After the people in the main hall dispersed, Pei Yunshu didn’t return to his own courtyard. Instead, he received a message from the young disciple that he had been relocated to the Three Days Peak, where the Grandmaster resided.
Three Days Peak was located at the edge of Shanshui Sect. Although it wasn’t as high as the Wuzhi Peak, it was remarkably vast and far, with extremely pure and abundant spiritual energy.
The young disciple informed him that his residence was halfway up Three Days Peak, quite far from the Grandmaster. After moving there, Pei Yunshu wouldn’t need to pay respects to the Grandmaster. Although Pei Yunshu felt dissatisfied with the arrangement, compared to his previous small courtyard, the Three Days Peak was indeed undisturbed and much quieter.
So, when he returned to his courtyard, he began packing his things. He didn’t have many belongings—just clothes, books, and a few small items.
However, as he was packing, Pei Yunshu found a piece of warm red jade.
This jade appeared to be soaked in blood, and it seemed to emit a red light. It was pure and flawless, and when he touched it, it felt warm. When Pei Yunshu saw this jade, his hand instinctively reached for his waist, but he didn’t find anything there.
He looked at his empty self, then at the red jade placed in the room, furrowing his brow slightly.
After finishing packing, he walked out and saw the young disciple digging up spirit plants. Pei Yunshu asked, “Why are you digging up these plants?”
The young disciple replied, “Senior brother, you always enjoy looking at these spirit plants. Since you’re moving, I thought I’d move these spirit plants for you too. If you ever want to see them, you won’t have to come back.”
Pei Yunshu looked at the lush spirit plants throughout the courtyard. He walked over and sat down at a stone table, gently caressing the carvings on it, and his gaze slowly drifted downwards.
Someone entered from outside, and when Pei Yunshu looked up, he saw three senior brothers.
Second senior brother sat down beside him, and as soon as he did, Pei Yunshu stood up. He looked at his second senior brother calmly and said, “Do you need something, senior brothers?”
Second senior brother didn’t speak but simply stared at him intently.
His dark eyes were shallow, reflecting the warmth of the sunlight. He was dressed in clean, white robes, and he exuded the fragrance of sandalwood from Wuzhi Peak. If placed on a stage or in a story, he would be the dashing and charming nobleman whom everyone would love.
“Junior brother,” Yuncheng smiled and said, “you were ill before, so I came to check your pulse.”
Pei Yunshu moved away from the hand that second senior brother extended and remained calm. He said, “If there’s nothing important, I’ll be on my way.”
From the bottom of his heart, a sense of dislike surged against the person in front of him.
This aversion was intense, and yet, he couldn’t find a reason for it. In his memory, second senior brother was noble and gentle, and they had no conflicts. However, Pei Yunshu followed his inner feelings, unwilling to hide his estrangement on the surface.
The young disciple had already finished packing, so Pei Yunshu picked him up and flew away on his sword, leaving the three senior brothers behind in his courtyard.
He felt neither attachment nor closeness.
Yuncheng looked at his hand, which was clean without a trace of blood, and his long, slender fingers with distinct joints. He couldn’t find any signs that he had held a sword and killed the fox.
He had forgotten everything, but still, did he not want to be close to him?
Yuncheng lowered his eyes, concealing the smile at the corner of his lips.
Three Days Peak had an especially peculiar terrain, named so because of three steep sections. Where the terrain was steep, there were flat areas suitable for residence. Pei Yunshu’s residence was the farthest from the mountaintop.
As soon as he entered his room, he saw that the table was piled high with hairbands. Upon closer inspection, there were hairbands made from various colored fabrics, including delicate silk.
Pei Yunshu glanced at the young disciple waiting by the door.
The young disciple didn’t know either. “There weren’t any hairbands in the room when I cleaned it earlier.”
Pei Yunshu waved his hand, and the cloth on the table were sent to the young disciple in front of him. “Then throw them away.”
The young disciple hesitated. “Senior brother, there are many valuable hairbands among these materials. Look at this one; it’s woven by the East Sea Merfolk. It won’t even burn when exposed to fire.”
“In that case, they’re yours,” Pei Yunshu said, “go out.”
The young disciple reluctantly complied and closed the door.
He held the hairbands in his arms and felt that his senior brother was acting strangely today. It was as if his whole demeanor had turned cold.
The sun was setting in the sky, casting dim light inside the room. Pei Yunshu meticulously organized the items in his storage pouch. When he untied the hairband, he found himself lost in thought again. Finally, he walked behind a folding screen, untied his outer robe, and removed his undergarments. However, when he lowered his head and looked, his skin was white and unblemished, devoid of anything.
He stood in place for a while, then put his clothes back on and walked out from behind the screen.
Pei Yunshu poured a cup of cold tea and drank it. After finishing the tea, he sat at the table in a daze, as if a part of him had emptied, and there was nothing left to do.
The tea leaves in the cup floated up and sank again. Pei Yunshu lowered his gaze and watched the fluctuations of the tea leaves.
In the water mirror was a reflection of Pei Yunshu’s face.
His hair was unbound, falling on his shoulders, which accentuated his face, as white as jade. His long lashes hung down, and it seemed as if his gaze was also looking through the water mirror at someone.
He was exceptionally focused, as if completely absorbed.
Venerable Wuwang stared at the water mirror, his heart in turmoil. The water mirror trembled along with his emotions and then disappeared.
Venerable Wuwang remained silent for a while, closed his eyes, and recited the clear heart mantra.
He recited the mantra for a full hour, feeling that his Dao Heart had stabilized. Then he regained his composure, waved his sleeve, and summoned the water mirror.
His Dao Heart was now steady, and there should be no more disturbances.
