In the vast, boundless clouds and mist, the sect leader of Tai Hua Mountain, Sir Hao Xingzi, broke through clouds and sea with blinding speed and arrived at Yu Xiao Peak, which was located right in the heart of Tai Hua Mountain. At the bottom of Yu Xiao Peak, he sent a voice transmission to his junior brother. Surprisingly, the other person never responded. The honored sect leader furrowed his grizzled eyebrows and immediately went up the mountain.
All Tai Hua Mountain disciples knew of the restrictions placed throughout Yu Xiao Peak. Not to mention there were still the great mountain defense formations in place. Even the little junior sister of the Seven Children of Tai Hua Mountain, Mu Tianxin, could not go up. Each time, she could only wait at the bottom of the peak for senior brother Luo to come down.
However, they did not know that not only little junior sister, but even all the other honored seniors and elders, could not go up Yu Xiao Peak.
Yu Xiao Peak was Tai Hua Mountain’s most important forbidden area. Only Sir Xuan Lingzi, the great senior brother Luo Jianqing, and sect leader Sir Hao Xingzi could enter. If those without permission were to take a single step inside, they would be directly killed by the mountain defense formations.
Before Hao Xingzi arrived at the front of the bamboo house, he suddenly could sniff out a mix of spiritual energy and barely discernable thread of vital breath in the air. Hao Xingzi opened his round eyes and hurriedly broke through the enchanted boundaries his junior brother left behind, entered the door, and was immediately stunned at the sight before him.
The handsome, elegant, white-clothed honored senior was propping half of his body up on a bamboo couch, his face deathly pale, and forehead covered in sweat. The lapels were completely muddled with glaring bloodstains. There was also a pool of blood on the seat of the bamboo couch, which contained golden flickering universal qi in it.
Seeing this, Hao Xingzi’s eyes widened, and he cried out in alarm, “Heart’s blood! Junior brother, you…”
Xuan Lingzi did not speak, but his pale face already answered Hao Xingzi’s question.
Hao Xingzi quickly took out a bottle of medicine pills from his storage ring. The instant the dark green pill appeared, its fragrance scattered into the air. Outside, any plants that touched even a bit of the pill’s fragrance danced excitedly without stopping. Hao Xingzi clapped his hands and the medicine pill flew into Xuan Lingzi’s mouth.
After fifteen minutes, the chaotic spiritual energy in Xuan Lingzi’s body was finally nursed back to health.
Hao Xingzi could not help but ask, “Junior brother, what on earth happened to you? Did you perhaps enter qi deviation? Impossible. You have cultivated for more than three hundred years. Even if it may not be very long, you have always had a pure heart. You never run into internal demons, so what happened today to make you react like this?”
Xuan Lingzi said coolly, “Sect leader senior brother.”
Hao Xingzi’s face was grim. He thought for a long time, and suddenly exclaimed in alarm, “Internal demons! At that time, martial uncle had once ordered you to set up and pledge your life to guard those things. Perhaps something happened with them and so, you became like this? Junior brother, that is our Tai Hua Mountain’s most important and forbidden thing, ‘Nine Lotus He…”
“Sect leader senior brother!” Xuan Lingzi’s cold voice interrupted Hao Xingzi’s words. “This has no relation to that. For the time being that thing is doing fine.”
His voice fell. Xuan Lingzi turned his hand to pull out a ray of blood-red light. For a split second, the flowing clouds in the sky seemed to freeze, and faint storm clouds formed above Yu Xiao Peak. When Xuan Lingzi put the thing back, the storm clouds immediately dispersed.
Hao Xingzi let out a sigh of relief at this. “So long as nothing’s wrong with that thing, then it will be alright.” He paused and suddenly remembered, “Then junior brother, is it all because…”
Xuan Lingzi spoke with a tranquil expression, “A little accident happened during the newcomers’ practice experience. Those remnants are not an ordinary Nascent Soul cultivator’s remnants. I attached a primordial spirit to Luo Jianqing as he entered the remnants and he saw that cultivator’s remnant soul. He was an Out-of-Body cultivator, so naturally, something must have happened for him to fall to late-stage Nascent Soul.”
Hao Xingzi asked in disbelief, “Junior brother, didn’t you make a deal that prevents you from leaving Tai Hua Mountain? How did you manage to bring out a Nascent Soul?”
