Chapter 93 – Understanding
Hong Xun was fascinated by the black glow of the gate. He pondered for a bit then grunted, deciding to step forward. He slowly walked to the metal door and placed his hand exactly where Lin Zi Yan placed hers.
A green light rained down from above and enveloped Hong Xun. He then also went through the gate without any problems.
Upon seeing this, the Warriors entered the temple one after another, while some of the less trusting ones remained outside on the cloud-like platform.
“Get out of my way!” Jin Yan shoved the people around him and rushed towards the gate after seeing so many people going through.
When Ye Wei opened his eyes again, he found himself inside a spacious hall. ‘Am I inside!?’
He could see thirty-six engraved pillars supporting the roof of the temple, and each of their diameters was over a hundred meters. While the engravings on the pillars looked to be only decorative, there were arrays of glowing and flowing runes on the ceiling. Ye Wei tried to focus on the pattern to figure out what they were, but it was giving him a headache. His eyes were dragged into the pattern and couldn’t help but spin around.
In the middle of these pillars was a levitating jade disc. It was half a kilometer tall and wide. Lin Zi Yan, who was the first to enter the temple, stood in front of the jade disc pondering. It was glowing green and was as smooth as a mirror. Apart from its size and the fact that it was levitating, it actually looked rather normal.
The Warriors started to appear inside the hall, looking around curiously. While the hall was a grand and beautiful sight, they were cautious to not touch anything they didn’t understand.
When everyone was curious, confused, and in their own worlds, all the pillars suddenly illuminated. Thirty-six beams of bright blue light crossed over the jade disc revealing runes and writings on it.
“Everyone! Welcome to the Glacial Temple!” Everyone’s widened eyes were set on the mysterious jade disc when a low, hoarse voice sounded.
Just as the voice was dying down, a blurry hundred meter tall figure appeared in the air by the jade disc where the beams of light converged.
This figure was like a phantom. Nobody could quite figure out what it was at first glance as it looked like flower gazing in the mist. They didn’t know if they were looking at the distorted, shapeless mist of an actual petal. The figure lowered its head and looked at the terrified crowd.
“Whh… who are you?” A few of the Warriors asked with shaking voices. The figure was floating in the air like a ghost. From its posture and features, the crowd started to guess that it was the ghost of an old man, and not just any old man judging from his presence which filled the hall.
Ye Wei slowly walked to Lin Zi Yan’s side as he cautiously looked at the large ghostly figure above.
Lin Zi Yan lifted her beautiful face looking at the figure. She tried to memorize all the Glacial Emperor’s tales she had been told since she was a toddler, and now her amusement with him slightly changed that she knew she could easily lose her life to the protagonist of the stories she once fell asleep to.
“Hahaha! Who am I? I can hardly remember, to be honest. You know, time flies when you’re dead. I haven’t needed to use my name for a long time!” The ghostly figure laughed with a bit of bitterness in his voice.
“Your excellency. Are you, perhaps, the Glacial Emperor?” Lin Zi Yan’s crisp, sweet voice echoed in the hall.
“Glacial Emperor? Haha, no. I am not him, but one of his servants… Oh, Yea! Pu Yuan, that was how he called me three hundred something years ago; that’s my name, Pu Yuan!” He seemed happy to remember his name again. After a few chuckles, he calmly looked at the group of cultivators who stood under him.
‘The Glacial Emperor’s servant?’ Everyone was shocked. They were cultivators, and cultivators know when they are in the presence of powerful individuals. This old man’s figure, his ghost to be more accurate, was the strongest Qi disturbance they had ever felt, and he claimed to be a mere servant?! They couldn’t even imagine what kind of power his master had.
“The Glacial Emperor left his legacy here in the Glacial Temple, and he set it up so nobody above the condensed prime Warrior level could enter. The aim is to have young talents enter this labyrinth in the hopes that one of the youths are worthy enough to inherit his wisdom and wealth.” Pu Yuan rose his hoarse voice to make sure the message was clear, “My spirit can be freed once I find someone worthy to inherit his legacy; therefore, I am pretty excited to see you lot actually, Hahaha!”
“The Glacial Emperor’s legacy…”
Hearing what Pu Yuan said, everyone became emotional and ecstatic. ‘If the Glacial Emperor’s servant are this strong even after his death, what kind of powerful treasures and martial secrets could the Emperor himself have left behind?’ Lin Zi Yan was trying to keep her cool while Jin Yan was shaking in euphoria.
“However! I am not just going to hand it over to you. All of you will be tested! My master’s legacy is to be earned, not given.” Pu Yuan’s voice reflected his old age, but it was also apparent that he was in a good mood. “Pay attention to this jade disc in front of you. Do you see the writings on its surface? It’s one of the twelve chapters of ‘Seventy-two Interstellar Secrets’… Back then the Emperor was obsessed with the writing on this very disc, and although it is not a complete chapter, he was able to create an incredible mystic stance from the sparks of inspiration he got from reading these cultivating formulas.”
