Chapter 77: A Millennium-Old Demon
Xu Yangyi nodded, following Li Zongyuan and walking towards the outside of the door. At this time, he was suddenly struck by a stroke of inspiration. He put to use Wind Brandishes Traces once again, so familiar that he could even perform it in his sleep.
In a twinkling, the air around him unexpectedly produced slight tremblings. Subsequently, he only felt his body lighten. In the space of nearly the stirring of a thought, he arrived at the door!
"Pfft!" Zhang Gongchang, who just happened to be drinking tea, almost sprayed it out.
"Click!" Just as he was about to click his mouse, Li Mu's hand stopped, and he looked at Xu Yangyi in astonishment.
Zhou Tingting opened her mouth wide, gently covering it. Her eyes nearly fell out.
Li Zongyuan's expression was as usual, merely his body seemed to be like this, his soul yet to return to his body. He even maintained his "inviting" gesture, yet his whole head was looking towards Xu Yangyi's location.
A moment ago, everyone only heard a sound. In the air, it appeared to produce a light, momentary buzzing. In the next second, Xu Yangyi was already standing at the door! In the 700-meter-sized basement… from where they were, there was still a distance from the door of over a hundred meters!
What was this speed?
"Gulp…" Zhang Gongchang swallowed his saliva, his hand trembling as he stood up. He he had seen quite clearly that Xu Yangyi was at the initial stage of Qi Condensation. Yet this kind of speed… was something that a number of middle-stage cultivators couldn't wish of attaining! Perhaps even late-stage cultivators would have trouble!
Thus… was he borrowing the name of alchemy to cultivate an arcane effort?
What kind of goddamn perverted arcane effort was this! Among initial-stage cultivators, this speed was in the defiance of the heavens! However, if not for alchemy… why recruit them? Too much cash to burn?
"Master…" Under the spell of shock, the title that Li Zongyuan hadn't yelled in more than half a year couldn't be helped but to be shouted once again: "Y-you're…"
However, no one paid attention to his address. Because everyone was looking at Xu Yangyi in astonishment. This was strength, a strength displayed before everyone!
Xu Yangyi didn't answer him at all, but rather his gaze fluctuated as he looked at his foot. He himself felt shock. Within his heart, there was an accompanied pleasant surprise and a feeling that the bitterness had come to an end and the sweetness was beginning. Ultimately, all kinds of complex emotions transformed into placid waters.
Long solitary had tempered his heart simultaneously. It caused his heart to be slowly carved into a boulder. A cold pond. Joy or fury were not given form in color, unexcited by billowing waves.
Heavens Law didn't give them an opportunity to meditate; the harvests of the first meditation were the greatest.
It could be the the most dreadful foe facing all people in the path of cultivation. It wasn't a heart devil and it wasn't external force. It wasn't other cultivators, and it moreover wasn't a lofty genius in the same stage.
Rather… it was loneliness.
It was startling. The direct use of the Wind Brandishes Traces as a divine ability brought a swiftness that he didn't dare to imagine!
It was delightful. As expected from this divine ability explained by the Eternal Alchemy Canon. He understood now why he had never heard an explanation of any divine ability from this arcane effort. While the Eternal Alchemy Canon spoke of controlling fire, medicine placement, congealing the pill, and forming the pill as divine abilities, the present move was his steep increase in confidence towards this arcane effort.
It was just as expected, it ought to be as such… The Burning Heavens Revelation of a Core Formation master was merely a minor section of the Eternal Alchemy Canon. If this arcane effort wasn't a true immortal craft, why the heck was he cultivating it?
"What's the matter?" He looked at Li Zongyuan who was as dumb as a wooden chicken and raised a brow and asked. He kept on feeling something was off, and he faintly furrowed his brows. With a gentle beckon of his hand, the pack of cigarettes on the other's chest easily floated over.
Xu Yangyi's lighter ignited with a click, and a familiar flavor roved into his chest. He inhaled deeply and heard Li Zongyuan's intimately reverent voice: "Master, there are important matters that I hope you can find some time from your busy schedule to take a look at."
Xu Yangyi raised a brow, indicating him to continue speaking.
"It's like this." At this moment, Li Zongyuan was especially deferential, lowering his head and saying: "Master, the affair you entrusted to me is done." He pursed his lips as he glanced at Xu Yangyi, his heart beating wildly.
In the past, it could be said he was still capable of struggling. But now… he simply didn't dare to think of this question!
Xu Yangyi's speed from moments ago could even make middle-stage cultivators who saw it blush with shame! Perhaps only a true son of heaven's pride was able to stand shoulder with him!
Before, he still bore the desire of escape within his heart, but at this instant, these thoughts unconsciously turned lesser bit by bit. His attitude also wasn't that of feigned respect, but rather genuine allegiance.
Not saying anything for ages, Xu Yangyi presently felt a kind of "human" feeling fall on his body. Stroking his chin, his finger like a razor, strands of his beard came fluttering down. He said indifferently: "Who did you find?"
"Yes…" Li Zongyuan's head was wet with cold sweat. He simply dared not to look at the other's face, his voice soft.
Xu Yangyi swept an eye over him, and Li Zongyuan immediately responded: "I-i-it's a… a… possible, possible Core Formation Greater Demon…"
In a flash, he instantly felt the other's gaze land on his body, like solid thunder and lightning, causing his whole body to break out in a cold sweat!
Too frightening… Xu Yangyi's heart sped up into wild palpitations. In the past, he was possibly still only a fierce tiger that had left the mountain. Now, while the fierce tiger had curbed its might, it caused people to feel an even greater trembling within their hearts!
