Chapter 121: Taking A Disciple
"Fellow Immortal Lonemoon…" Bao Feiping asked in a worried tone, "Is Fellow Immortal Yi Qing… really all right?"
Lonemoon's mouth twitched a little as he answered, "Don't worry, he knows what he's doing… at least he should know."
What the hell does "he should know" mean?
And why did he dash straight into the kitchen the moment he got out from the Nine Firmanents Distortion Mirror?
Immortals don't need to eat, so although they had a kitchen, it was only used sparingly by some immortals who loved their food; the utensils were usually not complete.
But… even overlooking the fact that Yi Qing had oil, salt, sauce and vinegar on his person, why was he also equipped with pots, pans and food ingredients? He even had bowls, chopsticks and tea. These were hardly things one would take on a journey; it was more like he was moving house? Huh, even if he were to pull out a set of tables and chairs, I'll not be surprised.
Yi Qing really pulled out a table and four chairs.
Wait a moment — even Immortal Lonemoon sat down as if it was the most natural thing in the world!
"Chef, I want to eat seafood!"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!" "…"
So for the entire afternoon, Bao Feiping looked with mouth agape as Yi Qing came out from the kitchen bearing dish after dish, which were devoured with gusto by the other two. While wolfing down their food, they even invited him politely to partake of the repast.
"Do join in, City Lord Bao," invited a smiling Lonemoon. Then turning his head, he expression changed abruptly as he chided, "Holy shit! Shen Ying, leave me a piece will you. You've finished almost everything!"
Out of politeness, Bao Feiping helped himself to a morsel. It was unexpectedly… delicious!
Just as he was thinking of helping himself to another piece, he found that the bowl was already empty.
"…" He did not know what to make of this lot. With mixed feelings, Bao Feiping sat at the table for two hours before the two finally put down their chopsticks.
"I think your son should be better by now? I suggest we take a look just in case." Wiping his mouth, Lonemoon was once again the perfect gentleman; the flustered expression of the man who had just been bickering over food was completely gone.
For a moment Bao Feiping was silent as a thought suddenly struck him.
Could it be that they were worried that some other incident might crop up after Father had finished with treating Little An's injuries; that was why they had lingered here for so long?
So that was it…
With that thought in mind, Bao Feiping's heart warmed towards them. With a look of gratitude, he stood up and said, "Thank you Fellow Immortals." Then he hurriedly turned and led the group to the front hall. Bao Yi, who had just finished treating the little boy's injuries, saw the group coming and strode up to meet them.
"Father!" greeted the little boy as he dived headlong into Bao Feiping arms. Then he raised his little head from his father's shoulders, peeking curiously at the three people behind.
"Little An." A relieved Bao Feiping lifted his son up, feeling mixed emotions after having gone through the day's harrowing events.
"Little An." Bao Feiping looked toward Yi Qing and said, "This is Sword Immortal Yi Qing, he was the one who saved your life. Come and thank your benefactor."
At first, the little boy seemed a little surprised, but being the sensible boy he was, he quickly released himself from his father's embrace and walked towards Yi Qing. Cupping his fists, he bowed respectfully and said, "Little An expresses my deepest gratitude to Immortal Yi for saving my life."
"It was a small matter," answered a poker-faced Yi Qing impassively. "You don't need to thank me. I also owe my life to you all." He was just following Master's orders. Hmmn… What tasty dish should he cook for Master tonight?
"But the fact is, Fellow Immortal got injured because of Little An," said Bao Feiping, stepping forwards. He tried his best to ignore the shattered mirror.
Exchanging a glance with Bao Yi, he continued, "Providence seems to have brought you and Little An together. Not only do you two have the same body constitution, you also appeared when he was in danger."
"That's right!" concurred Bao Yi as he pushed his grandson forwards, "Theirs was indeed a providential meeting."
Furrowing his brows, Yi Qing swept a look at the two men. "Please tell me frankly what you have in mind."
Both men fell silent, an awkward expression flitting across their faces. After a while, Bai Yi sighed and said, "To tell the truth, we do have a favour to ask of you." Lowering his head, he held the hand of the little boy. "Although there are numerous immortals in the various countries of the Immortal Realm, sword cultivators are hard to come by. The number of sword cultivators within my Qu Shuang City, including the two of you, are no more than a handful. Little An is still young, he is at the age where he needs someone to guide him. But his constitution is such that he can only train in sword techniques, yet there is no one in our residence who can help him."
"Fellow Immortal Yi Qing!" Bao Feiping added anxiously, "Given Little An's constitution, his situation… you might have experienced a similar situation in the Lower Realm, maybe even worse. My father and I can protect him for a time, but we cannot protect him forever. He needs to learn a skill urgently. So…"
Pausing, he looked at Bao Yi, who was beside him, then cupping his fists solemnly, he said, "Fellow Immortal, please accept my son as your disciple and guide him on the orthodox path to becoming a sword immortal!"
His words surprised not only Yi Qing but also Lonemoon, who was standing beside him. "Accept him as disciple!" Lonemoon stood up immediately, glancing at the little boy, before turning to look at Yi Qing. Suddenly, he felt a little like laughing. "City Lord Bao must be joking. Your son is only eight years old but was born an immortal. Now he is already an Earth Immortal. Whereas Yi Qing, who has just ascended, is only an Earth Immortal. Both are about the same level, how can one teach the other?"
If they had not looked so serious, he would have thought they were trying to insult Yi Qing.
"My two Fellow Immortals, don't misunderstand me!" Bao Feiping explained hurriedly, "I'm really sincere about wanting my son to be a disciple in your sect. Although my son was born an immortal, he currently knows only some basic sorcery; he knows nothing about immortal sword techniques, to say nothing of understanding sword intent. As both of you know, immortal sword cultivation requires an understanding of sword techniques. So in this aspect, he is still a novice and should address Fellow Immortal Yi Qing as Master."
His reasoning did made sense. After pondering for a while, Lonemoon asked, "Although Sword Immortals are hard to find, but with Qu Shuang City's influence and power, surely it's not difficult to find someone willing to teach your son? Why do you need… Yi Qing? Isn't it better to look for a sword immortal with a higher level of cultivation?"
"Because, Fellow Immortal Yi Qing is the most suitable!" Bao Yi answered abruptly.
Lonemoon paused in thought; then he suddenly understood what Bao Yi meant. They might be able to find other sword immortals, but there was only one with an Innate Sword Embodiment. When even the fiendish clans covet such a body, who could be sure that a sword cultivator wouldn't? Being a sect disciple under Yi Qing, who had the same Innate Sword Embodiment was the best and safest option.
"I'm really touched by City Lord Bao's fatherly love!" exclaimed Lonemoon, his eyes brightening. He suddenly sensed further possibilities in the deal that they had just concluded. "Since you put it like this, we have no reason to reject your request. Right, Chef?" He nudged Yi Qing, giving him a meaningful look that conveyed the message: food expenses, food expenses, food expenses…
Yi Qing frowned and looked down at the little boy. Turning to Shen Ying, he was about to speak when he was cut off by Lonemoon.
"Don't worry City Lord, I have made my decision. It's settled!"
"Thank you Fellow Immortal!" Delighted, the two men nudged the little boy, urging, "Little An, greet your master quickly."
The little boy knelt down. Looking a little bewildered, he greeted Yi Qing, "Disciple Little An pays my respects to Master."
Yi Qing's brows furrowed even deeper at this. Stepping to the side, he said, "City Lord Bao, about this matter…"
"If there is no objection, this matter is settled," Lonemoon interrupted once again, "By the way, what is your son's name?"
"Oh, he follows his mother's surname, Ning. His first name is Zi'an." "Ning Zi… What!" Lonemoon's eyes widened in surprise, his expression darkening.
Holy Shit! Ning Zi'an!
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
The three Baos: "…"
Chapter 122: Ascending Three Stages
"My wife used up all the energy she had to give birth to him. That is why he takes my wife's last name," Bao Feiping explained, thinking that Lonemoon was upset about Little An taking his mother's last name. "Fellow Immortal Yi Qing may give him another name if he so pleases. after all, from this day on, he's your sect's-"
"No!" Lonemoon interrupted before he could finish speaking.
"What?" The two men from the Bao family stared at Lonemoon incredulously. "You don't have to give him another name-"
"No! I mean he cannot become Yi Qing's disciple!" Lonemoon said angrily. In a most serious tone, he said, "And he cannot join Invincible Sect. Certainly not!"
"… Why?" Bao Feiping was shocked. Did he not agree just awhile ago? "Because… be…" Lonemoon struggled to find the right words His usual glib tongue seemed to lose its effect as he thought long and hard about what to say next. "My sect… is full at the moment!"
"Ah!?" What does he mean?
"Er, I mean…" he regained his composure and glanced at Yi Qing. "Yi Qing is the one whom you are asking. Let's see how he decides. Right, Chef?" He turned and shot a meaningful look at Yi Qing, which said: I will not give you your food allowance for a year if you agree!
Yi Qing: "…"
Bao Feiping: "…"
Didn't Lonemoon say he could decide for Yi Qing?
