Chapter 602 - The Mystery of the Frozen Cloud Ancestor
A deafening shattering sound rang sharply through the air, nearly traversing the entirety of Heavenly Sword Villa. All of the Heavenly Sword disciples who were practicing their sword skills, and even a few elders, involuntarily covered their ears. As they sought desperately to suppress an uncomfortable sensation which seemed to seep into their souls, they also looked towards the origin of that sound with expressions of amazement.
Heavenly Sword Ancestral Hall, the most sacred place in Heavenly Sword Villa, located at its very core. Following the sound of urgent footsteps, the Ancestral Hall’s great doors were pushed upon and Ling Yuefeng stepped in. With a glance, he saw Ling Tianni, who had clearly been in seclusion, standing by the side of the jade platform situated at the right side of the Ancestral Hall.
“Yuefeng, you’ve come.” Ling Tianni did not turn around; instead, he stood there silently, staring at the jade platform in front of him.
“Father, what’s happened?” Ling Yuefeng asked as he quickly strode forward. That peculiar ringing sound was definitely not a normal occurrence and the origin of that sound was from this place. When he saw that his father, who had been in seclusion for over a year, had actually appeared in this place, he knew that this matter was even more complex than he had initially anticipated.
As his voice fell, his gaze also fell upon the jade platform that Ling Tianni faced… From his memory, there had always been a clear, icy-blue jade pearl a foot in length placed atop this jade platform. This jade pearl did not emanate any aura and its only distinguishing feature was its emission of faint, icy-blue light when nighttime arrived.
He had learned from Ling Tianni that this jade pearl’s name was “Jewel of Icy Song” and it was an item gifted to the founder of Heavenly Sword Villa when their sect had just been established one thousand years ago by the founder of the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, Mu Bingyun. As for what it was used for, Ling Tianni had never told him and he had also never paid it any mind.
But right now, this “Jewel of Icy Song” was no longer there and what replaced it was a pile of cluttered fragments shaped like ice crystals on the jade platform.
“The recent noise… was because this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ fractured?” Ling Yuefeng asked. If a jade pearl had merely broken, even though it was something left behind by their ancestor, it wouldn’t be too significant of a matter. However, Ling Tianni didn’t hesitate to break out of his cultivation seclusion to come here. Furthermore, the grave expression on his face told Ling Yuefeng that this matter was definitely not simple.
“Ah.” Ling Tianni heaved a deep sigh and said, “Something has happened to Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace… a calamity great enough to destroy their entire sect.”
“What?” Ling Yuefeng’s eyebrows jumped fiercely.
Ling Tianni slowly replied, “This ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ was an item gifted to our founding father by the ancestor of Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, Mu Bingyun. But it was not meant as a gift. Back then, when the Frozen Cloud Ancestor Mu Bingyun gifted this to our founder, she said this: ‘One thousand years from now, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace will be plunged into a great crisis. The moment this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ breaks is the moment the crisis will descend upon Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace…’”
“So that is to say… the Frozen Cloud Ancestor hoped that when this day came, our Heavenly Sword Villa would lend a helping hand?” Ling Yuefeng asked.
Ling Tianni inclined his head and replied, “That is right, this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ is linked to the final forbidden protective formation of the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, the ‘Snow Goddess’ Veil.’ The ‘Snow Goddess’ Veil’ is something the Frozen Cloud Ancestor had set up by herself all those years ago and it’s a forbidden protective formation that will only open when Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace has been pushed into truly dire straits. Once this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ breaks, it will let out a loud ring. This means the ‘Snow Goddess’ Veil’ has already been activated. For the next seven days, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace will be under the protection of this ‘Snow Goddess’ Veil.’ All those years ago, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace had hoped that Heavenly Sword Villa would be able to help them within seven days’ time when the day of their doom were to arrive.”
“Seven days…” Ling Yuefeng had a very complicated expression on his face, “To be able to plunge Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace into such a disaster, the other party must be immeasurably strong or they might even be individuals of the Overlord class. The Frozen Cloud Ancestor and our Heavenly Sword Ancestor were high-level Thrones back in their day, so the protective profound formation that she laid down could only be at the strength of the at best the Emperor Profound. If they truly fought against Overlord-calibre enemies, the formation shouldn’t even last a single blow, much less for seven days… So, even if we do extend our hand to help, it would be days before we’d reach Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace… it’s not even possible that we can arrive in time, right? What’s more, the current situation in the Blue Wind Nation is…”
“No…” Without waiting for Ling Yuefeng to finish, Ling Tianni interrupted him and said, “If your words were true, why would I still be so hesitant?”
