Chapter 371: No Entering Samsara
In the rear hall.
"How troublesome." A certain Ying expressed that she was too lazy to get to work.
"Troublesome my foot. Hurry up." Lonemoon was not about to let her slack off any further. He turned around to face Meng Po, who was standing beside her. "Shortie, bring that cowardly ghost to Samsara first." He tugged at Shen Ying and returned to the starry sky at the divine territory.
Shen Ying opened a screen lazily and began her search. A moment later, her sleepy eyes opened wide. A small realm flew out in front of her.
"This is the little realm that our Deed-Signing Stage is connected to?" Lonemoon stepped forward and looked closely at the planet. There were some green patches, and a cloud of white gas surrounding it. He frowned. "Is that a Latter-Day world?" A small realm like this would normally have very little spiritual power. The number of mortals who had working spirit roots would also be few and far between. That was why it would probably be extraordinarily difficult for people to become cultivators. There was not even one person who managed to become a cultivator in a billion years. Some even went so far as to cut off their inheritance so that they had no chance of ever becoming a cultivator. The ghost whose grievous energy had shot to the skies earlier had come from a small realm like this. That was what surprised everyone.
"Forget it, Chef, go over there and fetch Little Black and Yu Hong back." That couple had fallen into the little realm like that for a few days. They must have gotten into some kind of trouble.
"Alright." Yi Qing nodded.
"Come back soon." Shen Ying patted his shoulder, then turned around. "Yeah, I haven't watered Radish yet." She was just about to try to get away when a certain father of her stopped her.
"Wait!" Lonemoon pushed Shen Ying toward Yi Qing. "Go along with him."
"Huh what? Chef just recovered. Are you sure you won't be worried if he goes alone?"
Shen Ying glanced at Yi Qing, then looked back at Father Niu.
Very seriously, she nodded. "Yes, I trust Chef!"
"Get lost." You're just freaking lazy, aren't you?
"Father Niu, can I not go?" That's so troublesome.
"The wedding celebration has just ended. There are so many administrative matters to tend to for the sect. Yu Hong is not around either." He scanned her from head to toe. "Don't tell me that you want to stay behind and go to Qing Ze Continent to deliver immortal equipment? Or to Cloud Sea Continent to look for spirit beasts? Or to Bo Sea Continent to set up arrays?" Shen Ying hesitated, then turned and tugged at Yi Qing's arm. "Little Hong and Little Black have been gone for so long, we're getting worried now. There are so many kidnappers out there these days. As their Sect Master, I must go and get them back. Let's go, Chef!"
She was about to lead Yi Qing away.
"Father Niu, don't stop me! I'm a very principled sect master!"
"…" Did she have any shame?
Lonemoon pursed his lips. He turned and tossed a bag over to her. "I'm not stopping you. Take these spirit stones with you. Don't say I didn't give you allowance for the trip." Spirit stones!
"Come back once you find them. Don't wander around!"
"Okay, Father Niu! No problem, Father Niu!"
He felt more worried now. What was he going to do? Was it too late to ask for the spirit stones back?
The master and disciple arrived at the little realm in a blink of an eye. Just like Lonemoon said, the little realm had very little spirit Qi. The air composition was extremely complicated. There were all kinds of earthly airs. Even Yi Qing frowned because he felt uncomfortable.
He looked around. In order to avoid attracting trouble, they chose to appear in the midst of a dense forest.
"Master, please wait over here for a moment. I am going to search for Yu Hong's aura." Yi Qing handed a fruit to Shen Ying out of habit. Using both of his hands he conjured a seal and began to search for Yu Hong's and Little Black's auras. Some immortal Qi shot forth from his body and throughout the entire little realm.
Even before Shen Ying could finish eating half a fruit, he opened his eyes and frowned. Turning to Shen Ying, he said, "Master, I sense that there is some demonic Qi somewhere north of here, about ten thousand miles away. I think… it should be Little Black."
Shen Ying's eyes narrowed. "Which way is north?"
Chef pointed to his right. "This way." He was just about to fly up on his sword when he noticed that Shen Ying had turned and walked in the opposite direction. "Then let's head this way."
"Ah! Huh?" Yi Qing paused. "Aren't… Aren't we going to fetch them back?"
""Chef…." Shen Ying patted his shoulder. "Do you think anything is going to happen to them?"
Yi Qing stared back at her blankly. He did not understand what she was asking, but he answered honestly, "Given Yu Hong and Little Black's cultivation levels, nothing much would happen to them just because they fall into the lower realm."
"Then why do you think they're not heading back?"
"Huh?" Yi Qing remained dazed.
"They're having their honeymoon. If we go and look for them now, it would not be great." We have to wait for at least a month. They would only return after they finished spending all the spirit stones they had.
"What is… a honeymoon?" Yi Qing could not understand a word Shen Ying was saying.
"A honeymoon is…" Shen Ying tilted her head. She thought about how best to put it. "It's absolutely understandable, logical and lawful. It's all about the nights two cultivators spend together after they get married."
Yi Qing paused, finally understanding something. He blushed.
Shen Ying thought she saw smoke coming out of his ears.
Two… two cultivators… at night…
He stole a glance at Shen Ying, images flashing past his head.
Something dripped out from his nose. "Do you understand?"
Un… understand what?
"Let's go! Let's head to the south." Shen Ying pulled at his arm.
"Master, this is north."
A while later…
"Oh yes, Chef, did you feel like there were little animals around in this forest?"
Yi Qing pressed his nose and answered, "There are 36,957 different beasts." "Good, let's go and pick a fat one!"
"Yes, Master. No problem, Master!"
It was a pity that neither of them could find any animal. The air in front of them began to twist, and a passage opened up.
"Sect Master…" Meng Po walked toward them with a bitter expression. Behind her was a thin line, formed with dharma spells. At the end of the line was a ball of grievous energy that looked much like a furball.
"This is… Song Ren?" Yi Qing looked at the ball of grievous energy suspiciously. How did he turn into a ball of grievous energy again so soon? "Did Father Niu ask you to bring him here to be reincarnated?"
Meng Po's expression fell. Her eyes overflowed with guilt as she bowed toward Shen Ying. "Your disciple failed. I don't know why the grievous energy that this ghost has in her body cannot be removed. Instead, more and more grievous energy is being produced." As she spoke, she raised her hand in an attempt to get rid of more grievous energy. "The grievous energy cannot be gotten rid of. This soul cannot enter Samsara at all. I tried to get rid of the energy several times, but I don't know why no matter where I attempt to do so, I can't… Eh?"
Before she could finish speaking, the ball of grievous energy disappeared. The cowardly nerd appeared once again.
"This is…" He looked around, eyes widened in confusion. Upon seeing Meng Po holding the line, he paled and began to panic. A moment later, he seemed to recall something and then patted his chest. "So it's you, the immortals! Oh right, weren't you immortals going to send me to Samsara? Is this the Underworld?"
"That's really strange. What exactly are you?" Meng Po studied him in confusion. All of them gathered around the ghost. "I could not get rid of your grievous energy earlier on. Why did all the grievous energy disappear the moment you arrived in front of Sect Master?" How could it be that this soul had trouble entering the River of Forgetfulness?
Yi Qing frowned. He released his divine perception to study the ghost. Apart from the fact that his soul was now weakened by the grievous energy, there was nothing out of the ordinary about him.
"Master, could he be…" an invader?
"No." Shen Ying's eyes narrowed as she scanned the cowardly ghost. She turned to face Meng Po. "Shortie, apart from you, does anyone else know how to get rid of grievous energy?"
 The third age of Buddhism.
Chapter 372: Qing He County
"There are, but it's more troublesome." Meng Po pondered for awhile and said, "Grievous energy is being produced because this man suffered some sort of injustice when he was still alive. As a result, he had grievance toward the world. Apart from trying to get rid of it by force, we can only try to figure out how he died and resolve the knot in his heart. That will take care of the grievous energy."
That really did sound troublesome.
The key was the soul himself had forgotten how he died. How were they going to figure it out?
Shen Ying tilted her head and turned to Yi Qing. "How about we just beat the grievous energy out of him?" That was probably a more no-waste method of doing things.
"Master…" Yi Qing frowned. "His soul is already extremely weak. I can't even withstand a blow from you - his soul will dissipate for sure." "…" What should we do then? Why not you hit him?
"He said he came from Qing He before." Yi Qing scanned the ghost from head to toe. "Why not we head over to take a look?"
"Would there be anything to eat?"
""It's a county city, I think there is a significant number of people over there. There should be food for us to eat." For all they knew, they could probably replenish their resources.
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
"Yes, Master." Yi Qing turned to address Meng Po. "Shortie, why don't you return first? Hand the ghost over to us for now."