"Fellow Immortal Yi?" The two of them turned to Yi Qing. Yi Qing studied the child standing in front of him, who shared much the same fate as he did. He was moved. "It's not impossible for me to take him as my disciple."
Lonemoon's heart jumped. He cursed under his breath. "Chef…." Watch what you're saying!
But he heard Yi Qing continue, "But I am not yet an expert. I am still learning under my own master. I have to ask…" He turned to face Shen Ying fully and said, "Master, I-"
"No!" Shen Ying interrupted.
Yi Qing turned to the men and repeated, "No!"
The two men: "…." What happened to helping each other out?
"City Lord, Exalted Immortal, we have urgent matters to attend to back at my sect. Since your child is fine, we will take our leave!" Lonemoon tugged at Yi Qing's and Shen Ying's sleeves and turned around to walk out of the abode before either of them could say anything more. With a swoosh of their flying sword, they were gone.
Bao Feiping: "…"
Bao Yi: "…."
What's the matter?
Lonemoon dragged the two of them out of the house and into the air. He had a disapproving look on his face the entire time. He only stopped when they had reached the bottom of Invincible Sect's hill..
"I-" Yi Qing began.
"Don't speak!" Lonemoon cut him off. "I know you pity the child, but you cannot accept him as your disciple! You can accept anyone but him!"
"I know you think I'm being heartless," Lonemoon said anxiously. He began to pace back and forth. "If he does not train his sword technique, the Primordial Soul Sword Qi might act up again, but… I'm doing this for your good and for the good of our sect. There are some things you might not understand. I will explain to you in time. Who knows? You might end up thanking… Eh?"
"What are you doing!"
Before he could finish speaking, Yi Qing had pushed him aside.
"Get out!" Who cares about the explanation? Just don't stand between my master and I!
Lonemoon: "…" F*cker! "Master." Yi Qing handed over the storage bag hanging from his side and addressed Shen Ying seriously, "I am going to have a breakthrough. I will take a long time this time. This is the food I prepared. You can eat from this bag when you get hungry."
"Oh, okay!" Shen Ying received the bag.
"A breakthrough?" Lonemoon coughed, rushing toward Yi Qing. "You've just ascended, how could you… Wait, your immortal Qi!" On closer inspection, Lonemoon noticed that the immortal Qi surrounding Yi Qing's body was unbelievably thick and rich - he was only suppressing it.
"Could your immortal Qi be… from the mirror? Didn't you come out immediately after getting rid of the excess sword Qi? Why…" He hadn't been in there for more than ten minutes. "How long were you in there for?" Time did work differently inside the mirror.
"A hundred years." "You couldn't have done this in a hundred years…" It would be difficult even to just get rid of the excess sword Qi in a hundred years, wouldn't it?
"Oh, I was afraid I would stay in there too long and miss my master's mealtime," he replied somberly. "So I quickly absorbed all the sword Qi and immortal Qi from inside the mirror." I just haven't had the time to incorporate it into my dantian.
"You absorbed it all! Holy shit!" The sword Qi was someone else's. It was understandably difficult to get rid of it, but he actually kept it and stored it up? And all that immortal Qi came from half an immortal's meridian. Normal immortals would take at least four to five hundred years to absorb so much immortal Qi, yet he had done so in just a hundred years! He even… freaking suppressed it and delayed his breakthrough.
Yi Qing's expression remained unchanged. The immortal Qi around his body felt like it was going to explode. Clearly, he was not going to be able to suppress it for much longer. He shot another glance at Shen Ying and said, "Master, after I breakthrough, there will be a Heavenly Tribulation. Please do not come near me."
She nodded. Then, he mounted his flying sword and flew out of Invincible Sect, into a deserted place a few kilometres away.
Indeed, within minutes, there was an explosion of immortal Qi in that area, causing the sky to take on a different colour! The clear sky suddenly became dark. This Heavenly Tribulation looked so different from the Lightning Tribulation they had experienced in the lower realm. The sky split into two halves - half was filled with lightning while the other half was filled with a blazing fire.
Then, a dragon roared. The fire dragon began to fly down from the sky. The land within a few kilometres of the dragon began to dragon caught fire. All the way to Invincible Sect, they could feel the heat from the dragon. It looked like the dragon was going to burn everything on the earth. Suddenly, they understood why Yi Qing had to go so far away to break through.
After the fire dragon descended, they saw bolt after bolt of lightning striking down. Lonemoon raised his head to survey the fire and the lightning. Floaty Bitao had told them about the Heavenly Tribulation before. The immortals that went through this tribulation would have to endure 81 bolts of lightning and 36 shots of wildfire. Lonemoon was envious, but he could not help but feel worried for Yi Qing. The lightning aside, the wildfire looked just as scary as the deviant fire they saw back in the mystic realm. Even with an immortal body, Lonemoon could not see how Yi Qing would be able to endure it.
Most of the disciples of Invincible Sect stopped what they were doing to witness the tribulation. Lonemoon had no choice but to set up a defensive array and instruct everybody not to get too close to Yi Qing.
It was only then that he began to count the shots of wildfire.
34… 35… 36!
Wait a moment!
37… 38… 39… There were more… Σ(°△°|||)
Holy shit, weren't there only supposed to be 36 shots? What's going on? Is there a sale? Was he getting two for the price of one?
He recalled what happened in the Azure World and turned to look at Shen Ying.
"Shen Ying, are you seeing this?" Is there someone in the heavenly realms messing with the immortal realm as well?
Shen Ying paused midway while munching on a pastry. She shook her head and answered, "No!"
"No, why are there…"
Wait a moment!
There were 36 shots of wildfire if he was breaking through one stage. There are more than 36 hots this time. If it's not because heaven had made a mistake, it must be… Yi Qing is breaking through not one, but two stages. Was he going to become a Mystic Immortal immediately?
Lonemoon's heart began to race.
He continued counting the shots of wildfire. 70… 71… 72…
There were a total of 108 shots of wildfire before it finally stopped.
Lonemoon: "…" Motherf*cker! They're a bunch of cheats!
Chapter 123: Characters in the Novel
"Father Niu," Shen Ying called as she looked inside the storage bag that Yi Qing had handed over to her. She took out more pastries from the bag and said, "Why don't you tell me the plot of your novel while we're waiting?"
"You want to know now?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. He had tried to tell her several times before but she had clearly not been interested.
"Yeah, I'm free now." Chef is having a breakthrough and I'm bored anyway. "Who is that child? Is he the boss of the enemy?"
"No." Lonemoon frowned as he recalled something. He clenched his fists and said, "He's the book's… male lead."
"Oh." Shen Ying sat down at a stone table beside her and continued to take out different types of pastries from inside the bag. She put them in her mouth and gestured for Lonemoon to continue. Please begin your performance!
The corners of Lonemoon's mouth twitched as he rolled his eyes once again. He felt his insides stir with anger. Lonemoon snatched the plate of pastries from Shen Ying before he continued to tell her the plot of the novel.
The novel he had read was a typical romance novel involving divine beings and immortals. It also centred around an abusive- romantic relationship between a master and a disciple.
"Chef is gay?" Shen Ying suddenly said.
Lonemoon spat out the pastry he had just put into his mouth.
"Gay your ass! What are you thinking? Can you clean your rotten mind?" Lonemoon glared at her. "The master in the novel was Ning Zi'an, and the disciple was his disciple. The story did not involve your chef disciple." "… oh." What a disappointment.
Lonemoon poured himself a cup of water and continued.
The novel took the perspective of the female lead. The female lead was a mortal at first. She got into a fight with an immortal demon and accidentally entered the Upper World. She became a fish in a pool, and was ultimately saved by Ning Zi'an.
At that time, Ning Zi'an already became an Exalted Immortal. He was no longer the weak child they had seen. In fact, he was about to become a Young Emperor in addition to being highly respected in the immortal realm.
He brought the female lead home and discovered that she had some special powers: dirty things were always attracted to her - things like sealed up Yin Qi, suppressed demons, and dissipated heretic spirits.
The male lead was very intrigued by this. On further investigation, he found out that she was born with a Yin soul. Her Yin energy was naturally cold, thus all those dirty things were attracted to her. That also explained why she met with so many unfortunate "accidents" from a young age. That was the way she had been stumbling through life up to that point.
Ning Zi'an felt sorry for her, so he decided to accept her as his disciple.
In the novel, Ning Zi'an was described as an intellectual immortal not good with words, and fully focused on training. He was not described as one who was interested in romance. Instead, he always practised abstinence.
What Lonemoon did not understand was why an immortal who was fully focused on training and increasing his own cultivation would so easily accept the female lead as his disciple. But after what happened in Qu Shuang City, Lonemoon could hazard a guess. It is likely that Ning Zi'an thought that he and the female shared extremely similar fates - they were both burdened with a body they were born with.
The rest of the novel was typical of a romance novel. The female lead harboured a secret crush on the male lead, but could not confess her feelings because of their master-disciple relationship. The storyline could be summarised with this sort of view: No matter how much her master tortured her, she treated him as if he was her first lover.
Each time she was abused by him and got into trouble, there were always two, three, four, five, six, seven… countless males who would notice how beautiful the female lead was. They would then fall helplessly in love with her.
