Refining the World(祭炼山河)

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  • For the next few days I will be unable to post. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • edited June 2019
    Good news, everyone!
    Starting today I will release 5 chapters per week. Managed to make a breakthrough in my editing and translating skill.
    Coincidentally, the story also starts picking up from around here. I hope you'll enjoy it and I look forward to your comments. :D
     
    But first, the chapters of last week.

  • Chapter 54: The black dagger

    Before him there is only darkness, feeling it tearing at his body. The same feeling Qin Yu had when training in the Demon Body. Only this time is somewhat different. You Ji’s body was tense, holding strongly on to Qin Yu’s hand. He can hear how labored her breathing is becoming.

    Qin Yu hesitated slightly, then reached out and embraced her, feeling her warmth and fragrance.

    You Ji’s body froze, then gradually softened.

    The process seems to last longer then he imagined. Just as Qin Yu was doubting whether or not they will forever be trapped in this darkness, the tearing force abruptly vanished.

    He loosened his arms and stepped back. You Ji stood straight and looked around, her ears turning faintly pink.

    Qin Yu breaks the silence, “In what direction do we go?” Their current position is in an immense stone cave. The walls are covered in caverns, winding and complicated, leading to an unknown location. 

    You Ji relaxed a breath, then takes out the compass, studies it carefully, and then put it back, “Follow me.” She stopped her pace, reminding him, “Always wear the Guarding Badge.” Then she rushed forward.

    Qin Yu smiled, catching up to her.

    Entering a cavern, the light suddenly dims, and even though it isn’t narrow, it still gave a suffocating feeling. In this cold silence, besides the black stones, there is nothing to look at. But watching You Ji carefully treading forward, Qin Yu was inwardly taking precautions, not daring to be even a bit careless.

    With no prior indication, following a woeful howl, on the left side in front a big rock suddenly protrudes. The black seal outlines a wizened figure, that made a sudden grabbing motion at You Ji.

    Her body leaned, and despite straightening very quickly, she doesn’t reveal a hint of fear on her charming face when looking coldly at the stone. But from the slight paleness and the drops of sweat on her nose, exposing her true thoughts.

    Truth be told, Qin Yu was also startled. For her to be able to adjust herself in such a short time isn’t easy. As expected, her flirtatious and delicate manner was all a lie. At heart, she is stubborn and hardened. Even scared she remains the same.

    After more walking, Qin Yu suddenly said, “Let’s rest.”

    You Ji stopped, and replied without turning, “You’re seriously annoying!” She carefully considered, then turned and sat down without asking. 

    Qin Yu tactfully withdrew a distance, and close his eyes to recover.

    You Ji bit her lip, reached with her hand to massage her ankle, then her eyes swept at Qin Yu, softening somewhat.

    Of course, this is something she will never let Qin Yu see.

    Moments later, You Ji rose, “Let’s go!”

    Qin Yu opened his eyes, smiling.

    The two people continue penetrating deeper. The cavern expands outwards as a rotten and decrepit skeleton appears in sight. You Ji’s face changed, muttered a bit, then said, “Be careful.”

    Qin Yu slowly nodded.

    After walking some more, they found a place where the seal was interrupted, revealing a big hole.

    You Ji stepped forward to investigate, and sometime later, said, “The seal weakened, allowing him to escape. But was still hurt by its power, and died in the end.”

    Qin Yu looked, seeing nothing special about the dark green cave mouth. For You Ji to say that she must have a basis.

    They then arrived where the cavern splits in three and You Ji fishes out the compass. She fiddles with it for a long while and seems to have encountered a problem.

    “You try, it might react to your blood.”

    Qin Yu closed his eyes, emptying his mind, and then opens them after a few breaths, pointing, “The left.”

    You Ji looks at the compass, frowning with worry.

    “Anything amiss?”

    You Ji sighed, “It seems, it’s won’t be as easy as I wanted, to find it. Out of the three tunnels, the left one is the most dangerous.”

    Qin Yu frowns, “How dangerous?”

    “Very.”

    “… should we go?”

    You Ji’s pupils brighten, “Yes! This young miss isn’t afraid!” She breathed in deeply, “If you can’t hold it, you can feed the Guarding Badge with… Forget it, you’re not a demonic cultivator. Stick a bit closer.”

    This sticking closer a bit, allowed again and again for the delicate fragrance to assault his nose. Looking down, he can also see the fair and clean neck of the young miss along with some fine and sparse hairs.

    You Ji threw a criticizing eye, implying that there is no need to stick so close.

    Qin Yu feints ignorance.

    Sealing Demonic Zone; although the road so far was peaceful, who knows when trouble shows up.

    Besides, it’s obvious there will be danger. He must be an idiot for not being careful and sticking closer!

    You Ji grinds her teeth in anger, but feeling the breath coming from behind her, she has to admit that her heart is a bit more relaxed.

    Forget it, this matter is more important. This young miss will endure!

    Going through the left tunnel, their expressions turn heavy. Not only is the way dark, and You Ji is forced to use the Light Pearl for illumination, what is more important is that the air is suffused with faint demonic energy.

    In a place like Sealed Demonic Zone, where monsters are sealed, there’s bound to be some demonic energy leaking out. But they encountered this only in this part of their journey… moreover, according to You Ji’s compass, this way is judged to be the most dangerous.

    Their pace slowed down drastically, with neither in the mood for talking, only hearing the sounds of their footsteps.

    Suddenly, You Ji’s body stiffened. Qin Yu doesn’t know what happened, but was preparing out of instinct.

    The faint demonic energy in the air began to boil, like a sea, and what’s astonishing is that it’s rate continually increases. What is clear, is the fact that traces of demonic energy constantly seep out of the walls around them, resounding like a mournful cry in their ears.

    This isn’t a real voice, but a mixture of countless demonic intents, in an attempt to assault their minds and take control of them.

    With a lovable shout, the Guarding Badge from You Ji’s hand shines faintly, enveloping herself and the close sticking Qin Yu, shielding them from the attack of the demonic intents.

    “Run!”

    Grabbing Qin Yu, she rushed forward. As if it realized the demonic intents had no effect, the demonic energy began condensing. Twisted shadows appear one by one, throwing themselves at them with eerie cries.

    You Ji’s eyes flashed, “Ignore them, they’re illusions.” Sure enough, the shadows ran through the two of them and scattered. 

    “Don’t run!”

    “Stay, join us!”

    “You can’t escape!”

    Whether high or low, whether pleading or heartbroken, they all resound inside the tunnels from people of all ages. Then, from the seals on the two walls, malevolent shapes of demonic energy protruded outwards, rushing to grab at the two people in the middle.

    You Ji quickly dodged. She seems to have been training in an exquisite footwork, as the frenzy attacks from the sides are unable to touch her. She warned, “Don’t resist, let me lead you, or once you touch the seal, we’ll both be sucked inside!”

    Qin Yu nods.

    But at that moment, his eyes shrank. He suddenly put his foot down and pulled You Ji close as they stopped.

    Caught off guard, she was almost grabbed by one of the figures rushing at her from the seal. In a sorry state, You Ji turned, intending to reproach him, as Qin Yu bent his arm and sent a fist forward.

    A loud sound echoed, colliding with a shadow running at them, destroying it and leaving behind a black dagger.

    You Ji paled. If Qin Yu hadn’t discovered it, the outcome would have been obvious. Her lips moved, wanting to say something, but was cut off by Qin Yu, “Run quickly!”

    Of course, while at it, he also picked the black dagger.

    Unable to capture the couple, the demonic figures silently retreated one by one back inside the walls.

    Very swiftly, the two people rushed out of the cave and arriving at another large underground area.

    You Ji released her hand and started to comb her messy hair, “This is a demonic treasure, it’s quality should be quite high. Being soaked in demonic energy all this time, allowed it to have a consciousness.”

    Qin Yu’s eyes brightened.

    Whether it’s a magical treasure or a demonic treasure, the ones that are able to gain consciousness, are known as spiritual treasures.

    “Don’t let your imagination run wild. This dagger, at best, is at the start of its awakening. It’s just a shadow of spiritual treasure, a long way to go before it can become a real one.”

    Qin Yu laughed, putting the dagger away, “Since I picked it, whatever happens in the future is all up to its luck.”

    The words are broad, candid and carefree, making You Ji’s pupil flash. To cover it up she turned, “Rest.”

    Qin Yu nods, “You rests, I’ll keep watch.”

    Up till now, everything was done by You Ji while he had it easy.

    You Ji didn’t hold back and sat down, then took out a pill, opening her mouth to swallow it. The pill was black, suffused with traces of violet, and releasing a subtle fragrance. Among the pills Qin Yu knows, none matched the one she took. ‘You Ji’s identity is so mysterious.’

    After a while, You Ji opens her eyes, now with two traces of violet inside, then disappeared with a flash yet still held a certain dignity.

    “Not bad.”

    Qin Yu turned, watching the cave, “Young miss You Ji, the demonic cultivators sealed in this place should be here for a long time. Why aren’t they dead yet?”

    You Ji shakes her head, “Most of them are already dead. But their resentment inside the seal hasn’t dissipated.” She seems to be in a talkative mood, “From its reaction, where should we go?” 

    The underground area is very big, unable to see its limit, while vision is also affected by the darkness.

    Qin Yu closed his eyes and opened them after a few breaths, expression grave, “It seems we have arrived.”

    He then lifted his hand, pointing in front.

    You Ji was delighted.

    Walking along the uneven terrain, they soon see a jade slip emitting a feeble bloody light, suspended on a big stone protruding from the ground.

    The two of them were in no rush to advance. Carefully inspecting the surroundings, and after not finding anything amiss, You Ji’s eyes showed excitement, unable to hold herself back.

    Qin Yu retreated several zhang.

    You Ji grinned, ‘This guy is quite tactful.’ She stepped in front of the big stone and took the jade slip with her hand. She seemed to be checking for something, then put away the jade slip, with a growing smile on her face.

    It’s here!

    She takes out a storage bag, and with a flash of demonic energy, a jade bottled appears. It was translucent, allowing to see the contents, filled with a scarlet liquid. Opening it, a strong bloody smell spread in the area in an instant, with red mist rising from the mouth of the bottle. The mist, as if attracted, entered the stone. Very soon, all of the liquid evaporated, and the mist enveloped the big stone entirely. 

    The bloody mist gradually thins as it’s absorbed by the stone, now sporting the same color as the liquid. Its surface began to shift, as if alive, with lines appearing on it, twisting and intertwining as it moved, forming a strangely round seal.

    Qin Yu frowns, this item looks to be the emblem of a race.

    You Ji’s expression was grave. Her entire demonic energy suddenly boiled, letting out steam, and soaking her entire black dress, sticking it to her skin.

    Even at this crucial moment, Qin Yu still couldn’t restrain himself from having his eyes linger a few times. The back, waist, her protruding rear, are all incomparable.
  • Chapter 55: Qin Yunmo

    You Ji bit her lip, ‘Exploiting bastard. Just wait for me to finish here, and see if I don’t gouge your sneaky eyes out!’ She took a deep breath to calm her nerves, then lifted a finger with a drop of violet blood seeping from its tip.

    You Ji was suddenly pale, while her eyes are increasingly brighter. With a flick of her finger, the violet drop of blood landed in the center of the seal. As if activated, the seal’s lines ignite into a black flame, fusing together with the blood, and revealing a devil face with eyes and mouth.

    It opened its mouth, completely dark, leading to an unknown place.

    Without hesitation, You Ji put her hand inside its mouth. It then closed it tightly, letting out sounds that indicated it’s swallowing.

    Qin Yu's brows creased and put himself in the best position to act. Despite You Ji’s expression being very calm, faced with this strange scene, he can’t help getting prepared.

    If before, You Ji’s face was only pale, then now, she was like a sheet of paper. Fine bluish veins can be clearly seen with the naked eye, like a tattoo of a piece of white and blue ceramic, giving her a different kind of charm. But accompanying it, is something extremely disturbing, something that makes one's heart grow colder.

    You Ji is on the verge of collapse, close to her limit.

    Qin Yu stepped forward.

    You Ji gave a frail shout, “Don’t come!”

    This woman is indeed stubborn. 

    Qin Yu frowns, not approaching any more, but he already decided. If she is close to death, then he will immediately act. For him to know where the demon blood is, You Ji must survive. Of course, besides this, there is another reason, like the favor of saving her life. Despite almost killing him a few years back.

    Before the opportunity to play the hero saving the beauty came, the devil face relaxed its mouth and let out a satisfied sigh.

    You Ji pulled her arm, and on her almost translucent skin, three scarlet dots are the most striking.

    The devil face disappears, and the black flame increased sharply. The entire stone melted and fused with the ground, then molded itself into a black metal door.

    So, the place she wanted to go wasn’t at the wall, but beneath her feet!

    The black metal door slowly opened.

    Suddenly, a black tentacle appeared, wiping at You Ji. Rich demonic light breaks out to protect her, but even so, she was still thrown by the hit, then smashed into the stone wall with a bang. Rocks flew as the demonic light collapses, and she coughed a mouthful of blood.

    Before she fell down, an invisible force restrains her in midair.

    “So this is how the Seal’s Eye is opened.”

    A sigh was heard, as a figure appeared outside the metal door. He held his hands behind him while facing away from them, yet the horrifying aura he released was like a mountain, suffocating.

    Black energy rushed from the metal door, forming into shackles darting at him. He disappeared in a flash, then appeared not far away. His appearance is young and fearful, expression gentle and amiable. Not at all like the sealed monsters, and more like a teacher.

    “Little miss, let's talk. You remove the seal and I will let you guys go. What do you say?”

    You Ji cried in alarm, “Qin Yunmo!”

    He was amazed, “You recognize me?”

    You Ji was filled with reverence, “The genius eight hundred years ago. Even though the time passed, it still couldn’t diminish a bit of your radiance. Junior naturally recognizes you.”

    Qin Yunmo laughed, “What a silver-tongued lass. Since you know my identity, then you must also know I am true to my word.”

    You Ji smiled dejectedly, “With senior’s status, could it be you don’t know the particularity of the Seal’s Eye? If the opening is interrupted, it cannot be continued by the same person.”

    Qin Yunmo’s face darkened.

    “Senior…”

    “Since you can’t open the seal, what's the use of you two?”

    “Please listen to me senior. The Sealed Demonic Zone is already abandoned. I reckon that we are the only people who know of the location and entrance to this place. If you kill us, then I'm afraid you will be trapped here forever.”

    “Lass, what are you saying?”

    You Ji cautiously replied, “Perhaps there is a way to help you, senior.”

    Qin Yunmo was unmoved, “Speak.”

    “Three demonic treasure act as the three Seal’s Eyes on which the foundation of the Sealed Demonic Zone rests. These are then connected through the tunnels, creating the seal. Junior can find the other two Seal’s Eyes, and as long as I can take out the other two demonic treasures, the seal will weaken enough for the senior to escape.” You Ji clenched her teeth, “If senior isn’t assured, you can leave your Demonic Brand in our bodies, thus controlling our fate. At which point we will do our all to save you.”

    Qin Yunmo indifferently said, “I admit you convinced me. But lass, you think I don’t know who you are? To you, the Demonic Brand is a mere joke.”

    You Ji’s body stiffened slightly, “Junior admires the cruelty in senior’s eyes. But you should understand, with junior’s cultivation, it will be a long time before I can awaken my bloodline power.”

    Qin Yunmo had icy eyes, “I am more aware that nothing is certain in this world. I won't risk it. You will stay here lass, and let this youngster break the Seal’s Eye. After my release, I will let you go.”

    You Ji smiled bitterly, “I will listen to senior without exception, but my companion doesn’t know how to open the Seal’s Eye.”

    Qin Yunmo was silent. After several breaths, he lifts his head, giving a strange smiling, “Lass, you're still naïve if you think you can toy with me. As merit for opening a Seal’s Eye, once this is done, I will give you some consideration!” 

    His body dispersed, and the cold demonic intent whistled as it moved.

    Qin Yu’s mind withdrew, as he stepped heavily, making an explosive retreat while throwing a booming fist. The fist struck the demonic intent and felt like it hit a ball of cotton filled with cold water. Qin Yunmo imposing tone echoed in his heart, “Youngster, accept your fate.” 

    Qin Yu’s body was suddenly rigid, as if he entered an ancient frozen cave, becoming paler from the bone piercing coldness. 

    What is more dreadful, is that the demonic intent is now entering his Dantian and into his Foundation!

    “Ahh!” Qin Yu roared, as he thrashed around on the floor.

    You Ji was pale, “Hold on Qin Yu. If you give up, we will all die!”

    Damn it, Qin Yunmo stalled for time to make preparations. He has a way to remove the Seal’s Eye in this place.

    We’ve been had!

    You Ji bit her lip, for a Nascent Soul’s Divine Sense to seize a Foundation Establishment cultivator, is as easy as flipping his hand… I’m afraid we won’t be able to escape today’s calamity, 

    In a time as short as a spark, a tender face emerges in her mind. Thinking of being exiled, then sent to come after the Sealed Demonic Zone’s jade slip… It was actually the killing with a borrowed dagger scheme.

    Truly a good sister!

    You Ji almost drew blood from biting her lip, feeling guilty as she watched Qin Yu’s struggle.

    Little man, sorry, we will die together.

    Qin Yu’s veins were throbbing, his inner organs twisting as he was sweating a river with even some traces of blood in it. In his Dantian, the Foundation became almost entirely black, with only its center releasing a bleak light, on the verge of being extinguished from the slightest wind.

    This light is Qin Yu’s consciousness. Once it disappears, his soul will soon follow, unable to enter reincarnation, never to be free again. As matters stand, in a few breaths, the seizing will be completed.

    Qin Yunmo laughed inside. As long as he controls a vessel, he can enter the Seal’s Eye and regain his freedom.

    Everything is staked on this attack.

    Based on his demonic intent, and since he was restrained by the seal, he can only use ten to twenty percent. But to seize a Foundation Establishment junior, will still be effortless.

    Qin Yunmo was brimming with confidence, but as time passes, he begins to frown, ‘This youngster has a very strong will!’

    Seizing implies destroying his soul. The degree of pain accompanying it exceeding the corporeal pain by a hundred times, yet he still hasn’t given up.

    Hmph!

    What’s the use?

    Before absolute power, all is futile!

    Inside the Dantian a heaven shaking boom echoed. The black demonic intent charged frenziedly like a tide at the final glimmer of light.

    It gradually darkens, gradually fainter, reaching the point of collapse.

    “You're finished!” Qin Yunmo was incensed. Dealing with a measly Foundation Establishment actually took such a long time. His face is devoid of light.

    On the Foundation, along with the black tide’s bombardment, the light in the center came to a standstill, as fine cracks appear, to the point of shattering.

    But suddenly, the cracks vanish, and its light abruptly shines stronger, as if a sun was piercing the dark sky.

    It became even more piercing, pure and bright!

    Seeing Qin Yu’s constant twitching, his black robe soaked with blood, You Ji’s face experienced minute changes. Her admiration couldn’t help but contain a trace of expectation.

    Maybe, he can hold on?

    Just as this thought arose, Qin Yu suddenly halted his roars. His aura changes, and although weak, it couldn’t hide from You Ji’s perception. She sighed inside, feeling somewhat helpless, ‘In front of a Nascent Soul, a Foundation Establishment has indeed no way of escaping.’ She actually had such hope. How laughable! 

    Qin Yu opens his eyes as if there were two flames in their depths, they shined like stars. Quite striking in this underground darkness.

    At this, You Ji’s own eyes became big, feeling incredulous, ‘This feeling… how is it possible!’

    The ice-cold demonic intent retreated, and gathered in the air, taking the shape of Qin Yunmo, with a darkened expression. Success was in sight, but in the final moment, this youngster spiritual sense suddenly transformed, refined. Although it’s just at the Golden Core, it was enough to resist his assault.

    Qin Yu cupped his hand, “Greeting senior Qin Yunmo.”

    Qin Yunmo laughed coldly, “Youngster, you think I can’t kill you since you resisted my demonic intent?”

    “Junior doesn’t dare.”

    “Hmph!” The darkness inside Qin Yunmo’s eyes subsides, “Youngster, I will teach you how to break the Seal’s Eyes. As long as you accomplish this, I promise to let you go.”

    Qin Yu shakes his head, “Junior doesn’t trust you.”

    Qin Yunmo’s veins throbbed, almost leaking blood, ‘What a good little bastard. This is the same as saying I will go back on my word!’ But his previous action is still vivid in his mind. Even if he were to be seen beating someone up, no one would dare retort. His gloominess persisted for a long time, then he swallowed his anger, “Then how should we do it, youngster?” 

    “Very simple. As young miss You Ji previously said, we will break the other Seal’s Eyes, helping senior escape.”

    Qin Yunmo sneered, “Youngster, you take me for a fool? If you want to break them, you will go alone. The lass will stay with me and chat.”

    “Fine!” Qin Yu agreed, “Please let go of young miss You Ji, senior. So that she can teach me how to break the Seal’s Eyes.”

    Qin Yunmo hesitated a moment, then undid her confinement. With his cultivation, why would he be scared of the struggle made by two little things?

    Qin Yu takes out a jade slip from his storage bag, “Young miss You Ji, please imprint it with the method of breaking the Seal’s Eyes.”

    You Ji clenched her teeth, ‘This bastard happily agreed. When he leaves, he will definitely take off!’ She thought if she should tell Qin Yunmo, that Qin Yu won't learn how to break them. But this will only drag him down with her. ‘Neve rmind, he already suffered today, staying alive is all up to oneself. As this lady is facing death, I will show kindness!’ 

    Her charming face was frosty as she put the jade slip to her forehead. A few breaths later she threw it at Qin Yu, her cold expression didn’t linger for a moment longer.

    Undependable coward, seeing you will dirty my eyes!

    Qin Yu's sense explored the jade slip, with only one word inside: Despicable!!

    The thick resentment hits him straight on.

    His mouth twitched. Qin Yu then sighed and reached for her, embracing her to his chest, “Relax, I will take you with me.”

    You Ji’s body stiffened and almost smiled wryly from anger, ‘This bastard still wants to take advantage of me. Who are you tring to deceive with that warm tone? Hey, enough, you think I won't fight back, holding me so close? I will take you down with me!’

    Seeing them inseparable, Qin Yunmo’s mind calmed somewhat. As his eyes landed on You Ji’s body, he hid his smirk as soon as it appeared. ‘What a beautiful lass. If I can get out of this seal, maybe I can let her live as my concubine. This type of girl is said to be wonderful beyond words!’

    Qin Yu’s embrace had no other meaning. He peaked at Qin Yunmo with the corner of his eye, sensing his roaming eyes. He flipped his hand and put the jade slip in the storage bag. Then, with a wave of his sleeve, a bolt of violet lightning whistled as it was released!
  • Chapter 56: Demonic Slaughter

    The floor shook, as Qin Yu and You Ji bursts towards the way they came. The lightning exploded behind them, covering the entire scene in violet. Among the crackling sounds, Qin Yunmo’s roars of pain could be heard.

    “Youngster, I will definitely kill you!” his exploding rage echoed in the stone cave.

    Qin Yu was unaffected, as he used the Demon Body to its limit. He charged forward, with each step, making thumping sounds.

    You Ji was struck dumb, and only after a long time did she came out of her stupor. The way she is looking at Qin Yu now changed into sadness. To save her, he attacked Qin Yunmo when he had the chance to escape alone. She was about to say something, but terrifying waves of demonic energy came from behind forming a huge mouth intending to swallow them whole. 

    “Ahh!” You Ji unconsciously strengthen her grip. 

    Qin Yu once again released a bolt of violet lightning making the huge mouth of demonic energy collapse in miserable shrieks.

    As the danger passed, You Ji’s face reddened, only now finding that she is embracing his neck. She hurriedly relaxed her hand, as her mind was in a panic.

    The demonic energy once again exploded, this time condensing into a skeletal hand trying to grab them. Only to be shattered by another violet lightning.

    Qin Yunmo raved again and again, but his demonic intent didn’t dare approach. The lightning attack almost tore him to pieces, and if the next one doesn’t kill him, it will surely leave heavy wounds!

    The power of lightning has the ability to suppress demonic powers, and the one Qin Yu is using, had an even greater effect.

    Unable to block them, Qin Yunmo’s eyes erupted with greater cruelty. He half knelt with his hands on the floor pouring his demonic power into it.

    The entire cave started shaking, as minute cracks appeared on the seals in the walls.

    The ruthless demonic souls trapped inside came out and threw themselves at the two people.

    Qin Yu’s face changed, using the lightning surrounding him to make a soul withdraw in screams. Only for another one to take its place.

    The Sealed Demonic Zone is a mysterious and ancient location in this world. The sealed demonic cultivators inside are too many to count. Although the tunnel is in front of them, between them are more than a thousand demonic souls!

    The lightning’s power might be outstanding, but in this situation, extremely exhausting.

    Qin Yu said in a deep voice, “Find a way to go through, or we won’t be able to escape!”

    You Ji bit her lip, “Give me your Guarding Badge.”

    Qin Yu took it out without any hesitation.

    You Ji picked the two Guarding Badges, twisting her body so that she had her back against Qin Yu. As she was sticking closely, the touch made her face more delicate and lovely.

    The two badges were joined together, with the lines on them fitting perfectly, then pinched it!

    A bloody color exploded, enveloping everything. Two tall and strong figures appeared one in front and the other in the back. Their movement was slow and somewhat clumsy, yet each time it released a bloody light. Any demonic ghost that touched it was as if touching a red-hot poker, making them scream miserably while being corroded. 

    The way was soon cleared and the tunnel appeared before them.

