This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter Seventy One: Crown
“Who is Gu Huai?” Hu Jingjing felt this name was unfamiliar so she naturally asked.
“The master of Spirit Void Sword Sect?” Li Xixing had heard of a person called Gu Huai but he was not sure.
“What? The master of Spirit Void Sword Sect!” Hu Jingjing shouted.
Hers and Li Xixing’s reactions right now appeared amusing but no one found it funny.
Ding Ning nodded seriously. “The master of Spirit Void Sword Sect.”
Li Xixing glanced at Shen Xuan who was standing by and his lack of facial change. He understood something and said, “We can try.”
“Are you all mad?” Hu Jingjing could not help but say as she looked at Ding Ning and Li Xixing.
Shen Xuan looked at this round faced young woman and thought that there finally was a normal person among the madmen.
Ding Ning looked at her and said, “Gu Huai is the same as Mo Shoucheng, they work for Zheng Xiu.”
Hu Jingjing stilled and said, “Then let’s try.”
Shen Xuan’s face immediately froze. He paused for a breath and urged Ding Ning: “Why waste time here?”
“We are not in a hurry.” Ding Ning turned to him and said, “That Tianliang person wants us to open the way for him. Gu Huai is also behind us. They may meet first.”
Shen Xuan looked up at the slaughter in the sky and said with some scorn, “Even if we meet, like these experts of the sky, they will not pick the strongest to fight unless it is the end.”
“So if we have not solved the final mystery of the ancestral land, they will not act.” Ding Ning said calmly, “This is our chance. But first we must be absolutely united to have a chance to succeed.”
Shen Xuan said coldly, “I think we are in agreement now.”
Ding Ning smiled and said, “We can go now.”
He reached to point up the mountain. That place was not the tallest point of the Mountain of Ancestors but as he pointed, even Hu Jingjing saw the abnormality.
The powerful birds in the sky seemed to be avoiding that place. Other than some of the stupidest birds, almost no other birds landed there. A natural space formed like a thin ray of light fell down from the sky.
Shen Xuan moved. The primal energies of the universe he exuded easily covered Li Xixing and Hu Jingjing, forming a transparent ball that slowly floated up.
The place Ding Ning pointed out did not directly face the mountain path. They passed through the flat valley, moving upwards tens of feet until they appeared in the diagonal valley. Rather than a valley, it was just a crack in the mountain just two people wide. The inside rippled with a strange light blue mist that emanated cold energy. Thousands of beasts were roaring outside with blood and flesh raining now. The scene surpassed their imagination so this strange icy miss did not feel special to them.
They advanced along the valley. There were no surprises, but Shen Xuan was unusually careful as he moved forward. So they took some time to pass through the relatively short valley. What appeared in the sights of the quartet was a round valley. The ground was slightly sunken like this was a valley created from the impact of a meteorite.
The valley also contained light blue mist, and looked like a lake full of water. But inexplicably, the moment everyone saw this valley, they felt like there were two concentric circles here.
Including Ding Ning, everyone had a feeling that this seemed to be the center of the ancestral lands.
A strange scene even appeared in Ding Ning’s mind.
A wave of great power burst forth, the initial force creating this round valley immediately, and then the enormous power moved along the mountain, spreading outwards. The great impact swept away all loose sand and soil, leaving only the strongest stone behind to form this valley and the mountain level with the ground.
In the last battle of Tianliang where they destroyed themselves, all other mountains had disappeared. Only this last Mountain of Ancestors, the center of the ancestral lands, remained. In his senses, this valley had a hidden but powerful force so he was even more certain this place would be where the final secret of the ancestral lands would be.
The light blue mist did not obscure vision greatly. The stupid birds above would sweep away the light mist as they landed, and allow them to see many old stone beasts scattered ahead. All the stone beasts in sight were not taller than a normal person. Most were half as tall as an ordinary person and were carved in the shape of grassland beasts.
Most of these beasts were only pictograms. After many years of weathering, it was difficult to tell what animals the statues made from the stones of these mountains depicted but the seal-like patterns on the surface were unusually clear.
Ding Ning’s gaze narrowed slightly, his eyes flashing for a moment like a star before calming down. Before anyone spoke, he said softly, “These are all sword manuals.”
“Sword manuals?” Hu Jingjing looked in disbelief at the lines on the beasts, and thought something was wrong with her judgement. “You say that each of the stone beasts is a different sword manual?”
“Some are swords, some are blades, others are different weapons. But for true swordsmen of Changling, there is no difference between weapons. All these methods of using blades can be called sword manuals.” Ding Ning gazed at the lines on the statues. He sensed the different sword essences contained within and slowly said, “Each of these stone statues records a unique sword manual.”
Changling had many swordsmen who used blade or spear essence when wielding a sword, so Hu Jingjing did not find Ding Ning’s words hard to understand. She instinctively asked, “Perhaps, it is for these sword manuals?”
“Not everyone can comprehend these mysteries. In the recorded history of cultivators, the different methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. They cannot make someone realm seven or eight. Even the best sword manual is just a means to use one’s own power and weapon.” Ding Ning shook his head and indicated that Shen Xuan could advance.
“How are these compared to the Min Mountain Sword Sect sword manuals?”
Shen Xuan did not refuse and continued to walk forward slowly. But he was not as unaffected as before. His eyes burned as he walked.
“Not bad.” Ding Ning responded simply and crisply.
Not bad meant that they were at least equal. The many sword manuals of Min Mountain Sword Sect were desired by all cultivators in the world. Even that person had been unable to study them back then, much less Shen Xuan. So at the two words, Shen Xuan could not help but inhale deeply to try to keep calm.
This valley was very small. They only needed to walk a few hundred steps to reach the center of the valley. The stone beasts along the way gradually disappeared. The icy mist faded. When they finally appeared in the center of the valley, what appeared in front of them caused them all to inhale in shock.
This was an enormous palace. Enormous patches of stone created this palace. The reason that it was patches of stone but not pieces of stone was because these enormous stones were as sharp as giant blades stabbing towards the sky.
In the blink of an eye, everyone was certain that these sharp stones directed upwards had been created by an enormous force.
That enormous force had charged into the mountain, immediately melting or crushing the surrounding rock. Then the terrifying force compressed the magma or stone powder into unimaginably hard stone which solidified instantly. So the stone palace in their sight was not flat on the top. It was made from enormous stone pieces shaped irregularly like a crown on the ground.
They did not know if there were gaps above the stones like it was a patio, but there was only one entrance in the surroundings.
Shen Xuan led them around and only saw one square entrance. It was a crude and simple door without any ornamentation. There was only a set of descending stairs with a dignified and solemn presence surging out.