Chapter 621: Ultimate Battle in the Underworld
"Sirs… Are you alright?" After subduing the waves, Chao Kun turned to the three of them anxiously.
Lonemoon frowned. He glanced at the worried Chao Kun and nodded curtly. "Fine."
"That's good!" He heaved a sigh of relief. He looked like he was going to say something else, but the streams of source below sprang up once again.
"Chao Kun!" The eyes of the woman in black turned red immediately. She shot a death glare at Chao Kun. The hate she felt for him seemed to seep into the black Qi around her as it became thicker and richer. Suddenly, the black Qi flew toward Chao Kun. "You deserve to die!"
Chao Kun jumped in shock. He instinctively summoned a shield to block the attack, sending green beams of light back toward the woman. The blackness around the woman dissipated slightly. Chao Kun's expression darkened as he waved his sword at her. Then, he turned around to the three people behind him and said, "Thank you for all your help. That was the only reason I could find this invader. It is way too dangerous over here. Please go back quickly so that you won't be affected by the contaminated source." He looked to the woman nervously and added, "Only I can cleanse the core powers in this plane's source. Hand it to me from now!"
The three of them exchanged looks, but said nothing.
"Please leave at once - don't worry about me!" Chao Kun urged them. "No matter what, I will protect my own plane."
Once he finished speaking, and before they could respond, he held up his sword and charged toward the woman. The both of them engaged in a battle.
They were moving extremely quickly. All Lonemoon and the others could see were black and green streaks flying around the sky.
Chao Kun was right. If they wanted this plane to be restored, they had to first fix the source. But the source was the basis of this entire plane - nobody could interfere with it unless they were the spirit seed or the manager of the plane.
Since Lonemoon and Yi Qing were both managers of other planes, they naturally had no right to interfere with the source of this one. What's more, their manager powers were already being suppressed while they were here. Apart from Chao Kun, nobody could help. Of course, that was apart from Shen Ying the cheat!
The battle between Chao Kun and the woman was becoming more and more intense. Chao Kun had already been injured. Now that he had lost control of his own plane's source, he was much weaker. Granted, he was not close to being defeated. In fact, he seemed to be making some progress with this battle. A green aura from the original source of this plane seemed to surround his body.
He tried to restore the plane step by step, but those efforts were worthless given that the plane's source had already been completely contaminated. After awhile, Chao Kun looked like he could hang on no longer. "Master, we…" Yi Qing turned to look at Shen Ying, hesitating to speak.
Should we go or should we stay?
Lonemoon nudged Shen Ying and asked, "Aren't we going to help?"
"Er…" Shen Ying gnawed on her fruit and said lazily, "No hurry."
Lonemoon and Chef exchanged a meaningful look, both at a loss for words. They narrowed their eyes, but no one made any moves.
Chao Kun looked like he was getting weaker and weaker. His body began to sway. Chao Kun gritted his teeth and adjusted the source's aura that he painstakingly obtained around his body, fending off the attacks from the woman that covered the entire sky. With a pained expression, he asked, "Who exactly are you? Why are you doing this? Do you know that if you change this source, many living creatures are going to die?" "Hahaha…" The woman laughed maniacally. She looked delirious. "Chao Kun, these words coming from you sound hypocritical indeed! You, of all people, should know why I am doing this!"
Chao Kun paused. A moment later, he seemed to recall something. His eyes widened. "You're… Mu Xiang!"
"Why? Were you pretending not to recognize me?" The woman laughed mirthlessly.
"You…" Chao Kun stared blankly at her. Then, he shook his head. "That's impossible! How did you open the gate to this plane?"
"Hmph! Did you think that locking this plane away would keep all invaders out?"
"So someone did help you to invade my plane earlier!" Chao Kun's features became even more twisted. "I never thought that you would change the source. Why? You were once a part of this plane yourself. Now, you're joining forces with outsiders to invade this plane and destroy it?"
"Why? Of course it's to kill you" The black Qi around the woman thickened. The blackness below seemed to deepen as well. "In order to kill a bastard like you, I'm willing to pay any cost."
Chao Kun's expression darkened. It was obvious he was hurt."I did everything to protect this plane. I did it for the 3000 realms and for all the living creatures here. Since you've been kicked out of the plane, you should not have invaded it. This plane has nothing more to do with you."
"Who says it has nothing to do with me!" The woman named Mu Xiang screamed in a rage. "I'm already back, so don't think about getting away easy! Who was the one who should be kicked out of this plane? Chao Kun, do you really need me to remind you? Who is the real-"
"Mu Xiang!" Chao Kun frowned, cutting her off. "It's been such a long time, and you're still so stubborn. You're willing to sacrifice an entire plane of living creatures just for your own selfish desires." "Shut up!" Mu Xiang's face became twisted, as if she had just recalled her painful past. She was filled with so much anger and hatred that she began to tremble. Her eyes seemed to turn into flames as she said, "This all happened because of you! It's you! Chao Kun, you deserve to die!" She could hold her anger back o longer. Immediately, she charged toward Chao Kun.
Chao Kun closed his eyes, sucked in a deep breath and said, "No matter who helped you to get in, I will make sure that we fight to the death today. I will not let you harm this plane." The green light around his body flashed.
The two of them engaged in battle once again. However, Mu Xiang was attacking more viciously now than she did before. It was obvious that she was putting her life on the line. Clearly triggered by something Chao Kun said, she dealt with each blow like it was her last. She no longer cared whether she got injured or not - all she wanted was to deal as much damage to Chao Kun as possible.
Yi Qing frowned. This way of fighting was way too anxious - it would only give the other party a chance to rest up before dealing his attack. Chao Kun remained calm throughout the battle. The green aura around his body became stronger and stronger. Even the center of the source below them seemed to turn slightly green.
But this pace was too slow. Chao Kun was bound to wear out sooner or later. After all, Mu Xiang was in control of the entire source. Unless someone stepped in to help and control Mu Xiang, he would not be able to focus on repairing the source. Of course, it would be best if this someone was a manager as well.
Lonemoon raised his eyebrows, turning to Shen Ying purposefully. "Are we still going to stand by and watch?"
Shen Ying turned to face him, finishing up the last of her fruit. Then, she retrieved a plate of pastries from her storage bag and said, "Mm, it's not time yet."
A confused look flashed across Lonemoon's face. He kept his sword and said, "Alright! It's your decision to make!" He snatched the plate from Shen Ying's hands and sat down to watch the show.
Shen Ying: "…" "Master, I have more here!" Chef quickly handed her another plate.
Chao Kun and Mu Xiang seemed to be fighting more intensely now. There were loud crashes and explosions sounding in all directions. Chao Kun was now covered in blood, and he looked like he was about to collapse at any moment. Thus, he looked over at the three of them expectantly. Lonemoon, Yi Qing and Shen Ying, however, looked like they had no intention to step up and offer any help.
Instead, Mu Xiang's hatred and anger grew. Although Chao Kun had also injured her, he did not manage to slow her down. Chao Kun knew that he could not hang on much longer. Turning back to take one last look at the group who still seemed unwilling to offer help, he turned around and flew straight toward the green center of the otherwise black source.
The moment he touched the source, he summoned a dharmic weapon and began to conjure a spell. The pitch-black underworld seemed to be divided into two by a beam of blinding green light.
"Chao Kun, do you have the guts!" Mu Xiang rushed over, looking like she had finally snapped and gone crazy. Yet, she got rebounded by the green light. She climbed to her feet once again and rushed over maniacally, shouting, "Chao Kun! Chao Kun…" Each time she screamed his name was more piercing than the time before.
"We can go now." Shen Ying stood up after finished a total of three plates of pastries.
Why didn't you wait till we had dinner first?
Chapter 622: Two Managers
The green light became increasingly stronger whereas the light around the artifact became so bright that it was slightly blinding. Even the Underworld that was initially a sea of darkness seemed to be painted and was swiftly returning to a green color. Mu Xiang's appearance grew worse as she struggled with all her might like a madman, wanting to stop the artifact but she couldn't reach it no matter what. Instead, she was covered with cuts and bruises from the impact of the green original source.
"Stop! Stop!" She gritted her teeth, activated all the black original source around her and charged forward without any care.
Chao Kun's expression darkened, instantly taking the chance to manifest multiple spirit swords to attack her. But Mu Xiang ignored his attacks, stretching out her torn and bloody arm, she even sped up, fighting against the danger of being stabbed by the swords, about to touch the artifact.
Yet another hand reached out from the side and picked it up before her. A figure suddenly appeared in the middle, at the same time, the spirit swords that Chao Kun manifested seemed to have met some obstruction and vanished.
Shen Ying glanced at the green little ball in her hands, her eyes narrowed, closing her hand around it, that overwhelming green light instantly dimmed down, even the green original force that had been continuously changing below stopped, as if a pause button had been pushed.
"M… Madam?!" Chao Kun faltered, looking at Shen Ying who was midair in disbelief. "Why are you doing this?"
