Zhao Ge Chapter 71-80

Chapter 71


Chapter Seventy-One, Person of the Snowy Night, Where Hell is Located. (雪夜之⼈, 地狱何⽅)
Wind blew by overhead, echoing about.

Holding the Golden Crow longbow, Bai Li Shu walked down along the deep-black stone steps one by one. Within the dim darkness, Golden Crow let out a bright golden light, and illuminated his surroundings. He was walking downwards- in the deep part of the battleground of Di Fen was a tower that was buried underground, a black tower that, when flipped over, was extremely similar to the Qing Ming tower.

This tower was just like this world’s reflection of the Qing Ming tower. The reason why He Zhou was unable to find the “universe inscribed up top, the terrain’s image engraved on the bottom”, was because the Qing Ming tower in Bing Province’s city was the so-called “universe”, and the so-called “terrain’s image” was inside this strange world of crude beast remains.

This was also the reason why Bing Province City would emerge with such a large-scale ghost realm.

The world where Bing Province stood, was the world of the “universe”, the Yang within the Tai Ji. The ancient battleground that the Qing Ming tower was connected with was the world of the “terrain’s image”, symbolizing the Yin of the Tai Ji. Within this world, there was a tower that was exactly the same as the Qing Ming tower on the surface of Bing Province- two Qing Ming towers, one was right side up, one was upside down, forming a complete “world”.

The crude beast skeletons were “death”, in parallel to the one hundred seventy thousand people within Bing Province City’s “life”- from the very beginning, the entire Bing Province City was a giant arrangement. Yin and Yang were the opposite of each other, life and death were in parallel, and the past and present called out to each other.

However, after the mishap, the boundary between Qing Ming tower and its matching space turned obscure, the Yin and Yang within Bing Province City as well as the line between life and death turned confused, and the five elements flowed without following order, thus, misfortune descended upon this city.

Yet, at present, Bai Li Shu found the flipped tower deeply buried underground within this battleground of Di Fen that was in parallel with the Qing Ming tower.

Or perhaps it should be said, the Qing Ming tower was in parallel
with it.

Because, this tower that was deeply buried was much more archaic
than the Qing Ming tower, and much more long-standing. The Qing Ming tower should have been constructed modelling after it. As the original form of the Qing Ming tower, this black tower was completely in the style of the era of Chaos from head to toe- giant, crude, majestic, with particularity to its imposition.

This was a mysterious, old tower constructed in the era of Chaos, that had been discovered at a time unknown.

The Qing Ming tower erected on the surface was the tower that connected with the skies, and in its opposition, this flipped tower that was deeply buried underneath should be a tower that connected with the underworld. Bai Li Shu stood on top of the stone steps, and put on a few light arrows on the bow, then, the long arrows left the bowstring, shooting into the bottom of the continuously extending tower. Faintly, it illuminated the circumstances underground. Steps and steps of the stone staircase coiled downward, and beyond the circular corridor were rooms and rooms of tightly shut spaces.

The flame continuously headed down, as thought it would fall into the Yellow Spring’s netherworld right now.

Until the flame went out, it could not illuminate what was at the very bottom.

Bai Li Shu hung down his eyes, pondered for a moment, then put away his longbow, and took out a torch and lit it up. He did not continue walking down, but first went out a few steps towards this floor’s rooms, and let the flame illuminate the things inside the stone rooms.

Just like the Qing Ming tower, the interior of the stone rooms were placed with statues of odd beasts, however, those beasts’ statues were no longer made from jade stone, but were cast from bronze. The odd beasts’ bodies were big and tall, their faces hideous, and with the flickering flame illuminating it, they were just like countless evil ghosts lurking within each of the deathly-still stone rooms.

“As expected……” Bai Li Shu illuminated a Wei ghost’s statue, and lightly said this.

He did not look at those statues any more, turned around, then directly walked to the stone steps and headed down. The torch’s light was blown into a flicker by the air circulating within the tower, illuminating Bai Li Shu’s face into suddenly being concealed in the dark, and suddenly being revealed in the light.

The stone staircase continuously went down, as though if one followed these stone steps, they could walk into the deepest parts of the hell. Hell…… No matter at what time, this was not a good word. How did the ancient legends within the common realm describe it? In the eighteen levels of hell, locked up with people who all committed crimes.

If……

Bai Li Shu raised his head, and looked towards the dark blood-red dead sun’s light that fell from above. That light would not give the safe feeling of brightness- on the contrary, it made things more stifling and heavy, just like the blood colour in the deep parts of the netherworld.

Wind blew up from the flipped tower’s levels, and Bai Li Shu’s sleeves loudly fluttered. He stood on the floor within the flipped tower where up and down was a hazy and obscure mess[1]. In this place where there was no person other than himself, his face revealed an expression approaching dreariness.

—— If there really was a thing such as hell, then for someone like him, like that person who first found him, whose hands were full of blood, were they destined to go down to hell?

Bai Li Shu once again recalled that day.

He alone held up a torch and walked into Bai Li clan’s secret dungeon. In the deepest part of the dungeon, the candlelight was dim and dark, burning like ghost fire. A hint of coldness that pierced into the bone rose up from the floor, while cold winds carrying the scent of lichen blew into his face. In the most deepest part of the dungeon was an airtight jail room without a lock.

No guards, no lock.

He opened the door and walked inside.

Inside the jail room, a normal paper lantern was lit. An elderly person sat behind the light, with pale-white hair, gradually turning old. Within the flame, this person who once seemed capable of anything truly and genuinely turned old. Bai Li Shu watched that person, and recalled how in that snowy night, an elderly person dressed in black-coloured robes slowly walked out from the boundless wind and snow, then knelt down on one knee towards himself.

Snow fell onto the head of black-robed elderly person, making it look like he instantly whitened his hair.

“Finally found you.” Said the old person. Their voice was hoarse, like they crossed through big deserts filled with endless yellow sands, crossed through deep seas with surge after surge of waves, and then finally came out from the snow and knelt down in front of him.

“Who am I?” He asked.

“Your surname is Bai Li, first name Shu.” The black-robed elderly person replied.

When they heard the sound of the door opening, the old person who sat cross-legged opened their eyes. When they saw it was him, they stood up and knelt down on one knee just like in the beginning. Bai Li Shu saw that hair of his that also turned white without the fallen snow, and suddenly did not want to ask those questions that hovered over his heart for a very long time. He understood this person far too well.

He would not obtain an answer.

“You’ve gotten old. Had it been the you back in the beginning, I would not let the guards leave.” In the end, Bai Li Shu sighed, and lightly said this.

“People will always eventually get old. Young Lord is also no longer that child standing in the snow who didn’t know where to go in the beginning.” The elderly person lamented, and raised their head to look at the youth who already completely took hold of the Bai Li family. Within the flame, the youth’s features did not have the spirit that young people should have, and in its stead was an indifferent, inseparable weariness.

Thus, the old person also went silent for a long time. “It must have been extremely laborious for Young Lord to attend to numerous affairs every day. Since Young Lord has already drawn a prison on the ground for me, I will no longer create more disturbances for Young Lord. This is also the only thing this senile man is able to do for Young Lord.”

“For Young Lord to come and send me off, has already made me feel extremely honoured.” The old man said in a light voice.

He hung his head down, and from the seven orifices[2], black- coloured blood slowly flowed out.

Bai Li Shu quietly looked at him, and no longer said anything.

He came here to personally end the life of this person who first brought him back to the Bai Li clan. This was a matter that was already decided on at the very beginning, however, when he really saw this person die with his own eyes, he suddenly felt it was incomparably desolate.

“I leave the bloodline of Bai Li to you now.” Before dying, the elderly person no longer used honorific titles, as though being relieved.
“Bring them……” “I will.”
[1] The original phrase here is where going up doesn’t connect to the sky and going down doesn’t connect to the earth. Illogical?

[2] Refers to the seven openings of the human’s head- the eyes (2), ears (2), nostrils (2) and mouth (1).

Chapter 72

Extra chapter for Christmas tmw! Happy holidays and stay safe everyone! ‹‹\(´ω` )/››‹‹\( ´)/›› ‹‹\( ´ω`)/››~♪

Chapter Seventy-Two, a Place to Stick With an Awl, Immortals and Mortal Lives. (⽴锥之地, 仙⼈苍⽣)
That old person who took him out of the snowy night, that old person who seemed omnipotent and extraordinary, still died in the end. And died at his hands.

I didn’t kill Bo Ren, but Bo Ren died because of me[1].

Bai Li Shu had never personally killed someone, however, the people who died because of him were not included in that count. But in the very end, that karma still settled onto him. If it was like this, how was he not someone whose hands were filled with blood?

Before the elderly person died, he requested that he continue leading the Bai Li family. At the later times when he dealt with the Bai Li clan’s affairs, Bai Li Shu again and again recalled that night of boundless flying snow, and thought, if the elderly person did not find him that day, then how would the matters following it change?

However, Bai Li Shu knew this was not possible.

Even if it was not the old person, there would still be others, going to find him, then taking him away. “Bai Li Shu, Bai Li Shu……”        He repeated this name that the old person told him of, this name that he himself was not willing to give authentication to in the past, nor was willing to look into, then lowered his head to look at the sunken darkness underneath.

——Your surname is Bai Li, first name Shu.

“Who am I?”     Bai Li Shu held up the torch, and stared at the blurry figure reflected from the smooth and glossy rock surface of the railing, with a face no different from the one in the past life, and a name the exact same as the one from the past. He lightly asked this, like he was asking the figure, yet seemed like he was asking himself.

He once again asked that question, except this time, there was no one to answer him.

Bai Li Shu lightly sighed, and once again walked down floor by floor. Every part of the black tower within the battlefield of Di Fen was densely spread with traps, with layers and layers of it on the stone staircase. However, Bai Li Shu walked on top of it, as though walking on an ordinary flat surface, and those murderous traps were all avoided by him.

As though, this was not the first time he came in here.

The youth dressed in white walked along the gloomy stone staircase spiralling down, and walked further and further downward. As he continuously went downward, the light of the torch gradually turned into a small, little speck of light.

Bai Li Shu went down floor by floor, and finally stood at the very lowest level.

On the lowest floor, was the place where Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower was placed with spiritual tablets. However, here, was instead a neither small nor big jail cell.

The cell’s door was placed at the top, while the surface was stuck with two sealing paper strips placed in a slanted orientation. Logically, these two sealing papers should have been placed on for a very long time, at the very least, from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals all the way until the present. However, the words on the surface seemed like it was just written on. Bai Li Shu walked over to it, and used the torch to illuminate the sealing strip.

It was very quiet all around, and Bai Li Shu no longer moved. The characters on the paper strip was very familiar to him.
—— That was his own handwriting.

◈◈◈
Under the attraction from the Qing Ming tower, the remaining Eight Immortal Sect disciples in Bing Province City walked inside the deep-black tower.

In reality, Bing Province City wasn’t actually left with no other living beings. Above Bing Province City, within the layer of clouds ten thousand zhang up, trumpet birds remained hovering and flying about. The mishap of the Qing Ming tower seemed to not have affected these birds that lived in the high skies.

However, at this time, these trumpet birds that within people’s knowledge would not be controlled by people instead seemed like they were scouting around. They fluttered about in the cloud layer, and watched as those immortal sect disciples trickled into the Bing Province Qing Ming tower. These birds that lived in the ten thousand zhang-high skies had extremely excellent eyesight, and they were also good at flying- if they really were controlled, then it would be equal to that person taking hold of countless “Heaven’s eyes” that would not draw in other people’s attention.

When the final bunch of He Huan Sect disciples who rushed here also stepped inside Bing Province’s Qing Ming tower, the trumpet birds that hovered over the skies suddenly dropped off a small portion. That small group shuttled through the cloud layer, and quickly flew in the direction of the Chen dynasty capital.

Chen dynasty. This was an archaic dynasty.

The current-day Chen dynasty would typically be called Southern Chen by historians in other dynasties in order to differentiate it with Old Chen. The current Chen dynasty’s forefather was Old Chen’s emperor’s subordinate senior general, while the last generation emperor of the Old Chen dynasty was a wine-fleshed, rice-sacked, ignorant, tyrannical and immoral person who was jealous of the wise and virtuous.

Later, when famine erupted, the last emperor was still in his own imperial palace every day taking in wine and music. At that time, within Old Chen’s borders, corpses overflowed roads, and crows bunched into clouds. Chen’s forefather, with the aid of Jiu Xuan Sect, raised an army and rebelled, and in the end, had the final generation emperor along with those Old Chen dynasty’s unruly martial artists all burned with fire within the imperial palace.

People did not know if it was because they still retained a bit of loyalty to the Old Chen dynasty, but after Chen’s forefather ascended the throne, they didn’t care for their subjects’ opposition, and continued to use “Chen” as the title of the reigning dynasty.

However, what was mentioned even more within the historians’ writings, was not that last generation emperor who was schemed of his country, but those Old Chen martial warriors who died in the fire along with the last generation emperor. Those were all a bunch of singing, dancing, or cutting madmen. For the historians, what made them unable to understand was, why would this group of extremely unrestrained and extremely untamed madmen, actually offer absolute loyalty to this incompetent rich good-for-nothing? And even not hesitate to accompany him to death.

This was practically hard to understand.

