Chapter 20: The odd metal tablet
Having the same fate as Ye Jing’s fleshly body, Ye Jing’s belongings were entirely relegated to scrap.
Even the low-grade artifacts on his body were also swallowed up into the abyss. The only things had had managed to escape destruction were the abnormal red ring, and the strange metal plate that had fallen into the hands of Yan Zhaoge.
Massaging the metal plate, Yan Zhaoge thought to himself: “This item is definitely not simple.”
Also, the seed of Li Flame True Fire had finally fallen into his hands, a fact that in and of itself made the trip to the Sealing Dragon Abyss worthwhile.
While protecting the crowd of disciples and convening with his black-clothed bodyguards, Yan Zhaoge and his men faced towards the roiling Sealing Dragon Abyss and mustered all there energy to shield the cliff face.
After what seemed like an interminable wait, the violent storm of energy gradually began to die down.
The disciples who were being shielded were able to come out, involuntarily let out sighs of relief. The chaotic streams of baleful qi upending space, even though they was not in the very depths of the abyss, was still able to completely transform heaven and earth.
Yan Zhaoge spoke out: “After these unexpected events, you disciples are not suited to stay in the Sealing Dragon Abyss. This time’s mission; the part pertaining to you can be considered complete. Let us depart from this place.”
The other disciples immediately nodded their heads in affirmation.
Everything that happened before was sudden and unexpected, making most people feel like they were unable to regain their bearings. Even now, many of them felt muddleheaded from all the things that happened.
Even though within the Broad Creed Mountain there was no shortage of Martial Grandmaster level experts, this crowd of young disciples had never been so closely involved with a struggle between two Martial Grandmasters.
After experiencing an event that had expanded the scope of their worldview so much, many of them still had lingering fears.
Ye Jing’s unfortunate demise had also left a shadow of grief on the whole affair.
Yan Zhaoge cast a glance at them: “Junior apprentice-brother Ye this time unfortunately encountered a big disaster. His fate is unknown, but I have great faith that he is not someone to die prematurely. I trust that he may be able to turn this disaster into good fortune.”
On hearing these words, the others were slightly startled. They had only seen Ye Jing fall into the abyss as a result of the Crimson Spirit Flags elder’s attack, but later, were unable to see anything clearly due to the black mist and were only able to faintly hear some sounds.
Yan Zhaoge faintly nodded his head: “Speaking of brother Ye’s life or death at this time is still too early.”
The surrounding disciples all let out a breath of air. Though normally, most of Ye Jing’s relationships with them could be said to be mediocre at most, at this time, no one held their past relationships against him.
However, that feeling of being helpless and waiting for death that they had felt before a Martial Grandmaster’s attack had caused all of them to become closer in the face of the great calamity.
At this moment, almost all of them had put their trust in Yan Zhaoge. On hearing him say that Ye Jing might yet return from the dead, all of them felt relieved.
Yan Zhaoge continued: “However, when that Martial Grandmaster suddenly appeared and declared himself to be sworn brothers with junior apprentice-brother Ye, it was quite unanticipated.”
The crowd of disciples took this moment to think back on the matter. Examining their memories, they too felt that this matter was almost inconceivable.
Sikong Qing’s gaze wavered slightly for an instant, but it was instantly caught by Yan Zhaoge: “Junior apprentice-sister Sikong seems to know something?”
“That person, surnamed Han, has a grievance with the Eastern Tang Principal Elder Yan. His temper is irascible and violent, while his martial skills seem to be demonic and tyrannical in nature. That Martial Grandmaster, if I haven’t remembered incorrectly, should be the “Ghost Hatchet Elder”, Han Sheng.
Yan Zhaoge spoke: “The Elder you spoke of has already been missing for many years, and also had great enmity with Elder Yan. That he would suddenly appear in the vicinity of the Eastern Tang is a matter of great import.”
Sikong Qing stayed silent for a moment, then responded: “I previously came to the Eastern Tang in my travels, and visited the neighboring Sealing Dragon Abyss. While in the mountain range around the abyss, I suddenly lost consciousness.”
“Afterwards, it was Ye Jing, who had yet to the join the sect,who saved me. However, regarding the matter of the Ghost Hatchet Elder, I really don’t know anything else.”
