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Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy One – Creation of the Talisman
Bie Han's eyes were dry and burned like fire.
They had sprinted for ten days at top speed!
Not drinking and eating during this time, and not resting for more than four hours a day, his body was pushed to its limits but his mind was unbelievably excited.
Zuo Mo's actions had been very successful. The mo had continued to join them in the hopes of participating in this battle against the xiuzhe. But those that were most useful to Gongsun Cha and Bie Han were those mo that were familiar with Cold Mountain Jie. They had lived in the area for a long time and were familiar with the terrain like the back of their hands.
Especially the guide with him right now, someone who had told them of this secret and hidden path.
This path traversed caverns hidden deep within the earth, ten li below the surface. There were countless caverns that spanned tens of thousands of li and were interconnected like spiderwebs. They were filled with dark and cold energy, earth fire, beasts, and were extremely dangerous. If someone unfamiliar with the tunnels ventured into them, then they would most likely become lost and die in there.
But their risk was worth it. Hidden deep within the caverns was a chaos rift unknown to the majority of people, one that led to an underground cavern in Cold Mountain Jie.
Bie Han and Gongsun Cha both understood the value of this hidden path. They had deep admiration for what Zuo Mo had done. What had originally seemed to just be propaganda and was carried out without any technique had increased the chance of their victory.
Cold Mountain Jie was the mo jie that Jiang Zhe had first conquered and right now functioned as the central forward base for Xuan Kong Temple's invasion. There were large amounts of supplies stored there but most importantly was the chaos rift that led to Xuan Kong Temple.
Gongye Xiao Rong's fortunes had immediately changed when Mu Xi closed the chaos rift that lead to Xuan Kong Temple, leaving Gongye Xiao Rong a homeless dog.
The chaos rift was of the utmost importance!
Especially when one was attacking deep into the mo territories. If the chaos rift was lost, it meant losing their path home.
Compared to Gongye Xiao Rong's prideful actions, Jiang Zhe was more cautious. How could he ignore such an important place? He had set up layers of seal formations at the jie rivers of Cold Mountain Jie and made Cold Mountain Jie impenetrable.
Before this revelation, Gongsun Cha and Bie Han had never considered of attacking Cold Mountain Jie.
With the small amount of forces they had, the best choice was to search for openings as they moved. Trying to attack such a well-fortified position was the same as seeking death.
Gongye Xiao Rong had had so many people but facing Ma Fan who only defended and did not strike out from his base, Gongye Xiao Rong couldn't do a thing and left in defeat. Any battalion wouldn't have any good ways to deal with a fort that was sealed off and had complete defensive seal formations.
Presented with such a good chance, if they could not grab it, then Gongsun Cha was not Gongsun Cha, and Bie Han was not Bie Han!
Originally, the two had planned for Bie Han to attract Jiang Zhe's attention while Gongsun Cha sneaked to Cold Mountain Jie but after discussion, they decided that this fatal blow would be delivered by Bie Han. One reason was because of the hate between Bie Han and Xuan Kong Temple, another was that Bie Han knew more about the battle generals of Xuan Kong Temple than Gongsun Cha.
Bie Han knew how strong Jiang Zhe was. He warned Gongsun Cha that they could not change how fast they were travelling. Jiang Zhe was extremely perceptive. If Gongsun Cha delayed the movement of the troops, Jiang Zhe would definitely detect it.
Gongsun Cha kept a steady pace as Bie Han suggested.
On Bie Han's side, they moved at full speed.
Even Bie Han felt exhausted down to his bones after advancing at a forced march for so long. But when he thought of the hardship he had endured under Xuan Kong Temple over the years, and the state of the wooden and unresponsive Sin Battalion members, his exhausted body was revitalized and the thoughts supported him to keep advancing.
"It's this cavern!" the guide said joyfully. He was extremely excited. He felt his entire body was tremble at the thought of being able to participate in this battle and deal the decisive blow.
"Go!" Bie Han spat out with a heated expression.
The guide looked with respect at Bie Han. In order to not attract any attention, they did not use mo steeds. After marching for a few days, his endurance had all been used up. Sin Battalion had carried him for the rest of the trip.
This battalion was like mo puppets. They did not know exhaustion, too scary!
But when he thought of the battle that was coming, he couldn't help but feel his spirits rise.
He led Bie Han's Sin Battalion through winding twists and turns as they quickly disappeared into the rift in the valley.
Slicing through the air!
Any mo that saw Xiao Mo Ge's Battalion would think these four words. The organized battle formation and the almost tangible killing energy left deep impressions on people.
Especially when this battalion was moving at full speed, the hums and shrills when they moved caused people's scalps to prickle.
When this terrifying battalion started to accelerate, the flood of sound immediately informed people that this battle that was watched by the world would start at any moment.
No faction along the way delayed them. They were silently watching and waiting for this battle to begin.
Jiang Zhe looked at the information the scout had sent and sighed lightly. "They have come so fast!"
In Jiang Zhe's view, this was because Bie Han had detected their intentions to delay them. Advancing at full speed was to not allow Jiang Zhe enough time to prepare. But Jiang Zhe was not nervous. He had already finished his preparations.
These additional preparations were just to increase their chance of victory against Bie Han.
