Whose was that cold voice?
Upon hearing this question, everyone was stunned.
Was this even needed to be asked? Of course this was the sword tomb’s explanation aid, to prompt the participant to carry on the test according to the rules. What else could it be? Was this even a problem?
However, soon, when they carefully thought about it, they finally found the problem.
Explaining the rules for the participants and prompting them to carry forward the procedure… these were just the function of the sound, not its identity.
In other words, whose voice was explaining the rules and prompting the participants?
There was a lot of possibilities. For example, it could be an artificially refined, intelligent creature, or maybe it could be just a simple voice recording spell… However, what about what it said a moment ago!?
"Due to unexpected change, temporary changes were done to the eight virtues trial. All the trial results from the previous four gates would be accumulated in this trial. Anyone who passes this trial also passes the previous four trials, therefore, winning the last five virtues."
No matter how hard this voice tried to conceal it, it was hard not to think about it when they pondered it over again. For the ancient sword tomb, Liu Li destroying the four gates was undoubtedly an accident; the master of the tomb couldn’t expect that someone would actually be so boorish. And even if it was expected, the five into one reaction was too bizarre… In any case, the obvious implication was that, there was an intelligent being who was controlling the overall situation from behind.
"But so what? What is the relation between this and your conclusion?"
One of the vice team leaders of the Shengjing Sect, Wangyue Luanyun, could not help but ask, "Isn’t it very normal for an intelligent being to exist in a true immortal level ancient sword tomb? Intelligent beings are everywhere, what’s so strange about it?"
"What’s so strange about it?" Wang Lu chuckled. "If there’s an intelligent life, why is there a need to design this b*llshit eight virtues trial?"
Seeing that many people still didn’t get it, Wang Lu patiently explained, "The rules of these eight virtues trials are cumbersome and rigorous. They were designed to be able to operate even if no one runs them. And in the general mechanism design, there’s no need to add an intelligent being as an aid, because there’s an obvious conflict between the strict and careful rules and the autonomy of an intelligent being."
Upon hearing about this explanation, people began to be lost in thought as they pondered about it. One by one, the Ten Thousand Arts Sect people fell into meditation; regarding mechanism design and other things, these people have done a lot of research. They especially have done a lot of homework before coming to this ancient sword tomb.
"In other words, for the trial of this level, this intelligent being is likely an intruder, not the original set up."
Wang Lu asked, "And then? Being invaded by a foreign intruder, this eight virtues trial has lost its original intention, and instead carried the will of the intruder."
Jianglu pondered out loud, "If we start to analyze from the design… from the point of view of the sword tomb master, designing the levels and trials should be to choose a talent, or a fated person to inherit, but these eight trials…"
Wang Lu said, "Without the existence of this strange intelligent being, it can also be understood that after a long period of time, the established procedures have been damaged, resulting in the change in rules, turning into something abnormal that no one could expect it. Such cases are not rare in the Immortal Cultivation World of the Nine Regions. However, since we have realized the existence of this intelligent being, it means that all of these can be adjusted, or even deliberately adjusted. That intelligent being wants to frame us to create internal division so that we end up fighting each other."
"But what good is this for it?"
"Actually, we don’t really need to know what are the benefits for it, but it’s not difficult for us to make rational guess that, as long as we are aware that if something is good for him, it’s probably not good for us."
Jianglu asked, "So you suspect that after this level, not only we might not even obtain the treasure, we might even have to compensate with our lives? And all of the rewards from the previous first three gates are just baits to lure us to continue to play?"
"Otherwise, do you have a better explanation for everything that we’ve been through? The test of virtue has been transformed into an ugly game of exposing human nature; even though I have tried to end the game in an extreme way, I encountered this five gates into one move. It seems like the figure behind this game is exhausting all its mean so that we continue to play."
Upon hearing this, Jianglu suddenly asked, "So you’ve long discovered that something isn’t right? Why didn’t you tell us earlier?"
"I began to realize that something is wrong when the rules of filial piety appeared. At that time, I felt that the antagonism of the test is too strong. Even if the master of the tomb wanted to separate the participants with fit quality from the unfit through internal competition elimination, blatantly sowing discord is just too extreme. But first, I am yet to have the full grasp on things. Secondly, I was also not sure of the control capacity of that person behind the scene. What if I tell you the truth and lightning strikes me dead, leaving my Junior Sisters as widows? So my idea is the same as you were at first, to treat it like normal and try to win. Especially after passing the first level, the half level cultivation base reward is a pretty heavy chip."
Towards this, Jianglu’s reaction was just a cold humph.
