower for tens of thousands of years.

But today, everything completely changed.

The one hundred seventy thousand people of Bing Province were swept into the ancient battlefield of Di Fen, and the one hundred seventy thousand people who were buried here supplied blood essence for the Qiu Huang tower, and added with how the old imperial talisman was taken away, this tower that transformed into a demon would hence awaken.

“What happened?”       Zhou Wen An knitted his eyebrows, while his hand gripped his sabre.

He and Liao Qian faced back-to-back, with their faces sunk like water, and watched as odd beasts came out one by one from the rooms through the walls.

Chapter 100

Chapter One Hundred, Black Spiritual Tablets, Worldly Matters Ever Impermanent. (⿊⾊灵牌, 世事⽆常)
Cold sweat seeped out from Liao Qian’s palms. They were standing on top of a corridor of the Qiu Huang tower, yet had a mysterious kind of feeling like they were inside some giant beast’s throat. The red-coloured formation lines that were all that the eyes could see flickered around, just like blood vessels pulsating around.

The odd beasts that broke out from the tower rooms continued to approach closer and closer. Zhou Wen An half-knelt on the ground while propped against his sabre, taking in gasps of air. Just now, they worked together to kill off an ancient python and a Wei ghost—— thankfully, these bastards’ strength seemed to not have completely recovered, otherwise, at this time, the two would have probably completely hung up here.

But this was not something worth being excited over.

The intellect of the odd beasts that came out from the rooms seemed to have been controlled by the Qiu Huang tower, only left with the innate desire for massacre. However, even if their strength was not yet recovered, being surrounded by so many odd beasts at the same time was not something that Zhou Wen An and Liao Qian were able to go up against.

“We aren’t really going to die here, are we?” Liao Qian muttered while rapidly fumbling with his own ring, with his face carrying an expression of hesitation. —— He hadn’t decided whether or not he was going to use that thing yet.

Zhou Wen An coughed, then climbed up from the ground. He looked all around, then once again raised his head to look at the ceiling- they were already close to the top floor. While knitting his eyebrows, Zhou Wen An took off the ring carrying Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples’ corpses from his hand, as well as the thing that Liu Wu Yan previously gave him, and gave it to Liao Qian.

“What are you doing?” Liao Qian dumbfoundedly looked at him.
“Remember, sandalwood casket.”

Zhou Wen An flipped the edge of his sabre, and cut his own wrist open. Blood poured out, and dripped down to the floor. Then, he used his own blood essence to quickly draw a simple formation on the ground.

His movements were extremely fast, so fast that before Liao Qian could take a proper look at what formation he put down, it was already complete.

“What sandalwood casket?”      A bad premonition surged up, and the colour of Liao Qian’s face already changed. “Little pretty face, I’m warning you——”

That completely harmless, polite and delicate face of Zhou Wen An’s let out the first of what one would call a natural smile ever since the mishap with Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower, like a heavy burden was suddenly taken off from him, “The fame regarding Nine Provinces Private Bank’s wealth is spread wide throughout the country, so I will leave them to you.”

What them?

Before Liao Qian’s brain could process it, the formation that Zhou Wen An just drew out erupted with a dazzling light. In the next moment, Liao Qian only felt the entire world spin, while he himself was being wrapped around by some giant power, and a strong weightless feeling suddenly came forward.

When Liao Qian was enveloped by the formation’s strength and sent out of the Qiu Huang tower, he sensed what Zhou Wen An meant by them
—— Zhou Wen An had collected Jiu Xuan’s disciples’ bodies into his ring.

“Fucking hell.” Liao Qian heavily dropped onto the incomparably hard black-coloured stone ground. His entire body hurt like it was fallen into pieces, but he could not care for that much. He flipped over and got up, wanting to rush back into the interior of the Tower of Qiu Huang.

However, the entrance of the Qiu Huang tower had a giant barrier. Them being able to go in before was because they had the light mark, but at this time, Liao Qian was sent out of the barrier by Zhou Wen An. He stood on top of the giant clearing, with his entire body in a complete mess, unable to find the entrance no matter how he tried.

He immediately started using his hands to dig apart the ground’s rocks, and cursed out loud while digging.