But the male lead remained blind!
After a bunch of misunderstandings, and after countless instances of abuse, the male lead finally saw clearly and fell in love with her. It was a typical, horrible Mary Sue novel.
The romance between the two people had nothing to do with others initially. What was frustrating was that… both protagonists had a knack for causing trouble to others. Every character around them in the novels who got too close to them would inevitably get into trouble.
The male lead said, "You are just my disciple - same as every other disciple around." So… the other disciples were destroyed.
The male lead said, "I have no feelings for you. Even if I do, they're just familial."
So… the Bao Family fell.
The male lead said, "I want to protect the immortal sect master; I have no interest in a relationship."
So… the sect was ruined.
The male lead said, "In this life, I only want to protect the Three Realms."
So… the gates of the demon realm were opened.
In sum, the romance between the two people could cause the destruction of the entire immortal realm. "This is a rough summary of the plot," Lonemoon finished. He picked up the tea pot and poured himself a cup of tea.
"Oh…" Shen Ying nodded. She studied Lonemoon, who was acting calm. Suddenly, she asked, "What happened… between the female lead and all those other males?"
Lonemoon spat out a mouthful of tea before he could swallow it.
His expression changed. Panicking, he answered, "What… what else could happen? It's just a matter of who likes who."
"Why should I lie?" "Then why are you blushing?"
"I'm just… feeling warm!"
"…" I said it's not erotica. Keep your stupid suspicions to yourself!
"In any case, you just have to remember that these two people are pathogens - all who interact with them would find themselves in trouble. Yet, in the end, they got their happily ever after. The other people who had spend hundreds of thousands of years cultivating themselves, on the other hand, met their untimely end." Lonemoon's expression was strict. "It's definitely not wise to get involved with the male lead. Invincible Sect could be destroyed because of it."
"How about Chef?" Shen Ying asked. Lonemoon had finished the entire plot but she did not hear anything about Chef. "He only appeared in the last pages of the novel. At that time, the gates of the demon realm were opened. The demons were invading the immortal realm. In order to save the male lead's disciple, he forced the gates of the demon realm close." Lonemoon furrowed his brow and continued, "That's why I said that the most miserable character in the novel was…"
"Is it so hard to close the gates?" Shen Ying asked curiously.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. Is that the point?
Are you even listening to the plot?
"What is it made of? Is it really heavy?"
"Why do you care how heavy it is?" The point was that Yi Qing definitely cannot take the male lead as his disciple! Otherwise, given how things will play out between the male lead and the female lead, Invincible Sect would not remain standing for long! "From what I see, Chef is pretty strong right?"
"What has this got to do with how strong he is?"
"Why did it take him so much effort to close the gates? There's something wrong with the plot."
"Is that a typical gate? That's the gates of the demon realm! Do you think anyone could easily open and close them?" Lonemoon glared at her. "Demonic Qi alone is able to corrode an immortal's body. Anyone who can close the gates must possess very special powers."
"Is there a lot of demonic Qi on the gates?"
"Is it also big and tall? Does it look extra heavy?" "That must be the case, right?"
"Are there the words "Demonic Realm" on the gates?"
"And there are two rings on the gates, in the mouths of two red-eyed baboons?"
"What red-eyed baboons?" This was getting ridiculous. Lonemoon rolled his eyes and asked, "Do you think this is some kind of television drama? Why are you describing it as if it were real? Have you seen it?"
"I have!" Shen Ying nodded.
"…" Holy shit!
 A type of novel in which the main lead goes from being utterly useless to unbeatable
Chapter 124: The Gates of the Demon Realm
Given that he had advanced three stages, Yi Qing only completed the Heavenly Tribulation ten days later. He was now a Stygian Immortal instead of an Earth Immortal, second only to Bao Yi of the Bao Family. However, he was a sword immortal. Sword immortals were naturally stronger than the other immortals of the same cultivation. Strictly speaking, Yi Qing was likely even stronger than Bao Yi.
All he was concerned about, however, was whether his master had enough food to eat. He hurriedly regulated his meridians and flew back toward the sect. Along the way, he met two other people who were just on their way out.
"You're finally done. Let's go, we're going to Qu Shuang City!" Lonemoon waved his hand, dragging Shen Ying along behind him.
"Master, this…" Yi Qing paused. Did they not just return from there? "Let's leave first. We'll explain to you on the way," Lonemoon said anxiously. He started to mount his flying sword.
Yi Qing did not ask anymore questions. He summoned his flying sword and reached out to pull Shen Ying up behind him on the sword. Then, they flew off together toward Qu Shuang City.
"What happened in Qu Shuang City?" Shen Ying asked while they flew.
"Do you remember the demon which invaded the city earlier?" Lonemoon asked. "Do you know how it escaped?"
Yi Qing frowned and pondered. Ning Zi'an's Primordial Soul Sword Qi had distracted Bao Yi. The demon took the chance to escape, and then…
"It vanished into thin air, along with all the demonic Qi." The formidable demonic Qi had disappeared in an instant. "City Lord Bao later searched all around, but could not find even a trace of the demon." "How did it do that?" Even if it knew how to vanish, it could not have covered its tracks so thoroughly.
"It went through the gates of the demonic realm," Lonemoon answered. "The gates lie inside Qu Shuang City!"
"The demonic realm!" Yi Qing exclaimed.
"We already informed City Lord Bao ten days ago, but despite their efforts to search the entire city, they have not found the gates," Lonemoon updated Yi Qing. "Just to be safe, we decided to go down the moment you completed the Heavenly Tribulation."
"How did you come to know of this?" Yi Qing asked. He knew that the demonic realm existed, but he did not know anyone who had actually been there. Why were the gates of the demonic realm situated in such a deserted place like Qu Shuang City? "This is such a huge matter. Are you sure those gates lead to the demonic realm?"
"I'm not sure." Lonemoon gestured toward Shen Ying. "She saw it."
Yi Qing's expression changed immediately. With a sombre expression, he said, "Then it must be the gates of the demonic realm! That's right!"
Lonemoon: "…" Son of a b*tch!
The three of them flew nervously, passing through several transportation arrays along the way. FInally, they arrived at Qu Shuang City. Once again, they found themselves in the immortal city, but this time the atmosphere was very different. The city did not feel as crowded and warm as it did before. Instead, there was a cold silence about it. They only saw a few immortals walking about in the city.
When they arrived at the City Lord's Abode, Bao Feiping was already seated at the entrance waiting for them. "Fellow Immortals, you are finally here," he exclaimed excitedly. He walked forward and greeted them, cupping his fists. HIs gaze rested on Yi Qing. He was evidently shocked. "Immortal Yi Qing, your cultivation level…" Ten days ago, he was a mere Earth Immortal. How did he become a Stygian Immortal?
Yi Qing nodded and answered courteously, "This is all thanks to the treasure that you lent to me a few days back."
Bao Feiping looked at him in disbelief. The Nine Firmanents Distortion Mirror contained immortal Qi from half an immortal's meridian and could indeed help people advance swiftly in terms of their cultivation, but… This is way too much, right?
He remained perplexed for several moments. Then, he recalled the matter at hand and regained his composure immediately. He led the three guests into his house and said in a low voice, "When I received Brother Lonemoon's letter that day, we sent several men out to search the city. We haven't found the so-called gates of the demonic realm, but we did find out about unusual events in the area." He pulled a map of the city out from thin air and pointed to a point on the map. Then, he began to explain. When the demons first set their sights on Little An, they carried out a similar investigation but did not manage to find anything unusual. This time, the same thing happened. They did not find anything unusual happening in the city, neither did they find any trace of the demons that had invaded the city, much less any remnants of demonic Qi.
But whether the gates to the demonic realm were hidden in the city was a huge matter which would concern not only Qu Shuang City, but the entire immortal realm. Bao Yi was unsatisfied when the men came back and reported that they had not found anything unusual. Therefore, he went out to search the city for himself. Indeed, he returned having found something small.
"There are many places in the city where the immortal QI is thinner and scarcer than average." Bao Feiping pointed out several points in the map. Initially, there were many immortals living in the city, most of whom trained regularly. Naturally, different places varied in terms of the volume of immortal Qi. But after the invasion by the demons, many immortals left the city. Given that the city was built atop an immortal meridian, and that fewer immortals were now absorbing the immortal Qi, the immortal QI should have begun to thicken all around. But the immortal Qi in the city seemed to remain scarce in specific areas.
"We also found out that there were many places like that in the outskirts of the city. There was at least one such place every ten feet, but we don't know the reason for this. Could it be related to what Brother Lonemoon said about the gates of the demonic realm?"
Lonemoon frowned. It was true that only demonic entities could repel immortal Qi.
"Shen Ying!" He shouted, turning toward Shen Ying. "Where in the city did you see the gates of the demonic realm?"
"In that… whatever tower…" Didn't I already say so before?
"Weighty Tower?" Bao Feiping clarified.
"Yes, just before you entered." She pondered over this for a moment, then added, "It disappeared in a flash." Just before they arrived… That means it appeared just when the demons escaped? The demon escaped into the demonic realm. That was why it did not leave a trace?
