Chapter 611: Natural Disaster: Fallen Night
Until an hour later, when all the dishes on the table had been wiped clean, did Shen Ying touch her tummy, indicating that she was full. Yi Qing returned next door with the small table, then those female cultivators returned in succession.
But unlike the blind eyes from earlier, in moments, everyone's gaze towards her was oddly filled with -envy?
Shen Ying fell into a daze. Before she could think further, an arm still a talisman on it suddenly came closer and very naturally went around her shoulders. "Hey! Sister! I am Lu Lin, may I know how to address you?"
"So it's Sister Shen!" She greeted with cupped fists before continuing to ask, "By the way, the one earlier… is he your disciple?" As she spoke, she even winked teasingly.
"Mm… I guess he is." Shen Ying nodded.
Her eyes lit up instantly and she said with some excitement, "I see that his cultivation is not bad, I'm guessing he has already perfected the Foundation Establishment phase?"
"Nope!" Accurately speaking, he was above that.
"Stop hiding it, I'm at the foundation establishment level too, would I not be able to tell?" She gave her a look that said 'your act isn't even convincing anymore', then she nervously rubbed her hands together. "Um… I see that your disciple is as good looking as an immortal, I wonder what his name is? Does… does he have a dao partner?"
Shen Ying faltered for a moment then turned and surveyed her from top to bottom. "You want to woo him?"
"Ah! Woo…" Lu Lin was stunned, as if never expecting her to be this direct. Her face was a deep red at once and she stuttered nervously, "Fellow… Fellow Daoist, don't… don't spout nonsense! I merely have a slight admiration for him, I would never dare to act so brusquely to the young master. I'm just asking whether he has a dao partner while we're on the topic."
"He does!" Shen Ying nodded.
"What?" Lu Lin's face fell instantly, even the girls eavesdropping beside them also revealed slightly disappointed expressions. She even subconsciously asked, "Who is it?"
Lu Lin: "…"
Shen Ying vaguely felt that the enthusiasm that everyone had for her was extinguished in one go. Their gazes became even odder, besides looking like they couldn't express themselves in a few words, there was also some: indignation that the good cabbage had been twiddled by a pig!
Shen Ying: "…" Why was she feeling so displeased?
Perhaps seeing that she didn't look too pleased, Lu Lin patted her shoulders, slightly gritting her teeth. "I didn't expect that your disciple could go on to become your dao partner. Sister, though you look rather boyish, turns out you still have the game?"
"…" Shen Ying stiffened, what the hell was boyish? She'd specially changed into new pink clothes this morning? Where did she look boy…
She subconsciously looked across the room, at the girls who were all dressed in green, her eyes then widened instantly as she was enlightened. Oh~~~~~~~~ So this was it!
(⊙ o ⊙)
"Shen Ying!" Just as she was about to say something, Father Niu's voice was transmitted to her, the door was pushed open at once. Sure enough, Lonemoon was leaning on the frame, wearing a solemn look.
The room went silent as everyone's eyes looked towards the door together, some gasps could faintly be heard.
But Lonemoon did not feel anything much, glancing across the room, his eyes fixed on Shen Ying in the right and he spoke directly, "Come over for a while, there's something urgent!" Then he turned and walked next door.
"Oh." Shen Ying responded, about to follow him outside but a grip tightened on her hand.
Lu Lin who was chatting with her was grabbing her hand with a death grip, her eyes wide. "Sister, do… don't tell me he… he he is… your dao partner too?"
"Oh, he isn't!" Shen Ying shook her head, Lu Lin sighed in relief then heard her add, "He is my father!"
"Ah? Ah!" Lu Lin faltered, was he that old? She couldn't tell!
Seeing that she was about to step out, she immediately pulled her back, like she had recovered from a daze again. "Then do you mind… having a stepmother?"
Do you want to go bankrupt?
"Shen Ying!" A hastening voice sounded from outside, Shen Ying then walked out quickly, turning to the left.
"Wrong direction, this side!"
Hence, she turned back towards the right…
Inside the room.
Lonemoon conveniently set up several isolating array formations.
"I just went out to get information about the situation of this little world." Lonemoon recalled the reaction of those people when he went down to ask around and frowned instinctively. "A huge disaster has indeed occurred here, right now the people on this spirit boat were all rescued by the sects nearby and are heading for refuge. There are about a few thousand people on the spirit boat right now. And there isn't only one boat, I heard all the sects are out on the move, in other areas there are a few thousand more such spirit boats."
Yi Qing calculated the population mentally and frowned too. "What kind of disaster was it?" That could result in such dire aftermaths, even when the sects worked together, they could only bring everyone away instead of solving the problem.
"They call it 'Fallen Night'." Lonemoon continued with a solemn expression. "I've never heard of this name before too, but according to the people on this boat, Fallen Night is a type of natural disaster, it is invisible, no one knows how it is formed either. The more they cannot predict when it will occur, but everything in its path are destroyed, only a minority escape death by sheer luck."
Yi Qing's expression darkened as he questioned directly. "Invisible?"
"That's right!" Lonemoon nodded. "They said that the location Fallen Night appears at each time is uncertain, but once it happens, tens of thousands of miles around will be affected. Living creatures that are chosen by Fallen Night will be instantly reduced to ashes, no remains left. Even the earth becomes a barren land where not even an inch of grass will grow."
"Barren land?" Yi Qing faltered, voicing his thoughts as if he had recalled something. "Could it be that the 'Fallen Night' they speak of is related to the ever-expanding darkness in this world?"
"I thought so too!" Lonemoon nodded. "The place where we landed in this little world was the border between light and darkness, the 'Fallen Night' they speak of could be this darkness." He turned and looked around their surroundings that was still gloomy. "But the odd thing is, other than us, it seems like everyone else cannot see the darkness all around."
"Have they been corroded by invaders?" Chef was suddenly reminded, the manager who invaded back then had used similar means to control Father Niu.
"Nope!" Lonemoon shook his head. "I checked their meridians using my divine perception, from the primordial spirits to the souls, I did not see any problems." That was odd then, what exactly was this surrounding darkness then? And not just these people, even after entering for so long, they themselves didn't sense anything amiss, it was a little strange no matter how they looked at it!
"Shen Ying." The two of them could only turn and look towards the person nibbling on the fruit beside them. "How about you? Any findings? What exactly is this darkness?"
Shen Ying fell in a momentary daze before cocking her head to a side. "Nothing!"
The expressions of the duo became graver, even Shen Ying did not sense anything?
"But…" She suddenly added, "This darkness doesn't seem like something external."
Yi Qing: "…" What?
Chapter 612: Cause of Darkness
If it wasn't external, was it locally produced?
"What do you mean?"
Shen Ying took a bite of a fruit and turned to look at them. "You two have never examined the Spirit Qi of this world?"
"Spirit Qi?" Lonemoon paused, subconsciously releasing his divine perception. "What has this got to do with Spirit Qi…"
Wait a moment!
He stopped midway in his speech again, because not only did he sensed Spirit Qi, he also realized that the surrounding Spirit Qi wasn't weak, not inferior compared to those worlds that with abundant Spirit Qi in their plane. But they were in a sea of darkness. In theory Spirit Qi was the purest, it cannot be mixed with other auras, not to mention Yin Qi, demonic aura, the dark auras, they repel each other. Even when they were in Void Land, while all sorts of energies were mixed together, Spirit Qi also repelled them, so it wasn't rich.
However, it was different here. Though they were in this darkness, the surrounding Spirit Qi was very gentle and stable, there wasn't any repulsion, as if even the Spirit Qi was completely unfeeling towards this darkness, like it was naturally part of it.
"How could this be?" What exactly was this darkness?
"Why don't you take a closer look." Shen Ying added again.
Both of their exchanged a glance, looking solemn, they closed their eyes and let out their divine perception. Lonemoon started surveying the surrounding Spirit Qi whereas Yi Qing went into the meridians of the cultivators outside and started his examination. No matter whether it was the surrounding Spirit Qi or that had been led into the cultivators' bodies, there wasn't the five elements Spirit Qi that they were familiar with, but strands of a black, special aura.
Lonemoon opened his eyes abruptly. "Damn! What was that?" Yi Qing also reached out and activated a shred of the spirit qi in his body as verification. A small white light appeared in his hand at once, completely different from the darkness around, but in seconds, it was swallowed by the darkness, the light that had been dyed black disappear but the aura remained totally the same.
"Could it be that the aura here isn't Spirit Qi?!" Lonemoon was shocked.
"It is Spirit Qi." Shen Ying suddenly refuted, using her fruit to point next door. "Aren't their cultivation all very normal?"
"But this color…"
"Well, every plane has its disparities."
But this was way too big a disparity?
