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Xu Yangyi didn’t give it much thought. The answer to this riddle was either alluring or harmful. Presently, even if he knew what this was, now still wasn’t the time for him to take part in any way. The Animus Armament seemed to uncover a great curtain of twisting fog and coiling mist. He seemed to know what, but upon carefully pondering it, all he had was threads, an expanse of densely tangled threads within.
The room was somewhat quiet. Both Gao Muya and Xu Yangyi were left to their thoughts. After ages, Gao Muya actually took the initiative to speak, “Young fellow.” He mumbled for a moment and said, “Have you ever heard of… forced possession?”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed. This word was far too ancient. Perhaps it could be said that in the modern cultivation world, this term was taboo.
Cultivators, even Qi Condensation cultivators, were able to project their spirit. A cultivator’s spirit—or commonly referred to as soul—and will power far outstripped a mortal’s in power. As many cultivators neared the end of their lifespan, they would store their spirit in some object. Once they came in contact with a person’s body and entered it, they would immediately engulf the mortal’s spirit. Thus, they were able to achieve reincarnation and recultivate.
After the Nation’s Founding, the Cultivation Court promptly enacted a corresponding bill. Those who forcibly possessed would have their Hun and Po eternally suppressed, never to reincarnate. Moreover, all arcane efforts and divine abilities related to forced possession were burned away. Nowadays, the word “forced possession” was seldom seen.
Upon seeing Xu Yangyi’s faint nodding, Gao Muya licked his lips with a wisp of irrepressible excitement. “Young fellow, forcibly possessing this item all depends on willpower. On this level, there’s no difference between high-level and low-level cultivators. If one party’s willpower invades the other, both sides will engage in a battle to the death. However, one side has the support of the fleshly body, while the other side doesn’t. So, the final conclusion usually sees that the forced possessor is defeated.”
“In order to reincarnate and recultivate, the forced possessor—this willpower—carries the other’s most important memories. Such as… treasuries, arcane efforts, divine abilities. Once the forced possession fails, all memories will be digested by the possessor!”
Xu Yangyi deeply studied Gao Muya. “You think that the willpower of the arm bone’s owner might be hidden in this?”
“There’s less than a 1% chance,” Gao Muya laughed. “But there’s an even greater probability that there’s nothing. That’s because since this arm was chopped off, the situation back then must’ve been incredibly dangerous. The arm’s owner didn’t have the time to use a willpower-placing divine ability. At that time, it could even be said that life and death hung in the balance, every single second to be seized. Second, even a more powerful willpower can’t exist for 2,000 years. If the possessor’s willpower vanishes, the memories are done for. In that case, you’ll certainly take it with great ease!”
“Why are you telling me these things, sir?” Xu Yangyi was silent for a while and calmly asked.
“What are you saying?” Gao Muya looked at Xu Yangyi and chuckled mischievously, “The bones of an ancient greater demon… or possibly the existence of a greater demon’s memories… Could it be that you’re not tempted one bit?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. Gao Muya’s idea was obvious. He didn’t want to make the Ketu-Rahu Sword’s blueprint for Xu Yangyi. Instead… he wanted Xu Yangyi to try directly accessing the bone! Because of this, he spoke candidly to Xu Yangyi about such a possible outcome.
At worst, if it truly was a greater demon’s willpower, Xu Yangyi wouldn’t be able to resist anyway. Then… the greater demon would borrow his body to be reborn! And he would be forever stricken off from the face of the human realm!
Silence. Xu Yangyi didn’t reply. Contemplating for a short period, he raised his head. “Senior, Junior wishes to look at this arm.”
With a smile yet not a smile, Gao Muya studied him. After ages, he nodded in admiration. “Even after listening to this crazy plan, you actually haven’t run off. You really can be said to be recklessly daring…”
Xu Yangyi laughed, “In this world, there’s nothing that doesn’t carry risk. No matter what, everything always deserves a try.”
Gao Muya gazed intently at him for a few seconds and said nothing more. With a wave of his hands, the white and red spiritual light in the sky came to a sudden halt. Promptly, the black arm slowly floated over. It was grabbed in Gao Muya’s hand.
He laughed darkly. All of a sudden, qi rose sharply in his hand!
HUUUMMM! A domain of fiery-red brilliance radiated from his hand. In an instant, it formed a half-meter-long great hammer. The surface was carved with birds and beasts, and at both ends of the head there was a fiery-red blaze and an icy-blue blaze. In a short moment, it caused one half of the room to scorch with heat waves and the other half to chill like winter.
“Young fellow… take a good look!” Gao Muya shouted and suddenly hammered down towards the arm!
Swish! In the twenty-meter-long room, two red and blue qi waves suddenly towered and surged. Even if Gao Muya deliberately kept the waves away from Xu Yangyi, Xu Yangyi still felt each cell in his entire body scream with intense danger!
This hammer… if it was targeting him, he simply wouldn’t survive!
BOOM!!! Without error, the hammer accurately struck the black arm bone. The entire room suddenly quaked! If this hammer smashed the ground, there was bound to be countless deep pits. Nonetheless, the black arm bone didn’t even budge!
The qi shock wave hadn’t even caused the table under the arm bone to tremble by a hair!
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly wavered. By touching it with his hand, Gao Muya was telling Xu Yangyi that if he had the the will, he would’ve already forcibly possessed the arm since he had the blueprints for it so long. Yet this magik treasure’s slam also told him that the arm’s durability far transcended his expectations!
Gao Muya spoke no further. He bent his fingers and snapped, and the arm bone immediately flew over. It fell in front of Xu Yangyi.
