Chapter 10: “Their white moonlights1.”
After You Jiang confirmed that Fu Hongye hadn’t gotten involved with Li Xiaopu’s missing person case before he qi deviated, he rendezvoused with Du Huo. With his Right Protector leading them, they set off for the Rain Monarch Cave.
The appearance of the wishing well trapped Qiu Yuebai in rumours and gossip. Nowadays, the Rain Monarch Cave has been sealed off by the Azure Sky Mansion. Even the common folk in charge of picking tea leaves were forbidden to enter. If the three of them wanted to go in, they had no other choice but to do it secretly.
Demonic cultivators were best at underhanded techniques, and You Jiang naturally wasn’t an exception. His Naihe fan was a spiritual weapon that had been refined by the three ghost saints in the ghost realm. In fact, the drawing of the hundred weeping ghosts on the fan had been personally painted by the God of Happiness and Misfortune, and countless heart demons of cultivators were sealed within it.
Thus, whenever You Jiang fights with normal cultivators, he’ll only need to give the fan a light wave to shatter his opponent’s Dao and mind, completely dissipating their strength to fight.
Since ancient times, no matter if one was righteous or demonic, what cultivators feared the most were their heart demons. Only You Jiang dared to use heart demons as his own weapon. If someone fought with him and lost, it meant they would ruin their entire life’s worth of cultivation and Dao.
Before Fu Hongye appeared, You Jiang had truly been a demonic lord who made all the cultivators in the world pale the moment he was mentioned.
However, the heart demons You Jiang spent a hundred years collecting didn’t affect Fu Hongye the slightest bit. The youth’s state of mind was completely flawless, and he didn’t hesitate at all after he unsheathed his sword.
For Fu Hongye, even if there were a thousand worldly affairs covering his eyes, he would still be able to ascend into the clear sky by himself.
For years on end, You Jiang had relied on putting the heart demons to work. Thus, his close-combat skills had long deteriorated. The moment this trick of his stopped working, he had no other choice but to be subdued by Fu Hongye, suffering a defeat after defeat with hate.
Thus, You Jiang was extremely curious as to what Fu Hongye’s emotional calamity had been. For it to be more powerful than even the hundreds of heart demons in his fan, capable of forcing the righteous leader into his current state.
The experts of the Azure Sky Mansion all stayed in the mansion to protect Qiu Yuebai. Thus, those sent to guard the Rain Monarch Cave were nothing more than a few advanced disciples.
For disciples like this, there wasn’t even a need to use his heart demons to deal with them. You Jiang casually sent a few little ghosts to bewilder their eyes. Then, taking along Du Huo, the two of them swaggered into the cave.
However, as long as he hadn’t provoked Fu Hongye for a day, You Jiang couldn’t feel at peace. Taking advantage of how the youth had been distracted because he was examining the terrain, You Jiang stopped using his spell.
He even gave the youth, who had been ditched by him, a provocative look. One that meant—aren’t you the strongest cultivator in the world? Think of a way to enter the cave yourself ah.
This sudden revolt only made Fu Hongye smile helplessly. The righteous leader naturally couldn’t have any clashes with the disciples of the Azure Sky Mansion.
Instead, the white-robed youth casually casted a spell. His handsome figure immediately turned into the clouds and mist that drifted between heaven and earth.
In the blink of an eye, the smoky clouds already began taking form beside You Jiang, as a somewhat pampering voice said, “Fengzhi, don’t make trouble.”
A natural transformation and the ability to merge with heaven and earth. This kind of technique was truly quite wondrous.
When Fu Hongye hid, even You Jiang was unable to find any traces of the youth. It was likely a new spell Fu Hongye had learned after he turned into a Dispersed Immortal.
You Jiang secretly thought—this brat’s swordsmanship had already been hard to block before. Add on this new ability of his, You Jiang was afraid this youth was now truly unrivalled in the world.
Fu Hongye, who was now surrounded by the clouds and mist, lost his usual intimacy. It appeared as if he would break away from the mundane world to enter the immortal realm at any time.
You Jiang knew his own ascension was a hopeless cause, so he probably wouldn’t be able to experience the youth’s current cultivation realm for his entire life. From the bottom of his heart, You Jiang couldn’t help but feel some admiration.
He seldom praised, “The rotten brat’s spells aren’t bad, truly worthy of the “first under heaven” title.”
“You flatter me.”
Only a single compliment from You Jiang, one he wasn’t even sincere about, made Fu Hongye’s gaze light up.
When the youth had been young, as long as he could save a single person, he would be happy from the bottom of his heart, as if he had obtained an achievement that was matchless in the entire world.
Afterwards, Fu Hongye became the righteous leader and began dealing with cultivators from many different sects. Although he was still eliminating demons, defending the Dao and saving the common people, it was rare for him to feel the unrestrained joy he had in the beginning. When facing the countless praise and recognition, he could only smile faintly to preserve the modesty a sect leader should have.
