The Sword Named No Way Out Chapter 97

Chapter 97

Shoutout to nyanmaru for the commission!

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That night, the river shimmered under the moonlight, rushing towards the distance.

A fishing boat in the middle of the river faintly revealed a candlelight, drifting with the current in the darkness of the night.

Inside the cabin, Xuan Jinghe sat alone by the oil lamp, flipping through a scroll of documents. The long lashes cast shadows in the candlelight as the boat swayed slightly.

“Lord Iron Sect Master,” a disciple entered through the curtain, bowing respectfully, “We will reach Guicheng tomorrow. It’s late, and the dew is heavy. You should rest.”

Xuan Jinghe didn’t respond, turning a page of the scroll and asking softly after a while, “Has Xuanzheng and the others sent back any messages?”

Rumors had it that there were many casualties due to the appearance of demons in the deep mountains outside Guicheng. Just as Iron Sect Master was on tour, he dispatched his disciples to eliminate the demons. Unexpectedly, several disciples went missing, and there was no news from them for several days, not even a single communication charm returned.

Iron Sect Master became suspicious and decided to change course temporarily, personally going to Guicheng to investigate the situation.

The disciple shook his head, “There’s still no response from Senior Xuanzheng and the others.”

Xuan Jinghe put down the scroll, a faint furrow appearing on his forehead.

The disciple hurriedly reassured, “Lord Iron Sect Master, there’s no need to worry. Senior Xuanzheng and the others are highly skilled and more than capable of dealing with demons. Perhaps Guicheng is too remote, with sparse spiritual energy in the deep mountains, and the communication charm may not be able to be activated for a while. Besides…”

Suddenly, Xuan Jinghe raised his hand, interrupting him.

In the candlelight, Iron Sect Master’s profile was young and calm, as if he were listening intently to something. The disciple immediately tensed up, and soon saw Xuan Jinghe slightly turn towards the cabin window, furrowing his brow and asking, “Who’s there?”

Someone was outside!

The disciple was startled and didn’t hesitate to draw his sword and leap out of the cabin, only to see a small boat approaching along the river.

A tall figure stood at the bow of the boat, with a handsome and pale face, a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth. The black robes shimmered under the moonlight, and it was the young man who Xuan Jinghe had saved from the Zheng family boat during the day!

The disciple couldn’t help but step back, shocked. “When did you follow us?”

The Ghost Crown Prince didn’t answer. As the boat approached, he suddenly jumped into the water, walking on it as if on flat ground. With a few steps, he came forward on the waves and stepped onto Iron Sect Master’s fishing boat.

“Hey, you…”

The disciples were unable to stop him, only to see the black-robed youth flick off the water droplets from his clothes, a gesture that could even be described as elegant and composed. Then, he walked straight through the deck, slightly bowed, and entered the cabin. He bent down deeply and bowed: “Thank you for your timely intervention during the day, which I am deeply grateful for. I have come to express my gratitude in person.” 

His voice was deep and pleasant, with a splendid tone. He looked up with a smiling face under the light of Xuan Jinghe: “My surname is Qu, with the single name Xie. May I ask for your esteemed name?” 

Only then did the disciple react. He was about to chase after and scold the youth, but was stopped by Xuan Jinghe’s gesture.

“It was just a small effort, no need to thank me.” Iron Sect Master looked at the scroll in his hand, his tone very indifferent. “You may leave.”

After Xuan Jinghe saved him during the day, he did not listen to the panicked apologies of the Zheng family master, nor did he give the Ghost Crown Prince a chance to feign gratitude. With a wave of his sleeve, an invisible force lifted the Ghost Crown Prince from the Zheng family boat, sending him back to his small boat; then he didn’t spare a glance at anyone, and directly sailed away.

He hadn’t looked directly at the Ghost Crown Prince from start to finish, as if he were completely indifferent to everything and everyone behind him.

“For Lord Iron Sect Master, it was just a small effort, but for me, it was like a second chance at life.” The Ghost Crown Prince showed no sign of disobedience, lowering his posture even further. “That’s why I came here specially tonight, just to express my gratitude in person, hoping to repay Master’s kindness.” 

Xuan Jinghe said, “I don’t need your repayment.”

His gaze remained on the page, without even a hint of lifting it.

After a moment of contemplation, the prostrating Ghost Crown Prince suddenly asked, “Is it because Lord Iron Sect Master feels that my behavior is licentious, not like that of a decent person?”


The cabin fell silent for a few breaths, and it wasn’t until a long time later that Xuan Jinghe asked back, “Are you?”

The Ghost Crown Prince said, “Actually, I…”

“If you didn’t linger in the land of revelry, you wouldn’t have attracted the trouble like you did during the day; if you had firmly refused, you wouldn’t have boarded the Zheng family’s boat in the first place. I saved you just because you asked for help, and I don’t need you to act so hypocritically afterwards.” Xuan Jinghe finally lifted his gaze, staring down at the Ghost Crown Prince from above, “Since you have the ability to walk on water, there’s no need for me to have someone send you off the boat. Leave on your own.”

People often see Iron Sect Master’s gentle and beautiful appearance, assuming his temperament to be the same, but little do they know that it’s a huge misunderstanding.

Xuan Jinghe is not gentle at all; on the contrary, he can be described as firm and unyielding. His eyes are both cold and bright, like the bright pool under the moonlight; when he fixes his gaze on someone, there’s even a sense of oppressive sharpness.

