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Zhu Xian Chapter 171-180

Chapter 171 - Witchcraft

Outside the ancient forbidden place, birds chirped, the mountains tranquil, other than the earlier indistinct shouts and roars of battle from the mountain a distance away, there was no other noise. Gentle mountain breeze blew over from afar, the exuberant vegetation on the mountain swayed together, it looked not like a scene from the mortal world.

Under the four bold big words of the Illusory Moon Cave, the stone walls outside the primitive cave seemed to have wear off much, as if it had recorded the infinite number of times time had quietly passed through here. And right now, this stretch of wild countryside seemed to be silent, watching these two men facing each other.

How much time over the years, quietly passed just like that, when one turned back, the good friends from the old days, how many are left?

Lin JingYu had been keeping quiet but the expressions on his face constantly changed violently, only his eyes, never left Ghost Li. That man standing silently before him! Was it still that Zhang Xiao Fan? Finally, he spoke, his deep low voice with a trace of hoarseness, said, “Why did you kill him? He was only an old man who was already in his late days.”

Ghost Li’s facial muscles seemed to twitch once, he raised his eyes and looked at Lin JingYu, that playmate from his childhood, the veins on his face seemed to move, it could be seen that he was struggling to control his emotions but such a fiery and forthright expression, it seemed to be his innate look!

Just like, when he was young, he was already familiar with it. And right now, he stood there openly, under the sunlight, questioning himself…

Deep inside the dense forest, there seemed to be a pair of dark eyes, coldly watching the two men’s figures.

Ghost Li watched him for a long time, slowly said one sentence, “He obstructed my way.”

Lin JingYu snorted and then he lifted his head to the sky, inhaled deeply, like he was speaking to himself deep inside his heart, the next moment, when he turned back, he had a cold expression.

He stared deeply at Ghost Li, looked at this once so familiar but  right  now  so  unfamiliar  face,  coldly  said,  “Since  the terrible tragedy in Grasstemple village, when we are the only survivors, I have always treated you like my brother, do you know?”

Ghost Li’s lips moved, slowly nodded.

Lin JingYu stared at him, said, “In my heart, I have always thought, we are the closest, therefore even ten years ago when you betrayed Qing Yun, I have always hoped, hoped that one day you will realize your wrongs and mend your ways, return to Good Faction again.” For the first time a dismal expression appeared on his face but in this disappointment it indistinctly still revealed hatred, coldly smiled and said, “But, eventually I am still wrong, I should have realized it earlier, you are no longer that best brother Zhang Xiao Fan, you are now already Evil Sect fearful figure, the merciless Ghost Li.” He laughed dismally, the expression on his face turned even more decisive, a sound of [qiang lang] dragons singing, jade- green light flared, ‘Dragon Slayer Sword’ left its sheath, the sword energy like dragon, like a raging torrent, raging to devour someone, reflecting Lin JingYu’s young yet angry face, looking somehow savage.

“Our past friendship, sever in half today!”

The resounding words were spoken resolutely. Following which a beam of jade-green sword light, tore apart this silence, from high up in the air slashed across the solid sturdy stone ground, a loud sound, ceasing only after a long time. After which, what was left was horizontally between the two of them, a deep sword scar on the stone slab.

Ghost Li’s face suddenly changed, even his body for some reason, trembled, he stared hard at that deep scar on the ground, for the first time his face revealed a trace of anguish.

That sword scar was so deep, carved into the solid stone, unable to be erased again. He looked at that scar, even Lin JingYu’s words, he seemed to take no notice. The deep sword scar, not long ago, he seemed to have seen it before?

Almost at some time, someone he treasured in his heart, also cut off all relations, also such resolutely!

Deep scar, deep deep scar, cut through the stone slab on the ground, severed all relations in the world but the one it hurt, whose heart was it?

Almost like he couldn’t breathe, Ghost Li involuntarily panted heavily, even his body started to shake uncontrollably but the next moment, he again took control over himself. The agitated expression on his face flashed past and never appeared again. He slowly lowered his head, secretly, clenched his teeth tight.

Then, he lifted his head, looked at Lin JingYu for a long time, clenched both of his hands into fists, his nails sinking deep into his flesh.

But on his face, he smiled instead. Lin JingYu became even more infuriated, said, “What are you laughing at?”

Ghost Li stared at him for a long time, softly said, “Realize wrongs  and  mend  ways?”  He  suddenly  laughed  loudly,  his laughter mournful, said, “Yes I am lost, indeed I couldn’t find the way but which way is the correct path, is it your path?”

Lin JingYu sternly said, “That’s right, Good Faction is the correct path, you betrayed and abandoned the Good Faction, that would be astray.”

“Pei!”

Lin JingYu’s body shook, was stunned.

Ghost Li’s dismal look, lifted his head to the sky, angrily spat and said, “Who said that Good Faction is the correct way? Is it you? Even if it’s what you said, Good Faction is the correct way, then what makes you think your Qing Yun is definitely considered the Good Faction?” Lin JingYu frowned tightly, a murderous expression revealed on his face, coldly said, “Since you and I have already sever our relations, why bother with words!”

Ghost Li coldly looked at him, said, “You want to kill me?”

Lin JingYu sternly said, “That old man is killed by you, these ten years he had devotedly taught me, treated me like his son, I am indebted to him, like a father to me. He is killed by you and you are still unrepentable, I want to rid the people of an evil, seek revenge for him.”

Ghost Li sneered, said, “There are many kinds of jackals and wolves in the world, actually it didn’t mean anything but just that I have not fulfilled my wish and so definitely will not die.”

Lin JingYu laughed a long laugh, full of disdain, the Dragon Slayer Sword lit up, he coldly said, “Enough with nonsense, our old scores over these ten over years, settle it today!”

Ghost Li humphed, dim dark-green light lit up from his right hand, that firestick glowed with dark light, quietly flew up. Birds chirped lightly, the mountain felt even more tranquil, the lush green mountain, clear breeze lightly blew, under the boundless sky, before the thousand years old ancient cave, the two childhood friends, coldly facing each other, about to do a life-and-death battle.

And at this time, suddenly, behind them, a deep rumble was heard from that Illusory Moon Cave, the surroundings started to shake, both of them changed countenance.

Before they could react, from that ancient cave, a purple gas flashed past, instantly that purple gas leapt up, shrouded the cave opening, the clouds surged, among it thunder rumbled, the purple gas like a column, charged straight up to the clouds.

Leaving the two of them before this Heaven and Earth spectacle, right now looking extremely insignificant, their clothes flapped in the wind, again staring at each other coldly.

The wind was whistling. Passing TongTian Peak, imposing and solemn but not only it was an absolute silence over at Good Faction side, even that black pressing stretch of demon beasts ahead, seemed to sense something, also quietened down, looked up.

Standing above the white skeleton monster’s skull, the brightly coloured silk clothings of the Beast Deity gently fluttered in the wind, a youthful appearance but his eyes showed a timeless gaze, also looking at that gradually emerging huge sword formation in the sky.

The majestic purple air, first soared up from back of the Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak, its speed like lightning, its momentum unparalleled, charging up to the sky, like an enormous purple pillar supporting Heaven and Earth, suddenly appeared in this vast world. The purple air rose, turbulently and finally landed on that rock-yet-not-like-rock Zhu Xian Ancient Sword.

That moment, Zhu Xian Ancient Sword lighted up, even from a far distance, the innumerable humans, could sense high up in the sky, on that ancient sword, there seemed to be something, moving slightly, like slowly awakening from a deep slumber. On the ancient sword, brilliant light released, reflecting Reverend DaoXuan’s face.

His dark-green robes rose without wind, making flapping sounds, his right hand holding the sword, his face solemn, his left hand fingers held a sword gesture tightly, between Heaven and Earth his low voice was heard, like Sanskrit chanting, like a strange incantation, reverberating far and wide. Suddenly, his left hand sword gesture moved, piercing the horizon, almost at the same time, the other six lofty mountain summits of Qing Yun mountain ranges, six rays of light rose up, like a long rainbow running through the horizon, broke through and arrived, streaking a long trajectory across the firmament and finally also landed on that Zhu Xian Ancient Sword.

Instantly, the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword was enveloped in an extremely dazzling radiance, like the rising run descended upon the mortal world, unable to look at it, the resplendent light burst forth from the ancient sword, immediately that mass of dark air which was hovering in the horizon was chased completely away.

In the resplendent light, seven colour lights merged into one, rose up from that mass of brilliant white light, in the sky, transformed into an enormous seven-coloured sword, flowing with colour and light. Following which, that colourful main sword with the ceaseless pouring of the seven mountain summits spiritual energies, started to become larger and during the process, different single-coloured energy small spiritual swords separated from it, increasing in number, started to spread thickly over the sky.

On the ground, a burst of cheers was heard from the onlookers, numerous young disciples, regardless or not whether they were from Qing Yun sect, all revealed awe and revered expressions, looking up at that almost mythology majestic sword formation in the horizon. And many of those who had experienced that Qing Yun turmoil ten years ago, right now had mixed feelings, some rejoiced, some silent.

Among the crowd, the surrounding young disciples smiled and laughed, Lu XueQi silently looked up at that resplendent, imposing Zhu Xian Sword Formation, the rays of light, reflecting down from the sky, enveloped everyone including her in it, reflecting her face bright. Just that, on her beautiful cold face, there was no expression, only in her pair of bright eyes, reflected that seven colours light, dimly, flashed with a different kind of feeling but eventually nobody could see what was deep in her heart. Ten years of time, without realizing, quietly passed by like that, who would still remember, that heart-wrenching cry at Qing Yun Hill? Who would still remember, that young man who sank into despair?

Lu XueQi’s body trembled, suddenly seemed to recall something unbearable, even the expression on her face also dimmed down, subconsciously she held TianYa Celestial Sword tighter in her hand.

The sky full of sword figures, became more and more dense, numerous brilliant lights, covered the entire sky.

In the Beast Deity’s eyes, reflected the entire sky infinite swords, looking at it for a long time, he nodded, his face solemn, sighed and said, “It is really the work of the Gods, didn’t expect that there is such an unparalleled figure in Central Plains, able to gather the spiritual energies of the mountains and create such an exceptional sword formation. It is really amazing!”

He clapped and praised, said three times in succession, “Amazing!” “Amazing!”

“Amazing!”

Although he sang praises but his face did not show the slightest fear, or should say, nobody knew, someone like him, a human-but-not-like-human, like those ghost demons, would he feel fear and dread?

In the stormy situation, the enormous monster made a low growl, slowly rose up and hovered in the air, facing that Water Kirin and Reverend DaoXuan standing on its back.

The violent wind blew past, the sky silent!

The humans and beasts racket below, suddenly seemed to be very far away, leaving only the two of them facing each other, the vast Heaven and Earth yet seemed narrow and cramped, seemed unable to accommodate two people. Both of them looked at each other.

Reverend  DaoXuan  coldly  said,  “Under  Zhu  Xian  Sword, demons and ghosts have never been able to survive, if you are smart, surrender now, incarcerate yourself for a lifetime at Qing Yun and I will spare your life.”

Beast Deity was stunned and then laughed out, did not mind, only shook his head slightly, his face showed a few signs of ridicule. Reverend DaoXuan saw it, did not speak anymore, breathed deeply, his right hand held the sword tightly, his left hand suddenly waved, the sky full of dense swords, suddenly an orange spiritual sword left the crowd, pierced through the sky with a sharp whistle, shot towards Beast Deity.

Beast Deity was solemn but his eyes stared intently on the sword that was flying towards him, this orange sword flew like lightning, in a blink was already less than one zhang before him. Beast Deity suddenly raised his left hand, five fingers spread towards the direction of the sword.

In the mid-air, black gas appeared out of thin air, one zhang before the Beast Deity, instantly solidified and formed a black shield wall, top square bottom sharp, blocked before the orange-coloured small sword.

A moment later, the orange sword collided onto the black shield!

Heaven and Earth, in that instant, still that silent.

[Rumble!]

Following, like the rising run leaping out of the water surface, a thunderous rumble immediately erupted, and in the black air orange light, few lightnings flashed and then slowly receded.

These two objects were both formless gas objects but as if like the world’s most sturdy treasures both shook hard, the entire firmament and earth, shrouded in the deafening rumble. The invisible sound waves, strong winds following, Qing Yun Hill summit, everyone’s ears were ringing, their countenances changed. Although the people already knew the two of them were highly skilled figures but from that exchange earlier, it looked like an ordinary testing of skills yet actually had such a powerful impact, it was really unexpected, at the same time the final outcome of this battle, would be even unpredictable.

There were even some who already thought, after this calamity, under such intensive and fierce fight, what would be the outcome of Qing Yun Hill.

In the air, Reverend DaoXuan and the Beast Deity faced each other, both expressionless, couldn’t tell if there was any sign of surprise or shock emotions. Under the dazzling colourful spiritual swords sky, the Beast Deity was shrouded in a mass of black air, looking especially glaring.

After a long time, Reverend DaoXuan slightly snorted, his left hand sword gesture signalled, his robes danced, against that resplendent ancient sword Zhu Xian in his hand which flashed for a moment, in the firmament, suddenly violent wind came from all directions, the sky of sword images, half of the swords in the horizon suddenly swayed. For a moment, brilliant lights and vibrant colours in the horizon, extremely awe-inspiring, almost unable to view directly.

The Beast Deity’s countenance changed, focused to meet it. As expected the next moment, starting from the back of Reverend DaoXuan, several colourful swords had already turned, trembling and shaking in the sky, targeting the Beast Deity. The cold energy, instantly surged and raged, the next moment, half of the swords in the sky, at one glance unable to tell the exact numbers, all seemed to be manipulated by an invisible force, slowly turning over.

Between Heaven and Earth, an austere atmosphere. But before the people could react, the ancient sword in Reverend DaoXuan’s hand had already exploded with light, at the same time, like an angry tide erupting, the raging waves hit the shore, the hundred over single-coloured spiritual swords in the formation formed a long and wide seven zhang huge sword rain, pounded down with a rumble.

The sky rang with piercing sharp whistles, [suo suo] sounds reverberated between Heaven and Earth. The Beast Deity watched the sword rain approaching, with a loud shout, the enormous monster below his feet at the same time howled long to the sky, its cry extremely mournful. However both of his hands opened wide and closed, his body moved, making weird movements, even from afar, for some reason, everyone on TongTian Peak at the same time heard an extremely odd desolate song.

That song was completely different from Central Plains, desolate and forceful, like a wild huge beast howling to the night sky in the storm, there was even a endless whistling feeling.

Following the deep ancient music, accompanying it was sonorous and rhythmic strange drum beats, the black air around the Beast Deity suddenly soared up, black like ink, in the violent wind rapidly circulated, like a black dragon brandishing its claws, imposingly watching the world.

Chapter 172 - Evil Beast

No sooner said than done, that overwhelming rain of swords had already arrived before the Beast Deity, the strong winds creating a biting pain on the face. And at this flint-spark moment, the Beast Deity’s figure was suddenly concealed, vanished in the cloud-mass of black gas, instead that ferocious spiritual huge beast beneath it surged with black gas, suddenly leapt up, its skeleton making cracking sounds, surrounded by the cloud of black gas, it looked even more terrible.

That terrible monster roared to the sky, at that instant the sky changed, sands and stones blew and rolled away from the ground, almost no one could stand straight. In the chaotic scene, the black gas surged and rolled, merged with that monster, in a blink expanded more than three times, several streams of black gases emerged out from its white skeleton, danced in the air like tentacles.

By now the Zhu Xian sword rain had already arrived, the thousands swords were no ordinary formation, the black gases rushed up, before it could reach it, instantly it was dispersed completely by the swords energies, leaving not even a trace, charged down and headed straight to that savage monster. That ferocious monster roared incessantly, the strange howls again and again, this batch of extremely sharp swords looked like it would soon hit the huge monster, suddenly those several tentacles like alive, flew up and met the swords, the black gases covered the clouds and hid the sun, blocking the sword rain.

The Zhu Xian swords in a blink met it, however those black gases-like-tentacles were definitely not like the surrounding black gas but yet not like the initial tough and sturdy gases wielded by the Beast Deity, the hundred-over spiritual swords charged down, those tentacles as if alive, wrapped around, gradually slowing down the momentum, even the swords’ brilliance, slowly dimmed, gradually losing its shine.

However Zhu Xian swords were after all not ordinary, although it was formed by invisible energies, in order to dissolve these swords, the surrounding black gases tentacles evidently were also wounded by those celestial energies, huge amount of vapors rose, from that ferocious monster’s body, black gases poured out endlessly, in a blink filled up the front. In not a short while, these hundred over Zhu Xian spiritual swords were inconceivably dissolved away. Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak, absolute silence, like a dead silence.

In the mid-air, Reverend DaoXuan looked even more grave but there was no fear, his celestial-like figure towered aloft at the top of the clouds, his hand holding the brilliant shining Zhu Xian Ancient Sword, looking like an ancient celestial deity.

But he only sneered, his right hand holding the sword towards the sky, slowly waved, following which the ancient sword’s brilliance dazzled, thunder indistinctly started to rumble in the sky, the entire sky rumbled, the powerful Zhu Xian sword formation started to turn together, especially that seven-coloured main sword was even more resplendent, unable to view it directly.

In the white light, from the ancient sword Zhu Xian, suddenly purple air leapt up and charged to the sky, directly entered into the sword formation, instantly within ten zhang the purple gas spiritual swords gathered together; closely following, the other six brilliant lights one by one leapt up, magnificent and dazzling, flying into the sky, immediately formed a seven-star position within Zhu Xian sword formation, each an enormous single-coloured sword formation, majestic and awe-inspiring.

The winds and clouds whistled, the violent sound of the winds.

A shock of thunder suddenly in the silence, a loud crash, like the hearts of thousand people in shock, the swords’ brilliance flowed in the horizon, colourful lights dazzled, numerous colourful swords streaked past the horizon, charged down with sharp whistling.

Like an angry tide in the sky, surged forward, the purple gas leading, at one glance it looked endless, even much more powerful than the previous force. And behind the purple gas, every ten zhang, single-coloured spiritual swords converged, whistling and surging, turbulent and raging, not what a human could imagine.

Looking at this almost armageddon-like scene, not one did not change countenance, their palms breaking out in sweat. Mixing in this deafening thunder and sharp whistling sounds, the ancient song slowly submerged, even those strange drum beats, had long disappeared. But that huge monster, facing such frightening furious billows of the sword rain, it was still brazen, in the rising black gases, it howled sharply, like provoking the sky, extremely arrogant and obstinate.

In a blink the swords’ light pounced onto its body, several black gases tentacles immediately rushed up, in spite of the fact that this sword energy was already incomparable to the previous attack but the southern crude ancient witchcraft, had a strange unfathomable deity-ghost ability, the black tentacles became more daring as it battled, although it was pierced a thousand holes and openings by the innumerable sword energies in an instant but the endless black gas immediately was filled up, the largest limit was actually expanded, extended several zhang more.

Just that this wave of purple spiritual swords charging into the black gas, forcibly suppressed the black gas but the next moment, the black gas had already countered, leapt up, swallowed the spiritual swords one by one. Even it was so, before the black gas could resume its original form, the second wave of sword formation had already arrived. The multifarious scene, boundless piercing light, in the firmament the swords light like rain like locust, dense and thick, and with Reverend DaoXuan’s power manipulation, Zhu Xian ancient sword turned more and more resplendent, in the mid-air the seven-coloured main sword continued to split out more and more single-coloured spiritual swords, the speed increasing and increasing, waves and waves of soul-stirring huge sword formations, with a loud rumble struck down that mass of black air.

Under such brazenly attack by this Zhu Xian formation like angry tide, the black gas was unable to regain its initial arrogant look, gradually starting from ten zhang radius, gradually being shrunk and facing waves of even stronger waves, the turbulent swords light almost like infinite and giving a feeling of hopelessness, the black gas gradually was unable to sustain. The enormous ferocious monster still roaring incessantly but the surrounding black gas had gradually became weaker, every wave came nearer to it, the black gas gradually became thin, the strange tentacles also gradually weaker, struggled to resist that sky of sword rain.

Unknown since when, after a period of long silence, the crowd below broke out in waves of cheers. The last six tentacles, after with effort resisted that wave of green sword, finally dispersed and disappeared, in the air, leaving only that huge monster.

Heaven and Earth solemn, spiritual swords marched over unhindered!

Indistinct ancient song, vast and boundless wilderness!

Like a shock of thunder, like a flash of lightning, infinite swords rays descended from the sky, pouring over from all directions, piercing through that huge monster in the sky.

The huge white skeleton instantly splitted, numerous black blood fluid sprayed out, the monster abruptly lifted its head, made a heart-wrenching cry to the firmament.

The winds ceased and the clouds dispersed.

The sword rain ceased. Ten thousands eyes watching, the huge ferocious body, every inch of flesh and bones, seemed to be trembling, watching carefully, twinkling with numerous tiny swords, stabbed everywhere, from head to tail, from top to bottom, there was not a place where it was whole.

The people on TongTian Peak sucked in a breath of cold air, for some reason, felt a sensation of pricks at their backs.

Just that, that monster was still not dead, the head stabbed full of Zhu Xian numerous swords, slowly turned around, looked at its body full of holes and slowly lowered it head. For some reason its voice, was not that mournful and ferocious, right now it was extremely deep, looked reluctant and even more in pain.

The giant mouth opened and closed, two red glints flashed past its eyes, like fire flames, burning strongly but eventually soon after that, shattered and disappeared.

The next moment, in the mid air, from the huge monster’s body a loud sound burst forth, resounded between Heaven and Earth, numerous swords flew backwards, even that sword formation in the firmament, also had a wave of disorder.

Then, that once mighty huge ferocious monster, as if it suddenly become extremely fragile, the violent wind blew past, the indestructible skeletal body, like sands and stones, collapsed finely, white bones to sand, flesh to stones, scattered with the wind.

The crowd silently stared at the horizon, when victory was in sight, no one cheered, as if there was a layer of strange feeling, enveloped everyone’s heart.

In the sky, that once huge body seemed almost completely dispersed with the wind, suddenly a cry was heard from below, following which everyone started to cry out. In the monster’s body, although the flesh and bones were completely dissolved but there was still a mass of black gas, slowly rotating in the air, the next moment, when the monster was finally completely destroyed, and that mass of black gas slowly dispersed, revealed a sight. It was a young man body, indeed it was the Beast Deity who had disappeared. However the Beast Deity right now was not that cool and compose as before, instead he cut a sorry figure, especially that gorgeous set of silk clothes, right now was full of holes, blew once at by the strong winds, turned to ashes in the sky.

Right now he was naked but on his face, there was no fear or disappointment, on the contrary, his eyes was staring ahead at that majestic vast sword formation, suddenly smiled, stretched his body, his entire body hovering in the air, clapped and said, “Admirable, admirable!”

Reverend DaoXuan’s countenance changed, apparently he did not expect that the Beast Deity was such a difficult foe, facing such powers and he could still resist, and at one glance, he only looked slightly pale and tired, on his body, not a single wound.

Below, suddenly a commotion, many of the female disciples at Qing Yun Hill right now realized with a start, their faces red, did not dare to look at the sky again. Instead at the horizon, although the Beast Deity was naked but he did not seem to care, as if he was like that since the beginning of Heaven and Earth, behaving like nothing had happened, only stared intently like that ancient sword in Reverend DaoXuan’s hand.

Reverend DaoXuan sneered, said, “If you surrender now and promise to incapacitate your skills yourself, at Qing Yun rear mountain Illusory Moon Cave re-cultivate and progress to Good, I can spare your life. Otherwise, under Zhu Xian Sword, will not let you such a menacing threat live!”

Having said that, he held the Zhu Xian ancient sword, gently waved, immediately the swords in the sky seemed to sense it, wavered together, a commanding presence. But at this moment, a trace of pain flashed past Reverend DaoXuan’s face, although it was just for a moment but the Beast Deity had already caught it.

The Beast Deity hovered in the air, his eyes ablaze with a strange glint, a trace of smile revealed on his lips, lightly said, “Like this kind of extreme savage celestial sword, in addition with the spiritual energy from the green mountains below, you actually are able to sustain until now and yet still not exhausted, it is really incomparable to ordinary person.” Reverend DaoXuan frowned, in a deep voice asked, “What do you mean by these words?”

The Beast Deity laughed and did not answer, only shook his head, said, “The ferocious spirit of the ancient sword, must definitely be created out of Heaven and Earth vicious currents, came from the same source as me, how would I not know? You forcefully wield the sword and battle with me, the outcome still unknown but mostly taking advantage of the sword energies, harming others and yourself like that, you are not an ordinary folk, why do you still need me to elaborate further? He he, “ Speaking until here, the Beast Deity coldly laughed twice, again said, “I advise you to abandon the sword early, otherwise later on the sword backlash, I’m afraid your outcome will even be thousands and ten thousands times more tragic than me.”

Reverend DaoXuan stared at the Beast Deity for a long time, suddenly shook his head and laughed loudly, his eyes full of disdain, said, “Evil spirits and demonic heretical ways, how would you know our Taoist school benevolent heart! And furthermore our Taoist school true way, supreme celestial sword, how will it be what your ravings are?” He made a clear whistle, at where his arm was raised, the entire sky of swords quivered, imposing said, “Evildoer, receive death!”

The Beast Deity sneered, the glint in his eyes burned like fire, eagerly said, “Good, today will let you see the power of our southern border witchcraft!”

He had just spoke, black gas already formed, from his skin, suddenly flashed with black air, the next moment his fair skin had turned totally black like ink, and under the skin, it started trembling, countless tiny lumps rose, like alive, started to shake unceasingly.

In an unknown far place, the open vast wilderness, suddenly an extremely low [dong dong] strange sound was heard, like a human heartbeat, extremely weird. In the far horizon, outside Zhu Xian sword formation brilliance ten thousands zhang away, the sky suddenly darkened, the dark clouds rolled over from all directions with rapid speed, quickly gathered beside the Beast Deity. Reverend DaoXuan looked grave, his entire self alert and prepared, stared at the strange changes in front of him.

In the hovering black gases, the deep strange sounds which seemed to come from the spiritual Nine netherworlds travelled faster and faster, denser and denser, made one involuntarily felt as if their own heartbeat also increased in speed, faster and faster, until in the end it felt almost going to burst, a few lower- skilled Good Faction disciples actually could not take it, fell and sat on the ground, used their internal energies and struggled to resist.

And in the air, as the black gas turned thicker and thicker, suddenly, a deep low roar, like a creature growl, and yet like an insect breaking out of its cocoon, everyone could see it clearly, on that black Beast Deity’s body, from the left arm, the skin burst, from the countless small bumps that shook incessantly, slowly extended out something, with fingers and hand, it was actually another arm, and on this new arm, strong sturdy bones, far bigger than the body’s own arm, couldn’t imagine how this could stretch out from the original arm.

However this was just the beginning, following the sounds of deep bursting, every part of the Beast Deity’s body seemed to explode out, and from there different kinds of huge body parts appeared. And before long, from these new body parts, again burst opened, again grew new and even bigger body limbs.

The people on TongTian Peak were struck dumb with shock, looked at each other, such bizarre unnatural black art, not only they had never seen, they had not even heard of it. Thousands and thousands of years in Central Plains, in countless of ancient books and records, never had anyone recorded such shocking black art.

Right now Reverend DaoXuan, also couldn’t help but suck in a breath of cold air, stunned to see the Beast Deity who looked like an ordinary young man, at the moment constantly expanding, until finally when he stopped splitting, towering in front of Reverend DaoXuan, facing Zhu Xian formation, was already a as high as ten zhang, thousand hands hundred heads monster.

TongTian Peak mountain rear, Illusory Moon Cave boundary.

The purple column that had rose from the cave was still the same, without any sign of faltering, looking at it from afar, that column looked like it was solid, propitious vapours rose, solemn and dignified.

And in the sky at the moment, covered more than half by Zhu Xian sword formation, even separated from a far distance, Ghost Li and Lin JingYu both could feel the surging turbulent celestial power of Zhu Xian in the horizon.

Restraining the trembling Dragon Slayer Sword in his hand, Lin JingYu looked away from the sky, shocked by the power and might of the ancient Zhu Xian, at the same time his emotions also had a slight change. Just now, he and Ghost Li seemed to at the tip of a life-and-death fight, this Zhu Xian sword formation started suddenly, a majestic scene, immediately stunned both of them. The two like-mindedly stopped.

And to say it actually, very likely the person standing in front of him, would be feeling even more complicated right? Lin JingYu for some reason, this thought flashed past his mind, turned and looked at Ghost Li. That man, who looked to have gone through the vicissitudes of life, quietly looking at the sky, that brilliant, soul-stirring majestic scene.

Heaven and Earth quietly turned silent, the sound of wind from somewhere far, seemed to blow over, the voice many years ago, and deep inside the mind, reverberated countless of times the past ten years, heartbroken each time the scene was revisited.

[Ding...ding...bell…]

Faintly, like the wind-bells gently swaying in the breeze, who glanced back and smiled in the sounds of bell, that once light green figure and gentle body with warmth, that little bit of remaining warmth, God knows those past few years, how many desolate nights it had warmed him?

The chill from the recesses, from the heart coldly surfaced, gushed up into the heart, chilled the heart, made the body cold, from the fingers to deep in the heart, like it could never feel another trace of pain, yet suddenly discovered, that time had already transformed into a sharp knife, constantly cutting. But blood was not seen!

“BiYao…”

He lightly spoke, for some reason his body, started to tremble. In his eyes, reflected those ten thousands brilliant lights from the swords, almost not a mortal world scene. That numerous disarray galloping swords light, every ray that unrestrained and confident, all vivid in his mind, reminding him the memories of the past.

That green figure, as if standing beside him, like ten years ago, facing everyone, never retreating, never once regret!

“Hu ah…”

Ghost Li howled to the sky, both of his eyes wide opened, two hands clenched into fists, made a deep low [ge ge] sound. As if sensing its owner’s indignation, the Soul-Devouring slowly flew up, its dark black body, thin lines of dark red like blood vessels one by one lit up, reflected in Ghost Li’s eyes, gradually dyed both of his eyes red. Crisp cry of the sword, alerted him, Ghost Li slowly turned around, a pair of blood red eyes, saw Lin JingYu’s sneer and disdain expression.

“You are really beyond hope!” Lin JingYu resolutely said, “I should have known, you have degenerate into the Evil Faction and it is hard for you to come back, unfortunately I still care about our former friendship, hope that you will come back. Forget it, today on this Qing Yun Hill, let’s make a clean break!”

Ghost Li watched him for a long time, suddenly laughed out loud, his laughter gradually turning wilder, full of arrogance and disdain.

Lin JingYu was furious, with an angry shout, made a sword gesture, immediately jade-green light shone brightly, Dragon Slayer Sword’s light seemed to transform into a greenish blue dragon, rising into the air. At that instant, violent winds started in front of the cave, Lin JingYu holding the celestial sword flew up, his white clothes flapped, dashing and confident, like a giant among men, emerged out in the world floating. Just that at that moment, the murderous look in his eyes, seemed to surpass Ghost Li. Flying up, Dragon Slayer Sword had already slashed down, although separated by a distance but the sword ray streaked over, like a green dragon its force impossible to resist, lashing out a deep groove on the ground, straight to Ghost Li.

Ghost Li, still that wild and slightly savage look, watching the jade-green ray bursting over, suddenly his body like a ghost, instantly disappear.

The Dragon Slayer Sword ray cut down, hit at there Ghost Li was standing previous, immediately the sturdy stone slab on the ground broke apart into four or five pieces, a big pit carved out.

The next moment, Ghost Li suddenly appeared one zhang before Lin JingYu, the Soul-Devouring stick flew out, red light flashing, flying with a whistling sound, the strong wind assaulting the face, also without any mercy.

Lin JingYu was shocked but calm, his body suddenly leapt up, avoided the thousands-pounds-force, turning back wielding his sword he was already charging over. Ghost Li made a long laugh, did not avoid and headed straight, the Soul- Devouring like lightning had flew back to his hand, heading towards Lin JingYu.

The two childhood playmates, glaring at each other like that, fighting till life and death.

Like an arrow leaving the bow, collided in mid-air!

Instantly, violent winds abruptly gathered, with the two persons as the centre, invisible sound waves rippled out, uprooted the trees nearby, flying backwards.

And in the center of the storm, the two persons’ faces at the same time flashed with a trace of pain, an indistinct gold ray flitted past Ghost Li’s face.

This fight which happened at the rear of TongTian Peak, following the winds brushing past the lofty ridges and towering mountains, over a far distance, it was already inaudible, moreover right now in the mortal world sky, the living things in the world, who would still care about them? In the sky, there was still an even more important battle!

Just that, among the crowd, for some reason, Lu XueQi suddenly was shocked, strangely a faint gold light flashed past her face.

She turned back stunned, her body stiff, gazing far, in that far distance, it was that secluded remote mountain rear...

Chapter 173 - Celestial Sword

In the mid-air, Reverend DaoXuan frowning tightly, facing that, as if from the Nine netherworlds ferocious ghost, Beast Deity, not only him, all of the Good Faction people below, everyone of them was also staring in shock.

That monster in the air, its entire body as black as ink, the muscles on the colossal body bulged, numerous thick sturdy limbs extended out from the body, at a quick glance, not less than several hundreds, including the head and face which had deformed due to the witchcraft, it was even more savage and terrible, it was really an evil beast which never had been seen ever since Heaven and Earth formed.

After a period of silence, a stir of commotion and hubbub started from the human crowd, other than being utterly shocked, many more had actually expected, with this kind of southern border barbarians, naturally were the extremely vicious and evil type, this person before them looked not like human nor ghost, neither evil or devil monster, how would it be an innate thing from the world? In the mid-air, Reverend DaoXuan took a deep breath, unhurriedly placed Zhu Xian ancient sword horizontally before his chest. The dazzling white light continued to pour out from the ancient sword, not only shrouded the sword in it, even Reverend DaoXuan’s entire right arm was also enveloped. Looking from the outside, right now the horizon was full of swords’ images, the sword formation a commanding presence, Reverend DaoXuan looked even more like a immortal but for some reason, under his celestial-appearance, his face started to look pale.

“Evil-doer, “ Reverend DaoXuan’s voice was like the peals of a deep bell, his tone deep, rumbling off, compared to previously, it was more austere, “you still have not come to realize the truth, are you waiting to be caught?”

The thousands-hands monster that the Beast Deity had transformed to, obviously did not give any weight to Reverend DaoXuan’s words, and after transforming, his voice also changed, it became hoarse and grating, as if a torn sandpaper sharpening  a  steel  knife,  sneered  and  said,  “Waiting  to  be caught? Hehe, later I will first skin you alive, then disembowel those useless things below and dig out their hearts, send them to meet you at Hades, how about it?” Reverend DaoXuan’s baleful energy between his brows flashed, without bothering with more words, where his sword gesture moved, immediately the sky full of swords danced, Zhu Xian sword formation was activated once again. Although that monster’s words were wildly arrogant but facing this unparallelled once a thousand years sword formation, naturally would not dare to be negligent, focused and prepared to fight.

But a sonorous golden drum suddenly resounded, from far to near, out of nowhere boomed, the seven-coloured radiant lights from the ancient sword leapt up, directly entered into the sword formation, immediately the extraordinary lights in the sky flashed, the swords laid horizontally, instantly again formed seven huge single-coloured sword formations, like before, facing that transformed monster.

From the Beast Deity’s mouth it issued a low deep growl, black gas circulated on the surface of its huge body, like ink, hundreds of strange arms either opened or closed, facing the imminent storm.

Reverend DaoXuan with a long whistle, like a mountain eagle charging up to the sky, straight up to the clouds, where the sound reaches, white light exploded, Zhu Xian swayed, the enormous sword formation moved with a rumble, the single- coloured swords slowly turned over, aimed at the Beast Deity.

After a moment, the sky which had been quiet for a long time, again [suo] a piercing sound rang out, closely following it, blotting out the sky and covering the earth, was all sharp piercing sounds, numerous Zhu Xian swords streaked past the horizon incessantly, carrying immense malevolent energy and murderous intention, charging towards the Beast Deity, in a twinkling of an eye, the first wave of purple sword formation had already rushed to the front.

The Beast Deity huge body, looked to be this innumerable swords’ live target soon, however, when the numerous Qing Yun Hill Good Faction disciples were about to rejoice, the hundreds strange long arms on the Beast Deity’s body, flew and danced, every arm gathered thick black gas, looking almost like a huge black cloud, rose to meet the sky.

In an instant, hundreds of swords stabbed down and the Beast Deity’s hundreds of strange hands were like apparitions, swiftly danced in the air, facing those almost indestructible swords, those black hands were not the least afraid, in a moment, the first wave of purple swords were either caught or hit, either wrapped around or removed, all of the swords were received. In the black gas, those swords soon lost their color and quickly dissipated away.

The countless people were dumbfounded, for thousands of years, this was the first person that could face and fight the Zhu Xian sword formation!

Just that, in the constantly changing situation, it did not allow one to have the time to think about these extra stuffs, like the long river angry waves, billows turbulent, the huge colourful main sword continued to produce countless of small swords, and even more under the Zhu Xian sword and Reverend DaoXuan’s manipulation, turned into an infinite sword rain and rained down, every sword carrying the Zhu Xian murderous energy, wave after wave, like thunder rumbling, like lightning flashing, pouncing towards the Beast Deity.

The Beast Deity roared incessantly to the sky, the deafening sound reverberated in the clouds, right now he was like facing the Heaven’s celestial spirits, fighting against the sky. The strange hundreds arms, wielded in the clouds, the black gas surging, layers of layers, responding to the sharp cries that filled up the sky!

One wave, and another, the hundreds thousands swords were like endless, pouring down, but looking at the Beast Deity’s huge body, it seemed to be a transformed devil, never a moment of tiredness, these two figures whom were both at the peak of their cultivation, fought wildly at this Qing Yun Hill.

Just that, there was after all a limit to human strength…

A wave, and another wave!

Until the forty-ninth wave of swords poured down, the seven colors sword formations had completed seven turns. Standing at the summit of the storm, Reverend DaoXuan was pale, even his right hand which was holding the ancient sword Zhu Xian, wrapped by the white light, indistinctly started to tremble.

And ahead, the Beast Deity looked even more sorry, after going through this wild storm of sword formation-like baptism, the original majestic hundreds over strange arms, more than half had already been destroyed, and the initial thick black gas, looked to have thin down much. Just that when he received the last wave of swords, his savage look turned more hideous, he did not lose morale but instead became even more high-spirited, a sound of hoarse weird laughter, like an evil ghost growl, broke out.

At the moment, the crowd was silent, everyone had turned pale, that soul-shocking, culmination of the fights, stunned everyone and made one unable to contain oneself, just that one never imagined, that unparalleled Zhu Xian sword formation, still could not subdue this exceptional evil beast, could it be, that this catastrophe was really inevitable?

The Beast Deity laughed to the sky, his huge body inconceivably leapt up, pounced towards Reverend DaoXuan, suddenly, between Heaven and on Earth, cries of alarm. Only Reverend DaoXuan, was shocked but calm, took a deep breath, a soft shout, the Water Kirin below him immediately moved back.

Unexpectedly, although the Beast Deity’s body was colossal but its speed was as fast as lightning, in a blink of an eye it had already pounced ahead, instantly black gas surged, not knowing how many huge arms grabbed over.

At this critical juncture, Reverend DaoXuan’s Zhu Xian ancient sword abruptly hung upside-down, a face which was pale immediately flushed red but turned pale again, repeated swiftly three times like that, the ancient sword Zhu Xian exploded with light, like a long whale water sucking in water, instantly sucked all of the swords in the sky, horizontal before Reverend DaoXuan, condensed into a colourful sword wall.

The Beast Deity’s countenance changed but it was too late to retreat, [pu pu pu], [ge ka ka] loud sounds were heard in the firmament, in that moment the black gas scattered, not knowing how many strange hands were annihilated.

Reverend DaoXuan was seen turning danger to safety and at the same time also wounded the Beast Deity heavily, Qing Yun Hill countless of disciples’ moods changed from greatly shocked to overjoy, cheering and jumping for joy. Unexpectedly before their cheers stopped, on that brilliant sword wall which annihilated numerous strange arms and black gas but just that the thickest and sturdiest black arm, where the black gas was especially thick and heavy, forced its way through and with one palm, hit onto Reverend DaoXuan’s chest.

Reverend DaoXuan, like being hit with lightning, his body shook, together with the Water Kirin howling to the sky, one man and one beast flew backwards heavily, until a distance of several zhangs, they then stopped. And the people at the foot of the mountain clearly saw, this push, Reverend DaoXuan’s dark- green robe immediately tore into pieces, bright red blood spurted out from his mouth, drops and bits, seemed to land onto the ancient sword, dotted dark red lights among the white light, and then gradually disappear.

Below Heaven and Earth, immediately a deathly silence.

The Zhu Xian sword formation in the horizon, seemed to be also affected, a wave of shakes and sways, the sky full of swords shook ceaselessly but eventually became still. It could be that because the true way suffered damage, the initial overwhelming Zhu Xian sword formation, right now its boundary was reduced to more than half of its original size. An ominous premonition, seemed to envelope everyone's heart.

Wiping away the blood stains on his lips, Reverend DaoXuan looked at his palm, blood stains flowed onto his hand. He watched for a long time and then slowly looked ahead, right now the sword energy, dark clouds had all completely dissipated, the Beast Deity in front of him was watching him like a tiger eyeing its prey, but looking at him, although the Beast Deity had injured him but he himself was no better.

The arms which were reduced to less than half of its original number, in a blink had again suffered heavy losses and annihilated half by the Zhu Xian sword, looking at it now, only several were left but those remnants, were the most powerful ones, completely different from the other arms. And the Beast Deity itself, his face which was shrouded in black gas, right now seemed to be slightly pale but the battle mood on his face, like the most ferocious beast, turned stronger in defeat, did not have the slightest intention to give up.

The corner of Reverend DaoXuan’s mouth twitched, seemed to be smiling bitterly, but this slight action, seemed to also affect his injury, his body swayed a few times, causing the crowd below to cry out. But fortunately he only swayed a few times and then stood firm, however right now his vulnerability, was evident.

The Beast Deity ahead of him, sneered with [ka ka] sounds, in a deep low voice said, “How is it, ignorant humans like you all, even though with such supreme celestial object, it is still an outcome like this, before it is too late, you better kill yourself!"

Reverend DaoXuan silently looked up, facing the firmament, the Zhu Xian ancient sword’s light reflected his face, suddenly there was a different demeanour.

"Qing  Yun  sect  ancestors…”  Reverend  DaoXuan  suddenly spoke, but the words, the intonation was deep and slightly with pain, “disciple DaoXuan is unworthy, unable to subdue the evil demon, implicating the common people, the catastrophe is imminent. For the survival of the common people, disciple has no choice but to violate the prohibition, hope that ancestors will still bless, eliminate the evil and subdue the devil, even though disciple will be consigned to eternal damnation, disciple is also willing to bear." His voice was light, not many could hear it, everyone saw him mumbling, his expression seemed to be grieved, the crowd was perplexed, not knowing what Reverend DaoXuan was doing. Just that a moment later, suddenly in the mid-air, Reverend DaoXuan glared, sternly and imposing, his left hand sword gesture suddenly led, straight towards that Zhu Xian ancient sword in front of his chest.

White light shone, suddenly red beam flashed, Reverend DaoXuan’s left hand was seen entering into the white light, when it emerged again blood was spilled but his face, although looked pale but there was not a trace of pain, his left hand with a quick stroke, in the air with fast speed drew out a strange picture, and the blood dripping from his fingers did not drop down, instead accompanying his hand’s movements, coagulated in mid-air, materializing to life.

A red, blood TaiJi picture!

Dark red blood, started to swiftly flow on the diagram, becoming brighter and brighter, like a red jade, and the TaiJi diagram itself also began to rotate with speed. Reverend DaoXuan looked more and more pale, at the same time that Zhu Xian sword shrouded in white light in his hand started to tremble, as if this celestial sword within this hilt, seemed to be disturbed by something, desiring something!

That TaiJi diagram turned faster and faster, slowly rose, arrived at three chi before Reverend DaoXuan, Reverend DaoXuan right now looked extremely pale, as if his entire body’s vitality was being sucked into the diagram but he still used the last bit of strength, held the ancient sword up, suddenly stabbed with force, penetrated this bloody TaiJi diagram, at the same time, he shouted with a loud shout -- "Heaven! ... Secret! ... Seal! ...”

Each time he shouted a word, the Heaven and Earth in the reverberation, in the windless clear sky, a shock of thunder impressively accompanied it, earth-shakingly, a wave of imposing great force, descended from the sky, formless yet with substance, penetrating from the top in. Where the violent wind began, on his body, [pong, pong, pong] like explosions, with his three loud shouts, his clothes instantly burst opened, turned into ashes.

And under his feet, on the vast great land, the expansive Qing Yun mountain ranges rumbled loudly, the earth started to tremble, the seven peaks of Qing Yun mountains towering into the clouds, without exception, TongTian, Long Shou, Morning Sun, Sunset, Return of the Wind, Big Bamboo, Small Bamboo seven summits, green mountains deep valleys, within the majestic huge rocks, golden lights spilled out, turning brighter and brighter, gradually converged and formed, the golden light resplendent, as if shooting out deep from the mountains spiritual summits, as if these mountains originally were alive, in this resplendent golden light, the huge mountains started to breathe.

And in this swaggering dazzling golden light, finally gathered and formed seven different golden huge diagrams, on this great earth mountain peaks, facing in the far away horizon that ancient sword Zhu Xian.

Splendor horizon!

Glorious magnificent!

Even the Beast Deity was also dumbstruck! Zhu Xian ancient sword started to shake even more violently, and that TaiJi diagram which was formed from blood was already spinning to a blur.

Golden green flashed on Reverend DaoXuan’s face, burst out in a loud shout.

"Break!"

A word “Break”  shouted, instantly the entire sky of swords shook intensely, the vast horizon, darkened completely, violent winds stones rolled, the mountains shook earth quaked, strange rocks started to fall, the solemn broad seven summits golden diagrams, as if being tore apart by some great force, started to slowly scattered.

And almost at the same time, the light on the ancient sword Zhu Xian became more and more intense, the white light dazzling, and even shrouded Reverend DaoXuan in it. And at this earth-shaking overwhelming scene, the seven colours that had rose from the seven mountain peaks, suddenly disappeared. At the same time, the sky full of swords also all gradually faded, leaving only that seven-coloured main sword in the formation, turning even more resplendent.

[Rumble!]

Sound of thunder, resounded throughout Heaven and Earth, the earth quaked even harder, those golden lights on the seven peaks had reached their final moment, finally totally dissipated.

Rumbling thunders, like the sea tide surged and reverberated in the sky, and below on the earth, instead turned silent, no longer quaking, no longer splitting. After which, almost at the same time, different coloured lights more than ten times intense than before, rose with a rumble, charged up to the sky and re-gathered onto the ancient sword Zhu Xian.

Blazing brilliance instantly like explosion lit up Heaven and Earth, shot forth in all directions, unimaginable light enveloped the whole world, on the ancient Zhu Xian sword formation, leaving only that huge colourful main sword, but at this moment, from the ancient sword Zhu Xian reflecting rays of extensive huge lights, little by little, in the ten thousands people’s dumbstruck gazes, that colorful Zhu Xian main sword, from radiant splendor flowing lights, gradually integrated, gradually became a single color, giant sword blazing with white light, its resplendent ten thousands zhang, illuminating the world.

In that instant, countless of people came out of their shock, watching the incredulous scene in the sky, everyone drunk in the sight, wild cheers undulating, filled up the Qing Yun Hill.

Everyone came back suddenly from despair, in a blink seemed to be filled with confidence, that in this world evil still does not suppress the good, completely disregarding that it was still not the end of the battle, victory was still unknown.

Just that, in this wild crowd, everyone looking up at the sky, no one will notice that in the mad chaos, there was a white figure, quietly leaving the crowd, swiftly heading to the rear mountain.

The wind brushing past the cheek, a hint of chill but how could it cover, that ball of burning blazing fire deep inside the heart? Lu XueQi’s snow-white face, indistinctly had a faint flush, tightly biting her lips, deep inside a pair of eyes, had already arrived deep inside that remote rear mountain!

At the fringe of the sky, the chaotic situation was still pressing!

But who else was still concern?

Indistinct ancient song, quiet language of the heart, following that fluttering white clothes, gone far with the wind, galloping towards that unknown distant place.

Chapter 174 - Zhu Xian

Compared against the phenomenal great battle at the front of the mountain, this fight was very much different, the fight between Ghost Li and Lin JingYu these two childhood good friends, the scale was much smaller than the former but the intensity level seemed to surpass instead.

Nobody could ever imagine that! Once as close like brothers, in the end it turned out like this, the two figures at one moment separated, at another moment clashed, like a wild storm engulfing the surrounding areas of the Illusory Moon Cave, the trees were either struck down, uprooted or split into half, even the thick and solid great earth, by these two extremely fierce powers, became bumpy and rough, deep pits and broken stones everywhere.

If it was just comparing their cultivation and power levels, Ghost Li had different sects’ true ways and also practised three volumes of Evil Sect classic <Tian Shu>, his skills level, actually definitely could not be used to compare against an ordinary martial artist, his skills could be said as one of the world’s elite figures, even for Lin JingYu this kind of talent, he was not as good. But at the moment the fight between the two of them, for some reason, it turned out to be quite well matched. If to compare their emotions, there were actually only two reasons, first would be that Lin JingYu was inherently hot-blooded, for the past decade he had been following that mysterious elder in the Founders Ancestral Hall to practise, what he learnt was a strong and fierce martial art which happened to stimulate his own potential, complementing his nature and the Dragon Slayer Sword’s force of no return, the battle strength and force instead were actually higher level than his own skill level. And right now he was full of anger, each sword stroke fatal, almost like that hundred years ago legendary Wan JianYi, an impossible force.

And Ghost Li although his skills level was high, a solid foundation but it had a weak spot, which had been limiting him. At that time when he was practising both Qing Yun sect Taoism ‘Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way’ true way and Tian Yin Temple Buddhist sect ‘Great Brahman Wisdom’, each contradicting each other, causing his progress to proceed slowly and although later on he was fortunate to learn the general principles of Tian Shu and linked up the two remarkable true ways, greatly increasing his cultivation level but in his body, his foundation truth had already been changed to Evil Sect classic’s <Tian Shu> strange arts. Just that the <Tian Shu> skills were really enigmatic and profound, furthermore there was a con to it, although the general principles were all there but the cultivation truths in the book, were not complete within three volumes, at every critical junctures of training, there would be breaks, like as if one walks on a highway, going to and fro the great Tao (translator note: it could also mean main road), suddenly a precipice cut off before you, unable to proceed ahead, wishing to walk the other way but there was simply no way to go. So as such these various obstacles were really not little, these few years the Sinister Orb’s vicious currents backlash, Ghost Li was
helpless against it, mostly likely was because of this. As such
for Ghost Li’s cultivation, it could not be totally unleashed.

But even though it was so, Ghost Li with his number of true ways, how would it be trivial, <Tian Shu> art although was incomplete but it was after all an enigmatic skill since the creation of Heaven and Earth, the different ingenuity were not what an ordinary person could imagine.

The two of them fought for a long time and eventually it was still Ghost Li who gradually gained the upper hand, the Sinister Orb’s red rays and blood stench, like a venomous snake spitting, gradually suppressing the Dragon Slayer Sword’s jade- light. Lin JingYu was shocked and angry, although for the past ten years Ghost Li betrayed Qing Yun and joined the Evil Sect, becoming a foe with the Good Faction but he had never fought directly with Qing Yun. And Lin JingYu had always been practising in the Founders Ancestral Hall so although both of them had seen each other once in southwest Death Marsh but it could be said that they had never fought each other before. And in Lin JingYu’s heart, Ghost Li’s image was actually most
probably still that simple and slow Zhang Xiao Fan.

From young till adult, from the GrassTemple Village to Qing Yun Hill, Lin JingYu was always stronger than Zhang Xiao Fan in every aspect, although in his heart he had always regarded Zhang Xiao Fan as his own brother but unwittingly, with his proud character since young, in many matters he still disdained Zhang Xiao Fan. And for many years, things were what he had imagined, Zhang Xiao Fan was not as clever as him, not as good-looking as him, coming up to Qing Yun Hill, many of the seniors also fought to take him as disciple and yet nobody paid attention to Zhang Xiao Fan. And in the later days, both of them trained separately, he went on to Long Shou Valley and Zhang Xiao Fan to Big Bamboo Valley, his cultivation skills even fared worse than him.

These various situations, all clearly revealed that Zhang Xiao Fan was really incomparable to him, just that after Qing Yun Hill seven branches contest, Zhang Xiao Fan for some reason had some good luck, could actually squeeze into the top four, and he himself at that time was matched against senior brother QiHao and was defeated, although he felt somehow depressed but assuming that the crowd also knew the reason for that, Lin JingYu’s opinions did not change much. All along, he viewed Zhang Xiao Fan like his brother, when Zhang Xiao Fan was being bullied, he sternly came forward, as if he was looking
after his good-for-nothing brother.

Until the breakup today, fighting till life and death, Lin JingYu shockingly discovered, this person whom he had always regarded as someone below him, unknowingly seemed like he had already surpassed himself.

An inexplicable fury abruptly burned from his heart, Lin JingYu’s dashing face, suddenly looked somehow savage. He with his proud character, the only drawback was that he loved to go to the extremes, at that moment, he could not accept the fact.

The jade-green light shone, like an arrogant dragon roaring wildly, countered-back in fury. In the intense fight, the purple gas column that both of them were circulating around, as a result from the Heaven Secret Seal being broken, was several times thicker than before, the roaring purple gas, had already enveloped both of them. Lin JingYu was in an inferior position yet suddenly retaliating, his strokes striking over like toppling the mountains and overturning the seas. Ghost Li was shocked, watched as Lin JingYu approaching with his sword, each sword stance swift,
although the force was powerful but he disregarded his own safety, attacking with all of his might.

Ghost Li frowning tightly, right now they had been fighting for quite a while, or maybe because this was Qing Yun sacred ground and furthermore with the purple gas column triggered by Zhu Xian ancient sword, in the beginning, the vicious currents aroused in Ghost Li’s heart, it not only did not control his mind as before, instead it allowed his body’s pure power to take over, gradually reducing, Ghost Li’s head slowly regained clarity.

Just that above their heads in the sky, was that Zhu Xian sword formation, for ten years not a single night or day he did not think about this, it was really carved in bones and engraved in the heart, BiYao’s image moreover did not stop appearing before him, mentally draining and heart breaking. And this person before him, after he became clear-headed, Ghost Li recalled the years of friendship and right now his anger, most likely was also triggered by him, recalling that old man from the Founders Ancestral Hall, Ghost Li felt some guilt, as such, gradually did not have the mood to fight.

Heaving a long sigh, with his perturbed mind, Ghost Li did not have the mood to continue the fight, only felt that right now this place, was really an unbearable agony, and wished to leave, his heart also had a suffering thought, couldn’t wait to return to Majestic Fox Mountain immediately, looked at BiYao and to tell her all of it.

And this moment, Lin JingYu before him had already a sword out of the thin air, approaching with a sharp whistling, the jade-ray like lightning, broke out of the long sky. Ghost Li’s face was heavy, he stepped three steps back, the Soul- devouring stick struck down from the top, hit upon the Dragon Slayer Sword blade.

Lin JingYu’s body shook greatly, felt a strange incomparable stench of blood evil current travelling over from that firestick- like black stick, at the same time there was a strange sucking power, stimulating his body blood, about to gush outwards, almost uncontrollable. Lin JingYu turned pale, knew most likely it was that evil sinister magical weapon in Ghost Li’s hand but his nature was upright and unyielding, he was not only unafraid, did not retreat and instead advance, Dragon Slayer Sword like a dragon swimming under the sword, rebounded up, disregarding his open chest, heading straight and attacking Ghost Li in the face.

Ghost Li’s eyes flashed, at that moment if he were to make a move, although he himself could not avoid being heavily injured but had ninety percent confidence of fatally hitting Lin JingYu, just that looking at this familiar face, Ghost Li’s mind suddenly flashed with the image of both of them playing at that time, and then, BiYao’s smile.

In this world, how many are there that I still cherished, still left in this world?

As if laughing at himself, he laughed bitterly and asked himself, taking back the Soul-Devouring evil stick, at this imminent peril crisis, leapt up into the air, avoided it. Just that his bitter smile was caught by Lin JingYu, like ridiculing him, infuriating him even more. And at this moment, Ghost Li who was in the air suddenly was shocked, looked far away, saw a white figure, swiftly like lightning floated over, until the person saw clearly the situation scene, like receiving a shock, on the absolutely beautiful face, it revealed a mix of pleasant surprise, indistinct grief and joy expressions, even her voice, seemed to be trembling.

“You...it’s really you…”

It was Lu XueQi.

On her snow-white face, unknowingly since when, for the first time in her life, two teardrops quietly rolled down.

That man, looked at her stunned, slowly landed from the air, that familiar face, for how many years that longing which etched in the memory?

In the beginning believing he was really dead, what kind of grief and anguish? If it was not for there was still outsider around, she practically wanted to fall into his arms and have a good cry.

Who is willing to be lonely for a lifetime?

Who is willing to spend the days alone?

If it wasn’t because the feelings had turned so deep and uncontrollable, how would it be that clearly concerned but appeared to be cold like frost!

Ghost Li also felt stunned, opened his mouth and looked like he wanted to speak but was unable to say any words. Unexpectedly at this moment, Lin JingYu behind him did not stop, the Dragon Slayer Sword like wind like fire, shouted loudly, still sweeping over.

Ghost Li suddenly with a rude awakening, flipped to receive the enemy, he had already lost the key moment, the jade-green dazzling light, about to reach him, Ghost Li’s evil currents on his face surged, the Sinister Orb in that instant turned red. And at this imminent peril moment, suddenly, the once not long ago memories, faintly awakened again.

A fair hand, stretched out from beside, grabbed hold of Ghost Li’s hand.

Ghost Li’s body had a shock, suddenly, his body seemed to lose all energy, an emotional feeling from the depths about to burst forth gushed up his heart, a [weng weng] sound resounded deep inside his head, suddenly turned back, a cry of “BiYao” about to call out.

Just that he stopped in shock, blocking before him, white clothes floating, it was Lu XueQi.

[Qiang lang…]

Like the phoenix cry beyond the highest heavens, clear and melodious, pleasing to the ear, TianYa celestial sword like autumn waters flowing, unsheathed, a sword of irresistible force of Dragon Slayer Sword blocked off, Lu XueQi blocked before Ghost Li. That delicate, pretty face, full of tenderness, how would it be bothered, all of the things in the world?

Lin JingYu angrily hollered, “Lu junior sister, are you crazy?”

Lu XueQi’s body shook, like waking up from a dream, then, she quietly turned, looked at Ghost Li, her eyes misted yet gentle and beautiful, smiled gently, she slowly let go of Ghost Li’s hand.

“Mad  ah…”  Lu  XueQi  smiled  faintly,  her  eyes  seemed  to contain only Ghost Li, quietly said, “A long time ago, most probably I have already turned crazy!”

Ghost Li was silent, the vicious currents on his face dispersed, leaving only anguish flashed past his face, quietly bowed his head.

Lin JingYu was stunned, in the scene, turned quiet for the moment. And at this moment, suddenly above the sky, a deafening loud crash was heard, the mountains immediately quaked violently, with their level of skills, they could not stand firm too.

The three of them were shocked, looked up at the sky, saw in the blue sky, that unequalled catastrophe, finally had reached the final moment.

X x x

The blazing white light, dazzling, nobody could ever see clearly that human figure in that ball of light. People could only see, the dazzling light in the sky illuminated the entire firmament, even the rising sun at the sky fringe also paled in comparison.

In the entire horizon, the Zhu Xian sword formation meteorological phenomena, right now only the main sword remained but the power contained within it, surpassed the entire sky of swords. The blazing white light which continued to intensify from Reverend DaoXuan’s mass of radiance, shot out to the main sword, the entire sword’s colour changed from seven colours to a single colour, from single white to pure white, its brilliance stretched for ten thousands zhang, like a wild sword about to pierce the sky.

In the violent winds, the Beast Deity hovered above the clouds, watching that celestial sword which should not appear in the mortal world, his savage face had a trace of vacant.

Before the ten thousands people’ anticipated gazes, in the ten thousands wild-like joyous cheers, the huge blazing sword, slowly stirred, turned around, facing the Beast Deity. Just that movement, the surrounding black gas around the Beast Deity was forced to retreat several zhang by this natural foe-like white light.

Deep inside the white light, someone seemed to pant heavily, the voice hoarse, like a wild beast deep growl, a trapped beast roar.

The Beast Deity stared intently at that sword and mass of white light, after a long time, suddenly laughed out loudly, his voice was terrible and hoarse to begin with, right now laughing at the top of his voice, it was even more grating, the audience not one did not cast sidelong glances.

The Beast Deity only laughed loudly, his demeanour wild, as if in his heart, there was a world’s most ridiculous thing, but eventually he only laughed wildly, did not say a word.

In the horizon, the violent winds turned more and more intense and cold, Zhu Xian celestial sword’s force became stronger and stronger, unknowingly since when, as if some voice from the Heaven and Hades travelled over, softly chanting a mysterious incantation, started to reverberate between Heaven and Earth.

That mass of blazing white light, suddenly rose into the air, landed on that resplendent Zhu Xian main sword hilt, almost at the same time, Zhu Xian sword formation suddenly activated, like a force that could break the Heaven, that sword attacked over with a scream, it seemed to be slow but in the Heavens and below the earth, there was not one place that could avoid it.

