Chapter 623: Challenging the Tower of Inheritance
Jiang Chen had completed all his preparations. He stood beneath the foot of the tower of inheritance, ready to begin. He would challenge the tower, receive the inheritance, and leave the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s sacred grounds. Those goals were foremost in his mind as he entered the tower.
Entering the tower was no different than entering another independent world. Enshrined within was a statue, a likeness of one of the ancestors from the Ancestor Cliff. The statue seemed to embody wisdom, a gentle smile on its face as one hand formed a mudra. Jiang Chen walked to the center of the floor and examined the surrounding walls. Various tadpole-like runes were etched into the walls. As he inspected them, they began to unfurl from the walls, wriggling in the air like they’d obtained life of their own.
Suddenly, Jiang Chen discovered that the area had been locked down. The entire tower was now completely isolated from the outside world, and the door he entered through had vanished without a trace. The floor began to vibrate and rumble beneath him. Looking down, he discovered that he had inadvertently been standing in the center of a circle. If one took a step back, one would recognize the circle radiating out to form an enormous turntable, which was then divided into eighths.
A voice sounded out from the ancestor statue at this time –
“Successor, welcome to the tower of inheritance. By entering this tower, you’ve proven that you’ve reached the initial requirements of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect with respect to strength, comprehension and affinity. Whether you can become the successor of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s heritage will depend on your performance here and now.
“This is the first floor of the tower – the Floor of Wisdom. The turntable beneath your feet will turn three times, with each turn heralding a test question for a total of three questions. One correct answer will grant you the right to enter the second floor. Answering two questions correctly will grant you the right to enter the third floor. If you answer all three questions correctly, not only will you be granted access to the two upper floors, you will also receive this floor’s heritage.”
As the voice faded, the turntable under Jiang Chen’s feet started to rumble again, turning. One of the grids of the turntable suddenly started glowing with a pale golden light. Accompanying the golden light, a question popped up on the grid. Jiang Chen couldn’t help but smile when he saw this question.
The topic of this question wasn’t the least bit unfamiliar to him. Interestingly though, it was related to the library’s journals. More accurately speaking, it was about what was written down in those journals. The question didn’t have anything to do with formations, nor did it relate to the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s inheritance. To be frank, it was simply trivia about daily life.
However, Jiang Chen was erudite and well-read. Coupled with the fact that he had diligently read through all the journals, this question was no problem for him. He used his consciousness to transmit his answer into that grid.
The golden light gradually dimmed and the question in that grid slowly faded away. A golden light arced directly into the ancestor statue. As the golden light drilled into the statue’s forehead, a crack suddenly appeared, revealing an open eye.
The turntable once again began to turn beneath Jiang Chen’s feet, bring the next question to the fore. The subject matter was still limited to the contents of the library, but instead of coming from one of the journals, it came from one of the library’s books. This question was actually about an anecdote related to formations and didn’t have much to do with the study of the formation itself. Jiang Chen once again transmitted his answer according to his memories.
The second grid’s question also slowly faded and another golden light arced into the ancestor statue. This time however, the light shot into the left eye of the statue. As Jiang Chen watched this wondrous scene, he formed a vague speculation. This Floor of Wisdom’s purpose was to test wisdom, not martial ability. In fact, Jiang Chen had already guessed the hidden purpose of this test. It was a test of the successor’s sincerity.
If the successor was not sincere and lacked the patience to read through all of the journals and books in the library, instead directly making for the three formations, then they would have no hope of inheriting anything even if they did enter the tower of inheritance. But if the successor was able to keep their composure and diligently read all the books, then this first floor’s test would naturally pose no difficulty. Thinking of this, Jiang Chen couldn’t help but admire the tower’s designers. Everything was interconnected, forming chains of cause and effect.
Thinking back to his experience at Ancestors’ Cliff, Jiang Chen realized how ingenious the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s inheritance assessment really was. This floor’s test in particular meant that a grasping and avaricious person with little interest in those books would ultimately receive nothing.
Once they’d been stymied on this floor, then they would likely remain stuck in the tower until their death. Jiang Chen exclaimed in admiration and also sighed with relief. He felt fortunate that he was diligent enough to read through all the books once. If he hadn’t done so, then he might have been stuck here at his wits’ end. After all, one wouldn’t be able to return to the library to look for answers once they entered the tower. As Jiang Chen was woolgathering, the third question made its appearance.
This question was even more interesting. It asked Jiang Chen what he would do if he became the successor to the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect and enemies had come knocking at the door. Would he firmly meet the enemy head-on or prioritize safety to perpetuate the sect’s lineage? This question somewhat troubled Jiang Chen. Normally, a sect should prioritize passing on the torch. However, the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect was different. In order to fight against the invasion of foreign enemies, the whole sect had ended up pulling out all the stops. This sort of spirit that dismissed death wasn’t something a common sect could compare themselves to.
