Chapter 105 Tempering the Sword
The sun was beaming at dawn, and Xu Zice’s white teeth were sparkling.
Ye Yunlan: “…Excuse me.”
Xu Zice persisted, “Senior, your swordsmanship is brilliantly breathtaking. Although you don’t lack companions, you must be short of an attendant to hold your sword for you? How about considering me, Senior. I cultivate assiduously, and I’m diligent. If Senior tells me to go east, I’ll never go west. I can work hard and endure hardships. I won’t even eat much rice, a sip of wine is plentiful. As long as you can give me a few tips routinely, even if you command me to pluck the moon from the sky, I’ll think of the means to achieve it for Senior!!”
Ye Yunlan passed him and walked into the street.
Xu Zice still refused to give up. He chased after while carrying a big sword and opened his mouth to continue to chatter, “Senior, this is the first time you’ve come to Cangzhou City, right? To be honest, I grew up in the Northern Territory. Cangzhou City, this is all too familiar. If Senior needs to find a place to rest, just let me know, and I could get one for Senior.”
“For example, auctioning pills or treasures, the city’s most suitable entertainment house, the famed “Zuiliu Xian” qingyun’s tavern….” He got excited as he spoke, “Such as these. If you need anything, just tell me.”
Ye Yunlan: “I don’t require anything.”
Xu Zice didn’t seem to sense his indifference. He continued to raise his smiley face and said: “Then what does Immortal Lord need?”
Ye Yunlan: “I want peace and quiet.”
Xu Zice blinked and finally realized that his behavior seemed a bit annoying. He closed his mouth silently, but his eyes were still looking at Ye Yunlan.
Ye Yunlan felt his head hurt a little.
The person looking at him was an honest guy with thick eyebrows and big eyes. How could he be a dog skin plaster?
He already had a clingy disciple, so he didn’t need another one.
Thus, he turned his head, and a hideous ghost face mask stared at Xu Zice.
“Stop following me. My sword doesn’t reason with strangers.”
His voice was cold.
The nirvana sword intent entangled his body.
However, Xu Zice was surprised: “We withstood the sea beasts against the ship together. Senior and I are already companions in life and death, how are we still strangers?”
Ye Yunlan was silent.
This person’s face was astonishingly thick compared to the people he had seen in his life.
His brain circuits also seemed worlds apart from ordinary people’s.
“Aren’t you afraid of me?” he asked out of the blue.
Xu Zice was even more surprised, “What should I be afraid of?”
Ye Yunlan: “When I disembarked, the captain and the fellow cultivators all evaded me, but you were the only one to chase me. Are you not afraid that I will kill you with a single sword?”
Xu Zice didn’t understand, “You saved our lives, why should I be afraid that you would kill me with a single sword?”
Ye Yunlan was silent.
No matter how he saved or killed people in his previous life, as long as someone met him in person, they would either be afraid of him or avoid him from a distance. In this life, he had done a lot less, but he could also see the clues by seeing the attitudes of the people on the ship before.
But Xu Zice seemed to lack consideration and only followed up passionately. Was it possible that he wasn’t afraid of him being in a bad mood and that he would chop him like a sea beast?
Then, he heard this person say very seriously: “I think Senior is a good person.”
Ye Yunlan said emotionlessly: “I’m not a good person, nor am I righteous. It is no good for you to follow me. It will only be unpredictable with no corpse left behind.”
He had warned him to this point, but Xu Zice focused his attention elsewhere, wondering: “Senior is not of the righteous dao and is part of the demonic dao?” Then, he clapped his hands, “What a coincidence, Senior, I was also a demonic cultivator.”
He didn’t seem to realize what shocking words he had said. Although demon cultivators were rampant in the demon realm, everyone hunted them in the world. They all cultivated secretly, and no demon cultivator would walk outside and take the initiative to say that they were demonic cultivators.
He saw Xu Zice scratch his head and continue: “I came from a place close to the Demon Realm. When I was a child, I had no food to eat, and I was often hungry. I saw that the Demon Sect was in charge of food, so I went in. After that, the head looked upon me somehow, and I was accepted as an apprentice. However, the headmaster only taught me some swordsmanship and moves, not cultivation. It wasn’t until I was thirteen years old that I discovered the headmaster didn’t regard me as an apprentice. He was just injured and wanted to seize my body. The head hauled me into the seizure formation by my head, but I don’t know why, I won at the end of the fight for my body. I inherited the head’s spiritual power and cultivation experience. But since the sect’s elders were chasing me, I fled all the way from the Northern Territory to the Eastern Continent. Now, I’ve just returned to the Northern Territory.”