“However, that time’s foe was an expert at the boundary of the martial scholar realm. With his strength, it would have been impossible for junior apprentice-brother Ye to save me, leaving me to wonder how we escaped. I was always puzzled as that this matter, but it was difficult for me to probe further, so I just ascribed it to be the will of heaven.”
Yan Zhaoge inclined his head, and did not continue his questioning: “Junior apprentice-sister Sikong’s words; I can trust them. Seeing as you are also in the dark on this matter, then we’ll have to wait until we find junior apprentice-brother Ye until we can shed light on this issue. However, these matters will have to be accurately reported back to the sect, meaning that this issue is no longer just a private one between the two of you.”
Sikong Qing responded: “I understand.”
The party finally emerged with great difficulty from the Sealing Dragon Abyss. The young disciples, upon seeing the light of the sky again, burst into cheers.
Yan Zhaoge slapped a sound transmission tablet and rendezvoused with a middle-aged black clothed man. Together, they sent out a multitude of communications while the crowd of disciples waited at their current location.
Very quickly, Ah Hu was the first to hurry over. After him, a number of other cultivators also rushed over. Among them, there were the Broad Creed Mountain cultivators dispatched to guard the Eastern Tang, as well as member of the Eastern Tang army.
On seeing him, Ah Hu practically flung himself towards Yan Zhaoge, only stopping himself at the last moment in consideration of all the other people who were present. Instead, he hugged Yan Zhaoge’s leg while weeping bitter tears: “Ah, Young Master, it is the heavens’ joy that you are uninjured!”
Yan Zhaoge responded: “If I had a problem, then you could follow your desires and stuff you face until bloated into a yeasty bun, and it still wouldn’t concern me.”
Ah Hu scratched his head and gave a foolish smile: “I wouldn’t dare, wouldn’t dare.”
Yan Zhaoge asked: “Elder Yan, Han Sheng, and that Crimson Spirit Flag Master?”
Ah Hu straightforwardly responded: “Elder Yan and the Ghost Hatchet Elder were fighting on and off, an have headed off towards the east. The Crimson Spirit Flag Master immediately fled after making his move, but we have some people chasing after him. The most recent news from that front hasn’t made its way back yet.”
Yan Zhaoge nodded, waited for the other disciples to organize. Clarifying the correct path to take, they headed away from the Sealing Dragon Abyss.
The direction they were headed was towards a city called the Overlooking Abyss City. There, they planned to rest for a short while as they made arrangements for the longer journey back to the sect. The Eastern Tang was the part of the East Heaven region that was farthest east, and the Overlooking Abyss City was the easternmost frontier in the Eastern Tang.
This city was the Eastern Tang’s first line of defense against the Sealing Dragon Abyss, meaning that it was very rough and unrefined.
However, because of the treasures that could be found in the Sealing Dragon Abyss, a large number of adventurous martial artists would pass through the town. As such, a portion of the business transactions would occur within the town, eventually causing a fairly large marketplace to form.
Of course, the experts that dared to enter the Sealing Dragon Abyss either possessed an unordinary cultivation base or were bloodthirsty individuals who lived by their blades. As such, the area within the city was quite disorderly.
Not only did the Eastern Tang Kingdom guard the city, Broad Creed Mountain also had a specialized garrison manning the city. These troops simultaneously protected the city from dangers originating from the abyss, while also ensuring public order within the city and protecting the earnings of the marketplace.
As the rest of the disciples settled down for the night, Yan Zhaoge was carefully examining the odd metal plate he had obtained.
From the looks of the marks on the plate, they were some sort of characters.
“For the people of this era, this can be considered to be very old and cryptic, but it is definitely something that was manufactured after the Great Calamity had already occurred.” Yan Zhaoge lightly furrowed his brows: “This language should have originated not too long after the Great Calamity. Considering the archived knowledge reserves that I have, this is the perfect situation.”
Yan Zhaoge rolled his eyes up, only showing the whites of his eyes, and sat still in concentration.
“Nonetheless, it seems like this pattern really does resemble blood vessels…”
The small metal tile was roughly half the size of his palm. Yan Zhaoge racked his brains as he traced the underlying pattern, as he deeply pondered: “It somewhat resembles one of the languages that existed before the Great Calamity, which is easy to consult. However, it also adheres to a pattern of blood vessels.”
Gently rapping the metal tile with his hand, Yan Zhaoge slowly began to comprehend: “Numerous… Dragon…Ancient…Cold…Rebel…Scales…”