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Chapter 194: The Moon Demon Forest (3)

Late at night at the perimeter of the camp;

Lu Qingyun was picking spirit herbs as he wandered around with Qian Jingjing.

Qian Jingjing chuckled softly, “I know that Brother Qingyun must be up to no good. Indeed I’m right.”

Lu Qingyun laughed softly.

All of a sudden Lu Qingyun had raised his nose to sniff the air, “This is…”

Qian Jingjing: ???

“Jingjing, go back to the camp first. I have sniffed something. If I’m not wrong then this is the blooming of the Demonic Flower of Death. This is exactly what I have wanted!” Lu Qingyun said excitingly to her.

Qian Jingjing said unhappily, “Why is it that I can’t sniff anything? Don’t tell me that Brother Qingyun is just packing me off because you don’t like Jingjing to accompany you?”

Lu Qingyun muttered, “It is dangerous this time of the night. You will never know the hidden dangers that are in these dense woods and fogs. Moreover, it isn’t too good for your reputation if you are seen with me.”

Qian Jingjing chuckled softly, “I’ve long thrown away my own reputation to be with you.”

Lu Qingyun: …

He said weakly, “I am not a good man, especially at night…”

“Really? Then I like it!” Qian Jingjing said shyly and there was a flush on her cheeks.

Lu Qingyun: …

“Brother Qingyun, do you like Fairy Ling Xiu, Leng Qiuyue or me more then?” Qian Jingjing took a bold question to ask as she looked shyly at him.

In a normal circumstance, a normal man would have already stripped this city-toppling beauty to prove that he liked her.

But Lu Qingyun hesitated for a while before he sighed softly, “You are all astonishing beautiful maidens. I can’t decide.” With another sigh, he said. “Jingjing be careful when you are following me. Run at the first sign of danger, alright?”

Qian Jingjing was delighted that Lu Qingyun had allowed her to follow him.

As she followed him, she tugged his sleeves and pulled him close to her. “Brother Qingyun, you are thinking of having all three of us as your consorts and that’s why you can’t decide?”

Lu Qingyun: …

“Actually Jingjing, I don’t feel anything for Fairy Ling Xiu.” Lu Qingyun said awkwardly. “There is really nothing that is between us.”

“Then what about Leng Qiuyue? You are so grieved when she had ‘died’ during the trial.” Qian Jingjing asked with a trembling look.

Lu Qingyun was dumbfounded by the question. At that time, he had really thought that Leng Qiuyue had died and he was really so grieved that he had thought that he had sunk to the deepest abyss. He muttered, “I don’t know…”

“Then what about me? Will you be equally grieved if I were to die?”

Lu Qingyun found himself trembling but he quickly regained his composure. “Don’t talk rubbish alright? Nothing will happen to you.”

He quickly said, “Come follow me tightly. This Demonic Flower of Death will only bloom for an hour or so. After that, its spirit roots will disappear into the ground and it will be impossible to find it again.”

Qian Jingjing nodded as she followed him quietly. In her heart, she was sad that Lu Qingyun did not use any flowery words on her nor did he make any move to violate her.

She was the renowned beauty of her city and had countless suitors. Even her grandmaster was constantly pressuring her to marry his son. But for Lu Qingyun, she was willing to give up everything that she had got and followed him.

“What is so good about these spirit herbs when a real person is standing right in front of you…” She silently thought. “And this person is willing to let you do as you please…”

Before long, Lu Qingyun had quickly found the location of the Demonic Flower of Death. This flower was hidden mid-air down a mountain steep cliff.

“Jingjing, wait up here for me. I am going down the cliff.”

“Brother Qingyun, are you sure? It is so dark down there and we don’t have any ropes.” Qian Jingjing panicky said.

“I’ll be alright. This isn’t my first time. I am quite good in climbing.” With that, he had already hopped down the steep cliff.

Qian Jingjing was startled when he had suddenly jumped off the cliff and she took a half open peek to see if Lu Qingyun was really alright; he was and he was climbing with great agility along the steep cliffs.

In less than 30mins, Lu Qingyun had already picked the Demonic Flower of Death and he was already back to the top of the cliff, much to the great astonishment of Qian Jingjing.

“Brother Qingyun, you are really so impressive.” Qian Jingjing gasped softly.

“Haha. See, nothing will happen to me. It is quite impossible for me to fall off the cliff unless I’m a pig.” Lu Qingyun returned her a gentle smile.

All of a sudden the ground below them was trembling and they could that the tall trees in the vicinity were all swaying.

Lu Qingyun was startled and he could see several gigantic looming figures that were heading toward his camp. These gigantic looming figures all had two heads and four arms.

“Seventh rank Devious Cyclopeans!” He gasped with shock.

Each one of the seventh rank Devious Cyclopean was equaled to a sixth realm cultivation expert and even a seventh realm saint may not find one to be an easy pushover.

“We must return to camp immediately!” Lu Qingyun said quickly. “This is going to be a hard battle. We don’t know how many of these Devious Cyclopeans are there…”

“There are eight actually.” A feminine figure had emerged and the beautiful form of Yue Lingxi was seen.

“Yue Lingling?!” Qian Jingjing gasped. “Why are you here? Didn’t you get disqualified? You’re not supposed to be here.”

Yue Lingxi smiled coldly, “I’m only here to visit my brother.”

“Jingjing, step back. She is extremely dangerous!” Lu Qingyun had stepped in front of her and he had unsheathed his sword.

Yue Lingxi smiled dangerously, “Surrender the Horizon of the Heavens willingly and I will call off the attack. Or else, everyone will die because of you.”

She pointed her fingers at Qian Jingjing, “And I will start with her.”

Lu Qingyun stammered, “What Horizon of the Heavens? I don’t have it. Quickly call off the attack. You are making a huge mistake here.”

“What mistake? I am the Desolate Lord Yue Lingxi and these celestials are our enemies. Lu Qingyun, you are one of us. Rather, I don’t understand why you are helping the celestials?”

“I am not one of your kinds.” Lu Qingyun said firmly.

Qian Jingjing looked at Lu Qingyun in utter confusion, “Is she saying the truth?”

Yue Lingxi had suddenly raised her fingers and a profound energy sword flew with startling speed toward Qian Jingjing.

Lu Qingyun was startled as he quickly raised his divine sword to parry the sword energy attack.

It happened so fast that Lu Qingyun was only barely able to parry the sword energy attack in a nick of time but still, some of the undispersed sword energies from the parried attack had pierced through into Qian Jingjing, causing her to spurt blood.

“Jingjing!” Lu Qingyun yelled out loud.

But Qian Jingjing could not reply him as she crumbled onto the ground.

The sword energy attack of a seventh realm cultivation expert was not something a fourth realm expert could absorb so readily. Moreover Yue Lingxi true cultivation realm was much higher and her true cultivation strength was actually suppressed to the seventh realm level.

Lu Qingyun was trembling as another divine sword appeared in his other hand, “Yue Lingxi! You are a demoness!”

Yue Lingxi hummed coldly, “To think that I was racking my brains on how to approach you from the hundreds of cultivators and now you have actually delivered yourself to me. If I know this would be the case, I would not have made a pact with the Devious Cyclopeans. What a waste of my cultivation resources.”

She added, “You are not my match. Surrender the Horizon of the Heavens to me and I will let the two of you go.” When she had said that, she was actually nervous. It was because she still remembers the nightmare situation when Lu Qingyun had suddenly used the Horizon of the Heavens to injure her.

Lu Qingyun said silently. “Yan’Er, please lend me your strength. We have a tough fight ahead of us.”

When he had said that, his profound aura had burst forth, enveloping him in a fiery strong animus. Although his profound strength was still at the fourth realm level but the pureness of his profound aura was no less than a sixth realm golden supremacy!

Yue Lingxi hummed coldly, “Then we shall fight to the death. When you have died, I shall rip the Horizon of the Heavens from your inner cultivation sea. It may be extremely troublesome but rest assures that I will have my ways.”

Lu Qingyun divine sense was however not on Yue Lingxi. Rather, he was silently watching the vital signs that were on Qian Jingjing. Her life force was now quickly slipping away. He knew that he had to win this fight quickly if he were to save her.

Yue Lingxi had loosened her robe and she had her profound armor on her. Her armor was actually just a few metal pieces that covered her beautiful curved bosoms and conveniently covered the area that was between her legs.

With another wave, she had unsheathed a half-step divine sword and there were gathering winds that accompanied her divine sword.

“I’m going to pierce your body into the mountains and you will die a slow and painful death…Gathering Windforces of the Demonic Wolf Sword.”

Lu Qingyun did not dare to be careless as he mustered all his profound strength to display his profound power with his right sword. “Alpha Soaring Heavens as One!”

“You really think that you can stop me with this puny sword technique? Why don’t you use what you have used on me that day…” Yue Lingxi scoffed.

“Beta Soaring Heavens as One!” Lu Qingyun had displayed his second sword art with the divine sword that was in his other hand.

Yue Lingxi was startled. “You can use two sword arts at the same time…”

“The True Soaring Heavens as One!”

As the two ultrapowerful energy techniques collided, there were several thunderous shockwaves that engulfed both combatants.

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Chapter 193: The Moon Demon Forest (2)

Nightfall had arrived.

This was the very first night into the Moon Demon Forest and it was peaceful.

The expedition force did encounter some low ranking devious beasts but they had quickly fled in the face of the expedition force of six hundred cultivators.

Feng Xiaoxiao said to the group, “We shall set up camp here. In another three days we will be able to rendezvous with Celestial Tang Xuefeng and her group.”

This was the very first time that Celestial Feng Xiaoxiao had revealed to the expedition force that there were others that were in wait for them.

Lu Qingyun gasped softly. Tang Xuefeng was known to him. After all like Celestial Feng Xiaoxiao, Celestial Tang Xuefeng was at the Heavens Ridge Villa only quite recently.

But it made sense that she would be presented at the ancient ruin ahead of them. After all, Fragrance Herald Yufeng did praise her as a rare genius with the celestial arrays.

Lu Qingyun smiled at the thought of seeing Celestial Xuefeng again.

Qian Jingjing frowned lightly, “Brother Qingyun, you seem excited to see this Tang Xuefeng?”

Lu Qingyun stammered, “She is only…a friend. I don’t really know her well. You’re overthinking things.”

Feng Xiaoxiao announced next, “I will need forty volunteers to patrol in pair around the camp. Who will like to volunteer to be our night wardens?”

