Chapter 516 The End is Night
“The Gate of Heaven is closed, and the path beleaguered. The end is nigh!”
The first line of characters was written in bloody red ink.
The scroll was made out of a special material that was neither fiber nor metal. It was still in immaculate condition after thousands of years. The calligraphy on the scroll was infused with the vehemence and fervor that possessed the writer. Chen Fan reckoned that these words were written onto the scroll using Blood Qi.
“The Gate of Heaven is Closed, and the path beleaguered… What does it mean?”
Chen Fan was also shocked, so he looked further down.
“Since I was a boy, I have learned the way of Dao. Fate had brought this Sword Art to me during my sojourn in Mount Shu. With great trepidation and horror, I followed the instruction of the Art. A hundred and thirty years later, I became an Earth Level Deity. Nine Flying Swords I have, and one reputation I kept: Sword Secret the Exalted Cultivator.”
The remainder of the scroll was a detailed account of the writer’s life.
It included many interesting events: that he traveled to the famous mountains, that he pilgrimed to the nine heavens, that he refined the nine flying swords, that he dominated ancient China, this, and that. In between the lines, Chen Fan noticed that the Exalted Cultivator was a confident cultivator when he was young, thinking he had all the time in the world.
However, the tone of the words changed once the Exalted Cultivator reached three hundred years old. There was a trace of bitterness and resentment as he increasingly saw the world as nothing but a prison. His writings started to fill with accounts of his failed attempt to escape this world.
He was close a few times but was unsuccessful in the end.
“… now I am four hundred and ninety-two years old with only a few more years to spare. I lived a fool for failing to see my demise earlier, and I will die a fool as well. The Gate of Heaven is Closed, and the path beleaguered. The end is Nigh! The end is Nigh!”
As the Exalted Cultivator repeated his opening sentences, those words seemed to carry much more weight than it had.
Even Chen Fan was gripped by the sense of helplessness and despair. He put down the scroll and turned his mind inward.
“Exalted Cultivator must be the last Earth Level Deity. There must be a couple of other Earth Level Deities on earth, but they must have met the same fate as Exalted Cultivator.”
Chen Fan heaved a sigh.
The earth was deprived of Spirit Qi and was practically a dead planet in the eyes of cultivators. Even with all the arts and techniques at Chen Fan’s disposal, he could at the most reach the Golden Core level.
Therefore, he had been thinking ways of leaving the planet ever since he reached the Divine Sea level.
“There are three methods I can choose.”
“The first method is to find an Immortal Portal. I think it is what the Exalted Cultivator meant by the Gate of Heaven and the Path of Heaven. These must be portals left by ancient cultivators when they left earth. If I can find one, I should be able to reactivate it.”
“The second method is to reach Golden Core Level and physically fly away from Earth. However, this method was not without difficulties and perils. Not only was it nearly impossible to reach Golden Core, but Space was also an extremely dangerous place for Golden Core level cultivators. ”
“The last method is to simply wait for ten years when my teacher came to visit earth. Then I can leave with him.”
Chen Fan thought to himself.
Of the three methods, the first one was the most plausible, although it might take him some time to search for the Immortal Portals.
Chen Fan was not entirely confident about the second option, but he decided to do it alongside the first option nonetheless.
As for the third option, it was Chen Fan’s last resort. He would not even consider it unless absolutely necessary.
“I am getting ahead of myself now. I don’t have to deal with it until I reached Connate Spirit Level. I am only at the early-stage of the Divine Sea, and it will take me at least a couple of years to reach Connate Spirit.” Chen Fan cracked a smile and shook his head.
As he continued reading the scroll, he realized that the scroll was the same one discovered by Exalted Cultivator at Mount Shu.
The name of the scroll was called the Sword Art of Nine Abandonments
It was an ancient art of Sword Immortals.
Lin Shuming and other Immortal State Warriors would put the scroll on a pedestal, treating it like the apple of their eyes. It was an authentic Immortal Cultivation Art and could elevate any Immortal State Warrior to a higher state.
However, for Chen Fan, it was just a small trick.
He had tens of thousands of such arts at his disposal.
“But the existence of the Sword Art meant that the Immortal Cultivators that used to occupy Earth was far from competent. If they were really powerful like those of void returning and Dao Reunion level, they could easily change the landscape of this planet.”
With that thought in mind, Chen Fan put the scroll back into the gourd.
All the while, Dragon Lord had glued his eyes on the scroll. He guessed what it was but was deterred to claim it for himself because of Chen Fan.
