Yi Qing went back and resumed his duty of guarding the three Divine Tablets. The task of guiding Ning Fan to proceed to the Second Step of Mortal Severance was transferred to Bei Li.
While traversing above the clouds and passing by the mist, Bei Li would frequently question Ning Fan about the trivial matters in the mortal world, trying to obtain some details about his background.
As the Third Mistress of the Lost World Palace, of course she would want to rope such a talent in.
However, towards Bei Li’s questions, Ning Fan reacted in an indifferent manner. He only replied with a few words, not willing to discuss any more about them. Moreover, when Bei Li asked him about the Lost World Palace in the Rain World, Ning Fan gave her a blank look, as if he did not recognize Bei Xiaoman at all.
His eyes were as calm as a mill pond all the time. They were as abstruse as a bottomless pond. Aside from that, his gaze did not linger too long on Bei Li’s face despite her elegant visage and natural and unrestrained image which could make any man to stop and their tracks and look at her.
Bei Li’s attractive eyes lit up, feeling surprised inside.
From the moment we met up until now, this mister wasn’t affected by my beauty. It’s enough to prove that his strength of mind is far more extraordinary when compared to common people.
I, a dignified Half-Step Void Refinement Realm, couldn’t see through much of his background. It’s enough to show his shrewdness and astuteness. He might not be concealing his cultivation level but what he is really hiding up his sleeve must be heaven-shocking techniques…
“It’s truly beyond my anticipation to have such an outstanding being in the mortal world…Mister Ning was born in the Rain World. I believe he should not be buried in oblivion… Why didn’t Sister Xiaoman recruit him?”
Bei Li was unable to comprehend it at all.
If Bei Xiaoman has recruited him on behalf of the Lost World Palace, he should have been given the “spot” and I would have been able to notice the clue.
“Can it be that Mister Ning has already been roped in by the ‘Demoness’ from the heavens of the Eastern Ocean? Sister Xiaoman disliked cultivating. The Gui Vein she possessed made it difficult for her to sever the ‘scarlet dragon’. Since she’s facing the killing tribulation, so she replaced ‘Elder Sister Shi’ and ‘Elder Sister Qinghan’ to descend to the mortal world. With her Half-Step Divine Transformation cultivation level, she indeed isn’t a match to the Demoness who is at the Ninth Heavenly Layer of the Void Fragmentation Realm… However, Mister Ning’s body does not seem to have the spot given by the Godly Void Pavilion too…”
Bei Li was feeling even more perplexed.
A person who is able to turn back and face the Ten Steps Bridge wasn’t taken in by any forces? Why?
However, Bei Li was clueless that when the Demoness she mentioned met Ning Fan, he was just a Harmonious Spirit Realm cultivator while his Yin Yang Devil Vein did not display any astonishing potential. At that time, Ning Fan was barely able to surprise the little Demoness just by relying on his ability to measure and calculate the formation eyes for establishing a Mortal Void Realm grand formation. At that time, Ning Fan had just begun his journey in the path of cultivation. If he was given the ‘spot of ascension for the Nine Worlds’, it would really be absurd.
Besides, Bei Li was completely unaware that Bei Xiaoman would definitely not recruit Ning Fan on behalf of the Lost World Palace. In stark contrast, she was eager to tie him on a tree with ropes and beat him with a whip! She had a myriad of reasons not to rope Ning Fan in. But as a matter of fact, she had actually been roped in in return by him… After her Yuan Yao Jade was taken away, she was already half a step entering Ning Fan’s harem with her purity at stake…
Of course, Ning Fan would not be so foolish to tell her anything about it as he would only be inviting trouble to himself.
At the shore of the sea of clouds stood a golden bell. It was as massive as heaven and earth.
Although he was just looking at the bell from a distance, he could feel a tremendous immortal’s prestige blowing against his face, preventing him from flying any further. After landing to the ground, he could only approach the giant bell on foot.