But they already checked the Weighty Tower several times. Contrary to the other weird places they identified, the Weighty Tower had the thickest immortal Qi in all of the Bao Family's property.
"City Lord, can you bring us there?" Lonemoon suggested. There were some things that they could not see, but that Shen Ying - the cheat - could.
Bao Feiping nodded and led the few of them into the courtyard. Lonemoon checked the Tower where Shen Ying said she had seen the gates of the demonic realm several times. Yet, just as Bao Feiping had said, he found nothing out of the ordinary.
They subsequently checked the odd places that Bao Feiping had pointed out earlier. Similarly, they found nothing else out of the ordinary. "Father has already gone to the capital to report this matter," Bao Feiping informed them. If their city indeed contained the gates of the demonic realm, they did not have the power to make any decisions.
Lonemoon nodded and surveyed his surroundings once again. He still could not find anything odd. He was beginning to doubt if Shen Ying really had seen the gates of the demonic realm earlier. She could very well have been seeing things. He could not help but turn to Shen Ying beside him and ask, "Hey, have you found anything?"
"Yes," Shen Ying answered.
"Oh… what?" Lonemoon asked in surprise. Even Bao Feiping turned around immediately, staring at her in shock. "What do you see?"
"Holy shit, you see the gates of the demonic realm? Where?" Shen Ying pointed to the ground. "Here!"
Everyone looked down at the space on the ground that Shen Ying was pointing at.
"…" There was nothing there.
"There… and there!" Shen Ying pointed in seemingly random directions. "They're all around."
The corners of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. "What does that mean?" Were the gates of the demonic realm rat holes? Why were they located all over the ground? "Where exactly is it? Speak clearly!"
Shen Ying sighed, turned around to face Yi Qing and said, "Chef, help me to fly up there." Without any hesitation, Yi Qing drew his flying sword and flew Shen Ying up into the air. They flew higher and higher, until they were about a thousand metres in the air. Then, she pointed downward and turned to address Lonemoon and Bao Feiping, who flew up together with her.
The two of them looked down and suddenly understood. The colour drained from their faces.
Chapter 125: Collective Effort
They had a bird's-eye view of the entire Qu Shuang City below them. Qu Shuang City was built atop an immoral meridian. Immortal Qi filled the entire city, but immortal Qi was especially thin outside of the city. This caused the city to stand out from its surroundings. In particular, its shape.
The city was initially built in a haphazard manner - it did not take on any particular shape. If people wanted to reside in the city, all they had to do was apply with the City Lord for permission to build a house. As long as the City Lord gave his permission, they could build their house anywhere they wanted. That explained why there was so much space in the city.
But at that moment, from where they were in the sky, the group saw that the city had taken on a square shape. They did not know when this began, but the entire city looked like it was planned out using a measuring tape. Not a single house was out of place. The main lane running through the city was placed neatly in the center of the square, bisecting the square into two equal halves.
They had not noticed before but from such a height, the entire Qu Shuang City did look like… a gate! A huge gate. The places which Bao Feiping had pointed out earlier as being odd were scattered neatly around the gate so that they looked just like nails around the door.
"City Lord Bao," Lonemoon suddenly called. "Do you have a method to temporarily suspend Immortal Qi from flowing into the city? Or do you have an immortal equipment for us to examine the immortal meridian?"
"Examine the immortal meridian? Do you mean…" Bao Feiping looked perturbed. His heart was thumping in his chest as a frightening idea surfaced in his mind. He nodded furiously. "Yes! The Sky-Covering Seal!"
He immediately conjured a seal with both of his hands. A huge crystal in the shape of a human face appeared, looking down through a glass lens. The entire Immortal City's immortal Qi disappeared in an instant. The constantly flowing silver immortal meridian slowed down, finally revealing a black core right inside of it.
Just as Shen Ying had said, the trained cultivator would be able to sense that there was a strong cold Yin aura around the black door, which had two red-eyed baboons on it, licking rings.
Those are the gates of the demonic realm!
Bao Feiping's hands began to tremble. He did not even have enough strength to keep searching and investigating. The crystal in front of them broke into pieces suddenly, and panic filled Bao Feiping's heart. Everything that did not make sense before suddenly clicked. How did the demon suddenly escape? Why couldn't they find a trace of the demon no matter how hard they looked? Why was it so easy for the demon to break through the demon-dispelling array they set up outside the city gates?
It was because the gates of the demonic realm were not located within Qu Shuang City - it was formed by the entire Qu Shuang City.
The immortal meridian in Qu Shuang City was genuine, but the immortal meridian was also a seal containing the gates of the demonic realm. Bao Feiping broke out in cold sweat upon figuring it out. He became as white as a sheet. "Brother Lonemoon, this is a huge matter. We need to inform my father immediately" Now that they had found the gate, they had no choice but to report it to the capital. They also needed to let His Majesty know.
"City Lord, please go ahead." Lonemoon nodded. "If you need anything, please tell us. The Invincible Sect will do our best to help."
"Thank you!" He flew down toward the ground and started making follow-up arrangements.
Once again, Lonemoon looked down and surveyed Qu Shuang City below him. The gates of the demonic realm did not look like they were going to open anytime soon, but the demonic Qi surrounding the gates was enough to frighten people. Especially given that there were specific areas where immortal Qi was scarce, it became clear that the immortal meridian could not suppress the demonic gates' aura any longer. The demons that invaded the City Lord's Abode earlier could have just made use of loopholes, or perhaps they were not full demons.
Qu Shuang City was no longer suitable for immortals to reside and train in. Otherwise, the city's immortal meridian might become weaker and weaker, and the gates of the demonic realm might take on a clearer form. It looked like Bao Feiping would have a lot to do.
But Lonemoon was not worried that the gates would open anytime soon. At least from the novel, Lonemoon learned that the demons would need to pay a huge price in order to open the gates. They would also need a demonic descendant to lead the way.
Bao Feiping did become extremely busy in the days to follow. First, he closed down the immortal city and forbade anyone from leaving or entering the city. Then, he informed Bao Yi of the situation. They had found the gates, but they did not have the power to decide what to do next. Lonemoon did not stay behind any longer as well. Once the gates were found, he returned to Invincible Sect with the others.
Three months later. The corners of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. The grandfather, father and son of the Bao Family were seated in front of him. He nearly dropped the basket which he was holding loosely in his hand.
He had just gone out to pluck some roots. What is going on?
How did these people appear all of a sudden?
"Brother Lonemoon!" Brother Feiping greeted him with a huge grin on his face. "We haven't met in a long time. How have you been?"
"City Lord Bao." Lonemoon glance at him. "All of you are…"
"We are here because of the matter concerning the gates of the demonic realm," Bao Feiping sighed. He continued, "After we reported the matter to the authorities, His Majesty Ge You came down to Qu Shuang City to check things out for himself. He confirmed that the gates indeed led to the demonic realm. In the interests of safety, the entire Qu Shuang City has been closed down." "Closed down? What's going to happen to the gate?"
"I'm not sure about that. His Majesty is our country's highest authority, and he is an Immortal Emperor! He must have a way of handling things, right?" He was just guessing.
"…" Lonemoon frowned. He was not that optimistic. The novel did not mention any solution.
"After Qu Shuang City closed down, His Majesty promised to give another immortal city to my Bao Family. However, it will take some time for that promise to be kept. Since we could not stay in Qu Shuang City anymore. we decided to take you up on that invitation you extended to us earlier, Brother Lonemoon. That's why we are here."
"…" He had only invited them over in passing. Were they really taking him seriously? They even brought their entire family here.
"We expect that we would have to stay here for quite some time. I hope we are not troubling you?" "Not… at all!" Was there any point in saying they were? They were already at their doorstep!
Lonemoon glared at Shen Ying, who was still engrossed with her steak and rice at that moment. Then, he entered the hall, greeting Bao Yi and sending the spring onions he had picked into the kitchen.
"I have only just come to realise that Invincible Sect is a really good place," Bao Feiping said, smiling. "Your disciples each have their own strengths. It is much livelier and more exciting here than it was in Qu Shuang City."
"City Lord Bao, you are too kind…" Lonemoon answered. He had a business-like grin plastered onto his face.
Bao Feiping and Lonemoon began to exchange pleasantries characteristic of business partnerships. From time to time, Bao Yi - who held his grandson in his arms - chimed in.
Shen Ying remained utterly disinterested in all of this. She continued to focus on her food. She took two huge bites off her steak and suddenly became aware of someone staring at her. She turned and found her little friend, Ning Zi'an, staring at her with huge grape-like eyes. He looked extremely curious.
When she met his gaze, he paused and then broke into a huge grin. He turned and looked pointedly at the pastries, looking eager to try them.
"You want to eat?" She asked.
Little Friend Ning looked at the pastries again and looked back at her. He hesitated. Then, finally giving in to the temptation, he nodded sheepishly.
"Oh…" Shen Ying picked up a pastry from the plate and held it in front of his face. "This is a walnut cake."
