Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“This Li Changshou, he could have just followed a pair. Why did he have to go on a third path?!”
Among the clouds above the Chaos Treasure Forest, Jiu Jiu was seated atop a grey cloud. She smacked her knee in frustration, and then picked up a wine gourd to take a huge gulp. She wanted to resolve the worry in her heart.
She did not expect so many disciples to come to the North Continent during this Priming Meet. Four of them were even among the most treasured immortal seedlings in the sect. She could not allow anything to happen to them.
Now, five of them were being so bold as to split into three groups. Jiu Jiu began to feel pressured.
‘They are all really young cows that do not fear tigers! Youths who know no fear!’
Yet, Jiu Jiu recalled what she was like when she was still a young disciple. Wasn’t she just as ambitious as they were?
Jiu Jiu picked up her wine gourd and removed the stopper. Then, she paused and replaced it.
‘Forget it. I’ll wait for 20 days.’
Due to the Miasma Qi, Perfected Jiu Jiu’s immortal senses could not expand too far.
The good thing was that they were in the outer region of the North Continent. The beasts there were not that skillful. Moreover, few human cultivators or demons would remain in these outer regions. Instead, most of them would travel deeper.
After pondering for a moment, Jiu Jiu turned to look at Yuwen Ling, who was standing on a gray cloud behind her. She wanted to ask him to follow Youqin Xuanya and Yuan Qing so that she could relieve some stress. However, just before she said it out loud, Jiu Jiu blinked.
‘Aunt-Master Jiu, this person has come for unknown reasons and is slightly suspicious. Don’t trust him easily.’
She recalled the voice transmission that Li Changshou had sent to her when she had been chasing him away. Jiu Jiu did not take Li Changshou’s word for it. After all, the hunk looked like he would collapse with a single blow from her.
However, for some reason, Jiu Jiu really hesitated.
‘Forget it. The five of them have not wandered outside my immortal awareness for now. I don’t need to panic.’
She steered the gray cloud forward, and then turned around to say, “Hunk, follow me closely.”
“Rest assured, Exalted Immortal,” replied Yuwen Ling, cupping his hands. He maintained a three-foot distance between them as he followed behind Jiu Jiu.
The group chose three different paths. Naturally, the further they walked, the further apart they became.
After pondering about it for a while, Jiu Jiu decided to follow behind Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er temporarily. As for Yuan Qing and Youqin Xuanya, she was slightly more relieved.
As for Li Changshou, Jiu Jiu was worried, but she could not just let the pairs wander off on their own while she protected the man who went solo. This would make it too obvious that she was being biased.
Jiu Jiu was prepared to follow behind all three groups in turn. At the very most, she would ensure that she spent equal time following and protecting each of them!
The Priming Meet rules were that the immortals only had to send the disciples to the destination and allow them to train inside. There was no need for them to bother about anything else.
As the saying went, “Whether one survived or not would be up to fate.” The disciples would be able to grow much faster in such dangerous circumstances. However, pushing them into such dangerous circumstances came with the risk of losing them or injuring them.
According to Jiu Jiu’s immortal senses, Youqin Xuanya and Yuan Qing were advancing very quickly towards the region that they wanted to reach. The pool where the Fire-Loathing Enlightenment Herbs grew was considered one of the safest places within the Chaos Treasure Forest.
Those two did not dare to fly. However, they were advancing quite quickly. They were not talking much and were running one in front of the other. From time to time, poisonous beasts would attempt to attack them, but they would deal with them easily.
‘Indeed, the Heaven-Breaking Peak’s disciples are the most reliable.’
Jiu Jiu looked further down and could see Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er’s situation. Both of them were talking as they walked. It looked like they were taking at least a slight interest in each other. Although poisonous insects and beasts often tried to attack them, they dealt with them accordingly. Their skills were quite commendable.
‘Nothing huge is happening, but why do I feel so oddly unsatisfied?’