Wang Lu said, "However, in the second trial, I quickly realized that things are not that simple. The pointedness of the rules is too strong. The retaliation came too fast, as if it deliberately wanting me to lose. The third trial the situation seemed to turn over again. Therefore, I guessed that, perhaps these eight trials are intended to pit ourselves against each other into a stalemate, so that in each level, we would give it all, to expose the ugliness of human nature to the extreme."
Jianglu pondered for a moment. "This possibility couldn’t be ruled out."
"Now that we are aware of the problem, although we still lack a lot of critical evidence, we can follow this fundamental rule: we do everything contrary to what the enemy wants us to do. If the enemy wants us to continue to play to the end, we must try everything possible to make this game end early."
Upon hearing this, Jianglu suddenly smiled. "So you said you want to stop everybody from passing the trials?"
"Certainly, it’s impossible to stop everyone from passing the trial because the rules do not allow for any side to continue winning, but I think that, at that time, you guys shouldn’t have thought about this. Therefore, regardless of whether you believe it or not, there’s only one choice for me to take."
Jianglu’s smile turned cold, and his calm exterior once again set off waves of pressure. "When everything is decided, the only choice is to use force."
Wang Lu chuckled. "But fighting head-on, I’m not your Shengjing Sect’s opponent. Therefore, without any other choice, I had to take the eight gates as hostage. But you, Senior Brother Power King, would never negotiate with the terrorist, thus, in the ensuing fight, there’s nothing unusual if the hostage is killed."
Jianglu coldly humphed. "What a good calculation! As long as the gates are broken, if your guess is true, then you’d be the hero that saves everyone. But if your guess is incorrect, your Junior Sister Liu Li can also take this opportunity to win the eight virtues trial."
"Yes, it’s indeed a good calculation." Wang Lu bluntly admitted it. "Until just now, I used that reason to legitimately destroy the gates… As a result, it did not hesitate to expose its flaw by making this five gates into one move. That’s when I immediately judged that its control ability is very limited, and can therefore boldly share this thing with you."
Jianglu scoffed with a smile. "At the same time, because everyone got sucked into the shame gate, which surprised you and broke your plan?"
Wang Lu didn’t mince his words. "Therefore, I can only sigh at the fact that even a professional adventurer couldn’t foresee everything. All I can do is to do everything I can to strive for a more advantageous condition for myself. If I can’t win the game, flip the board and try again."
Jianglu said, "Your long winded and endless explanation can indeed provide a good supposition that it’s likely that there’s a malicious figure hiding behind this trial, but still, it lacks the evidence to support it."
"There are some circumstantial pieces of evidence. The simple one is, when we fought with the ancient guardian and entangled in these eight trials, where did Big Sister Zhu Shiyao go?"
Jianglu was stunned, and then he asked in disbelief, "You don’t mean…"
"No. If it’s her, it would not have been this troublesome. In here, at least, she and her sword could be invincible. My problem is we have never seen her and her trace all the way here. Which means that she probably didn’t go all the way. Therefore, from the previous first three levels, whose path do you think is better, Zhu Shiyao’s or ours?"
"If this is a branching path, what do you think is waiting for us, the ancient sword tomb treasure, or a trap?"
"Let’s return to the design intention of this eight virtues trial. If the master of the tomb truly designed this eight virtues, then we can understand that it wanted to choose a person with a personal character that is perfect for it. But since the trial would only cause infighting by exposing the ugliness of human nature, what does it want exactly?"
Jianglu gradually lost his patience towards Wang Lu’s endless questions. "Perhaps it wants us to kill each other?"
"Good guess. Then, the next question is: what good is it for it if we kill each other?"
Jianglu similarly didn’t understand. "What are the advantages?"
"I’m not it, how would I know what are the benefits for it? However, I know that, at least, killing each other is not good for us. Therefore, I said that I hope everyone to drop this level. There’s no need to let that person’s plot prevail."
After he had done saying this sentence, Wang Lu didn’t say anything anymore. He even ignored the eye signal from Zhou Mumu, Hai Yunfan, Zhan Ziye and the others.
In the presence of all, only Jianglu’s attitude was the most important. As long as he acquiescence, this thing could be done.
"I understand." After a long time, Jianglu finally nodded his head. "Although your speculation on this matter still lacks any conclusive evidence, it’s very convincing. Therefore, in light of this, I will let all of our previous tiny frictions off. If in the future there’s evidence to prove everything, my Shengjing Sect would owe you one."
The implication of this was that, of course, if the evidence proved that what he said today was all nonsense, the frictions between the two sects were not just tiny anymore.
However, the next moment, Jianglu changed the subject, "However, you said you want all of us to give up this test, then what about you? Are you also going to give up the test and leave the sword tomb with the others?"