Chapter 321: Business Everywhere
"Hahaha… Fellow Daoist Lonemoon is finally here. I have waited long." Dong Wu smiled widely and approached Lonemoon with an extremely brotherly enthusiasm. Even others couldn't help but turn to look too. Among other cultivators who came to send over their disciples, there were some Soul Formation Supremacies too, but Dong Wu had never acted like this before.
"I have received your letter a few days ago. Please, come inside!" As he talked, he was dragging Lonemoon towards the audience hall.
"No hurry, no hurry." Lonemoon didn't move, and his smile grew even wider. "I am only coming over to send disciples of the sect to enter the mystic realm for practice. I can't neglect the business."
"Yes, yes!" Dong Wu nodded multiple times, as he walked towards the entrance of the mystic realm.
He went past the sects that came earlier and stood beside disciples of Divine Heavens Sect. As they waited for the mystic realm, he started chatting with Lonemoon. Nobody knew how Lonemoon swayed him, but when it was time for the sects to pay for entrance to the mystic realm, Honesty Sect gave over not even one spirit stone, and Dong Wu even took out a bag of spirit stones and pressed it into Lonemoon's hand. Looking at the marking on the bag, it must have contained a good number of rare spirit stones.
Lou Hong was completely stunned at the side and didn't understand what just happened at all. Since when had Supremacy and Divine Heavens Sect's sect master been on such familiar terms? Why did he have no idea of it? By the way, would he possibly abandon Honesty Sect to join them?
He suddenly panicked.
"The mystic realm is open!" Someone cried.
A white light suddenly flashed on top of the square. The space distorted, and soon a spiral entrance towards the mystic realm was formed. The disciples waiting to enter were all excited. The higher-level cultivators also seized the time to tell their disciples about various precautions for entering the mystic realm.
For all the other sects, the masters were telling disciples about things to take note, but here at Honesty Sect…
"Master, I have sealed the meals for the following days in the storage bag. You don't need to worry about being hungry."
"Master, I have already set a regularly activated dusting array, it will do the cleaning automatically."
"Master, I will be away for one month, and the weather is already starting to turn cold. You must remember to wear more clothes." "Alright, alright, alright."
"Master, don't lean on the table after you finish eating. You fall asleep too easily, and without me nobody will send you back into the house."
"Master, if you are bored, don't go out alone. I've already told the disciple under the peak about it. You can just shout for him, he will guide you."
Shen Ying, "…" All the disciples: "…"
Is there something strange about the approach of their sect?
"Uh, by the way, why can't we enter the mystic realm yet?" Seeing the looks others gave them became ever stranger, Lonemoon couldn't help but interrupt Chef's words, feeling that something was exposed.
Dong Wu who stood beside him was stunned, and only just realized all disciples of his own sect were standing in place and didn't set out. Because they were the host, before Divine Heavens Sect moved, the other sects couldn't bring themselves to enter first.
"What's the matter?" He frowned, couldn't help but looked towards his own disciples. "Why aren't you entering?"
"Sect master…" A leading disciple at the front of the row replied, his face whitened and he looked slightly embarrassed, "The… the people from Wu Xiang Peak hasn't come yet." "Disciples of Junior Brother Wu Xiang?" Dong Wu frowned, and some displeasure showed in his eyes. "Quickly send someone to tell them to hurry."
"There's no need." Just after his sentence finished, a familiar voice sounded and a mid-aged cultivator came flying. He was Wu Xiang, the same person who once went to Honesty Sect and ended up being robbed by Lonemoon. "Senior Brother, I'm here."
He still looked proud and arrogant. Three disciples followed him. Among them, the one with the highest level of cultivation was a disciple on his right. He was in mid-stage Foundation Establishment, and the aura on him was a bit unstable. He seemed to have only broken into this level recently. It was also a familiar face- he was Jing Qi, who suddenly disappeared in the sect years ago.
His body had grown visibly much taller, and he had an adult- like look. Yet the fat shadow around him was indeed too ugly that it made one ignore, almost completely, the look of the occupied body.
Lonemoon held his gaze. It seemed that the method of sending Wu Xiang monthly bills did work. Wu Xiang indeed had some grudge towards this disciple. He once vowed that he would only take this one disciple, but now he already had three.
And the karma which originally filled Jing Qi's body seemed to have lessened significantly.
"It's you!" Wu Xiang saw Lonemoon the moment his feet touched the ground, and he was shocked.
"Supremacy Wu Xiang. Long time no see!" Lonemoon smiled in a business-like way.
Wu Xiang's mouth twitched. As if he remembered something, he snorted and did not pay him any more heed. He turned to wave towards the three disciples, "Go!"
The three nodded, before they joined the other disciples of Divine Heavens Sect. Yet Jing Qi looked back frequently, and his glance fell upon Yi Qing who stood beside Shen Ying. His expression became even more gloomy, with a hint of viciousness that nobody noticed. Yi Qing! He didn't expect him to be here as well. Not only was he at Foundation Establishment level just like him, his cultivation seemed to be higher. Why? Why is it he? Both of them had been disciples of Soul Formation Supremacies, but Yi Qing was always one step faster than himself!
"Everybody is here. You may enter!" Dong Wu told the disciples. They turned back to make a salute, before flying up on their swords towards the direction of the mystic realm.
Seeing that disciples of Divine Heavens Sect had all entered, the group from Honesty Sect naturally came next. Yi Qing's hands tightened beside his body. He looked again at Shen Ying, "Master, wait for me to return."
With that said, he brought everyone and they flew in on their swords, disappearing behind the door instantly.
The other sects followed. Soon, on the originally crowded square, there were only a couple dozens of higher-level cultivators who came to escort their disciples. It seemed somewhat empty. "Junior Brother!" Only now did Dong Wu look at Wu Xiang and say with a disapproving look, "The opening of the mystic realm is a big event of the sect. I hope Junior Brother will make early preparations in the future, and don't be late like today."
A bit of anger rose in Wu Xiang's heart, but he couldn't argue, so he nodded and said, "Yes, Senior Brother!" With that said he gave Lonemoon a look. "I still have matters to tend to on my peak. I'll not accompany Senior Brother." And he turned and flew away on his sword.
Dong Wu looked at the man flying away, sighed and frowned. He rather disliked this Junior Brother Wu Xiang. Among all masters of peaks in the sect, he had the most eccentric temperament. In the past, he used to refuse taking disciples. Yet a few years ago, he suddenly brought one back, saying that he would be the only disciple. However, two years later, he actually took a liking to two Heavenly Spirit Root disciples who just joined the sect. At first, they were already taken by other peak masters, with only the gift to honor new masters yet to be given. But he forcefully took them over, and it made himself as the sect master troubled for a long while.
Chapter 322: Practice of food
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon." Remembering the person next to him, Dong Wu's expression looked happy, as he hurried to side- step and smile warmly, "Regarding the matter of ten sword arrays that Fellow Daoist mentioned, can we discuss it in the audience hall?"
"Of course!" Lonemoon didn't refuse and followed suit. After a while, his footsteps stopped, as he turned back and dragged Shen Ying over. This one would definitely get lost if he doesn't keep an eye on her!
"This one is…" Dong Wu seemed to only notice Shen Ying now. He thought she was a disciple going to practice?
"My… Junior Sister, Shen Ying." Lonemoon replied.
"Oh, Fellow Daoist Shen. Come… inside, please!"
So the three went together towards the direction of the Divine Heavens Sect audience hall. Lou Hong who was being left behind, "…"
He suddenly felt that Honesty Sect didn't have much need of a sect master after all. Alright, he had better go home and count the spirit stones.
The number coming from Honesty Sect this time wasn't huge. There were around 30 in total, and in the morning Lou Hong had divided them into two teams, led by Lou Tao and Yi Qing respectively.
Yi Qing was cold in temperament and didn't talk much. But perhaps due to his ferocity in the sword arrays, the disciples had seen him much, and they had an illusion of him being high up and beyond their reach. All those at the same level respected him, and he could pretty much get them to obey with a mere look. Besides, most of the party were sword cultivators. Sword cultivation emphasized the understanding of Sword Dao, the most important for which was practical fights. In one word, it's all about doing it! Therefore, they were very different from the other sects who had to take notice of other spirit herbs or weapon refinement materials, while avoiding the demon beasts by all means as they walked. Their group came just for the demon beasts, so they not only didn't have to avoid them, they even looked for their nests. They went straight all the way towards the depths of the mystic realm.
