Pursuit of the Truth Chapter 173
It might have been morning, but it was raining heavily. The sky could not be seen clearly. Dark clouds covered the sky so thickly it covered the originally bright sunlight. Albeit the land was not entirely dark, it was still marginally so.
There were even fewer people walking on the streets in the third layer of Han Mountain City. Rain pattered on shop roofs and flowed down along the funnels on both sides of the roofs to eventually blend with the puddles on the ground, mixing the old water with the new.
The shopkeepers were all either dozing off or sitting cross-legged to train. There were only some who stood at the entrance to their shops looking at the rain as various thoughts raced in their heads.
Su Ming walked amidst the silence of the rain, breathing in the humid morning breeze as he traversed the streets of the third layer of Han Mountain City. No one could see his face. They could only see his slightly forlorn figure walking through the rain. He did not attract much attention as he walked past these shops.
Sometimes, however, when he walked into the field of vision of those who were looking at the rain, he would attract their attention, though it was perhaps just that he broke their train of thought as they admired the scenery.
Nonetheless, they only cast him a glance before paying no more attention. No one could guess what that forlorn figure wanted to do and what sort of shock he would bring to Han Mountain City that morning.
Su Ming walked forth in silence along the path until he reached the entrance to the second layer. He looked around him and found that he was the only one there. There was no one else around him.
There was still a huge gate serving as the entrance to the second layer. Originally, only the Transcended guests of the three tribes could enter, but now that the three tribes had dismissed all their guests, only those who had Transcended could enter.
Without accounting for the people from the three tribes, there were only five people who could enter the second layer in the entire Han Mountain City.
There was a huge bell about hundreds of feet tall to the right of the entrance. This ancient bell was entirely red-violet. There seemed to be rusted spots covering its surface, and it exuded an old and aged presence, as if it had been placed there for a very long time.
There were three bizarre and ferocious looking beasts carved on the surface of the ancient bell. One of them was the Dragon Clam, another the Alpine Dark Turtle, and the picture of the last creature had already faded out due to time. It could not be seen clearly, but the creature was clearly the leader of the three beasts. Based on their positions, it looked as if the Dragon Clam and the Alpine Dark Turtle were beneath that last ferocious beast in an act of subservience.
The bell was covered in water. Raindrops produced a soft patter as they fell on the surface of the bell and flowed down along its edges.
Su Ming stood by the stone gate leading to the second layer as he looked at the gigantic ancient bell before him. His eyes, which were hidden under the bamboo hat, gradually lit up. He had been walking unhurriedly, his footsteps slow, but every single step he took was steady and stable; he was also gathering up the Qi in his body.
He had been doing so since the foot of the mountain, and with each step he took since he stepped into the fourth layer of Han Mountain City. It was as if he was accumulating his energy, as if he was a sword being sharpened.
Right then, that energy was ready to be used, the sword was sharpened. The energy was just waiting to burst out and amaze the world, the sword just waiting to let out a bright and chilling glare!
'Besides asking the people from the three tribes for help like how He Feng had done it when he asked Han Fei Zi for help to get to Han Mountain's summit, there's another way to challenge the Chains of Han Mountain. This method is for all the Berserkers who came to Han Mountain City… we have to ring this bell!
'We have to make the bell chimes spread all around the region to spread the news that we are going to challenge the Chains of Han Mountain…'
Su Ming looked at the bell silently, and the light in his eyes grew brighter. He had asked He Feng about the Chains of Han Mountain a long time ago and knew this bell would not sound for those with ordinary levels of cultivation.
This was also to prevent those who did not have enough power from dying when they challenged the Chains of Han Mountain and wasting everyone's time, along with sullying the might of the Chains of Han Mountain.
"Only those who can make the bell chime nine times have the right to challenge the Chains of Han Mountain… Since my goal is to amaze these people so as to get into Freezing Sky Clan, then I must go rampant!" Su Ming mumbled.
His quiet demeanor suddenly changed in the rain. A shocking presence erupted forth from within him like a sword that had left its scabbard, as if half his energy had been let loose!
As that presence rose up, coincidentally, a muffled roar of thunder rang in the sky. A bolt of lightning hidden in the sky let out a bright flash.
As that bolt of lightning lit up the sky, Su Ming lifted his right hand. He looked at the gigantic ancient bell before him and took a deep breath before he slammed his right hand against it.
The bell's chime was like a roaring wave. The sound was muffled and contained a feeling of ancientness, as if it was a sound that came from a long time ago. A ripple that could barely be seen with the naked eye appeared abruptly from the bell, and along with the sound, it spread out in all directions.
The ripple was invisible, but it touched Su Ming's clothes, causing him to feel as if a huge force had just impacted his body, trying to push him away from the ancient bell.
The instant the bell chime reverberated in the air and spread through the entire Han Mountain Tribe and the three tribes, it startled countless people who were sitting and meditating in the quiet, rainy morning.
"Those are Han Mountain Bell's chimes!"
"Someone wants to challenge the Chains of Han Mountain! Didn't I say it? The closer we get to the day Freezing Sky Clan comes, the livelier Han Mountain City will be!"
"Hmph, it's just one bell chime. You only have to the right to challenge the Chains if the bell rings nine times, or else, you'll need the acknowledgement by the three tribes for them to send you straight to the summit to challenge it."
"Don't bother. That bell has been ringing for who knows how many times since the past few months, but no one has managed to make it past six chimes… and the bell's going to continue ringing for the foreseeable future. Joining Freezing Sky Clan is something that will make someone throw out everything they've got, after all."