Chen dynasty’s capital was Ding Province. If there wasn’t Qing Ming tower’s mishap along the journey, this originally would have been one of the resting points that Bai Li Shu’s group would pass through when heading towards the Medicine Valley.

Within this Chen dynasty capital, there was also a towering giant tower that directly went up to the skies.

Located at Ding Province City’s south and north, east and west axes, was not Chen dynasty’s imperial palace, but the symbol of the human race’s overthrow of the old emperors’ rule, the Qing Ming tower.

Chen dynasty’s current emperor[2], that ignorant, rich good-for- nothing-like new emperor of the Chen dynasty, stood within a quiet and secluded courtyard within the imperial palace. He raised his head up, and looked at that black-coloured giant tower that connected with the skies and sun. This previously loose good friend of Yan Men’s executive was dressed in dragon robes at this time, and did not have a single sliver of sloppiness in his features, but was instead incomparably solemn.

He was clearly just a young man, however, that aura on his body had a sort of very calm and mature air to it, as well as an imposition of a monarch.

He was not like a muddleheaded and useless king drunk on music and beauty at all.

“Above the sky and sun, are even more clouds that covered the sun.”     Yan Zi Yu of the imperial college back then, that is, the present- day Chen Yan Yu, looked at that towering Qing Ming tower, and slowly recited the words Lou Shi Dao once used to argue with the old teacher.

“Your Majesty[3].”   The old teacher of over ninety years held a cane and walked over behind Chen Yan Yu, and very respectfully said this. He wanted to make a bow to Chen Yan Yu, however, he had been stopped from doing so.

“We are already in this kind of place, old man, do you really need to do this?” Chen Yan Yu bitterly laughed. This smile of his contained a bit of the shadow of the youth who had been scolded everyday in the imperial college, “It’s not like you don’t know. After having been punished by you into writing 《Courtesy》that many times, when I see it, my head would hurt.”

“Courtesy cannot be wasted away.”     The old teacher stamped down the walking cane, so angry he wanted to whip this fellow who did not care for these things at all at once.

“It’s fine, old man.” Chen Yan Yu lightly said, “True courtesy, is something that belongs to those superior bastards- why be so stubborn with these fake self-consoling things?”

Skies and the sun- the monarch was like the sky and sun, and that was because the imperial order could not be opposed.

However, if even the monarch themselves needed to listen to someone else, just what was this kind of sky and sun worth?

“I know you didn’t like these things from the very beginning.”

It was rare for the old teacher to calm down his temper, and he did not put on a fierce look with him. The gaze of this white-haired elderly person at this time abruptly turned sharp, and the wave of a strong aura erupted out from him. Turns out, this imperial college teacher who looked to hang up at any time was actually a concealed expert.

“You are just like your Father, too arrogant. However, if even we ourselves do not believe in these, do not believe that we are the true sky and sun, then faced with those immortal sects that started getting strong ten thousand years ago, how could we still have spirit and conviction?”

Chen Yan Yu shook his head.

“No.”      For the first time, he revealed a very serious look in front of the old teacher.

“I do not mind these things. Be it the imperial clan, the sects, or those damned prestigious families and clans, I do not care for who exactly will become this world’s owner. Whether the one able to lay down the law is me, or the lofty sects, all is of no matter.”        Before the old teacher could reprimand him, Chen Yan Yu continued on without any care.

“Before I was found by you guys, I alone walked through seven provinces. Do you know what I saw?” His tone slowed down, and carried a kind of wrath like a gloomy volcano about to erupt.

The old teacher turned stunned.

“I saw corpses. Countless, famine-starved corpses.”      Chen Yan Yu coldly said.

“Back in the beginning, because the ancestors obtained Jiu Xuan Sect’s aid, they then fixed that contract as gratitude. As generations went by, Jiu Xuan Sect took root in the dynasty’s vast lands, and at present day, a sixth of the country’s fertile lands belong to the sect, with a third at the prestigious clans, while the remaining portion is the common people’s.” Chen Yan Yu’s tone was very quick, but he suppressed down his own anger.

The Chen dynasty’s territory was that vast, yet the sect and prestigious families’ fields run from end to end[4], and the impoverished commoners didn’t even have a place to stick an awl in[5].

“When the famine came, what were those bunch of lofty immortal cultivators thinking?”

“They continued to have those large stretches of fields used to grow that completely useless ling zhi, and then the tens of thousands of refugees starved to death!” Chen Yan Yu’s voice suddenly raised up, bearing an boundless rage to it.

He gripped both his fists tight, and recalled that year when he followed along a group of famine-starved refugees walking on the long road. Even though the two sides of the road were fertile open fields, the plants being grown in the fields were ling zhi that could not be eaten. Those ling zhi would soon be refined into lumps and lumps of spirit stones, and pellets and pellets of medicinal pills, but it would not be used to save the common people.

There were some famine refugees who had no way of carrying on and tried to steal those ling zhi to eat, yet were killed by the formations put down there.

Those people’s heads flew up, blood scattered over the surface of the road, and fell onto Chen Yan Yu’s face.

He touched the blood slowly flowing down on his face, and finally understood why when Father mentioned the sects, he would reveal that kind of ridiculing expression.

The sects and immortal cultivators, from the mortals’ perspective, were the lofty immortals.

What were immortals?

Immortals come stroke my head, ties my hair and instructs me on a long life[6], is that it? What a joke.

The so-called immortal, was that kind of jerk and bastard who would fly up to the clouds, and observe the blue seas turn to mulberry fields with cold eyes. Even if this human realm was spilled with blood all over the lands, with millions of corpses lying around, it would not draw in their attention. What they cared for, was their own dignity, their big principles[7], and that imaginary insubstantial eternal life.

The old teacher turned silent, and faintly sighed.

“You are exactly like your Father……” The old teacher slowly said, as though he once again saw that ambitious and ideal-filled, young emperor who asked for his help before settling down the plan of “Ying Gong”.

Unfortunately, that emperor who had a white rainbow pass through the skies when he was born was already dead. Died at the hands of those black-robed people who came in the snowy night.

The old teacher watched the cold-faced Chen Yan Yu, as though he saw him continue on down in Emperor Chen Ying’s footsteps, and bore a wrath even deeper than his father’s. This was a resistance at the risk of safety that he did not know at what time would be ground into ashes in front of that terrifying strength.

However……

“Do what you want to do then. Although I have gone old, this pair of old bones still has a bit of strength left in them.”         The old teacher said.

A trumpet bird coiled around the skies, and in the end, flew down and landed on Chen Yan Yu’s shoulder.

[1] 我不杀伯仁, 伯仁因我⽽死 – though I resent Bo Ren, I don’t have any intent of killing him, but because my resentment caused Bo Ren to be
killed by someone else, Bo Ren’s death would have a direct relationship with me. Originated from the Book of Jin, in which a man Zhou Yi (secondary/adult name Bo Ren) is resented because he acted as though he ignored the pleas of another man, when in fact, he saved his entire family. When that man is later asked whether Bo Ren should be a court official, they stayed silent, even when they were told ‘if not suitable to be made an official, then he will have him killed’. Later, when the man was sorting through old papers, he found out Bo Ren indeed helped him and protected him, only that he never expressed that on the surface, to which the man is met with guilt for staying silent the entire time.
[2] The exact term used here is 天⼦, which is son of Heaven.
[3] 圣上- Another way of calling the emperor, except this one refers to their holiness/sacredness/imperial-ness. [4] ⽥连阡陌- or in literal words, the fields are connected through small paths, continuously connecting together. Expression for how wealthy the person is, which here is, very rich.

[5] ⽴锥之地- expression for being so poor they don’t have land to stick an awl/nail into, and refers to just how much land they own, which is close to none. Also refers to how they have very little place to shelter in.

[6] 仙⼈抚我顶, 结发授⻓⽣- a line from one of Li Bai’s works. The immortal comes to stroke my head, and teaches me how to live long from a
young age. All in all, the idea that immortals are benevolent and bestows the secrets on how to gain a long life.

[7] Refers to the path to eternal life.

Chapter 73

Chapter Seventy-Three, Between the Mantis and the Cicada, Why is it the Canary [that is the winner]. (螳螂与蝉, 何为⻩雀)
As the trumpet bird stopped on his shoulder, Chen Yan Yu took down the roll of paper tied on the trumpet bird’s legs, and opened it to see Honest Lou’s familiar careful and neat lettering.

The old teacher saw the young emperor’s face reveal a pondering expression.

After a moment, Chen Yan Yu raised his head, and his expression turned incomparably serious.

“Is it time for us old fellows to move out?”     The old teacher slowly asked. He stood up straight, and let out a wave of murderous and resolute strictness.

This white-haired old teacher who taught students to read aloud scriptures, and was particular about manners in this moment turned into something that was not like an old Confucian scholar at all, but more like…… More like those martial artists of the previous dynasty, who sung and danced and cut down, with a madness and ruthlessness that seeped out from the bones.

And then, Chen Yan Yu slowly shook his head.

“No, it’s still not time.” His palm slightly used some strength, and turned the piece of paper into ashes, “The people of the eight big sects just entered the Qing Ming tower. Wait, just wait until they completely entered that place. Moreover……”
A sliver of a mocking smile was revealed on Chen Yan Yu’s face. “It’s not like Jin Tang dynasty’s people are some lamp that doesn’t
burn much oil[1]. They want to gain advantage, yet don’t want to put in the effort, how could there be such a good thing in this world?”

“That group of bastards……” The old teacher obviously knew who Chen Yan Yu was referring to, so his face revealed a disdainful look, “A group of neither human nor ghost bastards that could only lurk and ambush in the dark, what do they think they are?”

“Be it ambushing, or being neither human nor ghost, as long as they have their uses, then it’s fine.” Chen Yan Yu indifferently said this, then he asked the old teacher if he could borrow the study room for a bit.

Inside the old teacher’s study, Chen Yan Yu took up the brush and wrote down several paper slips responding to various places. He wrote very slowly, with each and every word pondered over carefully. He very clearly understood- each word he wrote down would decide on the lives of many Chen dynasty’s martial warriors. Though a lot of sacrifice was necessary, but if he could, Chen Yan Yu still did not want to see too many people die away.

The old teacher stood in the courtyard, and watched that trumpet bird hovering over the sky.

Its figure was particularly small, and because they were often seen, they weren’t that conspicuous. In the imperial palace, in the immortal sects, in the streets and alleys, there would be traces of this kind of bird. No one would be vigilant against them. Being ordinary and commonly seen was the trumpet bird’s best protection.

“There’s going to be wind.”         The old teacher looked towards that majestic sky-connecting tower that symbolized the old emperors’ decline, and let out a long sigh. The winds fill the building before the rains come[2]. Right now, the winds are going to come.
◈◈◈
“Pei, pei……”       Liao Qian continuously spit out mouthfuls of sand and rock. Zhou Wen An on the side extended a hand over and knocked him on his back, making him be in so much pain he grimaced, and all the loose rocks that were almost swallowed into his stomach were spit out.

“Shut it.” Zhou Wen An threw out a word, and lied on the ground without moving at all.

Not only him, but everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect as well as Yu Shou Sect all hid in the shadows and did not move at all. In a place not far from them, that Qiu dragon apparition that was the cause of the series of things was currently circling around a comparatively big space, as though trying to find something.

Just now, when they were very carefully passing through the crude beast skeletons like ants, He Zhou perceived something abnormal from the sound of wind. Throughout the way, they very carefully approached in pursuit of the sound, and discovered in the deep part of this ancient battleground, there was a clearing without any skeletons, a rather giant circular clearing.

And the Qiu dragon’s apparition…… Ah, no. It shouldn’t be called an apparition. At this time, that Qiu dragon already seemed solid- this was the manifestation of a complete spirit.

The Qiu dragon hovered over the air, and lowered its head in search of something.

Not only were there none of those skeletons as big as cities in this empty space, even the stones on the ground were extremely orderly, and looked extremely strange. It actually seemed like at a time long, long, long ago, there was someone who already entered this ancient battleground of Di Fen. Not only that, that person who entered here even tidied out those skeletons contained with the crude beasts’ soul fragment, and emptied out a circular clearing.

When they saw the Qiu dragon apparition, Liao Qian could feel that Jiu Xuan Sect’s people very obviously sigh a breath of relief.

That icy-looking Senior Bai Li was swept up into this strange space along with the Qiu dragon. Since the Qiu dragon was here, when one thought about it, Bai Li Shu should also be around here.

However, truth be told, Liao Qian would always feel like that Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother was a very incredible, extremely scary person.

As a disciple of the Nine Provinces Private Bank, there was not much about Liao Qian to flaunt. He just had comparatively more money, and was comparatively scared of dying. And the intuition of those who were scared of death would be more stronger towards things that could threaten their lives…… So, when Liao Qian saw Bai Li Shu before, he, with a guilty conscience, would always be worried that the other person would suddenly make a strike over here, and then his soul would return to the Western Paradise.

That kind of bastard who could freeze the Fourteen Provinces with one strike, no matter how he looked at it, didn’t seem like they would die early.

The Qiu dragon hovered over the sky, looking extremely majestic.

Although Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect were mostly fierce characters who would directly play with their lives every day, it wasn’t like they had no brains. The spirit of a Qiu dragon was not something that they could win over in a short amount of time. Furthermore, if one were to fight with a Qiu dragon in the burial grounds of crude beasts, who knew what kind of reaction the Qiu dragon’s ancestors would have. Thus, Qin Jiu rolled over his eyes, and let everyone hide, and waited to see what the Qiu dragon was doing, and sat down to retrieve a fisherman’s luck[3].

