HSSB887: The leaf of a ginseng fruit
Most people would be unable to recognise the origins of the already shrivelled leaf that Yan Zhaoge was holding.
It was already virtually an object of legend.
In the legends, there was a wondrous tree that bore fruit equivalent to the spiritual root of the heavens and earth.
It grew flowers once every thousand years, bore fruits three thousand years later, saw the fruits ripen after another three thousand years.
In ten thousand years, only thirty fruits would have been produced.
Those who were fortunate enough to get a whiff could live till the age of three hundred and sixty. Those who ate one could live till the age of forty-seven thousand.
The fruits that were produced would fall upon encountering metal, shrivel upon encountering wood, liquidify upon encountering water, burn up upon encountering fire, sink deep in upon encountering earth.
This fruit was known as the ginseng fruit, being a famed spiritual fruit from the Journey to the West.
The owner of the ginseng tree was the legendary ancestor of earth immortals who only paid respects to the heavens and earth and did not worship the Three Purities, the Primordial Suppressing Lord who reigned alongside the world itself.
While it was said that he paid respects only to the heavens and earth, he actually only paid respects to the heavenly dao. The 'earth' was added in order to emphasise the worldly balance that existed.
In other words, in the eyes of this bigwig, 'heavens' were worthy of his worshipping while 'earth' was simply inadequate.
To be fair, this great immortal was indeed one of the peak bigwigs throughout the entire history of Daoism, a true legendary figure.
Still, he and his ginseng tree had already not appeared in this world for a very long time. Even before the Great Calamity, it had already been many long years since news had last been heard of him, with him being virtually an existence of legend.
While the Primordial Suppressing Lord's former dao arena, Five Manor Locale, had still existed back then, there had been few of its lineage.
Following the Great Calamity, it had already completely vanished without a trace. Those of the World beyond Worlds were really unable to determine now if Five Manor Locale still existed.
Still, the foundation of a current peak figure of the World beyond Worlds originated from a portion of the legacy of the Primordial Suppressing Lord.
No one knew whether he was truly of its direct lineage or had become a descendant by unearthing its remnant legacies.
This peak figure was the Primordial Heavenly Emperor of the Five Emperors.
While he had not obtained the full teachings of the Primordial Suppressing Lord, he could still reign dominant beneath the heavens on a level equivalent to the other Emperors.
On seeing the Heaven Earth Divination Formation that Daoist Shi had established, Yan Zhaoge had felt that it seemed to contain traces of the legacy of Five Manor Locale.
It was just that the legacy of Five Manor Locale was rather unique, the records of it in the Martial Repository of the Heavenly Court's Divine Palace that year having been limited. Therefore, he had been unable to immediately confirm it.
Now, however, having found the shrivelled leaf of a Ginseng Tree from Daoist Shi's belongings, Yan Zhaoge was fully certain of it.
The person who had dispatched King Xuanwen, Daoist Shi and Shen Lingzi to the Royal Reed Sea to establish the Heaven Bearing Efficate Formation and look for the Earth Queen was none other than the Primordial Heavenly Emperor.
It was no wonder that the Southeastern Exalt had previously tacitly allowed their side to act freely.
"Those who are able to attain that cultivation realm indeed all possess substantial foundations with powerful strength," Yan Zhaoge thought as he stroked his lower chin, "Before this, few probably knew that aside from the legacy of Five Manor Locale, this Emperor possesses the Aeon Light Heavenly Scripture of the Jade Clear direct lineage as well."
An ancient, metallic seal appeared in his hands that was long and had the shape of a rectangular prism, resembling a short sword though it possessed no blade.
The tip of the sword was blunt with a seal inscribed with patterns that were simple yet abstruse.
It was precisely the high-grade Sacred Artifact that he had obtained from Shen Lingzi, the Light Yin Sword Seal.
An ancient, desolate aura emanated from the ancient seal in the form of a sword, seemingly traversing millennia as it extended to the present.
Yan Zhaoge smiled.
With the Peerless Heavenly Scripture, the incomplete version of the Aeon Light Heavenly Scripture he had previously obtained and this Light Yin Sword Seal, he was highly confident that he would be able to project and reproduce the entire Aeon Light Heavenly Scripture.
