Gongjia Heng went inside the mountain while Shao Xuan left. He sat on a rock that had been shaped into a bench near the bell, thinking about what just happened.
Heng thought Shao Xuan had done it on purpose but Shao Xuan didn’t even know this was going to happen. The flames on the ornament came out on their own, Shao Xuan did not control them. It was more like an instinct from the clashes between different shamanic energies. When a threat was detected, it would automatically unleash a protective power, helping Shao Xuan block off the strong threat.
Perhaps this was what the ancestors meant by the protection of the ancestors.
Or, the flames on the ornaments were related to the Xia people’s shaman. The ornaments had such a response only because there was shamanic energy here.
The Xia people had left behind things related to their craft, likely inside that mountain. To stop outsiders from entering, they set up many traps. The first obstacle was the peculiar eighteen statues.
However, compared to the Xia people’s shamanic arts, Shao Xuan was more curious about the powers within the bone ornaments left behind by his ancestor.s In the past, he only knew that the fire giant would appear during rituals. Just like in the fire pit. However, right now it looked like the giant didn’t just appear in the pit. The ancestors’ power was more powerful than he could imagine, it was obvious from how it blocked the force as threatening as knives exuding from the statues.
It was a battle between shamanic energies. Shao Xuan knew that if he stuck out till the end, he would be on the winning side. However, the consequences of forcing it would definitely be bad for everyone.
As he looked at the round, shiny bead on his necklace, he wondered if he could borrow some power from it since the ornament contained power left behind by the first shaman. Not the kind that helped them find their way here, but the kind of power they had against the eighteen statues.
The ancestral ornaments could protect him from dangers. However, if he could control them at will, they could be more than that.
Shao Xuan planned to test them. If it worked, that would be a huge support to him. He would be able to fare better against external threats.
He got up from the stone bench, thinking about the energy changes in his body when he stepped past the bronze door. Shao Xuan focused on his power of inheritance.
Harnessing the power of the ornaments was different from the totemic power he used during hunts. This required the power of inheritance.
A blue flame shot out from the totemic fire. As the blue flame extended outwards, the totemic fire flickered too.
The power of inheritance flowed through Shao Xuan until it reached his chest. All of his power was concentrated in one spot, like a vortex sucking in everything.
With the feeding of the power of inheritance, flames shot out from the four ornaments. However, they were different from the previous flames. There were both blue and red flames now. The part of the ornament facing outside had redder flames.
Shao Xuan was first shocked, then delighted. Although the flames were different from before, this was enough to prove that he was right. He could control its powers at will.
Now that he was right, he could proceed. The power of inheritance flowed quicker across his body to his chest, then to the ornaments.
The power of inheritance also triggered the appearance of his totemic patterns. However, the difference was that in the past, totemic patterns looked like flowing lava. This time, they had flames on them. He could clearly see flames dancing on his totemic patterns!
As more power accumulated, the flames on the ornaments grew brighter and stronger, slowly wrapping around Shao Xuan. He could feel the gushing power of inheritance through him, as if bringing warmth across his entire being.
It was not enough! This was not enough, it wasn’t enough to form the flame giant!
Shao Xuan once again increased the speed of the power of inheritance. Every blue flame grew thicker. All of them merged together and surged into the ornaments.
The fire giant slowly came into shape but it still wasn’t up to his standards. It was far from the mighty giant at the bronze door. However, Shao Xuan felt helpless. He had already utilised all his totemic flames and yet he still could not trigger the same response in the ornaments.
He didn’t even feel like that when he was using the secret engraving techniques on Caesar years ago.
Shao Xuan did not stop. He continued focusing power into the ornaments. If he was near his limit moments ago, right now he was at his limit. If this continued, he would use up all his power of inheritance in his totemic flame and it would take a long time to recover. Power of inheritance required a longer time to recover, unlike totemic power. However, so what if it was dried up? Shao Xuan still wanted to try!
At this point, he noticed the outer shell of the totemic flame had grown brighter. It wasn’t flickering anymore, it was shining steadily. Compared to this shell, the flames were dimmer.
The blue flames from the totemic fire thickened once again, right now with white-hot tips as they poked through the outer shell of light.
The energy surge from these white games was like a wave crashing into the bone ornaments. Shao Xuan’s blood vessels from his neck to his shoulders dilated but he felt as if he was carrying the weight of a mountain. He could not take even a step forward, every movement was difficult.
The air around him grew thicker, yet it flowed quickly. Like he was brewing a tornado. Shao Xuan himself was standing in the eye of the storm.
The dense air currents brought with them a sense of destruction and the first target was the stone bench behind him.
The stone bench, unaffected by years of winds and battering, exploded into crumbs and powder.
One of the pieces flew directly at the shiny bell.
It was even louder than when Gongjia Heng struck it, ringing across the valley.
In the next moment, golden cloud patterns emerged on the mountain faces around the valley. The cloud patterns danced, then the echoes stopped suddenly. Shao Xuan felt an invisible force pressing on him, similar to when he faced the statues.
Shao Xuan did not look around, it was difficult even to turn his neck now. It was a critical moment. The flame giant was not completely formed and not tall- just as tall as him. However, this was already extremely difficult for Shao Xuan.
He had taken too much effort to make this, he was unwilling to give up now.
However, he realised the looming threat did not make his job harder, instead supported his energy. When the ornaments sensed a threat, its protective qualities were awakened. However, not much energy flowed out-- though it helped Shao Xuan enough to form a complete flame giant!
Shao Xuan tried to walk but could not lift his legs. As if there were heavy weights tied to them, moving was very difficult.
He took a few breaths, focusing his strength in his legs and slowly lifting a foot. A simple act like walking was now a difficult task.
He was already drenched in sweat just from lifting his foot from the ground.
He took a small step, putting his foot back on the ground. Just like a normal walk However, it was like a walk in slow motion. Lifting a foot then putting it down was difficult, like he was breaking through many obstacles just to move.
Then, when his foot touched the ground, a surge of energy exploded underneath his foot.
A dull rumble. Stones and pebbles flew, dust burst into a cloud.
A circle of force, ten meters in diameter, had formed with his foot in the centre. The uneven ground with many pebbles was now flat.
As the ground shook, bits of stones rolled and cracked down the mountains, falling onto the ground.
On the mountain face, the golden cloud patterns flickered. This was a protective power left behind by the Xia. However, while it could stop the echoes of the bell, it could not fully suppress the sound of this explosion.
He felt a stronger pressure on him. The power in the ornaments seemed like it was preparing to fight.
However, most of its power was still coaxed by Shao Xuan so it was not very strong yet.
However, if this situation continued, Shao Xuan would lose control over it again.
At least he had proven a point. There was no need to continue.
He slowly retracted his power of inheritance and the ornaments were no longer fed with power. The energies were retracted, while the flame giant turned into a ball of flames and disappeared into his bone ornaments.
The cloud patterns around him disappeared back into the walls.
Everything was calm once again.
On the other side, Heng was reading ancestral records after entering Gongjia Mountain. He was so overwhelmed by emotion that he cried, his eyes burning with admiration. However, he heard something. Was it the sound of the bell ringing?
The soundproofing here was good so he wasn’t sure if he heard something.
When he stopped to listen again, there was nothing.
Gongjia Heng wondered if he had made a mistake. It must have been Shao Xuan. But didn’t his elders say that outsiders could not make the bell ring? Or was that a misunderstanding?
Shaking his head, Gongjia Heng continued reading.
Then, he felt the ground shake.
Did the kid force himself into the mountain?!