Chapter 191 - Surprise Appearance
Over at Zhou YiXian side, they rested and treated Wild Dog, Wild Dog after knowing he was pulled back from Hell, felt really fortunate, secretly felt confused over his brave acts at that time. But whatever it was, after that, Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan’s relationships with Wild Dog Taoist became closer, after all they had been through life and death together, Zhou YiXian was not as cold to Wild Dog as in the past, however he was still the same when he was ordering Wild Dog to do tasks but as Wild Dog Taoist was still recovering from his injuries, Zhou YiXian instead had to do more, as such again making the old man grumbled and complained.
But Xiao Huan and Wild Dog were still the same as before but Wild Dog Taoist looked even more nervous than before when he was before Xiao Huan, and spoke lesser to her. Although it was puzzling but Xiao Huan did not sense it, those days her attention was mostly on that strange book with black wordless cover.
Wild Dog Taoist had never seen Xiao Huan read that book before, felt rather bewildered but Xiao Huan never revealed the origin of this book, Zhou YiXian also did not explain, as time passed, he too slowly got used to it, just that occasionally felt that Xiao Huan looked different, gradually, she seemed different somehow but he was unable to put a ﬁnger to it.
X x x
The demon beast catastrophe, started from the middle of southern border ten thousands great mountains, the ﬁrst to suffer would also be southern border.
The torments that those various tribes suffered, compared to Central Plains, were far more serious. Nine out of ten houses were empty, that was almost the inevitable end for many of the villages and towns, even for an entire village with no survivors, that was also frequent.
After the catastrophe, the remaining small groups of demon beasts in southern border, were much more than those in Central Plains, the people who survived, had to endure the demons harassments, that kind of life was really dark days, like in an abyss of suffering. Ghost Li in that kind of situation, once again set foot onto southern border vast land.
Along the way, he did not discover any traces of the demons but saw numerous swarms of Good Faction members, among them also including Qing Yun, FenXiang etc those great sects. Those people were like berserk, all looking for the Beast Deity but very obviously, so many of them searching but none found him.
After defeated in Qing Yun battle, the Beast Deity escaped with serious injures and seemed to disappear into thin air, no one could ﬁnd him. But this southern border ten thousands great mountains was still his home, no matter what, he would eventually come back right?
With that thought, Ghost Li entered southern border. Also entering the southern border, were also numerous Good Faction disciples, FenXiang Valley sect was back to their home ground, but for the other Good Faction disciples, naturally they were not only there to eliminate the remaining demon beasts. But no matter what, because of those people, the remaining fearless demons temporarily exercised restraint, these Good Faction disciples after all, to the best of their abilities, eliminated those demons. As such, the mood in different areas of the southern border also received a boost.
Just that nobody, saw even the shadow of the Beast Deity in the southern border realm, now the only possibility, was only within that barren mountains and unruly rivers, strange and mysterious ten thousands great mountains.
In the layers and layers of dark mountains ranges, nobody knew how much secrets it concealed!
Ghost Li before entering the mountains, ﬁrst went to the southern border Miao Tribe Seven Miles Cave, for no other reason than because of what the great shaman did for BiYao, he also wanted to offer his respect.
TianShui Stockade, Seven Miles Cave, walking along the route, the original bustling scenes were gone, tragic scenes along the way, even his hardened heart also could not help but be moved. What was it for, that resulted in such a great calamity?
His own cultivation achieved results, in the huge waves of wickedness he stayed out of it but what about the countless of commoners who suffered? What did they do wrong, why must they suffered such calamity?
Recalling his days at Tian Yin Temple, the countless of commoners day and night prayed to the Gods and Buddhas, looking at the world, there were many much more people who also did that, prostrated in worship to the Heavens deities. But when the catastrophe came, who helped them?
And so, was there still a use for that kind of worship?
Or should it be said, it was really a response to the mysterious words which consistently appeared throughout the
Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs? X x x
Stepping Into Seven Miles Cave, Ghost Li sucked in a breath of cold air, this place which was once a picturesque scenery in his memory, was already devastated and ruined beyond recognition. The undulating rows of houses, only almost left broken walls, the usual crowded streets were gone, not to mention kids running around.
The number of remaining people looked to be only one or two out of ten, most were standing before the houses, despondently trying to salvage usable things from the ruins, however, more often than not, what they could ﬁnd, were only the remains of the deceased.
In the entire Seven Miles Cave, a sad and decayed atmosphere permeated the air, occasionally few children, staring blankly, their eyes dazed and full of fear, appeared and the next moment, there would be an adult appearing behind, pulling them back in.
Ghost Li slowly walked along the street, soon that attracted some of the Miao tribe people’s attention, their eyes, thick with wary. In the unusual atmosphere, even Xiao Hui, seemed to turn much obedient, although it was still peering around.
Ghost Li secretly sighed, did not wish to see anymore, quickened his pace, straight to that altar up the mountain, as he walked further in, the surrounding houses and roads clearly revealed even more, the extent of the destructions. Ghost Li was silent, vaguely saw the traces of that fateful day when the catastrophe arrived, the countless Miao tribe warriors battling the vicious demons in order to protect the holy ground, putting up a desperate ﬁght!
Even the air, seemed to be permeated with a faint smell of blood.
At the foot of the mountain, two young Miao soldiers stopped him. Ghost Li quietly stopped, looked at them, those two people, armed with spears and armours but they were only ﬁfteen, sixteen-year-old boys only, even their armours, looked larger than their bodies, not knowing if those were left behind by the once heroic warriors.
"Gu lu ji ji hu?" A man asked in Miao language. Ghost Li did not understand but surmised what he was asking, and so did not speak, only lifted his head and gestured to the mid-mountains. He did not use his ﬁngers, because he still remembered, Miao people regarded that behavior as disrespectful.
The two juveniles were startled a moment, looked at each other, then one of them who appeared older, shook his head, both of them did not make way. Ghost Li felt slightly anxious but really did not wish to pick a ﬁght with the great shaman tribe people, and after watching the devastating scene in the Seven Miles, he couldn’t bear to make a move.
He was silent for a long time, when the hostility in the eyes of those two teenagers increased, he sighed, turned and was about to leave.
But he had only taken a few steps when suddenly, there was a stir from the mountains, he turned around and looked, someone quickly ran down from the mountain, ﬁrst spoke in Miao language to the two teenagers, the two young men nodded a few times, stood to the side, then, the person who looked to be a priest aged around forty or so, used broken Central Plains language to speak to Ghost Li, "Hello, great, great shaman invites you up."
Ghost Li was surprised, frowned, “Great shaman?"
The man nodded, Ghost Li took a deep breath, nodded his head and followed the man up the mountain.
The cave was still there but the entrance architecture and altar, were beyond recognition, broken stones fragments, littered everywhere. Among the rocks, there was a young Miao person, looked to be only thirty or so, wearing the great shaman robes, smiled and watched Ghost Li walked over.
His eyes, glistened faintly, like a passion of ﬂames burning within it, completely different from the people below.
Ghost Li went before him, that young man smiled, surprisingly used ﬂuent Central Plains language, said, “Hello, Mr Ghost Li, I am southern border Miao tribe new generation of great shamans, I have long heard of your great name.” Ghost Li was stunned for a moment, nodded in return, before he could speak, that young great shaman had already smiled and said, "Come on in, I'll take you to see the previous great shaman."
Then he took the lead and walked into the dim cave. Ghost Li followed behind him and too slowly merged into the darkness.
The cave was still as dim, the young shaman ﬁgure wavered slightly ahead, for some reason, Ghost Li felt he looked familiar, carefully recalling, he realized the great shaman had called out this young man when he was here the last time, didn’t expected that after such a short time, he already assumed the position of the great shaman.
And like the last time, the young shaman brought Ghost Li to the hut deep within the mountain which worshipped the Dog Deity, the huge ﬁre was still burning, emitting crackling sounds, just that that withered old ﬁgure was no longer around.
The young man stepped forward, bowed respectfully towards the Dog Deity statue and then from the statue’s mouth, took out a wooden box, respectfully placed it on the ground and spoke to Ghost Li, “Our Miao people customs, after the death of the great shaman, under the Dog Deity status, to be worshipped for a year, this is the elder’s ashes."
Ghost Li was silent, looked at the small wooden box, the box was unadorned, not a single embellishment, even the wood used, was also from the most commonly seen trees in southern border, the great shaman like numerous Miao people, laid quietly here in peace.
Ghost Li bent his body, made a deep bow.
The monkey Xiao Hui with a [zhi] sound, jumped down, ran off by itself.
The young shaman, in accordance with their customs, also bowed to return the gesture and then carefully placed the simple wooden box into the statue mouth again.
The two people beside the ﬁre, sat on the ﬂoor, the ﬁre reﬂected in their eyes, dazzling in the darkness. Without waiting for Ghost Li to ask, the young man had already spoken, "I was the elder’s disciple, and after the terrible calamity, all of the senior priests were dead and so, I succeeded the great shaman position.”
Ghost Li silently nodded, his eyes subconsciously looked over to the Dog Deity, slowly said, "The great shaman could be said he died because of me, each time I think of that, I don’t feel good."
That young shaman bowed slightly, said, "You are wrong, teacher had said to me long before, he had reached the end of his lifespan, even if he did not go to the Central Plains, he would also die, in fact it is your honourable sect who sent teacher’s ashes back, this is already our entire Miao tribe’s fortune."
Ghost Li sighed, quietly said, “These things, were done by other sincere people, it has nothing to do with me.”
The young great shaman smiled, apparently did not mind Ghost Li’s words, said, “But your visit this time to our Seven Miles Cave, I do not know what is the reason for it?" Ghost Li said, "Actually it is not for any reason, I just wanted to offer my respect to the senior great shaman. Other than that, the calamity this time is so devastating, as for that chief culprit, I intend to pursue him, I wonder if you have any clues?"
The young shaman’s countenance changed slightly, clearly to him, Beast Deity these two words were still horrible and taboo. Very quickly he became quiet, after a long while, Ghost Li indifferently said, "You don’t have to mind, countless number of people in the world are also looking for him, and might not even ﬁnd him, it is not strange that you don’t know too. I am disturbing you here, so I will take my leave ﬁrst."
When he ﬁnished, he was about to get up, the young shaman looked hesitant, suddenly said, "You want to track the Beast Deity, is that true?”
Ghost Li said, “Yes."
The young shaman stared at him and said, "You can kill him.” Ghost Li was silent for a long time, said, "I am not sure.”
The young shaman pondered for a moment, said, "Since that is so, I will tell you what I know. I do not know how to ﬁnd the Beast Deity but in my tribe’s ancient legend, the Beast Deity is a devil-like monster, he cannot be killed, and only can be subdued and sealed like what our shaman goddess did thousand of years ago. In order to suppress him, you will need to remove our southern border tribes’ divine weapons from his body. The ﬁve divine weapons are the life sources of the Beast Demon, if he loses them, the Beast Demon will deﬁnitely go into a deep sleep. In addition, there is a critical point, at that time when the Beast Demon was wreaking havoc, his demon powers powerful and invincible, thanks to our shaman goddess who used the mysterious formation passed down in our shaman tribe, ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation‘, trapped it within, if you can ﬁnd the formation, perhaps"
Ghost Li slowly nodded.
The young shaman thought for a moment, and said, “How to ﬁnd the beast demon, I really have no idea but according to our tribe legend, when shaman goddess trapped and sealed the beast, it was deep inside the ten thousands great mountains, an ancient mountain cave named Subdue Devil Cave. And the legend also said that our goddess turned into a stone statue, facing the ancient cave, maybe when you ﬁnd such a place, there will be the beast demon’s tracks."
Ghost Li remembered it all, nodded to the young shaman, said, “Thank you.”
The great shaman smiled, and did not say anything.
When the two of them walked out of the cave, Ghost Li could not help but ask him, why did he not have grief in his eyes.
That young shaman paused, lightly said, “If I lose myself in my grief again, what will happen to the people in the Seven Miles Cave? It is not that I am not grieving, it is that I cannot be sad!”
Ghost Li after listening, was silent for a long time before he took his leave. X x x
After leaving the cave, Ghost Li did not hurry, slowly travelled, thought long on the young shaman words, that ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ made him thought of another person, Xiao Bai.
That day she left in anger, and from then on there was no news of her, although with her level of skills, there was nothing much to worry about but thinking about the reason for her departure, most likely it was to ﬁnd that ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’, Ghost Li felt somehow guilty.
The Sinister Orb had troubled him for many years but some time ago at Tian Yin Temple Wordless Jade Wall, he achieved enlightenment from the fourth volume of the <Tian Shu>, combining the Sinister Orb’s evil powers with Buddhist, Taoist, Evil three great sects true ways, even including the mysterious Inferno Mirror’s pure Yang power, indistinctly peeped into the source of all sects power, the Sinister Orb’s evil power to him, with his cultivation advanced improvement, was no longer a serious concern to his life. Just that, for some reasons, following the enlightenment at the Wordless Jade Wall, he gradually got over many things, things that he never thought of in the past, also appeared in his memories.
Xiao Bai treated him so, most likely it wasn’t entirely all because of her relationship with BiYao?
She by herself, on the day the demon beast catastrophe was in full swing, returned to southern border to ﬁnd the formation, the vast heaven and earth, and now not a single news from her. Ghost Li felt an inexplicable pain when he thought of that, just that the heaven and earth was so vast, he really did not know where to start ﬁnding.
Ghost Li contemplated for a long time, and ﬁnally decided to go secretly to FenXiang Valley ﬁrst, for no other reason, ﬁrstly because he heard Xiao Bao once said, the formation appeared in FenXiang Valley Inferno Altar before, in that case, for Xiao Bai to ﬁnd this formation, most likely she would go there, and even if she was not, taking a look for himself would be also good. His mind made up, Ghost Li headed to FenXiang Valley.
FenXiang Valley was one of the three great Good Faction sects, just that in this calamity, it was the ﬁrst to bear the brunt, happened to be at the entrance of the demon beasts massacre, just that although FenXiang Valley was wrecked but its disciples, nobody was hurt seriously.
However as a reputable sect of the Good Faction, with such results, inevitably they lost face, and after the catastrophe, many rumours and gossips spread around, implying FenXiang Valley disciples were cowards, as one of the leading Good Faction sect, actually did not dare to face the demon calamity by itself, instead hid behind Qing Yun sect.
Now that Qing Yun sect Reverend DaoXuan in the world’s Good Faction, was really of paramount importance, revered with great prestige, FenXiang Valley really pale in comparison. After which when crowds of Good Faction disciples entered the southern border to search for the Beast Deity, FenXiang Valley naturally would not want to lose out, but when they met each other, FenXiang Valley disciples had less of their arrogant attitude. But even it was so, FenXiang Valley was after all a famous sect, coupled with the fact that their real abilities were still there, although there were many rumours and gossips but nobody dared to insult them in their face. As for their valley, it was really in a mess, at least when Ghost Li sneaked in, what he saw, was this.
The original tranquil and beautiful valley, was now ﬁlled with an unpleasant burnt smell and stench, countless disciples carrying and moving different rotting garbage and bodies, some were humans, many were also animals.
Ghost Li secretly observed, after pondering for a moment, he already understood, that day when he sneaked into the valley late in the night, he was discovered in the end, it wasn’t because the disciples were all highly-skilled, it was because of the many strange creatures that they reared, taking one unaware.
But Yun YiLan was able to bring most of his disciples to Central Plains, he was unable to do that for the creatures, and when the catastrophe came, those extremely brutal demons ﬂooded through here, those creatures unfortunately were unable to escape. After a long time, their corpses decayed, adding to the stench.
But right now without those creatures, it was beneﬁcial to Ghost Li, at least he did not have to worry, in the corners of those rooms, which creature would suddenly sound the alarm, exposing him.
FenXiang Valley disciples were many but most were dispatched to search for the Beast Deity, what most Good Faction sects wanted, how could FenXiang Valley not want it too. The remaining disciples, most were disgruntled and doing cleaning, even if there were some elders in the valley but like Yun YiLan, Shangguan Ce these kind of ﬁgures, they would not patrol the valley all the time. Ghost Li without encounter any difﬁculties, sneaked into the valley.
At the moment it was only evening, much brighter than that time when he was here, but after sneaking in, he did not know how easy it would be.
Ghost Li after entering the valley, did not do much, headed straight to the Inferno Altar direction, that day when Xiao Bai was incarcerated, that formation was also there. But the place was after all a sacred area, in such a hectic situation, Inferno altar’s security, seemed to be even tighter than before, not knowing if it was because of Xiao Bai’s escape and outsiders sneaking in.
Just that with Ghost Li’s current cultivation, although the security was tight but Ghost Li carefully inﬁltrated in, ﬁnally swept into the majestic Inferno altar.
And as he expected, although the security was tight outside, nobody was guarding inside, a quick glance, the place looked to be the same as previously, the ﬂoor still had the strange dark red formation, deeply engraved into the ground, Ghost Li comprehended, this was the legendary mysterious Eight Savage Inferno Formation.
But the day when Ghost Li and Xiao Bai escaped, the magma eruption that they triggered, the damage was still faintly visible. Burnt black areas on the walls, places where the stones collapsed, even the formation on the ground, some areas were slightly deformed by the intense ﬁre. But if this was a commonplace, in that kind of disaster it would long be destroyed, the surrounding areas were still generally intact, it seemed like the formation using its special powers, saved this place.
Looking up, the second, third level’s secret traps had lost their effectiveness, opening just like that, revealing empty, dark black holes. The entire majestic altar, reﬂected in the faint ﬁre, only Ghost Li’s ﬁgure was gently wavering.
Ghost Li was silent for a long time, shook his head, went to the formation and carefully looked, saw all of the ferocious deities still looked the same in his memory, portrayed clearly and lifelike, and the patterns connecting these ﬁgures, were still as complicated and strange. Ghost Li took a deep breath, sat down cross-legged in this formation.
Just when he was about to meditate on this legendary shaman formation, suddenly, in the silent and uncanny altar, the darkness ahead of him, a clear and reverberating woman’s laughter was heard. Ghost Li’s countenance changed, stood up abruptly, looked up and blurted out, “Is it you, Xiao Bai”
His voice came to a halt, a ﬁgure drifted down from the top, a familiar light yellow clothing, bright and soft eyes, one look and one would be drunk in her beauty -
It was a person he would never dreamed of meeting, that girl who was rumoured to be dead in the catastrophe - Jin PingEr!
X x x
After the initial shock, Ghost Li quickly calmed down, Jin PingEr was still standing there, as if nothing had changed, her clothes, face and expression, even her lips, still had that faint and coquettish smile.
She looked at Ghost Li, smiled and said, "Hello" Ghost Li looked at her silently, after a long time said, “Why are you here?”
Jin PingEr using her hand to gently brush her hair, the little action, as if contained inﬁnite amorous feelings, softly said, "I am here waiting for you.”
Ghost Li frowned and said, "Waiting for me? For what? How do you know I will come here?”
Jin PingEr smiled and said, "Don’t tell me you have forgotten, the last time you were here, was together with me, I heard that this time you are tracking the Beast Deity, according to the southern border’s legend, in order to subdue and seal the deity, naturally the formation is required. Other than not coming here, where can you go?"
She squinted her eyes slightly, maybe there was a slight arrogant, and an unspoken seduction, smiled said, “You see, am I smart?” Ghost Li frowned, felt that after his skills improved, with Jin PingEr’s seduction, he still felt slightly moved, he could not help but was secretly shocked. After the catastrophe, the girl who was rumoured to be dead, seemed to improve in her skills instead.
Since she was not dead, then the others, the Evil Sect martial experts who were crushed in the calamity? Don’t tell him they did not die too?
Ghost Li’s heart was bewildered but his face was still cold, he said, “You still have not answered me, why are you waiting for me?"
Jin PingEr smiled coquettishly, her indifferent tone instead uttered shocking words, “I know the location of the Subdue Devil Cave where the Beast Deity was sealed in, after Ghost King sect leader knew about this, he allow me to come and assist you."
Ghost Li’s body received a great shock, suddenly looked up, looked over at Jin PingEr, but her eyes were like water, her smile like ﬂower, not the slightest unusual.
Chapter 192 - Fresh Blood
Ghost Li watched Jin PingEr for a long time, his eyebrows slowly frowning but he did not speak, and Jin PingEr under Ghost Li’s stare, looked unconcerned, did not feel that her words were inappropriate at this moment, smiling sweetly and looking at Ghost Li.
In the Inferno Altar, the place turned quiet. Xiao Hui who was crouching at Ghost Li’s shoulder did not like the atmosphere and moved, [zhi zhi] called out twice, leapt down from his shoulder, peering around, it then walked off by itself, slowly to the drawings in the middle of the altar.
Ghost Li slowly looked away, saw Xiao Hui who was crouching on the ﬂoor curiously and looking at those ferocious drawings, slowly said, “So, you already much of it?”
Jin PingEr smiled, that smile was warm like spring wind, gently brushing past this cold hall, said, “I am a small and weak woman, how would I know anything, I am only fortunate to have visited a few places in the past, and also received Ghost King sect head’s important regard, that’s I came to assist you.” Pursing her lips and smiling, she said, “Don’t think too much!”
Ghost Li frowned and did not speak, even more so ignored the indistinct ﬂirtatious tone in Jin PingEr’s words, after contemplating for a moment, he seemed to forget the reason why Jin PingEr was here, and also the intricate and mysterious relationship between her and Ghost King, only indifferently said, “Since it is so, then I must ask for your guidance.”
Jin PingEr’s eyes glimmered but the smile on her face remained, said, “GongZi please speak.”
Ghost Li said, “Looks like you are here before me, like what you said, the legend said in order to subdue the Beast Deity, the ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ here is vital, just that I have dull wits and can’t ﬁgure it out, I wonder if Miss Jin has some comprehension?”
Jin PingEr shook her head, a bitter smile on her face, said, “To tell you the truth, actually I have been in Inferno Altar for three days but I end up empty-handed, other than those messy drawings engraved on the ground, I did not discover anything else.”
Ghost Li’s gaze couldn’t help but shifted to the dark red drawings under his feet, different from Jin PingEr, including Xiao Hui, he had experienced the power of that strange formation, that overwhelming force, and that terrible red huge beast, were all memories that were not easy to forget. Or maybe it was because of that, Xiao Hui excitedly lay on the ground, scratching there, touching here, seemed to be searching for something?
Unless after that earthshaking event, the volcano lava eruption, actually destroyed the formation here?
The thought ﬂashed past Ghost Li’s head but he did not reveal it out, after keeping silent for a moment, he again looked at Jin PingEr, said, “Miss Jin, no matter what, this is the only place we know that has the ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’, since this is vital to subdue the Beast Deity, why don’t we stay a few more days here, maybe there is still some hope.” Jin PingEr smiled sweetly, extremely coquettishly, said, “Alright.”