Perhaps due to bad luck, the few demon beasts they encountered along the way were only at the second or third level. They did not encounter any of the higher levels. Second and third-level demon beasts are equivalent to the Qi Refinement stage, and presented no challenge to them at all.
Only after three days did they meet a fifth-level demon beast. Everyone looked happy, as they formed an array and started fighting. They spent nearly six hours before they defeated that beast. At the time, everyone except Yi Qing had already exhausted their Spiritual Power, and couldn't move any more.
Yi Qing looked at the others, before he took his sword and walked towards the dead demon beast. He waved the sword, and a sword light flashed. He directly took out the Spirit Pill in the stomach of the demon beast, looked at it, and suddenly looked up again to ask, "Who has the Spirit Root of Ice?" The group stunned. A disciple raised his hand blankly, "I am, but it is double roots of Ice and Wood."
"Oh," Yi Qing answered, as he threw over the Demon's Spirit Pill in his hand, "Take it."
"Ah! Ah?" That disciple stunned, took it subconsciously, "You… are giving it to me?" He didn't quite know how to react. This was the Demon's Spirit Pill, and it's one of a fifth level demon beast! He's giving it away like this? Although everyone fought together just now, everyone knew that young Uncle- Master was the only one who mattered. Without him, they probably wouldn't have been able to defeat this demon beast.
Everyone else had that stunned look as well. They thought carefully, and realize that all the way, while young uncle-master rarely fought besides taking care of them at the side, he didn't seem to take anything at all.
This was… a bit too selfless.
Everyone's heart was warm with emotions. Just as they were about to say something, a loud roar of demon beast suddenly was suddenly heard. The trees in front fell down together, and even the ground was shaking.
A giant beast the height of three people was there in front of everyone. Its shape was like an ox, but it had scales all over it. There were two rows of sharp horns on its head, and nine tails were waving on its back. Flames emerged from its four hooves.
It roared loudly towards the group. They felt a hot, burning sensation immediately, as if all the surroundings were going to catch fire.
"It's the Fire Hooves Beast!" A disciple cried out, and everyone's faces whitened.
"My god, it is a sixth-level demon beast. It is equivalent to the Golden Core stage!"
"What can we do? We can't beat him." "We don't have any more strength. Young uncle-master, quickly…"
Before anyone could finish, a wave of sword rain fell on the beast. Instantly, the giant beast thrice the height of a person became like a griddle. It slammed onto the ground with a loud bang and made no more sound.
All the disciples: "…"
"What were you saying?" Yi Qing turned back.
"Oh." Yi Qing turned back, used the sword to directly open up the belly of the demon, taking out a red bead. He asked, "Who's of Fire Spirit Root?"
"… I… I am." "Take it!" he said. He threw over the demon's core and turned to squat down… He started cutting meat from the corpse with his sword.
All the disciples: "…"
Wait a moment!
Did their eyes cheat them? Young uncle-master is… cutting the demon beast's meat!
In either pill refinement or weapon refinement, the meat of a demon beast is completely useless to a cultivator. What was young uncle-master cutting the meat for?
Is it because he gave the demon cores to them, yet was afraid they would feel guilty, so he cut some useless meat to pretend that he got something? The disciples looked at one another and felt so touched that their eyes were filled with tears. So… so touching. They were actually fortunate enough to have such an uncle-master.
"Young uncle-master!" The disciple who took the demon core of fire element just now handed over the core in his hand. "I actually… won't have much use of this demon core."
"And me!" said the disciple who just took the one of ice. "I won't need it too."
So young uncle-master may keep it for yourself. Don't just take care of us.
Yi Qing looked up at the emotional group and was stunned. He replied, "Oh, throw it away then!"
The first disciple, "…"
The second disciple, "…" All the other disciples, "…"
Yi Qing didn't pay attention to the confused look on everyone's face at all. He stuffed the meat into his storage bag, turned and said, "Let's go!" With that said, he walked on towards the depths of the mystic realm.
Others looked at one another for a while and had to follow. Inside, they felt even more touched. Young uncle-master must have not taken back the demon cores to avoid embarrassing them. It must be so.
So the same situation kept repeating in the following days.
A fifth-level demon beast was killed… and Yi Qing was cutting the meat.
A fifth-level demon beast was killed… and Yi Qing was cutting the meat.
They managed to kill a seventh-level demon beast beyond their level… Yi Qing was still cutting the meat.
They encountered an eighth-level demon beast… Yi Qing struggled hard to cut a piece of meat and led them to run away together.
All the disciples: "…"
Why did they feel as if young uncle-master didn't come inside to practice, but to look for ingredients? No, no, this must be their illusion.
Chapter 323: Deep Down the Mystic Realm
They approached the depths of the mystic realm at an extremely fast speed. They took turns to fight demon beasts of third level and below. They fought together if they met a demon beast at the fourth or fifth level. For beasts above the fifth level, young Uncle-Master fought. If they met beasts above the eighth level, they just turned and ran away. Though there were a few dangerous moments, there weren't any sticky situations. In any case, this mystic realm was only a small mystic realm at the Golden Core stage.
Yi Qing led the group to fight beasts for over twenty days. Only when the storage bag at his side could contain not even one more piece of meat, did he turn to the group and say "Let's go back!"
The disciples who already held a pile of demon cores of their own Spirit Roots nodded. Finally, they didn't have to continue anymore. Otherwise, the demon beasts in this mystic realm might actually go extinct?
They flew up on their swords at the fastest speed and prepared to fly back, before a flash of green light shone from not far away. It exploded with a bang in the air and slowly formed the shape of a flower.
"This… is the SOS signal of Red and Green Sect!" A disciple cried. "It doesn't seem far from here. Someone is probably in danger." The group looked back at the person leading with looks of inquiry.
Yi Qing frowned, turned to glance at them and said, "Take care of yourselves. I will go and take a look!"
With that said, he started flying towards the direction of the fading symbol. The other disciples called out their swords and followed.
This was already deep down in the mystic realm, and they hardly saw those from other sects any more. Signals for help sent here could therefore be seen by only a few. It was possible that besides them, there were nobody else nearby. Although they were not of the same sect, they were both immortal sects. They had to help if they can. Nor far in the direction of that signal within a few minutes of flying, they had arrived. Yi Qing who arrived first had already landed and looked at the front with a serious expression on his face. A pitch-black swamp was in front of them. A faint layer of black Qi was on it and disgusting bubbles emerged from the swamp as if it boiling. Some unactivated Dharmic talismans floated upon the swamp.
"Young Uncle-Master!" The other disciples landed one by one, and they all looked at the swamp in front of them. "Why is it like this? Why is there so much demonic aura in the mud?"
Before they had time to think carefully, they heard a happily surprised voice. "Big brother next door, it's you!"
They were stunned, as they turned to look towards the middle of the swamp. A big tree in the center of the swamp shook. Its twigs and leaves parted to show a slightly childish fish. She wore a long pink robe and was 13 or 14 years of age. Half of her body had already sank into the mud. Her one hand grasped a branch tightly like she was afraid of falling. Possibly because the leaves of the tree that she grasped on was too thick, the group didn't see her just now. "It's a young Junior Sister!" The disciple behind Yi Qing was anxious, and he took two steps forward subconsciously.
The girl in the swamp and Yi Qing cried out together, but it was already too late. One foot of the disciple had stepped into the swamp, and in the next instant, as if the whole swamp was activated, it threw up a gigantic black wave, which went towards the boy.
"Step back!" Yi Qing reminded them loudly. At the same time, he waved his sword to cut through that black wave directly, and he fell back several steps.
"Young Uncle-Master, behind you…" A disciple cried out in shock.
They looked back and saw that the swamp had already reached behind them and surrounded them in the middle.
"Use the sword-ride!" Yi Qing reminded everyone to fly up.
The disciples started producing hand seals, but it was already too late. The swarm had spread under their feet. The Spirit Qi that they had just gathered emptied instantly, and their bodies started sinking uncontrollably.
