“That’s my secret.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“Secret?” The spirit level beast smiled. “You, a mere human, dare talk to me about secrets while in my territory?”
“Indeed, a secret. I hadn’t planned on leaving here alive anyways. You don’t even need to do anything, those Swordbirds are more than enough to take care of me.” Jiang Chen was utterly shameless.
“Haha, you’re an interesting human indeed. Previously, none of the humans that entered my territory have left it alive, unless I couldn’t beat them. However, you, I don’t plan on killing you.”
“Because I know the ancient language of the beasts?” Jiang Chen asked in a low voice.
“No.” The spirit level beast shook its head. “Because, since you’ve entered my territory, there’s been a certain type of power hidden inside of you, a frightening power. Although I can no longer feel it, I am certain that a terrifying power sleeps within you.”
“Oh?” Jiang Chen was also completely befuddled by the beast’s words.
It was a sure thing to say that he was full of the teaching of the apostles and held a thorough knowledge of scientific and theoretical affairs, but how would he even begin to explain the fact that apparently a terrifying power was concealed within him?
“No need to speculate. You haven’t even entered the spirit dao yet, and have yet to open your spirit ocean. You will absolutely be unable to capture the presence of this power.”
Only when one entered the spirit dao and cleaved through the spirit ocean could one begin to train in spirit qi.
Out of the four accompanying abilities for “Moonshatter Flying Daggers”, one of them, the “Psychic’s Head” was only able to be trained after entering the spirit dao.
“This is to say, that you’re afraid of my power?”
“Heh heh, afraid?” The spirit level beast smiled. “Just as you’ve said, these Swordbirds are more than enough to annihilate you tens of thousands of times over. What would I be afraid of you for?”
“Since you’re not afraid, and I’ve trespassed on your territory, what reason do you have to let me go?”
“Human, do not seek to provoke me. I have been here for who knows how many millions of years. Do you think I will easily be provoked by a human? It’s just that I’ve sensed a type of a mysterious power within you. This power seems to have surpassed the laws of this plane of existence. This power is precisely what my peers have anticipated in their sleep of tens of thousands of years. This is a kind of hope!”
“Hope?” Jiang Chen was even more confused.
“Yes, hope. The hope to depart from this place!” An ancient sense of bleakness, one that had seen the many shifting scenes of life, flowed out from the spirit level beast’s eyes.
“Depart from here? You’re kidding. With your power, isn’t it an easy matter to leave?”
“That’s why I say you’re only an ordinary person right now. You haven’t even trained your spirit power, how would you be able to observe the net from which there is no escape in these Boundless Catacombs?”
“These Boundless Catacombs were created by the divine abilities of a person with great prestige from another plane. They contain an incredibly frightening, forbidden, taboo formation. Those below spirit dao can enter and leave freely, whereas our bodies have been imprinted with a seal that corresponds with the formation. We will trigger the formation as soon as we leave, activating the fires of heaven and earth and dying where we stand.”
“This is to say, that the outside world can enter and exit these boundless catacombs, but those of you inside cannot leave?”
“That’s not entirely true. Those below spirit dao, such as these Swordbirds, can still enter and leave.” The spirit level beast sighed lightly, a bit of loneliness apparent in its eyes.
Jiang Chen also remained silent. He could perceive a sort of desolate bleakness from the beast’s eyes, stemming from endless years of being imprisoned. This was just like how the millions of years in Jiang Chen’s past life were also empty, lonely, and resigned!
“Human, I have spent the vast majority of my time here in slumber because I don’t wish to awaken. Awakening expends both my spirit power and energy. Unless a reckless and brazen alien race blunders in and disturbs us, we prefer to sleep most of the time, as we cannot train in these Boundless Catacombs. Do you know why those who venture in here basically cannot return?”
“Yes, because they’ve disturbed you and wasted your spirit power and energy.” Jiang Chen could understand.
“You’re very smart. Therefore, you’re the only human I don’t wish to kill because I wish to make a transaction with you.”
“Transaction?” Jiang Chen was startled.
“Yes.” This spirit level beast sighed lightly. “I know I’m being a bit senseless, but I truly vaguely felt a trace of a power that didn’t belong to this plane during that moment. Perhaps, some sort of incredible miracle will happen to you in the future? Just treat it as one of my idle dreams. Perhaps it was only a misconception. But, even if it was a misconception, I still don’t want to let this opportunity pass…”
One had to say, the spirit level beast had had the tendency to ramble on because he had been caged for far too long.
“Let’s get to the point.” Jiang Chen had to remind him.
“Mm. This transaction is simple. I can let you go, and even swear allegiance to you, as long as you swear an oath that when you have the ability to release the seal from within my body in the future, you will come save me from this place. You must know that it’s really too depressing staying inside this hellhole. I’d rather be your slave outside than while through endless days in here in agony.”
“Just this simple?” Jiang Chen felt it was a bit unbelievable.
“Just this simple.” The spirit level beast nodded, with an extremely sincere look flowing through his eyes.
It looked like loneliness and emptiness were truly enough to destroy everything, including strong spirits beasts such as this one!
“An oath of heaven’s law is very effective, you must think carefully.” The spirit level beast didn’t forget to remind him.
Jiang Chen smiled. He was the reincarnation of the son of the Celestial Emperor. He was all too aware of the power of an oath under heaven’s law. Even the Celestial Emperor himself would not dare violate an oath under heaven’s law.