Truly beautiful, the Ghost Crown Prince thought.

His most precious night pearl by the bedside in his palace was not as bright as those eyes.

“…Iron Sect Master’s teachings are well-received,” the Ghost Crown Prince said slowly.

Then he paused, his gaze flickering slightly, pondering something. After a while, he raised his head with a hint of bitterness in his smile, “To be honest, my family background is superior, but both my parents died when I was young, and since I can remember… I’ve never experienced a day of genuine care from anyone. Let alone strict discipline, there have been many deliberate temptations from those with ulterior motives since childhood.”

Even the disciple standing by his side couldn’t help but be stunned by this unexpected revelation.

“Seeing Iron Sect Master’s upright demeanor today, I can’t help but feel ashamed of myself and envy you. That’s why I came here at night, taking the liberty to express my gratitude in person.”

The Ghost Crown Prince took a deep breath, looking straight into Xuan Jinghe’s eyes, speaking sincerely yet with a hint of melancholy, “Iron Sect Master’s teachings, although severe, are the most sincere words I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m afraid I’ll never hear such heartfelt words from anyone else again. Tonight’s encounter is gratifying; I will surely remember this precious lesson for the rest of my life.”

There was a hint of self-mockery in his tone, but he quickly covered it up. He stood up, deeply bowing to Xuan Jinghe, ready to step back and leave the cabin.

Three steps, two steps, one step.

Just as he was about to step out of the cabin door, Xuan Jinghe, who had been sitting under the lamp, finally took a breath and closed the book, “Wait.”

The Ghost Crown Prince stopped in his tracks, lowering his head. No one could see the mysterious curve of his lips in the shadow.

Xuan Jinghe hesitated for a moment before saying, “Come here.”

The Ghost Crown Prince obediently approached, feeling a cool sensation on his forehead as Xuan Jinghe’s two fingers pressed against it, probing his spiritual sea.

“…As expected, you have spiritual roots, a constitution suitable for cultivating immortality,” Xuan Jinghe’s frown deepened, “Has no one ever advised you to seek guidance from a immortal master?”

At the mention of this, the Ghost Crown Prince seemed even more ashamed, “When I was young and ignorant, with no one to guide me, I had no idea about the path of cultivation. Later, I collected some scrolls and practiced haphazardly for a few days, but it was too late, so…”

Xuan Jinghe withdrew his hand, “What a pity.”

A faint scent of lotus flower emanated from his sleeve, fleeting past the Ghost Crown Prince’s nose.

But the scent was too subtle, disappearing without a trace, leaving no clue no matter how one searched.

The Ghost Crown Prince stared at him, his voice involuntarily becoming hoarse, “Listening to Iron Sect Master’s teachings tonight has been the greatest fortune of my life. I don’t see what’s there to regret?”

—A wealthy young man who lost his parents at a young age, even if he’s not inherently bad, there are countless people around him tempting him into wrongdoing. Moreover, he has spiritual roots, a rare gift among ordinary people. He missed the best age for foundation building due to lack of guidance, a regrettable thing in anyone’s eyes.

But explaining all this is futile now, so Xuan Jinghe didn’t say much. He just shook his head, “If you had a strict master to guide you, you wouldn’t have ended up like this. Maybe you could have achieved something in the path of immortality.”

The Ghost Crown Prince interjected with a smile, “Or perhaps if I had a wife, he could have restrained me from wandering astray like this.”

The response came too quickly, and it was so natural and candid that even Xuan Jinghe didn’t react immediately.

“Does Iron Sect Master want to take on the responsibility of guiding me?” the Ghost Crown Prince asked with some expectation.

If this sentence is connected with the previous one, it’s almost like flirting.

But no one in the world has ever dared to disrespect Xuan Jinghe in the slightest. Moreover, the black-robed young man before him was magnificent and handsome, with an open and honest face and excellent manners. This made Xuan Jinghe subconsciously doubt whether he was overthinking, and after a moment of hesitation, he asked, “Do you want me to be your mentor?”

“Outrageous!” The disciple immediately exclaimed in shock, “Iron Sect Master is of such high status; how could he casually accept an ordinary person like you as his disciple!”

Xuan Jinghe intervened, “Xuancheng.”

The disciple was still unwilling to accept it, but could only shut his mouth in frustration.

“I have never taken on disciples, nor will I easily make an exception for you.” Xuan Jinghe turned to the Ghost Crown Prince, hesitated for a moment, and then said, “But I already know your situation. If you truly repent, after I’ve finished my business here, I will carefully select a good teacher from among the various factions of the Immortal Alliance and entrust you to them.”


The Ghost Crown Prince gazed at Xuan Jinghe, a crimson glint reflecting in his eyes from the candlelight.

Then he suddenly smiled, bowed deeply, “I’m deeply grateful for Iron Sect Master’s kindness.”

This statement was meaningful. If Xuan Jinghe had been more alert at the time, he would have noticed that the young man named Qu Xie didn’t actually directly answer him.

Unlike those who ascended through cultivation like Ying Kai and Xu Shuangce, the Ghost Crown Prince and Gong Wei were gods born from the heaven and earth, possessing a more revered status. The previous generation of gods born from the heavenly dao had long left the Three Realms and returned to the void, and in the case of this generation, Gong Wei was still very young. Therefore, the Ghost Crown Prince is the only adult god in the Three Realms, with such a high status and strong divine power that every word he utters becomes an oracle, and he even has the power to change the laws of cause and effect in the world. 

