Chapter 631: The Invader Robs
Lonemoon left a part of his divine perception focused on his position. Once he realized that Zuo Shuming was still somewhere in the back of the village, he stopped paying much attention to him. They were following him just to locate the invaders, anyway. They really didn't care about what Zuo Shuming went about doing.
It was four hours later when they realized that Zuo Shuming was headed for the entrance. He seemed to be on the way back, but inexplicably took a right turn to enter a dense forest.
"Eh?" Lonemoon paused.
Chef, who had been keeping the dishes and cutlery, seemed to sense something as well. He turned and exclaimed, "There's immortal Qi there!"
The two of them exchanged a meaningful glance. In a flash, they dashed out of the apartment and tried to locate the immortal Qi in the dense forest. Indeed, there they spotted Zuo Shuming's figure from afar. He seemed to have found something. He was pushing a huge rock out of the way, and there was a hint of immortal Qi where he was standing, being emitted from something in the rock. As the rock rolled away, the immortal Qi felt stronger.
Lonemoon pursed his lips and recalled something. Could it be that the thing under the rock is…
The next moment, Zuo Shuming looked elated. He picked up something black from under the rock. It was filled with immortal Qi and looked to be in the shape of a heart… it was a scale!
It really was Little Biao's heart-protecting scale. This was no coincidence! So Zuo Shuming found the scale at this moment?
"There's someone there!" Chef called out, stiffening.
Lonemoon jumped and turned around. Indeed, behind the tree on Zuo Shuming's left was a black figure. The man was dressed in black robes, and he was hiding some kind of aura in his hands. Lonemoon could hardly believe that this person managed to dodge his divine perception! It seemed that the person had been standing there for a long time. He stared at Zuo Shuming, who was still standing there admiring his newfound treasure. Was he planning to… rob him?
Just as Zuo Shuming was studying the scale closely, the person in the black robes rushed out and snatched it.
"Who are you!" Zuo Shuming shouted, starting to retaliate. The person slapped him, and Zuo Shuming did not dodge in time. The slap sent him flying through the air, unconscious.
"Get him!" Lonemoon shouted. The two of them flew out at once. Father Niu caught Zuo Shuming just before he hit the ground. Chef went after the man in the black robes. He was just about to deal a blow when the person in the black robes disappeared into thin air. Chef's sword Qi caught nothing. Faintly, they heard swooshing sounds. A white paper doll flew down toward them.
"Where's he? You didn't catch him!" Lonemoon carried the unconscious Zuo Shuming over to Chef. Chef actually did not manage to catch the person. Yi Qing frowned and picked up the paper doll, not saying anything in response.
"What is that? A doll?"
"I have no idea. Let's go back and ask Master."
Lonemoon frowned, but flew back anyway, Zuo Shuming in tow.
Zuo Shuming was not severely injured. However, given his low cultivation, the blow broke several meridians of his. Since the injury was not grave, Lonemoon expected that he would recover after just a few days.
After helping him into the house, Lonemoon did not bother much about Zuo Shuming. Instead, he focused his attention on the person having supper at the table.
"Look at this. - what is it?" He placed the paper doll that Chef found earlier in front of Shen Ying. "Mm?" Shen Ying, who had been gnawing on a duck's neck, paused. She looked closely at the paper doll in front of her. She reached out to touch it, then retracted her hand. She repeated this several times until her oily fingers were clean. "I don't know. I've never seen it!"
"Even you have no idea?" Lonemoon was shocked by her reply. He told her what happened in the forest. "That person managed to escape my divine perception and also escaped Chef's clutches. After stealing the scale, he turned into this paper doll and disappeared."
"It looks like some kind of puppet technique, but it also looks like a disguising technique. This does resemble the ordinary puppet technique - if that's the case, I think we can turn this doll into a physical body," Yi Qing said. The key thing was after the man disappeared, they could not trace even a hint of his aura.
"Have you really never seen something like that before?" Lonemoon confirmed once more.
Shen Ying shook her head. "That's strange!" Lonemoon frowned even more deeply. "The man's aura did not feel like he belonged to other planes. Was this person who attacked Zuo Shuming an invader or a cultivator who just wanted to rob him?"
"An invader," Shen Ying said firmly.
Lonemoon paused and rolled his eyes at her. "Didn't you say you've never seen this before?"
"Then how are you so sure?"
"It's simple." Shen Ying pointed to the paper doll. "This is why!"
Lonemoon and Yi Qing both stared blankly at her. Awhile later, they took a step closer to the doll and studied it. On top of the white paper, apart from the oil stains from Shen Ying's fingers, there was nothing else that was different. She freaking used this doll as a paper towel, didn't she?
"What's wrong with this paper doll?" Lonemoon still didn't get it.
"The words on it."
"Words?" He still was not understanding her. It was normal for dolls like that to have talisman words on it, wasn't it?
Shen Ying raised her head and looked at them as if they were the strangest people in the world. Emphasizing each word, she said, "The words written on it are not words that are illegible to this world!"
Strange words = foreign world = invader!
Lonemoon: "…" Yi Qing: "…"
Shit! Why did they suddenly feel as if they were retarded?
Zuo Shuming was not seriously injured. Lonemoon thought that just leaving him to rest for two days would do the trick. They didn't think that he would pass out for three whole days. It was really a mystery how he could be such a loser. How exactly did he make it to the immortal world?
The day of Gui Yi Sect's recruitment of disciples was drawing near. Lonemoon could not take it any longer. He healed his meridians and woke Zuo Shuming up.
"Thank you for saving me, Fellow Daoist." Zuo Shuming looked at him, filled with gratitude. "I-" "Cut the nonsense. We have to hurry. Let's go!" Lonemoon did not wait for Zuo Shuming to lead the way. Instead, he helped him onto his sword and flew toward Ping Hua City directly. They made it just in time for the recruitment.
Since they arrived pretty late, there were not many cultivators left who had not been tested. Perhaps core cultivators were just not that picky. This time, the recruitment test was much simpler.
From past experience, Lonemoon knew better. He watched to ensure that Zuo Shuming passed all the recruitment tests and made it to become one of Gui Yi Sect's disciples before the three of them registered. Then, they followed the group of disciples who had been selected onto a spirit boat and headed toward Gui Yi Sect.
Zuo Shuming was obviously excited. He seemed to have completely forgotten about the fact that he had been robbed a few days ago. Maybe it was because he was not even sure what he had picked up in the first place that he did not feel such a great sense of loss. He was more upset at the fact that the other party hit him than the fact that he stole the treasure. Lonemoon could not help but frown as he studied this silly Zuo Shuming closely.
The invader finally made himself known. They were right from the beginning - this person was targeting Zuo Shuming. The only thing was they could not figure out why. After stealing the scale, the invaders seemed to have disappeared. It confused them as to his motive. Was Little Biao's scale really that special? Or was Zuo Shuming the special one? What was the invader after?
Since they could not catch the invader directly, all they could do now was to remain passive. The good thing was Yi Qing had already calculated Zuo Shuming's fate and determined that Little Biao's scale was rightfully his. He had an invisible connection to that scale.
In other words, he would likely come across that heart- protecting scale once again. Either that, or he would come across the man who stole the scale from him. That was why they decided to continue staying close to Zuo Shuming, in the hopes of finding the invader.
They thought that this entire process would take awhile. Little did they know, it would be so soon…
Chapter 632: Heading to Gui Yi
Gui Yi Sect was not far away, after the spirit boat flew for less than an hour, they could already see numerous lush and green floating peaks in the distance. The spirit boat headed right towards the tallest one and stopped above the empty space before the hall. Many new disciples on the boat stirred, all walking to the edge of the boat to look around. Even Zuo Shuming couldn't help his curiosity and took glances of the outside.
There were already four to five disciples here to receive them standing outside the hall, both males and females present, dressed in unified long green robes, their cultivation level was all the Foundation Establishment phase. At present, they were looking up at the spirit boat that was gradually landing.
After it was stably parked, everyone was informed to alight. Lonemoon and gang was about to follow when he felt a gaze on him, he was faintly coupled with some killing intent.
Lonemoon's heart dropped as he instinctively stepped aside to dodge that gaze, Turning around, he saw that it came from the girl on the extreme right amongst the disciples receiving them, they were still some floating Spirit Qi around her, making it seem like she'd just arrived at the Foundation Establishment phase. But Lonemoon could tell that she was actually in the late stage, she'd merely used some methods to intentionally hide her cultivation.
Upon closer look, he found that her line of sight wasn't on them but on Zuo Shuming who was in front. It came with probing and pondering as if she was looking at a commodity that was waiting for its highest bid, only the killing intent from before had disappeared.
"Father Niu…" Yi Qing had very evidently discovered this person too. He said in a low voice through voice transmission. "She is the person in the woods."
Lonemoon was shocked. "Are you sure?" She just looks like an average cultivator.
"Sure." Yi Qing nodded.
"She'd seen us before in the woods." Lonemoon reacted quickly. "To avoid alerting the enemy, we need to hide." With that said, he dragged the two others out of the crowd, then set up a concealing array formation around them. Three figures instantly disappeared from the spirit boat. Everyone was hurrying to get off the boat and no one realized that they'd disappeared.
