1952 Responsibility and Sacrifice
On the side of a sect's mountain, the landscape was green, clear water flowed by it and birds' chirping could be heard.
"Little Du, what are you lying on the ground for?" A gentle and soft voice could be heard.
"Senior sister." The young Yuan Qiong Du opened his eyes and saw a girl bending over to look at him with her bright and smiling eyes.
The girl's gaze moved to Little Du's hand and let out a gasp: "Wha, Little Du, you refined a rank three Gu again. You are really amazing."
"But I am not happy, you know I don't like cultivating refinement path." Yuan Qiong Du stood up while mumbling.
"Don't be so dispirited, your talent is envied by so many people." The girl patted his shoulder and consoled.
But Yuan Qiong Du was still dispirited and his head slumped forward.
"Haha, how about this, I will share a secret with you. Few days ago, I found clues to a Gu Master inheritance in my father's study room, it is hidden at some corner of the mountain. What do you think, do you want to search for it?" Senior sister's beautiful gaze turned towards Yuan Qiong Du.
As expected, teenage Yuan Qiong Du could not endure boredom, his eyes brightened when he heard what was said: "There is such a fun thing? Wonderful, our sect's mountain has inheritances left behind by predecessors after all. Gu Immortal inheritances are extremely rare but Gu Master inheritances are plentiful. Tell me the clues quickly, senior sister."
"Okay. The clue is a line of a poem, I have been pondering about it these few days, I will read it to you." Senior sister did not conceal it, and this was only a Gu Master inheritance. Her father was also Yuan Qiong Du's master, a Gu Immortal existence.
Yuan Qiong Du clapped his hands after hearing it just once: "I understand. The clue is solved like this, match the first and last characters, then match second and the second last characters; it gives us a location."
Senior sister pondered for a bit and jumped with joy: "So it is there! Little Du, you are really smart, you guessed it immediately."
"Let's go find it quickly." Yuan Qiong Du moved ahead.
"Wait for me." Senior sister quickly followed.
"Don't worry, senior sister, I will give this inheritance to you, I won't snatch it from you, haha." Yuan Qiong Du's figure disappeared into the depths of the mountain forest.
Finally, the two found the inheritance inside a mountain cave.
"This is a fire path inheritance." Yuan Qiong Du and his senior sister inspected the inheritance carefully: "Will flame? A fire that uses will as the fuel. This method is quite original and stunning. How did the Gu Master who created it think of this? Interesting. Eh, this name, how could it be master?"
Yuan Qiong Du was extremely surprised.
Senior sister also felt surprised, saying uncertainly: "They might just have the same name?"
Yuan Qiong Du, however, pondered and his eyes shone: "Maybe not! Senior sister, I remember you saying that you found this clue in master's study room."
"Yes, I was tidying up father's bamboo scrolls, you know my father's hobby is to collect these antiques. And by chance, a bamboo stick slipped from an aged scroll, and on it was the inheritance clue." Senior sister recalled her memory.
"This inheritance was set up by me when I was young." Right at this time, Yuan Qiong Du's master slowly walked into the cave and appeared before Yuan Qiong Du.
Walking alongside him was Yuan Qiong Du's sect uncle, who was short in stature, had a round face, and looked amiable.
Yuan Qiong Du and his senior sister quickly bowed and greeted at the same time: "We pay respects to master (father) and sect uncle."
Yuan Qiong Du curled up his lips: "Master, are you making fun of your disciples?"
"Of course not." His master shook his head, looking at the inheritance in Yuan Qiong Du's hand with a trace of reminiscence.
"Hahaha, you clever brat." The fat sect uncle pointed at Yuan Qiong Du: "Your master and I just returned from Spirit Resonance Peak, we were just chatting along the way when we discovered your traces. I can guarantee that this inheritance was indeed left by your master during his youth. He wholeheartedly liked fire path back then and used five years to painstakingly gather primeval stones and purchase a rank three fire path Gu."
"But master clearly cultivates water path." Yuan Qiong Du's eyes were wide open, having not expected his master also liked fire path, like him, when he was young.
"There was no other choice." The fat sect uncle sighed: "Our sect's water path inheritance required an inheritor. How could an individual's preference compare to the sect's situation? Every Gu Immortal inheritance needs to be inherited from generation to generation. Every inheritor will improve the inheritance on the foundation of their predecessor, making the inheritance keep up with the times and not be eliminated. This is our responsibility. When your master gave up fire path, he personally arranged this inheritance. I was there at that time and saw him crying his eyes out."
"Cough cough." Yuan Qiong Du's master interrupted: "Since you two discovered this inheritance, then it shall belong to you. Let's go."
The two seniors left, leaving behind Yuan Qiong Du and his senior sister in the cave.