Ling Tianni quietened down and it was only after a long time that he turned around and faced Ling Yuefeng, “Yuefeng, I was originally only planning to tell you these matters regarding Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace when I approached my twilight years. But the day of calamity for Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace has come, and it also involves a request made by the Frozen Cloud Ancestor… As Heavenly Sword’s Villa Master, the decision of our next course of action lies with you. So, I need to tell you about all of these affairs right now.”
“... Could it be that Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace… is still hiding a secret that’s been hidden from the rest of the world?” Ling Yuefeng asked solemnly as he observed Ling Tianni’s grave expression.
“The secret does not lie with the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace proper, but with its founder… Mu Bingyun." Ling Tianni slowly said, “For the next seven days, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace will definitely be safe from all harm, because once the ‘Snow Goddess’ Veil’ has been activated, no one in this world will be able to break it. Even if it is Absolute Monarch Sanctuary, Supreme Ocean Palace, Sun Moon Divine Hall, and Mighty Heavenly Sword Region. Even if all these four Sacred Grounds join hands, there is no possibility that they would break through.
“What?” Ling Yuefeng was greatly shocked, “This… How is this possible? Even if the Saint Emperor, the Sovereign of the Seas, the Heavenly Monarch, and the Sword Master acted in concert and used all their might, it would still be impossible for them to erect such a formidable profound formation… As a high level Throne, how is it possible for the Frozen Cloud Ancestor to have such an ability… Could it be power borrowed from some kind of incomparably strong artifact?”
Ling Tianni shook his head once more and raised his head slightly. His expression was unexpectedly one of complete subconscious admiration, “Wrong… The power of the Frozen Cloud Ancestor, Mu Bingyun, was far beyond what you or anyone in this world knows.”
Ling Yuefeng, “...”
“A thousand years ago, before our Heavenly Sword Villa had been established, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace was already in existence. When our Heavenly Sword Ancestor roamed across Blue Wind, he challenged all of the experts within Blue Wind, and he did not lose a single match. After that, he came to know of the existence of Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace and he went to challenge the Frozen Cloud Mistress Mu Bingyun… Our ancestor thought it’d be a fight with no suspense, yet he lost to her… Everyone back then who had heard of this duel knew that our ancestor had only lost after a long fight with Mu Bingyun, but the true story our ancestor left behind for us was that Mu Bingyun had defeated him in one move.”
“This…” Before such shock, Ling Yuefeng’s pupils uncontrollably contracted for an instant.
“The Snow Region of Extreme Ice was not always called by that name, because in the past, that place rarely rained or snowed. It was only a vast, bitterly cold land filled with shrubbery that stretched as far as the eye could see. But one thousand years ago, a great blizzard descended upon the land for seven days and seven nights, and ever since then, it’s been locked in snow and ice. And after that, the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace appeared… What our ancestor left behind was this: The blizzard that lasted for seven days and seven nights was caused by Mu Bingyun.”
Ling Yuefeng, “!!!!”
“Frozen Cloud Ancestor Mu Bingyun’s true strength was unfathomable. From the description left behind by our ancestor, Mu Bingyun’s strength was on an incomprehensible level. Our ancestor swore to Frozen Cloud Ancestor Mu Bingyun that he would keep all of this a secret and he would not divulge it to anyone else. Because the Frozen Cloud Ancestor established the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace with the intention of taking in some ill-fated girls who had nowhere else to go, she was not willing to let the world notice their existence.”
“...” Ling Yuefeng descended into a stupor. Heavenly Sword Villa was the strongest force that lorded over Blue Wind. One thousand years ago, the ancestor who established Heavenly Sword Villa dominated all under heaven with his sword and he was unrivalled; he was the publicly acknowledged strongest in Blue Wind. It was only the direct inheritors of the Villa who knew of his defeat to the Frozen Cloud Ancestor Mu Bingyun all those years ago… and they had been told that it was a narrow loss.
But no one would have imagined that Frozen Cloud Ancestor Mu Bingyun was actually such a terrifying existence.
Defeating the Heavenly Sword Ancestor in a single move… If she had the ambition, how then could Heavenly Sword Villa lord over the Blue Wind for the past thousand years?
“Just where did that Frozen Cloud Ancestor come from? Could it be that… she was also like our ancestor, and she came from one of the Four Great Sacred Grounds?” Ling Yuefeng asked with a face full of astonishment. This kind of strength could only come from the Four Great Sacred Grounds.