Xuan Lingzi replied calmly, “I split half of it, so it was not really considered leaving Tai Hua Mountain.”
These short words left Hao Xingzi speechless.
Cultivators that reached Nascent Soul stage were able to form a Nascent Soul. But their Nascent Soul was nothing more than a small infant that did not have much attack power. Once they reached the Out-of-Body stage, the Nascent Soul was able to leave the body. When they reached the Mahayana stage, the Nascent Soul could be broken up however they wanted. The stronger the cultivator, the more pieces they could break up, and each Nascent Soul could fight in place of them.
Therefore, during that time inside the remnants, after True Lord Beidou saw Xuan Lingzi’s half Nascent Soul, he blurted out, “a cultivator higher than the Mahayana stage.”
However, that was all theory. A Mahayana cultivator could only split a Nascent Soul into very small pieces. There was no other reason than that the pain of splitting up a Nascent Soul was nothing an ordinary person could ever know.
A Nascent Soul was a cultivator’s most sensitive part. Even someone brushing against it would cause them to feel such sharp pain that they would go numb. For example, say a physical body and a Nascent Soul collided into the same thing. The body may be in everlasting pain, but for a Nascent Soul, that pain would be a hundred times worse!
Just thinking of splitting a Nascent Soul made Hao Xingzi’s scalp feel numb. After a while, he heaved a sigh. “Don’t you treat Jianqing a bit too well?”
Xuan Lingzi’s calm, handsome features were not disturbed in the slightest. He said neutrally, “Jianqing is my disciple.”
Watching his own junior brother act like this, Hao Xingzi swallowed the words that he wanted to say.
——Those were nothing more than an Out-of-Body cultivator’s remnants. So long as they had a desire to leave, nobody would come into any life-threatening danger. What’s more, Jianqing had carried many magical tools and medicine pills. To go as far as to split your Nascent Soul to follow him, don’t you care about him a bit too much?
After all, when it came to matters between a master and his disciple, Hao Xingzi did not have much to say. After carefully asking questions about Xuan Lingzi’s body, he ended with, “I will go find junior sister to refine you some medicine pills to help your Nascent Soul recover promptly.” Then he transformed into a ray of white light and left Yu Xiao Peak.
After Hao Xingzi’s departure, Xuan Lingzi, unable to support himself any longer, fell backwards, and blood welled up inside his mouth again.
Like before, the blood had little specks of gold. It seemed that Xuan Lingzi would inevitably fall into a coma, his face now as pale as a sheet. Meanwhile, at Tai Hua Mountain, the lifebound golden lamp at the summit of Cang Shuang Peak kept flickering. It was a while before the flames slowly stabilized, though it was a tad darker than before.
Meanwhile in the skies of Yi Tian Mountains, millions of li away, the storm clouds had longed dispersed. Many cultivators watched for a long time, but never saw any sort of magic treasure and left with anger. After waiting for a few moments, all the disciples came out of the remnants.
Luo Jianqing had already put the three magical tools and blood-red jade piece in his storage ring. After being transported out, he surveyed his surroundings. Immediately, he sensed the presence of the Tai Hua Mountain disciples and flew over to them.
“Senior brother Luo, the seventeen disciples of Tai Hua Mountain that passed through the sixth pass have all received their rewards.” As the nineteenth junior brother spoke, he took out a white jade pearl. “This Escape Droplet. It seems that you can dive fifty li underwater with it, so it could be considered a magical treasure.”
Luo Jianqing nodded his head appreciatively. After looking all around him, he asked, “How come there’s only twenty of you?”
The nineteenth junior brother chuckled and said helplessly, “Senior brother, that Endless Wasteland was truly dangerous. Some of us got injured and immediately crushed the white jade token to get out. When we left just now, we discovered that Li Xiuchen had already been transported out and went back to be healed by Yi Tian Sect people. So I let the other injured martial brothers follow and get healed by Yi Tian Sect too.”
Luo Jianqing lightly raised his eyebrows and feigned shock as he asked, “Everyone got injured? Even that Li Xiuchen?”
