Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

78 The People Of Nanman

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"Below the Lianyun Mountains lies a huge labyrinth. n.o.body knows when it was built and so, they named it the Sunken Jade Tower. The tower opens its doors to the outside world every fifty years and only so for two months. Only combatants of Ninth Stage and above can enter. It's said that the place is extremely dangerous. For years, thousands of combatants had entered the place but only a few ever made it out alive. We don't know the specifics but it's said that those who survived emerged as a Venerable One or that they obtained some mystical treasures and relics. Following that, the tower's name began to spread far and wide. What goes on inside is a mystery to all of us as those who survived the experience remain tight-lipped about it. One thing's for sure though, many undiscovered fearsome and mysterious creatures inhabit the place." Ye Changxuan's expression was somber. Those who had perished in the Sunken Jade Tower were truly uncountable. "I never knew such a place existed." Ye Chen was stunned to learn of such a place. 

"There are five or six days to go before the place opens its doors again. This may be one of the possible entrances leading up to the place but it's best if our kind stays away from it." There were countless treasures in there but the risk was far too great. Ye Zhantian would never allow his men to venture forward.

How could two out of thousands of individuals only survived the experience? The risk certainly seemed to be huge. After all, they were talking about Ninth Stage or even Tenth Stage combatants. 

After Ye Changxuan and some men had blocked the entrance to the cave with some stones, the others continued to mine further. Soon, they were closing in on the area that contained Silver Arcanite.

"You few stay here and watch the place. The rest of you are to return to the castle," Ye Changxuan ordered.

A bunch of people turned and left. Ye Chen took another look at the entrance to the cave and ran up to join Ye Changxuan and the rest.

"Do you know anything about the Sunken Jade Tower, Little Tanuki?" Ye Chen whispered to Little Tanuki.

Little Tanuki cooed and nodded its head.

"Do you know what's it like in there?" Ye Chen was a little curious about the Sunken Jade Tower.

Little Tanuki took a moment to nod its head. Then, it shook its head, waved its claws, pointed back and forth to Ye Chen's Heaven Earth Pouch a couple of times, and looked back at him in the eyes. 

Ye Chen was surprised to hear what Little Tanuki had said. Now that he and the critter shared a sort of telepathic bond, he could gauge what the tanuki was saying roughly. Little Tanuki knew that items such as the Celestial Scripture on Mystical Beasts' Cultivation, the Grand Supreme Way of Alchemy, and Palms Puncturing the Cosmos all came from the Sunken Jade Tower. Its elders had been to the place before though not itself.

So, humans were not the only one who could enter the tower, even Beasts, and Celestial Beasts could too!

Ye Chen wondered if the cave truly led to the Sunken Jade Tower. Once he had his chance, he would head down and explore the cave though it had to be kept a secret from his grandpa and father.

Back at the Ye Castle, Ye Chen continued to cultivate Nine Astra Skies and hone Fury of Shattering Earth. If he were serious about exploring the Sunken Jade Tower, he needed to get stronger or else he would be in deep trouble if he encountered a Tenth Stage or stronger adversary. At that time, he may not even be able to escape and would be forced to meet his maker!

Two to three days went by in the blink of an eye. The ores that were mined by the Ye Clan were thoroughly sold by Ye Zhantian's contacts. As for the Silver Arcanite, the Second-Rank Prince of Donglin did not possess control over said resources and so, they had an easier time selling and trading it. In the span of a few days, the clan had ama.s.sed a sum of two thousand Chi Ama.s.sing Pills, far from what Ye Zhantian and the people had predicted. Apart from that, the clan had also managed to purchase large volumes of rice and daily necessities, all of which were stashed away in the storage for times of need.

According to some people in the clan, numerous new faces had shown up outside the city of Donglin County and they were all Ninth Stage and above. Several casualties were reported following the breakout in a fight. To avoid any tragedy, Ye Zhantian had ordered that the gates of the castle be shut tight to prevent the people from setting outside.

It seemed like those new faces that the people spoke off were all gearing up to enter the Sunken Jade Tower.

The sun had risen and a new dawn awaited the people. Like any regular days, the training grounds in the Ye Castle was lively. The clan's Seventh Stage combatants were working hard at cultivating Thunder Emperor Discourse. Meanwhile, those Eighth Stage and above watched attentively as Ye Chen tried to demonstrate the basics to Heaven Thunder Rend.

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Ha! Ha! Ha! A symphony of sounds echoed throughout the mountains, loud like thunder.

"These are Xiwu territories, you guys better behave yourselves. I don't want any unwanted troubles!" Big Man Lei urged. He knew that his men were raised to kill since the day they were born. It was going to be difficult to get them to behave!

"You worry too much, Big Man Lei. That's just a village. Even if we torched the place to the grounds, I doubt the village would've any combatants given their isolated location. The Xiwu Empire would never send their men to attack us. If they do, then the Nanman Kingdom will just take them head one." Tuo Bayuo licked his lips with his blood-red tongue.

"Whatever it is, I want you to behave," Big Man Lei shouted. The Nanman Kingdom had conquered the surrounding seven countries. The Xiwu Empire was the only country that remained tall and undefeated all these years and there was a good reason for that. They had set foot into Xiwu territories with the sole intention to explore the Sunken Jade Tower. As such, there was a change they might into some high stage combatant and had to be careful.

Tuo Bayu and the rest were a little unhappy to hear Big Man Lei's words as they thought he was being a scaredy-cat. 

Shortly after cutting through the woods, they arrived at a seven, eight-meter tall castle wall. This was not some village but a martial clan!

"First time coming to Xiwu Empire and we don't know their ways. Let's sit back and observe before we cause any trouble," Big Man Lei advised. He did not think the martial clan was strong given the rather damaged castle wall.

Tuo Bayu and Lan Guzhou found Big Man Lei a little too careful for his own good. Of all places in Donglin County, why would there possibly be a proficient combatant in a small place like this?

Above the Ye Castle walls, Ye Mu was surveying the vicinity with a group of men. His eyes fell on the path in the woods. He saw a few brutes marching forward and they did not seem like they were from the Xiwu Empire. He had dealt with businessmen from all walks of life for years and had seen enough to know they were Nanman people. The Xiwu Empire and Nanman Kingdom were not at odds against one another but they had fights that had escalated in the border and remained so to date. Why did the Nanmans set foot into the Xiwu Empire, to Donglin County?

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