Lu Qingyun immediately said as he raised his hand, “I will volunteer.”

Qian Jingjing gasped as she quickly raised her hand as well, “I’ll volunteer too.”

Feng Xiaoxiao turned to smile at Lu Qingyun and Qian Jingjing, “Good. Anyone else?”

“Good, we have another two volunteers there.”

As soon as Feng Xiaoxiao’s attention was turned away, Qian Jingjing whispered to Lu Qingyun. “Brother Qingyun, you are not afraid? I am a little scare to wander alone in the Moon Demon Forest in the dark.”

Lu Qingyun laughed lightly, “Then why are you volunteering?”

“Because with Brother Qingyun around, Jingjing is not afraid.”

Lu Qingyun: …

“Actually…” Lu Qingyun began to lower his voice to a whisper. “If you are afraid, you can stay in camp. I can patrol alone.”

Qian Jingjing stared at him. “This is cheating, right?”

Lu Qingyun rolled his eyes before he laughed weakly, “Sort of…” He was actually thinking of picking the spirit herbs alone at night and it may be a little dangerous for Qian Jingjing if he wandered too far. He did not want to risk her safety.

Soon, there were twenty volunteers for the patrol and Feng Xiaoxiao tasked a protégé to explain their duties later at night.

She had quietly turned to her small group which consisted of Zhao Riyue, Zhao Xingye, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue before asking in a low voice to Zhao Riyue. “So what is the status?”

Zhao Riyue had the best divine sense in the group and it was she who had notified Feng Xiaoxiao about the elusive intruder. She replied softly, “This high level cultivator is still following us. This time round I am able to know that she is a female cultivator. I heard her coughing. It seems that she has some internal injuries.”

Feng Xiaoxiao frowned lightly, “If it isn’t for Zhao Riyue, we would not know that someone is following us. Is she a cultivator from the other divine realms?”

Zhao Riyue was suddenly gasping, “Seventh realm expert! She has suddenly released her profound strength…”

Feng Xiaoxiao was startled and so were Yin Shisi, Ouyang Xue and Zhao Xingye.

“She seems to be blowing a pipe…”

Feng Xiaoxiao had turned ashen. A seventh realm expert was a threat that she could not ignore. “Do you think you can pinpoint her location?”

Zhao Riyue shook her head gently with a heavy sigh, “I’ve lost her aura already. She seems…to be aware of me as well. I was too careless.”

She added. “I can sense her malevolent air earlier. She may strike tonight.”

Yin Shisi was thoroughly impressed by Zhao Riyue. Although she was a seventh realm saintess now but her extra sensory perception was far from Zhao Riyue’s divine sense. It was no wondered that Shen Yufeng had said that Zhao Riyue and Zhao Xingye were both special prodigies.

Feng Xiaoxiao turned to Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue as she said gravely, “I may need your help tonight.”

Yin Shisi nodded lightly and Ouyang Xue had returned a nod as well.

Feng Xiaoxiao turned to Zhao Xingye to say, “Xingye, inform all our protégés to be on high alert tonight. No one is to sleep. If they want to nap, ask them to nap now.”

Zhao Xingye replied, “I will inform our protégé sisters now.”

The Divine Moon Realm, one of the three dark divine realms;

At this moment, a hundred dark celestial lords from the three dark divine realms had assembled at the Divine Moon Citadel.

This was the first time in several centuries that so many dark celestial lords had gathered in the same place. They were all here at the special summoning of their Dark Celestial Mistress who styled herself as the Golden Mask Devil Goddess.

Before long, an alluring maiden with a golden mask had appeared at the throne seat. Although no one had ever seen the true appearance of the Dark Celestial Mistress before but there was no mistaking her sweet scent, long flowing beautiful raven hair and her unique bearing.

She was also accompanied by two extremely moving maidens with similar golden masks and a dozen maidens with silver masks.

The Dark Celestial Mistress preferred to be known as the Devil Goddess and she had called her followers, her ‘shadows’.

The minute that the Devil Goddess had shown up, a dozen dark celestial lords had rushed forward as they lamented loudly.

The hall was suddenly noisy as all the dark celestial lords attempted to speak to the Devil Goddess at the same time.

But the Devil Goddess waved her hand to silence them all as she said coldly, “I have already known what had happened.”

When the Devil Goddess had spoken, all the dark celestial lords were all quiet again as they eagerly listened to the voice of the Devil Goddess.

“Saint Gao Tianshou has led the might of four patriarch divine realms on the offensive against us. In just a week, the Divine Moon Realm has lost five celestial clans, the Thousand Worlds Sacred Realm has lost seven celestial clans and the Scarlet Divine Realm has lost three celestial clans.” The Devil Goddess said coldly.

“Thousands of our fellow celestials had perished but this is not the most upsetting thing that had happened.”

“Saint Gao Tianshou had actually ordered the surrendered female cultivators of the Spirit Divinity Sect to be given to the victorious cultivators to do as they pleased. All the female cultivators of the Spirit Divinity Sect had committed suicide rather than allowing themselves to be subjected to such a humiliating fate.”

“I, the Devil Goddess of the three dark divine realms now vow before all of you that I will not let the dead be forgotten and I now declare that all the celestial clans in my three dark divine realms will not rest their carnages until Saint Gao Tianshou and his cronies are all dead!”

She slammed her hand on her throne, instantly shattering it into a pile of wasted debris before saying out loud. “The Valiant Arms Divine Realm, the Divine Sovereign Realm, the Astral Sword Heaven Realm and the Divine Sage Realm; these four patriarch divine realms are now our mortal enemies. If the other five patriarch divine realms are to join hands with them then they are our mortal enemies as well.”

The Devil Goddess displayed her profound aura and her voice echoed beyond the great hall. “Since in the eyes of the righteous patriarch celestial clans, we are the heretics, the dark celestials, the unorthodox and the unrighteous, then this will be my command. Take no prisoners. Spare no one.”

When she had said that, she was trembling lightly and her heart was grieving for the dead and the carnage that would follow.

All the dark celestial lords were now shouting mightily for blood and their profound shouts were heard throughout the Divine Moon Citadel.

The Devil Goddess stole a quiet glance at the other maidens with the golden masks. “Minyue, Danfeng…is it too late to turn back now? I’m no longer Qin Keqin. Qin Keqin may now be gone forever. I will never see him again…”

Feng Minyue nodded with conviction in Fan Yuqing’s direction as she silently said. “No matter how difficult this battle is, I will always be with my Sister Saintess Yuqing.”

Xuan Danfeng was also nodding to Fan Yuqing as she said silently, “We may not lose this battle and we will kill this Saint Gao Tianshou.”

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Chapter 192: The Moon Demon Forest (1)

At the first break of dawn, hundreds of selected cultivators numbering some five hundred that included Lu Qingyun, Qian Jingjing, Yu Tianjian and Gongsun Ya had assembled outside the camp.

With them were a hundred protégés of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa that was led by Feng Xiaoxiao.

Watching the assembly was thousands of other cultivators that had escorted the five hundred selected cultivators to this camp. They were not allowed to follow the expedition group and were told to wait in the camp until the experiential expedition had ended.

Watching the assembly were Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue who were watching with some reluctance that Lu Qingyun was leaving their sight.

Ouyang Xue muttered, “I pray that he will be safe.”

Yin Shisi nodded quietly, “I hope so too.”

The two of them were now each other’s confidant after spending a year together in solitary.

Yin Shisi added with an anxious smile, “I really hope so. I think that things are not as simple as it looks here.”

“Really?” Feng Xiaoxiao voice could be heard as she approached them, startling the two of them.

“Why are you standing in such a faraway corner? Are you afraid to bid farewell to Senior Lu?” She chuckled softly.

Yin Shisi smiled, “It is good to see you again, Celestial Feng.”

Feng Xiaoxiao chuckled, “Look at you. You have been in the camp for a few days now and you didn’t even bother to visit me? Or is it because you are a saintess now and you are looking down on a mere fifth realm golden celestial like me?”

Yin Shisi was startled as she hastily said, “Not at all. I’m just afraid that you may be a little busy and I didn’t want to bother you.”

Feng Xiaoxiao laughed, “It is only a tease. But I wonder how did you breakthrough to the seventh realm saintess level so quickly.”

Yin Shisi smiled weakly, “I am just lucky.”

Feng Xiaoxiao looked at Ouyang Xue curiously, “And Grand Elder Ouyang Xue is also a fifth realm golden celestial now. This is too astonishing to believe that the two of you have a breakthrough at the same time.”

Ouyang Xue said quietly, “I was lucky as well.”

Feng Xiaoxiao smiled and said, “Since the two of you are worried for your senior brother, why don’t you travel with me instead?”

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were both startled.

“Can we?” Yin Shisi asked.

Feng Xiaoxiao smiled with a light nod, “Of course. If you are in my company then it is a different matter.”

Then she lowered her voice to a whisper, “Actually I may need the help of a saintess. For the past few days, there is a high level cultivator in the vicinity that seems to be keeping a secret tab on our movements. However this high level cultivator is too elusive and I’m afraid that person may be up to no good.”

Then she chuckled with a wink, “So do you want to tag along with me?”

Yin Shisi’s previous anxious eyes were now glowing, “I’m willing!”

Ouyang Xue gasped, “I wonder if I may come as well?”

Feng Xiaoxiao laughed softly, “Sure you can. I may need the aid of an additional fifth realm golden celestial as well.”

Ouyang Xue was gasping softly, “Celestial Feng, I thank you…

Feng Xiaoxiao interrupted with a casual smile, “There is no need to thank me. Who knows if you will curse me for that later?”

Ouyang Xue hastily replied, “I will not.”

“It is only a tease. However, I just have a small request. Unless it is necessary, try not to approach Senior Lu. Let him mingle with the rest of the expedition cultivators. This is to save him from unnecessary gossips.” Feng Xiaoxiao said quietly.

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue replied hastily as they extended their hands into a hand bow, “We will and we thank Celestial Feng for your kind grace in allowing us to travel with you.”

Feng Xiaoxiao chuckled softly, “Don’t forget that we are also acquaintances back in the Heavens Ridge Villa. Let’s not go into this thanks or no thanks stuff. Care to explain how you breakthrough?”