Therefore, every word he said to Xuan Jinghe contained profound meanings, but at that time, no one could perceive the subtle and treacherous trap that was unfolding. 

“In that case, please allow me to follow the esteemed Xuan Jinghe, serving tea and water, expressing my gratitude until you find a ‘good teacher’ for me…” When he mentioned these two words, the Ghost Crown Prince paused meaningfully, smiling at Xuan Jinghe with deep meaning in his eyes. “…then stop.” 

He leaned forward slightly, speaking intimately as they were already close, and his ambiguous breath almost brushed against Xuan Jinghe’s temple. 

But before the nearby disciples could react, the Ghost Crown Prince immediately sat back upright, then stood up respectfully, bowing deeply: “The night is late, and I dare not disturb the esteemed Lord Iron Sect Master’s rest.” 

Maintaining this polite posture, he stepped back, one step at a time, until he backed out of the cabin door, then turned and stepped down onto the deck, treading on the water back to his own small boat. 

At this moment, the moon was bright in the middle of the river, the water rippling gently. The Ghost Crown Prince leaned against the bow of the boat, squinting as he looked ahead at a fishing boat gliding downstream. The soft orange light from the oil lamp leaked out of the cabin, and as a corner of the cabin window curtain was lifted, Xuan Jinghe’s slightly furrowed brow could be seen, appearing somewhat doubtful, just as the Ghost Crown Prince’s gaze met his. 

A smile immediately appeared on the handsome face of the Ghost Crown Prince, full of respect and earnest affection.

The handsome face of the Ghost Crown Prince suddenly lit up with a smile, respectful and sincere, with deep affection.

“…,” Xuan Jinghe seemed to feel a bit puzzled, but unable to pinpoint what was wrong, he nodded slightly and lowered his gaze, setting down the bamboo mat.

The Ghost Crown Prince looked at the tightly closed window mat, his smile widening inch by inch until it formed a chilling arc. He recalled the faint scent of lotus at his nose just now, took a breath, and murmured, “Such a nice fragrance.”

With the huskiness of his voice, his divine power silently spread out, and countless lotus flowers emerged one after another on the river surface behind the stern.

Countless pristine petals bloomed under the moonlight, like a layer of light gauze, dreamy and beautiful. The gentle breeze of spring night swept over the river, carrying the warm and fragrant aroma of flowers, all blending into the cup of wine in the Ghost Crown Prince’s hand.

He tilted his head back with a smile and drank the wine in one gulp.

Under the moonlight on the river, the two boats moved forward, one after the other, toward the distant city.


The next day, the fishing boat indeed arrived at the Guicheng Ferry crossing on time.

It was midday, but not a ray of sunlight could be seen, as dark clouds covered the sky, as if it could rain at any moment. The air was filled with a salty moisture.

“Why is it so deserted?” Xuancheng, the disciple, parked the fishing boat at the ferry crossing and looked around puzzledly, “Didn’t the local immortal families stationed here say they would come to greet Lord Iron Sect Master?”

On both sides of the official road, green mountains stretched continuously, and a long dirt road disappeared into the distant mountains. Xuan Jinghe stepped onto the riverbank, listening intently for a moment before whispering, “….It’s too quiet.”

Indeed it was.

The local families that should have welcomed Iron Sect Master didn’t show up, and even the teahouses and inns usually found at the ferry crossing were closed. The entire ferry crossing was deserted, and the huge mountains in the distance were devoid of any signs of life.

“Lord Iron Sect Master, please wait a moment. I’ll send a message to the local immortal families…” 

Xuan Cheng didn’t finish his sentence when a shrill bird cry suddenly broke the silence.

Immediately afterward, countless birds in the distance soared into the sky, forming a dark cloud that covered the sky, a spectacular sight with countless wings flapping, creating a wave that seemed to engulf everyone’s heads in an instant!

In that moment, Xuan Jinghe felt his vision darken, as if someone had suddenly reached out their hand in front of him.

Xuan Jinghe reflexively gripped his sword, but the sword only unsheathed three inches before stopping. He caught a glimpse of someone behind him—It was the youth named Qu Xie, who was now extending his arm to shield his body, while also placing his palm in front of Xuan Jinghe’s forehead.

Last night, the two of them stood and sat in the cabin, unable to compare heights. It wasn’t until now that their chests and backs were almost touching, that Xuan Jinghe suddenly realized that this Qu Xie was quite tall. Standing upright, he was even slightly taller than himself by two inches. The height difference made it seem like he was almost half embracing him; the muscular lines of the young man’s arm, revealed under the black robe’s sleeve, were very sturdy, but they were quickly covered by the sleeve again with just a flash.

It was only a matter of seconds.

The huge shadow cast by the birds scattered and disappeared into the distance.

Xuan Jinghe took a step back, but before he could speak, Qu Xie also retreated half a step, still looking very respectful, though his voice always carried a lazy tone, “The birds and beasts fleeing everywhere… This isn’t a good sign.”


“Lord Iron Sect Master?” Qu Xie seemed puzzled, widening his eyes, “What’s wrong?”


