The Sword Named No Way Out Chapter 67

Chapter 67

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That was Gong Wei’s first year as the Grand Elder of the Punishment Hall, and it was also the 236th day that Xu Shuangce had shut himself away from him.

Gong Wei suddenly appeared at the gate of the Cangyang Sect, holding up the Alliance Leader’s seal, demanding that Xu Shuangce personally come out and take him to the Cangyang Sect’s library to consult a certain ancient book.

Every sect has its own secrets, which are not easily revealed unless ordered by the Alliance Leader himself. As for the ancient book Gong Wei wanted to see, it did belong to the Cangyang Sect, but most of its volumes were lost and had not seen the light of day for many years. It was only rumored to be related to the long-lost third greatest illusion in the world.

Among the three greatest illusions in the world, one is the “Mirror of Yin and Yang”, with the “mirror” referring to the ancient artifact, the Thousand Mirror Realm. No one knows when it was made or by which dynasty or immortal, but it is currently stored in the Punishment Hall, under the joint control of the Sect Alliance Leader Ying Kai and the Grand Elder Gong Wei.

The second is the “Sun and Moon in the Pot”, with the “pot” actually referring to the Eye Technique. Once activated, it takes effect instantly, controlling everyone within the range of sight. Practitioners who have mastered this technique have eyes that sparkle like the radiance of the sun and moon. However, for someone like Gong Wei, with crimson eyes naturally imbued with mystic arts, the description can only be described as eerie.

As for the third, because it has been lost for many years, there are various rumors, and no one knows exactly what it is. However, there were rumors that it might be related to the ancient book with only a few remaining volumes in the Cangyang Sect.

Gong Wei had always tried to find ways to sneak up Cangyang Mountain to find Xu Shuangce, but he had been repeatedly turned away. Now, he finally convinced Ying Kai to give him the Alliance Leader’s seal, under the pretext of coming to study and learn, and brazenly appeared—or rather, lingered—at the gate of the Cangyang Sect.

As the Sect Master of the Cangyang Sect, it was hard to say whether Xu Shuangce could be commanded by this Alliance Leader’s seal. But before Wen Xiuyang went up the mountain to notify him, he saw Grand Elder Gong swinging the seal in one hand and standing with the other hand behind his narrow waist, smiling as he leaned forward and said, “If Xu Bai refuses to see me, you can tell him that the Grand Elder has put on a new robe made in the first month of the year.”

The “new robe” he mentioned referred to an outer robe embroidered with dark gold maple leaf patterns on crimson silk. The Grand Elder Gong’s skin was as white as ice, and the color of deep red and dark gold, which would appear dignified on other masters of famous sects, exuded an indescribable halo on him. Just by standing there, it made people unable to help but yearn to see more of him.

Wen Xiuyang couldn’t help but take a glance, thinking that no matter what new robe he wore, it had nothing to do with our Sect Master Xu. Why would he want to see him just because he put on a new outfit? Gong Wei probably felt that his allure was not enough, so he smiled and waved for Wen Xiuyang to come back, adding, “Also, I dreamt of him last night.”

At that time, Wen Xiuyang was still young, and he almost rolled his eyes, but fortunately, he didn’t dare to act rashly and went up obediently.

When he transmitted the message, Xu Shuangce was sitting high on the Tianji Tower in meditation. Wen Xiuyang knelt on the ground, first mentioned the matter of Grand Elder Gong holding the Alliance Leader’s seal, and waited with bated breath for a moment, but no response came from above. He could only steel himself to mention trivial matters such as the new robe the Grand Elder had changed into and what he had dreamt of last night. After saying it, he felt absurd and cheesy, but before he could apologize, he suddenly heard a slight movement from the throne in front.

Xu Shuangce actually stood up and opened his eyes, saying lightly, “Since there’s an Alliance Leader’s seal, let him come.”

That day, Wen Xiuyang was thoroughly confused, only knowing that the Sect Master Xu, who had been in seclusion for a long time, personally descended the mountain, drove away the disciples around him, and silently looked down at Grand Elder Gong for a long time before turning away coldly and saying, “Come.”

Gong Wei didn’t care at all about Xu Shuangce’s attitude. He couldn’t remember when the two had last seen each other. Now, as long as he saw Xu Bai again, he would be very happy. He walked briskly all the way, asking about everything he saw, “Xu Bai, what have you been busy with lately? Why haven’t you come to the Immortal Alliance to find me?”

Xu Shuangce said, “In seclusion.”

“In seclusion should make you full of vitality. Why do you look so haggard? When was the last time you came out of seclusion?”

Xu Shuangce remained silent for a moment before whispering, “Two hundred and thirty-six days ago.”

Gong Wei was astonished. “You haven’t left for so long! Aren’t you feeling bored?!”

Xu Shuangce clenched his teeth slightly and said after a while, “A cultivator should have a clear mind and few desires, not bothering with worldly matters.”

