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“Hisss…” The three-headed serpent flicked out its dark-red tongue and calmly faced Li Zongyuan and Xu Yangyi. Its bean-sized eyes twinkled with a cruel edge. But at that moment, Xiaoqing’s key quietly glimmered, and hazy azure light shot towards the demonbeast’s heads. A black talisman soundlessly appeared.
In the next second, Xu Yangyi’s pupils shrunk. This was because… the azure serpent had actually swelled up like a balloon! It had become as thick as a water bucket, in the blink of an eye! The creature had become somewhere between twenty and thirty meters long! In the space of these transformations, the snake’s heads bit its tail-head and formed a strange ring!
In the center of the ring, a clear and sparkling azure qi manifested, surprisingly taking on the shape of a seed!
“This…” Li Zongyuan exhaled sharply and said shakily, “Senior Xiaoqing… the treasury she spoke of… i-is this snake?”
Xu Yangyi also felt himself stirred with endless emotion. Who would’ve expected that this serpent in itself was the treasury? The trove was in no way inside the cavern as he had believed!
“Go.” Forcibly restraining the rising and falling waves of his heart, he waved his hand and darted into the ring. Li Zongyuan was without further thought and immediately followed into the portal.
The familiar sensation of transference arose. As Xu Yangyi now opened his eyes again, he was unable to contain himself from drawing in a sharp breath, even if he had already experienced Danxia Temple’s depths.
The light of pearls and the essence of gems, flowing light and brimming color!
To use any term or phrase was not enough to capture the scene before their eyes!
They were in a tremendous cavern. Within, talismans shuttled to and fro, leaving behind a splitting headache with a glance. These azure talismans radiated azure light, dyeing the entire abode a verdant expanse.
But this was not the origin of their startlement. Rather, it was the qi… qi in a state of absolute purity! From the moment the stepped in, this qi swiftly rushed into every single one of their pores! It made them feel as if they were soaking inside a hot spring. Li Zongyuan even let out moan in comfort.
“It’s too strong…” After dwelling on the sensation for a minute, Li Zongyuan then opened his eyes reluctantly and looked around the cavern in shock. “W-What the heck is this place… Why is the qi so strong? Even in a Spirit Focusing Formation, I’ve never experienced qi this heavy…”
In kind, Xu Yangyi was surprised. Not to mention Li Zongyuan, even he who enjoyed the long-term use of a high-level Spirit Focusing Formation had also never felt such a terrifyingly pure qi.
This qi… basically didn’t require absorption. Instead, wisps and traces of this qi flooded his body, striving against itself to pour in first! His skin couldn’t resist this power in the slightest!
Not even a minute he had set foot inside the cave and he already felt his cultivation surprisingly begin to slacken! Sliver by sliver, it rose off of him!
Reining in the thought to immediately sit down and cultivate with no small measure of willpower, he sealed off all of his pores and blocked all qi from entering his body.
This qi was just like a drug. All heroin was diluted, and as such, none dared to touch pure heroin. No matter the junkie, there was only the single-character word for death for those who laid hands upon the purest heroin. Qi was also like this.
If he fell to such indulgence and recklessly absorbed all the qi here, perhaps he would immediately reach half-step Foundation Establishment or even straight to Foundation Establishment. His body would immediately explode and he would die, however.
His gaze turned towards the cave roof because the source of all the qi originated from there. With a glance, his vision twinkled, and he took a deep breath, dumbfounded where he stood.
At his side, Li Zongyuan seemed to catch sight of a god and said warblingly, “Heavens… w-what is this…”
On the roof of the hundred-plus-meter-sized cavern, there were five treasures. Surrounding these treasures was a pentagram, the space between each treasure ten meters. The qi that they were emitting were enough to make the heart tremble.
Behind Li Zongyuan and Xu Yangyi was a circular cerulean formation that was two meters all around. It was radiating azure light on the ground.
A branch of azure bamboo that was covered with countless bloody marks. The duo had never heard of this object before, but with a mere glance, the qi inside their bodies began to seethe in an instant! It was like the qi within them wanted to rush out of their bodies and into the azure bamboo!
Swoosh… At the same moment they watched the bamboo with rapt attention, a row of small golden characters slowly floated into view.
“Mortals pass down a legend from the beginning of the Tang. The first time that This Palace’s incarnation went to Chang’an, two lowly cultivators named Li Chunfeng and Yuan Tiangang offered this bamboo and led a thousand low-level cultivators to kneel before my arrival. They implored me to stay far from Chang’an, to defend Li Tang’s golden age. I permitted it.”
