Chapter 48: Prelude to the Lotus Sword Mansion (2)
The Lotus Sword Mansion was not a mansion at all despite it being called a mansion. As a matter of fact, it looked nothing like a mansion at all and was just a portal in a little known valley that was situated between the treacherous mountains.
The reason why it was called the Lotus Sword Mansion was because a heaven-step divine sword with lotus mark was one of the first profound treasures that were found within the place. As for why it was called a mansion, it was because it was a mansion of profound treasures when it was first investigated by the ancient celestials.
But of course as time passed by, the profound treasures that could be found become less frequent and the competition for the profound treasures would also intensify.
However it did not defer the courageous and competitive cultivators.
It was because obtaining a profound treasure was a huge achievement, especially for the smaller celestial clans. Once a profound treasure was obtained, it could even be passed down as a heritage treasure to remember by their once venerable patriarchs and matriarchs, reminding the future protégés that their celestial clans once had a colorful celestial history.
Yuan Ji also had a heritage heaven-step precious sword christened Sky Forth that was passed down to him by his venerable clan patriarchs. But it was gone now, exchanged as a pledge to Xia Jiajia.
He may have lost a heaven-step precious sword but in return, Xia Jiajia had given to him an earth-step divine sword christened Resonate Peak.
In his heart, Xia Jiajia was worth more than the profound treasures of his entire sect. But did she really know how he had felt for her?
“Maybe she doesn’t know that I’m Ji Yuan at all. She is definitely a bimbo…”
“Aiya, I should have told her at the very start. But what if she suddenly decides to break off with me because I’ve lost my beard?”
Finding Xia Jiajia was now his quest. He had to tell her that he was Ji Yuan and he wanted to know her heart for him.
But whenever he recalled seeing her delightful expression as she strolled down the Thousand Cloud Peaks, he began to frown and wondered if she was actually glad to get rid of him and the Emperor Hall Sect.
Right now, Yuan Ji was keenly watching the entrance of the valley and saw that the desolate mists were now shimmering. It was a clear sign that the mysterious portal to the Lotus Sword Mansion was now opened.
Above the valley was an auspicious colorful cloud that had appeared a month earlier and when the portals had closed, this auspicious omen would then disappear.
Throughout the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, there were dozens of trials that would open at interval periods. The longer the period, the more plentiful the cultivation and profound treasures could be found. And of course, the greater the dangers it would be.
The trials of the Lotus Sword Mansion would open every thirty years; this was actually just an average estimate because no one could be sure of its actual opening time unless an auspicious omen had appeared over the vicinity. Sometimes it would open after an interval of sixty years and sometimes it would open after an interval of twenty years.
Many of the more formidable trials had a longer interval period of 100 to 1000 years before it could be seen again.
By the trials standard, the Lotus Sword Mansion was considered to be a poor man’s trial. It was because it had a shorter interval between each appearance. Usually the desolate beasts that were within the portal were also of the lower ranks for the shorter interval trials.
However this was not the case here with the Lotus Sword Mansion. The desolate beasts inside were actually high ranking desolate beasts. It had a high risk warning attached to this trial and the rewards inside were actually much higher than the average trials.
That was why even the top two major orthodox clans had shown their interests here today and that was why the valley was packed with thousands of above average cultivators.
Hundreds of cultivators were now moving quickly toward the shimmering desolate mists below the valley.
There was actually no portal to be seen because the entire shimmering desolate mists were actually the portal. Once anyone had passed through the shimmering desolate mists, they would be taken inside the trials of the Lotus Sword Manor.
According to the knowledge that Yuan Ji knew about the Lotus Sword Manor, the trials inside consisted of five difficulty levels and no two trials were alike and it would also change the next time.
At the end of every level, there was a portal to exit the trial or a portal to the next trial level.
Therefore the cultivators had to carefully weight their options to exit or to continue on.
Yuan Ji was now making his way toward the shimmering portal as he began to follow the crowd that was ahead of him.
Usually the portals would open for a short period of time which typically lasted between three to nine hours.
Although the trials had a short opening, the trials may last for days, months and even years depending on its nature.
“You are not waiting for me?” Ling Feiyang said quietly as she appeared next to him.
Yuan Ji returned an awkward smile, “I don’t want to disturb your chat with my sisters. Moreover, I’ve decided to enter the trials alone.”
“You don’t need me to help you to deal with your enemies?” Ling Feiyue asked gently.
Yuan Ji returned a weak smile but said nothing. He was also afraid that Ling Feiyue would suddenly turn against him during the trial. That was why he had decided to enter the trials on his own.
“I…I have a feud with Xue Qianxue. I admit that I’m not happy that you have been to see her.” Ling Feiyang said quietly.
Yuan Ji was startled that Ling Feiyue had suddenly admitted to him that she had a feud with Xue Qianxue.
“My feud with Xue Qianxue has nothing to do with you.” There was a troubled look on her countenance when she had said that.
But she quickly smiled and asked gently, “So, can we travel together?”
Yuan Ji said nonchalantly, “I’m not stopping you from following me.”
He was sighing secretly. He was not stupid. He knew that Ling Feiyang would try to ask him next what his relationship with Xue Qianxue was before deciding what to do with him.
