Someone had entrapped him, and even attempted to take his soul!
If it were the soul of an ordinary human being, none of these efforts were needed. But who was Rock Dragon old man? The leader of Star Guard, an old minister who had served a few Human Emperors. His brain was a thesaurus; knowledge, cultures, all the true wealth of the humankind were kept in his brain.
Not only knowledge, to someone who could lay such a perfect, ingenious trap for Rock Dragon old man, that ‘shadowy’, ‘superficial’ knowledge of the humankind might mean nothing at all.
But Rock Dragon old man also knew all the secrets of the humankind. The structure of the defensive formation of Pu Ban City, the weaknesses of all defensive treasures of the human emperor, and the deepest secrets of all top-grade human clans…Those super clans and families, those had raised human emperors, such as You Xiong Family, Shennong Family, Suiren Family, Fuxi Family…All these families had many secrets, and Rock Dragon old man knew all of their secrets.
Those secrets were awfully important for the entire humankind. Any of those secrets could be a fatal weakness of the humankind.
If someone took away Rock Dragon old man’s soul, the humankind would become like a naked newborn baby, with no secrets, all their weaknesses exposed to the enemies.
Emperor Shun was infuriated. He roared thunderously; the purple mist around his body rose in clouds, transformed into a thick purple shade, and descended on the golden lotus. In the meanwhile, the lights with four different colors sparkled in the purple shade. Yellow, blue, red, cyan, four dragon-like streams of light dazzled out of the shade, towards the golden lotus. These lights represented the powers of earth, water, fire, and wind.
At the same time, a warm mist was released from the purple shade, rising straight up. A weirdly-shaped bronze bell was wrapped in the mist. Unlike the Pan Gu bell, this bell was oblate, with a narrowed top and a wide bottom, looking almost like a cone as it floated above Emperor Shun’s head.
This strangely shaped bronze bell had beautiful, smooth outlines. On the bell, countless human silhouettes were sparkling; some of them were farming, some were fishing, some were weaving, some were hunting. As a dim light flash across every silhouette, one could even see the long lives of countless living beings playing right before one’s eyes, magical, splendid, shocking, and touching.
From the air, a cold and clear voice could be heard.
"Pan Gu died after the world was created. His body became the dragon ancestor, soul became the phoenix ancestor, and bloodline became human beings. Since then, the dragon-kind, the phoenix-kind, and the humankind lived in this world. The world sensed them, and created the dragon emperor bell, the phoenix emperor bell, and the human emperor bell, as three powerful spirit treasures."
"According to the legend, the human emperor bell gathered the faith power of all human beings and the fortune of nature. It is unimaginably powerful, but only a handful of people have seen it. Today, I feel very lucky to see the human emperor bell!"
As this voice talked slowly, the four dragon-like light streams released by Emperor Shun violently bumped on the golden lotus and generated a heavy rain of light. Resonant dragon roars echoed to the sky which quaked the palace, and even sent many fainted star guards flying tens of miles away.
The golden lotus remained unmoved. A full-power strike launched by Emperor Shun failed to do any harm to it.
Emperor Shun gave a long sigh. After that, with a pair of congested eye, he punched heavily on the human emperor bell with both fists. The bronze bell slightly quivered, then released waves of cyan-colored light circle, speedily spreading towards all directions.
People on the scene heard nothing from their ears, but from their hearts, they heard the roars of millions and millions of human beings, blasting like thunders.
"Woo! Woo! Woo!" The angry roars generated a wild, burning strength, that could boil any human being’s blood. Ji Hao had been fighting the two sky devils under the Pan Gu bell. Hearing the roar, Ji Hao suddenly felt that his strength was suddenly boosted up, and his mind turned much clearer than before. Every strike he made was now swifter and smoother.
The golden lotus paused in the air. A dazzling light spread around it and expanded for over a thousand miles within a blink of an eye. Images emerged from the light; those were human ancestors, struggling to survive in the ancient world. They fought wild beasts, burned thorny undergrowth, and uprooted long grasses. They built villages on uncultivated lands, and started the human civilization, deep in the forests.
During hurricanes and storms, human ancestors roared and cried, wielding stone axes and wooden sticks, dragging their scrawny, weak bodies, desperately fighting those powerful creatures.
During floods, they connected their pasty bodies and built a wall of blood and flesh.
During mudflows, they shielded children against giant rocks falling from the sky with their shoulders.
During wildfires, they opened their mouth, bursting with despairing roars towards the sky-devouring fire. The strength they never had before erupted from their bodies and generated strong gales from their chest, which blew out the wildfires.
Spirit beasts broke into villages, and tore their bodies apart with sharp teeth and claws. But those scrawny, short human ancestors activated their bloodlines and released their powers. They raised their simple, roughly crafted weapons, rushed up and slew those beasts.
They fought natural disasters, wild beasts, and all kinds of evils; they passed their bloodlines on!
The images of the lives of human ancestors flashed across the enormous light screen. Their happiness, their anger, their sadness, their passion, eventually merged with a terrifying power, which wrapped around the golden lotus and suddenly tightened up.
The human emperor bell delivered a message to every human being on the scene.
"In this dangerous world, living is not easy. But all human beings, standing straight upon our land, under the blue sky, will live wonderful lives."
"If spirit creatures want to kill us, we kill them."
"If wild beasts want to eat us, we slaughter them!"
"If gods want to stand upon us, we bring gods down!"
"We are carriers of Pan Gu’s bloodline, we should have a homeland in this world!"
Along with a cracking noise, the golden lotus shattered. Rock Dragon old man’s soul was grabbed back by Emperor Shun. The human emperor bell floated above Emperor Shun’s head. Human ancestors’ roars and cries from the ancient world still lingered in everyone’s heart.
"The human emperor bell cannot be activated without a good reason." said Emperor Shun with a strong voice, "No former human emperor dared activate the bell easily. This was also the reason why I let those evil beings seize the opportunity."
"However, Rock Dragon old man is an important elder of the humankind. Indeed, he had chosen the wrong way, but I can’t let you take his soul."
Emperor Shun raised his head while looking at the dome, and asked aloud, "May I ask your name? For what happened today, we will be needing your explanation!"
No one responded, it was all quiet.
Boom! The Pan Gu bell slightly quaked as Ji Hao showed his face from the dense mist, gasping quickly for air. The two sky devils had already been swallowed by the five-colored cauldron.
"Why are you hiding your face? Are you a turtle?" Ji Hao wasn’t as polite as Emperor Shun, actually, and he almost cursed out.
The air vibrated gently, then a golden hand slapped down towards Ji Hao’s head, along with rumbling thunder.