Little Friend Ning's eyes lit up. He was just about to take the cake with his little hand, when Shen Ying twisted her chopsticks. The pastry made one round in front of his eyes and went straight into Shen Ying's mouth. He heard the sound of Shen Ying's teeth biting the walnuts. Ning Zi'an: "…"
He froze as his little eyes began to redden and well up. He looked so wronged.
Shen Ying sniggered. She fidgeted with the chopsticks in her hand and hurriedly finished off the pastries one by one. The plate in front of her became increasingly empty. She even ate all the peanut rice.
Once she finished all the food on the table, she let out a satisfied burp.
Ning Zi'an: "…" He really wanted to cry now. He pouted and tutted loudly, turning to bury his head in Bao Yi's arms. He did not want to look at her anymore.
Hey… bullying kids is really addictive!
Chapter 126: Our Sect Disciples Are All Body Immortals
Evidently, Shen Ying's bullying of the little boy had not caught the attention of the three men still engaged in business discussions.
Lonemoon felt that he had just about fulfilled his quota of bullshitting… hyperbole… and idle chit chat. Having just received the bill for their boarding expenses which was several times more than budgeted, he decided to cut to the chase.
"Exalted Immortal, City Lord Bao, since the Immortal Monarch is dealing with the matter of the Demon Realm's gate, what do the two of you plan to do next?" Lonemoon did not believe that the mighty City Lord of Qu Shuang City had come all the way here for free lodging— that he had no other residence apart from the one at Qu Shuang City.
To be honest, Lonemoon did not want further entanglements with the Bao Family because of the male lead character Ning Zi'an. The incident of the Demon Realm gate was an exception as it involved the entire Immortal Realm. "His Majesty has gifted our Bao Family with Jing Xing City as a reward for discovering the gate to the Demon Realm," replied Bao Feiping, glancing at Yi Qing, who had just come out of the kitchen before continuing, "Although Jing Xing City cannot be compared to Qu Shuang City, which is situated atop an immortal meridian, it is located in the mainland, close to Shang Du City. Father and I feel that … we came to know of this matter of the Demon Realm's gate because of the three of you; we can claim no credit. If you don't mind, we would like to invite your sect to stay with us at Jing Xing Immortal City."
Lonemoon was surprised at Bao Feiping's invitation. He had not expected the Bao family to be so generous. True, the Demon Realm's gate was discovered by them, but Qu Shuang City belonged to the Bao Family, now that it is closed off, it was only natural that the Immortal Emperor had bestowed him a city in return. Even if Bao Feiping had not brought up the part they had played in the matter, no one could fault them. He never expected that they would share their new immortal residence with them.
Lonemoon was just about to enquire further when he happened to see Yi Qing, who was standing behind Shen Ying. And in an instant, he understood their intentions. It looked as if they had not given up! It was not so bad when Yi Qing was an Earth Immortal, but now that he is a Stygian Immortal, his value had gone up considerably in their eyes. Stygian Sword Cultivators were rare in the whole Immortal Realm, not to speak of one who had an Innate Sword Embodiment as well.
If Lonemoon and his sect members really did move to Jing Xing City, they would bump into each other frequently. So it stood to reason that Yi Qing, as a Sword Immortal, would occasionally give pointers to his junior, Little An, regardless whether he was a disciple or not.
These two immortals were really putting themselves out for the little boy's schooling. They even provided free school accommodation just to attract a good teacher.
"Thanks for your kind offer." Lonemoon immediately rejected their offer. "Although we do not have many disciples, we are used to living here and have no intention to move." You must be
joking. No matter what the benefits, it would not be enough to
compensate us for the future trouble that the male lead would cause. "Brother Lonemoon, don't be hasty with your decision. Please take your time to think over it." Sensing that his plan was heading south, an anxious Bao Feiping had no choice but to turn his sights on the other two cultivators. "Why don't we ask Fellow Immortal Yi Qing and … this Lady Immortal's opinion?" He recalled that this lady was the sect master. Although he had long since figured out that the main decision maker in this sect was Lonemoon, but for the sake of his son, he had to involve these two in the matter. "Jing Xing City's Immortal Qi is much denser than this place, it will be more beneficial to your sect's disciples."
"We're not going!"
"Huh! Huh?" Bao Feiping was taken aback by her abrupt reply. He had thought that they would at least think the matter over. Why did she reject him outright?
"We're not moving!" said Shen Ying, shaking her head.
Moving house was so troublesome.
"Master is right!" Yi Qing agreed immediately. Bao Feiping: "…"
"Thank you for your kind offer, City Lord Bao. But all our sect disciples are low-level Earth Immortals, the Immortal Qi here is sufficient for them," said Lonemoon. The main idea was not to tangle with the male lead.
"So be it!" Realizing that further persuasion was useless, Bao Feiping dropped the idea of getting them to move. Suddenly struck by a thought, he changed the topic and asked,"Seeing as your sect has two sword immortals, I'm sure your disciples are exceptional as well? Since we are here, could you let us have a preview of their skills?" Maybe after that they could interact with these sect disciples. Little An could then remain with them under the guise of seeking their guidance. This would serve their purpose just as well.
"City Lord is mistaken, they are not…" Lonemoon paused mid- way through his sentence as he suddenly thought of a good idea to get Bao Feiping to give up on his plan to enroll his son in their sect. Rewording his sentence, he said, "They are not all Sword Immortals. However, they are indeed skilled. Very skilled!"
"Oh, then…" Bao Feiping eyes brightened. Nodding his head, Lonemoon turned to the person beside him and instructed, "Yu Hong, tell Si Yu to report here."
"Yes! Yu Hong turned and left. Moments later, she brought in a delicate-looking immortal. Clad in green robes, this female immortal bowed to Bao Feiping and his father timidly. She seemed a little afraid of strangers, subconsciously hiding behind her sect members.
"She's our sect's most… outstanding disciple." Giving a little cough, Lonemoon signaled for Si Yu to stand in front of a mountain face. Then, in a grave tone he instructed, "Si Yu, Exalted Immortal Bao and the City Lord would like to see your skills. Can you give them a short demonstration."
So all eyes centered on Si Yu, especially the Bao father and son, who were curious about whether such a frail-looking immortal could be a Sword Immortal. Moreover, she was supposed to be the most outstanding disciple. Invisible Sect was really full of hidden talents.
Usually shy in front of strangers, Si Yu grew even more flustered. Subconsciously she took a step back. "Elder Lonemoon, you mean… here?"
"Yes, do what you can."
"But… I don't think this is a good idea." She looked towards the two immortals. Was it safe with a kid here?
"Don't worry. Just show them what you can do," said Lonemoon, adding an afterthought, "I'll pay for any damage caused."
Si Yu was still a little hesitant.
Intrigued, the Bao father and son duo encouraged, "Lady Immortal, don't be afraid. We just want to see the expertise of your sect."
"That's right. Just do what you always do when you are practicing. Just be your natural self." "I'm…" Si Yu was still a little tense.
Until Shen Ying also chipped in with her two-cents, "Little green sister, you can do it!"
With these words, the previously timid Si Yu suddenly raised her head, a look of fearless determination on her face. Nodding her head vigorously, she answered, "Yes! Sect Master!"
Then her Immortal Qi suddenly surged and her whole manner underwent a transformation. No… her entire body underwent a transformation! Muscles started to bulge out from her body. All at once, her height spurted up and her body increased several times in size.
Letting out a loud grunt, she shot out her fist. The rock-hard mountain face shattered and crumbled, covering the ground with a layer of gravel and raising a cloud of dust that settled on their faces.
Bao Feiping: "…" Bao Yi: "…"
What the hell… This is clearly not a Sword Immortal!
"Okay, Si Yu. Continue training your junior sisters at the training yard!" said Lonemoon as he motioned for Si Yu to leave. Then with a calm expression on his face, he conjured a hand seal to clear the entire area of debris.
"Yes, Elder Lonemoon!" Si Yu cupped her fists in a salute before shrinking back into her previous delicate self. It was as if the muscles had never appeared.
"Brother Lone.. moon" Bao Feiping still had a dumbstruck look on his face. "The person just… just now, is she a body cultivator?" A real live one?! And one who became an immortal?
There had never been body cultivators who ascended to the Immortal Realm. The only ones who had were demon immortals! What were body immortals who had turned immortals called? Body Immortals?
"Yes!" Lonemoon nodded his head and said with a chuckle, "Didn't I tell you before? Yi Qing and I have no experience in training disciples. Somehow, they turned out like this as their training progressed. So the entire sect, except for Yi Qing and me, are all body cultivators."
The two Baos:"…"
Can we take back what we said earlier?
Chapter 127: The Strange Male Lead
After the sect displayed their power to the father and son of the Bao Family, Lonemoon became more determined to teach the disciples in his sect how to cultivate properly. Each day, he brought the disciples to train at the arena. As they trained, they shouted encouragements in unison.
The aggressive and loud cheers spread throughout the entire sect, and especially into a certain palace wing.
Whenever the father and son of the Bao Family were faced with this scene, their faces became strangely green. After they found out that the Invincible Sect was filled with female body cultivators, their expressions became profoundly worse - there was a certain hopelessness in their eyes.
