Old Pill Rune sighed. “Young Jiang Chen, you came and surprised me when I was starting to doubt if anyone from the human domain would ever be able to enter this palace again. Fate has guided you here to give me such a great surprise. This seat can now say for sure that you are going to be the best candidate to inherit the Veluriyam Pagoda.”
He was a strong and unique personality with high standards. His compliments meant the young man had won him over completely.
Jiang Chen wasn’t surprised. His knowledge in pill dao far surpassed even a master like the old man, and demanded the latter’s deference.
“Young man, I’m confident that you’re a god incarnate, and you must have been an unparalleled pill dao master in your past life, the likes of whom emerge only once every ten thousand years” the old man mused.
Jiang Chen smiled, a little embarrassed. “Senior, your title contains both pill and rune. You must be an extraordinary master in runes as well. The silent void I encountered when I first entered the palace and the suspended runes later on were your doing as well, weren’t they?”
“You know about suspended runes?” Old Pill Rune asked with surprise.
“I know a thing or two.” Jiang Chen smiled. “I was fortunate not to be trapped.”
The old man sighed deeply. “It’s not easy to find an opening during a siege of suspended runes. You certainly know more than a thing or two. Only experts in runes and glyphs would be able to escape, and more importantly, very few would’ve recognized the suspended runes! Trying to break free in the way one would approach a formation only leads to humiliation. You’re something else, young man!” He was very impressed by Jiang Chen.
“Ah, I thought that might be your masterpiece, senior.”
“Not so much masterpiece, but it is my work. If I had created the most powerful suspended runes I could create, there would be life-threatening danger, and you wouldn’t have escaped so easily. The suspended runes I put in this palace was meant to trap rather than kill. Thus the lesser challengers could survive even if trapped. I do have some restraint.”
Jiang Chen nodded. “Makes sense. I didn’t sense any killing intent.”
“Alright, back to business. You’ve passed my trial and thus deserve rewards. I’m sure you have a good wealth of resources given your identity and talent. Perhaps my gifts won’t be good enough for you.”
“You’re far too kind,” Jiang Chen hurriedly responded.
“Haha, you don’t have to so humble. I’d prepared two gifts originally. First is ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Pill Dao’, which I have devoted all my life to writing. Second is the method and tips for refining suspended runes. I don’t think either is going to be of much help to you though.”
“Not at all. The different fields in pill dao share some common ground. Exchange of knowledge is crucial. I don’t even know how to refine the most basic suspended runes. I was only able to escape due to my observation and will.”
Old Pill Rune chuckled. “It’s a good thing you don’t know how to refine suspended runes, or I’ll feel guilty for giving you gifts that are beneath you.”
In truth, suspended runes were a very advanced field of study. They could be much more useful than formations, and in some ways, more powerful.
Suspended runes were quick and agile, which set them apart from formations. In an environment abundant with spirit energy, one could tap into natural energy and create a good number of suspended runess in an instant, making them difficult to defend against.
Jiang Chen very much appreciated the runes’ value.
“The two gifts are hidden under the largest statue in this palace, young man. You’ll be able to find them without difficulty. My work in pill dao isn’t going to be that useful to you, but I hope you’ll find the refining method of suspended runes valuable.”
Jiang Chen looked around and spotted the biggest statue. He easily extracted the two gifts.
‘A Comprehensive Guide to Pill Dao’ turned out to be an epic-length academic work. The total word count amounted to the tens of millions.
“Your work in pill dao is indeed comprehensive, senior. You definitely live up to your title as Old Pill Rune.”
“Haha, stop flattering this seat, young man. Given your level of knowledge, your flattery to me may as well be directed to yourself.”
“It’s not flattery,” Jiang Chen rushed out. “I’m complimenting you from the bottom of my heart.”
“Alright, you’ve passed the fifth palace and won me over. I hope you’ll be able to tap into the full potential of the suspended runes. My gifts to you are the two things I’m most proud of.”
Jiang Chen flipped through the refining theory of the suspended runes and was thoroughly surprised. The talisman was indeed a great invention.
Old Pill Rune sighed. “You’re not going to take on the sixth palace just yet despite having two chances, are you? ”
Jiang Chen nodded. “I won’t be. I have two chances, but it’ll be a waste to use one of them now.”
First, he hadn’t reached its minimum cultivation requirement. Second, the last palace must be the most difficult. If he wasn’t prepared, he’d be bumping around in the dark.
“Keep up the good work, young man. I believe you’ll be able to gain the Veluriyam Pagoda’s heritage one day. Then we’ll all be set free.” His words weren’t just for Jiang Chen’s benefit. They also expressed his yearning for freedom.
After gaining the spacetime seal for the sixth palace, Jiang Chen left the pagoda with the old man’s blessings.
The fourth and fifth palaces had been significantly more difficult than the previous ones, but Jiang Chen had gained a lot as well, including the Taiji Pisces Swords from the fourth palace and the method of refining the suspended runes from the fifth.
The swords were weapons of finest quality. They would be of great help in his future battles.
As for the suspended runes, the process of learning them might be arduous and dull, but once he understood or even mastered it, the runes would be a powerful and useful tool in battle.
Jiang Chen went into closed door cultivation as soon as he left the pagoda. He could tell he was going to ascend to sixth level empyrean.