"This mud can suck Spirit Qi!" The disciples were shocked.
Yi Qing frowned. Seeing that everyone was going to be submerged by the swamp, his hand tightened around the sword, and Sword Qi burst all over his body. He waved his sword in a fast and urgent manner, producing hundred thousands of Sword Qi which hit towards the black swamp, and in the moment that the swamp retreated, he directly threw the trapped disciples out one by one. Yet this only drew him further down into the mud.
"Young Uncle-Master!" The other disciples saw his intentions, and immediately they became both touched and extremely anxious. At this rate, he wouldn't be able to return!
"Go!" Yi Qing said in a deep voice, as he finally threw the last disciple out. And he himself sank even deeper into the mud due to exhaustion. He had said in front of Master that he would take care of these disciples, so every one of them must be safe!
"Young Uncle-Master!" They yelled anxiously, but they could only watch the black swamp submerging the top of Yi Qing's head, bringing down both him and the girl of Red and Green Sect prior into complete blackness.
Guest room of Divine Heavens Sect.
"Eh?!" Shen Ying who was eating suddenly stood up.
"What are you doing?" Lonemoon looked at her. Shen Ying's head inclined, and after a while she sat back with an usual expression on her face. "Nothing, my back was sore from sitting for too long."
"Psst." So troublesome! That distinct disdainful expression was on Lonemoon's Face.
"Senior Brother, what do we do?" The saved disciples were in the air on their swords. They looked down anxiously at the silenced swamp, and their tears flowed uncontrollably. Young Uncle-Master got sucked inside because of them.
"Wait!" The highest-level disciple among them bit his lip and said, "Young uncle-master is so good that he could even defeat a seventh-level demon beast, he will definitely be okay. We will wait for him to come out no matter what."
"Yes! I believe in young Uncle-Master. He will definitely make it out!" The other disciples nodded in agreement. "Me too. I will wait here until he comes out."
"Me too. He saved our lives. In the worst case, we will fight till the end with this swamp."
"Okay, then we will stay! Let's wait here for a day. If young uncle-master still doesn't come out by then, we will go in and attack!"
"Okay!" The disciples nodded, and they all sat down on their swords. They meditated to regain Spirit Qi, while staring at the swamp down below. For a time, they seemed to have all forgotten that in three days, the whole mystic realm would be closed.
Yi Qing felt a blackness in front of him, as he sank towards the bottom. He couldn't gather any Spiritual Power, as if his body had instantly been emptied. And the body grew ever heavier. Something squeezed him hard. He could vaguely hear sounds of wind which was getting closer to him. His heart tightened. He directly drew out all the sword qi over his body and surrounded his whole body with it. Something bounced off his side. That feeling of squeezing disappeared.
The surroundings were still pitch-black. He could only let go of Divine Perception to find out. Only then did he realize he was sinking constantly into something like a bottomless hole. He could vaguely see many wind blades below his feet where demonic aura concentrated. They were making clanking sounds. Forming a wall of wind blades, they blocked out the black swamp directly.
Chapter 324: Realm Inside Mystic Realm
At the side of the wind wall, a pink-colored body shape was sinking, yet the person appeared unfeeling, and made no response even when the wind blades hit and produced bloody marks on him.
Yi Qing remembered that she was the one who sent that SOS signal. He directly sent over a wave of sword qi, which surrounded her and blocked out the wind blades as well as the swarm.
The two continued to sink towards the bottom of the wind blades. After around a quarter of an hour, the wind blades and the swarm all disappeared, and a faint light came from below. The aura over his body somehow recovered a little. They were probably reaching the bottom.
Yi Qing mobilized his Spirit Qi and flew down directly, catching the little girl on his way.
Soon, he indeed landed on an open space. While they were apparently underground, this looked like a purposefully made place. It was very wide but still dark. Yi Qing looked at the little girl on the ground, made a hand seal and pointed between her brows. In the next moment, the little girl finally woke up.
"Where… where is this?" She looked around in panic.
Yi Qing summoned a flame, temporarily illuminating their surroundings. Only now did the little girl see Yi Qing beside her. She was first shocked, and then became immensely joyful, "Big brother next door! It's you, it's so good that I am seeing you again."
"You are…" Yi Qing frowned. Have they met?
"It's me, it's me!" She pointed at her face hurriedly. "I'm Niu Niu, I used to live next door to you."
Yi Qing was stunned for a moment. In his head, the image of a little girl with a runny nose flashed. He looked at her in surprise, "you are the granddaughter of Mother Wang?" "Hmm-hmm." She nodded hard. "I've always remembered big brother. So you have become a cultivator, so have I! I've joined Red and Green Sect. Master gave me a new name, I'm called Lily now."
Yi Qing nodded, the cold and serious look still on his face. "This is the bottom of that swarm, and it is dangerous. We must be careful and cautious at all times."
The girl called Lily nodded and stood up hurriedly. "I will take care and follow big brother next door."
"I'm called Yi Qing!" he replied her, as he looked around. "There might be an entrance. Let's look around."
"Okay." Lily grew nervous instantly. She hurried to follow suit, and in her eyes were of complete trust towards the person beside her.
The two continued forward for a quarter of an hour but didn't find anything. Only now did Yi Qing realize that the place was huge and very empty. Besides several pillars that seemed to be for support, nothing else could be seen.
It's just that those pillars were all engraved with strange runes, which were unlike the writing of cultivators, but more like those from many years ago. The engravings were a bit fuzzy. The two continued forward for a while, and even those pillars were no longer complete. Many had already collapsed. Yi Qing felt that they shouldn't be far from the edge.
Suddenly, a bright light came from nowhere, and there were sounds like some spells had been activated. Then there was a loud bang. Yi Qing frowned, looked at the person behind him, and at the same time began to fly on his sword towards that direction.
In the next moment, a huge mansion suddenly appeared in front of them. Yet its exterior was shrouded by a black layer of demonic aura, which looked thick and didn't seem like it could be easily broken.
In front of that demonic aura stood a person. He was dressed in a long, greenish gray robe, and his hair was slightly messy. He was attacking the demonic aura constantly, as if he was trying to enter. "Who's there?" The person seemed to have noticed them. He turned and looked back.
Yi Qing and Lily had to fly down and land in a position a few dozen feet from him.
"Yi Qing, it's you!" The person's eyes suddenly shrunk, and many emotions passed over his face. It seemed like surprise, indignation, or enmity. Yet in an instant all those disappeared, and he looked towards the two gloomily. "I didn't expect that you have a bit of skill too. You are actually here."
Yi Qing was totally confused. "You are…" Who is that?
The person's face stiffened, and anger burst out in his body like fire ignited. He looked at him as if he wanted to bite. "You dare say that you don't know me?!"
"No!" He answered instantly.
"You…" The person was even angrier, and his face distorted, like he was prepared to rush out and stab him. After a long while, maybe remembering something, he took a deep breath, gnashed his teeth and said, "I am Jing Qi!"
"Jing… Qi?" Yi Qing bowed down his head, thought seriously about it, and he frowned ever deeper. Looking at those horrible stares, his eyes finally brightened, like he finally remembered, "Oh… Dog!"
"…" Who is Dog?
"So it's brother Dog!" Lily at the side took a step forward with an excited expression on her face and light in her eyes. "Brother Dog, you are also cultivating, it is so good! I am Niu Niu, brother Dog! Do you remember me, brother Dog? I didn't expect to see you again, brother Dog!"
Jing Qi felt as if he was stabbed many times, but he couldn't get angry at them. He bore with it after a long time of gnashing his teeth.
"Niu Niu…" His face distorted many times, and there was not the slightest hint of joy from meeting an old friend. It was as if he tried hard to make out a smile, but ended up with an even fiercer expression. "You have a new name now too, I suppose?"
"Of course. I'm called Lily. Master named me!"
"Lily. I'm called Jing Qi now. You can just call me Jing Qi!"
"Okay, brother Dog. No problem, brother Dog!"
"…" He was almost murderous.
"Where is this?" Yi Qing suddenly said, interrupting someone's growing murderous aura.