The nineteenth junior brother spread his hands and sighed. “That’s right, a lot of people got injured. Apparently, some Qi Condensation disciples from Yi Tian Sect died too. Anyway, senior brother, you haven’t seen Li Xiuchen’s wounds yet, apparently, his are really serious. His hands are gone and he’s even blind. No one knows what kind of terrible demon beast he ran into at the Endless Wasteland for him to end up like this…”
He spoke while Luo Jianqing led the Tai Hua Mountain disciple to Yi Tian Sect, preparing to hand him over.
The nineteenth junior brother concluded, “Unless an elder from Qing Lan Peak refined pills especially for Li Xiuchen’s health, he will never get better for the rest of his life. Anyway, he’s only a new disciple, the sect wouldn’t go that far for him. Ai, senior brother, did you ask how he couldn’t crush the jade piece? What kind of strength to get what kind of reward, indeed…”
Luo Jianqing laughed and said, “Danger always follows the practice experience. The reward comes with risk. Don’t learn from him in the future. When you give up, you must give up with conviction.”
The nineteenth junior brother nodded and beamed, exposing pure white teeth.
When they spotted Yi Tian Sect’s Elder Zhao, Luo Jianqing lightly cupped his hands, and the other, flattered, immediately returned the favor.
Luo Jianqing smiled. “This time, I have truly troubled your sect concerning these remnants. I will dutifully report to our sect about what happened during the practice experience. After our sect’s elders finish their inspection, they may give the rewards to Yi Tian Sect.” Pausing, Luo Jianqing added, “How are our Tai Hua Mountain disciples staying at your sect doing now?”
Elder Zhao said respectfully, “They are fine, save for a fellow Daoist at Phase Two Qi Condensation that seems to be injured very seriously.”
Luo Jianqing didn’t need a name to guess who the seriously injured person was. Although Li Xiuchen had been transported out very quickly, Luo Jianqing had seen Li Xiuchen’s terrible injuries with his own eyes. Those kinds of injuries would be fatal to a Qi Condensation cultivator, and the fact that Li Xiuchen wasn’t already dead especially surprised Luo Jianqing.
He held these thoughts in his heart, but his expression betrayed none of it.
His pale, elegant face showing a bit of distress, Luo Jianqing sighed, “Since junior brother has been so critically injured, then may we borrow your sect to let him recuperate? Due to his current condition, I fear that he would not do so well on a long and difficult journey.”
Elder Zhao immediately said, “Yes! I am afraid that every fellow Daoist of Tai Hua Mountain that had just gone through such dangerous circumstances are exhausted in body and mind. Fellow Daoist Luo, it would be best if you step into our Yi Tian Sect gates. We would be very willing to accommodate our fellow Daoists and let them cultivate breath control.”
Having heard what was said, Luo Jianqing’s phoenix eyes widened slightly.
He had only wished to leave Li Xiuchen at Yi Tian Sect, but he did not expect Elder Zhao to actually put forward such a proposal.
After thinking for a moment, Luo Jianqing nodded with a smile. “Then I will inconvenience my fellow Daoist.”
Not long after, the entire party boarded Luo Jianqing’s flying treasure boat, which majestically flew towards the gates of Yi Tian Sect. This period of rest would take three days. Yi Tian Sect welcomed Tai Hua Mountain’s disciples with generosity and did not dare neglect the Qi Foundation Phase One newcomers by even the slightest bit.
By the third day, the handsome green-clothed cultivator stood in front of his bed, his head raised as he gazed at the thick, verdant greenery in the courtyard.
He saw a pale yellow crane slowly fly to him from the sky, wobbling as it passed through a splendid mass of flowers. Finally, it stopped in front of Luo Jianqing and spoke, like a person, “Senior brother Luo, the information you wanted to be investigated has already been investigated.”
Luo Jianqing’s thin lips raised slightly and split into a dazzling smile. “Second junior brother, I’ve inconvenienced you. What is the situation?”
The paper crane used a voice transmission seal that was so high level that it could imitate someone’s tone and timbre perfectly. He heard a warm and tender voice coming from the paper crane. The second senior brother of Tai Hua Mountain Zuo Yunmo seemed to smile lightly as he said, “True Lord Beidou was the one Out-of-Body cultivator in the past 1,000 years who had participated in the 230 year long Human-Demon War. Later, he was chased and killed by a ninth-rank demon beast, and his cultivation dropped from Out-of-Body stage to Nascent Soul stage…”