A dull smack knocked me out of my coma. When I opened my eyes, I discovered that I was still inside the water. I figured out immediately what happened. The powerful current had smashed me against the rocks at the bottom of the river, and my head was currently covered in moss and algae. Red lights swam behind me. Dark Pupils revealed them all to be minibosses. The Ruins of the Gods truly were an unholy place. Not every boss in this map had an Ancient Divine Skill, but that didn’t stop them from being plentiful and powerful in the slightest. I had barely entered this watery hole, and already I had encountered a super boss and many more minibosses. It didn’t take a discerning eye to tell that any one of them could give me one hell of a time too.
The good news was that they hadn’t noticed me, or rather, I was too weak to even attract their attention. I was probably just one small fry in the eyes of these giants, perhaps literally...
That was good news though. It meant that I wasn’t dead on arrival. Many of the bosses in the Ruins of the Gods could break through invincibility skills, so it was GG if they intended to kill me.
I looked above me and saw a ray of light coming from one point of the river surface. Since my breathing meter had dipped below 20%, I hurriedly swung my arms and kicked my Ghost Spirit War Boots to swim toward it.
The moment my head emerged above the surface, I immediately started breathing like I had been reborn.
The sunlight shining down on my person was so harsh that I almost couldn’t open my eyes. I opened the map screen and noted that I was not at Ji River anymore. More accurately, the bottom of this river was considered a separate map—a cave? No, an abode, that’s the word I was looking for, and the huge whirlpool was the bridge between the two worlds. The walls of the abode were full of gold and jade gems. I might not be a miner, but I could tell that these ores were at least Rank 9, 10, maybe even higher than that. It was a shame I wasn’t a miner, or this would’ve been an absolute fortune.
My wet boots made some soggy noises as I planted my first step on the shore. After I had fully surfaced from the water, I shook my body violently and left behind a huge, watery stain on the ground.
I walked up what seemed like a row of stone stairs until I saw a stone statue at the center of the abode. It was a girl in gauze clothing. Her eyes looked like stars, and her appearance was gorgeous, but her expression was a deep frown for whatever reason. She was also holding up a golden sword. So lifelike was the statue that I could almost mistake it for a real person.
I walked up to the statue and glanced at the name engraved at the foot of the statue—Xuan Nu.
"Hmm? Xuan Nu?"
Before I could process my surprise, I felt a sudden, irresistible affinity toward the statue. It was a Domain!
The rocks beneath my feet suddenly sank, and light blue-colored magic abruptly illuminated the cavern. The next moment, a hexagram appeared on the ground, and blood-red chains appeared out of nowhere and wrapped around the statue tightly. I immediately understood that the hexagram was a sealing formation, and that it was targeted at the statue at the center.
Could this "statue" actually be a real person after all?
I put my right foot into the sealing formation. Immediately, a blast of flames engulfed me and deleted 190k+ HP from my health bar. I had over 1 million total HP though, so this wasn’t an unbearable HP loss. I clenched my teeth, endured the pain, drank a Saint Spirit Potion and continued forward.
It took me 7 steps and an unimaginable amount of pain to approach the girl. Finally, I was able to sense a reaction from the statue.
A sweet and tired voice entered my ears.
I abruptly looked up and stared at the statue in astonishment. "Are you the one who’s talking to me?"
The statue actually shuddered a bit. "It’s me… it’s me… can you please unlock this seal and free me? I… I’ve been imprisoned here for a hundred thousand years. I beg you, please free me from this prison…."
I shuddered. "How do I do that?"
"Beneath my feet are three profound stones. My petrification will cease if you shatter them all…"
I looked down. As she said, there were three seven-colored stones right in front of her toes. Each one had 10000 durability. Hmm, destroying this shouldn’t be a problem.
I was soon proven wrong, however. Metallic sparks flew when the Purple Ying Sword made contact with the profound stone. It only lost 97 durability! I was stunned. My Purple Ying Sword had the Mountain Crush effect, but not only did the profound stone shatter instantly, I didn’t even do 1% damage to it! Just how goddamn high is this rock’s Defense!?
I could use skills to make these go faster, but I was afraid of hurting the petrified girl. So, I kept doing basic attack after basic attack until finally, they were all shattered.
A golden light surrounded the statue, and cracks started appearing all across its surface. I even heard a sweet moan from the girl. Well, it was an understandable reaction. She had been sealed inside this god-forsaken hole for god knows how long.
Surprised, I instinctively touched her skin with the hand where the Nine Heavens Li Fire Bracelet was hanging. The second I made contact, the stone covering her body fell away at once. She was a beautiful girl with a countenance that looked like it was carved by the heavens themselves. Her white dress was a perfect complement to her pale skin. Her round, bright and intelligent eyes didn’t contain even a trace of impurity in them, and her gaze felt like the most innocent gaze in the entire world.