The spirit level beast stared unblinkingly at Jiang Chen, obviously a bit anxious for the favor and worried that it would lose it, desperately afraid that Jiang Chen would reject.
Jiang Chen rubbed his stomach and smiled lazily. “If you can find something for me to eat, then we can agree on this matter.”
“Really?” The eyes of the spirit level beast sparkled.
“I can swear, but I can’t guarantee the time period. Because I currently have no idea nor knowledge of the formation and seals.”
“That’s not a problem, we’ve already stayed here countless of years, staying further would be a simple repeat.”
“Alright, I, Jiang Chen, swear in the name of heaven’s law, that if I one day should be equipped with the power to break the seal, I will be sure to… right, what’s your name?”
“I’m called Mang Qi!” The spirit level beast hastily added.
“I will be sure to save Mang Qi from this place. If I violate this oath, then heaven’s law shall smite me.” Jiang Chen swore the oath with a serious genuity.
“Alright, it looks like you’re different from the other humans. I can feel your sincerity. Since you haven’t been perfunctory to me, I, Mang Qi, also swear that if you can save me from this place, I will treat you as my master for the rest of my life and listen to all of your commands! If I violate this oath, then heaven’s law shall smite me.”
One human and one beast conducted this odd transaction in these circumstances.
At this moment, Jiang Chen’s stomach started rumbling at this inappropriate timing.
Goldwing Swordbirds very quickly delivered food, a strand of jade green fruit.
“Eat. Only this is of a somewhat higher quality within the caves. The meat is all more disgusting, I think you wouldn’t be able to stomach it.”
Jiang Chen got straight to the point and started munching on the fruit. The fruit was crisp, juicy, and melted in his mouth. A faint wisp of warmth could be felt after swallowing it. It was warm and toasty, giving off an indescribable feeling of comfort.
“Eh? What kind of fruit is this?” Jiang Chen felt a wave of hot air arise from his dantian when he got to the third fruit. It then flowed to the various meridians, as nurturing as the spring rains, making Jiang Chen feel peace of mind and happy of heart.
“This is the Rare Jade Fruit, the spirit fruit that grows in the area I slumber in. An ordinary practitioner can increase his level of training by one level with no strings attached when partaking of a single fruit.”
“Then I’ve eaten three in a row, doesn’t that mean…”
“Haha you think too much. The effects of eating a hundred are the same as eating just one. Eating too much will actually lead to adverse side effects, so I’ve only prepared six for you.”
“Ah? Why didn’t you say so earlier? Then I’m not eating any more, what a shameful waste!” It was as if Jiang Chen had received a priceless treasure as he stored the Rare Jade Fruits into his sack.
This was a rare and precious fruit. Although this would merely be wares by the side of the road for Jiang Chen in his previous life, the times of now were not those of previous days.
This natural spirit fruit was now a luxury item to Jiang Chen.
Mang Qi yawned hugely and smiled, “Looks like I need to give you some space. You must be preparing to break through?”
The Rare Jade Fruit would unconditionally increase one level of training. This wasn’t mere talk.
The spirit power held by this fruit immediately caused the levels of spirit power within Jiang Chen’s body to be abundantly plentiful, miraculously healing all the injuries he had previously sustained.
Three days later…
Mang Qi once again appeared and had a friendly smile on its face. “Congratulations, looks like you have indeed broken through. Mm? Such a young true qi master?”
Jiang Chen slowly opened his eyes, neatly organizing each current of true qi within his body and storing them back into his dantian.
Everything appeared quite incredible.
He had broken through to nine meridians true qi after entering the Boundless Catacombs. Who would’ve thought that after drastic changes, he would find the chance to breakthrough in these circumstances that led to certain death!
And, this time’s breakthrough sent him directly to the ranks of true qi masters!
Ten meridians true qi, true qi master!
True qi masters were the elite apex of existence in the entire Eastern Kingdom!
Except, Jiang Chen was not overly happy. He nodded with a faint expression, “I’ve underestimated the spirit power of this Rare Jade Fruit!”
“Quite normal, but I don’t seem to see any of the joy that normally follows a breakthrough? Oh right, I haven’t seemed to ask your name up until now?”
“Jiang Chen… Jiang Chen.” Mang Qi repeated this to itself a few times, as if wanting to deeply imprint this name into his mental consciousness.
“Oh right, Mang Qi, how many days has it been since I’ve entered the fourth level?” Jiang Chen suddenly asked.
“You’ve spent two or three days in a coma since entering, add to that the three days taken for breaking through, should be around six or seven days? It hasn’t exceeded seven days.”
“Hasn’t exceeded seven days?” Jiang Chen was delighted. He had been worried that he had been in a coma for too long and missed the one month deadline of the mission.
Various events had happened when he was hunting the Greenwing Swordbirds previously, and he’d then been delayed quite a few days when he’d encountered the pursuit from the Hidden Hand. Altogether, he had spent roughly seventeen or eighteen days.
Add to that the six or seven days in here, only twenty four or twenty five days should have passed out of a month.
“You have urgent business?” For unknown reasons, Mang Qi suddenly didn’t want this human to leave.
“Incredibly urgent. It has to do with my father and the survival of my family!” Jiang Chen wasn’t being an alarmist. Once the Long family got the upper hand and the Jiang family lost power, it was sure to be a horrifying suppression and slaughter!