Chapter 41: The Vegetation Spirit
"What's a Vegetation Spirit?" Shen Ying questioned. No matter which angle she looked from, the thing still looked like a radish to her.
"A Vegetation Spirit is a spirit formed from Vegetation Spirit Qi," Lonemoon explained. "While spirit herbs contain Spirit Qi, they have no way of gaining sentience. But if they grow in a place with an exceptional population of spirit herbs, the thick Wood Spirit Qi can cause the spirit herbs to turn into a Vegetation Spirit. The chances of that happening are negligible, though. This is the first time I'm coming across one myself."
"Oh, then what use are they?" It's a radish after all.
"Of course they're useful!" Lonemoon exclaimed agitatedly. Fixing his eyes on the Vegetation Spirit in her hands, he continued, "It's formed from the Spirit Qi of many spirit herbs. Naturally, it'll be able to sense other spirit herbs. In other words, as long as we keep it with us, we'll be able to locate all the spirit herbs in the mystic realm."
"Well…" It seemed that what Shen Ying was holding was a special GPS for vegetables.
"It's said that we can use its flower to refine and upgrade our pills," Yi Qing chimed in as he, too, studied the Vegetation Spirit.
"It flowers?" Shen Ying's eyes widened. It's a potted plant?
"But this Vegetation Spirit doesn't look like it's about to bloom anytime soon."
"Ji ji ji…" But just as Yi Qing finished speaking, the radish began to twist and turn in Shen Ying's hands. She had no choice but to release it and the Vegetation Spirit fell to the ground. Immediately, it began to contract its entire body. Even its leaves began to roll up and it looked like it was using every ounce of energy it had. It began to cry out in spurts, "Ji… ji…"
Er… Is it constipated?
"Ji!" After all this while, the radish suddenly stood upright. Its leaves unfolded as out of its head sprung something white as snow…
"A dandelion!" How did this dandelion come out of the radish?
Is it mutating?
"It's… it's flowering!" Yi Qing exclaimed.
"Ji." The radish rolled its leaves back in and plucked the dandelion off of its head. It then handed the dandelion to Shen Ying as if begging for her approval. "Ji ji."
"I don't want it." A dandelion would get all over her clothes.
"This is… a Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit!" Yi Qing was now even more excited than before. Regular Vegetation Spirits could upgrade pills, but the flower of a Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit was synonymous with a supreme-grade pill. Any pill that was refined with this flower would automatically be upgraded to a supreme-grade one. "No wonder even a Traveling Immortal from the Upper Azure World was sent to this mystic realm." Lonemoon finally understood what the three people who entered the mystic realm just before them had been looking for.
"They are here to find this Vegetation Spirit?" Yi Qing asked.
"I think so." Lonemoon nodded. "I've heard that among the top four aristocratic families in the Upper Azure World, there is one that specialises in refining pills. The cultivators from that family are mostly core cultivators who specialise in refining pills. The family owns the only Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit in the world and it's their treasure."
"The Vegetation Spirit cannot grow amongst human cultivators. It needs thick Wood Spirit Qi to survive," Yi Qing explained. "That's why that family thinks that they can find more in this mystic realm."
"That's right," Lonemoon affirmed. He held a puzzled expression as he studied the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit which was still holding its flower up to Shen Ying, hoping she would accept it. Those three would be so pissed if they found out that the thing they had been trying so hard to look for had fallen into Shen Ying's hands the moment she entered the mystic realm.
This is great. I can't wait to see their reaction. At that moment, Lonemoon felt completely at ease. Even the foodie became more pleasing to the eye.
"Shen Ying, how did you make it acknowledge you as its master?" He couldn't hold his curiosity in. The Vegetation Spirit was formed from the world's spiritual energies. These type of spirits were the proudest among their kind—it was difficult to so much as make them accept you.
"Acknowledge me as its master? No!"
"No?" Lonemoon was incredulous. "Why is it following you then?" It even tried so hard to flower just to please you.
"How would I know? It chose to follow me." Shen Ying looked down at the raised dandelion. The Vegetation Spirit had already forced out another flower by now in the hopes that Shen Ying would be more pleased with it. She took a step back, her expression one of disgust. "If you like it so much, you can have it!"
"Me?" Lonemoon was shocked. Why was she so easily giving away something that was so highly sought after, even in the Upper Azure World? Did she not understand what this Vegetation Spirit could do? It was the equivalent of countless spirit herbs and pills. Did she even want to continue cultivating?
Eh? Wait. She really doesn't need it!
The Vegetation Spirit seemed to have understood their conversation. It nervously began to wave its leaves around. "Ji ji ji…" It was so unwilling.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. "Forget it, I'm not a core cultivator anyway. It's got its mind set on you. It wouldn't work even if I wanted to take it in." "Oh…" Shen Ying still looked unbothered. "Let's throw it away then."
"Throw my ass!" Had he offered so much explanation in vain?
"What should we do then?" Frankly, she did not want the Vegetation Spirit hanging onto her leg anymore.
"Let's bring it back with us before we decide!" Lonemoon turned to survey their surroundings. "It's getting dark. I'm sure there are other valuable things in this mystic realm. Let's head east to keep looking."
Shen Ying kept quiet as Yi Qing immediately drew his spirit sword. Out of habit, he helped Shen Ying onto the sword and they both began to fly.
Lonemoon was just about to sword-ride when he felt a weight on his leg. Looking down, he saw something hanging onto his leg. "Ji ji?" The radish appeared shocked. It turned to look at the two people in the air and turned back to look at the leg it was hanging on to. Realising that it was hanging onto the wrong person, it swept its leaves against Lonemoon's leg and threw the dandelions toward the ground.
Lonemoon stood there in shock. Was this radish looking down on him? He was sure it was!
Is it my fault that you got the wrong leg?
Stay here if you have the guts!
With the Vegetation Spirit navigating the way, Lonemoon suddenly felt like a nouveau rich. He felt as if he was plucking all these top-grade spirit herbs from his backyard, and each of them was over ten thousand years old at that. He did not even have to lift a finger. The Vegetation Spirit only had to wave its leaves slightly and the spiritual herbs would fly straight into his bag.
Just thinking about the reaction that other group of three would have made him glad that he came on this trip. They spent over a month collecting spiritual herbs and only stopped when their storage bag was filled to the brim. Then, they headed toward the center of the mystic realm.
The three of them had flown for four to five days before they finally made it out of the dark forest. A huge wasteland lay in front of them. It was the direct opposite of the forest that they had just come out from; there were cliffs and strange rocks at every turn and there was not one bit of green.
Everything around them was quiet. They couldn't even hear a bird.
"The Spirit Qi here seems a little strange." Yi Qing frowned. "What are you sensing?" Lonemoon also felt that this wasteland seemed different somehow. He was on his guard.
"I'm not sure yet." Yi Qing shook his head. The Spirit Qi here was extremely dense—even denser than it was in the forest. Yi Qing simply couldn't figure out why the Spirit Qi here felt abnormal. "There's something hidden here. Be careful."
Lonemoon nodded slightly, slowing down his sword.
They continued to sword-ride for a couple more hours. All around them, there was nothing but rocks. There didn't seem to be anything unusual either.
"Don't you guys feel a little…" Shen Ying suddenly broke the silence, "… hot?"
Chapter 42: A Universe Within a Cauldron
Both Yi Qing and Lonemoon were surprised at her sudden question. Cultivators, having Spirit Qi to protect their bodies, rarely paid attention to the changes in the surrounding temperature. "Now that you mentioned it, it feels really hot…"
Before Lonemoon could finish speaking, a ball of fire suddenly shot out from the ground.
"Be careful!" Turning swiftly around, Yi Qing hurriedly retreated a few feet and barely avoided the flames. Looking back, he saw huge flames leaping out from the ground, spreading in all directions. Within moments, everything before him was covered in a sea of flames.
Lonemoon immediately tore off the part of his sleeves that had been ignited by the flames. He looked with shocked eyes at the fiery inferno before him—the flames were so powerful that they could even set his clothes alight.
"It's Deviant Fire!" cried out Yi Qing. He finally realised what was wrong with the Spirit Qi here. The Spirit Qi in the air was too dense and seemed too violent; it must have been affected by this fire.
"What should we do?" Trapped in the middle, they could neither advance nor retreat.
"What's that?" Shen Ying pointed at something ahead.
The two looked in the direction she had pointed to but could only see a sea of flames; nothing special caught their eye.
No, something was not right. Stilling their minds, they used their senses to probe their surroundings and discovered that at a certain spot where the fire was most intense, swirled a miasma of Spirit Qi that was so dense as to be almost palpable. It was… Immortal Qi!
"There may be a way out over there!" Lonemoon said in a low voice. "But…" They were trapped by the flames and couldn't go over. This was Deviant Fire. Ordinary defensive Dharmic vests would offer no protection whatsoever against it. "Let's use our Sword Qi to hack a path through the wall of fire and dash over." Yi Qing suggested, thrusting his sword forwards. Immediately, his formidable Sword Qi transformed into a stream of air which rushed directly towards the sea of fire, instantly forming a path in its wake. However, within seconds, this path was swallowed up by the flames.
A delighted Lonemoon at once realized Yi Qing's intentions. "You take the front, I'll guard the back!"
"Alright." Yi Qing nodded in agreement. Swinging his sword once again, he flew through the newly created path. Seeing that flames were leaping up once again, Lonemoon followed closely behind, hacking open a path with his sword once again.
Coordinating in this fashion, the two men headed towards the place swirling with Immortal Qi. They had made their way into the heart of the inferno within a short period of time. It was then that they saw an array formation shining in the centre. Around it shimmered some ancient script. "What is this array formation?" asked Yi Qing as he wielded his sword to ward off the fire which was growing increasingly fiercer.
