Beyond the Timescape-Chapter 652: A Little Totem Beneath a Big One

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Chapter 652: A Little Totem Beneath a Big One

The light shining from Paramount Temple in the Moonrebel Congregation led to a huge uproar. However, as time passed, and the door of the temple didn’t open, things started to calm down. Anticipation began to turn into disappointment. Eventually, the light coming from Paramount Temple dimmed, leaving behind only a faint flickering. At that point, everyone felt like sighing.

“There’s another legend in the Moonrebel Congregation. Supposedly, years in the past, Crimson Mother left a curse on the Moonrebel Congregation. Shē cursed it... to never again have an archbishop to lead it. That’s why, from ancient times until now, though Paramount Temple has lit up a few times, no one has ever walked out of the main doors.”

The two vice-bishops in the audience were both sighing.

“It looks like this fellow daoist passed the first phase. However, just like the first vice-bishop, as well as Old Fourth and myself, he didn’t pass the second phase, and thus couldn’t open the door.”

“I guess it means we’ll have another vice-bishop joining us soon. That’s also good news for us!”

As the two vice-bishops conversed, the rest of the cultivators in the Moonrebel Congregation sighed.

Although the arrival of a new vice-bishop was an exciting thing, all of them had been very hopeful upon seeing Paramount Temple light up. That was especially true considering there was a war going on. Because of that, everyone in the congregation wished that there was someone to truly lead them. They needed an archbishop to take charge, to lead them to a brilliant end in these last moments of their lives. But now, hope was turning into disappointment, and the mood in the Moonrebel Congregation sank.

Meanwhile, inside of Paramount Temple, Xu Qing opened his eyes. Paramount Temple was far larger than any ordinary temple. The grounds were magnificent, and it featured ninety-nine huge pillars supporting the massive, domed ceiling. Looking up, that ceiling had illusory suns, moons, stars, and heavenly bodies slowly orbiting around a huge, dazzling mirror. Astonishingly, the mountain that made up the Moonrebel Congregation was visible in that mirror.

What was more, there were a number of mysterious totems carved into the walls. Some were magical symbols, others depicted animals or even people. Every single one pulsed with hair-raising fluctuations.

At the far end of the temple was an altar, atop which was a shrine. Shockingly, inside of the shrine was a divine likeness. It was a statue that was different from all the other statues in the Moonrebel Congregation, in that it was simple and lacked a lot of decorations.

Based on the statue's appearance, it was a depiction of Imperial Sovereign Li Zihua. Right now, the eyes of that statue were open and looking around. They were Xu Qing’s eyes. Xu Qing studied the area and thought back to what happened earlier. He remembered walking through the slightly-opened stone door. Light surrounded him, and then he opened his eyes and found himself here.

“Paramount Temple?”

Xu Qing looked up at the mirror in the ceiling, and even through the reflection, he could sense the regret and disappointment of the cultivators in the Moonrebel Congregation. He remembered back when he first arrived in the Moonrebel Congregation, and how he had looked up at the nine temples on the top of the mountain, with Paramount Temple above them. Finally he looked away from the mirror and at the distant... main door of the temple.

The Moonrebel Congregation’s spirit automaton said that there’s a second phase. Is it that door?

Xu Qing started walking. Rumbling sounds echoed out as the statue of Li Zihua, which he was in, walked off the altar and toward the door. Stopping in front of it, he looked at it, his eyes narrowed. Then he experimentally lifted his hand and pushed. The door didn’t move at all. It was apparently locked tight and couldn’t be moved. Not even sound could pass through it.

Xu Qing frowned and activated his cultivation base before pushing again. But not even that did anything. The door wouldn’t budge. He thought for a moment, and then his eyes turned pitch black. The power of taboo poison poured through his gaze and onto the door. His violet moon raged, and his god trove rose. Blood sprayed out of him everywhere before turning into a blood vortex.

Finally, the door made a noise. And yet, it didn’t move. Xu Qing’s expression flickered slightly as he backed up. The moment he did, the door suddenly flared with red light as a totem appeared that was just as large as the door itself. The totem was a blood-drenched figure holding an eyeball in each of its hands. It looked vicious and evil, yet at the same time, it emanated a holy sensation. It was none other than Crimson Mother.

A tremor passed through Xu Qing. Based on the fluctuations of his violet moon, he could sense Crimson Mother’s aura. It was as if this totem... had actually been created by Crimson Mother.

Why would the Moonrebel Congregation’s Paramount Temple have a sealing mark from Crimson Mother in it? Is this the second phase?

Something seemed off about the whole thing. It didn’t seem like the second phase of the assessment at all. Rather, it seemed like Crimson Mother had left hēr mark here.

Maybe there isn’t a second phase at all. Perhaps an archbishop could have come along at any time. It’s just that the trial-takers all got stopped here. Without removing Crimson Mother’s seal, you can’t open the door, and without doing that, you can’t become the archbishop.