“This bamboo is named Spirit Ascending Bamboo. It grows for a thousand years and lives for a thousand years. With another thousand years, it ripens. Implanting it within the body can allow the cultivation of one of the Ten Grand Immortal Physiques, the Voidspirit Physique, to become immortal. A perfect Heavenwood spirit-root.”
“Huff…” A gasp escaped Li Zongyuan’s mouth. Xu Yangyi could only shake his head and smile wryly.
Li Chunfeng… Yuan Tiangang… Who were they?
It could be said that they were the two most famous diviners in China’s history… no, prophets!
They had authored the eternal Pushback Chart, known to all in the last thousand years and perhaps most certainly in the next coming thousand as well! It was reputed as China’s first tome of prophecy! What could Nostradamus be considered? These two deities… no, prophets had even predicted the entry of the Qing soldiers into the Tang dynasty, and Ancestors Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong’s undertaking of the new China!
Legend said that Li Chunfeng had used the Book of Changes and Eight Trigrams to carry out a calculation. Unexpectedly, he was gripped by mania as he began his divination. Possessed by an uncontrollable urge, he went so far as to divine the fate of the Tang more than 2,000 years later. It wasn’t until Yuan Tiangang pushed down on Li Chunfeng’s back and said, “The machinations of the heavens shouldn’t be continually divulged. How about returning to rest?” Due to Tiangang’s action, this miraculous tome was named the Pushback Chart.
The two of them were certainly cultivators, their cultivations certainly not low! Else not, they simply wouldn’t have been able to predict over 2,000 years into the future! Nonetheless, who could’ve expected that Xiaoqing had dismissed them as “low-level cultivators” with a tone of contempt? More unexpectedly, both of them, who were the leaders of Daoism during that era, had actually requested Xiaoqing not to enter Chang’an to protect an era of prosperity!
Xu Yangyi looked wistfully at the bamboo. This was still just Xiaoqing’s incarnation… With a few insignificant words, that proud and lofty ancient existence stood alone in the world. Her godlike silhouette was incomparably distinct.
“Li Zongyuan.” After a long period of silence, Xu Yangyi mustered as much tranquility into his voice as he could and said, “Have you ever heard of the Ten Grand Immortal Physiques?”
“No…” Li Zongyuan resisted the urge to kneel down and worship with great difficulty, his voice was shaking, “b-but… I, I’ve heard about spirit roots…”
“So have I.” Xu Yangyi studied the azure bamboo and said unhurriedly, “In the past Ancient Cultivation age, spirit roots were divided into metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. There were also variation roots like ice and lighting or some others, but now in the modern era… they’ve long since disappeared into the long river of history…”
Shortly afterwards, he stifled his longing to take the branch and shook his head.
He didn’t understand this treasure, so while the bamboo seemed to be pretty awesome, he couldn’t take it.
Perhaps one day in the future this item would be of great assistance to him. Something that even Xiaoqing fancied, a treasure that brought the two leaders of that century’s Daoism, two of China’s greatest prophets to join hands… This Voidspirit Immortal Physique was undoubtedly special. And yet, it wouldn’t aid him in surviving the calamity ahead of him.
The border of Xichuan and Longsu… was bound to already be a simmering pot of conflict as enemies rested on their spears to strike at the crack of dawn! The air of murder filling vast plains!
Xu Yangyi cast his gaze on the second treasure.
It… was a chunk of scorched wood split by lightning. Perfectly straight and blackened, the wood was as thick as a thumb. There didn’t seem to be anything peculiar about this burnt wood, and Li Zongyuan extended his spiritual sense in curiosity. As he inspected it, his face immediately ashened, and cold sweat seemed to rain down from his skin!
“What?” Xu Yangyi faintly knitted his brows, but he quickly discovered that Li Zongyuan’s pupils were gradually turning slack! Li Zongyuan’s spiritual sense was actually showing signs of shattering!
“Fuck!” Xu Yangyi stuck out his hand, intending to wake Li Zongyuan, but just as he made contact, a terribly horrific power forced him away by a hundred meters!
In this transient moment, everything before his eyes seemed to give way to a painting. That of a rainy night infinitely extending into the distance. A young man wearing a Daoist robe and an azure-clothed woman were waging battle in the rain! The pair’s battlefield was not the ground… but rather the clouds!
