Ancient Manuals Tower was located below the sealed main peak of Saint Genesis Peak.
The next day.
With Shen Taiyuan leading the way, Zhou Yuan once again arrived at the sealed main peak. At the foot of the mountain stood a slightly dilapidated ancient tower, which was covered in scars left by the passage of time.
An elderly man dressed in simple clothing was standing on the steps leading to the ancient tower, holding a broom while looking as if he was about to fall asleep. It was ‘venerable old Xuan’, the caretaker Zhou Yuan met when he first came to Saint Genesis Peak.
Zhou Yuan followed behind Shen Taiyuan, lifting his head to look at that majestic main peak. Mist swirled within the lush forest, giving it a mysterious look.
Faint glowing runes pulsed in the air, giving off a deep and powerful aura that made one not dare to easily approach.
“The sealed main peak…”
Waves rose in Zhou Yuan’s heart. The second Saint Rune was somewhere within the main peak. Unfortunately, though it seemed to be right in front of his eyes, there was still a huge gulf between him and the Saint Rune that was very difficult to cross.
To enter the main peak, he had to become the chief disciple of Saint Genesis Peak… and that was still a ways off for him.
While Zhou Yuan was sighing inside, Shen Taiyuan looked towards the drowsy looking old man in front of the ancient tower, and respectfully bowed towards the latter. Even though there were no Genesis Qi vibrations from the old man’s body, in terms of seniority, even the sect master would have to pay respects to this individual.
In a manner of speaking, old Xuan was the person who had accompanied patriarch Cang Xuan the longest.
The elderly man did not react initially, his eyes and ears seemingly not working too well. Therefore, Shen Taiyuan had to up his volume and call out a few more times. The old man finally awakened, lifting his murky eyes to look at Shen Taiyuan as he smiled and said in a raspy voice, “It’s elder Shen…”
Shen Taiyuan nodded. Without wasting time with pleasantries, he pointed at Zhou Yuan and said, “Venerable old Xuan, there is a disciple who seeks to enter the Ancient Manuals Tower.”
Old Xuan cast his gaze at Zhou Yuan. In that instant, Zhou Yuan felt the former’s gaze seemed to freeze for a split second.
Old Xuan slowly said, “Little one, didn’t you arrive at the inner mountains not too long ago? To think that you now have the qualifications to enter the Ancient Manuals Tower, looks like you’re quite capable.”
Shen Taiyuan smiled and said, “Zhou Yuan is indeed quite talented. He is the champion of the latest the purple sash selection, which is why sect master has made an exception this time to grant him entry.”
Old Xuan nodded. Without further ado, he stretched out his wrinkled hand and said, “Pass me sect master’s token.”
Shen Taiyuan quickly retrieved a glowing jade token.
Old Xuan took the jade token, and stared at it for quite some time, before he finally nodded his head slowly. He shakily propped himself up with his broom, before slowly pushing open the ancient door behind him.
Behind the large doors lay a pitch-black darkness. Not even the faintest ray of light could be seen, making it appear quite mysterious.
“Little one, the Ancient Manuals Tower is where master cultivated in the past. Whatever you obtain in this place will depend on your own fate and luck. If one is not fated, it is not unusual to leave empty handed.”
Zhou Yuan cupped his fists together, demonstrating that he had accepted the old man’s teachings. He then turned to look at Shen Taiyuan, who smiled and nodded at his disciple.
Without any hesitation, Zhou Yuan walked forward, arriving at the entrance. With a deep breath, he stepped in as darkness surged towards him, swallowing his entire body.
Upon seeing that Zhou Yuan had entered the Ancient Manuals Tower, old Xuan sat down on the steps in a wobbly manner, hugging his broom as he returned to his half asleep state.
Shen Taiyuan bowed towards old Xuan before leaving.
The foot of the main peak once again descended into a peaceful silence.
This silence lasted for a period of time, before suddenly being broken by the sounds of footsteps as a figure approached with his hands behind his back. He was dressed in white robes, and had the appearance of a handsome young man, while his skin gave off a jade-like glow.
It was peak master Ling Jun of Sword Cometh Peak!
