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The writ was made from Cosmic Wood, a wood that was said to possess extreme spirituality. It was a rarely seen tree species. Regardless of whether it was used to refine an immortal pill or to forge an exceptional weapon, the quality of work would increase by several folds with just a little bit of Cosmic Wood used.
Legends has it that the Cosmic Wood only grow in the nether world. It would only grow one inch in a century, one foot in a millennium, and ten feet in ten thousand years. At ten feet tall, it was as red as a ruby. At thirty feet tall, it would turn as clear as an amethyst. The longer it lived, the denser its spirituality.
However, even in the rumored nether world, Cosmic Wood was still very rare. Not to mention ruby and amethyst types.
This piece of Cosmic Wood Writ was about the size of a palm. Its entire body was as clear as a piece of amethyst. If not for the faintly discernible growth ring ⌈1⌋, it was very hard to imagine this was a piece of wood. Xiao Chen began to feel very heavy as he gazed at it attentively. Sure enough, that crooked paw print was clearly left behind by Keke. He could vaguely feel that little critter’s aura again.
The main function of Cosmic Wood Writ was to transmit message. It was an absolute waste to inscribe characters on the writ. It was mainly used to record spiritual imprints and to transmit genuine spiritual fluctuations.
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Xiao Chen focused his mind and “listened” to the spiritual fluctuations in the Amethyst Cosmic Wood. The fluctuations in the Cosmic Wood were very violent, it was as if the sound really was transmitted from the writ.
There were sounds of other people crying for help, yet only the sound of the little critter couldn’t be heard. It was very noisy, disputes, screaming, it was a complete mess. There were even sounds of slaughtering and shrieking at a distant place……
The world transmitted from the Amethyst Cosmic Wood was a chaotic world. It was jumping about like a pot of boiling water. This made Xiao Chen feel extremely anxious. Keke’s current location seemed to be extremely chaotic, it was a worrying situation.
Odd, how come he couldn’t hear the snow-white little critter’s voice? Was this not the SOS letter sent by it?
Thinking up to this point, Xiao Chen had a hint of doubt; how did this letter fall into the hands of Emperor Jiang?
Evidently, everything before them had caused little fatty Oxman to lose his balance. One of the legendary kings of hell, Emperor Jiang, was sitting on the floating throne close by in front of him, how could he not be shocked and amazed?
The legends pertaining to the ten emperors of the nether world had a real impact on the world, this was something even little children knew about. Looking at the skeletons in front of him, the little fatty felt his hair standing on end.
Even though the old spirit had told them once, that the ancestor god Suirenshi had failed to refine the underworld, he still managed to refine a Cypreus Furnace with his own hands after all. Despite failing through lack of a final effort, there were still some results in the end. If the skeleton in front of them was not lying, then his origin was really too tremendous!
“You… are really Emperor Jiang?” Oxman tried to remain as calm as possible.
“Heh-heh…” The spiritual fluctuation transmitted by the spotlessly white skeleton blew through the ancient palace hall like a fit of chill wind. The dense aura caused the temperature in the hall to drop rapidly.
The divine light in the skeleton’s eye sockets swept past the dusky hall. There was an indescribable pressure as he said, “Although the nether world failed to take shape ultimately, not just anyone would dare to pass themselves off as Emperor Jiang.”
The legendary ten emperors of hell was proficient in supervising spirits. They were not known for their military power. There’s even a theory that their fighting strength were considerably low. Of course, that depends on who they were comparing to. For the two youngsters of the later generation at present, the ten emperors were unconditionally terrifying experts.
Oxman felt a chill down his spine. They had really run into a living ancestor this time! He couldn’t help but involuntarily take a few steps back.
The Black Dragon King remained motionless. It only stared at Emperor Jiang, that was sitting on the floating throne, with two cold glints emitted from its dragon eyes.
Although Xiao Chen was very shocked, he was more puzzled instead. He could feel a familiar aura from the body of Emperor Jiang. That kind of soul fluctuation gave him a feeling of deja vu.
Vaguely, he felt that Emperor Jiang’s spiritual fluctuation had a striking resemblance to the three skeletons he had named without permission. It was as if they had a common origin. This astonished him, but this was not the time for an in-depth investigation. He had something even more important to ask.
“I believe you are the legendary Emperor Jiang, Xian Chen greets the king of hell.” As he finished speaking, Xiao Chen acted with courtesy. Then he asked with seriousness and sincerity, “May I ask this of the king of hell, how did you get your hands on this Cosmic Wood Writ?”
