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Chapter 257 - Over There is a Lake
Chen Changsheng stood at the edge of the pond in silence for a very long time. The strand of sword intent in his eyes continued to linger, and the pain in his eyes caused him to continue to shed tears.
At the moment, he seemed like an idiotic youth who, upon looking at their reflection in the pond, had descended into self-pity.
The sword intent, which had emerged from the depths of the pond, had made him shocked, amazed, and frustrated.
Could this very plain and unremarkable waterfall and pool be the legendary Sword Pool? Otherwise, how could the strand of sword intent emerge from the pool?
Yet, if it really was the case, how had nobody found it in these past several hundred years? It must be known that although this sword intent was elusive and hard to grasp, it was still very distinct.
His frustration arose from ignorance... his own ignorance.
The sword intent, which had emerged from the pool, was truthfully rather weak and imperceptible. Even a peak level Ethereal Opening cultivator would have trouble grasping the traces of its existence.
Only Ethereal Opening cultivators were allowed to enter the Garden of Zhou.
So for all these countless years, no one had ever been able to sense this strand of sword intent. Finally, in a certain year in a certain month on a certain day, a genius cultivator, who was innately close to the sword, stood at the edge of this pool. His eyes were touched by the strand of sword intent, alarming his mind. At this point, the first curtain over the legendary Sword Pool was finally lifted.
That person was Mount Li's Junior Martial Uncle, Su Li.
How was Chen Changsheng able to detect this strand of sword intent? He could because both his mind and body were pure, and his spiritual sense, while not enough to be described as unrivaled, was much calmer and steadier than the ordinary cultivator's. On that night in the Orthodox Academy's library, when he had been fixing his Fated Star, even the Divine Empress atop the Dew Platform had silently concluded this.
In this way, he was be able to become the second cultivator, in the several hundred years’ worth of cultivators that entered the Garden of Zhou, to sense the strand of sword intent in this pool.
Where did this strand of sword intent originate from?
Chen Changsheng had his spiritual sense dive deeper into the pool, but then he sensed that there was an oddity within the pool. Deep in the pool was some sort of invisible pressure that obstructed the continued advance of his spiritual sense.
Standing at the edge of the pool, he caressed the hilt of his dagger, then he looked at the small Black Dragon, which had at some point appeared on his shoulder. He said, "Otherwise… "
The Black Dragon looked at him, its eyes cold and filled with scorn. The meaning was clear: I'm not your subordinate, for what reason should I be helping you with so many things?"
Chen Changsheng could not help but say, "How is it that you and Zhexiu are so similar? Everything you do has to have some sort of benefit."
The Black Dragon was infuriated at these words and its thin tail moved to and fro as it prepared to return. So brazen, to compare myself with some lousy wolf! It thought to itself.
"Fine, fine, I will agree to another one of your requests." Chen Changsheng said helplessly.
Only then was the Black Dragon satisfied. With a flick of its tale, it turned into a black shadow, and with a splash, disappeared into the chilly water of the pool.
After a while, the Black Dragon broke through the surface of the water. As the water splashed in the sunlight, its brilliance made it seem like a shattered crystal.
Chen Changsheng lifted his right arm to let the dragon rest on it.
The water fell from the dragon's scales, soaking his sleeve. It was somewhat chilly and it gave him an odd sensation.
From the information relayed to him by the dragon, Chen Changsheng realized that there was a cave at the bottom of the pool. It probably headed towards some place behind the cliff. However, the strangeness of the pool was that the deeper someone went, the greater the pressure became. Moreover, the pressure exerted was much more powerful than what was to be expected in the real world. Since the Black Dragon was only a spiritual soul detached from its body, it had only one percent of its original power, so it was unable to enter the cave.
For the Black Dragon to find that cave could already be considered as rather difficult. Any human Ethereal Opening cultivator would most likely be unable to do so. Chen Changsheng stood at the edge of the pool, sensing the weak sword intent and pondered for a very long time. Then, he looked up at the top of the waterfall, calculated the distance, and made a decision.
He let the black dragon go back and rest, then he headed over to the waterfall and began to climb up the cliff. His ascent was not as wanton and reckless as Zhexiu's. It was very steady and precise, using an extremely large amount of strength.
Passing by the top of the waterfall, he finally arrived at the top of the cliff. He took out a towel and wiped the water from his face, then he realized what lay in front of him was a clear pool of water. The bottom of the pool was made up of yellowstone, and the flat surface of the water extended far off into the distance. There was probably another cliff several hundred yard away from which the water fell. In the middle of the pool, he could faintly make out that the surface of the water was undulating. That place was most likely the source of the water. Taken together, it made for a beautiful picture.
At this time, Zhexiu had concluded his distant exploration and returned. He shook his head, indicating that he had not found anything.
"At the bottom of the pool is a cave. It probably goes to some place in the mountain. I suspect... that the Sword Pool lies within."
Chen Changsheng stood by the waterfall, and pointed down at the pool, which now looked like the size of a fist.
Zhexiu walked over to his side and glanced down. "I'd like to express my doubts."
Chen Changsheng replied, "Then what do you think is over there?"
Zhexiu said, "The stories often say, that at a desperate impasse, when suddenly finding a path, the first sight someone sees upon entering the new world is that of a beautiful woman bathing."
"You're overthinking it." Chen Changsheng felt very speechless so he changed the subject. "It seems that there's an oddity at the bottom of the pool, making it so that we can't dive into the cave. We need to think of a way in."