Never make friends with an unorthodox cultivator or you will be the one that is suffering in the future. That was what his old master had always warned him.
He knew that Ling Feiyue was an unorthodox cultivator and that she was only pretending to be an orthodox cultivator. Once she had assumed her identity as the Dark Mistress Ling Feiyue again, she would be like the other unorthodox cultivators that would impose her will upon the weak and the powerless.
Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue were shouting behind them, “We will wait for you here. Good luck!”
Hua Wuwu chuckled, “And don’t die.”
Hua Baiyue giggled to her sister, “He can die but Young Master Feiyang cannot die.”
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji ignored the teases that were from behind him and after a while, he had stepped through the shimmering desolate mists with Ling Feiyang.
There was a glancing bright light as they stepped through the portal.
Yuan Ji found himself with dozens of other cultivators and they were overlooking an imposing mountain cliff that reached to the clouds.
The dozens of cultivators were all looking at one another as they muttered among themselves.
“Where are we?”
“Where the exit portal?”
“You have not even attempted the trial yet and you’re already thinking of leaving?”
“He must be new. The exit portal can only be found at the end of the level. Once we have entered the trial, it is impossible to quit halfway until you can complete the first level.”
“Usually the first level is quite easy and risk free.”
“So we need to climb up this steep cliff to the next level?”
“It appears to be so.”
“How steep is this cliff to the top?”
“I can only see the clouds…”
Yuan Ji took a quiet glance at Ling Feiyang before he turned to look at the dozens of cultivators that were presented. Except for Duan Tian and his group which was unfriendly toward him, there was no sight of any of his so call ‘enemies’ around.
He had actually considered Duan Tian and his group to be a non-threatening group and did not put them into his enemy list.
When the thousands of cultivators had entered through the shimmering desolate mists, they would all be split and taken to different locations.
Therefore Yuan Ji was not surprised to see that he was not grouped with his enemies as he had purposely avoided taking the same path as them.
Duan Tian was laughing jovially as he shouted over to Yuan Ji, “So who do we have here? Li Yuan! We have met so soon again!”
Yuan Ji ignored him as he pretended to look the other way.
His group consisted of six other golden celestials and more than thirty cultivators that were all between the third and fourth realm levels.
Duan Tian’s voice was now the largest because he had realized that his group was the most powerful and largest group in this place.
“We’re climbing this steep cliff now. The whole lots of you have better not disturb our climb or don’t blame us for being nasty. This side of the cliff is ours so may the rest of you please go over to the other sides. Haha.”
Duan Tian’s sharp eyes had immediately picked the spot where it was the easiest to make the climb.
Yuan Ji began to frown lightly when he had heard Duan Tian.
He turned to say to Ling Feiyang, “Let’s pick a spot to climb up the cliff.”
“So how do you know Xue Qianxue?” Ling Feiyang had suddenly asked him.
He was startled by how swift her question had arrived.
So he could only smile bitterly as he answered her, “We should be focusing on the trial first, right?”
Ling Feiyang slowly returned a nod before she smiled gently, “Why don’t we have a contest to see who is able to get to the top first?”
Yuan Ji grinned to her before saying coolly, “No, thanks. You can go ahead of me first.”
Ling Feiyang: …
The reason why Yuan Ji had rejected her request to compete was because he had seen her lightless skill before and it was much superior to his.
Ling Feiyang smiled gently, “I can give you a head start over me.”
Yuan Ji had suddenly turned around to her and he was grinning, “Since I am competing to complete the entire trial and you are the same, why don’t we compete all the way to the end then?”
“This sounds good to me.” Ling Feiyang chuckled softly.
“But only from the second trial onward.” Yuan Ji grinned.
Ling Feiyang: …
All of a sudden Yuan Ji had displayed his profound animus. He had suddenly stepped on the steep cliff and was moving up rapidly!
When the dozens of cultivators saw that Yuan Ji had displayed a profound animus that had the equivalent profound strength of a seventh realm level, they were all stunned.
Moreover even without his profound animus display, Yuan Ji had regarded his own lightless skill among the very top.
Therefore the spirited speed that he was making up the steep cliff had also astonished all the onlookers.
And of course the most stunned person was actually Duan Tian who had never expected that this Li Yuan was actually a seventh realm saint.
He was now stammering, “He…he is…actually a saint level cultivator?! I’ve offended a saint…after I’m done with the trial here, I’m going for a hasty breakthrough to preserve my life…”
All of a sudden there was another seventh realm level profound animus that had burst out from Ling Feiyang as she flew up the steep cliffs with her hurried steps.
Once again Duan Tian was shocked, “This Young Master Ling Feiyang is also a seventh realm golden saint?!”
Many of the golden supremacies were actually preparing to show off their skills against one another and were gleefully saying out loud, “Let’s see who can reach the top first.”
But when they saw that two seventh realm experts had suddenly appeared from their midst and had started to ascend up the steep cliff rapidly, they all had a sheepish look.
In front of these two seventh realm experts and their astonishing display of lightness profound art, they were just like little monkeys.
There were many golden celestials that were now sighing heavily, “Even if I am a seventh realm saint, I may not be as good as them in their lightless profound arts.”
“They didn’t even use their hands to grab onto the cliffs and are running along the cliff instead. This is too crazy.”