First Immortal of the Sword-Chapter 994 - The Mausoleum of the Gods
Chapter 994 - The Mausoleum of the Gods
Ye Luo fell silent.
A long time passed before he said, “Master, I haven’t seen Fifth Senior Apprentice Brother since you entered the cycle of reincarnation. Years later, I heard that he died in the Ten Directions Yao Mountains.”
He’s… he’s dead? Su Yi’s flight came to an abrupt halt. His pupils constricted, and his expression shifted erratically in an uncharacteristic loss of composure.
He was the fifth of Su Yi’s disciples, and he had a natural talent for the Dao of the Sword. He had a natural, unrestrained bearing, and he’d cultivated alongside Su Yi from a young age.
Amongst his sectmates, Wang Que’s background was the most extraordinary. He was a direct descendant of the Middle Province’s Wang Family, one of the largest and most ancient clans in the Wilds!
More than that, he was their golden boy, their qilin son. He was only the seventh member of the Wang Family to possess the Five Virtues Physique!
A long time ago, the Wang Family had drawn upon countless resources and connections, inviting old-timers capable of shaking the Wilds with a stomp of their feet to make an appearance, all so that Wang Que could become Su Yi’s disciple. Their ranks included High Elder Shang Yin of the Nine Extremes Profound Capital and Buddhist Master Hidden Leaf of the Little Western Paradise.
But Su Yi refused them all.
Even if the Middle Province’s Wang Family had been far more ancient, with far greater connections and accumulations, they couldn’t have influenced Su Yi’s standards for accepting new legacy disciples.
However, just as the Wang Family lost hope, the then thirteen-year-old Wang Que went to the Grotto of Abstruse Force all on his own and underwent the most brutal, stringent of trials: Refining the Heart and Testing the Sword!
This was a trial Su Yi had established in his past life, and it had nine stages in total.
Anyone who passed it, no matter who they were, was exempted from the usual rules and directly admitted to the Grotto of Abstruse Force as a disciple!
However, over the years, only Su Yi’s second disciple, Jing Xing, made it through. No one else could overcome Refining the Heart and Testing the Sword.
At the time, even the peak Orthodoxies of the Wilds said that the Swordmaster of Abstruse Force’s requirements for new disciples were far too stringent, and that tens of thousands of years might pass without anyone passing his tests.
But in the end, Wang Que made it through.
At just thirteen years of age, he was trapped in the nine levels of Refining the Heart and Testing the Sword for seven days and seven nights. In the end, he emerged and walked through the gates of the Grotto of Abstruse Force. He was covered in blood, and every step was a struggle.
The first thing Su Yi asked him was “Why have you come here?”
Wang Que didn’t so much as pause to think. “Senior, I want to study the sword. I want to learn the greatest swordsmanship beneath the heavens!”
He said these words covered in blood and riddled with wounds, but his eyes shone as radiantly as the stars of the night sky.
From that day forth, Wang Que became Su Yi’s fifth legacy disciple.
And in the years that followed, Wang Que didn’t disappoint him. He displayed unmatched, dazzling brilliance in the Dao of the Sword.
But Su Yi didn’t care about that. What mattered to him was that Wang Que had a heart fixated on the Dao of the Sword.
He cared about his disciples’ hearts most of all. It wasn’t about how talented they were, or how impressive their backgrounds were.
However, Su Yi would never have guessed that the next time he heard news of Wang Que, he’d learn that his fifth disciple was almost certainly… dead!!
Even Su Yi couldn’t help but feel dazed. His Dao Heart was all but indestructible, and it had stood steady for eons.
But now, it trembled.
“Is that true?” asked Su Yi. He sounded a bit despondent.
Ye Luo seemed to pick up on this, and he too fell silent. “It was the Middle Province’s Wang Family who spread word of his death. It’s most likely true.”
The Middle Province’s Wang Family!
