Chapter 123: Blue Moon
Chapters 2-5 of Ascending the Heavens now on RRL, Chapter 6 of Ascending will be on Novels Nao.
Also Hello folks :D
After purchasing the three colored Spring Autumn tree roots, Lingqi left the store with a wide grin on her face.
“Although I can make a pill that can increase longevity with these roots, I can also make a batch of, Essence Severing elixir too. With those pills, it won't matter even if we run into level ten cultivators.” Lingqi thought with a glint in her eyes.
“An elixir that can prevent the channel channeling of essence upon touching a person’s skin.”
While Lingqi was thinking of the various elixirs and pills she could concoct, Ai could be seen yawning.
After a long day or travel and a night full of fun and excitement, everyone was physically and mentally fatigued so it was decided that it was time to go get some rest and continue venturing Wolfden City later.
Thus the group headed back to their room as the sun rose over the horizon. By now Cheng Yu had assigned a few men to guard Zhang’s room. So they did not have to worry about security as everyone slid onto a large bed and under a cool yet warm silk blanket.
Elsewhere a human like beast could be seen dragging a large circular object, covered in runes, through a misty mountain pass. It was of course the same beast that had dug up the prison that held the previous lord of the New Moon Province. The large iron ball was tightly bound by ropes, strapped to the human like beast.
“Master, we are almost home, then you'll be free.” The human like beast mumbled to itself, since it's voice could not penetrate the iron ball that it was dragging along.
The mist the obscured the road soon dissipated and revealed an otherworldly valley, from where the human like east stood atop the mountain, hundreds if not thousands of buildings could be seen below.
A glimmer of excitement appeared in the beast’s eyes as it looked down on a familiar landscape that it had longed to go back to. After seeing the valley, the beast's pace quickened as it sped down the mountain.
Mid way down the mountain it withdrew a golden mask from it’s robes and donned it. If Zhang, Yuying or Ling had seen this mask then without a doubt they would instantly recognize it.
This mask looked nearly identical to the ones that the assassins who were sent to kill Jian Wei, when he was traveling at sea, had worn. However, this mask was gold while the other ones were silver and bronze.
Of course this could be a case of objects simply looking alike, but all suspicion would be expelled when the beast ran past a large monolith that had the words, “Order of the Blue Moon,” carved into it.
As the beast sped down the mountain while dragging the iron ball that trapped its master within, the woods around it echoed with activity.
Soon enough dozens of shadows emerged from within the woods and sped alongside the beast.
“Senior brother, your back.” One of the shadows who donned a silver mask said respectfully.
With a nod the beast acknowledged the man’s words but did not reply and continued speeding forward while dragging the large iron ball with him.
“Senior brother, where is senior brother Hao Yang and why are you dragging around an iron ball?” Another man with a silver mask asked.
“My master is in there.” The beast said in an unhappy tone as it pointed at the iron ball, causing everyone running alongside him to look at the iron ball with confused looks in their eyes. Had their faces not been covered by masks then their confused expressions would be in full display.
Knowing the beast's easily irritable personality, no one dared to ask any more questions and simply continued running alongside it.
A while later the beast and the group of people that appeared in the woods arrived at the valley full of buildings.
“Where is old man Meng Liu?” The beast asked.
“Master should be in the experiment hall, senior brother.” A silver masked man replied. It was clear that the beast, despite being his master’s servant, possessed a fairly high position within the Order of the Blue Moon.
Without reply the beast ran past countless buildings before arriving at a large hall. However, as it arrived in front of the hall a slight hint of hesitation was present in its eyes.
“Senior brother!” Two bronze masked men who were standing guard in front of the hall saluted, however they were ignored as the beast spelled itself and walked up to and pushed open the gates of the hall, then ran inside.
Once the gates swung open, light shone into the dark interior of the building, revealing a stone wall with countless people chained to it.
Among the living were also the dead and dozens of skeletons. True to its name, some of the people chained within the experiment hall did not even remotely look human. Some were covered in fur, while others had dozens of bone spikes protruding from their bodies.
