Xie Bi An looked at Fan Wu She’s unhidden intention to kill. He was really worried that if he saw the execution officer, he would lose control, even more out of control than when he saw Qi Mo Ke just now. However, in order to find Lan Chui Han, there seemed to be no other way. Xie Bi An quietly touched the Heavenly Secret Talisman in his hands. With the Heavenly Secret Talisman in his own hands, at least he was a little more certain. Fan Wu She couldn’t go so far as to destroy all of hell.
"How do I find the execution officer?" "Go to his favorite torture room."
Hearing the two words "torture room", Xie Bi An's heart sank. He had not yet recovered from the scene he just saw.
"He likes blood. Compared to the other execution officers who torture prisoners in different ways, he purely likes blood“ Fan Wu She clenched the sword in his hand tightly.
"If Brother Lan is in his hands..."
"Perhaps, but as long as Jiang Qu Lian does not want Lan Chui Han to die, he will not use extreme torture instruments because the flesh of the living cannot recover infinitely."
Xie Bi An had some extreme associations in his mind. He shivered: "Let's go as quickly as possible." The two shuttled through the torture rooms, which were spread all over the place, occasionally encountering execution officers or Yin servants. They easily muddled through with their disguises. The deeper they went, the bigger the torture rooms. The heat of the blazing lava made it difficult for people to breathe. A living person in such an environment probably could not survive for a day even if he had deep cultivation.
Fan Wu She finally stopped in front of a huge torture room. The stone walls here extended on both sides and the end could not be seen. The stone door was towering and weighed more than ten thousand jins. There were numerous honeycomb-like holes on the walls of volcanic rock. They were like eyes that harbored malicious intentions, covering every wall in all directions. When placing oneself among them, there was an illusion of getting pierced by evil eyes, which was chilling.
Fan Wu She put his hand on the stone door. He looked back at Xie Bi An. Despite the ghost mask covering his face, it could not block his sharp eyes. They fell on Xie Bi An's face, as if questioning something.
Xie Bi An understood the meaning of those eyes: "I am ready."
The heavy stone door was easily pushed open to provide a gap to go through. Before they had time to step inside, the things inside heat,
screams, shouts, blood, putrid, and resentment had already poured out, almost drowning and knocking them down.
In front of them was a large cave, supported by nine dragon* stone pillars. The nine dragon pillars were arranged in three rows, which were complementary to the giant formation on the ground. That spell formation was so huge and complicated that it was the only one Xie Bi An had ever seen in his life. The center of the formation was as deep as a kennel. The totems formed by countless talismans were like the veins of leaves, which were closely connected with the center of the formation as the trunk. They were actually the mainstream and tributaries of a bloody river, in which the stinky blood flowed, and finally converged to the thickest black dragon column in the middle of the Nine Dragons Formation. Under the black dragon column was a blood pool, which was the eye of this formation. On each dragon pillar, there was more than one human soul tied up. The big and small execution officers were peeling their skin and cutting their flesh and bones, and the blood flowed continuously into the Nine Dragons Blood Formation.
Xie Bi An felt his hair stand up. That heat which was mixed with the stench made his stomach churned.
Fan Wu She gasped and walked in slowly step by step.
Directly west of the cave, there was a throne made of volcanic rock.
There was one mountain of flesh half-lying on the throne.
Qi Mo Ke was only two people tall, and this mountain of flesh was really like a small hill. The body was incredibly fat with layers of bare, white flesh stacked straight to the ground. What's more, he had six arms which emitted a dense Yin energy that perfectly matched its size. A group of small ghosts were surrounding him and wiping his body.
How could such cultivation be an ordinary execution officer? He was clearly a ghost king. Xie Bi An immediately guessed his identity. He was a legendary general under Jiang Qu Lian the White Ghost.
And for Fan Wu She, he was the chief execution officer of the Infernal Hell who commanded all execution officers.
The two walked up to the throne of the flesh mountain.
"What do you come here for?" Mo Shang Cun, the White Ghost King, spoke slowly. His voice was like a great bell*.
When the Yin servants came here, they either sent or retrieved people. They were not escorting someone, so naturally they were here to retrieve someone.
"Retrieving someone." Fan Wu She was the first to speak. The volume was obviously not loud, but it clearly transmitted to every corner of the stone cave. Mo Shang Cun sensed that something was wrong. Such inner strength was definitely not something an ordinary Yin servant would have. He raised his neck and looked carefully at the two. A pair of eyes were barely visible in the thin slit between the fats, yet they were sharp and bright: "As far as I know. No one has completed their sentence recently." He wrinkled his nose and let out a puzzled snort.
"Retrieve people." Fan Wu She’s eyes looking at Mo Shang Cun's gaze could be rated as ferocious, just that they were slightly concealed by the mask. Otherwise, such a look alone was already enough to scare a million ghosts.
Mo Shang Cun suddenly thought: "No, it's the smell of the living!" The execution officers in the stone cave looked over in surprise.
Fan Wu She took off his mask. While tossing it, it fell into the pool of blood.
"...It’s you." Mo Shang Cun’s pile of fat on his face was not supposed to have an expression, but everyone could see his tension. He immediately laughed, "It's you, it's really you. Your Holiness has some good skills. You really actually came back."
"It's only natural to do what I said."
"From that moment I heard that Your Holiness was reborn as a human, I knew that you would definitely come back and find us." Mo Shang Cun laughed grimly, "I've been in the Infernal Hell for a thousand years. No one has ever gone and returned. You have lived up to your arrogant words." His gaze fell on Xie Bi An, "Then this person must be the reincarnation of Emperor Kong Hua. "
Xie Bi An also took off his mask and looked coldly at Mo Shang Cun. "Although it is the first time that the emperor has seen me, I am very
familiar with the emperor. Almost like an old friend." Mo Shang Cun laughed strangely, "After all, during the hundred years when the Demon Supreme was tortured in the infernal hell, you were the one who came out of his mouth repeatedly."
Fan Wu She's spiritual pressure soared. His eyes were burning like torches. The black death aura suddenly curled up around his body.
"Wu She." Xie Bi An called out in a low voice.
This call barely helped Fan Wu She suppress the raging hatred, but his fists still crackled from the clenching.
"Does Your Holiness still remember how you cried out for help?" Mo Shang Cun tsked twice, "It's a pity that your big brother never came to your rescue."
Xie Bi An's breathing became rapid.
Fan Wu She made a cold, gnashing voice: "Mo Shang Cun, I came back, and you're about to become them."
He was referring to the sinful ghosts who were being tortured.
Mo Shang Cun laughed, "Infernal Hell is my territory. I personally saw you as a newborn child at my mercy, do you think I will be afraid of you?"
"You will." Fan Wu She's sword blade was unsheathed.
The fatty flesh on Mo Shang Cun's body trembled. His six arms lifted warily at the same time: "You didn’t come back specifically to seek revenge on us, right?"
"Where's Lan Chui Han?" Xie Bi An shouted.
"Hahaha, so it's really about that living person." Mo Shang Cun said coldly, "The Red King ordered me to 'entertain' him well, how dare I disobey the order?"
"What have you done to him!?" Xie Bi An said sternly, "Where is he now!?" "Naturally he is here, let's see if you have the ability to find him."
Xie Bi An also drew out his sword: "Let's see if you have the ability to hide him!"
"Don't rush." Mo Shang Cun's eyes almost narrowed into a slit, "I still want to reminisce with Your Holiness." He randomly grabbed a nearby ghost with one hand, blew on the terrified ghost, and threw it in front of Fan Wu She and Xie Bi An.
They saw the ghost’s skeleton and face changed rapidly, and in the blink of an eye, it turned into Fan Wu She's appearance, just that he had disheveled hair and a dirty face. His long hair was scattered, and there was not a single piece of intact flesh on his body. Not knowing how many knives he had been stabbed with, he was so bloody. He shook unsteadily and knelt in front of the two like that.
Xie Bi An was so shocked that he took a step back. Fan Wu She looked down at “himself" in front of him, and the black aura quietly climbed up in his eyes.
"It hurts ..." That little kid turned into Fan Wu She, no, to be precise, Song Zi Xiao, and let out a low moan, "It hurts, big brother." He raised his head and looked at Xie Bi An with tears in his eyes. His eyes were filled with fear and pleading.
Xie Bi An's whole body trembled. His pupils contracted, as if someone had instantly grabbed his throat. He could neither make a sound nor gasp for breath. He felt the urge to escape from this place, but his two feet could not move, as if they had grown roots.
"Big brother, it hurts. Xiao Jiu hurts..." ‘Song Zi Xiao’ couldn’t stop wailing, "Big brother, help me. Please help me, big brother!"
Xie Bi An staggered back again, as if the thing in front of him would eat people, take out his heart and gnaw it clean. Mo Shang Cun grabbed two more ghosts and threw them down again. One turned into Song Zi Xiao in a magma pool, who was already melted beyond human form, with his mouth wide open and howled dryly, yet unable to make a sound, and one turned into Song Zi Xiao burned by fire, which was a black and scorched mass, crying out heartbreakingly in the blazing flames: "Big brother, big brother, help me "
Xie Bi An's eyes were about to crack. His internal organs were as if ripped out of his abdomen and cut into pieces one by one.
Those three ghosts changed their forms under Mo Shang Cun's control, recreating the torture that Song Zi Xiao had suffered during his hundred years in the Infernal Hell.
"Big brother, save me, I'm wrong, I'm in pain, big brother "
"Big brother, save Xiao Jiu, save me "
"Big brother, big brother, big brother, save me "
"AAAAAHHHHHH----" Xie Bi An held his head and yelled, unable to bear what he saw and heard. That "Big Brother, help me" was like a never- ending curse that broke his will completely. Xiao Jiu was asking him for help. His Xiao Jiu was asking for help, but he couldn't do anything, but he never heard it, and never showed up.
Xiao Jiu must have hurt a lot, must have been very scared, must have been feeling very hopeless, but he had never appeared. So, in a moment, a day, a year, a decade, a hundred years, his Xiao Jiu suffered through a hundred years of infernal hell just like this.
A bloody hundred years soaked with pain and despair.
Why should he see these!? Why is there nothing he can do!? Why does God want to torture him and the one he loves the most like this!?
PS: AAaaAaaAaAHHHHHHHHHH (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ PS from Emzie: ಥ_ಥ
nine dragon*[九⻰]---a legendary beast
voice was like a great bell*[声如洪钟]---voice was loud and clear/resonating
Fan Wu She wielded his sword and tore those little ghosts to pieces. Before the sword energy subsided, he rushed straight towards Mo Shang Cun.
Mo Shang Cun let out a burst of wild laughter. His six arms moved together, grabbed countless little ghosts, and threw them at Fan Wu She. Each one changed into Song Zi Xiao’s appearance, which was bloody, mutilated, twisted, and inhuman. They were like one Thunderfire Stone after another, exploding their psychological boundaries. That was the cruel past they could not face.
The sword energy was redirected once again. Fan Wu She flew through these illusions quickly, sweeping away fragments of unpleasant memories one by one, leaving a residual shadow of the diffused black death aura right before his eyes.
Mo Shang Cun, the flesh mountain, stood up from the throne and walked step by step towards Fan Wu She. His six arms reached over all at the same time. His action was not fast and a little cumbersome, but he blocked all of Fan Wu She’s route of retreat completely, just like two shells of a giant clam that were closing, trying to wrap up the small bits of sand which accidentally came in.
A silver light suddenly appeared like a shining meteor in the dim stone cave. It quickly swept through, yet its long tail was a string of blood beads. A long blood channel was split open on Mo Shang Cun's arm from the bend of the arm. Xie Bi An’s sword reached the center and landed on the bend of Mo Shang Cun's knee. He used the force to bounce towards Mo Shang Cun's face, and the Junlan sword directly took those eyes in that long crevice of meat. His eyes contain resentment and hatred. The murderous aura was boiling, even the released spiritual pressure was carrying flames of fury that dashed to the skies. A huge palm slapped down from the top of his head. Xie Bi An did not retreat, but advanced instead. The long sword stabbed the palm firmly. However, this hand did not dodge. He let the Junlan sword pierce through it no matter what, closed his fingers, and grasped Xie Bi An.
Xie Bi An’s body was immediately embraced into the layers of fat. He ruthlessly bit through his fingers and quickly drew a flame spell on that palm. Just when he was about to be squeezed alive by the fat, the palm burst into flames suddenly and he let go painfully.
On the other side, Fan Wu She wielded out several sword energies and slashed at that meat mountain. Almost every stroke was concentrated, yet they did not take any effect. If he was compared to a city wall, he would definitely be the world's first impregnable city. That sword energy, which was enough to destroy gold and break iron, can't cut through the soft and thick meat and it can't be deeply pierced.
The two shuttled back and forth on that meat mountain. As their line of sight was constantly obscured, they got disorientated several times.
Mo Shang Cun gave an order, and all the execution officers attacked and blocked all of their ways one by one. Mo Shang Cun said with a strange smile, "Why does Your Holiness not use the Heavenly Secret Talisman? As long as you use that Heavenly Secret Talisman, even I'll probably have to listen to you.”
Fan Wu She’s pupils gradually became pitch black. The black death aura already encircled him. His sword moves were increasingly ruthless and faster. Mo Shang Cun's body was already bleeding like a torrent, but there was no obvious decline in power.
"Don't fall for his trick." Xie Bi An growled, "He did all this to entice you into using the Heavenly Secret Talisman!" Hell was full of fierce ghosts. It's like a military camp for Fan Wu She. If he used the Heavenly Secret Talisman here, it would definitely accelerate the Yin energy erosion in Fan Wu She. Once he lost control here, hell could be destroyed. Not only could they not save Lan Chui Han, they might even be buried in the volcano.
