In the vast and misty clouds, the head of Taihua Mountain, Hao Xingzi, flew at high speed and broke through the sea of clouds, arriving at the central peak of Taihua Mountain, the Yuxiao Peak. He transmitted a message to his junior brother at the foot of the peak, but received no response, so he furrowed his white eyebrows and went up the mountain directly.
All the disciples of Taihua Mountain knew that there were prohibitions all over Yuxiao Peak, and there was even a mountain-closing array to protect it. Even the seven disciples of Taihua Mountain, including the youngest sister apprentice, Meng Tianxin, couldn’t go up, and could only wait for Senior Brother Luo to come down at the foot of the peak.
However, they did not know that besides the youngest sister apprentice, even the other several peak lords and all the elders could not go up Yuxiao Peak.
Yuxiao Peak was the most important forbidden area of Taihua Mountain. Only the peak master, Xuan Lingzi, the eldest senior brother, Luo Jianqing, and the head, Hao Xingzi, could enter. If anyone else stepped in without permission, they would be directly blasted by the mountain-closing array.
When Hao Xingzi arrived in front of the bamboo house, he immediately smelled the chaotic spiritual energy and a faint trace of blood in the air. He widened his eyes and quickly broke the barrier left by his junior brother, then broke into the house. But when he saw the scene inside, he was suddenly stunned.
The handsome and cold white-robed Venerable Xuan Lingzi was half-supported on the bamboo couch, his face pale, and sweat covered his forehead. His chest was covered in scattered and glaring bloodstains, and there was a pool of blood on the ground in front of the couch, with golden spiritual energy flashing within it.
Seeing this, Hao Xingzi widened his eyes and exclaimed, “Essence and blood of the heart! Junior brother, you…”
Xuan Lingzi did not speak, but his pale expression had already answered Hao Xingzi’s question.
Hao Xingzi quickly took out a bottle of elixir from his storage ring. As the emerald green elixir appeared in the air, its fragrant aroma filled the room, causing the flowers, plants, and trees outside to dance excitedly at the faint scent. With a tap of his palm, the elixir flew into Xuan Lingzi’s mouth.
After a quarter of an hour, Xuan Lingzi finally calmed the chaotic spiritual energy in his body.
Hao Xingzi couldn’t help but ask, “Junior brother, what’s going on? Did you fall into demonic cultivation? It’s impossible. Although you’ve only been cultivating for more than 300 years, your mind has always been pure, and you’ve never encountered any heart demons. Why did you have such a reaction today?”
Xuan Lingzi replied calmly, “Senior brother.”
Hao Xingzi’s expression became serious. He pondered for a while and suddenly exclaimed, “Heart demon! Senior uncle once ordered you to establish a heart demon and swear to protect that thing with your life. Is it because something went wrong with that thing that you had such a reaction? Junior brother, that is the most important forbidden item of Taihua Mountain, the ‘Nine Lotus Seizure…'”
“Senior brother!” Xuan Lingzi interrupted in a cold voice, “It has nothing to do with that thing. It’s fine now.”
As he spoke, Xuan Lingzi flipped his hand and produced a blood-red glow. At the moment this thing appeared in the world, the clouds in the sky seemed to stagnate, and there were faint thunderclouds gathering towards the top of Yuxiao Peak. As soon as Xuan Lingzi put the object away, the thunderclouds dissipated immediately.
Hao Xingzi finally breathed a sigh of relief and said, “As long as this thing is okay, then that’s good.” After a pause, he suddenly thought of something and asked, “Junior brother, what happened to you?”
Xuan Lingzi spoke calmly, “There was a mistake in the new disciple’s training this time. The relic was not an ordinary Nascent Soul cultivator’s relic. I attached my Primordial spirit to Jianqing and entered the relic with him. We saw the remnant soul of a cultivator who was in the Out of Body stage realm. He must have encountered some problem during his lifetime, causing him to fall to the late Nascent Soul stage.”
Hao Xingzi couldn’t believe it and asked, “Junior brother, didn’t you make a promise not to leave Taihua Mountain? How did you bring your primordial spirit out?”