While some of the personal interpretations of the Primordial Heavenly Emperor and Shen Lingzi would definitely be integrated within, not being purely the original version, this was already sufficient.
In the midst of cultivating, Yan Zhaoge would be able to use the Peerless Heavenly Scripture to slowly adjust it as necessary.
Still, the Light Yin Sword Seal was still a high-grade Sacred Artifact at the end of the day as it still contained the remnant sword-intent of Shen Lingzi, formerly of the mid Immortal Bridge stage.
Some time and effort would still be needed for him to tame and refine it before obtaining the concept within.
Still, Yan Zhaoge was not in a rush.
After keeping the Light Yin Sword Seal, his gaze fell upon that shrivelled leaf of the Ginseng Tree once more, "A pity, its life force is extinguished…"
The Ginseng Tree was a spiritual seed of the heavens and the earth, the spiritual force contained within being top-tier even amongst the various treasured heavenly trees.
Conversely, though, if its lifeforce had been extinguished, even a deity would be hard pressed to save it.
This leaf that Yan Zhaoge was holding was already shrivelled. While he possessed the Life Creation Heavenly Scripture, he was unable to think of anything at the present moment.
He simply kept the leaf before continuing to check on his other spoils of war.
Very unexpectedly, Guan Lide, a late Immortal Bridge Martial Saint, was actually exceptionally poor.
Yan Zhaoge's spirits inevitably fell somewhat at this.
With Guan Lide's cultivation base and status, having been in the World beyond Worlds for so many years, even the things he travelled around with should logically be very abundant.
From the looks of it now, however, he was even poorer than Gu Zhang and He Dongcheng of the early Immortal Bridge stage.
Aside from his high-grade Sacred Artifact, the Dawn Star Prime Sun Crown, as well as a few other accompanying mid-grade Sacred Artifacts, he did not possess anything else of value, causing Yan Zhaoge to be greatly disappointed.
"It is said that while Guan Lide usually moves and acts alone, he has personal disciples as well."
Yan Zhaoge pondered, "In coming to the Royal Reed Sea, he has always acted personally without any disciples or followers with him. It looks like they must be handling something for him, like helping to guard over a pill furnace, set up a formation, forge an artifact or whatnot."
It was indeed possible that Guan Lide could have been preparing to forge a major treasure.
Perhaps his earlier accumulation had mostly been invested into forging this thing.
Yan Zhaoge smacked his lips. With how Guan Lide had staged a robbery amidst a fire and brought additional danger to Broad Creed Mountain, he felt that he should not stop with just killing him. He should really reciprocate and go invading Guan Lide's residence in return.
Still, with Guan Lide himself having already died now, the Southeastern Exalt would most likely want to protect his descendants.
The dead were already dead. However dissatisfied the Southeastern Exalt was with Guan Lide, it was all already over. At a time like this, the past ties between them would instead serve more of a use.
Being able to understand this, Yan Zhaoge just shrugged, thinking about other matters instead.
"Shen Lingzi, Daoist Shi and King Xuancheng should have left the Royal Reed Sea back then because the Primordial Heavenly Emperor had a new task assigned to them. What could it be?" Yan Zhaoge pondered, "This Emperor has many plans indeed."
While many thoughts circulated in Yan Zhaoge's mind as well, they were not just about sorting out his many new spoils of war.
He was picking out some of the various treasures he had obtained this time so as to pave the way towards a conception of his.
That conception was how to completely bring about the collapse of a wound of the sky.
This was no joke. Yan Zhaoge was truly considering this problem very seriously.
As if proving the importance of this problem Yan Zhaoge was considering, a piece of news was quickly transmitted over from the border.
While they had not fallen to a clear disadvantage in that battle, the attacks of those of the southern Blazing Heaven Territory had instead eased.
Their attacks had only eased. It was not that they had retreated.
On the contrary, after their attacks had eased, they had displayed an intention of advancing deeper into the flanks.
It was as if they were opening up the central battlefield for some entity whilst also preparing for a large scale invasion of the southeastern Yang Heaven Territory.
Yan Zhaoge's first thought upon hearing the news was that the Southern Exalt, Zhuang Shen, was about to personally take to the field.