"This… I don't know." Looking baffled, Lonemoon said, "You hang on here for a while. I'm going to take a closer look." He flew nearer to the formation and gave it a thorough once over. But try as he might, he could not make out what kind of formation it was.
"I have never seen this kind of array formation before, but these Dharmic talismans… seem to be a kind of encapsulation seal?" He tried to recall all the array formations he had heard of or seen before, but none of them fitted the bill. "Let me try attacking this array."
Forming a hand seal, he swung down the weapon in his hand forcefully, striking the array using ninety percent of the power of his Dharmic spells. Bang! A thunderous sound echoed through heaven and earth. The sound was so loud that it seemed to reverberate throughout the mystic realm but the array itself was untouched; there were no signs of damage anywhere. "Shit, what kind of array is this? How can it be so incredibly strong?" cursed Lonemoon.
"It's too late, the Deviant Fire is heading this way," warned Yi Qing as he retreated from the flames. With the temperature around them rising steadily, his Sword Qi was losing the battle against the flames. The Deviant Fire was now almost upon the three of them. If they could not find a way out soon, they would be engulfed by this sea of flames.
"Move aside!" Shen Ying stepped forward and pushed Lonemoon, who was blocking her, to one side. Raising her leg, she directed a powerful kick at the array.
Bang! The array immediately darkened and the surrounding air suddenly seemed to collapse inwards. Following a clanging sound, a square door-like gap appeared, and the scent of a rich and refreshing Immortal Qi wafted towards them.
Holy shit, this method actually works!
(⊙_⊙) "Go!" Pulling the chef behind her, Shen Ying burrowed straight into the gap. The other two quickly followed behind.
In an instant, the burning sensation they were feeling faded away and all at once, a new world appeared in front of them—a green pasture filled with the fresh scent of flowers and plants. Immortal Qi swirled around them like a multi-colored afterglow.
Looking up, Lonemoon saw a towering temple appearing in front of him a short distance away. The entire temple was as white as jade, emanating a faint fluorescent glow.
This was… an Immortal Pavilion!
Lonemoon widened his eyes in disbelief. So an Immortal Pavilion from the Upper World was actually hidden inside this ancient mystic realm!
"Master, look behind you!" Yi Qing suddenly cried out. "The place where we came out from…" Quickly turning his head to take a look, Lonemoon could not help but suck in his breath in surprise.
The opening they had come out from was still there, but now it was not a gap, but a door. Measuring four by six meters, it was the door of an elixir-refining cauldron.
"We… we were in this cauldron just now!" No wonder the ground was covered with Deviant Fire. It was actually the fire for refining elixirs. So it appeared that this elixir-refining cauldron was also an immortal artifact and there was a whole new world inside it.
"But… what happened to the forest?" Lonemoon couldn't figure it out. If the entrance to the ancient mystic realm was all along at the elixir-refining cauldron, how could it contain a forest inside as well?
"It's probably the medicine storage compartment in the cauldron." Yi Qing pointed at the right side of the elixir-refining cauldron. There was indeed an open compartment there.
They walked over and saw that it was indeed a huge storage compartment. Using their Spirit Qi to probe inside, they found that it was so vast that its boundaries could not be detected. However, they could detect trees and shrubs inside and endless greenery.
It seemed that this immortal residence had been empty for a long time. The objects originally placed in the storage compartment had been left unattended and so it had begun to grow, developing into that patch of forest. It was no wonder there were so many exotic plants in the forest. It had even spawned many Vegetation Spirits.
So it turned out that for more than a month, they had all been running circles inside that elixir-refining cauldron.
"Going in?" Shen Ying pointed to the Immortal Pavilion behind her.
Lonemoon nodded, looking at the towering Immortal Pavilion. If just that one elixir-refining cauldron could transform into such an amazing world, then heaven knew how many other things were hidden inside this pavilion that they had never seen before.
The three of them turned and headed straight to the Immortal Pavilion. But before they even got to the entrance, they heard the sound of three sets of footsteps coming from the elixir- refining cauldron behind them.
"Hahahaha… I didn't expect an Immortal Pavilion to be hidden inside this mystic realm!"
They heard the sound of a familiar voice coming from behind.
Lonemoon's heart sank. He felt like cursing.
Holy shit! Of all times, these three stooges chose to appear at this very moment!
"This ancient immortal residence is really amazing. It's just a tiny cauldron, yet an entire world is hidden inside." Qing Lan looked back at the elixir-refining cauldron, then turned to look at the three people in front. "My thanks to this Supremacy for leaving us this entrance which enabled us to track your aura to this Immortal Pavilion."
This increased Lonemoon's desire to curse at him. He should have blocked the entrance to the elixir-refining cauldron.
"Luck seems to favor you." Sneering, Qing Yin looked disdainfully at the people in front of him. "You actually managed to arrive before us… Huh? That's…" He suddenly widened his eyes, staring fixedly at Lonemoon's leg. "You actually found the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit!"
The other two immediately looked in Lonemoon's direction, their expressions changing at what they saw. "Oh, you mean this." Chuckling, Lonemoon picked up the radish pendant on his leg. With a cocky expression on his face, he said, "I'm sorry, but this little thing seems to have an affinity with us. We met immediately on entering the mystic realm. Can't be helped, it's fate."
The expressions of the other group of three suddenly darkened.
However, the uncooperative radish pendant twitched and let out a familiar sound.
Who's your little thing?!
Lonemoon's mouth twitched. He hurriedly moved to pass the radish over to Shen Ying.
The pendant happily extended two large leaves in a hugging motion and rushed over to Shen Ying. But it had not even managed to touch her clothes when Shen Ying suddenly turned her head away in rejection!
"Get lost." You vegetable thing!
The radish's heart broke into little pieces.
Chapter 43: The Alchemical Sect's Heritage
"Fellow Daoist, this Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit may be valuable, but it's only so to core cultivators. It's useless to you. Why don't you hand it over to the Xuan Yuan Family?" The Travelling Immortal Qing Lan suddenly had a friendly smile on his face. Stepping forward, he continued, "Rest assured, Fellow Daoist, I promise that I'll hand over any treasures that I find in this Immortal Pavilion so long as you hand me the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit. I won't hold anything back."
Lonemoon's expression darkened. He had met thick-skinned people before, but he had never met anyone as thick-skinned as Qing Lan. No matter how nicely he tried to word it, Qing Lan ultimately wanted them to give up the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit to him.
"You have it well planned, don't you, Fellow Daoist? You expect us to give up the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit to you in exchange for just a few empty words? I'm sure you're aware that the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit possesses a sentient spirituality. I don't even know if it would follow you. And honestly…" He looked at their desperate expressions and emphasised each of the following words. "Have some freaking respect!" Their faces fell immediately. Qing Yin snorted and said, "We tried to ask you nicely, yet you insist on making things difficult. I, for one, want to see exactly what you guys can do. Senior Brother, there's no need to waste anymore time talking to them. We can take them down."
As he finished, he whipped out his Dharma artifact and charged toward them. Now this was what it meant to resort to robbery after a failed threat. Lonemoon scoffed and slipped the Vegetation Spirit into his storage bag. He drew his weapon as he muttered under his breath, "Shen Ying, you take the one in the middle."
"Okay," Shen Ying replied.
Lonemoon took out his sword and blocked Qing Yin's attack. The collision of the two swords released Sword Qi, creating slash marks in the surroundings. The two of them were almost equals in terms of cultivation, but Lonemoon was a Sword Cultivator after all; his Sword Qi was different from that of ordinary cultivators. Qing Yin staggered backward from the impact.
"Pui, you've overestimated yourself." Travelling Immortal Qing Lan's eyebrows furrowed. He snorted, glanced at the cultivator beside Lonemoon, and flew forward to attack. Yi Qing moved to attack the last cultivator.
Qing Lan was a Travelling Immortal. Yi Qing amounted to nothing in his eyes. He paired up with Qing Yin to fight the seemingly most powerful of the three—Lonemoon.
Lonemoon had just overpowered Qing Yin with one move when from beside him came a formidable attack from the Travelling Immortal Qing Lan. He braced himself for the sword to strike him.
But all of a sudden, Qing Lan's sword stopped. The Spirit Qi that he had concentrated suddenly dissipated—something had stopped his hand.
Qing Lan's heart jumped. From his days as a soldier to the present, he had never experienced something like this. It felt almost as if his body had been possessed. His eyes widened as he turned around. His face nearly collided with another's which had a visibly more relaxed expression. Who is this? When did she appear?
Before he could gather his thoughts, however, he saw the woman break into a smile as she said, "The person over there said… I'm to handle you. He has paid me, so I'll appreciate it if you cooperate."
Qing Lan subconsciously wanted to retreat. He moved to retract his outstretched hand, but that was when he realised… he couldn't retract it! He felt like his hand was rooted in place. Using a single hand, he made to cast a Dharma spell. However, it was of no use. He still couldn't move his captured hand.
How can this be! This woman's cultivation was so thick and so deep. A thousand thoughts flashed through his mind and his heart sank. He had been too careless! He hadn't thought that the insignificant Middle Azure World could produce a cultivator that matched up to a Travelling Immortal.
He gritted his teeth and he made a sudden decision to summon his intrinsic Dharma artifact. A dagger, three feet long, pierced straight through the woman's chest. The woman remained in her place. The dagger seemed to have gone almost right through her. Yet, moments later, the golden dagger cracked and disintegrated into a thousand pieces. There was not a scratch on her body.
The intrinsic weapon was closely linked to his Primordial Spirit. Blood spurted out of Qing Lan's mouth.
