Pei Yunshu felt completely powerless in his body. He was clear-minded but could only lie limp in Zhuyou’s arms.
Bai Lige placed the wooden box containing the Gu corpse’s body aside and suddenly furrowed his brows, sensing that someone had entered the mansion.
“Weird,” Bai Lige exclaimed, “In a hundred years, this is the first time someone has dared to intrude into my mansion.”
Pei Yunshu asked with effort, “Who is it?”
“Just a little cultivator,” Bai Lige said, his expression suddenly turning cold, “This is bad, Little Fox Grandson!”
In an instant, he flew outwards, and when Pei Yunshu heard this, a sense of foreboding washed over him. He pulled on Zhuyou’s clothes and said, “Zhuyou… let’s go after him…”
Zhuyou carried him and flew after Bai Lige.
The chilly wind brushed their faces, making them shiver. Their hands and feet grew cold, and a sinking feeling settled in their hearts.
Zhuyou blocked Pei Yunshu’s view, and the darkness was not as comforting as before; instead, it filled them with apprehension about what might go wrong.
But when Pei Yunshu saw Huayue lying on the ground with a piece missing from his chest, he felt like he was falling into an abyss.
He stared blankly at Huayue, wanting to get closer to see, but Zhuyou suddenly pulled him back. The water separated into streams, attacking the spot where they had just stood. A clear sound of a sword being unsheathed rang out, and a figure appeared in that location.
Dozens of sharp swords behind Yuncheng were scattered by the water, but he paid no attention to it. He simply turned to look at the sword formation and then continued to focus on Pei Yunshu.
“Junior brother,” he stood tall and straight, one hand behind his back, gazing at the fading moon, and smiled, “It’s been a long time.”
A chill rose from the depths of Pei Yunshu’s heart. He stared at Yuncheng, hands trembling uncontrollably. “You killed Huayue.”
He trembled uncontrollably, his eyes unfocused, displaying a myriad of emotions. His eyes reddened, and in this state, he appeared even more beautiful than when he was emotionally stirred.
Yuncheng raised an eyebrow, and before he could say anything, the slender sword behind him blocked Bai Lige’s attack, protecting him from the strike.
Bai Lige gripped his long spear, and with a high-pitched, windless sound, his eyes were sharp and cold. His silver armor exuded a commanding presence. When his first strike was blocked by Yuncheng, he wasted no time and launched another attack.
However, this strike was intercepted by a cuff, and a green sword counterattacked. The sword approached Bai Lige’s chest, its tip bearing runes, and almost reached him before he managed to dodge it.
“Why have you injured my disciple?” the voice of Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master calmly interjected, “State your reasons.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master stood high above, and the attack with the powerful sword was just a means to save Yuncheng’s life.
His robes fluttered, his brows were cold yet indifferent, and his gaze swept over the people below one by one. Only when he saw his Fourth Disciple in the arms of a demonic beast did he slightly furrow his brows.
“Yunshu,” he said displeased, “Stand up.”
Pei Yunshu instinctively pushed Zhuyou away and stood up with shaky legs. But once he was standing, his reaction left him dumbfounded.
“Why would I kill your disciple? It was your disciple who killed my Little Fox Grandson in my mansion,” Bai Lige slammed his long spear into the ground, causing the earth to tremble, plants to fall, and the ground to roar like a dragon. His face showed several scars, each cutting deep into his flesh, but Bai Lige seemed oblivious to the pain. He looked handsome but horrifying, “Life for a life. You, little Daoist, should leave now.”
The silver armor rustled in the wind, and the battle intent ignited by the long spear resonated in the air.
Zhuyou protected Pei Yunshu and growled lowly, his eyes flickering with restlessness.
The faint flood dragon roar intensified the shaking of the mountains and the earth. Bai Lige laughed heartily and finally let go of the last bit of discomfort in his heart, “Thank you, my husband’s adulterer for joining the fray. Ge is going to step forward now.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master had a deep frown in his eyes. Instead of drawing his sword, he drew symbols in the air. When he made the final stroke, the long spear was already rushing towards him. However, when the symbol shone with golden light, it headed towards Bai Lige.
