Comments are great motivation 😀
Ascending the Heavens is up for preorder on Amazon
I will change the release date for the book to a earlier one later.
Charging into the ancient tomb, Zhang, Wenji, and the pups found themselves standing within a massive hall. Due to how dark it was within the tomb, everyone could be seen with a torch in hand.
“Are those coffins?” Zhang asked as he pointed to the ceiling of the hall where hundreds of wooden coffins could be seen nailed into the walls.
However as eerie as it was for there to be so many coffins being hung on the walls, everyone’s attention was focused elsewhere.
At the far end of this hall was a large stone statue of a dignified looking elderly man, within this statue’s hand was a massive sparkling diamond the size of someone’s head. Upon closer examination, this diamond was covered in tiny inscriptions that extruded a faint purplish light, contrary to the diamond’s clear and white color. Despite the minuscule amount of light shone upon it by the flickering torches within everyone’s hand, the diamond shimmer beautifully in the darkness.
“Look at the size of that thing! I can probably sell it and get enough gold to live the rest of my life in luxury while surrounding in beauties!” A middle-aged man with a hooked nose said while licking his lips and eyeing the massive gem.
“With something like that, I can leave my ugly wife and buy a whole brothel full of women.” Someone else said as he allowed wild fantasies to surface in his mind.
“What are you both talking about? I’ll be the one to get that gem!” A young man yelled while laughing in a haughty manner before jolting forward toward the massive statue.
“Aren’t you going to try to get that?” Wenji, teased with a giggle, ignoring the hundreds of coffins that hung overhead and focusing her attention upon the large and less creepy diamond at the end of the hall.
“If we were anywhere else but an ancient tomb I would have probably already charged head first and grabbed that thing. However, when considering where we are, it is best to wait and let the fool hearted go in first.” Zhang said as he eyed the massive diamond that many of the treasure seekers were running toward.
Surprisingly enough, the groups consisting of members from the Mang Clan, the Jiang Clan, the Tiger Claw Dojo and the Serene Lotus sect did not bother to move at all, only eyeing the large diamond with unblinking eyes.
After a few short moments passed and the group of hotheaded adventurers had transversed nearly half of the large hall they found themselves in a horrid situation. Tangled in a mess of nearly transparent wire, the adventurers became helpless as the sound of ticking mechanisms found its way into everyone’s ear.
“Kid, leave this place at once and head toward the third passageway located on your left. Of all of the treasures I could sense in this place that are worth mentioning, the one nearest to you is located there. Also, you wouldn’t want to be here when things start to get interesting.” The fragmented soul residing within Zhang said as it’s voice echoed in Zhang’s mind.
“Wenji, let’s go.” Zhang said as he silently led Wenji and the pups toward the passageway that the fragmented soul had directed him toward.
Perhaps it was because they had seen Zhang and Wenji split from the main group or because the sound of ticking mechanisms grew ever louder, but before long a few other groups of treasure seekers also splintered off.
“There are bound to be more treasures in this place, no need to fight over the first thing we spot.” Someone said as he led his group of companions off into one of the many passageways that lead to other parts of the tomb.
“There’s no need to waste our time anymore over something as trivial as that.” Master Wu Tong said to his subordinates as he led them into one a passageway, despite previously eyeing the large gem at the end of the hall with greedy eyes.
Leaving but the handful of people who were tangled in the invisible mesh of wire and a few other stragglers who could not bear to leave the massive diamond where it was, everyone else dispersed and began to search the tomb for other treasures.
Roughly after walking a few dozen steps, a symphony of heart-wrenching screams rang through the air and the sound of large blades cutting through the air accompanied it.
Back in the hall that everyone had first entered, only a mess of scattered gruesome looking limbs and a large pool of blood remained on the ground while four huge and sharp looking pendulum blades swung through the air.
