Chapter 481: Fatty Retaliates
Sun Yu exhaled deeply then turned towards the cultivators from the various sects. "Fellow Daoists, the demon clans in the Southern Land has been a source of trouble for a long time, now they're colluding with heretical cultivators, it is a heinous crime, may I ask fellow Daoists to follow my Divine Imperial Sect to rid the demons and defend the Dao."
The leaders of the various sects exchanged looks, though Southern Land was sealed off all year long the sects still had some understanding about it. Rumors said that there were seven demon monarchs in Southern Land, they often fought and weren't united. Only one was here right now, though she'd brought many high level demon beasts, as long as the various sects worked together, they still stood a chance. Hence it did not take them long to consider and were about to reply.
Suddenly, a booming roar sounded from deep within the Southern Land, dust clouded behind the demons, with a rumble a thick demonic aura was approaching, even the ground was shaking as if hordes of troops and horses were rushing over.
A few moments later, everyone got a clear look of what that was- an uncountable number of demon beasts were charging towards them forming an entire sea. Even the originally dense forest paled in comparison, the demon and beasts was a sea of black that one couldn't even see the end of it.
Don't mention them, even if all the cultivators in the Sacred Arrival Realm came, they might not even be able to hold up against such a Beast Tide. Moreover the cultivation level of each demon beast wasn't low, as they came closer they realized that there were six of them with striking demonic auras right at the front, one look and one knew they were the twelfth level demon monarchs.
All seven demon monarchs of Southern Land had actually gathered. If they were to team up, the hearts of the cultivators turned cold, their faces slightly pale. Fortunately the demon clans in Southern Land were ruled individually, it shouldn't be that easy for them to unite too.
The sea of demon beasts came running, only stopping before the spirit river, the six leading demon monarchs walked forward, then… kneeled down without any hesitation before Rabbit, speaking in unison.
"Reporting to my Monarch, we have gathered the troops and came here on your order!"
"Mm." Rabbit nodded and gestured for them to stand up. "Thank you for your hard work everyone."
"This is our duty, we do not dare to call it tough." Panther Monarch who finally grew a new paw quickly replied.
Lion Monarch also added. "Every demon beast has the responsibility to protect the Southern Land!"
"That's right!" The remaining demon monarchs also nodded. "How dare these human cultivators trespass our Southern Land, destroy our spirit river and even had the audacity to brag shamelessly before our Myriad Demon King, did they really think the Southern Land was a pushover?"
With that, all of them threw furious glares towards the cultivators on the opposite side of the river, looking as if they were ready to charge over and gnaw them to death any minute. Everyone: "…" What happened to the demon monarch of Southern Land having terrible relations?
Also, when did a Myriad Demon King appear amongst them? The cultivators could not help but looked towards Rabbit who was right at the front, they were all twelfth level, why would those demon monarchs willingly acknowledge that rabbit as their king?
The cultivators felt that hearts sink, suddenly, they no longer dared to act recklessly. They could not help but rejoice that they hadn't had time to reply to Divine Imperial Sect's invitation to join battle. One must know, a twelfth level demon monarch was more or less equivalent to a Traveling immortal, on top of them, the demons were naturally domineering, they might not have any advantage, what's more, there were seven of them. Not to mention those tenth and eleventh level demon beasts, they didn't even dare to do a proper count.
The faces of everyone in the Divine Imperial Sect paled, at a loss of what to do for a moment.
"Brother Rabbit." Fatty spoke up, "It's between me and Divine Imperial Sect today, it has nothing to do with anyone else, there's no need to cause a conflict between the two races. Let us settle it ourselves."
"Brother Fatty!" Rabbit panicked and wanted to say something, but seeing the determined look in Fatty's eyes she swallowed the words. On the way here, Fatty had explained everything to her, she naturally understood what he was thinking, hence she stepped back and addressed the cultivators. "Listen, I can drop the matter of you trespassing in my Southern Land today, but my brother must settle his scores with Divine Imperial Sect. These have nothing to do with anyone else. If any others dare to get involved, the demon race wouldn't mind getting ourselves involved too."
It was very clear what it meant, it was between Fatty and Divine Imperial Sect to settle their score, if the others were to help the Divine Imperial Sect then they would go to battle. The cultivators stared at each other speechlessly for a while, but no one dared to come forward. After all, between a private grievance and a battle between the two races, no one would choose the latter. On top of that, Fatty was alone but the Divine Imperial Sect had a dozen of Soul Formation cultivators and three Traveling immortals, the end result was obvious.
Fatty took a few steps forward, the sword in his hands pointed at Sun Yu opposite him. "Strike! Who's coming first, or all together?"
Sun Yu sighed, looking extremely reluctant. "Since Sect Master insists on doing so, forgive me for offending you." He summoned his artifact.
Two figures flashed and were instantly in battle, Sun Yu controlled the artifact in his hand, at once a net formed by gathering Spirit Qi was about to fall onto Fatty, that net was so big that it seemed like it could cover the entire sky, there was even a thick cloud of suppression on it, all the spells that Fatty had summoned had been taken into it and it was about to entrap Fatty next.
It was over!
Sun Yu sighed, he had absolutely no regard for Fatty, after all no matter how good Fatty was, he was merely a Soul Formation level cultivator, whereas he was a Traveling immortal. Just as he was about to retract his artifact, he saw the figure in the net flash and suddenly disappear. Huh? Sun Yu was startled, before he could react, he felt an immense pain at his waist, turns out Fatty who was in the net earlier had appeared behind him and gave him a kick. He was caught off guard and fell out of the air and was fed a mouthful of mud.
Sun Yu stood up in disbelief, how was this possible, he'd used his artifact to suppress him, how was he able to escape. Before he could be shocked, Fatty's next attack had arrived. He saw numerous fire dragons descending from the sky, falling directly in his direction.
His heart sank, not daring to underestimate his opponent anymore, he hurriedly summoned large clouds of vapor, condensed them into streams of water and struck back. Those streams of water wrapped themselves around the fire dragon like chains, wanting to totally extinguish those fire dragons. But the moment they did, numerous lightning appeared on the fire dragon, not only were his water streams unable to extinguish it, they even fed into the lightning.
The entire fire dragon instantly grew several times thicker, alongside flashing lightning, the fire dragon charged downwards with a rumble. It was too late for Sun Yu to dodge, he could only frantically put up a shield but it was completely useless. Those lightning instantly broke his shield and swallowed him whole.
"AH!!!" Sun Yun instantly let out a shriek, if it wasn't for the dharma clothing on him, his entire being would have been completely burned. Even so, his exposed skin was still being scorched. Immense pain left him rolling on the ground, but the fire dragons in the air weren't down, following that, several fire dragons fell once again.
Chapter 482: A Complete Victory.
Just as Sun Yu no longer had a way out and was about to disappear completely amongst the lightning fire dragons, the people of the Divine Imperial Sect came to their senses, two Traveling immortal and several Soul Formation cultivators rushed out to block the remaining fire dragons and rescued Sun Yu.
Everyone was oddly panicky, anyone could tell that Fatty was only a late-stage Soul Formation cultivator, but in less than 15 minutes, he'd managed to defeat a Traveling immortal, this capability was shocking. Whether it was the heretical cultivator who had yet to show himself, or the Myriad Demon King before them, it was evident that it won't be easy to take Hui Ze away today.
The expression of the cultivators from Divine Imperial Sect darkened, exchanging a look, the remaining two Traveling immortals and two Soul Formation cultivators struck out at Fatty at the same time, engaging altogether once more.
In the hidden array formation not too far out, a certain trio was drinking tea while nibbling on melon seeds as they watched on calmly. "One against four?" Shen Ying cocked her head to a side.
"What's one against four? Fatty is after all, an all-rounded cultivator." Lonemoon replied nonchalantly.
"Oh, what's the most number of people he can go against?"
"I'm betting three months of food allowance on at least seven people." Lonemoon looked totally confident.
Shen Ying's eyes rolled around for a second before lighting up as she came to a decision. "Then I'll bet three fruits, eight people!"
Yi Qing looked back and forth between the two people, to appear sociable, he also joined in. "I'll bet three meals, ten people!"
Lonemoon: "…" Shen Ying: "…"
Is there a difference whether you bet or not? Which meal isn't cooked by you?
As they chatted, the few people battling on the other side was slowly coming up with an outcome. Lonemoon had guessed correctly, even with four people fighting at the same time, they did not gain any advantage from Fatty, instead they were gradually being suppressed by Fatty's inexhaustible and peculiar spells.
The cultivators of the Divine Imperial Sect watching below then could not help it, more and more people joined in the battle, subsequently, it became a dozen of Soul Formation cultivators and Traveling Immortals ganging on Fatty.
However, Fatty was truly too skilled with his spells, all sorts of sorcery stacked together, it could look to be a fire-element, but there was also thunder-element mixed in it and in the end, it turned out to be an ice-element and wind-element spell. Up to the last moment, no one could come out with a complete spell to counter his, and he even set up several array formations from time to time. As they battled on, before his opponents realized they'd already been trapped in his array formation.
Not just the people in battle, even the various sects remaining could not believe their eyes, they did not expect that he could really go against so many cultivators at the same level or even a level higher than himself, all alone. And slightly more than a decade before, he was merely a mortal.
In less than an hour, a considerable number of Soul Formation cultivators were caught and fell out of the air one in succession, looking even more miserable than Sun Yu. The rest grew increasingly terrified as they watched on, finally, all the Soul Formation cultivators and Traveling Immortals of the Divine Imperial Sect joined in.
At once, brilliant rays from the spells lit up the entire sky, this battle took several hours and there were only dozens of Soul Formation cultivators and a traveling immortal left in the air, of course, there was also Fatty. His entire body was already covered in wounds, his long gown coated in large patches of blood stains. An extended period of battling was extremely exhausting, his fatigue was already showing on his face but he continued to gaze at the people before him with determined eyes. He cannot lose this battle!
Whereas everyone from Divine Imperial Sect had obviously fought their best, as if noticing that he was spent, their attacks became more concentrated. Dozens of spells flew towards Fatty, someone had even set up a trapping array, the golden array formation instantly formed above his head. This time, he had no way out, Fatty felt his blood and Qi surging as he fell onto one knee and the spells that were still attacking earlier began to grow unstable.
After all, under the joint attacks of a dozen Soul Formation cultivators, no matter how superb Fatty's Five Elements Reversal Formation was, this was already his limit. More and more wounds appeared on his body as his actions became increasingly sluggish. However, the cultivators of the Divine Imperial Sect weren't any better off, the trapping array had exhausted all the Qi of the cultivator who had set it up. Upon seeing Fatty entrapped, the others immediately summoned a sky of icicles, lightning and spirit swords, attacking one last time with everything, their success or failure hinges on this one attack.
As the trapping array grew brighter and brighter, the spells in the sky readied itself to bomb Fatty. Gritting his teeth, Fatty suddenly exploded with a huge amount of Spirit Qi that he never had, his already round physique began to expand frantically, like a rubber ball swiftly inflating. His figure instantly became several times larger and broke out of the trapping array forcefully resisting all the spells, everything fell onto this humongous ball-like body but had no effect at all.
Huh? He still had this skill!
The master-disciple duo who were watching on, turned towards a certain dean together.
"What are you looking at?" Lonemoon glared back. "What's with your gazes looking like I've misled him? This is called capitalizing on his strengths, do you understand!"
The duo: "…" Formidable, formidable!
On the other side, Fatty who had transformed into a huge "rubber ball" had began to spin, at once the winds surged, before the cultivators surrounding him could react, they were instantly thrown out by the raging winds, crashing into the spells that they themselves had summoned. In a moment, everyone fell out of the sky like dumplings while Fatty lifted himself up into the air and dropped down.
His speed was terrifyingly fast, and the cultivators who had exhausted their spiritual power had no way of dodging at all, they could only watch as a meat ball as large as the sky fall onto them directly from the sky.
A deafening rumble followed.
An extensive crack more than ten meters appeared on the ground while more cracks followed around it, the ground shook, even the various sects watching at a side had to set up arrays or ride their swords to avoid being affected.
On the other hand, everyone in the Divine Imperial Sect had long become meat pancakes, only a dozen of them with shallow breathing proved that they were still alive, but no one knew if they would survive or whether their cultivation could be preserved. "Father Niu… don't tell me this is the technique of a Body Cultivator?" Yi Qing asked instinctively. Don't mention his sudden transformation, to have a body so strong that it could flatten Soul Formation cultivators into such a state, only body cultivators could do it!
"Shut up!" Who said he was a body cultivator, Fatty absolutely could not be a body cultivator, absolutely not!!
Fatty transformed back into his original form then, he wasn't better off either. This attack had expended all of his Spirit Qi. His entire person was about to become a bloody ball, he stumbled but fought to not collapse as he swept a glance at the cultivators from the Divine Imperial Sect scattered all over, he had won. He really won!
His tensed up nerves finally relaxed as the corner of his lips involuntarily lifted into a smile. He subconsciously turned back, looking in Rabbit's direction. He really wanted to go report to Master that he had done it!
But he happened to see Rabbit's panicking expression. "Watch out!" Rabbit shouted out loud.
Chapter 483: Hao Ran As An Arbitrator
Fatty froze, sensing an immense pressure suddenly attacking towards him, it brought an aura that one could not resist.
Sun Yu who was badly wounded abruptly threw out an item, the solemn look in his eyes earlier had been replaced by one that showed he wished to skin him alive. A green umbrella suddenly appeared in the air, surrounded by a white luster, a strong suppression swept across the surrounding few hundred miles. No matter the cultivators or the demon beasts, everyone wore a terrified look, one could tell this umbrella wasn't an item of the mortal realm in one look.
"Soul Capturing Umbrella!" Fatty faltered, but it was already too late to dodge.
"Damn it!" Lonemoon cursed, actually using an immortal artifact to cheat when he couldn't beat him, did they take him to be a dead person?
He stood up right away, as he was about to strike out, he was tugged back Shen Ying who was beside him. "Father Niu."
Just as the Immortal Qi on the umbrella was about to strike Fatty, a Buddhist chant came from the horizon, and instantly stripped the umbrella of its offensiveness.
Everyone heard the ringing of a chain of bells and saw a bald man dressed in a Kasaya, flying over on a lotus stage, a light sheen of gold sacred light was emitting from his body. Compared to the good-looking cultivators, his looks were very ordinary, only the speck vermilion between his brows was especially striking, his entire being was surrounded by an aura of compassion.
"It's a Buddhist cultivator from Hao Ran Court!" Someone recognized his identity and exclaimed out loud.
The man waved his hand and instantly kept the green umbrella away, then greeted everyone, "I am Chan Ji, greetings benefactors." Everyone was shocked, some even had their eyes wide in shock with faces of disbelief.
"Chan Ji? Isn't he the Court Lord of Hao Ran Court, I didn't think he would come forth personally."
"Hao Ran Court does not partake in the disputes of the world, only ruling justice in the world. To have him come forward at this time, could it be that someone has sinned?"
"Seems there's something more to the matter between Divine Imperial Sect and this Sect Master, that even Hao Ran Court has intervened."
Everyone started to make guesses in whispers, but all, without exception, held expressions of respect and admiration for the man, even Fatty's expression had eased up.
"Huh?" Shen Ying cocked her head to a side to peek at the monk that had suddenly appeared, then turned towards Lonemoon. "Why are you staring at me?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. "I don't know who this is either." What Hao Ran Court, he'd never heard of it.
Whereas Chef who was beside them frowned and questioned instinctively, "Master, the sacred light on this person's body…"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
"What sacred light, this must be the golden light of merit and virtue?" Lonemoon had figured it out too and replied subconsciously.
Yi Qing opened his mouth, as if he wanted to say something but still held back at the end and turned to continue looking at the middle.
The monk known Chan Ji was already walking towards Sun Yu who was on the ground, the green umbrella in hand. "Fellow Daoist Sun, since you have already lost to Fellow Daoist Hui here, why the need to use an immortal artifact to attack him from behind and add onto your sins of killing for nothing?" Sun Yu went pale, the look in his eyes changed several times, dimming after a moment. He dug out an elixir pill and swallowed it before saying, "I erred in my thoughts, Hui Ze was originally the Sect Master of my sect, we served him diligently, never slacking off for more than 20 years, but who knew he was never grateful and was even deceived by a heretical cultivator and developed hatred for us… I summoned the immortal artifact in a moment of anger."
"Shut your mouth, do not slander my Master!" Fatty retorted directly. "Master removed the seal on my spirit root and taught me spells, he isn't a heretical cultivator, he is the best Master in the world. Who exactly is deceiving me, you know very well!"
Rabbit also hurriedly flew over and supported the tottering Fatty. "That's right, how dare you slander Great Immortal, are you asking for death?"
"Amitabha." Chan Ji sighed and said, "The grievances between the both of you have grown to involve both the human and demon realm, to avoid bringing calamities to the two realms, the Hao Ran Court naturally cannot sit by and watch on. If both of you trust me, why don't you let me be a judge for the two of you?" A trace of hesitance flashed through Fatty's eyes but he still nodded after a moment. After all Hao Ran Court was different from the Divine Imperial Sect, they did not belong to any sect and was a completely independent place in the immortal realm, their followers abhorred evil and also had enough capabilities, they were an existence that the entire Sacred Arrival Realm looked up to. For cultivators who were wronged, as long as they are able to cross the Uncrooked Sea and find Hao Ran Court, they would definitely come forward to deliver justice.