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, let us go down… huh? Where did he go!" Zuo Shuming turned around, wanting to get them to alight together, but found that it was empty behind him, the three people who were behind him a moment ago had disappeared. Looking anxious, he subconsciously began to search.
"Hey, what are you waiting for, we've arrived at the sect, it's time to alight." The disciple controlling the spirit boat saw that he had still yet to get off and spoke up to hasten him.
"No, Senior Brother, I still have three other friends with me."
"There is no one else on the boat." The disciple replied, "They've probably alighted long ago." Zuo Shuming then alighted wearing a confused look, continuously searching in the crowd but couldn't find the few of them no matter what. Whereas that girl kept her gaze fixed in his direction.
"Chef, this was really the invader from that day?" Invisible Lonemoon took a close look at the girl on the right. "There doesn't seem to be anything different about her."
"I don't know either." Yi Qing's frown grew deeper. It was far more than different, as a manager, he could even sense that the soul in her body originated from the original source of this world, there was completely nowhere incompatible at all, yet this was indeed the invader who got away the other night. "Master, what do you…"
Both of them turned to look at Shen Ying who stood in the middle of them.
"Let's compare the data." She tapped open a lighted screen and a series of data flashed across, coming to a stop in the next moment. Shen Ying cocked her head to a side. "Hmm?" "Why?" Lonemoon asked, "Found it?"
"She is indeed from this plane, but there is something else mixed in a body."
"Something else?" What did that mean?
Yi Qing faltered, as if struck with a sudden thought, he activated some power of the original source and looked over again. His eyes instantly widened. "Her soul…"
"What's wrong? What did you see?" Lonemoon asked. Yi Qing glanced at him, then shifted a trace of original source to move before his eyes.
"Damn it!" He almost exclaimed out loud.
The power of the original source allowed them to see through the flesh to observe the soul of the other party. For the girl opposite, in between her originally invisible soul, was a mix of a black layer, her entire soul looked like an expired bread where mold started to grow from the middle, it was especially strange.
"Possession!" This possibility instantly came to Lonemoon's mind, but he denied it a moment later. "No, this isn't possession." That layer of black soul was especially tightly mixed with the original soul, though it appeared disgusting, it was a complete specimen, possession was impossible, it seemed more like cohesion.
Hold on! Cohesion?
"Could it be… the true invader is that layer of soul in the middle. It stays in her body and has fused with the soul of this world?" He was instantly reminded of Mushroom who had her soul stolen.
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
"Damn it!" Why do all invaders like snatching other people's bodies? "What do we do now? Chef can you separate them?" Like how they saved Mushroom back then, tear them apart. "No!" Yi Qing shook his head. "The invader has already fused with the primary soul, if we were to forcefully separate them, the original soul will disperse too."
"Primary soul?" Lonemoon's eyes widened in slight surprise. "How was that possible, how could the primary soul fuse with another, unless she was willing!" He stopped midway. "F*ck no way! That soul was willing to be swallowed by the invader?"
Yi Qing's expression darkened too.
Before they could think further, the disciples at the front were leading everyone into the hall. That invader walked right at the front, but at the moment she turned, her gaze still vaguely swept across Zuo Shuming's direction.
Lonemoon and gang who had already concealed their figures and breathing also followed behind and entered the hall.
The hall was already fully occupied. Most were Nascent Soul cultivators, they seemed like the executive committee of Gui Yi Sect. The ones with the highest level of cultivation were the two seated right at the top. Both were at the Soul Formation stage, auras of elixirs came from their bodies, they were probably core cultivators.
After that invader led everyone in, she walked towards a Nascent Soul cultivator on the right, greeted him with a sweet "daddy", then obediently stood behind him.
"There are quite a lot of disciples joining Gui Yi Sect this time." The one sitting right in the middle was probably the Sect Master. He looked across the hundreds of new disciples in the hall then said to the others in the hall with a smile. "Elders, do you have anyone that caught your eye that you want to take under your wing?"
The Nascent Soul cultivators then stood up in succession and started selecting disciples, almost everyone chose a few. Though they were all disciples of Gui Yi Sect, but to be taken under the wing of the Nascent Soul cultivators and have a master to guide them, it was naturally better than practicing cultivation on their own. So everyone who was selected wore looks of surprise and stood behind the Nascent Soul cultivators after bowing.
In less than an hour, the amount of disciples in the hall lessened by a quarter. Lonemoon took a careful look and realized that the gaze of the invader had been occasionally fixed on Zuo Shuming. It was filled with probing. Seems like their previous guess was right, the motive of this invader had to do with Zuo Shuming.
But for some reason, she wasn't acting, as if she were waiting for something. On the other hand, Zuo Shuming was completely unaware, when he had time he would glance around the crowd beside him, anxiously looking like he was searching for someone.
Until everyone had done their selection, that invader did not make another sound too.
"Since the Elders are done with the selection, we shall end here today." The Sect Master stood up and looked at the remaining disciples as he ordered, "The remaining people will be our outer sect disciples, dismissed!"
The Sect Master was about to wave his hand when the Soul Formation cultivator on his left suddenly spoke up. "Wait!"
Chapter 633: Multiple Transmigrating System
"Uncle-Master Tian Yi?" The Sect Master paused and respectfully cupped his fists.
"My Dan Xia Mountain needs a disciple to tend to the spirit herbs, I shall just pick one here." That Soul Formation cultivator said casually, his gaze swept across the new disciples in the hall and finally stopped on Zuo Shuming who was at level seven in Qi Refinement, his finger pointed at him. "He shall do!"
All the disciples were stunned and turned back to look at Zuo Shuming in envy. Though he was merely tending to spirit herbs and wasn't a formal disciple, but that was the Soul Formation Supremacy who had the highest level of cultivation in Gui Yi Sect. If he could just get a pointer from him, it would last him for a lifetime.
Lonemoon could not help but took time to glance at Zuo Shuming, he was just about to sigh, though this fellow was naive and innocent, he was really quite lucky, he'd proven himself to be someone who could ascend. In the next moment, a peculiar robotic voice suddenly sounded.
[Ding! Mission: Wreck the male lead's chance of getting into Dan Xia Mountain! Prevent him from ascending! Fulfill host's aspiration of completing his revenge! All the best host! Multiple Transmigration System 001 has faith in you!]
[Rest assured 001, we transmigrated through so many worlds already, I know it! Such jerks like Zuo Shuming, even if there wasn't a mission, I would still get revenge for host!]
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
(⊙_⊙) What the hell was that sudden voice? Had they… forgotten to turn off public broadcast?
They instantly had some understanding of Shen Ying's feelings when she met Feng Ying back then. This public broadcast… was really f*cking loud!
However, it seems like other than the three of them, no one else could hear it at all.
"Grandmaster Tian Yi… is there anything special about this disciple?" That invader suddenly spoke up, looking innocently up at the Soul Formation cultivator. "He actually made you speak personally to recruit him to Dan Xia Mountain."
"Little Yi, do not be rude in front of Uncle-Master!" With those words, the Nascent Soul cultivator beside her immediately chided her.
"It's alright." That Soul Formation cultivator known as Tian Yi glanced at her, instead of being angry, he was good-natured as he said, "It isn't that there's anything special about this disciple, I just need a disciple to tend to the spirit herbs, there are no demands with regards to cultivation, it could be anyone. He has the highest cultivation amongst this group of disciples who practice Qi Refinement, so I chose him."
"Grandmaster, that's not right of you to say that." The invader blinked, pouting her mouth to look even more innocent as she said, "You are the Soul Formation Supremacy of Gui Yi Sect. Which one of the Senior Brothers on Dan Xia Mountain aren't outstanding. Even if he's just being an attendant to spirit herbs, it's still a huge opportunity to disciples of the sect. I think Grandmaster should pick one with good qualifications, this way, you will continue to uplift the prestige of Dan Xia Mountain."
That Soul Formation cultivator's smile became even gentler, his gaze towards the girl was filled with some indulgence for a junior. "Then what kind of person does Little Yi think I should pick?"
"I think he's not bad!" She pointed to a disciple beside Zuo Shuming and said,
"I read the register earlier, he has two spirit roots of elemental earth and wood, he is most suitable for tending to spirit herbs."
Tian Yi took a look at that disciple and was not too bothered.
Nodding, he said, "Alright, I'll change it to him."
That disciple was wild with joy and quickly stepped forward and said with cupped fists, "Thank you Supremacy!"
"Mm." Supremacy Tian Yi nodded in acknowledgment.
A hint of smugness instantly flashed through the invader's eyes.
In moments, the gazes from the other disciples to Zuo Shuming was filled with sympathy. Instead, his own expression remained usual, with no dejection of losing a huge opportunity, his eyes continued swept through the crowds around him from time to time, like he was searching for something.
Seeing that the selections were more or less done, the Sect Master then instructed the disciples to lead everyone to the outer hall.
