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Book 2: The Golden Lock of the Eight Gates

Chapter 43: The Precious Jade at the Heart of the Mine


Zhong Shan had just learned from Beiqingsi a couple days ago that Jiangshi were created by a person with nine yin meridians being buried where yin was most concentrated. After a hundred years, it absorbed all the yin elements from heaven and earth and turned into a state of neither living nor dying. It could further evolve to a Copper Jiangshi.

One level above the Copper Jiangshi was the Silver Jiangshi, which could do massive damage. It could either be eliminated or controlled by someone. The Gold Jiangshi was one more level higher. It could fly and melt into the ground. It was quite amazing.

It was rare to see a Silver Jiangshi. Gold Jiangshi were even more scarce, almost only mentioned in legends. As for whether any other level above the Gold Jiangshi existed, no one knew for sure.



The shadow double followed the Gold Jiangshi, sinking deeper and deeper into the ground.

The Gold Jiangshi seemed to know where the treasure was located. It zigzagged with Zhong Shan’s double tailing behind. As they went deeper, the soil and rock formation became denser making it more difficult for the shadow double to keep up.

After a while, just as Zhong Shan’s double was about to lose the Gold Jiangshi, it stopped.

A large amount of spirit energy was gathered in one place. It was even more condensed than in the Flaming Fruit Cave Paradise back at the Kaiyang School. So was there treasure here as well?

Zhong Shan’s double moved closer. Suddenly, bright lights broke through the surrounding darkness.

Red and blue lights sparkled deep underground.

Spirit Stones, these were Spirit Stones, both Spirit Sun Stones and Spirit Moon Stones. Tons of Spirit Stones lined the place as far as the eye could see. Was this a Spirit Stone mine?

Even if it was a mine, all the Spirit Stones were strangely individual stones, not lumped together.

The Gold Jiangshi stopped right in front of the Spirit Stone mine. Zhong Shan’s double knew in his heart that he had found it.

He had found the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square. Zhong Shan had also inquired Beiqingsi about the Spirit Stone mine in the past couple days. In general, there would be either a Spirit Sun Stone mine or a Spirit Moon Stone mine. It was almost impossible to have both mines coexisting like this one.

Then, it was without a doubt where the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square was located. In , it had mentioned that once the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square formed, all the spirit energy and fortune from its surrounding would gather in that place without thinning nor dispersing.

All the spirit stones here must have converged here because of the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square. The Jade Square must be here, deep inside these endless spirit stones.

But, why did the Gold Jiangshi stop?

As Zhong Shan’s double puzzled over this fact.

“Boom~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”

The Gold Jiangshi abruptly stretched out its right arm. A golden beam shot out from its right fist towards the endless spirit stones.

It produced a gigantic bang as the sound wave was trapped underground. In the beam’s wake, a path had been blown open inside the mine.

The Gold Jiangshi moved forward, then, another golden beam shot out from its fist. The Gold Jiangshi moved deeper inside the mine.

The Gold Jiangshi could move easily inside the dirt, yet it couldn’t move forward inside the Spirit Stone mine?

Zhong Shan’s double was delighted to see the scene. It was wonderful!

The Gold Jiangshi could only move forward by breaking open the Spirit Stone mine. However, Zhong Shan’s double could move easily inside the mine since there were many cracks in between the Stones. He could move much faster than in the dirt.

In the blink of an eye, a black shadow dashed out like a ghost besides the Gold Jiangshi.

Shortly thereafter, Zhong Shan’s double was already at the center of the mine.

At the same time, above ground, Mr. Shi, with the bloody heart in his hand, suddenly opened his eyes with a look of dismay.

“Mr. Shi, have you discovered anything?” The emperor asked.

Mr. Shi looked at the emperor but didn’t speak. He closed his eyes again and continued to direct the Gold Jiangshi.

Others in the group were very unhappy at his rude behavior towards the emperor, but the emperor himself wasn’t annoyed at all and continued to wait patiently.

The Gold Jiangshi kept moving forward through the Spirit Stones. Yet, the speed of Zhong Shan’s double was ten, or a hundred folds faster. He had moved about 5000 meters in no time.

Feeling the converging spirit energy, he moved faster and faster. After a short while, Zhong Shan’s shadow double came to a halt.

He had already seen the thing he most desired.