“Last-named Zhou you little pretty face, fuck you to hell!” “Saying pretty stuff about what fucking sandalwood coffin, to hell
with that!”

◈◈◈
There was no place where the blood-red formation lines weren’t present. The odd beasts that awakened from their deep slumber of several tens of thousands of years slowly got closer, be it to his front or back. The seemingly smiling corpse of the Wei ghost announced death, while the enormous figure of a Hui snake’s nine heads cast down a hideous shadow, enveloping Zhou Wen An within it.

Zhou Wen An coughed. These revived odd beasts’ strength got stronger as time went on. He propped against his blade, swaying slightly.

In truth, Zhou Wen An knew how Liao Qian looked at him. Liao Qian felt like he was a lunatic- where would there be someone who would randomly sacrifice their life for a person they didn’t recognize? Liao Qian might have felt he was a goody two-shoes.

But how could there be some goody two-shoes.

Of the people who could live properly, who would casually make some life-risking gambles.

He only felt like his life was shitty, and by being able to save a single person, it can be considered to be not that unsuccessful anymore. He was only a plain and ordinary Jiu Xuan Sect disciple, he didn’t even have a way to pick up his seniors’ spiritual tablets, don’t even mention taking revenge for them—— he didn’t even know who to take revenge against!

He was only a useless person.

The Hui snake’s nine heads hung down, and slightly kept close to the ground. The giant primitive beast was ferocious and terrifying- merely from its imposition, it could make people feel like they were struck heavily and their foreheads fill with cold sweat.

Zhou Wen An only felt like even standing was extremely hard.

He coughed out blood. The formation he put down just now used a pretty much forbidden technique. He used his own blood essence to burn up his own sea of mind[1] to forcefully have Liao Qian sent out- this was a way that essentially sought out his own doom, and so at this time and moment, the primordial energy in his muscles and tendons already could not be controlled that much.

But Zhou Wen An acted just like he didn’t feel anything at all.

When Zhou Wen An saw those approaching odd beasts with giant figures, he held up his sabre. His completely bloodied hand stroked over the sabre.

The surroundings were a sunken darkness, making Zhou Wen An recall a time very long ago.

He was an orphan. Seeking refugee from a famine, he carried the final sliver of hope, and stepped up the Connecting Heaven staircase that the Jiu Xuan Sect used to recruit disciples with. He bit down, and climbed up step by step. That was his last sliver of hope to living- either he became Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciple, or he starved to death.

He did not want to starve to death. And so, he climbed up.
At the time he just stepped onto the final step of the stairs, he knelt down on the stone staircase. A senior sister whose robes bore fire embroidery came over, and pulled up his hand, bringing him into the vast world of immortal cultivators.

The poisonous fangs of the Hui snake was particularly scary in the red light, and a fishy stench of wind blew over to his face.

Zhou Wen An turned his head, and looked at the ancient black tower extending downward floor by floor—— it was quite similar to Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower.

In a trance, it was like he saw the Qing Ming tower embedded with countless spirit stones.

Right in the middle of the Qing Ming tower would be hovering and flowing lights from constellations. The star’s lights illuminated the sky- connecting tower, while the myriad of spirit stones were just like the boundless arrays of stars in the sky. The senior who previously brought him up the Qing Ming tower’s topmost floor carried his sword and walked up along the coiling staircase, checking the formation lines just like usual; The senior who always complained about how the spirit stones were too bright turned his head and called out his name, asking if he wanted to go out to drink together; Within the light of the spirit stones, the figures of his senior sisters were distinct, yet distant……

“Jiu Xuan Sect……” The Hui snake came attacking like a mad dragon, with the sound of wind like knives. Zhou Wen An spoke hoarsely, and raised his head up.

—— In the very beginning, the senior sister who pulled him up from the Connecting Heaven staircase pointed to Jiu Xuan Sect’s gates, and pridefully said, of the Eight Immortal Sects, Jiu Xuan is number one. Jiu Xuan Sect, is the world’s matchless Jiu Xuan.

“Is the world’s matchless Jiu Xuan!” Zhou Wen An started laughing, and rose up with a spin.