The remaining people then walked out wearing looks of disappointment, they all seemed very dejected as they followed listlessly behind the Senior Brother leading the way. Except for Zuo Shuming! He seemed to be worried now, not long after walking out, he started to grab people around him and question.
"Fellow Daoist, have you seen my companions? The three who boarded the boat with me?"
"Senior Brother, have you seen my friends? There are three of them, one called Lonemoon, another called Yi Qing and another lady with the surname Shen."
"Never heard of them."
"Brother, three of my friends have gone missing, they boarded the boat with me earlier. They're Foundation Establishment cultivators, have you seen them?"
Zuo Shuming became more anxious the more he went on, even the disciple leading the way at the front was alerted, he walked over from the front. "What's with the din behind?"
Once he saw that it was Zuo Shuming, a trace of sympathy instantly passed through his eyes. "What happened?"
"Senior Brother…" Zuo Shuming hurriedly went forward, looking even more panicky. "My friends are missing, they passed the test with me."
"That's impossible? We did a headcount when we alighted the boat earlier!" He frowned and asked for the names of the three and flipped all the way through the register. A while later, he looked up at him, his gaze even more sympathetic. "The three people that you speak of aren't on the register."
"How is that possible!" Zuo Shuming was stunned, they'd even chatted on the boat just now.
"Alright alright! Let's continue to move!" That disciple gave him another look of sympathy, could he have gone crazy from his sadness of not getting into Dan Xia Mountain? He sighed, then continued to lead the way. Sigh! He was a pitiful being too.
Zuo Shuming then followed with a dumbfounded look.
Shen Ying who had been following behind the whole time: "…"
Lonemoon who had wiped their names off the register: "…"
Yi Qing who maintained the array formation the whole way: "…" Um… seems like they've accidentally done their friend in.
"Master…" Yi Qing could not help but suggest worriedly. "Do we need to wipe his memory?"
Shen Ying thought for a moment, before she replied, Lonemoon did so ahead of her. "Forget it! That invader's target is him, if we act recklessly, she might become aware of us, let's think of something else."
Yi Qing nodded.
Lonemoon recalled the special voice they'd heard earlier and turned to Shen Ying. "Shen Ying, do you know what exactly that system earlier was?" From what they heard from the two voices, this doesn't seem like the first world they'd invaded. "There was still some mission like fulfilling the host's aspirations, could it be that the so-called host, was the original soul of the body?"
"This might be the reason why the primary soul fused with the invader." The invader would help to fulfill her wishes so the primary soul automatically fused with her. Leading to them not seeing through her identity of an invader from the start.
"Her system isn't the same as Feng Ying's one, is it?"
"About the same." Shen Ying cocked her head to a side. "So- called systems are technological products of higher-level planes that has its own consciousness. But… I've never seen a system that can transmigrate through planes." Feng Ying's parenting system happened to fall to this plane because of a plane storm and this one evidently hadn't
"Then what do we do now?"
"I've got to ask my sister." Shen Ying thought for a moment. "She should have the information on this aspect."
Chapter 634: The Truth Behind The Invasion
"A system that can transmigrate?" Shen Jing's eyes darkened and she thought carefully for a while before replying, "I have seen systems with such functions but transmigration is more of an exaggeration. The most they can do is only project a part of their soul over."
"Project?" Lonemoon faltered. "What does that mean?"
"They actually do not have the ability to transmigrate in themselves." Shen Jing said in a low voice, "So they would search for some residual consciousness in the chaos that has yet to be completely absorbed. Then sense for the plane's original source that is similar to the host's from the chaos and project the part of the consciousness that they caught to that plane to steal the original source of other planes."
"Their target is the plane's original source?"
"You can put it that way." Shen Jing continued, "Only their power is way too insignificant, the amount of original source that can be stolen is very limited, it's even less than the amount for a complete soul. Besides, as this is an illegal invasion, this thing is very easily found by the authority, so it is highly difficult to bring away that small bit of original source, unless…"
"Unless the soul is willing!" Lonemoon blurted out, "What it wants to bring away is the primary soul of the person it is attached to!"
This also meant that there were actually three parts in that body right now. One was the soul that belonged to the body, one was the invading system and another was the residual consciousness that the system caught, used to fuse with the primary soul to make it easier to be brought away?
"That's right!" Shen Jing nodded. "This thing is like a parasite of the plane, though it is simply projecting a part of a foreign consciousness to the plane, but illegal invasion still causes a certain disorder to the plane and leaves behind a crack where they invaded. So the spot where they enter are always extremely hidden."
"It's the River of Forgetfulness!" Yi Qing suddenly recalled the hole that suddenly appeared in Heavenly Palace's River of Forgetfulness. "They entered through the original source of the River of Forgetfulness."
"Everything makes sense now!" Shen Jing said, "There are lots of souls in the original source, it is difficult to realize when there is one more or one less, what's more, the one that entered is just a similar part of a foreign consciousness."
Both Lonemoon and Yi Qing's face darkened. If it wasn't because Roasted Chicken Gal suddenly fell and Little Shortie happened to be at Invincible Sect, such a small hole that even they did not sense would indeed be very hard to discover.
Besides, the reason why the system was able to trace back the time of the little world unnoticed, was because of the effect created when it broke through the plane. If it wasn't because Rabbit happened to go pick Zuo Shuming up, they never would have been aware of the incidents in the Lower realm.
"Then how do we resolve this?" Shen Ying suddenly asked. "Of course you kill it before it fuses with the soul of the plane." Shen Jing answered like it was only natural and right. "If you don't kill such parasites, are you going to keep it around for the new year celebrations?"
All three of them: "…" Seems like it's too late.
"Don't tell me you three have already let it fuse with the living being that it is attached to?" A hint of surprise flashed across Shen Jing's face.
"Um… Sister Jing, we just that little little bit late." The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched as he let out an embarrassed smile. "Are there any other solutions?"
The disdain on Shen Jing's face grew even stronger as she sneered coldly. "You call yourselves managers? Is the plane's consciousness blind?"
Three of them: "…" No personal attacks please, not everyone is a cheat! "There's no other way." She gave each of them a look that said 'you'll be done sooner or later' and went on, "It's either you kill it together with that soul to get rid of the parasite and that foreign consciousness or wait until it has completely attained the acceptance of the possessed soul then leaves the host together with its primary soul to head to the next plane."
"Leaves the host?" Shen Ying suddenly lifted her head, looking at the lighted screen before her. "Sister, you mean that when escaping from this plane, it will separate itself from the fused souls?"
Shen Jing turned back and glanced at her, the disdain in her eyes then eased a little. "That's right, since it has decided to separate, it would certainly be fully prepared, you all only have the chance in that single moment to catch it."
Lonemoon and Yi Qing were overjoyed and relief, it was great that it would separate. Actually, the troublesome thing was that they knew too little about that system, they totally didn't know what other tricks it had. As for that foreign consciousness that fused into the primary soul, they would somehow find a way to separate them. "Thank you, Sister Jing." The three thanked her and received more nagging from Shen Jing before the call ended.
"Master, what should we do now?" Yi Qing turned to look at Shen Ying. "Wait till the moment when the invader leaves this plane?"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded and said, "We can speed it up!"
"What do you mean?" Lonemoon chimed in, how do they speed it up?
"Doesn't that system have a mission?" She habitually pulled out a fruit and reminded.
Both of them paused for a moment, recalling the public broadcast of the system that they heard earlier. Seems like it sent a mission to exact revenge on Zuo Shuming to the consciousness.
"Wasn't this mission issued because the invader wanted to get the acceptance of the owner to make it easier to draw the primary soul away?" It had invaded illegally, only when the primary soul was willing would it be able to bring this shred of primary soul away, this mission was the trade. He thought of something else and frowned. "Are you thinking of helping the invader deal with Two-Bucks Zuo, then let it separate as soon as possible so that we can capture it?"
Yi Qing also frowned subconsciously, naturally unwilling to do so. Let's first put aside that Zuo Shuming wasn't any villain, from their standpoint, no one wanted to turn around to give the invader a boost.
Shen Ying bit her fruit and looked up at them before questioning, "Why must we help it, can't we wreak havoc?"
"Rubbish!" Lonemoon subconsciously rebutted. "For each day it doesn't fulfill the owner's aspirations, the primary soul would definitely be unwilling to leave with it. The invader naturally wouldn't sep…" He stopped midway, as if struck with a sudden thought, his eyes widened. "You mean that we will obstruct it from completing the mission, cause internal conflict amongst them! The more the primary soul does not get what she wants…" "The more it wouldn't be willing to leave with the invader!" Yi Qing had also come to a realization. "By then the primary soul would naturally resist against the foreign consciousness and system, perhaps without even needing us to act, they would be separated."
"That might not be." Lonemoon shook his head and said in a low voice, "If then system can seek such a loophole to come in, it proves that it is very clear that it cannot remain in this plane for long." In case it is discovered by the authority and manager. "So if it figures out that it wouldn't be able to get the acceptance of the primary soul no matter what…"
"It will choose to leave this plane in advance!" Yi Qing looked delighted.
