Chapter 131 - Legend
Seven Mile Cave, Miao’s altar.
The tranquility in here seemed not to be affected by the big battle last night, led by that young shaman, Ghost Li and Xiao Bao walked soundlessly in the altar. Crouching at Ghost Li’s shoulder, Xiao Hui seemed much quieter than usual, as if the solemn atmosphere had also made it well-behaved.
Traversing the long corridor, they arrived before the stone chamber located deep inside the altar, the young shaman nodded slightly without saying any words to them, turned and left, disappearing into the darkness not long after, leaving the both of them alone. Ghost Li and Xiao Bai looked at each other, Ghost Li said, “Let’s go in!”
Xiao Bai nodded and both of them walked in.
The chamber was still as dusky, a ﬁre pit was still burning in the recesses, in front of the ﬁre, a stooped ﬁgure was still sitting back-facing them. This familiar scene, for a moment, made last night event seemed surreal, maybe it was just a dream…
A slight cough was heard from that old man, the ﬁrelight casted upon his ﬁgure, quivered violently, breaking the stillness and bringing them back to the reality again.
“You all have come “ The great shaman after a ﬁt of coughing, unhurriedly said using his voice which had turned slightly hoarse, “Come over!”
Ghost Li and Xiao Bai walked to his back and sat down quietly, before this frail old man, for some reason, both of them did not know what to say.
The great shaman seemed to sigh softly, said, “My people were rude to you all just now, please do not mind.”
Ghost Li nodded his head slightly, said, “I won’t dare.” The great shaman again coughed twice but became silent and did not speak. Ghost Li and Xiao Bai could only wait patiently, unexpectedly the wait became half a day, that great shaman seemed to fall asleep, unmoving and not a single response.
Ghost Li felt more and more anxious, ﬁrstly he did not know what exactly the great shaman was thinking, secondly the unexpected attack last night almost made him ﬁlled with remorse for his whole life, if BiYao was impeded because of himself, he would not be able to atone for it even if he died a hundred times.
Right now after waiting for a long while, the great shaman did not look like he was going to start speaking at any time now, Xiao Bai was still patience and not at all worried, Xiao Hui was already restless. The monkey was inherently playful and could no longer stand the solemn atmosphere, with a grab and slide, it had quietly slipped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder.
Ghost Li really did not wish to delay any further, spoke, “Senior, I had beseeched you that…” Before the word “matter” could be utter, the great shaman suddenly interrupted, “Young man, let me tell you a story!”
Ghost Li was stunned and glanced sideways at Xiao Bai, she was also frowning and she looked perplexed, obviously she too did not know what was the elder’s intention. Just that right now they needed his help and Ghost Li could only sigh in his heart and suppressed the anxiety, said, “Senior, please speak!”
The great shaman with his hoarse voice, in this dark recesses of the altar, faintly resounded, as if after thousands and hundreds of years, at this moment it had now quietly turned back…
“Our southern border is located south of the Divine Land and has never been as prosperous as the Central Plains but we have a unique origin…”
Ghost Li quietly nodded, the unique custom of the southern border was indeed different from Central Plains. “The world now know that there are ﬁve tribes over at our southern border, residing together on this piece of land. But in fact, long long ago, Miao, Li, Zhuang, Tu, GaoShan are actually all from the same paleo tribe, called ‘Shaman Tribe’.”
Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were surprised, not to mention that Ghost Li never heard of this before, even Xiao Bai did not have any impression of it.
The great shaman’s ﬁgure, refracted by the burning ﬁre to be slightly twisted, reﬂected onto the ﬂoor, his voice at the same time together with the ﬁrewoods’ crackling sounds in the ﬁre, faintly, carried the vicissitudes of the past.
“The tribe legend said, in the ancient times, the paleo shaman tribe managed the southern border, its power great and produced powerful shamans each generations, in each generation the shaman lady that served the deity had the strongest shaman skills.”
“The so-called shaman lady, was a virgin picked from each generation of the paleo shaman tribe with the highest spiritual intelligence aptitude, serving the shaman deity in the altar, specializing in studying the shaman skills and commanding the shaman tribe. Those kind of days, went on for many many years…”
Ghost Li and Xiao Bai raised their heads slightly, both of them were intelligent people, right now they knew that the great shaman had arrived at the key point of his story. And Xiao Hui by then had already sneaked off somewhere in the dark.
“However at the third year of the eleventh succession of the shaman lady’s reign, in the southern border ten thousands great mountains, something strange happened.” The great shaman’s voice, still hoarse but his tone had became higher, as if his indistinctly agitated internal emotions were revealing out slowly. “In the ten thousands great mountains, a creature who claimed to be ‘Beast Deity’ appeared, nobody knew the origins of this creature, it was as if he had appeared out of the thin air from the precipitous harsh ten thousands great mountains.”
“In the beginning, nobody noticed the existence of that creature but gradually, the shaman tribe people felt something different. The undulating mountain ranges of the ten thousands great mountains although were precipitous but the forests were exuberant and animals abundant, the best highly- skilled hunters of the tribe had always been hunting there. But ever since from that time, in the mountains, a poisonous miasma suddenly appeared, once inhaled, the entire human body would become ulcerous and die. And what’s even stranger
was, the animals had also started to change. Some became
beasts with human bodies, extremely savage and cruel, killing humans without provocation and sharing the kill, the people were absolutely terriﬁed.”
Ghost Li and Xiao Bai could not help but glance at each other, the things that the great shaman was telling, were really strange and unheard of.
The great shaman paused for a while, he had seemed to sink into the past events of the ancient history, after a while, he unhurriedly continued, “At that time, the shaman lady gathered all of the shaman masters in the tribe for discussion and sent out a troop of elite warriors led by three shaman masters to investigate and ﬁnd out what strange thing had exactly happened to create this miasma and the animals’ transformations. However on the tenth day after this group had entered the mountains, one of the shaman masters with the highest skills escaped back and his entire body was ulcerated, despite the shaman lady’s best effort to save him, on his deathbed, he only utter the words, ‘evil beast’ and died!” “Evil beast…” Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, in their hearts, repeated the words.
“From that moment, the shaman tribe ﬁnally knew, a strange creature had appeared in the ten thousands great mountains. And then after many trips of investigations and sacriﬁcing many brave warriors’ lives, they came to know that the creature had appeared suddenly in the mountains and possessed inconceivable abilities, under his evil powers, the original exuberant mountains had turned barren, the clear streams ﬁlled with venomous ﬂuid and poisonous miasma ﬁlled the air. And the multifarious animals in the forests had also turned into monsters by his powers, transforming into various human bear, human tiger, human leopard, human wolf etc evil creatures, savage and human-eating, extremely horrible…”
Ghost Li’s lips suddenly twitched, interrupted, “Was there a human ﬁsh in it?”
The great shaman’s back suddenly stiffened, after a moment of silence, as if recalling something, slowly nodded, “That’s right, the tribes’ legend said that in that ten thousands great mountains savage barbarians, there is indeed a species of human ﬁshes.”
“Why, don’t tell me you…”
Ghost Li after remaining silent, eventually still spoke, “That’s right, I had once encountered such a human ﬁsh creature in the western big marsh.”
The great shaman’s body shook greatly, he ﬁnally could not bear it, abruptly turned around, the ﬁrelight shone onto his wrinkles, as if engraved deeply by the long years and his voice right now was already hoarse, “You, you actually saw these creatures?”
Ghost Li silently but afﬁrmatively nodded.
The great shaman’s face blanched, stammered, “It had appeared, it had ﬁnally appeared, Heaven’s will! Heaven’s will...but why would they appear in the west? The entrance of the ten thousands great mountains, isn’t it guarded by the cultivated FenXiang Valley…” On his face, fear and confusion oscillated unceasingly, appeared to be lost in his own thoughts.
Ghost Li stretched his hand and gently patted the elder’s shoulder.
The great shaman’s body shook, like being shook awake, looked at Ghost Li, his expression slowly calmed down and then turned around again, facing the ﬁre.
“I, better continued! Anyway if it’s Heaven’s will, we mortals can do nothing.”
His voice seemed to more bleak, “After knowing the existence of this creature, the shaman tribe never had a day of peace again and as time went by, the different monsters under the evil beast started to come out of the mountains. Like that, news of the tribe people being killed were heard from different areas and the number of people kept increasing until it had reached a state of outright panic among the people, in the end, the paleo shaman tribe commoners started to abandon their homes and migrate to the north, if that went on, the entire shaman tribe would soon be destroyed.” “The shaman lady initially wanted to gather more of the creature’s information before strategizing on how to get rid of the creature. However at that time, the people were indignant and the situation had reached its most dangerous point, in the end she decided to gather all of the shamans and warriors in the entire tribe and go forward to face this peerless evil creature, to ﬁght till death in order to save the shaman tribe.”
“Unexpectedly, on the night that the shaman lady made this decision, the evil beast led his innumerable demons and suddenly attacked from the mountains and straight to the altar. The altar was where the shaman tribe people worshipped the shaman deity and had always been the lifeblood of the tribe, the holy deity could not be violated. That night, it could be said that whoever was in the tribe, regardless whether man or woman, even slightly older child, all dashed into the battle scene and fought with their lives against the ferocious demons!”
The great shaman’s voice until here, stopped gently and Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, both held their breaths, that bloody massacre scene in the ancient history, in this dimness, in the great shaman’s bleak words, once again, quietly emerged. “That ﬁerce battle was deﬁnitely not what we could imagined, what our Miao tribe forefathers passed down in each generation, only touched the surface of that battle. Anyway, after blood had dyed all of the ground trampled by feets red, after countless warriors using their bodies perished with the
demons, the evil beast eventually still led some evil demons and charged into the last fort where the shaman lady was defending the altar. And outside the altar, the massacre was still going on…”
“Just that, the great shaman deity at that moment ﬁnally started to protect its people and the shaman lady, was widely acknowledged as the most powerful shaman in history. After an earth-shaking ﬁght, the evil beast and his few fearless demon henchmen were ﬁnally trapped by the shaman lady using ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ passed down by the paleo shaman deity...”
“What?” Ghost Li and Xiao Bai suddenly exclaimed.
The great shaman puzzledly turned and glanced at them, said, “The ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’, what about it?” Ghost Li and Xiao Bai looked at each other, after a moment, said, “This name is quite unusual.”
The great shaman sighed and said, “This formation was handed down by the paleo shaman deity, activated by a rare treasure with the essence of a thousand ﬁres, ‘Inferno Mirror’, its power was very strong and at that time, even the evil beast with unparalleled power, was also trapped in this formation. The morales of the shaman people were boosted greatly and those evil creatures without their leader were in a disorder, ﬁnally were gradually forced to retreat.”
“Just that even though the power of ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ was boundless but the evil beast’s powers were not ordinary, under the day and night unceasing eight ﬁre dragons’ ﬁre, although heavily injured but it still survive and continued to face off with the shaman lady. At that time in the entire altar, because of the great power of the formation, the other shaman masters could not go near and help, only the shaman lady using her own shaman powers maintained this powerful formation. Like that for three days and three nights, when the entire tribe almost lost it because of that, that evil beast actually broke through the formation.” “But although the evil beast escaped but it was already on the verge of death and without a moment’s hesitation, ﬂew directly back to its nest in the mountains. And when the crowd rushed to the altar, the shaman lady was also spent, almost at her limit. Just that that shaman lady was really an admirable ﬁgure, after only a day of rest, heavily injured but she decided to enter the mountains alone and ﬁnished off that evil beast. Because if that evil beast recovered then that would be the end of the shaman tribe.”
Xiao Bai sighed gently and said, “This shaman lady, was really a heroine among women, with the heart of a Bodhisattva, such sacriﬁce for others!”
The great shaman lightly said, “We in the southern border, do not believe in Bodhisattva.”
Xiao Bai smiled and did not say anything.
The great shaman continued, “At that time within the tribe, nobody agreed with the shaman lady’s decision and everyone knew that this time, she might never come back. But the shaman lady’s mind was made up, eventually she still left but seven of the bravest warriors escorted her, a total of eight people entered the extremely treacherous mountains.”
On their journey in, they had to break through all obstacles and killed countless number of monsters, ﬁnally on the sixth day, they came to the ancient cave where the evil beast resided. The shaman lady then made an unexpected decision, she wanted the others to wait outside the cave while she entered it alone. The seven warriors naturally refused but the shaman lady was determined and told them straightforwardly that they could do nothing even if they entered and instead would drag her down, eventually the seven warriors could only accede.”
“After the shaman lady went in, there was no news of her anymore, the seven warriors waited for a total of two days and two nights and ﬁnally two of them could not wait any longer and wanted to go in and ﬁnd the shaman lady but the other ﬁve felt that they should continue to wait and obey the shaman lady’s orders. Among the seven warriors, an argument ensued and in the end, the two warriors still went ahead and entered the cave and from then on, there was no news of them anymore.” “Like that, until the ﬁfth day, when the remaining ﬁve warriors also gradually lost their conﬁdence, the shaman lady miraculously staggered out from the cave, she at that moment, seemed to have lost all of her blood and was frightfully white. But as the ﬁve warriors were overjoyed, they did not notice all of that. The shaman lady gave each warrior a shimmering object, tools ﬁlled with strange shaman powers and told them, these ﬁve sacred objects were reﬁned from the evil beast’s body after she had destroyed it. But as the evil beast was a peerless evil creature formed from the malignant energy between Heaven and Earth, even though its body was destroyed, its soul could not be scatter.”
“The ﬁve warriors were shocked, the shaman lady again spoke, so long these ﬁve sacred objects do not return again to this cave, the evil beast would never be revive again! After speaking, her body trembled incessantly, blood suddenly poured from the seven apertures on her face. The ﬁve warriors were shocked, the shaman lady, using her last breath, urged them again and again that the entire shaman tribe should guard these ﬁve objects forever and must never let the evil beast revive again, if not, it would be the end of the tribe and the world. And she herself would forever stand guard outside this cave, using her own soul to suppress all of the evildoers, keeping them within the cave. After struggling to ﬁnish her words, the shaman lady could no longer hold on and passed away while standing, and the next moment, her body actually faced the cave and transformed into a stone statue!”
The great shaman’s voice, slowly sank.
In the ﬁre light, everyone’s expressions looked strange, an indescribable look, after a long pause, Xiao Bai with a long sigh, said, “What a great lady! But great shaman, why are you telling us this story?”
The great shaman’s back, looked as if it was bended over by an invisible heavy burden, looked especially desolated. He did not answer Xiao Bai’s question, instead continued to speak, “After the ﬁve warriors wept and grieved, they returned to the shaman tribe. Although the shaman lady died unfortunately but the evil beast was a powerful foe never encountered before by the tribe and ﬁnally repressed within that cave. The shaman tribe in their grief, felt a few degrees of relief and joy. However it was also at that moment, the ﬁve warriors who enjoyed great prestige because of their achievements, started to ﬁght among themselves while vying for the leadership of the tribe.” “The most unfortunate was, every shaman lady of each generation was appointed by the shaman lady of the previous generation and that generation, the shaman lady did not leave any instructions, the ﬁve warriors at that time also totally forgot about this issue. Like that, a once prosperous and powerful shaman tribe under the tussle of the ﬁve warriors slowly split up. The common people also chose their own preferred man and ﬁnally, it gradually disintegrated into the southern border today, Miao, Li, Zhuang, Tu and GaoShan tribes, and the ﬁve important sacred weapons are also each guarded by the ﬁve different tribes.”
When this heartstopping ancient story ﬁnally concluded, Ghost Li inhaled deeply, facing the great shaman’s back, slowly said, “Senior, after telling us so much, could it be that you want me to help get the Miao’s sacred weapon back?”
Chapter 132 - Eerie Forest
The great shaman after being silent for a while, said, "Yes."
Ghost Li turned silent.
The great shaman continued on, "This sacred weapon involves the survival of the southern border commoners, I only hope you can give a hand to our people."
Ghost Li's lips twitched, said, "The ﬁve tribes of southern border, have great number of people, why must you seek help from an outsider?"
The great shaman shook his head, his voice desolated, said, "Ever since the ﬁve tribes splitted up, the shaman power weakened as the days went by, to ﬁnd a decent talent now to shoulder this responsibility is already impossible. You beseeched me to help in your friend's soul-returning matter, I agree, just that the circumstances that you have described, is not the same as what had happened at southern border, I do not have conﬁdence but I will do my best, tomorrow morning I will go with you all to Central Plains!" Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were stunned, they did not expect the great shaman to be so anxious. Ghost Li, for BiYao, did not even fear death, whatsmore retrieving the so-called legendary sacred weapon? Just that although he was elated but he could tell that the great shaman was still heavily injured and said, "Senior, your ﬁght last night...don't you want to rest for a few more days?"
The great shaman with a soft sigh, said, "My days are numbered, before that, I will give it all for you, I only hope you will, for this dying old man, for the countless commoners of the southern border, lend a hand."
Ghost Li was silent, actually how could he not see that the great shaman's body was weak but he did not expect that it had reached until this stage. Xiao Bai beside him suddenly said, "Great shaman, you have just said, only if the ﬁve sacred weapons return to the ancient cave, that evil beast could then be revived, right?"
The great shaman nodded and said, "That's right." Xiao Bai said, "Since it is so, even if the Miao tribe lost one sacred weapon, there are still other four, you don't have to be so anxious..."
"Two, it was two!" The great shaman suddenly cut in, after speaking, a violent ﬁt of coughing again racked him.
Xiao Bai, stunned and said, "What?"
The great shaman waited until his cough ﬁnally subsided, sighed and said, "On my tribe sacred weapon Black Staff, it is set with another sacred weapon, Jade Bone, which was taken from Li Tribe 200 years ago by our tribe."
Xiao Bai "Ah" exclaimed, her expression peculiar and did not speak anymore.
The great shaman after a period of silence, said, "Actually, two hundred years ago, we have already sensed that something was not right, we received news surreptitiously that Zhuang, Tu and GaoShan, the three tribes’ sacred weapons, within these few hundred years were actually mysteriously and bizarrely lost, at that time only Li and our Miao tribes still have the weapons. At that time, within the ﬁve tribes, only the shaman skills of our Miao altar still possessed some power and so we took the sacred weapon, Jade Bone, from Li tribe and safe-guarded it within our altar, and hoped for the best, unexpectedly in the end, still..."
Ghost Li and Xiao Bai did not speak, taking others' sacred weapon, it was after all not very honourable.
The great shaman also knew this and did not wish to elaborate further, he turned and spoke to Ghost Li, "Therefore with the current situation, it is actually really very urgent, all of the ﬁve tribes sacred weapons have disappeared and it might be done by that evil beast. And last night that Li tribe person, the powers he was using was what the ﬁend beast had, Black Fire Evil Skill, I, I, I am really very worried..." Before he could ﬁnish, he had already started coughing, breaking his voice.
Ghost Li breathed deeply, slowly said, "I promised you."
The great shaman was overjoyed, nodded his head in succession, said, "Many, many thanks." Xiao Bai suddenly said, "Great shaman, what was the name of that shaman lady, I really admired her!"
The great shaman's face changed, he sighed, slowly straightened his body, a revered expression also surfaced on his face, slowly said, “That lady's name, was called 'Ling Long'!"
The duskiness without seeing daylight, the lofty black trees entangled with each other, human and beast bones remnants seen everywhere in the forest, there was even eerie ﬂickering phosphorescent lights from the white bones, all of these, was what Jin PingEr was looking at.
Ever since she followed the evil shaman and entered into the mysterious eerie ten thousands great mountains forests world, after trudging across two dangerously steep mountain ranges, she came to a huge expanse of black forest and presented before her, was this scene.
This was her third day in the black forest. The boundless darkness before her, it was unmoving as if it had froze, anxiety appeared on Jin PingEr's lovely face. She walked forward one step and a light sound was heard from her feet below, she looked down, a ghastly white human skull rolled to a side on the ground, how long exactly has this person been dead here?
Jin PingEr sighed, slightly shifted with her foot and swept the skull to the side.
Even though she was already mentally prepared before entering the ten thousands great mountains but Jin PingEr did not expect that it would be this other-worldly and perilous in here. Not to mention the toxic miasma that would be fatal if not careful. On her journey in, she met quite a number of unheard strange beasts, to describe as strange beast would also seemed inappropriate, these things seemed most likely were transformed over from some species of ferocious beasts, like tiger and leopard fusion, pig and bear etc but these did not seem to be as intelligent as the previously encountered human ﬁsh tribe.
However although these abnormal animals were savage, they were only so to ordinary people, to Jin PingEr who hailed from Evil Sect HeHuan Sect, they were still easy to deal with and therefore she still found her journey easy, just that the omnipresent miasma made her on tenterhooks everyday, not letting her guard down even for a minute.
And the evil shaman that she was stalking from afar, seemed not to be expecting someone would follow him into the ten thousands great mountains so that was why until now, Jin PingEr did not lose him but just that that ferocious dragon beside the evil shaman really gave Jin PingEr a headache. No matter how she concealed herself, whenever she went near the evil shaman, that rapier-like sense dragon would always be alerted, after a few times, Jin PingEr did not dare to go near the evil shaman again.
And now, Jin PingEr using HeHuan Sect handed down pursuing skill, following the evil shaman from afar, and after they entered the black forest, in those three days the evil shaman never once rest, using the same speed traversing the forest.
