Chapter 101 - Old friends sentiments
Outside the death marsh, on the ancient path leading away from Big Wang Village and towards the West, Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan unhurriedly walked.
Xiao Huan’s pair of bright eyes looked around, the ancient path was overgrown with weeds, wild and fertile. They had walked out of Big Wang village for quite some time but until now they had not even see any glimpse of human life.
Looking as far as she could, she only saw wilderness, there was no hill, the sky looked high and the grass grew long. Occasionally the wind blew over the meadow, the wild green grass rolled like waves, creating a nice scenery and also broadened one’s heart.
Zhou YiXian’s lazy voice was heard from beside, he said, “What are you looking at?”
Xiao Huan smiled and said, “Grandfather, when we passed by here a few days ago, because we were rushing for time so we didn’t have the luxury to take a good look at the surroundings. Today the weather is so good, look, the scenery is really not bad!”
Zhou YiXian looked at the open country beyond the ancient path and felt his spirits lifted but then he muttered to himself, “Isn’t it just wild grass? What is there to see, if it was made of gold then..”
“Grandfather!” Xiao Huan interrupted his words and stared at him peeved, she said, “You only think about money all the time and to say that your name still has the character, immortal, in it, so uncouth!”
“Uncouth?” Zhou YiXian ﬂared up, said, “You dare to say I am uncouth? Me this old man, an out-of-this-world master, a well-known all over the world living Buddha to thousands of families giving beneﬁts to the common people and bringing salvation to all living things…”
Xiao Huan stared at him. Zhou YiXian, under the bright eyes of his granddaughter, started to lower his volume and lost his stamina, until the end he raised his head and snorted, said, “How would you this young girl know how great your grandfather is?”
Xiao Huan [puchi] laughed out, shaking her head and looked elsewhere. Zhou YiXian, after being ridiculed by his granddaughter, felt depressed, sighed and said, “Why do I have to bump into you at that time, if I had known, I would have left you by the roadside and let you cry to your death!”
Xiao Huan stuck out her tongue, an innocent and adorable expression on her snow-white face, she smiled and said, “Isn’t that because grandfather has a good heart?”
Zhou YiXian gave Xiao Huan a stare, crossly said, “Good hearted my ass, I had raised you for so many years and you only vex me all the time!”
Xiao Huan was unafraid and even more not angry, it seemed like those words were said many times before. She walked to Zhou YiXian, her eyes rolling around and she suddenly said, “Yi, Grandfather! Why did you take me away at that time?” Zhou YiXian was surprised, actually he and Xiao Huan were used to being casual and would not really get angry but after listening to Xiao Huan’s question, it triggered some memories and his expression became melancholy, he gently sighed and said, “At that time in HeYang City, you were only a two, three years old girl who fainted beside the road and nearly dying from hunger, even your cries were hoarse, my heart softened and so I carried you up.”
He suddenly glared at Xiao Huan and said, “At that time you were so young but considered you were very smart, immediately you stopped crying and made me this old man thought I really had afﬁnity with you, since then I couldn’t abandon you.”
Xiao Huan made a cheeky face, tugged his clothes and endearingly smiled and said, “Isn’t this good hearted? In the future you will deﬁnitely have good karma. Ah! Look, all these years I have helped you to read fortune and also earned quite a bit for you right?”
Zhou YiXian subconsciously nodded, beamed and smiled, “Um, this is also true…” Suddenly he realized and his face changed, he angrily said, “What truth? Nonsense!” Xiao Huan covered her mouth and snickered, after a while she thought of something and said, “Mhm grandfather, then why were you at HeYang City at that time, isn’t it located at the foot of Qing Yun Hill? I remember that you have always been unwilling to go near there. These few years it seemed like only ten years ago, because of that Qing Yun disciple Zhang Xiao Fan, out of curiosity we went over to take a look but at that time we didn’t go too near too.”
Zhou YiXian’s expression turned slightly dark, he sighed and said, “Isn’t it all because of your that deceased father whom you never knew, his remains and spirit tablet are in HeYang City. That year on his death anniversary, I stayed at his grave for a long time and saw you once I came out to the road, I was grieving then and saw your pitiful state, so I decided to adopt you.”
Xiao Huan became quiet after hearing it and after a while she said, “Grandfather, speaking of which, we have again not visited dad for another ten years.”
Zhou YiXian counted and nodded, “That’s right, so fast and it’s another ten years.” He made a wry smile and said, “Alright, since for now we have nowhere to go, why don’t we go to HeYang City and pay a visit to your dad!”
Xiao Huan nodded and said, “Great!”
Zhou YiXian waved his hand and said, “Let’s go! This remote wild place makes one frustrated.”
Both of them walked ahead, Xiao Huan after all was still young and the matters were all past events, furthermore she had a lively personality and so very soon she moved on from that sad episode. While walking along, she admired the surrounding scenery and happened to turn back, she was startled and said, “Grandfather, look behind us.”
Zhou YiXian was stunned and curiously asked, “What is it?” and turned around to see.
Xiao Huan said, “That Wild Dog Taoist seems to be following us?” Zhou YiXian looked carefully and really, Wild Dog Taoist was followed them from afar, slowly walking and maintained a certain distance from them.
Now that they stopped and turned around, Wild Dog seemed to be surprised too and also stopped, he looked hesitant and slightly embarrassed and then stood at a side and turned to look up at the sky.
Zhou YiXian was suspicious and stared at him for a while more. He turned and pulled Xiao Huan to continue walking, at the same time he whispered, “Why did that fellow follow along?”
Xiao Huan was bewildered and said, “You ask me, who do I ask?”
Zhou YiXian held his breath for a moment and suddenly stared at Xiao Huan, “Unless that fellow has some lascivious thoughts and intend to do something indecent towards you?” Xiao Huan got a fright, her face instantly turned red and rebuked, “Grandfather, how can you say such things!”
Zhou YiXian snorted and said, “Why can’t I say it, in this world now the bad guys run rampant and beside you look beautiful, it is very hard to say!”
Xiao Huan gave him an angry stare and said, “Well to me! Although Wild Dog Taoist is from the Evil Sect and does not have a good reputation but I have never heard of him harming any girls but instead committing murder, arson, robbery in daylight, those I heard plenty.”
Zhou YiXian turned white and immediately became nervous, he said, “That fellow won’t be thinking of robbing us two paupers right?”
Xiao Huan humphed and said, “It’s hard to say, furthermore the silvers on you Grandfather, I’m afraid is much more than a pauper!” Zhou YiXian quickly lowered his voice and said, “Shh! Don’t say it too loud.” He looked around, frowned and said, “Not good, there is nobody here and it is a good place for robbery. We better get away fast?”
Xiao Huan was surprised and saw Zhou YiXian taking out a yellow paper amulet from his bosom, looked like he was going to execute his move, an escape from earth skill ‘Handed down secretly from Founder’ to ﬂee without a trace, she could not help but ﬁnd it funny and frustrating at the same time, she quickly held onto Zhou YiXian and said, “Grandfather, wait a while.”
Zhou YiXian looked behind and said, “That fellow followed us again, wait why wait?”
Xiao Huan smiled and said, “Grandfather, although this escape from earth skill is a secret art passed down by founder but you can’t control where we will appear after it is executed. I am telling you, we are still not far from the death marsh, if you unexpectedly headed inside there then we will really be dead and gone.” Zhou YiXian was stunned and stammered, “Our luck is not that bad right?”
Xiao Huan stared at him and said, “Do you feel your luck is good or bad?”
Zhou YiXian thought and then ﬁrmly said, “Bad!”
Xiao Huan smiled happily and said, “Then that concludes isn’t it, so we cannot take the risk.” She then went near Zhou YiXian, her eyes signalled to her own left hand and whispered, “Grandfather, you have forgotten that I still have a protective magical weapon from PingEr sister and besides, that Wild Dog Taoist isn’t any highly skilled Evil Faction guy, it will not be difﬁcult to deal with him.”
Zhou YiXian lowered his head and pondered, and then heaved a long sigh and said, “You are right, ai! I don’t know why these few days I keep feeling jumpy and ill-at-ease. Most likely I have seen too much highly-skilled cultivators in the death marsh and treated Wild Dog as one of them.” Xiao Huan smiled and said, “Besides, that Wild Dog Taoist doesn’t seems to be a bad person, didn’t he lend us his umbrella at that time?”
Zhou YiXian [pei] a sound and said, “What us, is lent to you, old man me was drenched almost half to death in the rain and you this girl actually still remained unconcerned, really unﬁlial.”
Xiao Huan stuck out her tongue, smiled and said, “Grandfather, I did pass it to you to shelter together but you yourself did not want.”
Zhou YiXian humphed again and strided forward, still grumbling, “Anyway you and that unﬁlial father are both the same, always making me angry, so disobedient!”
Xiao Huan smiled and shook her head, followed behind.
At the back part of the ancient path, Wild Dog Taoist seemed to hear laughter from ahead, he frowned and his expression changed but eventually he still followed them. Between Heaven and Earth, the wind blew over the wildlands, making a [wu wu] sound.
Walking for less than an hour, Zhou YiXian felt tired and pulled Xiao Huan, he said, “Rest a while.”
Xiao Huan nodded and saw a medium-sized bluestone near the road, went over and brushed it, she said, “Grandfather, come and sit over here!”
Zhou YiXian nodded and placed the bamboo pole with a white cloth banner with the words, ‘Immortal Guide’ slanted against the bluestone and sat down, he was feeling breathless and shook his head slightly, he said, “Why do I feel that recently my body is weaker, I have only walked for a while and I have already started to pant?”
Xiao Huan took out a water canteen from her bundle, she heard the words and a worry expression ﬂashed past her eyes, she walked over to Zhou YiXian and passed him the canteen and at the same time she said, “Grandfather, drink some water!” Zhou YiXian nodded, took the canteen and raised his head to drink a few mouthfuls, heaved a long sigh and then turned back to see, as expected there was still a human ﬁgure standing a distance away.
Zhou YiXian looked for a long while and suddenly laughed, ignoring that person and passed the canteen back to Xiao Huan. Unexpectedly just when he turned around he was taken aback, Xiao Huan sat beside him and without knowing since when, she was already happily eating a stick of bright red sugar-coated haw.
Zhou YiXian shook his head heavily, earnestly said, “I say Xiao Huan! Look at how old you are now, how can you still like a little girl, still love to eat this sugar-coated haw so much?”
Xiao Huan gently spited out a seed from a small haw at the roadside, smiled sweetly at Zhou YiXian and said, “But I like to eat it!”
Zhou YiXian was speechless, sighed and said, “Ten years ago at that HeYang City, there were so many cakes and snacks, why did I just have to go into that small alley beside the road and buy this sugar-coated haw for you?”
After speaking, he shook his head and sighed ceaselessly, Xiao Huan smiled and did not speak, gently savouring the gourmet food in her hand. Maybe it was because of the sugar- coated haw bright red exterior, her lips seemed to have a stain of bright red.
Zhou YiXian sat for a while and felt his strength returned, he was about to tell Xiao Huan to continue on, unexpectedly just when he turned his head, from the corner of his eyes he saw a pair of human legs appeared before him.
Zhou YiXian was shocked and thought, “Don’t tell me because we were inattentive for a moment, this Wild Dog fellow actually took the opportunity to sneak up, how dreadful is this? Seems like this young girl’s words cannot be easily believed, old man me have roam the world for hundred of years, don’t tell me today the turtle falls, the boat capsizes in the canal?” While he was imagining things and thought of calling Xiao Huan to stand up, suddenly he heard that person spoke in a gentle and calm voice, “Are you still reading fortune?”
Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan both stood up, raised their heads and saw a middle-aged guy standing in front of them. He had slender brows and a square-shaped face, a scholarly look with both eyes bright and piercing, his forehead was full and carried himself with a reﬁned but imposing demeanour. A suit of scholar robe, a light purple jade ornament hung from his waist, exquisitely carved and emitting a faint auspicious aura, very beautiful and obviously not a common item.
Just that the grey hairs at the side of his forehead looked incompatible with his face, turning him a few years older.
Zhou YiXian’s expression suddenly became weird, he stared hard at this person, under his sleeve where nobody could see, both of his hands were tightly clenched into ﬁsts. Only on his face, after the initial shock, an expression of agitation, relief and someone who had been through the adversities of life. Xiao Huan looked carefully at that man and then looked at her grandfather, she noticed something strange with Zhou YiXian’s expression and was about to say something when Zhou YiXian suddenly said, “Xiao Huan, go aside, wait until grandfather calls you over.”
Xiao Huan was surprised, this was something that had never happened before but looking at Zhou YiXian’s solemn face, he did not seem to be joking and both of them seemed to know each other, she acknowledged and turned back to pack her bundle and walked to the back.
While walking, she frequently turned her head back to look and saw her grandfather and that middle-aged guy were still facing each other and seemed not to have spoken at all. She felt worried as although it was the ﬁrst time she had seen that man but in that short period of time, she had inexplicably developed a fear of him, a feeling of dread in her heart.
Over the past ten over years, she was always with Zhou YiXian and yet never knew her grandfather actually knew such powerful person! While she was thinking in a trance, she didn’t realize that she had walked quite a distance and suddenly a shadow appeared in front of her, she quickly stopped and almost knocked into that person. She looked carefully and saw that it was Wild Dog Taoist, she quickly said, “Sorry Priest.”
Unexpectedly Wild Dog Taoist’s expression was also extremely weird, panic ﬂashed on his face and his eyes were staring straight ahead, full of fear.
Xiao Huan was surprised again, following his line of vision, it was that middle-aged man. Who exactly was that person that could make Wild Dog Taoist this afraid?
Xiao Huan mulled over it, she could not help but whispered to Wild Dog Taoist, “Priest, who is that person, do you know him?”
Wild Dog Taoist got a shock and seemed to regain his senses but the fear on his face did not fade, he looked at Xiao Huan beside him and stammered, “You don’t know him?” Xiao Huan nodded and said, “Yes! This is the ﬁrst time that I see this person but my grandfather seemed to know him. Oh right, do you know him? Who is he?”
Wild Dog Taoist’s lips moved and looked like he wanted to say something but he suddenly kept quiet and his eyes continued to stare straight at that middle-age man in front.
Xiao Huan frowned and felt there was something strange with Wild Dog Taoist’s reaction, although there was fear but now there seemed to be some anger too!
Zhou YiXian and that middle-aged man stood side by side, standing by the ancient path, looking towards the wildlands.
A light breeze blew over, the grey hairs at the sides of his forehead seemed to describe the years, the adversities of life.
“We have not met for many years isn’t it?” That middle-aged man suddenly indifferently said. Zhou YiXian looked far away, a mix of emotions on his face, after a long while he said, “Some decades I guess!”
That man smiled faintly, said, “Are you still well?”
Zhou YiXian was silent for a while and said, “Wandering about the ends of the world, life’s a game, it can’t be said it's good or bad.”
That man seemed to have some sentiments, turned and looked at Zhou YiXian, said, “Do you still blame me?”
Zhou YiXian laughed bitterly, shook his head and said, “It was not you who have let me down, why should I blame you?”
That man smiled and said, “Actually being in your situation is also not bad, letting go your heart, enjoying the world, come to think of it, it is also an immortal’s way of life, it also did not let the immortal character word in your name down.” Zhou YiXian looked at him and suddenly said, “If you want to live my kind of life, what is so difﬁcult about it, old friend?”
That man heard Zhou YiXian’s sudden mention of the word ‘old friend’ and was surprised but he smiled after that and looked far, he slowly said, “I am not the same as you.”
Zhou YiXian indifferently said, “You are naturally not the same as me, since young you have thirst for power and until today, I guess you still cannot let it go.”
That man frowned, anger seemed to ﬂash past deep inside his eyes, it seemed like no one had ever dared to speak to him like that but when he turned to look at Zhou YiXian, he saw his hair had turned all turned white and looked even older than him, suddenly he felt loss and that anger also dissipated.
“Why do you look so old?”
Zhou YiXian shook his head and said, “I am old but instead you, who have cultivated and by right should not…”He hesitated for a while but eventually said, “Your daughter’s incident, I have heard, you…”
That guy’s expression turned downcast and shook his head, interrupted Zhou YiXian’s words and said, “That time when we were still young, you had once under the Majestic Fox Mountain, used ‘The Big Dipper Divine Prediction’ to read my fortune, do you still remember?”
Zhou YiXian was stunned.
That guy raised his head and looked at the sky, slowly said, “I still remember it very clearly, you were full of vigour and were frank to me in everything, you said the deathly aura in my life was too strong and it would curse my wife and children, if there was no way to resolve it, in my midlife I would deﬁnitely lose my wife and have no children. Now it actually one after another came true.” while speaking, his voice gradually turned desolated.
Zhou YiXian bowed his head, after a long while, he suddenly raised his head and determinedly said, “Now that we both are almost halfway into our graves, I too have words to be truthful to you.”
That guy suspiciously said, “Go ahead.”
Zhou YiXian stared at him and said, “At that time when I said those words, it was all totally nonsensical stuffs to bluff you. Old man me have always been frustrated with these fortune- telling things, how would I have the patience to learn it. As for that The Big Dipper Divine Prediction, naturally it revealed something but how would I understand? So those words were just because you had such an arrogant face and I was feeling indignant so I deliberately said those words. Don’t dwell on it in your heart already!”
That guy’s body shook, he never expected such words from Zhou YiXian, after a long while, he suddenly shook his head and laughed loudly, his laughter rang loud and clear until he was bending over with laughter, where was the initial digniﬁed demeanour?
Far away, Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist both stared in shock. After a long while, that guy slowly stopped laughing and his expression gradually resumed its calmness and digniﬁed look but the anguish in his eyes seemed to increased.
Zhou YiXian quietly looked at him.
They stood side by side for another while, then Zhou YiXian indifferently said, “Why did you come here?”
That guy looked at him and said, “Don’t you always claim to be clever? What do you think?”
Zhou YiXian snorted and said, “You plan to go to the death marsh?”
That guy leisurely said, “That’s right, I am about to go there.
Why, don’t you want to go take a look? Old friend?”
Zhou YiXian smirked and said, “Your reputation is too bad, people will ﬁnd it weird if I travel with you. I better stay far from you.”
That guy looked at Zhou YiXian, suddenly laughed in spite of himself and said, “The ancient path to the end of the world, to be able to see an old friend it is also considered a rare afﬁnity. Today we meet, in the future we do not know when will we meet again, please take good care of yourself.”
Zhou YiXian snorted and said, “Old man me is living well and has no intention of dying, instead it's you who have enemies more than the foxes on the Majestic Fox Mountain, better think for yourself!”
Xiao Huan stood beside the road and waited for a long time, suddenly she saw her grandfather and that man walking over together and quickly went up to meet them and walked over to her grandfather’s side. That middle-aged man looked at Xiao Huan and then looked at Wild Dog Taoist who was behind.
Wild Dog Taoist’s face changed and he slowly lowered his head. That man looked at him for a while and suddenly said, “You are the Wild Dog Taoist who followed Ghost Li?”
The fear expression on Wild Dog Taoist’s face deepened, he hesitated for moment and in a low voice said, “Yes.”
Xiao Huan stood beside Zhou YiXian and could not help but quietly asked Zhou YiXian, “Grandfather, who is he?”
Before Zhou YiXian could reply, that middle-aged man seemed to be able to catch even this soft voice, turned and smiled, “Why, young lady don’t know me?”
Xiao Huan was shocked and shook her head in perplexity.
That man smiled and said, “Just call me Wan RenWang!”
Xiao Huan was stunned. That man looked deeply at Zhou YiXian, suddenly ﬂung his sleeve, turned and strided, never turned back. In his stride there was an air of disdain, gradually radiating.
The people behind him, saw his ﬁgure walking along the ancient path towards the death marsh, they suddenly heard that man sang loudly, “The road to the end of the world, has always been far. The lovers’ thoughts, have always been foolish. The tall sky and broad sea of eight thousands zhangs, all mortal beings crawl beneath it. The thousands stars, the bright ﬁrst moon, the Heaven is cold, as cold as frost. It is laughable all living things are like straw dogs, Laughing at all living things as straw dogs, who for the tricks that produce the rain and who for the clouds?...”
[(as researched online) The song has a meaning of mocking the ignorant humans who like straw dogs can only wait for death in face of natural calamities and nobody can play any tricks before disasters.
Straw dogs are offered as sacrifices to gods or ancestors during ancient times and thrown after the ceremony]
The voice was crude, although not gentle or soothing to the ears but it had a feeling of force within the desolation of the singing. They saw under the sky, on the ancient path, the free clouds and the lonely wildlands, that man clasping his hands behind, walked, an indescribable stubborn and intractable disposition. The singing gradually faded, that person had already gone far away.
Chapter 102 - Mysterious Snake
The wind blew over, the numerous ﬂowers swayed together.
Lu XueQi expressionlessly stood among the sea of ﬂowers, silently looking at Ghost Li who was facing her.
Faint delicate fragrance, soundlessly drifted.
Ghost Li lightly shrugged, Xiao Hui [sou] jumped down from his shoulder, looked at its owner with wide eyes and also glanced at Lu XueQi who was opposite, it scratched its head and ran off by itself to a side.
Ghost Li’s gaze landed on the tall and big stone door behind Lu XueQi, suddenly smiled and said, “This is what we are looking for?”
Lu XueQi stood before the door, she did not smile nor speak, only her face was slightly pale, what exactly was she thinking in her heart? Ghost Li slowly walked up, faintly said, “I want the thing that is inside…”
Tian Ya Celestial Sword like autumn waters [Translator’s note: like the eyes of a beautiful woman], horizontally between him and her, reﬂecting both of their images, wavering slightly.
Ghost Li stopped in his steps.
Lu XueQi unhurriedly lifted her head, her face as pale as frost but she looked even more like an unworldly Nine Heavens fairy, extremely delicate and beautiful, even the words that she was saying now also carried a bone-penetrating coldness, “I will not let the Evil Sect get their hands on this rare treasure and harm even more innocent people.”
Ghost Li looked at her, deeply, looked at her. That girl still looked as cold and beautiful as before, time never left any of its traces on her, just that, what about her heart?
He had changed, deep inside this girl’s heart, had it also changed too?
He suddenly laughed out and then the smile in his eyes slowly turned cold. He smiled and said, “Is it? Then that is unfortunate, I intend to take this unknown rare treasure and kill even more people!”
Lu XueQi’s body trembled, she stared hard at this guy in front of her and did not speak anymore, just that the hand that was holding Tian Ya, tightened.
From far, suddenly a faint sound of roar was heard. That sound came from the haze below them and seemed to be very far away, it sounded like some wild beast.
After a moment, both Ghost Li and Lu XueQi felt a light vibration coming from the sky-towering gigantic tree below their feet.
Ghost Li and Lu XueQi’s expressions changed at the same time, this gigantic tree was huge beyond their imagination and could be compared to an ordinary mountain or even bigger. Not to mention shaking this tree, even the thought of causing it to vibrate was unthinkable.
Both of them were not ordinary ﬁgures, there was no way that they would not detect the movement below their feet. Obviously in the haze below, a sudden unforeseen event with an unknown great force shook this tree.
With such thought, both of them with their quick-thinking, assumed this event most likely had something to do with the Celestial Emperor Treasury.
And at this moment, the ﬁrst ray of sunlight from across the horizon, shone over horizontally and onto the sea of ﬂowers, about three chi before the stone door. Ghost Li’s ﬁgure moved but Lu XueQi’s bright eyes ﬂashed, the Tian Ya Celestial Sword horizontally in front of her chest, went across and blocked in front of that Celestial Emperor Treasury door.
Ghost Li stared, red light seemed to ﬂash in his eyes, he lowered his voice and said, “I do not wish to ﬁght with you, move aside.”
Lu XueQi looked straight into his eyes and had no intention of moving, she indifferently said, “If you kill me, you can go over.”
The red light in Ghost Li’s eyes surged, suddenly a sound of long howl, he ﬂew up. Green light surrounded him, the force swift and ﬁerce.
Lu XueQi’s face was as cold as frost, Tian Ya Sword rose up into the air, she suddenly coldly said, “Since you have joined the Evil Faction, why do you still use the skills from Qing Yun Sect?” Ghost Li in the mid-air, the Sinister Orb on top of the Soul- Absorbing stick in his hand shone brightly with red light, even his eyes were also bright red, the murderous energy increased exponentially and he shouted, “So what if it’s Qing Yun skills, so what if it’s Evil Sect sorcery, I use it all the same to kill people and take lives, what can you do?”
In the sharp whistle, that sheet of red light mixed with the clear light, struck down from the top.
Anger ﬂashed past Lu XueQi’s eyes, refusing to yield even the slightest, Tian Ya Celestial Sword met the attack in the air, the two world’s supreme rare weapons collided with a crash!
A loud sound, Ghost Li’s body soared up, Lu XueQi on the tree trunk was also forced back a few steps, her face turned a few shades of pale. But this cool and cold girl, her arched brows frowned and her body rose up with the sword, with Tian Ya Celestial Sword in front of her chest as the center, the resplendent blue light instantly diffused out. She within the sword’s light, was even more incomparably elegant and beautiful.
“Ten years ago that battle, it was me who lost!” She in the mid-air, stared at Ghost Li in front of her, word by word she unhurriedly spoke. At the same time the Tian Ya Celestial Sword urged by her skills, the resplendent blue light became stronger and stronger, as if even the sunlight in the sky was also being forced to recede.