Lonemoon also sighed in relief. "Great! We shall do just that!"
Compared to helping the invader complete its mission, fighting it head on was more satisfying!
"About that…" Something came to Lonemoon's mind. "What did Two-Bucks Zuo that naive fool do to her before he ascended? That it made the soul willing sell her primary soul to the invader to exact revenge on him. Logically, someone who could ascend into immortality and not be struck to death by thunder shouldn't even any great villain.
Yi Qing faltered and calculated using his fingers, enlightening everyone a while later. "She was killed by Zuo Shuming in her previous life!"
"What?" Damn, they really had a feud.
Lonemoon also calculated subconsciously and his face darkened moments after.
That person died in Zuo Shuming's hands in her previous life, but the number of lives that ended in her hands were countless, there were even her closest family, and that included, all the disciples in Gui Yi Sect.
Chapter 635: Re-entering Gui Yi
The invader's mission was to exact revenge on Zuo Shuming, prevent him from ascending. It was very easy to ruin this mission, the better Zuo Shuming's life was, the more indignant she would be. The best scenario would be him ascending right before her, letting the invader experience the feeling of hating to see that but not being able to do anything. But right now, Zuo Shuming's golden finger and Scoop's scale had been snatched away. His initial chance to be taken under the wing of the Soul Formation Supremacy had been ruined too.
Though with his temperament, there wasn't any possibility of him ascending. Even if the invader doesn't act, it would take him a much longer time compared to his previous life to ascend. The best solution was to have them join Gui Yi Sect too and meddle in too, on the one hand they could keep an eye on the invader and on the other it would be easier to ruin its mission.
However, here comes the problem…
"That day in the woods, that invader has already seen Chef and me." Lonemoon said with a frown, "If we join Gui Yi Sect just like that, we might alert the enemy, it would be bad if we make the system more vigilant." They went over urgently that day and did not conceal themselves or what not, it was highly possible that they'd be recognized.
"That's not difficult." Yi Qing said with a low voice. "We can just morph into another person or change our appearance."
"No!" Lonemoon shook his head. "Though morphing and using spells are convenient, but we cannot say for sure that she wouldn't see through it, don't forget that he is an invader, who knows what other tricks it has." That day it was able to escape out of Chef's hands.
"Then what do you think we should do?"
"Other than the two of us, there's only…" He turned over to look at a certain person who was lazily sprawled out on the table like a boneless person. "Forget it, it's still two of us!"
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
"I think we should just use the essence of Heavenly Tribulations to change our appearance." He suggested, "The essence of Heavenly Tribulations isn't a spell, the changes in appearance is eternal for cultivators, of course, that doesn't include us, it's enough to use it to baffle the invader. After this ends, we can just release the lightning spiritual power in our body and we can change back anytime."
Yi Qing nodded, this was indeed the safest.
"But the three of us are too obvious." He thought for a moment and went on, "Though that invader is strange, we only need one person to watch over Two-Bucks Zuo. Let's discuss, who would be better… Hold on, why are you two suddenly hiding so far away?"
Before he could finish, the Master and disciple duo who was initially beside him instantly ran 10 meters away.
"Let us decide through voting! I vote Father Niu!"
"I vote Father Niu too!" "Alright, Father Niu has more than half the votes, it has been happily decided!"
"All the best Father Niu, the essence is certainly no problem to you."
"Father Niu is amazingly professional at ranking up with another newbie!"
Lonemoon: "…" Motherf*cker!
Was there meaning in such voting? Both of you just want to f*cking slack and push everything to me?
He instantly felt an urge to educate the rascals. Be clear!
Whose plane was this! Hello? "The, two, of, you…" He was about to explode when the sky darkened, storm clouds appeared at once as a rich authority settled above him. "Hold on! Chef what are you doing?" Chef directly lifted his hand to conjure seals.
In the next moment, a Heavenly Tribulation as thick and strong as a water bucket fell from the sky with a rumble and struck Lonemoon's head. A hint of burned yellow color surfaces on the edges of his robes.
"Father Niu, the lightning spiritual power around you is about to dissipate, need me to strike another one?"
"Strike my foot!"
(╯‵□′)╯(┻━┻ You really did it!
Lonemoon was so enraged that his hair could stand, pulling out a spirit stone, he threw it over. "Get it straight whose plane this is. Also, with the essence, the Nascent Soul tribulation would suffice, why the heck did you use the ascension tribulation?" Manager, big deal?
"I see, then I'll change to another type!"
"What did you say…"
Following that, a Nascent Soul tribulation struck down precisely on Lonemoon's head once again.
Lonemoon who was struck by lightning a second time: "…" A while later…
"Chef, Father Niu still looks the same, did you use the wrong one again?"
"Master, I have yet to see the tribulations of the lower realm for a long time, I am indeed having some trouble grasping it."
"Why don't… you try striking a few more times?"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
The fan in Lonemoon's hand instantly transformed into a long sword with a flip. "I'll slaughter you two little bastards!"
—————— Lonemoon successfully snuck into the new batch of outer sect disciples with his new appearance formed from the essence of Heavenly Tribulations and successfully became Two-Bucks Zuo.
As compared to the official disciples, the outer sect disciples evidently did not have teachings that targeted, not to mention the inner sect disciples with Masters. They basically relied on self studying and every five days, a Golden Core cultivator would come to Teaching Hall for a lesson. Other than that, they also had to complete some missions from the inner sect every month.
It could be said that outer sect disciples were basically left to their own accord. Of course if they work hard and studied diligently, they could become official disciples after completing their Foundation Establishment stage. Then according to their specialties, be distributed to different wings to practice the corresponding cultivation skills.
Simply put, outer sect disciples were disciples who did odd jobs, so the management over them was very slack too. Lonemoon had no choice but to suppress his cultivation to level six in Qi Refinement. Whereas Shen Ying and Yi Qing could only continue being invisible people, accurately speaking, it was Yi Qing who needed to conceal himself and with Shen Ying's presence, no one paid attention to her, anyway.
Today happened to be the day lesson being conducted at Teaching Hall. Lonemoon gave it some thought and decided that in order to ruin the invader's missions, it was better to get on good terms with Two-Bucks Zuo. Just as he was in thought, he saw Zuo Shuming approaching in the opposite direction.
Lonemoon's eyes narrowed and walked over. "This…"
He was about to greet him, yet Zuo Shuming's eyes lit up and spoke up before he could, "Fellow disciple, are you a disciple who just joined today too?"
"Um… yes." He subconsciously replied.
Zuo Shuming hurriedly brought out three pieces of paper and asked urgently, "Then may I ask Junior Brother, have you seen the three people in these drawings?" As he spoke, he handed the papers one by one to him. Lonemoon looked down, on those three drawings were two males and one female, though there were some deviations, he could still recognize the familiar figures.
This was… the drawings of them three, wasn't it familiar!
This naive fool was still looking for them.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched before he bit the bullet and replied. "I… have not."
"Oh…" Zuo Shuming's initially hopeful gaze instantly dimmed, his entire being listless. A while later, he replied, "Thank you Junior Brother." With that said, he sighed and turned to walk into Teaching Hall.
A disciple beside them saw his stupefied expression and could not help but voiced out, "Junior Brother, don't mind him." He pointed to Zuo Shuming who was in front and said in a joking tone, "Speaking about this Senior Brother Zuo, he's a pitiful person too. I joined on the same day as him, three days earlier than you. On that day, he originally had the chance to be selected by the Soul Formation Supremacy to join Dan Xia Mountain, but the Supremacy suddenly changed his mind and chose another Senior Brother instead. Perhaps due to the ups and downs at the moment, he suffered an emotional blow. He kept insisting that there were three other Foundation Establishment stage friends who came to join the sect with him who had disappeared. These few days all the outer sect disciples had been questioned by him.
His gaze increasingly filled with pity as he spoke on and sighed. "Sigh, a normal person, just went crazy like this, how pitiful!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…" Lonemoon silently turned and exchanged gazes with the two invisible people beside him, feeling slightly complicated. He didn't expect that in the time they went back to video call Sister Jing, Zuo Shuming the naive fool had been rumored to be a madman with delusional disorder? He even looked for them for three whole days!
Chapter 636: The Fool in the Hall
The three of them were still feeling a little guilty about disappearing without saying goodbye.Originally, they thought that he would just feel a little strange for a few days if he could not locate them. What's more, they weren't even that close to begin with. All they did was to accompany him around. They had not expected Zuo Shuming to get so anxious. Not only did he activate the entire sect to look for them, he also had intentions of asking them to spread out even further outside of the sect to do so. The longer he searched, the more anxious he became. He looked like he would not rest until he found them.
In order not to affect his training, Lonemoon decided that they had to inform him of their noble plan to defeat the invader… No, he had to counsel him about it. Thus, early the next morning, he stopped a certain someone at the exit.
"Two Bucks… Fellow Daoist Zuo!"
Zuo Shuming stared blankly at him, then said, "This… Disciple. Good morning. Why are you stopping me?"
"I just joined the sect and stay right beside you, that's why I came over to say hello." Lonemoon gestured to the neighboring apartment and glanced at the painting in his hand. "Brother Zuo, are you planning to go out?"