Encounter deity kill deity, encounter immortal kill immortal! (translator note: kill immortal also means Zhu Xian)

In the current world, there was no longer any object that had such power.

The strong winds scattered the last of the clouds, all completely dispersed, nobody would know, right now facing this Zhu Xian wild sword that Beast Deity’s heart, what exactly he was thinking?

Just that, he did not show the slightest fear and not even the slightest intention to retreat, welcoming the wind, welcoming the light, the enormous Beast Deity’s body leapt up with gusto and actually headed straight towards Zhu Xian.

Heaven and Earth seemed to be still, the chaotic state seemed to stop breathing, everyone stared in shock at the clear sky, black and white the two colours traversed the sky, collided with a crash!

Nobody could describe the situation at that time, the sky collapsed, the earth splitted, Qing Yun Hill mountains in one day quaked thrice, this time was the strongest, the enormous mountain summit precipice, surfaced numerous cracks and gaps, numerous huge stones rolled from the mountains and dropped down. In the Jade Pool on TongTian Peak, water waves rose and rolled, the original calm water surface incessantly surged up few zhang high of water columns into the air.

And on the Qing Yun Hill top, the Good Faction members and the remaining beast demons, all were as silent as a cicada in cold weather, especially those demon beasts which were like beasts but not like beasts, right now were all in great shock, restless, madly roaring.

However, all of these comparing to the scene in the sky, seemed nothing, and nobody would care too.

The huge Zhu Xian sword traversed the horizon, struck down with a rumble. Where it passed by, sharp hissing sounds were heard in the sky, all of the things along the way, completely annihilated, leaving not a single trace. In the periphery of the wild sword blade, along the outside of the white light, dark red colour presented, not knowing if it's the intense air friction, or this blade itself was too intense. That sword struck down with a rumble, the Beast Deity howled long to the sky, all of his arms joined before his chest, his strange eyes glared widely, at that moment where Zhu Xian sword struck down, the black gas multiplied, the strange hands stretched and withdrew, a shock of thunder rumbled in the horizon, he had forcibly catch hold of this celestial sword which seemed to be able to split the Heaven.

In that instant, in the Heaven and below on Earth, were all struck dumb with astonishment.

However, white light leapt up, illuminated ten thousands zhang, the huge Zhu Xian main sword emitted thunder rumbles, from the black hands like iron hoop, forcefully, slowly stabbed down.

One inch, one inch, and another inch.

The black hands one by one, gradually swallowed by the blazing light and dissipated. That wild sword now looked like, a supreme ferocious deity, brandishing its claws, taking lives, carrying infinite murderous intention, bit by bit stabbed down towards the Beast Deity’s chest. The black gas flickered, sharp whistles charging to the sky, black blood fluid sprayed out, the Zhu Xian sword finally stabbed into the Beast Deity’s chest, and inching in, the blazing white light flickered intensely, like lightning flickering across the sky, hitting upon the Beast Deity’s skin.

Skin and flesh, slowly faded, the huge body, seemed to begin to appear illusory, almost turning into a void by this earthshaking force. The light in Beast Deity’s eyes turned weaker and weaker, in the end it could not fight against this unparallel celestial sword.

His figure under the Zhu Xian sword, became smaller and smaller but for some reason, as if the collision depleted the forces, following the Beast Deity’s body shrinking, the huge Zhu Xian sword also started to shrink, only that mass of brilliance, was still that bright and dazzling.

This situation continued on, until the Beast Deity finally again reduced to a normal human size, the black gas shrouded for a moment and dispersed with a rumble, the crowd clearly saw, he again changed back to that youth, just that his appearance was pale, his hair in a disorder, evidently the defeat was determined. And more importantly, almost at the same time when the black gas dispersed, Zhu Xian sword also dissipated but that mass of light still congealed in front of the Beast Deity, flickering incessantly, finally gathered before the two of them, metamorphosed into that stone yet not like stone, jade yet not like jade Zhu Xian ancient sword, stuck in the Beast Deity’s chest, horizontally piercing out.

Reverend DaoXuan’s figure, slowly emerged from the light, just that he did not look like his initial celestial appearance, instead had turned cruel, his eyes were blood red.

The Beast Deity heavily panting, coughing unceasingly, his lips trembling slightly, bended his head and looked at his chest.

The Zhu Xian sword was stabbed in his chest, blood flowing out, but it was not red.

He miserably laughed, heaved a long sigh, said, “Remarkable...re..markable!...” Suddenly, he had just finished his words, joining his hands together, right now his body had regained a normal human appearance, his arms were also like normal human, but this joining of hands, clasped the Zhu Xian ancient sword between his palms, immediately black gas gushed, directly flowed into the Zhu Xian ancient sword blade.

[Ka!]

A slight almost inaudible sound, was heard from the ancient sword, Reverend DaoXuan’s countenance greatly changed, quickly glanced over, on the ancient sword, a line of crack clearly shown, horizontal on the sword.

Reverend DaoXuan was greatly shocked, loudly shouted, using all of his strength, pulled out the sword. Almost at the same time, the moment the sword left the Beast Deity’s chest, as if a severe pain attacking his heart, the Beast Deity roared loudly, his voice desolate, his entire being flew up to the sky and backwards.

Reverend DaoXuan right now only felt the blood in his mind in a tumult like raging waves, a wave of murderous vicious currents tossed and turned like trying to break through his chest but he was after all had profound skills, knew no matter what he could not let the tiger return to the mountain, furthermore he had forced the Heaven Secret Seal opened, the veins of the earth’s spiritual energies were too vigorous, it had already overloaded Zhu Xian sword, and from that hit from the Beast Deity, it left a fissure.

When he forced himself to take a deep breath and was about to pursue, out of a sudden a wave of strong force abruptly came from the Zhu Xian sword, directly hit his head, in that instant broke his body several hundred years of cultivated energy channels and acupoints, a loud ringing sound rang out. For a moment, his body trembled, blood flowed from the seven apertures in his head, his body wavered and with a loud cry, the Zhu Xian sword in his hand loosened, fell from the clouds.

This shocking scene bewildered the people on the ground, all were struck dumb, out of a sudden they saw a big change, the Beast Deity escaped with heavy injuries, Reverend DaoXuan instead collapsed, everyone immediately was in a chaos.

For a moment, there were some who went to pursue the Beast Deity, there were some who rushed forward to save Reverend DaoXuan, and some younger disciples who came out from their shock, suddenly discovered there were still numerous demon beasts staring vacantly on TongTian Peak, immediately attacked over, and how would the demon beasts allowed themselves to be capture willingly, at that moment on TongTiang Peak summit, another tumult of attack shouts.

And in this pandemonium, suddenly someone exclaimed, the voice was anxious and frantic, as if he had seen the most frightening thing in his life, “Zhu Xian...Zhu Xian sword? Where did Zhu Xian sword landed?...”

In that instant, on TongTian Peak, again another pandemonium, numerous people like headless flies, a scene of tumult.

X x x

The boundary at the back mountain.

The purple gas column in the Illusory Moon Cave slowly scattered, leaving only a little remnant of propitious vapours. That extraordinary scene in the sky just now, the three of them stared in shock.

Right now, they then regained their senses.

Lin JingYu inhaled deeply, calmed himself down, coldly spoke to Lu XueQi, “Lu junior sister, what is your meaning of this? Don’t tell me you also want to betray the sect?”

Lu XueQi was stunned, opened her mouth to speak but turned and looked at Zhang Xiao Fan, eventually did not say anything.

Ghost Li stared at her deeply, both of their eyes met, as if looking deep into each other hearts…

Ghost Li smiled, turned and faced Lin JingYu, once again stood in front of Lu XueQi. Lu XueQi viewed that back figure from the back, the light in her eyes glimmered, complicated and unclear.

Lin JingYu sneered, about to make a move.

And at this moment, suddenly a sharp whistle was heard from the sky, whistling over.

The three of them were surprised, moved back, something descended from the sky, seemed slow but actually fast, [pu] a sound landed on the ground, the solid stone slabs like beancurd, was stabbed deeply in by it.

This was a long sword, the quality odd, like stone and not like stone, its appearance primitive, on that sword blade with a thin crack, clearly engraved with two words - Zhu Xian!

Chapter 175 - Blood-sucking

Qing Yun Hill, TongTian Peak.

Before the Illusory Moon Cave, Ghost Li, Lu XueQi and Lin JingYu the three of them facing each other, it was actually a very delicate atmosphere, suddenly it seemed to freeze, all of their attention in that instant were all on that ancient sword stabbed into the ground.

Zhu Xian!

The renowned ancient sword, implicating numerous past events, the legendary sword that determined countless number of people’s fates, right now quietly stuck into the ground, looked ordinary and unremarkable, seemed to be part of this landscape.

Only, that name carved onto the blade, was that glaring and overweeningly arrogant, although silent but obstinate, sternly watching the people around it, causing the onlookers, unable to breathe normally. For an unknown length of time, like waking up from an inconceivable shock, the three of them at the same time let out a long breath but almost at the same time, the atmosphere had quietly changed.

Lin JingYu instinctively moved and wanted to dash ahead but after he glanced at the two people beside him, he instead frowned and slowly stood firm.

Lu XueQi initially looked shocked and then a bright glint seemed to flash past her eyes, facing this ancient sword which had supreme position in Qing Yun and even in the world, she was also frowning slightly. Following which, she subconsciously glanced at Ghost Li beside her, watching his expression, she quietly, pulled a distance from Ghost Li.

Ghost Li was silent, looked expressionless but in his eyes, a fire seemed to be blazing.

That sword, the ancient sword which had been his nightmare day and night for the past ten years, suddenly was before him, the primitive blade glimmered with faint light in the wild mountains breeze, reflecting in his eyes, it seemed like, stabbing into his chest.

That, slowly falling down from the sky graceful and lifeless green body image ah…

“Ah!...”

A roar which seemed to burst forth from his chest, tearing apart his lungs, charging towards the Zhu Xian ancient sword, dark-green light flashed, the Soul-devouring ahead of him moving swiftly, as if resounding with his master’s emotions.

Just that abruptly, bluish green sword ray cut in from the side, Lin JingYu holding the Dragon Slayer Sword, had already blocked in front of him, boiling with rage the jade-green sword forcefully blocked the screaming dark-green black energy.

A muffled sound, the two magical weapons had already clashed in the mid-air, Lin JingYu wanted to shout but abruptly felt even though it was broad daylight but that weapon which accompanied Ghost Li, suddenly the world dimmed, ghost wails besieged him with a loud sound, his body felt like he was being inextricably tied up with a large silk rope, and before him, many different frightening illusions that looked like they were from the nine netherworlds.

And Ghost Li before him, his eyes had already turned red again, full of murderous intention, his body appearing even more like a ghost.

Lin JingYu glared and shouted loudly, in the black energy the bluish-green light rose suddenly, broke through from above and leapt up, almost at the same time, Ghost Li’s figure had in a blink reached where he was, the black energy dispersed with a rumble like the wings of a demon, spinned and gathered again like a ghost hand, shrouding Ghost Li in it, like an angry tide rolling from all directions, heading for that Zhu Xian ancient sword.

Lin JingYu was forced back from the air, couldn’t defend in time, panicked and was about to shout in fury, suddenly before the ancient sword, deep inside the black energy, a ray as bright as autumn waters, like frost snow bursting into bloom, voiceless yet a clash, reverberating far off, in the black energy, bloomed like flower, a sword stabbed out. TianYa!

That frost-like snow-like white light, streaked through the sky, where it brushed past, the black energy slumped and scattered, directly attacking towards the recesses of the darkness ahead, blocked its path.

Lu XueQi appeared and blocked before the Zhu Xian sword, her face expressionless, a clear and beautiful face, her face was instead pale and looked without any color.

Deep inside the black energy, two spots like ghost fire stared at Lu XueQi, the ghost wails chilling, wild with anger and irrepressible.

There seemed to be something, ahead, like a wild beast panting and roaring, that unfamiliar?

The black energy exploded, from the ground it suddenly reached several zhang high up in the air, and within the black energy, that two spots of ferocious ghost fires also disappeared. Lu XueQi’s lips slightly moved, her face pale and expressionless, only that glint in her eyes flickered unceasingly, ten thousand torrents and a thousand crags seemed to pass by in that instant, countless emotions, at that instant rushed to her heart.

Just that, the TianYa in her hand, still refused to give up, that ancient sword behind, suddenly seemed to turn into a ten thousand zhang abyss, making her unable to retreat not even a fraction!

An ancient sword, or maybe a silent and ancient, sect that raised her?

She raised her sword to the sky, quietly stabbed, that sword light like snow, yet carried a trace of desolation.

The black energy ghastly, the wailings abruptly rose, in the air, the direction where TianYa stabbed towards, a black figure emerged suddenly, Ghost Li appeared out from the dark energy recesses, but before him, the Soul-devouring flew up, instantly, the black energy that covered the sky filled the air and descended, the entirely black Soul-devouring stick screamed unceasingly, at the tip of it the blood-red thin lines, had all totally lighted up.

A pale hand, stretched out from the air, grabbed hold of the stick, coming down from the sky, wind and smoke immediately turned wild, unlimited dark gas gathered at the top of the stick and formed a column, struck down from the sky.

Facing Lu XueQi, and also at her back, that silent ancient sword.

Just that, she in the end, still did not retreat…

The sword stances like snow, sprinkled towards the black gas, before it touched it, the surrounding stones and sand, were all swept up by a huge force, like a storm circulating and dancing. Lu XueQi stood in that vortex eye, her face slowly blurring.

TianYa and Soul-devouring, the two weapons flickering and dancing in the mid-air, seemed to be slightly quivering, as if that fight many years ago, again returned before them. Just that the time available was always short-lived, like the emotions passing by in an instant, an intense crash, finally still reverberated through before Qing Yun Illusory Moon Cave.

The wind and smoke quietly dispersed, the dust and sand fell, and a few small rocks solitary spun on the ground, involuntarily gently rolled out, finally rolled into the grasses, disappeared from sight.

Lu XueQi was still standing at where she was, did not move at all from her original spot. Behind her, the Zhu Xian ancient sword seemed to still emit an ancient light, watching the back of that lady.

For some reason, this woman of unmatched beauty, right now her eyes and face, were that tired, as if that sword just now, had exhausted all of her heart and body strength.

She quietly bended down her head, her eyes indifferent, looking at some unknown spot. After a long time, she then slowly raised her head, looked ahead. That man!

That man who was like a madman!

A man who was as silent as iron…

That same eyes, quietly watching her, there was no malevolent energy, no anger, and also no affection or warmth.

Lu XueQi suddenly for some reason trembled, that slight quiver, even she herself also felt she could have mistaken, just that what followed, the pain in her chest made her almost bend over, as if the world’s sharpest needle, passed through from deep in her heart.

Her pale like snow face, suddenly turned red, her body wavered gently, at that instant when her brows tightened, when she was about to clench her teeth and bear it, suddenly she closed her eyes and bent over. TianYa [si] a light sound, inverted and stabbed into the ground, Lu XueQi leaning on the sword, coughed out a small mouthful of blood, spraying it onto that autumn waters-like sword blade.

Blood, slowly congealed into beads, adhered to the smooth TianYa sword blade, gently quivered, then, quietly slided down.

A wind from nowhere blew, on the empty ground before the Illusory Moon Cave, swayed and passed by, the wind was still carrying a few light whistling sounds.

The black gas dispersed totally, Ghost Li still coldly standing there, the Soul-devouring flickering with dark-green light, fell from the sky, he stretched out his hand to catch.

And when Ghost Li turned and looked at Lu XueQi, Lin JingYu had already returned, in a flash stood beside Lu XueQi, blocked that ancient sword behind him. Ghost Li coldly looked at Lin JingYu, and then at Lu XueQi, the two of them who were to him almost like the most important people in the world, in his eyes, were no different from strangers.

In the mortal world, a lifetime of time, but how many people, could accompany you till old, forever unchanged?

He gritted his teeth, grinned, smiled yet proud and aloof, heartless yet unyielding, energetically stepped forward. That sword, was just ahead, even if it was a bottomless abyss, he would also dash to it! Ten years of time, ten years of heart breaking anguish, how could he give up at once?

Lin JingYu looked angry, the bluish green light in his Dragon Slayer Sword lighted up again, and at this moment, suddenly Lu XueQi stood upright, although her face looked even paler but her voice was still as clear and mesmerizing as that time.

“Stop right there!” Ghost Li’s body paused, stopped his steps, then looked deeply at Lu XueQi, sternly said, “You make way!”

Lu XueQi had a desolate look, said, “Listen to me, go! Never come back again.”

Lin JingYu frowned, glanced at Lu XueQi, wanted to speak but halted.

Ghost Li after hearing it, did not get Lu XueQi’s intention, sneered  and  said,  “Let  me  destroy  Zhu  Xian,  I  will  leave immediately.”

Lu XueQi tiredly shook her head, quietly said, “I can’t let you do that, the forces at the front of the mountain will come over soon, you can still make it if you leave now.”

Ghost Li and Lin JingYu were stunned, listening carefully, as expected a faint hubbub could be heard indistinctly from afar, seemed like there was quite a number, arguing about something. Actually thinking about it carefully, this was not surprising. what kind of celestial weapon was Zhu Xian ancient sword in Qing Yun sect, its importance incomparable, unable to find it after searching the entire battle scene at the front, naturally they would come to the rear to search. Not to mention the rear, even if it was to flip over the entire Qing yun mountains, for the Zhu Xian sword, most likely these disciples and grand disciples of Qing Yun sect would be willing.

Hearing that the hubbub seemed to be getting louder, and clearer, obviously the crowd was heading over to search. Ghost Li’s face turned cold, suddenly with a sneer, he moved, disregarding everything, he headed towards them.

Lu XueQi looked grieved, but without waiting for her reaction, Lin JingYu had already leapt up, the Dragon Slayer Sword [wu] a sound like a split cloth, the sword stabbed over, the sword light glowed brightly, like a swimming dragon it brandished its teeth and danced, pouncing over to Ghost Li.

Ghost Li’s face was cold, his body like an apparition, his left hand waved, the Soul-devouring stick again flew out but it completely disregarded the might of the Dragon Slayer Sword, directly hit towards Lin JingYu’s head. Lin JingYu was taken aback, the style was strong and fierce, and was even more similar to Lin JingYu’s usual style, unexpectedly Ghost Li used it against him. Facing this level of fierce offensive, Lin JingYu’s inert eagerness to do well and arrogance, bit by bit, was inflamed, with a loud shout, he as expected, ignored the stick, the dragon slayer sword did not reduce its force and instead increased, looked like it was intending to bet against Ghost Li, see who's guts was bigger!

Both fought like a battle of life and death, Lu XueQi watched from beside, couldn't help but trembled, watching carefully, subconsciously her eyes had a trace of concern.

Just when the both of them looked like they were going to perish together, Ghost Li’s body suddenly wavered on the spot and dispersed like black smoke, like an illusion. Lin JingYu couldn’t stop in time, his sword continued to stab through the air, felt something greatly amiss, turned his head back in a panic, saw the black figure like apparition, appeared behind him and heading towards Lu XueQi.

This kind of power, naturally was not from Qing Yun sect, TianYin Temple, also not seen before in Evil Sect, it was after reading the third volume of [Tian Shu], gradually comprehended the strange skill from it, not seen by the world. Trying it today, he achieved success as expected, even Lin JingYu with his calibre was also tricked. Lu XueQi also couldn’t help but looked bewildered.

Just that for some reason, Ghost Li who had demonstrated [Tian Shu] skill, his entire body was totally different from before, not as one expected to be full of eerie demonic black energy, dark-green, gold, red, scarlet, several energies took turns to surface, his face had an indistinct pain but his body was as swift as the wind, seemed to be on a higher level than before.

Lu XueQi was bewildered but faintly had some comprehension. Different from Lin JingYu, when they were at the celestial tree in the west great mash, in [Celestial Emperor Treasury], she and Ghost Li both saw that enigmatic [Tian Shu] third volume, with her level of natural aptitude, much higher than Ghost Li, had long already memorized [Tian Shu] in her heart.

[Tian Shu] although was strange and unfathomable but between the lines were all extraordinary esoteric truths, cultivators were naturally obsessed with it, if it was said that she did not put in effort to study it intensively, that would be a lie. Just that this kind of skill could not be told to outsiders, she did not tell anyone and besides, what she saw was only the third volume, the preceding and subsequent portions missing, especially without [Tian Shu] first volume of general principles, it was even harder to grasp, obscure and unclear. These past years, just using her own aptitude intelligence, forced her way to understand it, more or less it helped her own
training but it was not obvious, but it was also because of that, those elders in Qing Yun sect did not detect anything, if not with Reverend DaoXuan, Tian BuYi, ShuiYue Master etc their current cultivation levels, how would they not noticed the strange development in Lu XueQi’s cultivation training.

