Sovereign of the Three Realms - Chapter 1886: Suspended Runes
During the leap between the fourth and fifth palaces, Jiang Chen couldn’t help but dwell on Mad Fiend. The old man who had seemed incomprehensible initially seemed much more reasonable now.
The protector had been in the Six Palaces of Heritage from the ancient era to the present. In the process, he had been deprived of his freedom and had to bear the pain of losing his wife and younger sister.
One or two days of this would’ve been bearable, but it had been over a hundred thousand years. It’d be hard for anyone to last that long unchanged.
For a time, Jiang Chen was filled with great sympathy.
What Mad Fiend had gone through reminded him of his father, the Celestial Emperor. I wonder how father is doing now?
If a heavenly cataclysm had really been unleashed, even someone as great as a celestial emperor wasn’t guaranteed to remain safe. Where might his father be now?
No pain was as harsh as separation from one’s loved ones.
The continual increases in his cultivation and the introduction of higher and higher tiers of information fueled his curiosity about what had happened in his previous life.
“I must attain godhood. When I do, I will be able to solve the mystery of the chain seal in my consciousness. I will be able to see what clues father has left me.” Jiang Chen quite looked forward to it.
He arrived at the fifth palace in no time at all. As soon as he entered, he felt like he was in a different world.
The fifth palace was a sequestered space, strangely cut off from the outside world. There was nothing here: no buildings, life, or any distinguishing features. The very air was stagnant.
It was as if this world was perfectly still.
“Hmm? What’s this?” Jiang Chen looked all around him. There was nothing but emptiness and stillness, with seemingly no connection to the true and material.
This place was more silent than death itself.
Jiang Chen swept his eyes and consciousness across the expanse, taking in the oddity of the quietness here.
“Is this really the fifth palace?” He began to doubt where he was. He simply couldn’t understand what he was witnessing. “No. Even in the void, complete stillness is impossible. This has to be an illusion! It has to be!”
Jiang Chen kept reinforcing this notion to himself.
A majestic and somber bell suddenly rang by his ear.
In the next moment, the world before him underwent a drastic change. Stranger sights appeared in front, beneath, behind, and all around him. Countless runes drifted bizarrely through the air like wraiths.
Jiang Chen opened his eyes, then braced himself. The leaping runes reminded him of something.
“Suspended runes?” he remarked with some astonishment.
In the world of martial dao, there was a particular kind of ability that didn’t require materials or use a medium to etch runes in thin air. A runic formation could be built using nothing but empty air as the basis.
It wasn’t a proper formation, since it lacked a foundation and other trappings of one. But it was just as potent and diverse as a real formation. In fact, it was more mysterious in some ways.
As an experienced man, Jiang Chen had an inkling of what the glowing tadpoles swimming in midair meant.
Thankfully, he had some basic knowledge about them. If he stood still, he would probably be able to avoid triggering the runes’ effects. If he tried to rashly move about, the opposite would happen.
As such, he stayed as still as he could while examining the environment around him. No set of runes was absolutely flawless. Just like formations, they were hardly indestructible.
To find the chinks in their defenses however, required a sharp eye and a capable hand. A complex suite of skills and abilities.
In other words, Jiang Chen possessed all of the necessary qualities for success. Though his strength hadn’t yet been perfected, his experience could guarantee calm and poise before the suspended runes.
A challenger who was ignorant of what he saw would likely approach and investigate. Once he did, he would be mired in a great deal of trouble by triggering the runes’ effects.
Jiang Chen gave the runes a once-over with his consciousness. They weren’t particularly offensive. In fact, they seemed to dance with a strict purpose.
It was a safe assumption that they were present here as a test, rather than a lethal trap.
Even so, he didn’t dare move lightly. The Veluriyam Pagoda’s six palaces were to test anyone who ventured in.
If he was trapped, he would be admitting defeat. That was an obvious kink to passing all of the palaces. He decided to sit and wait for now.
Carefully scrutinizing the landscape around him, he found several patterns in the runes’ operation.
As long as he had the requisite clues, he was confident he could break through the blockade and enter the true fifth palace to greet its master. If he couldn’t even get through this much, he would be looked down upon.
Jiang Chen drew on as much of his previous life’s memories as possible. Details and snippets about suspended runes flashed before his eyes. His mind whirred with an urgency that stirred it into thought.
“These suspended runes clearly have some sort of a pattern. They’re following a diagram of some sort. Sadly, I’m inside of it, which means I can’t make heads or tails of it. If I could see a broader picture, perhaps I would have a few more clues.”
Jiang Chen seriously considered this, scattering his consciousness into every corner as he did so. He wanted to observe the runes from as many perspectives as possible.
His method paid off immediately. The multiple points of view he received were very telling, and the spectacle he witnessed became more and more amazing as time went on.