Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 73
Chapter 73: Indignation of the Executed
Translator: Myriea Editor: Nou
Since the boy looked as though he was about to pick a fight, the white-haired youth was left without a choice but to sigh and wave it off. ’’Outer court rules are outer court rules and are sorted by the outer court elders. Since they either did not find out about your offenses or decided not to intervene, there is even less of a reason for me to do anything now. I will not punish you for your seven offenses now, but I will remember it!’’
Fang Xing let out a long breath, his back wetted down with cold sweat.
The white-haired youth continued on, ’’I originally summoned you here to test your wits and examine your physique to see if you'd be a suitable candidate to pass my knowledge on to. However, I now have a better idea: perhaps you'll be able to see through that painting....’’ His voice trailed off as he spoke, as though he was making the decision right there.
’’Come with me!’’ With a wave of the white-haired youth's palm, the Weiqi board and its pieces were transformed into a solid stone statue, its pieces rooted to the board without the possibility of moving even an inch it was as though he had placed a seal over the entire game to be removed only upon his next return. He stood up and took Fang Xing with him onto a summoned cloud before swiftly flying towards the back of the peak.
At the peak's rear was a forest made of stones and cliffs curved into various shapes. There was no particular order or pattern to the shapes or locations of the rocks, and it appeared almost strangely sinister, as though it was a group of stone swords brandished towards the heavens.
On the side of the stone forest was a cavernous estate that appeared simple and secluded, and the white-haired youth took Fang Xing inside before unlocking a total of eighteen seals that had been placed on an old scroll. He handed this very scroll over to Fang Xing with a long sigh. ’’Your mind is too unrestrained and wild for me to pass on all of my knowledge to you, but it might be suitable for this scroll. I will give you three days to see if you can gain a grasp of this or not. If you cannot, I will wipe your memories and return you back to the inner court.’’
’’A scroll?’’ Fang Xing opened it with curiosity before his instincts sent him into a quick shiver, an overwhelmingly sinister and eerie aura enveloping him as the inside of the scroll was revealed. It was not the painting of a person, of grand mountains, nor of magnificent rivers;it was blood.
It was only blood. Bright red, eye-itching blood. It looked as though it had been flung across the parchment.
’’This blood was splattered onto the scroll when someone was decapitated, thus it is named 'Decapitation's Portrayal',’’ the white-haired youth gently explained. He tapped Fang Xing on the shoulder with an undecipherable glimmer in his eyes before sighing and leaving Fang Xing alone with the scroll.
’’He'll be the tenth....’’
Once the white-haired youth had left the cave, he looked up towards the sky. Some millions of miles above where no naked eye or ordinary cultivator could reach were nine coffins suspended and unmoving, as though they had already determined this place's fate. They had existed for more years than anyone could count, had triggered more events in the immortal realm than anyone could remember.... All of these years, numerous men and women with extraordinary power and talent had tried, yet they had all failed to understand the mysteries of these coffins.
In the past three hundred years, this child was the tenth person he had sought after.
A thousand years ago, a single reflection from one of the nine coffins was seen over the continent of South Zhanbu, enough to lead countless men and women into a frenzy of pursuit. Wars and battles were fought, and even those who had lived for thousands of years were seen leaving their seclusion early in search of the answer.
As for the Qing-Yun Sect, it was nothing more than a small sect that did not even have the privilege to join in with any of the forces during these battles.
Bai Qianzhang, however, could. He had not been called Bai Qianzhang during that time, and his name had only changed after he had seen a scroll from one of the ancient treasures he'd found from his searches. He just barely managed to escape from a large event that was enough to leave him with a full head of white hair, and it was then that he gave himself this new name. It had also been at that time that he made one of the biggest decisions in his life: to betray his clan for the scroll.
And that scroll was none other than this [Decapitation's Portrayal]!
Bai Qianzhang knew that the scroll was extremely important and had secrets hidden within, yet in the seven hundred years since, he could not understand the scroll no matter how hard he tried. As a result, during the three hundred years he had made Qing-Yun his home, he had chosen several smart-witted disciples to see if they were able to comprehend it instead. In the span of these three hundred years, of the nine disciples he had chosen, seven had failed and were sent back to the sect after having their memories wiped clean.
As for the other two... they unfortunately entered a state of Qigong Deviation. Their souls had been eaten up alive by their inner demons after making just very minimal grasps on the scroll.