Jing Qi was stunned, and only now remembered his purpose. He breathed in deeply. Calm down… When he had obtained that thing… and gone out of this mystic realm, he would definitely get back the dignity that he lost today. He stepped forward and said directly, "I don't know too. I've been trapped here for three days. I can vaguely figure out that this might be the relic of an ancient great."
"A relic!" Lily was shocked. And an ancient one besides! Though she was young, she had heard that all relics were great opportunities.
Something flashed in Jing Qi's eyes. He continued, "In front shall be the mansion of the person who created this mystic realm back then. However, with all this demonic aura surrounding it, I've been unable to get in."
He pointed to the front and broke into a hearty smile. "Since we came from the same village, we are meant to help each other. How about we break in together and share the opportunities inside today?"
"Brother Dog, is this demonic aura very strong?" Lily frowned.
Jing Qi's mouth twitched, and he nodded, "It's very strong indeed. I used my full strength but was unable to break in. I'm afraid we would really have to combine the strength of us three to break in together."
Chapter 325: Ancient Relic of Demons
Yi Qing looked around, walked to one side and squatted down, "it seems to show the method of entrance here."
The two were shocked and went over immediately. Indeed, they saw some patterns engraved there. Because it was on the ground, Jing Qi had never noticed it earlier. The writing had been blurred due to age, only the pattern remained visible.
There was three people whose looks could not be seen clearly, but one could guess that it was two men and a woman. One of them held a sword, another held a flute, and another held something unidentifiable.
"Can it be that this demonic aura indeed required three people to work together to break through?" Jing Qi's eyes brightened. He turned to look at the two and said, "How about the three of try attacking this wall of demonic aura together?"
"Okay!" Lily nodded. Yi Qing was silent for a while, but finally nodded as well.
Only then did the three step forward, drew upon their Spirit Qi and made attack towards the thick demonic aura. They saw that the wall demonic aura twisted and started to shake. Jing Qi felt a joy inside, and urged everyone to use their full force, "It's opening soon."
So they had to mobilize more Sword Qi once more, but this time somehow there wasn't much reaction. Yi Qing frowned, gave it a moment of thought and switched his Spirit Qi to Sword Qi directly.
Suddenly the screen of demonic aura, as if it was pierced by something, broke an opening. Jing Qi's eyes narrowed and suddenly withdrew his hand. Before the two could react, his body shape flashed, and he rushed into that opening.
"Brother Dog!" Lily was shocked, but before she could react, the body shape had already disappeared. Only now did she realize that they were cheated, and her face reddened in anger instantly. "That's unbearable! He said we are entering together." Indeed, just like when he was young, he only knew how to bully other kids. Yi Qing looked at the closed opening and didn't speak. He changed the sword technique in his hand, and instantly, thousands of Sword Qi went directly towards the demonic aura in front of them. In the next instant, as if the demonic aura had encountered its natural enemy, it started to dissipate gradually. Soon, the whole screen of demonic aura disappeared.
"Get inside," said Yi Qing, as he walked straight in.
"…" Lily stood in confusion for a moment, before following through. If they had known that big brother Yi Qing could do it on his own, why did they even attack just now? For some reason, she suddenly wanted to see the expression on brother Dog's face.
Just as Lily expected, brother Dog's face was full of disbelief. He had thought that they would enter sooner or later, but he didn't imagine it to be so soon. It was almost right after him.
"I was just about to try breaking that demonic aura from the inside, but I didn't expect that you've already come in." He smiled, as if he didn't want to get into a conflict with them. His hand subconsciously pressed onto his storage bag. Apparently the two did not believe this.
"Hmph!" Lily, being young, snorted directly at him, and was just about to say something.
But Yi Qing suddenly spoke. "Where is the exit?" He looked as if he always knew that Jing Qi would rush in first, but didn't want to pay it any heed.
Jing Qi's face darkened. This expression again. It was as if he didn't think he was worth any attention at all. The hand at his side tightened. He didn't think his choice just now was wrong. This world was one in which the strong survived, after all. He was only seizing a proper opportunity. But looking at the uncaring look on the other boy's face, he somehow felt an angst, and the sense of grievance as if he was being looked at by someone at the top. They clearly came out of the same village, how could he look at him like such!
"This should be the center of the mystic realm. There must be an exit to the ground level." Getting no response from the other person, Yi Qing didn't care about it and simply continued, "This mansion is not big, Let's look in separate directions." With that said, he gave Lily a look, and turned to walk towards one direction.
Lily nodded and went towards another direction too. Before she went, she even left another big "Hmph" in the direction of Jing Qi.
Jing Qi's face darkened, and his hands moved, as he went in another direction to look for opportunities as well. Just a little girl not yet at Foundation Establishment, he didn't pay her any attention. He subconsciously touched the storage bag again. After he's gotten outside, it won't take long before he made those who looked down on him to pay for it.
Though the mansion didn't look big, there were countless rooms, and many underground passages. Besides, due to age, the items inside all weathered, with only a thick layer of dust left. The three spent many hours looking inside but didn't find anything at all, not to mention an exit.
Until Yi Qing's sound transmission suddenly sounded, "Lower level, right side, come over." The other who were looking, stopped short and rushed over towards the room that Yi Qing mentioned. They arrived around the same time. When they entered, they immediately saw a bright white light. An array formation was in the room. It seemed to be activated by wind, probably only activated just now when Yi Qing entered.
This was the innermost and largest room in this ancient relic. The four walls showed engravings of other array formations too, but only the one in front shining with white light seemed still capable of being activated. The white light had a very gentle and peaceful aura, with not even a bit of killing aura. It did not show what it was used for.
"There should be a way to get out here." said Yi Qing, as he turned to study those arrays on the wall that had lost efficacy. However, he didn't have any deep study of arrays, and couldn't figure out what those arrays were used for at all. Lily was a core cultivator, and still in Qi Refinement stage, so she was all the more unable to figure out anything.
Jing Qi took a few steps forward. Without any prior intention to study the arrays, somehow the floor underneath his feet lit up, as if something was activated. The bright array in front of them suddenly shone with immensely bright white light. The light swept in their direction.
Jing Qi was shocked, hurried to withdraw his steps and called out his spirit sword. But a deep male voice suddenly sounded inside the room.
"Fateful person who got my Origin-Returning Pearl."
Suddenly, a white, translucent figure appeared inside the room. It seemed to be a middle-aged man with a hint of a smile across his lips. He was staring right in the direction of the door.
"It's an imaginary body," Yi Qing said with a deep voice. This should be an image that the owner of the relic left during his lifetime.
Indeed, soon the figure continued speaking.
"I am called Yu Xue. I am the head of Demon Realm, the Myriad Demon King." Myriad Demon King. The three took a cold breath. They never imagined that this mystic realm was actually built by demons?
"I have spent thousands of years in cultivation, and was fortunate enough to be the supreme among Demon Monarchs, the distinct one in the Demon Realm. This was all because I had the luck to meet a person who used his heavenly abilities to connect the worlds of humans and demons, made sects and demons end their separation, and live in thousands of years of harmony. Countless humans and demons were able to achieve the great Dao and Immortal Ascension thanks to this. Only since then were demons able to understand the true ways toward Dao."
Chapter 326: The Perfect Training
"Now, I am about to leave for Immortal Ascension. I feel the difficulty to tame the murderous nature of demon kind, and am concerned of the enmity rising again between men and demons, making them drift away from the righteous path. I used the Origin-Returning Pearl as a pact and wish the fated one who receives it would leave this message for my descendants: always remember that life and death are all a result of karma. The Dao to Immortal Ascension lies in getting rid of the heart for killing and freeing yourselves from your original nature."
After he finished speaking, his vague figure became even thinner. Some golden light from the surroundings fell on him. He spoke again in a more ethereal voice.
"I wish to meet Great Immortal again in my lifetime, to thank her for her guidance of my kind."
In the next instant, the figure disappeared completely, and even the bright white array darkened, as if the lights had never been there.
Lily casually summoned a fireball which lit up the room again. Her expression was confused.
"The figure just now… what did he mean?" She couldn't understand everything he said, but could vaguely figure out that this place once belonged to the demons. When the owner went for Immortal Ascension, the place was left behind.
