Translator: Atlas Studios
Editor: Atlas Studios
“Yuan Qing, Xuanya, you are ranked second and sixth among this generation of disciples. Why do you want to collect herbs?
“Liu Yan’er from the Dou Lin Peak, and Wang Ji from the Little Ling Peak, you are also among the top 20 talents in this generation. Why are you all rushing to Chaos Treasure Forest? Are we so petty towards our younger disciples now?
“The North Continent is not a kind place. Nobody chose that place the past two times… Eh?”
In the corner of the Bai Fan Hall, a female immortal, who reeked of alcohol, tilted her head. She stared at Li Changshou, who was hiding behind the four outstanding disciples. Then, she looked down at the bamboo batten in her hands, before looking up again at Li Changshou. She did this two more times, her expression darkening.
“Little Qiong Peak’s Li Changshou.
“What is your cultivation level? You’ve just gotten to the Ninth Stage of Soul Formation. Why are you going to Chaos Treasure Forest?
“Go, go, go! Go to the East Ocean to fight the prawn demons!”
The female immortal was ruthless with her words, but her reaction was very reasonable. It was evident that she was concerned about Li Changshou’s safety.
The female immortal had two wine gourds hanging from her waist, one big and one small. She was dressed very simply, wearing long pants and a short-sleeve top. She had light-brown, medium-length hair. Among the 3,000 female cultivators that had silky, long hair, she was a rare breed.
In terms of image, she looked like the random disciples who were collapsing under long periods of stress and giving up on themselves.
It was a good thing that she had a cloth belt tied around her waist, a burlap, short-sleeve top that was falling apart, and a suppressive force being emitted from her body from time to time. All of these traits, combined together, allowed people around her to infer that she was a relatively powerful female immortal.
That person’s Dao name was Jiu Jiu. She had joined the Heaven-Breaking Peak and looked over 20 years old. In fact, she was about 800 to 900 years old, and she had become an immortal more than 600 years ago. The disciples in her generation were top-notch, too. They could fight on their own now.
She was the only guard from the sect who was heading towards Chaos Treasure Forest. One could tell that she was no ordinary woman.
Li Changshou maintained a somber expression as he cupped his hands and bowed at the reputable Immortal Jiu. He said, “Aunt-Master Jiu, this disciple needs to look for a few herbs. A certain herb can only be found in the North Continent. I will have to trouble Aunt-Master Jiu this time.”
“What herb?” The female immortal pursed her lips. There was a hint of contempt on that otherwise beautiful face.
“I am on good terms with your Master. I’ll give you this. Take it, and go to Elder Qi Ling in the Dao Sutra Pavilion.”
While she spoke, the female immortal pulled a jade piece out of her top, which was covered in wine. Then, she tossed it to Li Changshou.
“Tell him to charge it on my monthly account. Take whatever herb you need!
“Is North Continent a place that’s suitable for cultivators in the Ninth Stage of Soul Formation to go to?
“If you die there, they’ll deduct ten years’ worth of wine money from me. Your crybaby Master will surely come running to me, crying…
“Ahya, just thinking about it irritates me!”
The two men and women standing by the side looked surprised as their gazes landed on the jade piece.
The elders in the sect had jade pieces that certified their identity. Why was she casually handing this over to a disciple in the Ninth Stage of Soul Formation, who was not even from the same peak as she was?
“Aunt-Master.” Li Changshou smiled bitterly, holding the jade piece up and taking two steps forward. He handed the jade piece back to the female immortal and said, “If I had a choice, I would not want to take the risk at the North Continent, either. However, I am helpless now.
“According to the sect’s rules, Aunt-Masters cannot reject the requests of disciples to go out and train. Please grant my request, Aunt-Master.”
Jiu Jiu frowned slightly and focused her attention on the junior bowing in front of her. She tutted and snatched the jade piece back.
“Really! That whoever… Yuan Qing, Xuanya.”
The lady dressed in the fiery-red skirt and the gentle, cultured young cultivator cupped their hands at the same time.