"Your Holiness, since today is
the end of me, why not let me see that legendary ancient divine treasure?"
Mo Shang Cun's body shook fiercely and the earth quaked under his feet along
with it. The blood waves rippled in the eye of the formation. For a moment,
countless limbs and bleached bones floated out of the blood pool and gradually disappeared again as
the waves subsided. No one knew how deep the blood pool was and how many evil
things were hidden inside, so no one noticed that an insignificant white shadow
flew out from Mo Shang Cun's armpits.
Fan Wu She said coldly: "You don’t deserve the Heavenly Secret Talisman." He and Xie Bi An looked at each other and he suddenly made a strange gesture. Xie Bi An was stunned and his expression became very complicated. After that, he climbed up while stepping on Mo Shang Cun's stomach. The spiritual pressure injected into Ting Mo had made that silver blade emit bursts of a green glow. The ruthless sword style of the Zongxuan sword was released and attacked Mo Shang Cun's head, which was as huge as a car, fiercely. Xie Bi An followed closely behind him and stepped on the meat mountain from the other side. It seemed that he was going to converge an attack with Fan Wu She from left and right, but his sword path suddenly changed in midair and pounced towards Fan Wu She’s back.
Almost in the same instant, a white shadow shot at Fan Wu She’s back, which was directly met with Xie Bi An's sword energy.
With a scream, that white shadow fell and was caught by Mo Shang Cun's arm in time, but the other arm next to it seemed to have been run over by a huge guillotine. The bone and flesh were cut off neatly.
With a rumble, that arm fell to the ground.
Following the sound of screaming, on top of the meat mountain stood a dry, thin, naked man. His whole body was pale and not a hair was left on his body. The two bulging eyeballs were bluish-gray. Although he was thin, he had firm and lean meat. The lines of his muscles were undulated with distinct lumps. One could also feel the hardness just by looking at it. And he had six arms.
"Indeed, this is your original body." The corners of Fan Wu She's lips were slightly raised, smiling in an evil and perverse way, “The immortal bones, souls and flesh you have consumed for thousands of years had been refined into a spiritual body like this. No wonder you’re not willing to leave the infernal hell."
Xie Bi An felt complicated in his heart. The gesture that Fan Wu She made to him was a secret signal between them as brothers. Since the ambush in Gutuo Town, they invented many secret signals to cooperate with each other during sword practice. That gesture meant "I'll be the bait".
Mo Shang Cun covered his broken arm and said with a chuckle: "I’m not willing to leave the infernal hell. I'm not just greedy for the daily tonic, what I like most is to torture you guys who were insufferably arrogant in life. So what if you’re the Demon Supreme who controlled two ancient divine treasures, tore the Fengdu barrier with your own strength, inflicted serious damage on the Great Emperor Beiyin, and nearly united both the human and ghost worlds? You still had to cry and shout for your big brother like a child in this continuous cruel torture. Hahahahaha "
Xie Bi An's wrist trembled lightly. He shook off the blood beads dropping down from the sword, then slowly raised his shoulder and extended his arm with the blade pointed at Mo Shang Cun again.
"My big brother came," Fan Wu She said coldly, "and so is your time of death."
The two of them attacked in unison. The two silver blades were shining together and shot at Mo Shang Cun like arrows.
Mo Shang Cun's meat shield was the first to move, and the remaining five arms swept over at the same time.
The melee resumed.
Mo Shang Cun's body was graceful and agile, and at the same time, he manipulated the bulky but strong meat shield, appearing beside the two people in the form of a surprise attack and sneak attack from time to time. In such a perfect combination of attack and defense, they couldn’t catch Mo Shang Cun momentarily.
And Mo Shang Cun was not as ready to die as he said he was. After luring the two apart, he slid all the way down to the Nine Dragons Formation under the cover of the meat shield and fled in the direction of the stone door.
Fan Wu She sneered. He suddenly held the Map of Shanhe Sheji in his hand. With the scroll unfolded, everything in the cave could be seen clearly on it. The stone door in front of Mo Shang Cun's eyes was suddenly wiped out and completely connected into one piece. There was no way out.
Mo Shang Cun was temporarily at a loss. He only felt the killing intent raging behind him. When he turned, Xie Bi An came fiercely with his harsh sword energy mixed with spiritual pressure. Under the tearing and biting of the sword energy, Mo Shang Cun's five arms were all neatly cut off. His knees went weak and knelt on the ground. The shining white and fleshy meat mountain also collapsed with a bang behind him.
Fan Wu She put away the Map of Shanhe Sheji, and Xie Bi An put away his sword. The two looked at each other from a short distance away. Their chests were heaving with force, their breaths were in turmoil, and their hearts were in more turmoil.
The black death aura around Fan Wu She’s body was thickening and thinning suddenly. His eyes were brightening and extinguishing. He seemed to be suppressing it, but also seemed to be releasing it.
Xie Bi An gasped and said dully, "Wu She, calm down."
Fan Wu She lips pursed lightly. His eyes had a trace of struggle. The black blood vessels in his eyes still did not retreat, but he replied, "Okay."
Mo Shang Cun knelt on the ground. Blood was flowing like a torrent from his body, but he still laughed loudly, sinisterly, and arrogantly: "It's really touching. That young kid who cried 'big brother, save me' under torture all day long really brought his big brother here. Unfortunately, was he the one who saved you? He hates you so much and earnestly wishes you to die, so how could he save you? If the Red King hadn't brought you out of the infernal hell, you would be a mindless, wild, and lonely ghost in the several thousand miles of dense forest and mire in Jiuyou!"
Xie Bi An clenched his molars. He wanted to retort but couldn't think of a single word to refute it.
Fan Wu She walked up to Mo Shang Cun step by step and looked at him in a condescending manner, "The first execution officer I met when I came back here was Qi Mo Ke. Do you want to know what happened to him? Do you want to know your endings?"
Mo Shang Cun smiled coldly. "I carved a Big Dipper Zhengji Binding Demon Formation on his body." Mo Shang Cun's body trembled, but his expression remained unchanged.
"And you will have a better one naturally." Fan Wu She raised Mo Shang Cun's chin with the blade of his sword, "Where is that living person?"
"What difference does it make if I say it or not?" Mo Shang Cun smiled grimly, "If I don't say it, you will never find him."
"It doesn't matter if you don't say anything." Fan Wu She took out the soul-hooking rope and threw out the chain sickle that accurately pierced through Mo Shang Cun's shoulder blade, dragging him towards the black dragon pillar in the blood pool.
"Wait." Xie Bi An stopped him, "We must find Brother Lan first. Don't you forget that this is the purpose of our trip."
Mo Shang Cun's face was twisted with pain, but he still laughed strangely, "Look, your good big brother, your savior is so anxious to run to the most dangerous place in the human and ghost worlds, but not to save you, hahahahaha. You called for a hundred years, and he came, but not for you. Not for you, hahahahahaha "
". " Fan Wu She's face became even more gloomy.
"You shut up!" Xie Bi An said dully, "Give him to me. Wuqiongbi can make him talk."
"The purpose of this trip is for Lan Chui Han." Fan Wu She lowered his head and repeated.
"Of course." Xie Bi An frowned, "Have you forgotten?" "Why?"
"What?" Fan Wu She slowly raised his head again. His gaze was gloomy. The black blood vessels were extending towards the center of his pupil: "Lan Chui Han was only in hell for a few days, and you couldn't wait to save him, but I was tortured here for a whole hundred years. A hundred years!"
"Wu She, sober up! Don't fall under his spell!"
"You saw everything. You saw how much pain I was in. You saw that I had been waiting for you to save me. Big brother, you saw it." Fan Wu She's gaze drifted a bit, "But the purpose of your trip is not for me. Why didn't you come to save me? Didn’t you come here to save me?!"
PS: haha, Xiaohei is going crazy soon. If Xiaobai just goes up to hug him, or even just hold his hand and comfort him, he’ll just calm down man. I wonder what Xiaobai will do next, SO EXCITED!!!
PS from Emzie: I can sense the climax coming! Are we finally going to get some resolve between the two!?!??
The Yin energy emanating from Fan Wu She’s body made Xie Bi An's hair stand up. Mo Shang Cun’s transformation illusion just now not only made him overwhelmed with grief, but also greatly stimulated Fan Wu She. If the Heavenly Secret Talisman wasn’t in his own hands, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Xie Bi An just realized that the Heavenly Secret Talisman was slightly warming up in front of his chest at this time, as if responding to a call. He reached out and touched it, and he couldn’t help but shudder with fear. He took a deep breath, braced himself, stood in front of Fan Wu She, and said again in a steady voice: "Wu She, I need you to restrain yourself. I need you to regain consciousness. He has been provoking you by all means. You are no longer a prisoner of the Infernal Hell. You don't have to be controlled by him."
Fan Wu She's eyes were clearly struggling.
Mo Shang Cun added fuel to the fire on one side: "Your good big brother is only using you. He doesn't care about your life or death. He just wants to save Lord Lan."
Xie Bi An’s sword swept out. A bloody channel was opened at the left side of Mo Shang Cun's face from the corner of his mouth to the root of his ear. His body twitched twice, and his face became gradually distorted under the stimulation of pain, yet he was still laughing without fear of death.
If it were not for the need to ask him about Lan Chui Han’s whereabouts, Xie Bi An would have cut his tongue directly. Fan Wu She stared at Xie Bi An. His gaze was clearly resistant, cold, and guarded, but it seemed to be longing for something. He frowned and pondered for a long time before extending a hand towards Xie Bi An and said in a hoarse voice, "The Heavenly Secret Talisman."
Seeing Xie Bi An's expression didn’t change, he aggravated his tone: "Give me the Heavenly Secret Talisman!"
"The Heavenly Secret Talisman was handed over to me by you to prevent you from being manipulated by hatred and anger and inducing your inner demons." Xie Bi An looked straight at Fan Wu She. His gaze was frank and penetrating, "Do you remember?"
"Give it to me!" Fan Wu She's face gradually twisted.
"I can't give it to you." Xie Bi An once again tried to reach out and put his hand over the jade token.
But his chest suddenly burned hot. Xie Bi An let out a cry of pain as the Heavenly Secret Talisman broke through the barrier of his clothes and flew back into Fan Wu She's hand with a whoosh.
Like pouring oil on the fire, the black death aura around Fan Wu She's body was burning like a black flame.
Xie Bi An said anxiously: “Wu She!”
Fan Wu She was dragging Mo Shang Cun. He leaped to the black dragon pillar and tied Mo Shang Cun up with the instruments of torture embedded in the dragon pillar. He stretched out his fingers and stroked the grooves of the totem on the dragon pillar. Those dark brown marks were the blood that had flowed on it. He looked down again and saw that all the blood was converging to the pool under his feet.
This Nine Dragon Formation, with the blood pool as the eye, was born to suppress the most powerful resentment in the Underworld. Otherwise, those fierce ghosts who suffered in the Infernal Hell would destroy the entire Underworld with their resentment. And this black dragon pillar, which was the eye of the formation, would always be reserved for the most powerful ghosts.
Fan Wu She's gaze swept over the trembling execution officers who had nowhere to run: "Come here."
Several execution officers came under the black dragon pillar as they were told, and they naturally knew what Fan Wu She wanted to do.
Fan Wu She retreated to one side and said with a grim smile, "Do it."
The execution officers were unambiguous and tortured Mo Shang Cun in the same way as a prisoner.
Skinning, meat scraping, dismembering, and bleeding. Those most primitive, bloody, and cruel infernal torture brought infinite pain. Mo Shang Cun's screams reverberated in the stone cave. Before one sound subsided, another one rose again, and the lingering sounds were long-lasting.
Fan Wu She let out a laugh of great pleasure.
Xie Bi An looked at that bloody scene and felt a chill down his spine. He wanted to remind Fan Wu She several times that they needed Mo Shang Cun to tell them where Lan Chui Han was. But looking at Fan Wu She, who was increasingly crazy and addicted to the pleasure of revenge, he was afraid that if he really reminded him, it would only backfire and make Fan Wu She more out of control.
But if he let him go on like this, he would turn all the execution officers in the Infernal Hell into dust.
Xie Bi An walked up to Fan Wu She’s back. Fan Wu She turned his body halfway and looked at him coldly, "I'm helping you to save that Lan guy."
"In that case, let him take a breath to talk."
Fan Wu She glanced at Mo Shang Cun whose limbs were about to turn into white bones from the scraping and smiled slightly: "There are thousands of varieties of punishments in the Infernal Hell, but you said you like this simple and straightforward one the most. Only in this way can the pool of blood be endless. How was it, do you like it?"
Mo Shang Cun only howled miserably.
Fan Wu She waved his hand to stop the execution officers. Several execution officers stopped tamely and stepped aside.
Mo Shang Cun was covered in blood. The corners of his mouth were salivating, and not a single piece of good flesh could be found below his skull. But even so, he would recover as before, because he was not a living person. He couldn’t die. His body was a spiritual body rather than a real flesh body. Like all the prisoners who entered here, he would continue to suffer day after day with his intact body.
At this time, he was given a chance to breathe intermittently, and was finally able to recover a trace of sanity from the severe pain.
Xie Bi An asked in a hurry: "Where is Lan Chui Han? Tell us." Mo Shang Cun grunted coldly and strenuously.
"If you don't say it, you have to keep suffering here. How long can you last?"
"... If I said it ... he would not ... let me go either ... "
Xie Bi An gripped the hilt of his sword: "If you say it, I will give you a quick death."
"Okay, I want him ... to promise ..." Mo Shang Cun said with difficulty, "To swear."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An: "Impossible."
Xie Bi An said anxiously, "We are here to save people." "But not to save me." Fan Wu She snorted, "It's none of my business if he lives or dies."