"My constitution is special, since a young age I was locked up in the sect by the Divine Imperial Sect, after I grew up, they would take away my flesh and blood every seven days, using me as a living sacrifice to raise their cultivation levels…" Fatty retold his story once again, including how they'd set up restrictions in his consciousness to prevent him from practicing cultivation, in order to better control him.
While Sun Yu did as he had always and completely denied everything. "Sect Master, I know you have many misunderstandings towards us that you believed such absurd sayings of using flesh and blood as a sacrifice for arrays, you were unable to practice cultivation in the past, I can understand your discontentment with our sect. Right now, your cultivation saw a sudden boost who knew what the heretical cultivator had done to you, you must guard against him!" "My Master is not a heretical cultivator!" Fatty was obviously no match for Sun Yu, the wily old fox.
"Sect Master, the 23 Soul Formation elders and Traveling Immortal elders in our sects all treated you sincerely, how could you slander them with such a malicious crime of using flesh and blood as offerings to arrays without any evidence!"
"Who said we have no evidence!" Lonemoon could no longer sit still and appeared beside Fatty.
"Master! You…" Fatty was delighted, but just as he was about to step forward, he was stuffed with a mouthful of pills by Lonemoon, choking him so that he started to cough.
"Sit down and regulate your meridians." Lonemoon gave him a glare. "If you don't know how to talk then shut your mouth!"
Fatty's imposing manner weakened visibly as he took a few steps back timidly and obediently sat down to meditate.
"It's you!" Sun Yu recognized him at once, this was the person who took Hui Ze away. "It was you, the heretical cultivator who fooled Sect Master!"
"Heretical cultivator?" Lonemoon let out a cold laugh. "In this world, there are people who call me Supremacy, some call me Young Lord, there are even some who call me father, but this is the first time I've had someone call me heretical cultivator. Let me ask one question, which eye of yours saw that I'm a heretical cultivator?"
"Hmph!" Sun Yu sneered coldly. "Your cultivation is strange and you managed to bring Hui Ze up to the Soul Formation level in merely ten years. Such cultivation is obviously abnormal, perhaps it isn't stable at all, who knows if any problems will surface in the future. To be able to attain such things, what are you if you aren't a heretical cultivator?"
"Fatty's cultivation is unstable?" Lonemoon chuckled coldly again. "So earlier on, all of you were defeated by an unstable Soul Formation cultivator?" "…" Sun Yu was stuck, he'd been retorted that he was at a loss for words.
"You're ignorant and yet you blame others for being too outstanding. Let's put aside whether I'm a heretical cultivator or not, but you are definitely a fool cultivator, fool as in foolish!" Arguing with me, even Rabbit was taught by me, with the exception of foodie Ying, he'd never lost before!
"You…" Sun Yu was so enraged that his face was flushed, as his blood and Qi surged, he almost spat out a mouthful of blood.
Chapter 484: Invitation To Hao Ran
"Amitabha." Chan Ji stepped forward in good time, interrupting the two. "Fellow Daoist, what exactly do you mean by the evidence that you mentioned, do you have substantial evidence?"
Lonemoon laughed coldly. "Of course I do." With that, he pulled out a white stone.
"This is the Shadow Preserving Stone!" Chan Ji was taken aback and instantly understood what he meant. "Could it be that the truth has been recorded in the images in this stone."
Lonemoon did not answer and directly sent a stream of Spirit Qi to activate the Shadow Preserving Stone on his hand.
Spirit Qi gathered above the stone at once and images appeared. It was the scene of the ascension ceremony of the one known as Yu Su back then in the Divine Imperial Sect, he sat in a huge array formation, receiving the Heavenly Tribulation, in the next moment, the image flashed into a secret room. Fatty laid in the middle of the sacrificial array, wounds all over his body, his blood streamed into the array formation and was sent into the defense array formation of the person going through the tribulations earlier.
The expressions of the various sects changed, there were even people who turned towards Sun Yu in disbelief, this wasn't like what he had claimed earlier, any image of healing Fatty's illness had become naturally weak.
"Ridiculous!" A trace of panic flashed across his face, but he still denied loudly, "Such completely sourceless images, how can it prove that we did it, though Hui Ze was in the blood array, there was no other people there, who knows if it's you intentionally framing us?"
"Not admitting to it are you? Never mind, there's more to come!" Lonemoon sneered mockingly, sure enough, the image switched in the next moment and several figures appeared.
It happened to be the scene of the three Traveling Immortals of the Divine Imperial Sect forcing Fatty into the sacrificial blood, this time, there weren't only images but also sound, they could hear what the trio had said. "Hui Ze, you knew that Yu Su has been at the peak stage of the Nascent Soul level for many years, his cultivation has stabilized and it's time for him to ascend yet you still sneaked out secretly. The date of the ascension ceremony has been set and made known to the other sects, now we can only put you inside the array."
"Hey, we don't have a choice either, who told you to disobey us first, we didn't want to be so cruel in the first place."
"Yeah, let this be a lesson to you, don't sneak out of the sect in private next time."
As they spoke they pushed Fatty who looked numb into the blood array, then activated the aero blades and scraped cut after cut deep to the bone in his body.
All at once, dead silence fell on scene.
"Do we need more evidence?" Lonemoon questioned. These images had been recorded using the divine race's recollection spell after he'd rescued Fatty back then, for this he'd even specially made a secret trip back to Divine Imperial Sect as he'd expected that they would definitely have a need for surveillance videos and what not. Only this spell had a time limit that they could only watch such a small bit, but it was already enough too.
Sun Yu and the rest did not dare to spout even a word in defense, their faces deathly pale, as if they'd a premonition of the condemnation that the Divine Imperial Sect would be receiving after this incident.
"Amitabha." Chan Ji also sighed, disapproval filled in his gaze towards Sun Yu, his voice had also lowered. "Fellow Daoist Sun, Divine Imperial Sect used human flesh and blood as offerings to the array to increase cultivation. Such vicious actions make you as good as evil spirits, all of you have called yourself immortal cultivators in vain. That Benefactor Hui Ze seriously wounded all of you today is also understandable, it is all the sins that you have committed."
Sun Yu did not dare to make a sound.
Chan Ji also continued to say, "As the Court Lord of Hao Ran Court, I certainly cannot condone such evil doings. Within three months from today, I ask that Benefactor Sun return and order the entire sect to cripple the cultivation that have been gained from using human flesh and blood, it is the same regardless of Soul Formation cultivators or Traveling Immortal cultivators. And in the next three hundred years, disciples of the sect cannot leave the sect grounds, this is to do justice for Fellow Daoist Hui Ze!"
"Court Lord…" Sun Yu was startled, seeming like he wanted to rebut.
"If there is any bit of hesitation from anyone…" Chan Ji did not wait for him to finish and continued, "The Hao Ran Court will head to Divine Imperial Sect and personally execute it on behalf of everyone!"
Sun Yu bowed his head, not daring to argue anymore, even the others in Divine Imperial Sect had lowered their heads. On the contrary, a trace of joy flashed across the eyes of the members of the other sects upon hearing that. Divine Imperial Sect was known as the top immortal sect in the Sacred Arrival Realm, they naturally had the most disciples. If their disciples were not allowed to leave the sect for three hundred years, this also meant that the other sects had an additional three hundred years to develop, by then, no one would know who would be the top!
"I ask everyone to sincerely repent and reflect on your past doings!" Chan Ji put his palms together and chanted once again.
Lonemoon glanced at the monk with some puzzlement, didn't expect that this monk who'd charged out, wanting to deliver justice, was really something. These cultivators actually accepted his decision, with no intention of resisting.
Could it be that this so-called Hao Ran Court really had such great prestige, they were literally like the law enforcement agency and its relevant departments in the immortal realm.
"Fellow Daoist Hui Ze." Chan Ji turned to look towards Fatty who was at the back, revealing a kind and gentle smile. "Your constitution is unique, even after practicing cultivation for so many years and traveling the world, I have yet to see such a special example, but such uniqueness might not be a blessing. Though you have found justice, but your days to come might not be too peaceful." What he'd meant to say was very obvious, as long as Fatty's constitution isn't settled, there would always be people coveting his flesh and blood, after all, flesh and blood that could directly increase cultivation was very difficult to not have thought about. Fatty naturally understood that too, his expression darkened.
"If you do not mind…" Chan Ji continued to suggest, "You may follow me back to Hao Ran Court for a short stay, everyone in my school are Buddhist cultivators and cannot stand the smell of blood at all. To you, I think it must be the most suitable place? After the storm blows over, you may then come and go as you please, what do you think?"
