Chapter 107: Scaling a Sacred Mountain
Nine sacred mountains that were towering, majestic, densely covered with tall ancient trees and oddly shaped rocks, it could be described as glorious.
At the foot of a mountain, Ye Fan looked towards Jiang Han Zhong as he spoke: “I only have one condition, allow the six of them to leave this place.” Having said this, he pointed towards Liu Yi Yi, Zhang Zi Jun, Lin Jia and the others.
Liu Yi Yi and Zhang Zi Jun had nervous and anxious expressions on their faces, they were signalling to Ye Fan to quickly leave but could not use words to express this because they were currently surrounded by horsemen.
Zhou Yi, Lin Jia, Wang Zi Wen and Li Xiao Man did not expect that Ye Fan would actually think of saving them first under the current circumstances, Li Xiao Man was stunned as she gazed at Ye Fan not far away.
“They are currently unable to assist in any way, keeping them here is redundant.” Ye Fan stared at Jiang Han Zhong as he continued: “You are merely planning to use them to test those skeletons atop the mountains, there is no need to waste innocent lives.”
“It seems you are rather compassionate, it’s a pity that you don’t have what it takes to speak of terms with us.” Jiang Han Zhong swept his indifferent gaze at the few people far away, he did not speak further and it was clear that he did not plan to release them.
Not far away, the expressions on the faces of Zhou Yi, Li Xiao Man and the others had changed, they clearly understood what the elder of the Jiang Family meant, he would definitely kill them to prevent any leakage of information, he was definitely not planning to let them leave.
Ye Fan easily lifted a several thousand jin boulder as he seemed to weigh it in his hand before moving his arms as he ferociously tossed it towards a mountain. It was difficult to imagine how much force was used as the boulder flew in a beautiful arc, smashing squarely into the foot of the mountain, right in the centre of the pile of white skeletons. “What are you doing?!” Elder Ji Yun Feng of the Ji Family was angry and stunned as he radiated a killing intent. “Didn’t you want to test those white skeletons? I’ve assisted you without using living people.”
Elder Xu Dao Ling of the Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground had a heavy expression as he spoke: Who allowed you to recklessly act?”
Jiang Han Zhong also radiated killing intent as he placed a brocaded case within his hand, it flashed with a dazzling brilliance, it seemed like it was made from wood or jade but it wasn’t clear and it was also not extremely magnificent, it was overflowing with a feeling of age and did not have any frightening energy fluctuations, however, it gave one an extreme feeling of danger.
Ye Fan saw an illusion, it was as though that were a world of its own rather than a case, it seemed as though it could encompass endless living things and contain mountains and rivers.
At this moment, a violent trembling could be felt from the sacred mountain as though an immensely huge monster had been aggravated, endless amounts of rocks began to tumble down as much of the forest was swept away by the force.
“Those white skeletons are coming down the mountain!” Several horsemen shouted in fear as the densely packed and innumerous white skeletons began to move downwards, their speed was not exceptional but the sea of white made their scalps feel numb. “This is the result of your actions!” Jiang Han Zhong was infuriated as he stared at Ye Fan, unadulterated killing intent could be seen in his eyes.
“If you had sent people over to test it, this would also be the outcome!”
“Hurry and make a decision, whether to continue or retreat, should we continue making plans to acquire the divine medicine?” Elder Xu Dao Ling of the Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground had a very ugly expression on his face.
Elder Ji Yun Feng of the Ji Family had a solemn expression: “There’s no need to mull over this matter, let’s take out all our forbidden artifacts and forcefully open a path, we must scale the sacred mountain and acquire the divine medicine.”
The elder of the Jiang Family was red faced as he stared hatefully at Ye Fan with the brocaded case in his hand: “This forbidden artifact will allow my spring of divine energy to come forth nine times, immediately restoring my cultivation. I will be able to attack nine times.”
Hearing this, Ye Fan was alarmed as he quietly took a sigh of relief, this old fellow actually had such a power and if he had acted earlier, he would now be dead.