    “Run! The Guarding Badge spirits are activated, protecting us for some time!” What she implied is that it won’t go on endlessly.

    Qin Yu wordlessly carried her in his arms, taking large steps as he ran.

    The two of them passed the demonic souls and into the tunnel, arriving at the three-way split area. But the scene before them made their expression heavy. The place is filled with demonic souls, blocking the way out, while the two Guardian Badge spirits began to turn translucent, unable to hold for much longer.

    Qin Yunmo’s roar came from all around them, “I want you to die without a burial!”

    The demonic souls went berserk as they charged at them.

    Qin Yu turned and rushed through the middle tunnel. It's not that he believes it's safe, just that it had the least demonic souls. You Ji takes out the compass, but the whole Sealed Demonic Zone is in chaos. The needle kept rotating endlessly, unable to show the way.

    With two howls, the Guarding Badge spirits dispersed. With their fears removed, the demonic souls once again went frenzy.

    With a sudden wind, the Demonic Vine came out of the demonic energy and grew on the ground, then turned its head, “Take young miss and leave!”

    Demonic energy surged as Demonic Vine grew unchecked, rooting itself to the walls and floor, becoming a thick and heavy barrier in a single breath.

    You Ji’s eyes turned red, yet only bit her lip silently.

    Qin Yu shouted lowly, “Take care!” then continued his escape.

    Behind, he could hear the Demonic Vine’s weird laughter accompanied by curses. 

    “You damned ghosts, want to move against my young miss? Keep dreaming!”

    “Ouch, biting really hurts. I’ll pull out your teeth and see how you’ll bite me then!”

    “Hey! Yes you, bastard. You actually dare to sneak attack me!”

    “Don’t be excited. With me here, no one shall pass.”

    The voice gradually weakens, and as the distance increases, it can no longer be heard. 

    Suddenly, an oppressing sound echoed from behind. You Ji’s body tensed, as tears fell.

    This is the first time Qin Yu saw her cry. He doesn’t say anything as this silent crying is incredibly heartbreaking.

    “Demonic Vine didn’t die in vain. We will get out.” Qin Yu said heavily.

    You Ji wipes her tears, “You run. No one will escape if you carry me.”

    Qin Yu smiled bitterly, “You think I haven’t considered? But I don’t know the way, and if I abandon you, where would I go?”

    You Ji’s mouth moved, yet remained silent in the end. She pasted herself to his chest, sighing as she hears his powerful heartbeat.

    Regretful and unwilling, yet also containing some contentment and affection.

    In this world, there is finally a man who is willing to live and die with me. As for Qin Yu’s nonsense talk, she doesn’t believe one bit. If he wanted to leave alone, he needn’t incur Qin Yunmo’s rage, so there was no need for him to be so noisy… Truly a stingy little man!

    Qin Yu stops, face incredibly grave.

    Dead end!

    You Ji smiles, “Now even if you want to run, you can’t.”

    Qin Yu frowns, “How come I hear some delight in your voice?”

    “That's right. As you said, I am really scared of the dark. And with you accompanying me in death, I feel a lot better.” You Ji smiled, “Don’t scowl, it's much better to die together, while many men who could save me would never be willing. Ah, I forgot. You still haven’t seen my face. Though sister is very beautiful!”

    Qin Yu lowered his head. Her face had a layer of mist that gradually dissipated, making his breath falter.

    Ning Ling’s beauty came from not having flaws anywhere on her body, forming a perfect image, as if a goddess was walking among them. Her noble and refined manners made it difficult for anyone to sully her.

    You Ji and Ning Ling are two extremes. Her face can charm anyone, each place giving an allure that made others’ hearts increase their pulse. Especially her eyes, limpid and captivating, as if your soul is about to be swallowed. And matching her provocative figure, one glance would be enough to make anyone want to jump her! 

    The sound of swallowing is incredibly pronounced in this silence.

    The two people were quiet.

    You Ji’s laughter broke the tranquility. She powerlessly stuck close to Qin Yu, constantly moving to pat him, immensely pleased.

    Qin Yu was embarrassed. It was an unconscious act, never imagining he couldn’t resist her lure.

    Such an enticing woman!

    He quickly shifted his gaze.

    You Ji’s laughter subsided, alluringly said, “If there was enough time, sister wouldn’t mind you taking advantage. It’s a pity it’s too late.”

    The crazy demonic souls’ shouts are drawing near.

    Qin Yu almost had his head damaged from the blood pressure. He took a deep breath, then smiled forlornly, “Don’t say that and quickly change back!”

    You Ji winked mischievously, “No way. Since I'm about to die, sister wants to die still beautiful.”

    Qin Yu’s eyes suddenly brighten, “Perhaps we will live?”

    You Ji grins, “One percent chance.”

    Qin Yu ripped his robe, tying You Ji’s body, thinking of the time several years ago when he stayed like this with a young miss in a cave. The situation then was equally deadly, while he survived and she died. His eyes darkened, then soon calmed down, saying in a low voice, “We will both survive.”

    Calm and resolute.

    You Ji felt a rush of excitement. Qin Yu, being calm, imposing, confident and determined, has an unexplainable charm.

    The first demonic soul entered their sight and roared as it threw itself forward.

    Qin Yu lifted his finger, and a Blade Edge flew, beheading the demonic soul.

    Yet the next moment, the second, then the third came until their vision was filled with them.

    As he battles, explosions sounded constantly!

    Each time Qin Yu acted, a demonic soul was crushed. Yet the demonic souls in the vicinity bit at him, making him attack unceasingly. 

    His body began to be covered in wounds, and despite his powerful Demon Body preventing from having deep wounds, the sheer amount of them became too much. The blood very soon starts dripping on the floor from his clothes.

    Sensing blood, the demonic souls increased their fervor, moving like flies around the two people in the center.

    The violet lightning erupted, spreading wantonly, and tore apart several dozen demonic souls!

    Heavenly Thunder Bamboo was put on the ground, with lightning flashing along its branches and leaves. It shined in the underground, revealing the blood-soaked Qin Yu, and the unharmed You Ji he carries.

    “Little man, don’t care about me.”

    Qin Yu untied the cloth, laying her on the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo, “I’m not giving up.” He then charged at the demonic soul as he takes out the Souls Seizing Flag.

    From the top of the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo, You Ji watches the blood-soaked Qin Yu fighting bravely. Even if he knows it will be almost impossible to escape death, the determination in his eyes never wavered.

    Fighting for one’s life on the brink of death!

    Her eyes were slightly dazed, murmuring, “Mom, perhaps I have found my fated person. The same as you and dad. But, the timing isn’t good.” She paused, then smiled, making her charm and allure completely disappear, “He hasn’t given up yet, so how could daughter wait for her death? Maybe I can help him live, and even if I die, he will forever remember me. It wouldn’t be so bad.”

    You Ji looked once more at Qin Yu, then closed her eyes.

    Violet patterns appear on her body, a stark contrast to her near translucent skin, bringing about an eerie beauty as if an exceptional scroll is slowly unfolded. 

    You Ji suddenly opens her eyes, her entire body alit with a demonic flame. Black and violet colors intertwined, as it released a heart-shaking aura. The demonic souls that were crazily besieging Qin Yu, are now desperately retreating.

    “Demonic Slaughter!”

    You Ji said coldly, as the flames flew, avoiding Qin Yu and Black Devil, sweeping away along the entire tunnel.

    In a hundred zhang, demonic souls were disappearing like mist.

    Once completed, You Ji smiled faintly at Qin Yu, then collapsed.

    Qin Yu caught her in his embrace, soaking her clothes in blood. Sensing her temperature slipping, her eyes showed only determination.

    Embracing You Ji, and putting away Black Devil, Qin Yu carries the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo. Before the demonic souls reached them once again, he rushed at the wall.

    The seal rippled, swallowing them both!
  • Chapter 57: Earth Demon’s blood essence

    The gentle rays of the Light Pearl shine upon the cave, revealing You Ji laying covered by the black robe. Her aura is extremely weak and her face has some traces of red.

    Not far from her, Qin Yu sat cross-legged. His wounds already formed a scab. Half of his face is covered in darkness, while the other is increasingly clearer.

    Heavenly Thunder Bamboo was placed at the entrance. Each time lightning flashed, a demonic soul is destroyed. Black Devil kept far away of the lightning’s range, absorbing the fragments of the crushed demonic souls. His body is becoming increasingly darker as if it is about to blend in with the darkness.

    Suddenly, a light sound was heard, incredibly weak and yet incredibly enticing.

    Qin Yu opened his eyes, quickly coming over.

    You Ji’s long eyelashes trembled and after a few breaths opened her eyes. Her pupils watch him as her mouth grinned, “I'm actually still alive.”

    Qin Yu relaxed a breath, stating, “Your luck is good.”

    You Ji’s mouth twitched, not exposing him. The restorative medicinal effect inside her is the biggest proof; along with saving her and the hundreds of years old spiritual plant. Her eyes flowed to her surroundings, “Where are we?” 

    Qin Yu sternly said, “I want to ask you. Do you know how to break the seal?”

    You Ji languid eyes froze, her mouth twitching, “Say that again.”

    Qin Yu smiled dejected, “Yes, we are inside the seal.”

    Heavenly Thunder Bamboo flashed and another demonic soul was shattered, while Black Devil’s carbon face showed a pleased smile. 

    You Ji was silent for a while, then faintly said, “Even if I knew, how would I get out? I am barely alive.” She suddenly had a serious look, “I also have a question.”

    “Speak.”

    “Who is more beautiful between me and Ning Ling?”

    Qin Yu’s face was covered in black lines, “Shouldn’t you be worried about more serious matters, like how to escape?”

    You Ji smiles, pleased, “At first I thought you wanted to die. But I’m still alive right now, and even gained something, so there’s no need to overthink it.”

    Qin Yu was silent, “is there really no way out?”

    You Ji rolled her eyes, “Qin Yunmo only managed to get his demonic intent out. And you think our own bodies can?”

    Simple explanation!

    Qin Yu smiled dejectedly, “Such a sad story.”

    You Ji gave a lovely smile, “At least its safe for now. With enough time, won't you do something unexpected?”

    Qin Yu restrains himself from swallowing, and walks away, “Get better!”

    You Ji covered her delicate laughter, feeling a bit more satisfied when seeing his back.

    Being enticed and yet restraining himself from taking advantage, this lady’s insight is good as expected.

    She then frowned, ‘Compared to that girl from the Ning clan, I seem to be a step ahead, maybe even further ahead.’  You Ji revealed a bit of pride on her face. Trapped in the Sealed Demonic Zone, a man and a woman living together; it will give her plenty of opportunities to get ahead.

    Demonic souls instinctively reject the seal, so even with the unknown method Qin Yunmo used, there will only be a single demonic soul charging in. And because of this, Heavenly Thunder Bamboo is capable of holding them back.

    Once night descended, he put it away in his storage bag, where the Little Blue Lamp is still capable of using its effect. The foot-wide blue sea can then help the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo quickly recover. It’s a pity that the storage bag’s space is limited, only enough to put the bamboo inside, while the two Thousand Gold Trees have to bitterly stay in another bag.

    After days of absorbing fragments, Black Devil’s power showed remarkable progress. Coinciding perfectly with the time needed for the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo to recover, it took its place.

    Seven days later, with the vitality of Demon Body and adequate pills as a supplement, Qin Yu made a complete recovery. Hereafter, his suffering began, in the form of You Ji’s endless harassment.

    “Little man, sister's chest feels stuffy. Can you check it?”

    “Little man, I am cold, hold me.”

    “Little man, sister rear is numb, give me a massage.”

    Every time, Qin Yu fled in defeat, only to hear the rampant laughter of an enchantress.

    Too much!

    This is bullying to the extreme!

    Qin Yu feels he can't take much more of this. How will he preserve his dignity as a man?

    You Ji seems to have sensed it, the danger floating in Qin Yu’s eyes. Despite taking liberties, he doesn’t stick too close to her. Seeing him hesitating, again and again, secretly gnashing his teeth, made her laughter even more rampant.

    Two days later, the demonic souls disappeared. Outside calm sets in, as if Qin Yunmo gave up on killing them. With Black Devil out of the way, You Ji’s somewhat settled heart once again became restless.

    Qin Yu finally reached his limit and exploded. He put his hand on the stone wall, forcing her into a corner, “Young miss You Ji, if you continue, you can't blame me for what will happen.”

    You Ji’s delicate face showed shyness, “Are you going to be a beast?”

    Qin Yu clenched his teeth, “This young master has already been less than a beast for more than a month!”

    You Ji laughed delicately with a coquettish look as if to convey ‘Come, come!’ Her eyes were half closed with a come-hither stare. 

    He was under suppression from the Sealed Demonic Zone and the enchantress’ countless provocations. And now seeing her delicate blushing face, while smelling a delicate fragrance, Qin Yu almost lost it.

    Yet right then, his movement froze.

    You Ji breathed, “Little man, you don’t dare?”

    Qin Yu took a step back, face entirely red, yet his eyes returning to calmness, “Maybe we can leave.”

    You Ji eyes widened.

    “Step back a bit.”

    Qin Yu knocked on her previous location, then punched.

    A stone flew!

    The Sealed Demonic Zone has a confining seal, that turns the walls incredibly tough. Unless the seal is broken, or if he can overcome its tolerance, he will never damage it.

    The seal is intact at the moment, yet this rock was taken out of it.

    Qin Yu eyes brightened, ‘Something’s definitely fishy!’

    Blow by blow, the body’s energy started to boil, as the power of the Demon Body reached its peak.

    After a large rock fell, a black green cave mouth appeared in front of his eyes.

    The two of them entered it.

    The cave is very huge. Its height and width of several meters, spreading before their eyes, with crudely cut marks everywhere. It was dry inside, and under the rays of the Light Pearl, a huge hoofprint appears before them, bigger than an adult.

    You Ji’s face changed, as if recognizing something, then frowned, “Be careful.”

    They walked deeper into the cave, without meeting any danger along the way. Just that the crude cutting marks are increasingly rough, with scales laying on the ground.

    Qin Yu squatted and touched one. It instantly turned to dust, “It must be more than a thousand years old.”

    You Ji muttered, “Never imagined that the Sealed Demonic Zone actually is sealing it. Let’s go faster, this place shouldn’t have any dangers.”

    With a flash of demonic energy, she flew forward.

    Qin Yu quickly followed her.

    The cave began to twist, as both sides are now showing signs of being struck. The scales scattered on the floor turn to dust from the wind they made when passing by. This exposed many spots of a dark color, that resembled traces of blood.

    Without any notice, an immense skeleton lay before their eyes. It is more than a dozen zhang long, with a sharp horn, malevolent tusk, straight back, as well as a tough and solid tail, incredibly fierce. 

    The skeleton lay on the floor. Before its death, it still continued to dig, to the extent of having its left claw embedded in the stone. The eye sockets stare fixedly ahead, and even if a thousand of years have passed, it still emanated a strong feeling of attachment and unwillingness.

    You Ji held a complicated expression, sighing, “Even an Earth Demonic Beast died here. We definitely won't escape from here. Sigh, we were happy for nothing.”

    Qin Yu frowns, moved at the end of the cave and let his fist explode.

    A deep sound echoed. Suffering the backlash of the blow, he retreated several steps, feeling the blood in his chest in disorder.

    The wall showed no damage.

    “Don’t waste your strength.” You Ji simply stated, “Even with my cultivation, it still won't be enough to break the seal’s power.”

    Qin Yu looked up at the skeleton, suddenly saying, “You Ji, I feel like something from inside of it is pulling me.”

    You Ji’s arched her eyebrow, “Are you certain?”

    Qin Yu nods, “Yes. The reason why I found this cave, is because of this feeling. Something inside the skeleton drew me, and now this feeling is stronger.”

    You Ji liked her lips, “Little man, if you're not wrong, then you're extremely lucky!” Demonic energy flashed, and she arrived at the Earth Demonic Beast’s backbone. Her eyes ran over the seventh vertebra and struck.

    The Earth Demonic Beast’s skeleton collapsed with a rumble. Many bones were crushed, but starting from its horn connected to the skull, and finishing at the tail, they all remained intact.

    You Ji’s eyes shone. With a swish of her arm, a powerful wind rose, removing the rest of the broken bones and leaving the intact ones. After a careful inspection, she showed delight, “It's actually true, a preserved Earth Demon’s blood essence!”

    Qin Yu was stirred, “Earth Demon’s blood essence?”

    “That’s right. This can help you upgrade the level of your Demon Body’s demonic blood, and not just a little.” She sighed, “Sealed Demonic Zone actually held demonic blood of suck quality. It’s a pity I'm incapable of training in the Demon Body since I'm not a man.”

    Qin Yu’s face became ugly, “In other words, the things you said about this place having demonic blood was a lie?”

    You Ji let out a peal of delicate laughter. “Don’t be angry. Heres the proof that what I said was true. Look, this is an Earth Demon’s blood essence.”

    Qin Yu was cornered, not knowing how to reply, ‘Damn witch. Even when exposed you still dare to say you’re right?’

    Breathing deeply a few times, he found it difficult to swallow his anger. But right then, Qin Yu’s breathing faltered. He hurriedly took deep breaths, then said, “Did you feel that?”

    You Ji inquired, “What?”

    Qin Yu reached a part of the wall, jumped and grabbed a protruding stone. He then reached to feel the cracked wall. This was caused by the final blow from the Earth Demonic Beast. He felt with his fingers, then revealed a smile.

    “What is it?”

    Qin Yu landed, spreading his fingers, “Water.”

    You Ji was startled, then happy. After she flew to inspect it herself, she let out a cry, then fell on Qin Yu’s back, massaging her head, “You're so smart! You're so smart! Hahahaha, this lady knew that I won't die this easy! Little miser, did you think this lady is finished? Be at ease, I will definitely return to settle our score!”  

    Qin Yu was sweating bullets, ‘Is this witch crazy?’


  • Chapter 58: Golden Core! Golden Core!

    You Ji dropped on the floor, “This lady isn’t crazy. Don’t ignore me. I will immediately take the Earth Demon’s demonic blood and help you break through.”

    She then rushed at the Earth Demonic Beast’s incomplete skeleton.

    Qin Yu watches You Ji doing something and sighed inwardly, ‘No wonder the Earth Demonic Beast was unwilling a thousand years ago. Because it was so close to getting out. Maybe it only needed a few more claws, but for some reason, it died right then.’

    But the Earth Demonic Beast’s effort wasn’t in vain. A thousand years later, it gave hope to the righteous and demonic couple, to escape the Sealed Demonic Zone.

    Qin Yu tightens his fist.

    You Ji is also bleeding seems that many of her methods require the use of her blood. Her finger traced the remains of the Earth Demonic Beast and very soon formed a series of patterns. What's strange though, is that the blood doesn’t darken its color because of drying, but brighter instead, radiating with violet light. 

    Her face grew pale once again. Her injuries weren’t recovered and this use of her blood took a heavy toll. Yet her finger was steady, her face unprecedently dignified. This clearly reveals her inner thoughts, her yearning for the outside.

    With the hope of surviving before them, who would be willing to die?

    Using her blood on the skull, along with the final pattern, the remains ignite into a black demonic flame. It burned fiercely, rapidly increasing the temperature in the surroundings. It then can be seen with the naked eye, lines of blood appearing on the bones, converging towards the single horn.

    Piece by piece, the bones shatter, losing their final remnant of energy, only to be burned to ashes by the demonic flame. The final two bones, the skull, and the horn are floating in midair, as the demonic flames concentrate on them, increasing to a terrifying degree.

    The bloody lines gathered within the horn and it then separated from the skull. You Ji takes out a jade vial, catching the drops of blood leaking from it.

    She lands on the ground, swaying slightly, and smiling brightly at Qin Yu, “Done.”

    This woman is too stubborn!

    Qin Yu solemnly said, “Then give it to me.”

    You Ji nods, handing over the jade vial.

    Qin Yu sits cross-legged, closes his eyes and harmonizes his breathing. He then very soon reached his peak. 

    You Ji is watching him, eyes flashing with a complicated look. She yearns for freedom because there are many things requiring her attention. 

    But once she leaves, it will be hard for them to continue in the same way they have been in here.

    Maybe, she is already aware of this.

    You Ji sighed, putting away the Earth Demonic Beast’s skull.

    Qin Yu opens his eyes, bursting with a fierce vitality. Without any movement, his bones start letting out creaking sounds. Maybe from the attraction, the Demon Body felt for the Earth Demon’s blood.

    Without any hesitation, Qin Yu opens the vial and swallowed the Earth Demon’s blood!

    His heart begins to strongly throb in his chest, pumping blood, surging like a river through his blood vessels! His entire body, every inch of flesh, every piece of bone, they are all crying in joy, frantically absorbing the power of the Earth Demon’s blood.

    They began to change, to be refined!

    Qin Yu tightens his fists, as his body trembles while sweating a river. This upgrade of his body will bring about an overbearing power, but it's also accompanied by an unimaginable pain trying to tear him apart.

    But at the time he first accomplished the Demon Body he also endured its torment. This kind of pain is not enough to crush his will. Qin Yu carefully notes each minute change his body is undergoing, so that he will be able to bring out an even stronger degree of power.

    Suddenly, Qin Yu roars!

    A violent aura breaks out of his body as if an ancient, terrifying beast was awakened. Many demonic patterns appear on his body, making the demonic energy in the air surge and charge over, forming a vortex as it entered his body.

    You Ji’s eyes widened, “Demon General’s Mark!”

    She bit her lip as joy was dancing in her eyes. It persistently waited for the chance to return. Who would have imagined this final struggle?

    Demon General’s Mark, a Golden Core realm’s Demon General’s Mark!

    With a boom, the cave shook, cutting of the joy in You Ji’s eyes. She then reacted by taking out the compass, carefully inspecting it. Her face soon turned gloomy, as the power of the seal began activating, arriving here in mere moments.

    Qin Yu was the target!

    The new aura released by the Demon Body triggered the seal.

    “This lady finally saw a thread of hope. You think you can just take it? Absurd!” You Ji sat cross-legged, hands constantly slapping the floor. Each time her palm lands, all of the demonic energy rushed from the ground forming a wall, arranged in a different direction, with Qin Yu and her protected in the middle.

    From the walls of the cave, black lines began to spread, similar to the roots of a great tree.

    You Ji clenched her teeth, as the sealing power arrived faster than she anticipated. Fortunately, she sensed it earlier, giving her enough time.

    “Sacred Sigil, rise!”

    At the same time, the Demon Wall lit up, making a tight sigil to appear above them, thin and dark yet with endless dignity.

    The sealing power came at a standstill, as if it could feel a pressure coming from this huge sigil.

    After being blocked for a few breaths, a sinister devil face appears. It is precisely the one that appeared when the Sealed Demonic Zone opened, and roared in fury, “Seal destroyer, die!”

    You Ji made hand gestures to activate a technique, making the huge sigil shine with a dark golden light, “This envoy was granted the Sacred Sigil, to investigate the Earth Demonic Beast’s death. Withdraw!” 

    Devil face paused slightly, “There’s no proof to your identity.”

    The seal’s power swept everywhere.

    The Demonic Wall shook strongly, on the verge of collapse.

    You Ji forced a smile, her blood is too thin. Calling upon the Sacred Sigil isn’t enough to threaten the spirit of the seal. She looks at Qin Yu, feeling anxious, yet didn’t say a word. His breakthrough must not be disturbed no matter what, or there will be no hope left for them.

    Little man, hurry up!

    Devil face’s cry was increasingly woeful. Under his urging, the seal's power was constantly strengthened, coming from all sides like a flood.

    The Demonic Wall started to show cracks, while the huge sigil above, on the brink of shattering.

    Qin Yu opened his eyes. He flicked his fingers and a drop of blood landed on the huge sigil. It immediately stabilized, becoming more vivid.

    “Get lost!”

    With a low shout, the huge sigil burst with a bloody color, greatly increasing its suppressing power.

    Devil face shrieked miserably, then disappeared, taking the seal’s power with it.

    You Ji was happy, “Success?”

    Qin Yu nods with a smile, “It won't be scared for long, we need to leave as soon as possible. Get behind me.”

    He stood in front of the cave wall, inhaled a deep breath, making his chest rise. As his bones popped like thunder, a majestic power rose from his feet, through his waist and shoulder. Along with a step forward and with the swing of his hips, he threw a fist, exploding with limitless power! 

    An incredibly loud sound was heard and even rattled the entire cave. At the center of the place where the Earth Demonic Beast tore, cracks began to spread like a spider’s web.

    The cave was breached and the water came pouring in like an avalanche. 

    Running wild through the earth, the gray colored freezing river water roared unceasingly. Suddenly, a huge maelstrom appeared in the middle of the river, swallowing the endless amount of water, to the point of almost cutting the river off.

    The center of the maelstrom collapsed as a male and a female came out of the water and landed on the shore, gasping for breath.

    They are Qin Yu and You Ji.

    Drenched, her dress stuck to her body, outlining perfectly her enticing figure. The chest part was a bit torn from the water, revealing traces of soft and unblemished skin.

    Qin Yu swept his eyes, then quickly stood aside.

    You Ji with a calm expression, pulled at her clothes to cover it, and with a flash of demonic energy, she was dry.

    “Finally escaped.”

    Qin Yu nods and watched the maelstrom with creased eyebrows.

    You Ji’s pupils flashed, “Relax, the spirit of the seal sensed it. This tunnel will very soon be completely destroyed.”

    Just as she finished, the ground trembled, as if there was a cave-in deep underground. The maelstrom faded away and the great river ran its normal course as if nothing ever happened.