Jin PingEr was highly-skilled and three days without rest to her was still sustainable but regardless she would still feel some tiredness and that evil shaman ahead of her seemed not to be a human, travelling ahead using the same speed.
The phosphorescent lights glimmering in the black forest, like a feeble light in the darkness undecided between staying alive or dying out, again like a silent other-worldly eye, watching this intruder.
Suddenly, a loud cry in the darkness, a pig-head-bear-body strange beast suddenly dashed out from the side, pounched towards Jin PingEr, Jin PingEr frowned, her body ﬂew up, slashed and waved her hand while in the air, a brilliant purple light ﬂashed twice in the darkness.
Purple Light Sword!
The beast charged past the place where Jin PingEr was just standing and overshot it a few good steps, suddenly it made a strange long howl, its entire body emitted a light mufﬂed sound at the same time, [pong] a sound, blood splattered everywhere, this strange beast's body split into half from the middle, fell onto the ground and twitched a few times and then ceased moving. The blood that ﬂowed out, under the faint phosphorescent lights of the forest, slowly seeped into the ground, turning into a dark colour.
Before Jin PingEr could land, in the darkness ahead, countless of wild beasts' roars suddenly erupted, instantly breaking the tranquility, like hundred of beasts crying out to the sky, rippling in the darkness, the next moment behind those glimmering phosphorescent lights, pairs of various sizes ferocious eyes emerged, glinting in the darkness.
Jin PingEr inhaled deeply, her face turned pale a few degrees.
Following a long long howl, like a gigantic river gushing down abruptly, the galloping footsteps sounds broke the stillness, slowly lengthening, surrounding Jin PingEr in the centre.
In that instant, innumerable strange beasts dashed out from the darkness, pounced towards that solitary ﬁgure. Jin PingEr's ﬁgure weaved among the avalanche of beasts, at the same time the purple light glimmered in her hand, each time she brandished, there would be animals that cried out and died. Just that the number of beasts was really too many, in a short while they packed tightly into the large swathe of land, Jin PingEr almost had no place to land, until the end, she was already leaping and moving using the backs of the animals.
In a short time, the number of beasts killed by Jin PingEr's Purple Light Sword had already exceeded twenty but Jin PingEr's legs and feet had also been slashed with several wounds. And in the darkness ahead, there seemed to be still endless number of beasts charging out, really made one perplexed as to where exactly did all these beasts come from in this black forest.
Jin PingEr closed her lips lightly, knew that she could not get entangled with those ferocious animals, her right feet stretched a little down onto a tiger-head-leopard-body beast's back and leapt up entirely into the air, ﬂying upwards.
Initially Jin PingEr did not want ﬂy above the forest top as ﬁrstly she would be revealing her objective and it seemed like the miasma also extended up to the forest top; secondly even more important was, after leaving the forest, to continue stalking the evil shaman, it would be even harder.
However at that moment, she could not care more. Her body ﬂying straight up, although the beasts on the ground were savage but it looked like not one could ﬂy, numerous beasts congregated below roaring, extremely terrifying and horrible.
Just when Jin PingEr was about to reach the top of the trees, suddenly a strange sound was heard, the black trees which were densely crowded together, suddenly seemed to come alive all together, the black shadows ﬂickered and numerous black ﬁgures pounced down from above, thick bloody smell wafted out, most likely those were also toxic.
Jin PingEr although was shocked but was calm, her body paused in the mid-air, purple light ﬂashed, a purple halo immediately appeared above her head, the next moment those dark ﬁgures struck down from the air, once they touched the purple light, crackling sounds erupted unceasingly, instantly several dark ﬁgures disintegrated and scattered ﬂying, looking at it from afar, it was those black tree branches but in the air, black ﬂuid splattering also carried a extremely bloody odour. Although Jin PingEr managed to block the trees but her body was still being beaten down, the innumerable strange beasts on the ground turned excited, each howl and roared, a few even excitedly jumped up, leaping towards her body.
Jin PingEr's face was pale, she brandished the sword in succession, the purple light surged and immediately shifted down from her head to below her body, before her body landed, hair-rising sounds of [tut tut] were already made incessantly, within the purple light circumference, several beasts' bodies broke apart with a blast, blood spattered and even Jin PingEr's clothes was also dyed a big patch of red.
But the smell of blood aroused the strange beasts surrounding her, immediately several other strange beasts again pounced over. Sweat began to form on Jin PingEr’s forehead, without any hesitation, the purple sword waved and blocked a group of beasts, exerting strength her body ﬂew up.
Right now, Jin PingEr was in an extremely dangerous situation, below her innumerable savage beasts pursuing, above her limitless bizarre trees obstructing, she could neither go up or down and could only ﬂy with all her might in-between the forest. In the black forest, by now howls and roars of the strange beasts reverberated far and near, the black wind whistled, a scene of hell on earth.
Dodging the sharp claws of the beast which had leapt into the air, Jin PingEr with one slash chopped across the middle of a black tree what had obstructed the path ahead, ﬂying across it. And what revealed ahead, was even more strange beasts and boundless demon-like black trees…
Escaping ahead while ﬁghting like that, not knowing how much time had passed, just when Jin PingEr was reaching her limit, suddenly in the stretch of darkness ahead, a trace of light was seen.
Jin PingEr was exulted, her spirits boosted greatly, the Purple Light Sword exploded with light and struck directly onto the head of an enormous grey wolf which had pounced up from the ground, her body ﬂying ahead with all her might.
The shadows danced, like demons crying, numerous black trees pressed down from above, Jin PingEr was sheltered by the purple light, killing beasts upon sight and chopping trees upon sight, blood and ﬂesh splattered everywhere, ghosts wailed and wolves howled, she in this sinister, unfathomable black forest, forced out a path by killing. Behind her, remnants of trees, animals corpses, blood and black ﬂuid, splattered and sprayed.
When she dashed out from that forest, this lovely mesmerizing woman, was covered from head to toe in blood, like a blood human, an unspeakable horror.
But when she took a clearer look at her surroundings, while panting heavily, her countenance changed. Where she was now, was actually on a cliff, just that there was a huge rock stone exposed outside the black forest, under the rock, clouds drifted, when the light from the horizon shone through, a strange colourful light seemed to shift in it.
With one look, Jin PingEr knew those colourful clouds contained the most poisonous miasma, an immediate death for one. Right now, the black forest behind her, roars from the innumerable beasts again rang out, just right behind her. Jin PingEr clenched her teeth, grabbed the Purple Light Sword tighter, she whipped around but felt a ringing sound in her head, almost unable to stand upright, even her body wavered a few times. For the past few days, she did not have any rest and today facing the innumerable beasts and evil trees, even a man made from iron would also ﬁnd it strenuous.
She got a shock, a thought ﬂashed past her in this ﬂint-spark moment, “Don’t tell me I have to die here”, regrets secretly started to form, she should not have discover the clandestine relationship between the evil shaman and ShangGuan Ce and took the risk to come in. However, in the next moment, she suddenly realized, those beasts were still howling and roaring, even standing at where she was, indistinctly she could see the beasts in the dark forest leaping around heavily, extremely enraged but for some reason, not one walked out from the black forest.
Maybe, they originally did not belong to this world and so could only live in that eerie forest…
This realization made Jin PingEr ﬁnally heaved a sigh of relief and under the light, those black demonic forests seemed to be frozen and did not make any attack movements towards her anymore.
Standing on the rock, she could feel the mountain breeze behind her carrying an indistinct foul odour from the cliff, Jin PingEr’s body softened and sat precariously down.
The wind ﬂuttered her clothes, she then discovered her body was covered in dirty blood, inspite of all of these, she was still a girl and this discovery made her felt disgusted, she quickly bend her head down and started to tidy up.
Suddenly, in the black forest, a deafening rumble boomed out, immediately suppressing the innumerable beasts’ cries, before Jin PingEr could look up, a sheet of huge shadow leapt out swiftly from the forest and in her direction.
Jin PingEr only felt the entire sky had abruptly darkened and shrouded in that shadow, cried out in alarm and subconsciously used the Purple Light Sword to block above her head. The Purple Light Sword had only just started to light up when the shadow had already arrived, a wave of huge strength hit her ﬂying out, her body in the air and it could be seen that she had already thrown up blood.
Her body ﬂipped and turned in the air, after a few times, she had already ﬂew over the rock under her feet, going down, the mountain breeze whistled and the next moment, her ﬁgure could not be seen anymore.
A deep low roar, that shadow landed on the ground, it was that ferocious dragon beside the evil shaman, it stretched its predator’s mouth wide opened, a ﬁerce glare sweeping all around, those strange beasts in the forest seemed terriﬁed of this dragon, by now there was no other movements, all actually had quietly ﬂed.
The black ﬁgure wavered, the evil shaman in black unhurriedly drifted out from the forest, passing by the dragon and came to the cliff, the humongous dragon body unhurriedly followed behind him. The evil shaman leaned forward and glanced down the cliff, he saw only indistinct ripples within the colourful clouds, evidently something had dropped down, he turned and nodded slightly, gently patted the ferocious dragon’s body.
The dragon quietly rumbled.
The evil shaman sneered, without turning his head, he drifted into the forest, the dragon was about to follow when suddenly it stopped, glanced towards the cliff but there was only stillness, nothing had happened.
The dragon’s ﬁerce eyes shining, stopped for a while and eventually turned and ran towards the direction of its master, [suo suo] sounds were heard from the forest and then gradually lowering until it disappeared.
The mountain breeze blew, rolling up the ﬁne dust on the ground, covering the blood stains, as if nothing had ever happened. After a very long time, suddenly a quiet sound, purple light ﬂashed from the side of the cliff, a human ﬁgure ﬂipped over from below the rock, it was Jin PingEr.
Once she landed, she immediately breathed heavily, on her fair snow-white jade-like face, blood stains beside her mouth, clearly her injuries were not light. Beside her right hand, the purple light slowly withdrew and returned into her sleeve. And her eyes, already towards her left hand, for some reason, there was an additional unusually-shaped knife, the back of the knife was serrated, its design primitive and crude, the thick short knife body suffused with the forest cold light, clearly she could see two words engraved on it - Kill-the-living!
Jin PingEr slowly raised her head, glanced at the direction where the evil shaman and the dragon had left, in the cold black forest, there was only stillness. Staring deeply for a long while, as if she was contemplating something, after half a day, her eyes again returned to that strange knife on her hand.
Her eyes, seemed to have a strange glint, the mountain breeze blew past, indistinctly heard her muttering to herself. “Was it Kill-the-living Monk…”
Chapter 133 - Farewell
Seven Mile Cave, Miao tribe Altar.
A new day, even the sunlight shining onto the altar platform seemed to give off a completely brand new smell, Ghost Li and Xiao Bai stood on the platform outside the altar located halfway up in the mountain, looking down at the land at the foot of the mountain which had been devastated by battle and ﬁre.
Destroyed buildings and ruins could be seen everywhere, the Miao people walking in and out, looking at it from the vantage point up above, they resembled ants working hard for their homes, Xiao Bai sighed, turned and looked at Ghost Li, “You better think twice, the evil monster in the ten thousands great mountains is not that easy to deal with!”
Ghost Li’s countenance without changing, spoke, “I am not even afraid of death, what else is there to fear?”
Xiao Bai shrugged her shoulders, gave a slight wry smile and shook her head, just at this moment, a sound of [zhi zhi] was heard, both of them turned and it was Xiao Hui who was running over. However, there was something strange with its gait, the next moment, both of their eyes at the same time unexpectedly came to the monkey’s hands, each was carrying a big bag and it was the bag that the Miaos had used to store their liquor.
Ghost Li stunned for a while, turned slowly to Xiao Bai, Xiao Bai laughed and said, “Don’t look at me, I don’t know about this.”
Xiao Hui, very quickly came near, looking at its expression, it was greatly different from its master and Xiao Bai’s heavy moods, it was clearly very excited and could not stop grinning, the faint wine fragrance wafted out from the two big bags in its hands. The two bags looked bulging, seemed like both were ﬁlled up to the brim, very much different from the leftover small bags from the liquor contest a few days ago.
The previous day while Ghost Li, Xiao Bai and the great shaman were discussing the details, the monkey Xiao Hui was really bored in the dark altar, the monkey’s nature was active, how could it bear it and so quietly slipped out, at that time Ghost Li’s heart was heavy, surprised and delighted emotions ran through him and so did not sense Xiao Hui’s leaving.
Xiao Hui for some reason, recalled the wonderful wine it had drank previously and had a strong urge to drink, so it slipped down the mountain to the Seven Mile Cave. After the devastating battle, the Miao’s homes were destroyed and the people while hard at work, did not pay attention to Xiao Hui who after all looked just to be a grey-furred monkey, after a few searches, the monkey found two big bags of unopened strong liquor in the rubbles.
Xiao Hui hid the two bags of wine somewhere secret for the night and early this morning, when they were about to set off, the monkey then ran and dragged these two bags out, clearly it planned to enjoy them along the journey.
Just that when it saw its master and Xiao Bai facial expressions, Xiao Hui felt uncertain, its monkey eyes opened wide and looked at these two people, after a while, Xiao Bai covered her mouth and laughed lightly, spoke to Ghost Li, “Forget it, you have already promised the Miao on such a big matter, even if taking...erm, taking two of their wine bags, it is also no big deal!” Before she ﬁnished her words, she herself started to laugh, Ghost Li shook his head, slowly turned and left, leaving Xiao Hui with its big eyes, looking at Xiao Bai then at Ghost Li, its hand placed a bag down and scratched its head, looked bewildered.
Deep inside the altar, the Miao tribe leader Tu MaGu and the great shaman sat facing each other, there was no one else.
Tu MaGu kept quiet for a long while, the great shaman also did not speak, the air carried a stiﬂing atmosphere, ﬁnally, Tu MaGu’s face changed, it seemed like he could not bear it and said, “Great shaman, you are so severely injured, why must you go with these two Central Plains people?”
The great shaman gently sighed and said, “I have just explained to you.”
Tu MaGu hatefully said, “Li tribe stole our sacred weapon, we must get it back even if it means our lives, why must we seek outsider’s help?” The great shaman shook his head and said, “You are wrong.”
Tu MaGu was stunned, said, “What?”
The great shaman paused then quietly said, “If it is really the Li tribe who stole our sacred weapon, I would not be this worried, I am only afraid...ai!”
Tu MaGu bewildered, said, “Great shaman, what do you mean?”
The great shaman said, “Do you still remember the Evil Beast legend that is passed down to each generation?”
Tu MaGu’s countenance changed greatly, said in shock, “Don’t tell me that the legend is true?”
The great shaman laughed bitterly and said, “It has always been true, at that time when Ling Long Lady sacriﬁced herself to seal the Evil Beast in the Subdue Devil Cave and her last wishes for her people to never allow the ﬁve Evil Beast sacred weapons to return again to the cave, but today, the ﬁve sacred weapons have all already lost, I’m afraid that it is really the sign that the Evil Beast is going to be revived.”
Tu MaGu’s face showed a mix of emotions, he as the Miao tribe leader, naturally knew the gravity of this legend but after a long time, he still could not help it but said, “Great shaman, as such with this situation, all the more you cannot leave, what if...with you around, our tribe people will feel safer.”
The great shaman quietly shook his head, said, “This old life of mine probably only have not more than thirty days of time.”
Tu MaGu’s body shook greatly.
The great shaman sighed and said, “Actually how would I be willing to leave, once I leave on this trip, most likely I will die in a foreign land. But now that the ﬁve tribes are divided and breaking up within themselves, people with talent have completely dwindled down, in the event that my predictions are true then no one will be able to deal with the danger. That Central Plains young man although is still young but he possesses unusual skills and that black stick with him, has a strong murderous aura and evil energy, it is something I have never seen before. But the most important instead is…”
He glanced meaningfully at Tu MaGu, lowered his voice, whispered, “The most important thing is that the object which is said to contain thousands of ﬁre essences ‘Inferno Mirror’, is with him.”
Tu MaGu was shocked, said, “What, isn’t that object at FenXiang…”
The great shaman signaled with his eyes, Tu MaGu understood and stopped his sentence but the shock in his eyes, never reduced.
The great shaman unhurriedly said, “That day when I ﬁrst met him, the Dog Deity statue behind me showed unusual signs, the holy ﬁre also displayed warnings and the two Evil Beast sacred weapons, Black Staff and Jade Bone, were also agitated, if it was not the supreme object, Inferno Mirror, that repressed the Evil Beast then there was no others. As for how did FenXiang Valley lose this holy object, that I do not know.” Tu MaGu did not speak.
The great shaman paused for a while and continued, “And then later on in my speech, I deliberately mentioned the history of the Inferno Mirror, both were as expected shocked, especially when Eight Savage Inferno Formation was mentioned, both of their expressions changed greatly, I guessed that they must have intricate relationship with this magical weapon and formation.”
Tu MaGu heaved a long sigh, evidently those words were deﬁnitely not what he had expected.
The great shaman faintly said, “You too know, the legend that is passed on for generations in our Miao tribe, only the Inferno Mirror and Eight Savage Inferno Formation can repressed the Evil Beast, now let’s not say that the Inferno Mirror is not with us, even if we were to snatch it from the young man, I’m afraid nobody can wield it, and that unfathomable enigmatic Eight Savage Inferno Formation, even less so. So, under such circumstances, that young man is really our southern border people’s only hope, even if I were to die in a foreign land, I must go with him, I only hope before I die, I can save his friend’s life, hoping that with this small amount of gratitude, he would help our Miao tribe.”
Tu MaGu’s lips quivered, the deep wrinkles on his aged face, without realizing, tears trickled down. He faced the great shaman, slowly bend his body down, his head pressed onto the cold ﬂoor.
The great shaman smiled, his expression also looked melancholy, said, “After I am gone, all of you do not have to worry for me, if that young man is sincere, I guess he will send my body back home. The affairs here will all have to depend on you.”
Tu MaGu did not raise his head, his voice low and slightly hoarse, said, “Great shaman, please do not worry.”
The great shaman faintly said, “This trip of mine, the most only amounts to a death and don’t really mean anything. But you in the southern border, the forthcoming days would be turbulent, the other four tribes do not know the height of heavens or the depth of the earth, after watching our Miao tribe fall from power, most likely they would take advantage of the situation; And in the ten thousands great mountains, the Evil Beast could revive at anytime, great calamities are imminent, you shoulder great responsibilities, you yourself must also take care.”
Tu MaGu clenched his teeth, acknowledged.
The great shaman slowly stood up, looked around and suddenly said, “If the situation really becomes desperate, although the Seven Mile Cave is where our Miao generations reside but it is not that we cannot abandon it, as long as our people are around, there is hope in the future.”
Tu MaGu’s face paled a few degrees, slowly said, “Yes.”
The great shaman heaved a long sigh, unhurriedly walked out.
When that stooped ﬁgure, assisted by Tu MaGu, following Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, walked down from the mountain, not many noticed. But following the sounds of footsteps, the great shaman ﬁgure which had not appeared in the streets of Seven Mile Cave for unknown number of years, ﬁnally caught the Miao’s people attention, following a sound of delightful exclamation, more and more Miao people stopped what they were doing and gathered over.
The great shaman smiling, waving continuously to the surrounding Miaos but he never stopped, walked straight to the exit of the Seven Mile Cave.
Finally, the Miaos slowly sensed something was not right, within the crowd, some started to shouted loudly in Miao language, Ghost Li and Xiao Bai although did not understand but presumably they knew what they were shouting.
The great shaman’s face looked melancholy, on the face that showed the vicissitudes of life, his smile gradually disappeared and replacing it, was clearly sorrow.
Just that he still remained silent. Just only waving.
Slowly walking further.
Tu MaGu also stopped his footsteps, standing in front of the people, silently watching that hunched ﬁgure.
By now the cries of alarm and sobbings from the crowd had already reached an intensity, many were shocked and confused and many more had already started to kneel in the direction where that elder was gradually heading.
Ghost Li who was walking behind the great shaman, silently glanced towards the elder and realized that on the aged elder’s face, tears were already streaming down.
Finally, they reached the pass leading out of the mountain valley, the cries behind them had already resounded throughout the entire valley. The elder’s body started to tremble, suddenly, he turned around abruptly, once again, gazed upon this land, this valley, this stretch of sky…
The Miaos at a distance cried out in surprise, many exultingly jumped up from the ground.
Then, the next moment, the great shaman closed his eyes tightly, as if he wanted to imprint everything that was on this land into his heart, his eyebrows knitted tightly and once again, turned back.
The valley, suddenly turned silent.
Numerous eyes, seemed to be shouting silently behind!
The great shaman’s face twitched slightly, slowly, slowly he stepped forward, disappeared into the tunnel.
In the Seven Mile Cave, silence descended. After a very long while, someone made the ﬁrst cry and the next moment, weeping sounds of grief resounded in the entire valley.
Ten thousands great mountains.
Traversing the black forest and again crossing the seven treacherous mountain ranges, there was a lofty mountain that was shrouded perpetually in black gas and with Yin cold wind whistling throughout. And in this barren, stripped clean mountain without a single tree and grass, there was a big cave, the entrance had a height of three zhangs, width of ﬁve, Yin cold winds constantly whistling out from it, mixed with sharp strange sounds, as if there was a furious spirit howling incessantly.