“Look, Mister. This golden bell is the Bell of Samsara… It was also constructed by the Immortal Sovereign. Rumor has it that before the ancient times, there will be an opportunity to listen to the preaching of Dao once in every 129600 years. The Immortals will then ring the Bell of Samsara and wake the Immortal Sovereign to ascend to the lotus platform. Everyone would wait for the Primordial Spirit of the Immortal Sovereign to arrive to preach the Dao for a billion worlds…”
“It’s Immortal Sovereign again…”
When Ning Fan got closer to the golden bell, his eyes flashed with amazement again.
It was rare to find him visibly changing his countenance.
He discovered that this towering bell which controlled the cycle of reincarnation was too similar to the Eastern Ocean Bell…
Their appearances looked very much alike. However, there was still a slight difference between the two of them. If both of them were to be compared side by side, the Eastern Ocean Bell was comparatively tiny. Aside from that, it was just a Supreme Grade magical treasure and also an Offering Vessel of the Ancient Demons which stored the inheritance of the Heaven Sealing Technique.
As for the massive bell before his eyes, it gave anyone an intuitive feeling that its weight had already attained a level which would be frightful to everyone’s ears. This enormous bell was even heavier than the Four Heavens Immortal Worlds. No one was able to carry it… Therefore, it was still able to remain here until today without being taken away by any expert.
After imprinting the Demon Codex, Ning Fan had already deciphered the Aura Force Cultivation technique of the Eastern Ocean Bell and engraved it deeply into his mind.
He realized that when he activated the technique, he faintly felt a new, intriguing connection with the giant bell. Moreover, he was able to absorb a trace of immortal’s prestige and gradually increase his own aura force.
“This bell was built by the Immortal Sovereign… The Eastern Ocean Bell is the inheritance of the Demon Ancestor…The Immortal Sovereign cultivates the purple qi whereas the Demon Ancestor cultivates the golden light. I suppose the two of them weren’t the same person. But judging by the similarity between the two bells, I’m afraid the relationship between the two of them was not shallow. In fact, there is some kind of friendship residing within the construction of the bells…”
The history regarding the ancient times was already untraceable. The most that Ning Fan could do was to identify the traces of information within the two golden bells.
The movements of his eyes were captured by Bei Li. Then, a wee smile emerged on her chilly face.
“Mister feels think this bell is very familiar, doesn’t you? I bet you must have heard about the other golden bell which is share a close resemblance to it?”
“No, I didn’t…”
Without a doubt, Ning Fan would never tell her about the Eastern Ocean Bell.
“Well, Mister, you don’t have to deny. Isn’t the Heaven Suppressing Treasure of the Eastern Ocean Heaven a golden bell too? I believe you must have heard about it in the mortal world… It is a relic of the Ancestral Emperor of the Eastern Heaven. However, ringing that bell does not produce the sound of samsara but the sound of killing. Everyone summarizes their opinions on the Heaven Suppressing Bell with only this phrase – When the bell rings, the world ends…”
“Heaven Suppressing Bell…” Ning Fan’s expression remained calm while remembering every word that was uttered by Bei Li inwardly.
Just as they arrived three zhang away from the bell, Bei Li stopped and no longer went any further towards the Bell of Samsara.
Her hand pointed at the jade rack beside her where a golden mace as long as three zhang* was placed.
“The Bell of Samsara contains the prestige of the Immortal Sovereign. Other than True Immortals, anyone including Void Fragmentation Realm experts could not enter within a vicinity of three zhang* around the bell. It was why a golden mace was placed here. One has to hit the bell with the mace to produce the sound that could purify their worldly thoughts within their hearts and complete the Second Step of Mortal Severance. I’ve mentioned earlier that ordinary cultivators who came to attain the Divine Transformation Realm could at most strike this bell 3 times. As for me, I’ve strike it 11 times… If Mister could not ring the bell more than me, I’m going to laugh at you…”
Bei Li’s eyes glinted with humor. She was obviously just joking without harboring any evil intentions.
It was because she could tell that Ning Fan would not just hit the bell for 11 times or less.
At the same time, she did not hope that he would reserve his strength. She wanted to see how unfathomable this young man whose cultivation level was far lower than hers was.
“Mister, please ring the Bell of Samsara!”