    Qin Yu relaxed inside. If the seal were to be broken because of them, the demonic souls in the Sealed Demonic Zone would cause havoc in the human world, tearing at his heart.

    You Ji smiled, “I never knew you also had a caring side for mortals.”

    Qin Yu shook his head, “I just don’t want to bear the guilt.”

    You Ji was noncommittal, “Then now, let’s settle our scores.”

    She raised a finger, “At that time, you ruined my plan, along with me almost killing you, that debt can be said it was repaid.”

     The second finger, “I saved you when you failed to break through, and you also saved me inside the Sealed Demonic Zone. This is also concluded.”

    The third finger, “But when you obtained the demonic blood and upgraded the Demon Body, I didn’t gain anything. Not to mention your roaming eyes on me.”

    Qin Yu glared.

    “Don’t deny it. There was no difference between my drenched state and not wearing any clothes. Be a man and don’t dare act as if you didn’t see!”

    Qy smiled dejected, “Fine, take it as me owing young miss a favor.”

    You Ji smiled proudly, “You said it yourself. But be sure to remember, I will come to find you and settle it.” She just turned and walked away, throwing over a jade slip, “Before I leave, here’s a little gift, suitable for certain items in your bag!”

    Qin Yu caught the jade slip, with the young miss’ faint fragrance still lingering on it. Yet when he lifted his head, the fragrance’s trace scattered.

    It came without any notice, yet carefree. But why did it make him feel like she bolted?

    Qin Yu grinned, feeling his heart somewhat vacant. He chose a direction and left.

    Half a month later.

    In the depth of the Northern Dynasty’s wasteland, the sky above a valley suddenly changed. A cloud as black as ink appeared along with a fearful aura.

    A thundering sound came from above, carrying boundless power.

    The entire valley began shaking, before its might.

    Very quickly the weather turned stable again, with the sun’s rays touching the ground.

    At the bottom of a large pit, Qin Yu was half kneeling surrounded by the dust of many spirit stones. His hair ends are slightly burnt, with his black-robed damaged. The surrounding earth actually started to melt from the ferocious power of lightning. As the temperature cooled, it became a translucent crystal.

    He gets up, releasing a strong aura, filling the air with a sense of pressure.

    Above the Foundation inside his Dantian, a plump Golden Core floats, sending countless rays of golden light like a rising sun.

    Golden Core realm!

    This is the Golden Core realm!

    Qin Yu waved his sleeve and the ground was torn. In a range of ten zhang, there are now countless cracks.

    A single move. And it's comparable to the might of a 6th layer Golden Core cultivator!

    This is the effect of the eighteen failed times to break through, increasing the quality of his energy to this terrifying level.

    Suddenly, Qin Yu collapsed the ground with a stomp, soaring into the sky.

    A hundred zhang up, he stretched his hand and pointed!

    The wind rose powerfully between heaven and earth.

    A finger attack broke the wind.

    A heaven startling noise arose, and a short mountain crumbled. Rocks flew in the sky and its height reduced by more than ten meters!

    The first finger of the Three Azure Fingers — Boundless Azure.

    Qin Yu’s face turned pale, feeling dread from this Boundless Azure move. But its might is equally terrifying. With this power and with his Demon Body, he will fear no one bellow Nascent Soul! 

    “Hahahaha!”

    A burst of unrestrained laughter echoed.

  • Chapter 59: A demonic cultivator’s collapse

    Only after a long time, did the laughter stop. Qin Yu flipped his hand, taking out a jade slip and began exploring it.

    “Little man, if you have this sister in your heart, then immediately search the jade slip, to avoid any suffering. If not, then you are a cruel, vicious and ungrateful bastard who wants an early death. Demonic patters appeared when the Demon Body was upgraded, and you need to kill a Golden Core demonic cultivator as a sacrifice. If not the Demon Body will cause you a backlash in a month's time, so painful as if you were boiled alive. Don’t ask why, sister also doesn’t know, but you’ll be fine if you do this. I suggest you go after the late Golden Core demonic cultivators, as they will have the best effect.”

    “I found by accident that you have some monster fish fangs in your storage bag. You had better remember the Sacrificial Refining Method I put in here, it might save your life someday. You still owe sister a favor, so make sure you survive and wait for me to come collect it. That’s it. Little man, I'm sure we’ll meet again someday.”

    Typical You Ji.

    Qin Yu’s face was covered in black lines, as this crazy hag is only now telling him this important information. He recalled her character, and realized this is just her normal way of doing this. He continued to read the rest, and after half a day he took back his trace. In the next moment, the jade slip shattered.

    It was definitely one of You Ji’s tricks. She wasn’t worried about the information spreading, and wanted to know instead if he truly suffered a backlash from the Demon Body. Qin Yu smiled dejectedly, even when gone this woman still won't let him rest. But what she left, was indeed very useful.

    “Offering Demonic Faction’s Golden Core to avoid the Demon Body backlash? Might as well check it out, since Shen Haimo is the only one who knows of my connection with Ling’er. Killing him will also help avoid future complications. But before that, I should first finish learning the Sacrificial Refining Method.”

    Qin Yu sat cross-legged, inside a simple dugout cave, with 108 monster fish fangs arranged neatly before him. He opened his eyes after careful consideration and made sure everything is in order.

    He made hand gestures, and while his robe was fluttering, the 108 fangs began to feel something as they started trembling. 

    Suddenly, Qin Yu stretched a finger and a drop of blood entered one of the monster fish fangs.

    It lightly shook, becoming dark red in an instant then released a fiendish aura.

    Qin Yu stared. That was it. He was silent for a long time, then picked up the fish fang sizing it. Only after a while did he confirm that it was done. A total beginner in refining actually accomplished it on his first try. ‘Demonic Faction’s tool refining skill is rough after all, but still useful!’

    Persevere.

    Hand gestures, condensing blood and dripping it on the monster fish fangs.

    Even if it's simple he had to avoid being relaxed.

    Qin Yu became more proficient. With a day of rest in between, three days later, the 108 monster fish fangs were completely refined. Qin Yu felt almost no exhaustion, except for his pale complexion, from slight blood loss. He merely finished the magical treasure Drifting Arms according to what You Ji left behind.

    Drifting Arms needed to be refined from materials coming from the same source. When fighting an enemy they can all be launched in an instant. However, what was most dreadful is that after the attacks, it exploded. This had a high chance of dealing heavy damage or even killing the enemy.

    Each attack used up a great number of precious materials. What it's really frightening is the fact that each material needed to be fed blood essence. Since Qin Yu possessed the Demon Body, it posed little threat. For others, just the essence blood expended to refine the 108 monster fish fangs would have barely left alive.

    In short, Drifting Arms’ simplicity and cruelty wasn’t for naught. But anyone was capable of using them!

    Qin Yu waved his arm, and the fangs were put back in the storage bag. With this set of Drifting Arms, then even when faced against a Nascent Soul will he escape unharmed.

    Three days later.

    Qin Yu flew away after he recovered the lost blood essence.

    “Shen Haimo, I'm coming to kill  you!”

    After the Righteous and Demonic meeting in the Hidden Wind Valley, the morale of the later plummeted and retreated to stabilize the situation. But after three short months, the Demonic Faction found an excuse and broke the agreement. They regrouped and charged stronger and more violently than ever, igniting once again the flames of war. Thus, along with the fall of Juxia City,  more than half the Southern Nation’s territory fell under their control.

    Perhaps for the purpose of washing away their shame and disgrace, Juxia City was almost razed to the ground. Only some dilapidated parts of the wall were left here and there, as they added to the desolation.

    Under a pavilion, Li Yunmo was holding a wine jar and smelled of wine. Because Liang Taizu was killed, he was severely punished by the Seven Murdering Demonic Sect and ordered to defend Juxia City.

    Is there any point to guard a destroyed place, a city under the control of the Demonic Faction in some backwater area? Li Yunmo was very clear that this was concealed exile. If he did not have any use as a Golden Core, he would have been dead already.

    But even so, his life was over, with all great prospects completely out of reach. As he thought about it, Li Yunmo’s eyes were red with anger. He smashed the jar of wine and raged, “Qin Yu! I will cut you into a thousand pieces!”

    Sounds of footsteps echoed. 

    Li Yunmo didn’t turn and shouted, “Get out!”

    “Li Yunmo, long time no see.”

    This voice…

    Li Yunmo’s body froze, his brow covered in sweat, half sobered from the scare.

    Demonic energy exploded and fled without even looking back.

    Outside the pavilion, Qin Yu showed a mocking grin, ‘Is this how he wants to cut me into a thousand pieces?’ 

    Li Yunmo’s face paled, eyes filled with terror, ‘It's him, It's definitely him!’

    Qin Yu came back!

    Yet inside, he wanted to eat his flesh and drink his blood. But even Po Qianjun died at his hands, so how would he fair? ‘I’m not fleeing but send the message he is here. Shen Haimo is just outside Juxia City in seclusion. As long as he is warned, Qin Yu will soon be dead.’

    Li Yunmo used his demonic energy frantically, as he fled outside the city. He felt a chill behind him, and when he looked back he was scared stiff.

    Qin Yu wasn’t far behind him. He moved leisurely, as if he could overtake him at any time.

    “Righteous Faction spy is here. Kill him and I'll give a great reward!”

    In the city, several Golden Core demonic cultivators in the middle of cultivation were pissed. Li Yunmo might be finished, but he was a Golden Core after all.

    They might not have put him in their eyes, but they still wouldn't let him be humiliated by a righteous cultivator spy, or what dignity would they had left?

    “Daring to act arrogant in Demonic Faction’s territory; you're looking for death!” A Golden Core demonic cultivator blocked his path as he cut down with his saber.

    The black saber shined in waves as it came whistling.

    “Its Hei Daomo!”

    “Ah, my idol. I never knew senior Hei Daomo is at Juxia City.”

    “This spy is finished, he might have easily chased Li Yunmo but facing Hei Daomo, only death awaits.”

    Qin Yu was expressionless.  He threw a fist, destroying the saber inch by inch.

    Hei Daomo was sent flying. He who made a name for himself with the huge saber, had his chest caved in with blood dripping from his seven orifices. In a blink, he was a corpse.

    The city was instantly eerily quiet!

    Some who were about to act froze.

    Li Yunmo was so scared he relieved himself. Indeed, a warm feeling flowed down his clothes, as he couldn’t take it anymore.

    “Ah!” he screamed as he rushed out of Juxia City. Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, “Shen Haimo, Qin Yu is here!”

    Qin Yu…

    The ones who just remembered, had their eyelids twitching, and almost cursed out loud. That bastard Li Yunmo used them as shields!

    Too bad for Hei Daomo, he acted without knowing the facts and died unjustly.

    But Shen Haimo was actually here, this couldn’t be better. He was a late Golden Core expert, enough to crush Qin Yu.

    The time for dividing merits has come!

    Even if the biggest share belonged to Shen Haimo, with them close behind, they will also get something. This heaven-sent merit must not be wasted!

    Demonic energy flashed as four Golden Core demonic cultivators rushed outside the city.

    “There's nowhere to run Qin Yu!”

    “Stay and accept your death!”

    “Your end is nigh!”

    The catch phrases were very touching, but don’t you think you’re a bit too far from the fight? With clear intentions of fleeing too. But no one mocked them for this. The demonic cultivators inside Juxia City looked outside of it and waited for Shen Haimo to show. The dignity of the Demonic Faction will be redeemed, senior will resolve the crisis in the end!

    A black dot appeared in their vision, approaching with amazing speed. It made the surrounding spiritual energy chaotic and accompanied by rumbling sounds.

    The demonic energy scattered and revealed Shen Haimo’s figure. He stared at Qin Yu, with eyes filled with killing intent, “Today, you will have no chance of escaping!” He waved his sleeve and took out a black tortoiseshell, that grew more than a zhang in an instant. It released a black wave of demonic energy and sealed everything in a hundred zhang radius.

    Juxia City’s demonic cultivators were deeply moved. As expected of senior Shen Haimo, he never disappoints. 

    This little thief Qin Yu will die!

    Li Yunmo relaxed and only then sensed the foul odor around him. His face went red with anger and yelled, “Qin Yu, you're dead!”

    Four Golden Core demonic cultivators finally dared to approach and shouted in unison, “Kill him!”

    Qin Yu smiled, “Li Yunmo, thanks.”

    Li Yunmo blanked for a moment.

    Shen Haimo’s pupil shrank, as a feeling of immense danger welled from within.

    Qin Yu’s power exploded with a step, seemingly able to briefly twist the space, as he charged forward like a sharp arrow.

    Shen Haimo shouted, “Seeking death!” he waved his arm and the sea like demonic energy burst forth then submerged Qin Yu in an instant. 

    The cheers from the demonic cultivator in Juxia City shook the heavens.

    “Senior Shen Haimo’s power is limitless!”

    “Kill Qin Yu, show them our might!”

    “This Qin Yu is going to his doom!”

    Shen Haimo’s face held no delight, as the feeling of danger kept growing. Then, the demonic energy tide was broken from and generated a loud sound.

    Shen Haimo groaned and paled, as his eyes widened in disbelief. But he had no time to think, as a fist was fast approaching his head. He lifted his arm to defend as his demonic energy suddenly trembled and nearly crushed his arm. Terrifying power rushed over and made half of his body numb. Even the bones in his arm groaned in pain.

    This youngster was stronger. No, much stronger than before!

    How was this possible!

    As Shen Haimo retreated, he shouted angrily in his heart. At that precise moment, his body stiffened and shouted his agony.

    He felt as if a knife was hacking at his mind and splitting his head apart. 

    Spiritual attack, it was a spiritual attack. I am a late Golden Core, so how could this youngster’s Divine Sense be this strong!

    A clenched fist struck Shen Haimo ruthlessly. He quickly used his demonic energy, to take most of the blow, yet he still spat blood from the rest of its force and flew away like a punching bag.

    “Ah!” Shen Haimo roared, as he moved the demonic energy erratically. Before he could stabilize from the previous blow, another spiritual attack came. And as he was laying stiff, he was once again sent flying.

    Among the huge sounds, Shen Haimo seemed to have become a big punching bag.

    Qin Yu was only an early Golden Core cultivator, but his Divine Sense was incredibly strong and it was all thanks to the pills he took. And the time he had his mind sieged had an even greater refining effect. Plus, demonic cultivator’s methods weren’t good at resisting Divine Sense, so Shen Haimo was helplessly crushed with each blow!

    Li Yunmo’s legs shivered. Just as he regained his courage, it had once again collapsed… Qin Yu was so powerful, that he was able to suppress Shen Haimo!

    Unknowingly, the four Golden Core demonic cultivators already retreated more than a hundred zhang away, pale-faced and with an expression as if their parents died.

    Juxia City was deathly quiet as demonic cultivators felt their hearts collapse. What removing the crisis, what redeeming dignity?

    If it’s a nightmare, please let us wake up soon!

  • I am now doing some extensive editing to the chapter. Please tell me if I made any mistakes. Thank you
  • Chapter 60: Seven Murders Patriarch

    Qin Yu trashed Shen Haimo because of his pure energy comparable to a 6th layer of Golden Core. To this, was added the Demon Body’s extraordinary power and an astonishing Divine Sense. It was never an easy matter to fight against someone with higher cultivation—unless one would have a heaven-defying constitution or a formidable inheritance.

    Shen Haimo raved again and again—yet in his heart— fear grew. With each punch, his condition worsened. This can't go on much longer, or soon his life will be beaten out of him.

    Run!

    Once this thought came, Shen Haimo was ashamed with bloodshot eyes, yet it only grew. How could dignity compare with life? His recently relaxed his cultivation, since he felt the sign of breaking through. Wouldn’t losing his life like this be more devastating when hes was so close of becoming a Nascent Soul cultivator?

    When a man takes revenge, even ten years wasn’t too late!

    To get away from this crisys, Shen Haimo roared. The tortoiseshell above him quickly shrunk, and the restriction also reduced until only Qin Yu was trapped—in a three zhang area. His eyes flashed with pain—like his flesh was gouged—then ran away. He had several breaths at most—to escape— since he was certain it couldn't hold him for long.

    He wrapped himself in demonic energy, then whistled in the distance.

    Li Yunmo shrieked and also ran.

    The four Golden Core’s reactions were even faster—already several hundred zhang away.

    Juxia City was thrown into chaos…

    Humiliation!

    A late-stage Golden Core and five strong Golden Cores— altogether six experts—were actually scared by a righteous Golden Core cultivator.

    Who could redeem Demonic Faction’s dignity?

    The tortoiseshell crumbled with a startling noise. Qin Yu’s killing intent rose around him—en route—locking on Shen Haimo.

    Shen Haimo’s heart collapsed. ‘I knew the tortoiseshell wouldn’t hold, but why was it this fast? And why would you want to kill me? Li Yunmo is also your enemy, and so are the four shining Golden Cores at the side. Killing them is easy, so why the hell are you chasing me!’

    A bloody flame was ignited, that increased Qin Yu’s speed ten-fold.

    As Shen Haimo was despairing—a group was sighted far on the horizon. It held a blood-colored banner fluttering in the wind and along with a powerful aura. His eyes were wide from joy as he roared explosively, “Save me, Patriarch!”

    He used his entire late Golden Core power, to send his voice everywhere in an instant. The escaping Li Yunmo and the other four stopped. They peeked from the corner of their eye at the approaching group, then turned around—fearless and itching to fight!

    “Qin Yu, don’t be hasty!”

    “We aren’t mortal enemies!”

    “If we fight to the death, even you won't be able to leave this city!”

    They yelled as loud as possible, scared it wouldn’t reach far enough. But the problem was, Qin Yu was already outside Juxia City

    Shen Haimo’s mouth twitched, ‘These five bastards.’ But he didn’t have the time to argue with these fools.

    He recovered the sharpness in his eyes and—along with Qin Yu eyeing him like a falcon—resent and hatred fueled his endless desire to kill.

    “Qin Yu, I know that you and that girl are close! Once you're dead, I promise I will find her and torture her!”

    Shen Haimo was fearless!

    When Seven Murders Patriarch’s chariot was going to arrive, Qin Yu was bound to die. He won't be able to kill him even if he didn’t retreat.

    Qin Yu flicked a gaze at the incoming group, eyes darkening instantly. He set his sights on Shen Haimo, “I won't give you the chance, die!”

    Shen Haimo’s heart shrank.

    Qin Yu lifted his hand and pointed.

    Boundless Azure!

    He launched a finger and a sudden wind rose.

    Shen Haimo’s face instantly lost all color. With a desperate cry, he exploded his late Golden Core cultivation and wrapped himself in layer upon layer of demonic energy.

    The chariot’s door banged open and a middle-aged man dressed in blood-colored robes stepped out. He had a gloomy expression—filled with killing intent.

    This man was Tian Xingmo—the Patriarch of Seven Murdering Demonic Sect!

    Boundless Azure landed with a boom.

    The demonic energy collapsed with a small tremble and revealed the pale Shen Haimo. His entire expression conveyed unwillingness, as he barely managed to lower his head to look. His chest had now an open hole with blood madly flowing out of it—the heart nowhere to be seen.

    Qin Yu launched both his arms, and made Shen Haimo cry mournfuly with face twisted in fear, as his body was quickly drying up. Rich blood flowed out of his pores and gathered above his head, then turned into an eerie devil face.

    Tian Xingmo’s expression changed, ‘This… this is…’ He sucked in a cold breath—suppressed his alarm— as his eyes burned.

    A black flame swallowed the devil face and vanished the next second.

    At this, Qin Yu felt his entire body relax, as if a karmic connection entangled with him dissipated.

    Then, 12 Demonic Pillars rose, connecting heaven and earth and imprisoned the area.

    Tian Xingmo walked in midair, with his aura of a Nascent Soul enshrouding the world, “Junior Qin Yu, you won’t escape from killing one of my people!”

    A demonic hand suddenly appeared—pitch black—with a jaded texture and distinct patterns, as if an ancient demon was coming to grab Qin Yu! The hearts of the demonic cultivators in the city sped up, and couldn’t help but thought of, ‘The Demonic Faction still has someone who can resolve this crisis!’

    Seven Murders Patriarch was an outstanding Nascent Soul expert. Death would be too light of a punishment for Qin Yu! ‘Let's see you be arrogant now, punk. Your judgment is at hand!’

    Qin Yu had a grave expression. The pressure exuded by an early Nascent Soul was making all his bones groan. Based on his current cultivation, he never imagined he will be using them this soon.

    With a wave of his hand, 108 strange fish fangs floated around him. Once Qin Yu’s finger landed, the fangs charged.

    The first fang was crushed as it hit, then exploded. Then the second, the third, and the fourth… The demonic hand was very powerful but it still couldn’t hold under this terrifying attack. One by one, cracks appeared and then collapsed. The booming sounds haven’t yet ended, and the demonic hand was already torn apart. Then the rest of the fangs made a beeline for Tian Xingmo!

    “Drifting Arms!” Tian Xingmo roared, startled. He released his demonic energy in the form of a night sky—with stars radiating within. The fangs entered it and exploded. As if they entered the heavens it prevented the explosions from harming him.

    But this wasn’t without a price. Tian Xingmo retreated with each explosion until he reached the limit of the 12 Demonic Pillars’ range and was made to step out of it. The next moment, the 12 Demonic Pillars grew vague.

    A bloody flame burned fiercely as he used the Blood Escaping Technique, and Qin Yu inside of it smashed into an invisible shield, breaking through while spitting blood.

    Then he stormed away.

    Tian Xingmo had a dark face. He caught a drop of blood and sniffed, then his eyes burned with rage. It was just a guess before, but now he was certain. It was the Demon Body; it was truly the Demon Body! But Qin Yu had already escaped. Even he was unable to catch him when he increase his spee by crazily burning his blood essence to use the Blood Escaping Technique and increase his speed.

    “Send order to the sect to find him. No matter the cost, find him!”

    Sky City.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley was the Southern Nation’s number one sect—a great Alchemy sect. But Sky City was considered by all cultivators in the Southern Nation as the most majestic place. It was built upon a natural Floating Stone, turning into a veritable flying city. It had survived for almost ten thousand years and not even someone as powerful as Ancient Immortal Valley would dare to take it for themselves.

    This place was also the safest place in the Southern Nation’s borders. It was forbidden for cultivators to fight in Sky City and demonic cultivators were refused entrance thanks to the natural formation around it. All of the people living here had either strong backing or important identities.

    Inside the Southern Nation’s territory, the Zhu clan was one of the qualified to be this city’s ruler. This clan had an inheritance spanning ten generations. It had its struggles, but it has always remained strong. Now it had three Golden Cores to support it, with each one of them belonging to a large sect. The connections and influence gained from this cannot be overlooked.

    Qin Yu was precisely standing in front of this clan’s manor. He was dressed in black—all physical features hidden. Although suspicious, the Golden Core aura he had caused the guards to be cautious. Especially when he claimed of being sir Qing Yun’s old friend.

    Zhu Qingyun’s cultivation might be the lowest among the three Golden Core in the Zhu clan, but his talent was the highest. He was the clan’s favorite.

    “Wait a moment, sir, I will immediately report it.” A guard then left in a hurry.

    Soon, Zhu Qingyun came with big steps, to the shock of the remaining guard. He spoke before he even arrived, “Where is the one who is asking for me?”

    Qin Yu smiled and cupped his hands, “Brother Zhu, it’s been a long time.”

    Zhu Qingyun was delighted, “You…” His eyes were astute, nodding, “Follow me!” Then led Qin Yu inside the manor.

    On the way to his place, Zhu Qingyun bluntly asked, “Was it you who killed Shen Haimo?”

    Qin Yu removed the hood, smiling, “No.”

    Zhu Qingyun let out a long breath, “I mean, how can it be you. How could you have killed Shen Haimo in this short amount of time?? Furthermore, some say Seven Murdering Demonic Sect’s Tian Xingmo stepped in and you still got away. Isn’t this too ridiculous?”

    Qin Yu’s smile never wavered.

    In a flash, Zhu Qingyun connected the dots, “The crux is—apart from you—who would chase Shen Haimo to death? Be honest with me, was it really you? Ever since I got the news, I never managed to get a good night's sleep!”

    “If you think it’s true then it’s true, if not it's not.” Qin Yu winked while giving a vague answer.

    Zhu Qingyun’s eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. His mind was filled with curses and obscenities— despite not saying anything.

    A while later, Zhu Qingyun sucked a deep breath, and somewhat recovered his bearing, “Y-you… you damn freak!” his eyes showed resentment, thinking that with the recent breakthrough in the next layer, the difference between him and Qin Yu shrank considerably. Who would have guessed that in a blink, he would be left so far behind that he couldn’t even see his shadow?

    Qin Yu laughed, “Alright, alright. You should know why I came.”

    Zhu Qingyun’s mouth twitched, “Rest assured, I sent Gu Ling'er to the Rainbow Immortal Sect. I entrusted her to someone so that she will stay in Sky City. And with you having killed Shen Haimo, I reckon there is no one who knows of your relation.” After a pause, “Want me to send someone to bring her here and see her?”

    Qin Yu pondered, then shook his head, “No.”

    Zhu Qingyun was dumbfounded, “To save her, you first killed Liang Taizu and then Shen Haimo. The entire Seven Murdering Demonic Sect went crazy in their search for you to repay this enmity and you really won't see her?”

    Qin Yu smiled, “When I saw her the first time, a great danger befell her. As long as she is safe, it won't make a difference.”

    Zhu Qingyun nodded, “Your matter, your decision.”

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, “Brother Zhu, take care of Gu Ling'er. I worry that there will be many troublesome matters later on, so I give you my thanks in advance.”

