Chapter 1019: The Old Rival Has Disappeared
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng settled beside the Crucible of the Divine Lands and tapped his finger lightly on its giant body and a few human figures flew out from inside as well.
With Shi Tianhao taking the lead, Yue Hongyan, Li Yuanfang, Luo Qingwu and the entire group of second-generation disciples followed closely behind.
They were not rejected by the Crucible like the other cultivators of the Great Void Sect. Rather, they came out under Lin Feng’s instruction while Zhu Yi’s Great Sun Avatar remained.
Lin Feng’s gaze swept over the group of cultivators from the Great Void Sect, and his eyes paused upon the Six Appearances Sword for a moment.
“Who is this magic item travelling with?” Lin Feng used his consciousness to ask the disciples behind him. Yue Hongyan answered, “It is in the service of a female disciple from the Great Void Sect, who is also Pang Jie’s disciple.”
Lin Feng nodded his head and said nothing more but he felt a little reminiscent of the olden days.
All those years ago, when he had just formed the nascent soul, he personally battled Pang Jie and the Six Appearances Sword.
Back then, he wasn’t as experienced and he had just opened his sect to the world. On the other hand, Pang Jie was a renowned prodigy and was the All-Under-Heavens Strider of the Great Void Sect.
The next time they crossed paths was during the incident with the ancestral ground of the Yu Family. Pang Jie had been silently cultivating in Mount Baiyun and successfully ascended to the immortal soul stage. However, all his efforts were wasted as their standards and even their statuses were completely reversed.
By then, the people that communicated with Lin Feng on an equal footing became Yan Nanlai, Kuang Heng, the Xuan Lin Holy Man and the other seniors who were a generation above Pang Jie.
Furthermore, Pang Jie was condemned for executing a sacrificial soul imprint on his junior and was incarcerated by the inner circle of the Great Void Sect.
Pang Jie was still imprisoned under the Great Void Demon-Crushing Stone today, and the Six Appearances Sword that he carried around all those years ago was passed on to his disciple.
And the people that were on equal statuses with Lin Feng became the Tai Yi Holy Man and the Zheng Yi Holy Man, the supreme elders from an even older generation.
The opponents that Lin Feng encountered over the years might not be a match for even one of his disciples.
While Lin Feng’s state of mind was strong and resilient, he developed a feeling of uncertainty and that the world was dangerously unpredictable.
He wasn’t too proud and neither was he overly sentimental. Even though he was a little nostalgic and lamented the old times, his heart was calm and if one were to ask him about his opinion, he would say that if you didn’t go forward then you’d go backward.
This statement applied to everyone and not just to himself.
Lin Feng turned towards the Zheng Yi Holy Man, the Xuan Lin Holy Man and Cai Fengzhou and said calmly, “The opening of the Star Tomb is reaching an end, and our conflict here has also reached a resolution. We should be heading over right now. I will take my leave, and the three of you can do as you wish.”
With that, Lin Feng packaged Shi Tianhao, Wang Lin and the others with his mana. The Avatar of Ares withdrew the Two Elements of Creation Formation and dragged the Crucible of the Divine Land as they travelled into the distance along with the Thunder Dragon Avatar.
Blinding starlight connected into an entire patch in the distance, and it felt like an entire sea of stars that was unfathomably vast and sinister at the same time.
Cai Fengzhou forced a laugh as he watched Lin Feng’s shadow after his departure. He turned towards the Zheng Yi Holy Man and greeted him, saying, “Senior Uncle Zheng Yi, I’m sorry for letting you down.”
The Zheng Yi Holy Man shook his head and replied, “It’s not your fault.”
The host of emotions in the Xuan Lin Holy Man’s eyes had dissipated entirely and only composure remained. “Shall we proceed to the Star Tomb?”
He didn’t say much, and the original souls of the Formation Bursting Drum and the Void Yin-Yang Bell beside him, the Drum Fairy and the Yin-Yang Elder were standing right beside him but they were silent.
Either one of them could be considered powerful entities amongst Mahayana-level magic treasures, and their abilities were far greater than most third-level immortal soul stage cultivators.
However, they were unable to combine with each other to form the Great Void Holy Pavilion in the near future.