How… can this be?!
The woman patted at the golden shards on the ground. Frowning in impatience, she said, "I'll say this again: you'd better co-operate or…" She stared him dead in the eyes as she grabbed his hand and flung it with great force. His entire body went flying. "I'll hit you!"
All Qing Lan could hear was the air as it whooshed past his ears. His entire body flew just like an arrow that had been launched from a bow. He flew in the direction of the Immortal Pavilion behind him. Before he knew it, he had flown through the doors of the Immortal Pavilion, making a gigantic hole in it. The impact stopped him. He fell to the floor and rolled atop a pile of gravel. He couldn't get up.
Not more than ten seconds had passed from the moment he was caught to the moment he landed.
At this moment, the pitch black Immortal Pavilion lit up at the intrusion. Otherworldly tunes began to sound as Immortal Qi and colorful lights filled the entire hall. What sounded like ancient sounds coming from ethereal spirits suddenly rang out.
"The heavens have permitted that I cross paths with you today
—someone who can take over the mantle and continue my heritage." Slowly, a translucent Immortal Soul appeared on the stage. A white cloud of Immortal Qi surrounded him. "He who sees through the fiery furnace has earned his right to enter this pavilion. I am the sect master of the Dan Yang Sect, the remnant soul of Golden Immortal Bitao. You are the first one to have entered my Immortal Pavilion in 50,000 years. I will pass my Alchemical Sect down to you. May you bear fruit in cultivating your heart and mind."
He waved his hand. The Immortal Qi in the air drifted toward Qing Lan who felt like he was breathing his last. Qing Lan's entire body began to float off the ground. "Your immortal bones are all broken. You and I have been brought together by fate, so let me heal your immortal bones first."
The Immortal Soul had just begun to heal the wounded Qing Lan when something burst into the Immortal Pavilion. Qing Lan, who had been floating up, was thrown back onto the ground by a foot which pressed him down.
Shen Ying kept her foot on Qing Lan. Lazily, she turned to the Immortal Soul. "What did you just say?"
The Immortal Soul remained quiet.
Two minutes later… "The heavens have permitted that I cross paths with you today
—someone who can take over the mantle and continue my heritage. She who sees through the fiery furnace…"
"Are you an NPC? Why are you repeating your lines?"
The corner of the Immortal Soul's mouth twitched and he almost lost his sage-like demeanour. I wouldn't have to do so if not for you. How would I know that you'd come in?
It was just a heritage—he could hand it down to anyone. He was going to disappear anyway as he was only a remnant soul now.
"You are the first in 50,000 years to…"
"Second," Shen Ying corrected. The Immortal Soul glanced at the unconscious man lying on the ground. He smoothly corrected himself, "The second to enter this Immortal Pavilion. But whoever sees through the fiery furnace has the best acumen in town. Fate has brought you and I together."
"Oh, you people of the immortal town… Is it that easy to have fate?" That was exactly what the Immortal Soul had told Qing Lan earlier.
"…" Where's my sword?
"In any case… From this day on, this Alchemical Sect will be handed down to you."
"I don't want it!"
"From today on, you will… What did you say?" The Immortal Soul hesitated. Was this woman out of her mind? "This is a heritage. How could you refuse it? Do you know that if you manage to refine a pill from our heritage, you could easily attain immortality?" "It's so troublesome!" She scratched her head. "Pills and whatnot… I'm not trained in medicine, so I'm not interested. But if you have any recipes for good food, you could hand them to me." I'll bring them to Chef so he can look through them.
"Food… food recipes…" The Immortal Soul's expression darkened. Was an entire heritage's worth of pills incomparable to food recipes? This person was clearly out of her mind, but he had no other options. "No, you've already entered the Immortal Pavilion. You have to accept this heritage!" He was rushing to be reincarnated!
Once the words were out of his mouth, his form flickered. He suddenly appeared in front of Shen Ying, reaching for her forehead and seeking to pass down his heritage by force.
"Eh?" Why was there no reaction? He pressed harder on her forehead. Then, he realised why he couldn't hand the heritage down. "How can this be?"
"Press any harder and I'll hit you!" Shen Ying threatened as she took a step back. The Immortal Soul didn't dare reply. He studied his own hand. How could this be? As he faced the woman in front of him, his eyes widened.
"Damn. You don't even have a Spirit Root!"
"Is that… important?"
You're freaking killing me. Without a Spirit Root, how in the world did you make it into this pavilion?
Chapter 44: The Pair of Traveling Immortals
"I'm leaving." Shen Ying turned and headed out.
"Wait!" The Immortal Soul quickly rushed forward to float right in front of her and as if making some important decision, gritted his teeth and said, "Forget it, it's okay even if you have no Spirit Root. I can carve some jade slips, or copy some publications, as long as you bring it out, just bring it out."
"Nope." She was not a delivery courier.
"Don't go, young lady. Since you are here, are you sure you don't want to bring something back?" Seeing that she did not budge, the Immortal Soul hurried over and hugged her big foot. "I have waited thousands of years and all I got is you. You didn't even bring anyone. If I don't get the legacy out, I will not rest in peace."
"Who said that I came alone?" Shen Ying suddenly paused in her steps. "Huh?" The Immortal Soul faltered for a moment before responding, "There are… other people?"
"Yes." As Shen Ying answered, she pointed outside.
Suddenly, a loud boom was heard and the door which had a big hole smashed through it finally fell to the ground. Spirit swords came flying inside and the whole area was immediately full of them.
Along with the flying swords came Qing Yin, smashing onto the ground with a loud thud. This person who had previously shown insufferable arrogance was currently covered in blood and riddled with wounds all over, and the next barrage of spirit swords was about to slash through him.
A shadow flashed past, picking up the person on the ground, and flew into the air, avoiding the next wave of attack. That shadow was the other cultivator from the Upper Azure World.
Yi Qing and Lonemoon had also caught up by then. Lonemoon was fine but Yi Qing had several wounds on his body. "Thank you, Senior Brother Qing Yi." Qing Yin stepped back, still lingering in fear.
Qing Yi did not respond. He instead looked coldly over at the two people who were chasing them from behind and his eyes stopped on Yi Qing. "Never did I expect a Nascent Soul cultivator to have such capabilities. I was careless."
There were four more people in the hall now.
People, there's still people. That's great!
The Immortal Soul's eyes widened in delight. He stopped hugging onto Shen Ying's leg and floated over to Yi Qing who was nearest to him. "Haha, young cultivator, we have affinity…"
"Stop talking rubbish, let's fight." He had not finished his words yet Yi Qing was already going towards the person in the air, moving his sword as it shone in the sky.
"…" Hey, you should listen to what someone is saying first. The Immortal Soul could only look over to Lonemoon and try again. "Since we have affinity, you…"
"Let's see where you all can escape to!" Lonemoon immediately attacked together with Yi Qing.
"…" These few people that came in were weirdos. Was fighting more important than passing on the legacy? Was anybody even listening to him?!
The situation in the air had already become better. With Qing Yin injured, Qing Yi could only try to avoid all the attacks as best as he could. Lonemoon sneered at the both of them, "So a Supremacy from the Upper Azure World only amounts to this much? It seems too easy to be an elder of an aristocratic family."
"You!" Qing Yin was flustered. It was clear that he was not as skillful as the other party, so all he could do was to glare at Lonemoon with a sharp gaze.
The next moment, Yi Qing manifested a sky full of spirit swords and chased after the two of them, blocking off all roads of escape and going for a full on attack.
Qing Yi did not say much as he pulled along Qing Yin, but his expression suddenly became solemn and his body released an imposing aura hundreds of times greater than before. The spirit swords that were attacking Qing Yi stopped in front of him and they all shattered into pieces.
Yi Qing did not notice in time and was within range of the suppressive aura; he immediately vomited a mouthful of blood.
"Yi Qing!" Lonemoon quickly retreated.
Shen Ying also stepped forward, asking, "Are you alright?"
"Master…" Yi Qing wiped off the blood at the corner of his mouth and looked up towards Qing Yi who was in the air. "That person… is not at the Soul Formation stage!" That aura definitely did not belong to that of a Soul Formation cultivator. Lonemoon came to a realisation. "He's also a Traveling Immortal!"
Holy shit! He had actually been hiding his cultivation level. Never had Lonemoon imagined that two out of the three of them were Traveling Immortals!
"Hahaha…" Qing Yin suddenly broke out into maniacal laughter. "You guys thought a Soul Formation and a Nascent Soul cultivator would be able to defeat us, hmph! So what if you are a Sword Cultivator? You are nobody in front of Traveling Immortals. You just wai-… Senior Brother Qing Lan?!" His threatening words were left hanging halfway when his eyes suddenly widened upon seeing a certain person on the ground who was already showing no movements.
Lonemoon also noticed the stiff corpse on the floor and then he turned to look at Shen Ying, silently giving her a thumbs up. This efficiency… She was indeed a cheater, definitely worth two bags of spirit stones.
"Senior Brother Qing Lan… how is this possible?" Qing Yin was in disbelief. "Who, who could have harmed him? Unless this Immortal Pavilion…" He looked around but did not see any other lurking shadows. He suddenly thought of something and then turned to the person beside him, saying, "Senior Brother Qing Yi, could this place…"
Qing Yi also paused. His gaze was not filled with worry but excitement as he looked around him, and then he set his eyes on the hall ahead with those two prominent words: Alchemical Sect.
"Ancient Dan Yang Sect!" Qing Yi's gaze grew more excited as he stared at those words. "Hahaha, this place is indeed… indeed the ancient Dan Yang Sect's Immortal Pavilion."