Right now, Lu XueQi saw Ghost Li’s strange skills, her brows frowning slightly, Ghost Li after tricking Lin JingYu, like a formless object it solidified from the black smoke, swiftly transformed into himself, without reducing speed, heading straight to Lu XueQi.

Lu XueQi clenched her teeth tight, suddenly moved three steps back sideways, revealing the Zhu Xian sword behind her, appearing before Ghost Li. This move shocked both Ghost Li and Lin JingYu, the difference was that delight was shown on Ghost Li’s face, Lin JingYu instead angrily shouted, “Lu junior sister, what are you doing?” Lu XueQi turned a deaf ear, a glint was seen in her eyes, she seemed to hesitate for a moment but eventually with a soft shout, TianYa sword facing the wind and thrust out but where the sword ray was pointing, was instead opposite of Ghost Li, three chi before the ancient sword.

[Pu!]

A light sound, TianYa sword seemed to draw a blank but for some reason, Lu XueQi’s body shook, and at the tip of the sword, after a moment of silence, blood splattered, sprinkled into the air. And that Ghost Li who was heading swiftly towards the sword, emitted a [ya] sound, again transformed into black smoke, scattered.

And at this shocking instant, where blood splattered like flower, Lu XueQi’s pale face looked somehow distracted, a roar was heard, Ghost Li’s figure suddenly flashed out in the air, TianYa sword was stabbed into his shoulder but he did not look to feel the pain at all, viciously pouncing over, the Sinister Orb at the tip of the stick was totally red, a blood-sucking evil energy overwhelming swept over, enveloping Lu XueQi in it. Lu XueQi turned pale, felt all of her blood in that moment, like boiling water surged and tossed, almost bursting out of her body, a [weng weng] sound rang out in her head, the severe pain unbearable, her legs weakened, unable to sustain anymore, sat down.

Ghost Li with a long scream, the sound desolate, at that moment when the Sinister Orb flashed before Lu XueQi’s beautiful face, forcibly twisted it back, at the same time his left hand waved, swept Lu XueQi out. The same time Lu XueQi flew out, TianYa sword also followed along, at that moment when the sword was pulled out, blood like fountain poured out from Ghost Li’s shoulder. And Lu XueQi in the air, the Sinister Orb evil power was still raging, pounding and moving unceasingly, a severe pain in her chest, with a [wa] sound a mouthful of blood splattered out.

In the scene, Ghost Li landed, there was no other object in his eyes, only that ancient sword. Right now he was drenched in blood, half of his body was swiftly dyed red with blood but as if he did not feel it, he seemed to be gnashing his teeth, stared straight at Zhu Xian ancient sword. The primitive Zhu Xian sword quietly stabbed in the ground before him, the not-stone-not-jade sword couldn’t even reflect his face. Only that faint thin crack, seemed new.

Ghost Li laughed loudly to the sky, his demeanour like mad, ten years of time in that instant flashed past, without any more words, his left hand abruptly grabbed the sword hilt, right hand summoned the Soul-devouring stick grabbed tightly in his hand, hatefully facing the sword blade, struck towards that crack.

Lin JingYu bellowed from behind, rushed forward with all of his might but it was still too late, Lu XueQi had just descended, her mind still in a mess, far away, the hubbub suddenly became louder, as if discovering something, all swiftly rushed towards the Illusory Moon Cave.

Just that, in that moment of time, who could do anything?

Like, nobody could ever, detain a moment of time! That Soul-devouring flickering with dark-green light came screaming down, its master right now with blood streaming down, following his left hand trickling down, drop by drop landed on Zhu Xian, flowing past that crude-looking Zhu Xian blade, slowly concealing it, not one seemed to land on the ground.

Indistinctly, in that instant, Ghost Li’s heart moved, as if there was some strange yet familiar scene that touched his heart, like a lightning flashed past his mind.

The next moment, he suddenly realized.

It was blood!

In that instant at the corner of his eye, he saw his own blood, flowing on the Zhu Xian sword blade, especially towards that crack, it slowly disappeared, swiftly and soundlessly merging into the sword.

Zhu Xian! Zhu Xian! Zhu Xian! Zhu Xian was actually like Sinister Orb, it could absorb living things’ blood!

He was stunned and could not control himself but the Soul- devouring stick which was smashing down in his hand, had long surpassed the speed of thought in his mind, hit hard on that ancient sword!

Chapter 176 - Escape

The Zhu Xian ancient sword did not move, in that instant, as if everyone was holding their breath, but the scene was terribly quiet.

There was no sound, no loud rumbles, Ghost Li looked at that Soul-devouring evil stick which had smashed down was a force like a thousand jun, after hitting the ancient sword, it was like landing into cotton, there was no sound.

Angry bellows were heard, Lin JingYu’s entire body leapt up, Qing Yun sect various elders appeared one by one, swift as the wind and quick as lightning they flew over but when they saw that that ancient sword was in Ghost Li’s hands, immediately everyone’s countenance changed. The next moment, more and more Qing Yun sect members gathered, in this chaotic scene, nobody kept to the original prohibitions, everyone trespassed this area which was supposed to be restricted.

Among them were Small Bamboo Valley WenMin and Big Bamboo Valley people, the moment they saw Ghost Li, their expressions changed greatly. WenMin and other Small Bamboo Valley female disciples saw Lu XueQi collapsed to the side, quickly rushed over and helped her up.

As if being disturbed by Qing Yun Sect people, something seemed to be activated, that ancient sword under the watchful eyes, although still in the hands of Ghost Li, but for some reason, on its blade, a change seemed to be happening.

The original simple and slightly crude, non-stone non-jade blade, on that fissure, after Ghost Li’s forceful hit, right now, it seemed to have expanded a little. Right now within that fissure, faint red light slowly emitted out, as if the blood which it had sucked in, became alive, deep within the blade, started to turn agitated slowly.

An initial peaceful great sea, waves started to form slowly, brewing unrivaled storm, enveloped the world!

Silence, silence... anyone could see the change in the Zhu Xian ancient sword but nobody knew what to do, silent before the Illusory Moon Cave, everyone held their breaths and waited. Nobody knew, whose heart was quietly throbbing?

Ghost Li felt thirsty, subconsciously wanted to release Zhu Xian but the next moment, he discovered, his strength seemed to have completely disappeared instantly, a familiar yet distant feeling, reappeared in his body, and this feeling, was what his enemies feared.

The blood in Ghost Li’s body slowly boiled and seethed, it started to have the pull of flowing outwards and the direction was towards the Zhu Xian ancient sword that he was clenching in his hand.

Ghost Li seemed to comprehend something, exerted strength to release Zhu Xian ancient sword but he had no strength in his hands, and the Zhu Xian ancient sword at the moment was like a demon awakened, clutching him, refused to let him go. And the Soul-devouring stick in his right hand, right now was also stuck tightly to the Zhu Xian ancient bade.

That fissure on Zhu Xian ancient sword, red light gradually from faint to dense, at the same time, like blood flowing through an artery, from that crack, thin faint colour of blood began to spread, from the fissure edges, it flowed swiftly towards both parts of the blade. The ancient blade slowly, submerged by the blood red colour.

Everyone was stunned, including those veteran elders. At the moment, everyone knew something was wrong but no one knew what had exactly happened and what should be done?

And that Zhu Xian ancient sword, seemed to simply ignore the people’s concerns, continued to carry out its own degeneration, the faint blood colour, finally dyed the entire sword blade red, an originally primitive ancient sword, at the moment had became a strange and mysterious blood red sword. Faint red sword glint, slowly glimmering, like a reborn demon’s eye, slowly waking up, watching the surrounding.

The scene seemed to tense up, until, that man holding Zhu Xian, suddenly unleashed a heart wrenching cry.

“Ah!...” That sound was extremely desolate, the crowd was almost startled, their attention suddenly focused onto Ghost Li.

Ghost Li was pale, trembling unceasingly, his face, hands, the skin surface where it was not covered by clothing, began to obviously swiftly shrank and then gradually withered.

At the same time, a strange and light whistling sound started from the Zhu Xian ancient sword, the red light turned brighter, some sharp-eyed ones had already saw, from Ghost Li’s left hand which was holding the ancient sword, faint red strands were being sucked into the sword blade.

This was an extremely strange scene, there wasn’t a single bit of Qing Yun sect’s just and honorable Good Faction demeanour, everyone at the scene was rendered speechless and no one moved.

Except Lu XueQi.

That woman was initially lying weakly in her senior sister WenMin’s arms but right now for some reason, she suddenly struggled up, sprang towards Ghost Li and that Zhu Xian ancient sword. WenMin was shocked, quickly held her back, Lu XueQi struggled a few times, her body eventually fell helplessly down, her face looked anxious, opened her mouth and wanted to shout something but she looked around and shut her mouth in defeat, leaning in the arms of her senior sister WenMin who looked concerned, her eyes deep, she looked towards that man instead.

So, the twists and turns, the endless thoughts and pinnings, after the painful heartbreak, it was actually helplessly watching him before her eyes, dying that tragically?

Her face full of tears!

Finally couldn’t be bothered, the stares of the others around her.

The red light on Zhu Xian ancient sword turned stronger and stronger, and contrary to that, Ghost Li looked more and more terrible, now everyone could see that, under the Zhu Xian ancient sword 'divinity power', this evil spirit evil ways, the scourge of the Good Faction had already reached the death edge, perhaps, this was also the psychic power of the celestial sword, performing spells to eliminate the evil!

Many of them in their hearts, quietly thought so, but completely refused to contemplate, if this actually make sense!

Ghost Li naturally would not think of that and also did not have the energy to think about what others were thinking right now, at this moment, he was struggling before death, Zhu Xian ancient sword’s suction force was growing stronger, even to him, stronger than the Sinister Orb which he encountered when he was young at the rear of Big Bamboo Valley. Just that right now his cultivation was incomparable to that young man at that time, therefore he was able to hold out till now. However, he also understood, he could not hold out any longer.

The strange suction power on Zhu Xian ancient sword was similar to the Sinister Orb evil power at that time, but there were also differences, compared to Sinister Orb, Zhu Xian sword which had turned into a demon sword, was even stronger and different from the Sinister Orb which absorbed blood at that time, Zhu Xian ancient sword while sucking in blood, at the same time, sucked in Ghost Li’s years of cultivated true vitality energy. In Ghost Li’s eyes at the moment, Zhu Xian ancient sword emitting blood-red light, indistinctly like a devil opening its bloody mouth and grinning, soon it would swallowed him up.

Just like that, ending a life?

The moment before he was about to go unconscious, this thought flashed through his mind.

A burst of warm energy, started with a loud sound, burst forth from his heart, it was pure Yang breath, directly dispersed into his meridians. His entire body shook, his mind immediately cleared, a loud shout, using his entire lifetime of cultivation, burst through with all of his might, thunder and lightning seemed to rumble in his head, three volumes of Tian Shu flashed past, green, gold, red three colour energies leapt up at the same time, although not very bright but it regained vitality.

The Great Brahman Wisdom spanned the heart arteries, the Buddhist true way defended tenaciously, even the Zhu Xian ancient sword was also taken aback. Taking advantage of this breathing space, Tai Ji Xuan Qing Way as the path, Ghost Li’s right hand immediately doubled, dark red lights leapt swiftly across, from his arm in a blink entering into the Soul- devouring evil stick.

However just when Ghost Li wanted to counterattack and escape, Zhu Xian ancient sword’s devouring evil energy had again broke through the Great Brahman Wisdom, instantly Ghost Li’s body felt numb, unable to move again, and that trace of sober in his mind, once again turned bleak.

At the moment, to the others, Ghost Li's withered face, already looked no difference from a dead man. Song Daren and the rest whom had friendly relations with the past Zhang Xiao Fan, all started to turn their heads around, could not bear to see.

At at this moment, when the final outcome seemed concluded, that Soul-devouring evil stick in Ghost Li’s hand suddenly lit up, dark-green light slowly pulsed, like awakening from a deep slumber, the Sinister Orb at the tip, strands of evil red blood lines, again lighted up, and deep inside the orb, an unprecedented, under the dark green light and blood strands, a golden Buddhist mantra surfaced. Buddhist, Taoist, Evil three sects true ways, actually at this moment, unexpectedly when Ghost Li was making a final thrust at death’s end, merged into one.

The Sinister Orb turned brighter and brighter, strange yet gorgeous light rays flickering non-stop, then, the entire stick also lit up, as if it was shouting something, the next moment, the point where the Soul-devouring and Zhu Xian ancient sword met, a muffled sound was heard again.

The crowd then realized and noticed, that other than Ghost Li’s left hand, the Soul-devouring stick in his right hand had always been connected to Zhu Xian, did not drop down.

The strange lights on the Sinister orb were getting brighter and brighter, the three colors rotated, deep and low sounds, like the ancient Devil whispering voice, slowly emitted out.

[Woo ... woo ... woo …]

A red gas, crystal clear, first from the fissure on Zhu Xian ancient sword, sucked out and entered into the Soul-devouring stick, rolling inside the Sinister Orb, it seemed to be still resisting but soon it could be seen, it was suppressed and subdued by Sinister Orb’s strange energy, slowly transformed into a faint red color, a small part of it assimilated into Soul- devouring, most through the Soul-devouring stick, re-entered Ghost Li’s body.

This strange transformation did not stop once it started, red gases continuously sucked from the Zhu Xian ancient sword, following the increasing amount of red gas, the Soul-devouring light strengthen and became stronger, and Ghost Li who once again received nourishment also gradually recovered, the skin on his face slowly, from being withered regained his original look, and strangely it even revealed an indistinct warm.

The red glow on Zhu Xian ancient sword from the initial dazzle, right now it seemed to be helpless against Sinister Orb’s suction power, gradually dimmed down, and the Soul- devouring stick instead turned brighter. The surrounding Qing Yun Sect members were not blind too, most could tell that the situation was not right, now obviously it was Ghost Li this evildoer who had secretly casted some evil spells, Zhu Xian ancient sword looked like it was unable to sustain. A stir of commotion, in the crowd, suddenly a few people scolded loudly, at the same time several weapon lights attacked Ghost Li. Ghost Li right now was wholeheartedly resisting the ancient sword Zhu Xian, how could he pay attention to the surrounding movements, he did not have the slightest reaction, the next moment, all of the weapons’ attacks hit him squarely in the back.

Ghost Li’s body shook greatly, blood surging, a sweet taste in his throat and another mouthful of blood, spat onto the ancient sword Zhu Xian. Zhu Xian had already dimmed down, with this sudden blood, red light again flashed, it actually turned stronger. Ghost Li at the same time felt it, before he could attend to his injuries, his body felt the strange suction power of Zhu Xian turning stronger again.

A shock of lightning seemed to go through his heart, he understood that this was really life and death, if Zhu Xian regained its power, most likely he would not be able to survive and would be suck dry again. With such thoughts, he roared madly, disregarding everything, using all of his strength, his entire lifetime of cultivation, and that a-moment-ago comprehended merger of the three sects true ways supernatural power, hit out. The crowd did not see Ghost Li making any move, saw him hit by several weapons, throwing up a mouthful of blood, the Zhu Xian ancient sword’s red light wavered, looked like it was about to lit up, a loud sharp sound suddenly erupted between Ghost Li and Zhu Xian, accompanied by a few sounds of fractures, Ghost Li was actually hit out by an unknown powerful force, like an arrow leaving the bow, streaked past above the crowd, landed far into the distant woods.

Qing Yun sect members were taken aback, stood stunned, after a long while, suddenly someone realized and shouted, “Give chase, definitely can’t let that evildoer escape!”

The words reminded everyone, at once countless people pursued towards the direction where Ghost Li fell. Everyone at the scene clearly understood, Ghost Li was obviously seriously injured in his fight with Zhu Xian, right now this was a golden opportunity to pursue and kill this person.

Most of the people soared up to pursue, only Big Bamboo Valley, Small Bamboo Valley members stood blankly at their spots, Song Daren and the rest, felt torn between pursuing or not, and WenMin and the others had another flurry of exclamations, Lu XueQi had fainted. While the ladies from the Small Bamboo Valley hurried to care for Lu XueQi, suddenly, in the hubbub, a light sound rang out.

Although the sound was very light, but for some reason, like a fine sharp needle, piercing into every Qing Yun sect disciple’s heart. That sound which sounded like something quietly breaking, beside them, emitted from the Zhu Xian ancient sword.

Everyone suddenly turned pale, as if that light sound, was the echo of the end of the world. They slowly turned around, it seemed that even this movement, also exerted all of their strength.

Under everyone’s watchful gazes, that legendary Zhu Xian ancient sword, quietly stood in the ground slate, that expanded tear from the ancient blade, once again, issued a small crackling sound.

The tear slowly spread, slow but unstoppable it spread to the surrounding, on that primitive and once divine sword blade, until, the Zhu Xian ancient sword again issued a moan. [Pa!]

That light crisp sound, half of the blade attached to the hilt, fell to the ground while the other half of the blade, still deep inside the earth.

In that instant, everyone was dumbfounded, there was no breathing, their minds totally blank…

Zhu Xian!

Zhu Xian ancient sword!

Broken…

The vast Heaven and Earth, blue sky daytime, suddenly a crack of thunder in the horizon, thunderous crashing, in a blink winds and clouds rolled over from all directions, Heaven and Earth swiftly turning dark, black clouds loomed, gathered at Qing Yun Hill summit. A gale started, sand and stones rolled, accompanied the sudden storm, thunder and lightning clashed, wild storm and rain, poured down.

The firmament Heaven and Earth, seemed to be crying too!

It was night, Heaven and Earth weeping, the celestial sword came to a premature end!

The cold rain hit upon the face, like the raw pain of a knife, the chill eerie, as if the entire body was frozen. Ghost Li in the woods, could not help but moaned.

The pouring rain, had already rained for a full hour but there was no sign of it weakening, although it was still daytime but at the moment the black clouds loomed low over the horizon, enveloping Qing Yun, like late night, not even the hands could be seen.

It was also fortunately so, Ghost Li seriously injured, with this sudden storm, he was able to temporarily avoid Qing Yun sect’s pursue. Just that that strange duel with Zhu Xian sword, especially that final blow, Zhu Xian power recoil was really formidable, penetrated forcibly into his body, broke half of his ribs, the fractured bones now piercing into his lungs and heart, luckily his cultivation was deep and solid but he was still made of flesh and blood, every step, the pain made him broke out in cold sweat, his mouth making hissing sounds.

At the moment, Ghost Li really wanted to disregard everything, lie down and lost conscious, just that that last trace of sanity constantly reminded him, he had to leave, his grudges with Qing Yun sect and his current broken body, once discovered by Qing Yun disciple, there was only death and no other.

And to him, there was still a reason not to die!

And so he endured, slowly struggling to run forward, away from the Qing Yun Hill, the safer it would be.

The rain poured, madly pouring into this mortal world, as if using this water of Heaven, to wash away the ugliness of the human world. Ghost Li panted heavily, each breath, in this dark rainy night, issued a faint white breath. Chill shrouded him, the clamour behind him was nearing, full of murderous intention.

Obviously, although Ghost Li fled with all of his might forward, but his heavily wounded body was not faster than the pursuers. Just that in Qing Yun Hill dense forest, the sky was dark and black, he was temporarily not found yet. However, Ghost Li knew in his heart, going forward like this, it was inevitable.

He staggered, seemed to trip over some roots or vine-like thing, his body tripped and fell forward, in his panic he grasped around, lucky he grabbed a small tree beside him and stabilized his body, but this toss, this violent shake, the severe pain in his chest penetrated deep into the bones, he almost could not breathe, not to mention stride and escape.

Behind him human voices suddenly approaching, as if in this storm, someone had heard the noise, issuing a command, many footsteps headed towards Ghost Li’s direction to search.

Ghost Li’s heart turned cold but he was still unwilling to be caught, even if he ran and flee, he would also not be able to escape, hardening his heart, he closed his eyes, quietly slipped into the muddy ground, his face facing down, burying into the mud. In the dark, he was like a pile of mud which was abandoned by this wild storm world.

Footsteps, the human clamour, slowly gathered over, many people were cursing while continuing to hit out fiercely at the surrounding trees and vines. Strong wind swept past, not knowing how many people had rushed over.

Ghost Li in the dark, lying motionless in the ground, as if his heart had also stopped beating, in the darkness, quietly waiting for fate’s sentencing.

Heaven and Earth heartless, maybe treated all living things only as straw dogs...

The storm was raging!

Chapter 177 - Man in black

Wild winds torrential rains, there was still no signs of it ceasing.