“I am here!”
Jiu Jiu snapped impatiently. “Both of you take care of him if you have the means to do so.”
Youqin Xuanya answered emotionlessly, “Your disciple receives your orders.”
Yuan Qing glanced at Li Changshou with a hint of warmth in his eyes. “Aunt-Master, rest assured.” The corners of his mouth twisted up in a smile as he said kindly, “I will surely look out for Junior Brother Changshou.”
Jiu Jiu could not help but express her frustration. She turned to Li Changshou and ridiculed him. “He joined the sect even earlier than you and Xuanya.
“Really, Li Changshou, how do you do it? You’ve cultivated for more than 100 years, but you still haven’t reached the Void Return Realm… Forget it.
“Given the conditions at your Little Qiong Peak, it’s good enough that you can keep up with the majority of the disciples here.”
“Er…” Yuan Qing looked awkward, but quickly cupped his hands and bowed. “I apologize, Senior Brother Changshou. Please don’t take this to heart.”
Li Changshou smiled slightly and shook his head, emotions filling his heart.
A facially-paralyzed woman and a big, warm man—they were very compatible…
However, this had nothing to do with him.
Li Changshou felt two more glares boring into his back, but he did not bother verifying this. Instead, he thanked Jiu Jiu, and cupped his hands and bowed to Xuanya and Yuan Qing. Then, he retreated behind the four disciples quietly.
The two glares were from the remaining two disciples.
Liu Yan’er was dressed in a light-yellow silk dress, and Wang Ji was dressed in a green Dao robe. They were both considered expert disciples in the Void Return Realm in this generation. They were both good immortal seedlings.
Their glares contained no good intentions, but there were no ill-intentions either. At the very most, there was contempt.
Li Changshou stood in his place quietly, listening to the sound of people flying through the air non-stop. Batch by batch, the disciples were being led through the sky by their immortal guards.
He released a wisp of spiritual awareness to inspect his storage Dharma artifacts.
This was not because he was particularly organized and needed to keep his herbs, Dharma artifacts, and the like separately—the items he stored in these storage Dharma artifacts were all exactly the same. There were pills, Dharma artifacts, spirit stones, and the like, split equally into three groups.
The wristband he wore on his left hand was his main storage Dharma artifact. As a precaution, the pendant around his neck acted as a backup storage Dharma artifact. The cloth bag he tied around his thigh was his backup, backup storage Dharma artifact.
There was nothing wrong with being extra prepared when one was going out to train. This was especially true when one was going to a dangerous place like the North Continent.
This time, Li Changshou brought more than half of all his assets with him.
He had given the remainder to his Junior Sister for her own protection.
About half a day later, a huge gourd slowly ascended into the sky in front of the hall.
Immortal Jiu Jiu hugged her arms and stood at the mouth of the gourd—her mannerisms looking very extraordinary. The few young disciples stood quietly at various parts of the gourd. All of them were very stable.
When the gourd left the big array formation, Immortal Jiu Jiu produced a seal with both her hands. The wine gourd emitted wisps of green light, which formed a layer outside the gourd, separating it from the surrounding wind.
Then, Immortal Jiu Jiu pointed towards the north-west direction and slowly sped up.
“Everyone, relax. Don’t be nervous. We won’t be under as many rules once we leave the sect.”
Jiu Jiu yawned and then minded her own business as she sat down at the mouth of the gourd. She rested each of her two legs on either side of the mouth and then leaned back without regard for her image. Casually, she picked up one of the wine gourds hanging around her waist, and a satisfied grin spread across her face.
She slowly drank a mouthful of wine, causing her face to flush red gradually. Her sighs and groans were carried away by the wind, and her entire body exuded a sense of self-satisfaction and comfort. Then, she turned around and sized up the five young disciples behind her.
The one furthest from her was Li Changshou, who was seated at the back of the gourd.
Li Changshou was a distance from the rest of the disciples. He remained tense and did not bother cultivating as the rest were doing. Between his left fingers, he pressed two yellow paper talismans.