"Y-young man…" she said softly. "Your hand…"
I shivered. Oops. My touch had helped to dispel the petrification spell completely, but I was still touching her. Worse, my finger happened to be touching her breast, and I could feel her smooth skin and the bounciness of her breast even now.
I hurriedly withdrew my hand before examining her again. The hexagram was still flashing, and the bloody chains were still wrapped around her body. Clearly, shattering the three profound stones wasn’t enough to unseal her.
Suddenly, she let out a soft cry and slowly sank to her knees. Holy light surrounded her body as she shot me a helpless look, "Can… can you help me? Please…"
My astonishment lasted a couple of seconds before I noticed the sword she was holding again. It was way too dazzling not to notice, really. However, the weapon soon dissolved into rays of golden light and seeped into her body. It looked like the sword was one with the girl, and she could manifest it any time she wanted.
I asked in a low tone, "Can it possibly be… the…"
The girl smiled. "Yes. It is the legendary Xuanyuan Sword…"
"The Xuanyuan Sword!?"
I nearly dropped to my knees myself. “How is this sword in your hands? I thought it’s the weapon of the Xuanyuan Huang Emperor?"
The girl nodded as a hint of sorrow flashed across her eyes. "Yes, this is the Xuanyuan Sword, because I… am the daughter of the Xuanyuan Huang Emperor…"
Realization struck me like a thunderbolt. "That’s right! You’re Xuan Nu, the daughter of Xuanyuan! But why were you imprisoned here? Who’s the one who laid down this formation?"
She whispered, "It was Chiyou…"
I was stunned beyond belief. "Wasn’t Chiyou destroyed by the Huang Emperor and the Yan Emperor together? How was he able to imprison you?"
Xuan Nu shot me a miserable look. "That’s because his body is dead, but his spirit isn’t. It had transformed into the Evil Spirit of Chiyou. After dad had ascended to the realm of the gods, he returned to his sinful ways and committed many evils against the human world. Not only did he reassemble the Nine Li Tribes in an attempt to overturn the laws of the human realm, he even…"
"He even possessed the Xuanyuan Sacred Beast and turned it into a violent, evil beast. With its new body, it was able to kill countless Xuanyuan descendents and even trap me in this Nine Heavens Formation. Since then, my powers have been slipping away from me bit by bit. You may have noticed, but I no longer even have the strength to manifest the Xuanyuan Sword anymore."
I gritted my teeth. "You said that the Evil Spirit of Chiyou possessed a Sacred Beast, right? What does it look like? How can I save you so that your eternal suffering may finally come to an end?"
Xuan Nu suddenly smiled a little. "Will you really try to save me, young man? You understand the hardships that will block your way, don’t you? Ones terrible enough to cost you even your life?"
I abruptly planted my sword to the ground and dropped to one knee. I declared passionately, "The Evil Spirit of Chiyou is a monster who will destroy the human world. It is my natural duty to slay him, not to mention that he kept you, a defenseless girl, trapped in this terrible place! Xuan Nu, you are the daughter of Xuanyuan, and I am his descendant. Your help may have come 7000 years late, but I will still do everything in my power to save you!"
It was only then I remembered that Xuan Nu wasn’t a defenseless girl. She was the wielder of the Xuanyuan Sword! If she was defenseless, then the rest of us might as well be exposed as naked babies!
Xuan Nu let out a heartfelt smile—it felt warm enough to melt an iceberg—and whispered, "If your intentions are true, then I thank you on behalf of all the living in the world. During our final battle, I was able to deal the Evil Spirit of Chiyou a grievous blow with the Xuanyuan Sword and weaken him severely. Therefore, your chances of slaying him aren’t that insignificant. However, you must be able to kill the Sacred Beast he’s possessing before you can deal with him. The Sacred Beast has been feeding on the essence of the world for a hundred thousand years. It is extremely powerful to say the least. You must be careful!"
I nodded. "So, all I need to do is to kill the Sacred Beast, right?"
Xuan Nu nodded before continuing, "Once you have defeated the Sacred Beast, give me its inner dan, and I will be able to break through this Nine Heavens Formation. Thank you!"
"Where is the Sacred Beast right now?"
"It is residing in the Sacred Pond."
"And where is this Sacred Pond?"
"You should see it if you travel about 500 meters to the east from here. Be careful though, the Sacred Beast is being guarded by two powerful Chiyou Elite Guards. You must defeat them first before you are able to approach the Sacred Pond and slay both the Sacred Beast and the Evil Spirit of Chiyou."
"I got it."
I stood up and looked down on Xuan Nu for a moment. "Wait here for me."
She blinked once and murmured, "Promise me you’ll come back alive, okay?"
I grinned at her. "Don’t worry. I’m immortal!"
"Oh…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter