Chapter 293: Use the Dead as a Mirror
Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost
People in Breaking Heaven Department were free to arrange their learning and cultivation courses. Nobody would force you to do anything. As long as you could afford 30 gold coins a month on Hidden Dragon Island, you could even treat Breaking-Heavens Department as a senior island and live here for the rest of your life. But it was not possible for you to casually leave the Hidden Dragon Island before finishing all of your courses.
In the Breaking Heaven Department, besides learning and cultivation, you had to accomplish some mandatory courses that you had freely chosen. You could make money or clan contribution points through doing these clan tasks. You might also be able to legally leave the Island to finish some tasks on the continent.
However, all the tasks that required one to leave the Island were of great difficulty. Some of them were even very dangerous. Two-thirds of the clan apprentices who lost their lives when cultivating in the Breaking Heaven Department were killed when they left Hidden Dragon Island to do clan tasks.
Breaking Heaven Department was a school, an army and a furnace. It had two sides, the free side and the hard side. The temperature here could sublime you or turn you into residue and ashes.
If you don't want to be residue and ashes, the only thing you could do was work harder, harder, and even harder. You would have no other choice but to constantly grit your teeth and grow more powerful.
On the first night when he entered the Breaking Heaven Department, Zhang Tie had received his first mandatory task. When Zhang Tie was still in the room, someone directly push the first task letter under the door to his room.
It was such a funny task--to do cleaning for one week, by which he could gain 5 clan contribution points. This was the first tasks for everyone that entered the Breaking Heaven Department.
At the beginning, Zhang Tie felt this task was hilarious. But soon, he changed his mind as he was going to clean the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion in the Breaking Heaven Department.
Elites Sacrifice Pavilion was a shrine in Breaking-Heavens Pavilion that was used to honor those clan members who sacrificed themselves or died during cultivation in the Breaking Heaven Department.
At 6 am the next morning, according to regulations, Zhang Tie had already arrived at the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion when the dawn had just arrived. There was only one senior who was guarding the entrance. After Zhang Tie arrived, the old man brought Zhang Tie into the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion.
As soon as he entered the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion, Zhang Tie had noticed many spirit tablets, which frightened him greatly.
"The Elites Sacrifice Pavilion will be open from 9 am to 9 pm. Therefore, you'd better come here 3 hours before it opens. it is composed of 3 floors, each floor holds 1183 spirit tablets. You need to clean all the floors, handrails, windows and spirit tablets. After it closes in the evening, you should also clean it one more time! After that, I will check it. If you cannot clean it well, you will have to do it again! During opening hours, if anyone wants to worship here, you should also keep it clean from time to time..." The old man took Zhang Tie around the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion as he told Zhang Tie how to clean and what to take care of.
Finally, he guided Zhang Tie into the tools room. After explaining to Zhang Tie how to use the tools, the old man let out a sigh, "Alas, the latest spirit tablet was placed 2 months ago. They were all young men..." Saying this, the old man shook his head as he left, leaving the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion to Zhang Tie.
Trying to recover his composure, Zhang Tie started to clean. Although he had killed people and seen blood before, he was still a bit frightened when he cleaned the spirit tablets and caught sight of the black and white photos on the stony spirit tablets.
On the positive side of each spirit tablet was a photo and a name. On the back of each spirit tablet was a simple introduction on that person's life experiences. A person's life was recorded in only a few lines--one's parents; the year one entered Hidden Dragon Palace; one's events; why one died at an early age.
Each person had curiosity. After he gradually became less frightened, when he cleaned each spirit tablet, Zhang Tie couldn't stand but take a look at the life experiences and cause of death of the people on the back of the spirit tablets. Unless one didn't want to see the words on the spirit tablets, you would always notice them.
The more he cleaned, the more he saw. Gradually, Zhang Tie started to form an strange mood.
Although they lived in different ways when they were alive, they all died due to numerous causes.
Some were born to be talents, who had awakened many kinds of ancestral bloodlines and had reached level 10 at the age of 17-18 were meant to be powerful fighters. Finally, during their cultivation, they didn't listen to other's advice and wanted to break through a certain cultivation bottleneck, which caused them to be possessed by a devil and to spit out blood before death.
Some were average. After entering the Hidden Dragon Palace, he or she couldn't stand the rapid rhythm here and was gradually lagged far away by others. He or she then complained everyday and finally died due to frustration and grief.
Some overestimated their real strength when they accepted clan tasks. As a result, they died when they executed their tasks.
Some became kind and hesitated when they carried out some special tasks. However, after they forgave the enemy, they were killed.
Some died on some occasions due to carelessness when they were carrying out common tasks.
Some already had deep enmity with others before they entered the Hidden Dragon Palace. Finally they were killed by their enemy.
Some had gained great progress after cultivating in the Hidden Dragon Palace for many years. They were so ambitious that when he returned home and gathered with their previous partners, they violently showed off. After being drunk, they were set up and killed by some of their previous partners who were jealous of them.
Some always bullied their junior brothers and classmates due to their family background and were finally killed purposefully with the excuse of it being a mistake during a sparring exercise.
Some were innocent. Being lured by the others, they violated the regulations of Hidden Dragon Palace by selling intelligence of Breaking Heaven Department and were finally killed.
Some were troubled by love affairs in the Breaking-Heavens Department and were finally killed.
Some directly disappeared when they entered the underground world or dived in the sea for exploration...
After cleaning all the spirit tablets, Zhang Tie was so scared that he even oozed a cold sweat. The 1183 spirit tablets were definitely live textbooks which told you how to leave Hidden Dragon Palace alive. Zhang Tie finally knew why there were not too many rules in the Breaking Heaven Department and why his first task in Breaking Heaven Department was to clean the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion. Because all the rules of Breaking Heaven Department were in the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion. Each name and each story on each spirit tablet could work as a mirror for people to reflect themselves.
During the next week, Zhang Tie almost lived in the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion. He would come here to clean at 6 am and did another round of cleaning after 9 pm when it was closed before returning to his room in the Songtao Pavilion. As no one arrived there during the day, Zhang Tie would always stay in the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion and gaze at the spirit tablets as he thought about the stories on the spirit tablets. He then always asked himself--If that was him, would make the same mistake? Why would he make such a mistake? How could he avoid making such a mistake?
It was a process to constantly ask and reflect on himself. Although the other people considered it pretty boring in this gloomy place, Zhang Tie had different achievements each day. Through constant reflection, Zhang Tie found that he became more mature mentally.
One week soon passed...
In that evening, before he left the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion, Zhang Tie seriously cleaned each corner and each spirit tablet in the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion. After that, he arranged his clothes and washed his hands. He then burned three incense sticks and bowed towards the spirit tablets three times on the first floor before inserting the incense sticks into the incense table.
"Dear senior brothers and sisters, this younger brother has accompanied you for one week. I will not come here tomorrow. Thanks for your lessons. As this place is not big enough, I'm sure that I will not strive for a place here with you. When in festivals and the new year comes, I, Zhang Tie will definitely come here to bring you enough paper notes.
"This kid is teachable!"
A sound drifted from behind Zhang Tie as the old gatekeeper who should have long went to bed at this time had already stood behind Zhang Tie. Zhang Tie turned back and saw that haunch-back old man touching his mustache and smiling at him.
"Kid, you really have a nice consciousness and a good heart. If you have troubles, later on, come here and have a look. Think it over carefully! No disasters could match death in the secular world. Once alive, one will always be able to handle it. If one dies, one wouldn't able to handle it any longer..." The old man watched Zhang Tie as he satisfactorily nodded and talked to Zhang Tie.
"Yes, I've remembered it!"
"Hmm, you can leave now. Don't come here tomorrow. It's not early, go to bed soon!" The old man said as he patted 3 times on Zhang Tie's shoulders and left.
When Zhang Tie returned to his room in Songtao Pavilion, it was already 12 am. After washing up, Zhang Tie lay on the bed and prepared to sleep. However, only after a while, Zhang Tie suddenly recalled a fairy tale told by Donder. The protagonist of the fairy tale was a monkey. When the monkey went to learn skills, his immortal master knocked three times on his head. The monkey suddenly realized the meaning of his master and silently slid to his immortal master's room at three am and truly got the true knowledge.
Did it mean that the old man had the same meaning by patting his shoulders three times--thinking of it this way, Zhang Tie instantly became awake, "Is that old man a great powerhouse who lives in seclusion in Hidden Dragon Palace. Did he pat me to test whether I'm smarter than a monkey?"
Therefore, when it was 2:30 am, Zhang Tie got up and put on his clothes. Being a bit thrilled, Zhang Tie fumbled in the darkness and silently arrived in front of the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion several minutes before 3 am.
However, after standing outside the Elites Sacrifice Pavilion and hearing tweets of insects for quite awhile, Zhang Tie saw nobody at all. Finally, he arrived outside the small room where the old man slept. He heard the old man's snores from time to time.
Standing there for quite awhile, Zhang Tie then shook his head and forced a smile before returned to his room in Songtao Pavilion and a had a good sleep. The next morning, when Zhang Tie woke up, he took his clan plate and rushed into the Tasks Center on the second floor of the Middle Castle.
These days, as this mandatory task had occupied all of his time, Zhang Tie's plan to further evolve his ancestral bloodline was delayed. After this task was accomplished, Zhang Tie had a decent amount of free time. He felt it was the right time to evolve his ancestral bloodline and was very excited about it.