Chapter 6: “They began fighting.”
Nowadays, the momentum of the righteous way was very strong. Thus, the ten major sects that made up the Heavenly Alliance occupied the area with the most abundant spiritual energy; Jiangnan. Meanwhile, the imperial household that was under the protection of the Qilin1 was located in Jiangbei.
Although the relations between these two forces weren’t very harmonious, their ostracizing attitude toward the demonic way was quite unanimous.
Thus, despite being very ambitious, the demonic way had no other choice but to reside in Mobei, where resources were scarce.
If they hadn’t formed an alliance with both the beast clan living on the snow-capped mountains and the ghost realm located overseas, the demonic way would have long been wiped out by the righteous cultivators.
The sects that make up the Heavenly Alliance changed once every ten years. Only the strongest ten from the entire righteous way were capable of obtaining a seat.
However, righteous sects could be found throughout the entire world, and new sects were established nearly every year. Add onto how the Alliance Leader’s position would always go to the Profound Sect, the entire jianghu practically broke open their heads just trying to snatch one of the remaining nine seats.
If one wanted to obtain one of the seats in the Heavenly Alliance, being a person of virtue and prestige was the most important requirement. These years, in order to prove they were virtuous, many major sects offered disaster relief to save people.
Young disciples were even more so like this, taking on missions one after another to leave the sect and travel. When it came to catching thieves or suppressing bandits, they were even more diligent than soldiers.
The competition within the righteous way was this intense, but Qiu Yuebai—who had never left Mingchuan for years on end—rose above everyone else and obtained the title of a saint.
Just from this, it could be seen that his skills were truly extraordinary.
Autumn was beginning soon. According to their usual practice, Azure Sky Mansion would grant autumn clothes and food to the beggars within the city. As the Master of the mansion, Qiu Yuebai naturally had to come and take a look.
Since birth, both of his legs didn’t have any spiritual veins. Although their appearance looked the same as normal people, he was incapable of walking and could only rely on his wheelchair to move around.
Despite entering the Nascent Soul realm, it was still impossible for Qiu Yuebai to be cured of his congenital disease. So even though he was one of the ten strongest cultivators in the world, he still had to sit on a wheelchair made from white jade.
Currently, as Qiu Yuebai fiddled with the guqin2 on his lap, it appeared as if he was worrying over something.
Sure enough, demonic cultivators who were trying to scam someone were indeed very knowledgeable. Cun Jie had changed into the garments of a normal cultivator. Using medicine to seal his own True Energy, he had ordered his subordinates to leave many wounds on his body. Right now, Cun Jie completely looked like a righteous cultivator who had been chased by demonic cultivators.
After lying quietly in wait among the beggars, Cun Jie immediately rushed out of the crowd when Qiu Yuebai—dressed in white and blue while holding his guqin—appeared behind the guards, before ultimately collapsing in front of his wheelchair.
Cun Jie’s expression looked like he was trying to speak at the cost of his life. Unfortunately, despite coughing for a long time, he still couldn’t speak clearly. Before he completely lost consciousness, the only sentence he managed to choke out was: “Mansion Master, quickly leave……demons……”
A phrase like this, one that avoided everything important while dwelling on the trivial, could be rated as the best thing to say in this situation.
Even You Jiang had to nod and praise, “Not bad. Fainting right before he finished talking. This brat already has the essence of being a fake righteous cultivator.”
Although he was talking in a relaxed manner, You Jiang had poured all his cultivation into the Naihe fan he was gripping and was currently using it to bar Fu Hongye’s path. He didn’t give this righteous leader the slightest chance to interfere with his demonic way’s plan.
Azure Sky Mansion was under the Heavenly Alliance’s command. Even though Fu Hongye was still delusional, instinct made him want to stop the demonic cultivator.
When the youth saw You Jiang block his path, he immediately began urging him with a complicated expression, “Fengzhi, don’t throw a tantrum. I don’t want to fight you.”
