Chapter 15: “One must not always be engrossed in their predestined love, you must do your mission seriously.”
Sure enough, Fu Hongye’s cultivation was astonishing. A single slash of his sword that had bounced off of You Jiang’s barrier had shattered the spiritual rock in the Rain Monarch Cave that had taken a millennium to form. It just happened to reveal the underground second layer of the cave that had been hidden for many years.
Through the hole left behind by his sword slash, one could vaguely hear flowing water underground. It ought to be an underground river.
The layer hidden underground didn’t have any light at all, so nobody could tell if it was deep or shallow. Qiu Yuebai was unwilling to let disciples with low cultivation take risks. Thus, he ordered his people to open up the cave entrance before sending down three little boats.
Fu Hongye and You Jiang naturally occupied one boat. Bringing Cun Jie, Qiu Yuebai and two bodyguards who always followed him sat on the other.
With one boat in front and the other behind, these two boats went out in advance to scout out the path. They also tied an empty third boat to them with a string to use as a backup. Meanwhile, Elder Tang Zhuo brought people to guard the entrance, ready to provide them support at any given time.
Everyone there were all famous cultivators who had travelled in the jianghu for many years. But even then, they didn’t dare lower their guards when exploring a new and unknown secret territory.
Instead of using a candle or light spells, they only relied on a shark pearl1 to travel slowly down the river. The guards took turns scouting out the path with their spiritual knowledge, so they could carefully avoid the reefs hidden within the undercurrents one after the other.
Compared with other karst caves, the upper layer of the Rain Monarch Cave wasn’t considered small. However, the area underground was even more expansive. After travelling for half a shichen2 on the boat, they unexpectedly still didn’t reach the end.
No light could be seen nor could they hear the sound of the wind. There was only the gloomy river, so deep one could not see the bottom and so calm that there wasn’t even a single ripple.
It seemed as if nobody had ever stepped into this place before. Strange rocks that were formed after many years of corrosion were seen on both shores. Some were perfectly round like beads, while others were sharp like thorns. The rock walls were also full of potholes, as if they had been a series of water bubbles mingling together. Just glancing at it would cause one’s scalp to numb.
Although the light emitted by the shark pearl was dim, it didn’t affect the eyesight of cultivators. As he casually swept his gaze around the place, You Jiang could immediately determine that there were no signs of exploitation by humans. There were also no traces of True Energy or spiritual arrays. Thus, what was hidden here was indeed a demonic thing, instead of a human demonic cultivator.
This underground river was as vast as the Yellow Springs3. Nobody knew how long they needed to travel before they could reach the end.
As he observed the strange stones, Fu Hongye couldn’t help but sigh. “No wonder I couldn’t find any traces of the demonic thing when I chased it into the Rain Monarch Cave. It can be assumed that the demonic thing had hidden somewhere here, although it’s a wonder how it managed to come in.”
This underground place hadn’t been ventilated for many years, so the air was thin. If they wanted to stay here for a long period of time, cultivators could only use the Tortoise Breath Spell. Thus, everyone began holding their breath and concentrating. If there wasn’t a need to speak, then they would just stay silent.
However, Fu Hongye appeared as if he wasn’t affected by the thin air at all. As they travelled down the river, he was even capable of flying his sword around to check the rocks.
Qiu Yuebai sighed with emotion and thought, sure enough, the number one cultivator was indeed powerful. Although his chest was already aching with pain, he still spoke up to ask, “Alliance Leader, did you see the appearance of that demonic thing?”
Fu Hongye was the only person who had met that demonic thing face-to-face. He vaguely remembered that when he had entered his heart tribulation, he had fought for a period of time.
Unfortunately, his memories had now become vague and indistinct. When he tried to recall that moment, what appeared in his mind was either Jiang Fengzhi’s bloody face, or You Jiang with an ice-cold expression. Fu Hongye truly couldn’t remember anything else.
Thus, he could only reply relying on the last memory he had while he was still clear-headed. “It used demonic energy to conceal its true body. Perhaps because it lives in the cave, there’s a bit of a gloomy and damp aura surrounding it. However, from the moment it appeared, I could already determine that this matter definitely hadn’t been done by the demonic way.”
The demonic way had been lingering outside the city for ten days. From the very beginning, Qiu Yuebai didn’t believe they were only here to tour around. He believed even less that a demonic thing that had stayed silent for so many years would suddenly wake for no reason. In his heart, Qiu Yuebai had long thought the demonic cultivators had done something to cause this ordeal.
Thus, he never would have expected that the Alliance Leader would be so certain that the demonic thing wasn’t related to the demonic way at all. Hearing Fu Hongye’s words, Qiu Yuebai asked with doubt, “Why?”
The moment the demonic way was mentioned, You Jiang had swept over his cold gaze. Taking advantage of the dim light, Fu Hongye secretly patted the back of the demonic cultivator’s hand.
Then, he explained in a serious tone, “The leader of the demonic way has a strong personality. During the one hundred years he has opposed me, there wasn’t a single time he would retreat. Even when I withdraw, he’ll have to chase after me to fight.”
“I arrived in Mingchuan at the same time he did. If this demonic thing was truly controlled by the leader of the demonic way, it should have immediately begun fighting with me.”
This was actually true. After You Jiang appeared in the demonic faction, he never ran from an appointment to fight. When he was still a newcomer, he even competed against the Demon Lord He Huan. After the demonic way was established, he literally began beating whoever he saw regardless of whether or not they were in the righteous or demonic factions.
When You Jiang begins fighting, he doesn’t even care about his own life anymore. Whoever dared to cut off the demonic way’s path, You Jiang would dare to bring the entire demonic way to tear down your mountain or sect.
