Chapter 71 The Other Shore
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Ye Yunlan stood under the umbrella held by Shen Shu. He glanced at Rong Ran quietly, then walked away.
Rong Ran didn’t seem to sense Ye Yunlan’s indifference. His pale face kept a soft smile.
He stared at Ye Yunlan’s body up and down in fascination as if wanting to see through every inch of Ye Yunlan’s skin, inside through his white clothes.
His gaze was too presumptuous, Shen Shu paused slightly, and the light from the end of his eyes swept towards Rong Ran, giving him a deep, warning look. He raised his right hand that was not holding the umbrella and made a squeezing motion.
Rong Ran’s smile finally froze. He thought of when Shen Shu tortured him on the soles of his feet two years ago. He never figured out where Shen Shu’s weird power came from, but he still swallowed instinctively and did not continue to persist. He watched the Master and Disciple’s backs leave.
One tall, one low, and about half a head apart. They shared the same umbrella, looking very close.
This intimacy should belong to him.
Rong Ran stood alone in the drizzle holding an umbrella, and the smile on his face gradually disappeared.
He stretched out his hand to caress his left chest, clenching it slightly. The slight pain caused by the Gu swimming inside made him feel at ease.
My nightingale is about to return to me, he thought.
And Shen Shu——he dared to insult him like that in Tianchi Mountain, and this time in the Secret Realm. He must die without a place to be buried!
The sky thundered, reflecting his pale complexion. The figure in his eyes faded away.
Zhanxing City was extremely lively, divided into two cities. Sky and Earth.
People enter Zhanxing City’s “Sky City” through the Zhanxing Bridge, invisible to mortals. It was an island that floated in the sky. Among them was “Tianluo Fang”- the most famous cultivator market in Zhanxing City, where the Eastern Continent cultivators and Southern Xinjiang trade.
In Earth City, mortals and cultivators lived together. Private fighting was forbidden in the city. Otherwise, the city guard would forcibly stop it.
The city lord of Zhanxing City was rumored to be a transcendent powerhouse. Although he wasn’t on the heavenly ranking list, most people gave this city lord some face.
This time, Ye Yunlan only wanted the soul-attracting flower in the Netherworld Secret Realm. But he saw some good magic weapon charms in Tianluofang, so he bought them with spirit stones. They were enough to deal with sudden emergencies in the Secret Realm. Then, he bought a veiled hat to prevent needless trouble.
After a walk around the market, the two walked straight to Earth City to look for a restaurant to eat lunch.
Earth City was a lot more crowded than Sky City. There were shouts and sales everywhere. Most cultivators gathered in the spiritually dense Sky City. It was difficult to see one or two in Earth City.
“Selling sweet cakes! Mung bean cakes, red bean cakes, we have everything. Sesame cakes, walnut cakes, red dates cakes, and all the like, don’t miss out when you pass by!”
Shen Shu paused and said with a low smile, “Disciple has a craving and wants to buy a few sweet cakes. Master can also try it later.”
With that, he handed the umbrella to Ye Yunlan and went up to talk with the store owner.
Ye Yunlan nodded slightly and took the umbrella.
The breeze blew through the white gauze on his veiled hat, and the slanting rain flew over, making him feel a little chill.
In the early spring, the air in southern Xinjiang was warm, humid, and hot. Ordinary people wouldn’t feel cold. He should be like this. However, his body was far inferior to ordinary people because of the long illness.
Next to the pastry shop was a fortune-telling booth. Behind the table sat an old-style gray-robed old man slowly fanning himself. Next to him was a white flag banner with a few lines written with ink. “The Iron mouth would deduce your past, present, and future. The origin will be known with one reading.”
He also saw a few words on the old man’s fan. “Want to have it read?”
Ye Yunlan didn’t believe in fate at first. But later, he had to believe it. Only, although he believed it, it didn’t fascinate him. He had passed the time of being rash. He was already ready to meet his end, returning to this empty world.
So he only glanced at the fortune-telling booth, then withdrew his gaze.
Only, the old man with the fan stopped his hand movement at some point. He touched his long beard and smiled at Ye Yunlan: “Benefactor, this poor daoist sees that we have some fate, so I was wondering if this benefactor has any interest in allowing this poor daoist to read your fortune?”
Even in the bustling city, the old daoist’s voice still rang clearly in his ears.
Ye Yunlan was startled. Just about to refuse, he heard the old man sigh suddenly. He sang: “Long life is hard to solve the worries in one’s heart. Parting sorrow surrounds everywhere one looks. Who is waiting in the yellow springs, the past is in one’s heart!”
Ye Yunlan was silent for a moment. Then, holding onto the umbrella, he walked over.
He asked: “What do you need to read it, fellow daoist? Do you need my birth date?”