Father Niu went all out to kill any remnant of hope left in the father and son. The only thing difficult for them to explain was why their disciples all turned out to be body cultivators. What was obvious, though, was that the emotionally injured father and son had not thought too much about this. The disciples' strength and skill continued to improve. What was most important was that they formed their immortal bones. Six months had passed since the entire sect ascended to the immortal realm. Yu Hong and Siyu's cultivations improved immensely and they certainly had hope of forming immortal bones. The other disciples did show signs of improvement, but their foundations were far too shaky and there was little hope of them forming their immortal bones.
They could only be counted as Earth Immortals after they formed their immortal bones. Lonemoon had to think of something quickly. Of course, he had to focus first on the problem concerning the male lead. No matter what, they could not get too close to this male lead - especially Yi Qing.
They were lucky that the child was still young. If he was not with his grandfather or father, the child will be taken care of by Yu Hong. He did not interact with Yi Qing at all.
"Master…" Yi Qing put down a plate of freshly cooked food. Uncharacteristically, instead of going back into the kitchen, he sat down at the table and looked at Shen Ying. "Could you tell these few days?"
"Er… not yet." Shen Ying shook her head. "Wait a little longer!" "I'm actually just guessing as well." Yi Qing frowned. "There was nothing strange about that child these eight years. I must be thinking too much, right?"
"That might not be true," Shen Ying said as she filled her mouth with two spoonfuls of food. Then, she continued, "I don't know that many people."
Yi Qing looked back at her in shock. "Master, you're saying-"
"Wait!" Lonemoon interrupted, his face twisted. "What are you talking about? Why don't I understand anything?" Were they just talking about Ning Zi'an? They must have been!
"We're talking about the identity of the male lead!" Shen Ying answered. "What identity?" Lonemoon pondered. Wasn't it Bao Feiping's son? Who else could be the male lead?
"Huh? Didn't I tell you?" Shen Ying scratched her head, confused. "The other day, when Chef was helping him remove his Primordial Soul Sword Qi, he found something special in his body."
"…" When did you freaking tell me this? How the hell would I have found out?
Lonemoon suddenly felt an other-worldly grievance.
"What exactly is going on?"
"Chef, tell him." Shen Ying continued to eat her food.
"Yes, Master!" Yi Qing nodded and turned to Lonemoon. "The other day, when I helped him get rid of his Primordial Soul Sword Qi, I found his sword Qi in a mess but it was not beyond repair. At first, I thought it was due to him still being young and did not yet know how to suppress his sword Qi. But after using my immortal Qi to get rid of the sword Qi, I stumbled into his dantian exceptionally smoothly - no resistance whatsoever. This is very unusual."
Lonemoon pondered over this. After awhile, he understood. "You're saying… even if he did not know how to suppress his sword Qi, there should have been some sort of natural resistance when your immortal Qi entered his dantian, even if he did not yet know the proper technique to resist? And if he did know how to suppress his sword Qi, it would not be exploding randomly?"
"That's right," Yi Qing confirmed.. "Not only that, when I was getting rid of his sword Qi, I felt him co-operating with my efforts even though he was unconscious. There was no resistance from his body at all. At least, not until my immortal Qi accidentally swept past his divine perception.
Then, a huge resistance formed. All of the sword Qi seemed to stir within him resulting in his sword Qi invading my body and injuring me."
Lonemoon's heart jumped. "Could there be a problem with his primordial spirit?"
"I don't know!" Yi Qing shook his head. "At the time, I was so focused on suppressing the sword Qi that I did not bother to take a closer look. I only felt a searing and chilling pain that shot straight to my bones. After that, when I thought of inspecting his divine perception again, I could not find it. That was why I asked Master to help me look out for any differences in the child." The immortal realm was different from the mortal realm. If someone had messed around with his primordial spirit, his grandfather and father would definitely have been able to tell.
"Shit!" Lonemoon could not help but curse. The male lead was indeed not simple. "This is such an important matter, why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"You didn't ask!"
"Then why did you tell Shen Ying?" You would not tell if we don't ask, right? "She's my master." Of course I'd tell her.
He was the only one who was considered trash in Invincible Sect, wasn't he?
"Anyway, the demon invasion might not be the only reason why the child's Primordial Soul Sword Qi is acting up," Yi Qing said. "There must be some other reason. I just don't know if Bao Yi and Bao Feiping have any clue what this other reason might be."
The more Lonemoon listened to Yi Qing, the more troubled he felt. No mention of this could be found in the novel. By the time Ning Zi'an made his appearance in the novel, he had become strong and reputable. He was portrayed as a good guy. Nothing was mentioned about how special his identity was. Later, he even became a Celestial Emperor. Could it be that Lonemoon missed out on some important detail?
"Whatever! They're only going to stay here for a few more days anyway," Lonemoon said, waving his hands in frustration. "Just remember. Cherish your life and stay away from the male lead! Stay as far away from him as you can. Don't have anything to do with this man called Ning Zi'an."
Before he could finish, Shen Ying's expression changed. She set down her bowl quickly and stood up.
"What are you doing?" Lonemoon jumped. This was the first time he was seeing her this nervous. "What's happening?"
"We don't have time!"
"What?" He did not have time to react. Suddenly, a loud crashing sound came from behind him. Something black flew up toward the sky. The entire air was filled with a thick demonic Qi, covering the sky atop the Invincible Sect.
Demonic Qi! Why was there demonic Qi in Invincible Sect?
"It's coming from Chang Qing Hall in the west!" Lonemoon zeroed in on the source of this demonic Qi in shock. "That's where the Bao Family is staying!" Why is it coming from there?
"Chef, let's go!" Shen Ying turned around and rushed toward the hall.
"Wait!" Lonemoon reacted quickly and grabbed Shen Ying. "You're crazy! The demonic Qi is so formidable and you're thinking of rushing over to rescue people?" Furthermore, their disciples were training in the arena, not that hall.
"Who says I'm going to rescue people?"
"My seafood is being laid out to dry over there!" She brought so much big seafood home the last time and they were all there. "Chef, save the goods!"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!" Lonemoon: "…" Son of a b*tch!
Chapter 128: The Demon Realm Opens
The demonic Qi got thicker and thicker until it became a few times thicker than it was when the City Lord's Abode was invaded. Everything became a sea of black. From within the demonic Qi, there came an occasional ghostly cry which sounded especially piercing. A black figure with red eyes shot out of the demonic Qi, glaring at the group of them.
Lonemoon immediately set up a defensive array to protect the entire mountain. Then, he summoned all the disciples and told everyone to stay inside the front hall, inside the defensive array. For the hundred-and-eighth time, he cursed the male lead's knack for creating trouble. He had only been in the Invincible Sect for a few days and such an unfortunate thing has already happened.
Not more than five minutes after all the disciples gathered, Yi Qing and Shen Ying returned. Yi Qing was dragging two people along with him, while Shen Ying was carrying… A fish?
The corners of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. What does she want a freaking fish for now? The few of them entered into the defensive array.
Yi Qing let go of the people he had dragged along - Bao Yi and Bao Feiping. They looked like they were recovering from some sort of ordeal. They had disbelief written all over their face- especially Bao Yi, who also looked gravely injured.
"What… happened to the both of you?" Lonemoon moved forward to support their weight.
Yi Qing frowned, glanced at the two of them and said, "We guessed wrongly earlier. The gate that Qu Shuang City formed was only a distraction. The real gates of the demonic realm have already moved. It's not in any particular place; instead, it's been in Ning Zi'an's body this entire time. His entire body forms the gates."
"What!" Lonemoon was shocked. Holy shit, wasn't the male lead from a respectable and good sect? Since when did he become one of the bad guys? This novel was obviously incomplete.
"You mean to say that all of this demonic Qi is coming from him? He's a demon?"
"No! Little An is definitely not a demon!" Bao Feiping interrupted before Yi Qing could answer Lonemoon's question. "When he was born, he was really an immortal. I don't know when… he was implanted with some sort of demonic seed." Bao Feiping looked like he blamed himself for not noticing anything amiss even after all of these years.
"Eh, it's negligence on our part," Bao Yi exclaimed. "Little An has already been implanted with the demonic seed. The demons must have thought this through when they invaded us earlier. That was why they decided to shift the gates of the demonic realm onto Little An's body. They wanted to turn him into a demon and then open the gates."
"Wait…" Lonemoon was thinking so hard that his head was beginning to hurt. "You mean to say that the gates of the demonic realm can be moved?"
"That's right," Bao Yi replied, nodding. Guiltily and worriedly, he continued, "We did not know this. That was why we brought him out of Qu Shuang City. Without the suppression of the immortal meridian, the demonic Qi in Little An erupted. That's why… we are the ones who got your sect into this trouble."
Lonemoon was absolutely enraged. "Alright, there's no point saying all of these things now. Do either of you know any way to solve this problem?" The entire Invincible Sect was now pitch black. Demonic Qi flooded every single crevice of the place, except where they were standing.
"Well…" The two of them exchanged a look and shook their heads. "The demonic Qi is disrupting our sensing of the immortal Qi around us. It's going to be really difficult for us to break out of this demonic Qi. What's more…"
He did not finish his sentence. If even one or two demons managed to emerge from the demonic realm, they would be able to make use of the massive amount of demonic Qi in Invincible Sect to finish them all. Their only hope lay in the Immortal Emperor Ge You, who was now in Qu Shuang City. But how were they supposed to send a message out to him?