Mo Shang Cun lets out a muffled laughter, "Indeed ..."
Suddenly, Mo Shang Cun gathered his Yin energy. His body changed quickly, including those bloody limbs. He became Song Zi Xiao under their eyes.
Xie Bi An felt redness in front of his eyes. Those terrible injuries, unpleasant looking blood, and the dejected face that was numbed from the pain, all of it turned into Song Zi Xiao. And this was more real than those ghosts Mo Shang Cun used to transform just now, because those wounds were still fresh and warm, and those painful wailings were still clear in the ears.
Fan Wu She stared deadly at himself who had been cut to pieces on the black dragon pillar. His pupils gradually dilated. The black death aura almost invaded and occupied all of his sclera, so that his eyes were only left a hopeless and bottomless black. He let out a low roar, and the blood- colored mystic text on the Heavenly Secret Talisman was looming with a red glow.
"Wu She, don't!" Xie Bi An shouted loudly.
All the execution officers in the cave turned to Fan Wu She’s direction in a uniform manner, as if they were manipulated by a string. In the next moment, they tore and scratched their own flesh, gouged out their own eyeballs, and pulled out their own tongues while screaming. They did not stop even though they were bloody and tore themselves into pieces in the screeching.
That scene was so bloody and horrible that even Xie Bi An, who grew up in the Underworld, couldn't watch it anymore.
Mo Shang Cun laughed crazily as he mimicked Fan Wu She's tone and shouted, "Big brother, come save me. Why hasn't big brother come to save me? Hahahahaha " Fan Wu She clutched his head and roared like a beast.
The entire stone cave began to shake violently. The power of the Heavenly Secret Talisman was spreading to the outside of this torture room and would spread to the entire 18th floor of Hell soon.
Xie Bi An rushed towards Fan Wu She with vigorous strides. Fan Wu She noticed his approach and subconsciously wanted to fight back, but was suppressed by a more stubborn and determined will, so he let Xie Bi An embraced him.
A surprise flashed in Fan Wu She’s eyes, and the world became quiet.
Xie Bi An held the person in his arms tightly. His chest was heaving continuously. He was betting that Fan Wu She hadn't really lost his mind, otherwise, he would have been at risk of losing his life just now.
Fan Wu She was still frozen in place and at a loss. "It's me. You know it's me, right?"
Fan Wu She's lips opened and closed slightly, but did not answer.
"I came to save Lan Chui Han, and I also came to save you." When he said these words, the boulder that was weighing Xie Bi An's heart down seemed to have loosened. He was finally able to catch his breath and face up to Fan Wu She's sins and redemption.
After a long time, Fan Wu She said, "...You came to save me."
"Yes, I came to save you." Sorrow flowed out from Xie Bi An's eyes, "The mistakes you made in your previous life have been repaid here, but you still have a piece of yourself imprisoned here, so I came to take you away today."
"Big brother ... came to save me." Fan Wu She said with a trembling voice. Xie Bi An tightened his arms. His tone was gentle, but the words that came out were sincere and earnest: "Big brother came to save you."
Fan Wu She’s eyes were glittering with hidden tears, and the black death aura in them was wavering.
PS: my tears, FUUUUUCCC--- (ಥ﹏ಥ)
PS from Emzie: *wraps Ari in a blanket and hands ice cream*
The fragments of memory were like flickering light and passing shadows* frequently occurring in front of the eyes. They were near or far, dense or thin, round or waning. Suddenly, there was a layer of hazy vapour. Those images were hidden behind them as if separated by a layer of thick fog that couldn’t be penetrated no matter what. They became grey, misty, wet, cold, gradually became unreal and out of reach.
During the good times, they were extremely close and could hand over their lives to each other. During the bad times, they hated each other to the guts and hurt each other as much as they could. They were in a tangle for two lifetimes. They couldn’t figure out how to settle this rotten account.
The distortion of fate dragged them together again and again, and the invisible karma bounded them up layer upon layer. It seemed that they couldn’t be separated, so they could only play games in every inch of their heart, and they always suffered in the end.
"Big brother ... came to save me ..." Fan Wu She murmured. That fleeting tone was like a sleep-talking, even he did not dare to believe it.
"I'm here." Xie Bi An hugged Fan Wu She’s shoulders tightly, so tightly that even he was encircled by the black death aura. He seemed to feel the impact of the flourished Yin energy on his internal organs. It was like some kind of invisible, tasteless, but pervasive poison, which turned his soul into a hotbed that bred fear and hatred. If a person’s original heart was full of darkness, it would be a thousand times easier to stimulate them out. Xie Bi An was secretly frightened. Even if Fan Wu She's purpose was impure, he was helping himself in the end. If he was allowed to be manipulated by his inner demons, he would only do whatever he wanted and would soon turn into, no, turn back into the real Demon Supreme. He must never let that Demon Supreme come back again.
Fan Wu She raised his arms and carefully hugged Xie Bi An. His vigor was gradually weakening, but he was still full of uneasiness and doubt: "...Is it really you? Big brother, is it you?"
"It's me. Look carefully, it's really me."
Fan Wu She did not let go of his hands. His body slightly leaned back and was gazing deeply at Xie Bi An, as if he wanted to find a flaw in his facial features. His eyes gradually brightened because a thin layer of water vapor emerged on them. He whispered: "I’m dreaming again. I always have this dream, dreaming that you are coming to save me."
Xie Bi An felt as if a knife was
piercing his heart: "It’s not a dream. This is not a dream now." Fan Wu She indeed deserved all the punishments he had experienced in the
This man's past and present sins were enough to bear the harshest punishment
and retribution in the world, but even if he knew this truth, he could not stop his heartache. He was
going to be heartbroken because he had seen the innocent and clean Xiao Jiu
before. No one was born guilty.
"I'll wake up from the pain immediately, and then you'll disappear again and again." Fan Wu She raised his hand and slowly caressed Xie Bi An's face. The black death aura in his eyes receded slightly. "This time it's not a dream. I won't disappear either." Xie Bi An held Fan Wu She's hand and held it with force, "Look at me properly. Look at big brother. You don't have to be tortured anymore, and you don't have to be manipulated by an object."
Fan Wu She traced Xie Bi An's face over and over again with his gaze, repeatedly confirming whether he was in another torturous dream or not. It was not until the person he missed so much did not disappear and he confirmed that the temperature of his fingertips was real did he spoke with a shudder, "Big brother, it's really you."
Xie Bi An said in a hoarse voice, "Xiao Jiu, big brother has come to save you."
When he was the eldest prince in his previous life, he took the two words "big brother" very seriously, the eldest brother was like a father. His younger brothers and sisters respected him as their big brother, so he must set an example. If he couldn’t protect his younger brothers and sisters, how could he afford to be a "big brother"? In the end, his younger brothers and sisters either died or exiled, and the youngest brother, who was the most precious to him, fell into diabolism and was doomed eternally.
But now he had a chance to save his ninth brother. His outstretched hand could also pull himself out of the abyss.
Fan Wu She stiffened, and tears suddenly rushed down. The pearls sprinkled onto the jade plate and made a sound with every grain. They smashed on the back of the hand, the lapel, the ground, and the heart. These glittering tears washed away the dirt clearly. The evil black blood vessels in his eyes were washed clean, and his eyes were black and white again, as bright as the stars in the sky.
There were strong arms hooping around Xie Bi An in a tight embrace. How could he let go of the driftwood when he was about to drown? He kept sobbing and crying out “big brother’ like a child, as if he was going to pour out a hundred years of pain and grievance at the same time with each sound: "I've always been waiting for you, big brother. I've always been waiting for you. Always been waiting for you." In the darkness, at the end of the road, at the bottom of the abyss, he knew there was only one person in the world who could save him. He had always been waiting for his big brother.
"I'm here, big brother came late, but I'm here." Xie Bi An closed his eyes and wept. Vicissitudes and sorrow spanning a hundred years were written on his jade-like cheeks. But when he opened his eyes, the pupils were shining, and he was determined to find a way out of an impasse.
Fan Wu She's emotions gradually calmed down. He let go of the arm that had tightened Xie Bi An to the point of pain, and turned his head to look at the messy Mo Shang Cun, who was tied to the black dragon pillar.
Mo Shang Cun, who was barely breathing, naturally couldn’t sustain the polymorphism for a long time. At this time, he had returned to his original appearance. The fresh blood and chopped meat flowed along the dragon pillar into the canals on the ground, and finally into the blood pool. He looked at the two and wanted to act sarcastically, but he had been tortured until he had no strength.
Fan Wu She put all the magic treasures into his Qiankun bag, drew his sword, and put it against Mo Shang Cun's throat: "Tell me where he is and I'll give you a quick death."
"You ... swear."
"I swear "
"Swear…on your big brother " Mo Shang Cun spoke weakly.
Fan Wu She looked at him grimly, paused for a moment, and said, "I swear on my big brother, if you hand over Lan Chui Han, I will give you a quick death."
Xie Bi An secretly sighed in relief. He lowered his head to conceal and wiped the tears from his face. Mo Shang Cun made a great effort to raise his head and look at the little ghosts who were hiding under his throne and trembling, "Go and... bring that living person."
Fan Wu She used the Shanhe Sheji Map to unlock the front door of the cave and the little ghosts were about to go after receiving an order.
"Wait." Fan Wu She looked at those little ghosts coldly, "If you dare to disclose what happened in this torture room, I will hang you on the dragon pillar one by one."
Only when the little ghosts waved their hands and kowtowed for mercy in a hurry did Fan Wu She let them out.
Fan Wu She turned and looked at Xie Bi An. The ruthlessness in the previous moment had disappeared. There was a little hesitation, a little embarrassment, a little invitation of taking the credit for his achievement on his face, and a twinkle in his eyes.
Xie Bi An said with a calm expression: "You did the right thing."
Fan Wu She was still as happy as when he received praises from his big brother since young. His dangerous life throughout the year had taught him to cover up his feelings. Only in front of this person, he would always expose his real feelings.
Not long after, a few little ghosts carried an unkempt and withered- looking man in.
"Brother Lan!" Xie Bi An ran over, unable to believe for a moment that the person in front of him would be the high-spirited world's number one Lord, Lan Chui Han.
Lan Chui Han’s body had no obvious injuries, at least not a drop of blood was seen, but he was incredibly thin. His cheeks were deeply sunken. His clothes and hair were dirty and smelly. He opened his eyes, but there was no people or objects in his eyes. His eyes were cloudy, grey, and listless, as if they could not show a trace of light. "Brother Lan, what-what’s wrong with you?" Xie Bi An did not even dare to touch Lan Chui Han easily, afraid that the slightest force will break the bones wrapped in a layer of skin. Lan Chui Han's grey eyes were even more alarming to him. What kind of torture did a person have to suffer to become a walking corpse?
Fan Wu She looked at Lan Chui Han thoughtfully.
Xie Bi An injected his spiritual energy into Lan Chui Han's body and checked his internal organs and spiritual veins one by one. He found them to be very weak, but there was no obvious injury. He asked anxiously, "Brother Lan, can you still recognize me? Can you hear me?"
"He had always been locked up in the 'Chamber of the Nightmares’." Fan Wu She glared at Mo Shang Cun. Although it was a question, the tone was affirmative.
"It was the Red King who locked him in."
"What is the 'Chamber of the Nightmares’?" Xie Bi An said anxiously. "A torture room in the Infernal Hell that allows one to keep seeing the
most painful memories repeatedly." Fan Wu She's eyes were dark and gloomy, "That was the punishment I was most afraid of." He was forced to watch his big brother die in his arms repeatedly. If not for Mo Shang Cun's bloodlust and his lack of love for these criticizing games, it would have been impossible for him to survive a hundred years and keep a conscious mind.
"The most painful memories ..." Xie Bi An felt an oppressive pain and had already guessed what Fan Wu She saw from the sudden distortion of his face, but what did Lan Chui Han see? Lan Chui Han had brilliant talents and comfortable life. If it wasn’t for the world’s chaos, he would have a smooth life. What painful memory could he have? Unless…
"What Jiang Qu Lian showed him should be the memories of his previous life." Fan Wu She looked at Lan Chui Han, who was like a living dead person, "The chamber of nightmares can destroy the will of a person. If one stays inside for a long time, one will either go crazy or become like this."
Xie Bi An felt extremely upset. He looked at Mo Shang Cun: "What did you let him see?"
Mo Shang Cun spat out the blood that welled up to his throat: "Not that… I let him see something ... Nightmares…were projected from his own
... memories ... "
"Did Jiang Qu Lian just keep locking him inside? Did he say anything?" "You have to ask him ..." Mo Shang Cun gasped intermittently, "kill ...
me, kill me...”
Fan Wu She narrowed his eyes and felt unwilling, but he was forced to swear on his big brother. Even if there was only a little taboo, he couldn't ignore it as long as it was related to his big brother. He threw out his soul- hooking rope. The chain sickle stabbed straight into Mo Shang Cun's chest. A spiritual light flashed. Mo Shang Cun let out a mournful scream, and lines of cracks appeared on his body. The last light flowed out from the cracks and then smashed into a fine powder with a loud bang.
Mo Shang Cun's soul was scattered under the attack of the soul weapon, and he no longer existed in the universe.
Xie Bi An wanted to pick up Lan Chui Han, but Fan Wu She took over: "Let's go."
After the two walked out of the stone cave, Fan Wu She used the Sheji Map again to seal the stone door of the torture room, so that the outside world would not know what happened here for a short while. When Jiang Qu Lian returned, a few hours would have already passed.
