Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 81
Chapter 81: The Script That Must Not Be Heard
Translator: Myriea Editor: Nou
A seclusion of life or death. Once entered, the result could only be one or the other.
Normally speaking, one would choose to go into a life-or-death seclusion when they hoped to break through an entire stage and increase their lifespan. Without Poji Pellets for their level, however, and without any scripts or manuals for the next stage, such a breakthrough was often at times impossible;out of a hundred of those that choose such a seclusion, almost none of them come out. Those who had successfully completed such a seclusion by breaking through only existed in stories and legends.
All things aside, the only good thing about such a seclusion was that no one would know whether the person inside was alive or dead, and the uncertainty would keep eager enemies at bay for quite some time. This was usually the last thing a powerful cultivator could do for the sake of their sect or clan.
In fact, most people believed that the Qing-Yun Sect's supreme elder Taoist Yuhe had already passed on. Since Taoist Yuhe had announced his life-or-death seclusion only eight years ago, however, no one could know for certain and they could only assume he was still alive. For cultivators, this was another form of departure from life, where they would slowly be forgotten rather than have their death announced and mourned in the mortal realm.
Such life-or-death seclusions would typically have an upper limit of one hundred years. If a person did not come out of their seclusion within a hundred years, the sect master would then add an extra furnace of incense for them at the Ancestral Hall, and most of the younger generations within the sect would have long forgotten the person by then.
’’So the purpose behind gathering us all here today...?’’ the sect master Chen Xuanhua questioned in a heavy tone.
Bai Qianzhang smiled. ’’Of course it's to tell you some of my studies and knowledge so that there can be something left from me at the Qing-Yun Sect.’’
Upon hearing this, Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao and the rest of the elders were at first startled, but their expressions soon filled with joy. All five of them bowed and replied in unison, ’’We shall listen carefully to dear Shishu's teachings.’’
Bai Qianzhang sighed and slowly began to recite, ’’The Script of Ravaged Tapestry. To steal luck, to convert into the skills of the heavens, to utilize the spells of the earth, to ’’
Bai Qianzhang's voice was calm, yet in the ears of Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao and the elders, it was as loud as thunder. ’’Block your ears!’’ Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao commanded with widened eyes, interrupting mid-speech.
All four of the chief elders blocked their ears and flew back just as Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao had ordered them to. They stopped in the air some three miles away, looking at Bai Qianzhang with alarm. Bai Qianzhang himself immediately stopped talking and quietly sat at the same location as before.
Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao was the first person to break the silence some time later. ’’Shishu Bai, you arrived at our Qing-Yun Sect five hundred years ago, and ever since the previous sect master, everyone here has treated you as our most important guest. Why... why are you... why do you want to bring us harm?’’ he asked bitterly.
Bai Qianzhang sighed once more. ’’It was you who always wanted me to leave all my knowledge with the sect. Why then would this be trying to harm you?’’
Chen Xuanhua sighed as well. ’’This... this Script of Ravaged Tapestry must be a secret manual from a powerful clan. Our small Qing-Yun Sect does not dare to long for such techniques, for if anyone were to find out about it, it would be the end of our entire sect. Such knowledge... we Qing-Yun Sect do not need it.... We we dare not....’’
It was only after some time had passed that Bai Qianzhang finally spoke, ’’In that case, when I read the manual for the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing, I made some slight alterations to push it into the upper-tier rank. I shall leave this with the sect as a form of compensation....’’
After letting go of a long breath, Chen Xuanhua answered with politeness, ’’If that is the case, thank you, Shishu Bai!’’ With this, Chen Xuanhua called over the chief elder of Duanzhen Valley who had been hiding miles away before he then decided to call the rest of them over as well. He did this to remove any suspicions he had heard Bai Qianzhang's Script of Ravaged Tapestry and reveal Bai Qianzhang had left behind something completely different.
Once that was over, Chen Xuanhua began to speak with eagerness, ’’Shishu Bai, about the disciple by the name of Fang Xing ’’
Bai Qianzhang shook his head and interrupted, ’’I had originally intended for him to learn all my knowledge once he'd stabilized his foundations, but this child is extremely stubborn and unruly. He could not take in any of my advice and always used all sorts of excuses, although he picked up all sorts of shortcuts and useless skills extremely quickly. In the end, I was unable to pass my knowledge on to him;all three of these years have been a waste. Sect master, if the Qing-Yun Sect has an extremely talented disciple....’’
Chen Xuanhua was startled and awkwardly smiled. ’’I believe they should forgo the opportunity. They are not lucky enough for such great fortune.’’ Any man with cleverness would know what to say in situations like this, and to be sitting in the seat of the sect master showed that Chen Xuanhua was not an idiot. If the script Bai Qianzhang wanted to leave behind was that of the Ancient grade, he would happily take it in for himself. Even if the script was that of the divine grade, as long as he didn't know where it had come from, he would still be willing to learn it from Bai Qianzhang despite the risk of the information being leaked and causing chaos for the Qing-Yun Sect. But if it was a divine-grade script from a well-established clan, on the other hand...
It was out of the question! Learning such a thing would only lead to trouble! Not only could such a thing not be learned, but it could not even be listened to! One had to maintain a clear distance from such scripts and techniques;such things could only be considered safe when they were unseen.