Meng Po nodded. He turned around and stole a glance at the still confused little ghost. Then, she disappeared. Song Ren jumped upon seeing Meng Po disappear into thin air. He curled himself up into a ball immediately, then turned to look at Yi Qing. "Immortal, what were the two of you talking about? What grievous energy? Do I have something… something fearful on my body?" The ghost could not figure out what was going on. After hearing the conversation between the few of them about this grievous energy, he managed to decipher that this thing was stopping him from reincarnating.
"We're going on a trip right now to figure out the cause of your death," Yi Qing explained. "Don't worry, we'll make sure you reincarnate."
Song Ren nodded, then bowed to the both of them. "Thank you, Exalted Immortals."
What a well-mannered ghost.
"Master, let's go!" Yi Qing drew his dharmic sword and helped Shen Ying onto it. Then, he turned to the ghost.
Song Ren paused. He figured out that he was supposed to hop on the sword, so he floated toward it. Just like the nerd he was, he bowed one more time. "Thank you, Exalted Immortal, for taking me to- Ah!"
Before he could finish speaking, Yi Qing pulled the ghost onto the sword and took off. Song Ren was not prepared to fly into the air. He let out a wail that sounded like a dying pig.
Yi Qing: "â€¦"
Shen Ying, "…"
Ten minutes later…
"Get off me!" Yi Qing could not stand it any further. He glared at the ghost hanging onto him like an octopus. No matter how scared he had been, he should have calmed down by then. They had been flying for ten minutes!
"Exalted…. Exalted Immortal." Song Ren's originally pale face had turned even whiter. "I'm… I'm afraid of heights!" Weren't you floating just awhile ago? Is there anything you're not afraid of?
Yi QIng frowned, peeling the ghost off his body and holding him an arm length away. "Lead the way."
"Huh? Ah!" Song Ren had not regained his composure.
"The Qing He County that you stayed at - which direction is it?"
Yi Qing paused, then turned to fly toward the south-east.
After about an hour - with intermittent screaming along the way - the group finally came to a civilised area. From afar, they could even see a couple of villages. The three of them landed. Song Ren was scared stiff. His ghostly body was even more translucent now. He looked like he could dissipate at any moment. The moment they landed, he tried to act tough and get to his feet. After regaining his composure, he cleared his throat, cupped his fists and bowed to the two others. "I apologise!" He was once again a composed gentleman. It was almost as if he had not been the one who had been panicking the entire journey over here. Of course, one would not be able to tell if not for his trembling legs.
"Left or right?" Yi Qing pointed to the two paths that lay ahead of them. They would probably come to the town centers if they travelled any further up. There were too many mortals there, and the group could not fly too far above ground since they had to keep their eye on the land. In order to avoid any unnecessary attention, they decided to walk the rest of the way.
Song Ren looked left and right. There was a hint of joy in his eyes as he pointed to the path on the right. "I recognise this place! Let's go this way. We'll arrive at the county in about two hours."
"Let's go." Yi Qing nodded, turned to take two steps, then realised then Shen Ying had not moved. She was looking at the path on the right in a daze. "Master?" Yi Qing called out to her.
Shen Ying regained her composure and pointed to the sky. "Chef… is the weather very bad over there?"
"Weather?" Yi Qing paused. He released his divine perception to scan the path on the right side. His eyes widened. Not far away, the sky above the city seemed to be suppressive and dark. The entire city looked like it was being wrapped up in darkness. There were cold and fierce Yin winds. Ghost Qi filled the air. It looked like an absolute ghost town.
Yi Qing's heart jumped. What strong Yin Qi. Apart from the Underworld, this was the first place he'd been in that was like this.
"Let's go over!" Shen Ying nodded.
Yi Qing drew his flying sword to bring the group over to the city. In a blink of an eye, they arrived in front of it. It was obvious that the Yin Qi over here was much thicker. The skies were clear the entire way as well, but now, in front of them, dark clouds filled the skies.
It was completely silent the city. All they heard was the sound of the wind rushing past their ears. Looking up, they saw three words written on the gate: Qing He County.
This was Qing He County! Yi Qing frowned and turned to look at the now even paler Song Ren. He had an inkling of what happened over here. He walked forward into the city.
"Are we… going in?" Song Ren's voice was trembling. He had subconsciously plastered himself against Shen Ying.
Yi QIng's expression darkened. He wanted to go and check things out, but now he pulled the ghost a distance away from Shen Ying. Stay away from my master, bastard!
"Master, the Yin Qi over there is terribly overwhelming. There is not one living person inside." Not only that, there was a lot of ghost Qi there. It was likely that most of the ghosts in the city had never entered the Underworld. hey were just wandering around that city. "There are so many ghosts here in the mortal world… It looks like there's something strange about that city."
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded. She tossed the fruit in her hand aside and retrieved another one from Yi Qing's pocket out of habit.
"We will only find out the real reason for that if we go in." Yi Qing glanced at the city gates once again. "Master, it's dark inside. Don't walk too far away from me."
Yi Qing was just about to walk into the castle again. After thinking for a moment, he turned and grabbed Shen Ying's hand with a very serious expression. He was really afraid she would get lost!
"Exalted… Exalted Immortal." Song Ren was positively afraid by now. "There won't be… ghosts in that town, right?"
"…" Did he forget what he was?
"You can remain here," Yi Qing instructed. He turned and started to walk into the city. This was such a huge ghost city - there was no way they could just ignore it.
Song Ren watched as the two of them got further and further. As the cold winds continued to slap at him, he gritted his teeth and chased the duo.
The moment they entered the city, the Yin Qi around them became palpable. It chilled them to their bones. Song Ren trembled subconsciously. The two people in front of him, however, remained unaffected by the cold winds and walked on steadily. Song Ren flew faster to catch up with them.
Chapter 373: Chef Rages
The city was looking much darker. The Yin winds blew past their ears, causing them to ring. Apart from that, the sentence was strange. On either side of the pitch-black path, they felt like something was going to charge at them at any moment.
The few of them walked along the dark pathways. Some time later, they heard some strange noises coming from a certain corner. Tick tock tick tock… something was sounding.
"What… what is that noise?" Song Ren jumped. He was highly panicky. His voice was now raised several pitches higher. "Is that water?"
The moment he finished speaking, something flashed past the path in front of him.
"Ah!" Song Ren jumped. He trembled as he pointed in front of him. "Something… someone just walked past."
The two people in front stopped and turned to look at the long path which they could not see the end of in the darkness. A blood-red light lit up, A rush of red began to fall from above. It was blood - the redness of it all caught their eyes
"Bl-bl-blood!" Song Ren's legs turned to jelly as he dropped to the floor.
The blood did not look like it was going to stop flowing. As time went by, more and more blood flowed from above, causing the entire place to flood. The paths were about to be dyed completely red. The scene was extremely eerie. Coupled with the cold Yin winds, this was a scene straight out of the horror movies.
That was only if…
There weren't those few ghosts floating in mid-air, holding a couple of pails filled with blood. They were even lined up in straight lines, taking turns to empty their pails. Faintly, Shen Ying could even hear them talking.
"Hurry, hurry. It's drying up. Where are the pails? Can't you get a bigger one over?"
"The Opened Ghost took the big pails to wash his intestines.
These are all we have left."
"Hurry, hurry, hurry. Quickly pour the blood! Use the blood to drown them!"
"Make good use of the time. Even if we can't drown them in blood, we can scare them to death!"
Therefore… more blood fell down from the sky. Yet, the surface was too wide, and they were standing too far away from where the ghosts were pouring the blood. Although they were pouring buckets full of blood, the blood dried up before Shen Ying and Yi Qing even felt the need to step aside.
Shen Ying, "…"
Yi Qing: "…" Suddenly, Yi Qing and Shen Ying felt terribly tired on the ghosts' behalves.
"We're almost there. Where is the Headless Ghost? It's time for him to make his appearance."
"I'm here, I'm here." An evil-looking ghost with a green face and sharp teeth appeared out of nowhere. He put on his scariest expression, opened his mouth to bear his sharp teeth, then tore his head right off his shoulders. The ghost pondered for a moment, evidently thinking that he did not look scary enough. He pressed his head back down between his shoulders, causing the hole underneath it to expand and the bottom of his head to be stained with a bit more blood. He tilted the head so that an opening appeared between his neck and head. Blood began to spurt out of that opening.
Then, he cleared his throat and presented himself, floating toward Yi Qing and Shen Ying.
His eerie voice sounded in the forest. "Give me your life…" The master and disciple, who had witnessed the entire process: "…"
The ghost floated nearer and nearer. Two streaks of blood appeared down his eyes on his head, which seemed to be just hanging on, He threatened to jump at Shen Ying.
Yi Qing shouted, reached out and conjured a seal to capture the entire group of ghosts.
"Ghost!!!!" Song Ren suddenly screamed beside him. He looked like he could not deal with any of this any longer. He ran toward Yi Qing and buried himself in the opening in the lower half of Yi Qing's robes. In his panic, he grabbed onto something with both of his hands. Yet, he used so much force that the thing gave way and dropped down from Yi Qing's waist.
