Chapter 1282: Mutual Suspicion
The so-called treasure map recorded the location of an Unknown Region. However, it didn’t say in detail which Unknown Region it was.
Zu An was surprised when he saw their reaction. He asked, “You all know about Unknown Regions?”
Right after he transmigrated to this world and unlocked the Keyboard System, it had told him that he had to gather the secret manuals in the twelve Unknown Regions.
At first, he had asked Chu Chuyan about it, but she hadn’t said a thing. She had even told him not to look into those places. However, later on when they got closer, he forgot to ask her more about the matter. The two grandmasters definitely knew more details, though.
Sure enough, Yan Xuehen explained, “By now, you have probably already realized that this world is full of secret dungeons. Such dungeons are very likely to be entirely different from our world. People have suspected that they were left behind by extraordinary ancient figures, and that they might be those individuals’ cultivation dwellings.
“Of course, there is a chance that these dungeons are connected to other worlds in the universe. Because this concept touches upon the laws of space and time, we have only been able to gain pitiful fragments of understanding.
“These dungeons often carry opportunities and great treasures, and they are very suitable for cultivators to train in. If one can keep access to a dungeon all to oneself, that often signifies the rise of a sect or clan.
“What people have all accepted to be the case is that the larger the dungeon, the more dangerous it often is. At the same time, it could mean more abundant rewards. Furthermore, there have long been some ancient legends that state that there are twelve Unknown Regions. Within them are all kinds of miraculous skills and treasures. If one obtains one of them, one might even be able to obtain eternal life.”
Zu An’s expression grew strange. Aren’t these legends a bit exaggerated? I’ve already been to quite a few of these dungeons, but they aren’t anything impossible to deal with.
Yan Xuehen naturally didn’t know what he was thinking and continued, “However, no one knows the twelve mysterious dungeons’ locations. No one even knows their names. Even so, as time went on, those blessed with fortune were occasionally able to enter them, but not a single person was able to come out alive.
“The friends and relatives of those experts searched for those dungeons through the clues that were left behind, but they were unable to find anything. It was almost as if those dungeons could move on their own, and in completely unpredictable ways. That is why they were called the Unknown Regions.”
Yun Jianyue added, “It’s not that no one was able to come out alive. A few decades ago, for the sake of immortality, the emperor Zhao Han used the entire country’s strength to search for these Unknown Regions. Later on, he happened to find out some information about an Unknown Region named Xi Qi. He sent out all of his trusted aides to search for a method of immortality in the dungeon, but those strong cultivators were entirely wiped out, and they were never heard of again.
“Only recently did we learn that a eunuch escaped alive back then, but he coveted the skill they found and wanted to take it for himself. As such, he concealed his identity while living in Brightmoon City. Unfortunately, the emperor had long since been investigating this matter, and so in the end, he still couldn't escape death.”
Afterward, the women all looked at Zu An. After all, that matter had caused a huge uproar. The emperor had even had Zu An brought to the capital.
Zu An looked a bit embarrassed as he said, “You all look as if you’re about to swallow me up or something. I’m a bit scared…”
Yun Jianyue rolled her eyes and said, “You know, you really need a good beating. We’re not even like that shitty emperor Zhao Han who's about to die. We’re just a bit curious whether those rumors were true, okay?”
Zu An nodded and replied, “It’s not too far from what you’ve said. The only inconsistency is that I don’t sense the power of immortality from the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra.”
The women all had expressions of relief when they heard the one directly involved personally dispel their doubts.
Yan Xuehen said with a sigh, “No wonder even though you are still so young, your cultivation has far exceeded all other geniuses I know of. It looks as if these Unknown Region methods are indeed quite miraculous.”
Zu An was stunned. He asked, “Is it that special? Why do I feel as if everyone around me has higher cultivation?”
Yan Xuehen choked. This guy already had everything, and yet he was still pretending he didn’t have much! She replied, “Many of those you have encountered are from the older generation. Even if they are from the same generation, they have cultivated for far longer than you.”
She had learned from her disciple that this guy had just been just an ordinary person who didn’t know how to cultivate when he first entered the Chu Manor. In just under three years, he had already reached his current level! Such speed was enough to make geniuses from ancient times look pitiful, and yet he was still unsatisfied!
“Since you really have the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra, I am even more curious as to why the emperor would spare you,” Yan Xuehen added. She had met the emperor a few times. He was always domineering, and with how overbearingly the court treated the different sects, she really didn’t like him.
Even Yu Yanluo was now curious. She had helped Zu An ask for mercy, but even she hadn’t had much confidence in herself.