“Ahahah! I did it! I’ll trade an arm to live the rest of my life in luxury any day of the week!” The young man who had led the initial charge toward massive diamond said while laughing hysterically as he stood on the shoulder of the stone statue that had been holding the previous gem not too long ago.
Although this young man had lost his entire lift arm and a large amount of blood, which caused his sight to slightly blur, he was currently in a state of euphoria as he held up the massive gem that everyone had been greedily staring at not too long ago.
That is to say, his joyous expressions would be prompted to change a moment later, as the faintly glowing inscriptions that covered the majority of the large diamond began to glow ever so more brightly, enveloping the entire hall in a purplish hue.
“Wha-what is happening…” The previously ecstatic young man who was missing an arm cried as the large cracks began to surface on the gem in his hand, causing the diamond to break apart into bits and pieces.
“Dammit!!!” The young man roared in rage as spoils earned from all of his hard work and the sacrifice of his left arm was turned into a mound of dust. Maybe if that was the end of things, the young man would have been much better off, however shortly after the diamond crumbled to dust, the sound of creaking wood could be heard as the lids of the hundreds of coffins lining the walls of the hall began to open.
From within these hundreds of coffins, countless partially decayed bodies could be seen as they slid out from their coffins and fell onto the ground.
“What the fuck is this… Have I lost too much blood that I’ve started to see things?” The young man mumbled while his legs trembled and his heart raced as he found himself surrounded by a horde of undead.
It could have been due to his fear or the large amount of blood that he had lost, but after a brief moment of trembling, the young man’s legs finally gave out causing him to tumble off the stone statue and onto the ground.
“Get back! Get back!” The young man yelled in a horrified manner as his only remaining hand scrambled to withdraw a dagger that was hanging from his hip out from its sheath. But all was too late by the time the young man had managed to pull and wave a gleaming dagger into the air, for by then, the swarm of undead had already descended upon him and bit into his warm flesh.
“My ankles! Argh!!!” The young man cried as he felt dozens of bites being taken out of him and what was left of the blood within his body flowing out onto the ground moments prior to when his soul departed for the afterlife.
Unknown to the other tomb raiders, an ancient evil was unleashed upon them, as the undead finished their feast and proceeded to go search for more fresh blood and flesh to devour.
Soon to join its new companions, the corpse of the young man who had just become the first victim of the undead, rose to its feet and proceeded to walk into the third passageway on the left side of the hall, the same passageway that Zhang, Wenji and the pups had walked into.
“Boy are there a lot of traps in this place…” Zhang said as he jumped past a large pit of spikes.
“Yea, if it wasn’t for that strange power of yours, then I would have probably fallen down there.” Wenji said with a faint smile.
“Hehe, just stick with me and we should be alright.” Zhang said with a chuckle while holding a small torch as his shadow expanded and shot forth, searching for any hidden mechanisms that might lay ahead.
Thanks to the power of the Heavenly Devouring Technique, Zhang was able to trigger all of the hidden traps in his path, clearing the way and making it safe for him, Wenji and the pups to proceed forward.
“We should still be careful, though, we wouldn’t want to end up like the people who remained in the hall, judging from the shrieks and screams that we had heard earlier, things must not have ended well for them.” Wenji said, reminding Zhang to remain vigilant and not act carelessly. Despite not know what had truly occurred back in the main hall, Wenji couldn’t help but feel a tinge of uneasiness surface within her after hearing the terrifying cries of the unfortunate tomb raiders who had met their untimely demise.
“Kid, move quicker, I can sense something approaching and it isn’t something apart of the world of the living. Just to make things clear, it isn’t a fragmented soul like me either…” The fragmented soul within Zhang’s body said, urging him to quicken his speed.
“Something not a part of the world of the living?” Zhang mumbled in his mind as his steps moved a tiny bit faster.
Making through way through the ancient tomb, Zhang and Wenji soon found themselves in a small chamber, roughly a third of the size of the large hall that they had started in. At the center of this chamber, floating in midair atop a tall pedestal was a red colored book and eight metallic spheres with skulls etched into them.