Xuan Lingzi replied nonchalantly, “I split my primordial spirit in half, so it’s not really leaving Taihua Mountain .”
These few words left Hao Xingzi speechless. Cultivators who have reached the Nascent Soul stage can condense a primordial spirit, but at this stage, the primordial spirit is only like a small baby without much attacking power. When they reach the Out of Body stage realm, the primordial spirit can leave the body. When they reach the Mahayana realm, the primordial spirit can be split at will. The higher the cultivation level, the more splits there can be, and each primordial spirit can serve as a fighting force.
So when Lord Beidou saw Xuan Lingzi’s half primordial spirit in the relic, he blurted out “cultivators above the Mahayana realm.”
However, these are all theoretical things. Very few Mahayana cultivators actually split their Primordial spirits because the pain is unbearable. The Primordial spirit is the most sensitive thing for a cultivator. Even a slight touch by an outsider can cause an unbearable tingling sensation. For example, if the physical body and Primordial spirit are subjected to the same impact, the physical body may be very painful, but the Primordial spirit would be a hundred times more painful!
Thinking of splitting the divine sense, Hao Xingzi felt his scalp tingle. After a long time, he sighed and said, “Aren’t you too good to Jianqing?”
Xuan Lingzi’s handsome face remained expressionless, and he said lightly, “Jianqing is my disciple.”
Seeing his junior brother’s appearance, Hao Xingzi swallowed the words he wanted to say.
“That’s just the relic of an out-of-body period cultivator. As long as you’re willing to give up, no one will be in danger. Moreover, Jianqing has so many magic treasures and pills. Isn’t it too much to worry about splitting your soul with him when he leaves?”
After all, it was a matter between master and disciple, and Hao Xingzi couldn’t say much. After asking about Xuan Lingzi’s physical condition in detail, he left with a sentence, “I will go find Junior Sister to refine pills for you to help you recover your soul as soon as possible,” and then turned into a white light and left Yu Xiao Peak.
After Hao Xingzi left, Xuan Lingzi finally couldn’t hold on and fell back, spitting out another mouthful of blood.
The blood still had a little golden light in it, and even Xuan Lingzi couldn’t help but pass out, with a face as pale as paper. At the same time, the golden life lamp at the top of the Cangshuang Hall of Taihua Mountain kept flashing and swaying. After a long time, the fire gradually stabilized, but it was a little dimmer than before.
In the meantime, in the sky above the Yitian Mountain Range hundreds of miles away, the thunderclouds had long since dissipated. Many cultivators observed for a long time but did not find any magical treasures, so they had to leave in disappointment. After a few moments, all the disciples were teleported out of the relic.
Luo Jianqing had already put the three magic treasures he had obtained and the blood-red jade token back into his storage ring. After being teleported out, he looked around and quickly found the traces of Taihua Mountain disciples, so he flew over.
“Senior Brother Luo, seventeen Taihua Mountain disciples entered the sixth level, and they all received rewards.” As he spoke, the nineteenth junior brother took out a white jade bead and said, “This is the water-avoidance bead. It seems that this bead can allow the user to breathe underwater and dive to a depth of fifty feet, which is also a treasure.”
Luo Jianqing nodded approvingly, looked around, and asked, “Why are there only twenty of you?”
Nineteenth junior brother sighed helplessly and said, “Senior brother, the Endless Wasteland is really dangerous. Some of us were injured and had to directly crush the jade token to come out. When I came out just now, I found out that Li Xiuchen had already been teleported out and was taken back to Yitian Sect for healing by their people. So, I let the other injured brothers follow to Yitian Sect for recovery.”
Luo Jianqing raised an eyebrow in feigned surprise and asked, “Everyone was injured? Was Li Xiuchen injured too?”
Nineteenth junior brother shrugged and sighed, “Yes, many people were injured. It is said that Yitian Sect also lost several Qi Refining stage disciples. But you didn’t see Li Xiuchen’s injuries. They were really terrible. His hands were crippled and his eyes were blind. I don’t know what fierce monster he encountered in the Endless Wasteland, but it didn’t take his life and left him in such a state…”
As he spoke, Luo Jianqing led the disciples of Taihua Mountain to Yitian Sect to prepare for the handover.
