Chapter 8 – Adversary from the Past
**Originally translated by Incarneous, slight edits
Yan Zhaoge seldom paid mind to the thoughts of others. Whether it was Ye Jing, Sikong Qing or anyone else, he simply did not care.
While the matter of the Sealing Dragon Abyss was rather pressing, their current route crossed through Eastern Tang Kingdom. If it was just some bystander, it would not matter, but the current ruler of the Eastern Tang Kingdom was someone Yan Zhaoge needed to pay his respects to in an official capacity.
That person was more than just the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, one of East Heaven Domain’s most powerful and influential figures. More importantly, he was an old friend of Yan Zhaoge’s father from when he was young, also having shown a lot of care towards Yan Zhaoge in the past.
When there were abnormalities at the Sealing Dragon Abyss, the strongest warriors of Eastern Tang Kingdom, including the acting and Principal Elders Broad Creed Mountain had dispatched here, would naturally have responded already due to their close proximity. As the first to arrive on the scene, they had already investigated and suppressed the unusual activity. Yan Zhaoge’s expedition to the danger zone, the Sealing Dragon Abyss, required that he acquire a thorough understanding of the area as well as information on its newest developments.
After visiting the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, Yan Zhaoge paid an official visit to the Principal Elder of the Eastern Tang Kingdom.
This visitation would not be as easygoing or harmonious as the previous one, because this member of Broad Creed Mountain here in the Eastern Tang Kingdom happened to belong to Yan Zhaoge’s second senior apprentice-uncle’s faction.
The Eastern Tang’s Principal elder appeared to be a serious old man on the outside. He peered at Yan Zhaoge and without any unnecessary nonsense, summarised what was already known about the situation in a few simple sentences. Yan Zhaoge listened and pondered at the same time.
“The Sun Saint Clan’s Chao Yuanlong has also appeared at the Dragon Sealing Abyss. Keep focused and be prepared,” the elder stated tranquilly after describing the abnormalities that had occurred within the Dragon Sealing Abyss.
Yan Zhaoge smiled and said, “Was it not because of him that the clan asked me to lead this expedition?”
In the present world, several Holy Grounds stood shoulder-to-shoulder with one another. The Sun Saint Clan was one of those few enormous forces that could to compared to Broad Creed Mountain. In fact, its strength was even greater than Broad Creed Mountain, imperceptibly holding the position of the number one Sacred Ground.
Chao Yuanlong was one of Sun Saint Clan’s greatest geniuses of the younger generation; he too was known as a Heaven’s chosen Son. It just happened that he was of similar age to Yan Zhaoge and possessed the same level of cultivation as him as well; they were both in the late inner-aura phase. In the Eight Extremities World, he was also a famous up-and-coming member of the young generation.
The original owner of Yan Zhaoge’s body conflicted with Chao Yuanlong thrice, and all three exchanges had ended up in a tie. The two were known to be longtime adversaries of the younger generation in the Eight Extremities World.
The Eastern Tang affairs elder said, “That person is also a rare talent. To cultivate the Piercing Sun Needle Art of the Sun Saint Clan to the eighth level, more than just an extremely high aptitude towards it is necessary; immense perseverance is also needed. If he can break through to the next level…you should understand without this old man telling you, correct?”
The Piercing Sun Needle Art was an unpopular martial technique of the Sun Saint Clan. When cultivated to a high level, it could demonstrate extremely formidable prowess. Amongst martial practitioners of the same level, it was one of the techniques existing at the peak.
However, its might was rather limited in the early stages, at least before reaching the sixth stage. Only after reaching the seventh stage would it demonstrate its power.
And it just so happened that the technique was very difficult to cultivate. The process required the cultivator to endure the pain of a raging inferno scorching their body, as if the entire body was being stabbed by ten million steel needles. Cultivating this technique was just like abusing oneself.
Moreover, the Sun Saint Sect naturally had stronger and more profound techniques for their disciples as their cultivation progressed. Therefore, very few sect members would choose to cultivate this technique.
Yan Zhaoge spoke nonchalantly, “At his age, to have cultivated the Piercing Sun Needle Art to the ninth stage is rare indeed. In the entire history of the Sun Saint Clan, there are no more than five who have achieved this. To become famous within his generation at the Sun Saint Clan, he would naturally have some aspect in which he surpasses the norm.”
Yan Zhaoge laughed, “Thank you, Elder, for your reminder. I am well aware of the situation.”
The Eastern Tang’s Principal Elder gave him a glance before calmly saying, “If that is the case, you may go. Should something happen at the Sealing Dragon Abyss, make a report immediately. Take care of the disciples on this expedition and do not allow any mishaps to occur.”
Yan Zhaoge got up and said, “Then, I will be taking my leave. Take care, Elder.”