“I wonder what those are.” Zhang muttered as he stared at the eight-strange looking metallic spheres.
“Those should be hidden weapons, the kind you conceal on your body and launch at enemies, like the needles I keep tucked into my sleeves.” Wenji said after a quick glance at the eight floating spheres.
“Oh! Then I’ll grab them for you.” Zhang said with a chuckle, thinking it would be better for Wenji who was better versed in the use of hidden weapons to obtain the eight spheres.
“No, my hands are too small to use those, I think it would be better for you to take them.” Wenji said with a smile.
“If you say so.” Zhang said as his shadow expanded once more and encompassed a large portion of the chamber, scanning for any hidden traps that would be laying around.
After a few short moments of scrutinizing and not finding any traps, Zhang proceeded forward, arriving in front of the pedestal at the center of the chamber and leaping into the air to retrieve the red colored book and eight metallic spheres.
“What the…” Zhang mumbled as he landed on the ground while grasping the red colored book in his hand, as for the eight metallic spheres, he was not able to retrieve a single one. As if they were alive, the eight spheres all moved away when Zhang reached toward them.
Clicking his tongue before leaping into the air again, Zhang continued to try to retrieve the eight metallic spheres, but sadly all of his attempts resulted in failure.
“Maybe that book will give you some clues on how to retrieve the spheres.” Wenji suggested after watching Zhang’s multiple failures.
“Demonic Sphere Technique… If you are reading this then you’ve managed to enter my tomb and was lucky enough to find the chamber where the eight Demonic Devil Spheres and the manual to the Demonic Sphere Technique was kept. If you’re an Enlightened Realm cultivator then you can skip through the last part of this letter and move onto directly cultivating the Demonic Sphere Technique, for you must have already obtained the eight Demonic Devil Spheres. If you are not a cultivator of the Enlightened Realm, then read the next part of this letter carefully or else you might as well put this manual back where you found it.” Zhang said aloud as he flipped to the first page of the red colored cultivation manual.
“To retrieve the eight Demonic Devil Spheres, one must master the first part of the Demonic Sphere Technique and be able to manipulate their essence and manifest its power outside of their body, a skill that most able Enlightened Realm cultivators have mastered.” Zhang read as Wenji arrived beside him and eyed the words written in the manual.
“Essence manipulation! To require the use of essence manipulation, the Demonic Sphere Technique must be at least an Enlightened Realm Technique at the very least. Once you’re done with it, loan me this manual.” Wenji said as her eyes lit up.
“Sure, once I’m done I’ll give you the manual, that is if you’re willing to give me a little favor… As the exalted ancestor once said, for all benefits there must be some sacrifice.” Zhang said as a devious grin appeared on his face, causing a shiver to run down Wenji’s spine.
“What would I have to trade for an Enlightened Realm Technique…” Wenji said as she instinctively covered her chest.
“If you’re willing to… Be the one to… Bathe...” Zhang said in a slow manner, causing a few weird fantasies to run wild in Wenji’s mind.
“Bathe???” Wenji muttered in a low tone as her face slowly became red with embarrassment.
“If you’re willing to be the one to bathe Little Red for me next time the manual is yours, since being able to see that cute expression on your face is enough for me to give up half of the Zhou Clan’s treasures.” Zhang said with a hearty laugh.
“To think I was just about to agree let you… Bathe… With... Me...” Wenji said in a slow and seductive manner, causing Zhang’s ears to suddenly turn red as he stared at her while gulping down a mouthful of saliva.
“Not!” Wenji yelled while sticking her tongue out at Zhang and playfully jabbing him in the side of the stomach.
“Now hurry up and read the next part of the manual so we can explore another part of the tomb. Since you’re able to utilize the first stage of that nameless fire manipulation skill, it shouldn’t take you too long to be able to manipulate the essence outside of your body.” Wenji said.