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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
What Wei Zhongxian wanted to speak of was certainly Danxia Temple’s true secret! That was what Xiaoqing and Fahai were both concealing together! Perhaps this was the true reason why the Animus Armament was connected with this place! It was also what Xu Yangyi wanted to hear about the most!
“Please.” Xu Yangyi said lowly and made an inviting gesture.
“Shut your mouth…” Fahai’s voice was heard from the sky, faintly trembling. “Wei Zhongxian… if you dare speak a word of nonsense… This Sage Lord will use a thousand blades cut you down to shreds!”
“Wei Zhongxian…” Xiaoqing’s voice also came from between gritted teeth. “If you do not fear death… go ahead and try.”
Wei Zhongxian seemed not to have heard anything and stood up. He straightened his figure and said, “During the Ming dynasty, His Lord Majesty… wished to become an immortal and cultivate so much that he yearned for it even in his dreams… Master, you should’ve seen the two words ‘Dao Scripture’.”
Xu Yangyi nodded.
“Dao Scripture is the collective term of all of Daoism’s works, the sum compiled through the imperial household. Before this slave died, it just so happened that the Dao Scripture’s Eighth Section came into the world.” Wei Zhongxian’s face gradually turned serious. “In this section of the Dao Scripture, my master back then, His Majesty Guangzong, discovered a disastrous secret”
Solemn-faced, Xu Yangyi listened. This story had already arrived at its core!
Guangzong… the Taichang Emperor, again, it was this era! Again, it was this name!
Animus Armament… Everything pointed directly to Taichang and Tianqi’s two years! That was the father-son pair of Ming Guangzong and Ming Xizong!
At this moment… history’s dust was on the verge of uncovering this hidden truth!
The surroundings were unusually quiet. Wei Zhongxian instinctually cast a glance at everyone’s expressions and immediately continued to speak.
“Following His Majesty Shenzong’s Eighth Section of the Orthodox Dao Scripture, His Majesty Guangzong promptly urged the state tutors of that time and the Fiftieth-Generation Celestial Master Zhang, Dragon-Tiger Mountain’s Old Immortal Zhang Guoxiang, to quickly finish the Ninth Dao Scripture. This was also the Wanli Emperor’s Dao Scripture.
“And on that day the compilation was finished, I took a page from the Wanli Dao Scripture and came here.” Wei Zhongxian said softly, “I don’t know how His Majesty knew what was here… Perhaps even Old Immortal Zhang wasn’t necessarily informed of it. Yet on that day, my journey was smooth and unhindered. I also met the two celestials here…”
He subconsciously glanced at Xiaoqing and Fahai in the sky. “On that day, they were also like this… they wished for me to help them undo the seal. But after I gave them the page that His Majesty wanted them to look at, they didn’t mention this matter again…”
“Shut up!!!” All of a sudden, Fahai yelled angrily. With his utmost power, a streak of red light spat out from his mouth and directly attacked Wei Zhongxian. However, the red beam simply blasted the golden light-screen and then scattered away on its own.
Xiaoqing said nothing. There was merely a never-seen unsightliness on her face!
With trepidation, Wei Zhongxian eyed Fahai and continued speaking, “But on that day, I received a secret imperial decree. I was to carve those set of wall carvings here. Furthermore, based on that which His Majesty entrusted, I was not to carry out a single thing from this place. This slave also placed the shell that the celestial gave me into the wall carvings’ mechanism. In the end… a deal was made with the two immortals.”
“Li Jinzhong…” Xiaoqing closed her eyes, her lips faintly trembling because of her gnashing teeth. “If you dare speak of that matter… This Palace… if I escape… I will be sure to completely exterminate your Wei Clan… not a chicken or dog will be left!”
“Immortress is over thinking this.” Wei Zhongxian bowed deferentially. “I am but a castrate. I have no descendants.”
Xiaoqing didn’t say another word, but it could be seen from her expression that if she could move now, perhaps not a single person present would be able to survive.
“The two immortals hoped that His Majesty Guangzong would help them escape. His Majesty also agreed, but the exchange condition was to help him find the location of the titanic secret in the Dao Scripture’s Eighth Section. At the time of parting… the immortress gave me an object. It was a jade will-scepter… but, I never expected…” Wei Zhongxian’s body began to faintly shiver. “Because His Majesty discovered that secret… a savage calamity was provoked!”
