Chapter 373: Tombstone
Having survived the ambush, the three Saints were ecstatic as they laughed out loud. They finally no longer felt like easy targets for others to prey upon. With their newfound strength, they had enough power to stand their ground even in this dog eat dog world.
Seeing their joyful expressions, Hui Yue said nothing as he understood how they felt; however, he also understood that if they became too complacent, there was a chance that they would be in trouble later on. He made sure to warn them while he observed everything in front of them and on the sides while Xiao Ning watched their backs.
It took the three experts ten minutes before they once more turned vigilant after realizing how embarrassing their actions were.
“Let’s go, remember don’t be noisy. I am sure there is a group in front of us, and while they might have set off some traps, I am certain they have not triggered all of them. We cannot become complacent, or we will end like the saints we just defeated, if not dead. Just because we let them live doesn’t mean others will do the same to us if we fall; death is likely the result for us if we are even the slightest bit negligent when entering deeper into this grave.”
Everyone nodded their heads as the words he spoke made perfect sense. They could not afford to let the battle get to their heads. They were, after all, nothing more than second star Saints. Although they were no longer as easily bullied as before, they were still about average rank for the Saints within this plane.
Moving forward through the grave they finally reached an area filled with energy. Clearly, something big had happened here before, either a battle or some amazing treasures were grabbed by the previous group. It was impossible to tell what had happened for sure as the energy was quite chaotic.
‘We are nearing the core,’ Lan Feng suddenly commented, but the words made Hui Yue snort. Of course, they were getting closer to the core as they moved forward. The snort did not seem to affect the phoenix who just shook his head and started laughing. ‘You really should listen to me. Soon we will enter the actual grave, the place where his corpse was laid to rest.’
‘Unfortunately, we haven’t obtained as much treasure as I would have liked,’ Hui Yue said in a dejected manner, but this time, it was the phoenix who snorted. ‘You obtained a mountain of medicinal pills. You got a huge stack of beast cores from the stone beasts not to mention the energy you forcefully devoured from the Wu Wei Warriors. You also obtained a supreme technique by successfully merging your energy together resulting in that terrifying black energy from before. If you consider this a few treasures, then you are simply too greedy. Not to mention the many weapons and armor you got back in the tunnel. Although you do not need to change your weapon I can guarantee that some of these weapons were not forged in this world. They are at the very least equal to your Sword of the Icy Tempest.’
The words that were spoken made Hui Yue completely quiet and a little hesitant. Thinking about it like this, he understood that Lan Feng was correct. It had not even crossed his mind that they would be precious due to their composition of which did not exist in his world. Since the expert came from another world anything he left behind was truly valuable. Nodding his head, he finally felt that he had gotten enough from entering the grave.
Although he realized he had obtained quite a bit, there was still some hesitation in his heart. Although he had found many things, he was still hoping for some magical treasures unlike anything he had ever seen before. He could not help but hope to come across such things as the innermost sanctum was the place where the most profound and rare treasure would be found.
Moving through one overly adorned room after another they finally reached a door created from translucent jade. The door was opened just enough so that experts could pass through and enter the room.
Looking around, Hui Yue instantly gestured for the group to be silent; no one moved, no one spoke, and the three experts tried not to even breathe. They feared that even taking a breath was enough to disturb either Hui Yue or what lay past the door.
What Hui Yue saw inside were pillars formed from translucent jade placed in circles following the curvature of the room. In the middle of the room was a set of stairs that seemed to lead all the way up to the ceiling where Hui Yue could see the corners of a massive monument alongside a stunningly beautiful tombstone.
Heading closer to the stairs, Hui Yue attentively looked at everything happening around him, yet nothing seemed to move, and even more strangely, there was no sign of the group which had entered the room before them. This caused even more worry to spring to life in Hui Yue’s heart.
Moving closer to the stairs, Hui Yue noticed that although the light stones from the rest of the grave had dimmed significantly, the ones within this chamber were incredibly bright. They lit up the stairs created with white jade. As he set foot on the first step, an energy seemed to pull him towards the platform overlooking the entire sanctuary, and now even if Hui Yue wanted to stop, he was not able to.