The Qiu dragon did not find the thing it wanted to find this entire time, and started to turn hot-tempered. It lied on the ground, and flapped its own pair of wings. The dragon was originally an existence that flew over the clouds and mist, and the moment its pair of wings spread open, strong winds swept up over the circular clearing, and in an instant, sand and stones whirled about, and the empty space turned into a stretch of pitch-black.

Liao Qian did not think that this Qiu dragon’s patience was this terrible, to bring up winds to scrape the surface of the earth[4]. Before this, he was even opening his mouth, quietly counting how many dragon scales were on the Qiu dragon, and how much money he could sell for one.

As a result, as expected of something summoned out by Yu Shou Sect- not a moment into the search, it didn’t use its brain and started directly using its hands.

Thus, Liao Qian who had his mouth wide open instantly ate a mouthful of sand.

“Careful.” Jun Wan Bai told Jiu Xuan’s disciples. From the looks of it, the speed in which the Qiu dragon flapped its wings turned faster and faster, and the rocks that were swept up by the strong winds got bigger and bigger. Everyone who fell down from midair knew of the strangeness of these rocks, and thus, they did not dare to neglect it, and hurriedly put up a spiritual energy cover to protect themselves.

The few Jiu Xuan core disciples as well as Qiu Qian He stood in front of everyone, and blocked off the majority of the flying sand and rocks.

Since Qiu Qian He got injured before, and he even had to take care of his own brothers and sisters, he found it more difficult to hang on, and carelessly had a rock scrape by his forehead. When Qiu Qian He felt his forehead burning, he pretty much wanted to curse out loud. When he summoned the Qiu dragon apparition to go against other people before this, he didn’t see this bastard put this much effort. But when it turned around and attacked right now without any discrepancy, it was so strong it was weird…… Can the scrolls the sect give out have a bit more of a detailed and reliable explanation to it?

Qiu Qian He arduously braced himself, but the remaining Yu Shou disciples’ situation was a bit unfortunate. In the blink of an eye, someone got hit straight in the face with a rock. This strange pure-black rock was incomparably hard, and it even faintly had a bit power that suppressed everyone’s primordial energy, thus, those few Yu Shou Sect disciples who were hit with the rocks, even with primordial energy protecting the body, were hurt into grimacing in pain.

The Jiu Xuan Sect disciples to the side leisurely[5] laughed out
loud.

Of the Yu Shou disciples hit with rocks, was one whose hand was
injured by Qin Jiu’s dagger. With a big bruise on his head, when he heard Jiu Xuan Sect purposefully suppress the sound of sneering yet maintain it at a level the Yu Shou Sect disciples could hear at, he angrily turned his head, “Go ahead and laugh. If I die, the contract tablet would be useless. See what you guys will do then?”

……

The few core disciples looked to each other. It seems like they really could not be this joyful and watch as Yu Shou Sect falls on bad luck, otherwise, they too would suffer. In the end, Shen Chang Ge waved his fan, and stood in front of Yu Shou’s disciples with a face of a mild smile, and opened his mouth with smiles, “Aye, everyone looks to be a bit in a bind. My Jiu Xuan Sect isn’t some narrow-minded sect, and since our friends have requested like this, then I will manage the best I can and help out.”

As he said this, he waved his fan, and blocked a portion off for everyone from Yu Shou. However, with the so-called hundred careful thoughts with one oversight, there would always be some loose rocks that he can’t block, no?
Is what Shen Chang Ge thought while waving his fan with a smile.

Liao Qian once again silently shrunk to the back.

Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect cooperating with each other would always give him a kind of “these bastards would get in a fight halfway and have the other person choked to death” feeling. To tell the truth, could it be that in the very end, he wouldn’t be killed off by some demon or oddity, but instead die from the shock wave from these two groups of relentless people getting in a fight?

When Liao Qian felt out the very few remaining spiritual talismans, he wanted to cry out, but had no tears left to cry with.

The Qiu dragon’s method was simple and crude, however, the effects of it were still there.

When it stopped, the earth had been scraped off an entire layer, Everyone very carefully looked over, and only saw underneath the circular clearing was a barrier of dim light.

The Qiu dragon lowly roared at the barrier, as though furious at something.

Suddenly, He Zhou who was watching the Qiu dragon’s movements abruptly turned his head over. His expression turned particularly serious, and his gaze swept through the giant skeletons in the surroundings.

“What is it?” Jun Wan Bai knitted her eyebrows, and turned vigilant along with this, then the cold light from the pair of swords flickered.

He Zhou wrinkled his eyebrows, and his gaze turned sharp. He made a gesture to be quiet, and then leaned in his ears to attentively listen. Everyone turned quiet, and also attentively listened for the surrounding sound along with him. Due to fear of the spirits congealed in those crude beast skeletons, everyone did not dare use their spiritual insight to check the surroundings, and could only use their own ear’s ability.

The sound of wind, the sound of the Qiu dragon’s low howl, the sound of loose rocks falling down……

“There’s still people!” He Zhou’s hearing was the best out of everyone’s He listened for a while, and then suppressed his voice as he said this.

[1] 不是省油的灯- to mean, a person that does not makes things more simple and convenient for themselves, or refers to a person that is not easy to defeat.

[2] ⼭⾬欲来⻛满楼- expression for, signs of foreshadowing are present before the actual event comes.

[3] 渔翁之利- or, reap in benefits without doing anything. To take advantage of another’s conflict to reap in rewards.

[4] 刮地⽪- also means to extort from the poor, but obviously, the literal sense is more befitting in context.

[5] ⽼神在在- literally, like a long-standing god/immortal, calmly and steadily going about things.

Chapter 74

Chapter Seventy-Four, Happy Unions and Praises of Buddha, Enemies of Each Other. (合欢梵⾳, 互为对头)
Everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect slightly turned surprised inside, looked at each other, and pretty much reacted at the same time. Jiu Xuan Sect readied their sword arts, while Yu Shou Sect quickly took out some rare and strange items and sprinkled it all around, concealing everyone’s aura and figures.

To the side, Liao Qian watched until his eyelids twitched.

He started to rejoice that Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect were mortal enemies, otherwise, if these two groups made concerted efforts to rob the Nine Provinces Private Bank’s trade routes, then it would definitely be one sure-hit for every robbery made. One would be responsible for concealing their traces, while the other was responsible for the attack.

As expected of mortal enemies who fought from the last era to this one, the understanding of each other was practically matchless.

Just as Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s disciples set this up, a group of people walked out from the right side of the white bone forest. When they saw this group of people, Jiu Xuan and Yu Shou’s people let out an odd expression. Liao Qian’s jaw almost fell out.

“Holy shit(ghosts)……” Liao Qian saw that group of people walking underneath a ten zhang-long pale-white rib, then looked over at Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s disciples again, with a bit of a dumbfounded expression.

—— What kind of day was this? Why was it trending for mortal enemies to walk together?

The people who came over from the giant white skeletons that stretched over half the space separately belonged to two sects. The ones in pretty and insolent colourful clothing was He Huan Sect’s group of bastards who spend money like water and treated their faces as though it was more important their own lives, while the ones in ashy-grey clothing, with a shiny bald heads was that group of monks from Fan Yin Sect who looked poor but weren’t even poor in the slightest.

The relationship between He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Sect was slightly better than Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect’s relationship, however, it already belonged to that type where each party disliked each other, and mutually looked down upon each other.

What He Huan Sect was particular about was how “humans are not saints nor virtuous, and desire is originally human nature”. Their actions did not restrain the human’s seven affections and six desires[1], and submitted to true joy, anger, and sorrow. And Fan Yin Sect considered that “all beings all suffer”, and the root of suffering was a person’s desires, thus, only by suppressing the desires and eliminating distracting thoughts could one then obtain the real truth.

One was particular on following desire, one was particular on abstinence.

The two schools of thought were completely in opposition of each other from the start. What was even more terrible was, He Huan Sect’s territory was located in the Cang Pu dynasty, whereas Fan Yin Pavilion’s territory was in the Bao Dan[2] dynasty, which just so happened to be very close to each other. For the two sects, there was someone who would always talk nonsense underneath one’s own eyelids everyday, and attack one’s own doctrines, which was practically detestable to the extremest. Thus, if one went to the myriad of mountain ranges bordering between Cang Pu dynasty and Bao Dan dynasty, one could pretty much see He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion’s people “debating principles” every day.

This so-called debating principles, on paper was to curse at each other, and with martial arts was to get into a fight.

After a very long time, both parties long already did not discuss ideas politely nor amiably—— in any case, not one could convince the other, and would only waste saliva. Thus, with a “baldy” from one side, and a “witch”[3] from the other, both parties used all their skills to curse at each other.

—— When Fan Yin Sect and He Huan Sect bumped into each other, it must have been when both sides completely lost their demeanour.

Thus, when Liao Qian saw that there would actually come a day where He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion’s people walked together, he practically started doubting his own eyes.

When He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion’s people gradually got closer, everyone could faintly hear some fragments of the conversation:

“A baldy is a baldy as expected, what kind of dogshit is this Du E[4] Formation……”       “Witch, if not for the profoundness of our Buddhist arts, you would have long been swallowed by those bestial souls……”
“Pei, even though it was clear that I chopped it on my own……”

……

Liao Qian’s heart was placed back down in his stomach.

Still good, still good, it’s still the He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion he was familiar with. Otherwise, if these two parties suddenly reconciled, how could his Nine Provinces Private Bank still flip Fan Yin Pavilion’s cleansing talismans in He Huan Sect’s territory, and have He Huan Sect’s immortal medicine resold in Fan Yin Pavilion’s hands? One must understand that since Fan Yin Pavilion and He Huan Sect looked down upon each other, both sides were unwilling to purchase needed items from the other party. However, it just had to be that the Cang Pu dynasty that He Huan Sect was located in had many tall mountains and deep valleys, with miasma that filled the air, and a lot of foulness around, and that Fan Yin Pavilion’s cleansing talismans had extraordinary effects towards these. On the other hand, the Bao Dan dynasty where the Fan Yin Pavilion resided in was a highlands region, and was missing many of the herbs that the disciples needed to use everyday, yet the spiritual herbs in the Cang Pu dynasty were plentiful.

By relying on reselling between these two parties, the Nine Provinces Private Bank earned enough to break even.

As Fan Yin Pavilion and He Huan Sect’s mutual cursing got more and more closer, Jiu Xuan Sect’s few core disciples and Qiu Qian He very quickly exchanged a few glance with each other, and discussed what to do.

That group of incoming He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion disciples used some unknown method to receive the light mark from the crude beast skeletons, but from listening to their conversation, it was obvious they went through a fierce battle. However, He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion were both one of the Eight Immortal Sects, their strength was powerful, and so the people who lead their group would also be a core disciple or an existence on this level, although, just like Yu Shou Sect, they only had one core disciple.

It could be considered that Jiu Xuan Sect managed to gain an upper hand from going to the Medicine Valley’s birthday celebration. The core disciples on scene including Qin Jiu who in name was not a core disciple but in reality was internally decided to be the successor to the peak, was five people in total.

As Yu Shou Sect’s relations with sects of the Central Plain dynasties were not all that good, they were itching with thoughts of moving in.

Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples thought over it, and felt like since there was still a Qiu dragon in the sky with undetermined strength, and in their surroundings were the crude beast skeletons that died off within the seceding of the eras, under this kind of circumstance, they could still cooperate with everyone from He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion, thus ignored the ideas from Yu Shou Sect’s disciples wanting to get into a fight, and withdrew their sword arts.

“Friends of Fan Yin Pavilion, He Huan Sect, I see that you guys have been in good health since we last met?”          Qin Jiu was considered to be the one who was best at talking among the few core disciples, and thus it was left up to him to take a step forward towards that group and greet them.

The moment he stepped forward, the two people at the very front of He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion’s group immediately reacted. The techniques that were gathered in secret that did not come out almost directly spilled over, but after they heard Qin Jiu’s voice, they then forcefully stopped it.

Qin Jiu’s gaze swept by, and recognized that the leader of He Huan Sect was that eldest disciple sister who once went to Jiu Xuan Sect and tried to see Bai Li Shu in exchange for a thousand jin of spirit stones, Liu Wu Yan[5]. The leader of Fan Yin Sect was the strongest one of the monks, Clear-hearted Monk[6].

“Jiu Xuan Sect, Yu Shou Sect……” At the same time, He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion also quickly looked at Qin Jiu’s group of people, and their faces also let out the same surprised expression as Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect from just before.

Liu Wu Yan who was in the lead had a tall figure, and was dressed in a deep-red-coloured long robe trimmed with black silk ribbons. Her features did not seem to have that seductive charm typical of the He Huan Sect disciples, but was instead fierce and overbearing, and particularly aggressive-looking. Her name was “no face”, yet grew contrarily extremely bright and beautiful, while her style of conduct was also typically straightforward. When her gaze swept by, she discovered that Jiu Xuan Sect’s few core disciples were all here. She did not find her previously using a thousand jin of spirit stones to ask for an audience with Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother embarrassing, and instead started asking, “Where’s your eldest brother?”