Yin Shisi took a glance at Ouyang Xue before she said quietly, “We have entered the Endless Abyssal Sea and have some lucky occurrences. However, please pardon us for unable to share with you the details. We’ve made an oath not to reveal what we have seen inside.”

Feng Xiaoxiao smiled, “That is alright. At least I know what is going on. Alas! I wish that I have the good fortune to go there someday.”

She knew that they were not lying. It was because she practiced the Listening Heart Intricate Skill and would instantly know if a person was insincere or lying.

The Moon Demon Forest was the most dangerous place to the north of the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm and it was twice as vast as the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm.

It was situated below the northern mountains of the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm and lay within the desolate mists.

It was a treacherous place where golden supremacies entered to hunt for their spirit entities and often become the hunted.

And now right, Feng Xiaoxiao was leading everyone down the mountains and into the interiors of the Moon Demon Forest.

There was an air of nervousness and anxiety among the expedition force but for Lu Qingyun he was actually quite light spirited and his wandering eyes were often looking at the overgrowths for the sight of any rare spirit herbs.

He was determined to sneak out of camp at night so that he could gather some spirit herbs.

Qian Jingjing was following Lu Qingyun quite tightly and often put her hands around his arm when he was not noticing.

It seemed to her that Lu Qingyun’s attentions were always on the lookout at the floras that were around them. She could guess that he was on the lookout for rare spirit herbs.

She thought, “He was so impressive yesterday when he was debating with the Eight Alchemist Kings. He must be a high level alchemist himself.”

She had tried to ask him on his alchemist ranking but Lu Qingyun simply returned a faint smile and said nothing.

It was not because Lu Qingyun did not trust her but because he did not want to shock her that he was actually a fourth rank alchemist himself.

Actually Lu Qingyun could also be considered to be an unofficial fifth rank alchemist. Because of the untimely death of his old master, he had not taken the stringent alchemist test to be a fifth rank alchemist. The examiner was naturally his own master of course. Although his old master had said that he was already a fifth rank alchemist in his own right but Lu Qingyun felt that he did not deserve it and moreover, he did not want to graduate from his old master’s tutelage.

Qian Jingjing asked him as they marched in the Moon Demon Forest, “Brother Qingyun, you do not seem to be too worried? Why is that so?”

Lu Qingyun laughed quietly, “Actually I am but it is too early to be worried about.”

“Oh? You mean the worst is yet to come?” She growled lightly.

“Aren’t we safe at the moment?” Lu Qingyun asked her.

“Yes, we are…”

“So what the point of thinking of any dangers?”

Qian Jingjing nodded before she whispered, “Brother Qingyun, how come Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue seem to be avoiding you? They didn’t even have the courtesy to tell you that they are coming.”

Lu Qingyun laughed softly, “I can guess why. I saw Celestial Feng Xiaoxiao talking to them earlier. The invitation must be a last minute affair. Don’t worry. They are actually concerned about me.”

He stopped his track briefly and he was secretly sighing. “A little too good toward me. I don’t deserve them at all…”

While the entire expedition party was moving into the Moon Demon Forest, a beautiful maiden with an unnatural allure was quietly watching them. She was none other than Yue Lingxi.

“Lu Qingyun, do you think you can steal my Horizons of the Heavens from right under my nose?” She muttered.

With a wry smile, she had taken out a small blow pipe and was playing it around her fingers. “The fun is going to begin real soon for you.”

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Chapter 191: Prelude to the Moon Demon Forest

A few days later, the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had called for the qualified trial competitors to assemble together on a nearby mountain platform that was near the camp.

Hundreds of cultivators had now gathered on the mountain platform.

Among them were Lu Qingyun and Qian Jingjing who had walked together up the mountain platform.

Lu Qingyun felt a little weird that there were so many cultivators that seemed to be looking in his way and they were suddenly muttering.

“It is him…”

“It seems that he has already got her into his hands…”

“He has actually used such an underhand mean to get her…”

“Do you think that he is trying to obtain the Heavens Spirit Sword of the Spirit Sword Manor?”

“Are you sure? I’ve heard that they were in the same party previously while they were taking the trials in New Empyrean City…”

“They are a couple now?”

“I heard that previously there is a Leng Qiuyue…”

Lu Qingyun thought that they were just discussing about the events that would soon be taking place and he had never thought that they would actually be discussing about him.

Among the cultivators presented, Lu Qingyun had also recognized many of the familiar faces that were at New Empyrean City previously like Gongsun Ya and Yu Tianjian.

Before long, a large group of protégés numbering nearly a hundred from the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had arrived.

Lu Qingyun had recognized Zhao Riyue and Zhao Xingye in the group and also Fragrance Herald Celestial Feng Xiaoxiao who was leading them.

Feng Xiaoxiao was still as alluring as ever and her golden eyes had quickly swept through the soul seas of the cultivators in the platform. She was a practitioner of the Listening Heart Intricate and with this quick scan with her divine sense, she had quickly gauged the emotional state of the cultivators that were presented.

There was no sighting of Shen Yufeng or Tang Xuefeng though. It seemed that they were not in this camp.

Lu Qingyun looked a little disappointed. If Shen Yufeng was here, at least there was a chance that Lie Xingyuan and Leng Qiuyue may be here as well.

Feng Xiaoxiao smiled as she looked at the large assembly of cultivators that numbered some five hundred cultivators before she said coolly, “Good, you have all come. Those who have come are indeed courageous. As your reward, you shall all be given the Divine Profound Pill.”

Immediately all the cultivators in the assembly were looking at one another excitingly. After all, most of them were here for the Divine Profound Pill at their own personal risk. There were even many that had perished even before they had reached the Moon Demon Forest.

One by one, the cultivators were given the Divine Profound Pill and many of them were afraid that Feng Xiaoxiao may change her mind so they quickly swallowed their pills hastily.

But for Lu Qingyun, he had pretended to take it but he had secretly kept it. He knew that at this point, the Divine Profound Pill was of no use to him as his inner cultivation sea was already pure enough and that he would get his breakthrough anytime now.

As for Qian Jingjing, she had eagerly swallowed the Divine Profound Pill. She was already a peaked fourth realm cultivator. She knew that this Divine Profound Pill would be able to cleanse and strengthen her inner cultivation sea. With some luck, she may be able to breakthrough to the fifth realm golden celestial level sooner than she had expected.

Qian Jingjing whispered to Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, we are so compatible. Don’t you think so?”

Lu Qingyun: ???

What did this Divine Profound Pill have to do with them being compatible?

Qian Jingjing was actually thinking that because they were both at the peaked fourth realm level, therefore they both had a chance to become a golden celestial in the future after taking the Divine Profound Pill and that was why they were being so compatible.

But Lu Qingyun did not know her heart and he was baffled.

At this point he had not fully realized the graveness of what Qian Jingjing had done to be with him. She had not only disobeyed the wishes of her protégé grandmaster but she had also quietly left the Spirit Sword Manor. This was enough to brand her as a traitor to her own celestial clan.

Therefore she had only Lu Qingyun as her support from now on.

After all the Divine Profound Pills had been duly given, Feng Xiaoxiao smiled to all the cultivators. “Tomorrow at the first break of dawn, we will set off into the Moon Demon Forest. You have until today to see your farewells.”

With that, she had dismissed the cultivators.

Qian Jingjing immediately said to Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, shall we take a look around the camp first? I have heard that today there is a pill competition between some of the cultivators.”

“Pills competition?” Lu Qingyun’s interest was immediately aroused. “This does sound interesting. Let’s go and have a look.”

Soon they had returned to the camp and there were hundreds of cultivators that had already gathered around a group of elderly cultivators.

These elderly cultivators all had a large cauldron in front of them and they were debating nonstop, much to the amusement of the other onlookers.

Qian Jingjing frowned lightly, “I really don’t understand why these old men are dabbling in alchemy rather than cultivation. If they are willing to spend more time on their own cultivation, they wouldn’t be this old.”

But Lu Qingyun laughed softly as he walked eagerly to the debating old men and mingled with the onlookers.

It did not take him long enough to know that these eight old men were all competing with one another to concoct an instant rejuvenation pill known as the Golden Rejuvenation Pill. This Golden Rejuvenation Pill was extremely difficult to concoct but was extremely useful to raise the martial strength of the cultivator and it could be used for healing at the same time.

These eight old men were all arguing with one another and it seemed that they were competing to which one among them would be able to concoct the most number of Golden Rejuvenation Pills.

“The Golden Rejuvenation Pill has only a 10% chance of success. Your batch of pills may yield nothing at all.”

“Arrogant old fellow, you are the one that will yield nothing!”

“I will have at least one pill or two, haha…”

“We are all fourth rank alchemist here. Today, whoever has the most successful batch will walk away with the crown of being the best alchemist in this Moon Demon Forest meet.”

“Hehehe, the pride of my celestial clan also rest in this battle today…”

With a sniff, Lu Qingyun could tell that all eight old alchemists had used their own unique concoctions to improve their own chances for the Golden Rejuvenation Pill.

The first old man to the left was laughing and he was shouting loudly to the rest now, “Your cauldrons are too slow, too slow! My Golden Rejuvenation Pills are now ready. Behold…”

Lu Qingyun suddenly said, “Old senior, I’m afraid that your cauldron will yield nothing. Although your cauldron fire is intense but the Wolfberry Spirit Roots that you are using is a little impure. I am afraid that you may have wasted your own efforts. If you can lower the intensity of your fire, there may still be a slim chance of saving one pill.”

The first old man to the left was furious, “Young man! How dare you mouth such rubbish! You must be in cahoots with them! I am going to open my cauldron just to prove you and these old fellows wrong!” But he was also quite startled that this young man knew that he was using the Wolfberry Spirit Roots.

All the onlookers were now laughing at Lu Qingyun and even Qian Jingjing was tugging his sleeves.

“What does he know?”

“Alchemy is totally different from cultivation. This requires decades of profound studies and there are a million spiritual herbs in the Nine Celestial Fraternity…”

“I say that he is just trying to show off in front of the beautiful maiden that is with him…”

“Isn’t he that good-for-nothing cultivator Lu Qingyun?”

“I’ve heard that he is actually quite good, according to the group that is with him…”

“You already said that it is his group. You should know his reputation by now. He is capable of bribing everyone around him to say good things about him…”

“There is no smoke without fire. He is a good-for-nothing cultivator for a reason. No one will frame him for that…”

The first old man to the left had opened his cauldron now and was quite disappointed that his pills were all charcoal black and there was not even a Golden Rejuvenation Pill that was in sight.

