Chapter 287: Herb Mountain’s Bizarre Diagram
The Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly was like a ray of prismatic light that carried Qin Lie and Song Tingyu away from Purple Mist Sea’s Ghost Isle.
They flew all the way towards Seven Fiends Valley.
The Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly was originally a Rank Five spirit beast that was known for its incredible speed. The time it took to leave Ghost Isle and exit Purple Mist Sea’s sphere of influence was only about two hours.
When the sun rose during the second day, the Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly appeared above the sky of Ling Town. It needed to pass through Ling Town, Icestone City, and Dark Asura Hall to head from Ghost Isle to Seven Fiends Valley…
“Let’s stop here for a moment,” Qin Lie suddenly exclaimed above Ling Town.
Song Tingyu was garbed in a bright, rainbow dress. In the glow of dawn she shone with a clear, godly light that complemented her attractive figure, making her look like a celestial being untouched by the mortal world.
Hearing Qin Lie’s request, she gave a light smile before softly tapping the Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly.
“Go there.” She pointed at Herb Mountain.
Like a bolt of rainbow that shot down from the sky, The Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly landed steadily on top of Herb Mountain before prostrating down on its own so that Song Tingyu and Qin Lie could easily descend.
“This is Herb Mountain, right?” Song Tingyu examined the small hill and looked at the weeds that grew everywhere, saying, “It looks like this place was abandoned after the Ling Family clansmen migrated. I heard that you cultivated in here in the past?”
“Mn, I was here for seven or eight years.” Qin Lie got off the Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly and stepped onto the waist tall weeds of Herb Mountain’s peak. From this angle, he could see Ling Town.
After all the clansmen had left, Ling Town was now completely empty. Looking down from the top of the mountain, the town appeared dead silent without a single trace of life whatsoever.
The spirit plants that were here in the past were also dug away by other people after no one remained on this mountain to take care and raise them.
Walking down from Herb Mountain’s peak along the small path, Qin Lie arrived at the mountainside. Seeing the cave that was blocked by many rocks, Qin Lie sighed nostalgically.
“I heard that you lived simple-mindedly for five years.” Song Tingyu’s beautiful eyes glittered. “You and your grandfather spent most of your time inside Herb Mountain. You were cultivating, so… what was he busy with then?”
Qin Lie came around.
Back then, he had been cultivating hard in the state of Thoughtless Tranquility. He didn’t actually consider exactly what his grandfather was busy with.
He only remembered that his grandfather would often go missing and walk around the Arctic Mountain Range. Sometimes he would come into Herb Mountain and talk about cultivation or explain some tips and taboos on artifact forging while Qin Lie was cultivating.
His grandfather had been with him in Ling Town for a full five years, yet during these five years, he actually had no idea what his grandfather was busy with…
Frowning, Qin Lie roamed around Herb Mountain and stared at the caves, hoping to discover some traces or clues.
He knew that his grandfather had probably not returned yet. With his current fame in the Scarlet Tide Continent, it would not be difficult for his grandfather to find him whenever he truly returned.
On the other side of Herb Mountain, Song Tingyu let out a soft exclamation as if she had realized something extraordinary.
Qin Lie immediately rushed to her side.
Behind Herb Mountain, a strange octagonal diagram had been carved into the surface of a smooth, flat boulder with a sharp tool..
This diagram looked like it was made from many bones. A white skull adorned every corner of the octagon.
Inside the octagon, there were wisps of wraiths and souls gathered together like clumps of smog.
There was a fist-sized hole at the center of the octagonal diagram. It looked like something could fit inside it.
At first glance, the diagram gave off an eerie, sinister feeling. It caused people to feel an oppressive kind of fear, as if they were looking deep into the purgatory of the nine hells.
“Was there such a diagram here in the past?” Seeing Qin Lie’s arrival, Song Tingyu frowned and asked, somewhat surprised. “I don’t know why, but I feel very uncomfortable looking at this diagram. Just what kind of person carved this onto the stone?”