"That's right!" He nodded. With a somber expression, he said, "I'm planning to go to the neighboring immortal city to put up these notices."
"Notices?" Lonemoon hesitated. On closer inspection, he saw that there was a line of words next to the painting. In big letters was written: Missing persons!
The three of them: "…"
He was really determined to find these people. They really could not do anything to help an honest man.
Lonemoon pursed his lips and immediately changed the topic. "You've been searching for these three people for a long time. Are they your family members?" "No, they aren't!" Zuo Shuming smiled. "They're my friends. Come to think of it, I've only known them for three days. I came with them to Gui Yi Sect, but for some reason, they disappeared upon arriving here."
"Oh, I see. I guess these people had things to attend to," Lonemoon soothed him. "What's more, you've only met by chance. Brother Zuo, maybe you shouldn't waste too much effort looking for them. It was hard for you to join Gui Yi Sect. You should work hard to cultivate."
"Junior Brother, please do not spout nonsense if you're not sure of the situation," Zuo Shuming reprimanded, glaring at him. He looked at Lonemoon disapprovingly as he continued, "They're my friends. Now that they're missing, how can I stand by and do nothing? If they're safe, then that's good. If they've met with danger, and nobody offers any help, what would you expect them to do? If I don't help to search for them, how can I call myself a friend?"
He glared at Lonemoon, as if what he just said shamed him. Careful to emphasize each word, Zuo Shuming continued, "I, Zuo Shuming, am not a small-hearted person. What's more, I have a favor to repay - they saved my life once." "…"
Since when did they save his life?
He was talking about the other time in the dense forest, when they carried him out? They did not go there to specially to save him.
"Also…" Zuo Shuming seemed to think of something as his expression turned anxious. "I don't know if their disappearance has something to do with the fact that they saved me."
Did he really think that they were missing because they had been kidnapped by the person who robbed him the other day? Brother! Your imagination is really good!
"I say, Brother Zuo-"
"Fellow Daoist." It was obvious that Zuo Shuming was really angry now. He did not even refer to this man as his junior brother anymore. He continued, "I have matters to attend to. I can't chat with you any longer." Throwing Lonemoon one last contemptuous look, he tutted and walked off in a fury.
"…" Was he looking down on Lonemoon? He really was, wasn't he!
Zuo Shuming was just about to disappear down the path with his notices in hand when Lonemoon sighed and shouted. "Fellow Daoist Zuo, please wait. I lent you two spirit stones the previous time and you haven't returned them!"
"You lent me spirit stones?" Zuo Shuming stopped and turned around, taking his spirit stone bag out at the same time. He thought for awhile, then poured three spirit stones out of the bag. "I'm sorry - I used my spirit stones to help someone out the last time. I'm only left with three now. Wait until I have…"
He trailed off mid-sentence and looked up at the person in front of him, his eyes widening. He finally understood. All the notices he had been holding dropped to the ground at once. "You… You… You are-"
"Mm." Lonemoon nodded. "It's exactly what you're thinking!" Thankfully, he was not that stupid. He finally got what Lonemoon was hinting at.
Zuo Shuming stared blankly at Lonemoon, not daring to believe his eyes. He tested, "Are you really-"
"You're… Lady Shen?"
Shen my ass!
Pui… Lonemoon faintly heard two giggles right by his ear. He turned around to glare at the two people who were remaining hidden. Their shoulders were vibrating. "You bastards. Shut up!"
He shouted at them through a transmission. He frowned at their still-vibrating backs, as he emitted a cool air. Gritting his teeth, he asked, "How do I look like Shen… Ying?" Are you freaking blind? I dare you to call me Lady once again? Can't you tell a man from a woman?
"Fellow Daoist… Lonemoon?" Zuo Shuming shivered and changed his guess immediately.
Hmph! You recognized me at last!
Lonemoon tutted and snatched the three spirit stones from Zuo Shuming's hands. "Remember - you still owe me one spirit stone."
"Huh? Oh." It was obvious that Zuo Shuming was still in shock. He nodded toward Lonemoon and scanned the now stranger from head to toe. "Brother Lonemoon, what happened to you?"
"It's a long story…" Lonemoon was ready to conjure a story.
"Wait!" Zuo Shuming suddenly shouted, recalling something. He looked around and made sure that there was nobody around them. Then, he stepped aside and said, "Brother Lonemoon, let's go inside to talk." He quickly retreated back into his house and closed all the windows before he spoke again. "Brother Lonemoon, how did you disappear?"
Lonemoon looked around, then began to make up his story. "Actually, I didn't really want to join Gui Yi Sect. When I boarded the boat that day, I immediately regretted what I did. That's when I started to plot my escape."
"I see!" Stupid Zuo believed Lonemoon in a heartbeat. He nodded and said :I told you. It's the best choice for the three of you to join Tai Yan Sect. It's normal for you to have second thoughts about joining this sect. Oh that's right - where's Lady Shen and Fellow Daoist Yi Qing? Why is it just you over here? And your face - why is it different now?" "I wanted to say… when I left the spirit boat that day, I accidentally disfigured myself. Would you believe that?" Lonemoon asked.
"So that's what happened!" Zuo Shuming obviously bought it. "I was wondering why your cultivation deteriorated as well. So it's because you were injured. Was it a serious injury? Are you fully recovered? Will it affect your foundation?"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
You're actually buying this casually spun story! You're really a fool, aren't you!
"Then are Lady Shen and Fellow Daoist Yi Qing absent because they have gone back to Tai Yan Sect as well?" Zuo Shuming had automatically come up with a story for the two hidden friends. He even filled up the gap and made up an excuse to explain why Lonemoon had not been accepted into Tai Yan Sect and was forced to return to Gui Yi Sect.
Lonemoon scanned Zuo Shuming from head to toe. A moment later, he patted his shoulder comfortingly.
"I say, Two Bucks…"
"Ah! Huh?" Was Lonemoon calling him "Two Bucks"?
"You're the most simple-minded fool I've ever met." Lonemoon did not even have to put in much effort into lying before Zuo Shuming filled up the gaps on his own. Mm, this was one knowledgeable friend. Oh well, he decided he did not want the remaining one spirit stone anymore.
Chapter 637: Planting Herbs in the Sect
"It's been hard on you these few days," Lonemoon said as he looked genuinely apologetic. "I'm sorry for disappearing without notifying you first." At the end of the day, they were the ones in the wrong. They caused Zuo Shuming to spend several days looking for them.
"Brother Lonemoon, please don't worry about it." Zuo Shuming really looked like he did not mind in the least. "I wanted to do this - it had nothing to do with you. What's more, haven't you been injured over the past few days? It's normal that you did not get to inform me sooner."
"…" Why was Lonemoon feeling even guiltier?
"You just joined the sect - have you been focusing on training these days?" He scanned him from head to toe and said, "I see that you have a three-elemental spirit root: Water, wood and fire. Your foundation is quite solid as well. I don't think it's going to be difficult for you to advance to Foundation Establishment. If you have any doubts, please don't hesitate to come to me." After all, he had trained Fatty, an all-rounded cultivator. Zuo Shuming broke into a grin. Fellow Daoist Lonemoon was a Foundation Establishment cultivator before. Although his cultivation level had deteriorated, he was very familiar with training for Foundation Establishment cultivators. With his guidance, Zuo Shuming would have a much more straightforward journey of advancement. He cupped his fists. "Thank you, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon. I do have questions."
"No worries - go ahead and ask them."
The two of them chatted about training for a long time. Zuo Shuming naturally was not as talented as Fatty. There were a lot of things that he did not yet understand. The good thing was when Invincible Sect was first set up, Yu Hong and the others were not very well-trained as well. Lonemoon had experience training a total newbie. Zuo Shuming listened intently as Lonemoon answered all his questions. Perhaps there were many gaps in Zuo Shuming's knowledge - the more Lonemoon explained, the greater Zuo Shuming's spirit Qi seemed to get. Lonemoon believed that he would advance in terms of cultivation level in no time.
The two of them chatted for a total of four hours. It was almost noon by then. The master and disciple duo, who had been listening in hiding, had also retreated to their room to cook. Lonemoon realized it was time for lunch and ended the question-and-answer session.
"Let's end here for today." Lonemoon got to his feet. "If you understand everything I told you, the Foundation Establishment will not be difficult for you." It was time for Lonemoon to return and steal some food.
"Thank you, Brother Lonemoon!" Zuo Shuming got to his feet as well and bowed toward Lonemoon, overwhelmed by everything he just heard. "I'm truly thankful to have received so much guidance from you."
"That's good." Lonemoon smiled. They had already talked for four hours. If Zuo Shuming still did not understand what Lonemoon said, he must really be retarded. "I'm going back to my room then."
"Take care, Brother Lonemoon." Zuo Shuming walked Lonemoon to the door.
Lonemoon turned around and stepped out, but suddenly recalled something. He turned around and asked, "Do you really believe that my looks are different now because I fell off the spirit boat?"
