Chapter 661: Heading to Yuan Yang
"Master got the news that fellow Daoist Lonemoon was heading to Yuan Yang City, just in case, he prepared some usable items." As he went on, he pulled opened the storage bag and brought out a pile of containers and bottles. "These are blood staunching pills, these are awakening pills, these are Qi Condensation pills, these are poison resisting pills…" He shoved everything over, at last he looked around before handing over a very small and exquisite bottle and said mysteriously in a low voice, "This is a ninth-grade nine swirls reviving pill, Master said he only has this one left, as long as the person still has a breath, he can be saved by eating this pill, fellow Daoist do keep it properly."
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
Instantly two pairs of suspecting narrowed eyes fixed on to Lonemoon. Ooh~~
"Shut up!" Lonemoon turned back and glared at the two. "I didn't do anything at all, alright?"
"Hmm your ass!" What the hell are those gazes like I'm a kept man? "Get rid of those lovey-dovey grins!" Don't have nonsensical thoughts!
How would he know what was up with Tian Yi that old fogey, suddenly sending so many kinds of pills to him? He was a proper business and had bluffed him according to routine, how could he have expected that Tian Yi really took it for real.
Um… he suddenly felt a little guilty, why was that so.
"Fellow Daoist Lonemoon?" Seeing his extended silence, Chen Lin could not help but call out. His gaze was filled with envy, this was the nine swirls reviving pill, even he hadn't gotten one from Master! It was evidence of the close relation between Master and this person.
"Th… Thank you Senior Brother!" The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched before he took everything.
"You're too polite!" Chen Lin quickly waved his hand and said. "Fellow Daoist and my Master are friends, I cannot bear your addressing me as Senior Brother!"
"If you have nothing else for me, I shall take my leave first." Glancing at the pills in his hands, he reminded again, "Please keep these pills properly." With that said, he turned and left.
"Here!" He stuffed all those pills in his hands to Two-Bucks Zuo beside him. "Huh?" Zuo Shuming was stunned and frantically caught everything that they didn't fall to the ground. "Lonemoon, this is…"
"Take them! Put them away." Lonemoon said. Although these items weren't of much use to him, to Two-Bucks Zuo, a real Foundation Establishment cultivator, they were really useful. And the pills for all aspects were prepped.
"But…" This was given to you by Supremacy Tian Yi.
"Just take it when I tell you to, why do you have so much to say?" Who's the weakest here, do you have no damn idea?
"…" Um, why does it seem like Brother Lonemoon's mood suddenly turned bad and why does he have an illusion that he was being looked down on. After some thought, Zuo Shuming could only quietly put them all into his storage bag, never mind, at most, he'll keep them on Brother Lonemoon's behalf, when he needs them, he'll return them to him!
—————— Perhaps because this matter was really urgent, for the journey that initially would take two hours, they arrived half an hour earlier. From afar, they could see that this entire immortal city was suffused with a gray heretic aura. And shreds of icy cold aura were continuously surging over from the east of the city. There was rarely any vitality around the whole immortal city, it appeared slightly desolate.
Shu Yuan who was leading the team frowned, he alighted ahead of everyone and activated the city defense wards. In the next moment, the array formation in the city flashed brightly, a layer of transparent ward rose up and shielded the entire immortal city in it. That steady flow of icy cold aura was also closed off outside.
By the time everyone alighted, there were already about eight cultivators waiting in the middle of the city.
"Perfected Shu Yuan!" The one right in front was the City Lord, seeing everyone, he was delighted and immediately came forward. When he caught sight of Yi Qing at the side, he paused for a moment. "This is?"
"This is Supremacy Yi Qing." Shu Yuan introduced. "Supremacy!" He was shocked and quickly bowed again.
"City Lord Yuan, how is the situation in the city now?" Shu Yuan questioned frantically.
The other party then answered, "Replying to Perfected One, most people injured by the heretic aura are average mortals, there are a total of more than a thousand of them. Some orthodox sect cultivators who accidentally entered the forest have also been infiltrated by the heretic aura, especially a team of cultivators from yesterday. They happened to come from the border cities, as they passed by the forest, they were injured by the deviant fire, I'm afraid they won't be able to hang on for long."
"You're saying that the deviant fire has yet to be extinguished!" Shu Yuan was shocked.
"It hasn't!" The City Lord also wore a troubled look.
His frown deepened. Yuan Yang City was an immortal city under the charge of Gui Yi Sect, most people doing business in the city were the outer sect disciples of Gui Yi Sect, the people of the city had naturally always been under the protection of Gui Yi Sect. According the City Lord's descriptions, it seemed like this matter was more severe than they had imagined.
"This time the sect sent 40 disciples, quickly bring lead them to give treatment to the injured in the city."
"Yes, Perfected One!" The City Lord quickly responded.
Shu Yuan then turned back to give everyone some instructions, telling them not to leave the city no matter what before letting them follow the City Lord to disperse and treat the injured people. He then turned towards Yi Qing beside him. "Supremacy…"
"I'll go take a look at the area of the deviant fire! You stay here!" With that said, Yi Qing did not drag his feet, after exchanging a look with Lonemoon, he flew off on his sword along with Shen Ying, heading to the east where blasts of icy cold auras were surging from. Almost in the same moment they left the city, he felt an icy Qi hit him. The closer they went to the forest in the east, the stronger the cold aura. It even came with a chill that felt like it was about to infiltrate into one's soul.
A while later, a charred smell filled the air, from far they saw they sea of burned blackness in the front, there were also traces of white flames slowly spreading out.
Those flames were very special, unlike all other kinds of flames. It wasn't warm at all, instead it came with a chill, said to be a fire but it felt more like ice. However, everywhere that it passed, it burned everything to the ground.
Yi Qing was shocked and subconsciously cried out.
**** At the same time, in Yuan Yang City, a disciple who was about to treat a cultivator burned by the deviant fire had just pushed a trace of Spirit Qi into him, instantly a white flame leaped out of the victim's body.
The disciple shrieked, wanting to retreat, but it was already too late, his entire arm was surrounded by the flame instantly.
"Junior Brother!" Zuo Shuming who happened to be beside him was shocked and subconsciously wanted to pull him away.
Lonemoon acted fast and tugged him back, then took a step forward, pressed down the disciples right arm that was on fire and swept through it with his divine power, that white flame was then extinguished.
His expression darkened at once, why would the dark fire appear in the mortal realm?
Chapter 662: Spreading Dark Fires
"What's the matter?" Shu Yuan discovered the commotion beside him and walked over briskly to take a look. He took one glance at the weak person lying in bed, with a dwindling aura. Then, he turned to face the disciple seated on the ground. "What happened?"
"Uncle-Master Shu Yuan…" The disciple stared blankly at him for several seconds before finally regaining his composure. Fearfully, he said, "The fire… The fire on this person's body is infectious. I was just adjusting my own spirit Qi when the fire transmitted to me."
"What!" Shu Yuan exclaimed. He thought of something and his expression darkened. Immediately, he turned to another disciple beside him and said, "Quick! Ask those disciples who are treating the burned disciples to stop work immediately!"
"Yes!" The disciple ran out to inform the other disciples at once.
It was a pity that he was too late. A total of 17 people had been burned by the remaining flames in the forest. Among them, six passed on before they could be treated. The others underwent treatment immediately. Yet, those disciples who helped to treat their burned counterparts became burned themselves. The wounds were serious. Thus, not only were they unable to save the disciples, ten more were dragged down as a result.
Shu Yuan was frowning deeply by now. He had not expected that the people who had been burned by the dark fires would harbor remnants of the flames in their bodies, much less that these flames would continue to spread to others. The disciples who went to treat the wounded were all Golden Core cultivators
- the strongest in the sect. Now, knowing that he had lost 10 of them to the flames, how could his heart not hurt? All his insides were twisting up, yet they had no idea how to treat those disciples.
Lonemoon's expression darkened. That so-called Icy Deep Fire was clearly a dark fire. It came from the Underworld and brought with it the deviant flames that belonged to ghouls. These kinds of fires were extremely cold, and could cause even spirits to be reduced to dust, much less cultivators from the lower realm. Even immortals in the upper realm would have difficulty dealing with it. Yet, how did these fires get here? How did a fiendish cultivator manage to get his hands on it? A familiar sound came from beside him.
[Ding! Analysis complete. Residue from a high-power source. Host, this comes from a different part of the plane. It can burn everything it touches, including souls.]
"That fire is so powerful!" Shu Yi exclaimed. "It really is a deviant fire."
[It's a pity that Host has only obtained such a small amount of it - it is not even enough to cause a spark. It would have been good if you collected more of it.]
"There are more than one injured persons here.," Shu Yi said gleefully. "We just have to collect them from different people's bodies."
[Even then, we'll only have enough to form a little flame. We'll still need to find the source of the fire before we can control it!] "Don't worry. As long as we have a little flame, the deviant fire will not be able to hurt me. He will not be able to run away." Shu Yi had a determined expression on her face. "He injured my master. He has to pay the price. What's more, he's severely injured now. I don't think he got very far away. After all, I have my master's dharmic weapon to help me."
Lonemoon frowned. She came for that fiendish cultivator. From the sound of her voice, it seems that she had met that fiendish cultivator before?
[But we cannot leave the city. How are we going to find him?]
"They don't have any buffer time left. An hour and a half is not enough for them to deal with the deviant fire. We still have a lot of time. Tonight, we'll sneak out and gather the remnants of the fire from each person's body. Then, we'll find a chance to sneak out and look for him."
Shu Yi was clearly confident in her plan. Yet, Shu Yuan, who was standing next to her, looked extremely troubled. He anxiously paced back and forth in front of the injured disciples. He wanted so badly to help them, yet he could not do anything. All he could do was turn to the disciple beside him and say, "Have they eaten the pills?"
"They have," the disciple answered. "But… the Carcass Pill can only protect their primordial spirits from being injured by the flames. It will not do much to heal them."
"How is that…" Shu Yuan was getting more anxious now.
Lonemoon turned to the gleeful Shu Yi and could not stop himself from saying something to ruin her mood. He stepped forward and said, "Why not let Supremacy Yi Qing come and take a look?" He was only a Foundation Establishment disciple now. Of course he could not do anything to help. All he could do was push the responsibility to Chef.
Shu Yuan stared blankly at him for a couple of seconds before he finally recalled Yi Qing. His expression seemed to harden. "That's right. Supremacy will have a way!" He heaved a sigh of relief, but it was obvious he was still worried. After all, this was deviant fire they were talking about.
The demonic cultivator disappeared without a trace in the forest. Chef returned soon after. The moment he arrived back in the city, he was dragged to the injured disciples by an eager Shu Yuan. "Uncle-Master Yi Qing, please come and take a look at my disciples. They can't hang on much longer!"
Yi Qing paused. He turned to Lonemoon instinctively.
Lonemoon mouthed two words, "Dark fire!"
Yi Qing immediately understood. He entered the house and saw that there were more than ten people whose bodies were covered in huge patches of black. It was almost as if something inside their bodies was attacking them. They looked to be in severe pain.
"Uncle-Master Yi Qing, they're being attacked by deviant-" Shu Yuan began to explain.
Yi Qing flicked his wrist and caused a bright red flame to appear in his hands. He surrounded the people in the house with it. There was a loud crash and a white flame seemed to explode from each of the disciples' bodies. Then, the white flame dissipated.
Yi Qing clenched his fist and caused the fire to be extinguished inside the house. It was almost as if it had not even appeared. Everybody in the house remained unhurt - not even a single strand of hair was charred as a result of Yi QIng's fire. The only difference was that their faces seemed to be flushed.
Shu Yuan stepped forward to feel one of the disciples' pulses and found that the deviant flame had completely disappeared from inside his body. "Uncle… Uncle-Master!" Shu Yuan was in a daze. What was that fire about? How could it extinguish the icy deep fire? "Uncle-Master, you have your own deviant fire?"
Yi Qing pursed his lips and nodded curtly. "Mm." What deviant fire? His was the True Phoenix Fire.
"That's great! Thank you for your help, Uncle-Master!" Shu Yuan heaved a huge sigh of relief. He was relaxed not only because his disciples had hope now but because Uncle-Master Yi Qing's deviant fire could subdue the formidable Icy Deep Fire from the Fiendish Cultivator, Zhong Yi. This meant that their Gui Yi Sect no longer had to worry about being frowned upon by the other sects now.
Everyone was visibly relieved. Yet, Shu Yi's expression seemed to darken.
"What's the matter? How come he can deal with the deviant fire?"
[The heat in that man's body is almost completely gone. Perhaps it is because those flames in the disciples' body encountered an even stronger source of heat.]
"An even stronger source! You mean to say that his deviant fire is even stronger?" She did not even get to collect the remnant flames before he extinguished all of it immediately.
[You can say that.]
Shu Yi's face turned green. The opportunity had been right before her, and now it was gone. Yet, there was nothing at all that she could do about it.
"I wonder if Uncle-Master managed to track Zhong Yi down outside the city?" Shu Yuan asked, recalling the urgent matters they had on hand.
"I did not!" Yi Qing shook his head. "He's no longer in that forest." All that he left behind was some deviant flames.
"I don't know what the fiendish cultivator is after." He suddenly turned up near Gui Yi Sect and even killed one of the Nascent Soul elders. Now, he was even gone without a trace.
Shu Yuan frowned and began to worry once again. He had no choice but to hasten the disciples' healing process, so that they could return to Gui Yi Sect as soon as possible. After all, only the Foundation Establishment and Golden Core disciples remained. If anything were to happen to them, they would definitely not be able to hold the fort.
Chapter 663: Natural Enemies
In the night.
Lonemoon told the master and disciple duo everything he heard from the system earlier that day.
"A fiendish cultivator who can make use of dark fires… He knows Tian Ji?" Yi Qing paused.
"I fear it's worse than that." Lonemoon shook his head and continued, "From what the invader was saying, I think they already made a deal with each other. Tian Ji looks very wounded as well. Given the demonic Qi we saw in his body earlier, I think he won't be able to break off this connection with the fiendish cultivator."
"So he's come this time to take revenge on Tian Ji?" Chef frowned. "If that's the case, why doesn't he just come to Gui Yi Sect directly? Why did he remain in this little city for so long and even kill a Nascent Soul elder?" Wasn't he afraid that he would attract a lot of attention with the vengeance that he had? Or did this fiendish cultivator really think that nobody in the world would be his match? "Maybe he's not here for revenge?" Shen Ying asked.
The two of them stared blankly at her. What did she mean?
"If he's not here for revenge, then what is he here for?" Lonemoon asked. "He came all the way to the immortal city of Gui Yi Sect. Could he be escaping…"
He trailed off mid-sentence and suddenly started, eyes widening. "You mean to say that he's not coming to Gui Yi Sect to seek trouble, but is trying to escape the sect?"
"Mm." Shen Ying took another bite off her fruit. "Isn't it obvious?"
"Holy shit!" How was that obvious?
On second thought, he realized that this was possible given what he had heard from the system. Shu Yi seemed to know from the beginning that the dark fire existed. What's more, she wanted to collect the flames for her own use. Tian Ji even gave her a dharmic weapon specially for her to deal with the fiendish cultivator. They were so prepared. What other reason could there be apart from the fact that they were very familiar with this fiendish cultivator? He had initially thought that this was because Tian Ji had dealt with the other party before. But now, it did not seem likely. Shu Yi was so confident. It was obvious that she did not think the fiendish cultivator was a threat.
A Golden Core cultivator could not even be bothered about a fiendish cultivator who was at least a Nascent Soul. This proved that he had absolute confidence that the other party would not be able to hurt her. Perhaps this was not just because she had the system. In other words, the biggest possibility was that the other party was gravely injured. This wound was obviously caused by Tian Ji. Yet, even though the three of them had remained at Gui Yi Sect for a long time, they had never even sensed a fiendish cultivator invading the sect. Much less did they sense a fight. It was impossible that a fight between a Soul Formation and Nascent Soul cultivator was that quiet.
Neither did Tian Ji leave Gui Yi Sect in so long. Where exactly did they fight?
If it was not recent, this meant that it happened before they entered Gui Yi Sect. That was interesting. They had been in Gui Yi Sect for several years now. How could Zhong Yi not get better even after so much time has passed? What's more, he was still so weak that even a Golden Core cultivator was unafraid of him? That was impossible. Unless… Someone here was keeping an eye on him and making sure that he did not get better!
Other than Tian Ji, there could be no other person!
In other words, Zhong Yi had been in Gui Yi Sect from the beginning. When he appeared in Yuan Yang City, he was not trying to enter Gui Yi Sect to cause trouble. He was escaping from Gui Yi Sect!
"Why would Tian Ji keep a fiendish cultivator in the sect for no good reason? Lonemoon could not understand this. "Fiendish cultivators and Dao cultivators are completely unrelated. What's more, he's a Soul Formation cultivator. How would a Nascent Soul cultivator benefit him…" He trailed off mid-sentence once again, his eyes widening. "It's the dark fire!" He had nearly forgotten that Tian Ji was a pill cultivator. Of course the dark fire would be useful to him!
It was no wonder that Yu Luan and Tian Yi were always bad- mouthing this Soul Formation Uncle-Master for not bothering about anything that happened in the sect. It was one thing that he was not accepting disciples. But he did not even help to refine pills in the sect. Only Tian Yi was working so hard to refine pills.
Now, on close thought, Lonemoon guessed that it was not at all that Tian Ji did not want to refine pills. It was that he had not finished refining the dark fire in the fiendish cultivator's body. That's why it was not possible for him to refine pills, much less kill the fiendish cultivator. Perhaps he did not accept disciples for this reason as well - he did not want the fiendish cultivator to be discovered.
But he still failed in the end! The man had escaped, and he was so close to turning into a demon.
The more Lonemoon thought about it, the more pity he felt. This invader really found a backing similar to her - just as unlucky as she was!
"The invader is out!" Yi Qing suddenly exclaimed. Lonemoon stared blankly at him and said, "Follow him!"