In the darkness, spots and bits of brightness swept past, they were the magical weapons in Qing Yun disciples’ hands, using the weapons’ lights, they searched in the storm. Here was already close to the boundary of Qing Yun rear mountain, thick dense forests, ancient trees grew thickly, vegetation exuberant, coupled with the terrible weather, thunder rumbled and lightning flashed across the horizon, from time to time lightning cracked down from the sky, striking the forest, often splitting a tree, it was really a terrifying scene.

Before the might of Heaven and Earth, those slightly weaker disciples, could not help but were terrified, trembled with fear. And in the darkness, those spots of brightness, looked like trembling fireflies, flying incessantly, illuminating just a little area around them.

[Rumble…] Above the dark clouds in the sky, another clash of thunder exploding, the people on the ground felt ringing in their ears, struck dumb and turned pale. It had been more than four hours since the search for Ghost Li started but they still had not found any traces of him, many started to feel apprehensive in their hearts, couldn’t be that the evildoer had escaped?

In fact, it was not unjustifiable, Ghost Li as Evil Sect Ghost King Sect vice head, his skills as expected was superb, although he seemed to be wounded by Zhu Xian ancient sword four hours ago but who knew how heavily wounded he was? As long as he was not at the edge of death, most likely Ghost Li would have the ability to quietly sneak away!

This thought quietly reverberated in many of the Qing Yun disciples’ minds, just that their teachers pushed and rebuked them from behind, in the end they did not dare to give up and could only continue to search. Few could imagine, in the darkness recesses not far ahead of them, Ghost Li seriously injured, too weak to escape, clinging onto the last hope, creeping in the muddy ground.

Dim light in the darkness, suddenly someone shouted loudly. “Stop, everyone stop!“ The person’s voice carried off far into the darkness, even the rumbling of thunder in the horizon, could not cover his voice, this was clearly a senior with deep skills. Ghost Li lay motionless on the ground, letting the rain hit his body, hearing the voice he instead felt it sounded familiar but for the moment, he was unable to recall who this person was?

But it was clear that the surrounding Qing Yun disciples were extremely respectful and trusting of this person, almost at the same time when he shouted, the Qing Yun disciples could be heard stopping immediately, stood where they were and ceased talking. In the winds and rain, the clamorous search swiftly quietened down, indistinctly in the woods, not knowing whose panting breaths.

The storm turned more frantic!

There seemed to be someone carefully listening to something.

Ghost Li felt a chill suddenly penetrating into his heart and lungs, his entire body cold, there was actually a creepy kind of strange feeling. As if this eerie silence, compared to that loud shout of search, was even more daunting.

After a moment, suddenly a voice lightly said, “Father, what is it, could it be you heard something?”

Ghost Li was startled, he was very familiar with this voice, that was his once good friend ── Zeng ShuShu, a moment later he knew who the elder was directing this area of search, it was the head of Return of the Wind Valley Zeng ShuChang, also Zeng ShuShu’s father, and the Qing Yun disciples searching this area, mostly were Return of the Wind Valley disciples.

Zeng ShuChang enjoyed a reputation for a long time and indeed he was really not ordinary, in this racket of storm, he was still able to detect the unusual noise made by Ghost Li but at the moment the dark jungle before him, five fingers could not be seen, other than the storm there was no other news. Even himself, could not help but also doubted if that slightest sound he had heard, could it be he had mistaken, or it could be with so many people searching, they could have startled some animals and caused that. After contemplating for a moment, Zeng ShuCang frowned in the darkness, waved his hand and said, “All disciples separate, form a row, not more than three chi apart, slowly search ahead, not to miss even a gap.”

Ghost Li was stunned, with a fine search like that, he almost did not have any chance of escaping, just when he was panicking, Zeng ShuShu anxiously said, “Father, the forest is so huge, assigning the disciples here to conduct such an intensive search, then won’t other areas be unsearched?”

Zeng ShuCang lightly said, “I have my reasons, you don’t have to say anymore, quickly go.”

In the dark Zeng ShuShu was nonplussed, did not dare to say anymore and only turned to move forward. In the darkness, for a moment no one spoke but the spots of lights could be seen moving forward in the storm, gradually forming a long snake, slowly advancing.

For some reason, the atmosphere in the woods suddenly became somehow strange, that racket just now, everyone was agitated and nobody felt fear, right now this silence, somehow it made them felt some hair-raising feelings in their hearts.

Because of the cultivated weapons, the light from the magical weapons in those Qing Yun disciples’ hands generally could not be cast very far and had limited brightness but they were joined and slowly advanced, soon, from Ghost Li’s hiding place, it was only less than two zhang away.

“Wait!”

Suddenly, Zeng ShuCang loudly shouted, dozens of surrounding Qing Yun Hill Return of the Wind Valley disciples paused at the same time, Zeng ShuShu was surprised, walked to his father, from the weak light cast from the weapon, Zeng ShuCang looked grave.

“What is it father?”

Zeng ShuCang’s eyes were deep, stared into the darkness ahead but where his eyes thought, was not where Ghost Li was concealed, instead, it was to the opposite direction parallel straight to the far and deep dense woods.

In the darkness recesses, there seemed to be nothing but it also seemed to be filled with countless of demon and spirits figures, howling and dancing madly in the storm.

"“Something   is   wrong…”    under   the   dim   light,   Zeng ShuCang's facial wrinkles seemed to deepen, his eyes actually had apprehension but he was after all not an ordinary person, years of practice trained his heart to be composed, after coldly snorting, he had already made a decision.

[Zheng], a light whistle, everyone was surprised, Zeng ShuCang actually wielded his celestial sword, the sword ray appeared silvery white, in the dark storm it swallowed and spat out rays of light, bright and dazzling, completely different from those Qing Yun disciples in the surroundings.

But he was seen only remaining silent for a moment, loudly said, “I will be ahead, all of you remain the same, still according to what was just said, do a line search but follow behind me not less than one zhang, do not come near.” Everyone at the moment knew something was not right but with Zeng ShuCang around, they felt that they had someone as their pillar, Zeng ShuCang’s face was solemn, holding his sword and walked ahead of the troops, and the others remained the same, just that they maintained one zhang distance from Zeng ShuCang, did not dare to go near.

This strange team, continued on like this slowly moving forward.

The unusual atmosphere, as if in this night of storm in the dense forest, gently panting…

[Wu...wu…]

Like the wind and rain howling but also like the roar of a beast, but suddenly realizing, it was his own heartbeat.

That heart, actually beat faster and faster! Zeng ShuCang’s old face reflected the brilliant light of the sword, became more grave, in the depths of the woods ahead, a faint mysterious hostility was felt, although it felt obscure and even unable to determine if it was a foe but the strange waves of palpitation in his heart, made him unable to belittle it.

That feeling, he had not felt it for a long time, recalling the last time, it seemed to be hundred years ago, he with Tian BuYi and a few, followed their senior brother Wan JianYi into the Wildlands, the scene of directly attacking the old nest of Evil Sect. The long years of time, in a blink it had already been so long…

But not knowing, if Wan JianYi senior brother who died an untimely death, had reincarnated?

This strange thought suddenly conjured in his mind, even he himself could not help but feel surprised and ridiculous. He inhaled deeply, boosted his spirit, for some reason, today really felt different from the others!

[Rumble!] Another clash of thunder, exploded out of a sudden, the might of Heaven and Earth, for a moment shook the world, as if the great earth underneath, seemed to quake a few times. Almost at the same time, a lightning tore across the sky, broke out from the clouds, striking down into the mortal world.

Like a sharp knife of Heaven, slashing towards the mortal world!

Everyone was aghast, their hearts leapt out, some could not help themselves, suddenly someone who was looking only at the horizon, tripped and fell, gasping, he almost cursed out. Unexpectedly, when he turned back to look, illuminated by the lightning in the sky, before him a muddy body, lying motionless on the ground.

“Ah!” his voice desolate, suddenly rang out, “Here, here…”

[Ge!] a muffled sound, that disciple’s shout was suddenly cut off but in that moment, it had already alerted everyone, immediately all turned and leapt over. A black figure leapt up from the ground but before he could stand firm, his body wavered a few times, almost collapsing. Instantly several magical weapons mixed with the rain and winds hit over.

Ghost Li’s heart sunk but he was unwilling to be caught without a fight, gritted his teeth he flew forward, unexpectedly taking only a few steps, a severe pain in his chest, he could not sustain and fell head down.

The crowd behind him cheered, a few Qing Yun disciples had already rushed up, stretched out their hands to grab Ghost Li.

And at this moment, suddenly, the darkness in the dense forest seemed to expand, like a beast’s soundless cry, deep inside the darkness a light ray flashed past.

Zeng ShuCang’s eyes instantly widened, immediately he leapt forward, at the same time harshly shouted, “All disciples retreat, fast!” The Qing Yun disciples before they could react, Zeng ShuCang solitary leapt into the darkness ahead, the celestial sword in his hand initially was bright and dazzling but when he entered into that darkness, it was never seen, angry shouts and whistling were heard unceasingly.

Just when the Qing Yun disciples were at a lost, a strange figure shot out from the darkness ahead, heading to where Ghost Li was lying, at the same time also towards the Qing Yun disciples. With the help of from the small spots of light, this figure was totally enveloped by black shadows, revealing only a pair of eyes, glinting.

Qing Yun disciples loudly shouted, unsheathed their swords and charged up, unexpectedly this person was highly skilled, without seeing him wielding his weapon, he instead stretched out his hand and grabbed for the nearest disciple.

That disciple was shocked but did not panic, the weapon in his hand slashed down, that man in black did not make any sound, took no notice, his stance did not change, before the crowd, grabbed that weapon with his hand. Everyone was shocked, before they could react, that person shook forcefully, the Qing Yun disciple was thrown flying out, and that weapon was snatched over by that man.

The level of this person’s skills, was extremely powerful. In the darkness ahead, Zeng ShuCang bellowed incessantly but he seemed to be held back by someone, unable to extricate himself to come forward to help, this strange night, inconceivably there were that many mysterious highly skilled masters lying in ambush.

Although the enemy’s skills was extremely high but these Qing Yun disciples were all from renown sect and not ordinary sect disciples, shocked but no one ran off, instead all wielded their weapons and leapt forward.

That man in black seemed anxious and impatient, exerting strength in his hand, that stolen weapon immediately dazzled with brightness, far surpassing the glow when it was in that young disciple’s hand, the light flashed, the sound of wind sharp, it chopped down from the air, a grand halo directly struck towards the group. The Qing Yun disciples cried out, a hubbub of shouts, all retreated to meet the enemy. Unexpectedly although that person’s impetus was great but it was just an empty show of strength, with one stroke he forced everyone back a few steps, did not continue the fight and straightaway carried up Ghost Li who was lying helplessly on the ground, not knowing if he had already fainted, swiftly flew towards the darkness at the back.

Qing Yun disciples were all taken aback and incensed, surprised that this mysterious person who charged out of nowhere was so highly skilled, incensed that Ghost Li who was in their hands was taken away again. Ghost Li was the scourge of Qing Yun sect, and because he came from Qing Yun sect, everyone in Qing Yun sect had long wanted to get rid of this person, now that they were robbed halfway, how could they take this lying down, all started to pursue.

After pursuing for a while, suddenly a shout, bright light flashed, shot out from the darkness, to the crowd, this sword ray seemed to be striking towards themselves, quickly paused their bodies to meet the enemy. Only Zeng ShuShu managed to reach and flew up, moved his sword but he felt a shock to his palm and involuntarily stepped back, however the incoming sword was deflected by him, flew towards the sky, the next instant it fell inverted, [pu] a sound into the mud, it was that celestial sword which was snatched, still making a [weng weng] sound. And with this moment of delay, that man in black had already like an apparition, swiftly vanishing into the darkness with Ghost Li, and Zeng ShuCang who was battling fiercely in the darkness, right now with a sudden shout, someone seemed to make a muffled groan, blood light appeared.

Everyone was stunned, not knowing whether was it Zeng ShuCang who was injured or the enemy, great debt of gratitude to teacher, right now they could not be bothered so much, all leapt forward. Just that when they reached halfway, Zeng ShuCang had already leapt out from the darkness, landed on the ground, blocked them, looking at his figure, although he was still able to move swiftly but his steps were staggered, at the same time he panted heavily, this short period of battle, to him, exhausted much of his strength.

After his panting calmed down, he immediately quietly said, “The enemies ahead are highly skilled and their numbers are not small, all of you must not be rash!”

Zeng ShuShu and the other younger disciples were stunned, they never expected that in this place, they would encountered such a situation. Zeng ShuCang stared at that mass of darkness ahead, in a deep voice said, “Who are all of you, why are you all meddling in our Qing Yun sect matter? With your skills, you all would not be someone unknown, why not come out and talk!”

The winds raged and the rain poured impatiently, lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, but for some reason, that mass of darkness deep inside the forest was still that dense, like ink that would not dissolve.

Nobody replied Zeng ShuCang’s questions, there was only the sounds of the storm and breathing sounds of Qing Yun disciples, Zeng ShuShu quietly stepped forward, whispered, “Father, where are they from?”

Zeng ShuCang shook his head slightly, in a low voice said, “They  deliberately  concealed  their  identities,  what  they revealed were not their true skills, could not tell for the moment.”

Speaking he frowned, raised his voice and shouted, “Gentlemen, still not revealing yourselves?” His voice reverberated far into the forest but still no one replied, Zeng ShuCang’s countenance suddenly changed, stamped his feet and said, “Damm, fall into a trap!”

Speaking, he leapt up, his celestial sword casting out resplendent light, this time to all surroundings, there was no longer any shadows shrouding, evidently those people had all escaped, came like the wind and left once they got their man, obviously it was all planned and calculated.

Zeng ShuCang heaved a long sigh, descended, Zeng ShuShu at the side directed the other disciples to continue to search the surroundings, to try and find any clues, and also quietly asked Zeng ShuCang, “Father, what is it?”

Zeng ShuCang’s face revealed a trace of disappointment and then sighed and said, “Although we exchanged strokes hastily but indistinctly I could feel, these people were not using Evil Sect’s skills, and furthermore if Evil Sect members came to rescue Ghost Li, they would not have to be in hiding. But, who were those that wanted to save this evildoer! And their numbers were not little and yet so highly skilled?” Speaking, he frowned tightly, pondering. Zeng ShuShu did not speak, turned and looked ahead, the forest dense, darkness covered it, how would they see anything?

But, those who took Ghost Li, who were they? Nevertheless, Zeng ShuShu walked ahead, quietly told himself, it was after all better than in Qing Yun sect’s hands...

As he thought that way, in this stormy night, in the thick woods, he seemed to recall ten years ago, the first time he met Ghost Li at Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak.

After a long while, he sighed again in the darkness, continued to walk forward. No matter what the future would be, the path still had to be continued on now.

On the other side of the unknown dense woods, in the recesses of the darkness, there was another strange dark figure gazing from far onto Zeng ShuCang and the rest, it was Mr Ghost. Right now his eyes seemed uncertain, looked perplexed, pondering, he was still bemused. After a long time, he watched as those Qing Yun disciples search area widened on but a person with a discerning eye would know immediately, this was the sign of giving up, searching like that, in this huge dense forest, how would they still be able to find someone?

As expected, in a short while, Zeng ShuCang’s voice rang out again, “Forget it, all of you come back!”

Qing Yun disciples clearly could not wait for these words, started to walk back, Mr Ghost from far watched Zeng ShuCang did a headcount and then turned and led the disciples towards Qing Yun Hill, gradually disappearing in the dense forest.

He slowly emerged from the darkness, his eyes instead drifted to a distance, watched the direction where those mysterious men in black had headed, staring deeply.

In the storm, there seemed to be a voice quietly speaking, “There is actually still someone interested in him…”

Chapter 178 - Meditation Room

Thunder, lightning, wind, rain, almost screaming unceasingly in his ears, the chaos in his mind, feeling muddleheaded, he could no longer differentiate who exactly he himself was anymore? Only that in the severe pain, he felt waves of wind and rain brushing past, heading towards an unknown place.

Someone seemed to be speaking beside him, that voice seemed rather unfamiliar, sounded slightly anxious, faintly he heard, “He doesn’t seem right, quickly come and take a look?”

A cold hand roamed about on his body to check, a moment later a stunned voice said, “How did he get such serious injuries?”

The person beside angrily said, “Superfluous words, with that Zhu Xian sword, do you think…”

He did not catch the end, because a burst of dizziness hit his head and almost fainted, in his daze, he indistinctly felt the horizon was still rumbling with unceasing sounds of thunders. The person beside seemed taken aback, quickly investigated, that cold sensation from the hand, made him slightly sober, he heard the person urgently said, “This is bad, his forehead is burning, I’m afraid he is having a high fever…”

So he was also having a fever?

This was the last thought in Ghost Li’s head, after which, he fainted again, there was no more conscious.

A loud sound, shook him awake from his unconsciousness, his first reaction, he thought it was the thunder from the horizon. For some reason, although he was somehow conscious, it was still darkness before him, he struggled to open his eyes and look around but discovered in shock, his own eyes were still shut, unable to be opened.

Following which, a wave of severe pain was felt but it was not from his injured chest, instead from his throat, he subconsciously moved his mouth, making a light and hoarse cry, “Water…” There seemed to be no one around, leaving him lying alone helplessly on the ground, his throat was feeling even more parched, like being on fire. His lips moved slightly, an inexplicable strength came from his body and he moved his body slightly, the consciousness in his mind, he seemed to be more clear-headed.

“Ah!”  Suddenly  a  voice  was  heard  beside,  this  voice  was different from the usual but he seemed to hear it before, somewhat familiar, a surprise tone in the voice said, “You are awake, senior brother, quickly come over, he is awaken…”

Suddenly it became quiet, immediately footsteps sound were heard approaching quickly, arriving before Ghost Li. Ghost Li struggled again to open his eyes but for some reason, this time, the strength in his body seemed to vanish, in his daze he saw two figures squatting before him, and behind them, there seemed to be more dark figures. As for those people’s faces, he was unable to see them clearly.

“Water…” he whispered again.

This time, the people around him understood. “Quickly, bring water over, hurry up.”

The hurried footsteps, rushing to and fro, the next instant someone ran over, following which a cold hand lifted his head carefully, a bowl-like thing placed beside his lips.

Cold, clear water, touched his dry lips, Ghost Li’s face moved and struggled to open his mouth, drank mouthful and mouthful of water. That cooling water entering his throat, like oasis spilling into a dry land, immediately relieving that pain which seemed aflamed.

Ghost Li felt relief, immediately a wave of tiredness, again fell into unconsciousness.

The people beside were surprised, immediately someone came over to feel Ghost Li’s pulse, the next moment a sigh of relief, said, “It’s alright, he is too seriously injured and having a fever at the same time, his strength is nearly exhausted, right now there is no danger to his life.” Once the words were said, the people around him seemed to be relieved, then, someone seemed to be watching Ghost Li, gently sighed.

He fell asleep for unknown length of time, in-between Ghost Li woke up a few times but each time he fell unconscious immediately after waking up, in his memory, he only remembered there was always someone beside him.

In his blurry state, he saw many people, his parents when he was young, his innocent and beautiful senior sister, deeply etched in his heart BiYao, maintaining a distance Lu XueQi and many more, all flashed past before him, once, he even thought that he saw ten years ago Tian Yin Temple FaXiang, FaShan senior brothers, sitting beside him chanting Buddhist mantra.

At that, he smiled bitterly but he himself did not know too, this bitter smile, whether his face revealed it, maybe, eventually it was still an illusion.

Just like, this life turned upside-down, like a dream an illusion! Why chant mantra for me?

Chanting mantra, what was the use of it?

When Ghost Li was awake momentarily, he thought like that quietly in his mind, and then, he fainted again.

[Dong...dong...dong...dong]

A low deep bell seemed to reverberate in the horizon, lasting a long time, waking him from his deep slumber, that deep bell, coming near from afar, slowly, it seemed to strike deep into his heart.

For the first time, he did not have the impulse to open his eyes, quietly lying there like that, not thinking and not caring, where he was now, and in which world?

The boundless universe, at the moment having left with only deep low sounds of bell. [Dong...dong...dong...dong]

The melodious bells, seemed never-ending, continued to strike on. He listened, his breathing peaceful, all of his attention focusing into this peaceful sound, unwilling to leave it again.

For such a long time, this was the first time he was lying down with no worries.

Who would know, the days of carrying so much burden, what kind of agony it was?

Just that, this tiny Heaven and Earth, eventually could not last long, sounds of footsteps came near, walked to where he was, disrupting his thoughts.

The sound of bells striking in his heart, suddenly seemed to leave him, in a blink far at the horizon. Silence, sigh…

He slowly, opened his eyes.

Buddha!

This was the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes.