“Ten years later, let me consult you again, you who are the only one currently with Buddhism, Taoism and Evil, the three schools of true ways in your body!”
Ghost Li laughed loudly and said, “Your memory is quite good!”
With no hesitation, the Soul-Absorbing stick suddenly rotated in front of him, waves of clear lights, his left hand continuously drew strange drawings of formulas, immediately a clear dazzling Tai Ji picture appeared in front of him, it was the authentic Qing Yun Sect Tai Ji Xuan Qing Taoism skill. Lu XueQi saw it and turned colder, a clear whistle, Tian Ya Celestial Sword’s light intensity increased, when her wrists turned, immediately that Tian Ya looked like it had grown ten times bigger, chopped towards Ghost Li.
Ghost Li’s face changed slightly, he himself had spent a considerable effort to train on this Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way, just with this sword’s might from Lu XueQi, he knew that in these ten years, her skills had advanced by leaps and bounds. In that year of Qing Yun Sect younger generation, for sure nobody was able to easily use the sword light to form Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way to such pure state and with such powerful might. It was only once during his youth when he saw his teacher Tian BuYi used it while discipling QiHao and the then Tian BuYi’s attainments at that time on Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way had already reached ‘Shang Qing Realm’.
And right now looking at what Lu XueQi casually cleaved over, the sword tip’s light was like a mountain, the blue light swift and ﬁerce like a knife, its might was like toppling the mountain and overturning the sea. It was not inferior in any aspects as compared to the Tian BuYi at that time, these ten years the speed at which her skills advanced was really inconceivable! Just that even though her aptitude excelled the rest but Ghost Li with three schools of amazing skills, cultivated hard day and night for these ten years, how would he be just average?
Right now Ghost Li, facing that mountain-like sword tip, raised both arms, the Tai Ji image in front of him suddenly spinned rapidly, its speed increased and shielded in front of him.
[Si!] a sharp sound, like the all-conquering sword tip was forcibly stopped by this Tai Ji image but that blue light became even more stronger, the clear light glimmered and the brilliant light shone between them, it was truly beautiful but everyone knew knew, if one was not careful and was hit by this type of sword tip’s clear light which contained the powerful force of the Taoism true way, it would be either be death or injury.
In the light, Ghost Li breathed out loud. [boom] a mufﬂed sound, Tian Ya Celestial Sword ﬂew back and that Tai Ji image ﬂickered a few times and disappeared into the air. Ghost Li [Hei] a sound, looked at Lu XueQi, a faint admiration in his eyes but soon covered by the red light, he said, “As expected amazing, using only ten years and you can actually break through and reach the Shang Qing Realm, I’m afraid Qing Ye founder at that time did not have such achievements?”
Lu XueQi hovered in mid air, her clothes ﬂuttered, the moment her hand gestured with the sword formula, Tian Ya Sword immediately stopped, the blue light ﬂourished again and was even more brilliant, at the same time she was secretly shocked. These ten years her skills improved radically, even though her aptitude excelled others but mainly it was because she trained painstakingly hard and almost could be described as unreasonable. As for the reason on why she disregard everything and trained so hard, and even her teacher Shui Yue Master also could not take it and tried to persuade her a few times, the reasons behind was not some outsiders could understand.
The arduous cultivation path and with her exceptional gifted intelligence, ﬁnally half a year ago, it allowed her, among the Qing Yun Sect younger generation, to be the ﬁrst to make a breakthrough and reached the Shang Qing Realm. Ever since a thousand years ago, she was the next fastest person to reach this realm after Qing Ye founder. With her current cultivation level, in Qing Yun Sect other than the various elder sect leaders, most likely she was leading. Even the one who had always been known as the number one among the younger disciples, Xiao YiCai, most likely would also be slightly inferior to her.
But even though it was so, when she was dueling with Ghost Li just now, this ordinary Qing Yun disciple who was known as Zhang Xiao Fan initially, his skills were actually comparable to her. That move to conjure the Tai Ji image was skilful and experienced and it blocked her sword which had Shang Qing Realm power. And in it, the underlying energy was turbulent, waves after waves it gushed over, strong and solid and it seemed like it was from Buddhism but looking at his techniques, it was obviously the hand gestures for Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way formula.
Has this man ﬁnally on the cultivation road, walked out a road that no one has walked before?
Both of them looked at each other, their stares gradually turned sharp and brighter but just at this moment, an extremely deafening roar travelled up from the haze with a rumble! The sound was so ﬁerce and thunderous, with Ghost Li and Lu XueQi’s cultivation, they actually felt slightly dizzy too and almost at the same time, the trunk under their feet suddenly quaked.
Like, the solid big earth suddenly shook violently, almost like an earthquake.
[Zi zi, Zi zi!] a series of shrieks, it was the monkey Xiao Hui who was lying beside that Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door and got a fright from the sudden quake, it cried out while clutching the vines beside the door.
Without waiting for Ghost Li and Lu XueQi to react, the direction from where they had came, four ﬁgures suddenly appeared and ﬂying swiftly over. One person was in the front and three were at the back, in a blink of an eye they were already near. Lu XueQi and Ghost Li both looked over and were shocked.
And the four people who were pursuing all the way suddenly discovered there were people before them and were also shocked, they all stopped in spite of themselves. The four people were all familiar ﬁgures. The only person in front was an alluring and charming young lady, it was the Evil Sect HeHuan Sect Jin PingEr and behind her were all Good Faction men, not only Lu XueQi knew them, even Ghost Li also knew them.
Fa Xiang, Zeng ShuShu and the one who suddenly stopped in his tracks in shock, his eyes never once left Ghost Li - Lin JingYu!
The place suddenly turned silent.
Ghost Li looked at them, Fa Xiang and the rest had complicated expressions on their faces, as if happiness, shock, the various expressions one by one ﬂashed over.
Jin PingEr’s eyes swept the scene, with Ghost Li’s power and authority in Ghost King Sect, naturally his origin was well studied by Jin PingEr. Regarding the past entanglements that Ghost Li had with the Good Faction people who were there, more or less she knew a little. Looking at the situation now, she hesitated slightly, her footsteps were already quietly moving towards Ghost Li and she stood together with him.
Over at the Good Faction side, Fa Xiang and Lu XueQi saw Jin PingEr’s movement, both frowned slightly but they still did not speak.
Breaking the silence was instead Lin JingYu who was standing the furthest away.
In his eyes, he seemed not to have noticed Jin PingEr at all, only the past Zhang Xiao Fan stood in front of him. He slowly walked up a few steps, his lips moved, it seemed like speaking was also difﬁcult for him.
“Are...are you still doing well?”
Ghost Li slowly looked away and did not meet him in the eye, facing Lin JingYu, without knowing why, he suddenly dared not look into his childhood good friend’s eyes. Lin JingYu saw Ghost Li’s face and seemed more agitated, his voice seemed to turn hoarse, “Xiao Fan, you…”
Ghost Li’s body trembled, he lifted his head in spite of himself and a familiar face met his eyes, in there there was not a single trace of hostility, only emotions and joy.
“JingYu…” his voice rough.
Lin JingYu for the past ten years, trained and cultivated at Qing Yun Hill Founders Ancestral Hall and had numerous times imagined the scenario where he and Zhang Xiao Fan again reunited, he had also countless of times questioned himself, how should he face Zhang Xiao Fan who had joined the Evil?
Is it Evil and Good irreconcilable, to draw swords to determine life and death?
Or try his might to persuade him to come back to the Good Faction? But today when they ﬁnally met, he could not even say a word. The past times, scene by scene quietly came up into his heart, until the very end, it was very obvious what determined it was not Qing Yun Hill, not wielding the sword to ﬂy, not across the world unhindered but two childhood good friends, in that dilapidated grass temple, running about laughing heartily!
Time like sand, had it ever erase the most precious thing in your heart?
The childhood friend, the once brothers, after ten years, was standing in front of him.
Stepping one foot forward, Lin JingYu’s face showed agitations that he had never shown before and even Ghost Li was visibly moved by it, his body wavered slightly.
Or maybe, inside Ghost Li’s heart, he was also as agitated?
Jin PingEr stood beside Ghost Li frowned slightly, naturally she was not interested in the sentiments between these two brothers but looking at the current situation, the Good Faction seemed to have more numbers on their side, if Ghost Li was going to have any problem now, she might be on her own.
She coughed, smiled and said, “Ah! Ghost Li gongzi, didn’t expect that you will reach here earlier than us, I wonder if that rare treasure is already in your hands?”
Once the words were out, Lin JingYu and Ghost Li both were shocked, Fa Xiang and Zeng ShuShu also looked towards Lu XueQi at the same time, Lu XueQi slowly shook her head, they then felt relieved.
A simple question and it could abruptly pulled them back to reality, Ghost Li brieﬂy closed his eyes and when he opened them the next moment, it had an indistinct ﬂash of red light, his eyes also turned sharp. He looked at Lin JingYu deeply and ﬁnally turned and did not look at him again, instead he stepped back and stood side by side with Jin PingEr.
Jin PingEr smiled, her eyes lucid like water, her glances wandered about and seemed to be pouring it all onto Ghost Li, she gently said, “Are you still doing ﬁne?” Ghost Li snorted and said, “You and I temporarily join forces, how about it?”
Jin PingEr immediately said, “Good, after this matter, we will then discuss.”
Ghost Li glanced at her and nodded, only in a short time, these two people had already foresaw that this situation would not be easily to handle and immediately decided to join hands.
Ghost Li indifferently said, “Don’t your HeHuan Sect has many skilled experts? How come only you entered the inner marsh and instead let them gain advantage?”
Jin PingEr glanced at Fa Xiang and the rest, her face actually turned slightly red with embarrassment, looking even more endearing, she softly said, “Our HeHuan Sect is a small branch sect, I’m afraid if I bring more in, those people out there will all suddenly die without reason.”
She smiled and looked at Ghost Li, said, “Instead Ghost King Sect has always been a crouching tiger hidden dragon [Translator’s note: conceal your talents], how come other than a grey fur monkey, there is no one else beside gongzi?”
Ghost Li heard the hidden sarcasm in her words and indifferently said, “We are the same, I bring more in, I’m afraid the forces outside will be swallowed by your HeHuan Sect and Wan Du Clan.”
This time the Evil Sect three big powerful sects came to the West in force, on the surface everyone collaborated to get rid of Chang Shen Hall but on the sly they were all plotting and scheming, catching and guarding against each other. As the three big sects were impeding each other, they did not dare to deploy much of their highly-skilled disciples and this instead let the Good Faction gain advantage.
Zeng ShuShu stood afar, his heart was also feeling agitated. Previously on Qing Yun Hill, he had always been on good terms with Zhang Xiao Fan and could be considered the next good friend with Zhang Xiao Fan other than Lin JingYu. Sadly fate was such and it actually turned into the situation today, he could not help but feel pained in his heart. He had the intention to speak with Ghost Li, no matter whether it worked or not, he wanted to let this friend come back to Good Faction again. Just that for a moment, his sight landed onto Jin PingEr’s face, suddenly his heart jumped. He felt that the girl was like a peach blossom, extremely alluring, a pair of bright eyes that glimmered like deep waters, that eyes looked back at him and indistinctly it seemed to speak, staring at himself.
He took a few glances, immediately he felt a sound of collision inside his head, as if he was drunk and he only wanted to be drunk inside that girl’s eyes, he could not help but took a step forward.
Suddenly a shout cut off, like the evening drum and morning bell in a monastery, suddenly rang out beside his ear. Fa Xiang’s pale blue monk robe moved and he suddenly appeared in front of him, blocked off Jin PingEr’s gaze and at the same time made a subdue-demon roar at Zeng ShuShu. Zeng ShuShu got a shock and regained his senses, immediately he felt cold sweat all over his body and kept muttering his thanks to Fa Xiang, he secretly cursed in his heart, “This Evil Faction sorceress is really scary!”
Fa Xiang’s expression was grim, he turned around and stared at Jin PingEr. Jin PingEr had already fought with them before coming up and she knew that although this Fa Xiang Monk appeared young but he already truly had the Tian Yin Temple Buddhism cultivation skills, her bewitching skill had no effect on him. Most likely this person’s self-control was too profound and would not be affected by these external inﬂuences, immediately she smiled and did not say anything.
Fa Xiang frowned and looked back at Zhang Xiao Fan, facing Zhang Xiao Fan, his expression was not that calm. His usual placid and benevolence face had an indistinct guilty expression, after hesitating for moment, he quietly said, “Zhang junior brother…”
Ghost Li suddenly coldly interrupted, “I am called Ghost Li and have no other name.” Fa Xiang held his breath, Zeng ShuShu who was behind could not contain anymore and called out, “Xiao Fan, don’t be like this, all of us still treat you as…”
Fa Xiang suddenly waved his hand and blocked off Zeng ShuShu’s words, at the same time he quietly said, “Zeng junior brother, some words you should not carelessly say it, if your Qing yun seniors know about it, I’m afraid there might be trouble.”
Zeng ShuShu was startled, looked at Ghost Li again but eventually shut his mouth.
Fa Xiang turned over, he looked like he still wanted to say something to Ghost Li but at this moment, the gigantic tree suddenly shook violently again. This time the tremors were very strong and far exceeded the previous one, everyone could see that the tree was shaking in the air, at the same time they could not ﬁnd their footing and stumbled for a while.
Everyone turned pale at the same time. Almost at the same time, another earth-shattering roar came from the haze below, like some ferocious beast crying out at the sky, that invisible sound waves actually turned into a violent gale, surged up from below and caused everyone’s clothes to ﬂap around loudly.
And in the roar, a strange [si si] sound accompanied it. A sound like a poisonous snake crawling and also like a rope brushing against something reverberated between Heaven and Earth, it became louder and louder, nearer and nearer.
Jin PingEr suddenly exclaimed, “Oh no it’s that beast, it actually came up!”
Everyone, except Ghost Li and Lu XueQi, turned pale.
Ghost Li abruptly turned his head but saw Jin PingEr’s pale face, he was surprised. Although she was more of an enemy than a friend but he knew Jin PingEr was actually not someone to be underestimated. And while they were working together to exterminate Chang Shen Hall a few days ago, in between chats, she was someone whose thoughts were cautious and meticulous, and her methods ruthless and cruel, she was really not someone easy to deal with.
But right now there and then, even her face seemed to have fear.
In the air, suddenly it had a smell of blood accompanying that gradually louder sounds, like the footsteps of a monster echoing in their hearts, turning thicker and thicker.
“What is this thing…”
Ghost Li was halfway asking when suddenly he stopped, his eyes staring straight ahead. Then subconsciously he looked to the side, there, a white-like-snow attired Lu XueQi, without knowing why, also suddenly looked at him.
The clear sky, the direction from where the gigantic branch tree stretched over, initially it still had quite an amount of thin, ﬂoating clouds but suddenly it seemed to have two balls of burning gigantic ﬁre ﬂames. Dark sea green ﬂames!
In the ﬂames, were two thin and long vertical deep pupils, glimmering with cold light.
The bloody smell in the air, suddenly grew very much stronger and made one felt like vomiting upon smelling it.
Ghost Li, for an unknown reason, his body trembled slightly, after a long while, he watched as it slowly became clearer, that slowly emerging gigantic beast ahead, that unimaginable gigantic beast.
His voice turned hoarse, as if reliving the past, using only the voice that he could hear, he mumbled, “Black Water Mystical Viper, Black Water Mystical Viper…”
Chapter 103 - Yellow Bird
The tree shook even more violently, with the Black Water Mystical Viper’s enormous body on it, even this unfathomable sky-towering strange tree seemed to tremble too.
It seemed to be a ferocious beast from the ancient times, the Black Water Mystical Viper used its mammoth body to wrap around the trunk and left a ruin of leaves and branches in its wake and the strange vines ﬂowers withered and crushed. It swaggered ahead, the human species in front of it were like ants, not even worth bothering.
Lu XueQi’s face looked slightly pale, she stepped forward, her eyes still staring at that approaching ancient gigantic beast, she quietly asked Zeng ShuShu, “What happened?”
Sweat appeared on Zeng ShuShu’s forehead, he said, “When we were below just now, we suddenly saw this terrible beast. With just our current level of cultivation, naturally we could only run. But at that time it did not seem to mind us and appeared to be looking for something, so it left very quickly. Unexpectedly it actually, actually crawl up here.” Everyone looked at each other, even though they were all cultivators and different from the common people but the strength of a human was limited, especially in front of this extremely horrible gigantic beast, any efforts made would be laughable.
At the critical moment where the Black Water Mystical Viper was nearing, Jin PingEr suddenly exclaimed, “Oh no, this beast seem to be coming for the thing inside the Celestial Emperor Treasury.”
Everyone’s expressions changed.
Ghost Li frowned slightly, his face was expressionless. He suddenly recalled while in the miasma wall when he ﬁrst entered into the inner marsh, he once encountered an inconceivable-sized beast but due to the miasma, he was unable to see it clearly. Just that since then, he had a familiar sense of feeling towards the special bloody smell in the atmosphere and as seen today, what he had encountered that day was actually this Black Water Mystical Viper. Watching the Black Water Mystical Viper’s continuous approach, the mammoth black body causing the tree trunk to shake unceasingly and almost made one worry if this tree might collapse under its weight. And its massive head high up, the bright red forked tongue under its fangs, ﬂicked unceasingly, it growled softly towards the direction of the Celestial Emperor Treasury, appearing to be very excited.
Right now, anyone could see that this enormous beast’s goal, was indeed the item located inside that Celestial Emperor Treasury behind them.
Ghost Li turned back and looked at that Celestial Emperor Treasury, that thick solid door had not move the slightest. The spot of sunlight which shone in the sea of ﬂowers before it, had now shifted to the door, the four big ancient seal characters, ‘Celestial Emperor Treasury’, glinted in the sunlight.
Fa Xiang watched as that enormous snake body like a small mountain, came nearer and nearer, he sighed softly and turned swiftly around and spoke to the rest, “This Black Water Mystical Viper is an ancient demonic beast and is not what a human can ﬁght against, we are deﬁnitely not its match so let’s not force ourselves, we better quickly leave.” Actually everyone knew this fact, Zeng ShuShu, Lin JingYu and the rest nodded, Jin PingEr on the other side humphed and showed her unwillingness but looking at her expression, she was getting ready to leave.
Everyone started to wield their magical weapon and prepared to disperse, Ghost Li’s hand started to glow with dark green light and he was about to turn back and call Xiao Hui who was still hiding beside the stone door, when at this moment, suddenly above the Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door, a mufﬂed rumbling sound was heard.
At that moment, it was exactly where that sunlight across the horizon, shone onto the uppermost horizontal stroke of the Celestial character in the four ancient seal words, ‘Celestial Emperor Treasury’.
Almost at the same time, the Black Water Mystical Viper suddenly sped up, it swiftly climbed up while growling at the same time. For a moment, everyone panicked, Jin PingEr, Zeng ShuShu, Lin JingYu, Fa Xiang etc all ﬂew up ﬁrst. In the air, the pungent smell of blood assaulted the nose, a violent gale started to blow from nowhere, cutting across their faces like knives.
Ghost Li suddenly turned and leapt back, ﬂying towards the Celestial Emperor Treasury, Fa Xiang and the rest who were already in the air were all shocked. Turning back to look, the Black Water Mystical Viper appeared agitated and infuriated, its huge eyes widened and wisps of black gas seemed to shoot out from its mouth, its enormous body twisted and moved continuously and it looked like it would soon reach the Celestial Emperor Treasury entrance.
The Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door which appeared huge to the humans, right now was only more or less the size of that Black Water Mystical Viper’s head.
Ghost Li in the air, felt darkness suddenly behind him and that darkness was like toppling the mountain and overturning the sea, charging towards himself. Without turning his head, he knew that the Black Water Mystical Viper’s enormous body was just behind him. He turned into a stream of green light, in front of this enormous beast, like lightning, ﬂying towards that stone door.
Ahead of him, the monkey Xiao Hui suddenly shrieked!
A dark shadow smashed down, the huge gust of wind was so ﬁerce, even before it touched his body, it could actually blew Ghost Li’s body to the side.
Ghost Li felt alarmed but right now he was already no longer that youth in the Forsaken Abyss, in an instant he moved with his thoughts, as if he had eyes behind his back, he steered the Soul-Absorbing stick from the crushing Black Water Mystical Viper’s body and escaped by a hair’s breath.
Right now, the sound of the Celestial Emperor stone door gradually became louder, together with the rumbling sound, an originally perfect piece of huge stone door, under the sunlight, a crack suddenly appeared in the middle and slowly moved away to the side. A gold dazzling light, from that crack, burst forth. Even though it was daylight but it was so resplendent and hard to view it directly, even the sun which was slowly ascending in the horizon also seemed dim in comparison.
There seemed to be something howling within the Celestial Emperor Treasury, roaring within the golden light!
The entire Black Water Mystical Viper body suddenly turned taut, making an earth-shattering howl, it disregarded everything else and its massive snake head charged directly towards the Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door.
And between it and the stone door, that stream of green light seemed to be one step earlier than it, looked like it was going to enter that Celestial Emperor Treasury…
If, without that resplendent autumn-waters-like Tian Ya Celestial Sword.
A screen of blue light had already reached towards Ghost Li’s head, condensed to form an enormous light sword and cleaved down. The red light in Ghost Li’s eyes surged, the stone door was just in front of him but if he did not block this light sword, most likely he would be cleaved into half on the spot. He had no choice, the green light reversed and ﬂew up towards the sky, the blue and green light, in the approaching threatening black shadow, clashed violently. Immediately, invisible energy waves propagated in all four directions, even Jin PingEr and the rest who were in the air were shocked at it.
Even though the force was such powerful but for that Black Water Mystical Viper and the strange golden light in the Celestial Emperor Treasury, they were not affected at all. The dazzling golden light increasing in its intensity, the Black Water Mystical Viper too charged over, this guy and girl, in the turbulent changing perilous scene, still holding on bitterly, both refusing to give way.
Until, both were covered totally in their magical weapons’ lights, their faces turned paler and paler but the most important was, in this ﬂint-spark moment, the enormous black shadow, arrived before them.
The cultivated human’s magical weapons, activated by their internal energy, collided with the Black Water Mystical Viper, vanished like smoke into the thin air.
Lu XueQi and Ghost Li were thrown forward at the same time, Ghost Li felt the turmoil of blood and energy in his chest and a ringing sound in his head, his entire body’s energy channels seemed to turned upside down by that powerful collision with the Black Water Mystical Viper. A mouthful of blood was stuck in his chest, if not for Tian Yin Temple’s Great Brahman Wisdom in his body protecting his heart and circulating rapidly at the same time, blocking and dissipating the external force layer by layer. If not he would be spitting out blood immediately.
But even though it was so, he still felt severe pain in his entire body, he wondered how many bones were broken. He in the air, suddenly forced himself to turn his head and looked at Lu XueQi.
That cold and cool girl seemed to be worse, on her snow- white dress, blood stains on her chest, beside her lips on her pale face, blood trickled down, it appeared she had already coughed out blood. Qing Yun Sect’s skills although were ingenious but on shielding the body and strengthening the heart aspect, Buddhism Great Brahman Wisdom ranked higher.
The Good Faction people hovering in the air were all staring in shock, the events happened in an instant and before they could react, Lu XueQi had already stopped Ghost Li and in the next moment, both were hit and thrown forward by the Black Water Mystical Viper, looking at their ﬁgures, most likely they were hurt badly.
Lu XueQi was after all a Qing Yun disciple, and needless to say, Ghost Li was still that Zhang Xiao Fan and had close connections with that group of people. With this change of event, the Good Faction reacted and immediately ﬂew over, although they could not hold back the ancient evil beast Black Water Mystical Viper but they hoped to provide some assistance to the two of them.
At the same time Jin PingEr quietly ﬂew to the other side but under the Black Water Mystical Viper shadow, her pair of bright eyes were instead concentrating on that dazzling golden light from the Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door, her bright eyes gleaming. Far ahead, the sun which was just coming up, rose a little more.
Under the sunlight, from that uppermost stroke of the Celestial character, it shifted up a little.
Suddenly, the stone door which was opened halfway, about three chi wide, stopped moving and after a moment it actually started to close up and that golden light gradually dimmed.
Ghost Li, although his body was on the point of breaking but he and Lu XueQi were still conscious, just that the collision force from the Black Water Mystical Viper was too great and within the short time, he was unable to control his body and it looked like he was going to crash into the solid thick stone door. With the speed at which he was going, even with three schools of true ways protecting his body, he would also most probably still be smashed into pieces.
And the scary part was, that stone door, was in the process of closing up with a mufﬂed groaning sound. A distance away, it seemed like from the mid-air, cries of alarms came from Lin JingYu and the rest!
Ghost Li’s mind, in that instant, suddenly felt like in a trance, indistinctly there seemed to be a girl dressed in light green, under the blue sky, smiling at him. Just that, for some reason, her smile was blurred.
Time, in this instant, seemed to slow down suddenly.
His body was still turning in the air, he saw the savage- looking Black Water Mystical Viper which had arrived behind him, saw the solid stone door closing in front of him, and also, saw that beside him, the white-attired girl who also like him, ﬂying without control in the air.
He suddenly felt an urge to ask Lu XueQi, what was it for, that she would risk her life and still insisted on stopping him?
[Zi zi, zi zi!] a sound that seemed to be next to his ear, Xiao Hui’s shrieks woke him, Xiao Hui had ran to that stone door crevice and was jumping up and down in urgency, shrieking loudly and right then, the opening of the stone door crevice was already less than two chi.