“There was definitely no such diagram in the past.” Qin Lie walked forward and concentrated on the diagram.
Suddenly, a sinister, evil energy emanated from the bizarre octagonal diagram when he got closer.
The octagon formed from the eight souls—the empty sockets of its realistic skulls seemed to glow with a tiny light. The wisps of wraiths and lost souls inside the octagon writhed as if they were about to awaken.
Song Tingyu abruptly paled as she cried out, “What powerful evil mind energy!”
Qin Lie also shook all over.
The wooden sculpture, the only thing his grandfather had left him, suddenly flew out of his spatial ring uncontrollably. The moment the wooden sculpture came out, it actually fit right into the center of the octagonal diagram.
The hole at the center of the octagon seemed to be made for the wooden sculpture. The leg portion of the wooden sculpture fit perfectly into the center of the octagon without difficulty.
At first glance, it was as if his grandfather was standing amidst the wisps of wraiths and lost souls, receiving their worship.
“Ah!” Song Tingyu covered her mouth and screamed.
Qin Lie was also shocked beyond words.
They watched the wisps of wraiths and lost souls abruptly turn into wisps of glittering motes of light that slipped into the sculpture after it had fit itself into the center of the diagram.
Even the sockets of the eight skulls suddenly glowed with a green flame that resembled a will-o’-wisp. As if attracted by the wooden sculpture, they too gushed into into it.
Meanwhile, Qin Shan’s sculpture formed an attraction force of its own, absorbing the octagonal diagram’s spots of light and green flames. It was as if it were receiving some kind of magical signal…
Once the wraiths, lost souls, and fire in the skulls were absorbed by the sculpture, the bizarre octagonal diagram suddenly exploded.
In the blink of an eye, the eerie, hideous diagram was destroyed by a kind of power that seemed to have already been there.
Other than the wooden sculpture that was still plugged into the hole, the octagonal diagram from before was completely wiped out with not a trace left to be seen.
That wooden sculpture inside the hole returned to normal. There was neither the slightest bit of luster nor the smallest hint of any special mind energy.
However, be it Song Tingyu or Qin Lie, both were looking at the wooden sculpture with deep fear in their eyes.
The duo just stared at the wooden sculpture and kept quiet for a long time.
“Qin Lie, just how much do you… know about your grandfather?” Song Tingyu asked quietly after a long time.
Qin Lie extended his right hand and continuously made a grasping motion above the wooden sculpture, hesitant as to whether or not he should grab the wooden sculpture.
Hearing Song Tingyu’s question, he turned around with a bitter expression. A trace of loneliness flashed across his eyes. “My grandfather aside, I… don’t even know myself. I don’t know who I am, I don’t know my background, and I don’t know who my parents are…”
Song Tingyu looked shocked. “You…”
“I do not know anything.” Qin Lie sucked in a deep breath, loudly crying out before pulling the wooden sculpture abruptly out of the hole.
The wooden sculpture was still a wooden sculpture. Its texture felt the same and did not feel any different in his hand.
However, when Qin Lie slipped his mind consciousness inside it, he realized that there was now a new ball-shaped light inside the wooden sculpture’s composite spirit diagram. The clump of light was formed from wisps of lost souls and wraiths. Ghostfire burned inside it, and there was an incredibly powerful mind energy emanating from it.
The mind energy in the clump of light made Qin Lie realize that it contained a huge amount of information.
He gave it a serious thought and realized that the octagonal diagram was probably a secret art used to transmit information. The wraiths, lost souls, and ghostfire were all a special type of information.
Whereas the wooden sculpture could gather the information inside that transmission secret art into one whole.
Thinking up to this point, he gradually came to an understanding and guessed the secret behind all this.