He broke apart his own spiritual sea, and burned up his own primordial energy.

Zhou Wen An was most certainly Li Range’s disciple. Li Range was primarily of fire, where the Li Range’s disciples were typically aggressive and overbearing, with a swift and fierce vigour. And at this time and moment, this always amiable and polite youth that was just like a gentle and weak poet laughed out loud, brandishing his blade against the odd beasts that woke up from the years of sleep, with his vigour more fierce than ruthless beasts.

The spiritual insight boiled up, and his spiritual sea broke apart. Primordial energy burned up, going through his body, shattering each inch of his muscles and tendons.

Within the Tower of Qiu Huang, the omnipresent red formation lines illuminated the surroundings’ darkness with a bloody light. The young Jiu Xuan Sect disciple burned his own primordial energy, and used a move like burning both jade and stone alike. A bright and dazzling primordial fire covered over the youth’s figure, and plated the blade in his hand.

—— Tear my spiritual sea, set fire to my spirit, burn my primordial fires, never again a next life, no longer a reincarnation. This was the final trick that immortal cultivators were definitely not willing to use.

Break apart my own sea of mind, use my own spiritual insight to set off the entire body’s primordial energy, and using the soul as kindle, burn my own primordial energy into primordial fire. By using this, he would be able to obtain a powerful strength within a short period of time, however, with the spiritual sea shattered, the muscles and tendons broken, and the soul completely burned…… one would be unable to enter reincarnation after death.

Not entering the afterlife, unable to rest in peace.

Priming the spiritual insight, the instant the soul burned up, Zhou Wen An felt a scorching heat and pain transmit from the deepest parts of his soul. His face twisted, and he turned his body, then drew out the most perfect technique he pulled off in this life.

He did not fear death anymore, and had nothing to qualm over.

Zhou Wen An saw in Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower, those senior brothers and sisters who guarded the tower with him appear by his side. Their faces carried a smile that was no different from usual.

Jiu Xuan Sect…… The world’s matchless Jiu Xuan Sect.

Within the dark world, the dancing young man’s strikes drew out a dazzling and perfect arc- it flew out, and a bright flame scattered apart, while his surroundings burned with raging flames. That space turned bright like the daytime in that instant.

The Hui snake’s nine heads were cut down in the darkness.

Zhou Wen An and the Hui snake’s heads heavily fell down onto the floor. But even if the Hui snake had its heads cut off, the snake heads were not dead yet. The Hui snake’s head that fell by Zhou Wen An’s side then opened its mouth, and bit down on Zhou Wen An’s shoulder.

Zhou Wen An violently coughed, and something fell down from
midair.

It was that spiritual tablet that Bai Li Shu took down in front of the
Qing Ming tower and handed over to him. Zhou Wen An had it put away by his chest, and at the time he passed the ring and the item Liu Wu Yan gave to them onto Liao Qian, he only kept this broken spiritual tablet with nothing particular about it.

The Hui snake’s poisonous fangs submerged into his shoulder, but Zhou Wen An was just like he didn’t perceive it at all.

He leaned his head over, and within the already hazy vision, he saw that partial spiritual tablet. The white lacquered words on the black spiritual tablet were indistinct and obscure.

Zhou Wen An reached out, and used his entire body’s final bit of strength to grab towards the spiritual tablet.

The spiritual tablet in his vision was blurry, while several figures overlapped each other.

He grabbed at it many times, and finally caught it.

Blood continuously spilled out from Zhou Wen An’s mouth, while his blade had already been flung off somewhere at some time. The odd beasts in the surroundings did not disperse yet- after the Hui snake had been killed, there were other odd beasts approaching close again. Zhou Wen An laid down on the floor, and tilted his head, and the completely bloodied hand grabbed onto that partial spiritual tablet.

“Se…… Senior brother…… Senior sister……” Zhou Wen An looked into the void. The focus in his eyes gradually dispersed, and that bloodstained pale-white hand didn’t have any colour left. His throat slightly moved, and lowly muttered this. In the darkness, the odd beasts’ figures slowly got closer.

[1] 识海- metaphorical sea within the mind, containing all the person’s memories, thoughts, etc.

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