Watching helplessly, about to smash onto that stone door.
Watching helplessly, about to end this life.
Watching helplessly, the blue sky and white clouds, pressing down on him.
If, giving up…
He gritted his teeth, using his last bit of strength, turned his body around slightly and in that instant, the corner of his eyes saw what was ahead, that crevice was directly facing him.
Maybe, he could escape from the gates of hell? He sighed in relief, as if like he was going to die, not a single bit of strength left in him.
The harsh sound of the wind, he suddenly felt that, someone was watching him.
He raised his eyes.
Lu XueQi, had already regained conscious and was beside him, looking at the direction of her fall, it was for sure that she would smash onto the solid stone door. But, for some reason, on this delicate and beautiful girl’s face, there was no sign of fear at all.
In this moment where it felt like the sky and earth were spinning around, in this critical moment of life and death, her body involuntarily heading towards death but on her face, not a single trace of grief, not a single trace of fear.
Like a night-blooming cereus, her ﬁgure embellished with dark red blood, among the alarmed cries far away, before Ghost Li, no, the then Zhang Xiao Fan, she suddenly smiled. The pale smile had a gentleness not seen before, in this piercingly cold wind, her lips parted slightly and closed, gazing at the person beside her.
There were four words, traversing through the wind, past the blood and as if even through the times, pacing lightly between the ten years, then, lingered beside his ear and reverberated deep inside his heart.
“You, come back…”
x x x
She closed her eyes, her body seemed to sink suddenly, soon, she would leave him, it seems like the last bit of her strength also disappeared with that four words.
Black hair lifted up by the wind, slightly covered one side of her fair face, that girl drifted with the wind, at the corner of her mouth, there seemed to still have a faint smile. But what was it, that reverberated deep inside the heart, such burning emotions? Like a raging ﬂood bursting through all obstacles, everything else in the world could disappear but right now right here, that white ﬁgure.
How could it give up?
How could it abandon?
A low hoarse cry in his throat, he struggled in inexplicable tears, in the ﬁerce biting wind he struggled, to stretch out his hand, stretched out his hand, stretched out his hand…
Tightly, held on!
Just like ten years ago, beside Forsaken Abyss, in the rain of stones, that white-attired girl ran to him without a care and grabbed his hand.
Tightly, held on… Before his last bit of conscious slipped away, he used all of his strength to pull that girl towards himself.
Ahead, the crevice with only one chi of gap, the golden light behind the stone door had vanished totally, leaving only darkness.
A faint warm, in his palm.
He closed his eyes, the vast darkness, like ten years ago, drowned over them, swallowed them.
x x x
The stone door closed with a bang, at that last moment, Xiao Hui following its master, also slipped in.
And immediately after which, the enormous stone door once again, with a loud sound, became whole and that crack in the middle suddenly vanished. [Bang!] The Black Water Mystical Viper’s massive snake head pounded onto the stone door, the force was so powerful that the trunk of a few zhangs thick shook violently, like it was going to split.
The Black Water Mystical Viper watched as if its delicacy was about to reach its mouth but ﬂew off at the last minute, sunk into an uncontrollable rage, its massive snake head started a frenzied attack at the stone door, the force of it making even the people who were a great distance away in the air to change their expressions.
Jin PingEr bitterly took ﬂight, staying far away from that Black Water Mystical Viper, cursing non-stop in her heart. Just now she took advantage of everyone’s distraction and secretly followed along on the other side of the Black Water Mystical Viper’s dark shadow to get near to the Celestial Emperor Treasury, initially she wanted to take the chance to slip in but unexpectedly the situation had an unforeseen change and that Celestial Emperor Treasury for unknown reasons, suddenly closed up again.
Jin PingEr was a step too late and she was extremely vex but there was nothing she could do, and the Black Water Mystical Viper in its rage had started to notice the people in the sky, Jin PingEr sensed something was not right when the Black Water Mystical Viper raised its head and quickly retreated for another several zhangs.
As expected, the Black Water Mystical Viper suddenly opened its snake mouth and ejected a black poisonous liquid towards them, the pungent smell of blood overwhelmed and made one nauseous, each of the Good Faction people scrambled to avoid and for a moment they looked pathetic, Jin PingEr was quicker and considered calm. But looking at that Black Water Mystical Viper howling in rage and again using all of its might to smash against that stone door, most probably she would not be able to get anything today, and if she continued to wait, that group of Good Faction instead might have hostile intentions to herself so the best way out would be to leave.
As such, Jin PingEr quietly left and ﬂew towards the direction where she had came but ﬂying for only a short distance, she had a shock. On the pathway where the Black Water Mystical Viper had travelled, destruction was left in its wake but somehow there was a patch of vines’ ﬂowerbed which were actually untouched and within this patch of ﬂowerbed, under the sunlight, there seemed to be indistinct dark red lights glinting, arranged disorderly but looking careful at it, it instead looked abstruse. Jin PingEr frowned slightly, looked carefully for a while and a realization ﬂashed in her eyes, she seemed to have look through it and with a quick look, glanced around and at the same time she sneered and quietly said, “So even they have come!”
She hesitated slightly for a moment in the air but eventually still ﬂung back her head and ﬂew off without even looking back.
And before the Celestial Emperor Treasury, the Black Water Mystical Viper was still raging and it continued to smash against the stone door, the Good Faction guys who were in the air initially intended to go down secretly and see if there was any way to assist the two of them but once they went near that Black Water Mystical Viper, they would be attacked and a few times they were nearly hurt by it.
After a few times of failed attempts, Fa Xiang signalled to the rest to gather around, he quietly said, “We cannot continue on like this, we don’t know what is in this Celestial Emperor Treasury that make this beast so infatuated with it. With it keeping vigil here, there is no way we can enter the treasury.” Lin JingYu’s expression was grim, he kept staring at that Black Water Mystical Viper below, Zeng ShuShu also looked anxious but even with his quick-wits, right now he had no solutions.
Just when everyone was worrying over it and the only sound left in the world seemed to be that Black Water Mystical Viper’s howls, at this moment, suddenly, the sky darkened.
Zeng ShuShu and the rest were startled, it was still bright and clear a moment ago, how could it suddenly turned dark, all of them raised their heads to look.
And with this look, all of them were dumbfounded, in the nine heavens above, a sheet of tangerine yellow color appeared, almost more than several zhangs wide, enveloping their heads and almost obstructing the sunlight.
Following which, a clear whistle that sounded like a phoenix cry came from the horizon. The frenzied Black Water Mystical Viper suddenly stopped its actions, it raised its massive head and its expression turned extremely infuriated, it opened its mouth and bared its fangs, roared towards that cloud.
That piece of cloud blotted out the sky and the sun and landed down, although it was not as colossal as the Black Water Mystical Viper but it was not much difference.
From afar the crowd saw it clearly, it was a strange gigantic bird with orange yellow coloured feathers, it spread its wings and took off, circled around and did not show any fear towards the Black Water Mystical Viper which had trespassed on the trunk and instead looked like it intended to attack.
And the Black Water Mystical Viper, while facing this strange bird, kept its insufferable arrogance attitude and coiled its body, its snake head hissed and readied for combat.
“This, should be the legendary Nine Heavens Divine Bird - Yellow Bird!” Fa Xiang watched the two gigantic beasts in confrontation, muttered.
This literary quotation phrase was taken from [Classics of Mountains and Seas. Classics of Vast Southern Wastelands. Mt Wu Yellow Bird]: Mt Wu, Yellow Bird in the West. Emperor’s Medicine, Eight buildings. Yellow Bird at Mt Wu, monitoring the mystical snake. Emperor refers to Celestial Emperor, Medicine refers to immortal’s medicine, namely immortality medicine. Mystical snake means the Black Water Mystical Viper.
Chapter 104 - Xiao Hui
He in the darkness, slowly opened his eyes.
Everywhere was dark, then, not far ahead, a faint glow, like a weak candle ﬂame in the night, quietly burned.
He watched quietly, that light, was a faint light purple color and then it changed to cyan and then slowly to dark green. Like this, it continued to change, glimmering with different color lights, very mesmerizing.
[Zi zi, zi zi…]
Suddenly just beside him, Xiao Hui softly called out, as if due to this darkness even it dared not be loud.
Ghost Li turned his head and indeed against that weak light, the monkey Xiao Hui was crouching beside him. He smiled and subconsciously clenched his teeth, intending to sit up right in spite of the pain and assess the situation ﬁrst. Unexpectedly with this action, he did not feel any pain and sat up with no trouble at all, which surprised him.
In the darkness, that constantly color-changing light gently shone on his body. Ghost Li checked his body, the injuries sustained from that heavy hit with the Black Water Mystical Viper, for some reason, suddenly healed completely.
He frowned slightly and felt greatly astonished but for the moment he could not think of any reason so he decided to stand up and check out the situation ﬁrst.
He had just moved when suddenly he stopped, his body looked like it had gone stiff.
Not knowing since when, his hand was still holding on to another hand, a fair, slender and warm hand.
They had held on so tightly, so naturally that it made one forgot that their hands were still together. Ghost Li paused then slowly turned to his side, that faint light gently ﬂoated in the darkness, revealing a distinct and cold beautiful face. Lu XueQi’s eyes were still closed and she still looked pale, beside her mouth, there seemed to be a faint blood stain, like a rare red ﬂower petal landed onto that snow- like fair face.
Her lips, slightly compressed, as if a faint smile was still on it.
Whose gaze, quietly watched in the darkness, time like water, ten years of time, deeply engraved in life but it also seemed like nothing had ever happened, like it was still yesterday.
x x x
[Boom!] Suddenly, a loud sound exploded in this dark space, immediately the earth quaked and accompanying it in the distance were a clear phoneix-like cry and a roar of rage, the entire dark space shook violently. Xiao Hui gave a strange cry, its body like a gourd rolling on the ground, bumped and thrown to the side, it tumbled onto the ground with a heavy sound. Ghost Li also for the moment, unable to control his body while sitting and lurched to the side.
And this quake also woke Lu XueQi, she seemed to wake up with a start, a soft cry from her mouth and following which her body too went aslant and she opened her eyes.
Reﬂecting in her eyes, were ﬁrst the darkness and then that familiar face, sitting beside herself.
Just like ten years ago under the Forsaken Abyss, beside the Heartless Sea!
The quake slowly subsided and the surroundings regained its peacefulness, wondered what triggered this strong quake? Lu XueQi slowly sat up, looking at Ghost Li, Ghost Li also did not avoid and looked at her. After a moment both of their eyes, looked down, that two hands, still naturally holding on to each other tightly.
Lu XueQi kept quiet and did not move. Ghost Li’s lips twitched and then he slowly loosened his hand and withdrew it.
Lu XueQi looked nonchalantly at that hand withdrawing into the darkness, which a moment ago, was still radiating a faint warm. In her eyes, an indistinct grief suddenly appeared and then disappeared, replaced with coldness.
She stood up, at the same time frowned, it looked like she also felt astonished at the unexpected recovery of her injuries and turned to look around, she quietly said, “What is this place?”
Ghost Li also slowly stood up and said, “I am not sure too but I remembered that we both ﬂew into the Celestial Emperor Treasury.” Lu XueQi hesitated for a moment and said, “Was it you who saved me?”
Ghost Li glanced at her and then indifferently said, “No, you were lucky and ﬂew in before the stone door closed.”
Lu XueQi turned around and expressionlessly looked at him, a pair of eyes even in the darkness still shining brightly, as if glistening with light.
Ghost Li did not look at her eyes and turned away, he started to walk towards that weak light and at the same time he said, “You do not own me anything, if you want to kill me, just go ahead.”
Lu XueQi stood silently in the darkness behind him, stood still for a long time and then lightly dusted off the dirt on her body and rearranged her appearance.
[Zi zi, zi zi!] Xiao Hui whose head was spinning from the fall just now, had recovered and leapt and jumped over, in two or three leaps it scrambled up to Ghost Li’s shoulder and crouched there, watching that mysterious colourful gleaming light.
As they went near it, the object that reﬂected in their eyes became clearer.
This was a wooden platform set-up in the darkness, about half of a human’s height, a circular wooden beam about the thickness of a baby’s arm extended into the ground, above, it supported a small platform about one chi big.
In the middle of the platform, a primitive and crude shaped cup was placed. It seemed to be carved from wood and looking carefully at it, this entire wooden platform and cup were actually connected perfectly together, as one with the trunk below.
But the most fascinating thing was what was inside this tiny little cup. The wooden cup was around three inches high, two inches wide, in it it contained a clear liquid and ﬂoating above that liquid in the cup, was a tiny small transparent stone, with ﬁve smooth faces, sparkling and crystal-clear. And it was from this stone where gentle light radiated above it, forming a semicircle light screen above this tiny small wooden platform, refracting different colours of light, radiating to all four directions.
Currently Lu XueQi had already walked over, stood beside Ghost Li and looked towards that wooden cup.
In the air, a strange fragrance wafted, it ﬁlled up every space and lifted one’s spirits when it was breathed in.
Ghost Li and Lu XueQi were not simple people but right now they were unable to deduce what this thing was. Actually on this wooden platform in this Celestial Emperor Treasury, what was contained in this cup was the legendary Celestial Emperor’s hidden immortal medicine, this wooden platform and wooden cup were connected to this extraordinary tree as one, using the tree’s ten thousand years of spiritual energy to preserve this immortal medicine.
And outside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, this that could make even the ancient demonic beast, Black Water Mystical Viper, drooled for three feet and did not even hesitate to battle with its natural arch enemy, Yellow Bird, the protector of the immortal medicine, was this unremarkable one cup of immortal medicine.
And the reason why Ghost Li and Lu XueQi’s injuries miraculously recovered, were also because of this immortal medicine and this treasury.
Just that these type of legends were only heard secretly, nowadays most of the people did not know about it and Ghost Li and Lu XueQi both did not know, they could only frown and feel perplexed while facing this kind of gifted earth treasure.
While pondering over it, suddenly, another loud sound sounded again, the entire Celestial Emperor Treasury shook violently and at the same time, the terrible roars and shouts of the Black Water Mystical Viper started again. It seemed like this ancient huge beast was extremely infuriated and refused to give up the immortal medicine.
The Celestial Emperor Treasury, even though was an ancient incredible site but right now, ﬁrst it had existed since a very long time ago and second, the Black Water Mystical Viper had pounded on it for unknown number of times, with this ancient demonic beast’s strength, how would it be inconsequential? If not for the fact that it was the Celestial Emperor Treasury and instead just an ordinary hill, most likely it would have been ﬂattened long ago by this Black Water Mystical Viper.
Right now sounds of [ge ge] exploded all around and everywhere reverberated the sturdy tree’s cries of pain, a twisting sound that made one jittery and at the same time it heaved greatly inside the Celestial Emperor Treasury. Xiao Hui shrieked and almost fell off from Ghost Li’s shoulder, both Ghost Li and Lu XueQi felt the violent movements and almost could not stand straight.
According to logic, with this kind of powerful hits, even if the wooden platform and cup were joined together, that immortal medicine inside the cup would have spilled over. But in this moment of violent waves, that stone ﬂoating above the water in the cup suddenly threw out a thin stream of golden light, projecting it straight up, shone onto that light screen and immediately the entire light screen turned into a golden color and immediately the light ﬂourished. Under this blanket of light, the wooden platform which was starting to wobble, within the heaving motions, suddenly became still. Until the quake slowly subsided, that golden light then slowly became weaker and regained its original appearance.
Ghost Li and Lu XueQi looked at each other, their eyes reﬂected admiration and astonishment, the work of Gods was really unimaginable.
Ghost Li surveyed the surroundings, using the remarkable stone’s light, he saw that other than this wooden platform in the treasury, there seemed to be nothing else. But looking at this strange stone, sparkling and crystal-clear, immortal energy swirling within it, it was deﬁnitely not an ordinary item and it seemed like the rare treasure that they were searching for so many days, was this.
Once his thoughts formed, a desire burned, he stretched out his hand towards that wooden platform’s light screen.
“Don’t touch it!” Suddenly, Lu XueQi’s voice, became cold and spoke out beside him. Ghost Li’s hand stopped in mid-air and then slowly withdrew, he turned and faced Lu XueQi.
Both of them, face to face, at a distance less than three chi between them but the indistinct warmth between them a while ago, had all suddenly cooled down and turned into a silent coldness.
Ghost Li looked at Lu XueQi, slowly said, “I want this thing.”
Lu XueQi looked into that man’s eyes and quietly said, “I will not allow you to get it, unless you kill me ﬁrst.”
Ghost Li did not speak anymore.
That weak light in the darkness, softly turning, ﬂuctuating with colourful lights, as if it was trying to narrate something too?
[Boom!] Another deafening sound, the same earth-shaking quake but this time, the impact was even stronger than the previous time, although the golden light sprang out from that strange rock and protected the wooden platform but the treasury’s walls looked like it could not hold up anymore.
A hoarse breaking sound followed, above their heads an enormous piece of tree fell down. Ghost Li and Lu XueQi jumped to avoid at the same time and following closely behind, booming sounds rang out in succession, the Black Water Mystical Viper outside seemed to have gone insane, smashing relentlessly on the Celestial Emperor Treasury, at the same time, that clear phoenix cry among the roars, became more and more enraged and agitated!
Outside, an earth-shaking battle seemed to be going on!
The entire Celestial Emperor Treasury under the enormous pressure from outside, ﬁnally started to contort, each side of the wall started to slowly cave inwards, splintered tree pieces fell down from above like rain. Under these kind of situations, Ghost Li and Lu XueQi for the moment could only concentrate on avoiding the falling huge pieces of wood and could not attend to the wooden platform.
The Celestial Emperor Treasury looked like it was going to collapse but at this moment, as if the magical power of the ancient times Gods, a much more thicker and dazzling golden light than before suddenly soared out, abruptly turned into a beam and charged up into the sky. And this time, it broke through that light screen enveloping the wooden platform and shone straight up towards the Celestial Emperor Treasury dome.
Within the treasury, a mysterious and distant sound suddenly started, like the Sanskrit song from Mt. Lingshan Grand Buddha scenic area, again like the soft murmurings from the nine netherworld lonely souls.
Following that golden light beam supporting the dome, the entire Celestial Emperor Treasury seemed to receive some kind of boost, it stopped caving in and the falling wood pieces also slowly ceased dropping. Then, before Lu XueQi and Ghost Li’s visions, on the entire Celestial Emperor Treasury dome, in that dazzling golden light, suddenly, that mysterious sound sounded, as for the reason why it chanted, golden writing the size of dou, under the illumination of the golden light, one by one it hovered in the air:
Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs!
Ghost Li’s body shook greatly.
After a while, that nine words slowly disappeared but the mysterious chanting instead grew louder and louder, stronger and stronger, in a ﬂash, that dazzling golden light beam suddenly exploded, burst of blazing lights shot out everywhere in the Celestial Emperor Treasury, on the four walls, with the golden light illumination, one by one the golden words appeared, the strokes of the characters bold, as if ﬂying across.
Enveloping Ghost Li and Lu XueQi, within the explosion sounds, swirling around! Ghost Li and Lu XueQi were awed by this breathtaking strange scene but following which they were captivated by the mysterious words, they watched with rapt fascination, forgetting the surrounding situation.
And Ghost Li’s heart palpitated faster and faster, right now, a voice seemed to be shouting loudly in his heart:
“Tian Shu! Tian Shu! This is the third volume of Tian Shu!”
x x x
Outside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, Fa Xiang and the rest hid far away in the higher atmosphere, watching the two ancient beasts fought on the magniﬁcent tree, their countenance pale.
The originally exuberant, lush foliage and covered by numerous vines’ ﬂowers, the gigantic tree, right now looked as if it had suffered a massive disaster which came every ten thousands years, everywhere were broken branches and withered ﬂowers, a miserable scene. And in front of the trunk, outside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, the Black Water Mystical Viper was still tightly coiled near the Celestial Emperor Treasury stone door, its massive head roared towards the sky, the divine beast Yellow Bird ﬂapped its wings and ﬂew, every ﬂap of its wings generated a gust of strong wind, even Fa Xiang and the rest who were watching the show from afar also felt the force of the wind.
The Yellow Bird with a body of orange yellow feathers, both of its wings spanned nearly a hundred zhang, sharp beak and keen eyes, its feet claws were also huge and sharp, right now continuously swooping down, using its sharp beak and enormous claws to attack the Black Water Mystical Viper. And the Black Water Mystical Viper kept on shooting out poisonous gas from its mouth, its snake head shook, its fangs sharp, retaliating with all its strength and from time to time smashed the Celestial Emperor Treasury below its body.
The battle between the divine bird and gigantic snake, plunged the surroundings into a state of chaos and darkness, the wind and clouds changed countenance, luckily it happened at a deserted place, if not with these two ancient times incredible beasts’ strengths, even a slightly more bustling place would also have been destroyed by them. The ﬁght so far, the tyrannical Black Water Mystical Viper was already riddled with wounds, on its demonic God-like and unexcelled body, lines and rows of huge wounds were clearly in view, dark red blood kept ﬂowing out, dying the tree trunk below it a dark red colour. As an ancient times demonic beast, its body was actually as hard as rock and only the sharp claws and beak of the Yellow Bird could hurt it.
But although it inﬂicted heavy injuries on the Black Water Mystical Viper but the Yellow Bird was not doing too well too. The original phoenix-like bright beautiful feathers while ﬁghting with the Black Water Mystical Viper, after bitten several times by the Black Water Mystical Viper, countless dropped off and also suffered several wounds on its body, deep until the bone, blood gushed out and stained its chest area red.
Right now, the two giant beasts had stopped ﬁghting temporarily, the Black Water Mystical Viper entrenched itself on top of the Celestial Emperor Treasury, the Yellow Bird landed sideways at the nearby trunk, both parties watching each other, the Black Water Mystical Viper snarled, the Yellow Bird cried. Each seemed to be displaying their prowess to each other and neither showed any intention to back off. But looking from the outside, the Black Water Mystical Viper seemed to be at a disadvantage over the terrain, after all the physical topography was bad, hanging high up in the tree, it could only entrenched tightly around the trunk while the Yellow Bird could instead ﬂy and attacked from different directions, gaining a lot of advantage. In addition the Yellow Bird was the natural arch enemy of the Black Water Mystical Viper type of demonic beast and facing the Black Water
Mystical Viper’s poisonous gas and ﬂuid, it naturally had the defenses capability. Although there was still fear but even after been bitten, its vital parts were still unharmed and not fatal.
The Black Water Mystical Viper’s most powerful ability lost its effect in front of this Yellow Bird and on top of it, the terrain was disadvantageous, the situation looked unfavourable and it seemed to realize this fact and was even more infuriated. It eyes widened and suddenly its snake head turned back and taking advantage that the Yellow Bird was still a distance away, it ﬁercely hit onto that Celestial Emperor Treasury.
The Yellow Bird was enraged, with a clear phoenix cry, it again ﬂapped its wings and ﬂew up. But this hit was the accumulated entire body strength of the Black Water Mystical Viper’s,it slammed down with a bang and not mentioning the others, just the trunk underneath it was already shaking violently, and on top of the Celestial Emperor Treasury, instantly crack lines appeared everywhere, even on that enormous stone door.
Just like, after staunchly resisting the Black Water Mystical Viper numerous terrible brute attacks, right now, the mysterious force inside the Celestial Emperor Treasury had ﬁnally started to break down.
Far away, Fa Xiang and the rest looked at each other and sucked in a mouthful of cold air.
The Yellow Bird gave a sharp cry, it ﬂew until the mid -air and abruptly charged down, its beak like an enormous arrow leaving the bow, shot towards the Black Water Mystical Viper.
In an instant the Heaven and Earth changed countenance, winds and clouds changed, there seemed to be an intense ﬁerce storm, turning into an enormous vortex, looking like a tornado, the Yellow Bird in the violent revolving wind, charged down.
The Black Water Mystical Viper howled out loudly, ominous savage glint shot out from the enormous snake eyes and it actually disregarded the Yellow Bird’s imminent attack and once more used its massive head to hit the Celestial Emperor Treasury.
At that instant, stones and sand ﬂew, dust were whipped up and scattered, [ge ge ge ge] a tearing sound ﬁlled the sky and earth and ﬁnally after a thunderous sound, the dome wall of the Celestial Emperor Treasury collapsed with a loud sound.
Almost at the same time, the Yellow Bird charged down in rage, the tornado in that instant enveloped the Black Water Mystical Viper, the crowd heard the Black Water Mystical Viper made a piercing cry, the sound extremely mournful, as if it had suffered some grievous hurt. The violent storm was not normal, Fa Xiang and the rest, like ants ﬂoating along with the wind, had no choice but to retreat even further.
Until the dust settled down, the cry still did not lessen at all, the crowd looked over, on the Black Water Mystical Viper’s snake head, fresh blood ﬂowed everywhere, blood spurted like a fountain from the right eye, it was pecked blinded in one eye by the Yellow Bird’s beak!
And at that moment, the Celestial Emperor Treasury which was smashed opened, the golden light slowly glimmered and then gradually dimmed down.
The Black Water Mystical Viper and Yellow Bird for the moment stopped their ﬁght and looked down at the same time.
In front of these two gigantic beasts, even the huge Celestial Emperor Treasury also seemed like a child’s toy.
In the billowing dust and sand, inside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, the two human ﬁgures staggeredly stood up, it was Ghost Li and Lu XueQi. And Xiao Hui who had been crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, dropped down and hid under that wooden platform, both hands clutching the wooden beam tightly, stabilized its body.