The three of them disappeared within the house in a flash. Just as they started to follow Shu Yi's aura, they found that it had been cut off midway. The three of them were left directionless all of a sudden.
Lonemoon's expression darkened. It was obvious that this was the system's doing. How were they going to find her now? He was just thinking that they should split ways, when suddenly a loud announcement broke the silence of the immortal city. The three of them turned in the direction of the voice.
[Host, I've already helped you to get rid of your aura. Nobody will be able to find you now.]
The three of them, who finally located her: "…"
They had never met an invader who made their jobs so easy for them. (⊙ o ⊙)
The three of them flew in the direction of the voice. Indeed, they spotted Shu Yi, who was just about to leave the city. The strange thing was that she was not headed toward the east of the forest, where the deviant fire first appeared. Instead, she was headed for the city in the opposite direction.
She was holding something in her hand. From time to time, the thing in her hand flashed red. It looked like it was a dharmic weapon that was pointing the way to her. A moment later, she stopped in front of a dark and quiet field. All around, bumps appeared in the ground.
This was a graveyard.
"This is it. 001, scan this area."
[Host! I haven't found a living body. It should be deserted.]
"Master said that Zhong Yi, that demon, is good at array formation. I think he must be in hiding." She scanned the entire graveyard and said, "He really is good at hiding. If not for Master's careful planning, I would not have been this prepared to track him, neither would I have found him this quickly."
She laughed mirthlessly and walked into the graveyard. She lightened her steps intentionally, keeping her eye on the direction in which the dharmic equipment in her hand was pointing.
The group of three, who were floating in mid-air, paused to exchange a meaningful look with one another. Suddenly, they realized that there was an evil aura belonging to fiendish cultivators somewhere on their right, among the weeds in the graveyard. Faintly, they could see a figure curled up in a ball next to a coffin. Since this was a graveyard, death Qi was all over. I was hard to tell his evil aura from the death Qi in the surroundings. Yet, he could not escape their eyes.
Indeed, a moment later, Shu Yi appeared on their right side as well. SHe looked around and stopped at a patch of unassuming weeds.
Lonemoon hesitated, not able to decide if he should do something. Shu Yi rejoiced. A look of pure excitement flashed across her face. She did not hesitate to retrieve her dharmic weapon and mutter a curse. She was just about to activate the weapon and throw it over. Soon, the deviant fire would be hers…
"Senior Sister Shu!" A figure suddenly rushed out from beside her and grabbed onto her arm. She lost her grip on the weapon and let it fall to the ground, onto her feet.
"Ow!" Shu Yi howled in pain. She lifted her foot and hopped around for awhile, before finally resting her gaze on the man in front of her. "Zuo… Zuo Shuming!"
"Senior Sister Shu, what are you doing here?" Zuo Shuming looked at her with confusion and concern. "It's late - it's very dangerous!"
"You… What are you doing here?" Shu Yi was shocked stiff. "I chased you all the way here!" He explained in a matter-of- fact manner. "I'm on guard duty tonight and am guarding the west gate to the city. I saw you exit the gate and come all the way here. Eh? What happened to you Senior Sister Shu? Why are you limping? Are you alright, Senior Sister Shu… Don't scare me!"
Shu Yi: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
How the hell did this thing come here? This Zuo Shuming was really born to go against Shu Yi, wasn't he?
Chapter 664: Fiendish Cultivator Zhong Yi
Shu Yi's shock alerted the fiendish cultivator underneath that something was amiss. There was a flash of white light. Huge volumes of white flames carrying a chilling aura shot out from the ground and spread across the entire graveyard, causing everything to turn a snow white. The ground started to crack apart and the flames spread like streams of water toward Shu Yi and Zuo Shuming.
[Ding! High-power source detected.]
Shu Yi's became evidently excited.. Anxiously, she chased, "Hurry! 001, isolate the deviant fire and catch it." As she spoke, she reached out toward the flames. A faint glow appeared around her hands. She was just about to touch the dark fire.
"Senior Sister Shu Yi, be careful!" Zuo Shuming beside her suddenly jumped out in front of her and knocked her hand away. The impact caused Shu Yi to fly backward four or five metres away from the dark flames. She landed headfirst into a pile of mud. [Ding! Exceeded limits! Failed to catch! The next time you may activate this function is in four hours' time!]
The three people who were watching from above: "…" Their presence was indeed redundant here.
Yet, Zuo Shuming did not seem to realize that he had done something wrong. He waved his spirit sword and used his sword techniques to defend the two of them from the flames. In a worried tone, he shouted, "Are you alright, Senior Sister Shu? This deviant fire appeared out of nowhere. Could it be that the fiendish cultivator is somewhere here! It's too dangerous.. Senior Sister Shu… Senior Sister Shu, answer me!"
A while later…
Shu Yi clenched her fists by her side and pushed herself out of the mud. Her face was still covered in soil, but it was obvious that she was quite close to exploding in rage. She was so angry that it was almost as if there were real flames coming out of her ears She summoned her own spirit sword and headed straight toward Zuo Shuming. "I'm going to kill you!"
"Eh?" Zuo Shuming started. He had no choice but to turn around and fend off her attacks. Confused, he asked, "Senior Sister Shu, why are you doing this? The fiendish cultivator is over there!"
[Host, calm down! He cannot die now. The original owner's grievous energy hasn't fully dissipated!] 001 was getting anxious as well.
"Damn your stupid grievous energy values!" Shu Yi had lost all sense of logic. She lifted her sword and waved it at Zuo Shuming without any inhibitions. She was not employing any techniques
- this was the work of pure rage. "I'm going to kill him! I'm going to kill him! I have to kill him…"
[Host, you will fail your mission!] "Damn your stupid mission!"
[Host… Host, be careful!]
001 suddenly called out in a panicked tone. While the two of them were having this internal struggle, the fiendish cultivator dug himself out of the ground. He began to wave his hands, causing black blades formed with evil aura, which also carried white flames of dark fire, to fly toward Shu Yi.
Shu Yi's heart stopped. After she regained her composure, she retrieved the dharmic weapon from earlier and threw it over to the fiendish cultivator. The dharmic weapon flashed red, and the fiendish cultivator stopped moving at once. He writhed in pain and curled up into a ball, screaming non-stop. Even the white flames around them seemed to be dampened.
"It's you!" The fiendish cultivator seemed to finally understand something. His eyes turned red, and his expression became twisted. He was filled with hatred all the way down to his bones. He could almost eat Shu Yi alive. "Tian Ji… It's Tian Ji who sent you here! I'm going to kill you!" He let out a loud roar as his eyes turned an even brighter red. He had made up his mind. Suddenly, he gritted his teeth and stretched out his hand toward his chest, digging deep. Fresh blood flowed out from the wound.
Both Zuo Shuming and Shu Yi stared blankly at him. They could not understand why he was hurting himself. Yet, they saw that the blood flowing from his chest was turning back. The next thing they knew, a huge amount of black Qi exploded around him, spreading out toward the surroundings. The aura it carried chilled them to their very bones.
The three people in the sky frowned. This was… demonic Qi!
Shu Yi's heart sank. Suddenly, a loud crack was heard. The circular dharmic weapon on her head fell down to the ground. The red light that seemed to be controlling the fiendish cultivator was no more. She cried out. How could this be! Slowly, panic rose up in her chest.
The fiendish cultivator, Zhong Yi's expression became calm. He no longer looked like he hated Shu Yi to the core. Instead, his entire demeanor turned cool. On that skinny, bony face, a sly smile appeared. He seemed to be a totally different person. He spat, "Revenge? As you wish!" Yet, this was not said to either Zuo Shuming or Shu Yi. It was almost like he was talking to himself.
The system's voice sounded.
[Warning! Danger! Danger! A living being from a stronger territory has been detected in this plane! Host, please make a detour!]
Shu Yi's entire body stiffened and beads of cold sweat began to form on her forehead and all the way down her back. Faintly, she could tell that this person in front of her was not the same Zhong Yi from before. But it was too late for her to run now. The other party raised his hand. Enormous amounts of black Qi charged toward her, carrying with it a murderous intent. Everything that the black Qi touched withered in its wake.
Zuo Shuming's expression fell. He tightened his grip around his sword and said, "Senior Sister Shu, go back quickly and inform…" Before he could finish speaking, Shu Yi crushed the transportation talisman in her hands. A white flash of light appeared and surrounded her. She was about to disappear before their very eyes.
The fiendish cultivator tutted. "You want to run?"
A wave of black demonic Qi swept past the spot that Shu Yi was standing. The white light dissipated and she spat blood from her mouth. She did not move a single inch.
"Senior Sister Shu!" Zuo Shuming raised his sword and began waving it around, trying to dissipate the demonic Qi. Yet, this proved to be of no use whatsoever. The demonic Qi just became thicker.
The fiendish cultivator lowered his gaze and laughed mirthlessly. "You're going to be the sacrifice. Neither of you will be able to escape."
Once he finished speaking, demonic Qi filled the air and threatened to swallow the two of them. The three people who had been in the sky watching the entire scene finally landed on the ground. Yi Qing waved his hand and caused his sword Qi to sweep the surroundings. The black demonic Qi was forced to retreat.
