Zhu Xian Chapter 111-120

Chapter 111 - Inferno Altar

Ghost Li threw the already-dead grey pig at the corner and inspected the hole where it had been. And as expected, an extremely fine string extended out from the hole and connected to a bell over a distance. Most probably the reason why he and Jin PingEr failed to sneak in was because of this tiny small grey pig.

He had once saw it in the ‘Divine and Evil The strange’ remnant hidden secretly in Ghost King Sect, the grey pig’s snout was extremely sensitive and far exceeded the mortal animals. These few days he had been trying to think of ways to conceal himself but he had never expected that he would be detected by this kind of small animal.

Just that even though he had finally understood this crucial point but Ghost Li instead frowned, standing in the dark corner, he stood quietly. The grey pig, an unusual animal, although not considered an ancient celestial beast but it was rarely seen and only to be found in some forest deep inside the southern border ten thousand great mountains. And FenXiang Valley actually had such animal and these few days he had been trying to get into FenXiang Valley through different places and without exception, he was always discovered. The number of grey pigs in FenXiang Valley was not considered little, which was really astonishing.

The most important point was, they could domesticate this amount of grey pigs to that degree at the same time, such skill in taming wild animals, not just Central Plains Good Faction, even within the Evil Faction, it was unheard of but it was heard that there was this unusual skill among the southern border barbaric tribes.

Ghost Li looked up and turned around, gazed ahead and suddenly discovered that, in that hubbub far away, deep inside FenXiang Valley, it was still serene, the heavy darkness like a dark curtain enveloping, not knowing how many secrets it concealed.

That commotion at the valley entrance gradually died down, in the far distance someone was heard speaking loudly but the sounds of fighting had already stopped, seemed like FenXiang Valley had already contained the situation.

Who was it exactly, that had the audacity to provoke FenXiang Valley? Ghost Li looked away, in his heart he unconsciously thought about Jin PingEr, this mysterious seductive girl, right now most likely would be still in that chaos!

Right now, Ghost Li had already from his concealed corner, slipped deeper into FenXiang Valley. Along the way, there was not anymore of that warning alarm triggered by the grey pigs, most likely FenXiang Valley scattered those keen snout small animals at the perimeters corners of the valley, once within the middle of the valley, there was no longer a need to worry.

The late night, the valley which had calmed down from that commotion seemed especially tranquil. Following Ghost Li, like a ghostly figure, drifted on the buildings’ paths, that world under the dark curtain slowly revealed itself.

FenXiang Valley known as the world’s Good Faction pillar, although usually it handled matters in a low-key manner but it was after all still a huge sect that had prospered for eight hundred years. And what gradually emerged along the way, was the heritage of this powerful sect. Under the night sky, ten over big or small paths were seen, connected with each other, like the blood vessels of a human body, scattered and extending deep into the FenXiang Valley’s darkness. Flanking both sides of the road were either the common disciples’ residences or the lofty impressive temple buildings, mixed within these buildings were mostly gardens, there were green bamboos, winter cherry blossoms and also brightly-coloured magnificent Chinese peony, each in groups, looking at it from afar, it blended well into the surrounding buildings, each with its own flavour.

Because of this hubbub, even though it was late in the night, from time to time there was still FenXiang Valley disciples moving around, Ghost Li had to carefully conceal himself in order not to reveal his tracks. The expressions on those disciples instead looked calm, without the shock and terrified expressions at the beginning of that commotion, a look and one would know that the situation at the valley entrance had already been settled.

The small number of FenXiang Valley disciples moving around were naturally not a problem for Ghost Li, for ten years his body had Buddhism, Evil and Taoism, these three family of cultivating enlightenment, with the mysterious strange skills from the Tian Shu as foundation, his skills improved by leaps and bounds, even the learned and versatile Ghost King was extremely astonished and baffled, in the end it could only be accredited to the Buddism theory of cultivating together, maybe there really was some mysterious unknown alliance that mutually enhanced each other.

Just that the dark place where Ghost Li was concealing himself, even as he held the ordinary FenXiang Valley disciples with disdain but the several paths lying ahead instead troubled him, he did not know which way to go. He secretly sneaked into FenXiang Valley was because he wanted to search this FenXiang Valley thoroughly to find out just what secrets they had inside this valley, the best would be if he could find out the relationship with those southern barbaric tribes.

To know all these, naturally he would need to go into the places where the important figures were in FenXiang Valley, just that lying before him, those paths looked like a maze, really perplexing.

Just when Ghost Li was frowning in contemplation, considering whether to catch a FenXiang Valley disciple and interrogate him, suddenly a strange movement on his shoulder and a soft moan came from Xiao Hui. Ghost Li was shocked and turned his head to look and his body shook. Xiao Hui the monkey, used its hands to grab his clothes tightly, the monkey’s face contorted, both of its eyes closed tightly in pain. It was after all human psychic and knew now was not the time and therefore bore it.

Ghost Li was not ordinary alarmed, for some reasons, after entering the valley, Xiao Hui seemed somehow abnormal. Looking at it now, its body seemed to be in severe pain.

Stretching his hand to gently embrace Xiao Hui, Ghost Li carefully assessed it, he felt the monkey’s body quivering in its hands, obviously it was using all of its effort to suppress the inexplicable pain. Ghost Li felt even more worried and quietly asked, “What is it, Xiao Hui?”

As if it understood its master, Xiao Hui’s head tilted and slowly opened its eyes.

Golden light with faint dark red lights, like a demonic ghost fire in the night and even more like a pair of devil eyes from the nine nether world, appeared in front of Ghost Li. The temperature in the surroundings suddenly seemed to turn chilly.

Xiao Hui’s breathing slowly became louder, Ghost Li clearly felt, the monkey’s hands that were clutching onto both of its hand, gradually increased in strength, its nails sinking deeply into the flesh.

The monkey’s mouth slowly opened and closed but that demonic golden light in its eyes instead stared firmly at Ghost Li and did not even relax for one moment. From that, Ghost Li suddenly felt a sense of familiarity, like the blood-devouring glare he had when he was crazed...

In that instant, Ghost Li suddenly felt coldness in his entire body, he abruptly turned and looked at his own hand. Inside that sleeve, without knowing since when, the top part of the Soul-Absorbing stick where the Sinister Orb was, emitted faint black-green light with traces of blood light.

Sinister Orb! The most sinister and the most vicious thing in the world, was actually so unfathomable…

Like something suddenly emerging from the depths of his heart, in that instant Ghost Li felt a bitter taste in his mouth, he dumbfoundedly turned his head over, looked at Xiao Hui. Xiao Hui seemed to sense something too and quietly called out twice.

Ghost Li calmed himself down and then realized, behind the golden light in Xiao Hui’s eyes, there seemed to be a panic look. He inhaled deeply and then revealed a smile on his lips, softly said, “It’s alright.”

Xiao Hui seemed to understand its master’s words, its eyes blinked and then slowly closed it, after a while, that inexplicable pain gradually receded, the pressure in Xiao Hui’s hands also gradually decreased.

Ghost Li stood in the darkness, slowly embraced Xiao Hui in his bosom. The night was as cold as water.

In the darkness ahead, the figures of one man and one monkey, in a dim, dark corner, lightly glimmered.

Without knowing how much time had passed, Xiao Hui seemed to be asleep, quietly lay in Ghost Li’s embrace.Ghost Li did not even care that he was in a perilous FenXiang Valley, stood straight in the darkness, gently hugged the monkey.

Suddenly, Xiao Hui’s body moved, raising its head up. Ghost Li lowered his head down to look, the golden light in the monkey’s eyes had already all disappeared and revert to its usual lively look.

Ghost Li’s heart immediately felt like it was released but without waiting for him to speak, Xiao Hui seemed to struggle and then pointed its arm to a road outside. Ghost Li was surprised, looked over and after a while, two people walked over from that path, Ghost Li recognized them.

Li Xun and YanHong. Ghost Li frowned, he had knew these two people ten years ago and they were already outstanding talents. Although things changed in these ten years and they did not meet again but to people who were cultivating, ten years was like a snap of one’s fingers. Both of them looked exactly like ten years ago,
just that looking at their movements, their skills most likely
were incomparable to what they were ten years ago.

Both of them unhurriedly walked over, they seemed to be conversing.  Nearing,  YanHong  was  heard  saying,  “Senior brother, why did those monsters suddenly charge in?”

Li Xun frowned, showing his puzzlement too. But his expression was solemn and he coldly said, “Those uncivilized beasts, who knows what they are thinking! If you ask me, those human fishes dared to invade the valley then we should not let them return, why do we still need to bother ShangGuan teacher uncle?”

YanHong gently said, “Senior brother, don’t get angry, the valley master has far foresight and there must be something else in this matter that we do not know for now. In the beginning when we made representations with those barbaric tribes, it was because of ShangGuan teacher uncle, who displayed his remarkable ability and awed them, those barbaric tribe then viewed the elderly as celestial being. As long as the elderly appear, those monsters will definitely obediently leave. The valley master asked us to invite ShangGuan teacher uncle out, most probably is because of that.”

Li Xun humphed, said, “I naturally know all these but I just don’t understand, with our FenXiang Valley’s honor, why do we still have to grovel to those monsters and now even invite ShangGuan teacher uncle out, if this matter leaks out, wouldn’t our FenXiang Valley become a laughingstock of the world’s Good Faction?”

YanHong  smiled  and  said,  “Senior  brother,  I  guess  those barbaric tribes still have their uses, therefore the valley master tolerated them. Until the future…”  Speaking until here, she suddenly stopped but her eyes looked at Li Xun, seemed to convey even more words.

Li Xun’s lips twisted, a trace of resentment on his handsome face, looking at it from afar, it seemed to add on a degree of attractiveness. But he did not reply and only softly sighed, unhurriedly walked along with YanHong on to the small path beside, after a while disappeared into the night darkness. In the darkness, a dagger-like stare watched their back figures. Ghost Li’s mind thought rapidly, the party that invade FenXiang Valley tonight was actually those human fishes whom he himself had been pursing. Recalling back three days ago that night, where he eavesdropped on LuShun and that human fish, that tall human fish seemed to be the tribe leader.

Seemed like tonight’s matter was most likely because that human fish tribe leader was assassinated by Jin PingEr, the remaining human fish tribe in their rage, came to seek revenge. With these thoughts, Jin PingEr’s figure involuntarily flashed past Ghost Li’s mind and he felt even more wary against this girl.

He stood in the darkness for a while and then seemed to make a decision, looked towards Xiao Hui in his embrace. Xiao Hui’s eyes blinked and then suddenly it moved, scurried up to his shoulder and grinned, seemed like it had fully recovered.

Ghost Li was relieved, smiled faintly and said, “Let’s go see what kind of person is that ShangGuan teacher uncle, shall we?” Xiao Hui “Zi zi” called out twice, waved its hand and pointed towards the path that Li Xun and YanHong walked.

Ghost Li soundlessly laughed in the darkness, his figure suddenly rose, quick like a ghost, went off towards that secluded small path.

Far away, a FenXiang Valley disciple was walking heading this direction at the same time, suddenly his vision blurred, a ghost figured seemed to flash by on that path to the valley’s restricted area, ‘Inferno Altar’, he looked again but there was nothing. He was stunned and then shook his head, muttered to himself and then continued to walk on, disregarding it.

The path was surprisingly long, evidently where that ShangGuan teacher uncle was at a very secluded place. Ghost Li, after travelling for a while on this path, did not see the rest of the buildings anymore, on both sides of the road were all trees and vegetation, the night breeze blew over, under the faint moonlight in the horizon, the trees’ shadows looked like some evil demons dancing, revealing some abnormalities. Ghost Li carefully followed along the path, after walking for quite a while, the path did not split like the other paths, seemed like this path led directly to where that ShangGuan teacher uncle was.

FenXiang Valley occupied a massive space, this small path, twisting and turning, leading even deeper into the valley.

Suddenly, a white rectangular object suddenly appeared ahead, Ghost Li focused and saw it was a stone tablet, engraved on it were two lines of eight characters:

Inferno restricted area

Disciple to stop here

Ghost Li frowned, hesitated not because ahead could be some mysterious place of FenXiang Valley but because of these two words, ‘Inferno’, quietly touched a place in his heart. He could not help but glanced at his right arm, underneath the clothes, ‘Inferno Mirror’ was quietly lying on his arm.

He paused for a while then sneered, lifted his feet to walk past this stone tablet.

That stone tablet seemed ordinary but it seemed to be a dividing border, after that stone tablet, for some reason, that small path was still twisting and extending ahead but the trees and vegetation beside the path clearly turned sparse.

First the green grass slowly disappeared then it was the short shrubs and then even the exuberant forest also thinned. Cracks also started to appear on the ground and the remaining trees were all withered and yellow, seemed like this area clearly lacked water, the ground seemed scorched.

Would it have any relation to that two words, ‘Inferno’?

Xiao Hui, on its shoulder, softly called out, its body also moved and seemed restless. Ghost Li gently patted its body, Xiao Hui then gradually calmed down. The surrounding scene was indeed weird but it seemed not to be an important place inside FenXiang Valley, if not, on his way here, not even a single disciple was seen guarding this place.

Ghost Li’s thoughts turned, following the small path, passing the last turn.

Suddenly, he who had always been imperturbable, his body shook, before him was a big empty ground, a hot burst of air assaulted him from somewhere.

An enormous round-shaped altar stood in the middle of the ground, its bottom suspended in the air, thirteen enormous stone pillars made of white jade stone and almost three zhangs high supported the entire altar. A total of twelve white jade stone pillars were at the altar’s perimeter, each one almost as thick as two persons’ arm's length encircling it and the thickest white jade pillar in the middle of the altar, was almost five or six persons’ arm's lengths.

And on top of the altar, all of the structures were build from a type of crimson strange stone material, the platform, railing were all without exception. In the middle of the altar, a building stood towering majestically, presenting a pagoda design. There were a total of three levels and the higher each storey was, it was half the size of the storey below it but each storey looked to be an unimaginable ten zhangs high.

Looking at it from afar, this altar looked just like an enormous ball of burning crimson fire, directly piercing the firmament. Ghost Li stood below the altar and like an ant, extremely insignificant.

Ghost Li inhaled deeply, the architecture before him was really overwhelming, the works of the Gods, these four words to describe it seemed fully deserving. Unexpectedly FenXiang Valley would have such majestic building inside it. He thought for a while and then recalled that stone tablet, and somehow knew, the place in front of him, would most likely be the legendary FenXiang Valley’s - Inferno Altar.

He calmed himself down and then silently drifted over. Other than this Inferno Altar, there was nothing else in the surrounding, nowhere to hide himself. But luckily there was not any guard in this place and he was fast, very quickly his figure reached the bottom of the altar. Once neared the altar, the heat in the air immediately increased more than several folds, even with his current skills, he felt a burst of agitation in his heart, sweat appeared on his forehead. Ghost Li frowned, secretly alarmed and then remembered that Xiao Hui might not be able to tolerate the heat and turned to look, Xiao Hui was instead scratching its head and picking its ear, seemed not to be bothered at all with the heat.

Ghost Li was surprised, felt that Xiao Hui was behaving abnormally recently, especially after it had swallowed the divine medicine at that Celestial Emperor Treasury in the death marsh, its body started to gradually evolve.

But whatever it was, under the current circumstances, Xiao Hui who was not bothered by the heat was better than bothered by it, Ghost Li at that moment did not have the luxury to dwell on it. He was just pondering on how to go up this altar when footsteps sound were heard from above the altar.

Ghost Li frowned and quickly looked around, there was nowhere to hide at all, after hesitating for a moment, he flew under the altar and hid behind one of the huge thick white jade pillars.

Hiding behind the pillar, he subconsciously touched the stone and felt a burning pain, his reaction was extremely fast and immediately withdrew his hand.

Even the pillars was boiling hot under the altar.

The footsteps became louder, evidently someone was walking down, suddenly an aged voice was heard unhurriedly saying, “Since the valley master invited, I naturally must go. Just that all of you have to tell me, why did those human fishes suddenly became so violent and actually attacked the valley?”

Ghost Li hiding within in the pillar’s shadow, looked out and saw Li Xun, YanHong following the back figure of a grey- clothed elderly, respectfully walking down.

Chapter 112 - Assassination

Ghost Li looked over from where he was hiding in dark, he saw an elderly, his face was thin and bony, wearing a long grey robe, simple and plain, his features and gestures did not look different from the others, if he was to appear in the streets, most probably nobody could tell that this person was a cultivated Taoist priest.

But the expressions on the two people following behind him, leaving YanHong aside, Li Xun who had always been arrogant, seemed to be extremely respectful to this ordinary-looking elderly, his expressions and gestures showed his constant attentiveness.

Right now after they had heard the elderly’s question, Li Xun hesitated for a moment and then said, “Teacher uncle is astute, actually it was because the human fish barbaric tribe leader died of unnatural causes and so those monsters flew up in a rage, this then…”

By then, the three of them had walked down from the Inferno Altar, the grey-clothed elderly frowned and indifferently said, “How did the human fish tribe leader die?” Li Xun forced a smile, shook his head. YanHong who was beside said, “Reporting to teacher uncle, three days ago that human fish tribe leader after meeting LuShun teacher uncle at ‘Nameless ancient temple’ at northern HeGu Hill, was suddenly assassinated by a highly skilled martial artist less than one mile from the temple.”

The grey-clothed elderly, made a [yi] sound, showing his surprise and said, “Who is the murderer?”

Li  Xun  shook  his  head,  said,  “We  have  investigated  for several days but did not find any clues.” He seemed to hesitate and  then  continued  to  say,  “We  should  have  reported  this matter to teacher uncle earlier but valley master deliberated over the fact that teacher uncle has been guarding the important place, Inferno Altar, for nearly a hundred years and has long since take no concern in the mundane affairs, therefore did not wish to disturb teacher uncle.”

The grey-clothed elderly laughed and said, “How would I not know the good intentions of Valley Master. I guess if not for the fact that the barbaric tribe still has its uses and old man me still have some degrees of influence left when old man me had subdued them at that time, if not valley master will not wish to bother this old man already.”

Li Xun smiled and was about to say something but that elderly seemed not willing to continue on the topic and said, “Was LuShun at the scene at that time? If its just within one mile, don’t tell me he could not find the killer? Even if he had to dig for three feet, he would have find it long ago.”

Li Xun heard it and could not help but glance at YanHong. YanHong hesitated and then softly said, “Guessed that killer was really too cunning and his skills was too high, after achieving his aim with one strike, he immediately fled, therefore even LuShun teacher uncle was unable to catch this person.”

That elderly humphed and did not speak anymore but in his expression and tone, a feeling of disdain was felt and evidently, he did not think very well of that LuShun mentioned by YanHong and Li Xun.

The three of them continued to converse while walking and had already crossed almost half of the three zhangs of empty ground, going further and further away from Ghost Li. Ghost Li slowly let down his guard but his body was still uptight, he heard that elderly asked a question from afar but because of their distance, he could not hear it clearly but indistinctly he heard that elderly asked about the current human fish creatures’ situation.

Li Xun acknowledged behind him, said, “The situation is now under control, LuShun teacher uncle brought a group of disciples to trap those human fishes at the valley entrance and using his powerful abilities, crushed those human fishes’ arrogance, now both parties are facing each other. Those human fishes keep saying they want to seek revenge for their tribe leader, valley master is not willing to break off all ties totally and so sent us to invite teacher uncle…”

Suddenly, a sharp cry was heard from the direction of the valley entrance, reverberating far to where they were, the sound was extremely mournful. Everyone was shocked and Li Xun said, “It seems to be coming from the valley entrance!”

Before they could react, the sounds of fights started again, roars and cries were incessantly heard, the valley which had just became peaceful, once again was enveloped by the hubbub. Their expressions changed, the grey-clothed elderly snorted, flung his sleeve and in an instant, transformed into a stream of grey light and charged up into the sky, swiftly flying towards the valley entrance, Li Xun and YanHong too urgently followed.

Until their figures disappeared totally into the night sky, Ghost Li then slowly walked out, thought for a while and then turned and looked at the Inferno Altar.

The enormous architecture towered over him, even the white jade stone pillar beside him also looked to be so tall and majestic in the night, not to say that crimson temple building above it.

Not far ahead, was the staircase from where that elderly, Li Xun and YanHong walked down from. Ghost Li looked towards that staircase, all of it was also built from the same strange crimson stone material, blended into one with the surrounding railings and slabstones.

Slowly stepping forward, Ghost Li walked up, the temperature seemed to increase much more and he felt like he was stepping onto burning fire instead of the crimson stones.

The staircase stretched up with thirty-six steps, after making a turn, continued to extend upwards. Ghost Li inhaled deeply, his face calmed and slowly walked up. The surrounding railings and slabstone walls were smooth and plain, without any decorations, seemed especially quaint.

Even the night breeze which blew over now seemed extremely hot, Xiao Hui crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, curiously watched its surroundings.

Finally, after climbing a total of three sections of one hundred and eight stairs, Ghost Li reached the Inferno Altar.

Although he had saw this place while standing below the Inferno Altar but now that he was on it, standing before the lofty building situated in the middle of the Inferno Altar, looking at the immense building which was a hundred times taller than himself, watching that spire tip like a sharp sword piercing the firmament, Ghost Li could not help but feel insignificantly small. The same crimson stone material, cut into enormous stone blocks of almost the same size, each almost as tall as half a person’s height, stacked together to form the majestic building. Walking near it, in that scorching heat, Ghost Li clearly saw those stone blocks were stacked so closely together that as if even a knife would not be able to stab in between the gaps. It was really unimaginable that how FenXiang Valley forefathers created such a work of ghost and gods at that time.

