This chapter has been brought to you by me and larkspur.
Chapter Forty-Seven: The Ninth Hall
All libraries have methods to fend off fire. So even though the flames had swallowed the entire Chu palace, most of the records had been preserved. The records were mostly not on cultivation methods, but what many cultivators had heard and seen. Few people would have the patience to go through the ocean of notebooks and travel notes, even the Chu imperial house which could go into to view them at any time.
But Su Qin was different. He was a cultivator from White Goat Cave. People like him would take any step that could allow him to take another step forward. Good opportunities would only come to those who worked hard enough. The key was, you were lucky enough. And he, coincidentally, was one of the lucky few.
He found records about the Twelve Shamans in this library that people overlooked. Jiaodong Commandery had mastery of the backdoor and key to the formation, and the records of the Chu had some of the secrets of the methods.
At the start of the Chu Dynasty, the earliest group of cultivators came from a split with the Jin Dynasty. Some of these people had once closely observed the Twelve Shaman, and described some of the methods in detail. They even raised the possibility that people who did not cultivate the yin and ghosts could learn some of these methods. So Su Qin’s understanding of the ancestral hall and the inheritance was greater than any cultivator in the world right now.
In reality, just like with Ding Ning, knowledge was power, even if one’s cultivation was weak right now. Su Qin learned through many methods that the people who guarded the hall here only took over many years after the great change back then and the Qi Dynasty was finally founded. After passing down through generations, the Qi Emperor and the people who guarded the hall could not know of the weakness in the formation and the secret door. He was even more certain that his chance had finally arrived.
Before, he had followed Li Lingjun back to the Chu, received Zheng Xiu’s appreciation and entered Celestial Seal Sect to study, and then led the Nether Float fleet to take over the Chu capital, becoming Zheng Xiu’s envoy in Chu. He had been passive in doing all of this, with Zheng Xiu’s shadow behind him.
But this time, it was his first time taking hold of his own fate.
According to Zheng Xiu’s orders, he must quickly inspect the halls of the Twelve shamans, and find the shaman that was useful to her. From the methods of the twelve strongest disciples of the ancestral master, she had deduced that one of the shamans had a method related to star fire. This method could use the cold star fire to resonate with the yin energy. If she could comprehend this method, she would grow even stronger.
In her orders, Su Qin must record the seal scripts and pictures of the shaman, and use the formation key to change some of the scripts on the shaman, or if possible try to destroy some of the pictures and seal scripts. This stemmed from her worry that some people could discover secrets about her star fire method from these seal scripts and pictures. Some powerful cultivators could use this method and study the secrets of star fire in reserve.
The reason that Su Qin possessed the ability to do this was because he had cultivated in the Celestial Seal Sect for a long time, had made good progress, and had a high understanding of seal scripts.
Su Qin was almost certain that he had been arranged to go to the Celestial Seal Sect and take over the Chu matters in relation to this matter. The mistress of the Changling, in his view, was more terrifying than they said. Her scheming was so profound, one after another, always another move.
Yes, no one could win against luck and fate.
In Zheng Xiu’s plot, Su Qin’s time would be tight after he reached the ancestral hall. He must quickly confirm which of the twelve halls was the one she needed, find the way to record the method, and then destroy or change the seal scripts. She had never considered that before he entered the halls, he would know which methods each of the shaman halls held, and so he had ample amount of time. A lot of the time beyond her plan.
This time belonged to Su Qin.
The statue that Zheng Xiu needed was ranked seventh among the Twelve Shamans. The method recorded there was called the Nether Fire Scripture. When the cold star fire and yin energy merged, the new energy which was produced could invade the energies of other cultivators, and more terrifyingly, could be concealed from a cultivator’s perception.
But Su Qin did not enter the seventh hall first. He first entered the ninth hall. While at this time he was the cultivator who knew the most about the Twelve Shamans, but before they were delivered here, he had never seen the true appearance of the Twelve Shamans, much less when they were complete.
When he easily passed through the invisible power of the activated formation and truly entered the ninth hall, the moment he saw the ninth shaman statue clearly, he still could not avoid being shocked.
This was a completely green shaman. This statue was over a hundred feet high, completely green all over, crystal clear like it was carved from a green gem.
But what shocked him the most was not the material itself, but the energy flowing inside and outside the statue. From the seven orifices of the shamans, deep red misty energy flowed out. The mist was like sticky blood, and inside the statue, just like a real person, there were countless meridians where the deep red mist was flowing.
This statue was breathing like a true cultivator. With each breath, yin energy would be sucked into his body. It felt like that this shaman was cultivating on his own, and his cultivation was slowly growing.
When the deep red bloody mist flowed outside the shaman’s body, it would suddenly disperse, turning to quickly moving lights. The thin red lights would flash quickly on the surface of the green shaman, forming seal scripts and pictures. These seal scripts and pictures would flash with seven colored lights. Behind the shaman statue with its hands touching the energy sea, there was the shadow of countless arms formed from these lights.
As Su Qin breathed, the air in the hall moved slightly, and the shadow of the thousand arms slowly moved like they were alive. He took a deep breath. Then he held his breath, his eyes narrowing into lines, his left hand holding a pure white crystal, and his crippled fingers started to swipe on the white crystal, living behind marks only he understood.