Zuo Shuming paused, then smiled. He pondered for a while before saying, "I take you as a friend. I looked around anxiously for you, just so I could ensure your safety. Now that I know you're safe, everything else doesn't really matter." He didn't really care whether what Lonemoon said was true or not. He did not have to know.
Lonemoon looked at him with a different lens now. Zuo Shuming did not buy that lousy story that was filled with holes. He was just trusting in his own taste in friends. It turned out that Zuo Shuming was much more clear-headed than Lonemoon thought. It was no wonder that he managed to ascend so quickly before.
He was a fool indeed, but he was a fool that was trustworthy. Lonemoon was glad that he was the one he chose to help ascend to immortality. However, for his own sake, Lonemoon thought that it was best for Yu Hong to take Zuo Shuming in after he ascended again. Otherwise, even if he's sold away in the future, he might help his own seller count the money. Lonemoon sighed and walked out of the house. Just as he thought of going in to the house next door to have lunch, he discovered that there was a disciple from Gui Yi Sec, dressed in blue robes and walking toward him.
"Zuo Shuming! Is Zuo Shuming in?" He entered the yard and shouted out several times. He sounded quite impatient. In his hand, he held an accounts book.. His shouting caused several disciples to walk out of their houses.
"Is this an official from the outer sect looking for Senior Brother?" a disciple called out. "Why are you here? Are you going to issue a mission to our sect?"
"Don't be so eager about yours for now. I'm here to look for someone called Zuo Shuming!" The man said.
"Senior Brother He?" Zuo Shuming recognized the man who came looking for him. He immediately walked out of the house, just behind Lonemoon. He cupped his fists and said, "Greetings, Senior Brother He. I wonder why you are looking for me?" That cultivator with the surname He scanned Zuo Shuming from head to toe, full of contempt. "You're the newbie named Zuo Shuming?"
"That's right!" Zuo Shuming nodded.
Something flashed across the man's eyes as he lowered his eyes to look at the accounts book. "From this day forward, you will be in charge of tending to the spirit field on the extreme north of the rear mountain! Every three months, you will hand in a batch of low-grade spirit herbs. Remember that you cannot hand in less than 50 stalks."
"Plant spirit herbs?" Zuo Shuming stared blankly at him, not believing his ears.
Lonemoon, who had been listening by the side, frowned. He stepped forward. "Senior Brother, if I'm not wrong, no outer sect disciples will only be put in charge of tasks like harvesting spirit herbs. Since when were they also required to plant spirit herbs?" "There are not enough people on the rear mountain planting spirit herbs. Of course we need the newbies to help out. What's more…" The disciple named He cast another dirty look at Zuo Shuming and tutted. "I heard that you haven't been training for the past few days. Instead, all you've been doing over the past couple of days is spreading false rumors outside the sect that you're looking for a couple of friends. You haven't even completed a single task properly. My Gui Yi Sect has no room for sneaky disciples. I'm giving you a chance to make up for your mistakes."
Lonemoon frowned even more deeply now. Zuo Shuming had been wasting time looking for people, but the sect was only supposed to take account of all the tasks once every month. It had only been a few days since Zuo Shuming had been issued with a task. How could they use this reason to send him to plant spirit herbs in the field? This was too ridiculous, wasn't it? Unless someone was out to get him on purpose. And this person could be none other than the invader.
"Senior Brother He, newly recruited disciples are not experienced enough to plant spirit herbs immediately. I'm afraid that's not appropriate," Lonemoon tested.
"How is it inappropriate!" The man was getting more agitated by the second. He glared at Lonemoon and said, "He has to learn if he doesn't know how to do it, right? What do you all think Gui Yi Sect is about? If you're so worried, why don't you go with him?"
"Senior Brother He, you can't-" Zuo Shuming anxiously tried to explain.
The cultivator with the surname He cut in, "It's settled then. If you don't want to do it, then get out of Gui Yi Sect." He turned around and left.
Suddenly, all the cultivators left behind turned to look at Lonemoon and Zuo Shuming with pity. Yet, they did not dare to get involved. One by one, they returned to their own apartments, as if afraid that they would catch the trouble that Lonemoon found himself in.
Lonemoon lowered his gaze and turned to face Zuo Shuming. Indeed, the invader was picking on him on purpose. But what exactly was he trying to do? "Brother Lonemoon…" Zuo Shuming looked at him guiltily. "I'm going to talk to Senior Brother He. This has nothing to do with you."
"Forget it!" Lonemoon waved his hand, unbothered. "It's just planting a few spirit herbs, right? Don't worry - I know how to do that!" Their invincible Sect did rely on spirit herbs to raise their disciples after all. What hadn't Radish planted before? What's more…"
"But Senior Brother Lonemoon…" Zuo Shuming started to say something else.
Lonemoon interrupted him, "Go back and make some preparations. I will see you again in an hour." He turned to head back to his own house.
Zuo Shuming stared at him anxiously. As Lonemoon got further and further, he decided that he best return to his own house as well.
The moment Lonemoon entered the house, he picked up a pair of chopsticks and took the last piece of meat. Then, he scooped some rice into a bowl and sat down, wolfing down his food.
"Oh, that's right, Chef!" He turned to the array next to him as he spoke. Chef was inside, cooking. "Come with me to the rear mountain this afternoon." `
Shen Ying, who just lost a piece of meat: "…"
Chapter 638: Wasteland
Gui Yi Sect was famous for its medicines - naturally there were more pill cultivators than any other kind in the sect. More than 80% of the cultivators in the sect were pill cultivators. However, pill cultivators were the most expensive among them all as well. This was because pill cultivators were required to refine pills in order to advance, and ingredients were required for them to refine pills. The most common ingredient was spirit herbs. Since each type of pill needed different ingredients, and there were millions of different types of pills in the world, the more advanced pill cultivators required much more money.
It could be said that pill cultivators in their early stages were living spirit-stone-burning machines. And there were many low-level pill cultivators in Gui Yi Sect. Thus, the lower grade spirit herbs were much in demand. Of course, the sect could not afford to import all of these from external sources. Therefore, the sect dedicated plots and plots of land as spirit fields. The sect would provide the spirit seeds, then collect part of the harvest. The remaining spirit herbs were free for the disciples to take and use in their pill refinement, or to exchange for spirit stones.
It looked like a good process, but not just any disciple could work the spirit field. Spirit herbs were quite different from ordinary herbs. It required high standards for things like soil and spirit Qi. They also required a lot of time and effort to maintain. What's more, each herb had to be grown in a unique way. Ordinary people would not have been able to get the hang of it in a short time, much less Zuo Shuming, who had joined the sect less than a month ago. Even the qualified disciples needed at least three or four years' practice before they produced anything useful.
This was also the reason why Lonemoon only dared to leave the spirit field to Radish, and not to any other disciple. Radish was a vegetation spirit. Naturally, it knew best what the immortal herbs needed to grow well.
Although they were already prepared, Lonemoon and Zuo Shuming were still shocked by the scene in front of them when they arrived at the spirit fields.
After they arrived, they realized that the situation was much worse than they had imagined.
The spirit field that they were allocated to was one that sat between a pathway and a rock mountain. The ground there was extremely dry, and the spirit Qi was pitifully thin. What's worse was that rocks would fall off the mountain from time to time. They had two acres, but half of it was already buried by rocks. This was not even fit to be an ordinary plantation field, much less a spirit one.
"This… How can this be!" Zuo Shuming was shocked silly. He stared disbelievingly at the field that was covered with weeds and trash. He turned to face the disciple who led them here. "Senior Brother, we must be at the wrong place. This is the spirit field we're supposed to work?"
"That's right! This is your allocated spirit field." The disciple nodded. He could not help but dig deeper into their wounds. "This land has been wasting away for the last tens of years. You won't be able to grow anything here. I don't know why the sect is still sending people here to plant herbs."
He looked up at the two of them and shook his head pitifully, yet did not ask any more questions. He handed them a bag of seeds and said, "Here, these are the seeds you have to plant. Remember to hand in 50 stalks of low-grade spirit herbs at the end of three months." After he finished giving his instructions, he turned to leave.
Zuo Shuming held the bag in his hands, even more confused than he was before. Instinctively, he opened the bag and took a look inside. The seeds were all small - some were red and some were green. They were seeds of every color. It was obvious that they were not the same kind of seeds.
"What is happening?" Zuo Shuming exclaimed once again. It was fine that the spirit field was a wasteland. Now, even the seeds were of different types. It would be a miracle if they managed to grow anything here. "Senior Brother must have gotten the wrong bag. I'm going to ask for a new one." He closed the bag and started to walk off.
"Come back!" Lonemoon reached out and pulled Zuo Shuming back, snatching the bag out of his hands. He rolled his eyes and said, "Are you really that stupid? Just one look at this spirit field and you should know that someone is out to get you on purpose. Do you think anyone is going to bother about you if you go back there?"
Zuo Shuming hesitated and stared blankly at Lonemoon. "But… It's the first time I'm meeting that Senior Brother. I've never offended him. Why would he do this to me?"