Finished speaking these words, he seemed to recall some scene and trembled from head to toe. The smile on his face was also terribly stiff. Cold sweat spilled out from his forehead.
Xu Yangyi mumbled and interrupted him, “Was it a sword that attacked Guangzong?”
If he hadn’t guessed incorrectly… this savage calamity was bound to be that scene of the Xuan-Yuan Sword furiously slaying Ming Guangzong!
This secret… undoubtedly held an absolute connection with cultivation! Otherwise, that era’s swordmaster of the Xuan-Yuan Sword simply wouldn't have done this disgrace!
This secret might’ve already touched upon a tiny bit of cultivation’s soul. It forced the swordmaster but with no choice to act in such a manner!
In the end, what was the nature of the subject hidden in the Dao Scripture’s Eighth Section?
“An enlightened sage is no more than his master.” Wei Zhongxian regained his wits and wiped away at his cold sweat. His voice was wavering. “On that day… it turned out that when I returned from this place, Guangzong secretly summoned me. I… witnessed this scene with my own eyes.”
“That truly was… an immortal-like scenery… Golden muslin filled the sky and the ground bubbled forth with golden lotuses… It is a mystery as to how many imperial guards screamed out that there was an assassin, yet they were just… just unable to block that sword… It was too dreadful… like heaven’s edge was going to be cleaved open…”
Just as his voice fell, Fahai shouted lowly in disbelief at the same time. But at the side, Xiaoqing’s expression was exceptionally serene.
It appeared that she’d foreseen… that once this secret was discovered, that sword was fundamentally unable to tolerate those who knew of it to live in this world… even if that person was a true dragon, the Son of Heaven!
There was not one exception!
Xu Yangyi coolly studied Xiaoqing’s face. So… Xiaoqing had only then bestowed a magik treasure? Had she long since guessed all of this or inadvertently done so? And yet, this magik treasure hadn’t even resisted a single blow from the Xuan-Yuan Sword?
The present scene was somewhat oppressive in silence. Wei Zhongxian seemed to be immersed in the terrible worldly anomaly of that day. After a long time, he continued to speak, his face slightly pale. Nevertheless, his next words caused everyone present to coldly gasp in unison!
“However, His Majesty possessed the heaven’s blessed protection… Although His Majesty suffered grievous wounds, with the protection of the immortress’s magik treasure, he did not die as a dragon ascending to the heavens.”
“WHAT?!” At this moment, even Xiaoqing’s expression changed. “Ming Guangzong—Zhu Changluo—didn’t die?! He actually received the Xuan… That blow and survived?!”
“This is impossible…” Fahai’s face was ashen. “Even we dare not speak of welcoming the Xia-Yu Sword’s might! Unless, what came at that time was…”
He shuttered his mouth and strangely traded glances with Xiaoqing. Xu Yangyi’s heart flashed, and he also guessed what they wanted to say.
All that had come was a fake… Under this sword’s might, only then could Ming Guangzong survive from the hands of this ancient godly weapon!
Zhao Wuye contemplated. Upon hearing this, he jumped in shock and immediately sat down, his legs growing soft. He said tremblingly, “You’re saying… that after the Case of the Red Pills, Ming Guangzong didn’t die!”
No wonder he was astonished! In history, Ming Guangzong had died in the Case of the Red Pills, one of the Ming Palace’s Three Great Cases! This was an ironclad fact! Yet now… the eunuch who had served Ming Guangzong was personally telling them that Ming Guangzong hadn’t died!
History had been overthrown!
In that case… did Ming Xizong who ascended the throne afterwards know? And the following history… how much of it was true? How much of it was fake?
“This…” Astonishment coloring his entire face, Fang Cheng sharply inhaled. “This really is… too frickin’ unbelievable…”
“He didn’t die…” Wei Zhongxian breathed in deeply a few times, as if he wanted to extract his mind from the terrible scenery of that day. He bowed and said, “His Majesty Xizong was unaware. In all of China, this slave was the only person who knew. Otherwise… from where would I get the capital to suddenly receive favor during Xizong’s Tianqi era?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. He silently traced his storage ring. Inside… was a very strange sword point. Its might… was even exactly the same as the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s!