Liu Yan’er and Wang Ji were seated in the center of the gourd, meditating quietly.
The nearest to Jiu Jiu was Youqin Xuanya. She was seated just a foot behind Jiu Jiu. Her sword was lying horizontally in front of her.
Behind Youqin Xuanya was the charming and graceful Yuan Qing. He said in a warm tone, “Junior Sister, I will help you find the Fire-Loathing Enlightenment Herb this time.”
Yet, Youqin Xuanyan frowned slightly and replied nonchalantly, “Senior Brother Yuan Qing, you don’t have to worry about me. This concerns my own cultivation. I don’t need outsiders to interfere.”
Yuan Qing smiled warmly. “Having an additional person searching would increase our chances of finding it.”
Youqin Xuanya did not say anything in reply. She closed her eyes and remained seated, wisps of flame-like aura encircling her. She looked incomparably beautiful.
“Pfft.” Jiu Jiu was amused as she watched by the side. She raised her eyebrow at Yuan Qing.
Yuan Qing made a helpless expression, and then remained seated three feet away from Youqin Xuanya. His smile slowly dissipated.
‘Pui, it’s another good show of unrequited love.’
Jiu Jiu drank another mouthful of immortal wine, which tasted extremely good and left infinite joy in the aftertaste. Then, reluctantly, she hung the wine gourd back around her waist.
She leaned back against the side of the wine gourd, and then looked up to survey the white clouds underneath the blue sky. She seemed to be somewhere else.
After flying in this manner for some time, Jiu Jiu could not help but reach for the wine gourd around her waist again. However, she hesitated for a while and then stopped. Then, she said, “We need two days and three nights to get to the North Continent. Are you planning to sit there and meditate the entire time?
“Wang Ji, sing a song for Aunt-Master.”
“Aunt-Master Jiu…” Wang Ji spoke up. “Since when did I know how to sing?”
Jiu Jiu cast him a contemptuous look. “Which one of you can? Changshou, can you?”
Li Changshou shook his head, maintaining a somber expression. Using his voice transmission technique, he reminded Jiu Jiu, “Aunt-Master, there seems to be someone among the clouds behind us.”
Jiu Jiu looked up and silently replied Li Changshou via voice transmission as well. “In the vastness of the five continents, there are many cultivators who know how to fly. Don’t make a big deal out of nothing. We are not far from the Immortal Du Sect.”
Although she said this, Jiu Jiu released her immortal senses to check. A while later, the wine gourd slowed down at an even pace.
A moment later, the wine gourd came to a complete halt in the sky. Jiu Jiu sat down in a relaxed manner, and then shouted, “I wonder what this Dao friend is seeking, following us for such a long time?”
The four other people seated in the wine gourd opened their eyes. They turned to glance at Li Changshou behind them, who had his right hand in his sleeve. His fingers maintained a hard grip around his storage Dharma artifact.
From among the clouds behind them, a burly figure emerged. This man was dressed in chain mail, and his expression looked crazed—dense, thick aura formed around him. A huge, broad axe was attached to his back.
Li Changshou studied him more closely. This person had only ascended to immortality a short while ago. He did not feel much suppressive force from him.
A thousand feet from them, the burly man cupped his fists toward Jiu Jiu. Then, he shouted, “I am a front guard from the East Continent’s Hong Lin Country. I have come specially to protect Her Highness, the Sixth Princess. If I have offended you, please forgive me!”
Jiu Jiu tilted her head and then studied the two female disciples behind her.
Li Changshou’s gaze automatically landed on the slightly round-faced and fiery Liu Yan’er. However, Liu Yan’er was looking at the other young female disciple.
They heard Youqin Xuanya say in an extremely icy tone, “Go back. Don’t worry about me.”
‘Princess? Front guard?’
‘He only appeared when they began their journey to the North Continent?’
Li Changshou scrunched up his nose slightly. He smelled… an inevitable trap.