Chapter 511: The Truth of the Incident
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Nine Hearts Lotus?"
This time, not only did Zhang Xuan frown in confusion, even Luo Zhu was perplexed as well. He hadn't heard of this name.
"That's right! Seven Hearts Lotus is known as a sacred object capable of being molded into a physical body but... the Nine Hearts Lotus is an object that has never appeared in the Master Teacher Continent before. If a tier must really be assigned to it, then it can surely be considered as a God artifact!" the tomb owner said.
"God artifact?" Hearing those words, everyone froze.
Just like cultivation techniques, artifacts and tools could be classified by the ranking God, Saint, Spirit, Phantom, and Mortal. Saint artifacts were something that couldn't be found even if one were to ransack the entire Myriad Kingdom Alliance. As for God artifacts, they were things that belonged only to the legends only. It was a mystery as to whether they existed on the Master Teacher Continent or not.
Yet, this black object was actually an artifact of that tier?
That was way too fearsome!
One must know that even Kong shi failed to obtain any God artifacts back then!
"Given my cultivation, how can I possibly succeed in nurturing a God artifact? Not only were all of my possessions sucked dry, my soul was even imprisoned in this lotus for dozens of millenniums..."
At this, the tomb owner suddenly sounded extremely depressed.
It was no wonder why he was down. After all, he had expected to achieve great things after molding himself a new body. How could he have known that not only would be fail, he would even end up being imprisoned within the lotus, devoid of even the choice of terminating his own life... It already took a miracle for him to retain his sanity until now.
Ordinary humans would have long succumbed to the despair already. To be able to hang on until now, the other party's mental fortitude was indeed extraordinary.
"So, you intended to have one of us replace you so that you could regain your freedom?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"That's right," the tomb owner replied. "After being trapped for dozens of millenniums, all that is left on my mind is how I can escape from the demonic grasp of this wretched plant. After a very long time, I finally came up with an idea!
"Since the Nine Hearts Lotus didn't devour me after such a long period of time, it could only mean that it doesn't possess the ability to do so. Thus, if I can find another soul to replace me, I just might be able to escape!"
In other words, the tomb owner intended to find a scapegoat.
All the Nine Hearts Lotus wanted was a soul. As long as he could find another soul to replace him, he would be able to escape from this abyss.
"After deciding on this, I began trying my best to divide my own soul. After many years of hard work, I finally managed to divide a small part of myself. However... its cultivation is only at Transcendent Mortal 3-dan. With such weak cultivation, it is unlikely for it to live for too long before it is consumed by Senescence Decline. Who could've known that... at this moment, a tomb raider would arrive!"
Taken aback, everyone immediately turned their gazes to Luo Zhu.
The latter's face reddened.
Having his identity exposed in public, he felt a little embarrassed.
After all, this occupation wasn't a glorious one. It was no different from a petty thief or burglar.
"Thus, I formulated a bold plan! I would make the entrance traps slightly easier so that the tomb raider could enter successfully. After which, I would find an opportunity to... possess him!"
The tomb owner continued, "In the end, I really succeeded. Terrified, that fellow quickly left this area. Initially, my idea was very simple. After possessing him, I would make use of the Soulless Metal Humanoid to attract more people here before choosing a suitable soul among them to replace me. However, I never expected his soul to be so strong. Not to mention, after the possession, my cultivation had been significantly weakened. Thus, I ended up in a standstill with him, and eventually, I even got killed by a weak, plump man..."
At which, the lotus trembled with deep resentment.
"Cough cough!" The weak plump man scratched his head awkwardly.
Back then, he only managed to devour the soul that tried to possess him due to the Heaven's Path zhenqi in his body. In comparison to the other party, his cultivation indeed didn't mean much.
At this point, everyone finally understood the entire situation.
This explained why Luo Zhu was able to enter and escape the tomb despite the presence of such a formidable soul oracle here. It turned out that the other party had intentionally allowed him to leave just to attract even more people here.
The plan was indeed feasible, just that he didn't expect to meet a monster like Zhang Xuan. The soul that took him innumerable years to divide out was cleanly wiped away.
"Wait a moment..."
Zhang Xuan frowned and waved his hands. "Since you were able to sever a part of your soul and send it out from the lotus, why do you need still need to lure more people here?"
Since the fellow's main goal was to leave the lotus, severing a part of his soul should do the job as well. There was no need to go through so much trouble to lure so many people here. After all, he would be putting himself at risk by bringing publicity to the tomb.
Since the divided soul was also a part of him—it carried his thoughts and consciousness as well—the main issue he had at hand should have been solved.
"You're right. However... that soul was severely damaged when I tried to push it out from the lotus. As such, it wasn't going to survive for long! Besides, that doesn't solve the root of the problem. The main bulk of my soul would still continue to suffer here. The only way for me to free myself completely from this lotus is to have another soul take my place," the tomb owner said.
"Then... Why didn't you just bewitch Luo Zhu to replace you? What if he'd left for good?" Zhang Xuan continued to ask.
