At the second level of the Fiend Prison, the locked prisoners were not the officials and assassins; they were the truly powerful swordsmen.
They were the likes of the sect masters of the deviant sects or the chief devils of the Underworld, and it was even said that some of them were the demons from the ancient times.
Jing Jiu's feet barely touched the ground; otherwise, he would have definitely made some noise.
However, judging by the slight changes under his shoes, Jing Jiu could tell that the sandy pebbles underneath became much softer now, as if they had baked in the hot sun for a long time.
Thought it was located at the deep end of the Fiend Prison without any sunshine, it was still very hot here, even many times hotter than the ground shone by the sun.
The second level of the Fiend Prison was called the "Forever Prison". Apart from the fact that it was eternally sunless there, it also meant the prisoners had no chance of leaving here forever; and it might have something to do with the dreadful hotness.
The air here was filled with a sort of fire-like energy, as if it were sprayed with pepper powders. Breathing the air once would make one feel painfully hot in the throat.
Jing Jiu didn't like the coldness on Shangde Peak and in the snowland, but he didn't mind the heat here too much. Besides, he didn't breathe, so there was no danger in him inhaling the spicy air to cause him to cough.
He kept on walking forward. The air was getting hotter, and the darkness was getting thicker.
He could see many wavy lines on the exposed cliff walls.
They were not eroded by the wind, but rather melted by the hot waves.
After he had walked for a long time, the hot air had finally abated, and the temperature had decreased slightly. Jing Jiu halted his steps and reached his hand out into the midair.
The wind would naturally occur at the intersection of the hot and cold zones, so he didn't have to worry that his movement would cause a gust of wind alerting someone.
In the next moment, he closed his fingers to grasp a handful of air.
He rubbed his thumb against the forefinger, and felt a bit of grease on his fingers; it seemed that the air had some extra elements here.
As he walked forward a bit more, he had finally seen the extra element in the air, which was the greenish fog with a strong smell of blood, and it must be very poisonous.
Jing Jiu wasn't worried because he was certain that his white cloth could withstand it. As he was about to go forward some more, he suddenly felt the load on his shoulder become lighter.
The moment his iron sword started falling down, he reached his hand behind his back and caught the shaft of the sword. He arched his eyebrows slightly as he brought the sword close to his eyes to check it.
The cloth wrapping the iron sword had been eroded badly by the greenish fog, and he could even see the erosion happening right before his own eyes.
Jing Jiu cut off a piece of the sleeve from his white cloth, rewrapped the iron sword and tied it on his back. He then resumed his march forward.
The greenish fog grew thicker and thicker. Once in a while, the fog would be scattered by the wind, and it was then that Jing Jiu could see the peeling crumbs on the rock surface coupled with pink colored spots here and there; it looked like rotten flesh.
Only those truly achieved swordsmen of the deviant sects and demons could survive in this environment.
Jing Jiu followed the greenish fog and came to a valley in the deep end where the moss could be found everywhere on the damp cliff walls and where there was a pond in the middle.
It was unclear whether it was due to the floating lotus or the water source, the water in the pond had an evidently dark green color, and the green water steam rose up from the water surface constantly, which was the source of the greenish fog.
Jing Jiu stood by the pond, waiting for the wind to rise.
As the floating lotus were stirred, the wind rose.
A huge white skeleton could be seen vaguely in the pond, exuding a feeling of oddity and terror.
The white skeleton was perhaps the remains of a large demon. Judging by its size, the Cultivation state of this large demon should be the same as that of the mountain demon, the adopted father of the Young Zen Master.
It was unfathomable as to why such a powerful demon was locked inside the Fiend Prison and how he escaped the cell and came to this pond.
The pond was over one thousand feet deep, and full of the most dreadful poisons in the world.
Though the large demon had cultivated his bones to an extreme degree, stronger even than the magic treasures so that it wasn't melted in the water, he was still dead nonetheless.
Since this large demon could have escaped to this place, it meant that there must be a passage in the pond that could lead to the next level of the prison.
Jing Jiu frowned slightly. He wasn't so happy about going through the pond, but he had no choice.
If he wanted to meet that person, there were inevitable difficulties he had to overcome.