They rode in the skeleton carriage and returned the way they came. King Qinguang's trusted subordinate also came out to meet them at the right moment. With an official document and Cui Jue's Judge’s token, they succeeded in taking Lan Chui Han out of hell. After leaving hell, Xie Bi An thought that if Jiang Qu Lian didn't come back, they would try to think of a way to rescue Cui Jue and others. Moreover, the most important purpose of their trip-----the book of life and death, had not been successful. They should wait for Jiang Qu Lian to come back, but Lan Chui Han’s situation was not optimistic. Such a weak body could not continue to remain in the Underworld. After weighing the pros and cons, they decided to return to earth first.
Returning to earth from the Underworld is much more difficult than coming in. The steadiest way out was naturally from the Yin Yang Monument, but the Yin Yang Monument was not a place they could muddle through by pretending to be dead people. The Yin Yang Monument was a checkpoint connecting the two worlds. In order to prevent the living from entering randomly, they were born with the ability to be distinguished between life and death. No one could disguise it, not to mention that they also brought Lan Chui Han, who couldn’t take care of himself. After thinking about it, they could only breakthrough with force, but now they could not alarm the enemy.
In the end, it was Day Patrol who helped them again.
Day Patrol had been patrolling both the human and ghost worlds for hundreds of years together with Night Patrol. They were Cui Jue's two "eyes" for observing the world. During this period, he found many cracks in the boundary. Some of those cracks were naturally formed due to special landforms and magnetic fields. Some were formed due to the extreme fluctuations of spiritual energy and resentment because of great wars previously, which damaged the formation of the boundary. Some were torn open by people or ghosts with evil intentions. Most of the time, these cracks would cause lonely and wild ghosts to wander the earth and harm people, while a few humans will take advantage of these cracks to go to Mount Luofeng for Yin cultivation, because Mount Luofeng in the Underworld gathered a huge amount of spiritual energy, which was beyond the reach of any cave on earth.
And the Patrols’ mission was to find out all the things that violated the laws of the Underworld and report them to Cui Jue, who would handle the cases impartially, such as those cracks, which had to be repaired constantly, and those people and ghosts who took advantage of the cracks to seek personal gains had to be arrested and punished. However, some naturally formed cracks would still leak after being mended several times. Almost no one knew about those places except the Patrols.
Day Patrol found this kind of crack for them. With a little attack, it split again.
Xie Bi An thanked Day Patrol once
again and discussed the next step with him settle down Lan Chui Han,
the Golden Trunk Jade Policy, then go back to the Underworld to defeat Jiang Qu
Lian and save Cui Jue and the others. This was also what Day Patrol needed to
convey to Cui Jue.
The two of them took Lan Chui Han and crawled back to earth through the crack.
The other side of the boundary was actually underwater. Although they both knew how to swim, Lan Chui Han could not hold his breath, so he let the lake water go into his body.
The two of them dragged Lan Chui Han up to the surface as quickly as possible, but he had already drunk several mouthfuls of water and lost consciousness.
On the shore, Xie Bi An laid Lan Chui Han flat on the ground and pressed hard on his chest. After dozens of times, Lan Chui Han choked out the water. He kept coughing. His thin and bony chest was heaving so violently that they were worried whether he would break his sternum from the cough.
But under this stimulation, he also seemed to "wake up". Xie Bi An carefully caressed his back and called out softly, "Brother Lan, are you feeling better?"
Lan Chui Han slowly turned his neck to look at Xie Bi An. His gaze was blank and dull.
"Do you still remember me?" Xie Bi An looked at him worriedly, "What else do you ... remember?"
Lan Chui Han fell weakly to the ground like a fish out of water. He was breathing weakly, as if breathing was the only thing he could do.
"He probably did not drink a drop of water these days." Xie Bi An said dully, "Even though the people who cultivate immortality can abstain from eating, they can't tolerate fighting against the nightmares when they were abstaining from eating. If they were ordinary people, they would have starved to death."
"Jiang Qu Lian seemed to have a really deep hatred by torturing him like this." Fan Wu She said.
Xie Bi An sighed with a deep feeling, "We don’t know where we are now. Let's find a place to settle down first."
The location of the crack was actually in the west and closer to the outside of the Pass. The local customs and practices here were a little different from the Central Plains. Although the two entered the city after dark, they were dressed as foreigners. They couldn’t help but attract some attention.
They found the nearest inn and stayed there. Lan Chui Han’s situation was extremely bad, so they should settle down first, save his life, adjust his foundation, then return to the Central Plains and go to Chunyang Sect to recuperate. Xie Bi An fed Lan Chui Han a top-quality elixir. The two of them injected spiritual energy into his body at the same time, repairing his internal organs and eight extra-meridian channels.
After 10 hours, Lan Chui Han's breathing was more fluent and his face was a little rosy, but he still looked like he was half asleep and half awake.
Xie Bi An ordered the waiter to boil a bowl of porridge, tore the meat into thin strips and sprinkled it in, then fed him one bite at a time.
But Lan Chui Han seemed to have lost the ability to eat. Even the elixir was broken into pieces and stuffed into his mouth with force. This bowl of porridge couldn’t be fed no matter how.
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An's patient appearance and got annoyed first. He pasted a puppet talisman on Lan Chui Han's back and ordered him to open his mouth to eat.
Xie Bi An was just about to object, but when he saw that Lan Chui Han had really started to eat, he could only follow this unwise decision.
After settling Lan Chui Han, the two of them were already physically and mentally exhausted. The three days of infiltration into the Underworld were extremely tense and high on alert. They didn’t even have time to close their eyes, let alone eat and drink. Fan Wu She laid a boundary in Lan Chui Han’s guest room, and he coaxed and dragged Xie Bi An to the guest room next door.
"Big brother, you also need to eat and sleep."
Xie Bi An sat at the table supporting his forehead with his hand, looking extremely worried: "I know. Let me be alone first."
"... Is big brother tired, or do you not want to face me?"
Xie Bi An raised his eyes, looked at Fan Wu She, and said wearily, "What if I say there are both?" "If you are tired, just rest. If you don’t want to face me, I am also not in a hurry. The future is long*, you cannot always escape."
"Alright, you go out then."
"Just sleep. I'll sleep on the floor." Fan Wu She routinely took out the bedding and put it on the floor.
After Fan Wu She laid down, he stared at Xie Bi An again, urging him with his gaze to hurry up and get some rest.
Xie Bi An had no alternative but to lie on the bed with his clothes on, but his mind was in turmoil, so how could he close his eyes peacefully? "Will Brother Lan still get well? Where do we start to find Xu Zhi Nan and the Book of Life and Death? I don't know if Jiang Qu Lian has returned to the Underworld."
"Big brother, these problems can't be solved overnight. You are too tired. Close your eyes and have a good sleep. When you wake up, no matter what it is, we will face and solve it together."
Fan Wu She’s words inexplicably had some reassuring power. Xie Bi An looked at the bed-curtain in a daze for a while, and then closed his eyes. He knew that everything that happened in the Infernal Hell was against his will. This experience changed something, but it didn't change completely, and he didn't know how to face Fan Wu She after they escaped.
Some things will not have an answer after waking up. Some things do not necessarily have an answer after passing through life and death. The answer always needs him to pursue unceasingly.
flickering light and passing shadows*[浮光掠影]--- blurred scenery
the future is long*[来⽇⽅⻓]- there will be ample time for that later
Although Lan Chui Han woke up and was not in danger of dying, it was as if his soul had been taken away from him. He did not speak and ignored Xie Bi An's concern.
Xie Bi An sighed: "How dare I let Pavilion Master Lan know when he is in such a state?"
"The fact that he is alive is already great news for Xianyue Pavilion." "Can he still recover?"
"It's hard to say." Fan Wu She shook his head, "Most of the people who have experienced the nightmare suffer from mental impairment. They suffered physically and mentally in the Infernal Hell. So, even if they leave there, they mostly don't remember anything."
"But he is a living person, not just a ghost with a wisp of a human soul. Moreover, he didn’t stay there for a long time." Compared to the ten years and decades of imprisonment in Hell, a few days really didn’t sound like much.
"Anyways, we can't help him. We have to take him to Chunyang Sect. He has the foundation of the Chunyang Technique, and the best physicians in the immortal cultivation world are gathered there, so maybe they can save him."
Xie Bi An looked at Lan Chui Han, who was lying on the bed with a stupefied expression, and felt suffocated in his heart. "Chunyang Sect also has branches all over Jiuzhou, so perhaps they can help us find Xu Zhi Nan."
"Right." Xie Bi An nodded, "Let's depart for Chunyang Sect."
Lan Chui Han's body obviously couldn't tolerate sword flight, so they rented a carriage. The mountain was high, and the distance was far. It’s bound to take a lot of time.
On the way for several days, Fan Wu She did not mention what happened in the Infernal Hell, which made Xie Bi An somewhat relieved, but he still avoided it intentionally or otherwise. He still didn’t know how the two of them should get along. He could no longer be as cold as before to Fan Wu She. From that moment he called out "Xiao Jiu" himself, and from that moment when he strongly wanted to "rescue" him, he could not wipe out the scars of the past. What he really wanted was to stay away, completely away, but now their fate was tied together again.
Fan Wu She was getting some fresh air outside the carriage, while Xie Bi An was inside the carriage feeding medicine to Lan Chui Han. Lan Chui Han's body was getting much better under their care, but his vigor still hadn’t recovered, as if something was enclosed in this shell which couldn’t be touched by the outside world.
Xie Bi An spoke to him as usual. He called his name and tried to attract his attention. Of course, he got nothing.
A few days later, they arrived in Jingzhou. Zhao Wen personally welcomed them into Luojinwu.
Coincidentally with the recession of Wuliang Sect, Chunyang Sect was also showing a declining trend, and then looking at Cangyu Sect, which didn’t know where to go and probably didn't dare to step into the Central Plains in their entire life, the three major sects in the former days were all nearing their ends. The Immortal Alliance also ceased to exist except in name since a long time ago. When the immortal cultivation world came to this scene, it was even more dismal than the era of the Demon Supreme a hundred years ago. The most terrifying thing was that the disaster was not over, which may not be the worst outcome.
After Zhao Wen heard about Lan Chui Han’s situation, he immediately sent someone to Jiangnan to send a letter to Xianyue Pavilion. At the same time, he summoned three elders of Chunyang Sect to treat Lan Chui Han. These three elders were all famous doctors in the immortal cultivation world. As a result of practicing the Chunyang Technique, they were not only proficient in medicine and acupuncture, but they could also use the Chunyang Technique to cure people's wounds and diseases. By combining the two, they could at least alleviate any difficult and miscellaneous diseases in their hands.
But after listening to Xie Bi An's description and carefully diagnosing Lan Chui Han's pulse and spiritual veins, they stroked their beards and shook their heads from time to time. No one spoke first.
A room full of people were waiting for them.
Finally, the three elders got together in a corner and discussed in a low voice.
It took an hour for the three to finish their discussion. Elder Chen arched his hand, "I will speak."
"The cause of this disease is too bizarre. To be honest, we have never come across it before, but these symptoms are quite similar to the Soul Loss*."
The so-called Soul Loss referred to the fact that a person's soul left its shell when they were excessively frightened or experienced great joy and sorrow. Usually, they had to find a cultivator to get that wisp of soul back. But if it has been away from the body for too long, even if they got it back, he might become a fool. The majority of the cases of people suffering from Soul Loss were mostly related to evil spirits.
However, for an immortal cultivator, especially a cultivator such as Lan Chui Han, who had exceeded the level of elders, it was impossible to lose his soul unless he encountered some extreme situation or attack, and Lan Chui Han had just gone through what was unheard of ---- being sent to the Infernal Hell as a living person.
"Soul Loss." Xie Bi An said gravely, "So he really lost his soul?"
"No. His three immortal souls and six mortal forms are alive and well, and his physical body is fine. The Yin energy of the Infernal Hell did harm his body. In addition, he did not eat or drink for many days, that's why he became so weak, but all these injuries will be cured. However, his illness is really not easy to deal with."
"Since he didn't lose his soul, what should we do?"
"We speculate that ..." Elder Chen stroked his long beard lightly. After looking at the other two elders, he said, "That the 'Chamber of Nightmares’ is aptly named. We speculate that he is trapped in a nightmare."
"What does that mean?"
"The word 'nightmare' is derived from frightening dreams. According to legend, there is a type of ghost called a nightmare ghost, which appears in people's dreams. It haunts people in their sleep, making them 'unable to breathe'. For example, many people are in a dream, yet they can't wake up. That means this nightmare ghost is haunting them. But nightmare ghosts are usually very weak. They only absorb vital essence from people. Eventually, people will still wake up by struggling.”
Xie Bi An nodded: "I know the nightmare ghost."
"Lord Lan is not possessed by a nightmare ghost. It's just that his symptoms are very similar to being trapped by nightmares. The punishment he received in the nightmare room made him sleep soundly in the nightmare of his most painful memory, and he couldn't wake up."
Xie Bi An gasped: "I understand now. What the elder means is that he can only wake up on his own."
Elder Chen nodded: "The more tired and weak a person is, the easier it is to be possessed by a nightmare ghost. Similarly, Lord Lan was immersed with Yin energy in the Infernal Hell. He was weak, and the punishment was too cruel, so he was trapped in the nightmare. What we can do to help him is to take good care of his physical body and let him regain his strength, while constantly calling him and talking to him, but it still depends on his own will to really wake up."
"He needs some kind of stimulation." Fan Wu She crossed his arms and leaned on the side of the door. He intentionally stayed away from everyone because he knew these people were afraid of his proximity, but his tall body still caused an inescapable oppression, "Just talking to him won't work. We have to get to the point. Whatever reason that trapped him in the nightmare, we have to take those memories to stimulate him."
Fan Wu She said coldly, "I have suffered the torture of the nightmare. If I say it works, it works."
"Yes, absolutely." Elder Chen nodded his head in a hurry.