And he almost had an illusion, that in front of him was not a building but a ball of burning, raging enormous fire. And this fire was so huge that it almost looked like it was going to fall immediately and swallow the small insignificant him.

Ghost Li inhaled deeply, calmed himself and suppressed his feeling of shock and admiration, he then turned and carefully checked out the path to this Inferno Altar building. Without any effort he found it

The entire altar-built-like-pagoda did not have a single window, surrounded tightly by the huge crimson stones, only the lowest level, a one zhang tall, six chi wide door stood near him. Ghost Li walked over and very quickly discovered that even though this door was painted red but was still different from the surrounding stone walls, it was a wooden door. Guessed it should be, if even the door for access was also a heavy stone door then it would be very troublesome!

Ghost Li stood before the door for a while and did not immediately push open it, he turned and glanced back.

The entire Inferno Altar, other than the blistering heat, was silent.

[Zhi ya!]

The next moment, he had pushed opened the door.

At FenXiang Valley entrance, right now it had turned into a river of red, over a hundred tall and sturdy human fishes were [wa wa] crying out loudly, extremely incensed, wielding various kinds of strange weapons, there were spears, knives, swords and halberd, fought incessantly with the FenXiang Valley disciples surrounding them. Blood flowed continuously down onto the ground, severed limbs remains were seen everywhere, quite a number of the casualties were FenXiang Valley disciples but more were the human fishes.

As for those severed limbs, most likely those were chopped off by those savage-natured human fishes.

But even though the scene was shocking and the human fishes were extremely fierce but FenXiang Valley side was gradually suppressing the human fishes, several higher skilled disciples formed a semicircle formation and attacked in.

However, those human fishes were really savage and their bodies were very much different from the humans, even if a cultivated Taoist fellow fighter received a sword slash from the FenXiang Valley disciples, they would also be hurt but those human fishes for some reasons, their bodies were extremely resilient and including the fact that FenXiang Valley disciples seemed to have receive some commands and allowed some leeway. Other than a few highly skilled disciples’ magical weapons, when the other disciples’ magical weapons hit onto their bodies, the human fishes were at most only thrown out and rarely blood was seen. But first, FenXiang Valley disciples had been training for many years and their skills high, fighting one on one and including the magical weapon power, surpassed those barbaric human fishes; second, those human fishes were only strong and thick-skinned, FenXiang Valley disciples advanced and retreated, at times wielded their swords and attacked from the air which made the human fishes frustrated and greatly gained advantage.

And among the disciples, one elderly was in command, it was that LuShun who Ghost Li had seen in that dilapidated ancient temple. He was seen frowning, his expression extremely ugly, evidently furious.

While the fights were getting intense, suddenly a miserable cry was heard, it was one of the FenXiang Valley disciple who for a moment let down his guard and his leg was caught by a sickle-similar looking weapon wielded by a human fish, dragged from the air and fell onto the ground. In an instant, several human fishes swamped over, the weapons danced and in a blink of an eye, dead, even his body was not kept whole.

In that instant, FenXiang Valley disciples were in an uproar, many of them could not tolerate it anymore and gestured rapidly, their weapons in the air immediately made sharp whistles, attacked in groups. Miserable cries were heard instantly, several human fishes were already struck dead by the magical weapons.

However those human fishes were really savage, their expressions did not change at the sight of blood spraying everywhere in the air but instead became even more wild and leapt up to fight, not afraid of dying at all.

LuShun wielded his sword and flew up to the air, shouted out in succession but regardless whether it was the human fishes or FenXiang Valley disciples, all were unbridled and none regarded his words, it seemed like a massacre was going to start.

And at this moment, the solitary moon that hung up high in the night sky suddenly darkened, LuShun frowned and looked up, a mass of grey clouds was seen sweeping over. LuShun’s countenance changed and he snorted.

That sheet of grey clouds rolled over with astonishing speed, in a blink it had arrived and its force increased, the wind rapidly turned in the air and soon created a diameter of several zhangs tornado, sharp sounds accompanying it, [wu] a sound, swiftly charged down from the sky.

And almost at the same time, the surrounding grounds vegetation and trees were flipped out by the strong wind, stones and sands flew, those lower skilled FenXiang Valley disciples and some human fishes were sucked up by the raging wind and flung out.

Everyone was shocked and before they could react, that tornado had already landed, in the shrill cries of the wind, [peng peng] loud sounds, several human fishes, like being grabbed with a huge hand, were all hit flying, flew backwards and fell heavily onto the ground.

Those human fishes [zhi zhi] cried out, their shrieks sharp and horrible but they sounded terrified. The raging wind continued for a while and after separating all of the human fishes and FenXiang Valley disciples, slowly stopped. The sounds of the wind slowly ceased, the huge wind force also gradually dispersed and a grey-clothed elderly figure emerged. FenXiang Valley disciples were shocked and started to descend, paid obeisance to the elderly and respectfully greeted, “ShangGuan teacher uncle.”

LuShun also slowly descended to the ground and walked over, he glanced at that grey-clothed elderly, the vein in his face twitched. Then while smiling superficially, he said, “ShangGuan senior brother, this kind of trivial matter, why trouble you this important figure to come out?”

The grey-clothed elderly glanced at him, faintly smiled and said,  “The  valley  master  ordered,  I  have  no  choice  but  to come.”

LuShun’s expression changed.

By then Li Xun and YanHong had also arrived and descended from the sky. Li Xun walked over to LuShun, lowered his voice and  said,  “LuShun  uncle,  it  was  the  valley  master  who instructed me to invite ShangGuan teacher uncle over.” LuShun humphed, his expression became uglier but in the end he did not comment anything and turned around.

The grey-clothed elderly also did not look at him and turned to look at the bloody scene, his face somber.

By now, the human fishes were all gathered together, their eyes on this grey-clothed elderly. They seemed to recognize him and for some reasons, those fearless human fishes seemed to be fearful of this ordinary looking elderly and for the moment, did not attack.

The elderly looked away and in a low voice said, “Where is SunTu?”

He had just spoken when a middle-aged man walked out from the FenXiang Valley disciples, it was the SunTu who had gone with LuShun that night and knew the barbaric tribe language.

He was seen running to the elderly, his face extremely respectful and said, “Disciple is here.” The elderly glanced at him, he was right now covered with ash and dirt, seemed like because of his inadequate skills, he had suffered during the fights but luckily he kept his life, after all not many knew the barbaric tribe language.

The elderly immediately said, “Come over and translate their words for me.”

SunTu cautiously acknowledged and stood aside.

The elderly glanced at the human fishes, loudly said, “Old man me is ShangGuan Ce, one of you come out to speak.”

A stir went through the group of human fishes, evidently they understood ShangGuan Ce’s words. And the name seemed to have a magical power on them, it was really extraordinary. After a while, a tall big human fish walked out.

ShangGuan Ce assessed him with a few glances, unhurriedly said, “Do you know me?” That human fish hesitated,[ji ji ji ji] said.

SunTu  who  was  standing  beside  immediately  said,  “They know.”

ShangGuan Ce with his expression unchanged, said, “Why did all of you attack my valley, is it because our FenXiang Valley looks easy to be bullied?”

That human fish’s face showed anger, [ji ji ji ji] started to speak, its voice extremely incensed.

SunTu translated at the same time, “He said, our tribe leader was killed while meeting with your people and you all actually said the killer could not be found, obviously...obviously you all did it. Although our human fish tribe is not your match but even if we have to die, we want to seek revenge for our tribe leader!”

ShangGuan Ce frowned tightly, a trace of worry flashed over his eyes. He was one of the top figures in FenXiang Valley and his skills were unfathomable, in the secret fierce fight with the southern barbaric tribe hundred years ago, ShangGuan Ce displayed his skills and awed the barbaric tribe. Since then his reputation had travelled far and wide within the southern sixty-three tribes. It was also because of this reason that the valley master, Yun YiLan, today had requested him who had not interfered in the mundane affairs for very long time, to make his appearance.

Also ShangGuan Ce had resided in the southern border for a long time and there was none other that had knowledge of these barbaric tribes like him, just this branch of human fish tribe, he knew them to be savage and ruthless and the death of their tribe leader was an unprecedented deep humiliation, it could really be that the entire tribe would die here without any hesitation.

If it was just this barbaric tribe, ShangGuan Ce would not be concern about it but although the southern border wild tribes on the surface looked to be fighting among themselves but their internal relationships were complex and besides, in these hundred years, an exceptional figure had appeared and was not an easy person to deal with, if in the event this alerted that figure, the big scheme that FenXiang Valley had been planning for a hundred years would be destroyed in one moment. He was thinking it through rapidly in his mind, Li Xun standing beside saw ShangGuan Ce pondering with his head low, softly spoke to SunTu, “Isn’t the situation under control before I left, both parties facing each other, the human fishes also did not wish to fight and wanted to speak to our valley master? Why did the fights started again?”

SunTu with a pained expression, forced a smile and said, “We are also wondering! Initially it was all good, although the atmosphere was slightly tensed but both sides had no intention to continue fighting. Unexpectedly a miserable cry was heard from the human fishes, a human fish at the edge was mysteriously killed, those human fishes erupted into a rage and charged over like madmen.”

ShangGuan Ce heard it, suddenly spoke in a low voice, “Was it done by one of us?”

SunTu was stumped for a moment and LuShun who was beside, coldly said, “It was in a mess at that time, who knows?”

ShangGuan Ce’s face turned cold, suddenly raised his voice and  spoke  loudly  to  the  FenXiang  Valley,  “During  the confrontation, was there anyone who acted and killed the human fish?”

The FenXiang Valley crowd was silence, the disciples looked at each other and for a long while, nobody came out to admit.

At a distance, the human fishes were agitated, evidently enraged.

ShangGuan Ce frowned tightly, suddenly spoke to the human fish who was standing in front, “I will go take a look at that person’s corpse.”

After speaking, without waiting for the human fish’s reply, walked over straightaway.

That human fish’s countenance changed but looking at ShangGuan Ce’s expression, eventually still turned and led him to a corner of their crowd, after identifying a human fish body, pointed to it and “ji ji” said a few words. LuShun, Li Xun, SunTu and the rest had also followed ShangGuan Ce and walked over. SunTu quietly said, “This is the human fish which had died.”

ShangGuan Ce stood beside the corpse, carefully looked, his expression gradually turning ugly. After a while, he muttered quietly to himself, “Remarkable, remarkable.”

Li Xun standing behind him, also looked at the body, unexpectedly also frowned. That human fish body was still holding onto a big knife but the head on his neck was already gone, a human fish head was lying not far away, most likely it was his.

This human fish was cleanly beheaded by someone.

Li Xun’s eyes could not help but look at that neck, the wound was extremely smooth, evidently an extremely sharp weapon was used to deliver the fatal single blow.

“Yi!”  Suddenly, LuShun softly exclaimed, walked over and crouched beside the body to take a close look at the human fish body.

ShangGuan Ce frowned and said, “What is it?”

LuShun, after examining for a while, unhurriedly stood up but his expression was extremely ugly, spoke in a heavy voice, “This cut is exactly the same cut left on that human fish tribe leader by the assassinator, the wound was extremely smooth and not a single distortion was seen on the flesh but deep inside the blood vessels, for some reasons, had a faint purple color.”

Everyone was shocked and quickly looked over, it was what LuShun had said.

ShangGuan Ce was extremely shocked, abruptly turned and his eyes glinted brightly, said, “The killer is here!”

ShangGuan Ce’s eyes were like a knife, extremely sharp, the elderly who was ordinary-looking, now was as if his entire body had suddenly emitted an overpowering sharp glare. He slowly looked at every person in the surrounding, not one dared to look him in the eyes.

A sudden silence in the scene, only a night breeze blowing from nowhere, blew past the tips of the trees’ branches, making rustling sounds.

Chapter 113 - Strange Beast

Inferno Altar.

Although it was a wooden door but it felt heavy to touch, after pushing hard, the heavy Inferno Altar’s solid door emitted a low sound of [zhi ya] and slowly opened.

From the door, red light weakly shone out, the temperature seemed to increase another few degree, scorchingly hot.

Ghost Li frowned, faint sweats already seen on his forehead, he suddenly recalled what he had eavesdropped just now, that elderly called ShangGuan actually had been guarding this blistering hot place for nearly a hundred years, he wondered how did he bear it all these while.

Inside the Inferno Altar, it was not that bright, other than the mysterious stream of red light, most of the area was dim, incompatible with the surrounding torrid heat. Ghost Li stood at the entrance, deliberated for a moment and finally stepped in. A sound of [zhi ya] again accompanied it, the wooden door gently closed.

Ghost Li inhaled deeply, calmed his mind down and started to appraise the surroundings. It was as what he had surmised when he had looked at the Inferno Altar from the outside, this was indeed a huge hall, the height reaching up to five zhangs, the entire hall appeared circular and the walls also looked identical to outside, all made from that crimson rock, there was not a single decoration or engravings, simple and unadorned but against this enormous empty space, there was an indescribable grandeur and majesticness, giving off a feeling that only the exalted level of architecture would have this kind of simplicity.

Very quickly Ghost Li soon discovered that the red light that was filling the entire great hall came from the center of the building. Nearing the center, the surrounding became brighter and looking at it from afar, against the red light, a ball of flames seemed to be burning in the middle of the building.

Ghost Li watched intensely at that ball of “flames”, the red light gently shone over, reflecting in his eyes and also on Xiao Hui who was crouching at his shoulder. In the eyes of one man and one monkey, both seemed to be dyed red by something at the same time, red flames indistinctly burning.

Xiao Hui’s tail gently swished, it seemed unsettled and quietly called out.

Ghost Li strided, walked towards that ball of “fire”  in the center of the building, unhurriedly walked deep into where that red light was.

As  he  walked  nearer  to  that  “fire”,  the  surrounding  air became hotter and right now, it was almost like he was beside the deep underground lava. In Ghost Li’s mind, for no reason, a long-forgotten past event suddenly surfaced - Below the Fire Dragon Cave, the lava lake that was even more scorching hot than now, that pair of fox spirits committed suicide by jumping into the lake.

The thought flashed past, at less than one zhang to the center of the building, he suddenly stopped. Xiao Hui turned its head and look at its master. Ghost Li frowned, already looking away from the fire and observing the floor.

The smooth floor, made from the crimson rock piles, revealed a design.

Under Ghost Li’s feet, a notch about the thickness of a finger appeared on the flagstones and extended in two directions but it appeared to be twisting and definitely not level. And one chi ahead of Ghost Li, the same notch thickness, squiggly drawn on the solid crimson rocks, forming a design about one chi big.

That was a celestial deity!

One that Ghost Li had never seen before, never heard before deity.

The worn-out notch on the ground slowly extended out, the signs of wear and tell could be seen all over on the perimeter of the image, evidently these carvings existed for an eternity, revealing some desolation. The top of the deity’s head was hairless but instead a slightly curved horn like a goat was there, his face looked similar to human, just that underneath that eerie holes for the eyes, sharp fangs were obviously in the mouth. The engraver had even carved out a few tiny holes at the side of the fangs, as if fresh blood was dripping down, increasing the savageness of the idol.

And the body of the deity, was greatly different from human, like a well-built panther’s body, he had four arms, one hand was holding a knife, one hand a shield; the remaining two hands, one was grabbing tightly onto a painfully contorted human body, that person seemed to be crying out loud towards the sky; and the other hand was gently holding an object, still dripping wet with blood, it was actually a human heart.

The initial crude bleak notch stopped here, the carving strokes suddenly was abandoned in anger, the deep hatred in the heart like it had erupted all of a sudden. Ghost Li could actually incredibly vividly felt that frenzied energy, seething from the notches.

The placid notch, in an instant, became fierce, pouring swiftly down from the body, it became one with the lower part of the ferocious deity, transforming into raging burning flames. The red lights glimmered, the deity’s mouth seemed to have a hideous grin, as if he was about to break out from the floor and come alive!

Ghost Li deeply, deeply inhaled, almost subconsciously, he merged the image of the engraver and the architect of this Inferno Altar. Unbelievably there was actually such a master craftsman in this world that had such out-of-the-world talent!

An engraved drawing and it had as if captured the world’s creations!

That notch was still extending out, Ghost LI could not help but followed it to the side and gradually discovered the second, third deities’ drawings and finally, after circling once around that ball of red flames in the middle, he, in total, discovered eight deities drawings carved into the floor. Not one of them were alike but Ghost Li was almost certain that, engraved on the floor were all ferocious deities.

In those drawings, humans became the offerings for the deities, like food. The entire interior of the huge building right now had became somber, as if following the discovery of the drawings, somehow some ferocious animal was indistinctly howling.

And outside those ferocious deities drawings, there was still a notch that surrounded them but it was not a complete circle, at times it travelled twisting inwards, at times it rose and turned outwards, Ghost Li for the moment could not figure it out.

Right now, he returned to the first baleful-looking deity, after staring deeply at the deity, he raised his head and that burning fire once again appeared in front of him.

Suddenly, a [weng] sound went off in his head, something surged up, a kind of thirst, a kind of thirst to suck blood, such a familiar feeling rushed up in his heart. Almost at the same time, the deities suddenly seemed to come alive, indistinctly wavered in front of him.

The Soul-Absorbing stick hidden beside his hand, through the cloth sleeve, slowly started to light up. Ghost Li’s breathing slowly turned heavier, suddenly, he forcefully shook his head and focused his mind, and then slowly walked over to that ball of fire.

Just that, he had forgotten to look at the monkey, Xiao Hui, crouching at his shoulder.

In that pair of monkey’s eyes, the golden light once again appeared but behind the golden light, there were even more red lights, the same frenzied bloodthirsty in Ghost Li’s eyes, gradually brighten its eyes, filled its eyes.

The distance of one zhang was not far, Ghost Li very quickly came near to the source of that red light in the center of the building.

By now he had already discovered, the eight stone carvings which he had just seen, were all surrounding this light source and the direction of the deities’ heads were all facing this way. The temperature was now blistering hot, if a normal person was here, most probably he would not be able to breath. Ghost Li forced himself to quell the waves of bloodlusts raging in his heart, looked past the red lights and at the source of the light.

A thing that looked like a stone well, thin top and thick bottom, appeared in the middle of the great hall. Three chi high and with a diameter of not more than two chi, built out of the same crimson stone as the stone floor.

But on top of the smooth well surface, there was a strange white glittering crystal-clear stone, it appeared to circular and looking carefully at it, innumerable surface cuts were seen instead, each varying in sizes, resplendent radiance circulating around it.

And the unceasing red light projecting out from the well, after entering this strange stone that looked like a crystal, the light was refracted out layer by layer, there seemed to be traces of blood vessels flowing in in-between it. And those light streams congregated into a mass of red light three chi above the strange stone, that was the burning flames which Ghost Li had assumed it to be when he saw it from afar, and that illuminated the entire building. Looking at this mysterious and mystical scene, Ghost Li slowly went near that well, near that dazzling clear stone and looked down.

A familiar sight impressed upon his eyes. The boiling lava underneath raged and roared, like the tide of a furious raging sea, surging unceasingly and receding, the lava which were splashed up onto the rugged rock faces made sizzling sounds.

The Inferno Altar building was actually built on top of a volcano that looked like it was going to erupt.

A wave of agitation was felt in Ghost Li’s heart, subconsciously he was clenching his hands into fists, even his breathing started to become heavier. Ever since he went near those savage stone carvings in the ground, those never seen and heard before drawings stirred up the savageness deep inside his heart, or maybe those deities were actually savage evil deities. The Soul-Absorbing stick’s bloodlust in his heart was getting stronger but strangely, he could still remain conscious, unlike the other times where he had descended into madness. Just that although he was clear-headed, the agony from the powerful vicious energy in his body tormented him more. If there was anyone around, the person would see that in Ghost Li’s eyes, aglow brightly with red light, like an evil ghost.

Just when Ghost Li was forcibly holding up, Xiao Hui on his shoulder suddenly [zhi zhi] called out twice and jumped down, landed straight at that strange stone.

Ghost Li was greatly shocked, that strange stone had faint blood-red rays travelling around it, even he who had trained with the Evil Sect Tian Shu for many years, could feel that the evil power in it was something not to be trifled with, he immediately stretched out his hand to prevent and urgently called out, “Xiao Hui, be careful!”

But because Xiao Hui had leapt out in a sudden, Ghost Li’s reaction was too late and his hands grabbed empty air. Xiao Hui unfolded out in the air, its eyes like Ghost Li, glimmering with red light. Before he knew it, Xiao Hui had already landed on top of that strange stone, a slight sound of [peng] was heard. Instantly, the red lights which were refracted from the strange stone, were blocked by Xiao Hui’s body. And almost at the same time, that ball of red lights congregated above, lost their light source and vanished.

Suddenly, the entire world seemed to turn silent.

Only in a twinkling of an eye, the entire great altar building lost all of its light, darkness enveloped the entire place.

Ghost Li held his breath, dumbfoundedly stared at Xiao Hui.

It crouched on top of that stone and for the time being, seemed safe. The red light which had projected out from the well, was now blocked by its body, reflected onto its stomach.