Hold on! After going on for so long, she still hasn't come to point on what the darkness was? "Master." Yi Qing seemed to have caught something and asked in a low voice, "If the Spirit Qi of this plane was like this in the first place, then why is it that the Spirit Qi we saw when we were outside this darkness previously was different?" When they'd first arrived at the border of light and darkness, the Spirit Qi there was normal.
"Yeah!" Lonemoon also thought of this question, why was the white area normal then?
"Perhaps it hasn't spread there?" Shen Ying said.
"Spre…" Yi Qing fell into a momentary daze before his eyes widened abruptly. "Master means to say, this darkness might have existed in this plane from the start but someone let it out, that's why it led to such a situation?"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
"How is that possible?" Lonemoon was still confused. "How are you sure that this darkness wasn't brought in by an invader?" If this darkness wasn't the work of an invader, how could it have spread through the entire plane. The plane tree we saw earlier, it was almost turning black entirely.
"Because everyone is alive." Shen Ying pointed to the door and said, "Lots of them."
Lonemoon was dazed for a moment before he came back to his senses. That's right! If the so-called 'Fallen Night' was really the work of an invader, then with his ability that was strong enough to deal with a manager, how could these mortals of a little world survive. Besides, it was quite a big number of people, more importantly, the order of the little world had zero signs of chaos.
Invaders that entered other planes with ill intentions only have two motives, they either, like the scoundrels of the Big Dao Organization, want to absorb the energy of the plane to strengthen themselves, or like the invader Shen Jing had dealt with, here for territory. They wouldn't take any pity on the living creatures on the plane, it was even necessary to remove those living creatures.
Unless this invader was especially st*pid? On top of snatching territory, he even intended on taking over the care of the children? Only, if the living creatures are not wiped out and the plane isn't destroyed, even if he killed off the manager, there would come a day where the plane consciousness selects a new manager, wouldn't all his efforts be in vain?
So no matter how they looked at it, this darkness doesn't seem to be something invasive. Shen Ying was right, it could have belonged to this world from the start but for some unknown reason, was let out by the invader.
Lonemoon still could not figure out the other party's intention in doing so. "Seems like we have to first find the source of this darkness before we can dig out that invader."
For the next few days, three of them stayed on the spirit boat, at ease. More and more people came on board too.
Shen Ying was used to idling around and didn't find it boring. However, those few female cultivators who didn't really pay her any attention at first suddenly showed so much enthusiasm towards her. Not only would they gather over to talk to her occasionally, they even beat around the bush to get information about Lonemoon. Those smiles were so amiable and friendly, everyone was an expression of a competent stepmother.
As a filial daughter, looking at this bunch of people who had designs on her father, Shen Ying naturally - without any questions, without holding back, without hesitation, sold her Father Niu.
"Oh, you're asking about what my Father Niu likes…"
Three days later.
The spirit boat finally landed in an immortal city, everyone alighted and entered the city while those cultivators from the sects also prepped to return.
Shen Ying and gang left late, when they got off, there weren't many people around. They were intending on entering the city to get some information but a female cultivator suddenly came chasing frantically. She looked rather familiar, seeming to be one of those who had stayed with Shen Ying, her name seemed to be Lu Lin.
"Young Master Lonemoon please stop for a moment!" Perhaps because of the rush and pursuit, her face was flushed.
"Is anything else the matter?" Lonemoon asked.
Lu Lin's face became even redder before she spoke a moment later. "Um… what plans do you have from now on? Are you returning to your sect? May I know what sect you all are from? If it's on the way, why don't… why don't you all join us, we can take care of each other during the journey too."
"There's no need." Lonemoon smile politely. "We are itinerant cultivators, no sects, we shall not disrupt fellow Daoists anymore."
"I see…" She instantly wore a look of disappointment as she stared right at Lonemoon's face, seeming to be in a daze. Lonemoon felt goosebumps rise for no reason and frowned, saying, "We still have matters to see to, we shall take our leave."
Lu Lin only seemed to sober up then. "Hold on!" Then she shoved the storage bag in her hand over. "Please take this. I am Lu Lin, a disciple of Dawning Pill Sect, if there is anything in the future, feel free to come to Dawning Pill Sect to look for me!" With that said, she gave him a deep stare, as if fearing his rejection, she did not wait for his response and turned around, walking away quickly.
"…" What the hell?
Lonemoon faltered, he had been cheating people for so long, but this still his first time encountering someone who rushed to give him money before he even acted?
He subconsciously opened the bag for a look, his mouth twitching at once, it wasn't spirit stones or artifacts inside but a pile of ingredients, spirit fruits, snacks and whatnot.
Why did she give him this? -_-|||
Lonemoon instinctively turned his head and looked at Shen Ying beside him.
"What have you said to her?"
"Nothing!" Shen Ying looked very innocent.
"If you said nothing why did she give me a bag of food?"
Shen Ying thought for a moment then added seriously, "Perhaps it's because Father Niu you're… more handsome!"
"…" Mm, that made a lot of sense, he shall accept it! But somehow something felt amiss.
Chapter 613: Itinerant Cultivators Find Lodging
This was originally a small city, but because the various sects continuously sent people here, the streets in the city were already crowded with people. However, it was still very orderly, perhaps because there were cultivators present, there wasn't much havoc.
Shen Ying and the others only realized upon entering that there weren't only disciples of Dawning Pill Sect around, disciples of many other sects were present too. In the west of the city, there were many houses built using spells, and many mortals were in queue, waiting to check in. Lonemoon could not help but get some sense of the atmosphere of modern flood control and disaster relief. It was unexpected that the relationship between the sects and mortals of this little world was rather harmonious.
Lonemoon decided to first head to the Scattered Cultivators House to find lodging. The reason why they identified as itinerant cultivators was firstly because it was more convenient and secondly, itinerant cultivators was the most well-informed. And Scattered Cultivators House was an organization of itinerant cultivators, he had already gotten the information a few days ago on the spirit boat. It was a place specially meant for all itinerant cultivators of the sects to receive and issue various missions. From finding rare herbs to hunting spirit beasts, there were all kinds of missions. So itinerant cultivators gathered there, it was best to head there to get information.
As he had found out the location beforehand, they did not spend too much time to find the place, it was all cultivators coming and going at the entrance. Once they stepped in, a lady looking like a steward turned around.
"Fellow Daoist this way… huh?" She stopped midway, looking blankly the two people who walked in, seeming to be stunned for a long time.
"Fellow Daoist? Fellow Daoist!" Lonemoon called out several times.
"Ah! Ah?" The steward then came to her senses and quickly led them in. "Two fellow Daoists, this way please, are you here to issue a mission or accept a mission?"
"We've just started practicing cultivation not too long ago, we would like to get lodging here." Lonemoon replied.
"You are an itinerant cultivator!" That person was even more shocked.
"All three of us are." Lonemoon nodded.
"Three?" The steward faltered and swept another glance at them before she caught sight of Shen Ying right at the back. As if she'd thought of something, she nodded in understanding. "I see, then I think you'd need to wait for some time." The steward pointed to the crowd inside and said, "Today is the day the missions in our hall is renewed, so we're busier." With that said, she thought for a moment and led them to a table at the side to sit down.
They followed over and settled down, unsure if it's because they were new faces, the inside that had been bustling earlier quietened down a lot. Most cultivators were turning back and looking at them.
There were many people in the hall, but oddly, most were female cultivators, only a handful were males with concealing array formations set up around them.
Lonemoon wasn't too bothered, instead, the steward that had welcomed them earlier seemed to be very curious. She asked while pouring the tea, "I see that both of you have already perfected Foundation Establishment phase, you two must be extraordinarily gifted. Why didn't you join a sect but became itinerant cultivators?" As she spoke, her gaze seemed to be uncontrollable as it kept moving onto Chef.
"We are used to being free and cannot stand restrains, so we became itinerant cultivators." Lonemoon replied.
The steward frowned. No one knew what came to her mind, but she suddenly urged, "It has always been difficult for itinerant cultivators to practice cultivation, if young masters want less trouble, it'll still be better to join a sect." With that said, she even gave Shen Ying who was eating her fruit beside her an unexplainable glare that also came with some blame.
Shen Ying was speechless. Meow meow meow? "Many thanks for your reminder." Lonemoon smiled politely then continued to ask after some thought, "By the way, before we entered the city, we saw many mortals seeking refuge here, claiming to have encountered the 'Fallen Night' disaster."
"Exactly." The steward went on. "Sigh, it erupts several times every year, the previous time was still at the border cities, tens of thousands of miles away from here, no one expected it to reach this side so quickly."
"This 'Fallen Night' is so scary, I am a little curious, where exactly did it start from?"
"Of course it's from Corroding Vacant Valley." The steward blurted out, struck with a sudden thought, she looked towards them in surprise. "Don't tell me you few are here to accept the mission on investigating Corroding Vacant Valley too?"
