Chapter 107 – 《World Ode of the Phoenix – Fragment》 (2)
Yun Che was shocked to find that the interior was actually a flat stone chamber after going through the seal formation. The stone chamber was unnaturally spacious and measured at least a hundred meters long and wide. Not to mention just two hundred people, it could easily fit even ten times of that. Both sides of the stone chamber had very long stone stairs and it seemed as if there was another floor above. There was a long walkway to the front of the stone chamber which was approximately a few dozen meters in length. At the end of the hall, there was a gently rotating red-colored seal formation that was identical to the seal outside.
The seal entrance could cut off sight, but it wasn’t soundproof. The howls of the Black Demon Mercenaries outside continuously floated in.
“Blow up this formation!” This was Black Demon’s voice.
Following which, a series of light crashing sounds were carried in from outside, and a sound like the squealing of a dying pig suddenly rang out. “AH! FIRE! My hand’s on fire. AHHHHHH~~~”
“Get back! All of you, get back! Damn it! With such a strange seal formation, some sort of heavenly treasure must be hidden within! All of you, take shifts and keep watch here! I refuse to believe that they won’t ever come out!”
Even though they had reached a safe sanctuary, the shadow of fear still loomed upon everyone in the Phoenix clan and chatter that came from outside threw them into even greater despair. Yun Che furrowed his eyebrows, and said to Lan Xueruo after a long while of contemplating, “Senior Sister, how much longer until your Giant Snow Eagle awakens.”
Lan Xueruo shook her head, worrying: “I have no idea either. What Little Snow has exhausted this time is not merely strength, but also its vitality. She might need a long while before she will wake; maybe a week, maybe a month… or perhaps even longer.”
“If it wakes up, how many people can it carry in one go?”
“Ten people should not be a problem.” Lan Xueruo spoke.
“Ten people….” Looking at the crowd of over two hundred people in the stone chamber, his eyebrows furrowed closer and closer together. Were the Giant Snow Eagle to awaken, he could easily escape with Lan Xueruo without any problems. But he believed, with Lan Xueruo’s temperament and disposition, she would definitely not leave these people to fend for themselves… Even though she was not responsible in the slightest, for their survival.
“In the end, we had hide out here. Hopefully, we won’t offend the phoenix’s divine spirit.” Feng Baichuan stood at the entrance of the hole with face filled with gloom and frustration, as well as grief and helplessness.
“At least your lives are temporarily saved. The phoenixes are divine spirits, they can’t possibly fault you for something like this.” Yun Che said as he walked to Feng Baichuan’s side.
“I hope this is so.” Feng Baichuan heaved another sigh, “For all these years, our clan had always known our place and kept to ourselves. With all caution, we’ve never dared to do anything that might anger the phoenix’s spirit, as we’ve been simply too afraid to. Who would’ve thought that we’d still end up doing so today…. And even so, this can only be our temporary haven; you’ve heard the voices of those villains as well. They are obviously going to keep constant watch at the entrance of the cave. There is neither food nor a water source here; we won’t be able to keep at this for long. This is especially true for the children and the elderly…. Sigh.”
“If it’s food and water, I actually have some here. For two hundred people, if used sparingly, it should be able to sustain you for two weeks or so.” Yun Che said.
“You?” Feng Baichuan looked towards Yun Che, an expression of disbelief on his face. Yun Che clearly appeared neat and tidy and had nothing on him, how could he possibly have enough food and water to sustain two hundred people for more than ten days?
Yun Che didn’t bother to waste time explaining; with a touch of his left hand, he placed six cyan-colored spatial rings into Feng Baichuan’s hands. These spatial rings were also taken from Xiao Sect’s treasury as well. They were filled with water and all sorts of food. Evidently, the treasury had not only been regarded by the Xiao Branch Sect as a storage area for valuable items, but also as a shelter in case of emergencies. The security measures in front of the treasury were immensely difficult to breach. Therefore, if an accident were to occur, they could escape to the treasury as the food and water specially stored there would be enough to last them for a while, enough to tide them over the disaster.
