The Grandmaster stood at the edge of the cliff, his eyes closed, as if he would rather fall off the cliff than look at Pei Yunshu.
He looked as charming as peach blossoms, but his demeanor was as cold as an ancient Buddha. It was absurd to see a celestial being like him showing such an expression to Pei Yunshu. He continued to recite the Clear Heart Mantra, and Pei Yunshu found it particularly surreal.
Pei Yunshu’s gaze shifted from the Grandmaster to the cliff behind him.
A ten thousand-foot cliff might not be much to cultivators, especially for a Nascent Divinity stage master like the Grandmaster.
“Grandmaster,” he lowered his eyes, casting a shadow on his lower eyelids, “I want to know what that tower is.”
Venerable Wuwang continued to recite the Clear Heart Mantra.
His voice was icy, and his expression was as cold as snow. It was as if his voice, along with Pei Yunshu’s, had been isolated by the Clear Heart Mantra.
In the end, Pei Yunshu left.
After he had left, Venerable Wuwang dared to open his eyes. He looked at the spot where Pei Yunshu had stood, but after one glance, he didn’t dare to look a second time.
Pei Yunshu went to the library on his sword.
The Shanshui Sect’s library had a vast collection of books, including various cultivation methods and Dao techniques. The higher the floor, the rarer the books became, and the more difficult it was to access. But this time, Pei Yunshu went to the miscellaneous books section, which was much simpler.
He searched through books, one by one, looking for an explanation of the black and gold tower. He flipped through countless books until the sun set. Finally, he found an explanation of the tower in one of the books.
It turned out to be a Demon-sealing Tower.
Pei Yunshu’s fingertips slid over these three words, and as he stared at them, his eyes felt dry, as if he had read too much.
A fellow disciple passed by his side, and Pei Yunshu closed the book, carrying it with him as he left the library. Outside, the sky was bathed in a sea of clouds, and he stared blankly for a long time until he was awakened by an elder who passed by. Then, he snapped back to reality and flew back to Three Days Peak.
But it was strange.
Pei Yunshu placed his hand on his core.
What was the connection between that tower and him? Why was his natal Sword in such a hurry, and why was that translucent white core in such a hurry as well?
Although he didn’t know where the white core had come from, after examining it, he found it had no drawbacks and only benefits. Besides, if it had malicious intent, it would have destroyed his golden core long ago, so why would it heal him?
Countless things, whether events or objects, in his memories, felt like a chain with broken links, always missing a piece here and a piece there.
On that day, his second senior brother had come to check his pulse. Illness? He didn’t remember being ill.
He thought slowly and flew to Three Days Peak, returning to his room and lighting a lamp. He continued to read that book.
However, no matter how many times he flipped through it, the book only mentioned that the tower was a Demon-sealing Tower, but it didn’t explain how to use it or how to unlock it.
Pei Yunshu closed the book and walked out of the room, looking towards the distant mountain peak that he couldn’t see.
He wanted to see that tower again.
What should he do to see the tower again?
The next morning, as the cold dew glistened, Pei Yunshu stood in front of the grandmaster’s door.
Dewdrops adorned his hair and clung to his long eyelashes. Although the sky had transitioned from night to day, there was still no sign of anyone coming out of the room.
Pei Yunshu waited patiently, but even as the sun reached its zenith, there was no movement from within the room.
He approached the door and called out softly, “Grandmaster.”
There was no response from inside the room. Pei Yunshu pushed the door open and found it empty. There was no one inside, and even the Demon Sealing Tower that had been on the table was gone.
For the next three days, Pei Yunshu didn’t see the Grandmaster on the mountaintop.
If the Grandmaster didn’t want to see him, he could simply set up a barrier. Could a mere golden core stage cultivator like Pei Yunshu break through his barrier?
However, there was clearly no barrier. Venerable Wuwang was simply not on Three Days Peak. Even the little disciple was missing. Pei Yunshu waited from night to night and still didn’t see him.
When he returned empty-handed once again, Pei Yunshu caught a colorful snake on the way down the mountain.
The snake looked flashy, with a length not exceeding the size of a table. He enclosed it in a water bubble and brought it back to his residence.
After sitting in the courtyard, Pei Yunshu stared at the colorful snake, his expression changing constantly. He drank cup after cup of cold tea and then summoned the little disciple. “Do you know if this snake is poisonous?”
The young disciple examined the snake closely and said, “Senior brother, this snake is venomous.”
Pei Yunshu asked, “What kind of venom?”
The young disciple hesitated and stammered, “Love poison.”
Pei Yunshu fell silent for a moment and then dismissed the young disciple.
His gaze remained fixed on the colorful snake, and as the day turned into night, he closed his eyes and entered the water bubble, trembling as he inserted his fingertip into it.
The colorful snake eagerly lunged at his finger, and the pain extended from his fingertip to his heart.
Pei Yunshu’s eyelashes quivered, but his expression grew colder.
After his meditation, Venerable Wuwang opened his eyes and looked at the empty room. After a moment of contemplation, he intended to close his eyes and continue meditating.
However, he couldn’t calm his mind. Eventually, he sighed deeply, waved his hand, and conjured a water mirror to see if Pei Yunshu was still waiting outside his door.
He knew that looking at the water mirror would shake his own Dao heart, but he couldn’t help it. The cold air was so heavy in the night, and on top of Three Days Peak, Pei Yunshu was being so stubborn. If something happened to him, it wouldn’t be… it wouldn’t be easy to explain to Ling Qing.
But as soon as the water mirror appeared, Venerable Wuwang’s breath hitched.
Pei Yunshu was lying on the bed, and the gauzy curtains swayed gently. The bedding was in disarray, with layer upon layer of wrinkles.