It was right at the center of Spirit Stone mine. There was no more Spirit Stones. Inside a spherical area of about 3 meters diameter, the spirit energy was so thick that it had turned to liquid. The dense spirit energy, or rather spirit liquid, was surrounding an object in the middle.

It was a round jade piece the size of a human head, multicolored, with nine different colored dragons embossed on it. Each dragon was a different color, there were nine colors altogether.

The nine dragons circled around the jade piece as if they could fly out at any moment, yet they seemed reluctant to do so. Zhong Shan’s double felt that they were actually all alive.

This is it. The Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square!

Zhong Shan’s double was exuberant.

The sound of explosions echoed from behind him.

It was the Gold Jiangshi, it was coming. Zhong Shan’s double immediately turned his shadow arm into a hand and reached for the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square inside the spirit liquid.

With his hand inside the spirit liquid, a large amount of spirit energy tried to squeeze into his body.

He widened his eyes, just one drop of spirit liquid would probably be enough to blow himself up.

He waved his storage bracelet, the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square suddenly disappeared into the bracelet.

At that instant, the spirit liquid seemed to have lost cohesion, turning into gas. It became a strong spirit energy jet stream, quickly dispersing through the cracks inside the mine in all directions.

The whole mine shook from the shockwave.

The Gold Jiangshi abruptly paused. Mr. Shi above ground also had a change of expression, showing anger and anxiety. Mr. Shi knew that the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square had been taken by someone else. It was the black shadow. What was that black shadow?

The appalled Mr. Shi directed the Gold Jiangshi to rush to the center of the mine. He had to get the jade piece back to keep his promise to the emperor.

However, Zhong Shan’s double had no intention to wait for the Jiangshi to reach him.  

After retrieving the jade piece, Zhong Shan’s double didn’t even care about all the Spirit Stones around him. He had to leave there as soon as possible since the Jiangshi was closing in.

He turned into a black shadow again and dashed away.

Zhong Shan’s double and his own body had a unique connection. The shadow double could sense where the body was located. He dashed towards the body based on instinct.

When the Gold Jiangshi finally broke through to the center, it discovered that the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square was nowhere to be found. The person who took it away was also nowhere to be found. The surrounding Spirit Stones weren’t damaged at all. Then, how did that person get through here? What was that black shadow? How could anything like this happen?

For the first time, Mr. Shi felt defeated. He had never felt this way even when facing people much powerful than he was. But this time, Mr. Shi felt frustrated; someone had done something that even he himself couldn’t discern and it was in the area that he was best at.

Mr. Shi sighed, directing the Gold Jiangshi to quickly retreat. Mr. Shi above the ground also opened his eyes slowly, with look of unspeakable anguish.

“Mr. Shi, what happened?” The emperor asked.

“Your majesty, I have met someone even more powerful. I wasn’t able to get the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square. I ask your forgiveness.” Mr. Shi frowned and sighed.

“What? You have the Gold Jiangshi which has no equal moving underground. How could it be possible that someone else got it before you? Who could be stronger than a Gold Jiangshi underground?” The person next to the emperor immediately shouted. The other followers also angrily looked at him.

“Silence.” The emperor instantly scolded.

All his followers became quiet, but they looked at Mr. Shi with distrust.

“If Mr. Shi said there’s someone more powerful, then there must be someone more powerful. I believe in Mr. Shi. We didn’t get the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square, but I still have the ‘Five Dragon Jade Seal’. Our Yin Yue Dynasty[1] can do without the Heavenly Nine Dragon Jade Square, but it won’t do without Mr. Shi. Next time, if anyone speaks disrespectfully towards Mr. Shi again, they’ll lose their head!” The emperor said with a stately presence.

Mr. Shi watched coldly without saying a word. His level of practice was much lower than these people, it was only natural for them to look down upon him. The tone of the emperor’s words was obviously to buy his loyalty. Nonetheless, Mr. Shi was a proud and arrogant man, he hadn’t been moved to pledge loyalty simply by these words from the emperor, at least not yet.

“Your majesty, please rest assured that I’ll go get other treasures for you as soon as possible.” Mr. Shi earnestly said.

“Please do, Mr. Shi.” The emperor spoke.

“En.” Mr. Shi nodded, then ignored everyone. He slowly recalled the Gold Jiangshi, then put it away.
 

Footnotes

^ 阴月, pinyin: yin yue, Yin meaning negative energy (yin and yang) and is commonly associated with the moon.  Yue meaning literally “moon.”

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