The smile on Qin Jiu’s face disappeared in an instant, but very quickly, he smiled as though there was nothing, “Since Friend of Liu has asked this, did you still prepare a thousand jin of spirit stones before coming?”

Liu Wu Yan raised her eyebrows, “I always have a thousand jin of spirit stones ready. What about it? You little brothers and sisters even want to manage your Senior’s important affairs[7]?”

She openly said she was going to repay with her body[8], and wanted to marry to Bai Li Shu so very naturally and openly, without a sliver of bashfulness seen. Instead, Qin Jiu had no way of finding a response in this time.

Jiu Xuan Sect’s other people had not yet said anything, when the Fan Yin Pavilion’s Clear-hearted Monk rolled around the Buddhist beads in his hands, “Amitabha, amitabha[9]. To think that the witch knows of no shame in broad daylight[10], and even wants to make friends with Friend of Bai Li. This small monk has once met with Jiu Xuan’s eldest disciple brother, you witch, hurry and rest this evil[11] heart of yours.”

“Pei, Baldy, this old lady’s matters ain’t any of your concern.”
Liu Wu Yan’s long eyebrows raised up, and spat at the Clear-hearted Monk. She put a hand at her hips, with the other hand lifting up a long sabre that typical girls would not choose, with a fierce and overbearing imposition. “Since Lord Bai Li has saved my life, is it not right and proper[12] for
me to repay with my body?”

“You overthought it.” Shen Chang Ge suddenly opened his mouth. He swayed the Yin Yang folding fan, seemingly smiling yet not. “Five years ago, I was also in the group at the secret territory. When Senior made his move, I saw quite clearly that Senior Bai Li did not plan on saving you, however, it was because you just so happened to be within the range of Yu Shou Sect’s attack was all. This person……”      Shen Chang Ge drew out his tone, and leisurely added in the last part of his words under the Jiu Xuan disciples’ approving gaze. ——“I’m afraid, is just being delusional[13].”

The Yu Shou Sect disciples who had directly been caught on their shortcomings started to wonder if they destroyed the contract tablets now, could they still have the Jiu Xuan Sect bastards taken care of.

Liu Wu Yan raised her eyebrows, and swept a gaze over everyone from Jiu Xuan Sect, then suddenly revealed an incomprehensible sneer.

She twirled the long sabre, and did not plan to tell these bastards that the “favour of saving her life” she spoke of was not that matter of the secret territory five years ago.

She saw Bai Li Shu before.

That was when Bai Li Shu was still not Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother and even——

Not called Bai Li Shu.

◈◈◈
Cang Pu dynasty was actually just about the same as Huang Ling dynasty, and was not considered an actual dynasty.

The place Cang Pu dynasty was located in had high mountains and lofty ranges, while Wu waters broke into nine portions, and miasma steamed up from the canyons. The dynasty itself was originally very spread out and not united, until several tens of years ago, when it was gradually unified by a large tribe called “Cang”. There was very little flat lands in the Cang Pu dynasty, so here, the people mostly lived in forests, or in wooden houses, or perhaps would live in bamboo storied buildings. What people often say about how “poor mountains and evil waters bring out unruly people” was certainly a saying that couldn’t be any more correct.

With adverse circumstances, the Cang Pu people were diligent and capable commoners in the daytime, and bandits that blocked roads and cut off goods in the night.

Liu Wu Yan was forced to step into the land of Cang Pu dynasty due to escaping from her enemies, and walked between the steep peaks and deep valleys. At that time, she was very poor, with only a broken sword on her, and it was even taken from killing a pursuer.

She entered a ruined shrine, and planned to find a place to rest for the night.

—— Maybe there was no way to rest.

The most dangerous place in Cang Pu dynasty’s night other than those road-blocking bandits, included strange demonic spirits that constantly emerged along with the miasma. In the big strongholds, there would be He Huan Sect’s disciples on defence, who killed the spirits that came out from the fog. However, Liu Wu Yan did not dare go to the camp in front, afraid there would be an ambush, and thus could only walk through small paths. When the skies turned dark, she only found a small ruined shrine.

When Liu Wu Yan stepped inside, she turned stunned. There was already someone inside the small little shrine.
At a place close to the altar sat a person who was very young. That person looked even better than her- they wore white clothes, and watched the wall, unknown what they were thinking of. When Liu Wu Yan came inside, they did not even turn to look.

When Liu Wu Yan saw how that person did not pay attention to her, she sighed a breath of relief, and put back the broken longsword in its sheath.

When she looked at that youth, she only felt it was a bit strange. The
clothes on this person did not seem like it was from Cang Pu dynasty- could it be that they came over from southern Jin Tang, and was also fleeing just like her? However, the clothes on him were neat and tidy, and wasn’t as messy as hers. The features on that face even had a bit of immaturity to it, yet was ice-cold, and did not seem like a youth that fit their age.

“Are you one of their people, coming to kill me?” Liu Wu Yan thought about it, and placed a hand over the sword hilt while asking.

[1] Respectively, happiness, anger, worry, yearning, grief, fear, and shock. The six desires refer to the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and the heart.

[2] 宝丹王朝- Bao, for treasure, or precious. Dan, for (medicinal) pill, or the colour red, and cinnabar (which is also red)

[3] The baldy (秃驴) separately translates to bald donkey(or ass) and the witch (妖⼈) should more or less be called sorcerer or enchanter, but I’ve decided a bewitching person is called a witch. Just keep in mind it’s not an actual witch/woman with magical powers ( 魔⼥). Fun fact, if you switch those two characters around to make ⼈妖, you get a ladyboy.
[4] Placeholder as I think of a smoother way to say crossing through adversity/disaster

[5] 柳⽆颜- liu, for willow, spring, or beauty, but that beauty usually refers to songstresses or prostitutes. When use to refer to features, can mean
beautiful, soft, or thin (like a thin waist). Also the name of one of the twenty eight constellations. Wu yan is a term for being embarrassed/ashamed, have no(wu) face(yan) to see people with. But it can also be interpreted as having no shame at all (no face to care about). [6] 明⼼和尚- Or, monk with an enlightened mind. Does he actually have a name or is this his actual name? God knows.

[7] 终⾝⼤事- or, events that affect one’s whole life. In particular, the matter of marriage.

[8] 以⾝相许- to pledge to marry the person, or refers to engaging in intimacy with someone they like willingly.

[9] 阿弥陀佛, or merciful Buddha, or may the Buddha preserve us. ORRR boundless light and boundless longevity. Choose your greeting.

[10] Also can be read as turning into the sun in broad daylight. As for what this means, I leave it up to the imagination. (hint: something something hot and bothered)

[11] 孽障- a term more typically used in Buddhism. Refers to evils that obstruct one from cultivating/meditating.

[12] 天经地义- right and proper, like the principles of the world, the unquestionable, moral truth.

[13] ⾃作多情- or self-sentimental, imagining oneself as being favoured by the person.

Chapter 75

Chapter Seventy-Five, Pitter Patter, the World Has Rain. (淅淅沥沥, 天地有⾬)
When they heard Liu Wu Yan’s words, the youth inside the shrine finally had a reaction. He turned his head to look at Liu Wu Yan.

Liu Wu Yan suddenly turned at ease. There was no killing intent inside that youth’s eyes- there wasn’t anything, just simply a random look at her, no different from looking at a clump of rock on the side of the road or a tree.

The people pursuing her couldn’t possibly have this kind of gaze. Jin Tang’s imperial family used hatred, and used blood to raise those sacrificial warriors. Those people were just like starved wolves, good at stalking, so brave that they were not afraid of dying, and their gaze were just as fierce as wolves.

Liu Wu Yan let out a sigh, and walked inside the shrine.

The nights in Cang Pu dynasty were extremely humid, with very low temperatures, so the interior of the shrine was very cold. When Liu Wu Yan just sat down, she shivered, and could not help but look at the youth on the opposite side. The white clothes he wore looked to be clean and tidy, however, it was not thick, and did not seem to be all that warm.

Liu Wu Yan wasn’t sure if the youth across from her was cold or not, because his skin was originally so white it approached being transparent. “Do you want to come over a bit?” Liu Wu Yan raised a bonfire, and felt her body warmed up a bit. She fiddled with the fire, and raised her eyes to look at the youth across from her. He hung his eyes down, thinking about something, so Liu Wu Yan thought for a bit, and asked him.

If it was the Liu Wu Yan from before, she would definitely not ask.

Before, the Liu Wu Yan who was still Liu family’s big miss was a complete and thorough jerk, and by relying on her family and a bit of talent, turned arrogant and domineering, violent and rude, with no fear of the heavens nor the earth, daring to provoke anyone, and did not know what was called being kind-hearted and considerate.

However, the Liu clan with the title of Song Over Clouds already perished one month ago.

As for what exactly happened, she, the big miss who, other than eating, drinking, playing all day, was stirring up trouble, did not know. And when she came to, the big residence of the Liu family was already spilled all over with blood, and the pride of the Song Over Clouds, that big brother of hers who was the complete opposite of her, risked his life to have her sent out of the capital.

That big brother of hers who would normally dislike her, the big brother who believed that she was the Liu family’s disgrace, at the time several rays of light fell down, had her firmly protected, then tore apart a transport scroll and stuffed it in her hands. He then yelled at her to hurry and run, while turning over and facing against those silent and soundless assassins dressed in black armour.

She certainly was the disgrace of the Liu family.

And so, she ran away, and did not dare turn her head to look again. In the month following, the big miss who no longer had the name of the Clouds’ Liu family lived messily like a dog in water, and ran away from one place to another, in a state of anxiety, unable to go on for a single day.

She was no longer the Song Over Clouds’ Liu family’s big miss. When Liu Wu Yan saw the youth sitting across from her, she thought if he was just like herself, who was some family’s young master, and due to some situation, had been reduced to sitting inside this shrine. She felt that she was a bit pathetic at present, that when she looked at the ice- cold fellow across from her, they also turned a bit pitiful as well.

Thus, out of the blue, Liu Wu Yan opened her mouth and cared for the stranger for once.

But! In! The! End!

The other person was even more detestable than her past self, and directly did not even look at her altogether anymore, did not even respond with a single word, and completely acted as though she didn’t exist.

For the very first time, Liu Wu Yan discovered that there was a bastard who was even more hateful than herself in this world.

“What’s your name?” “Why are you here?” “Are you not cold?”
……

Under vexation, Liu Wu Yan decided to stick with it to the end[1], and just started talking with the other person without stopping. Couldn’t be bothered to take notice of me, huh? Then that leaves me no choice but to annoy you to death.

In the very end, Liu Wu Yan wearily leaned against the wall, and felt like her mouth was going to go dry, “…… It can’t be that you’re a mute, right? Fine.”

As Liu Wu Yan grumbled, she made the bonfire a bit bigger, and parted a bit of it towards the youth’s side.

—— The tinder she used to create the fire was wood she broke off from the shrine’s altar. This shrine was already in ruins, and the statue that the locals worshipped was nowhere to be found. But thankfully, the statue was gone, otherwise, if she used the altar’s wood to make a fire in front of the statue, she would probably be met with retribution.

“Little mute, do you think it’s going to rain?” Liu Wu Yan absent-mindedly watched as the skies turned dark bit by bit outside, then stroked the sword by her side and occasionally talked with youth across from her.

She must talk about something nonstop, and not let herself sleep. She no longer wanted to have that dream, no longer wanted to see the Liu residence’s ancestral temple being burned away in the fire, nor the big brother who yelled at herself, and that old-fashioned big brother who always disliked her, turning away and facing against those starved-wolf-like assassins carrying the scent of blood……

The youth across also did not sleep, however, he did not say anything either.

Liu Wu Yan maliciously thought, could it be that the other person was just like herself, and was also a run-away coward, not daring to face nightmares. However, after thinking about it, it didn’t seem like it. Although the other person was also all alone, their body was clean and tidy.

After talking on and on, Liu Wu Yan suddenly turned quiet.

She was actually constantly paying attention to the circumstances outside. During the time she entered the Cang Pu dynasty, she already had a bit of understanding of the damned weather in this place. In the night, there would often be miasma, and once the miasma rose, it would be very easy for demonic spirits that ate people to come and go, hiding in the miasma.

And from the looks of it, the outside of the shrine started appearing with a faint milk-white fog.

At present, the miasma was about to spread towards the shrine. Liu Wu Yan knitted her eyebrows, then took out a small spiritual tablet engraved with the image of Buddha and place it at the shrine’s entrance. When the gloomy miasma spread to the entrance of the shrine, it was partitioned out by a shapeless light barrier. Liu Wu Yan watched that increasingly denser miasma, and her expression turned serious.

“Little mute.” She held down her voice and spoke to the youth whose eyes were hung down watching the fire. “Do you know how to fight?”

The youth did not pay attention to her. The fire illuminated onto his white-to-the-point-of-transparent face, and his eyelashes cast a faint shadow.

—— Fine, fine. Looks like it was actually a little mute.

Liu Wu Yan shrugged, and then climbed up from the ground and took hold of her longsword.

This damned luck of hers- she didn’t even get caught up by those black-armoured assassins, but instead met with the permeating miasma and emerging demonic spirits.

She only saw the miasma get thicker and thicker, and in the end, it was so dense it seemed like heavy fog rose up. From the white and hazy fog, there started to be faint and obscure figures swaying about. Liu Wu Yan wrinkled her eyebrows, then held the longsword to the side and stood in front of the shrine, and prepared for the worst.