In particular, those rows upon rows of tombstones in that vast sprawling cemetery had left an immense impact on Jiang Chen. He pondered for a moment, and felt that the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect was the type that would rather forgo all paths of retreat than ever compromise with their enemies. They would rather die for justice then live in humiliation. This was the character of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect.
Thinking of this, Jiang Chen seemed to have found the answer. He made his choice – resolutely fight head-on. Sure enough, this answer was correct and another golden light shot into the ancestor statue’s right eye.
As the three golden lights shot into the ancestor statue, it suddenly seemed to come to life and a sonorous voice spoke slowly, “Successor, congratulations on passing the first floor’s test. Not only are you granted access to the second and third floors, you will also receive the inheritance of this floor.”
As the voice faded, a dark grid suddenly appeared on the turntable under Jiang Chen’s feet. A box coalesced in the center of the dark grid and slowly floated over to Jiang Chen. There was a book inside the box, labeled “The Heart of Formations”. This book was clearly an outline of the methodology involved in all of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect formations. Jiang Chen naturally did not refuse the book. Though he had also researched formations in his past life, he was not as confident in formations compared to pill dao. He knew quite a bit about the dao of formations, but he lacked a systematic understanding of them. “The Heart of Formations” would certainly remedy this shortcoming to a point. Furthermore, since it was part of the inheritance, Jiang Chen naturally did not have a reason to refuse.
As Jiang Chen accepted the book, the turntable underneath suddenly exerted a force that sent Jiang Chen straight to the second floor. Jiang Chen was only able to glimpse a flash of light before he abruptly appeared in the second floor of the tower. The second floor of the tower of inheritance was very different than the first floor. If the first floor was dedicated to wisdom, then this second floor could only be described as the embodiment of killing intent. Jiang Chen felt as if he had suddenly entered a killing field from hell. The surrounding walls looked as they were floating oceans of blood, giving off a ghastly ambience.
Ping ping ping.
Jiang Chen suddenly heard a crisp sound, akin to numerous beads dropping onto the ground. The contrast of those crisp sounds in such an environment lent them a sinister touch. Jiang Chen gazed deeper into the floor, and discovered an ancestor statue rising from the sea of blood ahead of him.
That ancestor statue had a chain of rosary beads in hand that seemed to have spontaneously broken. The golden rosary beads fell to the ground, scattering across the floor with brittle sounding pops. Jiang Chen’s heart suddenly sank as he blurted out, “Soldiers from beans?”
Each bead flashed as they struck the ground. Twelve golden armored warriors suddenly appeared in front of Jiang Chen. Each one was armed and their combined killing intent was like a physical weight that descended on the are.
A low roar sounded out as an armored warrior wielding a battleaxe strode forward, striking down with his weapon. Jiang Chen was quick to note that the warrior coming towards him with vigorous steps was at the sage realm level. He didn’t dodge, instead activating his Nine Transformations of Demons and Gods, erupting with a ninety meter tall golden aura.
As that giant battleaxe crashed into the thirty feet tall golden aura, it was as if the axe had struck a firm, yet flexible wall. Although the axe left a three meter deep scar in the aura, it was ultimately unable to break through. In response, Jiang Chen chuckled and struck back with a domineering bare fist. The golden giant was blown back by Jiang Chen’s punch and quickly transformed into a shadowy golden light. The shadowy golden light didn’t stay long, congealing back into a pale golden bead that rolled on the ground.
Jiang Chen’s confidence greatly increased. Since setting foot into the sage realm, the defense of his indomitable golden body from the Nine Transformations had undergone a qualitative upgrade. This battleaxe warrior was only a puppet formed from a rosary bead and not a true martial cultivator. Frankly speaking, even a real flesh and blood martial cultivator in the sage realm was no longer capable of relying solely on a physical attack to break through Jiang Chen’s golden body. However, Jiang Chen’s actions in sending a golden warrior flying seemed to have annoyed the other armored puppets.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh!
Five golden warriors rushed towards him, each from a different angle, and wielding a variety of swords and spears.
Jiang Chen growled, “Invincible to Gods and Demons!”
The aura of his golden body inflated by another thirty percent, as if it was an enormous balloon. The five attacks were ultimately unsuccessful, only penetrating nine or so meters into the aura. Jiang Chen smashed them all back relying on nothing but his fists and feet. These armored warriors were merely soulless puppets whose attack power lay in their initial charge. Once they failed to break Jiang Chen’s defense, these puppets simply did not have the time to launch a second attack or muster a defense before being sent flying by Jiang Chen.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh!
Another three golden warriors quickly shot forth. This time, Jiang Chen did not dare grandstand anymore. These new three warriors had an aura comparable to earth sage realm experts. He didn’t dare to disregard them even though he knew he would only need to endure a single blow from each.