Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The annual rings on Su Yu’s essence wood multiplied in an explosive manner. The number of annual rings rose from 66 to 70, rapidly catching up with the jade-clothed man. They were drawing with one another once again. The difference between them now lay in the speed at which the number rose. The annual rings on Su Yu’s essence wood increased a few times faster than the jade-clothed man’s. It far exceeded his previous speed. Su Yu’s essence wood seemed like it had received a great stimulus, causing it to create a strong resonance with the remnants of memories in the essence wood.
Deputy Region Master Xiao’s face froze. Even his eyes looked stagnant and dumbfounded. He soon collected his thoughts and coldly exclaimed, “He’s cheating!”
“Humph!” A cold snort sounded in Xiao’s ears, causing his entire being to shudder. Blood spilled from the corners of his mouth, and he looked at Mo Tianxuan all of a sudden as if electrified. Mo Tianxuan sneered. “Although you have a mouth, it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you feel like.”
The Heavenly Knife Region was the one that cheated from the beginning. Now that things were not going the way they had anticipated, they were pointing the finger at Red Blood Palace, and accusing them of cheating. Mo Tianxuan had been withholding her rage and resentment since early on in the competition. How could she still be good-natured toward them now?
After taking a blow from Mo Tianxuan, Deputy Region Master Xiao stopped talking and refocused his attention on Su Yu and the jade-clothed man. The relaxed manner and ease on his face had disappeared, replaced with urgency and anxiety. He hadn’t thought that such a sure bet would go wrong!
The jade-clothed man checked on Su Yu’s progress and was shocked by what he saw. “Who on earth are you?” His opponent had mastered the entire set of Mu words, and could create resonance with the essence wood with other relevant memories. Only people who had close relations with the Mu race could do that. How did Su Yu manage it?
Su Yu did not reply. A moment later, the number of annual rings on Su Yu’s essence wood had reached up to 90. On the other hand, the jade-clothed man only had 85. The speed at which the annual rings were formed on the essence wood on both sides gradually slowed down, showing a trend of stopping. The challenge was drawing to an end, and the difference between them would now be subjected to judgment.
“It’s not over yet!” the jade-clothed man said coldly. All of a sudden, intense bright light erupted from the many jade pieces on the surface of his body. The formation of annual rings which was becoming stagnant abruptly increased by a large margin. In the blink of an eye, there were 98 annual rings in total on his essence wood, and the number kept rising. At the same time, Su Yu seemed to be exhausted. His annual rings were gradually coming to a stop.
The tense look on Deputy Region Master Xiao’s face was relieved a great deal when he saw the scene. He heaved a sigh of relief. However, the faces of the people of the Red Blood Palace had darkened once again. “What happened? Why did the essence wood in his hand increase steeply all of a sudden?” The elders were in awe and confusion.
Palace Master Mo slowly narrowed her eyes. The situation seemed to be taking a turn for the worse.
Deputy Region Master Xiao laughed softly. “You lot will never outdo him.”
After pondering things for a moment, Mo Tianxuan gave out a light snort and lashed out a strong force from her sleeve. The jade clothing on the jade-clothed man’s body was blown away soundlessly, and his true self was revealed. The elders turned to look at him, and they were all in utter stupefaction. “He’s no human!” The individual before him had the form of a human, but his facial features were dull and lacking the human touch, and his face was full of the patterns of wood. He wasn’t a human, but a Mu! Also, judging from the scent of wood element that he gave off, he came from the same origin as the essence wood! The Mu before them most probably had countless and boundless connections with the essence wood, hence it was no wonder he had numerous mutual memories with the wood.
“Is the Heavenly Knife Region making a fool of us?” Mo Tianxuan’s face was as dim and glum as dark water. Who were they kidding? Who else could create more resonance of mutual memories with the essence wood than a Mu whose origin was the same as the essence wood? From the very beginning, they had stood no chance of winning the competition. It was no wonder the man used the mysterious jade clothing to conceal himself. It was to hide his scent! Who wouldn’t be angered once they understood what was going on?