But in a battle against someone like Bie Han, there were too many uncontrollable factors. These preparations might not be used. He was only repairing the opening in their defences. They had taken over many of the mo jie and Bie Han had many targets to choose from.
He knew that his fellow disciples that were guarding the other jie were not Bie Han's match. Of the entire defense line, only he could stop Bie Han.
That was also his strategy. He would face Bie Han and leave Gongsun Cha to the others of his sect. If he could stop Bie Han, the others could work together to take down Gongsun Cha and then turn around to surround Sin Battalion.
Jiang Zhe knew of Bie han's temper. Bie Han definitely would not give up a chance to face him!
Suddenly, a golden paper crane flew into his hand.
Jiang Zhe's heart jumped. The golden paper crane represented the most urgent order of the sect. Had something happened in the sect?
He opened the paper crane and read the lines inside. His brow furrowed.
When he saw the name of Ji Zhen Shishuzu, [i] Jiang Zhe's surprise could not be suppressed and it was as though a tsunami formed inside of him! Two fanxu experts, and now another batch of experts were about to enter Cold Mountain Jie!
What had happened?
But Jiang Zhe also had a bad feeling. For any sect, it was dangerous for all of their elite forces to leave the sect and not leave anyone for defence.
While he did not believe that anyone would dare to act against the sect, but he innately resisted a risky action like this that did not leave any room to spare.
But he was not the sect leader!
He smiled helplessly and tried to explain to himself, if it isn't an extremely important matter, the sect leader would not be so impulsive!
But … …
Zuo Mo's expression was solemn. The Black Heart Treasure Coins in his hand were completely transformed. The Black Heart Treasure Coins had square openings that seemed to be filled with blood. It would be more accurate to call them the Red-Heart Treasure Coins now.
The seven Red Heart Treasure Coins were scattered on a turtle shell.
Originally, Zuo Mo had not thought of this turtle shell that had been thrown into a corner of his ring. When he had been reforging the Black Heart Treasure Coins, he had felt that the talisman's abilities were wondrous but they lacked the power to deal a fatal blow.
Zuo Mo looked down on the Black Heart Treasure Coin for this weakness. Since he was going to reforge it, he naturally had to take the chance this so he searched for suitable materials in the ring.
When his gaze landed on this turtle shell, his eyes lit up.
The turtle shell gave off extremely weak shen power vibrations. This was something Zuo Mo had previously had a hard time detecting but now Zuo Mo immediately detected the extraordinary nature of the turtle shell. The thread of shen power was extremely weak but it was pure.
After thinking for a while, he remembered that he had gotten this turtle shell when he had been looting the Sun Shen Temple. He hurriedly went to the gold leave to search for the origins of this turtle shell and was given a fright. This was the turtle shell that the Sun Crystal Tribe used for divination during ceremonies. It had been the turtle shell of the Sea Turtle Tribe's totem. After the Sun Tribe had destroyed the Sea Turtle Tribe and their totem, this turtle shell had been given to the shen temple. .
The only damage on it were scorch marks caused by the shen fire of the sacrificial altar. Even though tens of thousands of years had passed, this turtle shell was otherwise undamaged. The Sea Turtle Tribe cultivated water-type shen power and after being forged in shen fire for countless years, the sun shen power had permeated every bit of it.
Water and fire had merged together in an unique fashion.
If he could have seen this strange method of fire and water together, Zuo Mo's [Li Water Sword Scripture] would have advanced several grades!
Each treasure coin was now blue with red on the inside, each textured with the pattern of the turtle shell. They dotted the turtle shell. The scorch marks on the turtle shell had disappeared and the shell itself had become as white as jade without any flaw.
Inside the turtle shell was a shallow puddle of crystal clear water that was like a mirror.
The tears of the mist people had been used here.
What was most unique was that there was a ring of sparks around each turtle coin. They were a miniaturized version of the Reversed Stellar Revolution.
Each of the turtle coins had a ring of sparks that revolved prettily on the surface of the turtle shell.
This was the first top tier talisman that Zuo Mo had gained!
It was not suitable to categorize this talisman using the normal grade ranking system. With the earth mo weapon as the starting point, the holy relict of an ancient tribe as the foundation, with yao arts used as adornment, with the mist people's tears as the lake, and forged using the forging methods of the xiuzhe. A talisman like this surpassed everything that Zuo Mo knew.
The moment that the talisman took form, Zuo Mo felt joyed.
At this time, black cloud gathered over head and lightning flashed.
Lightning struck down and the mountain above Zuo Mo's head turned to powder.
Another bolt of lightning came at Zuo Mo. A turtle coin suddenly flew from the water on top of Zuo Mo's head. A suction force suddenly came from the red square hole.
The lightning immediately entered the square hole.
The turtle coin did not move at all, as though the lightning had just been an illusion.
The black clouds overhead seemed to be infuriated. Lightning roared and came down towards the turtle coin above Zuo Mo's head.
As the thunder roared, the tortoiseshell patterns on the turtle shell slowly turned silver.
They were absorbing the lightning!
[i] 师叔祖: ancestral shishu, most likely of several generations,
Translator Ramblings: Fang Xiang likes the unresolved cliffhanger, to the disappointment of WanderingGummiOfDoom. He does have a plan, so it's not as if he put all those clues in because he didn't know where he was going, he just wants to string readers along as far as I can tell. Also, real life rarely is an info dump.