The eyelids of old Xuan gently trembled, before he lifted his head, his murky eyes glancing at the young man in white robes. He then withdrew his gaze and became as still as a statue, clearly showing that he had no intentions of greeting the latter.
Peak master Ling Jun did not mind this at all. He stood beside old Xuan, glancing at the opened Ancient Manuals Tower and asked, “The little one called Zhou Yuan has entered?”
Old Xuan did not answer.
Peak master Ling Jun did not mind this either. It was just a casual question after all. Even though Zhou Yuan had caused his Sword Cometh Peak to lose all face in the purple sash selection, there was no way someone of his stature would lower himself to deal with a mere disciple.
He was obviously not here for Zhou Yuan.
As he stood beside old Xuan, he lifted his head to gaze at the mysterious misty main peak. After a period of silence, he slowly said, “I really miss how grand this place was back then. When mister lectured, countless powerful experts from the entire Cangxuan Heaven would gather here…”
Peak master Ling Jun’s voice softened as he continued, “Saint Genesis Peak has been in a pitiful state for far too long. I believe we should restore it to its former glory as a way to pay tribute to mister.”
No matter what he said, old Xuan indifferent, as if his murky eyes were frozen in time.
Peak master Ling Jun lowered his head and looked at the old man. With a gentle smile, he said, “Old Xuan, you’ve always been here at Saint Genesis Peak. When do you think the seal will be lifted?”
Old Xuan hugged his broom, as his raspy voice finally sounded, “It will naturally be lifted when it’s meant to be.”
Peak master Ling Jun helpless shook his head. It was the same answer old Xuan always gave.
“Old Xuan, we shouldn’t idly stand by and allow Saint Genesis Peak to continue to decline. After all, this was mister’s favourite place.” Said peak master Ling Jun.
Old Xuan swept a glance at the former, before he said, “If you really want to do something for master, I feel that you should avenge him. This will be much better than restoring Saint Genesis Peak to its former glory.”
Peak master Ling Jun let out a bitter laugh and said, “Old Xuan, the current Cangxuan Sect is no longer the same sect as it was when mister was around.”
“The most powerful sect in Cangxuan Heaven is no longer our Cangxuan Sect, but Sacred Palace…”
He fell silent for a moment, staring at the sealed main peak, before he said, “The only way to avenge him is for the next Heaven Master to come from our Cangxaun Sect… and to achieve this, we will need the stamp that represents Cangxuan Heaven… the Cangxuan Saint Stamp that was once in mister’s possession.”
“However, the Cangxuan Saint Stamp disappeared after mister died…”
He softly sighed, before his gaze turned back to old Xuan. A sliver of anticipation rose in his eyes as he said, “Old Xuan, you were together with mister in his final moments. Do you not know where the Cangxuan Saint Stamp is?”
“If our Cangxuan Sect can wield the Cangxuan Saint Stamp, we will not fear even Sacred Palace.”
The old man slowly shook his head, as his raspy voice sounded, “The Cangxuan Saint Stamp originated from this heaven, and I have never seen it before. How I can possibly know where it is?”
The light in peak master Ling Jun’s eyes dimmed.
Old Xuan gently stroked the broom in his embrace, as he said in a trembling voice, “After all these years, it seems to me that you are the one who cares the most about the Cangxuan Saint Stamp, even more so than sect master and the rest.”
He lifted his head and glanced at peak master Ling Jun. “Do you want to obtain it?”
Peak master Ling Jun was a little taken aback. He did not conceal his intentions and answered, “The one who controls the Cangxuan Saint Stamp can become the Heaven Master. Who does not desire this? Furthermore, it is the only way I will be able to avenge mister.”
“What does Old Xuan think?”
Old Xuan slowly shook his head and said, “You are unsuitable.”
Peak master Ling Jun’s tone remained calm and unchanged as he replied, “Old Xuan, I am no longer the little boy from back then.”
Old Xuan lifted his elderly face, and focused on the mysterious misty peak. He was silent for a long time, before his raspy voice sounded.
“It is precisely because you are no longer the same little boy who served mister... that is why you are unsuitable.”