Chapter 261: Releasing the Tiger
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Aspiring to the Immortal Path Chapter 261: Releasing the Tiger

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

The Gargantua Plains.

This was the largest plain on the western end of the Rosecloud Domain. It was vast and flat, and had an accommodating climate. West of this place was the Storm Ocean Zone, also known as the Western Sea.

At the center of the Gargantua Plains was an oceanic passage, forty kilometers wide and nearly eight hundred kilometers long. It divided the coastal region of the Storm Ocean into two, and at the end of this passage was a massive floating island.

This was Nadir Hill.

It was said that long ago, Nadir Hill didn't exist.

In High Antiquity, there was a savage tapir that stirred havoc around the Western Sea, making it difficult for people to live. A Titan, the Guangfa Celestial Sovereign, answered the pleas of the people and slew this tapir, turning its corpse into an island and altering the landscape so that the island would link the continent and cease to be an island of the Western Sea. This was why the continent was so vast and why the sea penetrated so deeply into the interior of the continent.

The earliest people of Nadir Hill developed on this solitary island. They penetrated deep into the continent along this water passage and ultimately seized control over all of the western lands, including the Gargantua Plain.

This was how Nadir Hill developed from a lone island into an enormous country.

On the eastern end of the Gargantua Plain was a solitary mountain. This was Godhead Mountain.

The headquarters of Godhead Palace.

Godhead Mountain was not a natural mountain. Rather, it had been created through the supreme magic powers of a Godhead Palace Titan and large amounts of manpower and craftsmanship.

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Godhead Mountain was made entirely from jade and was about 2800 meters tall. As large amounts of metal had been mixed in, the entire mountain flashed under the sunlight.

It was for this reason that Godhead Palace's color came to be gold.

At the summit was a dazzling palace, none other than Godhead Palace.

But few people knew that this palace on the summit was only a small part of Godhead Palace. In truth, all of Godhead Mountain was Godhead Palace. When the mountain was first created, the people of Godhead Palace had completely hollowed it out, and the belly of the mountain contained a vast palace complex of five palaces and thirteen halls. This was the real Godhead Palace.

The Palace of No-Thought (Wunian).

In the Zen Hall, Shi Wunian was seated in meditation, his eyes closed.

His breathing was long and forceful, and when he breathed out, the entirety of the Zen Hall would groan as if it was expanding. When he breathed in, the Zen Hall would contract as if a tiny vortex had formed with Shi Wunian at the center.

Following his breathing, the Zen Hall entered a sublime rhythm, like the pulsing of a heart.

Until a voice spoke. "Hawk Hall's Deng Yuqing seeks an audience with the Aspirational Master."

The breathing stopped.

Shi Wunian cracked open his eyes. "Enter."

He waved his hand, and a door inexplicably appeared in what had been a completely sealed chamber.

The door opened, and a middle-aged man with two long whiskers walked in and prostrated before Shi Wunian. "Yuqing pays respects to the Aspirational Lord. May the Aspirational Lord be blessed with eternal health and early entrance to the Immortal Platform."

"Rise and sit," Shi Wunian said, waving his hand. A small stool popped into being within the meditation chamber.

"This lowly one does not dare to sit in front of the Aspirational Lord," Deng Yuqing hurriedly said.

"I asked you to sit, so do it. You have had it hard, being on the road this much."

Deng Yuqing did not dare to keep refusing, and quickly sat down.

Shi Wunian asked, "How are things on Jin Yu's end?"

Deng Yuqing swiftly replied. "We can almost confirm that the Great Dao Hall has been colluding with the Seven Absolutions Sect, but we don't have firm evidence just yet. The hall master is personally keeping an eye on them and will move the moment he notices anything suspicious. But this is also why he wasn't able to make it back and had this subordinate come instead."

"Oh." Shi Wunian had little reaction. He grunted and asked, "What of the Celestial Mountains?"

"We have a draft list of names, and we've also prepared files for the relevant information. We're in the middle of gathering the rest of the information." Deng Yuqing took out a small booklet and handed it over.

Shi Wunian waved his hand, and the book flew up to his face and began to flip through its pages, stopping at the seventh.

At the top of the page was a name.

Tang Jie!

Shi Wunian stared at the name for a while before saying, "What do you think about this person?"

"He's very suspicious," Deng Yuqing replied.

"After all those years and all that effort, all you can get is 'very suspicious'." Shi Wunian's voice was low and cold.