He could only lament miserably, “My luck this time isn’t good enough. Usually I will have some success…”

The other seven old men were all laughing jovially at him.

The nearest old man that was next to him laughed before saying, “Now it is my turn…”

This time Lu Qingyun said, “Old Senior, you have used to Icy Silk Worm in your cauldron to neutralize the intense heat from your cauldron? Although this method is ingenious but the Icy Silk Worm that you are using is too potent. Therefore you should allow your cauldron to continue to heat up further…”

“How did he know that I have used an Icy Silk Worm inside?” the second old man was thinking. But because he had already declared that he was going to open his cauldron and he could not back off. Therefore he opened his cauldron and was dismayed to see a pile of black charcoal pills.

“My turn next.” The third old man said with a hesitation as he looked at Lu Qingyun.

Lu Qingyun said, “Old Senior, you have used a Thousand Year White Peony and the Wildfire Honey as additional reagents. You should have one successful Golden Rejuvenation Pill. As a matter of fact, this will be a high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill. However the Thousand Year White Peony is too rare and too expensive. It will be hard to replicate this success.”

The third old man was startled as he thought, “How did he know?”

He did not know that Lu Qingyun had already sniffed all the spirit herbs that were being used. Whether the cauldrons yielded any successful Golden Rejuvenation Pill, this was also known to Lu Qingyun.

Lu Qingyun continued, “I will suggest that you let your cauldron burn to a blue flame for an hour. You may be able to obtain another Golden Rejuvenation Pill. However that Golden Rejuvenation Pill won’t be a high grade one as the Wildfire Honey that you have used isn’t a good substitute. If it is the Blazing Bones Honey then the effect will be doubly effective.”

But unlike the first two old men, the third old man muttered. “Yes, yes. I will do as you have said.”

It was because this third old man had already gone through the same process a few times in the past and he was confident that he would be able to produce one high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill.  Therefore he was not in a hurry to open his cauldron and was more eager to test whether what Lu Qingyun had said was the truth.

Lu Qingyun pointed to the cauldron of the fourth old man, fifth old man and to the eighth old man and one by one, he pointed out the secret reagents that they had used with the Golden Figs Spirit Root, the only known spirit herb that could produce the Golden Rejuvenation Pill.

But this time, the other old men were all nodding and they were all following the advice that he had given. One by one, their cauldrons yielded at least a Golden Rejuvenation Pill!

Now these eight old men were known as the Eight Alchemist Kings of the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm and even though they were seen arguing with one another but they had actually known one another for a long time. They were in fact, having their usual friendly competition and had used this meet to have a chance to compete with one another.

So when the first two old men had their secret recipes exposed by Lu Qingyun, the other six old men were actually quite astonished.

By now the third old man had opened his cauldron and he had taken out two Golden Rejuvenation Pills. One of the Golden Rejuvenation Pills was a high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill and it was exactly what Lu Qingyun had said.

“It really works!” The third old man shouted with great delight and he was roaring with laughter. “I guess I am the winner in this meet today! Even though some of you have two Golden Rejuvenation Pills but I have one high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill.”

The other seven old men were all laughing jovially, “Indeed, indeed.”

The first two old men had hurriedly said to Lu Qingyun, “Please pardon our rudeness earlier. May we know your name and the name of your honorable master?”

Lu Qingyun said, “Junior name is Lu Qingyun. As for my master, he has forbid me from revealing his name. Therefore I really cannot reveal his name.”

The third old man hastily asked, “He must be a high ranking alchemist. May we know his alchemist rank and yours?”

Lu Qingyun replied softly, “My master is a fifth rank alchemist.”

When the eight old men had heard that his master was a fifth rank alchemist, they were greatly astonished. Although they were fourth rank alchemists but it was difficult for them to advance to the fifth rank alchemist level. In the fraternity of the alchemists, sixth rank alchemist level was the highest level.

Anyone that could reach the fourth rank alchemist level already had a lofty status as a high level alchemist and they would be respected everywhere.

Lu Qingyun added, “As for my alchemist ranking, it is not worth mentioning. My focus is now on my cultivation instead.”

He was actually a peaked fourth rank alchemist and he was now almost a fifth rank alchemist now. He did not want to tell anyone that he was concocting a secret sixth rank alchemist pill and if he was successful, he would be a sixth rank alchemist.

However, even if he was a sixth rank alchemist, he did not want to let anyone knows about it as he was just fulfilling his old master’s last wishes.

He had only three aspirations in this life.

One, to concoct a sixth rank pill.

Two, to be with Qin Keqin.

Three, to get rid of the Devil Goddess.

Qian Jingjing and many of the onlookers were all stunned as they looked at Lu Qingyun when they saw that even the eight old alchemist kings were all so respectful toward him.

“Is he really the good-for-nothing cultivator Lu Qingyun?”

“Maybe his cultivation really cannot make it but he is certainly good with his knowledge of alchemy…”

For quite some time, Qian Jingjing was looking with idiocy at Lu Qingyun while he was talking with the eight old men…

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Chapter 190: Qian Jingjing

It was night. There were only Lu Qingyun and Qian Jingjing as they sat at the ledge of the cliff that was overlooking their camp.

Lu Qingyun was looking at her curiously before he asked, “You say that you have something important to tell me? You can tell me now?”

Qian Jingjing was sighing softly before she asked, “Fairy Ling Xiu didn’t come with you?”

Lu Qingyun shook his head, “I am the only one from New Empyrean City that is here. Even Shangguan Furong from the Clear Sky Pavilion won’t be coming. Is there anything wrong?”

Qian Jingjing shook her head but she was soon nodding her head, “Actually I have come alone on this trip.”

Lu Qingyun was startled as he stared at her, “You have come alone? Do you know how dangerous it is for you to come alone here?”

Qian Jingjing averted her melancholy eyes, “I am fine already. I had hitched a ride with some of the friendlier celestial clans. They had protected me on the way here.”

“Why did you come alone?” Lu Qingyun was really curious as he looked intently at her.

“Because I know that Brother Qingyun will here. I can’t sleep or eat knowing what you have to face in this experiential expedition.” Qian Jingjing said quietly.

Lu Qingyun: …

“To be frank with you,” Qian Jingjing said quietly. “I didn’t have the permission of my Spirit Sword Manor to come here. I have come alone.”

Lu Qingyun was greatly startled, “Jingjing, you…”

“I was warned by my protégé masters and protégé grandmaster that if I insist on coming here, they will cripple my cultivation and expel me from the sect.” Qian Jingjing said sorrowfully and her eyes had turned red.

All of a sudden Qian Jingjing had sunk her head into his chest and was sobbing, “I really don’t know what to do from now on. I am now homeless…”

Lu Qingyun was at a loss what to say to her and he could only pat her back gently while saying, “Maiden Jingjing, please don’t cry anymore. Things will be better…”

He waited for a while for her tears to dry before asking, “Jingjing, so what are your plans now in the future?”

Qian Jingjing gave him a pleading look before she said quietly, “I really have no idea at all. Brother Qingyun, can I follow you from now on?”

Lu Qingyun was startled and he was suddenly stammering, “This…I don’t think that is a good idea…”

Qian Jingjing turned away from him, “Brother Qingyun, are you looking down on me now…”

Lu Qingyun said firmly, “It is not that. I don’t want to get the Heavens Ridge Villa into trouble with the Spirit Sword Manor. As you know, you are a core protégé of the Spirit Sword Manor and your celestial clan will never allow their secret sword techniques to fall into the hands of the other celestial clans. I have heard of many stories about the Spirit Sword Manor.”

“What shall I do then?” Qian Jingjing murmured with great sadness.

Lu Qingyun suddenly said excitingly, “Jingjing, have you heard of Saint Gao Tianshou?”

Qian Jingjing nodded quietly. “He is the number one hero in the Nine Celestial Fraternity now.”

Lu Qingyun nodded, “He is now recruiting the celestial fighters to join him in the fight against the Devil Goddess. I am thinking of joining his banner to fight the Devil Goddess after this experiential expedition. If Jingjing does not mind, you can join me?”

Qian Jingjing gasped, “I can really join Brother Qingyun? I will be glad to.”

Lu Qingyun smiled, “In this way, I won’t get the Heavens Ridge Villa into trouble with the Spirit Sword Manor. We will use an alias when we join Saint Gao Tianshou.”

Qian Jingjing returned a nod before she asked curiously, “Why did Brother Qingyun wants to join Saint Tianshou? I’ve heard that he is fighting against the three dark divine realms. We may even lose our lives in the battle against the dark celestials. Brother Qingyun, are you sure about this?”

“For many centuries now, we are all living in the shadows of the Devil Goddess and the three dark divine realms. The combined size of the three dark divine realms is bigger than any of the nine patriarch divine realms. Saint Tianshou is our only hope of overcoming this stalemate. I hope to lend my puny strength to his efforts. If we succeed then we will be witnessing the dawn of a new celestial era.”

“Also, if we have the strength to change the current state of affairs, why don’t we at least contribute to the greater good?”

He did not want to tell her that he had also hoped to find Qin Keqin among the ranks of the celestials that were supporting Saint Gao Tianshou.

“I am glad that Brother Qingyun has such a noble aspiration. I will go with you.” Qian Jingjing said shyly.

Lu Qingyun laughed weakly, “But first, we got to survive through this experiential expedition first.”

Then he said solemnly, “Jingjing, actually this expedition may be quite dangerous. Do you want to wait for me in the camp until I’ve returned?”

“No!” Qian Jingjing said firmly. “I will want to go with you. I am also a cultivator. If I stay away from any possible dangers, it won’t be useful to my future cultivation progression.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly; it was because that was exactly what he had told Qin Keqin.

“Alright then.” He said as he returned a nod at the same time. “We will take the experiential expedition together.”

Once again Qian Jingjing had leant her head on his chest and she was muttering almost incoherently.


But Qian Jingjing seemed to have dozed off as she muttered, “Brother Qingyun…do you know that…Jingjing had been waiting day and night…at the entrance of the camp…for you…I’m so afraid that I will miss seeing you…I didn’t dare to sleep till I’ve found you…”

“Jingjing, wake up?” Lu Qingyun was stunned. “She has fallen asleep?”

Then he was muttering, “She had actually waited for me day in and night at the entrance of the camp…”

He sighed heavily, “Jingjing, don’t sleep here. Let me take you to my tent to have your proper sleep.”

