Chapter 8 – Great Sacrificial Ceremony
One afternoon during winter.
The Jiang Family Mountain Villa’s martial arts training grounds was already packed with a couple thousand people. More than half of the entire population living here had congregated at this location.
Whish whish. The war flags fluttered about in the wind.
This was the day during winter when the Great Sacrificial Ceremony was held.
Quite a number of large candles, which were rarely seen in the mountain villa, were now lit and present in the main hall by the side of the martial arts training grounds. The Jiang Family members that had congregated here were all wearing ceremonial clothes, which were rarely worn during their day-to-day business, causing the entire atmosphere to appear solemn and dignified.
Through the great doors of the main hall, the people in the martial arts training grounds could clearly see everything happening inside.
As his mother held his hand, Jiang Han was able to see the gigantic altar in the main hall, with nothing else present within. At this moment, his grandfather, Jiang Yangshan, was standing on top of the altar, dressed in wide-fitting white robes.
“Ancestors in the heavens! We offer our sacrifices to you all in appreciation for your kindness in bringing us up and enlightening us! For today’s Great Sacrificial Ceremony, we beseech on our ancestors to protect our Jiang Family, and let us Jiangs flourish and be more prosperous!” Jiang Yangshan bowed respectfully. Kneeling on the tall altar, his placed his palms on the floor, appearing exceedingly sincere as he paid his respects.
There was a dark green table present on the altar, with two sweet-smelling incense sticks burning by its sides and a sole ancestral tablet present right in the centre.
“This world is like the one in my previous life, where they hold their ancestors in great regard, and will offer sacrifices and prayers to them.” Jiang Han gave an emotional sigh in his heart. “However, up till me, our Jiang Family is only at its 4th generation. Grandfather’s the 2nd generation Mountain Villa Lord. The names of the ancestors before my great grandfather are not even carved on the tablet.”
At this moment.
“Bow!” beside the main group of people in the great hall, Jiang Yan gave a loud shout. Indeed, being the dictated successor of the Jiang Family, it was his responsibility to take charge of a portion of this sacrificial ceremony.
Instantly, be it the main hall, or the martial arts training ground outside, everyone present immediately knelt down and prayed.
Following his mother, Jiang Han also knelt down and prayed.
Taking the lead, Mountain Villa Lord Jiang Yangshan kowtowed on the altar-ground, causing dull thuds to ring out.
Behind him, Jiang Zheng, Jiang Tong and the other high-level figures followed suit and kowtowed in respect.
This was followed by the rest of the ordinary family members.
Within the entire mountain villa, other than the ceremony host, Jiang Yan, everyone was kneeling down.
Jiang Yan’s voice rang out, before everyone started to stand up.
With the ceremonial respects being paid, everyone stood up, while the originally stiff and solemn atmosphere started to relax. Many of the family members started to chat with each other, while the high-level figures of the mountain villa started to return to the crowd in the martial arts training hall.
“Father.” extending his little hand out, Jiang Han waved towards Jiang Zheng. Walking over, the latter immediately joined up with Qin Wei and his son.
The Jiang Family members started to chatting about. For today’s Great Sacrificial Ceremony, paying respects to their ancestors was just the start.
“Our Jiang Family has already spread to its 4th generation. As of now, there are over 10 thousand members in our family.”
“During that year when we established this mountain villa, did our ancestors ever expect that we would flourish to such a level?”
“The True Blood Baptism is up next. Who knows how many 6th Grade Talent children will appear this year.”
Everyone was currently discussing the matter of the True Blood Baptism.
“Little Han, do you have any confidence in surpassing your 5th bro!” said a sturdily built man with a laugh.
Not choosing to speak, Jiang Han replied with a chuckle.
“Let’s see how it goes.” said Jiang Zheng with a smile.
The sturdily built man continued to smile and say. “Little Han, although your 7th bro is slightly younger than you, he has been strong since birth. You guys will be together today, so make sure to do well and both get 6th Grade Talents, okay.”
“You’ll know when it happens, 9th bro.” said Jiang Zheng with a gentle smile. He knew that his son had an extremely solid and strong body since birth, and was also exceedingly intelligent. Therefore, his talent shouldn’t be poor.
“Will my talent be good just due to me being strong?” Although Jiang Han knew that his 9th uncle was just joking, he could not help but to laugh out.
According to common sense, children who had shown intelligence or possessed innate divine power tended to have outstanding cultivation talent. However, that was not a guarantee, as there were people with weak and sickly bodies, or were unintelligent, yet possessed astonishing cultivation talent.
Fate was something that was extremely hard to predict.
However, Jiang Han did not but much care about that. For the past few years, he had always been cultivating his Spiritual Soul. Although he had yet to reach the level he had achieved in hell, he was able to faintly sense that he had an extremely high compatibility between his body and the Yuan Qi from the Heavens and Earth.
The most basic indication of one’s cultivation talent was, in fact, the compatibility between one’s body and Yuan Qi from the Heavens and Earth.