The 《 Three Emperors’ Handbook· Earthly Vein Records 》mentioned: Cang Pu’s giant ranges has a lot of miasma fog, demons would come out from it, eat humans in the night, and passersby would be unable to return.

Before the energy of the spiritual tablet from Fan Yin Pavilion was all spent, the miasma would not be able into the shrine, but those things in the deeper part of the miasma was not something that this kind of low-level spiritual tablet was able to obstruct. Liu Wu Yan started to pray for all the forefathers’ protection, and hope that the things she meets with tonight were still those normal demonic ghosts. Liu Wu Yan stood in front of the shrine, and got into the posture of getting ready to take on the enemy.

She had her back towards the youth sitting on the ground, and so, did not see that the youth slightly turned his head over.

The youth who stayed quiet the entire time watched that heavy fog- like miasma, and was thinking about something. The flame lit up the side of his face, and drew out a distinct outline.

◈◈◈
The miasma was thick, but in the end, all the forefathers protected the degenerate of the Liu family that was her for once- this time, the demonic spirits that came out from the fog wasn’t considered weak, but after using up all their strength, they were still cut down by Liu Wu Yan.

She placed the corpse of the demonic spirit she killed outside the shrine, and used it to frighten those figures flickering within the miasma. As long there weren’t any stronger things than the evil bird spirit she killed last, then there wouldn’t be any more other demon spirits trying to come over.

race. In the world of demons, rank was more strict than in the human

Liu Wu Yan turned and stumbled back to the place she originally sat at, then leaned against the wall and slowly slid back down.

The youth across from her didn’t look to be affected by the battle that just happened at the entrance of the shrine. His clothes were neat and tidy, and white just like snow, while the light from the bonfire fell to the bottom of his eyes, just like countless stars.

“You look this pretty, but how unfortunate, you are a mute.”
Liu Wu Yan said in a soft voice. She raised her head up and leaned against the wall, while her hand tightly gripped the longsword stained with blood. She looked up at the rooftop, and had no strength to say anything again. Suddenly, she heard the sound of rain falling on top of the shrine.

pitter patter. It’s raining.
Liu Wu Yan leaned her head in to listen to that sound of rain, and pretended she was still in the Liu residence named the “Song Over Clouds”, and was still in her room that was close to the lotus pool. During the times it rained, she didn’t do anything out of habit, and absent-mindedly listened to that sound of rain that seemed like it could wash away everything.

That was the side of the arrogant and domineering Liu family’s big miss that no one knew of, and the one and only hobby of hers that could be considered as a lady’s poetic quality.

She liked listening to the sound of rain because when she was very small, when she was still not as scum as she was in the future, every time it rained, her big brother would take her hand, and secretly run out of the Liu residence.

They would only have a single paper umbrella, while the rain that hit the paper umbrella would emit sounds of a pitter patter.

Big Brother was only older than her by a month, and yet was taller than her by a whole head. She needed to lift up her head to see Big Brother’s fresh and graceful profile. They would continuously run within the rainy night, with clogs stamping in the rain water, and water droplets splashing all over and falling down again.

But unfortunately, after she became a complete and utter jerk, Big Brother was no longer willing to hold her hand again and walk together in the raining little alley.

She grew up. She became the disgrace of the Liu family, while Big Brother became the glory of the Liu family.

But why? Why was it that the one who lived on in the end, was her, the disgrace?     Liu Wu Yan thought, with her face all dry, without any tears.

Pitter patter, as though the world lamented.

As Liu Wu Yan heard on, her body gradually stiffened. She slowly gripped the bloodied longsword tight, and each muscle from head to toe tightened one by one, while a wave of coldness seeped out from within the gaps of her bones.

She heard sounds of slowly approaching footsteps.

[1] the phrase specifically is ⼀不做, ⼆不休. To mean, either you don’t do it, but if you do decide to, then follow through with it to the end.

Chapter 76

Chapter Seventy-Six, a Resonating Song* Above the Clouds, Drawing Swords in the Rain. (云上⻓歌, ⾬⾥⾏⼑)
Liu Wun Yan stiffly sat, and cold sweat slowly came out from her forehead. She heard that many years of rain, and was able to very easily differentiate any movement from the rain.

Those people who burned down the Song Over Cloud’s Liu family’s ancestral temple, those people who Big Brother turned to face, those people whose gazes were just as ruthless as wolves yet were also silent like blades- they were not deceived by the traces she purposefully left behind. They were just like starved wolves chasing down its prey, once again catching up.

The sudden rain concealed the bloody scent on their body.

They slowly circled around, and slowly shrunk the enclosure like an arc. They were just like a pack of wolves on the grasslands, ruthless yet cunning- they put down a tight encirclement, and did not give the prey a chance to escape. However, at the same time this sudden rain let them conceal their bloody scent, it also let their extremely carefully concealed tracks expose itself within Liu Wu Yan’s ears.

The rain continuously pitter pattered, and Liu Wu Yan listened the slowly growing rain, distinguishing the enemy’s tracks.

Liu Wu Yan stiffly straightened her body as she sat. She did not dare to act recklessly, nor dare expose that she actually already discovered the other’s tracks, otherwise, those people would immediately go on the offence at the first opportunity.

This group of warriors that Jin Tang dynasty’s imperial clan raised in secret practically could not be considered to be human anymore.

They were wolves, knives, swords- tools that the imperial family used to kill people in secret.

Liu Wu Yan slowly gripped the sword in her hand tight, and quickly thought of a way to break out of the encirclement. She recalled the surrounding terrain she observed before entering the shrine, and quickly drafted a path.

The shrine was located within the deep valley, and to the sides were steep mountain cliffs, but the one narrow pass was already plugged up by the other party. The only path to living was that dense old forest rising up with miasma.

But……

Liu Wu Yan looked towards the youth sitting behind the bonfire. The other person hung down their eyes, and was still like how they were just a moment ago.

—— If they got into a fight, those secret guards of Jin Tang’s imperial family would not think about not implicating the innocent.

“Little mute.” As though nothing happened, Liu Wu Yan occasionally opened her mouth just like before. She took up a burning stick, then fiddled with the fire, while listening to the movements outside.

Those slowly approaching footsteps were just like before, and did not change.
The other party did not perceive that she already noticed them. “Where are you going tomorrow?” Liu Wu Yan’s asked in her
normal voice, while thinking, little mute, give me some face here, don’t even not give me a gaze from the corner of your eyes. While speaking, Liu Wu Yan used a wooden stick that had completely burnt into charcoal and wrote on the ground:

Be……

The sound of footsteps slowly got closer, and the encirclement shrunk bit by bit. If she did not move, there would probably be no way to escape. Liu Wu Yan slowly adjusted her heartbeat. On the hand she held the sword hilt with, the back already had blue veins jumping out, and the knuckles turned white. In the sound of the rain, each footstep that slowly approached closer, were all from the secret guards that wore black armour. A blade was held in their hands, and their bodies carried a bloody scent that could not be wiped away no matter at what time.

Careful!

Liu Wu Yan wrote down the last stroke, and the longsword in her hands suddenly turned into a clear light. She as well as the sword sprung up, hit the rooftop of the shrine, then rushed towards the old forest within the layers of heavy rain.

Be careful!

—— This was the only warning and reminder she could give that ice-cold youth. She did not know if the other person could understand what she meant, but this was the only thing that she could do after using up all her strength.

Jin Tang’s black-armoured guards already surrounded this place. If she didn’t run now, she would be killed, and even if she wanted to, she could not protect that implicated youth. Liu Wu Yan was ashamed to have carelessly involved someone else, but other than this, she had no other way.

According to traditional martial arts, she should protect that youth, because the other person got swept into this massacre due to her.

However! She could not die, she must live on. “Resonating Song Over Clouds!”
Liu Wu Yan went along with the sword, and turned into a long rainbow, rushing towards the opening that the encirclement had not yet covered. The instant she approached close to the black-armoured people, her strike suddenly erupted out, and turned into a myriad of lines. Within the heavy rain that covered over the skies, the light of the sword that turned from one into tens of thousands came down in heaps like an array of stars.

The people who were slowly surrounding her in the rainstorm were a group of secret guards dressed in a black-coloured soft armour. These swords that were the bloodiest and sharpest in the hands of Jin Tang dynasty’s imperial clan gave up the plans of continuing to shrink in their encirclement the instant Liu Wu Yan rushed out of the shrine, and quietly flew towards Liu family’s big miss from all around.

These people’s figures were just like ghosts, and the curved blade in their hands was suffused with a chilly hint of coldness.

Liu Wu Yan took the first move, and the light of her sword erupted out, then enveloped the bodies of the black-armoured secret guards blocking the road.

A myriad of starlight fell down in a flood, and just when that person’s blade was raised up, they were twisted apart.

—— Song Over Clouds, Jin Tang’s Liu family.

The so-called “Song Over Clouds” was a set of sword techniques that turned Jin Tang’s Liu family famous. When they were put to use, the people who used it would seem to be up on the white clouds singing loudly, and their body would be as illusory as floating clouds, seemingly indistinguishable. A resonating song made the heavens and the earth change colours, and turned the sea of clouds over. Liu Wu Yan’s cultivation was not enough to reach the point of making the skies and earth change colours, however, when this one strike that used up all her strength unfolded, it already faintly carried the scent of the sea of stars and flowing clouds.

Was a sea of stars coming down in torrents something that mortals could obstruct?

Impossible.

The black-armoured secret guard was killed off by the myriad of strikes of light, and Liu Wu Yan’s figure then changed- just like the unsteadily appearing and disappearing white clouds, she moved about with the heavy curtain of rain, and quickly flew towards that old forest with miasma slowly dissipating within the rain.

The black-armoured secret guards holding curved blades were just like smoke, flying up in the rain as though without any weight, and melting into the gloomy and dark night.

Liu Wu Yan only heard the sounds endless blades vibrating, yet could not see the other people’s figures.

She bit down, and the longsword spun to her back, prepared to fight off the lethal strike. Other than this, she could not care for anything else.

The rain suddenly turned heavy, coming down and washing away like torrents.

Within the shrine, the youth dressed in white silently sat.

It was like he didn’t hear the sounds of close-quarter fighting outside, and was just like as he was before. He did not move a single bit, nor did the expression on his face even have a sliver of change to it.

When Liu Wu Yan rushed out of the shrine, she crashed into the already fragile roof of the shrine with a hole, and rainwater poured down from the hole, watering over the not-big bonfire. Water was all over the shrine, however, the youth’s body remained clean and tidy, and even the place he was sitting at was dry like normal. Outside the shrine, were the black-armoured guards whose figures flashed by, was the sounds of swords clashing, dripping with murderous intent, and blood flowing, washing away from the rainwater.

Inside the shrine, was a sunken darkness, was rainwater falling down from the sky, and the completely collapsed altar with no statue.

The youth hung down his eyes, and looked at the those few words that Liu Wu Yan used charcoal burnt from wood to write down, that were gradually being washed away by the rainwater.

Be careful.

*Refer to footnotes regarding Chang Ge’s name.

Chapter 77

Chapter Seventy-Seven, Underneath the Mask, Are People Without Names. (⾯具之下, ⽆名之⼈)
Liu Wu Yan half-knelt on the ground, and coughed out blood in big mouthfuls.

Rain came down from the skies, and had the blood continuously flowing out from her body all washed away. Cold air directly seeped down into the bones from the wounds, as though it was going to spread even into the soul.

She tightly gripped the already-broken sword. Her hand was so pale- white it seemed like it was a dead person’s, while her primordial energy almost dried up, and her muscles were just about to rip apart. While coughing out blood, Liu Wu Yan continued to trigger the Song Over Clouds technique like she was fine.

She knelt down on the ground several steps away from the old forest- just a little bit more, just a bit more, then she can escape in there!

And then, she already smelled the bloody scent from those people’s bodies. They were slowly drawing in close- even the heavy torrential rainwater could not conceal the bloody scent on their bodies. Liu Wu Yan raised her head up, and looked all around, then saw the continuously shrinking arc-shaped encirclement, and saw those black-armoured secret guards that were just like ghosts. They wore an iron mask, with no human emotion in their eyes, and the curved blades in their hands were as frosty as the the cold moon.

These bastards…… These wolf-like inhuman killers…… Did they think they were hunting? Had they taken her as prey?

Liu Wu Yan laughed hysterically.

She’s going to die! Song Over Clouds’ Liu family’s last person was going to die too! From now on, on the land of the twelve dynasties, who would go up the clouds to sing! What kind of excellent disciple of the Liu family could that ultra-conservative big brother be! Did he not know this jerk that she was could not run away from the pursuit at all?! Did he not know that the person who should live on should be the Liu family’s honour and not the disgrace?!

The guards dressed in black armour drew close. The blood on their blades and bodies were in the same manner washed away by the rainwater, however, for these kinds of bastards who already could not be considered human, their bloody scent was something that seeped out from the bones.

The curved blades that took away so many of Liu family’s lives were that bright in the dark rainy night, so bright that……

So bright that it was just like the thin moon of the first winter she once looked at with her big brother.

As Liu Wu Yan stood up swaying, she drew out her sword. The longsword enveloped with a despair and rage that could even burn away life grandly swept around.