He looked down, suddenly took out an object from a pocket and flew to the back of the hall. He tapped the object on the wall which immediately opened a pathway. "It is indeed over here."
Lonemoon's heart sank with an ominous feeling. "Stop him!"
He immediately rushed over and manifested Sword Intent and at the same time, Yi Qing also put in his attack. Both of their Sword Intents were sent fully blasting towards the other party. Qing Yi looked back and sneered without backing off, "I have no time for this!" He suddenly turned his palm and hit the back of the person beside him, pushing Qing Yin out to block off their attack.
"Senior Brother!" Qing Yin was defenseless and did not have the time to dodge. All that was left was his face of disbelief as he turned into ashes under the attacks of Sword Intent. Qing Yi, on the other hand, had already disappeared behind the wall which had returned to its original state.
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon cursed. He had thought that the other party would at least block a little, holding back his steps, but never had he imagined that the man would push Qing Yin to his death just to get in—those from the Upper Azure World were truly ruthless.
"I wonder what's behind this wall that that guy would even betray his own people." Lonemoon glanced at the shining array formation on the wall in front of him, subconsciously formed a hand seal and tapped on the wall, but the wall showed no response.
"Huh?" He faltered. This array formation was immune to Dharma spells.
"Do you want my help?" Shen Ying habitually raised her leg.
"Wait!" Recalling the furnace's door that was kicked open, Lonemoon quickly pulled her back. "Alright lady, one kick from you and I bet the entire Immortal Pavilion would collapse."
"Oh." Shen Ying retracted her foot. It was better that she did not need to kick it as she was too lazy to move anyway.
"It looks like… an ancient array formation. We need a token to get in." Lonemoon recalled the item which Qing Yi had taken out just then and once again took a closer look at the array formation in front of him. "The eye of the array is constantly changing. Moreover, without the correct way of undoing it, the entire Immortal Pavilion connected to it could be destroyed if we break in by force. Unfortunately, this array formation has been long lost so nobody knows the method."
"Uh… Someone may know." Shen Ying raised her hand. The other two faltered as they saw her turning and waving towards inside of the hall. "Hey… Floaty, come over here."
Chapter 45: Immortal Formation Pills
The Immortal Soul's body twitched as he began to burn with anger. "You, little girl, have absolutely no manners. I'm the Golden Immortal Bitao after all! Although I'm now a remnant soul, I'm still an Immortal Soul, alright?" But a ghost is still a ghost… Fine, he's an immortal ghost!
"Oh, I got it. Float over here for a moment!"
"Do you expect me to go over just because you told me to?" Bitao snorted. He stayed right where he was—he had feelings too.
"Master… he is…?" Yi Qing asked. Remnant souls were not normally this easy to see. Given that this hall was filled with multi-colored Immortal Qi, it was even more difficult to spot the remnant soul.
"Oh, he says he's been waiting here for tens of thousands of years," Shen Ying explained matter-of-factly. "He insists on handing his heritage down to me, but he's not succeeding." "Heritage!" Lonemoon was shocked, not daring to believe what he was hearing. He glanced at the remnant soul before turning to face Shen Ying. "Don't tell me he's… he's the master of this Immortal Pavilion?!" He calmed himself down and took another look at the remnant soul. Indeed, he saw that the remnant soul was surrounded with Immortal Qi. He was really an Immortal Soul!
"Hmph, you little girl. You do have quite good taste." Bitao was satisfied. He flew over and looked Lonemoon up and down. "I am indeed the master of this Immortal Pavilion and the sect master of Dan Yang Sect. My Dao name is Bitao."
"…" Holy shit, this is for real.
"You may be a Sword Cultivator, but there is a fire-element Spirit Root inside of you. That's not bad! You'd make a good pill refiner." Bitao seemed satisfied with Lonemoon. He combed his beard as he transformed back into his sagely demeanor. "Little boy, fate has brought us together-"
"Hey, Mr. Whatever, how do we crack that array on the wall?" Shen Ying interrupted him. "You're really infuriating, little girl!" This time, Bitao was done being interrupted. "Do you know anything about respecting your elders? Choosing the right person to hand down an entire heritage is such an important matter—much more important than any array formation."
"You have no Spirit Root in your body and you're not willing to accept the heritage, so I'm not making things difficult for you. Now, someone else is willing to take over the heritage. Why are you still making trouble?"
"I have waited 50,000 years for this and have hung in here as a remnant soul, all for the sake of handing down the pill refining techniques of the Dan Yang Sect. This man here is perfectly capable of taking over the heritage, so I'm handing it down to him."
"Wait, you-" "I know you all want to go after that cultivator, but you don't have to rush. Once you take over the heritage, you'll be able to ascend to immortality soon. You won't have to fear him anymore."
"There are important things and unimportant things in this world. Since the Dan Yang Sect was formed, so many other prodigies in pill refining were produced. Yet, not one of them managed to avoid being wiped out. However, the Dan Yang Sect alone has managed to hang on to this day. Now, I have finally found someone to pass the heritage down to-"
Bitao felt a blow to his face before he could finish—the Immortal Soul had received a huge punch. He was sent flying across the room just like a flying fish, still mumbling the remainder of his sentence, "and… and… and…"
He repeated that for a long while before he finally hit the wall. "Shut up!"
Shen Ying narrowed her eyes and stomped up to the Immortal Soul. She swiftly grabbed the Immortal Soul and pulled him to his feet, asking, "Now can you open the door?"
"…" His once perfect face was now swollen where Shen Ying had punched him. His shimmering robe was now shining more brightly than before.
A while later…
"Yes, Great Immortal! Leave it to me, Great Immortal!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Why wasn't this result surprising at all to them? Bitao began to half-crawl and half-roll. Obediently, he floated toward the wall and started to crack the array. This woman was so scary. He had thought that she was a mortal without any Spirit Roots. Little had he known that she could hit even a soul.
She must be a great immortal of the Upper World who has
descended into the mortal world!
He was trembling…
"Hey, that… Mr. Exalted Immortal, what lies behind this wall?" Lonemoon suddenly felt pity for the Immortal Soul. Bitao was the master of this Immortal Pavilion after all, so he had to know this place really well.
"Inside is…" Bitao looked at Shen Ying who had been standing beside him. He dropped his NPC-like lines and answered shortly and sweetly, "A Pill Storage Repository. This was where I kept my pills while I was alive."
"Pills," Lonemoon repeated. Could the pills inside be what Qing Yi is after? But he's already a Traveling Immortal. His cultivation level can't get any higher. What Immortal Pill could have made him that agitated? Bitao explained, "I think that guy is after the Immortal Formation Pill inside the Pill Storage Repository."
"There's an Immortal Formation Pill in the Pill Storage Repository!" Lonemoon exclaimed.
"While I was alive…" Bitao once again glanced at Shen Ying before he continued, "I think I… left a few in there."
"What are Immortal Formation Pills?" Shen Ying asked.
Lonemoon's face fell. It was only after a moment that he replied, "Immortal Formation Pills are Immortal PIlls that can heal immortal bones. They can only be found in the Immortal World. In ancient times, before the Three Azure Realms broke apart, all the mortals who had achieved immortality remained in the same place. This is an Immortal Pavilion of ancient times, therefore there are-"
"What does he want it for?" "He's a Traveling Immortal." Yi Qing's expression darkened as he explained, "Master, Traveling Immortals are soldiers who have failed to achieve Immortal Ascension. They are also people who have been through the Heavenly Tribulation. Their immortal bones will form as they go through the tribulations. But upon failing the Tribulation Transcendence, their immortal bones would be broken into pieces by the divine lightning. Therefore, Traveling Immortals don't have another chance to achieve Immortal Ascension. The Immortal Formation Pill can heal their immortal bones. In other words-"
"They can achieve Immortal Ascension if they eat the pill?"
"Yes." Yi Qing nodded.
"No!" The more Lonemoon thought about it, the more anxious he became. "We can't allow him to obtain this Immortal Formation Pill. Otherwise, we really won't be able to leave this place."
The Three Azure Realms had never produced a true immortal before. Bitao was only the remnant soul of an immortal, yet he could stay in this Immortal Pavilion for 50,000 years and hide it so that nobody could easily find the Pavilion. Nobody knew what a true immortal would be capable of. Although they had Shen Ying the Cheat with them, they still wouldn't have a chance of winning against an immortal.
"Alright!" Bitao had finally finished cracking the array. The wall split open. In a moment, it turned into a door. Behind the door was a huge Storage Repository. There were shelves and pigeon holes inside the Storage Repository and each shelf had two different coloured bottles on it.
Their small group walked in. A few shelves in the room had already fallen over while a few bottles were rolling around the floor. Qing Yi, who was in mid-air, was holding onto a bottle and laughing maniacally.
"I would never have guessed that you guys would make it in here. What a pity… you're too late. I've already found the Immortal Formation Pill." He excitedly poured the contents of the bottle into his mouth and swallowed them. He threw the bottle onto the floor, his eyes filled with the anticipation of becoming an immortal. "Soon… soon I will achieve Immortal Ascension. Hahaha!"
The next moment, his Spirit Qi began to surge and the Immortal Qi around him began to stir as well. His cultivation level began to soar visibly.
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon cursed. He didn't expect that they would be too late. "We have to get out of here, quick!" They could only run now. He pulled Shen Ying's hand and started to turn around, but he found that he couldn't make her budge.
"Well… I have something to ask."
"What could you possibly want to ask now? We have to run for our lives!" They would never be able to go up against an immortal. "We have to leave now while his cultivation level is still increasing!"
"No…" Shen Ying refused to move. "Didn't the ghost say that the Immortal Formation Pill was refined 50,000 years ago?"
"It's been so long… wouldn't it have expired?" "… Huh?!"