Jiu Jiu pursed her lips, wanting to observe Li Changshou’s situation. She focused her immortal senses and discovered that he was missing!
Had he been torn into pieces by poisonous beasts so quickly?! Or had he been swallowed whole?!
Jiu Jiu frowned and quickly intensified the search using her immortal senses.
That was not right. He was using a technique to shield himself from her immortal senses. She could still sense the brat’s aura in the north, and he was also moving at top speed. He was moving at least double the speed of Youqin Xuanya and Yuan Qing!
‘Brat, you’re a Soul Formation cultivator in the Ninth Stage, yet you are flying towards the deeper regions of the Chaos Treasure Forest? Are you rushing to die?!’
Jiu Jiu tilted her chin upward and groaned wordlessly, causing her already-torn top to shake violently.
She glanced at Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er, who were currently studying a poisonous flower. Then, she pointed forward with her left hand and sped up to chase Li Changshou.
She would catch this fellow and throw him to Wang Ji to be taken care of!
A moment later, Jiu Jiu finally caught up with Li Changshou and traveled the same way he was advancing. However, when she looked down to study him, she frowned even more deeply.
That brat seemed to be using a Track-Concealing Talisman to hide his aura. That would allow him to avoid detection from ferocious beasts far away.
What’s more, Li Changshou was not risking flying. Instead, he was using his brilliant Dragon Swimming Across Clouds footwork and causing afterimages to form underneath his feet. This cultivator in the Ninth Stage of Soul Formation was at peak performance.
‘That’s not right. The herb tripod hanging from this fella’s waist…’
Jiu Jiu scrunched up her nose after smelling a strange odor. She looked down to study it for a while, and then immediately looked shocked.
‘It’s the Saliva of the Red Yang Poisonous Dragon?!’
Red Yang Poisonous Dragons lived in the North Sea. They loved eating demons, poisonous beasts, and ordinary living beings. However, they were too violent and conducted massacres everywhere. As a result, the already lacking luck of the dragon race had run out. Tens of thousands of years ago, the dragon race had purged them.
‘The Saliva of Red Yang Poisonous Dragons is not considered a rare treasure, but it’s still quite expensive. Where did this brat, Li Changshou, get it?’
With this hanging on his belt, ordinary poisonous beasts and insects would not dare to go near him. It was no wonder that he was advancing so fearlessly.
Jiu Jiu’s eyebrows twitched as she mumbled, “This fella was quite well-prepared. It looks like he was really determined to find that herb. What herb is he looking for?”
Yuwen Ling’s rough voice sounded behind her. “Immortal Elder, why don’t you ask him?”
“There’s no need. He would become a good-for-nothing even after ascending to immortality if he knew that he’s training under the protection of an immortal.” Jiu Jiu stretched her body, then turned to face Yuwen Ling, who was standing behind her. “Let’s go. We’ll go and see how the royalty from your house is doing. Don’t say that this Aunt-Master is biased behind my back.”
Yuwen Ling immediately nodded in response, looking very eager. He played the role of a loyal guard perfectly.
However, when Jiu Jiu turned to fly away, Yuwen Ling retrieved a black beetle from his thigh and threw it into the gray cloud underneath him.
This move was very subtle, and it was only done when Jiu Jiu turned her immortal awareness to focus on the other four disciples. Even though Jiu Jiu’s cultivation level was far higher than Yuwen Ling’s, she did not notice that subtle movement.
After the two of them flew away, the beetle continued to fly with the gray cloud, following Li Changshou closely.
Li Changshou looked up into the sky. While he was speeding along, he noticed something out of the ordinary. It was almost like there were a pair of eyes in the sky, keeping watch on him.
However, on closer inspection, he could not find anything strange.
‘Aunt-Master? Perhaps not. The gaze feels malicious.’
Li Changshou lived according to the principle of being safe rather than sorry. He stopped and conjured a seal with both his hands. He muttered several words under his breath, and thin waves began to appear in the gray ground in front of him.