Deputy Region Master Xiao’s face changed. It froze a little, and then he regained his composure. “Palace Master Mo, before the competition began, we did not agree on prohibiting participants of the same race as the essence wood. The Heavenly Knife Region is not making a fool of you. We hope Palace Master Mo will stop your nonsense, which could blacken our image.” He quoted Mo Tianxuan’s words in his own speech, which sounded even more sarcastic.
Mo Tianxuan’s eyes were filled with murderous intent, and she was straining to hold back her temper. Indeed, they had been careless to have never thought that the Heavenly Knife Region would find a Mu. The existence of Mu in Jiuzhou was limited to the Desolate Evil Jungle. However, the Mu of the Desolate Evil Jungle had never left it in hundreds of thousands of years, let alone got involved in the conflicts of humans. It was because of their carelessness that the Heavenly Knife Region had exploited the opportunity to get in touch with a mysterious Mu.
Mo Tianxuan looked at Su Yu, and gave out a silent sigh. Su Yu had done his very best, and had eventually used mysterious methods to boost the annual rings. That was how the identity of the jade-clothed man was exposed. Regardless of the outcome, they couldn’t put the blame on him. The other elders also looked at Su Yu with understanding.
In the whole wide world, who could compete with a Mu in terms of Mu culture? Actually, to be precise, Su Yu’s mastery of Mu words had even outclassed the Mu slightly. But then the opponent had played dirty, and changed the format of the competition. Despite his defeat, Su Yu wasn’t ashamed. Still, it was a pity that the seemingly auspicious circumstances had worsened once again.
As Su Yu stared at the jade-clothed man’s true form, he was full of questions. This individual wasn’t an Ancient Bronze Tree Man. Could there be other species of Mu people in the Jiuzhou continent? Where had they come from? Right now, however, he didn’t have time to contemplate it. A Mu was competing with Su Yu to create resonance with the essence wood of his own race. Even with his two great memories, he wouldn’t be able to rival him.
I can only try the Book of First Heavens now. If I could comprehend it on a more profound level, and manage to condense that most primitive word, I might stand a chance of winning. Su Yu was determined to give it a try. Millions of Mu words were derived from that word. It created the Mu culture, and gave birth to the Mu civilization. Based on the unique feature of the Mu people, their inheritance was done through their bloodlines. There were no memories that could be compared to the inherited memories. At most, the jade-clothed man’s memories came from the interaction he had with the owner of the essence wood in its past life. Thus, his memories couldn’t be compared to the inherited ones either. As long as he succeeded in comprehending, even just a tiny little bit, he would be able to trigger resonance with the inherited memories in the bloodline of the essence wood.
With a move of his heart, Su Yu calmed himself down, as he began recalling the “Book of First Heavens” which he had browsed through. Various profound meanings of the world, from life, death, aging, illnesses, to reincarnation and destinies flowed past Su Yu’s mind like the flowing water. When the three profound meanings of time, space, and souls occurred, they formed some kind of affiliation with Su Yu, which made him feel congenial. It was as if there were faint traces of the three profound meanings existing inside Su Yu’s body.
As time passed, Su Yu had a vision. He felt as though he was a part of the intangible Heavenly Law. The bond felt like the perfect blending of water and milk, as if when a child was born.
In the spectators’ eyes, Su Yu had closed his eyes and immersed himself into meditation. In Su Yu’s eyes, he had become one with the world.
“Eh.” All of a sudden, Mo Tianxuan seemed to have sensed something as she stared at Su Yu. Judging from his outward appearance, there was nothing different about Su Yu. But intuition told her that Su Yu was experiencing an inexplicable metamorphosis from the inside out. It seemed like something had assimilated with Su Yu’s body.