Thinking back when the Black Water Mystical Viper relentlessly attacked the Celestial Emperor Treasury, the situation inside would deﬁnitely be bad. Just by looking at Ghost Li and Lu XueQi, although their faces were pale but they still remained calm, Xiao Hui instead was frightened until ‘No monkey expression on the face’ [Translator’s note: it’s a play on the words, the correct literary expression is No human expression on the face, which means you look ghastly pale], its mouth continuously making [zi zi zi zi] sounds.
Ghost Li calmed himself down and then his body trembled, he saw two unimaginable gigantic beasts on each side, glaring like a tiger eyeing its prey and looking at their expressions, they were all looking murderous, without a doubt one would also know that this was not a good place to be.
But before they could react, the Black Water Mystical Viper with its solo eye had already saw the wooden platform in the Celestial Emperor Treasury and as well as the clear liquid inside that wooden cup on the wooden platform.
Immediately, the Black Water Mystical Viper’s eye revealed an uncontrollable greed, its massive snake head suddenly struck down but how would the Yellow Bird stand by, a clear whistle and its beak also pecked down.
The two gigantic beasts at the same time showed their might and even how high Ghost Li and Lu XueQi’s skills were, they could only instinctively wield their weapons and swiftly ﬂy away. But Ghost Li had just ﬂew up when suddenly he got a shock, a cry of [zi zi] sounded behind him, Xiao Hui who had been crouching on his shoulder was now underneath the wooden platform and did not followed him.
Although his character had changed greatly from the past but he still had deep feelings for Xiao Hui, immediately without even hesitating, he was about to turn back to pick up Xiao Hui. Unexpectedly he had just paused, the Yellow Bird’s sharp cry, together with the Black Water Mystical Viper, both wings ﬂapped, a gust of strong wind blustered over and pushed Ghost Li and Lu XueQi out far. Ghost Li panicked but the force of the Yellow Bird’s ﬂap was extremely strong, his body involuntarily ﬂew out far and with difﬁculty he managed to control his body but was already at least several zhangs away from the tree. Both of his eyebrows frowned tightly, clear light surged below his body and he immediately charged back.
At this moment the Yellow Bird and the Black Water Mystical Viper’s battle had already reached a climax, right now the Black Water Mystical Viper’s target was obvious, it was to get that small cup of immortal medicine but the Yellow Bird naturally would not let it touch it and thus did not ﬂy up again, it landed on the trunk, the two gigantic beasts surrounded that small tiny wooden cup, biting and pecking, cries and howls unceasingly but under the shadows of each other mights, for the moment, they were unable to bend their heads to reach that immortal medicine.
Xiao Hui hid under the wooden platform and in the beginning felt afraid but gradually it realized that the two fellows were only ﬁghting above its head and did not come down, so it quietly stuck out its head to watch. Just that with this look, it noticed that the golden light screen originally enveloping that wooden cup, following the collapse of the Celestial Emperor Treasury, also disappeared. Xiao Hui slowly climbed onto the wooden platform and looked up, in the mid-air, the snake and bird heads stretched over and pecked back, ﬁghting hard, from time to time huge pieces of scale and feathers fell down like rain.
The monkey scratched its head and blinked, it lowered its head and saw in the wooden cup beside, that water-like liquid reﬂected its own image, the stone inside the cup ﬂoated on the water surface and did not sink, sparkling and crystal-clear, nobody knew what it was.
It took a few glances at that cup and suddenly it crouched on top, stretched its head into the wooden cup and [gu lu gu lu] started to drink up.
[Gu lu, gu lu, gu lu gu lu…]
The Black Water Mystical Viper and Yellow Bird which were just still ﬁghting bitterly, the two gigantic beasts which were just still earth-shakingly, winds and clouds changing countenance contesting with each other, suddenly their bodies seemed to be frozen. [Gu lu, gu lu, gu lu gu lu…]
This small little sound, not even worth mentioning in the numerous terrible deafening sounds but for some reasons, suddenly, everything in the world stopped, leaving only the sound of a comical monkey drinking water.
That cup was very small and the liquid inside it were only about half a cup, very quickly Xiao Hui ﬁnished it and then raised its head and looked around. In the sky above, the Black Water Mystical Viper looked down and seemed like it had not reacted and it raised its head to look at its arch enemy the Yellow Bird opposite it; the Yellow Bird seemed to look back at Xiao Hui with the same expression and then looked at the Black Water Mystical Viper again.
Suddenly, another strange sound, the Black Water Mystical Viper and Yellow Bird looked down at the same time, Xiao Hui stretched out its tongue a few times and then shook its monkey head, evidently the water in the cup was not tasty and far from its master’s delicacy made in Qing Yun Hill Big Bamboo Valley’s kitchen, Xiao Hui was very dissatisﬁed. Its eyes turned and saw that although the water was drunk, a small tiny glittering stone was still left in it and quietly lying in the cup, so it might as well took it out and then lightly threw it in the air, opened its mouth, like how the humans eat shelled peanuts, with a sound of [ah-wu], swallowed it.
Far away, Fa Xiang and the rest dripped with sweat!
Suddenly, a howl and a sharp cry were heard, the Black Water Mystical Viper and Yellow Bird charged down in rage, the snake head and bird beak, pounding together towards this pitiful small and tiny monkey, Xiao Hui was extremely terriﬁed and even the monkey hair on its head stood up in fright but right now it had nowhere to escape and could only instinctively prostrated on the wooden platform, using both of its hands to wrap around its head. Watching helplessly as Xiao Hui would soon die under the combined attack from these two giant beasts, at this critical moment, a clear light ﬂashed past, it was Ghost Li who had arrived as fast as he could, stretched his hand out and lifted Xiao Hui, then ﬂew out with all of his might.
They had just left the wooden platform when they heard a loud crash behind, the remnants of the Celestial Emperor Treasury building, entirely annihilated...
The Black Water Mystical Viper howled loudly on the tree but even though it always had been unchallenged on the ground but against the enemies that ﬂew, it was helpless, after howling about half a day, it eventually had no choice, and with the immortal medicine gone plus with its natural enemy around, it ﬁnally turned around angrily and slowly climbed down, very soon it disappeared into the mist.
But Ghost Li and Xiao Hui were still in danger, although the Black Water Mystical Viper had no way but there was still a divine beast, Yellow Bird, which ruled the eight thousands miles Ninth Heavens, right now it beat both of its wings and refused to give up, pursuing tightly. Sweat appeared on Ghost Li’s forehead, the Yellow Bird’s speed was incredibly fast but it just had an exhausting battle with the Black Water Mystical Viper, suffered a number of injuries and lost a lot of energy, secondly, Ghost Li was small and agile, he kept on making abrupt turns in the air and therefore the Yellow Bird did not manage to catch it. But even though it was so, the Yellow Bird’s exhausted body gradually still caught up, seemed like a little more distance and Ghost Li would be caught. Xiao Hui on Ghost Li’s shoulder shrieked loudly, looking anxiously, it had called out just twice when suddenly it made a [ung] sound, not knowing if it had drank its ﬁll earlier or not, at this time, it burped.
Ghost Li felt funny and angry at the same time but right now he could not care more and only concentrated on avoiding that pursuing swift and ﬁerce wind from behind. While ﬂying, the corner of his eyes noticed a patch of ﬂowerbeds in front which was different from the other untidy surroundings, the fresh ﬂowers were still exuberant and in it, red indistinct light ﬂoated.
His body shook, instantly he saw what was hidden in there, he did not expect that they had arrived here too but why did they not inform him? A suspicion grew in his heart but right now it was after all a life and death moment and he could not afford to ponder, immediately he ﬂew towards that direction and the Yellow Bird pursued closely.
Far away, Lu XueQi and the rest exclaimed out, it seemed like the Yellow Bird’s sharp claws would soon grab Ghost Li’s back and looking at the infuriated Yellow Bird’s expression, it would not rest until it had cut the person who stole the Celestial immortal medicine to pieces!
In a ﬂash, Ghost Li using all of its strength, turned into a green lightning, streaked past that patch of ﬂowerbed and the Yellow Bird did not notice anything, followed closely and ﬂew above that ﬂowerbed.
Strange events suddenly happened.
Underneath the ﬂowers, red lights suddenly rose, becoming one, in the mid-air, an ancient red cauldron appeared, it was the Ghost King Sect rare treasure - Hidden Dragon Cauldron. And standing on top of the Hidden Dragon Cauldron was one person, with a calm expression, chanting the words, it was Ghost King.
The mysterious incantation reverberated once again, at the same time Qing Long, YouJi also appeared beside the ﬂowerbed and both of their hands waved continuously, in an instant, under the urging of the Hidden Dragon Cauldron mysterious divine power, the Entrap Dragon WatchTower formation started again. Red lights swept up, becoming one dark red light sheet, converged into that Hidden Dragon Cauldron in the sky and trapping the Yellow Bird in it.
How would the Yellow Bird allowed itself to be captured, immediately it charged left and dashed right but not knowing if it was because it had spent most of its energy ﬁghting with the Black Water Mystical Viper or that this Entrap Dragon WatchTower formation was too powerful, it could not ﬁnd any escape route and instead recoiled from the mysterious force, its injuries seemed to become more serious.
In the end, it seemed to know it was helpless, the Yellow Bird wailed and stood within the red light screen, and did not move again. Ghost King gave a long laugh and landed down, Ghost Li also, carrying Xiao Hui, unhurriedly landed beside him, at that moment, Qing Long and YouJi also came over.
Ghost Li frowned and looked at Ghost King, Ghost King instead smiled and waved his hand, he said, “Our matters, we will talk when we are back.” following which, he gazed far ahead at Fa Xiang, Lu XueQi and the others, suddenly smiled and said to Ghost Li, “Why don’t you suggest, how shall we deal with these people?”
Ghost Li’s body trembled but saw that Ghost King was still smiling amiably but in his eyes, a ﬂash of gleam, an indistinct trace of coldness within.
The surroundings, suddenly turned quiet again.
Chapter 105 - Fish Monster
Death Marsh, Gigantic Tree Summit
Lu XueQi, Fa Xiang, Lin JingYu and Zeng ShuShu the four of them steadily landed on the gigantic tree that was in shambles, cracks were everywhere, numerous broken twigs and branches. Even though it had been quite some time but the two ancient gigantic beasts’ ﬁght still made them visibly shocked.
But right now evidently, their attention was more focused on the people in front of them.
Fa Xiang frowned slightly, pondered in silence. Those people, he had seen them during the East Ocean LiuBo Hill and Qing Yun Hill battles, obviously they were Ghost King Sect Sect leader Ghost King and his two competent aides, Qing Long and YouJi, including the changed Ghost Li, it could be said their strengths exceed his side.
A pity after ascending the tree, at the bifurcation, they and Qing Yun Sect Xiao YiCai, FenXiang Valley Li Xun, YanHong and the rest separated to search, if not although they might not be able to win against these four but at least they would have the manpower to ﬁght.
But even though their thoughts were such, Ghost King Sect did not seem to have the intention to attack immediately.
Ghost King glanced towards the four of them then indifferently asked Ghost Li, “Why don’t you suggest, how shall we deal with these people?”
Ghost Li did not answer immediately and instead looked at Ghost King. Ghost King’s expression was still amiable and seemed calm but in his eyes, a sharp gleam ﬂashed. After a moment, he indifferently said, “Since Sect leader you have come here, naturally all matters should be decided by you.”
Qing Long who was standing by the side frowned slightly, YouJi’s black veil too seemed to sway slightly and she looked towards Ghost Li.
Ghost King’s expression did not change, a smile was still on the corner of his lips, he unhurriedly said, “That day when you set off to the death marsh, I said that all decisions here would be make by you. Qing Long, YouJi and I here, only came to capture this Yellow Bird. For these four Good Faction people, still you will have the ﬁnal say! Do what you want.”
Suddenly, an extremely contempt cold sneer was heard from the front.
Everyone looked ahead, it was Lin JingYu whose face was like frost, he coldly said, “Evil spirits evil ways, if you have guts, come forward to determine life and death, why behave like some married women squabbling over there, ridiculous!”
Once the words were spoken, Qing Long’s face was the ﬁrst to turn dark but Ghost King instead looked at Lin JingYu from afar and was not angry, he smiled, turned and faced Ghost Li, “This person should be Lin JingYu! He is your childhood good friend?” Ghost Li got a shock in his heart. Until today, Lin JingYu’s reputation was not that well-known but not sure how Ghost King could actually recognize him with one glance. He looked at Ghost King’s smile but felt a chill in his heart.
Ghost King looked at him, impassively said, “You shall suggest! How shall it be done?”
Ghost Li met his eyes and calmly faced him, he said, “Most of the things here are done and since these people are not the key- decision makers, we don’t have to bother with them. Sect leader at the present you should ﬁrst settle the Yellow Bird, that is more important.”
Ghost King looked at him and did not say anything, the place turned quiet.
A ﬂash of worry appeared in Qing Long’s eyes, YouJi beside him, because of her veil, her expression could not be seen but most likely she would not be at ease. YouJi’s eyes, through the black veil, looked at Ghost Li and Ghost King and then glanced out far, suddenly was shocked. Among the four Good Faction people, Lu XueQi quietly stood last at the back, her face cold but that pair of eyes, from far, were on Ghost Li.
Under that icy-frost appearance, there seemed to be hidden indistinct concern.
YouJi suddenly stretched her hand and quietly pushed Qing Long.
Qing Long was worrying and suddenly felt it, he turned back to look at YouJi, YouJi’s black veil swayed slightly and indicated towards the direction of Ghost King’s ﬁgure. He and YouJi had moved up to Ghost King Sect Four Great Holy Envoys rank at the same time and how would he not know what she was thinking, just that he had some concern right now.
After considering for a while, Qing Long eventually still walked over softly to Ghost King and quietly said behind him, “Sect leader, Ghost Li’s words are not totally irrelevant, now that the Yellow Bird had already been subdued, let’s settle it ﬁrst, else with Wan Du, HeHuan these two sects in the death marsh, trouble may rise if we tardy.” Ghost King turned his head and glanced at Qing Long, slowly nodded and said, “What you said is true.” following which a glint indistinctly ﬂashed in his eyes, he said to Ghost Li, “Since it is so, I will leave here to you.”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “Please don’t worry.”
Ghost King looked at him again then suddenly smiled, he turned and left. Qing Long behind him smiled at Ghost Li and then followed after.
YouJi slowly followed along, when she passed by Ghost Li, Ghost Li looked at her and lightly nodded.
YouJi’s black veil shifted slightly but she did not say anything and just walked on.
After Ghost King group left, Ghost Li unhurriedly turned and faced Fa Xiang and the rest. Fa Xiang coughed once and stepped up, “Zhang junior brother…”
Ghost Li coldly said, “I am called Ghost Li.”
Fa Xiang paused, Lin JingYu behind him frowned and in a heavy voice said, “Xiao Fan, why must you be like this? I know your nature is kind, it was only because you were framed by treacherous people, that’s why you joined the Evil Faction…”
Fa Xiang heard that and felt it grating on the ear but he only forced a smile and did not say anything.
Lin JingYu continued, “...if you are only willing to turn back, I believe with Reverend DaoXuan’s magnanimity, he will deﬁnitely allow you to return to Qing Yun.”
Ghost Li dispassionately said, “Why must I return?” Lin JingYu was shocked, a pair of eyes stared deeply at this once childhood good friend, he saw him standing there, with an indescribable cold demeanor and saying, “Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs! I am doing well on this path, I don’t need any of you to save me.”
Lu XueQi stood last at the back, her body seemed to tremble slightly. Zeng ShuShu stood beside her and saw her expression, he frowned slightly but did not comment.
Lin JingYu looked angry, he stepped forward and was about to say something but was stopped by Fa Xiang.
Fa Xiang looked at Lin JingYu, shook his head slightly at him, quietly said, “He has sunk too deep in the Evil, you cannot be too impatient if not it will have adverse effect!”
Lin JingYu was initially angry at Fa Xiang for stopping him but after listening to him, he knew his words were true. He turned to look at Ghost Li again, his heart softened and recalled the times when they were young and innocent and had fun together, he eventually gritted his teeth and stepped back. Fa Xiang hesitated and said, “Ghost Li patron, whether you admit or deny, we have a history together. Now that the treasury has been demolished and it seemed like there isn’t any rare treasure so we shall part here!”
Ghost Li snorted and glanced at Fa Xiang, then at the rest, Lin JingYu, Zeng ShuShu and lastly Lu XueQi.
That distinct and cold girl stood at the last, her face like frost, her eyes like water, deep and unfathomable, what was she thinking deep inside her heart?
Ghost Li looked away and did not speak anymore, turned and left.
He had not gone far when he faintly heard someone catching up on him, Ghost Li frowned and turned to look and was stunned to see that it was Zeng ShuShu. Looking at Fa Xiang and the rest’s expressions, they too seemed to be surprised.
Zeng ShuShu ran before him, with his back facing Fa Xiang and the rest, looked at Ghost Li for a moment and then suddenly laughed, smiled and said, “You won’t kill me right?”
Ghost Li looked at him, looked at his smile, he seemed not to have change at all since the time they had met at Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak, still that jovial. After a moment his eyes eventually slowly eased up but his voice was still ﬂat like water and said, “What is it?”
Zeng ShuShu clicked his tongue [ze ze] twice, shrugged and said, “Anyway I still treat you as my friend, as for how you think, I have no control over it.” Speaking until here, he paused and suddenly his eyes blinked in successions and he quietly said, “Big brother, let me hug this three-eyed divine monkey alright?”
Ghost Li was taken aback, in his mind, a scene where Zeng ShuShu used to pester him to let him have Xiao Hui appeared. He felt an inexplicable warmth in his heart. Actually he had grown up in Qing Yun Hill and had deep attachments for every grass and tree in Qing Yun Hill Big Bamboo Valley, whatsmore for Zeng ShuShu, one of the few friends he had. Zeng ShuShu saw that Ghost Li did not respond but also did not show his disdain or objection, in his heart he felt happy. He had an intelligent mind and to this friend, Ghost Li, who had joined the Evil Faction, he still valued him a lot in his heart. Just that he knew Zhang Xiao Fan’s characteristics of being stubborn and persevering and would rather die in order to honor a promise made that time, one could have imagine, for that matter, how much hurt he had received.
Therefore all these years, in order to pull this good friend from the Evil Faction, Zeng ShuShu secretly thought of many ideas alone but in the end he could only come out with one -- to go slow and not be impatient.
Right now Zeng ShuShu’s gaze landed on Xiao Hui who was lying on Ghost Li’s shoulder, immediately both of his eyes shone, he beamed and said, “Xiao Hui, it’s me! Do you still recognized me?”
Xiao Hui lay lazily on Ghost Li’s shoulder, strangely, the monkey face was ﬂushed red and looked like someone who had drunk too much alcohol. After Zeng ShuShu called it a few times, it forced opened its monkey eyes and glanced at Zeng ShuShu, its mouth impatiently [Zi zi] called out twice and then it closed its eyes again.
But Zeng ShuShu was not angry at all, he seemed extremely fond of it, [drooling for three chi] the four words obviously were written on his forehead.
Ghost Li saw Zeng ShuShu’s expression which seemed not to have change the slightest over these ten years, suddenly sighed and said, “Forget it! It is also tired today, in the future if we have the afﬁnity to meet up again, you can say what you want to at that time.”
Zeng ShuShu looked lingeringly at Xiao Hui, nodded and then looked at Ghost Li.
Ghost Li indifferently said, “In the future if Good and Evil clashes, you and I as enemies, you can just go ahead to attack. As for…” He raised his eyes and looked at Zeng ShuShu, after a long while, slowly said, “Your path and my path are different and must be enemies but in my heart, I still treat you as a friend.” Zeng ShuShu was delighted, joy written across his face and he nodded vigorously, he stretched out his hand and was about to give a hard pat on Ghost Li’s shoulder but suddenly felt it was inappropriate and so he withdrew his hand. Following which his eyes shifted and he seemed to thought of something, revealed a grin and he took out something from his bosom, it was a worn-out blue cover book, there was no title on the cover, what could this book be?
Ghost Li frowned, for some reason, he found this book familiar-looking but for the moment, could not recall where he had seen it.
Zeng ShuShu quietly pushed the book into Ghost Li’s hand, smiled and whispered, “Since we are all brothers, meeting you for the ﬁrst time after ten years, I am giving you a small gift.”
Ghost Li looked at Zeng ShuShu’s expression, seventy percent of his smile was delight but thirty percent showed an inexplicable risqué intention, he frowned and looked at the book in his hand, casually ﬂipped open…
“Ah!” Even with Ghost Li’s current remarkable equanimity, his body still shook and quickly shut the book. The book’s content, in it there were many words and pictures and the pictures were all naked men and women, it was that pornography book which during their youth, Zeng ShuShu on TongTian Peak, had tried to exchange for Xiao Hui ten years ago.
“You…” Ghost Li was speechless and unable to continue.
Zeng ShuShu glared at him and said, “If you do not wish for us to be ruin, better don’t speak too loudly.”
Ghost Li glared back at him, in his heart he felt confused, by right he should feel that this person was creating trouble but for some reason, this silly and nonsensical action instead made him felt closer to Zeng ShuShu, the past times, seemed to return.
Zeng ShuShu smiled, turned around and left. This time his impronto action instead carried a profound meaning, if he wanted to pull this friend back from the Evil Faction, ﬁrst he must make Ghost Li admit him as his friend. Now that he risked ridicule from the rest to do this nonsensical thing and as expected, it really made Ghost Li speechless, most probably next time when they meet again, their relationship would deﬁnitely be much better than today.
As he pondered on it, a smiled formed on his face.
Fa Xiang waited until he returned, saw his smile on his face and said, “Zeng ShuShu, what is it that you are so happy about?”
Zeng ShuShu was in an extremely good mood, he made a cheeky face at Fa Xiang and said, “Buddha quote: Unspeakable, unspeakable!”
Fa Xiang smiled and glanced at Ghost Li, that person was standing there, holding a blue thick book in his hand, his expression seemed to be complicated, not knowing what his thoughts were. He shook his head and spoke to the rest, “The matters here have already concluded, let’s go! If there is any other matter, we will talk about it later.” Zeng ShuShu was the ﬁrst to nod, then Lin JingYu and Lu XueQi also nodded in agreement.
Four of them turned into four brilliant lights, soared into the air, made a circle in the mid-air and then ﬂew on.
Ghost Li stood on the gigantic tree and suddenly felt empty, as if he had lost something. His gaze went back to the book on his hand and then he raised his hand up, about to throw the book away when suddenly he gave a wry laugh and eventually kept the book, putting it into his bosom.
After which, he breathed deeply and made a long sigh, pulled himself up and said, “Xiao Hui, let’s get out!”
Xiao Hui this time, did not even open its eyes, mumbled out twice, [Zi zi, zi zi], not knowing if it’s considered a reply.
Ghost Li smiled, waved his right hand, wielded his Soul- Absorbing stick and turned into a black-green light, like a lightning, ﬂew off, leaving this gigantic tree. Ghost Li sped along high up in the death marsh atmosphere, like a mystical being that rode the clouds and mounted the mist, traversing through the miasma. He came out from the inner marsh, after stopping slightly to conﬁrm the direction, he then ﬂew off towards where Ghost King Sect’s base was located in the outer marsh.
Naturally his ﬂying speed was extremely fast but the death marsh was so extensive that after ﬂying for an hour, the surroundings were still the vast grass and seas, endless greens. Although an unknown number of death traps existed below but looking down from mid-air, the scenery was like a painting and boosted one’s spirit up.
Just that when he was nearing Ghost King Sect’s base, he suddenly frowned, there seemed to be a familiar smell of blood in the air, drifting over with the wind.
Ghost Li’s countenance changed, a light whistle, immediately the light below his feet surged and he dashed down from the sky. The sharp black-green light descended from the sky, creating a ﬁerce gust, ﬂying across the dark-green underbrush pond. The invisible winds pushed the pond water apart to two sides, creating waves of ripples on the water surfaces.
Very soon, Ghost Li sighted the Ghost King Sect base, most of the troops were still there so it seemed at least the majority was still alright, he could then be at least half relieved.
By this time, the Ghost King Sect disciples also discovered Ghost Li’s descension and started to get up.
Ghost Li landed, stood on the ground but his ﬁrst reaction was to frown even deeper. The blood stench was extremely thick and it seemed like the bloody smell in the mid-air dispersed from here.
The Ghost King disciples standing by the side bowed and stood at attention. Although for the past few years Ghost Li did not kill indiscriminately but he practised the Evil way, his personality changed dramatically and his body frequently involuntarily emitted a cold-blooded aura. Other than the Sect leader Ghost King, in Ghost King Sect, the rest of the disciples’ most revered person was instead this rising star.
Someone walked out from the crowd, it was a young man, his eyebrows straight, eyes bright and piercing, rather handsome, it was YanHui.
He walked up, bowed to Ghost Li and said, “Vice leader, you are back.”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “What is it with here?”
YanHui wanted to speak but stopped, he used his eyes to signal Ghost Li, Ghost Li understood and walked forward. YanHui looked around and loudly said, “Vice leader is back, everyone back to your post, there is no need to be alarmed.”
The crowd agreed in unison and scattered. YanHui with quick steps caught up with Ghost Li, in a low voice said, “Please follow me.”