"There is such a mission?" Lonemoon asked.
"It was jointly issued by all the big sects." The steward explained. "This 'Fallen Night' has been a damaging source for years, the sects investigated for a long time but still did not get the cause. They could only somewhat confirm that it was related to Corroding Vacant Valley, so they're calling for everyone to go in and investigate. But Corroding Vacant Valley is extremely dangerous, it is very possible to never return, that is why the sects want to gather itinerant cultivators to go together. Though the rewards are generous, it is really too dangerous inside. Two fellow Daoists, please don't do it."
"Thank you, fellow Daoist." Seems like this darkness came from that what Corroding Vacant Valley.
The steward emphasized the danger of the Corroding Vacant Valley nervously, seeing that they had no intention of giving up, she then sighed and walked away to help them do their paperwork for their registration as itinerant cultivators. Her gaze was filled with pity and she still didn't forget to give Shen Ying who had been quiet the whole time another glare. Seeing to be extremely displeased with her laissez-faire.
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
They did not stay long in Scattered Cultivators House, after knowing that the darkness began from the Corroding Vacant Valley, they accepted the investigating mission that the steward mentioned earlier, asked for a map, then left.
Not too far outside the city, Lonemoon was planning on checking the directions on the map when Yi Qing spoke up with a frown. "There's someone following us."
"Mm, noticed long ago." Lonemoon added, "They've started following us since we left Scattered Cultivators House." Several Foundation Establishment phase cultivators and a Golden Core cultivator only, they probably noticed that there were only three of them and wanted to rob them or something so he didn't pay much attention.
Sure enough, not long after they flew out, five tall and brawny cultivators suddenly rushed out and blocked their way.
"Fellow Daoists, are you heading towards Corroding Vacant Valley?" The one that seemed to be their leader in the middle was a female cultivator dressed in blue. She stepped forward with a sleazy smile, looking across the few of them with narrowed eyes. "Why don't you join us, we can look out for each other." "Oh? Are you sure, you only want to join us on the journey?" Lonemoon glanced at the money bag that came to his doorstep and revealed a brilliant smile.
That female cultivator seemed to be shaken by his smile and her gaze instantly became more fiery. "What are you saying? All of us are proper itinerant cultivators, it was only account that the Corroding Vacant Valley is dangerous and we were afraid of the beauty getting hurt that we wanted to show a little care."
Beauty? Lonemoon subconsciously turned back and glanced at Shen Ying, when has her presence gotten so strong? Or are these few people human traffickers?
"In that case, we still got to thank you all?" Lonemoon let out a cold laugh, sweeping his gaze across them. He then realized that the other party were all female cultivators.
"No need to stand on ceremony." That female cultivator beamed with a brighter smile, the lust in her eyes about to overflow. "As long as you two listen obediently, big sister here will definitely guarantee your safety, I promise you a good life from now on."
Chapter 614: Robbing and Lusting
"We're not lacking in anything good material life requires, and we have no interest in walking together with you." Lonemoon's grin grew even wider and his eyes narrowed. "We are, however, extremely interested in the spirit stones you have in your storage bag. Why not my fellow daoist take the initiative to show us some of it?"
The other party's expression darkened. A female cultivator beside her laughed, "Hahaha… Boss, it looks like this little pretty boy doesn't like you!"
"Boss! Why are you bothering to be so polite with them? I've never seen a man who looks like this, and with such a good cultivation. Let's not waste it!"
"That's right. When we entered the city, we found that they have no sect nor family. They don't even have anyone backing them."
"To become a couple with one of these beauties is far better than killing them - that would be such a waste. Boss, if you don't want them, we will take them!" "That's right, Boss. There's a woman with them as well, but it's obvious she's a good-for-nothing. Let's take her down first."
Lonemoon: "…" What were they talking about? He stared blankly at them. When they said beauties… Were they talking about Chef and himself?
Something in his brain seemed to connect.
Before he could think any further, the lead female cultivator's expression turned even more sour. She tutted, "Hmph! At first, I wanted to treat you more nicely on account of the fact that you look good. But it looks like you're not appreciating my politeness, and crave punishment." She suddenly let off a suppressive force belonging to a Golden Core cultivator. "Don't blame me for taking action, then."
As she spoke, she conjured a jade seal in the shape of a square. She regulated her spirit Qi, then caused the dharmic weapon to float up in the air. "I do want to see who can protect you!" Once she finished speaking, her dharmic weapon flashed and flew towards them. How dare she try to use such a low-grade dharmic weapon on him? Lonemoon narrowed his eyes and moved to crush that seal, but the weapon made a sudden turn in front of him. There was a thump as it hit Shen Ying right on the forehead!
There was a clear echo…
Lonemoon, who was ready to take action: "…"
Yi Qing, who failed to defend her: "…"
The heavy seal slid down Shen Ying's body, causing a squarish image to form. Faintly, they could make out the words, "Soul- Crushing Seal".
Absolute silence fell over the entire place…
Shen Ying, who had been eating her melon and observing, remained where she was, expressionless. A minute passed, then two…
Lonemoon suddenly had a bad feeling in his gut.
"Mas… Master?" Even Chef's voice trembled as he instinctively tried to get her attention.
Suddenly, Shen Ying clenched her fist. The fruit that she had been eating became putty in her hands.
The next thing they knew, an overwhelming grievous energy began to emit from her body. She was still expressionless, but they could feel her radiating overwhelming rage as a frightening aura exploded from inside her and spread out across the entire small realm. The ground shook.
Along with a series of cracks, the entire realm began to fall apart, as if unable to withstand the pressure. Thick cracks began to appear in the ground. Even the sky was twisting out of shape. There were strong winds blowing past them, and the sun had disappeared. The entire realm looked like it was going to fall apart. "Holy shit!" Lonemoon jumped in shock. He pulled Shen Ying back before she really exploded. "Shen Ying, calm down, calm down! This is someone else's plane!" You can't just destroy it as you wish.
"Master…" Yi Qing was shocked too. "This has nothing to do with others."
It was then that Shen Ying retracted her frightening powers. Everything around them barely held itself together. The five female cultivators were already buried in the ground, unable to move because they had been unable to withstand the pressure they felt. There was fear and confusion on their faces.
What just happened? Who were they? Where were they?
Shen Ying picked up the seal from the ground and walked toward them deliberately. "You… What are you doing?" Perhaps sensing danger, the lead female cultivator stared at Shen Ying, wide-eyed. She tried to run, but she could not get her own body out of the soil. All she could do was watch as Shen Ying walked toward her with the seal in her hand, then squatted down in front of her.
Shen Ying lifted the seal up… then forcefully hit her head with it.
"You want to stamp, right? You want to leave a mark, right?
Let me do it for you…"
If the melon-eater doesn't get angry, they would always think that I'm good-for-nothing!!!
As she spoke, she continuously hit the girl's face with the seal. A moment later, the words "Soul-Crushing Seal" covered every inch of skin on her face. Even then, Shen Ying did not stop. She picked up the spirit sword next to her and carved the words into the skin on her body. After pondering for just a moment, she began to carve the words: This meat did not pass inspection - it's not fit for consumption!
Shen Ying turned around and walked toward the other girls. She scared all of their bodies in the same way, and went specifically for the parts of their bodies that would be seen by others.
Lonemoon watched on in silence. He found that the words were not only carved on their skin. There was also a special aura that they emitted so that the words were carved even on their souls. In other words,unless they went through Samsara, these words will forever be carved into their lives. They would never be able to get rid of it, no matter how high their cultivations would become.
It looked like the female cultivators had really pissed Shen Ying off this time.
Shen Ying stamped their bodies for a total of one hour before she finally calmed down and reverted to her lazy demeanour. She turned back and walked toward Father Niu with five storage bags in her hands. She shoved it to Father Niu out of habit. "Here!" Yi Qing: "…"
She didn't forget to pick up the loot after raging… Mm, suddenly, Lonemoon felt like she deserved to be treated.
Shen Ying retrieved another fruit and took a bite. After thinking for awhile, she turned to him and said, "I don't like this step-mother!"
What do you mean?
—————— Lonemoon felt like something was amiss in the world. He felt this way while they were on the spirit boat earlier, and even after they entered they entered the Scattered Cultivators House. He looked into the eyes of all the cultivators in this world, and all of them gave him a weird feeling. Even their attitudes seemed… a bit overly warm.
In the beginning, he could not figure out exactly what was so strange about the world. After they bumped into those five cultivators, however, he realised that their words seemed to carry a hidden meaning. Not only had they approached them to steal from them, it seemed like their main aim was… him and Chef? They also talked about becoming a couple? At first, Lonemoon thought that their powers were special because they were demons or something, but it was obvious he was wrong.
If there was something common in everything that had happened earlier…
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon suddenly jumped, eyes widening. "This world has no male cultivators!"