Bei Li cupped her fists and gradually retreated, leaving Ning Fan to face the bell alone.
He did not immediately strike the bell. He just indifferently stared at the golden bell while his eyes began to look a little lost.
“The Bell of Samsara… This bell contains an incomprehensible force… The means of the Immortal Sovereign are really beyond my knowledge. So this is the power of the expert who stood above all True Immortals? My master wasn’t weak. The Ancient Chaos Immortal Emperor wasn’t weak. But when comparing the Immortal Sovereign with them, they just seemed trivial… How many times can I strike this bell?”
With a flick of his sleeve, the golden mace was in his hands!
The hazy look within his eyes dissipated and were now glistening with firmness.
The Immortal Sovereign was the mentor of the Ancient Chaos Emperor!
The Ancient Chaos Emperor was considered half a teacher to me!
“Today, the reason why I hit this bell isn’t for my mortal severance! Instead, I wish to cherish the martyrs of the ancient times! Someday in the future, I will also stand on the pinnacle of the immortals!”
As the golden mace fell, the giant bell trembled lightly, emitting a golden-purple sound wave.
The sound wave was like a ring of light. When the bell was rung, the light ring expanded, stretching into a thousand li* away.
When the light circle went past him, his eyes turned solemn. He found out that the golden-purple sound wave had raised the level of his state of mind by a fraction!
Ning Fan was unable to understand the profoundness of the bell, making him be more reverent towards the Immortal Sovereign’s means.
The deep admiration within his heart inspired the fighting spirit within him, urging him to firmly decide that he would definitely be like the Ancient Chaos Emperor and the Immortal Sovereign, following the path of becoming the ruler of heaven and earth!
“The second strike! The third strike! The fourth strike!” He muttered to himself silently while swinging the golden mace!
*Dong ~ Dong ~ Dong*
Three ringing of the bell sounded simultaneously, as if they were one, forming a purple-golden light circle which was much more dazzling than before, spreading into four thousand li* away!
The sound of the bell would travel further away for every strike he made subsequently. It might even be able to reach out so far that it could be heard by the late Immortal Sovereign!
However, a billion years had passed. The previous Immortal Sovereign had long perished. The Immortal Emperors who waited to listen to his preaching of the Dao had also reduced to ashes, leaving only their inheritance…
Nostalgic! Within Ning Fan’s heart, a hint of nostalgic feeling was aroused. However, within that feeling, it contained the true meaning of samsara!
When he sounded the fifth time, the sound wave travelled to five thousand li* away!
He struck the bell five times in a single breath!
Bei Li was visibly moved. She had never heard anyone that could hit the Bell of Samsara five times in a row!
Her eyes stared at Ning Fan’s back in disbelief!
Ning Fan’s shadow changed, gradually becoming old. In fact, his qi changed every time he struck the bell, as if he was becoming one with the sound of the bell!
His body was clearly weak and thin but it made Bei Li feel that it was a mighty shadow that she could only admire.
In a way, she felt that the person standing in front of her eyes no longer Ning Fan but… the Immortal Sovereign himself!
Even though Ning Fan had landed five continuous strikes on the bell, he did not intend to stop!
The five successive strikes just now were his limit. But after taking a short pause, he estimated that hitting 11 times was not difficult, hitting 14 times would be strenuous while hitting 19 times would be his maximum limit…
On the other hand, the sound waves emitted by the five strikes had at least increased the cultivation level of his state of mind by five hundred years!
Striking the Bell of Samsara isn’t just about mortal severance or cherishing the memory of the Ancient Chaos and the Immortal Sovereign but also a perfect method to increase the level of my state of mind!
“Shadow of Emperor, appear!”
A virtual shadow radiating golden light slowly emerged at Ning Fan’s back. At the moment when the virtual shadow appeared, Ning Fan’s aura surged and his eyes were even filled with a trace of the sovereign’s prestige. Holding tightly to the golden mace, he landed the sixth strike on the bell!
The sound of the bell did not just stop there. Almost immediately, another five sounds were rung simultaneously!