After inspecting the spatial rings for a while, his face revealed an expression of happiness and surprise. At this time, Yun Che’s voice came from beside him, “Clan leader Feng, there are some issues I don’t quite understand. Your clan is one of the Phoenix’s bloodline, and the Phoenix is a primordial divine beast. Those of the phoenix’s bloodline are far more noble and powerful than those of mortal blood, but why have you been unable to break through even the Elementary Profound Realm? I remember you mentioning a ‘curse’ once, could it be that this is related to that curse?”
Feng Baichuan was shocked, and didn’t speak for a long while.
“I have been too presumptuous. This should be your clan’s secret, I shouldn’t probe too far.” Yun Che said immediately upon seeing Feng Baichuan fall into silence.
“No!” Feng Baichuan shook his head, and laughed self-deprecatingly, “What sort of clan secret does this count as? It is only the punishment and retribution we have to suffer.”
“Punishment? Retribution?” Yun Che was surprised.
Feng Baichuan closed his eyes lightly, and spoke as his expression turned somber, “The phoenix is a primordial divine beast. It had descended upon the Profound Sky Continent long ago before in order to leave its fire in the Profound Sky Continent, and has hence left many trial grounds. Those who went through the trial could inherit its bloodline, and this bloodline was something that could be inherited by their future generations. Hence, the clan of the Phoenix was born. According to the recounting of our ancestors, the phoenix had left two trial grounds in the Profound Sky Continent. One of them was at the far away Divine Phoenix Empire, and the other was right here. The only difference was that the one in the Divine Phoenix Empire was known by all, and has formed the incomparably powerful ‘Divine Phoenix Sect’, whereas this ground in the Blue Wind Empire had gone unnoticed by all and was unintentionally discovered by our ancestors. No one would have thought that this desolate and dangerous Ten Thousand Beast Mountain, actually had a ruin left by a primordial divine beast of the primordial era.”
“So what you’re saying is that this is only one of those trial grounds, and isn’t any sort of treasure, contrary to the beliefs of those villainous thieves outside?” Yun Che tapped his chin.
“That’s right.” Feng Baichuan nodded: “Our ancestors had passed the trial here back then. At that time, the ‘Divine Phoenix Sect’ in the Divine Phoenix Empire had already become Divine Phoenix Empire’s protector sect, and their influence reached the heavens. Even the empire’s name was changed to ‘Divine Phoenix’. The trial ground there had also become the Divine Phoenix Sect’s restricted area of the highest level, where only the disciples of the highest grade were granted entry. Even more so, their phoenix bloodline has become their greatest pride and honor. If they were to catch wind of the fact that the phoenix bloodline had appeared in another place, what we’d be courting might be ruin and destruction instead of brotherly bonding.”
Yun Che secretly nodded, concurring with him. The Divine Phoenix Empire had originally been named the Grand Asura Kingdom. However, after the Divine Phoenix Sect rose to power and provided support for the new imperial family, even the name of the empire had been changed to Divine Phoenix Empire. Therefore, the phoenix bloodline had become the sole symbolism of the Divine Phoenix Empire’s glory. If they had really found out about the existence of another phoenix bloodline, they would definitely take any measures necessary to get rid of it.
“After passing the trial, our ancestors began to pass on the phoenix bloodline, generation after generation. By the time it had reached the twelfth generation, they had already flourished into a Sect of great prowess, but had never openly titled themselves as a clan of the Phoenix and they had continually hidden the mark of the Phoenix on their foreheads in front of others. However, in that generation, one of the ancestors fought with someone using the power of the phoenix and monstrous flames accidentally spread to a small town, scorching all thirty two thousand innocent lives within.
Yun Che: “….