Even though Fu Hongye already obtained the reputation of being the strongest in the world, after the righteous cultivators congratulating him left, the youth could only look at the endless maple groove in the Fallen Immortal Lake by himself. He would silently tell himself, “Continue working hard.”
Perhaps it was because of this, but the Jiang Fengzhi he had met at the very beginning became an unforgettable existence for Fu Hongye. The scholarly youth painting freely among the maple trees was the first person that made his heart move.
After a hundred years, Fu Hongye had stepped into the mountains and rivers and united the entire righteous way, but he still couldn’t let go of one Jiang Fengzhi.
You Jiang didn’t know these things that were part of Fu Hongye’s obsession. However, the youth’s sincere happiness made him a bit absent-minded.
Every generation, the Sect Leaders of the Profound Sect always had an immortal demeanour. Fu Hongye was not an exception and had always been like a bright moon hidden high among the clouds, staying far away from the mundane world.
Thus, this was the first time You Jiang had ever seen the youth reveal such a lively expression. It was as if the immortal figure in a painting had suddenly become a living person, making people feel at a loss for what to do.
You Jiang had always been prone to saying nasty things, and just loved to stir up trouble. He had only been unable to make a move against a certain teenager, who had been filled with hope from the bottom of his heart.
Precisely because of the same noble gaze filled with hope, Fu Hongye’s Master, the Sword Monarch He Ku, was the one old friend You Jiang had never cursed out before.
You Jiang had tried his best to forget the teenager who caused him to fall into the demonic way. However, every time he glanced to the side, he would see a figure similar to that person.
As long as there were any similarities between the two of them, You Jiang would become incapable of attacking them.
When Fu Hongye first appeared in front of You Jiang, he had already been a mature, Past-Calamity cultivator. The innocence belonging to his youth had long been hidden beneath his gentle smile.
You Jiang had never expected that his sworn enemy would also have these kind of eyes. He couldn’t help but swallow all the ridicule that had already reached his mouth.
With no other choice, You Jiang could only vent his suppressed anger at the innocent Azure Sky Mansion. “With a well like this appearing, Azure Sky Mansion actually waited this long before sealing off the Rain Monarch Cave. The rubbish from the Heavenly Alliance handles affairs like this?”
Du Huo didn’t understand what happened. You Jiang had been fine just now, so why was he suddenly cursing out the Azure Sky Mansion?
Thus, when he heard this, Du Huo reported the intelligence he had gathered before, “This actually isn’t the Azure Sky Mansion’s fault. Qiu Yuebai had long tried sealing the opening of the wishing well. However, the moment night falls, the well would silently appear again. The Azure Sky Mansion sealed it three times with no results. In the end, they could only go against the complaints of the common people and seal the entire Rain Monarch Cave.”
Rain Monarch Cave was the foundation for the immortal tea of Mingchuan. It had only been sealed for a single month, and the entire city was panicking.
You Jiang naturally understood why the Azure Sky Mansion hadn’t dared to act blindly without thinking. He was merely finding an excuse to make trouble.
From Fu Hongye, You Jiang saw a shadow of his old friend. Since he no longer wanted to curse out this brat, he shifted his gaze to observe the Rain Monarch Cave.
This place was nothing more than a pool of water in a mountainous cave. The Azure Sky Mansion had renovated the ceiling and constructed a hole to brighten the place. Currently, moonlight passed through layers of strangely-shaped stones, spilling onto the water surface in a serene manner.
Mingchuan’s coloured glass immortal tea that was most beloved by cultivators grew at the bottom of the pool. Thus, they contained a lot of Yin energy, and weren’t contaminated with even the slightest Yang aura. Only unmarried women with wooden basins could go into the water and pluck their leaves.
Now that the Rain Monarch Cave was sealed, those abandoned wooden basins were thrown in a heap on the shore, appearing somewhat desolate.
This cave wasn’t very big. After sweeping his gaze around the place, You Jiang didn’t see the wishing well. He wasn’t sure if it was hiding from them, or if it wasn’t the time for it to appear yet, since it hadn’t dealt with Qiu Yuebai.
Although You Jiang couldn’t find the important wishing well, he leaned over to look at the water in the pool. Sure enough, the water was filled with spiritual energy, far more than what one would find in normal spiritual materials. It was no wonder cultivators loved the immortal tea raised by the water here.
You Jiang was precisely the strongest demonic cultivator in the world. With only a single glance, he could tell that the water here had no demonic energy. When he saw Du Huo also shake his head, expressing that the water wasn’t poisoned, You Jiang couldn’t help but say with doubt, “Qiu Yuebai said there is something wrong with this water, but does he know what the problem is?”