In the centre of the cave entrance, a statue stood upright, like the size of a real human, it looked to be a beautiful lady, facing into the Subdue Devil Cave, silently standing. The unceasing whistling Yin cold wind constantly blowing onto the statue, emitting deep sounds, like in a storm, that fragile wooden plank shielding against the wind and rain. Just that, she would never retreat!
A black-attired evil shaman, right now was standing before this statue, quietly staring.
That ferocious dragon beside him seemed to be especially fearful of this statue, subconsciously stood at a distance, sneaked one glance around, called out once, stretched its feet and ran up towards the lofty mountain and in a short while, disappeared into the black air.
The bone-chilling Yin wind rufﬂed the evil shaman’s black clothes, in this desolate scenery, this person also gradually appeared to be an illusion, carrying a trace of surreal.
He gazed on like that, for a very very long time, until even Jin PingEr also started to suspect if this person in black had also turned into a statue.
With luck escaping from that black forest and at the same time unexpectedly discovering a deeply-embedded Kill-the- living knife in the cliff under that enormous rock, made Jin PingEr surmised that the great general Kill-the-living Monk of Ghost King Sect actually made it here before her?
But even though the Kill-the-living knife was here, Kill-the- living Monk was not seen, weapon without its owner, the danger could be deduced easily, most likely Kill-the-living Monk had met with a mishap. In the ten thousands great mountains, it was really great danger in every step.
However even after Jin PingEr deliberated over it, she still continued to stalk the evil shaman. She knew that the evil shaman possessed unusual skills and so along the way was even more careful, not once did she dare to be careless and never went near that black-clothed monster and that dragon, in addition the evil shaman most probably assumed the stalker who was pursuing him had already died in the black forest and so did not detect Jin PingEr behind him, and like that Jin PingEr followed him to this entrance of the Subdue Devil Cave.
Right now Jin PingEr crouched behind one of the small hill, watching that black ﬁgure from a distance, she could not help but start to wonder if this black-clothed person was planning to stand before this female statue forever? Ever since after they arrived at the Subdue Devil Cave until now, the evil shaman had been staring at that female statue and unmoving for more than eight hours.
Just when Jin PingEr was about to close her eyes and sleep due to boredom, the evil shaman’s ﬁgure ﬁnally moved. Jin PingEr immediately became alert and quickly watched carefully.
That evil shaman seemed, after a long period of contemplation, or maybe struggle, ﬁnally made up his mind, facing that female statue, he quietly bend and respectfully bowed.
From afar, Jin PingEr watched that shaman, while facing the statue, he seemed to mutter something but as the distance was too great, she could not hear a word, following which, the shaman unhurriedly turned and drifted into the cave.
Jin PingEr frowned tightly, the bewilderment in her heart grew even bigger, that ancient cave obviously contained some important secret and very likely this was the location where the mysterious ﬁgure was whom was mentioned in the conversation between ShangGuan Ce and the evil shaman. But in this deserted place, barren hill wild water, why would there be a female statue here and erected just right in the centre of this stone cave entrance?
And looking at how that evil shaman behaved towards the statue, clearly he had close relations with it and most likely an obscured past.
Just when Jin PingEr watched as the evil shaman was about to disappear into the cave, she decided to sneak over and take a good look at that statue when suddenly the evil shaman stopped.
Jin PingEr was shocked, she thought her cover was exposed in her haste and regretted immediately, while she was panicking, she discovered that the evil shaman did not even turn his head over at her direction and did not seem to have detect her.
She then felt relieved and quickly concealed herself, peeped out again and looked towards the cave entrance. What she saw made her almost could not believe her eyes.
In front of the female statue, in the Subdue Devil Cave entrance, a mass of white air suddenly appeared, contrasting greatly against the black air and the Yin cold wind. The evil shaman also stopped, quietly watching the mass of white air.
The white air grew bigger and formed into a human ﬁgure, looking from Jin PingEr’s direction, it was a tall broad man, his right hand holding a gigantic sword, his left hand holding a big shield. His body was made up completely of the white air, wavering in the Yin cold wind but his body movements as well as his facial expression, were clearly discernible.
Jin PingEr was stunned beyond words, after a long pause she drew a breath of cold air and mumbled to herself, “What a good apparition!”
She after all came from the Evil Sect and knew a few things about ghosts and demons: Passed down since ancient times, humans give birth, age and die, only spirits remained, when a human dies, the spirit leaves the body, to reincarnate, life after life, endless cycle. And in the world, avenging spirits existed, with greed, anger, infatuation three poisonous causes, with fear, vice, afraid phobia causes, lingering in the world, holding onto their previous lives, unwilling to reincarnate, known as ‘spirits’.
When Ghost Li was still Qing Yun Sect junior disciple Zhang Xiao Fan, together with Lu XueQi dropped into KongSang Mountain Thousand Bats Ancient Cave’s Forsaken Abyss, in that heartless sea shore, they encountered numerous spirits. However those spirits were mortal spirits and were killed by Blood Forger Hall, unable to reincarnate, normal people encountering them expectedly would be killed but to the cultivated people, those were not powerful evildoers so at that time although Zhang Xiao Fan and Lu XueQi’s skills were still undeveloped therefore they were able to sustain for some time.
The spirit that Jin PingEr saw, was not those ordinary apparitions but was the legendary rare ‘ﬁerce spirit’. This type of spirit was most likely cultivated highly-skilled people when they were alive and after they were dead, because of some deep indignation or foolish thoughts, actually gave up reincarnation and rather stay guard over certain objects, became a desolate wild ghost, drifting in this Yang world. This type of ﬁerce spirit, their skills were already high and including other-worldly powers they possessed after death, were even more ferocious, ordinary cultivators were not their match at all and it could be said to be one in a thousand vicious apparition. Just that cultivators usually view reincarnation more seriously than common people and few would relinquish it, hence the reason for the rarity of ﬁerce spirits, this time Jin PingEr unexpectedly saw one, she was indeed really shocked.
However looking over there, that evil shaman seemed not to be shocked, facing this ﬁerce spirit blocking his path, he only unhurriedly looked up.
The ﬁerce spirit’s body was tall and broad, almost blocking the entire entrance, the evil shaman facing this spirit which resembled a war deity, suddenly sighed.
“You are ﬁnally willing to come out and see me?” He faintly said.
The ﬁerce spirit coldly watched him, his white air and the black shaman’s black clothes, like two extremities that could never reconcile. “You this traitor who has forsaken lady, what right do you have that you dare say those words?”
The evil shaman seemed to tremble, the one who was always so enigmatic actually seemed to be in pain over this one sentence.
He looked at that furious face, after a long time, still remained silent, slowly lowered his head.
Chapter 134 - Fierce Spirit
“Just let me pass!” The evil shaman after being silent for a long time, spoke slowly.
That ﬁerce spirit coldly stared at him, said, “Before the lady holy statue, you still don’t feel any remorse?”
The evil shaman’s black clothes again trembled slightly, it seemed that beneath his clothes, he was very agitated, just that, he never once turned back to look at that female statue.
“I did no wrong, it was lady who was wrong!” His voice rough.
The ﬁerce spirit suddenly bellowed furiously, the roar was as if the thunder in the horizon in an instant landed on the mortal world, blasting the surrounding sands and rocks away, “Bastard! You this shameless disciple, you dare to say such words!” Jin PingEr at a distance frowned tightly and reﬂexively covered her ears, she could not hear clearly the words exchanged but this sudden anger eruption from the ﬁerce spirit seemed like a thunder exploding beside her ears, making her ears rang.
Over there, the evil shaman had a black veil over his face, obscuring his expression but he was heard speaking and his voice was turning more and more anguished and desolated, “I did no wrong, I did no wrong…”
He muttered, not knowing if he was speaking to the ﬁerce spirit or to himself, or, perhaps he was speaking to the female statue behind him!
“Black Wood, hurry go kneel and seek forgiveness before the lady holy statue, sever your foolish ideas and we are still brothers, if not, from today onwards, do not blame me for being heartless.”
The evil shaman’s body shook, he raised his head and said, “You, you still acknowledge me as your brother?” “Yes!” The ﬁerce spirit shouted loudly, “Only if you sever your foolish ideas and after you seek forgiveness from lady holy statue, serve lady together with me, guard this Subdue Devil Cave, you Black Wood will forever be my brother!”
The black clothes on the evil shaman swayed with the wind, indistinctly one could feel the internal agitation of his heart, but, only after a moment, his body gradually calmed down and he turned silent. That ﬁerce spirit watched him, the initial anticipation expression ﬁnally turned into a deeper fury.
“You are still not turning back?” The ﬁerce spirit bellowed.
The evil shaman’s voice now had totally turned calm, like his usual tone, quietly said, “I can’t turn back anymore.”
[Roar!] The ﬁerce spirit bellowed, the enormous sword struck down, brandished before the evil shaman, in that instant sands ﬂew up, even the grounds at a distance also quaked.
Jin PingEr’s countenance changed, the powerfulness of the ﬁerce spirit’s skills, was way beyond her imagination. But the evil shaman did not show any fear, watched the ﬁerce spirit coldly, said, “Big brother…”
The ﬁerce spirit bellowed, “Shut up, I am not your big brother!”
The evil shaman indifferently said, “Even if you do not acknowledge me, you are forever my big brother. But it is really the lady who was wrong at that time and as things had turned out to be like this, I want to ﬁnish what lady did not complete!”
The ﬁerce spirit became even more infuriated, shouted, “Are you mad?”
The evil shaman inhaled deeply, said, “Even if I am mad, I must also do this!”
After speaking, his body ﬂoated and headed towards the cave. The ﬁerce spirit clearly was enraged, bellowed, his enormous sword striking towards the evil shaman’s head. The might of this sword was even more powerful than before, the rock walls of the ancient cave entrance trembled, looking like it was going to collapse.
Jin PingEr saw it from afar and could not help but worry for the evil shaman, just that the evil shaman had already submerged into the cave, his ﬁgure blocked by the stone walls, how he fought off the ﬁerce spirit, Jin PingEr was unable to see.
And in the ancient cave, after the dust settled, the ﬁerce spirit bellowed unceasingly but the evil shaman’s ﬁgure had already disappeared.
Deep in the darkness of the cave, the evil shaman’s faint voice was heard saying, “Big brother, in your lifetime and after your death, you are an unparalleled hero, just that, we are now the same kind of people, why must you…”
The ﬁerce spirit’s sharp howl, extremely bleak, as if a raging ﬁre was consuming its lungs. The Subdue Devil Cave was silent, evidently the evil shaman had gone far.
The ﬁerce spirit after a moment, unhurriedly turned towards that statue at the entrance, its huge body slowly twisted, layers of white air, like smoke, shrouded the female statue.
The quiet voice choked with emotions, seemed a separate world of forlorn and vicissitudes, carrying an indistinct sense of helplessness, between Heaven and Earth, quietly reverberated. And his body, also gradually dispersed, disappearing in the black air and Yin cold wind.
The cave again regained its tranquility, as if nothing had happened. Only that female statue was still erected there and the unceasing whistling of the Yin cold wind from deep inside the cave, howling unceasingly.
That sound, seemed to be even more mournful. Central Plains, south, Majestic Fox Mountain.
Below the desolate mountain range, concealed the Evil Sect Ghost King Sect headquarters, countless of Evil Sect disciples busily walking in and out.
And in the recesses of this place, in an enormous naturally- formed cave, Ghost King expressionlessly stood on the platform, looking down on the two ancient beasts in the blood pool.
The Kui Niu soaked within the blood water, unmoving, its eyes also looked dull. And the Yellow Bird which initially was still struggling with vigour, now seemed to be suppressed under some unnatural powers, its spirit also subdued, quietly soaked in the blood water, not moving anymore.
Suspended in the air the Hidden Dragon Cauldron, glimmered with red light, revolving slowly, projecting streams of red light screens, enveloping Kui Niu and the Yellow Bird within it. The thick smell of blood, ﬁlled up this cave.
A black ﬁgure suddenly ﬂashed, the most mysterious ﬁgure in Ghost King Sect, Mr Ghost, ﬂew up and appeared beside the Ghost King.
Ghost King looked at him, said, “How is it?”
Mr Ghost’s disguise looked similar to that mysterious evil shaman in the southern border, both were dressed in black clothes with black veils masking their faces, only his voice seemed to be much older.
His veil swayed slightly, he nodded slightly and said, “It is almost done, Kui Niu has conceded and within three days, the Yellow Bird will submit to the formation. The Four Divinities Blood Formation
Is already half completed.” Ghost King did not speak, slowly nodded his head.
Mr Ghost faintly said, “Not including the Good Faction, half of this Four Divinities Blood Formation’s power is already sufﬁcient to crush Wan Du Clan and HeHuan Sect.”
Ghost King glanced at him, drawled, “What I want to deal with is Qing Yun Sect Zhu Xian Sword Formation.”
Mr Ghost was silent.
Ghost King turned around, walked off unhurriedly, at the same time said, “I will hasten to ﬁnd the other two spiritual beasts, the affairs here will have to trouble you.”
Mr Ghost watched that ﬁgure slowly went far away, a strange gleam ﬂashed in his eyes, not knowing what he was thinking.
After a long time, he turned around, pondering, suddenly he sighed, his ﬁgure ﬂashed and again ﬂew towards the blood pool.
In the ancient cave, the smell of blood suddenly again intensiﬁed.
Ghost King walked out from the blood pool cave, clasping his hands behind, he walked down the long tunnel and came to a cross junction, after hesitating for a moment, a trace of sorrow ﬂashed past his face, he turned and headed towards the right.
On the way, he met many Ghost King Sect disciples, all bowed in obeisance when they saw Ghost King, Ghost King did not acknowledge and only unhurriedly walked past, until the end of the path, to that icy cold stone chamber.
He stood in front of the door, his usual impassive face suddenly seemed much older. A quiet sigh, he pushed opened the stone door and walked in.
A gust of cold air greeted him, Ghost King closed the door behind him. The stone chamber was not very big and the furnishings were even simpler, only a ice stone platform in the centre, a pale-looking BiYao, quietly lying on top, both hands at her chest, clutching the golden [HeHuan Bell].
A lady, quietly sitting beside her, gazing at her.
Ghost King walked up, his eyes on his beloved daughter’s face, the corner of his eyes suddenly wrinkled, even his hands behind his back also could not help but clutched tightly together.
Ten years already, a total of ten years.
For ten years not a day passed where he had not grieved for his daughter, not even after he deliberately reduced the number of visits.
His only, beloved daughter…
His voice, suddenly turned deep and hoarse, “YouJi, leave me to be with BiYao for a while.” YouJi slowly stood up, turned and bowed slightly to Ghost King, she walked out.
Ghost King’s gaze swept over her, unspeaking.
A low sound, the stone door again shut, in the cold chamber, leaving only the father and daughter.
Ghost King came near to BiYao and sat beside.
“BiYao, as your father I have not come to see you for some time, are you mad at me…” His low deep voice, quietly reverberated in the chamber, carrying inﬁnite anguish
Only BiYao was still lying peacefully. Ghost King looked at that beautiful face, lost in his thoughts, “You really look like your mother! Even your temperaments are almost similar. Do you know, BiYao…”
“When your mother passed away, I didn’t get to see her for the last time but I know, she entrusted you to me. For so many years, I worry that I am not treating you well and would not be able to face your mother in the netherworld. But...but…”
This person who today commanded fear and hatred, right now even his voice also started to quiver, saying the words he had repeated countless times in these ten years, “Why, why are you so foolish…”
BiYao was silent, lying peacefully before him, on her pale face, not a single trace of pain or sadness, instead, there seemed to be an indistinct smile.
“BiYao…” Ghost King quietly called out and did not speak again. He quietly sat like that, accompanying his only beloved daughter. Until, on the icy cold stone chamber door, suddenly a [pi kou] knocking sound was heard.
Ghost King frowned, a murderous glint ﬂashed past his eyes, in these ten years, other than that Ghost Li, nobody dared to disturb him when he was with his daughter. As for Ghost Li, to him, there had always been only BiYao, Ghost King also did not say anything to him.
But now that Ghost Li was not around, someone dared to infringe on Ghost King’s taboo, it was really rare. Ghost King snorted, stood up and used his sleeve to lightly wipe his wet eyes, inhaled and when he turned around again, it was again that Ghost King who many held in awe and veneration.
He unhurriedly walked to the door, opened and stepped out.
Outside, there was only one person standing there - Qing Long.
Ghost King frowned, Qing Long was one of the four holy envoys of Ghost King Sect and more than that, his his right hand man and heavily relied trusted subordinate. And he had always done things with caution, would never make such action as to disturb his time with BiYao.
Seemed like something serious had happened.
Ghost King looked at him, Qing Long quietly said, “There is news from the southern border side.”
Ghost King frowned and said, “What is it?”
Qing Long glanced at Ghost King, said, “Heard that Ghost Li has already found someone who knows Soul Return Unusual Art and is bringing him back.”
This matter was deﬁnitely not trivial, Ghost King who had practised to maintain his composure right now revealed joy on his face, he subconsciously stepped forward and said, “Really?” Qing Long nodded, in his heart he muttered to himself, the deep bonds of ﬂesh and blood, it was a fact that nobody could sever.
Ghost King raised his head and looked up, inhaled deeply, composed his agitated emotions but both of his hands were still trembling, said, “Who is that person, how did Ghost Li manage to ﬁnd him?”
Qing Long said, “That person is from one of the southern border ﬁve tribes, the great shaman of Miao tribe, as for how Ghost Li knows that he possess the Soul Return skill, this I do not know.”
Ghost King nodded and said, “It doesn’t matter, as long as he can save BiYao, as long as he can save BiYao…” He wished that the great shaman and Ghost Li were in front of him right now.
“How many days have they been travelling and how many more until they arrive?” He continued to press on. Qing Long said, “This news is passed on to one of our scouts in the southern border by Ghost Li himself. Heard that because that great shaman is seriously injured and unable to ﬂy so they can only travel by foot.”
Ghost King was stunned, said, “Seriously injured, what happened?”
Qing Long said, “Heard that he sustained injuries during the internal ﬁghts between the ﬁve tribes, and also, “ He hesitated and said, “Seemed like Ghost Li also sustained serious injuries and it was inﬂicted by the Good Faction.”
Ghost King’s stare froze, said, “What happened?”
Qing Long shook his head and said, “I don’t know the details, the southern border has always been the main seat of the FenXiang Valley’s might, it is difﬁcult for our people to inﬁltrate in, I’m afraid we have to wait for Ghost Li for the details. However over at the southern border, it has always been lao er White Tiger in-charge, he is also the one who conveyed the news. But in his words, it seemed…” Ghost King coldly said, “What did White Tiger says?”
Qing Long remained silent for a moment, said, “White Tiger mentioned that coming back with Ghost Li, there is still an, an alluring woman.”
Ghost King’s countenance changed.
Qing Long glanced at Ghost King, slowly continued, “Also, White Tiger speciﬁcally mentioned one point in his news, that the monkey beside Ghost Li, seemed different.”
Ghost King’s eyes ﬂashed a glint of cold, after a while, he slowly said, “The three-eyed spirited monkey, its spiritual eye has already been opened?”
Qing Long was silent, did not reply.
Outside the icy cold chamber, it suddenly became quiet, Ghost King slowly turned, his eyes on that stone door. His gaze seemed to penetrate through the thick stone door, gazing at that girl who was lying peacefully.
“BiYao, are you watching father…”
Ghost King in his heart, faintly muttered this sentence.
Ten thousands great mountains, Subdue Devil Cave.
Jin PingEr quietly moved, headed near to where that mysterious eerie ancient cave entrance was.
The evil shaman had went in for some time, that ﬁerce spirit had also disappeared and did not appear again, the entire ancient cave entrance was an uncanny stillness, only the Yin wind from the cave was still whistling unceasingly.
Slowly, Jin PingEr came near that female statue. She cautiously went near, the surroundings was still very peaceful, even when she came about three chi in front of the female statue, there was still only the wind howling, no other movements at all.
Jin PingEr suddenly felt that she could almost hear her own heartbeats.
She composed herself and again scrutinized the surroundings, especially towards the cave entrance, over there there was only darkness, like a bottomless darkness concealing a horrible demon, opening its ferocious mouth and howling incessantly.
Jin PingEr slightly frowned, she sensed that within that darkness, evil energy towering in it, making her energy and blood channels ﬂowing in opposite directions, an uncomfortable sensation. However, right now her curiosity superseded everything, that female statue to her, seemed so mysterious, no matter what, she had to take a good look at this statue.
The next moment, her eyes landed on that statue. So it was a beautiful lady! Jin PingEr in her heart softly muttered.
Graceful eyebrows, slender across her face, her oval face showed some evident lines of resolution, her lips pressed together slightly, her eyes determined, like after going through thousands of difﬁculties and odds, she ﬁnally made a resolution. But, her face, her expression, were all strangely tender, a little heartbroken, a little forlorn.
Thousands of years of wind and frost, could it erase the beauty of the past?
You standing solitarily in these years, again for who?
Jin PingEr quietly gazed, slowly stretched out her hand, touching the female statue, she did not notice, behind her, just when her hand touched the statue, suddenly white air appeared, gradually amassing and forming into a human ﬁgure, it was that ﬁerce spirit. Under her hand, was actually rough rock, signs of exposure to the countless years of Yin wind and chilly snow, beatings of the wind and rain, as if beneath Jin PingEr’s fair hand, one by one revealing, from the statue, travelling up her hand and into her heart.
This lady, what kind of woman is she exactly?
Jin PingEr as if infatuated, deeply mesmerized by that female statue.
Behind her, that ﬁerce spirit had already completed its manifestation, fury on its face, its enormous sword swung up high, suddenly with a loud bellow, slashed down!
Chapter 135 - Revived
The darkness stretched inﬁnitely, only the screaming of the Yin wind turned more mournful. The evil shaman walked down the tunnel set in the darkness of the Subdue Devil ancient cave, like a spirit walking towards the netherworld.
The ancient cave broadened out as he walked deeper in but the darkness surrounding him became darker and darker. Walking on this cold eerie path, the evil shaman could even close his eyes while walking.
For so many years, he travelled to and fro this path alone, and now, ﬁnally he was going to change his destiny with his own hands.
Perhaps, also innumerable mortal humans’ destinies.
The Yin wind howled, just before him!
A faint glow suddenly appeared before him, no matter how faint that light was, in this pitch darkness it stood out especially.
The evil shaman stopped.
That faint light gently ﬂickered in the darkness, wavering between darkness and light, like beckoning, like enticing, like longing for, like ridiculing…
Wind, ﬂuttered his black clothes, like the previous number of years, he gazed at that place.
Many years ago, he was also standing here like this but at that time, he still have a brother beside him, before him, there was also a thin and weak but seemed to be able to shelter them from Heaven and Earth ﬁgure.
And now, only his lonely ﬁgure was left.
“Lady…” He lowered his head slightly, quietly muttered. Then, he ﬂoated ahead, diving into that light, like a determined moth.
The faint light surged, the Yin wind in the cave suddenly turned violent. The initial spot of light slowly spread out, illuminating the area.
The uneven ﬂoor, rotting white bones lay everywhere, some humans, some animals. The huge cave walls, solid rocks, under the illumination, revealed numerous criss-crossed cracks packed closely together, like being torn apart forcibly, a terrifying sight.
In the darkness, there was a voice, in the deepest recesses of the light, conveying a cold chill, lightly reverberated.
“You are back…”
The voice drawled, reverberating in this ancient rock walls. The evil shaman did not speak, he only stood in the light, after standing still for a long while, he then stretched his hand out, in his hand, it was the Black Staff with Jade Bone.
A loud roar suddenly exploded like thunder, erupting in the cave. The surrounding darkness instantly receded, deep inside the light, a piercing ray immediately ﬂashed, like the tentacle of a demon, stretching towards the evil shaman, towards that two objects, roaring crazily.
Even the thousands years old rock walls started to tremble, big small rocks trickled down.
The mournful Yin wind, now sounded like the heavy breathings of longing.
“...Do you still remember, the Lady’s face?” The evil shaman looked at that piercing light brandishing its claws in front of him, suddenly quietly said. In the bright light, the ﬂashing rays seemed to pause for a moment.
The evil shaman’s black clothes, ﬂapped strongly in the ﬁerce Yin wind.
Even his voice, seemed to be wavering, “Her statue, is still standing outside the cave entrance…”
There was no sound from the deepest recesses of the light, only its faltering rays, casted the evil shaman between darkness and light.
The evil shaman did not speak anymore, unhurriedly drifted up, into the deepest recesses of the light.
An area of open levelled ground suddenly emerged, contrasting with the outside, the solid rock walls were mostly untouched and on the ground, there were many huge skeletons and mostly were intact, counting carefully, there were about thirteen bodies. These thirteen bodies structures were all different, emanating tendrils of demonic air, forming a circle and all facing inside, as if watching over something. The black eerie empty eyes holes seemed to stare coldly.
Following the evil shaman’s sudden appearance, he started to approach this strange circle, suddenly, within the whistling of the Yin cold winds, a [long long] sound that made one’s teeth cringed was heard, few skulls of the white bones started to move, slowly turning around and facing the evil shaman.
At this ghastly heart-stopping moment, the evil shaman seemed unperturbed by those frightful skeletons, his eyes, from the start till now, was always at a spot.
It was at the centre of the thirteen bones circle.
A set of human white bones quietly lay on a three cun white jade platform, the difference of this skeleton with the others was, this set of human bones were covered with a silk cloth, for unknown number of years, under the faint illumination, the colour of the silk was still vivid. And all of the illumination, even the screaming Yin wind, were all emitted from this set of white bones.
The evil shaman slowly drifted near the bones.
The light orbited, strange rays lengthened and shortened at times, as if in the unseen world of spirits, a pair of eyes was watching him.
The surroundings, all of the thirteen skeletons suddenly made a [long long] sound, like being revived at the same time, the skulls turned, deep sockets stared at the evil shaman ﬁgure.
The next moment, the silk cloth rose and ﬂoated in the air.
There seemed to be a suppressed deep roar, in that instant that piercing light shone out from under the silk, like an unstoppable arrow that had left its bow, screaming in all directions. [Wu!], the evil shaman felt that light carried surging turbulent evil power, dashed past his own ears.
The violent winds, joined with sinister sneers, started to resound in this ancient cave.
Thirteen sets of skeletons, suddenly looked up at the same time, screaming to the sky!
In this unearthly atmosphere, the evil shaman unhurriedly landed before the white bones. In the white light, that set of human bones clearly revealed ﬁve areas where it had fractured, the right hand, left ankle, hyoid bone, skull and the entire spine was missing.
Right now, reﬂecting the light emanating from the bones, a white pearl was placed in the right hand, a jade dish at the left ankle and where the hyoid bone was fractured, a ring.
The evil shaman unhurriedly little by little, pulled out the Jade Bone set on top of the Black Staff, then gently placed it on top of the skull. There was a cracked small hole in the centre of the forehead and the Jade Bone ﬁtted just nicely in.
In the darkness, there seemed to be some sounds, summoning far away.
The evil shaman suddenly trembled, his entire body wavered, the light reﬂecting in his eyes, like two burning balls of white ﬂames.
That burning ﬁre, whose spirit and body was it?
He seemed to exclaim softly but nobody could hear clearly what he was muttering. The next moment, he placed that Black Staff into the middle of the bones, where the spine was.
Suddenly, the world turned quiet.
The howling wind stopped, the piercing light disappeared, the inﬁnite darkness like surging great sea waves soundlessly gushed over and drowned out everything!
Who was it, quietly waiting in the darkness?
That darkest darkness, or the imagined dawn?
When all had calmed down, like a desolate stillness that had never once changed throughout time, the white bones stopped their screaming and became silent.
A sound, in the deepest recesses of this darkness and stillness, quietly, sounded!
[Peng peng!] …
That was the sound of heartbeats, pulsing with new energy, everywhere was still pitch dark but like magic, the heartbeats instead became louder, slowly, babble sounds of water were heard.
No, no that was not water, that was blood bursting out from the heart in the vessels with great speed, carrying inﬁnite joy and unstoppable energy, dancing wildly in the darkness.
Hibernating for countless of years, after inﬁnite coldness, once again warmth!
Who was it, quietly panting in the darkness?
The gushing sounds intensiﬁed, like a shackled spirit gathering thousands of years of grudges, every drop of blood revived, all carried madness and obstination! Slowly, the strange sounds started, the solid rock walls once again trembled, the white bones in the darkness once again cried out, welcoming the revived evil spirit.
Only the evil shaman, his ﬁgure submerged in the darkness, he sensed the formless evil spirit dancing madly in front of him, sensed that revived spirit and the coursing blood vessels.
That feeling, almost drowned him…
A loud boom, a great force smashed a large hole in the solid ﬂoor, Jin PingEr ﬂew backwards out, missing narrowly this sneak attack from the back, her face turning pale.
The female statue seemed to possess some magic powers, she was completely enthralled by it and forgot where she was. However when she suddenly felt air movement above her head, her years of training woke her up from her reverie and escaped by almost a hair’s breath, saving her life back. Jin PingEr had not caught her breath yet when suddenly sharp wind sounds was heard behind her, that ﬁerce spirit had already caught up, his body was obviously made up of shapeless white air but the huge sword and shield wielded by him, were brandished around like a child’s toy.
Jin PingEr knew the powerful force of the attack and did not dare to receive it directly, her body swerved and she quickly leapt back to avoid, with these two strokes, the ﬁerce spirit had already drove Jin PingEr several zhangs away from the cave entrance.
Once she landed, Jin PingEr’s right hand ﬂipped, purple light surged, the Purple Light Sword already in her hand, facing the apparition, no matter what she could not let her guard down.
Just that although she was bracing for attacks, that ﬁerce spirit after driving her away more about three zhangs from the cave, did not pursue her, his shapeless body still ﬂoating beside that female statue.
“Who are you, dare to come to this evil place and dare to profane shaman lady’s holy statue?” That ﬁerce spirit stared with his huge eyes, coldly said.
Jin PingEr in her heart heaved a sigh of relief, composed herself, spoke clearly and loudly, “You are mistaken, I do not have the intention to offend this...lady’s holy statue, just that when I ﬁrst saw it, she was really too beautiful and I could not help but touch her statue.”
That ﬁerce spirit snorted, his face slightly appeased, most likely he was also aware that this statue possessed unusual powers but his tone was still cold, “Since you are still young and this is your ﬁrst offence, I will not hold it against you, this is a place of demons and ghosts, not a place for you, you better quickly go!”
Jin PingEr frowned, she had followed the evil shaman for so long, most probably the most important secret was in this Sudue Devil Cave, unexpectedly there was such a highly skilled apparition guarding the entrance, it was really troublesome, if she were to force her way in, not to say that it would most likely alert the evil shaman or some monsters inside, just this ﬁerce spirit was already not easy to deal with. While she was agonizing over it, the ﬁerce spirit noticed the girl’s eyes sweeping past him and the lady’s statue and at the same time, glancing involuntarily at the dark cave, obviously she was having thoughts about this cave and his countenance changed.
“Dai!” That ﬁerce spirit bellowed, said, “Lass, I advise you not to invite trouble, a powerful demon resides in this cave, if you go in you are seeking your own death. And I guarding this ancient cave, will deﬁnitely not allow outsiders to go in, you better give up this thought of yours!”
Jin PingEr humphed, how would she give up so easily, said, “Didn’t that person in black just entered too?”
The ﬁerce spirit was stunned, both of his eyes gleamed brightly, “So you followed that person here?”
Jin PingEr noticed his expression, had some inkling on the relationship between the two people but she continued to say, “Of course, that person looked neither like a human or a ghost...er, I am not speaking about you, don’t be angry!” Jin PingEr almost made a mistake with her words, hurriedly made up for her words to the infuriated spirit, then said, “That person in black snatched the southern border Miao tribe’s sacred weapon Black Staff, oh right, on top of it is the Li tribe’s sacred weapon Jade Bone, he just went in and I wanted to see what exactly was he going to do…”
Before she could ﬁnish, the ﬁerce spirit whose expression had suddenly changed greatly bellowed, forcing Jin PingEr to stop, at the same time shocked her greatly.
“What did you say, he has the Black Staff and Jade Bone?” The ﬁerce spirit’s body also started to shake violently.
Jin PingEr stunned, said, “Yes.”
The ﬁerce spirit howled to the sky, ﬁlled with grief and indignation, he abruptly turned around and looked like he was about to disregard everything and charge in, to ﬁnd that evil shaman and perish with him.
And at this moment, Jin PingEr and the ﬁerce spirit were both startled at the same time. The unceasing Yin wind blowing out from the ancient cave, suddenly ceased.
Between Heaven and Earth, like something was missing suddenly, was especially still.
The ﬁerce spirit’s face in an instant turned ashen.
His mouth opened wide, like he was going to say something and again like he was using all of his strength to shout, but, there was no sound.
Then, he slowly turned around, looked at the female statue, suddenly, his body again shook, his enormous body softened and actually kneeled before the female statue, crying loudly.
Jin PingEr was shocked, she came from the Evil Sect and had seen numerous unusual things but for a highly skilled ﬁerce spirit to burst out crying in front of her, it was something rare. However that ﬁerce spirit was grief-stricken, his huge body shook uncontrollably, although made up of white air but that anguished emotion was all shown vividly in front of her. Jin PingEr quietly shifted over, that ﬁerce spirit never noticed her. Until when she was near the statue and was about to sneak into the cave, suddenly, her body shook, her eyes on that female statue, stunned.
On the cold statue, that beautiful lady.
Two streams of clear tears, ﬂowing down from the eyes.
So, thousands and hundred years of time, is it that it still could not erase the deep sorrow...
Jin PingEr stood dumbfoundedly behind the ﬁerce spirit, looking at this grieving statue!
Inside the cave, a low chant was heard, like something had woken up from slumber and said the ﬁrst words.
The Yin wind started again, it howling even more mournful! Even the sky, the colour of the sky, above them, also darkened.
A ﬂash of lightning, pierced through the dark clouds.
A clap of thunder, exploded across the horizon.
Lightning ﬂashed and thunder roared, instantly tore across the sky, black clouds boiled and churned, surging over from the ten thousands great mountains, gathering above the Subdue Devil Cave.
Heavy rain came crashing down, mixed with huge hailstones, pelting the ground and creating pot holes.
Jin PingEr was startled, she avoided left and right, ﬂoating in the rain. That ﬁerce spirit instead suddenly lifted his head, looked at the sky, all of the wind, rain and hail seemed not to have any impact on him but his eyes was full of despair. “Ah!...”
He shouted to the sky.
While the shout of despair was on-going, a strange cry came from the Subdue Devil Cave, coming from a distance, increasing in speed, increasingly louder, until it became deafening, Jin PingEr felt a ringing in her head, as if her head was about to burst, her expression changed and she quickly brushed to the side.
And that ﬁerce spirit, suddenly turned, placed his huge body at the entrance, raised his shield, his enormous sword across his chest, his enraged eyes, without any slightest sign of fear, stood erect.
That whistling became louder and louder, in a blink it had already reached the entrance.
Deafening thunder suddenly exploded across the horizon, Heaven and Earth cried out, as if the entire ten thousands great mountains ranges shook at the same time. In the storm, the ﬁerce spirit looked like a helpless small boat being rocked around.
That stretch of darkness, like a demon beast brandishing its claws, pounced on him from the ancient cave.
The ﬁerce spirit bellowed, charged up to receive!
The enormous sword reﬂecting the lightning from the horizon, slashed towards the darkness, the black energy in that instant split from the middle but then again immediately bounced up together, with astounding speed shrouding his body in it.
The spirit yelled, from far, Jin PingEr still could hear that voice…
“Lady…” The next moment, the spirit disappeared, the black air like a mountain, gathering furiously at the cave entrance, facing the horizon, facing the earth.
A red light beam suddenly ﬂashed from the darkness.
A ﬁgure, a man who was wrapped in a vividly red coloured silk cloth, back facing the direction of Jin PingEr, slowly descended from the black air, stood before that female statue.
Behind him, the black air whistled sharply, shadows wavered, as if numerous demons were cheering in glee.
But his back ﬁgure seemed somehow different.
Standing before the statue, he silently stood in the storm.
Slowly, he stretched his hand out, gently caressed, that cold statue. Quietly his voice reverberated in the storm, traversing thousands and thousands of years, traversing innumerable wind, rain and snow.
Chapter 136 - Murderous Air
Central Plains “Xian Yong Mountain” located two hundred miles north, was the lofty “Majestic Fox Mountain”. Looking up from the bottom, one could see rugged rocks piercing the sky, towering and precipitous. However on the entire lofty mountain, not a single grass or tree, bleak and barren. On the left of the mountain range, spring water gushed out deep from within the mountain, converging into a river, called “Victorious Water”, ﬂowing towards northeast, as it meadowed down, more and more tributaries joined in, the river gradually grew until three hundred miles away, it emptied into another huge river, “Fen River”. According to legend, in this river, it yielded a type of dark green-blue precious jade but just that nobody had ever seen it.
One of the three powerful branches of the Evil Sect, Ghost King Sect headquarters was built deep in this solid sturdy mountain and very few knew of it. With Ghost Li as the guide, Xiao Bai and the great shaman travelled for ﬁfteen days and ﬁnally arrived here.
As the great shaman’s body was really too frail, the three of them plus the monkey had to walk, along the way, Ghost Li also once hired carriage for the great shaman. The long journey was arduous, the three of them were fatigue from travelling but between the great shaman and Ghost Li, they looked totally different.
Ghost Li’s injuries healed as the days passed, might be because he was young!
Instead the great shaman’s countenance looked more and more terrible, compared to ﬁfteen days ago when he just left the southern border Seven Mile Cave, his condition had deteriorated much, not to mention him looking pallid, ever since entering the mountain tunnel, without carriages or horses to ride on, although with the assistance of Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, he was still panting every few steps, his stamina extremely weak. Ghost Li was feeling anxious in his heart, at times could not help but fear, what if before they reach Majestic Fox Mountain, this life-saving great shaman should passed away then that would really be his eternal regret.
Luckily at today’s afternoon, under that pleasantly warm sunlight, the three of them ﬁnally saw that shining mountain top of Majestic Fox Mountain. Pausing although they had not reach their destination, Ghost Li heaved a sigh of relief, turned and spoke to the great shaman, “Senior, that mountain ahead is where we are headed. Just a short distance from here, slightly later in the evening and we will be able to reach the foot of the mountain.”
The great shaman let out a long breath, raised his eyes and gazed at that mountain, with a tired laugh he said, “Don’t worry! Young man, before I treat your friend who is deep in slumber, I will not die.”
Ghost Li was stunned and felt apologetic, quietly said, “Senior, I did not mean to…”
The great shaman’s tired eyes looked away, stretched his hand and patted his shoulder, smiled and shook his head, said, “I didn’t mean anything else, if it was me, I would be even more anxious than you.”
Ghost Li was silent, smiled and said, “Senior, we have walked for quite a while, let’s rest here ﬁrst, we still have to continue our journey later.” The great shaman looked like he was really tired, nodded, with the assistance from Ghost Li, found a rather ﬂat rock beside the path and sat down on it.
“Zhi zhi!” Xiao Hui who was on Ghost Li’s shoulder, called out twice and jumped down. Along the journey, Xiao Hui was the most energetic, without any sign of fatigue.
The monkey glanced around and saw sparse woods on both sides of the path, after calling out twice, it scurried in and in a blink disappeared.
Ghost Li glanced at where Xiao Hui disappeared and did not seem to be concerned, he turned back and intended to ﬁnd a rock to sit down too. Travelling for those past few days until today, although the injuries he had sustained in the Seven Mile Cave were grave but his nerves and bones were not injured, recovering as the days passed. However his right shoulder injury was still throbbing. He used his hand to gently feel his wound and FenXiang Valley Li Xun’s image ﬂashed before him, he sneered in his heart. But the next moment, behind Li Xun, there was another graceful ﬁgure, clothes as white as snow…
Ghost Li shook his head, feeling perplexed, while deep in his thoughts he suddenly heard Xiao Bai exclaimed, “How did Majestic Fox Mountain turned to be so barren, I looked for half a day and there was not a single grass or tree?”
Ghost Li frowned, said, “It is already like this when I ﬁrst came here.”
Xiao Bai stood beside him, brooded for a while, shook her head said, “At that time when I left, the mountain was verdant green, grasses and trees exuberant, completely different from now.”
Ghost Li shook his head and said, “Then that I do not know.”
Xiao Bai sighed and turned, did not speak anymore. Ghost Li glanced at her, he knew that a thousand years ago, she with her fox clan rested and built their families here and so had a different sentiment towards Majestic Fox Mountain but he did not know what to say and with his current emotional state, he did not want to chat much too.
Whenever he thought of BiYao was just in that mountain and perhaps by this time tomorrow, she would already regained her life energy back. And each time, Ghost Li felt his entire body’s blood seething with anticipation and could not concentrate on other things.
The three of them rested for a while and until the great shaman felt his strength slightly recovered, Ghost Li continued to lead them, to say leading, actually it was only the great shaman one person.
Xiao Bai walked ahead alone, her face calm and did not speak, gradually the surroundings started to feel familiar to her. Initially at a few junctions, she still would ask Ghost Li or waited for Ghost Li to proceed onto the correct path before following. Later on, her past memories seemed to be awaken and involuntarily she became the person leading, bringing the rest of them, traversing the mountain path to Majestic Fox Mountain.
Xiao Hui who had returned from the forest, its hands again full of wild fruits, munching away. At its back, a big bag of wine was still there. There were two wine bags initially but while travelling, it drank it from time to time, the monkey’s alcohol tolerance seemed to have also increased, after ﬁfteen days, it could actually ﬁnish one big bag and still not drunk.
Along the way, Xiao Bai saw the monkey dragging the bags along, swinging to and fro and felt it was really troublesome and so used a cloth to made a girdle so that Xiao Hui could carry it on its back. That was so much better and Xiao Hui was even happier, carrying the wine bags everywhere the whole day. Three humans and one monkey, accompanied with the munching sound from the monkey, each with their different emotions silently travelling.