Once they were separated, they had to wait for a painfully long time before they had a chance to fuse again.
The Zheng Yi Holy Man himself was injured, and the strength of the Great Void Sect inside the Starry Sea had declined rather than improved.
If they were the ones who tamed the Crucible of the Divine Lands, they would have been able to offset their losses and their overall strength would probably still increase.
However, the Crucible ended up in Lin Feng’s hands and greatly boosted his strength while the Great Void Sect took a blow and were relatively weaker.
Opening the Star Tomb required at least four different gates to the Starry Sea. There was no doubt that a great many demons were congregated near the Star Tomb, and their potential gains from hurrying over to the Star Tomb was highly uncertain.
If they had the Crucible of the Divine Lands, then they would have a lot more confidence in executing their plans.
The circumstance they were in right now was that the Great Void Sect had completely lost control of the situation inside the Starry Sea, and everything continued to slip through their fingers.
The Zheng Yi Holy Man wiped his left hand over his right arm, and the five-lined gash created by the Thunder Dragon Avatar’s claw disappeared. However, there was a tinge of discomfort within his body and he could still faintly feel the unbalance of his energies. He was holding down his injuries for the moment, but a complete recovery would take a lot more than that.
“The opening of the Star Tomb is a big thing and the Dragons are very likely to be involved as well. We will make our way there, but we will play by ear and make our move only when we know what’s going on.” The Zheng Yi Holy Man waved his hands once he finished speaking.
The Drum Fairy and the Yin-Yang Elder vanished into thin air as the Formation-Bursting Drum and the Void Yin-Yang Bell transformed into two rays of flowing light that were withdrawn into the sleeve of the Zheng Yi Holy Man. Subsequently, the Zheng Yi Holy Man simply proceeded in the direction of the Star Tomb by himself.
The Xuan Lin Holy Man exchanged a look with Cai Fengzhou. Cai Fengzhou extended his mana and swept up the group of younger disciples and followed behind the Zheng Yi Holy Man with the Xuan Lin Holy Man by his side.
“Where is Zhenglun?” The Xuan Lin Holy Man asked softly and Guo Chaoyang lowered his voice and replied, “Junior Wan was murdered by Tang Ju from the Celestial Sect of Wonders.”
Cai Fengzhou’s brows furrowed into a frown and asked, “What’s the reason?”
Guo Chaoyang made no attempt to hide or distort the truth and reported everything that Yang Zhao had conveyed to him before, to Cai Fengzhou and the Xuan Lin Holy Man.
As they listened to Guo Chaoyang’s recount, Cai Fengzhou heaved a heavy sigh into the sky and the Xuan Lin Holy Man said plainly, “Zhenglun was a disciple of the Great Void Sect. Whether he was wrong or right, he should have been punished by our own rules. The fact that he was murdered by a disciple from the Celestial Sect of Wonders is completely unacceptable.”
“From this moment on, all disciples under the immortal soul stage will have an extra Experience Quest: Defeat Tang Jun of the Celestial Sect of Wonders in a fair fight. The difficulty level of this Experience Quest is Advanced. When Tang Jun is in the nascent soul stage, then the difficulty level will be raised to Impossible.”
“Whoever completes this Experience Quest will report directly to me.”
Tang Jun practically held his own against three cultivators at the same time, and even then, he managed to break through and kill Wan Zhenglun. Therefore, the disciples of the Great Void Sect wanted retribution but the only way they could achieve that was to defeat and kill Tang Jun in a fair one-on-one situation. Any form of ambush, besiegement and whatnot would embarrass themselves instead.
As long as the gap in level of mastery between the two competing cultivators in a fair fight wasn’t too great, there was nothing much to be said. However, the Great Void Sect would be starting the battle with a showdown-to-the-death mindset.
At the same time, judging by Tang Jun’s past records, the challenge that the disciples of the Great Void Sect faced in a fair fight against Tang Jun to defeat and kill him was not the normal kind of difficult.
They were very likely to be killed by Tang Jun instead.
The Xuan Lin Holy Man was clear that when Tang Jun formed the nascent soul, then this Experience Quest’s difficulty level would be raised to Impossible – this was the highest possible difficulty level of all Experience Quests for the disciples of the Great Void Sect under the immortal soul stage.
