“There once was a beautiful mountain in the north named Spiritual Mountain. The mountains roll as far as the eye can see, the soils fertile and prosperous as ever.”
The famous poet Liu Chengzhi once wrote this poem titled ‘A Tour of Spiritual Mountain’ while visiting. It was a simple poem, though it made spiritual mountain famous and becoming one of the top five most famous mountains across the lands. The number of inhabitants saw an increase in the subsequent years.
Li Chengfeng sent his father off and reminded Asparta to take good care of him. He held back his anger as he kept the two mahjong tiles and left with Su Yuehan northwards. After travelling about fifty kilometres, they finally arrived at the foot of the mountain.
He had heard of the Spiritual Mountain since a young age but due to spending all his time swindling… no, earning money for his family, he had never visited this place for vacation. And as the sect grew more powerful, their estate expanded. The initial private grounds was only about a ten-kilometre radius but currently, it had grown to more than a radius of fifty kilometres.
Before Chengfeng and Su Yuehan were two gigantic stone slabs, reminding every visitor that: they were now on the Spiritual Mountain Sect’s land!
Li Chengfeng had previously robbed them of their offerings and then burned Sun Boren’s eyes off… He felt slightly guilty as he stood before the signs.
The stone slabs stood at twenty metres tall and two metres wide, both stones standing on both sides of the path with one magnificent character each: Spiritual Mountain (靈山).
Beneath the two characters was a couplet, the top line being: There is no place like this across the ancient lands; the bottom line: the number one mountain beneath the heavens!
Li Chengfeng looked up at the stones and felt a strong oppressive force from them. There were dense totem arrays carved around these characters on the stones. While some of these carvings had moss growing on them, the mysterious diagrams radiated power. A passerby would be filled with peculiar reverence and subservience upon looking at them.
Su Yuehan also looked up with reverence. So this was the power of one of the top ten sects!
Although it was just a name, the name represented immense power. Not many could withstand such power!
Even a century-old demon like Su Yuehan did not dare act recklessly around them! If she was not disguised as Li Chengfeng’s partner, with her identity and capabilities, she still would not enter their lands unnecessarily.
Li Chengfeng was about to ride forwards on his horse but a purple ray shot out between the stone slabs like two blades barring them from entry. Between the two rays were transparent holograms of two cultivatours. They were clad in billowing priest robes, eyes glaring sharply at them. One held a steel Jian swordbreaker while the other held a fireball, both yelling sternly, “Off the horse!”
Jian Swordbreaker - Source: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E9%94%8F/2051993
Chengfeng was startled and so was his horse, standing on its hind legs as it whinnied. If he did not have decent skills, he would have been thrown off.
Su Yuehan was flipped off her horse, currently rolling on the ground.
Chengfeng leapt off and pulled her horse’s reins tight to prevent her from getting stepped on. When the horse calmed down, he looked at her to confirm that she was fine, then at the two holograms.
“My brother disciples, I am Li…” Before he finished, the blue holograms suddenly disappeared, leaving him confused.
Su Yuehan offered in a small voice, “Perhaps they only appear if we’re riding our horse?”
He thought for a moment but did not dare try it again. Pulling the two horses along, he walked cautiously between the boundary stone markers. When nothing happened, he sighed. “That was probably it, you’re… eh, there are words here.”
Su Yuehan rushed over to see that the back of the stone slabs was also carved with words. There were many characters and adages with finally large, fierce lines at the bottom reading: The boundary will deactivate if visitor gets off horse. Rulebreakers will be killed!
Li Chengfeng walked up to the carved words and touched them. It felt cold without the magic repulsion he expected. He then traced his finger along the words and realised the words seemed to be exactly the width of his finger.
“Were these words carved using finger chisels?” Li Chengfeng was shocked. He took out his bone spear and scratched its tip on the stone. A white scratched appeared on the surface. He gritted his teeth, ensured there was no one around, then slashed it hard!
Scratch! Sparks flew from the friction between bone and stone. The sharp bone could only leave a shallow scratch on the stone!
Li Chengfeng was stunned!
His sharp bone spear could usually puncture regular stone but here was just a tiny dent as small as a fingernail!
All these words were carved from flesh chisels!
Such mastery in magic was astounding!
He focused to read the words on the stone. “...during the war, Spiritual Mountain’s founders went to war with various leaders to the north. Three wars against Heaven’s Corner demonic beasts were fought, five battles in the Nine Hells, thirteen battles against Dijon Kingom, nine battles against Hunqi Kingdom, leading up to a total of a hundred and thirty-two battles without a single defeat!”
This short description radiated pride and glory. Li Cehngfeng could almost see the bodies and blood from the wars fought by the Spiritual Mountain Sect!
“Indeed… they live up to their names, and they are proud of it!” sighed Li Chengfeng.
In the past, he did not have much respect for the Spiritual Mountain Sect because of youthful arrogance and lack of close contact with the sect, plus his contempt for cultivators. This one encounter with their stone boundary markers was enough to send chills.
He took a step back and gazed at them deeply. “I wonder if the Cleansing Moon Sect was this magnificent back in the day!”
It was a pity he only heard about their magnificence through bits and pieces of his parents’ conversation. Only his dead ancestors knew the rest of the story.
Li Chengfeng stood on the spot in a daze as he fell deep in thought.