HSSB945: Those who arrive first may not succeed, the able takes all
After glancing at those of Three Foot Mountain, Yan Zhaoge turned, returning to the main entrance of the Daoist temple.
"The trees planted by predecessors give descendants shelter. This Yan will be entering your manor."
Entering the temple, Yan Zhaoge saw a tree within. It was not huge but was ancient, its leaves and branches long since having wilted.
While there was still some greenness to it, its roots should long since have gone dry.
"Ancestral Mulberry Tree," Yan Zhaoge slowly nodded.
The leaves of this spiritual tree possessed a special fragrance. As martial practitioners cultivated beneath it, it would nourish their spirits and replenish their qi.
Yan Zhaoge had once heard Mu Jun mentioning that such trees were commonly planted in the current World beyond Worlds.
Still, Yan Zhaoge could basically determine that this Ancestral Mulberry Tree was likely already over ten thousand years old.
The timeflow in this cave manor was much slower than that of the World beyond Worlds itself.
From the looks of it, it was more possible that this Ancestral Mulberry Tree had existed in pre-Great Calamity times.
In that case, this Daoist temple would probably have existed before the Great Calamity as well.
It was just unknown if its master had died as a result of the Great Calamity or for some other reason.
Yan Zhaoge, Ah Hu and Pan-Pan entered the main hall of the Daoist temple. There, they did not see idols of the founders of the Three Clear lineages as it was instead completely bare within.
After they had entered, variations immediately occurred amidst the space before them.
All-encompassing yellow sand arose within the hall, obscuring the heavens and earth.
The space shockingly formed a world that could project the scenes of myriad things.
While its original owner had long since departed with so many years having passed, it was still able to birth these numerous intricate images. It was truly worthy of admiration indeed.
The yellow sandstorm was not any inferior in power to the Baleful Black Devils from the Wilderness Sea outside that they had experienced earlier.
Each of these specks of sand shone brightly like crystals.
Any single one of them would be sufficient to penetrate through the well-tempered fleshly body of a Martial Saint.
As a sandstorm descended, it would be able to riddle one's body with holes.
It was so terrifying such that even with Yan Zhaoge's strength, he would not forcibly resist this head-on with his body.
"Young Master, the original owner of this place must have had an extremely powerful cultivation base. Where could he have come from?" Ah Hu pulled back the corners of his lips.
Yan Zhaoge flashed the Heaven Swallowing Earth Devouring Box, clapping on the sword box as its lid opened, an ancient bronze sword that flickered with black light flying out from within.
As the Evil Sword Taotie entered his hand, Yan Zhaoge made a hand-seal, the brutal black light instantly transforming into a black hole which devoured the yellow sand before him.
The yellow sand swept over from all directions with mighty gusts of wind, hacking through space as it resisted the suction force of the black hole.
While part of the wind and sand was devoured by the black hole, there was also much of it which broke through the obstruction of the black sword-light, still attacking towards Yan Zhaoge's group.
Yan Zhaoge's expression did not change as all-encompassing golden light slowly arose above his head.
The Extreme Yang Seal appeared, hanging high overhead with streaks of golden light descending as they kept the remnant sandstorm at bay.
Yan Zhaoge brandished the Evil Sword Taotie, the vicious black sword-light switching from defence to offence.
The sword-intent of the Immortal Ending Sword that could extinguish all things was merged within, causing the sharpness of the Evil Sword Taotie to become more fierce and vicious as it hacked apart the sand, opening a path forward.
Yan Zhaoge resumed his advance even as he said, "If I am not wrong, the former owner of this cave manor was at least an expert who had already opened the door to Immortality. As for his cultivation realm, I am unable to ascertain that."
If not for this, it would be impossible that the restrictions here would still be so mighty and effective beneath the corrosive influence of time after so many long years.
Ah Hu's eyes instantly shone, "Young Master, could there be an Immortal Artifact here just like in the Dim Radiant Mausoleum?"