He paused. He looked at Ye Yunlan and sincerely added: “But I also have a golden core at my cultivation level now. Coming back this time, I’m not afraid of them. I will definitely not cause any trouble to fellow daoist.”
He had been chattering all this time, giving up his own life and experience.
Ye Yunlan was initially intolerant to listening, but the more he heard about his experience, the more familiar he became. He glanced at the big sword behind Xu Zice’s back and suddenly said: “You have the root of a thunder and fire elemental, and the sword behind you is named Cang Yan?”
Xu Zice was surprised, “How does Senior know?”
Ye Yunlan was silent again.
Naturally, he knew it because Xu Zice was eminently famous in the future. He had a nickname called “Sage Cangyan”, and his deeds were circulated in the streets and alleys.
However, Xu Zice became famous two hundred years later.
At that time, Ye Yunlan was the only cultivator of the Void Tracing Realm in the world, but he wasn’t recognized by the righteous sects. Ye Xuanguang had already died for a just cause, Chen Weiyuan died for his clan, and Qiyun Jun was missing. Thus, the righteous sects pushed out Sage Canguan as the leader to withstand the great calamity.
According to legend, Sage Cangyan was born negligible and once mixed in with the demon sects of the Northern Territory. The master of the Demon Sect had maliciously seized him, but he instead killed him. After two hundred years of wandering across the five continents and four seas, he entered the Transcendence Realm step by step. It was rumored that he was under Qiyun June’s guidance, who was nowhere to be found and later acquired the Ye Clan’s treasure. He was regarded as the most likely person after him to advance to Void Tracing, and he was known as the “light of the righteous.”
Legend had it that Sage Cangyan was an old man with a warm heart and hearty temperament. He had the root of the heavenly spirit of thunder and fire and had a big sword “Cangyan”. His friends covered all over the world. In his previous life, Ye Yunlan had never met him. The world declared him to be at the common boundary of good and evil. They expected that he could stop the calamity, but they feared he would sacrifice others’ lives like other demonic cultivators. Some people even said that there could only be one cultivator in each age that stepped into the Void Tracing Realm, and he was blocking the way of the saint, who would be the salvation of the human race.
Ye Yunlan only cultivated his own sword and wasn’t interested in discussing the outside world. And until he died, Xu Zice didn’t come to trouble him.
But now, he looked at the future Sage Cangyan. His eyes were shining at himself, and he felt that his headache became even worse.
Those who could break through to Void Tracing in the future would inevitably have great karma on their backs.
Ye Yunlan was here to solve the karma in his previous life, but he didn’t want to get contaminated with more.
“Don’t follow me.”
The queying sword was half out of its sheath, and the sword’s edge reflected Xu Zice’s face.
Xu Zice wasn’t afraid. He only said: “If Senior doesn’t mind, I can stay a little further away from Senior. I just want to observe and learn Senior’s sword. I used to learn swordsmanship, but I am not proficient. My sword is only in solidified intent. Seeing Senior on the boat, burning like a meteor, was the most amazing sword technique I have ever seen in this world. The feeling I felt was even the same as the one I had when I saw Immortal Lord Ye on Tianchi Mountain back then. If one day I can learn this sword technique, Immortal Lord Ye may even be willing to look back at me… ”
No, he won’t.
Ye Yunlan moved past Xu Zice with a blank face.
As he said, Xu Zice didn’t stick close and instead just followed sneakily from a distance.
Cangzhou City was the largest ferry crossing in the Northern Territory, and it was bustling.
It was just that Ye Yunlan, who was wearing a mask, had a cold temperament, and the crowds all gave way to him when they saw him.
There were vendors selling on the side of the street.
“Selling pastries! Selling pastries! Freshly baked red bean cake, mung bean cake, pea cake, osmanthus cake, apricot cake, plum cake, everything you need!”
Ye Yunlan stopped for a moment.
However, he just walked through the hustle and bustle alone and didn’t enter the crowd. He didn’t look back.
In the west of Cangzhou city, twenty miles out of the city, it was visible that between the separation of land and sea, an ice lake had formed. There were mortal sleighs sliding on it, and cultivators were flying across the air.