After speaking, he strided right to a rather remote area. After they had walked for a while, they arrived at a spot where the underbrush was exuberant, the wild grass was almost half the height of a human and even though there were nobody around, the stench of blood effused even stronger.
Ghost Li looked at YanHui, YanHui appeared to be slightly pale, he said in a low voice, “Take a look yourself!”, he walked to before that patch of thick growth of grass and spread open it.
Ghost Li unhurriedly walked forward and looked into the grass, immediately his expression changed greatly. This grass patch did not look any different from the surroundings but in the middle, it was dyed a large area of red human blood, the smell of blood assualted the nose, made one nauseous upon breathing it. Under the thick grass, thirteen bodies were piled up, the sight of their death were too horrible to look at, almost each of the bodies were mutilated into quite a number of pieces. Even though these few years Ghost Li in the Evil Sect had long been used to gory details but this degree of cruel method, it was the ﬁrst time.
He closed his eyes, calmed himself down, following which his face regained the calmness, he slowly walked forward and looked carefully at the bodies.
YanHui followed behind him and whispered, “These disciples were assigned here yesterday to keep a lookout and were the furthest from our main force, it was the furthest watchout of our scouts, these people were also rather skilled. Unexpectedly within a night, our men were all slaughtered without a sound.”
Ghost Li’s face was sombre, his eyes gradually turned cold, he slowly said, “Who is the killer? Do you already have any inkling?”
YanHui did not answer immediately, instead he said, “Vice leader, come over here and look.” Ghost Li glanced at him, YanHui stepped over those mutilated bodies and walked further into the grasses. In the deeper part of the grasses, there was still one more body but this person’s body instead was quite whole, except for a missing left hand.
The corner of Ghost Li’s eye twitched, he knew this person, his name was Xu ChongHai, he was his subordinate, who was rather highly skilled, unexpectedly he died here too.
YanHui walked over to Xu ChongHai’s side and said, “Look here.”
Ghost Li walked nearer and looked down, beside Xu ChongHai’s head, his remaining right hand had drawn out two words in the mud:
Fish -- Monster.
The ‘Fish” word was still clearly written but the second word was already slightly untidy, it seemed like Xu ChongHai had reached the end of his strength. “Fish Monster?” Ghost Li frowned.
YanHui nodded and said, “I also do not know what it meant, could it be that there are ﬁsh monster evildoers around here? But after we had discovered them today, I did an immediate search around here but there were no traces at all of the so- called ﬁsh monster.”
Ghost Li unhurriedly turned and walked out of that patch of grasses, YanHui also followed out. The pungent smell in the air was still very strong but compared to the air inside that patch of grass, it was much fresher.
Ghost Li took a deep breath and suddenly asked, “Where is Kill-the-living Monk! Why is he not here?”
YanHui hesitated for a while and said, “When he saw this scene in the morning, he ﬂew into a rage and then from Xu ChongHai’s writings, somehow he could tell that those mysterious ﬁsh monsters were heading towards the south and then went off alone to pursue, I tried to persuade him but he refused to listen. And…” Speaking halfway, he suddenly stopped.
Ghost Li glanced at him and said, “What is it?”
Bitterness ﬂashed across YanHui’s face, he said, “At ﬁrst, because vice leader you had issued strict orders that we cannot have confrontations with HeHuan Sect and Wan Du Clan before you return, but because of the murder incident this morning, I was afraid it was Wan Du Clan or HeHuan Sect’s evil scheme and so secretly brought men to where they were residing and intended to spy. If it was really done by them then naturally we have to seek revenge.”
Ghost Li indifferently said, “The things happened so suddenly, you are not wrong. So what was your ﬁndings?”
YanHui hesitated for a while and said, “This, was really out of my expectations. Wan Du Clan’s forces, for some unknown reason, had already all withdrew from the death marsh yesterday and for HeHuan Sect…” He looked at Ghost Li and whispered, “Seemed like they encountered the same incident as us, twenty over men were killed.” Ghost Li’s countenance changed slightly, said, “There is such thing?”
YanHui said, “That’s right, I personally did a thorough investigation before coming back.”
Ghost Li remained silent and stood there, he seemed to be in deep thoughts.
YanHui did not dare to interrupt but after a long time, Ghost Li still did not speak, he could not help it and softly said , “Vice leader, what shall we do now?”
Ghost Li did not directly reply YanHui’s question and instead seemed to recall something suddenly, he turned his head around and asked, “Before my arrival, did Ghost King sect leader come here?”
YanHui’s expression changed, he nodded and said, “Yes.” A faint gleam ﬂashed in Ghost Li’s eyes and he said, “What did he say?”
YanHui replied, “Sect leader came together with the two Holy Envoys, Qing Long and Scarlet Bird. His elderly saw the situation here and looked very grim but eventually he only said one sentence, ‘All of the matters here will be handled by vice leader’ and then left with the two Holy Envoys.”
Ghost Li was expressionless and remained silent for another period. YanHui naturally did not know that the relationship between Ghost King and Ghost Li had became quite delicate and only watched attentively at him from the side.
After a while, Ghost Li nodded and said, “You have handled this matter well. Since we are done with the matters in the death marsh, starting from now, you will immediately lead our men out and return to Majestic Fox Mountain.”
YanHui nodded and said, “How about you vice leader?” Ghost Li turned and gazed at the vast clouds in the horizon, over there it looked pure white and ﬂawless, who would have expected that underneath it, the number of bloody incidents that would happen?
He indifferently said, “Although Kill-the-living Monk was impulsive but he has an unique ability in the art of pursuing. The origins of these ﬁsh monsters are unclear, besides they killed my men, naturally I have to continue investigating.”
YanHui nodded slightly behind him and said, “Yes.”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “You can go!”
After speaking, his gaze slowly turned towards south and saw only the vast water grasses, the wind blew over the death marsh, nobody knew what secrets it hid.
Unexpectedly, suddenly in his mind a scene emerged, several days ago, Jin PingEr, Qin WuYan and him while rendezvousing in secret, that mysterious ﬁsh-head-strange-human which ambushed Xiao Huan...
Chapter 106 - Inquire
The whistling sound of the wind, the bleak and dreary ancient path, solitary stretched ahead.
Zhou YiXian and his granddaughter Xiao Huan had already left the death marsh and had been travelling towards the East for the past three days.
Right in the middle of this day, they were still walking on the ancient path, just that the originally ﬂat wildness on both sides of the ancient path were gradually being replaced by forest hills.
Zhou YiXian looked ahead and saw a dilapidated stone pavilion, he was just feeling tired from all the walking so he turned around and spoke to Xiao Huan, “Let’s go over there to take a rest.”
Xiao Huan acknowledged and then turned back to look, her eyes brimming with smiles and said, “Priest, let’s go take a rest together!” Wild Dog Taoist who was following behind them, smiled and nodded. Initially after leaving the death marsh, Wild Dog Taoist for some reasons, followed Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan from afar and made Zhou YiXian uneasy in the beginning. But a few days ago, after the sudden meeting with that middle-aged man who called himself Wan RenWang, Xiao Huan spoke a few words to him and they became closer, these few days they became even closer and now he followed directly behind them.
Zhou YiXian walked into the pavilion and watched Wild Dog Taoist followed Xiao Huan in. He was not as polite as Xiao Huan to Wild Dog, he rolled his eyes and suddenly enigmatically said, “I say Wild Dog Taoist, why do you keep following the both of us? We are all paupers and there is nothing for you to rob.”
Wild Dog Taoist glared at Zhou YiXian and answered back sarcastically, “Stinky old fellow, pretending to be poor again, don’t assume I don’t know there is something strange with your that bamboo pole!”
Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan were both stunned. Zhou YiXian, like his bottom being burned by ﬁre, jumped up, his face ﬂushed red and angrily said, “Good fellow, old man me knew it that you are not a good person and as expected you are coveting my money.”
Wild Dog Taoist rolled his eyes and before he could speak, he heard Xiao Huan beside him spoke in surprise, “Priest, how did you know?”
Once Xiao Huan spoke, Wild Dog Taoist for some reasons, he lowered his voice suddenly, hesitated for a moment and awkwardly spoke to Xiao Huan, “He is holding that bamboo pole everyday, even hugging it in his sleep. Putting that aside, he, after every while, will subconsciously caress the bamboo pole. Looking at that scene, an idiot will also know there is something strange with that bamboo pole.”
Xiao Huan [pu chi] laughed out. Zhou YiXian’s old face turned red, snorted and turned his head away, suddenly he felt that this was really too embarrassing, turned back and angrily said to Wild Dog Taoist, “Even if there is something strange with my bamboo pole, it is not for you to be concern about. So why don’t you say, why do you keep following us?”
Wild Dog Taoist was stunned and turned speechless. Zhou YiXian immediately became conceited and a smile appeared on his face, he pointed at Wild Dog Taoist and said, “Ha, don’t think this old man doesn’t know, you little guy drooling over my money and our Xiao Huan’s beauty, all day long plotting…”
“Grandfather!” Xiao Huan turned red and loudly called out at Zhou YiXian.
Zhou YiXian then realized his words were inappropriate but his old face was unwilling to be pulled down, he stammered and said, “Say, right or not…”
Wild Dog Taoist sneaked a look at Xiao Huan, that young girl’s fair and white skin right now had a blush of red, with a faint shyness but her eyes were like stars, sparkling, a beauty of youthfulness like right in his face. Wild Dog suddenly felt an inexplicable inferiority and dipped his head down.
Xiao Huan glared at her grandfather, Zhou YiXian. Since young she had roamed the earth with Zhou YiXian and widened her knowledge, naturally she was more liberal than the other young girls, right now she turned and spoke to Wild Dog Taoist, “Priest, don’t listen to my grandfather babbles, his dog mouth will not spit out ivory…”
Zhou YiXian was enraged and said, “You dare to call your grandfather dog, clearly that fellow is then the wild dog!”
Xiao Huan stuck out her tongue, made a face at Wild Dog. A [weng] sound went off in Wild Dog’s head, he felt that his eyes were full of this beautiful face and would not take in any more colors, and did not even care that Zhou YiXian was mocking him.
Zhou YiXian angrily turned his head around and spoke to Wild Dog, “Hey, you still have not say why you are following us! If you give us a good reason, old man me will let you follow; if you can’t, then I will let you know my might!”
Wild Dog slowly turned away and was quiet for a long while, he said, “I also don’t know.”
“Ha!” Zhou YiXian [ha ha] laughed loudly, his face gleeful. Xiao Huan instead looked at Wild Dog Taoist, she curiously asked, “Priest, what is it? Couldn’t it be that you are homeless?”
Wild Dog gave a wry laugh and said, “You are right.” Without knowing why, he seemed to be especially willing to speak in front of this young lady, once he started, without rhyme or reason he continued on: ”Since young, I have a strange appearance, after I was born, my parents, like I was a monster, threw me into the wilds, leaving me to my fate…”
“Ah!” Xiao Huan covered her mouth with her hand, shocked.
Zhou YiXian instead rolled his eyes, his expression doubting.
Wild Dog Taoist continued on, “Later on I was found by a group of wild dogs, surprisingly they did not eat me and instead, brought food in their mouths to feed me. So ever since I grown up, I have always called myself Wild Dog.”
Zhou YiXian gave another sneer again but Xiao Huan was full of concentration, nodded slightly. Wild Dog Taoist ignored Zhou YiXian, smiled to Xiao Huan and said, “Therefore since young I did not have a home, if I must name one then the dog kennel is my home. Later on a senior from the previous generation of Blood Forger Hall met me by chance and took pity on me, the senior accepted me into the sect and taught me skills, from then on, I regard Blood Forger Hall as my home.”
Zhou YiXian sneered and said, “Then you should return to Blood Forger Hall, why loiter around the whole day outside?”
Wild Dog Taoist lowered his head, his face solemn and after a long while he said, “Blood Forger Hall had already been extinguished by Ghost King sect, the one who led the extermination was the Ghost Li that you all had seen before.”
“What?” both Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan were shocked. The internal ﬁghts within the Evil Sect were intensely cruel but it was not broadcast to the outside world therefore the fact that Ghost King Sect had swallowed up Blood Forger Hall, Zhou YiXian and the rest did not know. But although both were shocked at the same time, their reactions were different. Zhou YiXian frowned and seemed like he thought of something, after a long while he shook his head, sighed and said, “A pity! When it was Elder BlackHeart’s time, how powerful the Blood Forger Hall was, sigh…”
But Xiao Huan did not dwell on it so much and after being shocked, she instead thought of something and said, “So it was that Ghost Li who led men to exterminate all of you, then why do you still follow him?”
The corner of Wild Dog Taoist’s mouth twitched once, slowly he brieﬂy explained things to her.
Xiao Huan humphed after listening, said to Zhou YiXian, “Nian Leader those people, are really without any backbone.”
Zhou YiXian instead glared at her and said, “You being so young, what do you know about having backbone or not? If it’s life and death, not everyone has that backbone.”
Xiao Huan pouted and said, “Then isn’t Wild Dog Taoist rather die than surrender?” Zhou YiXian glanced at Wild Dog, nodded and said, “I couldn’t tell in the past that you actually have this kind of backbone, not easy. But in these few years, that Ghost Li known as Xue GongZi, killed numerous people, why is it that only you were let off?”
Wild Dog Taoist shook his head and said, “I do not know too.”
Zhou YiXian pondered silently, his eyes reﬂecting his deep thoughts, the usual cheeky face gradually disappeared. Wild Dog Taoist saw that Zhou YiXian suddenly revealed such an expression which was greatly different from his usual self and could not help but be shocked. However Xiao Huan happened to speak up at this moment and his attention got pulled away.
Xiao Huan took a few glances at him and said in a low voice, “Then you just follow him all day long, don’t you feel terrible? He extinguished the Blood Forger Hall which you have great gratitude to, you must have hated him a lot?”
Wild Dog felt lost for a moment and then kept quiet, after a long time he slowly shook his head, bewilderedly said, “I also don’t know. Initially I abhorred that person but in this recent period, I came to slowly realize, actually what is the point of blaming him? Even if it was not him, not Ghost King Sect, Wan Du Clan and HeHuan Sect too will do the same thing, it’s just that Ghost King Sect came ﬁrst that’s all.”
“Hmm?” Xiao Huan had not respond, Zhou YiXian instead sounded surprised, measured Wild Dog Taoist anew from top to bottom, looked as if he was looking at him in a different light and said, “You actually thought of that, I underestimate you.”
Wild Dog Taoist rolled his eyes at Zhou YiXian, obviously not interested in Zhou YiXian’s praise. Zhou YiXian was slighted, [he he] laughed and was not angry at all.
Wild Dog Taoist glanced at Xiao Huan, saw her bright-like- water eyes, shimmering like in motion, it was really soul- moving and for some unknown reasons, he did not dare to look longer, lowered his head and said, “That day when I came out from the death marsh, I was feeling extremely vex that I would be among those Ghost King Sect people the whole day, especially occasionally I would still encounter Nian Leader and the rest, just nice that I saw both of you and for reasons that I too do not know, I just followed along.”
Wild Dog Taoist seemed to recall something, he abruptly looked up and told Xiao Huan, “But I never have any intention to harm you all, I myself also do not know why, maybe I was just wandering around! If...if you are not willing then I will go right now.”
Xiao Huan smiled and said, “It’s alright! I don’t mind. Then you shall follow us from now! Anyway the world is so big, I think you don’t have anywhere to go too.”
Zhou YiXian got a shock, pulled Xiao Huan over and whispered, “Stupid girl, for what did you impetuously arranged to have this fellow follow us?”
Xiao Huan rolled her eyes at her grandfather, said, “What this fellow that fellow, he has a name alright. And to add on, he didn’t have bad intention and is just only following us, what is there to fear?” Zhou YiXian angrily said, “You this young lady don’t know how high the sky and how deep the earth is, he is indeed a notorious person from the Evil Sect, heard that before…”
Zhou YiXian suddenly stopped, Xiao Huan stared at him, said, “How was he before? Why don’t you say what unpardonably wicked deeds of his that you have heard of?”
Zhou YiXian scratched his head, thought for half a day, embarrassedly said, “Seems like I have never heard of him doing anything…”
Xiao Huan [pu chi] laughed out, was about to turn around, Zhou YiXian grabbed her and said, “But if you allow this person to be around us, surely there isn’t any good beneﬁt! Why are you doing this?”
Xiao Huan blandly said, “Seemed like yesterday night when we passed by a deserted post, a wild boar ran out from the side of the road, Grandfather you were hiding very far away, it was this priest who dashed up and chased the wild boar away, if not for me, this weak girl, would have to face a big wild boar by myself.” Zhou YiXian turned red and said, “I, this old man, is aged and weak, how can I stop a big wild boar? Besides, are you sure you are considered a weak girl, don’t even mention wild boar, even if a tiger comes along you will still…”
Xiao Huan suddenly coughed, Zhou YiXian also did not continue.
Xiao Huan turned back, smiled sweetly at Wild Dog Taoist who was sitting by the side and said, “Priest, so in the future we will have to trouble you to take more care of us.”
Wild Dog stood up in a hurry and said, “No, no such thing, if there is any hard labour, just let me do it.”
Zhou YiXian humphed in a distance.
At this moment, a cold and calm voice was heard outside the pavilion, saying, “So there you are.” Wild Dog Taoist’s body shook, he turned around to look, Xiao Huan beside him had already exclaimed, “Ah! It's you!”
On the ancient path outside the stone pavilion, a young man stood there, expressionless, a grey fur monkey crouching on his shoulder, it was Ghost Li.
This was just the beginning of fall, although it was noon but it was not as sweltering hot like summer, an occasional cool breeze blew past the stone pavilion from time to time.
Just that inside the stone pavilion, the ambience with the arrival of this uninvited guest, Ghost Li, suddenly turned quiet.
Wild Dog Taoist’s face turned red and then white while sitting by the side, his eyes staring on the ground, looking quite nervous. Ghost Li still expressionlessly stood at the other side, did not pay any more attention on Wild Dog Taoist and instead was looking at Zhou YiXian.
Xiao Huan glanced at Wild Dog Taoist then at Ghost Li, after a long time carefully said, “Hm, Zhang...Ghost Li GongZi, why, why have you come?”
Ghost Li looked at her and said, “I came to look for your grandfather.”
Zhou YiXian was stunned and said, “Looking for me?”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “Yes, I will like to consult senior on one question.”
Xiao Huan immediately was relieved, secretly smiled at Wild Dog and assured him then she curiously asked Ghost Li, “Ah! You are such a powerful person, what will you like to ask my grandfather?”
While conversing, she suddenly saw Xiao Hui who was on Ghost Li’s shoulder, a pair of eyes turning around and grinning right at her, she could not help but felt an instant fancy to it, she smiled and said, “Ha, I was the one who gave you the candied haws! Do you still remember me?” “Zi zi, zi zi.” The monkey Xiao Hui called out, nodded incessantly and suddenly leapt from Ghost Li’s shoulder into Xiao Huan’s bosom. Seemed like this monkey had an extremely good impression of the candied haws.
Xiao Huan beamed with smiles, stretched her hands out to catch Xiao Hui, unexpectedly when she caught Xiao Hui, her hands sunk down, it was unexpectedly heavy and almost slipped through to the ground. Luckily her reaction was quick and she quickly increased her strength, that stabilized her body and she managed to hold Xiao Hui steadily but in her heart she felt astonished. Just only several days and Xiao Hui’s body too did not seem to grow much but somehow its body weight increased almost half or more, it was really odd!
Ghost Li watched Xiao Huan teased Xiao Hui, laughing [ge ge] non-stop, looking extremely delighted, deep inside his eyes a faint smile seemed to appear but after which it disappeared and he turned over and faced Zhou YiXian.
Zhou YiXian shrugged and said, “I this old man with literary talents of nine dou, have knowledge of six cartloads of books, there is nothing under the sky that I would not know. But you actually came to seek this old man’s advice, this is indeed strange. What is it, why don’t you say?”
[Translator’s note: the correct term is eight dou, it means endowed with unusual literary talents and for six cartloads, the correct term is ﬁve cartloads]
Ghost Li did not mind him blowing his own trumpet, indifferently said, “That day in the death marsh, there was a strange person with a ﬁsh head which sneaked up on your granddaughter, do you still remember?”
Zhou YiXian was surprised, Wild Dog Taoist and Xiao Huan who were beside, heard it and both looked over.
Xiao Huan while carrying Xiao Hui said, “Right! That monster was extremely ferocious, if not for Ghost Li GongZi and PingEr sister rendering their help in time, I would almost be killed by it.”
Ghost Li was still facing Zhou YiXian and said, “At that time you said that monster was one of the the human ﬁsh tribe from the sixty-three tribes of the Southern border, is that right?”
Zhou YiXian thought for a moment, said, “That is right.”
Ghost Li cupped his hands together and said, “I wonder what else does senior knows about this human ﬁsh tribe?”
Zhou YiXian glanced at Ghost Li and said, “Why are you suddenly interested in this?”
Ghost Li hesitated for a moment, nodded and said, “Since I have already consult senior, I need no longer hide the rest from you. After all of you left, my men was ambushed by a group that looked similar to that human ﬁsh, we had heavy casualties therefore I will like to understand more from senior.”
Zhou YiXian frowned, his body gradually straightened, his eyes reﬂecting his deep thoughts but he did not speak. Ghost Li was not impatient too and quietly stood by the side. After a long while, Zhou YiXian suddenly said, “Those men that were killed, was it a gruesome death, their bodies mutilated into pieces, too horrible to look at?” “Ah!” this soft exclamation, was instead made by Xiao Huan, she looked frightened and obviously shocked.
Ghost Li unhurriedly nodded, his eyes looked deeply at this old man in front of him, said, “That’s right, it is indeed.”
Zhou YiXian nodded and said, “Then it will not be wrong, deﬁnitely done by the human ﬁsh tribe of the Southern Border ten thousand great mountains sixty-three different tribes. This strange tribe branch have weird appearances and already have ﬁsh-head-human-body when they were born, according to their tribe legend, they are the descendents of the union between the ancient ﬁsh God and a human girl and called themselves the descendents of the God of Fish. This tribe has always been cruel and bloodthirsty and they believe regardless whether it’s animal or human, after slaughtering, they have to chop the body up in order to destroy the soul too, so as to prevent future repercussion. Therefore those killed under their hands, regardless if it’s animal or human, most did not have a whole body remaining.”
Suddenly a strange sound was heard, both of them looked over, Xiao Huan’s face was pale, her eyebrows frowning tightly, looking slightly revolted. Zhou YiXian shook his head slightly, looked at Xiao Huan, sighed and said, “The world is so huge, how many cruel things that are out there, you still don’t know!”
Ghost Li naturally was not like Xiao Huan but he too frowned his brows and said, “How is it that such savage and barbarian tribe was not heard before?”
Zhou YiXian indifferently said, “You have been staying in Central Plain all these while, naturally you won’t understand this type of wild tribes. Within Southern border ten thousand great mountains, treacherous rapids and barren mountains were everywhere, the people there devour raw meat and fowl, completely different from the civilized people of the Central Plain. But those tribes have always been staying at where their ancestors resided and between the Central Plains and Southern border, there resides one of the world’s three great Good Faction sect, ‘FenXiang Valley’. Occasionally a few of them ran out over here and they were all killed by FenXiang Valley’s disciples using their Taoist family skills, therefore the Central Plains never knew about the Southern border tribes. For me, it was because while I was roaming the world when I was young and had travelled to an area near the Southern border ten thousands great mountains, so I knew one or two things.” Ghost Li slowly nodded but his eyes gradually brightened and said, “Then according to what senior has said, it is reasonable that occasionally one of them will come running here but such a big group of tribe people quietly entering Central Plains and even till the extent of the death marsh which is at least thousand of miles away from Southern border, is deﬁnitely impossible. Unless FenXiang Valley which has been keeping watch on the Southern border, something has happened to it…”
Zhou YiXian suddenly stretched and lazily said, “Then that is your problem, I can’t be bothered.”
Ghost Li pondered for a while and said, “Thank you senior.”
After speaking, he turned over and saw Xiao Huan was hugging Xiao Hui and playing with it.
Xiao Huan saw Ghost Li turning over and could not help but smiled, “This monkey of yours is so adorable! Oh right, why did it gain so much weight suddenly? And, look at this deep grey scar on its forehead, it seems like another eye. He he, isn’t it ah! Monkey?” Xiao Huan made a face at Xiao Hui, Xiao Hui, [Zi zi, zi zi] grinned, its tail swishing widely behind.
Ghost Li was disconcerted. Ever since that day at the Celestial Emperor Treasury where Xiao Hui had drunk that mysterious liquid and in addition, swallowed that strange stone, it, like being drunk, had slept fully for two days and two nights. After waking up it did not seem to eat much but its weight suddenly increased a lot and its appearance started to alter gradually, its fur turned shiny and glossy, especially that grey scar on its forehead, became more and more deﬁned.
But other then that, Xiao Hui did not seem to change and was still mischievous and greedy. Initially Ghost Li had some worries but as Xiao Hui did not exhibit any strange behaviour, he was not so worried anymore.
Ghost Li paused for a while and turned to look at Wild Dog Taoist. Wild Dog Taoist looked at him, fear showed in his eyes.
Ghost Li indifferently said, “You intend to follow them in the future?” Wild Dog Taoist hesitated for a moment, said, “Yes.”
Ghost Li said, “What I have said to you before, do you still remember, Nian Leader and those people will come and look for you anytime.”
