Chapter 890: Towards the Barren Expanses
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Xiao Yan’s eyes sparkled as he heard Lin Feng’s reassuring words. “Master…”
Lin Feng laughed again as he waved his hands and said, “Xiao Yan, you will remain on Mount Yujing to recuperate and cultivate the True Torch of Ksitigarbha.”
“You have made a great sacrifice, and if you are able to control the True Torch of Ksitigarbha that Wang Lin and the others brought back, you will have six primordial fires to go along with the immortal soul. Thought you will not be able to channel the Hexa Fire Lotus, during the initial stages of the immortal soul stage, you will be able to control the Penta Fire Lotus.”
The others turned to look at Xiao Yan with eyes of both gratitude and compassion. Xiao Yan laughed and said, “That’s alright, master, I can still make it in time.”
Lin Feng nodded his head and laughed along with him. “You will take your time to study it, and perhaps you will make some unexpected discoveries. It can also be seen as an unprecedented opportunity as well. However, you have to remember that before you ascend to the second-level immortal stage, do not attempt to channel the Hexa Fire Lotus – the destructiveness will blow your own immortal soul to smithereens. You also have to be meticulous when you assimilate the Red Lotus Fire as seven different primordial fires will prove to be a great burden for you.”
“Yes, master, I understand.” Xiao Yan acknowledged the advice as Lin Feng continued. “You have to thank your fellow juniors. Refine and cultivate with the Two-Phase Rotations Divine Stone like the way I taught you, and even now you still have the opportunity to re-forge and bulk up the strength of your physical body.”
Shi Tianhao burst out laughing. “I knew you’d like it.”
Xiao Yan guffawed and said, “You have finally done things right.”
Shi Tianhao was not upset at Xiao Yan’s remark and jokingly squared up against Xiao Yan as everyone shared in the joy and celebratory mood.
“So, you shall stay on Mount Yujing to cultivate.” After he was done instructing Xiao Yan, Lin Feng turned towards Zhu Yi. “Zhu Yi, it’s time for you absorb all the knowledge and experience everything that you can. Do what you want and what you think is best, and you can cultivate the Higan Golden Bridge as well.”
Zhu Yi nodded his head repeatedly and said, “I understand.” He knew very well that Lin Feng’s departure did not mean that he was shutting himself in. Even though Mount Yujing would not reveal itself easily if Zhu Yi would be able to anchor things down with the Higan Golden Bridge if there were invaders and hold them off until Lin Feng’s return. This was one of the reasons why Lin Feng chose Zhu Yi to remain in the Divine Lands.
The hidden meaning behind Lin Feng’s words that he could ‘do what he wanted’ was that Lin Feng gave him his permission to seek out Zhu Hongwu.
Lin Feng then shifted his attention to Yue Hongyan. “You have gained much from your journey into the Southern Wilderness. You shall focus your attention on assimilating the Royal Extermination Pole-Ax, and prepare for breaking through to the nascent soul intermediate stage at the same time.”
Yue Hongyan smiled faintly as her sword-like eyebrows became a lot smoother and warmer. “Yes, master.”
Lin Feng passed his instructions to Wang Lin, Shi Tianhao, Yang Qing, Li Yuanfang and Luo Qingwu as well. “The few of you will follow me into the Barren Expanses.”
All five of them bowed down in acknowledgment. “Yes, master.”
Once he was done with all that, Lin Feng passed a Life and Death Netherworld Tao Fruit that he had previously cultivated to Xiao Zhener and Gu Peng. The fruit contained the nether soul of the Prince of Tang, one of the members of the royal family of the Emperor of the Ancients.
The Prince of Tang was already dead, and true reincarnation was also a near impossibility. His fate, whether he was to be preserved or sent into the afterlife, was up to Xiao Zhener and her family members.
The other two Life and Death Netherworld Tao Fruits obtained from the Emperor of the Dead contained the Heaven’s Gate Sect’s Spiritual Sky Elder and one of the olden Scholarly Sect’s Second Sages, Wu Zi.
It was not possible to directly obtain the mantras and the teachings of the Heaven’s Gate Sect and the Scholarly Sect, and one could only derive and study it from outside. However, Lin Feng and the others had no intention of doing so and irrevocably shattered the two Tao Fruits and sent their souls into the afterlife.