Ghost Li glanced at her and then looked away, again sat down before the drawings, not long after, a whift of faint fragrance came over, light clothes ﬂuttered, it was Jin PingEr who sat down not far from him, and the distance between them, seemed to be nearer.
Ghost Li’s frowned but he did not speak and also did not look at the beauty beside him, only watched closely at the drawings, for some reason, in his heart, another thought came up:
That day Xiao Bai said she was going to southern border to search for the ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ incantation but it had been a long time since there was any news of her; and in the whole world it seemed like only this place has the Eight Savage Inferno Formation, but Xiao Bai evidently was not here, then, where would she be right now?
Is she still doing ﬁne? This vague thought, in the coming days, frequently ﬂashed past Ghost Li’s head.
X x x
However it seemed like on that day, the damage was much bigger than what Ghost Li’s assumed, even though those engravings on the ground still looked intact but it clearly did not have that spiritual energy as before, or that powerful vicious force, what was left, was only the stiff stone engravings.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr stayed secretly in the Inferno Altar for a total of seven days, trying to ﬁgure it out but still nothing. In-between FenXiang Valley disciples came in to conduct checks, a few times Shangguan Ce also personally brought men to do the rounds but the Ghost Li today, including Jin PingEr, their skills had already improved tremendously, they concealed themselves above in the dim Inferno Altar and easily escaped detection.
Just that in the end they were still unable to grasp the essentials of the formation, it was really troubling. This day, the two of them sat facing those stiff drawings for an afternoon, suddenly, Jin PingEr stretched, her slim waist looking like a seductive snake, an alluring image. Even though the only man beside her, stared intently on the ﬂoor carvings, thinking hard, did not notice Jin PingEr’s lithe and graceful dance at all.
Jin PingEr softly humphed, glared at Ghost Li, her eyes seemed to have a trace of complicated emotion but that was only a ﬂash. The next moment, she sighed and said, “Are you able to tell anything from it?”
Ghost Li’s body moved then slowly focused back, turned and glanced at Jin PingEr, shook his head, said, “You?”
Jin PingEr did not answer and only laughed bitterly but Ghost Li already understood.
Jin PingEr frowned and said, “We have looked at these ghostly things for seven days. In the seven days, we did all we could but not to say activating this formation, even trying to stir some ﬁgures up seem impossible, what exactly happened here?”
Ghost Li after being silent for a moment, looked up into the darkness above, said, “That day when I was here rescuing someone, I triggered the mechanism in this hall, the Eight Savage Inferno Formation was immediately activated. But” his eyes glanced towards the middle of the hall, a strange tone in his words, said, “But that mechanism, is already gone now.”
Jin PingEr looked towards the direction of his gaze and saw a small stone platform raised in the middle but the stone was burnt black, congealed together into an ugly-looking form, how would it look like some superb craftsmanship mechanism.
In fact, when Ghost Li looked at that scene, he knew that strange stone mechanism was already destroyed, and the overwhelming ﬁerce forces emitted by the ferocious stone engravings, right now were all gone.
The stretch of the once terrible carvings, looked to have become lifeless things.
The two of them sank into silence, not knowing what to say, after a long time, Jin PingEr seemed to think of something, raised her head and was about to speak, suddenly her countenance changed, Ghost Li’s brows also frowned, suddenly turned, immediately his eyes swept to where Xiao Hui was playing by itself, grabbed Xiao Hui and then ﬂoated up, the next moment, already disappeared into the darkness above the altar.
Jin PingEr after watching him disappearing into the darkness in two or three movements, smiled and then also ﬂoated up and disappeared.
The next moment, [zhi ya] a sound, deep mufﬂed sound reverberated in the altar.
The door, was opened.
Footsteps were heard, the number of people seemed to be a lot but a powerful voice was heard indistinctly, after saying a few words, the place immediately quietened down. Then, from the door, three people walked in.
The ﬁrst person, was FenXiang Valley master Yun YiLan, following behind him on his right was his junior brother Shanguan Ce, and the last person, about a few steps behind, was Yun YiLan’s favourite disciple, Li Xun.
After the three of them entered, Li Xun turned and closed the heavy door, immediately cut off the light outside, only dim light gently ﬂickered in there.
X x x
Losing its spiritual power, the third level of the Inferno Altar which was originally in ice, had long lost the bitter cold, what was left were only the huge and hard cold rocks. In the darkness, Ghost Li and Jin PingEr quietly passed through that black cave hole, watching from above in the darkness.
Xiao Hui who seemed to know this was different, also turned quiet, obediently crouched beside its master.
Yun YiLan and Shangguan Ce slowly walked to the middle of the altar, stood at the formation and looked far, their faces enveloped in the dimness. The three people stood there, after a long period of silence, did not speak, the atmosphere indistinctly strange. And above them, Ghost Li seemed to sense it, glanced over at Jin PingEr and happened that Jin PingEr was also looking at him. Both saw the faint bewilderment in each other eyes.
Yun YiLan looked solemn, or maybe his mood should be so, whoever it was, after watching their own painstakingly built- up business over the years turned into this, most probably would also be in a bad mood. Just that at one glance his face seemed expressionless, after some time, it seemed to give people an impression that its ever-changing but if you watched carefully, again discovered, his face had never changed, what changed, was only your heart.
At least, during the time at Qing Yun Hill, the world was not be able to see that image of him.
After a long time, Yun YiLan’s shifting gaze in the end maintained on the strange red stone, from one end to the other, from one drawing to another, and then, he slowly walked to that burnt stone platform, stretched out his hand and gently smoothed the rock. “How long has it been?” Yun YiLan suddenly spoke, his deep voice asking a question out of nowhere.
Shangguan Ce stood beside him, he did not look surprised by Yun YiLan’s question, obviously he seemed to be already aware of some things, just that he looked like he did not intend to answer, and very strangely, turned and glanced at Li Xun who was standing three steps behind them.
Li Xun slowly lowered his head, his expression respectful, both of his eyes slightly closed, not making a sound.
Without turning back, Yun YiLan seemed to know what was going on, indifferently said, “Xun’er is not an outsider, in the future he will also take over FenXiang Valley, don’t have to hide these things from him.”
Shangguan Ce’s body shook slightly and then calmed down, after a moment of silence, said, “From the start of the preparation for the ofﬁcial summoning, till today has already been a total of thirty days, ‘Red Fire Brilliant Elder’ never responded.” Yun YiLan’s expression did not change the slightest, the most only a glint in his eyes but the feeling it gave others seemed to be heavier. And above the altar, Ghost Li was instead surprised, not that FenXiang Valley was also helpless in repairing this strange formation, but the ‘Red Fire Brilliant Elder’ which Shangguan Ce had mentioned, triggered a memory deep inside his head, almost subconsciously, he felt that what Shangguan Ce referred to was something -
That huge wild beast enveloped in raging ﬁre, could it be the crux of the legendary Eight Savage Inferno Formation?
The atmosphere in the altar was somehow strange, Yun YiLan did not look good, he did not speak, only strided around with big steps in the hall, seemed to be pondering over something, and Shangguan Ce only watched him, did not say anything, as for Li Xun, he only maintained a humble posture and remained silent.
Following the passing of time, Yun YiLan slowly frowned, a sharp glint indistinct in his eyes, as if something in his mind was having an intense ﬁght but eventually he abruptly stopped pacing, with a long breath he turned to them. Shangguan Ce glanced at Yun YiLan, softly called out, “Senior brother?”
Yun YiLan seemed to make up his mind, without hesitation, coldly said, “Shangguan junior brother, how important is this Inferno Altar formation, I don’t have to emphasis it, no matter what, it must be recovered, if not, we don’t have any other way to deal with him!”
Shangguan Ce nodded, did not speak, but in the darkness above the three of them, Ghost Li and Jin PingEr received a shock at the same time.
Who is he?
The person that FenXiang Valley wanted to use this strange formation to deal with, was who? In the quiet Inferno Altar, what was ﬂowing right now, seemed to be an invisible dark energy. Just that, what Yun YiLan was about to say, made the surrounding indistinct darkness, turned into cold icy chill:
“That day when the lava erupted, the damage caused to the formation was really too great, the spiritual energy that our FenXiang Valley has accumulated for several hundred years has depleted, including losing the key ‘Inferno Mirror’, that’s why we are unable to summon the Red Fire Brilliant Elder to activate the formation. Actually if that person did not appear, this is naturally not important, we can start accumulating over again but currently, it is the critical time to use this formation.” Yun YiLan coldly snorted, three deep wrinkles appeared on his forehead, the murderous intention could be vaguely felt, his voice also became more cold.
Shangguan Ce was also deeply frowning but a trace of delight was on his face, asked in surprise, “Why, don’t tell me senior brother already has other ideas?”
Yun YiLan’s eyes twitched, said, “The formation in this altar, is created by our sect ancestors following the records from the ‘FenXiang Jade Book’ which is passed down, and at the end of the Jade Book, a forefather had written some words which are the risky methods to deal with this kind of difﬁcult situation where the formation is unable to be activated, maybe it will work.”
Shangguan Ce and Li Xun were surprised and then delighted, ‘FenXiang Jade Book’ was FenXiang Valley supreme treasure, and all along only FenXiang Valley master was able to read and keep it, to Yun YiLan, it must be an exceptional forefather who left the ingenious method.
Shangguan Ce delightfully said, “Senior brother, what is the ingenious method left by that forefather?”
Yun YiLan saw their excitement but his face did not show any delight, instead, he was even more solemn, after a moment of silent, he slowly said, “That forefather wrote at the end of the ‘FenXiang Jade Book’, Inferno formation is created out of Heaven and Earth’s vicious energies, the Red Fire Beast brutal and ferocious, the spiritual energy that the engraved drawings contained, are the eight barbarian ferocious deities, with such it is recommended to reference southern border ancient books, with live humans as blood sacriﬁce, using the prosperous vicious energies to return the various deities back to position, the ferocious beast will appear and complete the formation.”
Shangguan Ce and Li Xun’s countenances changed greatly, looked at each other, for a moment speechless.
After a long time, Shangguan Ce forced himself to calm down from the shock, with a hoarse voice said, “This, this is really what our sect forefather wrote?”
Yun YiLan snorted, said, “Shangguan junior brother, don’t tell me you suspect I use our forefather’s name as a pretext?”
Shangguan Ce’s countenance changed again, quickly said, “I don’t dare, just that, just that using humans as blood offering, it is clearly Evil sect ways, how is it, how is it possible for it to appear in our sect Jade Book”
Yun YiLan directly interrupted Shangguan Ce’s words, coldly said, “What you said is right, this forefather although wrote such words but never has someone tried this method before.” Shangguan Ce watched Yun YiLan’s directed stare, suddenly felt his body turned cold and couldn’t help but step back, he spied Li Xun behind him, saw his face had turned ashen too.
“Senior brother, don’t tell me you” Shangguan Ce seemed for the ﬁrst time, spoke with such difﬁculty, “don’t tell me you plan to use this method?”
Yun YiLan frowned, forceful but without anger, he sneered and said, “If not this then what shall we do? We work so hard for several hundred years, looking as the big thing is about to be accomplished but with so many incidents, now even the most important formation is destroyed. Don’t tell me you want me to watch as our hard work goes down the drain?”
Shangguan Ce seemed to have some hesitant, argued, “Senior brother, the big matter is of course important, this method is really too”
Yun YiLan coldly cut him off, said, “Shangguan junior brother, being so tenacious, don’t tell me you still vaguely regard yourself as the Good Faction? Then for so many years, for this important thing, what you have done are not regarded as Good Faction ways right?”
Shangguan Ce was speechless.
Yun YiLan’s gaze sharp, looked as if about to stab into a person’s heart, stared at Shangguan Ce, said, “And, Shangguan junior brother, that day, the Inferno Altar as our sect sacred place, was guarded by you, unexpectedly it was in your hands that resulted in the situation today, do you know?”
Shangguan Ce was shocked, looked up but saw Yun YiLan’s cold stare, like knife, looking at him, Shangguan Ce’s expression looked agitated, his body slightly trembling, appeared like he had words to say but for some reason, under Yun YiLan’s stare, he eventually shrank, after a long time, a defeated look on his face, quietly said, “I understand.”
Yun YiLan nodded, said, “Since it is so, I will leave this thing to you, other than that, Xun’er, “He turned and looked at Li Xun. Li Xun’s expression was also strange, suddenly heard his teacher calling him, he came to attention and quickly said, “Disciple is here.”
Yun YiLan glanced at him, said, “You will follow your Shangguan teacher uncle, learn well and also assist him.”
Li Xun turned pale, his voice turned hoarse and quietly said, “Yes.”
Yun YiLan took a ﬁnal look at the stone drawings, frowning, turned and did not look back, walked out, after the sound of the heavy door [zhi ya], leaving only Shangguan Ce and Li Xun, both staring at each other in daze.
For a long time, nobody spoke, the two of them also slowly walked out.
Inferno Altar again descended into silence. X x x
In the air, a faint sound was heard, two ﬁgures gently ﬂoated down. Xiao Hui [zhi zhi] called out twice, jumped onto the ground and went off to play again. In the ﬁrst few days, it was still rather curious about the drawings but after a few days, looking still the same, the monkey lost interest in it.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr after landed, for a moment nobody spoke, the surrounding atmosphere was still cold, as if the strange energy from Yun YiLan, had not dispersed.
After a long time, Jin PingEr suddenly said, “The person that they were talking about, what person is that?”
Ghost Li glanced at her, answered with another question, “What do you think?”
Jin PingEr smiled and said, “I am 90% conﬁdent that they are talking about the Beast Deity. However from their tones, I am not sure if they know where the Beast Deity is.” Ghost Li silently nodded, said, “And one more thing, the formation in this altar, from their words it seemed like they also want to use the formation to deal with the Beast Deity, don’t tell me they knew for certain that the Beast Deity will come to this altar, or that this formation can be moved?”
Jin PingEr’s elegant brows frowned, clearly she too could not understand many important points about this, for the moment pondered.
Ghost Li’s eyes slowly moved, onto the stone drawings, after a long time, suddenly sneered, said, “So this is the so-called Good Faction, with humans as blood offering to vicious deities, he he, even in the Evil sect, I have never seen this kind of thing”
He had not ﬁnished his words, suddenly heard Jin PingEr’s clear laughter beside, in the laughter a faint strange tone, like a sneer, like mocking, and an indistinct concealed fear, said, “You, how do you know in our holy sect, there isn’t such a thing?” Ghost Li’s body shook, turned and looked at her, saw Jin PingEr smiling but she had already turned her head away. Ghost Li frowned, coldly said, “What do you mean”
Suddenly, before he could ﬁnish his words, Ghost Li’s voice turned hoarse, at that moment, for some reason, he suddenly remembered that day when the great shaman was casting the spells to save BiYao, sought fresh blood from Ghost King to draw the formation’s drawings.
And Ghost King, almost in a blink, produced sufﬁcient amount of blood.
The bowls of blood, where did it come from
Ghost Li stood in a daze, felt his body turned cold, unable to speak anymore.
Chapter 193 - Unusual
The sun setting, hung far in the horizon, behind those tall precipitous undulating range of mountains, spilling the remnant warmth onto the southern border vast lands. The evening rays descended onto the silent great earth, the sounds from the wild countryside, a blanket of somber.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr had left FenXiang Valley, stood in the wilderness before the ten thousands great mountains, facing the vast great earth and lofty mountains which appeared to stretch on forever, they looked to be two insigniﬁcant tiny and small living things, looking up at the monumental presence of Heaven and Earth, at the sun setting in the horizon, slowly descending behind the boundless mountains, the sky gradually turning dark.
In the time to converse and breathe, the stars and constellations rotated, who else could win against time?
To leave FenXiang Valley, was Ghost Li’s idea, by chance they overheard Yun YiLan’s conversation, knew that FenXiang Valley might still have ways to activate the formation, it was a really good opportunity, basing on Ghost Li and Jin PingEr’s motives for coming, they by right should continue to observe secretly. But for some reason, Ghost Li with a look of indifference, still suggested leaving FenXiang Valley, and Jin PingEr who had always been sharp-witted, seemed not to consider that point and also agreed with him right away.
After leaving FenXiang Valley, Ghost Li and Jin PingEr did not talk much, and also did not discuss the future plans but both seemed to have some chemistry and headed south together, until this day where they arrived before that legendary terrible place, ‘ten thousands great mountains’, under the black mountains, in the wild countryside, both silently staring at the mountains.
The breeze blew past the countryside, not a single ﬂower or grass fragrance, only some unknown indistinct smell of blood and sounds of roars, in this place, even the wind, also seemed harsh.
Jin PingEr’s hair gently rufﬂed in the wind, she lifted her head slightly, revealing her smooth dainty jaw, and a stretch of fair and white neck, gazing at the distant mountains, where the dark mountain summits were, enveloped in dusky mist, swirling incessantly, behind those mountain ranges, what kind of world was it?
Others might be guessing but in Jin PingEr’s shrouded eyes, something seemed to be glimmering.
Different from that coquettish girl who was silent beside him, even though Ghost Li was taciturn but along the way, Ghost Li’s thoughts, were like the stormy sea, tossing high and low.
Firstly was the blood sacriﬁcial matter, the impact it had to him was immense, even though for so many years, he had killed many, and even earned the nickname ‘Xue GongZi’ in Ghost King sect but as to what he had overheard in FenXiang Valley a few days ago, like a deeply-rooted stubbornness in his heart, he subconsciously felt revulsion and disgust. And after Jin PingEr’s inadvertent reminder, realized something he had always neglected: In the Evil Sect, even if it was Ghost King, could also do something similar to what FenXiang Valley was about to do. Taking numerous humans’ blood, offering to the gods and deities, without guessing, this deity must belong to those ferocious, evil kinds; and blood sacriﬁcial itself, was without doubt something that was greatly disruptive to Heaven and inhuman, and yet these things, happened to him.
What kind of world was this exactly?
Unless all the people in this world were also mad?
Or was it like what that alluring strange young man, the one whom he met coincidentally, who once said: Humans, in the end were only just a kind of animal, no difference.
Ghost Li inhaled deeply, silently gazed towards the distant mountains. Ever since he received Ghost King’s instructions from Mr Ghost, from that ‘TaoTie’, he already guessed that strange young man whom he had met twice, was the Beast Deity that created this catastrophe.
Just that, the Beast Deity massacred the world, why did he let him go, and both times they only chatted and parted ways, it was something Ghost Li could not ﬁgure out.
Near his chest, there was a faint warmth, for so many years, this faint warmth had always accompanied Ghost Li, as if it was already part of him, even most of the time, Ghost Li had already forgotten about the warmth. However several days ago from FenXiang Valley’s actions, again stirred something deep inside his heart, the jade piece lying quietly near his chest, maybe this was then the crux of this southern border’s trip!
From Yun YiLan and Shangguan Ce’s conversations, clearly stated that because FenXiang Valley had lost this thousand- ﬁres-essence, therefore caused them to also lose the volcano spiritual energy accumulated for several hundred years, unable to trigger the formation again. And having this Inferno Mirror, did it mean they could ﬁnd the secret of that mysterious formation?
Ghost Li was silent, gazing at the sunset in the distant, the last ray, ﬁnally too disappeared.
Where the dark mountain summits were, following the disappearance of the last ray, the once thick dark mist, as if being stimulated by something, started to swiftly disperse, turned thin.
Standing beside, Jin PingEr smiled, turned her head over, said, “Alright, let’s go.”
Ghost Li glanced sideways at her, said, “The change in the poisonous fog over there at ten thousands great mountains, has never been told by anyone, how did you ﬁnd out?”
Jin PingEr smiled sweetly, her eyes extremely ﬂirtatious, like seducing, like cunning, said, “This I will not tell you, what can you do to me?”
Ghost Li was stunned, saw under the gradually darkening sky, deep in the mountains, the girl beside him out of the sudden, like emanating alluring beautiful glow in the dark dim world, extremely dazzling, with her around, although unexpected but it had another type of warmth.
At least, in that distant darkness, he did not have to walk alone. Ghost Li’s lips twitched but he turned his head, indifferently said, “Let’s go.”
After speaking, he led the way, Jin PingEr watched his back ﬁgure, smiling faintly, her eyes glimmering, followed easily.
One before another, and that monkey crouching on one’s shoulder, frequently making [zhi zhi] sounds, slowly merging into the darkness, disappeared.
X x x
Qing Yun Hill, TongTian Peak, Crystal Hall.
Leaving southern border thousands and thousands miles away, this immortal sacred ground which had just saved the world, the demon beast catastrophe which brought chaos like the Good and Evil big battle ten years ago, swiftly and appropriately handled, TongTian Peak for the most part had already resumed its beautiful surreal scenery, other than a few huge buildings which would need time to repair but nobody would doubt, they would soon be restored back to its original look.
Of all of the big buildings at TongTian Peak, the most important and also the biggest, naturally was the main hall, Crystal Jade Hall. Compared to other buildings, the damage that Crystal Jade Hall received in that catastrophe, could almost be disregarded, seemed like Qing Yun sect’s ancestors were really effective, their protection working.
And right now, just when Ghost Li and Jin PingEr were about to enter that mysterious mountains, to pursue that Beast Deity who escaped after being defeated, Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak, in that sacred Crystal Jade Hall, yet another argument broke out.
Qing Yun sect other than the oldest branch TongTian Peak, the other six branches after the catastrophe, rarely gathered again in Crystal Jade Hall but the most important thing was, their gathering this time, was not called by sect head Reverend DaoXuan, instead they came on their own. In the great hall, greeting the various branch leaders, was not Reverend DaoXuan but Xiao YiCai who was looking slightly awkward. Within the six leaders, Long Shou Valley leader QiHao and Morning Sun Valley leader Chu YuHong both of them, were the second generation disciples, same generation as Xiao YiCai, naturally it would not be appropriate for them to talk directly like the other four teacher uncles, most of the time, both of them stayed quiet. But for the other leaders: Big Bamboo Valley, Small Bamboo Valley, Return of the Wind Valley, Sunset Valley, their words were not so polite.
Big Bamboo Valley Tian BuYi’s voice among the four leaders was the loudest, he was seen sitting on the red sandalwood chair, coldly speaking to Xiao YiCai, “Xiao teacher nephew, today the six of us gathering here, has already been four hours, why isn’t sect head senior brother out to see us yet, don’t tell me to him, the few of us are already this undesirable?”
Xiao YiCai’s face looked awkward, smiled with difﬁculty, said, “What are you saying Tian teacher uncle, you elders have always been held in high prestige and respect in Qing Yun sect, teacher has also valued you highly, this everyone also knows it”
Tian BuYi without waiting for him to ﬁnish his words, snorted, sneered and said, “So sect head senior brother actually valued me that highly, left me here high and dry for four hours and still do nothing about it?”
