Chapter 21: Adversity of the Sect
"Master." Yi Qing glanced at the person beside him and hesitated for a moment before blurting out, "Did you and the Supremacy have something to discuss? Did I interrupt your conversation?" Could Lonemoon still be insistent in wanting to become my master's disciple?
"It was nothing." A certain someone replied while busily shoving pastries into her mouth. After swallowing the cake in her mouth, she continued, "We were talking about the past back in our village."
"I see." Yi Qing looked over at Lonemoon. "Master and Supremacy are from the same hometown, but were the both of you previously acquainted?"
"Nope." Shen Ying shook her head. She looked towards Lonemoon and asked conveniently, "Oh right, what did you do in the past?"
"I was involved with web stuff," Lonemoon answered. He felt like he was imagining things—why did it feel like the future Sword Immortal was hostile towards him? "I previously owned a company and was supporting a bunch of people. It was pretty tiring. Oh right, I wasn't called Lonemoon previously. I have this name because they said I needed a nickname after I started immortal cultivation."
"Oh, then what's your name?"
"My surname is Niu. I'm called Niu Huayun!"
Just as he finished his sentence, half a piece of chrysanthemum cake was spat over. He wasn't alert for a moment and was hit by it right in his face.
"Aren't you disgusting?" Lonemoon glared at her and immediately cast a dirt removal spell.
"You are YY corporation's CEO…" Shen Ying widened her eyes. Such a big shot! Nation Z's richest man. "Father Niu?" "Get lost! I don't have a daughter who is such a cheat." Lonemoon mouth's twitched as he involuntarily rolled his eyes. His name, Niu Huayun, was the only thing that had managed to surprise her so far.
Shen Ying was truly shocked. She scanned him from head to toe several times. He's a real CEO, alive and talking! She suddenly felt like borrowing money from him.
"What are you doing?" Lonemoon shuddered at her actions as he stepped back. Why did he feel like he was going to be robbed?
"What's Wai Wai? See Yee Oh?" Yi Qing looked blank. "Master, have you heard of him in the past?"
"Sort of." Shen Ying continued what she was doing before, picking up her pastry and sitting back down. "He was our… village's richest man. The really super affluent kind." He was someone who everyone wanted to have as their daddy.
"I see." Yi Qing nodded. "So Supremacy had such a past before immortal cultivation. Then what about Master?" "Uh…" Shen Ying's face froze. Her face twitched as she paused for a while before continuing, "That… I'm a person who values family. I feel that money is of little importance. It was of utmost importance to be filial to my parents at home. As the saying goes, when your parents are around, you shouldn't be too far away. That's why I wholeheartedly stayed home and took care of both my elderly parents!"
"Hey!" Lonemoon mouth's twitched. "You were just leeching off your parents, can you not make it sound so righteous?" Have some respect!
"I see!" Yi Qing's eyes shone and his face was filled with excitement as he said, "Master is indeed a person who treasures kinship and loyalty!"
"Hey, can you wake up? She was obviously bluffing you?"
"It is too bad that I was an orphan, otherwise I would have definitely wanted to be just like Master, never forgetting gratitude for my parents raising me up even after starting immortal cultivation." "What's there to learn about leeching off your parents? Is your brain damaged?"
"Thank you for Master's teachings!"
Lonemoon: "…" That's it, this one is a brain-damaged fan!
"I am almost done with eating." Shen Ying touched her belly and said with a straight face, "How about… we go back and prepare for a meal?"
Lonemoon: Still want to eat, are you a pig?
"Yes, Master!" Yi Qing immediately turned around and began to sword-ride. As he flew along, he did not forget to ask:
"Master, what would you like to eat?" "Meat. Lots of meat."
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
Holy shit! I don't want to play with this pair of dumb wits!
Yi Qing was indeed professional. Within 20 minutes, even including the time he took to fetch the ingredients, he had whipped up a sumptuous meal with a whole table full of different types of dishes. Every dish smelled and tasted as great as it looked, and Lonemoon suddenly understood why Shen Ying said that his food was pig's feed. As a Sword Cultivator, where did he even learn how to cook?
Lonemoon originally wanted to be thick-skinned and get a free meal to try out the dishes. However, he still did not manage to try; Xi Qiu had suddenly rushed over. At first he thought that he was representing the sect to congratulate Yi Qing's successful Nascent Soul Formation, but Xi Qiu bowed towards him with a solemn face as he said, "Uncle-Master, something bad has happened!"
"What's the matter, what's the hurry?" Xi Qiu had been the sect master for 200 years. This was Lonemoon's first time seeing him wearing such a grave expression as well as the first time he had even come in person to invite him over.
"I can't explain it clearly. Let me bring Uncle-Master to Elixir Peak and you will understand!" His expression was grave as he turned around to look at Yi Qing and cupped his fists before continuing, "Congratulations to Fellow Daoist Yi Qing for successfully completing your Nascent Soul Formation. Since this matter is pretty serious, Perfected Yi, you come along as well! With so much happening recently, Perfected Yi's Nascent Soul Formation ceremony will have to be pushed back."
Yi Qing nodded. He was also considered to be under the Blackheaven Sect so when something happened, he certainly should go and take a look. Hence, after bidding goodbye to Shen Ying, he followed Xi Qiu and flew towards the floating peak filled with the scents of elixirs towards the right. The three of them flew directly towards the back of the house at the top of the peak. Yi Qing could sense that there was something strange with air in the hall even before landing; he paused as his brows furrowed. "There is Yin Qi here that belongs to a Fiendish Cultivator!"
"Perfected Yi is indeed sharp!" Xi Qiu pushed open the door in front with great force. "A Fiendish Cultivator did indeed come by."
Yi Qing and Lonemoon looked inside, and their eyes widened. There was an isolated array formation inside the house, but the house interiors were splattered with blood. The glaringly red liquid was smeared across the entire room; it was on the tables, floor and walls. And there was also some unknown bloody paste-like substance stuck on them. A naked person laid right in the middle of the room who was already devoid of any signs of life. That person's expression was extremely eerie, his eyes wide open as if he had experienced something utterly terrifying before he died. His mouth had long been turned into a bloody gash and there was no sign of his tongue. One of his hands was still stuck in a tile on the ground while the other was stiffened probably because he used all his might to struggle before his death. His lower torso had completely disappeared, leaving only half of a corpse. "This is…" Yi Qing's brows furrowed deeper. Such a cruel deed could only have been committed by a Fiendish Cultivator. The soul within the corpse was also absent; either the primordial spirit had escaped or the soul was already completely destroyed.
"He is the hall master of Elixir Peak, Perfected Yu Ding." A voice echoed from within the house; it was one of the hall masters who had arrived earlier on. All ten of the Blackheaven Sect's hall masters had arrived and were checking on the situation inside the house. "I don't know which Fiendish Cultivator actually resorted to such cruel means."
"Someone who dares to break into Blackheaven Sect and even silently kill a Nascent Soul Perfected One cannot be someone to be ignored, and must have at least reached the Nascent Soul stage." Xi Qiu added.
"Not only that, this person might actually be very familiar with the happenings within our sect." Xi Chen fiercely said, "As a hall master of Blackheaven Sect, my life is intertwined with the sect. If i were to be harmed in the sect, it would immediately trigger the protective mountain array and trap the culprit within it. This person must have carefully selected this timing when Perfected Yi was going through his Nascent Soul Formation. The protective mountain array was resisting the aftermath of the lightning tribulation and opened up automatically. So without anyone realizing, the culprit went ahead and murdered Yu Ding."
"Correct." The hall master of Zhu Qi Peak nodded in agreement. "Half a month's time is required to set up the protective mountain array a second time. It was intentional."
"Sect Master, apart from the protective mountain array, are there any other ways to seal up the entire Blackheaven Sect?" Yi Qing suddenly asked.
"Yes there is," Xi Qiu answered, suddenly understanding what he meant. Shocked, he looked over to him. "Perfected Yi, could you mean that…"
Yi Qing nodded. "The Yin Qi has not dissipated completely. The Fiendish Cultivator must not have left here for more than half an incense stick's time, which also means…"
"The Fiendish Cultivator is still in Blackheaven Sect!" Lonemoon finished his sentence. "Yes!"
Everyone's faces changed immediately. Xi Qiu turned around and straightaway shouted to a disciple, "Quick, sound the main peak's Che Ming Bell. Seal all of Blackheaven Sect's exits and capture the Fiendish Cultivator!"
The disciple took off immediately after receiving his orders and within a moment, the Che Ming Bell rang throughout the entire Blackheaven Sect, shutting down all the transportation array formations.
"Perfected Yi. We heard that you have spent a great amount of time slaying fiends and defending the Dao, hence you are the most familiar with the Yin Qi of Fiendish Cultivators. Can we get you to investigate the entire sect to find that Fiendish Cultivator?" Xi Qiu pleaded in a lowered voice.
Yi Qing did not reject. He nodded and said, "It's my responsibility!"
He released his Divine Perception and began to search for the Fiendish Cultivator's presence.
At the same time, on Yingyuan Peak.
A certain someone was focused on eating her rice when a sudden banging sound was heard. A heap of blood from an unknown source fell from above and then a figure smashed right onto her dining table, landing with an arm in her soup.
"…" Are things always introduced by dropping from the sky in this world? Thank goodness… I finished eating the dishes.
Shen Ying glanced at the bloody person on the dining table and then looking at the half-empty bowl of rice in her hand, she subconsciously proffered the bowl and asked, "Do you want some?"
The bloody person: "…"  Play of words, a combination of the names of the two richest businessmen in China. Ma Huateng (Tencent CEO), and Ma Yun (Alibaba CEO). Ma means horse, and Niu here means cow.
Chapter 22: Temporary Hostage
As a former itinerant cultivator, Yi Qing had had more than his fair share of dealings with Fiendish Cultivators and was very familiar with their scent, but the fact that one of them could infiltrate the Blackheaven Sect and kill a Perfected Nascent Soul cultivator meant that they must have been fully prepared. It had taken him one full hour to find the traces of Yin Qi even though he was very sensitive to it. Strangely, this Qi was not found at any of the exits but at the base of the nearby Yingyuan Peak.