"Hao Ran Court?" Lonemoon frowned and replied subconsciously, "Why would Fatty follow you…"
"Sure!" Before he could finish, Shen Ying appeared out of nowhere and agreed to the monk's suggestion right away.
Chan Ji faltered for a moment, peeping at Shen Ying who had suddenly appeared, he subconsciously glanced around his surroundings, where had this lady come from, he actually didn't sense it at all. "Shen Ying, what are you doing?" Lonemoon glared at her disapprovingly.
"Oh my Father Niu, we'll get sick of eating little animals everyday, it's time to switch up our tastes."
"Scram!" When have you been this diligent?
But Shen Ying had already turned towards the monk. "Master Deng, can we bring family… and a tag-along to your home?" She pointed to Father Niu, then herself and Chef.
His surname wasn't Deng? Chan Ji was dazed for a moment, before coming back to his sense, saying with his palms put together, "Since all of you are friends of Fellow Daoist Hui Ze, it is naturally possible."
"Oh, then let's go!" Shen Ying gestured at Chef. "Chef, quickly pack the belongings to set off."
"Yes, Master. No problem, Master." Yi Qing looked around, recalling that there didn't seem to be anything for him to pack, he conveniently lifted Fatty who was meditating…
Chapter 485: Setting Off for Hao Ran
The war between the two realms ended just like that, after Fatty messed around for the umpteenth time. Shen Ying, Fatty and the others spent two days adjusting themselves at the Southern Land before they officially left it and headed for Hao Ran Court. Rabbit cried non-stop and clung on to Fatty, not bearing to let him go.
"Brother Fatty, you will be back to see me, won't you?" Once it finished, it shoved several bags of carrots to Fatty behind Lonemoon's back. "When you're hungry, eat this. Finish it, then come back and look for me when you're done. That's right, don't forget - don't let Great Immortal see this."
"Don't worry, Rabbit. You are my best friend. Once I can, I will come back to see you." Fatty looked like he could not bear to leave either. Once he finished speaking, he picked the bags of carrots up and patted his chest. "I promise!"
Lonemoon, who had seen the entire process: "…"
Why don't the both of you just get together already! "It's getting late. Let's set off!" Chan Ji said as he looked at the skies.
"Alright." Lonemoon nodded. Once he thought about Fatty's weight, he realized there was no way they were going to sword- ride. Instead, Lonemoon took something out of his storage back and tossed it outward. It turned into a huge spirit boat that was pure white in color. Spirit Qi engulfed it. Under the sun, it looked multi-colored. It was absolutely beautiful. The designs on the ark of the boat were even more exquisite. It was obvious that the entire boat had cost a bomb.
Chan Ji silently put back the Lotus Stage that he had begun to draw out of his storage bag.
"Let's set off!" Lonemoon led the group of them up the boat and turned back to Chan Ji. "Court Lord Chan Ji, please lead the way."
"But of course." Chan Ji nodded and stepped forward to give Lonemoon some brief instructions. While Lonemoon set the direction of the boat, he took the chance to chat with Chan Ji. At the same time, he tried to find out what the situation at Hao Ran Court was like. Coincidentally, the so-called Hao Ran Court was located at the east of the Southern Land, atop the Uncrooked Sea. It was much faster to go there from the Southern Land than it was to try to enter from the outside. The Uncrooked Sea experienced strong winds all year round. It was also filled with rich yin Qi, so few cultivators made their way there, if any at all.
But the Hao Ran Court was a Buddhist cultivating sect. The Buddhist techniques worked well against Yin and evil creatures. That was why they were the only surviving sect atop the Uncrooked Sea. In fact, they have probably been living there, away from civilization, for a long time. Buddhist cultivators used merits to cultivate, so the disciples in that sect had a wealth of experience and were all very well-trained. Although their battling skills were not as good as sword cultivators, cultivators who trained with merit were different from other cultivators. The Heavenly Dao was extremely stingy with giving merit. In fact, even if other realms tried, they might not even be able to accumulate much merit.
One would know just by taking a look at Yun Heng. He saved the world several times and saved tens of thousands of living creatures while he was at it. That was the only reason he managed to accumulate so much merit. What's more, after he saved Song Ren's life, he lost everything. It was obvious that accumulating merit was no easy feat. Naturally, then, there were great benefits that came with accumulating merit. The Heavenly Dao was biased toward people who had merit. In terms of luck, they did far better than others. Having merit in your body also allowed you to keep evil at bay. As time goes by, the chances of getting a golden body would also increase. Another subtle benefit came from the fact that merit could only be accumulated if the beneficiary felt genuinely thankful for something that one did. It was like having a good review. Once someone else attacks a person with merit, he would accumulate bad karma. That would in turn harm his or her cultivation. So demons and immortals alike tended to stay away from Buddhist cultivators.
But according to Chan Ji, it seemed that Hao Ran Court was quite different from other Buddhist cultivators. They were… busybodies! That was different from other Buddhist cultivators, who normally did not ask too much about worldly things, or who went too deep into the mortal world to try to accumulate merit. The people of Hao Ran Court concerned themselves even with matters involving the immortal realm!
But there was bound to be some form of injustice in all of this. They could fight. They were Buddhist cultivators, but their disciples were strong. In fact, there were more Soul Formation cultivators in that sect than any other level of cultivator. Lonemoon also heard of an elder in the sect who had already become a True Immortal with a golden body. He only decided not to ascend to immortality for the sake of his sect. From all of this, it was clear that Hao Ran Court had character.
People who did not believe in bad karma used to try to attack people of the sect. After failing a couple of times, however, nobody tried to attack the sect again. It did not help that word spread that people of Hao Ran Court fought fair. As time went by, it became one of the renowned arbitration institutions of the Sacred Arrival Realm.
Hao Ran Court was not called Hao Ran Court at first - it was called the Buddhist Heart Sect. However, because they were busybodies, everybody began to look for them to have their disputes resolved. That was why they renamed themselves Hao Ran Court - it was a place where people could seek justice.
It was understandable therefore that they were being hated on by Divine Imperial Sect for helping to stand up for Fatty.
However… Lonemoon lowered his gaze. If they wanted to find out whether Hao Ran Court's anger at them was justified, they could only do so by making a trip down.
"Master…" In the boat, Chef hesitantly spoke up. Yet, he did not stop placing plates full of pastries on the table in front of Shen Ying.
"Yes?" Shen Ying turned to look at him.
Chef looked outside at Lonemoon and Chan Ji, who were still chatting. "That thing on that man's body, is that…
Shen Ying nodded. "Yes."
Chef frowned even more deeply. A moment later, as if thinking of something, he placed the remaining plates in his hands aside and said seriously, "Master, there is something I wanted to ask you."
Shen Ying picked up a pastry and stuffed it in her mouth. "What is it?"
"Ever since the last time, when Master woke up from the coma…" Chef paused, then shook his head. "No, I should say Elder Shen… After Older Sister knocked that invader out, my powers felt different. I don't know if I'm mistaken, but I feel like… I feel like…"
"You're not wrong!" Shen Ying said. "You are!"
"What!" Chef jumped up in shock.
Shen Ying pondered for a moment, then continued, "This is rather complicated. I should say that it was the plane's plan all along. It's only going back to its plan now."
"Then Kai Tian and the rest-"
"That's why my older sister said they did everything for no reason." "If that's the case, what's your plan then, Master?" Something came to Yi Qing's mind and his face drained of color. He grabbed Shen Ying and scanned her from head to toe. "Will you turn into what you were like before because of me?"
The pastry in Shen Ying's hand slipped out because of the force Yi Qing used. Er… What a waste!
"Master!" Seeing that Shen Ying had nothing to say in response, Yi Qing became more anxious.
"Don't worry, don't worry!" Shen Ying waved her hand and assured him. "I'm alright. Nothing will happen to me."
"Even if you're different, you're still my assistant. That won't change. Do you understand?"
"…" He did not. "In other words, you have to work for me forever." Shen Ying tilted her head and pondered. "I have to look again to be sure of the real reason, but your change will not affect me a single bit. It will not cause me to enter a coma once again."
Yi Qing stared at her very seriously for a couple of seconds to confirm that she was telling the truth. Then, he let out a huge sigh of relief. "That's good, that's good… Should we tell Father Niu about this? It's good-"
"I don't think so." Shen Ying shook her head almost immediately. "It's not time yet. Anyway, we have a huge problem to settle now…" Shen Ying thought of something she narrowed her eyes. They had not even started. If Father Niu wanted to rage, he could do so later on. After all, he should be used to it by now.
Chapter 486: Arriving at Hao Ran Court
"Alright, Master! No problem, Master!" Chef nodded obediently. He pretended like he did not know anything. He turned around and looked outside at the person who was still chatting happily with Chan Ji. Then, he turned back to glance at Shen Ying, who was just in front of him. For some reason, he flushed.
