HSSB416: Marsh of Illusory Sea, Ten Character Heavenly Rainbow!
Xu Fei shook his head, “How am I considered an old horse who knows the way? I merely took a few steps into the outskirts. If you really want to find an old horse who knows the way in the Marsh of Illusory Sea, you’d only be able to find one in Turbid Wave Pavilion.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled, “At the very least, you’re better than those of us who’ve never even come here once before.”
Xu Fei took the lead, saying as they walked, “Anyway, remain cautious and do not fall behind.”
“Illusory scenes are born within the Marsh of Illusory Sea, and the strangest part that is most difficult to guard against is that many a times, it is difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is but an illusion.”
“Sometimes, falling under the spell of the illusions, yet not being able to detect it in a timely manner, such is the main cause of death for people who perish within the illusions of the Marsh of Illusory Sea. When they awaken to the knowledge of what really is happening, they would already have gone in too deep for them to safely return,” Xu Fei said, “Therefore, it is very important for fellow travellers to support one another.”
Yan Zhaoge nodded, “You lead the way; I’ll take care of the back.”
Xu Fei let out an affirmative noise. Next, he threw out a rope, grabbing one end of it while Yan Zhaoge took hold of the other.
Feng Yunsheng, Ah Hu and Ying Longtu grabbed hold of the middle sections of the rope.
Standing at the front, Xu Fei lit up a stick of incense. That had been obtained from Turbid Wave Pavilion, being something that was used to disperse the bewildering fog within the Marsh of Illusory Sea.
While it could not completely resolve the threat of the illusions within, it still had a considerable effect, especially with it currently being that period of time every decade when the illusions were at their weakest.
The party proceeded onwards, identifying their position as well as the direction they were to be travelling in with some difficulty as they headed towards the district where the Ten Character Heavenly Rainbow was to appear.
Yan Zhaoge held onto an end of the rope, walking at the very back. He watched over Feng Yunsheng, Ah Hu and Ying Longtu in front of him whilst also taking note of their surroundings.
Lifeforms did exist within the Marsh of Illusory Sea, in which many rare and precious beasts made their home.
These beasts had already long since grown accustomed to the illusions of the great marsh whose very authenticity often bewildered others.
Other than the illusions, these ferocious beasts also posed a great threat to travellers, especially amidst the illusions where it was hard to guard against them.
Surveying his surroundings, Yan Zhaoge saw dense fog suffused between the heavens and the earth.
Dim blue dust could vaguely be made out as it arose from the surrounding marshlands, merging together with the fog as they together emanated a strange, demonic feel.
On entering the Marsh of Illusory Sea, with the assistance of the specially produced incense in Xu Fei’s hands, no one initially felt anything to be out of the ordinary.
However, as time passed and they had already been within the marsh for more than ten days, Yan Zhaoge and the others could clearly feel the fog here growing denser and denser.
While they kept vigilant, various illusions of many kinds began encircling the group.
What everyone met with was different. Luckily, all of them had been prepared for this as they supported and took care of one another, steadily making their way forward.
Through their interactions, Yan Zhaoge discovered that the illusions everyone had encountered had all not come from nowhere, instead having sprung up from their hearts as they were all related to they themselves.
Whether it was Yan Zhaoge with the highest cultivation base or Ying Longtu with the lowest, it was the same for all of them.
These illusions did not lessen in effect according to individual mentalities. Even if one was pure and simple, they would still not be able to avoid it.
While Han Long’er’s cultivation base was low, he had been born with the Big Dipper Body, his mind clear and intelligent, pure and without flaw.
Still, he was also affected by the illusions, with scenes of when his parents had still been alive arising before him.
As a mid Spirit Vessel Martial Grandmaster, Xu Fei was firm of will as well as stable of mind. Still, many illusions arose before him.
There were ones of him roaming about aimlessly in his youth all on his own, and scenes of his time with his Master Shi Tie also frequently surfaced.
The most tragic, painful memory of his life when he had personally witnessed the death of Shi Tie in battle kept on appearing before him, one knife after another slicing across his heart, fresh blood spurting everywhere.
Many unsavoury scenes that she would rather not think back on also appeared before Feng Yunsheng’s eyes.