Xiao YiCai was taken aback for a moment, laughed bitterly and said, “Tian teacher uncle, disciple has already said, teacher indeed ten days ago entered Illusory Moon Cave in seclusion, locking himself in and did not come out, the current TongTian Peak matters, temporarily are left to disciple."
The other elders also sneered at the same time, clearly they did not believe Xiao YiCai’s words. Small Bamboo Valley ShuiYue Master coldly said, “Xiao teacher nephew, in the past ten days, although I am in Small Bamboo Valley but I have on many occasions heard about sect head senior brother’s eccentric behaviours at TongTian Peak, even worse, several days ago on a certain late night, someone said sect head senior brother seemed to be mad, howling at the sky on Crystal Jade Hall’s rooftop, is there such matter?”
Xiao YiCai immediately shook his head, said, “There is no such matter, no such matter, ShuiYue teacher uncle must have misheard, teacher is a master of enlightenment, the world’s Good Faction leader, with the demeanour of a transcendent being, how would he do such presumptuous thing?” The four elders looked at each other, saw the suspicions in each other eyes on Xiao YiCai’s words. Sitting beside Return of the Wind Valley leader seat, Taoist Tian Ri, taking over Taoist Tian Yun in Sunset Valley, looked ordinary and thin, wearing a Taoist robe, his brows frowning said, “Xiao teacher nephew, it’s not that we are trying to make things difﬁcult for you but it is really that sect head senior brother is the core of our Qing Yun sect, if something happens to him, it will most likely shake the foundation of our Qing Yun, and it is also because of that, we decided that we must come forward and question you, you must not take it to heart.”
The other branch leaders sat down, the centre seat which belonged to Reverend DaoXuan, was naturally empty, Xiao YiCai was lower in rank than his teacher uncles and so had to stand beside, right now he could only laughed bitterly and said, “Various teacher uncles, disciple, no matter what, will not dare to bear grudges, but, but teacher he really did go into seclusion and ordered speciﬁcally that he should not be disturbed, it is not YiCai deliberately preventing various teacher uncles from meeting teacher.”
Tian BuYi angrily snorted, said, “You don’t have to speak nonsense anymore, these few days, the rumours spread to the entire Qing Yun sect, sect head’s behaviours are extremely weird, staying at TongTian Peak the whole day and at times going crazy, at times looking lost, if sect head senior brother is unwell, we as junior brothers no matter what, will also think of ways to treat him, at least visit him; if he is ﬁne, then why would he refuse to see us.” He suddenly raised his voice, angrily said, “Xiao YiCai, tell me honestly, what exactly happened to sect head senior brother?”
Xiao YiCai was stunned, as if he was startled by Tian BuYi’s voice but he was still smiling bitterly, keeping quiet.
Return of the Wind Valley Zeng ShuChang who did not speak much, glanced at Xiao YiCai, frowning tightly, said, “Why not like this, Xiao teacher nephew, we know that you have always been respectful of your teacher, do not dare to defy him, we will also not make things difﬁcult for you. Now we only need you to lead us to where sect head senior brother is, we will pay our respect to him on our own, what do you think?”
Xiao YiCai was stunned for a moment, couldn’t speak, a pondering look appeared on his face, Zeng ShuChang turned his head over, glanced to the rest, Tian BuYi, ShuiYue Master and the rest slowly nodded. Zeng ShuChang coughed once and slowly stood up, his voice calm, said, “Xiao teacher nephew, actually we are only concerned about sect head senior brother, to senior brother, we have always been utmost respectful, this everyone in Qing Yun sect is aware. Once we see sect head senior brother and know that he is well, we will naturally be relieved isn’t it. Oh right, heard that sect head senior brother in seclusion recently, according to Qing Yun sect rules, it is only limited to Crystal Jade Hall, Founders Ancestral Hall and Illusory Moon Cave, I do not know if he”
Zeng ShuChang at the end of his words, his voice turned slow, his eyes glanced at Xiao YiCai instead, Xiao YiCai turned red, after a long time, bowing his head slightly to them, said, “Teacher in the recent year, because Qing Yun suffered many unforeseen events, frequently blames himself, and also frequently visits the Founders Ancestral Hall to offer incenses to the ancestors.”
Zeng ShuChang frowned, nodded, did not speak more, headed ﬁrst to the back of Crystal Jade Hall, Tian BuYi, ShuiYue Master and Taoist Tian Ri also followed, QiHao and Chu YuHong slowly stood up, walked to Xiao YiCai, QiHao’s face also had a bitter smile, stretched his hand out and gently patted Xiao YiCai on his shoulder, Xiao YiCai sighed and shook his head. X x x
The Founders Ancestral Hall, was still concealed in the deep forest, only between the gaps of the lush green leaves, revealed a little of the roof eaves. Maybe it was really the protection of the ancestors, the two earth shocking catastrophes in Qing Yun sect for the past ten years, did no damage to this place.
Like in the past, looking at it from a distance, the dim Ancestral Hall indistinctly had incense smokes swirling and lights ﬂickering, giving one an unfathomable feeling.
The group soon reached that three-forked road before Founders Ancestral Hall. Suddenly, QiHao who was walking slightly behind made exclaimed, quickly walked up, the group looked at him, saw before the partially concealed Founders Ancestral Hall, a young man was standing there quietly, unmoving but his eyes were staring into the Founders Ancestral Hall, backfacing QiHao and the rest.
QiHao frowned, called out, “Is it Lin junior brother?” That young man appeared startled, turned around, it was indeed Lin JingYu.
Lin JingYu saw QiHao, delight ﬂashed past his face but following which he saw the group behind QiHao, and among them the various branch leaders, couldn’t help but was taken aback, his face revealed shock.
“Qi senior brother, why are you here and the various teacher uncles senior brothers, why are they all here?”
QiHao walked to Lin JingYu, smiled and said, “A while ago on the way here, I was just thinking if I will be able to see you here, we two brothers, really have not met for many days.”
Lin JingYu clearly was happy to see QiHao too, smiled and said, “Yes, I missed senior brother much too. Oh right, “ He looked at the rest, quietly asked QiHao, “Senior brother, you came with the various branch leaders, what is it for?”
QiHao glanced at the Founders Ancestral Hall behind Lin JingYu, frowned, said, “Lin junior brother, that erm, sect head teacher uncle, is he inside the Founders Ancestral Hall?” For some reason, when he spoke, he did not deliberately lowered his voice, instead he seemed to want the rest to hear it too.
Lin JingYu’s smile slowly disappeared, obviously he also noticed something was amissed but facing the branch leaders and senior brothers, he had to reply honestly, “Sect head Reverend is in the hall.”
A stir was heard behind QiHao, quickly it died down, then, Zeng ShuChang calm and slightly tired voice said, “What is sect head senior brother doing inside, is he in seclusion?
Lin JingYu looked nonplussed, said, “Seclusion, what seclusion?”
QiHao’s countenance changed, Tian BuYi’s face changed too and stepped forward but he was held back by Zeng ShuChang. Zeng ShuChang signaled to Tian BuYi, shook his head and then glanced at QiHao, QiHao understood, frowned and asked Lin JingYu, “Lin junior brother, this, have you been at TongTian Peak recently?” Lin JingYu nodded, said, “That’s right.”
QiHao was silent for a moment, considered his words and then slowly said, “At TongTian Peak, did you saw eh, or heard any strange things?”
Lin JingYu thought for a moment, his eyes swept past the group, gradually brightened but his expression did not change, honestly replied, “Replying senior brother, although I have been at TongTian Peak but these few days, I am almost always at the Founders Ancestral Hall keeping vigil and in mourning for senior, therefore whatever happens outside, I am not aware.” He paused, looking at QiHao, said, “Senior brother, don’t tell me something happened?”
QiHao paused, smiled bitterly and shook his head, said, “No, nothing happened. Oh right, why are you standing here in broad daylight, aren’t you keeping vigil in the hall?”
Lin JingYu looked towards the dim interior, said, “It was sect head Reverend who told me to stand out here, every time he is here, he will ask me to stand out here and then he will enter the hall by himself.” Zeng ShuChang and the rest countenances changed slightly, QiHao also frowned, said, “Then sect head teacher uncle is he still inside now?”
Lin JingYu nodded, said, “Yes, he is inside the hall.”
QiHao nodded, stepped back and did not speak.
Zeng ShuChang and the rest looked at each other but nobody moved, after a moment, Tian BuYi snorted, strided out, when he reached the entrance, he did not walk up the stairs, loudly called out, “DaoXuan senior brother, I am Tian BuYi, with ShuiYue, Tian Ri and Zeng ShuChang as well as other two branches leaders teacher nephews, we came to see you. Are you there?”
His voice was loud, with strong stamina, immediately reverberated in the forest, in the dim dark hall, even the spots of candles seemed to brighten up abruptly and then gradually resumed as normal. After a moment, a voice suddenly was heard in the darkness, coldly speaking, “What is it?”
Tian BuYi and the other leaders were shocked, the Yin coldness was heavy in the voice, indistinctly carried a few degrees of viciousness, not the slightest like Reverend DaoXuan’s original clear and righteousness tone, but all of them were people who knew Reverend DaoXuan for more than several hundred years, they could tell immediately that this was Reverend DaoXuan’s voice.
This Taoist immortal who once led the world’s Good Faction, could it be that something untoward had happened to him?
With such thoughts, Tian BuYi and the rest expressions changed.
Tian BuYi coughed, inhaled deeply, again clearly said, “Senior brother, we heard that you are not feeling well recently and so specially came to visit, will like to ask senior brother to allow us to enter.” Reverend DaoXuan’s voice was silent, when it rang out again, a sneer accompanied it, the chillness penetrated the bone, “Visit me? Do you need six branch leaders to come together to see me, I see that all of you intentionally came to force the king to abdicate, eyeing my position as sect head Reverend!”
Once the words were out, like a lightning out of thin air, shocking everyone, even Tian BuYi couldn’t help but step back, a face in shock, he turned and looked, saw even ShuiYue who had always been detached, had an unbelievable expression.
Zeng ShuCang’s eyes were full of worry, he stepped forward, loudly said, “Sect head senior brother, what are you saying, we as your junior brothers and sisters, for several hundred years, never have this thought, never before, now too and more even so in the future. These few days we have been coming, is because we are concern about senior brother’s health, deﬁnitely without ulterior motive, senior brother must never misunderstand.”
Reverend DaoXuan’s voice suddenly raised, sneered and said, “Zeng ShuChang, within the six leaders, you have always been the most scheming, that day you were already suspicious of Long Shou Valley CangSong and yet you kept quiet, don’t tell me you thought that I didn’t know?”
Zeng ShuChang’s countenance changed greatly, Tian BuYi and the rest also turned in shock and looked at Zeng ShuChang.
ShuiYue Master stared at Zeng ShuChang, after a long time, said, “Is this true?”
Zeng ShuChang made a bitter laugh, shook his head and said, “This, this where do I start?”
ShuiYue Master wanted to ask further, suddenly the numerous dim candles lighted up, unable to see clearly in the darkness but for some reason, made one felt that in the darkness, some strange thing howled.
Almost at the same time, Reverend DaoXuan’s voice was heard again but the target this time, had shifted from Zeng ShuChang to ShuiYue Master, “ShuiYue, what are you pretending, you think with your aloof and detached look, you are really righteous and stern?” His voice was weird, vaguely shrill and hoarse, “That time when Wan JianYi was down and kept in Founders Ancestral Hall to sweep the grounds til old age, and in the end died by the Evil Sect hands, it all started because of you, all thanks to you ah! Ha ha ha ha ha”
Until the end, his voice seemed uncontrollable and became hysterical, then, at that moment, nobody paid close attention to him anymore, everyone of them were pale, stared in shock at ShuiYue, for long time nobody spoke.
The few short words, were really too shocking, QiHao and the junior brothers were nonplussed, and ShuiYue Master was trembling, for some reason, her eyes had a burning glare never seen before, stepped forward, seemed to disregard everything else, loudly shouted into the hall, “You, you what did you say? Don’t, don’t tell me Wan senior brother he, he is still alive”
The words brought all to attention, everyone agitated, started to ask questions towards the hall.
And Reverend DaoXuan’s hysterical laughter, seemed to turn wilder, reverberated in the air, for a long time.
Chapter 194 - Secrets Leaked
Southern border, the ten thousands great mountains.
Traversing the black mountains, entering the ten thousands great mountains, Ghost Li felt that he had entered a world that was truly primitive wilderness. In fact in the Evil Sect, the wilderness was a reference to the extreme northwest of the Divine Land vast territories, a vast desolate stretch of area, most were gobi desert, barren and even if there was life, it was only for the most stubborn species, and therefore named as such. And the legendary holy temple in the Evil Sect, was located in that desert but just that Ghost Li had never been there.
But the world before him now, clearly was completely different from that said wilderness, in the ten thousands great mountains, not only it was not barren, every inch was brimming with life. Large swaths of primitive forests, there was no space to land, lands so full of vegetation that the plants seemed to be ﬁghting for space. And behind the endless trees and brambles, there seemed to be endless number of poisonous evil animals. In the dim shadows around, felt like there would always be the hungry eyes of the predators watching you, waiting for the opportunity to make a snack out of the unwary. To people like Ghost Li and Jin PingEr, these common poisons were naturally not much of a threat but with this volume, it was a headache. Although they could ﬂy but ﬁrstly the air above these forests sporadically had a strange miasma fog rising through the top of the trees; secondly, although they were highly skilled, they still need rest but the harassments from outside never showed signs of stopping.
A few days later, even the monkey Xiao Hui was beginning to get restless.
Here, besides the poisonous fog and evil beasts lurking, the strange weather in the ten thousands great mountains, was rather hard for humans to bear. What was different from Central Plains was, there was no clouds, weathers transitions etc, storms appeared and vanished without warning, initially it was still clear skies, the next instant heavy storms poured; stopping out of a sudden, the moment before lightning and thunders rumbled, the next moment cloudless for miles. The suddenness was startling.
There was no pattern conceivable to the length of the rainfall as well, at times it rained for just a short while, and other times it rained for days, it was really unfathomable. At the moment, the two of them were walking through the darkness of the forest, shrouded under the canopy of falling rain.
The reason the two of them did not cast spells and ﬂy, was because when they were about to do so, they discovered that even when it was raining, the tops of the forests were still emanating the strange dark miasma fog. On the contrary, the air on the ground was much more normal.
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr were both ﬁgures who had practised long in Evil Sect, their discernment ability deﬁnitely not lacking and naturally knew the severity of it, after discussion, they would rather be more cautious and walk through the forest instead.
This stretch of forest was similar to the other undisturbed forests in the ten thousands great mountains where the foliage were dense and closely entwined. There was no direct paths for the rain to the ground, instead droplets slided and dripped down these leaves and branches, their cold breathing echoed through the forest, except for their footsteps making the rustling sounds and the distant rain dripping, the whole forest lie asleep. Ghost Li and Jin PingEr had no umbrellas, most likely they did not pack them but even if they did, in this kind of dense forest, they would be hampered by the tugging of the branches against the umbrellas. Xiao Hui was silent, he curled his body and lay on Ghost Li’s shoulder. The rain’s constant dripping had drenched his fur, sticking it close to his body.
Ghost Li’s face was also drenched with the rain, but he looked indifferent as he walked in front, as if he did not feel the strange surrounding atmosphere. Jin PingEr followed him, no indication of fatigue too, but her slightly tousled hair and somehow cold expression, seemed to betray her unhappy mood.
This stretch of forest, was in fact the same black forest that she came the last time. Jin PingEr clearly knew, after this forest and around a few hills, they would arrive at their destination, and in fact too, she relayed this to Ghost Li.
Ghost Li had reached out to break a hanging branch that was part of an extremely tough vine branch, and yet in his hand it was as fragile as tofu. Jin PingEr looked at the branch in his hand silently, frowning as she stared deep in thought.
Suddenly, Ghost Li made a [ai] sound, paused and then hurried a few steps left to a gorgeous view off a cliff, surrounded by a rocks of several chi wide and no vegetation, below their feet were a sea of clouds, rolling with ﬁve colours, it was an unbelievable sight.
Footsteps were heard, and Jin PingEr appeared at his side, her expression changed slightly, this was where she was trapped by the mysterious man dressed in black, after her lucky escape, she inadvertently found the Kill-the-living Monk’s knife below the cliff rocks, just that, she looked at Ghost Li and stayed silent, clearly not intending to mention the past events to him.
Ghost Li stared far, overlooking the sea of clouds. After a while, he shook his head slightly and said, “The colourful clouds below, I’m afraid it's just more miasma.”
Jin PingEr nodded and said, “I think so too.” Ghost Li looked at her and asked, “How much further?”
Jin PingEr raised her hand and gently wiped the water droplets off her forehead, pondered and said, “Should be close, I remember the last time when I was here, I walked no further than around two hours and I was out of the black forest. Out here and then crossing two more mountains, we will reach Subdue Devil ancient cave.” As she was saying that, she paused and with some puzzlement said, “Strange, the last time I was here, there were many evil beasts, but along the way, besides the poisonous insects, we have not met even one of those beasts.”
Ghost Li said indifferently, “Most probably those beasts that you saw, had followed the Beast Deity out of the mountains to hunt.”
Jin PingEr looked shocked and realised that it was a deﬁnite possibility, and her expression turned to disgust, no matter what, even though she was from the Evil Sect, she could not stand these inhuman attacks. Or maybe, in that Central Plains Venomous Viper Valley battle, HeHuan Sect was annihilated, even though Ghost Li still did not know how Jin PingEr managed to escape alone and took refuge under Ghost King but guessed that Jin PingEr would not have any good feelings towards these demon beasts.
Ghost Li took a deep breath and said, "Let’s go."
And then turned and walked back to the dark forest, Jin PingEr was about to follow when she suddenly turned around and looked down at the cliff, frowning slightly as she was absorbed in thought. Ahead, Ghost Li walked for a while before realising Jin PingEr was not keeping up, turned back and called for her, startling Jin PingEr. She laughed coquettishly and said, “Why, missing me already?”.
Ghost Li glanced at her, a look of detached and walked on, Jin PingEr smiled and followed along, just as she was about to enter the forest, her hand suddenly waved and a ﬂash of light shot out of her hand, making a [du] mufﬂed sound and embedded itself into a remote gap in a secluded corner of the cliff.
Light ﬂashed in that gap, it was the Kill-the-living knife. And in a blink of an eye, Jin PingEr’s silhouette disappeared.
The desolate storm, seemed to shroud over again, concealing this part of the black forest, at far, the vast ﬁrmament of the ten thousands mountains, seemed to be grey, not knowing if there was some kind of god or demon, howling in the nether world, watching the mortals in the world which seemed so insigniﬁcant.
The storm intensiﬁes!
X x x
As Ghost Li and Jin PingEr battled the howling wind and rain in pursuit for the traces of the Beast Deity, the atmosphere in southern border outside the ten thousand mountains, was also heating up.
More and more Good Faction disciples arrived at the southern border, and in the hustle and bustle, their arrival almost quickly reduced the number of demons here in the southern border, and on southern border this land, there had never been such many gathering of Central Plains people, and most of them, were cultivated martial artists.
The local ﬁve tribes of the southern border indigenous people regarded these outsiders with a distant and respectful attitude, and amongst the righteous disciples, there seemed to be a strange atmosphere, for most of them, as long as they were not of the same sect or clan, they maintained their distance, there were even rumors that certain sects had conﬂicts.
As for the reasons, no one had ever loudly declared it out.
In a certain sense, cultivated sect FenXiang Valley as the southern border longest resident sect, naturally became the best place to visit for disciples who were not familiar with the local geography, so this valley had changed from its usual tranquility to a busy stream of people coming and going everyday.
And it was also in these circumstances, this day, 3 visitors arrived at the valley, a man and two women from the QingYun sect, Return of the Wind Valley Zeng ShuShu and Small Bamboo Valley WenMin and Lu XueQi.
Of course, there were more than these three disciples from QingYun sect who came to the southern border, in fact, QingYun sect known as the world’s ﬁrst Good Faction sect, sent countless disciples of the younger generation here, but the best skilled disciples however, could not make their way here, except for the few that already held important roles such as QiHao, Xiao YiCai due to Reverend DaoXuan’s absence recently, the daily affairs at TongTian Peak of all sorts, were left to him to handle and so could not leave; as for Lin JingYu, this time he insisted to remain at Founders Ancestral Hall, it was said he was keeping vigil for a certain Qing Yun senior whom he had great gratitude for, and so could not come.
And amongst the remaining ones, Zeng ShuShu and Lu XueQi were left to lead, for Zeng ShuShu it was quite straightforward, his father Zeng ShuChang only gave a few instructions to him before leaving but for Lu XueQi, it was more complicated, it was said that ShuiYue Master was initially unwilling to give permission but later on for some reason she changed her mind and purposely sent Lu XueQi’s senior sister WenMin along. But there was a good point that WenMin came along, Zeng ShuShu had another companion to talk to. Otherwise like Zeng Shushu’s enthusiastic character, to travel with Lu XueQi’s ice-like personality, out of one day, Zeng ShuShu’s nine out of ten conversations would be to himself, and the last sentence most likely would be Lu Xueqi impatiently ordering him to go away.
On the journey to the southern border, Zeng ShuShu on the contrary, got along well with WenMin, the three of them discussed together, Zeng Shushu was adamant that as fellow Good Faction sects, arriving in southern border, they still have to make a visit to FenXiang Valley to pay their respects. Only Lu XueQi seemed reluctant, indifferently expressed her opinion, said that it was not their ﬁrst time to the southern border and roughly knew where to go, there was no need to trouble others.
Zeng ShuShu and WenMin both knew that Lu XueQi still had a knot in her heart, that day at Qing Yun TongTian Peak Crystal Jade Hall, she publicly rejected FenXiang Valley leader Yun YiLan’s favourite disciple Li Xun’s marriage proposal, humiliating Yun YiLan and Reverend DaoXuan, naturally she was unwilling to have any contact with the FenXiang Valley people. However, after repeated discussions between Zeng ShuShu and WenMin, they felt that it was still best for WenMin to persuade Lu XueQi, they still have to make an appearance, if not next time it would not look nice in front of the elders. Lu Xueqi hesitated a few times, and ﬁnally agreed.
The three of them arrived at the entrance of FenXiang Valley, the three of them already had some fame, especially Lu XueQi, whose beauty was fabled to be capable of causing the fall of a city or nation, since the rise of the younger generation in Qing Yun sect, her fame and beauty had risen even more. To the FenXiang Valley, Lu XueQi meant even something more, the moment when the three of them reached the entrance, they were almost immediately recognized by FenXiang disciples.