Xuan Jinghe paused for a moment before continuing, “Don’t suddenly appear behind me in the future.”


With a clear and melodious sound, Xuan Jinghe pushed back the unsheathed sword, indifferently saying, “You’ll die.”

Qu Xie was both surprised and innocent, “I—”

“Lord Iron Sect Master!” At this moment, Xuancheng turned around, holding a luminous messaging talisman in his hands, looking relieved, “The Zhao family, stationed in Guicheng, just sent a response, saying they made a mistake about the day Lord Iron Sect Master arrived. They’re sending someone to meet us now. Please wait on the boat, they’ll be here soon!”

A mistake about the day?

The Zhao family was one of the six major families, a vast immortal family, and yet no one remembered the exact day Iron Sect Master arrived?

Xuan Jinghe’s eyelids twitched, suspicion rising from the depths of his heart.

The missing disciple, the deserted ferry, the suspicious actions of the local immortal families… All these signs seemed to emit a strange smell.

The distant blue mountains were silent and vast. Xuan Jinghe narrowed his eyes slightly, suddenly saying, “Let’s not go back to the boat for now. Follow me.”

“Where to?” Xuancheng was puzzled.

Xuan Jinghe paid no attention, walking forward along the long official road with his hands behind his back. The Ghost Crown Prince, who had been leisurely walking, immediately followed without any objection.


Along the silent forest on both sides of the mountain road, not a single bird call or insect chirp could be heard. Even the sound of leaves rustling in the wind was absent, making the vast expanse of the world terrifyingly quiet.

“Have you noticed something missing around here?” Xuan Jinghe stepped over a bush, suddenly asking.

Obviously, this question couldn’t be answered by Qu Xie. After a moment of thought, Xuancheng tentatively asked, “The birds and beasts?”

From Xuan Jinghe’s back, he shook his head.

“In places where demons and beasts are rampant, other birds and beasts will migrate far away. This is normal. But as we’ve walked deeper into the mountains, we haven’t seen even the most basic signs of demons—demonic energy.” Xuan Jinghe stopped in his tracks, turning around to look at the disciples. “Not even a trace.”

Xuancheng suddenly stopped, closing his eyes to sense the surroundings. His expression changed involuntarily, “Indeed, how could this be?”

It was rumored that there were many powerful demon beasts outside Guicheng, and the local Zhao family couldn’t subdue them. However, there was no demonic energy around here, which was obviously unreasonable. Xuancheng frowned and asked tentatively, “Could it be… Could the demon beasts have escaped from the deep mountains into Guicheng?”

Xuan Jinghe remained silent for a moment before saying, “Not necessarily.”


Xuancheng was still full of doubts when suddenly, Qu Xie’s voice sounded extremely surprised from nearby, “—Oh, it’s already so late?”

Xuan Jinghe and Xuancheng both raised their heads

The sky had unexpectedly darkened. It was clearly afternoon when the boat docked, but now the surroundings were shrouded in dusk, with heavy, leaden clouds pressing down on the valley. In the distance, the continuous mountains and forests had already partially merged into darkness.

Xuancheng was suddenly surprised, “How did it get dark so quickly?!”

This was simply abnormal. Even for cultivators who weren’t flying on swords, their pace was much faster than ordinary people. At this moment, it should be no later than the afternoon, but it was already past the time of the Rooster (5-7 PM). Could it be that time was passing unusually quickly today?

Qu Xie seemed extremely exhausted already, weakly leaning against a tree and rubbing his sore legs, “What should we do? Can we still make it out of this mountain before nightfall?” He looked around anxiously, his face showing a pitiful expression, “I’m scared. Will it be very dark in the mountains at night?”

Xuancheng had always looked down on his affected mannerisms. Upon hearing this, he was speechless, “What do you think?!”

“I, I…” Qu Xie seemed startled by him, stuttering for a moment before he could speak, summoning up the courage to look at Xuan Jinghe, “Lord Iron Sect Master, should we go back the way we came first and go back to the ship?”

—The Ghost Crown Prince appeared to be about seventeen or eighteen years old in his human form, and leaning like this didn’t show his height. His rare, beautiful face was full of timidity, appearing gentle and pitiful, enough to make one’s heart ache. If he had been seen like this by the Zheng family head yesterday, he would probably have been instantly captivated, agreeing to anything said.

However, Xuan Jinghe’s heart was as unyielding as iron. He didn’t even pause to look back, turning around and scanning the surroundings, suddenly saying, “There seems to be someone over there.”

Looking in the direction he pointed, there was indeed a small courtyard at the end of the mountain path, appearing to be the residence of a hunter.

Xuan Jinghe said, “Let’s go and see.”

He showed no intention of soliciting others’ opinions at all. He marched forward without hesitation, and the disciple quickly shot a glare at Qu Xie, indicating him to follow, then hurriedly followed Xuan Jinghe away.


Qu Xie’s expression was subtle, and after a while, he rubbed his face with his hand. The soft and innocent expression had finally disappeared without a trace.

“Why does Gong Wei’s trick work so well on Xu Shuangce?” he murmured in confusion, climbing up and chasing after them.

The house was situated by a lake halfway up the mountain, with the door half-open and various hunting tools hanging on the wall. It seemed to be a hunter’s lodge stationed in the mountains in spring. Xuan Jinghe knocked on the door politely, calling out in a courteous tone, “Excuse me, is anyone home?”