Her high-spiritedness in her youth upon just having entered the Sacred Sun Clan, those unexpected injuries in the Earth Domain that changed her fate as well as her being forced by Xiao Shen and Pan Botai to flee the clan afterwards, engaging in bloody battle as she solitarily fled tens of thousands of kilometres all appeared before her eyes.
Some of the illusions were exceptionally vicious, distorting one’s memories and creating false scenes.
However, these false scenes were exceptionally realistic, as if letting one experience a whole different lifetime.
In the illusions, Feng Yunsheng experienced a time when her Extreme Yin Physique had not been damaged, with her presiding over all the other Maidens of Extreme Yin in the first Extreme Yin Bout and putting on the Extreme Yin Crown that she had always longed for.
There was a time when her resistance had failed and she had been tainted by Xiao Shen.
There was a time when she had been betrayed and forsaken by her Master, in the end having been captured and killed by Pan Botai.
There was a time in which after having fled from the Sacred Sun Clan and travelled great distances, she had still been slain, wildly hacked to death by several members of the clan.
There was a time in which even though she had received Yan Zhaoge’s assistance, she had still been unable to recover her Extreme Yin Physique in the end.
Various false scenes in which truth was distorted seemed to be forcibly stuffed amongst all the real memories in Feng Yunsheng’s brain, to the point that she was almost unable to tell what exactly it was that she had truly experienced.
It was the same for Yan Zhaoge. To be precise, the scenes that arose within his mind were even more wondrously bizarre.
Of those various illusions, some included what he had always longed for yet was unable to attain, him being drunk on such blissfulness that he was unwilling to wake up from.
Others saw some of the things he feared and worried about the most truly occurring, difficult to bear as he was nearly pushed to the brink of collapse.
Yan Zhaoge stabilised his mind time and time again, getting rid of those stray thoughts as he pushed to rid himself of the interference and chains that those illusions presented.
Many past events trickled into his mind, various people of all kinds appearing before him before vanishing one by one, tides ebbing and flowing as people came and passed.
As the invasion of the Flame Devils on the East Sea that saw him attempting to come into contact with the small crimson pagoda with the corpse of the ice dragon instead ultimately ended in failure, with him eventually being slain by the Flame Devils, Yan Zhaoge shook his head slightly to snap himself out of it, his mind regaining its former calm as he continued striding forward.
As he walked, Yan Zhaoge suddenly found the bewildering fog ahead of them getting denser and denser as it gradually reached the point where he was unable to see even his outstretched hand before him.
The back of Ying Longtu who was the closest to him gradually turned blurry.
Before Ying Longtu, the figure of the much taller Ah Hu was already nowhere to be seen.
Yan Zhaoge frowned, calling out to Ying Longtu. Before him, the youth showed no reaction before he too was completely enveloped by the bewildering fog the next moment, no longer being visible.
The rope in his hands that had always been taut suddenly eased.
As Yan Zhaoge lowered his head, he saw that the rope in his hands had actually shockingly snapped, only half of it remaining as it hung limply downwards.
“Huh?” Yan Zhaoge did not panic as he controlled his mind, his instincts telling him that this was yet another illusion in itself.
Still, not waiting for him to sort out his mental state, the bewildering fog of the Marsh of Illusory Sea before him suddenly dispersed completely as a vast expanse appeared around him in an instant.
The heavens and earth shook. As Yan Zhaoge raised his head and gazed upwards, he saw a massive hand suddenly flying over from beyond the skies, slapping downwards towards him!
Yan Zhaoge’s pupils dilated abruptly.
That was no ordinary palm.
Instead, it was the massive palm that had descended on the Divine Palace in Yan Zhaoge’s memories back during the Great Calamity that year!
Yan Zhaoge’s eyes emanated a strange light as he gazed intently at this palm.
Before him, the scenes of the heavens and earth trembling slightly suddenly vanished as the palm reached the middle of its flight. The bewildering fog arose once more, but it was already no longer as dense as before.
As Yan Zhaoge gazed over, he saw two rainbows of majestic aura, one horizontal and the other vertical, piercing through the horizon.
It was precisely the Ten Character Heavenly Rainbow!