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Chapter 346 - The Past of Monoliths and Swords
Translated by: Pipipingu
Edited by: Michyrr
As the black rock landed on the monolith base, it turned into a black Heavenly Tome Monolith. A distant and ancient Qi exuded from the monolith, and slowly fused into one with the Qi from the ten other monoliths. The formation that was hidden in a relative position to it seemed to undergo some subtle but definitely important changes with the arrival of the Qi.
The surroundings of the mausoleum quieted down slightly, and layers of rock no longer fell from the surface of the stone pillars. On the surface of the black stone monoliths that were already revealed, a gloomy, cold light glowed. At least several hundred thin dimensional cracks flowed between the stone pillars.
The line-like dimensional cracks that floated between the stone pillars were actually extremely terrifying. They were like dark abysses, and would rip apart everything that approached them. Once something was swallowed by the cracks, it would be sent to void space, and endure an eternal and endless drift of loneliness. Fortunately, the cracks were currently bound by some sort of power, and no longer drifted about.
In the whistling, violent wind, the clear cry of the baby peng resounded. The cry was so happy that it was full of the delight of a successful revenge. In its past life, it was Zhou Dufu’s mount, and it had once seen its powerful owner suppress the proud stone monoliths with its own eyes. Now it seemed like déjà vu, so how could it not be proud of itself?
Chen Changsheng’s gaze retracted from the dimension cracks, and looked at the eleven stone pillars in the surroundings of the mausoleum. Using Xu Yourong’s method of deduction that she had mentioned before, he did the calculation again, and confirmed that the formation could control the storms of energy brought upon by the appearance of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths. At the same time, it confirmed that his memory and the idea that seemed mystical were not wrong.
When he viewed the monoliths in the Mausoleum of Books at night before, the seventeen monoliths formed a star chart. However, it was always incomplete, so he was unable to break through the threshold, until the last moment, when the black rock that he had obtained from the Pavilion of Ascending Mist gave off a bright light, and filled in the star chart. Only then did he truly comprehend the true meaning of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, and break through to the upper realm of Ethereal Opening.
An immeasurable amount of starlight washed over the mausoleum. At that time, he was in a condition where he was in a mental journey, and did not know what had happened in his own consciousness at all. After what had happened, he forgot about the usage of the black rock even more, and only had an extremely vague and blurry impression. Fortunately, he still managed to remember it in the end, and receive verification.
The black rock in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, behind Wang Zhice’s portrait… was a Heavenly Tome Monolith.
With this, the greatest secret of the Mausoleum of Books, as well as the greatest secret of the Garden of Zhou, which could even be considered as the greatest secret of the continent in the past thousand years, finally revealed a majority of its truths before his eyes. Although the stories that occurred between the once-peerless experts were already forgotten and buried in oblivion, he had already managed to see some truths.
Many years ago, Zhou Dufu took twelve monoliths from the Mausoleum of Books. The matter itself was already extremely universally shocking—no one understood how he did it, nor how he could preserve the monoliths outside of the Mausoleum of Books. It was also an extremely outrageous matter.
The Heavenly Tome Monoliths were the sacred objects of the Heavenly Dao. Within the monoliths hid something that did not belong to this world, which could be called violent energy. The Qi and energy originated from another world. To this world, it was like countless sparks, while the mountains, rivers, oceans, trees, beasts, and humans—all the existences of the world—were just a pile of dry firewood.
As soon as dry firewood and fire met, countless flames would definitely form. Fortunately, when the Heavenly Tomes descended many years ago, a type of restriction formed naturally, which connected them with the earth as one, allowing them to rest quietly using the energy of the thick earth. As a result, in the Mausoleum of Books, the energy could be kept calmly within the stone monoliths. Once it left the Mausoleum of Books, the Qi that was incompatible with the world would naturally come out of the monoliths, and set everything in the world alight. The distant, ancient Qi seemed peaceful, but to this world, it represented destruction.
As a result, the monoliths could not leave the Mausoleum of Books.
Zhou Dufu instead did exactly the opposite, and he even succeeded. A Heavenly Tome Monolith was lost outside for some reason, and he brought the remaining eleven monoliths into the Garden of Zhou. Even though the Garden of Zhou was separated from the world, even though his powers were close to miracles, he was still unable to conceal the Qi of the eleven monoliths, to prevent their Qi from coming in contact with the real world. As a result, he used astonishing methods and his genius-level intelligence and came up with an extremely fantastic method—he created a formation with the eleven monoliths.
The formation was a type of subtle and clever imitation of the Mausoleum of Books, or put straightforwardly, a shrunken version of the Mausoleum of Books. Xu Yourong could use such a short time to understand the connection between the stone pillars, to understand the wondrous method Zhou Dufu had used before, because she had studied the Mausoleum of Books and the Heavenly Tome Monoliths since childhood.
Relying on such a formation, Zhou Dufu let the Qi of the eleven monoliths that had left the Mausoleum of Books forcefully restrain each other without end. He created his own independent world, and used the seemingly weak balance to stop destruction from occurring. In order to protect the balance from being destroyed by people, he left countless terrifying monsters in the Plains of the Unsetting Sun.
If matters really did continue as such, perhaps after Zhou Dufu’s death, with the flow of time, the Garden of Zhou’s rules may have slowly collapsed, and the mausoleum may have crumbled. However, the Heavenly Tome Monoliths hidden in the eleven stone pillars would remain undiscovered, quietly enduring the wind and the rain for all of eternity.