It was Mu Xiang who reacted first, without the suppression of the green light, the black Qi in her body surged, as if she was seeing red, she raised her sword and slashed it towards Shen Ying who was the closest to her without any hesitation. All these invaders deserved death!
"Master!" Yi Qing who was a step slower was shocked.
Just as he was about to act, he saw Shen Ying suddenly stretch out a finger, with a series of cracks, the sword in the other party's hands broke inch by inch, before she reached her palm, the sword had already been reduced to ashes.
Mu Xiang could not rein herself in in time and could only watch as the finger went directly to her forehead. In moments, the energy surrounding her dissipated, unable to gather anymore, the black Qi dispersed too, revealing her original form.
Her heart sank, she lifted her arms wanting to continue her attacks, but she could not use any strength at all and could only throw empty punches in the air. Her figure was also shorter than Shen Ying and ended being completely blocked by her one finger. Her arms wasn't long enough to hit her and her hands could only draw circles in the air.
The scene became amusing at once going from a high-end Challenger-ranked match between managers to a Bronze-ranked match of a fight between kids.
Yi Qing who rushed over: "…"
Lonemoon who was watching the show this whole time: "…" Was Shen Ying giving her all in humiliating her because she finally found someone shorter than her! How disgraceful, why would a shortie make things difficult for a shortie?
"Let me go! Let me go!" Mu Xiang's anger heightened, as she stared fixedly at Shen Ying. "All of you detestable invaders!"
"Oh." Shen Ying paused for a moment and said with her head cocked to one side. "I'm not grabbing onto you."
Mu Xiang frozen then seemed to realize then, she'd only been blocked from moving forward, she hadn't been caught and wanted to shift back with a turn.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched as he followed closely behind, setting up an array with a wave of his hand, dense Sword Qi instantly trapped Mu Xiang who had just came back to her senses in the same spot. "Now you're caught!"
-_-||| Was it that every person who fought against Shen Ying would see a drop in their IQ?
Mu Xiang wanted to run, but it was already too late, she wanted to break out of the Sword Qi but realized it was completely futile, her body was empty, she could not activate a shred of her powers at all. She paled at once, and looked at Shen Ying in front of her in disbelief. "What have you done to me?!" She was still in the plane, why wasn't she able to use her powers, on top of that, all her connections to the original source seemed to be cut off.
"Just making it convenient for us to have a good talk." Shen Ying replied and habitually pulled out a fruit, taking a bite of it before saying, "Let us talk for one fruit's time!"
"All of you deserve to die!" Her expression became even more insane, she'd no intention of communicating at all, only her gaze was fixed on the green ball artifact in Shen Ying's other hand.
"You like it?" Shen Ying clutched the little ball and handed it over. "You can have it!" "…" Mu Xiang faltered, even resentment on her face stiffened for a moment.
"Madam!" Chao Kun also rushed over from below, glancing at Mu Xiang who was trapped, a trace of joy flashed across his eyes as he hurriedly bowed to them with cupped fists. "Thank you all for your righteous help, this plane can finally be saved now."
"Don't be too quick to thank us." Lonemoon turned his body to the side to dodge his bow and said with a smile, "Whether we're helping you or not, it's still uncertain?"
His expression froze for a moment before he immediately resumed a lost look, his gaze sweeping across the green ball in Shen Ying's hands. "Sir Lonemoon's words… what do you mean?"
"We just feel that it seems like there are some things you haven't explained clearly to us, for example…" Lonemoon's smile grew wider as he turned to look at the person in the sword array. "The matters regarding her." Chao Kun's face paled for a second, a hint of panic flashed across, as if he didn't know how to answer that.
Instead, Mu Xiang at the side suddenly snickered out loud. "Hahaha… turns out you didn't tell them at all, about all those things you did. Chao Kun, you're indeed still as despicable as you were in the past."
"Shut up!" Chao Kun's gaze sharpened, killing intent surfaced in his eyes instantly.
"Why? Have I said anything wrong?" Mu Xiang laughed even more impudent but a desolate emotion showed in her eyes. "Why didn't you tell them, how you came to this plane and how you snatched this plane from my hands step by step!"
Snatched the plane?
All three of them were stunned and turned towards Chao Kun together. If that's the case, Mu Xiang was the original manager of this plane? No wonder she had the aura of a manager on her. They'd thought she was like the invader who invaded Chef's plane, used to be the manager of another plane. They didn't expect that she belonged to this plane?
But Chao Kun was indeed a manager too, how did two managers appear in one plane?
A trace of panic flashed through Chao Kun's eyes as he immediately retorted. "This was all the choice of the plane's consciousness, the one that this plane chose was me."
"Bullsh*t!" The fury in Mu Xiang's eyes rose as she kept her eyes fixed on him, as if she wished to swallow him whole. "You think I couldn't tell, you came to get the powers of a manager right from the start but did not have the qualifications to earn the acknowledgment of the plane's consciousness. That was why you wiped out all the living creatures in this world and forcefully changed the original source. If it wasn't so, how was it possible for you to become the manager!"
Chao Kun's expression darkened as the killing intent around him surged. He directly rebutted. "Don't forget that the truth behind the annihilation and rebirth of the world, was you yourself."
"Shut up!" Mu Xiang's eyes went blood red at once, seeming like blood was about to drip out. "You still have the cheek to mention the world annihilation. It was you who opened the plane gate and allowed all those invaders from Big Dao Organization to enter and and destroyed everything as they pleased, leading me to think that the plane was close to collapse, that was why I rushed to retract the original source." Living creatures of the world were all born from the original source, retracting it was equivalent to annihilating the world.
Chapter 623: Resolve It Yourselves
"Couldn't even stand against an invader, you are not qualified to be a manager at all." Chao Kun's gaze became colder, as if he had found his courage again, he became increasingly bold and assured in his speech. "To have the plane in your hands is a calamity for all the living creatures in the world, I merely made the most correct choice!"
"You're spouting nonsense!" Mu Xiang's aura was unstable, she attempted to charge out of the sword array but was blocked again. "Chao Kun, you were the one who caused this plane to be disastrously damaged, plunging people in misery and suffering and even left me wandering in the chaos for so many years. You've never cared about this plane, in your eyes, all the while, it was only a tool to you."
"That's absolutely a load of bull!" He sneered coldly as his gaze dimmed. "I thought you'd merely acted on impulse back then, I didn't think that you've never changed? Forcefully converting the original source this time, how many living creatures in the world will die because they're unable to stand it. This plane has already been destroyed by you once, now you still want to ruin it a second time!" "You are the one turning matters upside down!" Mu Xiang was enraged and started mad attempts to charge out of the sword array.
"Madam and Sirs…" Chao Kun instead turned towards Lonemoon and others, saying with cupped fists, "These are grievances between me and her, no matter who is right and who is wrong, it has nothing to do with the living beings. I can give up on my position as a manager but we absolutely cannot allow her to continue converting the original source. I ask you all, on the account of all these living beings, please do not fall for her tricks."
Lonemoon glanced at Chao Kun who had worry written all over his face, at this point, he'd finally figured out some facts. This means that Mu Xiang was indeed the original manager of this plane, but was later on replaced by Chao Kun. This means of replacing wasn't very legitimate, evidently that Big Dao Organization had a hand in it too. That's why she had so much resentment towards him.
However, the converting of original source would indeed have a huge effect on the living beings, the 'Fallen Night' that they'd heard of in the little world was it. Those people who died, died because they couldn't bear the conversion of the original source. And it was the same for those blue-skinned people too, it was just a matter of whether the effect was small or big.
If things continued this way, by the time the original source of the plane turns completely black, the effect would be even greater.
Lonemoon let out a laugh.
He must admit that Chao Kun was a very clever person, even after his secret of having schemed and seized the plane was exposed, he also knew which way of acting was the most advantageous for him. It could be seen from what he was saying now, it was all talk of worrying about the survival of the plane, worrying about living beings. He'd sufficiently displayed the attitude of a manager compromising for the big picture and soundlessly placed a huge label of 'destroying the people's lives' to completely shut off their way and the possibility of them changing sides. He could not help but turn back to look towards the person in the sword array.
Mu Xiang's eyes were even redder, yet she could fight back at all. A trace of despair surfaced on a face as she glared hatefully at the others. "Hmph! You can kill me if you want, as long as I have a shred of remnant soul left, I will never let all of you off!"
"Sir, if we let her…"
"I have no interest in the mess between you two!" Lonemoon cut him off directly. His eyes narrowed as he looked at him from top to bottom. "Why don't… you first explain, how did you so coincidentally wake up after we entered the Underworld?"
"…" Chao Kun's expression changed.
"Why can't you say it?" Lonemoon said with an icy smile. "Why don't I say it for you. You knew from the very start that the invader was her. You also knew she was converting the original source, but the Underworld was sealed, you couldn't enter at all. The only way was to find one capable enough to make it in, so you set your sights on us. Made use of us to open the realm gate, then effortlessly reaped the benefits."