“Song Over——Clouds——”   Liu Wu Yan’s figure went along with the sword, and met face-to-face with the intertwining blades coming down.

Her voice was hoarse. Big Brother was so smart, how did he not think that if he lived, there would then be hope for the Liu family? But a person that smart, in the very end, instead did something very foolish. He was just like he was at a time long ago, and had her protected behind him, while he himself turned around to go against that endless rain of blades.

—— Just like when they stepped through the long streets, how he had the umbrella tilted to her side.

No matter how heavy the rain was, her body would eternally be dry and clean.

The longsword was knocked out, spun out, then pierced into the ground, still continuously vibrating. Liu Wu Yan heavily fell onto the ground filled with muddy water, with her entire body a complete mess. The encirclement had completely formed, and she already had no way of escape.

Liu Wu Yan did not look at those ghost-like black-armoured secret guards, but instead absent-mindedly watched the rain coming down from the sky in a downpour. Rain fell onto her face, while her soul seeped out with an icy coldness.

The secret guards in black armour wearing the iron masks were Jin Tang’s imperial family’s swords, and swords did not have any emotion, nor would they have any compassion. The sword in their hands connected into boundless rays of light falling down from midair towards the last person from the Song Over Clouds’ Liu family.

Liu Wu Yan did not get out of its way. She moved her hand, and barely managed to open up her hands to catch the ice-cold rain.

Right now, there was no one who would open up an umbrella for
her.

Her face was finally filled with tears.

◈◈◈ The net formed from the interlinked strikes did not fall down. That net broke.
The approaching ghost-like black-armoured secret guards suddenly retreated back again and spread out a bit, and the shrunken circle suddenly appeared with a hole once again.

That broken longsword that Liu Wu Yan dropped pierced straight by her side. Just now, this sword flew from the back, then fell down from midair, and passed through that continuous net of strikes.

Thus, that net of continuous sword strikes was broken.

The longsword pierced down by her side, while the body of the sword was a snow-white colour akin to moonlight.

Liu Wu Yan heard a set of light sound of footsteps in the heavy rain. She arduously raised her head up to look, and saw the black-armoured secret guards’ blades point towards another direction. These wolf-like assassins let out a cautious stance.

That blade pierced through a black-armoured guard’s back, thus, the encirclement would appear with a gap, and the gap was in the direction of that tiny shrine.

A person stepped through the rainwater accumulated on the ground, and walked out from the overlapping curtains of rain.

The torrential rain washed down from the sky, and fell onto that person. That person was dressed in white robes, and on the white robes, a dim, weak light was being emitted. When the rainwater fell onto his body, it was like it was being separated by some formless object, and slid down to another side.

It was that “little mute” who did not speak.

He walked over from the shrine, just like a sword cutting open the heavy and thick curtain of rain. Those ruthless and silent, starving-wolf-like, black-armoured secret guards unafraid of death trembled as he gradually walked close all of a sudden. The curved blade in their hands let out a buzzing noise- a low howl that announced misfortune. In the eyes of the black-armoured secret guards, the person who came was a indescribably terrifying existence.

Jin Tan dynasty used resentment to raise this group of secret assassins, and turned them ruthless and sly just like beasts- they did not fear death.

However, at this time and moment, they instead genuinely and intuitively felt that boundless terror.

“Little mute…… You didn’t run……”    Liu Wu Yan wiped the tears that mingled with the rainwater from her face, and used the spirited and light tone of the Liu family’s young miss, as though there was nothing wrong.

The youth stepped over from the rainwater, and pulled up the longsword pierced by Liu Wu Yan’s side.

Darkness, boundless darkness. The range of mountains in Cang Pu dynasty were just like knives, and beside the shrine hidden in the deep valley was a dense forest. In the dark night, they were just like ones of soundless giants, with figures big and tall, observing in silence.

The youth waved his hand, and shook off the blood and rainwater from the sword’s body.

The rain fell down, and scattered when it reached the youth’s figure. He slightly lowered down his eyes, and his features were reflected onto the cold blade. He certainly was good-looking, to the point that even if he wielded a sword, there would also be a unique sense of beauty to it.

A type of beauty that was mixed with frosty coldness and apathy. “You cannot kill her.” Jin Tang dynasty’s secret guards slowly spread out, formed into a semi-circle, and surrounded the youth holding the sword inside it. The youth was very thin- he wore a white robe, and within the torrential downpour, he looked to not have much strength to him.

But he very lightly said this, and did not allow for doubt. This was not a discussion, but a notice.
This was like an order from a superior being. It was said out from the youth’s mouth, just like it was a destined matter, that even if the skies collapsed and earth tore up, or the seas dried up and the rocks perished[1], it could not be changed.

The curved blades let out an ominous cry- because its intuitively felt terrified, it trembled. Those secret guards dressed in black armour very clearly and distinctly heard the youth’s words in the growing sound of heavy rain.

The ghost-like black-armoured secret guards let out a muffled humph, as though they were met with some formless strong attack.

But they gripped their curved blades tight, and slightly bent down their bodies, then got into a posture like before a wolf attacked.

The youth lowered his eyes, and his similarly pale-white and bloodless fingertips slowly brushed along the broken sword’s body, while his features were cast on it with a faint cold light. There was nothing inside his eyes, just like it was sealed in ice, unable to be pried into.

Jin Tang dynasty’s black-armoured guards either sprung up or rushed up close to the ground, and cut down towards the white-clothed youth standing by Liu Wu Yan’s side from every direction. Their figures were so fast they pretty much turned into warped figures, and the iron masks instantly flashed out a peculiar primitive killing intent.

That was a killing intent that faced death like nothing.
waved. The youth lightly sighed, and the longsword in his hand silently

The longsword turned into a ray just like snow, akin to an arch- it looked to be that clear, that cold, that thin, yet had an indescribable sharpness to it.

The overlapping curtains of rain were cut open, and the continuous moon-like strikes of light were cut open.

Liu Wu Yan widened her eyes, and all that her pupils reflected seemed like a bizarre and incongruous illusion.

The snow-white light of the strike ripped open space like it was substance, and those ghost-like black-armoured warriors’ blood spattered in the dense colours of night. The face of the youth dressed in white clothes was illuminated by the cold light, with no waves or ripples in his pupils, while his sleeves fluttered up in the wind, and was just like a white crane in the dark night.

Liu Wu Yan never thought that a person’s blade could be this cold. Without any emotion, just like ice.
Yet was so beautiful, like the light shed on the far north’s plateaus, like snow that came falling down from the skies in the sunken dark night.

Those silent, blade-like black-armoured guards fell down to the floor one after another, and the spattered blood mixed into the frosty-cold rainwater. They were Jin Tang’s imperial family’s secret assassins, and continued to not say a single word even when they died.

The world suddenly turned quiet.

Rain eternally fell down. The youth dressed in white held the longsword and stood up, while Jin Tang’s dark guards fell in the rainwater. Liu Wu Yan smelled the bloody scent on their bodies that could not even be dispersed after dying. One of the black-armoured guard’s iron mask fell off their face, and rolled to Liu Wu Yan’s hand. She reached out to grab that mask, then crawled up in a stagger, and looked towards where the mask rolled from, and saw that mask’s owner.

Concealed underneath the ferocious mask was a very young face.

That was a very ordinary young man. After his eyes closed, he was no different from a normal young man. These people who were loyal to Jin Tang’s imperial family hid themselves in the darkness, and up to their deaths, no one knew where they came from, nor what kind of name they had.

Liu Wu Yan grabbed the mask, and knelt to the ground.

The white-clothed youth observed those nameless black-armoured guards, and his face let out a faint, close-to-grieving expression.

[1] 天崩地裂- the skies and earth breaking down is more an expression for social upheavals whereas [until] the seas dried up and rocks crumble (海
枯⽯烂) is often used to express one’s determination and will, usually a
pledge of love.

Chapter 78

Chapter Seventy-Eight, Fire of the Shrine, Owing Someone a Life. (祠庙之⽕, ⽋⼈⼀命)
Truth had proved, the jerk even more detestable than her was still a jerk- even if they saved someone, they still did not change much.

Liu Wu Yan was so cold she trembled as she climbed up the shrine’s rooftop, and shivered while fixing the top part of the shrine. That bastard in white who killed all of the black-armoured guards with one strike did not even wait for her to say a word of thanks, and tossed the sword over, then turned around and went back to the shrine by himself. When Liu Wu Yan picked up the sword, she had a feeling of being a bit stupid and reasonable.

That bastard with looks like it was sealed in ice, if he were to extend his hand out and pull her up or something, then that would be called strange.

Since the shrine had been broken with a big hole by Liu Wu Yan, the seriously injured Liu Wu Yan could not waste that pitiful little bit of primordial energy to defend against the rain and cold, nor could she count on that person who was just like ice to do something like come fix a building.

—— Fine. In the words of that group of delicate and pretty big families’ young ladies who were constantly thinking about gifting red beans[1] to talented scholars, if one were to let this banished immortal type of person do manual labour such as mending the house, it was practically a sin. While Liu Wu Yan used her energy to dissolve the swallowed medicinal pill in her stomach, she messily thought to various things.

She thought to those mask-wearing, sword-like, silent and young Jin Tang assassins of the imperial family, thought to the final figure of Big Brother turning around, thought to the burning Song Over Clouds’ Liu family ancestral temple destroyed by a single fire, and thought to the emperor who she once saw gradually put on weight by the day……

That kind of plain and ordinary, mediocre emperor who was always amiable towards the immortal clans, towards the noble families, how could he suddenly let out a cold and emotionless side?

Or perhaps it should be said, as for what she saw, what part of it was real, and what was covered in layers of masks?

Liu Wu Yan forced herself to think of the things she wouldn’t think of regularly, that might be understood right now. From now on, Song Over Clouds’ Liu Family really was left with her alone. Even if she hated those emotionless family clan founders before, at this time, she couldn’t not assume Liu family’s responsibilities.

When she finished mending the rooftop, since it had been too long since she used it, the always troublesome and rotten brain still could not make clear of anything.

Liu Wu Yan was drenched in the rain that didn’t look to be getting any lighter, and climbed down from the shrine’s rooftop. When she entered the shrine, she found that the bonfire that had been drenched by the rain already burned once again. The fire was even much bigger that before, and the flame illuminated the interior of the ruined shrine brightly, while the floor seemed just like it had not been washed by the rainwater, clean and dry.

And the youth who let out that striking and scary sword was just like he was in the beginning, sitting in his original place, lowering his eyes watching the bonfire. Perhaps it was because of the misconception born after being seriously injured, but Liu Wun Yan actually felt when the flame lit up this fellow’s face, it actually carried a sliver of unclear warmth to it.

At this time and moment, Liu Wu Yan’s body was all drenched, completely full of muddy water and bloodstains. She tossed the longsword down to the ground, and sat back down in her original place, then leaned against the wall, and let the fire warm her, and her body gradually warmed up.

Liu Wu Yan took out the last remaining jar of hard liquor from her ring, and patted the mud seal off, then poured it onto her exterior wounds. There wasn’t much medicinal pills left used to heal injuries, and she was not willing to waste it on this kind of skin-deep wound.

When the hard liquor was poured on, a burning feeling temporarily made Liu Wu Yan’s face twist.

She sucked in cold air, and suppressed herself from bursting out profanities that her family’s servants would let out after being drunk.

“So you’re not a mute.” While Liu Wu Yan poured down hard liquor on her own wounds, she talked with the youth sitting across from her.
The other person let down his eyes, and ignored her just like before. “I owe you a life, what do you want? But right now, I don’t have
anything at all……” Liu Wu Yan paused, and continued on as though it was nothing, “You saved me at the wrong time. If it was just a few months before, and you said you wanted a street ten miles long in Jin Tang’s capital, I could buy it for you. However, right now……”
Liu Wu Yan felt around, and took out a mid-class spirit stone. “Right now, this is all I have is this on me, so poor that I don’t even
have the qualifications to step inside a Nine Provinces Private Bank store.” As she said this, she suddenly laughed, as though she recalled some funny thing, then, while clumsily pouring the alcohol over her wounds, she used the corner of her eyes to look at the ice-cold youth, “Repaying back with the body, this pack of lies that only exists in books, do you want it?”

As she laughed without restraint, her hand trembled, and poured out a bit too much alcohol, and in an instant, she was in so much pain she grimaced.

“No need.”        The youth’s answer was just like his strike, so cold to death, straight to the point, without a sliver of emotion to it.

“I am called Liu Wu Yan. Right now, I don’t even want face any more.” Liu Wu Yan finally finished treating her wounds. She wearily leaned against the wall, and absent-mindedly watched the fire burned on the pieces of wood. Her sight then emerged bit by bit with that burning ancestral temple that would always be suffused with a sandalwood scent.

She closed her eyes, with her voice a bit hoarse.

“Fine, I say I didn’t want face now, but it’s not like I wanted it before either. Ever heard of Song Over Clouds’ Liu family?” Liu Wu Yan continued on by herself. She was clearly asking the youth, yet did not give the person the time to answer at all.

“Song Over Clouds, Jin Tang’s Liu family. That is the most most most old-fashioned Liu family, that up to today would still take that shitty martial arts principles and humaneness as the standard of the Liu family. The people of this clan are mostly all extremely old-fashioned people. The family clan’s sole disgrace was their big miss, a complete scum that on the day she turned fifteen[2], got into a fight with the prime minister’s family’s idiot at the brothel for a popular courtesan[3].”      The pace of Liu Wu Yan’s words were hurried and fast.