Shen Ying, "…"
All the ghosts: "…" His actions had been so instinctive that Yi Qing did not even have time to react before he felt the entire lower half of his body turned chilly. A strange object appeared between his legs.
Everyone present became silent…
Even the headless ghost who had floated over earlier paused. His head, which had been hanging on by just a piece of skin, fell to the floor.
What was going on?
The next moment…
A cold aura - even colder than the Yin Qi in the city - rushed out from inside of Yi Qing. The temperature in the city suddenly dropped rapidly, so that they felt like they were going through a particularly harsh winter. The path looked like it was slowly turning to ice and sword Qi filled the skies, surrounding all of the ghost city.
Yi Qing kicked a certain ghost who had buried himself in his pants away. A dragon which formed by the condensation of sword Qi appeared in the sky. "I'm going to slaughter you!"
All the ghosts in the city felt an overwhelming suppressive force pressing them down. They all fell right to the ground, and their bodies threatened to dissipate.
"Chef!" This was the first time Shen Ying saw Yi Qing react this way. After a moment, she tugged at him. "Calm down, calm down!"
"Master, don't stop me!" This was the first time Yi Qing felt the urge to shake Shen Ying's hand away. "Let me slaughter him! I have to slaughter him! I really have to! Right here! Right now!"
"Wear your pants first," Shen Ying reminded him. Yi Qing paused, as if suddenly recalling something. He hurriedly picked up his pants from the floor. Quicker than he ever did before, he set up an isolation arra and put his pants on, tying a few knots around his waist while he was at it.
Shen Ying waited a full ten minutes for Yi Qing to emerge from the isolation array and appear in front of her again. His expression was cold and hard, so that she imagined snow would begin to fall at any time soon. When he made eye contact with Shen Ying, he blushed.
"Master…" He sounded extremely wronged.
"Heh, don't worry!" Shen Ying cleared her throat and patted his shoulder comfortingly. "It's too dark for me to have seen your white underwear. Really!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Now he really wanted to slaughter someone. What should he do? —————
Perhaps because of Chef's sword Qi, more or less all of the Yin Qi in the ghost city dissipated. Sunlight finally reached the city. As energy from the sun filled the place, ghosts that were hidden at every corner began to present themselves.
Chef, who had been held back from beating Song Ren to the point of dissipation with much effort from Shen Ying, looked at the ghosts that were appearing one by one. He had not guessed wrongly there were so many malicious ghosts hidden in this city. Each one looked more terrifying than the last. Some were missing limbs, and others were slumped on the ground like a pile of dirt. It was obvious that they died terrible deaths!
"Why are all of you remaining in the mortal world?" Yi Qing scanned all the ghosts coldly. "And you're gathering in one city to scare others. Don't you want to reincarnate?"
All of the ghosts looked scared at the thought of the strange aura they experienced earlier. Each one of them trembled. The Headless Ghost, on the other hand, who had intended to scare Yi Qing and Shen Ying, stood up meekly. "This… Exalted Immortal, it's not that we don't want to reincarnate, it's that… we're not able to!"
"That's right, that's right, Exalted Immortal!" The other ghosts nodded excitedly. "We want to go to the Underworld to reincarnate, but ever since we died, we've been trapped here. We had no other choice but to… to look for living people whom we can possess to take us there."
They're stuck here? Yi Qing paused. He released his divine perception. There are no arrays around this city that are stopping them from going out.
"What happened here?" Yi Qing surveyed his surroundings. There were many ghosts, and every single one of them did not look like they died a very long time ago. "How did all of you die?"
"Well…" The ghosts all looked confused. After awhile, most of them shook their heads. "We don't know either. When we woke up, we found out that we had already become ghosts."
Chapter 374: River of Forgetfulness in the Wrong Position
Yi Qing scanned the group of ghosts. This was shocking! Did these ghosts all suffer from amnesia at the same time, or did the culprit act so fast that they did not even have time to react before they found themselves dead?
He asked them more questions to understand the situation better, and found that not only did they forget how they died, they even forgot everything that had happened to them while they were alive. They did not even remember each other's names! That was why they referred to each other as "Headless Ghost" or "Opened Ghost".
Yi Qing frowned even more deeply. From the number of ghosts there were in front of him, it was obvious that someone had wiped out the entire city. The strange thing was that he had not sensed an array being set up around the city. They also did not meet with any obstacle along the way. Why were the ghosts trapped here then?
He raised his head and saw the city gate, which was just metres away from him. "There's nothing here holding you back. Why can't you go out?" "That's because…" Thinking that Yi Qing did not believe him, the Headless Ghost began to panic. Yet, he did not know how to explain himself. After pondering for a moment, he said, "Exalted Immortal, just take one look at it and you'll understand."
The ghosts all nodded. Then, an entire group of them, as if on a night walk, rushed toward the city gate. They were just about to float past the gate when their figures flashed. Half of the group vanished.
The next moment, the half that disappeared reappeared in the middle of the main street. Not one of them was missing.
"Exalted Immortal, this happens," all of the ghosts said at the same time, their expressions pained.
"It's not that we don't want to go, but no matter how we try, we keep ending up back here."
"That's right, we can't even go out." "Exalted Immortal, we want to reincarnate as well."
"Exalted Immortal is very powerful - please save us!"
Yi Qing started. This is… a transportation array?
That's not right - he did not sense any spiritual power at the city gate neither did he sense the presence of any arrays.
"Master…" He turned to address Shen Ying, who was standing beside him.
Shen Ying took a bite off her fruit and answered, "Is it a certain sealed space?"
A sealed space?
Yi Qing paused, as if thinking of something. "Master, you mean to say that this place is just like a mystic realm? It's separated from the rest of the world?" "I think so."
It was no wonder that the ghosts were unable to escape. To them, this city had been completely isolated from the rest of the world. It now formed its own world, and the boundaries of the city were the boundaries of this world. Unless they had the power to break through realms, they would be transported back here every time they tried to escape. According to them, moreover, it seemed that the boundaries were only effective as toward ghosts. It did not have the same effect on everyone else.
Wait a moment!
Yi Qing had a sudden realisation. He turned around and looked a bit further away, at a ghost which as hugging the pillar and trembling. He pursed his lips, and he began to radiate a chilly aura once again.
"You! Go out and try!" He pointed to the city gate not far away.
"Ah… Huh?" Song Ren, who was suddenly called upon, turned to look at the malicious ghosts, each one looking scarier than the other. Each of them looked back at him. Song Ren's body trembled uncontrollably. "Wh-What?"
Before he could react, Yi Qing conjured a spell. There were several clinks as a spirit sword landed in front of Song Ren. The impact caused it to cut about three inches into the ground. The blades were radiating with a cold aura
Song Ren jumped back from the pillar and hid behind it, trying to avoid the spirit sword. Yet, Yi Qing did not stop. Many swords formed from spirit Qi fell close to Song Ren, no matter where he tried to escape to.
Song Ren let out a terrifying scream, turned and ran toward the city gate. Just like that, he got chased out of the city gates by spirit swords.
I'll stab you to death, you little bastard! (╰_╯)#
"He's… out!" Everyone stared on in disbelief.
With a flick of his wrist, Yi Qing caused a spirit sword to land in front of Song Ren, forcing him to turn around and run back the same way that he was forced to run out of the city.
The boundaries of this city did not work against Song Ren. No wonder he made it to the immortal realm.
Song Ren was so scared that he was now curled up into a ball in between Shen Ying and Yi Qing He raised his head to look at all the other ghosts and trembled again. He inched closer to the two of them. This time, he had no guts to touch Yi Qing again. He reached out for Shen Ying instead.
Before he touched her, however, Yi Qing reacted. It was as if he had a certain sensor. With a gaze ten times colder than before, he glared at Song Ren.
Little bastard! What are you trying to do?
Yi Qing stepped to the side so that he now stood between the ghost and Shen Ying. Then, he grabbed Shen Ying up by the collar and conjured a seal to make his ghostly body more tangible. It was then that he turned to address the group of ghosts. "Do any of you recognise him? He used to live in this city."
All the ghosts paused and tried to look closely at Song Ren, whose face was green from fear. One by one, they shook their heads.
"Never before. I may have known him when I was alive, but I don't remember.."
"Exalted Immortal, did he die in this city too? It doesn't look like it."
"That's right - he's much worse than the rest of us. He's not even as scary as the Hanging Ghost."
"That's right, just one look and I know he's a good-for-nothing ghost."
Yi Qing's expression darkened. It looked like he was not going to be able to find out much else. He wanted to find out why Song Ren died, and find out why he had so much grievous energy in his body. He had not expected to find an entire ghost town filled with ghosts who had no recollection of how they died.
"Master, what do you think we should do with all of these ghosts?" Yi Qing turned to Shen Ying and asked hesitantly.