Suddenly, he pulled her over and planted a kiss on her lips in a flash. Then, he put distance between them again. His face turned a much deeper shade of red. He pressed his fingers to his own lips. She tasted like osmanthus cakes. She was indeed so sweet!
Shen Ying: "…" Could he be more serious about kissing her?
Did he think they were still playing games?
"Che-" "Master, I have to go and cook now!" Before she could say a word, Chef turned around and left the room, his face still flushed red. He walked so quickly that he tripped on the door frame. As he fell, he knocked into Fatty, who was just entering the room. Both of them collapsed onto the ground and hurriedly got back to their feet. Chef turned and left without turning back.
"Lady Shen, Fellow Daoist Chef is…" Fatty, who was now bleeding from his nose, pinched his nose bridge and sat down on the ground, confused.
Shen Ying sighed. "He has meat to eat, but he insists on drinking soup made from the meat instead. Do you think he's retarded?"
"Huh huh huh?" Fatty was even more confused now. Since when was Lady Shen so cryptic when she spoke?
Lonemoon and the rest had been flying for a full three days before they finally made it through the Southern Land and arrived at the Uncrooked Sea. Chan Ji was right. There was indeed strong winds blowing atop the sea, and yin Qi was thick above the sea. Ordinary dharmic equipment would not make it through the sea successfully.
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon…" Chan Ji pulled out his lotus stage and was just about to remind the group of the dangers associated with being out at the Uncrooked Sea.
However, Lonemoon steered the spirit boat straight into the area. The moment they entered the Uncrooked Sea, a transparent defensive array appeared around the spirit boat, surrounding it so as to block out the strong winds and rich yin Qi. Not a single breeze could be felt inside the boat.
"What were you saying?" Lonemoon turned back to look at Chan Ji.
"No… Nothing." Once again, Chan Ji kept his lotus stage back into his storage bag. For the second time, he felt shame wash over him. The spirit boat floated over the Uncrooked Sea for two whole days before the group arrived at Hao Ran Court. From afar, they could see a golden light glowing in the middle of the sea. The dark Uncrooked Sea seemed to be split apart by that golden light. A tall mountain peak floated above the sea. Atop the mountain, there were countless golden temples. Faintly, they could make out that each of them were glowing golden as well. It was almost as if there was a huge lighthouse in the middle of the sea that was exceptionally eye-catching.
As they got closer to the mountain, they realized that the temples themselves were not golden. However, they were surrounded by a sort of Buddhist glow that made them appear golden.
"Fellow Daoists, we have arrived." Chan Ji smiled kindly.
It was then that Lonemoon steered the spirit boat toward the golden glow, stopping on a field of one of the huge temples. The moment they landed, they heard Buddhist chanting. Compared to other sect's sect masters, Chan Ji was relatively low key. Outside the temple, only two Buddhist cultivators stood guard.
Chan Ji walked forward to chat with the two disciples. A moment later, he approached Lonemoon anxiously and said, "Something has happened within the sect. Your subordinate is going to get it settled. Fellow Daoists, you have had a long, hard journey. Please get some rest in the living room. I will come back later to bring you all around Hao Ran Court. How does that sound?"
"Since you have urgent matters to tend to, please go ahead. Don't worry about us," Lonemoon responded politely as he nodded.
It was only then that Chan Ji turned to his two disciples and gave instructions to them to lead the group inside to the living room. Lonemoon studied the two disciples and found that their cultivation levels were not high. They looked like they had just formed their Golden Core Even their bone age did not seem that high. Yet, they already had a golden glow that surrounded their entire body. Lonemoon guessed that if they were allowed to cultivate right here in the Court Lord's territory, the quality of their bodies must be quite good.
"Fellow Daoists, are you disciples of Court Lord Chan Ji?" Lonemoon asked. The two of them paused and turned to look at him. A moment later, they respectfully answered, "Responding to Supremacy - we are just ordinary disciples in charge of guarding this mountain in Hao Ran Court. We are not the Court Lord's disciples."
"Oh?" Lonemoon narrowed his eyes. "I've studied your body types - they're quite good. And you say you're just ordinary disciples. Hao Ran Court really is something else - each of your disciples is so outstanding."
"Supremacy, you are flattering us," the disciples dismissed Lonemoon's praises humbly and bowed toward him. Their eyes, however, displayed more warmth than they did before. There was also a hint of pride in their eyes. It was almost as if they had expected Lonemoon to say something along those lines.
"Dear guests, we have arrived at the living room." The two disciples stopped outside a sparkling clean yard. The cultivator on the left retrieved a prohibition token from within his robes and hung it by the yard gates. The yard gates opened up and revealed a relatively small tower within. "Distinguished guests, please enter. We will not disturb your slumber." "Thank you for leading the way, Fellow Daoists."
"This was the least we could do," the disciples responded, bowing once again before turning to leave.
Lonemoon and the others walked into the living room and realized that from the inside, it looked exceptionally big. The inside looked even bigger than the outside. There was a yard outside the living room, and a small pond. There was also a small forest beside the pond, and a pavilion located within it Opposite from them stood a three-level wooden tower, which looked especially well-furnished.
Rich spirit Qi engulfed them as they surveyed the inside. It was no wonder this place was sealed off. The yard alone was filled with rich spirit Qi. It was better than most cultivation grounds elsewhere.
"It looks like we're going to be staying here for awhile," Lonemoon said to the group. "There are quite a lot of rooms here. The first floor will be reserved for Chef to cook. We will stay on the second floor. Shen Ying, you can look for a room on the third floor." "Why?" She did not want to climb all the way to the third floor.
Lonemoon rolled his eyes. "Given the way you snore, you could take the entire building down. Of course we should be as far away from you as possible. If you don't take the top-most floor, who would?"
"Ah, that's so troublesome!" Why must she be on the third floor?
"Shut up!" Lonemoon glared at her. After pondering for a moment, he added, "At the very most, I could set up a transportation array that connects the first floor with the third."
"Oh." If there was going to be a lift, he should have said so earlier!
"Let's go - we'll go in and settle down first." Lonemoon walked toward the tower. Chef followed suit and took his cooking utensils out of his bag. He only walked a couple of steps when he realized that Shen Ying was not moving. "What are you doing?"
"Father Niu, what is that?" She pointed at the pond in the yard.
Lonemoon glanced at it and said, "It's a lotus flower! But in a place like that, I guess it's a spirit lotus."
"Oh…" Shen Ying replied. "It doesn't seem like there are any rabbits here to keep the pond clean."
"Nonsense. The one at the Southern Land was a spirit river. What's more, they are growing some plants in this pond. Of course this pond will not be as clear as the river in the Southern Land," Lonemoon explained. Seeing that she was still not moving, he reached out and dragged her along. "I can only set up the transportation array later. This time, you have to climb up!"
Chapter 487: Lotus Pond Glows
They had to say that Hao Ran Court's standards for guest rooms were pretty high. Not only did they have a place to house the guests, they also had everything prepared for them. They even found some commonly used elixirs in the house, like grain liberation elixirs and spirit-returning pills.
Lonemoon took one look at the pills and elixirs and then faced Yi Qing. "Chef, what do you think of Hao Ran Court?" Did Chan Ji genuinely want to help Fatty out, or did he have a hidden motive?
Yi Qing frowned as he poured Shen Ying a cup of tea. "We cannot trust them so soon."
"No," Fatty immediately retorted without a hint of suspicion. "Isn't Hao Ran Court the most just place? What's more, Master Chan Ji helped me to fend off the attack from that immortal weapon earlier. He doesn't look like a bad person. Master, I think… they're not…"
Fatty trailed off mid-sentence as he caught Lonemoon's face.
He shrank back into a ball. "Hmph, what right do you - a fool who has given his own flesh to the Imperial Sacred Sect for years - have to speak, given your intellect and judgment?"
"…" How his heart hurt - he missed Rabbit.
Lonemoon did not bother much with Fatty. He turned back to Yi Qing and said, "I think that Chan Ji's timing was too accurate." He did not come any earlier or later - he only appeared just as Fatty was being badly beaten up. Although on the surface, he did help Fatty, and Imperial Sacred Sect did pay the price for treating Fatty the way they did, Lonemoon still felt like there was something strange about the entire matter.
"If he has other motives, what could they be?" Yi Qing asked.
This was something that Lonemoon just could not figure out. The only thing that Fatty had that was worth coveting was that special body of his. Buddhist cultivators, however, depended on merit and could not kill others. Since they could not have any blood on their hands, they were indeed the only group of people who would not harbor any thoughts about using flesh. This was all the more so now that Fatty's identity was known to everyone. From every angle, Hao Ran Court looked like the just actor in the entire situation. They did not seem to harbor any selfish intentions. But this was all the more reason for Lonemoon not to trust them.