With Yi Qing leading the hall masters, they followed the trail which led right back to the hut where Yi Qing lived in. Even before nearing the hut, they could already detect a pungent whiff of blood. Feeling his heart quickening, he hastily walked inside. What he saw was a big mess: the plates which had been on the stone table were now scattered all over the ground in pieces and the gravy from a dish mixed with fresh blood covered the whole table.
"This… this is…" Yan Qiu was also shocked. "What happened?"
"Where's Shen Ying?" Lonemoon looked around, but did not see any trace of her.
Yi Qing quickly searched around the house but did not find her. Turning around, he walked towards the blood-stained stone table and formed a hand seal. Immediately, the entire stone table lit up brightly and an image slowly appeared. This was the scene that had taken place an hour ago.
A familiar figure was eating, her whole attention on the food. If one could not fail to see the food on the table visibly diminishing, one would have mistaken it for a looping movie clip. It was not until the dishes were completely empty that the scene changed. A figure covered in blood suddenly came crashing down. Wearing a red dress, her hair was dishevelled and half her face was smeared in blood. But even so, one could still make out that she was a stunning woman.
"Fiendish Cultivator!" Xi Qiu blurted out. Stepping forward, he stared carefully at the image above the table. Suddenly struck by a thought, he whispered, "A female Fiendish Cultivator in the Nascent Soul stage… and wearing a red dress. Could she… be the Venomous Witch—Qi Chengyu?!"
The badly injured female Fiendish Cultivator in the image seemed to be talking to the person at the table. Suddenly, she grabbed the person holding onto a bowl by the neck and flew off in the southwest direction.
Upon seeing this, Yi Qing's eyes widened and he exclaimed, "Master!" He immediately turned around and headed out towards the southwest.
"Wait…" But before Lonemoon could stop him, Yi Qing had already disappeared. Lonemoon had no choice but to fly after Yi Qing on his sword. However, Yi Qing was flying so fast that Lonemoon only caught up with him after a considerable distance. "Yi Qing, calm down. Blackheaven Sect has been sealed off. Let's find out what this Fiendish Cultivator is up to before pursuing her. Shen Ying will not be in…"
Wait a moment!
"With her freakish strength, shouldn't we be more concerned for the Fiendish Cultivator?!" Why the hell are you so worried!
"I know Master will be okay." Instead of stopping, Yi Qing flew faster. "I am worried about Master going out alone."
"What's the problem?"
"The problem is…" He suddenly turned his head and said with a look of certainty, "She'll never find her way back!"
Holy shit! So it turns out that this creature isn't only a foodie, but is also freaking directionally challenged. What made you choose such a worthless creature as your teacher? I really don't know! "By the way, how did she end up in the clutches of the
Fiendish Cultivator?" That image had provided no sound so he had no idea what the Fiendish Cultivator had been saying.
"From what I know about Master…" Frowning, Yi Qing hesitated for a moment before saying, "It's not that she can't fight and defeat the Fiendish Cultivator."
"Then?" "Master was just… too lazy to resist!"
That worthless creature can laze to death for all I care!
On her last legs, Qi Chengyu flew out of the Blackheaven Sect. She was badly hurt; even Nascent Soul cultivators could be driven to the point of collapse. The meridians in her entire body were badly damaged. She had to give it to Yu Ding, that cunning old thief. Even though she had planned this for so many years before the opportunity finally came by, he had still somehow managed to injure her before he died.
Her body was at the brink of collapse. She had to regulate her meridians, otherwise she would die. With no options left, she found a secluded place and stopped. She released her grip on the hand of her hostage, preparing to push her away.
Qi Chengyu didn't know if it was the lack of strength caused by her severe injuries, but she was unable to push that person away. Instead, she was the one who staggered a couple of steps back; she had to use all her strength to suppress the blood from rushing to her heart. She then turned to look at Shen Ying.
"Seeing that you are so obedient, you can go! I won't kill you."
The alarm bell had sounded, signifying that the Blackheaven Sect had discovered what she had done. The various escape routes left were all sealed off, so it would be extremely difficult for her to break out of this place. Her original intention had been to find someone to use as a hostage during her escape, and in this she had been unexpectedly lucky. She had not only taken a hostage but also managed to leave the mountain exit with her hostage without being intercepted. Even the guards on patrol that they encountered on the way did not seem to see them. It seemed that even God was helping her, letting her take her revenge!
She raised her hand and tried to release the immobilizing lock she had put on the hostage. But just as soon as she activated her Spirit Qi, she felt a great pain originating from the meridians of her whole body. Blood Qi started to surge up from within her, but she suppressed it once again. She growled fiercely, "Hurry up and leave, before I change my mind."
Taken aback, the hostage was silent was a moment before answering with a nod, "Ok." She then turned and left.
Qi Chengyu made sure that Shen Ying had walked quite a distance away before sitting down in the lotus position. She began to regulate her meridians. But just as her Spirit Qi finished circulating one cycle through her body, a familiar female voice suddenly rang in her ear.
"Sister, do you remember which direction we flew from?"
Qi Chengyu almost suffered a Qi Deviation at the shock of hearing this voice. Forcing down the fresh blood that had surged up to her mouth, she looked up and glared at Shen Ying.
Is this person asking for death? Does she really think that I will
not kill her?
Taking a deep breath to suppress her boiling anger, she pointed to the right. "Over there!"
"Oh, thank you!" Shen Ying nodded with a smile before walking away in that direction.
Qi Chengyu closed her eyes again and continued to regulate her meridians. Just as she had completed half a cycle…
"Sister, are you sure that's the way?" That familiar voice rang out again. "There is no sea over there, only a river!"
"You have to cross the river, then go through the woods before reaching the sea!"
"If you come back again, I will really kill you!"
Seeing her walk away, Qi Chengyu decided to choose another place to regulate her meridians. However, ten minutes later…
"Sister, I can't find the river!"
"…" Qi Chengyu clenched her hands and almost vomited blood. "Do you want to die?! I told you go to the right, to the right. Can't you follow directions?"
"I can't!" she replied honestly. I guess this means I'm lost.
"You…" She had to take several deep breaths before she managed to suppress the urge to kill. Pointing hard at one direction, she said, "If you dare to come back, I will use your bones for my spirit practice. Over there!"
"Ok… I'll remember."
After that, she turned and walked away again. Ten minutes later… "Sister!"
"If you dare ask the way again, I'll kill you now!" Qi Chengyu straightaway hurled a fireball in Shen Ying's direction, burning a half-meter pit into the ground next to her.
"No, it's not that." Shen Ying blinked innocently and shook her head. "It was getting late so I decided to stay." Then as if by magic, she pulled out two pheasants from behind her. "Sister, can you roast chicken?"
Qi Chengyu: "…"
Chapter 23: Protection Stemming From Sheer Stupidity
A feeling of utter powerlessness overwhelmed Qi Chengyu. She looked up and down at the person in front of her. "How did you manage to survive till now?" She could not believe such a clueless person was actually accepted by the Blackheaven Sect. Was the sect blind?
"Huh?" She probed the Spirit Qi around Shen Ying's body again. "You are actually a mortal!"
Assuming that it was her injuries that had prevented her from detecting Shen Ying's cultivation level, it had never occurred to Qi Chengyu that Shen Ying was a mortal without the slightest Spirit Qi. Even a maid in the Blackheaven Sect practiced cultivation, yet she did not have a hint of Spirit Qi. It seemed that she was born without any spirit roots. To be in the elite Blackheaven Sect, yet be unable to practice. She was also a pitiful person…
At this thought, much of Qi Chengyu's anger dissipated, but all this went unnoticed by the other party who had instead started pulling out the feathers of the pheasant. Immediately after, the colorful feathers began to reflect the light of the rising moon, forming a rainbow-like pattern on the ground.
Something was not right—the feathers were actually emitting light.
"Wait!" Qi Chengyu quickly grabbed the other party's hand that was plucking the feathers, and then looked at the two birds closely. Her eyes widened in astonishment. "This… these are fifth-level spirit beasts—the Bright Luan! Where did you find them?"
"By the riverside!" Shen Ying pointed her finger to the left, but after thinking for a moment she switched to the right.
The incredulous look on Qi Chengyu face deepened. Looking at Shen Ying, she didn't seem capable of killing a fifth-level spirit beast. Did some hunter capture the beasts, then abandon them by the river? She really had good luck! "What's a spirit beast? Isn't this a chicken demon?" asked Shen Ying, waving around the bird in her hand.
"How come you don't even know this?" Qi Chengyu looked at her in surprise and then explained, "Demons are demons, beasts are beasts. Demons are originally animals that turned into demons upon gaining sentience. If they cultivate in divine powers, they can attain manifestation. Beasts are extraordinary creatures at birth but they do not have sentience. They can only attain manifestation and gain sentience if they reach a high level of cultivation."
"Oh…" She nodded. No wonder this little animal didn't speak the human language just now. "Can it be eaten?"
Qi Chengyu's mouth twitched. Was this the key point? But upon closer thought, she remembered that Shen Ying was just a mortal and really needed to eat. Therefore, Qi Chengyu formed a seal on the ground and ignited a ball of fire. "The flesh of a spirit beast is putrid, so it can only be eaten after cleansing it with spirit fire." So saying, she took over the featherless spirit beast that Shen Ying was holding and placed it in the fire to cook. Shen Ying: Waiting obediently for food!
Qi Chengyu first cleansed the head of the beast, directly opening it with a spirit cleansing blade. Sure enough, a bright blue bead was found inside it; it was a fifth-level beast pill, and it was of the water attribute. She could not help but marvel again at this mortal's luck—just by wandering about she had managed to pick up the bodies of fifth-level spirit beasts left behind by a hunter.
She took out the beast pill directly. Such a complete internal pill was very rare. Tossing it to Shen Ying, she instructed, "Take it. Keep it carefully."
Shen Ying glanced at it and then threw it back. "No, you can have it!"