Before Lin Feng departed the mountain, the Mount Shu Sword Sect finally arrived. The Shaoyang Swordmaster was there and hoped to ensure the safe return of the Shaoshang Swordmaster and the Lixiong Swordmaster, along with the five swords that the Celestial Sect of Wonders had imprisoned – the Shaoshang, Lixiong, Shaoyang, Shaoze and the Grand Moon Swords.
The Celestial Sect of Wonders was not about to return the various divine swords. The Shaoshang Swordmaster, who was part of the group that besieged Xiao Yan, Mister Dual Polarity Peak, and the Virtuous Zen Master, was off limits. Lin Feng was already being magnanimous for not pursuing the issue with the Grand Moon Swordmaster, the Shaoze Swordmaster, and the Guanchong Swordmaster.
The only person that they were willing to return was the Lixiong Swordmaster.
The Shaoyang Swordmaster’s attitude, or it could be said to be representative of the Mount Shu Sword Sect’s attitude, was a little strange and they also refrained from pushing the limits. They used the ‘price’ of redeeming two people to exchange for just the Lixiong Swordmaster.
The typically toxic and violent Lixiong Swordmaster seemed a little lost and unkempt as he came down from the Heavenly Gods-Sealing Banner. He wore an inscrutable expression as he departed with the Shaoyang Swordmaster.
It was the subsequent news from Mount Shu that was slightly more interesting.
Xin Longsheng, the Tiangang Swordmaster, and the Cang Ming Swordmaster rebuilt the peaks of Mount Shu and the mountain gate together. Xin Longsheng resigned from his position as the sect leader of the Mount Shu Sword Sect immediately after and meditated at the summit of Mount Shu for a day and a night before he vanished right after sunrise.
The Tiangang Swordmaster and the Cang Ming Swordmaster remained in Mount Shu but returned to reclusion and meditation.
The Shaoyang Swordmaster inherited the position of sect leader and became the first cultivator in the history of the Mount Shu Sword Sect to become the sect leader before the third-level immortal soul stage.
The influence and power of the Mount Shu Sword Sect suffered an unprecedented and irrevocable loss. They sealed the mountain and avoided interaction with the outside world for the time being. Even the Yu Yuan Holy Woman of the Great Void Sect remained on the mountain for only a short while during her visit before she was escorted away.
Over at the Celestial Sect of Wonders, the task of rebuilding the Celestial Wonders World, the Cloud Mirror City, and the Yun Peak Mirror Lake fell to Xiao Yan, Zhu Yi, and the others. After arranging everything else that was necessary, Lin Feng immediately brought Wang Lin, Shi Tianhao, Yang Qing, Li Yuanfang and Luo Qingwu away.
Tun Tun tagged along as the little kid wanted to visit the Barren Expanses.
Lin Feng and company followed the information obtained from Xu Anda when he was inside the Void Battleground and eventually arrived at the Netherworld Emperor’s World. They found its location, but all it was a dark, barren and desolate world. It was uninhabited, and even the dark royal palace that was supposed to be there had disappeared.
Wang Lin’s eyes sparkled with chilly light as he reached down to sense the flowing energies of this middle world. Shi Tianhao started grinding his teeth and said, “What a sneaky rodent.”
Lin Feng contemplated momentarily and said, “After the episode, whether it is the Emperor of the Dead himself or the Hall of the Dead, will spend some time lying low and hiding in obscurity. However, this person’s villainous ambitions are still there and he will eventually reveal himself. Whether or not he will bite the hook from the line we cast as bait remains to be seen.”
“Since we have cast the same line as that of the Emperor of the Dead, who ends up victorious will depend on our own capabilities.”
“Let’s go.” Lin Feng shook his sleeve and swept everyone up before they left the Netherworld Emperor’s World and headed towards the Barren Expanses.
In a middle world that belonged in the territory of the Great Qin Empire, there were a great many normal citizens and a handful of cultivators.
There was a sprawling city in the middle with several villages located in the outskirts. Inside one of the small villages, there lived a typical family who farmed for subsistence – everybody had a job to do, both the older generation and the husband and wife.
Over two years ago, the wife had been ten months pregnant and everybody was in a jovial mood as there was about to be a new member of the family. They lit up incenses to celebrate and the other people in the village came down to pay their congratulations.
Everyone was elated and comforted as even though the child was young, he was obedient and intelligent and was as charming as any child could get.
When the child’s parents and the grandfather were down working in the fields, the grandmother would attempt to tuck in the child and put him to sleep. “Happy is sleepy, happy is going to sleep, happy is going to sleep.”
The little child was nicknamed Happy, and once the child was sound asleep, the grandmother herself would doze off beside him.