The sun gradually set in the west, the sky also started to darken, when it was evening, they ﬁnally reached the foot of the mountain. Almost at the same time, the great shaman and Xiao Bai both got a shock, the great shaman seemed to sense something, glanced at Xiao Bai, quietly said, “You also felt it?”
Xiao Bai frowned slightly, with her thousand years spiritual fox cultivation, this spiritual energy and sense were naturally not simple and were extremely sensitive. Almost at the same time when they just reached the bottom, she suddenly felt that in this mountain, under what seemed to be an ordinary desolation, indistinctly a waft of thick murderous air emanated.
The intensity of this air, even with her highly skilled cultivation she also could not help but felt fear. After carefully feeling it, with her own sharp spiritual intelligence energy, she could deduce that there were two dispirited spiritual energy, although unwilling but they could only resign to their fates, submitting themselves in the murderous air.
This mountain, most likely had a big secret!
Slowly withdrawing the shock look on her face, replacing it immediately with her usual countenance, she turned and looked at the great shaman, she did not expect that this old man who was weary and dying, could still have such sharp senses, it seemed like the southern border shaman arts really had its unique characteristics.
She slowly nodded, suppressed her voice and said, “What a strong murderous energy!”
The great shaman was silent for a moment, nodded, both of them glanced sideways at Ghost Li but on Ghost Li’s face, he also had a strange look.
In his sleeve, the Sinister Orb on the black Soul-devouring stick suddenly lighted up, blood-red light circulated continuously, even his sleeve could not conceal it.
Ghost Li slowly took out the Soul-devouring stick, raised it before him and saw the unusual red light on the Sinister Orb, layers and circles of vibrant red light illuminating, the traces of blood lines on the orb seemed to be even more brighter, every one clearly illuminated. And travelling along his hand, the Sinister Orb produced waves of cold yet with some excitement energy throughout his body, Ghost Li’s eyes stared deeply, he raised his head and looked at this lofty mountain, a strange glint ﬂashed past his eyes.
That was the Sinister Orb’s signs of thirsting for fresh blood!
To him, this was something already beyond familiar.
Ghost King personally stood at the entrance to Ghost King Sect headquarters, waiting outside a secret door concealed behind the huge rock, it was not hard to imagine, the importance he placed and regarded of the great shaman that Ghost Li was bringing back.
After they appeared before him, Ghost King nodded casually to Ghost Li, considering he had made his greeting and then hurried to the great shaman, assessed him slightly, a stunned expression ﬂashed past his face, said, “This master, your body…”
The great shaman smiled faintly, said, “This old man is a dying man, my fate is such, the reason I am here today, is just to do my utmost mentally and physically. As for whether it would be successful or not, it would have to depend on Heaven’s will as well.”
Ghost King kneeled down, bowed deeply, his deep voice said, “Master is a spiritual man, I will not say much of the common words. You have come from a long journey and now that it is late, I will like to invite master to temporary make do with the residence in this cave and rest for one night, tomorrow we will then seek master’s consult.”
The great shaman nodded, looking at his countenance, it was obvious he was extremely weary.
The Ghost King waved and someone at once ran over and assisted the great shaman in. Everyone made way and after a while, the great shaman’s ﬁgure disappeared deep into the mountain.
Ghost King unhurriedly turned around, right now, standing before him, other than Ghost Li, was that alluring lady behind him. As for the monkey Xiao Hui, while its three eyes spun around, it assessed the group of people in front of it. Ghost King’s eyes paused for a while at Xiao Hui and then again glanced at Xiao Bai behind Ghost Li, lastly, still back to this young man in front of him.
“You are hurt?” Ghost King slowly asked.
Ghost Li was silent, only nodded.
The place suddenly quietened down, the two men faced each other, the atmosphere turned somehow strange. Already for ten years, for ten years Ghost King devoted himself to teaching Ghost Li but between them, there seemed to be always an invisible deep chasm.
Behind Ghost King, stood Qing Long, YouJi and other many more disciples, Ghost Li’s eyes swept over them slowly, he knew many of the faces as many of them were disciples from other smaller branches of the Evil Sect he had destroyed, taking those men under Ghost King Sect. Right now, Blood Forger Hall Nian leader and the rest were also in the crowd. Only that Wild Dog Taoist was not among them, wondered if he was still with that fortune teller Zhou YiXian and granddaughter roaming the world?
Ghost King Sect’s power and inﬂuence, seemed to gaining stronger.
The mountain breeze blew over, rufﬂed someone’s clothes, making [hu hu] sounds. Deep inside the mountain, there seemed to be a black ﬁgure, indistinctly swaying.
Ghost Li turned away, although he could not see it clearly but he knew the person in the dark was Mr Ghost!
This mysterious ﬁgure, seemed to perpetually conceal himself in the darkness, hiding behind Ghost King.
“This lady, is she your friend? you brought her back?” Ghost King indifferently asked, his face not revealing any slightest different expression. Ghost Li hesitated for a moment, said, “She said she is your old friend and wanted to come and visit you.”
Ghost King was stunned, this was totally not what he had expected, he could not help but take few more glances at Xiao Bai. However, he could not remember when had he know such a lady, immediately asked in surprise, “This lady, have we known each other before?”
Xiao Bai stepped forward, sighed and then smiled and said, “Is Xiao Chi still well? Is she still the same, daydreaming at times, even while looking at a ﬂower?”
Ghost King’s body shook, a rare stunned expression on his face. Not only him, behind him, Qing Long, YouJi and the rest who had been with him for long, their expressions changed greatly at the same time, an inconceivable look on their faces.
Ghost King stared at Xiao Bai, after a long pause said, “Who exactly are you, how would you know Xiao...Xiao Chi?” Xiao Bai’s gaze drifted, bypassing through these people, gazing upwards and saw that in the sunset, the ﬁgure of Majestic Fox Mountain desolate and towering, an especially desolated image.
How much time, quietly slipped through the slits on one’s ﬁngers…
“Do you still remember, “She faintly said, “how the name of the mountain came about?”
Ghost King’s eyes brightened, his stare piercing but the shock on his face deepened, asked, “You are white…”
Xiao Bai faintly said, “I am white fox!”
The mountain breeze with a [wu] sound blew over, sweeping up the ﬁne sands on the ground, ﬂying far away silently.
X x x Inside the secluded stone chamber, the furnishings were simple, table, chair, bed, furnitures unadorned, this was Ghost King Sect sect leader’s bedroom.
The only slightly conspicuous, would that red sandalwood writing desk set against the stone walls, three thick volumes of books placed neatly on it, on the tabletop, a white jade writing brush rack, a small writing brush made of weasel’s hair placed on it, an ink stone which was still wet beside it. And slightly further away, there was a blue white porcelain writing-brush washer, clear and lustrous, in it half ﬁlled with water.
With those number of items, gave one a scholarly impression and not what mortals would imagine that the leader of a powerful Evil Sect branch would be. Ghost King and Xiao Bai, right now was standing in this room, other than the two of them, there was no others.
On the stone walls on other side of the room, hung a brush painting outline in gold, in it a beautiful lady, looking attentively at a ﬂower which had bloomed, a pair of butterﬂies ﬂuttering beside the ﬂower. Just that the lady in the painting was so absorbed with the ﬂower that she did not seem to notice the butterﬂies beside it. The brush strokes were exquisite, the traditional Chinese painting method’s unique characteristics of meticulous brush technique and detailed description were all fully brought out in the the ﬁnest detail by the painter, the lady in the painting almost looked like she was alive, even that infatuation with the ﬂower, was vividly portrayed.
Xiao Bai silently looked at the lady in the painting, after a long while, quietly sighed, said, “Your painting skills are really amazing, drawing Xiao Chi to be so realistic, seeing this painting is like seeing her in real life.”
Standing behind Xiao Bai, Ghost King was also looking at the painting, in his eyes, a tenderness which never revealed to outsiders. He silently shook his head, after a moment, quietly said, “I only regret that I could not save her!”
Xiao Bai’s gaze never left the painting, faintly said, “I never know, that the person Ghost Li wholeheartedly wanted to save, is you and Xiao Chi’s daughter.”
Ghost King sadly laughed, said, “When Xiao Chi left, I couldn’t reach in time to see her for the last time, these past few years, whenever I think about that, my heart feels like it is being cut with knives. Now that she did not leave behind anything, only BiYao...but she is also…”
Xiao Bai faintly said, “She did not pick the wrong man, choosing you, was her good fortune. I guessed before she passed away, she deﬁnitely did not have any regrets.”
Ghost King was silent.
Xiao Bai stepped forward, stretched out her hand and using her ﬁngertips to gently stroke the painting lady’s exquisite beautiful face, her eyes slowly ﬁlled with faint glittering glint, in it sorrow and tenderness.
X x x
The monkey Xiao Hui [zhi] called out once and jumped onto the bed. Returning to Ghost Li’s room in the Majestic Fox Mountain after a long time, it did not seem to feel unfamiliar, jumping on it for a few times, it suddenly seemed to remember something, stretched its hand behind and shifted the wine bag over, pulled out the stopper and drank another big mouthful of the strong liquor.
Pausing after that, the monkey made a long [hu] sound, wrinkled its eyes together, an expression of bliss.
Ghost Li stood in front of the bed and watched the monkey’s expression, did not speak and slowly shook his head, he sighed, turned and walked to the door, pulled the door open and walked out, closing the door behind him on his way out.
The deep tunnel stretched out ahead, he unhurriedly walked in this corridor within the mountain, on his way, people who saw him bowed their heads in obeisance. Only that his face was indifferent, his eyes only watching ahead, as if there was a place beckoning him.
Walking past a corner, passing by the tunnel, the Ghost King sect disciples’ ﬁgures slowly disappeared. When he arrived before that familiar cold stone chamber, he saw a spectre-like ﬁgure. YouJi’s veil on her face swayed, she turned and looked at Ghost Li.
Ghost Li’s gaze swept past her black veil, landed on the stone door behind her. The next moment, without any hesitation, he walked over and pushed open the stone door.
The stone door, slowly closed up behind him, YouJi’s ﬁgure did not move, stood alone before the door.
Inside the stone chamber, on the cold stone platform, amidst wisps and trails of white vapours ascending, that beautiful lady, was peacefully lying there, at the corner of her mouth, there seemed to be a faint smile.
Ghost Li backfacing the stone door, suddenly, his detached and ﬁrm appearance, seemed to suddenly loosened down, little by little loosened, little by little coming off. Leaving, only a melancholy-looking ﬁgure, slowly walking up, sat down beside her.
“I am back, BiYao…” The faint vapours curled and ﬂoated upwards, drifting up from the icy cold stone platform, looking at BiYao’s body, it seemed a little surreal. Her face was still that beautiful, her smile still that warm, was it that she also knew this man had returned?
“You have hope, BiYao.” His voice, deep and slightly trembling, “it has been ten years already, a total of ten years.”
“I actually allow you to lie like this for ten years, I am really useless, you deﬁnitely will blame me...no, you won’t, how would you blame me! At most you will only smile at me, right?”
There was no answer, the wisps of vapours, gathered before his eyes and separated again.
“I will deﬁnitely save you, BiYao, you will deﬁnitely wake up.” He quietly said, “We will be together, BiYao, throughout our lifetimes, we will be together!" The deep voice, following the light vapours, faintly spread out, drifting in this stone chamber, then dissipated, leaving without a trace.
[Classics of Mountains and Seas. Classics of Mountain third volume. Classics of North Mountain] Majestic Fox Mountain: Xian Yong Mountain again two hundred miles north, named Majestic Fox Mountain, barren, abundant of green jade. Victorious water emerged, flowed northeast and poured into Fen River, in it quantities of dark green blue jade.
Chapter 137 - Unusual Skill
FenXiang Valley, Secret Chamber.
The plain standing screen separated the space in the stone room, ShangGuan Ce dressed in grey quietly stood where he was, patiently waiting.
After a long time, FenXiang Valley valley master Yun YiLan’s aged voice was heard from behind the screen, “I heard that junior brother you while investigating the nine-tailed celestial fox, your whereabouts were peculiar and at the last critical moment, you out of a sudden commanded the disciples to step down and return, is there such a thing?”
ShangGuan Ce’s lips revealed a hint of sneer, he himself could guess from where Yun YiLan “heard” and from whom exactly. In the entire FenXiang Valley, other than himself, only Yun YiLan’s beloved disciple, Li Xun, was allowed to come in here and speak to him.
Just that ShangGuan Ce did not dispute anything, only slowly said, “That’s right.” Yun YiLan remained silent for a while, said, “If so then me being the senior brother am really puzzled, will junior brother enlighten me?”
ShangGuan Ce facing the screen, slightly rose and said, “I don’t dare. It was because I met someone while pursuing the nine-tailed celestial fox and because of that ordered the disciples to turn back immediately and also without delay return to the valley to report to senior brother.”
Yun YiLan’s voice was clearly startled, said, “Who is that person that could actually made junior brother take him so seriously?”
ShangGuan Ce drawled out two words, “Evil shaman.”
Behind the screen, it suddenly became quiet, after a long time there was not any sound.
ShangGuan Ce patiently stood there, Yun YiLan’s reaction was already expected. On that day when he saw the Evil shaman, he had also received a great shock in his heart. After some time, behind the screen, Yun YiLan’s calm voice was heard, “They, eventually still could not resist.”
ShangGuan Ce, from Yun YiLan’s voice, could not tell at all what this senior brother was thinking. Was it anxiety, shock, he totally could not tell. He stared at the screen, continued, “There is still one point…”
Yun YiLan with a “Mhm”, this time sounded quite surprised.
ShangGuan Ce inhaled deeply, said, “In the Evil shaman’s hands, he had obtained the two items out of the ﬁve tribes sacred weapons: Black Staff and Jade Bone.”
“What?” Yun YiLan ﬁnally could not maintain his coolness, exclaimed out behind the screen.
A hint of sneer swept past ShangGuan Ce’s heart but the expression on his face never changed, said, “It must be the Evil Beast who had somehow found a Li tribe shaman master and imparted ‘Black Fire’ evil skill to him, he was also used to instigate the ﬁght between Miao and Li tribes and from there, snatched the Black Staff with Jade Bone from the great shaman at Miao altar. After that that Li tribe shaman master wanted to rebel against the Evil Beast but the Evil Beast was already well prepared, he allowed the evil shaman to use ‘Black Fire Essence Pearl’ to kill that person and took back the two sacred items.”
Yun YiLan coldly snorted, said, “Such reckless guy still exist!” pausing for a while, his voice revealing a hint of harshness, said, “Those few sacred items were at stake, why didn’t you make a move?”
ShangGuan Ce with his indifferent expression, said, “By the time I arrived, the Black Staff Jade Bone were already in the evil shaman’s hands and besides, he also has the ferocious dragon with him.”
Yun YiLan became quiet, after a long time he slowly sighed and said, “Heaven’s will, Heaven’s will ah! Our hundred years of planning, destroyed in one day!”
ShangGuan Ce remained silent. X x x
Qing Yun Hill, TongTian Peak.
White clouds drifting, celestial air surrounding, this paradise-like world, cries of cranes, soft and clear, pleasing to the ear, reverberated in the horizon.
The ‘Crystal Hall’ which was left in ruins after the battle ten years ago, right now had already been completely rebuilt and looked spectacular on a grand scale, surpassing its previous appearance. Several huge red stone pillars supporting the beams, yellow ceramic glaze made up the roof, dazzling under the sunlight, a scene of glory.
In the centre of the roof, towering like spire, rings of green jade forming a pagoda outline, from big to small, from the bottom to the top a total of thirty six levels, a yellow stone forming the peak, glittering and crystal clear.
Eaves facing eight directions, lifting upwards, north, south, east, west engraved with golden dragons chasing pearls, northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast engraved with phoenixes ﬂying and dancing, and in the dragons and phoenixes’ mouths, they were holding onto the coloured glaze wind-bells, swaying with the winds, emitting clear chimes, increasing the divinity atmosphere.
In the cries of cranes and wind-bells chimes, Lu XueQi in white slowly walked up the stone stairs in front of the Crystal Hall.
Walking up the stairs, she occasionally passed by a few Qing Yun disciples who were sweeping, when they saw Lu XueQi, they nodded their heads in greetings, among them a few newly joined young male disciples, captivated by Lu XueQi’s beauty, after one glance, did not dare to take another look, their faces looking down while blushing and continued to work.
Lu XueQi returned the greetings in kind, her face as usual expressionless, heading towards the lofty hall.
Behind her, a loud sound of [hua la] was heard suddenly, a loud roar of waves broke the tranquility, Lu XueQi did not turn back, that was Qing Yun Sect spiritual beast guardian, water qilin, in the Jade Pool who had again climbed out of the water to snooze in the sun on the shore.
Everything here, was that tranquil and harmonized, who would have known, a young man once left in indignation and thrown himself into a dirty bloody world?
Lu XueQi completed the long ﬂight of stairs, silently took a glance at that towering Crystal Hall and walked in.
In the great hall, light shone in all directions from the opened windows, the place looking particularly bright and without any feeling of darkness. Qing Yun Sect Head, the current world’s number one Good Faction, Reverend DaoXuan, with a smile, sat on the great seat in the hall. On his lower right, another person sat there, it was Lu XueQi’s mentor, Qing Yun Sect Small Bamboo Valley Head Shui Yue Master.
Lu XueQi was surprised, upon her return from southern border, because it was Reverend DaoXuan who had sent her there so therefore she headed ﬁrst to TongTian Peak to report to Reverend DaoXuan and then to see her teacher Shui Yue Master, she did not expect that her teacher would also be at TongTian Peak. And in this Hall, other than Reverend DaoXuan and her teacher, there was no others, seemed like both of them waited especially for her return.
When Reverend DaoXuan saw Lu XueQi walking in, he amiably smiled, although Shui Yue Master had always been detached but facing her favourite disciple, naturally it was different, fondness revealed in her eyes.
Lu XueQi walked up, ﬁrst bowed to Reverend DaoXuan, said, “Paying my respect to Reverend Sect Head.”
And then turned to bow to Shui Yue Master but facing her mentor with whom they had a mother-daughter relationship, she was more casual and said, “Teacher, why are you also here?”
Reverend DaoXuan laughed and said, “I received news yesterday and knew you were returning today and so sent the news to your teacher. At the same there are some matters that I wish to speak with your teacher so might as well invite her over.” Lu XueQi acknowledged with a reply, Shui Yue Master sitting beside, watching her beautiful disciple, saw that on her snow white face, it was still expressionless but for some reason, her face indistinctly looked pale.
Shui Yue Master’s heart was secretly shocked, her brows also frowned discreetly.
Reverend DaoXuan did not have the years of familiarity with Lu XueQi as Shui Yue Master, and so did not detect anything unusual with her, smiled and continued, “XueQi, this trip to southern border, the matter of paying a visit to FenXiang Valley valley master Yun elder, how was it?”
Lu XueQi kept quiet for a moment then described what she had encountered in the southern border. However, the ﬁnal farewell scene in TianShui Stockade with Ghost Li, she omitted it.
Reverend DaoXuan and Shui Yue Master did not speak, quietly listened to Lu XueQi’s encounters. When they heard FenXiang Valley valley master Yun YiLan still did not emerge and only ShangGuan Ce and Li Xun coming out to explain, both of them glanced at each other, their eyes had a strange expression but did not comment.
Until the end, Lu XueQi expressionlessly told them about the Miao tribe Seven Miles Cave battle, Ghost Li’s appearance, the intense ﬁghts, Reverend DaoXuan’s face immediately turned cold and Shui Yue Master seemed to contemplate deeper, at the same time she knew her disciple’s heart and could not help but took a few more glances at Lu XueQi, saw that when Lu XueQi was telling them about Li Xun’s sneak attack on Ghost Li and again when he was injured when she wielded ‘Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’, although her tone did not change but a dark expression ﬂashed by her eyes.
ShuiYue Master gently heaved a sigh in her heart, closed her eyes.
Reverend DaoXuan waited until Lu XueQi ﬁnished, retreated to where Shui Yue Master was standing, glanced at Shui Yue Master, coldly snorted and said, “Zhang Xiao Fan that evil creature, ten years ago I did not eliminate him, now as expected already nurtured a tiger to invite calamity.” Shui Yue Master opened her eyes, intentionally or unintentionally she glanced at Lu XueQi, indifferently said, “This is all dictated by fate, it cannot be forced.”
Lu XueQi’s face seemed to pale a few more degrees.
Reverend DaoXuan was quiet for a while, said, “From what XueQi described, these ten years, that person’s skills had improved greatly.”
Shui Yue Master slowly nodded, said, “Zhang Xiao Fan was able to use Sinister Orb in a blink of an eye to suck the blood out of several Li tribes warriors until their death, and after being injured by Li Xun he could still immediately retaliated, even FenXiang Valley well-known pure Yang Jade Ruler also could not resist against it, this level of skills, is already not…” she looked at Lu XueQi, said, “already not below Qi’er and your branch’s Su YiCai’s level of skills already.”
Lu XueQi was expressionless. Reverend DaoXuan instead shook his head slowly, Shui Yue Master was stunned, said, “What is it, senior brother thought I had judged wrongly?”
