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“The Dark Lady of the Nine Heavens.” That was the name of this armor. A small row of golden characters floated in front of him.
“Spirit treasure, any realm can don this armor. The armor contains the divine ability ‘Tyrannical Yin Extermination’. In a single breath, it can disintegrate all divine abilities of those below the wielder’s realm.”
“The paired wheels contain the divine ability ‘Descending Devil Summons Destruction’. All those below the realm of the one wearing this armor will be left without any means of survival.”
“The flying shield contains the divine ability ‘Immortal Parallel’. All surrounding qi is automatically absorbed.”
“This set of three can be called… ‘Gonggong Ruins Spirit, Casts Shadow’. Altogether, there are three uses. Presently, only two remain.”
There was no unnecessary explanation. Simply the two words of “spirit treasure” abruptly caused Xu Yangyi’s breathing to become a shade rushed.
In the modern era, this was something that the entire cultivation world had only heard about, an item left unseen! Even Grandmaster Gao Muya had said that Daomaster Earthcleaver had tried to forge such a treasure four times in a row without success, but here in this place… there was actually a set!
The only unsuitable point was that the spirit treasure was a set of battle armor for women. The appearance of male battle armor in Xiaoqing’s treasury would be strange.
Furthermore… even discounting the words “spirit treasure”... the value of this treasure set undoubtedly surpassed the value of both the Shadowlumen Armor and Falling Moon in his possession!
Any of the contained divine abilities were absolute sure-kill moves! Especially the set of three’s “Gonggong Ruins Spirit, Casts Shadow”…
Xu Yangyi took a deep breath. He didn’t know what “Ruins Spirit, Casts Shadow” meant, but he did know Gonggong! If not for Gonggong smashing into Buzhou Mountain, how did Nuwa come to repair the heavens? How did humanity gradually increase in number?
Although this was only a myth… Xiaoqing and Jiang Shang had both emerged. All along, Xu Yangyi held his doubts concerning the veracity of this legend.
Was is truly a legend?
Or… had someone intentionally passed it down?
“Master.” Li Zongyuan’s eyes were reddened, and he cawed hoarsely, “T-This set of spirit treasures… if it was made for a man… it would be practically made for you…”
“Perhaps…” Xu Yangyi fiercely clenched his fists and pretended to laugh gently, “Keep going.”
He decided to abandon this armor. This set of spirit treasures didn’t explain any realm that the divine abilities covered.
This time, be it his Master-Ancestor or Jadesun, both had reminded him with hidden meaning. A war of cultivators was absolutely not fought alone! Even if he had the Xuan-Yuan Sword, he just didn’t have the Foundation Establishment qi to supply it. Xu Yangyi feared that perhaps he would be ground to death in a sea of cultivators.
What he needed now wasn’t a divine relic in a one-versus-one situation, but rather a one-versus-all map-cannon! He dared not confirm whether Xiaoqing held such an item here, but there was at least a hope. The longer one cultivated, the more enemies one had. This was a certainty. As the two Greater Demons Xiaoqing and Fahai left the seal, they absolutely would’ve anticipated being blocked off by countless cultivators.
As he continued to look at treasure after treasure, Xu Yangyi couldn’t help but to be shocked by the preciousness of Xiaoqing’s treasury. It was indeed as she had said. Any one of these items really was enough for him to use for a lifetime.
He had finished looking at all five treasures, yet not a single one of them were suited to his present situation.
Nothing… Xu Yangyi’s brows tightly knitted together. In his heart, a wisp of profound frustration appeared. And yet… with Xiaoqing’s realm, once she came out, and even if she annihilated the world, what was there for her to rejoice int? Where would she still encounter an opponent?
“A chance… All that’s left is the next one…” The demon slayer gritted his teeth and shook his head, dispersing the the frustration in his mind. At least… even if the item in front of him was the Sun-Opener Armor… it was a spirit treasure no longer seen in the modern day! Moreover, there was no worry about using it to protect himself.
Nonetheless, what would the Xingtian Legion do?
He was the father of the Xingtian Legion. Right now… did he want to see his own children die?