"But what are we going to stimulate him with?" Xie Bi An frowned, "No one knows what he went through in his previous life. Maybe his memories are in the Golden Trunk Jade Policy."
"I know a name." "What name?"
"Jiang Qu Lian’s name in the previous life." Fan Wu She glanced at Lan Chui Han, "It should be useful."
Xie Bi An sat by the Jinwu Lake, facing the sparkling lake, leaning against a thousand-year-old camphor tree, and wiping his sword with his head down.
He always loved to polish his sword in his spare time, even if it had been polished until it’s brilliant enough to reflect one's image, he would still polish it over and over again. In the past, he loved to plant flowers in his leisure time, but now the garden of orchids was probably abandoned long ago. Only this Junlan sword in his hand could be a little consolation.
The huge camphor tree emitted a burst of a pungent odor that couldn’t stop wafting into the nostrils. He used to hate this smell. He has loved flowers since he was young. He lived in the fragrance of fresh and elegant flowers all day, so how could he tolerate such a strange smell? And the smell of camphor wood was toxic. Ordinary people only used a little to prevent insects from coming into their homes, but no one plants camphor trees in the place where they live.
Only Chunyang Sect, and only Luojinwu.
However, this view was biased. It's not that the old-fashioned and eccentric cultivators of Chunyang Sect liked to plant camphor trees in the place where they live. It's that there was a thousand-year-old tree in this land. At the same time, there was a cave that all the cultivators in the world would go after like a flock of ducks. Therefore, the ancestors of the Chunyang sect had to settle down here. They didn't dare to ruin the Fengshui here, so this tree naturally became the holy thing in Chunyang Sect.
Later, the Chunyang Sect cultivators found that although the smell of the camphor tree was bad, it was refreshing and beneficial to cultivation.
Xie Bi An came to sit under the tree for a while because his thoughts were in turmoil. Indeed, he became gradually sober and was able to sort out all the things that had happened during this period. Zhao Wen told him that they were not the only ones searching for Xu Zhi Nan. After the battle in Fengdu City, Chunyang Sect mobilized all its forces to find Xu Zhi Nan in order to get back the Golden Carved Jade Suit, which was the treasure of the Chunyang Sect. And according to the reported news, Xu Zhi Nan might have never left Shu land, or even the area of Mount Shu.
Based on Xu Zhi Nan's condition at that time, he looked like he couldn’t have gone far, so he probably did not go far. Naturally, it was impossible for him to run back to Chidi City. After all, the Cangyu Sect would not let him go.
They planned to return to Shu land and search for Xu Zhi Nan with the cooperation of the cultivators of Chunyang Sect after Lan Zi Zhen, the master of Xianyue Pavilion, arrives.
To snatch the Golden Trunk Jade Policy from Xu Zhi Nan was naturally much easier than snatching the Book of Life and Death from Jiang Qu Lian.
Only when they got one of them could they deal with Jiang Qu Lian.
As he was thinking, a series of footsteps interrupted his thoughts. He didn't have to turn around to feel the familiar scent.
A pair of feet stopped beside him, and a moving voice came from above his head: "Big brother, what are you thinking?" That voice was obviously low and deep, even a little hoarse, and it could make people feel creepy when he was austere. But there was a kind of profound tenderness when the tone was changed.
Xie Bi An didn't answer. He just raised his sword and repeated the action he did thousands of times----wiping all the way from the underside to the edge of the sword with the white handkerchief.
"Let me guess." Fan Wu She sat down beside Xie Bi An, "You're thinking about Lan Chui Han, Xu Zhi Nan, Official Lord Cui, Bo Zhu, and Jiang Qu Lian."
"Mm." "Hand over Lan Chui Han to his father, and our mission is done. It's not your fault that he turned out like this. Don’t think too much anymore."
"He will get better." Xie Bi An said lightly. "We will find Xu Zhi Nan too."
"About the others, we are going to deal with them one by one. It's no use thinking too much at this time."
"What exactly do you want to say?" Xie Bi An put down his sword. Fan Wu She blinked: "Did you think of me?"
Soul Loss*[失魂症]--- a condition of being frightened and
"chronic somatic suffering stemming from emotional trauma or from witnessing traumatic experiences lived by others”
Xie Bi An turned his face and did not want to look at him: “I’m clearing my mind under this camphor tree.”
Fan Wu She also leaned on the trunk. He wrinkled his nose: "It smells really bad. When I was a child, you always put one kind of sachet in my wardrobe. Although it wasn’t as fragrant as orchids, it smelled much better than this."
"There's sandalwood and mint in it."
"Mm. The sachets you gave me for insect prevention, clothes-fumigation, nerves-soothing, and bathing, all had different smells." Fan Wu She smiled lightly and said, "They all smelled good."
A breeze ruffled the calm surface of the lake, whirled over this thousand- year-old tree, and diluted the smell of camphor. It no longer seemed to be so pungent. At this time above the heavens, the sun set in the west. It was a round, bright, glittering, and golden fireball. The afterglow was still blazing, spilling layers of light on the surface of the misty lake like boiling a lake of fine gold. This lake was very large and wide, and its shore seemed to be sewn up with the horizon. In the distance beyond the reach of the naked eye, when one looked at the sun setting in the west, it fell into the lake with vigor and vitality.
Luojinwu got its name from this.
This magnificent sight made both of them speechless for a while. It was not until the sun had completely set that Xie Bi An spoke slowly: "You can still tell the difference? I thought you only knew good and bad smells."
Fan Wu She said happily: "I can distinguish them. Although I don’t remember the name of those fragrances, I remember all the scents of big brother's food, clothing, and daily life."
Xie Bi An put down the handkerchief from his hand and put his sword into the sheath.
Fan Wu She subconsciously straightened his back. He had a feeling what Xie Bi An was going to say to him.
Xie Bi An indeed turned his face and looked at Fan Wu She calmly: "If we can defeat Jiang Qu Lian and restore peace to the human and ghost worlds, what are your plans after that?"
"To be with you." Fan Wu She said without hesitation, "Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do, that's what I want to do."
"I mean, the Heavenly Secret Talisman." Fan Wu She was slightly stunned.
"After everything is over, what do you plan to do with the Heavenly Secret Talisman?"
"Big brother ..."
"By keeping the Heavenly Secret Talisman by your side, it will constantly erode your will and induce your inner demons. You nearly lost control in the Infernal Hell this time."
Fan Wu She said in a deep voice: "The situation in the Infernal Hell was the worst-case scenario. I won't become like that so easily."
"But every time you use the Heavenly Secret Talisman, the Yin energy keeps invading your body. You become gradually powerful with it, but also become gradually unfeeling." Xie Bi An's gaze seemed to penetrate everything, "You became that Demon Supreme from your previous life."
"The reason why I became the Demon Supreme in my previous life was because of you..." Fan Wu She took a deep breath, "It was because I experienced those things, but now that our misunderstanding is gone, I won't become that way again."
"But the anger and hatred in your heart will never go away. You said to me yourself that a hundred years of Infernal Hell had made you no longer a human." Xie Bi An said gloomily, "I understand your temperament. You have been competitive since childhood and have always had the ambition to seek supreme power in the immortal cultivation world. It is true that no cultivator does not want to reach the peak and achieve immortality, but the power you have is too evil and too powerful. If you cannot control your desire, it will backfire on you."
Fan Wu She was silent for a moment. His voice was husky: "So what does big brother want me to do?"
"I hope you will seal the Heavenly Secret Talisman after Jiang Qu Lian's death and give me back the Shanhe Sheji Map."
Fan Wu She was silent.
"You should understand that if Jiang Qu Lian is defeated and Xu Zhi Nan dies, the biggest threat in this world will be you. The human and ghost worlds need to return to an equilibrium. We don't need another overlord."
"You also know that they will treat me as the biggest threat. If I seal the Heavenly Secret Talisman, how can I protect myself?"
"With your cultivation level, you will have no problem defending yourself against anyone. On the flip side, if you didn't have the Heavenly Secret Talisman, you wouldn't be that threat."
"Big brother is too naive." Fan Wu She's tone became icy cold, "They are afraid of me. Even if I have been reincarnated and reborn, they are still afraid of me. Fear breeds hatred, and the Heavenly Secret Talisman can still cower them. If there is no Heavenly Secret Talisman...and you still want me to give you the Shanhe Sheji Map, there's no way they'll let me go."
Xie Bi An said slowly, "You have done a lot of evil in this life. Even if someone wants to take revenge on you, it is understandable. When it's over, you should stop creating karma. Find a place with beautiful scenery and devote yourself to cultivation for the rest of your life."
Fan Wu She sighed lightly: "Okay, if big brother is willing to return to our hometown and seclude with me, I can give up everything."
"Wu She, we can't go back." Xie Bi An stood up and walked slowly to the lake, leaving only a determined back view to Fan Wu She, "Whether as martial brothers, or blood brothers, or...or a cultivation couple, it’s impossible. The best ending between us is to never see each other again in this life."
"That's rubbish." Fan Wu She gritted his teeth and said, "You obviously know that I can’t leave you. You obviously know how much I need you."
"If you force me to stay by your side for a long time, hatred will grow because of the resentment. By then, we will just go back to the old predicament again." Xie Bi An turned around, "Wu She, I can let go of my hatred for you, but I can't forgive you, and we can't go back to the old days."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An deeply. He wanted to see the emotional loopholes from his calm eyebrows, but there was nothing, nothing at all. He couldn’t even find the slightest loophole he could get into. He was silent for a long time. Maybe he was disappointed too many times. No matter how painful his heart was, there were no big ups or downs. He said with a bitter smile: "Big brother, are you going to tell me this now? Don't you want to wait until the grinding is done before killing the donkey*?"
"You can threaten me with Jiang Qu Lian. After all, as you said, no one can stop him except you. If you make me stay by force, I can't escape either." Xie Bi An said in a reasonable tone that could be called patient, "But I also said, I can't forgive you, and we can't go back to the old days. How can you control your inflating desire? If we go back to the past, what's the meaning of everything?”
"You are the meaning of me." Fan Wu She smiled. There was sadness contaminating his eyes, "You want me to seal the Heavenly Secret Talisman and hand over the Shanhe Sheji Map? Sure, I’ll exchange them for you. As long as you give yourself to me, I can give up anything."
Xie Bi An slowly lowered his head.
Fan Wu She stood up, walked over to him, and kissed him gently on his hairline: "I won’t ask you what I should do for you to forgive me. I will stand by your side, defeat all enemies for you, clear all obstacles, and do anything you want for you."
Xie Bi An sighed with a deep feeling.
"I won't blackmail you with Jiang Qu Lian, I only have one request now." "... Say it."
"Since you admitted that I'm Xiao Jiu, you can't go back on your word." "I won't go back on my word."
"So, can big brother cook a meal for me?" "Cook?"
"Before you drank Meng Po soup on Naihe Bridge, you said that the biggest regret of your life was..."
"Stop it." Xie Bi An suddenly felt a little shortness of breath and did not want to finish listening to this sentence, but he did not have any doubt about what Meng Po said. When he thought of himself in his previous life, until that moment when his consciousness was about to collapse, and he was about to welcome in a new life, he’s probably not feeling happy, but reluctant. Until that moment, love and hate were no longer important. What was important would certainly be magnified without hesitation.
He regretted that he did not make a meal for his younger brother who had been away from home for many years. It's such a simple and pure regret.
"Can you cook for me now?" Fan Wu She reached out and gently stroked the scattered hair around Xie Bi An's ear, "Don't keep this regret. I really want to eat a meal cooked by my big brother again. This has also been my wish for a hundred years."
Xie Bi An said with avoidance, "This is not the time."
"Is this a promise from big brother? Anytime is fine, I will ask you for it from time to time."
"You are really..."
Fan Wu She said with a smile: "I said before, I would reach out for a yard after taking an inch. I will use every means to be together with you. The best ending between us is not that we will never see each other again in this life, but that we will spend the rest of our lives affectionately. I will try my best to treat you well."
Xie Bi An pushed Fan Wu She away from him, but Fan Wu She grabbed his hand and pressed it on his left chest. That burning and beating heart was like a sonorous and powerful oath.
Xie Bi An raised his head and met Fan Wu She’s determined eyes at the right moment. Since his youth, this pair of eyes contained a determination to get him, but he did not understand at that time. Now, he understood that although this man died without regret, he could not help but be shocked.
grinding is done before killing the
donkey*[卸磨杀驴]--- to get rid of somebody once he has ceased to be useful
Lan Zi Zhen, the master of Xianyue Pavilion, arrived at Luojinwu as soon as he could. The moment he saw his son, he couldn't help but burst into tears.
Lan Chui Han recovered quickly under the care of the elders of Chunyang Sect. After all, he had the foundation of the Chunyang Technique, which was the best way to strengthen the body. Compared to his bony appearance when he was rescued, he was only slightly pale and thin now. It even added a bit of pathogenicity, fragility, and ethereal beauty to his celestial appearance.
Although his body was recovering, his soul was still sealed, and the sadness he felt* was much more difficult to handle than the damage of the body.
After hearing about Lan Chui Han's experience, Lan Zi Zhen felt both hatred and heartache: "Now, I really regret that I used Shen Nong Ding to forge a sword for him back then. If he didn’t go to Chidi City, he would not have known the Red Ghost King."
"If he and the Red Ghost King really had a grudge in the previous life, whether you guys went or not, Jiang Qu Lian would still come and find him."
"At least he won't approach him as a friend." Lan Zi Zhen said with red eyes, "The immortal cultivation world does not befriend people outside the Pass, but he never cared about the good and evil tonality of the Cangyu Sect’s people and kept up a regular correspondence with Yun Zhong Jun. He even invited that evil beast to Xianyue Pavilion several times. Had it not been this way, how could my son not take precautions!?"
