Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Assassin Turtledove’s aura is gone. That Immortal Du Sect disciple in the Ninth Stage of Soul Formation has disappeared as well. This is very strange.”
Deep in the dense forest, in a mysterious valley, several black figures were hidden in the shrubbery. They seemed to be discussing something via voice transmission.
One of them scolded, “There’s an 80% chance that he took the money, killed the person, and then ran away! Hmph! People like that cannot be trusted. We have to nurture our own subordinates. They will be more reliable!”
“Is the Dragon-Trapping Array ready?”
“It has been set up. We can trap the Immortal Du Sect’s Perfected Immortal.”
“Very good. Although there have been unexpected changes in the situation, it should not be too big of a problem,” the man in charge said in a low voice. “Send a message to Fourth Young Master later. Arrange for a wave of people to attack him on purpose. That will lure the Immortal Du Sect’s Perfected Immortal over.”
“We will personally capture those two disciples and bring them to the trapping array. Then, we will trap the Perfected Immortal. This matter concerns the restoration of our country, and the Sixth Princess is our best bet. We have to control her. At the same time, Fourth Young Master will get what he desires.”
The black figures chuckled. The man in charge clenched his fist, and then everyone left one by one, very quickly.
Half a day later, a few men in black clothes suddenly attacked Yuan Qing and Youqin Xuanya. Yuan Qing immediately crushed his communication talisman.
Jiu Jiu, who was sitting cross-legged above Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er, immediately jumped. She turned around and charged towards the south-east. Yuwen Ling gave all that he could in order to keep up with Jiu Jiu.
The moment Jiu Jiu flew away, more than ten types of aurae appeared below. There were two cultivators in the Dao Requital Realm among them, who knocked Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er unconscious and took them away at once.
An hour later, Jiu Jiu flew back quickly, leaving Yuwen Ling hovering over Yuan Qing and Youqin Xuanya to keep watch.
At that moment, Jiu Jiu smelled something out of the ordinary. However, she was traveling too fast. By the time she found Liu Yan’er and Wang Ji, she already found herself deep in a certain array. There were white clouds all around her, and even as far as her immortal awareness could reach, she could only see a patch of white.
She took Wang Ji and Liu Yan’er in her arms and then flew around the trapping array. Jiu Jiu was no expert in array formations, to begin with, and soon, she found herself right where she started.
‘At least, I left the hunky general to watch over Yuan Qing and Xuanya.’
Jiu Jiu heaved a sigh of relief. She wanted to quieten her heart down to look for a way to break out of the array formation. However, once again, she recalled the warning Li Changshou had given her before entering the Chaos Treasure Forest.
“Aunt-Master Jiu, this person has come for unknown reasons and is slightly suspicious. Don’t trust him easily.”
‘Could this Yuwen Ling be—’
At that moment, beads of cold sweat appeared on Jiu Jiu’s forehead.
It was all linked in a chain—it looked like she had fallen into their trap right from the beginning!
‘What has happened to Li Changshou? His cultivation level is low. Could he have been killed? There’s an 80% chance that these people are after Xuanya and Yuan Qing. I should have realized this sooner!’
Jiu Jiu could not help but shout curses. “You lousy baddies! If you have what it takes, come and fight 300 rounds with me! How can you still call yourselves cultivators after using these wretched tricks?!”
Yet, there were nothing but poisonous insects and a few similarly-lost poisonous beasts in the array. There was no response.
Jiu Jiu tossed the two unconscious people onto the ground, and then paced back and forth. The threads in her already tattered short-sleeve top tightened. It threatened to snap at any time under the immense pressure.
“These array formations and whatnot frustrate me to death!”
‘Immortal-Emancipating Herb, this is really hard to find.”
On the twelfth day in the North Continent, Li Changshou emerged from the Chaos Treasure Forest. Then, he headed 800 kilometers towards the north-west. Finally, he arrived at the marked-out region on his map ‘on time’.
This region measured about 150 kilometers in radius. The terrain was extremely complicated as there were hills, swamps, mountain ranges, and the like. As Li Changshou traveled deeper into the North Continent, the poisonous beasts and insects became even more ferocious.
Li Changshou remained extremely cautious throughout. Very carefully, he searched for the ‘poisonous herb’ that he wanted. After searching for six days consecutively, he found all sorts of poisonous herbs and spirit herbs. Yet, he found no trace of the one he had taken the risk of coming to the North Continent for in the first place.
At noon, it started raining, and each raindrop falling from the sky was extremely poisonous.
Li Changshou did not dare to stay out and wander around. Thus, he found a precipice and dug a hole in it, hiding inside. He released his spiritual awareness to inspect his surroundings. Li Changshou was going to wait for the rain to stop before he continued his search for the herb.
In these six days, he had searched almost every area in the region. Unfortunately, he had found no trace of the Immortal-Emancipating Herb.
‘Immortal-Emancipating Herb, Immortal-Emancipating Herb, why are you playing hide-and-seek with me? Why not come out and meet me?’
Li Changshou yawned and sat cross-legged in his cave. Then, he began to adjust his body back to his peak state.
He had learned from an ancient text that this region was where the Immortal-Emancipating Herb grew.
Coming here would be the lowest price he had to pay for finding this herb. If he did not succeed, Li Changshou decided that he would go back to the town on his way back to try his luck.
So what if he had to spend the spirit stones and treasures that he had spent years cheating… ahem, working and saving up? It would all be worth it if he could obtain an Immortal-Emancipating Herb.