Zhexiu took another glance at the faraway pool, then said, "It seems that you've already thought of a way."
"If we jump down from here, with the assistance of our descent, we might be able to fall directly at the cave's position."
Chen Changsheng did not mention that with the Black Dragon's assistance, he had already ascertained the distance between the surface of the pool and the cave. According to his rough calculations, there should not be any problems.
Zhexiu took another glance at the pool and frowned. "What if our lives are in danger?"
The cliff was too high. Even Zhexiu was not certain that he would not be knocked unconscious when he hit the water.
Chen Changsheng replied, "I should be able to hold on, I don't know if you can."
Zhexiu did not know that he had bathed in the true dragon blood of the Black Dragon, but he did know that his body was so strong that it might even better than that of one obtained from perfect Purification, so he was not worried.
Zhexiu's heritage was special, his purification was extremely successful, and from childhood, he had been engaged in countless cruel battles in the snowy plain such that his muscles and bones could be described as made of stone. However, he still had little confidence at jumping from such a height. He said, "If Liang Xiaoxiao and Qi Jian used this pool to get to the other side, how could they have done it?"
Chen Changsheng had not thought of this problem and scratched his head. "Perhaps the Mount Li Sword Sect has some sort of strange method?"
“What about Zhuang Huanyu?" Zhexiu asked.
Chen Changsheng was somewhat stumped. "The Heavenly Dao Academy also has some sort of secret method?"
Zhexiu looked at him expressionlessly and said, "With your status and position in the Orthodoxy, do you think that if the Heavenly Dao Academy had some clue about the Sword Pool, Mao Qiuyu wouldn't tell you?
Chen Changsheng had no response to his questions. Somewhat in a rush, he said, "Regardless, I can go through. Just say if you can or can’t do."
As men, even not fully matured men, nobody could say the words 'can’t'.
Zhexiu impassively replied, "See you on the other side."
With these words, he walked over to the edge of the waterfall and jumped without the slightest hesitation.
His figure quickly descended down the cliffside, dashing the waterfall into several jade-like strands.
Chen Changsheng could not help but be startled at this scene. He silently thought to himself, being so straightforward really catches one unawares.
Then he heard a boom.
A massive splash rose from the surface of the pool. Through the middle of the splash, the depths of the pool could be seen. This was a path along which Zhexiu had proceeded.
Chen Changsheng shook his head, took off his outer clothes and put them away. After making sure that the timing was right, he also leaped off the cliff.
As the wind blew against him, it was broken to pieces. As the water splashed up, it was broken into pieces. The whistling sound did not have time to reach his ears before it was thrown behind him.
He became faster and faster, so that in but a moment, he had already reached the surface of the pool.
There was no sound, only the distinct impact as he struck the surface and the resulting numbness in his face and neck.
After a moment, he began to feel the pressure and wetness of the water.
Assisted by the power of his descent, his body continued downwards, piercing through layer upon layer of obstruction.
The pressure of the water continued to increase. Compared to the depth that he had traveled, the pressure was much greater than what he had imagined, but it was still within the range that he could withstand.
Only now did he open his eyes and looked in front him, or to put it another way, he could see Zhexiu's figure below him.
Zhexiu was kicking his legs. It seemed that he was not having any problems.
Afterwards, he looked further past Zhexiu and could faintly make out a point of light.
In a short time, he and Zhexiu had arrived at the location of the point of light, but they found no sign of the cave that the Black Dragon had mentioned.
However, at this point, they had no other option. They could only use the remainder of the falling force to continue swimming downwards. After this force had gradually been used up, they began to use their hands to swim through the water.
After swimming for who knows how long, they suddenly realized that the pressure exerted by the water was gradually fading.
Then, they realized that the point of light was gradually growing larger, eventually engulfing their entire view.
Only then did they realize the true change.
They were not swimming down. They were swimming up.
They finally managed to swim out.
They were still in the water.
They broke through the surface of the water.
This place was a placid lake. The lake was vast and the forest around it was verdant and lush. On the rocks of the shore grew all sorts of nameless flowers.
Right now, they were both in the center of the lake.
The depths of that pool was actually this lake.
The most miraculous thing was that when the bottom of the pool was connected to the lake, up and down were reversed, and heaven and earth exchanged positions.
Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu were truly shocked by this.
The scene they saw soon after made them even more shocked, so much so that their jaws were agape and they were at a loss for words.
In the middle of the lake was a rock.
It was right in front of them.
On the rock sat a woman.
The woman's face was charming and beautiful. It seemed that she had also just gotten out of the water. Her entire body was wet, and her pliable clothes pressed up tightly against her body, revealing her curves. Her mature and captivating body was completely exposed.
The extraordinarily beautiful woman was in the midst of straining the water out of her black hair.
Her actions were very gentle. Her body was very gentle. Her complexion was very gentle. Her gaze was very gentle.
She was like a just ripened fruit, like the mountain spirit which the shamans of the south offered sacrifices to or like the beauties pictured in the murals in the capital.
To young men, she was at her most captivating period, and this was the most captivating scene.
Chen Changsheng thought about what Zhexiu had said before, and he had absolutely no idea what to do.
On the other side of the cliff, there actually was a lake.
In the lake, there actually was a beautiful woman that had just finished taking a bath.
What did this mean?