"You… you want to give it to me?!" Qi Chengyu stared at her in disbelief, the words 'Are you stupid?' all but written on her face. "Rest assured. Since I promised to let you go, I will not go back on my word. This is a fifth-level water attribute spirit beast pill, a medicine with magical healing powers. Since this beast was found by you, it is destined to be yours. I won't deprive others of their good fortune."
"No need." She had plenty of such beads.
Thinking that she didn't understand the benefits of this pill, Qi Chengyu couldn't help explaining again, "Although you are a mortal, this fifth-level beast pill is a rarity. You can benefit in many ways from it."
"Oh, then you can have it." Just take it as payment for roasting the chicken. "Is the chicken cooked?"
"You…" Gripping her palms tightly, Qi Chengyu looked at Shen Ying with a complicated expression.
Is she giving me the beast spirit pill to heal my injuries? Why? I was the one who took her hostage, yet she wants to help her enemy? "I… am a Fiendish Cultivator!" she couldn't help but remind Shen Ying.
"Ah?!" Shen Ying turned her head to look at her, frowning in uncertainty. Qi Chengyu's heart sank a little, but then she heard Shen Ying asking seriously, "Fiendish Cultivators… can't roast chicken?"
Puzzled, Qi Chengyu nodded reflexively. "… We can."
"Oh, then please get on with it!"
Get on with it? Get on with what?
"Are you sure? Just like this…" Is she giving it to me? With no conditions!
"What more is there to it? Ah, do you have cumin with you?" I didn't know that you were such a meticulous chef… sister!
"Oh, then we'll just stick with the original taste!" Disappointment.
Qi Chengyu felt like she was about to choke. Were they on the same topic?
This mortal really had the ability to lead people astray. Yet… she was unable to raise her temper at all; instead, she subconsciously raised the intensity of the spirit cleansing fire. She felt strange emotions stirring in her chest. A mixed concoction of bitter and sweet feelings. Really… She really wants to give me the beast spirit pill even though I, a Fiendish Cultivator, was the one who held her hostage. Just because… she sees that I am seriously injured? How can there be such a 'stupid' person in this world! So stupid… so stupid that I actually want to protect her!
Clenching her hands, Qi Chengyu wanted to say something but didn't know what she could say. In the end, she could only snort coldly and say, "With a character like yours, you will be cheated sooner or later!" So saying, she stuffed the roasted bird into the other's arms. "Here, eat quickly! Eat quickly! By the way, what's your name?"
"Shen Ying," replied Shen Ying as she ate, not forgetting to stuff the other bird into the other's arms. "Continue with this one!"
"You seem to be very experienced in ordering people around. Is one chicken still not enough for you? I hope you don't die of overeating!" She grumbled for a while, but still took over the bird to cook. How long had it been… how long had it been since she had held such a peaceful conversation with another person? There was no fear in the other's eyes, no hatred and no disgusting greed. "My name is Qi Chengyu, a Fiend Venerate. You seem like a person I can relate to. If you find that you cannot make it in Blackheaven Sect in the future, look for me in Ming Yin Mountain. Maybe then you can survive a little longer!" Such a stupid person like this would surely die without protection?!
"Uh-huh, huh." Shen Ying continued eating her chicken diligently.
"I just killed that hypocrite Yu Ding. If you go back tomorrow without any injury, the Blackheaven Sect will suspect you!" She glanced at Shen Ying, and a trace of worry flashed in her eyes. "You better wait a few days before returning. If they question you, just tell them the truth that the one who killed that old thief Yu Ding was me, Qi Chengyu."
"…" A certain someone was still eating chicken nonstop.
"But you don't have to mention giving me the beast pill." She turned the blue bead over in her hand. "These so-called righteous people from established sects think very highly of themselves but secretly do the dirtiest things. Don't try to tough it out! If you're afraid of saying the wrong thing, say that the pill was taken by me." In any case, she no longer cared whether one more count of killing and robbery was added to her list of crimes.
"…" It was very, very, very delicious.
"If anything goes wrong… abandon the sect and escape. This so-called orthodox and immortal sect is not the godly place you think it is. If they really want to avenge the old thief, just invite them to come and attack me in Ming Yin Mountain." She laughed coldly, then seeming to think of something, her eyes slowly turned blood red and her hands gripped her dress unconsciously. "I want to ask these famous orthodox sects this. Five hundred years ago, Yu Ding defiled my Nascent Soul body, destroyed my hundred years of cultivation and imprisoned me in the dungeons to use as a cultivation sex slave. Why can't I take revenge?"
Shen Ying finally slowed her chewing and slowly raised her head to look at her.
"Why do you look at me like this? What? You don't believe that a hall master of a sect would do such a thing?" "No… I wanted to ask, is the other chicken cooked?"
She really regretted it now. She should have killed this foodie earlier!
Chapter 24: Frightening Murderous Intent
Qi Chengyu used the beast pill to help her recuperate and rested for the whole night to finally heal a small part of her meridians. Previously, she had purposely traveled to places where Spirit Qi was scarce in order to avoid being tracked down by the Blackheaven Sect, but that had caused her recovery to be too slow. The only thing to be glad about was that her injury would not worsen. Fortunately, she would be able to return to Ming Yin Mountain, but her only worry was…
What will happen to Shen Ying?
With her lacking sense of direction, if I were to return to Ming Yin Mountain, wouldn't she die of hunger alone?
Did she kidnap a hostage or a burden?!
"Shen Ying…" But just as she was about to start talking, the sound of fierce winds was suddenly heard. Alarmed, she turned to grab the person beside her and retreated 100 feet. The next moment, a sword emitting Yin Qi was stabbed into the spot where they had been standing at. "Who is it? Come on out!" She looked to the right of the forest.
A moment later, two shadowy figures slowly came out from the forest, both donned in gray robes. The figure walking in front smiled, revealing half of their bony face. "Heh, so it was Fiend Supremacy Impermanence over here. Sorry to intrude."
"Bi Hao? You are Blood Fiend Yu Yan's Dharma Protector!" Qi Chengyu became more wary towards the two people who were approaching with ill intent.
"So Fiend Supremacy has heard of me." That person laughed. "Not bad. Fiend Supremacy Yu Yan is our master."
"Yu Yan's henchman, why are you looking for me?"
"It has been rumored that Fiend Supremacy Impermanence is an absolute beauty. From the beginning of your immortal cultivation you were already the number one beauty throughout the entire Six Schools Three Sects known as Fairy Yu. Both of us have always admired your elegance. We were passing by this place, so we specially came over to pay you a visit." "Hmph, don't try to fool me. Speak your real purpose!"
"Fiend Supremacy, you have misunderstood me…" Bi Hao's smile grew increasingly chilly. But just as he was about to explain, the person beside him cut in.
"Senior Brother, don't waste your time speaking nonsense with her. Look at her state now, she is obviously seriously wounded. Even if we were to do anything, what could she do to us?" The other person stared directly at Qi Chengyu and the look in their eyes grew hot as if ready to swallow her whole. "I heard that she has a body of pure Yin. Cultivating with that can allow our cultivation to rise dramatically. She was previously a Nascent Soul Fiend Supremacy and we couldn't touch her, but now she is seriously wounded. What are you waiting for? Quickly harvest her!"
"Junior Brother Ren Yi, how can you not cherish and be more tender towards such a beauty?"
"Hmph! Are you going to go for it or not? If you aren't, I am going to harvest her first. This is a Nascent Soul cultivator. After harvesting her, I can complete my Nascent Soul Formation." He even swallowed a mouthful of saliva. "Shameless!" Qi Chengyu gritted her teeth as she wanted to form a hand seal using Spirit Qi, but she immediately felt an acute pain in her heart as if it was being pierced by millions of swords—she was immobilized. "Heart Burn Array, you…"
"Heh heh… How can we not make some preparations in order to have a fun time with you, Fiend Supremacy?" He had already set up the array formation before showing himself.
Bi Hao quickly walked over. He scanned her body with no discretion, lust and greed apparent in his eyes. "Fiend Supremacy Impermanence, do not worry. Bi Hao is not like the other Immortal Cultivators, not completing the harvest and allowing others to play around with you. From today onwards, you only need to serve my brother and I." His hand then stretched towards her breasts.
Qi Chengyu's eyes were aflame with anger, a familiar scene from her past flashing across her eyes. The memories of those nightmares that she had once thought she could escape from were awakened, and they replayed again and again before her eyes. Even joining the ranks of Fiendish Cultivators had not enabled her to escape from all that. Her eyes were filled with despair as she watched Bi Hao's hand draw closer, but it was suddenly and violently caught by another hand as a toneless voice rang out.
"Molesters will have their hands chopped off!"
"…" Bi Hao was taken aback. He had not realized there was someone else beside the Fiend Supremacy. Taking a closer look, he saw that this person was a mortal with no Spirit Qi and then heaved a sigh of relief.
"There's one more girl!" Ren Yi took a step forward as his lustful eyes moved over to Shen Ying. "Hahaha… This is great. Senior Brother, this one is mine!"
Qi Chengyu panicked and shouted, "Don't touch her!" She had totally forgotten about her presence! She had wanted to protect this young lady but never did she expect that she would drag her into this mess. She could accept whatever that would happen to her, but Shen Ying… she was still an innocent lady. She could not allow her to experience such disgusting things. "She is only a mortal and has no ties with me. If you dare to touch her, the day I recover will be the day I feed on your bones!"
"Hmph, you cannot even save yourself yet you still want to save others." Ren Yi did not take her threat to heart. "Mortals cannot be harvested, but perhaps she can be made into a puppet!"
He summoned his weapon at the end of his words, seemingly about to form a hand seal and cast a Dharma spell, but then Bi Hao suddenly shouted loudly, "Stop!"
"Senior Brother?" Ren Yi was taken aback.
"Fiend Supremacy Impermanence, we are very sorry for everything that has happened today. We hope for your forgiveness and that you will let insignificant figures like us go." All of a sudden, Bi Hao spoke in an extremely respectful tone, the pride and glee long disappeared from his eyes which were instead… filled with fear? "Senior Brother!" Ren Yi was stunned at seeing this sudden change in attitude.