Yet, there were no matters that were eternal in the world. In fact, just a few years after Zhou Dufu had entered the Mausoleum of Books to steal monoliths, a man secretly entered the Garden of Zhou with the intention of stealing the stone pillars. Just based on level of cultivation and battle prowess, the man obviously was not as great as Zhou Dufu, but in other aspects, he was more outstanding than Zhou Dufu in the hearts of everybody.
The man was Wang Zhice.
Perhaps because of Emperor Taizong’s order to discover the whereabouts of the monoliths, or perhaps because he wanted to prove some idea he had, Wang Zhice entered the Garden of Zhou. Through some unknown method, he retrieved one of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths from a stone pillar, and turned it into a black rock mystically.
Zhou Dufu naturally discovered this, and then problems occurred.
Of the eleven monoliths, one was missing. This meant that the formation that he had spent all his efforts on was destroyed.
It could be imagined that the Garden of Zhou back then was the same as the present time, full of storms of energy and whistling whirlwinds that wreaked havoc.
Zhou Dufu obviously could use his peerless strength to forcefully suppress the eruption of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, but it was the same as the very start. He could not stay between the monoliths forever, so he needed to fix the formation, or in other words, he needed to find another Heavenly Tome Monolith.
Very obviously, the imperial family of Great Zhou and the Orthodoxy that had already experienced it once would not give him another opportunity. Perhaps when he sat on the mausoleum and contemplated, he saw that there was still a sword that was unwilling to yield in the sea of grass. Perhaps it was Chen Xuanba’s Dragoncry Sword, or perhaps it was the Holy Maiden Sword from South Stream Temple. Anyway, it allowed him to think of a method.
Since it was very difficult to find another Heavenly Tome Monolith, he could only find a replacement object.
Of course, the replacement object needed to be powerful, and needed the power that was equal to the Heavenly Tome Monolith.
The replacement object Zhou Dufu chose was sword intent.
He used ten thousand swords to replace the Heavenly Tome Monolith.
With that, the Garden of Zhou slowly recovered its peace.
The Plains of the Unsetting Sun became peaceful once again.
There were no more people that had found the mausoleum, much less any person discovering the secrets in the stone pillars.
Until a certain year later on, the soul of a sword separated from its body, and its body drifted out of the grassland along the pools of water. It passed through the small lake, and arrived in the Garden of Zhou’s other side. It drifted along the cold lake, and was washed into the forest next to the river by the water. It was taken by Su Li. As a result, an additional umbrella appeared in Wenshui, and the umbrella was currently in Chen Changsheng’s hand.
Chen Changsheng took the umbrella into the Garden of Zhou again. To the ten thousand sword intents in the grassland, it was a return. Without the suppression of the ten thousand sword intents, the formation was destroyed. The Heavenly Tome Monoliths appeared, and began to destroy the world. However, who would have thought that he also brought back the Heavenly Tome Monolith that was lost outside? To the Garden of Zhou, it was a true return.
It was possible that it was a story from years ago. Of course, it was only Chen Changsheng’s conjecture. At that moment, he did not know about the true secret of the Yellow Paper Umbrella. There were still many details that were not clear enough in the story he had imagined. Why did Wang Zhice only take away one monolith all those years ago? Was taking away one monolith the limit of his ability, or did it mean that his original intention of taking away the monolith was not for searching, but to destroy the formation and as a result, to destroy the Garden of Zhou? Or perhaps, he even wanted to use such a method to deal with Zhou Dufu?
No one knew what Wang Zhice was thinking all those years ago, and there was also no one who knew whether a world-shaking battle had occurred in the Garden of Zhou all those years ago. According to the records of history, Wang Zhice and Zhou Dufu never battled. According to rumors among the people, they were sworn brothers. However, who knew? Those experts that had once crisscrossed the continent, that virtuous predecessor who once blanketed the capital in the radiance of the stars—how they had met and how they had battled was beyond Chen Changsheng’s understanding, and even beyond his imagination.
The baby peng passed through the terrifying dimension cracks, and flew back in front of the main entrance of the mausoleum.
Chen Changsheng stared into its eyes and did not say anything. It understood, its eyes became gloomy and it thought, this is a transaction. Since I have already completed my part, just why should I continue to help you? Also, the way you look at her is lifeless. If I can’t fly out in time, what will happen?
Yes, it was still a little too late.
The stone pillars no longer flaked rocks, and the Heavenly Tome Monoliths no longer gave off clear light. The distant and ancient Qi had been retracted back into the black rock once again, but the world of the Garden of Zhou was already riddled with gaping wounds. The countless storms of energy continued to rip apart the sea of grass and mountain ranges. Most terrifyingly, the sky continued to collapse without stopping. The monsters in the grassland seemed to feel a sliver of a chance to survive, and currently ran wildly in the direction away from the mausoleum as if their life depended on it. However, the mountain ranges far away had also already collapsed. Who knew whether they could escape before the world was destroyed?
Chen Changsheng turned around and looked at Xu Yourong.
Xu Yourong already felt the changes that occurred outside, and her gaze on him was full of shock.
Zhou Dufu arranging eleven Heavenly Tome Monoliths into a formation was something she could understand. She had told Chen Changsheng how the problem could be solved, but she had not thought that Chen Changsheng would actually be able to solve the problem. It caused her to be very shocked, and even slightly at a loss—why would he have a Heavenly Tome Monolith?
It was just that she could not say that in time, so she did not say anything.
The Heavenly Tome Monoliths quieted down. They needed to seize the moment and leave, leave together.
However, Chen Changsheng did not think like that. He looked at the Garden of Zhou that was on the brink of destruction and said, “You go first.”