Deng Yuqing did not panic. "Yes. The incident from three years ago had far too great of an effect on my Godhead Palace. Although we initially felt that this was the handiwork of the Basking Moon Sect, in the aftermath, we found far too many suspect points. But the greatest suspicion of all was that if Tang Jie was really a person sent by the Basking Moon Sect to confuse the people of my Godhead Palace, then he would be a suicide soldier. But in these three years, rather than rewarding this sort of suicide soldier, the Basking Moon Sect even gave him a minor punishment by docking contribution points from him, which does not make sense. While this might be because they wanted to put on a show for us, even if they didn't give him any rewards in the open, they should have given him something in the shadows. But according to our investigations, the Basking Moon Sect has not supported Tang Jie from the shadows either. Instead, two years ago, during the True Inheritor struggle, Tang Jie was desperately trying to get a chance for Wei Tianchong while Nan Baicheng was set on preventing him… This does not at all seem like something a suicide soldier would do, nor is it the treatment he should receive. If the Basking Moon Sect really treated its suicide soldiers like this, they would probably all lose heart."

"Oh." Shi Wunian had the same indifferent response. "Anything else?"

"I've reexamined Tang Jie's files and found that he's very cautious, utterly lacking the free spirit a youth should have, but he has a rather cheerful personality. As suicide soldiers use their life to repay the sect, they know that their life has a limit and so often have disagreeable and ruthless personalities, in addition being bold and ruthless. Thus, in terms of personality, Tang Jie does not fit the mold. On the contrary, that he was able to help Wei Tianchong rise above the rest amply proves that he has his own ability. A person like him should not be a suicide soldier, nor would they become one. Putting this all together and working backwards… we can roughly reach a conclusion."

Deng Yuqing paused before continuing, "I don't think that Changqing did anything wrong, only that this child was more cunning and ruthless than we anticipated. Of course, we cannot completely free Changqing of blame. His goal had always been to find Tang Jiye and find the Martial Mirror, but he never imagined the possibility that the child could strike back. His wrong assessment of the other side's goals led him to take the wrong methods. Such things are commonplace."

"So I'm sure you didn't misassess his goal this time, yes?"

Deng Yuqing chuckled. "Naturally. If that were not the case, what need would there have been for the Aspirational Lord to pay a personal visit to the Wandering Palace and persuade them to hold the Immortal Fortune Conference at the Celestial Mountains?"

Shi Wunian gave a slight nod. "The bait has been cast, and the fish has begun to nibble at the hook. Whether or not the fish can be caught will depend on your side."

"This…" Deng Yuqing hesitated.

"What other problem is there?" Shi Wunian turned his eyes to Deng Yuqing, and the faint glint within them made Deng Yuqing shiver.

He hastily cupped his fist in his hand and said, "It is like this. If this child really is Tang Jiye, then everything he did back then was a trap. Someone who could set such a trap would undoubtedly take precautions against us and would not bring the Martial Mirror with him. Changqing captured Tang Jie and interrogated him, even using the method of a thousand cuts, but Tang Jie refused to say a word. This means that he has a stubborn personality that renders torture ineffective. Moreover, he also has a way of resisting Soulscour, so such methods will likely not bear any fruit. The person is easy to capture, but the key is getting back the Martial Mirror. To seize the person but not gain the location of the Martial Mirror is meaningless. Finally, even if we get back the Martial Mirror, in the current situation, we might not be able to open the formation. And if he has a back-up plan to expose the secret of the Celestial Mountains if he is captured… we will still get nothing."

"Then you mean…"

"Two solutions. One is to wait for him and then capture him and continue to interrogate him. But the hall master considers this the worst plan of all. There is no guarantee of getting the Martial Mirror, no guarantee of opening the formation, and it might even expose the Celestial Mountains. The other solution is probably riskier…"

Deng Yuqing stopped speaking, but Shi Wunian understood what he meant.

He gave a nod. "If Tang Jie is really Tang Jiye, then the Ten Direction Valley must be his true goal for this trip. And to break the Nine Executions Immortal Formation, he needs the Martial Mirror. Thus, if we wait there, there is a high chance that Tang Jie cannot hide the Martial Mirror."

"Precisely."

"But this is risky, for if Tang Jie were to enter the formation before we can catch him, we could only look at the formation and sigh."

"Yes, this is the source of the risk. But this subordinate believes it to be negligible."

"Oh? Why is that?" Shi Wunian asked.

Deng Yuqing replied, "Because Tang Jie is currently only at the Spirit Sea Tier. Even with the Martial Mirror and Xu Muyang's instruction, he is still far from capable of breaking through the Immortal formation. But the Visceral Manifestation Classic was discovered after breaking through the first layer, meaning that the formation probably has many layers, with something behind each layer. If this is the case, he only needs to break through the second layer to get what he wants. Thus, I feel that if Tang Jie comes, his real goal won't be to enter the land of Returned Remnants but to test the waters, breaking through the second layer at most. If that's the case, then even if he's allowed to infiltrate the formation, we won't lose too much."