An elder of the Ji Family held a unique rock the size of a fist, it was jet black in colour, dense and numerous Dao engravings could be seen on it, giving it a feeling of natural music of dao. “This is an artifact that was personally smelted by a venerated elder within our Ji Family, there are endless Dao Inscriptions engraved on it and it can allow the formation of a heavenly formation for a short period of time, allowing me to act for nine times.”
Ye Fan trembled in his heart, the backing of an ancient aristocratic family was really too deep, they could actually produce such an artifact which could allow them to regain their divine energy for a short period of time within the forbidden area.
The elder of the Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground held a jadeite leaf that was the size of a palm, it flashed with a green light and had a myriad of profound Dao Inscriptions engraved on it, the inscriptions were very smooth as though they were the natural veins of a leaf. “In order to acquire the divine medicine within the forbidden area, a venerated elder of our Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground personally forged this artifact, it will allow me to act three times.”
Jiang Han Zhong did not believe his words as he said with a cold smile on his face: “That’s impossible, the Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground shouldn’t be much weaker than our ancient aristocratic families, upon entering the forbidden area, how could they be so reckless and prepare such a weak forbidden weapon?” The elder of the Ji Family also had a cold expression on his face as he spoke: “Brother Xu, I have no point in hiding anything at this point. This forbidden artifact can allow me to act twice but contains the divine energy of a venerated elder within our Twinkling Brilliance Sacred Ground which can be used twice.” Jiang Han Zhong heard this and immediately sucked in a breath of cold air, this green leaf was definitely a precious treasure. The three elders gathered together as they began to conduct a simple discussion.
Ye Fan who was listening by the side understood that these forbidden artifacts were precious treasures that had been specially forged for this journey into the forbidden area, the Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families were extremely powerful and they had accumulated many treasures, their means were endless. He could not help but ask: “Why didn’t all of you prepare more forbidden artifacts?”
“What would a mortal like you know!” Jiang Han Zhong’s expression was currently very ugly, he really felt like killing someone, Ye Fan’s reckless actions had caused the dense and numerous white skeletons to all climb down.
Xu Dao Ling swept his gaze at him: “Forging such a forbidden artifact requires unimaginable amounts of resources, one could actually forge an extremely strong ‘Great Artifact’.”
Ye Fan was forced to walk in front of the group while the three elders followed closely behind him. The other cultivators walked together with Li Xiao Man and the others.
The vegetation atop the sacred mountain was lush and dense, exotic rocks were strewn about and it could be described as majestic. However, no one was paying attention to these details as they were currently confronted by a life and death situation, their backs were all soaked with sweat.
Halfway up the mountain, they were still a long distance away from the peak of the mountain but could already feel a demonic aura, all the ferocious beasts began to roar. “I……. I’m starting to become old!” A horseman exclaimed.
In an instant, the faces of several people began to grow old as though they had endured ten years of time, several middle aged man were greying at their temples. “If we continue forward, we will all die!” Someone shouted as several people were swayed. “What are you panicking for!” Jiang Han Zhong shouted: “If we succeed, this will be a heaven sent opportunity for each of us!”
At this moment, Ye Fan’s appearance remained the same and the three elders did not show any abnormalities, the forbidden artifacts within their hands was releasing a unique aura which was protecting them. Besides them, Zhou Yi, Liu Yi Yi, Wang Zi Wen, Li Xiao Man and the others who were at the very back also did not suffer any changes. “Why aren’t they affected as well?” Zhang Han Zhong was shocked.
Ye Fan immediately thought of many things, back then they had also came to the peak of a sacred mountain but did not experience any frightening changes until they left the forbidden area where many people suddenly became much older.
“Could it have something to do with the nine dragons pulling the large coffin?”
Further below, Zhou Yi, Wang Zi Wen and the others were softly discussing.
“It’s likely to have something to do with the nine dragon corpses and the ancient bronze coffin, it could be that after traversing from the other side of the stars, our bodies were infected by the its aura.”
“Even the devilish monster within the depths of the abyss cannot contain the bronze coffin, back then we actually saw a living creature which was bound by chains howling in anger in the dark of night…….”