From the people who tried to rob them to the disciples of the Dawning Pill Sect, all of them were women! Not one of them was a male. At first, Lonemoon thought that the Dawning Pill Sect was just a special all-female sect. That would explain why he did not meet even a single male cultivator there However, later he realised that the entire city only contained female cultivators.
"It's not that there aren't any, but there are very few." Yi Qing turned green as he thought about this fact. If there really were no male cultivators, the people they met would have been suspicious of them once they announced that they, too, were cultivators.
Wait a moment!
"If there are so few male cultivators in this world…" Then according to the preferential treatment they gave to Lonemoon and Chef, as well as the way they treated Shen Ying with contempt after realising that she needed the two men to take care of her from time to time… "Could it be that this place is-"
"A world of female supremacy," Shen Ying completed his sentence. Lonemoon: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Son of a b*tch!
Chapter 615: Corroding Vacant Valley
The map that the Scattered Cultivators House distributed pointed them toward a place called Yao Ru City. It was said that the Yao Ru City was the only immortal city that contained a transportation array that led toward the Corroding Vacant Valley. Given Lonemoon's and Yi Qing's speed, they arrived at that immortal city in a matter of days. They went straight through the transportation array, into Corroding Vacant Valley.
The moment they emerged from the array, they felt a chilling aura all around them. There was a huge valley in front of their eyes. It was almost as if the entire earth was cut into two by that one valley. There was nothing but desert on the side they were on. The other side looked like a bottomless pitch-black hole. A black aura as dark as ink was being emitted from inside the valley.
Everything around them was already dark, but it was much darker still where the valley was, so that Lonemoon suspected there was not one shred of light in there. Even using their divine perception, they could not detect any motion. Subconsciously, Lonemoon frowned. He could discern what was inside that valley. At this time, huge crowds of cultivators were gathering in front of the valley. Most of them were itinerant cultivators, but a minority were wearing uniforms belonging to different families and sects. Everyone was watching the valley, but no one dared to explore it.
Lonemoon took the chance to scan the crowd and found that most of them were indeed female cultivators. There were a few male cultivators scattered here and there, but they were either wearing veils or masks to hide their faces. Meekly, they stood by the side. Their cultivations were all low. The highest among them was a Golden Core cultivator. What's more, most of them were surrounded by females who seemed to be protecting them.
Thus, when Lonemoon and Yi Qing openly stepped out of the array, many cultivators turned to stare at them. An obvious silence fell over the crowd. Suddenly, everyone's eyes were on them. Some were confused, some were shocked, and some were in disbelief. There were others who even activated their divine perceptions to scan the two of their bodies, as if eager to take advantage of them.
Lonemoon pursed his lips. This was the first time that he was being taken advantage of by so many brazen people. Suddenly, he became filled with rage. This damned world of female supremacy!
He released his own suppressive force, which pushed the probing eyes back where they come from. A few cultivators turned pale immediately. As if shocked by his actions, they retracted their divine perception, not daring to probe any further.
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon!" A surprised voice sounded. They saw a woman walk out of the crowd and briskly toward them. If not for the two peaks sticking out of her top, they would not have been able to tell that she was a woman. Her body was muscular and she was dressed in green robes. She looked unable to hide her surprised smile. Even her eyes twinkled as she kept her gaze on Father Niu. "What are you doing here?"
The three of them paused. Who was this again?
The woman stared at Lonemoon for awhile and seemed to recall something as her facial expression changed. "Don't tell me you want to go into the Corroding Vacant Valley?" She frowned. Looking worried, she scanned the three of them until she finally landed her gaze on Shen Ying. Disapprovingly, she said, "Fellow Daoist Shen, the Corroding Vacant Valley is so dangerous. How can you allow the two of them to take such risks?"
Shen Ying: "…" Why are you blaming me again?
"Fellow Daoist Shen, this is your fault." She began to reprimand her, "As a woman, how can you allow the men behind you to put themselves in such danger? What's more, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon is your father. Listen to me - stop this nonsense. Take them back!" Once she finished speaking, she shot Lonemoon a look of affection.
Lonemoon suddenly felt all the hairs on his body stand. Frowning, he said, "I'm not familiar with you, Fellow Daoist. Please don't worry about this. We will be careful."
"Even if you're careful, you…" The female cultivator trailed off mid-sentence. After pausing for several seconds, she said, "Don't tell me you don't remember who I am? I'm Lu Lin of the Dawning Pill Sect. We met a few days ago on the spirit boat," she reminded them, clearly disappointed.
The few of them stared blankly at her for several seconds. Suddenly, they recalled the storage bag filled with all sorts of ingredients. Foodie Ying's eyes brightened at once. She was the first among the three of them to recall who this woman was. "Oh… Prepared Step-Mother!"
Yi Qing: "…"
What the hell was Prepared Step-Mother?
Lu Lin nodded excitedly, "Yes, yes, yes, that's me!"
Lonemoon: "…" Motherf*ckker! Best believe I would call Shen Jing right at this moment!
"That's right, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon." Seeing that they had remembered who she was, Lu Lin became warmer towards them once again. She stepped forward and caught Lonemoon's eyes, then asked nervously, "Did you like the food I made for you the previous time? Fellow Daoist Shen said those were your favorites. That was why I have been collecting more from the neighboring city these days. I wonder if you'll care for it!" As she spoke, she retrieved yet another storage bag and handed it over.
Lonemoon's expression darkened at once. He turned to glare at a certain foodie. F*ck you! What did you say to her?!
Shen Ying kept silent and took a few steps back. She looked to the skies, then to the ground, acting as if she did not understand what was happening in front of her.
"Ahya, Chef, the weather is really good today."
The retarded disciple played along immediately. "That's right, Master. There's no… sun in the sky today!"
Lonemoon: "…" Do you think I wouldn't deduct your allowance just because you deny any responsibility?
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon?" Lu Lin asked, seeing that he was distracted.
"That's alright!" Lonemoon answered curtly.
"Eh?" Lu Lin stared blankly at him. "Fellow Daoist, are these not to your fancy?"
"I've sworn off them!" Can't I?
"…" Lu Lin looked absolutely confused. However, seeing that Lonemoon had suddenly turned cold toward her, she had no choice but to retract her gifts. "Well… I see!" Men were indeed fickle-minded. But Fellow Daoist Lonemoon looks cute when he's angry! The more Lu Lin looked at him, the more she liked what she was seeing. She seemed to melt in front of their eyes, hopelessly in love.
Lonemoon pursed his lips as all the hairs on his body stood up once again. This freaking world of female supremacy!
"Let's go, let's go in!" He turned to shout at the two wastrels. Just wait till we get in - then I'll settle these scores with you! He mounted his flying sword, ready to fly into the Corroding Vacant Valley.
That was when Lu Lin finally snapped out of her trance and reacted. "Wait, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, even if you really do want to go in, you can't do that now!"
"Mm?" Lonemoon turned to face her. "Why not?"
He turned to glance at the crowd who was also looking at him worriedly. Seeing that they were not about to give in, Lu Lin sighed, "This Corroding Vacant Valley has no boundaries. No one knows what the situation inside is. To prevent people from getting lost inside, the elders of the various sects are going to set up a transportation array to allow people to come back up here from inside there."
As she spoke, she pointed to the center of the crowd, at the people dressed in black.
Lonemoon instinctively activated his divine perception and indeed felt the movement of spirit Qi in the air. He turned to look at Chef.
"It's the Five Spirit Transportation Array!" Yi Qing exclaimed after identifying the array. "In this small realm, wherever there's spirit Qi, one will be able to set up an array to come back here." The only thing about this array was that it would require too much out of low-level cultivators. Even high-level cultivators would need about a month's worth of energy to come back here.
Lonemoon took a closer look at the array. Indeed, in the middle of the crowd, there was a bunch of Soul Formation cultivators. "The few of you have the waist token of itinerant cultivators, right?" Lu Lin continued, "Once the array has been activated,the token will mark your aura automatically. Then, whenever you want to come out again, just press onto the token and you'll be carried out here."
Lonemoon recalled the waist token that the itinerant cultivators got a few days before. At first, he thought they were just the equivalent of identity cards for these cultivators. So that was what they were for. It was no wonder that everybody was gathering here, not daring to go in. They were waiting for the array to be completed.
"Thank you for your help, Fellow Daoist." Although the array would be completely useless to them, Lonemoon was used to being polite.
"No… No worries." Lu Lin blushed, looking at him with that affectionate gaze once again.
"…" Motherf*cker! "The array has been activated!" Someone in the crowd shouted. The next moment, there was a blinding white light bursting out from the center of the crowd. The transportation array appeared beneath everyone's feet.
Lonemoon looked down and saw the token on his waist light up. He turned to Shen Ying and Yi Qing and said, "Let's go!"
