Chapter 764: The Illusion At The Core Of the Mountain
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Compared to the colossal square-shaped Fangzhang Celestial Mountain which was more than five thousand miles wide, the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain was a lot smaller as it was only four thousand miles wide. However, this magical mountain was still enormous and was large enough to be called an island.
Zhu Yi and company wasted no time as they flew towards the summit of the mountain immediately after breaking the magic formation.
No experience was required as their senses told them that the summit of the mountain was where most of the spiritual energy of the mountain were condensed at.
Voluminous amounts of spiritual energy permeated from the top of mountain and streamed into the midsections like a wheel that orbited the mountain.
As they were walking, both Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang glanced backwards towards the Nameless Ancient Formation at the same time.
They exchanged a look. “The others have broken the formation as well.”
The others were not that much slower than Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang. The reason why their company was faster than the others was because Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang were relatively more adept with magic formations and the result of their decision to split up.
The void split open in the Nameless Ancient Formation at a distance behind them as a group of people finally stepped foot onto the mountain – the Great Qin Empire’s party.
The leader of the group was not Shi Lin and neither was it the Vivant Joy Holy Man – it was Shi Xingyun.
She raised her head and turned towards the direction of the summit. “It’s Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang from the Celestial Sect of Wonders. Looks like they split up as well and completed a half-circle each.”
Shi Lin frowned a little. He was called forth to lead the Great Qin Empire’s party into the Nameless Ancient Formation and probe the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain and was naturally one of the cultivators that with higher level of mastery with magic formations. In addition to Shi Xingyun’s previously unknown finesse with magic formations, they used the same method of completing a half-circle each and even then, they were still slower than the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Their pairing was a second-level immortal soul stage cultivator with a nascent soul intermediate stage cultivator and yet they still came up short against a nacent soul advanced stage pairing with an aurous core beginner stage. This was actually slightly humiliating.
Shi Lin lowered his voice and said, “Let’s go. We will catch up with them at the summit.”
“Yes, uncle.” Shi Xingyun nodded her head and the Vivant Joy Holy Man said nothing as they called the rest of the cultivators of the Great Qin Empire and followed behind Zhu Yi and headed towards the summit of the mountain.
Not before long, the void shifted once more as the Great Zhou Empire’s party burst through the void and arrived onto the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain.
The Da Kong Zen Master cast his gaze forward towards the tip of the mountain and laughed as he shook his head. “Even with the guidance of my ancestors, one man’s speed is ultimately slower than two people working together.”
The Tidal Sword Elder refused to comment. Sword cultivators were never too good with magic formations, and even if they were, they were only good with sword formations. There was a also huge difference from typical magic formations, thus the valuable input he could provide was highly limited.
The Da Kong Zen Master wasted no more time as he started flying towards the top of the mountain as the Tidal Sword Elder and the rest of the group followed closely behind.
Zhu Yi and the others took point as everybody proceeded towards the top of the mountain. The amount of mystical herbs and other natural objects were plentiful enough to make people dizzy, and the ample spiritual energy was also made it a highly suitable environment for people to cultivate in.
“Even though it’s still inferior to Mount Yujing, it’s actually superior to the Celestial Wonders World. Even if the resources on this mountain are inferior to a middle world like the Celestial Wonders World, the sheer numbers and variety are already extraordinary.”
Zhu Yi surveyed his surroundings and continued, “Furthermore, there is the Jade Nectar Spring that the Green Glass Soul senior spoke off that helps to raise the powers of magic items.”
Even though the Green Glass Jade Stand craved the Jade Nectar Spring, he knew that it was not the right time to indulge himself. He had to wait until Lin Feng and Zhu Yi gained control over the mountain before anything could happen. He would have all the time in the world after that as well.
Just like the Ying Sea, the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain had a great many illusions inside as well. Most of the treasures and mystical herbs that everybody kept coming across were actually created by visual illusions.
The most dangerous ones were still illusions that possessed the highest level of deceptiveness. One was positioned at the very top of the mountain as well, as the space above was twisted and out of proportion and an illusory summit that released strong ripples of spiritual energy was created to mislead unwitting adventurers.
After a long time of searching, victory was near and only one last step was needed before the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain was fully in control, and it would be able to roam freely throughout the Ying Sea.
The greater the suffering that came before, the stronger the feeling of victory, satisfaction and hopeful relief would be.
However, Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang were clear-headed enough to dispel all such notions. They refused to be misled and trapped by the illusion of the summit as they repositioned themselves in the void above – they discovered that the illusion was actually in a place far away from where the real summit was located at.
In comparison with the real summit of the mountain, it was like a reflection from a mirror.
Zhu Yi and the others broke through the illusion in an instant and finally found themselves at the summit of the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain. The mountain seemed to tremble at the very moment they set foot onto the summit.
Uncountable rays of light lit up from the summit and formed a gigantic circular formation. It was not an aggressive one, however, and it led Zhu Yi and his company inside the middle of the mountain!
The midsection of the mountain was pitch black and without a single ounce of light.
All natural light was blocked off, and even when Zhu Yi and the others tried to create sparks of light, they still found themselves mired in complete darkness.
“This concept of power is similar to that of the Eternal Night Demonic Stele. It resembles the darkness of the primitive ages and the eternal and sleepless night – as if all sources of light have been consumed.” Zhu Yi and the others remained calm and started using their psychic senses to probe the path ahead. They began to feel the flow of spiritual energies inside the mountain.