His grandmother was fast asleep, but Happy’s eyes were wide open. He did not move an inch as his right eye turned a pitch black and a black light illusion shot out inside the room. This light illusion was invisible to the naked eye, and even cultivators below the immortal soul stage would not have been able to see it.
If somebody entered the room, or even if the grandmother were to wake up right now, all they would see was Happy sleeping soundly.
The child nicknamed happy was the incarnation of the Emperor of the Dead. He wore a calm expression as he considered the interactions he had with this earthly family – he could clearly perceive the joys of living and the oppositeness of death, and he fed off both forces to regain his strength.
He was the Emperor of the Dead, and was the dictator of both the land of the living and the land of the dead; he was not just the God of Death that was just slightly murderous.
A few human figures appeared from within the light shadow and everybody was dressed in flowing black robes. The individual taking point had a tall and burly build, but his features were blurry and unclear and was apparently a powerful third-level immortal soul stage cultivator.
Of the sub-halls of the Hall of the Dead and the leader of the Ten Kings of Hell, who was also the most powerful cultivator amongst them, was known as the King Yanluo. He had always been faithful and loyal to the Emperor of the Dead, and when Xu Anda plotted against the Emperor of the Dead, the person he feared the most was also the King Yanluo. When Xu Anda brought the Life and Death Book into Mount Yujing, he had no choice but to leave behind the Mayahana-level Brush of the Emperor of the Dead to watch the house and to monitor the King Yanluo.
By the side of the King Yanluo, there were two other kings that were equally loyal to the Emperor of the Dead – the King Pingdeng and the Cakravarti King. The last person standing beside them had pale skin and a frail look and was the same person that was besieged and eventually killed by Wang Lin, Zhang Lie and the King Chujiang just the other day – the King Wuguan, Sikong You.
Wang Lin’s instincts were right after all. Sikong You faked his death and was loyal to a fault towards the Emperor of the Dead as well. He knew something about Xu Anda’s mutinous plan, which was the reason why Xu Anda had him put to death before anything. However, everything was within the calculations of the Emperor of the Dead, and Sikong You was instructed to play along.
There were four more people in the group, but these four were kneeling on the ground and facing the floor. The first person was a middle-aged man with a black robe that had golden edges, and he held up a brush with a black stem and a golden tip over his head.
This was the original soul of the Brush of the Emperor of the Dead. He was a magic treasure that was originally cultivated by the Emperor of the Dead and was subsequently passed down to Xu Anda. In the end, he joined forces with Xu Anda in the mutinous plot against the Emperor of the Dead.
The three others beside the Brush of the Emperor of the Dead were the King Chujiang, the King Biancheng, and the King Doushi.
“You will not be sentenced to death – but you will suffer the appropriate punishments.” The tiny child, who appeared no older than two or three, started to flip the Life and Death Book and channeled four streams of energy into the four of them respectively, and expressions of agony immediately floated to their faces.
Even though they managed to escape with their lives, the four of them did not seem happy or relieved at all. The punishment dished out by the Emperor of the Dead dictated that a single thought of deviation would lead to their irreversible and painful death without even a chance to resist.
However, this was the best possible outcome and all they could do was express their gratitude.
There were two more members of the Hall of the Dead that were not physically present on the scene but projected illusions of themselves instead.
One individual had full red hair and was an old man with an intimidating aura, while the other was an unassuming white-clothed youth.
The new leader of the Path of Asura, and also the recently appointed sect leader of the Samsara Sect – Mo Xiuluo; the new leader of the Path of the Heaven-Born, the Heavenly Cloud Holy Man, Shen Qifeng.
Both of them appeared serene as the King Yanluo and the others regarded them with gazes that did not contain a single ounce of surprise. The Brush of the Emperor of the Dead, the King Chujiang, and the others also perceived the two of them with bitter amusement – everybody was already aware that Mo Xiuluo and Shen Qifeng had joined the Emperor of the Dead a long time ago.
Xu Anda had plotted against Shi Tianfang maliciously as well, but even till his ultimate demise, he had no clue that both he and Shi Tianfang were within the calculations and the plans of the Emperor of the Dead.
The Emperor of the Dead surveyed his subordinates and said softly, “The Celestial Sect of Wonders and the Great Void Sect are both hoping to continue using the two of you. I am afraid the two of you have to remain in the Divine Lands to play along with them.”
Mo Xiuluo and Shen Qifeng bowed down concurrently and said, “It is our pleasure, master.”