Chapter 157: A Cauldron with a Square Exterior!
The image disappeared. Meng Hao’s expression was as normal, revealing nothing. He looked at Xu Youdao and the others. Their expressions had not changed. It seemed all of them, including Xu Youdao and the gray-robed Cultivator, approved of what Han Bei had said.
“Could it be that they didn’t notice the bronze cauldron?” thought Meng Hao. After being branded by his blood, the vines had begun to emit a faint Demonic aura.
Han Bei smiled. “Fellow Daoists, now that you can rest your hearts at ease, please accompany me to the location of the Classic of Time. No matter what happens today, if we acquire the Classic, then everyone will get a copy.” She bowed toward the group, and then shot into the air and flew out across the plain.
Xie Jie was the second to fly up, followed by Xu Youdao and the Li woman. Meng Hao and the gray-robed Cultivator were the last of the six to turn into beams of colorful light that shot through the sky.
No one spoke as they traveled. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Meng Hao’s face was expressionless, but his thoughts were filled with the image of the huge bronze cauldron. At the moment, he was about seventy to eighty percent certain that the area he had seen was no exit, but rather Han Bei’s handiwork.
He wasn’t sure if Han Bei could dupe the others, but he had his good luck charm, and thus felt reassured in his current position. The location of the Classic of Time was surely bizarre and astonishing; if it weren’t, Han Bei wouldn’t have spent so much time and resources to go there.
“I wonder how Han Bei learned of this Classic of Time…” he thought to himself, looking up ahead at Han Bei’s lithe figure as she shot through the air.
Suddenly, Xu Youdao spoke up, giving voice to what Meng Hao had just been considering. “Fellow Daoist Han, you still haven’t explained how you learned of the Classic of time, nor how you acquired the first volume.”
Han Bei looked back with a smile.
“If Fellow Daoist Xu is anxious for an answer, then I will give it as soon as we arrive.” It was at this time that they reached the edge of the vast plain. Suddenly, the roaring sound once again appeared. It was very far away, but it still caused everyone except for Han Bei and Xie Jie to feel shaken.
Those of the late Foundation Establishment stage rotated their Cultivation bases until the roaring and gravitational force died down. Then everything went back to normal, except that their faces were a bit paler.
An apologetic look appeared on Han Bei’s face, but she said nothing. She raised her hand and pushed her hand down toward the ground. A strong wind suddenly sprang into being, sweeping across the land. Han Bei took a deep breath and then smacked her bag of holding. A jade bottle appeared in her hand.
It was blue-green in color, and as soon as it appeared, her expression became somewhat somber. She tossed it out, and everyone watched as it descended downward.
When it landed onto the ground, cracks appeared on its surface that spread out rapidly. A blue liquid appeared within the cracks which emanated a faintly bitter aura. As the aura spread out, the eyes of the gray-robed Cultivator narrowed.
“That’s… Blue Heaven Elixir!”
Even as his words rang out, the blue bottle split into pieces. The blue liquid within expanded out to form a mist that enveloped the surrounding three hundred meter area. Suddenly, all of the grass disappeared, as if it had been a mere illusion. The earth surrounding them was pitch black, as if it were suffering from some sort of curse, some ancient spell which had existed for millennia.
“Fellow Daoist Sima, you are certainly experienced and knowledgeable. You are correct, this is Blue Heaven Elixir. To acquire even one drop required countless hardships. It’s capable of piercing a variety of illusions.” She smiled at the gray-robed man, then glanced at Meng Hao and the others.
“Fellow Daoists, I know that you have many questions. We are currently standing above an ancient portal which leads to a sealed zone within the Blessed Land. In actuality, the Black Sieve Sect learned about this Blessed Land hundreds of years ago. However, the person who actually discovered it was not a disciple of the Black Sieve Sect, but an ancestor of my Clan.
“Because of the Blessed Land, the Black Sieve Sect made my ancestor join the Sect, which is how the Han bloodline came to exist there. In fact, the map used to enter this place was created after years of research on the part of one of my Clan uncles. He used a mysterious magical technique to refine and congeal his own blood into the map. Because….” She was silent for the space of a few breaths, then continued, “Because this Blessed Land was once ruled by a lord who was also a patriarch of the Han Clan. However, he eventually became one with the Dao, and dissipated. Despite that, a connection to this place will occasionally appear within his descendants.
“I’m not sure what the Black Sieve Sect is plotting. But before he transformed into the map, my Clan uncle told me that because of his bloodline connection to this place, he knew that a secret technique of the Han Clan existed within. The three volume Time magic. This magic can produce a Time-Ruining treasure. Wielding the treasure can enable you to suck away the lifespans of others. That is why it requires a Spring and Autumn tree or similar item as its base.
