Archfiend Chapter 439
The Gem of Dreaming cracked aloud, and Xu Yangyi shook his head disappointedly and prepared to remove his spiritual sense. But suddenly, he saw Sheliyuemo open a passage and bring Che Fengchao farther and farther away… so far that they flew away from Earth!
And beyond Earth… was the Clearcloud Realm!
Hum! The inside of Xu Yangyi’s mind brightened in a flash. He recalled many of his conversations with Enihilus and the Dream Walker!
“This… is Journey to the West.” He intently watched the memory. “Not Tang Xuanzang’s Journey to the West! But Wukong’s Journey to the West!”
“But… Enihilus once said back then that Journey to the West spanned through Lesser Thousand Realms! If that’s how it really is… no wonder, it’s no surprise that mortals or the cultivation world can’t find many of the nations recorded in Journey to the West no matter what!”
“Senior Che stepped into the Yuenü Tribe’s domain back then and encountered Horseplague here. The Three Scriptures were rescued, and then he fulfilled his promise. He followed a Master of the Tripiṭaka in cultivation and traveled through Lesser Thousand Realms, and this was spread by a book into the world…”
Crack… The Gem of Dreaming in his hand completely transformed into flying ash. He stared for three seconds, somewhat lost in thought, and shook his head.
This wasn’t the answer he had looked forward to.
If he hadn’t entered Danxia Temple, then he wouldn’t have had these expectations. But it was because he knew about Xiaoqing and Fahai, because he knew about Jiang Ziya, who had recultivated four lifetimes, that he had this belief now.
Perhaps this thought was planted in everyone’s minds at the beginning of cultivation. But in the End of Days, this seed wasn’t able to germinate. Only he, having seen much, much more than other cultivators, had thus quietly sprouted… This seed that shouldn’t have sprouted in the End of Days!
Although it was young, its growth was incomparably fierce! To the extent that this seed didn’t even need anyone to water it or spread fertilizer for it at all!
Power was such a concept that each man pursued it. Regardless of rights or authority… perhaps all there existed was the pure strength of the fleshly body.
His train of thought fell away somewhat, but his gaze suddenly brightened once several seconds passed.
The Gem of Dreaming… still hadn’t dissipated! Instead, it was oddly arranging a paragraph in the air!
“In the second year of the reign of Emperor Suzong of Tang, Shi Siming turned Fanyang into the Imperial Capital. He changed Fanyang into Yanjing. In the same year, an immortal fell at Tianshou Mountain on the outskirts of Yanjing. The cultivation world was shaken, and tens of thousands of cultivators gathered at Yanjing, but they found no trace. This poor monk’s destiny coincided, and I found a magik treasure that wrote of the Divine Sealock Needle. This treasure… hides a titanic secret. I suspect that it points to an immortal’s burial ground. Unless one is fortified by great destiny and fortune, and they are not Core Formation, it cannot be opened.” 
Underneath was an expanse of strange hand seals.
Xu Yangyi was already up on his feet, his heart pounding wildly!
The vestige of an immortal!
If said, apart from Ming Guangzong of the past, no one else could be sure. To the extent that Ming Guangzong himself only had a speculation, a speculation that was based on a monarch’s heart and mind. But Che Fengchao had left his mark on history. Regardless of the past, right now, in all the information he was able to find, the sole trail of the mark of ‘immortal’ had truly been mentioned!
“Wait…” He snapped his head up and murmured, “Tianshou Mountain… isn’t that…”
The Thirteen Ming Tombs!
In his heart, a hair-raising guess suddenly arose!
“What if… the Ming court found the remains of an immortal?” He rubbed his chin, his gaze fiery. “Therefore, they constructed the Thirteen Ming Tombs on Tianshou Mountain?”
“And as the emperor whose dynasty esteemed Daoism the most, Ming Guangzong… he happened to find the thing underneath the Thirteen Ming Tombs… And it was because of this that Celestial Master Zhang compiled the Dao Scripture later? Why the Tianqi Explosion happened, and the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s pursuit?”