“Don’t struggle; I won’t harm you,” A voice sounded out in the room. A voice Hui Yue instantly recognized as the voice of heaven-defying expert who made this tomb. Feeling sour, he couldn’t help but mumble. “Right, as if you’d tell me otherwise.” But the low mumble caused laughter to ring throughout the chamber, “Yes, you are correct little friend; I really would not tell you otherwise but this time you can believe me. I am the strongest soul imprint within this grave, and I am connected to every other soul imprint which has been triggered. I know you were the one who passed the trial that tests one’s speed and was teleported to Heaven’s door. I know you were there when I spoke from Heaven’s door, and I’ve seen you take treasure after treasure using your ingenuity and quite a few different techniques. I am quite curious about you who would at a glance seem to be the weakest of all in this part of my grave, but despite that you have given me the most shock out of everyone.”
“I am really not all that interesting,” Hui Yue said full of regret as he thought of the possible outcomes to this situation.
“The group which was here before did very well,” The voice suddenly changed subjects. “But they did not try to step on the stairs leading to my grave; instead, they headed directly to the treasury.”
“Haha, please don’t look so dejected. It was just one of many such treasuries. You on the other hand actually have the decency to show your face to the almighty me, and as a result, I have a special gift for you.”
‘Do I really want this gift?’ Hui Yue though doubtfully as one foot moved in front of the other, slowly moving up the stairs at a pace he could no longer control. The conversation between whatever was at the top of the stairs and him was heard throughout the entire room. Below, the eyes of the four experts he had left behind showed uncertainty about what to do.
“It’ll be okay,” Xiao Ning said in a low voice to the three experts by his side. “This youngster has a strength that we cannot understand; I am certain he will be all right.” As for whether or not this assurance was for his own sake, or for the others, no one really knew as even Xiao Ning, himself, was uncertain, yet his eyes were glued to the figure ascending the stairs.
No one spoke after Hui Yue asked whether or not he wanted the gift but even so he still kept moving forward. Finally, he reached the top, and as he did, he sucked in a large breath of air.
The platform he was standing on was a created from pure white jade. In the middle of this platform, which seemed to be hundred times hundred meters, was a beautiful monument and a stone tomb. The monument was a large statue of what seemed to be an elderly man, clearly the owner of this grave.
As soon as he reached the top of the platform the energy which had forced him forward completely disappeared, but even still as soon as he reached the top, Hui Yue moved towards the monument as though he was in a trance. He then fell to his knees in front of it praying for the owner of the grave. Although he was uncertain about the soul imprint, he still felt that since he was here, he had to show at least the most basic kind of respect. He had after all benefitted greatly while being within this expert’s grave.
The voice which had been talking with Hui Yue went quiet for some time, and it stayed quiet for all whole time Hui Yue was kneeling in front of the grave. As the minutes passed along he finally once more stood up and with a nod to the monument and the grave, he finally started looking around at the large platform he had arrived at.
“I did not expect you to show common courtesy,” The voice said, surprise evident within his voice, but he seemed pleased by Hui Yue’s actions.
“Even if your traps made it difficult for all of us to gain the treasures here, we have after all benefitted,” Hui Yue said. “It would be terrible to not show any respect.”
“The other group showed no respect,” The voice commented in a neutral voice, it did not sound unhappy about this, it was merely a statement. “I like you even better now. You are bold. Quite the daredevil; I’m still shocked that you walked into that room that had no energy presence back in the outer grave, and then how you have managed to make it all the way here. You are obviously not a simple Emperor.”
“Thank you for the compliments,” Hui Yue said with a cheerful voice. He had an inkling that this soul imprint was not capable of controlling any powers, it was simply an imprint of the soul; a part of that supreme expert’s soul that was left behind in this world to speak with the ones who appeared.
“I have four precious treasures here,” The voice continued. “One in each corner. Take them. Afterwards take the door to the east. It is another treasury; one I think you will like very much.” The voice continued.
“For you to be this nice to me, what do you want in return?” Hui Yue asked tentatively. He was not comfortable with the sudden friendliness.
“I said it before, I am forced to give my treasure to others,” The voice reminded him. “Since this is the case, I might as well chose who to give them to. Since you actually showed me some respect, I will pick you as my successor.”
“So you would have chosen anyone who came here and bowed with respect?” Hui Yue asked dumbfounded and was once again rewarded with hearty laughter. “Yes.” The voice said. “I am already dead; I wouldn’t care if I passed on my most revered things to a murderer if they were the ones showing me respect. But, I have decided on you so don’t worry about who else I could have chosen! Now go to the lower left corner and pick up the box that is there then come back to me, and I’ll help you open it.”
Being told this, Hui Yue did not waste any time chatting with the soul imprint; instead, he went to the corner excited to see what lay inside.