“Although ancestor god Suirenshi’s ideal nether world didn’t come to a pass, it had already taken form after all. I might be the emperor of hell in name only, but it is still my responsibility to guide some of the lost souls. Even though I don’t have much of a hand in it, I still have guided quite a few souls. This nether world might be closed off from the other dark domains, but just passing some news is still possible.”
“May I request the king of hell to explain in detail.”
The floating throne flew around the ancient palace hall slowly and ultimately stopped at the center of the hall. Emperor Jiang sent a spiritual message, “You guys should go to the Ninth Underworld Platform.”
“Where is this Ninth Underworld Platform?”
“After leaving Yama’s palace, just keep going straight. With this Black Dragon’s speed, you should see a mountain-like platform in about half a month. On the way, try to avoid those departed spirits as much as possible. Some evil spirits in the nether world are hard to control. If you run into some indescribable mansions, get as far away as you can. There are some places even I need to avoid.”
Xiao Chen paid his respect and carried the already petrified fatty with him towards the entrance. Just when he was nearing the entrance, Xiao Chen suddenly stopped to ask, “Are the ten emperors of hell all in the nether world?”
Emperor Jiang clearly blanked out for a moment before he shook his head. The tone of the spiritual message he sent was somewhat sad, “Perhaps I am the only one left…”
Xiao Chen’s heart thumped as he said, “I had once encountered three skeletons on the dragon island, their auras are astonishingly similar to yours.”
“The other nine emperors of the nether world? That is impossible! Even the ancestor god Suirenshi’s life and death is already unclear, not to mention them. I saw it with my own eyes during that time when their bodies and souls were completely extinguished.” Emperor Jiang waved his hands powerlessly. Although he was just a skeleton, Xiao Chen could clearly feel sadness emanating from him. He seemed to be deeply hurt by the past events and was unwilling to talk about it anymore.
Xiao Chen’s party excused themselves.
After leaving the eerie hall, the Black Dragon King ran with lightning speed. Only after they covered several hundred miles did Oxman finally heave a long sigh and say, “It’s hard to imagine, we actually entered the nether world. Just now we even went to visit Yama’s palace. This… nobody would believe this even if we were to talk about it. I am really a little skeptical now, could we have already died when the ancient altar was dropped into the Cypreus Furnace?”
The little fatty’s expression was very serious, very heavy. This caused Xiao Chen to also harbor some doubts in that instant.
“Ghosts don’t have a shadow.” Xiao Chen smiled as he pointed. The rainbow-colored sacred tree appeared on Xiao Chen’s hand, and the radiance of the sacred tree caused their shadows to stretch behind them.
“You are right, I’m just thinking too much.” Oxman smiled and said, “I haven’t lived long enough, the world up there would be so dull without me.”
“That’s right. The world revolves around you, and the stars are waiting for you to stack them up every night.”
Just at this moment, the Black Dragon King abruptly stopped. To suddenly come to a standstill from extreme speed, it almost caused Xiao Chen and Oxman to fall from its back.
The nether world was dark and gloomy, it was like night time under starlight, as if it was covered by a layer of black veil. Despite the darkness, they could still see their surroundings. There was a huge shadow far ahead of them. It seemed like there was a large building with many halls connected.
Although that place seemed deathly silent, it was emitting a weak fluctuation which caused people to feel oppressed.
Oxman lowered his voice and said, “That is definitely a fierce person. For the hall it built to be this imposing, it wouldn’t be a joke if a living ancestor is living there.”
Xiao Chen nodded to express his agreement. Emperor Jiang had warned them before, if they saw a palace hall or a cave dwelling, they must avoid it at all cost. They didn’t dare to treat it as wind past their ears. The Black Dragon King transformed into black light at once and took a detour. They moved in a circle for several dozen miles before they finally got pass that region.
“That place just now definitely has a ghost ancestor. It is not even a thousand miles apart from Emperor Jiang’s Yama palace. It clearly did not take the emperor of hell seriously.”
Xiao Chen agreed with Oxman. The nether world was more complicated than they originally thought. It didn’t have any social order at all. It was easy to imagine how chaotic and frightening was this world.
For seven consecutive days, Xiao Chen’s party had avoided several dozen ancient castles, palaces, and cave dwellings. They even ran into countless lost souls on the way. If not because of the treasured tree’s existence, they might already been torn apart by those ghosts a long time ago.
