HSSB318: Eternally sitting over Broad Creed Mountain
For now, Yan Zhaoge could not think of what Song Chao and Jade Sea City wanted.
However, at least for the time being, he did not intend to continue pondering on this.
To the entire Broad Creed Mountain, what they were most concerned with now was the burial ceremony.
In this time’s great tribulation, first facing the terror of the Decimating Abyss, next being attacked by the Sacred Sun Clan and the Heavenly Thunder Hall, the number of Broad Creed Mountain martial practitioners who had died were not few.
Shi Tie was one of them, and other than him, there had also been other disciples of the clan who had perished. Currently, their corpses had all been recovered, to be buried together.
Everyone here had some old friends or acquaintances here that they knew, all of them feeling the same sense of tragedy, pained at their losses.
And to the entire Broad Creed Mountain, it was still the loss of Shi Tie that affected them the most.
Not including the traitors Xin Dongping and Elder Wang, Shi Tie was Broad Creed Mountain’s greatest expert who had perished in this time’s tribulation.
Including the traitors of the Decimating Abyss who had been amongst them, Broad Creed Mountain has suffered quite the loss this time, its vitality having somewhat suffered.
Luckily, the consecutive increases in cultivation base of Yuan Zhengfeng and Yan Di as well as the increase in strength of the Clear Qi Grand Formation had made it such that Broad Creed Mountain’s overall power had increased rather than decreased.
Through counterattacking the Fire Domain and the territory the Sacred Sun Clan occupied in the Wind Domain, Broad Creed Mountain had seen great gains, also helping to make up for their losses.
Meanwhile, their enemies, the Sacred Sun Clan and the Heavenly Thunder Hall, had similarly suffered tragic losses, especially the Sacred Sun Clan, having come to the point of vomiting out blood with the loss of their Sacred Artifact, the Great Sun Heaven Measuring Ruler.
The burial ceremony was presided over by the new Chief Yan Di, as Yuan Zhengfeng and all the other higher echelon experts of Broad Creed Mountain were present, sending Shi Tie and the others off for the last time.
Runes shone within Yan Di’s pupils, causing the Clear Qi Grand Formation to circulate slowly.
As the grand formation circulated, a clear streak of light shot into the distance, forming an illusory scene, resembling a whole new heaven and earth.
It was a foreign dimension, greatly different from the one in which Yan Zhaoge and Yan Di had battled Xin Dongping and Yuan Tian previously.
This space flickered with the light of water, resembling a massive lake.
This entire foreign dimension, this entire small realm, seemed to consist solely of this lake.
The expressions of Yan Zhaoge, Xu Fei, Feng Yunsheng, Sikong Qing, Ying Longtu and the other Broad Creed Mountain disciples were solemn.
Song Chao and the others, having come to view the ceremony, were also fixated on that lake world.
Li Jingwan said softly, “This is the burial ground of generations of Broad Creed Mountain disciples, the Heavenly Life Lake…”
Song Chao nodded, “That’s right.”
Broad Creed Mountain’s custom was that after its disciples had perished, other than in the circumstance of a special request from the family of the deceased, such as bringing the deceased back to the family to be buried, their bodies would all be kept and buried within the Heavenly Life Lake.
After the others had been buried, Yan Di personally carried the transparent ice coffin containing Shi Tie’s body, coming to the realm of the lake.
Standing in the air above the massive lake, placing the ice coffin down before him, Yan Di looked silently at Shi Tie’s serene features within, not speaking for a long time.
Shi Tie’s face even carried a hint of a smile, with some consolation, even some joy.
Yan Di’s face was sunken as water as he slid his hand over the cover of the coffin.
Now, a figure came to Yan Di’s side. Yan Di did not move. He knew who the newcomer was.
Fang Zhun’s expression was clear as usual, gentle and refined, just that his usual smile was currently nowhere to be seen as his gaze was deep.
He reached out, as though wanting to place his hand on the cover of the coffin like Yan Di.
However, when his fingers were just an inch away from the coffin, Fang Zhun’s hands halted in mid-air, as though somewhat not daring to touch it.
Yan Di said softly, “Eldest apprentice-brother would not blame you. Master, I and the others all don’t feel that way as well.”