"Sir… I wasn't!" He became flustered and frantically explained. "I really had no intention of making use of you all, everything I said is true. Initially, she wasn't the only one who invaded this plane, I really couldn't deal with him, so I approached you all…"
"Is that so?" Lonemoon's smile widened. "So you mean, you knew the situation but intentionally got us to be cannon fodders to scout a path? And when it was ascertained that it was safe, you then appeared?"
"No, Sir, it was really for the plane that I…"
"Your plane is none of my business!"
Hmph! Trying to play moral blackmail with them, he ought to check whether they were willing or not.
Chao Kun's face became even paler, unable to find any words to refute him in that moment.
Whereas Mu Xiang at the side laughed out loud. "Hahaha… admit it Chao Kun, you've always been such a despicable scoundrel. In order to achieve your objective, you can do anything."
"You…" Chao Kun's expression became even more upset as he was stumped for words. Moments later, he then looked towards Shen Ying bewilderedly. "Madam, please believe me, I did not intentionally make use of you all."
Shen Ying cocked her head to a side, only responding a while after. "Oh."
"…" What does oh mean?
But Shen Ying ignored him and stepped forward, setting her eyes on the person in the sword array.
"Come, let us finish this talk." With that said, she took her bite out of her fruit and went on, "Can you tell me who sent you back to this plane? What is he?"
Mu Xiang faltered for a moment and voiced out subconsciously, "Why should I tell you?"
"On the account that we won't interfere in the matters between you and Chao Kun anymore." Lonemoon chimed in directly.
"S… Sir!" Chao Kun's expression changed.
"Sure!" Something flashed across Mu Xiang's eyes, after looking her up and down, she hesitated for a while before saying, "I do not know who the person is, but he was indeed the one who opened the sealed plane and aided my return."
"What does he look like?" "I don't know." She shook her head. "His capabilities are far beyond a manager's, I couldn't get a clear look of his appearance at all. He suddenly appeared in the chaos and said he would help me seek justice, then he sent me back here."
"After telling me the method of converting the original source, he disappeared." She seemed to recall something incomprehensible and said with a smile. "I never saw him again after that."
"I see…" Shen Ying's eyes narrowed, stepping forward, she shoved the green little ball she was holding in her hands. "Thank you!"
Mu Xiang was stunned, her eyes widening abruptly as she stared at the green ball in her hands in disbelief. "You…"
"Madam!" On the other side, Chao Kun paled instantly. Shen Ying did not stop and directly turned around to open the plane gate, saying as she walked, "I'm starving, Chef, Father Niu, let's go home for dinner!"
"Yes, Master. No problem, Master."
Lonemoon gave the two a glance and followed.
The moment the plane gate closed, they could faintly hear fighting once again. This time, the odds were against Chao Kun.
"Chao Kun! The time to settle the feuds of the plane has come!"
Chapter 624: Another Change in The River of Forgetfulness
"Are you considered to have interfered or not?" Once they arrived back in the divine realm, Lonemoon could no longer hold back and asked. He couldn't tell earlier but now that he thought back, that green ball was actually a spirit seed that had yet to take its form. So once Chao Kun let that out earlier, it became very easy for him to convert the original source." I still thought you won't help either one.
With Shen Ying's temper, it was only normal if she beat Chao Kun into a pulp. But she kept still throughout earlier, so he assumed that she did not want to meddle in their business. After all, it was the business of another plane and though Chao Kun was a vile man, his words were right, if Mu Xiang wanted to get the plane back, she might really have to retract all the living beings again.
Shen Ying lifted her head to glance at him, then cocked her head to a side. "What you owe, you always have to return!" She thought for a moment, then added, "Besides, a plane cannot go without a manager."
"How is there no manager, aren't their two…" Hold on! He paused midway. "You're saying that Chao Kun actually hasn't become a true manager?"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded. "All who hasn't gotten the acknowledgment of the plane's consciousness won't do." Even if he forcefully obliterates the plane's consciousness, it won't do, what is fake can never become real.
"That's not right." Lonemoon frowned. "If he wasn't a manager from the start, why does he have the aura of a manager on him."
"You and Chef have it too." Shen Ying casually replied.
"How is that related to Chef and me, we were originally…" He faltered, instantly understanding something, his eyes widened abruptly. "Are you going to say that Chao Kun was originally Mu Xiang's assistant?"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded. "Damn!" So that was it, in this case Chao Kun was really an assh*le, plane assistants became assistants because of the power of managers.
It was evident that Chao Kun was not willing to be a plane assistant forever, that's why he worked with those people in the Big Dao Organization to plot against Mu Xiang. It was no wonder that he only chased Mu Xiang out of the plane after she annihilated the world instead of killing her directly, he was probably afraid that he would be affected too.
Right now his capabilities were no different from that of a manager's, only because he only lost his suppression after the living beings were wiped out and the plane's consciousness disappeared. The non-management was even more like management, the difference between, neither Chef nor him noticed.
What a phenomenal scumbag was this!
"Master, could the person who helped Mu Xiang come back, be a monitor?" For once, Chef did not turn and go straight to cooking and suddenly questioned. Lonemoon also recalled that. "Yeah, only monitors could surpass managers, it couldn't be Sister Jing or Mi Le who helped her, could it?" Once he finished, he immediately rejected his own guess. "No, it's impossible that it's them."
For Mi Le, after that beating from Shen Jing, he was probably still in recovery, how was it possible that he would go interfere in Mu Xiang's matters. It was even more impossible for Shen Jing, she already knew about the incidents regarding the Big Dao Organization. If she was the one who acted, she would've notified them and the timing didn't match too.
"Who could that person be? Could it be that a new monitor has appeared again?"
"That's possible… I think?" Shen Ying finished the fruit in the hand and pinched the core, her eyes squinted, looking like she was in thought.
Shen Ying dumped the core in her hand before replying, "Do you still remember for what reason my sister didn't discover the Big Dao Organization?"
"Wasn't it because of you?" Lonemoon blurted out. "Didn't she say that two monitors usually don't appear in the same region?" Because Shen Ying was in the immortal spirit plane, so Mi Le and Sister Jing wasn't aware of the incidents of the Big Dao Organization.
Mi Le had also tricked them to Void Land over this, wanting to test if Shen Ying was…
Wait! Shen Jing seemed to have mentioned that Shen Ying wasn't a monitor. Then the mutual screening between monitors doesn't exist.
"Back then Sister Jing and Mi Le did not discover the Big Dao Organization, because of this person who helped Mu Xiang?!" Lonemoon was shocked then frowned in confusion moments after. "But… if he really was a monitor, Big Dao Organization has existed for so long, why didn't he deal with them?"
"There are only two possibilities: can't handle them, or doesn't want to?" Yi Qing guessed.
"He could even send Mu Xiang back and knew the method of converting the original source, that proves that he was definitely capable." Lonemoon was even more doubtful. "But if he doesn't want to deal with them, why help Mu Xiang? Unless…"
"Unless he isn't a monitor." Shen Ying completed his sentence as she turned towards them, her eyes dimming. "That makes things worse!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Both of their expressions darkened too. Indeed! If the other party was a monitor, it would be fine, regardless of anything, the existence of monitors was to maintain peace between planes. If he wasn't, then there was something deeper to him shielding Shen Jing and Mi Le from sensing the Big Dao Organization and his aim in returning Mu Xiang to her plane. Especially when he still possesses powers surpassing that of a manager.
With such a person in the dark, it made one very restless no matter how they looked at it.
Lonemoon instantly had a foreboding that a cheat was about to appear. He was about to discuss deeper with Shen Ying, but the storage bag by his side suddenly moved, a faint Qi of the original source seeped out.
He faltered for a moment, struck with a thought, he then hurriedly pulled out a transmission amulet, sending a trace of Immortal Qi into it. "Little Shortie?" This was the transmission amulet for Invincible Sect, but it could only be Little Shortie who was able to transmit a message to the divine realm, even having it come with the Qi of the original source.
"Elder Lonemoon!" Sure enough, in the next second, Meng Po's slightly anxious voice sounded. "Is Sect Master with you?"
"What's wrong?" Looking for Shen Ying once she started speaking.
"Something happened! It's the original source of the River of Forgetfulness, it seems… there is a problem."
"What?!" Lonemoon was shocked, even Chef faltered. He did not sense any abnormalities though, hence he took a step forward. "What has happened?"
"I… I don't know either." Little Shortie sounded even more anxious, her voice vaguely tearful. "I sensed the original source of the entire plane but did not find a cause. But in the middle of the River of Forgetfulness, there was a sudden appearance of a…" She paused, as if not knowing how to explain it. "Elder Lonemoon, it would all be clear once you all come back and take a look."
Lonemoon looked towards Chef, Chef turned towards Shen Ying with an inquiring look. "Master…" "Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
"I got it." Lonemoon then instructed Little Shortie. "We'll head to the Underworld right now."
"No! It's not the Underworld." Meng Po then replied. "The problematic area is in the Immortal Realm, I am in the Sect."
Lonemoon faltered for a moment before putting the talisman away and turned to open the passage to Invincible Sect.