"Hey, Zuo Two Bucks, are you alright?" Lonemoon turned to glance at him.
"Brother Lonemoon?" Zuo Two Bucks stared blankly back at Lonemoon, before glancing at Yi Qing. He heaved a sigh of relief. "Supremacy!"
"Who are you?" The fiendish cultivator… No, the demon now, looked at Yi Qing warily.
Yi Qing said nothing in response. He was nothing but an Earth Demon. There was no point talking to him at all. Lonemoon turned around and addressed the two people behind them. "It's too dangerous here. Go back to the city."
"No way!" Zuo Shuming instinctively objected. Shu Yi, on the other hand, averted her gaze, as if trying to hide something. She retrieved another transportation talisman and crushed it to pieces. She disappeared immediately.
"Just go if I ask you to. Why are you talking so much? How troublesome!
"How can I leave Brother Lonemoon here?" Zuo Shuming refused to move.
Lonemoon pursed his lips and sighed. He reached out and grabbed onto the person beside him, who had been chewing on a fruit. "Then look after her. Don't lose her!"
Zuo Shuming: "…" Was Lady Shen a valuable possession? Why did he need to protect her?
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
Chapter 665: There's a Demon Outside
"Who are you?" The demon said, scanning the group of them and frowning. It was like he was upset that they had interrupted him. Yet, he did not seem to think too much of them. "Forget it. Not one of you can get away anyway."
None of them answered. Lonemoon stepped forward and asked, "Are you an Earth Demon?"
The demon stared blankly at him in shock. "I didn't know that someone in the mortal realm would be able to recognize my true form. I guess I'll leave your corpse whole…"
"Alright!" Lonemoon interrupted him. "Stop talking big around me. Talk - where did you get that dark fire from?"
"Hmph! Ignorant mortal!" The demon got angry once more. He tutted and said, "You think that just because you have a Soul Formation cultivator here, you're unbeatable? The fact that none of you have ascended to immortality aside, even if you did have an exalted immortal from the upper realm here, I would still be able to use my dark fire to wipe off all of you." He raised his hand and caused a white flame to appear in his palm. Lonemoon's expression darkened. Were all demons like this? They would not listen unless they were beaten. Lonemoon pursed his lips and turned to face Yi Qing. "Chef, take action!" But don't beat him to death.
"Mm." Chef flicked his wrist and summoned his spirit sword.
"Hmph! You think too highly of yourself!" The demon raised his hand and immediately threw a ball of white fire over. The flames were just about to touch Yi Qing, but then a huge fire wall appeared in front of him. It had with it an aura that threatened to take the entire place down with it in ashes. The white flame suddenly looked like a swallowed star.
"How can this be…" The demon was stunned. His heart fell as he took a step backward. Sword qi filled the sky and pressed down against him. It was so thick that he felt like he was suffocating. A chill ran down his spine and beads of cold sweat formed on his back. All the confidence and satisfaction he felt earlier was now gone. This frightening display of skill was not from the lower realm… No! It did not even belong to the upper realm.
His dark fire flames were all gone by now. The fiery red flames threatened to burn him alive. The Earth Immortal knew what was best for him. In a heartbeat and without any further thought, he fell to his knees and shouted, "I was wrong! Exalted God, please let me go! Exalted God, this little demon will tell you whatever you need to know immediately! Please, Exalted God, give me a chance to speak!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
Zuo Shuming: "…"
Indeed, demons naturally knew what was good for them.
-_-||| "Talk - what exactly happened to you?" Lonemoon gestured for Chef to retract his True Phoenix Fire. Taking a step forward, he asked, "Did you just take over this mortal's body? Where is his soul?"
"It's here, it's here!" The Earth Immortal nodded. He was afraid that Lonemoon and the others would mistake him. Thus, he hurriedly explained, "He exchanged his life with me. His soul is still in this body. I'm just a little demon. I don't have the ability to swallow one's soul."
With that, he transformed into black smoke and floated out of the body, curling up into a ball. The fiendish cultivator Zhong Yi's body fell down to the ground. He looked exhausted. Lonemoon scanned his body and found that his soul was indeed still within. It was just that he had traded his life with him. Even if the demon left his body, he would still be a dead man.
The few of them turned to face the ball of black Qi.
"This… This has nothing to do with me!" The Earth demon, in the form of a black ball of gas now, trembled. He quickly and honestly explained, "He… He gave his life to me willingly. I couldn't turn him down. What's more, he was too gravely injured. His time was up. Even if he did not give me his life, he would not have been able to stay alive for more than a couple of days."
Lonemoon sighed and quickly conjured a seal to cause the fiendish cultivator's soul to return to Samsara.
"As a demon, how did you get to the mortal world?" Lonemoon continued questioning him. "Where's your own body? Why are you only left with your primordial spirit?" This was a ball of gas with a life.
"It's a long story," the Earth demon sighed. Bitterly, he explained, "I don't really know what happened either. I was just a little demon in the demonic realm. Later, I got seriously injured after fighting a couple of other demons. I was not supposed to be able to recover. Later on, when I woke up, however, I found myself in this mortal's body. I'm not sure how I came to the mortal realm either."
"Then how about the dark fire?" Lonemoon asked. "Mortals cannot come into contact with dark fires. This thing was brought here by you." "Exalted God, I… I really don't know!" The ball of demonic Qi was shaking more vigorously now. "When I woke up, that fire was already inside of me. In the beginning, the fire was just warm. I could still control it. Later, however, it got colder and colder. Zhong Yi tried to control it several times, but got burned by it instead. We tried to think of many ways to shift it out of this body, but none of them worked."
"You mean to say that you're not sure how the dark fire appeared either?"
"Yes, yes, yes!" He nodded vigorously. "That fire was out of control. From time to time, it would even attack my soul. It was not until Exalted God let out his own fire that the flames within my body was completely eradicated." He turned to Yi QIng curiously, wanting to ask something yet not daring to. His fire was far more scary than the dark fire. "Exalted God, I really don't know what happened. Before, I had been stuck in Zhong Yi's body, unable to get out. Later, Tian Ji locked Zhong Yi up for several hundred years. Even if I wanted to harm others, I would not have been able to do anything."
"That's why you cheated him of his life?" Lonemoon narrowed his eyes. "… I was wrong!" The Earth Immortal fell down to the ground. He was only accepting the man's body. Who knew that doing so would bring his end about so quickly?
Lonemoon frowned. It looked like this Earth demon really did bring the dark fire into the fiendish cultivator's body. But why did the dark fire appear in the Earth immortal's primordial spirit? What's more, from what he was saying, it seemed like the dark fire didn't work on him at the beginning.
"How should we deal with this Earth immortal?" Yi Qing glanced at the demon. Although he did not have a body, and was so weak that even ordinary demons would be able to crush him, they still could not let this demon roam the mortal world.
"What else can we do?" Lonemoon rolled his eyes at the ball of demonic Qi. "Throw him back." Lonemoon retrieved a transportation talisman and sent a strand of immortal Qi into the talisman. A moment later, Yu Hong's voice came through.
"Elder Lonemoon?" "Yu Hong, is Little Black still in the sect?"
There was a pause. A moment later, she said, "… He's here! Do you want me to call him over?"
"We're going to send… something over." Lonemoon picked the little demon up and said, "Get Little Black to handle him."
Yi Qing raised his hand and drew a line in the sky. The realm gate opened. Lonemoon send the ball of demonic Qi into the gate.
"Yu Hong, have you received it?"
"That's it then!" Lonemoon cut off the connection immediately.
Yu Hong glanced at the thing that just came through the realm gate. Elder Lonemoon delivered a lot of things back home, but most of them were immortal stones, dharmic weapons, spirit herbs or different types of treasure. This was the first time he was sending a ball of demonic Qi back. What's more, it was for Little Black!
An hour later.
Little Black received a message from his wife, that there was something for him. He rushed back from the demonic realm in a hurry.
"What the hell? Why did his wife give him this ball of demonic Qi? It looked like an Earth demon that had not completely transformed yet?"
He suddenly thought about something. His face drained of all color. The demonic king freaked out and grabbed Yu Hong, crying out in pain, "Little Hong, you… you have another demon outside! Tell me honestly - are you going to divorce me? I don't agree! No… Little Hong… What did I do wrong? Is it too late to change?"
Yu Hong: "…"
The Earth Immortal, who had been trembling non-stop: "…"
Chapter 666: Professional Blackie
Yuan Yang City
"Chef, how do you think the dark fire came about?" Lonemoon turned to address Yi Qing. Logically, the dark fire should be confined to the underworld. Even if the other party was a demon, there was no way he would be able to bring the dark fire out of the underworld. This Earth Demon aside, Lonemoon doubted that even Little Black would be able to do something like this. He would not be able to break through the several realm gates to get the dark fire out of the underworld.
Yi Qing frowned and shook his head. "Shortie should have been in the Underworld. The dark fire shouldn't appear in either the mortal realm nor the immortal realm."
"That's not for certain," Shen Ying suddenly commented.
Both of them turned to face her at once. "What do you mean?"
