Chapter 84 Entry permit
At the moment when the boat broke, all five people rose up almost at the same time.
They gently touched their toes on top of a lotus flower.
Yu Qinglian’s feet remained dry in the water for a while. She turned her head, and the light from the lamp highlighted her beautiful eyes and smile. She said, “Young Master Xiao, your servant has an interesting background.”
Xiao Zecheng struggled in the water, coughing and almost passing out from the dirty and smelly water. There were only weak water spirits below the surface, unable to harm a cultivator at the Foundation Establishment stage, but they made it hard for him to escape.
The edge of Yu Qinglian’s clothes got wet with the water’s shimmer, but she didn’t reach out her hand. She calmly said, “Even though you’re the second son of the Canghua’s Xiao family, you saved a demonic cultivator so easily. Aren’t you afraid of causing trouble?”
Xiao Zecheng stared at her, bewildered.
Since she stepped on the water without getting wet, he realized how terrifying the person in front of him was. His eyes widened, and Xiao Zecheng, who had been enchanted by her beauty a moment ago, finally realized—Qinglian, Qinglian, Ji Wuduan. Why did that name sound so familiar to him?
Pei Jing didn’t want to touch the belongings of the deceased, so he stood on someone else’s boat. The boat’s owner was scared and had hidden inside the cabin, leaving behind a pale-faced and beautiful maid sitting there.
There was a short table in front of her, showing off the boat owner’s attempt at elegance. The table was stacked with precious spices used for making fragrances.
She wore a crimson dress, lacking any special abilities. Her movements were stiff. She seemed lost and confused.
Startled by the sound and without Yu Qinglian’s intimidating presence, the water spirits revealed their frightening faces. Swollen and see-through hands reached up the edge of the boat, and strands of hair emerged from the gaps. The maid cried in fear, shrinking back with a high-pitched voice. Being an ordinary woman, she didn’t know what to do.
Pei Jing noticed her cries from the bow of the boat.
Pei Jing paused and looked around, realizing that there were many women and cultivators with lower abilities on the boats.
They panicked as the water spirits attacked, creating chaos.
Pei Jing could easily defeat them with a single sword strike, but it would surely cause a commotion. The strong sword skills could unintentionally harm innocent people.
Cultivators at the Foundation Establishment stage or higher had taken refuge inside the auction building, watching the spectacle from above. It seemed that the water spirits devouring people was an exciting show for them.
Pei Jing glanced at them from a distance and wondered, “Would it be a waste to eliminate these intoxicated individuals?”
Inside the boat, strands of hair emerged from the gaps and wrapped around the maid’s wrist. She screamed and struggled to break free, feeling overwhelming despair and starting to cry softly.
Right after a flash of silver light, the evil creature let out a raspy scream and transformed back into blood, flowing back into the river.
The maid stood frozen, lifting her tearful gaze.
She was in a dark and cramped corner of the boat, observing the person who entered, dispelling the darkness and filling the surroundings with the gentle glow of moonlight and starlight.
The person extended a well-defined and attractive hand from his snowy white He, grabbing a fragrance from the table. He bent down, and his black hair flowed beneath an exquisite jade crown. His bearing was mysterious and elegant, his voice pleasing to the ears.
“Miss, may I borrow some fragrance?”
Feng Jin was accustomed to opulence and luxury and couldn’t bear being on the dirty water surface any longer.
With Crimson Iris, he leapt onto the leftmost floor of the three-story pavilion.
Their sudden appearance frightened the musicians who were playing together.
Now, with no trace of sleepiness, Crimson Iris flapped its wings and looked outside.
The musicians were bewildered and shocked.
However, Feng Jin turned his head, showcasing the delicate behavior of a pampered aristocrat, lazily saying, “Keep playing, why stop?”
“……” After a long period of silence.
The woman’s hands trembled as she plucked the strings of the zither.
At the same time, inside the auction house, there was also a hidden bloodbath.
“Who are these two people?”
Three Thousand Intoxicating Blossoms had Nascent Soul stage cultivators guarding, so they weren’t too concerned about their own safety.
They abandoned the ship and left behind the women who had been brought along.
The cultivators gathered together, gazing in shock at the two figures high in the sky.
“I don’t know, but with such a commotion, it’s definitely not something we can handle.”
“Does meeting enemies make the eyes turn especially red? Hahaha, let’s start a fight.”
Coming to this place of wickedness, they didn’t have much conscience to begin with.
Someone raised a question, “Could this be related to the entry permit?”
Their statement made sense, and immediately everyone started discussing it with a flurry of voices.
“It’s quite possible, looking at the two of them, they don’t resemble righteous individuals.”