The red light flowed like fresh red blood, glimmered faintly on its body. Xiao Hui’s body slowly started to emit sounds, like the grating sound of bones knocking against the joints. [Ka ka, ka ka…]

Ghost Li stepped forward, watching Xiao Hui, a premonition in his heart.

Xiao Hui slowly turned over, its pair of eyes had totally turned red, so dazzling in the darkness!

The next moment, strange events suddenly happened!

In the great hall, in the deep recesses of the surrounding darkness, suddenly a desolate howl powerfully reverberated. The stone carvings around them all at the same time, glowed red and one by one lighted up.

When the eighth stone carving was also lighted up, the desolate howl had already turned mournful, filling up the entire space. And in this completely enclosed altar, a wind had started to blow. Ghost Li grabbed Xiao Hui up, hugged it close to him. Almost at the same time, an enormous rumble was heard, all of the carvings shone out brightly, immediately those red lights evolved into forms and rose above those stone carvings, at the same time retaining those stone carvings’ appearances, gathered and transformed into a flat surface.

One by one the savage deities which had transformed into red lights gathered in the air and now Ghost Li could finally see that twisting stone carving that encircled those stone drawings.

It was a gigantic flame totem, wrapping all of the deities in it, together with the increasing gale, this mysterious halo slowly rose and right now, had already rose past Ghost Li’s head, came to a stop above Xiao Hui and him.

Ghost Li looked up, cold sweats had already started to form in his palms.

The savage-looking deities looked like they had been revived, in the enormous flame-shaped like red coloured halo, faced the sky and laughed. By then, the great hall darkness had already been banished, the entire place illuminated brightly by this dazzling halo.

The circle of red light slowly started to rotate, gradually increasing in speed and also increased the speed of the wind in the great hall. Ghost Li in the eye of this storm, the clothes on his body making loud flapping sounds, even his countenance also started to turn pale.

Just that he was still not making any move.

The mystifying atmosphere became heavier and heavier, in the rapid sharp soughing of the wind, mysterious fierce and malicious laughter seemed to mix in it, as if the rumoured Nine netherworld evil spirits had came into the world.

The red halo finally rose up to the domed roof, spinning rapidly under the simple unadorned flagstone, red rays of light scattered down like rain, like blood rain raining down in the hell.

[Rumble!] Spinning rapidly to a point where it seemed to disappear before the eyes, suddenly the red halo came to an abrupt end, without any warning it stopped. The next moment, above this mass of red flames, like being triggered, the enormous flagstones shifted, with the flame totem in the center, receded in four directions.

In the red halo, two balls of blazing eyes lighted up.


A deep low roar was heard from the red halo in the air, in that moment, the entire massive building seemed to tremble, all of the deities cried out at the same time!

The enormous body with an inconceivable heat, the entire body like burning with flames, an enormous beast leapt down.

Ghost Li’s pupils immediately shrank, he pushed with his feet, the Soul-Absorbing stick surged with green light and he flew backwards, avoiding that thunder-like force leaping down. The enormous beast in raging burning flames, roared in fury, slowly turned its head over and stared at Ghost Li.

For some reasons, Ghost Li suddenly felt his mouth turned dry.

Like those strange ferocious deities, he had never before seen and even in the books, there was not any record documenting this kind of fire beast. The enormous body reaching a height of several zhangs, four thick sturdy legs and extremely sharp claws at the tips, moving slightly on the ground, it left deep slashes on the solid crimson slab stones.

On its massive head, a mouth full of sharp teeth, in the pair of huge eyes, there were no pupils, instead two balls of burning flames. And on this strange enormous body surface, raging burning flames covered it, as if the flames were part of its body. Even from afar, that blistering heat from it was already intolerable.

And that enormous huge fire totem in the air, right now like being controlled, landed down and erected itself behind this strange beast, slowly rotating. All of the evil deities above it, like this fire beast, ferociously stared at this man and monkey who had disturbed the divine spirits.

Xiao Hui, embraced by Ghost Li but its eyes stared unmoving at that strange beast, the red glow in its eyes instead of weakening, became stronger.


That fire beast made another loud roar and again leapt over. This time Ghost Li did not avoid, also the fact that this strange beast was too massive and the spaces in the huge wide great hall was taken by up mostly by it, leaving little room.

The Soul-Absorbing stick, like being controlled by an invisible hand, floated before Ghost Li. Ghost Li’s face was somber and he placed Xiao Hui on his shoulder, after which his both hands, behind the Soul-Absorbing stick, rapidly conjured in the air, the Sinister Orb on top of the stick immediately emitted an Eight Trigrams image, instantly blew up in size and headed towards that fire beast. After a moment, that strange beast clashed against the Eight Trigrams image in the air.

Right now if Qing Yun Sect disciples were here, most likely they would cheer loudly, this was the authentic Qing Yun Sect unrevealed secret technique ‘Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way’.

As it was the Taoism True Way, the force was naturally formidable, the fire beast leapt with a mighty force but was forcibly blocked by it, its enormous body fell onto the ground.

But also at the same time, a huge force rebounded, Ghost Li’s body shook greatly. The force of this fire beast’s leapt was actually several times more powerful than a highly skilled cultivated martial artist.

Although that fire beast was blocked but its massive head abruptly lifted, the fire burning in its eyes, obviously it was unhurt but it became more infuriated, with a roar it leapt again. That enormous fire totem behind it also unhurriedly followed. Ghost Li frowned tightly and was about to make his move when his shoulder suddenly felt lighter, Xiao Hui had unexpectedly leapt up, leaving his body and headed directly towards that fire beast.

Ghost Li was alarmed, he involuntarily burst out, “Xiao Hui, must not…”

That fire beast suddenly perceived an object heading over and was shocked, it growled, its body which had just leapt up, again temporarily stopped, intending to take a good look at this object.

Against the red light, Xiao Hui whose eyes had already turned totally crimson, leapt in the air.

When its body, insignificant as compared to that fire beast, reached the highest point, it suddenly paused in the air.

In that instant, like time had totally stopped, when the monkey came to a standstill in the air, the great hall which was just filled with the fire beast’s raging roars, suddenly became silent.

[Ka deng!]

A clear and melodious sound slowly reverberated. In the innumerable streams of red light rays, a stream of golden light rose up.

Xiao Hui’s body extended out, its eyes closing tightly, faint golden light glowing from its entire body, like Buddha. In- between its eyes, on its forehead, that dark scar suddenly wiggled and the next moment, Xiao Hui suddenly lifted its head, both hands tightly clenched and howled long to the sky.

Ghost Li who was standing behind and about to leapt forward, also suddenly stopped, stared dumbfoundedly at the transforming Xiao Hui in the air.

That dark scar started to wriggle even more agitatedly, suddenly Xiao Hui howled again and a ripping sound accompanied it next, an indistinct cry and that scar splitted, spilling brilliant golden light out of it.

The third eye!

Three-eyed Divine Monkey!

The legendary unrivalled mysterious beast of all creations, in this fire-like great hall, suddenly transformed!

Chapter 114 - Celestial Fox

The fire beast with its head raised was watching Xiao Hui suspended in the air, enveloped in golden light, after a while, suddenly with a roar, the temperature in the great hall instantly rose rapidly, like being in sea of fire. In its bellowing roar, its attention had obviously transferred from Ghost Li to Xiao Hui, four of its legs stomped on the floor and abruptly leapt up, heading straight towards Xiao Hui. The flames on its body burned fiercely, even the rotating mysterious fire totem halo behind it, dazzled as if it was on fire.

Against this overwhelming fire pressure, the golden light emitted by Xiao Hui was suppressed in an instant, the flames surged and leapt up, looked like it was soon going to swallow Xiao Hui.

In this imminent peril, a figure appeared in front of Xiao Hui, it was Ghost Li. He was seen soaring up and floated in front of Xiao Hui, the black Soul-Absorbing stick under his conjuring, lit up entirely, emitted streams of black green radiance, in it were also faint traces of blood. In the next moment, that enormous beast’s head had already arrived before Ghost Li, facing such tyrannical and ferocious mythical beast, Ghost Li could even clearly see the sharp teeth inside its bloody mouth.

Inhale, deeply!

In the air full of fire sparks, a Buddhism incantation suddenly appeared three chi in front of Ghost Li, glowing with resplendent golden light. A greenish black air flashed across his face and just when the beast’s enormous claw reached the incantation, a faint dark colour floated out of the incantation’s golden light at the same time.

Ever since the establishment of the Qing Yun Sect and Tian Yin Temple, ‘Great Brahman Wisdom’ and ‘TaiJi Xuan Qing Way’ the two formidable skills for the first time, exhibited at the same time.

The fire flames everywhere, like the mountains and seas! The beast roared, struck down with a paw. The powerful force of the fire forcibly slammed onto the incantation, in that instant, the point of contact burst with unparalleled glorious radiance. The mountain-like flames immediately rebounded inverted, the beast’s massive body was actually thrown back, the entire great building shook with the impact of the invisible force.

That fire beast landed on the floor, looked to be also shocked, abruptly raised its head, a pair of burning flames looked at that human figure.

The incantation slowly dimmed and then dispersed, unhurriedly disappearing into the air. Ghost Li’s body landed, when his feet touched the ground, he involuntarily staggered, his face pale.

The Soul-Absorbing stick slowly floated down, suspended in front of its owner, facing that fire, dark green light still emitting from it.

Ghost Li’s lips twitched slightly and then repressed it immediately however the next moment it moved again and finally his shoulder shook, with a [wa] sound, threw out a mouthful of blood. The red blood like a red mist, sprayed in front of him.

Just like many years ago, that mournful, grieving heartbroken rain!

Little by little, drop by drop, that fresh blood covered the black stick, the used-to-be ‘firestick’ quietly absorbing every drop, silently sucked it into its body, leaving not a single trace.

On the Sinister Orb, red light slowly glowed.

A cold feeling washed over Ghost Li’s body.

The savageness that he had been repressing, finally reached its limit, Ghost Li howled long to the sky, both eyes crimson, a thousand thoughts raced past his mind, the endless blood and bones like in a nightmare hurled over, enveloping him in it. The trembling hands started to grab tighter, as if he was unable to restrain the seething excitement of his blood from that pungent blood smell! Opposite him, the eight ferocious deities on top of the fire totem behind the beast, also glimmered, as if responding to that bloodlust aura from his body.

The Ghost Li now, seemed to have transformed into a cruel ferocious beast, facing that fire beast in front of him. In the great hall of blistering heat, even the air seemed to be inflamed.


Suddenly, that fire beast growled, as if for the first time, it felt uneasy.

Xiao Hui floated down and landed before Ghost Li.

That eye on its forehead shimmered with golden light, at the same time, [ka ka ka ka] sounds of the joints shaking violently came from Xiao Hui’s body. Then, under the watchful glares of both Ghost Li and that fire beast, Xiao Hui started its transformation. The original small body suddenly developed innumerable thick, bulging muscles, in-between the [ka ka] sounds of joints knocking, Xiao Hui’s body slowly grew. When it was still visible to the human eyes, a monkey whose height was less than half of a human, rapidly grew bigger with its abruptly increasing muscles and bones, in a blink it had already exceeded Ghost Li’s height.

The muscles in Xiao Hui’s arms, chest and stomach swell out, its head also grew bigger, long and sharp fangs also appeared in its mouth, white with a gleam grew suddenly beside its huge mouth.The palms which used to pluck fruits for food, also grew sharp claws.

Finally, this monkey which had transformed into an extremely frightening ferocious beast which was almost the same height as the fire beast, slowly opened its eyes, the eyes below its third eye.

The bloodthirsty and red glare, mixed in the golden light, dazzling. The original spacious altar building, suddenly with the appearance of two such massive beasts, became packed. Xiao Hui’s eyes were full of ominous glare, stared at that fire beast, roaring incessantly.

The fire beast’s massive head slowly turned, with only flames in its pair of eyes, there seemed to be no expression. But it could be seen towards this abruptly transformed huge ferocious monkey, there was some reservations.

Suddenly, Xiao Hui howled, the third eye which was glimmering with golden light suddenly shone brightly, a stream of golden light swiftly shot out, that fire beast with a low roar, avoided it.

The golden light hit onto the floor, a boom and immediately an enormous pit formed in the solid crimson flagstones.

Without waiting for the fire beast to react, Ghost Li who had been standing behind Xiao Hui, had already leapt up, his body shrouded in a strange glow, the Soul-Absorbing stick in front of him with a sound of [sou] charged towards that fire beast. Almost at the same time, Xiao Hui also charged over.

The flames in the fire beast’s eyes instantly flared up.

Suddenly, just when Ghost Li who had been inundated with bloodlust and was about to strike the beast with his full force, the Inferno Mirror on his right arm abruptly awakened, projected out an extremely thick pure Yang, far exceeding what it had done previously, and charged towards the Sinister Orb’s malevolent energy in Ghost Li’s body energy channels.

Ghost Li’s body received a great shock, his face instantly blanched. His body while in the air, like being hit abruptly with an enormous force, felt his entire body in that instant was being stabbed by a hundred thousand sharp knives. That pure Yang energy inside his body, as if being stimulated by the Sinister Orb’s Yin cold malevolent energy, with an unimaginable speed turned into a broiling fiery blaze, covered every single channels in his body, fighting unceasingly with the Yin cold energy of the Sinister Orb.

His body in that instant collapsed, fell lifelessly from high up in the air and landed heavily onto the ground. And the Soul- Absorbing stick, lost its master’s conjuring while halfway flying and as if it had a spirit awareness, flew back and [peng] dropped onto his body.

[Zhi hou…] Three of Xiao Hui’s eyes looked over at the same time, angrily bellowing, evidently unable to understand what had suddenly happened to Ghost Li.

But almost at the same time, the fire beast opposite it started to act. Above the rotating fire totem halo, one of the eight ferocious deities suddenly with a flash, accompanying the loud roar of the fire beast, pounced over. That ferocious deity apparition, like a living thing, made threatening gestures and charged over with the beast.

Xiao Hui bellowed in anger, its massive body suddenly leapt over, the two massive beasts clashed in the mid-air and again heavily landed onto the ground, the entire hall immediately shook unceasingly.

The burning flames, like toppling the mountains and overturning the seas, set several parts of Xiao Hui’s sturdy body aflame but it seemed to disregard the pain from the fire, swept down with its claws and hit heavily onto that fire beast’s head but almost at the same time, its tummy received a heavy blow from the opponent.

The two giant beasts at the same time cried out in pain and then grappled with each other again, the gigantic bodies became terrifying volcanos, each blow causing rains of blood to fill the air.

Ghost Li lay lifelessly on the floor, unable to move from the sudden excruciating pain, blood red color appeared before his eyes but for some reason, at that moment, he became clear- headed.

All of the clamour instantly went far away, the glare from the blazing flames also became distant in the horizon, the pain in his body invaded every inch of his flesh. His eyes in the blood- red light clearly saw that ferocious deity spectre, manipulated by some strange force, savagely pouncing towards him.

But he, did not have a single ounce of fear! An instant, how long was that?

At the cusp of life and death, what would you recall?

Was it that many years ago scene of howling night rain in the bamboo mountain? Or that pale white figure beside in that deep endless abyss?

In that trance he saw the past, that faint smile when they first met…

He slowly closed his eyes.

Was he about to die? Then die!

This lifetime, had been too arduous!

The next moment, that boundless darkness with a heavy ominous air, enveloped him. [Peng!]

The powerful force pushed Ghost Li straight from the floor, right up into the air, flying out backwards, the transformed ferocious deity spectre attached onto his body while grinning hideously, [si] with a sound tore opened his clothes, it opened its bloody mouth and was about to bite his throat.

Xiao Hui who was wrestling with the fire beast heard the noises and turned back, its eyes turned wide in that instant and the corner of its eyes split, blood trickled down and ran down its face, with blood dripping, it seemed like one of the evil spirit from the nine netherworld and it made a mournful shrill.

With an incredulous force, the red light in Xiao Hui’s eyes looked like it was about to drip blood out, it bellowed and actually flung that fire beast away. But almost at the same time, the fire beast’s sharp claws gashed a huge wound in its stomach, blood like an angry tide spurted out.

But Xiao Hui did not even glance at its own body, pounced with all of its strength towards Ghost Li. That man entangled with that savage deity!

Right now reflecting in its red like blood eyes…

The distance which was actually very close, would it become the horizon?


The wind shrieked.

Waves of ominous intention.

The savage deity’s sharp teeth with one bite, bit Ghost Li’s throat. Xiao Hui who was still several zhangs away, whimpered and howled with desperation.

A faint red ray suddenly shone out from Ghost Li’s tattered clothes. That savage deity for some reason, like its body had suddenly froze, unmoving.

Inferno Mirror!

That ancient flame totem set in the center of dark green jade, right now unhurriedly lighted up, emitted a red light ray and shone onto that savage deity spectre.

Almost without any resistance, [si] a sound, that ferocious deity spectre,like a whale sucking water, was sucked in and disappeared in a flash.

After a while, Xiao Hui reached Ghost Li but before it could check his wound carefully, strong wind movements were heard from behind, that fire beast had leapt up again.

The wound on Xiao Hui’s stomach was gushing with blood and clearly, its movement were already somehow strenuous but subconsciously, Xiao Hui was still defending in front of the already unconscious Ghost Li. Just that, that fire beast suddenly stopped, its massive head moved slowly, the eyes still burning with flames saw the Inferno Mirror on Ghost Li’s right arm.

The ancient fire totem, glimmered with vague red lights, as if it was speaking.

Xiao Hui warily watched that fire beast.

But this strange beast suddenly behaved oddly, as if it could not believe it, looked at the Inferno Mirror and again looked at Ghost Li and Xiao Hui, it massive head still moving around, it was actually agitated, making low growls incessantly.

After a while, as if it finally was unable to resist anymore, the fire beast suddenly bend its two front legs down, its body fell prostrate, the massive head slowly nodded thrice towards that Inferno Mirror and then with a low deep roar, the flames on its body suddenly dimmed down, all of the flames - disappeared and then finally, even this huge beast also started to dissipate into the air. And the eight ferocious deities in the fire totem above, after losing the fire beast, also started to disappear. The entire hall, suddenly quietened down.

All of the ferocious lights disappeared, the hall once again shrouded by that faint red light from the volcano well, only above, where the fire beast had appeared, revealed a round hole which led to the second level.

Xiao Hui whimpered, slowly sat on the floor beside Ghost Li and quietly watched its master, then, at the huge gash on its stomach.

It waited silently.

The pain gradually receded, life’s survival instinct pulled him out from the darkness.

Ghost Li slowly opened his eyes.

The excruciating pain was like an invisible burning fire, burned every inch of his flesh, it did not leave any trace but it was enough to exhaust him.

He inhaled deeply, felt something cold in his hand, the ‘fire stick’ was beside his hand, accompanying him.

Fire stick…

He suddenly made a bitter laugh quietly, [zhi zhi] sounds were then heard beside him. Ghost Li turned his head and saw Xiao Hui lying beside him, watching himself. The enormous body had now resumed its normal form and became that small monkey who again leaned close to his hand. Just that its stomach had been discoloured by the blood from the wound and that third eye which still glimmered with faint golden light, all reminded him of what had happened just now.

Ghost Li suddenly smiled, looked at Xiao Hui and slowly sat up, he stretched his hand to gently smooth its head. Xiao Hui grinned and called out [zhi zhi] twice, scratched its head.

The red lights in the hall slowly rotated, shone onto their figures. Ghost Li observed his surroundings and felt exhausted but the channels inside his body, after that incredulous internal fight, seemed well. Just that he could not figure out why did the gentle and pure Inferno Mirror suddenly turned so violent, after musing on it, it seemed to have some relations with this Inferno Altar and that bizarre ferocious deities formation.

Ghost Li arranged his torn clothing and then tore a piece out, carried Xiao Hui over and carefully bandaged the wound on its stomach. Xiao Hui lowered its head, three eyes blinking, it saw a belt like sash on its stomach, [zhi zhi] called out and seemed very curious, kept touching above it.

Right now Ghost Li gradually regained his strength, hugged Xiao Hui and stood up, looked around. The hall was in shambles, remnants from the intense fightings could be seen everywhere but the scars were all on the floor, only a few on the walls. And that circle of savage deities carvings, right now had resumed its tranquility, lying there lifelike.

He stood and contemplated for a while, could not figure out how long he had been in this Inferno Altar but evidently that ShangGuan elderly who was guarding this place still had not returned, most likely he left knowing that there was a fire beast guarding this place!

Then, he saw the round hole which led to the second level above his head.

Some of the red lights in the great hall drifted up but looking at it from below, he could only see a small area of the hole entrance, beyond it seemed to be darkness.

Ghost Li glanced at that darkness, suddenly spoke to Xiao Hui, “Let’s go up and take a look! Alright?”

Xiao Hui grinned in his embrace.

Ghost Li gently patted its head then placed Xiao Hui at his shoulder, took a deep breath and then slowly floated up, leaving the ground and flying towards that hole. He ascended very slowly, extremely careful, who knew what strange creature was guarding this mysterious and unfathomable altar. But the surroundings were still, even when he floated up to the second level, he did not receive any attack.

The second altar level other than the faint red lights from that round hole, the surroundings were pitch dark but deep in the darkness, there was an object which was glowing with faint light.

Ghost Li walked towards that.