Suddenly, Lonemoon thought about something. He turned to face the lady who was slumped on the table. "Shen Ying, why did you agree to let Fatty come here in the first place?" Speaking of this, Shen Ying was the one who had agreed to let Fatty come to Hao Ran Court at the time. Although, once they found out Fatty's identity, it was no longer convenient for them to remain in the Southern Land. After all, demons and beasts would naturally be drawn to his special flesh.
"Huh?" Shen Ying tilted her head. Then, she answered, "Because of that lightbulb…"
Before she could finish speaking, they heard a familiar voice outside. "Fellow Daoists, are you resting well?"
They all exchanged looks, then walked out. Chan Ji was outside the yard, waiting for them to appear. "Court Lord Chan Ji, you've come earlier than we expected," Lonemoon greeted him. "Have you settled the problem in your sect?"
Chan Ji seemed to be bothered by something. He frowned and said, "These are just everyday matters. It was just that they were chasing me to go over and take a look. I hope you would not take this to heart."
"Don't worry, Court Lord. We're already thankful to be on the receiving end of your court's hospitality."
"You're too formal, Fellow Daoist!" Chan Ji smiled warmly. Knowing that Lonemoon was the sort who would treat others as they treated him, Chan Ji offered to show them around the sect so they would be familiar with the surroundings.
Naturally, Lonemoon did not turn down an opportunity to formally explore Hao Ran Court. He politely followed Chan Ji as he showed them around the sect. Chan Ji did not seem to mind bringing a group of strangers around the sect as well. They set off from the living room and headed first for the main hall. Then they visited the side halls on either side, as well as other big and small halls around the area. Along the way, they met with many disciples at various cultivation levels. There were indeed many of them who were of high cultivation levels - even more so than in Imperial Sacred Sect. Like Chan Ji, they received their guests very warmly. Perhaps it was because they were Buddhist cultivators - Lonemoon did not sense an ounce of cockiness about them. Instead, each of them carried a golden glow around their bodies.
The more Lonemoon saw, the more uncomfortable he felt. Yet, for some reason, he could not point out what exactly was wrong. If he had to say what it was, he would probably point to the fact that everyone in the sect seemed exceptionally nice. They did not seem in the least bit fake.
"Earlier, this was where we refined our pills." Chan Ji pointed toward a small hall in front of them.
"Oh? You refine pills," Lonemoon repeated subconsciously.
Chan Ji smiled. "Hao Ran Court is far away from civilization. It's not very convenient for us to head out and get pills and elixirs from stores, as it is for other sects. To save ourselves the trouble, we decided to produce our own pills and elixirs. Our disciples all produce these for themselves. Although our skills are not as good as those of other sects', we refine our pills under the Buddhist glow. Therefore, the pills and elixirs that we produce are generally more effective than normal."
"Oh, is there such a thing?" Lonemoon narrowed his eyes.
"Indeed." Chan Ji nodded. He thought about something, then turned to Fatty and said, "Oh yes, Fellow Daoist Hui Ze, you got seriously injured when you battled with the people of Imperial Sacred Sect earlier. I'm not sure if you have recovered fully. If you don't mind, you can have some spirit-recovering pills from the living room. It will help with the recovery."
"Thank you for your kind intentions, Court Lord." Fatty bowed respectfully toward him. "Before we arrived at the Southern Land, Master healed my wounds. I'm all better now." He also managed to refine 100 spirit swords to repay his debt!
"That's good," Chan Ji sighed in relief. It was only then that he led the group into the mini alchemy to look around. As he said, there were common herbs being prepared in that mini alchemy. They did produce their own common medicines. Once they exited the mini alchemy, Chan JI led them through each of the remaining halls. They were all pretty average. Some of them were otherwise empty apart from several disciples. Chan Ji brought them through the rear mountain, on the way back to their tower. As he walked, he introduced, "The rear mountain is the place we grow spirit herbs in this sect. It is also where the disciples normally train at. Normally, if the sun is still in the sky, this would be the busiest place in the sect."
As he finished speaking, they walked through a patch of land where the sect was growing low-level spirit herbs. A huge pond appeared before their eyes. It looked about a hundred metres wide, and there were huge lotus flowers floating in the pond. They were red, and they filled nearly the entire pond. A golden glow surrounded this whole scene.
Yi Qing, who had been carrying Shen Ying, halted as his eyes widened. He immediately turned around and said, "Master, this place-"
"Yes." Shen Ying made herself comfortable on Chef's back and shifted her head from his left shoulder to his right. "I smelled it from afar." Yi Qing lowered his gaze.
The three people in front did not notice those behind them. Lonemoon walked with Chan Ji in front of the group and found that there was an empty plot of land right next to the pond. There were a few hundred disciples on that plot of land, deep in meditation. There was a golden glow around each of them, much like the one around the pond.
"This lotus pond has been with the sect from its earliest days. I heard that it was built by the ancestors who started our sect. It is said that it is about several million years old," Chan Ji explained, as if sensing that they were about to ask questions. "Our ancestors ascended to this very area. That's why to this day, generations of my sect's members refer to this place as the holy land. Each day, they would sit here and participate in meditation. For this reason, perhaps, the lotus river gained this Buddhist glow over time."
"I see." So that was the reason even the pond had a Buddhist glow.
Chapter 488: Strange Changes in Hao Ran
Chan Ji brought the group of them to closer to the disciples who were meditating. As they walked along the river, he picked up a lotus and handed it to Lonemoon, saying, "These lotus flowers in the river are doused in Buddhist glow day in and day out. They've already become spirit herbs themselves. We only get one such lotus every hundred years. They can be used to refine weapons and its seeds can be used to stabilize one's internal qi. Fellow Daoist, do try out its effects."
"Oh?" Lonemoon took the lotus somewhat curiously. A strong surge of spirit Qi exuded from it. It was no worse off than top- grade spirit herbs. Faintly, he could smell its fragrance. Out of habit, he handed it to the foodie. "Foodie Ying, you-"
"I don't want it!" Shen Ying turned him down immediately, full of contempt. "I hate vegetables!"
"Don't eat it then!" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. Stupid girl, you think I would give this to you? He plucked out a seed from the lotus. Shen Ying glanced at the lotus in his hands and her eyes narrowed. Suddenly, she said, "Chef."
"Where do lotuses grow?"
"They grow on lotus flowers."
"Lotus flowers? Are they the same as the dandelions that Radish gives to me?"
"Yes, Master, dandelions have seeds as well."
Lonemoon, who was about to bite down on the lotus: "…" His mind became filled with images of a certain disharmony.
Shit, now he lost all desire to eat it. He was even beginning to feel the urge to puke.
Lonemoon pursed his lips. As if he had been burned by it, Lonemoon shoved the lotus along with its seeds back to Chan Ji. "Ah, Court Lord, this sounds very valuable. I think it would be better not to waste it." He raised his head up to the sky and said, "Thank you for today, Court Lord. It looks like it's getting late. We shall not bother you any further. We should head back to our guest room now." Once he finished speaking, he turned around and walked off. As he walked away, he used his right hand to conjure several seals in order to cleanse it. It was almost as if he had touched something extremely dirty, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not wash his hands clean enough.
Chan Ji: "…"
What just happened? ——————
Just like that, the four of them remained at Hao Ran Court for an entire month. Apart from coming out to greet Chan Ji every once in awhile, they were not otherwise disturbed by outsiders. From time to time, they would walk around the sect and the people they met were extremely polite toward them. They were told that they were free to come and go from anywhere around the sect. Throughout the entire time, they did not find anything suspicious about the place. The sect was just as its name suggested. Everybody was just and honest, unlike no other. Even Lonemoon's suspicions had dissipated over time.
Chan Ji had said that he would cause the bastards from Imperial Sacred Sect to lose their cultivation over three months. Lonemoon planned to remain at Hao Ran Court for three months to see the outcome of that promise. In any case, they had not finished paying off Fatty's debt. They could use these three months to observe the way Fatty trained with weapons and created talismans. Although the spirit equipment of the lower realm was not worth much, if he truly managed to ascend in the future, he could still pay them back.
For some reason, however, Fatty's cultivation had stopped increasing altogether, despite the fact that he had already resolved the knot in his heart. He was stuck in the late stages of Soul Formation, and he showed no signs of breaking through. Everything else about him was normal, yet no matter how he manipulated his spirit Qi, he could not break through. Lonemoon was beginning to suspect that Fatty's cheat characteristics had disappeared. Otherwise, how was it possible that he was getting stuck at this stage?
Fatty, on the other hand, was not at all anxious about this fact. He continued training as per normal. When asked about it, he said seriously, "Master, you're so awesome, but you did not ascend as well. I can't be that far off, can I?"