Without further hesitation, they mounted their flying swords and followed the crowd into the Corroding Vacant Valley, into the deep darkness.
Chapter 616: Blind Together
Lonemoon was unsure if he was mistaken, but it seemed like the moment they entered the valley, something formless brushed past him. The feeling was very strange. It was like he had fallen into something. However, that feeling vanished as quickly as it came.
"Shen Ying…" He paused and turned to his two companions. It was obvious that they had noticed the same thing he did. "What was that?"
Shen Ying remained silent for a couple of seconds. "I don't know yet."
Lonemoon frowned even more deeply. He activated his divine perception to scan around the valley. Behind him, a familiar voice called out.
"Wait, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon…" Lu Lin rushed up to join them anxiously. Lonemoon pursed his lips. He turned around and asked, "Is there something else, Fellow Daoist?" Is this a leather candy?
Lu Lin stopped in front of the three of them, looking worried. "Fellow Daoists, this Corroding Vacant Valley is very deep and wide. All of you are in grave danger. Fellow Daoists Lonemoon and Yi Qing are men too…" She looked at each of them with pity and tenderness in her eyes. "Why don't the three of you stick with my Dawning Pill Sect?" She pointed to more than ten other female cultivators dressed similarly as her, standing behind her. "We will protect you!"
"There's no need!" Lonemoon turned down her offer immediately. Busybody! He turned around and continued on his way.
Lu Lin became even more anxious. "But this is far too dangerous for the three of you to tackle alone. What's more, you don't have the map around this place…"
Map! Lonemoon halted and turned back around. "You have a map of the Corroding Vacant Valley?"
Lu Lin stared blankly at him for a couple of seconds before she realized she had said too much. Nervously, she looked around. Then, she gritted her teeth and said, "I'll tell you the truth - it's not just our Dawning Pill Sect that has the map. The other sects also have a map of what this place looked like in the past. They're just unsure if they can be used."
"What it looked like in the past?" Lonemoon picked out the keywords she uttered.
"That's right!" Seeing that Lonemoon still did not understand her, Lu Lin continued, "Many years ago, the Corroding Vacant Valley did not look like this. It was said that it used to be a prosperous immortal mountain. It was rich in spirit Qi, and many sects wanted to set up base here. However, the Dark Night came and caused it to become like this overnight." Lu Lin looked around at all the cultivators from the various sects. After awhile, she said, "There are so many cultivators here, not only because everyone wants to know what exactly happened on that Dark Night, but more because everyone wants to find opportunities." So that was what happened. Lonemoon had initially thought that the people from this little realm were filled with a sense of righteousness. Little did he know that everyone was here to pick up what had been left behind. This strange situation aside - the fact that there were so many sects interested in this valley meant that this was a mystic realm filled with good loot.
"Although many years have passed and this place might not look the same as it did before, having a map is still better than not having one." Lu Lin continued seriously, "So, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, why don't you join us?"
Lonemoon lowered his gaze and changed his mind immediately. They were not in their own plane. They were managers, but their powers were limited. As opposed to activating their divine perceptions to try to make out what this place looked like, it was far better that they followed the lead of others. It just did not make any sense to turn her down.
Thus, he took on a far better attitude toward Lu Lin. Out of habit, he put on his business-like smile and warmly said, "I shall thank Fellow Daoist Lu in advance then."
He cupped his fists respectfully, but realized that Lu Lin was no longer responding. She stood rooted to the ground, staring at him glassy-eyed. "Eh? Fellow Daoist Lu? Fellow Dao-"
Holy shit! Why is your nose bleeding?!
"Eh~" Yi Qing and Shen Ying both cooed at the same time.
They narrowed their eyes and turned to face Lonemoon.
"Eh your ass!" It was obvious that he had not done anything. All he did was smile at her. "Get your lovey-dovey grins out of my face!"
"Senior Sister Lu, are you ready?" More than ten disciples of Dawning Pill Sect realized that Lu Lin had not returned for a long time. They could not help but call out to chase her. Yet, their gazes wandered to Lonemoon and Yi Qing. It was then that the dazed Lu Lin finally responded. Her face flushed a deep red as she quickly applied pressure to her nose. She turned around and said, "Coming!" With a silly grin, she led the three of them to the group of cultivators from Dawning Pill Sect.
She brought them to meet her senior uncle from the team first, introducing them briefly to him.
Lonemoon took a close look at the group. There was one female cultivators in the late stages of Nascent Soul. The others were mostly Golden Core cultivators. Maybe because Lu Lin had already greeted them in advance, the Nascent Soul cultivator did not seem intimidated by the three of them. Instead, she nodded to them in a warm manner.
The other disciples, however, turned to look at them curiously. Their gazes naturally fell on Lonemoon and Yi Qing. Passion and heat emanated from them, much like from Lu Lin earlier. Lonemoon stiffened as the hairs on his body stood up. Suddenly, he regretted agreeing to join them.
Yi Qing's expression hardened. He bowed, then put his arm around Shen Ying, who had been chewing on a fruit. He lowered himself and called out, "Master."
Shen Ying paused, then immediately understood what he was trying to do. She played along and turned to plant a kiss on his cheek. She was putting a stamp of ownership on him!
Immediately, all the female cultivators' expressions darkened.
Then… they all turned to stare at Lonemoon instead.
Lonemoon: "…" Motherf*cker!
There were no human rights for single dogs! It's only right that I act as your shield, right!
"Since everyone is here, let's set off!" The Nascent Soul female cultivator finally spoke up. Finally, the other cultivators looked away from Lonemoon, and no longer seemed as hungry and thirsty as they did just a moment ago.
Along the way, however, Lonemoon continued to get many stares. Some of the disciples even flew slowly on purpose just to utter one or two sentences to Lonemoon.
"So your name is Lonemoon, Fellow Daoist? I can immediately tell that you come from a good family! I'm called…" and so on.
Fellow Daoist, you look like the friend of the neighboring sect's senior uncle's niece…"
"Fellow Daoist, are you interested in joining our Dawning Pill Sect? I feel like you're suited to become my junior brother - the cutest one."
"Fellow Daoist, how old are you? Where do you live? What's your family like? Are you betrothed?"
Lonemoon's lips remained pursed the entire way. He had to recite the Tranquility Chant the entire time in order to keep his cool and not blow up at them. Actually, he had been very popular ever since he was a child. He received between 50 to 100 love letters throughout his lifetime. Plenty of girls had confessed their feelings to him before. He was supposed to be used to it by now.
But those were all beautiful, gentle and nice-smelling girls. They did not look like these female cultivators, who were almost as tall as him, had muscles all over their bodies, and drooled at the sight of him. Apart from the lumps on their chests, they looked more like men than they did women. Suddenly, Lonemoon missed the sight of the golden barbies back in the Invincible Sect. At least they looked normal most of the time. These girls gave him the feeling like he was being raped - and he was the one being pinned down!
"Father Niu, stay calm!" Seeing that he was about to lose control, Shen Ying could not resist giving him a pat on the shoulder.
"Father Niu, you will be alright once you get used to it," Chef added.
He glared at the both of them. Can I ever get used to this! If you think it's so easy, why don't the both of you keep your arms off each other? (╯°Д°)╯(┻━┻
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, do you want some water to drink? Or do you want fruits? How about pastries?" Lu Lin, who stayed by Lonemoon's side the entire time, could not stop offering him gifts. She kept taking things out of her own storage bag as she looked at Lonemoon seductively. She was absolutely smitten.
Lonemoon pursed his lips once again and glanced at the master and disciple, who were eating fruits beside him and watching the show. Something in his brain snapped. He sucked in a deep breath and put on a bright smile.
"Shen Ying, I've decided. I don't mind being your second husband."
Shit, I refuse to go down alone!
Shen Ying: "…"
Lu Lin: "…" Swop!
A certain someone whipped out his sword…
Chapter 617: Living Things in Space
Since Lonemoon said what he did, everybody had gone crazy. Suddenly, everyone had the biggest show of the century playing in their heads.
All the gazes that had been fixed upon him the entire time suddenly turned to Shen Ying. They no longer had admiration and tenderness in their eyes. Instead, they seemed to be angry at her, blaming her, and jealous of her. There were also others who were angry at a certain someone's tendency to play with others' hearts.
If not for the fact that they were still in the Corroding Vacant Valley, Lonemoon had reason to suspect that they would have taken action against Shen Ying already.
The one with the biggest reaction was Lu Lin, who was beside Lonemoon at the time. Her face drained of all color and she looked both hurt and disappointed. Even her flying sword looked unstable all of a sudden. She looked at Lonemoon and Shen Ying in turn, then mumbled to herself, "I knew that the both of you aren't father and daughter. So… So… You are…" Again, everyone immediately turned to Shen Ying with murderous intent burning in their eyes. Everyone's faces seemed to read: Beast!