The highest possible difficulty level meant the most dangerous as well.
Over the course of history, Impossible Experience Quests were already rarely seen and people that could complete such tasks were also few and far between.
In the most recent few thousand years, the only disciple from the Great Void Sect under the Immortal Soul Stage that had completed an Impossible Experience Quest before was Lin Daohan.
In normal times, the arrangement of Experience Quests for the disciples under the Immortal Soul Stage were typically settled by the seniors in the Immortal Soul Stage, and they would never trouble a supreme elder like the Xuan Lin Holy Man for a task like this. Even Pang Jie, who was a direct disciple of the Xuan Lin Holy Man, was the same.
Yet, the Xuan Lin Holy Man personally declared an Experience Quest this time and disciples who eventually completed the Quest were to go to him directly.
The disciples from the Great Void Sect were bursting with excitement at this declaration, but they were equally solemn.
Everybody fantasized about their own chances for a while before everybody calmed down, and most of them turned in unison to look at Chen Xingyu and Guo Chaoyang.
Mu Xuan’s cosmic form was shattered not too long ago, and the disciples from the Great Void Sect inside the Starry Sea who had the best chance were Chen Xingyu and Guo Chaoyang.
In the end, Shan Xiang was no match for Tang Jun even though he was in the nascent soul intermediate stage. While Guo Chaoyang and Chen Xingyu were only in the nascent soul beginner stage, they were both more powerful than Shan Xiang was.
Only disciples of a certain standard had a chance to even survive an attempt at this Experience Quest, let alone complete it.
Guo Chaoyang and Chen Xingyu didn’t say much as they paid their respects at the same time.
Cai Fengzhou didn’t interrupt the Xuan Lin Holy Man when he was speaking as he had been thinking the whole time. At this point, he chimed in. “Everybody needs to continue training hard. The Experience Quests set by the sect can be attempted and redeemed by anyone, and everybody should treat this as a goal to grind yourselves.”
Shan Xiang, Fan Xuefeng, Zhao Mingxiu and the others had a tiny epiphany as they listened to his words. They reoriented themselves and hurriedly acknowledged his instructions.
Cai Fengzhou shook his head but said nothing more to the younger generation of disciples. He passed a message to the Xuan Lin Holy Man via voice-projection and said, “The Celestial Sect of Wonders seems to have an advantage in the nurturing of their second generation of disciples.”
The Xuan Lin Holy Man said nothing in response but heaved a sigh that was a seldom occurrence for him. After a long while of contemplation, he turned towards Cai Fengzhou. “That’s the reason why I decaled this Experience Quest. It’s best if someone is able to complete it, but if nobody is able to do so, I hope it will serve as a source of motivation.”
Even though it was spoken as such, Cai Fengzhou could sense a trace of sullenness in his voice.
Their political opinions were different, but they had been friends for a long time after all and Cai Fengzhou knew that the Xuan Lin Holy Man was extremely hard-headed and egotistical. He set an Experience Quest for his younger disciples but had no faith at all that anyone could complete it. The fact that he declared this Experience Quest as a form of motivation rather than something to be attempted and achieved betrayed his exasperation and desperation.
“Even though the situation is slipping out of our grasp and our confidence is being whittled down, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a chance.” The despondence in the eyes of the Xuan Lin Holy Man quickly disappeared, and his usual composure swiftly returned as he orientated himself once again. “This is especially so because of the Crucible of the Divine Lands – it’s far too important.”
Cai Fengzhou nodded his head in approval of his remark.
For the Great Void Sect, a magic treasure like the Crucible of the Divine Lands could be used to forge pills and could be used in battle at the same time – it was an extremely useful and powerful magic treasure.
In the end, destiny-level magic treasures were hard to come by. Vipralopa Stage human cultivators were typically at a disadvantage against Vipralopa Stage great demons in most situations as the revelation of the great demons’ true forms would greatly increase their powers.
“If we can obtain the Crucible of the Divine Lands, then so be it, but if the Crucible of the Divine Lands is still in the hands of the Celestial Sect of Wonders at the end of everything, then our original plan really has to be executed as soon as possible,” the Xuan Lin Holy Man said quietly, “When we return from the Starry Sea, we have to carry out our first search of the Void Battleground.”