The True Spirit Post?
These three words gave off an extraordinary sense of grandeur.
"Senior, what kind of treasure is it?" Despite his knowledge unrivaled in the heavenly planes, it was impossible for Jiang Chen to know every item in the myriad of worlds. Even so, his rough guess was that the brush must be used to etch formations or inscribe talismans.
But before the Vermillion Bird could reply, Big Stone shouted in surprise, "Eh!"
"Big Stone, what's the matter?" Jiang Chen looked back in spite of himself.
"Savior, that really is called the True Spirit Post. It belonged to Saint Dan, we saw him use it before." His bell-sized eyes stared at it, cheeks red with excitement.
"Savior, will you let me take a look?" He looked naively at Jiang Chen, little stars of hope in his eyes.
"Go ahead." Jiang Chen saw no reason to be stingy. He might even learn more of the brush's secrets this way.
Big Stone piously cupped the brush in both his hands. He respected and admired Saint Dan very much so, hence he worshipped his savior's possession as if it were the man himself.
His lips quivered with emotion. "It - it really is the True Spirit Post! To think I'd see it again after such a long time! Savior, the founder never travelled without it."
"Oh? Do you know what makes it so special?" Big Stone's excitement elicited Jiang Chen's curiosity.
"I know a little bit. Saint Dan was an outstanding leader on the continent. His status was very high. This was the pillar of his strength and has many uses. It can inscribe talismans and bind evil, etch formations, or be used as a weapon. It also has many other uses he never told us about, but that's the general idea!"
Indeed, Jiang Chen had treated this indescript brush differently because he'd sensed an almost indiscernible aura emanating from it.
Big Stone returned it to Jiang Chen, handling it with reverent care.
"Young lord, everything must be the heavens' doing. You obtained the saint's treasure, so there's no difference between you and him. He once told us the one to revive us will be our new master, and the one to inherit the brush will be the future sectmaster. You fulfill both conditions. From now on, the eight of us will follow you to the end of the earth."
Jiang Chen hadn't expected the brush to reinforce the golems' loyalty.
"But he also said that to use it, it first needs to acknowledge you, then you must reach a certain level of cultivation. Even we weren't strong enough. Us brothers once asked him out of curiosity, you see." Big Stone was an honest golem. He'd sworn allegiance, but he'd speak his mind even if he offended his master.
Jiang Chen nodded. Judging by the golem's tone, emperor realm must be far too low to access the item's full potential. He could fool around with it at best, but it'd be a monstrous waste to actually use it in battle.
Even so, he was excited to have accidentally picked up a treasured legacy of the Primosanct Sect.
The Vermillion Bird was also amazed by the brush's origin.
"Congratulations. You must have been born beneath a lucky star. Perhaps you will truly rebuild the Primosanct Sect one day."
All the ancient sects had more or less fallen, lost in the long river of time.
"Let's go study the formation."
It was the most pressing matter at the moment. The young lord's attentions were wholly on it. He had friends and family now. He couldn't allow anyone in this world to threaten his loved ones, so he had to stop the demon lord before it was too late, before the cataclysm erupted in the human domain.
The secret of the formation was well hidden indeed, so much so it wasn't in any specific location. Instead, pieces of the puzzle were scattered around the palace.
The formation's essence had been divided into eight sections, following the pattern of the eight-sided bagua. Even if someone chanced upon one section, they wouldn't be able to understand its real significance.
The whole picture only revealed itself when Jiang Chen took to the air and activated the spirit veins in all eight sections.
The strange scene left him astonished. The eight sections were ever-changing, the space warped by a strange art. Without grasping the profound mysteries within, deciphering it would be an enormous challenge. Thankfully, Jiang Chen was a master of formations.
True, he'd been baffled at first and couldn't figure out where to even begin. But he carefully sorted through his thoughts and slowly pieced together the entire picture. With his skill and experience, a short analysis proved enough for a preliminary understanding of the inner workings.
The monstrosity was a headache in the making. He'd naively thought that no matter how complicated, it couldn't possibly be worse than the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect's formations. How mistaken he'd been!
It was much, much worse. Even if it couldn't compare to the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement, it was one of the ancient era's finest examples.
Despite specializing in formations, how could the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect compare to one of the five greatest sects of the ancient times? In fact, the Primosanct Sect probably hadn't created it either. It must have come from the primordial era.
"Young man, the formation is hidden here. Study it carefully. If you can repair or improve it to its peak level, then even the demon wouldn't be able to escape even if he grew a pair of wings," the Vermillion Bird said confidently.
One day, two days, half a month...
After an entire month, the young lord had roughly figured out the formation's meanderings.
"It's hard to imagine such a difficult and complex layout. Countless Primosanct seniors must have shed sweat and blood to set it up."
Unfortunately, he was now at a loss how to proceed.
Grasping the underlying principles wasn't enough. He now required vast amounts of energy, several dozen times what he'd consumed when building the Nine Sparks Petalstorm Formation, or perhaps even more. After all, this was an ancient formation that could even imprison a celestial demon lord.
The Primosanct Sect had accumulated untold wealth, but even in its more abundant era, no single faction could have shouldered such an insane undertaking. Others must have participated as well.
"Not enough resources, not enough energy…" Jiang Chen murmured. "In short, I'm broke!"
The Vermillion Bird exclaimed, "Did you comprehend the formation?"
"More or less."
The ancient bird gave him a funny look. Was this a human or a monster? How could he possess such learning ability?
It had banked on five years at least, and been ready for a long siege. To think a month would be enough! The word genius could no longer describe such a freak!
After resting inside his domain for a month, the demon lord's consciousness was in much better shape. With a mental scan, he discovered the young human hadn't left the secret realm yet. He's not given up?
Frowning, he mumbled to himself, "This brat seems determined to get in my way."
Jiang Chen was an annoying fishbone stuck in his throat. He bristled at the thought of someone always watching him. How he wished he could trample the human flat!
The young man could have left this damned place, but he hadn't.
Why not? Obviously not for the sake of the demon slaves. The demon lord's instincts screamed at him, You're the target!
"Want to fight to the death? Hmph, your strength isn't bad, but do you think a brat like you can kill me when an entire sect couldn't?" His anger and pride had been stifled long enough. He now needed a victim to vent it on!