“The Liu family was typically famous for their rumours, but only their big miss didn’t properly cultivate, and was a complete mess at reading and learning martial arts. What she liked most was seeking pleasure in every street and corner, causing trouble for the Liu family every couple of days, and relying on her own identity. There was nothing she would stop at, no evil she didn’t commit, a complete and thorough jerk and failure.” She bad-mouthed simply and directly, bad-mouthed fervently and excitedly, and bad-mouthed without stopping.

And then, she suddenly paused.

The one who said she was Liu family’s disgrace, was during that night when she was fighting with someone at the brothel, the one who pulled her out, that eternally broad-minded and honest[4], refined and gentle big brother of hers.

In one hand, she swayed hard liquor, and in the other, she held a sword, and she said, what kind of qualifications does an old-fashioned bastard like you have to control me? Do you want me to be like you, and be a marionette that didn’t say anything?

—— The Liu family, for so long, has only come out with a disgrace like you.

The young man dressed in a water cloud-patterned long gown coldly looked at her, and after a long while, then said this, and turned away and left without looking back at her.

She shook the wine, leaned against the wall, and waited for him to turn back. But she waited all the way until the skies darkened, and then lightened, but did not manage to wait for him.

“The Liu family, for so long, has only come out with a disgrace that was the big miss.” Liu Wu Yan raised her head up, and squeezed these words out.

Since you immediately left, then never ever turn your head back again! What kind of man with a “once the words leave, even a carriage pulled by four horses would have difficulty chasing it[5]” was he to have her protected behind him?

The raging flames, the sunken night, that old-fashioned big brother who personally said she was Liu family’s disgrace turned and faced the rain of swords that covered the sky. This time, even if she waited from dark to light, and then once again waited from light to dark, she would eternally have no way of seeing that conservative bastard turn his head back again.

She longingly took in a breath in a stifled manner, and felt like that blade that cut into her bones just now, was so painful it made people’s souls shake as well.

“Paying back with the body, even you don’t look up to it, neither am I worthy of it. Furthermore, this shitty life of mine is already not my own.” She threw out the empty flask of wine, turned her head, and absent- mindedly looked at the simple and crude eaves. “Say it, let me do
something.”

“No need.” The youth quietly listening to her directly bad- mouth a whole lot continued to give a simple answer. He seemed like he didn’t hear anything, and didn’t think of anything.

Liu Wu Yan started to bitterly laugh. She turned her head over to look at the cold and emotionless youth, then opened her mouth with a low tone, “I said, I’m called Liu Wu Yan. Something like a face, I already don’t want. However, I already cannot owe someone a life. Say it, let me do something.”

Her voice was so hoarse it sounded like a crow hovering by when a deceased’s soul left[6].

The youth finally raised his head up to look at Liu Wu Yan.

This Liu family big miss who was once arrogant and domineering right now was dishevelled from head to toe, so down that she seemed like a dog that had no home to return to. She was smiling, but the smile was uglier than crying. She leaned against the wall, with bloodstains all over her body, while her eyes seeped out with a vacant despair and resentment.

“Since you owe me a life, if there comes a day that you know who I am, then tell me.”    The youth watched that blazing fire, and lightly said this. The flame was cast inside his pupils. She didn’t know what he was thinking, yet it seemed like he wasn’t thinking of anything either. There was no expression on his face.

—— If there comes a day that you know who I am, then tell me.

The youth’s voice was very light, carrying that hint of coldness on his body that could not be shaken off from his body no matter the time, cold and indifferent.

However, Liu Wu Yan suddenly turned stunned.

The youth who sat by the bonfire, was that strong. The one strike he randomly roused up so very easily stole away those wolf-like emotionless black-armoured guards’ lives. However, he didn’t even know his own name.

The sound of rain continued on, unknown when it would stop.

Inside the shrine sat a person who owed their life to many, many people, who had no home to return to, and a person of mysterious origins yet didn’t even know their own name, let alone where they could return to.

Liu Wu Yan watched the youth separated by the bonfire, and recalled the spiritual tablets that burned into ashes along with the big fire inside the ancestral temple in the end.

She looked at the youth’s eyes cast with the flame.

The world of twelve dynasties was that big, however, if they didn’t even know their own name, then what kind of relevance did all of the things in the twelve dynasties’ vast lands have with this person? He was this mysterious, this strong, but where did he come from, and in the end, where could he return to?

The youth sitting by the bonfire’s side was that strong, but he was that lonely, to not even know his own name. A person who didn’t even know who they were, could they not be lonely? This world was this big, yet it had not a single bit of relevance to him at all. Liu Wu Yan had that one instant where she wanted to say, why don’t you come with me, but in the end, she didn’t manage to say it out loud. When she went to Cang Pu, she was already a dead person. As a person whose life would be lost at any time, how could they request for someone to go along with them.

She agreed with the youth’s request.

The heavy rainstorm continuously came down, and couldn’t be seen to stop even on the next day.

On the second day, Liu Wu Yan’s injuries were already a lot better. She lifted up that fragmented longsword, carrying a promise of “if I know who you are, then I will tell you” to leave the shrine with.

In the middle of the night, she hazily slept for a duration.

When she woke up, that youth who cut open the heavy curtain of rain with one strike, who did not know who they were, already left.

Liu Wu Yan did not know where a person that didn’t even know who they were themselves could go, nor did she know if she was able to see him in the future. She could only have that question firmly remembered, and then, carry the burning memories, and the image of Big Brother turning away, go forward.

Ever since then, she didn’t even want her face any more. Just like a wolf and a dog, like all the domestic animals that did not know shame, she lived on in a complete mess.

In the end, she sought apprenticeship at He Huan Sect, and turned into the cruel eldest disciple sister of He Huan Sect step by step. She bitterly lived on, yet remembered that promise she made by the bonfire.

However, this world seemed like it didn’t have that youth with a swordsmanship so cold it didn’t have any warmth to it, whose eyes were sealed with cold ice and hidden with many concerns at all. Liu Wu Yan searched for a very long time, but no longer saw that person. She thought, it was possible she would no longer find them. But she didn’t think, in the very end, she still saw that person.
[1] In ancient times, the red bean is also called ‘lovesick bean’, used to represent feelings of love and yearning. But to note, it is not limited to just feeling between lovers, but family, friends etc. anyone who can be thought about.

[2] 及笄( 之年)- the term itself refers to a girl that had turned fifteen, indicating that she has already reached the age of marriage.

[3] 花魁- can either be referring to the most beautiful flower, between plum blossoms or peonies, or by extension, unparalleled beauties (see chp
32 footnotes). In ancient times, this term also refers to the most popular courtesans/prostitutes.

[4] ⻛光霁⽉- the term itself literally translates as light breezes and bright moon, used to describe the bright and open scenery one encountered after the rain passes and the skies clear.
[5] ⼀⾔既出,驷⻢难追- expression for, words cannot be taken back.
[6] 出魂- a type of funeral rite the living engaged in to say their farewells to the deceased (from the belief that the person’s soul still remains inside
the body for a while after it’s dead.) The rite is held to see the soul off, hence the name.

Chapter 79

Chapter Seventy-Nine, Jiu Xuan’s Senior, Underneath the Barrier. (九⽞师兄, 结界之下)

Liu Wu Yan recalled that young man who frosted over the Nine Provinces with a single strike. He came stepping through the light, and was no different from when they were inside the shrine, icy cold, neither paying attention nor caring for anyone, with features sealed in snow.

Bai Li Shu, Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother.

Liu Wu Yan felt like her head started to hurt. She owed this bastard a life, however, since he already knew what he was called, then that original promise, even if she did not fulfill it, must be changed with something else again.

However, seeing Bai Li Shu once was not easy. Five years ago in the journey to the secret territory, that person brought Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples, then directly left, and did not look to have intentions of greeting old friends. Afterwards, she went to Jiu Xuan Sect to pay a visit, acting completely in the manner of the He Huan Sect, and stated the price of a thousand jin of spirit stones to see Jiu Xuan Sect’s eldest disciple brother once. But in the end, she did not see him.

This made people hate to the point their teeth ached.

In this lifetime, what Liu Wu Yan hated most, was owing someone a
life. “Something like paying back with the body is not something you bunch of younger disciple brothers and sisters can have a say in.” The corners of Liu Wu Yan’s mouth slightly curled up while thinking of a jumble of things inside. Even if she turned into He Huan Sect’s eldest disciple sister, that arrogant and domineering temperament of a big miss inside Liu Wu Yan’s bones did not actually change one single bit. She lifted up the sabre, and gloatingly watched as Jiu Xuan Sect’s people’s facial colour turn ugly, and tutted inside.

“Amitabha, very good indeed[1].”    To the side, Clear-hearted Monk praised the name of Buddha, bearing a face of pitying people while shaking his head, like sighing over how this He Huan Sect witch Liu Wu Yan was truly slow-witted, unable to pass through adversity.

Liu Wu Yan’s eyebrows jumped, and held in the urge of having her big sabre cut over there.

When Jiu Xuan Sect, Yu Shou Sect, He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion these two groups of people exchanged a few brief words, the Qiu dragon hovering over the space in the deep part of the crude beast remains had movement. It lowly bent its body down, spread out its pair of wings, while its wings lowly hung and touched the ground. The dragon head then hung down low towards the circular barrier in the space.

All the elite disciples of the Eight Immortal Sects looked to be focused on each other, but in reality, each of them still kept their eyes open to that side’s movements.

At this time, when the Qiu dragon suddenly moved, everyone stopped disputing with their mouths without any prior arrangement, and completely focused on observing the situation on the other side.

Since they won’t be fighting for the time being, He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion who arrived last also temporarily joined the group on Jiu Xuan Sect’s side.

They only saw the Qiu dragon’s figure whose body was apparently comparatively smaller than the surrounding crude beast skeletons emit a faint light. It was just like during the time inside the Qing Ming tower, and started to emit a low cry of nine tones. A Qiu dragon’s “cry of nine tones” was different from one another. In legends, it was said that the sound itself echoed a certain kind of ancient rhythm, possessing a strength that was hard for humans to fathom.

When the final tone fell, the Qiu dragon’s head suddenly emerged with a light mark that everyone was very familiar with. When the light mark emerged, the barrier covering over the giant circular clearing appeared with slivers of warping all of a sudden, as though that clearing suddenly appeared with a portal.

The Qiu dragon slightly gathered up its own pair of wings, and under everyone’s gaze, it passed through the barrier, and disappeared from everyone’s line of sight.

“Permission……”

Jun Wan Bai knitted her eyebrows. When they entered this space of crude beast remains, Qiu Qian He said that the light mark seeped out from the crude beast skeletons was the permission that allowed them to go through here, however, from the looks of it, it didn’t seem to be just like that. After Qiu Qian He obtained the light mark, he immediately wanted to into the area of crude beast remains, and looking at it now, it should be that he wanted to rush into this clearing, except, she didn’t know if it was after he got the light mark that he then knew about this place, or if he knew about it right from the beginning.

“Are we going in?” Liao Qian swallowed his saliva, and very carefully asked.

“Let’s go.”       Jiu Xuan Sect’s people wholeheartedly wanted to find their eldest brother, and without any hesitation at all, after the Qiu dragon’s figure disappeared, they all walked over there.

Yu Shou Sect’s Qiu Qian He seemed to long have the intentions, and once Jiu Xuan Sect moved, he also brought the Yu Shou’s disciples and walked over to where the barrier seemed to be. “Amitabha, very well.” Clear-hearted Monk put his hands together towards the circular clearing, and recited the name of Buddha in a low voice.

Liu Wu Yan sneered. As for how circumstances were between Jiu Xuan Sect and Yu Shou Sect, she didn’t know, but their He Huan Sect and Fan Yin Pavilion should be just about the same- when they were at Bing Province City, they felt an invisible call coming from the Qing Ming tower. People who cultivated in immortality were particularly sensitive toward this kind of vague feeling, because this was the “karma” that was extremely important within immortal cultivation.

After they entered the Qing Ming tower, they didn’t see the jumbled mess of spacial crevices. All the originally spread warped spaces gathered together, and formed a space door slowly rotating in the lower floors of the Qing Ming tower that could allow for people to pass through.

But they didn’t think that after going through that door, they could actually come to the ancient battleground of Di Fen.

Since the suspension of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the people entered the current fourth era in advance, and a lot of the age-old history was lost in the vast and mighty long river of time- all that was involved with the ancient times, were things that the Eight Immortal Sects worked hard to know well.

Yet at present, they actually barged into the lost space where the Savage era and the era of Chaos intersected. This place, to each of their sects, was of absolute and utmost importance- unless they were an idiot, would they then retreat at this kind of time, and let other sects’ people continue searching, while they themselves knew nothing at all.

“Let’s go, let’s go. Even Baldy got on, we shouldn’t shrink back.” Liu Wu Yan rotated her hand, and the long sabre was put over her shoulder. She raised her eyebrow and smiled, then walked towards the
barrier with big steps. Fan Yin Pavilion’s Clear-hearted Monk was the person considered to have done the most research into barriers among the group, and through his confirmation, this barrier belonged to a type that separated space. However, from the looks of the style of spiritual energy circulating through the barrier, it should the one prevalent from the start of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals.

