Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Many from sacred grounds all over the Nine States arrived outside the Nether Sword Mound and finally entered.
“Someone from Tombkeeper Village, please lead the way,” a mighty one from the Hall of Holy Light said. This time, it was more than just Yaya, Ying, and some others coming in. There were also many elders from the village who were with them.
Two elders nodded and took the lead. One of them said, “The Nether Sword Mound is filled with danger. One misstep could lead to your death, and not even saints would be spared from such a fate. Anyone who is not adept in the matrices should not enter. If any one of you is not proficient in the art of matrices, it is not too late to back out now.”
“It’s fine. If we run into any danger, we believe that the people of Tombkeeper Village will have ways to get us out,” a mighty one from Daluo Sacred Mountain said coldly. That was the very reason they insisted on having people of the village inside the Sword Mound.
“Be careful,” Yaya stood beside Ye Futian and reminded him. He nodded, and everyone stepped into the dark place, feeling increasingly cold as if a formless cold wind was everywhere around them. The cold wind had the sharpness of swords.
“Whose graves would these be?” someone asked. They passed by a graveyard as they walked.
“The followers of the Sword Saint of the Void are all buried here. This is what Tombkeeper Village has been protecting all this while,” the elder leading the way answered.
“Is it? Then what lies within the depths of the Sword Mound?” someone from Qi clan asked. It was apparent that they did not believe what that elder said completely. You’re telling me that the people of Tombkeeper Village trained here for years, away from the outside world, just to look after a graveyard? Who’s going to buy that?
“Unknown. We’ve never ventured deep into the Sword Mound. No one has been able to go that far. The Village Chief said that the body of the Sword Saint of the Void was buried there. It is said to be a terrifying place out to kill anyone who disturbs the Sword Saint of the Void’s slumber,” another answered.
Many mighty ones from sacred grounds frowned. These people have been going on about terrifying dangers and little else. Are they trying to dissuade us from going further?
“According to my knowledge, the Chess Saint saw the Nether Sword Mound personally, and there were people from the Village training within. May I ask what that is?” Liu Zong asked plainly.
“That is not considered to be the deeper part just yet. It is said that the deepest part of the Sword Mound has sword aura originating from the void, capable of tearing space itself. There is also a blood-colored crevice with powers to destroy everything,” the villager answered.
The old man kept repeating the horrifying things to be found within, and even the ones from sacred grounds found things to be eerie. Furthermore, they were able to sense the growing, unforgiving cold coming from the grave, and that made them feel anxious. However, they were still mighty people who came from sacred grounds. Their minds were stable enough to not back out so easily.
There had never been such a massive attempt by sacred grounds of the Nine States at venturing into the Nether Sword Mound. They deemed it necessary to reveal the secrets lying within.
They knew that Liu Zong and the people of Xihua Sacred Mountain had concerns about the place. As such, they did not choose to simply venture into the Sword Mound on their own and had instead spread news to inform other sacred grounds. But at the same time, they deemed the attempt to be too important to miss. It could prove to be some turning point, after all.
All of them had ventured rather deep into the Sword Mound after a while. They were no longer able to see the Village when they turned around. Their spiritual powers had no way of penetrating into the place, which was a sure sign that they were already inside the Nether Sword Mound.
The number of graves grew, and a sword was found sticking into each and every one of them in an orderly, neat manner. The unforgiving coldness had grown more intense as well.
There were many who even became able to vaguely feel the aura of rules about, as if the Sword Mound had such inherent power of rules in it, instead of merely having spiritual qi.
Liu Zong did not lie. The inside of the Sword Mound was indeed a sacred training ground like none other. No rule matrices laid in the outside world were even able to compare with the training conditions present in the Sword Mound. Furthermore, the aura of rules grew increasingly clear as they ventured deeper into the place. There were even different wills of rules of different natures found within.
“What happens if we were to take flight?” someone asked.
“We’re now inside the matrixes’ area. Anyone who dares take flight will surely die,” someone from the Village said.
“Beware, something is coming.” Someone from the Tombkeeper Village lifted their head and saw a killing will descend upon them all of a sudden. Dazzling lights burst, and streaks of sword aura fell on them like rains of swords. Everyone looked up and guarded themselves.
“Be careful,” Ye Futian said in a low voice. Countless dazzling swords descended straight from above, stabbing into the ground. Everyone dodged. Sword will filled the air around, and ringing noises of swords were heard. The ground in that vast space became filled with swords, surrounding all of them within.
A dazzling picture appeared in the air, shrouding the place below. Boundless sword will rained down from the picture, resonating with the swords on the ground, making the sword will increasingly strong.
“A sword diagram.” Ye Futian’s eyes sparkled, knowing that a matrix had appeared.
“We’re now within a sword matrix, and all of you should be able to sense it by now. The sword matrix is gathering power continuously. The further we go from here, the greater the killing power of the sword matrix, and the greater of the difficulty of breaking said matrix. When the power of the sword matrix reaches a certain point, there will be no way of breaking the matrix, so long as one has insufficient training. Even if one were to find a way to do so, they would die as a result,” the people of Tombkeeper Villager reminded. The greater training a master of matrices had, the better their chances at survival.