Wild Dog Taoist’s face became sombre but he glanced at Xiao Huan and said, “I know, I don’t care too, it was them who betrayed the sect and still have the cheek to look for me?”
Ghost Li intentionally or unintentionally glanced at Xiao Huan then looked away and said, “Since you want it this way then just do what you like.”
Wild Dog Taoist was stunned, he raised his head and seemed like he did not expect that Ghost Li was so easy-going. Ghost Li ignored him instead and walked to the side, gestured to Xiao Hui. Xiao Hui, with a [sou] sound, scurried out of Xiao Huan’s embrace, in two three jumps went up to Ghost Li’s shoulder.
Xiao Huan was startled and looked reluctant, said, “You are leaving now?” Ghost Li nodded, cupped his hands together towards Zhou YiXian and then black-green light drifted out below his body, in an instant became a brilliant light, dashed straight up to the sky and in a moment disappeared into the horizon.
Watching Ghost Li’s ﬁgure disappearing, Wild Dog Taoist suddenly heaved a long sigh, seemed like when Ghost Li was here, there was an invisible pressure, pressing him breathless.
Xiao Huan saw it and was about to tease him with a few words, suddenly a movement of wind behind her, a gentle voice softly rang out, “Sister, we have meet again.”
Xiao Huan was startled but before she turned around, she was already smiling and said, “PingEr sister.”
Turning around to look, it was indeed the amorous, captivating Jin PingEr, smiling behind her.
Wild Dog Taoist was after all an Evil Sect member and disposed to feeling fear towards Jin PingEr, his expression showed discomﬁt. But Xiao Huan was very close to Jin PingEr and looked extremely pleased to see her, held her hand and kept smiling.
Jin PingEr like an elder sister, caressed Xiao Huan’s head lovingly, and then intentionally or unintentionally glanced up at the sky and said, “Xiao Huan sister, actually I came to ask your grandfather a few questions.”
Xiao Huan, Zhou YiXian including Wild Dog were all surprised.
Jin PingEr indifferently spoke to Zhou YiXian, “Regarding the Southern border human ﬁsh tribe, I still have a few more questions to consult you!”
Zhou YiXian was speechless and frowned, Jin PingEr’s eyes instead before she started asking, again brieﬂy glanced up towards the horizon.
High up within the white clouds, an indistinct light traversing in the clouds, heading towards the south.
Chapter 107 - Sword Dance
Qing Yun Hill, Small Bamboo Valley.
The gloomy sky hid the the stars and moonlight, the boundless darkness enveloped the Small Bamboo Valley. Lu XueQi, in an attire of white, stood still by herself on the Full- Moon platform located at the mountain behind Small Bamboo Valley.
The Full-Moon platform was actually the most famous location in Small Bamboo Valley, listed together with Qing Yun TongTian Peak’s “Sea of clouds’, ‘Rainbow Bridge’ as one of the six scenic spots of Qing Yun.
The mountain behind Small Bamboo Valley was also ﬁlled with dense bamboos but different from the ‘Black Bamboo’ behind Big Bamboo Valley. Abound in Small Bamboo Valley was another type of rare bamboo - Tears Bamboo. This type of bamboo color was emerald green, it’s body slender and tall, almost half of the normal bamboo but the structure was extremely tough and durable, known as the world’s number one, ordinary woodcutters would not be able to cut through. But the most famous point about Tears Bamboo was, the emerald green body was littered with tiny pink spots, like the tear stains of a heartbroken gentle woman, extremely beautiful.
And the origin of the Small Bamboo Valley name, also came from this.
As for the Full-Moon platform, it was actually a cliff solitarily suspended in the mid-air, other than the latter part of it connecting to the body of the mountain, most of it was suspended in the air. It was said on the night of a bright moon, the moonlight would slowly rise from the bottom of the mountain, slowly making its way to the full-moon platform and at the moment when the moonlight completely covered the platform, the moon would be exactly right in the middle of the sky.
And the moment when the Full-Moon platform was at it’s most beautiful, was then. The clear and bright moonlight shone resplendently down, reﬂecting back from the smooth rock face of the Full-Moon platform, instantly illuminating the entire Small Bamboo Valley. And the person who stood on the Full-Moon platform at that moment, would be like in a celestial world; on top of that, legend said that on the ﬁrst full moon night after sixty years, it would make the person feel that he was standing on the bright moon, that emotional feeling really made one yearn for it.
But tonight, the moonless and strong winds were obviously not suitable to enjoy the beauty of the full moon, and other than this Full-Moon platform behind the Small Bamboo Valley, the disciples residences in front of the mountain were pitch- black, evidently already in bed.
Only Lu XueQi, alone came to this secluded deserted area.
TianYa, which had never left her, still glowing with blue light behind her in the darkness, illuminating the area around it. The cold night breeze blew over, ﬂuttering her snow-like white clothes.
Beside her temples, a few strands of soft hair messed up by the wind, caressing across her fair and white face but she seemed not to take any notice at all, silently standing at the most forefront of the Full-Moon platform, staring out in a daze.
The mountain breeze, gradually turned stronger, her clothes started to dance in the wind.
Just one more step forward, would be darkness, a vast abyss.
At the side of the cliff, in the faint light, that white-attired girl stood alone unmoving.
Little by little, what was it that surfaced from deep down in the heart, the feelings which were originally tender, how did it slowly turned into heartache.
Bit by bit, like an unseen knife edge, stabbed deeply into the heart. The marks engraved deep inside the heart, was actually a person’s face.
Lovesickness, carved deep into the bones…
At the hour in the black night when it was deserted, at a secluded spot, she, slowly opened her arms, in front, was the boundless darkness, like the vast Heaven and Earth.
The wind was so urgent, charging into her embrace as if it was about to tear apart a person, the darkness below her feet suddenly began to stir, from nowhere dark hands stretched out, wrapping around her body, wanting to pull her into the abyss.
Just that she, like being witless, just quietly watched, the wind blew at her frail body, like, a lily that had bloomed in the darkness.
The night, deep. That inexplicable chill, seeped into every inch of her skin, only her mind, only inside her mind it suddenly burned, that tender feelings hidden deeply inside her heart, suddenly like a burning ﬂame, burst forth and then congealed into --
A sharp sound, suddenly rang out in the night, reverberated far away.
TianYa Celestial Sword unsheathed, bursting forth brilliant light in the darkness. The white ﬁgure soared up, caught TianYa in the mid air, the piercingly cold mountain breeze abruptly swept upwards, accompanying that white ﬁgure. On the Full-Moon platform, a breathtaking beautiful sword dance began.
Like the sky meeting the sea in the horizon, transformed into an immense Milky Way, skillfully maneuvered in the slender fair hands, raced jubilantly in the dark night. At times it charged towards the sky, at times it landed, at times it transformed into a silver ﬂowing light, sentimentally attached to that unparallelled face; at times it scattered out to become a sky full of tightly-packed stars, twinkling brightly.
Lu XueQi at this Full-Moon platform, bit her lips tightly, closed her eyes, her body seemed to be drifting along with the wind, like ﬂoating cotton, like a cold ﬂower, danced out a poignant pose.
She, transformed into a white ﬂoating light, spent, her face that pale, there seemed to be faint beads of perspiration but she still did not stop, maybe only when her body was exhausted then she would be able to forget everything!
So she danced and danced, that ﬁgure in the night, indistinct and beautiful…
A soft crisp sound, TianYa Celestial Sword dropped slowly from her hand, that sharp sword tip totally disregarded the hard rock, like stabbing snow, soundlessly stabbed into the heart of the stone.
Brilliant beautiful white ﬁgure, slowly lowered her head, the darkness quietly swallowed over.
Who in the darkness, softly panting?
Water beads were dripping down, landed on the stone, maybe it was the sweat from exhaustion?
She softly panted, panted, then slowly calmed down, she raised her eyes, a faint fustration.
Without realizing, she had danced to the back of the Full- Moon platform, in front of her eyes were a stretch of bamboo forest, in front of her, the slender and gentle tears bamboos.
In the weak light, the spots of tear stains, like a heartbroken girl. She stared dazedly then suddenly laughed, soundlessly laughed, seemed to have some anguish in it and then without a care for the dust on the ground, without a care for the clean white clothes she had on, against the tears bamboos, she sat on the ground.
Looking up, gazing the sky!
The vast sky…
The night breeze blew over, there seemed to be a faint familiar smell.
She closed her eyes, breathed deeply.
As it turned out, after being exhausted, that face in the heart, seemed to be even etched even deeper.
The past, bit by bit, like carved in her heart, unable to be erased anymore. Just like that day outside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, he, on impulse, pulled her hand to save her, totally disregarding his own danger.
She, still with her eyes closed, but a faint smiled appeared at her lips. Then, reminiscing, reminiscing...
Until the last part, the mysterious words that appeared dancing around them, she then realized, those words had already been etched deeply in her mind. Maybe, she could forget him this way?
She talked to her inner self like that, although she did not believe it herself but her mouth, was still softly chanting:
“Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs…”
In the late night, the ancient words like a demon incantation, reverberated quietly in the night. x x x
Qing Yun Hill, TongTian Peak, Founders Ancestral Hall.
The light in the great hall was still as usual, slightly dimmed, Sect Head Reverend DaoXuan was holding three joss sticks in his hands, respectfully bowing to the countless founders and ancestors’ spirit tablets, then stepped forward and placed the joss sticks into the incense burner on the altar table.
Beside him, stood a shabby old man who took care of the Founders Ancestral Hall. The dim light shone on his face, lines of deep wrinkles seemed to be incised onto his face.
DaoXuan turned his head over, his eyes landed on his face, suddenly said, “You seem to look like you have aged again.”
That old man expressionlessly, indifferently said, “The times make one aged, what is so queer about it?” DaoXuan smiled, looked like he wanted to continue but suddenly a voice was heard from outside the Ancestral Hall, “Senior, disciple Lin JingYu is back and have come to give my greetings to senior.”
DaoXuan frowned slightly and did not speak, that old man unhurriedly walked up but did not leave the hall, he raised his voice slightly and said, “Oh it’s you, when did you come back?”
Outside, Lin JingYu respectfully replied, “Disciple came back yesterday, after reporting to sect head, disciple ﬁrst return to Long Shou Valley to greet sect leader senior brother, once free disciple came over to greet senior.”
A faint smile seemed to appear on the old man’s lips, he said, “Oh, I see. You wait outside for a while, I still have a guest here.”
Lin JingYu seemed to be surprised, the Founders Ancestral Hall rarely had visitors, unexpectedly there was one today. But he had trained under this mysterious old man for ten years and had long regarded him as his benefactor teacher, immediately he acknowledged and quietly went aside to wait. Reverend DaoXuan slowly took a few steps, stood in the great hall’s shadows, looking out from the main door, under the warm sunlight, Lin JingYu carrying the Dragon Slayer Sword on his back, wearing a long robe, a jade belt around his waist, a handsome young face, respectfully stood by the side of Founders Ancestral Hall and patiently waited.
He quietly watched for a while and said, “This child really has good potential, regardless whether it’s aptitude, character, they are all good quality.”
That old man’s steps seemed to be slightly sluggish, he walked to him and too looked out, said, “Then why didn’t you recruit him to your branch at that time?”
Reverend DaoXuan watched Lin JingYu from afar, that young man was at his prime, no matter looking from which angle, he gave off a vitality and trenchant air, standing out from the rest.
Reverend DaoXuan suddenly laughed, a laugh that was very very insipid and then turned around, facing that old man, “Because he is so like someone, the temperament, expression, even his aptitude, are so alike that person. If I allow him to be by my side, I will not be able to sleep.”
The old man’s face beside him, suddenly twitched.
Reverend DaoXuan glance at him, watched him indifferently, after a long time, suddenly he shook his head, smiled and said, “I am just kidding with you!” he had just completed his sentence when he suddenly frowned, his hand pressing onto his chest, quietly coughed a few times.
That old man glanced at his chest and at Reverend DaoXuan’s slightly pale face, indifferently said, “It has already been ten years, your wound still has not recovered?”
Reverend DaoXuan did not speak but his coughs gradually became louder and his complexion also turned worse, after a long while, his coughs slowly subsided.
Reverend DaoXuan heaved a long sigh, turned around and no longer watched Lin JingYu, he walked to the altar which enshrined the countless Qing Yun Hill’s ancestors spirit tablets, stared for a while and then quietly said, “I too did not expect that the rebound force from ‘Zhu Xian Sword’ was that powerful!”
That old man slowly walked over, stretched his hand to take a cloth and started to gently wipe the heavy altar table while saying, “Zhu Xian Sword’s power is so immense, including ‘Zhu Xian Sword Formation’, it is enough to go against Heaven, this type of tyrannical object, strongly violate the Heaven’s will, when you were using the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword, you should have knew it already.”
Reverend DaoXuan lightly said, “Of course I knew it, on the stone tablet inside the Illusory Moon Cave, ever since from Qing Ye founder, the successive forefathers all had left stern warning, unless it is the last resort, if not never touch the sword!”
That old man slowly wiped the altar table, his movement extremely slow, as if he had wiped like this for many years and could therefore had such concentration. His eyes looked at the table top, suddenly smiled and said, “Actually I had once thought before, maybe if you use the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword more frequently, maybe you will die earlier than me.” Reverend DaoXuan looked at the old man’s stooped ﬁgure, his eyes pupils suddenly shrank, after a while, he slowly turned and headed towards outside.
“Are you leaving already?” that old man’s slightly desolated voice was heard behind him.
Reverend DaoXuan stopped but he did not turn back, after a moment, he was heard speaking unhurriedly, “Do you still remember the words I said to you when I saved you?”
That old man stood in the dark shadows, did not answer.
Reverend DaoXuan also did not turn back, inside the Founders Ancestral Hall, a strange atmosphere seemed to waft in it, after a long while, Reverend DaoXuan’s voice was heard speaking indifferently, “I saved you, was because I owed you but I will not let you live longer than me!”
That old man’s ﬁgure had already submerged into the shadows, unmoving, Reverend DaoXuan walked out, leaving that Founders Ancestral Hall. x x x
Lin JingYu patiently waited outside, when he saw it was Sect Head Reverend who walked out from the Founders Ancestral Hall, he had a shock and quickly paid his obeisance. Reverend DaoXuan glanced at him, a strange gleam seemed to ﬂash in his eyes, nodded and left.
After Lin JingYu sent Sect Head Reverend off, for some reasons, when Reverend DaoXuan came out from the Founders Ancestral Hall, Sect Head Reverend’s complexion seemed to be strangely pale.
Lin JingYu was pondering over this when from within the hall, the old man’s voice was heard unhurriedly saying, “Is it JingYu, come on in.”
Lin JingYu hurriedly acknowledged with a “Yes” and entered the hall.
When he entered the hall, Lin JingYu felt a chillness and at the same time, his surroundings darken. He subconsciously frowned, in these ten years he had followed the mysterious old man and looked after the Founders Ancestral Hall but from the ﬁrst day he came, he felt something queer with this Founders Ancestral Hall, no matter when, it was always chilly and dark but it was not totally dark, instead there were many candles offered before the ancestors spirit tablets but the existence of those dim candlelights seemed to just bring out the darker shadows and not throw off the dimness and gloomy feeling in
this great hall.
But he, after all, had lived here for ten years and extremely revered this old man standing in the darkness, he had long ago ignored this strange place and immediately pay his obeisance to that old man and said, “Senior, disciple has returned.”
For these ten years, Lin JingYu had more than once, wanted to address this old man as teacher but each time without exception, he was rejected by the mysterious old man, therefore Lin JingYu had always addressed him as senior. Anyway he had seen even Sect Head Reverend treated this old man differently, most likely he must once be a senior in Qing Yun Sect. That old man smiled, walked out from the shadows and assessed Lin JingYu. He saw some signs of hardship on Lin JingYu’s face after these few months but he looked much more alert, his eyes could not help but revealed gratiﬁcation, calmy said, “This trip out, you didn’t get hurt right?”
Lin JingYu smiled and said, “I can’t say there are no injuries but they were all superﬁcial wounds, not worth mentioning. Just that it is regrettable that we came back without any achievement during this trip out to death marsh.”
He brieﬂy went through what happened in the death marsh, by now the news of the three big Evil sects, in their internal ﬁghts, extinguished Chang Shen Hall together, had already spread and shocked the world, Lin JingYu also heard it on his way back and relayed it to the old man too.
But the old man seemed not very interested in the demise of Chang Shen Hall, after hearing that the one of the big four Evil Sect branch was exterminated, his expression never changed and only quietly listened to Lin JingYu’s words. After Lin JingYu ﬁnished, the old man was silent for a moment and suddenly said, “You said that this time the other three big Evil Sect branches including Wan Du Clan, all had large forces sent out?”
Lin JingYu nodded and said, “Yes.”
That old man seemed to hesitate but eventually still asked, “Did you see Cang Song?”
Lin JingYu’s body shook, he was dumbfounded but became silent after that, his expression looked complicated, after a long while he then said, “No, senior.”
The old man saw his expression, suddenly said, “Do you hated him alot?”
An anguish ﬂashed through Lin JingYu’s eyes, he slowly said, “I do not know too but Good and Evil are irreconcilable, even if we meet again, we will be enemies that cannot exist under the same sky!” “Humphed!” That old man suddenly sneered.
Lin JingYu was surprised and said, “What is it senior?”
That old man slowly shook his head, turned his body around, his gaze looking upwards, reﬂecting in his eyes were the countless of Qing Yun Hill ancestors spirit tablets high up above, the dim candlelights in front of their tablets, right now looked like their eyes, silently watching the people inside the hall.
“He has raised you since young, imparted to you the Taoist skills, taught you the ways of men, at the end even passed down the Dragon Slayer Sword to you, has he ever done anything to let you down?” the old man suddenly asked.
Lin JingYu slowly shook his head, quietly said, “He has always treated me well, in the past I have like worshiping God, regard him like a father, extremely revered and respected him. But…” Lin JingYu did not continue, that old man suddenly became quiet, after a long while, that old man forced a laugh, in it immense grief, facing those candles before the tablets, he quietly said, “Actually, Cang Song is only a pitiful person who has walked the wrong path…”
Chapter 108 - Ancient Temple
In the southern border badlands, at the extreme south of the Divine Land, legend said that it was inhospitable, abounded with poisonous insects and ferocious beasts. And the most glaring difference with the Central Plains was in the extreme south, lofty majestic mountain ranges, one after another, like erupting abruptly out of the ground, towering into the clouds, cutting off the south from the north.
Since ancient times, because of the fertile Central Plains, very few people ventured into the southern border, there was no other reasons, ﬁrst the road was precipitous, second too many ferocious beasts and poisonous insects, miasma and unclean water and the most of the land was barren, unable to be cultivated. Later on without knowing since when, a rumour started that in the inﬁnite great mountains of the southern border, there were different kinds of barbaric tribes which devoured raw meats and were savage and bloodthirsty, and among them there were even horrible cannibals, as such even lesser people dared to venture in. Instead the world shook in dread, worried day and night that one day those barbaric tribes would suddenly ran out from those great mountains and invade the Central Plains, endangering the world. But for the past thousand years, there were no rumours of wild tribes attacking people. Although occasionally at the southern border frontier, from time to time there were sightings of queer creatures that looked like the tribes but most probably the rumours died off and people gradually forgot about it. In the current times, even for the people living at the fringe of the southern border, probably only the mothers would say, ‘If you don’t listen, those monsters from the wild
tribes will come and catch you’ these kind of words while
coaxing the children to bed, in normal days, nobody had seriously considered if those tribes really existed in the deep mountains, not to mention those living thousands of miles away in the Central Plains.
Speaking of which, that ten thousands great mountains shrouded within the layers of mists had already became a place forgotten by the people.
But even though the common people had forgotten about those tribes but some true enlightened Taoist priests did not. Regardless whether it was Good or Evil Faction, as long as those who were slightly more senior would know for the past thousand years, the reason why the south’s tribes were unable to scourge the world was because of the Good Faction huge sect, ‘FenXiang Valley’. The majestic ten thousands lofty mountains, isolated the communications between north and south. The Central Plains folks were unable to travel down south and those wild tribes were unable to travel up north but a thousand years before, an unimaginable great calamity descended from Heaven, innumerable number of common people within a radius of thousand miles died. After the calamity, someone discovered that in the middle of the lofty mountain ranges, the mighty lightning from the sky actually cleaved off somewhere in the lofty mountains, revealing a three chi wide, black and gloomy small path.
And it was from then on, rumours started that in the ten thousands great mountains, concealed strange wild tribes and from time to time, invaded and harassed the common folks. The common people living at the border was miserable until the appearance of FenXiang Valley.
Among the various sects in the Good Faction, FenXiang Valley had the most mysterious origin, the earliest record was at one thousand and ﬁve hundred years ago which mentioned a group of FenXiang Valley disciples roaming the world. If to compare only the history, in the world only Qing Yun Sect and the Evil Sect’s histories were longer than FenXiang Valley, even TianYin Temple was shorter. But even though it was so, this sect had always been the the most low-proﬁle. Although a few highly skilled cultivated Taoist priests would emerge from time to time but their inﬂuences over the world’s matters were not great. Until eight hundred years ago, at the fringe of the southern border near that dark tunnel, this sect found a mountain valley and settled down and since then known as the ‘FenXiang Valley’. And in the eight hundred years, unbelievable highly skilled martial ﬁghters came forth in large numbers, their powers ﬂourishing by the day and until today, it was already standing equal with Qing Yun Sect, TianYin Temple, becoming one of the three great sects of the world’s Good Faction.
And ﬁttingly, the current valley master of FenXiang Valley, Yun YiLan, together with Qing Yun Sect Reverend DaoXuan, Tian Yin Temple PuHong, were the Good Faction’s main pillars. Just that this person had always been low-keyed and his reputation were inferior to the other two.
Because of the location, FenXiang Valley almost instinctively took up the responsibility of guarding that dim, dark small path, known locally as the ‘Black Hole’. Since then, there were no more rumours of creatures from the wild tribes harassing the common people. Hence to the local common people, FenXiang Valley had an extremely high prestige and revered by the people like immortals. All of these information were recorded in the Evil Sect Ghost King Sect and in these ten years, Ghost Li had read it and now slowly recalled it in his head. It was already the third day he had travelled south since the day he had approached Zhou YiXian to inquire about the human ﬁsh tribe. Making haste during the journey, he had managed to reach the area near the ten thousands great mountains.
The night was already late, this night, the moon was right in the sky, the clouds were slightly thick, a few stars missing but the moonlight was clear and bright, shone onto the world, illuminating the hill where he was settling at.
Ghost Li stood on the hill, gazed towards the south, frowning slightly. Xiao Hui the monkey was still crouching at his shoulder, holding a wild fruit plucked from somewhere, gnawing deliciously at it.
On his journey here, for the ﬁrst two days he was still able to ﬁnd the signs left behind by Kill-the-living Monk but today, Kill-the-living Monk seemed to have vanished. However from the messages that he had left in the previous days, the Kill-the- living Monk who was skilled in the art of pursuing had already conﬁrmed that those mysterious human ﬁsh people were swiftly moving south, their goals obviously trying to return to their southern border lair.
Unless, Kill-the-living Monk already had a confrontation with those mysterious human ﬁsh people?
Ghost Li sighed softly, a trace of worry ﬂashed through his eyes. The barbaric tribes were obviously very much different from Central Plains ﬁgures and this had been mentioned many times in the Ghost King sect remnant records. Those people there never knew what was enlightenment and cultivation but seemed to have all sorts of strange witchcrafts, inconceivable.
Kill-the-living Monk was young and had a ﬁery character but was an outstanding ﬁgure among the younger generations of the Ghost King sect and usually followed around Ghost Li, a capable man.
Now that he had mysteriously disappeared, Ghost Li felt worried. Right now he gazed ahead, in the heavy black night, shadows seemed to be moving in the southern area, like some enormous animal was making threatening gestures, most probably that must be the legendary ten thousands giant mountains. And at some place below that range of mountains, would be the legendary mysterious FenXiang Valley.
The southern border had always been FenXiang Valley territory, an Evil Sect disciple venturing in alone, needless to say, it was dangerous.
While Ghost Li was pondering, suddenly he had a sense and raised his head to look, only a moon hung solitary in the horizon, traversing through the faint dark clouds, suddenly it felt somehow unnatural.
A dark red light suddenly appeared in the night sky, under the clear moonlight, swept past the horizon and landed among the mountains in the south.
Ghost Li stared at that strange red light, both of his brows slowly knitted, after a moment he made up his mind, patted Xiao Hui on his shoulder and the dark-green light below his feet lighted up, the Soul-Absorbing Stick gleamed with faint light, supporting him and Xiao Hui, slowly rose and abruptly increased in speed, pursuing in that red light direction. x x x
Since when, the dark clouds in the night sky gradually increased in numbers, that solitude moon in the horizon, the moonlight gradually darkened and a gloomy unnatural atmosphere that seemed to exist only in southern border, turned thicker and thicker in this night.
That mysterious red light ﬂew for a while and landed between the mountains which were about ten miles south away from where Ghost Li was hiding. There were many mountains in the southern border and vegetations abounded on the mountains, just that in the forest on this nameless small mountain, there was a desolate ancient temple. That red light landed before that temple, wavered and a bony old person walked out.
He glanced around the surroundings and after checking to see that there was no one around, he walked into the ancient temple.