From outside the building came splashing sounds as people were dragged down by water spirits.
Mixed with the women’s cries of shock and despair, tears flowed down their faces, and there was even a faint smell of urine.
Inside the Three Thousand Intoxicating Blossoms restaurant, many cultivators burst into laughter.
“This woman is too timid, who brought her here?”
“We brought people along to ward off boredom during the journey, but we never expected such an entertaining spectacle.”
They leaned forward eagerly, anticipating the sight of people being devoured. However, their wish was not fulfilled. The woman struggled in the water, surrounded by a horde of evil spirits. With gaping mouths and bloodied heads, the spirits aimed to tear her apart.
The sound of jingling golden bells rang out.
The water spirits froze, ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴇʏᴇʙᴀʟʟꜱ ꜰᴀʟʟɪɴɢ ᴏᴜᴛ.
Simultaneously, an unidentified fragrance permeated the air. It was the scent of agarwood commonly found in the earthly imperial court, but now it carried an additional chill, as delicate as snow and moonlight.
As they caught a whiff of the fragrance, the water spirits emitted black mists from their bodies, accompanied by painful moans. Inside the Three Thousand Intoxicating Blossoms, the cultivators felt a stifling and nauseating sensation.
The woman, rescued from her collapse into the water, was too weak to even move.
Yu Qinglian’s footsteps landed on the blooming lotus flowers, her dress untouched by water.
She rescued the woman and helped her onto the boat.
The fragrance almost made her sneeze, and she turned her head towards its source, furrowing her brows. “Pei Yuzhi, what on earth are you up to?”
Pei Jing clapped his hands and sprinkled the powdered spices into the water. “Let’s add a touch of elegance to what we’re about to do.”
Yu Qinglian: “…What’s going on?”
Her voice was soft, but Xiao Zecheng, not far away, heard it.
Pei Yuzhi, Ji Wuduan… Yu Qinglian?
Young Master Xiao’s eyes rolled back. He was so frightened that he lost his breath, fainting on the wooden deck.
High above in the sky, Elder Di Feng was already heavily injured. After a few moves, he found himself at a disadvantage against Ji Wuduan, who was also in the Nascent Soul stage.
His eyes filled with shock and malice, Elder Di Feng exclaimed, “You’ve already broken through to the Nascent Soul stage?!” Ji Wuduan sneered, “Is that so surprising?” Elder Di Feng spat out blood and said, “I underestimated you.” Ji Wuduan’s fingertips flickered with ghostly flames, and behind him was the Blue Butterfly that fed on decaying corpses. He wore an indifferent expression as he said, “I still remember how you escaped from the Ghost Realm two hundred years ago. After creating living corpse puppets, my father ordered the world to hunt you down, but it yielded no results. So, you’ve been hiding in Tianyan City all along.”
Elder Di Feng’s mouth overflowed with fresh blood as he laughed, revealing yellowed teeth. His eyes, however, were chillingly cold. “If I was able to escape from your father’s clutches back then, naturally, I can escape from your grasp now.”
Ji Wuduan was slightly stunned.
However, he could only see Elder Di Feng’s frail and hunched body starting to expand, with his facial skin cracking.
The accumulated grievances from the past, derived from the tormenting of an entire city, surged within him, filling the surroundings with explosive and distorted energy.
“Young one! The old man shall take his leave first!”
He cackled loudly, and then his body dispersed into fragments. A bald, red Nascent Soul emerged from the black mist, swiftly ascending towards the high tower of the auction house—where the entry permit was!
Ji Wuduan became furious and launched an attack at him, only to realize that Elder Di Feng, in his current Nascent Soul state, had used a secret technique to escape into the void, making him untouchable by external forces.
Meanwhile, down below in the sky.
Yu Qinglian and Pei Jing stood together.
Yu Qinglian had been itching for a fight for a while now and glanced upward. She asked, “Has Ji Wuduan finished his battle? Can we start killing people?”
Since being informed by the Sword Sovereign about “Wuhen,” Pei Jing had forced himself into a state of calmness and non-interference—although nobody really noticed, he felt quite pleased with himself, thinking that he had become much more easy-going.
So, the top-ranked cultivator, who was quite serene, said, “Why rush? Fighting and killing can wait. Let’s appreciate the elegance and beauty of the current scene.”
Yu Qinglian glanced around and confirmed that it was indeed elegant.
The tall buildings resonated with the harmonious sounds of musical instruments, while the river was adorned with gently glowing lotus lamps. The fragrance of incense filled the air, and the guests in the tavern reveled in their intoxicated state.
