Book 15 Chapter 4 - Terror

Too much time had passed.

Or perhaps we should say that in the eternal darkness, Zhang Ping completely lost track of how much time had passed.

From his initial extreme fear and despair, he slowly became numb, until he eventually didn’t even know if he went mad or not.

Countless hallucinations appeared in his head, hearing all types of strange sounds.

Then, there were no more hallucinations, no more strange sounds, everything quiet to the point where there was only the sound of blood flowing and heart beating within his body.

He seemed to have become a ghost in the underworld without any thoughts.

He continuously devoured those disgusting seaweed bugs to fill his stomach, did meditation cultivation to replenish soul force, and then climbed.

He climbed, fell, and then continued climbing…

He didn’t even notice that as he repeated this process endlessly without rest, he climbed higher and higher. The height he could reach was already several times that of the highest he could reach before. His fingers became tougher, his soul force already became even more powerful, able to easily pierce through the hard mountain rock.

This type of process continued to repeat.

The height he reached made it so that when he fell, he would sometimes even break a few bones in his body.

For a calm and gentle water surface to even shatter the bones of a cultivator, this showed that the height he reached was indeed already extremely terrifying.

Even Zhang Ping himself didn’t realize that as his body’s flesh was ripped apart and his bones shattered, his recovery speed seemed to be even faster than before. His body was like a lump of dough, each time it was struck and kneaded, there weren’t many hidden injuries left behind, instead making him more and more sturdy… Since he couldn’t leave, because of this endless cycle day after day, all changes were meaningless.

It was to the extent where he even became numb to the pain he felt when he was wounded, he already forgot all of it.

When his fingers could penetrate the rock wall without even using much soul force, on a certain day when he was still continuing this process, when he was already physically and spiritually weary, about to fall into the endless dark underworld again, he suddenly felt something.

His body began to tremble fiercely.

Every inch of his skin was shaking, every blood vessel appearing on the surface, wriggling like earthworms.

Above his head appeared a hazy light.

He thought it was an illusion.

However, when all types of emotions began to return to his body one after another, he was sure that this truly was the light of day.

His expression became even more terrifying than that of the devil king recorded in Purgatory Mountain’s ancient texts.

It was because if you think about it, when the smiles of joy, the sobbing of sorrow, incomparable hatred, worry and a mirage of fears appear… all of these emotions were magnified in this instant, displayed on one’s face at the same time, just what kind of appearance would that become?

Zhang Ping carried out Devil Transformation.

His body that was on the smooth cave wall began to swell, becoming larger.

He seemed to have truly become that recorded devil king.

He headed towards that hazy daylight, starting to crazily climb upwards.

Large amounts of rubble scattered down from his palms and soles, only releasing splashing noises a long time afterwards.

Ah!

Suddenly, he covered his own eyes, releasing a miserable howl.

His body smashed fiercely into the sturdy rock and bounced off, yet didn’t fall down.

It was because he was no longer climbing up a perfectly straight cave wall, but instead entering a giant oval vacant area.

There were five pillars of light that descended from the roof of this large space.

The intensity of the light these five pillars gave off wasn’t that great. If one gazed into the outside world through these pillars of light, what they would see would still be an expanse of gloominess.

However, Zhang Ping who hadn’t seen any source of light for so long, after being swept by a single streak of light, already couldn’t endure it.

When the scorching pain that felt as if his eyes were being burned slowly withdrew, Zhang Ping whose Devil Transformation power already began to decline struggled to open his somewhat red and swollen eyes.

He saw a huge face.

The five pillars of light respectively entered through this giant face’s eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

This made it look as if this face’s expression seemed to be mocking all life.

This also made it feel as if what laid behind this face was a world of fantasy.

Beneath each of the five pillars of light was a deep hole that led straight down.

Zhang Ping didn’t dare budge.

Then, he thought of some things. He looked at the cave opening he had just crawled out of and at that mouth that was already not that far from himself. He began to release heh heh noises from his throat and entire body.

Beyond these pillars of light was the real world.

However, everything this face brought him instead made him produce misconceptions, as if where he was was what was real, the world that he existed in.

His eyes began to slowly adjust.

He could see more things.

Then, his facial features still appeared extremely terrifying.

The space beneath this human face seemed just like a giant brain.

Along the walls all around him were many designs.

Some of them were runes.

Some of them were the bones, flesh and meridians within the body.

He began to crawl towards these diagrams.

He saw the characters from Purgatory Mountain’s ancient texts.

He saw the broken down diagram of that single wheeled metal puppet.

He saw that the giant humanoid fiend beast was called Stalwart Flame.

He saw many diagrams. There were many people who were climbing from a mountain of corpses, from inside a cave, but in the end, only one or two people could reach the very top.

He saw that there was someone exceptionally powerful, in his hands an iron sword. This iron sword pierced through more than ten cultivators dressed in ancient immortal clothes.

He saw Devil Transformation.