But as soon as the water mirror appeared, it showed a scene of Pei Yunshu undressing to bathe.
The water mirror trembled violently this time and disappeared before he could retract it. It turned into ordinary water and splashed heavily on the ground.
Venerable Wuwang closed his eyes, his ears reddened, and he arched his back in pain.
Pei Yunshu said, “Who’s there?”
Qingyue sword leaped from the edge of the pond, half-drawn, and ready for action.
The sword gleamed with a green light, but everything around was silent.
Pei Yunshu walked on the water’s surface and approached the edge of the pond. To his surprise, a snake as thick as a finger fell from a tree branch.
Pei Yunshu’s breath caught, and he instinctively stepped back dozens of steps until his back pressed against the door. It took him a moment to realize that it was just a snake.
But he shouldn’t be afraid of snakes.
He raised his hand and looked at his palm silently. Just a while ago, there was a sharp pain, probably because he had pierced his palm with his nails due to nervousness.
However, when he looked at the palm bathed in candle light, he saw a thin wisp of milky-white spiritual energy wrapping around the wound. In the next moment, the tiny wound disappeared.
Pei Yunshu stared at his palm in a daze for a long time. He clenched his hand, and his expression darkened.
He gently flicked his fingertip, and the candle light in the room instantly extinguished. There was only moonlight spilling into the courtyard, casting a pale glow.
Pei Yunshu took out a dagger from his storage pouch, threw it into the air, and in the next moment, a sound of sharpness piercing flesh rang out. The small snake was nailed to the ground, twitching a few times before dying completely.
After a while, Pei Yunshu approached and touched the snake.
He held the snake in his hand, forced himself to pick it up, and when he moved, the long, slender body of the snake shivered as if it were still alive.
Smooth and cold, the snake’s head seemed like it could snap around at any moment and bite his wrist mercilessly.
Pei Yunshu stared silently at the small snake. When his hand stopped trembling, he threw the snake aside and returned to the room.
Early the next morning, the young disciple discovered the dead snake in the courtyard.
He threw the snake away and waited in front of Pei Yunshu’s door for a while. After calling out for a moment without any response from inside, he realized that his senior brother had already left.
Pei Yunshu flew slowly on his sword, searching for snakes in the jungle on Three Days Peak. He encountered big snakes and small snakes, but he didn’t kill them. Instead, he immobilized these snakes and touched them.
From the moment it was slightly dark until the sun rose, his lips grew paler, but his consciousness became clearer.
When he finally emerged from the jungle, he suddenly realized that he had been going upward all along and had arrived at the grandmaster’s residence.
He was about to leave when Qingyue, his sword, seemed to have noticed something and carried him even higher. It rushed eagerly and entered a room.
This room was like a heavenly abode, with clouds and mist outside the window overlooking the mountain peak. The mist seemed to have drifted in through the window. There were also several elegant paintings hanging on the wall, making it seem like the dwelling of an immortal.
However, Pei Yunshu didn’t notice any of these things. He only saw a small black and gold tower on the table in front of him.
Although the tower was small, it appeared quite majestic on the table. It felt as if something in his core had jumped. Pei Yunshu was in a daze, sweeping his inner senses and discovering a translucent white core enveloped in golden light had emerged from his golden core and was now jumping up and down inside him.
Pei Yunshu should have examined this white core to determine its nature, but at this moment, he couldn’t spare any mental focus. His eyes were fixed on the black and gold tower in front of him. He reached out with a fingertip and touched the tower.
As soon as he touched it, the tower suddenly moved.
Pei Yunshu blinked, leaned closer to the tightly sealed door of the tower, and softly asked, “Is there someone inside?”
After saying these words, Pei Yunshu clenched his hand.
The empty space in his chest that had cleared earlier now felt different.
However, he received no response from inside the tower. Instead, the tower disappeared abruptly.
Pei Yunshu slowly turned around, and the grandmaster was standing at the door, dressed in white, his expression indifferent.
“Grandmaster,” he said, “what is that tower?”
The Grandmaster lowered his eyes, avoiding Pei Yunshu’s gaze, and spoke in a cold tone, “You shouldn’t be here.”
Pei Yunshu was only concerned about the whereabouts of the tower. He approached the Grandmaster, but as he took a step closer, Venerable Wuwang retreated one step at a time.
The two moved from inside the room to the outside. This place was the summit, shrouded in mist. Beyond it was a steep cliff.
Venerable Wuwang continued to back away until they were in the courtyard and then near the edge of a ten thousand-foot cliff.
Pei Yunshu finally stopped in his tracks. He cast an inquisitive look at the Grandmaster and his voice, as if carried away by the wind, trembled, “Grandmaster, are you afraid of me?”
The Grandmaster’s expression remained unchanged, and his tone was as cold as ice shards. “Nonsense.”
“Then why won’t you look at me, Grandmaster?” Pei Yunshu asked.
Venerable Wuwang’s eyes briefly showed signs of struggle. He finally raised his gaze to look at Pei Yunshu.
The sunlight outside was perfect, casting a golden sheen on Pei Yunshu’s hair. His features were clear, his lips red, his teeth white. His bright eyes were fixed unwaveringly on Venerable Wuwang.
Intense pain began to surge in his sea of consciousness. His cultivation at Nascent Divinity stage had turned into torment.
Venerable Wuwang closed his eyes in pain, continuously reciting the Clear Mind Mantra.
In the ruthless path of Dao, if one touched upon emotions, it would be an unfathomable abyss.
Pei Yunshu was like poison to him. A single touch and there would be no return, Dao Heart shattered. Just one glance, and it would be as if a thousand ants were gnawing at his heart.
It couldn’t be touched, couldn’t be tainted.
But how could he resist it?