After the initial astonishment, there seemed to be some rousing and someone quickly ran in to report while others stepped forward to greet them, the ﬁrst person in front smiled and cupped his hands in greeting, “Ah senior sister Lu arrival in FenXiang Valley is such an honour. These two must be Qing Yun sect’s senior brother and sister, please come in.”
From the back, Zeng ShuShu glanced at WenMin and stuck his tongue out at her secretly, thinking to himself that this Lu XueQi was really famous, even the ordinary disciples could recognised her with a glance, and he and WenMin were negated to just the companions of the beauty.
They were not upset about that, Zeng Shushu had even wider smile on his face, along the way laughed and joked with the disciples, hearty laughters were heard frequently. WenMin, walking along at the back of the group, smiled and softly said to Lu XueQi who was beside her, “Junior sister, look at that Zeng junior brother, they have only just met and he is already mixing so well with them, it is really impressive.”
Lu XueQi looked at Zeng ShuShu, who already had his arm around a FenXiang Valley disciple’s shoulder, smiled faintly and said nothing.
Soon, with the lead of the FenXiang Valley disciples, they arrived at FenXiang Valley Mountain River Hall, in the hall, Yun YiLan was sitting at the head seat and waiting for them with a smile, obviously to the head of FenXiang Valley master, these three high ranking disciples from Qing Yun sect were very much different from other sects. Even so however, Zeng ShuShu, WenMin and Lu XueQi were not those who didn’t know their limits, knowing Yun YiLan’s status, being personally received was really rather beneath him. After the three of them rushed forward to pay their respects, Zeng ShuShu said, “How could Master Yun come out personally to receive us, it should be us junior to pay our respects instead, us juniors are really overwhelmed with this honour.”
Yun YiLan smiled gently, with a kind face, laughed and replied, “What is this talk, good nephew, I have been friends with your teacher uncle Reverend DaoXuan and your father Zeng ShuChang senior brother, for more than several hundred years, there is no need to stand on ceremony. How are they?”
Zeng ShuShu respectfully replied, “Sect head teacher uncle and father are both well, both of them instructed me, that I must come and pay my respects to Yun teacher uncle when I have arrived at the southern border.”
Yun YiLan laughed and nodded, “After I left Qing Yun, several days have passed by so quickly, I really do missed those few dear friends.” As he said that, he smiled and glanced at WenMin before looking at the expressionless Lu XueQi. Feeling his eyes on her, Lu XueQi looked up and saw Yun YiLan smiling at her, there was also someone else beside him, with a complex expression and a bitter smile, also looking at her, it was Li Xun.
Lu XueQi said nothing, bowed her head slightly.
Yun YiLan smiled, looked away and said, “Why are you all still standing, our sects are not of ordinary relations, we are family, quickly sit.”
Zeng ShuShu and the rest asked for forgiveness and sat down.
Yun YiLan chatted with the three, and got to know that WenMin and Lu XueQi are both from Small Bamboo Valley, under ShuiYue Master’s tutelage, and so asked several more questions about ShuiYue Master, WenMin answered all questions dutifully, and after, Yun YiLan spoke with Zeng ShuShu. From the beginning to the end, Yun LiLan seemed to know Lu XueQi did not wish to speak and did not ask her any questions, Lu XueQi was also happily relaxed, sat beside quietly. However, the other disciples in the hall, including Li Xun who was standing next to Yun YiLan, most the time, whether intentionally or unintentionally, glanced and lingered on Lu XueQi, her white as snow outﬁt and cold temperament, it was as if there was some strange magical effect, drawing all the light in the hall to her.
Over the other side, Yun YiLan asked Zeng Shushu with a smile, “That day after the war, Reverend DaoXuan senior brother defeated the Beast Deity for the common people, turning the tide, doing a great service to mankind. But when I left Qing Yun, his injury was not healed yet, I wonder how is Reverend DaoXuan senior brother’s health now? He is now the leader of the Good Faction, commanding public respect and support!”
Zeng ShuShu smiled and replied, “Yun teacher uncle’s concern is appreciated, sect head teacher uncle is well, as long as the people could escape the catastrophe, a little suffering on Qing Yun sect is nothing.”
Yun YiLan’s smile became more kindly, picked up his tea to take a sip, then his eyes glimmered slightly, as if he coincidentally remembered something suddenly, laughed and said, “Oh yes, I have heard of a rumor recently, and since good nephew is here, just nice I can ask you about it.”
Zeng ShuShu smiled, “Yun teacher uncle please speak, disciple will tell you everything I know.”
Yun YiLan nodded with eyes glinting deep inside his eyes, and said slowly, “I heard recently by accident, that during the big battle at Qing Yun, after Reverend DaoXuan senior brother defeated the evildoer Beast Deity, there was another ﬁght at Qing Yun and in the end, it was said that Qing Yun supreme treasure, ‘Zhu Xian Ancient Sword’ was actually broken and damaged, is there such thing?”
At that remark, an instant silence fell, in that moment not a single sound and Zeng ShuShu, WenMin and Lu XueQi stood up at the same time, their countenances changed, staring at Yun YiLan. And the other FenXiang Valley disciples, including Li Xun, looked at Yun YiLan stunned.
Only Yun YiLan himself behaved nonchalantly, as if he did not ask something that would shake the world, instead like asking something insigniﬁcant, gently lifted his tea and took another sip.
Then, he smiled kindly and gently asked the three disciples of the Qing Yun sect, "That, is it really true?"
In the Mountain River Hall, a dead silence.
Chapter 195 - Internal Injury
A long while later, after Zeng ShuShu and the others recovered from the astonishment, the three looked at each other, and saw the shock reﬂected in their eyes. However what was different was, for Lu XueQi and WenMin, their eyes held additional alarm and confusion.
This which only a small number of Big Bamboo Valley and Small Bamboo Valley disciples were aware, furthermore Reverend DaoXuan had privately sternly commanded several times that this secret must not be divulged, in the end, was it still leaked?
Different from WenMin and Lu XueQi, the damage to 'Zhu Xian Ancient Sword' news was even more startling to Zeng ShuShu who was kept in the dark about this, but after recovering, Zeng ShuShu chuckled and said, “Yun teacher- uncle, how could you play such a joke on us juniors, I was almost scared to death just now. The Zhu Xian Ancient Sword is QingYun sect’s supreme precious treasure, held in safekeeping by sect-head-teacher-uncle himself, how could it be damaged! He he, Ha! Ha! Ha!” Laughing, Zeng ShuShu kept shaking his head and then turned around to see his other two companions, wanting to see their amusements at this ridiculous rumour. Except, his smile stiffened, there was no trace of a smile on either Lu XueQi or WenMin, on the contrary, their brows were creased and their faces had paled.
In the hall, Zeng ShuShu’s solitary laughter echoed and then died quickly.
Yun YiLan smiled and said, “Oh so it is just a rumour! That is for the best, else if the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword had been damaged, it would certainly be a disaster.”
Lu XueQi took an abrupt step forward, coldly asked Yun YiLan, “Yun teacher-uncle, this is of course not a true rumour, and should not be believed. However, may I ask where did senior hear about this lowly and sneaky rumour?”
Lu XueQi’s voice got increasingly colder as she spoke, and was beginning to sound faintly rude. But Yun YiLan seemed to be well cultivated and did not seem to mind Lu XueQi’s attitude, merely responded with his usual amiable manner with a wave of his hand, “Actually, this rumor is recently circulating in the southern border here, I inadvertently overheard some of the disciples talking about it, and did not expect it to hold any truth. Think about it, with Reverend DaoXuan senior-brother’s remarkable powers, how could such nonsense have happened? But just that since good nephew came to visit, I thought I would just ask in passing to seek reassurance that these rumours are indeed just rumours. I am truly pleased!” He said smiling, looking absolutely pleased.
Lu XueQi and the rest frowned slightly, such a matter, how would it be ‘casually’ asked in public, not to mention the high status of Yun YiLan, how would he asked about such roadside gossip directly. The only logical conclusion was that he had some other plans.
In Yun YiLan's laughter, the three QingYun disciples turned silent, Lu XueQi’s face was as white as snow, and so cold she looked inhuman, her eyes turning sharper, WenMin’s complexion was just as pale. Zeng ShuShu was indeed smooth, noticing the rapidly awkward atmosphere, promptly coughed and stepped forward, blocking Lu XueQi. Cupping his hands, he asked, “Yun teacher- uncle, various senior teachers sent me here to southern border, the purpose is to pursue the demon beast, wonder if you all have any clues that you can tell us, it will saved us from running around blindly.”
Yun YiLan glanced Zeng ShuShu and nodded slightly but did not speak. He looked to his back.
Li Xun understood and took a step forward, facing Zeng ShuShu with his hands cupped, “Zeng senior brother, I am Li Xun, acting under teacher’s orders, I will serve as your guide here in the southern border, for you ladies and gentlemen…”
“Humpf!” A snort of derision came from a corner, not even waiting for Li Xun to ﬁnish.
Li Xun paused, his face immediately contorted with rage. Fortunately, WenMin was quick-witted and laughed, “Li senior brother, there is no need to trouble you with this, there are some of us who have been to southern border before and are still familiar with the roads.”
Li Xun took a deep breath, glanced at the white ﬁgure with the corner of his eyes, his mouth twitched, suddenly his anger seemed to disappear, with a small sigh and a forced smile, he said, “This senior sister, it is not what my intentions are, however in the last few days we have managed to track down information about the missing Beast Deity.”
At these words, Lu XueQi, Zeng ShuShu, and WenMin became excited.
Zeng ShuShu asked delightedly, “is this true?”
Li Xun nodded, “Indeed. In any case, FenXiang Valley has foundation and network of connections in the southern border for hundreds of years,we will still be better informed than outsiders.” As he ﬁnished speaking, he glanced at Lu XueQi, intentionally or otherwise. Lu XueQi looked indifferent, and turned away. Zeng ShuShu asked, “So where is the Beast Deity now?”
Li Xun said, “According to our news, that evildoer has ﬂed into the strange depths of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains, towards the direction of his lair.”
Zeng ShuShu and the others stared blankly, “Ten Thousand Great Mountains?”
Li Xun nodded, “Yes, needless for me to say, all of you would have heard about it, it is a strange and treacherous, mysterious and unfathomable, one of the world’s most dangerous place. If you all have not arrived, I was also planning to lead a group of juniors to search the Ten Thousand Great Mountains. As such, since the three of you are here, if we all go together, wouldn’t it be better? I don’t have any other intentions, just that I have lived in the southern border for many years, and to some extent, have some knowledge of the dangers of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains. With me to guide, it would perhaps be beneﬁcial and no disadvantage for the three of you!”
As he ﬁnished, he sneered. Zeng ShuShu frowned, glanced backward at WenMin and Lu XueQi and said, “Li senior brother please wait, give us a moment to discuss.”
Li Xun nodded his head and said, “As you wish.”
Zeng ShuShu and the others retreated to a corner and whispered in conversation. From Li Xun’s perspective, Zeng ShuShu spoke for the majority of the time, with WenMin inserting a few words now and then. Lu XueQi was silent, with occasional nods or shakes of her head.
That lady in white, seemed to be always that quiet, elegant and unsecular, quietly standing there. Li Xun gazed at Lu XueQi from a distance, momentarily he looked infatuated. And at this moment, someone swatted his shoulder suddenly, Li Xun gave a start, not expecting anyone to be able to come so close to him without his awareness, and quickly turned around, it was Yun YiLan.
Li Xun turned red, and whispered, “Master, your disciple forgot himself, what is it?” Yun YiLan glanced at Lu XueQi, with an expressionless face and said lightly, “Do not forget your task.”
Startled, Li Xun quietly said, “Disciple understands.”
Yun YiLan nodded his head and said, “Take care of them, I’ll head off ﬁrst.” As he left, he did not bid farewell to the three from QingYun sect and left quietly.
Li Xun watched Yun YiLan ﬁgure disappeared into the entrance to the rear halls of the Mountain River Hall, his emotions in a mix, his face reﬂecting the uncertainty.
At this time, Zeng ShuShu and the others seemed to have ﬁnished their discussion and returned.
Zeng ShuShu walked over with a smile, and said, “Li senior brother, we have discussed, this time... ai where’s Yun teacher- uncle?” Li Xun wore an apologetic face, and said, “Master had a last minute matter to deal with and seeing that the three of you were still in the middle of discussion, so he instructed me not to disturb and left ﬁrst. We seek your forgiveness for the lack of manners.”’
Zeng ShuShu quickly replied, “You are too kind, we are the ones that are lacking in manners, if we have breach any etiquette just now, could Li senior brother Li please convey to Yun teacher-uncle that we are still juniors and unaware of the etiquette, didn’t know our limits too, hope that he will not mind.”
Hearing Zeng ShuShu’s smooth words ﬂowing out of his mouth like water, Lu XueQi and Wen Min looked somewhat embarrassed, but Zeng ShuShu was at ease and did not appear embarrassed at all.
Li Xun smiled and nodded his head and did not say anything further about that, only asked, “What about the conclusion of your discussion?” Zeng ShuShu cupped his hands and said, “It looks like we will need to trouble Li senior brother.”
Li Xun looked delighted, and replied the gesture, “You’re too kind, we are all one Good Faction family, we should do this.” Speaking, he took a quick glance at Lu XueQi, coughed and said, “However, Ten Thousand Great Mountains is after all an extremely dangerous place, and you few should start doing early preparations. Come, I will tell you some of the matters that need to take note.”
Zeng ShuShu laughed, “Trouble Li senior brother.” He turned back and beckoned, “Two senior sisters, quickly come over and listen too.”
Lu XueQi frowned, seemingly unwilling, but was pulled along by WenMin who was next to her, walked over.
Low voices, echoed in the hall...
In the depths of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains, leaving the last trace of darkness, crossing the last crooked old trees, Ghost Li and Jin PingEr ﬁnally walked out of the Black Forest. Outside of the forest, the day had a rare warm sunshine, which warmly illuminated them, the ground and the crooked old trees but was unable to penetrate the mysterious and austere forest.
Jin PingEr opened her arms to embrace the sun. Even though she had been through the forest once before, coming out still gave her a sense of relief. Indeed, days of walking through a forest full of poisonous insects and continuous rain would not put anyone in a good frame of mind.
Standing outside the forest, the air which they breathed in, was much warmer and comfortable. After Jin PingEr had her ﬁll of deep breaths, she turned to look at Ghost Li, he had just walked out of the forest, with the usual look of indifference but it was also obvious he had a look of relief.
After a short rest, Ghost Li raised his head to look in the distance, with the rare good weather, the view of horizon widened, in the distance, there seemed like endless mountains, rolling and continuous, as far as the eye could see. Ghost Li’s countenance changed slightly, Jin PingEr walked to his side, looked at him, laughed and said, “Why, did not expect the treacherous southern border to be actually so vast, right? When I ﬁrst came here, I was also surprised.”
Ghost Li gazed into the distance, lingering on the mountains, and asked indifferently, “The Subdue Devil ancient cave you mentioned, how far away is it?”
Jin PingEr coquettishly smiled, took two steps in front of Ghost Li and surveyed the endless mountains for a while, then pointed a ﬁnger at one of the hilltop which appeared strangely black from the summit and said, “See that black mountain peak? Once we round that mountain top, the foot would be the location of the Subdue Devil ancient cave.”
Ghost Li raised his eyes, and saw the very strange mountain far away, always shrouded in a layer of light black mist as if there was no sunlight. It looked mysterious.
Ghost Li nodded his head and said, “Then let’s go!” At that, he moved forward. However, Jin PingEr did not follow, and instead stood in place.
Ghost Li took a few steps, sensing Jin PingEr did not keep up. Slightly surprised, he turned to look and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Jin PingEr rolled her eyes at him, but even through that resentful look, in the warm sunshine, still looked somewhat seductive, “You are of course a great ﬁgure but unfortunately the woman in front of you is weak, and unable to walk now.”
Ghost Li said indifferently, “Considering all the women in the world, it won’t be your turn to qualify as weak.”
Jin PingEr smiled sweetly and did not get angry, found a block of dry stone nearby and sat down.
Even though Ghost Li did not believe Jin PingEr but on second thought realised that the last few days in the strange black forest, both of them did not have a good rest at all, and so he did not insist on hurrying and sat down near Jin PingEr. The monkey Xiao Hui who had been lying on his shoulder, made [zhi zhi] calls and seemed to have awakened suddenly from its dispirited self, jumped down energetically from Ghost Li’s shoulder, looking around, blinking its three eyes nonstop and then sticking its tail up, it scuttled to the underbrush at the side, and in a ﬂash, disappeared.
Jin PingEr looked in its direction and asked, “There is danger everywhere here, are you not worried about your monkey running around?”
Ghost Li shook his head and said, “It won’t be harmed, even if the both of us were to meet with a mishap, that guy will be well.”
Jin PingEr giggled, covered her mouth and said, “That guy, it’s obviously only a monkey!”
Ghost Li looked at Jin PingEr’s lustrous like jade face, the corner of this mouth couldn’t help but curl into a faint smile, then looked towards the direction where Xiao Hui went and slowly said, “In my eyes, he is a much better than the countless people in this world.” As Jin PingEr looked at his pale face, the smile on her face slowly disappeared. She gazed thoughtfully at Ghost Li, who was frowning, a heavy emotion weighing his face.
Perhaps, he found himself unexpectedly revealing something?
Jin PingEr has always been an extremely intelligent woman but she was deﬁnitely not those quiet and virtuous secular lady, she quietly watched Ghost Li’s face with soft eyes but as she watched, his face turned more and more unhappy.
As the moment became more and more awkward, and Ghost Li’s eyebrows frowned even more tighter, Jin PingEr suddenly asked, “What’s wrong?”
Startled, Ghost Li said, “What?”
Jin PingEr looked at him, with a ghost of a smile on her face, yet her eyes conveying a different emotion, softly asked, “You seemed uncomfortable?” Ghost Li coughed once, and said, “No.”
Jin PingEr appeared not to hear his answer, mused and said, “Is it because, in front of a woman like me, you’ve unexpectedly revealed some of the words in your heart, and that made you feel a little embarrassed?”
Ghost Li’s expression instantly turned cold, but before he could speak, Jin PingEr quickly spoke, “'This past decade, especially after BiYao incident, you have never travelled alone with a woman for this long right! Inadvertently after so many days of contact, there is less hostility between us, and your unguarded words made you feel that you have let her down?”
Ghost Li stared at Jin PingEr, with cold eyes and said, “What did you mean by all these, and, why did you mention BiYao?”
In the face of those icy threatening eyes, Jin PingEr displayed no fear, on the contrary, she smiled, her eyes seemed to be excited and said, “You are afraid, aren’t you?” Ghost Li jumped upright,and said angrily, “What am I afraid of! If you continue with such nonsense, I will not be polite…”
“You are afraid you will forget BiYao!” Jin PingEr shouted, a clear sound like cutting through the snow, stabbing into the invisible ground between them.
Ghost Li opened his mouth in anger and froze, unable to make a sound, as if his vitals were attacked. Jin PingEr abruptly went silent, as the echos of her words reverberated around them, their surroundings became quiet and still.
At this moment, the sky was blue, the distant rolling mountains, a breeze seemed to be blowing from the horizon, the woods and grass nearby rustled.
It was now after noon. The wind blew across their faces.
The sun turned more lazy, the two of them faced each other and were silent, no one spoke. Jin PingEr looked at the man in front of her, whose eyes were glistening with something, looking pitiful and yet looked like sneering.
After a long while, she gently pulled a stray hair loosened by the wind to the back of her ear, and said with a gentle and light voice, “For that feeling at that time, now even you don’t even believe yourself, are you afraid of forgetting her subconsciously?”
Her smile was light, like a wild ﬂower caressed by the wind, “Constantly repressing yourself, always reminding yourself, who would have imagined, Ghost King sect’s number one great general Ghost Li whom everyone fear, is such a pitiful man?”
Ghost Li’s expressions oscillated, between dark and white, suddenly he took a deep breath, looked up at the sky, pausing for a moment of breath and released it in a rush. When he looked back at her again, his face was as calm as usual, without the slightest hint of any colour of emotions, completely indifferent. “Who do you think you are, saying such things about me, how about yourself?” He said with mock in his eyes, as if the earlier moment was completely forgotten.
Jin PingEr smiled and said, “Me? I am nobody, only just a woman accompanying you now!”
Ghost Li ignored the indistinct sarcasm in her words, turned his head, and suddenly the underbrush nearby parted and a grey shadow ﬂashed, it was Xiao Hui who took a couple of jumps to Ghost Li’s side. At a closer look, the monkey was carefully clutching some kind of wild fruits, even its mouth was chewing nonstop, no wonder there was none of his familiar [zi zi] calls.
Ghost Li picked up Xiao Hui, extended an open palm and Xiao Hui split his mouth in a grin before placing the wild fruits in Ghost Li’s hand. The wild fruits were adorable bright red things, and even though they weren’t very big, they looked very plump and delicious.
Ghost Li took one into his mouth and chewed a couple of times. It tasted slightly underripe but very juicy and sweet, a rare thing to come by.
Nodding his head, he separated a few of those fruits, looked at Jin PingEr, and handed her the fruits, saying, “Xiao Hui has the innate ability to distinguish poison, so these wild fruits can be eaten.”
Jin PingEr did not immediately take the fruits offered, staring at his extended hand, smiled suddenly and said, “By sharing the food with me, you won’t be having more misgivings in your heart?”
Ghost Li frowned, snorted, and his palms closed into a ﬁst as he started to pull back.
Unexpectedly at this moment, Jin PingEr reached out and grasped his hand, and said laughing, “I want, I want…”
Ghost Li’s expression changed slightly. He looked at Jin PingEr, slowly uncurled his ﬁngers to reveal those few wild fruits. The palm skin was soft, from far, a faint aroma, drifted in the breeze. At this moment, Jin PingEr’s eyes seemed to soften, like a ripple in gently ﬂowing water, stretched out her white long ﬁngers, picking up the wild fruits from Ghost Li’s hand one by one.
Slender ﬁngers brushed casually against the rough skin, a warmness that carried a peculiar touch of cold.
She stared at the man in front of her, gently and slowly let go of his hand, then smiled before placing a wild fruit in her mouth. Chewed a couple times and said smiling, “it's delicious!”
Her smile, like the most beautiful ﬂower blooming in the afternoon, was breathtaking.
Ghost Li gazed at her, silent.
Jin PingEr’s smile became more coquettish, and joked, “What’s wrong, you are not saying anything, standing there like a fool…” Ghost Li looked at Jin PingEr covering her mouth while smiling but he remained quiet. After a moment, he suddenly said, '”Purple light sword is an extremely evil and vicious weapon, you are able to master it to "Pure Yin Return to Pool’ stage, and merging it with the energy vessels of your body, that is really an extraordinary feat.”