The youngest horseman within the group could not bear the loss of youth as he began to shout in panic: “Elders, we can’t proceed forward anymore……”
“Useless thing! What use do we have for you!” Zhang Han Zhong held a long spear within one arm and immediately sent it through him as fresh blood spurted forth, the horseman was sent flying several tens of metres away before heavily landing on the ground, the others were petrified and no one else spoke up.
Looking past the dense vegetation, they could finally faintly see the peak of the mountain. At this moment, the white skeletons had finally came before them and would reach the group at any moment. “Elders, use the forbidden artifacts otherwise we won’t be able to hold on!” At this moment several people in the group had grown older by several years and a few of the ferocious beasts had already started to grow weaker.
The mountain top was a sea of snowy white with innumerable skeletons, all the skeletons were still climbing and made everyone’s scalps feel numb, a demonic aura could be sensed in the wind and several people suddenly began to miserably scream.
A shocking affair had occurred as the flesh on several horsemen suddenly began to rot, many people immediately aged more than twenty years and a group of decrepit old man had suddenly formed. “I’ll act first!” Ji Yun Feng retrieved a unique black stone which he held in his palm, a jet black streaks of light immediately began to be emitted.
An extremely strong and frightening fluctuation was emitted from within Ji Yun Feng’s body, like a boundless and indescribably vast body of water which roiled in all directions, this was his true power.
Ye Fan trembled in his heart, this elder of the Ji family was simply too strong, he felt as though he were duckweed while the other party was the vast ocean, there was simply no way to compare. “This is his real strength?”
If they had met under normal circumstances, Ye Fan would definitely have no chance for survival. The two parties were separated by a great chasm and the differences in the strength were too stark, a random blow from the other party would be sufficient to turn him into dust.
A heavenly gauze parasol shot out from within Ji Yun Feng’s body as it stirred up violent winds causing the surrounding rocks to be ground into dust, the dense and numerous skeletons which were in front also swiftly turned to dust. “Hurry forward!” Ji Yun Feng shouted as he took the lead, the heavenly gauze parasol trembled fiercely as it established an area of pure land for roughly one hundred metres, all the white skeletons had been turned to dust and were blown far away by the strong wind.
With a flash of light the heavenly gauze parasol flew back as Ji Yun Feng’s body trembled, his divine spring of energy was dry once again and the unique black rock within his hand had an additional fracture on it, indicating that it had already been used once and could only be used another eight times. “Hurry!” Jiang Han Zhong and Xu Dao Ling were loudly shouting. They only had a limited amount of time and had to grab the chance to advance as swiftly as possible.
Suddenly, an exclamation could be heard from the back of the group. Li Xiao Man, Zhou Yi, Wang Zi Wen and Lin Jia took the chance while no one was prepared and swiftly rushed towards the bottom of the mountains. The several decrepit horsemen were no longer nimble and could not block them in time. “Ye Fan……” Liu Yi Yi and Wang Zi Wen shouted towards the top of the mountain. “You guys run, don’t care about me!” Ye Fan could see that the two people were hesitating and immediately roared. Zhang Zi Jun grit his teeth before forcefully turning, pulling Liu Yi Yi as they rushed down the mountain without looking back.
A few of the decrepit horsemen threw their spears which almost pierced the two people, brushing by them as they impaled themselves into the ground. “I’ll chase them!” A few of the horsemen prepared to ride their ferocious beasts to chase down the mountain.
Jiang Han Zhong loudly shouted: “Ignore them! Let’s continue rushing up the mountain, we can’t waste this chance created by the usage of the spring of divine energy!” Having said this, two sharp lights glinted within his eyes as he stared at Ye Fan intently: “You better be honest in your actions, if you dare to attempt running, I’ll make sure that you turn into dust.”
At this point, Li Xiao Man was the fastest in running followed closely by Zhou Yi, Wang Zi Wen and Lin Jia. The four of them disappeared in the blink of an eye. Thereafter, Zhang Zi Jun and Liu Yi Yi also entered into the forest below and disappeared.
