"Mr. Gu, that's…"
"Treasure! The treasure!"
Everyone sighed with admiration at the look of that ancient sword.
Bai Yunsheng was infatuated with swords, but he would never try to take it by force, not even if he could defeat Gu Yu. It was determined by his disposition. Meanwhile, those of the BIMAUP might be envious at Gu Yu's discovery, but they knew better to focus on the big picture and would not be having funny ideas.
You Yu admired at Gu Yu's good fortune and You Le was the only one submitting to his eagerness and greed. After the initial astonishment settled down, the deputy was the first one to realize the problem. Exchanging a look with the director, they both cried out in a low voice, "Sh*t!"
"Indeed." Bai Yunsheng nodded.
Seven streaks of divine light rose out of the pool, meaning that the other six flying to some unknown corner of the world were six ancient swords unaccounted for—six people out there were about to get very lucky.
Without government control, treasures like these would never be handed out if they fell into the hands of private individuals, regardless of their social status. Things would be much easier if the owners could hide it away. If not, and word got out, it almost always led to disasters.
Because of this, the BIMAUP was actually hoping Gu Yu could stop his probing. The first pool alone came up with seven objects and there were two more to go… would this world be turned upside down after he finished with them all?!
Gu Yu sat all by himself on the side and was recovering his spiritual essence holding a spiritual stone. After quite some time, he picked up the ancient sword and examined it closely.
The average length of a sword differed from one dynasty to another. In the Han era, long swords were 17.9 cun and short swords 10.5 cun 1 , whereas in the Song Dynasty, long swords were 21.3 cun and short swords 15.2 cun 2 .
The length of one chi 3 in the ancient times was not 33 cm as it was currently, but 24 cm instead 4 . Therefore, the expression of "a three-chi double-edged sword" translated to a sword roughly 72 cm in length.
Bai Yunsheng's sword had a blade of 3.3 chi, which was a little under a meter.
As for this one, it was also close to 3.3 chi in length and on the heavy side. The style was rather plain with just a few flame-shaped clouds carved on the blade, which was faintly giving off a burning sensation.
Without inserting any spiritual essence, he swept the sword casually across the air.
Like a hot blade gliding over a bar of butter, the blade travelled all the way without any resistance. The half-meter broken pillar was split in half with one swipe.
Those who had chopped firewood would know that when the axe hacked down, the impact would knock the broken wood away when it was chopped open. However, when this sword sliced down, the stone pillar remained standing where it was, only that now there was a crevice down the middle with black burnt marks.
Gu Yu was genuinely amazed. He used no technique whatsoever and was simply waving it around… it could only mean one thing: the sword was sharp beyond imagination!
Right after that, he activated his spiritual essence and sent in a small streak. Red glow instantly surged out of the blade; the scorching heat could be felt 10 cm away. Gu Yu could not help but let out a low cry of surprise.
There was no mental force imprint in this word, meaning that it hadn't been refined by a specific individual yet.
Wow, that was unbelievable!
This meant this sword could be used by anyone—ordinary people, and cultivators of the acquired, innate, or Human Immortal state. To the ordinary man, it was a magical weapon; to the cultivator of an acquired state, it would enhance their combat capability; to those of the innate state, part of the sword's potential could be put into use; probably only in the hand of a Human Immortal could this sword truly demonstrate its might.
Momentarily, Gu Yu seemed to understand the meaning behind this arrangement of the Youxian Sect: they were giving out equipment for free. Seven swords coming out of one pool was probably also a deliberate design, so that the knowledge of the sect could be spread widely.
Whatever the ancient cultivators' purpose was, Gu Yu admired them for their daring and resolution.
Just then, the others went up to him and the deputy asked, "Mr. Gu, what's the story of this sword?"
"There is no record. I have no idea."
"What about the three pools down there? Anything strange going on?"
"This mountain used to be where an ancient sect stored their treasures. If I guessed it right, there should be relics in the other two pools as well, and quite a few of them at that."
Quite a few!