[Pu], the wild fruits in Jin PingEr’s hand suddenly burst, before the juices all spilled out, it had already turned into ice from the sudden strange chill and fell to the ground.
The warm smile that was on Jin PingEr’s disappeared, and instead now had eyes like daggers, staring sharply at the Ghost Li.
Ghost Li instead did not seem to feel the hostility, and said lightly, ”Just that although you are still a pure Yin body and compatible with the Purple light swords spiritual energy but the cold Yin energy is too much and relying just only the Yin, you instead forcefully cultivate, the Yin energy penetrates your body, your meridians have all been damage from it. Using this weapon naturally is very powerful but in the future if you want to cultivate to the next level and become stronger, I’m afraid it is very difﬁcult.” As he ﬁnished, he ignored the animosity emanating from Jin PingEr, turned and started walking while calling out for the monkey. Xiao Hui, who was eating the wild fruits nearby, scuttled over and jumped on to his shoulder, and the two of them continued their journey towards that strange black mountain.
Jin PingEr was left standing there, looking at their silhouettes slowly disappearing, and then she slowly raised her right hand, staring. In the sun, her white slender and beautiful palm shimmered like hidden precious stones but from the deepest beneath the surface, although not obvious, one could see the indistinct unnatural light blue, like tiny veins scattered deep within the ﬂesh.
Jin PingEr’s face was like cold water, suddenly snorted, without saying nothing, started walking towards the direction where Ghost Li went. With her foot, she stepped heavily on the frozen wild fruits, smashing them into pieces.
Chapter 196 - Decisions
Southern border, Ten Thousands Great Mountains.
Before the vast Black Forest which Ghost Li and Jin PingEr had just traversed, stood a dozen people. Most of whom were FenXiang Valley’s elite disciples, led by Li Xun, among them there were two outsiders, Lu XueQi and Zeng ShuShu from Qing Yun sect. As for WenMin who were with them earlier on, unexpectedly was missing.
Amongst this delegation, many of them looked slightly exhausted, obviously although they were cultivated disciples but entering deep into the unfathomable and dangerous Ten Thousands Great Mountains, was still not an easy feat for them. Only the leader Li Xun, as well as Lu XueQi and Zeng ShuShu, who were all well skilled, looked like their usual selves.
Unfortunately, staring at that dark and mysterious forest in front of them, could not cheer anyone up. Above this stretch of black forest, the highly toxic miasma had risen, it was clear that traveling by the sky was not possible. With the Black Forest vast perimeter, it would be challenging to go around the forest, in addition Li Xun who had taken the role as the guide had been very clear, that in accordance to the legends by the southern border natives, the Beast Deity’s lair was in the Subdue Devil ancient cave just
behind this Dark Forest.
This forest, walking through it seemed to be their only path!
A light blue light exuded from Tian Ya celestial sword, gently ﬂickering in Lu XueQi’s hand, contrasting against her snow white and lonely ﬁgure. Without WenMin, not only did she rarely spoke to Li Xun and the FenXiang Valley’s disciples, even Zeng ShuShu from the same sect, she also rarely took notice of.
Throughout the journey, the barren hills and wild rivers, poisonous insects and ferocious beasts, all of which would have terriﬁed most people, to her, it was often either ignoring them or striking them down with her sword. No one knew what her deepest inner thoughts were. Li Xun did not know, and neither did Zeng ShuShu. Li Xun coughed discreetly towards Zeng ShuShu and asked in a low voice, “Umm, Zeng senior brother, may I ask what is Lu senior sister brooding over in silence all day?”
Zeng ShuShu was non-plussed, smiled wryly, “Li senior brother, I think you have asked the wrong person!”
Li Xun glanced at him, after a long time shook his head and also made a wry laugh.
At the moment everyone was worn out from the day and were resting to prepare for the journey through the Black Forest, Lu XueQi stood alone, far away on a rock, surveying the distant hills. Behind her, frequently there were many stares, intentionally or unintentionally lingering onto that delicate back ﬁgure.
Li Xun and Zeng ShuShu stood aside, the former pondered and muttered to himself for a bit, before saying grimly, “Zeng senior brother, we better invite Lu junior sister to come over and discuss our next steps carefully, is it good?” Zeng ShuShu nodded his head and agreed, “That is a good idea.” He then turned around and walked to Lu XueQi, spoke to her in a low voice, Lu XueQi remained expressionless, listening to Zeng ShuShu, she then looked at Li Xun, Li Xun forced a small smile, feeling awkward.
In a short while, Lu XueQi and Zeng ShuShu walked over together. Li Xun coughed once and started the conversation, “It’s like this, once we have crossed this section of Black Forest, we will be close to the lair of the Beast Deity. We…”
“Li senior brother!” Suddenly, Lu XueQi called Li Xun, interrupting his words.
Li Xun was startled, since entering the Ten Thousands Great Mountains, it could be said that this was the ﬁrst time Lu XueQi spoke to him, in surprise, he asked, “What is it?”
Lu XueQi looked at him, her eyes faintly glinting, said, “For the past few days, I have something that I don’t understand, and will like to ask Li senior brother.” Li Xun nodded his head and said, “Lu junior sister, please go ahead.”
Lu XueQi’s expression did not soften from Li Xun's politeness, still asked in an icy manner, “In the past, what we heard from FenXiang Valley, are all saying that this Ten Thousands Great Mountains is an extremely dangerous place, even you all rarely enter too. However, for some reason, on the way here, Lu senior brother you seemed to be very familiar with this place, couldn’t it be that you have been here before? And, the Beast Deity’s tracks are extremely furtive, not to mention how hidden the location of the lair is, how would FenXiang Valley be so well informed and know such things?”
Li Xun’s expression remain unchanged in the face of Lu XueQi's interrogation, as if he was prepared. He smiled and responded, “Lu junior sister, as I have told you earlier, in the past us FenXiang Valley indeed did not pay attention to the existence of this Ten Thousands Great Mountains, but when the catastrophe of demon beasts happened, it was only natural that we started paying attention to this place. As for the lair of the Beast Deity, it is discovered when our disciples pursued the remnants of the demon beasts, at the sacriﬁce of many of our best!” Zeng ShuShu and Lu XueQi frowned simultaneously, it was clear that this empty elaborated story did not convince them, but looking at him speaking so conﬁdently, they were unable to directly refute the story and so could only remained silent.
Li Xun smiled, looked at the two of them, and said, “Speaking of which reminded me, that senior sister WenMin from your honourable sect, before we were about to enter the Ten Thousands Great Mountains, suddenly had to return so abruptly to QingYun sect?”
Surprised, Zeng ShuShu couldn’t help but glanced at Lu XueQi before replying with a smile, “Didn’t we inform Li senior brother earlier, something urgent came up and senior sister WenMin had no choice but to return.”
Standing by the side, Lu XueQi slightly cast her eyes downward, and did not speak. The reason WenMin had to rush back to QingYun sect, not even Zeng ShuShu was not too clear about it, actually to say it, naturally it was because of that day in the Mountain River Hall, when Yun YiLan abruptly asked the one question about the ‘Zhu Xian Ancient Sword’. Not knowing the truth, Zeng ShuShu treated it as a joke and had forgotten about it, but after Lu XueQi and WenMin discussed, decided that it was no trivial matter and in the end decided that WenMin would rush back to QingYun Mountain and report the news to the various elders and teacher uncles, so as to be prepared for a change in situation. After all, to the QingYun sect and the rest of the world, the signiﬁcance of ‘Zhu
Xian Ancient Sword’ was too important. And FenXiang Valley
who previously always had good relations with QingYun sect, and its leader Yun YiLan, the unexpected show this time, subtly revealed some stirrings which were worrying.
However, the matter of the Beast Deity was also very important, and cannot be given up. So after deliberations, WenMin would return back to the QingYun Mountain, and Lu XueQi with Zeng ShuShu would remain. But in their minds, FenXiang Valley this rich and powerful sect, at present seemed to be revealing its odd behaviours.
At present, Li Xun and Zeng ShuShu had already been discussing for a while, making detailed plans for matters that required attention once they have entered the Black Forest. Through this conversation, Zeng ShuShu learned many new unheard information about the Black Forest, a real-opener to him, nodded continuously while engrossed in the conversation. Lu XueQi listened along, for some reason, felt slightly frustrated, stood up again and walk to the side, gazing off towards the horizon. In the distance, faint outlines of huge undulating mountains, shaped the landscape under the wide blue sky, while cold wind whistled past them.
Who knows, what would be waiting for them ahead?
Qing Yun Mountain, Big Bamboo Valley.
Early this day, at the ﬁrst glimmer of light, while the Big Bamboo Valley disciples were not yet awake, light footsteps echoed from the Observed Silence Hall. Contrary to his normal habits, Tian BuYi walked out, already dressed.
The dawn’s light illuminated his grave expression, the shadows formed by his frown hinted at the heavy thoughts in his mind. SuRu followed from behind, and one could not tell if the couple woke up early or if they had not been able to sleep all night. SuRu’s face was lined with concern, as she walked out of Observed Silence Hall, she ﬁrst looked at the disciples dormitory, saw that it peaceful as expected, spoke in a low voice, “BuYi, I still think what you are about to do is not right, we should discuss it further!”
Tian BuYi’s face solemn, his eyebrows never seemed to relax once, replied in a deep voice, “This matter can no longer be delayed, ever since we came back from the Founders Ancestral Hall, Reverend DaoXuan senior brother’s condition has been getting worse. Yesterday the news from Tong Tian Peak, heard that he actually laid hands on Fan elder and Xiao YiCai who went to persuade him.”
SuRu surprised, said, “What, why would sect head senior brother ﬁght, how are the both of them, what provoked sect head senior brother, was he hurt?”
Tian BuYi grunted and said, “What else would they ﬁght about, naturally when they noticed DaoXuan senior brother behaving strangely, they went forward to advise. I heard that DaoXuan senior brother was cordial at ﬁrst, but I am unsure what caused the argument, with one palm strike, he immediately seriously injured Fan senior brother, luckily that kid Xiao YiCai was quick-witted enough and managed to escape in time.”
SuRu startled, frowned and asked, “Xiao YiCai was actually alright?”
Tian BuYi clasped his hands behind and pondered for a moment before saying, “He has always been smart, and he had been following DaoXuan senior brother for so many years, more or less he knows him better than most. Most likely he realised early that something was amiss and took the opportunity, therefore managed to get away in time. But it was also fortunate that he was quick-witted, he could then save Fan senior brother and and treated him, or who knows what would have happened!”
SuRu was silent for a long while, uncertainty and concern mixed in her expression, “He, he has already changed until like this, why do you still insist on visiting him?”
Tian BuYi took a deep breath, and said, “It doesn’t matter that others don’t understand, don’t tell me you don’t understand why too?” SuRu quietly said, “But he ... Sect head senior brother right now has been possessed by the demons, no one knows what he is actually thinking any more, and he is so highly skilled, far stronger and better skilled than you and I, now that you taking the risk by going, I’m afraid that, that…”
Towards the end, her voice dropped increasingly lower until it was barely above a whisper and she stopped, evidently unwilling to give voice to her fear.
Tian BuYi released a heavy sigh, turned around to gaze at SuRu and stretched out his hand to gently hold her delicate hands, and said gently, “We have been married for so many years, of course I know what you are worrying about. With you worrying like that for me, even if something were to happen to me, it doesn’t matter anymore…”
SuRu frowned and interrupted him exclaiming, “What nonsense are you saying!”
Tian BuYi nodded his head, and after a moment, continued, “As you know, Zhu Xian Ancient Sword’s secret is Qing Yun sect’s highest classiﬁed, and initially only the sect head knew of this. However at that Wildlands battle, I, Zeng ShuChang and the rest following Wan JianYi senior brother into the decisive battle of thousand miles ChangSha, chanced upon this secret by coincidence. Afterwards, we stood in the Founders Ancestral Hall and in front of the Qing Yun ancestral shrines made a solemn vow, never to reveal this secret to anyone for the rest of our lives.”
SuRu sighed and said,”‘Why are you mentioning this again, I was there that day and made the vow as well, how could I not remember?”
Tian BuYi awe-inspiringly said, “Ever since Qing Ye founder left a commandment tablet written personally, generations of our ancestors had warned repeatedly that the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword cannot be used lightly. In Qing Ye founder’s tablet, it even more clearly state that the soul of the ancient sword is extremely terrible and vicious, and if the welder is not of strong mind and stable foundations, they will fall into the devil’s path. Now that DaoXuan senior brother is showing those various signs, wouldn’t it be proving exactly what the forefathers predicted to happen!”
SuRu bowed her head and was silent for a long while. Tian BuYi raised his head to gaze at the brightening sky, in the distance the early morning mountain fog surrounded the summits, where the clouds shrouded, lofty towering Tong Tian Peak could be seen indistinctly.
“Over the years, DaoXuan senior brother spared no effort, reorganized Qing Yun sect and made it prospered, till today we are able to regard the world with disdain, lead the world’s Good Faction.” Tian BuYi’s voice changed ， suddenly turned heavy with emotions, “I remember thinking, that if Wan JianYi senior brother takes the position of sect head, I guessed he wouldn’t be as good as DaoXuan senior brother.”
SuRu trembled and whispered, “BuYi…” but lost her voice as she hesitated to ﬁnish what she wanted to say.
Tian BuYi clasped his hands behind, looking frustrated and said, “In these many years, even though I am still secretly making offering to Wan senior brother’s memorial tablet, but to DaoXuan senior brother, honestly, I was feeling more and more admiration, although we argued mostly but as to how he handled matters and his conduct, I have nothing to say, even if ten years ago, when he used the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword to strike lao qi…” “BuYi, stop talking!” SuRu suddenly shouted, for some reason, as she stared at Tian BuYi, her eyes turned red.
Tian BuYi’s face muscles twitched, and tried to force a smile, but it only revealed his heart ache, “In this world, only you understand me. That war ten years ago, I, I…” He released a long sigh, and said, “I still miss lao qi! Amongst the disciples, even though he was the most displeasing to the eye, but I still… alas!”
In the wake of his long sigh, the two of them fell silent. After a while, Tian BuYi smiled bitterly and said, “After that day, I was once deeply resentful towards DaoXuan senior brother, lao qi is brought up by me, those decades, wouldn’t I have known what kind of a person he is? If there is any wrongdoing, it would also be me to teach him, who knows maybe we would be able to turn the situation around. But with that strike, he he, before lao qi, BiYao was ﬁrst struck to death, and then that is just great, lao qi who didn’t rebel, would also have to rebel. With his stubborn temper, his entire life is destroyed with that sword strike.”
“However, in the past few years, when I reﬂected at times, recalled this matter, I once thought, if I was in DaoXuan senior brother’s position, that sword strike, would I have struck, or not?”
SuRu looked at her husband, said nothing, but gently grasped his hand and patted his palm, offering silent comfort.
Tian BuYi smiled faintly, looked at SuRu, smiled and said, “If it were me, I’m afraid in the end I would still have delivered that strike.”
As if she already knew the answer, SuRu lowered her head and said nothing.
Tian BuYi fell silent, staring at the direction of the distant TongTian Peak.
After a long while, SuRu said abruptly, “Since your mind has been decided, why don’t I accompany you to visit DaoXuan senior brother!” Tian BuYi shook his head and said, “It would be better if you don’t go, it would be hard to talk with so many people. DaoXuan senior brother turning into what he is today, is all because of what he did it for the good of humankind and Qing Yun sect. If I didn’t know, that would have been it, but I have been privy to the secret and I cannot now in good conscience sit idly by and do nothing. I have to go and see if there’s any chance of help for him. Only hope that DaoXuan senior brother with his deep cultivation, will be able to wake from the vicious currents. Otherwise…”
He ended abruptly.
SuRu looked at him, smiled suddenly, wiping away the sadness and grief on her face, replacing it with a tender loving expression, gently said, “Alright, that’s enough.”
Tian BuYi and SuRu had been together for a long time, both understood each other perfectly, at this moment, he just gazed at SuRu for a long while, saying nothing, only nodded his head. The next moment, he turned, ﬂung his sleeves, red lights started to ﬂash out. Watching as his red celestial sword was on the verge of travel, SuRu was suddenly behind him, again called out, “BuYi…” Although the tone was soft, it was ﬁlled with love and tenderness, and it was conveyed in those two short words.
Tian BuYi turned back to look at his wife, and saw the reluctance on SuRu’s face and the tears in her eyes. After a long moment, Tian BuYi smiled and waved. His lips twitched but he said nothing, turned and wielded the red celestial sword, with a shout, leapt into the air.
That scarlet ﬂash of light, swept across the horizon and into the clouds. At ﬁrst the clouds billowed and made way but soon shrouded from all directions, gradually submerging his silhouette.
Only SuRu was left, staring at the sky in a daze. She stood there for a long time, until dewdrops formed on her hair, the pearls sparkling in the sun as it falls quietly onto the ground.
Chapter 197 - Footprints
The black mountain summits.
After setting foot on the mountain, a strong smell wafted through the air. It was choking, with a taste of sulfur. Ghost Li and Jin PingEr were both strongly skilled, and were still able to tolerate the smell, but as they gradually walked deeper into the mountain, the Yin wind which became stronger, slowly made their eyebrows knitted together.
The bone chilling wind, for some reason, when it brushed across their faces, although it was not a strong gust, its ghastly air made one shivered from deep within the heart. In addition, the faint hissing sound heard from deep within the summit ahead, undulating, sudden high and low, at times like a monkey crying in the night, and other times as if violent demons were laughing in misery, inciting panic in all who heard it.
Xiao Hui the monkey was crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, after munching on the last wild fruit, ﬂung the pit aside and looked around with his three eyes, seemingly oblivious to the strangeness of his surrounding. Jin PingEr’s frown deepened and said suddenly, "Something doesn’t seem right.”
Surprised, Ghost Li stopped and ask, “What is it?"
Jin PingEr hesitated before responding, "When I was last tracking here, there were no wails or howls or gusts of Yin wind. It was after reaching the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave then I encountered some of this. How did this place turn into netherworld-like in just a short period of time?"
Ghost Li looked off into the distance and said indifferently, "Maybe it is because this is the Beast Deity’s lair, the evil aura is too heavy, as it should be. When you ﬁrst came he was just resurrected, and naturally there was no such aura.”
Jin PingEr thought it through, perhaps that was the only explanation. The day at Qing Yun Hill, the Beast Deity’s bloody battle with Zhu Xian Ancient Sword, he was seriously injured by the sword, everyone saw how powerful the sword was. However the Beast Deity still managed to escape, with that level of power, it already shocked the world. Jin PingEr’s eyes moved, said abruptly, "Say, if we really do ﬁnd the Beast Deity in the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, even though he has been wounded, but with just the both of us, do you think we would be able to deal with him?”
Ghost Li shook his head and said, "How would I know?"
Jin PingEr looked at him and laughed suddenly, "Looking at you, seems like you are not conﬁdent huh! That being the case, why did you still follow me here?”
She looked at Ghost Li, "Don’t forget, in the Majestic Fox Mountain, there is still a BiYao waiting for you to save her! If you die here, wouldn’t you be letting her down?”
Ghost Li snorted and walked forward, saying, “Her father commanded me to do this, I owe BiYao too much, I have to do something, but you.” He laughed coldly and said, “If you do unfortunately die here, I guess that will really be dying with grievances isn’t it?” Jin PingEr laughed coquettishly, smiling to his back, "Aiya! You this person is so formal, as long as we die together, be it Beast Deity’s lair or a cattle pen, that is also good."
Ghost Li who was walking ahead [he he] coldly laughed, obviously he did not believe a single word of Jin PingEr, let alone being moved by the performance. He merely continued walking. The monkey on his shoulder instead turned his head to look at Jin PingEr, splitting into a rare grin, seemingly in a good mood.
Different from those ladies who used to associate with Ghost Li, Xiao Hui did not treat Jin PingEr as affectionate as how he treated Xiao Bai, Xiao Huan, in the days they spent together, this happy grin he showed was the ﬁrst.
Jin PingEr was somehow surprised but it was after all not a bad thing, so she was rather happy. With a smiling expression, she was about to step ahead to tease the monkey who was just smiling when he suddenly opened his mouth, spat out a black thing, extremely fast, shot towards Jin PingEr. Jin PingEr was shocked, but she was not an ordinary person, she did not panic, exerting force from her foot, she spun her body to the side by a few degrees to let the strange thing ﬂy past her.
With a mufﬂed pop, that thing hit the ground, it did not ricochet and instead smashed right into the ground. Jin PingEr turned to look, it was the pit of a wild fruit, it seemed like he had been sucking on one for ﬂavour and decided to use it to play a trick on her now.
Played by a monkey, Jin PingEr was furious, her face also turned pale slightly, she glared sideways but saw that the grey monkey had already turned his body around and sat on Ghost Li’s shoulder, facing her, his arms around his chest, both of his legs swinging, and his three eyes staring at the sky, a face full of arrogance, showing in abundance the legendary hoodlum spirit. Even his tail was swinging back and forth, as if he was saying- yes I am bullying you, I am a gangster and I am not afraid.
If she had not looked up to see that, she might not have been as angry. When she saw that, she strode up furiously to Ghost Li and yelled, “This monkey of yours is such an ill-mannered monkey, do you know it was spitting pits at people?”
Ghost Li slowly turned around and looked at Jin PingEr strangely, "Are you scolding him?" he asked, pointing at Xiao Hui.
Jin PingEr nodded.
Xiao Hui immediately got angry. He jumped up from Ghost Li’s shoulder screeching, his three eyes wide open and both his hands clenched in tight ﬁsts, gesturing a ﬁght. It seemed like it was burning with rage, and wanted to ﬁght Jin PingEr who had came to complain.
Jin PingEr did not expect this grey furred monkey would learn to be so human, and took a step back in surprise. She ignored him and turned to yell at Ghost Li, “I am scolding him, this animal is just too vile. Raising him means you have to teach him manners...” "You!" shouted Ghost Li suddenly, at Xiao Hui, simultaneously interrupting Jin PingEr.
Xiao Hui jumped in shock, and paused. Jin PingEr was also surprised, staring at Ghost Li.
Ghost Li frowned with a grave expression, and said to Xiao Hui, “I told you before, to read more books, knowledge brings reason, but you wouldn’t listen. When I taught you that book
<Divine and Evil>, why did you not learn? Return and make
three hundred copies of it before coming back to see me!”
Xiao Hui’s three eyes stared wide open, blinked a couple of times and touched his head with his hands. He scratched and pawed his head, stupeﬁed.