However, for this matter, Qiu Yuebai would rather shoulder a blackened name than give the people an explanation. Du Huo also hadn’t been able to find the reason during his investigations. In response to You Jiang, he could only spread his hands and say:
“I don’t know. The defense of the Azure Sky Mansion is very strict, and our people haven’t had a chance to contact Cun Jie. After he wakes up, perhaps he’ll be able to find something.”
Sure enough, a strange thing that could even baffle the Azure Sky Mansion wasn’t something simple. You Jiang observed his surroundings again, but he didn’t find any traces of battle. It seemed like Fu Hongye hadn’t run into trouble here either.
Now this was actually quite strange. In Mingchuan, other than the Rain Monarch Cave, there were people everywhere. If Fu Hongye had passed his calamity somewhere else, one or two people would have notified the Azure Sky Mansion.
Why did Qiu Yuebai show no interest in this matter, as if he was completely unaware it had happened?
After thinking over everything carefully, You Jiang only felt that there were oddities everywhere. He temporarily forgot to maintain his hostility toward Fu Hongye and asked, “Where exactly did you encounter an ambush?”
Fu Hongye also didn’t forget his mission of finding the missing Li Xiaopu. The moment they entered the Rain Monarch Cave, he began carefully examining the wooden basins used to pick the tea leaves.
When he was suddenly questioned like this, the youth replied slightly bewildered, “I only remember I was drinking tea with Mansion Master Qiu as we chatted about some old affairs.”
When he mentioned the old affairs, the youth’s expression became a bit uneasy. You Jiang couldn’t tell what he was feeling, so he could only make conjectures using a demonic cultivator’s line of thought: “He slipped something into your tea?”
In all honesty, the symptoms of Fu Hongye’s qi deviation was very similar to if he had been drugged. However, the youth firmly dismissed this idea. “I have an immortal body made out of wind and clouds, which evil cannot infringe upon.”
When Fu Hongye was young, he had died once. He was only able to come back to life thanks to his Master, who collected countless heavenly treasures to reconstruct his body.
This was something You Jiang knew about. He had also heard that this body could be considered as half-immortal, with the best spiritual root in the entire world.
Now that Fu Hongye recovered his usual, serious appearance, You Jiang also became at ease. He immediately rolled his eyes at the youth and sneered:
“In order to reconstruct your body, that guy He Huan used countless treasures. Even the Night Bodhi this lord bred with the utmost care was snatched away by him. Rotten brat, it’s no wonder your progress is incredibly rapid. Unfortunately, you’re useless, unable to make it through a single emotional calamity. You completely wasted all the treasures of that old scoundrel.”
You Jiang showed mercy to He Ku, but he was extremely proficient at cursing out the Demon Lord He Huan. However, he didn’t know that these words actually provoked another matter that gnawed at Fu Hongye’s heart.
The youth gave You Jiang a deep look as the illusion caused by his emotional calamity shattered slightly. Suddenly, Fu Hngye asked the question he had buried in his heart for a hundred years. “Master Sword Monarch said the Night Bodhi was something you took the initiative to give. Why?”
The Night Bodhi was the most precious treasure in the Buddhist way. You Jiang spent a tremendous amount of effort before he had been able to steal it from a Buddhist cultivator. He had raised it with meticulous care, just to use it when it was his turn to pass a calamity.
If He Ku hadn’t taken the initiative to tell him this before he had ascended, Fu Hongye would never have expected that You Jiang, who was so concerned about ascending, would actually give this item to someone else.
This demon had always been like this. Every time Fu Hongye nearly managed to persuade himself to give up, You Jiang would always do something that would make him realize how Fengzhi hadn’t actually become too terrible.
It would give Fu Hongye the misconception that as long as he tried a bit harder, he would be able to save that teenager from his past. Thus, every time, it would make him even more unable to let go.
You Jiang naturally couldn’t understand Fu Hongye’s troubles. He just hadn’t expected that He Ku would actually tell this to Fu Hongye.
You Jiang was unwilling to mention anything related to that teenager in his past. Thus, he didn’t answer the youth’s question, and merely sneered, “When gifting you something, this lord is no longer Fengzhi?”
The current Fu Hongye was awake. The delusion he used to escape reality had finally been torn open, reflecting his old friend’s complexion that was contaminated with demonic energy.
Fu Hongye, who had refused to wake from his delusion, revealed a pained expression. However, You Jiang didn’t intend to let the youth go.
Long forgetting how to be gentle with others, You Jiang merely stretched out a hand to grab the collar of the righteous leader before pulling the man over to him, letting the demonic patterns at the corner of his eyes appear clearly in Fu Hongye’s vision.
“Fu Hongye, look carefully. This lord is the master of the demonic way, the demonic leader who is only a step away from destroying the name plaque of the Profound Sect——You Jiang.”