It had only been fifteen minutes since the battle, and the wound on Chen Fan’s shoulder was already healed. The Dragon Lord knew he had no chance winning a fight against such a formidable opponent.
“It is your time to make a decision now. Do you choose life or death?”
Chen Fan linked his hands behind his back and asked the Dragon Lord.
The Dragon Lord’s face changed colors as his mind raced. In the end, he cupped his fist and bowed deeply. “My servitude is yours. I would use my soul and spirit as the pledge for my loyalty.”
Chen Fan replied readily.
He had decided to spare the Dragon Lord, but he didn’t expect to gain another servant, so he was pleasantly surprised by the Dragon Lord’s offer. The Chen Family would be doubly safe under the protection of Hua Yunfeng and the powerful Immortal State Warrior.
Chen Fan quickly finished the Covenant of Soul and Spirit with Dragon Lord. Since the Dragon Lord had wanted to kill Chen Fan, Chen Fan had made the terms of their contract extra stringent, turning the Dragon Lord into a slave.
As soon as the contract was signed, the Dragon Lord kowtowed and announced.
“My real name is Xie Yan and it is an honor to serve you, my lord. I wish you live long and prosper.”
Chen Fan nodded and produced the scroll from the gourd and tossed it to Xie Yan.
“This is my gift to you as a token of goodwill. From now on, you will be the Sect Guardian of the North Qiong Sect. ”
Xie Yan looked down at the scroll and saw the word on its spin that read: “Sword Art of Nine Abandonments.” He was immediately overtaken by disbelief and excitement.
“Master, you… you are giving this to me?”
“Yea, yea. Keep your shirt on. If you serve me well, I might give you even more powerful arts.”
Chen Fan smiled derisively.
“Yes, my Lor— I mean.. yes, Sect Master.”
Xie Yan kowtowed to Chen Fan while his body shook uncontrollably in elation.
By then, Chen Fan had finally won the Dragon Lord over to him. Reigning by fear was never as effective as by reward and mutual understanding.
Chen Fan had communicated his ungodly power to his subject by tossing away the Sword Art. Nothing spoke louder about Chen Fan’s power than a simple action.
“This is the Exalted Cultivator’s source of power. Even Lin Shuming would hold it and claim it for himself. However, Chen Beixuan didn’t even care and tossed it away as if it was useless. I think the rumor does hold some truth. Maybe Chen Beixuan is indeed a reincarnation of an ancient Curmudgeon.”
The thought that Chen Fan was not a twenty-year-old teenager, but a mighty curmudgeon who had survived eons filled Xie Yan’s heart with more fear than respect.
Meanwhile, Curmudgeon Chen looked around the room, nodding from time to time approvingly.
“Sect master, I say the Exalted Cultivator is overrated. All he had left for us was this scroll, and nothing else. No Dharma Treasures nor Elixirs. What a letdown.”
Xie Yan complained.
“Hehe, you just have to know where to look,”
Chen Fan cracked a smile and started an art
A ray of azure light shot out from Chen Fan’s hand landed at the opposite wall.
The wall flickered under the light and then disappeared, revealing a sizable stone chamber.
Within the chamber was a gurgling spring a few meters in length and width. The water deep, sealing in a tremendous amount of Spirit Qi inside. It wasn’t until they came close to the spring did they realize that the water was actually made out of condensed Spirit Water.
Against the spring were a few patches of garden plots that were filled with strange-looking plants.
Xie Yan rounded his eyes in utter disbelief.
“This is the real Cave Abode. It’s a Spirit Source that was a few times more powerful than that at the Warg Valley. I wonder how long it takes an Exalted Cultivator to find it.”
A smile surfaced on Chen Fan’s face.
The Spirit Water at the Warg Valley had helped him reach the peak of Ethereal Enlightenment, and now with this new Spirit Source, he should be able to reach the Divine Sea very soon. Unlike Spirit Water, the Spirit Source had a nearly unlimited supply of Spirit Qi.
“Plus, the plants around the source were all superior-grade Spirit herbs.”
Chen Fan examined the roomful of herbs eagerly.
“Fire Fruit, Rainbow Lotus, Silver Grain… each and every one of them were well over a thousand-years-old. With the help of the Earth Magus Tripod Cauldron, I can finally create a batch of real ‘Grand Pills’.”
There was no time to waste, Chen Fan jumped into action right away.
At his level of attainment, he could survive months without any sustenance. He drank the Spirit Water and ate the Essence Gathering Pill when he was hungry.
As Chen Fan worked industriously to improve his cultivation, the world outside was changed rapidly because of his battle against the Immortal State Warriors.