They were Wang Que’s family, and they naturally wouldn’t joke about such a thing.
Su Yi took a deep breath. “Do you know who killed him?”
Ye Luo shook his head. “I don’t. A long time ago, Pi Mo personally visited the Wang Family to ask for further information, but all he learned was that something happened to Senior Apprentice Brother Wang Que deep in the wilderness of the Ten Directions Yao Mountains. I’m afraid no one knows the details.”
He paused, then added, “In the years that followed, the Central Province’s Wang Family sent their forces to investigate the Ten Directions Yao Mountains, and Pi Mo dispatched the experts of the Abstruse Force Alliance numerous times. However, all such attempts were in vain.”
Su Yi’s frown was increasingly deep. “Then why is the Wang Family so certain that your fifth apprentice brother is dead?”
“They say that the light of the soul lantern he left with his clan inexplicably went out,” said Ye Luo.
When someone died, their soul lantern went out.
For Wang Que’s lamp to have gone out really did strongly imply that he’d already met with disaster!
However, when he learned this, something occurred to Su Yi. “A soul lamp, that’s all. That’s nowhere near enough proof to say with certainty that your fifth senior apprentice brother is dead.”
Ye Luo found this quite surprising. “Master, do you think he’s still alive?”
After a moment’s silence, Su Yi said, “I won’t believe he’s dead until I’ve investigated for myself.”
Did he think this information unreliable, or was he just unwilling to accept it? Ye Luo wasn’t certain, but he could tell that his master was in a bad mood.
“And what about Bai Yi?” asked Su Yi.
He was Su Yi’s eighth legacy disciple, and he had a stubborn, obstreperous disposition. He was unruly, courageous, and fierce. He frequently departed from established practice, and he was a natural-born battle manic.
Bai Yi perhaps wasn’t the strongest of Su Yi’s disciples, but he had the greatest abundance of combat experience.
In the years after Bai Yi first joined the sect, practically all of his sectmates beat him up. Even Jing Xing, the most even-tempered of the group, once lost control and beat Bai Yi to a pulp.
The reason was simple: Bai Yi was relentless and dead set on sparring with Jing Xing, but Jing Xing was kindhearted and pure, and he hated combat. Naturally, he refused Bai Yi every time.
But Bai Yi was unwilling to accept this refusal, so he deceived Jing Xing, saying he’d burned Jing Xing’s collection of books and jade slips.
And indeed, Jing Xing fell for it. He instantly lost his temper and knocked Bai Yi unconscious in a single slap. He put so much power into it that Bai Yi needed a full two weeks to recover.
Afterward, Jing Xing felt extremely guilty, and he’d apologized to Bai Yi on multiple occasions.
But Bai Yi wasn’t the least bit upset. On the contrary, as soon as his wounds healed, he pestered Jing Xing to spar with him again…
This was Bai Yi. He frequently said that he’d fight so long as there was breath in his body, and he proclaimed that anything that didn’t kill him would only make him stronger.
Su Yi actually quite admired this about him.
When he accepted Bai Yi as his disciple, it was Bai Yi’s fanatical drive to fight that impressed him.
“No one knows where Eighth Junior Apprentice Brother Bai Yi went,” sighed Ye Luo. “Master, after you reincarnated, he practically went crazy, and he went to settle the score with Qing Tang. In the end, she injured him badly and kicked him out of the Grotto of Abstruse Force.
“After that, Eighth Junior Apprentice Brother Bai Yi came to the Abstruse Force Alliance to find Pi Mo. I’m not sure what happened, but conflict broke out between them too. However, Bai Yi was no match for him, and in the end, he left with heavy injuries once more.
“There’s been no word of him since. This happened while I was out exploring. It was only after I returned to the Abstruse Force Alliance that I learned of the conflict between Eighth Junior Apprentice Brother Bai Yi and Pi Mo. Pi Mo just said that Eighth Junior Apprentice Brother went insane, and that there was an issue with his mental state.”