"Have you seen the gates of the demonic realm?" Lonemoon asked. "I can see it - it's huge!" Shen Ying pointed in front of her before either of them could answer.
Lonemoon looked up and saw that within the black clouds, a huge black door had arisen. It was growing in size and looked exactly the same as the gates they saw back at Qu Shuang City.
"Little An!" Bao Feiping nervously shouted.
It was then that Lonemoon noticed a child standing at the bottom left hand corner of the gate. It was Ning Zi'an. He looked very different from the way he normally did. His face covered in demonic scars and both of his eyes were flashing red. One of his hands lay on the gate. He stared coldly at the group of them.
This is… the male lead? He's obviously the boss of the antagonists!
"What's wrong with him?" Lonemoon asked. "He's overcome by the demonic Qi in his body. He's now a demon," Yi Qing answered.
As if confirming what Yi Qing had just said, the demonic Qi around Ning Zi'an's body surged as the boy began to roar. Bursts of demonic Qi shot downward toward the group of them. Yi Qing wielded his sword. The sword Qi from his sword cut through the bursts of demonic Qi which shot toward them.
Ning Zi'an let out a mirthless laugh. He did not seem to care in the least for the people standing beneath him. He turned toward the big gates and seemed to focus hard on them. He cut open his left palm and placed his wounded palm atop one of the baboons on the gate.
"Oh no, he's going to open the gates of the demonic realm! Stop him!" Lonemoon shouted. He turned to face Shen Ying. "Shen Ying, take that little rascal down!"
"Okay!" Shen Ying answered. She looked around but could not find any weapon, so… She had no choice but to use the gigantic fish in her hand. She threw the fish toward the child. Everyone felt a huge gust of wind and heard a loud crashing sound. Ning Zi'an, who had just started to open the gates, was thrown back toward the gate. Half of the demonic Qi around his body dissipated with the blow.
But the impact of the blow was not gone. What seemed like an unstoppable force continued to push forward. They heard a creak and the stationary gates suddenly began to move. Ning Zi'an fell through the gates as they moved. The gates are… are… are open!
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
"Father… Niu, I want to say that this only happened because the quality of the gates is really bad. Do you believe me?" How could it open when she had just thrown a fish at it?
"Believe my ass!"
We're done for, we're done for!…
One salted fish had thwarted all of the many ways Lonemoon had thought of to keep the gates from opening. What was the point!
Immediately, the black Qi around them became thicker and thicker. A large black figure flew out from within the gates. The figure took on a different form from the one before. This black figure had a tangible and complete body, but it was completely black. Its face covered in so many black-coloured scars that its features were undistinguishable. An aura which was chilling to the bone headed toward them. The entire defensive array began to vibrate vigorously. It felt like it would fall apart at any moment. The demons are here!
"Hahaha…" The black figure looked down and around it and began to laugh maniacally. "I never thought that the gates of the demonic realm would finally be opened. I am Fiend- Ah ya!"
Before it could finish speaking, it found itself flying through the air after being kicked by someone. Its body felt like a deflated balloon. Ts… With a loud hissing noise, it felt itself begin to dissipate as black whirls of smoke, leaving behind black bones.
Shen Ying retracted her leg and pointed toward the half- opened gates. She regained her composure and said, "Hey, I am going to clean up this mess. Go and look around for that child. Chef, look after everyone!"
"Yes, Master!" Yi Qing answered.
Shen Ying disappeared through the gates in a flash. The crowd: "…"
For a long while…
Come to think of it…. Was the demon from the demonic realm going to say that it was a Fiend Celestial? Legend had it that Fiend Celestials could snuff out the fire of a million suns, annihilate the entire universe, and emerge victorious over Immortal Emperors. Yet, immediately after it emerged from the demon realm, it was… kicked to death?!
No, no, no, we must have heard… wrongly?
Chapter 129: Split-Personality Disorder
The demonic realm.
Strange rocks and lava were to be found all over the place.
The sky overhead was grey and gloomy.
For the first time in history, the demonic realm was faced with the threat of being completely wiped. There was a flash of green which broke through the darkness in the demonic realm. It possessed an unbeatable strength as it progressed through the demonic realm, defeating every single demon in its wake. Before the demons could even make out what this flash of green was, they were reduced to dust. From the gate, the green figure travelled first toward the east, then straight down toward the west. When it reached the end, it headed north and lastly south. Then, it went back southward… then north…
Er… She was lost!
-_-||| She had walked between the south and north of the demonic realm more than ten times. She entered a pit that was a few hundred metres deep to ask the little nightmarish demon for directions. Then, finally, she headed in the right direction toward the Demon King's palace in the middle of the realm.
Thus… ten minutes later.
The demonic Qi was surging within the palace, where tens of thousands of demons usually gathered. The dust cleared, and there were demonic bones scattered all over the city. All of the demons who survived had the same question in mind at that exact moment.
The demons on the streets: Why did it hit me? I was just passing by.
The demons guarding the door: Why did it hit me? I was just guarding the door.
The demon army: Why did it hit me? I was just standing guard. The demon generals: Why did it hit me? I just came to work
Nobody knew the reason.
The demon king that they had always looked up to for being high and mighty, and for never losing a single battle, was now reduced to a mess of tears and mucus on the floor.
"Great… Great Immortal, please stop hitting me… If you keep hitting me, I will dissipate… I know my mistake, I will not dare to do it again… Please let me live!"
"Talk, where is the child?" Shen Ying asked as she pushed down harder on the Demon King's chest with her foot.
"What… what child?" The Demon King's face was twisted in pain. It had not recovered from the massive blow it suffered in the head. Nobody had ever beat it up that badly before; it was practically rolling around in agony. It had initially come in the capacity of the king of the demonic realm, to put up a fight for the sake of the entire realm. But it was not able to put up a fight at all! It even thought about asking for the help of all the demons around; that was why it suddenly decided to inform ten other Skyfiends to come to its aid…
The ten Skyfiends appeared relatively quickly, then…
They were all destroyed!
All it took was one slap before they collapsed in heaps on the ground. It looked much easier for her than killing mosquitoes. They were still unconscious and the Demon King wondered if they were even alive!
It was so… so scary! Hard to believe that someone scarier than the demons existed in the universe. Up till that moment, the Demon King was still unsure what the other party was looking for.
"The child who just entered the demonic realm a minute ago." "I… I don't know! Great Immortal!" It had been sleeping soundly in the palace when she suddenly crashed in and began beating him without saying a word. How was he supposed to know about any children? "Great… Great Immortal, just take whatever you want. I really don't know what child you're talking about."
"You really didn't see him?" Shen Ying asked.
"I really did not, Great Immortal!" The Demon King began to cry again. If you were searching for someone, you could have said so earlier! I didn't say I wouldn't help!
"Where did he go?" He clearly entered the realm.
How was it supposed to know? "I could gather all of the demons and help you search for the child?"
"That works too!" Shen Ying said after she pondered the suggestion. Then, she removed her foot from its chest. Remembering what she came here for, she asked, "Will you dare to do this again?" "No, no, no!" The Demon King shook its head profusely and promised. It still did not dare to get to its feet. Instead, it got to its knees, took in a deep breath and asked fearfully, "Well, Great Immortal, can you please advise me what I did wrong?"
"You plotted to open the gates of the demonic realm and enter the immortal realm. Do you still need me to remind you of this?"
The Demon King looked up in surprise. "The gates of the demonic realm are open?"
"Yes!" Shen Ying nodded. "You didn't know?"
Shen Ying: "…"
The Demon King: "…" Did I… beat the wrong demon up?
The scene was extremely awkward…
"Heh, well…" Shen Ying cleared her throat. "Let's talk about the child instead.
"…" You're changing the topic, right?
"He's about this tall and he looks like an eight-year-old. He was wearing blue and white robes." Shen Ying held out her hand around her waist. "I asked the blackies in the area. They said you have the most authority around here and you call the shots. That was why I came to look for you." What are blackies? Did she meet other demons? They were obviously threatened by her; that was why they directed her to it. They wanted the Demon King to kill her for them. If it found out who directed her to the Demon King's palace, it would definitely not let them off.
"Well, Great Immortal, may I please ask how the child entered the demonic realm? Did he disappear from somewhere?"
"Oh, he got hit by a salted fish that I threw at him."
"…" What the hell? "Where's the fish?
"Of course the fish is still…" Shen Ying trailed off. Could it be that the stupid child was still unconscious and lying under the fish? Speaking of which, the fish seemed to be moving slightly when she walked past it after entering the demonic realm.
Her face fell and she immediately disappeared from the palace. Before the demon king could let out a sigh of relief, she suddenly ran back in. "Great… Great Immortal?" Why did she come back?
"I don't know my way back. You have to bring me there."
"…" Can I say no?
When Ning Zi'an regained his consciousness, he discovered that the air around him was filled with demonic Qi. His body felt like it was being injected all over. There was a maniacal excitement written all over his face that did not befit someone of his age.