Han Mountain City started getting lively. Quite a few people walked out into the streets and looked at the place where Han Mountain Bell was located at the third layer. However, as the rain was too heavy, these people only cast a glance at it before they hurried back into their houses.
The powerful Transcended Berserkers staying in the second layer of Han Mountain City, including Nan Tian and Ke Jiu Si, heard the bell chimes, but they did not go out to look. Nan Tian smiled faintly and paid no heed to it.
Ke Jiu Si did not even open his eyes. He sat in his house quietly, as if he did not even hear the bell chimes.
Xuan Lun and the other two powerful Transcended Berserkers reacted mostly in the same manner. Even if the bell rang six or seven times, it would still not catch their attention, much less one bell chime.
As for the three tribes surrounding Han Mountain City, they remained in silence in the rain. It was as if they did not react to the bell chimes, and that was the truth. Most of the people from the three tribes did not pay further attention to the chime once they heard it.
Among these people were the leaders of the three tribes, including Yan Luan. Even Fang Shen only broke off from his meditation and opened his eyes for a brief moment before he closed them once again and resumed meditating.
Only Han Fei Zi stood at her window and looked at the rain that seemed to be connecting the sky and the earth, and at the obscured Han Mountain City. The light in her eyes flickered.
There was another woman besides her who was also looking at Han Mountain in the rain silently. She was Han Cang Zi.
The first bell chime was just like a small stone being thrown into water. It only induced a few ripples before the water returned to stillness. In fact, once half the day passed by, very few people would remember the bell chime they heard just now.
Su Ming's expression remained passive. The ripple that was formed when the ancient bell before him trembled had dissipated the instant it fused into his body. It did not have any effect on him. The bell chime still lingered and echoed in the air, but besides this lingering chime and the sound of rain falling on the ground, there were no other sounds in the area. Not only did no one come out into the rain to see who rang the bell, even the shopkeepers whose shops in the third layer were close to the bell did not walk out to take a look.
Everything remained silent.
Su Ming lifted his right hand from the bell, and without any surge of emotions in his heart, he placed it down once more.
The second chime reverberated in the air, and at the very moment it rang out, Su Ming's gaze became as sharp as a sword out of its scabbard. With a freezing glint in his eyes, he slammed his right hand onto the gigantic ancient bell once again.
Dong… Dong… Dong… Dong…
Four consecutive chimes rang in the air. With the previous two chimes, it was now six chimes. The ancient sound that exuded a presence of age seemed to have joined together to turn into a sound that shook the hearts of all those who listened. It even replaced the rumbling thunder in the air, becoming the only sound that surrounded the entire Han Mountain City and the mountains of the three tribes at that moment!
Han Mountain City was shocked!
The expressions of those who had already returned to their houses changed immediately once they heard the bell chimes that were seemingly blended together. Even the shopkeepers in the third layer of Han Mountain City felt shaken to the cores. Some had walked out and cast their eyes towards the entrance leading to the second layer, where the bell was located.
Seriousness appeared even on Nan Tian and the others's faces in the second layer. The meaning of sounding the bell in sequence and sounding the bell multiple times in one go until the chimes seemed to blend together was completely different. There was also a huge contrast in the rebound that the person had to suffer!
The three tribes in the mountains were also in an uproar when these bell chimes reverberated through the air.
Yet at that moment, the seventh bell chime rang out, and at the very instant it emerged, the eighth and ninth bell chimes arose with the might of a whirlwind sweeping away the clouds in the sky and the force of a great flood from the ancient bell in Han Mountain City, echoing in the sky with a power that caused the sky to shake and the earth to tremble.
The people in Han Mountain City only recovered from the shock after a moment. They burst into an uproar, like a wild beast that was jolted awake from its slumber.
"Nine chimes… Was… was that really nine chimes? It's too sudden!"
"Those aren't just nine chimes, but nine chimes that were practically fused together when they appeared. This person… this person is definitely not some common lightweight. We have to watch this person challenging the Chains of Han Mountain!"
"Who is it? Who could that person be? Could it be one of the five Transcended Berserkers?"
Most of the people from Han Mountain rushed out of their houses and were all looking towards the third layer in the rain. Some had even ran out to see who was the person who had made the bell sound nine times!
At the same time, Nan Tian and the others in the second layer of Han Mountain City stood up promptly. With one swift move, they left their houses and stared at the exit leading to the third layer. Behind that stone gate were the giant bell and the person who had sounded it.
In the mountain belonging to Lake of Colors Tribe, Yan Luan stood up. With a calm expression, she walked out of her house and looked at the city submerged in rain. With her power, she could vaguely see layers upon layers of ripples spreading out from Han Mountain City and pushing the rain. In that instant, Han Mountain… was without rain!
"Finally, there's someone who's actually good challenging the Chains of Han Mountain. Send orders for someone to send a plate allowing the challenger to the top of Han Mountain…"
Her tone was relaxed, as if there was nothing that could excite her, but also as if even if there was someone who managed to ring the bell nine times, it would still not be able to make her amazed.
However, that was the extent of her speech. Before she completed her sentence, for the first time, a sound that made her expression change rang out from Han Mountain City!
Dong… Dong… Dong…
11, 12 chimes reverberated in the air suddenly!
At the same time, the howl of a beast could be heard in the dark and cloudy sky above Han Mountain City. The sound shook the sky, and as the howl started, the apparition of a gigantic ferocious beast with the head of a dragon and body of a clam manifested before everyone's eyes!
"What is this person's level of cultivation? How did he manage to sound the bell twelve times and summon the shadow of Han Mountain's sealed beast?"
Yan Luan's breathing quickened and a bright glint appeared in her eyes.