"Isn't there a hole?" Shen Ying asked. "A hole?" Lonemoon stared blankly at her for a moment and suddenly realized what she was talking about. "You mean the hole in the River of Forgetfulness in the immortal realm!"
"Master, you mean to say that…" Yi Qing was just now catching on. "The dark fire fell through that hole in the River of Forgetfulness?"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded.
Both Lonemoon and Yi Qing pondered over this. There was indeed that possibility. The dark fire in the Underworld was meant to take in the ghouls. It was normal that it would appear in the River of Forgetfulness. What's more, the Earth Demon had said earlier that he was severely injured. He thought he would never wake up again. Now, from the looks of it, he was not just imagining things. He had really been dead. His soul had entered the River of Forgetfulness and even the Underworld.
However, before he could reincarnate, the invader came and broke a hole into the River of Forgetfulness. The Earth Demon was probably at where the hole was created. He must have fallen through the hole, together with the dark fire, and landed in Zhong Yi's body. This would explain why he didn't think the dark fire was particularly harmful to his body in the beginning. It was because he was already a wandering soul. The dark fire was naturally ineffective on him. But once he landed in the fiendish cultivator's body, he became infected more or less with the latter's life. That's why the dark fire began to attack him.
What's more, he didn't seem to know how to answer most of their questions earlier. It was almost as if he had already forgotten many things. It must be because his memories had been partially wiped off when he was in the River of Forgetfulness. What remained were just bits and pieces of his memory.
"I remember Shortie saying that a soul was missing from the River of Forgetfulness," Lonemoon suddenly said. "It's not this Earth Demon, is it?"
Yi Qing's expression darkened. He nodded. It was obvious that it was.
Lonemoon pursed his lips. This was all caused by that stupid invader! They had to solve this problem quickly, otherwise they could only imagine what else they would have to clean up! They were moving a bit slowly - they had to do what they could to help a certain someone advance in terms of cultivation level! Lonemoon's mind became filled with various lesson plans and training programmes.
Zuo Shuming, who had been meditating just nearby: "…" Why did he feel a chill run down his spine all of a sudden?
After hearing that the fiendish cultivator Zhong Yi had been dealt with, Shu Yuan finally heaved a huge sigh of relief. He no longer looked as strict and nervous as he did before. Now, he was much more relaxed. Smiling brightly at Yi Qing, he said, "You're really an Uncle-Master indeed. You got rid of that demon so quickly. I just wonder how Uncle-Master found that demon?"
"It wasn't me!" Yi Qing answered.
"Eh?" Shu Yuan stared blankly at him, not understanding what he meant. Zuo Shuming answered seriously, "Elder Shu, actually this entire matter was solved thanks to Senior Sister Shu… No, Uncle-Master Shu. If she had not found the fiendish cultivator's traces in the west of the city, Supremacy Yi Qing would not have found the demon so quickly."
"You mean Little Yi?" Shu Yuan exclaimed. A look of worry flashed across his face. "She went out of the city last night?"
"That's right!" Zuo Shuming nodded profusely. "Uncle-Master Shu must have been worried that the fiendish cultivator would cause harm to the other disciples. She did not sleep for the entire night. Finally, she found the place where the fiendish cultivator had been hiding at. Although it was extremely dangerous, at least the entire matter has blown over now. Uncle-Master Shu is indeed a Golden Core-"
"Hmph!" Before he could finish speaking, Shu Yuan's expression darkened. He angrily said, "She's really messing her life up now. She won't even listen to her own father's words." With that, Shu Yuan walked off, leaving the rest of them standing there.
"Eh? Elder Shu…" Why did he walk away? Zuo Shuming turned to face his three companions innocently. "Did I… say something wrong earlier?"
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
He was indeed a professional enemy of Shu Yi! Why did it feel like he was totally faking his emotions?
Shu Yuan of the Dan Chen Mountain was a terribly strict person. He expected high standards, be it from his own disciples or from his daughter. What's more, he was the master of discipline, put in charge of disciplining the entire sect's disciples. He had always been impartial. One could say that he was overly fair. It was obvious that Shu Yi had broken the rules by going out of the city at midnight.
This time, Zuo Shuming really struck Shu Yi where it hurt. There was no doubt that the father and daughter would get into an argument soon enough. However, it remained to be seen how Shu Yuan would punish his daughter. After all, she was Tian Ji's disciple. Since she was already a part of the sect, all her punishments and rewards had to go through Tian Ji. Even though Shu Yuan was her father, he had no say in these matters.
Over the next few days, none of them saw Shu Yi.
Without the threat of the fiendish cultivator, their mission progressed especially quickly. Al the disciples remained in the palace for four more days before the evil aura left those who were infected before. Shu Yuan left behind several pills, but led his disciples to carry the rest back with him.
It was then that Zuo Shuming finally caught sight of Shu Yi.
He instinctively greeted her. "Uncle-Master Shu, you-" "Get lost!" Before he could finish greeting her, Shu Yi shot a death glare in his direction. It was almost like she was shooting daggers at him with her eyes. How she wished she could stab him several times right there and then.
Zuo Shuming halted. His hand remained in mid-wave.
Shu Yi tutted and boarded the spirit boat. Then, she sought out a seat in the far corner and sat down with her back facing Zuo Shuming. It was like she was having difficulty controlling her anger.
Zuo Shuming wanted to ask how her injury was healing. Now, he set down his hand and pouted. He turned and nudged the person beside him. "Brother Lonemoon, what's wrong with Senior Sister? Why is she so fierce all of a sudden?" She looked like she wanted to kill him.
"You don't know?" Lonemoon looked at him, at a loss for words. You've played her for so long - do you not even realise?
"I don't know!" Zuo Shuming answered, genuinely confused. "I realized there was something weird about her from the moment we moved out of the main peak."
Lonemoon cast a sideways glance at him, but did not say anything. It's time you figured these things out for yourself from her expression.
"Could it be…" He suddenly realized something and looked shocked.
Zuo Shuming looked around and lowered his voice nervously. "Do you think.. she knows that I didn't like the way she looked before? Was that why she changed the way she looked? To try to get my attention?"
Yi Qing, who was seated beside him: "…" -_-|||
A while later…
"Two Bucks…" Lonemoon sighed and patted his shoulder.
"I say, you look ugly but your imagination is beautiful!"
Faintly, Zuo Shuming felt a dagger stab right through his chest. He pondered for a moment and could not help but answer, "But she's changed so much. She used to be so warm toward us. Now, she can't even be bothered with Lady Shen." "How do you know she can't be bothered with Shen Ying?" Both of them don't even know each other.
"I saw it with my own eyes!" Zuo Shuming pointed in front of him.
Lonemoon turned to see that there was someone now seated beside Shu Yi. The lady was resting her chin on one hand, and holding a fruit with the other. As she gnawed on her fruit, she studied Shu Yi closely. She was leaning so close to Shu Yi that their faces were almost touching. Yet, Shu Yi did not seem to realise.
"Holy shit!" Lonemoon jumped to his feet.
When did that thing go over there?!
Chapter 667: Taking a Closer Look
"Shen Ying, what are you doing?!" Lonemoon transmitted.
"Huh?" Shen Ying turned to face him.
"What do you mean 'huh'?! Why did you roll over there all of a sudden?" You're going to be found out by the invader!
"Er… I'm studying her."
"…" Studying? You're pressing up against her to study her? Lonemoon pursed his lips, but Shen Ying did not say anything more. She continued to study Shu Yi and chewed at her fruit at the same time. Yet, Shu Yi still did not seem to notice her. She sat cross-legged where she was. Until…
"Wait, Shen Ying!" Lonemoon shouted.
Perhaps Shen Ying got bored just staring at Shu Yi. She reached out with a finger and poked Shu Yi in the cheek, her head tilted.
It was then that Shu Yi reacted. She jumped and shouted, "Who are you?!" Since when did this person get so close to her? Why hadn't she noticed before? She instinctively called out to her little system.
"001, what's going on? Why didn't you tell me that someone was approaching me?"
[Host, I didn't sense her either. Perhaps this person's energy level is too low. I had no way of detecting her either.]
Shu Yi took a closer look and found that there was not even a bit of spirit Qi in Shen Ying's body. She was a mortal? But how did she get onto this spirit boat? Shu Yi frowned. "What do you want?"
"Er…" Shen Ying hesitated. Very seriously, she handed the fruit in her hand over to Shu Yi. "Do you want to this?" Shu Yi glanced at the half-eaten fruit and her expression darkened. Did this woman just poke her just to ask whether she wanted to eat her fruit? Anger began to rise up in Shu Yi's chest. She did not think that this sect would accept such a rude disciple. In a cool voice, she answered, "No!"
"Oh." Shen Ying retracted her arm and took another bite out of the fruit.
The system sounded once again.
[Host, quick, take the fruit! That's a thousand-year-old Red Mystic Fruit. You cultivation level will increase by one entire stage if you eat it!]
"What!" Shu Yi exclaimed anxiously. "Why didn't you tell me earlier!"
[I just realized that too.]
Shu Yi's expression changed. She could not miss out on a fruit that would help her to advance by one entire cultivation level. Taking a deep breath, she plastered a smile onto her face and turned to face Shen Ying. "Junior Sister."