    Zhu Qingyun waved his hand, skeptical, “You are now capable and strong. The Zhu clan hasn’t yet made use of this connection with you to rise, so how could you have troubles.”

    Qin Yu laughed, “If I am able later, I will help you.”

    This is a promise.

    Because it was limited, the promise seemed more assured, more sincere.

    Zhu Qingyun laughed with joy, “I'll remember it!”

    The clan used a favor to send Gu Ling'er to the Rainbow Immortal Sect. It waited until the end to hint about this and come to an agreement. Qin Yu guessed this, so he gave the Zhu clan a promise. That’s how the society worked, a friend for a friend and a favor for a favor.

    “Come, we won't stop till we're drunk!”

    Qin Yu agreed with a smile.

    He owed this drink for a long time, and might as well give it.

    Zhu Qingyun—among drinks—asked in a roundabout way how Qin Yu became so strong in such a short time. But the answer wasn’t elaborate enough. Zhu Qingyun cursed him for being untrustful, yet Qin Yu only smiled—not minding it. Both of them were well aware, that saying this was for the purpose of getting friendlier, not meant to divulge the truth.

    Later, Zhu Qingyun tried unsuccessfully to detain Qin Yu and so said their goodbyes.

    Rainbow Immortal Sect residence area.

    Qin Yu stood at the end of the street and waited for two hours before he got to see Gu Ling'er. She was among other female cultivators, bashful, yet increasingly confident.

    This girl seemed to have grown up.

    Qin Yu left with a smile.

    Gu Ling'er suddenly turned her head in confusion.

    “What’s wrong Gu Ling'er?” a senior sister asked.

    Gu Ling'er bit her lip. She looked left and right, but the previous  feeling didn’t return, ‘Why is it that I feel as if my heart was empty, like a piece of it was missing.’

  • I hope it is your translation that is announced on the frontpage!

  • Unfortunately no. I still have some chapters left and want to use them to improve my editing. Afterward, I will choose another project. 
  • Chapter 61: Radiant Scarlet Tree

    The radiant reflection of the sun's rays off the mist—lingering between the steep cliffs—added to the tranquility. But the yells below the mist reverberated endlessly, breaking away the peace.

    Pheasant King's feathers fell to the ground, while his red comb was broken and bleeding all over his face. Yet he pays it no heed and stared fiercely at his enemy.

    Standing across from him was a two-meter-long feral wolf with its sleek bluish fur. It had a single eye while the other one became a hole.

    A corner of the valley was in complete disarray from the battle, yet the medicine garden behind the Pheasant King was untouched.  Actually, Pheasant King's thought process was very simple, 'Your daddy, I, can never taste it, so how could I let a dumb thing like you destroy it!'

    The feral wolf opened its maw and a bluish mass gathered in its throat. Pheasant King's tiny eyes showed fear—but not only he does not retreat—and flapped his wings to attack instead, pecking ferociously at the feral wolf.

    The feral wolf's lone eye flashed cunningly. It suddenly lowered its head, allowing Pheasant King to peck it until its fur was ripped and bone showed. With a howl of pain, it launched the blue mass straight at Pheasant King's head.

    It only grazed him a bit, but it was enough to damage his red comb. A direct hit would have killed the Pheasant King on the spot. The feral wolf felt extreme hate towards the one who pecked its eye and wanted to kill him at all cost.

    This time, Pheasant King’s dodging came late and wailed inside, 'My life is over!  Goodbye, my beauties, this king can no longer keep you company!'

    A sudden gale came diverting the blue mass from landing on Pheasant King and made a big hole in the ground instead.

    The fur of the feral wolf was standing on end and its hind legs were stretched taut, wanting to jump away in hope of escaping.

    “What a sharp beast you are, but don’t think you can leave now that you're in my valley!” Qin Yu waved his hand and the feral wolf smashed into the stone cliff. It now had many broken bones and unable to move for now.

    After a narrow escape from death, Pheasant King cried tears of joy, as he threw himself at Qin Yu and hugged his thigh. His crying and wailing were heartrending.

    Qin Yu gave some energy to Pheasant King to stop his bleeding and rousing his consciousness.

    "Not a bad performance. The pills inside are yours."

    Pheasant King opened the storage bag with practiced ease—turning happy immediately—as he half closed his eyes. He held the storage bag under his wing—and while looking at the feral wolf— he flapping his wing in an arrogant manner, 'Are you shocked that I have a boss, fool?'

    The feral wolf struggled to stand, arching his body and letting out a low howl. It didn't want to die here.

    Qin Yu's eyes flashed with amazement and waved his hand, "Today, I will spare you. Go." 

    The feral wolf laid on the ground in respect, then left with an unsteady gait.

    Pheasant King furiously stomped, unwilling to let it off this easily.

    Qin Yu smiled, "You pecked its eye, while it made you bleed a little. As all debts were paid, don't be so ruthless."

    This feral wolf might have gained awareness, but it was clear it couldn’t break the formation. How did it get in? Maybe... Qin Yu arrived at the edge of the valley—removed the soil—and exposed an ash colored spirit stone.

    He frowned. Just as he predicted—after several inspections—the spirit stones were affected. Or the strain on the spiritual energy was too heavy.

    Before You Ji left, they searched the area together, but the formation operated normally. So why were the spiritual stones depleted in such a short time?

    After reaching Golden Core, his Divine Sense greatly increased, enough to enable him to study formations. If the opportunity arose, he must keep an eye out for any related items.

    After he replaced the spirit stones and made sure the formation is operating normally, Qin Yu returned to the wooden house, then sat on the praying mat, deep in thought.  When the Demon Body evolved, he also reached the Golden Core realm. This increased his confidence and made him believe there was nothing to fear when walking around the Southern Nation. But the appearance of Tian Xingmo—when he killed Shen Haimo—was like an alarm.

    Even though he had many abilities—when faced against a Nascent Soul—he would still be crushed. The 108 fish fangs refined into the magic treasure Drifting Arms were used up. If he had another encounter with a Nascent Soul cultivator, then even the Blood Escaping Technique wouldn't guarantee a successful escape.

    Of course, the Nascent Souls cultivators in Southern Nation can be counted on one hand, with the chances—of encountering one—very small. But this encounter helped Qin Yu wake up in time and calmed his restless heart.

    After reaching Golden Core, the next step would be Nascent Soul. While any realms beyond Nascent Soul, there are only rumors. His long road of cultivation has only recently begun.

    Qin Yu entered seclusion.

    A month later, his Golden Core cultivation stabilized and he was impatient to leave seclusion. Ever since he started cultivating with pills—based on his current cultivation and rotten tallent—he could no longer bear improving at a snail's pace.

    Tthe pill residues were eliminated thanks to the Heavenly Thunder Bamboo. And his unsteady foundation could be settled through purifying his energy when he failed to break through. Thus, Qin Yu must continue his path of pill taking without looking back.

    But soon, Qin Yu met a problem and had to stop his cultivation endeavor.

    The reason was simple: he had no pills!

    He had the Little Blue Lamp—a heaven-defying item—capable of upgrading pills and speeding the growth of plants. And to say he didn't have pills was laughable, but true nonetheless. Little Blue Lamp might be able to increase spiritual plant growth, but its area was limited to only a foot wide. Thus, it was unable to satisfy Qin Yu's needs.

    The main point was that Golden Core ranked spiritual plants were considered very precious and were unlikely to be sold randomly. It was feasible to exchange pills for ingredients, but it would also catch the attention of a Nascent Soul monster, and bring disaster!

    Rummaging through his thoughts—Qin Yu sadly discovered—his path laid in buying seeds and becoming self-sustaining. After having this ascertained, he smiled bitterly, 'Let's take it slow.’ First was safety and maybe—after reaching Nascent Soul—he wouldn't need to worry anymore.

    But with this speed, he had no idea how long it would take to reach the Nascent Soul realm. Not to mention the invisible shackles he had on his body. To reach the Nascent Soul realm, he must first find a more powerful demonic blood and upgrade his Demon Body.

    Three days later—after supplying the bamboo dragonfly with energy—he left the mountain valley to buy Golden Core ranked seeds.

    ...

    Qin Yu has traveled to the surrounding great cities—in a ten thousand li range—for more than half a month, only to come up empty handed. The Golden Core ranked spiritual plant seeds had almost completely vanished from the market. While the occasional occurrence had excessive price.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley—the greatest cultivation sect—interfered because the Southern Nation was threatened by the Demonic Faction’s invasion. It declared that all the seeds up to Golden Core rank are strategic resources and forbidden for being sold privately.

    Qin Yu’s final path was been blocked, yet his rage-filled heart had nowhere to vent.  The Ancient Immortal Valley was honored as the first sect in Southern Nation. It wasn't reputable just because of its large business in pill industry, but also because of its countless experts. Rumor has it that the number of Nascent Souls it held wasn't limited to only one.

    In a corner of a restaurant, Qin Yu became increasingly glum.

    "Hehe, the Ancient Immortal Valley played a good move this time!" a man at a nearby table sneered.

    The others' expressions changed.

    “Silence your voice, Brother Xu!”

    “The walls have ears!”

    “Don't talk nonsense, or trouble will follow.”

    The Xu surnamed cultivator laughed coldly, “What's there to fear? We can't even discuss what the Ancient Immortal Valley did? The selling of the spiritual plants and seeds has been banned, saying they are strategic resources. They bought them at a conveniently low price. The Ancient Immortal Valley really made a killing this time!”

    “Hmph!” a cultivator at another table laughed in anger, “What an idiot to only look for money! The war would have been much more devastating if it weren't for the Ancient Immortal Valley providing pills for the Alliance. The way I see it, this fellow Daoist Xu had a tough life, as his heart is only filled with rancor!”

    The cultivator surnamed Xu slapped the table and stood up, “What did you say, boy!”

    “I said you're dumb as a pig!”

    Seeing as he was about to fight, the two cultivators at the table immediately began reasoning with him, as they pulled him outside. Then they cursed inwardly, 'Nevermind saying the Ancient Immortal Valley isn't much, but you even want to start a fight. If this gets out of hand, everyone will know and it will bring you trouble. What will you do then?'

    If you want to die, then don't drag us with you!

    With this disturbance, the atmosphere in the restaurant heated up, as many rumors were exchanged.

    “Hehe, I know a secret regarding the Ancient Immortal Valley.” The one who spoke—intentionally lowered his voice—barely hiding his pleased expression. Seeing many looking over, he laughed a bit and began prancing before the climax, “Ancient Immortal Valley has spiritual beasts as protectors, the ancient Blue Winged Ants...”

    “Tch, everyone knows this, so why show off!”

    “What secret, just a waste of my time!”

    “Don’t speak if you have nothing good to say, or you'll be ridiculed!”

    The old man felt resentful, and asked in anger, “What do you guys know, I didn't even finish! You all know the Ancient Immortal Valley has Blue Winged Ants, but do you know why the Blue Winged Ants stays in Ancient Immortal Valley?”

    His eyes swept disdainfully, and sneered when he saw everyone stumped, "That is because the Ancient Immortal Valley has an ancient Radiant Scarlet Tree passed on through generations! Do you know what The Radiant Scarlet Tree is? It is an ancient spiritual plant, that gathers the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, and condensed it into Radiant Scarlet Fruit."

    “The Radiant Scarlet Fruit that can assist a Golden Core's cultivation?” a cultivator cried.

    The old man glanced over, “Someone is knowledgeable. When compared to pills—for a Golden Core cultivator—The Radiant Scarlet Fruit is much more precious.  This fruit contains a great amount of heaven and earth spiritual energy, that—when ingested—it will immediately improve your cultivation. It has no side effects, but with a price far above a normal Golden Core pill.”

    After a moment of silence, the restaurant was in an uproar.

    “Senior, please come join me for a cup of wine.”

    “Hurry and bring several of your specialties, I want to invite senior for a drink."

    “Elder brother, come here and let's have a chat.”

    The old man's smile almost reached his ears. He faked coyness as he sat down at a table filled with delicious dishes, digging right in.  This person was fierce—shooting his mouth nonstop—and made the other people in the restaurant stare blankly. He went on and on even in the moment of his departure, when he was repeatedly asked to stay.

    Qin Yu threw a spirit stone for the bill, then left.

    In a narrow alley, he quickly blocked someone's path. 

    The old man frowned, “Junior, you must want to die, to block this old man's path!”

    He was cold, yet imposing.

    Qin Yu said calmly, “Junior is from the Ancient Immortal Valley and I'm very interested in what you have said.”

    The old man's face contorted, “Rubbish! You're clearly asking for trouble for pretending to be from Ancient Immortal Valley!”

    Qin Yu laughed coldly and released his Golden Core cultivation, enshrouding the old man with it, “Old fool, you must be tired of living to dare spread this information.”

    The old man collapsed, paralyzed, “Spare me senior, spare me!”

    Qin Yu shouted lowly, “Say it! Where did you hear that the Ancient Immortal Valley has a Radiant Scarlet Tree? You better not lie!”

    The old man hastily replied, “A mysterious man told me. He gave me a few spirit stones, and told me to spread it around.”

    Qin Yu eyes flashed, “How did you know he told the truth?”

    “The mysterious man showed me a Radiant Scarlet Fruit, a true Radiant Scarlet Fruit. My cultivation might be low, but I am still able to recognize it after years of handling spiritual plants.”

    Qin Yu pondered, then smiled coldly, “Leave. I will let you go today, but if you dare speak nonsense again, I won't forgive you!”

    The old man was overjoyed, “I Don't dare, don't dare!” and left in a rush.

    Qin Yu rubbed his chin. He might not know who is spreading the information regarding the Radiant Scarlet Tree, but it must be true.

    In The Art of Medicine, there was a detail record of how to grow a Radiant Scarlet Tree. If he could get his hands on the reproductive root with the Little Blue Lamp's help, it will mature, bloom and bear fruit.

    Then, the problem with the lack of Golden Core pills will be solved!

    Moreover, the Ancient Immortal Valley had Blue Winged Ants, while his two Thousand Gold Trees have already evolved into Great Sun Trees.

    Qin Yu's mouth revealed a faint smile, ‘Ah, Ancient Immortal Valley, since you won't allow me to get spiritual plant seeds, you can't blame me when I’ll ruin your plan.’

  • Unfortunately no. I still have some chapters left and want to use them to improve my editing. Afterward, I will choose another project. 
    Really sad to hear that.
    I really enjoy(ed) your translation as well as the novel you did chose.
  • I am glad there are people enjoying my work. Thanks.
  • Chapter 62:  The sword sheath

    The Southern Nation's number one sect was the Ancient Immortal Valley... Taking these words seriously, it was also the Southern Nation’s pride. That is because the Ancient Immortal Valley was located at the border between the Southern Nation and Northern Dynasty. With most of its lands being in the Northern Dynasty's territory.  

    The war situation barely stabilized when the Ancient Immortal Valley offered to help against the invasion of Southern Nation by the Demonic Faction. This brought them even closer, tighter.

    Ancient Immortal Valley's core area was indeed a mountain valley, a place where the Zhu clan(1) and other cultivators resided. But how could the title of being the number one sect be mocked when—besides fame—it was also very rich from its dealings with pills?

    The areas surrounding the valley—the seventeen mountains in the fifty-seven li range—belonged to the Ancient Immortal Valley and protected by a Great Guarding Formation. Although its level wasn't the same as the one in the core area, it was still terrifying. The formation required a great number of spirit stones even if it was activated a single day.

    In the area around the Ancient Immortal Valley, a great number of cultivators were gathered. Most of them had come from Southern Nation, to escape the Demonic Faction's slaughter. To enter, each had to pay a spirit stone and be checked to see if they weren't Demonic Faction's spies.

     

    An Ancient Immortal Valley disciple stopped and turned around, "You can go and chose a stone house to reside in. There are all kinds of people here, so it would be best not to wonder about needlessly. Remember, it is forbidden for cultivators to fight inside the Ancient Immortal Valley's territory."

    His expression was indifferent—yet proud—as even these arrangements were done thoroughly. His manner wasn't overbearing but still held a certain presence.

    A black-robed youngster cupped his hands, "Many thanks."

    The Ancient Immortal Valley disciple left.

    He got up and looked ahead. This was a flat area halfway up the mountain. With many stone houses built, this place was one of the many the Ancient Immortal Valley used to accommodate other cultivators.

    As he stood there and gazed into the distance, Qin Yu saw a valley shrouded in mist. Within, there were bearly discernable exquisite pavilions and palaces. There was also the occasional flicker of the formation, showcasing its astonishing aura.

    The black-robed youngster’s pupils flashed faintly and muttered, "Ancient Immortal Valley is indeed not simple."

    This youngster is Qin Yu, as he has restrained his aura and concealed his cultivation!

    He made use of The Concealing Art, gifted to him by Ning Ling—along with Concealing Pendant—to come here. He was more and more amazed by the fact it was capable of hiding him from a Nascent Soul!

    Just that he was regretful and sad since the beautiful women's fragrance disappeared from the pendant.

    Several people were in front of him and when the young and tender female cultivator gazed at Qin Yu, she let out a small cry, "Senior sister look, it's him!"

    Senior sister frowned as she looked him over, "Him!? How come I don't recognize him?"

    The young and tender female cultivator hurriedly replied, "We met him in a nameless valley when we were running from demonic cultivators. I'm not wrong, it's him.  "

    Senior sister looked him over carefully, then shook her head, "So what if it's him? What's all the fuss about if I don't know him."

    The young and tender female cultivator stuck out her tongue. The eyes of the males beside her flashed at this charming silliness. They gazed at Qin Yu with unpleasant looks, 'Where did this guy come from to make junior sister Qi care about him? Get lost, the further the better!’

    Qi Jiao looks at Qin Yu and his sad face made her heart tremble, 'Is he thinking about his beloved? How pitiful.' She was suddenly swept by an urge—and before she could recover—she was in front of him. Meeting his eyes—as her face flushed—she spoke in a small voice, "The departed can't return. Restrain your grief and accept it."

     

    Qin Yu blanked a bit, then cupped his hands, "Many thanks to young miss, but do we know each other?"

     

    Qi Jiao shook her head, "Me and senior sister saw you three years ago, in a valley. However, you were immersed in grief at that time and didn't notice us. "

    Three years ago, should be the time when Ning Ling passed away.

    Looking at the young miss in front of him, Qin Yu's heart was somewhat warmer. Then he smiled, "Thank you, young miss, for reminding me. I am fine now."

    Qi Jiao's face flushed even more, as her hands were grasped tightly together. She suddenly discovered that Qin Yu's eyes are so black, so luminous, yet his smile made her feel nervous. 

    Senior sister shot a glance at the several glum senior brothers and junior brothers—then at the oblivious Qi Jiao—smiling bitterly inside, 'If you do this again, you will give him trouble.'

    She stepped forward, "Junior sister, we must go."

    Qi Jiao recovered from her stupor, "E-en. I'm coming, senior sister!" She waved her hand and moved her lips, yet no word came out.

    Some males' eyes looked at Qin Yu with ill intentions. But they had no excuses to act on, and could only hold it in while cursing inside, 'You got lucky punk!'

    Qin Yu smiled as each went their own way.

    More than half of the houses were occupied by people from the same sect, same clan or acquaintances. With all of them gathered together, they made quite a commotion. Some of the houses were turned into a market—filled with shouts of haggling—as they were used as vendor stalls.

    Clamor was clamor, and living here wasn't that great, which the newcomers noticed this and moved away. As a result—when Qin Yu was making his choice—only the ones near the market were empty.

    Shaking his head, he chose one at random, 'At least the sight isn't bad, moreover, it's very easy to buy things... Yes.' With this self-comforting, the marketplace's clamor no longer had any effect on him.  

    Tidying up a bit—making sure everything was in order—Qin Yu rested for two hours, then walked in the marketplace. Indeed, all the items here were nothing in his eyes. 'You're just a weak 4th layer of Foundation Establishment cultivator. How can you not show even a little bit of interest in this bustling place? Very strange!'

    Maybe there never was anyone paying attention to Qin Yu, but it was always best to be safe than sorry.

    This was the Ancient Immortal Valley after all!

    Wandering around—while faking interest and haggling for the price—Qin Yu bought some 'good things' that he's 'satisfied' with. Just as he was about to leave—as a 'satisfied' customer—he spotted a rusted sword sheath.

    A movement inside the storage bag rippled outward. Qin Yu's heart trembled slightly—but he didn't show it—and squatted to look on more carefully.

    Behind the stall, Qi Jiao was pleasantly surprised—while somewhat bashful. She played with her fingers, being in a rather bewildered state. 'Why is he here, is it to see me? What do I do if he asks me to be with him?'

    ‘Master said, there are more men bad than good. What master said is definitely true, but is he a bad person? He doesn't seem to be. And his smile is so warm.’

    When Qi Jiao was dazed, while her male fans on the side sported black faces and gnashed their teeth.

    Qin Yu nodded, "Fellow Daoist, are these items for sale? " He pointed at the rusted sword sheath with astonishment.

    But very soon, he was startled, "It's you!"

    Faker!

    Keep on acting!

    Several males showed their contempt, 'Even if you're the best actor, you still won't deceive our piercing eyes.'

    ‘Hitting on junior sister Qi equals death!’

    Qi Jiao's heart fell a bit, "En, you want to buy some things? "

    Qin Yu hesitated, then pointed, "Actually, I only want to buy this sword sheath. How much are you asking for it?"

    ‘He doesn't want to take advantage of me!’

    Qi Jiao's eyes brighten, "This sword sheath is something I discovered—by chance—on a riverbank. Because it is rather durable, I held on to it it. It isn't worth much, so you can just take it."

    The males at the side had red eyes, 'Just why is junior sister Qi interested in this guy? Be it his appearance, cultivation or bearing, he is not one bit better than us!'

    "Junior sister Qi!" a male hurriedly began, "We aren't in the sect right now to forgo expenses. Moreover, senior aunt is… in need of spirit stones."

    Another person nodded repeatedly, "Senior brother Li is correct. Since the opportunity to make some spirit stones came, we mustn't waste it." He then shot a cold glare at Qin Yu, "This is a transaction. And if he is interested in the sword sheath, it is very normal to pay for it. "

    Qin Yu nodded, "What you have said is correct. Young miss Qi tells me a price."

    ‘Young miss Qi, my ass! Why are you getting so close? Even more close than us!’

    Senior brother Li sneered, "Even though we don't know what treasure junior sister Qi's sword sheath is, it has an above average hardness. A hundred spirit stones shouldn’t be much, right?"

    His viciousness was obvious.

    ‘Kid, since you dare to hit on junior sister Qi, I will deal with you!’ A hundred spirit stones—for a Foundation Establishment cultivator—was a sky-high price!

    Qin Yu muttered a bit, then slowly nodded, "Fine."

    Senior brother Li's sneer froze on his face. He turned his head—as if to check if heard correctly. Only to see the junior brothers close by with the same startled faces. A hundred spirit stones, he agreed to a price of a hundred spirit stones just like that!?

    Their faces darkened endlessly.

    Another one coughed, "Senior brother Li, I seem to have heard Senior Aunt mention that this sword sheath isn't ordinary. A hundred spirit stones is too low. "

    Senior brother Li was 'enlightened', "Right right, I forgot!" he glared at Qin Yu, and then he said through clenched teeth, "We w-want five hundred spirit stones for this sword sheath!"

    Boom!

    The surroundings were in an uproar.

    The original price of a hundred spirit stones already attracted attention, but he never imagined it would be followed by an explosive price!

    This price was enough to buy a small top-quality magic treasure.

    "Just what is that sword sheath, for him to dare say such an outrageous price?"

    "Maybe it belongs to a magic sword!"

    "It is quite possible. If it is indeed a part of a magic treasure set, then just the material must be worth more than five hundred spirit stones."

    Qin Yu frown as they chattered.

    Suddenly, a person stepped forward, "Five hundred spirit stones! This sword sheath is something I want."

    The scene was thrown in chaos!

    Many people stared wide-eyed, their jaws almost touching the floor.

    Five hundred spirit stones and someone actually wanted it!

    Senior brother Li's heart was startled, but soon was laughing, "Good." He turned, “Five hundred spirit stones were announced. If anyone else wants it, they can bid more."

    For a 4th layer of Foundation Establishment cultivator, a hundred spirit stones were almost all he had. For him to act like this was all to humiliate Qin Yu.

    Qi Jiao spoke in fake anger, "Senior brother Li!" She grabbed the sword sheath and gave it to Qin Yu, "I said that it is of little value, so I'm giving it to you."

    Senior brother Li and the rest were dumbstruck, feeling their hearts broke on the spot.

    Qin Yu thought for a bit, then he said, "Young miss Qi, this sword sheath is indeed uncommon. I can’t just accept this precious item, so I will be buying it from you with a hundred spirit stones."

    Qi Jiao, "This..." Seeing the serious looking Qin Yu—she hesitated for a while— and nodded slowly.

    Qin Yu took the sword sheath, then he waved his arms and a pile of a hundred spirit stones formed on the ground. Their luster attracted attention.

    Many people swallowed.

    Speaking of a Foundation Establishment cultivator—unless he came from an important clan—he wouldn't be able to have such a considerable wealth.

    The face of Senior brother Li—along with the rest— had their faces changed once again.

    Storage bag!

    This kid actually had a storage bag!

    Qi Jiao blanked from complete loss.

    Qin Yu's eyes swept the surroundings, then he stated softly, "Young miss Qi, quickly take the spirit stones."

    "Oh, oh!" Qi Jiao darted her eyes left and right, all the while a junior brother took off his outer garment and began gathering the spirit stones.

    The one who called five hundred left after gave Qin Yu a cold look.

    Qin Yu's eyes lingered on his back and frowned unconsciously. This person's aura gave him an unpleasant feeling.

    But he didn't argue as even Qin Yu didn't want to blow things out of proportions. He kept his thoughts in check and cupped his hands towards Qi Jiao, then he left with the sword sheath.

    Once he returned to his stone house, he took out several Formation Disks and arranged them in the corners. The strength of the formation was not very strong, but it was enough. It would warn him—and give him time to react— when someone was spying on him.

    He waved his arm and the sword sheath once again appeared. Next to it was a black dagger, the same dagger he obtained from the Sealed Demonic Zone.

    The black dagger vibrated as if excited, then flew into the sword sheath. Accompanied by a black light, the sword sheath's rusty surface wiggled and gradually turned into a thick black color, with specks of blood mixed within.

    Freezing, dark, fiendish and ruthless aura spread from the black sword as if it was slowly awakening from a deep sleep.

     

    (1)    The name of the clan is the character for ancient in the Ancient Immortal Valley.

  • Chapter 63: Hundred Ancient Sword

    Qin Yu's expression changed as the bone-chilling aura entered his body and targeted his mind! Restlessness, fear, despair and other feelings filled his mind in an instant as some deep memories surfaced unwillingly.

    Each of them was a dreadful blow to his mind. If his will weakened, then it will sink into chaos, with the final outcome being his sense of self perishing. Sweat started pouring out of his pores, soaking his black robe. Qin Yu's eyes were suffused with blood, yet his face was dull.

    "Hmph! Do you think this small trick can affect my mind? Get the hell out!" His Golden Core Divine Sense erupted, pulverizing the freezing aura and clearing his head.

    With a flick of his finger, a drop of blood landed on the black sword. As it trembled, it released a black light in defiance.

    Qin Yu narrowed his eyes, sneering, "I took you from the Sealed Demonic Zone and I can also destroy you. You'd better believe it."

    The black sword whimpered as it absorbed the blood and then landed in his hand: Hundred Ancient Sword. A fiendish demonic weapon that could devour souls and vitality to improve its consciousness.

    So the dagger and the sword sheath were one once.  This demonic treasure was now complete and it could even improve, thus making it priceless. If he someday gets the chance to upgrade it to spiritual treasure, its might would reach an unimaginable level. It truly was a great item.

    Even though it would be challenging upgrading it to spiritual treasure, it at least had a considerable chance of becoming one. The value of this black sword was immeasurable just from this

    He realizes he owed that Qi girl a favor because of this.

    Qin Yu put away the black sword. In the Ancient Immortal Valley, all matters had to be done with extra care, since the reason for his hiding was to wait for an opportunity.

    In the next several days, Qin Yu rarely went out, showing normal behavior, thus lessening the attention he received from buying the sword sheath.

    Although he never left the stone houses area—with careful observation— Qin Yu found that the patrols of the Ancient Immortal Valley intensified. With even disciples joining them from time to time. It was expected since the information regarding the Radiant Scarlet Tree began to spread.

    Sure enough, not long after, this news also spread throughout this area. Qin Yu knew that the opportunity he was waiting for drew nearer. But the more he felt it, the more he became reserved. He walked in the open every day then returned soon after, as to not reveal any discrepancies.

    In the following nine days, Qin Yu made it a habit to go out. The surrounding houses were slowly occupied in the meantime and his new neighbours nodded in greeting.

    Qin Yu smiled in response, stepping towards the market. He later heard a commotion in front, as he was about to return. This wasn’t at all surprising, even with the Ancient Immortal Valley's rule of non-violence. As many dubious characters gather, conflicts were bound to pop up.

    Towards this common sight, Qin Yu usually turned away. But this time he hesitated and made his way through the crowd.

    Qi Jiao's eyes were teary while holding a jade bottle in her hand, "You swindlers, this Jade Salve is fake, completely useless."

    The people behind the stall sported ugly faces, but it was really hard to get angry towards a tear-stained young miss!

    The purple clothed cultivator took a breath, then said gravely, "Little miss, you can’t speak nonsense. You checked yesterday this Jade Salve worth of a hundred spirit stones yourself. How can you say we're swindlers? "

    Qi Jiao was a bit dazed. Then her crying grew fiercer, "But it's truly useless. I’m not lying."

    Her wronged and heartbroken appearance was real, while the spectators gazed with contempt at the sellers, 'How shameless for a bunch of old men cheating a young miss!'

    The purple clothed cultivator's heart was raging. He still had some things he wanted to sell and never expected for his reputation to be tarnished. He then took out a similar bottle from his clothes, "Look, everyone, these are two Jade Salve bottles I happened to obtain. One I sold to this young miss, and this is the second." He carefully opened the sealed lid and waved his hand above it, "Please check everyone, is it not real? We don't sell fake goods."

    "It is indeed the smell of the Jade Salve."

    "This kind of items must be thoroughly inspected at purchase to avoid mistakes."

    "Yes, but this young miss doesn’t seem to be lying."

    Qi Jiao didn’t know what to say, as she kneaded the jade bottle bewildered.

    The purple clothed cultivator was vexed, 'How can I continue to sell with these complications?' Someone from behind whispered in his ear making his expression brightened, so he hurriedly added, "Young miss, I advised you that the Jade Salve's lid mustn’t stay open for too long, or it will be affected by the air and turn useless. Did you perhaps left it open?"

    Qi Jiao shook her head, "I only inspected it once, then gave it to senior brother Li to deliver it to Master. But senior brother Li told me this Jade Salve was fake."

    Many looked over, and to mask his panic, senior brother Li immediately laughed coldly, "It’s clear that you deceived my young and ignorant junior sister by selling her fake goods. And now you are making such preposterous accusations!? If you don’t hurry and return the spirit stones back to my junior sister, then I won’t be polite!"

    "Yes, don’t talk rubbish, hurry and pay her back!"

    "So daring, to bully our junior sister Qi!"

    "It’s as if you’re bullying us!"

    The people behind him started raising a fuss.

    The purple clothed cultivator sneered, "Doesn't it seem more like you came to make trouble? Not one spirit stone will be refunded!"

    'There’s nothing I can do for you, little miss. But you bastards want to force me?'

    The man behind the stall stood up.

    But every pair of eyes landed on the purple clothed man. A Golden Core's aura was so brilliant!

    This made senior brother Li and the rest dumbstruck, as no one expected for him to be a Golden Core cultivator.

    The audience immediately changed sides.

    "Why would senior with a Golden Core status degrade himself in selling fake goods?"

    "Right, right. Just a hundred spirit stones are not worth it."

    "It seems it is these youngsters are the swindlers. But their luck ran out and actually provoked a Golden Core senior!"

    "This girl doesn’t seem to be. Sigh, appearance can be deceiving!"

    'To hell with pitying and sympathizing with a pretty girl. We are on the Golden Core's side.'

    The purple cultivator sneered, "You must give me an explanation about this!" When the accusations were shrugged off with the release of his cultivation, his attitude changed into one of anger.

    Senior brother Li and the others sported red faces. Their previous satisfying words were now gone, as they couldn’t help gaze pleadingly at Qi Jiao, hinting her on and on to apologize.

    A Golden Core cultivator wasn’t much in the Ancient Immortal Valley, but to them, this was an insurmountable mountain. Even more so now, when the only expert in the sect was badly hurt and in seclusion. They didn’t dare to make such trouble.

    Qi Jiao's face flushed red. She knew she couldn’t offend a Golden Core expert, but she didn’t lie, so why must she apologize? Grievance, embarrassed, nervous and helplessness passed through Qi Jiao's heart. She tried to wipe away her tears, to no avail.

    "I-I'm s-sorry!"

    The purple clothed man's face flashed with unwillingness, but a Golden Core still had his dignity. How did it change from demanding an explanation to just accepting it without any inquiry? But this girl was so heartbroken and he couldn’t bear to do it.

    "Young miss Qi, please let me take a look at the Jade Salve." Qin Yu was already by her side when he began.

    The commotion over the sword sheath a few days ago was still fresh in many peoples’ minds. They immediately recognized him and felt he was hopeless. Sure enough, it was all for a girl. Whatever the case, his bid last time was very foolish. And now, he was actually provoking a Golden Core. Young people didn’t know how to behave!

    Qi Jiao looked at Qin Yu, feeling an indescribable sense of safety in her heart. Her grievance then burst out without any reason, in the form of tears.

    "I-I d-didn’t lie, n-not once."

    Qin Yu took the jade bottle and sniffed it, "This bottle of Jade Salve changed its properties in eight hours." He  then raised his head and looks at the purple clothed cultivator once he finished.

    The middle-aged man didn’t know why, but he continued with, "From the time it was bought until now, about sixteen hours have passed."

    Qin Yu nodded, "Young miss Qi, when did you give the Jade Salve?"

    Qi Jiao sobbed, "Not long after I bought it, I gave it to senior brother Li."

    Little miss gave the Jade Salve to senior brother Li after she purchased it, and the Jade Salve changed its properties in eight hours. If it was true, then the problems laid with senior brother Li.

    As more suspicious glances were drawn to him,  senior brother Li became more nervous, "What rubbish are you spouting? How do you know it's in eight hours? I'm warning you, don’t speak nonsense!"

    Qin Yu was calm, "This is the Ancient Immortal Valley, with countless Alchemy experts. Who doesn't know this?"

    Figures flashed, and three Ancient Immortal Valley disciples appeared.

    "Who is making trouble?"

    The purple clothed cultivator cupped his hands, "Fellow Daoist, this matter is related to this one surnamed Wei. I have troubled you."

    The three returned the greeting, "Paying respects to senior Wei."

    Even the Ancient Immortal Valley must show proper respect to a Golden Core cultivator.

    One of them began, "Senior Wei, may I ask what happened?"

    Wei Jing spoke in simple terms while pointing out the situation.

    "Jade Salve isn’t considered precious. I will evaluate it." The Ancient Immortal Valley disciple extended his hand, "Let me see."

    Qin Yu handed it over.

    The ancient immortal valley disciple sniffed, then dripped some on his hand, and lastly examined it. He nodded and said, "Correct, it is indeed in eight hours. The Jade Salve has little effect now." His eyes landed on Qin Yu, "Fellow Daoist, you have good judgment."

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Merely a coincidence, it doesn't  compare to a true expert's skill."

    The Ancient Immortal Valley cultivator laughed, then turned around and spoke, "Senior Wei, how do you want him to be punished?"

    Wei Jing muttered something.

    Senior brother Li started to sweat bullets as his face paled.

    Qi Jiao was angry inside at senior brother Li for deceiving her. But they were fellow disciples after all, and even in dire straits, she still couldn’t bear it to see him get hurt. With matters reaching this point, she barely helped herself, and helping him would be impossible. So she gave a meaningful look to Qin Yu.

    This was something she unconsciously expressed in a young girl's moment of helplessness. The thought of Qin Yu being in trouble never crossed her mind.

    Then she saw as Qin Yu stepped forward.

    Qi Jiao's stared wide-eyed. What was he doing? Don’t be foolish and quickly leave!

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Senior Wei, today’s mistake is entirely ours, I implore senior to let it go."

    A senior sister who heard this hurried over, feeling glum at his words. Then she begged for forgiveness, pleading not to pursue this further. But who are you? You would be in trouble if you offended a Golden Core!

    "Greetings senior! Junior sister and junior brother weren’t sensible and offended senior. Please be lenient! We will offer some spirit stones as apologies. I ask senior to be magnanimous and let it go this time."

    Wei Jing looked at her—then at Qin Yu—and waved his arm, "Never mind, today was just a misunderstanding. You can leave."

  • Sad to read that WW did not adopt your translations but opted to start afresh.  I too, enjoyed your translations and could see your improvements over the last few months.  Thank you for your diligent work.


    Hope this set-back has not dampened your spirit too much and that it will not undermine your translating effort. Be like a heaven-defying cultivator and rise above all set-backs!Please let us know where you will post your next project. 


    Cheers!

  • Chapter 64: Paying a visit

    Just like that?

    The spectators were also dumbstruck. 

    Many screamed inside, 'What a lucky bastard.', while others admired him, 'Senior Wei is truly magnanimous, letting them go even when framed.'

    The Ancient Immortal Valley disciple coldly said, "Since senior Wei said so, you can leave. Be more careful in the future, as you might not be so lucky next time."

    Senior sister was immensely grateful towards Wei Jing. She grabbed her junior sister and junior brothers, then quickly left after bowing again and again. As for Qin Yu—a nosy youngster—his intentions were definitely selfish. Regardless if it were to save a fair and delicate noblewoman, he didn’t even realize the seriousness of the situation. The farther men like him were, the better.

    Qi Jiao intended to say something, but was forcefully taken away by senior sister, while watching Qin Yu with an apologetic expression. He laughed it off, not minding it. Originally, he had a favor he wanted to repay. But after today, all their implications were now settled, bringing about a perfect ending.

    Who knew of these people might drag him into something later?

    With the commotion gone, the crowd slowly dispersed. Many eyed Qin Yu while thinking, 'This youngster is a bit too foolish. He clearly helped with good intentions, yet the others showed no consideration by leting him leave.' 

    Qin Yu was unaware of the pitiful looks he received and began to leave.

    "Young friend, wait a moment." Wei Jing sent the three Ancient Immortal Valley disciples off, the called out to Qin Yu while walking over in haste.

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Is there anything else, senior?"

    Wei Jing looked around, "This isn’t the place to speak. Is it possible for a young friend to come join me at my residence?"

    Qin Yu's eyes flashed, nodding.

    Wei Jing laughed, "Follow me, young friend."

    They were exiting the market, then walked along a small road up the mountain. After a while, they arrived before a long courtyard. The Ancient Immortal Valley arranged this area for the Golden Core cultivators, and it also had an impresive scenery.

    Several juniors might not know why was the clan uncle so courteous towards this youngster, but they were taught how to be respectful and not as questions.

    Wei Jing waved his hand, "Alright, you may leave." After the clan's disciples left, he had a solemn expression, "Young friend, I'll get straight to the point. If I am disrespectful, please forgive me. Dare I ask, does young friend have a type of lightening treasure on yourself?"

    Qin Yu frowned.

    Wei Jing repeatedly waved his arms, "Young friend is overthinking things. Because of my cultivation method, I need the assistance of a lightning treasure. If young friend is willing to part with it, I will buy it very reasonable price." He paused, then said with astonishement, "Young friend can see that I am born in a small cultivator clan. I only managed to reach Golden Core by chance and have little wealth. But even if I have to borrow money, I am sure I can satisfy you."

    This person was really honest!

    Qin Yu replied, "Senior Wei, how are you so sure I have a lightning attribute item?"

    “This is related to my cultivation method. As long as there is a treasure that causes a mutual attraction, a reaction occurs, and not even a storage bag can contain it."  

    Qin Yu shook his head, "I can assume that the reason why senior Wei didn’t pursue the previous matter is because of your intentions regarding junior."

    Wei Jing laughed dryly, "Young friend must think it’s laughable."

    He admitted just like that!

    Qin Yu pondered, then began, "Senior Wei is generous, forgiving junior's friends. Whether it's about reason or feelings, there is nothing I can say about it." 

    Wei Jing nodded repeatedly at first, with 'What you said is correct' expression. But the following words made him nervous, and his face froze. 

    "But junior still needs it. I really can’t part with it, so I ask for senior Wei to be indulgent. Junior will be taking his leave then."

    Wei Jing frowned. His instincts told him that what Qin Yu said wasn’t true, but why was he unwilling to sell? 

    "Clan Uncle, is there a need to waste words with your cultivation? Some pressure woukd have scare him into submitting it!" A Wei clan junior angrily spoke.

    Wei Jing shouted coldly, "Shut up, what have I taught you every day? Never to use your cultivation to bully the weak!"

    Several youngsters were terrified and quickly lowered their heads in apology. 

    Wei Jing's face softened a bit, "Remember, the cultivation world is full of hidden dragons and crouching tigers. You never know when you might meet one, so you must be extremely careful."

    "Clan Uncle is saying that he is hiding his cultivation?"

    Wei Jing didn’t respond and waved his hand, "Go, find out where he stays. I will pay him a visit tomorrow."    The youngsters didn’t dare to say anything and retreated respectfully. 

    The following day.

    Wei Jing made himself presentable—changing into official attire. Then he made his way to the middle of the mountain, with two clever youngsters and a gift. This was a proper visit, treating Qin Yu as if he had equal status. Wei Jing wasn’t certain if Qin Yu was an expert, but he never saw through him. Plus, he was always calm yesterday. It always helped being more careful. 

    Of course, this was greatly related to his character and was recommended to show respect when making a request.

    The youngsters already checked where Wei Jing needed to go. He inwardly decided that he must get that treasure, no matter the cost. But from one look he could ascertain Qin Yu's will. And if he was firm in not selling, it would be very hard to change his mind. What would he do then?

    As he was frowning in thought, a group suddenly barred their way. Wei Jing lifted his head only to have his face darken. He then asked on a cold voice, "You again?"

    Senior sister and Qi Jiao's faces tensed and hurriedly greeted, "We pay respects to senior Wei." The two of them rushed to pay their respects.

    Master's injuries were growing heavier and was in dire need of the Jade Salve to suppress them. They heard yesterday that Wei Jing had another bottle. After some hesitation, they still decided to look for him again. They must buy it, no matter the cost. 

    But the two of them do not know where Wei Jing lives, and couldn’t just ask around. Left with no choice, they wandered in the vicinity of the market, hoping to meet him. Just when all hope seemed lost, Wei Jing appeared before them. Thus—in delight—they hurriedly welcomed him.  

    Seeing the two of them exceedingly courteous, Wei Jing's face eased up somewhat, "What do you want?"

    Senior sister's heart relaxed and quickly explained that they came to request and buy the other Jade Salve.

    The two behind Wei Jing laughed coldly. They might not say it, but the meaning is clear, 'You tarnished our reputation yesterday and came once again to buy it!? You have got to be joking!'

    Senior sister's face reddened, "The Jade Salve is very important to us. We are willing to pay two hundred spirit stones, please give us your consent senior."

    Wei Jing shook his head in refusal. All his thoughts were now on Qin Yu, not having time to waste on this matter. But after a few steps, he suddenly stoped, and turned around, "Are you acquainted with young friend Qin Yu?"

    Senior sister thoughts turned for the better, but her happiness hasn’t revealed itself before she froze, 'Qin Yu? Who’s he?'

    Qi Jiao was the same.

    Wei Jing was struck dumb, 'Just how is it that you don’t even know the name of your rescuer?' But after a long thinking, a certain possibility came to him. Wei Jing's face became amiable, "He is precisely the young friend who helped you yesterday." 

    "Ah!" Qi Jiao cried faintly.

    Wei Jing, "Young miss Qi recognizes him, right?"

    Qi Jiao's face paled and bit her lip, not knowing what to do.

    Wei Jing hurriedly said, "Young miss Qi needn’t be anxious. I don’t mean harm, as we have a mutual request. How about this, if you can make Qin Yu agree, the Jade Salve will be yours."

    He waved his hand, "Let’s go, we were just on our way to see him."

    Senior sister and Qi Jiao exchanged a glance, feeling dazed. ‘Senior Wei Jing is going to Qin Yu to make a request. Just how incredible is he? Just what skill he has to make senior Wei be this careful, to the point of even giving them the Jade Salve?’

    "What do we do, senior sister?"

    Senior sister looked at Qi Jiao, hesitating. She then spoke through clenched teeth, "We go after them!" 

    In front of a stone house stood Wei Jing and sent a junior to knock at the door.

    The door soon opens, and Qin Yu’s face darkened at the scene before him, "Senior Wei, what’s the meaning of this?"

    For the sake of obtaining the Radiant Scarlet Tree, he didn’t want any attention. And Wei Jing's visit made this a moot point.

    ‘You are a Foundation Establishment capable of making a Golden Core in paying you a visit. Just who would believe that this is normal?’

    Wei Jing's mind was a bit tense. That unfathomable reaction has once again surfaced, with even fear and trepidation mixed within. He then gave a rushed smile, "I have come to pay young friend a visit, in such and idle day. I also met these two young ladies—along the way—and came together. Please forgive us for disturbing you, young friend."

    Qin Yu wanted to roar, 'Can I trouble you not to be so polite?' Sensing the amazement of his neighbors, he took a deep breath, "Welcome senior Wei, let's talk inside!" He said, as he peeked from the corner of his eyes at the two behind him, and then at the two ladies.

    Wei Jing instructed behind him, "The gift, um, you wait here!"

    Senior sister hurriedly said, "We will also wait."

    Qin Yu took back his glare, 'Even a gift. Hurry up and hide it! I must not let this old geezer mess around, or trouble won’t be far behind!'

    He was aware of Wei Jing's kind nature from yesterday, but he was still young and inexperienced.

    "Senior Wei, please."

    The door then closed with a bang.

    Qin Yu's face contorted, "Senior Wei, what is the meaning of this?"

    Wei Jing felt indescribably nervous, as fear and trepidation became more pronounced. He swallowed, then said apologetically, "Young friend, the reason I came here, is for that item. I ask young friend to part with it!" After a pause, he forced himself to continue, "The two young ladies have come to buy my other Jade Salve. As long as young friend agrees to part with the treasure, I will immediately give the Jade Salve to them!"

    Qin Yu laughed from anger, brushing his sleeve away, "We aren’t friends, so using them won’t worl. And I already said that I still need it."

    Wei Jing gave a bitter smile, "You really won't sell?"

    "No."

    Wei Jing sighed, "Alright, I will be troubling you again tomorrow."

    Qin Yu stared, 'What about being a kind and honest person?'

    ‘Even if I have discerning eyes, you also can't change this much. You can't just threaten me like this!’

    "You're too much senior Wei!"

    Wei Jing smiled dejectedly, "I ask for young friend's help. I don’t have any other way." He paused, then continued, "Can you see—young friend—why I faked my cultivation and began trading here? I offended someone from the top of the mountain and I am unable to retreat even if I want to. If I can’t advance my cultivation, then my clan will be over. So I have no choice but to use this trick. Please forgive me for offending you, young friend."

    Qin Yu’s gloomy face brightened by more than half, then said through his clenched teeth, "Five thousand spirit stones, not a stone less! And if trouble came because of today, you better not blame me for not warning you."

    Wei Jing was overjoyed, "Many thanks to young friend! Five thousand is quite a lot. I will immediately prepare them and then come back tomorrow!"

    Qin Yu frowned, "You reallt don’t care about troubles?"

    "My clan is about to collapse, so what would be the point of being scared? Goodbye."

    "Wait!" Qin Yu waved his hand, "Don’t come in person tomorrow, it will be too conspicuous. And don’t forget what you said about the Jade Salve."

    Wei Jing gave a content smile and said, "Be at ease young friend, I will remember."


  • 101That said:

    Sad to read that WW did not adopt your translations but opted to start afresh.  I too, enjoyed your translations and could see your improvements over the last few months.  Thank you for your diligent work.


    Hope this set-back has not dampened your spirit too much and that it will not undermine your translating effort. Be like a heaven-defying cultivator and rise above all set-backs!Please let us know where you will post your next project. 


    Cheers!

    I am still looking for a novel. If anyone has some recommendations, I am all ears.
  • This translation is so good. Just nuts to me that it's not gonna be used on the site. I wish you the best on whatever your next project is.
  • I am still looking for a novel. If anyone has some recommendations, I am all ears.

    1. Non-Qidian novel

    2. Relatively short

    3. Completed novels (known quality level/ending) vs On-going novels (inherent uncertainties/risks of writer going on hiatus, deteriorating quality/lousy endings, etc)

    4. Author's track-record

    Based only on the dropped novels on my reading list, perhaps you may like to consider:

    1. Above the Skies (started/dropped in another WW translation thread): https://www.novelupdates.com/series/above-the-skies/ ; Proven author (all his novels have high ratings/good plots), 1241 chapters

    2. Marquis of Grand Xia (translator previously offered to WW to take over when she had to drop this): https://www.novelupdates.com/series/marquis-of-grand-xia/ 1686chapters, 4.3 rating with 1561 readers on NovelUpdate

  • 101That said:
    I am still looking for a novel. If anyone has some recommendations, I am all ears.

    1. Non-Qidian novel

    2. Relatively short

    3. Completed novels (known quality level/ending) vs On-going novels (inherent uncertainties/risks of writer going on hiatus, deteriorating quality/lousy endings, etc)

    4. Author's track-record

    Based only on the dropped novels on my reading list, perhaps you may like to consider:

    1. Above the Skies (started/dropped in another WW translation thread): https://www.novelupdates.com/series/above-the-skies/ ; Proven author (all his novels have high ratings/good plots), 1241 chapters

    2. Marquis of Grand Xia (translator previously offered to WW to take over when she had to drop this): https://www.novelupdates.com/series/marquis-of-grand-xia/ 1686chapters, 4.3 rating with 1561 readers on NovelUpdate

    Thanks, I will consider them.
  • Chapter 65: Alchemy Gathering

    As the two people walked through the door, they became the focus of many eyes. The Wei clan juniors' hearts eased when they saw Wei Jing's smile, while the girls felt increasingly nervous. They didn’t do anything—or more like—they just didn’t know what to do. Even if Qin Yu agreed, his decision had not consideration of them. 

    Wei Jing’s eyes looked around, smiling, "Relax—young ladies—young friend Qin Yu consented. I will—of course—abide by my promise. This Jade Salve is yours."

    This was the ability of a man with integrity. He didn’t state it, yet with a bit of thought, anyone could see the deeper meaning. It made them feel like Qin Yu's consent had a lot to do with the two of them. 'Young friend, I can only help you this much!'