Reverend DaoXuan sighed, said, “That evil creature was ﬁrst attacked by Li Xun and then again by Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula, he did not lose his life there and then and instead could even ﬂy up and hit back. I guessed what was resisting the Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula’s power must be Tian Yin Temple’s true way, ‘Great Brahman Wisdom’, and then our sect’s Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way to break through the formation. After he was near XueQi, XueQi said the man’s eyes were like blood, the red light from the Sinister Orb Soul Devouring stick glowing brilliantly, it must be he was using Sinister Orb’s evil powers to stop XueQi. From all of these, he has merge the three sects’ true ways, with his high level of skills, most likely he has already surpass our sect disciples.”
He cast a sideway glance at Lu XueQi, said, “Just that most probably he was already spent, an arrow at the end of its ﬂight so he was not able to further hurt XueQi, if not when XueQi’s Celestial Sword Wield Thunder True Formula was being defeated, it is akin to being defenceless and really in an imminent danger. XueQi, this person seemed to have already merged Buddhism, Taoism and Evil the three groups’ important skills into him, his skills are strange and unfathomable, in the future if you meet this person, you must be very careful.”
Lu XueQi’s lips twitched, clutching the TianYa Sword and slightly releasing it, quietly said, “Yes.”
Shui Yue Master saw her expression, sighed in her heart and then suddenly said, “Qi’er, you must have a hard journey, go back and have a rest ﬁrst. I still have matters to discuss with your sect head teacher uncle and will be going back later.”
Lu XueQi acknowledged and glanced at Reverend DaoXuan, Reverend DaoXuan shook his head and smiled, said, “Look at my memory, I must be really muddleheaded. XueQi, there is nothing else here, you can return ﬁrst to Small Bamboo Valley and have a good rest.”
Lu XueQi then stepped out, ﬁrst bowed to Reverend DaoXuan and then spoke to Shui Yue Master, “Teacher, then I will leave ﬁrst.” Shui Yue Master nodded and said, “You can go.”
Lu XueQi lowered her head and acknowledged, slowly retreated and then disappeared from Reverend DaoXuan and Shui Yue Master’s sights.
Reverend DaoXuan was silent for a while, sighed and said, “What a Zhang Xiao Fan...ai, a pity.”
Shui Yue Master indifferently said, “That child turning into such an outcome, we must bear some responsibility!”
Reverend DaoXuan frowned, his face immediately turned dark, said, “Shui Yue junior sister, what do you mean by this?”
Shui Yue Master her face indifferent but the tone of her voice did not change, said, “Nothing, Zhang Xiao Fan abandoned the light and joined the dark, no matter what there are areas where we have also erred.” Reverend DaoXuan with a heavy voice said, “Don’t tell me Shui Yue junior sister think my actions at that time were wrong?”
Shui Yue glanced at Reverend DaoXuan, saw that his face had turned slightly stern, sighed and slowly said, “Senior brother, don’t think too much. If it was me, I would also do the same thing as you. I have said just now, Zhang Xiao Fan that is his fate, Heaven’s will!”
Reverend DaoXuan kept quiet for a while, his face gradually relaxed, just that in the great hall, the ambience seemed to turn slightly awkward. After a while, her slowly spoke, “Just now you have also heard, XueQi this trip, still did not get to see Yun YiLan valley master, what do you think?”
Shui Yue Master humphed, said, “Yun YiLan that old fellow, he has always been mysterious, playing with deceitful tricks, this time I don’t know what he is trying to do. But his skills are something not to be underestimated, there isn’t any ﬁgures in southern border that can threatened him. So we don’t have to worry too much, instead…” Reverend DaoXuan was surprised, said, “What?”
Shui Yue Master looked at Reverend DaoXuan, said, “This time you did not send any other disciple and only instructed Qi’er to head to southern border FenXiang Valley alone, and on top of that you did not discuss it with me!” After speaking, her face suddenly turned cold and laughed coldly.
Reverend DaoXuan frowned and said, “Junior sister, the reasons for that, I did explain it to you afterwards, didn’t you also did not have any objection to it?”
Shui Yue Master stood up, indifferently said, “Although I did not object but this disciple of mine has always been unyielding and persistent, you knew that, whatever it is, it is better to leave some leeway.”
After speaking, without waiting for Reverend DaoXuan’s reply, walked off by herself out of the great hall.
Reverend DaoXuan watched her back, suddenly shook his head, and let out a long sigh. X x x
Majestic Fox Mountain.
Icy cold stone chamber.
Ghost King Sect from Ghost King, Qing Long, YouJi etc all stood in the room, beside them were Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, in the most secluded corner, Mr Ghost dressed in black stood alone there.
Just that now, nobody had the mind to pay attention to that ﬁgure, everyone’s attention were all on that great shaman who was standing beside BiYao at the cold stone platform.
Ghost Li subconsciously clenched his ﬁsts, for this, he did not allow Xiao Hui to follow. Watching the frail great shaman’s ﬁgure and BiYao’s face among the white mist, even him with his iron-will spirit also started to tremble. Ten years, ten years of longing, the nightmare which had constantly haunted him, this hope, right now was in front of him.
The great shaman’s body shook slightly, the group of people behind stir, Ghost Li could not help but stepped forward, even the ever-composed Ghost King, the corner of his eyes also twitched.
The great shaman turned his head around, smiled to the group, assuring them that he was alright, the group then felt relieved.
After a night of rest, the great shaman still did not look better, instead he seemed to deteriorate. Every wrinkles on his haggard face deeply engraved in, like squeezing his remaining life force.
In the room, only the great shaman’s gradually heavy breathing sounds were heard. Ghost King and Ghost Li who was standing beside, glanced at each other, both saw the deep anxiety in each other’s eyes.
Suddenly, the great shaman’s tottering hand stretched out, where he was pointing, was that ‘HeHuan Bell’ in BiYao’s hands.
The golden bell erected between the fair hands, glimmering with gentle lights, on the bell, reﬂecting the slowly approaching aged hand.
The next moment, the withered hand touched the bell, everyone in the stone chamber, held their breaths.
From the great shaman’s ﬁngertips, faint blue lights started to glow, gradually blinking, however with the pulsing lights, the great shaman’s face turned even more ashen.
Like being summoned, suddenly, the bell which had been silent for ten years suddenly made a clear crisp chime, slowly resounding. Ghost Li and Ghost King’s faces immediately revealed agitated expressions, both men subconsciously stepped forward but both also stopped themselves at the same time, their eyes still locked onto the great shaman’s ﬁngers.
After the bell, a golden light slowly surfaced from the HeHuan Bell, although not very bright but almost at the same time this layer of golden light surfaced, the great shaman’s face suddenly grimaced, the next moment, a chill ﬁlled the stone chamber.
Almost all of them were taken aback, those that could be there, were all masters of the cultivation paths, almost subconsciously, Ghost Li, Ghost King and Xiao Bai moved forward.
However while the cold expanded exponentially, the gentle golden light on the bell suddenly became ablazed, almost like a ﬁre with form, [boom] a sound and swiftly expanded out.
The great shaman was the ﬁrst to be hit, his body was already frail, immediately he was hit ﬂying into the air, spraying out a mouthful of blood. Ghost King’s ﬁgure moved like a spirit, instantly appearing beside the great shaman and caught his body, Ghost Li also appeared before him at the same time, Soul-Devouring stick hovering, green halo appeared instantly, blocking that burst of golden light. And Xiao Bai appeared beside the stone platform, white light streaming from her hands, enveloping the bell.
The next moment, the quivering HeHuan Bell gradually calmed down, the golden light also disappeared, temperature in the chamber also resumed its normalcy.
The group looked towards the great shaman supported by Ghost King, with this blow, blood ﬂowed from the great shaman’s seven apertures on his face, everyone could see that this old man was already dying, leaving only his last strength.
The room was still, everyone looked at each other, all were stunned beyond words.
Until, a panting groan, broke the stillness. The great shaman slowly opened his eyes, struggled to stand. Ghost King’s countenance changed, stretched out his hand to assist but the great shaman slowly shook his head, Ghost King quietly nodded, admiration ﬂashed in his eyes, slowly withdrew his hands.
The great shaman panted for a moment, raised his sleeve, slowly wiped away the blood from his mouth, spoke, just that this voice, was extremely hoarse, “One of remnant of the lady’s souls is indeed in this HeHuan Bell.”
Everyone was silent.
The great shaman inhaled deeply, said, “Just that this bell is an unusual treasure, it possessed spiritual energy, like a self- formed strong formation, although like that it can thus protect the lady’s soul but if someone wish to retrieve it out, he has to break this HeHuan Bell.”
His body suddenly wavered at this point, his lips which had just been wiped, again spit out a mouthful of blood. Ghost Li dashed up, supported the elder in his arms, hesitated but still could not resist and said, “Senior, you better take a rest ﬁrst.” The great shaman looked at the young man, smiled faintly and suddenly suppressed his voice and said, “Please do not forget what you have promised me in the Seven Mile Cave.”
Ghost Li was stunned, nodded and said, “Senior please be assured!”
The great shaman let out a long breath, slowly pushed Ghost Li away, turned and spoke to Ghost King and the rest, “As for now the plan is to break HeHuan Bell’s spiritual energy and yet not damage the lady’s soul, I can only set up the southern border shaman skill, ‘Soul Return’ formation and see if I can lure the lady’s soul out from the bell, cough, cough cough…”
A violent cough interrupted him, the group was silent, everyone could tell that this elder was already at his end, to say setting up whatever ‘Soul Return’, nobody knew if he could last till then.
Ghost King gritted his teeth, walked up, cupped his hands together to the great shaman and said, “Master makes so much effort for my daughter, my humble self is really beyond grateful. Master do not have to worry about other stuffs, just go ahead and perform the necessary, no matter what the outcome is, Ghost King Sect will deﬁnitely not let Master down.”
The great shaman slowly nodded, his eyes revealed comfort, after a moment of panting, he quietly said, “Soul Return skill is an otherworldly skill, it is not advisable to have so many strangers here, will like to ask Ghost Li GongZi and Sect head to stay and help, the rest to temporary leave.”
Ghost Li and Ghost King both nodded, the rest without waiting for them to speak, all started to leave, after a moment, leaving only the great shaman, Ghost Li and Ghost King in the cold chamber.
The great shaman’s face waned, his body slowly trembling, unable to stand any longer, his body slackened and slowly sat onto the ﬂoor.
Chapter 138 - Spirit Calling Bait
In the icy cold stone chamber, there was only the sounds of the great shaman’s heavy gasps. Ghost King and Ghost Li stood before that weak elder, watched his haggard face closely, right now, what was left of the great shaman’s life had became their only hope.
The great shaman’s breathing calmed down, he raised his head and smiled to them, Ghost Li and Ghost King then felt slightly relieved. The great shaman after a pause, spoke to Ghost King, “Sect Head please bring some blood here, ‘Spirit Calling Bait’ is an otherworldly skill, using fresh blood is the best.”
Ghost Li frowned slightly but Ghost King was already nodding and said, “This can be done.” and was about to leave when he suddenly paused and spoke to the great shaman, “Great shaman, this blood...do you want animal or human?”
The great shaman was stunned, took a few more glances at Ghost King but still said, “Animal blood is good but if you were to compare the results, human blood is the best.” Ghost King nodded and strided to the door, opened it and saw Qing Long, YouJi standing outside, Mr Ghost was also standing slightly further away. Once they saw Ghost King coming out, Qing Long and YouJi’s faces both revealed surprise at the same time but Ghost King went straight to Mr Ghost and said, “Bring a basin of human blood here.”
Qing Long and YouJi were shocked, Mr Ghost instead only nodded, turned and left, Ghost King turned back in after speaking, leaving Qing Long and YouJi there with their expressions gradually turning somber.
In the icy cold chamber, the atmosphere turned somehow strange, Ghost Li quietly watched BiYao who was lying there, after a long time, turned and looked at the great shaman who was meditating and then onto Ghost King.
Ghost King seemed oblivious to it, his expression composed, a pair of eyes watching BiYao and occasionally at Ghost Li, giving only a sweeping glance, never once pausing.
Two knocks were heard suddenly from the stone door and then the door slowly opened, Mr Ghost held a copper basin in, placed it in front of the great shaman and then nodded to Ghost King.
Ghost King nodded slightly, Mr Ghost did not speak and quietly left.
Dark red blood, gently swished in the basin, a thick stench of blood ﬁlled the stone chamber.
The corner of Ghost Li’s eyes twitched slightly, he looked deeply at Ghost King but Ghost King instead spoke unhurriedly to the great shaman, “Great shaman, the blood you asked for is here.”
The great shaman opened his eyes, looked at the basin of fresh blood and did not speak, after a long time he suddenly sighed softly and said, “Alright, let’s begin.”
X x x Struggling with his feeble body, the great shaman slowly stood up, before he could stand up straight, his body had already started to waver. Ghost Li quickly went up and supported him beside.
The great shaman looked at him, made a wry smile but did not reject.
The frail old man slowly stretched his hand into his bosom, after feeling inside for a moment and taking his hand out again, his hand was holding an oddly looking red brush, the brush was about the width of a thumb and the length of a human’s palm. The end of the brush was shaped like a dog’s head, the body of the brush, made of unknown substance and engraved with many different strange charms. The front end of the brush was covered evenly by a patch of soft hair, the original colour could not be discern, only the remnant of dark red colour was left on it. Without asking, the liquid that was used to stain the brush with previously, was most probably blood.
Clutching the brush, inhaling deeply! The great shaman with Ghost Li’s support, lowered his body, soaked the red brush into the blood and held it up.
Blood from the tip of the brush hair, drop by drop silently dripped down into the copper basin, making little ripples on the surface, forming small waves.
Holding the brush, the great shaman slowly, with the support of Ghost Li, walked to where BiYao was sleeping, from where the stone platform and the ground met, made the ﬁrst stroke.
The bright colour, slowly extended out on the levelled ﬂoor, the elder’s slightly trembling hand, drew out charms one after another. The air was still but for some reason, the mood was slowly turning tense.
Ghost King after watching for a while, quietly walked to the basin and picked it up, walked a few steps and placed it where the great shaman was. The great shaman who was drawing, raised his head and glanced at him, silently nodded, bent down and continued. More and more blood drawings, with the cold stone platform as the centre, slowly appeared around BiYao, a strange formation with blood scent began to emerge.
The great shaman’s red brush, was clearly also an unusual object from the southern border shaman art, the blood which was absorbed by the red brush, wielded by the great shaman on the ground, coagulated and did not dry up, the color of the blood was vivid and glistering and at the corners and turns, not a trace of blood was splashed out, as if the drawing was containing those blood ﬁrmly within it.
The great shaman’s gasps of breaths started again and gradually turned heavy, the blood drawings on the ground started to become complicated, those strange drawings, some looked like livestock ferocious beasts, some like big birds and there were even more unrecognizable drawings, one by one emerging and not one was identical to another.
The only similar point was, those drawings, each one was joined to each other, the amount of blood from the copper basin to the ground increased but the colour and luster of the blood on the ground seemed to be even more vibrant than the blood in the basin. The blood stench in the air intensiﬁed, in the stone chamber, other than the deep breathings of the great shaman, there was no other unusual noise.
The formation drawn by blood, started from the left corner where BiYao was lying, the great shaman, one stroke by one stroke, absorbed in his drawings. Ghost Li beside him supported him, saw for himself, how this vivid blood colour emerge from nothing, from a few to many, gradually forming into an ellipse with a radius of ﬁve chi, other than a small area on the ﬂoor beside BiYao’s head, the surroundings had already turned into a sea of blood colour.
Ghost King once again carried up the basin and placed it on the ﬂoor above the stone platform and then slowly walked to a side. This unearthly formation was almost nearing to completion.
The multitude of big, small strange drawings connected together, glistering with the colour of blood, at a quick glance, it looked like river courses criss-crossing, the vibrant blood, like in the arteries, merrily coursing through. From one point to another, turning around from the end, like the gentle ﬂow of tides, constantly cycling.
X x x
The vibrant red interweaved, converging on the ﬂoor below the feet, the great shaman’s hands were trembling so badly that he could no longer hold the red brush.
Ghost Li supporting the elder, could clearly feel the pain from the old man’s body, even he himself could not comprehend the reason for this old body to hold on until now.
The heavy breathings had by now turned hoarse, the great shaman’s forehead was also covered in sweat.
He slowly, slowly stretched out his hand, made the last stroke and completed the last drawing, connecting it back to the ﬁrst drawing. [Plop!]
A mufﬂed sound, the red brush fell aside, the weight in Ghost Li’s arms suddenly increased, the great shaman’s body slackened down.
Ghost Li’s heart jumped, a sound of [weng] went off in his head, in that instant even his back had the fearful sensation of needles jabbing in. He held his breath, added more strength in his hands to support the great shaman and looked down, the great shaman’s face was extremely pale but his mouth was slightly agape, panting, exhausted from the effort.
Ghost Li then felt relieved, at the same time realized with a start, only that short instant, his forehead and back were also drenched.
Almost at the same time, Ghost King beside him let out a long breath, he was clearly also startled. Right now the two men who had looked at the world with disdain, were having the jitters from just the slight movements of a dying old man. The great shaman, after being breathless for a long while, recovered slightly, nodded to Ghost Li and indicated to him to assist him to sit down. Ghost Li felt uneasy, looking at the great shaman’s countenance, he was really terriﬁed that this old man would just pass away. However, even with his worries, he did not have any options and could only follow the great shaman’s instructions, helped him down, near to where BiYao’s head was.
The great shaman inhaled deeply and looked ahead, before him, was a completely interlinked blood formation, the blood lines covering the ground, locking in large amount of blood. And from those glistening red blood, as if being moved with an unseen force on the levelled ground, almost at the same time started to ﬂow in the same direction, in midst not one ventured out from the arteries-like strokes.
From the top to the bottom and again ﬂowing back from the connected lines, forming a cycle, unceasing and endless.
Standing behind the great shaman, Ghost Li and Ghost King both looked at each other, they were both masters of the true ways cultivators and their eyes both revealed shock. The great master after pausing for a while, stretched out his withered hand and picked up the red brush which had fallen, erected straight before him, the hair tip of the brush pointing down, on the red brush, the remnant of the blood coagulated into beads, after struggling and lingering on the ﬁne hair, fell down soundlessly, into that blood red river.
The great shaman stared ahead, the heavy deep breathings suddenly turned still, in the stone chamber, a deafening silence!
His brows slowly rose, the lifeless eyes started to glimmer, and the blood ﬂowing in the formation seemed to be also simulated, increased their momentum.
Holding the red brush, slowly bringing it down, soon it reached the ground, three cun away from one of the outermost blood river. The ﬁne red hair touched the ground and did not bend, the ground, as if suddenly turning into gentle waters, this red brush, slowly soundlessly inserted into the ﬂoor.
The mood in the chamber, slowly turned eerie, the rapidly ﬂowing blood rivers started to emit indistinct shrills, faint blood energy, following the deep insertion of the red brush into the ground, gradually diffused from the formation and merged into the faint white vapours from the stone platform, shrouding BiYao’s body within it.
Ghost King and Ghost Li’s eyes without blinking, stare intently on.
The great shaman loosened his hand, chanted deep and low, reverberated in this stone chamber. In-between the great shaman’s lips, lightly and quickly spitting out one after another, words after words with strange tones, both of his hands as if following some melody, slowly rose, ﬁve ﬁngers forming into claws, waving lightly.
The whistling inside the stone chamber, turned louder and louder, on the ground, the blood rivers in the formation were already churning, waves after waves raced rapidly, waves of unearthly forces, screamed from the rivers of blood.
Suddenly, a sharp shrill from the great shaman’s lips, ten ﬁngers like claws clamped down, [pfff] into the blood rivers. Almost at the same time, Ghost Li and Ghost King who were standing behind were dumbfounded, in that instant they felt that the stone chamber seemed not to exist, the stone walls,
stone ﬂoor suddenly turned to space, [须弥⽆间] , far beyond the
highest heaven, eerie and dark, nothing to depend on.
[Translator’s note: I’m sorry but I really do not know what the Chinese words meant, please let me know if you understand, thanks]
Ghostly wails suddenly erupted, rushing in from all directions, dazzling red light shone out from the red formation, bursting upwards. Within the ﬂickering red light, innumerable indistinct spirits shadows panicked, like being summoned here by an unseen power, not of their own volition, tried to ﬁnd a way out but no matter where they scurried, they could not leave that red light screen.
And at this moment, the stone chamber restored its original appearance, Ghost Li and Ghost King immediately back to their senses. Both were shocked, they knew that a moment ago, that ‘Spirit Calling Bait’ formation actually transcended the surrounding stone walls, using the southern border mysterious shaman power to connect the nine netherworlds, captured innumerable spirits and trapped them in this formation.
However since this Spirit Calling Bait formation was that phenomenal, naturally it consumed a huge amount of effort, looking past the red light, the great shaman’s face was already beyond ashen, if right now to say that he was indeed a dead man, most probably some would believe it.
The two of them, their hearts palpitating, prayed in their hearts that this shaman master would hold on, at the same time their eyes ﬁxedly stare at that formation.
There, innumerable spirits screamed and leapt in the red light, some were normal spirits, some had the appearance of strange huge beasts, after a while, these ghostly spirits after being rebounded from the red light, knew that they could not escape and all raged and screamed at the great shaman sitting in front of the formation.