A large ‘Buddha' word, hung on top of the roof, surrounding this word, a circle of golden patterns wrapped around it and then along the periphery, circles of finely-carved five hundred Arhat idols, again formed a huge circle. The arhats were all of the same sizes but their divine appearances were all different, arranging in rows, extremely proper. Then at the periphery of the big circle was a blue bottom with black edges false ceiling, two chi higher than the circle with the Buddha word in the middle, the painting on it was completely different, it was checkered square, each square one chi, with golden color embroidered border, in it painted Kirin, Phoenix, Golden Dragon, mountain goat and other auspicious Buddhist animals, these patterns, were the same in each square. Although he was not an expert in sculptures but with only one look, Ghost Li knew that this was supernaturally fine workmanship. On the roof, inside the inner circle surrounding the Buddha word, hung two golden chains, suspending an altar lamp that never ceased burning, looking up from below, there was a roughly three chi wide copper basin, presumably filled with oil.

Ghost Li frowned and turned his head to look around, the place looked like a meditation room in a temple, the room was quite spacious, standing at the four corners were red painted big pillars, the floor was paved with tiles, the door was made of paulownia wood, a window was opened on both sides of it, painted using the same red colour, looked extremely dignified. On one side of the wall a painting of Guanyin Bodhisattva holding a vase of clear water, below it a long altar with incense burner, on it there were four plates of offering fruits; pears, apples, tangerines, oranges, before the offering fruits a copper incense burner was placed, three joss sticks were lighted and placed in it, thin smoke tendrils drifted up, diffusing into the air.

The other side of the wall, was where Ghost Li was at. Here a wooden bed was placed, simple and sturdy, there wasn’t any more decoration, most likely monks would not be concerned with those things, the room was generally simple, other than what was described, there was only a round table placed in the middle, surrounded with four round stools. The table was black, on it were teapot and tea cups, all made of plain porcelain.

And at this time, the sound of footsteps had already arrived at the door, the meditation room door creaked opened with a sound of [zhi ya], pushed opened by the person outside, someone strided in. Ghost Li looked at him and was surprised, it was a young monk he had never seen before, he was holding a wooden plate, on it a fresh pot, he did not look over at Ghost Li and went straight to the table in the room, exchanged the pot on the table with the one in his hand.

“Who...are you?” Ghost Li asked but he had just said the first word, suddenly he felt the pain in his throat, though it was not as burning painful as that time when he was in a daze but it was still uncomfortable, his voice also immediately turned hoarse.

Although it was so, it shocked that little monk, he immediately turned, his actions abrupt, nearly flipping over the wooden plate in his hand. “Ah! You are awake?”  That little monk was surprised but delight showed in his eyes, he smiled and said, “Wait a while, I will call my senior brothers in immediately.”

Speaking, he was about to dash out of the room, Ghost Li spoke to his back, hoarsely asked, “Little teacher, I will like to ask, where is this place?”

That little monk turned around and smiled, an innocent and delicate expression on his face, said, “Here? Here of course is Tian Yin Temple!”

Tian Yin Temple!

Ghost Li was dumbfounded, like being hit with lightning. That little monk ran off, most likely to call someone, leaving Ghost Li lying stunned on his back, his mind in a chaos.

Tian Yin Temple… Bewilderment and shock in his heart but for some reason, there was another agonized feeling, surfacing out from the depths of his heart.

Tian Yin Temple...Tian Yin Temple...Pu Zhi…

From far voices were heard, at the same time footsteps walked towards the room, someone whispered to that little monk, that little monk was obviously young, innocent and bubbly, laughed frequently while replying.

For some reason, hearing those conversations, Ghost Li went into a daze, did not think about his current situation nor the past grudges, right now this moment, for no reason he was envious of this ordinary little monk. With his innocent lively look, maybe he still did not know that the world also has suffering and hatred?

Young and ignorant, but in so many of our years, those were instead the most happiest days? The footsteps stopped suddenly, just outside the door, someone spoke to the little monk, “You don’t have to go in, why don’t you go now and inform the abbot at the back yard, that Zhang Xiao Fan patron has already awaken.”

Little monk laughed and said, “Alright. But FaXiang senior brother, you agreed to teach me Great Brahman Wisdom, this you cannot go back on your words.”

That person outside the door laughed and said, “Little fellow, so greedy, I promised you and so will not renege.”

The little monk was clearly delighted, [he he] laughed, jumped happily and went off. The wooden door opened, [zhi ya] sound, someone seemed to pause, inhaled deeply and then walked in.

It was really FaXiang, and behind him, was that tall and big monk, FaShan.

Wearing a pale blue monk robe, fair clean face, his hands holding prayer beads, FaXiang’s appearance, did not seem to change at all these ten years. He unhurriedly walked to where Ghost Li was lying, until when he reached the bed, his eyes met Ghost Li, the two of them, did not speak.

The atmosphere in the room, turned somehow strange, the next moment, FaXiang’s lips revealed a trace of smile, clasped his palms together and bowed to Ghost Li, said, “Zhang patron, you are awake?”

Ghost Li’s eyes twitched, suddenly coldly said, “My surname is not Zhang, I have long forgotten that name.”

FaXiang’s countenance did not change, only looked at Ghost Li, after a while lightly said, “Whichever name to use naturally will follow ur choice, just that, if you even abandon your surname, did you ever think that you will be letting down your parents who raised you up?”

Ghost Li’s countenance changed, snorted, and did not speak anymore, turned his head and did not look at him. FaXiang did not look offended, he with FaShan, looked at this Evil sect evildoer who was spurned by the world’s Good Faction, their eyes were all filled with kindness and gentleness. FaShan moved two stools from the round table behind him, placed beside the bed, quietly said, “Senior brother please sit!”

FaXiang nodded, sat down on the stool, looked at Ghost Li, said, “How is your body feeling now?”

Ghost Li, without needing him to ask, actually had already checked his own body, his fractured ribs had all been put back in place and secured with thick bandages, as for his shoulder and other superficial wounds on his body, were all dressed up, although he could still feel pain from his wounds but indistinctly a cool clear sensation could be felt, obviously good medication were applied on his wounds and so had this level of healing effect.

FaXiang was not offended when he did not reply, smiled and said, “When you were unconscious, I have already helped to place your bones back, the other superficial wounds are not that serious, just that your internal organs are seriously injured and need to be nursed with great care before you can heal, also fortunately your body is strong, if not even if it was a cultivated person with deep skills, with that kind of heavy wounds, most likely also cannot avoid death.”

He paused for a moment, and continued, “I guessed that little junior brother of mine also told you! This is Tian Yin Temple, you being here, other than a few of us here in the temple, nobody else in the world knows, so it is very safe. You only need to focus on getting well here will do…”

Ghost Li suddenly interrupted his words, directly stared at him in the eyes and said, “It was all of you who saved me?”

FaXiang’s smile froze, seemed hesitated, turned and glanced at FaShan, FaShan lowered his head, softly chanted.

FaXiang looked back, without hesitation, nodded and said, “Yes.”

Ghost Li snorted, said, “Don’t tell me you all didn’t know, that if Qing Yun sect comes to know what you all have done, what situation will that be?” FaXiang faintly said, “Of course I know.”

Ghost Li smiled coldly and said, “Since then, why do you still go against your teacher’s wishes and save me this Evil sect evil person?”

FaXiang glanced at him, for some reason, his eyes looked different.

Ghost Li frowned and said, “What are you looking at?”

FaXiang smiled, said, “How do you know, that I must have defied my teacher to save you?”

Ghost Li was stunned, said, “What?”

FaXiang leisurely said, “Qing Yun sect at that time the seven branches’ leaders were all extraordinary people, each with their own outstanding skills. The Return of the Wind Valley head Zeng ShuCang is one of them, that day when we fought him, to hold him back and in that short time disguised and not reveal our own sect’s skills, this level of ability, I am still not there yet.”

Ghost Li stared at FaXiang, stared for a long time, FaXiang looked back at him, his smile unchanging. After a long time, Ghost Li suddenly closed his eyes, did not look at FaXiang any longer.

FaXiang nodded, said, “You are seriously wounded and still not recovered, need to have more rest.”

Ghost Li closed his eyes, suddenly said, “Why did you all save me?”

FaXiang  was  silent  for  a  moment,  faintly  said,  “This question, I cannot answer you.”

Ghost Li took a deep breath, said, “Why?” FaXiang quietly chanted, said, “You don’t have to be anxious, after a few days when your injuries are better, there will be someone who will tell you.”

Ghost Li opened his eyes, frowned and said, “Who?”

FaXiang’s lips moved, seemed to hesitate but eventually still said, “There is no harm telling you, it is our teacher, Tian Yin Temple PuHong Master!”

Ghost Li looked nonplussed, a moment later, looking at FaXiang’s face, he knew he couldn’t get any more answers, heaved a long sigh, laid down and buried his head.

From far the bells tolled leisurely, again faintly traversed over.

[Dong...dong...dong...dong]

Chapter 179 - Secular Prayer Hall

Morning bell, evening drum, day after day, almost never- ending.

Every day, seemed exactly like the previous day, some days were dry and dull, some were peaceful, indistinct years, long or short, it was all in the human heart.

In a blink, Ghost Li had stayed in Tian Yin Temple for many days, listening to the early morning bells and low deep evening drums, somewhere in the temple the bells tolled promptly everyday, quietly spending the days. Somehow, in just a few days time, he seemed already accustomed to this unusual environment, everyday he was taciturn, just staring blankly.

He was in the prime of his youth, his body in excellent condition, although heavily injured but firstly he was young, secondly, his cultivation was deep, in addition Tian Yin Temple was particularly generous with him, whatever good medicine they had they were not stingy, using it on him as they pleased. With Tian Yin Temple’s reputation and position, the good medicine in the temple, naturally compared against the world it would be high-grade medicine, the medication’s efficacy quickly came into effect, the wounds on his body, healed really fast.

Just a few days, he was already able to get down and walked with effort, however when he was walking, his chest was still in pain and so in a few steps, he was panting non-stopped. But even if it was so, it made those who visited him, FaXiang etc, happy and delighted, praising that they had never seen someone who recovered that fast, most likely less than a month’s time, he would be fully recovered.

Ghost Li on most days got along with them briefly, occasionally chatted, both parties avoided talking about their opposite roles, almost right now in FaXiang and the rest of the Tian Yin Temple monks’ eyes, Ghost Li was only an ordinary person that they were treating out of goodwill, and not them facing opprobrium, forcefully snatched the Evil sect evildoer from Qing Yun sect’s hands. And Ghost Li no longer asked Tian Yin Temple the question on why they saved him.

The days passed by leisurely, Ghost Li day by day recovered, these few days, he was able to walk more easily, sometimes when the morning bell and evening drum tolled, he would take a chair, opened the window, sat by the window and listened attentively, it was almost as if this bell and drum in Tian Yin Temple, to him, had a special pleasing appeal.

While he was recuperating, Tian Yin Temple monks only FaXiang and FaShan came often to visit him, the other monks almost never came, let alone PuHong Master and the other Pu generation level of masters. And because for the sake of recuperation, Ghost Li also never left the room. Other than occasionally opening the window to gaze outside, appearing before him, was only a small courtyard, red walls glazed tiles and only a few short trees planted.

Just that to Ghost Li, such a simple and ordinary small yard, was actually a sense of familiarity that had not been felt for a long time, from the day he opened the window, although he did not revealed it but in his heart, he immediately liked this place.

Listening to the bell in the morning, the drum in the evening, such quiet and leisurely time, only for a short period of time, it had already made him reluctant to let go, intoxicated. Who knew, in his heart, the most extravagant hope once, was to live such peaceful days only…

Mount Meru, Tian Yin Temple, among that vast extensive temple, shrines and pavilions, that small courtyard in an unfamiliar secluded corner, living like that, living, living…

[Zhi ya!] The wooden door was pushed opened, FaXiang walked in alone, swept his gaze around and then onto Ghost Li who was lying on the bed. Ghost Li’s eyes were closed, not knowing if he was asleep.

FaXiang smiled, turned and closed the door, he asked Ghost Li, “How do you feel today, does your chest still hurts?”

Ghost Li’s body moved and he slowly opened his eyes, glanced at FaXiang, indifferently said, “You ask this question each time you come, don’t you get tired of it?”

FaXiang smiled and shook his head, his eyes moved and he walked to the other wall, before that painting with Guanyin Bodhisattva, took three sticks of incense from the altar, lighted it up with the candle placed beside and then inserted into that copper incense burner.

Faint smoke curled upwards, diffusing into the air, that painting of Guanyin Bodhisattva suddenly seemed indistinct, the air also gradually infused with faint fragrance of incense.

FaXiang clasped his palms together, prayed three times to the Guanyin Bodhisattva painting then turned around and looked at Ghost Li for a long while, suddenly said, “Aren’t you coming over to pray?”

Ghost Li was stunned, couldn’t help but turn to look at the painting, Guanyin Bodhisattva in that painting was benevolent, dignified beautiful, a pair of discerning slender eyes lightly gazing into the distance, almost like watching the living things and mortals in the world, this moment, also benevolently watching himself.

His heart moved but then he sneered, “What do I pray to her for, if she is indeed spiritual, in the past I have prayed earnestly to Heaven and the various deities and Buddhas countless of times, I don’t see them being merciful!” FaXiang looked at him for a long time, Ghost Li did not shrink away, the sneer was still on his lips, not showing any signs of backing away or regret. After a long while, FaXiang heaved a long sigh, turned over, bowed his head low and prayed to Guanyin Bodhisattva himself, softly muttering something, inaudible.

Ghost Li watched from behind, continued to sneer.

FaXiang paid his respect, turned, the benevolence expression on his face slowly disappeared, replacing with calmness and a smile, said, “I see that you are looking better today, and recently your body have mostly recovered, why don’t we go out!’

Ghost Li looked nonplussed by that statement, said, “Out, to where?”

FaXiang smiled and said, “To where you wish to go, to see who you wish to see.” Ghost Li frowned and then raised his eyebrows and said, “Why, don’t tell me PuHong Master he…”

FaXiang nodded and said, “It is, teacher heard that you have recovered, is extremely delighted, asked that I come over today and see, if you are not feeling weary, you can meet him. I wonder what do you think?”

Ghost Li watched FaXiang for a long time, suddenly smiled and said, “Good, good, good, I waited for a very long time for this day, of course I want to see him, regardless whether my body has recovered, even if it was that day with severe injuries, if only he was willing, even if I have to crawl I will also crawl to see him.”

FaXiang  clasped  his  palms  together,  “Patron  overstated, please follow me.”

After speaking, he led the way, walked first to the door, opened and walked out. Ghost Li followed next, however when he was about to walk out of the room, for some reason, he turned back suddenly and glanced at that Guanyin Bodhisattva painting on the wall, in the curling tendrils of smoke, Guanyin Bodhisattva merciful brows and kind eyes, slightly holding a smile, seemed to be watching him too.

Ghost Li’s brows frowned, snorted, immediately turned, never turned back again, walked straight on, leaving the faint incense fragrance, in that empty room behind him, gently drifting.

Walking out of the courtyard, a path about two zhang long, four chi wide, lined with red walls, about the height of two humans, green glazed tiles covered the top, the end of the passageway was a round arched door, walking near the arched door, he indistinctly heard sounds outside.

The sounds were rather weird, at first it seemed to be monks chanting the scriptures inside the temple but in it were mixed with other strange sounds, some were unexpected to appear here, like women from the villages gathering to chat, or believers performing a Buddha ceremony loudly, there were even faint crying sounds of children. These strange sounds, how would it appear at Tian Yin Temple which was known as one of the world’s three Good Faction great sects?

Ghost Li’s mind was surprised and bewildered, looked towards FaXiang but saw his expression unchanged, continued to lead the way, heading towards the arched door and walked out. Ghost Li frowned, composed himself and also walked out.

Outside, it suddenly opened to a wide clearing, white jade like stone, levelled and paved as the ground, stone steps layer upon layer, nine forming into a group, connected up to a main hall of a Buddhist temple containing the main image of veneration DaXiong, a total of eighty one steps. And among the carved balustrades and jade steps, the temple halls towered imposingly, extremely high, before the temple thirteen enormous great stone pillars rose to the sky, their heights exceeding ten zhang, the temple roof was splendour and dazzling, eight roof ridges distributed equally above, carved into dragon heads, before each dragon-head-upturned eaves ridge, ten auspicious animals were carved on it, their demeanours different and lifelike. And the different carvings in the temple were magnificent and exquisite, surpassing mortals’ imagination, not what an ordinary person could make. Behind the main hall, both sides, front, were lofty temple buildings one after another, between them public squares or winding small paths connected them, some directly connected together, piling up one after another, an extremely grand sight.

Just that although the architecture was magnificent and imposing, and indeed made one marvelled at ceaselessly but at this moment, the most shocking thing to Ghost Li was not these, instead on the Buddhist dignified sacred grounds, there were numerous commoners traversing, countless holding incense sticks, kneeling praying, stairs public squares, inside and out the temple halls, joss sticks and candles inconceivably burning at its peak.

Such a big Tian Yin Temple, holding a lofty position among the world’s Good Faction, was like a secular ordinary temple, opened to numerous secular commoners to offer incense and worship Buddha.

Ghost Li never imagined this, he finally understood the jumble of strange sounds but this before him, made him even more confused. Growing up at Qing Yun Hill since young, he had long accustomed to the so-called immortal home style, celestial mountains celestial environment, originally only cultivated Taoists could possess it. On Qing Yun Hill, where had he once seen an ordinary commoner come up to offer incense and beseech for their wishes?

Ghost Li looked towards FaXiang, asked in shock, “This…”

FaXiang smiled and said, “Today happens to be first of the month therefore there are much more people. Although our temple has many believers but on usual days there are not that many people, just that every first and fifteen, the surrounding nearby commoners for several hundred miles, have the tradition of coming over to pray to Buddha.”

Ghost Li shook his head, hesitated for a moment, eventually still asked, “No, I find it strange, why would you all allow commoners to come in and offer incense to Buddha?”

FaXiang seemed to expect this question from Ghost Li, nodded his head, gestured him to walk to a direction and then led Ghost Li towards the back of the main hall, speaking while walking, “Actually in the past Tian Yin Temple, like Qing Yun sect and the other great sects, did not open up to the secular world, just that my teacher PuHong Master after taking over as the abbot, together with three other teacher uncles comprehended the Buddha truth, made a big wish to Buddha, said: Buddha is the people’s Buddha, not one’s own Buddha. And so decided to open the door to receive the commoners.”

Speaking till here, FaXiang stopped, turned and pointed to that innumerable stairs towards the great hall, said, “Did you see that long stairs of flight?”

Ghost Li nodded, said, “Why?”

FaXiang clasped his hands together, said, “That was one of the teacher uncles who saw that the mountain road was precipitous, although the commoners wanted to worship Buddha but many were weak and in poor health, had difficulty getting around and couldn’t come up the mountain to redeem their vows, in the end used remarkable powers, with his own strength, used ten years of work, on the precipitous mountain road opened up this Buddha sea level road, did such boundless beneficence charitable deed.” Ghost Li was filled with deep veneration, his expression also turned solemn, said, “There is actually such remarkable senior, may I know his title?”

FaXiang glanced at him, unexpectedly was silent for a moment, quietly said, “That teacher uncle title was PuZhi, had already passed away for several years.”

Ghost Li’s body abruptly froze, ‘PuZhi’ these two words were like a shock of thunder in a clear sky, hit the back of his head, shook his heart and mind into pieces.

FaXiang saw Ghost Li’s indefinite expression, a sudden sad, a sudden hatred, sighed long, quietly said, “Forget it, let’s go, abbot is still waiting for us!”

Ghost Li woodenly followed FaXiang, his initial light footsteps, right now had turned heavy. After walking for several zhang, he suddenly turned back, his expression complex, saw from far the crowd bustling about, countless people traversing that flight of stairs, elder, men, women, children, each with a devout expression walking up the stairs, their lips chanting Buddha names, as if walking past that road, they would be nearer to Buddha.

Ghost Li’s expression was complicated, a pair of hands clenching into fists and slowly releasing, after a long while, eventually he slowly turned his head back, walked ahead. FaXiang who was waiting in front with his palms clasped together and chanting, did not say much.

The two of them walked off, leaving this silent road of Buddha and the innumerable believers, behind them, in the secular world.

Here was the mortal world, and not immortal home Buddha realm.

Walking past the main hall, there was a long cluster of temple buildings and halls at the back, Tian Yin Temple was after all a famous great sect, its imposing facade was incomparable to an ordinary temple. FaXiang led Ghost Li to the back, did not stop at any of the temple buildings, continued to head to the rear of the mountain. Ghost Li only followed behind FaXiang, taciturn, his face revealed his heavy thoughts, the surrounding magnificent and exquisite architectures, he turned a blind eye to it.