“This daoist will calculate in one’s own mind.” The old daoist blinked but didn’t rush to raise his divinatory diagram. He stretched out his hand and said: “One copper coin for the expense, please.”
Ye Yunlan took out a copper coin and put it into the old daoist’s hands. The old daoist tossed the copper coin aside and folded his palms. He didn’t even ask him what he wanted to calculate. He just pushed out a blank sheet of paper. Before his eyes, he said: “Write down what you are thinking. Just one word is fine.”
Ye Yunlan wrote a word and pushed it back.
The old daoist picked up the piece of paper and leaned closer to look at it. He didn’t look serious at all, as if he didn’t understand the principles of fortune-telling. Those who knew him knew he was fortune-telling, and those who didn’t know thought he was admiring some books.
After looking for a long while, the old man frowned and stroked his beard. He accidentally snapped one off, making him bare his teeth.
“Benefactor, the words you wrote don’t match your appearance …”
Ye Yunlan didn’t comment.
The word he wrote on the paper was——”Emon.”
“Fine, nothing.” The old daoist shook his head and sighed. Holding a brush, he scribbled a few words behind his back, rolled it up, and handed it back to Ye Yunlan.
“This is the solution to what Benefactor wants to calculate. Benefactor can look at it himself.”
At that time, Shen Shu had already brought the cakes back.
He glanced at the old fortune-teller and Ye Yunlan suspiciously, then turned and smiled: “Master is interested in fortune-telling? Disciple has also studied this a little bit and can give it a try for Master.”
Ye Yunlan nodded slightly, then unfolded the note in his hand. When he saw it with his eyes, he noticed it was a poem: “A limited body in time, waiting for parting makes it easy to feel overwhelming sorrow. Looking at the mountains and rivers and thinking far away, it is better to pity the person in front of you.” His gaze focused on the note for a while, then silently retracted the note into his sleeve and said to Shen Shu: “Let’s go.”
When the two were away from the fortune-telling booth, the old daoist in the gray robe quietly raised his hand. He wiped the sweat from his head and muttered to himself, “Strange, it’s not even the great calamity, how could gods, ghosts, and demons be born… …”
At about noon, the two sat down by the window on the second floor of a restaurant called “Yuelai Ju.”
Shen Shu ordered some refreshing dishes for Ye Yunlann and spread out the pastries he had just bought.
When the dishes came up, it was boiled cabbage, jade tofu, and an osmanthus crispy lotus root. All of them aligned with Ye Yunlan’s taste.
Ye Yunlan picked up his chopsticks and ate slowly, while Shen Shu had already taken a bigu pill and was not hungry, so he only picked up a piece of cake and watched Ye Yunlan’s face as he ate. Although he couldn’t really taste it, he understood what the ancients meant when they said, “A feast for the eyes.”
The mortals downstairs were noisy. Therefore, it was unclear when a few cultivators carrying long swords walked in who had just practiced qi refining. They gathered around the table, eating food and drinking.
Internal energy filled those cultivators. Thus, although not deliberately, their voices were still louder than mortals, and they spread upstairs.
“Have you heard about the Tianchi Mountain matter?”
One person continued, “Naturally, I heard. Two years ago, the Demon Emperor Sword was born, and the Yaori Prince broke through to transcendence. Now, because of that, another shocking treasure was born. The name of it is not yet known, but it has already caused the Yaori and Xingyue dynasties to fight for it.”
Someone wondered: “Xingyue Dynasty? Since Prince Ye abolished the Xingyue Crown heir, the Yaori army has broken through the seven cities in Eastern Xingyue. The Xingyue Dynasty can barely resist, so how is there any remaining power to compete with the Yaori Dynasty?”
Another person said: “The Xingyue Dynasty had stretched for thousands of years, so how could they not have some hidden information. Maybe, they’re just showing the enemy a weakness. Moreover, I heard that there seems to be a problem within the Yaori Dynasty. Prince Ye and his father seem to have disagreed on certain issues…”
He lowered his voice. After all, some things were too sensitive to talk about out loud. Even though it was far in Southern Xinjiang, they couldn’t speak unscrupulously.
The atmosphere was heavy for a while.
Someone changed the subject.
“The Western Continent has become more and more chaotic. It happens that I waited for this time to leave Western Continent and go east, just to avoid misfortune. I didn’t expect to encounter the Great Emperor Netherworld’s Secret Realm’s opening. If I think like this, this place and I must have some special fate. Everyone, to celebrate this matter, cheers!”
A brilliant, deep light rose in the distance when the cups collided, and the incomparably majestic spiritual power radiated from that direction.
The sect disciple token was slightly hot, and a message was inside. Ye Yunlan didn’t take a closer look. He just stopped his chopsticks and looked out the window.
