Chapter 602: Jiang Chen Trapped!
Jiang Chen knew that everything the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect had organized had been meticulously arranged. Starting from the formation on the outskirts of Mt. Rippling Mirage, all the layers of the various formations had been carefully interlocked with each other. There were almost no flaws. If there had been the slightest break in the middle, he never would’ve made it here. It had indeed been the combined effect of many factors that he’d been able to reach here.
“Spirit power emanates from beneath the sculptures at Ancestor Cliff, but you didn’t disturb them. This goes to show you aren’t an avaricious man. Had you been tempted by the waves of spirit power and disregarded the sanctity of the Ancestor Cliff to disturb the statutes in search of treasure… you would have been killed by either the restrictions on the cliff, or plunged into a land of sure death by the Nine Palaces Formations.”
The situation only dawned on Jiang Chen when he heard this. He’d had his suspicions before, but only realized now how sensible his decision not to shift the sculptures had been. If it’d been anyone else, it would indeed have been difficult to triumph over their greed after sensing that dense spirit power. It was because of his lack of desire and the respect in his heart that he hadn’t disturbed those sculptures. That was how he’d avoided catastrophe.
Jiang Chen truly had to admire the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s ingeniously designed process. They’d first sent him to the cemetery that’d held ten thousand tombstones to strongly shake his psyche. The stirring words on the cliff face had further impacted his mind. If it’d been anyone with ulterior motives in mind, they still would’ve gone for the treasures on Ancestor Cliff even after seeing the scene at the cemetery. And if it’d been anyone with a bit of righteousness to them, a bit of worship for the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect would’ve formed after seeing the cemetery and the words on the cliff face. They would’ve never had the heart to disturb the sanctity of the Ancestor Cliff.
This arrangement not only showed a keen understanding of human nature, it had been constructed in a way that tested one’s very nature. As long as one’s heart was not just, there was no way they could receive the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s approval. But if one was honest and generous, he would instead be sent to the single working gate of the Nine Palaces Formation, just like Jiang Chen.
The cavern fell completely silent after the voice finished speaking. Jiang Chen extended his senses a little. Only after discovering that there were no restrictions or danger around him did he proceed forward. Looking on from the outside, he hadn’t thought the cavern to be very big. But after turning a corner and walking through several corridors, he realized that the cavern was truly a completely different world. It was divided into layer after layer and unexpectedly gave one a feeling of endlessness.
Jiang Chen walked past the lobby of the cavern and arrived at a place reminiscent of a library. This library had three floors and displayed a variety of old records. Much to his surprise however, there was not a single speck of dust tainting the rows of bookshelves. It was as though time had not left any traces on this place at all. Jiang Chen knew then that this cavern must be protected through some special means.
The four treasures of the study were placed on a simple desk. A simple, old-fashioned brush lay to the side, as if the ink was still drying on it. An ink slab in the shape of a dragon’s tail was next to it, with ink still contained within. It was as if the owner of this residence had been writing something just a moment ago, and had just stepped out to run an errand.
Jiang Chen found this still wet ink slab and brush rather inconceivable. Truly, he was shocked for a moment. Countless months and years had passed from ancient times until now, but this ink and brush still had not dried up. It seemed that the owner of this room had indeed spent a lot of blood and sweat on the creation of this cavern. Jiang Chen could not help his curiosity as he walked over to the desk and looked down on the calligraphy scroll.
“Our sect partakes of the spirit power of the heavens and earth, and receives the worship of the peoples. As the strong enemy advances, we hereby declare our intention unto death to resist with strength, defend our homes, and regret not our deaths…”
There weren’t many words on the scroll, but one could recognize the spirit of indomitable momentum that underlay each word. Jiang Chen surmised that the one who wrote these words must have faced his ultimate decision, and had been about to depart. He likely had not finished crafting his message before he left.
Jiang Chen had yet to find any concrete hints regarding the powerful invaders after searching around. Nonetheless, there were all things of the ancient past. If he took a moment to think, the Divine Abyss Continent right now was perfectly fine. Those foreign invaders likely had not conquered the Divine Abyss Continent.
Jiang Chen wasn’t the kind of person who would worry over sect members of an ancient sect. To be honest, he was more interested in the history of the Divine Abyss Continent. He wanted to know whether this Divine Abyss Continent was somehow linked to his previous world. Since this Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect had existed so long ago, there was the slight possibility that he could find some clues. Jiang Chen took a seat on the chair and took some scrolls from the desk. These scrolls were clearly some daily recordings that the room’s owner had kept. He was quite surprised after scanning through them.
These notes actually mentioned that once one entered the central district of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect, they needed to understand the mechanics of every formation the Sect had constructed in order to exit. This was because the formation the sect had used to seal the mountain only allowed entry, not exit. One had to master the formation in order to depart, and the formation used to seal the mountain had been formed from hundreds of smaller formations.
Jiang Chen was entirely dismayed as he clutched those notes in a state of shock. To control every formation in this Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect, just how many months, how many years would that take?