You already have one, and you're still not satisfied. You still want to seduce the other one!
Shen Ying, who had been played for once: "…" Motherf*cker!
Suddenly, she lost all mood to even continue eating her fruits.
She turned around and looked at Father Niu furiously.
Shen Ying: Why are you doing this? We were born from the same roots, and we've gone through so much together!
Lonemoon: It's better that we die together than I dying alone. You should have thought twice before you played your own father!
Yi Qing: Indeed, everyone is trying to steal my master! Fight me, you little bastard! "We're here!" The Nascent Soul cultivator who had been leading the way the entire time stopped and looked around at the pitch-black world. He looked suspicious as he said, "This is strange. This place is supposed to be where the Sacred Medicine Sect once stood. Why is there nothing left? It looks absolutely deserted."
He pulled out a map that resembled a jade slip and looked closely at it. He looked like he had confirmed something. Turning around to the disciples, he said in a low voice, "We're already here. Go around and search. Take care of yourselves and don't wander too far. This place might be the origin of the thing that caused the "Dark Night". Be extremely careful."
"Yes, Uncle Master," they responded in unison.
Lonemoon and his two companions immediately flew downward. After hesitating for a moment, Lu Lin followed them despite her broken heart.
From the pieces of information Lu Lin had offered them along the way, they understood that this patch of darkness was likely caused by the explosion of all the sects in the area that had fallen. This place was obviously one of those sects. The moment they landed, Lonemoon and Yi Qing activated their divine perceptions to search everything within a hundred- mile radius. Still, they could not find anything. Everywhere seemed empty. The only thing that was different was the darkness, which seemed deeper here than it did at the entrance.
Since their divine perceptions weren't working, they had no choice but to follow the other disciples to look around.
"Lone… Fellow Daoists," Lu Lin said through gritted teeth. She walked quickly toward them and said, "Please don't wander too far. It is easy to get lost in here."
The three of them nodded, then headed in another direction to continue their search. After half a day, however, they still haven't found anything.
"Shen Ying, do you see anything?" Lonemoon had no choice but to ask the cheat.
"Mm…" Shen Ying took a bite out of her fruit, swallowed it and said, "I think… there'll be something soon." "Huh?" What does that mean?
"Uncle-Master! I've found it! Before Lonemoon could react, a cultivator suddenly shouted from behind him.
Lonemoon and Yi Qing exchanged a glance and picked Shen Ying up before heading in the direction of the commotion.
A female cultivator from the Dawning Pill Sect stood not far away from them, looking shocked. "I've found it! I found the location of the Sacred Medicine Sect!"
A moment later, the leader, the Nascent Soul cultivator, came over. "Where?"
"Here! Here!" The other cultivator turned and pointed in front of her.
Lonemoon instinctively looked over. He had not noticed it before, but now that the female cultivator had pointed it out, there was a wall built a few metres to her right. The wall was a bit distorted and black, as if half of it had already collapsed. From the looks of it, it was an old mountain gate.
"The Sacred Medicine Sect is here indeed!" The Nascent Soul cultivator explained. She turned to the others and shouted, "Everyone, go in!"
The other cultivators caught up with them at last. After all, this used to be a huge sect. For all they knew, there could be something good hidden inside.
Lonemoon also activated his divine perception to sweep over the remains of the wall. Faintly, he could tell that there were talisman words written atop the wall. It looked ancient and strange and even had a sort of special lively aura about it. It was almost like it was alive…
"Wait! This is not a wall!"
His heart jumped and he reacted immediately. He conjured a wind seal and shot it toward everyone else. The crowd that had been heading toward the black wall suddenly got swept back to where they started.
They had not been ready for that. Before they knew what was happening, they were thrown to the ground - all including the Nascent Soul cultivator.
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, what are you-" All of them looked confused. They just started to question him when they were interrupted by a loud roar.
The roar was so loud that their eardrums threatened to burst. The entire crowd felt a gust of strong wind blow past them. It brought with it a formidable suppressive force. A few of the Golden Core cultivators were carried off the ground and thrown several metres further behind.
The black wall that had not been moving before suddenly began to shake. The ground vibrated and cracked open, as if something was breaking out of it. "Mount your swords - get out of here!" The Nascent Soul cultivator shouted. "It's coming out!"
It was then that all of them snapped back to reality. One by one, they mounted their swords. Even Shen Ying and her two companions followed suit.
Loud crashes were heard, one after another. The group finally saw something black and tall, which resembled a tower, coming out of the ground. The thing did not seem to have a fixed form. However, its entire body was black and talisman words were shining on its body. On top of its head, it had a horn that resembled a sharp tooth. That was what they had mistaken as to be the black wall earlier.
"What… What is that?" One of the cultivators exclaimed.
The next thing they knew, the black thing swayed. In just a blink of an eye, it turned into a black beast with four legs and six wings. The beast was lit up in purple flames.
Lonemoon immediately recognized this eleventh-grade beast. He shouted, "Isn't this the Purple Flame Beast?" He didn't know this beast could take on another form at night.
"No!" Shen Ying's eyes narrowed. She suddenly spoke, "It's a Spatial Li."
Lonemoon paused. After awhile, he asked, "What Li? How come I've never heard of such a beast!"
"It's not a beast."
"It's so huge. What could it be if it isn't a-" He suddenly stopped mid-sentence, as if realizing something.
Wait a moment!
Spatial Li? Why did this term sound so familiar? He felt like he had seen it somewhere before…
Spatial Li… Spatial… Spatial…
"Spatial Li!" Lonemoon shouted all a sudden. "A living thing that exists in empty space - the Spatial Li!"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
Holy shit shit shit shit shit1!
That was why he found it familiar. While he was downloading all the information related to being an assistant in those three months, he had come across a chapter that focused on such a living creature. It was a kind of a formless creature that lived in the space between planes…
Σ(°△°|||) Suddenly, he felt like the cultivators who had come in with them but suddenly disappeared now were… abandoning them!
Chapter 618: Dispelling Spatial Li
Like the Beast of Chaos, Spatial Li is a kind of creature outside the space of the plane. Under normal circumstances, they couldn't enter the plane. They could only enter when there is a crack in the plane or a plane storm. Besides, Spatial Li has no physical shape and has the attributes of space. Even if it invades another plane, it was usually very hard for anyone except the Manager to detect their whereabouts.
To deal with a creature like this, even an immortal would have no chance at all, not to mention these mere Golden Core and Nascent Soul cultivators.
"Retreat!" The leading Nascent Soul Cultivator suddenly shouted, "This is a Purple Flame Beast. Take care not to get burned by his flames." He apparently took Spatial Li for an ordinary eleventh-grade demon beast. His hands moved to produce seals in an attempt to trap it with an array.
The other disciples also called out their weapons and waited vigilantly, looking all ready for a fight.
Lonemoon's heart sank. Just as he was about to give them a reminder, Lu Lin suddenly sprang out, stopped in front of them and said, "Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, you guys should hurry and retreat to the back. This is an eleventh-grade demon beast. You all have just reached Foundation Establishment, and you are men besides. You won't be able to stop its purple flames." The eleventh grade was equivalent to an early stage Soul Formation. Though it was dangerous, with four Nascent Soul cultivators and so many Golden Core cultivators in their group, it was not entirely impossible.
With that said, she clutched the sword in her hand tighter, placed herself in front of the three and said, "Don't act rashly, we will protect you. Don't get too far from me in any case." With that said, she even gave the female cultivators beside her a look, and the latter hurried to move over and deliberately placed Lonemoon and Yi Qing behind them, full of the looks of protectors.
Yi Qing: "…"
Before they could explain, someone had already started the fight. The Nascent Soul cultivator leading the group directly set up a gigantic array. White light from the array descended towards the gigantic beast in the middle, and it seemed almost going to trap it inside.
"Shit! Don't use an array…"
Before Lonemoon could finish, that demon suddenly let out a loud roar. And then it merely gently lifted a claw, and the array directly passed through it.
The leading female cultivator was shocked. Before she could react, she only felt a wave of freezing cold sweeping right towards her, like there was some immense aura rushing over, and the spiritual power in her body dissipated in an instant. Her figure was destabilized and flew right now. Lonemoon called out a wind spell and managed to catch the person in the air, but she was already unconscious.
Spatial creatures had the natural ability of moving through space. How could it possibly be trapped by an array!
In the blink of an eye, they had already lost a Nascent Soul cultivator. Those at the scene paled and immediately understood that this was no ordinary demon beast. Another Nascent Soul cultivator came to herself and hurried to say loudly, "Move! Leave here!"