’’If that's the case, I shall begin my life-or-death seclusion. All my friends in all these lands, I shall henceforth bid my goodbye.’’ With a long sigh, Bai Qianzhang waved the sleeve of his robe and folded his arm behind his back before slowly walking towards the inside of his cave estate.
’’There is no need for Shishu to be in such a mood. As we say, there is nothing in this world that is absolute. By going into seclusion, Shishu has the chance to seek the true path of immortality and finally break into rebirth by extending your lifespan. By then, all of us shall await the return of Shishu....’’ Chen Xuanhua spoke with genuine sincerity as he bowed.
The remaining four chief elders also bowed deeply to see Ban Qianzhang off. A thud of the stone door signaled the cave's closure, and even though the boundary was only a door's width, it was the difference between the ninth level of heaven and the tenth level of hell. It was as though the white-haired youth had forever disappeared.
’’Shixiong Sect Master, we ’’ Chief Elder Qin'nyao from the Danxia Valley began.
’’Speak after we return to the main peak!’’ Chen Xuanhua interrupted. He left for the main peak of Qing-Yun while the four chief elders followed behind shortly after.
’’Shidi Rukuang, please bring the boy here,’’ Chen Xuanhua quietly asked after he had sat down, his hand supporting his chin. The black-haired elder with the name Tie Rukuang was the chief elder of Duanzhen Valley and also the same person who had been playing Weiqi with Bai Qianzhang. He left to carry out the orders of the sect master.
’’Shixiong Sect Master, Shishu Bai couldn't have really passed the Script of Ravaged Tapestry to him, right?’’ Danxia Valley Chief Elder Qin'nyao asked.
’’I hope not. Otherwise, we Qing-Yun cannot have him around any longer!’’
Qin'nyao furrowed her brows. ’’Shixiong Sect Master, I actually believe ’’
Chen Xuanhua suddenly interrupted her and swept his gaze across the hall at all of the remaining chief elders. ’’Dear Shidi and Shimei, please do not feel that I'm being too cautious on this matter. You have to understand that the reason the Qing-Yun Sect has such a long history is because of our secluded location and our low profile in this realm. To be smooth and steady is a blessing for us;if we are too ambitious and plunge ourselves into the muddled waters of those more powerful... we might not even know how we have died when we do. This world is too vast....’’
Chief Elder Qin'nyao nodded in silence and moved to the side.
Fang Xing soon arrived. He was not fearful even in the face of the highest-ranked elders of the Qing-Yun Sect, and his gaze flickered among all of the items inside
’’Child, come here,’’ Chen Xuanhua called Fang Xing over and asked in a gentle manner, ’’In the past three years, what have you learned from Shishu Bai?’’
Fang Xing rolled his eyes. ’’I've learned lots! I was very diligent!’’
Chen Xuanhua paused for a few seconds before continuing, ’’Such as?’’
Fang Xing smiled. ’’Slaying beasts and demons. In the three years we traveled, I've killed no less than a hundred beasts....’’
Chen Xuanhua paused once more before continuing, ’’Did Shishu Bai teach you any techniques or skills?’’
With such an answer, Chen Xuanhua immediately tensed while the three chief elders looked on with eagerness. ’’What was it?’’ Chen Xuanhua quickly asked.
’’Blue-Flame Grand Smithing....’’
Everyone inside the room looked at each other in dismay before Chen Xuanhua continued his questioning, ’’There wasn't anything else?’’
Fang Xing thought about it carefully before answering, ’’Nope....’’
It wasn't a lie. Aside from the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing, Bai Qianzhang truly had not taught Fang Xing any other skills;the True Samadhi Fire was obtained from the [Decapitation's Portrayal], not through Bai Qianzhang.
After some thought of his own, Chen Xuanhua placed his palm on Fang Xing's shoulder and spoke in a deep voice, ’’Circulate your strongest Qi for me.’’
Fang Xing dared not be careless and activated his Qi for him. After Chen Xuanhua felt it, he took his palm away while nodding towards the rest of the elders with a light sigh. ’’I've once met someone from their clan, so I know the characteristics of the Script of Ravaged Tapestry. It is vicious beyond comparison, with the power to destroy all, and whether someone has studied it can thus be seen with a quick check. The Qi of this child is calm and unflustered, so this cannot be wrong.’’
The rest of the elders let out a sigh of relief, some looking relaxed while others looked somewhat regretful. Fang Xing, on the other hand, looked at them undisturbed;he was not afraid of them finding out anything.
’’You can leave for now.’’ Chen XuanhuaChen Xuanzhao then asked Tie Rukuang to take Fang Xing back before releasing another long sigh.
’’Shixiong Sect Master, what shall we do about this boy?’’ Qin'nyao asked.
Chen Xuanhua lowered his head and gathered his thoughts. ’’Let him be. Shishu Bai has just gone into seclusion, after all, and we should not interrupt him by any means. Everything we heard today including everything we've speculated on must not be leaked to anyone else, or only punishments from other sects will await.... Elder Xiao, I will have you in charge of this. If you find anyone violating what I have just said today, there will be no excuses!’’
’’Yes.’’ The emotionless answer came from a dried up and lean elderly man clad in a linen robe. This was the chief elder for the Shanhe Valley: Xiao Shanhe.