Era of Ten Thousand Immortals? Everyone looked to each other.
The Battle of Di Fen was the ancient battleground between the Savage era and era of Chaos, however, the deep part of this ancient battleground that emerged with this mysterious barrier was actually from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals that came after the era of Chaos, and even the Qing Ming tower that was connected to this place originated from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals. Could it be, during the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, there was someone who came here, discovered something, and thus built the Qing Ming tower’s prototype ancient formation tower in the outer space that connected with this place?

Then, were they following the earlier generation’s footsteps into this place right now?

No one could definitively answer this question.

No one knew what the circumstances were behind the barrier, and after slight negotiations, they had Clear-hearted Monk who was most familiar with barriers lead the Fan Yin Pavilion’s people to enter first. The contract tablets in Jiu Xuan Sect’s hands needed to rely on Yu Shou Sect’s disciples, so if the Yu Shou disciples first met with something, the contract tablet would be destroyed, and Jiu Xuan Sect themselves would have no way of obtaining a light mark again, thus, Jiu Xuan Sect would go second, Yu Shou Sect would follow, with He Huan Sect being the last.

Fan Yin Pavilion’s people disappeared from their visions one by
one. With one hand holding the contract tablet, and the other holding a sword, Jun Wan Bai was the first to tap the light mark towards the barrier.

The moment before she entered the barrier, a thought passed through her mind——

Bai Li Shu…… Is he also behind the barrier?

[1] 善哉- apparently, when Buddhist monks say this, it can either mean very good or bad.

Chapter 80

Chapter Eighty, Tower of Qiu Huang, Each With Their Own Ideas. (囚荒之塔, 各有所思)
“The hell……”     Before Liao Qian entered inside the barrier, he also wholeheartedly thought, Jiu Xuan Sect’s Senior Bai Li is just behind the barrier- the Jiu Xuan disciples who found their eldest brother would then stop acting crazy, then the whole group of people would very happily find a way to get back to Bing Province.

Now that it was mentioned, it was also strange. When that Senior Bai Li was present, they would always give people a kind of “no matter what happens, there is no need to worry” feeling. Of course, this might very possibly be because of the result created from Bai Li Shu’s one strike forcing back the ghost realm being far too shocking. However, as a Nine Provinces Private Bank disciple, the thing that Liao Qian did the most normally was appraising limits. But when that Jiu Xuan eldest disciple brother apathetic gaze swept over, Liao Qian instead could not bring up the idea of appraising.

—— Just like his subconsciousness was telling him, that person was an existence that cannot be appraised.

This was far too strange. It was just like how mortals would treat their emperors.

Liao Qian recalled that clear and cold strike of light that flew over from far away, anxious to see it appear once again right now. He clenched a couple spiritual talismans, and stood with a forehead filled with cold sweat, without daring to act recklessly.

The instant the light mark touched the barrier, Liao Qian only felt a wave of weightlessness transmit over, and in the next moment, he appeared inside a pitch-black stone room. The stone room seemed to have been fiddled with by someone, as the inner space was exceedingly big, and the other Jiu Xuan Sect, Yu Shou Sect and other sects’ disciples were not by his side.

Evidently, their circumstances were just like Liao Qian’s, and were all transported to individual stone rooms.

Liao Qian felt like this stone room looked a bit familiar. The material structure of the stone room was the exact same as the rooms in the Qing Ming tower, however, what made Liao Qian’s head go numb, was the center of the stone room, where Liao Qian was directly facing—— over there, stood a particularly big and tall, bronze odd beast statue cast with a primitive and crude method.

—— It was the Wei ghost statue they saw in the Qing Ming tower.

However, this Wei ghost statue seemed like it was carved out according to a real Wei ghost’s figure- the turtle jade Wei ghost statue inside the Qing Ming tower was just a child’s toy in front of it. If it was simply just a bronze statue, Liao Qian did not need to be that afraid of it.

But!

After entering here, the light mark suddenly flew out from the contract tablet in his hand, and merged into the bronze statue. Under Liao Qian’s helpless gaze, a sound like long-stiffened bones moving around emitted from the bronze statue, and he even heard the faint sound of pipe and zithers in this place.

Liao Qian slowly retreated. To hell with this shitty “permit”- this light mark was clearly used to transmit people into the ancient jail cells imprisoning odd beasts. —— The bronze Wei ghost revived!

Just when Liao Qian was facing the Wei ghost, the four sects’ disciples who entered the barrier through the light mark similarly appeared in different pitch-black stone rooms separately, and faced off against different revived bronze statues.

Unlike Liao Qian’s complete panic, Qiu Qian He’s reaction was particularly composed, just like he already guessed what he would be up against.

“Ancient predecessors……”

Qiu Qian He raise his head up. As he watched the golden crow statue’s bronze colour dissipate bit by bit, turning dazzling and bright, a complicated expression emerged from his face. Huang Ling dynasty self- proclaimed that they were the descendants of the remote Savage era’s crude beasts, and used crude beasts as totems and worship generation after generation. And his tribe, is one of the clans on the grasslands that chased after the sun, who worshipped the golden crow that lived in the sun.

It was precisely because of this thread of remaining bloodline of the ancient golden crows, that at the same time Qiu Qian He bowed to the golden crow skeleton and obtained the light mark, he also received much more information.

The supposed light mark was not merely a permit for entering the area of the crude beasts’ burial grounds, but an inheritance.

This was the final effort the crude beasts made before it died. It already knew the era that belonged to them was going to end, and thus, left the clues to their inheritance hidden within time. When the descendants bearing their bloodline came to this place, they could then take this part of inheritance from the skeletons.

However, within the era of Chaos, this life inheritance left by the crude beasts instead became a tool that the human clan used to raise their clans-people. Yu Shou Sect’s core disciples would know from their masters, during the Savage era, the ancient emperors allied together to construct a “Qiu Huang tower[1]”, took out the inheritance the crude beasts left behind after death, and used a mysterious and profound method to seal it in the strange bronze statues. It was said that within the Qiu Huang tower, each room had an ancient inheritance that came from the crude beasts, and if one defeated the bronze statue, they could then obtain this inheritance.

However, too much time had passed, and history, after all was done, would roll through everything.

Even the era of Chaos’ ancient emperors fell one after another, the immortals and demons of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals became old legends, and the Qiu Huang tower also disappeared in the gaps of history.

Yu Shou Sect secretly searched for many years, but could only obtain a few traces.

“So, Qing Ming tower’s very first prototype, is actually the Qiu Huang tower?” Qiu Qian He muttered to himself. His red robe fluttered up in the darkness, and his figure lightly sprung up, then directly rushed towards the gradually reviving golden crow bronze statue.

There was still a suspicion that had not been cleared up yet.

—— Since the Qiu Huang tower was built through the Savage era’s ancient emperors’ alliance, then why would the barrier outside the tower originate from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals? The various accounts regarding the Qing Ming tower were also from the later generation, that is to also say, the Qing Ming tower originated from the formation towers of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals.

From the era of Chaos’ Qiu Huang tower to the era of Ten Thousand Immortals’ formation tower, then again to the present era’s Qing Ming tower, just what exactly happened in between these? Why would the various inheritances from the Huang Ling dynasty be cut off along with the severance of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals? Qiu Qian He could not understand.

So, he drew his sword out and cut down.

◈◈◈
“Almost rolled over here.”      Within the battlefield of the Di Fen, Ye Qiu Sheng who disappeared quietly shook his hands, and shook off the blood on his sword. In front of him, a giant, human-faced, fish-bodied, mermaid corpse fell to the ground. Black blood flowed out, and along with the continuously bleeding black blood, the mermaid’s body gradually covered with the bronze-like coloration once again.

Not a moment later, it returned into a mermaid statue.

Ye Qiu Sheng walked forward, then looked at the bottom part of the bronze mermaid statue, and as expected, he saw a mark for “zero”. Just like the turtle jade mermaid statue in the Qing Ming tower, the symbol this serial number “zero” used was an ancient symbol.

Ye Qiu Sheng knew the origins of this symbol.

It was part of the characters from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, that also disappeared along with the severance of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals in the turbulent long river of time. At the present, the ones who could possibly use these characters, were those people of the remaining eighteen clans of the old surnames.

Ye Qiu Sheng stared at that “zero” number from the era of Ten Thousand Immortals for a while, then laughed, and turned and walked towards the door of the stone room. After the bronze statue had been defeated, that feeling within the stone room being endlessly big instantly disappeared, and the entire stone room returned to a size that human convention could accept.

The room’s door silently slid open to the left, and Ye Qiu Sheng walked out the room, then saw the dark-crimson light spread out hazily from his head. He narrowed his eyes, and finally saw this place’s true face.

This was an incomparably big ancient black tower much more vast than Qing Ming tower. It was the opposite of the Qing Ming tower- it stood upside down, buried in the vast earth. The place Ye Qiu Sheng stood was the upside-down tower’s first floor, and when he raised his head, he could still see the dead sunlight from outside the ancient battlefield falling down from above.

“The Tower of Qiu Huang.” Ye Qiu Sheng walked a few steps along the circular corridor. He took out a torch for light, and the flame illuminated the pitch-black room from the corridor outside, and could see statues of bronze odd beasts.

From the outside, although these tower rooms were consistent with the era of Chaos’ architectural style, being rather extremely big, it definitely did not have that kind of feeling of the space being endless. The bronze statues placed in each room were all different, and faintly suited a kind of strange and mysterious order, as though someone previously meticulously calculated out where these bronze statues would be placed.

Ye Qiu Sheng recognized that this black tower should be the Qiu Huang tower mentioned in the legends.

However, it also no longer just was a Qiu Huang tower.

Someone changed the positions, and made them into formation nodes, using the entire tower as the cornerstone to form into an incomparably giant formation spell. The more Ye Qiu Sheng looked, the more surprised he became…… To be able to use the Tower of Qiu Huang constructed by the ancient emperors as groundwork to put down a hard-to- imagine formation, just how much wisdom did the person who set the formation have and how strong of a power did they possess?

The existence of those enviable geniuses of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals practically made people go into fear when looked at today. Ye Qiu Sheng suppressed down these messy thoughts of awe, and he very carefully did not touch those tightly shut ancient stone rooms, then walked towards the coiling stone stairs within the tower that was like an old snake along the corridor.

On top of the stone staircase, he saw specks of residual golden crow
flames.

The flames spread apart on the pitch-black staircase in bits and
pieces, forming into a long path, winding all the way down, all the way to the tower’s bottom.

“How scary……” Ye Qiu Sheng lightly sighed.

——This type of fellow who could have everything put into consideration, was truly too frightening.

If possible, he’d rather not come in contact with this kind of person his entire life.

As he thought of this, Ye Qiu Sheng went along the flames fallen onto the stone staircase that contained the aura of the golden crow, and went down all the way, all the way to that pitch-black tower’s bottom floor. As he walked along, the bits of flames on the staircase gradually disappeared, and the stone stairs once again returned to the darkness. In the places Ye Qiu Sheng walked through, don’t mention footprints, not even a speck of dust was raised up.

As Ye Qiu Sheng’s figure continuously went down, that torch in his hand was swallowed by the darkness, and the stone stairs returned to its original appearance, just like there was no one who went through it at all.

Not long after Ye Qiu Sheng’s figure disappeared.

A “ka cha” came from a stone room’s door from the Qiu Huang tower’s second floor, and opened. Shen Chang Ge waved that Yin Yang Fan of his, and came out in neither a hurried nor slow manner. His figure was clean and tidy, as though he didn’t move his hand at all.

“So I’m the first one?”         Shen Chang Ge raised his eyebrows, and observed all around.

When he saw the true face of this vast giant tower buried into the earth, he slightly raised his eyebrows, and did not reveal any surprised expression. He slightly focused, and looked towards the stone staircase not far from himself.

After some thought, Shen Chang Ge took out a spirit spear from his ring, and tossed it over to the stairs.

The spirit spear was tossed to the stone stairs, and suspended in midair all of a sudden. In the next moment, a pale-white flame silently rose up from the pitch-black staircase, and had that definitely-not-ordinary spirit spear burned cleanly, without even any leaving ashes behind.

A top-grade spirit spear was destroyed just like this, yet Shen Chang Ge’s face did not reveal even a sliver of heartache, and instead, he leisurely walked a fair distance along the corridor. On the pitch-black walls, emerged with detailed, hard-to-discover, countless lines that were particularly similar to the grain patterns on the stone itself.

“Ancient Emperor, the Three Kings……” Shen Chang Ge opened up his folding fan, and chuckled.

His voice carried a hint of mockery as always.

Shen Chang Ge’s sleeves waved, and a slight wind swept up, then erased all the traces he left just now, and that opened stone door was similarly closed up.

In the next moment, he directly turned his body, and lightly flew up. He did not walk onto the stone staircase, but instead stepped on top of the railings in the corridor. The water cloud-patterned robe fluttered up, and Shen Chang Ge directly jumped down from the tower, then straightly fell towards the boundless, abyss-like darkness.

[1] For, imprisoning (qiu), and the wild (huang) or crude (from crude/savage beasts)
Cayce hanya seorang mahasiswa yang kebetulan menyukai cerita silat, kesukaan cayce dengan cerita silat dimulai pada saat saya SMP. Banyak kesan tersendiri buat cayce mengenai cerita silat itu sendiri…

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