“It’s because the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra’s cultivation is special, so there’s no way the emperor can restart and cultivate it. Besides, he saw the contents of the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra and decided that the immortality from the legends was fake, which is why he let me go,” Zu An said. He naturally couldn't talk about how the emperor planned to use him to mess with King Qi.
The women seemed to have suddenly understood when they heard the explanation. Only Yun Jianyue was suspicious. She asked, “Would someone like you really give the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra to that shitty emperor?”
Zu An winked, then replied with a chuckle, “What do you think?”
Yun Jianyue stirred. She was about to ask something else when Yan Xuehen interrupted her, saying in dissatisfaction, “You know what kind of cultivation the emperor has best. How could a fake manual possibly deceive him? You should not make things hard for him.”
Yun Jianyue harrumphed. “Yeah, yeah, you’re the good girl, I’m the bad one.”
After they talked for a while longer, their attention quickly returned to the map. Yan Xuehen and Yun Jianyue were well-versed in various fields, but they were still completely stumped by the different markings on the map, as if they had never seen such terrain before. If they didn’t even know where the place was, there was even less of a chance that Zu An would know.
However, Yu Yanluo couldn't take her eyes off the map. She eventually said, “This seems to be a map of the area near the Fiend King Court.”
“What?!” the others all cried out in shock.
Yu Yanluo gave it another look, confirming it again. “Yes, this is a map of the Fiend King Court. Because of my Medusa lineage, I’ve spent some time researching intelligence about the fiend races. Later, in those days we spent in the Snake Race, I looked up some more information. This map indeed illustrates the mountains and rivers of the Fiend King Court.”
She subconsciously realized something after saying that and quickly said to Zu An, “Ah Zu, the Fiend King Court is too dangerous for you. The Fiend Emperor will probably take revenge for the crown prince, and he won’t let you go.”
Yan Xuehen and Yun Jianyue also advised him, “Indeed, and Unknown Regions are too dangerous. Apart from that eunuch, no one has ever been able to escape alive. Furthermore, even that eunuch didn’t meet a good ending.”
“But even though the Unknown Regions are dangerous, they’re not as ridiculous as everyone makes them sound. It’s not like I haven’t been in them before,” Zu An said, feigning modesty.
“You are still too young, so you have not really fully experienced what kind of danger they represent. Even our White Jade Sect had outstanding seniors who searched the Unknown Regions, yet in the end, they vanished without a trace,” Yan Xuehen said.
“Indeed. Our Holy Sect had some sect masters who perished in Unknown Regions too,” Yun Jianyue added.
The two grandmasters suddenly realized something halfway through their sentences. They both couldn't help but cry out at the same time, “What?! You’ve gone to Unknown Regions before?”
Zu An nodded and replied, “Yeah, did I not tell you guys?” He added inwardly, And more than one, at that.
When the women saw how he was clearly showing off, and yet was pretending to remain low-profile, they began to grit their teeth. It really did match this guy’s usual style. However, they couldn’t be bothered to deal with that. They quickly asked, “Which Unknown Regions have you gone to? Hurry and tell us your experiences!”
Their expressions were all incredibly eager. Even the usually cold and indifferent Yan Xuehen looked like a little girl who had been completely captivated.
“It’s actually not even that big of a deal, though. I just fought an ancient earth immortal, and some immortal monsters…” Zu An began. However, the more he downplayed things, the more it drove the women insane. Eventually, he gave them a rough account of his experiences; however, it was too vague and broad, so it wasn’t enough to satisfy them.
Yun Jianyue thought to herself, Could it be that he couldn't say some things because there are too many people around right now?
I guess that makes sense. This stone cold woman was trying to kill him not too long ago, and she has the huge White Jade Sect behind her. If news of this got out, it would bring him a lot of trouble. I’ll have to eventually find a chance to ask him about it at another time.
Yan Xuehen had similar thoughts. That witch’s Devil Sect uses any means, fair or foul, so he was probably worried that he might be exploited by her, right? It seems I need to find another chance to ask him in private. Even so, there was always the worry of something happening if she met him in private.
Out of the three women, only Yu Yanluo was completely calm. She could just find any time to ask him about it when they were alone.
However, she still felt a bit of a grudge. You can just tell me about these things! Why are you telling those two too? One has the White Jade Sect behind her, while the other is from the Devil Sect. They can’t make decisions purely based on their own interests.
Even though they had all been getting along recently, that didn’t mean they were really sisters. They might even sell out Zu An!