Nobody could afford to provoke someone who wasn’t afraid of dying. Thus, in the last hundred years, everyone avoided You Jiang. There had never been someone who had scared the leader of the demonic way into retreating before.
Since he was targeted by an opponent like this, Fu Hongye naturally had a lot of dealings with the assassins of the demonic way every day. Qiu Yuebai asked himself honestly and knew that if he was in Fu Hongye’s shoes, he probably wouldn’t want to leave his front door anymore and would directly enter closed-door seclusion.
Thus, toward the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect who was still so concerned about the world, he could only say admiringly, “Alliance Leader has worked hard.”
But for this matter, Fu Hongye actually didn’t have many complaints himself. He only replied with a gentle smile, “It’s no bother. I’m already used to being assassinated by him. It’s fine as long as the demonic way doesn’t make a move against other people in the righteous way.”
You Jiang didn’t like being in a gloomy and damp place like this. It made him remember terrible memories, like those people who had once invited him to sing and travel, but ultimately wanted his life in the end. In addition, the youth, the only person who would cuddle with him in a gloomy cave for warmth……
The rotten brat Fu Hongye was irksome in all aspects. He was completely unlike that youth, who was always trying to think of new ways to make him happy. Everything would be done following You Jiang’s wishes, and the youth always wanted to stay with him.
However, when the two people were in a gloomy place like this, the righteous Yang energy of the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect was truly quite warm.
Just for this one shred of warmth, for once You Jiang didn’t push away the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect who was sitting by his side. Because he was in a place like this, he was in a bad mood and didn’t want to curse people. Thus, You Jiang was originally unwilling to speak.
However, after hearing the conversation of the two righteous cultivators, You Jiang felt that this brat was becoming more and more arrogant. He ultimately couldn’t restrain himself from giving the young man a glare. “You’re just that confident the demonic way wouldn’t be able to kill you?”
Fu Hongye had been targeted by the demonic way for a hundred years, so he was already familiar with all of their assassins. In addition, by now, he had practically tasted all the poisons produced by the demonic way.
However, whenever he encountered You Jiang, he always acted as if nothing had happened. Sometimes, he would even step forward and politely say hello to his senior.
You Jiang had always regarded his careless attitude as contempt. The more Fu Hongye acted like this, the angrier he would become.
You Jiang originally thought that the youth would once again ignore his provocation and reply with an infuriating smile. However, he hadn’t expected that the qi deviated Fu Hongye would actually answer with the truth he had never told anyone before.
“No, I believe dying in his hands can’t be considered as a bad thing.”
It wasn’t a joke when the leader of the righteous way said something like this. Not only did You Jiang’s expression suddenly freeze, Qiu Yuebai immediately said nervously, “Alliance Leader, you must not say these things so casually!”
“It’s nothing more than a random thought. The path into the jianghu is long, so who can guarantee they will never reach the end? Dying isn’t very scary, what’s hard is staying alive.”
The righteous and demonic factions have been enemies since ancient times. The moment they waged war, everyone would fight to their last gasps. Thus, who would dare follow a righteous leader who showed mercy to demonic cultivators?
Fu Hongye knew it would be very troublesome if his words today were spread outside. Thus, in the past, he had always restrained himself.
But even Fu Hongye hadn’t expected—after concealing this fact for his entire life, when he failed to pass his calamity and hovered between life and death, the only wish he had in his heart was actually to go and see Fengzhi one last time.
Of course, toward how the result of his “sightseeing” ended up with the two of them in bed, Fu Hongye also felt very shocked and inexplicable.
You Jiang originally doubted Fu Hongye’s words and actions. However, in the past, that youth had never said any words of admiration and yearning to him. When the two of them were together, they only regarded each other as close friends. If You Jiang turned this friendship into love without permission, it would appear rather egoistic.
His old friend’s thoughts were unclear, but the brat Fu Hongye’s actions were truly that of a cut-sleeve. But although You Jiang had suspicions, he didn’t dare to presume his identity.
At this moment, he only asked in a probing manner, “Worthy of someone who has died once already. Sure enough, you do not yearn for the mortal world at all.”
In response to his enquiring gaze, Fu Hongye didn’t confirm or deny anything. With drooping eyelashes, he merely said lightly, “That’s right ah. I’ve already gotten used to dying.”
The same dull expression as he had in the past made You Jiang think the young man was in need of a spanking. The moment he saw this, the demonic leader immediately wanted to pull the brat’s ear and ask, can’t you be more enthusiastic about living?
However, before he could implement this plan, Cun Jie, who had always been observing their surroundings, made a discovery. “Be careful, there’s someone on the rock wall ahead of us.”
Sure enough, the Left Protector of the demonic way was doing his utmost to be his Leader’s sidekick. Even if his Leader was immersed in bantering flirtatiously, Cun Jie was still seeking clues with dedication.
After his reminder, everyone there immediately raised their heads. Sure enough, there was a natural opening in the rock wall around the corner. A woman wearing black robes hung between the cracks of the opening. Even though Qiu Yuebai spurred the shark pearl to approach her, she didn’t move at all. It could be assumed that the woman had already fainted.
In an underground cave with no entrances at all, how could a young, unconscious woman appear?
It didn’t look like she had cultivation either. In a place like this, even cultivators found it hard to breathe. So how could a normal woman manage to live?
Everyone thought this matter was extremely odd. Qiu Yuebai cautiously ordered his guards to bring the woman onto the empty boat. Three people released their spiritual knowledge but didn’t discover any demonic energy.
Just as they began pondering over this strange matter, one of the guards spoke up in an uncertain tone. “Mansion Master, her attire appears like she’s one of the tea-picking women we invited.”
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