There was a stone platform about half of a human’s height, in the shape of a round pillar, the entire stone was very different from the crimson flagstones, while emitting a faint chill, a faint light above the stone pillar constantly changed color, turning light red at times, light purple, pale yellow, dark green, extremely captivating.

And on top of the platform, a circular indentation and beside it, engraved with three words - Inferno Mirror!

Ghost Li’s eyes looked to his right arm, in-between the torn clothes, indistinctly revealed a crude shaped flame totem Inferno Mirror.

He gently untied the treasure, after staring at it for a moment, placed it into the slot, it was a perfect match.

The next moment, a low groan was heard from above. Xiao Hui and Ghost Li looked up at the same time, the flagstones above, receded and revealed a stone hole.

Almost at the same time, the temperature dropped drastically, from the blistering heat to frigid coldness like ice. Against that faint red light, cold white air could be seen drifting down from the round hole above.

The extreme temperatures of hot and cold, could actually exist at the same time on this Inferno Altar! A faint smiled revealed on Ghost Li’s lips, he took the Inferno Mirror from the stone platform and into his bosom, without any words, he again headed for the highest level.

The air became colder and colder, the heat from the volcano mouth simply had no effect at all here, when Ghost Li landed on the floor of the third level, he discovered that it was all thick frozen ice.

There was no light in there but after Ghost Li’s eyes adjusted to the surroundings, he discovered faint bluish lights emitting from every corner.

The solid ice which had been frozen for unknown number of centuries, seemed to be telling something softly.

He slowly walked forward, his footsteps reverberating on the ice, breaking the ancient silence in this place.

Suddenly, a low alarmed, gentle yet desolated female voice was heard in the darkness, “You are not ShangGuan Ce?” Ghost Li immediately stopped, after a moment, he stared deeply into the darkness and unhurriedly said, “I am not?”

That voice after remaining silent for a while, slowly said, “Who are you?”

Ghost Li responded with another question, “Then who are you?”

The solid ice that was emitting a faint blue light seemed to glimmer, the female voice was silent. After a while, balls of faint bright light, like endless deep pupils, blinked and blinked, in the darkness, watching Ghost Li and Xiao Hui.

Finally, to the Soul-Absorbing stick in his hand.

“That monkey on your shoulder, is the Three-eyed Divine Monkey right?” Ghost Li was surprised, did not answer, instead it was Xiao Hui which shouted out to the darkness, as if showing its strength.

That female was not offended, slowly said, “That magical weapon in your hand, is it ‘Sinister Orb’ and the evil object, ‘Soul-Devouring’, with Evil Sect ‘Blood Forging Skill?’ smelted by it?”

Ghost Li was shocked, his pupils shrank.

That female voice seemed to laugh quietly and unhurriedly said,  “Soul-Devouring  and  Sinister  Orb  are  the  world’s supreme evil and savage objects, especially Sinister Orb, it contains ruthless demonic energy, invisibly infiltrating one’s soul. I can tell that although your skills are high but the evil energy had already penetrated deep into your body, sooner or later you will turn insane and die.”

Ghost Li coldly said, “Who exactly are you?” The  female  instead  ignored  him  and  continued,  “That monkey beside you, although known as the divine among the living creatures and now its celestial eye has been opened but I see faint red savage light in its celestial eye’s golden light, most likely because it is around you, it is also infiltrated by the Sinister Orb evil energy, with time it will just be a savage beast massacring the livings, why not just name it as ‘Three eyed Savage Monkey’.”

Ghost Li was greatly shocked and was speechless. He had started to detect unusual changes in Xiao Hui but now that the facts were being clearly said out by the mysterious lady, a thousand thoughts tumbled in his mind, he felt lost.

Xiao Hui instead showed its anger, shrieked out loud and bared its sharp teeth at the darkness.

That female voice suddenly laughed, faintly said, “You are angry, hehe, what for? We are both innate divine creatures, you know me and I too know you, why do you have to covet the mortal world’s complicated human relationships?” Ghost Li focused his thoughts, calmed himself down and his eyes turned cold, the Soul-Absorbing stick in his hand also slowly lighted with dark green light, he coldly said, “If you still do not reveal yourself, don’t blame me for offending!”

That female humphed, said, “You are not FenXiang Valley disciple and still able to reach the third level of the Inferno Altar, definitely you have some ability. Is ShangGuan Ce dead? But even he is not around, you can still go pass the ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ guarded by ‘Crimson Fire Beast’...”

“Not right!”

Suddenly, that female voice went shrill, as if recalling something, her voice became agitated.

“Not right, even how high your skills are, other than ShangGuan old ghost, in this whole world only...only with Inferno Mirror then the third level of the altar can be opened. You, you have the Inferno Mirror?” At the last sentence, as if reflecting her emotional voice, the surrounding solid ice lighted up with blue light at the same time.

Ghost Li frowned but before he could react, that faint eyes in the darkness had already saw the edge of the Inferno Mirror peaking out from his bosom.

The ancient totem, seemed to be burning faintly.

“Inferno Mirror!”

A sharp long cry, that female voice instantly became loud and sonorous, mixed with deep anguish, shock, sadness, hopelessness and a trace of desolation.

“Why, why is the Inferno Mirror on you? How about Xiao Liu? How about Xiao Liu...”

[Translator’s note: Xiao Liu also means Small Six] She wailed, as if she had lost her mind. In the third level of the Inferno Altar, deep in the darkness, blue light suddenly exploded out, numerous shadows danced in the faint blue light, wavering between the darkness and light.

A figure, as if flying out from the dark abyss but as if also like from the ancient desolation, a huge figure like a demon, moved in this space.

Ghost Li was stunned, no matter how ferocious and terrible the thing would be, he was also mentally prepared. But when he saw the figure in front of him, he was still shocked.

The far memories in an instant gushed up, filled his mind, even Xiao Hui on his shoulder also shrieked unceasingly.

Behind that figure, like in a nightmare, nine shadows danced.

He slowly, slowly, spoke, “Nine-tailed Celestial Fox!” …...

Chapter 115 - White Fox

Laguna Collective (Mooy’s translation) = Little Pond Town

The Divine Land expanse of land, vast and boundless. After subtracting people who were known as the spirits of the ten of thousands of creations, innumerable living things live together with humans in this space between Heaven and Earth. Like a household having chicken, duck, pig and dogs, ferocious beasts like panther, wolf, tiger and jackal, were all what humans commonly known and seen.

And since ancient times, different kinds of rumours had travelled and spread in the world, in the Divine Land surrounding secluded wildlands, among the barren mountains and unruly rivers, there were some ancient spiritual intelligent beasts, remnant species of the chaotic primeval times left in the mortal world. In the next hundred thousand years, countless tales of hot-blooded youths travelling over mountains and seas to capture dragons and demons were delightfully talked about, spreading around by word of mouths. And in those many varied folklore, the fox spirit race which might not be the most savage and strongest monster but without any doubt, the fox spirit species was the most mysterious, mystical folktale in the eyes of the humans and the only legend that had some human relationships.

Like the ‘Black Water Mystical Viper’ type of ancient huge beasts which had became the target of those countless youths who wished to prove their abilities and training, the fox spirits instead when mentioned, always had some dubious relationships. Although there had also been always folktales where the fox spirits inflicted injuries on humans but the difference as compared with the other creatures was, the fox spirit race usually leave behind touching stories of falling in love with a human and this, in the varied folk tales of demons harming humans, was really a prominent and unusual matter.

Of course, all these were just spread by the ordinary folks, common people in the mortal world, in the genuine cultivators’ eyes, the fox spirit clan was a group of extremely intelligent and cunning creatures. Their strength were unlike the Black Water Mystical Viper those kind of inconceivable ancient demonic beasts but those fox spirits instead understood the relationships between humans and legends even said that when their cultivations reached a certain level, the fox spirits would develop an ability to transform into humans, this might be the reason for those poignant human and demon love tales.

And within the fox spirit clan, there was a family branch that was the most intelligent and most mysterious, legends said that with their increasing Taoism cultivation, the number of tails would continue to increase, a hundred years of cultivation would have three tails, known as demon fox; thousand years of cultivation would have six tails, known as elk fox; and until the stage of nine tails, it would be the supreme realm of the mortal demonic creatures, nobody knew exactly how many years of cultivation it would take to reach that realm but in the legend, when the fox spirit had reached the level of nine tails, it was already an unequalled demon, its power exceeded deity, known as ‘Nine tailed Celestial Fox’!

Just that this legend was too mystical, not many common people knew about it but in Ghost Li’s heart, it was as clear as a mirror. Not because of anything, but because ten years ago, in that Fire Dragon Cave, that pair of fox spirit figures dying for love, was the first jolt in his life to his once unwavering faith.

Even until now occasionally in his dreams, that desolate and beautiful white fox figure, was still vaguely distinct. Faint streams of blue lights from the icy solid frozen ice refracted into the surroundings, causing the third level of the altar to constantly waver between brightness and darkness. In front of Ghost Li and Xiao Hui, from the deepest recesses of the darkness, in the faint eerie blue lights, an enormous figure slowly emerged.

A white fox, a gigantic white fox!

This was the first time in his life seeing such gigantic white fox, from where he was standing, he could see that the white fox was twice as high as him, almost the height of two humans. Even in this dim light, that pure white fur body was still so beautiful, the smooth fur was like the best silk cloth in Central Plains.

This was a creature that captivated the humans with one glance, just that its body was so massive, subconsciously it felt somehow scary. And in reality, this white fox was in an extremely emotional agitated state.

The altar space which was initially tranquil, right now was filled with the white fox’s wails and howls, the pair of deep black eyes set on the fair and white skin, right now was filled with madness.

The blue lights became brighter and brighter, somehow a wind had started to blow. Ghost Li’s clothes flapped in the wind, Xiao Hui’s shrieked out loud, bared its teeth at that white fox, making threatening stances.

Abruptly, a scream from the white fox’s throat, its front feet suddenly leaving the ground, it actually stood up and almost at the same time, Ghost Li felt the surrounding frozen ice radiated brightly with blue light, in the rumble of sounds, two enormous, almost the height of three men, ice moved through the air, each heading towards Ghost Li.

Ghost Li frowned, the Soul-Absorbing stick glowed with dark-green light, swiftly carrying him and Xiao Hui backwards. Almost at the same time their figures shifted, two of the enormous ice collided together with a rumble, making a deafening explosion, broken ice scattered all around.

Before they even came to a stop, the entire third level ice which was emitting faint blue light, lighted up at the same time, instantly the eerie demonic energy increased tremendously in this space, innumerable small and big blocks of ice slowly floated up into the air, glittering profusely, extremely beautiful and magnificent.

Ghost Li frowned even deeper, this nine-tailed celestial fox’s evil powers was as expected powerful, those demonic beasts that he had encountered the past years, other than the unimaginable ancient huge beast Black Water Mystical Viper, this nine-tailed celestial fox in front of him was the strongest.

However, when his eyes looked past those innumerable ice fragments twinkling with beautiful blue lights, that white figure with eyes filled with grief and anguish, it was an expression he had not seen for a long time, just like that pair of foxes’ images, started to oscillate in his heart, no matter what, he did not wish to fight against this white fox.

Just that while he was hesitating, the nine-tailed celestial fox made a sharp whistle, those ice fragments floating in the air streaked over with lightning speed, as if they had received a mysterious command. Ghost Li’s face turned cold, stretched to grab Xiao Hui and hugged it in his bosom, at the same time, wielded the Soul- Absorbing stick and flew to the side. In a moment, blue lights flashed everywhere, the solid ice like rain, collided against each other incessantly. In every flint-spark moment, countless streams of pale white light and blue solid ice, pursuing after that dark-green figure.

The dark-green shadow like ghost, always escape at the critical moment, in the raining hail, left or right, up or down, avoiding this never-ending layers of hail.

The white fox’s sharp whistle turned even higher, just that for some reason, the angry scream seemed to lack stamina. While the intense fight was going on, a dark-green figure suddenly flashed, out of nowhere Ghost Li had traversed those layers of ice and dashed near the white fox.

The white fox was shocked, its beautiful white fur moved on its own, its front paw waved and looked as it was going to conjure some strange effects, unexpectedly at this moment a dark red light leapt up suddenly from behind, almost at the same time, the white fox’s body shuddered, like it had suffered a heavy blow, its eyes unfocused and in that instant, the evil power dissipated entirely, its body collapsed.

And the next moment, the dark figure floated, a pale hand from the light shot out, grabbed the white fox’s throat.

The white fox groaned, its eyes showing immense pain but looking at its expression, it instead closed its eyes, as if resignated, waited to die.

The place where the hand touched, it was icy cold yet still soft, Ghost Li’s hand landed on the white fox’s throat, the enormous body was just in front of him but for some reason, it was like a weak little bird in his hand.

Xiao Hui crouching in Ghost Li’s bosom, suddenly softly called out.

Ghost Li quietly looked at the white fox in front of him, slowly withdrew his hand. The white fox slowly opened its eyes, reflecting into its eyes, was that man’s figure in front of it.

One human one fox, looking at each other like that!


Following the sound, that blizzarding hail behind Ghost Li, lost its demonic power conjuring and started to fall, when the ice collided against each other, the ice crystals splattered everywhere, white ice mist floated out, spreading from the back and totally covered Ghost Li and that white fox figure.

After a long time, the ice dust gradually settled down, Ghost Li and that white fox figures emerged again.

Xiao Hui had again crawled up to Ghost Li’s shoulder, three of its eyes blinked and blinked, looked at Ghost Li and looked at the white fox again and then looked around, it suddenly developed an interest in the beautiful ice crystals scattered all around and jumped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder, sat on the floor, took up some beautiful ice crystals emitting blue faint lights and started to play with it.

The white fox’s eyes, from Ghost Li shifted to Xiao Hui, it looked intently and then back to Ghost Li, after a while, said, “Why didn’t you kill me?”

Its voice had evidently calmed down. Ghost Li did not answer immediately, his eyes unexpectedly glanced behind the white fox, very quickly, he found the thing that he had suspected.

A dark red chain as thick as a human arm, locked around the white fox’s waist, red light faintly emitting from the chain, even separated by a distance, one could feel that unusual power.

The white fox had abruptly lost its power while battling, evidently the chain had activated its power. But it was not unusual too, if not for this powerful control, with the legendary celestial fox’s unmatched power, how could the Inferno Altar trap it? The white fox stared at Ghost Li, Ghost Li did not answer its question, it seemed not to mind because what it was concerned about, was entirely another matter.

“How about Xiao Liu? Is it that you killed him and then took the Inferno Mirror?” Its voice seemed low, as if exhausted.

Ghost Li was silent, after a while he unhurriedly said, “The Xiao Liu that you mentioned, was it an elk fox who had six tails?”

The massive white fox’s body trembled and it lowered its head.

“It is dead!” Ghost Li’s voice was not loud but clearly said.

The white fox’s eyes looked to the ground in front of it, dimly said, “How?” “Ten years ago, I with...two friends heard that there were some evil creatures creating trouble below Little Pond Town Black Stone Cave and so went to investigate.”  Ghost Li’s face was still as water, indifferently spoke about the past. For the moment, the spacious place was silent, only his voice gently reverberated, occasionally Xiao Hui could be heard playing.

“......Until the end, it saw that things were coming to an end and the three-tailed fox was dead too, it decided to commit suicide, before it died, it tied the Inferno Mirror on my arm.” Ghost Li took the Inferno Mirror out from his bosom, under the faint blue lights, the ancient flame totem seemed to be also burning lightly.

The white fox stared blankly at the Inferno Mirror, after some time, it quietly said, “Xiao Liu was my son!”


The surrounding stillness seemed dead, Ghost Li looked at that sorrowful white fox in front of him, suddenly felt a feeling of suffocation. Engraved deeply inside his heart, that white fox figure entering the molten lava, as clear as if it was in front of him.

Ten years of time, like it was just only yesterday.

What was it, that quietly changed, your heart my heart?

“The death of your son, I am partly to blame.”  Ghost Li faintly spoke, “In the future if you have the chance, go ahead and kill me.”

The white fox’s head rose, stared deeply at him and suddenly, Ghost Li sensed that the white fox was laughing, with thousands and hundred years of time in its eyes, a laughter with faint anguish.

“If he can give the Inferno Mirror to you, I as his mother, how can I not know what he was feeling at that time?”  The white fox faintly said, slowly turned its body, the chain at its waist making ear-piercing sounds, confining it. Ghost Li looked at the white fox slowly making its way back into the darkness, suddenly an inexplicable urge in him, he burst out, “Is there anything I can help you?”

The white fox’s body paused but did not turn over, only its voice, suddenly had a faint excitement, “You are willing to help me?”

Ghost Li did not speak or answer.

The white fox slowly turned around, right now suddenly, a strange gleam surfaced in its black deep eyes.

“Three hundred years ago, our fox clan snatched the Inferno Mirror from FenXiang Valley but our casualties were huge, other than Xiao Liu who managed to escape, only I survived and am imprison in this Inferno Altar, suffering the ‘Inferno Chain’ torment. My power is being suppressed by this Inferno Chain and the ‘Eight Savages Inferno Formation’ in the Inferno Altar, suffering day and night.” It gave a cold laugh and said, “If not for the fact that FenXiang Valley wants me to divulge the location of the Inferno Mirror, I would have been dead long ago.”

Ghost Li silently nodded.

The white fox glanced at him, said, “This Inferno Chain is a Heaven and Earth unusual object, ablaze with strong Yang, once locked, it cannot be opened unless it is by a person well- versed in FenXiang Valley’s secret incantation. But other than that, with the Inferno Mirror, it can also open this thing!”

Ghost Li’s gaze, slowly looked to the Inferno Mirror in his hand, the faint warm from that ancient flame totem radiated out.

The  white  fox’s  voice  continued  upfront,  “The  Inferno Mirror is the essence of ten thousand fires, a celestial weapon since the creation of Heaven. You only need to go to the end of the stone walls behind me, there is a round pillar shaped stone platform, the Inferno Chain starts from there, at the same time it extends deep into the volcano lava below and absorbs the infinite heat energy. Place the Inferno Mirror on the stone platform and the Inferno Chain will be unlocked, without this restriction, with only the Eight Savage Inferno Formation below without the Inferno Mirror as the core, it will not be able to trap me.”

Speaking until the end, the white fox’s voice seemed to be quivering, showing its excitement.

Ghost Li did not speak, his face as still as water.

The white fox looked at him, after a while, a deep disappointment appeared in its eyes, it made a wry laugh, softly said, “Have you regretted? Then forget it, actually in this world, who is not like that?”

Speaking, it looked like it was about to turn back again, Ghost Li suddenly moved.

He slowly walked forward, walked past the white fox, Xiao Hui behind, raised its head and seemed to develop an interest in the situation here, in two three jumps it leapt up to Ghost Li’s shoulder. Ghost Li walked past the white fox, the white fox too followed and turned, its massive body accompanying Ghost Li, for some reason, its eyes had a different gleam.

“Young man, why are you helping an evil beast?”

Ghost Li did not turn and without any change in expression, the white fox following behind him, could not see his expression, after a while, that man who was walking alone in the darkness, quietly spoke to himself, “Actually in this world, who is not like that?...”

“Ten years ago, when I placed them into the lava with my own hands; ten years ago, under the Zhu Xian Formation, when I watched helplessly as she fell from the air……”

The white fox stopped walking, the end of the Inferno Chain had an extremely powerful restriction on evil beasts, it was unable to move forward. And Xiao Hui right now also seemed to sense something, jumped down from Ghost Li and stopped beside the white fox. And Ghost Li, did not stop.

The white fox silently watched, as the darkness from the most dim areas faintly shone down, swallowing that man’s figure.

It suddenly sighed!

After a moment, it turned its massive fox head, went near Xiao Hui, Xiao Hui facing this hundred times bigger than itself evil beast, did not have any fear instead, [zhi zhi] called out twice, three eyes looking at the white fox at the same time.

“Is he also a grieving person?” the white fox faintly asked.

Xiao Hui blinked, [zhi zhi] called out, at the same time, scratched its head.

The white fox laughed faintly, in its laughter, there were more sorrow and vicissitudes of life. “Your cultivation is not enough and your spiritual intelligence has just opened, the love between humans in the mortal world, how will you know?” It softly said to itself, its voice  gradually  turning  softer,  faintly  heard,  “Because  the mortal world has such infatuated man, thus it then made us in the thousand hundred years, still deeply sentimentally attached…”

FenXiang Valley entrance.

The ambience became more and more somber, the place was silent. The human fish tribe with their angry eyes stared at the FenXiang Valley men with ShangGuan Ce as leader, and on the FenXiang Valley side, fear and shock.

A number of disciples had started to secretly look around, the cold breeze blew over, tree branches gently danced, a low ghost wail started from somewhere and travelled over, making one turned cold upon hearing it.

ShangGuan Ce frowned, his face was solemn, even if this unknown killer had high skills, with his current skills, he was not worried. But with such high skills and yet used such ruthless methods, it was obviously trying to incite conflicts between FenXiang Valley and the human fish tribe, this was indeed worrying.

Unless, the big plan that FenXiang Valley had been plotting for hundred years, eventually was still leaked out?

Once such thoughts formed, even with ShangGuan Ce’s deep skills resolution, his heart involuntarily panicked.