This was the Frost Sea Realm.
On the ice lake, in a flying boat, several cultivators were gathered together to talk.
“Have you heard that a ghost came into the Frost Sea Realm recently?”
“I did hear that. I heard that the ghost slaughtered everyone in Xuerong Cave overnight. All 109 cultivators were buried inside.”
“However, those who gathered in the Xuerong Cave were also evil cultivators who indiscriminately killed innocents, robbed, and raged. In fact, they didn’t die unjustly. From this point of view, the ghost seems to have done a good thing.”
“Daoist, if you had seen their deaths, you wouldn’t say it’s doing good deeds.”
“What about the deaths?”
“It was miserable. The corpses were separated, and there were the protruding eyes and wide mouths looking like they were scared to death.”
“What does the ghost look like to actually be able to scare people to death?”
“I don’t know. But acting like this, there is not much difference between them and demonic cultivators. Looking for opportunities in the Frost Sea Realm this time, it seems that we need to avoid this monster.”
“Blood, it’s blood! There is a lot… a lot of blood ahead!”
Ye Yunlan stood in a pool of blood.
He reached out and slowly wiped the blood off his sword.
Snow drifted onto his shoulders.
The corpses were lying in the snow pile, and the red color blurred on the white like ink on paper.
A strong, murderous aura condensed on him. His face was cold and hideous.
For these three days, he had been killing people.
In the Frost Sea Realm, there was a lack of qi in the snow and ice. It was tough to control the place. There were no rules here, and cultivators plundered and killed people often. Many evil cultivators gathered in the Frost Sea Realm, taking advantage of the moment when cultivators from all over the world traveled here to look for opportunities. They specifically selected those who were alone to rob and kill.
Ye Yunlan encountered it several times.
So he drew his sword and murdered.
Later, no evil cultivator dared to step forward to provoke him. He followed the trail of the evil cultivators, found their lair, and continued to draw his sword to kill.
The nirvana sword intent flowed all over him.
The queying sword murmured every day.
The injury in his body was getting worse because of his unrestrained actions. Now, even when he was taking a breather, there was a burning pain in his throat accompanied with the taste of rust.
He felt alive.
Together with his sword, he was gradually coming back to life.
He was “tempering his sword.”
His essence, qi, and spirit were slowly reaching their peaks in the constant tempering of his sword.
Only in this way, when the burning spirit used the forbidden technique, could it display ten percent of the strength of his previous life and use the sword to smash everything.
He only had one chance.
Without sheathing his sword, he held queying in his hand. Step by step, he went on the icy lake with snow.
The wind current was rapid, and the snow was cold. He staggered somewhat as he walked.
A flying boat passed close by, but it suddenly turned its head as if fleeing after seeing a dangerous being.
Ye Yunlan took a few steps and started to pant.
The cold wind invaded his lungs. He lowered his head and coughed, slowly tasting blood in his mouth.
Xu Zice, who followed sneakily behind him, had walked up at some point. His face was full of worry.
“Senior, are you okay?”
After a long while, Ye Yunlan’s cough stopped.
He looked up at the flying boat in mid-air that gradually became invisible. He said hoarsely: “They’ve all escaped, why didn’t you run?”
Xu Zice: “I came to learn the sword from Senior, why should I escape? “
Ye Yunlan: “I killed a lot of people.”
Xu Zice: “If we’re talking about murder, they deserve to die. Senior was kind enough to send them on the road, so why not?”
Ye Yunlan looked at the man in front of him, who was praised by the people of the future as “upright and kind”, “pleased to support justice” Sage Cang Yan, then was silent for a while.
Xu Zice said again: “There seems to be an injury on Senior’s body, are you really okay? I have been in the cultivation world for years, and I know some techniques to heal injuries, maybe I can show it to Senior.”
Ye Yunlan: ” No need.”
Xu Zice wanted to say something more but suddenly heard a loud noise. A golden light bloomed from a distance, and they saw a huge golden lotus rising from the ground. The snow in the entire Frost Sea Realm suddenly disappeared, and only countless spots of light spilled from the sky.
There was a bell sound coming from afar. The sound roared and shook one’s heart.
Xu Zice was a little confused, “What…is that?”
Ye Yunlan looked into the distance.
The queying sword in his hand uttered a sword sound while the sword intent on his body surged.