Wild mountainous terrain, dilapidated ancient temple but someone still came in the middle of the night, naturally there was something secretive. After a moment, in the shadows of the forest outside the ancient temple, Ghost Li’s ﬁgure slowly emerged. He studied the nameless ancient temple for a moment and then raised his head to look at the sky again. The clouds had turned darker, gradually obscuring the moon.
His ﬁgure ﬂashed and he silently moved towards the ancient temple.
This ancient temple evidently was in a disrepair for a very long time, crumbling fences and dilapidated walls inside the temple, even the main hall from the outside also looked extremely broken-down, everywhere were holes. The cold night breeze blew over, the broken windows [zhi ya] swayed, the quiet noise seemed especially miserable in the night, with an added feeling of uncanniness.
[Translator's note: crumbling fences and dilapidated walls - an idiom]
[Bo!] A light sound, seemed like someone lighted up a ﬁre, a faint light lighted up in the great hall, just that this light was dim and could only brighten the main hall a little, the slightly further areas from it were still shrouded in darkness.
“Ji ji, ji ji ji, ji, ji ji ji ji ji…” suddenly a weird noise rang out in the great hall, the noise was like the crying of the ghost in the night but also seemed like the sound made by a poisonous insect traversing in the night, made one had goosebumps upon hearing it, extremely unbearable.
Ghost Li hid within the shadows and looked towards the great hall.
Under the dim light in the great hall, other than that elderly man seen earlier, there were two other men, one seemed thirtyish, average build and the other man, taller but for some reasons, he was covered tightly with a cloak from head to toe, even the top of his head was not revealed and that weird noise actually came out from the bottom of this person’s cloak.
The noise reverberated in the dim ancient temple, getting more and more eerie, like an evil ghost awakening. Ghost Li watched coldly, this was also the ﬁrst time he had heard such strange language, naturally he did not know what was being said but looking at the other two men’s expressions, he knew there would be outcome. As expected, after that mysterious man temporarily stopped after speaking for a while, the middle-aged man standing beside him who had been listening intently, turned and spoke to that elderly, “Tribe leader said that this time that they did not accomplish anything and instead lost men and also exposed their tracks, are all because of your inaccurate news. The God of Beast Great King after hearing these has already ﬂew into a rage…”
When that middle-aged man mentioned the word, ‘God of Beast’, his voice suddenly dropped and that tall ﬁgure cladded under the cloak also shivered.
That elderly frowned and said, “Our original agreement was to inform God of Beast Great King the location of the ‘Celestial Emperor Ming Stone’ and according to what we know, that rare stone is indeed at the Celestial Emperor Treasury in the death marsh, why are we being blamed for incorrect information?” He glanced at that mysterious ﬁgure hiding in the cloak, a sneer suddenly brushed past his lips and he said, “I’m afraid it’s more likely due to your inability?”
Once the words were out, that mysterious ﬁgure wrapped in the cloak immediately responded with a series of sounds, “Ji ji, ji ji ji ji, ji ji ji...“ The sounds came out repeatedly, even though Ghost Li who was hiding at the side could not understand the meaning but listening to the sharp and urgent sounds, it was obvious that the mysterious ﬁgure was enraged.
After that mysterious man “Ji ji ji ji” for a while, the expression on the middle-aged man who was translating also gradually changed. When he ﬁnally waited until that man stopped, the middle-aged man hesitated for a moment and said, “Tribe leader said although they have never been to the death marsh but they also know that it has always been secluded but this time, a great number of Central Plains cultivated martial experts suddenly appeared there, naturally, naturally it is your information which is inaccurate.”
That elderly seemed surprised that the middle-aged man had ﬁnished, that mysterious man had spoken for a quite a while but when this middle-aged man translated, it was only this sentence, most likely the mysterious man had included many crude and vulgar words in-between and the middle-aged man did not wish to translate that.
That elderly pondered for a while, looked as if he did not wish to offend the mysterious man and said, “The appearance of the Celestial Emperor Treasury this time had unusual astonishing signs, shocking the world, most likely those Central Plains cultivated martial experts also heard about it and swiftly went over, this is not something that we can control.”
That mysterious man hiding inside the cloak had not appeased and made another series of strange sounds, the middle-aged man listened and nodded, spoke to the elderly, “Tribe leader said that the Celestial Emperor Ming Stone is really very important to the God of Beast Great King, stakes are high, this time because they had returned empty-handed, God of Beast Great King was infuriated and killed a number of the tribe people on the spot…”
When the elderly heard it, his face became somber and seemed to be in a heavy mood but a in his eyes, a mocking look seemed to ﬂash past involuntarily. The man in the middle continued to translate, “Therefore please quickly ﬁnd out who have the rare stone now so that they can again go get it and offer to the God of Beast Great King!”
Ghost Li who was hiding, suddenly had a thought, after hearing them mentioned this Celestial Emperor Ming Stone a few times, could it be that strange stone which was swallowed by Xiao Hui?
The elderly was heard saying after hesitating for a moment and then nodding his head, “Alright, leave this to us, within three days, we will give you a reply.”
The mysterious man humped once, “Ji ji ji ji” said a few times, the middle-aged man nodded to the elderly and said, “Tribe leader agrees, after three days, we will meet here again.”
That elderly nodded, was still waiting for him to go on when that mysterious man instead turned and walked out, and did not even regard them with a look, extremely arrogant and rude. That elderly’s expression changed, ﬁlled with rage while looking at that mysterious man’s back, the middle-aged man hurriedly pulled him and shook his head, the elderly glanced at him and held himself back.
Until that mysterious tall ﬁgure disappeared into the darkness, the elderly suddenly [pei] a sound, scolded, “What is that thing, a bunch of bastards only!”
That middle-aged man smiled obsequiously, said, "Teacher uncle, don’t always get angry, don’t stoop to their level.”
That old man sneered and said, “I can’t be bothered with them” after which he turned and looked at him and said, “Speaking of which, SunTu, you must have suffered a lot while living with those bastards for three years in order to learning their bird language?”
The middle-aged man who was called SunTu, smiled and said, “Disciple has received great kindness from teacher sect but because disciple’s aptitude is too low and was agonizing on how helpless disciple was in repaying valley master and various teacher uncles’ generosities, happened that there is this opportunity, how can disciple not put in all of his efforts!”
When Ghost Li suddenly heard the words, “Valley master”, his heart immediately turned cold.
That teacher uncle instead smiled and looked approving, he stretched his hand and patted SunTu’s shoulder. Suddenly he sneered again, “Luckily valley master is brilliant, know that I have always been level-headed therefore send me to meet those bastards, if it’s ShangGuan Ce that old fellow who came, he would have messed up the whole thing there and then!”
SunTu forced a laugh, his expression looked odd, respectfully replied with an acknowledgement but seemed afraid to comment anything on that ShangGuan Ce.
Ghost Li who was at the side, was now without any doubts. ShangGuan Ce was one of the south ‘FenXiang Valley’ well- known top ﬁgures and although he never roamed the world but his reputation preceded him. Especially ten years ago at Qing Yun Sect battle, Ghost King deployed a clever tactic and sent ZhouYin to impersonate as ShangGuan Ce and assassinate Tian Yin Temple’s monk, and it really worked, almost doomed Qing Yun, Tian Yin Temple these two big sects. At that time, Ghost Li was a Qing Yun disciple called Zhang Xiao Fan and also at the scene, therefore he had deep impression of that name.
After hearing the two of them addressed that mysterious man as “bastard”, that mysterious man’s identity could also be surmise, just that FenXiang Valley who had always been awe- inspiring righteous, could actually revealed such unimaginable evil aura now.
Ghost Li coldly looked at the two people in the great hall, in the darkness, a cold and disdain sneer on his lips.
In the scene, the two of them discussed a little while more and SunTu blew out the candle in the great hall with one breath. Both of them headed outside and appeared to be leaving. Ghost Li frowned in the darkness and was just hesitating when suddenly, a strange cry was heard outside the ancient temple! The people inside the temple were shocked, the elderly and SunTu stopped in their tracks.
The cry was shrill and angry, and also carried a feeling of panic but it seemed to be coming from some wild beast and not human cries. Just that Ghost Li analyzed it slightly and immediately recognized the sound was made by that mysterious ﬁgure who was hiding in the cloak, he frowned subconsciously. At the same time, the elderly and SunTu also recognized it and immediately their expressions changed greatly, they both soared up at the same time and ﬂew out of the temple.
In the deep wild mountains, there was actually still an ambush happening!
The moonlight cold and chilly, as if the unnatural aura had deepened.
x x x
Outside the ancient temple, at the back of a hill far away. A purple light suddenly ﬂared in the night, charged halfway into the sky and suddenly struck down.
About several zhangs away, Ghost Li also felt that piercingly cold murderous aura. His pupils contracted and he instantly recognized what magical weapon it was.
The two people from FenXiang Valley ﬂew but that elderly was obviously higher skilled than SunTu and in a short while, increased the distance to several zhangs between them and at the same time a dark red celestial sword appeared in his hand, ﬂying swiftly towards where that purple light had ﬂashed.
Just that without waiting for him to reach the back of the hill, a loud roar of despair reverberated in the dark night. That elderly’s expression changed greatly and went even faster, [hu] a sound and he had already ﬂew over, Ghost Li quietly followed from the other side and came around to the back of the hill.
A blood stench assaulted the nose immediately, the cloak which had been sliced into two ﬂoated down, dark red blood splashed everywhere. The revealed identity of that mysterious ﬁgure was actually a ﬁsh-head-human-body human ﬁsh but right now had been chopped into two from the head to the crotch, cleaved into two in one stroke, its corpse fell onto the ground but the killer had already vanished.
That elderly was shocked and angry, this killer had killed in an instant and disappeared, the skill level was deﬁnitely not low. Although he extremely disliked these human ﬁsh but he knew that the valley master had important matters with these barbaric tribes and now that a murder had happened right before his eyes, if the other side pursued it, he would have a hard time explaining.
By now SunTu had also arrived and saw the butchery, immediately he was speechless.
The elderly expression was very ugly, suddenly he soared up, the dark red light supporting his feet, he ﬂew to mid air and glanced around but everywhere was darkness, in the sea of forests, how could he ﬁnd the killer?
Suddenly, he shouted loudly, “Whichever master is here, please come out, FenXiang Valley LuShun will like to consult!” The voice spread far away, immediately in the sea of forests and mountains, a faint echo reverberated everywhere, “LuShun will like to consult...LuShun will like to consult…”
Just that other than that, there was no other sound.
LuShun’s eyes looked like it was going to spit ﬁre, after a while he landed and spoke quickly to SunTu, “Clean up the tribe leader’s body and bring it back to the valley, the killer has just acted and still must be around, even if I have to dig for three chi, I must ﬁnd this person.”
SunTu quickly nodded and said, “Teacher uncle be careful.”
Before he could ﬁnished his words, LuShun had already soared up and vanished into the dark forests. SunTu turned around and saw the cleaved corpse, the strong stench of blood everywhere and he could not help but revealed his disgust, made a [pei] sound.
Ghost Li slowly retreated, thought for a while in the darkness and carefully scrutinized the surroundings, after which he looked back at that ancient temple and immediately silently went over.
The cold night, dark clouds obscured the moon.
Although it was only a short while but in this ancient temple, it seemed to suddenly darken down, the occasional moonlight peeking out from the dark clouds illuminated this place slightly but returned back to the darkness after a while.
Ghost Li unhurriedly walked out, stood in the ground before the great hall, a pair of eyes staring at the hall.
The cold breeze blew over, the broken windows making [zhi ya] uncanny sounds, quietly groaning in the darkness.
“GongZi is really amazing, I can hide from LuShun but I can’t hide from you!” In the main hall’s darkness, a faint voice suddenly rang out, softly ﬂoated out.
Chapter 109 - Devil Formation
Majestic Fox Mountain.
Location of Ghost King Sect Headquarters.
Below the desolate mountain, Ghost King sect’s headquarters was concealed in the solid hard grotto. In the winding twisting tunnel, somewhere in a deep and tranquil location, an empty long tunnel with only copper lanterns embedded every several zhangs in the stone walls, illuminating a little.
YouJi with her face covered by a black veil, her ﬁgure swaying, walked alone ahead, looking from afar, she looked just like a spirit in the darkness.
The place, was the restricted area of the Ghost King sect, together with the icy-cold cave where BiYao was, it was the most mysterious place of the Ghost King sect and had always been forbidden to normal disciples. But YouJi, as Scarlet Bird, one of the four great holy envoys of the Ghost King sect, was one of the core members and therefore able to enter these places freely. Just that, she glanced at that distant endless deep tunnel which she was heading to, her footsteps suddenly slowed down, as if she had some hesitation but eventually still strided over.
In the deep shadows ahead, a few strange low cries seemed to be coming from it now, like some wild animals roaring.
Passing another long tunnel, the lanterns on both sides of the walls started to get dimmer, ﬁnally, after turning into a corner, YouJi came to the end of this tunnel and a stone door stood in front of her, three words carved into the lintel:
Entrap Dragon WatchTower.
YouJi stared at that three words for a long time, surrounded by silence, only from time to time that strange cries which started not long ago, gradually became clearer and a faint stench of blood seemed to ﬁll the air.
The black veil on YouJi’s face moved, she seemed to be shaking her head, softly sighed and then walked into this stone door.
Once inside the stone door, a large space appeared, it was actually a huge grotto and at the side were strange towering crags, each having their own shapes. And in front of the stone door where YouJi was, a stone path suspended in the air, winding ahead, passing through the middle of the grotto. Right now, she was actually high up in the mid-air of this huge grotto.
This was clearly not the ﬁrst time YouJi was here, looking at such a scene, she did not appear stunned and remained still for a moment and then walked along that narrow small stone path. The upper half of the grotto was in darkness but below the stone path, red lights glimmered and reﬂected up and instead made the crags in the top half of the grotto looked savage.
The blood stench in the air, turned thicker.
The stone path suspended in the midair of this enormous huge grotto, it was unknown if it was natural or manmade and hanging horizontally like that in the air, looking at it from afar, there was actually no stone pillars supporting it below, really inconceivable.
The dark ﬁgure of YouJi walked along the stone path, not a sound was made while she was walking, which really had some degree of eerieness. But not long, she saw a ﬁgure ahead.
The end of the stone path was a seven chi big stone platform, Ghost King was standing on it with his hands clasped behind. Looking at his back ﬁgure, his ﬁgure was calm and digniﬁed, almost giving a strange feeling of becoming one with this enormous huge grotto.
YouJi walked behind him and quietly said, “Sect leader.”
Ghost King turned his head over, nodded, smiled and said, “You have come.” The black veil on YouJi’s face suddenly paused, like she was shocked. When the stone path arrived at this platform, it was considered the end and there was nothing ahead. Correspondingly, the mysterious red lights at the bottom of the grotto looked brighter from here. When Ghost King turned his head, that red light was immediately reﬂected over, indistinctly making his face blurred and even in his eyes, there seemed to be a faint red light.
Ghost King seemed not to have notice all these and only said, “Come on over.”
YouJi walked over and stood on the ﬂat platform, immediately her eyes widened, without the stone path obscuring, whatever was at the bottom of the grotto was plainly visible.
At the bottom, was an enormous blood pool, fresh red blood ﬂuid ﬁlled the bottom of the enormous grotto, nobody knew from where did Ghost King sect obtained so much of the fresh blood. Most likely the heavy smell of blood in the air came from below. In the blood pool, two massive beasts were immersed in it. One was the Yellow Bird from the death marsh and another was the rare Kui Niu from East Ocean LiuBo Hill. These two ancient rare beasts’ upper bodies were soaked in the blood pool and at the same time, above the blood pool, a dark red light enveloped their bodies. Looking at the direction from where the dark red light was projected, it was coming from the Hidden Dragon Cauldron with ineffable power, mysteriously
suspended in the mid air by itself.
Ghost King and YouJi were standing quite far from where the Hidden Dragon Cauldron was but YouJi could still see a dark ﬁgure performing sorcery on top of the cauldron, just that she could not view it clearly because of the red lights. But even so, she still knew who it was - Mr Ghost, the most mysterious person in Ghost King sect.
YouJi, as one of the four holy envoys of Ghost King sect, knew almost everything about Ghost King sect at the back of her hand but except for this Mr Ghost. The reason was very simple, this person did not come from Ghost King sect. Instead, it was when after the current Ghost King ascended the position, a mysterious ﬁgure suddenly appeared beside him, Ghost King deeply respected him and this mysterious ﬁgure, in the rare times that he made his moves, the strange skills that he displayed, also made Qing Long, YouJi etc the Ghost King sect martial experts changed countenances.
But in YouJi’s heart, she had been extremely wary of this person all along, the most important reason was because, under the strong encouragement from Mr Ghost, Ghost King had ﬁnally at ten years ago, started the “Four Divine Blood Formation”.
Passed down for generations of the Ghost King sect, the heirloom magical weapon, ‘Hidden Dragon Cauldron’, had mysterious origins and contained inﬁnite divine power, neither good or evil, extremely unusual. And on this cauldron’s body, other than the primitive and crude decorative patterns, there were many mysterious inscriptions engraved on it and the ancestors of Ghost King sect for generations were unable to fully understand it. Until the current Ghost King, who was an exceptional genius and happened that beside him, a Mr Ghost who seemed to be specialized in such mysterious writings, suddenly appeared. The two of them joined hands and managed to decipher the mysterious wordings.
And the engraved inscription on this cauldron, recorded a strange formation called ‘Four Divines Blood Formation’ which needed the divine powers from four primeval age rare beasts to trigger the mysterious power from this cauldron and become an unequalled powerful one of a kind formation. According to the inscriptions on the ancient cauldron, once this Four Divines Blood Formation formed, the power would be enough to destroy the earth.
Ghost King was an ambitious ruthless man with great talent and bold vision, naturally he would not turn a blind eye to that kind of power. And ten years ago at the Qing Yun battle, Qing Yun sect Zhu Xian Sword’s power awed the world and swept through all obstacles, it was not what a human strength could ﬁght against. Ghost King thought carefully, only this Four Divines Blood Formation could have the possibility of competing against the Zhu Xian Sword Formation.
And from then on, Ghost King sect started to focus only on the preparation for this Four Divines Blood Formation.
YouJi looked away from the indistinct ﬁgure of the Ghost King and looked towards the two divine beasts in the blood pool. Although they were immersed in the blood but the Yellow Bird which had lived for an unknown number of years, evidently was recalcitrant and from time to time, made a clear angry cry and ﬂapped both of its wings, creating huge ripples in the surrounding blood ﬂuid.
But the blood in the pool seemed to have a strange repressing effect, the Yellow Bird’s divine power and strength were obviously different from before and especially on its head, a dark red light projecting from the cauldron enveloped it. Once the Yellow Bird made any movement, the dark red light immediately brightened and the Yellow Bird whose body had just lifted up, immediately was pressed down, like a huge mountain with incredible strength pressing down on it
After a few times, the Yellow Bird’s movements slowly slowed down and although it was still resisting, it was slowly becoming weak. And on the other side of the blood pool, the huge body with a single feet of the rare beast Kiu Niu, soaking its entire body in the blood pool, unmoving, only its eyes occasionally looked over at the Yellow Bird, maybe because it had been trapped here for a long time, it had totally gave up on resisting.
Looking at the current state of these two majestic divine beasts, YouJi could not help but frowned slightly behind her veil, an inexplicable repulsive feeling in her heart. Ghost King standing beside her seemed to sense something, looked at her and suddenly asked, “What are you thinking about?”
YouJi was surprised and immediately calmed down, faintly said, “Nothing, sect leader.”
Ghost King looked at her and then looked at the blood pool, after a long time unhurriedly said, “Now that half of the Four Divines Blood Formation has been completed, we only need to ﬁnd the other two divine beasts and we can look forward to the future where our Ghost King sect rule over the world.”
YouJi was silent for a while and then softly said, “Yes.”
Ghost King clasped his hands behind his back, still looking at the two divine beasts in the blood pool, he suddenly changed the topic and said, “You had reached the death marsh earlier than me, I have instructed you to observe Ghost Li discreetly, do you have anything to tell me?” YouJi’s black veil slightly shifted, after a moment, she said, “In the death marsh, he led men to deal with Wan Du Clan, HeHuan Sect and Good Faction, in that kind of complicated, scheming situations fraught with dangers, he was still able to act accordingly and eventually with the rest, exterminated Chang Shen Hall, he really had the making of a general. And…”
Speaking till here, she suddenly paused, Ghost King was surprised and said, “What is it?”
YouJi hesitated for a moment and said, “While in the inner marsh, he sneakily attacked and seriously injured Wan Du Clan’s Qin WuYan, he being stoic and ruthless, we can no longer underestimate him.” while speaking, YouJi suddenly felt a sudden lost in her heart, the person that they were discussing about, was he really that Zhang Xiao Fan?
The person that BiYao loved deeply, was it really him?
But Ghost King seemed satisﬁed, nodded and said, “His character is steadfast and resolute, and really is a man of rare ability. These few years he has been learning our holy sect skills and with the two matchless evil weapons around him day and night, it is also considered normal that his temperament is turning more ruthless and bloodthirsty.”
YouJi raised her head and looked at Ghost King, a faint smile was on his lips but against his impassive yet digniﬁed face, it actually gave off a chilly feeling.
“But,” Ghost King suddenly said, “I heard that in the death marsh, when Ghost Li met those Good Faction people, especially the Qing Yun disciple named Lu XueQi, he had some strange behaviours, is that true?”
YouJi was shocked but Ghost King looked calm, could not tell what his thoughts were, just that for no reason, her mind suddenly felt confused. She and Qing Long secretly entered the death marsh and the delicate feelings between Ghost Li and Lu XueQi, she had saw most of it while in the dark. However now that she thought about it, she instead felt an inexplicable heartache.
Like a sharp needle, stabbed into her heart. “What is it?” Ghost King turned over and looked at YouJi.
YouJi slowly lowered her head, because of the black veil obscuring her face, nobody could see her expression. After a moment, her voice for some reason, seemed to be slightly hoarse but still very clearly and coldly, replied Ghost King:
“Yes, he and Qing Yun sect Lu XueQi indeed have some equivocal feelings between them. Outside the Celestial Emperor Treasury, I saw it with my own eyes, while facing the Black Water Mystical Viper, he risked his life to save that girl!”
Ghost King did not speak anymore but in that instant, the smell of blood around them suddenly thickened ten, hundred times. That man still with his hands clasped behind him but maybe it was because of the red lights reﬂecting from the bottom of the grotto, the red light in his eyes abruptly increased greatly.
YouJi slowly bowed to Ghost King and walked towards the back, unhurriedly walked out of this suffocating grotto. Just that when she reached the stone door, she was suddenly startled. Qing Long was quietly standing outside the stone door, looking indifferently at her.
YouJi met his eyes, both of them stared at each other like that for a long time and did not speak.
After a long while, Qing Long slowly walked up, brushed past her and walked into the grotto, leaving YouJi alone, staring blankly at that tunnel.
In the end, he did not speak a single word to YouJi.
x x x
The faint moon of the southern border, hung solitary in the west horizon.
The ancient temple in the deep mountains, the miserable cries of the insects, a desolate dim night scenery. [Hu!]
A whistle, the place where the light ﬂashed, LuShun wielding his sword, ﬂew over and landed in the courtyard of this ancient temple. His eyes glinted, inch by inch he swept his eyes over the great hall of this ancient temple.
He had already searched thoroughly an area of ten miles nearby without any results and actually did not see a single ﬁgure, after thinking carefully, he suddenly realized with a start that he had left out this ancient temple.
The cold night breeze, the abandoned great hall which did not even have a main door, although not long ago LuShun had just been here and even had talks inside the great hall but looking at it now, the interior had suddenly turned eerie, something in the darkness seemed to be watching him.
Cold sweat suddenly broke out in his palms.
That ﬁsh-head-human-body creature which had just died, was the tribe leader of the south’s barbaric human ﬁsh tribe. Now that he was assassinated after his meeting with him, he really could not avoid any responsibility from it. He was fully aware that the south barbaric tribes had clandestine dealings with his own sect and knew clearly the terrible and cruelty of those wild tribes, if he could not account for this incident to the barbaric tribe, then most likely he would have to suffer for it.
But based on his understanding of the wild tribe, these human ﬁsh creatures’ skills were not trival. Although incomparable to highly skilled taoist priests like himself but to die with just one strike, the skills of this assassin would probably not be inferior to himself.
LuShun breathed deeply, suddenly spoke loudly, “Which master is it, please come out and speak.”
The night breeze carried the tail of his words, drifted within the temple but the temple remained silent, not a sound. LuShun’s face became more somber, he gritted his teeth, the celestial sword’s light in his hand surged greatly, the human and sword became one and charged into the great hall, instantly the hall lighted up. But just when his ﬁgure entered the hall, at one of the hall’s dilapidated wall, two dark ﬁgures swiftly left the hall and disappeared into the nearby dark shadows without any traces.
After a long while, LuShun was heard ransacking the hall, [ping ping pang pang] it rang out for quite a while but eventually he still walked out dejectedly, evidently with no results. He stood on the ﬂight of steps, his face unreadable, after a long while, he stamped his feet and sighed, “Forget it, forget it.”
While saying, he did not stop shaking his head and then wielded his sword and went towards the south, after a moment he had disappeared without a trace.
In the temple, it immediately turned silent, the insects which were startled by LuShun and disappeared, again cried out, the cold moon and clear wind, again a desolate scenery. With the disappearance of LuShun after a very long time, the temple seemed to lost all signs of life and as before, there was no movement. After another while, a sharp whistle was heard suddenly in mid-air, a red sword light swiftly charged down from the clouds, landed in the courtyard at breakneck speed, the light wavered and LuShun’s ﬁgure appeared.