“If he really did discover an immortal’s body… everything can be explained!”
It was the Thirteen Ming Tombs!
Xu Yangyi hadn’t expected this. It seemed that he’d gone around in a loop. Ultimately, his journey still fell upon the Thirteen Ming Tombs!
The Vermilion Bird Fire was there, and the only trail related to immortals, written by Che Fengchao, was also there!
“I must go,” he confirmed to himself. “Regardless of the Eternal Alchemy Canon’s true activation or the trail of an immortal, I must go look.”
“Fortunately, this place warned me that it’s a place I can only go as a Core Formation cultivator.” He rubbed his chin and memorized all the hand seals. Afterwards, he did a once over.
“This might be the key related to an immortal’s trail… It should be the only thing that Senior Che comprehended from the Gold-Banded Staff.”
Sudden realization gave birth to clear enlightenment in his heart. The Gold-Banded Staff really wasn’t Che Fengchao’s. History stated that he was adept at using a long staff. So it turned out that he wasn’t good at it, but rather because he simply couldn’t relinquish it!
Was there any cultivator who didn’t want to achieve the Dao and become an immortal?
With such destiny, how could Che Fengchao possibly let go?
Since he had the pill spirit that granted him an eidetic memory, Xu Yangyi wasn’t afraid about forgetting the hand seals. Still, after performing four of the hand seals, his brows abruptly scrunched together.
“Something’s off! I was just rushing through. There’s a point in this that doesn’t make sense!”
“If… this immortal treasure landed during the Tang era, how could it be inscribed in Journey to the West?! That isn’t Wukong’s Journey to the West, but Tang Xuanzang’s Journey to the West! The Journey to the West that Wu Cheng’en wrote during the Ming era! 
“That’s right, I understand! After Senior Che gained the divine needle, he immediately followed the trail and started journeying west, so he entered a Lesser Thousand Realm! He began his own journey to the west!”
A riddle seemed to be solved, yet an even larger riddle appeared.
In the end, who did this staff belong to?
Could it be… it was that immortal body that fell during the Tang dynasty?
“Forget it, now’s not the time to think about these things. Senior Che explained it pretty clearly. If I want to comprehend the thing inside this staff, I can’t do it unless I’m Core Formation. Once I reach Core Formation, then it’ll be my beginning.”
In his mind, he’d already finished going through the hand seals. However, at the same time he finished, the entire passage shook!
Moonless quickly raised his head. He felt something was coming.
Xu Yangyi also felt it. Something was charging straight where he was, from the entrance of the nightmare world!
Ten minutes… twenty minutes… From the path they had taken several hours to fly though, in less than half an hour, a staff smoldering with golden light stood before Xu Yangyi like a lightning bolt. It didn’t give him time to react, immediately transforming into the size of a needle and flying to Xu Yangyi’s ear.
Moonless was stunned, and so was Xu Yangyi.
“This… is the Gold-Banded Staff from outside?” Moonless said incredulously. “It… It has… recognized you as its master?”
“What did you even do?”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flashed. It seemed that Moonless hadn’t seen those characters just now.
This was indeed Che Fengchao’s remnant. If such a great cultivator didn’t want other people to see it, then that was just all too easy.
“Nothing.” Xu Yangyi shook his head and spoke no further. He understood very well that he hadn’t made the Gold-Banded Staff accept him as a master, but rather he could temporarily control it. It was barely this and nothing more.
Just as the staff flew to him, the nightmare space finally started to fracture apart inch after inch.
However, to say that it was fracturing still wasn’t appropriate. On the contrary, space transformed into black fog, and wisps scattered away in the air. As all the black fog left, the surroundings turned to blue skies and white clouds, jade-green grass that looked like a mattress.
They were unexpectedly in the Garden of the Twin Sal-Trees.
Sure enough, Enihilus wasn’t the Realm Spirit. His death didn’t cause the Clearcloud Realm to collapse. On the nearby grass, everyone who they had previously entered with, apart from those who were already dead, were left behind in perfect condition, as when they had first entered.