"Shut up!" Bi Hao turned back and glared at Ren Yi, preventing him from spouting another word, and then continued to speak respectfully to Qi Chengyu. "I will certainly go to Ming Yin Mountain personally to give a formal apology in the future." Finished, he immediately took away the seal for the array formation on the ground with one hand and then took out a bottle of elixir for her. "Supremacy's injury is pretty serious, and as Fiendish Cultivators we should help each other. Here is a bottle of rejuvenation elixirs as our apology."
"Are you crazy?!" Ren Yi was completely stunned, but he was once again silenced by the look thrown at him by the other.
"What are you up to now?" Qi Chengyu looked at the elixir in her hand.
"I only want to make befriend you and build up good karma between us," he laughingly said. As if worried of being doubted, he even swallowed one of the rejuvenation pills. "It is rumored that Supremacy has been looking for Gan Zirui from the Grand Vacuity Sect. I have chanced upon the news that he is currently hiding in Grand Vacuity Sect's Sword Comprehension Peak."
"Are you speaking the truth?!" Qi Chengyu was shocked. Her eyes had turned red and were emanating murderous intent.
"I dare not hide facts nor lie in front of you, Supremacy."
Qi Chengyu gritted her teeth and her eyes became alight with a burning hatred as if remembering something. She had searched for so long. So… so, he had been hiding over there.
"If the both of you are alright…" Bi Hao raised his head, and carefully said, "May we make a move first?"
Qi Chengyu took a deep breath before suppressing the turmoil within her. She took the bottle of elixirs from him and said in a deep voice, "Get lost!"
At her words, Bi Hao's hands became relaxed and he immediately became joyous. "I shall take my leave now!" He quickly dragged along Ren Yi who grumbled with indignation as they left and disappeared within a moment as if being chased by evil ghosts.
"Senior Brother, what was all that about?" After flying for 50km, Ren Yi could no longer hold it in and he flung him aside. "It was such a good opportunity and you just let it go like that. With our talents, once we miss this chance, we may never be able to complete our Nascent Soul Formation!"
Bi Hao stopped and then suddenly squatted down hugging his right arm. He spewed mouthfuls of blood on the ground as his right arm hung at an awkward angle to the ground.
"Senior Brother!" Shocked, Ren Yi quickly took Bi Hao's pulse from the other arm. After checking his pulse, Ren Yi's eyes widened. "Senior Brother… your Golden Core! How could it? When did you sustain such serious injuries?"
"If we stayed any longer, I am afraid not only would my Golden Core have been shattered, the both of us would have died there!" "How is that possible…" Ren Yi was frightened. "Unless… Qi Chengyu was faking it? She was not actually wounded?"
"It's not her, it's the other one!" Bi Hao shuddered as if recalling something.
"The other one? You mean…"
As someone with a Five Elements Maimed Spirit Root, he had always relied on his acute awareness and ability to sense imminent danger to safely perfect his Golden Core and maintain a position amongst all the Fiendish Cultivators. Yet, from the grasp of the girl who was beside Qi Chengyu, he was able to sense a kind of frightening murderous intent he had never experienced before; the kind that was overwhelming and could not be escaped from. All he felt at that moment was—death!
He did not even know when exactly his Golden Core had been shattered. That person… was too scary! "But… isn't she a mortal?" She had obviously possessed no Spirit Qi.
"I am not sure either." Bi Hao clenched his trembling hands. "But that person must not be simple. If we were to ever meet that person again, it would be best for us to keep away from her as far as possible!"
Chapter 25: Dorae-Ying
"Do you see the cultivator city outside the woods? There is a transportation array to Blackheaven Sect inside the city." Qi Chengyu pointed to the road ahead.
After taking the beast pills and elixirs from Bi Hao, her injury had almost recovered. She had then immediately left the dangerous forest. Although she had originally intended to return to Ming Yin Mountain, the news brought by Bi Hao changed her mind. It was obviously not wise to bring Shen Ying along; however, she could not find it in her heart to leave Shen Ying to her own devices as she knew full well of the girl's bizarre sense of road direction. She had thus changed her route at the last minute and came to this place close to an immortal city.
"All right, you can proceed from here. Go straight and you will enter the city. After that, walk down the main road to the end and turn right. You will see the transportation array."
"You be care-… Wait, where are you going? I said go straight, is that straight? No… why are you going to the right, the gate is over there. Come back!" Looking at the girl who got her directions mixed up immediately after going past a tree, Qi Chengyu had no choice but to go fetch her. "Are you blind? Look at the road! Hey, do you really want to go back or not?"
"I think… so?" Shen Ying cocked her head to one side, still wearing that nonchalant expression of hers.
Qi Chengyu was at a loss for words. What the heck does 'I think so' mean? Don't all disciples of immortal sects regard their sects highly?
"Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road," Qi Chengyu reminded her again. After some thought, she took out a small bag of spirit stones and handed it to Shen Ying. "Take this. Be careful on the road and don't let other people cheat you."
Shen Ying glanced at the heavy bag in her hand. Was she using this money to… buy her off?
"I have something to deal with, so having you come along will be a burden to me. Farewell and take care of yourself." "Hey…" Why did she get the feeling that this was a break-up fee? Raising her head, Shen Ying looked at the person in front of her. "You're going to kill that man called Gan?"
"Yes, I am going to…" Qi Chengyu stopped mid-sentence, her eyes widening in surprise. "How did you… know?"
"It was obvious!" Ever since that lecher had given Qi Chengyu that news, her mind had not been on the task of roasting chicken the past few days which had resulted in a great drop in cooking standard.
"You're right. I really am going to Sword Comprehension Peak!" Her eyes grew dark and she clenched her hands into fists. It was only after much effort that she managed to suppress the raging emotions inside her that were on the brink of erupting. Giving Shen Ying a smile, she said, "Since you have guessed this, you should know that I might not be able to return. So you will have to… look after yourself."
"Do you need help?" Shen Ying suddenly asked. Qi Chengyu laughed. "Help me? Are you saying that you, a Blackheaven Sect disciple, want to help a Fiendish Cultivator deal with a cultivator from an orthodox sect?"
"That's right!" After all, I took your money.
At first, Qi Chengyu thought she was joking. But then she realised that Shen Ying was being serious. Her eyes immediately darkened. "Why? You have only known me for just a few days, and you also don't know what kind of grievances I have with that person. Why do you want to help me?"
Well, we have been eating roast chicken together for so many days. "As to what grievances you have, I think I can guess it." She suddenly sat down on the withered tree trunk next to her. "You being a Fiendish Cultivator has something to do with him?" Using her brains really was a chore!
Qi Chengyu expression grew darker and she clenched her hands tightly several times as if desperately suppressing something. Taking a deep breath, she looked at Shen Ying. She tried hard to smile but her trembling lips could not hide her bitterness. "It seems that during these past few days, your attention was not all spent on eating chicken. You have been listening to what I was saying."
She sat down next to Shen Ying, the memories of the past misting her eyes, her eyes gazing ahead without focus. "Yes, my Golden Core was destroyed on that day, and I was imprisoned in a secret chamber by Yu Ding who used me as a cultivation sex slave. Later, I was even passed on to others like a plaything. It was all because of this person. The ridiculous thing is…" She paused, then her voice deepened as if she was talking through clenched teeth. "He was the one who led me onto the path of immortality, who guided my cultivation practice—he was my master and benefactor."
She deliberately emphasized the last few words, her eyes instantly turning red. She smiled mockingly as she spat out the words, "A pure Yin body… just because he found out that I had the so-called pure Yin body, my benefactor and master felt he had the right to destroy my century-long worth of cultivation and personally send me to someone else's bed, witnessing my humiliation for decades." If she had not forced herself to become a Fiendish Cultivator, maybe she would still have been languishing in that hell!
"I have been looking for him for hundreds of years, just to repay this debt of 'gratitude'." Her expression turned grimmer and she seemed to be immersed in her thoughts, her eyes slowly taking on a frenzied look. "In these past several years, I have killed all those who tormented me, but he was the only one I couldn't track down. I had been thinking day and night for a hundred years. If one day… if one day…"
"Let's go." Shen Ying suddenly spoke up, immediately interrupting Qi Chengyu in her madness. Patting her backside, she stood up and, still in that lazy tone, volunteered, "I'll help you kill him!"
Surprised by Shen Ying's offer of help, Qi Chengyu's expression softened for a moment, then she laughed out, "You? Forget it! Save your little life to eat a few more roast chickens!" What could she do? She was just a mortal. "What kind of place do you think Sword Comprehension Peak is? It is the holy land of the Grand Vacuity Sect, the place where Soul Formation cultivators retreat to in order to gain enlightenment. Putting aside the fact that you are just a mortal, even if you were a Soul Formation cultivator, you wouldn't meet their criteria for entry."
It was rumored that Sword Comprehension Peak was built by a top sect of the Azure World and was the only place through which one could enter the Upper Azure World from the Middle Azure World.
"This is why Soul Formation Supremacies from the Three Sects Six Schools are the only ones who have the passage jade token, and only they can gain entry," she explained earnestly. "Unless one has a passage jade token, otherwise…"
"Do you mean this?" Shen Ying suddenly pulled out a white passage jade token with the word 'Enlightened' written on it.
Huh! Huh? Huh?!!
"You… how did you get this?" Qi Chengyu's eyes widened in astonishment.
"Oh, it was given to me by, erh… a fellow from my hometown." The temporary chef had forgotten to take the token back after showing it off to her.
With a look of disbelief, Qi Chengyu took the token from her and gave it a good look-over. It was a passage jade token, it was really a passage jade token of Sword Comprehension Peak! Upon probing it with her Spirit Qi, she could faintly see the word "Lonemoon" written on it.
"This passage jade token is able to recognize its owner. If the token holder does not have the Spirit Artifact with them, they will still not be able to activate it…"
"Do you mean this?" Shen Ying suddenly pulled out a white jade flute.
