Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 23 – Sacred Grounds
“Prophets?” The Dragonwing Governor, Palace Mistress Hiddensea, and Immortal Slowseal were all puzzled.
“Prophets?” Skywind looked at his master, Ji Ning, in confusion as well.
None of them had ever heard of the term ‘Prophet’ before.
“Gentlemen?” Daolord Inkmind looked towards Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord.
The two exchanged a glance, then chuckled. The Ninedust Sectlord said, “Let’s go take a look. I want to see what the so-called ‘sacred grounds’ of this planet look like.”
“Youji, you can dispel your secret art now,” Ning instructed.
“Understood.” Su Youji nodded obediently, then released a strange rainbow light from her eyes as she glanced at the Dragonwing Governor. The latter felt dizzy for a moment, but when he regained his clarity of mind he quickly realized that he had spent the past period of time under the dazzlingly beautiful red-robed woman’s spell. Although she had already dispelled it, he still couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of veneration and desire towards her. He wanted to swear to forever serve her, but his rational mind told him to stay calm.
“Skywind, follow me.” Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord both walked towards the golden flying vessel.
“Yes, Master.” Skywind and Su Youji both followed the two ‘Prophets’ as they entered the flying vessel.
Whoosh. Daolord Inkmind took control of the vessel, and the group of five quickly disappeared into the distant horizons.
Daolord Feng Xian watched as they left, a frown on his face. “Two Prophets have descended. If they truly are Prophets… I wonder if this will be a blessing or a disaster.”
As for the Dragonwing Governor, he raised his head to stare into the skies. No matter how he tried, he couldn’t wipe out Su Youji’s image from his heart.
Daolord Inkmind led them to a wooden house guarded over by a Daolord. A miniature teleportation array was set up within the wooden house, and it sent them directly into the depths of the earth.
190 million kilometers underground. Whoosh. Ning’s group of five suddenly appeared out of nowhere within an enormous plaza that was studded with black gemstones.
“This is a palace of utterly enormous size, especially given that its underground. Judging from the power of the formations protecting it… someone truly impressive must have set this place up.” Ning let out an amazed sigh. He saw endless ripples of terrifying power radiate out from the vast palace, with countless ancient seals and barriers active.
“This is our sacred underground palace which was created by the most powerful of the Prophets, our ‘sacred ancestor’.” Daolord Inkmind’s eyes flashed with pride. “When the Sacred Ancestor descended upon our world, he guided us, taught us, and eventually completed his Daomerge here in our world, gaining eternity for himself. It was all thanks to him that we have had the chance to flourish.”
“An Eternal Emperor?” Both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord were surprised. Even young master Skywind, who was following after them obediently, was secretly surprised. He had learned Ning’s legacy and so he knew what the various levels of cultivation were. He knew that after the World level the next level was that of the Samsara Daolords, where each step represented walking a fine line between life and death. Above them was the level of Daomerged Eternal Emperors! According to what Ning’s legacy had taught him, less than one in a hundred thousand ordinary Daolords would gain eternity and become Eternal Emperors. Their ‘Sacred Ancestor’ was actually one of them?
“Fellow Daoist Inkmind, tell me more. What are Prophets and who was this Sacred Ancestor?” Ning asked.
“Very well.” Daolord Inkmind nodded. “Long, long ago, living beings arose on our planet but knew nothing of cultivation. As a result, they lived brutish, barbaric lives. Every so often, outlander demons would descend upon the world, bringing death and despair to countless living beings. Everyone lived short, dangerous lives, with many being forced to hide deep underground in order to stay alive. But one day, the first Prophet descended from the outlands into our planet. His heart was filled with pity towards all living beings, and so he taught us cultivation techniques, allowing us to embark upon the path of cultivation. Only then did an era of cultivation arise within our planet, allowing our people to finally have the power to fight back against the outlander demons.
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord immediately understood. This person who had descended upon this world from the ‘outlands’ was most likely a cultivator of the Endless Territories who had come here, just as they had.
“After a very long period of time passed, the second Prophet descended upon our world. He was the one we call our ‘Sacred Ancestor’! He created the nine celestial barriers, making it difficult for outlander demons to descend upon our world. Eventually, he succeeded in his Daomerge and then established this underground palace, giving us a place for us to pass legacies down from generation to generation and ensuring that we would be able to grow and thrive even more.”
“The third Prophet to descend brought a great disaster upon us. He forced us to fight him, and although we were able to kill him, we suffered horrendous casualties.”