"Mm?" Shen Ying looked up at her.
Before she could finish speaking, Shen Ying lowered her head and chewed at the fruit at a rapid speed. In two seconds, the half-eaten fruit was no more. All that was left was its core. Shen Ying wiped her mouth and asked, "What's the matter?"
"…" She was doing this on purpose, wasn't she!
[Host, quick! Ask her to leave the core for you. You can plant it in the system's business city. For all we know, it will grow.] Shu Yi regained her composure and said excitedly, "Junior Sister, this core…"
Shen Ying tightened her grip on the core and caused it to break into two. She took out the seeds inside of it and stuffed them into her mouth. After breaking it down with her teeth, she swallowed them and looked at Shu Yi. "You want it? Here!" She placed the wet and broken core in Shu Yi's palm.
Shu Yi: "…"
Why did Shu Yi feel like she was being taken for a ride?
"Master…" There was no time for her to react. Yi Qing was already walking over with his gaze locked on Shu Yi. He was worried that Shu Yi's confusion would turn into rage.
Shu Yi suppressed her anger, remembering that she could not lose her cool here. "Greetings, Supremacy Yi Qing."
Yi Qing did not respond. Instead, he turned to Shen Ying and said, "Master, breakfast is ready. It's time to eat."
"Oh." Shen Ying got to her feet and followed Yi Qing back into the ship's warehouse. She was getting away…
Shu Yi's expression darkened. Her eyes followed the two people. Finally, she understood what their relationship was. This new sword cultivator supremacy had a mortal as a master. She had heard of this before, but she did not know that this woman was the master. It was no wonder that she had a Red Mystic Fruit with her.
Just thinking about missing out on that half-eaten Red Mystic Fruit filled her gut with regret. If she had that fruit, it would be far easier for her to form a Nascent Soul. Her thoughts drifted to Zuo Shuming, who was on the floating peak opposite from them and her heart filled with hatred. No way! She had to beat Zuo Shuming as soon as possible, so that her original owner's grievous energy values would drop. Otherwise, she would have failed her mission.
"System, what's Original Owner's grievous energy value now?"
[Grievous energy value: 65]
All of a sudden, Shu Yi felt threatened.
The moment they returned to Gui Yi Sect, Shu Yi went into isolation. From time to time, Lonemoon would check in on her. He discovered that she was advancing at a rapid pace. She was almost in the middle-stages Golden Core cultivation. On the other hand, Zuo Shuming was still stuck in the late stages of Foundation Establishment. No matter how hard he trained, he showed no form of forming a core.
Lonemoon understood that he was just missing one opportunity, but that opportunity was taking a long time to appear. At first, they thought this trip to Yuan Yang City would help him to realize some new things. In the end, apart from angering Shu Yi half to death, Zuo Shuming achieved nothing else. This was the first time he was experiencing such a slow advance in his cultivation. If this were to carry on, Shu Yi might have already formed a Nascent before he formed his core.
Disciples probably needed to be beaten up in order to have breakthroughs. Lonemoon guessed that Zuo Shuming just needed to be beaten several times. Yet, Zuo Shuming was good at nothing but forming thicker skin each time he got beaten. In the past, he would collapse with just one blow from Lonemoon. Now, he was able to withstand several seconds of beating. Thus, Lonemoon hit and hit him until… he got tired. He could not help himself any longer. Finally, he threw Zuo Shuming into a sword array. This saved him a lot of effort. The ten-level sword array made its appearance once more.
Zuo Shuming endured a tough time in the sword array for several years before he finally got used to it. After all this time, he finally managed to emerge from it. Even his sword technique became better - he faintly resembled a proper sword cultivator now. Yet, his cultivation… still remained the same! Even with Little Biao's scale inside his body, supplying him with endless immortal Qi, his cultivation remained stuck at the late stages of Foundation Establishment.
Lonemoon was trying to think of a solution for this Zuo Two Bucks when Tian Yi, the spawn of Satan, brought a piece of news to them.
"A sect competition?" Lonemoon asked.
"That's right." Tian Yi took one sip of his tea and nodded. "My Gui Yi Sect will hold one competition every ten years. There will be two main events - pill refinement and techniques. Of course, the main event would be the former. Brother Lonemoon, you've been in the Foundation Establishment stage for a long time. Why not give it a shot?"
Lonemoon thought about it for awhile. Zuo Two Bucks had been beaten by them too much, but he had not been beaten by others. Perhaps allowing him to join the competition would help him to realize something. "But… we're sword cultivators." Lonemoon probably had not taught Two Bucks anything about pill refinement. He guessed that Zuo Two Bucks would not even be able to make it past the first round.
"That's no problem!" Tian Yi smiled. "Although the pill techniques are the main focus of my sect's competition, given that Supremacy Yi Qing is participating, we're changing this year's style. The technique event will be equally split with the pill refinement event. What's more, each Mountain Master will send one person who will make it directly to the finals. Don't worry, Brother Lonemoon. I will send your name in. Just participate without worrying so much!"
"What?" Lonemoon pursed his lips. Why would he send his name in for no good reason? Lonemoon did not even want to participate. Didn't Tian Yi himself have a whole group of disciples under his charge? "Heh heh… Thank you!"
"No worries!" Tian Yi smiled, satisfied with himself. "This is what brothers do!"
Who's your brother! Lonemoon sighed and said, "Brother Tian Yi… I have a request to make."
"Brother Lonemoon, please go ahead."
"Can you change my name to Zuo Shuming's?"
Tian Yi stared blankly at Lonemoon. His expression was filled with confusion and indignance.
It caused even the hairs on the back of Lonemoon's neck to rise.
Wait a moment!
Why are you looking at me so pitifully? And does your expression seem to say, "So you take Zuo Shuming as your real brother?"
I'm a proper businessman. Stop imagining so much!
Chapter 668: Straight to the Finals
At last, Tian Yi did not change Lonemoon's name to Zuo Shuming's. It was not that he was unwilling. But the peak that Lonemoon and the others were staying in was already an independent mountain in the eyes of the disciples of Gui Yi Sect. So Yi Qing, the one whom everyone silently acknowledged as the master of that mountain, could also send one person to the competition. Zuo Shuming was unquestioningly the one who was sent into the competition on behalf of Nameless Mountain.
That's right - this mountain of theirs had remained nameless for too long. Now, everyone was referring to it as Nameless Mountain.
But there was only place for one name. Apart from Tian Yi, who thought highly of Lonemoon, no one seemed to take much notice of him. In fact, if anything, people only saw him as Zuo Shuming's lackey. Naturally, Tian Yi thought that Lonemoon was being cast aside.
The facts proved that friendship could be borne out of cheating. Supremacy Tian Yi wanted so much to take care of Lonemoon that he submitted Lonemoon's name. Lonemoon was thus to compete on behalf of Tian Yi's very own mountain. Thus, Lonemoon was promised advancement to the finals in the competition. There was no turning back!
Lonemoon: "…" Son of a b*tch!
The sect's competition was set to begin in three days. Yu Luan specially came to inform Chef of this and reminded him to turn up on the day itself. No matter how he put it, it was clear to the three of them that Yu Luan was putting Chef in a spot. He wanted the latter to recruit several disciples into the Nameless Mountain on the day itself.
Although nobody in Gui Yi Sect really wanted to learn sword cultivation, they could still recruit disciples. In the last few years, other sects had begun to recruit more sword cultivators as well. Afterall, there was a Soul Formation sword cultivator in the sect - why would people not want to sign up? Especially since the fiendish cultivator Zhong Yi died, Gui Yi Sect's reputation had significantly improved. Even Tai Yan Sect sent disciples to ask after Yi Qing several times. Now, Gui Yi Sect was not the same as before - it was no longer just known for selling good medicines.
In sum, they were to nurture those who had the talents into sword cultivators. Even those without talents had to be nurtured into sword cultivators. After all, this was a sect of pill cultivators. They had loads of money to support all these people!
Lonemoon was very clear on what Yu Luan was after. In fact, he knew this day would come, eventually. Thus, he set up a sword array in advance and threw Zuo Two Bucks in. After all, no matter how many disciples they accepted into the mountain, the responsibilities would all fall on his head. Chef could be put in charge of the meals, but he could not be trusted with training disciples. As for Shen Ying… Heh heh!
Lonemoon spent the time during the first few rounds of the competition training Zuo Two Bucks. It was the kind of training that practically threw Zuo Shuming close to death. Finally, the day before the finals, Zuo Two Bucks passed the first level of the sword array. It was then that Lonemoon allowed Zuo Two Bucks to compete.
There were many disciples in Gui Yi Sect, thus the sect competition took an entire month. The entire competition was split into two events - the pill refinement event and the technique event. There were clear winners and losers in the latter, but the former was a bit more complicated. The Foundation Establishment and Qi Refinement groups were good
- they did not know how to refine many pills, so one cauldron of pills did not take more than three days. The Golden Core groups and above were a different story altogether. Golden Core cultivators could refine third-grade pills and above. The time it took to refine such pills was at least ten days.