Xu Yangyi’s fingers carried a trace of extremely concentrated spiritual sense, light streaking across the arm. The possibility of forced possession wouldn’t occur whatsoever without contact with his qi sea. Only when this arm was truly mounted, and he mobilized an arcane effort for the first time and joined with his qi sea, would he know whether or not this arm was dangerous.
The entire arm was light, very light. The texture was moreover incredibly strange. It wasn’t truly bone, yet it wasn’t a tree root at all. His palm carefully examined each location along the way.
Tens of minutes later, he prepared to retract his hand, yet at this moment, he suddenly felt that his palm had become a little itchy. Such itchiness… was just like someone was mindlessly moving their little finger, like they were softly tracing it across his sensitive palm…
In a flash, his mind sounded the alarm. Xu Yangyi gasped in surprise and quickly pulled his hand back!
Who was tracing across his palm? Who moved?
He hadn’t moved; he was very certain! In that case, what was moving…
“FUCK!!!” Without warning, he shouted. He was drenched in cold sweat! It was too late, however!
In a twinkling, a sensation of crisis ten thousand times more intense than Gao Muya swinging his magik treasure directly rushed Xu Yangyi’s mind! At almost the same time, the palm of the deathly silent black arm bone actually latched onto Xu Yangyi’s hand, without a moment’s pause!
“How is this possible?!” Gao Muya’s incredulous cry of alarm was heard from the side. Both of his eyes saucered and his mouth was ajar. He looked at everything before him in shock!
That arm bone and Xu Yangyi’s hand… Ten fingers were locked together, not the slightest crack in between them!
“Impossible… This is impossible!” In his worry, Gao Muya was pouring with sweat, but he didn’t know what to do at all! He’d refined artifacts his entire life, yet had never encountered such a situation!
A heavenly treasure… had actually… moved!
Xu Yangyi’s chest suddenly heaved up and down. In this instant, all his qi had been sealed. He’d never heard about this kind of scenario! It was never explained in any book, case file, or teaching material! Furthermore… and more importantly…
He could feel the blood inside his body boiling. Together with this strange black arm, it was actually… resonating!!! Like a child meeting its mother!
Soon afterwards, in less than a second, countless scenes flooded Xu Yangyi’s mind like a tide! Like so, he maintained his posture of moments prior. Even the expression in his eyes hadn’t changed. He calmly stood there in place.
His consciousness seemed to be in an extremely distant space, looking over these images with a god’s perspective.
He saw… a grand expanse. An odd stone forest stood at the ground. Profound talismans were carved on the floor, each one tens of meters in size. Six monstrous cauldrons floated in the air. These six cauldrons… were very peculiar. One of them was the familiar four-sided four-legged cauldron. It was carved with an untold number of totems. The others could no longer be said to be cauldrons. Xu Yangyi could see that one of them was a bone… a demonbeast bone no less than several meters in size! Yet at its side, a seemingly compass-like item was vaguely concealed.
Xu Yangyi’s line of sight was yanked away. He saw in these cauldrons’ surroundings… hundreds of cultivators!
“Puh!” At the same time he saw this image, all his blood and qi billowed over and over. He couldn’t control himself from spraying out a mouthful of blood!
“Kid!” Gao Muya’s eyes were bloodshot. He wasn’t worried about Xu Yangyi, but rather worried that such an anomaly had occurred with this greatest masterpiece in artificing history! Why hadn’t it happened to him?
“What’s going on with you?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t reply. Presently, his soul seemed to leave his body. External objects were simply left unseen. He could only see these fragmented scenes in his mind.
What caused him to cough blood were these hundreds of cultivators… Even if he glanced at them in a memory, any one of them brought his foundation to instability. He saw… everyone standing in the air, a domain of black primordial chaos behind them. Countless black crows flew out. There was someone standing on a qilin. He held the air of an immortal, and the Dao was entrenched in his bones. There was a thin and frail old woman sitting upright on a flying skull that was over ten meters in size. Two green flames roved in the skull’s eye sockets, going straight to the horizon.
In memories, realm couldn’t be sensed. However, intuition told him that any one of these people was a powerhouse that could almost contend with Xiaoqing! There was no “why”. It was merely because of the bodily sensation and feelings he gained from this scene!
Swish! The scene turned again. He saw… a light beam bounding towards the heavens!
This light beam… perhaps it was a hundred kilometers in scope! And in this light beam… there was a bridge of heaven and earth!
Still, bridge wasn’t appropriate. To be exact, it was a flight of stairs… A stairwell to heaven! And these cultivators seemed to be waiting on this stairwell to take shape!
“Young fellow! Kid! Wake up!!!” Amidst his haziness, a familiar voice echoed at his ear side, faintly discernible. He suddenly exhaled. Cold sweat saturated his clothes, and he turned back from these scenes.
His mind was spinning in dizziness. That final scene was too dreadful… These were ancient cultivators? They were so strong… that even separated by thousands of years and observed from another space, they caused one’s heart to tremble in fear! Yet so many ancient cultivators that could compare with Xiaoqing had come together… Why?
This… was surely the memory remnants of the arm’s master. If so… in other words… this was the End of the Han. The Han dynasty’s end… was when all cultivators disappeared? Could it be… that they had walked up that stairwell? Yet where did that stairwell lead?
In Xu Yangyi’s mind, these questions flitted past almost uncontrollably until he felt his temples swell with pain. Two hands kneaded his temples. He then opened his eyes.
In front of him was a field of golden flowers. His complexion was pale, and he was gritting his teeth, wishing to speak. All of a sudden, he fell into a daze.
Just now… his temples were being massaged by two hands!
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