However, she couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Why do you have so many things to deal with?”
“It’s not about having many tasks. It’s a way of approaching everything in the world with no resentment, no hatred, no competition, and no greed. Just going with the flow.”
Yu Qinglian gazed at him for a long time, and in a sudden realization, she exclaimed in shock as she saw Elder Di Feng’s unimpeded Nascent Soul ascending towards the upper floor of the main tower. “Oh no!”
Pei Jing remained calm, embodying a serene demeanor. He asked nonchalantly, “What’s the matter?”
Yu Qinglian: “He’s trying to steal the entry permit and escape!”
Pei Jing: “……”
A sword broke through the air, emanating a sharp and intense killing intent that spread across the land.
Before Yu Qinglian could finish her sentence, she sensed a freezing cold sword aura surrounding her.
As she watched the snow-clothed swordsman chasing after him, her eyebrows twitched with unease, and she rubbed her forehead. “No competition, no greed? I don’t trust him one bit.”
Pei Jing couldn’t possibly let that old immortal snatch the entry permit. He still had a future wife to find.
The auctioneer waited anxiously for the young boy who didn’t arrive. Impatient and restless, he became as agitated as ants on a hot pan. He turned to the maid next to him and asked, “Could you go and check again?” However, the maid didn’t respond, her face pale as she stared behind him. “Sir…” The auctioneer hadn’t even come to his senses, barely managing to produce a cry before feeling a sharp pain and blood splattering across his face.
Elder Di Feng’s Nascent Soul opened its mouth and bit his neck, severing it directly.
Then, he burst into laughter, picking up the fallen entry permit from the ground.
Despite harboring intense hatred, he also knew that things wouldn’t end well for him under Ji Wuduan’s control.
Elder Di Feng clutched the entry permit and intended to flee to the other side of the river.
But his joy was short-lived.
A barrier formed by icy blue sword aura appeared in front of him.
Simultaneously, countless sword blades converged, forming a powerful sword formation that trapped him in his tracks.
The time for Elder Di Feng’s escape technique had expired. He turned back, his face filled with rage, and shouted, “You—!”
Pei Jing gracefully descended onto the stage, his snow-white robe fluttering, and a lazy smile on his lips. “You dared to snatch my entry permit? Old man, you must be tired of living.”
Elder Di Feng’s face twisted in agony as he coughed up blood. “Such arrogance… Your entry permit? I doubt you’ll even know how you’ll die once you enter the city!”
Pei Jing replied, “You needn’t worry about that.”
Elder Di Feng’s heart clenched, but he also knew he couldn’t force his way out. He spoke heavily, “There are many entry permits scattered in this world, held by those who wander outside the city. We need not rush over this one. I am an elder of the Shigui Sect. If you let me go today, the next time you enter the city, I will lend you a helping hand.”
Pei Jing laughed. “No need to be polite. However, my wife is suffering from lovesickness, and I cannot wait for the next opportunity.”
Elder Di Feng once again coughed up blood, realizing that his attempts at persuasion failed and he had to resort to threats.
His gaze turned dark as he said, “If you want to enter Tianyan City, you cannot kill me! The Shigui Sect’s influence extends far beyond the city walls. My Soul Lantern is within the sect. If I die, the memories left by the Soul Lantern will expose your name on the list of those hunted by the Shigui Sect. Your aura, your appearance… Once you enter the city, you will be crushed and scattered to the wind!”
Pei Jing smiled slightly. This old man was quite amusing.
“Do you know my name, then?”
Elder Di Feng choked, unable to anticipate this turn of events. He instinctively replied, “I don’t know.”
Pei Jing smiled at him once again. “Then remember it well, Pei Yuzhi.”
“Once your name is known, you won’t escape the trouble brought upon you by my sect.”
The sword formation activated, and the ice-blue sword intent, tinged with purple light, directly shattered Elder Di Feng’s weak Nascent Soul.
Elder Di Feng roared in anger before his death, “Shigui Sect will not let you go!”
The accumulated resentment inside him erupted completely, and a gust of pitch-black wind swept up, revealing twisted faces.
Under the control of the Ghost Realm Elder’s corpse-controlling and soul-manipulating aura, the auctioneer, who had been bitten to death and fallen to the ground, suddenly opened his eyes wide and stood up straight. With a ghastly appearance and sharp fangs, he lunged towards Pei Jing to bite him.
Pei Jing felt no fear at all. It was difficult for anyone below the Golden Core stage to get close to him, and he couldn’t even be bothered to pay attention.
He went straight to pick up the entry permit.
However, a powerful and damp cold force surged forth.