Thus, the sect competition of Gui Yi Sect was not like others - it could not be concluded within three to four days. 20 days later, the list of winners were announced.
Zuo Shuming and Lonemoon only competed in the technique competition. It was only when they arrived at the battlefield that they discovered there were more than 50 other competitors. Among these, most of them were Foundation Establishment disciples. A few of them were Golden Core cultivators.
Lonemoon frowned. He realized that in this so-called technique event, Foundation Establishment cultivators would be mixed with the Golden Core cultivators. This was obviously unfair for the Foundation Establishment cultivators. But what else could be expected of Gui Yi Sect? After all, the pill refinement event was its main focus. There were too few cultivators in the sect who did not train in pill refinement. Thus, there was no need at all to split those cultivators by cultivation.
Lonemoon scanned the group of people on the battlefield. The strange thing was that Shu Yi, the invader, was present as well. From time to time, she would look over at Zuo Shuming. It was almost as if she was prepared to do something to him.
The silly man did not seem to notice anything, however. From the moment he entered the battlefield, he hugged his sword close to his chest nervously. He was not afraid of losing. Instead, he was most afraid of embarrassing Supremacy Yi Qing and Lady Shen Ying. After all, he was here in the name of Nameless Mountain.
Thus, from three days ago, he had been rehearsing his sword techniques in his mind. All he hoped for was that he would not perform those techniques badly. Yet, with the first blow he dealt since he stepped onto the battlefield, he caused his opponent to fly off the stage. Zuo Shuming was not prepared for this. He had not even calmed his nerves.
Was he really the one who dealt that blow earlier? But that person had passed out a bit too quickly. It was different from the way Zuo Shuming imagined it!
When he was practising with Brother Lonemoon before, he was always the one who would be thrown off.
Zuo Two Bucks, who was so used to being beaten up with no hope of retaliating, was shocked by his own achievements! Later on, he realized that the sword technique that Brother Lonemoon was training him in was so awesome.
As the competition carried on, he became more and more shocked by his own powers. He could hardly believe what he was seeing. The sword technique that Brother Lonemoon despised him so much for could take him right through the various fights in a breeze. Those Foundation Establishment disciples from the same sect could not even deal more than 10 blows in retaliation before they all fell at the mercy of his sword. Zuo Shuming was passing through the stages as quickly as a raging current. He was stunned by his own performance. Never did he imagine that his technique - which had always been despised - was so… awesome.
The worries in his heart that had grown since the day he found out he was competing were now all gone. In its place was a self-confidence that Zuo Shuming never knew.
Even when he met a Golden Core opponent, he calmly kept his mind on the techniques he needed to use. Fighting against his opponents' suppression, he attacked blow by blow. He emerged victorious!
Everyone in the audience was shocked stiff. He was fighting someone of a much higher cultivation than him - yet he won! This really was an unbeatable sword cultivator. All the disciples in the sect suddenly could not take their eyes off a certain someone seated high above the battlefield. Even his disciples were so powerful. That Soul Formation Supremacy, the sword cultivator, was out of this world. Even Yu Luan could not help but turn to face Yi Qing and exclaim, "He really is a disciple of the Nameless Mountain. He can even win an opponent of much higher cultivation than he. You really have an impressive disciple!"
Yi Qing, who had been peeling nuts: "…"
Shen Ying, who had been eating nuts: "…"
Meow meow meow?
(⊙ o ⊙)
"Nameless Mountain, Zuo Shuming wins!"
Zuo Shuming looked absolutely confused. He just won a battle he was sure he would lose. And he did not even fight his hardest. Suddenly, he felt like he was dreaming. He looked down at the sword in his hand. For the first time in his life, he felt like a real sword cultivator! Immense excitement began to well up in his chest. If this was his true prowess, then maybe… Maybe he could win all the way to the end. He tightened his grip on his sword and looked up, his expression bright and hopeful. He could win! He could really win!
That was until… Lonemoon walked onto the stage.
Faintly, he felt like something fell in his chest and broke into pieces. Like a deflated balloon, Zuo Shuming slumped down. All his hopes and dreams were shattered in an instant
Zuo Shuming: "…"
Could he just give up?
There was no need for him to be bullied - there was no need to even compete this time! (*꒦꒳꒦)
Chapter 669: Odd Changes in Gui Yi
The competition of spells on this side was already nearing the end, other than Lonemoon and Zuo Shuming, Shu Yi and the personal disciples from two other mountains made it into the top five.
Sect Master Yu Luan took a look at the remaining five and might have recognized Lonemoon. He could not help but turned back and praised. "Sword cultivators indeed. There are only two disciples from Nameless Mountain but both made it into the top five. Especially this Zuo Shuming, in just a few years' time, he is already filled with Sword Qi. I say there is no suspense as to who the champion would be. Uncle-Master Yi Qing has taught them well!"
Yi Qing swept a glance at the two people fighting in the arena, especially a certain person who was trembling so hard that he was about to drop his sword. The corner of his mouth twitched, he wasn't able to reply in time when Tian Yi's expression darkened beside him as he directly refuted.
"Isn't Sect Master saying that too early?" He sneered coldly and said rather indignantly, "Let's not mention the rest, I see that the Brother Lonemoon's sword techniques are swift and fierce, his Spirit Qi powerful, in the previous matches, he defeated his opponents in less than ten strikes, one look shows that he is someone with a deep understanding of sword dharma. I think he would be the champion this time."
Yu Luan was stumped from his rebuttal, what Brother Lonemoon?
Since when did Uncle-Master Tian Yi acknowledge a brother?
Never mind if Uncle-Master Yi Qing had a mortal master and they had a Grandmaster out of the blue, but when did his disciple and Uncle-Master Tian Yi address each other as brothers? Say, was taking advantage of seniority a tradition of Nameless Mountain?
"My Brother Lonemoon is empathetic and loyal, though he is a sword cultivator, he works with pills, talismans and array formations too and is especially proficient in his understanding of array formations." Tian Yi praised without even blinking. "Please do not make wild guesses if you're unclear Sect Master! I think the Zuo fellow, isn't even a match for him!" No matter what, rooting for his brother! "Um…" Yu Luan burst into a cold sweat, he was initially planning on bootlicking Yi Qing and getting him to recruit more disciple, he did not expect Uncle-Master Tian Yi to interfere too, yet he could not rebut him and could only smile awkwardly and bite the bullet, replying, "Uncle-Master Tian Yi makes sense too."
"Hmph! That's for sure!" Tian Yi was satisfied then and continued supporting Lonemoon with slight arrogance. "This brother of mine, regardless of character, perception, cultivation, everything about him is rare. For the champion of this competition, except for him, no one…"
"I admit defeat!" Before he could finish, he heard Lonemoon who had just went on stage in the arena holler.
Tian Yi: "…"
Yu Luan: "…"
The master and disciple duo: "…" Two Bucks who thought he was getting beaten up: "…"
What was going on?
Tian Yi felt a burn on his face!
From a side, the sect master Yu Luan quietly gave him a complicated look. What happened to being the champion?
The little companion Tian Yi paled, his entire being in a daze from being stunned. This doesn't make sense, his Brother Lonemoon definitely isn't someone who would give up without a fight! There must be a special reason! That's right, it's definitely so! "Unless he'd incurred some injury while he was preparing for the competition?" The more he thought about it, the more it seemed like a possibility, the more he thought about it, the more worried he became. He stood up abruptly. "I must go take a look!" He has plenty of pills, anyway. With that said, he ignored Yu Luan and disappeared off the viewing platform in a flash.
The master and disciple duo: "…"
Um… should they tell him that Father Niu was just tired of beating up Two Bucks Zuo, so he could not be bothered to?
Below, it'd been announced that Zuo Shuming had won.
Lonemoon did not stop, turning and walked off the stage, his gaze sweeping past Shu Yi as he did. It wasn't because he didn't want to beat up Two Bucks Zuo but because this was already the quarter finals. If he won Zuo Shuming, the one facing Shu Yi in the end, could be him.
He was a manager and was once the plane assistant of this plane, there would always be some authority in his body. Shu Yi was an invader, with a system in her, if they really went against each other, he might be in the danger of exposing himself, so he might as well admit defeat here.
Besides, Two Bucks Zuo and this person were born enemies, though he was only a Foundation Establishment cultivator, his cultivation worlds apart from hers and he might not win, but in the aspect of pissing off Shu Yi, he was amazingly professional.
At the same time, he also wanted to see the extent that Shu Yi's cultivation had improved till with her seclusion and help from the system.
Lonemoon's guess was right, Zuo Shuming and Shu Yi won the two other disciples in their respective matches, both of them entered the finals. Shu Yi seemed to be very pleased with such an outcome, she looked at Zuo Shuming with a glint of determination in her eyes, vaguely radiating killing intent, as if she wished she could charge over right away and beat him up.
"Senior… Uncle-Master Shu." Yet Zuo Shuming seemed completely unaware, he even politely bowed with cupped fists and smiled naively. "Long time no see, I didn't I would have the chance to battle against Uncle-Master Shu. By the way, I wonder…"
"Shut up!" Shu Yi cut him off directly, as if she'd gained some experienced from being pissed off. Without waiting for him to finish, she summoned her artifact and charged towards him without another word. Making use of the advantage that she had with her cultivation a level higher, she even released the suppression of the Golden Core stage, giving her all to suppress his movements.