Lonemoon was stunned, unable to think of a response. But then he heard a strange rumbling noise from behind him. A moment ago, Qing Yi's cultivation level had been increasing, yet now all his Spirit Qi was dissipating.
"Look, his stomach is suffering," Shen Ying commented calmly.
Yi Qing: "…"
Chapter 46: The Family Assignment
"How… how can this be!" Qing Yi's expression was one of utter disbelief and confusion. It was almost as if he wanted to escape from his own body which was helplessly deteriorating in that moment. No matter how hard he tried to stop his Spirit Qi from dissipating, he could not. Within seconds, his cultivation level dropped to its original state. "No… no, this can't be. That was clearly an Immortal Formation Pill… it clearly was!"
Lonemoon picked up the pill bottle from the floor. On scrutinizing it, he realized that the sealing array formation had already vanished. Without the array formation, the pills inside would naturally have lost their intended effect as time went by.
It looked like even the strongest of array formations couldn't withstand time. It was no wonder that they were able to enter the Immortal Pavilion so easily; the defense array formation at the door had also lost its effect. The only array formation that still seemed to be working in the entire hall was the one at the entrance of the Pill Storage Repository, and that was probably because the presence of Bitao's Immortal Soul close by gave it power to withstand time.
Qing Yi's dream of achieving Immortal Ascension was now in shambles and he had officially lost his mind. He frantically grabbed the pill bottles around him and swallowed all of their contents. When he realized that they were not having any effect on him, he turned to glare at the three people standing at the entrance.
"It was you guys. What did you do to the pills?" His entire face began to twist in fury. His eyes were filled with so much rage that he looked as if he wanted to tear at their flesh.
The three people remained in silence. You ate the expired pill and now you're blaming us for it?
Qing Yi's glare focused on Lonemoon. His eyes suddenly reflected clarity as if he had realized something, and then they reflected greed. "Oh yes, the Vegetation Spirit… You still have the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit. With that, I can refine an Immortal Formation Pill."
The Immortal Formation Pill's recipe was no secret in the Azure World. It was only rarely used because what it required was no ordinary spirit herb—the requirement was an immortal herb! Since immortal herbs could not be found in the Azure World, the first thing Qing Yi thought of was the Pill Storage Repository in the Immortal Pavilion. He hadn't realized that the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit could detect all the spirit and immortal herbs in the vicinity. The Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit could help him get exactly what he was looking for.
"Give me the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit!" All of a sudden, Qing Yi turned around and unleashed an Inferno Dragon. A flaming light filled the room as all the pills in the Storage Repository disintegrated in the flames.
Lonemoon instinctively summoned his defensive shield. Shen Ying frowned while Yi Qing stepped forward and waved his sword. The Sword Qi surrounding Yi Qing's body erupted and formed a powerful sword which Yi Qing used to slice the Inferno Dragon's body into two.
"Master…" He suddenly turned around and looked at Shen Ying, his expression one of conviction. "Please let me handle this man. I will not fail you, Master."
"You're crazy!" Lonemoon shouted before Shen Ying could answer. "He hasn't achieved immortality, but he's still a Traveling Immortal after all. You're not his match." Sword Cultivators were powerful and Yi Qing was one of the most powerful Sword Cultivators Lonemoon had ever met, but a mere Nascent Soul stage cultivator would not be able to beat someone at the Soul Formation stage, much less a Traveling Immortal. We should use the cheat while we can, Brother!
"Master, please give me permission!" Yi Qing's gaze was fixed on Shen Ying. He did not so much as glance over at Lonemoon. Qing Yin was left to Lonemoon to handle, Qing Lan to Master, so I should take down Qing Yi. That was how they had arranged it from the beginning. Qing Yin and Qing Lan had already succumbed to them and Qing Yi was the only one left… Yi Qing was his master's only disciple. No matter what, he had to complete his task.
"Alright then, all the best!" Shen Ying nodded.
"Yes, Master!" Yi Qing turned back around and charged toward Qing Yi.
"Wait…" Lonemoon turned to look at Shen Ying and then back at the man who had no regard for his own life. "Hey, hey, hey! Shen Ying, you aren't really going to allow Yi Qing to fight Qing Yi alone, are you? Your disciple has a screw loose in his head and you're just going to let him be?"
Shen Ying looked unbothered as she replied, "He's been my disciple for so long. Let's just take it that he's finishing a family assignment."
"Assignment my ass!" You guys are really unreliable. "Don't make it sound as if you've really taught him anything! He's only at the Nascent Soul stage, he'll-"
"Father Niu." She interrupted him. Her usually uncaring expression suddenly took on a more serious change. "You have to believe in him!"
"…" Lonemoon hesitated. He slowly calmed down and said nothing further.
Yi Qing and Qing Yi had already been fighting for awhile. The air was filled brilliant gleams of light from their swords. One was fighting in a crazy manner while the other was fighting for his life. Both were giving all they had to overpower the other. This duel between two high-level cultivators caused not just the Pill Storage Repository, but also the entire Immortal Pavilion to quake.
Lonemoon and Shen Ying had to step outside. They observed the duel from the field where the human cauldron was. The moment they stepped out, they heard a huge explosion behind them—half of the Immortal Pavilion had collapsed. Qing Yi and Yi Qing flew up from inside the Immortal Pavilion into the sky.
Qing Yi had already summoned forth several Inferno Dragons which were following close behind him. They flew toward Yi Qing who was surrounded by spirit swords. Yi Qing's Sword Qi was surging up. All at once, his spirit swords flew toward the Inferno Dragons, slicing them apart and causing a rain of fire.
"Hmph, a mere Nascent Soul cultivator really thinks he can win against me." As the Inferno Dragons faced continual attack from Yi Qing's swords, Qing Yi became increasingly outraged. He swiftly changed the imprint of his palm and the small flames suddenly grew into huge ones. A sea of fire formed within seconds, engulfing the Immortal Pavilion mystic realm.
"Red Lotus Karmic Fire!" Lonemoon exclaimed in shock. He quickly set up several arrays around himself. He hadn't expected Qing Yi to be able to summon Red Lotus Karmic Fire. Yi Qing was in for a tough battle.
As soon as the sea of fire appeared, the spirit swords surrounding Yi Qing disintegrated into ashes and scattered. Yi Qing immediately changed his strategy and recalled tens of thousands of his spirit swords. They surrounded him, forming a revolving wall of swords. He attempted to use the wall of swords to put out the flames, but he couldn't stop the flames from drawing near.
Qing Yi changed his tactic once again. Out of the sea of fire came an Inferno Dragon which was several times bigger than the ones before. Its flames looked as red as blood and seemed capable of lighting the entire sky on fire. The whole surroundings were suddenly illuminated under its crimson light.
The Inferno Dragon roared loudly, causing the entire area to vibrate. It flew up into the air toward Yi Qing, opening its maw wide.
Yi Qing's expression darkened and he recalled his swords, collapsing the defensive wall. Yi Qing channelled all his Spirit Qi into forming a Great Golden Sword which extended to the end of the horizon.
"His Sword Intent is so powerful!" Lonemoon exclaimed. Yi Qing is capable of condensing all his Sword Intent to form a Great Sword like that… Is he really just at the Nascent Soul stage? Or… or could he really…
The two fighters had truly gone all out—this moment would decide the winner and loser.
The Great Sword flew downward and the Inferno Dragon roared. There was a great collision of Spirit Qi, causing an explosion of blinding white light which turned the remainder of the Immortal Pavilion to ashes. Lonemoon grabbed Shen Ying and they both hid behind the pill refining cauldron. They were only able to survive that explosion due to the durability of the immortal artifact.
The light disappeared after a couple of seconds, revealing Yi Qing and Qing Yi who had fallen to the ground. The latter had spit out a mouthful of blood and he was obviously gravely injured, while Yi Qing was in even worse shape. The sword which he held in his hands had already been broken, his entire body covered with wounds and burns. Yi Qing fell to his knees, unable to hold the weight of his body up any longer as blood flowed uncontrollably out of his mouth. There was only one word to describe Yi Qing's condition right now—tragic.
Chapter 47: Fans Everywhere
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon's heart skipped a beat. Believe in him my ass! Lonemoon must have been crazy to listen to Shen Ying. Neither the master nor the disciple was reliable. "Hey, hey, hey. Yi Qing, are you still alive?" No matter how powerful he is, he couldn't have beaten Qing Yi.
"You're a true Sword Cultivator. One capable lad you are," Qing Yi said as he held his chest. He slowly got to his feet, looking at the blood-covered Yi Qing with caution. "If you were just a little stronger, Soul Formation- No, just late-stage Nascent Soul, I could have really died at your hands." Yi Qing's sword had actually overcome the Red Lotus Karmic Fire. If his cultivation level wasn't this low and he had more Spiritual Power, he would have been able to maintain the Great Sword for longer than half a minute. Then, Qing Yi would really have died at his hands.
"Master…" Yi Qing's body twitched as he turned to face Shen Ying. His eyes were filled with guilt as he apologized, "I'm sorry. Your disciple has failed to take after you… I didn't… win against him."
"Oh, don't worry." Shen Ying scanned him, subconsciously placing her hand on his head. After pausing for a moment, she continued, "Don't worry. The assignment isn't completed, but I won't deduct your marks."
"But even my sword is…" He lifted up the broken sword in his hand. It was utterly humiliating for a Sword Cultivator to have his sword broken.
"It's nothing, actually…"
Shen Ying tilted her head and stopped talking. Qing Yi suddenly took a couple of steps toward them. Looking directly at Yi Qing, he said, "I really cannot allow you to grow stronger, otherwise you'll definitely become trouble." As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he summoned a great Inferno Dragon. The dragon charged toward the Yi Qing, Shen Ying and Lonemoon. "Today, the three of you will die here."