Qi Chengyu: "…"
"The authenticity detector stone at Sword Comprehension Peak can recognize the Supremacy's intrinsic Dharmic artifact."
"Will this do?" She pulled out a fan.
Qi Chengyu: "…"
For a long while…
I'm about to flip! How many items have you taken from this person!
"Can I ask a question?"
"What grudges do you hold against this Lonemoon person?" How did that person's intrinsic Dharmic artifact end up in your hands!
"Since you have all these items, you might as well ask the owner to come over as well!"
"As you wish." Nodding, Shen Ying turned and looked behind her.
"What are you doing? Wait!" The next moment, Shen Ying had vanished from sight. All of a sudden, she had an ominous feeling…
Three minutes later…
"The person you want!"
A man clad in a blue gown over a white outfit was pushed over to her.
Qi Chengyu: "…"
How is this possible!
Chapter 26: Body of Pure Yin
Yi Qing and Lonemoon had already been searching for a few days in that forest which had very faint traces of Spirit Qi, pursuing the trail of the Fiendish Cultivator. Although they had clearly sensed the location of their target on several occasions, they just could not seem to find the Fiendish Cultivator. They had gone through the entire forest many times to no avail, and Lonemoon even suspected whether the Fiendish Cultivator had purposely set up a misdirection array.
But just as they had been about to leave, Shen Ying, whom they had not managed to find, appeared out of nowhere in front of Lonemoon.
"Master!" Yi Qing was delighted. "You are not…"
But before he could finish, Shen Ying grabbed Lonemoon by his collar and demanded, "Help me." She then disappeared from the same spot.
Lonemoon could not react in time and was dragged away. The next moment, he was shoved in front of a lady of Nascent Soul cultivation, a beauty of the finest degree who also emanated Yin Qi all around.
"A Fiendish Cultivator!" Alarmed, Lonemoon took a step back and said in a lowered voice, "Shen Ying, what are you up to?"
The next moment, he realized the other party had a familiar- looking fan-like weapon in her hand. "That's my intrinsic Dharmic artifact!" Why was it in the hands of a Fiendish Cultivator?!
Wait a second! That flute and jade piece seemed familiar too; he subconsciously searched his storage bag. "Holy shit, why are they in your hands?" When were they stolen? He had no recollection of it.
"I gave them to her!" Shen Ying replied.
"You?" Lonemoon turned back and looked at her as if he had seen a ghost. "What's your problem? Why would you take my intrinsic Dharmic artifact for no reason?" More so, giving it to a Fiendish Cultivator to play with? Where was the camaraderie between fellow villagers? "Who took your things." Shen Ying glared at him. "You obviously forgot to take them, so that's why I picked them up."
"…" Uh, such a thing had happened? He looked back on his memories and remembered that he had indeed introduced these weapons to her. Could it have been at that time? But he was not a careless person. Why would he have forgotten to keep them after showing them to her?
"Since these items belong to you, Supremacy, then I shall return them to you!" It was only then that Qi Chengyu recovered from the shock of Shen Ying dragging a Soul Formation Supremacy over, quickly returning the items in her hands with some anxiety. Although Shen Ying had good intentions, she was a Fiendish Cultivator after all; if the other party had hostile intentions, she would not be able to escape from a Soul Formation cultivator.
Lonemoon received his Dharma artifacts and inspected them with suspicion before putting them away. The number of questions in his mind only kept growing. Who exactly was this Fiendish Cultivator? Why did Shen Ying want to help her?
But before he could ask, Yi Qing had caught up. "Master!" He hurriedly flew down and then saw Qi Chengyu at the side. He looked over with caution but did not immediately take action, instead quickly coming over to Shen Ying. "It was my carelessness to have let Master experience such a predicament. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine. I'm actually pretty well."
"I have an issue!" Lonemoon rolled his eyes, grabbed his reclaimed Dharma artifacts and asked, "Shen Ying, what exactly is happening? Do you know how long we've been searching for you?"
"I know." Shen Ying nodded. "I saw the both of you searching around the opposite shore of the river for about seven to eight days."
"…" Opposite shore of the river!
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon exploded. "What the heck, why didn't you call out to us when you saw us?" "I called out but you didn't hear it." She wore an innocent look. After all, there was a river between the shores. "Also, you guys didn't call for me!" How would I have known that you were looking for me?
Lonemoon and Yi Qing: "…" They suddenly felt like checking if they were blind.
"Right, I even left a chicken by the shore for both of you. Did you guys see it?" She was certainly a good boss.
Lonemoon and Yi Qing: "…" So it turned out that the fifth- level spirit beast on the opposite shore was left by her? They had been wondering which idiotic hunter had forgotten to take his spirit beast!
But the most important thing was…
Since you could leave a chicken, couldn't you have just left a note?! "Alright, since the items are all set, and it's getting late, let's start moving!" Shen Ying nudged at Qi Chengyu, urging her, "You can fly now."
"Oh!" Qi Chengyu did not react in time and was dazed for a moment. Go? Go where?
Instead, it was Yi Qing at the side who heard and responded to her instructions. He summoned his spirit sword and stretched out his hand. "Master, do let me give you a lift."
"Thank you." Shen Ying immediately hopped onto the sword and then looked towards Qi Chengyu. "Sister, you lead the way!"
"Oh…" The other party looked a little confused. She summoned her flying sword in a daze before she started to fly.
Wait a moment! Was he the only one who did not know what was happening? Where were they heading to? Why was no one explaining it? What was the relationship between Shen Ying and that Fiendish Cultivator? And what did she mean by all the items were set? Who exactly are your items!
Late into the night.
After flying for a day, the three of them stopped to take a break.
"Are you really going to Sword Comprehension Peak?!" After having listened to the entire story on the way, Lonemoon took a glance at the person meditating by the bonfire before turning to ask Shen Ying.
"Yes." What about it? Lonemoon grew more curious and surprised as he glanced at her. "I couldn't tell that you were such a righteous person?" She was actually not lazing around; totally different from her usual self.
Slightly narrowing her eyes, Shen Ying said, "I hate scums."
"Then how are you so sure that she's speaking the truth?" Lonemoon took a quick look at her and then lowered his volume. "Don't forget, she even killed my sect's Perfected Yu Ding."
"I'm not sure!" Shen Ying turned back to face him. "That's why I want to go." The way Qi Chengyu had described her experience was truly tragic, so terrible that anyone would pity and sympathize with her, but there were always two sides to a story; only by visiting Sword Comprehension Peak could they find out the truth.
"You want to confront her master?"
"Yes." Since she was already meddling, she needed to get to the bottom of it.
"That's useless." Lonemoon sighed. "Even if what she said is all true and that master of hers really did all those things, so what? Going to Sword Comprehension Peak will not do her any good, and the Grand Vacuity Sect will also not punish the one named Gan. She might even lose her life there."
"What does that mean?" Shen Ying turned around and looked at him in shock. "This world shelters rapists?"
"It's not that!" Lonemoon appeared a little troubled as he exchanged eyes with Yi Qing who was wearing the same expression. He did not know how to explain it, only continuing after a while. "Because she has… a body of pure Yin!"
"What about it?"
Lonemoon looked more perplexed. "Shen Ying, do you know about human cauldrons?" She went briefly silent before nodding and answering, "I can guess what it means."
"Some of those girls without good spirit roots or those who don't have a future with immortal cultivation but are rather pretty will be willing to become a human cauldron for self- protection. They go under the wings of a high level cultivator and allow the use of their bodies to provide gains for others." His expression was completely awkward, seemingly finding it hard to speak about this matter. "While dual cultivation harvesting sorcery is not glamorous, it really does help with cultivation. For many sects, keeping a human cauldron is… very common! Most cultivators at the Golden Core stage and above have experienced this kind of practice."
"An evolved practice of prostitution! You mean in this world, they don't ban such obscenity?"
"Uh… something like that." He nodded in affirmation.
"Then what is the matter with the body of Pure Yin?" "Dual cultivation is considered non-orthodox. Because everyone's spirit roots are different, the harvesting of Spirit Qi is very complicated and requires a lot of time to fuse and be able to use." He looked at the person opposite of him. "But a body of pure Yin is a body that fuses the energies of Spirit Qi. With someone like that… the speed of dual cultivation can be increased by more than ten times."
Shen Ying narrowed her eyes. "Then…"
"A body of pure Yin is extremely rare. It's hard to find one even in a thousand or million years." Lonemoon continued, "The Middle Azure World regards them as natural human cauldron body types. When they appear, they will attract all sorts of sects to fight and snatch them away, so…"
"So nobody would ask… if they were willing?"
Chapter 27: Breaking into Sword Comprehension Peak
Grand Vacuity Sect.
The sect was surrounded by floating mountains, and the numerous peaks were suspended in the sky, enclosed by a thick mist of Immortal Qi like a scene from a fairyland. Not far from the right of the floating peaks, a completely different-looking mountain peak floated among the other peaks. This mountain was ten times smaller than the other floating peaks, but it was enclosed in a translucent shield. On the top of this floating peak, there was a beam of light that stretched right across the horizon.
"Ahead of us is Sword Comprehension Peak." Lonemoon pointed to the floating peak enclosed in a transparent shield. Brows furrowed, still wearing that disapproving look on his face, Lonemoon turned to Shen Ying and said, "Although I have not heard of any Soul Formation cultivators having entered the peak recently, there are three Soul Formation cultivators in Sword Comprehension Peak guarding the passage to the Upper Azure World. As soon as anybody enters the peak, they will be detected. You have to think carefully. Are you sure that you really want to break into Sword Comprehension Peak?" This was tantamount to declaring war against all three of the guarding Soul Formation cultivators.
Shen Ying looked up and was about to reply, but Yi Qing, who was next to her, spoke up first.
"No, Master, don't do it!"
Lonemoon was relieved by his reply. At least there was still someone who could read the situation; Yi Qing certainly deserved to be the Sword Immortal. Quickly advise your bogus master. But then he saw Yi Qing turning to Shen Ying with a serious look on his face, saying, "Master, it's going to be noontime. You… haven't had lunch yet!"