As he advanced forward, his body quickly got sucked into the ground. At once, he disappeared.
Li Changshou used one of the escape techniques of the Five Elements, Earth Escape.
A moment later, Li Changshou’s figure appeared among the bushes 25 kilometers ahead. Around him, there were countless poisonous insects and a few poisonous beasts running in all directions.
The feeling of being watched had indeed disappeared.
Li Changshou quickly found his bearings, lowered his head, and continued sprinting forward. At the same time, he retrieved two talismans from inside his sleeve, sticking one on each thigh. This helped him to speed up a fraction more.
Soul Movement Thousand-Mile Talisman—it was considered quite an average talisman, which could increase the speed of the user’s movement. It was normally only used by cultivators in the beginning phases of the Qi Refinement Realm.
Li Changshou had already guessed that since there were five of them on this journey, they would most likely meet extraordinary circumstances.
The Chaos Treasure Forest was extremely dangerous, but they were on the extreme outer regions of the North Continent. Cultivators in the Void Return Realm would easily be able to deal with the dangers as long as they were cautious. That meant the Chaos Treasure Forest’s dangers were not particularly applicable.
However, the external factors, namely Yuwen Ling, whom they had met halfway, Yuan Qing, who looked warm and kind all the time, as well as Youqin Xuanya, who looked cold on the outside, but was devoid of shrewdness on the inside, complicated the whole situation. Most importantly, Her Highness Youqin Xuanya was a royal princess from the secular world.
Li Changshou had his personal theory and firmly believed that there was some kind of story to be unraveled in there.
The person that had been planning all of these behind the scenes must have thought that there were no holes in his plan. However, the guard of royalty in the secular world had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, instead of going to the immortal sect directly to explain the situation and resolve the situation by stopping Youqin Xuanya from going out. This was not logical!
‘Forget it. This has nothing to do with me.’
As Li Changshou ran, he retrieved his simple map and studied it again. There was a hint of frustration in his eyes.
If he had a choice, Li Changshou would choose not to come to such a dangerous place. This went completely against his life principle, to stay on the mountain until he died of old age.
However, he had to do it for his Master.
“Keep purity a priority and remain unaffected by everything else. Then, it would be easy to avoid all types of evil!”
Li Changshou said to himself, perking himself up. Then, he continued to speed through the black forest filled with poisonous obstacles.
A moment later, he felt like he was being watched once again.
He frowned and cursed in his heart how troublesome this was. This time, Li Changshou did not expose more of his escape techniques. Instead, he checked the fighting equipment in his storage Dharma treasures. His spiritual awareness also began searching for a place to hide.
Although he was cautious, Li Changshou was not a coward. There was a difference between both of these things.
A long period followed. Li Changshou continued to have this feeling of being watched, but he did not find anyone hiding, nor did anyone try to assassinate him.
He remained on high alert for two whole days and nights, displaying his Earth Escape technique several more times. The feeling of being watched did not go away.
Li Changshou tried to analyze his current position. Of course, he was already deep inside the Chaos Treasure Forest. He must have already traveled outside of the limits of Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu’s immortal awareness.
He did not stop moving, but he did not feel exhausted. The tough training that he had been through for several years prior was proving to have outstanding effects.
All of a sudden, Li Changshou sensed murderous intent!
Li Changshou’s spiritual awareness did not detect any threat. It was obvious that the other party had the means to avoid his spiritual awareness.
He scanned the source of the murderous intent—on his left, in the darkness of the forest. Li Changshou continued to advance, but the tips of his left fingers were already moving subtly, creating thin ropes, which resembled spiderwebs, and spreading them out. His right hand began summoning a gentle breeze, undetected.
It was the best way of investigating—the Spiderweb of Strong-Pupil Three-Headed Spiders.
Shortly after, a blurry image appeared in Li Changshou’s heart.