Chapter 171: Laying Down the Cards (1)
Silence. After a long time, Jadesun laughed and consoled, “Perhaps… this demon is just turning over? Does Master-Ancestor have to be so worried?”
“Turning over?” Daomaster Ancientpine chuckled, and his gaze suddenly sharpened. “It has already come!”
Just as his voice fell, the entire ground below Danxia Temple quickly swelled. It seemed as if there was some tremendous entity about to come from underneath!
All of a sudden, an area that was tens of kilometers wide… rumbled, softly trembling. It was extremely rhythmic. The broken stone of the quaking ground cracked deafeningly. As for the shaking range, it just so happened to be within the diagram formed by the hundred rivulets, the design of Xu Yangyi’s box!
In the air, each rune frantically twinkled, resisting the creature below with full strength. Daomaster Ancientpine suddenly stood up, and his robe sleeve fluttered. In the next second, he’d already appeared outside his palace.
“It is no longer thine era…” He looked down solemnly and murmured, “If you emerge, it will surely bring great upheaval to the world. Cultivation Civilization is the fruit of our past several hundred years of great effort. Would it not be better for you to continue to submerge thyself in sleep?”
There was no response whatsoever. After half a second, red light penetrated the entire sky from the cracks of all of Danxia Temple’s stones and formed a strange tentacle which was tens of meters tall. It fiercely seized towards the sky!
It… was the manifestation of an insect’s segmented limb!
“Dark. Shadow. Cleaves!” Extreme austerity laid in Ancientpine’s eyes, and both his hands joined together. In a fleeting moment, an infinite shadow erupted below his feet with a rumble! A longblade winding with countless shadows, no less than over a dozen meters in size, followed Daomaster Ancientpine’s cry of “slash!”. With the momentum of a thunderbolt evading ear cover, it hacked down towards the tremendous hand!
Swoosh! The space of heaven and earth was a radiant expanse alternating between red and black. But oddly, there were no loud rumbling explosions, and everything instead transformed into mist, gently following the wind.
Yet under Danxia Temple, countless rays of prismatic light shot forth. It appeared to resemble the Northern Aurora, illuminating the horizon!
“This is...” A cultivator looked at the rainbow light rushing from the ground in amazement. Inside, there was an extremely strange ocean!
Its ends were unseen and its boundaries could not be gazed upon, yet all that remained were endless lotus flowers swaying gently. Tranquility bearing a deathly silence.
“Daofather above…” Below the violet talisman formation, a cultivator looked at the sky in disbelief. “The Temple of Heaven…”
Ancientpine’s face was heavy like water. He’d walked a good many places and witnessed a great deal of things. Looking upon this scene, he already understood everything clearly.
It was indeed a secret realm… Truly a real secret realm!
What on earth was this demon?! Undying for several millennia! Capable of cultivating such a massive demon form! Furthermore, it was capable of asexual reproduction! And also able to develop a secret realm by itself! This... was a worldly anomaly before the arrival of a secret realm!
So long as a secret realm, buried and concealed for centuries, came into the world after a thousand years, a worldly anomaly was bound to emerge. In other words…
The light of his eyes chilled. This secret realm’s arrival into the world… would take no longer than two months!
“No…” Soon after, he looked somewhat vacantly at the sky. “This demon is so frightening… Who in the world can slay it? But… when it was originally sealed, who was that demon slayer?”
“Who could seal such a terrible demon? Why… I already stand at the world’s summit, yet there are still places that I cannot see through...”
“Quetzalcoatl… Danxia Temple… The Eight Great Deadlands… What kind of secrets do these places harbor?” After a brief moment, his mood settled. He looked at Jadesun and uttered, “I already have all the A-rank legions on call… Underneath… be it dragon pool or tiger cave, they still must explore.”
Since a secret realm was on the verge of coming into the world… there was a universal principle which everyone realized…
The first. While this was a time of supreme risk, it was also a time of supreme harvest! This time… why make things convenient for others?
Previously, six disciples and several major legions had lost their lives to Danxia Temple. He didn’t want to order the Featherwood Guard to go, but now he suddenly knew a secret realm was coming into the world. In that case… it didn’t need to be said that the Featherwood Guard HAD to be the first to go!