There was no response from inside.

“We are travelers passing by and would like to stay here for the night. Is the homeowner available? Is anyone home?”

Still no answer.

Just as Xuancheng was about to raise his voice to ask again, a crisp sound came from not far away: creak—

The three of them looked in the direction of the sound at the same time, only to see a hunched old woman pushing open the back door of the main hall, standing there shivering and peeking out.

Xuancheng hurriedly stepped forward with a smile, “Old lady, we would like to stay here for the night. Is that okay with you?” As he spoke, he took out two silver ingots from his pocket, intending to pass them through the crack in the door.

Unexpectedly, the old woman stared at him blankly, neither nodding nor shaking her head, as if she hadn’t heard anything at all.

Thinking that the old woman might have poor hearing, Xuancheng bent down and asked loudly two or three times, trying to pass the silver to her. However, just as he made a move, the old woman suddenly seemed to be activated, jumping up in a panic and repeating, “I want to sleep! I’m going to sleep now!”

“Can we stay in the back of your house for one night, and then…”

“No sound, no sound!” The old woman’s face almost completely twisted, her voice hoarse and sharp. She held the silver in her hand and backed into the house, “Sleeping! Already asleep!”

“Yes, we’ll just sleep for one night, and tomorrow morning…”

“Already asleep! Already asleep!”

With a loud clang, the back door was tightly closed, followed by the sound of the bolt being inserted.

“…” Xuancheng stood frozen, puzzled, “Is this old lady…”

Qu Xie, with a concerned expression, interjected, “Could it be that her mind has already gone fuzzy?”

By now, the sky was completely dark, with deep mountains shrouded in darkness in the distance. As the wind rose at night, there was a continuous whistling sound like the tide in the forest.

Xuancheng looked at the row of houses in the courtyard and then eagerly looked at Xuan Jinghe. If they didn’t immediately fly back to the ship now, they could only stay here for the night: “Lord Iron Sect Master, should we go in first…”

Xuan Jinghe was still staring at the row of houses in the hunter’s home, his gaze seemingly perceiving something through the half-closed door. Suddenly, his expression changed slightly, “Wait.”

Xuancheng: “?”

Xuan Jinghe walked briskly toward the eastern corner of the rear house, reaching out to push the door. Spiritual energy lifted a ball of fire in his palm, instantly illuminating the entire room.

Inside, the walls were low and dilapidated, straw covering the ground. In the center of the room laid a blood-stained coffin!

“There’s a dead person in this house?!” exclaimed Xuancheng.

The coffin looked like something only a poor family would use, very crude in construction with thin wood. It hadn’t even been painted; blood seeped out from the cracks between the coffin lid and the sides, hinting at some ominous aura.

Xuan Jinghe’s gaze lingered on the dirty bloodstains for a moment before suddenly saying, “Young Master Qu.”


Ghost Crown Prince, not understanding, approached, and Xuan Jinghe pressed his hand against his shoulder, pulling him behind himself.

Iron Sect Master’s fingers were long and powerful, icy at the tips, just like his current cold tone: “—Don’t come out.”

It was the first time in his life that Ghost Crown Prince had been protected like this, and he couldn’t help but be taken aback.

Then, Xuan Jinghe’s other hand grabbed the coffin lid and, with a dull thud, forcefully lifted it!

Immediately, the Buqi Sword popped out on its own, and Xuan Jinghe prepared to face any sudden situation. But unexpectedly, there was no abnormality upon opening the coffin, nor any signs of corpse changes. When Xuancheng looked inside, he exclaimed, “Oh my!”

Even Ghost Crown Prince’s pupils narrowed.

Inside the coffin laid a fresh male corpse, eyes wide open, mouth gaping, teeth exposed. His neck was half severed, his abdomen gaping with internal organs missing, and both arms below the left elbow and right below the joint were missing flesh, leaving only several horrifying long bones!

“He’s only just died,” Xuan Jinghe said after examining the body for a moment. “No more than twenty four hours ago.”

“Was this done by a wild beast?” Xuancheng gently prodded the wounds on the corpse with his sword scabbard, identifying more tooth marks and claw marks. “All his organs are gone, flesh gnawed clean. Could it be… he was bitten to death by a beast in these mountains?!”

Everyone’s gaze turned to the corpse’s dark face.

What kind of beast would make a person look so horrifying in death?

After a moment of silence, Xuan Jinghe said, “Xuancheng.”


“The deceased and the old lady should be related. Go to the main hall and see if the old lady is still lucid, try to find out what happened.”


Xuancheng immediately rushed out, but after taking a few steps, he suddenly stopped, not knowing what he remembered. He turned around and asked, “Young Master Qu, would you mind accompanying me?”

Qu Xie was looking down at the male corpse at his feet, his cold expression obscured in the shadows. Upon hearing the words, he quickly raised his head, now wearing a bewildered expression: “What?” 

“The old lady was just frightened by me, so she might not speak now. Young Master Qu, with your kind demeanor, perhaps you can persuade her to speak a few words. Therefore, I’d like to trouble you to come along.” Xuancheng spoke politely, but his meaning was unmistakable. He gestured with his hand, indicating, “Please!” 

“… ” Qu Xie blinked innocently for a moment, then suddenly grinned like a crescent moon: “Sure!”

He didn’t show any reluctance at all, instead decisively stepping out of the house.

