Chapter 1067: The Depths of the Ancient Domain
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Ancient Sage Qiu Wu? Who is he?" one of the combat masters asked.
As this matter concerned ancient history, other than master teachers, there were very few who knew much about him.
"Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was one of Kong shi's followers. He accompanied Kong shi into many battlefields and slaughtered innumerable Otherworldly Demons. Possessing a cultivation surpassing Saint 9-dan back when he was still alive, he was one of the most esteemed and respected ancient sages in the history of the Master Teacher Pavilion," Wu shi explained.
"Kong shi's follower?"
"Beyond Saint 9-dan?"
Those who were not aware of it previously were astonished.
Putting everything else aside, just that description was sufficient for the crowd to imagine Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's standing.
As one who stood beside Kong shi, he must have had many opportunities to receive Kong shi's guidance, so he was bound to have been far stronger than those of the same cultivation realm. Not only so, he was even an expert surpassing Saint 9-dan. It was no wonder the ancient domain that he built was so fearsome, such that it nearly annihilated their entire expedition team!
"Ancient Sage Qiu Wu is not only strong, he also contributed greatly to humanity as well. The seals that ward off the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe in the Subterranean Gallery were all constructed by him. Even the head of our branch, Pavilion Master Gou, is a loyal fan of his. If he knew that this ancient domain was created by Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, he surely would have come here personally," Wu shi said.
"With his overwhelming strength, Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was able to keep the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe at bay for so many millenniums. He is indeed one of the most outstanding predecessors of our Master Teacher Pavilion."
"Indeed. His accomplishments are only second to the great Kong shi."
Upon hearing of the deeds of Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, the eyes of the crowd lit up in reverence.
The main responsibility of combat masters and master teachers was to protect mankind from the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. Were it not for Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's seals, mankind wouldn't have possibly been able to enjoy such a long period of peace.
They had thought that the ancient domain had been left behind by a normal Saint realm pinnacle expert, but who would have thought that it was actually someone as great as Ancient Sage Qiu Wu!
"If there is a sculpture of Elder Qiu Wu within this ancient domain, I will definitely kowtow to him to pay my respects," Feng Xun said in agitation.
Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was figure whom he deeply respected as well, and he had never imagined that a day would come when he would have the privilege of entering the ancient domain left behind by the other party!
The other combat masters also nodded in agreement.
"Since Elder Qiu Wu has left behind such a massive ancient domain, he must have left his will somewhere as well. Let's continue advancing ahead. According to what the Scarletleaf King said, the old principal and the others aren't dead yet, they are just trapped at the moment. However, it appears that the Skyleaf King is also trapped together with them, so let's hurry over in case any mishap occurs," said Zhang Xuan, holding back his urge to dig up the tablet and put it in his storage ring.
As valuable as the tablet was, considering the look of reverence that the master teachers and combat masters were directing toward it, if he were to take it, they would definitely pit their life against him. Thus, after careful contemplation, he decided to drop the idea.
Nodding, the crowd continued walking forward.
Barely after taking a few steps, the eyes of a combat master suddenly lit up as he pointed at the ground beside him excitedly. "Look at this!"
Following the direction that the combat master was pointing in, there was a spear deeply lodged into the wall. Only a half of it was revealed outside.
Wu shi walked over and gently pulled the spear out from the wall.
"This is… a Half-Saint weapon?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in shock.
Just like the Glacier Rain Sword, the spear was actually at Half-Saint tier as well!
Such weapons were rare even in Qingyuan Conferred Empire. Yet, in the ancient domain, it was casually tossed along the road as if it was nothing more than trash. This level of extravagance was really terrifying.
"There's one over there as well!"
In the midst of his shock, another shout sounded from the side, and following which, a Half-Saint sword was retrieved from the wall on the other side.
"There's one here too…"
"This one over here is a Saint low-tier artifact…"
Advancing ahead, more and more shocked exclamations sounded. Before long, everyone had a weapon that was of at least Half-Saint tier in their hands, and a couple of luckier ones even managed to obtain Saint low-tier weapons.
Saint low-tier, that was the tier which the Golden Origin Cauldron had been in before being upgraded. For a weapon of that level to be tossed casually around was truly bewildering to the crowd.
"The spirits within these weapons seem to have dissipated after suffering heavy blows. While these Half-Saint and Saint low-tier weapons possess outstanding sharpness and durability, they won't be able to exert their full prowess without any spirit within them," Wu shi remarked after taking a look at all of the weapons.
While these weapons were extremely high-tiered, they were devoid of spirit, and that would result in a significant reduction in their might.
"It's not that the spirits have dissipated after suffering heavy blows but that they have been worn out by the passing of time."
The spirits within weapons enjoyed a greater longevity than humans, but they still suffered from Senescence Decline. As time passed, the spirit would still gradually erode.
There was nothing in this world that could last for an eternity.
The only reason the Golden Origin Cauldron could survive several millenniums was because it had spent most of its time in hibernation, and this had helped it to reduce its Senescence Decline.
Such knowledge involved the intricacies of the soul, so most master teachers weren't aware of it either.
"Alright, let's continue moving on…"
After stowing the weapons into their storage rings, Zhang Xuan and the others continued forward. Along the way, they found quite a few medicinal herbs and artifacts too.
However, just like the weapons from before, their spirits had eroded, resulting in their diminished effectiveness. Even so, they would be able to fetch quite a fortune when sold, so the expedition team still collected them.