Everyone was stunned, and finally went up on their swords. Lu Lin also subconsciously turned and grabbed Lonemoon. "Fellow Daoist, hurry…"
"Move!" Before she finished, Lonemoon suddenly grabbed her and threw her towards the female cultivator behind. The fan in his hand turned into a longsword instantly. He turned back and said, "Shen Ying, look after them!"
"Oh." Shen Ying took out a new fruit and replied.
"Chef, the left side is yours. Don't let it escape!" With that said, his figure flashed and he already flew out. Chef also disappeared right where he was.
In the next instant, a menacing wave of sword wind swept over violently. Everyone only felt their body unstable, and before they realized, everyone was already blown to the space behind Shen Ying. A shocking amount of sword qi went up towards the sky. A white sword rain covered the sky, with each sword made of Sword Qi seeming to be alive, they fell right upon the giant beast at the bottom.
That giant beast let out a sharp, piercing scream, and it was cut into pieces instantly. The Purple Flame Beast immediately dissipated into black balls of moving liquids. Yet in just a second, they gathered and formed a new shape. This time, it was a gigantic Lingyun Immortal Beast.
"Chef, don't give it a chance to reform its shape." Lonemoon reminded him again. Spatial Li had the special attributes, and once it recovered, it could cut open space and escape into another small world any time. The most efficient method was to chase it out of the plane.
"Yup." replied Yi Qing. The sword moves in his hand grew even more intensive, and the sword qi in the air grew even thicker. Even the crowd of cultivators that he deliberately avoided felt a wave of overwhelming suppression, and their legs weakened for a time. Lu Lin and her fellow cultivators were all shocked. Such Sword Qi! Such suppression! He was definitely not at the Foundation Establishment stage at all! Even a Nascent Soul… no, even a Soul Formation cultivator cannot have such terrible sword qi.
She turned and looked at Shen Ying, the only person who remained calm and nibbled at a fruit. She couldn't help but ask, "Fellow Daoist Shen, what… what is the cultivation of Fellow Daoist Lonemoon and Fellow Daoist Yi Qing after all?"
"Huh?" Shen Ying stopped short. She tilted her head to think about it, before saying, "Well… Maybe a little better than, a God?"
Lu Lin: "…"
You must be f*cking kidding me! Lu Lin couldn't actually believe this, and just thought she was joking. She looked once again at the two in the sky. At the time, Lonemoon had already stopped his attack. He turned and opened up the exit of this plane. At once, a wave of blinding white light appeared in the complete darkness of the sky. It was like a crack opened up in the sky, and strange aura that didn't belong to the plane came over from the inside.
Lonemoon gave Yi Qing a look and gestured for him to Spatial Li over. Spatial Li was not a creature of this plane, and it couldn't be killed here. Yi Qing also understood it. His sword technique changed and he forced the gigantic beast down below to approach that crack.
Spatial Li seemed to have understood their purpose as well, and it started resisting wildly. One sharp roar after another came over, which seemed as though it could break the primordial spirit. All the cultivators found it somewhat unbearable, and they had to mobilize their spirit qi, cover their ears, and bend down with a painful look on their faces, all except Shen Ying in the foremost front…
Lu Lin even felt the tendency for the golden core inside her body to crack. When she was almost going to be overcome by it, some gentle aura suddenly swept over wildly. Everybody felt a relief in their body, and that sound wave which pierced through their primordial spirit disappeared instantly.
"You alright?" Shen Ying suddenly turned back and asked, still nibbling at that fruit in her hand.
Lu Lin was stunned, and she replied subconsciously, "Yes I'm… alright." Yet in the next instant, her eyes widened abruptly. "Fellow Daoist Shen!"
Spatial Li which was forced to retreat but a moment ago suddenly separated half of its body to make a pitch-black sharp horn from its black liquid body. It rushed over directly towards them, bringing with it a terrible violent aura. Shen Ying was right in front of it.
Lu Lin's face paled, and she rushed over to drag her subconsciously. "Move…" But it was already too late. That gigantic beast had already reached them and was just about to hit the person in front of her, when there was a sound of something breaking through the air, and that gigantic, black, liquid beast suddenly stopped in front of the two. Upon a closer look, she realized that somehow, Shen Ying already reached out one hand, which was firmly grasping that beast's longhorn. It was apparently just a casual grasp, but the beast couldn't move even a little. She could even turn back towards Lu Lin at ask, "What were you saying?"
"…" Lu Lin looked dumbfounded, and only after a long while, she replied, weakly, "Nothing…" None of these three was an ordinary cultivator indeed.
Chapter 619: Hidden Sect
Lu Lin turned to look at the beast in her hands. The arrogant beast was now rolling its body like waves. It looked like it was… trembling?
"Shen Ying!" Lonemoon called out from mid-air. "What are you waiting for? Throw it over!" This was not their plane - the gate would not stay open for a long time.
"Oh," Shen Ying responded. There was a cracking sound. With a flick of her wrist, she broke the beast's horn into two.
The Spatial Li immediately cried out in pain. It was writhing uncontrollably, trying as best it could to escape the pain. Its movements were getting more vigorous now. It turned into two streams of liquid that gathered around the broken horn. It was so painful, so painful… It could not stop writhing - it was going to die from the pain!
hen Ying picked up half the horn and raised it up to the white light in the air, throwing it over.
The Spatial Li trembled. Instinctively, it chased after its own horn.
Horn, horn… My horn…
The next thing they knew, both the horn and the Spatial Li disappeared through the white light. Lonemoon conjured a seal with his hands and caused the white light to disappear. Everything turned back to black.
It was then that both of them flew back. "Spatial Lis actually appear in this place." Lonemoon frowned. Logically, with managers around, things like Spatial Lis which only lived in the cracks between planes should not be able to invade the planes. When there were still no managers in their plane, and the Godfiend was in charge, there were no such things either. "Could it be that Chao Kun is already this weak?" That was the only explanation for the appearance of Spatial Lis.
"I don't think this is happening because of him!" Yi Qing responded. He looked down at Shen Ying's hands and turned to retrieve a white cloth. He pulled her hand over out of habit and began to clean it for her. He did not stop until there was not one black spot left on her hand. Then, he conjured a Dust-Repelling spell and continued, "Living things that invade planes like the Spatial Li are not that strong. Chao Kun could leave the plane and ask for help elsewhere. I don't think he's so weak that he can't even fight these things."
"Then did someone let these in?" Lonemoon subconsciously muttered He hesitated, then exchanged a meaningful look with Chef. Both of them thought of the same person at the same time.
The invader that injured Chao Kun! Could it be that he had allowed the Spatial Li into this plane? But… why? The Spatial Li is such a small boss. For ordinary living creatures in the three realms, it did indeed pose a threat. But to managers, this was nothing. It was nowhere as hard to deal with as spatial storms or cracks in the plane!
"Three… Elders." Lu Lin looked to the three of them curiously, not daring to refer to them as Fellow Daoists anymore. Even the way she looked at Lonemoon was different. She looked far more respectful. Although she did not understand what they were talking about, she felt like it was nothing that she would ever be able to achieve. Thus, she cupped her fists and bowed.
"Why, are you hurt?" Lonemoon frowned and faced her.
"N-No." Lu Lin shook her head and pointed in front anxiously. "It's… It's just that where the beast had appeared earlier, there seems to be something there."
Lonemoon paused and turned in the direction Lu Lin pointed. What resembled a plain desert earlier suddenly shook. It was almost as if someone was pulling back the curtains on stage. A huge palace appeared. It resembled the home base of a sect. "It's… it's the Sacred Medicine Sect!" Someone exclaimed. They immediately moved forward, but on seeing that Lonemoon, Yi Qing and Shen Ying were still standing rooted to the ground, they changed their minds. Instead, they just watched them, waiting for directions.
The sect seemed to have been hidden in another space because of the Spatial Li. Now that the Spatial Li has been chased away, the sect has shown itself.
These cultivators were all here to search for opportunities. Of course, the Sacred Medicine Sect was what everyone was looking for. However, Lonemoon had no interest in it whatsoever. Therefore, he did not stop them from entering. Instead, after activating his divine perception and making sure that there were no other dangers lurking around, he allowed them to go ahead.
Everybody rejoice immediately. After bowing to them respectfully, they entered the palace. None of them were treating Lonemoon and Yi Qing as possessions to be won over anymore. Instead, all of them were treating them as respected and distinguished elders. Chef, however, scanned the palace and suddenly muttered, "Father Niu, don't you think that this palace-"
"Is too perfect," Lonemoon completed his sentence. He frowned even more deeply. Looking up at the mountain gate, he read the sign that said, "Sacred Medicine Sect".
According to what Lu Lin told them, this valley has been here for a long time. Yet, this Sacred Medicine Sect seemed to have maintained its perfect exterior so well. It did not look like it had been destroyed in any type of natural disaster.