Yi Qing shook his head. He wasn't too sure as well. What the figure said was probably something from very long ago. He was a bit surprised that there was once a time when humans and demons lived in harmony. By right, demons liked eating humans best, and their nature was hard to tame. Cultivators were also humans once. Therefore, when the two kinds met, they always fight to death. The end was either the human gets eaten by the demon, or the demon gets killed by the human who took out their inner core afterwards. There was no other way. The only exception was that mountain-protecting demon monarch in Honesty Sect, who had to obey because of the blood pact.
"Aren't we looking for a way out?" Jing Qi suddenly reminded them, interrupting the contemplation of the other two. "Let's hurry up and find what else is in here?" A hint of nervousness showed on his face, as he started looking immediately, feeling scared that should the two continue thinking, they would ask about the Origin-Returning Pearl sooner or later. He subconsciously felt for the storage bag beside him. So this flying pearl that he saw before rushing in was actually a treasure left behind by the great! He felt a rush of excitement. So long as he got out, his cultivation was sure to improve another level. Perhaps there would even be a change for Core Formation.
The two's thoughts returned to the matter at hand, and indeed started looking all around, without continuing to think about the figure just now. Suddenly, the ground started shaking violently, and rumbling sounds of something falling were heard. There were even clay and bricks collapsing from the ceiling.
"This place is collapsing, get out!" Yi Qing reminded them, as he flew up on his sword.
The other two followed suit on their swords. The surroundings were collapsing even faster. They were almost hit many times, before they finally flew out. Looking back, they realized that the whole mansion relic had already become ruins, and the ground continued to shake.
"Look, something is rising from underground." Lily cried out in surprise, pointing to the middle of the ruins.
The two looked in the direction. Indeed, something was breaking out and slowly rising in the middle of the ruins. In a short while, the bricks around it fell and a giant stone statue rose from the middle.
That stone statue was very tall, and even wider than the relics that just collapsed. It rose slowly, pointing towards the pitch darkness above. Only then did the upper half of the statue appear in front of the three. That was a woman, holding a round fruit-shaped Dharma artifact in her hand. Her eyes narrowed slightly, and that face…
"Why do I find this a bit familiar?" Lily was slightly stunned.
Jing Qi was shocked too, "Isn't this…"
He reactively turned to look at Yi Qing, and saw that he was already completely stunned. His widened eyes looked straight at the stone statue, and only after a long while did he say in a murmuring voice, "Master?" Jing Qi's face darkened. This stone statue was one of the woman whose surname was Shen, who once dined at Yi Qing's house, and the Master who took him as a disciple later. But why was her stone statue appearing in this mystic realm, and in the mansion of the owner of the relic besides?
He had a bad presentiment in his heart, and he felt the person beside him even harder to understand. Looking at his blank stares, he couldn't help but spoke ironically, "Hmph, that master of yours still has many secrets! It seems that your master-disciple relation was not that good after all!"
Yi Qing's expression changed. He turned towards him, his look cold as ice. An extremely thick wave of Sword Qi rushed straight towards him.
Jing Qi's eyes widened suddenly, and his heart tightened. He felt as if he had fallen through ice, and the meridians all over his body were getting frozen. It was as if he was dying from broken meridians the next instant.
"There's an exit on top!" Lily suddenly cried out beside them. She pointed at the space above the stone statue. The rising stone statue directly broke through the black wind blades and lifelike swarms above it. There was an exit in the direction of the stone statue.
Yi Qing looked up, and said with a deep voice, "Let's go!"
He flew up immediately, and Lily followed closely.
Jing Qi made a few gasps, pressed the position of his heart, and looked at Yi Qing not far away. That must have indeed been an illusion just now. Yi Qing was merely a cultivator of Foundation Establishment level, it wasn't possible for him to possess such terrible Sword Qi.
His face darkened, and he felt a bit angry at himself for losing his focus just now. Only then did he go ahead following the other two.
As the statue directly pushed out the layer of the swarm, they managed to fly out without getting tangled any further.
"Young Uncle-Master!" Once he flew out, the disciples who had been waiting in the air for a day surrounded him instantly. There was even a younger disciple who couldn't control himself for a moment and burst out crying.
"Young Uncle-Master, wow, you really got out. We got so scared."
"Yeah, young Uncle-Master, you didn't know that we have been burning incense. If you still haven't returned after another quarter of an hour, we were going to rush in."
"Young Uncle-Master. Wow… It's so good, young Uncle- Master. Can I be dreaming? You are really alive."
"Young Junior Brother, don't cry anymore. Your snot is getting onto your clothes."
He purred. "I'm just too happy."
Yi Qing's look remained cold and serious. He frowned, stepped back from the crying disciple and turned to look at the incense on the ground which was burning towards the end. He asked, "Everyone's here?"
The disciples nodded, "All here, none is missing."
There were a few disciples of Red and Green Sect too, and there were surrounding Lily and examining her wounds. They probably came because they saw the signal earlier.
At the moment, only Jing Qi was all alone. He looked at Jing Qi who was surrounded by all those disciples, and his expression turned even fiercer. He snorted, and without giving anyone a notice flew out.
The rest didn't notice it at all. Maybe nobody cared!
From Lily's side, a few of her Senior Sisters actually walked over, and thanked Yi Qing seriously. Yi Qing nodded and didn't say anything much. It was an easy task, and he could see it as returning Mother Wang's favor for taking care of him in the early years. He calculated the time and started off with the other disciples towards the direction of the exit of the mystic realm.
But the frown in his brows had never been released. There seemed to be something new in his expression.
Chapter 327: Using Once
This trip to the Mystic Realm was not wasted. They managed to accomplish more than they ever did before. Their accomplishments were different from the other sects, who only gained many spirit herbs and resources. Their sect's disciples brought back… a bunch of demonic pills.
Lou Hong looked at the hill of demonic pills that the disciples brought back and pursed his lips. He had the feeling that his disciples had cleaned out all the demonic spaces in the mystic realm. After checking that there were no harmful auras hidden among the pills, he waved his hand and let the disciples put the pills away.
Yi Qing really was a disciple of the Supremacy. He led the team to a bunch of demonic pills, and brought back much more than the disciples ever did after going in for so many years. What Yi Qing brought back was more than ten times the amount that his mature disciple Lou Tao did.
Lou Tao was obviously upset about this. He wanted to follow his Little Uncle-Master to retrieve the demonic pills but his father told him to lead another team! They brought back a lot of demonic pills this time so that Lou Tao was not the first hero, but only the second.
Lou Tao felt indignant. What made him feel worse was that after the disciples who followed Little Uncle-Master returned, Lou Tao noticed that they had grown. Even those whose cultivation level did not increase had progressed in terms of their sword techniques. Little Uncle-Master's Core had also come to fruition.
So Lou Hong said nothing before locking his son in a sword array. Look at them!
To Yi Qing, core formation was no different from sucking Qi into his own body. There was no lightning tribulation, and he had already become a Golden Core. Lonemoon on the other hand was generating a few bolts of lightning. The only reason he was doing that was to tell everyone that Yi Qing's core had formed.
Yi Qing perceived the Golden Core inside his own body and immediately felt uncertain. He frowned, as if recalling something. Then, a look of confusion flashed across his face. Therefore, that night…
Shen Ying looked at the man beside her bed and sighed. "Sending supper?"
"…" He shook his head.
"…" Still shaking his head.
"…" He continued shaking his head.
"…" Still shaking his head. "Oh." Shen Ying pulled her blanket up to her chin and went back to sleep,
Ten minutes later…
She threw her blanket aside and sat up.
"I can't sleep with you staring at me like that. What is the matter? Can you just tell me?"
Yi Qing looked down and lowered his head. There was something in his eyes as he took a step forward. Shen Ying saw that he seemed to be hiding the sea in his eyes. Yi Qing hesitated for a moment before saying, "Master, in the past… why did you accept me as your disciple?" "Huh?" Shen Ying turned around and said, "You knew how to cook." Was that very hard to understand?
That answer was expected, but Shen Ying still felt relief. He stepped forward again and asked anxiously, "What else?"
"Nothing?" It was troublesome to accept disciples!
"Really?" Yi Qing looked down once again.