The great shaman disregarded the infuriated spirits, a pair of eyes slowly looked up, looked at the stone platform shrouded in red light, at BiYao’s HeHuan Bell. Both of his arms suddenly brandished in the air, left hand still claw-like, right hand ﬁngers instead were different, the ring ﬁnger and little ﬁnger bent inwards slightly, middle ﬁnger and index ﬁnger like sword, thumb facing upwards, it was the shaman incantation, pointing up into the air.
The HeHuan Bell shook with a chime!
The clear bell sound, like the oriole in the ravine, singing at dawn, that HeHuan Bell left BiYao’s hands, slowly rose into the air. Its faint golden light, once again glowed from its body.
Almost at the same time when the great shaman pointed at the HeHuan Bell, the Spirit Calling Bait blood formation’s innumerable spirits, like being held by the unseen force, although raged and bellowed, unwillingly but as if like following the tide, poured onto the HeHuan Bell in the air.
Immediately, the unearthly aura surged, HeHuan Bell shook violently, the ghostly evil power poured in from all directions, repeatedly, innumerable ghostly things swamped in, tore and bit the bell, attacked ferociously, the scene was crazy. And underneath this scene, that red blood sea in the formation, its red light became more and more vibrant, the blood whistled, almost surging up!
Looking like it could no longer take the ghostly forces, the HeHuan Bell’s faint golden light gradually dimmed, submerged within the innumerable spirits, the next moment, a sharp sound, a faint smoke appeared above the HeHuan Bell, indistinct and inconsistent, drifted above the bell, the lower half still in the bell.
The great shaman’s face, for some reason, suddenly turned slightly red, compared to before, his countenance seemed much better, even his arms seemed stronger while gesturing.
Delight ﬂashed past his face, shouted,
The remnant spirit out of the body, return to the nine netherworlds.
Yellow Springs nine netherworlds,
Spirit Calling as the bait!”
These four incantation sentences shouted out by the great shaman were full of vigour, impressive and awe-inspiring, following his shout, the red light dispersed with a rumble, in that instant, ﬁlled the entire stone chamber, Ghost King and Ghost Li only felt a boom in the surrounding, that empty, eerie, as if they were in the nine netherworlds feeling, again appeared, the only difference was this time, with the ghostly wails, there were also innumerable spirits ﬂying around them.
Without any pause, like lightning ﬂashing past the horizon, before both of them could collect themselves, the scene changed back to the stone chamber again, in that red sinister screen, innumerable ghostly things within it, that faint smoke above the HeHuan Bell, was clustered around by the spirits, one after another streams of faint smokes emerged.
One, two, three...eight, nine!
Three souls and seven mortal forms, known as soul!
Ghost Li’s body shook, the nails in his hands dug deep into his palms, blood dripped down but he was totally unconscious of that. In that red screen, those streams of faint smokes…
He turned his head and looked at the great shaman.
Only a moment!
Just one more moment would do!
He could not help but shouted out in his heart! The great shaman’s face was still red, withdrawing suddenly like the tide retreating. Deeply creased skin around his eyes, started to twitch.
The withered hands waving in the air, once again started to tremble. Only his voice, was still as loud,
“Three souls seven mortal forms,
gathered spirits as soul.
Combined soul to search for spirit,
Following his voice, the nine streams of smoke in the air ﬂew out from the crowd of spirits, slowly neared HeHuan Bell, gradually, merged with that faint smoke above HeHuan Bell as one. Indistinctly, a human form emerged.
Right now, not only Ghost Li, even Ghost King’s body also started to tremble, excitement revealed on his face.
The great shaman’s face since when, had again turned pale, the trembling in his hands increased, in the red light, he opened his mouth, bellowed,
“The soul is completed,
all spirits back to your place.
Spiritual soul enter…”
The ﬁnal word, ‘body’, before he could utter it, the great shaman’s voice suddenly was cut off, what was emitted instead was a faint low [si si] voice. Ghost Li and Ghost King’s countenances changed immediately at the same time. The red light in the Spirit Calling Bait formation wavered violently, suddenly a loud boom sounded, the red light scattered, innumerable spirits charged out and sank into the stone walls below, in a blink vanished. Ghost King and Ghost Li did not pay any attention to that, looking past the chaotic scene, both of them looked for the great shaman.
That elder, both hands still raised up but his head was drooping down slowly.
Ghost Li and Ghost King, like lightning, dashed to the great shaman, supported his body but the great shaman’s head continued to droop down. However his lips was still struggling to speak.
Both of them tried their best to go as near to the great shaman as possible, in his mumblings, they could only faintly hear some words,
“[wu]...nine netherworlds…[wu wu]...until Yin…[wu]...not this…” That voice gradually turned low and still, the elder’s head still hanging down and then there was no more sound.
The bone-chilling cold, as if the body was submerged deep into the ice prison of the otherworldly, the two stunned men, could not believe what they were seeing.
The dispersing red light slowly disappeared, the turbulent blood rivers quietened down, the blood lines after losing their power, could no longer contain the blood, vivid human blood spread out on the ﬂoor.
The faint smoke above the HeHuan Bell, was sucked back like a whale sucking water, disappeared into the bell. Faint golden light once again lighted up, the HeHuan Bell looked especially dazzling.
A gentle sway, accompanied with clear crisp bell, the HeHuan Bell slowly landed, back again to that cold stone platform, into BiYao’s hands, peaceful as usual. The dead-like silence, hung in the ice cold stone chamber, lingered for a long time, not a sound at all…
Chapter 139 - Broken-hearted Man
Majestic Fox Mountain, Ghost King Sect Headquarters.
It had already been three days since the great shaman’s death, Qing Long tasked men to cremate the elder’s body and kept the ashes in an urn. The blue and white porcelain small urn right now was sitting quietly on the table beside his hand.
Qing Long stared long at this urn and then gently sighed, shifted his eyes away. For the past three days, all of the affairs in Ghost King Sect were handled by Qing Long and YouJi, after that unfortunate event three days ago, Ghost King and Ghost Li both hid in their own rooms and until today, had not emerged.
Qing Long could still remember clearly, three days ago, when that heavy stone door opened slowly with a yawn, two men walked out, the two men who feared nothing, looked like they had lost their souls, their expressions dazed and forlorn.
Ghost King fared better, quietly said, “For three days, I will not be disturbed!” after speaking, he walked straight to his room and never came out. As for Ghost Li, he was beside himself, did not speak a word and only walked on, until he walked right into a stone wall, blood ﬂowed from his forehead. And him, seemed to be totally oblivious to it, turned around, stumbled and fell on his way to his room.
The group was dumbfounded at the sight and more or less guessed the outcome but when they looked into the stone chamber, the chamber ﬂooded with blood and the great shaman who had died while sitting upright in the pool of blood with his head hung down, that tragic scene shocked them.
Only BiYao, who was as before, her expression peaceful and lifelike, lay on that ice stone platform and the HeHuan Bell in her hands was glowing with faint golden light.
Footsteps sounded beside, broke Qing Long’s thoughts, he looked up, YouJi’s apparition-like ﬁgure, drifted in and stood beside him but she did not look at him and instead glanced at the room behind him and quietly said, “Sect Head has not emerge?” Qing Long shook his head, quietly said, “It has been three days, not a single news.”
YouJi’s face black veil slightly swayed, she remained silent.
Although they did not witness what had happened but the both of them could imagine that forlorn scene.
In this world, if there was anything that could be even more anguish than despair, was when one saw hope and that hope was right in front of him, you again sank into despair!
When both of them faced each other and had no words to say, suddenly the door behind Qing Long emitted a light sound.
The door, slowly opened.
Qing Long and YouJi were shocked and quickly turned around. The simple plain wooden door opened inwards, making a light and heavy sound of [zhi ya], adding a feeling of the past vicissitudes, maybe it was relating to its owner’s sorrow.
One foot, from that room, lightly stepped out. Ghost King’s ﬁgure, slowly appeared before them.
Qing Long and YouJi silently looked at, that man who seemed a lifetime ago.
Three days a head full of grey hair!
Ghost King’s hair, had all turned snow-white.
Qing Long’s voice for some reason, suddenly turned hoarse and uncertain, even when he heard it, he also had doubts that the voice was his,
“Sect...Head, are you alright...alright?” Ghost King’s lips twitched but did not speak, he closed his eyes and slightly tilted his head up, inhaled deeply.
YouJi, beneath her veil, suddenly said, “Sect Head, you must take care of your...body.” At the end of her words, for some reason, she suddenly thought of BiYao, her voice choked.
Ghost King’s shoulder trembled slightly but very quickly it subsided, when he opened his eyes again, although sorrow and the past vicissitudes were still etched on his face but his eyes, already had a faint gleam.
The gaze that seemed to see through the world’s vicissitudes.
“I looked to have, aged quite a lot!” He spoke one sentence, his lips moving slightly, a faint smile, but in it, full of anguish.
Qing Long and YouJi at the same time looked down, could not bear to look at this man again. Ghost King once again, inhaled deeply, let out the air in his chest, his eyes turned and then landed on the table beside Qing Long’s hand, that porcelain small urn.
“In this is…” he faintly asked.
Qing Long stepped forward, took the urn and passed to Ghost King, said, “After the great shaman passed away, subordinate boldly made the decision and crementated the elder’s body, in this small urn are his ashes.”
Ghost King quietly took the small urn, both of his hands gently caressed it for some time, sighed slightly and said, “This great master although did not save BiYao but in spite of his inﬁrm body, exhausted all of his strength and gathered all of BiYao’s souls. Although in the end all was in vain but he was our benefactor.”
He passed the urn back to Qing Long, said, “Go and prepare, with our holy sect formal rites, respectfully send the great shaman back to southern border.” Qing Long took over the porcelain urn, nodded and said, “Yes.”
Ghost King after a pause, said, “How about Ghost Li, how is he?”
Qing Long hesitated for a moment but YouJi had already spoke, “After coming out from the cold stone chamber, he looked totally devastated and beside himself, he stumbled back to his room and never came out again.” She paused for a while and quietly added, “Till now, it has already been three days.”
Ghost King’s face was somber, he slowly clasped his hands behind him, after a long time quietly said, “Ten years of grief, all surfaced overnight! Ai, let’s go, let’s go take a look at him.”
After speaking, he walked unhurriedly with his hands behind his back, Qing Long and YouJi glanced sideways at each other and then quietly followed behind.
Looking from the back, Ghost King’s head of grey hair, his ﬁgure seemed strangely desolate. Ghost Li’s room was quite a distance from Ghost King’s residence but nearer to BiYao’s cold chamber. This was because Ghost King did not wish to grieve further and so stayed far from where his daughter was, and for Ghost Li, he would visit BiYao almost every day if he was in Majestic Fox Mountain.
When the three of them passed through the corridors and neared Ghost Li’s room, Qing Long and YouJi clearly noticed something different with Ghost King’s body, not knowing was it because he was again, coming near that sad place.
But both of them, nobody said a word.
Finally, they arrived at that lonely stone door, where Ghost Li resided, the area was deserted, he had always prefered reclusiveness. Just that at a far distance outside his door, a Ghost King Sect disciple stood there.
Ghost King walked forward, opened the stone door and walked in, and was stunned. Qing Long and YouJi noticed something was amiss and went in to take a look, the room was empty, not only Ghost Li was not in there, even Xiao Hui was missing. The room’s furniture looked untouched and nothing was out of place, only the bed looked messy.
Qing Long frowned, turned and called out, the Ghost King Sect disciple who was standing outside the door ran in hurriedly, kneeled and said, “Greetings to Sect Head!”
Ghost King turned and looked, Qing Long spoke softly beside him, “Subordinate these few days other than handling the sect affairs, was stationed outside Sect Head’s room door waiting, as for here, had instructed some disciples to carefully watch over.”
Ghost King nodded slightly, turned and spoke to the disciple, said, “Where did vice leader go?”
The Ghost King Sect disciple was clearly in awe of Ghost King, even his voice was trembling, said, “Replying to to Sect Head, vice leader shut himself in his room for three days and nights, not a stir. Just when subordinate was starting to worry, he suddenly walked out this morning with that grey monkey and left straight.” Ghost King was surprised, Qing Long frowned and said, “Where did he go?”
That disciple bowed his head down and said, “Disciple followed vice leader and saw him walking out of the mountain and then ﬂew off, disciple saw his facial expression, it was very frightening and so did not dare to go forward and ask, instead came back here and waited…”
A ﬂash of anger went past Qing Long’s face, Ghost King suddenly with an exclamation, walked forward a few steps and picked up a sealed letter from the top of the bed, with a glance, passed to Qing Long and said, “It’s for you.”
Qing Long was surprised and took it, indeed it was Ghost Li who had wrote to him, bemused, he glanced at Ghost King, saw his expressionless face looking away, frowned and tore open the letter.
The letter was not that long and very quickly he ﬁnished reading it, a dark look appeared on his face, he quietly said, “Sect Head.” Ghost King indifferently said, “What is it?”
Qing Long said, “In the letter, he requested me to take the trouble of sending the great shaman’s ashes back to southern border Miao Tribe Seven Mile Cave.”
Ghost King shook his head slowly, suddenly sighed and said, “Forget it, forget it!”
Qing Long looked perplexed, Ghost King instead turned and spoke to the disciple, “You may go.”
That person, as if receiving a pardon, kowtow heavily three times and hurriedly retreated.
Qing Long looked at Ghost King, said, “Sect Head, that Ghost Li…”
Ghost King glanced at the empty room, a melancholy look in his eyes, after a long time turned around, without any word to Qing Long and YouJi, quietly walked out, a deep low voice was faintly heard from his back ﬁgure,
“All are broken-hearted people…”
X x x
Southern border, FenXiang Valley.
The Good Faction big sect which had been having a series of unforeseen events, had another shocking news this day, in a blink of an eye, spread throughout the entire valley. From deep within FenXiang Valley, seven drumbeats were heard from the Celestial Drums inside ‘TianXiang Residence’ , resounding far and near, signifying the day where the FenXiang Valley valley master Yun YiLan would emerge from his seclusion.
All of the FenXiang Valley disciples moved to stand in position, nobody dared to drawl, in FenXiang Valley main hall, ‘Mountain River Hall’, with ShangGuan Ce, LuShun at the front, Li Xun and the rest of the disciples behind, ﬁled before the hall, patiently waiting. In the crowd, the most conspicuous was the lady standing beside Li Xun, it was YanHong. Not long before on the night when the nine-tailed celestial fox escaped from the Inferno Altar, ShangGuan Ce saw through the fake YanHong and also revealed that the person was Evil Sect HeHuan Sect Jin PingEr. However, the real YanHong was only found three days ago in one of the FenXiang Valley building cellar.
This was of course that day, Jin PingEr, using some strange magic to control YanHong and hide her in a location like that. For the past few days FenXiang Valley men went out in full strength and searched the nearby big and small mountains but left out the buildings in the valley. And they only discovered YanHong when one of the disciple, because the valley was short of a certain herb, went to the cellar where the herbs were kept and thus found YanHong, if not nobody knows how long more would the poor girl have to wait in the cellar.
After suffering for the past few days, YanHong looked wan and sallow but for now, nobody was paying attention to her, every one of them was watching the side door of the hall, according to tradition, Yun YiLan after seclusion would walk out from there to meet them. Foremost in the crowd was ShangGuan Ce, still dressed in black, his expression composed, just that the people were unable to detect deep inside his eyes, indistinctly had some unusual gleams.
To him, in the past few years, every time this valley master Yun YiLan his senior brother meet him, a folding screen always separated them and his voice weak and breathless, becoming weaker and weaker recently, initially he could not believe it too but not long ago, he was gaining afﬁrmation in his heart, this senior brother who had always suppressed him, seemed near his end.
Unexpectedly the Celestial Drum in TianXiang Residence rang out like thunder, rooted him on the spot, Yun YiLan actually ended his seclusion!
Could it be that he was really practising his skills in seclusion and not concealing something?
ShangGuan Ce’s heart was restless, perturbed. And behind ShangGuan Ce, standing foremost from the younger disciple generation was Li Xun, his eyes could not hide his excitement. All along, he was Yun YiLan’s most favourite disciple and even more the God’s favoured guy in FenXiang Valley. Several years ago, Yun YiLan suddenly went into seclusion and did not give any hints prior to his decision, since then shut himself off from the world.
Although Li Xun thought Yun YiLan especially favoured him and was one of the only two with ShangGuan Ce who was allowed to see Yun YiLan but maybe of Li Xun’s young age and cultivation level, Yun YiLan handed FenXiang Valley affairs to ShangGuan Ce, as such Li Xun’s status seemed to be demoted.
However now that Yun YiLan once again was coming out, the power play naturally changed, he was still the valley master’s favourite disciple, the undisputable candidate for the next valley master, the weightage of his words therefore were not the same. And the most important was, just yesterday, which was the night before Yun YiLan ended his seclusion, a clandestine meeting took place with him and Yun YiLan and he knew beforehand that his mentor was going to end his seclusion. And following his mentor’s emergence, his long-desired wish could ﬁnally come true. Once he thought of it, Li Xun’s dashing face could no longer contain his excitement.
ShangGuan Ce’s body moved and then slowly turned around, that young teacher nephew was standing slightly behind him and although he tried his best to maintain his composure but that happiness and excitement seething in him was not after all someone his age and experience could conceal, and not even more before ShangGuan Ce’s eagle-like gaze which could see through the world emotions.
“Hei…” He sneered in his heart, quietly muttered to himself, “Young man, the path that you have to travel, you still do not know how long it is!”
Just when everyone was preoccupied with their own thoughts, suddenly the melodious sound of the drums, like coming from beyond the highest heavens, hovered in the main hall. ShangGuan Ce and the rest spirits were boosted, arranged their clothes and appearances, looked towards the side door. A red ﬁgure ﬂashed, one person’s ﬁgure slowly emerged, ﬁery red clothes which had traditionally been the FenXiang Valley valley master’s attire, representing the esteemed ﬁre sect’s beliefs.
Without feeling the ﬁre’s heat and without any dazzling light but for some reason, a ﬂash of red through the crowd’s eyes and all without exception had an inexplicable feeling, a ball of red ﬁre walking unhurriedly towards them.
And when the crowd recovered and looked clearly at the ﬁgure in that ball of red light, everyone including ShangGuan Ce who had always been composed and now exclaimed quietly in disbelief.
The person who was approaching, was a middle-aged man who looked to be at most forty plus, a head full of soft, brightly-coloured red hair untied, ﬂowing carefreely at his shoulder, giving off a hint of dissolute feeling.
Everyone looked at each other, several years ago before Yun YiLan went into seclusion, everyone clearly remembered that he was already an inﬁrm old man, his hair were all grey but right now this person was much younger than that Yun YiLan and his skin bright and smooth, not a single wrinkle could be seen.
However the shape of this person’s face was clearly Yun YiLan, especially ShangGuan Ce, more than anyone he was with Yun YiLan the longest and could afﬁrm that this was what Yun YiLan looked like when he was young but looking at that appearance, it surpassed the graceful demeanour during his youth. With the astonishing appearance, none could speak.
Yun YiLan instead seemed nonchalant, swaggered into the hall, in front of the crowd, his eyes piercing. He looked at them then suddenly smiled, his voice completely different from the aged voice in the secret chamber, clear and pleasant, said, “Why, don’t you all recognize me this valley master?”
Everyone shook, Li Xun was the ﬁrst to react, prostated and loudly said, “Disciple respectfully welcome teacher out of your seclusion, congratulates teacher on the successful cultivation of the true way!” The people were immediately jolted awake, each quickly paid obeisance, the shock in ShangGuan Ce’s eyes gradually faded away and he also bowed his head.
Yun YiLan evidently looked well, his mood was even better, he waved his hand and said, “Alright, alright, all of us have not met for a long time, let’s get up and talk.”
The crowd acknowledged and all started to stand, Yun YiLan smiled and looked at them, lastly at ShangGuan Ce, said, “Junior brother, these few years you have to stand in and take care of the valley affairs, you must be tired of it right?”
ShangGuan Ce shook his head, smiled and said, “When senior brother is not around, it is what me as a junior brother should do, however the incident a few days ago in Inferno Altar, I…”
Yun YiLan suddenly laughed loudly, interrupted his words, said, “The past matter, why does junior brother has to brood on it, the days are still long, let’s take our time to discuss.” Surprise ﬂashed past ShangGuan Ce’s face but he did not comment further, only lowered his head and said, “Yes.”
Yun YiLan glanced at the crowd, saw the revered and shock look in their eyes, evidently his body which had turned back time was really a shock to them.
Just that he did not offer more explanation, turned and asked Li Xun, “Recently is there any problem in the valley?”
Li Xun stepped forward and respectfully said, “This morning, Reverend DaoXuan of Central Plains Qing Yun Sect brought us a letter, said it was a reply to teacher’s letter a few days back.”
While speaking, his face was composed but it was different on ShangGuan Ce’s face, during the period when Yun YiLan was in seclusion, all matters in FenXiang Valley was handled by him. The letters communicated with Qing Yun Sect Head was naturally an important matter but he was not aware of it. And the arrival of the reply this morning was somehow intercepted by Li Xun secretly, clearly Yun YiLan senior brother did not want him to meddle in this matter. ShangGuan Ce felt his anger boiled but his face looked normal as usual, the unusual expression ﬂashed past.