The director and the deputy almost jumped with terror. Two more explosions with more treasures flying everywhere would probably finish the BIMAUP! They didn't have much choice, though. If this guy wanted to take the treasure, they had no power to stop him.
"In, in that case, are you saying…" asked Old Huang tentatively.
"I'm still considering it." Gu Yu did not try to hide his thoughts and said earnestly, "With a cave of treasure right in front of my eyes, I would be lying if I say I'm not tempted. Um… please give me a moment."
He meant every word.
Fifty numbers were derived from Taichi to represent the world, of which forty-nine could be explained by the Great Dao, leaving one unpredictable number to all the things in the universe. Even the Great Dao did not take it all, let alone a mere cultivator?
Like a wise ancient man once said (not), "Give it a go and you get to upgrade your bike into a motorcycle; slow it down so that you leave some room for future maneuver." Taoism did not talk about karma, but they did believe in undertaking.
"All men had the habit of collecting ordinary objects by the name of wealth, which gives birth to greed, which leads to evil, evil to delusion, delusion to slyness, and slyness to harm, until the trend becomes unstoppable. The wealth is then exhausted and one is back to where they began with empty hands."
In simple terms: if you could not control your appetite and would not stick to your Taoist heart, when everything left you, you would be dumbstruck!
The Youxian Sect had buried their treasure here in Fish Mountain to spread their knowledge to the whole wide world. If he were to empty it here and now, would it be considered as fate… after struggling with the idea for a while, Gu Yu finally made his decision: fine, he would open up two pools only and leave the third for later generations.
That being said, judging by what happened with the first pool, himself alone was not enough to deal with the second one. It was time to call for backup.
Phoenix Mountain, the training field.
A flash of green jumped off a branch seven or eight meters above the ground and landed safely. Immediately after that, the green flash dashed out and squeezed hastily into the bush.
It stopped there, curled up, and stuck out its head to check, its two-pronged tongue sticking in and out of its mouth. It was none other than Xiao Qing itself. After a moment, seeing that no one was walking into the bush, its eyes flickered, apparently quite pleased with itself.
Xiao Qing used to have dark yellow eyes with a gloominess characteristic to cold-blood animals. After living for years in this spiritual-essence-rich environment, its pupils turned emerald green, reminding one of two big green crystal stones.
Similarly, its skin and flesh were also much tougher and its speed record-breaking—we now had a little thruster here.
"Bzzzzz… crack… bzzzz!"
It was still swaggering around when a low, strange noise came from above. The little snake face froze with astonishment and turned around promptly to flee the scene. That was too late. A large net fell down and wrapped it inside.
Xiao Qing twisted around, but not too violently, in case it touched the net by accident. The net was blackish purple in color, and the interwoven threads looked very vivid. However, at a closer look, one would realize that the thread was glowing slightly—it was a net woven from streaks of Water Thunder.
"You have been with me for how long now? How come you're more like Xiaojin everyday? Keep acting like a good-for-nothing and I'll have no choice but to throw you away."
Xiaozhai strolled near. Removing the Water Thunder net, she picked up her pet in disdain.
The little fellow wrapped itself around her wrist, wiggling its head and tail, and rubbing against her arm.
"I'm not asking you to die for me like my master's white snake, but at least you should be able to protect yourself. This world is getting more chaotic every day. Your speed is nothing out there."
Shaking her head, Xiaozhai finished her training for the day and walked slowly back to the Cottage of Pure Mind.
Metal Thunder had its imposing power and Water Thunder had its unpredictable changes, in both of which she had reached the passionless state. Metal generated Water, Water generated Wood, Wood generated Fire, Fire generated Earth, and Earth generated Metal… the third type of Thunder she was going to practice was Wood Thunder, leaving Earth of the center, which could control all Five Thunders, last.
Inside the Cottage of Pure Mind was a lively scene. Zheng Kaixing and his mother, Li Dong, Old Shui, and Gao Mingde had gathered in the courtyard around a giant spider.