The Inferno Dragon scorched the earth in its path, focused on swallowing the three people before it. Shen Ying raised her eyebrows. With the hand that was previously on Yi Qing's head, she picked up the broken sword in Yi Qing's hand. She thrust the broken sword toward the dragon and shouted, "Shut up!" Immediately, the earth rumbled beneath them. Qing Yi saw a ray of blinding light that seemed to span from the earth and all the way to heaven. The ray of light brushed past his sword and suddenly, the Inferno Dragon disappeared and the earth beneath his feet began to fall inward. Turning around, he saw… the entire Immortal Pavilion mystic realm had split into two!!!
(⊙_⊙) What… is this?
Loud cracking noises began to sound from all directions. Large cracks began to form in the ground, the Immortal Pavilion, and even in the sky. The ground all around them began to part as the entire mystic realm started to fall apart.
"Don't interrupt when people are speaking!" Shen Ying exclaimed, emphasising each word.
Qing Yi: "…"
What… just happened? "Holy shit." Lonemoon jumped. "Shen Ying, can you chill out?
Why did you have to destroy this mystic realm?" This is terrible. It was such a rare ancient mystic realm. Now, we might not even be able to remain here.
"You're blaming me?" Shen Ying rolled her eyes. This place is clearly too fragile.
"Mas… ter?" Yi Qing stared at the sword in her hand. The sword had been broken. It couldn't be used as a weapon and yet… "How…" How did Master manage to do something so incredible with a broken sword?
"Hm?" Shen Ying followed Yi Qing's line of sight and stared at the broken sword in her hand. What's he talking about?
"Master, how are you still able to use this sword?" His eyes reflected a hunger for knowledge. He had thought the sword was useless. Nobody would have been able to use it to do anything. "Your disciple wants to know where he is lacking." Shen Ying froze. Is he seeking guidance because he didn't complete his assignment?
"Er…" Shen Ying coughed. She looked around for a bit before putting on a serious expression, and then replied, "Well… Swordsmanship is all about being one with the sword. You may not have a sword in your hands, but it doesn't matter as long as you have one in your heart. The sword is nothing but a medium. Even a flower or a branch could be your sword."
"Pfft, what a copycat!" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. He recognised those lines from a novel right away and called her out. Have some sense of shame. "Don't listen to her, she's…"
"No sword in my hand, but a sword in my heart…"
"You can't be serious. You really believe that?" Does he have a brain?
"Be one with your sword…" Sword Qi began to surge around Yi Qing's body as Spirit Qi began to flow right into him. In seconds, his Qi was restored and the wounds on his body began to heal in front of their eyes. Even his cultivation level began to increase rapidly.
"Holy shit, how can this be!" F*cker, do you have to gain an epiphany even from a bunch of nonsense? You may have a screw loose, but you don't have to be this professional, right? Do you think epiphanies are like a bunch of fans surrounding you?
"Master, I understand now!" Yi Qing suppressed his epiphany as his cultivation level increased rapidly. He turned around to bow to Shen Ying and immediately flew toward Qing Yi who had been standing opposite from them.
Yi Qing was not holding any weapon in his hand, yet tens of thousands of spirit swords appeared around him. His Sword Intent was hundreds of times stronger than before; Qing Yi's Red Lotus Karmic Fire would not be able to do anything to him anymore. He had suppressed his cultivation level so that he remained at the Nascent Soul stage. Qing Yi was still a Traveling Immortal yet despite that, the two seemed to have swapped positions. Yi Qing now clearly had the upper hand against Qing Yi. Lonemoon: "…" He felt as if he no longer understood the way this stupid world worked.
Fine. If they wanted to make a mess of things, he would wash his hands of them!
○ | ̄|_
Shen Ying yawned. "I'm so sleepy! Father Niu, you keep an eye on him. I'm going to take a nap," Shen Ying suddenly said as she stretched.
"…" Sleep my ass! What else do you do besides eating and sleeping? Do you really take that fellow as your disciple?
Wait a moment!
"Did you agree to let Yi Qing fight Qing Yi alone because you were too lazy to move?" "…"
A while later…
"The weather is so good today. What should we have for lunch?"
To hell with your hesitation! I was right, you're just f*cking lazy!
Yi Qing was out to kill this time—he took less than a minute to finish off Qing Yi. But afterwards he could suppress his cultivation level no longer as the Spirit Qi in this Immortal Pavilion was far too thick. Yi Qing's epiphany lasted only two hours, yet in this short timeframe he had advanced to the Soul Formation stage. He had caught up with Lonemoon just like that. Lonemoon could only curse at this.
He hadn't known he had brought along two cheats. It was enough that the master was a cheat. Who knew that the disciple would be such a cheat as well? It had only been a while yet he had grown from being a Golden Core stage cultivator to a Soul Formation stage cultivator. This was ridiculous.
Ever since Lonemoon met this master and disciple, his neat and clean idea of the immortal future was becoming increasingly messed up. Lonemoon felt as if he had only come this far because heaven was on his side.
"Master," Yi Qing called out after having recovered from his epiphany. Shen Ying had already woken up from her nap. "Thank you for your guidance. It helped your disciple make a little progress."
"Heh heh…" Lonemoon wanted to slap the two of them. Calling this a little progress? It was more like a major milestone. "Yeah." Shen Ying nodded solemnly. "Can we eat now?"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
Lonemoon: "…" Damn this pair of retards!
Chapter 48: Inheriting Prescriptions
They had roasted beast meat for lunch. Yi Qing had somehow learned how to inspect spirit beast corpses along the way. He picked up some materials from the surroundings and used the leftover flames from the Red Lotus Karmic Fire to roast the beast meat.
Lonemoon respectfully lit a candle for Qing Yi who lay there motionless with his eyes still open. The beast meat was… freaking delicious. As he finished up his fifth beast steak, Lonemoon began to worry about his future.
Ever since he got to know Foodie Shen, his many years of Grain Liberation had slowly gone to waste. The foodie in him— which was present in every Chinese—was unleashed. He had not managed to reign it in. If this carried on, he didn't know when he would see the results of his Grain Liberation.
Rotten Shen Ying. She destroyed my immortal future and prevented me from achieving Immortal Ascension!
(#‵′)凸 "One more piece!"
After finishing their meal, they surveyed the once beautiful Immortal Pavilion. It had been completely destroyed. Shen Ying's sword had struck the Immortal Pavilion's foundation so that all that remained was the elixir-refining cauldron.
"Where should we go next?" Shen Ying glanced at Lonemoon.
You're the boss—you call the shots.
"There's nothing valuable left here," Lonemoon answered as he looked at the elixir-refining cauldron. The Immortal Pavilion was in shambles and the pills in the treasury had lost their effectiveness. The Vegetation Spirit was the only valuable thing left in this entire ancient mystic realm, so they had no reason to remain here. "Let's go inside the cauldron to take a look. Once three months is up, we'll go home."
"Please hold on!" The three of them were just about to move off when they were stopped by a voice from behind. Bitao suddenly floated toward them from out of nowhere. "How about the heritage? My two little friends, are you interested in inheriting the heritage?" Lonemoon's heart skipped a beat. He had almost forgotten about the Immortal Soul. This was a heritage belonging to an immortal sect after all—there could be many long-lost recipes.
"Now that you mention it… you've already tried to hand your heritage down for so long. What exactly does it contain?" Shen Ying asked.
Bitao's eyes lit up on hearing her question. He obediently floated closer to her and answered, "Let me answer you, Great Immortal: my heritage contains all the recipes for all the pills and elixirs of the Dan Yang Sect as well as all the knowledge of refining pills. My Dan Yang Sect was the top Immortal Sect 50,000 years ago. We had countless alchemists, and many immortals would come to our sect begging for just one pill or elixir."
"Oh." So the heritage is just a compilation of life techniques.
"Great Immortal, I promise that whichever of your two subordinates who inherits my heritage will become the next renowned alchemist. He who inherits the heritage can easily refine any of the pills you saw in the Pill Storage Repository earlier." The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched. Hey, hey, hey. When did he become Shen Ying's subordinate? In any case, this heritage did sound really attractive.
Shen Ying blinked. Suddenly, her face lit up as if she had thought of a brilliant idea.
"Are you sure that the heritage contains the recipes for supreme-grade pills and elixirs from 50,000 years ago?"
"Of course! They are all treasures."
"Oh, then after all this time… aren't they now outdated?"
"… Ah? Ah!" Bitao went silent.
"Look!" Shen Ying began to explain in a serious tone, "Times have changed and will continue to change. All your techniques were used 50,000 years ago. The outside world must have undergone tens of revolutions right?" "…"
"Although your heritage doesn't contain digital products which rapidly become obsolete, but a few years… or a few hundred years would certainly be enough to make the recipes obsolete, right? After all, 50,000 years is enough to progress from the Stone Age to when socialism became popular."
Yi Qing: "…"
Bitao didn't really understand, but… why did he suddenly feel
like he was about to vomit blood? All these recipes for supreme- grade pills and elixirs from the honorable Dan Yang Sect are… really… outdated?
"My two… two Fellow Daoists." He forced himself to face the two people standing beside him. "Can you please take over…" But before he could finish, Lonemoon and Yi Qing both took a huge step backward.
"…" They didn't have to be so practical, did they? This was an ancient heritage they were being asked to receive—how could they despise it so?