In seconds, they arrived at the back palace of Invincible Sect, detailedly sensing for Little Shortie's location, he realized she was at the entrance of the Heavenly Palace. They turned and flew out.
From afar, they could already see that many disciples were gathered at the entrance of the Heavenly Palace. It seemed like something had happened, all their expressions didn't look too good. "What happened?" Lonemoon asked directly.
Those people at the gate then looked over at once, joy instantly appearing on their faces.
"Sect Master!" They exclaimed in unison.
In the next moment, everyone cupped their fists and bowed. "Disciples of Invincible Sect, welcome Sect Master back to the sect!"
Yi Qing: "…"
So the two of them were invisible, was it?
Chapter 625: A Crack In The River of Forgetfulness
"Hey!" Shen Ying lifted a hand to greet them, everyone's eyes became even brighter at once.
The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched before he spoke up. "Yu Hong, why are all of you gathered at the gates of the heavenly palace?"
"Sect Master, Elder Lonemoon…" Yu Hong first looked at Shen Ying, then turned slightly and pointed to the back, replying, "It's Little Shortie and Junior Sister Chengyu, they…"
All the disciples made way for a puff, then they say, outside the heavenly palace, there was the light of array formations everywhere, several huge array formations appeared in the air at the same time, radiating a faint golden light from time to time, immortal powers surged all around, the shadows of divine power could vaguely be seen.
This was… the Encapsulation Seal Array of the divine race. Lonemoon was shocked. With a sweep using his divine perception, sure enough, he saw Little Shortie who was manning the array in the eye of it, there were two other figures beside her. One was her Master, Roasted Chicken Gal and Feng Ying.
"Earlier on Little Shortie suddenly came out to set up arrays, all of us don't know what happened too." Yu Hong answered.
Lonemoon frowned before instructing in a low voice. "This is an array formation of the divine race, you all cannot go too close, quickly bring everyone back to the sect first."
"Divine race?" Yu Hong was shocked but did not question further, only looking towards Shen Ying who was in the middle slightly hesitantly. "Sect Master…"
"Don't worry, we won't leave for now."
"Yes." Yu Hong was delighted, he then turned around and informed all the reluctant disciples that it was time to go. "Little Shortie is at the eye of the array formation." Lonemoon carefully examined this sky full of array formations. After finding a way to enter, he then turned back and instructed, "We'll go over!"
With that said, all three of them flew over directly. In moments, they had passed all the gold light and arrived in the center. After reaching the eye of the array, they then realized that Roasted Chicken Gal seemed to be injured, Feng Ying was carrying her as he stood behind Little Shortie. There was also a circle of a code-like green shield surrounding the two of them.
[Ding! Greetings Big Boss!]
The first one to notice them wasn't Little Shortie but the parenting system in Feng Ying, even Feng Ying's body swayed for a moment. Perhaps taking into consideration that he had another person in his arms, the system did not make him drop directly to his knees.
"Sect Master!" Little Shortie exclaimed, then stopping the array formation in her hands and came to her with quick steps. "You're finally back!" "Hey, Little Shortie!" Shen Ying waved her hand.
But Lonemoon landed ahead of her and asked urgently. "What exactly has happened?"
"Big Boss!" Feng Ying also rushed over, looking anxiously at Shen Ying as he said, "Could you please save Chengyu quickly? She suddenly fainted, even the system can't find any problems. As long as you save her, I can even kowtow to you a hundred times."
"What's wrong with Roasted Chicken Gal?" Lonemoon frowned.
"It's because of the River of Forgetfulness!" Little Shortie's expression darkened as she turned and pointed to a certain spot below. "A problem suddenly occurred with the River of Forgetfulness of the Immortal Realm."
All three of them looked in the direction she pointed to and subconsciously activated their powers of managers. Almost in a moment, the scenery with Immortal Qi wafting before them changed, a gold river carrying the original source appeared, this was a part of the River of Forgetfulness of the Immortal Realm. Little The array that Little Shortie set up earlier happened to seal up one of the areas and in the middle of that area, was a spot of especially evident black, as if a hole had been opened on the river bed.
"What's that?" Lonemoon faltered. Why would a hole suddenly appear in the River of Forgetfulness?
"I'm not sure either." Little Shortie shook her head. "I only sensed the sudden appearance of this hole and the river seemed to be missing a soul. Then Master happened to pass by here and her soul was almost sucked in by this hole too. I stabilized her primordial spirit, but she still remained unconscious."
Lonemoon glanced at the black hole in the river, then turned towards Yi Qing beside him. "Chef, quickly take a look at Roasted Chicken Gal, what's wrong with her."
"Mm." Yi Qing took a few steps forward, placing a bent finger on Chengyu's forehead, he sensed carefully and his expression instantly darkened. Suddenly both his hands conjured seals, leaving a mark on her forehead, then he turned and grabbed in the direction of the black hole in the River of Forgetfulness, as if he had held onto something. In the next second, a white glow rushed up from below and sank itself into Chengyu's forehead.
Roasted Chicken Gal who initially wasn't breathing at all exhaled at once. The vitality in her body that had stagnated started flowing once more as color gradually returned to her face.
"Little Yu! Little Yu!" Feng Ying was delighted and urgently called out.
"Feng Ying?" Roasted Chicken Gal opened her eyes with slightly confusion, faltering for a moment, her eyes then fixed onto Shen Ying before suddenly widening. "Little Ying! You're back!" With that said, she pushed the by her side away without any hesitation and threw her arms around Shen Ying.
Yi Qing: "…" Feng Ying: "…"
Indeed, in the eyes of overly obsessed fans, everyone else was invisible.
"Chef." Lonemoon turned towards Yi Qing. "What you just summoned back from the hole was… Roasted Chicken Gal's soul power?"
"Mm." Yi Qing nodded, darting a look at the black hole below before his eyes dimmed again. "Fortunately, it hadn't gone too far." Soul power determined the strength of a person's soul, while losing it doesn't cause one's soul to dissipate, the person will be in deep sleep forever. Soul power was an internal energy of the soul, it cannot be separated from the soul at all.
"What exactly is that black hole, why was it able to suck away people's soul power?"
"It's not a hole!" Yi Qing's eyes narrowed. "It's a crack." "Crack?" Lonemoon paused for a moment, his eyes widening moments later. "Plane crack!"
"Damn it!" He could not help but cursed. This also meant that Roasted Chicken Gal almost fell out of the plane earlier.
Even Little Shortie was stunned. "You're saying that there was…" An invader that entered here?!
"I cannot confirm it for now, I just discovered it too." Yi Qing's expression darkened and he turned to the side to Shen Ying. "Master, about this…"
"Mm, we still have to investigate." Shen Ying also shook her head.
Both their expressions became even graver, Lonemoon glanced at Roasted Chicken Gal who was still leaning weakly on Shen Ying. "Chef, go seal up the crack, let's get back before we do anything else."
Yi Qing nodded, flying down to the black hole. Powers belonging to a manager instantly emitted out, in a short while, the black hole in the River of Forgetfulness was closed.
Little Shortie also retracted those array formations that temporarily sealed the River of Forgetfulness, the entire river resumed its original look again. Chef then flew back, pulling Roasted Chicken Gal out of his Master's arms, threw her back to Feng Ying, then flew back with Shen Ying.
This unforeseen change with the River of Forgetfulness this time happened too suddenly. More importantly, all three of them totally did not sense anything, even the bracelets on their hands had no warnings. Logically, it was still fine if Lonemoon and Shen Ying did not notice. Chef was the manager, a crack appeared in the plane, yet it managed to dodge his sense, this was too odd. Little Shortie and Little Shortie checked around the River of Forgetfulness for several days but did not get any clues. However, this was plane was indeed missing a soul and it was nowhere to be found.
"That missing soul, it couldn't have been absorbed into the chaos, could it?" Lonemoon could not help but guess. The hole in the River of Forgetfulness was a plane crack, without any auras of connecting to another plane, the only possibility was it leading to the chaos.
"It's highly possible." Yi Qing nodded, putting the pasty in his hand down as he said, "Master, are you able to check the whereabouts of that soul?" If it wasn't within the plane, he could not do anything too.
Chapter 626: Rabbit Who Frames Immortal Stones
Shen Ying picked up a pastry and took a bite, turned her head to give him a glance before lifting her hand to tap open a lighted screen. Rows and rows of incomprehensible data scrolled across at an extremely high speed. "Not done yet."
"This data… don't tell me you've been searching all this time?" Lonemoon glanced at her in disbelief, this data did not seem like it was just opened. He could not hold back and reached out to touch her forehead. "Are you running a fever?" She was actually taking the initiative to help, has the lazy cancer patient left home?
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
"The scope of the chaos is too big, it's not easy to find any lost living beings." Shen Ying said, "As long as that soul hasn't gone too far, we should be able to find it."
Lonemoon recalled that Chef had summoned back Roasted Chicken Gal's soil power earlier and was instantly put at ease. If that missing soul had really fell into the crack by accident, it shouldn't be too far, all was good as long as it could be brought back.