"You're right." Shen Ying nodded in agreement. "We need to fill our stomachs so that we have the energy to carry out our task."
"Your disciple will be going now to procure some food for you and start a fire to cook."
"Master, please wait here. It will be ready soon."
Lonemoon: "…" Where's my sword?
"Come back, you!" Lonemoon took hold of the brain-damaged fan, and all kinds of profanities starting spewing out of his mouth. "Is this the time to look for food? You think this is a leisure tour?! If you want to help, please do it seriously, ok?!" And I thought this lady was your friend?!
"But we'll be hungry if we don't eat!"
"Master is right!" "Can't you bloody bear with it?"
"Hunger can hurt the stomach."
"Master is right!"
"This time I came out in a rush and didn't bring anything to eat. Don't tell me you have food?"
"I…" Lonemoon's mouth twitched, but he really did have it! Gritting his teeth, he pulled out a stack of cakes from the storage bag by his side. "Here. Last time you didn't finish them, so I packed them up for you. Eat, eat, eat till you die!"
"How come there is only osmanthus muffin? I remember that there were crispy delight, lotus tart and fish flake that I didn't finish last time."
"Master, you forgot the golden butter crumble!" "…" Are you two master-disciple pair out to collect debts? Can't you bloody leave some for me? "You can't even remember the names of people, so how come you can remember this kind of thing so well? Here, take, take, take. I am giving them all back to you, are you satisfied?"
"Master, shall I still go and hunt a few spirit beasts?"
"Shut your mouth!"
Qi Chengyu, watching from the sidelines: "…" Having these people with me, can I really take revenge?
Sword Comprehension Peak belonged to the Grand Vacuity Sect, but because it was a dojo of Soul Formation cultivators and it also had a direct passage to the Upper Azure World at its summit, ordinary disciples rarely came here. Finally, having eaten their fill, the group managed to reach the base of Sword Comprehension Peak without much effort and without alerting the Grand Vacuity Sect to their presence.
Compared to what could be sensed from the outside, the Spirit Qi of the entire mountain was much denser here, and they could faintly see a palace floating above the mountain.
"I can only bring you up to this point." Lonemoon looked up at the summit. "I'll be spotted if I venture any further. I'm a member of Blackheaven Sect and most people in the Grand Vacuity Sect know me, so I don't think it's appropriate for me to follow you up." If he were recognized, it would create a problem between the two sects.
"Thank you, Supremacy, for your help." Qi Chengyu went up to salute him.
"You don't need to thank me, I'm not helping you!" Turning to glare at a certain someone, Lonemoon continued, "This is a special case. You are still a Fiendish Cultivator. Normally, I wouldn't have been lenient with you. Besides, we haven't formed our conclusion on this matter yet." Qi Chengyu clenched her hands tightly. "I understand what you mean, Supremacy."
"Hey, foodie!" Ignoring Qi Chengyu entirely, Lonemoon nudged Shen Ying, saying, "I have to go to the Grand Vacuity Sect to try to distract that bunch of old geezers so they don't discover that Sword Comprehension Peak has been broken into. You all better hurry."
"Though Sword Comprehension Peak isn't big, it's still not that easy to search for a person there. You all better split up. Right…" He turned his head and looked at Qi Chengyu. "How does that person look like? Do you have an image of him?"
Frowning, Qi Chengyu took out a white round stone and formed a hand seal. Suddenly, the image of a man floated above it. He was dressed entirely in white, appearing decent and proper, giving off the impression he was a righteous gentleman.
Lonemoon took the round stone from her hand, formed a hand seal and then took out a few Dao talismans. "Take these, they're tracking talismans. I just locked in the aura of that person. You can use this later to find him. It'll be much easier." But even after saying this he was still worried and so added, "Remember… don't expose your Blackheaven Sect identity. I don't want the crime of colluding with Fiendish Cultivators on my head."
Shen Ying looked up and glanced at the talismans he had handed over, but then shook her head, throwing them back at him. "No need."
"No need?" Lonemoon glared at her. "Can you find someone with just your eyes? You think that guy called Gan is an idiot who will voluntarily leap out in front of you to let you thrash him?!"
But just as he finished saying this, a voice suddenly rang out from behind him.
"Who are you people? How dare you break into Sword Comprehension Peak!" Taken aback, Lonemoon turned around to look at the person who had suddenly appeared behind him. For a moment he seemed perplexed, then all of a sudden he lowered his head down to look at the image above the round stone. Incredulous, he dipped his head down still further, peering at the image again…
Holy shit! I don't believe it! He really is an idiot!
"Gan Zirui!" Qi Chengyu had also not expected that he would be found so quickly. Her eyes instantly turned red and she fixed her gaze on the person opposite her. "It has been five hundred years! Do you still recognize me?"
Startled, the man looked at the person at the center of their group. He suddenly retracted his gaze and a nervous expression flashed across his face. "You are… Qi Chengyu?! You… why are you here?"
Qi Chengyu laughed coldly, her expression full of hatred. "You certainly wouldn't want me here. Five hundred years… I have been looking for you for five hundred years. I didn't expect you to be hiding here. Let's settle our past scores once and for all today!"
"Qi Chengyu, calm down. I was forced by the circumstances then. You can't blame me for what happened." Stepping back, the increasingly flustered Gan Zirui tried to explain himself. "At that time I was only a Golden Core cultivator, so when that Yu Ding wanted you, what choice did I have? You can only blame… blame yourself for having a pure Yin body."
"Hmmph! You had no choice?" Qi Chengyu's expression was full of sarcasm. "So when I fled back to you that same year, when you destroyed my hundred years of cultivation, deliberately threw me into the fiend dungeon at Ming Yin Mountain and left me to endure endless humiliation, were you also forced to do all those things?"
Chapter 28: Chengyu's Revenge
Gan Zirui's face was white as a sheet, his guilt from being exposed written all over his face. That originally decent and righteous face of his immediately became twisted and, seemingly too lazy to keep up the pretense any longer, he then glared at Qi Chengyu. "I intentionally did those things, but so what? Your cultivation was taught by me. Even if I took it back, what's wrong with that?" Qi Chengyu clenched her fists tighter as blood started to seep out of her palms.
Gan Zirui's glare grew sharper, even containing a hint of madness. "Back in the day, I had good faith and took you in as my disciple. I don't know what methods you used to complete your Nascent Soul Formation within a hundred years, but I wasted 300 years before perfecting my Golden Core. What gives you the right to be ahead of me?"
Lonemoon furrowed his brows—so it had been envy. Envy of his own disciple becoming so formidable, even surpassing her master, leading him to wanting to destroy her? This person is crazy!
"In the beginning, I only wanted to maim your cultivation…" The more he spoke, the crueler he became. That look in his eyes suggested a desire to peel skin. "But never did I expect you to seduce Yu Ding. What are you? You are merely a beggar that I picked up. How can you deserve to stay by his side?!"
Huh? There's a story!
"Do you know why I named you Chengyu? Chengyu, Chengyu, to inherit grace from Mother Nature. Isn't that befitting of your body of pure Yin?"
"You knew that I had a body of pure Yin all along!"
"So what if I knew? You were the human cauldron that I was preparing for Yu Ding. Teaching you cultivation was only to allow more convenience in harvesting Spirit Qi. You should have just stayed in your place to do your job as a human cauldron and helped him increase his cultivation. Yet you made him fall in love with you to the point of even wanting to make you his partner in treading the Dao." He started to take on an insane look, and the words coming out from his mouth sounded as if forced out through gritted teeth. "I had accompanied him for so many years, yet why did you deserve to be his partner in the Dao? A body of pure Yin should be trampled on by millions of people, leaving only your aura by their side. I only made you return to your original destiny, so what's wrong with that?"
Shen Ying: "This damn gay!"
Lonemoon: "This damn gay!"
At the same time.
Yi Qing: "…" Huh? What did they mean? Why was he the only one who did not understand?
"So… so you have wanted to destroy me from the very beginning!"
"Destroy you? Now that you have completed your cultivation of a Nascent Soul, shouldn't you be thanking me for sending you off to Ming Yin Mountain?"
"You…" "Stop! Stop quarreling." Shen Ying took a step forward and looked back and forth between the two of them. With a serious look on her face, she said, "Both of you are adults. No matter what happened, can't you just stop for a moment and have a good fight to settle it?" Did they only know how to bicker?
Qi Chengyu fell into a daze before seemingly recalling something. She summoned out her weapon and then moved towards the person opposite her. She appeared intent on going all out for it, holding no more reservations as the Yin Qi emanating from her was fully unleashed. The sword in her hand shone and reflected the image of her opponent as it greeted him.
Lonemoon furrowed his brows. The matter had already become very clear. Shen Ying had been right; this Fiendish Cultivator did not lie, and this Gan Zirui was indeed a scumbag amongst all scumbags. He fell into thought for a moment, then went ahead to form a seal and set up an array to isolate the whole area to avoid being discovered by others, although this would not last for long either.
Qi Chengyu and Gan Zirui were both Nascent Soul cultivators with similar power levels and on top of that, Qi Chengyu had been injured previously; thus, logically she would not be able to defeat her opponent. But the opponent could not handle her crazy, reckless way of fighting. Without caring for her own life, she disregarded her defense for the sole purpose of taking revenge. Moreover, she had more cunning means at her disposal as compared to orthodox cultivators, causing Gan Zirui to retreat in defeat and be forced to a dead corner.
To go on like this would not do any good. Lonemoon's expression became grave. Just as he was about to activate his Spirit Qi to end the fight quickly, Qi Chengyu suddenly let out a shout.
"Do not come over!" She spewed out a mouthful of blood and stared at the person before her who was in the same terrible state as she was. "Thank you for your good intentions, but my revenge has to be carried out myself!" She then resumed her attack once again.
Lonemoon paused the step he was about to take and then retracted it.
Gan Zirui came to look increasingly worse for wear as the fight went on. Even the unreasonable feared the suicidal; Qi Chengyu was obviously holding onto the idea of perishing together. No, he could not die here. Not when he had finally completed his Nascent Soul Formation!