After a long while, Su Yu was still wandering amidst the Heavenly Law’s Profound Meanings stated in the Book of First Heavens. Throughout this period of time, the Mu had created 130 annual rings of resonance with the essence wood. The gap between them had widened. To the spectators, it seemed that Su Yu stood no chance of catching up again.
“Palace Master Mo, you can announce the end of the competition,” Deputy Region Master Xiao said with a smile, as he heaved a long sigh of relief. He couldn’t believe his luck as he caught a glimpse of Su Yu’s annual rings, which had stopped increasing. Initially, he had thought that Su Yu was just a human who was rather adept at Mu words. He hadn’t expected him to have extra tactics of resonating with the essence wood. Luckily he had come prepared, otherwise, the Heavenly Knife Region would lose a hundred million and end up as a laughing stock.
Mo Tianxuan stared at Su Yu, and she shook her head lightly. “Not until both parties stop, Su Yuxian is still striving, so the competition isn’t over yet.”
Deputy Region Master Xiao looked at Su Yu, and shrugged nonchalantly. What’s the purpose of continuing? So much time had passed. If Su Yu really did have a way, he would have resonated with the essence wood already.
Right at that moment, Su Yu opened his eyes suddenly. There were wave patterns hovering inside his clear bright eyes. Mo Tianxuan happened to meet his eyes. All of a sudden, Mo Tianxuan’s body trembled vigorously. She felt like she had seen the universe and galaxies swirling in those eyes. Many mysterious profound meanings filled those eyes. Through those eyes, Mo Tianxuan came into a vague contact with a whole new world. However, the feeling vanished quickly as Su Yu’s eyes returned to normal. Mo Tianxuan couldn’t even recall the wonderful world that she had just felt a moment ago, as if there was some kind of intangible power blocking her from the world. Such bewilderment filled Mo Tianxuan with fascination and confusion. As she stared at Su Yu, her eyes were full of the light of curiosity. But very quickly, her attention was diverted somewhere else.
The essence wood before Su Yu which had stopped growing annual rings for a long time suddenly began trembling! Like a big fish that had been revived, it vibrated vigorously and leaped off the ground, as if coming to life. Such a peculiar scene did not only shock Mo Tianxuan, but the jade-clothed man who was a Mu was shocked as well. “What did you do?”
The essence wood wasn’t just quivering vigorously. Drops of clear liquid even gushed out from the essence wood, which contained a thick scent of vigor. One felt fresh and revitalized by taking a breath of it. Even their lifespan experienced a slight increase.
Gongsun Wuxie’s petite nose was sniffling, and then she exclaimed in awe, “It’s the Fountain of Life!” It was a spiritual liquid that could only be created by the Mu Almighty. It was the life essence of the Mu people and could only be condensed by a Mu, willingly. Any external compulsion would be of no use.
The Mu man’s pupils constricted. What happened? The essence wood even condensed the Fountain of Life by itself.
And then a scene which astonished the Mu man and the rest unfolded. The annual rings on the essence wood had begun expanding again. However, the annual rings did not increase one by one, but ten by ten. The number of them grew from 90 straight up to 100, rapidly catching up with the jade-clothed man’s.
The jade-clothed man’s face fell. He quickly placed his hand onto the essence wood, and began creating resonance again. There was an expression of shock and panic on his stiff, rigid face. Nonetheless, he had consumed the majority of his memories that could create resonance, so the growth of the annual rings was now extremely slow. Three breaths later, Su Yu overtook him with ease. Ten breaths later, when Su Yu had reached 150 annual rings, the Mu man only had 140, and his speed was close to stagnation. Another ten breaths later, Su Yu had reached 160 annual rings, while the Mu man had totally stagnated. The competition was over.
“What did you do?” The Mu man stared at Su Yu. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the essence wood on Su Yu’s palm. It wasn’t an essence wood anymore, but a foreign object that was entirely fluorescent and surging with the Fountain of Life. From the piece of essence wood, the Mu man even felt a bloodline scent that was implanted in his race. “Memories inherited through bloodline?” The Mu man’s pupils shrank as he queried as he looked at the essence wood in shock.