On the other side, Jin PingEr was not any better. Recovering from her shock, she could not help but sneered, “What nonsense are you talking about. Even if this monkey did learn to be more human, it won’t be able to read or write!” Ghost Li turned to glance at her, “Oh” he said, as if he had just come to realise that. He said indifferently, “If that is the case, even you also say it so, then this monkey with no manners is not my fault. Heaven create all living things, why can’t a monkey to learn to read, why, why?”
He looked at Jin PingEr, sighed with a complete lack of sincerity, said nothing and resumed his walk.
Jin PingEr was so furious her face had turned even paler.
The monkey Xiao Hui fell off Ghost Li’s shoulder with a plop on the ground but he did not look like he was in pain. Instead he was screeching, howling with laughter, at times holding his sides as if he was about to split from laughing, and other times beating the ground, and even lying on the ground facing the sky, its tail dancing, in short laughing more and more crazily.
Jin PingEr became even angrier, right when she was about to ﬂare up, Xiao Hui jumped up and rushed towards her making [zhi zhi zhi]. He made a big face at her and then scurried his way back to Ghost Li’s shoulder. Once settled, he stared back towards Jin PingEr with a smug look before making another face at her.
Jin PingEr was so angry she was trembling. Gritting her teeth, she raised her arm forward. In the warm sun, the edge of her palm emitted a strange purple light.
However, the arm was only raised halfway before it stopped. In the silhouette of the male ahead, there seemed to be a faint green light emitting from his hand.
Jin PingEr’s pupils contracted.
After a long while, she stomped her feet abruptly and lowered her arm. She then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her chest rising up and fell a couple of times before she regained her composure. The green ﬂare from Ghost Li further ahead dispersed slowly as well. His shadow, along with the grey furred three eyed monkey’s sharp crazed laughter, moved further and further away. Jin PingEr looked calm but still carried a touch of anger inside but also for some reason, her face turned a bit ﬂushed. She had always bewitched people and toying with the wills of people were her past time. To be played like this by a monkey today…
She grunted, dispersing those thoughts. As she was about to start walking, she frowned suddenly, as if she thought of something else. She turned and walked back slowly. Within a short distance, she had arrived at the spot where Xiao Hui spat the pit to provoke her.
The fruit pit was part of the fruits commonly grown in this area, and there were nothing strange about that. However that particular pit was almost completely buried, with only a small part of the shell visible. This strange black mountain, was different from the other areas of the Ten Thousands Great Mountains where the ground had loose soil. Instead the ground here was solid rocks.
Xiao Hui’s spit force, was actually strong enough to embed the pit into the rock. Jin PingEr frowned deepened, slowly stood up, and looked toward the direction where Ghost Li’s silhouette disappeared. The Yin breeze blowing from that direction seemed to still carry monkey Xiao Hui’s piercing crazed laughter.
Muttering in a low voice to herself, “How could even the monkey, also have such skills, to be able to progress so fast. Who is this person...”
The vast black forest, again welcomed new visitors. Only this time the number of guests were far more than ever before. A platoon of troops advanced through the forest, marching through the thicket and the clusters of thorns.
However, on this part of the journey, other than the unexpected zero attacks by ferocious beasts, it was also unexpectedly smooth.
Leading the group were several unordinary people. Lu XueQi frowned and said nothing, but Zeng ShuShu could stand it no longer and burst out at Li Xun, “Li senior-brother, this, there is something wrong here!” Li Xun stopped, glanced around before looking at Zeng ShuShu. He pondered a moment before calling out to the FenXiang Valley disciples,"We will take a rest here before continuing our journey."
Everyone cheered in agreement, evidently the long march was difﬁcult.
Having settled the others, Li Xun and Zeng ShuShu walked a short distance aside, towards Lu XueQi. Whereas Lu XueQi frowned and took a step back.
Li Xun’s expression dropped, and Zeng ShuShu being quick- witted, took the opportunity to interrupt, “Li senior-brother, you realised it too?”
Li Xun nodded his head, his gaze on the feet of the three of them, among the exuberant thorny undergrowth, although vague, it was still faintly visible that after the thorns were cut broken, the faint impression of somebody stepping over them. "Someone was here before us, and certainly not long ago, walked through this part of the forest too." He was sure, and his forehead was creased with worry he couldn’t hide.
Zeng ShuShu thought, and asked "Could it be Li senior- brother your sect..."
Li Xun shook his head, "Impossible, FenXiang Valley only has this team entering Ten Thousands Great Mountains, most of the valley younger generation elites are here, and there will be no one else joining us.”
Zeng ShuShu frowned and said, "That’s strange, according to Yun master valley, this news should not have been leaked! Could it be that other sects got to know of this news and ventured into the Ten Thousands Great Mountains?”
Li Xun hesitated, then shook his head and said, " I don’t believe so. First of all, this matter is indeed still a secret, so only our two sects know." He coughed lightly before saying in a low voice, "Beast Deity is the cause of the catastrophe. If there were others trying to take advantage of the situation to ﬁnish the kill, then what our two sects fought tooth and nail for at Qing Yun Hill, wouldn’t it be…”
Zeng ShuShu reached out a hand and patted Li Xun’s shoulder, laughed and said, “I agree Li senior-brother, great minds truly think alike! Ha ha, ha ha ha...”
They studied each other and laughed, just then, a derisive snort came the side. It was from Lu XueQi. The two, surprised, turned to look at her.
Zeng ShuShu asked in a low voice, "Lu senior-sister, what is with you, did we say something wrong?"
Lu XueQi gave him a cold look , turned her head away and sneered, "What a repulsive countenance!"
Zeng ShuShu was stunned, for a moment did not understand the meaning of Lu XueQi’s words. He was unsure if she was scolding him or Li Xun, or perhaps might as well the both of them. He turned his head to look at Li Xun, and the two looked at each other uncomfortably while they felt the awkwardness, unsure of what to say.
After a moment, after all Zeng ShuShu was more thick skinned, made a [ha ha], pretended he had heard nothing, spoke to Li Xun, “Li senior-brother, since the news has not spread and it isn’t other disciples from FenXiang Valley, then there is something very odd about these tracks!”
Li Xun frowned, clearly thinking hard. As he was just about to speak, Lu XueQi turned back towards them and said coldly, "Beast Deity!"
Zeng ShuShu and Li Xun stood shocked, their expressions full of disbelief.
After a while, Zeng ShuShu nodded slowly. Though there was still some hesitation, he said, “This… even though what Lu senior-sister said was… wild, but thinking about it, it indeed is possible!” Li Xun’s expression was contrary to Zeng ShuShu. He looked like he wanted to say something but hesitated and shook his head, “Forget it, let's continue on and keep a look out. Speculating here would not do anybody any good.”
Continuing, he said to the two of them, “You two should rest, I will check in on my juniors.”
Zeng ShuShu nodded and said, "Li senior-brother, please go ahead!"
After cautioning them to be careful, Li Xun turned to walk to the back.
Once Li Xun had walked far enough, Zeng ShuShu turned his head towards Lu XueQi's back, smiled and said, "Lu senior- sister, could it be that you were scolding me earlier?"
Lu XueQi let out a disdainful snort, neither admitting or denying the truth of that statement. By doing that, she seemed to giving tacit agreement. Zeng ShuShu forced a laugh, walked slowly to Lu XueQi’s side and spoke in a low voice, “Lu senior-sister, there is something I would like to ask you."
Lu XueQi glanced at him and was surprised. Zeng ShuShu looked very serious, and that was very unusual. Immediately, she asked, "What?"
Zeng ShuShu took a deep breath, looked around before whispering, "Lu senior-sister, tell me honestly. Our sect’s Zhu Xian Ancient Sword, is it truly damaged?”
Lu XueQi face paled to a white colour, a gleam in her eyes ﬂashed, stared at Zeng ShuShu. Even her TianYa celestial sword, that faint blue glow like autumn waters, seemed to be buzzing, stretching the moment, before returning.
Zeng ShuShu’s expression changed, felt as if the woman in front of him seemed to be ice a moment ago, now seemed to have become as sharp as a needle. He involuntarily took a step back and whispered, “Lu senior-sister, there is no need for this!” Lu XueQi stared coldly at him, "You asking this question, what is the meaning of it?"
Zeng ShuShu smiled lightly and said, "I am also a disciple of QingYun sect, how would I not be concern about such a matter? WenMin senior-sister’s hasty return, most likely is to report this matter back to the various teachers isn’t it?”
Lu XueQi said nothing, just continued to stare at him coldly.
Zeng ShuShu nodded, “Alright, alright, Lu senior-sister, look, I have no bad intention, just that there are some things that happened within this period which are highly suspicious, there isn’t much opportunities along the journey to discuss this with you, so I am taking advantage of this moment now.”
Lu XueQi looked at him, “What kind of things?"
Zeng ShuShu coughed once before whispering, "What kind of a person do you think FenXiang Valley’s leader Yun YiLan is?” Lu XueQi frowned, "What do you mean?"
Zeng ShuShu smiled lightly and said, “Let’s say it like this, do you think Yun master valley is a simple minded person? Or how about a person who hates evil and make the world’s Good Faction as his responsibility, doesn’t guard against fellow Good Faction Qing Yun disciples at all?”
Lu XueQi snorted and said nothing, but her disdain expression revealed her words, evidently disagreeing completely with Zeng ShuShu’s questions.
Zeng ShuShu was not angry, it seemed he already knew Lu XueQi would react this way. He continued, "Since we all know that Yun master valley is not a warm hearted compassionate or of a simple mind, then on that day in the Mountain River Hall when he abruptly asked the three of us about Zhu Xian Ancient Sword being damaged, isn’t that strange?”
Lu XueQi took a deep breath, and looked at Zeng ShuShu without saying a word. Zeng ShuShu was a little embarrassment, and said, “Alright! I know speaking bad things about a highly respected elder behind his back is indeed inappropriate. However, you see, thinking back about these matters, things are somewhat strange…”
"There is nothing inappropriate about it." Lu XueQi clear and cold voice cut in, seemed couldn’t be bothered about Zeng ShuShu’s slightly ajar mouth, coldly said, “What’s said is said, what’s the apprehension for. From Qing Yun Hill till date, he is not a so-called good person too!”
"Eh ..." Zeng ShuShu was both surprised and amused, and was speechless at that moment. He never would have dreamed that the proper and inﬂexible Lu XueQi was actually more iconoclastic than himself, directly saying aloud her contempt for a highly respected senior of prestige and reputation. However, on reﬂection, this quiet and exquisite incomparable beauty, with that highly respected senior and his disciples, seemed to really have quite a history between them!
Looking at Lu XueQi, Zeng ShuShu for some reason, felt a chill on the back of his neck. His intuition made him questioned, has he inadvertently kicked the hornet’s nest? He coughed at once, hurrying to change the topic. “This, eh, oh, let’s not be concerning ourselves with his moral standing. I mean, this matter, Yun master valley at least have several areas of unusualness...”
“How did he know about the damage to Zhu Xian Ancient Sword, that’s one.” Lu XueQi interrupted, her expression did not change, but her eyes revealed a trace of glint, like dazzling crystals. “Second, once he knew, why did he tell us. He knew very well that once this news is revealed by himself, we would have to report it to Qing Yun various teachers. In that case, wouldn’t the relationship between FenXiang Valley and Qing Yun sect change immediately?”
Zeng ShuShu nodded repeatedly, and said, “I knew with Lu senior-sister’s intelligence, deﬁnitely will not overlook these crucial matters.” He paused for a moment before continuing, “According to this then, there are only two possibilities, ﬁrst, Qing Yun sect has a spy that is supplying him with information. He knew news that even me this Qing Yun disciple was not privy to, which means that the spy has a considerable position. However, with his reveal, wouldn’t it expose that spy’s identity?” Lu XueQi snorted, and said, "Second, what is the purpose of him telling us? To remind Qing Yun sect that he already knew this secret, or to warn the various teachers, that FenXiang Valley is no longer afraid of Qing Yun sect?”
Zeng ShuShu looked intensely at Lu XueQi, sighed and said, “That was what I was thinking too, turns out you have been thinking the same too. To think I wanted to remind you. But on reﬂection, when you asked WenMin senior-sister return back to Qing Yun, it was to report these matters to the various teachers right!”
Lu XueQi was silent, and merely nodded her head.
The corner of Zeng ShuShu’s twitched, and he abruptly released a long sigh ﬁlled with sorrow.
Startled, Lu XueQi asked, "What’s with you?"
Zeng ShuShu laughed bitterly, and said, “I, I was sighing about our sect Zhu Xian Ancient Sword. Frankly, these few days even though I have arrived at this conclusion, but my heart wanted to deny it so badly. I was hoping I was wrong.”
Lu XueQi said nothing, but turned her head quietly to stare into the distance. The depths of the forest were dark and secretive, the path ahead without the smallest bit of light.
Zeng ShuShu released a long breath, shook his head and said, "Forget it, thinking about it won’t be of any use. We can only take it a step at a time. I wonder, what exactly has Yun valley master got up his sleeve?”
Lu XueQi did not answer, her gaze unconsciously drawn back to the faint tracks they had found earlier.
Zeng ShuShu whispered from the side, "Actually what you said about the Beast Deity although is possible, I don’t think it is him.”
Lu XueQi responded, "Then who do you think it is?" Zeng ShuShu pondered a moment, and whispered, "If what that Li Xun said was true, if it's really not their own FenXiang Valley disciples, I am afraid that these tracks would most likely be from Evil Sect’s remaining members.”
Lu XueQi jolted and turned her head, the beautiful complexion was marred with emotions for the ﬁrst time, “Why do you say so?”
Zeng ShuShu pointed to the tracks, and said, "You see, although these tracks are fuzzy, but it is clear that these are made by humans. If FenXiang Valley disciples never came here before, then there are no other sects in Good Faction that is as familiar with the Ten Thousands Great Mountains, it is difﬁcult to imagine that they would be able to track to this point. But Evil Sect is different. That year after the big war, Evil Sect was driven out by the Good Fraction, such inhospitable natural environment like this, most likely they would have come before. So I think it is highly possible that it’s them.”
"What do you say, Lu senior-sister?" Zeng ShuShu turned around and asked, but when he saw Lu XueQi's expression, he couldn’t help but stare in shock. That beautiful woman was staring at the tracks in a daze, her face pale with a faint blush, emanating deep from within the skin and faintly captivating. In the middle of this desolated and cold ancient forest, she stood there woodenly, as if she had been sucked into a particular strange dream, and was no longer able to hear the people next to her.
Chapter 198 - Old Haunts
Qing Yun Hill, TongTian Peak, Founders Ancestral Hall.
The lush green trees in the grove were the same as before, dense and full of vitality, the light morning mist drifted slowly across the forest, branches and tree leaves everywhere, above the wild ﬂowers petals in the grasses, crystal dewdrops trembled gently in the breeze. In the distance, melodious and beautiful birdsong travelled out from the depths of the jungle, hearing it, it cleared one’s body and heart, like being in paradise.
In this secular scenic place, Taoism-like celestial atmosphere, a short and stout ﬁgure slowly appeared on the small path in the forest, it was Tian BuYi.
The surrounding scenery seemed somewhat in disharmony to Tian BuYi’s grave expression, his eyes staring straight ahead, his face reﬂecting his heavy heart. At this moment, there was not a single soul beside him, and that was a little strange, although Tian BuYi as Big Bamboo Valley leader, was also one of the very important ﬁgures of Qing Yun sect, but visiting TongTian Peak’s sacred Founders Ancestral Hall privately given his status, it was also clearly strange.
Along the mountain road, there were no Qing Yun disciples keeping watch, there was only silence along the way. Amongst the birdsong in the light wind, Tian BuYi passed through that famous trifurcated path, gradually saw the majestic cornices deep in the forest.
A light bell sounded from an unknown location, from the direction of the mountain ahead, echoing around Qing Yun Hill.
That hollow fading echo made Tian BuYi stopped in his tracks, turned back and surveyed the scene.
The ﬁrmament, the sky was also limitless blue! Thousands and thousands of years, as if it had never changed.
Tian BuYi’s face gradually turned solemn, silently stood silent for a while, and then again turning back and continued on his journey to Founders Ancestral Hall once more.
The massive stone steps revealed in front of him, the Founders Ancestral Hall was still the same, like a giant sleeping gently in the arms of the forest. The hall’s big doors remained opened as before, the interior still dusky, even the specks of light emanating from the joss sticks and candles seemed to also be in a deep sleep, everything, was so peaceful.
Only that, outside this Founders Ancestral Hall, at the bottom of the steps, stood a young man with his back to Tian BuYi. Tian BuYi frowned and walked over.
Hearing the footsteps, the young man was surprised. He was not expecting anyone to visit at this time. He turned around quickly. Tian BuYi came face to face with the young man, and they were both shocked. That young man was Lin JingYu.
Tian BuYi immediately called to mind the previous conversations he heard from his disciples that Lin JingYu had been keeping watch here in Founders Ancestral Hall. It was said that he was keeping vigil for someone, but as to who that “someone” was, no one seemed to know. However, Tian BuYi was not in the mood at present to ponder over this. The two of them were not on good terms, and as they looked at each other, they did not speak immediately, the atmosphere became a little awkward.
In the end Lin JingYu coughed once and asked in a low voice, “Tian teacher uncle, why are you here at such an early hour?”
Tian BuYi glanced at him before moving his gaze to the darkness of the Founders Ancestral Hall, and said, “I am here looking for someone. What are you doing standing outside the hall so early in the morning?”
Lin JingYu’s expression changed slightly, and a trace of bitter smile seemed to ﬂit across his face. He glanced at the Founders Ancestral Hall, and did not answer.
Tian BuYi asked lightly, “Is there someone inside, is it sect head senior brother?”
Lin JingYu nodded and said, “Yes, sect head teacher uncle is in the main hall… He ordered me to wait outside, without his call, not a single TongTian Peak disciple is allowed to enter.”
Tian BuYi snorted and asked coldly, “I remember you are still Long Shou Valley branch’s disciple, why did you come over to TongTian Peak here and instead look after the branch for DaoXuan senior brother?”
Lin JingYu turned white, his head hung low and did not speak.
Tian BuYi ignored him, lifted his leg and strided, stepped up the stairs. Lin JingYu was surprised, hurried forward and said, “Tian teacher uncle, what are you doing?”
Tian BuYi said indifferently, “I came here, naturally is to enter. I am looking to discuss some things with sect head senior brother.”
Lin JingYu frowned and said, “Tian teacher uncle, sect head teacher uncle said that he did not want to see anyone, without his permission, no one from TongTian Peak...”
“I am not a disciple of TongTian Peak!” Tian BuYi interrupted Lin JingYu coldly.
Lin JingYu stopped, momentarily made speechless by Tian BuYi.
Tian BuYi said nothing more, walked up the stone steps and towards the hall. Lin JingYu jerked, as if he still wanted to block Tian BuYi but then he stopped, stared at that short and stout ﬁgure, his eyes glimmering.
Stepping over the high threshold, a faint smell of sandalwood enveloped, the huge shadows from deep inside the hall effusing out, lightly blocking the bright light from entering Founders Ancestral Hall.
Tian BuYi stood in place for a moment before making his way slowly into the depths of the hall. His footsteps unhurried, his expression slowly changing.
Immense red painted pillars scattered throughout the hall, supporting the majestic building. The yellow curtains hanging down from the ceiling draped quietly beside the pillars, many of which looked old and worn, looking at it, that fading yellow revealed out a feeling of vicissitudes of life.
It was as if the past was frozen here. The hall was very quiet, there was almost no sound except for Tian BuYi’s footsteps reverberating into the shadows.
Behind the huge altar table in the distance, numerous light specks from the candles burned silently, like many strange and mysterious eyes watching the ﬁgure walking in the shadows of the hall.
Turning past the thickest pillar in the hall, walking past the hanging yellow banners, Tian BuYi ﬁnally stopped.
There was an open space in front of him, with three rows of praying mats on the ground, each row seven mats, in the middle mat of the ﬁrst row, a familiar ﬁgure sat, unmoving. In front of the mat, a massive altar table stood with a spread of offerings of fruits. In the middle, a big incense pot, strangely, there was only three joss sticks, their smoke rising in slow spirals.
Through the smoke surrounding the table, in the heavy darkness behind the table, the countless spiritual tablets could be vaguely seen, each of which seemed to have writings, properly written on the tablets in the shadows. Tian BuYi’s expression, slowly became heavy with a trace of respectfulness, facing the ancestors of Qing Yun sect, his eyes ﬁrst rested for a moment at that once familiar back ﬁgure, and then quietly walked up.
Reverend Dao Xuan’s body, slightly moved, but did not look back.
Tian BuYi slowly walked to the altar table, looked at the numerous tablets shrouded in the shadows, inhaled deeply, and then from the incense pack next to the incense burner, took out three thin incenses out, carefully lighted them up from candle beside, stepped back, standing three chi before the altar, respectfully held the incenses and bowed three times.
Where Reverend DaoXuan sat, was only six chi from the altar, but that faint light ahead, seemed unable to illuminate where he was. In the dim shadows, he slowly looked up, Tian BuYi’s ﬁgure, stood back facing him.
In that darkness, suddenly, like the ghost ﬁres of the netherworld, [wu] leapt up, two bright glints instantly shone. And almost at the same time, like an invisible ghost wail sweeping through the hall, all of the incenses and candles, other than Tian BuYi’s ones, all brightened up.
Tian BuYi right now had ﬁnished his prayers, stepped up and was about to insert the sticks into the burner but his body suddenly stopped, even the hand holding the incense, also paused in the air.
Inside the hall, instantly fell into a dead silence, two ﬁgures, one standing one sitting, as if frozen, motionless. The distant yellow curtains, for some reason, as if a breeze was blowing past the hall, gently ﬂuttered a few times, and slowly stopped.
Outside the hall, Lin JingYu was frowning and pondering but suddenly sensing something, abruptly looked up, looked over at the silent and dim hall, a faint surprise on his face.
In the confusion, the hall which had been in slumber, like a strange beast being awaken, coldly opened its eyes.
And for an unknown amount of time, the mysterious ghost ﬁres in Reverend DaoXuan’s eyes suddenly disappeared, it appeared and disappeared suddenly. Following which the eyes slowly closed, the malevolent atmosphere immediately also died down, the surrounding ﬁres, gradually lost their brightness, resumed their original faint lights.
The incenses in Tian BuYi’s hands continued to burn with its smoke rising in spirals, the three lit thin incenses were faintly discernible in the dark. Just that when the thin sticks trembled, white ash like white cotton fell softly onto Tian BuYi’s hand.
Tian BuYi appeared indifferent, glanced coldly at the ashes on the back of his hand, stood silently for a moment, shook his hand gently to get rid of the ash, and then stepped forward, respectfully inserted his three incense sticks in the incense burner.
The six fragrant incense sticks, burned in the incense burner at the same time, light smoke gently drifted, raising in slow spirals.