Fang Zhun’s expression did not change as he instead resembled a statue, solidified in mid-air, not saying a word, not moving an inch.
While the chaos caused by the Decimating Abyss had been quelled, with Xin Dongping and the others all already killed, Fang Zhun felt that he was actually the true source of this great tribulation.
It was he who had first opened that great, forbidden door.
Although with his supreme willpower, he had managed to close the great door once more, causing the dark shadows of the Nine Underworlds, attempting to infiltrate the Eight Extremities World for the first time, to shrink back, Xin Dongping had trod on his shoulders, following the marks of the route he had once walked, only then finally taking that nightmarish step.
Sometimes, it was really hard to say for sure whether it was he or Xin Dongping who was the true founder of the Decimating Abyss.
Looking at Shi Tie in the ice coffin before him and the disciples of Broad Creed Mountain who had already entered the Heavenly Life Lake below, many more figures seemed to surface before Fang Zhun’s eyes.
From the incident of Clear Concealed Lake, to that at the Sand Region’s Yunwu County, to this tribulation at Broad Creed Mountain now.
Also already knowing about Shi Songtao’s matter, Fang Zhun was even more silent at this moment.
Yan Di said, “Do not let this matter affect you too much; what eldest apprentice-brother wants to see is a worriless Broad Creed Mountain.”
Fang Zhun retracted his hand, nodding slowly before he turned and left.
Yan Di inhaled deeply, relaxing his hand on the ice coffin, now beginning to descend downwards.
Shi Tie’s figure gradually grew smaller and more distant, the ice coffin sinking into the lake, ripples undulating within.
Yan Di gazed at the gradually disappearing Shi Tie within the water, his gaze not even leaving him for a moment.
On the Heaven Rising Peak, Yuan Zhengfeng’s face was full of sadness as he looked at the figures of Yan Di and Fang Zhun, as well as that transparent ice coffin.
The person within the ice coffin was his eldest disciple, the first ever disciple in his life.
Having gone through thick and thin together for so many years, many things still seemed just like they had happened yesterday.
“Lion, Master is clear on my injuries. If I enter secluded cultivation, it will be very hard to say if I can emerge alive. I am of a mind to choose you as the next Chief; are you will to take up this burden?”
“Master, junior apprentice-brother Fang and junior apprentice-brother Yan-they are both much more outstanding than this disciple.”
“The former is too radical while the latter is too flamboyant. While they have gradually matured along with age, if they are to succeed the position, they still require tempering. Sadly, the Sacred Sun Clan and other external enemies might not give us so much time.”
“This disciple’s personality is much too pedantic, not being good material for the Chief position. This disciple believes that whether it is junior apprentice-brother Fang or junior apprentice-brother Yan, both of them will definitely become pillars of our clan in the future. This disciple is rough and foolish, but is also willing to fight for the clan with all I have. Whatever the task, the time or the location, as long as the clan needs this disciple, this disciple will definitely step forward, not shrinking back in the least.”
“That’s also right. Your personality is too straightforward, and might lose out to the hidden calculations of the likes of Unreasonable Old Huang and Skinhead Shen. Forget it; since you so are so insistent against it, we will have to look at ‘Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Wudi’, seeing who can first prove their ability, taking up this important position…”
Thinking back on past times, Yuan Zhengfeng closed his eyes somewhat painfully.
He had faced Huang Guanglie head-on whilst supporting Broad Creed Mountain’s continued existence for so many years, his fame shaking the entire Eight Extremities World. Yet, at this moment, the Heaven Equalling Saint Yuan Zhengfeng, having already stepped into the Martial Saint realm that he had sought for so many years, just seemed so extremely weak.
Seeing this, the Grand Elders Zhang Kun and He Ning behind him both sighed.
They had only seen such a senior apprentice-brother Yuan once before. That was after his Master, the Heaven Diviner Zhan Xilou, had perished in battle.
But today, it had appeared once more.
“You said you will definitely step forward when we need you to do so, and that you indeed did,” Yuan Zhengfeng murmured to himself in a voice only he could hear, “But, silly little boy, after stepping forward, the waves having calmed, you also have to step back into position for Master ah!”