"The demonic realm? This is the demonic realm!" Ning Zi'an turned around, eyes widening as he grinned. "Hahaha… this is great! It's really open! There will be a demon invasion, and then…"
He paused mid-sentence, his face suddenly twisting. There was some kind of struggle in his eyes. The demonic scars disappeared from his face, which had a different expression now. His eyes were filled with worry as he looked toward the gates. As if deciding something, he began to wring his hands together.
"Chen Ge, what do you want to do? Stop!" His expression turned ferocious once more, like there was someone else inside of his body that was trying to snatch something from himself. "The gates of the demonic realm are open. You cannot close it anymore!"
"This problem arose because of me," he said with a lowered voice "Of course I should end it."
"You're crazy!" Another voice shouted in a panic. "I am you. Killing me will not do any good to you. Don't you want to become stronger? If we become demons, we will become stronger. We will be even stronger than Celestial Emperors. You will be the strongest person in the three realms."
"It was my mistake. I should have gotten rid of you sooner.," the other voice answered. His hands moved even quicker than before. There was a burst of light, and then everything became dark again. "Hmph! You think that we're still in the immortal realm? You can't control me anymore. The demonic Qi here is more than sufficient - you may not even be my match!"
"I would rather die than become a demon."
"Try and stop me then."
"Hey…" Shen Ying could not help but pat the child who had been speaking to himself the entire time. "You're getting pretty high on your own!" You're so young and you're already so conflicted?
"Who are you?" Ning Zi'an jumped. Shen Ying could not tell which voice was speaking to her now. Ning Zi'an stepped backward and looked up at Shen Ying, confused. Then, she recognised her. "It's you! You're Shen… Shen…"
"…" Was her name so difficult to remember? -_-|||
Chapter 130: Danger of Annihilation
"Sect Master Shen!" The child's voice was softer and gentler once again. He looked extremely nervous. "I am Chen Ge. Quick, help me to dispel this demon from my body. It has become one with my own mental demons. I cannot get rid of him on my own."
"Chen Ge?" Shen Ying asked, staring blankly at him. "Who are you?"
The Celestial Emperor Chen Ge: "…" I am the owner of this entire mainland afterall. Am I really that unpopular?
"Hahaha…" Just as he began to explain, his voice changed once again and he laughed maniacally. "You think this Earth Immortal will be able to stop me? Don't forget that we're in the demonic realm now. She might not even be able to protect herself. An Earth Immortal can't even handle an average demon, much less the demon king in this realm."
"Demon King? You mean him?" Shen Ying stepped aside and pulled the demon - who had been hiding behind her, timid as a sparrow - forward.. The two personalities: "…"
"Little Black, see what's wrong with him." The child looked fine the day before. Why did he suddenly have a split- personality disorder now?
"Yes, Great Immortal! No problem, Great Immortal!" The Demon King pulled up its sleeves and walked toward the child. It could not help but steal glances through the gates to the other realm.
For billions of years, the gates of the demonic realm had stayed resolutely closed. This was the first time the Demon King saw it open, and the immortal realm lay on the other side. That was the realm that the demons have been wanting to enter all this time. Yet, they never could have because of the gates. Some demons managed to allow shreds of their consciousness to break through into the immortal realm using special means. Of course, those were the lucky ones. But now… the gates were really open.
The Demon King's heart leaped. Then, it turned around to glance at the woman standing next to it, and felt the excitement leave him as quickly as it came.
It might as well be closed!
Ning Zi'an felt a huge surge of demonic Qi rush toward him. Both of the personalities inside his body fell silent. He felt the demon in front of him suck the demonic Qi out of his body. The force bearing down on his body was almost unbearable.
The demon's face was swollen and covered in bruises now, but he… was very strong! Extremely strong. Even the Celestial Emperor Chen Ge, at his peak, would not be his match at that moment!
He… is really the demon king! The Demon King scanned the child on the ground with his eyes very briefly. He already understood the child's situation. For fear that the Great Immortal would think he was being slipshod about his work, he reached out and touched the child's forehead, using his divine perception to peer inside his mind.
He hesitated. There was a Rebirth Seal.
"Reporting to Great Immortal!" The Demon King sniggered and reported every detail to Shen Ying, "This little… little friend's soul is carrying a demon. The demon incubated in his body and merged with his mental demons. Now, the demon is waging war against all the good thoughts and consciousness in this child's body, fighting for control."
"This is nonsense, isn't it?" Who couldn't tell that he had a split-personality disorder? "I'm asking where this demon came from?"
The Demon King jumped and lowered his voice immediately. "I… I'm not sure about this either. Demons arise for many reasons. What's more, the demon in this child was there from the moment he was born. There's no way to find out how it appeared now."
"You mean… he was born this way?" She had never heard of anyone who suffered from split-personality disorder at birth!
"No!" The Demon King shook his head. "It was not there since birth, but it was there since his past life."
"What does that mean?"
"Great Immortal!" The Demon King pointed to the child excitedly. "There is a Rebirth Seal inside his divine perception. This means that he did not go through the rebirth cycle off the Three Realms. The child was an immortal in his past life and the demon planted itself in his body in that life, but the demon only became fully grown recently."
What is this confusing mess? All of it was enough to film an entire drama about a past and present life. "Little Friend, I am going to bring you back right now. But we have to resolve this matter first, or I wouldn't know how to answer to Father Niu!" She scanned the child from head to toe. "Tell me, what exactly happened? Who is the real… Whatever An?"
"Sect Master Shen, actually I'm-"
"I am!" The child's voice changed mid-sentence. There was a twinkle in his eyes as he said, "I am the real Ning Zi'an! Chen Ge has been trying to take over my body. Do something! Get him out of my body!"
"Ridiculous!" The Demon King spat. Demonic Qi shot forth from his body. "Is this the way you speak to Great Immortal?"
"You are ridiculous!" Shen Ying reached out and slapped the back of his head. "Why are you scaring the child? Does that make you feel powerful?"
"…" The Demonic King kept quiet after his failed attempt to suck up to Shen Ying. He once again became like a sparrow. Great Immortal is so fierce, so unique, and so unreasonable!
"Little Friend, keep speaking."
"This Chen Ge is trying to steal something, so "…"
"Shut up, I'm not talking to you!" She pointed at the face covered in demonic scars before waiting for Ning Zi'an to finish his sentence. "You are so ugly. Switch to the good-looking child inside of you."
The demon: "…"
Upon hearing this, the Demon King shot out a burst of demonic Qi to suppress the demon inside of Ning Zi'an without Shen Ying having to say anything. The scars on Ning Zi'an's face faded, and the youthful child's appeared once again. Finally, Shen Ying recognised the obedient child she had seen before. Except there was a sense of maturity in the boy's eyes.
"Shen… Great Immortal Shen." He glanced at the Demon King beside him and changed his greeting immediately and cleverly without any questions asked. He began to tell his story, "I am Chen Ge. I was assassinated ten thousand years ago and suffered grave injuries. At that time that this demon entered me. At that time, I was very weak. All I could do was create a seal. But the demon unexpectedly got stronger and stronger and merged together with my mental demons. After I recovered, I realised it had become too late. If I tried to drive the demon out by force, my cultivation would be hurt. I could even have fallen by an entire cultivation level."
He frowned, recalling the events of the past. Then, he continued, "Later on I found a solution. It was to create an immortal infant. In the process of rebirth, I had to seal off my cultivation temporarily, together with my memory. But at the same time, I would also be able to cleanse my body of any demons. The entire process was going to take a few thousand years before I would regain my cultivation. So…"
"So you re-birthed into Qu Shuang City?"
"Yes!" He nodded. "I hesitated for a long time. Then, I sealed my immortal body into the woman of the Bao Family. But I didn't know that the Bao Family would make use of such large amounts of immortal Qi to bring the immortal body that I haphazardly created into this world. That was how I was born with the innate sword embodiment."
"…" The innate sword embodiment came about because his mother had taken too much nutrients in while she carried him? Does Chef know about this?
"What was more coincidental was that the innate sword embodiment lured another demon to myself. Because of that demonic Qi, I am unable to get rid of the demon inside my body. Instead, the demon awoke prematurely and tried to turn me into a demon before I could regain my memory." He frowned even deeper. "At last, when I regained my memory, I had no way of getting rid of this demon. I even forgot Great Immortal…"
Before he could finish, his expression changed and his voice became lower. He shouted nervously, "Sect Master Shen, don't listen to him! I'm Ning Zi'an! He's lying to you… Do you remember? When you did not want to give me the pastries the other time? Believe me, Chen Ge is trying to win something…"
"Okay! I believe you." Shen Ying nodded. "Actually, I'm… Eh?" The demon hesitated.
"Great Immortal!" Chen Ge cried in shock.
Shen Ying ignored him and turned to the Demon King. "Little Black!"
"Yes!" The Demon King stood upright.
"Can you get one of them out of the body?"
"I will, I am a professional!" The Demon King patted his chest. "Great Immortal, leave it to me!"
"Okay, then pull out the… the ugly one!"
The demon: "…" You said you believed me!