"A human’s heart is incomprehensible, let alone a ghost." Xie Bi An consoled, "You don't have to blame yourself, Pavilion Master Lan. At least he came back alive now. We must find a way to cure his nightmare."
Ever since Lan Zi Zhen knew of Xie Bi An’s identity, he was in awe of him. After all, according to seniority, Xie Bi An was his grandfather. Lan Zi Zhen arched his hand and said, "Thank you for saving my son, Emperor, but even the elders are at their wits' end about this nightmare. How can we save him?"
"We need to treat the root of the problem. I'm afraid we still need to know the grudge of their previous lives, so we have to go look for Xu Zhi Nan and the Golden Trunk Jade Policy. Right now, there is only one way to try." Xie Bi An looked at Fan Wu She, "There is a name that might be able to stimulate him and try to wake him up."
"What name?" "Ah Yun*."
"'Ah Yun'?" Lan Zi Zhen frowned and thought for a moment, "I've never heard of it. Who is that?"
"It's a person related to his previous life and probably had a deeper relationship with him." Xie Bi An answered evasively. He could not directly say that Lan Chui Han and Jiang Qu Lian were a resentful couple in their past lives, otherwise not only would Lan Zi Zhen not be able to bear the blow, but the reputation of Lan Chui Han and the Lan family in the immortal cultivation world would also be ruined.
Although Lan Zi Zhen was feeling uncertain, he still believed Xie Bi An: "I understand. I will try."
Zhao Wen said, "Is the Emperor going to Shu land?" "Yes, is there any update?"
"Not for now, but master probably never left Shu land. My sect’s cultivators have already locked the approximate location." Zhao Wen sighed and looked very sad, "Master he...no matter what, I hope the Golden Carved Jade Suit can be returned to its original place. Otherwise, how could my Chunyang Sect’s centuries-old foundation continue?”
Xie Bi An said sternly: "It's indeed a large matter to lose the sect’s treasure, but the root of a sect to settle down should be its unique skills, loyal and progressive disciples, and unswerving spirit of the heart of the Dao. There’s no need to be too superstitious about one magic treasure.”
"The Emperor is right. It's just that the disciples of our sect are discouraged nowadays and desperately need something to uplift their wills." Zhao Wen bowed keenly, "Thank you, Emperor."
Xie Bi An returned the salute, "I did my best."
Before leaving, Xie Bi An went to visit Lan Chui Han again. He said some words of encouragement to Lan Chui Han, although he didn't know if the puppet-like world's number one Lord had heard it.
Afterwards, the two of them left Luojinwu and went to Shu land by sword flight. They planned to go to a small city a hundred miles away from Mount Shu first. A Chunyang Sect’s branch was over there, and it was the disciple of this branch who found Xu Zhi Nan’s trace.
They arrived at this small city called Yizhou. After contacting the Chunyang Sect’s branch, they found that it was still backed by Mount Shu’s system, even though it was far away from Diancang Peak where Wuliang Sect was located. Xu Zhi Nan was somewhere in the mountain, which meant that since the battle of Fengdu City, Xu Zhi Nan actually escaped into the territory of Wuliang Sect.
However, it was impossible for the Wuliang Sect to have the spare energy to monitor and patrol its territory amidst the chaos. Although several disciples of Chunyang Sect found Xu Zhi Nan's trail, the pinpointed area was not small. However, they had a way to find Xu Zhi Nan.
"Eat meat?" Xie Bi An was stunned and asked in reply.
Shu Hua, the eldest senior brother who ruled Yizhou, said, "Yes, if master wants to heal his wounds, he needs to eat a lot of meat. Please listen to junior's explanation. We practice the Chunyang Technique, which is to refine the flesh body infinitely, and there are several stages in the process of cultivation. Before the formation of the core, the flesh will constantly approach the strongest state that mortals can achieve. We need to eat a lot every day, especially meat. After the formation of the core, with the spiritual foundation, we won’t die without food and drinks for a few days. Some will even cultivate and restrain from eating intentionally; but in order to cultivate from the primary to advanced stage, we have to constantly consume our physical strength, so we still need to eat more. After cultivating to a high-level, there is not much demand for food because the growth of cultivation becomes very slow. And finally, the elders and master have to learn the ultimate meaning of Chunyang Sect---- when tackling imperishable heavenly fire, they need to consume a lot of meat again. When other patriarchs cultivate in seclusion, most of them restrain from eating, but only in our Chunyang Sect, we eat more meat than four to five people daily."
"However, Xu Zhi Nan did not break through the imperishable heavenly fire." Legend has it that Chunyang Sect's ultimate meaning could make the cultivator be like a phoenix nirvana* and find a way out of an impasse. If Xu Zhi Nan had really broken through the imperishable heavenly fire, does he still need to make enemies with the rest of the world?
"Yes, but master's cultivation is infinitely critical. At the same time, master is injured now. When the cultivators of our sect are injured, they also need to eat a lot to replenish their strength. Although master's physical body is gone, his soul can still exert a part of the Chunyang Technique. If he is in someone else's body and needs to use the Chunyang Technique to heal at this time, he will definitely need to eat a lot, and meat is the most convenient and contains the most energy." "What you mean is, wherever there’s an unusual consumption of a large amount of meat, such as many wildlife deaths, he could be there."
Shu Hua nodded: "Exactly. We also found master's trail through this point. Master must have eaten a whole wild boar in less than a day."
"Send out whoever you can mobilize." Fan Wu She narrowed his eyes slightly, "Find Xu Zhi Nan for me."
The branch of the Chunyang Sect in this area only had about 20 people, which was not enough. They hired local hunters to go into the mountains with them to search for dead wild animals.
The hunters were familiar with the terrain and made a discovery that night. In a dense forest in the level ground of the southeast mountains, several skeletons were found within a 10-mile radius. The hunters identified them as three wild boars and two deer at a glance. Most of the hunters had to pull their prey down the mountain after hunting. After all, that was what they fed their families. Even if they wanted to eat, they only ate a small part of the belly. But these wild animals were basically only left with skeletons after eating, and they were not bitten by beasts. They were cut out by knives.
The cultivators of Chunyang Sect used their unique sound waves to explore the surrounding area. This kind of inaudible sound wave could help them vaguely find their fellow cultivators.
But they couldn't find Xu Zhi Nan. Instead, they met an unexpected person.
Out of the dense forest came a graceful figure. In contrast to her petite figure, she had a big bow behind her. She was Hua Xiang Rong, the one who went to track down Xu Zhi Nan.
She looked beautiful and her expression was cold. She was gradually becoming like her senior sister. She swept a glance at the crowd coldly: "You came too late. He has already run away." Xie Bi An frowned in disappointment, "You've been following him all along? Up until here?"
Hua Xiang Rong said calmly: "On and off. Anyway, he has not been able to shake me off. I also don't dare to venture any closer. After all, even if he is injured, I am not his opponent. I have been waiting for the right moment."
"Then has it come?"
"I have waited for you guys." Hua Xiang Rong's eyes lit up, "I knew you guys would not let him go."
"Then where is he going now? Let’s go and catch up quickly." Xie Bi An said urgently.
"He's gone to Mount Shu." "What?"
"You guys still don't know what happened to the Wuliang Sect?"
PS: I think SQC forgot Lan Zi Zhen’s name and wrote his name as Lan Zi Ruo. I used Zi Zhen for consistency.
PS from Emzie: I can't be the only one who imagined the Chunyang sect just practically ECHO LOCATING right??? *wheezes from laughing too hard* X,D
PS from Emzie: I can't be the only one who imagined the Chunyang sect just practically ECHO LOCATING right??? *wheezes from laughing too hard* X,D
Yun*[ 匀]---it's been a loooooong time since I saw this word. This Yun actually appeared in Song Zi Yun, 5th brother of SZH. OHHHHH WHAT THEEE FUCCCC (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻
sadness he felt*[ ⼼ 魇 之 殇 ]--- individual definitions: ⼼ 魇 inner demons/nightmares, 殇 died at young age. When put together,
it means sadness.
phoenix nirvana*[凤凰涅槃] It refers to the Phoenix being reborn
after burning in the fire, eventually getting an eternal life. It refers to an indomitable spirit and a strong will to struggle bravely.
‘imperishable heavenly fire’ [ 不灭天⽕]----Is sth SQC created on her own
"Wuliang Sect? Did something happen to Song Chun Gui?"
"What happened, and how would you know? What does this have to do with Xu Zhi Nan?" Xie Bi An asked in succession.
"Li Zhi Qing forced Song Chun Gui to leave the Wuliang Sect. Although Song Chun Gui is powerful, Wuliang Sect is the property of the Li family after all. How can the people surnamed Li allow a disabled person from a humble background to sit on the throne as sect leader? And the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant is also in Li Zhi Qing’s hands, and now they are in a deadlock. Li Zhi Qing invited all the sects to the Wuliang Sect to do them justice. His reason was that the leader of the Wuliang Sect is not only concerning the Wuliang Sect, but also the leader of the Immortal Alliance, and should be elected by all the major sects."
Fan Wu She narrowed his eyes slightly: "There is a fraud."
Li Zhi Qing’s action was really puzzling. This person had mediocre qualifications. Besides being Li Bu Yu’s son, he had no prestige in the immortal cultivation world. He could still compete with Song Chun Gui by depending on the sect’s power in the Wuliang Sect. If he were really put in the immortal cultivation world, especially after Li Bu Yu's infamous death, who wouldn’t be afraid and avoid him?
Moreover, the leader of the Wuliang Sect was equal to the leader of the Immortal Alliance. In the years when Xu Zhi Nan was still using Qi Meng Sheng's body to commit crimes, Cangyu Sect was like the sun at noon*. The immortal cultivation world was declining day by day, and many sects were interested in siding with the Cangyu Sect. Now that Cangyu Sect was also finished, if the dying Immortal Alliance could be revived, and if an Alliance Leader could be elected, based on family background, status, wealth, talent, cultivation, reputation, and other aspects, it should be Lan Chui Han.
In the case of not knowing whether Lan Chui Han was dead or alive, Song Chun Gui could be a passable choice. After all, among the same generation, besides Lan Chui Han, no one could surpass him. In short, it could never be Li Zhi Qing’s turn.
Although Li Zhi Qing’s talent wasn’t good, he was very smart, so how could he not know? This made his behavior seem extremely weird. There must be something strange about the things that were going wrong. In addition, Xu Zhi Nan also went to Mount Shu. There must be some conspiracy hidden behind it.
Hua Xiang Rong said: "I don’t know why Xu Zhi Nan went to Mount Shu, but it must have something to do with this matter, I’m worried about....." she frowned deeply, "I cannot say clearly, but I have a very bad feeling."
Xie Bi An pondered for a moment: "Now the only way is to go and have a look. Those sects really responded to Li Zhi Qing’s invitation?"
"Most of them want to find some small profit when the two sects are fighting. After all, no matter which party is ultimately in charge of the Wuliang Sect, there is no shortage of support from other sects."
Fan Wu She asked, "When you were in the process of tracking Xu Zhi Nan, did you find any traces of Jiang Qu Lian?"
Hua Xiang Rong's face became even more grim: "I have felt the remnants of very strong Yin energy, but I couldn’t confirm it was him, nor did I know exactly when he appeared."
It's really impossible for a living person without soul weapons to look out for the traces of the ghost king. However, Jiang Qu Lian must have come to earth for the Golden Trunk Jade Policy. If they could trace Xu Zhi Nan, Jiang Qu Lian should be able to do the same. It depended on who could get the Jade Policy first.
Xie Bi An looked at the lush, distant mountains: "Let’s go to Yunding."
The three of them rushed to Diancang Peak without stopping.
This time, they still disguised themselves as cultivators who responded to Li Zhi Qing's invitation and came to Yunding to see the excitement, so as not to alarm Xu Zhi Nan, and to see what Li Zhi Qing was up to.
They stayed at an inn in Lanxi Town, which had not been busy for a long time since the unrest of Wuliang Sect.
When they arrived at Lanxi Town, they heard even more unimaginable news. Li Zhi Qing set up an arena in Lanxi town to compete with Song Chun Gui for the position of sect leader!
Now everyone thought that Li Zhi Qing was either crazy or had brain damage. Did he think that he could defeat Song Chun Gui with the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant in his hand?
Among the young people, it was publicly known to everyone that the ones who were most likely to be the first in the immortal cultivation world would be Song Chun Gui and Lan Chui Han. They were both gifted and diligent, especially Song Chun Gui's experience was legendary. Based on his background, what kind of dazzling ability did he need to be favored by the Immortal Alliance Leader who was sitting high in the clouds? And as a swordsman, he only had one arm. Missing an arm could seriously affect the balance of the body. During sword fighting, the slightest difference could be fatal. How much hard work did he have to put in to overcome such a big disability? Unexpectedly, he was able to stand out and become the candidate of the future leader of the first sect in the world.
And Song Chun Gui had an innate character and was upright. Many cultivators from aristocratic families set him as an example.
No one believed that Li Zhi Qing would be Song Chun Gui's opponent, even though he had the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant. Even if Li Zhi Qing's mind was not "clear" anymore, won't the sect’s relatives of the Li family stop him from making a fool of himself?
The three of them took a short break and went to see the arena. Naturally, they were not the only ones who came to see the excitement. There was a lot of discussion in the crowd. They all laughed at Li Zhi Qing overestimating his capabilities. Some lamented that the Li family had burned the bridge after crossing the river*, and most of them felt that it wasn’t worthy for Song Chun Gui to go through. But in any case, everyone was looking forward to the contest.