Zuo Shuming faltered, his movements slackened slightly and immediately activated the Sword Qi around him to resist against her suppression of a stage above. Changing his naive mannerisms from earlier, he summoned multiple spirit swords and he went forward without dodging.
Just as the two were about to be locked in a combat, the entire Gui Yi Sect suddenly quaked violently, a loud rumbled echoed in the distance, as if something had exploded, the Protective Mountain Array was activated, eight huge spirit swords instantly appeared around Gui Yi Sect as a transparent array formation wrapped it up. "What's going on?" All the disciples were shocked and started to observe their surroundings blankly, even Zuo Shuming and Shu Yi who were competing in the middle were forced to stop.
The Sect Master Yu Luan's expression changed, he pushed himself to his feet abruptly and turned to look towards the right of the main peak. "The sound is coming from Dan Chen Mountain!"
Being the peak master of Dan Chen Mountain, Shu Yuan's expression turned grave as he flew up on his sword and headed in that direction.
"The competition is temporarily paused." Yu Luan ordered and also flew towards Dan Chen Mountain, the other Nascent Soul Elders were no longer in the mood to bother about the competition and all followed to check out the situation.
Yi Qing released his divine perception for a look and frowned, turning to the person beside him, he murmured, "Master…"
"Mm." Shen Ying nodded. Hence the two of them also gave chase following the others, Dan Chen Mountain wasn't fair from the main peak, it could be seen once they left the main peak, but everyone did not see Dan Chen Mountain in its original location.
A burned smell floated faintly in the air, looking down, they realized that Dan Chen Mountain had unsure when, sunk down, originally it was about the same height as the other floating peaks, now it seemed like something had exploded from within, leaving only the top half. The bottom half had collapsed completely and fallen off as crushed stones, that was why it triggered the Protective Mountain Array as it floated beneath the other mountains.
The expressions of all the Elders darkened, as they all flew down to the Dan Chen Mountain which only had half of it left. Before they landed, a rebellious aura rushed towards them.
"This is…" Yu Luan paled instantly. "Someone is self- destructing his Nascent Soul!"
Chapter 670: Demonic Qi Blasts The Peak
At a side, Shu Yuan was struck with a sudden thought, his expression changed as he exclaimed, "Junior Brother Yin!" With that said, he dashed towards the back mountain of the remaining half of the floating peak.
The others exchanged a look and immediately followed. Rounding past the floating peak, the entire back mountain was in ruins, the spirit fields originally full of spirit herbs were patches of charred black now, where the floating peak broke off, there was still a huge hole left, remnants of the aura of a Nascent Soul cultivator and a shred of dark and cold black Qi was left in the air.
Yi Qing's brows tightened, this black Qi was…
"It's really Junior Brother Yin!" A trace of grief flashed across his face before anger took its place instantly. "Who exactly dared to put a hand on my sect's Nascent Soul Elder and even forced him to self-destruct his Nascent Soul."
Yu Luan's expression also changed and he quickly turned around to order a disciple behind him. "Go, inform all disciples guarding the gates of every peak to lock the gates and guard the gates closely, no one is allowed to enter or leave!"
"Yes!" The disciple immediately turned and left to dispatch his orders.
Yu Luan was also boiling with rage, he didn't expect the sect to lose a Nascent Soul Elder just like that and it was even on such an important day of the sect's competition day, all done without a sound, using such a horrifying manner of self- destructing his Nascent Soul. The key was that none of them was aware of it, this proved that Elder Yin perhaps did not even have the chance to call for help.
He looked around the charred back mountain in detail, his eyes fixed on the black Qi that yet to dissipate. "This is heretic aura! Could it be that a fiendish cultivator infiltrated the sect?"
His eyes dimmed and was about to fly down for a sense when Yi Qing suddenly reached out and pulled him back. "Hold on!"
"Uncle-Master Yi Qing?" "It's not heretic aura…" Yi Qing glanced at those clouds of black Qi and said in a low voice, "It's demonic Qi!"
"What?!" Yu Luan and even the Elders were shocked, everyone wearing looks of disbelief. "Demonic Qi! Uncle-Master is saying that this black Qi is…"
"Demonic Qi of the demon clan!" Yi Qing confirmed.
Everyone paled, taking a closer look at where the black Qi surrounded, they then realized that amongst the charred lands of the back mountain, wilted and rotting spirit herbs could vaguely been seen. It was evident that it wasn't caused by Elder Yin's self-destruction of his Nascent Soul but due to the influence of the black Qi.
"Causes vegetation to wilt instantly, destroys all living creatures, this… this is really the legendary Demonic Qi!" Someone exclaimed. Everyone's expression became graver, even the few Elders who stood closer to the front also subconsciously moved back. This was Demonic Qi! Written in the ancient legends, the aura of the Demon Clan that only the Divine race could rival.
"Then is it possible that whoever killed Junior Brother Yin is from the… De… Demon… Demon Clan?" Yu Luan was frozen, but that was a demon, not a fiendish cultivator, don't mention the Gui Yi Sect, even if all the immortal sects were put together, they might not even be its match.
"No!" Yi Qing's eyes dimmed as he said with certainty, "If a demon had appeared, it's impossible that only this bit of demonic Qi was left behind."
Yu Luan nodded as his heart eased, glancing down, his expression became more somber. "This demonic Qi… what should we do with it?" If it was the ordinary heretic aura, they didn't fear it, but demonic Qi… they probably couldn't even go close to it.
As if noticing their apprehension, Yi Qing stepped forward, with a wave of his hand, a red fire wall instantly swept towards those black Qi on the ground. Almost in the blink of an eye, the remnants of Demonic Qi on the ground vanished completely. Even the initially charred ground resumed some of its original color.
Yu Luan was totally put at ease then, after giving all the Elders some instructions, they dispersed to search for clues about the enemy. However, no regardless of how these people turned the blasted floating peak upside down, they did not find a single clue.
Everyone flew back to the great hall with solemn looks, Yu Luan also brought out the broke life token of Elder Yin who had self-destructed his Nascent Soul, hoping to find out the circumstances before his death using the remnants of the aura on the life token. But the spells failed too, he totally couldn't get a view of who the culprit was.
Fortunately, due to the competition, most of the disciples on that peak were gathered at the main peak. During the destruction of Dan Chen Mountain, except for Elder Yin who died and a few other disciples guarding the peak sustaining severe injuries, there were no other casualties.
However, the Protective Mountain Array was activated in time then, the culprit could not have escaped in time, this also means that it was very possible that he was still hiding in the sect. Yu Luan could only call a complete halt to the competition then lock down the peaks and begin a full search in the sect.
"Demonic Qi? How are there more!" Lonemoon who heard of the situation when he returned was stunned, turning towards Chef, he asked, "Could it be that other than the Earth Demon that fell from the River of Forgetfulness, there are also other demons in this little world?"
"I don't think so!" Chef shook his head. "If there were really demons here, they would definitely be subjected to the repression of the Heavenly Dao, it wouldn't strike so readily here," Just like the Earth demon then, although it did not have a physical body, as a demon, it could easily rebuild a physical body. However, it did not and instead resided in the body of a fiendish cultivator, not even daring to do possession. This is because it was constantly being repressed by the Heavenly Dao and did not dare to show itself at all, otherwise the Heavenly Dao would eliminate it right away!
"Not a demon? Is it possible that there are fiendish cultivators that became Earth demons here?" When fiendish cultivators reach the Soul Formation stage, if they are able to pull through the Heavenly Tribulations, they are naturally able to ascend to the Demon World. All that heretic aura would also transform into Demonic Qi. Just like the demonic cultivator that Shen Ying met back then in the Immortal Ascension Pagoda in the Upper Azure World had already earned Demonic Qi through cultivation.
"If that's the case…" Yi Qing thought of something and said with a frown, "I don't think that person could have broken past my Protective Mountain Array, he must still be in Gui Yi Sect, but I used my Divine Perception to checked the entire sect, I did not find any trace of Demonic Qi." There wasn't even any heretic aura.
"That's impossible!" Lonemoon rebutted subconsciously. "How could there be anyone that you cannot examine in this plane, unless the culprit isn't from this pla…" He stopped midway as his eyes widened. "Damn it! No way!"
It's the invader!
But Shu Yi was in the middle of competing then? "There couldn't be another, could it?" Were they forming a group to come tour?
Yi Qing's expression darkened, he was about to say something when the voice of a messenger sounded outside.
"Disciple Chen Wen from the Main Peak greets Supremacy."
"What's the matter?" Yi Qing asked in a deep voice.
"Sect Master instructed that there is an urgent matter and requested for Supremacy to head to the Great Hall!"
Yi Qing and Lonemoon exchanged a glance, seeing him nod, he replied, "I'll be there right away."
The disciple bowed and left.
It was already noon, thinking that Yu Luan might have found some clues, the few of them did not take too long. They just had a simple meal, drank some tea and had a few plates of pastries… and fruits…
Before they left for the Great Hall.