Long Live The Emperor!

Chapter 14

Scriptures On The Left Hand, Demonic Halberd On The Right

The snowy night was silent. Even Xia Xiaosu, who had earlier come to deliver mutton soup for supper, had returned to her room to sleep. However, the candlestick in the library loft held bright for the rest of the night, and Xia Ji spent the entire night poring over book after book.

The next morning, he did not bother to rest and immediately brought a small entourage and headed for the mansions of a few nobles.

At each location, he headed straight for the owner’s libraries and cooped himself there for eight to ten hours. He picked up things here and there, and stayed until he found most of the books he wanted.

It was already dawn on the third day after he finished visiting three mansions.

The snow continued to fall crazily and the Seventh Imperial Prince, who was the only royalty left within the Imperial Capital, wrapped himself up in fox furs and walked through the streets of the Imperial City, passing by the common folk who were still unaware of what was about to happen. He walked toward the sealed-up Imperial Palace.

He returned to the palace and slept until noontime. After having lunch with Xia Xiaosu, he went to the Imperial Armory and opened the door. It was in a chaotic condition. Everything had been turned over in a great mess and the more valuable weapons had already been taken away. Whatever that was left was either too heavy or were deemed too ordinary.

The guards waited outside the door and echoing footsteps could be heard coming from the Imperial Armory.

The eunuch in charge of the armory followed carefully behind the young Imperial Prince with his hands tucked in his sleeves. The Imperial Prince was now the master of the Imperial Palace.

Every time the Imperial Prince stopped, he would quickly provide a detailed explanation of the weapon in front of the Imperial Prince.

Xia Ji asked, “Which were the most powerful weapons previously kept in the armory?”

The armory eunuch quickly explained, “There are three weapons that were known as Immortal Weapons, which are the Xuanyuan Dragon Sword, Juque Tranquility Spear, and the Great Darkness Halberd.”

“Were they all taken?”

“Reporting to the Seventh Imperial Prince, the Great Darkness Halberd was not taken.”

“Why was that?”

“It’s because of the misfortune it brings when carried. This is a demonic halberd capable of corrupting people. Legend has it that this halberd had caused a bloodbath a few hundred years ago and was later sealed and suppressed within the Imperial Palace, but its demonic energy was not diminished because of it. Rather, it has strengthened.”

“So, it has been abandoned here. Why is it known as a demonic halberd?”

“Legend says that this halberd was the power to corrupt the hearts and minds of men, rendering them mentally disturbed. All but one of its past owners had ended up losing their minds. The one who had been exempted had cut off his vital energy circulation, destroyed his martial arts, and spent the rest of his life with an oil lamp before Buddha’s statue, which spared him from the tragedy.”

“Take me to it.”

The armory eunuch led the way and soon they arrived at a corner of the armory.

There was a stone coffin in the corner. There was nothing placed within ten feet of the stone coffin, which laid isolated in empty space.

The eunuch scurried forward toward it and pushed the coffin open with all his strength, and it revealed a huge halberd with double crescents lying quietly within. It was eighteen feet long with a form that struck a resemblance to the legendary Heavenly Designed Halberd [TN: Heavenly Designed Halberd or Fang Tian Hua Ji refers to a beautifully or colorfully designed halberd that had been helmed by legendary heroes featured in stories such as Romance in the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin], although this halberd was completely black and had a strange and curious aura about it. Just being close to it could make you feel like the air had chilled rapidly and could make a person’s hair stand on end.

The armory eunuch felt a wave of terror in his heart. He felt like he was being stared at by a man-eating demon from the darkness by just looking at the black halberd. The fear instinctively propelled him to move forward and close the coffin.

He had just taken a step forward when Xia Ji suddenly raised his hand to stop him. “Who says you can touch it?”

The armory eunuch immediately said, “Seventh Imperial Prince, this is a weapon of misfortune, anyone who even sees it will suffer a …”

Before he could finish, Xia Ji had bent over to pick up this black halberd.

His fingers wrapped tightly around its handle.

The strange and curious dark energy suffused from between his fingers and penetrated his skin. Some of that energy slithered onto him like a long snake, crawling from his arm to his neck, making it all the way up to between his eyes.

However, it took only a moment for the tendrils of energy to retreat suddenly, as if they had been electrocuted, and they seeped back into the black halberd.

Xia Ji had mastered the ninth level of Trailokya Dhyana. In the spiritual world, he was just like a walking Buddha. Let alone the demonic energy emanating from this demonic weapon, even if he were to take a stroll amidst demonic energy, or take a nap within it, he would never be corrupted.

He lifted the black halberd. The dark energy surrounding the halberd slithered around the weapon like a demonic snake, constricting it. The darkness yearned to crawl up the arms of this young prince, but it did not dare to and it slowed down significantly.