A hint of pity could be seen in the beast’s eyes as its gaze shifted from one end of the long hall in front of it to the other.
“To those who share the same fate, hope is not lost until one reaches the gates of hell.” It murmured as it sped through the hall while still having the iron ball in tow.
Although returning to the order filled it with glee, the inside of the experiment hall brought back memories that the beast hopped were lost and forgotten.
At the end of the hall, the path split into two. From one direction an endless amount of cries and screams echoed about. While in the other direction was pure silence, an eerie silence that made one’s skin crawl.
The beast did not even ponder for a second before choosing the path on the left that was filled with screams and wails.
“I'm sorry master but even if I knew the old man is over there, I wouldn't be able to stomach seeing those things.” The beast man said as he felt a shiver run down his spine. Through the many years that he had stayed within the order, the beast man had only taken the path toward the right once and still till this day he would sometimes see horrific visions of the things that are kept there.
The path on the left was heaven compared to the horrors stored on the path toward the right, but of course it would still cause a normal person to hurl whatever was in their stomachs if they were to witness the things that were kept there. So from this one could only imagine we lurks on the path to the right.
Once the beast man had traveled a few hundred steps, the path in front of him opened up into a large room, where hundreds of masked men and women wearing gold masks could be seen.
In front of each of these people was someone strapped to a chair screaming in agony as a different series of things are done to each of them. Some were being dissected, while others were being injected with strange substances.
At the far end of the room was a large magic circle, and in it were a dozen or so people bound by ropes, standing outside of the magic circle was a man with a head of pure white hair, who was the person that the beast had referred to as old man Meng Liu.
The beast’s eyes glinted as soon as it's gaze fell onto old man Meng Liu, but inside this glint there was an abundant amount of fear mixed in with its excitement. The fact that it's master would soon be freed had attributed to its excitement, but old man Meng Liu’s presence definitely gave the beast a sense of fear and dread.
As it moved through the large hall, the iron ball strapped to the beast, scraped the stone floor causing a screeching sound to enter everyone's ears.
Soon enough everyone stopped what they were doing and all eyes were focused on the beast and his iron ball. Normally these golden masked people would certainly speak harshly or punish whoever was disturbing them while they were in the middle of carrying out their experiments. But since they recognized the beast, thanks to his distinct features, mainly his hairy in proportioned arms, no one dared to say a word.
“Where's your master.” Old man Meng Liu asked the beast as he turned back and shifted his attention away from the magical circle toward it.
In front of this man the beast did not dare to utter a word and without the nerves to look the man in the eye, it dragged the iron ball covered in runes in front of old man Meng Liu and got into its knees beside the ball.
“What's the meaning of this?” Old man Meng Liu asked impatiently.
“My-my master is in there. We-we we-were attacked and th-they sealed him in there. The beast stuttered.
“Damn it, why was I looking forward to returning to this place again?” The beast cursed in its mind.
Old man Meng Liu no longer spoke and simply looked at the iron ball in intrigue. He knew perfectly well that if this was an average iron ball then it wouldn't be able to hold his core disciple.
However, he felt the need to lift his hand and try to smash apart the iron ball. With a thought, a black glow enveloped his hand as it descended into the black iron ball.
But once his palm connected with the surface of the iron ball, the series of magical runes that were on it began to flow and moments passed but the iron ball was perfectly fine.
“Amazing, that was fifty perfect of my power.” A hint of amazement appeared on Meng Liu’s face. As he examined the runes his amazed expression became even more fierce.
“It can’t be! This is the same inscription as the Reaper’s Coffin!” Meng Liu said loudly.
“What!? The Reaper's coffin?” Dozens of voices echoed throughout the hall.
“Master it can't be, no one has been able to completely decipher the inscriptions on the Reaper’s Coffin for hundreds of years. At most we have ten percent of it worked out. How could there possibly someone alive who knows how to use it?” One of the many gold masked people said.
“Tell me now! Tell me what happened and how this inscription got on the iron ball!” Meng Liu grabbed the beast man by the collar and demanded an explanation.