With that he had lifted her up and walked to his tent. As he walked he could feel her soft body against him and he was muttering, “Well, I don’t know where her tent is so I can only bring her to my tent for the time being…”

Even though it was the late of the night, there were still many cultivators around since the high level cultivators require little sleep.

When they saw that Lu Qingyun was carrying Qian Jingjing and was walking to his tent, many of the cultivators were secretly whispering;

“Look at that…”

“Isn’t that the good-for-nothing Lu Qingyun and Qian Jingjing from the Spirit Sword Manor?”

“He is actually carrying her to his tent…”

“Did he drug her or what?”

“What a beast…”

“Shall we stop him from doing his beastly act?”

“His master is an elder of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa and his two escorts are both golden celestials. Are you trying to court your own death?”


“To think that such a thing is happening in the camp and he is so bold to do such a thing…”

“He is not only a good-for-nothing cultivator but a good-for-nothing womanizer…”

This was also witnessed by Gongsun Ya who had left in an angry huff.

When Lu Qingyun had reached his tent, he put Qian Jingjing gently on the bed.

With a soft yawn, he rolled a mat on the ground and he was soon asleep.

Hours later;

When Qian Jingjing had opened her eyes, she was startled to see that she was on a stranger bed and she was gasping softly. After a quick inspection, she heaved a soft sigh of relief that nothing had happened to her.

It was then she noticed that Lu Qingyun was sleeping on the ground.

With a soft giggle, she was suddenly flushing as she covered her face with her hands but she was actually peeking through her fingers. “We are actually sleeping in the same tent together. We are now one step closer now…”

That very night, she began to dream that she was in a bridal dress and the groom was Lu Qingyun. After they had their wedding ceremony, they had their dragon and phoenix dance…

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Chapter 189: Reaching the Moon Demon Forest

A few days later, Lu Qingyun and his group had finally reached the vicinity of the Moon Demon Forest.

When they had arrived, thousands of cultivators from the hundreds of celestial clans had already set up camp in the place.

It did look like the majority of the core protégés and their escorts had already arrived and the entire vicinity was bustling with activities.

A female protégé of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa said as soon she saw the approach of their group, “Go to the white tent over there to register your names. A dwelling place will then be provided for you afterward.”

Lu Qingyun was looking around when all of a sudden there was a pretty shout for him, “Brother Qingyun, you are finally here?”

He was startled by the voice and saw that it was Qian Jingjing who was giggling delightfully, “Brother Qingyun, we didn’t see each other for a month now. So how have you been?”

Lu Qingyun laughed weakly, “It has only been one month. I am fine though. How have you been?”

“I’m fine too but I’m missing you very much.” Qian Jingjing averted her eyes shyly and there was a slight flush on her.

Lu Qingyun: …

Yin Shisi, Ouyang Xue: …

Gongsun Ya: …

Gongsun Ya interrupted with a displeasure tone, “I wonder who this shameless maiden is, so it is the core protégé from the Spirit Sword Manor.”

Qian Jingjing frowned lightly when she had recognized Gongsun Ya. But instead of talking back to her, she simply grabbed Lu Qingyun by his arm and said gently, “Brother Qingyun, let me take you to the white tent.”

Yin Shisi, Ouyang Xue: …

All of a sudden Qian Jingjing had noticed that Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue seemed to be following them. She asked politely, “I wonder how I may address these two golden celestials?”

In front of two golden celestials, she did not dare to be too impolite.

Lu Qingyun quickly introduced, “Erm…this one is my Elder Yin Shisi and this is Grand Elder Ouyang Xue.”

Qian Jingjing was truly startled. She had thought that these two golden celestials were from the Alluring Blossoms Palace and instead they were from the Heavens Ridge Villa. No wonder they were following the two of them.

Ouyang Xue said coldly to her, “You should let go of his arm. He can walk by himself.”

Qian Jingjing: …

She smiled weakly before she saw that Gongsun Ya was following as well so she said, “So who is the shameless one here? Why are you following us?”

Gongsun Ya hummed coldly, “What a laudable joke. Do you own this piece of road here? Can’t you see that we are all here for the very first time and we are all going to report our arrival first? Or are you blind?”

Qian Jingjing: …

Once again she had put her arm around Lu Qingyun as she said, “Come, Brother Qingyun. We shall ignore her.”

Ouyang Xue said, “Hey, your arm…”

But Yin Shisi had caught hold of her hand and gently shook her head. It was as though she was saying, let her be.

In a while time, Lu Qingyun and the other seven core protégés in his group had all entered the white tent and the protégés of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had promptly recorded his arrival and had given him a tablet for his dwelling place.

The questions asked were really simple.

“Your name and celestial clan of origin.”

“What is the size of your escort party?”

“Any golden celestials? What are their celestial titles?”

When he had answered that there was a Saintess Yin Shisi, all the protégés of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa were startled as they looked quietly in his direction.

A saintess was in the camp with them? This was a most astonishing thing!

When Lu Qingyun had left the white tent, he had immediately bumped into the twin sisters, Zhao Riyue and Zhao Xingye. When they saw Lu Qingyun, they simply greeted him softly. “Senior!” And they had quickly hastened their steps.

It was not because they did not want to see Lu Qingyun or to talk to him but there were too many eyes and ears of their fellow protégés around. That was why they had shyly greeted Lu Qingyun before they quickly went on their way.

Lu Qingyun was glad that there were some familiar faces that he knew in this place. He began to wonder if Lie Xingyuan and Leng Qiuyue may be around?

But he soon shook his head. It was because they were new protégés and it was unlikely that they would be given any new missions.

Qian Jingjing who was waiting for Lu Qingyun outside the white tent had witnessed the twin sisters talking to him and she had immediately jumped next to him, “You know them?”

Lu Qingyun nodded weakly before he said, “Maiden Qian, we are going to check our tents now. Why don’t we chat later?”

Qian Jingjing giggled softly, “Then I shall follow you first. There are so many tents around. It will be quite troublesome for me to find you afterward, don’t you think so?”

Lu Qingyun stole a glance at Ouyang Xue and Yin Shisi but they were all purposely looking the other way.

So he replied to Qian Jingjing, “Alright then.”

Qian Jingjing asked him, “Brother Qingyun, did you meet with any dangers when you come? Or any interesting events? Hurry and share with me!”

As Qian Jingjing and Lu Qingyun walked away, Ouyang Xue muttered almost incoherently. “She is really too shameless. I didn’t know that the Spirit Sword Manor has such a shameless core protégé.”

Yin Shisi smiled, “On the other hand, I think that she is perfectly smart to know what she wants. I wish that I can as shameless as her.”

Ouyang Xue was stumbled for words, “……”

She smiled weakly before saying quietly, “I have already given up on him. If that Maiden Qian Jingjing is smart enough, she ought to give up on him.”

Yin Shisi said quietly, “You are hinting me something?”

Ouyang Xue said, “Senior brother has only one person in his heart and you should know who she is by now.”

“Maybe it is only a one-sided thing that is from him.” Yin Shisi said after a short hesitation. “The Great Saintess Fan Yuqing has a state of divinity that most celestials cannot hope to comprehend. She may not even appreciate him or have a place for him in her heart. But for me, I am willing to lower myself for his sake.”

Ouyang Xue smiled faintly, “How do you know that she will not lower herself as well?”

“Because she is the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing. She has to carry the burden of her renown. She simply can’t be with any lowly cultivator. That will be a great loss of her face.” Yin Shisi said matter of fact.

Ouyang Xue was smiling weakly at the strong conviction that Yin Shisi had. She had wanted to say something but she had thought it was wiser not to tell anyone. After all, she was not supposed to discuss about the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing and moreover it was disrespectful to discuss about her sect leader behind the back.

She had thought, “How come sometimes I feel that Qin Keqin can be capable of disregarding her loss of face and doing some shameful acts on the sly?” She had questioned her old father about the events that had happened during the Core Protégé Tournament and was stunned that Qin Keqin had cheated with her old man so that the match would be in favor of Lu Qingyun.

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Chapter 188: 8th Rank Giga Mountain Giant

When Lu Qingyun and the big group of cultivators had come to a mountain crossroad, one of the more experienced cultivators said. “We should go to the left. The right trail will lead to the Willow Winds Manor.”

Some of the cultivators had begun to talk about the Willow Winds Manor and it was quite audible.

From their conversations, Lu Qingyun had gathered that the Willow Winds Manor was the nearest celestial clan to the Moon Demon Forest and often borne the most brutal attacks of the invading desolate and devious monsters.

Because the spiritual force in this vicinity was extremely poor, most of the cultivators from the Willow Winds Manor were not strong and rather, it was the ideal place for a great number of high ranking monsters that lurked below the desolate mists.

All of a sudden they could hear a booming tremor that came from the direction of the right side mountain trail.

Yin Shisi quickly said to the group, “Wait here. I will go and take a quick look.”

“I will go with you too.” Lu Qingyun said as he sped after her and he was followed by Ouyang Xue.

The rest of the cultivators did not go after them as they literally could not disobey the command of a saintess.

Gongsun Ya had wanted to dash after Lu Qingyun but she had hesitated and saw that her protégé sisters were all looking curiously at her after she had taken a step in their direction.

Behind two lofty mountains with blue cliffs, an extremely beautiful maiden was battling a mountain giant with protruding spikes on its body. This mountain giant was an eighth rank Giga Mountain Giant, an extremely formidable desolate monster. Every fist that it had smash on the ground or the mountains was enough to send a tremendous shockwave throughout the vicinity.

When Yin Shisi saw the sight of the Giga Mountain Giant, she was greatly startled. It was because even a seventh realm expert would have difficulty dealing with such a formidable desolate monster.

Even Lu Qingyun and Ouyang Xue were greatly startled. It was because their level may be good enough to fight on par with a sixth rank desolate beast but this was a dangerous eighth rank desolate monster.

Yin Shisi was afraid that the maiden may be in danger so she shouted across the mountains, “Maiden, flee quickly. We will try to cover your retreat.”

But the extremely beautiful maiden simply smiled as she moved between the legs and fists of the Giga Mountain Giant like a phantom. No matter how hard the Giga Mountain Giant had tried to hit her but it could not. Even the tremendous shockwave attacks that it had created to unbalance her did not have any effect on her; she simply swung her sword and the shockwaves were neutralized into nothingness around her.

