Under Xiao Yuan’s hand, Gu Louyin’s shoulders trembled slightly. Except for a simple “It’s okay”, Xiao Yuan couldn’t say anything to comfort Gu Louyin.
One had to admit that Gu Hang set up this formation cleverly. The guqin sound formation did not affect ordinary people, such as Shen Fugui, who had a smooth life, but for Gu Louyin, who was demonized because of his heart demon, this music was more dangerous than thousands of troops. It was not even a question whether Gu Louyin could break the formation. Even if he could break it, he likely would be in a daze and depressed after that. How could Gu Louyin continue to walk the secret path in such a state.
Gu Louyin’s breathing gradually calmed down, and Xiao Yuan asked, “Louyin, are you okay?”
Gu Louyin whispered, “I caught him.”
Knowing who “he” was, Xiao Yuan still asked, “Who?”
Gu Louyin seemed to be talking to himself: “I also heard him calling my name.”
Xiao Yuan was startled and said, “The sound of the guqin just now was weird. What you saw and heard were all your memories.”
“No,” Gu Louyin murmured, “I really heard him.”
Xiao Yuan: “…” Before Gu Louyin broke through the formation, he shouted Gu Louyin’s name. Since he couldn’t block little Gu Louyin’s eyes in his memory, Gu Louyin shouldn’t be able to hear him either. Could it be that in this world, he also shouted out and then Gu Louyin heard him?
He was the first to break through the formation, and then he entered Gu Louyin’s memory. This was enough to show that the memories of the people deeply immersed in the guqin formation were interlinked. Could Gu Louyin also see his memory?
Xiao Yuan quickly rejected this idea. If Gu Louyin entered his memory, he could determine his identity from it, and if Gu Louyin determined his identity, his current reaction would definitely be different. He would… Xiao Yuan recalled the kiss in the illusionary realm and quickly coughed to conceal it.
Gu Louyin’s mind was not on Xiao Yuan at all and naturally he did not notice anything strange about him. He asked, “Didn’t you hear it?”
Xiao Yuan shook his head, “I only heard shimei in my memory arguing with me, and she said that she never wanted to see me in her life.” Xiao Yuan even shivered after finishing this sentence, his tone and demeanor almost as realistic as if Shen Fugui’s soul had possessed him. “Louyin, are you hallucinating again?”
Gu Louyin stopped talking and the dark tide surging in his eyes calmed down, turning into pools of stagnant water again. He stood up and the nameless sword rushed out of its sheath with a bitter chill. In an instant the secret passage was illuminated brightly. With a deafening roar, the stone walls of the secret passage suddenly exploded. With sand and stones flying in front of them and the earth shaking under their feet, Xiao Yuan unhurriedly picked up his flute and with a single stroke, the stones that almost hit them turned into a continuous spring rain pattering lightly.
In the dull moonlight emitted by the nameless sword, Xiao Yuan could barely see the surrounding scene. There were hidden compartments behind the shattered walls. The compartments were barely large enough to accommodate a guqin. Dozens of guqins were hidden behind the wall and activated at the same time, almost trapping Gu Louyin.
Xiao Yuan said, “Should we destroy these guqins too, so as not to cause another incident.”
“They are already ruined.” Gu Louyin said, “Let’s go.”
Xiao Yuan leaned over and took a look at a guqin, only to see that the strings on it seemed to be intact. As soon as Gu Louyin turned around, he heard a crisp sound, and hundreds of strings snapped at the same time.
The further they went, the narrower the secret passage was, and soon they couldn’t walk side by side but had to follow each other. Gu Louyin was in the front and Xiao Yuan was in the back, and both of them walked very cautiously. Gu Louyin stopped suddenly as he saw something. Xiao Yuan didn’t react for a while and accidentally stumbled into his back.
The fresh and cold aura made Xiao Yuan touch the bridge of his nose involuntarily, “What’s the matter?”
Gu Louyin said, “There is light.”
Xiao Yuan looked forward and sure enough, he saw a faint light coming in. “Aren’t we inside the mountain? How can there be light?”
“I don’t know.” Gu Louyin said, “It may be another formation.”
“Even if it is a formation, we can only break through it,” Xiao Yuan said, “be careful.”
Gu Louyin muttered “en” and continued to walk forward.
The light became brighter and brighter, and soon they could see the way clearly even without the nameless sword. When Xiao Yuan approached the exit, the light was so piercing that Xiao Yuan closed his eyes and it took a long time before he opened them again. His eyes suddenly opened up, the sun was warm, the breeze was gentle, the trees were verdant and everything around was green and lush.
Xiao Yuan walked to a tree, stroked the rough trunk and said, “Are we really out, or are we still in the cave?”
There could be no such warmth in the cave, but if they got out, where was Qingyan?
Gu Louyin said, “The latter.”
Xiao Yuan nodded in agreement, “Is it an illusion? No, I think it’s a maze.” He and Gu Louyin could see clearly and the grass and trees around them didn’t seem to be fake.
Gu Louyin said, “The maze of Baihua Palace.”
Xiao Yuan thought for a while, “It’s very possible.” Baihua Palace and Xuanle Sect were two of the three major sects. Since Gu Hang used Xuanle Sect’s unique secret skills, he would not neglect using Baihua Palace’s specialty as well. Xiao Yuan joked: “If it is really Baihua Palace, a leaf falling from a tree might kill us if it hits our body, right?”
Gu Louyin frowned slightly, “You can go back to the secret passage and wait for me.”
“That’s not necessary. Gu Hang is hiding things here, not setting up an array to kill people. It is impossible to set up an unsolvable array.” Xiao Yuan clapped his hands, “Besides, I just touched a tree and it seems that it’s okay.”