“The Netherworld Secret Realm has opened.”
There was a Pool of Forgetfulness ten miles outside of Zhanxing City. At that moment, the Secret Realm’s light beam originated from this. A majestic, ancient, and mysterious gate loomed above the water.
Cultivators from everywhere were around the Pool of Forgetfulness. Many were the cultivators of the major sects that Ye Yunlan saw in the Tianchi Mountain dao conference. It included the Ink Sect, Tanqing Sect, Tingyu Pavilion… Because it was very close to southern Xinjiang, some people from ancient tribes of Southern Xinjiang also came. Plus tons of lone cultivators.
Ye Yunlan saw a lot of familiar people. He couldn’t help but be thankful that he had brought a veiled hat this time. Even so, he still noticed that many eyes moved to the Sky Sect disciples.
Rong Ran stood in front of the Sky Sect disciples.
His look was even more confident than before he set off, and his beauty was as bright as a pearl.
He held a jade slip in his hand.
That person had sent this slip. It recorded the general situation in the Netherworld Secret Realm, making his plan more successful.
He didn’t doubt why that person would know the details and situation even though the Netherworld Secret Realm hadn’t yet opened. After all, that person was known for his astrological calculations, and it wasn’t surprising that he could predict this information.
He was very fortunate that the person saved him in Tianchi Mountain. Since then, he could refine many materials for his Hehuan Gu. Under his requests, that person found all the materials.
Rong Ran glanced at the tall and beautiful cultivator standing in front of the Tan Qing Sect disciples.
He hadn’t seen him for two years. Xu Qingyue still dressed like a sword cultivator, incompatible with the other disciples of Tan Qing Sect.
However, he heard that person dismissed Xu Qingyue from their engagement.
Rong Ran smiled slightly.
Tianji List’s No. 1 beauty from before was nothing more than that.
Seeing that cultivators were speeding into the Secret Realm back-to-back and that the Sky Sect disciples had arrived one after another, Rong Ran realized that he could no longer waste time.
“Everyone, the Secret Realm has opened. We will enter to explore, but before that, I need to tell you a few more points for the Sect Master.”
“In the Secret Realm, you must not hurt your fellow sect members, and you must not fight with your fellow sect members. You cannot make grievances with the other sects for no reason. All offenders will be dealt with according to the sect rules!”
Rong Ran’s voice eased, beginning to make arrangements.
“As far as I know, the Netherworld Secret Realm has three levels. When entering, the cultivators will disperse, but the trials on the first two floors of the Secret Realm are not very big. Not until the third floor where the real treasures of the cave are, and there is only one entrance to the third floor. We will gather there to explore the Netherworld Emperor’s cave together.”
When his voice fell, he glanced at Ye Yunlan, then took the lead to lead the disciples into the Secret Realm’s door.
Ye Yunlan didn’t notice the look in his eyes and didn’t listen to what he said. He was at the end with Shen Shu, separated from many disciples.
Before entering, Ye Yunlan said to Shen Shu.
“Pay attention to your mind.”
Shen Shu nodded slightly.
While Ye Yunlan was observing the front intently, he quietly opened his arm to cover Ye Yunlan’s whole body.
Rong Ran didn’t make it clear. However, Ye Yunlan knew that the Secret Realm’s first level was the realm of illusion. It was brimming with deceptive things.
Ye Yunlan had already pinched a heart-clearing talisman in his hand. When he discovers something’s wrong, he would crush the talisman and break the illusion with the talisman’s power instead of rushing his mind and allowing the possibility of an injury.
Moreover, with the solidity of his three-hundred-year soul, he could survive most illusions without any problems.
As soon as he entered the Secret Realm, he heard the sound of water.
A large river traversed in front, and the water was turbid yellow.
He was in a sea of flowers on the shore. Scorching hot red petals bloomed, as gorgeous as blood.
The sea of flowers separated on both sides, and a small winding alley stretched forward, with snow-white bones scattered on both sides.
The path to the riverbank turned into an arched bone bridge across the riverbank.
Ye Yunlan looked around and saw no one else. Knowing that he had fallen into an illusion, he just wanted to smash the heart-clearing talisman in his hand. But at the end of his blurred vision, he saw a vaguely familiar dark figure on the bridge.
His hand movement paused.
Then, he walked over.
Someone sat on the railing beside the bone bridge, with a hideous ghost mask on his face. His eyes were redder than blood, redder than the flowers on the other side.
He sat sideways, posture casual, looking at the yellow spring and blue sky. He didn’t know how long he had been watching and how long he had waited.
Hearing footsteps, he turned his head. His voice was low and smiling.
“Senior Immortal, you came to me.”
The author has something to say: [Note:] Cut from Yan Shu’s “Huanxisha.”