Yan Zhaoge opened a path forward while casually answering, "Unlikely. The original owner did not perish here, instead having left and never returned. Even if he is dead, he would have died outside."
"Generally speaking, people bring along their important treasures with them."
The forging of the Evil Sword Taotie by Ancestor Hei was truly coincidental, an extremely rare case.
Ah Hu scratched his head, "Young Master, isn't it then that there also isn't much hope of you finding a supreme martial art of the Grand Clear direct lineage here?"
Yan Zhaoge said, "Maybe not. From the looks of the outer courtyard, it was not just one person who lived here. The master of this place should have had disciples to teach too. If we can find where they stayed, we might gain something then."
"That's true," Ah Hu nodded as he could not help but smile as he looked at the yellow sand gradually being cleared away by Yan Zhaoge, "Young Master, with you opening the path, it will be much more convenient for those of Three Foot Mountain when they arrive later."
Yan Zhaoge said nonchalantly, "It is fine, let them come. Those who arrive first may not succeed, the able takes all. We will all just be relying on our abilities. Since they are not my opponent, what does it matter if I end up making it more convenient for them?"
As he spoke, the sandstorm up ahead suddenly dissipated.
However, a strange river appeared before them. The river water whistled as it surged over towards Yan Zhaoge!
Yan Zhaoge did not cease in his footsteps as he still protected himself with the Extreme Yang Seal, next utilising the Evil Sword Taotie as the river water was devoured where the sword-light passed.
Still, that river water was clearly far from ordinary.
Yan Zhaoge actually felt the Evil Sword Taotie that he was holding becoming denser somewhat.
Also, it was getting heavier and heavier!
"Water of Heavy River?" Yan Zhaoge realised.
There was a river in pre-Great Calamity times known as the Heavy River. As its name suggested, its river water was extremely heavy. Just a single drop of it had the weight of over a hundred thousand kilograms.
The earth could not bear such a weight as it was only able to flow underground.
In pre-Great Calamity times, it had been said, "Starry River in the sky, Heavy River in the earth."
This referred to the water of the Heavy River.
The master of this Daoist temple had clearly obtained a small branch of water from the Heavy River through his own miraculous means and shifted it to this cave manor.
"While this cannot stop me, I will still have to spend some time on it," Yan Zhaoge smacked his lips, retracting the sword-light of the Evil Sword Taotie that he held and condensing it at a single point.
That single point became incomparably heavy, even heavier than the water of the Heavy River!
A strand of white light was emitted from the tip of the black sword.
Combined with the sword-intent of the Immortal Ending Sword, the vicious sword-intent forcibly hacked through the river water that blocked Yan Zhaoge's path, allowing him to continue forward.
Still, this caused Yan Zhaoge's rate of advance to be much lower.
When he had finished breaking through the great river before him, the scenes before him changed once more as it was golden flames that had now appeared.
These golden flames looked exceptionally tranquil without any feeling of violence or restlessness at all as it was like multiple golden lotuses were blooming together.
"Miraculous Fire Golden Lotus," Yan Zhaoge raised his brows slightly, not halting as he continued his advance.
Just as he approached, those golden lotuses that had originally appeared tranquil mightily exploded, transforming into boundless golden flames which sought to devour him.
Yan Zhaoge punched distantly forward, the Extreme Yang Seal above his head no longer serving merely as protection as it forcibly retaliated, colliding head-on with the incoming golden flames.
As the golden fire erupted, it could not harm the Extreme Yang Seal as it was mostly dispelled by it. Still, some remnant fire still surged over towards Yan Zhaoge.
Yan Zhaoge wielded the Evil Sword Taotie now in taking care of this, the black sword-light devouring all things as that fiery golden light was devoured as well.
As he walked, he broke through the multiple lotuses of flame that stood in his path.
Partway through his advance, his heart suddenly jolted.
Turning to look behind him, Yan Zhaoge indeed saw golden sunlight flickering far behind.
A three-footed golden crow entered his field of vision.