    Seeing this proud and satisfied look, Qin Yu's eyes twitched, 'Just what is this guy doing?' 

    Did he awaken his funny side?

    Senior sister was incredibly happy but looked sideways when she was about to receive the bottle.

    Qi Jiao's face was flushed red—and gazing at Qin Yu—she spoke in a soft voice, "Thank you." 

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Young miss Qi needn’t thank me."

    As he watched the two girls leave, Wei Jing laughed, "Young friend's eyes aren’t bad, this young miss Qi's character is good and also rare. No need to explain, I shall take my leave."

    Qin Yu gave a bitter smile, ' Just what is this?!' He shook his head, avoiding the curious gazes of the neighbors and went back inside.

    The second day, he received the respectful two juniors from the Wei clan but left soon after.

    Qin Yu's storage bag was now five thousand spirit stones richer and a Heavenly Thunder Bamboo poorer. Although it was just a stalk, this price—for a ten-thousand-year-old Heavenly Thunder Bamboo—was definitely worthwhile.

    Of course, what needed to be said was already said. If Wei Jing was smart enough, he wouldn't be meddlesome.

    There was a sudden disturbance outside, immediately followed by a strong wave of power coming from far away.

    Qin Yu's face paled. He opened the door with a brush of his sleeve, then flashed several times until he arrived halfway up the mountain.

    He gazed towards the heart of the Ancient Immortal Valley, at the scarlet glow rising upward, shining the entire sky and releasing spiritual energy.

    Three figures were having a hard time running away, while a black cloud chased behind them, accompanied by a dreadful buzzing of insect wings.

    "Blue Winged Ants!"

    "My god, so terrifying!"

    "Those are three Golden Cores, with even the weakest being a late Golden Core. But they actually couldn't resist!"

    In the wake of constant miserable cries, the three were drowned in the sea of Ancient Immortal Valley Golden Core cultivators then ripped apart and eaten by the Blue Winged Ants. Qin Yu's mind shook, as thoughts spun inside. He flipped his hand inside his robe and was now holding some golden and dazzling leaves, the Great Sun Tree leaves.

    Far away, the Blue Winged Ants were returning after killing the three Golden Core. Suddenly, they ushered an excited cry and whistled over. 

    Qin Yu was shocked, never expecting the Blue Winged Ants to discover the Great Sun Tree's leaves over such a great distance. Their reaction was really fierce as if they were starved for countless years. 

    After he put the leaves away, Qin Yu faked a terrified expression as he ran away with the others. Yet the Blue Winged Ants already arrived, hovering around the area and constantly cried in anger. With such an astonishing speed, it was no wonder they caught the three Golden Core!

    A silver-haired old man showed up in front of the ants. He made quick hand gestures and released a majestic power, causing earth-shattering rumbling.

    The Blue Winged Ants shrieked on and on but flew away when they lost the connection and  disappeared along with the scarlet glow.

    The silver-haired old man turned around. His face was obscured by a mist, preventing anyone from seeing it, yet those two eyes like suns seemed to be able to penetrate everything. As the eyes descended, everyone's body froze and shocking them to the core. Luckily, it didn’t seem like he found anything, and disappeared with a single step.

    Qin Yu was soaked in cold sweat. This old man was definitely a Nascent Soul cultivator, and even more powerful Seven Murdering Demonic Sect's Patriarch Tian Xingmo.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley was indeed formidable!

    The scarlet light was proof of Scarlet Radiant Tree’s existence, while the attraction of the Blue Winged Ants towards the Great Sun Tree's leaves exceeded his imagination. But how could he get close to the Scarlet Radiant Tree when the Ancient Immortal Valley was so formidable?

    While Qin Yu was vexed about how to get near the Scarlet Radiant Tree, someone else was actually worried about him instead.

    Qi Jiao was resting her chin on her hands, absent-minded. ‘If he truly likes me, why isn’t he coming to find me?’

    Senior sister looked from afar, approaching hesitatingly, "Junior sister, what are you thinking about?"

    Qi Jiao's face reddened, "Nothing."

    Senior sister sat down, pondered a bit, then, "Junior sister, I admit I despised Qin Yu. He made senior Wei regard him thusly, proving he isn’t ordinary. But he isn’t suited to you. "

    Qi Jiao stared wide-eyed, "Why?" 

    Senior sister shook her head, "It’s what Master said. Qin Yu must have a reason since he was willing to hide and become unremarkable. There’s been a lot of buzzing regarding the Scarlet Radiant Tree recently. Perhaps this is why he is here."

    Qi Jiao let out a cry of surprise, "No, he can’t have any intention towards the Scarlet Radiant Tree. Those three Golden Cores were eaten by the Blue Winged Ants that day. Why would he risk it?!"

    Senior sister covered her mouth, "Shh! Do you want everyone to know! This is just Master's guess, not necessarily true."

    There was more, but senior sister didn’t say. According to Master, Qin Yu didn’t have those any intention of getting close to Qi Jiao, as his help was related to the sword sheath. Senior sister didn’t believe at first—but if Qin Yu had any feelings for Qi Jiao—he would have already visited.

    Senior sister wanted to tell Qi Jiao in order to avoid future sadness—but seeing her love-struck—no word came out.

    The Radiant Scarlet Tree seemed just like a hundred cat claws. It scratched everyone's hearts—making them surge wildly—and also dashing all of their hopes. At that moment, the Ancient Immortal Valley opened its gates, giving everyone the chance of approaching the Radiant Scarlet Tree.

    For the purpose of lifting the flag against the Demonic Faction's invasion on Southern Nation, and to raise the morale of the Alliance, the Ancient Immortal Valley held an Alchemy Gathering. In this gathering, both Golden Core and Foundation Establishment were welcome. The first ten were allowed to cultivate before the Radiant Scarlet Tree for a month. This was only related to Alchemy and was independent of one’s cultivation. 

    The ancient spiritual Radiant Scarlet Tree gathered huge amounts of spiritual energy forming a natural Domain. Cultivating inside the Domain for one day equaled a month outside, adding to that a miraculous effect of aiding breakthroughs. This was the information sent by the Ancient Immortal Valley. 

    The Southern Nation and the Northern Dynasty boiled.

    Some say that the Ancient Immortal Valley's aim was to show that the Radiant Scarlet Tree belonged to them. Furthermore, from the mouth of the winners of the Alchemy Gathering, they would hear about the tight defense and scare any who had ill thoughts. Whichever the case was, as the information spread, winds began blowing! 

    Participants were many, but not all could join as the Ancient Immortal Valley issued three tests.

    Choosing ingredients, selecting the right pill recipe and refining an eligible pill. According to a standard check, Qin Yu was allowed a smooth entry.

    A while later, the Alchemy Gathering began. The place the Ancient Immortal Valley was using, was the Alchemy Mountain. It was cleared earlier of all disciples that were using it to practice Alchemy.

    The Alchemy Mountain was around three hundred zhang tall and filled with densely packed, zhang tall round caves. These were all made by the Ancient Immortal Valley's cultivators in preparation for today.

    The one in charge of the Alchemy Gathering was a late Golden Core elder from the Ancient Immortal Valley by the name of Zhao Xin. He had a solemn and severe expression, "In this Alchemy Gathering it is forbidden for anyone to cheat. Any violation will be severely punished. Today you have to refine a pill eligible for advancement in two hours. Any who fails is disqualified. Begin!"

    The cultivators who had their identity checked and waited for a long time rushed towards the Alchemy Mountain. When talking about refining pills, two hours was rather short, so they mustn’t be one bit careless.

    From the crowd, Qi Jiao searched with big eyes. She suddenly felt her body stiffen, as her eyes landed on a certain figure.

    Qin Yu was actually an Alchemist!

    She watched him fly along with others—eyes fixed on him—while thinking about what senior sister told her. She then bit her lip, full of worry. 

    Did he really come for the Radiant Scarlet Tree?

    Qin Yu seems to have sensed it and turned his head. He met her eyes and after blanking a bit, nodded. He locked on a cave and then arrived at its entrance in a single step. 

    After entering the cave, Qin Yu wasn’t so eager to begin refining like the rest. He used his Divine Sense to search every nook and cranny, and after making sure all was in order, he grinned.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley was playing by the rules. This made it safe for Qin Yu to acquire one of the ten positions with the help of Little Blue Lamp. 

    This was completely unfair to others, but where in this world was there true justice?

    When Qin Yu sat cross-legged, a fifth of the time has passed already. His face was calm, however, as his eyes swept the ingredients laying in chaos before him.

    Demon Face Flower, Withered Thunder Branch, Pure Scorched Grass, Hidden Venomous Parasite ... There were many ingredients with different characteristics. Some of excellent quality, some withered and some even resembled creatures.

    Take the Withered Thunder Branch for example. It was a dried branch from a willow that survived an attack from heavenly lightning, rare and expensive. To exploit this, the cultivators used lightning techniques to make the Withered Thunder Branch. Along with delicate control, it would be hard to differentiate the fake from the original.

    It was very important for any qualified Alchemist to identify ingredients. Thus, this competition already started from the moment they chose ingredients. These ingredients—whether good or bad—all had different pairings for many types of pills. The choice came to each individual.

    Qin Yu took six types of ingredients—all ordinary and simple—while completely ignoring the expensive ones, like the Withered Thunder Branch. The Ancient Immortal Valley's wealth wasn’t false—but even so—they won’t waste so many precious ingredients on all five hundred participants.

    There might have been very few genuine Withered Thunder Branch, but what Qin Yu had clearly wasn’t among them. What he wanted to refine was the Spirit Increasing Pill. Yes, the most common pill that every Foundation Establishment was using. The Spirit increasing Pill that increased one’s cultivation.

    This kind of common pill, even if successfully refined, it would still fall short of winning. But this test required one's pill to meet a certain level, with no mention of its quality.

    Taking out the Mythical Fire Cauldron, Qin Yu injected it with his power and the fire was ignited, immediately releasing a scorching aura. After the cauldron finished warming up, he threw in the first ingredient.

    Several hundred people began refining pills at the same time, releasing a strong medicinal fragrance. This was a scene that could only happen in the Ancient Immortal Valley. But speaking for the Alchemists, it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

    A muffled boom came from a cave, soon followed by a stench. The cultivator inside howled in grief, "Thousand Gold Grass is fake!"

    Very quickly, another cave not far from him also suffered the same fate. The soot-covered cultivator rushed outside, cursing in rage, "The bastard who made me fail my refining, come out!"

    That previous sound clearly made him fail.

    A gloomy cultivator came out of a cave, "What are you yelling at! It blew up because if your mediocre skill!"

    "Bastard! I will teach you today why the flowers are red!"

    "I'm so scared!"

    Right when they were about to strike each other, an Ancient Immortal Valley cultivator intervened and forced them to leave. This was one of Ancient Immortal Valley's unspoken rule. As long as you didn’t influence the refining process, you wouldn’t be stopped.

    If you failed because of outside influence, it proved that your heart wasn’t calm enough or your skill wasn’t deep enough. There was no one to blame but yourself.

  • Chapter 66: Not enough ingredients

    Every moment of the next hour had someone failing. The most excessive was the refinement of the Foundation Establishment ranked Five Lightning Pill which required the Withered Thunder Branch as one of its many ingredients. His luck was the best or—better yet—his eyes, since the Withered Thunder Branch was real, only his skill was lacking. Not only was his forehead bleeding from the exploding furnace, but the magnitude enveloped a ten zhang range, taking four other unfortunate men down with him.

    The most tragic participant was the one who’s refining skill was quite good, reaching the point of taking out the pills. Yet he had to watch helplessly as the pill was shattered by lightning when he was about to take them out. If it weren’t for the Ancient Immortal Valley stepping in, this cultivator would have been torn apart on the spot!

    It couldn’t be helped if your luck was really bad since luck was very important to a cultivator. Many famous and once powerful seniors were able to rise above their peers because of a slight amount of luck. Alchemists were also cultivators, so they couldn’t complain even if they failed. 

    When there were only fifteen minutes left, Qin Yu took out the pills—six common Spirit Increasing Pills—from the cauldron, that were neither strong nor weak. 

    He tidied up a bit—put the pills in a jade bottle—and flew outside. An Ancient Immortal Valley disciple took the bottle and assessed the pills on the spot, granting Qin Yu the qualification to enter the second test. Not far, an Ancient Immortal Valley Alchemist laughed coldly, "You didn’t use the ingredients provided. Take him away!"

    Qin Yu's eyes flashed with pity at the sight of the dragged and paralyzed Alchemist, 'Can’t help it if he’s dumb. How could The Ancient Immortal Valley not have a way to identify the ingredients they prepared for the test? The next time you go out, take your head with you!’ As they were waiting for the evaluation of the pills, some of them paled and withdrew with clenched teeth.

    When the first test was over only two hundred people remained from the initial of five hundred participants. The rate of failure was staggering.

    The night was quiet.

    The Alchemy competition resumed the second day.

    Alchemists weren’t allowed to change their caves and had four hours to make three distinct pills using the rest of the ingredients.

    Once the rule was issued, many had unsightly faces!

    Qin Yu still inspected his cave, but he didn’t dwell on it too much and sat down. He already had a rough idea of what he was going to make.

    After carefully identifying the remaining ingredients, he easily found what he needed for two pills: Hemostatic Pill and Antidote Pill.

    These pills were slightly more difficult when compared with the Spirit Increasing Pill, but they posed no problem with Qin Yu's method. Yet soon after, his brows furrowed.

    For the third pill type, Qin Yu chose the Small Recovering Pill—a pill that replenished one’s energy. But he was missing one ingredient, the Blue Branch Sprout. Of course he had Blue Branch Sprout, but the three of them were fake. Or maybe because of the way they were cultivated, they were lacking as ingredients.

    Qin Yu shook his head, compelled to change it. A few breaths later, his face gradually hardened.

    Not enough ingredients!

    Based on the remaining ingredients, the Hemostatic Pill, Antidote Pill, and the Small Recovering Pill were the only ones fitting the requirement. No matter how he changed it, there were no other suitable pills that could be made.

    This was definitely a coincidence because three of the ingredients used for Spirit Increasing Pill went along with the others to make many types of pills. It can only be said that Qin Yu's luck wasn’t good since his first choice was the Spirit Increasing Pill.

    He frowned, 'Will I actually fail because of this?'

    Bellow the Alchemy Mountain, a sloppy Daoist rushed over, making each Ancient Immortal Valley disciple he passed bow to him.

    The audience was amazed.

    "He is Ancient Immortal Valley's Daoist Wang!" a cultivator cried lowly, reverence on his face, "He does not have any position in the Ancient Immortal Valley, yet his status is above that of an elder. Rumor has it, that because he can’t break through to Nascent Soul, his refining skill doesn’t improve. But even so, people are still willing to wait in line for his pills."

    Zhao Xin frowned, "Why did you come?"

    Daoist Wang waved his hand, "To enjoy the show."

    Zhao Xin's eyes were cold, "The Alchemy Gathering has another purpose, so don't intervene!"

    Daoist Wang grinned, "Lighten up will you, you don’t scare me. Since when did it start? I didn’t miss the show, did I ?"

    Many disciples wanted to laugh at Elder Zhao's deflated face but didn’t dare. When they heard him, one of them cupped his hands, "Reporting to Senior Uncle, not even fifteen minutes passed."

    Daoist Wang showed a happy smile, "How fortunate it’s not too late."

    Zhao Xin coldly stated, "Just what are you trying to do? I warn you..."

    Daoist Wang cut him off, "Alright, I played a small trick when I prepared the ingredients. Don’t glare at me, I guarantee this won’t affect the fairness of the Alchemy Gathering. Just that the little guys who chose the ingredients I arranged, might be put to a small challenge."

    Zhao Xin snorted, keeping silence.

    Daoist Wang waved his hand, and a chair was immediately brought—along with tea and refreshments. The one attending to him was called Zhou Dao.

    As he drank tea and grabbed a bite, Daoist Wang narrowed his eyes in satisfaction, " This little is not enough to move me, so don’t waste your energy little bastards!"

    "Senior Uncle, disciple has no other meaning than fulfilling my filial duty." 

    "Yes, Senior Uncle doesn’t have a personal disciple, but we—as followers—have to fulfill our filial duty."

    "Does Senior Uncle lacks anything? Disciple will fan you."

    Zhao Xin snorted, making the flattering disciples hurriedly retreat with dejected faces.

    Daoist Wang went on eating and drinking without a care in the world.

    Zhao Xin lowered his voice, "You're getting old in years and still haven't taken on a disciple. Are you perhaps planning to take your refining skill to your grave?"

    Daoist Wang shook his head, "It's not that I didn’t search, but that none of them were worthy. Just how much a mediocre idiot can accomplish with my teachings? So I might as well not waste my energy."

    Zhao Xin sneered, "Out of the hundreds Ancient Immortal Valley outstanding disciples, not one caught your eye?"

    Daoist Wang pointed, "Stop the endless nagging. I heard it so many times that my ears are swollen. I personally arranged a challenge for today. If a junior can overcome it, he will catch my attention and might even become my disciple."

    Zhao Xin was solemn, "Are these words true?"

    Daoist Wang became impatient, "I don’t get anything from lying to you, just watch and you’ll see." He turned around and beckoned a disciple over, giving him some instruction. The disciple's face was puzzled, but a slap on the head scared him witless.

    An hour later, a Foundation Establishment young Alchemist stepped out of a cave, annoyed, "How can I make pills when there are not enough ingredients?" 

    Two Ancient Immortal Valley disciples in the surroundings came over, "Are you certain there aren’t enough ingredients?"

    The young Alchemist shrank his head back, "Yes..." 

    Before he could finish, he was grabbed.

    "What are you doing, I still need to refine pills! The ingredients you prepared weren’t enough, so now you want me to abandon this test?" the young Alchemist began to struggle.

    The crowd was a bit restless. No dared to speak up, but their looks changed.

    Zhao Xin gave a low shout, "Just what are you doing?"

    Daoist Wang waved his hand, "Why so anxious, I will explain when this is over. Shut him up first, and bring here everyone else who says there aren’t enough ingredients. "

    Several disciples went to fulfill his order.

    The crowd gradually settled. They found out that the Ancient Immortal Valley had a deeper meaning behind their actions, stirring their curiosity. 

    Time slowly passes and soon, two more Alchemists were brought from the Alchemy Mountain. They all had the same situation—not enough ingredients—and one of them was even a Golden Core Alchemist. He had a proud bearing and easily angered by the Ancient Immortal Valley's conduct.

    "Is this how the so-called Alchemy Gathering is run? You want to eliminate me from not having enough ingredients? What a joke!" The Golden Core Alchemist laughed out of anger. 

    His status wasn't ordinary—so of course—he wouldn't take it lying down. The Ancient Immortal Valley cultivators had gloomy faces at his words.

    Zhao Xin expression was frosty as he sipped tea.

    Daoist Wang's mouth turned into a grin. Seeing the throbbing veins in his clenched hands, he knew he was pissed. So he had no choice but to say, "Shut up! You're called Zhang Yucheng, right? It’s so fortunate to be slightly known as an Alchemist with just this bit of skill, but you better hurry home if you don’t want to be disgraced. Can’t accept it? Then behave yourself and wait and will make you accept it soon enough."

    Zhao Xin put the teacup down, "Fellow Daoist Zhang, calm down. These actions aren’t without reason."  

    Zhang Yucheng's entire face burns red hot but still didn’t dare to go on. He waved his hand and moved to the side, wanting to hear just what kind of explanation would the valley give.

    Two hours, one hour...

    Some people already finished refining as they flew happily out of the Alchemy Mountain. They faked calm in the eyes of the crowd, yet felt proud inside of their achievements, ‘One spot is definitely mine!’

    The four behind Daoist Wang—Zhang Yucheng included— all renounced from the lack of ingredients. They all had indignant faces, but no one spoke up and waited for Ancient Immortal Valley's explanation. 

    Senior Zhang Yucheng even said that the ingredients were insufficient. That the Ancient Immortal Valley didn’t make proper preparation, that they were using this to force them to renounce the competition. Wonder what faces they’d have later?  

    Hmph, even if Ancient Immortal Valley's power was tremendous, they still needed justification!

    Another young Alchemist was brought in and he cupped his hands, "Paying respects to Clan Uncle and Senior Uncle Wang."

    Zhao Xin's face was gloomy, "Zhao Yu, you also didn’t have enough ingredients?"

    Zhao Yu forced a smile, "Replying to Clan Uncle, disciple thought and thought, but still couldn’t find a solution and was forced to abandon."

    Daoist Wang shook his head, "Didn’t think you will also fail, kid. Seems I was expecting a bit too much from these juniors. How dull."

    Zhao Yu was baffled.

    Daoist Wang said, "Move to the side and await my explanation."

    Zhao Xin frowned, "How many ingredients have you prepared?"

    Daoist Wang sticks up three fingers, "Thirty."

    Zhao Xin’s frown deepened, "Too few! How could you possibly find a worthy disciple like this?"

    Daoist Wang smiled, "Everything is connected by fate. But if the chosen disciple is fated to me or not, wouldn't matter either."

    Once these four hours passed, all Alchemists were requested to leave the Alchemy Mountain, or fail the test.

    Qi Jiao searched carefully many times but didn’t find Qin Yu. Did he lose? She was happy since he wouldn’t get near the Radiant Scarlet Tree if he lost and might renounce his plan.

    Yet unknowingly, she was also disappointed. How could a young girl believe such an outstanding man would lose?

    Then, a black-robed figure rushed out from the Alchemy Mountain, slightly pale and somewhat distressed. He landed at the end of the evaluation line, under the dissatisfied eyes of other Ancient Immortal Valley participants.

    Qi Jiao's eyes went wide!

    Qin Yu relaxed his breath as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. He arrived in the nick of time.

  • Chapter 67: Graceful refusal

    There was no need to mention Ancient Immortal Valley pill refining skills, as they were in charge of the Alchemy Gathering. Even more so when the fastest ones were their own cultivators. The ones before Qin Yu were taken care of in a short while, as each had his identification evaluated accurately. The crowd once again bared witness to the Alchemy skill of the Ancient Immortal Valley, drawing many looks of admiration.

    The last one.

    The Alchemist from the Ancient Immortal Valley had his enthusiasm waning, not understanding one bit why the elders would want to hold this gathering. Were these outsiders worthy enough to call themselves Alchemists with these meager skills? They were tarnishing this noble title. 

    Sweeping his eyes on the 4th layer of Foundation Establishment cultivator, his last thread of expectation vanished. Zhao Wu said indifferently, "What pills did you make?"

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Foundation Establishment ranked Hemostatic Pill, Antidote Pill and Small Recovering Pill."

    Zhao Wu was amazed. He appraised several dozens of pills, but this was the first time he met a Small Recovering Pill. Though these three pills weren't be considered difficult, he didn't give them too much thought. He took out one pill at a time, inspected them, smelled them, and frowned. 

    The Hemostatic Pill and the Antidote Pill were of normal quality, but the Small Recovering Pill was barely acceptable, hardly considered finished. This pill would be considered a failure in the Ancient Immortal Valley, but this Alchemy Gathering was quite important. If it was a failure then the second test would also be failed. Zhao Wu hesitated, but still said, "Hemostatic Pill and Antidote Pill are average, while Small Recovering Pill is poor." 

    Even though it was poor, it was passable at least.

    Ancient Immortal Valley disciple wrote it down, and it soon arrived in the hands of Daoist Wang.

    Qin Yu cupped his hands in thanks, then left with the qualification to participate in the third test.

    He barely took several steps, when Daoist Wang's voice boomed, "Who refined the Small Recovering Pill? Bring him over at once!" 

    Zhao Wu was a faithful admirer of Daoist Wang. Towards this Alchemist, who does not belong to his clan, he held a great amount of respect. His heart jumped when he heard this, thinking something was wrong, "Stop him!" 

    In an instant, several Ancient Immortal Valley cultivators had Qin Yu surrounded.

    Among the crowd, Qi Jiao let out a low cry as her hands were held tightly together, "Senior sister, senior sister, what's going on?"

    Senior sister placated her, "Don't worry, it must be a misunderstanding." While she doesn’t believe her words at all.

    Qin Yu's heart took precautions, while his face showed confusion, "What's wrong?"

    Zhao Wu waved his hand, "Bring him over!"

    Yet before they could act, Daoist Wang rushed over impatiently, constantly sizing Qin Yu from top to bottom, "Did you refined the Small Recovering Pill?"

    The peak of Golden Core!

    Qin Yu's mind shivered a bit, then cupped his hands, "It is indeed made by junior." 

    Daoist Wang's face was weird. He muttered a few words—seemingly disappointed—then turned around and chided, "Who appraised it? Are you so useless that you cannot see evens such a small issue?  That he used his own ingredients?" 

    Zhao Wu was embarrassed, "Reporting to Senior Uncle Wang, this person's appraisal was done by me, but... but disciple truly didn't find any issues."

    Daoist Wang cursed loudly, "Useless! Trash! How could he refine the Small Recovering Pill with this kid's cultivation? This went by you completely. Go into your cave later and dig through books, and don't come out! What a disgrace! "

    Zhao Wu was on the verge of crying. In the end, he was still a youngster of the Ancient Immortal Valley that had some renown. He didn’t dare to utter a single word while he was scolded in public and cursed at again and again by Daoist Wang. 

    Zhao Xin frowned and coldly said, "Alright, aren't you afraid of losing your dignity in front of so many people?" He coldly gazed upon Qin Yu, and waved his hand, "Take him away, any violation must be strictly punished!"

    The crowd was in an uproar, but they soon despised him. He clearly witnessed how yesterday the Ancient Immortal Valley had a way of identifying its ingredients, but he still dared to break the rules. How reckless! 