If a counterfeit slayed Ming Guangzong on that day, then in that case, there was an original… and his was…
“Soon after, His Majesty went into hiding in a Dragon Vein below the Forbidden City…” Wei Zhongxian’s complexion became somewhat pale again. “However… His Majesty absolutely hadn’t expected… that s-seven y-years later… that sword actually realized His Majesty hadn’t died and found him again… It seemed… if His Majesty wasn’t slain, it would never stop…”
“Hold on…” Zhao Wuye suddenly said, his expression grave. “Seven years… Seven years later…”
Xu Yangyi’s mind brightened, and he raised his head and said solemnly, “The Tianqi Explosion!”
“An enlightened sage is no more than his master!” Wei Zhongxian appeared to still hold a lingering fear and said tremblingly, “It w-was… It was the Tianqi Explosion!”
“The Tianqi Explosion is by no means an unsolved mystery… I-Instead, when that sword came slashing with full might, it brought forth a worldly anomaly! Master! I speak not a single lie! Even I dared not believe on that day! A sword’s power… strode across infinite space and was actually able to blast the entire imperial capital!”
Xu Yangyi took a few good deep breaths. This story was too long and bizarre. Even though Wei Zhongxian narrated it like so, all could sense that the complexities within it shocked the heart and stirred the soul.
He realized… why Wei Zhongxian’s divine ability was the Heavenly Opening Six Erosions. He also realized why the Animus Armament had come into being. Furthermore… he also confirmed that the Tianqi Explosion was the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s true might! In order to seize Ming Guangzong, who had vanished like a cicada leavings its shell—to force the emperor to no longer search for the grand secret that even distressed the Xuan-Yuan swordmaster—the sword hadn’t hesitated to personally take action!
All that remained was one last unsolved riddle! And that… was what on earth did Ming Guangzong discover in the Dao Scripture? Causing the Xuan-Yuan Sword to disallow his proliferation of this secret? To make him so unwilling at death’s door and actually form the Animus Armament with his life? To be passed on a millennium later?
In vagueness… in his heart, he held an extremely veiled and cryptic guess. Maybe… Possibly… It should’ve been…
This was a never-confirmed legend. Or perhaps the modern era had affirmed it to be a word eternally shrouded in mist and without footprint!
“If that’s how it is… then… everything’s been said…” Xu Yangyi’s thoughts cycled like electricity. The bodhi seed that Xiaoqing placed in his mind caused his thought process to be dexterously nimble. Perhaps Xiaoqing hadn’t expected that Xu Yangyi was able to walk out on a third path between two difficulties today due to this seed!
Xiaoqing and Fahai also hadn’t foreseen Wei Zhongxian’s twist at all. After the eunuch had been dismembered, he had remained here!
“To make a Supreme Lord of the Nine Quiniums unwilling to let go… A thing that the imperial throne didn’t even hesitate to search for… Even confronted with mortal danger, he still wanted to search. Even after the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s strike, he still had no regrets…” Xu Yangyi shut his eyes and sucked in deeply. “Apart from the immortals of legend and long life—the eternal heart tribulation of history's emperors—I can't think of anything else… Only something like this can be said why Ming Guangzong was so unreconciled after death and created the Animus Armament…”
“Obviously, the trace of an immortal had already been discovered, but he was killed. The relentless pursuit of countless emperors… Only then do these emotions and reasons make sense…”
1. Ming Guangzong is a name that everyone should be somewhat familiar with this point. Ming Xizong was his son, also known as Tianqi, or as I had translated for the Six Erosions, “Heavenly Opening”. Tianqi = Ming Xizong (Era name versus Temple name). He was born in 1605 CE and died in 1627 CE.
2. The Wanli Emperor is the father of Ming Guangzong AKA the Taichang Emperor. Zhang Guoxiang is a real figure, the fiftieth generation Celestial Master Zhang. In history, this is an actual event. The Wanli Emperor had him compile a Dao Scripture (Daoist Canon). These topics can be found on wikipedia.
3. 玉如意 - “will-scepter”. Directly translates as “Jade As You Will”. It is a strange-looking jade scepter that represents power and fortune in Chinese Buddhism and also as a talisman itself.
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