Chapter 81 Choice
The two passed through the Gate of Light and walked into a gloriously blurred passage. The boundary between illusion and reality was unclear in the passage. It was as if a lot of scenery and a long time were passing by. Ye Yunlan didn’t speak of what he was thinking of. Suddenly, he heard Shen Shu say: “Master is still thinking about what you just heard?”
Ye Yunlan said: “En, it’s just a little pitiful.”
Shen Shu: “What is pitiful?”
Ye Yunlan: “It’s pitiful for those who are sentimental but have to experience the hardships. Them not marrying in the end was an accident that arose from many causes.”
Shen Shu: “Since Master said they are sentimental, then I will admit that they have affection for each other for the time being. But in my opinion, the love between them may not be too deep. Especially the guy in the underworld palace.”
Ye Yunlan turned his head slightly, “Why do you think so?”
Shen Shu: “If my heart is with a person, as long as I’m not dead, I will protect them entirely. Whoever dares to hurt him, disgrace him, must first step over my body. No matter what, I would never leave him aside, let alone say all that empty talk, then have him wait for a lifetime.”
“Also,” Shen Shu turned his head and stared at Ye Yunlan, “The one I like, even if they turn to ashes, I won’t mistake them.”
He didn’t know why, but when he met his eyes, Ye Yunlan felt a tremor in his heart. He was silent for a while, then whispered: “There are always too many mishaps in this world and forever departures. There are always things in the world that manpower and effort cannot counter.”
He seemed to think of something, then stopped, then spoke again.
“…And in this world, just being willing to die for someone doesn’t mean it’s love. Also, not just empty words would make a person wait for a lifetime.”
The passage came to an end when they were speaking.
Ye Yunlan stepped out.
The colorful scenes around disappeared, and the surroundings returned to night again. The light of the red moon in the high sky shone down, and they were in a place with a lot of stone steles.
Wanbei Forest. (forest of a thousand stone tablets)
This place’s name appeared in Ye Yunlan’s mind.
There were three levels in the Netherworld Secret Realm. The first level had endless illusions, the second level was an unpredictable space of calamity, and the third level was where various ancient tomb treasures were deposited.
He followed the Sky Sect cultivators into the secret realm in his previous life. Although the cultivators would disperse as soon as they entered the secret realm, the dispersion’s distance wasn’t very far. They would quickly gather as they traveled forward. The danger in the Netherworld Secret Realm was unpredictable, and having more people to take care of each other could also allow them to move forward faster.
But in this world, he and Shen Shu separated from the others and accidentally broke into the secret realm’s core space. They got help from another and greatly saved time to allow them to cross the secret realm’s second space directly.
Wanbei Forest -the entrance to the Netherworld Secret Realm’s third level- was in front of them now. It was also where Rong Ran told the sect disciples to gather while they were outside the secret realm.
Wanbei Forest was a burial site.
Ye Yunlan walked to a stone tablet and saw the mottled and blurred writing on it: Que Qing Sect, Xie Lin, a cultivator in the later stages of Demi-God. Once entered a ghost dwelling alone and murdered three thousand ghosts. He died during ghost chaos at the age of 329.
The cultivators of the Demi-god stage could be regarded as a great power wherever they were outside. The Inheritance Cave establishment would attract who knew how many cultivators to fight for it, but only a few lines of words here would sum up their whole life.
He had seen it in rows. There were countless similar stone monuments.
People were ants in the great catastrophe.
It was the case for the ghost chaos four thousand years ago, and the same was true for the catastrophe two hundred years later.
However, none of these had anything to do with him anymore.
Perhaps it was because of the wind in the burial ground, but it felt a little lonely when Ye Yunlan stood in front of the monument.
Shen Shu, who was next to him: “Master, I thought about what you said before, but I still don’t understand. You said that liking someone doesn’t mean they have to die for him? Then, if you truly have to decide one to live, how would Master decide?”
Ye Yunlan was silent for a moment: “Either protect him and live with him, or accompany him to die with him.”
Shen Shu smiled: “So Master doesn’t want to be alone, but likes to live and die with the one they love. Disciple will remember this.”
Suddenly, there was a noisy voice in the distance.
Rong Ran was wandering in the secret realm.
A vast group of Sky Sect disciples was behind him.
A person next to him was talking to him: “This time, it’s really thanks to Senior Brother Rong who led the way that we were able to avoid that storm of wind and fire and prevent casualties. It really makes sense that the Sect Master allowed Senior Brother Rong to be the leader of the Netherworld Secret Realm journey.”
Another disciple: “I think we should be the ones who have reached the third level of the secret realm the quickest with the journey being so smooth this time. I heard there are treasures everywhere here. If the harvest is abundant, everything is to the credit of Senior Brother Rong!”
Rong Ran was flattered and said with a smile: “But it’s my duty. Junior Brother Lin, Junior Brother Zhao, and everyone else are only exaggerating. Since we have arrived first at the third level, we should take a quick rest at Wanbei Forest for a while to wait for the rest of the sect brothers to meet up. Then, we could explore the buried treasure of the third layer together. Be sure to prepare for the actual treasure hunt for success and retreat.”
Everyone responded: “We will follow Senior Brother’s instructions.”
Rong Ran nodded, then said: “We moved too fast. I’m afraid that no cultivators would’ve set foot on the third level of this secret realm. When you are exploring, you still need to be alert to the wind and grass around you…”
Suddenly, a disciple interrupted his voice. “Senior Brother, there seems to be someone over there!”
A stiff smile appeared on Rong Yan’s face before he had returned to his original appearance instantly. He was slightly surprised. “Oh? Who is it? Who could pass the second level test so quickly to have reached this place?”