This symbol seemed to weigh a thousand pounds, and Bai Lige was forcefully pushed back to the ground. The ground caved in, and the symbol continued to press down on him.
“Have you forgotten that you are a demon ghost?” Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master said, “Fine, if it’s as you say, that my disciple injured your fox grandchild, I have no intention of harming your life. With your profound cultivation, you were once a great general among the demons. If you choose the righteous path, you can transform from a ghost back into a demon within a hundred years. In exchange for your fox grandchild, I can grant you the method of demon transformation.”
Bai Lige sneered, trying to exert force, but his demon ghost body was severely constrained. He bore many wounds, and those scars resembled torture marks, explaining why not a drop of blood had been shed. It turned out that Bai Lige had become a demon ghost.
Zhuyou transformed into a flood dragon, roared into the sky, and with a sweep of his tail, shattered the symbol that had been pressing on Bai Lige. The golden light dissipated in the air and disappeared in an instant.
Bai Lige said loudly, “Thank you, little brother.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master deepened his frown. He suddenly looked towards the mansion’s main gate, waved his sleeves in the air, and Pei Yunshu’s two senior brothers and junior brother appeared in that area.
Pei Yunshu looked at his master, then at his senior brothers and junior brother. He slowly retreated, moving back to Huayue’s side.
Huayue’s body gradually softened from stone to flesh. His amber eyes widened with fear and shimmering tears.
When he hadn’t cried, Huayue cried for him; now that Huayue couldn’t cry, Pei Yunshu shed tears for him.
He cried silently, tears falling onto Huayue’s body. But his tears were unusually difficult, as if a suppressed cry was hiding a wild beast, requiring a hunched back, a bent waist, and tightly clenched fists to contain it.
Yuncheng watched him, and his senior brothers who had been swept into the mansion by the wind watched him too.
“What is Fourth Junior Brother crying for?” Third Senior Brother asked.
Yuncheng looked at the fox lying on the ground and whispered, “He’s crying because I killed that fox.”
The senior brothers and junior brother fell silent.
Yunwang had just established his foundation and was protected by his eldest senior brother. He quietly watched Pei Yunshu across from him.
From his hair to his clenched fists, and then to his hunched back and pointed toes, Yunshu senior brother was so heartbroken that his entire body trembled. His black hair covered his face, making it impossible to see his expression clearly, but drops of tears fell onto the fox lying dead on the ground.
Drop by drop, he gave them all to that fox.
“Second Senior Brother,” Yunwang said, “You shouldn’t have killed that fox.”
His voice seemed to dissipate with the wind. “You killed him, and now Yunshu senior brother will remember that fox forever.”
Now, the memories of his senior brother for that fox were engraved in time.
Yuncheng frowned upon hearing this.
When Pei Yunshu cried, Zhuyou’s anger surged. He circled in the air, his flood dragon form ferocious, his jet-black vertical pupils glaring intensely, and his murderous intent was as sharp as a sword, piercing through.
The wind surrounded his entire body, and the flood dragon’s might was terrifying. Fortunately, there was a barrier in the mansion that kept them separated, or else the entire demon ghost market might have been torn apart by this flood dragon.
Trees and plants fell to the ground, the earth turned, and water in the pond rose into the air, creating surging waves like a sea.
The red moon was obscured by black clouds, and Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master cast a protective barrier for his disciples, then looked towards the flood dragon and the demon ghost behind it, and finally at Pei Yunshu.
“Yunshu,” he commanded, “Go to your senior brothers.”
Pei Yunshu knelt by Huayue’s side, his black hair covering his face. It seemed as if he hadn’t heard Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s words.
Bai Lige said, “Husband, stay here and watch. Watch how I and husband’s adulterer, drive this seemingly righteous Daoist out.”
Zhuyou’s tail swept fiercely, and Bai Lige dodged with a bitter smile. “Alright, alright, you’re the wife, and I’m the adulterer.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s voice grew colder, and he began to gather his true qi. “Yunshu.”
Eldest senior brother and the others were trapped within their master’s barrier, unable to attack from outside, nor could they leave.