Tian BuYi said nothing, bowed three times facing the memorial tablet, paying his respects and then, he turned slowly to face the ﬁgure sitting upright on the praying mat.
“Reverend DaoXuan senior brother,” he stared deeply at that man, for some reason, his eyes had surprise, grief and indistinct anguish, said slowly, “We meet again!”
Most of Reverend DaoXuan’s face was shrouded in the darkness and was indistinct. At Tian BuYi’s words however, he seemed to have turned a deaf ear and had no reaction, still sitting quietly.
Tian BuYi stood there and looked at him for short while, said nothing, but his expression turned increasingly heavy. The corner of his mouth twitched, he strided, towards Reverend DaoXuan’s, at a prayer mat less than three chi away and also sat down.
In the hall, silence.
Southern border, ten thousands great mountains, the black- burnt mountain summit. Along the journey, the sinister ghostly wails became increasingly unnerving, the Yin wind that came from nowhere was also howling incessantly and felt like knives on the skin. If it wasn’t because Ghost Li and Jin PingEr were both highly skilled, just these wailing and bone-chilling winds would have driven them mad.
The surrounding sinister atmosphere intensiﬁed, the two of them began to take more precautions. However, when they walked to the valley they could see in the distance the entrance to the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, and did not encountered any danger or attack. This land full of wild countrysides like a ghost town, was actually deafeningly silent, not only there wasn’t any ferocious demon beasts, there was not even a trace of the poisonous insects that were rampant when they entered Ten Thousands Great Mountains.
This sinister area seemed to be unexpectedly the safest place within the inhospitable Ten Thousands Great Mountains…
Ghost Li and Jin PingEr stood above a small hill, surveying into the distance that ancient cave, indistinctly they could see, that stone statue erected outside the entrance. The two of them had their eyebrows pinched, they had ﬁnally arrived, but the serenity brought them greater worry.
Jin PingEr pointed towards the cave and said, “That is the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave. When I pursued that black clothed man to here, I saw it with my own eyes the resurrection of the Beast Deity in this cave.”
Ghost Li nodded slightly, then looked around the cave surroundings, but except for the bottomless dark hole, there was nothing but sheer cliffs and strange savage rocks, and several zhangs high up above the entrance, tightly pressing against the stone walls, there was a thick layer of black cloud, slowly drifting in midair like a water cloud. Looking at that concentrated black colour, it was clear without asking, it must be highly toxic. Looking with a quick glance, there was nowhere an ordinary person could go, it was a dead trap.
Pulling his gaze back, Ghost Li muttered to himself for a moment before saying, “Shall we enter?”
Jin PingEr hesitated slightly for a moment, but in the end she nodded her head and said, “Forget it, we’ve come all the way here, how could we retreat, let’s go!”
Ghost Li glanced at her, and saw Jin PingEr looking a little peculiar and slightly pale. It was clear that she had some apprehensions about that mysterious cave. In fact, she was not alone, even the monkey Xiao Hui on Ghost Li’s shoulder seemed especially quiet, his usual temperament gone.
As if she had felt it, Jin PingEr turned towards Ghost Li and suddenly smiled, revealing beautiful white teeth, and said, “I’m alright, let’s go over!”
Ghost Li nodded, and headed in ﬁrst. Jin PingEr followed behind, steadily towards that Subdue Devil Ancient Cave.
The crunching sound of the footsteps on hard scorched black rocks were lost in the incessant whistling Yin wind. As they got closer to the ancient cave, the bitingly cold wind became stronger, the sinister chill in the wind, became colder.
By now, the two of them have discovered that the bone chilling Yin wind blowing across the land originated from that ancient cave.
As they got closer to the cave, the surrounding light seemed to gradually dim, and more and more of the light were blocked by the black cloud above the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, as if this place did not permit light to enter.
And the old stone statue standing at the cave entrance, facing the depths of the cave, ﬁnally became distinct to their eyes.
Although this was not a very long road, but to the two of them it seemed like they had been walking for a long time. When they ﬁnally stood at the entrance of the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, the sky had turned completely dark, and the warm sunlight shining on them had disappeared above the black cloud.
Ghost Li turned slowly to the entrance, stood before the stone statue of a woman’s likeness.
The dusky light illuminating her body... The wind and frost of the last thousands and thousands of years, slowly worn the initial soft and beautiful gloss away, to coarse, in the time that brought great changes to the world, how many eyes, once like this quietly watched your face.
Time moved forward like the torrential water in a long river, never once stopping for anything, the ﬁrst emotions, the ﬁrst memory, those countless bits and traces that once deeply engraved in your heart, turned out, in the end it would still be forgotten by humans.
Leaving only the least bit trace of the legendary said, after the long passage of time, carelessly mentioned by the later generations.
The beauty you once had, the former heroics you once did, before time, turned to ashes.
The icy wind blew past the clothes and onto the body, the gazes within these thousands and thousands of years, maybe, in the end it could not be compared to, a moment of regret! A soft hand gently pat his shoulder, the monkey Xiao Hui’s [zhi zhi] cries, rang in his ears, startled, Ghost Li jerked and took a step back and then snapping alert, he realised he had unintentionally lost himself while gazing at the female statue.
With that thought, Ghost Li’s back felt like it was pricked with a needle, his mind astonished. With his current level of skills, his will was resolute, and yet when he faced this LingLong witch stone statue, he had unconsciously fell to the power contained in the stone, that was no small feat.
Ghost Li composed himself, and turned his head to look at Jin PingEr, if it wasn’t for Jin PingEr’s reminder, he wouldn’t know how long he would still be mesmerized. But how did Jin PingEr guard against this statue? Could it be that this lady had some unexpected and hidden strength?
Ghost Li turned to look, and couldn’t help but be startled. Even though Jin PingEr was standing beside him and had reached out to pat his shoulder, her body was in the opposite direction, facing the entrance of the cave with her back to the status, completely ignoring the face of the statue. Ghost Li frowned and asked, “What are you doing?”
Jin PingEr smiled and said, “This stone statue is very powerful, didn’t I tell you before?”
Ghost Li frowned even more, grunted and took a deep breath. At this time the Xiao Hui that was crouching on his shoulder seemed to become impatient, his tail swinging. He jumped off from Ghost Li’s shoulder suddenly and jumped onto the statue, and climbing a few times, ﬁnally sat down on the head of the stone statue.
Ghost Li’s countenance changed, and he said sternly, “Xiao Hui, come here.”
The monkey looked at Ghost Li, scratched his head and [zhi zhi] twice, but in the end jumped back on Ghost Li’s shoulder.
Jin PingEr stood on the side chuckling, “Why are you scaring the monkey for, he was just playful...” Jin PingEr trailed off, astonished, staring at Ghost Li’s solemn expression, he straightened his clothes and respectfully bowed to the stone statue.
Jin PingEr asked in surprise, “What are you doing now?”
Ghost Li looked indifferent, did not answer, merely gazing deeply at the stone statue and cupped his hands together, before turning and said blandly, “Nothing, let’s go in!”
The deep and serene ancient cave, gusts of Yin wind, was just before them.
Jin PingEr followed behind Ghost Li, her gaze on the obviously bored monkey Xiao Hui, and then on Ghost Li and said, “Why did you pay respects to the stone statue?”
Ghost Li paused in his steps, and then continued walking. He said calmly, “The demeanour of the predecessor, although had long disappeared but in the people’s hearts, there is always something worthy of respect.” Jin PingEr frowned, not really understanding Ghost Li’s riddle and was about to ask further, but Ghost Li had approached close to the entrance.
Jin PingEr caught up quickly, frowning, “Hey, I’m talking to you! Why are you walking so fast? I have not told you yet, when I was here the last time, there was a ferocious spirit. Even though most likely it would be killed by that Beast Deity, but this cave entrance most likely...”
At this, Jin PingEr’s voice abruptly died, and at the same time, Ghost Li’s footsteps stopped.
The two of them stood several chi away from the entrance of the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, staring at the sinister dark cave, a white cold mist slowly emerged, in the bitingly strong cold Yin wind, it did not showed signs of dissipating.
As they watched that white cold mist gathering bigger and bigger, the volume getting bigger, and ﬁnally formed, an enormous ﬁgure faintly discernable in the white cold mist. It roared, thundering and blending in with the whistling of the Yin wind, becoming more powerful, like a ferocious celestial deity.
Jin PingEr watched the white cold mist, sighed and shook her head, “Alright, now you see it, there’s a very powerful and bad tempered ferocious spirit!”
Chapter 199 - Merits
The Yin wind blew harder and harder, ﬂapping Ghost Li and Jin PingEr’s clothes loudly. They stood at the cave entrance, watching the spirit which was forming into its massive shape.
Eyes as big as bells, abruptly opened in the white mist, faint blood-red glow revealed, the ferocious spirit’s colossal body shrouded over, his eyes fell onto the two mortals below him.
"Who is it, dare to come to this place?"
The spirit’s voice suddenly rang out, forceful and deafening, the surrounding mountain walls seemed to be trembling.
But after a moment, the ﬁerce spirit seemed to discover something, was startled for a moment, his eyes turned to Jin PingEr who was standing behind Ghost Li, “You again?”
Jin PingEr smiled, her charms boundless, said, "Yes! It’s me, we meet again.” The spirit gave an angry howl, the sound echoing far, the deep cave behind it seemed to reverberate his cries, “Why have you come here again, isn’t it enough that you have disturbed the goddess the last time?"
Jin PingEr was still contemplating on how to deal with this spirit, from that day situation, this guardian deﬁnitely was not someone easy to deal with. Just that while she was scheming, her face was still smiling.
Jin PingEr was about to speak, suddenly heard Ghost Li said, "Are you the Black Tiger, one of the southern border seven heroes who followed LingLong shaman lady into the Ten Thousand Great Mountains?"
Jin PingEr stunned, turned to look at Ghost Li, saw him looking solemn, watching that spirit.
But almost at the same time Ghost Li asked that question, that spirit was also stunned, as if the name ‘Black Tiger’, was like a heavy punch hitting deep within him. Even if it was a metamorphosed evil ghost ferocious spirit, even if it was abandoned by the world, thousands and thousands of years keeping watch solitary, but in the end there was still some memories, hidden deep inside the hearts…
"Who...are you?" The forceful voice of the spirit, suddenly turned hoarse, completely different when he ﬁrst appeared.
Ghost Li looked at that spirit surrounded by uncanny voice, his eyes ﬂashed with complicated expression, slowly said, "The seven who followed LingLong shaman lady, in the end ﬁve returned and established the southern border ﬁve tribes which we know today. Leaving two who were real brothers and had been with LingLong shaman lady the longest, Black Tiger and Black Wood, they did not come back. The ancient shaman tribe legend said, the elder brother Black Tiger was loyal and brave, the younger brother Black Wood steadfast and dedicated, I see that you are especially reverence towards this statue, ﬁrm and tenacious for these thousands and thousands of years, not regretting evolving into a ferocious spirit, so I guessed you are Black Tiger, is that right?"
That ﬁerce spirit was silent for a long time, his eyes gazed at Ghost Li, Ghost Li in that stare, did not show any fear, met his eyes squarely.
Slowly, the white mist around the ﬁerce spirit rose, the red colour around his eyes turned darker, even the bone- penetrating chill at the entrance of the cave, seemed to turn colder.
Xiao Hui who was crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, seemed uneasy, quietly called out twice.
"Who exactly are you, actually know about the shaman tribe past?” The ﬁerce spirit’s original angry voice seemed to change, his tone contained an inexplicable chill.
Ghost Li seemed not to feel anything, only looked at the huge shadow, said, "Most of the world probably can’t remember things that happened too long ago, just that there will still be legends after all, bit by bit passed down."
He looked at the ﬁerce spirit, word by word said, "The southern border today, the descendants of the shaman tribe, there are still people who remember you!" The ﬁerce spirit’s eyes closed, and for a long time did not opened.
Jin PingEr stood behind, her brows slightly wrinkled up, looked at the ﬁerce spirit, and looked at Ghost Li again, these so-called ancient shaman tribe LingLong statue legends, she knew nothing of it, but looking at the reaction of the ﬁerce spirit, apparently what Ghost Li said was actually true. All along, she assumed within the Evil Sect, nobody would know more about the various strange things in this Ten Thousand Great Mountain than her, unexpectedly Ghost Li actually had secrets.
She looked at that man's ﬁgure, her heart slightly in awe, her eyes instead turned colder.
After a long time, the Yin wind was still blowing coldly. Above their heads, the dark clouds rolled silently, the cold breeze soughing, a desolate scenery.
In this silence, suddenly, that ﬁerce spirit Black Tiger suddenly looked up, lifted his head to the sky and howled, his cries mournful, as if the countless vicissitudes of his past, were all within the cries. When the cries were still reverberating faintly in the distant mountains, he had already turned his head back, the rumbling sounds, as if he was feeling agitated but in the end, still suppressed it.
That ﬁerce spirit gazed at Ghost Li for a long time, suddenly slightly dipped his head, and said that.
Ghost Li was expressionless, slowly retreated half a step, closed his eyes and slightly bowed, considered returning the gesture.
The ﬁerce spirit nodded his head, his tone gradually calmed down, said, "I didn’t expect that in this world somebody still remember our goddess and us, he, but when we followed shaman lady deep into this Ten Thousand Great Mountain, when did we once thought we would leave our names in history?" The eyes of the ﬁerce spirit, slowly turned to outside of the cave, on that LingLong shaman goddess statue, his eyes, also instantly turned gentle, even his voice, seemed lighter, "But coming here, I presume it is not speciﬁcally to look for me this not human nor ghost thing and tell me these words right?”
Ghost Li was silent for a moment, said, "Yes, before I came, although I have heard about LingLong shaman lady and the seven of you, but I did not know your current situation, and I did not know you will be here..."
He looked up, looked at the spirit, slowly said, "My reason for coming here, is because of that Beast Deity in this cave.”
The spirit enormous ﬁgure trembled, even he was afraid of the name.
However, the spirit’s eyes did not look at him, instead paused on the statue, said, "Why are you all looking for him?”
Ghost Li said indifferently, "We want to ﬁnd him, and then kill him." The spirit abruptly looked back, staring at Ghost Li, slowly said, "Just the two of you?”
Ghost Li slowly nodded, said, "Yes.”
The white mist shrouding the ﬁerce spirit suddenly started to spin rapidly, making his ﬁgure blurred, after a long while, he was heard speaking coldly, "That’s right, the Beast Deity is indeed in this Subdue Devil ancient cave."
Jin PingEr shook, a hint of delight ﬂashed past her face. Ghost Li however did not show any happy expression, was still looking at the ﬁerce spirit.
That ﬁerce spirit was also looking at him, suddenly said, "I see from your attire, most likely you are not from southern border, should be from Central Plains?”
Ghost Li nodded and said, "Yes.” The spirit pondered for a moment, in the ghostly atmosphere, he seemed to look uncertain, said, "Do you know, why do I guard the cave entrance?”
Ghost Li said, "I do not know."
The spirit said, “Without doubt I do it to protect the goddess statue, but other than that, I am here guarding, ﬁrstly is not to allow external forces to resurrect this evildoer, secondly not to allow ignorant people into the cave and meet their deaths, can you understand?"
Ghost Li nodded his head.
The ﬁerce spirit smiled bitterly, said, "But in the end I am still unworthy of the goddess’s great trust, was ... was tricked by that bastard, made a serious mistake, the evildoer is resurrected, the world’s livings in great misery ..." At the end, his voice gradually quietened down, then, the ﬁerce spirit seemed to compose himself, said again, "I have already given up all hope, thought no one in the world can stop this evildoer, unexpectedly some time ago, he returned heavily injured, the greatness of Central Plains heroes lends glory to the place, there is actually still a master who is able to injure him, it is really a shock to me."
Ghost Li’s eyes slightly twitched, suddenly sneered, said, "You do not have to be too mindful of it, although the beast is defeated but the person who defeated him, might not be better off!”
The ﬁerce spirit was slightly taken aback, did not know what Ghost Li meant but right now he did not bother to get to the bottom, said, "To be able to eliminate the evildoer, naturally it is the best, I have this intention no less than several thousand years, only regret that at that time even though he was not yet fully awake, I too could do nothing to him. You all come from Central Plains, who knows maybe you all will be able to do it. If really succeed..."
The ghostly air around the spirit suddenly disappeared, with glaring eyes, he loudly said, "I thank all of you here on behalf of goddess!"
Having said that, he slowly shifted his body, opening a path, revealing behind him that deep bottomless cave. Ghost Li glanced into the depths of the cave, turned to look deeply at the spirit, the ﬁerce spirit was also staring at him.
Ghost Li slowly nodded, did not speak, slowly walked in. When he passed by the ﬁerce spirit, Xiao Hui suddenly lifted its head, curiously looked at the spirit, its three eyes blinked continuously.
The spirit suddenly spoke loudly to the back ﬁgure of Ghost Li, "There is one more thing, you must be careful. The Beast Deity did not return alone, other than that vicious TaoTie beside him, there is still another evildoer, highly skilled, you must be very careful"
Ghost Li paused, said, "As far as I know, his underlings thirteen demon beasts, have all been annihilated.”
The ﬁerce spirit shook his head, "Not one of the thirteen demon beasts, before this, even I have not seen that evildoer before, you must be careful.”
Ghost Li slowly nodded, continued down into the cave. Following which, Jin PingEr also slowly followed up, the two ﬁgures and a monkey, slowly descended into the darkness, wavering forward in the depths of the shadows, slowly and ﬁnally disappeared.
The spirit’s body ghostly air, gradually blurred, but his huge eyes, kept staring at the darkness in the depths of the cave. Suddenly, at that deepest darkness, he suddenly issued a deafening roar, like huge waves toppling the mountains and overturning the seas, even that chilling Yin wind ﬂowed backwards, the extremely hard rock walls rumbled loudly, like the sky was crashing and earth quaking!
In that raging wild roar, the ﬁerce spirit’s huge body, slowly submerged into the darkness…
But, when the ﬁerce spirit disappeared at the same time, he did not notice, outside the entrance, behind that statue, a black human ﬁgure, it was that person who instigated the southern border ﬁve tribes internal strife, snatched back the ﬁve tribes sacred weapons, resulting in the resurrection of the Beast Deity, Black Wood. The black and loose robe as usual, enveloped his entire body, emanating chill air, but his eyes, was glimmering with complicated feelings, looking at the cave. When the ﬁerce spirit, who was also once his brother, disappeared, he slowly looked away, once again, looked at that LingLong shaman lady’s statue.
In the rustling Yin wind, he seemed to be also mumbling, "Goddess..."
At the same time, far from the burnt black mountain summit where the cave was, in that vast black forest, a team of more than a dozen people slowly walked out. The ﬁrst one, was in white like frost, an extremely beautiful looking lady, in her hand a blue TianYa Celestial Sword, her face like clear frost, her eyes yet contained an inexplicable distress and vicissitudes of life, silently, gazing towards this black-burnt mountain summit…
Central Plains, thirty miles outside HeYang City.
On the main road, after so long, most of the refugees had returned to their southern hometown, the place here was not far from the foot of Qing Yun Hill, yet could still see shabbily attired commoners trudging with difﬁculty. But during which, there were more small business and hawkers set up, compared to the catastrophe which occurred several months ago, it was very much better.
"Immortal giving pointers, come read your remaining life’s fate..." Suddenly, a loud cry rang out, breaking the silence here, it was especially piercing.
"Fortune, career luck in government ofﬁcial, marriage, whereabouts; geomancy, physiognomy, glyphomancy, fortune from feeling the bones, all-knowing, come come come, only ﬁve silvers per person! It is already cheap..."
Zhou YiXian holding the ‘Immortal Guide’ sign bamboo pole, strided over, shouting along the way, not one did not glance over.
Wild Dog Taoist who was behind him did not speak, as usual carrying all the luggage. Xiao Huan was instead stunned, lifted her head up from the wordless black-cover book which she had been carefully reading during the journey, asked in surprised, “Grandpa, what did you just say, how many silvers per person?”
Zhou YiXian turned, [he he] smiled, Taoist immortal-like demeanour, stretched out ﬁve ﬁngers, solemnly said, "Five silvers.”
Xiao Huan frowned, said, "But yesterday you called out three silvers! Also, what exactly is with you these days, three days ago we were still ﬁne like in the past, each customer ﬁve copper, but you have the nerve, these few days you leapt and jumped rising up, ﬁve coppers increasing to one silver, after one day to two silvers, yesterday it became three silvers, today you simply directly ask for ﬁve silvers..."
Xiao Huan walked to Zhou YiXian, assessed him carefully up and down, Zhou YiXian felt unnerved by her, stepped back and made a dry cough, said, "You little lass, what are you looking at?" Xiao Huan ignored him, stretched out her hand and felt his forehead, Zhou YiXian was startled, stepped back and made way, said, "What are you doing behaving so oddly?"
Xiao Huan [pei] a cry, said, "You are the one behaving oddly! I am checking if you are having a fever, your brains fried muddled!"
Then she turned to Wild Dog Taoist, asked, "Priest, you say, is my grandfather muddleheaded recently?”
Because it was in the day, Wild Dog Taoist was as usual his face wrapped up in cloth, but his two eyes sparkling, extremely bright, at the moment asked a question by Xiao Huan, [he he] laughed twice, and then immediately nodded and said, "He, uh, I mean senior is aged, it is inevitable..."
Zhou YiXian ahead jumped up, furious. Xiao Huan rolled her eyes at him, said, "Grandpa, what are you so agitated for, I think what Priest said is very reasonable, looking at your behaviour these days, I'm afraid you are really somehow senile."
Zhou YiXian seemed particularly sensitive about ‘senile’ these three words, he was even more infuriated, angrily said, "What do you two know about, how old are both of you only, how much do you know about the ways of the world, I do all these isn’t it to…”
Xiao Huan cut in, “Is it, then tell us, why are you desperately raising the prices?”
Zhou YiXian snorted, waved the bamboo pole, pointed towards the sparsely populated pedestrians, said, "Look at these people, and the people that we encountered along the way, are they all refugees?"
Xiao Huan nodded her head, said, "That’s right, everyone is!
Including us too.” Zhou YiXian stiﬂed a moment, his old face slightly red, then acted as he did not hear it.
Xiao Huan said, "Since they are refugees, away from their hometowns, I think no one actually wants to read their fortunes, I was thinking if we should lower the price, but grandpa you have the nerve, desperately increasing the price."
Zhou YiXian placed his hands behind, the bamboo pole at his back, sneered, "According to what you say, I'd be wrong, but you look at these days, those that came to read their fortunes, did their numbers increase or decrease?"
Xiao Huan was taken aback for a moment, frowned, Wild Dog Taoist instead interrupted, said, "Speaking of it, it seems that the number of people reading their fortunes really increased!"