Suddenly, he felt the Hehuan Gu beat, the one that he raised in his heart. After two times, it caused distressing pain. Rong Ran had become accustomed to it in these years. He kept smiling and looked in the direction the disciple was pointing at, then he saw it at a glance. He saw the other party’s face that made him nostalgic and jealous, dressed in white.
Ye Yunlan also saw the person was coming but frowned.
In the Netherworld Secret Realm this time, he just wanted to take the soul-attracting flower away as soon as possible and didn’t want to start anything else to complicate the issue.
What’s more, he had broken apart with Rong Ran completely after the Fengting Pavillion incident, so he only glanced at him and turned around.
But Rong Ran walked over quickly, “Junior Brother Ye, I am really surprised to see you on the third floor of the Secret Realm without any problems. Let’s plan to work together to explore the secret realm now that most of our Sky Sect disciples have gathered here. Junior Brother Ye and Martial Nephew Shen are also our Sky Sect disciples. It’s better to be with us and take care of each other.”
Ye Yunlan turned around and said: “I have something important, I need to go first.”
Rong Ran stared at his face. He used his spiritual power to soothe the Hehuan Gu in his heart, smiled, and said: “Oh, I don’t know what the important thing is, maybe I can help.”
Ye Yunlan: “No need.”
Rong Ran suddenly showed a somewhat wounded look when he heard this, “I know what happened before made Junior Brother angry, but that matter has passed. It has been so many years, and Senior Brother has already apologized to you. Why still be bothered to this day? In the secret realm, us Sky Sect disciples should unite.”
When they heard about the incident between Rong Ran and Ye Yunlan in Fengting Pavilion, the Sky Sect disciples only knew that the two had fallen out and didn’t know the details. They only heard that Rong Ran took care of Ye Yunlan everywhere in the past, and they felt a little unbearable when they saw Ye Yunlan’s refusal several times and Rong Ran’s injured expression.
Next to Rong Ran, another disciple said out loud: “Yes, the secret realm is dangerous, and we need to unite. Not to mention, we obviously discussed prior that us disciples would gather together in the third level. How could you be the lone exception?”
Another also persuaded: “Junior Brother Ye, you have wounds, and your cultivation is useless. We all know this. With your body, you shouldn’t have come to the secret realm, but since you’re here, we also want to be able to do our best to help you.”
Everybody spoke at once.
Ye Yunlan didn’t like the noise of people, and he felt a slight pain in his head. Shen Shu stepped forward, “I will take care of Master’s injury. There is no need to bother you.” He gave a warning glance to Rong Ran, who wore a white outfit that resembled Ye Yunlan’s. It made it unpleasant to the eye: “There are some dog skin plasters in this world who don’t know their strength.”
Rong Ran’s face was still smiling, but his eyes were gloomy.
If he hadn’t accepted a disciple like Shen Shu, Ye Yunlan would not have left him so easily back then. He was really tired of Shen Shu.
——It was a perfect time to get rid of this obtrusive person in this Netherworld Secret Realm.
By the way, he still had to find an opportunity to plant the Hehuan Gu into Ye Yunlan’s body. Then, it wouldn’t be a waste for him to nourish the Gu with his blood essence for several years while he endured the pain the worm caused.
The bird that escaped from the cage he cast would eventually return to him.
Rong Ran was thinking, but suddenly, the mountain shook, and the wind howled. Everyone’s shocked exclamation sounded.
Shen Shu subconsciously took Ye Yunlan into his arms. The person in his arms was tall and thin with a cold fragrance. Rong Ran staggered beside him when he tried to keep his balance in the vibration. When he looked at the two, Master and Disciple cuddled together, the expression on his face was a little distorted.
He saw a faint light rise into the sky in the distance and formed a whirlpool in the sky.
A strange ring seemed to come from far and near. Although the sound was extremely soft, it shook their minds.
“Treasures are being born at this time?”
The disciples talked loudly as they waited for the ground to stop moving.
Ye Yunlan pushed Shen Shu away and looked in the treasure’s direction.
The gloomy light was at a high mountain. Gray mist surrounded the mountaintop as if countless darkness were floating.
That mountain was Fuyou Mountain- the most dangerous place in the Netherworld Secret Realm. It was also where death qi fathered the most and where the soul-attracting flower was likely to appear.
And that treasure that was born was called Huan You Ling.
In his previous life, when he was on Fuyou Mountain, he was slandered and framed due to the Huan You Ling. Everyone said that he killed the members of his same sect for greed for treasures. He couldn’t dispute it, and he was eventually expelled from Sky Sect.
Ye Yunlan looked at the mountain with indifferent eyes.
He didn’t look at the noisy disciples around him and just said to Shen Shu.
And at this moment, outside the Netherworld Secret Realm, in the Tianji Pavilion.
Chen Weiyuan was sitting on a recliner with his cloak. His expression was indifferent. Next to him was a stone table with a flask, wine glasses, and a chessboard.
And in front of him was a water mirror. The mirror reflected the scene in the secret realm.
Only, the scene was rather narrow. It seemed to be through someone’s eyes.
The scene closely followed Ye Yunlan’s figure not far away.
Chen Weiyuan’s gaze also followed that figure.
He slowly rubbed the branch of a white blossom he held in his hand. At this moment, the fingertip moved slightly, and his hand held a petal.
He put the petal in his mouth, then chewed it with the tips of his teeth. He took another sip from the wine glass on the table.
He lifted his lips as he saw Ye Yunlan was walking towards Fuyou Mountain as if he was very happy. He smiled as if he was full of affection.
His fingertips landed on the chessboard and pushed one of the white pieces forward one square.