It wasn't easy for Luo Zhu to appear after countless years of waiting. How could the tomb owner be so certain that Luo Zhu would bring people here? Wouldn't it have been easier to just have the other party replace him first?
"Tomb raiders are of yin nature. Such people will never be able to cultivate the Soul Guiding Formula," the tomb owner replied. "Besides, look at his age. He's already got one foot in the grave. Besides, his cultivation is sorely lacking, what use would it be even if I were to possess him? Face death once more?"
Luo Zhu's face reddened.
He didn't expect to be snubbed just like Sun Qiang...
Hearing the explanation, Zhang Xuan nodded his head in realization.
All of the puzzle pieces fit now.
Soul Oracles suffered from Possession Decline, and every possession would cause their cultivation to fall steeply once. Since that was the case, they should choose a good body to possess right from the start.
"Later on, when the soul that I severed was destroyed, I thought that all hope was lost. But you all came... And the rest unfolded as you know!" The tomb owner said.
"Then, you tried to make us cultivate the Soul Guiding Formula, and once our soul were out, you were going to use the name of clearing the trial to have our souls come into contact with the lotus. This way, our souls will be drawn in, thus... becoming your replacement," Zhang Xuan said.
"That's right!" The tomb owner didn't deny the matter.
Only at this instant did everyone realize the entire situation, and cold sweat drenched their back.
The other party had said that he wanted to test them, but from the looks of it now, if they were to really cultivate the Soul Guiding Formula and succeeded in it, their soul would have been imprisoned by this bizarre flower and their body would've been possessed completely.
It was fortunate that Zhang shi caught onto the other party's ploy. Otherwise, the aftermath would have been unimaginable.
"That's not right!" Zhao Feiwu frowned. "Given how powerful you are, you could have totally torn our souls from our physical body to feed the lotus, right?"
The other party was a 6-star soul oracle who could even lay out the Oasis of the Mirage Deity while even the strongest of their group was only a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan cultivator. Tearing out their soul from their body shouldn't have been anything hard!
Why did he have to go through so much trouble of having everyone cultivate the Soul Guiding Formula?
"Allow me to explain this!"
Zhang Xuan glanced at the lotus indifferently and said, "It's not that he doesn't want to do it but... he can't!"
"He can't?" Everyone was taken aback.
"There are two reasons for this. Firstly, a soul oracle suffers from Strength Decline and forcefully using one's soul energy to extract the souls of others would cause immense damage to oneself! Secondly, he has been trapped by the lotus for a very long time, and controlling the traps and attacking me are already the limit of his ability. It is completely impossible for him to fight with us all at once! Otherwise, he would have long made a move already. He wouldn't have to hide himself and resort to all of these traps!" Zhang Xuan explained.
After the other party's attack, a book was compiled by the Library of Heaven's Path.
Otherwise, he couldn't have been so brave as to charge forward to dig up the lotus.
Trapped by a God artifact, it was already very difficult for the other party to exert energy and force himself out of the lotus. Controlling the traps were already a huge difficulty for him. If he could kill the crowd so easily, he wouldn't have to do things in such a roundabout manner.
Hearing Zhang Xuan's words, everyone came to a realization.
It was no wonder why this soul oracle acted so hesitantly before weaklings like them, choosing to conceal his own presence. It turned out that... this fellow was all talk. In truth, he wasn't capable of doing anything to them at all.
The tomb owner also didn't expect that even his weakness would be seen through by this young man, and his eyes were filled with fear and defeat.
Initially, he had been thinking that if the other party was unaware of this, he could still use this as a leverage against him. However, even his last hope had been shattered now.
On top of that, the other party's silver needles had been pierced into the areas where he could transmit his will out of the lotus from. As such, he couldn't even control the traps now. His life was completely in the hands of the other party now.
Now that the mystery had been unraveled and the powerful 6-star soul oracle had been subdued, everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Zhang Xuan turned to the lotus and demanded, "Alright, tell us about the Dragon Severing Lock!"
The entire area had been sealed, and the only way to leave was to break the Dragon Severing Lock. Since this fellow was the one who sealed the place, he had to have a way to leave as well.
"This... There's no other exit!" The tomb owner spoke awkwardly.
"No other exits? Then how do you intend to leave after possessing one of our bodies?"
Zhang Xuan frowned.
Since this fellow intended to escape from the lotus, he must have taken into consideration his escape route as well. He couldn't possibly possess another body only to be stopped by his own Dragon Severing Lock!
"I can... escape using the means of a soul oracle!" The tomb owner said.
"Means of a soul oracle?" The crowd asked in confusion.
"Look on top. At the top of the tomb, there is a mechanism that will open up a path all the way to the surface of the lake when triggered... Soul oracles are able to fly around freely due to their light souls... On the other hand, normal Transcendent Mortal cultivators are incapable of flight... That's why I told you all, it's futile!" the tomb owner said.
Everyone turned their gazes to the top and saw that there was indeed a portion which seemed a little bizarre. However, given the height of the ceiling, even the Transcendent Mortal 4-dan Hall Master Sai would be unable to reach it.
Needless to say, escape from this tomb. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far