Yunwang stared at Pei Yunshu, feeling his heart pounding violently, his temples throbbing, causing his head to ache.
He fixed his gaze on his senior brother in the distance, sensing that something was amiss, and his breathing became tense.
The scene fell into silence. Zhuyou and Bai Lige stood in front of Pei Yunshu and Huayue, while Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master moved past them to look at his Fourth Disciple.
His Fourth Disciple seemed to have not heard his words. Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master frowned deeper and finally called out, “Yunshu.”
His hand was raised, and if Pei Yunshu didn’t move, he would wave his sleeve to send a gust of wind to move him into the barrier behind him.
He used to be so obedient and well-behaved, why is he acting like this?
It seemed like the experience of traveling down the mountain had corrupted him, making him hide behind demons while the sect was right there, unable to distinguish right from wrong.
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master had yet to make a move, but Pei Yunshu finally reacted.
He stood up slowly from beside Huayue, his movements sluggish. When he faced his sect, his eyes were already suppressing his tears.
Only the crimson corners of his eyes revealed that he had indeed cried.
Pei Yunshu stood in place, looking at the people in front of him.
Master, senior brother, junior brother.
He looked at each one of them.
In this life and the previous, he only knew these few people in front of him.
Memories of pain and joy were always associated with them.
Master had locked him in a small courtyard on Wuzhi Peak, accusing him of being greedy.
Every plant and rock in that courtyard, every table and stone, Pei Yunshu still remembered sitting at the stone table and lying on the grass, staring at the familiar sky.
The clouds in the sky were the most interesting because they were outside the barrier, and every cloud was unique.
A single glance could occupy his entire day.
Master said he was a heartless wolf, so he was. When Master locked him in the small courtyard, Pei Yunshu spent his days in anxiety.
That day when he woke up, Yuncheng stood at the bedside, holding the scabbard of Qingyue Sword in his hand.
Qingyue Sword was sealed in the earth, and it didn’t look like a sword anymore. Swords had spirits, and though the scabbard didn’t, it was still connected to Qingyue Sword’s will.
Pei Yunshu fell off the bed that day, and his cultivation was sealed. He was terrified by Yuncheng, and he crawled towards the door, away from Second Senior Brother.
The scabbard of Qingyue Sword was held by Yuncheng. It resisted and let out a mournful cry from the sealed Qingyue Sword.
Pei Yunshu’s clothes were covered in dust, his hair fell to the ground, and he crawled out, shedding tears along the way.
But no matter how he begged, Yuncheng still smiled and used the scabbard of Qingyue Sword to break both his legs.
From that day on, he couldn’t see any of the plants or clouds in the courtyard anymore.
Pei Yunshu’s gaze passed over each of them, and his eyes were filled with indescribable emotions. When he looked at each of them, it felt as if a hand had suddenly clenched his heart.
“Fourth Junior Brother…” he unconsciously called out.
Of course, it was impossible not to feel hatred.
But Pei Yunshu dared not provoke them. The more profound the memories of the latter part of his life, the more they festered like maggots on a bone.
He wanted to remain calm and indifferent. If the sect didn’t care about him, their little disciple, it would be better.
The sea might be vast, but there were fish that couldn’t cross it. The sky might be wide, but there were birds that couldn’t fly up to it.
Pei Yunshu took out a wooden plaque from his pocket. His name, “Yunshu,” was written on it.
This was a disciple’s wooden plaque from the sect. Every disciple of the Shanshui Sect had one. Countless cultivators in the world had schemed to obtain this wooden plaque, and many had aspired to join the Shanshui Sect just to become a part of it.
“Yunshu apologizes to Master,” Pei Yunshu forced a smile. “I feel guilty for the kindness Master has shown in nurturing me.”
He crushed the wooden plaque, and the words “Yunshu” suddenly lit up. Then, as the broken pieces fell, they dimmed.
The wooden pieces shattered into fragments, lifted by the wind from Pei Yunshu’s hand, and scattered like smoke.
“From now on, I am no longer a disciple of the Shanshui Sect.”