"My two Fellow Daoists, if either of you are willing to inherit this heritage, I… I…" Bitao looked around him, searching for something to offer. He gritted his teeth and with a look of shame, he pointed to the elixir-refining cauldron beside him and continued, "I will donate the Deviant Fire in that cauldron to you. How's that?" He had to pass down the heritage no matter what. Otherwise, he wouldn't rest in peace!
"The fire in this cauldron…" Shen Ying began.
Lonemoon and Yi Qing's faces turned pale and they both moved to cover her mouth. Please, Patriarch! Could you let this mystic realm off?
In the end, Lonemoon agreed to inherit the Dan Yang Sect's heritage. The Immortal Soul kept his word and passed down the Deviant Fire from the cauldron as well. Lonemoon split the Deviant Fire in two and gave the other half to Yi Qing.
Yi Qing did not know how to refine pills, but he had quite a bit of knowledge on weapon refinement. The Deviant Fire would be especially useful for refining weapons.
50,000 years worth of heritage wasn't even worth as much as a Deviant Fire…
Lonemoon studied the heritage closely. It turned out to be just as Shen Ying, that jinx, had said. Apart from some long-lost pill recipes, 80% of the recipes in the heritage were for outdated pills and elixirs. The current pills and elixirs were far more effective and the ingredients required to make them were far more accessible. He felt as if he had just found education material from a whole other age—the recipes were useless. More importantly, the long-lost recipes were for pills and elixirs that had either been replaced in the Azure World or that had already ceased to exist.. At the end of the day, very little of it had any value.
After he looked through all the recipes, he immediately transferred the recipes in the heritage onto a jade slip. He would hand it to Xi Qiu once he got back to the Dao Repository and allow his disciples to study these recipes freely. At least this would fulfill Bitao's last wish.
The three of them remained in the mystic realm for over a month. During this time, Lonemoon wholeheartedly cleansed the Deviant Fire. The Deviant Fire was extremely powerful, so it took him a lot of effort just to contain it. This was probably because there was a lot of Immortal Qi surrounding them. After containing the Deviant Fire, his cultivation level—which had remained the same throughout the year—finally began to increase.
However, he had no time to celebrate. He turned around to look at Yi Qing who had also managed to cleanse the Deviant Fire. Yi Qing had woken up early every day to fix their meals and even planned to build a house for Shen Ying while they were here. Lonemoon wanted to vomit blood just thinking about it.
Damn it, there's no use comparing. Lonemoon felt as if he was a bastard to the heavens—Yi Qing was definitely the true son.
"Let's go back!" He picked up the broken pieces of his heart before he headed out of the ancient mystic realm. Even after exiting the mystic realm, he didn't communicate with anyone around him. Instead, he headed straight for Blackheaven Sect.
Lonemoon immediately brought Shen Ying and Yi Qing to the Main Peak's main hall. He took out the spirit herbs that he picked from the mystic realm from his storage bag. Xi Qiu grinned at the sight of it all, making himself look like a 2 year old child.
"There are so many ten thousand-year-old spirit herbs! The trip must have been hard on Uncle-Master and Perfected Yi…" But then Xi Qiu suddenly paused as he studied Yi Qing with disbelief written all over his face. "You… your… your cultivation level… why is it…" Yi Qing was at the Nascent Soul stage when he had left Blackheaven Sect. How did he return as a Soul Formation cultivator? Was he blind? "He had an epiphany in the mystic realm," Lonemoon explained as the corner of his mouth twitched.
"Yet… yet another epiphany!" Didn't he just have an epiphany not long ago? He is advancing so quickly! Xi Qiu suppressed his surprise and tried to think carefully. That was an ancient mystic realm—maybe he was lucky. He bowed to Yi Qing and congratulated him, "Congratulations, Supremacy Yi Qing."
Yi Qing nodded in response.
"Oh, yes." Xi Qiu suddenly recalled something. "Was the Upper Azure World…"
He wanted to ask about Qing Yin but before he could finish, he felt the ground shake beneath his feet. The entire Blackheaven Sect began to shake as a blinding white light shone from outside of the main hall.
"Protective Mountain Array!" Immediately, the Protective Mountain Array was activated. Xi Qiu's face turned pale as he turned to meet Lonemoon's eyes. "Something's happening!" The two of them quickly ran out of the main hall while Shen Ying and Yi Qing followed closely behind.
The entire Blackheaven Sect was now being protected by the Protective Mountain Array. Not far from the array, a huge lotus flower was parked in the air. Atop the lotus flower stood hundreds of unknown cultivators. Each of them were donned in green and white checkered robes, all of them looking down with hostility.
An angry male voice sounded out.
"A little sect like yours actually dared to hurt someone from my Xuan Yuan Family. Hand over the three murderers who killed three of our elders. Otherwise, I will make a bloodbath out of this place!"
Chapter 49: The Aristocratic Family's Motivea
The person in the air sent a warning and a few people immediately flew out and began to conjure up seals. Red lights shone brightly and a ray of glaring light shot directly at the Protective Mountain Array. A loud cracking sound was heard and immediately a chink was made in the huge array. Those cultivators did not stop attacking, their attacks growing more intense instead, and the entire sky above Blackheaven Sect echoed with clashing noises.
Xi Qiu's face turned white as a sheet. This group of people had the audacity to directly attack the Protective Mountain Array with the intention to slaughter. The disciples of the Blackheaven Sect all flew out and gathered in front of the hall. They were flustered looking at the sky as all the hall masters also arrived.
"Senior Brother, this is…" Disciplinary Hall Master Xi Chen stepped forward and asked hurriedly.
"I am not sure either." Xi Qiu's heart sank as he turned towards a disciple and ordered, "Quickly head over to Ling Xiao Peak to inform the two Supremacies, Ye Xing and Yu Yang, and invite them to immediately come out of seclusion."
"There's no need for that!" The moment this voice was heard, two white silhouettes had landed at the hall simultaneously. "We are already here." They must have noticed such a large happening.
"Greetings to you both, Uncle-Masters." Everyone saluted them.
Yu Yang nodded and with furrowed brows, asked the people in the sky, "What is going on? Why would the Xuan Yuan Family from the Upper Azure World be here all of a sudden?" Especially with a stance ready to battle?
Everyone present had blank looks but Lonemoon furrowed his brows, stepped forward and said, "Senior Brother, I think they are here for me."
"Junior Brother Lonemoon…" Both Supremacies were shocked. Just as they were about to ask further, a loud bang was heard at the Protective Mountain Array—it had shattered under the attack of the enemy. The gigantic lotus flower headed towards the main peak's hall and stopped in the air before the hall.
Upon taking a closer look at the hundreds of cultivators above, everybody sucked in their breath as they realized there were quite a few of them were Soul Formation cultivators, and the five that were leading them were Traveling Immortals. The others were either of the Nascent Soul or Golden Core stage. Not one was below Golden Core.
Such a lineup would not be possible for them even if they rounded up all the cultivators in the Middle Azure World. Xi Qiu's heart sank as he grew more fearful of the Upper Azure World's extent of power. Seeing that the other party did not immediately begin to battle, as the sect master, he took a deep breath and went forward to say, "Fellow Daoists of the Upper Azure World, I am sorry for not being able to welcome all of you due to your sudden arrival at the sect, but may I know the reason behind destroying my Protective Mountain Array?"
"Hmph, stop feigning ignorance!" The cultivator on the right came forward. "My three elders of the Xuan Yuan Family came over to this world in good faith to help you explore and check how true the newly surfaced mystic realm was. Yet not only did you guys not appreciate it, you used some despicable means to kill them in the mystic realm. As one of the four largest aristocratic families in the Upper Azure World, should I not have come here to claim blood revenge?"
At those words, not only Xi Qiu's, but more than half of the Blackheaven Sect cultivators' faces turned black. He looked over at Lonemoon and immediately guessed at what had happened. Previously, most of the disciples had witnessed the ill conduct of the three people from the Upper Azure World. While they claimed to help explore the mystic realm, they had actually come to fight for the resources and they probably also fought with many of the cultivators of the other sects. But the outcome of that was obvious; apparently, all the fighting backfired and they were killed instead.
There were several mystic realms in the Three Azure Realms, but many of them had restrictions on the people that were allowed to enter which was why mystic realms had been deemed as not under the jurisdiction of laws. Moreover, since the Dharma treasures contained in those realms were all without owners, it was common for a few people to discover them at the same time, and so fighting for resources in a mystic realm was prevalent. The outcome would of course be that the fittest would survive. All the resentment inside a mystic realm would not involve anything outside of it, thus the sects kept a certain mutual understanding.
Yet these actions of the Xuan Yuan Family today seemed ridiculous. Was this to imply that only the people from the Upper Azure World were allowed to kill people while the rest could not even retaliate?
"Fellow Daoists, the mystic realm is treacherous and accidents are commonplace. Is it not possible that you have made a mistake somewhere?" Xi Qiu suppressed the anger in his heart and reminded them in a low voice.
"Hmph, you are still quibbling!" The speaker suddenly raised his hand to manifest two crystallic mirrors and as he produced a seal, he said loudly, "The people of my Xuan Yuan Family plant a Soul Chasing Seal in their Divine Perception. This seal would only be activated upon being destroyed, sending an image of the moment right before their death back to the sect."
An image appeared above the two crystallic mirrors each. One depicted the moment before Qing Yin's death and the other before Qing Yi's death. But both showed the same person's silhouette with the only difference being that one was standing in shock while the other was holding a long, golden sword with apparent murderous intent. That was… Yi Qing!
Suddenly, all the surrounding gazes were turned onto Yi Qing.
"What else do you have to say? This is the person who killed our three elders!" The speaker turned towards Yi Qing in anger. "Today, if you guys do not hand over the murderer along with all the people who entered the mystic realm that day, your sect will no longer have a purpose to exist."