Before everything else, the notes had vaguely mentioned that at the very, very least, the minimum cultivation needed to control every formation was the sage realm. That was to say, one who had not reached the sage realm wasn’t even qualified to try. And what the notes truly revealed were that the status of sage realm was at best just an entry requirement for the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect, a common sight for the sect.
Jiang Chen couldn’t help but smile ruefully. “An ancient sect is after all, an ancient sect. Even among the sects of the Upper Eight Regions, sage realm could be considered a solid level of power. Yet it existed as merely the entry requirement for this Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect? Could it be that such a perverse level of power was necessary to enter a sect from this ancient era?”
Jiang Chen’s brain was filled with questions, but he was still not too shocked by this revelation. On the plane of existence that he had been in his past life, even a Great Titled Emperor didn’t meet the minimum requirement of entry.
According to these notes, the majority of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s battle power came from emperor realm cultivators. And the owner of this notebook was an existence that obviously surpassed the emperor realm.
“Although the owner of this room only mentions his cultivation in passing, there is no question that he has surpassed the emperor realm. Only when one breaks through this realm does one have the ability to break through the void and enter the celestial planes. That would be when a cultivator is acknowledged by the heavenly dao and becomes a celestial level cultivator.” Jiang Chen recalled his memories from his previous life, and guessed that the room’s owner must also be a celestial powerhouse at the very least.
When he reached the end of that thought, a spark of curiosity ignited regarding the ancient era of the Divine Abyss Continent. In his notes, the room’s owner had also mentioned some mysteries surrounding the Divine Abyss Continent, as well as the names of some other sects.
It seemed that the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect could not be considered a peak level of power amongst the entire Divine Abyss Continent. During that glorious era, there had been numerous sects and countless races. It had truly been a prosperous era. However, the names of these sects had not been recorded in modern history of the Divine Abyss Continent at all. It was as though that ancient era had been completely struck out of history.
At least, Jiang Chen had not seen any records of those sects in the Myriad Domain. As he went through all the notes on the desk, Jiang Chen used the anecdotes in the notes to collate and analyze information regarding that ancient era. The only problem was that the anecdotes were now so old, they were no longer applicable in the modern era.
His primary concern right now was how to escape this place. He certainly did not want to be trapped here for several hundred years. If he unraveled all the formations in this place and understood every one which sealed the mountain to escape this place, the outside world would have completely changed by then.
“No, I must get out. I have to.” Jiang Chen wasn’t someone who lost their cool easily. But the state of affairs outside was too volatile for him to stay in here for long.
He’d been worried about his father ever since the latter had left for the Upper Eight Regions. If he was stuck here for a few hundred years, by the time he left, his father might have encountered some danger or reached the end of his predestined lifespan.
As for his subordinates in the Regal Pill Palace, Jiang Chen foresaw tumultuous change in the Myriad Domains within the next ten years. If the Tristar Sect colluded with the Ninesuns Sky Sect, there would definitely be disaster. And once the disaster spiralled out of control, the order of the Myriad Domains would undergo great changes.
With the tyranny of the Ninesuns Sky Sect, they might even massacre the Regal Pill Palace if they faced any opposition. And from what Ding Tong had said, Jiang Chen knew that he had offended the third young genius of the Ninesuns Sky Sect, Yong Xingyun.
That was a perverse genius who was assailing the emperor realm! If that fellow decided to descend to the Myriad Domains because of Ding Tong’s death, there would be no other result than a bloodbath!
Although the formations he had placed in the Regal Pill Palace were impressive, they could at best defend against a top tier sage realm heavyweight. The formations may somewhat sting one in the half step emperor realm, but that heavyweight could definitely break them if he put in enough time and effort. After all, that Nine Gates Incineration Formation was only at half of its maximum power. At that time, Jiang Chen’s resources had been limited and he had lacked enough origin spirit stones. Even the formation at half-power had been won through various swindles.
He had won tens of thousands of origin spirit stones on this trip to Mt Rippling Mirage, and could now return to improve his formation. However, he was now trapped in this Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect.
His father in the Upper Eight Regions; his friends who were waiting for his return to the Regal Pill Palace; the constant possibility that a mishap could occur with the Generation Binding Curse despite the fact that he’d constrained it; his promise to cure Senior Sister Ling Bi’er’s father…
These various concerns constantly nagged at Jiang Chen to leave this place. Nonetheless, he was aware that with his current level, brute-forcing his way through the numerous ancient formations was but a fool’s daydream. Thus, no matter what he wished for, he had to accept this reality. He could only leave after cultivating, learning various formation techniques and mastering the formations set by the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect.
Jiang Chen didn’t believe that he would have any problems learning the formation technique. The problem lay with the fact that he needed to be at least sage realm to be able to learn them to begin with. Since he was a mere fifth rank origin level cultivator, he would definitely require lots of time. Fortunately, the spiritual energy in this cavern was abundant, far beyond what the Regal Pill Palace could offer. If Jiang Chen did not consider the situation outside, this place was actually perfect for training.