“No.” Ling Tianni shook his head yet again, “No one knows where her origins lie even our ancestor did not know. It was not only her background no one knew of but also the profound art she used back then… Frozen End Divine Art was incomparably strong, yet no one had ever heard of it. Putting aside our ancestor, even up till today and even within the Four Great Sacred Grounds, not a single person knows where Frozen End Divine Art actually originated from.”
“Our Heavenly Sword Villa’s ‘Heaven’s Might Sword Art’ comes from Mighty Heavenly Sword Region, and our ancestor stated that the Frozen Cloud ancestor’s ‘Frozen End Divine Art’ was far superior to our ‘Heaven’s Might Sword Art’ and that it was in no way inferior to the core profound arts cultivated by those in the Four Great Sacred Grounds. For a profound art to reach that level, it would require at least a few thousand years or even more than ten thousand years of background and continued tradition. But Mu Bingyun’s ‘Frozen End Divine Art’ seemed to have descended from the heavens. Even if you scoured the previous thousands of years of history, you would not be able to find a single trace of it.”
“And because the level of the ‘Divine End Frozen Art’ was too high, even though the female disciples Mu Bingyun had taken in all had good innate talent, not a single one of them could learn it. So, Mu Bingyun created the ‘Frozen Cloud Arts’... and even though the ‘Frozen Cloud Arts’ were weaker than the ‘Frozen End Divine Art’, within Blue Wind, and even across the entire Profound Sky Continent, it would definitely be considered a profound art of the highest quality. Yet Mu Bingyun had only used seven days in its creation.”
“...” Ling Yuefeng remained silent for a long period of time, but following that, he continued in a mystified voice, “If the Frozen Cloud ancestor was truly so strong, and even approached the level of an elder of a Sacred Ground, then why was her life span so short? If she had reached that level, shouldn’t she have a lifespan of several thousand years?”
Ling Tianni closed his eyes and replied, “This is something that no one knows. What is passed down within the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace is that their ancestor had passed from this mortal coil in their Frozen End Divine Hall. When our ancestor, who knew the true power of Mu Bingyun, personally went to the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace to verify this matter, he found out that Mu Bingyun had scattered into an icy mist which filled the entire Frozen End Divine Hall whereupon it disappeared. There was no body left behind, and what was left behind were only several words.”
“Because he never saw the body, our ancestor had always suspected that Mu Bingyun had never passed away… However, she did leave the ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ with him, which indicated that she would not be able to protect the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace from then on, indicating the possibility that she would no longer be in this world… So, even to the point of his death, our ancestor could not gain complete closure as to whether Mu Bingyun was alive or dead.”
“But a thousand years have passed and there are no longer any traces of Mu Bingyun left in this world, so she should have indeed already passed on. The reason she passed this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ likely means that she too felt her life was coming to an end. If not, given her ability, why would she request assistance from our Heavenly Sword Villa on her own accord?”
“After the Frozen Cloud Ancestor passed on, the reason for Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace’s existence also continued to change. When the Frozen Cloud Ancestor established the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, she only took in a few girls who had suffered bitter hardships and were in hopeless situations. But even after the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace lost Mu Bingyun, the strength of the Frozen Cloud Art still caused its reputation to flourish. The newly accepted disciples were gradually no longer accepted on the sole basis that they were in bitter and hopeless situations. The qualifications also grew more and and more severe, where in the end, aptitude and appearance had become the most important factors…”
“A change like this is also reasonable.” Ling Yuefeng said, “Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace consists solely of women, so it’s easy for them to be bullied, humiliated and lusted after. So what they needed to do was to increase their overall strength. It was only then would they be able to protect all the people within Asgard itself.”
“You are right.” Ling Tianni said slowly, “Endless change is what caused the present Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace to no longer resemble the Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace our ancestor knew a thousand years ago. But, before our ancestor left the world, he requested that this ‘Jewel of Icy Song’ be preserved in this ancestral hall until the day it shattered. This showed that our ancestor regarded the promise he made as extremely important and showed his determination to keep it.”
“And now, when Blue Wind is reaching its end, it just so happens that a catastrophe of this magnitude befalls Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace. Whether we continue closing our gates and ignore worldly affairs or we uphold the promise made by our ancestor and extend a helping hand towards Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace… The first option is to ensure security upon our thousand-year foundation but instead, we will lose our honor and justice. The second option is to uphold our honor and justice, but we may possibly bring calamity down on our own heads…”
“Yuefeng, as Villa Master of Heavenly Sword Villa, what we do next is entirely up to you.”