His organization had just recently revealed its head. Was it to be beheaded in a war of cultivators? In no manner or situation did he wish for this!
Forcibly pushing down the thoughts in his heart, Xu Yangyi cut his gaze across all the items.
The Spirit Ascending Bamboo, the scorched wood, and the Sun-Opener Armor. Of the other two, one was a drop of water, yet there wasn’t any explanation. The final treasure was an ancient lamp, which likewise didn’t have any explanation.
The last two were the first to be eliminated. His choice could only be from the first three.
Xu Yangyi was silent, not a word leaving his mouth. After a long period of contemplation, the scorched wood was excluded as well. Only one could be selected among the remaining two… His gaze fell on the Spirit Ascending Bamboo and the Sun-Opener Armor, but he said nothing more.
The Dark Lady of the Nine Heavens… obviously, this was a battle armor that Xiaoqing had once used, a magik treasure that a greater demon had donned throughout the ages… Above all, it was also a spirit treasure! Its value was difficult to assess!
His hesitation… stemmed from the fact this was female battle armor. If he desired to train in its divine arts, did he first have to castrate himself?
And yet there was the Spirit Ascending Bamboo. In the same vein, it was a treasure offered by the two leaders of Daoism to protect the nation in that long ago age. How did it differ?
In any case, the present era was the End of Days! Not even mentioning the Voidspirit Immortal Physique, perhaps no one would even know about spirit roots. Apart from the noble clans that had over 500 years of inheritances, perhaps 90% of people in the cultivation world didn’t know what this specifically was.
He studied the two items for an extended period with great focus. Ultimately, he sighed and stretched his hand towards the Spirit Ascending Bamboo.
To say the least, this was his intention.
Maybe… Heavens Law headquarters’ cultivation database would have something about it…
Jingle… Just as his hand touched the Spirit Ascending Bamboo, Xiaoqing’s key flared with misty azure light. The surroundings of the Spirit Ascending Bamboo seemed to be dispelled like a layer of muslin. In an instant, an extremely dense spiritual force gushed out all around!
This spiritual force was completely different from the pure-white spiritual force that he had absorbed before. It… an azure-wooden color! As he stood before the Spirit Ascending Bamboo, he now seemed to face a vast primal forest! He could even smell the aroma of plants in the air!
“This… is wood qi?” Li Zongyuan said uncertainly. At the same time, Xu Yangyi’s entire body echoed with an odd swishing noise!
Xu Yangyi looked at his hand in shock. Green leaves surfaced on his hand once more, but this time the situation was much more serious!
Not only did the leaves sprout on his hand, his face and body had almost completely transformed with green leaves, like a long drought meeting sweet rain! Unexpectedly, there wasn’t the slightest rejection!
Due to his trained reflexes, Xu Yangyi’s hand immediately pulled back.
“Demon… ization…” Li Zongyuan exhaled sharply. Before his voice even fell, his pupils suddenly opened wide, and he cried out in alarm, “Master! Master! W-Watch out!”
Li Zongyuan’s screech was unneeded. At the same time, Xu Yangyi already saw jade-green qi, incomparably pure, come out from the Spirit Ascending Bamboo’s seal that had been cut open by the key. Without warning, this qi rushed into the heart of the five treasures!
In the hundred-meter-sized space, the five treasures floated at the cave roof, partitioned in the shape of a pentagram. At each ten-meter separation, this pure azure-jade qi was extraordinarily dazzling. It spread to the center of the five treasures.
Boom… A faint tremor echoed throughout the entire cavern. Following this quake… the entire cave shook! Akin to a faint earthquake!
Needless of consideration, Xu Yangyi immediately assumed a stance to welcome an enemy. Both of Li Zongyuan’s eyes shrunk, and his tongue suddenly extended by several meters. He was back-to-back with Xu Yangyi and looking all around vigilantly.
However… there was nothing.
Five minutes… ten minutes… fifteen minutes… After no less than half an hour, Xu Yangyi then lowered his fists and waved afterwards. The Vajra Formation he had once used in Danxia Temple appeared before his eyes once again.