“During my reincarnation, I obtained a drop of purple essence blood. Even though I was unable to keep it with me, it should be more than sufficient to greatly elevate the quality of my talent.” thought Jiang Han.
He already knew about the details behind one’s cultivation talent while in the Netherworld.
The talent in humans were separated into 9 Grades, of with the top 3 Grades were named as the blessed spirits of heaven and earth. People of these grades could easily stir up an entire region, and could easily become a regional overlord figure.
If he had truly kept the Purple Essence Blood with him, he would get a 3rd Grade talent at the very least…
As the members of the large Jiang Family were chatting, a guard squadron composed of a group of large men had already carried a large cauldron and placed it before the altar in the main hall.
This massive cauldron appeared to be incomparably heavy, with its surface being covered with many engravings of mountains, rivers, grass and trees. It appeared exceedingly mysterious and abstruse. A few Martial Master experts proceeded to lift it up together, before placing it down on the roaring flames already present on the altar.
Glug Glug Glug!
A massive amount of sparkling mountain spring water was poured into it.
As the intense flames roared on, the water within the cauldron quickly entered into a boil.
Standing before the altar, Mountain Villa Lord Jiang Yangshan swept his gaze across every direction, his eyes shining bright and brimming with emotion. As he looked towards the crowd gathered in the martial arts training grounds located outside of the main hall, a gentle smile appeared on his face, before shouting out in a loud voice. “Pour in the medicine.”
In the next moment, a dozen martial artists moved forward, with a large basin present in each of their hands. Contained inside each of the basins were pre-sliced chunks of demonic beast meat and blood, which were tossed into the giant cauldron.
As time elapsed.
A few old men dressed in simple and unadorned clothes started to toss stalk after stalk of already prepared herbal medicines while quietly calculating the time.
Jiang Han knew that those pieces of meat and blood were collected from the Great Demons that have been hunted by during the previous hunt. After being boiled in mountain spring water, the blood essence contained within them would have considerable value. Coupled with the refining process using those herbal medicines, they would become even more valuable, as it would strengthen the body of anyone who consumed it.
‘It has been 60 years since the establishment of our Jiang Family’s Mountain Villa, and this True Blood Baptism has already been conducted quite a number of times.” standing on the altar, Mountain Villa Lord Jiang Yangshan imbued his voice with his Qi, causing it to rumble out into everyone’s ears. “All of the 6-year-old children, please step forward!”
The entire area, within and outside of the main hall instantly turned quiet, while everyone’s eyes turned to look into the main hall. Everyone knew that the important show had started.
“Han’er.” said Jiang Zheng and Qin Wei as they looked towards Jiang Han.
With a soft voice, Jiang Zheng said, “Han’er, just do your best to walk forward, and use everything you can use to walk to the top of the altar. You have to know that the only one you can rely on in this world is yourself.”
“I know.” replied Jiang Han with a nod.
With the experience he had from his previous life, Jiang Han was extremely clear about the importance of strength.
Even if he did not have any cultivation talent, it would not be much of a problem for his father to ensure his safety with the latter’s strength and status. However, if he wanted to obtain the respect of others, as well as everything he wanted in this life, the most important thing he needed was a strength that was his own.
Raising his head, Jiang Han smiled at his mother, before walking forwards. As he reached the front of the crowd, there was a group of little children beside him.
Within the entire Jiang Family Villa, with a population of over 10 thousand people, there were more than 3 hundred children around the same age as Jiang Han. However, there were only 3 of them who had the genuine bloodline of the Jiang Family.
Within the Jiang Family Villa, the Jiang Family were the rulers, and possessed extremely high statuses. However, there were not many people within their family.
The couple hundred children proceeded to walk into the main hall.
“Open the Yuan Spring and offer the sacrifices to the Martial Ancestor!” Family leader Jiang Yangshan stood before on the altar as he said in a loud voice. Illuminated by the roaring, his old face appeared extremely solemn.
Very quickly, Jiang Yan and a few Jiang Family martial artists carried a giant wood pole and walked up the altar, before unfurling a gigantic beast skin painting.
Everyone in the main hall looked over.
Drawn on the beast skin painting was a male with the lower half of a snake. Present in his hand was a giant war spear that brimmed with wildness and power. His appearance seemed to cause the entire heavens and earth to collapse, with the main hall being the epicentre.
“An image of the Martial Ancestor.” Jiang Han’s heart started to pound. That image was as peculiar and abstruse as the image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva that had surfaced in his mind when he had cultivated his Spiritual Soul, and had a similar effect of containing the rules of the heaven and earth.
Was this what father had mentioned; the legendary treasure of the Jiang Family, the image of the Martial Ancestor?
A giant hole appeared in the grounds of the main hall, before astonishing waves of Yuan Qi from the heavens and earth gushed out from within, before instantly perfusing throughout the main hall.
Seeing the Yuan Qi of the heavens and earth gushing out from the giant hole, Jiang Han thought in his heart. “Great grandfather had most likely established this Jiang Family Mountain Villa due to seeing the Yuan Spring present in the depths of this mountain that could produce an endless supply of Yuan Stones.”