"Huh?" Shen Ying, who was reaching out to grab another fruit, paused and tilted her head. "What do you think?"
"I think this is too strange." Yi Qing's expression remained stern. "There are so many ghosts here - they can't be trapped here forever. I think I want to bring them to the River of Forgetfulness in the Underworld." Shortie was not there. They could only bring these ghosts to the Underworld through the River of Forgetfulness.
"Aright." Shen Ying picked a pastry out of Yi Qing's bag, instead of a fruit. She nodded as if she had no other opinion. She had not been listening to what was going on, anyway.
Chef turned around to address the group of ghosts. Using both of his hands, he conjured a huge array which appeared beneath all of their feet. The Yin Qi around the ghosts' bodies dissipated. Even the ghosts that looked the most terrifying were slowly beginning to recover their original looks. They no longer looked as horrible as they did before. A power that flowed like a river began to wrap around them.
The next moment, the ghosts all turned into green smoke which floated downward. They were about to disappear into the array, yet their bodies began to flash and a huge group of ghosts turned up in the middle of the main pathway once again. Even the array below Yi Qing's feet broke apart.
Yi Qing jumped, looking at his own hands in disbelief. How could this be? Why was he unable to send the ghosts up? Even if this place was isolated from the rest of the world, it was not like a realm beyond realms. There was no reason they would not be able to enter the River of Forgetfulness, unless…
His heart fell as he squatted down and placed his hand on his chest. Overcome with shock, he turned to face Shen Ying. "Master, there is no River of Forgetfulness under the ground!"
"Oh." Shen Ying tilted her head and pointed above. "I think it's on top."
He looked up at the grey skies and activated his assistant authority to look. There, in the middle of the sky, was a golden river that flowed through the entire ghost town.
The River of Forgetfulness… was in the sky!
Chapter 375: River of Forgetfulness Returning to Position
What was going on?!
He turned his head to the side and look along the golden color above his head, he saw that the River of Forgetfulness fell down around the city gate after crossing over the whole ghost city and returned to normal. Only the section inside the city hang in the sky like two waterfalls.
Yi Qing had some vague speculations in his mind, as he suddenly understood why the ghosts in the city were unable to get out. The Dharma spell in his hand changed, and Future Life Array appeared once more beneath his feet. With a wave of a hand, the array rose slowly into the sky and covered the whole ghost city.
In the next moment, the ghosts turned into black smoke once more flew into the River of Forgetfulness in the sky and disappeared without a trace. The city whose Yin Qi was already dispelled once by Yi Qing returned to the look of an abandoned city, as the leaving of the ghosts brought away all the Yin Qi left. Yi Qing turned to the side, and Song Ren was still there indeed. Little Shortie said that he couldn't enter the Samsara, but he didn't imagine that he couldn't even enter the River of Forgetfulness.
"Master, the River of Forgetfulness must be the reason the ghosts in this city were unable to get out." He looked at Shen Ying.
The misplacement of the River of Forgetfulness made the ghosts unable to enter in time. And at the city gate there was the hinge of its misplacement, and from there, an enclosed space was formed. That was why the ghosts were unable to exit. Living people could not enter the River of Forgetfulness, so it didn't affect them. Song Ren couldn't enter it as well due to the grievous energy, so he could also enter and exit freely.
"I've already sent these ghosts to the River of Forgetfulness at the top temporarily. But for them to return to Underworld, the River of Forgetfulness needs to be returned to its place." If the River of Forgetfulness was not returned to the original position, these ghosts would never reach the Underworld. More importantly, the section in the sky was apparently one of the branches of River of Forgetfulness. Leaving it here, it would eventually go dry, and so would the other branches it was connected to. A worse impact would definitely happen. "Does Master have a way to get it back down?"
"Hmm…" Shen Ying's head tilted. "Maybe pull it down?"
"…" Pull? He was stunned. How to pull? The River of Forgetfulness had no physical shape.
No, no. If the master said it could be pulled, it definitely made sense.
Thinking about it, a string of Spirit Qi formed in his palm, which in an instant formed thousands of silky thread, flying towards the golden River of Forgetfulness in the sky. Yet once the spirit qi came to contact with the River of Forgetfulness, it went right through it. It couldn't touch it indeed.
He frowned, and subconsciously, he felt for the assistant mark on his body. In the next moment, the spirit qi which couldn't touch a physical body suddenly produced a bang, the way something fell into the water. A small drop of golden water splash appeared on the surface of the river. It… it touched it!
(⊙ o ⊙)
So that's how the assistant mark is used?
With a joy in his heart, he waved a hand to produce even more spirit strings, which flew towards the sky, crossed over the whole river surface and tied up a section of the river directly. He pulled them downward, and with some water splashing sounds, the surface of River of Forgetfulness which was originally peaceful suddenly showed layers of water splashes, and its fell downward slowly.
Yi Qing adjusted his own cultivation and pulled harder downward. The golden river which hang in the air fell even more rapidly. After a quarter of an hour, he finally managed to pull that misplaced section of River of Forgetfulness back to the ground.
The abnormality of water levels at the city gate returned to normal as well. The River of Forgetfulness started flowing once more in the city, golden glimmers shining on its surface.
"The method that Master mentioned is really effective." Yi Qing looked at Shen Ying with joy. It was Master indeed.
"…" What did she mention?
After this there'd be no more ghosts trapped in the city. Yi Qing gave out a sigh of relief, before he turned to look at Song Ren beside him and frowned once more. It's only that… they still didn't find out how he died.
"Master, how about we go to the nearby towns to ask about what actually happened in this city?" While the ghosts were trapped due to the misplacement of the River of Forgetfulness, the cause of death of the city humans remained to be known. Maybe they could find out the cause of Song Ren's grievous energy too.
"OK." Shen Ying nodded. Just as Yi Qing was ride the sword, he felt strange aura approaching them. Somebody was coming!
His movement stopped. Whoever that came was absolutely familiar with this ghost city. He gave up moving and waited for the person to show up.
Indeed, in a short while, a man in green robes appeared at the city gate. However, he didn't come on sword ride, but seemed to come in a hurry using the sorcery of ground-shrinking. He stopped first by the city gate and looked around in surprise. "The… the Ghost Qi in this city actually disappeared completely!"
His expression was full of disbelief. Only now did he notice Yi Qing in the city, and thinking of something, his eyes brightened, and he made a strange gesture towards him which seemed to be some kind of etiquette. Only then did he say, "Did Fellow Daoist cleanse the ghosts around here just now?"
Cleanse? He didn't like this word somehow. He just sent them to Samsara via the River of Forgetfulness. Yi Qing frowned, but nodded anyway.
The man became even happier. "It was a great kindness that Fellow Daoist did!" His face was full of sunshine, and he looked relieved. "This ghost city has caused harm around the area for years, and even the Taoists couldn't deal with them. But it is actually resolved by Fellow Daoist today."
He seemed to remember something and continued, "I am Tang Han from Tang Clan of Qing City. Fellow Daoist has such great Dharmic Dao, may I know which great clan you are from and how I should address you?
"Yi?" He was stunned. He had never heard of such a surname among the great Taoist clans?
Just as he was confused, Yi Qing took a step to the side and continued, "This is my Master, Shen Ying." Tang Han was stunned. He didn't pay attention just now and had just realized that there was another woman beside him. Surname was Shen… His eyes brightened even more. "Can you be from Shen Clan of Luoyang?" That'd be no wonder. Though Shen Clan was not a big clan, it was a respectable one with hundreds of years of history. Since when had Shen Clan produced such an excellent cultivator? He could actually manage the ghosts that even the Taoists couldn't deal with.
"No!" Yi Qing shook his head directly. What Shen Clan from Luoyang and Tang Clan from Qing City? Can't it be that all the cultivators of this small world were from clans?
"No… no?" Tang Han who kept guessing wrongly stunned. "What family are both of you from, then?" Couldn't they be independent cultivators?
The master and disciple exchanged a look before answering together,
"Niu Family!" Tang Han, "…"
What family is Niu family? He never heard of it! Can it be some great clan that hid from the world?
"Does Fellow Daoist Tang known what actually happened in this city? Why would the city be full of ghosts?" Yi Qing stepped forward and asked.
Seeing that the other party showed no intention of introducing his origin, Tang Han didn't make further inquiries. Looking at the ruined city, he sighed and said, "The people of this Qing He County are rather pitiful. Right now, the world is chaotic and deviant ghosts were everywhere. They were the cause of the city residents' tragedy."
"Deviant ghosts?" Yi Qing was stunned. He had only heard of deviant beasts and deviant demons. What on earth are deviant ghosts?"
Seeing the other party's confusion, Tang Han grew even more certain of his guess that they were from some great clan that hid from the world. He side-stepped and said, "If you don't mind, maybe you can return to my humble home and then I will tell you about it in detail?"