“A monstrous crime of this extent incited the fury of the phoenix’s spirit at the trial ground, and a cruel punishment has befallen us. Everyone in the clan of that generation were marked with the curse’s seal in their phoenix bloodline, which suppressed the profound energy of everyone within the clan to the tenth level of the Elementary Profound Realm, never to make any progress in their lifetime. Furthermore, the phoenix’s mark turned a dark red and could no longer be concealed. It was as if this seal was a symbol to constantly remind the clansmen of the grievous crime they had committed.”
“Our ancestors had many powerful enemies. Having had their strength suppressed to such an insignificant state, they had no choice but to recede into seclusion… To their horror, they discovered afterwards that the curse was actually forcefully passed down through generations. Their children all had the Phoenix’s dark red marks on their foreheads once they were born. Similarly, throughout their entire life, their profound strength could never break through the Elementary Realm. The ancestors thought of countless of ways to resolve the curse, but it was after all, something that the Divine Phoenix Spirit had left; how could it be something that man could interfere with? To date, a thousand years have passed, but the curse still remains in our bloodline and has not gone away yet. Our clan could only hide away within Ten Thousand Beast Mountain Range and watch out for our own, praying daily to atone for our ancestors and beseech forgiveness from the Divine Phoenix Spirit.”
“Until today, our clan has deteriorated to how we are currently; even a small group of mercenaries can corner us to such a point of despair, heh…..” Feng Baichuan let out a bitter, dismayed laugh. Within his solemn tone, there tinged too much unwillingness and helpless frustration.
This was originally a clan secret that could not be revealed to outsiders, but being forced to such a miserable state today, the so-called bloodlines and the so-called clan secrets had already became a complete joke. Perhaps what these clansmen longed for most was to not have been born with the phoenix bloodline, but instead be born an ordinary person. He also suddenly understood why Feng Baichuan had not immediately brought the clan to this ruin left by the Phoenix even in the face of such enormous danger. Indeed, they were afraid. Their clan had spent a thousand years and a few dozen generations to make amends, wishing so much for forgiveness from the Phoenix’s spirit that they did so even when dreaming; how would they dare to do anything that might even be the least bit disrespectful to the Divine Phoenix Spirit?
He turned around, stared at the red seal matrix on the pathway, and said: “Clan leader Feng, by any chance, are the trial grounds left by the Phoenix behind that seal formation?
“That’s right.” Feng Baichuan nodded, “These two seals are what our ancestors have left us. Only those with the Phoenix bloodline are able to unseal it, as its purpose is to prevent outsiders from entering.”
In that split second, Yun Che made his decision, saying: “Then, could you open this seal for me?”
“Are you thinking of….?” Feng Baichuan glanced to his side.
“That’s right!” Yun Che nodded: “I’d like to see what sort of trial could have been left behind by a primordial divine beast like the Phoenix. Since I have a chance now, I’d naturally wish to try it.”
Feng Baichuan did not turn him down immediately, but asked instead, “Little brother, what is your level of current Profound strength?”
“First level of the Nascent Profound Realm.” Yun Che replied honestly.
“Definitely not!!” Disappointment slipped into Feng Baichuan’s expression and he adamantly refused: “It’s not that I’m unwilling to let you in. It’s just that…. back then, when the ancestors were going through the training of the Phoenix, their profound strength had already been at the Spirit Profound Realm, and they also possessed fire attribute profound skills. Even so, they had only managed to obtain the Phoenix’s blood and Divine Phoenix Pellet after enduring the extremely harsh trial. There were also some ancestors who had gone through training and obtained the Divine Phoenix Pellet later, but none of these ancestors had a profound cultivation lower than the Spirit Profound Realm.”
“After the bloodline’s curse fell upon us, nobody had ever passed the trial again. Nobody could even pass through the first stage of the trial. After all, with only the strength of the tenth level of the Elementary Profound Realm, how could we withstand the trial of the Phoenix’s flames? And all these years, some clansmen who wanted to forcefully pass the trial have even died inside, never to come back again. With your strength at the first level of the Nascent Profound Realm, there’s absolutely no chance whatsoever of making it through the training, and your life might even be in danger.”