"Qi Chengyu, do not forget that this is Sword Comprehension Peak. If you kill me, do you think you can leave here alive?" he threatened loudly. "The Supremacies on the mountains will discover this immediately!"
"Hmph, I did not intend to leave here alive." Unafraid of his threat, her attacks became even more powerful.
"We can't stay here any longer." Lonemoon furrowed his brows. "The Grand Vacuity Sect will find out what's happening here sooner or later. I need to leave and cause a diversion. As for the few of them on the mountain, Shen Ying, you… huh? Shen Ying! Where's Shen Ying?"
Yi Qing was taken aback as he turned around and looked all about him, but then realized the person beside him had disappeared without a trace.
Holy shit! When exactly had she left?
At the peak of Sword Comprehension Peak.
The three Soul Formation Supremacies were seated together in the hall. There was a beam of white light in their midst, shooting towards the sky. Within the bright light, there was a faint reflection of the immortal mountains and magical clouds. That was the only passageway linking the Middle and Upper Azure World.
"Huh?" One of them suddenly opened their eyes. "Someone just used a passage jade token of Sword Comprehension Peak."
"Truly?" The others by the side also opened their eyes. "Senior Brother Qing Yun, can you sense who it is?"
"Not yet." Qing Yun shook his head. "But since he is here, he will come up the mountains soon and we shall know then." "Sigh!" Another one of the Soul Formation Supremacies sighed and said, "Nowadays the number of Soul Formation cultivators in the Middle Azure World has been dwindling. It has been almost 100 years since someone is willing to enter the Upper Azure World."
"Now that the Spirit Qi is so diluted, a situation like this is also very normal." Qing Yun also sighed. "Anyway, our mission is to bring the fated people to the Upper Azure World and in doing so we will have completed our master's instructions. It doesn't matter how many people go up. Quality over quantity. If those cultivators with mediocre quality were accepted, Master would not be happy either. We need not be too rushed."
"But the three of us have been waiting here for a few hundred years. How much longer must we wait? When will Master allow us to go back?"
"That's right, I have had enough of this crappy place. The Spirit Qi is so diluted and resources are also limited. If we continue to waste our lives over here, we may never get to become immortals."
"That's right, this is just a tiny Middle Azure World. Why would it require the three of us to guard it? The resources we received were so little, and our cultivation has also been stagnant for so long. We may be mocked by the rest when we return."
"Forget it, it is still our master's orders, so what else can we do? As long as we manage to send a few people of good quality into the upper world, I'm sure we will be allowed to return."
"Sigh. We can only hope the one that is coming this time… huh?" He stopped in mid-sentence with a look of shock on his face, his eyes widening. "Why can I feel the aura of a Fiendish Cultivator?"
The other two tried to sense it and were also shocked. "It is indeed the Yin Qi of a Fiendish Cultivator. Could a Fiendish Cultivator have broken in here? Who exactly is the person that is coming in this time?"
"It's me!" Right after their words ended, a voice rang out by their side. The three of them got a scare and turned to look before realizing a girl in green had unknowingly sat beside Qing Yun with her legs crossed like them, staring at them in boredom with a hand propping her chin.
"You… who are you?!" Qing Yun jumped up and fell back a few steps; they had not realized in at all that there had been a person beside them. "When exactly did you sit here?"
"Ever since you guys were complaining about how you were getting no raises at your jobs." She shrugged and waved towards the three of them who were retreating further away from her. "What are you afraid of? I'm not your boss. I'm Shen Ying. Come over here, I have some stuff that I want to ask you guys."
The three of them grew increasingly alarmed. This person had silently sat by their side for so long; she could not be a simple person. But no matter how they tried, they could not see through her cultivation.
"Come and sit over here! Chatting while standing is very tiring." She then patted the space beside her. The three of them took a step back again. "What if we do not want to sit?"
Shen Ying hesitated for a moment, but then her eyes narrowed and she suddenly cracked her knuckles loudly. "Then… you can talk while kneeling down!"
Chapter 29: Vengeance Exacted
When Lonemoon came back from causing a distraction outside, Qi Chengyu's battle had already ended. The originally arrogant Gan Zirui was completely devoid of breath while on the other hand, Qi Chengyu was covered in wounds all over. She had indeed held true to her word; she had fought on with all her might as tough as it might be to avenge herself and did not allow anyone to help her. At the moment he took his last breath, her unstable body seemed to finally relieve its last breath and she fell flat onto the ground, her long sword stained with blood also dropping from her hands.
"Hey, it's done." Shen Ying who had just came back suddenly spoke and nudged the person beside her.
"Holy shit!" Taken aback, Lonemoon retreated a step. "Where did you just go to?"
"Up the mountain." Shen Ying pointed towards the peak.
Lonemoon paused and seemed to think of something. His mouth twitched and for some baffling reason, he did not feel like asking her what she had done. "What happened to the Grand Vacuity Sect?" Yi Qing looked toward the peak and asked. From the beginning, he had felt that there was quite a din coming from the periphery of Sword Comprehension Peak.
"Oh, I told their sect master that we lost the Fiendish Cultivator here and suspect there is a Fiendish Cultivator mole in the Grand Vacuity Sect," Lonemoon said seriously. "They are now busy gathering the disciples to look for that spy, so no one will come to Sword Comprehension Peak for the time being. Let's take this opportunity to escape."
"You deceived them?" Shen Ying looked up and gave him a look.
Even Yi Qing turned his head over in a somewhat confounded manner. I never expected you to be that kind of Supremacy!
"What's with that look of yours?" He rolled his eyes back at the duo. "Wasn't I just cleaning up your mess? Besides. We're all from Blackheaven Sect, so how can we not fabricate an excuse when we come to their mountain to stir trouble?" After finishing his piece, he harrumphed and turned his head toward the immobilized person on the ground who was still covered in blood. He could not help but knit his brows together.
At that moment, Qi Chengyu suddenly picked up the sword on the ground as she struggled to stand up with the aid of the sword hilt. She stumbled over, each step she took dying the green ground a blood red. It took her great difficulty to arrive at a spot five footsteps away from them before she knelt down.
"I thank the three of you for helping me exact my vengeance." She looked up as though she had finally unloaded a huge burden. She smiled at them. "I have no more regrets in my life. Supremacy, I'm willing to accompany you back to Blackheaven Sect and await my judgement. Regardless of the punishment your esteemed sect metes, I will not say a single word."
She was ultimately a Fiendish Cultivator, and since good and evil were on opposing sides, moreover taking into account her murder of a hall master of Blackheaven Sect, it was only right for them as orthodox cultivators to capture her regardless of her reasons.
Her entire life had been destroyed because of immortal cultivation and she had suffered utter humiliation. Therefore, she had abandoned the orthodox path to turn fiendish. And yet, she never had expected that the ones who would ultimately help her would be orthodox Immortal Cultivators.
All these years, she had lived to seek revenge against Gan Zirui. She knew very well that as long as Gan Zirui had remained at Sword Comprehension Peak, there would have been absolutely no hope for her to kill him. If not for Shen Ying, there would have been perhaps no way for her to take a step into Sword Comprehension Peak her entire life.
In fact, ever since she set off for Sword Comprehension Peak, she had had no plans on returning alive. The Sword Cultivator, Yi Qing, had said that Lonemoon was a Soul Formation Supremacy of Blackheaven Sect. There was no reason for them to let her off! It was just that… she had no means of repaying her debt to Shen Ying.
With this in mind, she looked up at Shen Ying whose mind appeared to be wandering as though she had no idea what was happening at the moment. For the first time in centuries, she felt warm emotions in her heart. If only… they had met earlier. "Supremacy, please mete out your punishment!" Shen Ying had already given her enough hope; therefore, she absolutely could not put her into a difficult spot again. She took a deep breath and then cupped her fists with great difficulty. She wore a determined expression, one that was resolved for death.
Lonemoon's tightly knit brows eased as he looked at the Fiendish Cultivator who was on her last legs. As an orthodox cultivator, he did have the intention to capture her and throw her over to Xi Qiu for punishment. In addition, he had been brought to Sword Comprehension Peak by Shen Ying for some baffling reason. He had planned on taking action after everything was over.
Now, with Qi Chengyu submitting to him obediently, he suddenly found the matter troubling. He… was actually unable to carry out the deed!
It's all that f**king Shen Ying's fault! Besides, why ask me to pass judgment? Why don't you ask that foodie?
"Hmph! My purpose of coming out was to seek a person and not to rid fiends and protect the Dao." He snorted coldly and turned his head away. "Supremacy?!" Qi Chengyu was shocked as she looked up in disbelief. He was… planning on letting her off?
"I have many things to deal with every day. I don't have the time for you." He shot a glance at her. "However, if you ever dare harm the innocent again in the future, I will definitely not show mercy."
Qi Chengyu was taken aback as her expression changed a few times. Her watery eyes shimmered as she gave him a deep bow. "Thank you, Supremacy. I'll definitely keep that in mind!"
Lonemoon turned around and prepared to fly off on his sword, but his eyes met two deep, meaningful eyes. "What are you looking at?" His heart skipped a beat as he turned his head to stare back. "Are you unhappy with the way I handled things?"
"Nope." Shen Ying shook her head.
"Then why aren't you leaving? Are we waiting to be caught?" His expression turned even more ferocious. "Isn't this all because of you? If not for us being from the same hometown, do you think I would have given a damn about this?!" He was a mighty Soul Formation Supremacy of Blackheaven Sect, so how could it be easy for him to close one eye on this matter?
"Oh my ass. Let's leave quickly!"
Three days later.
"Shen Ying, why did you go to Sword Comprehension Peak that day?" Lonemoon could not help but ask. After all, at that time, it had not been long since Qi Chengyu had dealt with Gan Zirui. She was also a Fiendish Cultivator and there had been three Soul Formation cultivators on the mountain; it was impossible for none of their group to have been discovered. Yet despite that, the other side had not appeared from beginning to end.
"Let me ask a question," Shen Ying returned languidly.
