Helplessly watching as Pei Yunshu crushed the wooden plaque, Yunwang felt as if something had deeply pierced his mind. His mental sea churned, causing intense pain, making him wish he could roll on the ground.
It was as if the top of his head had been forcefully lifted open, and the wooden plaque from the Shanshui Sect disintegrated in Pei Yunshu’s hand, dissipating like smoke. Yunwang endured the excruciating pain, his limbs twitching uncontrollably, and his eyes turned crimson. He stared intently at Pei Yunshu, and the longer he looked, the more he felt a surge of energy rushing towards his mental sea.
However, Pei Yunshu didn’t pay any attention to him. Not only did he ignore him, but he also didn’t acknowledge any of his senior or junior brothers. He simply bent deeply towards Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master and then stood up, preparing to pick up Huayue.
Huayue’s physical form now looked like that of an ordinary person, with a beautiful face as if he had not died at all.
He always said he had three tails, but Pei Yunshu was afraid. He feared that Huayue had counted wrongly, or perhaps these tails were not a sign of his fate. However, before Pei Yunshu could approach Huayue, a sword thrust into the ground in front of him, right before his toes.
“Yunshu,” Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s anger couldn’t be contained any longer. His voice was as deep as an abyss, “Do you even know what you’re doing?”
It was just a fox! Just a fox!
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master was so furious that even his fingers under his sleeve were trembling. The overwhelming aura around him seemed to freeze the air, containing the wrath of a thunderstorm.
Pei Yunshu looked at the sword thrust in front of his shoe with a calm expression. He walked around it and approached Huayue. Gently, he closed Huayue’s eyes and lifted him up.
“Fourth Junior Brother,” Yuncheng said, “Is it just because I killed a fox that you want to leave the sect?”
Pei Yunshu raised his gaze to Yuncheng. His eyes were so calm, and the hint of red in the corners of his eyes, far from softening his indifference, made him seem even more cold and distant. “You once made a promise to me, but you failed to keep it.”
Yuncheng clenched his fist expressionlessly, and his internal injuries had not fully healed. Now, it was as if he had been struck deep into his chest, and his mouth was filled with a metallic taste of blood. His eyes were dark and terrifying.
A powerful gust of wind suddenly rose beneath Pei Yunshu’s feet. This wind lifted Huayue from his embrace and carried him towards Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master. Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master swung his sleeve, unleashing an overwhelming rage towards the flood dragon and the demon.
The water currents broke through the wind Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master had summoned. Pei Yunshu was freed and rushed to catch up to Huayue. After dispersing the hurricane surrounding Huayue, Zhuyou and Bai Lige had already attacked Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master.
All three were highly skilled, and their battle caused mountains to crumble and the earth to shatter. Pei Yunshu held Huayue, avoiding falling boulders and uprooted trees. In less than a moment, the mansion was left in ruins and devastation.
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master, with his profound cultivation, began to feel the strain even when facing the combined attack of the flood dragon and the demon ghost. Clasping Huayue in his arms, Pei Yunshu couldn’t help but exert force in his hands. He said, “Master, please go back; let this be our farewell.”
“Wishful thinking!” Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s robes billowed, and his anger surged. Although he wielded his sword with increasing speed, entangling with Bai Lige’s long spear, he couldn’t stop Zhuyou’s sharp claws.
Zhuyou’s claws were about to pierce through Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s chest. Pei Yunshu’s breath caught, and his heart seemed to stop suddenly. Just at that moment, a white light flashed before his eyes. A heavy blow struck the back of his neck, causing him to lose consciousness.
A vast green leaf spread out on the ground, catching Pei Yunshu as he fell backward.
As the red moon descended, the sky was tinged with dusk. Only in the Demon Ghost Market, illuminated by the setting sun and the approaching night, a deafening roar suddenly echoed.
A bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, and clouds gathered into a massive sword in the heavens. It descended with incredible force, bearing down on the flood dragon and the demon ghost.
Zhuyou and Bai Lige were pinned beneath the heavy clouds. Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s expression became solemn, and he turned to kneel on the ground. “Master.”
As the rosy light suddenly broke through, painting the sky in hues of pink, Yunjing and the others felt a faint yet sticky sense of majesty pervading the area. This pressure wasn’t overwhelming, but it made it difficult to breathe. They followed Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s gaze as he turned around and were frozen in their tracks.
Yunwang had undergone a dramatic transformation in just a short period. He appeared to have aged several hundred years, with a cold demeanor, increased stature, and eyes that slanted upwards, as cold as the frost atop a snow-capped mountain. His entire being exuded a strong aura of sword intent, and his once youthful appearance had lost any trace of innocence.
“En,” Venerable Wuwang responded indifferently. With a light touch of his fingertip, a Demon-Sealing Tower appeared before them. His gaze shifted to the flood dragon below, and amidst the swirling mist, Zhuyou and Bai Lige, who had been struggling, were sucked into the tower.
The mist dissipated, and he floated gently in the air.
A green leaf carried Pei Yunshu to his side. Venerable Wuwang gazed down at the peacefully slumbering Pei Yunshu, and his long lashes fluttered like butterfly wings.
He finally restrained himself and remained motionless as he gazed at Pei Yunshu for a while. Then, he turned to look at Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master.
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master said, “Yunjing, bring your junior brothers to pay their respects to the Grandmaster.”