Gong Wei lamented, “You’re wrong, Xu Bai. Worldly matters are the most enjoyable things in the world. Changsheng and I have traveled all over the place recently, enjoying the flower wine chicken in Linjiang City, drinking the Spring Exam top scholar wine in the capital, casually killed a demon beast at the Wei River, and even rode a dragon boat on the canal. Oh, and we even went to the brothel together to broaden our horizons. That boy Changsheng didn’t understand anything. At first, he thought it was boring, but who knew he would bump into the emperor sneaking in to drink flower wine… Hey, Xu Bai! Why did you suddenly walk so fast? Wait for me!”

The Cangyang Sect, known as the number one sect in the world, was naturally the richest sect, with its vast treasury and countless ancient books and treasures. Xu Shuangce personally opened the door to the library, and the two of them wandered through the towering bookshelves for almost half an hour before stopping in a corner deep in the maze.

Gong Wei felt fresh and looked around, complaining incessantly, “Xu Bai, your Cangyang Sect’s library is too ancient. Do we really have to rely on walking with our feet like this? Can’t you have someone tidy it up? In the future, if you want to find a certain ancient scroll, you can just call it out, and it will appear?”

Xu Shuangce said coldly, “If you don’t want to walk, you can go back.”

Upon returning, who knew how long it would take to see Xu Bai again, Gong Wei immediately said, “Then I’m not going back.”

Xu Shuangce said, “Fifth volume from the left of the 183rd row.”

Counting from the top, it was the 183rd row, but it was higher than Gong Wei’s head. Gong Wei looked up at the mottled jade scroll, wanting to perform a spell to retrieve it, but then stopped and said cunningly, “Xu Bai, your library doesn’t even allow spells to be used. I can’t reach it. How about you carry me up there?”

Xu Shuangce ignored him.

Gong Wei said, “I can carry you up there.” As he spoke, he wanted to reach out and hug Xu Shuangce’s waist.

Xu Shuangce slightly avoided and then, with a flick of his sleeve, the incomplete jade scroll automatically appeared in his hand and was thrown to Gong Wei.

Gong Wei chuckled and clapped his hands. “I knew you could use spells here! You just wanted to trick me into walking with you!”

Xu Shuangce walked away, came to the carved window of the library, and as soon as his feet touched the ground, he performed the Five Ghosts Maneuvering Technique, causing the entire sandalwood desk and cushions to rise from the ink-jade floor. He lifted his robe and sat down. Gong Wei had already come over familiarly and spread out the incomplete jade scroll on the desk, saying, “This scroll should be called something about dreams, but the characters on it are too ancient. When was it collected by your Cangyang Sect?”

Xu Shuangce replied, “I don’t know.”

Gong Wei browsed for a moment. “Have you never secretly studied it? People say this is the third greatest illusion technique in the world.”

Xu Shuangce replied indifferently, “Just rumors.”

The vast and silent library hall was shrouded in darkness year-round in this secluded corner. When Gong Wei appeared, it was as if the entire world’s hustle and bustle had swept in. He seemed out of place among the ancient scrolls and dim light, yet there was a strange elegance about him that subtly blended with the entire hall.

Xu Shuangce averted his gaze, but suddenly heard Gong Wei say without looking up, “Xu Bai.”


“You were just looking at me.”

Xu Shuangce uttered two words, “I wasn’t.”

Gong Wei proudly said, “You were looking, and that’s that. Don’t deny it. Recently, while traveling down the mountain with Changsheng, I realized that no matter where we went, many people would sneak glances at me. Some even pretended to meet by chance and struck up conversations, asking where I lived and what I did for a living, wanting to be friends with me…”

Xu Shuangce’s jaw tightened, but Gong Wei was oblivious, continuing happily, “I’ve lived for so many years, yet I never knew I was so likable. Later, Changsheng thought about it and realized that idle flattery often harbors ulterior motives. These people must be thieves as described in books, thinking I had money and wanting to deceive me to steal it… What does Changsheng know? When have thieves ever spent money on their targets before making a move? Several times in restaurants in the capital, I was even preemptively paid for by people at the neighboring table…”

A voice as cold as frost interrupted him, “Have you finished reading?”

Gong Wei said, “Huh?”

Xu Shuangce’s face turned icy. “If you’re done, then go back.”

Gong Wei hurriedly waved his hand. “I haven’t finished yet.”

He didn’t dare to chat with Xu Shuangce anymore, pretending to read for a while longer. After flipping through the ink-jade slips, he finally sighed and said, “This text seems to be written in the ancient seal script used by the Underworld Guiyuan in ancient times. It’s probably been tens of millions of years since then. Even if we find a great ghost cultivator, they might not be able to recognize it all. I can only guess the general meaning, but with so many missing characters, I might not even get one or two points right out of ten.”

The incomplete jade slips were black and warm, contrasting with his slender fingertips, creating a black-and-white harmony like an ink painting.