It was unexpected how readily he agreed, leaving Xuancheng momentarily stunned before quickly catching up.

Exactly as Xuancheng had anticipated, this time, no matter how they knocked on the door, the old lady refused to open. Getting anxious, they started shouting through the door, repeating “Sleeping! Already sleeping!” over and over again, their voice hoarse, sharp, and full of fear. 

“Madam, you really don’t need to be afraid, we’re just…” 

“Really sleeping! Sleeping!” 

Qu Xie crossed his arms and chuckled, “This old lady is really amusing.” 

Xuancheng stopped knocking helplessly, frowning, “She’s clearly under great stress, experiencing mental confusion due to extreme fear. Where’s the amusement in that?!” 

“Oh, is that so,” Qu Xie said lightly, “I thought she was hinting to us that something very terrifying happened here before, but as long as we ‘sleep’, we can make it through tonight smoothly.” 

Xuancheng froze for a moment, a chill running down his spine. 

“Oh, I’m just kidding,” Qu Xie smirked, “Master Xuan doesn’t actually believe that, does he?” 

Xuancheng opened his mouth in response to Qu Xie’s mocking gaze but found himself unable to speak, feeling an inexplicable sense of absurdity creeping into his mind.

This young man before him, with his beautiful appearance, claiming to have suffered a miserable life, speaking with such sincerity in front of Xuan Jinghe, often displaying a pitiful and unaware appearance, was like a little demon from a demon’s nest. But as soon as Xuan Jinghe wasn’t around, his pretentiousness vanished completely, as if he had suddenly become a different person. His words even carried a hint of mockery that made people extremely uncomfortable.

It didn’t make sense. He was just an ordinary person who hadn’t even built his foundation yet.

Could it be just an illusion?

“Daoist Xuan?” Qu Xie raised an eyebrow even higher.

Xuancheng’s heart skipped a beat. “What is it?”

“The night is late, and it seems we’ll have to stay here tonight. We can’t stay in the room with the body. I’ll go tidy up a clean room for Lord Iron Sect Master. How about that?”

Xuancheng was secretly planning to avoid him, but unexpectedly, Qu Xie took the initiative to cooperate. He immediately went along with it. “I appreciate your concern. Please go ahead…”

“Actually, Daoist Xuan insisted on me coming with him just to keep me away from Lord Iron Sect Master, isn’t that right?” Qu Xie said with a grin.

Xuancheng’s expression changed dramatically. “You—”

Before he could finish, Qu Xie winked playfully, his expression as mischievous as a child’s.

Then he turned around, hands behind his back, and casually walked away.

Xuancheng stood there dumbfounded as a gust of wind swept past, sending a shiver down his spine.

In the vast mountains of the late night, with the strange behavior of the old woman, the horrifying appearance of the male corpse, and the chilling demeanor of the seemingly weak young man…

A long, eerie wail echoed through the night, the shadows of the trees swaying as if countless dancing ghosts were present.

Xuancheng snapped out of his daze, not daring to delay any longer, and hurried back to the firewood room. Xuan Jinghe was carefully examining the male corpse, not even looking up as he asked, “What’s wrong?”

Xuancheng bowed respectfully, suppressing his doubts, and recounted the old woman’s reaction, hesitating. “There seems to be something strange happening in this house. Even if it’s a monster eating people, why was the old lady spared? I find it all very peculiar…”

“Have you seen monsters before, Xuancheng?” Xuan Jinghe suddenly asked. Xuancheng didn’t respond immediately. “Yes, I have.”

Although he wasn’t one of Xuan Jinghe’s inner disciples, as a member of Iron Sect, he had encountered various monsters and demons during his travels.

Xuan Jinghe finally glanced at him and said, “Do you notice anything unusual about these wounds?”

Xuancheng was puzzled. He approached and looked at the bloody neck of the corpse. The decaying flesh near the severed throat was gray-black, and four claw marks could barely be distinguished. After careful observation, he shook his head and said, “There doesn’t seem to be anything unusual… But—”

“Don’t you think these claw marks are rather small for a monster?”

Xuancheng looked again and indeed, the distance between the four claw marks suggested they weren’t much larger than an adult’s palm.

“Could it be… a humanoid demon?” Xuancheng couldn’t help but wonder. “Although most monsters are large in size, humanoid forms do exist. I remember the records mentioning…”

But Xuan Jinghe shook his head.

“Xuancheng, let me tell you something: the scariest thing in this world isn’t monsters, it’s human nature.” He stood up and calmly said, “Whenever I’m puzzled by the troubles caused by monsters, I turn to think about people, and often, I quickly find the answer.”

Xuan Jinghe closed the coffin lid with a loud bang, pressing the coffin nails back in one by one.

“Perhaps I’m overthinking it,” he concluded.

Xuancheng stood up blankly.

“Oh, by the way,” Xuan Jinghe changed the subject, “why did only you come back? Where’s Young Master Qu?”

“Oh, he’s cleaning a room for Lord.” Xuancheng hesitated for a moment before gathering his courage and said, “Lord Iron Sect Master, I have something to tell you!”

“What is it?”

“That Young Master Qu… he seems a bit strange. Perhaps we should send him away as soon as possible!”

“Oh?” Xuan Jinghe raised an eyebrow.