"Is there anything else?" She really wanted to go to sleep.
The intense waves in Yi Qing's eyes finally calmed down. His gaze focused on the person in front of him as he broke into a grin. "Nothing. I just haven't seen Master in a month and was wondering if you have been doing well over the past few days. That was why I came over here to look."
"Oh." Shen Ying tilted her head, sizing up the teenager in front of her. She narrowed her eyes. "So you stared at me for the past three nights?" "…" Yi Qing stared blankly back at her. He sat down by her bed and looked very intensely at her all of a sudden. "If I don't watch over you, I would not be at ease." He felt like she could disappear within a blink of an eye. Something flickered in his eyes, then he added, And… Master has been kicking the blanket aside in the middle of the night. I… I…"
He became tongue-tied. He really wanted to say something, yet he could not.
It made him feel… like he was being bullied.
Shen Ying lowered her gaze. Her innate desire to bully children presented itself. Suddenly, she leaned forward, close to the boy in front of her. Their faces were almost touching. "Little child, do you know it's very dangerous for you to come so close to a single lady's bed in the middle of the night?"
Yi Qing got frightened when he found himself so close to Shen Ying all of a sudden. He could even feel her warm breath on his cheek. Immediately, his face flushed and his heartbeat quickened. Eyes widening, he answered, "What… what danger?" "Do you want to know?" Shen Ying leaned in even closer and stared at his flushed face.
"… Yes… Yes I think so?"
"Oh." Shen Ying reached out and pulled onto Yi Qing's collar. She turned around and threw him onto her bed, then sat on top of him and pressed him down onto the bed. You gave yourself up to me!
She tore his robe apart and touched his warm chest. Narrowing her eyes, she broke into a sly grin. "You're in danger of losing yourself~"
Yi Qing was stunned. His mouth was opened slightly as he looked at the woman on top of him. After a long time, he continued to stare blankly at her. Shen Ying's hand trailed downwards from his chest and she continued to give him an evil smile. Her hands were approaching his belt.
Yi Qing jumped and grabbed her hands. Shen Ying stopped moving. She smiled.
"What? You changed your mind? You want to go back to sleep?"
"I often hear others saying… I'm the sex slave that my master has raised. I never believed them, but is it… is it true?"
"Master, no matter what you want to do, your disciple is willing. I just haven't learned… I'm not sure I know how to." "…"
"Master, my heart is beating really quickly. Is this normal?"
"Master, how do I… become a sex slave?"
He looked at her innocently, as if fully trusting her. Shen Ying's conscience was taking a constant beating, and each hit was harder than the last. Suddenly, she had no more desire to continue pranking Yi Qing any further.
Recalling that the boy underneath her was only 16 years old, she immediately felt like a disgusting cougar and her heart broke.
She completely… could not… do it! Shen Ying pursed her lips and rolled off Yi Qing, pressing herself against the wall, back facing him. She curled up into a ball and pushed him away from her dispiritedly.
A while later…
"Master…" A careful voice spoke. "You… you're done using me? Actually…" He felt like something was amiss.
"Oh." A moment later.
"Mas.. ter?" Chef whispered warily. "Actually, I still can take it. Why don't… why don't you use me again?"
Shen Ying could not take it any longer. She kicked him off the bed.
Chef with amnesia was not adorable at all!
Chapter 328: Becoming the Host of the Competition
For some reason, Lonemoon's attraction resulted in there being more disciples from Honesty Sect than from Divine Heavens Sect. Furthermore, most of the disciples who came forward were sword cultivators who were interested in breaking through the sword array. The Honesty Sect accepted so many spirit stones that their hands began to feel weak. The fees they were charging were more than ten times the fees charged for entry into the mystic realm.
Lou Hong felt extremely confused about this. He had no idea when Lonemoon even managed to strike a deal with the Divine Heavens Sect. Previously, the disciples could enter for free. Now, they were paying a big price to enter the same sword array, yet they looked like they were the ones at an advantage.
What's more, Supremacy Lonemoon's sword array was spectacular, but it was not unique to their sect alone. A mighty sect like the Divine Heavens Sect surely had a similar sword array. The only good thing that Lou Hong could observe from this was that this sword array could accept cultivators who were as weak as Nascent Souls. Lou Hong remained confused by all of this, until the first batch of Nascent Soul cultivators were sent forward. Each of them brought spirit stones, causing Lou Hong to be tongue-tied. The money they were earning was equivalent to half a year's worth of income that Honesty Sect received. Unable to hold back any longer, he finally asked Lonemoon.
"Oh." Lonemoon looked unfazed. "I told them that within these three years, apart from disciples from our sect, only Divine Heavens Sect's Nascent Soul cultivators would be allowed to enter the sword array." Of course, the price of an exclusive membership would be much higher than usual.
Lou Hong, "…"
So that was the case. Their own sect did not have many Nascent Soul cultivators, but there were many other Nascent Souls in the Three Azure Realms. it was certainly not easy for all of them to become Soul Formation cultivators. In every ten Nascent Soul cultivators, nine would fail. Primarily, these cultivators were lacking the opportunity to improve. It was extremely difficult for them to find a suitable training ground. Naturally, then, many sects would be tempted by the idea of a sword array setup especially for Nascent Souls to be trained. Afterall, this would mean that their Nascent Souls would have a better chance of increasing their cultivation. The Divine Heavens Sect ranked first among the immortal sects. It was reasonable for them to want to produce more Soul Formation cultivators - the more the better. Given that their current ranking was being threatened, they were obviously willing to pay any price to secure it.
Since Honesty Sect was able to give the Divine Heavens Sect such a security the two sects were expected to have very good relations moving forward. This was advantageous for Honesty Sect as well. Indeed, Lonemoon was worthy of being called a Soul Formation Supremacy. He had actually thought so far ahead for the sect. As the sect master, Lou Hong was utterly ashamed!
"Supremacy, you really are very strategic!" Lou Hong cupped his fists and bowed respectfully to Lonemoon. For the umpteenth time, he felt the urge to let Lonemoon take over as the sect master.
Lonemoon, who was walking around with a signboard to increase the price on the spot: "…"
The facts have shown that Lonemoon's sword array was extremely useful. Within a few short years, all the disciples in the sect had increased by a full level. The few Golden Core disciples they had were already Nascent Souls by now. Honesty Sect was no longer the sect it was before, with only two Nascent Soul cultivators.
The disciples from the Divine Heavens Sect experienced the same phenomenon, especially the few Nascent Soul cultivators who came to train in the array. Although they had not become Soul Formation cultivators yet, they did improve a great deal more than they ever did before. Everyone who heard about this was surprised. All the more, people were willing to pay the high price to enter and train in the sword array. Some even took the initiative to offer a higher price.
Honesty Sect's treasure storage was increasing at a rapid speed. The sect was receiving a windfall from this business.
Yet, Lonemoon felt that this standard of business was too low for him. He handed all the operations over to Lou Hong and washed his hands off it for good. Instead, Lonemoon focused on training Yi Qing. He was determined to prevent Shen Ying from influencing him to become a body cultivator. Just like that, three years went by with Lonemoon watching over Yi Qing. From the time they entered the mystic realm, Yi Qing seemed to have undergone some kind of shock. He cultivated with much more vigor. Even his sword techniques were looking more complete. His original cultivation was still there, but he was lacking the spiritual power to recover it. Now that he was training very seriously, his powers increased rapidly. Within three years, he became a full Golden Core cultivator, and was on the verge of becoming a Nascent Soul.
Lonemoon had no choice but to hold back on giving advice to Yi Qing. Yi Qing had only been training for less than six years when he formed his core. Lonemoon could explain that away by saying that Yi Qing got some kind of epiphany in the mystic realm, but now Yi Qing was on the verge of becoming a Nascent Soul after training for less than ten years. That was absolutely frightening. Although they were not afraid of attracting others' attention, Yi Qing had not yet recovered his memories. If he became so strong in such a short time, his body might break down. That would mean their efforts would go down the drain.