But he was after all not a normal figure, after a moment he calmed down, he knew that right now the killer was watching covetously from the dark, he must not lose his sense. And in these several hundred years, this was the first time someone had such audacity and dared to behave impudently in FenXiang Valley. If he did not properly teach the person a lesson, next time any tom dick and harry would also dare to come and make trouble!

ShangGuan Ce focused, his head moved to the side, Li Xun understood and walked up, ShangGuan Ce coldly said, “Pass down the order, all of the disciples to move out, seal every exit in the valley, in addition release all of the ‘Red Eye Eagle’, let them circle around in the air, we must not let this murderer escape.”

Li Xun nodded, hesitated a moment, quietly said, “Teacher Uncle, then Valley Master…”

ShangGuan Ce shook his head, said, “Since valley master asked you to pass his orders to me to handle the matter tonight, most likely he is unable to leave. You also know that he…”   speaking  halfway,  ShangGuan  Ce  suddenly  stopped, raised his eyes to look at Li Xun, “At a much later time, I will naturally explain things to him.”

Li Xun lowered his head and said, “Yes, disciple will go do it now.” and then turned and left.

When his suave figure walked to the back, the surrounding FenXiang Valley disciples made way for him, and from the start standing beside him, listening to every word between him and ShangGuan Ce, YanHong watched Li Xun’s figure, indistinctly a strange gleam in her eyes. Li Xun’s figure very soon disappeared into the FenXiang Valley darkness. A stir went through the human fish tribe, a few of the human fishes [ji ji] peculiarly called out at the same time. The tall big human fish as their representative exchanged a few words with the others, turned back with its face incensed, “ji ji ji ji” speaking ceaselessly.

ShangGuan Ce frowned, SunTu beside him had already started to translate, “They are asking us to quickly hand over the killer for their tribe leader, if not they will kill us all.”

ShangGuan Ce humphed, coldly looked towards those human fishes, those human fishes evidently still fear ShangGuan Ce, for a moment were shocked but their savage characteristics took over and even more human fishes started to shout out in anger.

ShangGuan Ce knew that these wild tribes could not be judge using common reasoning and with the FenXiang Valley’s upcoming important matter, it was absolutely not the time to turn things sour with the wild tribe, and the powerful figure hiding in the ten thousands great mountains, not only him, even the valley master, Yun YiLan, with skills surpassing the heavens also feared him to some degree. He was pondering on how to appease the wild tribe temporarily,  slowly  spoke,  “Everyone,  the  matter  today, ShangGuan Ce will definitely give you an answer but for the time being, will have to put you through the inconvenience here…”

Before he could complete his words, suddenly with no warning, the earth beneath his feet violently shook.

This quake was so sudden and violent, many of the FenXiang Valley disciples were caught unaware and fell down.

ShangGuan Ce had deep skills, naturally he was different from those common disciples, he almost stabilized his body in an instant, while in shock, from the corner of his eyes he saw, standing beside him YanHong was also unsteady but was only slightly later than him in standing firm.

“Ah, the sky, sky has changed in color!”

Not knowing who was the first to shout, everyone looked up in that instant, the dark black night sky had turned red, numerous clouds like burning flames moved swiftly, started to gather and circled around a certain place, indistinctly wind and thunder could be heard, a majestic scene, extremely spectacular.

ShangGuan Ce was shocked, his countenance change greatly, almost subconsciously he turned to look and as expectedly, where the clouds had gathered was indeed around the mysterious Inferno Altar.

ShangGuan Ce was shocked and enraged, disregarding everything else, he stomped angrily and transformed into a grey light, rapidly flew towards the Inferno Altar. But when his body soared into the air, for some reason, a faint doubt flashed across his head, “YanHong’s skills, when did it improved so much?”

Chapter 116 - Escape

Inferno Altar.

The Inferno Altar, so imposing and huge that it gave an indestructible impression, suddenly started to shake violently. The nine-tailed celestial fox and Xiao Hui who were located at the third level of the Inferno Altar, were thrown to the side by this sudden huge force. But they were after all intelligent spiritual beasts and very quickly they found their footing.

In the darkness recesses ahead, a dark red light slowly lighted up, indistinctly revealed Ghost Li’s figure.

The Inferno Chain locked at the nine-tailed celestial fox’s waist started to glow, from the dark red colour to bright red, from afar, it looked like liquid fire was flowing along the strange chain and flaming.

The nine-tailed celestial fox quietly humphed, pain revealed in its eyes. Xiao Hui standing beside, looked at the nine-tailed celestial fox and then at the figure in the darkness. The dark red light became even brighter, revealing the stone platform in front of Ghost Li. The Inferno Mirror was placed by Ghost Li on the platform, in the dark, there seemed to be silent shouts, like indignation, like rage.

That ancient flame totem in the heart of the Inferno Mirror, pulsed with light, like fire burning!


Suddenly, a boom was heard below and immediately a burst of hot air gushed up, turning this icy-cold third level into a red blazing place.

The innumerable huge ice around them started to melt, disintegrating ceaselessly, the ice crystals which were still radiating faint beautiful blue lights before they disappeared, reflected the surroundings between sudden darkness and brightness.

The entire place,in the dance between the heat waves roars and the soundless ice cubes, displayed a sight rarely seen in the world. Xiao Hui turned its head over, three of its eyes blinked and grinned, transfixed; and the nine-tailed celestial fox seemed to disregard the cold and hot rare scene behind it at all, a pair of fox’s eyes staring at Ghost Li beside the dark red light.

Following the gradually brightening light on the flame totem, the enormous Inferno Chain started to emit sounds of [ka ka], the intensity of the light on the chain also increased, like it was about to burst out in flames. At the same time, the pain in the nine-tailed celestial fox’s eyes increased, the furs around the Inferno Chain at its waist actually turned brown.

The temperature in the air kept on increasing, sounds of explosions were heard in the Inferno Altar below, the sounds appeared to be the roaring raging volcano lava rising and falling turbulently.

And in this strange scene of explosions and strange lights flashing everywhere, the nine-tailed celestial fox suddenly trembled, its fox head turned abruptly, turning away from the Ghost Li’s figure which it had been staring at. At a far away distance, outside of this turbulent, dramatic hubbub, a long whistle seemed to be heard, carrying immense anger and shock, flying at full speed over!

The nine-tailed celestial fox’s countenance changed, its eyes suddenly full of anxiety, its head whipped back and was about to speak…


A muffled rumble, sounded at this moment.

The stone platform in front of Ghost Li, in the mysterious divine power of the Inferno Mirror, made a deep loud sound, as if it was unwilling, and started to sink down. The Inferno Mirror slowly floated up from the platform, shifted into the mid-air, radiating pure red light.

Following the platform descension, the surrounding stone walls started to tremble, a deep crack appeared and closely following after it, was another crack. At the same time, that Inferno Chain, deeply embedded into the stone wall, also started to quiver, the quivering speed rapidly increased and finally, when the seventh crack appeared on the stone wall, a deafening boom was heard, the once indestructible Inferno Chain like a dead snake, without its brilliancy, fell from the nine-tailed celestial fox’s waist and onto the floor.

The nine-tailed celestial fox, among the ice and fire, darkness and light, raised its head and howled long!

The howl was mournful and distant, reverberated far away until it became one with the raging volcano roars, piercing and sonorous, unceasingly!

In that instant, as if it was the force from the enraged fire, that surging turbulent waves made a thunderous boom, the deafening blast burst up, immediately innumerable cracks appeared at the sturdy stones under their feet.

Ghost Li with one hand, grabbed the Inferno Mirror and put it in his bosom and walked back with quick steps. Xiao Hui [zhi zhi] called out, ran and leapt up to his shoulder. White mist gathered rapidly around the nine-tailed celestial fox, turning thicker in an instant, shrouding the white fox’s body, after a moment, a series of strange [suo suo] sounds were heard, in the white haze that was incessantly invading the atmosphere which were turning hotter and hotter by the waves of increasing heat, a human figure slowly emerged.

A white as jade hand, illuminated by the fire light to look faintly translucent, as if blood could be seen flowing faintly in the thin veins. The smooth shoulder, perfectly round and not a single blemish, the indistinct like gentle rising peaks, so mysterious and out of place in this fierce and brutal world.

Ghost Li could not see the person’s face clearly and also did not have the time to look.

Finally, like it could not bear it anymore, the volcano which had lay dormant for infinite time, erupted, underneath them the earth quaked violently, everything started to fall, the air was so blistering hot that it felt as if it was going ignite, even breathing in also felt like fire. The deafening blast rocked out from deep inside the earth, the weaken flagstone floor instantly collapsed down. From where the dark-green light flashed, Ghost Li’s face was grim, he leapt up into the air, from the white haze where the nine- tailed celestial fox had transformed, she was heard saying,


Ghost Li did not think twice, flew up and as expected, briefly after, the solid stone walls above their heads also crumbled following the floor, Ghost Li, among the rain-like falling broken fragments, avoided and dashed up with full force, Xiao Hui [zhi zhi] shrieked, grabbed tightly onto Ghost Li’s clothes. And the nine-tailed celestial fox, shrouded within the white haze, followed closely behind.

Below them, the molten lava broke through all of the obstacles, like a giant column of fire, burst into the sky, following closely behind them.

The entire FenXiang Valley was instantly illuminated by the blazing red light, everyone looked up at that giant fire column shooting up to the sky. Even the black clouds in the sky, was penetrated through by this powerful earth force!

From the heart of the fire column, the black clouds in the sky had totally turned into the colour of fire, like the entire sky had turned into a burning sea of fire.

After a while, the burning ashes, massive stones fragments, cinders fell out from the sky, either burnt or burning, like an apocalyptic sombre rain!

Nobody saw the figures of Ghost Li and the nine-tailed celestial fox, the Red-eyed Eagles which were released to surveil from the sky, right now were also fleeing for their lives, not to even mention pursuing.

For the moment, FenXiang Valley men other than some occasionally exclaimed in surprise, were speechless, even the human fishes were also rendered speechless by this Heaven and Earth phenomenal. Only at that fire column end, below the Inferno Altar, a bellow of anger could be heard far away, roaring unceasingly!

Far away, that terrible fire column had already disappeared, the earth also gradually regained its stillness, only in the layers of clouds, a giant black hole could still be seen clearly, the surrounding clouds around the black hole, like being burnt, displayed a strange golden yellow colour.

After leaving the FenXiang Valley far away, Ghost Li landed at a secluded hill, the area was exuberant with trees and vegetations, even if FenXiang Valley men were to pursue them, they would need at least half a day. And furthermore with the expanse of lands around FenXiang Valley, it would not be that easy.

He landed on the ground, the dark-green light withdrew with a flash, the nine-tailed celestial fox was heard landing shortly after. Ghost Li did not turn and stood unmoving.

There was no sound coming from the back too. After a while, Ghost Li indifferently said, “Do you need clothes?”

For some reason, in the voice from the back suddenly had a trace of light lovely feel , “Hm, thanks GongZi.”

Ghost Li took off his coat and threw backwards, during these actions, he still did not turn, just that the monkey Xiao Hui crouching at his shoulder, was not like its master at all, its head turning here and there, looked at Ghost Li and then behind, scratching its head at times, seemed to be baffled.

The soft rustling sound of dressing was especially distinct in the still forest, the night illuminated by the peculiar clouds in the sky, gradually started to dim again.

Even separated by a long distance, in the night breeze blowing over, it carried torrid heat.

“GongZi, it is done.”  That female voice behind him, quietly said. Ghost Li did not turn immediately, instead stood still for a while and then slowly turned over.

A girl wearing his coat, quietly stood in the dim night, in the forest, before him.

Her figure was slender and graceful, the misfit coat could not hide her perfect figure. The coat to her, obviously was too big, wrapped around her body and fastened in front, was still unable to conceal the fair skin revealed in-between the gaps, in this type of night, it seemed to emanate a faint seduction call.

Her lips was soft, her eyes enchanting, her nose sharp, her brows arched. Her beauty, was like the gentle waves of the flowing water that embraced you, making you intoxicated; or like a beautiful woman whose beauty had permanently froze for hundred thousand years, even after the storm and snow, it became even more beautiful.

Ghost Li was silent, after a while, turned his head over. Xiao Hui crouched on the ground, looked at its master gazing far away, Ghost Li since earlier had been gazing at the horizon, wondered what was he thinking?

The fair hand stretched over, Xiao Hui turned and grinned, stretched out its own monkey hand, under the grey fur, its fingers looked to be even longer than human.

The nine-tailed celestial fox transformed into this female human figure, gently squatted beside the monkey, her clothes shuffled slightly, indistinctly a faint spring scene swayed.

She quietly smiled, looked at Xiao Hui with interest, then stretched her jade-like hand, gently take Xiao Hui’s finger.

Xiao Hui [zhi zhi] smiled.

Her eyes seemed to be smiling too, she gently said, “I want to thank you too.” Xiao Hui’s eyes blinked, suddenly nodded unceasingly, its expression conceited.

That girl laughed, stretched her hands and hugged Xiao Hui into her embrace, stood up and walked unhurriedly over to Ghost Li.

Raising head and looking into the distance, that distant mountain concealed by the night.

“Three hundred years already, “After gazing for a long time, she slowly said, “a total of three hundred years of time…”

Ghost Li turned to look at her, she was still gazing far away, Xiao Hui in her embrace for some reason, was very quiet, its eyes looking at Ghost Li.

From the side, in the outline of her gentle face, there seemed to be a inexplicable obstination. After remaining silent for a long while, she suddenly sighed, shook her head, turned and looked at Ghost Li, smiled.

That beauty, like a lily blossoming in the night!

Ghost Li asked, “What is your plan?”

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled, seemed to look lost, softly said, “Tell me more about the place where Xiao Liu killed himself. If there is a chance in the future, I’ll like to go there and take a look.”

Ghost Li lowered his head, a gleam seemed to flash past his eyes, he said, “At a place called Little Pond Town near KongSang Mountain in the north, there is a small forest within ten miles of the town, in the forest there is a Black Stone Cave, the place is at the deepest recesses underneath the cave, it will not be hard to find.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled faintly, nodded. Ghost Li glanced at her, seemed to hesitate but then his hand stretched into his bosom and took out the Inferno Mirror.

In the night, the ancient flame totem on the Inferno Mirror, faintly glowed.

Reflecting in the nine-tailed celestial fox’s eyes, like two balls of tiny flames.

“This, “  Ghost Li looked at the Inferno Mirror in his hand, passed it over, “better return to you, it was originally your son’s belonging.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox was surprised, looked up at him and slowly took the Inferno Mirror, she played with it in her hand for a while and suddenly said, “Do you know this Inferno Mirror is a supreme celestial weapon of the Heaven and Earth, the essence of ten thousands of fires. If its power is harnessed properly   and   combine   with   the   “Eight   Savage   Inferno Formation” that you have seen in the Inferno Altar, it has the rare might to destroy Heaven and Earth.” She smiled, looked at Ghost Li, said, “Even if it is so, you still want to return it to me?”

Ghost Li looked indifferently at that treasure in her hand, was silent for a moment, unhurriedly turned over and quietly said, “What do I want it for, why do I want to destroy Heaven and Earth for? What I want, it cannot give me…”

The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at Ghost Li, did not speak for a long time, her eyes as deep as water.

Suddenly, she laughed, with three hundred years of vicissitudes and sorrow.

“Well said, well said!”

Ghost Li looked at her, even though she had a smile but desolation was in her eyes. “These  three  hundred  years,  I  never  see  daylight  in  the Inferno Altar, I have thought countless times, what made me lost my mind to go steal this Inferno Mirror? These three hundred years, if I had spent it happily with my family, how wonderful that would be…”

She laughed loudly, her gentle beautiful face full of grief, she raised her hand and threw the Inferno Mirror back.

Ghost Li caught it and was stunned, he said, “This is what your clan exchanged for using their lives, how can you…”

The nine-tailed celestial fox slowly ceased laughing, the anguish in her eyes were deeper, quietly, faintly she said, “What do I want it for?”

Ghost Li subconsciously tightened his hand over the Inferno Mirror, felt the faint warm radiating from it. After a moment he said, “You have been imprisoned by FenXiang Valley for three hundred years, don’t you want to seek revenge?” The nine-tailed celestial fox indifferently said, “Yes, of course I wanted. I have thought about it every moment in these three hundred years. But after I had escaped and until now, facing this night scene, vast sky and earth, suddenly I didn’t have the urge to seek revenge anymore.”

She looked far out, in the vast Heaven and Earth, she smiled and said, “These few hundred years of time, I had actually wasted it on this nonsensical magical weapon. Now let me spend some comfortable days in this mortal world before deciding.”

Ghost Li kept quiet, said, “Then maybe you will still need it in the future, beside Inferno Mirror was after all your son’s…”

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled sweetly, said, “Xiao Liu? Didn’t he give you this thing? Beside…”  She appraised Ghost Li, said, “You are using the Sinister Orb and Soul-Devouring, such sinister and deadly things as magical weapon, the evil power had seeped deep into your body. From what I see, if not for the Inferno Mirror’s pure Yang energy helping you to resist, most likely you would have long lost your conscious and turned insane and savage. If you give it to me, what about yourself?” Ghost Li’s body shook, his pupils shrank slightly, looked at the nine-tailed celestial fox.

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled faintly, said, “You don’t have to look at me like that, old woman like me who have live for a few thousands of years naturally will know more.”

Ghost Li felt somehow embarrassed, frowned and eventually kept the Inferno Mirror.

The nine-tailed celestial fox smoothed Xiao Hui’s head, still could not help but glance at Ghost Li, said, “Right now the evil energy in your body has already penetrated too deep, even though your own skills are high and with the Inferno Mirror suppressing it, the evil power of the Sinister Orb and Soul- Devouring demonic energy did not dare to occur frequently but I guess you must have suffered the torment frequently and you are gradually turning more blood-lust, is that right?”

Ghost Li right now facing the thousand-year old evil fox spirit transformed into this gentle lady, did not dare to belittle, although a bit hesitant but after a while, he still nodded. The nine-tailed celestial fox sighed and said, “In my view, you can live till today with the Sinister Orb and Soul- Devouring, it is already an unusual thing. But if you still wish to live peacefully in the future, I will advise you to quickly throw this number one evil object in the world away.”

Ghost Li was expressionless, slowly raised his hand, the black Soul-Absorbing stick appeared in his hand, the black body mixed with faint blood lines, quietly lay on his palm.

That familiar icy feeling already formed part of his body, travelled slowly in his body.

“The  number  one  evil  object  in  the  world  which  you mentioned, has saved me countless of times!”  Ghost Li said, “You said I can only live peacefully if I throw it away but you do not know if I do not have it, I cannot even survive until today.”

He raised his head and looked at nine-tailed celestial fox, his eyes cold, said, “And, you are wrong about one thing.” The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at him, smiled and said, “What?”

Ghost Li said, “You said it is the world’s number one evil object, actually it is not.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox frowned and said, “What did you say?”

Ghost Li coldly, without any feelings at all, said, “The most evil object in the world, is not it, it is…”  he used his hand, pointed to his heart, coldly said,

“Human heart!”

The nine-tailed celestial fox was astonished.

That man in the night scene, expressionlessly turned over. The night breeze still carrying the hot air blew over from afar, brushed past their clothes. Somehow his figure suddenly looked especially desolated.

The nine-tailed celestial fox quietly looked at him, after a long while, sighed softly, her voice faint, she muttered something but nobody could hear what she said.

Just when she turned around and was about to walk off, not willing to interrupt Ghost Li, Ghost Li suddenly spoke behind her, “Senior, you are experienced and knowledgeable, I have an important matter and please you have to enlighten me.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox was slightly surprised, turned and saw Ghost Li already facing her, as if reliving something, his face revealed his emotions, hope, yearning and even, an indistinct fear!

“What do you want to ask?”

“A girl, ten years ago used her body’s blood essence to form a powerful curse and then forced her three souls and seven mortal forms to conjure...a powerful magical force. But just when her souls were about to be scattered, a magical weapon with her, ‘HeHuan Bell’, captured one of her soul and therefore until today, the girl’s body was not destroy or dead but she is totally unconscious. Senior you, your knowledge and experience are vast and rich, is there any way to save her?”

Until the last words, Ghost Li actually started to tremble.

The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at this man, her eyes gleamed with much gentleness, after a moment, she firmly nodded and said, “There is a way!”

Chapter 117 - Hope

Ghost Li’s body shook greatly, immediately his face was wild with joy, the long sombre expression on his face, with one swept, was cleanly brushed away. Controlling his agitated emotions with difficulty, Ghost Li’s trembling voice said, “Please, please enlighten me senior!”

The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at him intently then suddenly smiled and said, “That girl must be someone you love deeply right?”  Ghost Li did not answer but the longing and anxiety expressions on his face intensified.

The nine-tailed celestial fox shook her head and sighed but her eyes were gentle and full of pity, softly said, “If it is as what you had said, that girl’s body is still whole then naturally it would be that strange magical power that forced her soul to split up and scatter. By right once the three souls and seven mortal forms are dispersed, even God or deities would not be able to save her but as long as there is still one soul remaining, then there is hope.”

“Although  the  soul  is  made  up  of  three  souls  and  seven mortal forms but all of it are still the essence of a human, in the same human soul, a mysterious attraction between each other exists, the Central Plains cultivated taoists have only limited knowledge on it but many years ago, I saw with my own eyes a mysterious person conjuring ‘Soul Return Unusual Art’ and called back a man’s soul and three mortal forms which were unfortunately absorbed by an evil demon.”