Vast amounts of spiritual energies that were condensed together were like tides along the coast – there was a clear direction of movement.
Zhu Yi and company followed the general direction of the flow of spiritual energy as they moved forward slowly. Even though they were obstructed by multiple sources of mana, everybody fought them off as they went with relative ease, and tiny sparks of light eventually returned to their eyes.
“Over here.” Zhu Yi felt his spirits lift as he started towards the tiny specks of light. The more they walked, the clearer the lights became.
At the end of everything, everybody found themselves faced with a flat wall. The wall was translucent like water crystals and radiated soft light from within.
However, strangely, the crystal-like wall did not reflect their images.
Everyone started exchanging glances as it was clear there was something wrong with this crystal wall. Zhu Yi reached out to touch the wall – it was not ice-cold, but rather exuded a certain degree of warmth. He tried to pierce the wall through the void but realized that was not possible.
They changed tack and tried to destroy the wall with brute force but discovered that the wall was like liquid water – it rippled and twisted momentarily before it returned to its original state.
Zhu Yi’s brows furrowed into a frown. “Seems like we need an third-level immortal soul stage cultivator to break this crystal wall forcefully… Or not – it seems like even cultivators at the Way of the Virtual Entity may not be able to accomplish that as well. Perhaps we need a destiny-level magic treasure.”
Baiguang stepped forward and touched the crystal wall lightly. “Perhaps it has something to do with illusory power. It even feels like an abnormally powerful spatial illusion – the only thing is, why can’t we enter it?”
Baiguang came from the Jade Dragon Tribe, and the natural talent of the Jade Dragons was the mastery of illusory powers and the switch from corporeal forms to incorporeal ones. Even though their illusory powers were not seductive and deceptive like that of the Fox Race or the Oyster Race, they were still relatively more sensitive towards changes in space.
“It’s different from the illusions we have encountered before. It doesn’t just forbid us from entering inside – it seems to be discriminating against us.”
Zhu Yi mulled over her analysis momentarily before he turned towards the Green Glass Jade Stand. “Green Glass Soul senior, much important information passed down over the years could be lost in translation.”
“Having an advisor like you, who have existed since the middle ages, is extremely helpful. Do you know if anybody managed to get themselves into the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain, or if anybody has faced an illusion such as this before?”
The Green Glass Soul pondered for a moment before he replied slowly, “I have heard rumors before, but I can’t verify it.”
“Legend has it that during the early years of the Middle Ages, one of the third-level Golden Form stage elders of the Great Thunderclap Temple that went by the name of Zhi Guang Zen Master managed to beat the Nameless Ancient Formation and eventually entered the middle of the mountain like you guys just did.”
“However, the Zhi Guang Zen Master was unable to take control of the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain in the end. He was eventually rejected and chased away by the magical mountain, which channeled the powers of the Ying Sea. He returned to the Great Thunderclap Temple and lived to tell the tale. He once spoke of a unique illusion in the middle of the mountain that rejected all outsiders.”
“Perhaps this is the illusion that he spoke of,” the Green Glass Soul continued, “The Zhi Guang Zen Master had the intention to revisit the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain during the next reappearance of the three mountains, but the chance never came and he passed away for some other reason.”
Jieyu’s mouth twitched a little. “After the forceful assault of generations after generations of cultivators, the defensive mechanisms of the three mountains have become weaker and weaker over the years. At least we haven’t been chased way by the might of the Ying Sea. Still, we can’t just pace around at the entrance to the treasure trove!”
“The defensive mechanisms of the magical mountain are still relatively powerful,” Zhu Yi fiddled with a voice-projection crystal as he spoke, “This uncanny illusion seems to be formed by the mountain by incorporating the mystical and vast powers of the Ying Sea. This also means that we are coming closer and closer to the key to controlling the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain.”
“We are unable to contact Master and the others while we are on the mountain. We don’t even know if Eldest Senior and his company are already here on the island or if they’re still stuck inside the Nameless Ancient Formation. If we can communicate with them, then we can help them break through the formation as fast as possible.”
Zhu Yi kept the voice-projection crystal as he started to study the crystal wall in front of him once again.
While the Celestial Sect of Wonders were analyzing the crystal wall, the Great Zhou and the Great Qin Empires’ parties had finally entered the middle of the mountain as well.
The magical mountain possessed strange spatial defensive mechanisms, and the three parties that entered separately found themselves in completely different circumstances with varying encounters.
However, everyone found themselves faced with a crystal-like wall that prevented them from moving forward.
“The illusion at the core of the mountain… it’s also the key that connects the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain to the Ying Sea.”
The Da Kong Zen Master took a deep breath and retrieved a relic from his possessions
This relic appeared extremely small and plain and resembled a date seed – dark-colored and unassuming.
“Zhi Guang Ancestor, I call on your wisdom and your experience.” The Da Kong Zen Master placed his palms together and started to chant. The relic hovered in the air but still seemed dull and unimpressive, and was quite unlike the other relics which all radiated with Buddhist light, exuded the smell of sandalwood and rang with songs of Zen.
However, there was a feeling of freedom coming from the seed-like relic and permeated the air with profound concepts of Buddhism.
All of a sudden, rows of black scripture streamed out from the relic and drilled into the crystal wall!
At the same time, rows of black scripture formed the shape of a rope and started wrapping themselves around the Da Kong Zen Master.