HSSB208: The fragment that fell from the sky
Numerous thoughts flashed through Yan Zhaoge’s mind, disappearing in an instant.
He momentarily narrowed his eyes, calming his mind till his gaze was stoic and without fluctuations, revealing only the look of a younger generation disciple yearning for the clan’s most supreme martial arts.
Yan Zhaoge looked at Xin Dongping, who nodded mildly. So Yan Zhaoge walked towards the radiance of that hovering illusory shadow, his entire person stepping within.
From that silhouetted scroll, countless streams of light instantly descended, enveloping Yan Zhaoge.
A large amount of characters surfaced within Yan Zhaoge’s mind, the contents being the latter half of the Clear Qi Profound Art.
Although it had the shadow of the legacy of the Clear Qi lineage of before the Great Calamity behind it, starting with the Heaven Establishing Old Man Qiu Yuan, following the refinements of generations of experts of Broad Creed Mountain, the Clear Qi Profound Art already possessed unique profundities of its own, as befitting of an outstanding martial scripture.
Corroborating it with the scriptures stored within the Divine Palace that he had read before, Yan Zhaoge’s gains were somewhat great.
However, all of this could be slowly analysed later. What Yan Zhaoge paid most heed to now was that as he came into contact with the Clear Qi Profound Art, his consciousness seemed to pass through time and space, scenes from times long past appearing before his eyes.
Infinite tribulations descended, the heavens roiling and the earth overturning, resembling the end of the world.
A streak of light descended from the sky, breaking through layers upon layers of horizon, ripping through an infinite amount of space, descending upon the Eight Extremities World, landing in the midst of a mountain range.
On one of its mountain peaks, a long, thin, and profound mark was left behind.
After who knew how many years had passed, one day, someone passed through this land. Upon viewing this remnant mark, he had some thoughts as he detected the profundities within, comprehending its concept for many days as he sat quietly on this mountain peak.
Seeing that man’s features, Yan Zhaoge recognised him as his clan’s founder, the Heaven Establishing Old Man Qiu Yuan.
This scene was a record of the descended divine light. As Qiu Yuan comprehended the dao in silence, he gradually consolidated and created the process of the Clear Qi Profound Art.
The divine light was perhaps created by an aftershock of the power of some expert of the Divine Palace, or was perhaps descending wreckage from the destroyed Divine Palace.
As Yan Zhaoge approached the silhouette of that imprinted palm mark, the world before his eyes instantly turned black as it felt as though the very heavens and earth were about to collapse.
From viewing the faint marks left within, Yan Zhaoge’s mind suddenly tensed as the scene within his mind changed, with him vaguely seeing the fragment of some object penetrating through layers upon layers of space, descending from the sky, falling into the Eight Extremities World.
Having obtained this thing, with it as a base, Qiu Yuan had created the Heavenly Broad Creed Palm.
While the revealed images were simple, Yan Zhaoge’s very soul trembled, as he could feel that that fragment was very important.
Looking carefully over, as that fragment descended, directly above where it had fallen, a figure could vaguely be seen.
That fragment seemed not to have fallen by accident, instead having been intentionally thrown down by that person.
Only, it was a pity that these simple remnant images had stopped with Qiu Yuan creating the Heavenly Broad Creed Palm.
Yan Zhaoge was a little vexed.
After soothing his emotions, Yan Zhaoge pondered, “I’ve never heard anyone mention this fragment before. Was it that it was lost long ago, or that because it was too important, only the highest echelons of the clan know about it, perhaps even only being passed down amongst generations of Chiefs?”
Yan Zhaoge let out a long breath, calming his mind, “The mysteries have not been unravelled. The doubts have instead grown, just that I have obtained some clues as well as a direction.”
Temporarily burying these unsolvable doubts deep with his heart, Yan Zhaoge began carefully comprehending the profundities of the Heavenly Broad Creed Palm.
For some reason, Yan Zhaoge comprehended this supreme martial art much more smoothly than the Clear Qi Profound Art previously.