“So what if I were to forcefully barge outside?” a mighty one of the Hall of Holy Light asked arrogantly. They were able to sense that the power of the sword matrix was not strong enough just yet, and they wondered what would happen if they were to force themselves out.
“You’re welcome to try,” the elder from the Village replied calmly.
Liu Zong looked up at the air above him. What was depicted in the sword diagram was indeed identical to the images that the Chess Saint had sent him. The Chess Saint had adapted the sword matrix into his art of chess. There were few in the Nine States who had an understanding of matrices on par with him.
“Follow my lead to break the matrix,” Liu Zong said and acted to break the matrix. All nine students of the Chess Saint followed his lead. They were all masters at matrices and knew such matrices well. It was only natural that they were the ones to break the matrix before them.
“Don’t make any sudden moves,” Ye Futian said to Ye Wuchen, who was right behind him. “Wuchen, I’ll do it per the way of chess. You put your Shredding Rules where I dropped the pieces.”
“Will do.” Ye Wuchen nodded. A brilliant light appeared behind Ye Futian, and a chessboard appeared. The projection appeared above the matrix and was overlaid right on top of it. The countless swords looked as if they were stabbed into the chessboard itself, corresponding the way of chess. Furthermore, everyone was able to vaguely see that the swords of the matrix turned to look like symbols saying “kill.”
“The Killing Sword Matrix.”
“The Chess Spirit.”
Liu Zong glanced at Ye Futian, and all nine students of the Chess Saint looked surprised. Ye Futian did not unleash the Chess Spirit at the Chess Saint Villa back then, but he was able to break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game nonetheless.
Yang Xiao’s expression brightened. If his teacher were looking for a successor, no one would have been more suitable than Ye Futian. However, his teacher was not simply looking for a successor; he was looking to escape the Sword Mound.
Ye Futian willed and many chess pieces dropped onto the board. Ye Wuchen waved his hand almost at the same time, dropping countless swords of rules on the spots where Ye Futian placed his pieces. When all of the swords appeared, a symbol was surprisingly shown, saying “break.”
“Wuchen, get on with it,” Ye Futian said. Ye Wuchen’s mind was still like the surface of a mirror, bringing will power of the sword to bear with his will. The swords turned into a terrifying matrix of destruction in an instant, clashing with the killing matrix. A terrifying storm whipped up in the air, and two symbols, the “kill” and the “break” symbols, seemed to have clashed with each other.
A dazzling light flashed. The “kill” symbol was dissipated, and the swords before Ye Futian and the others disappeared altogether. A path appears instead.
“Let’s go,” Ye Futian stepped forward and moved.
“What incredible speed.” Many looked on, feeling impressed.
“Have you memorized it?” someone from other sacred grounds asked, attempting to mimic Ye Futian’s way of breaking the matrix. Every single sacred ground had dispatched masters at matrixes on the trip to the Nether Sword Mound. None of them had come unprepared.
“Indeed.” Those who were proficient in matrices all nodded and mimicked Ye Futian’s way of breaking the matrix. They too were able to quickly break the matrices before them.
“Go after them,” someone said and chased after Ye Futian. Liu Zong and his people were also done breaking the matrix before them. They glanced forward and moved.
The aura of rules grew somewhat more intense after breaking the sword matrixes. But at the same time, the killing will grew more intense as well. Everyone from the sacred grounds knew that they had stepped into the Nether Sword Mound, and they were fighting the place they were in.
The second sword matrix appeared soon, and Ye Futian was able to still easily break it. The third and fourth followed. Everyone was somewhat startled but they followed Ye Futian closely nonetheless. It became apparent that Ye Futian seemed to be more reliable than the people from Tombkeeper Village.
Ye Futian might have gotten the ways of breaking the matrix from the village chief.
Ye Futian had been able to easily break the nine matrices back in Chess Saint Villa last year, and he then went on to break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game as well. He was given the sword diagrams by the Village Chief. Regardless of the changes in the sword diagrams, Ye Futian remained totally unfazed. He went on to easily break one sword matrix after another, making it seem like he was having a good time in the Sword Mound, like the place was his playground. And so, the people from the sacred grounds gradually forgotten that they were inside a forbidden place.
They continued moving deeper and deeper, so much so that they no longer knew where they actually were, and how far were they from Tombkeeper Village. The place’s ability to block their spiritual power made them lose their sense of judgment.
At the moment, the Village Chief stood quietly all by himself at the entrance of the Nether Sword Mound. His eyes grew to look increasingly demonic in the dark space. His pupils were silver, like they were made of a pair of swords, penetrating the air and gazing at everything happening within the Sword Mound. He saw Ye Futian and his people, and he was even able to see how they went about breaking the matrix. It was as if his eyes allowed him to penetrate the restricted area directly.
No one from a sacred ground probably thought that there was actually someone capable of ignoring the blocking powers of the restricted area, that there was someone capable of seeing everything happening within the restricted area.
“Well done,” a line was heard from the Village Chief’s mouth. Ye Futian was indeed a genius like no other, performing way better than he had expected. Things will go well if he can keep this up!