Yi Qing looked towards Shen Ying, and seeing no opposition from her, he cupped his fists and said, "We'll trouble you, then!"
"This way, please!"
Chapter 376: City Attack by Deviant Ghosts
Tang Han walked the two out of the city and proceeded all the way towards the north. Yes, walking! He said at first that his house was just at the edge of the city, but once they started walking, they walked for almost one hour, and went right into a thick forest. The other party showed no intention to stop.
"My house is right inside this forest and not far away. We'll reach within an hour." Tang Han smiled very naturally and said.
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying, "…"
The two's footsteps stiffened. Shen Ying who had never had such a long walk except that time opening the plane, suddenly had an urge to press the pastry in her hand onto his face.
He said it was NEAR! "Master…" Yi Qing seemed to understand her thoughts. He took a step forward and squatted down in front of her. "Let me carry you!"
"Oh." Shen Ying put away the pastry in her hand and leaned over on Chef's back very naturally.
Yi Qing stiffened for a moment. The heat source which suddenly touched his back became a wave a warmth which seemed to flow into the bottom of his heart. He paused for a short while before standing up steadily and walked towards Tang Han in front of them.
Tang Han looked at this strange master-disciple pair and somehow felt that something was wrong, but he didn't know what. He didn't pay much attention to it, but continued on leading the way, while starting to introduce the situation of that city to Yi Qing.
Only then did the two learn from him the situation of this small world. Just like they had guessed, spirit qi here was thin, such that there wasn't the saying of immortal cultivation at all. Neither was there any cultivation sect. There were only Mystic cultivators who cultivated in Mystic Taoist methods. While they also used spirit qi for cultivation, what Mystic cultivators knew were only shallow sorceries to dispel evil and avoid harm. They didn't seek immortality like immortal cultivators.
Only then did Yi Qing understand why he brought the two to walk instead of directly riding on the sword. He can't ride a sword in the first place. Examining the cultivation on him, he was indeed only at the starting level of Qi Refinement.
All that these Mystic cultivators did on ordinary days were chasing away ghosts and sealing off demons, taking the security of an area as their responsibility, without any thoughts about Immortal Ascension. Besides, what they mainly dealt with were the deviant ghosts that he mentioned just now.
Tang Han said deviant ghosts, unlike normal ghosts, had a killing nature. The stronger deviant ghosts could even devour souls, and they liked to eat living humans most. And the Qing He County just now tens of thousands massacred by deviant ghosts in a night due to an invasion of deviant ghosts. No living person was left in the whole city. After that, the Mystic sect sent dozens of Taoists who worked together to kill of those deviant ghosts. And that was why it became a ghost city. "The ghost aura was too strong inside that city." Tang Han sighed and shook his head. "The Mystic Clans and Taoist Sect came up with many methods but none could cleanse the ghosts from the city. So they could only block this area." He led the two towards a hut in the woods and asked them to sit down before continuing, "My cultivation is low, and Tang Clan sent me to guard this place to prevent mortals from entering in case they get hurt."
Yi Qing placed a dish of pastries and a cup of tea on the table in front of Shen Ying out of habit before turning to ask, "Fellow Daoist Tang, besides the deviant ghosts' massacre, has there been any other big happenings in the city?"
Tang Han thought about it and shook his head. "I've never heard of any. Why is Fellow Daoist asking?"
Yi Qing frowned. It doesn't make sense. If it was only a massacre by deviant ghosts, why only Song Ren had such an immense grievous energy? He turned to look at Song Ren, who followed them all the way. "Has Fellow Daoist seen this ghost?"
"Ghost?" Tang Han was stunned. He looked in the direction in which he pointed, but his eyes did not focus. He seemed to suddenly remember something. "Fellow Daoist means that some ghost followed us out of the city!"
His expression changed, and he stood up abruptly. He turned to take a peach wood sword from the drawer beside him, produced a seal and shouted loudly, "Bold evil ghost, you still want to harm humans. Why don't you show yourself quickly! Heaven and Earth are black and yellow, ghosts and spirits not to be born, leave!"
With that said, he directly stabbed the sword towards… the cupboard beside Song Ren.
A hole was made on the door of the cupboard.
Shen Ying, "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Song Ren, "…" After the stabbing, he let out a long breath and looked all around, before saying to Yi Qing, "Fellow Daoist, is the ghost that followed back dead?"
You must be kidding me!
No wonder he did not give Song Ren a single look from the beginning. He couldn't see him at all! How low was that cultivation?
Yi Qing's mouth twitched. He bent a finger to point at the center of his eyebrows, directing the spirit qi within him to concentrate in his eyes.
Only then did Tang Han see Song Ren, and the peace wood sword in his hand tightened. "There's a ghost indeed!"
Yi Qing hurried to stop him. "Wait a minute. This ghost is a bit special and different from those ghosts in the city. That's why we brought him with us."
"Special?" Tang Han was stunned, and then he remembered something and the look of understanding came to his face. "Can he be the messenger ghost that you both took? Your sorcery is deep indeed that you can even command evil ghosts. Sorry, I've not been polite enough!"
Yi Qing, "…"
He touched his own eyes and excitement flashed on his face. "May I know what sorcery that Fellow Daoist used just now, that it can actually help me see the ghost without any external objects?"
Yi Qing felt speechless. External objects are needed for seeing ghosts?
"I mobilized the spirit qi in your body."
Tang Han was stunned for a moment, before opening his eyes wide abruptly. "Fellow Daoist has… helped me open the Heavenly Eye!" He suddenly felt a great excitement, and the look he gave Yi Qing was so bright that it seemed to glimmer. A great superior indeed! No wonder he could cleanse the whole ghost city.
What the hell was opening Heavenly Eye?
Yi Qing felt the immense communication difficulties from not being in the same cultivation system. He hurried to change the subject. "May I know what sect is the Mystic Daoists that Fellow Daoist mentioned?"
"Mystic Daoists is not a sect." Tang Han smiled. He became even more certain that the two came from a great clan that hid from the world, or why would they not even know what Mystic Daoists is? "Mystic Daoists is an organization started jointly by great clans of Mystic cultivators. It exists mostly for killing deviant ghosts and protecting the orthodox of the world. It is formed by the best of Mystic cultivators from every Clan. All of them are Mystic cultivator masters of the third level and above.
So it's a place like an immortal alliance. Tang Han's look was full of admiration. Suddenly he seemed to remember something and said with some excitement, "Oh yeah! With the cultivation of you two, if you want to join the Mystic Daoists, there must not be a problem." He was only unsure what level of Mystic cultivation masters they were.
"Where is the Mystic Daoists?" Yi Qing continued.
"Right in Longxing City." Tang Han gave the two a look. "You two have solved the matter of Qing He County, which made a great achievement. If you indeed have the intention of joining the Mystic Daoists, I can produce a letter of recommendation."
Something went across Yi Qing's eyes. He didn't explain but said, "We'll trouble Fellow Daoist then."
"Don't be too courteous, Fellow Daoist Yi. You've done a great kindness in solving the Qing He ghost city. This is little work on my side! It's meant to be!" With that said, he walked directly to an inner room, took out calligraphy brush and ink, and started writing. In a short while the recommendation letter was finished and handed to Yi Qing.
"It is the closest city from here. It is several kilometers away, and the way is rather complex. Maybe I'll bring you both…"
"That's not necessary!"
Before he finished, the master and disciple spoke together.
Walk any further and their legs would break!
Why did he feel looked down upon?
Chapter 377: Longxing City
Yi Qing didn't speak any more with Tang Han, but stood up to leave soon after asking about the general direction of Mystic Daoists. He was only scared that he would be impulsive and really want to send them to Mystic Daoists himself. After leaving Tang Han's place, he immediately started sword-riding towards Longxing City with Shen Ying.
Tang Han said that the Qing He County was massacred because of a sudden attack by deviant ghosts. This seemed to be real. The horrible looks of those ghosts in the city indeed didn't look like what would appear with a normal disaster. But the loss of memories by the whole city's ghosts and the misplacement of the River of Forgetfulness was not something that mere deviant ghosts could achieve.
Though he didn't know what the deviant ghosts Tang Han mentioned were, all ghosts besides exceptions like Song Ren would be sent into reincarnation at Underworld once they get near the River of Forgetfulness, so the River's misplacement was absolutely not the doing of deviant ghosts. It was actually more possible that it had something to do with the Mystic Daoists who chased deviant ghosts. What actually happened in the city at that time? And why would Song Ren have such deep grievances? It seemed only possible to know by taking a look at Mystic Daoists.
The Longxing City which Tang Han mentioned it to be at was hundreds of kilometers away from here, but for sword-riding, it would take less than half an hour. Yi Qing glanced with his Divine Perception and saw a large city in front. The spirit qi was obviously thicker than that of the other places which was almost too thin to be seen. But it could still not be compared to immortal cities of other small worlds. And the aura was extraordinarily messy too, full of humanly auras.