“And from there he developed his fighting style, an arsenal of powerful stances. This was how he undisputedly became the strongest cultivator of his era…”
“I haven’t been in the outside world for a while now, but I’d imagine all of you have heard stories about him…”
‘This has to be just the tip of the iceberg…’ Lin Zi Yan was shocked by what she was looking at. All the stories she had heard did not justify the scale of even a fraction of what the Glacial Emperor left behind.
Pu Yuan continued, “If the Glacial Emperor wanted worldly power, the Zhou dynasty would have ended long ago.”
Everyone in the hall was a citizen of the Zhou dynasty. From history lessons and stories they had learned how many forces worked together, and how many armies had to fight to establish the dynasty’s solid foundation. On one hand, they were shocked to hear that this legendary figure could have challenged the authority they had grown up respecting. On the other, they were convinced that just being in this labyrinth was an eye opening experience. An experience that planted many new ideas and concepts about power, wealth, and runic stances.
To everyone in the temple, who had been close to losing their lives while exploring the Bloodmist labyrinth, the Emperor’s power and craftiness were too great to be compared to anything or anyone they knew. Therefore, they were in awe of this artifact in front of them which gave him power great enough to challenge the supreme authority of their time.
“Whether or not you can inherit the Emperor’s legacy is up to you now!” Pu Yuan said calmly. “You are looking at the test! If you can see what the Emperor saw between these lines and figure out just what kind of stance he acquired from this jade disc, you pass!”
“To figure out what the Glacial Emperor did back in the days?” After Pu Yuan revealed the subject of the test, everyone’s burning hearts were swiftly frozen. To figure out some runic secrets, dreamed up by a person who was strong enough to challenge a whole nation, was definitely an impossible task.
“I know what you are thinking, but when the Emperor gained enlightenment on his stances from these texts, he was just a Warrior. At first, he only learned a Spirit stance from it, but this stance was refinable and after years of reinventing and perfecting, the stance became no weaker than a Sky stance.”
“Of course, I don’t expect you to show me a Sky stance. If you can show me you’ve figured out the basic structure of the Emperor’s stance he invented from reading this disc, I will let you through to the next round!” Pu Yuan added as he squeezed out a gentle smile on his face in hopes that it would help to calm the crowd down.
“Sky stance!?” Pu Yuan’s words shook the crowd causing everyone’s eyes to get even bigger.
Sky stances were something only mentioned in legends. They were not mentioned even once in the history records of Zhou dynasty’s thousand years reign.
Legends about Sky stances are like the stories about the three sages, conceptional and unproven. While some say they don’t exist, some cultivators firmly believe the Holy Conservatory existed and that people who reached that mythical realm do in fact have a chance to learn Sky stances.
“Go! What are you waiting for?” Pu Yuan waved his arm and the green and blue light pillars shone down and became numerous runic seats.
“You will only be able to clearly see the text on this jade disc while sitting on these, and keep in mind you only have three days. If I am not satisfied with your results, I will send you out of this realm.” After leaving this message, Pu Yuan disappeared into the light pillar on top of the jade disc.
After a brief moment of silence, the crowd blew up.
“What? I don’t see anything meaningful on this jade disc at all! I don’t believe anything that geezer said, Sky stances are something made up in stories, and in these stories, the stances are taught by sages in rainbow colored robes.”
“I have to admit, this Glacial Emperor character is very powerful, but really? A Sky stance? Come on, What’s next? We’re all actually in a dream right now?”
“Zi Yan, do you believe him?” Ye Wei heard the crowd’s speculation, but he needed help to digest all the information he had just been given.
Ye Wei was not a believer, but then he thought about the Mystic Mount presence in his Sentient, and he started to realize that the stories he heard might actually be true. The sages, the mountain, at this point he felt like he was too opened minded to judge anything correctly.
“There is no harm in trying. If we can’t get a Sky stance out of this then no harm, but if we get lucky, and all this is true, we might get a share of what the Glacial Emperor left behind!” Lin Zi Yan too didn’t quite know what to believe; her frown was slowly disappearing as she tried to calm Ye Wei down and figured out herself that she should not be frustrated over a great chance to maybe strengthen herself.
“We only need to show him a part of what the disc says. The test might be easier than we all assume it to be.” She added.
“Yeah, you’re right!” Ye Wei smiled and walked to one of the seats.
After long heated conversations, most of the cultivators decided to give it a try. But three days is too short of a time for someone to learn a stance out of nowhere; realizing that there was so little time, they sat down as Pu Yuan instructed and started trying to decipher the disc in front of them.