“As such, although the situations are slightly different but as long as the body of your friend is not destroyed and the remnant of the soul still exist then there is hope.”

Ghost Li’s expression initially was very excited but when he heard ‘Soul Return Unusual Art’ these four words, he suddenly recalled  something,  frowned  and  said,  “Senior,  the  Soul Return Unusual Art that you have mentioned, don’t tell me you are referring to the ‘Black Shaman Tribe’ in the southern ten thousand great mountains?”

The nine-tailed celestial fox’s eyebrow arched, expressing her slight surprise, nodded and said, “Why, so you also know about this Black Shaman Tribe? This Black Shaman Tribe is mysterious and unfathomable, the Black Shaman Master that offers sacrifices to the deities in the tribe is especially proficient in this type of ghost, spirits and soul skills, as long as you can find the Black Shaman Master, then your friend most likely can be saved.”

Ghost Li did not speak, after a long while, unable to conceal the disappointment on his face, quietly said, “To tell you the truth, the information about this Black Shaman Tribe having the possibility of saving my friend, I already heard it ten years ago. But in the past ten years, I have come to this southern border countless of times and even explored for a long time deep inside that inhospitable mountains and rivers. But no matter how carefully I searched, I cannot find even a single information about the Black Shaman Tribe. Everyone told me that long before a thousand years ago, that Black Shaman Tribe had already become extinct…”

“Thousand years ago?” The nine-tailed celestial fox frowned while listening and now suddenly raised her voice, interrupting Ghost Li.

“That’s right, what is it?” Ghost Li looked up at her.

That gentle lovely girl frowned slightly, as if pondering about something, her soft long hair wrapped around her shoulder, when the night breeze blew over, strands danced beside her face.

After  a  long  while,  she  raised  her  head  and  said,  “Being incarcerated for so long, my head is not that agile anymore, I needed to think before I can recall. When I met that Black Shaman Tribe person, it was two hundred years before I was caught by FenXiang Valley. So to say, at least around five hundred years ago, the Black Shaman Tribe people still exist.”

Ghost Li stared intently at her, the expression on his face changed greatly, the nine-tailed celestial fox saw it and suddenly said, “Alright, alright, considering the fact that you are my benefactor, I will help you in this! Tomorrow I will bring you to the southern border to find and see if there is still any traces of the Black Shaman Tribe in the place where l last met that fellow.”

Ghost Li inhaled deeply, was quiet for a while, bowed slightly at her, said, “Many thanks senior, I’m beyond grateful, if my friend can be saved, no matter what assignment senior has in the future, just go ahead and order me will do.” The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at the man in front of her, saw his unswerving determination, a faint warmth still remained in his eyes, wondered who was it that he thought of?

With her thoughts, she for some reason, her heart felt soft, the men in the mortal world, there would always be heartless ones, there would also be devoted ones.

The late night, deserted, only at a unknown area deep inside the forest, the cries of the wild insects reverberated in, the looming overcast, as if bending over to narrate.

A slight breeze blew, the branches in the forest swayed, making rustling sounds.

The nine-tailed celestial fox gently placed Xiao Hui on the ground, stood in the forest, quietly standing, after a long while, she closed her eyes, slightly turning her head, like she was listening for something and also as if she was using soul and body to feel the taste of freedom in this world. The footstep sounds behind her suddenly stopped, Ghost Li’s voice was heard saying, “The night is late, why hasn’t senior gone to bed?”

The nine-celestial fox did not open her eyes and did not even turn around, only unhurriedly said, “What about you! Why are you not asleep?”

Ghost Li was quiet for awhile, said, “I can’t sleep.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox turned around, looked at him, smiled and said, “Feeling some nervousness?”

Ghost Li did not speak, the once almost despair thoughts suddenly renewed with hope, he could not not feel excited by it and thus insomnia.

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled sweetly, full of seductiveness, even the night around her also seemed to turn tender. She was heard saying, “There is one thing, I will like to tell you.” Ghost Li quickly said, “Senior, please say.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox glared at him, said, “That can you not call me senior anymore, there is nothing bad about you but just that don’t you know if you keep calling a woman senior here and senior there, it will make that person turn old, it is very rude you know?”

Ghost Li was speechless.

So no matter whether it eighteen, twenty eight or two thousand eight hundred years old, as long as it was a woman, definitely would fear aging…

“Then, how shall I address you?” Ghost Li carefully asked.

That lady was stunned when she heard it and then an exasperated expression surfaced, after a long while she then faintly said, “That’s right! What shall I be called? I have long forgotten my name. Why not this way, since you saw my true white fox self, then you can just call me Xiao Bai.” [Translator’s note: Bai means white]

“Xiao  Bai…”   Ghost  Li  awkwardly  called  out  once,  his expression very peculiar.

The nine-tailed fox seemed not to mind at all, instead swept her gaze around and saw the monkey Xiao Hui crouching on the ground looking around, and then thought of something, she asked Ghost Li, “Oh right, then what is the name of this monkey, you can’t be calling him three-eyed divine monkey right?”

Ghost Li said, “I adopted this monkey when I was young, I called it Xiao Hui.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox, who was also the gentle and lovely lady called Xiao Bai now, was astonished and then laughed, she stretched her hand to carry Xiao Hui up, assessed it, her eyes full of smiles, said, “He he, we indeed have affinity, you are called Xiao Hui, I am called Xiao Bai.” Xiao Hui in her embrace grinned, [zhi zhi] laughed, placing its monkey hands on her shoulders, looking very intimate.

Ghost Li stood aside, saw the scene there, for a moment could not say anything. After a while, he shook his head in the dark and quietly walked away.

The next day.

The sky slowly lightened up, just that the southern border sun still had not revealed itself, the sky was dim, full of dark clouds, it was a cloudy day.

But there was still enough sunlight and it did not feel suffocating. Occasionally a slight breeze would blow, brushing past the body, without that heat from yesterday, boosting one’s mood up.

The icy cold feeling flowed around in the human body, the Inferno Mirror on his chest also emitted a gentle warm. The two extreme energies existed at the same time in his body. Right now, all seemed to be quiet too, coexisting in peace. Ghost Li slowly opened his eyes, made a wry laugh.

In fact, nobody knew it better than himself about his body condition. Yesterday night those words that Xiao Bai, also the nine-tailed celestial fox, said about his body, were all proven during that fight with the Fire Beast when his body had suddenly collapsed.

Even he himself did not know, how long could his body hold up?

He lowered his head, watched that black fire stick quietly lying beside his hand, for so many years, it had always silently accompanying him.

He suddenly smiled, grabbed the fire stick tightly, like, connected by blood.

As long as BiYao could be saved, the rest, what did it matter? Suddenly, a wind movement was heard above this small mountain, coming in from afar in the sky, a human figure flew down.

Ghost Li frowned, stood up and looked up, his eyes cold.

After a moment, that figure landed, lights flashed and gradually faded, revealing a yellow figure.

Jin PingEr!

Ghost Li’s eyes stared, his heart feeling shocked, he concealed at this small mountain summit but this Jin PingEr could actually still find him, it was really unbelievable, unless she had been secretly following him and even he himself also did not detect it?

Jin PingEr, still carrying that familiar smile, said, “Gongzi, you have indeed found a good place to hide!” Ghost Li snorted, suddenly said, “Ms Jin is the one with good skills, really awesome.”

Jin PingEr, like she did not understand Ghost Li’s sarcasm at all, smiled and said, “How can I be compare to Gongzi, last night Gongzi only tested your abilities slightly and could cause the entire FenXiang Valley to be turned upside down, it was really Heaven and Earth changing countenance, this humble girl is really impressed!”

A thousand thoughts went through in Ghost Li’s heart but he still could not imagine how this HeHuan girl managed to find him. But that did not show up in his expression, he indifferently  said,  “The  volcano  eruption  yesterday  was  a natural catastrophe and had nothing to do with me. Instead I wonder what news has Miss enquired last night?”

JIn PingEr’s eyes glimmered and was about to speak, suddenly she frowned slightly, from behind Ghost Li, a flapping sound and first, the grey-furred monkey which had been accompanying Ghost Li ran out and then followed by a woman walking leisurely out from the forest, her skin like snow, her face like a painting, with ten thousand different kinds of amorous expressions, a thousand kinds of tenderness, all in that graceful posture, it was an extremely beautiful woman.

And the most important thing was, Jin PingEr looked over and saw that woman had only a coat, with no other clothes in- between it, the openings indistinctly revealed white fair skin while she was walking, making her even more alluring.

That clothing, very obviously belonged to a man and on yesterday night, she still saw it Ghost Li wearing it and now, Ghost Li did not have his coat anymore.

Jin PingEr’s eyes glimmered, suddenly smiled and said, “This sister is so beautiful, why have I not seen her in the past few days?”

While speaking, with a vague smile facing Ghost Li, said, “In the past I have heard the devotion and love GongZi has for Miss BiYao, Miss BiYao also had her soul destroyed for GongZi, sacrificing her body to block ‘Zhu Xian Mysterious Sword’ and GongZi because of Miss BiYao, betrayed Qing Yun and joined the Holy Sect, assisting Ghost King sect leader to go on a punitive expedition everywhere, killing numerous people. And even in the past ten years, did not hesitate to risk your life to penetrate deep into the southern border ten thousand great mountains to look for ways to treat Miss BiYao, all of these, how can any woman in the world not be moved and admire?”

Her voice became more and more gentle and her expression too. But instead there was a twist in her words, “Just that time is heartless, the years manifested, the past is over, GongZi again found a good mate, I have to congratulate GongZi on this, he he, someday allow me to personally visit Majestic Fox Mountain and send my congratulations to Ghost King sect leader.”

Ghost Li’s expression turned dark and cold, until the end of her speech, he turned even more stony but he only coldly snorted and did not say anything.

Instead it was the nine-tailed celestial fox who glanced at Ghost Li and again at Jin PingEr who was standing opposite, suddenly  laughed  loudly  and  said,  “This  lady,  you  have misunderstood, actually it was because this humble girl had met with robbers last night and was almost robbed of my chastity, luckily this Ghost Li GongZi happened to pass by and helped me, I could then fortunately escape, as for the clothing on me, it was also GongZi who temporarily lent it to me for cover.”

Jin PingEr turned and looked at Xiao Bai, with her experienced eyesight, how could she believe those words and looking at Xiao Bai who was smiling delicately, how would she look like someone who was threatened by robbers yesterday? With Jin PingEr’s glance, if there were bandits, who ignorantly, met this girl, most likely…

Jin PingEr shook her head and could not be bother to think about this matter, just that Xiao Bai’s beauty was comparable to her, she could not help but take more glances and then turned to speak to Ghost Li, “GongZi last night at FenXiang Valley, did you discover anything?”

Ghost  Li  indifferently  said,  “Nothing,  last  night  after arriving at the valley, I only encountered the volcano eruption and  thus  withdrew.”  He  paused  slightly  and  looked  at  Jin PingEr, “You went to the hubbub at the valley entrance, what happened there, the relationship between that human fish and FenXiang Valley master, did you have any discovery?” Jin PingEr smiled, her expression composed, shook her head, sighed and said, “It was really unfortunate, I also did not have any discovery, yesterday night the hubbub at FenXiang Valley entrance was created by fights among their own disciples, as for that human fish, it is really a hopeless muddle!”

Ghost Li frowned, for a moment was silent.

Jin PingEr was quiet for a while and then again turned to glance at Xiao Bai a few more times and then revealed a smile, turned and spoke to Ghost Li, “Since GongZi has a beauty for company, I will not stay here and be an eyesore, let’s separate here, maybe not long after if I have affirmity with GongZi, maybe in this southern border we will meet again.”

She turned to smile at Xiao Bai, flung her sleeve, a flash of light and transformed into a stream of yellow light figure, flew up into the air.

Ghost Li looked at the figure diminishing over the horizon, frowned. Xiao Bai walked to him, Xiao Hui jumped up with two, three leaps, although it was just one night, Xiao Hui seemed to be very close with this Xiao Bai lady. Xiao Bai gently hugged Xiao Hui, after staying silent for a while, spoke to Ghost Li, “Have you ever told her that we will be here?”

Ghost Li shook his head in silence, after a long while said, “This is something I cannot not figure out, how powerful is this girl that she will know our movements? But I have checked my entire body and still did not find anything suspicious.”

Xiao Bai looked around, appraised Ghost Li and then looked at Xiao Hui, she smiled and said, “With your skills, that girl even if she wanted to leave any slightest trace on your body, I’m afraid it would also be difficult, the problem is not with you.”

Ghost Li turned his head, hesitated for a moment, said, “So, from senior...Miss Xiao Bai’s words, you seemed to know something?”

Xiao Bai used her hand and gently smoothed Xiao Hui’s head, smiled  and  said,  “Xiao  Hui  must  have  never  bathe,  so  the problem should be on Xiao Hui’s body…” At the foot of the small mountain, Ghost Li and Xiao Bao found a small clear brook and gave Xiao Hui a bath.

Xiao Hui, from the time it was born, never had a bathing experience, naturally was hundred times unwilling and struggled with its might, [zhi zhi] called out incessantly.

Eventually, it was still Xiao Bai who had a way, she found wild fruits from somewhere and threw it in Xiao Hui’s hands, at the same time gently coaxed it and finally placed Xiao Hui in the water and bathed it.

Ghost Li watched with a frown at the side, after remaining silent for a long while, said, “Strange, why didn’t I notice the smell?”

Xiao Bai heard it, laughed gently, said, “You are a man and without paying attention, naturally will not detect, it is because I like Xiao Hui too much, last night hugged it and from there, I smelled a faint indiscernible fragrance, at that time I found it strange, Xiao Hui this monkey should not have this kind of smell but the fragrance is really too faint so I did not pay attention to it, just that this morning after meeting that lady, I then realized!”

She smiled and said, “That lady’s thoughts are really cautious and mysterious, good tricks, very clever!”

Ghost Li coldly snorted.

The sky was still shaded by foliage, the gurgling stream, Xiao Hui at times played with delight in the brook and seemed unwilling to stop, at times also splashed water droplets everywhere.

Xiao Bai who was crouching beside and bathing it, her face because of this playful monkey, was also covered with quite a few water droplets.

Ghost Li stood beside, gazed far off. Beside the brook, Xiao Bai drew up her sleeve, her expression smiling, her eyes like water, gently coaxing Xiao Hui to behave while washing its body.

Looking carefully, a few water beads landed on her face, like sparkling pearls, either gently pouncing on the tip of her brows, or following the outline of her face dripping down, brushing past the almost translucent skin but still lingered and unwilling to drop.

A slight breeze blew over from the southern border wildlands, brushing past her long hair, sparkling water beads, also gently quivering…

Ghost Li suddenly turned his head over and stopped looking at that direction. Just that after a moment, Xiao Bai’s shrieks were heard from behind.

Ghost Li was shocked, turned over and saw Xiao Hui, after bathing, jumped onto the banks and without waiting for Xiao Bai’s checks, shook its entire body and immediately caused the water droplets on its furs to spray out in all directions. Xiao Bai could not avoid in time, scolded while laughing. Her body had already been sprayed with much water droplets from this drizzle that appeared out of the sky.

Ghost Li’s lips moved, involuntarily also laughed. Then he turned his head around, sounds of Xiao Bai still scolding and laughing at Xiao Hui could still be heard. In this dim sky, suddenly there was a warmth not seen for ages, quietly brewing.

Chapter 118 - TianShui Stockade

Nobody knew if the southern border sky had always been so hazy in that season, after emerging from that small mountain top, with Xiao Bai’s guidance, two humans and one monkey headed towards northwest of FenXiang Valley.

The night of the volcano eruption in FenXiang Valley Inferno Altar, the Heaven and Earth countenance changed, its might extremely powerful. Although it already could not be seen in the vicinity of a hundred miles but an extremely big piece of cloud hung above FenXiang Valley, a crimson yellow color, extremely abnormal.

This degree of phenomenal change was already conspicuous and now that it happened in the low-profile mysterious FenXiang Valley, with FenXiang Valley status in the Good Faction cultivators, it attracted even more attention from the world and immediately rumours circulated, all speculating what exactly happened in FenXiang Valley?

Just within several days, in the peaceful southern border wildlands, many unfamiliar faces started to gather, numerous either openly or discreetly power factions, in the open or dark enquiring what had indeed happened.

This kind of situation, naturally was not something that FenXiang Valley wanted, on the contrary, because of some undisclosed secret, FenXiang Valley sect was extremely indignant over it.

On one hand, FenXiang Valley was cordial to the disciples sent by various powerful sects in the Good Faction like Qing Yun Sect, Tian Yin Temple etc Faction to enquire, hosting them with good tea or water, using natural catastrophe as a perfunctory explanation, on the other hand, secret inquiries made by the three great Evil sects, FenXiang Valley would never be merciful in their turf, momentarily in the vast expanse of southern border lands with FenXiang Valley as the core, glints of swords and shadows frequently flashed.

Just that no matter whether the Good Faction or the Evil Sect, all sensed that under the mysterious atmosphere of the FenXiang Valley, indistinctly revealed an abnormality, this time FenXiang Valley seemed to receive an extremely big shock, the valley disciples almost were all mobilized, day and night unceasingly searching in different parts of the southern border, as for searching for who and what, they avoided and covered up, keeping it a secret.

Several days later, the hazy southern border sky became a much bustling place, dazzling beautiful light beams could be seen flashing in the sky frequently, they were all FenXiang Valley outstanding disciples whom were pursuing onto something.

Rumours, also began to spread.

Birth of some strange beast or mysterious rare treasure bursting into the sky from the volcano eruption, different kinds of rumours, numerous.

And even more ridiculous was that some even vividly spread rumours about internal disorder within FenXiang Valley and some disciples had betrayed and killed the valley master, Yun YiLan. And to further corroborate it, FenXiang Valley valley master Yun YiLan really did not appear for several days until the rumours began to turn into a frenzy and in the days that followed, alarmed Qing Yun Sect Reverend DaoXuan and Tian Yin Temple PuHong Master. Both of them sent out disciples together to hurry over to FenXiang Valley to enquire and FenXiang Valley, did not know whether to laugh or cry, explained that the valley master was in seclusion and was unable to make an appearance.

Once the verified news were relayed, Qing Yun Sect and Tian Yin Temple then felt relieved but these two great sects leaders were not simple people, how would they not detect that there must be something odd in all of these and therefore secretly ordered their disciples not to hurry back and instead secretly investigate.

Often reiterating on the chaos in the world, rogues of all kinds running wild, FenXiang Valley at the same time had always remained mysterious and equivocal. During the Qing Yun battle, they happened to excuse themselves and that led one to make conjectures, hence the action of Ghost Li unintentionally rescuing the nine-tailed celestial fox who was incarcerated for three hundred years, triggered the world’s powers covert struggles, the stormy gathering of the southern border.

Because FenXiang Valley sent out numerous disciples, making trips, tracking and interrogating, with Ghost Li and Xiao Bai’s cultivated skills, naturally they did not fear these disciples but the thought of the possibility of revealing their tracks and incurring countless troubles, and if the FenXiang Valley powerful figures were to be alerted and come in force, then they might not be able to fight them off, after all FenXiang Valley was a thousand year great sect with unfathomable depth of power.

Ghost Li, considering the on-hand important matter, decided that it was more important to search for the Black Shaman Tribe that could save BiYao. Therefore ever since coming down from that small mountain, heading Xiao Bai’s advice, Ghost Li found a secluded village, bought two sets of clothes with money, one male and one female, and both Xiao Bai and him changed into it.

The far distant southern border land, naturally its custom was different from Central Plains, even the casual clothes wore daily, compared to the robes worn by Central Plains commoners, had their own distinctive style.

Because the clothes were bought from a secluded village, therefore the coarse handiwork was expected, wearing them, the greatest difference from Central Plains clothes was that other than the designs were different, the colours were brightly coloured, the male clothes had dark blue as base, the female’s colours were complicated and colourful, rich and beautiful.

Because they had to avoid detection by FenXiang Valley, they were unable to travel by air, although Ghost Li was anxious but after being advised by Xiao Bai who said that since he could wait for ten years, how could it be at the critical moment, he could not even wait for a few more days? If for a moment of anxiousness and aroused FenXiang Valley pursuing men, most likely when the situation became chaotic, instead by then he would not be able to know how long more he had to wait!

Although Ghost Li was impatient but he could not not agree with what Xiao Bai said, both of them unhurriedly traveled, wearing southern border’s attire, while travelling, they met a few batches of FenXiang Valley disciples but were not recognized by them, at most because Xiao Hui looked unusual and attracted a few more glances.

The most important point was that at that night, Ghost Li and Xiao Hui never once revealed themselves therefore FenXiang Valley men did not know how they look like and could only questioned suspicious strangers, which instead missed them out.

Right now Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were already on an ancient pathway three hundred miles away from FenXiang Valley, it was in the open wildlands and not a human in sight, just an hour ago they had walked confidently past a group of FenXiang Valley disciples.

The hazy sky, dark clouds moving slightly, with a slight frown while walking ahead, contrasting him, Xiao Bai perpetually had a smile on her face, in good spirits and peering around while travelling, gazing into the southern border scenery, even though it was a desolated wild ancient path, in her eyes, it seemed to also be the most beautiful sight.