Looking at Yan Zhaoge’s departing back, the old man’s placid eyes slowly closed, “Fickle and frivolous brat; he can speak the words, but he lacks understanding.”
The Sealing Dragon Abyss was an enormous rift valley that stretched horizontally across the land. Both sides are surrounded by mountains and it was so deep that its depth could not be seen. Black mist covered it all year long.
The black mist was a harmful substance. The deeper one went into the Abyss, the thicker the mist became. Even strong warriors did not dare to venture inside unless necessary. There were also many strange demonic beasts born within these mists that were unusually aggressive.
Venturing deep in the Sealing Dragon Abyss where the black mist covered everything also caused bizarre spatial disorders, which made it difficult to determine one’s actual location. It was extremely difficult for those outside to rescue those lost within.
Nevertheless, there were often martial practitioners who entered the place to seek treasure because the Sealing Dragon Abyss produced many special treasures that were one-of-a-kind, or at least rare.
Of course, many of those who entered were never seen again alive.
Therefore one must carefully consider the risks. The Sealing Dragon Abyss was a place famous for its peril.
Yan Zhaoge and his expedition left Eastern Tang Kingdom’s capital and traveled all the way to the outer edges of this danger zone.
“Do you all know the history of the Sealing Dragon Abyss?” Standing on the mountain ridge right beside the steep drop, Yan Zhaoge said.
“The Eight Extremities World is divided into eight vast Domains: Heaven, Earth, Wind, Thunder, Water, Fire, Mountain, and Lake.”
“One of these, the Earth Domain, has become a wasteland after many years of transformation. It is the world’s largest danger zone. Because of this, we now call that place ‘Hell’.”
“And many giant cracks in Hell extend to the surrounding Domains. This Dragon Sealing Abyss happens to be one of the largest of these cracks. And a large portion of this Abyss happens to pass through our Broad Creed Mountain’s Heaven Domain.”
Yan Zhaoge said, “Sudden abnormalities at the Dragon Sealing Abyss without any clear cause; we will need to remain prudent.”
All the Broad Creed Mountain disciples nodded to signal their understanding.
Under Yan Zhaoge’s lead, everyone slowly walked down into the rift.
Even though this is a dangerous place, people have already built paths on the outer edges.
Lanterns lit up along the path at fixed intervals. Thin streams of green smoke steadily rose and partitioned off the black mist from a small area allowing people to advance forward.
This was Broad Creed Mountain and the Eastern Tang Kingdom’s work. When the elites of both forces reacted and came to suppress the anomaly, they created this pathway. Afterward, they guarded the Abyss while contacting Broad Creed Mountain, waiting for people to come and investigate the abnormalities.
Had the anomaly not been promptly suppressed, the black mist might have surged out of the rift.
Yan Zhaoge’s group visited those local forces responsible for guarding this place, then they started to advance deeper into the Sealing Dragon Abyss.
Yan Zhaoge walked in the very front. Part of his attention was on the surrounding while he pondered in his mind, “As expected, within this mist are hidden chaotic streams of baleful qi. Even though they can be used to create something that benefits the Internal Crystal Furnace, the substance itself is harmful in many ways, while not possessing a single benefit.
“No wait… perhaps it isn’t without a single merit?
“There is a large difference in increase of strength between the mid to late phases of the inner aura stage and from the late inner aura stage to the early outer aura stage. The latter produces a much larger increment in strength. While it can’t be said to be ‘the difference between heaven and earth’, it is at least like shedding one’s mortal body and being reborn again.”
Yan Zhaoge thought to himself, “When the aura is externalised, the body’s defenses become extremely strong.
If an inner aura Martial Scholar attacks an outer aura Martial Scholar with all his strength, assuming that the outer-aura Martial Scholar did not defend his weak points, there would be a chance of success. Otherwise, most of the time, the inner aura Martial Scholar would just be wasting his strength.
On the other hand, an outer aura Martial Scholar could release aura-qi outside his body and demonstrate amazing attack power. Breaking through an internalized martial scholar’s aura-qi defense layer would be quite easy.”
While externalising the aura required only a single step, that step was a wide gap that was difficult to cross; breaking through would not be easy. The main difficulty was the large amount of time required to meticulously polish one’s aura-qi and train one’s body.”
Walking through the Dragon Sealing Abyss surrounded by unknown dangers, Yan Zhaoge unexpectedly smiled.
“However, if one uses the Vortex Reversal Technique of the Heaven-Thwarting Mantra with some modifications, he should be able to conduct these chaotic streams of baleful qi into his own body. With this technique, trash can be changed into treasure. A great whetstone can be obtain for polishing one’s aura-qi. This is perfect for helping me break through the hurdle of solidifying my aura outside of my body, allowing me to step from the first to the second stage of the Martial Scholar realm.”