Yi Qing hesitated, before descending to a remote place outside the city. He turned to look at a certain cowardly ghost which was afraid of heights, and his brows tightened.
"Great… immortal?" Song Ren trembled at his look, as the bottom of his heart chilled for no reason. He felt that ever since they came out of that ghost city, the attitude of this immortal whose surname was Yi towards him was much worse. His look looked like it could freeze him to ice any second.
"You are a ghost and you can't just enter like this." All those so-called Mystic cultivators seemed unfriendly towards ghosts. Should Song Ren enter like this, he might be beaten until his soul dissipated. "To prevent trouble, I'll make you a projection from an immortal item. You may possess it temporarily."
With that said, he immediately took out a green Chinese onion from his storage bag!
Song Ren, "…"
Why is it a green Chinese onion? I thought you were talking about an immortal item? Why would you bring about you such a thing as an onion?
"Go inside." Yi Qing waved that green Chinese onion which overflowed with immortal qi and said with all seriousness.
"Great… immortal…" Song Ren's mouth twitched, and after a long while he ventured to say, "Can… can I use another instead?" He did this on purpose, right? "…" Little bitch, you have a lot of requests.
Yi Qing's face darkened, as he snorted but continued to dig in his storage bag.
Song Ren let out a sigh of relief. Yet in the next instant, he saw a great many of the following dug out from the bag: garlic, chili, leeks, pepper, coriander…
"All here. Choose one yourself. Quickly."
Shen Ying, "…"
Song Ren, "…"
This is not choosing a projection but choosing an ingredient, right?
(╯‵□′)╯(┻━┻ Yet the other party's face was all fierce and threatening, and Song Ren who was always timid had to go forward and glance at the ingredients all over the floor. To his surprise, he found an item of a different type, and his eyes brightened.
"I choose this!" He pointed to a white dandelion which stuck in between some coriander.
Yi Qing took it out casually and remembering something, his mouth twitched. He turned to look at Song Ren. "You are… sure?" This was apparently private goods put in by a certain Radish."
"Yes please, great immortal." Song Ren nodded hard. It was always better than garlic and chili. "Flowers has always been elegant things, and must help great immortal produce a good projection.
Yi Qing didn't speak. He looked at him with an uninterpretable look. Even Shen Ying who focused on eating fruits at a side turned back and glanced over in surprise. What… what's the matter? Song Ren felt a chill in the bottom of his heart. Are dandelions very bad?
"This is it, then!" Yi Qing showed no intention to explain at all. He directly produced a seal and captured Song Ren's soul into the dandelion. With a wave of hand, an array appeared underneath his feet. The dandelion immediately became a white light which flew into the array. The white light became brighter and brighter and started to take form. In a short while, a young man of sixteen or seventeen years old appeared inside the array.
He wore a green and white gown, and not surprisingly looked rather similar to Radish.
"I… I have a body again!" Song Ren looked over his own body with an expression full of excitement. He was an immortal indeed. He changed back to human.
"This is merely a projection," explained Yi Qing, "Don't stay too far away from us, or when the immortal qi from the dandelion is used up, you will return to your original form immediately." "I get it." Song Ren nodded and hurried to make a salute. "Thank you so much, great immortal!"
"Let's enter the city. He glanced at him once more, and his look stopped briefly at his lower body, before he dragged Shen Ying habitually and went into the city.
Song Ren hurried to follow.
The city was very lively and there were people everywhere. Yi Qing once thought that this would be similar to an immortal city of cultivators, but strangely, more than half of those in the city were ordinary mortals with no cultivation at all. By right, cultivators don't live mortals unless they have to, lest they get contaminated with mortal aura which was harmful to cultivation. But this didn't seem to be the case here at all. It seemed exceptionally… diverse.
Yi Qing asked around about the location of Mystic Daoists, before taking the two all the way into the city.
Along the way, many passers-by carried a peach wood sword similar to Tang Han's, or swords made from tying up cotton coins, on their backs. Upon those swords there was very weak movement of spirit qi, but it couldn't have counted as even a first-level dharma artifact. It seemed that they were Mystic cultivators who wanted to join the Mystic Daoists as well.
The trio walked across the main street, and a palace faraway appeared before them. The palace floated in the air. But the palace wasn't huge, and probably due to the thinness of spirit qi, it floated a mere four or five meters from the ground. Nevertheless, it looked rather grand and magnificent. Upon the palace roof, there were two large golden words: Mystic Daoists.
In front of the palace was a very big square, on which hundreds had already gathered. There was also a stage on the square. The people seemed to be waiting for something.
Yi Qing looked around. He took out that recommendation letter from Tang Han, and just as he was about to go forward and hand it to the person in front, who seemed to be in charge, a thick voice was suddenly heard from the stage.
"Thank you very much, Fellow Daoists, for coming here from far away to help us Mystic Daoists chase away deviant ghosts." There was a middle-aged man dressed in a blue robe on the stage.
The place quieted immediately. Everyone looked toward the stage.
"The situation is urgent. Please forgive me for not being able to greet all of you one by one."
"Sect master Ying, what actually happened?" As he finished speaking, someone from below asked hurriedly, "Why is Mystic Iron Order sent suddenly to gather Mystic cultivators from around the world in a rush?" This was the first time that Mystic Iron Order was sent since the formation of Mystic Daoists.
"The matter threatens a worldwide disaster, and I was forced to do that." The sect master on the stage whose surname was Ying took a step forward, and with a very gloomy expression he looked towards the crowd and said, "A few days ago we received the news that a large group of deviant ghosts have appeared in the Southwest. The number is large. Mystic Daoists have tried to stop them for many times but reaped no results. Right now deviant ghosts have already broken into Jiangyue City, and they are approaching our direction. Within less than three days they would reach Longxing City!"
Chapter 378: Preparation for War Against Deviant Ghosts
After that was said, everyone was in awe, and anxious looks came to their faces. A city attack by deviant ghosts was not a frequent occurrence, and moreover, the city in question was Moonfall City besides. That was the city with most Mystic cultivators besides Longxing City. Its towns houses the most Mystic cultivators- it had at least several dozens of them, if not more than a hundred. If such a number were unable to stop the ghosts, they couldn't imagine how many deviant ghosts there were.
"Sect master Ying, now that the deviant ghosts have attacked, how should we deal with it? Please tell us." Somebody spoke in response, and others expressed similar thoughts.
"Yes! Longxing City is the last defense. After here, deviant ghosts would go right into the capital. There will be a greater massacre of the living then!"
"That's right. We can absolutely not let them pass through.
Let's chase away deviant ghosts and protect the realm!" "We dare to come here because we have prepared to sacrifice.
Please command us, Sect Master."
"For the orthodox of the world, even death would be honorable!"
Everybody wore very serious looks. They seemed to be not merely shouting slogans, but really ready to die.
Even Yi Qing was somewhat shocked. Such an action that feared not death in protection of the orthodox of the world was probably hard even for immortal sects. It was indeed admirable.
"Thank you so much, Fellow Daoists." Sect master Ying glanced at the crowd with a touched expression. "Yesterday, the disciples of Mystic Daoists have already headed to Moonfall to stop the deviant ghosts, but the situation of war is not known yet. Mystic cultivators of the third level and above have already headed there to help as well. Right now, fighting forces are few inside the city, and Moonfall City is lost. I hope Fellow Daoists would help me guard the city first for now." Everyone nodded. The sect master whose surname was Ying gave a few commands and made some arrangements, before letting everyone go forward to register for the convenience of command.
"Master…" Yi Qing looked at Shen Ying beside him subconsciously. With the matter of deviant ghosts' attack, they were not likely to be interested in taking any in any new people, and they probably wouldn't be able to get information regarding Qinghe County soon. But somehow he felt a bit curious about the so-called deviant ghosts. "Are we going to register?"
"Sure." Shen Ying nodded, not objecting.
Only then did Yi Qing follow the crowd forward and register the name of the three, getting a wooden card with the word "Mystic". Sect master Ying arranged the defense positions and discussed how to confront the enemy from the stage, before the people on the square slowly left.
As deviant ghosts would only arrive after three days, Shen Ying's group had to live in the city for the time being. Besides, seeing that the time was nearing noon, it was time for lunch. Yi Qing thought about what to cook for lunch, while walking into an inn. But then he realized an important problem.
"What… what is this?" The innkeeper took the spirit stones that Yi Qing handed over with a face full of confusion. He smiled politely as he reminded him, "Sir, our inn does not accept barter. Have you brought silver with you?"
Shen Ying, "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Song Ren, "…"
Only then did they remember that this was a mortal city which still used silver and gold. The currency of cultivators was not circulated here at all.
After leaving Father Niu, the master and disciple felt once again the crisis of not having money. "Master, rest assured, there are lots of open spaces outside the city. Setting up a living space is only a small spell. I'll be able to cook soon." Yi Qing who got asked out by the inn said, looking serious.