Xia Ji gave it some thought and said, “I shall take this weapon.”

The armory eunuch was so frightened by this that he momentarily forgot his status and quickly urged, “Don’t do it, you really shouldn’t do it, this…”

Xia Ji cocked his head to the side and the eunuch shut his mouth from just one look. He swallowed and stepped two steps back in fear. He wondered what he should do to talk this stubborn Imperial Prince out of it.

They were deep into winter, but the eunuch felt himself sweating all over as he kept raising his sleeves to wipe the sweat off his forehead.

Xia Ji did not comment on this but asked immediately, “Are there any demonic armors that are sealed away? If so, take me to them.”

The Imperial armory had many treasures kept within it. The Imperial Emperor would surely not have taken demonic weapons or arms of misfortune along with him when he retreated. Naturally, they would be left behind, or rather, for lack of a better word, they were abandoned by him.

The armory eunuch led the way and they soon arrived at an obscure and hidden corner. A set of beast-themed chain armor hung on an iron rack at the corner. The beast’s eyes were shut tight, revealing only a narrow slit. Only two chilling glows could be vaguely seen if viewed from afar.

The chain armor was bounded by fourteen chains inscribed with golden Sanskrit. It looked to be a Buddhist instrument used for sealing.

Xia Ji raised his hand to grab the binding chain, crushing it forcefully.

Before he could utilize his full strength, the golden Sanskrit on the chains came to life, swarming toward him like numerous tadpoles. At that moment, a golden light dazzled, as if to defend itself against this enemy who was ‘attacking’ them.

The armory eunuch immediately voiced out at this. He wanted to put a stop to this young Imperial Prince’s insanity. “Seventh Imperial Prince, this is a Buddhist chain that was created by many holy monks in Buddhist ceremonies. Even trying to break it with an Immortal Weapon won’t make it budge, much less any attempts to crush it. Why don’t we just look at other armors?”

However, Xia Ji was not convinced by the eunuch at all. He suddenly gave a gesture of courtesy and respect with his left hand and a Buddhist light shone all over him, the Zen within him suddenly escalating. He reached out his right hand once again. It grew eighteen times its normal size. Each growth represented a level of hell and the eighteen became one. This was the Eighteen Levels of Hell Suppression form. He grabbed the chain once again with a smile on his face.

The golden Sanskrit seemed to be spellbound by this Buddha’s intention and eventually evaporated.

Following that, Xia Ji crushed the chains one by one with ease right in front of the eyes of the panicking eunuch.

Ding, ding, ding!

The chains with the golden Sanskrit broke one by one. The golden light enveloping them vanished immediately and they were reduced to pieces of metallic iron that fell heavily onto the ground.

As the last chain was snapped, a chilling wind rose within the armory. The demonic armor burst into life like a miniature black, raging sun. Dark smoke filled the air as the candle lights in the room and the sunlight shining in from outside the room extinguished completely.

The armory eunuch could no longer hold in the fear within him as he gave a terrified scream and made a panicked run for it. He tumbled halfway through his escape, but continued clamoring toward the outside world with every ounce of strength in him. His tears flowed freely and he even wet his pants, but he no longer felt anything.

Xia Ji stood where he was alone, his palms cutting through the darkness as he gently caressed the demonic armor. The dark demonic energy flooded outward like a burst water reservoir. The demonic energy capable of corrupting heart and mind had now engulfed his entire body.

However, all the young Imperial Prince did was to continue smiling.

It was like Buddha smiling with a flower in his hand while at the Immortal’s abode.

The heart of a Buddha should be bare. That means a Buddha could not come into contact with any flowers nor be stained by materialistic notions. Since the heart of the Buddha is bare, where in his world would there be flowers, where would there be materialistic notions? The immaterial is the material, the material is also the immaterial. Nothing exists within his world, so how would dust settle upon him?

That was why Buddha was able to smile while holding onto a flower while the monks who observed the commandments could not understand the meaning behind this. All they could do was deliberate it deeply. Kassapa was the only one who smiled at this, which was why Kassapa inherited the teachings.

At that moment, Xia Ji was standing amidst the thickening demonic energy, but his mental state of mind remained the same. He possessed the Trailokya Dhyana and according to the principles of Buddhist law, he had long overcome the abyss of misery.

This was an extremely polarized contradiction. If there was obsession within, one would not be able to attain enlightenment, therefore one could not overcome the abyss of misery. Yet, he had managed to overcome it, but somehow still possessed a huge obsession within him. It was because he was not deeply obsessed, yet at the same time was unrestricted from his deep obsession. His heart was rendered with obsession and the obsession was one with his heart, that was why there was obsession within him, and also none within him at the same time. His heart and mind were free from the corruption of the world’s dust.

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