"Who said that it's him who's picking on you?" Lonemoon shook his head.
"It's not him?" Zuo Shuming was even more confused now. "But I've never offended anyone."
Lonemoon frowned. There was no good explanation he could offer. He couldn't possibly say that the invader had his eye on Zuo Shuming, could he? Lonemoon sighed and said, "Forget it! Let's not bother about who it is! All you have to do now is train hard. Once you have capabilities, you will not be pushed around like this anymore. Even if you go after them now, you probably would not be able to achieve anything."
Zuo Shuming clenched his fists by his side. A pained expression flashed across his face. He remained silent for a couple of seconds before he said, "I still want to go. I know I haven't done anything wrong. Since I joined Gui Yi Sect, I know that it is my duty to plant spirit herbs and do my part for the advancement of the other disciples' cultivations.I have no complaints about that. But these seeds…" His voice trailed off mid-sentence. "I don't know why the other party is doing this. But planting spirit herbs has to do with my relationship with the sect. I have to clarify things." His eyes brightened with determination. Lonemoon could clearly see the innocence and grit that this man had - he would not be satisfied unless he failed himself.
Lonemoon had nothing more to say. He pondered for a moment, then stepped aside. You can go if you want to. You'll find out soon that there are many things in this world that cannot be explained.
"Brother Lonemoon, don't worry. I'll be back soon." With that, Zuo Shuming turned and angrily chased after the disciple that had disappeared not long ago.
Lonemoon sighed. Indeed, he was a young man. Lonemoon looked down at the bag of seeds and handed it over to Chef, who was beside him. "Get cracking!"
"Me?" Chef paused, stunned. He looked at the bag of seeds in his hands. I only know how to cook!
"If not you, then am I supposed to do it myself?" Lonemoon glared at him. "What do you think I called you over here?" All you know how to do is waste money - what's wrong with me asking you to do a little work? "I've never planted spirit herbs," Chef said as his gaze shifted between Lonemoon and the bag of seeds in his hands. Didn't they always leave these things to Radish in the past? "Why not… I call Radish over?"
"Call Radish?!" Lonemoon rolled his eyes. Radish - that crazy monster who was obsessed with producing flowers. If he called it over here, it would give the two of them away. "Just remove the weeds and scatter the seeds."
"…" You call that planting spirit herbs?
Chef looked suspiciously at the seeds in his hands once again. For the sake of his allowance, he knew better than to argue with Lonemoon. He had no choice but to take a handful of seeds and walk to the area where the grass was growing taller than man.
He pondered for a moment. Then, he released a burst of sword Qi that cut all the weeds off at once. Suddenly, there were no more weeds left in the soil - they were all piled up on the ground. Even the soil was turned out from the impact. In a blink of an eye, the spirit field was cleared of weeds and the soil was prepared to receive the seeds. Yi Qing scattered the seeds around. He did not bother too much about spacing them out. Instead, he turned the bag over and shook it twice. Then, he walked back over to Lonemoon. "I'm done!" It took a total of two minutes.
"Mm." Lonemoon didn't look too bothered about the way Yi Qing planted the seeds either.
"Can they… grow like this?" Chef could not help but ask.
"Nonsense!" Lonemoon turned to glare at him. Then, he looked purposefully at the sky. "You grew them - how dare they not grow?"
Chapter 639: Phenomenons in the Spirit Field
Zuo Shuming had not thought that everything would be just as Lonemoon said. Even though he went up to confront the sect members, he did not manage to achieve anything. Instead, he got chased right out. Faintly, he felt as though even the outer sect masters were unsure who gave such orders to him.
He became more and more dejected. Reluctantly, he returned to the spirit field. He had no other choice. Yet, a place like that was not fit to be called a spirit field. How would it produce spirit herbs? Even if he tried to plant normal crops there, they probably wouldn't grow.
Because of this, Zuo Shuming felt like he let Lonemoon down.The guilt was killing him. He bowed respectfully to Lonemoon and said, "I'm sorry, Brother Lonemoon. It's my fau… Eh?" Before he could finish speaking, he saw that the weeds that had initially grown even taller than him were now gone. Instead, the soil had been turned out and the smell of fresh soil filled the air. "This soil… It's better now. Brother Lonemoon, you…"
(⊙_⊙) So quickly? Wasn't the soil dry and hard just a moment ago?
Wasn't it supposed to be extremely hard to grow crops here?
"Mm." Lonemoon casually got to his feet and nodded. "I've already planted the seeds. Come, come, come. Let's talk about training." He needed to advance even more quickly than he was doing right now.
"Huh? Ah!" Zuo Shuming was confused. He was still stunned by how quickly Lonemoon turned this soil around.
"What are you exclaiming about!" Lonemoon scanned him from head to toe and said solemnly, "Given your cultivation, how can you expect to improve without training? You can't delay things like your training. Why are you not grabbing the chance to learn as much as you can now?"
"Oh… Oh, alright?" Zuo Shuming was visibly shaken. He completely forgot what he had been asking about. Instinctively, he sat down and began to absorb spirit Qi into his own body. He was not sure whether he was mistaken, but he felt like the spirit Qi in the surroundings was much thicker now than it was when they first arrived here. In fact, there seemed to be more spirit Qi here than there was at the main peak. Automatically, his body became primed for training.
Brother Lonemoon was right. No matter what happened with the spirit field, his main priority was to improve his own skills. Once he was stronger, he would no longer have to worry about being bullied by others. In order to complete the sect's tasks well, he had to train hard.
But he guessed that even if he did clear this land from the beginning, it would still not be able to produce any crops. He would put in his 110 percent into growing the crops. If he really did not manage to produce the 50 stalks of spirit herbs in the end, he would accept sole responsibility for it.
Having made up his mind, he finally focused all his energy on training. Yet, what happened next caused all of his plans to be messed up. Even he became a little confused. At first, he thought that it would be good if a land like that could produce just 10 stalks of spirit herbs. Yet, the very next day, he realized that there were green seedlings covering the originally barren land. Every stalk carried with it spirit Qi. It was indeed spirit herbs growing out of the ground. And there were far more than just 50 stalks. His heart was overjoyed. This was a miracle. There were so many crops! As long as they took care of them properly, he would be able to meet the designated number of spirit herbs they were required to hand in. It was a pity that his teammate, Lonemoon, had something else in mind.
"Brother Lonemoon, I didn't think they would turn into seedlings so quickly. The spirit Qi in the morning is especially thick. These spirit herbs will require more water. Let's go get some immediately."
"No need for that," Lonemoon responded.
Zuo Shuming stared blankly at him. "But w-"
Before he could finish speaking, everything around them turned dark. A gray cloud floated over, and suddenly, it began to drizzle. Soon after, the spirit herbs became drenched.
Zuo Shuming: "…" This was too much of a coincidence, isn't it! But there were downsides to the rain as well.
"If it rains too heavily, the spirit herbs' stalk might not be able to take the water pressure. Let's dig a pit for the water to be drained out."
"There's no need," Lonemoon said again.
Indeed, the rain stopped immediately. The gray clouds cleared up. It was as if the clouds had come just to water the plants.
Zuo Shuming: "…"
The weirdest thing was that this did not just happen once or twice. Instead, things continued to develop so that Zuo Shuming began to doubt his own senses. "Brother Lonemoon, the seedlings are growing. I think we need to add fertilizers. Let's go and get some ashes."
"There's no need."
A huge gust of wind blew past the field. A huge load of dust flew across the sky and landed on the spirit field, forming a layer of ash belonging to old wood and leaves."
Zuo Shuming: "…" How was that possible!
"Brother Lonemoon, the seedlings will attract many different types of insects. Shall I go to Senior Brother to get some pesticide?"
"There's no need." There was the sound of birds chirping. A huge spirit bird landed on the field and began to look intently around for insects to eat.
Zuo Shuming: "…" Holy shit!
He suddenly felt like there was no need for him to do anything in order for the spirit herbs to grow. These were not their spirit herbs - it was the heavens'!
○ | ̄|_=3
The spirit herbs in the spirit field grew bigger and bigger before their very eyes. As time went by, there were even more of them. The two of them became increasingly excited. Until… They began to look strange!
"Brother Lonemoon, that's a second-grade two-leaf fragrant herb, right? Why are there four leaves on it? That's so weird!" "Brother Lonemoon, that's a Transparent Lotus, right? I recall that they're supposed to be third-grade herbs. Why are they fourth-grade ones now?"
"Brother Lonemoon, is that the Purple Ginseng? Look at its leaves. Why do they look as if they're a thousand years old?"
"Senior Brother Lonemoon, that stalk…"
By right, spirit herbs rarely mutated in such ways. Some people who grew spirit herbs all their lives still would not be able to witness such things in their lifetimes. Yet, on closer inspection, all of the spirit herbs in the field were mutated in some way - they were either more advanced or deformed. They could not find a single spirit herb that was normal. All around, the spirit Qi filled the air. It was almost as if the spirit herbs were mutating on purpose in order to fit in.
"Calm down!" Lonemoon patted him on the shoulder. "Just get used to it."