The person who inscribed this octagonal diagram was trying to transmit information to him or his grandfather…
The powerful mind energy inside the wooden sculpture carried a dangerous aura that made Qin Lie feel instinctively fearful of it. It also let him know that, for now, he must not touch this energy carelessly—he did not have the power to receive this information.
This meant that the transmitter wasn’t his grandfather, because his grandfather would not know about his realm. He would not leave such a powerful magnetic mind field that Qin Lie didn’t even dare to come in contact with.
Therefore, only a single possibility was left—that person was trying to transmit information to his grandfather.
“Q-Qin Lie…” Song Tingyu edged some distance away from him and asked tentatively, some wariness etched between her eyebrows. “What did you discover?”
The evil and strangeness of the octagonal diagram surprised even her. After that, the wooden sculpture’s changes, the wisps of wraiths, lost souls, and ghostfire seeping into the wooden sculpture… The diagram’s explosion, Qin Lie’s ownership of the wooden sculpture…
This series of changes caused Song Tingyu to gradually grow anxious, and when she looked at Qin Lie once more, she felt that his entire person had sunken amidst a deep mist of mystery and evil that prevented her from figuring him out no matter what.
Since she could not measure him, she grew cautious and wary.
“This octagonal diagram is probably a transmission method. Someone… tried to transmit something to my grandfather and the wooden sculpture in my hand had formed a clump of light that absorbed all of the mind consciousness.” Qin Lie frowned deeply. “However, the energy inside the clump of light is too dangerous. With my cultivation, I do not dare to touch it yet.”
He knew that, with Song Tingyu’s intelligence, she must have noticed something, so he didn’t try to intentionally hide the fact and spoke the truth.
“If your realm isn’t enough and you don’t dare to touch it… erm, if you don’t mind, can I have a look at it?” Song Tingyu’s eyes lit up as her curiosity was piqued. “I am only half a step away from entering the Fulfillment Realm. Perhaps I can test it and possibly help you, right?”
This was the first time she stated her cultivation level in front of Qin Lie. The peak of the Netherpassage Realm, only a step away from the Fulfillment Realm.
During this half year, Qin Lie had asked about her cultivation level multiple times, but every time she simply smiled and did not answer, keeping it a secret to the end.
Today, in order to clarify the information hidden inside the wooden sculpture, she had actually told him her true Realm of her own accord—from this, one could see exactly how curious she was about the information inside the wooden sculpture.
“…The peak of the Netherpassage Realm. You actually have a higher realm than that old hag Jiu Liuyu and are stronger than Yuan Tianya and Di Shijiu.” Qin Lie looked at her like she was a monster. “Is it because that you’re good at preserving your youth and your actual age is actually already seventy or eighty years old?”
“What kind of nonsense are you spouting?” Song Tingyu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as she rolled her eyes at him and said, “I’m just two years older than you. You’re twenty one this year, right? I’m only twenty three years old. How did I suddenly become seventy or eighty? You little brat, next time you suspect my age again, big sister will use drugs to immediately turn you seventy or eighty years old!”
“Twenty three years old at the peak of the Netherpassage Realm. How exactly do you cultivate?” Qin Lie stared at her.
“My cultivation talents are good in the first place and my father is the alliance master of Profound Heaven Alliance. He raised me without caring about the cost. I also ran into plenty of extraordinary incidents along the way, which is how I came to have my current success.” When speaking of her cultivation level, she also became proud. “In our Scarlet Tide Continent, there is no one around my age who can match my realm. Among my peers, no one can beat me one on one either. Xie Jingxuan and Nie Hong are not my match. Even Eight Extreme Temple’s Zhang Chendong would have to unleash the secret arts of Eight Extreme Temple, at the huge price of severely injuring himself, to battle me or there’s no chance of him beating me either.”
“So you mean that you are unrivaled among your peers?” Qin Lie said in shock.
“In the Scarlet Tide Continent, I am unrivaled among my peers,” Song Tingyu said confidently.