Well, if even that didn’t work, Li Changshou would have no other way. He could only start planning again when he returned to the mountain.
The rain started all of a sudden, and it showed no signs of stopping any time soon.
It was rare for Li Changshou to get some rest. He slowly relaxed his mind. Although he had the Saliva of Red Yang Poisonous Dragon, and he could prevent poisonous beasts and insects from coming close, he was in a dangerous place after all. It was difficult for him to tell himself to relax.
‘Aunt-Master Jiu should be fine, right?’
Li Changshou thought about the cultivator he killed nine days ago. He took out the Soul-Conserving Pearl, intending to look at the snapshots of memories within. However, the remnant soul inside it was gone.
‘Forget it. This has nothing to do with me, anyway.’
That fellow had a well-thought-out plan. He also had the insider-help of the warm Yuan Qing. Given Aunt-Master Jiu’s intelligence, she probably would easily walk into the trapping array.
Aunt-Master Jiu had a high cultivation level and an adorable personality, but sometimes she was too rash. Once the alcohol went to her head, she would not be careful.
Youqin Xuanya was more pitiful. She had cultivated for so long within the immortal sect, yet she still could not avoid the political fights in the world. Her childhood friend, who had always been by her side, was also harboring unfathomable motives.
Li Changshou never saw himself as a hero, and he would never try to save the princess. He had no intention of changing his own fate. In his eyes, Youqin Xuanya was only well-packaged trouble. He would avoid this karma and being implicated as much as possible.
The sounds of thunder reverberated in the sky.
Li Changshou began to inspect his various resources. He had enough pills and talismans, and the Saliva of Red Yang Poisonous Dragon could last him nine more days. That would be enough for him to leave this area after he completed his search. If he could move faster after the rain and complete his search of this area sooner, he would be able to head north or west to continue searching.
‘Immortal-Emancipating Herb, Immortal-Emancipating Herb, I am getting very irritated.’
The precipice suddenly shook.
The way it shook startled Li Changshou. Thus, he quickly used his spiritual senses to survey the surroundings and detected a strange occurrence in the clouds above him. The clouds had formed a whirlpool, and lightning was flashing within. It looked like something was trying to ‘squeeze’ out.
Li Changshou squeezed his fingers together to analyze the situation, and found that huge changes were occurring in Heaven and Earth!
Li Changshou produced a cover with his Dharmic powers and burst out of the cave. He quickly landed on the ground, prepared to employ the Dragon Swimming Across Clouds footwork.
Yet, the moment he landed, Li Changshou heard another a booming sound from above. A fiery-red figure charged out of the whirlpool. At the speed of lightning, the figure dropped onto the ground.
The figure landed just thirty feet in front of Li Changshou and was covered in mud.
Li Changshou quickly retreated, the three paper dolls already in his palm!
However, when Li Changshou saw the figure wrapped in a layer of light-red light, he frowned.
Was Heaven upset that his search for herbs was going too smoothly? Was that why Heaven was making things more difficult for him?
Or had he offended some kind of demon, which controlled his fate so that he could not avoid this disaster?
The figure dressed in the fiery-red skirt and lying in front of him was no outsider—it was Youqin Xuanya!
Youqin Xuanya was seriously injured. There was an open wound on her left shoulder, so deep that Li Changshou could see her bone. Fresh blood mixed with the poisonous rain and flowed down her jade-like arm. Her right hand clutched her big sword tightly—she seemed to have lost her sword sheath. Her sword was covered in scratches that resembled spider webs.
There were at least ten wounds on her body, and yet she was not in critical danger.
Just as Li Changshou recognized her, Youqin Xuanya saw a figure in front of her in the rain. She bowed her head and spat out a mouthful of blood. Her eyes were filled with determination as she used her sword to get onto her feet. It was then that she realized the figure in front of her looked familiar.
Li Changshou frowned. Just then, he used his spiritual senses to survey the surroundings. No attackers were pursuing her.
He recalled what happened earlier. It seemed like Youqin Xuanya had activated some kind of treasure to escape—she must have used a cosmic technique to get there.
The most frustrating thing was she appeared there, out of all places.
Li Changshou had come face to face with his fellow sect member, yet he did not try to rescue her. If Youqin Xuanya survived and returned to complain to the sect’s elders about him, he would be in deep trouble. Yet, Li Changshou did not want to be implicated in this conflict. This matter had nothing to do with him in the first place.
Although he would be in deep trouble if Youqin Xuanya told on him, the most he would suffer would be a deduction in monthly allowance.
Li Changshou mumbled to himself and turned around calmly, “Ah, the rain is so heavy. My vision is impaired. I can’t see anything.” He faced the cliff wall behind him and lifted up his hands, ready to employ the Earth Escape.
If he stayed there any longer, he would be a fool!
“Senior… Senior Brother Changshou?”
Youqin Xuanya looked at Li Changshou’s back through the rain, astonished. She bowed her head and coughed out another mouthful of blood. Then, she said anxiously, “Quickly, run, don’t care about me! Your cultivation level is too low. There are… many of them—”
Before she could finish her sentence, Youqin Xuanya’s eyelids weighed down. Her aura was in a complete mess, and her wounds were grievous. She and her sword fell back into the mud at the same time.
A flash of lightning appeared In the dark clouds, and the rain became even heavier.
‘Forget it. On account of your good conscience, I will use Earth Escape to help you halfway. After that, I really cannot help you. I can only let Heaven decide your fate.’