"I have seen people who do not reason, but I have never seen such an unreasonable person." Lonemoon could not hold himself back. "It is clear that your Xuan Yuan Family is greedy of gain and wanted to claim the ancient mystic realm. Now that you could not claim it, you even want to use this opportunity to exact revenge for what happened in the mystic realm. One always has to be responsible for the dangers they encounter in a mystic realm. If you are not skillful enough then you would have to pay the price. How can you come here to seek justice? The Xuan Yuan Family is such a sore loser."
"Hmph." The other party suddenly sneered. The suppressive aura of the other side's Traveling Immortals enveloped the entire sky and engulfed the Main Peak. Lonemoon and a few others were prepared for this and so they were fine, but the lower level disciples immediately fell down and spewed blood.
"You…" Flustered, Lonemoon was just about to go forward, but he was held back by Yu Yang. "Senior Brother!"
"Don't be rash." The Blackheaven Sect did not have the means to fight with them.
That suppressive aura only appeared for a while before it was immediately withdrawn. Of the five Traveling Immortals, the middle-aged cultivator in the center stepped forward and looked around at the people. His gaze stopped on Yi Qing, a tinge of fear flashing past his eyes, and he then said, "Fellow Daoist, what you said was not illogical. The encounters in the mystic realm are indeed dependent on each person's fate. There is no reason to seek revenge afterwards." At least not openly.
"Third Uncle…" The previously shouting Soul Formation cultivator panicked, seemingly trying to say something but was silenced by the look thrown at him by the other. That Traveling Immortal's hands were behind his back and he had a strong air of righteousness about him. "This matter has a lot of gray areas which is why we are all here to get a better understanding of it. If it were only a normal fight of fate, we would have not come here with such great fanfare."
"What do you mean?" Lonemoon's heart sank with an ominous feeling.
The Traveling Immortal laughed slightly and, narrowing his eyes, he said, "That day, before the three elders entered the mystic realm to aid in the exploration of this mystic realm, they had specially requested for our family's treasure to be brought in with them. Now that the three of them are dead and this treasure is gone missing, aren't we supposed to find out what exactly happened?"
"Moreover, out of three of the elders, two of them were Traveling Immortals." He seemed to be implying something as he looked at Yi Qing and said, "The only person capable of killing the three of them, apart from a Perfected Immortal, would be someone with an extremely unique treasure. Therefore, I would like to ask this Fellow Daoist to return our Xuan Yuan family's treasure—the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit." Holy shit! Lonemoon suddenly understood their motive. Damn it, this Xuan Yuan Family would risk anything to gain something—each one of them was slier than the last.
Chapter 50: Treasure from an Unknown Source
Lonemoon was absolutely disgusted by these audacious bandits. These people were clearly here for the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit. They didn't really care how the three elders had died—they just wanted to use them as an excuse to make things difficult for the Blackheaven Sect.
"Fellow Daoist, you need to show proof for what you're asserting," Lonemoon said. "You expect us to believe that you brought your treasure into the mystic realm just because you said so?"
"When the three elders asked our sect master for permission, a lot of our disciples were present."
"All of whom are from your Xuan Yuan Family. They're not fit to be witnesses. Even if someone really had brought the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit out, how are you going to prove that it belonged to your Xuan Yuan Family and was not originally from the mystic realm?" "What a joke," the man scoffed. "Everybody in the Upper Azure World knows that my Xuan Yuan Family is home to many alchemists. The only Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit in the world belongs to my family—it is one of the treasures of our heritage."
Holy shit, are they saying that any Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit automatically belongs to the Xuan Yuan Family?
The man turned around to face Yi Qing and said, "Fellow Daoist, there are indeed many treasures you could come across in the mystic realm that are free for the taking, but the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit is definitely not one of them. It has a rightful owner. Please return it to us, Fellow Daoist!"
"I did not take anything that belongs to you," Yi Qing said firmly as he stepped forward. "I did kill Qing Yi, but that was only because he attempted to kill us and take our treasure."
"You didn't take it? The Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit was with our three elders. If you hadn't taken it, who did? Do you dare to let me search your soul to see if you have seen the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit?" "You…" Lonemoon was furious. Soul-searching was an exceedingly depraved method. The user would have access to all of a person's memories, but this would have a grave effect on the person's soul. That person would definitely end up a paralytic, at best. What difference was this from saying he wanted to kill Yi Qing?
"Or…" The man swept his gaze across the crowd before he continued, "Do you really want me to turn this place into a bloodbath so that I can take my time to look for the treasure that rightfully belongs to my family?" As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he released a suppressive force from his body once again. The people he had brought with him also began to take out their weapons.
The people of the Blackheaven Sect began to panic and even Xi Qiu and Yu Yang turned to look at Yi Qing suspiciously.
Now Lonemoon was hopping mad—this was the first time he had ever felt this indignant. The Xuan Yuan Family did not come with good intentions and it was clear that they were not about to let the Blackheaven Sect off that easily. They were only using the Vegetation Spirit as an excuse to find trouble with them. They did not even care whether Yi Qing had the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit with him. All they needed was an excuse. As long as Lonemoon, Yi Qing and Shen Ying insisted that they did not have the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit, they would destroy the Blackheaven Sect. Then, not only would they be able to avenge their three elders, they would also be able to flaunt their power in the Lower Realm. If the three of them admitted that they had the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit, that would still be a pleasant surprise to them.
And as it turns out, they really did have a Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit.
Everyone who was present understood what the Xuan Yuan Family was up to. However, the Blackheaven Sect stood no chance of defending themselves against an aristocratic family from the Upper World as the Blackheaven Sect was so much weaker compared to them. Besides that, there were so many low-ranking disciples of the Blackheaven Sect around—no matter how the battle turned out, they would still stand to lose hundreds of men.
"I did find a Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit in the mystic realm." Yi Qing's expression darkened. He understood what the Xuan Yuan Family was up to as well. As he walked past the crowd, he continued, "But it is not the one that the Xuan Yuan Family brought into the mystic realm."
As soon as he had spoken, the few Traveling Immortals on the lotus flower became dumbfounded.
On the other hand, everybody in the Blackheaven Sect seemed to burst with anger. All of them turned to face Yi Qing with hostile expressions, especially the disciples who did not yet understand the truth. Voices of doubt sounded from all around.
"That's impossible, he really took it?"
"No wonder the people of the Upper Azure World are so angry."
"Isn't he a Sword Cultivator? What does he want that pill- refining spirit for?"
"Who wouldn't want a treasure of that grade? He entered the mystic realm at the Nascent Soul stage, yet came out at the Soul Formation stage. Who would believe that he's not holding on to any treasure?"
"Eh, how did my Blackheaven Sect produce such a person?"
The more Lonemoon heard, the angrier he became. All he wanted was to rush into the crowd and shut them all up.
Even a hall master turned against them and began to persuade Yi Qing, "Supremacy Yi Qing. If you really took their Vegetation Spirit, why don't you just return it to them? Why must you involve the entire sect?"
"Shut up!" Lonemoon's heart stilled. He turned to glare at that hall master. How could he say something like that? When the three Traveling Immortals came up to Blackheaven Sect, Yi Qing had been a mere Nascent Soul cultivator. He would not have had the chance to go if the people from their sect had not been so useless. To think that the three of them had fought so hard to come home with so many spirit herbs in tow and had even given everything they had found to the sect. Now, in the face of trouble, these people were willing to give up Yi Qing's life to save their own? Do you all have any sense of shame?
What's more, the Xuan Yuan Family was clearly stirring trouble. How could they blame everything on Yi Qing? He was just unlucky to have been caught in the eyes of those three elders just before they had died.
"This… I wasn't the one who said this. It's the Upper World's…" The hall master stepped back reluctantly, refusing to give up that line of thought.
"Lonemoon…" Yu Yang frowned and stepped forward. "You can't blame them. This concerns the whole sect. We need to keep the bigger picture in mind."
"Senior Brother?" Lonemoon could not believe his ears. His eyes widened as he asked, "Even you think that way?"
Yu Yang looked at the crowd above them, floating on the lotus flower. He lowered his voice and replied, "You should understand that protecting the sect should be our priority. The truth isn't important!" Not important!
Lonemoon hesitated. Suddenly, he understood something. He opened his eyes even wider and turned to look at all the hall masters standing behind him. Everyone took a step back and even Xi Qiu turned away.
So they've made up their minds?
The Upper Azure World had given the command. To save their sect, they wanted to give Yi Qing up! Was it really better to sacrifice one person than to see the entire sect be destroyed?
His eyes kept widening. He suddenly felt like a stranger in the sect which he had been a part of for hundreds of years.
But despite all this, Yi Qing's expression remained calm. He seemed to have expected this outcome. This was precisely the reason he chose to remain an itinerant cultivator and refused to join a sect. A place with so many people was ironically devoid of heart. Without any regard for the crowd that was furiously whispering behind him, he said, "I saw the Vegetation Spirit grow in the ancient mystic realm and it does not belong to your Xuan Yuan Family."
"What a joke!" A Traveling Immortal laughed coldly. "Who else could the Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit belong to but my family?"
"It belongs to me!" A female voice replied as soon as he had finished asking the question.
The Traveling Immortal hesitated before he searched the ground below him. A few seconds passed before his eyes landed on the woman beside Yi Qing. Her hand was raised. His troubled heart suddenly fell quiet.
"Who are you?" "I'm his master," Shen Ying replied, pointing to Yi Qing. It was rare for her to identify herself this way. "Let me correct you: Chef- I mean, my disciple only killed one out of three of your people. He killed the one who ate the wrong medicine… Yes, the one in the right-hand side mirror. I killed the other two." And I was paid to do so.