Shi Wunian nodded in agreement. "It makes sense."

"In truth, this subordinate has an even riskier plan."

"Speak."

Deng Yuqing replied, "In my view, the matter of the Martial Lord's treasure is like a war. The key to winning a war isn't in Tang Jiye or the Martial Mirror, but in who can ultimately obtain the treasure. The outcomes of all the battles before that do not matter all that much. After all, we once had the Martial Mirror, but weren't we still unable to get the Martial Lord's treasure? From this perspective, your subordinate feels that we can be much more tolerant when it comes to Tang Jie, with no need to move against him before he enters the core. If necessary, we can even have a formation expert of our side get close to him and instruct him so that he can break through more layers of the formation, and we can observe him in this time to research the mysteries of the formation."

Deng Yuqing's proposal was rather radical. Not only did he not intend to stop Tang Jie from breaking the formation, he wanted to help him, borrowing Tang Jie's hand to unlock the Nine Executions Immortal Formation. Even if he couldn't finish the job, they could learn the secret to undoing the formation from Tang Jie.

Of course, the risk of this plan was obvious, and even Shi Wunian couldn't help but frown. "This is far too risky. We know nothing about what lies within the Nine Executions Immortal Formation or what treasures there might be. What if there is some trap inside that stops us, or what if Tang Jie manages to get his hands on some heavenly treasure first? Even if we managed to capture him, we'll probably have lost our chance."

Some treasures weren't carried around. Given that the Martial Lord's Returned Remnants had been sealed for ten thousand years, it was only natural that it had spirit fruits and Immortal grasses that were ten thousand years old. Such things were already extinct in the Rosecloud Domain. If Tang Jie were allowed to eat them first, Godhead Palace wouldn't even have a place to cry.

"But it will allow us to resolve the matter in one go. Aspirational Lord, we have been a little too active in the Celestial Mountains lately, and Horizon Ocean Pavilion and the Thousand Passions Sect have already gotten suspicious."

But Shi Wunian still shook his head. "No, no, it's too risky."

"Then let us compromise. The Nine Executions Immortal Formation has nine layers in all, and there is no telling how many years it will take for Tang Jie to break through all of them. Why not help him secretly, at least until the fifth layer? From the spiritual energy leaking out of the Nine Executions Immortal Formation, there shouldn't be any ten-thousand-year plants in the first five layers, and the true treasures should be after that. Let's have him break a few layers, and once we've observed him enough and have a firm grasp of the problem, we can move to seize him."

"No ten-thousand-year plants, but what about ten-thousand-year fruits?" Shi Wunian brusquely replied. "Three layers at most, and then we must capture Tang Jie!"

"Yes," Deng Yuqing said, mentally sighing.

In Shi Wunian's eyes, the Martial Lord's Returned Remnants were rightfully Godhead Palace's. Thus, the thought of Tang Jie taking away anything left him angry and reluctant.

It was hard to blame him. In a place like this, even the most ordinary spirit grass would have lived ten thousand years. How could he leave such things to Tang Jie?

But this was precisely why Deng Yuqing wanted the formation to be opened up faster.

The Martial Lord's Returned Remnants covered a vast area, so even if they let Tang Jie, how much could he eat?

So long as the formation was open, wouldn't the rest all belong to Godhead Palace?

But this wasn't because Shi Wunian was being petty.

It was just that he had no respect for Tang Jie.

It was just a kid who hadn't even reached Mortal Shedding. He didn't even have the right to be Shi Wunian's enemy.

Deng Yuqing's analogy was correct. This was like a war.

On one side was a powerful kingdom, and on the other was a poor village.

If you were to tell the king that you would need a hundred thousand taels of silver readied to go to war against this village, the king would call you crazy.

If you looked down on an opponent, you wouldn't invest too much into dealing with them. It's an opponent that can be taken care of with one hundred taels of silver, and you insist on using one thousand? It was in itself a sign of incompetence and failure.

Shi Wunian's mindset couldn't be considered wrong. He could accept helping Tang Jie break through two layers, which was a sign that he thought highly of Tang Jie. But Deng Yuqing's proposal was too radical and too risky. Young men were always in a rush to make a name for themselves, and Shi Wunian simply couldn't accept this.

Translator Notes

Godhead Palace back to its scheming ways.

Novel Notes

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