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105 The Devil Lord Statue

 "Be careful of the traps," Luo Shengyi said.

Though the situation made him worried and precarious, he had to chase after them. They would not be able to seal the Devil Tomb without Star-picking Hand. That would result in the failure of their main task. Even if he could kill the Samsara travelers from the opposing camp to make up for Karma points, he would still have to catch up to Gu Xiaosang.

His reminder was out of expected concern, so the thought occurred even to the inexperienced Meng Qi. His exposed skin glowed in a golden light, making him look like a brass statue. He firmly led the way. Surrounded by red clouds, Qi Zhengyan followed after him closely on full alert.

Flanking them, the two Elders of Star-picking Tower observed the spots where it would be easy to lay traps. Jiang Zhiwei and Luo Shengyi stood further away from each other, extending their search radius. After all, the relics covered a wide area and their enemies may be hidden in the buildings in the distance.

Their move began to slow, but there was no other way around it. If they blindly chased after Gu Xiaosang, they might fall into the Devil Cult's traps.

When they reached the field of historical ruins, tracks left by Gu Xiaosang and the Terrestrial Venerable were very limited. Without the fine grasp of the desert terrain of the two Elders of Star-picking Tower and their vast Jianghu experience, Meng Qi would have probably lost her. At that moment, they barely managed to follow their trail. Walking and stopping, they finally found themselves in front of the dilapidated temple at the center of the ruins.

"Is this the Devil Lord's temple?" Meng Qi found this dilapidated temple very similar to the one he took shelter in during the sandstorm. He would even say they were exactly the same in shape and characteristics. The only difference was the size. This temple was five times the size of the shabby temple earlier.

Elder Chen examined the temple carefully and nodded. "It's indeed the temple for holding sacrificial ceremonies to the Devil Lord. From its size and such scale of relics, it looks to be one of the main temples from back in the day. But the Devil Cult had declined after immortals granted Magical Arms to seal the Devil Tomb. Now only one temple remains atop Sacred Fire Mountain."

"Could they borrow the power of the Devil Tomb from this temple?" Meng Qi may lack Jianghu experience but his knowledge was vast. They had to take precautions against this possibility.

Elder Chen thought for a while and could not answer with certainty. "Perhaps. We should on full alert either way."

Meng Qi adopted his posture after a routine search, looking like a Luohan brass statue. He was the first to enter the temple with his Sun Evil-Sealing Blade. But this time, Jiang Zhiwei stood by his side with her sword raised, ready to protect him.

For some reason, the temple was inexplicably clean. There was no dust or sand inside, making a sharp contrast with the ruins buried in the yellow sand outside. It was a quite strange and amazing sight.

Inside the temple, a statue sat squarely in front. Unlike the one in that shabby temple, this statue was well preserved. Meng Qi was able to see Devil Lord's handsome appearance.

The statue was painted black and had three heads and six arms. Between the three heads, one wore a fierce expression, another looked loathsome, and the final one looking cold. The only common point was the dark mark between their eyebrows, looking evil and filthy. Between the arms, one carried a sword, one a blade, one a seal, one a vast, and one a helm.

The most prominent was the one in front of him, with large palms almost twice the size of others. Its sword-like fingernails were almost three inches long. The back of the hands was carved with a dark pattern, carrying a dizzying kind of enchantment, evil, and bloodiness. It gave off a feeling of unimaginable hatred that despised the just heaven, the tolerant earth, the happy people, the objects that don't belong to oneself, the causes and effects, the cruel fate, and the uncompleted killings.

Such an unseemly, ordinary statue actually gave people such a strong feeling. It did not seem to be a product of mortals!

"I've heard the Founder Lord of the Devil Cult is a carving expert. Today I see that he's truly worthy of his reputation," said Elder Chen.

Luo Shengyi suddenly took a step back and shook his head slightly. His actions alarmed Meng Qi and he vigilantly raised his Buddhist Commandment Blade, thinking their enemies were here to ambush them.

"It's not the enemies," Luo Shengyi said immediately, massaging his temples. "I'm just too focused on the patterns carved on that palm. I want to discern them but it costs me too much will and I became dizzy."

Meng Qi thought to himself that Luo Shengyi simply wanted to memorize those unusual patterns... Even if it was just a mortal carving by Cult Lord of the Devil Cult and contained not one in ten thousand of the real devil claws' essence, it still carried some mysterious oddness to it.

When he tried to recall those patterns, he was surprised to find he could not. What was more was he would experience emotional turbulence when he examined them more closely. Hatred and the desire to kill swelled in him and he nearly lost control of himself.

"Let's not waste our time here. When we return, we can send someone here to make a copy of the pattern," Jiang Zhiwei reminded them.

Her words woke them from the spell of the Devil Lord statue. They began looking for tracks of Gu Xiaosang and the Terrestrial Venerable in the hall.

Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei remained still at the center so they could help others if unexpected attacks happened.

"I thought the legend of Devil Lord was familiar when I heard about it earlier, but now that I saw this statue, I know why I got that feeling." Jiang Zhiwei's crisp voice like that of a songbird suddenly reached Meng Qi's ears.

It was her Secret Voice-sending.

Meng Qi had acquired Dharma Access to the Secret voice-sending as per her lessons. He asked in the same manner, "Why?"

Jiang Zhiwei said, "There's a similar legend in our world. It's one of the best big powers of The Myths Period."

"Are they the same?" Meng Qi asked in surprise.

"Similar. Here, the legend speaks of Devil Lord getting killed by immortals when he tried to enter the Ninefold Sky and his maimed body fell on the ground. But in our world, the story goes that Devil Lord led evil demons of Nine Serenities and creatures of Demon World to attack Celestial Court. His attack caused great disasters and he was finally killed by Heaven Sovereign with Heaven Path Seal. The Evil World was also destroyed. Since then, Nine Serenities had remained hidden in the world."