In addition to that, the negative vibe in the nether world was extremely thick. Although it was not as severe as the dark domain mentioned by the old spirit, staying at this place for a long time would still be very harmful for the physical body. Only because of the sacred tree’s protection were they able to continue their journey until now.
Oxman had some doubts, “Where do you think the ley lines we found on the surface come from? It should have come from underground, but down here is the nether world, how can there be so much spiritual energy?”
Xiao Chen shook his head and said, “Hard to say. This is not really underground in the most literal sense. This ought to be a big independant world, a genuine boundless space.”
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Oxman thought for a while and agreed with him. Although the Black Dragon King spent half of each day to hasten their journey, it could be described as a thousand miles each day. Its speed could even be said to be as fast as lightning. They had already advanced forward in a single direction for seven days like this. In other words, they had already covered seven thousand miles. In this nether world, this could only be described as “a little distance”. From this, it seemed like this place was not really underground.
Little fatty Oxman lamented, “As expected, ancestor god Suirenshi had immeasurable magical power. He was actually capable of creating such a vast and boundless space.”
What was contained within the Cypreus Furnace was one genuine world!
On the tenth day, Xiao Chen’s party suddenly discovered a bright light transmitting from ahead during their journey. It seemed out of place in this dusky underworld.
Just when they wanted to take a detour, Xiao Chen and Oxman felt it; that place didn’t have any negative vibe. On the contrary, it was rippling with a holy aura.
Gazing from afar, they could only see a ruin. That was the source of the glimmering light.
“It is a ruin, not the so-called mansion house. It should be safe right? How about we go take a look.” Oxman proposed.
Xiao Chen nodded in consent. Even if there were souls at the ruin, it shouldn’t be evil spirits or ominous souls.
With a single wave of the Black Dragon King’s tail, they covered twenty miles in an instant.
“A temple?!” Oxman was very shocked, “How come there’s a temple in the nether world?”
There were only three ancestral shrines. They were extremely tattered and had collapsed a long time ago. They must have been worn down by years of non-repair and collapsed under the merciless passage of time.
The specks of holy radiance were emitted by a shattered statue of Bodhisattva. In the dusky underworld, a little bit of light was already extremely weird, not to mention an aura with the holy attribute.
Xiao Chen walked over and lifted up a few destroyed statues, then he said, “Did you forget? Didn’t they say that there’s a really powerful Buddhist who oversees the underworld?”
“Are you referring to… the great Ksitigarbha?”
“That’s right. He had vowed to save all souls before accepting Bodhi. As such, he was trapped in the underworld for all eternity. You must know that with his power, he shouldn’t be much weaker compared to Buddha. He’s one of the few experts among Buddhism. If he didn’t have the qualifications to become a Buddha, then nobody has the right to call themselves Buddhist.”
Oxman nodded and said, “Ah… I remember now, there was indeed a living ancestor like that. His power is off the chart. In ancient times, he managed to get away unscathed after receiving three hits from a deity. He was one of the few Buddhist experts with strength comparable to the ten emperors of hell.”
The great ambition of the great Ksitigarbha was known by all. He had once shook heaven and earth.
“However, since the underworld is not real, can that legend be trusted?” Oxman issued such a question.
Xiao Chen nodded and said, “We cannot trust all of it, but we cannot distrust it either. The legends more or less contain some truth within.”
The little fatty chuckled and said, “Let’s look around, we might be able to find some Buddhist relics here. These Buddhist statues shouldn’t be ordinary articles. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to give off light.”
The fatty dug around energetically, but how was it possible for him to find any Buddhist relics. The reason why the Buddhist statues were shining was because there were a few magic characters carved on them to gather the little bit of Buddhist power in the surroundings.
On the contrary, Xiao Chen felt a slight tremble transmitted from his left foot. The Suiren Gimlet seemed like it wanted to break free from his body. The burial cloth that was kept in his body with Weapon Fusion was also trembling.
It’s not a good idea to take out the Suiren Gimlet. Xiao Chen only took out the burial cloth. The instant it left his body, the black cloth immediately trembled fiercely and almost broke away from Xiao Chen’s control.
The dirt was flung upward and the rocks were rolling. The base of the temple was destroyed by the bloody cloth as the rocks were sent flying.
As if facing a powerful enemy, the Black Dragon King drew the holy sword from its spinal cord with a resounding noise.
Xiao Chen and the little fatty looked towards the destroyed base of the ruin, but they only saw a leg…… ⌈2⌋
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