He saw the runes of endless flames and some chains.

Then, his breathing stopped completely.

He saw many things from Purgatory Mountain. However, there were many things from Purgatory Mountain which, when compared to the things recorded here, seemed to be lacking a lot.

This was especially the case when he saw the diagrams of flames produced outside streaks of rune-like meridians. He now understood that many of the legends regarding Purgatory Mountain and this unknown place were true.

As time went on, the snow above Thousand Sunset Mountain began to melt. Some plants also began to bud without anyone’s notice.

Yunqin Empire and Great Mang Dynasty had already fought for an entire year.

A Great Mang high ranking officer dressed in general armor stood on a Thousand Sunset Mountain stronghold’s city gate tower, watching as the snow gradually receded from the paths. He felt a bit perplexed, not knowing what kind of fate this new year would bring him and his subordinates.

Yunqin’s common people in the southern provinces, as well as Auspicious Virtue, made it through the coldest winter.

After receiving the support of the royal court and issuing bonds, eighty percent of Auspicious Virtue’s stores reopened, continuing with hobbling steps, allowing many families in Yunqin’s southern provinces to drink hot congee that might not necessarily be able to fill their stomachs, but could warm their hands and heart, giving them more hope.

If one looked at it from a perspective of silver, Auspicious Virtue was still in imminent danger, as if it would fall at any time.

However, after surviving this winter, Auspicious Virtue gained something even more important than silvers.

Many people who temporarily couldn’t pay back the silvers they borrowed began to do everything they could to help Auspicious Virtue.

Auspicious Virtue’s carriages traveled freely throughout all of Yunqin. Even if they encountered some segments that originally couldn’t be passed through, within an extremely short amount of time, those paths that were originally blocked would either be repaired or cleared out by the local people.

Wherever there were places with Auspicious Virtue’s goods, most Yunqin people wouldn’t purchase the goods from other merchants.

Many people left their own homes, coming to Jadefall City, busy clearing wild areas for farmland, not caring about returning at all, only wishing to help provide Auspicious Virtue with a share of strength.

During this most difficult month where even no wages could be paid, Jadewater and Jadefall City’s farms not only didn’t lack manpower, there were instead many Yunqin people who arrived. Several more towns were made, more than a dozen farms created.

Yunqin’s military experienced the most severe internal investigation since the empire was established.

Following some of the emperor’s self reflection edicts, it was as if all of Yunqin Empire was taking a turn for the better. Meanwhile, in many people’s eyes, Lin Xi’s actions began to seem like an act of personal spite.

Only, many people didn’t know that on Thousand Devil Nest’s vast slopes, the Devil Eye Flowers that covered the whole land already sprouted flower buds, wishing to bloom.

Some of the snow that sealed up the path up Heaven Ascension Mountain Range also began to slowly melt.

To Great Mang Purgatory Mountain’s extreme south, where the final dormant volcano within Purgatory Mountain met the edge of Sky Devil Prison Plains, in front of a black colored volcanic rock built palace, several Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicators prepared to set out on a suicide journey of penal servitude, entering Sky Devil Prison Plains.

During this entire winter, when a certain piece of news from Green Luan Academy was confirmed, Purgatory Mountain Patriarch’s need grew even stronger, sending out a total of thirteen troops into Sky Devil Prison Plains like ants into a fire pit, sending them into this unknown land’s innermost depths.

Only a single one of these thirteen troops were able to return in the end, bringing back a ruined soul weapon. The other twelve troops completely vanished without a trace.

That was why right now, these red robed Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicators didn’t have a trace of their normal pride and arrogance, only paleness and helplessness.

Two days ago, a certain volcano within Sky Devil Prison Plains erupted fiercely. Even though the sounds of eruption already stopped, there was still large amounts of volcanic ash which was like countless flying crows, scattering over in a dense mass from the distance.

The Sky Devil Prison Plains before their field of view were extremely hazy. Within the thick fog formed from black dust and thick smoke, there was a figure that suddenly slowly appeared, walking towards this palace that stood at the edge of Sky Devil Prison Plains along a road that was previously established.

Regardless of whether it was the people in this fleet or the several Purgatory Mountain elders who watched this fleet enter Sky Devil Prison Plains, they all widened their eyes in horror.

The clothes on the one who arrived already became wisps of cloth, but many people could still make out bits of a faint red color.

“It’s him!”

“He was actually still alive!”

Then, a Purgatory Mountain Elder recognized this figure who walked out. It was Zhang Ping who entered Sky Devil Prison Plains before winter.

Immediately afterwards, both his and several other Purgatory Mountain Elders’ breathing all stopped, the veins on their foreheads throbbing endlessly.

They could see that a metal figure appeared behind Zhang Ping.

It was a figure whose lower body was a spinning wheel, with its upper body’s two raised hands having two crossbow barrels, looking just like a metal puppet! This metal puppet that even made their hearts tremble was more like a servant, following behind Zhang Ping as he headed towards them.

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