"All that's left is to wait." Lonemoon heaved a sigh of relief, his hands moving to snatch a piece of pastry and throw it into his mouth. "But Chef you'd better still investigate how that plane crack appeared." And it even happened to be in the River of Forgetfulness.
It was fine if it was merely a coincidence, if it was an invasion, then there might be more to it.
Yi Qing had also thought of this point, frowning, he seemed to have thought of something. Just as he was about to speak, Yu Hong suddenly walked in.
"Sect Master, Immortal Yu Xue under Emperor Biao Ting of the Qing Ze Continent requests a meeting." She reported with cupped fists.
"Who?" x3 All three of them faltered for a moment.
Yu Hong paused before clarifying, "Just Immortal Yu Xue under Emperor Scoop is requesting a meeting."
"Oh, Scoop!" Three of them were enlightened, after hearing his nickname for so long, when his real name suddenly appeared, they were really not used to it.
"Yes!" Yu Hong nodded and said, "In the days when Sect Master and two Elders were away, he came everyday to wait here, he has been waiting for quite some time already."
"What matter does Scoop have?" Lonemoon asked, he even sent someone here.
"No! It's not Emperor Scoop." Yu Hong shook her head and corrected, "It's Yu Xue who wants to see Sect Master. Back then in those 3000 years when Elder Lonemoon and Sect Master left, he already came many times, subsequently he happened to miss you all again." "Yu Xue?" Lonemoon frowned, did they know such a person. "Never mind, get him to come in."
"Alright!" Yu Hong then turned and walked out, moments later, she returned with two people dressed in white robes, wrapped up like cotton candy. The one in front looked slightly older, his figure was a little round, seeming to be slightly agitated, he walked very quickly.
Looking up at the three people in the yard, his eyes widened instantly and turned red, he ran over directly.
"Great Immortal!" He ran too quickly, failing to stop properly, he tumbled to the ground with a thud, then rolled all the way like a snowball and hit the stone table.
"…" This bow was a little too big!
Yet he acted like nothing happened and reached out to hug Shen Ying's leg, bawling out loud, reduced to a mess of tears and mucus. "Great Immortal, this is wonderful! I didn't think I would still be able to see you in this lifetime. Heaven has eyes, wa wa wa…"
"Who are you?" Shen Ying cocked her head to a side.
Yi Qing's face fell, directly pulling this white ball off his Master's leg. "Speak properly." Is my Master's thigh something you can hug?
"It's me, it's me! Great Immortal!" Yu Xue faltered, anxiously pointing to his own face as he cried out, "I'm rabbit, the rabbit who eats grass!"
"Rabbit?" Three of them paused for a moment, wasn't Rabbit teaching in Purple Night Palace?
Yu Xue looked back and forth between the three of them, seeing that they still looked lost, he became even more anxious. Struck with a sudden thought, he clapped his hands together. "Yes! Great Immortals haven't seen me in this form." As he spoke, he placed a spell on himself. In the next second, his originally simple and honest face changed, transforming into a huge rabbit head with two furry big ears on top.
"Rabbit!" Lonemoon and Yi Qing were stunned, finally recognizing him. Wasn't this the Demon Monarch Rabbit who helped to built houses back then in the Upper Azure World? Turns out it had a name?
"Oh, the one that delivered carrots." Shen Ying had also remembered.
"Yes yes yes!" Rabbit was overjoyed and nodded fervently that the ears on his head shook too. "I am the rabbit who delivered carrots!"
"You've ascended!" Lonemoon surveyed him from top to bottom. "You're already at the cultivation level of a Stygian Immortal, when was this?"
"It's already been a few thousand years since I ascended, thanks to those demon cores that Great Immortal left me back then." Rabbit replied slightly agitatedly. "But I am a demon immortal, the location of my ascension was the Qing Ze Continent, so at the start, I didn't know that Great Immortal was at the Upper world too. Subsequently, I heard Emperor mention the Invincible Sect, I found my way here then, but I didn't get to see you all this time."
So that was it.
"Great Immortal!" Rabbit blinked his red eyes hard. "I specially came to thank your grace of rebirth to me, and our entire demon race." If it wasn't Great Immortal scaring… oh no, educating them to stop eating humans, they wouldn't have ascended so easily. He was the first demon immortal to ascend into immortality in the entire Upper Azure World.
"That's thoughtful of you!" Lonemoon patted his shoulder, he was just a rabbit, so many years had passed and he actually still remembered the incidents back then. Besides, the Ten Continents of the Immortal Realm was so big, it wasn't easy for him to be able to find his way here.
"This is…" Lonemoon looked at the man beside Rabbit, finding that he was an Earth Immortal and a human cultivator. "I am Zuo Shuming! Greetings Immortal Supremacies!" That man faltered then respectfully bowed to them.
"He just ascended to become an Earth Immortal." Rabbit scratched his head and said slightly embarrassed, "Emperor Biao Ting shared some affinity with him, I was under orders to receive and lead him to the Heavenly Palace. But it happened that midway, I received Little Hong's message and knew that Great Immortal was back so I hurried over and brought him with me too."
Lonemoon glanced at him, not bothered too.
"Great Immortal." Rabbit glanced at Shen Ying slightly hesitantly. "Why don't I join the Invincible Sect too?" Rabbit rubbed his hands and said anxiously. "I mentioned this to lady Little Hong many times, but she said I had to get your permission. I'm very useful, I can… I can… can grow carrots!"
The three of them: "…"
That was such an amazing skill! "No need!" Lonemoon rejected directly. He was a demon immortal, it was most beneficial to him to cultivate in the demon immortal continent. "You're doing well in Qing Ze Continent, why mobilize so many forces to move here." Besides, one needs money to raise a rabbit too.
"… Great Immortal is right." Rabbit's ears flopped down at once, he subconsciously murmured, "I still have an immortal stone mine at my cave abode, moving it would indeed take…"
"Then you better move here, do it tomorrow!" Lonemoon changed his words immediately.
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…" You should have said earlier that you are a rabbit who frames immortal stones!
Chapter 627: Turn Back in Time
"Really!" Rabbit exclaimed with joy. Its ears were standing upright and its eyes twinkling as it stared at Lonemoon.
"Of course." Lonemoon nodded, grinning and patting Rabbit on the shoulder. "We're old friends - don't stand on ceremony with me. If you can't move it, we can send a few disciples to lend you a hand."
"Alright, thank you, Exalted Immorta- No, Sect Master!" Rabbit bowed out of excitement. "I'll go and pack now, then." Rabbit turned around, starting to leave, but halted when it noticed the person behind it. As if recalling that it had a task at hand, it said, "But he…"
"Don't worry about it. I'll discuss with Little Biao." Lonemoon turned to glance at the Earth Mortal and asked, "This… Fellow Daoist, Rabbit is not free at the moment. Why not I send others to Qing Ze Heavenly Palace instead?"
The Earth Immortal was pretty easygoing. He respectfully responded, "Thank you, Supremacy!" Lonemoon instructed Yu Hong, "Yu Hong, please personally send Fellow Daoist Zuo to Little Biao's Heavenly Palace and tell him what is going on. Then, once you get back, send a few disciples to help Rabbit with moving. It'll be good if you pick the disciples training in earth-elemental techniques." That'll make digging the soil a much easier task!
"Yes, Elder!" Yu Hong answered.
After that, Lonemoon raised his hand and set up a transportation array that led straight to Little Biao's cave. A moment later, a white array appeared beside him.
Perhaps it was the first time he was seeing a transportation array in the immortal real - Zuo Shuming studied the array curiously and thanked Lonemoon once again. "Thank you, Supremacy!" He turned and walked excitedly into the array, standing still in the center of it.
Yu Hong was just about to follow suit when her expression suddenly changed. She stared at the person in the array and exclaimed, "Elder Lonemoon!" Lonemoon turned around instinctively and saw what Yu Hong was exclaiming about. The array had not been activated, yet all around Zuo Shuming were white specks of light. No! It was not just all around him - in fact, all over his body, the same white specks could be seen. As these white specks left his body, his figure seemed to get more and more translucent.
"Eh?" Zuo Shuming looked confused. He looked like he had no idea what was going on. "Is this what a transportation in the immortal realm-"
Before he could finish speaking, he disappeared into thin air.
Yi Qing appeared at once in the array. He reached out to grab Zuo Shuming, but he was just a second too late. He grasped at thin air. Zuo Shuming was already gone. All that was left was the array that had still not yet been activated. It was almost as if Zuo Shuming had never existed.
"Well…" Rabbit looked fearful at once as he kept gazing at the spot where Zuo Shuming disappeared."What happened to Fellow Daoist Zuo? What kind of… array was that?"
Lonemoon and Chef's expressions darkened. No, that was not any kind of sorcery. They did not sense any sorcery taking place around them. That person had really disappeared into thin air. Even the manager, Chef, could not save him.
Yi QIng conjured a seal with both his hands and used it to trace Zuo Shuming's aura. A moment later, he sighed and said, "He… is no longer in the immortal realm."