Xie Bi An frowned and examined the arena for a while. As a thing that was constructed at the last minute and was predicted to be destroyed, it was too fine and gorgeous, and the shape was indescribably odd. Most of the arenas were squares, but this arena was round. The tripod that held up the arena was covered by one round of red curtains. Around it were inlaid with four huge bronze divine beasts: Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Black Tortoise. Each face looked ferocious and murderous.
"What does Li Zhi Qing want to do?" The more Xie Bi An looked at it, the more he felt that this matter was not so simple.
"There must be some kind of conspiracy, and it must be directed at Song Chun Gui. I'm curious, does he think that he can defeat Song Chun Gui by some unorthodox means?" Fan Wu She snorted. He had fought with Song Chun Gui before. This person's cultivation and sword skills were worthy of his reputation.
"Don't underestimate him. He is Li Bu Yu's son." Xie Bi An's gaze was cold. In his past and present life, he had suffered a lot because of Li Bu Yu. How could a man like Li Bu Yu be willing to leave his family property in the hands of an outsider? No matter how powerful Song Chun Gui was, he may suffer a hidden loss.
Hua Xiang Rong nodded: "That's right. Moreover, if Xu Zhi Nan and Jiang Qu Lian have also come here, things would be more complicated."
"Big brother, let's go back to the inn to rest first. Everything that should be exposed will be exposed in the arena tomorrow."
"Alright." Xie Bi An once again looked at the strange arena worriedly and turned to leave.
On the way back to the inn, he also heard several craftsmen talking about Li Zhi Qing buying all the bronze in town. Xie Bi An recalled the four bronze divine beasts and always felt that the arena probably had some kind of meaning, but he didn’t find any arrays around it, which was even more puzzling.
He couldn’t have taken such great lengths just for decoration.
When they were sleeping in the middle of the night, it was still Xie Bi An who slept on the bed, and Fan Wu She who slept on the floor. It's not that he didn't have the audacity to go to bed, but he was kicked out of bed several times and was forced to give up.
What Xie Bi An saw today made him lose sleep again. This feeling of knowing it was a conspiracy but not knowing what to do was like a thick fog in front of him. It's there, but it can't be pulled away, waved away, or dodged no matter what, and they had to go in.
"Big brother." Fan Wu She asked softly, "You can't sleep?"
"Mm, I'm worried about Song Chun Gui."
"I see, he has a strong life*. He'll be fine."
"He is a good man. His only flaw is his foolish loyalty and filial piety to Li Bu Yu." Xie Bi An inevitably felt sad when he said this. He thought of his mother. He knew she was wrong, but he couldn't give up on her. As for Song Chun Gui, Li Bu Yu was like his teacher and father.
"That's why he’s called a good person." Fan Wu She turned over and looked at Xie Bi An on the bed under the moonlight. Although he could only see the silvery-white moonlight plating on his contour, his beauty still made him feel a rush of excitement.
Xie Bi An sighed lightly.
"Since big brother cannot fall asleep, I'll sing a song for you."
Fan Wu She coughed lightly, then hummed out a tune. His voice was husky and bewitching, but his tone was awkward at this moment: "Was it sung like this? I forgot the lyrics."
Xie Bi An's face suddenly burned a little, and he muttered, "It's out of tune." He used this lullaby to coax a baby when he was young, but now that "baby" had grown up and actually sung it to coax him, which made him feel a bit ashamed.
Fan Wu She chuckled and said, "Then big brother, sing for me. I can’t sleep either."
In the darkness, Xie Bi An seemed to be able to feel the burning gaze. He turned around and faced Fan Wu She with his back: "Recite the soothing mantra several times and you will fall asleep naturally."
Fan Wu She hummed again. It seemed that he was struggling to find the tune, so it sounded even more awkward. But in this quiet night, he had a kind of tenderness that couldn’t be explained clearly.
Xie Bi An closed his eyes. He did not stop Fan Wu She, nor did he recite the soothing mantra, but followed the uneven tune and hummed it in his heart.
At this moment, they seemed to have returned to a midsummer night a hundred years ago, when the tent was swaying, the fragrance of orchids was fragrant, and a fan brought a gentle and cool breeze. Big brother was singing a lullaby in a soft voice and coaxing his younger brother. Finally, the two brothers fell smoothly and steadily into a sweet dream together.
A crystal tear oozed from the corner of Xie Bi An's eye.
The two of them fell asleep together in this peace.
Xie Bi An opened his eyes, and the days of tiredness had swept away from his body. He felt very relaxed. He lowered his head and looked at himself. He was dressed in white. The girdle, lapel, sleeves, and lower hem of the gown were embroidered with double petaled orchids. This was his favorite outfit, which his mother sewed for him.
He lifted his head and saw a door appear before him with golden light rolling in the crack between the door and its frame.
He did not hesitate to push open the door. The white light forced him to cover his eyes. When he opened them again, he saw a sea of orchids in front of him, with all kinds of rare varieties that he had seen and never seen before. They were colorful, prosperous, and elegant. The fragrance of the orchids wafted into his nose, which made him indulge in the beauty.
There was a man dressed in black standing in the middle of the orchid clusters. His body was tall and upright, his hair was like the most expensive silk satin shining under the sun.
Xie Bi An blurted out, "Xiao Jiu." Unprepared, he called out like this. His heart thumped for a while, but he couldn't remember why he was so nervous.
The man in black turned around. He had beautiful, charming fox eyes and a stunning face that captivated the crowd. He smiled and replied affectionately, "Big brother."
The two of them walked towards each other through the sea of flowers. The flowers swaying in the wind were like a neat formation of warriors, tamely giving way to a colorful and loving road for them.
Everything was dreamy and blurry.
When Xiao Jiu's warm lips kissed Xie Bi An, Xie Bi An's breathing became light, shallow, and serious like breathing petals. His heartbeat was horribly fast. He wanted to ask Xiao Jiu whether he was hurt and had eaten well. Xiao Jiu obviously looked like he’s perfectly well, and the arms around his waist were also as strong as before, but he felt that Xiao Jiu was injured, and it was very serious because he saw the gloomy sadness in that pair of affectionate eyes.
But he couldn’t speak. That kiss was too passionate. The flexible tongue was sweeping in his mouth without restraint, seizing his every breath, like it wanted to rob something before it would stop. His brain continued to heat up. His body also followed his train of thought and burned up.
In the blink of an eye, he was pinned down in the vast sea of flowers. The fragrance of orchids permeated his nose, skin, and soul. He was intoxicated as if he had drunk a good wine. A tall and warm body was covering on top of him, and the kiss fell again, leaving hot marks on his cheeks and neck.
Xie Bi An’s white clothes disappeared at some point. His chest was naked against Xiao Jiu's chest. It’s so hard, so broad, and hot. It’s hot everywhere. The heat released from the entangled bodies could melt them. His mind was in a mess. He seemed to know what he was doing, and he didn't seem to know. It seemed that they shouldn't be like this, and it seemed that they should be like this.
"Big brother, you…” Xiao Jiu's voice was husky, as if deliberately suppressing something, but there was a kind of oppressive agitation before a volcano erupts.
Why was he here? Why would he do this kind of thing with Xiao Jiu? Why was his body so hot? When these questions flashed into his mind, they would be immediately erased by the pleasure of his body. Everything he perceived around him was beautiful and he liked it---- The orchids, the fragrance, and the person he loved. Wasn’t this heaven on earth?
He hugged those broad and strong shoulders and called out in a small voice: "Xiao Jiu."
Xiao Jiu was encouraged by this call. His kiss lingered on Xie Bi An's porcelain white skin. He gently nibbled the slightly bulging Adam's apple and sucked hard. He grasped Xie Bi An’s soft member with one hand, kneaded and fondled it in his large hand.
"Wuu..." Xie Bi couldn’t help panting. He indistinctly felt that something was wrong, very wrong. The more perfect the moment was, the more he worried about the gains and losses. He felt it’s unreal here, but he knew he didn’t want to stop.
"Touch mine too, big brother." Xiao Jiu took Xie Bi An's hand and put it on his member, “Touch and see. Did it become much bigger?”
Xie Bi An held the semi-hard meat stick and could even feel the veins pulsating in his palm. That hot, satiny, and bulky feeling made his cheeks burn up.
Xiao Jiu was jerking Xie Bi An’s member while sending his member into his big brother’s palm. Xie Bi An tried to jerk twice and immediately received a series of suppressed gasps as feedback. He nervously released his hand and was at a loss.
Xiao Jiu bit Xie Bi An's nipples and grounded it gently, as if in protest. He held their penises together in his hand and was rubbing repeatedly, which made Xie Bi An shudder continuously with waves of murmurs escaping from his throat.
The tingling stimulation was invading incessantly. Xie Bi An wandered in this small world constructed with fragrance, love, and beauty. His body and mind were completely relaxed, and he soon ejaculated.
The moment his body relaxed, his chaotic brain gained a brief moment of clarity. He heard some chaotic sounds coming from a distant place, like passing through the layers of city walls. When it progressively entered his ears, it was already fuzzy and difficult to distinguish, but his surrounding was clearly a field of flowers.
What on earth is this place? Although it’s fully planted with orchids and was his ideal paradise, he had not been here before. His orchid garden was not so big. How did he show up here? How did Xiao Jiu show up here? Was this real?
No. No. They shouldn't be here.
The cold hand probing his buttocks interrupted his thoughts, and he realized he was lying under Xiao Jiu in a humiliating position with his legs spread wide. He blushed and tried to curl up his body, but his thighs were pressed by Xiao Jiu's knees, and he couldn't close them. He said urgently: "Xiao Jiu, something doesn't seem right here. L-let go of me.”
"You still tell me to let you go at this time?" Xiao Jiu’s voice was hoarse and deep. His fingers stained with big brother's turbid fluid did not hesitate to get in between his butt, “It’s too late.”
"Ah..." Xie Bi An's whole body was tense. The long-lost sense of the foreign object aroused many memories in him. Those scenes, sounds, and crazy pleasures poured into his already blank consciousness and seized that trace of clarity he was about to grasp.
The long and slender fingers were fiddling quickly in the tight hole. Depending on the familiarity of this body, Xiao Jiu followed the sensitive point and poked it twice, causing Xie Bi An to scream. His brain was in a muddled state again.
"Do you still want to tell me to let go of you now? Big brother refuses to say it, but your body must miss me very much, right?" While playing with the wet meat hole, Xiao Jiu licked and kissed Xie Bi An’s lips and sighed, "Big brother smells so nice.”
“Uhh… Xiao Jiu…" Xie Bi An couldn't stop trembling in that thick embrace. He felt that thick and hard meat blade against his butt, like a sharp sword about to be sheathed. He remembered the "consequence" of being pierced by this thing. He would cry, go crazy, and beg for mercy, so he trembled, because of fear and excitement.
"I’m putting it in." Xiao Jiu bit Xie Bi An's earlobe. That long and thick object elatedly pushed into his tight human flesh hole. "I want to fuck you every day. I know I have to behave in front of you, but you can't control what I think, and I can't control it too. I want…” When Xie Bi An inhaled, he took the advantage to insert it halfway fiercely.
Xie Bi An whimpered twice and then bit his lower lip. His intestines contracted unwittingly, biting the meat blade tightly. His familiar pleasure was coming back with an overwhelming force. His body was so adaptive and craving with desire. He was so ashamed that he wished to disappear right now. Xiao Jiu took a breath. He felt so pleasurable as if his scalp was about to explode. He wanted to be gentle, but now his beast attribute had the upper hand, making him want to hold his narrow waist and control him to his heart's content.
And so, he did. He almost folded Xie Bi An's legs in front of his chest. His waist was moving quickly, thrusting in and out of that tender red hole. He was eager like a hungry beast, and beneath him was the prey he relied on for survival.
Xie Bi An was moaning repeatedly from the fucking. His black hair was scattered. His lips were crimson like blood, and his deer-like dark eyes were dense with moisture. His tender white skin was dyed with a thin layer of red, which was the ultimate beautiful scenery in the world.
Xiao Jiu’s two eyes were scarlet. He was controlling his beloved big brother wildly and fiercely. He knew that there was a fatal danger behind this beautiful illusion, but he did not care. This love-making moment was what he craved for even in his dreams. No one could stop him from taking possession of this person.
In the vast sea of flowers, the two who were indulging in love had already forgotten the world. What they thought, touched, heard, and felt were each other.
In the guest room of the inn, the plain-colored curtains fell on the floor, which was mixed with the clothes that were tossed away. The bedding was in a mess, and the atmosphere was filled with a faint stench. Under the condition of closed doors and windows, the smell of licentiousness was suffocating.
Two slender bodies were naked and embracing each other. They were trembling, panting, and covered in fine sweat like two fishes scooped onto the shore.
Xie Bi An's eyes widened. He was looking at the blank, white wall as if woken up from a dream. He suddenly struggled and pushed Fan Wu She away.
The overly intense action implicated his lower body. He was half lying on the bed due to the pain. His wet hair was sticking onto his cheeks due to the sweat, which made his face even paler. Then, he saw the blue and purple marks all over his chest and the mess between his thighs. It seemed that he was bullied ruthlessly, and his moist eyes looked delicate and beautiful.
Fan Wu She stared at him and stretched out his hand carefully.
Xie Bi An hit away that hand and said through gritted teeth: “You poisoned us with an illusion.”
"No, I am not good at illusions." Fan Wu She said, "It's Jiang Qu Lian."
"I was already aware of it. I could have woken up, it was you......"
"It's me." Fan Wu She said without hiding, "I wasn’t willing to wake up."
"You!" When Xie Bi An thought about everything that had happened in his dream and compared it to reality, he couldn't help but feel ashamed and unbearable, "How could you......Do you know how dangerous this is!?"