If someone had said this to him because he was in the vicinity of Danxia Temple, he wouldn’t dare go. In that case, he didn’t mind directly sending those people off on a journey.
Not even understanding the grounds of seeking riches and honor amidst danger, terrified of both head and tail yet still wanting to join under his command?
“Master-Ancestor…” Jadesun hesitated, “What if… the other Dao Masters get involved?”
Ancientpine’s face was heavy like water. “If so… prepare to announce this matter to the entire cultivation world at any time. In addition...” he paused, “notify the Xingtian Legion not to take on any missions in the near future.”
“Yes.” Jadesun cupped his hands and withdrew, unconcerned whether or not the Xingtian Legion would be chosen in the end. Yet at this moment, Daomaster Ancientpine called to mind the disciple he had just received into his sect. It was enough to prove that the status of this disciple was exceptional in his heart.
Else not, why didn’t he speak of the others but instead mention Xu Yangyi?
No one had a clue about all that had transpired at Danxia Temple, including Daomaster Ancientpine’s few great disciples who were unaware of the situation and making comprehensive legion preparations. This also comprised Xu Yangyi.
Nonetheless, since Xu Yangyi already understood great changes might’ve occurred in Danxia Temple, he would naturally make thorough preparations.
At night, after he finished receiving all the legionnaires, his first order of business was to take the initiative to contact Zhao Wuye. After all, Danxia Temple was in Longsu, and the Zhao Clan was enough to rank third in the province. Although Longsu didn’t have a first-rate clan, and moreover not to mention an apex clan that could contend with the several great powers, it was their locale. The resources that they grasped were evidently much greater.
In a five-star hotel, Zhao Wuye was tossing and turning restlessly in bed, constantly recollecting the events that had occurred today. Indescribable regret was in his heart, but he understood that if he allowed Zhao Ziqi to go up, it still would’ve quite likely been of no use. Yet he hadn’t even tried… causing him to hold an unwillingness in his mind as before.
At this time, his cell phone started beeping. He picked it up and glanced at it, his gaze faintly glimmering. He looked at the time again; it was twelve midnight. He showed no changes in demeanor as he left his room and glanced at Zhao Ziqi’s door. Quietly, he left the hotel.
The appointed location was a private meeting place in business throughout the night. After an attendant brought him to a private room, he saw the person across and took a long sigh.
“Fellow Daoist, I trust you have been well.” Zhao Wuye naturally wouldn’t recognize Xu Yangyi who had brought the Thousand Illusions. He cupped his hands and laughed, “You didn’t contact me this entire time. I even believed Fellow Daoist was afraid.”
Xu Yangyi calmly lit a cigarette, flicked it over, and laughed. “Inferior coercion methods.”
“Thank you, but I enjoy shredded tobacco.” Zhao Wuye cautiously took out an old-fashioned smoking pipe. His finger softly flicked, and a mild cherry aroma filled the air. “It’s no coercion method. Fellow Daoist, Longsu’s Danxia Temple Colonnades have been a deadland for all eternity. Daochild Chang Shengzi, that old Buddhist donkey; how many people have entered? To tell the truth, it wouldn’t be strange one bit if Fellow Daoist changed his mind.”
“I’m curious…” Concerning Zhao Wuye’s rare coercive remarks, Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes at the other. “Longsu’s Zhao Clan isn’t a first-rate clan, but it has the courage to explore the surroundings of a deadland?”
This was a laying down of all cards on the table.
Both of them clearly understood that since they had chosen to meet again, there was bound to be a reveal of details. Although the duo had left behind contact methods, neither had reached out. Concerning Danxia Temple, no one would take the initiative to reveal their information.
But no one knew that in this private meeting place called Imperial Grand, the people in charge of monitoring were already in a complete daze. 
A gentle flick of the finger and a fire had come… Zhao Wuye’s habitual action just now had caused the monitoring employees on shift to stare blankly in front of a screen.
“T-This is…” A man with a scar on his face suddenly quivered and latched onto the young man at the side. He said in a hoarse voice, “Tangerine Peel, did I just fucking see that wrong?!” 