At the center of the twin sal-trees, a golden formation was rippling in the eye. This was the formation leading to Earth.
“Let’s go…” Moonless said, his voice deep with emotion. “Everything’s been settled.”
Xu Yangyi saw Zhao Ziqi, who was in snoring in his sleep. He faintly smiled and waved his hand, and the youth transformed into flowing light and entered his spiritual sense. In the next moment, he lightly snorted and several white flashes shot into the state-magi’s and spirit-masters’ minds.
“What are you doing?” Moonless raised a brow and said.
“They’ll fulfill my deal with the Clearcloud Realm.” Xu Yangyi waved his hand, and his thoughts stirred again. These people all transformed into steaks of light and vanished from the Garden of the Twin Sal-Trees.
This was a test of his control of the Clearcloud Realm and also a show of strength to Moonless. Before he was sure who the other was in the end.
“Hmph.” Moonless’s complexion was somewhat unsightly. Oddly though, he only gritted his teeth and remained silent.
“Let’s go.” Xu Yangyi wore a small smile on his face, and entered the twin sal-trees.
As soon as he entered the formation, his vision slightly flashed. He saw, at the fringes of the formation, a golden awl inserted into the ground. If memory served, this… should’ve been Clearcloud’s Realm Anchor.
He studied it for several seconds, turned around, and left. This was an item that he couldn’t take away.
He wasn’t certain how many Lesser Thousand Realms there were that Earth knew of, but if a missing Lesser Thousand Realm and Realm Anchor appeared on Earth again, everything would be over once he was discovered.
The current him simply didn’t require the Realm Anchor to open the passage between the Clearcloud Realm and Earth. All he needed… was to return and prepare for several years. After buying a spatial ring with a massive storage, true planar trade would be conducted.
Swoosh… The duo stepped into the Transference Formation. In an instant, a dizziness that was countless times stronger than an ordinary Transference Formation churned.
Xu Yangyi promptly closed his eyes. In this twinkling, he almost felt like he was being torn into smithereens.
Soon, darkness appeared before his eyes. He could sense, however, that this was a spinning darkness.
After roughly half an hour, a massive rumble rang out from the Clearcloud Realm’s great continent! A pillar of golden light rocketed straight into the sky!
Vaguely, two silhouettes could be seen in the gold light, seemingly there but not there.
“Ascension? Someone is ascending?!
“Fuck me, a grand master has appeared?! No way!!!”
All of the Clearcloud Realm’s denizens could see this pillar of light. From the sorrowful pain of the Clearcloud Realm’s near collapse, almost each person reacted, and ecstatic conversation about the pillar of light followed.
“It’s them…” In the State of Shangchen, the chairman and the premier observed the pillar of light with deep feelings. “They… left… Those upper-realm cultivators…”
“In that case… when they come next time, will they bring guns and cannons, or goods?”
Xu Yangyi and Moonless closed their eyes as they went higher and higher in the pillar of light. However, they didn’t see that barely ten minutes after they left, a shiver-inducing spiritual pressure raced closer to the entire Clearcloud Realm, fast as lightning!
A golden coffin was gently drifting through space several hundred thousand kilometers away from the Clearcloud Realm. Golden light shimmered.
Crack… The coffin lid soundlessly opened, and a crystalline jade hand lifted it away. Afterwards, a woman that could be called a perfect beauty, dressed in ancient palace dress, trod into the void and stood there.
“‘Star’ reporting.” Her voice held no modicum of humanity. On the contrary, it was fully saturated with the metallic feel of machinery. “Target has vanished, the Clearcloud Realm has disappeared. I am incapable of scouting and survey. Requesting directive.”
1. Emperor Suzong of Tang (711-762 CE). Shi Siming (703-761 CE). Shi Siming conspired against the Tang Dynasty with An Lushan in what would become the An-Shi Rebellion. Yanjing is modern-day Beijing.
2. Tang dynasty (618-907 CE). Ming Cheng’en (1500-1582 CE). Author of Journey to the West. These two dates give some relativity between the time periods here.