Despite himself, Su Yi’s heart ached.
He knew better than anyone that although Bai Yi was a combat fanatic, and although he was unruly, his heart was as pure as a sheet of paper.
Bai Yi had always seen the Grotto of Abstruse Force as his home. In his heart, his apprentice brothers and sisters were no different from his relatives.
Yet Qing Tang had cast him out after injuring him badly, and he’d come into conflict with Pi Mo, leaving with new wounds.
Su Yi didn’t like that at all.
“It’s all my fault. I reincarnated too hastily, and I didn’t make enough preparations. Otherwise, none of this would have happened,” muttered Su Yi. He seemed melancholy and bleak.
Ye Luo was just about to say something when Su Yi waved for silence. “I need some time alone.”
He then stepped into the air, took out a jug of wine, drinking alone as he walked. His solitary, upright figure seemed extraordinarily lonely beneath the moonlight.
Ye Luo sighed to himself.
Humans weren’t like trees or grasses. Who could be truly heartless?
No matter how great your cultivation was, so long as there were things and people you cared about, there was no way to be truly emotionless!
There was no doubt about it. Everything Su Yi had learned today had come as a massive blow.
Ye Luo found this hard to take too.
He still couldn’t wrap his head around why Pi Mo had betrayed their master, why Huo Yao resented him so deeply, or why their little apprentice sister went so far as to monopolize the Grotto of Abstruse Force and everything in it, or why…
There were far too many things he couldn’t understand to list.
The full moon was the only source of light.
Off in the distant, dimly lit landscape, boundless ruins came into view.
Collapsed, ancient buildings lay strewn throughout the ruins, and strange, blood-colored lightning formed lingering mists that enveloped the skies. Startling, terrifying thunder rumbled through the clouds, the sound echoing throughout the surroundings.
The Mausoleum of the Gods!
This was the most perilous forbidden zone in all of the Burial Ground of the Dao.
When they arrived, Su Yi suddenly stopped in his tracks, flipped his hand, and took out the Silverflame Fighting the Heavens Armor. He then passed it to Ye Luo. “Put this on. On the road ahead, stay within thirty feet of me at all times.”
Ye Luo was inwardly solemn, and he accepted the treasure with both hands and nodded.
“Master, rumor has it that a long time ago, this was a holy nation inhabited by experts akin to gods. Are the rumors reliable?” Ye Luo whispered.
Su Yi shook his head. “What holy nation? Those rumors are just piling falsehood on top of falsehood. In ancient times, these ruins were the Ten Courts of Hell presided over by the Ten Yama Kings. Those imprisoned inside were the most vicious malevolent souls and evil spirits of the Sea of Bitterness.”
He paused, then continued, “But an unknown disaster really did befall this place. Afterward, the Ten Yama Kings disappeared from this world, and the Ten Courts of Hell were reduced to silent ruins.”
Ye Luo’s heart shook just hearing this.
And as he explained, Su Yi took out the Immortal-Beating Mallet, the supreme treasure of the Timekeeper lineage. It could resist and neutralize many of the dangerous energies within the Burial Ground of the Dao.
“Fellow Daoist, please wait!” Suddenly, a soft, gentle voice rang out.
When Su Yi and Ye Luo looked over, they saw the Netherworld King’s graceful figure shooting through the air.
It’s her! Ye Luo’s gaze focused, and he was instantly on guard. He’d seen the Netherworld King before, and he’d long since realized that this unmatched stunner was actually an utterly terrifying expert.
“I finally caught up to you!” As soon as she arrived, the Netherworld King put her slender, jade-like hand to her chest and exhaled.
Her starry eyes shone, and her red lips parted as she laughed, “Fellow Daoist, earlier, you said that if I caught up to you, you’d take me with you. Does that still apply?”
Ye Luo was stunned. This woman… has been chasing Master this entire time!?
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