"Huh!" Rabbit stared blankly at Chef. He was not in the immortal realm? Could he be in the mortal one? "But didn't he just ascend here?"
As the few of them continued to ponder over this mystery, they began to hear drips coming from the table. The screen in front of Shen Ying, which only displayed endless rows of numbers earlier, was now displaying yellow exclamation marks that only the three of them could see. Lonemoon and Yi Qing immediately stiffened. Lonemoon walked toward the two people behind him and said, "Yu Hong, take Rabbit back down first. Arrange for disciples to help him with the moving. I will explain to Little Biao about what just happened with the Earth Immortal."
"Oh. Alright." Rabbit still had many questions left unanswered, but he decided to follow Yu Hong, anyway.
As soon as the two of them left the room, Lonemoon and Yi Qing addressed the woman seated at the table. "Shen Ying, what do these exclamation marks mean?" How could it be that even Chef could not save the man? After a second, Lonemoon seemed to realize something else. "That Earth Immortal was not an invader, was he?"
"It has nothing to do with him." Shen Ying shook her head.
"Then why did he disappear all of a sudden? Where did he go?" "I traced the data relating to his disappearance earlier." Shen Ying glanced at the screen, then tapped on it. After two seconds, she said, "Chef was right. He has returned to the lower realm." But she didn't know which small world he returned to.
"How could that be?" The two of them exclaimed. Yi Qing took one step forward and said, "Master, I didn't sense the activation of any realm gates." How did that man go back to the lower realm without going through a realm gate?
"He didn't just returned to the lower realm," Shen Ying responded, pointing to the screen. "In that moment, his data and characteristics all reduced by more than half."
"His data reduced…" Lonemoon paused. Suddenly, he said, "You mean his cultivation deteriorated!" By more than half… That meant that he deteriorated to a cultivator in the Nascent Soul stages!
"Mm, and his data and characteristics were still within the normal ranges for human beings." That meant that he was not injured.
The Heavenly Dao may suppress a portion of a cultivators' powers in the mortal realm, but it was merely suppression. It would not cause one's cultivation to deteriorate! Apart from being dealt with a severe blow, what else could have caused his cultivation to deteriorate so much?
Lonemoon seemed to have realized something. He turned to Shen Ying and said, "He reloaded!" It was not like such a thing had not happened before. Chef himself reloaded the last time!
"I guess you could say that," Shen Ying responded. After a second, she added, "But in that moment, there were other anomalies detected in the data. He was not the only one who reloaded. It could be that everyone in the small realm where he was from experienced the same thing."
"Huh?" Lonemoon stared blankly at her. "What do you mean?" "I mean…" Shen Ying narrowed her eyes. "The small world went back in time."
How is this possible!
Nobody could cause time to turn back, apart from managers and the gods of creation. The only ancient god left here was Shortie. She would never do something like that for no good reason. In other words, the person who turned back the time in the small world was…
"An invader!" Lonemoon exclaimed.
Suddenly, Lonemoon recalled the hole that had appeared in the River of Forgetfulness. He could not help but curse under his breath. Shit, everywhere they turned, there were invaders causing trouble. "Master, I don't sense an invader's aura," Yi QIng said in a low voice. He should be the first to sense any foreign living thing entering his plane.
"An invader that can turn back time will naturally be able to escape your senses," Lonemoon said. "Didn't we only notice that manager invading the last time after he took over an entire small realm?" He even managed to grow an entire mushroom on the plane tree.
Yi Qing frowned even more deeply. "If that's the case… we should go and locate the invaders immediately.
"…" If he could not sense the person, they would not be able to locate him.
"Why not… We ask Little Biao?" Shen Ying suggested.
The two of them stared blankly at her, then realized what she was saying. Shit! They nearly forgot about him!
Little Biao was the one who summoned Zuo Shuming to the Heavenly Palace. He must know which small world that man was from.
Lonemoon immediately retrieved a transportation jade token and sent a tinge of immortal Qi through it. Immediately, the jade token lit up. A familiar hologram appeared on top of it.
Little Biao's voice came through. "Young Emperor Lonemoon, I wonder what you're looking for me… Ex-Ex-Ex.. Exalted Goddess!" Before he could finish his sentence, he caught sight of Shen Ying through the token. He began to tremble.
"Hey, Little Biao!" Shen Ying called out.
Biao Ting's legs turned to jelly at once. The hologram seemed to grow a lot shorter as he fell to his knees. "Little Biao is here!"
Lonemoon: "…" Yi Qing: "…"
How traumatized was he?
Chapter 628: Little Biao's Search
"Little Biao, we have something to ask you," Shen Ying announced.
"Yes, Exalted Goddess. No problem, Exalted Goddess!" Little Biao immediately sat upright and nodded vigorously.
Lonemoon pursed his lips, then said, "Earlier, did you instruct Rabbit to go and fetch an immortal called Zuo Shuming back to your heavenly palace?"
"Zuo Shuming? Rabbit? Little Biao looked genuinely confused.
"An Earth Immortal that just ascended," Lonemoon explained.
"Just ascended…" Little Biao stared blankly at him for a moment, before realization dawned on him. "Oh, you mean the person whom Yu Xue went to look for? So his surname is Zuo - he's not a demon?" "What, you don't know him?" Lonemoon's gaze turned suspicious.
"I don't." Biao Ting shook his head. "This is the first time I'm hearing of this name."
"Then you and him…" Little Biao did not know this Earth Immortal - why did he ask him to go to his heavenly palace then? Earth Immortals would otherwise have no right to enter a Celestial Emperor's palace.
"It's a long story," Biao Ting said as he glanced at Shen Ying. Obediently, he began to explain. "Exalted Goddess, I wonder if you remember when Little Birdie and I met you for the first time?"
"I don't!" Shen Ying responded immediately.
"Er…" She obviously did not think much of the two beasts.
How his heart hurt! Little Biao's smile wavered, but he continued to keep it plastered on his face as he said, "Exalted Goddess, at that time, Little Birdie and I got into a disagreement over a dharmic weapon. We lost our own self-control and fought all the way down to the lower realm. We met with you, Exalted Goddess, immediately after we stepped through the realm gates. But Exalted Goddess instructed us to send Lady Xuan Tong back to your sect. Do you remember that?"
"Oh…" Shen Ying nodded. But she did not look at like she remembered any of it. "What happened next?"
It was obvious that she did not remember a thing, right?
"Then… Then after that battle, when we returned to the immortal realm, I discovered that I had lost something," LIttle Biao explained, scratching his head.
"What did you lose?" Lonemoon asked.
"A scale on my chest," Little Biao answered, eyes twinkling. He looked embarrassed to say it. "That scale has been rubbing off my immortal powers for hundreds of thousands of years. It's considered an invaluable immortal weapon in the lower realm. A few days ago, I somehow sensed that this scale had been stolen by someone, who just arrived at the immortal realm. That was why I sent Yu Xue to go and pick the person up. I wanted my scale back."
"It's just a scale - is all that effort worth it?" Lonemoon frowned. The fact that beasts did not need scales aside, there was no loss even if he did drop just one or two scales. Why would he go through all this trouble just to get it back?
"It's been hundreds of thousands of years. Even if it is a scale that protects your heart, you should have grown it back by now?"
"Well… It has indeed grown back." Little Biao's expression changed. He looked around hesitantly and awkwardly. Then, he whined, "But… But it's not the same!"
"How is it different?" You're not a dragon - you don't need so many scales on your body. "Because… because…" The more he spoke, the more whiny he sounded. Probably because he was too anxious, he gritted his teeth, turned and turned back into his natural form. Immediately, a black and small beast appeared in front of them. Little Biao raised his claw and gestured toward his own chest. "Because this new one has a different color!"
The few of them looked down at Little Biao's chest and saw that the scale on his chest was indeed of a different color. That scale was in the shape of a heart and was grown in the center of the underside of Little Biao''s body. It was exceptionally eye catching.
The more important thing was it was… pink!
(⊙ o ⊙)
In the middle of a huge patch of black, a pink heart-shaped scale lay. From afar, it looked like someone had drawn a pink heart on Little Biao's chest. Just like that, a frightening and threatening monster looked like something that came out of a little girl's imagination. Pui…
The three of them could not keep themselves from spitting at Little Biao.
"Exalted Goddess…" Little Biao sounded like he was about to burst into tears.
"Little Biao, please wait for a moment!" Lonemoon raised his hand to stop Little Biao from talking any more. The three of them bent over and laughed so hard that their shoulders kept shaking violently. A moment later, the sound of their uncontrollable laughter filled the room.
"Hahaha…" The three of them laughed continuously.
What kind of strange pink heart was growing on a beast like Little Biao! They were going to laugh till their death. Did the immortals of Qing Ze Continent know that their Celestial Emperor looked like this? "Little Biao: "…"
They should not be hurting him this way! After all, he was one of the Celestial Emperors. They should have showed him more respect!