“He… he…” Xuancheng didn’t know how to describe the strange feeling he had, but he bit the bullet and continued, “He’s just an ordinary person but dares to follow us deep into these demonic lands. And he hasn’t shown any signs of backing down from the start to finish. I just feel like something is off about him! And even though he shows great respect to you, Master, I can’t help but find it strange. I don’t know how to explain…”

“I’ve noticed,” Xuan Jinghe said calmly.


“A wealthy playboy like him daring to follow us into these dangerous lands without hesitation does seem odd,” Xuan Jinghe paused and continued, “But I’ve personally checked his cultivation level, and he doesn’t even have the foundation, which aligns with his claim of only ‘casually practicing cultivation for a few days’ in the records. No one in this world can hide their true cultivation level from me, not even monsters or demons, unless he truly is a deity in human form.”

“So most of what he claims about his experiences should be true. There might be some false details about his background, but it doesn’t affect the overall picture.”

Xuancheng couldn’t help but argue, “But his behavior is still strange…”

Xuan Jinghe furrowed his straight and beautiful eyebrows. “If he really is a demon, then we can’t easily send him away. Would we not be harming others? “

Xuancheng was suddenly at a loss for words. 

Indeed, even if it was truly a malevolent spirit, it should be dealt with by Xuan Jinghe. Otherwise, would they push it out and harm the nearby villagers? 

“I understand your concerns,” Xuan Jinghe said, “Once the matter in Guicheng is settled, I will immediately return to Mount Dai and entrust him to the Immortal Alliance. By then, his background will surely be thoroughly investigated. If there truly is anything amiss, the Immortal Alliance will naturally handle it.” 

Xuancheng still couldn’t ease his mind. He felt that something was off, but he couldn’t articulate it. He followed Xuan Jinghe out of the woodshed, saying, “But…” 

Before he could finish his sentence, as they turned a corner, they came face to face with a black-robed youth standing there – none other than Qu Xie! 

“Daoist Xuan,” Qu Xian said with a smile, bowing courteously. 

Xuancheng’s heart pounded violently, he abruptly fell silent and stopped in his tracks, staring at the youth in disbelief and suspicion.

But Qu Xie’s smile at the corners of his eyes and lips was perfect like a mask, giving no indication whether he had heard the conversation just now. He respectfully turned to Xuan Jinghe and said, “Lord Iron Sect Master, I have prepared a quiet room. Please follow me to rest.”

Xuan Jinghe paused for a moment, then uttered a soft “Mmm” and proceeded forward. His tone remained indifferent. “Thank you.”

As they passed each other, Xuancheng dared not look at the young man’s expression. He hurriedly bowed his head and tried to catch up with Xuan Jinghe. However, in that moment of passing, he heard Qu Xie smilingly call out, “Daoist Xuan.”

“What… What are you doing?!”

Qu Xie clasped his hands within his sleeves, his black silk robe embroidered with intricate patterns. He wore a pair of wooden clogs casually beneath him. From any angle, he appeared to be a charming and amiable young man, with curved eyebrows, a smiling mouth, and even his gentle and slow speech seemed flawless:

“I’ve also prepared your resting place.”

A sudden inexplicable fear pierced through Xuancheng’s heart, leaving him rooted to the spot.

For some reason, his mind went blank, and he couldn’t utter a word, only staring wide-eyed as Qu Xie turned around, smiled, and walked away.


Indeed, Qu Xie had cleaned a clean room, but Xuan Jinghe didn’t go to stay there. This dilapidated courtyard in the deep mountains was too strange. He let Qu Xie, who had no self-defense ability, rest first. He gave him a talisman and instructed him not to come out easily no matter what happened outside. Then he asked Xuancheng to patrol every corner of the courtyard, checking if there were any ominous things, especially paying attention to the movements of the old lady.

Xuancheng’s expression was dazed, as if he was still worried that Qu Xie had overheard their conversation just now. He didn’t want to stay in the room for a moment longer, so he hurriedly agreed and left.

Xuan Jinghe declined Qu Xie’s attentive service and walked out of the courtyard gate alone, wearing his sword at his waist.

It was just past midnight, and the darkness in the mountains was enveloping. 

The old lady was still alive, indicating that if there were any demons, they shouldn’t have invaded the courtyard yet, at most lingering nearby. Xuan Jinghe sent Xuancheng to patrol every corner of the courtyard while he took a solitary stroll on the nearby mountain path. There was no wind in the valley this afternoon, but now the sound of the wind was like waves crashing from all sides, mingled with the strange smell of fallen leaves and decaying soil, whistling through the woods.

—As if countless resentful spirits were wandering in the mountains, but strangely, there was no trace of demonic energy.

Xuan Jinghe lowered his head, gazing at his left hand, curling and straightening his five fingers. The image of the wide-eyed male corpse and the ferocious claw marks at the neck flashed in his mind.

What kind of demonic beast could wreak havoc outside Guicheng?

At this moment, he faintly heard the sound of water ahead. Xuan Jinghe looked up and saw a crescent moon shining through the dark clouds, clearly reflecting a large sparkling lake not far down the hillside.

It turned out to be a lake!

Xuan Jinghe, being a clean freak, had been sweating lightly after walking all afternoon. Whenever he saw water, he couldn’t help but look around.

Apart from the hunter’s house nearby, the nearest village was more than ten miles away; in the lonely silence of the night, only the moonlight reflected thousands of broken lights on the lake surface.