This time, he had chosen Fang Xing because he felt the boy was different. After having gone through and failing so many disciples with great zi'zhi and wit, this irregular boy might just be the key to solving the questions he had gathered throughout all these years.
Inside the cave, Fang Xing sat near a stone table while pouring his fascination and great interest onto the scroll. It was nothing more than a splatter of blood that had been soaked up by the scroll. It was a simple image, yet if someone were to look closely, there was an overwhelming sensation of terror that would send a person's heart into uncontrollable palpitations. Despite the number of years it had been on the scroll, the splatter of blood still looked bright and fresh;it was as though it was still alive and floating through the veins of its owner. It was like an endless fury that was unwilling to reconcile, as though there was a wronged soul readying itself to annihilate even the gateway of the heavens.
As Fang Xing focused his full attention on the image, an image seemed to appear. The scene was atop an executioner's scaffold of the gods, and the hero of this time released a long howl towards the sky filled with resentment towards the unjust heavens. Yet with a single flicker of light from a sword's movement, his head was sent flying as the blood splattered out....
No wonder the white-haired youth called it the [Decapitation's Portrayal];it was indeed the picture of someone being decapitated. Everyone who came into contact with the scroll would see the same illusion, as everyone would be affected by the unyielding will that had once belonged to the blood's owner.
The only question, then, was what did the white-haired youth want Fang Xing to comprehend from this?
Fang Xing sat quietly in front of the picture. After a long while, he finally decided to activate the [Book of Revelation];he believed that since it was more than some simple blood splatter, there had to be something more to it. With the help of the [Book of Revelation], he would at least have a good start to see where he could go next to decipher this.
As Fang Xing focused on the image, he felt some of his Qi used up while only a very small amount of information was shown.
'...... blood of immortal... will of the heavenly sword...'
To Fang Xing's surprise, the items in the illusion were appraised by the [Book of Revelation]. One was the blood of an immortal, and the other was something called the will of the heavenly sword.
Fang Xing was left dumbfounded. Could it really be that this blood had once belonged to that of an immortal? If it had been an immortal, who could have been so powerful as to carry out the execution? Furthermore, what was this ’’will of the heavenly sword’’? Would it be the sword intent of a Heaven-rank technique?
It wasn't too long ago that Fang Xing learned about the seven ranks of skills: Dao, Heaven, Immortal, divine, Ancient, Principle, and Base. Could this sword intent have been controlled by a technique that belonged to the rank of Heaven? If the person who performed this execution was using the second highest rank of them all, it was no wonder that even an immortal had not escaped his fate;Immortal was ranked lower than Heaven!
'If the scroll only has these two things, then I'll just have to start with one of them,' Fang Xing thought to himself. The methods to begin now seemed much clearer to him than before.
Even Bai Qianzhang himself could only feel that there was something mysterious about the picture without a clear idea of exactly what it was, to say nothing of all of the other disciples that had come into contact with it. All they had done was study the picture while opening their minds to the anger in the splattered blood in an effort to seek out something anything to guide them on what to search for. As for what that something was, they didn't know;any progress was dependent upon pure luck.
Fang Xing was different and knew exactly what to look for. It was similar to having everyone look for something in a vast desert with only the hint that ’’something’’ was out there. The others hadn't known what that ’’something’’ was, but Fang Xing knew exactly what it was he should search for from the very beginning, giving him an unparalleled advantage.
Fang Xing placed the scroll on the stone wall and took a deep breath. He calmed his mind to immerse himself completely in the comprehension of its mysteries.
'Anger.... Resentment towards injustice.... Tenacity....'
As Fang Xing focused his rapt attention on the splatter of blood, he began to feel all these strong and complex emotions.
It had been an unyielding immortal who splattered the last of his blood before all signs of life faded from him. Once his life had ended, all of his great vitality was vanquished, and any blood that later flew from his body was forever absent of any emotional imprint. Hence, this very specific splatter of blood was not only intertwined with a mix of complex emotions, but also an immortal's very last spark of life.
Anger, resentment, tenacity, insolence, hatred.... There were all sorts of emotions... except that of fear!
'What does someone experience when they know they are about to be beheaded? What sort of enlightenment does that bring?'
Still focused on the [Decapitation's Portrayal], Fang Xing recalled a time when he was also once nearly beheaded at the age of eight.
Bai Qianzhang: Bai means white, Qianzhang means a thousand yards. Hence the relevance to his hair.