"But… to keep out the deviant ghosts, the city gates have already been closed just now." Song Ren at the side reminded him weakly.
"Then we'll find a residential house. The folk customs here are simple. Just borrowing the kitchen, we shouldn't be refused.
"Mystic Daoists are already evacuating the civilians in the city. Everyone is busy moving, who has the mood to lend you the kitchen?"
"I still have pastries in my storage bag. Maybe I'll give them to the innkeeper in exchange for usage of the kitchen."
"The innkeeper already said just now that they don't accept barter."
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying, "…"
Instantly turning to stare towards a certain coward, his look was ice cold. Did you come all the way to create trouble for us?
Song Ren trembled, as he moved immediately towards the space behind Song Ren. So you're not allowing a ghost to speak the truth?
"You have a way?" Shen Ying suddenly looked back at him.
"Uh…" Song Ren stiffened for a moment, and his look fluttered. Just as he was about to shake his head, he met Yi Qing's look that seemed like he was gonna murder him should he say no. Immediately he shrunk and said, "Yes… yes?"
The two were stunned, and they looked at him together.
"How about, we try to dig under that tree?" He suddenly pointed towards a remote street corner, in which thick leaves and twigs could be vaguely seen. "I feel that… there may be the things we're looking for there."
What do you mean?
Yi Qing and Shen Ying exchanged a look, and they turned to walk towards the direction in which he pointed. Indeed, they saw a large tree at the street corner.
"It should be around three inches from the right side of the tree." He spoke again.
Yi Qing frowned and squatted down at the place Song Ren mentioned. He glanced with his Divine Perception and indeed found something underneath. He directly used a spell of element earth. In a moment, the soil under his ground turned outside and a brown porcelain pot suddenly emerged from the soil.
Opening the pot up, it was actually filled with silver spindles. Upon the silver there were some black spots. It seemed to have been placed there for years.
"How do you know that there's something under the tree?" Yi Qing turned and looked at Song Ren in confusion.
He was stunned, as if this problem had just occurred to him. A blankness flashed in his eyes, and after a long while he shook his head and said, "I… I also don't know. I just suddenly had a feeling that there'd be silver under this tree.
Could his memory be returning?
"Do you remember anything else?" He thought about it and shook his head. "… No."
Yi Qing's face darkened. Song Ren also didn't look like his memory had returned. Could it be because his projection was the dandelion from Radish? Radish had the vegetation spirit and could communicate with plants. It would be normal that he'd know there was silver under the tree.
"Great Immortal, is this enough?" Song Ren asked earnestly. "If not, there's more under that tree in front. Oh yeah, there are some in a dried well in east city, in an ancient temple in west city, and in a shop's backyard in north city."
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying, "…"
They felt that this coward seemed to develop some amazing skill since he had the projection. He was like turning into a treasure hunter ghost any moment. "That's not necessary!" Yi Qing took out a piece of silver from the pot and buried the pot back into the ground. Subconsciously he refined the silver in his hand and removed the black dots upon it, before standing up and glancing at him with unknown meaning in his eyes. After a long while he patted his shoulder. "If Father Niu is here, he'd probably want to take you as a disciple.
"Huh?" Song Ren was stunned. Who was Father Niu? An Immortal too?
He meant… that he had the quality to become immortal too? An excitement came to his heart, and he was just about to ask about it…
When Yi Qing added, "A pity that he's not here, and you probably won't see him in the future as well."
Then why the f*ck did you talk about it? You did this on purpose right, absolutely?!
Chapter 379: Real Appearance of Deviant Ghosts
With Song Ren the treasure hunter ghost, the group successfully stayed in an inn. After staying there for two days, the civilians of the city had already moved out of Longxing City gradually. The city which was previously noisy and bustling suddenly quieted down. In the streets, mortals without cultivation were not seen. Only the Mystic cultivators came out to patrol the streets occasionally.
Following arrangements by Mystic Daoists, Yi Qing had been out twice these few days, both to reinforce the defense outside the city. Only then did he understand the said difference between Mystic cultivators and Immortal cultivators. The former seemed more inclined towards talisman cultivation. Besides those peach wood swords which had no real power, talismans were the most frequently used by them. And the so- called reinforcement of defense outside city was only pasting the whole exterior of the city gate with many low-level talismans.
Yi Qing looked at them and his mouth kept twitching. Should those so-called deviant ghosts were really so large in numbers that they could take over cities, these low-level talismans could apparently hold for no more than a quarter of an hour. Yet everyone's looks were completely serious. Thinking about their cultivation level, Yi Qing had to set a Protective Mountain Array around the gates when others were not looking.
He became even more curious about what on earth was the matter with those so-called deviant ghosts?
Yi Qing didn't wait long. In the next evening, he felt sensed abnormality. Something was approaching with a wave of Yin Qi. Apparently they were still hundreds of miles away, but the temperature in the city had already plummeted.
"Great Immortal?" Song Ren looked at Yi Qing who suddenly stood up with some confusion. After a while he thought of something and his opened wide abruptly. "Are the deviant ghosts…"
"Hmm." Yi Qing nodded.
Song Ren's expression grew anxious, and he turned to walk towards Shen Ying's room. "I'll go and wake Great Immortal Shen." "Come back!" Yi Qing dragged the man back with a fast speed. "Master is asleep."
"Ah?" Song Ren was stunned. And?
"Wake her up now, and Longxing City will really be lost."
What do you mean?
Yi Qing didn't show any intention of explaining. Grabbing him, he flew towards the outside of the city on his sword. Once outside the city, that Yin Qi in the air became even stronger. A wave of blackness could be seen from far away which covered even the moonlight. Around them, icy-cold wind blew.
Yet the Mystic cultivators patrolling the city didn't seem to notice these changes. Yi Qing hit them easily with a wave of spirit qi, sending a voice transmission: Deviant ghosts are already here!
That Mystic cultivator was stunned, and looked around to discover no one. Nevertheless, he turned to notify others.
Yi Qing didn't pay it much heed, but directly flew on his sword towards the direction that Yin Qi concentrated. In a short while, he heard ghosts screaming in all types of shrill manner. Only then did Yi Qing see the looks of those so-called deviant ghosts.
It was a black fog which was so thick that it almost looked like ink, and even had a bit of the look of demonic Qi. While shrilling ghost screams could be heard clearly, no physical body was seen. Only the blurry shapes of one or two ghosts flashed from within. Besides, the range of the black fog was extremely wide, covering half of the forest. And its speed was very fast. Wherever it passed through, trees and grass died.
Yi Qing was shocked by the scene in front of him. This was simply like… many ghosts glued together. With the look of it, instead of a group of deviant ghosts, it was one ghost instead. He flew down directly, and a separation array was formed in an instant. The black fog which was originally rushing towards Longxing City was blocked. The shrill screams grew even harsher.
Yi Qing stepped forward and let his Divine Perception explore. Indeed, many souls were gathered within this black fog, but the soul was very thin that only one or two faint shapes of souls drifted around. There were even a few that looked alike.
These were… remnant souls!
His eyes opened wide abruptly. Inside this black fog, it was actually all remnant soul, but not a single complete and intact soul!
What was going on?
By right, remnant souls were extremely fragile and dispersed once they met a little bit of immortal qi or spirit qi. Besides, they would only come under the influence of the original body. Yet this was not the case for the remnant souls here. They apparently had no consciousness of their own, yet they gathered together to form a force of attack no weaker than evil spirits. Besides, the number looked actually more than ten thousands at a rough look.
So many remnant souls gathered on their own instead of returning to their true form?
They don't have a true form at all!
Yet remnant souls had no consciousness, so why were they here? He glanced at the black fog carefully, and only after a long while, he discovered a bit of unusual aura within it. It was some grievous aura.
They were driven by the grievous energy, just like Song Ren who rushed into the Celestial World. "Song…" He subconsciously turned back to look at Song Ren who didn't speak the whole way. Yet he realized that strings of dark gray aura started emerging from all over his body, and soon they covered his whole body. Anger and grievance came to those eyes which always used to be timid and horrified. The eyes were red.
He… was affected by the grievous energy from the black fog?
"Song Ren!" Yi Qing cried out loudly.
Yet he didn't seem to hear, and the grievous energy thickened upon him, and his expression grew even fiercer. "Kill! Kill!" He murmured aloud. In the next moment, he directly went out of the projection, and immediately changed back to that grievous look back in Celestial World. He became a black ball which rushed directly towards the black fog of remnant souls.
"Song Ren!" Yi Qing grew anxious, and he directly produced a ray of spirit qi from a hand seal. It forcefully tied up Song Ren, who was already completely consumed by the grievous energy, and dragged him back. He kept on to add four or five layers of sealing spell. Yet Song Ren seemed to completely lose his consciousness. He started a wild attack on the array around himself. The soul which was weak to start with grew even thinner.