Nineteenth junior brother summed up, “Unless the elder of Qinglan Peak specially heals and refines pills for Li Xiuchen, he is probably never going to recover. But he is only a newly recruited disciple, and the sect won’t do so much for him. Ah, senior brother, why didn’t he crush the jade token? The reward should be commensurate with one’s strength. It’s really…”
Luo Jianqing smiled and said, “Danger always accompanies experience. Fortune favors the brave. In the future, don’t learn from him. When it’s time to give up, you should give up decisively.”
Nineteenth junior brother nodded with a smiling face, revealing a row of white teeth.
When they met the Yitian Sect’s elder Zhao, Luo Jianqing lightly bowed and the other immediately returned the courtesy with great respect.
Luo Jianqing smiled and said, “This relic excavation was really hard for your sect. I will truthfully report the process of the experience to our sect. After the elders in our sect inspect it, we will send the rewards for discovering the relic to Yitian Sect.” After a pause, Luo Jianqing asked, “I wonder how the disciples of Taihua Mountain who stayed in your sect are doing now?”
Elder Zhao respectfully replied, “Except for a fellow Daoist who seems to be seriously injured at the second level of Qi Refining, everyone else is fine.”
Without mentioning any names, it can be guessed that the one who was seriously injured is Li Xiuchen. Although Li Xiuchen was quickly transported out, Luo Jianqing saw his horrific injuries with his own eyes. Such injuries would be fatal for a Qi-refining cultivator, and the fact that Li Xiuchen survived was surprising to Luo Jianqing.
While thinking this in his mind, he couldn’t show it on the surface. His fair and elegant face showed a hint of difficulty, and Luo Jianqing sighed, “Since Junior Brother is so seriously injured, may I ask if your sect could provide a place for him to recuperate? With his current condition, he is probably not suitable for long-distance travel.”
Elder Zhao immediately said, “Indeed! Friends from Taihua Mountain just experienced a dangerous situation. I’m afraid they are all physically and mentally exhausted. Friend Luo, why not come to our Yitian sect’s gate? Our sect is willing to entertain you and let you rest and recuperate.”
Upon hearing this, Luo Jianqing’s phoenix eyes slightly opened. He had originally only wanted to keep Li Xiuchen in Yitian sect, but he didn’t expect Elder Zhao to suggest this.
After thinking for a moment, Luo Jianqing smiled and nodded, “Thank you for your help, friend.”
Soon, a group of people boarded Luo Jianqing’s flying boat and headed towards the Yitian sect gate. They rested there for three days, and Yitian sect treated these Taishan disciples with good food and drinks. Even facing the new disciples in the Qi-refining stage, they dared not show any negligence.
On the third day, a handsome cultivator in green stood in front of the bed, looking up at the lush green trees in the courtyard. A light yellow origami crane slowly flew in from the horizon, swaying through the colorful flowers, and finally stopped in front of Luo Jianqing. Then it spoke, “Senior Brother Luo, the information you wanted to investigate has been found.”
Luo Jianqing’s thin lips slightly hooked, revealing a dazzling smile, “Second Junior Brother, thank you. What exactly is the situation?”
The origami crane was created using a high-level transmission talisman, even mimicking the tone and voice of a human perfectly. From the crane, a gentle voice spoke, “North Star True Lord was a soul-wandering stage cultivator from a thousand years ago. He participated in a human-demon war that lasted for 230 years, and was later chased by a ninth-rank demon beast, causing his cultivation to drop from the soul-wandering stage to the Nascent Soul stage…”
Author’s note: The hierarchy used in this story is as follows: Qi Refining, Foundation Building, Golden Core, Nascent Soul, Out of Body, Unity(body fusion), Tribulation Crossing, Mahayana, and Deity Transformation
Tl’s note: Each major realm above was further divided into three sub-realms: early stage, middle stage, and late stage. However, only in the Qi Refining stage were there directly nine stages, … Continue reading
|↑1||Tl’s note: Each major realm above was further divided into three sub-realms: early stage, middle stage, and late stage. However, only in the Qi Refining stage were there directly nine stages, from the first to the ninth layer.|