Yi Qing had nothing to say about this. He was stuck at the stage he was at and had no choice but to stop training
"What? A competition between the sects?" Lonemoon glanced at Lou Hong, who was smiling confidently. "That's right!" Lou Hong nodded. "The different sects in the Three Azure Realms would take turns to organize a competition like that once every ten years. In recent years, our disciples have been improving significantly. It would be good to let them battle in one or two events."
"Hey, then go!" Why was Lou Hong explaining this to him?
"But…" Lou Hong looked away, as if he had some difficulties. Glancing at Lonemoon's face, he gritted his teeth and said, "The sects are suggesting that… my sect should organize the competition this time!"
"What?" Lonemoon looked at Lou Hong. All over his face was written, would they give me money to organize the competition here?
Lou Hong wiped the perspiration from his face. "Well… the competition has always been hosted by sects like the Divine Heavens Sect and Blackheaven Sect. I don't know why they want to organize it here this time." Honesty Sect was doing much better in terms of money and skills in recent years, especially so since Supremacy Lonemoon arrived. However, immortal sects were the ones that really had the skills to host events like these. Honesty Sect only had two Soul Formation Supremacies. They were not comparable at all to the first-rate immortal sects.
"What do you think?" Lonemoon frowned.
"Hosting a competition like this would improve our reputation. What's more, all we would have to do is provide the grounds for the competition. I think… we could try." Lou Hong nodded.
"Since you've already decided, you can go ahead and plan it." Lonemoon nodded as well. Thinking of something, he added, "Oh yes, from tomorrow onwards, seal up the sword array. Tell the Nascent Souls from Divine Heavens Sect that we have to close it in order to prepare for the competition."
Lou Hong's eyes brightened, as if he understood something.
He nodded excitedly. "Lou Hong understands!"
The competition among the sects was being pushed to the mid-tier sects. Anybody would have guessed that the first-tier sects had something up their sleeves. What's more, the only thing people could covet after from their Honesty Sect was the sword array. In these three years, they only accepted disciples from Divine Heavens Sect into the array. All the other sects must have gotten wind of this and wanted to use the competition as a chance to check out the space. They probably wanted to send their disciples here to train while they were at it.
The Divine Heavens Sect probably did not know about this yet. That was probably why the other sects had informed Lou Hong directly. Therefore, Lonemoon decided to close the sword array and notify the cultivators from Divine Heavens Sect.
To Honesty Sect, there was not going to be much loss incurred. Lonemoon had initially promised to only let them use the array for three years. Now that the time was up, it was perfectly reasonable for the Honesty Sect to allow other sects into the array. The key was that only a limited number of people could enter the sword array. If disciples from other sects were allowed into the array, the number of Divine Heavens Sect's disciples in the array would decrease. Lonemoon was expecting the Divine Heavens Sect to be anxious about this.
To get more space in the array, the Divine Heavens Sect would likely offer help to Honesty Sect in organizing the competition. And Honesty Sect… would just have to lie down and receive all the help and money.
Chapter 329: Meant for Each Other
"Oh yes, as for the name list for the competitions…" Lou Hong's eyes twinkled. He said expectantly, "It'll be easy to arrange for disciples who are training their Qi and establishing their foundations, but as for those in the Golden Core stage… it'll be quite difficult."
"You're thinking about asking Yi Qing to participate!" Lonemoon jumped. He suddenly guessed what Lou Hong was thinking.
Lou Hong smiled and nodded. He began to look more excited. "Yi Qing is the disciple of you two Supremacies. He has power that is out of the world. The trip to the mystic realm had already allowed him to form his core through an epiphany. He'll definitely help our sect win the Golden Core-"
"No!" Before Lou Hong could finish speaking, Lonemoon interrupted him. "There is no need for him to prove anything. He's not going to participate in any competition." Lonemoon had the clearest picture of Yi Qing's cultivation level. He was already halfway to becoming a Nascent Soul. If he participated in the competition, given his cheater personality, he would probably become a Nascent Soul and quickly become a Soul Formation cultivator.
"Supremacy…" Lou Hong did not expect Lonemoon to reject his idea. Afterall, this was the perfect opportunity for them to win the battle and make a name for themselves. He stared blankly at Lonemoon and objected, "But my sect belongs to-"
"Lou Hong!" Lonemoon's expression darkened. "We joined Honesty Sect and naturally want to help you. Whatever we can do for you, we would. But Yi Qing… Please remember that he's Shen Ying's only disciple. That's all. Nobody can harbor any ideas on him, or else…" He looked at Lou Hong with a strangely fierce expression. He emphasized on each word as he said, "If people really came here, you might not be able to withstand it."
Lou Hong started. He felt a chill at the bottom of his chest and an unspeakable fear rose in his throat.
Without saying more, Lonemoon patted his shoulder, turned around and walked away.
————— Lonemoon was right. After he got rid of the sword array, the Divine Heavens Sect sent a huge group of disciples over to help Honesty Sect organize the competition. What's more, each of them brought their own equipment and resources.
Outside the gates of Honesty Sect, they set up a mountain peak all on their own and began to set up the competition grounds. As they did so, more disciples came to help them without Lou Hong's invitation. Some of them even took the initiative to look for Lou Hong to brief him on all the preparations that needed to be done for the competition. They provided the manpower and the resources, and they did all of these things passionately at that. It was almost as if Divine Heavens Sect was the one organizing the competition and not Honesty Sect.
When the time for the competition came, the sect master of Divine Heavens Sect, Dong Wu, personally led a team of disciples in. This improved the Honesty Sect's reputation. The other sects sent many disciples over as well, just as they had guessed. Their purpose for coming was not purely to participate in the competition. For the first two days, more than half of the sect masters tried different ways and means to find out more about the sword array He had been a sect master for many years after all. Lou Hong did not accede to their requests, neither did he reject their requests. He entertained them as best as he could and then excused himself. As for earning as many spirit stones as he could, somehow he felt the need to ask Supremacy Lonemoon about every step.
This was clearly a competition among the sects, yet nobody was putting in any real effort in the competition. Instead, Honesty Sect - who had spent a lot of effort in preparing for the competition - was getting better than average results.
In particular, Lou Tao, the disciple in the foundation establishment stage, had made it easily to the finals.
Lonemoon really meant it when he said he was not interested in the competition. From the beginning to the end, he did not interfere at all. Instead, he cooped himself up in the Invincible Peak. On the last day of the competition, as the different sects fought for the championship, he dragged Shen Ying and Yi Qing down to wander about.
They were the only two Soul Formation Supremacies in the sect afterall. If they did not at least show their faces for a competition as big as this, it would not be appropriate.
When the three of them arrived, the various sect masters who were backstage all got to their feet. Perhaps they had heard earlier that Lonemoon was the one who set up the sword array. They were exceptionally friendly toward him.
Lonemoon was very familiar with environments like these. On the way up the stage alone, he had already taken advantage of a number of people. He took his seat toward the right of the stage, just next to the sect master of Divine Heavens Sect, Dong Wu.
They talked about random topics. Father Niu had a sly smile on his face that made him look a bit like a fox. Shen Ying, on the other hand, sat quietly by his side.
Not long after they got seated, the final competition began. Lonemoon stopped the conversation and looked around him. The Qi Refinement competition was starting. There were two cultivators on the stage - one female and one male - from Red and Green Sect and Blackheaven Sect, respectively. They looked relatively young, especially the female cultivator. From her looks, Lonemoon guessed that she was only about 16 years old. Lonemoon frowned. She looked familiar, yet he could not figure out where he had seen her before.
That Qi Refinement round ended very quickly . The female cultivator from Red and Green Sect used an explosive pill to blow the opposition off the stage. Maybe it was coincidental - the sect master of the Red and Green Sect was seated not far away from them.
The female cultivator walked happily off the stage toward her Red and Green Sect. Before she even reached them, her eyes brightened and she looked over at Yi Qing with an excited expression.
Lonemoon's heart jumped. Suddenly, he recalled where he had seen the lady before. She was the one who came out of the mystic realm together with Yi Qing. From what he heard, she had grown up together with Yi Qing. Yi Qing was the one who saved her in the mystic realm.
So… from the lady's expression, she was looking to sell her soul to Yi Qing to repay him for saving her life? His heart began to race as he nudged Shen Ying excitedly. Rejoicing in her troubles, he said, "Hey, Shen Ying, do you see that lady over there?" He pointed to her right and said, "She looks like your love rival!"