After coming to an understanding of what seemed to be going on, he walked up to the door again and examined it closely. He even carefully sent some violet moon power out. Unfortunately, the door seemed to be extremely sensitive to the violet moon power, and it resulted in instant fluctuations.

Eventually, Xu Qing retracted the violet moon power and focused on using his pitch black eyes and their power of poison invasion. A few days later, a constant outflow of taboo poison power enabled Xu Qing to get a general understanding of the totem on the door.

As that understanding came to him, his facial expression went from curious to very serious. That was because, thanks to his taboo poison, he was able to sense that all of the temples on the mountain were constantly emitting invisible streams of energy.

The streams of energy couldn’t be detected by anyone, and they were all feeding into the totem. As for what exactly that meant, Xu Qing wasn’t entirely sure for the time being.

What was even more curious was that he could sense that, beneath the very large totem, on the bottom right-hand side, there was a small totem, though it was difficult to see clearly. Unless Xu Qing used his taboo poison to cover the larger Crimson Mother totem, then used his violet moon power to agitate it, then he couldn’t see the smaller one. The general appearance of that totem was what had caused a curious expression to appear on his face.

It looked exactly like the Captain.

The moment Xu Qing realized what he was looking at, he noticed that the Captain was secretly munching on the totem of Crimson Mother. Although he only took one nibble at a time, he was gobbling down those pieces like a mad dog. Stranger still was that every time he took a bite, the totem would repair itself....

After some thought, Xu Qing projected some words into the small totem. “Eldest Brother?”

When the fluctuations reached the small totem, it suddenly looked up with crazy eyes. “Little Ah Qing! I finally found you. I knew you’d show up eventually!”

The Captain was very excited to have sensed Xu Qing. With that, he struggled, causing blue light to flare before he finally appeared at the bottom right of the door. He looked at Xu Qing.

Xu Qing looked back at him. “Eldest Brother, what... are you doing here?”

Looking very pleased with himself, the Captain laughed. “What do you think? Surprised? This is the plan I mentioned to you before. I prepared everything very thoroughly. After entering the trial, I intentionally provoked the spirit automaton so that he turned me into an ice sculpture and sank me down into the lake.

“There, I was able to get my hands on all the things I left behind here years ago. I bypassed the trial and came right here to this door. All I have to do is open the door, and I’ll receive power over the Moonrebel Congregation! I’ll be the Archbishop of Moonrebel!

“Once I succeed, I can use all the power of the Moonrebel Congregation to find all of my dismembered body parts from my past lives. And then, finally, I can take care of Crimson Mother!”

After hearing that, Xu Qing looked at the Captain in the tiny totem, and then at the much larger Crimson Mother totem. He sighed.

“How have things worked out?”

The Captain suddenly looked both embarrassed and angry. “Something very strange happened, little Ah Qing. How could I have guessed that Crimson Mother would be so crafty? I knew about hēr sealing this totem here. But after my past life perished, and I got reincarnated in another region, shē actually placed more seals here!

“What the hell? Do you have any idea what that means, little Junior Brother? I mean, there’s one specific seal designed to protect against chewing!!

“I have no alternatives. I just have to keep chewing, slowly but surely. Normally speaking, I would have been finished already, and would already be the Archbishop of Moonrebel. But now I have no choice but to take a bit longer. Thankfully, I came prepared: you’re here, which means we have a much better chance of succeeding. If the two of us bros work together, we can easily devour Crimson Mother’s seals! And then we can become the Archbishops of Moonrebel!”

Upon hearing that, Xu Qing nodded. He wasn’t interested in being the leader of the Moonrebel Congregation, but considering how important it was to his Eldest Brother, he decided to give a helping hand.

“Eldest Brother, based on what I can sense, Crimson Mother’s totem is absorbing power from outside. That must be the source of its power.”

The Captain smiled. “It’s all part of my plan. You see, that’s the flame of faith created by hope. All cultivators who come to the Moonrebel Congregation have hope in them. Based on the research I did in my past life, I can say with certainty that Crimson Mother wants it.

“Years ago, I came to suspect that the reason why the Moonrebel Congregation has been allowed to stay in existence, and the reason why Crimson Mother gives them freedom, is because of that.

“However, Crimson Mother is asleep right now. Therefore, the flames will have to wait until shē wakes up. What’s more, fire... has two sides. One is the side that can make you warm, the other is the side that can burn you up.

“That’s the reason why I came here only after our performance was broadcast to the Moonrite Region. I wanted that hope to be burning a bit brighter. That way, when we add some fuel to the fire, it will explode and burn away Crimson Mother’s seals. Then with a bit of chewing from me, we’ll succeed!

“Right now we just need that oil! Little Ah Qing, if things work out as I’ve planned, then that oil... will show up within the month.”

Updat𝒆d fr𝒐m freew𝒆bnov𝒆l.c(o)m