Eldest senior brother suppressed his astonishment, and the three of them sincerely bowed to Venerable Wuwang.
They hadn’t known that there was a Grandmaster in the Shanshui Sect, let alone that this Grandmaster had once been their little junior brother. However, they had to accept the reality, no matter how unbelievable it was.
Just as they finished bowing, the Demon-Sealing Tower trembled violently. Venerable Wuwang raised his eyes, contemplated for a moment, and the Demon-Sealing Tower vanished into thin air.
He remained emotionally detached in every gesture. Even when facing his former disciples, he seemed like a stranger.
However, Yuncheng spoke up, “Master, what should we do about Junior Brother Yunshu?”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master, with a stern expression, replied, “Place him in confinement on the back mountain.”
Venerable Wuwang’s long eyelashes trembled slightly as he looked into the distance at the rosy light. His face appeared ethereal in the warm glow, like a transcendent being. He remained silent.
Third senior brother stayed silent for a long time before finally speaking up, “What if Fourth Junior Brother still wants to leave when he wakes up?”
When this question was posed, the atmosphere fell into silence.
Everyone had seen the determination in Pei Yunshu’s eyes when he crushed the sect’s wooden plaque. He had been obedient and docile before, but now he had shattered the plaque and was resolved to leave the sect. Would imprisoning him on the back mountain truly dispel his thoughts of leaving?
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master gazed at the lead carrying Pei Yunshu. However, he suddenly seemed to become absent-minded for a moment, and the image of Pei Yunshu, his eyes red, crushing the wooden plaque flashed before his eyes.
Yunshu had grown from a child when he first came to the mountain. Today, for the first time, he defied Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master’s orders.
He had been clingy in the past, which was quite bothersome, but now that he wanted to leave, having crushed the sect’s wooden plaque, Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master felt a myriad of emotions and a surge of anger.
After a moment, he seemed tired and said, “Let it be. Doesn’t he wish to gain experience outside the mountain? When he wakes up, let him go on his journey.”
Eldest senior brother remained silent beside him. After hearing Master’s decision, he finally spoke up, “Master, knowing Junior Brother Yunshu’s temperament, he won’t easily give up.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master: “Then what do you suggest?”
His tone grew colder.
Yunjing remained silent for an even longer time this time. It wasn’t until a dried branch fell from the side of his body, brushing against an ancient tree, that he whispered, “Seal the memories of junior brother.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master was about to enter into the consciousness of Pei Yunshu, but he was stopped by Venerable Wuwang. Venerable Wuwang’s face remained cold as he said, “I’ll handle it.”
He took out a piece of silk cloth from his sleeve and placed it on Pei Yunshu’s forehead. A hand holding a sword reached out over the cloth. Pei Yunshu’s face was dusted with debris from the collapsed walls. His eyes carried a hint of redness, and his ink-like brows furrowed, showing signs of deep unease.
Venerable Wuwang cast a brief glance at him, and his fingertip trembled slightly. He then closed his eyes, unwilling to watch any longer. Spiritual energy flowed from his palm into Pei Yunshu’s consciousness.
Thousands of memories flashed before his eyes one by one. It was unclear what he saw, but Venerable Wuwang’s hand, placed on Pei Yunshu’s forehead, suddenly shook violently, nearly slipping from his forehead.
Pei Yunshu’s complexion grew increasingly distressed, and tiny beads of sweat formed on his temples. He curled up his body, and his hand inadvertently grabbed onto the clothing of the person beside him.
However, this grip caused Venerable Wuwang to display signs of pain. His other hand reached out to remove Pei Yunshu’s wrist from his grasp, and his fingertips were about to touch Pei Yunshu’s skin when he suddenly stopped.
It was as if, to him, Pei Yunshu was some terrifying beast that, once touched, would drag him into an abyss, leaving no trace behind.
Before Pei Yunshu could wake up, he heard the crisp sound of bird calls in his ears.
He slowly opened his eyes and heard a young voice outside, “Senior Brother, wake up quickly. Our Grandmaster is coming out of seclusion today and wants to meet his disciples.”
Pei Yunshu was momentarily stunned. He dressed quickly, opened the door, and found a young disciple waiting for him. He felt like he hadn’t fully woken up. He asked, “Who are you saying is coming out of seclusion?”
“Our Grandmaster, of course,” the young disciple said matter-of-factly. “Venerable Wuwang. He broke through the Nascent Divinity stage yesterday. Today, many sects are coming to congratulate him. Senior Brother, hurry and get ready to go to the main hall.”
Pei Yunshu closed the door behind him and stood there, looking dazed.
Was there really a Grandmaster in the sect?
It felt like he was in a dream, so he pinched himself hard on the arm. His arm turned red from the pinch, and the pain confirmed that this was not a dream.
He turned around and saw neatly stacked clothes by the bedside. He looked down at himself, and the clothes he was wearing were no different from those worn by disciples of the Shanshui Sect.
Pei Yunshu glanced at the clothes and decided not to change. He walked over to the table and sat down.
There was water in a jug, and Pei Yunshu poured himself a glass. The water had been sitting there for a while, and it had lost its warmth, feeling cold to the touch.
He took a sip, and the cool water slid down his throat. The sunlight from the window shone brightly on the table, creating a clear and pristine atmosphere. Pei Yunshu blinked his eyes and felt as if he had just bitten into a sour fruit. His whole body seemed to be filled with a sourness from the inside out.
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