"How do you know I can't ascend?" He could go into the immortal realm as and when he pleased, alright?
"Eh! Isn't that true?" Fatty hesitated. "Isn't it true that Master has not been able to ascend to immortality because you have not been able to abstain from grains?"
"…" Who was not able to abstain from grains?! Fatty was the one who could not - his entire family could not! "We're going to train twice as hard today."
"Get lost!" Who's your master.
"It must be because of the realm gates, right?" Yi Qing said in a low voice as he looked toward the skies. "The lock on the realm gates have not been undone. Given Fatty's capabilities, even if his cultivation does increase, he will not be able to ascend to immortality." Not unless he went by the back door.
"You mean to say…" Lonemoon's expression fell. "The nomological force has no way of returning to its original state, so Fatty cannot ascend to immortality?"
"That's right." Yi Qing nodded.
"Shit!" Lonemoon frowned. Then how long would they have to remain in this small realm for! "Or maybe…" Yi Qing looked at the lotus pond outside their yard and said, "It might be settled soon enough."
"Huh?" Lonemoon stared at him blankly. He started to ask another question.
Suddenly, the ground began to shake and they heard a huge crash. The entire Hao Ran Sect seemed to be under attack. The great array that was protecting their sect was activated and a golden light covered the entire sect. Even their little yard gate could no longer be opened.
"What's the matter?" Lonemoon stood up. Everything around him continued to shake violently. In fact, everything was shaking more and more violently. Noise began to fill the ever- silent sect, and they began to feel cold yin Qi emanating from the ground. On closer inspection, they found that the yin Qi was coming from the sea underneath the mountain.
Yi Qing and Lonemoon walked out. Even Fatty realized that something was wrong and emerged from his room. Lonemoon and Yi Qing released their divine perception. Indeed, not far away, disciples were flying out of the premises in a panic. All the disciples were heading downward, toward the sea under the mountain.
"There's something under the mountain," Yi Qing said firmly.
Lonemoon frowned and was just about to ask another question when a disciple rushed into the yard and bowed toward them. "Elders, my Court Lord gave orders to tell you that it is no longer convenient for you to stay here because something big has happened to our sect. Please descend quickly and leave the Uncrooked Sea."
"What exactly is happening?" Lonemoon frowned. Why was Chan Ji chasing them away all of a sudden?
"Well…" The disciple looked like he was being put on the spot. "Your subordinate is only following the orders of my sect master, to lead you down the mountain. I'm not so sure about anything else. Now that the array that protects our mountain has been activated, you can no longer exit from the main entrance. I'll have to lead you through the rear mountain. There's hardly any time left. If we wait any longer, you will not be able to leave. Please, Elders, follow me quickly." Lonemoon and Chef exchanged a meaningful look and said, "Does it have to do with the thing that's under the mountain?"
"Elders…" The disciple turned pale, and he looked even more panicked than before. "I… I don't know either."
"That's alright. Bring us to see your Court Lord immediately," Lonemoon answered in a low voice. "From the way things are looking, I guess that the problem is not a small one. Maybe we can lend a hand."
The disciple looked up at him, hesitated, and then nodded. "Alright, please follow me."
Lonemoon mounted his flying sword and suddenly paused. "Wait. Where's Shen Ying? Bring her along!" Otherwise they'll lose her again.
Yi Qing nodded, then carried Shen Ying up onto his sword while she was still gnawing on her fruit. Together with Fatty, they flew out of their guest house. Indeed, they found Chan Ji below Hao Ran Court., standing on the surface of the Uncrooked Sea. Beside him, he had more than ten other Soul Formation disciples. Among them, one exuded a faint immortal Qi. On closer inspection, they realized that that particular disciple was already an Earth Immortal. He was only suppressing his cultivation by force.
Chapter 489: Ancient Ferocious Beast
They seemed to be combining their forces to hold up an array. It looked like an extremely complicated array. It took Lonemoon a long time before he recognized it to be a huge seal. However, it did not look stable. Instead, it looked like it was going to break apart at any time. The array contained cool yin aura, which was seeping out continuously.
The group of them combined their forces to hold the array in place, as if afraid that whatever was inside it would escape. However, even their combined powers were not strong enough. The yin Qi inside the array grew and grew, and the thing captured inside of it continued to crash against the boundaries of the array. Each time it collided with the boundaries, the entire Hao Ran Sect shook.
Lonemoon frowned. He turned to face the person beside him. "Fatty, go and help them out."
"Yes, Master." Fatty immediately rushed over. It was almost as if he couldn't have waited a second longer. Since he just learned how to conjure this array, he had no difficulty in remembering how to help out. He immediately faced the ball of yin Qi, conjured his own array, and moved it so as to support the powers of the other disciples around him.
"Why are you…" Chan Ji looked shocked when he saw Fatty next to him. He turned around and addressed Lonemoon and the two other elders.
"Focus on the array!" Lonemoon shouted to him. "You haven't finished setting it up!"
Chan Ji turned back to focus on the array. Now that Fatty was helping them, the pressure on each of them was lightened considerably. Yin Qi finally stopped flowing out of the array.
Within half a minute, the collision against the array stopped as well. The sea went back to being calm. The glow around the array slowly disappeared.
"Thank you for your help, Fellow Daoist!" Chan Ji nodded at Fatty, and then turned to face Lonemoon and the others once again. "It was convenient for us to land a hand. Please don't stand on ceremony, Court Lord," Fatty responded, smiling.
"May I ask you, Court Lord, what exactly is this thing captured in the array?" Lonemoon asked as he watched the seal. "Your disciples are all Soul Formation cultivators. What exactly was it that was so hard to subdue despite the combined forces of more than ten of you?"
"Well…" Chan Ji's expression changed. He hesitated.
"It's a fierce beast!" The elderly man behind Chan J interjected. It was that Earth Immortal.
"There's no harm in letting them know!" The man waved his hand, stopping Chan Ji from objecting any further. "They don't look like evil people. For all we know, we can get more help fighting this thing by telling this group of people." "This Fellow Daoist is…?" Lonemoon took one look at the Earth Immortal and asked. This Earth Immortal could remain in the lower realm for such a long time without ascending to immortality, and not as an itinerant cultivator as well. It was amazing.
"This is the Patriarch of our sect - Exalted Immortal Jing De," Chan Ji introduced.
"So it's Fellow Daoist Jing De." Lonemoon cupped his fists respectfully and greeted him.
The expressions of the other cultivators present changed immediately. Jing De's status in the Sacred Arrival Realm was different from the other cultivators'. Some might even say that he was one of the first people to enter the immortal realm. Perhaps because he was a True immortal, everybody addressed him as "Exalted Immortal". Yet, Lonemoon only referred to him as a fellow Daoist. Even Jing De could not help but frown, but he did not go so far as to correct him.
"This seal contains the ferocious Weeping Beast!" "What, a Weeping Beast!" Lonemoon exclaimed, his eyes widening.
"Huh?" Shen Ying turned to Chef out of habit.
Yi Qing lowered his head and explained, "Master, the Weeping Beast is an ancient beast. It's one of the divine races, which appeared on this realm at the same time as dragons and phoenixes. Such ferocious beasts are just as strong as divine races, but they're different in that the former do not have sentience, and they are natural killers. From ancient times, beasts of the divine race have been battling these ferocious beasts. Almost all of the latter have been killed. Logically… there should be no ancient ferocious beasts left on this realm."
"Then what's this wee… whatever beast?"
"It's a Weeping Beast." Yi Qing pondered for a moment before he continued explaining, "Legend has it that the ancient ferocious Weeping Beast has yin Qi as its soul, baleful Qi as its spirit, and grievous energy as its bones. It's extremely murderous and it thirsts for fresh flesh and blood. It would eat anything that has life in it." "Well…" Shen Ying narrowed her eyes.
Lonemoon lowered his gaze and asked, "What is an ancient ferocious beast doing in the mortal realm?" Shouldn't they be appearing in the divine realm, if anywhere at all? That's more fitting of their status.
"We're not too sure about that either," Chan Ji sighed. "Years ago, when our sect's patriarch discovered the Weeping Beast, they sealed it and created a Buddhist Sect - Hao Ran Court, as we know it today. They wanted to use the Buddhist glow to cleanse this beast of its yin Qi and baneful Qi." As if thinking of something, Chan Ji shook his head and continued, "But all these years, this ferocious beast has not gotten better. Instead, it has gotten much worse. Now, even the seal that our late Grandmaster left behind is not strong enough to contain it."
"Just leaving it in a seal is not going to solve the problem." If this ancient ferocious beast escaped, all the cultivators in the mortal realm would not be able to fend themselves against it. No, not even all the cultivators in the immortal realm would have an easy time subduing the beast.