    Tch, Ancient Immortal Valley's punishment was definitely severe. It was said that the one from yesterday had to be carried on a stretcher!

    Qi Jiao's face was deathly white, "What do we do, senior sister?"

    Senior sister smiled dejectedly. What could they possibly do at this time? And why would this Qin Yu do such a dumb thing!

    Qin Yu watched the approaching Ancient Immortal Valley disciples, and frowned, "You haven’t even checked this junior's pill, senior, and just decided I used my own ingredients!? Isn't it going overboard?" 

    Daoist Wang was unfazed, "This paper is the best proof, still not convinced?" 

    Qin Yu nods, "Yes."

    Daoist Wang laughed from anger.

    Zhao Xin coldly said, "Bring his pill. The Ancient Immortal Valley's conduct is always open and upright. I will make you accept it."

    Zhao Wu ran over, "Clan Uncle, Senior Uncle Wang, here is the pill."

    Daoist Wang faced the sky, disdaining from gazing upon it.

    Zhao Xin flashed with helplessness. He took out the pills and had his face frozen soon after. Based on Zhao Xin cultivation and eyesight, he easily identified the Hemostatic Pill and Antidote Pill of being average and in the norm. While the Small Recovering Pill was somewhat lacking, but still considered finished.

    After he sank into silence, he later spoke with a dark face, "Daoist Wang, you tell me. Where's the issue with this pill?"

    Zhao Wu wanted to cry. ‘Clan Uncle doesn’t see it either, I am completely innocent!’

    Daoist Wang sneered, "You actually can’t see such a simple matter,. Zhao Xin, you haven’t cultivated till your brain turned to stone, have you?" He grabbed the pill in anger, "Look, just where does it look like this Small Recovering Pill 's ingredients are mi-... "

    He instantly jolted to a stop.

    Daoist Wang stared wide-eyed as if he saw a ghost in broad daylight, "How can this be, just how..."

    All Ancient Immortal Valley disciples paled, then withdrew with a cough.

    Zhao Xin's face was so dark and gloomy that it was about to leak water. When had the Ancient Immortal Valley ever lost face to such an extent in public? ‘If he can’t turn this around, he is guaranteed that Daoist Wang will finally experience the methods of the Disciplinary Hall!’

    Daoist Wang was ecstatic—so moved—that he grabbed on Qin Yu, "Kid, how did you refine this Small Recovering Pill?"

    The quality of the pill wasn’t high and was classified as a pill consumed by Foundation Establishment cultivators. Everyone looked at each other in dismay, not knowing if this great senior of the Ancient Immortal Valley has gone off his rocker, showing too much excitement.’ Is he perhaps trying to get out of this embarrassing situation? Please don’t insult our intelligence, alright?’

    Qin Yu struggled to free himself but was still held tightly. With no choice, he said, "The ingredients junior used were three Blue Branch Sprout. One damaged and the others were lacking as standard ingredients. But junior's luck was really bad, of all the ingredients, I could only make Hemostatic Pill, Antidote Pill, and the Small Recovering Pill, as no other choice was a viable solution. I just had to force myself through it. The Blue Branch Sprout that was damaged still had medicinal value and used it together with the weak ones to barely refine this Small Recovering Pill. "

    Daoist Wang's face flushed, with shining eyes like he saw a treasure. He laughed hard, "Kid, you will be my disciple. I will do everything I can to teach you, and turn you into one of this generation's greatest Alchemist!" 

    This time, not only the crowd was endlessly shocked, but also the disciples who had their entire eyes turn red. 

    But the crucial point was why?

    Zhao Xin's face was delighted, "Congratulations Brother Wang! But you still owe them an explanation."

    Daoist Wang shot a glance at the people he brought from the Alchemy Mountain and laughed coldly, "My apprentice already explained. The ingredients you have chosen were carefully prepared by me. After refining the Spirit Increasing Pill, the rest of the ingredients could only be used to refine Hemostatic Pill, Antidote Pill and Small Recovering Pill. Each of you had three Blue Branch Sprout, one half-damaged and two of inferior quality. When my apprentice—only at the 4th level of Foundation Establishment—was still able to refine them, what could you possibly say to that??"

    Zhang Yucheng's face was ugly as he left with clenched teeth.

    The rest of them also disappeared, downcast. 

    Daoist Wang turned his head as his face immediately bloomed like a beautiful chrysanthemum, "Good apprentice, come walk with your Master!" 

    Qin Yu felt awkward.

    Zhao Xin frowned, "What! You aren’t willing?"

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Not at all, but junior already has a Master. I don’t dare to cast him aside."

    Daoist Wang blanked. Who would have thought that the disciple he found was already taken? He couldn’t contain his anger, "Damn it! Who's the wicked bastard that was faster than me. This is outrageous!"

    The crowd, Ancient Immortal Valley disciples and Zhao Xin, all had black lines on their faces. ‘Your words are even more outrageous!’

    Daoist Wang was angry, "What's your name?"

    "Junior Qin Yu."

    "Good. Listen to me well Qin Yu, the path of Alchemy is boundless and deep as the sea. A good master is needed to guide you and reach new heights. I might not be an elder in the Ancient Immortal Valley, but if I wish, I could be immediately ranked in the top ten. All of the benefits this status brings will be used to nurture you. As for my refining skill, whoever your Master is, he can't even compare. Make your choice, if you want or not to take me as your Master."

    All eyes were now on Qin Yu, filled with admiration and envy. ‘Such a good opportunity. Quickly agree!’ The disciples from the Ancient Immortal Valley who attended to senior shed two rows of silent tears. Even if they wanted to speak, they were choking on emotions. 

    Qin Yu was silent for a long time, then cupped his hands, "Many thanks for senior’s care, but junior doesn’t dare receive it."

    He declined!

    If eyes could kill, Qin Yu would have been cut thousands of times by the Ancient Immortal Valley disciples. They glared angrily at Qin Yu and straightened their back at the same time. ‘Senior Uncle Wang looks at me, look at me, please! Disciple is here! With a simple nod, I will immediately come pay respects. As for this ungrateful bastard, the farther he was the better. Or the rage of the Ancient Immortal Valley disciples would never subside.’

    Daoist Wang coughed, and struck a killing blow, "Qin Yu, as long as you take me as your Master, there will be no need to participate in the rest of the competition. You will be one of ten allowed to cultivate before the Radiant Scarlet Tree."

    Qin Yu was tempted, but if he really accepted, he would definitely be exposed. Seeing him silent, Zhao Xin said in a deep voice, "You must not hesitate. As an elder, I can attest to this promise."

    The ones who passed the second test had their hearts filled with curses and slander, yet they didn’t dare show it on their faces. Radiant Scarlet Tree belonged to the Ancient Immortal Valley. Others needed to qualify, so why would you—juniors with backing—complain? And who could have seen it coming, that Daoist Wang was actually nervous to this extent?  If he were to stand out any more, he would be embarrassed to death!

    Qin Yu coughed.

    Daoist Wang had a gloomy look, "Think well, kid. I can’t keep giving you chances!"

    ‘What is this, a threat?’ Everyone felt dizzy. ‘You still need to act on your status. Why is it that you don’t have any dignity when it comes to accepting a disciple?!’ 

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Junior can't accept."

    Daoist Wang was exasperated, stomping, pointing and all the while cursing at Qin Yu. ‘So pigheaded and unreasonable. His youthful ignorance shows no limits. For wasting such a talent, he should be hacked to pieces by heavenly lightning. It’s so sad to watch him destroy his own future. It’s as if accepting him as an apprentice is a wicked and evil act!’

    Qin Yu scratched his nose. He had to admit that even though Daoist Wang was angry and enraged, he still regarded him favorably. 

    After a while, Daoist Wang’s gasps stopped and pointed at Qin Yu, "My door is open for when you change your mind!" 

    This was a complete reversal.

    Ancient Immortal Valley disciples were crying, ‘How can a man of your status disregard all integrity?!’ 

    ‘’Look at us, look!

    Watching his old friend leaving, Zhao Xin found that his walk was unsteady, then his face grew colder, "Qin Yu, don’t come to regret today's decision." 

    He then stormed off in a huff.

    Among the countless shocked, confused and sneering expressions, Qin Yu left with a forced smile. Qi Jiao wanted to chase him and speak to him but was held tightly by senior sister. 

    This Qin Yu could even withstand the attraction of becoming Daoist Wang's disciple. He definitely came for the Radiant Scarlet Tree. She couldn’t just stand by as junior sister threw herself into a fiery pit!
  • Chapter 68: Demon attack

    The third day of the Alchemy Gathering.

    When Qin Yu arrived at the Alchemy Mountain, an Ancient Immortal Valley disciple informed him that he wasn’t required to participate today. Once the competition was over, he—along with the first nine—would be taken to cultivate before the Radiant Scarlet Tree for a month.

    Once done, the disciple gave him the cold eye, snorted and left, no longer concerned with Qin Yu. If voting took place for who was the current most unwelcome participant, Qin Yu would win it, hands down. Luckily, he became immune to these looks from seeing them so many times along the way.

    This must have been the intention of Daoist Wang, being fond of talent. But whether it was because of the Radiant Scarlet Tree, or the Little Blue Lamp that no one knew about, he could only refuse. Thus, his heart was somewhat guilty.

    Shaking his head, Qin Yu stepped aside, already content and carefree for not needing to participate. But not for long, since Daoist Wang soon arrived, snorting arrogantly and not sparing him a glance. 

    Can you not be happy, and don't stand so near. Even if I pretended, it was still hard to fake that I didn't see you.  

    Qin Yu scratched his nose, then cupped his hands, "Greetings senior Wang, thank you for your care!"

    Daoist Wang laughed coldly, "Your direct advancement has nothing to do with me. You're thanking the wrong person."

    Qin Yu was stumped. I haven’t said anything about it, was this a direct confession? 

    Daoist Wang thought to himself that Qin Yu's enthusiasm was dampened, improving his mood. Thus, he drew his attention towards the third day's test and no longer paid Qin Yu any mind.

    The third day of the Alchemy Gathering was still being held on the Alchemy Mountain. But there was a sudden change in rules, refining was to be done on its surface. 

    The nine who refined the most precious and best quality pill were the winners.

    Qin Yu's back was covered in cold sweat. Good thing he didn’t join or—based on the fierce competition— it would have been obvious whether or not he would qualify. In the end, this competition involved Southern Nation and Northern Dynasty's younger generation Alchemists. With more than ten percent being hidden talents.

    Truth be told, Qin Yu’s cold sweat wasn’t for nothing, as many participants in this third test—eighty-four—had a skill they were counting on. Today there would be no holding back. The pills refined from using all of their power and skill were bound to be incredible and exquisite.

    Daoist Wang grins, "The fourth kid on the front-right ain’t bad, he must be a junior from the Northern Dynasty's Drifting River Sect. He is refining the Foundation Establishment ranked Soul Shrouding Pill, allowing the user's soul to have a shield form around it. Its quality is quite high too, and able to resist a strike from a Golden Core's Divine Sense."

    Daoist Wang kept grinning, "That eighth girl on the center-left is refining a Nine Revolving Golden Pill. Its effect is not as formidable as its name, but disputed to be one of the best among the Foundation Establishment ranked pills. Her skill is rarely seen and it seems she is almost done refining. If this continues, one spot will be hers."

    Daoist Wang is still grinning, "The top guy in the back-right is enveloped in a dark and gloomy aura. Don’t know where he comes from, but his refining skill is incredibly high. The pill he is refining right now should be the early Golden Core ranked, Insane Poison Pill. Hmph, he’s not bad for refining a Golden Core ranked pill at Foundation Establishment realm."

    His gin wasn’t disdainful—but relaxed—pointing out outstanding Alchemists and crucial points. It was unknown for whom he was speaking, but Qin Yu heard it perfectly, feeling as if he was taking advantage of him. How amusing, but Daoist Wang's level in Alchemy was extremely high!

    Qin Yu saw a familiar person, the one Daoist Wang pointed as having a dark and gloomy aura. He was the one who yelled five hundred spirit stones when Qi Jiao sold him the sword sheath. Qin Yu didn’t expect him to be a formidable Alchemist. Looking carefully, he found his refining skill strange, but he couldn't say where. One thing was certain though, he was definitely not a good person.

    After two hours, the Alchemy Gathering ended. Daoist Wang didn’t say per se, but the people he commented on were all among the nine winners. They revealed their talents and stood out from among several hundred people. They were quite outstanding and had more pride than usual. They might not say much to Qin Yu—who used a back-door—but their eyes did the talking for them, conveying arrogance and contempt.  

    Zhao Xin was solemn, as he spoke in a heavy voice, "Alchemy Gathering has now ended. There will be someone guiding you to the location of the Radiant Scarlet Tree shortly. Let me remind you, don’t get any ideas and take no chances, or you’ll be buried among corpses!"

    The ten people's eyes flashed, eager to go! The ancient Radiant Scarlet Tree created a Domain from the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, where a day was equal to a month of cultivating outside.

    Countless people looked on with envy and admiration. If there was anything wrong about this view, it had to do with a certain black-robed guy. An average guy who used his dogshit luck to pass the first test suddenly has a spot. Truly ridiculous. 

    "Ancient Immortal Valley was somewhat unfair in today's choosing!"

    "Even if you say that all of this was provided by Ancient Immortal Valley. So even if they reserved a spot it was still acceptable."

    "For precisely this reason is the situation so peaceful, or how could the participants agree to it?"

    "This Qin Yu kid is so damn lucky!"

    The discussion was heating up, not loud, but enough to be clearly heard by the cultivators' ears. 

    Many of the nine winners looked with increased coldness and disdain. 

    Qin Yu lowered his head, appearing oblivious. Since he obtained real benefits, there was no need to provoke the crowd.

    Two Golden Core cultivators flew over, exchanging greetings with Zhao Xin. They seemed to have a grudge with Daoist Wang and ignored him.

    "Keep up!"

    The two of them were about to leave.

    The sky rumbled suddenly, as clouds gathered and turned it darker. A pitch-black and enormous arm came crashing down, with the demonic energy on its black scales surging wildly.  

    The two Golden Cores in midair had their cold and arrogant expressions vanish as they let out a miserable cry and sent flying like a kite without strings.

    The ground quaked as seven pillars of light charged at the sky, forming the Big Dipper. Then a golden colored Eight Trigrams appeared, meeting the pitch-black enormous arm. A staggering thundering sound ruptured the sky, making many cultivators groaned and paled, while the weaker ones had blood flowing out of their mouth and nose.

    Three figures appeared with a whoosh high in the sky, flooding it with demonic energy. All of their auras were domineering, shaking the people's very souls.

    Nascent Soul demonic cultivator, and three of them!

    "You've overstepped your bounds Ancient Immortal Valley, to dare stop my Demonic Faction's might. Today, your blood will flow over a thousand miles as not even a dog will be spared!"

    Supported by his powerful cultivation, the words came crashing down on the Ancient Immortal Valley.

    The three Demonic Faction's Nascent Souls lifted their arm and pushed down at the same time.

    The pitch-black enormous arm exploded with power, shaking the golden colored Eight Trigrams. Cracks began to appear one by one, close to collapsing.

    "Hmph, since when was Ancient Immortal Valley a place where you can do what you like!" A silver-haired old man showed himself, his clothes fluttering from the intense power. He was the one who stopped the Blue Winged Ants that day. 

    He began making hand gestures, and a flying sword pierced the sky, then landed in his palm. He raised a finger at the heavens.

    Sounds could be heard as the sword cut through the sky!

    Innumerable sword images appeared—thousands, tens of thousands—whistling all over like a river.

    The golden colored Eight Trigrams broke apart and the pitch-black enormous arm pressed on, only to be met with the incoming sword images. The swords attacked from all directions and halted its movement.

    The three Nascent Souls shouted, increasing the demonic energy of the enormous arm. With the added power, it swept away countless sword.

    The silver-haired old man's eyes shined, "I will make you bear witness to the Ancient Immortal Valley's legacy. Great Elements Sword Formation, activate!"

    In the sky, the sea of sword images moved unhindered as their cries increased. They lit up with white, blue, black, crimson and yellow colors while absorbing endless amounts of spiritual energy and taking shape of a gigantic spinning ring. 

    The five colored light engulfed the pitch-black enormous hand and made quick work of it, then crumbled with a bang. 

    A Nascent Soul demonic cultivator roared in pain as an arm dropped, releasing a rain of blood throughout the entire sky. 

    "Ancient Immortal Valley! This hatred will be returned ten-fold!"

    Demonic energy erupted and crushed the five colored ring then broke away.

    The silver-haired old man snorted, then released the flying sword from his hand, sending it away along with the five-colored light.

    Then the silver-haired old man vanished with a rustle.

    A Nascent Soul level fight was brought to a close in mere moments.

    Daoist Wang's fists were clenched as his eyes were moved but sad nonetheless. Nascent Soul, this was the Nascent Soul realm. Such a pity... 

    Zhao Xin patted his old friend on the shoulder, then stepped forward and spoke in a deep voice, "Alright, the demons were repelled by the senior from the valley. There is no need to worry."  

    He waved his hand and Ancient Immortal Valley disciples immediately rushed out to restore order and help the wounded. 

    The arrogant winners stood before the Alchemy Mountain with grave expressions. The Nascent Soul fight was very short but it let them understand what it meant to be powerful along with the huge gap between them.

    This was not the first time Qin Yu witnessed a Nascent Soul's might. When he used Drifting Arms' self-destruction and the Blood Escaping Technique to flee couldn’t be considered a fight. The slightest touch from today's display was enough to give him a gruesome death.

    Nascent Soul!

    Just when would he reach this realm?

    With a deep breath, Qin Yu's eyes showed conviction. Cultivation had to be done step by step, as rushing things would offer no help. With the Little Blue Lamp—as long as he was careful and cultivated hard—he would definitely enter the difficult Nascent Soul realm.

    He didn’t realize it, but after this event, Qin Yu's will became stronger, tougher, and at the same time, calmer.

    The wounds of the two Golden Core who suffered from the explosive aura of the Demonic Faction's Nascent Souls weren’t light as they were already sent for treatment. The Ancient Immortal Valley words were true. When they said they would send them to the Radiant Scarlet Tree, then even the three Nascent Soul’s invasion couldn’t change this.

    A new guide arrived shortly that took Qin Yu and the rest flying towards the Ancient Immortal Valley’s core area, the inner valley.

    This made them scared and unsettled but soon calmed down. To the point of reaching extreme calmness.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley's defensive formation was very powerful, as proven by the Great Elements Sword Formation. Even if the one guiding them had a jade slip, they still feld the chillness raising their hairs on end as they pass through certain areas.

    The group soon landed and began walking, since the valley wasn’t much further. Mist filled the air, preventing them from seeing the surroundings. With their entry, the mist churned and let out faint rumbling sounds.

    The guide solemnly warned, "Follow me closely, watch your step, and make sure not to walk astray, or trouble will follow."

    It wasn’t needed since they were all cautious. They might not know what was inside the mist, but any one of them wanted to go and see.

    Moments later, the guide relaxed once the mist region was crossed, "We've arrived."

  • Chapter 69: Ungrateful

     A narrow entrance laid before them that went through the mountains. It was so steep that it seemed to be made with a sword’s slash. The black and blue stones on the walls were exposed to their eyes as they shone like metals. There was an old stele outside the entrance—more than a zhang tall— and said: restricted area, no entry without approval.  

    The fact that there were no guards, showed how confident the Ancient Immortal Valley was regarding its defense. The guide walked a few steps and carefully took out a jade badge. It shined then flew out of his hands and inside the mountain crossing.

    Out of nowhere, a ripple appeared—soft and tranquil as a lake’s surface—but Qin Yu's mind suddenly went cold, rooting him in place. If he touched this ripple accidently, nothing would remain of him, not even his soul.

    An Alchemist's Divine Sense was stronger than that of a normal cultivator. The other nine people beside him also turned stiff. Wait, except for one. IT was the mysterious cultivator who was shrouded in the dark and gloomy aura. He was calm, even calmer than before.

    The ripple left and was followed by the guide’s words, "The Radiant Scarlet Tree is in the center of the valley. Remember to not use your power without approval!"

    He was the first to enter and Qin Yu the last. It suddenly opened up after a dozen meters and revealed a five-six li valley. But no one paid the surroundings any heed, as they were all staring at the ancient tree supporting the heavens in the center of the valley.

    It was close to a hundred zhang in height and needed seven-eight people to surround it. Its exposed roots were similar to hands, grasping the soil firmly. The crown covered almost half of the valley. Scarlet light came out of the trunk, branches and leaves then landed on every inch of the valley—bright and dazzling—as it was eternal flame from ancient times. The dark red fruits hanging on the branches became increasingly captivating. 

    The ancient, rich and ever-changing aura birthed an instinctual reverence in their hearts.

    Radiant Scarlet Tree!

    This was the Radiant Scarlet Tree!

    The guide showed admiration along with, "You need to grasp this rare chance and not miss it."

    A raging aura exploded—as a figure flew out of the group—and in a short time a red-black crow like-locust charged at the Radiant Scarlet Tree.

    It was that guy!

    Qin Yu was startled.

    The guide's face grew heavy but soon laughed coldly. He didn’t need to stop him even if he charged at the tree. 

    The sound of wings buzzing was heard as, one by one, insects began to fly from the Radiant Scarlet Tree. The scarlet light hid them before, but they were actually the Blue Winged Ants who devoured those three Golden Cores! 

    They were raging from being disturbed, and flew straight at the black crow, to tear him to pieces. That person was frowning while shouting. His body ignited into a bloody light, and avoided the ants with his explosive speed, then reached the Radiant Scarlet Tree

    A frightening energy wave erupted, creating a loud sound. This cultivator was so outrageous he actually self-destructed! The trunk of the Radiant Scarlet Tree swayed slightly, as the scarlet light came out in waves, dissipating the attack. Not even the self-destruction of a Golden Core could damage it! 

    The guide's face changed as the Blue Winged Ants returned to the tree, "You have one month, then leave. If you overstay, you will be attacked by the Blue Winged Ants. The result will be obvious to everyone."

    He quickly left once he finished. This attack on the Radiant Scarlet Tree wasn't normal, and he had to report it to his seniors.

    The valley was covered in silence, as they could still feel some fear when gazing upon the Radiant Scarlet Tree. One of them just died without a corpse, and it might have been out of ill will, but they were still shocked by it. Of course, it was all from fear of the Blue Winged Ants, none daring to step forward.

    Their scalp went numb when thinking of being right below these vicious ancient spiritual insects. 

    "There’s no need to worry everyone, as the Ancient Immortal Valley already made preparations." The Drifting River Sect's Wang Zifeng spoke. His charming and smart manner—uncommon—earned hit the third place from refining the Soul Shrouding Pill. 

    "That's right, a month will pass very quickly. With everyone reaching this place, it would be a pity to not make the most of it."

    Among the nine, the Golden Cores Alchemists exchanged glances and walked forward, each taking a wide area under the Radiant Scarlet Tree. As Golden Core cultivators, they wouldn’t lower themselves and stay with these juniors.

    Wang Zifeng, "Junior sister Xue Qing, how about we go there together?"

    Yun Xueqing shook her head, "Many thanks senior brother for his kind intentions, but I will cultivate by myself." This girl was the one to refine the Nine Revolving Golden Pill, ranked seventh. Although ranked near the end, she was a refined beauty, standing out the most.

    Wang Zifeng's smile never faltered, "Alright, please be the first to choose, junior sister." His eyes swept behind and on a much colder tone, "Everyone, the two seniors have already chosen, and so did junior sister Yun. How about the rest of us chose according to ranking? Of course, a certain someone will be last."

    "Alright, just as brother Wang said."

    "Fine!"

    "Someone indeed!"

    Wang Zifeng smirked disdainfully, incredibly displeased by Qin Yu for using a back-door. And even more so for declining Daoist Wang’s pleading.

    Yun Xueqing gazed upon Qin Yu, curtsying, "Xue Qing is thankful for fellow Daoists stepping down." And glided towards the Radiant Scarlet Tree.

    Wang Zifeng was not far behind, soon followed by the other five—each with their own choice—taking most of the good spots bellow the Radiant Scarlet Tree.

    A certain someone silently sought a corner, where he closed his eyes and began cultivating. As for anger, rage and the like, sorry but he was not in the mood. 

    Qin Yu closed his eyes and entered cultivation. By operating the cultivation method—his pores opened—and absorbed the spiritual energy of heaven and earth. 

    This was the first time he felt—based on his talent—relaxed and calmed as he absorbed spiritual energy at such speed. Of course, this high speed was merely relative.

    ...

    In The Ancient Immortal Valley, the core area.

    Two figures faced each other in the Main Hall. The mist surrounding them moved with each breath, mystical. 

    "A disciple just reported that a Golden Core infiltrated the Ancient Immortal Valley and self-destructed in front of the Radiant Scarlet Tree." The one on the left spoke gravely, pausing briefly, "Moreover, this matter seems strange,  the one in which fellow Daoist Jiang Li used the Great Elements Sword Formation to chase away the three Demonic Faction's monsters. They seem to have had a long battle."

    The old man sitting across had a dark red dot between his eyebrows as if the blood was lingering with killing intent, "The Ancient Immortal Valley has held on for over a millennia, so how can it be afraid of some puny demons? Send the order to tighten the guard, and act accordingly. I want to see what scheme did the scoundrels from demonic sects cooked up!"

    The one on the left thought a bit, then nodded, "That is best for now."

    ...