Su Yu slowly opened his eyes, he did not stop immediately. When the annual rings on the essence wood could not increase any longer, only did he withdraw his palm.
The essence wood fell soundlessly, and Su Yu caught hold of it. He extracted all of the Fountain of Life surging on it and placed it inside a jade vessel. In its past life, the essence wood had the Soul Energy of the Almighty level. Although the value of its Fountain of Life couldn’t be compared to Yinmu’s, it was still a precious spiritual item. Each drop could extend one’s life by dozens of years. There were at least 20 to 30 drops inside the jade vessel, and all of them had great values. Just one drop of it could be exchanged for millions of crystals.
Su Yu nodded quietly. His endeavor was all worth it now. After comprehending the Book of First Heavens, the ten thousand primitive words of the world began to take form gradually, in Su Yu’s mind. The million Mu words that he had mastered had diminished to half a million. They were gradually receding to the most primitive form, trying to reform into that very first word, the source word. It was this reformation that had triggered the resonance with the memories of the essence wood inherited by bloodline, causing the Fountain of Life to leak out on its own.
“I’m asking you, what did you actually do?” The Mu man stared at Su Yu and asked harshly, his voice resonating with shock and doubt.
Su Yu cast an indifferent look at him. “Just because you asked, does it mean I have to answer?” Turning away, Su Yu said, “Palace Master Mo, now that the competition is over, please make your judgment as soon as possible.”
His request jolted Palace Master Mo and the elders awake from their bafflement. Many of the elders still looked puzzled. Their minds couldn’t even register the joy at first. At first, they thought that it would be just a simple contest, yet it had been a series of twists and turns. At last, Su Yu had put his mysterious secret weapon to good use, and thoroughly defeated the Mu man who seemed unassailable at first. They had the illusion of being in a dreamland.
A look of approval appeared on Palace Master Mo’s grave face. “Su Yuxian, well done! You have earned a great reward for our palace!” She felt delighted and relieved. Su Yu even looked pleasing to her eye now.
“Deputy Region Master Xiao, hand over the crystals, and the cultivation techniques that you promised for my inspection. And then you are free to go. I’m not going to see you off.”
Xiao’s face was as gloomy as the dark clouds in the sky that were about to unleash a downpour. They had actually lost! And it was an unbelievable defeat! There was a human who was more capable of resonating with the essence wood than a Mu. He couldn’t accept it, but the competition was conducted openly and was witnessed by everyone. Su Yu couldn’t have possibly cheated. If they insisted that he had, they would appear even more suspicious.
Xiao felt extremely crestfallen. This would certainly evoke the wrath of the Region Master once they returned to the Heavenly Knife Region. Not only had they lost a hundred million crystals, but the influences of the Heavenly Knife Region were thoroughly obliterated. More importantly, they had no more prestige left. They had wanted to bring shame on their opponent, yet they were the ones shamed. Not only the Blessed and Heavenly Lands, but the rest of the regions of the Central Prefecture would mock and ridicule them as well.
Deputy Region Master Xiao quietly gritted his teeth, and retrieved a space ring. He took the piece of jade containing cultivation techniques from the Mu man as well, and handed them to Mo Tianxuan with an awful look on his face.
Mo Tianxuan glanced at it to ensure it contained the correct amount of crystals, and the authenticity of the cultivation techniques. Then, she nodded lightly, “Well, you may leave now. The Red Blood Palace will receive you politely if you wish to stay for a couple of days. If you wish to leave, we won’t urge you to stay either.”
Did Deputy Region Master Xiao have any desire to stay? He cupped his fists and said, “Goodbye!” Before leaving, he cast a deep stare at Su Yuxian, and rays of peculiar light flickered in the depths of his pupils.