"Junior brother, I cultivate wood path, I don't need this, so I will give it to you." Senior sister also said goodbye to Yuan Qiong Du.
Yuan Qiong Du gazed at the inheritance in his hand, slight waves undulated in his heart as he mumbled: "Master…"
He opened his eyes again.
Yuan Qiong Du saw that he was still inside Heaven Overseeing Tower.
"Damn it! I suffered a backlash during the refinement and fainted!" Yuan Qiong Du's heart pounded madly as he recalled the scene.
The biggest taboo in Gu refinement was to be disturbed. It did not matter how heavy his injuries were, the main thing was whether fate Gu was alright or not. This was related to the plan that Heavenly Court had been executing for millions of years!
Yuan Qiong Du was almost already without hope.
As the only Gu Immortal to refine Gu, he had actually fainted. Could fate Gu, that was the target of the refinement, be unharmed?
Fate Gu would not be destroyed because of this, but it was very likely that most of the previous restoration results would disappear, it might even return to the original damaged state.
Right now, Yuan Qiong Du could only hope fate Gu's situation was slightly better, his and Heavenly Court's countless years of efforts must not go to waste.
But when Yuan Qiong Du raised his head to look at fate Gu, he was stunned.
A lump of fire had taken his place in the Gu refinement, fate Gu was quietly lying in the fire and was just half a step away from complete recovery.
After the shock, warmth surged in Yuan Qiong Du's heart.
This was his will flame!
A fire which used will as fuel, he had obtained it from his master's inheritance when he was young. Later on, he cultivated refinement path but did not forget fire path as well, he continued to improve the will flame and developed it to immortal level.
"Will flame has already become my most familiar and most skilled Gu refinement method. I probably activated will flame unconsciously when I fainted!" Yuan Qiong Du guessed.
This was not the first time this happened. In fact, throughout his life, in his countless Gu refinement experiences, there were many times when will flame took his place in emergencies. Every time he was unable to hold on, he would activate will flame to temporarily replace him and stabilize the situation.
After countless times, using will flame at the crucial times had already become his subconscious habit.
Yuan Qiong Du let out a breath of air.
He looked at the burning will flame quietly while thinking: "Rather than calling it a habit, more accurately, this is a type of responsibility."
He thought of his master and smiled: "Responsibility… Master, looks like I haven't disappointed you."
Yuan Qiong Du knew his condition, his injuries were too heavy and he was not able to continue the Gu refinement. But hope was in front of him, he used his last bit of life and willpower to reinforce this lump of will flame.
"Burn, burn more." Yuan Qiong Du mumbled, he used his own life to light the will flame!
The will flame burned quietly, the fire brightened and became extremely stable.
Inside the fire, fate Gu finally moved past the final step, it achieved complete recovery!
While Yuan Qiong Du was already lifeless.
Like his master, like his senior sister, and like the countless Heavenly Court's seniors, they had given their blood and sweat for the cause of Heavenly Court, using their own lives to build the foundation of Heavenly Court!
He was a true hero even in death!
Heavenly Court's foundation, the large Central Continent was paved with blood and sacrifices.
The will flame dissipated.
"Hehehe." Cong Yan's weak laughter resounded in the quiet top floor of Heaven Overseeing Tower: "Yuan Qiong Du has already accomplished his task, it is our turn now."
"But with our state, even transmitting our voices is troublesome, let alone activating Heaven Overseeing Tower." Che Wei said, his tone was quiet and deep.
Cong Yan replied back almost as if he was not worried: "There is still a way. The immortal essence remaining in my aperture is enough for me to activate my trump card, isn't it so coincidental?"
Che Wei and Cong Yan were close friends, Che Wei immediately realized Cong Yan's meaning: "Don't do this, if you absorb my injuries, you will die immediately."
"What is there to fear about death? Right now, our companions are fighting outside, the defensive line is on the verge of collapsing, they probably don't have the chance to send anyone else. Brother Che Wei, we have known each other for many years, your abilities are stronger than mine. But your journey has not been completed yet, you will soon create your own path, I really look forward to it… but it is such a pity that I won't be able to witness it."
As Cong Yan spoke lightly, a light blue radiance spread from his body and covered Che Wei.
The two Gu Immortals had wounds everywhere, even their bones and flesh were smashed in. But following the blue light's effect, Che Wei's body began to recover while Cong Yan's became more severe.
"My friend…" Che Wei closed his eyes before opening them, two trails of tears flowed down quietly.
Cong Yan was dead, Che Wei's injuries were still severe but he used all his strength to barely crawl towards fate Gu.
"Activate, activate… I beg of you." Che Wei's vision turned dark, he poured in all his immortal essence and could only pray quietly at this point.