Yun YiLan nodded and took the letter from Li Xun, assessed it and saw the writings on the letter: To be personally read by FenXiang Valley Yun YiLan.
Sender: Qing Yun Sect DaoXuan paying his respect.
It was indeed Qing Yun Sect Reverend DaoXuan’s writing, Yun YiLan smiled and tore opened the letter, took out a thin paper and read it once, the smile constantly on his face.
At the end, he nodded slightly, paused for a moment and kept the letter well in his bosom, loudly spoke to the crowd, “We will end it here, all of you to go back and prepare, not long after I will lead the outstanding disciples of FenXiang Valley and enter Central Plains to pay a visit to Qing Yun Sect and Tian Yin Temple, to discuss the world’s important plan!”
Everyone was surprised, it had been a long time since FenXiang Valley entered the Central Plains in force, unexpectedly just when the valley master emerged from his seclusion, he gave this important instruction. Yun YiLan had always been revered and the valley men did not think twice, after paying their respects, they left and went to prepare. Only Li Xun was asked to remain.
The rest of them left, leaving only Yun YiLan and Li Xun in the hall. Li Xun smiled and said, “Teacher, what skills did you exactly practise during your seclusion that could have such amazing effect?”
Yun YiLan smiled and said, “This is the special skill handed down by our FenXiang Valley ancestors, in the future when your cultivation is enough, don’t you think I won’t pass it down to you?”
Li Xun was surprised but saw the smile and warmth in Yun YiLan’s eyes, as if it contained some deep meaning, he gave a thought and felt overjoyed, quickly prostrated and said, “Disciple thank teacher’s great kindness and will deﬁnitely not let teacher down!” Yun YiLan smiled and supported Li Xun up, appraised him, sighed and said, “Your constitution is excellent and is an exceptional talent for cultivation but you are young and arrogant, your mind is still impulsive, you will still have to grab the opportunity for yourself, diligently practise more and you can become a man of great talent.”
Li Xun nodded in succession, said, “Thank you teacher for your guidance. Oh right, teacher, you asked me to stay, is something the matter?”
Yun YiLan said, “That’s right, I want you to make a trip to Central Plain ﬁrst.”
Li Xun was stunned, said, “Central Plains? To where?”
Yun YiLan indifferently said, “Qing Yun Hill. I will write a reply later, you will set off immediately and give this letter personally to Qing Yun Hill Reverend DaoXuan’s hands.”
Li Xun nodded and said, “Yes.” Yun YiLan paced to and fro and said, “After Reverend DaoXuan reads the letter, most likely he would ask you to stay for a few days at Qing Yun Hill, you don’t have to reject, stay a few days at Qing Yun and I will come along shortly with the others.”
Li Xun nodded but felt perplexed, said, “Teacher, this urgency to enter Central Plains, is it any important thing?”
Yun YiLan smiled and said, “Isn’t this because of that matter you have begged me for a long time!”
Li Xun was shocked and then joy broke out on his face, he immediately again kneeled down and loudly said, “Thank you teacher for granting.”
Yun YiLan shook his head and smiled, said, “Alright, alright, you can go back ﬁrst to prepare and come back later to get my letter, and then head off straightaway.”
Li Xun excitedly acknowledged and strided out. After the young disciple’s ﬁgure disappeared, the smile on Yun YiLan’s face slowly disappeared, he turned to the south, facing the ten thousands great mountains and gazed afar, after a long time, he suddenly spoke with a sneer,
“Since you want to come out, I will let the whole world come and stop you. Want me to take on this burden alone, hei hei, I am not that foolish!”
Chapter 140 - Decadent
Ten thousand great mountains, Subdue Devil Ancient Cave.
The Subdue Devil Ancient Cave where the Evil Beast was revived, looked greatly different from the previous scene where black clouds loomed overhead and cold wind screamed, although the sky was still dim but that mass of black air gathering at the cave entrance had dispersed, the Yin wind which was perpetually blowing out from the ancient cave had also vanished without a trace.
Other than the overgrown mountain which remained unchanged, only that lady statue which stood outside the cave entrance, rain or shine. And just in front of it, wearing that brightly coloured silk clothings, was an especially dashing, with a hint of seductive look, young man.
Fairer than normal girls, slender brows red eyes, thin lips and sharp jaws, looking carefully, this face indistinctly had some similarities with that lady statue.
Just that, their demeanours, were greatly different! This young man, was the Evil Beast revived from the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, nobody could have expected that, the ferocious beast which was feared by countless of southern border people, was this pretty and charming young man.
From the ﬁrst day he was revived, for some reason, he did not do anything, there was no widespread massacre, no shouts or whoops of joy, but only like that, quietly standing before LingLong shaman lady stone statue, gazing in silence.
A black ﬁgure ﬂashed past, the evil shaman soundlessly drifted over, stood behind the young man.
“Your Excellency Beast Deity.”
The young man without moving, without turning his head too, said, “What is it?”
The evil shaman stared at his back, said, “Thirteen evil kings have already subdued the remnant barbarians in the ten thousand great mountains, waiting for Your Excellency Beast Deity.” The young man then moved, turned around unhurriedly, indifferently said, “How many tribes are left in total?”
The evil shaman said, “Now there are only thirty-seven tribes. In this century, the groups in ten thousand great mountains without a leader, many of the tribes fought and killed among themselves and many are wiped out.”
The youth sneered, he did not look disappointed, instead there was an indistinct haughty feeling emanating deep from him, his eyes piercing, scanned the evil shaman’s face covered with black veil.
The evil shaman suddenly felt his face was as if being burned over with ﬁre.
“Actually, it should be thirty-eight tribes,“ that young man leisurely said, “There is still you isn’t it, the last member of the Black Shaman tribe!”
The evil shaman lowered his head, did not speak. The young man turned his head slowly, his eyes again on LingLong shaman lady’s face, after gazing for a long time, he suddenly called out, “Black Wood.”
The evil shaman’s body shook, this name to him, was like a wound deep inside his heart, each call, would cut him once.
The young man staring at the statue, his voice suddenly turned heavy, said, “So many years, before LingLong, have you ever regretted in your heart?”
The evil shaman was silent, after some time, he quietly said, “Yes.”
The young man did not turn, a pair of eyes gleaming with strange glint, ﬂowing ceaselessly, faintly said, “This world other than your big brother which has turned into a ﬁerce spirit, only you know the relationship between me and LingLong. At that time, the eight of you, pursued me through mountains and rivers, to think of it now, it seems like yesterday.” The evil shaman’s body below the veil, suddenly seemed to tremble, as if the past scenes were before his eyes.
Only that young man, did not seem to notice the evil shaman’s reaction, his words, rather than to the evil shaman, was more directed to the statue, mumbling, in his eyes, there seemed to be only that LingLong shaman lady’s statue.
“You, “ his voice, slowly revealing sadness, sorrow and indignation, “what exactly did you do it for?”
The statue was silent, stood unmoving.
“In your heart, what common people of the world, what destiny creation, were they all that important?” the young man’s voice, suddenly agitated, slowly becoming louder.
“If you view all these to be more important than me and so therefore wanted to get rid of me, is it like that?” The young man’s face, a hint of bewitching sneer strangely surfaced, “But did you know, I don’t care at all!” “What nonsense Heaven’s will, what common people under the sky, what does it matter?” His expression became more and more mournful, the strange thing was, even though his eyes and expression were scary, his face became more seductive and beautiful, abnormal from ordinary humans.
“You want me dead, just need to say the word, do you know? Do you know?” He sternly shouted, to that statue, then, slowly, his voice quietened down.
“But, why...you actually viewed these things, to be more important than yourself, than your own life…”
Slowly, he stretched his hand out, gently caressed that face, roughened through countless of wind and rain, it brushed past the deep memories, that once warm face!
Icy cold feeling, without a trace of warmth, travelled up from his hand.
Opening his arms, gently embracing, hugging the statue in his embrace, the young man’s face gradually turned strangely gentle. The evil shaman stood behind, quietly watched that unusual scene.
“I know, it is the common people of the world that caused harm to you.” That young man closed his eyes, like talking in his sleep he softly said, “Don’t worry, I will let all of it to be buried together with you, then, I will come to ﬁnd you…”
“Wait for me…”
The quiet voice, softly diminished and eventually disappeared. The seductive young man hugging the cold statue, the black-attired shaman stood unmoving, a shock of lightning in the dark clouds, rain drizzled down from the sky.
Heavy rain drifted down in the wind, shrouded the world in darkness, indistinctly, the evil shaman gazed over blankly, the rain fell onto the statue’s face, soundlessly dripping-
Like tears! X x x
Three thousand miles east of Qing Yun, beside the ancient path stretching southeast from KongSang Mountain, the quiet wild countryside, it was the season where grass grew long and orioles ﬂew.
The small Ho family shop located a day’s journey from Xiao Chi Town, like in the past, stood solitary beside the ancient path, welcomed and sent various travellers who passed by. The owner of the shop, shopkeeper Ho, would not have remember how many guests he had welcomed or sent off, and there would of course be all sorts of travellers passing by. But in the last three days, he could slowly afﬁrm, that although he was gradually getting older but most probably he would remember this customer.
To say one customer would also be inaccurate, truthfully, it should be a customer carrying a strange monkey. And to shopkeeper Ho, what left a deeper impression in him was, that peculiar-looking monkey with three eyes. Three days ago, while standing outside his shop beside the ancient path and soliciting customers, shopkeeper Ho saw this dusty-looking fatigued and with a blank expression man walking over from the ancient path, on his shoulder a three- eyed monkey, for some reason, he felt this person to be very familiar. When he went up to greet him and intended to convince this customer with his extravagant persuasion, unexpectedly he only said a sentence,
“Customer, we have hot tea and marvellous wine, why not come in and rest…”
Before he could ﬁnish, that wan and sallow man suddenly disappeared from his eyes, the next moment, when shopkeeper Ho recovered his senses, that man was already sitting among the wooden tables in his shop. And on the table, a silver ingot which could provide three days of endless food and drinks in this small shop.
Shopkeeper Ho was naturally delighted, hurriedly went to deliver food and wine. However what he did not expected was, this customer and monkey, really stayed on in his shop for three days and nights and until today, showed no intention of leaving. And that man’s mood, was obviously not good, in those three days, shopkeeper Ho did not see him uttering a word or smiling once. Every time he delivered the wine and food, that man only silently stared at the ﬂask and then slowly drank.
However this customer’s alcohol tolerance was extremely bad, each time he drank a little, shopkeeper Ho estimated not to be even half a ﬂask, he would slump over the table, unconscious. And contrary to the owner, that three-eyed monkey, instead shocked shopkeeper Ho speechless.
Truthfully, shopkeeper Ho with his shop here, although the location was remote but because the number of travellers passing through here was rather high, he was also someone experienced and knowledgable. But in these three days, he had already swore several times in his heart, that in his lifetime, this was the only monkey he had seen that could drink the most and had the biggest alcohol tolerance.
In just a day, all of the marvellous wines stored in shopkeeper Ho’s shop, including the jar of strong Nu Er Hong wine hidden under that old locust tree behind his shop, were all drank ﬁnished by this monkey. However this monkey, evidently looked unsatisﬁed, it grabbed its ear and scratched its cheeks, peered here and there, after jumping around for a long time, ran to shopkeeper Ho screeching [zhi zhi] non-stopped. Although shopkeeper Ho did not understand the monkey language but even a fool could tell what the monkey was trying to say, initially he did not want to bother but unexpectedly this monkey was so clever that like a ghost, it secretly stole the silver that shopkeeper Ho kept away
and showed it off in front of shopkeeper Ho.
Shopkeeper Ho was helpless and besides, they had indeed paid enough silvers, he could only send his assistant to hurry through the night and get wine from Xiao Chi Town. In the beginning he was still quite annoyed but over time, he became quite fond of the monkey. And other than its love of wine, the monkey did not have other abominable qualities, instead it often played and laughed in his shop, when it was in a good mood, it would also make funny acts like making ﬁre appear out of thin air from its hands, not only shopkeeper Ho was astounded, the other merchants who were passing by were also entertained and stayed longer in shopkeeper Ho’s shop, increasing his revenue.
And this grey three-eyed monkey’s owner, contrasted from this lively monkey, most of the time he was slumped over asleep with a heavy smell of alcohol, in-between he woke up once and only looked around with his lifeless eyes, occasionally the monkey ran back to him and his eyes would lit up a little and then he would lazily caressed the monkey’s head, after which he would seemed to again recall some sorrowful matters, took the wine ﬂask and drank again, in a short while, he would again be in a drunken slumber.
Sometimes shopkeeper Ho secretly thought, the man most likely was not just a madman. Even though he was just an ordinary shopkeeper but he could still sense that this man was different from the normal travellers. Not to mention others, just the fact that during the three days when this man stayed in the small shop, during the nights where the mosquitoes were most active in this season, suddenly all disappeared; and there were also others, in the past during the late nights, ghostly wails that frequently reverberated in the wild countryside, as if they were being scared away by something, also all disappeared. As for shopkeeper Ho who was used to those wailings, now that the nights out of the sudden turned so peaceful, he had difﬁculty sleeping.
On this day evening, shopkeeper Ho stood behind the counter, closed the account book which he had just ﬁnished tabulating, let out a long breath. Then, he looked to his own shop. There was still faint remnant of sunlight from the sun setting in the west outside the windows, while at the same time illuminating the red sunset in the horizon, it spilled in through the shop’s windows, casting long shadows of the tables and chairs onto the ﬂoor, as if time had also quietly passed by here.
Shopkeeper Ho’s mood suddenly turned odd, a thought went through his heart, to think of it, he was only just over ﬁfty years of age. Although his assistants had always said that he looked to be only about forty but he himself knew that, his body was beginning to weaken.
Time spared no man, was he going to spend his entire life like that?
He gazed dazedly at those lengthening shadows on the ﬂoor, when he lifted his head up, he saw again the mottled off marks on the four walls of the small shop.
The silent sunlight remnant, shone onto his face, revealed some inexplicable life vicissitudes. He sighed, shook his head, some things were better off not thinking about it. Shopkeeper Ho made a wry laugh, took the account book and walked towards the only customer in his shop and his monkey.
That customer was always sitting at the innermost table and as usual, slumped over the table drunk. And his monkey was crouching sideways on the table, its left hand holding the wine ﬂask, its right hand grabbing food from the plates, a mouthful of wine, a mouthful of food, life was good.
Shopkeeper Ho walked over to that customer, made a slight cough and cleared his throat but his eyes could not help but glance to the monkey ﬁrst, the monkey seemed unconcerned with his arrival, only glanced once at him and then returned its attention to the wine and food in its hands. Shopkeeper Ho let out a breath, this monkey was the most oenophile animal he had ever seen in his lifetime and on its back, it was still carrying a big wine bag, although the bag had already shriveled up but one could guess what was previously in it.
Shopkeeper Ho turned away, for some reason, he felt nervous, even he himself also could not explained it, he coughed a few times again and then carefully said, “This...customer.”
The man in front of him did not move.
Shopkeep Ho felt somehow awkward but still continued, “Erm, customer, it’s like this, three days ago the silver ingot that you paid, has been all used up, our shop earns only a small proﬁt, is it…”
That man, not knowing if he was really drunk, lay there and still did not move.
Shopkeeper Ho sighed, stammered, “Actually, customer, the silver ingot that you paid was really quite a lot, not to say having meals in our small shop for three days, even up to ﬁve days would also be enough. Just that...just that your noble animal is already amazing, its alcohol limit is really too high, just three days and not to mention ﬁnishing all of our shop’s wines, it also drunk all of the four vat of wines dispatched over in two trips…” When shopkeeper Ho spoke until here, he glanced again at the monkey, the monkey stared at him and made a funny face.
Shopkeeper Ho spoke meekly, “Can you please pay a few more silvers, erm, right, that silver ingot you paid three days ago, was also stole back by your noble animal and still not returned, I…”
Before he could ﬁnish, [ding] a sound was heard, an ingot of silver jumped a few times onto the table, before shopkeeper Ho. Shopkeeper Ho ﬁxed his eyes on it, the monkey had took out the stolen silver from somewhere and threw it on the table.
Shopkeeper Ho hurriedly picked it up and kept it in his bosom but he hesitated for a moment, glanced at that monkey and again took out the silver, opened his clothes and placed it into the inner layers of his clothes.
Just when he was keeping the silver well and intended to speak to the man again, a voice was suddenly heard,
“Is there anyone?” Shopkeeper Ho was stunned, turned back, three people stood at the entrance, two men and a lady, the ﬁrst was an elderly, holding a bamboo pole in his hands, a white cloth hung on it with words, ‘Immortal Guide’ four words; beside him, a seventeen, eighteen years old young girl, her face pretty and wearing a smile.
These two young and old, the old had a immortal taoist demeanour while the young was beautiful and graceful, and behind the two of them, stood a middle-aged man, carrying all of the luggages but he looked unusual, a head higher than the other two, his face looked like wild dog, a detestable look.
Shopkeeper Ho quickly went up to receive them, after all the customer with his monkey would not secretly escape, he better served the new customers ﬁrst. He received them with a smile, “Yes, yes, three customers, would you be having your meals or staying?”
That old man [he he] smiled, his eyes smiling too, said, “Why, shopkeeper Ho, don’t you recognized us?” Shopkeeper Ho was surprised, carefully looked at that old man and no matter how, he could not recall. He had been doing business beside the ancient path and the number of customers were a lot, how could he remember all of them, he could only awkwardly shook his head and said, “Sorry customer, humble me is old, my memory is failing me.”
That old man’s face had a compassionate look, shook his head sighed and said, “Ai, pity, pity, all of the mortal humans most likely is this way, with immortal fate in front of you, yet with no intelligent eyes to know.”
Shopkeeper Ho was surprised, immediately felt some awe and carefully looked at this old man, saw that strands of his white hair lifted in the wind, looking like a sage, most likely was a cultivated Taoist master. Although he did not understand why a Taoist master would looked like a jianghu (itinerant) fortune teller and that young lady beside the old man had a disapproving look but he thought since he was a master then naturally he himself as a commoner would not be able to understand, if he could understand then wouldn’t he also become a master? As he thought about it, shopkeeper Ho’s face revealed some reverence, respectfully he said, “Yes, yes, this customer...no, master please come in.”
The old man acknowledged, holding the bamboo pole and swaggered in, the young lady behind him gave a wry laugh and shook her head, turning she spoke to that man with the luggages behind her,
“Wild Dog Taoist, let’s go in too and take a rest.”
That man acknowledged and also followed in, three of them sat at a table, the dog-faced man placed the bags on him at a chair beside him, [pong] a sound, seemed like the bags were not that light.
The three of them, naturally they were Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan, as for that dog-faced man, it would be that only surviving member of Blood Forger Hall, Wild Dog Taoist. Ever since from the death marsh, Wild Dog Taoist had been following Zhuo YiXian and Xiao Huan to roam the world, with four seas as their home. In the beginning, Zhou YiXian really disliked Wild Dog and every other day he would pick on him, at times mocking him but Wild Dog Taoist for some reasons, seemed a totally changed man, like turning over a new leaf to Buddha, turned a deaf ear to it and continued to follow them and Xiao Huan, with her kind heart, defended him whenever she could not tolerate it.
Although she was young but her words were sharp, Zhou YiXian even though he was a seasoned vagrant but often he was rebuked until he was speechless, ﬁnally he could only accept the fact. Luckily as time passed, he gradually discovered that Wild Dog was not all good-for-nothing, like the heavy bags that he used to carry, he could all give it to this ‘labourer’ and the ‘labourer’ in Xiao Huan’s grateful eyes, did not protest at all and instead looked happy.
As for his other useful abilities, examples like encountering wild beasts during their journeys in the wild countrysides, ghosts when they were travelling, bandits when they traversed mountains etc, naturally they dispatched this Wild Dog ‘big hero’ to handle it all, along the way, Zhou YiXian only felt very at ease, he had roamed for all of his life and he had never felt so comfortable like in the past few months, his only regret was not meeting this Wild Dog earlier. During this time, the the three of them again visited the old places, since they were wandering, they could go to any places, as they travelled, once again they came back to this ancient path. And Zhou YiXian like a witty spirit, could still remember shopkeeper Ho who had a shop beside the road, pretended to be a master and awed the shopkeeper Ho.
When he saw that shopkeeper Ho turned respectful towards him, Zhou YiXian was delighted, made a show of ordering a few dishes and after shopkeeper Ho left to prepare, he turned his head over to brag to Xiao Huan and Zhou YiXian when he saw something strange with their faces, an inconceivable look on their faces, staring ahead.
Zhou YiXian was perplexed, said, “Hey, what’s wrong with you all?”
Wild Dog Taoist raised his arm which had somehow turned woody, pointed at a location deep inside the small shop, “Take a look yourself.”
Zhou YiXian glared at him, turned and looked, suddenly his body shook too. In the remnant evening sunlight, the last ray landed down from the window, in the dim corner of the shop, a man’s ﬁgure slumped and on the table, in the shadows, a three-eyed monkey was staring at them.
Xiao Huan was stunned, quietly called out, “Xiao Hui?”