It was so painful that he wanted to cry…
The three of them laughed for a total of ten minutes straight. It took everything in them to keep from rolling on the floor laughing.
"Little Biao… You are a Celestial Emperor after all. Why don't you use sorcery to change the color of that heart?"
"I tried, but it does not work!" At most, all he could do was a Disguising Technique. However, after awhile, the heart would turn back into its ordinary color.
"Then you should dye it, at least…" "I can't do that. This is a scale that protects my heart - it will not retain the color."
Alright, they could take it no longer. All three of them burst out into laughter.
"…" Little Biao's heart was hurting so much.
After a few more minutes of laughing, Lonemoon cleared his throat and recompose himself.
"So… So… For this… Er… Because of this color, you wanted to return and get the scale back?"
Little Biao transformed back into human form, nodding furiously. "That's right!" If not for his Celestial Emperor status, why would he introduce an Earth Immortal into the heavenly palace? "You don't know anything at all about this Zuo Shuming?"
"Mm." Little Biao nodded. "I didn't know he was an immortal cultivator either. I thought the person who helped me pick up my shell was a demon!
So that was the case. In other words, this Zuo Shuming was fated to pick up the scale that Little Biao dropped a few years ago, then ascend to the immortal realm. What's more, Little Biao had been searching for the scale at the exact same time. Now that he had located it, he decided that it was right to summon the man to his heavenly palace immediately.
"Then you should know which small world he is from, right?" Lonemoon asked.
"That's right." Little Biao nodded. "He's from the Rainbow Light Realm."
Lonemoon turned to look at Chef. Yi QIng nodded. They had located where the man was from. Heaving a sigh of relief, Lonemoon explained the entire situation regarding Rabbit's move and Zuo Shuming's disappearance. However, he skipped the part about turning back time.
Little Biao was evidently disappointed on hearing that his scale was once again returned to the lower realm.
"Exalted… Exalted Goddess…" He raised his head meekly and stared into Shen Ying's eyes. "Have you asked if this person wanted to go back down to the lower realm? Can I… Can I…"
"Alright!" Lonemoon immediately knew what Little Biao was trying to say. "If we find your heart-protecting scale, we will return it to you."
"Alright, Exalted Goddess! Thank you, Exalted Goddess!" Little Biao rejoiced. His shattered heart was now completely repaired!
Lonemoon cut off the connection and kept his jade token. Then, turning to Chef, he said, "We have located the small realm, so we should go down now." As long as they knew which small realm they had to look in, it would likely not be difficult to locate Zuo Shuming. Chef nodded. He turned and raised his hand to open the realm gates that led to the Rainbow Light Realm. Lonemoon turned to leave some instructions for Yu Hong. Then, the three of them entered the realm gates.
The next moment, the entire surroundings changed. They found themselves on an empty field. The spirit Qi here was especially rich. This small realm was evidently comparable to the Three Azure Realms they were in, as well as the Sacred Arrival Realm where Fatty was from.
By sensing around, Chef very quickly located Zuo Shuming's location. Although Shen Ying said that his data had deteriorated by more than half and although the three of them were prepared to deal with the deterioration of his cultivation level, they had not expected that his cultivation would have deteriorated so drastically!
Chapter 629: Searching for Two Pieces
Lonemoon pursed his lips. Was this deterioration? This was more like reloading, right?
Among the group in front of him, he saw a familiar Zuo Shuming who was then looking at the stage with curiosity and excitement. Apart from being a bit younger, his cultivation level was also not at the Nascent Soul stage as they guessed. Instead, he was only at the Qi Refinement stage.
He was at what looked like a recruitment ground of a certain immortal sect. The sect seemed to be recruiting at the moment They must have been some powerful sect, because by the time they found the sect, there was already a huge crowd gathered, wanting to register as disciples. Most of them were at the third or fourth stage of Qi Refinement. Zuo Shuming was just a bit better than the others - he was at the seventh stage.
But compared to the cultivation level he was at when he just ascended awhile ago, the difference was like that between heaven and earth.
"Fellow Daoist Zuo!" Lonemoon could not stop himself from calling out to him. He looked at Zuo Shuming with a pained expression, as if there were many things he wanted to explain but could not.
Zuo Shuming paused and looked around.. Then, he turned to Lonemoon. "Fellow Daoist…. You know me?"
"You don't remember me?" Lonemoon frowned. It looked like this turning back in time was no different from what he knew as reloading. Even Zuo Shuming's memory was gone.
"I'm sorry." Zuo Shuming thought he had indeed forgotten Lonemoon. He immediately looked guilty. "I really don't remember you. I wonder where we met? How do I address you, Fellow Daoist?"
"My name is Lonemoon." Lonemoon's eyes narrowed. Then, he changed the topic and began to make up a story. "It's nothing huge. We met once a few years ago. At that time, you didn't bring spirit stones with you and you borrowed two from me for transport. Do you remember that?" Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
What kind of stupid excuse was that - would anyone take him seriously?
"I see!" Zuo Shuming had a sudden look of realization. "I'm sorry - I can't believe I forgot something like this. We're fated to meet again, Fellow Daoist." He quickly retrieved four spirit stones from his robe. "I'll return the spirit stones to you immediately. Thank you for helping me in my time of need, Fellow Daoist."
The master and disciple duo: "…"
He really did believe Lonemoon. This man was quite gullible, wasn't he?
"Don't worry about it, Fellow Daoist. We really were fated to meet again!" Lonemoon smiled and accepted the spirit stones. The master and disciple duo: "…" He really accepted the spirit stones with no shame. His surname was really Niu - his skin was as thick as a cow's hide!
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, are you also here to participate in the Tai Yan Sect's disciple recruitment process?" Zuo Shuming asked.
"Fellow Daoist Zuo, you're interested in joining Tai Yan Sect?" Lonemoon scanned the crowd and said, "I wonder what's so special about this Tai Yan Sect?"
"You must be kidding, Fellow Daoist." Zuo Shuming looked at Lonemoon earnestly. "Who doesn't know that Tai Yan Sect is the world's number one sect? Of course all cultivators want to join their sect. The only catch is Tai Yan Sect is extremely strict about its recruitment. I've been working hard for a long time to arrive at this stage before I dared to come forward and give it a shot."
"I see." Lonemoon nodded. "That's right - I wonder what cultivation Fellow Daoist Lonemoon is at now?" Zuo Shuming could not tell what cultivation Lonemoon was at. He guessed that he was more powerful than Zuo Shuming.
"I'm at my Foundation Establishment stage," Lonemoon said casually.
"Foundation Establishment!" Zuo Shuming exclaimed. "Fellow Daoist, you're already a Foundation Establishment cultivator! Then… Why are you here for the recruitment?" He pointed to the yard not far away from them and said anxiously, "Fellow Daoist, you're in the wrong place. Foundation Establishment cultivators are supposed to go there for their own separate recruitment process. Tai Yan Sect has always placed much emphasis on one's cultivation level. Since you're already at the Foundation Establishment stage, they'll most likely take you in."
Lonemoon turned to look at the yard beside him, then cupped his fists. "Thank you for your directions, Fellow Daoist Zuo."
"Fellow Doist, don't worry about it." Zuo Shuming smiled kindly. "For all we know, we might end up in the same sect in the future." "Then I wish you success!" Lonemoon responded courteously. He stayed no longer. After exchanging a few more pleasantries, he turned around to re-join Yi Qing and Shen Ying, carrying the four spirit stones he just earned.
It was only until they reached the end of the street that he asked, "Chef, what do you think? Does that Zuo Shuming feel like an invader to you?"
"No!" Yi Qing shook his head. "I've checked his body and his soul, but I didn't find anything out of the ordinary."
Lonemoon frowned even more deeply. Could it be that this Zuo Shuming really did not have anything to do with the invaders? Did he really just get pulled back to the mortal real because someone else turned back time? Was he that unlucky?
"Where's Little Biao's scale?" Shen Ying suddenly asked.
Both Lonemoon and Yi Qing stared blankly back at her, before Yi Qing recalled that they were supposed to deal with this matter as well. "I didn't find it either! There was not a hint of immortal Qi on that man's body. The scale is not with him."
"In other words, he has not even picked that up." Lonemoon's expression darkened. He seemed to realize something as he frowned.
"Master, what should we do now?" Yi Qing asked.
Shen Ying tilted her head to ponder for a moment. Then, she said, "Wait!"
"Wait?" Wait for what?
The two of them exchanged a meaningful glance. A moment later, Lonemoon's eyes brightened. "You mean wait for the invader to make his move? Would he be that stupid?"
Shen Ying retrieved a fruit from her robe out of habit. Gnawing it, she said, "The invader just spent a huge amount of energy turning back time. He must have done this for a reason." "Master, you mean to say that he's trying to change something?" Yi Qing asked.
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded. "He turned back the time in this small world. This means that the invader did not have enough powers to turn back time in the entire plane. And that Zuo… Zuo Two Bucks?"
"It's Zuo Shuming!" Lonemoon pursed his lips. Where did this Two Bucks come from? Was it the two spirit stones?