It was about half a meter long and brown in color. Scales covered its head, chest, and back. Eight eyes were arranged in four rows on its face and it had a huge mouthpiece and four spinnerets, or silk-spinning organs, on its abdomen.
They were where spider silk was emitted, which was in fact a secreted liquid that hardened into silk once exposed in the air.
"Is it alive?" Li Dong seemed scared.
"Why do you even ask? Of course it's alive! I only knocked it out. You'd better stay away. I'm not going to save your a*s when it's eating you!" said Xiaojin.
"Ah? Why didn't you kill it?" asked Zheng Kaixin curiously.
"Its silk is very useful. I want to raise it myself." Long Qiu set a confinement around the spider and smiled. "We found it over in Sand Ridge; it was the only one. It's quite precious."
Sand Ridge was a small town to the west of Shengtian. It was next to a small desert; the town was dirty and impoverished. Bai Town was on the east, about 200 km from the town.
"Wow! Does, does it have a name?" Zheng Kaixin asked another question.
"Not yet. We'll ask Sister to give it one."
"Forget it. She's an imbecile at naming things…" Xiaojin stuck out her tongue at Long Qiu's suggestion. "This spider can hide underground and lives in a desert. Let's just be straightforward and call it 'Sand-walking Spider'!"
"Not bad. Better than my Dirt Spider." Xiaozhai strolled near and pulled her sisters into her arms, saying, "That'll be all. You can go back to whatever you were doing."
The residents of Phoenix Mountain found the two younger sisters very easy to hang around, but not the elder one. They scattered at Xiaozhai's command.
Long Qiu saw immediately that Xiaozhai had something to say. "Sister, what's wrong?"
"We've got news from you-know-who. He can't handle it all by himself and needs us there," Xiaozhai said with a hint of disdain in her voice. "Xiao Qiu, you're with me—"
"Why, me, me, me! Pick me!" Xiaojin was hopping around with excitement.
"You stay here!"
Gu Yu spent the first day of his trip in Saji Town, arrived at Zhijin on the second day, and the Fish Mountain collapsed on the dawn of the third day.
It was night of that third day. To be fair, the government had been given enough time to process the whole thing. As more information came in, the picture was more complete and the level of the incident was raised higher and higher. In the end, the report reached the boss in the central government.
The current situation was rather a delicate one, for the international conference was coming up at the end of the year, and a certain fellow would be of much use. Hence, the instruction from above sounded bounteous: give full cooperation and act with courtesy.
A bright moonlit night.
Gu Yu hadn't had a proper rest for some time. After notifying Xiaozhai, he grabbed a bite and took a short break. Right now, he was sitting on that broken rock peak, studying the ancient sword.
Needless to say, it was a fire-attributed sword. He could refine it and make it into his chief weapon.
But something was nagging at him. The Youxian Sect was a sect of Sword Immortals and Sword Immortals couldn't be this primitive, could they? All they had was awesome swords and no skill manuals at all?
He was afraid that once he refined it with his mental force, he could destroy a priceless divine object.
Moreover, he was full of sarcastic remarks on the inside. He had already had his Flame Cloud Needles and now this sword. 'What is it with me and fire?' It would be easy to pick his alternative name in the future. Patriarch Flame Cloud, Priest Fierce Clouds, Youngster of Passionate Fire… with that seventy-two needles and a big, long sword, tsk, tsk, everyone would think twice about messing with him!
Shaking his head, he traced the sword with his fingertip, as if trying to catch a glimpse of the magnificence of masters and immortals thousands of years ago. All of a sudden, Gu Yu looked up and stared at the broken temple gate.
What was left of the wooden door was slowly pushed open and Lu Yuanqing walked in.TL/N: roughly 50 cm and 42 cm respectively TL/N: roughly 65 cm and 47 cm respectively TL/N: 1 chi=10 cun TL/N: actually, according to wiki, the length of one chi differed from one dynasty to another as well. In Han, 1 chi=27.7 cm, whereas in Song, 1 chi=30.7 cm