Gu Louyin nodded lightly, “Follow me.”
Xiao Yuqi said strangely: “Do you know how to break this formation?”
“…let’s go, let’s go.”
Every place in the dense forest looked somewhat similar, and it was extremely difficult to distinguish the way. Xiao Yuan left marks as he walked. The two walked for half an hour, and Xiao Yuan was not surprised to see the familiar big trees and his marks, “We really walked back.”
Gu Louyin said, “You wait for me here.”
Gu Louyin stepped on the nameless sword and went up to fly. Xiao Yuan raised his head and watched the frost-white figure get farther and farther away from him until he completely disappeared.
The easiest and crudest way to get out of the forest was to fly up and see what was going on. But after all, this was the trap set up by Yunjian Pavilion to protect Qingyan, so it hardly could be that simple.
Xiao Yuan stayed where he was and waited patiently, playing with Bihai Chaosheng disguised as a flute. Speaking of which, although the sword Gu Louyin used now was made by him from ice and snow, it was no less powerful than his previous Shuang Leng. It could be used as a torch and one could fly it. It was too sad to leave such a highly skilled piece of work without a name. If Gu Louyin didn’t want to name it, he could do it. Since his fan was called Bihai Chaosheng, Gu Louyin’s sword could be called……
Not long after, Gu Louyin returned on his sword. Xiao Yuan stopped thinking and asked, “How was it?”
Gu Louyin seemed to find the scene he saw indescribable and said, “I will show you.”
Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin flew into the sky together, standing on the sword and looking down. This was an endless dense forest and one couldn’t see anything except the towering trees. What was even weirder was that these trees were almost exactly the same height, like an area of green grass, with no unique marks to be found.
“How can something so big be in the cave? It must be some kind of trick.” Xiao Yuan leaned forward to see more clearly but then his feet slipped, he was shaky and blurted out: “Gu Louyin–”
Gu Louyin stretched out his hand quickly without looking, instinctively hugging Xiao Yuan’s waist. Xiao Yuan took advantage of the situation and rushed into his arms, clutching his lapels and saying fearfully: “It was so close, so close.”
Gu Louyin stiffened and quickly let go of him. Looking at his expression, Xiao Yuan would think that hugging him would stain his hands.
Xiao Yuan let out a soft sigh and said, “Let’s go down.”
Gu Louyin looked at him with confusion in his eyes: “Earlier, why would I hug you?”
Xiao Yuan was even more confused than him: “Huh? You’re asking me?”
Gu Louyin took a few breaths, “Never mind.”
The two returned to the ground, and Xiao Yuan said, “If we walk, we can’t walk out; if we fly, we can’t fly out. Shall we try something else?”
“Hey? Do you know what I mean by ‘something else’?”
Instead of Gu Louyin’s answer, there was a cold wind rising suddenly, and powerful spiritual energy gathered in the nameless sword. Gu Louyin closed his eyes and held his sword, his silver hair flying. Xiao Yuan squatted down, his flute touched the ground and formed an array.
Suddenly, Gu Louyin opened his eyes, and the nameless sword plunged unstoppably into the ground. Starting from the tip of the sword, a winding rift quickly spread – the sky was falling apart.
The people who made the formation probably did not expect that someone could be strong enough to split the earth, an even simpler and rougher way than flying into the sky. The rift became wider and wider, and stopped when it was within a sword’s distance. Gu Louyin looked at Xiao Yuan, and Xiao Yuan did not wait for him to ask and said quickly: “I will go down with you.”
Gu Louyin said nothing else, grabbed Xiao Yuan by the collar and pulled him onto the nameless sword, “Stand still.”
The two of them fell straight into the crack, the light dimmed and only the sound of the earth trembling and the howling of the wind were heard. Xiao Yuan closed his eyes.
When his feet landed on the ground and everything was quiet, Xiao Yuan tentatively opened one eye. The place where they were was like an empty secret room. The secret room was lit with a single lamp, and at a glance it was clear that it was empty, seemingly just an empty room.
However, what one saw may not be true. Gu Louyin placed Xiao Yuan behind him protectively and said, “Sword formation.”
Xuanle Sect’s guqin formation, Baihua Palace’s maze formation and Yunjian Pavilion’s sword formation; all three major sects had gathered here.
As soon as he said it, a sword slashed towards the two of them like a blast of wind. When it was a few steps away, it suddenly turned into eight swords. Gu Louyin only gently raised his hand and repelled them all. The sword seemed to have a spirit, turned around and divided into sixteen copies, attacking again.
Xiao Yuan hid behind Gu Louyin and said, “It seems that it will multiply more and more. The fastest way probably is to find its original body and destroy it.”
“I know.” Gu Louyin searched through the sword formation as he dealt with the rain of swords. Suddenly, his eyes flashed and he said, “Lend me the flute.”
Xiao Yuan understood and threw him the flute. With a move of his palm, Gu Louyin pushed the flute to the sword and broke the sword with his hand. After the sound of metal colliding, hundreds of long swords melted like frost and dissipated in front of them.
Xiao Yuan blinked, “Now what?”
“Wait.” Gu Louyin vaguely noticed something and walked to the place where the sword had come from. In the light of the lamp, he saw that the originally rough shell of the wall was fading quickly, leaving a smooth, flat copper surface inside.
“This is… the ancient mirror.”
Xiao Yuan stepped forward, “Ancient mirror? What ancient mirror do you mean?”
The bronze mirror reflected the faces of the two of them. Gu Louyin was alert and was about to tell the man behind him not to approach, when he suddenly saw something and his eyes opened wide.
In the bronze mirror where ‘Shen Fugui’ should have appeared, there was another face – the face that was as bright as spring.