    A low rumbling sound persisted, as nine whirlpools of spiritual energy formed beneath the Radiant Scarlet Tree, with the ones above the two Golden Core Alchemists being the largest. But their speed was a stark contrast to the absorption speed of Wang Zifeng, Yun Xueqing and another male who was the fastest. The last three were not far behind, but they were impressive nonetheless.

    Yet Qin Yu's whirlpool was rather shabby, barely formed and incomparable to the others. Everyone could see this from the corner of their eyes, as contempt rose in their hearts. ‘As expected of a back-door user. Just what did Daoist Wang saw in him?’

    One's affairs were best known by himself and Qin Yu had long ago lost hope regarding his talent. He felt a bit helpless at this but soon calmed down. He sensed their eyes, yet ignored them. A month later—if all went according to plan—he would have a root of the Radiant Scarlet Tree. And with Little Blue Lamp's help, it would soon grow into a fully-fledged Radiant Scarlet Tree. 

    At that time, there would be no shortage of Radiant Scarlet Fruit. Today he would sleep under the tree and tomorrow above it. How could this possibly compare to you guys?

    Time passes quietly. In the Domain created by the Radiant Scarlet Tree, people were bound to break through—thanks to the outstanding speed in cultivation. Even the Golden Core cultivators advanced a layer. While everyone was deeply immersed and unwilling to stop, on the branches of the Radiant Scarlet Tree countless compound eyes were seen as the buzzing of wings spreads throughout the valley. 

    The two Golden Core Alchemists opened their eyes in anger but was soaking wet from fright, as eyes stared unwaveringly at them. They found—with great disappointment—that a month has passed.

    "It's been a month already?!"

    "How time flies!"

    "It would be great if I can continue cultivating like this!"

    They all get up one by one while sighing in regret, knowing from the behavior of the Blue Winged Ants that they weren't playing around. If they didn’t leave quickly, there would be nothing left of them.

    Wang Zifeng advanced three layers in this month, reaching the peak of the Foundation Establishment realm. He was satisfied that there was now only a thin line separating him from the Golden Core realm.

    He moved lightly and appeared next to Yun Xueqing, cupping his hands, "Congratulations, junior sister Xue Qing."

    Amazingly, Yun Xueqing also broke through three layers, reaching the 9th layer. With this improvement, even the calm and mild Yun Xueqing showed a faint smile, "Likewise, senior brother Wang."

    Wang Zifeng's smile grew, "My father and the Ancient Immortal Valley made an agreement that if I enter the top ten, I will be allowed to cultivate here for half a year and study Alchemy. Junior sister Xue Qing, will you also stay?"

    Yun Xueqing noded, "I will also remain in the Ancient Immortal Valley for half a year."

    Wang Zifeng clapped, "Great, then we could help each other in the future."

    A voice came from outside the valley, "The month is over, quickly come out!"

    Wang Zifeng smiled and made a gesture, "Junior sister Xue Qing, please..."

    Yun Xueqing noded and when she was about to step forward, she frowned, "That person..."

    Wang Zifeng looked over then sneered, "He definitely heard the buzzing of the Blue Winged Ants. It’s his choice to remain."

    Yun Xueqing pondered then shook her head, "In the end, we're still acquaintances." She shouted, "Fellow Daoist Qin Yu, a month has already passed!"

    All eyes converged on him.

    Qin Yu felt helpless inside. ‘If you don’t go how will I get the chance to obtain the Radiant Scarlet Tree's root and the Blue Winged Ants?’ But Yun Xueqing showed earnest concern, so he opened his eyes and smiled in thanks. Then he closed them again.

    Wang Zifeng coldly said, "So ungrateful! Junior sister Xue Qing, forget about him and let’s leave." 

    Yun Xueqing also looked at him, nodded repeatedly and walked towards the exit. She already reminded him, yet Qin Yu didn’t leave. It was his choice.

    The two Golden Core Alchemists were leading when they were suddenly pulled out of the valley as the group left the range of the Radiant Scarlet Tree. The same person who led them here before swept his eyes and frowned, "Why is one person missing?"

    Wang Zifeng cupped his hands, "Reporting to senior brother Qi, we reminded him, but Qin Yu still didn’t want to leave, so were forced to leave him behind."

    Qi Jiang shouted lowly, "It's his funeral!" He made some hand gestures—wanting to forcefully pull him out—but a buzzing sound was heard clearly, and even they were able to feel the terrible power.

    Qi Jiang sighed as he stopped his hands, "Too late." The Blue Winged Ants were ruthless and reached their limit for being forcefully silenced for a month. Now that they regained their freedom, they would instantly rush at Qin Yu.

    The ability of the Radiant Scarlet Tree to increase cultivation speed had an allure akin to an addiction, especially to those unable to progress their cultivation. Even the Ancient Immortal Valley had many people—over the years—that died at the hands of Blue Winged Ants for being unwilling to come out. 

    Qi Jiang shook his head, "Let’s go, this place will soon be sealed."

    The group disappeared inside the mist.

    An invisible ripple of power was then shortly released from the center of the valley, sealing a ten li area!

  • Chapter 70: Subduing the Ant King

    Over the past month, most of the ones who lost at the Alchemy Gathering left, along with their relatives and friends. Losing was losing, but wouldn’t seeing the gains of the winners made them feel even more downcast? Thus, the packed Ancient Immortal Valley was slightly less crowded. But even so, there were still countless cultivators waiting when a group flew out from the core area.

    "It's senior brother Wang Zifeng! Heavens, he reached the peak, the peak of the Foundation Establishment realm!  " A Drifting River Sect female cultivator gave a piercing cry, adoration written all over her ecstatic face.

    "Senior sister Yun Xueqing reached the 9th layer of Foundation Establishment, her aura’s waves are like a lake's ripples. A sign that she is close to having a breakthrough with our sect's cultivation method. Senior sister Xue Qing will most likely reach the Golden Core realm in a year! "

     

    "Radiant Scarlet Tree is worthy of being an ancient spiritual plant, to have such a miraculous effect. They are practically reborn, and even the two Golden Core seniors have increased auras."

    "Sigh, I was so close to entering the top ten, so close to getting this chance. I can’t accept it, my heart's unwilling to accept it!" Someone grieved.

    "Hmph, close indeed, since you didn’t even pass the first test!" Another cultivator sneered.

    the stunned and admiring female cultivators nearby, had their faces show contempt at this.

    They mocked him again and again out of humiliation, filling the air with obscenities. If it wasn’t for the Ancient Immortal Valley’s punishment hanging over their heads, they would have struck already!

    Among the ruckus, Qi Jiao had no intention of watching this drama. Her pale face looked over the incoming group with tightly held hands.

    Qin Yu wasn’t here... Did something happen? Was his plan regarding the Radiant Scarlet Tree discovered by Ancient Immortal Valley?

    The group landed, and the guide from the Ancient Immortal Valley gave a report then left after being told not recklessly share this information.

    Wang Zifeng, Yun Xueqing and the rest were drowned by the crowd.

    "Ah, someone actually tried to destroy the Radiant Scarlet Tree and he was even a hidden Golden Core cultivator! Too bad that not even his self-destruction was enough to affect the Radiant Scarlet Tree.”

    "So that’s why only eight returned. Was the other one his helper, also trying to destroy the Radiant Scarlet Tree?"

    "That's actually false!" A Drifting River Sect cultivator had contempt written all over his face, "The back-door user Qin Yu couldn’t resist the attraction of the Radiant Scarlet Tree, even though he stayed there for a month. He must have already been devoured by the Radiant Scarlet Tree's protector spiritual insects by now!"

    "Ah, so that was him. He deserved it. He had no right and still managed to force his way in. Only to be wasted away!"

    Qi Jiao's body shook while her charming face was deathly white.

    In the scarlet enveloped valley, the buzzing never stopped. All of the Blue Winged Ants flew out, gathered together into a sphere. And in the center of this sphere was the presumed dead Qin Yu.

    Each hand held a Great Sun Tree leaf. They released a hazy golden sun-like glow, as if they were gold!

    The Blue Winged Ants had ruthless characters. Qin Yu's brow was covered in fine sweat, trying his best to restrain his aura and not reveal any evil intentions. At some point in this confrontation, the ant swarm parted to reveal a stronger ant, covered in patterns that flew towards him. It gazed coldly at Qin Yu, and even though it was just an ant, it held unbridled arrogance! 

    It was the Ant King!

    The Blue Winged Ants were different from other types of ants. There was no ant queen focused on growing the swarm’s numbers, as the descendants were born through the union of a male-female pair. The strongest Blue Winged Ant was considered the swarm's Ant King—holding the greatest power—and all Blue Winged Ants followed his will.

    What's admiring was that the Blue Winged Ants mate for life, and if their partner died, the other soon followed by sacrificing himself for love.

    Even the Ant King wasn't excepted from this.

    The Ant King flew in front of Qin Yu, gazing deeply with its compound eyes, making him feel as if he was transparent. Hesitating slightly, it landed in Qin Yu's hand and began eating the Great Sun Tree's leaves, not stopping until it was finished. Then it flew to his other hand and resumed its feast.

    After eating the two leaves, the Ant King spread its delicate wings, shuddering from excitement. It was feeling unprecedented satisfaction and happiness! Too bad there were only two. He didn’t get to fully enjoy their taste as they were already gone.

    It glanced at Qin Yu, then shook its wings, preparing to fly away. This dumb human no longer held any value now.

    Qin Yu cursed inwardly, but he never showed it. With a flick of his wrist, another pair of leaves appeared. The Ant King was so happy he never stopped chewing! ‘Eat, eat, these leaves can be grown.’ The more it ate the higher were Qin Yu's chances of success!

    For a Blue Winged Ant, the aura of the Great Sun Tree leaves was more addicting than drugs by ten times, even a hundred times. As they watched the Ant King gorging himself, several strong Blue Winged Ants stood out from the ant swarm, feeling restless. They were all Ant King's competitors, close to Ant King in power.

    In the end, there was one who couldn’t handle temptation and charged at the Ant King, fighting over the leaves. Instinct told it that if it ate some leaves, then there was a high chance of becoming the new Ant King!

    Ant King shrieked out of anger and flew to meet it. They were upon each other in a flash, fighting with savagery.

    The and swarm was quiet, overwhelmed with reverence. This was a fight for the position of king, to change their ruler.

    The Ant King crushed the skull of his opponent—then ate it—covered in it and its rival’s blood. He shrieked as his cruel eyes swept the area and made the restless competitors lower their heads one by one, submitting—once again—to their king.

    Just then, the blood on the Ant King squirmed suddenly and appeared like red hot metal as strings of it burrowed inside its body! 

    Qin Yu made quick hand gestures and pointed at the Ant King. It shrieked in pain, looking resentful at Qin Yu.

    The shriek caused the ant swarm to go crazy, as many of them charged over. They need just one breath to completely devour Qin Yu. His face didn’t change and threw many Great Sun Tree leaves with a wave of his hand. The charge of the ant swarm had slowed down, as they were compelled by the leaves’ enticement to frantically eat them.

    The cry of the Ant King grew increasingly urgent.

    The delayed swarm was once again charging at Qin Yu, but it was already too late. All of the blood on Ant King's body entered inside as it shrieked. Its resentfulness and fierceness disappeared from its eyes, now replace with obedience and fondness.

    The Blue Winged Ants—maws gaping—were motionless before Qin Yu. They gazed doubtfully at this human, unable to come to terms why their king’s aura was now around him. This made them feel endless reverence and deterred from being arrogant.

    Qin Yu let out a long breath as his back had long been soaked in cold sweat. One step slower and he would have been ant food! Thank god the information in the Beast Manipulating Art was real. He put his blood inside the Great Sun Tree leaves the Ant King ate and then mixed it with its blood to form a Soul Imprint.

    Once the Soul Imprint entered—and the blood mixed—the Ant King would regard him as the closest person, never questioning his orders. Along with controlling the Ant King, he would also control the ant swarm. This was Qin Yu's plan from the start.

    The Ant King landed in his palm. Its finger-long body was covered by a hard shell, slightly cold and similar to jade. Qin Yu laughed, petting it with his finger, as the Ant King let a low cry in content and twisted around in his palm.

    Qin Yu smiled with glee when he was reminded of the day when thousands upon thousands of Blue Winged Ants took almost no time to kill the three Golden Cores experts.

    He shook his hand, "Go, show me your strength!"

    The Ant King shrieked and the Blue Winged Ants flew to it, razing everything in their path like a dark cloud. 

    Radiant Scarlet Tree's Domain prevented anyone who wasn’t allowed entry to approach it. Its hard defense was revealed when it wasn’t even harmed by the self-detonation of the Golden Core cultivator. But now, Qin Yu has the best spy, making this spiritual plant completely vulnerable to his ministrations. 

    Sending his thought across, caused the Ant King to shriek which made the Blue Winged Ants swarm fly toward the Radiant Scarlet Tree. Then returned with precious, fiery red and beautiful fruits.

    Qin Yu sat down cross-legged and ate the sweet and tasty Radiant Scarlet Fruit. As it entered his stomach, a fire ignited and spread everywhere, but he felt no pain. This fire entered his organs and bones—transforming into pure spiritual energy—then converged in his Dantian.

    This effect was far greater when compared with the Little Blue Lamp’s purified pills!

    Qin Yu opened his eyes and smiled happily. Yet he was in no rush to cultivate and he quickly walked under the Radiant Scarlet Tree. Within the past month, he had used The Art of Medicine to find the location of the reproductive root.

    The Ant King led the ant swarm, pried open the soil and exposed the thick root. Qin Yu inspected it, 'This is it!'

    He waved his hand, and the swarm landed on the root, tearing at its surface. He was convinced of The Blue Winged Ants’ might as they could even pierce through a Golden Core's energy shield. But regarding this root, it was incomparably difficult, proven by the scratching sounds made by the ant mandibles against the wood.  

    What was strange though, was the fact that no matter how many wooden splinters were taken out, there was no sap leaking. 

    It was like a disguise!

    Moments later, when the ant swarm retreated the only thing left was the core part. It had a soft and tender fiery color along with fine roots. The true Radiant Scarlet Tree's reproductive root.

    The Radiant Scarlet Tree trembled and exploded with a rich crimson light. It was good to be prepared, as he already retreated far away. The scarlet light had no effect on the Blue Winged Ants—and after several sweeps—it dispersed. 

    The Ant King held the reproductive root and flew over. Qin Yu took out a dark green jade case and then carefully placed the root inside. He also stuck a talisman to prevent any vitality from leaking. Only then he relaxed.

    So far, all of his objectives have been completed on this trip to the Ancient Immortal Valley.

    Qin Yu smiled, 'Next is cultivating!'

    This Radiant Scarlet Tree has survived for countless years, making its spiritual energy of heaven and earth reach a terrifying level. With even the small amount inside the Radiant, Scarlet Fruit was incredible. Furthermore, this place was already sealed, making it highly unlikely for anyone to show up. Such a good opportunity to cultivate must not be missed!

    And as for leaving? The Blue Winged Ants were the seal's key. With this key, Qin Yu could come and go as he pleased.

  • Chapter 71: Demon Lord

    Qin Yu sat cross-legged under the Radiant Scarlet Tree, his energy surging throughout his body, rumbling like thunder! His eyes suddenly open, flashing with vigor while his robe fluttered. A powerful aura—like mercury—flew out and stirred the dust in a large area.

    The 2nd layer of the Golden Core realm!

    After carefully feeling the extent of his power, Qin Yu showed a bit of a smile but soon sighed lightly, seemingly out of helplessness. Radiant Scarlet Fruit was indeed formidable, having such degree of pure spiritual energy of heaven and earth. The best proof was his cultivation that rapidly reached the 2nd layer of the Golden Core realm in only a month.

    It was unfortunate that even using the Radiant Scarlet Fruit had a limit. After ingesting it, the body’s absorption process was really slow—not because he grew resistant to it—but that his body was unable to endure being bathed in this high purity spiritual energy for a long time. Qin Yu persevered for a month—only because of his resilient body—while any other early Golden Core cultivator couldn't last more than a week.

    It was good that his body's exhaustion could be relieved with some rest, in just a month. It was just so sad that his cultivation speed halved... If other Golden Core cultivators knew Qin Yu's thoughts, they would have strangled him to death, all the while cursing his ‘pitiful’ situation!

    Qin Yu didn't waste the time while recovering, as it could be seen from the use of Beast Manipulating Art to control the Blue Winged Ants. Along with a profound and broad part of the myriad of information—from The Art of Medicine— he also needed a long time to learn and comprehend them.

    Even if it might not all be useful, a day may come when he would receive unimaginable benefit from using just a fraction of this knowledge, or it could even save his life. This was all for the future, but it was always good to have more skills. Thus, Qin Yu immersed himself in the two profound records, mulling them with keen interest.

    A month later, Qin Yu resumed his cultivation.

    Through the course of rearing the Ant King with the Great Sun Tree, it became much stronger. It surpassed its competitors and the buzzing of its wings was more pronounced, all the while its fondness for Qin Yu reached extremes. Receiving master's order, it immediately sent its minions to pluck the Radiant Scarlet Fruit, and formed a pile on the ground.

    Seeing the Ant King pleading for a reward, Qin Yu laughed and took out several Great Sun Tree leaves. This guy was so excited it was slobbering. It threw some glares at the ants' pitting looks and began gorging itself. Only the Ant King was allowed to eat Great Sun Tree leaves, so he could control the entire ant swarm through it. If not, when another Blue Winged Ant reached the level of a king, the swarm would divide and give him a headache.

    Once he began, Qin Yu didn't let things be half done, and since the Radiant Scarlet Tree had no way of stopping him, the Blue Winged Ants picked it off of all he needed.

    As each layer was overcome, a Golden Core’s cultivation showed noticeable improvement. With a difference of two layers, the weaker one had no hope of winning. The exception being someone with a valiant and inherited strong body, a freak like Qin Yu. Regarding this, something had to be pointed out. Cultivation at the Golden Core realm was very difficult, to the extent that even the initial Golden Core cultivator, had an outstanding talent for advancing one layer in three years.

    Even with a cheat like Radiant Scarlet Fruit, Qin Yu could reduce the difficulty to only a third. He just recently reached the 3rd layer of Golden Core, after spending almost five months. Without any restraint on using the Radiant Scarlet Fruits, along with staying under the Radiant Scarlet Tree, this amount of time made even Qin Yu blush inwardly. While the two Golden Core cultivators who entered with him, improved in just a month, without eating any fruits.

    In comparison, the meagerness of his aptitude was enough to scare people. If it weren't for the Little Blue Lamp, his life would have been fated for mediocrity. There were many wondrous and extraordinary things in this vast world. With the existence of this heaven-defying item like the Little Blue Lamp, it was certain that there were also ways of improving one's aptitude. If the chance revealed itself in the future, he would definitely seize it.

    Everyone had inside them, the dream of reaching the top!

    Qin Yu shook his head of these thoughts. He already stayed here for half a year, and even though there was no one to disturb him, as he continued like this the chances of being discovered would only grow. Breaking through two layers could be said it was a considerable harvest, and knowing when to stop was an excellent way to escape unscathed. But seeing the tree filled with fruits, it made it hard for him to leave like this.

    Everyone knew it wasn’t good to be greedy, but who could help themselves, who could resist the temptation before them? Those calm and determined people were all shooting their mouth off, only talking rubbish. 

    The cloudy sky above the valley began to shift. The heavens seemed to have sensed Qin Yu's hesitation and they made the choice for him. An invisible pressure, heavy as a mountain, landed on Qin Yu's chest. Even with his cultivation of the 3rd layer of Golden Core, his chest tightened and felt difficult to breathe.

    The Blue Winged Ants shrieked restlessly—flapping their wings—but not daring to leave the Radiant Scarlet Tree. Through the Soul Imprint, Qin Yu was able to sense the fear inside the Ant King. Just what made these Golden Core devouring ants terrified to such extent?

    The Radiant Scarlet Tree shook strongly, releasing thick scarlet light—akin to flames—from every part of its trunk, dying the valley in red. The original gentle and peaceful light became as red as blood; cold, severe and deadly! The fruits on the branches withered, shriveled and fell. The pure spiritual energy has—at a crucial time—returned to the tree.

    Flames appeared in the sky. Their scorching heat was so powerful that its frightening temperature could be sensed from afar. This was the ability of the Radiant Scarlet Tree's Domain. Just what happened, to even make the Radiant Scarlet Tree spare nothing and extend its Domain to such limits? Was it refusing the terrifying being from reaching here? 

    At this thought, Qin Yu felt as if he sank into an ice cave. He just couldn't understand what could possibly make the Radiant Scarlet Tree so frightened. What was important, was that he was still here! Qin Yu finally understood the saying 'The burning gates are a disaster for the fish in the moat'(1). 'So much hesitating, if I live after this, the next time I should leave, I will definitely leave!'

    Clenching his teeth, Qin Yu stood up. Even this simple movement left him pale and panting for breath, yet he began staggering to the edge of the valley. The culprit was definitely aiming for the Radiant Scarlet Tree, since he was disregarding the entire Ancient Immortal Valley. The farther he was, the safer. This was the only solution he could come up with, and as for the aftermath, he would have to deal with it one step at a time.

    A loud sound suddenly echoed, like the heavens were falling. Qin Yu's scalp went numb, and when he lifted his head, he was just in time to see the flaming sky rupturing. The Radiant Scarlet Tree shook greatly, as many scarlet leaves burst to pieces. It received a tremendous hit when the Domain was forcefully broken, but what was terrifying was what happened next. 

    Through the crack in the sky, a white skeletal hand emerged—several hundred zhang in length—shining like jade and overflowing the heavens with its vicious aura. Qin Yu's mind was overwhelmed and rooted in place, as in his mind he saw a great hand breaking the sky and coming to grab him.

    Spitting a mouth full of blood, Qin Yu was on the verge of collapse, feeling his mind hacked by a blade!

    Without pause, the big white skeletal hand went to grab the Radiant Scarlet Tree, intending to uproot it.  

    The Radiant Scarlet Tree's branches swayed, its scarlet light came like a tide, but proved to have no effect against the white skeletal hand. A lofty figure appeared right when the white skeletal hand was about to grab the Radiant Scarlet Tree. His white robes were fluttering, as it faced the vicious white skeletal hand with just a finger.

    When they collided, a cry of thunder came from the nine heavens, followed by a boundless wave of power spread outward. Qin Yu was lifted and then thrown away, as blood flowed out of his seven apertures. His body had countless cuts, and if it weren't this powerful, he would have been shaken apart!

    The white skeletal hand trembles a bit then turned into shining specks and disappeared. A loud laughter came from the crack, "Pill Cauldron, this Lord despises you. It seems you have become stronger over the years."

    The white-clothed Daoist was calm, "You exaggerate Demon Lord. For me to tie with you, I had to borrow the sacred tree's power."

    "Hahahaha, you're so straightforward. Too bad you never take a step outside of the Ancient Immortal Valley, making it impossible for this Lord to kill you."

    Daoist Pill Cauldron lifted his head, eyes shining like stars, "Demon Lord, whether you can kill me or not is yet to be clear, but if you don't leave now, you might never get the chance."

    A muffled rumble echoed in all directions, as the Ancient Immortal Valley's great formation was activated. If all of its power were to be released, then not even a Nascent Soul could escape. 

    Demon Lord sighed, "Your Radiant Scarlet Tree is truly no bad, such a pity..."

    A white bone hand reached for Qin Yu, less than a hundredth then the one used to grab the Radiant Scarlet Tree, but it was enough to deal with a Golden Core cultivator. This instant, Qin Yu's frozen stiff body was locked on by a ferocious beast, unable to talk, escape, or even think.

    The Ant King—on the Radiant Scarlet Tree—let out a mournful cry. Sensing the danger its master was in, it recklessly flapped its wings and charging over. A sigh reached his ears, as the earth burst and a thick root came out to meet the white bone hand.

    The root broke into countless fragments, but it also temporarily stopped the white bone hand. Daoist Pill Cauldron also rushed over, saying simply, "Seems like Demon Lord is very curious about the Ancient Immortal Valley's great formation, so don't leave!" 

    The crack in the sky quickly closed while the Demon Lord laughed coldly and his aura disappeared.

    Daoist Pill Cauldron wasn't careless, intending to completely activate the great formation—scattering the fierce aura around him. His ruddy face paled, while fine wrinkles seemed to have deepened. He looked at Qin Yu with shining eyes.

    Qin Yu was sweating like a pig, feeling as if he left the wolf’s den only to enter the tiger’s cave. His mouth moved, but no sound came out as his throat was bone dry.

    Daoist Pill Cauldron's expression grew weird. He made some hand gestures and gave off a knowing look. He watched Qin Yu from time to time, and every time his eyes grew brighter. He sighed suddenly, "It’s Heaven's Will. I never had a disciple for all my life, and never imagined I will meet him today. Kid, are you willing to take me as your Master?"  

    As if he was struck by lightning, Qin Yu's entire body went numb. The endless thoughts about begging for his life vanished on the spot.

    T-this.

    ‘Are you sure you didn't get the wrong script? Is this a serious, cruel and fierce xuanhuan play? Just where did this dumb melodramatic scene come from?’

    Daoist Pill Cauldron's thick old face had a hint of red when Qin Yu looked at him in deadpan. He coughed once, " Don't think too much, kid. You finally witnessed a bit of this immeasurable world. Follow this old man out of this place." As he spoke, he brushed away his sleeve and they both disappeared.

    The Ant King was angry and was about to chase after him but the Radiant Scarlet Tree let out a light and carried it back on the tree top. The broken earth squirmed like a stampede of animals and all cracks soon vanished—along with the broken leaves and branches. 

    Silence returned to the valley.

     

     

    (1)    Idiom meaning implicating innocent people.

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