When everything was over, Yan Zhaoge slowly opened his eyes, bowing to Xin Dongping, “I have troubled Grand Uncle-Master.”
Directing a deep glance at Yan Zhaoge, Xin Dongping then shook his head, “It’s fine; return and cultivate diligently.”
As Yan Zhaoge left the Martial Repository, Ah Hu, along with Pan-Pan, was already waiting for him outside, flashing a simple and honest smile as he emerged, “Young Master, it’s done?”
“I’ve just swallowed it whole; I’ll slowly analyse and cultivate in it when we get back,” Yan Zhaoge waved his hands, “Let’s return now.”
Pan-Pan flew over once again. This time, Yan Zhaoge didn’t stop him, as he hugged this giant furball.
The current Pan-Pan was close in size to the giant pandas of Yan Zhaoge’s memories. While he was still slightly larger, at least he wasn’t like before, rushing over with the momentum of a rampaging elephant.
Returning to his lodgings, Yan Zhaoge quietly cultivated.
One day, the dawn sun hanging overhead, as he emerged, Yan Zhaoge’s heart suddenly moved. Mentally calculating the date, he walked outside.
Following behind it, Ah Hu asked curiously, “Young Master, where are you going?”
Yan Zhaoge sighed, “To look for eldest apprentice-uncle. Today is the death anniversary of senior apprentice-brother Shi; I will also go to offer a stick of incense.”
Ah Hu blinked as he realised the situation. Not saying anything, he followed honestly behind Yan Zhaoge.
Proceeding along a mountain road, ascending a small hill, Yan Zhaoge saw two people standing there as expected.
A tall, authoritative man, precisely his eldest apprentice-uncle Shi Tie.
Behind him stood Xu Fei.
A solemn expression on his face, as Xu Fei saw Yan Zhaoge and Ah Hu approach, he nodded lightly, completely without the open, relaxed smile that he usually had on.
Shi Tie swivelled his head, looking over, “Zhaoge is here? You are too kind.”
Yan Zhaoge bowed toward Shi Tie, “Eldest apprentice-uncle, stay your grief.”
Shi Tie’s expression was calm as always, “I’m fine.”
He looked forward once more, his gaze falling on a grave. While it was simple, its surroundings were remarkably clean, with no weeds about it whatsoever.
A tablet stood erect before the grave, on it engraved ‘Grave of Beloved Son Shi Songtao.’.
Beside this grave lay two others.
Yan Zhaoge and Ah Hu were both completely silent. Tablets also stood before these two graves, revealing the identities of their owners, Shi Tie’s daughter-in-law as well as grandson respectively.
The three graves were actually only graves which held articles of clothing, but this caused their hearts to be even more stifled, because when Shi Songtao’s family of three had met danger, even their bones had not been found.
They stood silently behind Shi Tie. Sending one’s own descendants off was always a massive tragedy.
Looking at Shi Songtao’s engraved name, the figure of a handsome youth surfaced within Yan Zhaoge’s mind, his features bearing a ninety percent resemblance to Shi Tie, the two virtually having been shaped of the same mold.
Yan Zhaoge had not personally interacted with this senior apprentice-brother Shi before. All of his understanding of him originated from the memories of his body’s original owner.
Shi Songtao had been even older than Xu Fei. When his fame had resounded throughout the Eight Extremities World, with him hailed as a Heaven’s favoured child of this generation of Broad Creed Mountain, Yan Zhaoge had still been a child, just beginning his cultivation.
As opposed to the stern and serious Shi Tie, tough and upright, Shi Songtao had been a little more moderate, but the two were both similarly warm and caring people.
In their youth, Xu Fei and Yan Zhaoge had received a lot of care and guidance from this senior apprentice-brother.
At that time, Shi Songtao had been a high-spirited young man; having tied the knot with his lover, having a son early on, his life was blissful to the extreme.
Even Shi Tie had indulged in incomparable bliss those few years, smiles appearing much more often on his face.
But sadly, all of this was now part of the past.
As Shi Tie stood there, his entire person resembled a statue, as if he had been standing there for thousands of years.