Ghost Li glanced sideways, the monkey Xiao Hui sat on Xiao Bai’s shoulder, composed. Maybe because they were both rare intelligent spiritual animals on earth, Xiao Hui was very close to the nine-tailed-celestial-fox-transformed Xiao Bai, the past few days it had spent more time with Xiao Bai. Watching Xiao Hui and Xiao Bai laughing and playing at times, making [zhi zhi] delightful expressions, Ghost Li suddenly recalled, if his old friend Zeng ShuShu from Qing Yun Sect saw that, most likely he would be very envious!

Xiao Bai was wearing the common clothes of the southern border girls, the design nothing different from the styles of the common people, just that this common clothing, against her unmatched beauty, instantly like radiating light and heat, revealed even more of her unseen svelte figure, as if this girl was born to fit into these clothes, exuding the southern border women unique graceful bearing from head to top.

Xiao Bai noticed Ghost Li’s look, turned and smiled, said, “What is it, me wearing these clothes, does it still look nice?”

Ghost Li smiled faintly, with his character, naturally he would not wish to answer these type of flippant questions so he changed the topic and said, “Seems like you are quite familiar with the southern border’s custom and surroundings, not to mention the others, just this ancient and secluded small village deep inside the FenXiang Valley vicinity mountains and you can actually find it, unless you came here before?” Xiao Bai pursed her lips, looked away into the distance, the topography of the mountains in the distance joined together, endless and infinite, it was the unique characteristic of the southern border, the ancient path ahead, meandered and stretched out ahead, at the sides of the path, either near or far, all had peculiar lofty rock hills. Far ahead, the mountain summits and horizon, joining in the far distance, the overcast dark clouds hung around the summits, drifting with the wind.

She slowly walked, after a long time sighed softly and spoke, “I have not only come here before…”

Ghost Li was surprised, asked, “What happened?”

Xiao Bai let out a long sigh, shook and smile, as if trying to shake off the past, said, “You don’t know right! Our fox spirit clan, the place of our origin is this southern border, I grew up among these inhospitable mountains and rivers.”

Ghost Li was astonished, said, “Then why is it for the past one thousand years, the folktales in Central Plains always have your fox spirits presences?” Xiao Bai replied, “That is because a thousand years ago, I brought my fox spirit clan away from here and headed to the Central Plains, eventually we settled down at the Majestic Fox Mountain located in the southwest.”

Ghost Li was greatly surprised, for a moment unable to speak, after a long while his voice rough, said, “What, you…”

Xiao Bao looked at him with interest, smiled, a gleam flashed in her eyes, as if sentimental, as if the vicissitudes of life, “Didn’t expected it right, it is where your Ghost King Sect headquarter is now situated, so to speak, the name, Majestic Fox Mountain, is most probably because of our fox spirit clan!”

Ghost Li was silent for a long while, quietly said, “Then perhaps your clan and Ghost King Sect…”

Xiao Bai, without waiting for his sentence to complete, immediately  shook  her  head  and  said,  “This  you  can  be assured, our fox spirit clan has been neighbours with Ghost King Sect for several hundred years and always coexisted in harmony, not even that, these several hundred years, there were also a few human and spirits relationships, so therefore, other than repaying you for rescuing me out from the Inferno Altar, after knowing you are Ghost King Sect disciple, that is also one of the reasons why I am helping you.”

Ghost Li then felt relieved and then thought of something, said, “Then after this affair, will you still be going back to Majestic Fox Mountain to visit your clan members?”

“Clan members?”  Xiao Bai’s face slowly turned downcast, raised her head and looked at the sky, after a while, softly said, “My clan members, were all dead because of me.”

Ghost Li was again stunned, Xiao Bai gave a bitter laugh, her expression getting more melancholy but also did not wish to continue on.

Ghost Li was quiet for a while, avoided the topic and said, “We have already been walking for three days, how long more to the ‘Seven Mile Cave’ that you said?”

Xiao Bai glanced at him, her gaze like water swept past his face, said, “Seven Mile Cave is the southern border Miao tribe’s largest inhabitation, according to my memory, twenty miles from here is a bustling place where different tribes cohabitate, called ‘TianShui Stockade’, from there a perilous narrow path to the south leads towards the Miao people’s Seven Mile Cave.” Then she gave a soft wry laugh, said, “But I do not know, for the past three hundred years, whether there are any changes in the southern border situation.”

Ghost Li silently nodded, subconsciously quickened his steps.

Xiao Bai followed behind him, her eyes lingering on him for a while, then looking ahead again, the stretch of mountain veins linking together, towering aloft, majestic and precipitous, like a giant human, watching between the Heaven and Earth, on the ancient path, these few tiny humans…

Ghost Li in these ten years, came numerous times to the southern border for BiYao, more or less knew a few things about the local people here.

The southern border was a vast territory, a vast but sparsely populated, other than the barbaric tribes in the extreme south ten thousand great mountains stretching continuously for thousand of miles, the generations of people living on the southern border fringe, mostly consisted of five main tribes, namely: Miao, Tu, Zhuang, Li, GaoShan.

Ordering by population, Zhuang tribe had the most and made up almost forty percent of the total southern border population. Going by territory, Miao tribe was the most powerful, the land that they occupied was the largest and most fertile, comparing folkways, the least populated GaoShan tribe was the most agile and brave.

These five big tribes, lived at the southern border fringe for generations and generations, each of the tribes had their own language but on the whole, they used a language similar to Central Plains when communicating between tribes, just that more or less it contained the ethnic tribes ‘characteristics‘.

For so many years, naturally there were times where they communicated and held each other hands with delight but there was no lack of scheming, contention and conflicts among them. Over a long time, gradually the tribes occupied their own area but there were also situations where territories interlaced and resulted in fights. And where each tribe’s lands met each other, there would be villages, towns, stockade where several tribes’ people cohabitated, the maximum would even contained people from the five tribes residing together.

And the TianShui Stockade that Xiao Bai mentioned, was where Miao, Zhuang, Tu and GaoShan tribes bordered on, it was also on the southern border fringe and quite a well-known bustling place.

The sky slowly got dark, when it was nearing evening time, Ghost Li, Xiao Bai, Xiao Hui, two humans and one monkey finally walked into TianShui Stockade.

Although there was a stockade word in the name but it was totally different from the mountain stronghold built commonly on the mountain tops, TianShu Stockade was built on a wide, flat land, paths leading out from the stockade in north, south, east and west directions, according to what Xiao Bai had explained on the way here, this place was originally built by the Tu tribe and the initial location was not here, instead it was on a mountain located near southwest, because there was a clear spring at the top of the mountain so it was named TianShu Stockade. [Translator’s note: TianShu means Heaven water]

Just that later on when the four tribes lands borders met each other and as the population grew, it became the place where different tribes cohabitated. And as the trading merchants gradually increased and stayed on the mountaintop, firstly the place was cramped and inconvenient, secondly, it was also difficult travelling in and out, even though the southern border commoners were much healthier and fitter than Central Plains people but no one would be willing to climb up the mountain everyday to train their bodies.

As such, slowly people started to relocate to the foot of the mountain and as the days went, the number of people increased and the entire mountain stronghold’s population gradually migrated down. Following the flourishing trades between the four tribes, the merchants and traders travelling to the place increased, the scale of the trades also expanded, as for the original mountain stronghold, overtime fell into disrepair, only the name, TianShui Stockade, still remained.

The sky had just turned dim, the streets were still crowded with people, travelling to and fro, a hubbub of voices, at times different tribes’ languages could be heard loudly, very much different from the deserted ancient path that they had came on, Xiao Hui sitting on Xiao Bai’s shoulder felt very intrigued, its monkey head turning left and right, peering everywhere, [zhi zhi] calling unceasingly.

The three-eyed monkey was after all unusual and very soon attracted the stares of the people on the streets, and a few children wearing southern border tribes apparel even followed behind them merrily, sparing no effort in making funny faces at Xiao Hui, teasing it.

Xiao Hui was by nature mischievous and immediately got excited, its tail swished to and fro and looked as if it was about to jump down and play too, luckily Ghost Li humphed once, pulled it over with one swing of his arm and held it in his hands. Xiao Hui, helpless and knew it would not be able to run off, climbed up to Ghost Li’s shoulder, making [zhi zhi] noises at the children behind and also imitating their funny faces, the children were even more excited, jabbering and laughing loudly, looked like they felt very intrigued too.

Ghost Li frowned, felt slightly peeved but not because Xiao Hui was playful but because he had other concerns. He turned his head and looked slightly to the side, Xiao Bai’s lips had a faint smile and was happily watching those children and Xiao Hui laughing and frolicking, the coarse fabric garment, how could it conceal her skin-deep lovable beauty.

Not to say at this southern border fringe, the severe wind and snow, most of the women looked ordinary, their skin dark, even at the Central Plains, with this several thousand years of cultivation transformed into human Xiao Bai, the lovely and gentle demeanor indistinctly giving off underneath that exquisite elegant appearance, every frown and every smile, invariably made one experience a feeling of being drunk.

And as expected, after a moment, in the hubbub of children’s laughter and jesting, more and more people looked over and those adults’ stares, very naturally and very quickly, from the monkey shifted to that lady whose beauty was unable to be concealed by the coarse garment.

Immediately, as if an invisible sound wave extending out, the crowd felt astonished by the sight and that lady under the numerous stares, seemed not to have any slightest embarrassment, looking at her slight smile, as if she liked that kind of feeling. Ghost Li felt very vexed, with that kind of attention, it was definitely not his intention and was just thinking if he should remind this lady beside him, to quickly find a place to stay and get up early in the morning the next day and head for that Seven Mile Cave, which was then the important matter to do.

Just that, as if his intention was destined not to be realized, a character that definitely always appeared in the innumerable stories around the world, right now had shown up.

The hooligan in the folktales, at this southern border fringe, in the sparsely populated tribes, actually also existed.

Three men walked out from the crowd, almost looking similar, tall, burly, with tiger-like back and bear-like waist, speaking half unfamiliar language mixed with the local’s unique slang, started to take liberties with Xiao Bai.

Hooligan A: “Oh, that...this woman is really beautiful!”

Xiao Bai smiled sweetly, her hand gently brushed past her face, with unspeakable loveliness, said, “Is it?” In that instant, the crowd was in an uproar.

The three hooligans were extremely delighted, Hooligan B opened  his  shirt,  revealing  his  good  spirits,  “Little  sister, follow me! I will let you eat something hot...and drink something nice!”

[Translator’s note: A Chinese idiom, meaning to eat delicious food and drink hard liquor drinks]

The onlookers crowding around immediately laughed out loud, Xiao Bai glanced at Ghost Li beside her, her face still smiling.

Hooligan C mocked Hooligan B, “Do you even know what is to eat spicy and drink something nice, that is called eat tasty and drink spicy!” after speaking, he turned to Xiao Bai, “Little sister, my family has good farmlands and ten thousands fields, if you follow me, guarantee you…”

Speaking halfway, he was unable to continue, Xiao Bai smiled even more sweetly, as if the tenderness was emanating straight from her heart, a pair of moving eyes like water, as if about to spill out.

Just that her body instead stepped back and stood beside Ghost Li, gently said, “I am already someone with a husband.”

The onlookers, again another commotion, Xiao Hui who was on Ghost Li’s shoulder, [sou] a sound, dropped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder and landed on the ground.

After a moment, for some reason, Xiao Hui actually lay on the ground, using its monkey hands to pound on the ground intensely, grinning and [zhi zhi] laughing out loud.

Ghost Li’s face was somber, silently stood there, felt the three hooligans in front of him, six pairs of vicious eyes, filled with enmity at him.

After a moment, the hooligans charged over, seemed like the southern border proverb, wife from fists, was still full of vitality after thousands and hundreds of years, serving the southern border people. [Peng! Peng! Peng!]

Three sounds, three human figures flew out, crashed onto the walls by the street and then heavily fell down, groaning loudly.

The crowd was speechless, Ghost Li indifferently said, “Let’s find a place to rest, we will leave early tomorrow morning.” After speaking he walked ahead, Xiao Hui laying on the ground, caught up with two or three leaps, scurried up to his shoulder, its mouth [zhi zhu] unceasingly, turned and made a funny face at XIao Bai.

Xiao Bai smiled, followed up, walking to Ghost Li, she suddenly quietly said, “You see I was locked up for three hundred years and yet I’m still not considered old right?”

Ghost Li, not a word, only quickened his steps.

Chapter 119 - Cold Night

The southern border flavour was greatly different from Central Plains, just that as the years went, although the place was remote but it still had tradings with the Central Plains. And the local produced fur, ore etc had good reputations in Central Plains and attracted quite a number of Central Plains merchants to come forward to trade. And as time went by, the southern border which did not have any inn, under the influence of the Central Plains merchants, inns appeared in some of the most bustling cities and towns.

The place where Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were now, was such an inn, its name directly taken from the place and named ‘TianShui Inn’. Walking into the inn, very evidently the tables and chairs decorations were influenced by Central Plains culture but the innkeeper and waiters were all local Zhuang tribe people. Zhuang tribe in the southern border had the biggest population and in relative, their people were better off and were most influenced by the Central Plains, unlike the other tribes which still insisted on hunting as their main way of life, Zhuang tribe had already gradually started to farm and trade.

But it was also because of that, Zhuang tribe’s trait was more placid, most of the tribe people did not have that intrepid characteristic so they were not as powerful as the Miao tribe which had a smaller population than them.

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai sat down, a waiter was already coming over to serve them, by now the sky had turned dim but there was not many customers in the inn. The waiter’s appearance and clothes looked to be from Zhuang tribe but most likely he had worked here for quite a while, his language was rather fluent.

“Two customers, will you like to eat something? Our inn still have clean rooms, our prices are the most reasonable, well- known near and far.”

Ghost Li nodded, said, “Give us two clean rooms, we are staying one night.”

The waiter smiled and nodded, then said, “Two customers most probably have not eaten right, do you want to order some rice and dishes?” Ghost Li was not hungry but glanced at Xiao Bai, decided he should order some food, spoke, “Um, give us two bowls of rice and also a few…”

“Hm!” Xiao Bai suddenly exclaimed, a smile on her face, said, “Do you have ‘Earth Stuffed Siskin’ here?”

Ghost Li was surprised, looked at Xiao Bai, that waiter was also stunned, took another glance at Xiao Bai, said, “Miss can it be that you have visited southern border before, this signature dish, naturally we have it.”

Xiao Bai’s smile deepened, her eyes gleamed, as if reminiscing something, slowly said, “Oh, right, also ‘Three Parts Snake Intestines’, ‘Roasted Bear’s Tail’, ‘Roasted Autumn Leaf’, ‘Five Little Worms’, ‘Black Heart Fruit’ …”

Her eyes sparkled, speaking while thinking, initially her speed was still slow, naming the dishes by dishes, however her speed increased towards the end, the names of the dishes were also very bizarre, unbelievable upon hearing it, definitely not what Central Plains would have. Ghost Li was dumbfounded and in the inn, other then the waiter whose smile had turned into a gaping awkward mouth, even the innkeeper who was tabulating the accounts at a distance also came over.

After Xiao Bai had named nearly thirty dishes in one breath, she then stopped to take a breath, turned and smiled to the innkeeper and waiter, “Those dishes, do you have it here?”

The innkeeper and waiter looked at each other, after a while the innkeeper gave a dry laugh and said, “Miss you are really knowledgeable, those dishes that you have said just now, not one of them are not southern border famous dishes. However many of their ingredients are not easy to find, other than the Earth Stuffed Siskin, my inn can only make Black Heart Fruit and Roasted Bear’s Tail, I’m very sorry.”

Xiao Bai’s face revealed her disappointment but she smiled and then said, “Alright then just make those three dishes first!”

The innkeeper and the waiter hurriedly acknowledged and went off. Xiao Bai turned around and saw Ghost Li looking at herself, she smiled sweetly and said, “A few hundred years already, I do not know why too, suddenly feel like trying the local flavours of those times. You came here before, have you ever tried those dishes?”

Ghost Li shook his head, in the past when he visited southern border, his heart was preoccupied with finding the Black Shaman Tribe to treat BiYao, how would he have the mood to desire for good food, usually he would settle his meals simply in the wilderness. This time if not for the special circumstances, to avoid the pursuing FenXiang men everywhere and on top of that, Xiao Bai was girl after all (although a thousand year old evil spirit...), surely they could not be sleeping in the wilderness every night therefore they entered the city.

He was silent for a while, suddenly asked, “Earth Stuffed Siskin, I can roughly guess what is it, what is Black Heart Fruit?”

Xiao Bai laughed and said, “There is a special fruit in the southern border, emerald green in appearance with white tender flesh but the heart of the fruit is black, using oil to deep fry it, the taste is really delicious.” Ghost  Li  frowned  then  asked  again,  “Then  that  ‘Roasted Bear’s Tail’ what is that too, don’t tell me it is the tail of a black bear? I have heard of bear’s paws and bear’s gall but have not heard that bear’s tail can be made into a dish?”

Xiao Bai smiled and said, “This bear is not a bear, there is an unique beast in the southern border, called “Long Tailed Bear’, its size is much smaller than the black, white bears that we are familiar with but the meat is tasty, far incomparable to them. Especially the long tail is where the essence is, in southern border locality, it is very famous!”

Ghost Li was quiet, Xiao Bai looked at him, suddenly asked, “Strange, you don’t usually show any interest in anything, why is it when it comes to food, you are interested?”

Ghost Li was stunned, did not speak for a while, since young he had grew up in Qing Yun Hill Big Bamboo Valley and started to cook soon after, as to cooking, he was really quite gifted and had an interest. If he was raised in a commoner family, most likely he would have become a cook and might even make some small achievements. Just that now… Ghost Li sighed softly, suddenly his enthusiasm dried up and did not wish to speak anymore. Xiao Bao looked at him with interest, her eyes twinkled with tenderness, wondered what was she thinking in her heart?

Only Xiao Hui was looking restless, its head turning here and there, making soft noises from time to time, as if it was expecting something.

The late quiet night, TianShui Stockade which had been bustling with people for the whole day, gradually quietened down when it was nightfall.

TianShui Inn had a total of two storeys, the second storey housed the guest rooms. Ghost Li observed carefully, only Xiao Bai and him were staying in the inn this night. Although it seemed lively here but in this season, the world, disorder in succession, not many Central Plains merchants came to southern border. And the southern border locals, most of them would not stay in inns.

Xiao Bai’s room was just beside Ghost Li, separated by wooden boards, it did not offer much soundproof, indistinctly light laughters and [zhi zhi] sounds could be heard from the other room. The monkey Xiao Hui had again ran over to Xiao Bai’s room to play, although Xiao Hui still sleep with Ghost Li every night but Xiao Bai for some reasons, was especially close to Xiao Hui, and now Xiao Hui loved to stick close to this thousand year old fox spirit.

Ghost Li lay down in his room for a while, he had not stayed in an inn for a long time and was not used to it. Unknowingly after a long time, it was already late in the night but he was still not sleepy, feeling somehow vexed, he stood up and slowly walked to the window, pushed opened it and looked out.

Different from the day, in the southern border night sky, dark clouds slowly dispersing but the layers of clouds were still there, faint moonlight unveiled from from the gaps.

The clear moonlight, like frost like snow, quietly shone down, onto his body.

The vast world, was in deep slumber, the surroundings were quiet with no human sounds. Only from an unknown street corner, low insect cries could be heard, the sounds mournful. Blackness enveloped the earth.

Through the window, gazing afar, thousands of mountains and miles, the night sky still.

Under such desolate, lonely night sky of the southern border, suddenly, the past like surging waves, rose up into his heart.

Not long before, that child in the remote village, embroiled in the seething, turbulent waves of the worldly affairs, drifting along with the waves. Occasionally looking back, that actually, he had nobody by his side.

Life was really lonely…

The man under the moon, his head bowed and silent.

[Si!] A sound pierced through the sky in the far distance, faintly travelling over.

Ghost Li raised his head, frowning, a slight flare in the horizon, like a meteor travelling across the night sky, streaked through the horizon, past the TianShui Stockade, landing in the west.

And behind it, there were three more lights, pursuing closely.

Ghost Li was extremely sharp-sighted, with one look he could tell that the four lights were made by cultivated martial artists travelling through the sky and although the three lights behind were still unable to catch up with the first light but the fleeing person was still unable to shake off the pursue.

After a moment, the first light seemed to make a decision, dropped down from the sky, looking at its location, it was at the southwest direction from TianShui Stockade.

And then, the three pursuing lights also landed down. Ghost Li was still for a moment, felt that tonight his mood was restless and he really did not wish to be alone here, he waved his right hand, soundlessly transformed into a dark green light, flew towards where the four lights landed.

After his figure diminished, [zhi ya] a sound, the room’s window beside Ghost Li was pushed opened too. Xiao Bai carrying Xiao Hui, gazed towards the direction where Ghost Li flew to, after a moment, Ghost Li’s figure disappeared into the darkness.

Xiao Bai’s face was still, no expression on her fair face, only her eyes, had a strange gleam.

Ghost Li soundlessly flew and soon discovered the location where the four lights landed, it was where the previous TianShui Stockade building had been, that derelict mountaintop for many years mountaintop.

Just that when he just entered the stronghold, a muffed low exclamation was heard from ahead, following an angry sound, mixed in with a familiar laughter were heard. Ghost Li immediately frowned.

The coquettish laughter, with a faint seductive force, it was Jin PingEr’s voice.