"This is an illusion that will make people enter a beautiful dream of their own conception, unlike the illusions in the past, because the more beautiful the scene, the more people will let down their guard and be reluctant to puncture it. If there was danger, or if he intended to attack us, we would instead quickly notice it and wake up. In this way, he would not achieve his goal."
"For what purpose?!"
"I guess, it might be Hua Xiang Rong."
Xie Bi An was stunned. He immediately propped himself up and stumbled out of bed.
Fan Wu She was about to help him up, but the phrase "Don't touch me" was yelled at him, so he withdrew his hand in disappointment.
Xie Bi An picked up his clothes but found that they had been torn. He was so angry that he was trembling and too ashamed to face it, so he had to brace himself and take out some new clothes from his qiankun bag, change into them and ran to the next room with weak footsteps.
He knocked hard on the door a few times, but there was no response, so he simply burst open the door and entered. The window of the guest room was wide open, and the mattress showed signs of use, but the room was empty. He went to the bed and touched it. Clearly, there was still a little residual heat.
"Don't go, you can't catch up." Fan Wu She came in while he was tidying up his clothes. He closed the door smoothly and said to Xie Bi An who was about to jump out of the window.
Xie Bi An turned around and glared at him. His eyes were red with anger. He also knew he couldn't catch up, and he didn't have the obligation to protect Hua Xiang Rong, but Jiang Qu Lian had captured her for some evil purpose, and he was furious at the thought of what they had fallen for. He was angry at Fan Wu She, but he was even angrier at himself.
"Big brother, don't be angry." Fan Wu She pacified him in a soft voice, "It's all my fault."
"At a time like this, how can you still let Jiang Qu Lian have his way for your selfish desire!?"
Fan Wu She slowly fastened his belt while walking towards Xie Bi An: "What did big brother see in the illusion?"
Xie Bi An stiffened and subconsciously took a step back. He was standing by the window and did not have much room to retreat, so he could only look at Fan Wu She standing in front of him, unable to escape.
"That was the happiest dream of my life." Fan Wu She revealed an extremely gentle smile, "In my dream, you and I were together from morning to night and extremely in love. I spent two lifetimes desperately wanting to get everything. Just like in that dream, I knew it was an illusion, but also didn’t want to wake up." The smile in those eyes was subconsciously tinged with a layer of sadness, "Then what did big brother see? Why were you willing to do it with me?"
This was perhaps the most awkward question Xie Bi An had ever encountered, yet it was asked in the most gentle tone. He opened his mouth but was speechless. His mind was in chaos, and his face was burning. When he thought of all that he had created in the illusion, what was displayed was a beautiful dream from his deepest soul, the one that even he did not want to believe and admit ---- the beautiful dream.
"Big brother also dreamed of me, right? You also dreamed of being with me. No matter who I was in your dream, whether it was Xiao Jiu, Zong Zi Xiao or Fan Wu She, you wanted to be with me." Fan Wu She stared straight into Xie Bi An's eyes, forbidding him from escaping, "The most beautiful dream you had, was me."
Xie Bi An gritted his teeth and said, "No, that was just…an illusion at work." He walked past Fan Wu She and headed for the door, "I'm going to look for Hua Xiang Rong."
There was a gust of wind behind him. Xie Bi An turned around abruptly, but he was pressed onto the door by Fan Wu She. With a bang, it was like a bell ringing in the two men's burning heads.
"Since you don't dare to admit it, I'll say it." Fan Wu She stared at Xie Bi An's eyes, and his voice trembled slightly, "You like me."
Xie Bi An became angry from embarrassment: "Get lost."
"Are you afraid to answer, or that you can't deny it?"
"I don't ...... Impossible*." Xie Bi An found it hard to even say "like".
"Why is it impossible? When we were martial brothers, you liked me and made a lifetime promise to me. Do you still remember how it felt to like me? Did it come to your mind just now?"
Xie Bi An grabbed Fan Wu She's collar and said in a ruthless voice, "Don't take advantage of my difficulties."
"Ever since I was young, big brother has taught me to be honest and magnanimous." Fan Wu She smiled faintly, "Big brother is now the one lying and avoiding instead."
Xie Bi An's eyes turned red with anxiety, "Don't you ever talk nonsense again. Let go of me!"
"Then you answer me." Fan Wu She pinned Xie Bi An between his two arms. His eyes were full of tyrannical aggression, and he had an imposing manner of not withdrawing troops from the city.
These days, Fan Wu She had been very cautious and restrained in front of him, which could be called obedience. This also made him neglect for a moment on how vicious and dangerous the person in front of him was.
He should not let down his guard because of the weakness of this beast.
His hand, which was grabbing Fan Wu She’s front lapel, changed to pressing against that robust chest, preventing the two from getting any closer. He glared at Fan Wu She: "It's meaningless."
"What do you mean by meaningless?"
"I told you, we're not going back to the old days. ‘Like’ is out of the question.”
"You’re still avoiding it. What I want is a simple answer. Do you still like me or not?" Fan Wu She grabbed Xie Bi An's wrist, "Answer me."
Xie Bi An wanted to refute, but he didn't have the confidence to open his mouth. He was afraid that once he answered, whether it was true or not, he would uncontrollably reveal his weakness. So what if he liked him or not? The least thing worth mentioning between them was "like", which was like an orchid floating on the mud. No matter how beautiful and pure it was, it had already been buried in the mud.
"Answer me!" Fan Wu She's eyes were slightly red.
Xie Bi An pushed him fiercely and said in a cold voice, "Let go."
"You like me." Fan Wu She showed an expression that seemed to be crying or smiling, which was agonizing.
"Why don't you dare to admit it? You don't dare to lie or admit it. Is it so hard to admit that you like me? I love you so much that I can't let go of you for two lifetimes, and you refuse to even admit that you like me?!"
"I don't like you!" Xie Bi An growled, and suddenly a trace of water vapor seeped out of his eyes. He was like a fledgling trying to retract into his nest desperately. He had no way to retreat, so he contracted his shoulders slightly, just to be able to stay away from the threat in front of him. He gritted his teeth and said, "I don't want to...like you."
Fan Wu She fiercely embraced the person. He endured the sharp pain in his heart and said in a hoarse voice, "It's okay, big brother. It's my fault, it's all my fault, but we still have a lot of time. One day, you won't feel guilty for liking me."
Xie Bi An closed his eyes in pain.
The two searched for traces of Jiang Qu Lian inside and outside of Lanxi Town. Although they did find something, these clues could only indicate that Jiang Qu Lian had been here. Due to his high cultivation level, he was not easily detected by the soul weapons like ordinary ghosts, thus it was almost impossible to find him unless they were very close.
After the delay, half a day had passed. In the afternoon, it was Song Chun Gui and Li Zhi Qing’s match time.
The timing was really strange. In this summer heat, instead of competing earlier or later, they had to pick the hottest and most sunny slot in the afternoon. However, the crowd was too curious about the match and did not want to miss the excitement, so they had to gather at the arena under the scorching sun. This was fattening up those peddlers who were selling popsicles and fans.
The two paid a lot of money to buy the two seats on the second floor of a nearby restaurant. They could sit by the window and drink ice plum soup, but a seat here cost a lot of money, so there were several people sitting at the square table, stretching their necks and looking down.
"This arena looked quite strange. I heard that he bought all the copper in the city for those four copper beasts. What is he scheming?"
"Who knows, but this Lord Li has always displayed his wealth."
"Displaying his wealth onto this plaything?" That man scoffed, "How could he be the Lone Sword’s opponent? He made such a beautiful arena, and then goes up to disgrace himself? Tsk tsk, there’s something really wrong with his brain."
Looking at the arena thoughtfully, they both felt a little strange. They really couldn't figure out what Li Zhi Qing wanted to do, and whether there were any mysterious principles in this arena. Should they expect some mechanisms in the arena to secretly attack Song Chun Gui? That would be too stupid.
There was a commotion in the crowd as Song Chun Gui and Li Zhi Qing came over. They were escorted by a group of disciples. Song Chun Gui was steady and cold as usual, while Li Zhi Qing didn't seem to be nervous, as if he wasn't worried that he was about to face the top swordsman in the immortal cultivation world.
The two of them jumped into the arena. Song Chun Gui bowed and said, "Senior brother."
Li Zhi Qing also returned the salute and called out "senior brother" in an odd manner.
Song Chun Gui said sternly, "Senior brother, I am here today not because I agreed to fight you, but because I want to settle the matter between us in front of all of our friends in the immortal cultivation world and all the elders and disciples of Wuliang Sect."
Li Zhi Qing said with a fake smile, "It is rare for us to think in the same way. I also want to settle this."
"Senior brother, I’ve told you all of the reasons, and all of the pros and cons countless times. There’s no need to repeat them. The thing that I don’t want to see the most is an internal strife in Wuliang Sect, but I also have inherited master's unfulfilled wish and must carry forward Wuliang Sect, so... " Song Chun Gui looked around with his gaze as firm and sharp as a hawk, "Senior brother, I want to succeed as the leader of the Wuliang Sect. Please hand over the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant to me."
Once these words came out, the scene was so quiet that the sound of a pin drop could be heard.
Song Chun Gui had been reluctant to compete with Li Zhi Qing for the leader's position because of various concerns. He was still managing the internal and external affairs of the sect as the leader on behalf of Li Bu Yu, but this was the first time that he so strongly declared that he wanted to be the leader, and also the first time that he asked Li Zhi Qing for the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant.
Li Zhi Qing sneered: "You’re not pretending anymore? Whatever mincing manner you had before, isn’t it because you wished that I took the initiative to give way and fulfilled your good reputation of loyalty and decency? Otherwise, if such words ‘as soon as the master died, his disciple seized the family property' spread out, you would be scorned by everyone in the world."
Song Chun Gui's gaze was gloomy: "Senior brother, don't go too far. Wuliang Sect was entrusted to me by my master before his death. With your talent and cultivation, it’s really not enough to support the world's number one sect. Not to mention that at this time, the human and ghost worlds are in turmoil. There’s still a long way to go to rebuild the Immortal Alliance. I, Song Chun Gui, must sit in this position, never for selfish desires, but only to save the people from fire and water. In the future, if senior brother's son has a promising future, I will naturally give way."
"Junior brother has always been so indifferent to fame and fortune with a look of cultivating wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, would anyone believe if I were to say that there are people in this world who do not covet the huge foundation of my Li family? If it was really what you said, what's wrong with me being the leader and you being my capable person? Even if I, Li Zhi Qing, am not good, I am still an outstanding person amongst my peers. How much worse am I compared to you!?” At the end of his speech, Li Zhi Qing's eyes were overflowing with resentment, and every twitching muscle was written with unwillingness.
At that moment, Xie Bi An seemed to see Li Bu Yu a hundred years ago. When they were both young, at the Jiaolong assembly, Zong Zi Xiao mercilessly defeated Li Bu Yu. At that time, the seed of vicious hatred had been planted in his heart. After that, they all became the important people who stirred up the storm. That unwillingness and resentment back then had changed everyone's fate.
"Senior brother, I won't give up my position not because of your cultivation." Song Chun Gui narrowed his eyes, "If you want me to make it clear, I'll ask you. How did senior brother Meng die and whose belly did his golden core go into?”
The crowd was in an uproar.
Li Zhi Qing's eyes rose with killing intent. He said without changing his expression: "You have been investigating for so long and couldn’t find out, and you’re asking me? What, do you still want to frame me?"
Although he looked calm, the gazes of the onlookers had already stabbed at him like knives. When Song Chun Gui asked this question, no one suspected that Meng Ke Fei's death had nothing to do with Li Zhi Qing. After all, Li Bu Yu relied on eating human cores to transform himself, and finally ranked as an Immortal Lord. As his only son, would Li Zhi Qing let go of this shortcut to change his life?
Besides, Meng Ke Fei and Li Zhi Qing were disciples of the same generation. Eating the human core of a cultivator from the same sect could yield twice the result with half the effort.
Song Chun Gui shook his head: "Senior brother, today you set up this arena, stating that as long as I defeat you, you will no longer make things difficult for me, right?"
"I believe you won't go back on your word with so many people in front of you." Song Chun Gui drew his sword, "Senior brother, if you use the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant, be careful not to hurt the people around you."
Yet Li Zhi Qing was not in a hurry to draw his sword: "Song Chun Gui, since you drew your sword, you are fighting against me for the position of sect leader. Feel your conscience and say*, are you really worthy of my father, your master?"
Song Chun Gui's expression changed. His jaw tensed, and his lips were pursed slightly, obviously restraining something.
Li Zhi Qing's gaze swept over the crowd and finally returned to Song Chun Gui: "No matter how much you say as if it were raining flowers*, no matter how dignified you act, you are an evil disciple who fights for the family property when your master has died."
The crowd was shuddering with fear from listening. This Li Zhi Qing was indeed Li Bu Yu’s son. He was unable to defeat Song Chun Gui, but his every sentence pierced the heart.
"Song Chun Gui, junior brother Song." Li Zhi Qing showed a viper-like smile, "You care about reputation and integrity, but also cannot give up the high position and great wealth of the Wuliang Sect’s leader. Senior brother has an idea, so you can have the best of both worlds."
Song Chun Gui gritted his teeth, "Li Zhi Qing, while I still recognize you as a senior brother, stop casting malicious words towards me."
"What, are you going to kill me if you don't recognize me as a senior brother?"
"I won't kill you. You were also entrusted to me by my master on his deathbed." Song Chun Gui said in a stern voice, "Draw your sword. Our dispute shall be settled here!"
"Sure. I, your senior brother, will bring a romance to a happy ending*. I said I’ll let you have the best of both worlds, as long as you return one thing to my Li family."
Li Zhi Qing narrowed his eyes. His gaze was sinister: "Your cultivation."