His face was flushed, his eyes glistened at the corners, and his black hair spread across the bed. The sheets were pure white, but there was no trace of the bright red seen in his eyes. He rubbed against the bed, his expression pained, and occasionally he opened his eyes, filled with an unbearable light.
Would it come?
Pei Yunshu closed his eyes, his expression growing more agonized. He bit his lip tightly, his lip trembling, as he resisted the urge to make a muffled sound.
His breathing grew heavier, his skin hotter, and yet his consciousness grew clearer.
Finally, there was a loud noise, and the door was forcefully pushed open. Someone picked up Pei Yunshu and flew out with him.
The chilling wind blew away the burning sensation on his skin. Trees in the grove made way for the person carrying Pei Yunshu. Pei Yunshu struggled to open his eyes, only to see Venerable Wuwang’s frosty face.
But the hand holding him was trembling to the point where it couldn’t be ignored.
Pei Yunshu closed his eyes.
The cold pond was right before him, shimmering in the moonlight. After seeing the glimmer of water, Venerable Wuwang finally let out a sigh of relief. Without pausing, he carried Pei Yunshu and plunged into the water.
Once in the water, he pushed Pei Yunshu far away, cast a spell to ensure that he wouldn’t sink into the water, and then urgently began reciting the Clear Heart Mantra.
The pond was extremely cold, with ice forming on the surface, but the more Venerable Wuwang chanted the Clear Heart Mantra, the more it felt like he was being roasted by a fire. His sea of consciousness churned, and the hand that had just held Pei Yunshu still retained the residual warmth from his body.
The more he tried not to think, the more he couldn’t forget.
The hand in his sleeve was trembling more and more violently, and his mouth was reciting the Clear Heart Mantra so quickly that it was almost unintelligible.
The pain was excruciating, like being scraped to the bone, like being cut with a knife.
The Clear Mind Pills were swallowed one after another, and the calm that had been painstakingly built up was shattered by Pei Yunshu’s muffled groan.
Pei Yunshu’s black hair floated on the water’s surface as he writhed in pain, his face full of suffering. The water flowed from his forehead to his chin, falling drop by drop into the pond.
His lips were bleeding, staining them a deep red.
Tears welled up in his eyes, brighter than the ripples on the water’s surface. His clothes were disheveled, but his neck was long and slender.
Venerable Wuwang’s palm was already stained with blood.
“Grandmaster,” but Pei Yunshu didn’t let him off. His expression was one of anguish, but he called out to Venerable Wuwang, “I feel so uncomfortable.”
Words as light as the wind, but as heavy as a mountain.
Venerable Wuwang’s mind went blank, and he swam towards Pei Yunshu, trembling as he grabbed Pei Yunshu’s wrist.
The sound of water trickling, each sound carried hidden allure and depth.
The heat, it was as if a fire was burning through his organs, the pain as if his bones were being scraped clean.
The water’s surface began to ripple violently, one wave pushing another, and the two were pushed ashore.
Pei Yunshu leaned against the bank, his wet clothes clinging to him, his eyes fixed on the Grandmaster in front of him, watching the profound pain and impending collapse on his face.
His heart was so cold that it surprised even Pei Yunshu himself.
Seeing his high and mighty Grandmaster in such a pitiable state should have stirred some emotion in Pei Yunshu, but his heart remained indifferent, as if he had no heart at all.
Empty and devoid of any feeling, all he wanted was that tower.
When the Grandmaster had just touched Pei Yunshu’s hand, his mind was violently shaken, feeling as if he were being devoured by a thousand ants, a pain beyond endurance.
He wanted to pull away, but Pei Yunshu grasped his hand in return.
That touch was soft and fair, yet it felt like a wicked abyss. Venerable Wuwang’s temples throbbed, and he tried to break free from Pei Yunshu’s grip, but Pei Yunshu hooked both hands around his neck.
With a loud crash, the mountains crumbled.
The Grandmaster’s lips quivered incessantly, his face pale, cold sweat streaming down. He looked up at Pei Yunshu.
Pei Yunshu’s face was wet, his cheeks flushed, and his black hair clung to his neck, making him look like a demon in foul water, like a monster from the abyss.
He had dragged Wuwang down into the abyss, causing him to completely lose his Dao heart.
The Grandmaster extended his hand and slowly touched Pei Yunshu’s face. Ripples spread across the water’s surface as he approached Pei Yunshu in the cold water.
The Dao was ruthless, and he had cultivated the ruthless path of the Dao. He was just one step away from enlightenment, but he had fallen into the trap of emotions.
He had thought that he would never be ensnared by emotions, but unexpectedly, he had become so obstinate.
Now that he had feelings, and desires too, the ruthless Dao he had cultivated was still a long way off.
Perhaps it was the unrelenting attachment borne of enduring too much, or perhaps it was the deep darkness of the night and the overwhelming temptation of the other person.
If desire had been born, if Pei Yunshu was willing, then he was ready to let go of this suffering.
If they became Dao companions, he was willing to travel the world with him, and after a thousand hundred years, when their mortal bodies perished, they could finally rid themselves of the seven emotions and six desires.
A cold heart cracked, and the scorching heat seeped out from the crack.
The Grandmaster was about to embrace Pei Yunshu, but he heard Pei Yunshu’s soft voice in his ear. It was as melodious as flowing mountain streams, pure enough to break one’s heart.
“Grandmaster, can you tell your disciple what is sealed inside that tower?”
“Can you give that tower to your disciple?”
The fiery breath sprayed at the tip of his nose, but the words were as ruthless as a demonic entity.
Venerable Wuwang’s body turned cold, and his heart plummeted into the icy abyss.
The one fragment of a Dao heart that had just cracked completely fell into the abyss.
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