He didn’t speak but walked towards the place where the golden lotus bloomed.
Many cultivators have gathered there.
When they saw the ghostly mask on Ye Yunlan’s face, they all backed away.
Some whispered while others looked at him with fear. Some were disgusted, but it was all the same.
Ye Yunlan glanced around but didn’t see any Tianji Pavilion disciples.
Naturally, he didn’t think that Tianji Pavilion would not intervene.
Chen Weiyuan was a person who was good at planning, and even better at taking advantage of the situation using any means.
And he was only one man with one sword.
One sword, one person, but it was enough.
In his previous life, he was able to make Chen Weiyuan stay in the Chen clan’s formation for a lifetime, only to commit suicide. In this life, he would naturally be able to smash all his conspiracies and tricks and have the d*mned person return to the yellow springs, so they can no longer harm the world.
The golden lotus bloom was just a huge phantom.
Inside the phantom image, there was a golden vortex.
In the vortex, one could vaguely see the scene in the god ruins, the green mountains and green waters, and many invisible creatures running in the mountains. It looked very peaceful, as if there was no danger.
Several cultivators jumped into the vortex, but most were still waiting and watching.
Ye Yunlan stepped forward.
Suddenly, a cultivator halted him.
“Now even monsters and ghosts want to snatch the chance to become an immortal?”
“The Tianji announcement said that his opportunity doesn’t just relate to becoming an immortal but is also of great concern to the world’s fate. If some human-like ghost thing entered and fought for that opportunity with us, then what would happen to us cultivators?”
“Everyone, we must first set some rules, who can enter and who can’t. We must make it clear.”
Ye Yunlan didn’t speak, but Xu Zice yelled out.
“What do you mean? Do you think you can treat this place as your house and make the rules? Isn’t your face too thick?”
Another cultivator: “You are with that ghost, so maybe you are also in the same group.”
Xu Zice drew his sword directly.
The sword that was bigger than his body plunged directly into the ground, bursting into flames.
He folded his arms and said loudly: “I am in a group with Senior, so what? Do you want to fight? Come on.”
Perhaps because his sword was big enough to be a deterrent, the talking cultivator shut his mouth.
But there were still cultivators who wanted to stop Ye Yunlan.
Relying on a large number of people, they seemingly could act unscrupulously.
They kept yelling about the world’s fate and so on, acting as if they were on the side of righteousness.
But Ye Yunlan didn’t care about righteousness.
He only took out his sword.
The bright sword light slashed in front of the frontmost cultivator, and the sword in the cultivator’s hand broke.
Ye Yunlan turned his face to his side, and the Nirvana sword intent haunted the tip of the pale sword. With a hideous mask on his face, he was like a ghost god demanding lives.
The cultivator yelled and suddenly backed away frantically.
Retreat, retreat, retreat.
Was it more important than their lives?
Ye Yunlan no longer looked at them and stepped into the vortex with his sword.
The wind in the fields was bleak.
On the side of the Demon Abyss, the young man sitting on the ground suddenly opened a pair of blood-red eyes.
“Demon Lord… how long have I been in retreat?”
He whispered to himself, countless shadows entrenched beside him, like the limbs of animals. Occasionally, gray withered leaves drifting to his side would be torn to pieces by the surging shadows.
He frowned tightly and looked at his palm. His eyes were red as if he was going to bleed.
“No…this Lord…I’m Shen Shu…Master is still…still waiting for me…”
He hugged his head, and blue veins protruded from his temples and the back of his hands, throbbing. He panted, and the shadows danced wildly around him. After half a day, he barely calmed down.
The blood-red eyes slowly became sober.
Shen Shu stood up.
The black clothes flew in the wind, and his tied ponytail was also swaying.
He stood alone on the side of the abyss, looking at the dark ground below.
This abyss seemed to be alive and staring at him at this moment. It was like a beast choosing the person it wanted to eat. It was as if it wanted to tear all those who dared to enter into pieces.
“Nine-turn celestial demon body, transcendance tribulation….Since I can succeed once, I can succeed the second time. Nobody can stop me,” he whispered to himself. He then looked towards the dim horizon, “Master… Wait for me to return.”
The dark shadows condensed into fluttering wings behind him, and his figure sank into the endless black abyss.
The surrounding scenery changed.