The extremely beautiful maiden had finally lured the Giga Mountain Giant to the edge of the mountain before she flashed her sword in a brilliant flash of a dozen lights as she sent the Giga Mountain Giant to stumble down the desolate mists. “Don’t let me see you again or next time I won’t be so merciful.”

Yin Shisi was startled by the profound strength that was displayed by this extremely beautiful maiden as she gasped, “She is a seventh realm saintess. Only a seventh realm expert can have such mighty profound strength to move the mountains.”

Lu Qingyun was also stunned by the casual display of this extremely beautiful maiden. Throughout her battle, she did not seem to have exerted any effort in eluding the eighth rank desolate monster and had also shown no fear. It was not until the very last moment that she had unleashed her full profound strength and had sent the monster down into the desolate mist.

Ouyang Xue muttered, “Who is she?”

The extremely beautiful maiden had certainly heard her even though Ouyang Xue’s voice was quite soft. She had immediately flashed up the steep cliffs of the mountains and in just five blinks of an eye, this extremely beautiful maiden was now standing on the nearest ledge of the mountain that was facing them.

What an astonishing lightless swiftness skill that she possessed.

Lu Qingyun had almost dropped his sword in amazement when he saw her impossible lightless feat. Did she just flash up the mountains seemingly without any efforts?

Even Yin Shisi was perplexed. This feat was something that was impossible to most seventh realm experts and yet they had to believe it because seeing was believing.

“Who am I? Shouldn’t I be the one that is asking you?” The extremely beautiful maiden giggled softly as she aligned her sword to her back.

Yin Shisi could clearly see that she was wielding a divine sword and that her background must be most extraordinary. In front of this extraordinary maiden, even her saintess title looked most ordinary.

But she replied coolly, “I am Saintess Yin Shisi. We are from the Heavens Ridge Villa. The other two are Celestial Ouyang Xue and our Senior Brother Lu Qingyun. How do we address this golden celestial?”

The extremely beautiful maiden took a look at Lu Qingyun before she gasped softly, “So he is the good-for-nothing cultivator that everyone is talking about?”

Lu Qingyun: …

He thought, “Does she need to be so blunt about it?”

But all of a sudden the smiles on the extremely beautiful maiden had slowly vanished as she looked intently at Lu Qingyun, “The Divine Sword Jade Light. How do you get this sword?”

Lu Qingyun was startled that this extremely beautiful maiden had recognized his divine sword and he replied quietly, “Erm…you know the name of my divine sword? My master is the one that has given me the sword.”

Suddenly, the extremely beautiful maiden was staring at Lu Qingyun for quite some time, startling Yun Shisi, Ouyang Xue and Lu Qingyun.

They were silently thinking if this extremely beautiful maiden was actually an enemy cultivator and they did not dare to put down their guards. At the same time, they were thinking if they were able to defeat her given the extraordinary skills that she had just displayed.

Finally the extremely beautiful maiden giggled softly before she turned her back on them and she seemed to be trembling lightly, “I see that Fan Yuqing has finally found him. I am so glad for her as well. Well, good bye.”

Lu Qingyun could not resist asking, “I wonder if golden celestial will be able to tell us your name? After all, we have told you who we are.” It was because she obviously knew who his master was.

The alluring voice of the extremely beautiful maiden echoed as she disappeared from view, “Ye Jing.”

Yin Shisi, Ouyang Xue and Lu Qingyun were all startled as they all said at the same time, “The Nine Celestial Goddess the Great Saintess Ye Jing?!”

The Nine Celestial Goddess Ye Jing was a legendary great heroine of the Nine Celestial Fraternity and she was rarely seen nowadays. To think that she would appear in this desolate place was really such a surprise to the three of them.

Lu Qingyun muttered excitingly, “I really cannot believe that I have finally met the Nine Celestial Goddess in this desolate place. She is really as good as the stories say.”

Yin Shisi looked at Lu Qingyun, “She mentions that your divine sword is from the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing?”

Lu Qingyun laughed weakly, “Well it is a long story. The Great Saintess Fan Yuqing had first given my master this divine sword. Haha…”

Ouyang Xue: …

Yin Shisi smiled as she looked at Lu Qingyun, “You mean the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing had given this divine sword to Fairy Jade Light before giving it to your master? After all, our matriarch name is the Fairy Jade Light. I didn’t fail my knowledge of the Heavens Ridge Villa, am I right?”

Lu Qingyun stammered as he laughed weakly, “That is what I am trying to say. Haha…”

Yin Shisi rolled her eyes: …

She said, “I have some suspicion that our sect leader Qin Keqin isn’t what she appears to be. After all, I’ve noticed that Fragrance Herald Yufeng seems to be extremely polite to her even though she is just an ordinary elder. Judging from her lofty character, it is quite difficult for anyone to earn her respect unless that person is someone that deserves her respect.”

During Shen Yufeng stay in the Heavens Ridge Villa, Yin Shisi had become a friend of her and had come to know her quite well.

Moreover, during the Heavenly Fragrance Tournament, she had been quietly observing the exchanges that were between Qin Keqin and Shen Yufeng. There were plenty of times that Qin Keqin seemed to have broken protocols by stepping out of line with her casual remarks but she was never punished by Shen Yufeng. There were even instances that Qin Keqin seemed to be telling Shen Yufeng what to do and this caused her to rethink who Qin Keqin really was.

Yin Shisi turned to look at Lu Qingyun, “Your master is the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing, am I right?”

Lu Qingyun: …

Yin Shisi had also looked at Ouyang Xue, “You do not seem to be surprised. So you have already known who our sect leader really is.”

Ouyang Xue: …

Lu Qingyun was staring at Ouyang Xue, “You have known as well?”

Ouyang Xue smiled weakly. “I’ve promised not to tell anyone.”

Lu Qingyun heaved a soft sigh, “I guess that since the two of you have already known about it, there is no point hiding it from any of you. My master is indeed the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing.”

Even though Yin Shisi had already guessed who Qin Keqin really was but she could not help gasping softly, “She is really the Great Saintess Fan Yuqing.”

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Chapter 187: The Headhunters Encounter

Lu Qingyun and his group had now left the Endless Abyssal Sea via a portal that was opened for them by the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea.

There were no formality exchanges between them except for a quick greeting and thank you.

“Good bye Mother…” Yan’Er said delightfully.

Unlike the celestials that tended to viewed farewells with heartfelt emotions, Yan’Er was equally delightfully when it was time for her to say her farewell to her ‘mother’. It was as though she was simply just going out for a short while and would be coming back soon.

Lu Qingyun had simply stated to the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea that they were now ready to leave the Endless Abyssal Sea and the portal was formed in front of them.

“Leave in peace and tell no one of your experiences here.” The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea simply said without any emotions.

When they had left, the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea simply said to herself before she sunk into the great lake. “Lu Qingyun…I remember your desolate force from long ago…”

When Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were on the road for five days, they were now approaching the vicinity of the Moon Demon Forest and was far north by now.

As they made a turning on the mountain trail, they were startled to hear the sounds of sword clashes and the bemoaning sounds of the desolate beasts.

Yin Shisi was the first to react, “I’ll go and take a look.”

Lu Qingyun quickly called after her, “I will come too.”

“We shall all go together then.” Ouyang Xue had sped together with them and she had flashed her sword.

As they sped through the forested mountain trails, the fighting sounds intensified and they could hear the screaming sounds of several cultivators.

They soon come to a forest clearing and were startled to see that there were three monstrous fifth rank reptilian devious monsters that were fighting against dozens of cultivators. From the situation below them, things were not looking good for the cultivators.

These three reptilian devious monsters were all as tall as three men and were walking upright. They had a name as well and were known as the Headhunter for their fondness to snap off the heads of those that they had slewed. These Headhunters devious monsters were extremely vicious and formidable. Even though there were dozens of cultivators but there were no cultivators that were higher than the fifth realm level that could really fight a Headhunter and moreover there were three.

Against a lone Headhunter, perhaps the dozens of cultivators could still have a slim hope.

There were a few exceptional cultivators that were holding the advance of the three Headhunters; a maiden with a steel whip and a man with a white spear were slowing the advances of the Headhunters. But for the look of it, they were on the brink of exhaustion.

“Gongsun Ya?” Lu Qingyun had recognized her as one of the trial competitors from the Alluring Blossoms Palace.

Yin Shisi was the first to speed down the mountain trail into the valley below as she interrupted the attack of a Headhunter. She was promptly followed by Ouyang Xue and Lu Qingyun, startling the dozens of cultivators who suddenly saw a ray of hope.

Gongsun Ya gasped softly as she recognized Lu Qingyun who had pushed her out of the way of the brutal claws of the Headhunter that she was fighting. “The good-for-nothing Lu Qingyun…”

Lu Qingyun had flashed his half-step divine sword as he parried the on-slaughter rush of the Headhunter. He was quite startled that he was able to send the Headhunter to take a step backward and he immediately threw his Sword Two, Sword Three and Sword Four in a continuous sequence as piercing projectiles; his attacks were all too successful as all his flying divine swords pierced through the thick armor of the Headhunter, sending it into a behemoth outrage.

This momentum halt in the Headhunter was all Lu Qingyun needed as he quickly displayed his ‘Alpha Soaring Heavens as One.’ Now this new sword art of his was even more formidable than the one that he had displayed when he had killed the fifth rank Hundred Eyes Beast back in the Misty Desolate Valley.

The Headhunter did not even have a second chance to resist Lu Qingyun as it immediately crumbled onto the ground, shocking Gongsun Ya and many of the cultivators that were struggling to even fight a single Headhunter.

As for Ouyang Xue, she was a fifth realm golden celestial now and that made her on par with the Headhunter. But because of the pureness of her profound strength, her sword strokes were so packed with her lethal martial power that it took her only less than twenty strokes to completely cut down the Headhunter that she was facing.

By the time Ouyang Xue had settled the Headhunter, Yin Shisi had already long dispatched the first Headhunter.

In just a few rounds of melee, all three Headhunters were quickly dispatched and this caused all the onlookers to be dumbfounded by the newly arrived cultivation experts.

Gongsun Ya and many of the relieved cultivators quickly greeted Yin Shi and Ouyang Xue, “We thank the honorable golden celestials for coming to our aid. How do we address our saviors?”