No one spoke. He narrowed his eyes and looked towards the location where the azure-jade qi was creeping towards.
In that place… was a stone.
At first, he believed it to be a stone. In a rock cave, such a stone was all too common. But now that he looked carefully, he came to a fast conclusion that this object was by no means a rock! At the very least, it wasn’t an ordinary rock!
It… seemed to be injected with blood. Its surface was flowing and roaming with brilliance. Furthermore… the rock expanded and contracted as it pulsed!
Bump… Bump… In the wake of this stone’s palpitations, surrounding stone fragments fell down piece by piece. This stone wasn’t large, only the size of fist. If one didn’t look carefully now, they simply wouldn’t see that this rock… seemed to be trying to struggle free from the cave roof! Furthermore… this stone seemed like a moving sponge! The supremely pure wood qi from moments ago was now gone without a trace! And following the disappearance of the wood qi, the leaves on Xu Yangyi’s body returned from whence they as if they had never emerged.
“Run!” Xu Yangyi was absent of the slightest hesitation. He roared gutturally, and his left hand immediately swiped towards the Spirit Ascending Bamboo!
In this cavern… there was an ancient demon!
The five magik treasures were merely a mask. What… was this place truly concealing?! Nonetheless, Xu Yangyi’s hand simply failed to capture the Spirit Ascending Bamboo.
The sensation of dried-up pine entering the hand was direct and unquestionable. He urged strength through his hand, yet he was unable to snap the treasure free!
“M-M-Master…” Li Zongyuan’s voice trembled. As if he had laid eyes upon a ghost, he stared fixedly at the place where Xu Yangyi’s hand and the Spirit Ascending Bamboo met, unable to form speech.
Xu Yangyi clenched his teeth deathly tight and likewise looked at his hand.
His hand had grabbed onto something… but it was not the Spirit Ascending Bamboo!
It was a hand.
Spotlessly white like jade, a skeletal hand without an iota of skin or flesh!
“This…” His gaze was like fire, because the entire cave… had now transformed…
At the roof of the cavern, stones clattered and fell down, one after another. Anyone could clearly see that the stones were floating, yet there was a murky black hole in the surroundings!
Above the original cavern ceiling, there was another cave top!
Xiaoqing… had buried a few things above.
Xu Yangyi’s face was like cold ice. He was already exercising his full power, not even hesitating to activate the Ketu-Rahu Sword, but… just as his spiritual force cycled, it scattered at once!
Not to speak of reaching the first activation node, the skeletal hand had seized him. His spiritual force was unable to be summoned at all!
What in the world was this!
At the heart of the five magik treasures, the stone’s pulsing gradually intensified. In the wake of its violent throbs, the surrounding rocks continued to descend!
“It’s hollow.” Xu Yangyi locked his eyes on the cave roof. It was surprisingly hollow! Beyond was a second level! They had merely seen the cave ceiling that Xiaoqing had created! But now, as all stones had almost fallen down, something had appeared…
A skeleton of an unknown number of years!
All that was remained of it was bone, dead since long ago. Like so, it had been nailed to the cave ceiling by someone. Like Wei Zhongxian, its head and limbs were separated by no less than ten meters and nailed into different places by pitch-black bones.
It was a mystery as to how long time had passed these nails of black bone, yet one could still see wisps of black qi twisting on their surfaces. Sounds like hisses from the Yellow Springs circled the surroundings of these bone nails as before. Even just hearing these malefic snarls almost caused Li Zongyuan to vomit continuously. His spiritual sense and qi sea were both infected by skin-crawling dread and vehement nausea.
“W-What is this…” Li Zongyuan forced himself to get a grip and unconsciously hid behind Xu Yangyi. “Absolutely horrific… What was this person’s sin…”
1. “The Dark Lady of the Nine Heavens” refers to 九天玄女. In Chinese myth, she is known as the goddess of war, sex, and longevity. This name has been translated as “Mysterious Lady” as well.
2. I have mentioned this before, but Gonggong is the Chinese god of water.
3. “Sun-Opener - 开阳” based on one of the stars of the Big Dipper. Zeta Ursae Majoris.
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