“I-I don’t know, ma-master had ordered me to go and collect specimens for his experiments, by the time I returned a large fight was happening and master had to use his good luck charm because he was about outnumbered and had no hope of escape. Since those people couldn’t break through the good luck charm, the opted to seal master.” The beast man recalled what had happened.
“I don’t know who those people are or where they even came from.” It added.
“Useless buffoon!” Meng Liu yelled as he tossed the beast man onto the ground.
“Do you not know the importance of these runes!? If we can capture whoever had inscribed them onto the iron ball, then we can open the Reaper’s Coffin and unleash a saint level undead the likes of which the world has never seen. A thing that only spawns in the depths of hell.” Meng Liu said as he breathed heavily at the mere thought of being the one to open the Reaper’s Coffin after so many generations before him had failed.
“There were two young men and four women who was fighting master, that’s all I know. Master would probably know who those people were.” The beast man said as he cowered on the ground, they knew full well that if Meng Liu wanted to kill him it was only a matter of how much torture had would have to endure before he finally met his end. Simply thinking about all of the various types of things he would have to endure if he angered Meng Liu anymore, made the beast man’s hairs stand on end and his skin crawl.
“Fool! If I could cancel out this inscription why would I need to find the person who had inscribed, it? If I could cancel out this inscription, then the Reaper’s Coffin would have been opened long ago and our order would be reigning over this region.” Meng Liu said angrily as he glared at the beast man.
“Master if I remember correctly, brother Hao Yang had been in the New Moon Province, all we have to do is send some of our people there and have them investigate, I’m sure it’ll be easy to find out who were the people who attacked him. There’s no point in questioning this failed experiment.” A masked woman said as she arrived beside the iron ball and gazed down at the pitiful beast man and winked at it.
Although her words seemed sharp and hurtful, her gaze conveyed that she was trying to help the beast man and sooth the current situation.
“Xiao Hua you take a few of the lower ranked members of the order and go investigate then.” Meng Liu said after calming down a bit thanks to Xiao Hua’s words.
“Disciple receives, master’s orders.” Xiao Hua said as she bent on one knee.
“Here take this Blue Moon this badge and bring as much manpower as you see fit.” Meng Liu said as a crescent moon shaped badge appeared in his hand before tossing it down to the ground in front of Xiao Hua.
Picking up the badge and storing it away into her interspatial ring, Xiao Hua quickly departed the experiment hall and began gathering up a squad of people to accompany her on the investigation. The beast man had been her first pick since he was most knowledgeable about the events that had occurred.
“Tha-thank you senior sister for helping me out.” The beast man said gratefully.
“No need to thank me, I was simply trying to find an excuse so I could go out and see the world. Being cooped up in this valley day after day has been a bore. Experimenting from morning till dawn is a bore. How I envied elder brother Hao Yang and you when you were granted permission to leave this valley. That stupid rule that prevents us gold tiers from leaving the valley unless permission is granted by master needs to be abolished…” Xiao Hua said angrily as she and the beast man arrived at what looked like a training ground where many hundreds of people wearing bronze and silver masks could be seen sparring against one another.
Without saying a word, Xiao Hua withdrew the crescent moon badge and lifted into the air. The instant she did so all of the people in the training grounds ceased what they were doing and assembled in front of her in orderly rows, with the people wearing silver masks in the front and those with bronze masks in the back.
“All of you fight… The last two hundred people that are left standing will accompany me out of the valley. Also no killing anyone...” Xiao Hua said calmly. An instant later a large brawl broke out as everyone in front of Xiao Hua began attacking on another.
Although unlike the gold tiers who were not allowed to leave the valley unless granted permission by the order master, the bronze and silver tiers were not to leave the valley unless they were hired by someone who wished to employ the Order of the Blue Moon’s services. This meant that everyone within the order longed to venture outside and when an opportunity presented itself everyone wished to obtain it. Also since they were ordered to fight by someone holding the crescent moon badge, they had to fight or risk being punished for not following orders.