“N-No, Third Bro.” Tangerine Peel’s eyes were also staring vacantly. He quickly recalled something, turning his head back and shouting loudly as if he had seen a ghost, “The young lord! The young lord said! He said…”
Tangerine Peel’s eyes dazzled like snow, and he pulled a chair, glancing at the screen again in disbelief. He took out a cell phone straightaway. “Young Lord said that if an immortal master is seen, then notify him at once! I’ll report this to him!”
Within a luxurious villa in Mingshui Province, a man roughly around twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old was sitting on a sofa, immaculate in his attire.
Seemingly carved and chiseled with blade and hatchet, his outline was strong, yet the indifferent look in his eyes carried a sliver of callousness. He had short, choppy hair and a handsome face, but below him, there was a young woman with a head full of ebony hair kneeling before him.
Her mouth sucked on a thick object, exhausting all her strength to please the other. Her small and delicate tongue occasionally licked the peak.
The man’s face was motionless, as if he had no senses. Eventually, he pinched the girl’s chin and lifted it up. “Your technique just keeps getting worse.”
“Young Lord!” The young woman heard this and her whole body quivered. She immediately kowtowed. “I-It’s my mistake! P-Please give me another chance!”
The young lord snorted coldly and extended his leather shoe before the other. He stretched out his hand to grasp a cup of red wind on a table. “Lick it clean.”
The young woman was stunned, but in the next instant she stuck out her small, nimble tongue as if she had received an emperor’s supreme favor.
Just as her tongue was on the verge of touching the leather shoe, a telephone on the table rang out. The young lord lazily reached out with his hand and took it. “Hello?” In less than two seconds, his complexion grew cautious. “Three Blades, you know the consequences if you’re mistaken.”
“This business is a major event for me. The torture chamber brothers won’t be lenient.” After a few seconds, he stood up and finally revealed a smile towards the young woman. “Get lost. Your luck’s not bad today.”
“Yes! Yes! Thank you for your exalted favor, Young Lord!’ The young woman hastily kowtowed and departed at once.
In the room, Xu Yangyi and Zhao Wuye were simply unaware of all of this. Even if they knew, they still wouldn’t care at all.
Nothing but mortals… Although cultivators still came from among mortals… in the End of Days, people able to draw qi into the body were already becoming fewer and fewer. That moreover wasn’t to speak of treading into cultivation!
Once at Qi Condensation, this was the difference between man and heaven.
“The Zhao Clan naturally has a few aces.” Zhao Wuye took a deep breath, cautiously taking out a palm-sized box and gently opening it. In an instant, a heart-shaking spiritual pressure pervaded the air!
Inside, there was an odd hand-sized creature. It was snoring asleep. This little beast seemed to be a tiny monkey, but it had six ears and three eyes. Its entire body was covered in fire-red fur. From Its apertures, rays of golden light freely came forth each time it inhaled and exhaled.
“To be honest, the Zhao Clan has already explored 700 meters of the surroundings. Everything was dependent on this Earthlistener.” Zhao Wuye gravely closed the box. “I dare to guarantee that in the entire nation, no one can explore so deeply in the Qi Condensation realm besides my Zhao Clan.” 
“Oh?” Xu Yangyi nodded with a smile that wasn’t a smile.
“Every twenty years, the Zhao Clan has a suicide squad that enters the surroundings of Danxia Temple. Following the path walked by predecessors, they continue to expand ahead. This has already persisted for several centuries. Hehe…” Zhao Wuye deeply eyed Xu Yangyi. “Fellow Daoist, I offer you a word of advice. If you go down below Danxia temple without bringing a skilled earth master on your team, even the surroundings are still a narrow escape. Death at every turn and lurking from behind, the hope for survival far and remote.” 
“Underneath… is a totally unimaginable world!”
1. Author is usually pretty good about using real life businesses/places, but I can’t find any meeting place service literally called “Emperor Grand”. Closest thing I found was a Chinese auto company which uses the same characters, but calls themselves “Emgrand”. Today, Emgrand no longer functions. It was an auto brand of the Chinese car company Geely.
3. Earthlistener. In ancient Chinese, the real thing can point to two things, but I believe it is pointing to the first which it is based on: an ancient Chinese tool for surveilling the direction of sound. 地听 - it is the weird rock box thing with a hole in it.
MFW reading this chapter. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)