They had managed to grasp this chance, the people atop the mountain simply could not chase them under the critical circumstances and the six people had finally managed to get rid of their captors, escaping down the mountain.
Elder Ji Yun Feng of the Ji Family laughed coldly: “Wanting to live isn’t so simple, the instant one walks out of the forbidden area, almost all would immediately age and die, turning into dust.”
White skeletons covered the ground atop the mountain and endless amounts of skeletons continued to struggle as they made their way down the mountain. This time, Jiang Han Zhong acted as he used the brocaded case within his palm, a frightening aura was released, the energy fluctuation that he released was exceptionally frightening, as though a million large mountains were pressing down at the same time, making one tremble with fear in their hearts.
Ye Fan was totally stunned, this level of existence was like a god that was above the clouds, impossible to overcome and immeasurable.
In this manner, Jiang Han Zhong, Ji Yun Feng and Xu Dao Ling took turns to act, eventually nearing the peak of the sacred mountain, barely two hundred metres away.
At this moment, a miserable cry could be heard from behind as several people began to fall, as they neared the peak of the mountain, several horsemen died from losing all their vitality, dying of old age. “No! We are also unable to hold on any longer!” At this moment, although Jiang Han Zhong, Ji Yun Feng and Xu Dao Ling held forbidden artifacts within their hands, their faces had aged significantly and their bodies were stooped.
“If this goes on, we will only die without even reaching the top of the mountain.”
“Retreat, everyone, retreat!” Xu Dao Ling shouted for the horsemen to retreat, their original plans could not be accomplished and the people who were brought along could not help with the situation.
Jiang Han Zhong coldly stared at Ye Fan, his hand still held the brocaded case tightly as a divine glow expanded out, an energy surge like that of a vast body of water was emitted as it immediately constrained Ye Fan. Thereafter, a jade bottle with a seal on it was opened and a bird streaked through and instantly entered into Ye Fan’s body. “Puppet Brand?” Ji Yun Feng questioned.
“That’s right, I can’t have peace of mind with this fellow, if he goes up and destroys the divine medicine or consumes it for himself, won’t I be using a wicker basket to draw water?” Jiang Han Zhong patted Ye Fan as he commanded: “Go on up!”
Thereafter, he turned to face the two people: “We should use all our power to assist him, sending him to the top of the mountain. We must acquire the divine medicine!”
“Okay!” Xu Dao Ling nodded.
Ji Yun Feng spoke up: “The total number of times we can still act is nine, if we bear the threat of becoming dust, we should be able to advance another hundred metres to sweep away all the remaining skeletons, sending him to the top of the mountain.”
As they got closer to the top of the mountain, the devilish aura became heavier. Although the skeletons had finally been taken care of, the three elders were swiftly becoming older and even Ye Fan could no longer fully escape from the effects, becoming a young man from a youth.
At this moment, the several hundred ancient words within Ye Fan’s mind began to tremble, like a yellow bell’s loud pitch that was resounding, shattering the black light that had rushed into his mind, thoroughly dispelling it, causing the Puppet Brand to no longer have any effect on him.
Ye Fan felt cold sweat all over his body, he had almost been crippled in the final moment. The elder of the Jiang Family was simply too insidious, attacking without any signs and he had not prepared any defense against it. Right now, he was pretending to be controlled as he listened to the commands of the three people, walking with big strides toward the top of the mountain. “Bring this!” Xu Dao Ling tossed a clean jade bottle over: “This bottle can contain an entire large mountain, it contains a self contained space within and you can use it to store the divine spring water after picking the divine medicine.
They were still tens of metres from the peak of the mountain and the three elders had already managed to clear up all the skeletons, stopping their advancement as they no longer dared to continue moving forward. They were faced with the risk of dying from old age and were currently already extremely aged.
Ye Fan could feel his vitality slipping away, upon reaching the peak of the mountain, his hair was already white like snow and his body was stooped and decrepit.
“That is……” at this moment, he was stunned to see that a female that had a magnificent style that was unmatched in her generation, quietly sitting atop the sacred mountain with her back to him, at this moment she had just turned to gaze at him.