In the Nine Celestial Fraternity, golden celestials have a lofty status and hence, all the cultivators were respectful to Ouyang Xue and Yin Shisi.

“Celestial Grand Elder Ouyang Xue of the Heavens Ridge Villa.” Ouyang Xue said quietly.

“Saintess Elder Yin Shisi of the Heavens Ridge Villa.” Yin Shisi added.

When Yin Shisi had spoken her celestial title, all the cultivators were startled and they were immediately humbled. It was because there were only a few seventh realm experts in the entire Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm.

Gongsun Ya was stunned. She had heard of Yin Shisi and had thought that she was only a sixth realm expert and now she was a saintess?

She quickly said, “Gongsun Ya of the Alluring Blossoms Palace greets the honorable golden celestials.”

The man with the white spear greeted, “Huo Mushou of the White Jade City pays my homage to the golden celestials.”

“Tie Kai of the Tailwinds Sect…”

“Nan Xianyue of the Celestial Jade Sect…”

“Xie Jinxuan of the White Cherry Palace…”

In front of the two golden celestials, the core protégés dropped their Immortal Celestial and Enlighten Celestial titles. Their celestial titles were a way to distinguish themselves from the other lower ranking cultivators and were not the recognized celestial titles in the eyes of the golden celestials.

The only official celestial titles were Celestial (fifth realm), Supremacy (sixth realm) and Saint (seventh ream).

One by one, the core protégés of the various celestial clans reported their names and the celestial clan of origin.

When everyone had finished their introduction, Lu Qingyun greeted them back. “Lu Qingyun, senior brother of the Heavens Ridge Villa.”

It turned out that this group of fifty cultivators was actually consisted of seven celestial clans that were going to the Moon Demon Forest.

Some of them were actually moving together on their destination and some of them had actually encountered one another when the Headhunters had attacked.

As there were hundreds of celestial clans that were moving to the Moon Demon Forest to rendezvous with the Heavenly Fragrance Villa, it was all too easy for these celestial clans to encounter each other and they were lucky that they had the strength of numbers to fend off the three Headhunters that had emerged from the desolate mists below.

The same could not be said for the thirty cultivators that had perished earlier.

Gongsun Ya was astonished by the swordplay that was displayed by Lu Qingyun. She could not believe her astonished eyes as she turned her attention on him now.

But Lu Qingyun was standing coolly at the side and there was no expression on his countenance.

She was not the only one.

Huo Mushou was one of the final trial competitors in New Empyrean City and he had recognized Lu Qingyun as the good-for-nothing cultivator that had rode his way to the trials completion. But when he saw the astonishing speed which Lu Qingyun had displayed his sword, he knew that Lu Qingyun’s swordplay was superior to any cultivator that he had known.

He had really underestimated this Lu Qingyun…

Many of the cultivators were all ashamed by their earlier appraisals of Lu Qingyun and the Heavens Ridge Villa. As a matter of fact, many of them were gossiping about the events that had unfolded in New Empyrean City and the other trial places as they traveled together. One of the hottest topics was the good-for-nothing cultivator Lu Qingyun and the Heavens Ridge Villa that was the undeserved weak host of the regional Divine Fragrance Tournament.

Half of the cultivators presented were from the other regions and did not know Lu Qingyun but they had certainly heard of him from the others.

“Is he really the good-for-nothing Lu Qingyun?”

“They are really from the weak Heavens Ridge Villa?”

“A seventh realm saintess is among their group…”

“Even the Heavenly Fragrance Princess has only just reached the lofty seventh realm level…”

While many of the cultivators were muttering or thinking among themselves, Yin Shisi merely said. “Since we are all going to the Moon Demon Forest, we can all travel together. After all, the dangers of the vicinity of the Moon Demon Forest are well-known.”

Many of the cultivators were relieved that there were two golden celestials that would be in their company.

Although their celestial clans had no lack of golden celestials but there were none on this trip. It was because this was not the Heavenly Fragrance Tournament where the golden celestials could meet and have exchanges with one another but an experiential expedition into the dangerous Moon Demon Forest.

Therefore most of the celestial clans had only sent a token escort party to accompany their core protégés. There were even many of the celestial clans that had prevented their core protégés from going to the Moon Demon Forest as they were afraid they may lose their precious pool of talents.

Gongsun Ya was ashamed of herself. It was because she had always looked down on the Heavens Ridge Villa and had thought that her Alluring Blossoms Palace should have the honor of hosting the regional Heavenly Fragrance Tournament instead of the Heavens Ridge Villa. After all, her celestial clan was one of the four major powerhouses in its region.

She walked to Lu Qingyun and said quietly, “Earlier, thank you. If it is not for you, I would have already been dead.”

Lu Qingyun returned an awkward smile, “We are all fellow celestial practitioners of the way and are all fellow cultivators. There is really no need to say thanks. Who knows if I may need your help in the future too?”

Gongsun Ya smiled gently, “You are a good man.”

Lu Qingyun: ???

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Chapter 186: The Endless Abyssal Sea (4)

Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue had started to cultivate in the nearby waterfall mountain that was next to the crystal clear great lake.

When Lu Qingyun had closed his eyes to cultivate, he did not know how long time had passed as his body began to absorb the rich spiritual force that was in the vicinity.

Before he had started to cultivate, he had thought that it would only be a short while. But as soon as he had started, he soon fell into a deep slumber.

When he had finally opened his eyes again, he was startled to see that Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were both looking at him curiously.

“Senior brother, you are awakened?” The two maidens said to him excitingly as soon as they saw him opened his eyes.

Even Yan’Er was hovering excitingly above him as she shouted softly, “Master!”

He was even more startled to see that Ouyang Xue now had golden eyes and nearly fainted from astonishment.

“Grand Elder Xue, you are now a golden celestial?” He stammered.

Ouyang Xue smiled as she lowered her eyes, “Didn’t you used to call me Ouyang Xue in the past? I am not that old and we are not in the celestial clan anymore.”

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “Alright then…”

Yin Shisi laughed jovially, “And I am a golden saintess now. I have reached the seventh realm sacred saint level now.”

Lu Qingyun was jolted as he stammered, “You have overcome your life and death tribulation and is now a saintess?!”

Everyone had advanced at least a realm…

Since he was the last to open his eyes then his cultivation realm must also have advanced. He was already a peaked fourth realm expert when he had begun to cultivate in this place. Therefore it was not surprising if he was now a golden celestial. But he could not remember how he had passed his life and death tribulation.

He laughed weakly, “So I am a golden celestial now? I can feel the pureness of my profound strength now. How long have I been cultivating?”

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue took a look at one another before Yin Shisi said quietly, “Senior brother, you have been cultivating for nearly a year now, far longer than any of us. We are a little worried and yet we dare not disturb you.”

“One year?!” Lu Qingyun nearly fainted from shock. “Then we must have missed the events that are in the Moon Demon Forest.”

Then he thought, “What if Keqin has returned to the Heavens Ridge Villa in the mean time to look for me? She must have thought that I’ve lost my life somewhere?”

Yin Shisi smiled, “We have spoken with the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea again while you are still in deep meditation, she had told us that time flows a little different here. One year here is actually a day outside.”

Lu Qingyun blinked his eyes, “There is really such a thing? So it is only one day that had passed so far?”

Then he looked up to smile at Yan’Er, “Your master is now a golden celestial now. Aren’t you glad my cute little Yan’Er?”

Yan’Er took a sheepish look at Lu Qingyun before she chuckled, “Master, we are still at the upper fourth realm level.”

Lu Qingyun: …

“My cultivation realm did not have any improvement?” Lu Qingyun was startled and he was a little bewildered.

He took a quick glance at Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue who were all nodding weakly. There was no doubt that he was still a fourth realm level from the expressions that they had given him.

It was no wonder that he did not feel that he had experienced any life and death tribulation because it did not happen at all.

Even Ouyang Xue had overtaken him to become a golden celestial.

What else could he say but muttered weakly, “I am glad that everyone had overcome your life and death tribulation. I am glad for everyone. It must not be easy at all.”

Ouyang Xue said quietly, “Senior brother, don’t be sad alright? Soon it will be your turn. I believe in you.”

Yin Shisi nodded, “No doubt with your experiences here, you will soon become a fifth realm golden celestial. All you need is a lucky occurrence and it will come soon.”

Lu Qingyun smiled at them warmly, “Actually, I am really alright. Don’t worry about me. I must have made too many cultivation mistakes in the past and that is why my realm cultivation did not advance. But I can feel that my profound strength is purer than ever before and I am also stronger than I am in the past.”

Yin Shisi gave him a glad look, “I’m glad that senior brother thinks this way.”

Ouyang Xue lowered her eyes, “If it is not for senior brother who had found this place, Xue’Er will never be able to reach the fifth realm level.” Ever since she had met Lu Qingyun, her fate seemed to have changed as well.

Lu Qingyun laughed softly, “I guess that it is now time for us to leave this place. Let’s go and look for the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea.”

The other two maidens nodded and their eyes were delighted.

While they were talking, Yan’Er was looking quite sheepishly. It was because her Master Lu Qingyun was supposed to face his first ever life and death tribulation. This place was the perfect cultivation spot for the cultivators and even though Lu Qingyun’s inner spiritual sea was three times as vast as the typical fourth realm cultivators due to the annihilating god seed and it may need some time to fill it to the brim.

However in the past year alone, his inner spiritual sea was now full to the brim and it was all too easy for him to trigger his next realm advancement.

But Yan’Er had promised Qin Keqin to suppress his cultivation advancement until he had reached the ancient ruin of the Moon Demon Forest or until she had given her permission to do so. Although Yan’Er did not know how long her master had to cultivate or whether they would reach the Moon Demon Forest in a nick of time, Qin Keqin’s words to her was like a powerful law that was in her heart.

By right, Yan’Er strength alone could not stopped Lu Qingyun’s from advancing his cultivation realm but after she had the cultivation spiritual strength of the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea, she was able to suppress his cultivation advancement.

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea had told Yan’Er, “This is not enough. He is too strong to be restrained by anyone. He is indeed a special one. If you want to suppress his realm advancement temporary, you have to first become a fifth realm golden spirit entity first. Only then can you suppress him. But this may be dangerous for you. After all, this is a life and death tribulation that every would be fifth realm cultivators have to face. Are you willing to do so?”

Although Yan’Er was often lazy and playful but she had a heart of steel and she replied firmly, “I’m willing!”