"Is it about Gan Zirui?" He was taken aback. "Did you figure out something from your investigations?"
Shen Ying glanced at him and then switched to a more comfortable position while continuing to slump back. "That Gan… Gan…"
"Oh, he didn't die a pointless death. Qi… Qi… Roasted Chicken Gal."
"…" Are roasted chickens the only f**king thing you can remember?
"She wasn't the first human cauldron whom Gan Zirui was seeking for Yu Ding. I heard that he had many disciples under him and they were all female. However, none of them managed to live for long. Later, when Roasted Chicken Gal turned fiendish and achieved the Nascent Soul stage and got her Fiendish Cultivators to seek him out, he sensed danger and hid in Sword Comprehension Peak."
"If that's the case, he deserved death!" Lonemoon frowned. "But why was he at Sword Comprehension Peak? Although rearing human cauldrons is common in Azure World, specially recruiting disciples to rear them into human cauldrons is just too vile. It's impossible that all his disciples had pure Yin bodies. The Six Schools Three Sects would not permit such actions, much less shelter him."
"The old folks said that he was related to someone in Azure World, so he was allowed inside as an exception to the rules. In name, he was a disciple who guarded Sword Comprehension Peak. Upon reaching Soul Formation stage, he would have been allowed to directly head to the Upper Azure World." "The Upper Azure World?!" Lonemoon was alarmed. "It's no wonder he was a Nascent Soul despite his average talents. So it has to do with his connections with the Upper World."
Shen Ying suddenly looked up at him with unclear intentions. "Do you believe it?"
"Ah!?" What did she mean?
"Yu Ding." She suddenly said a name.
Lonemoon was taken aback, his eyes widening abruptly as he suddenly thought of something. "Are you referring to…"
Shen Ying did not reply while Lonemoon immediately stood up and turned around, swooshing straight over to Yu Ding's Elixir Peak.
Half an hour later, he returned wearing a conflicted look. He held several bottles and urns in his hands as he placed them on a table in front of Shen Ying. His brows were crossed. "You guessed correctly. It's really related to the Upper Azure World… It's Yu Ding!"
Chapter 30: Leading Them on an Experiential Training Expedition
Lonemoon had found a secret chamber in Elixir Peak which had been so deeply hidden that if he had not been proficient in array formations, it would never have been discovered. However, this secret chamber was not just an ordinary room for refining elixir pills. Yu Ding, who was the hall master in charge of the entire Elixir Peak, was also an eighth-level alchemist. Ninety percent of Blackheaven Sect's elixirs originated from Elixir Peak. As a hall master, refining pills had been part of his job so there was no need to set up such a secret room for elixir refinement. Lonemoon had been deeply puzzled by this until he saw the bottles of completed elixirs in the secret room that Yu Ding had not managed to stash away in time.
Among those elixirs, there were actually cultivation boosting pills. The use of these kinds of pills was not tied to the consumer's cultivation level; the pills could be taken by high- ranking cultivators and even by Soul Formation cultivators. Anyone who took the pills would immediately gain a boost in their cultivation level. However, the ingredients to make these pills were extremely rare, many of which had already ceased to exist in the Azure World. There was simply no way to refine them. Yet despite that, there were more than one bottle of these pills in Yu Ding's secret chamber. This could not be possible unless…
Lonemoon had poured out an elixir pill from a bottle and probed it with his perception aura. As expected, he found an obscure black Qi surrounding it.
It was rumored that there was a depraved method of making elixir pills which was to use the body of a living cultivator. These pills could preserve ten percent of the victims' cultivation level before their death. Anyone who took the pill would directly experience an improvement in cultivation level. However, this method was extremely troublesome. No cultivators would willingly allow their cultivation level be extracted; thus, although it was an elixir pill, the malevolence contained in the pill could turn on the consumer unless the cultivator used in the making of the pill possessed Spirit Qi of an extremely gentle attribute such as a Water Spirit Root attribute or a Wood Spirit Root attribute.
Coincidentally, a person with a Water Spirit Root attribute was also regarded as being most suitable for use in sexual enslavement.
The reason why Yu Ding had built a secret room… was so that he could hide the fact that he had been refining elixirs using living people. And his ingredients for the pills were the sex slaves that Gan Zirui had provided him with.
It was no wonder there was such a heavy aura of grievance contained in this elixir. The unfortunate soul was harvested while she was still alive and even after death, her body was still used for refining pills.
Lonemoon could not help but shudder then. Looking at the amount of elixir pills, the number of people who had died in the hands of Yu Ding and Gan Zhirui must have been considerable.
The strange thing was that Yu Ding had not improved his cultivation much during all these years which made it obvious that he had not touched those pills. That meant there were other people pulling the strings from the shadows. Therefore, combining this conclusion with Shen Ying's earlier deductions, the people behind Yu Ding and Gan Zhirui had to be from the Upper Azure World!
At that point, a shocking thought had come over Lonemoon: now that Yu Ding was dead, would the people behind him directly target Blackheaven Sect?! High-level cultivators were a dime a dozen in the Upper Azure World. Although the Blackheaven Sect was the top sect of the Middle Azure World, in the eyes of the Upper Azure World, the sect was insignificant. But then he immediately rejected this conjecture. No, the act of using a living person to concoct elixirs was no different from the evil acts of Fiendish Cultivators. The Upper Azure World would spare no effort to hide this heinous act, let alone directly admit to it. The fact that Gan Zirui had hidden himself in Sword Comprehension Peak instead of directly fleeing to the Upper Azure World was proof of this. From this, Lonemoon surmised that the people behind Gan Zirui and Yu Ding probably did not have free rein to do whatever they wanted in the Upper Azure World.
Granted, Yu Ding was guilty of many crimes, but the key issue was that he had been in Blackheaven Sect for so many years yet no one knew that he was from the Upper Azure World. Helping his masters in the Upper Azure World refine these pills was probably not the only reason for hiding his true identity. There were definitely other motives at play. What did the people in the Upper Azure World plan to do? He couldn't help but think of the Grand Vacuity Sect. Everyone knew that although the Grand Vacuity Sect was in name a member of the Three Schools Six Sects, it was actually only a puppet controlled by the Upper Azure World. Could it be that they wanted to turn Blackheaven Sect into a second Grand Vacuity Sect?! A belated feeling of fear kicked in, but still it was fortunate that he had discovered this in time. He hadn't expected this matter of the Fiendish Cultivator would bring so many other issues to light.
At first, he thought that it was Shen Ying's sympathy working overtime, that she had dragged them along on her escapade because she pitied the Fiendish Cultivator. He certainly had not expected such a pleasant surprise in store! Shen Ying did not usually give the impression that she was the reliable sort, so he had been surprised by her being so alert and sharp; she had immediately grasped the crux of the matter.
"Shen Ying, did you already sense that there was a problem long before? Which was why, for the sake of Blackheaven Sect, you… Huh? Where did she go?"
Before he finished speaking, he realized that the person who had been sitting in front of him had already returned to the house. She was peering at a green leaf in her hand with a look of disgust.
"Chef, what is this thing that smells like coriander?" "Parsley, used for seasoning."
"Don't use it next time. I hate parsley."
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
Lonemoon: "…" F*cking retard.
I must have been blind to think that a foodie like her could think of the big picture. And Sword Immortal, have you so readily accepted the title of Chef? Do you really have to be so quick about it?
———————— When Sect Master Xi Qiu was informed of the matter of Yu Ding by Lonemoon, he too felt the same sense of fear, but fortunately they had discovered the matter in time before it resulted in a major disaster. Regardless, this matter involved the Upper Azure World, and they had no idea who the mastermind behind it was; they had no choice but to accept their loss and act as if nothing had happened. It was only now that they called off their pursuit of Qi Chengyu.
"Are you here to freeload again?" Shen Ying glanced at her fellow compatriot, this idle man who constantly nagged at her, and waved her hand. "It's not yet meal time. The cook hasn't come back yet."
"Who says I'm here to freeload?" Lonemoon glared at her. "I have long been practicing Grain Liberation. Have I ever eaten a grain of your rice?!"
"Yes, you have!"
Lonemoon's mouth twitched. Suddenly he remembered something. "Pastries can't be counted as rice!" He had tried a few mouthfuls as he had not eaten them for such a long time. Do you have to carry such a small matter in your memory for so long?
"I'm just here to inform you that your disciple will probably be unable to come back to cook today. The sect master is talking to him about an experiential training expedition."
"Experiential training expedition?"
Lonemoon patted delicately at his robes before sitting down opposite her. He could not help but gloat as he informed her, "At this time of the year, the disciples below Golden Core stage must go out in batches on an experiential training expedition to improve their battle readiness. It mostly involves taking on requests that those in the mortal world cannot handle or subduing demons and beasts and the like, similar to a group training exercise."
"What has that got to do with Chef?" Isn't he a Nascent Soul cultivator?
"By all rights, nothing." Lonemoon continued. "In previous years, only one Golden Core cultivator was needed to lead the team to ensure the safety of the disciples during the annual experiential training expedition. But this time the sect received requests for help to deal with a powerful ninth-stage demon that has apparently appeared in the south. The ordinary Golden Core cultivators can't deal with it at all. The hall masters are all busy investigating the Yu Ding case and aren't in the sect. So Xi Qiu thought of your chef."
"Oh…" Forcibly recruited? "How long is this experiential training expedition?"
"No fixed duration. A short one could take three to four months while a long one… about half a year to one year."
One year! Shen Ying's mouth twitched a bit, and suddenly a formula appeared in her head: training expedition = no chef = no one to cook my meals = pending food crisis! Turning back to look at Lonemoon, she thought to herself: this means one year of eating pig swill!
No way! "What kind of look is that?" Lonemoon frowned. Why did he feel that she was silently scolding him? "This has nothing to do with me. It's the arrangement of the sect's elders. Besides, he's a guest elder and leading a training expedition is supposed to be…"
But before he could finish speaking, Shen Ying suddenly stood up and with a serious expression on her face, she asked, "Can relatives come along on the training expedition?"