This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 68: The Key To Change
“We are going to die.”
When the amber pillar started to make sounds and Li Xixing sensed the vibration coming from the minuscule things inside, his eyes dimmed. He stopped and moved closer to Hu Jingjing, saying seriously, “Thank you.”
Thank you for your company so he would not go alone.
While he could not sense what was actually inside the amber pillar, he was certain those were what had caused the deaths of the cultivators along the path. Those little things were living beings but had the speed and power to penetrate cultivators’ skulls. Even more importantly, they were too small- like flying swords, the smaller they are, the harder to sense and block.
Hu Jingjing could also sense the minuscule movements within the crystal pillar. She understood his meaning, and also knew that any resistance against the things inside would be futile. So she looked seriously at Li Xixing and said, “While I really do not want to die … since it is like this, then let’s die together.”
Li Xixing nodded. He knew there was no time to do anything so he only reached out to hold Hu Jingjing’s hand and prepared to welcome death.
The small things in the amber pillar flew out. Many indigo lines suddenly appeared in the air. Because they were so small and quick, the small things left behind afterimages in indigo lines that seemed to twist together into a profound ball of string in the air.
Then in the next moment, Li Xixing’s face was taken over by shock. Hu Jingjing looked at the small tracks and her eyes widened.
The indigo lines grew thicker, and the afterimages denser. The pair even started to be able to see that these small things were a kind of unique and strange insect.
These insects had bodies that were split in half. The head was a straight needle-point shape, and the back half was a soft abdomen with tiny wings. Originally, its body had been as narrow as a needle, but now it was swelling and growing fatter. As a result, they were slowing down, so slow the pair felt if they did not possess their starting speed, these insects would fall out of the air.
“It must be because of the spirit rain.”
Li Xixing released Hu Jingjing’s hand and then swung his large pale white sword. He easily drove away some of the insects that reached him and her. He watched the wings fall miserably off the insects as their abdomens exploded into green-yellow fluid. He slowly looked up at the milky white rain still falling from the sky.
When Hu Jingjing’s hand was released, she felt slightly disappointed. But then, when she saw the insects being easily slapped away like they were pebbles, she was joyful and understood as to why.
These insects had not occurred naturally. Those past Tianliang cultivators had used some methods to change their body shape, so in their ill state, their narrow bodies had astounding power. And this spirit rain had unsealed and healed them of their illness. Their bodies became normal again, depriving them of the ability to kill powerful cultivators.
“So, if one does not believe the gods and fate, they can survive.” Hu Jingjing understood all this, and muttered softly as she looked at the thick layer of bones behind her.
“Perhaps they do not believe in gods or revere them, they just do not bear to.” Li Xixing thought of the Fountain of Eternal Life that people could not help but want to possess and thought of the bones here were not all from those who committed suicide when Tianliang was destroyed. He feared that too many experts had died here, with no one left to leave alive, so the ancestral land was regarded as forbidden and no one dared to enter.
Destroying the spring became their key to entering the Mountain of Ancestors alive. But what did this Mountain of Ancestors really contain?
Li Xixing looked up and took a deep breath. He swung his sword and slapped away all the insects flying at his and Hu Jingjing’s foreheads. Then he walked to the crystal pillar that the insects flew out of, and tried to cut it.
Bang! His sword vibrated violently. The crystal pillar showed no marks, and did not even tremble.
“You will not be able to cut it.” Hu Jingjing looked seriously at the crystal pillar and said softly and carefully, “The experts here must have used their full power to defend against these insects before death so nothing grows on this mountain path. Even the stones have been damaged but this crystal pillar is not damaged at all. You and I should not be able to touch …”
And yet, before she finished speaking, she was stunned.
Li Xixing put down his longsword, and then spun the crystal pillar, easily pulling it out from the bones.
“Why is it like this?!” Hu Jingjing looked dazedly at the pillar that was almost as tall as Li Xixing and exclaimed.
Li Xixing grabbed this pillar covered in small holes and sensed that it was about the weight of a normal metal sword. He looked at her and asked after a pause, “Everything has changed slightly, no one was able to walk here and spin this crystal pillar.”
Hu Jingjing recovered slightly. She knew this crystal pillar, the mountain path, and the spring were not simple. Yet after the spring disappeared, many things here seemed to have changed.
“Why did you think of spinning this? What do you prepare to do with it?”
These were two different questions because Hu Jingjing saw Li Xixing carry the pillar forward after weighting it and do nothing else to it.
“When I slashed at it, there were small circular waves of air at its bottom. This meant that the bottom could be spun.”
“Since countless experts who died here were unable to damage it, then it means that this is extremely strong. At least stronger than my sword. There are very few things in the world stronger than my Fang sword. I fear those legendary swords may not be able to cut it.”
Li Xixing answered her two questions and then started to search for pieces of clothing or armor that had not been weathered and decayed.
After passing by this crystal pillar, there were very few skeletons in the flat valley. But on the ground behind each skeleton, there were long plough tracks, or deep footprints. These were created by cultivators who wanted to forcibly pass this place through speed or vital energy.
Their vital energy alone could create such deep marks. How strong these cultivators had been and how terrifying these insects who were smaller than needles were could be imagined. These cultivators should have used great power in fighting these insects, so the mountain path and the surrounding valley were lifeless. Even the earth and the mountain stone had changed due to the vital energy to become something like agate.
Li Xixing burned these fragments of cloth and leather armor, and then covered over with bones. A thick and a thin pillar of smoke rose from the Mountain of Ancestors.
This was halfway up the mountain.
Compared to the smoke pillars at the base of the mountain, the smoke was clearer and easier for the people outside to see.
Ding Ning and Shen Xuan had reached the border of the valley on their military horses.
The slopes around the Mountain of Ancestors were extremely steep. Usually, even if the riders did not rein in the horses, the well-trained military horses would stop at the border of the valley based on their own judgement.
Yet the spirit rain was densest at the mountain. The horses, like the other beasts charging in from elsewhere, did not think at all and charged down the slopes with a scream.
There were many cracking sounds. The great momentum caused the front legs of these military horses to snap instantly. The white bone even pierced through flesh and blood. Yet some unknown power caused these horses to keep leaping forward as the white spirit energy blooming out of the ground instantly healed these horses.
There were many beasts who had broken bones like the horses yet the beasts did not rest and surged down the slopes.
Ding Ning’s body leaned backwards to maintain his balance and he saw the thick and thin pillars of smoke.
“It is good if they are alive,” he said joyfully to himself.
Cold light flashed through Shen Xuan’s eyes. In his view, Li Xixing being alive now may not be a good thing.
“The time is right.” The Wuzhi Shaman spoke as the beasts flooded past him and he saw the pillars of smoke.
Then his face suddenly paled, his pupils constricting. An emotion of disbelief suddenly spread through his body like cold frost.