And Yan’Er had secretly taken the life and death tribulation for Lu Qingyun.  She was also fortunate that she had the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea to guide her through the life and death tribulation.

Yan’Er life and death tribulation was a scary monstrous entity that appeared from above her soul sea, threatening to devour her. Because Yan’Er was not a golden roc anymore, she had appeared as a little girl who was only a small dot in her soul sea. In order to overcome her life and death tribulation, she had to use her cultivation strength to overcome her divine calamity that was in the form of a scary monstrous entity.

But this place was also the realm of the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea. The instant the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea had sensed Yan’Er divine calamity, a rift was opened in the soul sea of Yan’Er and the spiritual form of the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea had crushed the malicious monstrous entity.

Yan’Er eyes began to glow golden after her divine calamity and quickly reverted to normal after she had used her strength as a seal to suppress Lu Qingyun’s inner spiritual sea.

When her seal was released, Lu Qingyun would become a fifth realm golden celestial anytime.

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea had asked Yan’Er, “Why did you want to seal your master and your own cultivation advancement? Will it do any good to you?”

Yan’Er chuckled, “I don’t know. Big Sister Keqin asks me to do it so Yan’Er is doing it.”

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea had reached into Yan’Er to read her soul sea of her memories of Qin Keqin and was startled, “This maiden is the true daughter of the heavens…”

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Chapter 185: The Endless Abyssal Sea (3)

As Yan’Er hovered around her master, she sensed that the Horizon of the Heavens was now quietly absorbing the desolate energies from the surroundings and that it was quietly evolving its strength. The Horizon of the Heavens was a sentient divine artefact and had fully divine harmonized with Lu Qingyun. When its strength grows, so will Lu Qingyun.

“Should I tell master about this?”

“Oh no, I’ve promised Big Sister Keqin not to tell master about the Horizon of the Heavens or anything that is related to it.” Yan’Er had suddenly remembered her promise to Qin Keqin.

After making up her firm mind to keep this matter a secret, she began to hover after Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue.

Yin Shisi began to share with them on what she knew about the origins of the Endless Abyssal Sea.

Lu Qingyun and Ouyang Xue were listening attentively as they were curious to know everything about this place and this may prove crucial to their survival.

“I think that our Little Yan’Er here has just confirmed the rumors that this place is indeed the origin of the desolate force or else she will not have called this place her home.” Yin Shisi said matter of fact.

“That is right!” Yan’Er could not help chirping in. “This is my home!”

Lu Qingyun frowned lightly at the interruption, “Your home is now inside my inner spiritual sea now.”

“That is my second home, master.” Yan’Er chuckled.

“Whatever.” Lu Qingyun muttered.

Yin Shisi scanned the surroundings with her superior divine sense as she said, “It is really difficult to imagine that this place was the source of all desolate energies. From what I can sense here, it is more like the life force energies of all the Celestial Realm is accumulated here.”

Lu Qingyun said with a hesitate look at his surroundings were surrounded by a great lake and many waterfalls, “This place is so beautiful. It is difficult to imagine that it is the source of all the desolate energies.”

“But this place seems a little odd.” Yin Shisi smiled bitterly.

“Why did you say that?” Ouyang Xue asked curiously.

Lu Qingyun was also looking at her and was silently asking the same question as Ouyang Xue.

“It is supposed to be a dangerous place, a place for lucky occurrence to happen or a final resting place for the unlucky cultivators. Yet this place seems so serene. It is a little too fishy.” Yin Shisi said quietly.

Lu Qingyun muttered, “That is so true. It is a little too peaceful around here. So peaceful till I didn’t think that there are any dangers around here.”

Ouyang Xue said, “I have a question. How do we get out of this place?”

Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi: …

“I didn’t think of it.” Lu Qingyun laughed awkwardly and he was looking at Yin Shisi.

Yin Shisi said with a flustered look, “Don’t look at me like this. I don’t know too.”

Then the three of them had a sheepish look on their countenances.

Lu Qingyun muttered, “That mean that we are struck here forever?”

Yin Shisi, Ouyang Xue: …

“How do those people that have exited the Endless Abyssal Sea leave this place? They didn’t give any accounts?” Lu Qingyun smiled weakly.

“There are only a few that have talked about it but it is quickly dismissed as a tall tale.” Yin Shisi said after a short ponder. “Since the Endless Abyssal Sea is so rarely encountered, it is of no interest to anyone.”

“It is of no interest to anyone except for those that are struck inside.” Lu Qingyun smiled weakly. “Tell me about some of the tall tales.”

“I only remember an account of an old cultivator that had once entered the Endless Abyssal Sea. His story was quite a fantastic adventure and I doubt that you will want to hear about it. But in the end, he managed to exit the Endless Abyssal Sea when he was caught in a storm and the next thing he knew, he was already back in the Nine Celestial Fraternity.” Yin Shisi said quietly.

Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “This does sound a little hard to believe. Surely there must be a portal that can exit this place somewhere. Don’t worry, one day we will find it.”

Ouyang Xue asked quietly, “What if we never find it?”

“Then we can only blame our bad luck and be in this place forever.” Lu Qingyun sighed softly.

Yin Shisi smiled shyly, “Maybe we can start a new life here even. This isn’t such a bad idea after all.”

Ouyang Xue shyly averted her eyes when Yin Shisi had made the suggestion while Lu Qingyun was smiling awkwardly, “It is still too early to say. Maybe the portals that leads to the outside are actually everywhere. We only need to do explore the vicinity a little more thoroughly.”

“Yan’Er, do you know the way out? Isn’t this your home?” Lu Qingyun tried a last desperate effort.

“Way out?” Yan’Er looked a little perplexed.

From her expression, it was obvious that she did not know and Lu Qingyun did not ask further.

All of a sudden the bank of the lake was foaming and erupting, startling them; they could see that the waters of the great lake was now rippling and bubbles were foaming above it.

Lu Qingyun was startled, “What is going on?”

Barely had he said that, a gigantic translucent feminine form had risen from the crystal clear lake. She was ten times their height and was monstrous. Her entire body was almost a see through translucent color.

Lu Qingyun quickly flashed his divine sword while Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue also had their swords ready to face this new threat.

But all of a sudden Yan’Er had flown up to the gigantic feminine form and she was shouting excitingly, “Mother!”

Lu Qingyun was startled. “Did Yan’Er just call this monster her mother?” The image of the golden roc and this feminine monster did not seem to mix together…

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were equally surprised but they did not put down their guards.

Lu Qingyun was shouting panicky, “Yan’Er, come back quickly! It is dangerous!”

But Yan’Er continued to fly up to the face of the feminine form as she called out excitingly, “Mother! Mother!”

The monstrous feminine form had her waist up the lake by now and her voice emitted to everyone. “Child, you have managed to attain nirvana now. Continue to evolve well.” She did not actually speak but her voice was emitted in the minds of Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue.

Yan’Er nodded excitingly, “Mother, Yan’Er I will. I have a name now and that is Yan’Er!”

“Yan’Er, my child. You have grown well.” The monstrous feminine emitted.

“It is all thanks to my master that I am growing up good! I am now a cultivator as well.” Yan’Er proudly said.

Lu Qingyun muttered, “Erm, they know each other?”

The monstrous feminine form had turned to Lu Qingyun and his group as she emitted, “Welcome cultivators to the Endless Abyssal Sea. You must have many unanswered questions. First of all, I am the guardian spirit of this place and this is my sanctum. You may call me the Endless Abyssal Sea.”

Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were all stunned. She had actually called herself the Endless Abyssal Sea. This could only mean one thing. She was the embodiment of the entire Endless Abyssal Sea itself!

“You are the first to visit my inner sanctum and disturb my rest. Usually this place is off limits to outsiders. It is only because of Yan’Er that you are here in this place.” The monstrous feminine form added. “You may put down your weapons first. You won’t be able to defeat me.”

Lu Qingyun laughed weakly as he lowered down his sword, “I wasn’t thinking of fighting you anyway.”

“Master, you are actually thinking of fighting Mother with your new sword art.” Yan’Er pointed out.

Lu Qingyun: …

“Yan’Er, whose side are you on?” Lu Qingyun muttered awkwardly.

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue had also lowered their swords as they stared at the guardian spirit of the Endless Abyssal Sea.

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea said wordlessly in their minds, “You may cultivate in this place in peace. This place has the wondrous effect of purifying your profound strength and will be beneficial to your cultivation progression. You will not have another chance like this again. After that, I will send you out.”

Lu Qingyun, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were all looking at one another with a wondrous look. This was indeed a most lucky occurrence that they had and they had the opportunity to cultivate within the most inner sanctum of the Endless Abyssal Sea!

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea seemed to know their thoughts and she continued, “All the past mistakes in your cultivation can be reverse here. All the impure profound energies that have cumulated can now be purified. Your profound energies will be cleansed to its purest state and your cultivation progression will be smoother in the future.”

Lu Qingyun was extremely delighted to hear that. It was because he had made several mistakes in his cultivation practice in the past. This was a perfect chance for him to solidify his cultivation foundation again.

Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue were also thinking the same as they looked excitingly at each other.

The Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea pointed to a nearby mountain with a splendid waterfall, “You may cultivate in that place until you are ready to go back. I shall await here. In this place, you have no need for food or water. You can cultivate as long as you want to.”

Then she turned to Yan’Er to say, “It is also your lucky occurrence that you have returned to the origin of your birth. Let your mother renews your strength for you. You will be the finest among my many children.”

Yan’Er was delighted, “Thank you mother!”

Lu Qingyun was quietly looking at Yan’Er as he thought silently, “Yan’Er has a mother. This is such a good feeling. I am an orphan…”

But he was soon scratching his nose, “Wait a minute. Yan’Er is a golden roc but her mother isn’t. This doesn’t make any sense at all. Yan’Er, she isn’t your mother. You must have made a mistake somewhere…”

He was about to tell her that when he looked up at the monstrous figure of the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea and heaved a heavy sigh. “I don’t want to die yet. Sorry, Yan’Er. You got to acknowledge this mother of yours for now until I am strong enough to be able to fight her.”

It was only later that he knew that the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea was the life-giver of all the desolate beasts and the spiritual herbs of the Celestial Realm. For Yan’Er to call the Guardian Spirit Endless Abyssal Sea as her ‘mother’ was more of a symbolic acknowledgement of her life-giver creator than true mother.

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