"…" How can you get used to things like that? "Alright, let's quickly train! I'm going to teach you some simple sword techniques today!" Lonemoon quickly changed the topic.
The moment he finished speaking, Zuo Shuming's face drained of color. "Are they really simple?"
"Of course! It's basic!"
"…" Zuo Shuming instinctively stroked his own bruised face.
That's exactly what Lonemoon said a few days ago.
For some reason, from the day that they began planting the spirit herbs, Lonemoon had become extremely interested in Zuo Shuming's cultivation level. Each day, he would either force him to train, or teach him a different technique. It was almost as if he did not want Zuo Shuming to rest even for awhile. He explained techniques, sorcery and spells non-stop. If one time was not enough, he would repeat himself several times… before he started hitting Zuo Shuming.
-_-||| Yet, Zuo Shuming felt bad speaking up about it. After all, Lonemoon was doing this out of the goodness of his heart. What's more, he really was of a much higher cultivation than Zuo Shuming was just a few days ago. All Zuo Shuming could do was grit his teeth and learn well. Although they were not concerned about planting spirit herbs anymore, he felt even busier. Each day, he would pick up a new spell or two, or improve techniques that he already knew.
Even so, he felt like Lonemoon was despising him more and more as time went by. He could almost read it on his face: You are the worst student I have ever taught.
Zuo Shuming had nearly forgotten that he was there primarily to plant spirit herbs and not to train. In fact, he felt like he was putting his life on the line to train.
On the few occasions when he recalled his primary task, he would say, "Brother Lonemoon these spirit herbs-"
"What spirit herbs? You can't even learn a simple water- repelling spell. How dare you talk about other things? Quick, train!" "Alright… Alright."
Why did he feel like Lonemoon was more of a master than a friend?
THe good thing was his cultivation level was increasing rapidly. Within two short months, he advanced from the seventh stage to the tenth stage of Qi Refinement. He could even faintly feel himself approaching a breakthrough.
Lonemoon, who had been teaching him for three months "…" Suddenly, I miss Fatty, who jumped through the stages rapidly.
Chapter 640: Torment His Body and Heart
Three months later.
A figure dressed in pink appeared behind the Steward He, the in-charge of the outer sect and was walking towards the spirit field at the foot of the mountain.
"Junior Sister Shu Yi, you don't have to make this trip personally, you can just give your orders if you need anything and I'll get someone to send it to Dan Chen Mountain." Steward He said with a fawning smile while leading the way.
"Senior Brother He is too polite, how can I trouble you." Shu Yi responded with a bashful smile, her expression innocent and adorable. "It's just because my father needed to refine a batch of Spirit Mending pills and happened to be lacking the fragrant spirit shrub. Such low-level spirit herbs are only grown in the outer sect, my father needed it urgently and I happened to be idle so I made a trip here."
"Turns out the fragrant spirit herb that Junior Sister asked for was needed by Perfected Shu Yuan!" Steward He was shocked, his attitude became even more respectful. "Junior Sister Shu Yi is indeed Perfected Shu Yuan's child, you're so filial, not to mention, your cultivation level rises so quickly."
"You flatter me Senior Brother He." Shu Yi showed a slightly embarrassed smile, looking just like a naive little girl.
"The outer sect has a lot of the fragrant spirit shrub, today happens to be the day of the quarterly harvest." Steward He's gaze was increasingly kind as he hurriedly pointed to the front and said, "Junior Sister Shu please follow me, feel free to let me know which field you've taken a fancy to."
"Thank you Senior Brother." Shu Yi immediately skipped and followed, —after passing a huge spirit field, unsure whether it was intentional or not, she started to approach the spirit field right at the edge.
Suddenly, an odd voice sounded.
[Host, weren't you planning to quickly refine that heart- shaped immortal artifact, then help owner exact revenge, what are you doing here now?]
"Of course it's to send some warmth." Shu Yi answered deep down. "Wasn't Zuo Shuming sent here to farm the spirit field as a punishment? And he was given a piece of land. Now the three- month deadline is up, he certainly cannot present 50 stems of spirit herbs. Naturally I have to help him!"
[Help him, why? Isn't Zuo Shuming our enemy? He was the one who killed owner in her previous life, why are you helping him?]
"System you don't understand." Shu Yi sighed and said, "For such a jerk like Zuo Shuming, just snatching his opportunities and preventing him from ascending would not satisfy the owner. Only by tormenting his body and heart with nothing to his name, making him completely lose the motivation to practice cultivation, can we achieve our aim of revenge. Sometimes, staying alive feels worse than being dead!"
[001 does not understand, we've already taken his most important immortal artifact away and ruined his chances of becoming a disciple of the Soul Formation cultivator, is that not enough?]
"Of course it's not!" Shu Yi said angrily, "In her previous life, the original owner Shu Yi loved him so deeply, willingly putting herself in danger time and time again for him. Yet he did not know to treasure that at all, not only did he publicly refuse to marry her, he even embarrassed her for a disciple who just joined the sect. If it wasn't for all that, why would the owner turn demonic. In the end she even died in his hands! Zuo Shuming ruined Shu Yi's entire life, how could simply not being able to ascend dispel owner's resentment?"
[Then what do you intend to do?]
"Didn't he say that he's never had feelings for owner, his junior sister?" Shu Yi laughed coldly. "Of course I'll let him have a taste of desiring something but not being able to get it."
[So host coming here this time is to pretend to help him escape the punishment for not being able to present the spirit herbs and get Zuo Shuming to develop feelings for you?] "How is just having feelings enough?" Shu Yi said, "I will make it an indelible love!"
[You are indeed the best host, all the best! I have faith in you.]
Shu Yi did not reply, but the smugness in her eyes deepened, filled with a glint of determination to achieve what she planned on.
On the hill not too far away.
Lonemoon who listened to everything: "…"
Yi Qing who just came over: "…"
Say, were those two invaders really completely unaware of this broadcast-like public mode of their conversation? He could hear it from a few hundred meters away, it was really very noisy! He turned and glanced at the "jerk" Two-Bucks Zuo who was already in meditation beside the field. This was his first time taking a good look at his face, his appearance was really so-so! Not even as good-looking as Song Ren that unlucky fool! How did he manage to get into such a nasty love affair, even his ascension was ruined. No wonder it was bought with just two bucks?
"Father Niu…" Yi Qing looked inquiringly at Lonemoon, then turned towards Zuo Shuming who was meditating beside the field.
Lonemoon frowned before replying, "Let's get back! I reckon that invader is about to come over."
Yi Qing then waved and undid the Soul Gathering Array beside Two-Bucks Zuo, then put away the two plates of pastries that was before Lonemoon.
"Damn it! I brought that here!" What right do you have to put it away, he was intending on snatching it but those two people were already approaching the area. "Senior Brother He, what is being grown there? Seems like there is the aura of fragrant spirit shrubs too!" Shu Yi suddenly pointed to the side-most spirit field that was blocked off by patches of weed.
"The spirit field there is more remote, with thinner Spirit Qi." Steward He replied, struck with a sudden thought, he added, "Oh yes, earlier on, I think there was a disciple sent here, calculating the time… it's about time for him to hand in spirit herbs."
"Since that's the case, let's go over for a look. Who knows, there might be fragrant spirit shrubs that are in even better condition."
"Sure!" Something flashed across Steward He's eyes as he nodded. "We can also look for that disciple and collect the spirit herbs he has to hand in." He answered in all seriousness yet deep down, he was thinking, how could that land be able to sprout any spirit herbs.
Back then when the higher-ups sent this disciple to his piece of land, he'd already understood that this disciple had offended someone up there. He just needed to wait till the harvest of this quarter, when he could not hand in any spirit herbs, he'd then be able to kick him out of the sect. Such incidents do happen in the outer sect, everyone already had a tacit understanding. Right now, it happened that Shu Yi, an inner sect disciple was present and she was the daughter of a Nascent Soul Elder, who knows, she might bring the news back to the inner sect and he might get something good out of it.
As he thought, he walked faster and faster, rounding pass the patches of tall weeds, heading towards the piece of land all the way at the side. Shu Yi's eyes dimmed and immediately followed.
That piece of land was right at the edge of the mountain, as there weren't enough Spirit Qi, the surrounding land were all barren, filled with patches of weeds as tall as humans that blocked the sight, the situation of that land was completely hidden from view.
Two people, each with their own load on their mind, went on along a small path, Shu Yi glanced at the surrounding weeds, her thoughts growing firmer deep down. Hence she feigned ignorance and asked, "Senior Brother He, this place looks like it's been unattended to for a long time, why would a disciple be sent here to farm? Can spirit herbs be grown?" "You must be joking Junior Sister. This is a spirit field, as long as one puts his heart and soul into it, he can naturally grow spirit herbs." Steward He replied and finally rounded pass the weeds.
"But this piece of land has rarely any Spirit Qi, how is possible that he would have any spirit herbs to hand in, is this making things difficult for him." She was setting up the base so that she could speak for him later, but realized that the person in front had suddenly stopped walking, frozen in the same spot. "Senior Brother He? Senior Brother He!"