Zhang Gongchang, Li Mu, and the others watched both of Li Zongyuan's legs shiver. The muscle at the corners of their eyes seemed to be also shivering in wake. They didn't know whether or not if they would fare any better before Xu Yangyi.
"A possibility?" Xu Yangyi sat down on a chair, still not opening his mouth. A cup of tea was respectfully placed at the side of his hand. He pursed it to his lips, all the taste buds at the tip of his tongue opening. He clicked his tongue in satisfaction: "I hope you're not mistaken in this matter."
"No, no, no!" Li Zongyuan bounced up like a pincushion and said promptly: "Mister, I really don't know. I-I also changed direction on the road to specifically come here after you said so."
"You aren't a demon; among the demons, besides Blackmountain, Mountainlord, and Droughtbringer who are recorded to be at Core Formation, there also at least three others that can be titled as 'ancestors'. They, cannot be absolutely, categorically provoked!"
"This time, It was one of them that I sought out for assistance… No one had seen it fully activate an arcane effort, and there isn't a person whatsoever that is aware of its realm. Not once has it ever put on airs in front of people… Regardless of Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment, it even treats both in the same kind of manner. Rumor has it that it also treats Core Formation with such manner."
Xu Yangyi laughed, setting down his teacup: "Interesting."
Xu Yangyi raised his chin, hinting for the other to continue, and Li Zongyuan promptly said: "In Mingshui Province… there is a special place called the Four Great Joined Pools. Because of the tremors of the Earth's crust, five lakes linked together to become one. In the middle, there is a dormant volcano that accumulates water inside year round. That ancestor dwells inside it…"
"How long it has lived is unknown. Legend says that it has been alive since the era of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It is also said that it had witnessed the revolt of Emperor Taizu of the Song… It is titled the Demon's Encyclopedia, and moreover it is of the dove faction. Nearly all humans at Foundation Establishment and above have heard of its name. Its Daoist name is Jadewave, yet it is without appellation. Never has it been heard to style itself as a Dao Master, but everyone mutually addresses it as senior."*
"Each year, countless people find it to solve puzzles. It has set down a single rule; if it isn't interested, then five-fold of the decryption expense of the puzzle will be collected. Furthermore, it doesn't accept Chinese currency, but it takes all kinds of precious stones. If it takes interest, then it'll do it for free, however, a single condition of its will have to be agreed to."
Li Zongyuan didn't speak, glancing stealthily at Xu Yangyi. Xu Yangyi was silent for a brief moment and then said: "Based on what you can see, what's its cultivation?"
"I can't say…" Li Zongyuan laughed wryly: "For demons, the stronger the demon form, the harder it'll be to advance… I'm not aware, but has Mister ever heard of the demon's Ming Clan?"
"No." Xu Yangyi shook his head. Heavens Law wouldn't deeply delve into teaching these things. What it had forever taught was how to allow you to continue surviving.
"Mister, a long time ago, when Subei Province was still the State of Pei, King Wen Mou encountered a voice telling him that it was god while he was living in seclusion in the mountains. However, Wen Mou felt the other was a demon playing tricks and chased the other away. This demon that called himself god was the primogenitor of the Ming Clan… Afterwards, they actually took on the stylings of gods, and each appointed clan master and the successive clan master would all call themselves God Ming."**
"Their demon forms are unknown, and there are only some rumors… Nonetheless, it is said the rank is rather high. Their advancements are much more difficult than ours… A great majority of their clan masters in the end linger at the middle and late stages of Foundation Establishment for their entire lives. If I haven't remembered incorrectly, even now, the Ming Clan hasn't produced a Great Circle Foundation Establishment cultivator in several centuries. However, regardless of whoever it is, none dare to disdain them."
"This is because… at the late stage of Foundation Establishment, they can rock Core Formation… Likewise, there isn't anybody who knows of Senior Jadewave's true body… The appearance it takes each time it appears is different… If its true body is incredibly powerful… granted that several thousand years have passed, there's a possibility it's not even Foundation Establishment…"
Xu Yangyi flicked the table ruefully. In the world's grandness, there was nothing too bizarre. This was the true world! A world that ordinary people would eternally be incapable of imagining! Perhaps traveling tourists in the environment never would've expected that in a lake within a volcano beneath their feet, there was a thousand-year-old demon, freely swimming at the lake bottom
How marvelous was such a truth!
His gaze suddenly glimmered. He recalled that endless scale inside the lotus pond and the tremendous tail that blotted out the sky and concealed the earth.
What… was that demon? How long had it lived? A thousand years? Two thousand years? Perhaps… even longer?
In the world's great rivers and vast mountains, what was the number of tremendous monsters that were struggling on their final breaths in hiding?
In the Chongqing Municipality, the world's number one Heavenly Pit was so deep that the bottom could not be seen… The Paracel Islands' Dragon Hole, the world's deepest underwater sinkhole… The Kunlun Mountains' Death Valley that none had ever come out from… Guizhou Province's subterranean cavern, the deepest in the entire world…***
His heart was lit aflame, surging with a matchless expectation for the true world's mysteries.
"Master, it has already received your decryption commission."
Xu Yangyi collected his emotions, and his expression finally turned cautious.
What was an Emperor Armament? It was capable of making the nine-tailed silver fox Vermillion Snow not even dare to desire Core Formation, sending her into furious retreat.
Sure enough… this item was capable of drawing the focus of far too many people.
"Does it have the certainty to solve the mystery?" Xu Yangyi asked gravely.
* Emperor Taizu of Song lived from 927-976
** God Ming = 明神. Can also be translated as Bright God/Bright Spirit etc.
*** These are all real places. I believe this deepest cavern is called the Miao Room.