"Let's take a look around!" Lonemoon suddenly said. The three of them mounted their words and flew around the palace, looking for clues. Apart from the fact that there was no living aura around, they did not find anything out of the ordinary.
The cultivators from the Dawning Pill Sect, however, yielded different results. All of them came back hugging many things in their hands. The palace was very well-maintained - of course the things that they found were all in working condition and stored nicely away in the storage room. "Elder, we found the inheritance of the Sacred Medicine Sect in their storage room," one of the female cultivators said as she carried a storage bag to Lonemoon and Yi Qing. One would think she was reporting back to them. She did not even look like she wanted to keep any of it for herself. Each one of the other female cultivators did the same.
Lonemoon stared blankly at them. These people were so honest. He shook his head and said, "You all found these. These are yours. We don't need them."
"Well…" One of the female cultivators' expressions looked troubled. "But we only managed to find the Sacred Medicine Sect thanks to you, Elders." The things inside were rightfully theirs. If not for the three of them, the female cultivators might even have been eaten by that strange demonic beast.
The other female cultivators mumbled in agreement. They kept trying to persuade the three of them to accept the loot, but after seeing that they had no intention to, they finally turned around and walked away.
Once again, Lonemoon inspected the empty palace. Still, he could find nothing out of the ordinary. His expression falling, he said, "Strange! Why did the Spatial Li hide this place?" There's nothing special about it.
"Let's go and take a look at the entrance?" Shen Ying suddenly suggested.
Entrance? What entrance?
Lonemoon stared blankly back at her. Suddenly, he recalled that the Spatial Li seemed to be acting as a gate when they first noticed it. Could it be that this had something to do with the mountain gate? The three of them headed toward the mountain gate. Coincidentally, one of the cultivators from Dawning Pill Sect was just about to step through the gate.
As she stepped through it, the mountain gate formed a layer of ice. The entire thing trembled, and something like yin Qi shot out from the gate, filling the surrounding air and causing the temperature around them to drop.
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon shouted. Chef was one step ahead of him. He summoned his sword and with one flash, freed the female cultivator from the gate. She flew backward from the impact, landing far away from the gate.
That was… Ghost Qi from the Underworld!
Chapter 620: Gate to Hades
A translucent linking realm seemed to appear through the mountain gate. A huge amount of ghost Qi was pouring out of the realm and sweeping toward the sect. Suddenly, the temperatures became icy. They heard an ear-piercing, ghostly scream coming from inside the translucent linking realm. Ghost Qi from Hades was different from regular ghost Qi. A place that only housed ghouls naturally contained an aura that would crush any soul.
Naturally, cultivators without an immortal body were not able to withstand the pressure. Almost immediately, all the cultivators apart from Shen Ying, Lonemoon and Yi Qing began to sway. Their faces drained of all color. Some of the Golden Core cultivators looked like their souls had left their bodies.
Lonemoon's expression darkened. He immediately flew over and raised his hand, conjuring an array to seal the mountain gate. The ear-piercing screams finally stopped. All of their eyes cleared up, but their souls were visibly still unstable. Those with Nascent Souls were still holding up well, but the Golden Core cultivators were all spitting out blood.
"El… Elder?" Lu Lin forced her primordial spirit to stabilize. She looked up at the three of them in confusion. The other cultivators looked equally perplexed. "What just happened?"
Lonemoon lowered his gaze and scanned the entire group. "This is not something that you can deal with. Leave here at once!" He raised a single hand and conjured yet another seal, causing all the jade tokens on the cultivators' bodies to raise up. He clenched his fist. Immediately, the jade tokens were reduced to powder. The great array that lay outside the Corroding Vacant Valley was activated.
"El-" Lu Lin called out, but did not make it in time to get the entire word out of her mouth. All the cultivators from the Dawning Pill Sect were sent out at once. Not one of them remained.
Yi Qing held Shen Ying close and flew over to join Lonemoon. He looked at the mountain gate that was still emitting ghost Qi. Frowning, he said, "This is… a realm gate!"
"Mm." Lonemoon nodded. Of course, he had noticed the problem as well. "This should be the realm gate that leads to the Underworld." And it looked like it had already been around for a long time. "The mortal world naturally has the ability to attract ghouls. Why did someone bother to open a gate to the Underworld here?" This would seem even weirder if the person had set up this gate in the immortal realm or divine realm. But this was the mortal realm. Living things in the mortal realm would not be able to withstand the ghost Qi from the Underworld. What's more, after mortals died, they would naturally go there. What was the point of setting up a gate to the Underworld here? And hiding it so purposefully up to using a Spatial Li as well?
"It looks like we'll only find our answer by entering the Underworld," Lonemoon said as he pointed to the mountain gate.
Yi Qing did not hesitate. He raised his hand and set up a defensive array around the three of them before walking right through the gate. The next thing they knew, they were in a whole other place. The darkness seemed to have deepened around them. It was almost as if they could feel it - it was icy and sharp and caused them to feel like something was possessing them.
Wait! This was not an illusion. There were indeed things sliding past them and trying to get into their bodies. "Chef!" Lonemoon exclaimed. Both of them mounted their swords and flew out. Yet, that feeling continued to follow them. The darkness was formless and boundless. No matter where they went, they could not seem to shake that feeling off. What's more, the God Power in their bodies felt like it was being attacked - a chill was piercing them right through to the bones.
"Let's head upwards," Shen Ying suddenly said.
Both Lonemoon and Yi QIng paused for one second before following her directions. They flew upward. The higher they got, the more darkness seemed to lift. The sky turned a certain shade of green, and the temperature rose slightly.
They looked down and saw a huge icy territory beneath them, that looked like it stretched on for eons. Everything below was black as far as they could see. And where they had emerged from was the center of that darkness.
This deep darkness seemed to cover the entire Underworld. Somehow, they felt like it was stretching toward the various small worlds as well. It was like… "The plane's source!" Lonemoon exclaimed, finally having figured out what this darkness was. He pondered for a moment. This couldn't be right. "Why is it black?" They had seen the plane tree before - it was a huge, green tree. The source's color should be the same as that of the plane tree. Like Chef's gold, or his purple. This plane's source should be green.
"Someone changed the source!" Yi Qing finished his thought.
Lonemoon's heart sank. Suddenly, he recalled the plane tree that seemed to have been consumed by blackness, and the realm gate from earlier on, and the so-called "Dark Night". He finally understood what was going on. The invader had changed the plane's source in the Underworld and went through the realm gate to direct the source to each of the small worlds. Step by step, the invader is trying to swallow up this entire plane. He was going to cause it to break down!
It was no wonder that Chao Kun was getting so weak. This was akin to invading the plane by poisoning it. He was starting right from the source and causing change surely but subtly. The more troublesome thing was the source was already this contaminated. Lonemoon did not even know if it was possible to restore it.
"You're the help that Chao Kun called for?" Suddenly, a cold female voice spoke up from behind them.
Lonemoon started. Then, he retreated several steps and created some distance between them and her. It was then that he found out that there had been a womanly figure following behind them the entire time. There was a black aura from the source surrounding her body. At the same time, she emanated an icy cold Yin aura. What was more important was that she carried with her the air of a manager - just not as thick as theirs.
"You're the one who invaded this plane?" Lonemoon asked. His heart skipped a beat. Not daring to take her lightly, he summoned his sword.
"Invader?" The woman grinned. Her gaze turned hateful. "That's what Chao Kun told you? Hmph, to me, you are the real invaders." She raised her hand and caused the still streams to turn violent. Immediately, coursing streams of the plane's source charged toward them, as if to attack them. It was like there were hundreds of thousands of formless arms reaching out to attack them.
Lonemoon activated his divine perception and dodged the attacks coming from all directions. He waved his sword around and was just about to deal a counter-attack when the God Power inside him seemed to be suppressed by an unknown force. Suddenly, he could not activate it anymore. No! Not just his God Power - even the manager powers in his body had been sealed.
It was that thing that tried to enter their bodies earlier. Suddenly, he realized that the thing that had been following them around and trying to enter their bodies earlier was the aura from the source below. It was now suppressing their powers.
"All you invaders deserve to die!" The woman's voice turned even colder. A formidable force exploded from her body and caused the streams underneath them to turn even more aggressive. Huge waves formed, threatening to drown the three of them. Lonemoon tightened his grip on his own sword. Turning around, he said, "The source here is suppressing my powers. Chef, use your sword Qi!"
"Mm." Chef nodded. He activated his earth-shaking sword Qi. Countless beams of light shone forth from his sword, forming a huge net that held the waves down.
There was a flash of white light. A familiar figure cut through the void and appeared on top of the waves. He conjured a spell that they had never seen before, and a burst of green light filled the place, causing the darkness to dissipate.
"Chao Kun?" Lonemoon paused. The man who just showed up was the same man who had passed out under the plane tree - the manager, Chao Kun.
He was just in time!