From time to time, a thousand streaks of jewel-like qi roamed, and demonic qi crowded the air. All around, countless clouds were jolted and scattered. Even moonlight seemed to shake! Xu Yangyi suddenly clutched the key, and the sensation and images happened to vanish. Afterwards, he quickly threw the key at Li Zongyuan and hit the other square on the forehead. In the wake of this blow, a shiver traveled down the length of Li Zongyuan’s entire body, and he went limp and collapsed.
“Are you alright?” The demon slayer asked quietly. Regardless of how Li Zongyuan was in the past, he had still been loyal and faithful. Xu Yangyi wasn’t one to burn bridges after reaching goals.
Li Zongyuan’s lips were blue and black, and he said nothing for a long while. Xu Yangyi took out a bottle of pill elixir and poured it down the toad-demon’s throat. After no less than half an hour, Li Zongyuan regained his wits.
“This… is Celestial Master Zhang’s horsetail whisk…” Realizing what Xu Yangyi wanted to ask, he said shakily, “Not Daofather Zhang Daoling… but… the 30th generation Celestial Master Zhang… Known as the strongest Celestial Master among the Daofathers… Celestial Master Zhang Jixian…”
“Zhang Jixian?” Xu Yangyi pondered in his mind. This person’s name was very strange, but he had no doubt heard of it.
“Master… have you ever heard of ‘Guan Yu Seals Deity’?” Li Zongyuan regained a bit of his consciousness and asked.
As a martial tyrant who sucked at studying, Xu Yangyi naturally shook his head.
“Master… Lord Deity Guan’er was titled ‘Daolord Highpeace’, but this title… was because Emperor Song Huizong asked Ancestor Zhang Jixian to behead an evil rain-dragon. With a talisman, Celestial Master Zhang summoned Guan Yu. In Emperor Song’s great shock, he flicked out a copper coin. This just so happened to be the copper coin of the Chongning period, and so… there was ‘Guan Yu Seals Deity’...”
“To add on, after him, there were no more than eighty to ninety survivors of the Celestial Master bloodline. After him, the Three Great Ancestral Halls of the Celestial Master Daoist Orthodoxy… Greenwall, Dragon-Tiger, and Cranecry were all led under Celestial Master Zhang… He was the second Celestial Master after Zhang Daoling who comprehended the Palmheart Thunder. After him as well… the Palmheart Thunder came to an end…”
Xu Yangyi looked deeply at the scorched wood, “Could it be… that this is a treasure from after Xiaoqing’s incarnation and Celestial Master Zhang’s arcane combat?”
“It’s not a treasure…” Li Zongyuan seemed to recall something and a shudder made its way from his head to his toes. “It… is a souvenir…”
“Primogenitor Xiaoqing’s true body arrived… consuming 900 years of longevity… and bitterly fought Zhang Jixian at the peak of Dragon-Tiger Mountain for seven days and seven nights… Celestial Master Zhang… lost…”
“This is a souvenir… that Senior Xiaoqing left behind…”
Even Xu Yangyi couldn’t help but coldly gasp.
Celestial Master Zhang’s bloodline… what heights of glory did they wield? The commander of Daoism, but… he was named the second person below the Daofather. Unexpectedly, in a situation that none were aware of, he had crossed hands against a 3,600-year-old supreme Greater Demon! And had moreover lost!
This chunk of ordinary scorched wood recorded the splendor of ancient cultivation.
Without continuing to look at it, Xu Yangyi looked towards the third treasure.
This item belonged to a set of magik treasures.
In the instant he looked upon these items, Xu Yangyi’s eyes began to shine.
A set of armor, a serpentine armor and helm that resembled that of the holy warriors he had once saw in a manga. The armor could cover the entire body.
Its left-hand side was set with a ring. To call this loop a ring still wouldn’t be appropriate because the fixture’s outer ring was a blade that dazzled like snow, incredibly sharp.
On the right-hand side, a bird-shaped shield autonomously revolved around the armor from left to right.
1. Pushback Chart (推背图) real book on prophecy. As for whether these prophecies have actually come to pass as said in this passage… I am unsure.
2. Emperor Song Huizong (1082-1135 CE). Not sure about this rain-dragon story, but there is indeed a Chongning period copper coin. Chongning (崇宁) = Highpeace, hence “Daolord Highpeace”.
3. Pretty sure this is a Saint Seiya reference.
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