It was hard to tell whether it was due to them treading on the safe path or the final passageway was supposed to be like that, but they did not encounter any danger along the path. After walking for some time, a vast square appeared before their eyes.
The square was filled with many depressions and debris. There were also dozens of corpses scattered around the area.
"There was an intense fight here." The crowd narrowed their eyes in alarm.
Walking up one of the corpses, Wo Tianqiong exclaimed in alarm, "This is… Vice Principal Mu Renxu of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, Zhang Yinqiu's close aide!"
Upon reaching Saint realm, one's physical body would gain extraordinary resilience, so it would not decompose as easily. As such, even though it had been quite some time since Mu Renxu's death, his body still looked no different from how it was when he was alive.
"Vice Principal Mu Renxu?" Zhang Xuan asked as he walked over.
He had read about the other party through the records stored in the academy.
On top of the principal, Zhang Yinqiu, the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy had four other vice principals. However, all of them had followed Zhang Yinqiu into the ancient domain and never returned. It was also for this reason that Lu Feng was able to serve as the stand-in principal for the past two years.
Mu Renxu was known to be the strongest among the four vice principals. Who would have thought that he would lose his life here?
After searching the area for a while and not finding Zhang Yinqiu's body, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
He had never met the old principal before, but there was a painting of the latter in the academy records, and none of the dozens of corpses fit the description.
"There are the corpses of 13 master teachers and 21 Otherworldly Demons here!" Wu shi said with a sigh after tallying the numbers.
All thirteen of them were 6-star master teachers, but they had ended up dying silently in the ancient domain. This was a huge loss to both the Master Teacher Academy and the Master Teacher Pavilion.
"The fight must have been intense," Zhang Xuan remarked solemnly.
He could not help but recall the tombstone that Zhang Yinqiu had left for himself in the Mausoleum of Principals.
Those who came with him would have surely known the great dangers of venturing into the ancient domain as well, but they had still chosen to join the expedition anyway. Their selflessness was truly worthy of respect.
"Let's take them back with us. They might have been unable to return to the Master Teacher Academy when they were still alive, but at the very least, they should be granted a peaceful rest within the academy after death." Waving his hand, Zhang Xuan carefully placed the corpses of the master teachers within his storage ring.
After what they had done for mankind, their corpses could not be left exposed in the open. The least he could do for them was bring them back home and give them a proper burial.
After Zhang Xuan was done collecting the bodies of the fallen master teachers, Guild Leader Han looked around his surroundings and asked, "But why would they be fighting here? And where did the rest of them go?"
"I am not too sure, but my guess is that Old Principal Zhang Yinqiu must have found out that the Otherworldly Demons were planning to enter the ancient domain, so he swiftly gathered an expedition team and entered the ancient domain as well. Eventually, they ended up encountering one another here, and a bitter fight ensued," Zhang Xuan said.
Based on the words left behind by Zhang Yinqiu in the Mausoleum of Principals, he had only chosen to enter the ancient domain because there were no alternatives before him.
From this, it could be deduced that the Otherworldly Demons must have learned of the ancient domain in advance, and Zhang Yinqiu was trying to stop them.
Of course, that was still only a deduction on Zhang Xuan's part. They would have to hear the story from the person in question in order to confirm what had happened back then.
"Everyone, come here…"
At that moment, a master teacher suddenly shouted. Everyone quickly turned their gazes over, only to see the master teacher examining a massive boulder in the square with a perplexed look.
The master teacher was one of the elders from the Qingzhu Master Teacher Academy. His combat ability was so-so within the expedition team, but he was an extremely meticulous person.
The crowd quickly walked over to the boulder, and after taking a closer look, frowns emerged on their faces as well.
There was a palm print on it. It was hard to tell whether it was left behind in the midst of the fight or by the creator of the ancient domain.
"That is the switch to trigger a mechanism in the area. I saw a similar one in the Unbounded World," Zhang Xuan remarked.
Back when he was in the Unbounded World, he had seen something similar. Rather than a palm print, it was probably more exact to call it a groove. As long as one put their palm on it and infused zhenqi into the groove, it would trigger some kind of mechanism in the surroundings.
Most likely, it had been left behind by Ancient Sage Qiu Wu.
"A switch?" Wu shi examined it carefully before nodding. "Stand back, I'll give it a try…"
There was no saying what could happen once the switch was triggered, so it was best to take caution.
Everyone quickly stepped back as they prepared their defenses.
With a grim expression, Wu shi placed his palm onto the groove.
A buzzing sound echoed, and the wall ahead of them abruptly burst open, revealing nine identical round doors, each around the height of a human. Within each round door was an aura vaguely resembling what they had felt before stepping into the Unbounded World—folded spaces.
Seeing that there was no danger, the crowd slowly walked up to the doors with bewildered expressions.
"There are so many choices?"
"Nine is the limit of a number. The nine doors probably represent the extremities," Guild Leader Han explained.
The crowd nodded.
Nine, the limit of a number, as well as the number derived from the Six Yin-Yang Three-Three Derivation.
In this world, there were many things in nature that were nonet. For example, Fighter 9-dan, Transcendent Mortal 9-dan, Saint 9-dan.
Nine heavens, nine provinces, nine trials, nine realms, nine dragons, nine bestowments…
"Nine doors, that is probably just like the formation. There is life and death, panorama and fright. Which one should we choose?" a combat master asked. 1
"This…" Having no answer to the question, Guild Leader Han subconsciously turned his gaze toward Zhang Xuan.