His purpose of leaving was to deploy a empty city tactic, pretending to ﬂy far away but instead turned back halfway and hid among the dark clouds in the sky. Pity that even so, there was still no signs of anyone appearing in the ancient temple. LuShun ﬁnally revealed a dispirited face, gave a long sigh and again wielded his sword and ﬂew towards the south, after which his traces was not seen again, looked like this time he had really left.
Tranquility again returned to the temple but after a while, two shadows wavered and two ﬁgures unhurriedly appeared.
The ﬁrst person, slowly walked to the courtyard, the translucent moonlight coldly shone down, casting a long slender shadow from his ﬁgure onto the courtyard dilapidated ﬂagstone bluestone. It was Ghost Li.
Head raised, gazing at the moon.
The cold clear moonlight, shone onto his face.
Suddenly he actually looked like he had been through some vicissitudes.
Even the monkey crouched on his shoulder, right now also remained quiet, like its master, quietly looking at the moon.
“Why, GongZi like this southern border moon scenery?” Suddenly, behind him, another seductive ﬁgure still concealing in the shadows, spoke with a sweet-sounding gentle voice, travelled to his ears.
Ghost Li slowly looked away but did not turn and did not answer the shadow woman’s question, instead he asked, “Why did you kill that human ﬁsh?” The girl who was still concealing in the shadows, laughed softly and said,”Those human ﬁsh creatures not only killed GongZi’s men, they also killed my men, I did it to seek revenge for GongZi.”
Ghost Li’s expression did not change and obviously he did not believe those words, he indifferently said, “Long heard that ‘Purple light sword’ is a Nine Heavens celestial weapon, today in Miss’s hands, it has displayed its prowess, as expected it has an extraordinary power that even the gods and ghosts cannot imagine.”
The girl softly laughed, the sound gentle and pleasing to the ear, in this desolate night scene, suddenly it added a few colors, making it lively.
Footsteps slowly sounded, she from the shadows, unhurriedly walked out.
She was the Evil Sect HeHuan Sect, the “Miao GongZi” addressed by everyone, Jin PingEr. Under the moonlight, she was still wearing an attire of pale yellow clothes, the soft clothing swayed lightly in the night breeze, a few stray hair strands beside the hairline, looked slightly messy but seemed to give a more teasing kind of feeling .
Ancient temple deep in the mountains, a beautiful woman in the cold night!
Right now, her glistening eyes, a enchanting scene of spring seemed to be on her face, extremely exquisite, for the moment, even this night scenery also seemed to warm up.
Ghost Li turned around, his eyes glanced at her face.
Jin PingEr was still smiling, softly said, “GongZi, you carry rare treasures on you; ‘Sinister Orb’ merged with ‘Soul- Devouring’’ to become an unparalleled rarity, this small purple light sword of mine, how can it even be mention in the same breath as your Soul-Absorbing?”
A red light ﬂashed past Ghost Li’s eyes but his expression did not change, he said, “Miss’s trip down to south, is it also to investigate those human ﬁsh tribe?” Jin PingEr nodded slightly and her eyes glimmered, she said, “But didn’t expect that this matter actually involve FenXiang Valley.”
Ghost Li glanced at her but did not speak. In his heart, he was becoming more and more wary of this girl. When she suddenly slaughtered the tribe leader, the level of her skills displayed seemed much more higher as compared to that day in the death marsh, when they were attacking Chang Shen Hall YuYang Zi with Qin WuYan, most likely she did not use her full strength that day.
Just that the level of her skills was secondary, he himself also did not use his full strength. But Jin PingEr assassinating the human ﬁsh, obviously she had intended to shift the blame to FenXiang Valley, instigating dissension between the wild tribe and FenXiang Valley.
The extent of this girl’s scheme, her vicious methods, was really not trival.
Jin PingEr looked at Ghost Li, suddenly smiled and said, “GongZi’s trip to the south, must be also to investigate those human ﬁsh but so far what have you discover?”
Ghost Li indifferently said, “Nothing.”
Jin PingEr heard his cold reply but was not angry, instead she smiled even warmer and said, “Just that now that we both know FenXiang Valley has secret dealings with those barbaric creatures, not sure what is GongZi planning to do next?”
Ghost Li’s eyes glimmered, said, “What does Miss think?”
Jin PingEr smiled and said, “I asked GongZi ﬁrst.”
Ghost Li heard her like-annoyed-like-teasing reply, frowned, numerous thoughts had already gone through in his heart: now that FenXiang Valley was suddenly discovered to have clandestine dealings with the barbaric tribe, it was really sensational big news. If this spread to the world, most likely those Good Faction ﬁgures were going to be dumbfounded. In the current situation, the best method naturally would be to scout on the mysterious FenXiang Valley but now, there seemed to be more than meets the eye. First, leaving out the fact that the tribes had always been mysterious, just FenXiang Valley, their strength could not be belittled. LiXun, YanHong etc who came from FenXiang Valley, including that elderly LuShun, their skills were extremely high.
Jin PingEr slowly walked to Ghost Li, raised her head and looked at him, smiled and said, “GongZi is thinking to visit FenXiang Valley in the night?”
Ghost Li’s eyes glimmered, said, “Why, Miss also has such intentions?”
Jin PingEr smiled, extremely captivating, a burst of beauty seemed to assault the face, Ghost Li’s resolution actually shifted, he could not help but felt shocked.
Jin PingEr indifferently said, “Naturally I am willing to make this trip with GongZi but just one thing, I hope GongZi will promise me.” Ghost Li’s eyes focused and he said, “What?”
Jin PingEr smiled and said, “I only hope that GongZi on no account treat me like Qin WuYan, suddenly striking out while being beside me and killing me.”
Chapter 110 - Sneaking
The summits of the southern border mountains were completely different from the mountains in Central Plains, less elegancy and tranquility and instead more of loftiness and sheerness.
Below the night sky, the unbroken mountain ranges rose and fell, towering, imposing and criss-crossing, looking at it from afar, it gave off a feeling of harshness.
Ghost Li clasped his hands behind his back, gazing far away, after two slightly lower mountains and a considerably ﬂat wildland, four majestic mountain peaks suddenly appeared towering from the ground, closely linking with each other to form a mountain valley. And behind the four lofty mountains, under the vast night sky, were innumerable shadows. Indeed it was the inﬁnite ten thousands great mountains of the southern border.
And in the middle of the four mountains, at the fore was the renowned FenXiang Valley. Tonight, the night was very dark, the faint moon hung high up and indistinctly a few stars were still in the horizon, twinkling faintly. Under the cold clear moonlight, a haze seemed to be in that valley in the distance, drifting lightly, like a ﬁne veil of mist, mysterious and beautiful.
Ghost Li frowned and looked away.
It was already the third day. Ever since that night three days ago, he and Evil Sect HeHuan Sect Jin PingEr unexpectedly discovered FenXiang Valley was actually colluding with the southern border great mountains barbaric tribe and so decided to investigate further. ‘FenXiang Valley’ these three words, in the southern border here, reverberated like thunder, both of them easily obtained the location of FenXiang Valley but when it was time to slink in, they discovered that it was rather troublesome.
FenXiang Valley occupied a vast area, logically it should not be hard to sneak in. The fact was such too, both of them with their skills, easily avoided FenXiang Valley ordinary disciples who were patrolling FenXiang Valley day and night but who would have known that each time they reached an area which was relatively deep inside FenXiang Valley, no matter how they concealed their ﬁgures, a mysterious clear and melodious ring would set off nearby and immediately attracted numerous FenXiang Valley men to come search and some of them were highly skilled disciples.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr both were sharp-witted and that few times they managed to escape in time but no matter how careful they were, they still were unable to escape that mysterious chime and in the days that followed, they still were unable to penetrate deeper and FenXiang Valley seemed alerted and already increased the number of disciples patrolling.
Ghost Li pondered for a long time but was still unable to ﬁgure out how FenXiang Valley managed to foresee their movements. Seemed like this FenXiang Valley which was listed as one of the three mighty sects of Good Faction really had concealed abilities.
And at this time, Xiao Hui who had been quietly crouching at his shoulder suddenly moved, a low exclamation was suddenly heard behind:
“Ah!” Ghost Li turned, in a small clearing inside the forest, a campﬁre was burning, Jin PingEr sat before it, a wooden stick in her hand and on it, a cleanly stripped wild rabbit was roasting. She was seen frowning now and looking at that wooden stick in her hand, her expression despondent.
Ghost Li walked over.
These past three days he and Jin PingEr had tried many times to sneak into FenXiang Valley but both also failed. Their relationship was quite delicate, on the surface they seemed at peace with each other but coverty both were wary of each other and knew the other party was still a scheming, ruthless accomplice and when without warning would suddenly strike and kill.
Walking near the campﬁre, Xiao Hui [Zi] called out and jumped onto the ground, Ghost Li looked towards Jin PingEr and was surprised, he saw her looking helplessly at that rabbit skewered on the wooden stick and one of the rabbit leg was actually burned. Both of them had circled around FenXiang Valley for a few days, this kind of wild countryside, naturally there was no villages or inns and while Ghost Li did not mind eating dried rations for the few days, Jin PingEr instead was somewhat unable to bear it. Tonight they happened to see a wild rabbit running past and caught it, thinking to have a change of taste and made a ﬁre pit. Since their location was quite far from FenXiang Valley, they were not afraid of being seen.
Just that now it seemed although Jin PingEr was highly skilled but she did not had any such experience of cooking in the wild. After a few times, she could not grasp the techniques and burned the food. Right now Ghost Li stood in front of her, Xiao Hui half crouching on the ground, one man and one monkey, four eyes looking at that burned rabbit leg. Jin PingEr ﬂushed red and slowly withdrew the stick from the ﬁre.
[Zi zi, zi zi…] Suddenly, a burst of strange sounds, it was Xiao Hui who was grinning broadly, lying on the ground, its tail standing tall and swaying to and fro, its right hand clutched into a ﬁst and incessantly pounding the ground, looking like it could not control anymore, it actually made this kind of inconceivable action. Jin PingEr and Ghost Li were both stunned at the same time and then both came out of their shock, Jin PingEr were extremely stupeﬁed and a trace of anger ﬂashed across her face, Ghost Li also could not ﬁgure out from where did this monkey learn such ability of ridiculing people when it hardly left his side. He glanced over at Jin PingEr, coughed once, lightly kicked with his left leg and kicked that grey fur monkey, who was still beating the ground, out.
Xiao Hui, like a gourd, rolled off but [Zi zi zi zi] sounds were still being heard from a distance.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr glanced at each other, the ambience turned somehow awkward, Ghost Li looked at the wooden stick in Jin PingEr’s hand and then grabbed a rock from nearby and sat on it, said to Jin PingEr, “Give it to me.”
Jin PingEr was surprised and saw the calm expression on Ghost Li’s face, handed over the wooden stick in her hand. He ﬁrst tore off the burnt portion, placed the stick again into the ﬁre and slowly roasted it while rotating. The way he roasted it was obviously different from Jin PingEr, the ﬂames leapt and licked, the wooden stick slowly rotated, in a short while, a faintly discernable fragrance slowly wafted out. Jin PingEr raised her head and looked at Ghost Li, under the ﬁrelight, his usual pale face right now had turned ruddy, in the black abstruse eyes, two small burning balls of ﬁre reﬂected in it.
A man who was concentrating on roasting food for her…
The atmosphere suddenly turned quiet, nobody spoke. Jin PingEr slowly looked away, picked up a few withered twigs beside her and put it into the ﬁre, the ﬂames slowly burned bigger, swallowing the twigs and from time to time, emitted [pi pa] sounds.
In the distant forest end, a night breeze seemed to have blow over, the sounds of the leaves and branches rustling softly were heard, entered into the hearts…
Xiao Hui, unknowingly had ran back and carried a few wild fruits in its hands, seemed like it had plucked them from the forest. It walked to the ﬁre, glanced around and dumped its bottom beside Ghost Li’s feet, brought the fruit to its mouth and opening its mouth wide, started to munch the fruit, at the same time its long tail swayed and lastly wrapped around Ghost Li’s leg.
They sat in silence for a long while, the fragrance in the air thickening, the fats in the wild rabbit above the ﬁre had started to surface and slowly dripped down, the meat shining with grease, one look and it made one’s ﬁnger itched, Jin PingEr also could not help but took a few more looks.
After another while, Ghost Li carefully assessed the rabbit and withdrew the stick, with one hand holding it, the other hand stretched into his waist, felt around and took out a few small bottles and containers, from it, he scattered powder-like stuffs onto the rabbit’s body.
Jin PingEr was stunned and said, “What is that?”
Ghost Li smiled, Jin PingEr watched and without knowing why, felt some bitterness in it, Ghost Li was heard indifferently saying, “Just some salt and seasonings, it is an old habit of mine, I carry it everywhere with me.” While speaking, he passed the stick over to Jin PingEr. Jin PingEr hesitated but did not take the stick.
Ghost Li’s eyes glinted, he smiled faintly, tore off a piece of rabbit meat and put it into his mouth and ate it.
Jin PingEr turned red for a moment, in the ﬁrelight, a coquettish look appeared on her face, captivating, after a moment, she stretched out her hand to take the stick and quietly said, “Many thanks GongZi.”
Ghost Li did not speak, turned his head and took a fruit from Xiao Hui’s hand, he put it close to his mouth and slowly bite once, started to eat it.
Suddenly, another soft exclamation from Jin PingEr, the sound seemed to carry some pain, Ghost Li and the monkey, Xiao Hui, both raised their heads at the same time and looked over, Jin PingEr’s fair hand covered her mouth, her eyebrows frowning, looking slightly in pain. She suddenly realized that Ghost Li and Xiao Hui were looking at her, her face ﬂushed red and embarrassedly said, “I wasn’t careful and burned myself…” her voice gradually turning smaller towards the end of the sentence.
Ghost Li’s lips twitched but there was no change in his expression, just that Xiao Hui beside him suddenly made [Zi zi] sounds and started grinning broadly, the half-eaten wild fruit in its right hand dropped onto the ground and following which, its ﬁsts pounded the ground, looked like it was going to do that weird action again.
Jin PingEr’s eyes stared, feeling embarrassed and angry but without waiting for her reaction, and without waiting for the monkey Xiao Hui to beat the ground with its hands, Ghost Li had already with one foot, lightly kicked Xiao Hui out like a rolling gourd.
After a moment, Ghost Li was heard faintly saying, “Animals are unreﬁned, don’t take offence.”
Jin PingEr glanced at him, calmed herself down, nodded and smiled, she then gently blew the roasted rabbit in her hand and used her fair white hand to tear a piece of meat off, put it into her mouth and chewed.
The moment it entered her mouth, Jin PingEr was immediately aroused. In that instant she felt that fragrance seemed to come alive, channelled into her entire body and her body seemed to feel lighter by a few degrees, her mouth salivated, this was a taste she had never tasted before. The outer skin was crisp but not burnt, thin and crunchy; in it, the meat was smooth and tender, and including the unknown seasonings, that delicious taste seemed to seep into her heart, she could not stop after this bite, almost lost her self over it. She never expected that this delicacy was actually made by this man in front of her.
Even though Jin PingEr’s skills were considered high, her resolution ﬁrmed, right now her appetite was stimulated, she tore one piece after another, in a short while she had already eaten one rabbit leg and only then she felt slightly full and stopped. She then smiled and looked at Ghost Li, said, “What good skills GongZi has, an ordinary rabbit, and it can actually be roasted to be so delicious by you!” By this time the monkey Xiao Hui had already ran back, crouching beside Ghost Li, a pair of alert monkey eyes turning here and there, for a moment looking at Ghost Li, another moment looking at Jin PingEr.
Ghost Li indifferently said, “Just a small trick, I have embarrassed myself in front of Miss.”
Jing PingEr smiled sweetly, her beauty charming and captivating, her eyes glistened and she gently said, “In my whole life, I have never eaten such delicious rabbit!”
Ghost Li smiled faintly, was about to say something but his body suddenly shook, a perplexed look in his eyes.
This sentence, this voice, this dainty smile, suddenly surged in his mind. The faint dim night, cold night breeze, a pain suddenly felt in his heart, like an angry wave tossing and heaving.
Once at some time, he had heard these words before. That was a memory many years ago sealed and left but without warning, gushed up into his heart.
A clear brook, sparkling with sunlight, dainty smile, gentle sound of the wind…
Kongsang Mountain, behind the precipice, two people who had just escaped death, crowded around a ﬁre, also barbecuing.
That smiling ﬁgure in light green clothes, suddenly drowned him, occupying all of the empty spaces in his heart, he involuntarily shook.
“It’s very delicious, the most delicious thing that I have ever eaten in my life, is the rabbit that you are roasting now.”
That sentence at that time, faintly reverberated in his head, slowly turning into a thorn, into a needle, stabbed into his heart.
“GongZi, GongZi?” A slightly alarmed voice rang out beside his ear, pulled Ghost Li back to reality.
Jin PingEr, without knowing when, had stood up, her left hand was still holding that wooden stick but her right hand was withdrawn into her sleeve.
Ghost Li’s eyes focused, inhaled deeply, calmed himself down and immediately said, “I am alright.”
Jin PingEr took a deep look at him, the look in her eyes unpredictable, softly said, “GongZi, why is your face so pale, did something happen?”
Ghost Li met her stare, suddenly smiled and said, “What could happen to me?” Jin PingEr looked at him, the indistinct glint in her eyes slowly disappeared, the lovely look on her face appeared again, she smiled and said, “As long as GongZi is alright.”
Ghost Li’s heart suddenly felt depressed but his face did not show it, he was about to say something when Xiao Hui who had been keeping quiet beside him, suddenly moved and glanced back.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr at the same sensed it, stood up and looked towards the south, in the southern horizon, the air above the tranquil FenXiang Valley which was surrounded by a group of mountains, a sharp cry was suddenly heard from a far distance, a stream of red light charging towards the sky, after lighting up the horizon, it slowly dropped down.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr’s eyes both lighted up at the same time.
x x x Within FenXiang Valley, the lights which had died out during the late night, suddenly were lighted up again.
Human voices, either near or far, mixed with deep low cursing voices of being awaken from their sleep, gradually also became louder. But in this gradually increasing clamor, shouts of anger mingled together with strange cries like of a wild beast, drifted out from the entrance of FenXiang Valley.
After a moment, sounds of ﬁghting had travelled over and at the same time, clear melodious rings and alarm bells reverberated in the valley. In this late night, there were actually intruders forcing their way into FenXiang Valley.
Arriving soundlessly, hiding at another mountain were Ghost Li and Jin PingEr, watching that scene of lights at FenXiang Valley entrance and also human ﬁgures frequently hurrying from within FenXiang Valley to the entrance, they were secretly shocked.
Who was it, that dared to boldly offend one of the world’s supreme Good Faction leader, FenXiang Valley? Even as the outstanding martial experts of the Evil Sect younger generation, facing the unveiled experts of FenXiang Valley, they also had to think carefully if they could sneak in.
Initially when they both arrived here, Jin PingEr could not help but softly ask, “Don’t tell me it’s your Ghost King Sect?”
Ghost Li naturally denied but he had pondered on it and could not ﬁgure out other than the Evil Sect, in this world what power could be so arrogant?
The din of human voices in FenXiang Valley in this night, after a while, there were still human ﬁgures continued to head towards the valley entrance, looking at the scene, the situation over there not only did it not subside, in fact it seemed to have worsen.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr frowned slightly but the situation in front of them was a golden opportunity, Ghost Li quietly spoke to Jin PingEr beside him, “Let’s go in.”
Jin PingEr nodded but she glanced at Ghost Li and said instead, “I am very interested in the commotion at the valley entrance, why don’t we take advantage of the confusion and take a look there ﬁrst?”
Ghost Li thought for a moment, shook his head and said, “You go ahead, I am going deeper into FenXiang Valley to take a look.”
Jin PingEr in the darkness, seemed to be surprise and then said, “Works for me, you be careful then.”
Ghost Li was slightly surprised, ‘be careful’ these two words suddenly coming out of Jin PingEr’s mouth seemed somehow odd but Jin PingEr looked straight in his eyes, smiled sweetly and then her ﬁgure transformed into a faint ﬂowing light, glided down silently from the mountain ridge and then disappeared into the darkness.
Ghost Li frowned, a glint ﬂashed across his eyes.
x x x Although FenXiang Valley’s lifetime was incomparable to Qing Yun Sect and Evil Sect but it had been in operations here for over eight hundred years. Ghost Li’s ﬁgure quietly slinked in the night shadows, facing him were blocks of temple halls and buildings in a picturesque disorder. Looking at the architectures, it looked similar to Central Plains designs but in the details, like the windows lintel and eaves corners, some ferocious beasts decorated it at times, which was not found in Central Plains. Evidently in these eight hundred years, FenXiang Valley had also been inﬂuenced by the southern border local uncouth customs.
Over at the valley entrance, a hubbub was still going on. The annoying alarm bell that Ghost Li and Jin PingEr were helpless against, right now was ringing non-stopped. The place where he was hiding right now, was in the shadow of a large rock at the foot of the mountain. The last time they had tried to sneak in, the mysterious clear sound of bell started ringing when they took a few more steps from here.
Right now the bell was resounding in the far distance, an empty ground stood three zhangs in front of the big rock and then it was an ordinary-looking house, appeared to be the residence of the FenXiang Valley disciples. Ghost Li inhaled deeply, stood straight up in the shadows and looked around, the surroundings was all quiet, comparing to the hubbub in the far distance, it was devoid of human voices. As for the FenXiang Valley disciples in that building, most likely they had already been called out to the valley entrance.
In the unusual silence, Ghost Li unhurriedly walked forward.
One step, two steps…
He walked very slow, until the ﬁfth step, the surroundings was still the same.
But on Ghost Li’s face, he was even more solemn, because the last time he was here, it was when he took the sixth step, he was discovered by that mysterious bell.
The glint in his eyes became brighter, he slowly swept his gaze around but did not notice anything different. The next moment, he slowly took the sixth step.
Almost at the same time his foot touched the ground, the clear sound of bell suddenly went off in front of him, travelling far out in the silence.
Ghost Li’s body froze, a mixture of surprise and anger in his heart, the uncanny skills of this FenXiang Valley was really ingenious, no matter how he tried, he was unable to ﬁnd it, it was really bafﬂing.
But tonight naturally the circumstances was different from the previous days, although Ghost Li triggered some invisible mechanism and set off the alarm bell but the hubbub in the distance away as well as the ﬁghting noises were even louder and soon drowned out the bell.
Ghost Li immediately decided, swept his eyes around and then ﬂew up, keeping close to the ground and glided to the back of the house, the bell was still ringing, really exasperating.
At this moment, Xiao Hui who had been quietly crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, suddenly called out in a low voice, Ghost Li was startled and turned around to look at Xiao Hui.
Reﬂecting a bit of the faint moonlight, in front of Ghost Li who was in the shadows, Xiao Hui’s body suddenly emitted a faint sound of [ka ka] and then that scar on its forehead, suddenly deepened.
Without waiting for Ghost Li to react, Xiao Hui who seemed to be slightly abnormal, suddenly turned its head, its pair of monkey eyes gradually lighted up with a strange glaring golden light but behind that golden light, indistinctly fused with a strange red light.
“Zi zi, zi zi”
Xiao Hui’s monkey hands suddenly pointed to a far secluded corner of the building foundation. Ghost Li carried Xiao Hui, assessed it carefully, quietly asked, “What is it, Xiao Hui?”
“Zi zi, zi zi!”
Xiao Hui softly called out, its hand was still pointing at that direction, at the same time that golden light in its eyes slowly faded.
Ghost Li frowned and nodded, placed it on his shoulder and glided over.
The dark corner of the foundation, gave off a faint moss smell. Under the careful search by Ghost Li, very soon there was a discovery, a small hole of about one chi big was concealed in the foundation.
His eyes glinted, he stretched his hand out and as fast as lightning, explored the hole, after a moment, a small sound was heard suddenly from the hole and immediately became quiet, almost at the same time, that incessant bell also suddenly stopped. A trace of smile revealed on Ghost Li’s lips, he unhurriedly withdrew his hand out and in the next moment, in his hand, was a strange wild animal, after struggling a few times, it stopped moving.
This strange animal was covered with grey skin, about three chi big. Its body in a strange bow-shaped ﬁgure, the back arched high, the head and tail drooped low, a pair of black eyes like tiny black peas set on top of its head. But the most peculiar thing was that this animal had a strange long snout, about half a chi long, almost one third of its length, the tip of its snout had two thick nostrils and looked similar to the pigs reared by farmers.
Ghost Li stared for a moment and then snorted, quietly said, “No wonder I simply cannot hide from it, so there is actually this kind of ‘grey pig’ here.”
[Divine and Evil The strange. Spiritual beast chapter] Grey Pig: Long snout big ear, neck-less with long tail, eats ants, insects, grass, nocturnal and some say earth pig. Mammal and also known as
Africa anteater, its body stocky, body length approximately 140cm, without any incisor or canine teeth, like anteater it uses its long tongue to eat the termites. It is found in south and central of Africa, in hills or semi grasslands, it is extremely good in digging, resting in its cave during the day and hunts in the night. It is very timid and has an extremely sensitive hearing, depending on its sense of
smell to forage, which is ten times and more acute than a dog.