Meng Po wasn't here so his grievous energy couldn't be eliminated. Yi Qing's face darkened, and he had to seal him back to the projection on the ground. And he made another few spells, before he finally, slowly contained his grievous energy.
That was when the Mystic cultivators from the city rush over.
They saw the black fog which covered the sky immediately.
"Deviant ghosts, they are deviant ghosts! They are here indeed!" Everyone's face paled.
"Chase away deviant ghosts!" Someone shouted. And the Mystic cultivators, without looking carefully, all rushed over, holding the peach wood swords in their hands high. They were almost going to pass through the separation arrays that Yi Qing set.
Yi Qing's heart dropped. "Don't go there!" It was too late. His array could only separation ghosts but not live men. When he sealed Song Ren back to his projection, they had already rushed inside. With a clanging sound, a crack suddenly appeared on the translucent array.
A large amount of black fog rushed out and went directly towards the group. Those who were the closest didn't yet have time to take out the talismans, and in an instant, blood broke out of their bodies. They immediately turned to dry corpses with not a bit of livelihood.
Yi Qing was full of anger, and in an instant he wanted to curse in the manner of Father Niu: Holy shit!
His hand turned and a wave of sword qi was just about to be sent over, when a chanting voice suddenly came from the sky.
"Infinite Heavenly Venerate!"
As that voice fell, a clear spirit qi swept from behind them, dispelling the thick black Qi within a moment. It directly forced those remnant souls back into the array. A golden array suddenly appeared in mid-air. It shone with bright golden lights and it produced a translucent golden dome which directly covered the black fog below.
A cultivator in green robes walked over from behind. He looked to be thirty to forty years old of age, and his hand held a whisk. His look was that of a godly kindness. Within several steps, he had already arrived in front of everyone.
Yi Qing realized his cultivation in an instant: Soul Formation level! He was mildly shocked. This small world actually had a Soul Formation cultivator too. More importantly, a golden light which was so thick that it felt blinding surrounded his whole body, making him look like a moving light source.
Was this… the light of merit?!
Chapter 380: The Way to Dispel Ghosts
"Heaven Master Yun" Everyone was surprised, and then overjoyed, "Great! Heaven Master Yun is here! Longxing City is saved now!"
"He's the best Mystic cultivator in the world indeed. No deviant ghosts can't be solved by him."
"I didn't expect that I can actually see Heaven Master Yun.
This trip is not wasted at all."
"Hasn't Heaven Master been hidden from the world since decades ago? Could he have come specially for Longxing City?"
Everyone was relieved, and they all went in front with faces full of excitement.
Even Yi Qing looked over with some curiosity. Only people with great merits could have the Light of Merit about their body. But this was the first time he saw one so bright. Even the Buddhist cultivators in the other small worlds couldn't reach the level of thickness of merit that he had. Yet he was a cultivator. No, a Mystic cultivator, in the folds of this small world.
How many good deeds did one have to do to achieve such a thick Light of Merit? Yi Qing couldn't help but feel a wave of admiration.
Yet that man in the middle, all covered in golden lights, merely smiled kindly at everyone, cupped his fist and said, "Fellow Daoists, Yun Heng has come late."
Only then was everyone able to react. They returned the salute with extremely reverent expressions. Some even rubbed their eyes in disbelief, thinking that their eyes had mistaken. After a long while, that Sect master whose surname was Ying stepped forward. "Heaven Master Yun, have you come for these deviant ghosts?"
"Yes indeed!" Yun Heng nodded. "In my seclusion, I felt the concentration of Yin Qi around this area, that's why I hurried here specially." He turned to look at the several dried corpses upon the ground, and a bit of pity flashed in his eyes. "It seems that I'm one step too late after all, that I couldn't save them." He raised his hand and produced a seal. With a wave of the whisk in his hand, a golden light swept towards the corpses on the ground. Immediately, the dried corpses changed into light spots and disappeared. He sang the Daoist sutra a few times, before he sighed and put down his hand.
With his reminder, everyone also remembered the peers who just died martyrs, and they fell silent immediately. Looks of sorrow showed in their eyes.
After a long while, Sect master Ying finally spoke. "Alas, Heaven Master has already tried your best. Should they be conscious in the underworld, they wouldn't blame you. In any case, they died saving the world, and this was a fulfillment for them." He sighed, then turned to look at the deviant ghosts covered by the golden light. His expression darkened. "We didn't expect that the deviant ghosts that appeared this time was so huge in numbers. We are low in Dharmic powers and I'm afraid we can't drive away all. Does Heaven Master have a way?"
Once he finished speaking, the crowd turned to look towards Yun Heng as well. In fact, everyone knew that so many deviant ghosts were beyond what they could manage. From the moment that they set eyes on them, they had been ready to die, so that they could delay them even temporarily. But Yun Heng was a Heaven Master, and with him here… they might actually be able to drive them away.
Yun Heng looked at the expectant people, his glabella wrinkled slightly, and the hands at the side of his body tightened. He said, "The deviant ghosts that came this time are indeed unprecedented in numbers. Even I can't be confident of completely dispelling them." He made a sigh and turned to look at the black crowd of deviant ghosts behind him. "I will try my best. Would you protect my Dharma?"
Everyone's expression grew heavy as well. Even Heaven Master was not confident. This showed how severe the deviant ghosts' situation was this time. Yet right now, the only way was to put in all they have to give it a try.
"This matter concerns all living beings in the world. Heaven Master Yun, you can freely try it. We will definitely do our best to protect your Dharma."
"Okay!" Yun Heng nodded, before taking a step forward. He took out a purple dharmic talisman directly and recited a few sentences of something in a low voice. In a short while, very bright talisman lights appeared. Other Mystic cultivators protected his Dharma all around him. That Dharma light grew brighter and brighter, and within a short while it became a purple light, flying towards the top of the array which trapped the deviant ghosts.
The patterns of an array immediately formed in the air and expanded slowly. He seemed to be working hard to let the array cover the whole lot of deviant ghosts underneath. Yet perhaps due to the different cultivation method, it was very hard for him to maintain that, and soon, beads of sweat appeared on his forehead.
Yi Qing looked over, and found out that the Spirit Qi within his body was constantly being sent towards the array in the air, as if he was not at all concerned about wasting it. Like that, half of the Spirit Qi in his body was gone.
He frowned. At this rate, even if he was a Soul Formation cultivator, his Spirit Qi would be used up within minutes.
Suddenly he grew curious about that array in the air. What kind of array would require a Soul Formation cultivator to use up all his strength? He examined the array for a long while, but still couldn't recognize it.
Indeed, in a short while, Yun Heng's face was completely pale, and the Spirit Qi inside his body was almost all gone. If not for the golden Light of Merit that surrounded his whole body, he probably wouldn't be able to sustain it any more. The cultivators held their breath to look at the array in the air, very focused. Finally, that giant purple array covered all the deviant ghosts underneath.
Only then did Yun Heng turn his hand, and with his last bit of spiritual power, he changed into another spell. The dharma spells that he recited became even more complicated. Even his Light of Merit seemed to darken for a moment. In the next instant, the purple array suddenly changed, and the pattern shifted. The whole sky was filled with a wave of blinding red light. With a thick killing Qi, it fell down directly.
This was… the Soul-Extinguishing Array!
Yi Qing's eyes widened suddenly. The array was falling down towards the remnant soul, and that even the golden light dome which trapped the deviant ghosts previously broke with a sound. The separation array that he set within it was about to collapse as well.
His heart tightened. Subconsciously, a few waves of sword qi had already gone over, attacking the Soul-Extinguishing Array.
In the next moment, there was a loud bang. That red array collapsed instantly, falling down as spots of fluorescent light. And Yun Heng who had exhausted his Spirit Qi setting the array immediately suffered a backlash from the array. He spit out blood and fell down.
"What are you doing!" Only then did the other cultivators notice Yi Qing at the side. They reacted immediately and turned to look with anger at the person who suddenly moved to break the array. Many even took out the peach wood swords in their hands and surrounded him on all sides. "Who are you? Why did you destroy Heaven Master's array!"
"You prevent us from dispelling deviant ghosts and seriously injure Heaven Master. What on earth do you want?" Yi Qing frowned and paid no heed to their questioning. Yet he turned to look at the swaying Yun Heng, and asked with a deep voice, "What do you mean by dispelling, is killing these remnant souls?"
After he said this, everyone grew even angrier. "Crap! Deviant ghosts endanger the world. Of course they are to be dispelled!"
Yi Qing frowned even deeper.
"No need to talk much with him. Seize this traitor who destroyed the dispelling array!" Sect master Ying took the lead to shout out. The angry crowd was going to slash him with their swords when…
"Wait!" Yun Heng at the side suddenly spoke, stopping the crowd who rushed forward. "Wait a minute!