Zhou YiXian grunted again, a conceited look on his face, spoke to Xiao Huan, "You with your young age, what do you know? Let me tell you, it goes without saying in a castastrophe, everyone leave their homes, they might not have the intention to read their fortunes. But this time it is very different, the magnitude of this catastrophe, is not seen for ten thousand years, the world in utter misery, everyone defensive, who would know if we will be alive tomorrow? In this unusual situation, with me this immortal showing them the path, wouldn’t all rush like ducks?"
Xiao Huan bowed her head and pondered, after a long time, slowly shook her and sighed, a frustrated look on her face.
Wild Dog Taoist was still confused, could not help but said, "Then why are you still increasing the price?”
Zhou YiXian’s eyes rolled, said, "This kind of profound knowledge, how can I teach you!”
Wild Dog Taoist met with a rebuff, stammered and retreated, Xiao Huan sighed and said, "This I understand more or less now.”
Wild Dog Taoist and Zhou YiXian were surprised, Zhou YiXian said, "Oh, try explaining it?” Xiao Huan shrugged her shoulders, lightly said, "Nothing more than you expecting the world to be in a panic, couldn’t manage their own lives, let alone cherishing material things? On the contrary, the higher you raise your price, the commoners will instead believe that this person’s skills is profound, extraordinary I guessed... these actually I don’t believe it all along, thought these kind of small tricks, even an idiot will be able to tell, unexpectedly, unexpectedly there are still so many people believing it."
Zhou YiXian shook his head and said, "You are wrong, Xiao Huan."
Xiao Huan was stunned, said, "What?
Zhou YiXian said, "You are right at the front but the last sentence, it is not that they can’t tell, just that they can’t get over it."
Wild Dog Taoist beside him was confused, said, "Can’t get over what?” Zhou YiXian glanced at the people walking haltingly around them, said, "The world's common people, how would they all be foolish, just that at life and death critical juncture, how many refused to believe in themselves, would rather listen to others even if it is just comfort. I give them pointers, the words spoken are mostly about their future and later half of their lives, will be much better than today's situation. With such words, they pay out silvers and also feel at ease."
Xiao Huan suddenly said, "Grandpa, do you really tell from physiognomy, or making wild guesses?”
Zhou YiXian smiled and said, "I am making wild guesses.”
Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist looked at each other, unable to speak.
Zhou YiXian looked at the sky, looked at the vast ﬁrmament, watching for a long time, he leisurely said, "Such catastrophe, there may be one but not two, otherwise even Heaven will not tolerate it." He then turned back and smiled and said, "That being the case, the future days of course will be very much better than today’s uncertain survival, so I am not considered to be lying! On the contrary, old man me along the way, comforted and advised countless of displaced citizens, we don’t know how many with my words, regain a lease of life again, ashes burn once more, such merit, how can it be achieved by those monks and taoist priests who chant scriptures all day long in the temple?"
He stretched his hand and patted Xiao Huan’s head, a celestial look, awe-inspiring righteousness, appearing very much like a great old man’s feelings of salvation and bemoaning the state of the universe, pitying the fate of mankind, tragically going down hell by himself to save the world, even though receiving so much shinning white silvers, it was also the cardinal principles of righteousness, unable to save people if he did not collect, after collecting it was even more the vicissitudes of righteousness from the act of boundless compassion and mercy.
He then sighed and said, "Life, is really lonely..."
... For a moment there was no voices, a blanket of silence.
Zhou YiXian brows wrinkled, looked away from the sky, and looked around.
"Hey, you two, why are you walking so fast for ..."
Chapter 200 - Real Fury
Qing Yun Mountain, TongTian Peak.
In the Crystal Hall, the past solemn and majestic scene, seemed to change on this day, ﬂurry of footsteps were heard inside and outside of the hall incessantly, suppressed yet panicked whispers spread out like water ripples. In the distant, there even seemed to be a racket, this would never be imagined happening at TongTian Peak, and listening to it right now, the racket seemed to be getting louder and approaching towards TongTian Peak.
Crystal Hall was situated at high ground, towering above the sea of clouds, even if passed through the Rainbow Bridge, going up from the stone stairs beside the Jade Pool, it would still be a distance but from the volume of the din, most likely they had went up more than half of the stairs.
The oldest branch TongTian Peak’s most senior disciple Xiao YiCai heard the news and rushed over, escorted by a few junior disciples, he strided into Crystal Hall, for some reason on his dashing face, revealed tiredness, not knowing what could made this highly-skilled outstanding talent of Qing Yun sect younger generation spend so much effort and energy.
But although he looked tired, once he entered the great hall, it was still a solemn face, his brows frowning, slightly angry said, “What is it? Isn’t there enough trouble yet, who is it so daring, actually making so much noise here!”
At the side, the few young disciples who were keeping guard at the great hall entrance, hurried over. Ever since after the battle with the Beast Deity, Reverend DaoXuan had been in seclusion, and his temper strangely turned eccentric, all of the affairs in TongTian Peak were mostly handled by this very popular big senior brother, in the younger disciples’ eyes, they were very much in awe of him.
But at the moment the din was getting louder, all of the younger disciples instead looked odd, one of them came forward, suppressed his voice and said, “Xiao senior brother, Su teacher uncle from Big Bamboo Valley is here."
Xiao YiCai was nonplussed, asked in surprised, “SuRu Su teacher uncle?” The group all nodded.
Xiao YiCai said, "What is she doing here, since she is here, why didn’t anyone report it and instead create such a racket..."
Before he could ﬁnish, the din outside the hall suddenly spiked, as if someone ﬁnally lost his patience, a clear whistle was heard from far, like a phoenix cry, carefree and leisurely.
Xiao YiCai’s expression changed, hurriedly walked to the door, while speaking, “This is bad, let’s go quickly...wait, Cao junior brother, Yu junior brother, both of you immediately go to the backyard, invite the few teacher uncles to come over and persuade Su teacher uncle, we are all juniors, not appropriate to speak, quickly go!"
The two young disciples beside him quickly nodded, turned and ran to the back of the hall.
Xiao YiCai walked with big steps to the entrance, looking about to reach, the clear whistle suddenly became urgent, making sharp noise. Xiao YiCai’s face turned white, his ﬁgure in a ﬂash drifted to the entrance, at the same time raised his voice and deeply shouted, “Su teacher uncle, let’s talk it out, please don’t…”
Before he could ﬁnished, he suddenly heard [aiya, aiyo] sounds, Xiao YiCai’s body paused and stiffened.
Outside the entrance, under the image of the warm and bright blue sky, [pu tong, pu tong] several human ﬁgures fell in from outside, not one could stand upright, each turning non- stopped, after a moment [hua la la] fell togther onto the ground.
The Crystal Hall was in an uproar.
A cold snort, a slim ﬁgure was seen, quietly appeared at the entrance, it was SuRu. This sound, instantly stunned the entire hall, in the huge Crystal Hall, there was not a sound, everyone’s stares, all gathered onto that lady who displayed her powers.
Glossy black hair bunned up, inserted with a golden phoenix with red-jade eyes in ﬂight hairpin, three pieces of glass jade bells dangled from the phoenix mouth, gently wavering. Two graceful eyebrows, beautiful yet cold, pure and even more charming; red lips tightly closed, cheeks like snow, a pair of eyes extremely clear and bright, carried thirty percent of anger. The usual loose attire was gone, right now SuRu in plain white clothes, tightly wrapped her body, less charming but more animated; at the same time her hands was clutching a dark green celestial sword sheath, the sword shining, although the scabbard was covering it, but the layers of sword energy, invisible yet diffusing, made one feel that this sword was spiritual, about to leap out and dance.
Xiao YiCai’s eyes twitched a few times, subconsciously felt a chill behind his back.
SuRu face was like frost, her eyes cold, swept over the crowd at the hall, that glimpse, although the face was beautiful but no one dared to meet her gaze. Xiao YiCai glanced sideways at those younger disciples who were groaning and slowly getting up from the ground, although they had some bruises but all were minor injuries, not to mention tendons or bones, even blood was rare.
This glance, made his heart calmed down much, seemed like although SuRu Su teacher uncle for some reason erupted in fury but in the end still cherished her relationship with the sect and did not hit out hard, if not according to those elders’ idle talk about "that woman was really powerful", these junior brothers would have suffered more.
However even though it was so, Xiao YiCai’s eyes suddenly turned cold, SuRu's eyes in the end fell on him.
Xiao YiCai made a dry laugh, took a step, cupped his hands together and bowed, while secretly glanced at the dark green sword in her hand, said, "This... Su teacher uncle why are you so free today, come to visit our TongTian Peak.”
SuRu coldly looked at Xiao YiCai, coldly snorted, simply ignored Xiao YiCai's questions, showed no intention of returned Xiao YiCai's greeting too, still standing proudly there, her face like frost, coldly said, “Done with the nonsense, go and call DaoXuan out here!”
Once the words were said, a stir immediately went through the TongTian Peak disciples which nearly numbered a hundred in the hall.
Xiao YiCai’s countenance also changed, stunned for a long while, said, "Su teacher uncle, has something happened? Teacher has always been in seclusion! Oh right, where is Tian teacher uncle! Why did he not come with you?”
It was better if he did not mention Tian BuYi, once he said it, SuRu’s face immediately changed, the expressions on her face changed constantly, thirty percent sorrow, thirty percent anxiety, and even more thirty percent anger and a trace of murderous cold air.
Suddenly, a low roar like a wild beast cry, came from this Crystal Hall. Everyone was surprised, and then discovered, this sound actually came from that strange dark-green sword in SuRu’s hand, SuRu’s ﬁve ﬁngers were white from clutching the sword, the slender knuckles were even whiter from lack of blood, as if it had sensed something, the sword’s bright glow, at the moment, turned brighter, made a sound like a beast roar.
This sword’s momentum vigorous and forceful, ﬁery and unyielding, in SuRu’s hands, who seemed gentle and amiable usually, did not seem incompatible at all, instead like a tiger that had grown wings, increasing the murderous aura .
Xiao YiCai subconsciously stepped back, his scalp tingling, but did not know what he had said wrong, and of all people this was his own senior teacher uncle, and her husband Tian BuYi was Qing Yun sect highly esteemed Big Bamboo leader, no matter what this was not someone he could offend easily.
Accordingly, SuRu trespassing Crystal Hall, was already made a big offence, but looking at her, there was no sign of fear, clearly a look that not only wanted to make trouble but wanted to make it into a big one. In the dark-green sword strange and deep roars, SuRu facing Xiao YiCai, drawled word by word, “Call DaoXuan out, I want to question him properly, what did he do to BuYi exactly?”
Xiao YiCai’s was shocked, suddenly looked up, a instant deafening silence in the hall.
Then at this time, suddenly a ﬂurry of hurried footsteps were heard from the back of the hall, a haggard old voice was heard from afar, “Su junior sister, has something happened to BuYi junior brother? Let’s talk it over, we are all Qing Yun sect, you must not be rash!”
Following that voice, several elders came out in a single ﬁle from the back of the hall, the ﬁrst two, one with black hair, the other in white, at the same time with white beard. However, that haggard voice, belonged to the person with black hair, as for the white beard elder, it was the Fan elder, who was the arbitrator for Qing Yun Hill Seven branches martial arts competition when Zhang Xiao Fan was still there.
These few decades, Qing Yun sect, experienced two great wars, the older generation of elders, either dead or injured, not much of them left.
SuRu looked at the old men who were walking over, frowned, snorted but showed no sign of stepping down. The white bearded old man Fan elder glanced at SuRu, coughed once, his mouth was instead muttering a few words.
Next to him, the black hair elder glanced around, saw several of the disciples in bruises, he frowned, was about to talk to SuRu, SuRu instead coldly said to that Fan elder, “Fan senior brother, are you scolding me quietly?"
Fan elder stared at by her, turned red but immediately shook his head, “No no, Su junior sister, I have with you and Tian junior brother many years of friendship, I can’t wait to admire you, how would I scold you?"
The black hair elder turned and glanced at Fan elder, frowned.
Fan elder made a dry laugh, gestured and said, "Yang senior brother, you say, you say ..." The person with black-hair whom was addressed as Yang senior brother, turned his head around, facing SuRu said, "Su junior sister, alright, cool down ﬁrst, what is happening exactly, tell the details to me. You are usually a careful and gentle person, why is it today you did...this that even Tian junior brother might not even dare to do it?"
SuRu face was still cold, but that sword beside her seemed to weaken slightly, did not make the deep strange roars, everyone quietly heaved a sigh of relief, when SuRu was holding the sword and standing there, the force of the power, really made the Qing Yun disciples tremble with fear.
SuRu looked at Yang elder, her lips twitched, sneered, "What BuYi dare not do, doesn’t mean I will not. I want to see DaoXuan, call him out."
Several elders looked at each other, after a while, Yang elder coughed, said, "Su junior sister, sect head senior brother has been in seclusion for many days, it is really inconvenience for him to appear, why don’t you ﬁrst say what is it that makes you so angry! And, what happened to Tian junior brother, why is he not with you?” SuRu frowned, her delicate and beautiful face increased with thirty percent of obstination and anger, saying loudly, "Isn’t he detained by you all TongTian Peak!”
Once she said those words, Yang elder, Fan elder and everyone on TongTian Peak were shocked, Yang elder quickly said, “Su junior sister, you must not speak carelessly, Tian junior brother is one of Qing Yun seven branches leaders, in our sect, other than Reverend DaoXuan senior brother, he and Zeng ShuChang Zeng senior brother are the most highly regarded, furthermore everyone are fellow disciples, where would there be detained such thing, deﬁnitely not!”
SuRu sneered, sternly said, "Don’t think that we do not know what happened to DaoXuan, it is precisely because we know the implications, BuYi then took the risk and went up to talk to him. But until present, there is no news, who do I look for if not you all?"
Yang elder was stunned, Fan elder who was standing beside turned to Xiao YiCai said, "Xiao nephew, Big Bamboo Valley leader Tian BuYi, has he visited TongTian Peak recently?" Xiao YiCai shook his head at a loss, said, "No, disciple has always been responsible for TongTian Peak’s affairs, but within these few months, Tian teacher uncle really did not inform us that he was coming to TongTian Peak!"
SuRu glanced at Fan elder, coldly said, "What do think he was coming here for, still would submit invitation for visitation, slowly enjoying his tea while waiting?"
Fan elder turned red, did not speak, Yang elder was already speaking to Xiao YiCai, "Xiao nephew, since so, go immediately to Founders Ancestral Hall and ask sect head senior brother, if it’s possible, best if he could come here, speaking before everyone, we will all understand."
Xiao YiCai hesitated for a moment, nodded his head and said, "Yes, I will go now." After speaking, he turned and quickly walked to the back hall, with big steps.
Yang elder watched Xiao YiCai disappeared, turned and smiled and said, "Su junior sister, I know you and your husband have deep affections, couldn’t help but your mind in a tangle due to your worries, but this time recklessly forcing your way in TongTian Peak, this is really a little too much!"
SuRu was silent for a moment, lightly said, "Yang senior brother, you are right, if it is true that BuYi is ﬁne, and it is only me over imagining, SuRu will receive Qing Yun sect punishment..."
Yang elder waved his hand, smiled and said, "Look at you, I do not mean that ..."
SuRu suddenly switched the topic, cut in and spoke with curt ﬁnality, "But if it is true that something happened to BuYi here, Yang senior brother, " her clear bright eyes glimmered, a glint brushed past, her words reﬂecting her worries and agitation, without wavering or leaving room for repent, "Then Qing Yun sect for the past two thousand years, would have an unﬁlial disciple SuRu, for the person that she missed and worries, on this Qing Yun sect TongTian Peak, to the generations of ancestors, to that famous sect head senior brother, demand justice!” A light shout, she waved her hand like knife, piercing the air, the dark green sword light instantly surged, a sharp sound broke out and followed by a mufﬂed sound, dust ﬂew, everyone only felt the ground below shaking slightly, like an earthquake. Until the dust settled down, they saw the sword in SuRu’s hand, together with the sheath struck into the solid sturdy rock ﬂoor in the center of the hall, and the surrounding ground, did not have a single trace of crack.
Mysteriously, the dark green sword in the ground, although left SuRu’s hand but sword’s power was even stronger, like a wild beast tasting blood, again growled.
That Yang elder looked at the sword which was embedded before him and SuRu, smiled bitterly and said, “Su junior sister, this, this has yet to reach that stage isn’t it, why did you even bring out the ‘Ink Snow’ which has been sealed up for hundred over years?”
SuRu sneered, "Yang senior brother, you know it, it was BuYi who wanted me to seal up this Ink Snow, because with him around, sealing it, I too do not give a damn. But if something happened to him, I will use this Ink Snow, to seek guidance from sect head senior brother." Yang elder shook his head and made a wry smile, said, "You
... I thought you being married to Tian junior brother for so many years, would have changed your temper long ago...forget it, forget it, anyway I am unable to talk you out, we better go over and sit, wait together for Xiao YiCai to invite sect head senior brother!”
SuRu was expressionless but snorted, and slowly walked to the side with Yang elder and sat down.
In the Crystal Hall, the atmosphere slowly ease down, Yang elder beside lowered his voice, spoke to SuRu, probably still trying to comfort her not to be too rush. The other elders either stood behind Yang elder or also sat down, only Fan elder took his time and walked to the entrance, staying far from SuRu. As for the other younger disciples, their status low, including SuRu’s anger, each one standing further and further away.
Among the TongTian Peak elders, Fan elder was the most easy-going, people also found him funny and humorous, although his cultivation inevitably was lacking as compared to the other elders, but among the younger disciples, he was the most popular, whether towards his own disciples or other nephews, were all very close.
At this time everyone saw Fan elder standing aside by himself, many of the younger disciples quietly went over, among them some whom were knocked down by SuRu and also his own disciples.
Fan elder looked at the few disciples, shook his head, a young disciple could not help but asked in a small voice, “Teacher, that, that SuRu teacher uncle why why is she so ﬁerce! Usually she is very gentle, why is it that when she is so ﬁerce she is this powerful?"
Fan elder with his white beard rolled his eyes at the disciple, with a [hei] sound, blew his beard, said, “You fellows only just joined Qing Yun sect, what do you know? When that woman was being shrewish at that time, there was nothing she can’t do!”
The young disciples who were slowly surrounding him, everyone of them absorbed in listening, someone softly exclaimed, “Ah! Really can’t tell! SuRu teacher uncle with such...beauty, must be a reigning beauty at that time?”
Fan elder [hei hei] laughed, secretly glanced at SuRu and Yang elder, they were talking, clearly did not notice the young disciples, and so felt bold and said, “Speaking of it, she was also considered to be the most famous among our generation of female disciples, like...hmm, “ he nodded, suddenly revealed a mysterious smile, whispered, “like that Lu XueQi from Small Bamboo Valley.”
The disciples all around made an [ah] sound, all looked like they comprehended, each nodding, showing that they understood Fan elder’s meaning.
Fan elder, with hundreds responding to a single call, couldn’t help but feel conceited, said, “Actually to speak of it at the beginning, although her skills was not bad but there were others who were stronger, like DaoXuan senior brother and Wan senior brother, they are all rare talents for thousand years, naturally were stronger than her. Just that because she was young, and beautiful, including she has her teacher ZhenYu the great teacher as backing, nobody dared to mess with her, therefore she dared to create trouble everywhere. I still remember, when she was making a mess in Qing Yun sect just by herself, including that almost as ﬁerce as her, the mother tiger ShuiYue...er, stinky boy, why are you hitting me, be well-behaved, I have not ﬁnished!”
Fan elder excitedly, continued, "At that time that ShuiYue, oh, why are all of your expressions like this, ooh, I know, you all don’t understand who I am referring to? Hehe, actually it is that Small Bamboo Valley ShuiYue Master, she is SuRu senior sister, at that time with that aggressive temperament, was the same as SuRu, famous in our sect. Hey, stinky boy, why do you keep pulling me, I tell you, I am still your teacher, don’t be so rude...eh, where was I?”
"...Oh, I remembered, speaking about ShuiYue. That SuRu at that time although was shrewd, did all kinds of things but ever since she married Big Bamboo Valley Tian BuYi, she seemed to turn into another person, just like what you all see, the few of us elders actually felt very strange, but it is still a good thing in the end! But speaking about that ShuiYue, she did not change the slightest, how ﬁerce she was at that time, she is still that ﬁerce, even the disciples under her, for example that Lu XueQi that you all liked the best, almost identical to her at that time...seeing a ghost!" Fan elder whipped his body around, angrily said, “Stinky boy, why do you keep pulling me, you have not have a beating for a long time, your skin is feeling itchy is it..."
His words suddenly cut off, mouth slightly ajar, saw the circle of disciples with their heads bowed standing aside, silent and motionless. Outside the door, ShuiYue Master looking indifferent, coldly stood there watching Fan elder, at her side, WenMin was also looking at Fan elder, but it was a look of anger.
Fan elder’s forehead instantly was full of sweat, his old face all red, stepped back a few steps, extremely embarrassed, kept forcing a smile.
ShuiYue Master slowly walked in, but she no longer look at Fan elder, instead it was WenMin who was reluctant, hatefully glared at him.
Fan elder among Qing Yun elders, had always been well- known for talking too much, this time being caught on the spot, it was extremely embarrassing. But SuRu and Yang elder clearly did not know what was happening over here, SuRu saw ShuiYue Master, a trace of surprise on her face, said, “Senior sister, why are you here?”
ShuiYue Master slightly frowned, looked around and said, "I would like to ask you ﬁrst! You are not at Big Bamboo Valley, why are you here alone, if there is anything, it should be Tian BuYi to come, why are you here?”
SuRu’s mouth moved, watching her senior sister, suddenly her heart pained, her eyes turned red.
ShuiYue Master was stunned, a uneasy feeling in her heart, saw Yang elder beside, Yang elder shook his head and forced a smile, but did not know where to start. ShuiYue Master felt slightly anxious, she grew up with SuRu, the depth of their friendship, was deﬁnitely not ordinary, like real sisters, this time watching SuRu like something serious had happened, she was even more worried, suddenly she saw the dark-green sword in the ground - Ink Snow, the shock was even more.
When she was asked to ask more, suddenly hurried footsteps from the rear hall sounded, Xiao YiCai like a whirlwind swept in, a panic look rarely seen on his face.
"Something happened, something happened!...”
Everyone was shocked, SuRu like being struck by thunderbolt, felt a [hong] sound in her mind, spinning her around, that worry which had been eating at her, almost felt like bursting but she felt blackness before her eyes, almost fainted.
ShuiYue Master caught hold of the pale-faced SuRu, turned to Xiao YiCai and shouted, "What is it, say it clearly!"