He waded in the green water of the pond, making no sound, like a hot sword being placed in the butter.
His head was soon submerged beneath the water, and the green lotuses drifted back to their original spots to cover up the gap. It seemed as if nothing had happened.
The water in the pond was much more poisonous and erosive than the greenish fog.
As soon as Jing Jiu got in the water, a few cracks appeared on his white cloth, which was then torn into shreds. The shredded cloth scattered and soon vanished as he was wading in the water.
If the sunlight could shine down, like on the wellhead of the Sword Jail, the scene would be wonderful to watch.
Jing Jiu was swimming in the water.
Soon, he came to the deepest part of the pond, passed through a narrow crack between rocks, and arrived at the next level of the prison.
This place was the third level of the Fiend Prison.
The person he was looking for should be here.
The third level of the Fiend Prison, unlike the first two levels, looked quite ordinary. Though it was dark throughout with any lighting, it was devoid of unbearable heat and strong poisons. The air could move freely here, feeling like the spring breeze blowing in the face, giving out a comfortable feel, like when Jing Jiu was swimming in the water.
There was only one passageway here, and it looked quite long, leading to an unknown place.
Jing Jiu focused his Sword Awareness into a thin line, and sent it to that passageway.
Even though the sword awareness could travel at fast speed, it still took a long time for it to reach the end and come back to his Awareness Sea; the length of the passageway was still imaginable.
The passageway was filled with innumerable chaotic winds; the deeper the passageway, the stronger the chaotic winds were. There was a formidable forbidding formation at the end of the passageway.
Even if Jing Jiu was at the height of Cultivation, he didn't want to enter this passageway. In addition to the fact that it was troublesome to dismantle the forbidding formation, there were other reasons as well.
He was well aware of why the chaotic wind was so strong in this passageway and why the forbidding formation at the end of the passageway was so formidable.
It was because the Abyss was on the other side.
The Abyss could lead to the Underworld directly.
Jing Jiu didn't want to go to the Underworld; neither did he want to step in the passageway.
Where could he go right now?
He turned to the left and took a few steps.
A wonderful feeling formed in his Awareness Sea.
He had no idea where he was at the moment.
In fact, he had lost his sense of space.
Soon after, he felt time as if time had frozen as well, since he couldn't tell how long he had been in the Fiend Prison.
The third level of the Fiend Prison was called the "Taichang", meaning "unchangeable".
It was said that this was named in opposition to the Zen Sect's "forever-changeable". The comparison was absurd in Jing Jiu's opinion.
He knew this rumor came from a misunderstanding.
"Taichang" was merely a convenient name given to the prison, having nothing to do with the meaning of "unchangeable".
Yet, it was repeated so many times that people thought the "Taichang Prison" meant the "Unchangeable Prison".
Even the Taichang Temple hailed from this name.
The Taichang Prison was isolated completely from the heaven and earth. No energy or source of heaven and earth could get in here, and no energy and source could get out of here either.
The absolute stillness would make time meaningless, so was the space.
However, if Jing Jiu lost his sense of space and couldn't figure out the direction, how could he find that person?
Jing Jiu closed his eyes and let himself float freely in this peculiar dark space, without direction or aim.
In a world without special concept, any direction or aim would make one get lost.
He was floating in the darkness. Though he seemed relaxed, he was actually dead serious about where he was going.
If he were indeed lost here, he would have a hard time finding his way out of here.
He dared come to seek out that person, because he was certain that the object he brought with him could establish a peculiar connection with the person.
Jing Jiu had finally stopped after having floated many days in the darkness.
In fact, he couldn't feel whether he had stopped or not; it was just that his Dao Heart quivered slightly, making him open his eyes.
His sight was filled by a large patch of lighting, a mixture of black and white colors that was impossible to separate.
The instant he saw the lighting, it had suddenly changed and turned into countless pieces, and then they reassembled together to form a new picture.
There were green forest, red soil, clean lake water, blue sky, purple flowers, and brown birds.
The heaven and earth were filled with colors, except for the black and white colors.
Someone was watering the flowers and plants.
His cloth had even more colors, which was beyond description, as if it was painted with all the colors in the world.
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