"Ah, we too understand that the seal would only deal with the problem temporarily, so that it would be stopped from going out to harm others." Chan Ji looked at Lonemoon helplessly. Something flashed across his face. "But apart from this, we know no other method."
Lonemoon frowned. Of course there were other methods. The most effective of which was of course to get either Chef's or his own help. The problem would be solved immediately. Dealing with the beast was not the problem. The problem was how a beast that had gone extinct even in the divine realm had suddenly appeared in the mortal realm.
"But the seal is getting weaker and weaker as time goes by. The ferocious beast, on the other hand, is getting stronger and stronger. What's more, this is already the third time this week that it's broken out of the seal. It looks like the day is coming where it will completely shatter the seal, unless…" An idea seemed to have popped into Chan Ji's head. He immediately shook his head, his expression troubled. A moment later, he looked at the group and said, "Fellow Daoists, this is Hao Ran Court's problem after all. It has nothing to do with you all. It is no longer safe for you to remain here. Please leave as soon as you can."
Lonemoon's expression darkened. Before he could say anything, Fatty spoke up in a righteous tone, "How can we leave you to settle these problems at a time like this? If the ancient ferocious beast really escapes, all living creatures will be destroyed. Nobody will be able to run away. What's more, we're not people who are afraid of death! Right, Master?" Once he finished his righteous speech, he turned to Lonemoon for affirmation.
"Heh heh." Lonemoon rolled his eyes. "You can go and deal with that ferocious beast yourself." That's for talking like you have the power to do anything about it
"…" Fatty lowered his head immediately.
Lonemoon was too lazy to deal with this passionate youngster. He turned instead to Chan Ji and said, "Court Lord, did you mean to say that there are other methods of stopping this beast from going out into the world?
"There were before, but…" Chan Ji looked him in the eyes. There was fire and passion, but he was finding it difficult to speak his mind. A moment later, he gritted his teeth and said, "The ancestral masters of my sect created this array that can seal ferocious beasts. They since passed it down, generation by generation. Naturally, all of us know how to set it up. Now that the ferocious beast has more or less broken through this one, the most effective method would of course be for us to set up a new seal."
"How can that be done?" Lonemoon asked.
Chapter 490: Remaking the Seal
"This seal requires more than 24 Soul Formation cultivators' combined efforts. Each one has to conjure a different array at the same time in order for it to work. Our sect has a total of 24 Soul Formation cultivators, but…." Chan Ji gestured at the Soul Formation cultivators around him and said, "A few months ago, one cultivator in our sect fell. It caused a hole in the seal. Although Elder Jing De can easily fill that space, there is bound to be a gap as the new seal overtakes the old one. If no one is there to stand guard at that time, the ferocious beast might escape through that gap. That's the reason why we have been holding off creating that new seal for so long."
"So…" Lonemoon lowered his gaze. "You hope that we will guard the array when you're replacing the seal?"
"I know that might be asking too much of you." Chan Ji sighed. "The ancient ferocious beast is too dangerous. Although it will merely take you a couple of seconds, you might be faced with other difficulties. That's why we've always asked our elder to guard the array instead. Ah, you all should leave as soon as you can."
"If all you need is for us to guard the array, I'm willing to give it a shot," Fatty said as he stepped forward. "Court Lord, we cannot delay sealing off that ferocious beast any longer. Leave this matter to us."
"Well…" Chan Ji hesitated. "Guarding the array is a huge matter. Fellow Daoist Hui Ze, if you were to tackle it alone, I'm afraid…"
Fatty turned to Lonemoon pleadingly. "Master…"
Chan Ji turned to face Lonemoon as well.
Lonemoon's eyes darted between the two of them. A moment later, he sighed and said, "With me and Chef, you'll have three people guarding the array in total. That should be enough, right?" Since Fatty had already agreed, Lonemoon could not reject Chan Ji. "That settles it, then."
Chan Ji finally relaxed, as if someone had just taken a huge load off his shoulders. He cupped his fists and bowed at the group, saying, "We are doing this for the sake of all the living creatures under the heavens. Chan Ji shall thank you on behalf of all of them." The cultivators behind him all looked overjoyed as well. Chan Ji turned to address them, his eyes twinkling. "Let's not delay this any further. We can begin immediately."
Once he finished speaking, all the cultivators spread out and assumed their positions. Chan Ji pointed to the middle of the circle and said, "May I request you all to stand guard outside of the array? Take care that you do not allow any yin Qi to escape the array."
"Yes." Fatty nodded. He straightened his back and walked over.
Lonemoon and Yi Qing exchanged a meaningful look, then they pulled Shen Ying out of the way.
Chan Ji gave the order. The Earth Immortal and Soul Formation cultivators outside the array activated their respective arrays all at once. A different array appeared atop each of their heads, gathering together in the middle. After a few minutes, the huge array from earlier on appeared beneath their feet once more. The sea underneath began to swirl, as if something was threatening to jump out at them. Fatty was looking increasingly nervous. He summoned his spirit sword and conjured a seal, keeping his eyes fixed on the scene beneath his feet. He was ready to stop the ferocious beast the moment it escaped from the sea. He remained this way, on high alert, afraid that he would miss a cue. He happened to look away for a fraction of a second and realized that the other three of his companions were standing by the side, relaxed. They looked almost unbothered, like there was nothing major happening at that very moment. Neither Lonemoon nor Yi QIng were even looking at the array beneath their feet, much less Shen Ying, who was still busy gnawing away at her fruits.
Fatty paused, and then looked at them, confused "Master? Aren't you supposed to guard the array?" Why was he the only one who was so anxious?
"What are you panicking for?" Lonemoon looked at him like he was retarded. "The actors are in place, but the show hasn't begun."
"Huh?" What does he mean? Before Fatty could react, the seal on top of their heads was complete. It resembled the array that was beneath their feet. The seal slowly descended from above. It was just about to merge with the array below.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of something being ripped apart. A huge, black hole appeared between the two arrays. It was right in the middle of the array beneath their feet. Yin Qi covered the skies at once, covering the entire array.
The seal… split open!
"This is no good!" Fatty's heart stopped. He turned around and shouted at Chan Ji, "Court Lord, the ferocious beast is going to…"
Before he could finish speaking, he saw Chan Ji grin at Fatty. He looked exactly as he did before, yet somehow this time he looked much more evil. Fatty's chest tightened, and he felt a chill run down his spine. It was then that he finally realized what was going on. He felt himself sinking and everything before his eyes became black. The few of them fell into a new heaven and earth. The array that had been above their heads disappeared. Everything around them was now quiet. The only sound was that of Shen Ying gnawing her fruit.
Lonemoon conjured a fire-elemental spell that lit up the surroundings. All they could see, however, was one another. Everything else remained pitch black.
"Master…" Fatty stared blankly at Lonemoon. He looked hurt.
"What's the matter?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. "Is this your first time being cheated by someone? It's alright, you'll get used to it soon enough."
"…" What kind of logic was that? Fatty's expression darkened. For some reason, he no longer felt as sad as he did just a second ago. A moment later, he said, "Master, are you saying that everything the Court… Chan Ji said about the ferocious beast in the seal was a lie? He led us in here on purpose?" "The seal is definitely a lie, but the ferocious beast may not be."
"Ah!" Fatty paused.
A large roar echoed throughout the surroundings. Two balls of red light appeared a few metres away from them, and they were getting closer and closer. On closer inspection, Fatty realized that he had been staring at a pair of eyes. The pair of eyes was attached to a huge, scary beast, but Fatty could not yet make out its shape and size. The beast was black. Against the pitch black yin Qi, it opened its mouth and revealed rows of sharp teeth that were headed straight for the group.
Fatty's heart fell. The next moment, he felt his body being captured by something so that he could not even make a move. A suppressive force that filled the sky threatened to smash his body into smithereens. He was just about to fall to his knees, when Lonemoon caught him by his arm and helped him back up. The giant beast was about to bite down on them. Yi Qing was going to defend the group. It was at that moment that Shen Ying suddenly frowned and said in a cool voice, "It's so smelly." Then, she raised her hand and slapped the beast across the cheek. "I said stop breathing out at us!" Could it be more self- aware if it had bad breath?
With that, the ferocious beast flew backward and landed with a huge thump onto the ground. Faintly, they heard the sound of something cracking.
The thick yin Qi around the beast's body began to dissipate. Its head was stuck in the cracks in the ground. No matter how hard it struggled, it could not free itself. All it could do was to peek from inside the cracks with its red eyes at the group of people. The beast began to tremble helplessly. It was a long time later that it finally let out a weak…
"Meow…" Fatty: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Wasn't it supposed to be an ancient ferocious beast?
Chef silently kept his sword. If he had known earlier, he would have acted sooner. Then, Master would not have been troubled to act.