“Prophets.” Daolord Inkmind looked at Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord. “I’m telling you nothing but the truth. We are filled with gratitude towards the Prophets of the outlands. Without you Prophets having descended upon our world, we would still be living brutish and miserable lives.”
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord exchanged a glance. Both could tell that part of the reason this person had so ‘honestly’ told them the true history of their world was to display friendship, but the other part was to give them a veiled warning: We don’t want to fight you, but if you force us to then we’ll be able to wipe you out.
“I imagine the first three Prophets had their own reasons for descending upon this planet,” the Ninedust Sectlord said in a low voice. Although both him and Ning were quite cautious, neither of them were afraid. Both had valuable treasures they could use, and it wouldn’t be easy for the locals of this planet to deal with them.
“Perhaps the ancestral lands?” Daolord Inkmind suddenly said. The faces of both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord changed.
“So you really are here to visit the ancestral lands.” Daolord Inkmind waved his hand, causing a layer of blurry light to surround Skywind and Su Youji, blocking them off.
“There are some secrets which I cannot let them know,” Daolord Inkmind said. “Please do not be offended.”
“Mm.” Ning glanced at Skywind and Su Youji, then nodded. The barrier of Immortal energy was preventing the two from seeing what was happening on the other side, but they just waited there obediently instead of disrupting the power around them.
“The various generations of Prophets all came for the sake of the ancestral lands.” Daolord Inkmind waved his hand, producing a snow-white scroll. “Before the Sacred Ancestor departed, he left this with us. He instructed us to hand it over to any future Prophets and to let them read what he wrote within it, and that it would explain everything.”
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord immediately turned to stare at the white scroll. The scroll emanated an aura which was very weak but which had the essence of eternity within it. Time no longer held any sway over this scroll at all; without any question, this came from an Eternal Emperor.
“Please take a look for yourselves.” Daolord Inkmind waved his hand, sending the white scroll before the two of them. It automatically unfurled on its own. The scroll was filled with many words, and both Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord stared intently at them.
The Sacred Ancestor was an Ancient cultivator known as Emperor Vulturas. He had also been teleported into the endless stone passageways by that spacetime array. Pursued by countless flaming creatures, he had fled until he finally reached this planet. This planet, however, was not the actual site of the ancestral lands! It did, however, contain a treasure that negated the powers of those flaming cratures, a treasure known as the ‘worldsplitter’ stone. The worldsplitter stone could be carried or affixed to the surface of a magic treasure, and it could be used to permanently kill those flaming creatures!
The reason why this planet was resistant to the flaming beasts was the worldsplitter stone, making it the most important treasure the planet had to offer.
“So it was Patriarch Vulturas!” The Ninedust Sectlord revealed an excited look.
“Emperor Vulturas?” Ning’s face changed as well.
In the Endless Territories, the three figures who stood at the very apex of power were without a doubt the three Hegemons! Below them, however, was a host of incredibly powerful Eternal Emperors. They might not be a match for the Hegemons in power, but some were strong enough that not even the Hegemons could slay them! Everyone had their own ‘Dao’, after all. By relying on the area they were strong in, they were able to escape even from Hegemons. But of course, if they were somehow restrained there would be nothing they could do. They were some of the most truly dominating figures of the Endless Territories, and they included the lords of the eight Sacred Cities of the Dao Alliance! The Aeonians, the Aberrants, the Ancient cultivators… they all held similarly powerful figures within their ranks, and there were some who had gone into seclusion who were even more powerful.
Emperor Vulturas was on the same level as the lords of the eight Sacred Cites. Amongst the Ancient cultivators, he was a person who was viewed as being second only to the Hegemons in power! According to the stories, he was a merciful and kind man. A person could pretend to be kind and virtuous for a period of time, but Emperor Vulturas had been alive for as long as the Brightshore Kingdom had been in existence. There was no way someone could feign virtue for that long. As a result, Emperor Vulturas had an extremely good reputation and was idolized by countless cultivators.
“I never would’ve imagined that even in a strange place like this, he would do so many things for the local cultivators.” Ning couldn’t help but sigh in praise.
“I never would’ve thought that Patriarch Vulturas would’ve come to this place, and that he actually achieved his Daomerge here. How ancient is this ancestral site? Can it be the legendary…” When the Ninedust Sectlord thought of one of the Ancient legends, his eyes instantly lit up. He immediately asked, “So you are saying that by retrieving a worldsplitter stone, we’ll be able to leave this world, right? Quick, tell me where they are!”