"They do sound quite similar... " Meng Qi was somewhat frightened to hear the two legends at the same time. Were they not too similar? The Ninefold Sky, immortals, Celestial Court, and Heaven Sovereign. They were not too different from one another. He asked, "Where's the maimed body of Devil Lord in our world?"

"I don't know. After the fall of Celestial Court later, there were no clear records remaining. Perhaps Xuan Tian Sect would know something," Jiang Zhiwei replied after some consideration.

The reason Xuan Tian Sect claimed itself to be the inheritor of Heaven Sovereign was due to the fact that their founding ancestors found the ruins of Celestial Court under the ground of Jade Emperor Mountain thousands of years ago. They also found the Blade of Timeshadow and some parts of the Imperial Scripts of Heaven at the same time.

Meng Qi thought the two Devil Lords might turn out to be the same person. But Devil Lord of this world seemed not as strong.

"Since he could attack Celestial Court, Devil Lord's strength must be truly frightening. What stage had he reached?" Meng Qi asked, doubtful.

Jiang Zhiwei thought for a while before replying, "Rumors had it that Devil Lord opened up the Evil World out of the void, showing his strength. But later, the Ninefold Sky disappeared, Celestial Court fell, and Heaven Sovereign died. Apparently, it was effected from battling Devil Lord."

She did not know how many stages Dharmakaya was divided into, nor if there were stages higher than Dharmakaya. She could describe based on the rumors she had heard.

"Who killed Heaven Sovereign and caused the fall of Celestial Court?" Meng Qi could not help asking as it was the second time he had heard about this. It was not something that could be done by just any powerful person.

Jiang Zhiwei shook her head. "It's an ancient secret and we can only learn about it through the records. One day, the ladder to Heaven suddenly broke and Celestial Court fell from the sky. The ground was covered by clouds and dust for nine whole days. Since then, the so-called Ninefold Sky had disappeared forever."

Meng Qi took a small breath. He restrained the questions he had and turned his attention back to Devil Lord. "Zhiwei, why do you think of the legend of our world when you look at this Devil Lord statue?"

Were there any unique characteristics?

"Because of that." Jiang Zhiwei pointed at the most outstanding palm of Devil Lord's statue. "In our world, the legend was that Devil Lord was an ordinary member of Nine Serenities devils. Later he gained the Claw of the Demon Emperor by accident and soared to the sky with one star, becoming the destructive demon. That palm very much resembled the Claw of the Demon Emperor."

Meng Qi had once seen the Claw of the Demon Emperor in the Exchange List of Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms. It was one of the top ten Peerless Godly Weapons, worth hundreds of thousands of Karma points. It was a relic of Demon Emperor of Nine Serenities.

Based on the description provided by Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms, Heavenly Primogenitor severely injured Demon Emperor in the antediluvian period and he ran back to Nine Serenities, lying down seven curses before his death. He cursed everything. Later, his body disappeared and only one claw was left of him. Anyone who owned the claw would have Demon Emperor's soul and accomplished insurmountable Heavenly Knowing.

But the owner would be affected by the seven curses, gradually changing his temper. He would make the destruction of everything in the world as his responsibility. Thus, Claw of the Demon Emperor, the evilest one, was the cheapest exchangeable item among the top ten Peerless Godly Weapons.

Meng Qi looked at that weird and evil palm again, once again feeling the overwhelming hatred and desire to destroy the world.

His stare this time was more focused and he soon felt pain between his eyebrows. He felt sleepy and dizzy, forcing him to turn his sight away from it.

"What happened to the claw?" Meng Qi asked after collecting himself.

After some thought, Jiang Zhiwei said, "Heavenly Sovereign killed Devil Lord and the claw became lost. Later, someone would find it and start the legend of Evil Emperor. But at the end of The Myths period, it was said that Evil Emperor also died after coming to the end of his lifespan. After that, the claw appeared several times in medieval times and resulted in great disasters and deaths of millions each time it showed up. This was until its last owner died with his enemy 20,000 years ago. The claw had disappeared without a trace since."

"Would it have landed in the hands of Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms later?" Meng Qi wiped his sweat, remembering the claw was not indicated as being lost in the Exchange List of Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms.

Jiang Zhiwei seriously said, "There's a possibility."

Meng Qi was about to ask in detail when Elder Chen yelled loudly, "I found a secret passage! They left through it!"

They put away their thoughts and walked to the back of the statue. A carved slate was pushed away and a deep secret passage came to their sight.

Do they give chase or not?

They would naturally worry if there were any traps inside the secret passage. But due to all other reasons, they decided to continue their hunt. They left Elder Li to stay in the temple and guard the entrance. If anything happened, he could use his Secrecy-reaching skill to inform Elder Chen in the secret passage to prevent their enemies from entrapping them.

Walking down the stairs, they found it was deep and dark inside. Each of them carried a match in one hand and tightly held onto their own weapons with the other. Luo Shengyi and Elder Chen carefully followed after them, examining for any mechanisms or concealed weapons on both sides of the secret passage.

Except for a slate picturing the invincible might of Devil Lord, they found nothing along the passage, not even a speck of dust.

After walking for a while, they found the passage widening into an underground hall.

Opposite them was a strange stone door carved with strange patterns. It was colorful, splendid, and full of evil.

There was a pile of huge stones, blocking the door.

A bear-like stalwart man sat cross-legged in front of the stone pile. He was a scrawny man wearing a peacefully happy expression.

"The Terrestrial Venerable... " Elder Chen said.

"Ajati Finger... " Meng Qi and the rest blurted out.

Gu Xiaosang had actually killed the Terrestrial Venerable!