Ye Yunlan had already set foot in the land of the Primordial God Ruins.
In his ear, he heard a long cry. Ye Yunlan suddenly saw a golden bird passing by. Its feathers were golden and gorgeous, and it had a pair of bead-like eyes. It appeared strong and healthy, looking like the Chongming bird recorded in ancient books.
And the Chongming bird became extinct before the Primordial times.
There were creatures from before the ancient times here? Why hadn’t he heard of it in his previous life?
Soon, he knew exactly why.
Among the cultivators who entered first, there was a sword cultivator that wanted to step forward to catch the Chongming bird. They prepared magic treasures and formations as if they were facing a major enemy. However, when they trapped the beast, it went straight through. The Chongming Bird turned out to be just a phantom.
“How could this be?” The cultivator threw the trapped beast to the ground and left angrily.
Xu Zice had also followed in and was looking around curiously.
“Senior, this place is so magical. The sun actually rises from the west.” Xu Zice always noticed something that others would not pay attention to.
Ye Yunlan looked towards the horizon.
The scarlet sun hung to the west, exuding orange-red brilliance like a lingering inferno burning in the fire. After several breaths, the sun didn’t move, and the whole world seemed to be still at this moment.
“Why do you think it just rose and not from the west.” Ye Yunlan asked.
Xu Zice grinned.
Suddenly a bell sounded from afar.
The bell outside the god ruins pointed to the entrance of the god ruins, but where did the bell inside the god ruins point to?
Ye Yunlan’s eyesight couldn’t look far away.
However, he perceived something here that was attracting him. It felt very strong and seemed to be connected with his blood, inseparable.
Is it Chen Weiyuan’s trap?
He didn’t know.
The Ancient God Ruins were very large, and there were continuous mountains everywhere. He had no time for him to look through each area, one by one.
He decided to follow his heart’s feelings.
To go toward the bell sound was to go up the mountain road. Over the top of the mountain, there was suddenly an open field in front.
Under the orange-red sunlight, there was a vast ruin under the mountain. The continuous ancient buildings were enough to extend the end of his field of vision. And among the ruins, he saw a figure wearing ancient clothes kneeling down. Their heads bowed deeply as if they were offering sacrifices. Their palms folded together, and they worshiped the same place.
Are those illusions?
Ye Yunlan didn’t know. He just took queying, unsheathed since entering the Frost Sea Realm, and slowly descended the mountain and walked into the ruins.
Next to him, Xu Zice had been exclaiming and chattering endlessly, but he didn’t have the heart to hear what the other party was saying.
He crossed those tens of thousands of phantoms who were worshipping and walked to the center of the ruins.
This was an extremely ancient temple.
But it was also the best-preserved temple among the ruins.
Gray-black rocks were piled high, and in the center were two bronze gates with unusually primitive patterns on them. The paintings were of birds and beasts in ancient times and hundreds of races fighting.
Xu Zice stepped forward to push open the door, but he couldn’t.
Ye Yunlan didn’t have much strength, he just tried to push it, and it opened up.
A long passage appeared inside.
The light was on, and the deep passage led underground. He couldn’t see the end.
Ye Yunlan stepped in.
The unknown attraction in his heart was getting stronger and stronger.
Despite this, Ye Yunlan still never lapsed in his attention because of this attraction for a moment. The hand holding the queying sword was pale and stable. He could draw his sword at any time.
The footsteps echoed slowly.
Xu Zice couldn’t get a response from him behind him and slowly muffled his voice.
At the end of the passage, there was light.
Ye Yunlan walked into a vast underground palace, with countless night pearls inlaid into the dome like stars. The old buildings were still intact, and in the center of the buildings, there was a huge black dead tree.
Before the dead tree, there was a coffin.
The dazzling light came from the coffin.
Ye Yunlan walked in and found a bone.
Golden bones bleeding red. Thousands of years have passed, yet it was still incomparably radiant and brilliant.
“I said before that I wanted to give you a gift.”
It wasn’t Xu Zice’s voice.
Ye Yunlan turned around swiftly.
The person following him at some point had become Chen Weiyuan.
Chen Weiyuan didn’t wear a cloak today. Instead, he tied his hair crown and donned a star dustcoat. He seemed to have carefully arranged his appearance. He faced Ye Yunlan and smiled happily.
“I wonder if you’re satisfied with the bones of the ancient Divine Phoenix?”