Ghost Li hesitated, slowly moved forward from the dark corner he was hiding.

The deserted quiet streets, the ruined remaining tiles, a desolate scene.

The sky now, again cleared up a few degrees, the layers of clouds gradually dispersed, the moonlight gradually became brighter, turning this derelict stronghold a few degrees brighter.

Jin PingEr’s face still had her unchanging smile, smiling winsomely and stood in the middle of the street, facing her was a young man with an angry expression. This person was also someone Ghost Li knew - FenXiang Valley talented disciple Li Xun. And behind him on the street, there was another FenXiang Valley disciple lying on the ground, most likely was injured by Jin PingEr, on his clothes starting from the left chest had a deep big gash slashed down and was weakly moaning.

Just that, Ghost Li’s gaze, just swept through the three people and after a moment, his eyes stopped completely on the last person.

The bleak clear night, the desolate street, behind Jin PingEr a remnant of a small derelict building, a woman in white, carrying a long sword on her back, stood on the rooftop, facing the wind, her clothes fluttering.

Her skin-like snow under the moonlight, made one felt that she was a very beautiful woman with a pale complexion.

This night, this moonlight, were actually this beautiful and bright because of her?

Lu XueQi! The familiar eyes, whose figure was it reflecting?

Ghost Li stared blankly.

In the dark, he quietly watched the girl who seemed to have appear from out of this world, the entire world’s frost and wind, ten years of time, seemed not to have touch her at all. Therefore when one looked over, the first glance, was that she in the moonlight with that cold-and-clear-like fairy figure.

“Evil woman!” Li Xun’s handsome face was full of fury.

He and Lu XueQi, one at the front and one behind, blocked Jin PingEr but when they landed just now, the Evil Sect demonic woman suddenly launched an attack, first bewitching his FenXiang Valley junior brother behind him with ‘Heart Delusion Skill’ then injuring him with the Purple Light Sword. If not for Li Xun who intervened in time, most likely this junior brother would have lost his life.

Just that Li Xun right now was more concerned, other than this junior brother’s injury, there was still other matters, “What  exactly  did  you  do  to  my  junior  sister,  YanHong. Quickly hand her over”

Jin PingEr smiled, her eyes suddenly in doubt, looked towards the darkness behind Li Xun, either with intention or unintentionally, sneaked a glance at where Ghost Li was hiding, said, “You just said it, that is your junior sister and not my junior sister, how will I know?”

“Pei!” Li Xun’s expression was enraged, evidently he cared a lot for this junior sister, angrily said, “If not for ShangGuan teacher uncle’s discerning eyes and discovered it, we would still be in the dark. You deliberately killed our FenXiang Valley disciple, we must settle this score with you. If you are smart, better hand over YanHong junior sister early!”

“Aiyo! I am so afraid!” Jin PingEr patted her chest with her hand but a smile was still on her face, not a trace of fear, instead her coquettishness increased, she softly said, “All of you are still considered Good Faction people, how can so many of you bully me this one weak girl?”

A cold snort, was instead heard from Lu XueQi behind. Li Xun glanced at that beautiful figure standing high up, his face solemn, spoke to Jin PingEr, “Evil woman, if you still stubborn, I will not be courteous…”

An  “already’  word  had  not  even  spoken  out,  Jin  PingEr suddenly smiled sweetly, purple light suddenly lighted up in her right hand sleeve.

Li Xun immediately concentrated and prepared, this evil woman was full of tricks and her magical weapon was extremely sharp, it was indeed not a trivial object. With that strike earlier, although his junior brother behind him was under the influence of the Delusion Heart Skill but the years of training was still not her equal, it could be seen her skills were very good.

Just that Li Xun had always been conceited, his skills were high and although wary but did not have any slightest nervousness.

And now that there was a beautiful woman coldly watching, ever since he had saw her ten years ago, he had admired her for a long time and definitely would not lose his face in front of this beautiful woman.

As he was concentrating to fight, unexpectedly the tricky Jin PingEr made another false move, suddenly her figure transformed into a purple light, together with her sword, went to attack Lu XueQi behind.

In a blink of an eye the purple light was nearing, Lu XueQi’s face was as white as frost, [zheng] a sharp sound, multifarious celestial energy, blue light shone out in all directions, TianYa Celestial Sword suddenly drawn out, horizontal before her. Li Xun saw it from behind, felt an unknown anxiousness, wielded his sword and pursued after.

Unexpectedly when Jin PingEr’s Purple Light Sword met TianYa, she took the opportunity to retreat, quick as a lightning she turned back. Li Xun was shocked but for the moment could not stop his body in time to pursue back and when Lu XueQi was about to follow, she was instead blocked by Li Xun and had no choice but to suppress her action. The two of them looked over at the same time, the direction that Jin PingEr flew in was where Li Xun was standing previously, over there, there was still an injured lying on the ground, a FenXiang Valley disciple at lost to what to do. Li Xun immediately blanched, he wholeheartedly wanted to impress Lu XueQi and actually forgot that his junior brother behind him right now was totally helpless, right now he extremely regretted and with a roar, his body like lightning, pursued with
all his might.

Lu XueQi followed behind him, also heading towards Jin PingEr.

In a blink, Jin PingEr had already reached the FenXiang Valley disciple and suddenly with her feet, kicked his body up, the body flew past her, Li Xun quickly caught him but to his surprise, he felt blood and instantly his robe was already dyed red.

With this kick from Jin PingEr, it had already ended this young disciple’s life. Li Xun’s eyes looked as if it was about to spew fire, just that with this moment of delay, Lu XueQi had already overtaken him to continue pursuing Jin PingEr. And Jin PingEr’s figure was just passing by that dark corner.

Quietly, in that short instant, Jin PingEr’s voice quietly urgently heard, “Help me block that woman.”

In the darkness, that person snorted, the disdain intention was very obvious and his body moved, evidently did not wish to be embroiled in this matter.

Unexpectedly in this flint-spark moment, Jin PingEr suddenly  quickly  said  three  words  out  loudly,  “Seven  Mile Cave!”

These three words, like a flash of lightning, forced Ghost Li who was about to take off, to stop, Jin PingEr’s face, was full of mysterious smile, in an instant brushed past his body.

And after a moment, Lu XueQi’s white figure, approaching, just in front of him. Who knew, in that instant, whose figure flashed past the mind?

The dark green light lighted up, Lu XueQi’s icy cold face in that instant changed, uncertainty, perplexion, joy and anger!

[Qiang liang...]

TianYa and Soul-Absorbing, blue light with red light, reflecting each other in the night, reverberated far away.

Li Xun brushed past Lu XueQi, continued to pursue Jin PingEr, after all Jin PingEr was the more important figure, especially after she had killed his junior brother who had came with him together. Just that while he was in the air, he secretly turned his head back, watching the man and the woman silently facing each other in the derelict street, the flame which flashed in the depths of his eyes, was actually that red-hot blazing.

Far away, Jin PingEr’s laughter could be heard, that voice lovely and mocking, Ghost Li heard it and was silent. The moonlight like water, shone on this desolate mountain, lonely streets.

The woman before him, the white clothes like snow, the long sword in her hand, bright like autumn waters.

Reflecting in the eyes, looking deeply at the person, who was it instead?

Seven Mile Cave, the largest inhabitation of the Miao tribe in history, it got famous because it was said to be as wide as seven mile. Unable to trace when it developed, it was besieged and annihilated during late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty. It was said that the place was easy to defend and hard to attack, only a narrow path connected it to the outside world and had always been the spiritual prop of the Miao tribe.

Now that the exact location was unable to be studied and verified but after researching the materials, it seemed in 1983 Guangxi Heyang County (Heyang ??) discovered a ‘large leveled village’, the surrounding descriptions were similar and led by Miao tribe, in the nearby mountaintop there was a ‘Dog Deity Cave’, in it there was an enormous stone dog deity idol that the Miao tribe worshipped, suspected the place should be there.

Another note: Dog Deity, in the Miao tribe legend, troops suddenly entered in the dead of the night, all of the Miao tribe people were asleep, a stone dog on top of the mountain suddenly started barking loudly, awaking the tribe and then combined forces to resist the enemies, saving the entire tribe. Since then they enshrined and worshipped the Dog Deity, year after year unceasingly burning joss sticks and candles.

Chapter 120 - Deep Scar

All was quiet in the surroundings.

The deep late night, was the moment of desolation.

The quiet long street, the bright moon hung in the horizon, clearly and brightly shining down, pulling long shadows out of the two people standing in the desolate street.

What kind of emotion was it, like thousands and thousands of words twining around the heart, just that when one was facing it, no words came out.

The late autumn lonely wind, gently stirred the clothes.

TianYa in Lu XueQi’s hand, twinkling with faint blue light, slowly dropped down and withdrew.

Ghost Li remained silent. Lu XueQi looked at the man in front of her. Under the moonlight, Ghost Li suddenly felt breathlessness.

Without making any moves, without fighting and even without injury or blood but for some reason, every time he faced this beautiful girl, in front of her eyes, he also had an inexplicable feeling.

The unparalleled beauty, clear and rippling like snow, like the first time they met, that pure beautiful girl, aloof from the rest.

Just that, not knowing since when, in her eyes, his figure was in it.

“Just now that girl, is she HeHuan Sect Jin PingEr?”  Lu XueQi suddenly quietly asked.

Ghost Li was surprised, quietly nodded and said, “Yes.” Lu XueQi looked at him, a glint seemed to flash deep in her eyes, she indifferently said, “Were you with her all along?”

Almost subconsciously, Ghost Li immediately shook his head, said, “No, I have nothing to do with her…” His voice suddenly dropped, felt something strange with his feelings, as if trying to explain something. But Lu XueQi’s unusual glint disappeared, as if a certain burden was suddenly lifted from her shoulder, even her expression seemed to turn gentler.

Just that, between the two of them, they were still separated by a long distance, like a deep chasm.

The moonlight like water, lingered on this desolate street.

Jin PingEr and LiXun pursuing figures had long disappeared, in the large mountain stronghold, it seemed like they were the only remaining ones.

They were the irreconcilable Evil and Good but neither one of them had any intention to fight, in the cold bright light, Lu XueQi suddenly said, “Can...can you walk with me?” Ghost Li looked up, a surprised look in his eyes.

Strolling on this derelict street, the late night, the water-like moonlight.

Both sides of the street were crumbling and dilapidated walls, all in ruins, just that when the night breeze blew over, this foreign land mountaintop thousands of miles away from their hometown, in the tranquility, it seemed to have a faint gentleness.

Two of them walked side by side but maintaining a distance of three chi, unintentionally or intentionally, they also seemed to vaguely avoiding something.

But in the middle of this dreary night, how could one’s emotions not be entangled?

The faint fragrance, in the wind, indistinctly floated beside. “Do you still remember, our first match at Qing Yun Hill Seven Branches Martial Competition?”

Lu XueQi suddenly broke the silence, quietly said.

Ghost Li paused, in his heart he felt puzzled, Lu XueQi in his impression was not someone who talked a lot but somehow tonight she seemed to be rather strange.

Although it was so but he still nodded and said, “I remember, at that time you could already use ‘Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’, it was really remarkable.”

Lu XueQi looked at him, faintly said, “But that match, the fact was I had lost.”

Ghost Li was silent then said, “At that time regardless whether was it your cultivation or training, all far surpassed me, actually I…” “It was me who had lost.” Lu XueQi’s face revealed a trace of dejection, lightly said, “Actually at that time I already knew, at the last critical moment, you deliberately held back. But I did not know why I was unable to control my competitiveness and at that moment, no matter how, I was unable to tell the truth to my ecstatic teacher and teacher uncle.”

Ghost Li smiled and said, “Those trivial matters, after so many years, why do you still keep it in your heart?”

Lu XueQi looked up, gazed at that bright moon in the horizon, quietly lost in thought, her beauty, under the moonlight, like a flower gently placed down by the bright moonlight.

“Since  then,  I  remembered  you  in  my  heart.”  She  softly, faintly said.

Ghost Li’s body shook, looked up abruptly, he could not imagine, the cold like frost Lu XueQi would say such words but looking at that quiet and exquisite girl’s beautiful figure under the moonlight, it was clearly in front of him. In his heart, suddenly he had a premonition, like, a calamity coming quietly, in the other party’s quiet pause, he could feel, he could no longer avoid it.

“Until later, when we went to KongSang Mountain Forsaken Abyss, fought with the Evil Faction people, struggled against the demons and evil spirits, you risked your life to save me, I too treated you in kind…”

She softly spoke, her voice floated with a trace of surreal, Ghost Li, no, as if at this moment he had once again turned into the former Zhang Xiao Fan, the past times, one by one surfaced in front of him.

Just that, he was unable to speak even a word.

“At that time, we were in trapped in a hopeless situation, making the last struggle for our lives but I was never once afraid, if at that time I was to die together with you, I…”

She turned around, facing this man, in her eyes, a never- before-seen brilliance, a never-before-appeared multifarious tenderness buried deep inside her heart and even her cheeks on her snow like skin, a faint pink blush, with a captivating beauty.

“...I would also be willing!”  She said it slowly but with a determination.

The night scene was just nice!

The night wind gently drifted!

The two people facing each other, suddenly became silent.

Ghost Li’s heart was in chaos, thousands of thoughts and emotions poured thick and fast into his mind but in the jumble of turbulent waves, a voice seemed to shout out loudly, “BiYao!”

Instantly, he was drenched in coldness from top to bottom, chilling his blood, chilling his heart. Lu XueQi quietly looked at this man in front of her, saw every change of his facial expression. The initial puzzlement and subsequently perplexed and maybe a slight panic but suddenly detachment, a detachment that he wrapped himself tightly in.

Just that the tenderness in her eyes, never once lessened, still continued to speak in a low voice.

“Until later, LiuBo Hill, TongTian Peak, things happened one after another, I stood at the side, watched helplessly as you slowly changed. Until the end, at TongTian Peak, under the Zhu Xian Celestial Sword, after that BiYao lady blocked the sword for you, I knew, you would never be able to turn back.”

Ghost Li clenched his fists, nails digging deep into his palms, he breathed with effort, tightly gritted his teeth, so that his detachment would not collapse in an instant.

Just that...just that…

Just that how could he detachedly face this woman? “Why are you doing this?” He quietly said.

Lu XueQi gave a miserable laugh, her eyes misted, the figure under the moonlight, desolate and beautiful.

“I do not regret, it has been ten years already, I still think of you in my heart, if it’s possible, I rather give up everything and go to the ends of the world with you but in the end it is already not possible!”

She bit her lips, softly, slowly repeated, “Not possible, not possible…”

Then, raised her head!

Her lips were so white, the skin on her face seemed to be even paler like almost translucent, only her gaze, bright like that lonely moon hanging high up in the horizon. “Qing Yun Sect raised me and educated me, what's more teacher doted on me, loved me, taught me, not matter what I cannot betray Qing Yun.”

“I’m telling you these things today because I want you to know my intention, how I will in front of you, sever ten years of my wishful thinking!”

Her fair hand, clutching onto TianYa tightly, as if she was using all of her strength to speak those words.

Every word, like a sharp knife, landed in Ghost Li’s heart.

But he remained silent, did not say anything.

Intensely, staring!

This man who was once engraved so deeply inside her heart, was just standing in front of her but as if he was on the other end of the world! TianYa, unsheathed!

The graceful arc twinkling with blue light, glimmered past in the air, in front of Ghost Li, slashed down!

In the derelict street, between the two people, just one footstep from Ghost Li, a deep rift appeared.

Separating the two people!

The moonlight was desolate, the night deepening!

Her white clothes like snow, fluttered in the windless air, like a fairy, in her bright eyes, tenderness and agony, were all only deep inside her heart.

“After tonight, if we meet again, you and I will be life-and- death foes!”  Her pale face did not have a trace of blood, even her figure also started to tremble. “These ten years, each time I have foolish thoughts, I would dance with my sword at the back of the hill, “she faintly said, “tonight, let me dance for the last time!”


TianYa Celestial Sword made a cry like a phoenix, shot up into the sky.

The girl with clothes white as snow, flew up, in the desolate beautiful moonlight, as if a nine heavens fairy had descended onto the mortal world, danced madly.

That glint from the sword indistinct like a dream, danced and consumed the remnants of a millennium-long feelings. The past years, slowly surfaced, unhurriedly passed by.

Who was it that softly sighed, whose eyes were obscured?

The swordlight like snow, whose heart did it hurt? She obsessed!

She solitary danced!

A wind blew, the clouds separated.

The crumbling and dilapidated walls scattered one by one.

Stones rolled everywhere, dust flew, the sound of the wind mournful.

Her figure floated, like drifting in the wind, the surrounding winds and clouds gathered together, the sky darkened again.

Only leaving a clear shadow indistinctly drifting!

What was it that quietly shouted inside the heart, what was it that impulsively called out in the chest? He could not, could not, could not…

His body trembled, maybe to walk forward?

That foot lifted up, in the air, looking like it was about to step over the deep mark in the ground.

The wind whistled, the shadow like frost!

The sword like autumn waters, descended from the sky, the sharp sound piercing the air but it came to an abrupt stop, in front of his brows.

The wind that was still howling in the sky, gradually died down, the stones which were rolling around, slowly stopped. The sky again opened up, the moonlight regained its brilliancy, bright and clear like water.

Lu XueQi’s exquisite face, just right in front of him, like ice like frost, only in that pair of eyes, there seemed to be still a faint feeling, tenderness like water.

Their eyes, both came to that in-between them -

deep scar!

TianYa Celestial Sword’s chill, as if emitting from the tip of the sword through the air, chilled the entire body, waking him suddenly from the hazy dream.

Her face, was so beautiful that it did not seem mortal.

Ghost Li’s foot, stopped in the mid air, slowly, slowly -


Lu XueQi’s hand holding the sword, slowly dropped down, that person’s figure, in the end still quietly retreated from this deep mark. Then she smiled…

That smile seemed like a magnificent lily which in its previous and current lives flourished in the night scene!

But after a moment, she frowned and bend over, a soft moan, spitted out a mouthful of blood.

Droplets of dark red, trickled onto her white clothes, like a brightly-coloured yet evil flower.

She was still smiling, a last look at that man, turned, wielded her sword, flew up, transformed into a white light, streaked past the night sky, under the quiet bright moon, disappeared into the distant night.

Leaving a man alone, silently looking at the street in front of him, that dyed red line of ...deep scar! In the darkness, the nine-tailed celestial fox, Xiao Bai, carried Xiao Hui, watched everything that had happened on that street in the distant. Xiao Hui seemed slightly restless, moved in her embrace.

Xiao Bai gently patted its head, placed a finger at her lips, making a quiet gesture.

Xiao Hui quietened down but its eyes was still fixed onto its master’s desolate figure, never left for even a moment.

For the longest time, Ghost Li stood before that deep mark for a very long time, he kept on like that, kept on standing, unmoving.

And Xiao Bai seemed to be very patient, in the dark waited, right then, even the restless Xiao Hui was also quiet.

Finally Ghost Li’s body moved once, then as if using a lot of effort to turn, turned his head. Looking from far, this man face was like dead ash, extremely hagged. Xiao Hui’s body, again shuffled restlessly.

Far ahead, Ghost Li quietly muttered but nobody could hear it clearly enough. After a moment, he vacantly raised his head and finally unhurriedly left.

Until he had gone far, Xiao Bai carrying Xiao Hui came out, walked to the deep mark left by Lu XueQi’s TianYa Celestial Sword, She quietly stare, after a long while sighed.

“The love in this world, really breaks one’s heart! Pity those two people, so outstanding but like fools!”

[Zhi zhi, zhi zhi] shrieks were heard, Xiao Bai was startled, it was Xiao Hui who disagreed.

It jumped down from Xiao Bai, its butt sat on the ground by the side, hatefully refusing to speak, imitating a human’s angry gesture, both of its hands crossed in front of its chest, both cheeks puffed up, looked like it was fuming with anger. Xiao Bai laughed in spite of herself, in a low voice said, “You don’t like that I said your master is a fool?”

Xiao Hui nodded, [zhi zhi] called out a few times, its eyes blinked. Although it still had an angry expression but its long tail, quietly rolled over, wrapped itself around Xiao Bai’s feet.

Xiao Bai smiled and shook her head, crouched down and smoothed Xiao Hui’s head, her eyes gradually drifted away, after a long while, softly said, “Actually how would you know, my wish in these thousand years is just to be such a fool once and then to also have a fool that would treat me well that’s all.”

“If that girl really want to sever her love, that sword would have stab in long ago, I guess until the end, although she used the sword to point at Ghost Li but in her heart, how she had longed for Ghost Li to disregard everything and step forward.”

“Just that, if Ghost Li stepped over, he would not be Ghost Li…”

“In his heart, in the end there is still a BiYao!.” Xiao Bai quietly said, Xiao Hui seemed not to understand, scratched its head, three eyes looked at Xiao Bai.

Xiao Bao stared blankly for another while, suddenly laughed, came out of her reverie, stretched her hand and carried Xiao Hui up, smiled and said, “Forget it, it’s their affair, the knots in their hearts eventually will still need themselves to untangle. Beside, the future, who could clearly say it, don’t you agree Xiao Hui?”

Xiao Bai held Xiao Hui in front of her, smiled and asked.

Xiao Hui’s tail swished in the air, [zhi zhi, zhi zhi] called out a few times, wagged its head but not knowing if it really understood?
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