Eleven times! Without stopping, Ning Fan had completed eleven strikes, causing the bell to ring eleven times!
After that, he did not instantly land the twelfth strike. At this time, his state of mind had broken through to the Mid Divine Transformation Realm!
At the same moment, he suddenly had a glimpse of an ancient scene from the Bell of Samsara…
That scene was a part of the cycle of reincarnation. However, it only appeared in a flash and vanished…
From the scene which he barely caught a glimpse of, he vaguely saw a lady whose face shared a close resemblance with Zhihe’s.
Before the image of the lady disappeared, the purple star in Ning Fan’s left eye blinked and the sharpness of his vision increased. The appearance of the lady became clear. The lady was not Zhihe but… Mu Weiliang!
She sat on a bluestone in the medicinal garden of the Celestial Emperor, doing her embroidery.
The pattern of the embroidery was a pair of butterflies flying wing to wing…
Meanwhile, there was a butterfly flying and dancing in a happy mood beside her.
When the image disappeared, Ning Fan’s eyes turned serious.
“What was that?! I’m sure it’s Zhihe but why did it turn out to be Weiliang in the end?”
Within the Sea of Clouds, there were the Three Steps of Mortal Severance and also the Divine Tablets of Heavenly Dao. The Sea of Clouds was actually a magic world created by the Tablets Master Immortal Emperor. It was also known as a chiliocosm.
This world was connected to the Void Realm. In the Black Tortoise Star somewhere in the Void Realm, a bald-headed, slightly chubby elderly man with white eyebrows were preaching the Dao for the cultivators residing in the stars with a serious expression.
His eyes were filled with a hint of discontentment because one of his favorite female disciples had gone to the Sea of Clouds boarding on a sword without informing him after receiving a message…
One has to know that today was the day he deliberately came out from his secluded meditation to pass the Dao for the Black Tortoise Star. His main intention was to tell that female disciple about how to break through the bottleneck of the Void Refinement Realm.
“Li Er, you are really angering this master to death… How could you let me down by skipping this session of Dao preaching which I intentionally conducted…”
Bei Li, the Third Mistress of the Lost World Palace was also the most important disciple for the Tablet Master Immortal Emperor, Meng Xuanzi.
Meng Xuanzi’s countenance was extremely sour. But after hearing the explanation from the guardian of the Divine Tablets, Yi Qing, saying that he requested Bei Li’s help in guiding a cultivator from the mortal world who was able to notice the colors of luck in the process of Divine Transformation, only then did he feel a little better.
Now, it’s considered excusable for her to travel to the Sea of Clouds because of that reason.
His expression slowly became calm and tranquil and continued to preach the Dao for the group of cultivators.
But all of a sudden, Meng Xuanzi’s eyes widened with a hint a surprise.
“The Second Step of Mortal Severance? Someone has seen the cycle of reincarnation before the Bell of Samsara?!”
“No, it can’t be. It must be an accident. What he saw should be just the broken scene of the samsara…”
“But this person’s qi is rather familiar. Have I met him before…”
Meng Xuanzi’s eyes were now filled with doubts and confusion.
He had yet to remember that there was once a Harmonious Spirit Realm cultivator from the mortal world who accidentally intruded the Void Realm by turning his spirit sense into lines and nearly died… It was Meng Xuanzi who lent him a hand and saved him.
However, no matter how hard he tried to think, he still could not remember… Well, it couldn’t be helped. There were just too many things that an Immortal Emperor had to handle. Every time he went to pass the Dao, he had to face millions of unfamiliar faces. Remembering each and every one of them was rather difficult.
“I should have met this person before. Moreover, this person should have left quite an impression on me. Otherwise, I would not have recalled his qi… But where have I met him?” Meng Xuanzi hesitated.
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel
“Grasping Evil” is being translated on Veratales (Click here) but Liberspark (Click here) is hosting the chapters as well. You are encouraged to read on veratales.com for project updates. :)
Some phrases or expressions of the original are changed for ease of reading.
If a mistake or mistakes were found in this chapter, feel free to comment below.
Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.
All the internal monologues will be in italic form.