In his field of vision, a black butterfly flew from an unknown source and transformed into a giant hand, gripping the entry permit, intending to crush it!
Pei Jing’s smile faded from his face. “Another one seeking death?” The imposing aura of Nascent Soul cultivators around him was no longer concealed. After the awakening of the Cloud Slayer Sword, that sword intent became even more profound. Sensing the threat, the leading butterfly with crimson eyes went berserk and fiercely attacked him.
An intoxicating flower intoxicates a thousand souls.
Wu Sheng had been searching here all along and finally found the place with the deepest and heaviest grudges. Pushing open the door, he saw only a vivid pool of blood and the bodies of seven or eight living people. He gripped his staff, sighed almost imperceptibly, and continued his journey.
The fragrance in the air seemed to be mixed with something unknown. The people present began clutching their throats, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. Outside the building, on the surface of the river, countless black butterflies suddenly appeared, exuding a horrifying and bloodthirsty aura.
As they rushed into the building, in just a few moments, a living person transformed into a pile of bones—a Golden Core cultivator, no less!
Everyone was filled with shock and terror.
“What the hell is this?”
Panic ensued as they scrambled to escape!
Yu Qinglian, Ji Wuduan, and Feng Jin all noticed the situation. A deep sense of seriousness appeared in their eyes.
The blood-tinted water surface began to tremble, as if something beneath the ground had been awakened.
A massive shadow approached the water’s surface.
Then, with a loud crash—
It burst out of the water, causing a disturbance in the heavens and earth—
It was a twin-headed serpent that had been slumbering in the water! Its body coiled almost the entire water area, with triangular-shaped heads, brown vertical pupils, and a loud roar that reverberated. Even its forked tongue was three meters long!
Yu Qinglian gritted her teeth and said, “This is bad.”
She drew her whip and positioned herself in front of the group of ordinary people, protecting them.
However, the agitated twin-headed serpent didn’t attack her. It fixed its angry gaze on the high platform of the main building!
The colossal serpent shifted its body, causing massive waves to crash around.
Pei Jing was determined to obtain the entry permit, but he couldn’t underestimate the significance of the black butterflies.
He frowned, realizing that even a group of mindless creatures could give him a tough fight. Pei Jing pondered this.
In fact, he had a feeling that all the damage he inflicted on the black butterflies relied on the awakened “Execution” sword.
He took a step back and suddenly found himself overshadowed by a tremendous black shadow.
Pei Jing turned around, his eyes which had always been calm.
In that moment, his eyes widened abruptly.
The tower swayed amidst the surging waves, and under the cover of the night, the twin-headed serpent unleashed its foul-smelling crimson venom towards him.
Blood flowed like a river.
The butterfly, emitting a faint red glow all along, took flight from the lotus lamp and darted straight toward him.
Flying over the meandering river waters.
The butterfly landed on the fingertip of the man in the black cloak.
The butterfly transformed into a floating head and spoke, “City Lord, the destruction of the entry permit has encountered obstacles.”
The young man removed his cloak’s hood with his other hand, and a breeze tousled his silver-white, chilling hair. His pale and handsome face was revealed, with dark red eyes resembling blood.
The floating head said, “Someone is competing with us.”
Chu Junyu said, “Kill them then.”
The floating head displayed a troubled expression and said, “It might be a bit difficult. I dare not engage in a full confrontation with him. Killing him would cause a lot of trouble. The person behind him is Yunxiao as a whole. This location is not far from the Institute of Celestial Ascension. It might alarm that Nascent Soul Ancestor.”
Chu Junyu fell into silence for a long time, his emotions inscrutable. “Pei Yuzhi?”
The floating head nodded.
Chu Junyu smiled, a smile tinged with coldness, and issued the order, “Then let’s retreat.”
The floating head froze: “Huh?”
Chu Junyu’s tone was indifferent as he said, “If he wants to come so badly, let him come.”
The ancient giant serpent awakened, causing the river water to surge beneath its feet, but it refrained from creating excessive turbulence.
Chu Junyu sensed the commotion and glanced in that direction, only then realizing, “Did you awaken the dual-headed serpent underwater?”
The faceless floating head replied, shrouded in mist, “Yes. As you instructed, I was to kill everyone from Three Thousand Intoxicating Blossoms.”
Chu Junyu curled his lips and laughed with a hint of mockery.
A serpent, huh?
The floating head asked, “So, what should we do?”
Chu Junyu put on the hood of his cloak once again, the all-black garment blending into the darkness of the night.
With slender and pale hands tugging at the cloak’s edges, Chu Junyu said, “There’s no need to destroy the entry permit. Let them handle this serpent.”
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