Xu Shuangce closed his eyes, as if deliberately trying to dispel the image from his mind. After a moment, he took a deep breath and asked in a low voice, “What’s the meaning?”

Gong Wei didn’t notice his expression, focusing intently on the jade slips. “The general meaning is that there’s a kind of dream technique that can reverse life and death.” “…A dream?”

Gong Wei nodded, one hand supporting his chin, his eyelashes fluttering like butterfly wings under the dim light. “Eye techniques have limits to their range of vision, and mirror techniques are limited by what they reflect. But dreams have no boundaries. A dream can contain the dreamer himself or the myriad beings of the world; it can trace back in time, and naturally, it can also speculate on future scenes based on existing logic and causality in the world.”

As he spoke, he leaned over the table, his sleeves emitting a faint fragrance of snow-covered peach blossoms, almost wafting to Xu Shuangce’s nose. Xu Shuangce’s breath paused, and he lowered his gaze, asking hoarsely, “Reverse life and death? What does that mean?”

Gong Wei continued to stare at the jade slips in his hand and smiled, “I don’t know if Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly or if the butterfly dreamed it was Zhuang Zhou?”


“A dream is only a dream when you wake up. If you don’t wake up, it’s not a dream but reality in your and my eyes. In dreams, the living can die, and the dead can live. Life and death are just the gathering and dispersing of the qi of heaven and earth, endlessly changing; transformation of life, transformation of death, transformation of dreams are all ‘material transformation,’ and that is the principle.”

“—But, you see,” Gong Wei said with a smile, his tone suddenly changing, “the butterfly in the dream is carefree, but the person waking up may not be. So, if you ask me, I’d rather be the butterfly in the dream, living happily forever in the dream, wouldn’t that be nice?”

Xu Shuangce’s heart stirred, and for some reason, he felt compelled to refute him half-heartedly. “But what if you die in the dream?”

Gong Wei shrugged, unconcerned. “How could you die if you’re drawn into a dream? Unless you’re expelled by the dreamer, which naturally means you’ve left the dream and woken up in reality.”

“What if the dreamer dies?” Xu Shuangce asked.

This question stumped Gong Wei.

He sat up straight, pondered for a moment, and then said, “Dreams continue in an endless loop until they are shattered. The host of the dream should not truly die within their own dream… except under one circumstance.”

Xu Shuangce inquired, “Unless what?”

But deep down, he already had a faint guess at the answer.

Gong Wei nodded approvingly. “Right. Although the dreamer won’t die in the dream, if the dreamer’s body dies in reality, then the person dragged into the dream will also perish along with the collapse of the dream, experiencing true death. That’s probably the most terrifying aspect of dream techniques!”

As he straightened up, the faint fragrance of peach blossoms dissipated, like a fleeting and ephemeral dream.

The feared and respected Master of Cangyang Sect sat quietly, and no one knew what he was thinking, or if he was thinking at all. After a while, he sighed and retrieved the ink-jade slip from Gong Wei’s hand, saying, “This kind of technique destroys both the jade and the user. It’s better if you don’t learn it.”

Gong Wei had an instinctive affinity for all illusion techniques and actually wanted to learn. But he had a good temper and wasn’t too attached to anything. Since his favorite Xu Shuangce didn’t allow it, he let it go with a smile, teasingly lifting his chin and raising his eyebrows, “I don’t need to learn it. I can dream of you whenever I want.”

As Xu Shuangce’s fingertip was about to crush the ink-jade slip, he paused slightly at Gong Wei’s words.

After a moment, he lowered his eyes and scoffed, whether at Gong Wei or himself, “Nonsense.”

The deep red silk brushed through the air, and the next moment, Gong Wei appeared next to him like a ghost. Still propping his chin, his eyes contained affection and a hint of mischief, as if he were quietly sharing a significant secret, “You know, Xu Bai? I dreamed of you last night.”


“As long as I see a butterfly during the day, I’ll definitely dream of you that night. But I’ve never told anyone about this—have you ever dreamed of me?”

The Sect Master of Cangyang Sect remained seated, his handsome face cold and indifferent, not uttering a word.

Gong Wei drew closer, his soft lips almost touching Xu Shuangce’s ear, smiling gently as if he were revealing an incredible secret, “Do you know what I usually do in your dreams?”


It was actually a muffled sound as Gong Wei’s head hit Xu Shuangce’s leg directly.

Xu Shuangce firmly held down the lower half of his face with one hand, forcing him to fall backward, unable to make a sound even as he laid on his back, only able to see Xu Shuangce finally bending down, each word light but firm:

“In my dreams, I see you and people traveling all over the world, making friends everywhere.”

Gong Wei widened his eyes in surprise.

Xu Shuangce suddenly released him, as if he couldn’t bear to linger for another moment, stood up, brushed his sleeve, and swiftly disappeared among the densely packed bookshelves.

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