"Ah!" The fruit that Shen Ying was about to bite down on slipped out of her hand. She looked at him, confused.
"Tell me, how do you feel?"
Shen Ying tilted her head and glanced in the direction he was pointed. She looked back at Chef, who was looking very normal. "What?"
"What what?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. "I didn't know Chef was that charming." That girl is obviously in love with him!
"Is that right?" Shen Ying stared blankly back at him, then looked at the two teenagers, as if trying to study their relationship. She did not look in the least bit jealous. Chef, on the other hand, stepped forward and looked at his two companions suspiciously as they whispered to each other. "Master?" What's the matter? Why were they whispering to each other and leaving him out of the conversation? He subconsciously turned to where they were looking and saw the lady in the pink robes. She looked very familiar to him.
The girl's expression brightened and she even flushed a little. Excitedly, she clenched her fists by her side and walked over to them.
"Look, she's coming over! She's coming over! She's coming to steal your man." Lonemoon looked on with interest.
As the lady got closer and closer, she got more and more excited. Just as she approached them, she scurried over toward Yi Qing with a bright smile on her face.
Then… she pushed Yi Qing aside and hugged Shen Ying.
Shen Ying, "…" Lonemoon, "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Chapter 330: Little Lily
"Big Sister, it really is you. It really is you, isn't it?" She was so agitated that she looked like she was about to cry. As she held on tightly to Shen Ying, she exclaimed, "I knew I would see you again!"
What the hell?
"Lily!" Yi Qing, who had nearly fallen over after Lily pushed him aside, frowned. He stepped forward to peel her from Shen Ying. "Show Master some respect."
"Eh?" Lily paused, as if she just noticed Yi Qing standing there. "Brother-next-door, what are you doing here?"
Yi Qing looked back at her with contempt and pulled Shen Ying closer to him. "I am my master's disciple. Of course I would be here." Why were you hugging her? What if you hurt her?
"Master?" She scanned Yi Qing from head to toe, then glanced at Shen Ying. She could hardly believe what she was hearing. Suddenly, she realized something and started. "You became the disciple of the big sister who saved me!" It was obvious from her eyes that she was now treating Yi Qing like the enemy. Turning to face Shen Ying instead, Lily's eyes began to well up. "Big Sister, do you still remember me? I'm Niu Niu! The Niu Niu you saved in the past! I became a cultivator because of you.
"Er…" Shen Ying tilted her head, confused.
"I'm the granddaughter of Mother Wang, who lived next to Yi Qing in the past," Lily tried again. "We were almost eaten by a tiger demon in the past. You were the one who saved us. I really missed you. I really missed you…"
"Oh…" Shen Ying nodded. Who is Mother Wang?
Lily became excited again. "I passed out that time. That was why I didn't manage to speak to you. Now… I'm finally meeting you again! I have always wanted to ask you…" Lily could not stop herself from reaching out to tug at Shen Ying's arm. With deep eagerness, she said, "Big Sister, are you still accepting disciples?" Yi Qing: "…"
The Sect Master of the Red and Green Sect, who had just walked over: "…"
Hey, hey, hey, do you have to seek another master in front of your own current one?
"No!" Yi Qing's expression darkened. He pulled Shen Ying away from Lily and dusted her sleeves for her. Emphasizing each word, he said, "My master has no plans to accept anymore disciples."
"Brother-next-door, you're way too petty. Let me be your junior sister - I promise I will listen to you."
"No!" Yi Qing stood his ground. "Hmph! You're not the one accepting disciples - who are you to say no?"
"No means no!"
"You've always been such a selfish bully. I'm going to take her as my master just to spite you."
"How dare you!" Yi Qing moved to draw his sword.
"Hmph! Do you think I'm afraid of you?"
"Try me!" Yi Qing drew his sword.
They were about to engage in battle before their very eyes. They stared at each other intently. Lonemoon was speechless. Lily was supposed to be Shen Ying's love rival, yet she became Yi Qing's. This world was changing too quickly - he could not keep up. The Sect Master of the Red and Green Sect, however, could withstand it no longer. He tutted and said, "Lily!"
"What!" In a fit of anger, Lily turned around to glare at the person who called out to her. When she realized it was her own master, she cowered and bent over, apologizing. "Master…"
"You've just won the competition. What trouble are you getting yourself into?" He looked disapprovingly at Lily, his gaze full of reproach.
Lily looked wrong at first. After awhile, upon recalling something, she said excitedly, "Master… I found the big sister that saved me years ago! Look, that's her!"
"Your master heard everything," the Sect Master of the Red and Green Sect pursed his lips. He also heard that Lily wanted to switch masters. Yet, out of courtesy, he had to bow. "Greetings, Supremacies."
Lonemoon bowed in return. The Red and Green Sect patriarch turned back to face Lily. "Alright, you have already thanked her. This is a competition among the sects. Stop making a fool out of yourself. Follow your master back!" Once he finished speaking, he turned around and walked off, not bothering to wait for her reply.
Lily, however, was determined. She was being dragged away by her seniors and juniors, but her eyes remained fixed on Shen Ying. "Big Sister, I will look for you again after the competition. Wait for me. You have to wait for me! My name is Lily… Lily like the flower!"
Only after seeing Shen Ying nod curtly did Lily turn around to follow her master back.
Chef's expression looked as dark as the bottom of a wok. He had the sudden urge to bring his own master back to Invincible Peak and prevent anyone else from entering. Worriedly, he turned to look at her. Shen Ying calmly gnawed on her fruit, expressionless.
Yi Qing looked down. Realizing that she was going to take another bite of her fruit, he frowned and snatched it from her. "Master, you cannot eat too many spirit fruits. Have some pastries." He kept the fruit and presented a plate of pastries.
"Oh…" Shen Ying bit down on thin air and looked at the pastries. Unsatisfied, she cast a spell that made half of the pastries fly into her mouth. The fruit was clearly nicer. Subconsciously, she mumbled, "You never used to care."
Yi Qing's hands paused. He clenched his fists.
In the past…
Little Sister Lily's sudden outburst caused Lonemoon to lose his patience. He had completely lost interest in watching the competition. Shen Ying and Yi Qing, on the other hand, did not have an interest in the competition from the beginning. They faintly heard that Lou Hong's son won second place in the Foundation Establishment group. That was not bad. After the Golden Core group finished their competition, Lonemoon noticed that Jing Qi had won first place. It had been a few years since Lonemoon last saw that invader. The last time was probably three years ago in the mystic realm. He had not expected Jing Qi to form his core that soon. What's more, he looked much more vicious than the last time. After winning the competition, he was understandably extremely gleeful and proud.
For some reason, the Qi surrounding his image had lessened significantly. Lonemoon did not know exactly what happened to Jing Qi in the mystic realm, but from what he heard, Jing Qi was both a sword and a core cultivator. His sword technique was extremely fast, and he defeated his opponent relatively easily. This caused great excitement among the spectators.
Even Divine Heavens Sect, who had conflicts with Wu Xiang, praised Jing Qi.
After announcing that Jing Qi was the winner of the Golden Core group, the judges closed the competition.
"Wait!" Jing Qi stopped them and took a few steps forward. He cupped his fists and bowed to the various sect masters, saying, "There is an even stronger Golden Core cultivator than me, who did not take part in the competition this time. I would not dare to accept the championship title." As he spoke, he turned to face Yi Qing. There was a hint of hatred in his eyes. He averted his gaze immediately and continued, "I heard that Fellow Daoist Yi Qing from the Honesty Sect has unmatched sword techniques. He is also very close to breaking through the Golden Core stage and becoming a Nascent Soul. It's a pity that he did not participate in the competition today. That is why I am requesting to battle him right now."
The moment he finished speaking, the various sect leaders turned to face Yi Qing. A lot of them looked excited. Initially, they agreed to participate in this competition in order to get close to the sword array. Yet, they later found out that Honesty Sect had closed off the sword array so that none of them could find it. Now, they were being given a chance to observe a competition involving a man who allegedly broke through all ten levels of the sword array. In some sense, this was exactly what they had come for. Their excitement, therefore, was understandable.