Since his youth, Xuan Jinghe had traveled far and wide, slaying demons and monsters everywhere. He had long been accustomed to camping in the wilderness. He stood by the lake, took a deep breath, took off his outer robe, and threw it to the ground, then untied his cloud silk silver belt and removed the intricately woven inner garment.

Layer by layer, the robes fell to the ground, revealing his straight back, slender waist, and long legs, all bathed in the moonlight. Then he reached out and untied his headband, and his jet-black hair immediately cascaded down, reflecting fine specks of light.

He looked like a silhouette formed by the pure moonlight, his figure slim and tall, as he stepped into the lake.

His powerful spiritual energy spread out with the waves, slightly warming the cold lake water, emitting a faint mist of haze mixed with the strange smell of decayed leaves and soil.

Xuan Jinghe dove into the lake like a fish, then resurfaced, splashing water as he exhaled a long breath. He half-floated on the water, gazing up at the night sky, his mind pondering the various strange clues of the past few days.

Something must have happened in Guicheng, but the root cause was certainly in these nearby mountains.

Among the various major sects and families of the immortal world, there were common problems deeply rooted for centuries. The Zheng family, indulging in wine and lust, was one example, and the Zhao family, dominating in Guicheng, was another.

Was the Zhao family hiding something?

Xuan Jinghe closed his eyes, suddenly sensing an inexplicable fragrance wafting into his nostrils—sweet, like honey, and overwhelmingly cloying. He was startled!


Silver bell-like laughter echoed in his ears, spreading from one to ten, then to hundreds, instantly resounding from all directions.

Xuan Jinghe abruptly opened his eyes, only to see the surroundings spinning wildly. Countless enchanting women draped in veils emerged from the night air, their fragrance intoxicating, like descending from the clouds. Instantly, he recognized what this was—the Nine Heavens Demon-Falling Array!

This array originated from the Guiyuan. Any mortal cultivator who had the slightest hesitation would be affected. It could damage true yuan or even cause the explosion of a golden core. Countless cultivators had fallen into demonic paths because of it. How could it suddenly appear in such a desolate wilderness?!

“Is it Iron Sect Master?” “Iron Sect Master’s Xuan Jinghe?” Countless voluptuous bodies forcefully approached, like venomous snakes with their fangs dripping poison, their seductive calls echoing: “Iron Sect Master—”

“Xuan Jinghe—”

With a sky full of layer upon layer of veiled figures, Xuan Jinghe struggled to retreat from the encircling illusions. He formed hand seals to shatter several illusions, but the moment the illusions disappeared, even more demonesses were born on the spot. Ghostly shadows swirled above and below the water, filling his sight everywhere!

“Who is it?!” Xuan Jinghe’s heart was raging with anger. With a swift movement, he shouted loudly, “Sword, come forth!”

The Buqi Sword tore through the night sky like thunder, and his white satin robe followed suit. Xuan Jinghe quickly donned his robe with one hand and drew his sword with the other, causing powerful spiritual energy to ripple across the entire lake surface. Countless demonic illusions were shattered in the midst of their wails!

The force of the sword thrust pushed Xuan Jinghe backward, but the remaining demonic shadows continued to scream and dive toward him.

Xuan Jinghe was naturally strong-minded, unaffected by even the most tempting allure. He gathered his robe underwater with one hand and swung his sword horizontally with the other.

A dazzling arc of light burst forth, instantly turning the nearest demoness into ashes. But just as the sky was about to be cleared of demonic illusions, Xuan Jinghe suddenly stopped in his tracks.

His back was pressed against a hot chest.

The one who set up the formation was right behind him!

Xuan Jinghe’s first instinct was to turn around and swing his sword, but before he could do so, his right wrist was already grabbed by someone.

It was pitch dark, and he couldn’t see anything, but the restraint on his wrist was as immovable as an iron clamp. In the chaos, he heard the man behind him let out a low laugh, followed by a hand reaching around his waist and forcefully pulling him back!


The lake water instantly engulfed Xuan Jinghe’s head.

His white robe sleeves billowed in the water, occupying most of his field of vision. Xuan Jinghe wanted to struggle and turn his head, but he couldn’t. A formidable force, unimaginable in its strength, locked his entire body like iron chains. He felt the man behind him pressing close to his ear, his voice carrying a mocking tone:

“You are indeed a heart of stone. No temptation can sway you.”

His voice was obviously disguised, with a lazy and mocking tone, yet it was still clearly audible underwater.

Who on earth was this person?!

Xuan Jinghe wanted to ask in shock and anger, but all that came out was a series of bubbles. Then, his mouth and nose were tightly covered by a hand.

“Don’t make a sound, listen.”

—In the distance on the lake surface, the sound of the wind, which had been blowing since nightfall, became increasingly mournful and clear. The trees in the dark night swayed rapidly, as if thousands of cries were gradually converging, approaching the lakeside.

“You see,” the man’s arm wrapped around Xuan Jinghe, holding him tightly in front of him, whispered softly, “Everyone has given you hints. As long as you fall asleep, you can survive tonight. Why don’t you listen?”

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1 thought on “The Sword Named No Way Out Chapter 97”

  1. Ugh. Hurry up and get to how they save XJ. Every moment with that Ghost Prince makes me feel like I’m swimming in a sewer and I want to go take a shower….


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