The Drystone Courtyard was one of the twelve burial grounds. However, when it came to these places, many people would think about the Heavenly Ancient Corpse Burial Ground or the Prime Ominous Grave. Very few would think about the courtyard.
The reason was that the courtyard was even more mysterious than these two places. Anyone could try to enter the Heavenly Corpse Burial Ground, but this was not the case for the courtyard. Even those who could arrive at the courtyard would be limited to its entrance.
The place was only a yard. Of course, as for how large it was, no one in history could truly say.
In fact, very few who went in ever came out again, with the exception of Immortal Emperors. Only a minority of Godkings ever made it out alive!
Some even said that the courtyard was the most dangerous among the twelve. Li Qiye did not reject this notion. However, in his opinion, as long as one had the right methods, the courtyard was much safer than the others.
“Clop, clop, clop…” Li Qiye rode the wooden horse inside and immediately saw many stone statues.
These statues were lined up near the entrance with many different expressions. Some were scared, others were drowned in despair, and a few were turning around to flee… These statues were very vivid and lifelike as if they were real.
They were Enlightened Beings who were lucky enough to enter the courtyard. Alas, their cultivation was not strong enough and they were instantly petrified the moment they set foot inside.
“The Drystone Courtyard isn’t for just anyone to enter.” Li Qiye only shook his head after seeing this scene. This wasn’t his first time seeing this. In the past, he had visited the courtyard multiple times before. The amount of statues would increase after each subsequent visit.
He didn’t stop here after glancing at them. Losing their lives immediately upon entering meant that they were weak, not someone that could be called invincible.
There was only one danger in the courtyard, petrification! No matter what type of existence one might be, they would be affected by this power of petrification. Moreover, the deeper one went, the stronger this force would be. At a certain depth, even Godkings would turn into stone indefinitely — a fate no different from death.
As for what kinds of treasures and secrets were within, this remained a mystery to future generations. However, this didn’t deter many experts and invincible existences from coming to the courtyard to find out! The majority of these people lost their lives here.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t difficult to solve the problem of petrification. It was very simple to come out unscathed even if one wasn’t an Immortal Emperor. They only needed one item to be unaffected by the petrification process — the wooden horse!
Of course, this type of wooden horse was very rare. No more than five were available throughout history. Plus, their whereabouts were unknown; very few knew about the existence of these wooden horses, let alone their effects.
In the eyes of the bidders back in the Golem Square, Li Qiye trading a Longevity Fruit for the wooden horse was simply insanity. Only someone like Li Qiye knew the value of the wooden horse and how great of a deal it was.
He continued deeper into this place. It was a dangerous ground for others, but to Li Qiye, this was a courtyard with decent sceneries.
Here were waterside pavilions with decorated mountains and springs. Lakes and streams could also be found surrounding the central area. It didn’t look like one of the twelve burial grounds, more like the abandoned garden of a wealthy family. The trees continued to grow older below the lonely moon and sun. The creeks continued to flow without the presence of fishes and other aquatic creatures…
Only silence could be found here; there were no signs of life in this place. This was a tranquil reserve that would last for millions of years.
Li Qiye continued on his wooden horse and its clopping hooves. This sound seemed to be everlasting; only his horse was moving in this place.
Any first timer would be hard pressed to believe that this was the Drystone Courtyard, one of the twelve burial grounds. The courtyard was huge, but no one could describe its exact size. Some even said that no one had ever seen the entire location.
Of course, this was true for outsiders. Li Qiye had been to the entire courtyard before and had seen areas thought unexplored by others.
There were fewer stone statues in the later parts of his journey. However, these statues were all famous people with no lack of Godkings!
“Skyreign Venerable, quite amazing and worthy of his fame. To be able to reach this place…” Li Qiye was able to recognize a few famous existences as there were very few who made it here.
“Sigh, Remembrance Goddess. So brilliant back then, swooned even an Immortal Emperor. What a lamentable fate to eventually become a statue.” Li Qiye met a female statue along the path. One couldn’t really discern her features anymore due to the petrification, but her elegance and past beauty were still quite apparent!
“Idle-Gen Beast, what did you run here for? Don’t you remember? Your dwelling caused so many people to salivate…” Li Qiye continued on and couldn’t help but smile when he saw a beast that resembled both a dragon and a serpent as well as a dog.
“One sword to reach divine investiture, an incredible sword. Being petrified for so long yet the sword energy still remains…” Li Qiye saw a sword-wielding statue deeper inside. It was still emitting a terrifying sword aura, so even he had to voice his praise. 1
“Brightheart Fairy, for what…” There was also one statue that made him stop. He felt a strange sadness as he lamented with a sigh.
The journey continued. In this place, many trails extended towards all possible directions. Li Qiye picked one in particular and met many petrified invincible existences, many of whom he recognized.
Before reaching his destination, he heard a faint cry in the distance.
“Help, save me.” A feeble cry for help echoed about. It was very weak, as if the speaker would fall over at any moment.
No matter who they might be, people would not be able to ignore this cry; it was as if there was a devilish charm to it. They had no choice but to go in the direction of the plea!
However, if they could remain calm and think about it, they would find that there was something strange. There shouldn’t be anyone alive in this place, so where was this cry coming from?
Li Qiye smirked after hearing this cry for help. He sped up the wooden horse and went towards the call. After a while, he finally made it to the location where the distress call came from. It was a cliff overlooking an obscured abyss. However, the cry for help came from below.
Upon his arrival, golden shimmers suddenly appeared in the sky. Countless glittery lotuses floated down as a person descended from above. He was accompanied by many phenomena, including a Golden Dragon with a haunting immortal hymn. Each of his steps created lotus flowers while golden springs oozed among the clouds…
It was an old man with immortal energy floating around him. Although no one could see his real face, he carried an oppressive divine atmosphere as if he was an eternal immortal from above!
Anyone would be stunned to see this; they would absolutely believe that they had met a legendary immortal!
“Little friend, where did you come from?” This immortal-like old man had a very kind voice.
“Okay, old geezer, your illusions might be able to trick others, but don’t try this little ruse in front of me.” Li Qiye smiled and said: “You can’t even see me yet you still want to beguile me? Aizz, after millions of years, your methods are still so lousy.”
“Who are you!” The old man with his immortal aura quickly changed into a tempestuous god. His divine aura engulfed myriad domains, causing others to have an impulsive desire to prostrate to him.
“Old geezer, you’re so old that you can’t even sense it anymore.” Li Qiye gently shook his head while riding the wooden horse: “I kindly traveled endless miles just to visit you, yet you can’t even recognize me. How disappointing.”
“It’s you…” Eventually, the person recognized Li Qiye. Everything disappeared, including his deity and immortal forms as well as the golden lotuses… The only thing left was the cliff and the unfathomable abyss below.
“It’s you, the goddamn crow…” Eventually, a shocked voice came from the abyss: “Impossible, you tried for so long without any success, but now you’ve actually re-obtained your body!”
1. It’s ambiguous here, could be one sword to seal gods or one sword to reach a deified stage. The latter is more likely with the naming context.