Chapter 961: Exploring the Temple

The huge temple covered nearly the entire island it stood on, and was surrounded by the river of blood. Yang Qi got the sense that this temple had a very long history, and that the slaughter that led to the creation of the river happened after it had been constructed.

As he walked up the entrance stairs, the blood-colored fog faded away. Apparently, there was a power within the temple that kept the fog at bay. There were pillars lining the staircase that were scarred by the slashes of swords and sabers, as well as enormous palm and foot marks.

And there was a huge furrow running right down the middle, cut by what must have been an enormous stream of sword energy, separating the temple into two halves.

Overall, the staircase was completely dilapidated, although it only served to emphasize the ancient nature of the place. At one point, Yang Qi reached out and struck one of the pillars to see if he could leave a mark on it, only to fail. In that respect, this place was very much like the cave temple of the Vajra Māyādevī.

Yang Qi continued up the stairs, wondering what exactly this place was made from that was so tough he couldn’t leave the tiniest mark on it. Considering he didn’t have Terrifying will, if the godpower of the temple were to be unleashed on him, the consequences would be too horrible to contemplate.

‘Once I find the godhood, I’ll definitely need to assimilate at least one or two pieces. Otherwise, getting back across the blood river will be too nerve-wracking.’ Each of the steps leading up the staircase were as tall as a person, imparting the sense that this place hadn’t been built for humans, but for gods.

Yang Qi ascended several hundred stairs before reaching the temple proper. The inside was illuminated by bright light emanating from pearls inset in the walls and ceiling. They pulsed with faint godpower, indicating that they were actually magical treasures, although no one could possibly extract them from their spots.

‘Where’s the godhood?’

When he was on the outside, he had been able to sense the general direction of the godhood. But now that he was in the temple itself, he had no such sensation. It was really a case of not knowing the true shape of Mount Lushan because of being on the mountain itself. From a distance, one could easily identify the silhouette of a mountain. But on the mountain itself, it would be impossible to specify its shape. [1]

That said, he could still catch the faint aura of godhood.

Looking around, he got a sense that this temple was like a world unto itself, and hunting down the godhood wouldn’t be easy.

Whoosh!

All of a sudden, a stream of devil light appeared, which Yang Qi blocked. After it dissipated, he caught sight of a devilish specter off in the distance, which was apparently some sort of hell-born fiend-devil with a power index of about two thousand.

‘There are fiend-devils here in the temple? How?’ Curious, he sent a stream of true energy toward the thing. It was slow to react, and quickly wrapped up. It struggled, but Yang Qi sent some of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth into it, completely immobilizing it.

“What are you doing in here?” he asked.

“Let me go immediately!” the fiend devil screeched. “We're subordinates of Lord Blood River! He sent us in here to get some godhood. If you don’t free me, then when Lord Blood River breaks free, he’ll destroy the temple, and you along with it!”

Yang Qi shook his head.

Crack!

The fiend-devil screamed as Yang Qi converted it into a black pearl, which he locked with the Devil-God Seal. The thing was as strong as a sect leader, so he decided to keep it as a magical treasure and decide its ultimate fate later.

At the same time, he sent some divine will into the creature’s mind to learn its secrets. As it turned out, there was an ancient devil king wasting away in the depths of the blood river, which had been sealed there using the power of this temple. He was called Lord Blood River, and he had summoned these fiend-devils to search the temple, break the seals, and free him. This was the activity that had led everyone to believe that some godhood had appeared.

Of course, once the seals were broken, the godhood really would appear.

‘So that’s what’s going on.’ There were plenty of fiend-devils in the Great Necropolis, some of which were Terrifying experts. Apparently, this Lord Blood River had issued a call of summoning, hoping to use them to free himself. Although Lord Blood River wasn’t on the level of a god, it was likely that he could match up to the little girl from Memory Peak.

If an entity like him were to be freed, it could be a disaster.

That said, there were definitely powerful entities in the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect that could deal with such a situation. Therefore, the best course of action seemed to be to get the godhood first.

Having dealt with the fiend-devil, he proceeded on, eventually reaching an enormous hall filled with ornamental rocks, garden features, courtyards, winding corridors, ponds, flowing rivers, and so on.

Suddenly, cackling laughter rang out as a group of fiend-devils appeared from within one of the garden courtyards, bristling with devil energy. One of them had a body made entirely of bones and a power index of two thousand five hundred. It was obviously an expert from the Hell of Bleached Bones. Another of the monsters was covered with bulging muscles and had a proportionally tiny head. It was a strength devil from the Hell of Strength, and had a power index of over three thousand. The final monster had bronze skin. It was a bronzeblaze fiend-devil with a power index of two thousand eight hundred.

Yang Qi didn’t need the power assessment systems to know this. Thanks to the level of his cultivation base and will, and his understanding of how those systems worked, he could now perform similar visual inspections.

The three vicious fiend-devils didn't waste any time at all, but immediately fanned out and unleashed attacks on him.

Yang Qi leaped up into the air to avoid the attacks, then dropped back down and unleashed three fist strikes of incredible power.

He was using Emperor Heart-Celestial’s signature Deathless Emperor’s Dao Fist, specifically, the three deadly moves of Unprecedented and Unduplicated, Great Heights Reached, and Without Parallel in History. He had gained enlightenment of them during the fight on the shore of the blood river, and was now unleashing them to practice a bit.

Plop!

The three fiend-devils were sent flying into a nearby pond, whereupon Yang Qi pressed the attack. Stretching both hands out, he summoned a gravitational force that pulled them into his hands. Then popping sounds rang out as he sealed them, transforming them into devil pearls, of which he now possessed four.

These three fiend-devils were elite experts that were famous on the Ancient Road to the Gods. They had drifted to and fro within the Great Necropolis for years, but had now been neatly sealed and imprisoned by Yang Qi. His energy arts had just advanced dramatically, especially thanks to the fight with the chief disciples and the hours spent on the blood river.

Yang Qi walked through the garden courtyard into a wide square, which had likely once been a place for martial arts training, but was now a lair of fiend-devils.

There were roughly a dozen of them, all with power indexes over two thousand. They were huddled in discussion when they realized that someone was approaching.

“So, the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect has sent disciples here, huh?” one of them said. The others cackled.

“You couldn’t have come at a better time. We need a soul to sacrifice to break down the sealing magics. Grab him! Once we unseal Lord Blood River, he can lead us to form a top tier sect!”

“Why don’t we half-free Lord Blood River and figure out a way to control his power? Then he can work for us!”

“We need to talk the matter through, first. Thanks to all the cultivators we’ve killed on the Ancient Road to the Gods, the executors are after us. Lord Blood River might be just the assistance we need to deal with them.”

“The Executors of the Ancient Road are a race of people left on the road by the legion of gods. Supposedly, their job is to protect the road itself. That's why they always hunt down fiend-devils like us, to keep us out of the god world. Those bastards!”

Even as they continued their discussion, the fiend-devils fanned out in formation and surrounded Yang Qi.


1. In this passage, the author only uses the second half of the expression. In other words, it simply reads “It was a case of because of being on the mountain itself”. The two halves are idioms on their own right that Chinese people would quickly identify. Thus, the second can be used alone, with the first one being implied. I'm including the first half to make the thing understandable. It would be similar to an author writing in English about something “gathering no moss”, which would imply the “rolling stone” part.

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