Just that at the end, FaXiang brought him out of Tian Yin Temple back door, walked to a small mountain path heading towards Mount Meru, Ghost Li frowned, said, “Why, PuHong Master is not in the temple?”

FaXiang nodded, said, “That’s right, although our temple is opened to the secular world, it is an act of boundless beneficence but monks after all need peace and quiet, teacher and a few teacher uncles are all people who prefer peace, have always stay in a small temple at the summit, we usually refer to it as ‘Little Tian Yin Temple’.”  Speaking, he smiled, revealed two rows of white teeth.

Ghost Li nodded silently, did not speak anymore, followed FaXiang towards Mount Meru summit.

Mount Meru although was not that towering into the clouds like Qing Yun sect TongTian Peak but it was definitely not low. They were already at mid-mountain when they came out from Tian Yin Temple, walking up they walked for a total of one hour before reaching Little Tian Yin Temple inscribed board.

Looking from the outside, Little Tian Yin Temple was really little, at most sanjinyuanzi [translator’s note: Two Chinese quadrangles residence with an additional smaller courtyard and rooms behind the main building], it was really far off from that grand Tian Yin Temple at mid-mountain, however here it was away from the secular world, the surroundings were dark green pine trees and tall bamboos, densely forming a forest, when the mountain breeze blew past, pine trees moved and the bamboos swayed, an inexplicable feeling of quiet, seclusion and elegant, compared to the bustling below, it was another flavour.

Ghost Li had just recovered from a serious injury, after walking so much, his forehead was already sweating slightly, he stopped to rest temporarily, turning his head back to look, saw the flourishing incense smoke from Tian Yin Temple, threadlike drifting up, even at such distance, he could see clearly, the indistinct human hubbub, an indescribable devotion and solemn feeling. Ghost Li gazed for a while, staring in a daze, not knowing what he was thinking, after a long time he turned over, FaXiang nodded, brought him into Little Tian Yin Temple.

Here was much simpler, both of them passed through the middle prayer hall, turned right and made two turns and it was three meditation rooms. FaXiang walked up, facing the middle room entrance, loudly said, “Teacher, Zhang Xiao Fan patron is already here.”

An aged and kindly voice immediately rang out, “Please come in!”

FaXiang turned his head back, made a please gesture to Ghost Li, Ghost Li hesitated a moment then headed to that room, saw FaXiang instead stopped outside, did not look like he was entering with him.

Walking into the meditation room, Ghost Li glanced around, the room was simple and unadorned, the furnishings were almost exactly like the room he had. And the current world’s Good Faction giant pillar, Tian Yin Temple in-charge abbot PuHong Master, sitting cross-legged on the meditation bed, his hand holding a string of prayer beads, his face smiling and looking at him.

“You are here.” PuHong Master’s voice was calm, smiling.

For some reason, facing this holy monk, Ghost Li’s wavering feelings, very quickly calmed down, he inhaled deeply, nodded and said, “Yes.”

PuHong Master carefully assessed him, from top to bottom looked carefully, his eyes twinkling with strange benevolence and glimmer, the prayer beads in his hand also rotated gently, after a long time, he said, “You should have questions for me?”

Ghost Li immediately nodded, “That’s right, I am puzzled, why would Tian Yin Temple risk falling out with Qing Yun sect and save me, and, why did you all…”

He asked in a hurry, he was also speaking extremely fast but he was only halfway when he stopped involuntarily, PuHong Master stretched out his right hand in mid-air, preventing him from continuing. Ghost Li was perplexed, looked at PuHong Master, PuHong Master bowed his head and chanted, came down from the bed, stood up, facing Ghost Li, said, “Before you ask me, I will first bring you to see someone!”

Ghost Li was stunned, said, “See someone, who is it?”

PuHong did not answer, only walked out, slowly speaking, “This person wanted to see you for a very long time, and I know, you too very much want to see him.”

Ghost Li was shocked but subconsciously followed, for some reason, his palms sweated, his heartbeat suddenly quickened, as if before him, there was something that made him fear.

FaXiang had been sitting quietly outside the meditation room, saw in such a short time PuHong Master was already leading Ghost Li out of the room, his expression did not change, only stepped back, stood aside. PuHong Master glanced at him, nodded, did not speak and led Ghost Li to another direction, that was in the sanjinyuanzi, the last courtyard, backfacing a mountain wall. The upturned eaves in the temple building carved with auspicious animals, were a unique
architecture regulation in ancient China, it contained extremely fine segregation rules, for the numbers from emperor to officials to ordinary households, all had detailed specification, not allowed to overstep the boundaries, if not it would be a crime of disrespect, enough to sentence one to death
and exterminate the clan. The architecture of having ten auspicious animals on the roof, since ancient times, there was only one place in the entire China, it was Imperial Palace Hall of Supreme Harmony, in the world it was only one. Here is fiction, everyone just read it with amusement.
First and fifteenth of the month offering incense and praying to Buddha, the extensive spread of
Buddhism in China was rather prevalent, it was known as religious services, or Buddhist rituals, from Beijing Lama Temple until the south Fujian village’s small temple, most were like that. From young watched maternal grandmother offered incense until older, until now it was still like that, when I
wrote it, when I thought about this, I couldn’t help but sigh with feelings.

Chapter 180 - Difficult to cross Sea of Misery

The flat small courtyard was like the quadrangle residence outside, a house that was simply built against a mountain wall, a brick-paved small path in the middle, leading to the door, grasses decorated both sides, it looked like no one did a proper upkeep of the place, weeds overgrown in many places.

And what was different from the meditation room outside was, on this house’s door, a piece of rather thick heavy black curtain hung over it, and other than this door, there seemed not to be other windows or doors.

Ghost Li looked at this ordinary and common-looking small house, his throat suddenly felt dry, both of his hands involuntarily clenched tightly. He looked to PuHong Master but saw on PuHong’s Master’s face, his expression also looked extremely complicated, like regret, like pained, hard to put it in words, and he was too, looking at that little door in a trance.

For a moment, no one spoke, a period of silence, except from the grasses beside, somewhere, low insects cries were heard, not knowing what it was calling for. For a long time, PuHong Master gently sighed and said, “Let’s go in!”

Ghost Li’s facial muscles twitched once, whispered, “Alright.”

PuHong Master slowly walked up, he stretched his hand out and pulled opened the curtain, a sound of [zhi ya] and pushed opened the door.

Faint sounds, came from the rotor on the door, who knew how long it had been since someone pushed opened this door, heavy and desolate.

A burst of cold air, suddenly rushed out from the house, despite Ghost Li was still outside the door but with this cold draft, even with his level of cultivation, he still could not help but shuddered. In this little room, it seemed like one of the coldest place on earth.

Ghost Li frowned, had some hesitation, at this moment, PuHong Master's voice was heard from behind the curtain, said, “Little patron, come on right in!” Ghost Li took a deep breath, shook his head, opened the curtains, strided in.

The curtains slowly fell, once again the door issued a desolate sound of [zhi ya], gently closed.

The small yard, again, resumed its peacefulness, FaXiang’s figure slowly walked over from the front, looked at that plain house, softly chanted and bowed once, looking solemn and respectful.

The curtains lowered, the wooden door closed, because there wasn’t any windows, the house was immediately in darkness.

The bone penetrating chill, instantly gushed over from all directions, like countless cold steel needles, stabbing into the flesh. Ghost Li had just recovered from a major injury, for a moment started to shudder a few times again, but he was after all not an ordinary human, he circulated the true ways in his body and regulated his breathings, slowly adjusted. Although the cold was unable to seep into his body but that icy cold bone penetrating chill, was still uncomfortable. This small house on Mt Meru, was even colder than the inherently cold North pole.

Ghost Li was shocked, while he was feeling bewildered, he heard PuHong Master quietly sighed and said, “Junior brother, we have come to visit you, this person, you must have wanted to see him for a very long time!”

His voice was deep and carried a strange emotion, the chill in the house abruptly went down a few degrees, almost could freeze a human’s body blood.

Then, a thread of weak light, white carrying faint silver light, slowly from ahead of PuHong Master and Ghost Li, at the end of the small house, lighted up.

That light was graceful and like snow, first the thread blossomed, then at the periphery of the light, another thread of silverish-white faint light slowly shone, approaching it, merging into one, one by one threads of faint light started to light up one after another, gradually emerging, a one chi square-like disc shape. That light was gentle, pure white like snow, the light rose to a height less than one chi, at the end of it the light seemed to transform into bits of snowflake, like white fireflies, gently dancing, slowly descending, almost like an illusion.

Then, the threads of light, slowly merged, gradually became brighter, Ghost Li and PuHong Master heard a light whistling sound, it was pleasing to the ear, the white light surged, instantly released its brilliance, illuminating the entire house.

In that instant, PuHong Master chanted softly with his head bowed, and Ghost Li, instead in that instant, felt his entire blood froze, unable to feel any warmth at all, even his own heartbeat, seemed to pause in that moment.

He was like a frozen icicle standing there, staring in a daze deep into the light, there wasn’t any other thoughts in his mind anymore, only two words reverberated --

PuZhi! The weak light was like snow, brilliant and flowing, emitting from the disc pure- white like jade, at the same time giving off an uncanny chill. And on top of that one chi square like round disc, a person sat, it was that person who changed Zhang Xian Fan’s life, the one whom Ghost Li etched into his heart - PuZhi.

Looking from afar, PuZhi’s face was life-like, although his skin looked extremely pale, without a single trace of life but upon careful inspection, there wasn’t any sign of shriveled flesh. Moreover, he was still like that compassionate and kind old monk in Zhang Xiao Fan’s memory, not a single change, just that in his expression, there was an additional indistinct anguish.

Other than his body.

PuZhi’s body for some reason, was half of his original size, and because it was so, he could sit cross-legged on that pure white jade disc, the chill in this room was assaulting but there wasn’t any ice seen placed around, most likely it was because of this unusual treasure. And assuming that PuZhi’s remains could be preserved for such a long time was most probably also due to this treasure’s power. Just that Ghost Li’s mind couldn’t think that much, the compassionate-looking monk sitting on the jade disc, was clearly the one etched deeply in his heart, for several years, never once forgotten.

Was it hate?

Was it gratitude?

In his mind, for a moment it was empty, for a moment it was like a storm, thunder and lightning rumbled, thousands of anguish, ten thousands of resentment, all for a moment washed over his heart!

That kind monk, was the person who saved his life, the person who taught him the true way and treated him like a son, but it was also this compassionate-looking monk, destroyed his entire life, made him suffered day and night, like falling into the Hell’s abyss…

Gratitude, resentment intertwined, initially he thought it was only in his heart, unexpectedly today this moment, he could see his face once again.

Ghost Li under agitated emotions, could barely stand straight, his head swam, his body fell to the side. At this moment, a gentle and warm hand stretched out from beside, supported him, at the same time a familiar energy, it was Buddhist true way Great Brahman Wisdom, travelled from that hand, deep and profound, slowly calmed Ghost Li’s heart which was filled with agitated blood.

“Amitabha Buddha, little patron, do not be too agitated, your health is more important.” PuHong Master’s calm voice, softly heard beside.

Ghost Li, like being shook awake, clenched his teeth, took a deep breath, released PuHong’s hand and stood straight once again, but then his eyes, never once left PuZhi’s face. In the faint light, PuZhi’s kind face, that trace of anguish, seemed deeper.

PuHong Master beside, carefully assessed Ghost Li, in his eyes, this young man’s indefinite expression due to his current pain, fluctuated in the faint light, right now this moment, Ghost Li was not that renowned world’s Evil Sect sorcerer, instead was an ordinary person to him, like, that young man many years ago.

He gently sighed, his eyes deep, turned and looked at PuZhi ahead, slowly went up, staring at PuZhi’s face, quietly said, “Junior brother, your last wish, senior brother me has already fulfilled it for you, senior brother is useless, unable to save you then. Evil cause results in evil consequence, your own debts you need to experience yourself. This was what you said at that time, hope you will let go of your previous life sin soon, reincarnate and head to the afterlife. Amitabha!”

He clasped his palms together at PuZhi’s remains, bowed and then walked straight out, before he walked out of the door, he faintly said, “Little patron, I think you will want to be alone with PuZhi junior brother for a while! I will be in that mediation room ahead, if you need anything, just come look for me.”

Ghost Li did not speak, almost like turning a deaf ear, right now in his eyes, there was only PuZhi monk in that faint light. PuHong Master sighed, pulled out the door and lifted the curtain, walked out. The house, shrouded in a blanket of stillness.

Ghost Li slowly, slowly moved his feet, little by little walked towards PuZhi.

He seemed to fear something, somehow at lost, clearly he was once gnashing his teeth in bitter hatred, but for some reason, this moment, his heart was pouring with infinite sorrow.

That person was quietly sitting there, without any life, but as if he was waiting for something, even his face with anguish, seemed to have a desire and anticipation.

Ghost Li slowly walked to him, staring at PuZhi, both hands clenching tightly, his nails deeply entrenched into his flesh, but in the end he still released them.

Almost like losing his support, his body strengthless, like that, quietly fell sitting onto the floor, sat before PuZhi, silent. The faint light glimmered, illuminating PuZhi and him, both of their figures!

Time, seemed to pause in this house, time flowed back at times, jumped at times, but eventually what remained unchanged were their hearts?

Even though one was still beating, another already still!

[Dong...dong...dong...dong]

The morning bell, once again tolled, reverberated in every corner of Mt Meru, rising and falling, awakening one from dreams but also had a kind of effect which could bring one away from the secular world.

Mt Meru summit, little Tian Yin Temple, outside the quiet meditation room, knocking sounds on the door were heard. PuHong Master raised his eyebrows and then slightly shook his head, sighed and said, “Is it FaXiang, come on in!”

FaXiang acknowledged and went in, walked over and bowed to PuHong Master, looking at his face, there seemed to be a trace of worry, said, “Teacher, it is already an entire day and night, Zhang patron still has not emerged.”

PuHong Master shook his head, said, “Previous life ill-fated relationship, a lifetime of feelings and enmity, how can it be so easily accepted and let go!”

FaXiang clasped his palms together, quietly said, “Yes.” Then frowned, said, “Teacher, I am worried about the ‘Jade Ice Disc’ in the house, although it can protect and preserve PuZhi teacher uncle’s body to be immortal but the cold energy, is greatly detrimental to humans. And Zhang patron he has just recovered, his mind and heart are in pain and confusion, what if his condition... leaves any incompletely cured illness, how would we live up to PuZhi teacher uncle’s final instructions?”

PuHong Master faintly said, “It’s alright, I have already used Great Brahman Wisdom to protect his heart yesterday, moreover with his own cultivation level, although the cold energy is poisonous, I presume it would not be a problem.”

FaXiang heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing it, clasped his hands together, “So that’s how it is, disciple is also relieved.”

PuHong Master nodded, at the same time glanced at FaXiang, said, “I see that you are very concerned about this Zhang patron, although your PuZhi teacher uncle had left his last wishes but as for yourself, seemed to view him differently too!”

FaXiang smiled and said, “Teacher has exceptional insight, it is indeed so.”

Speaking, he seemed to recall the past, sighed and said, “Frankly, ever since I first saw Zhang patron until today, it has been, like the blink of an eye, ten years. For ten years, disciple’s Buddhist studies and training might have small improvement, compared to one’s lifetime it is like an infant learning to walk, hardly any changes. Only this Zhang patron, looking at his life, a stormy sea, one climax after another, great sorrows and hardships, gratitude grievances affections enmities, the various sufferings mentioned by Buddha, each was experienced fully by him.”

PuHong Master’s countenance changed slightly, clasped his palms together and chanted softly.

FaXiang continued, “Disciple also once thought about this Zhang patron during the late nights before sleep, also placed myself in his shoes, tried to imagine the various sufferings on disciple’s ownself. Unfortunately disciple’s Buddhist studies eventually is still meagre, actually was terrified and had fear. Buddha said the conscious mind world is after all a bag of skin, in the end merely dust, only this path of the heart, the importance is to comprehend. Each time disciple thought of this, recall Zhang patron’s rough life and today he is still able to sustain on persistently, disciple honestly admires.”

Speaking till here, FaXiang’s expression suddenly changed, kneeled before PuHong Master.

PuHong Master was stunned, said, “What is this for?” FaXiang quietly said, “Teacher, disciple’s cultivation is low, unable to comprehend the Buddhist Dharma fully and yet towards Zhang patron this kind of figure who agonizes over the demons in his heart, disciple really can’t bear to. Beseech teacher to use your remarkable ability, with our Buddha boundless power, enlighten and show him the direction; with Buddhist mercifulness transform his evil tendencies, make him leave the demons in his heart and the sea of misery. This is also a great merit, fulfil the above Heaven’s benevolent heart, console below deceased PuZhi teacher uncle. Teacher have mercy!”

Speaking, he lay prostrate with both hands, bowed three times in succession.

PuHong Master shook his head and sighed, heaving a long sigh, said, “Foolish child! Foolish child! Do you know with your words, you have instead violated anger taboo. Furthermore, it is not that teacher is unwilling to enlighten this person, it is because he has experienced many hardships, a life of rough bumps, to this present day, his heart is already as firm as a boulder, not like an ordinary person whose heart can be moved. As what is said, Buddha in one’s heart, each and every living creatures have affinity with Buddha, in the future whether it is to degenerate into the sea of misery, or return to paradise, all is but a single thought in his heart, I and the rest do not have any more power to exert on him.”

FaXiang slowly stood up, bowed his head low and clasped his palms together, his face couldn’t help but reveal disappointment   however   he   quietly   said,   “Yes,   disciple understands.”

PuHong after a moment of silence, said, “You better go to the rear house and take a look at him, although the cold energy shouldn’t be a problem but with his current condition, sustaining without water and food for a day, it is still not a good thing.”

FaXiang acknowledged, composed himself, headed out, when he was about to open the door and go out, someone was already outside the door, sunlight shone from the person’s back, the person’s face cast in the shadows, for a moment unable to see clearly.

FaXiang was surprised, took a step back and could then see clearly it was Ghost Li who had unknowingly arrived at the doorstep of the house, quietly standing. Not seen for a day, Ghost Li did not seem tired but his face was extremely pale, his eyes bloodshot, most probably he did not once sleep for the whole night.

When he saw FaXiang, Ghost Li’s lips moved, slowly nodded to FaXiang, FaXiang was stunned, clasped his palms in return. Ghost Li then slowly walked in, stood before PuHong Master.

PuHong Master like yesterday, sat cross-legged on the meditation bed, his hands holding the prayer beads, continuously rotating. When he saw Ghost Li looked like he had words to say, he was not surprised, indifferently spoke to FaXiang,  “Bring  a  chair  for  little  patron,  and,  you  too  sit down!”

FaXiang acknowledged, pulled a chair over for Ghost Li, he himself sat at one side.

PuHong Master was silent for a moment, said, “Whatever question that you wish to ask me, just go ahead and say.” Ghost Li’s eyes seemed undecided, as if his heart until now was still in turmoil, after a long time, he was heard quietly speaking, “Why did Tian Yin Temple save me?”

PuHong clasped his palms together, said, “All things have consequences and each consequence has their cause, patron current’s rough situation, mostly are due to evil consequences planted by Tian Yin Temple PuZhi junior brother, since it is so, Tian Yin Temple cannot leave you in the lurch.”

Ghost Li snorted, said, “What you all did, aren’t you afraid Qing Yun sect will fall out with you?”

PuHong Master smiled and said, “Afraid.”

Ghost Li heard his honest reply, was instead surprised, said, “Then you still…”

PuHong Master shook his head and said, “Tian Yin Temple for generations has good relations with Qing Yun sect, our ancestors have too sternly admonished, not to destroy without considerations. That was why I instructed them to dress in black, without revealing any traces and bring you back.”

Ghost Li sneered, “Qing Yun sect is full of highly skilled martial artists, what if your tracks were exposed?”

PuHong Master indifferently said, “I ordered them to hide their tracks, is for the friendship between the two sects, unwilling to create discord between the two Good Faction sects, that was why we had that strategy. But if there really was a mishap, then it wouldn’t matter too, to save patron you, we have no choice but to fall out with them.”

Ghost Li stared at PuHong Master, in a heavy voice said, “What  exactly  is  the  reason,  for  all  of  you  to  disregard everything and save me?”

PuHong Master this time, turned silent instead, Ghost Li did not pursue the question, only stared at him.

After a long time, PuHong Master gave a long sigh, said, “Do you wish to know, the incident which happened after PuZhi junior brother struggled to return to Tian Yin Temple with his last breath until he passed away?”

Ghost Li was shocked, for a moment speechless, looking at the pain in his eyes, it seemed like his heart was in another turmoil, finally, he quietly said, “Yes.”

For some reason, his voice was somehow hoarse.

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