“Even in ancient times,” she said, her voice gentle and clear, “this Time-Ruining treasure was astonishing and rarely seen. Nowadays, it could be considered lost. If it still exists, then it’s only in this place! Regarding the first volume of the Classic of Time, well… that is an item that has been passed down through generations in my Clan.
“I shall combine the three volumes and refine the Time-Ruining treasure. It is my personal affair, and I don’t want other Han Clan members to know about it. I also wish to avoid the prying eyes of the Black Sieve Sect. That is why I invited you all here today. As for Elder Brother Xie, he is here because of a previous agreement between the two of us.”
Everyone obviously had their own opinion about how much of what she had just said was true and how much was false. The methods she had used on the outside to gather their group together gave some clues. Meng Hao’s eyes flashed over the group, and inside, he laughed.
“It seems like everybody is thinking something different. But other than me, it looks like nobody is even listening to Han Bei’s explanation. And she knows it. There does seem to be something wrong with what she said just now.
“However… the Classic of Time is most likely real. Right now, I don’t really have very many powerful magical items other than the wooden swords. I do have the Spring and Autumn tree which is easy to duplicate with the copper mirror. If I can learn the technique from the Classic of Time, then my problem will be solved.
“I still need to be cautious, though. If anything goes wrong, I’ll use the good luck charm to leave this place immediately.” Even as he made his mind up, Han Bei flashed an incantation gesture to open the ancient portal beneath them.
An ancient and archaic roar sounded out from within, as if some sleeping beast was awakening. Suddenly, a glittering light appeared. It did not spread out far; it only enveloped the surrounding three hundred meters.
When the light appeared, Han Bei looked up to the sky as if she were calculating something. Then, her body flashed and she shot down into the portal. With a slight smile, Xie Jie entered as well, followed by Xu Youdao and the others.
Meng Hao swept the area with Spiritual Sense to confirm that it was nothing more than a teleportation portal. After seeing everyone else enter and begin to turn blurry, he followed. The glowing light flickered and then faded. Everyone disappeared.
When they re-appeared, the sky above was the same sky as in the Blessed Land. However, the earth was covered with cracks. Far off in the distance, an object was visible. When Meng Hao’s eyes fell upon it, they shone brightly for a moment and then returned to normal.
Up ahead was an enormous bronze cauldron!
The cauldron was several tens of thousands of meters tall, rising up so tall that it seemed to be supporting the sky. It looked both ancient and primitive, as if it had existed for countless years. A boundless might radiated out from the cauldron, causing everyone to feel an intense fear, even Han Bei.
A variety of thoughts ran through the minds of everyone present.
“Cauldrons are the utensils of nations. They can only be forged by people with incredible destiny. It turns out… such a fear-inspiring cauldron exists in this place!”
“What a true treasure! Who could possibly be so bold as to forge such a heavenly cauldron?!”
“It’s archaic design seems to be matchless. It must have been here for countless tens of thousands of years. Could it have been forged by some ancient almighty being…?”
They all panted as they gazed upon the cauldron. Even the cold man in the gray robe gasped when he saw it. A strange light flickered in his eyes.
Xie Jie’s eyes narrowed, and it took some time before he regained his composure.
Meng Hao instantly recognized it; this was the same cauldron he had seen in the transmission from the vine before it had died in the so-called exit. As he looked around, he could tell that… everything around looked exactly the same as what he had seen in the supposed exit.
He laughed coldly in his heart, but his expression didn’t change at all. He furtively retrieved the good luck charm and checked to make sure that it was still working. Inwardly, he was incapable of holding back some admiration for Patriarch Reliance. He wasn’t sure how treasured of an item this good luck charm was, but he did know that it still worked in this place.
Feeling a bit reassured, he looked back up at the massive cauldron. He couldn’t help but feel awed. Even though this wasn’t the first time he’d seen it, to stand in front of it like this made him feel like an insect.
“The cauldron is cracked…” said Xu Youdao with a sigh.
Everyone could see that the massive, awe-inspiring bronze cauldron had a huge crack running down through it. The crack seemed as if it wished to split the cauldron in two, yet wasn’t quite able to.
Everyone else guessed in their hearts that the crack must have been caused by some other shocking magical item. But when Meng Hao saw it, he got a different feeling. The crack was not something that was caused by a magical item. He looked up into the sky and thought back to how it had felt to be struck by Tribulation Lightning. That was the same type of feeling he got when he looked at the crack; it must have been caused by Tribulation Lightning!
“Anyone who could take possession of this massive cauldron and use it as a magical item would definitely be able to shake the Cultivation World.” Xie Jie’s words were soft, but filled with passion.
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