"Right. He's already an immortal," Shen Ying continued. "By right, what happens in the small world would have nothing to do with him. He should not have been pulled back here. But the invader pulled him back here on purpose. What do you think he was after?"
"The invader wants something that has to do with Zuo Shuming!" Yi Qing exclaimed. "If that's the case, the invader might make an appearance near Zuo Shuming. We have to…"
"Follow Zuo Shuming in order to find the invader!" Lonemoon finished his sentence. Holy shit - this was so logical. Indeed, once the cheat worked her brain, it would be good for at least a couple of years.
"Then now…" Yi Qing turned to Shen Ying.
"Of course we should try to join the Tai Yan Sect - that makes it easier for us to keep an eye on him!" Lonemoon responded at once. "Let's go! It's time to register."
As he spoke, he led the two of them to the yard that Zuo Shuming pointed them to. He adjusted his own cultivation level, so he looked like a cultivator in the Foundation Establishment stage.
Compared to the large crowds they saw outside, there were very few people inside the yard. It got a lot cooler. Zuo Shuming was right. This place was indeed for those who were already Foundation Establishment cultivators. The first two people who were registered were dressed in blue uniforms. Lonemoon guessed that they belonged to the Tai Yan Sect. The two of them were still in their Qi Refinement stages. Thus, they treated the people registering with warmth. They took pains to invite them to sit down, then went to each of them to register them. Then, one by one, they tested the cultivators' sorcery, asked them to set up a few simple arrays, and measured their spirit roots.
Lonemoon and Chef were high-level cultivators to begin with. Thus, these things were easy for them. But Shen Ying…. Er, The two disciples did not even spare her one glance throughout the entire process.
The test was quite simple for cultivators in the Foundation Establishment stage. Apart from them, everybody else in the yard seemed to pass the test effortlessly. By the time the results came out, the Qi Refinement recruitment process was more or less ending as well. The crowd outside had been reduced by more than half.
Zuo Shuming, who was in the seventh stage of Qi Refinement also miraculously… failed to make it!
Lonemoon: "…" Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
 "Niu" means cow in Mandarin
Chapter 630: Switching to Gui Yi
"Congratulations on making it into the Tai Yan Sect, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon." Zuo Shuming was smiling at Lonemoon genuinely and admiringly. "I knew that you would get what you wanted."
Got what I freaking wanted alright - you've been let go of. What did they get themselves into this sect for then! He had ascended to immortality before after all; how could he be so lousy!
Lonemoon pursed his lips and sucked in a deep breath to keep himself from cursing at Zuo Shuming. "Zuo… Fellow Daoist Zuo! What do you plan to do from now on?"
Zuo Shuming scratched his head, looking embarrassed. "Well… To be honest, I heard that the Gui Yi Sect is recruiting in about three days at Ping Hua City. Gui Yi Sect is not as reputable as Tai Yan Sect, but it is one of the six main sects here. That's why I'm going to head over and try out over there."
So you had a back-up plan. You should have told us earlier! "Oh? Is Gui Yi Sect that good?" Lonemoon asked.
"Of course," Zuo Shuming responded, his eyes twinkling. His voice carried some hope as he said, "The Gui Yi Sect does not have as many disciples as the Tai Yan Sect, but there are many core cultivators in the sect. There's also a ninth-grade alchemist in there. Among all the sects, Gui Yi Sect is quite well-known as well."
"A ninth-grade alchemist?" Lonemoon asked. Was Zuo Shuming a core cultivator?
"That's right." Zuo Shuming sounded more and more excited. "In Rainbow Light Realm, the only ninth-grade alchemist belongs to Gui Yi Sect. Those from other sects who want to train in pill cultivation are also forced to consult Gui Yi Sect.
"Sounds like Gui Yi Sect is not such a bad choice."
"Of course. What's more, the way the sect treats its disciples is very different. They don't focus on the spirit roots. No matter the spirit root, those who pass the test will be able to join the sect."
"That good? I think we should go as well."
"Of cour… Huh? Ah!" Zuo Shuming paused mid-sentence, staring at Lonemoon in disbelief.
"That's decided then! How do we get to Ping Hua City?"
"No… Fellow Daoist…" Didn't you just join Tai Yan Sect?
"We're going out of here for the first time, so we're not familiar with the way. Why not we go over there together?"
"That's alright, but…"
"Let's not delay any longer - we can head off now!" "…"
"Oh right, I forgot to introduce you!" He turned around and gestured to the two other people behind him. "These are my companions. This man is Yi Qing. He's a sword cultivator. This person is…. not important!"
Zuo Shuming: "…"
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
Zuo Shuming was frankly quite confused. He could not understand why three people who had already passed the test to get into Tai Yan Sect, and who had a bright future ahead of them, would change their mind and want to join Gui Yi Sect after a conversation with him. Zuo Shuming kept trying to play back the conversation to figure out what he had said incorrectly, that caused the three of them to change their mind and choose Gui Yi Sect over Tai Yan Sect. But no matter how much he tried to explain, the three of them seemed to have set their minds to joining Gui Yi Sect. By the time he got over his shock, they were already on the road to Ping Hua City.
Zuo Shuming felt uneasy the entire way. He kept glancing guiltily at the three of them, as if he had just killed their entire families. He did not think that a few words from him would be so influential.
"Fellow Daoist Zuo, where do we go next?" Lonemoon pointed at the cross road in front of him.
Zuo Shuming looked at them, at a loss for words. A moment later, he pointed toward the left. "Ping Hua City is in the west." For the umpteenth time, he tried to persuade Lonemoon once again. "Fellow Daoist Lonemoon, do you really want to come with me to Gui Yi Sect? It's still not too late to return to Tai Yan Sect now." Don't do anything stupid.
"Which sect do you want to join?" "Of course I have to go to Gui Yi Sect." But that was only because he failed the recruitment test.
"That's settled then - let's go!" Lonemoon turned to the left and continued walking.
"…" How was it settled? This had to do with their entire career. How could he be so casual about this decision?
Zuo Shuming looked like he was about to break down at any moment. Seeing that there was no way to change their minds, he sighed and followed suit. However, he looked as listless as a wilted leaf. The thought of three Fellow Daoists having their bright futures destroyed just because of a couple of words from him made him feel so guilty that he wanted to drown himself.
Yet, the other parties did not seem bothered at all. They followed him all the way to Gui Yi Sect, refusing to listen to Zuo Shuming no matter how hard he tried to persuade them to go back. What's more, in order to match his cultivation level, they did not bother to fly on their swords to the city directly. Instead, they agreed to accompany him to a neighboring city and locate a transportation array that would take them there. Suddenly, he felt like a huge responsibility was being placed on his shoulders. He gritted his teeth. Alright then! If they managed to enter the same sect, he would look out for these three people. He would not let the three of them down.
Thus, Zuo Shuming made up his mind to protect the three of them no matter what happened.
After leaving the city, the four of them headed west all the way. Since Zuo Shuming was only at the Qi Refinement stage, he was not familiar with flying sword techniques. The four of them relied on their legs to carry them all the way. After a total of six to eight hours, the neighboring city they were headed toward was still nowhere in sight.
"Are we still not there yet?" Shen Ying counted the time. It was almost time for dinner. "Can we rest? I'm so tired!"
"Rest my ass!" Lonemoon slowed down and turned to look at the lazy sloth. "If you have what it takes, come down from on top of Chef's back. Then we can talk." She did not take one step on her own ever since they left the city. Chef carried her all the way. How dare she say that she's tired?" "Fellow Daoists…" Zuo Shuming stopped and looked at the sky. "Lady Shen is right. It's getting late. There's a village in front of us. Why not we take a break for the night and continue our journey tomorrow?"
Lonemoon turned and saw that there was indeed a village in sight. There was also a field of spirit grains in front of the village. he nodded, guessing that the village had cultivators inside as well. However, those cultivators' bodies were probably not of very good quality. He guessed that they were not of high cultivations. Perhaps that was why they had to plant several spirit herbs at the front of the village.
Villages like that were normally very kind toward other cultivators. There were also usually places where cultivators could rest. Of course, they would have to pay to rest there.
The few of them headed toward the village. Upon entering, they realised that the village seemed to have just gone through some kind of natural disaster. The ground was covered with thick cracks and most of the houses had collapsed. Most of the villagers were now trying to use sorcery to rebuild their houses. The mountain next to the village had also collapsed. Soil was falling into the village, burying a huge patch of the spirit grains. Was it… an earthquake?
Zuo Shuming jumped. He went in and asked around. Indeed, there had been an earthquake. Fortunately, the villagers' cultivation saved them from harm.
They rented a small apartment at the front of the village, intending to rest there for the night.
Zuo Shuming, however, did not enter the house. "Rest well, Fellow Daoists. I have a few friends from this village. I would like to pay them a visit," he explained. Then, he walked further into the village and asked anxiously around about his friends' situations. Two to four hours later, even after the three of them had eaten dinner, Zuo Shuming still did not return.