After finishing the registration, the middle-aged man gave Li Qiye a wooden badge to hang by his waist and said: “Your Majesty, Great Desolate Mountain is at the very south of this mountain range . Just keep heading south and you’ll see it, the highest peak of that place . The prison will be on the opposite side . ”
He added: “Please don’t lose the badge, your Majesty, it will let you go freely in this region . ”
Strangely enough, this man didn’t bother confirming Li Qiye’s identity, only telling him to not lose the badge . This was indeed an interesting place .
Li Qiye smiled and said goodbye to the man before entering Nine-linked Mountains . He took one look at the plaque before leaving the entrance, amused .
There was a long way to go before reaching his destination so he took his time resting and enjoying the views .
These nine peaks here had wonderful and unique scenes . Each had a lake accompanying them - a perfect combination that accentuates the beauty of the mountains . The lakes also had varying colors - deep blue, light green, green jade…
All in all, there were sights to behold . One wouldn’t be able to forget these scenes, only perhaps their way home .
Among the valleys and hills were buildings and shrines situated all over the place - at the pinnacle, cliffs, or the waists of the mountains . The architecture here also helped make the place unique .
Plenty of these buildings were unoccupied because Nine-linked Mountains was indeed too large . It had more than one thousand buildings despite the limited number of disciples .
Some had people, not necessarily the disciples of Nine-linked Mountains . In fact, an accurate census hasn’t been done . Nevertheless, outsiders said that the number couldn’t exceed one thousand .
In Nine Secrets, having less than one thousand disciples almost disqualify a group from being called a sect . For example, War Saint or Godstep had several hundred thousand disciples scattered across the realm, perhaps even more .
Outside of its own disciples, there were invited guests as well - all from Nine Secrets System .
The majority came to Nine-linked Mountains with a similar goal - dao enlightenment!
Some were willing to stay up to several hundred years . Most wanted to learn the foundation of Nine Secrets - the nine words .
Everyone knew about the existence of the nine words, but no single sect ever had all of them . Even the five great powers and War Saint Dynasty only had pieces .
War Saint Dynasty and Calm Lotus Monastery had two words each . The former had Dou and Zhe while the latter had Jie and Lie . The rest only had one each .
In case of them deciding to hand over their secrets to each other, it still wouldn’t result in nine words .
The word, Qian, has been missing for a very long time now . If there was a place that could have all nine in this system, it would have to be Nine-linked Mountains . This sect itself never denied the rumors .
Whether true or not, dao searchers came to visit . A common belief stated that the nine words were hidden in the rhythm of Nine-linked Mountains . When one could figure this out, they would obtain the nine secrets .
For millions of years, people chose to believe this legend . Alas, they came and left empty-handed .
Just imagine, staying for several hundred years or even longer without a single gain? Anyone would feel disappointed and that they have wasted their time after failing .
As time passed, people became less interested in the nine secrets so the number of visitors subsided . Nevertheless, some still came each year for dao enlightenment, choosing to trust the legend .
The most famous among the dao searchers were Emperor Zhang and True Emperor Jiu Ning . Godstep True Emperor also came here once .
Why were the first two so heavily discussed on this matter? Because future generations believed that they have figured out the nine secrets - two cases of success after the progenitor of the system .
Not all believed in this particular legend . Some thought that Emperor Zhang didn’t cultivate all nine, but the actual number remained a mystery . However, a few ancestors stated that because he didn’t cultivate the complete version, he was able to jump out of it and eventually created the Lucidity Scripture .
This group of ancestors found more support later on . They believed that only True Emperor Jiu Ning successfully figured out all nine .
One thing was confirmed - she had access to four words - Dou, Zhe from War Saint Dynasty, and Jie, Lie from Calm Lotus . She paid her respect at this sect and was given permission to cultivate in these two words . The rest was most likely learned at Nine-linked Mountains .
As for Godstep True Emperor, he only figured out the word, Xing . The origin of his understanding was also highly debated . One speculation was that he found it in Nine-linked . The other was that he figured it out from the roots of the dao land itself .
These legends were deeply rooted in Nine-linked Mountains, thus, one could see cultivators from the sects in Nine Secrets System traveling in the region . They consisted of prodigies and ancestors; those who choose to stay for only a few days or several hundred years .
The guests actually outnumbered the disciples of Nine-linked . However, the sheer size of this mountain range made it hard to find people . A few thousand people were negligible .
Because of this, Li Qiye didn’t meet many on his southward journey . Even in the rare chance that he did, they were cultivating, meditating, or was just in a hurry . No one paid attention to an ordinary guy like him .
He finally made it to Great Desolate Mountain and climbed to the top . There were several palaces made out of rocks, unoccupied for a very long time now .
This was one of the nine highest peaks, reaching to the clouds and locating in the southern region .
Unfortunately, few disciples of Nine-linked and Guests wanted to stay here .
The temperature was wintry and accompanied by a powerful murderous energy, seemingly traveling from the primordial past to the present . Though billions of years have passed, this energy wouldn’t disperse . It would greatly interfere with regular cultivation, let alone a dao enlightenment session .
Standing at the top, one would find a lake right behind it and an abyss to the front . This abyss wasn’t especially large . Perhaps calling it a large pit was more suitable .
It looked like a jaw belonging to a devil that had just climbed out of hell . After awakening, it was time to devour everything on the surface .
The murderous energy originated from this pit and perhaps from the core of the ground, aiming straight for Great Desolate Mountain .
It was a blessing to have such a great mountain blocking this energy . Otherwise, it would infiltrate Nine-linked Mountains, robbing the land of its beauty and staining it with bloodthirst .
The name of this pit was very impressive - Great Desolate Heavenly Prison .
Why was it called a heavenly prison instead of earthly prison or underground dungeon? No one knew .
In everyone’s memories, this place has been around since the foundation of Nine Secrets with the name of heavenly prison . No one knew who gave it this name .