You Jiang was familiar with his expression. Although the two of them were clearly from the demonic and righteous ways—opposing factions—every time this youth encountered him, there was never any hostility in his gaze. Instead, Fu Hongye was always sighing helplessly, as if silently asking “why must you force me to make a move?”
However, no matter how unwilling he looked, Fu Hongye will always unsheathe his sword with a wrinkled forehead and enter the battlefield. With that complicated, helpless expression, he would beat back the demonic way’s attack every single time.
Fu Hongye’s attitude, as if he could win even if he was casually playing around, made You Jiang much angrier than if the youth had been seriously considering them as his enemy.
Thanks to last night, You Jiang was already not that happy. In fact, his reason hadn’t yet managed to suppress the anger in his heart.
Now that he saw the expression he hated the most, You Jiang moved forward instead of retreating. Pinching a Soul Elimination Seal between his fingers, he threw it toward Fu Hongye’s forehead and said, “It truly is unfortunate, because this lord just likes to fight you. Every time I see you once, I must give you a beating. Sooner or later, you will die in the hands of a demonic cultivator!”
There was only one street between this restaurant and Azure Sky Mansion. Thus, You Jiang naturally couldn’t use too much demonic energy when he made this move.
Fortunately, as a swordsman who had lost his sword, Fu Hongye was unable to use his full strength. Facing a curse that would torment his soul, he had no other choice but to dodge and back down.
In the end, Fu Hongye acted like how he always had in the past. With a sigh, he molded his spiritual energy into a sword to exchange blows with the demonic cultivator.
He said, “I’m sorry.”
The youth’s voice was like the spring breeze, incomparably gentle. The tone was also filled with a hint of coaxing, as if he was helplessly conceding to You Jiang. If someone bent their ears and listened attentively, they would only feel as if their bones had softened.
In contrast, was his sword intent that made him the number one swordsman in the entire world.
Even though Fu Hongye wasn’t holding a weapon, he was still able to display his ability to conquer every obstacle. With only a single slash, he destroyed the barrier covering the room, while also cutting off a strand of You Jiang’s hair.
Fine black hair fell leisurely onto the ground. Once again, the frosty red sword intent began converging on the white-robed cultivator’s palm. Without the slightest hesitation, he attacked You Jiang again.
The heavenly sword intent of the disciples from the Profound Sect has always been noble and unsullied. However, Fu Hongye’s sword intent was a dark red, like maple leaves covered with a layer of frost. As soon as he used it, a somber and desolate aura would appear, as if ushering in the arrival of autumn or winter.
It goes without saying that no one could resist it.
When Fu Hongye was still in the Post-Calamity realm, there was already nobody under the heavens who was capable of blocking his sword intent. Thus, now that he had the cultivation level of a Dispersed Immortal, a single strike was naturally capable of moving the mountains and rivers.
After the slash had broken the restaurant, it cracked the high mountain ridge before extending off into the horizon. In the blink of an eye, it appeared as if this strike had reached the very end of the sky.
You Jiang knew the current Fu Hongye was already at another level. However, before this, the youth had always been stuck in a delusional state. Even if You Jiang hit or scolded him, he had never retaliated against him.
In a way, compared to before, it felt as if the current Fu Hongye was easier to handle.
However, now that the youth’s righteous instincts had finally awakened after encountering injustice, Fu Hongye’s harsh attitude actually made You Jiang give him a satisfied look.
Very good. This was the real Fu Hongye, You Jiang’s sworn enemy for life.
Surrounded by his sword intent, the atmosphere around Fu Hongye was filled with a mighty pressure that was suffocating to those who were inferior. No matter how intimate he acted, his current imposing manner—as if he’ll cross swords with anyone who dared to stop him—wasn’t fake.
Even Du Huo, who had always been extremely daring, had been scared into quickly hiding away.
In fact, only You Jiang remained standing in his original place. Spreading out his fan, he smiled loftily and said, “If you want to meddle, you can. But it’ll have to be over my dead body.”
Fu Hongye said life was valuable. This was something You Jiang could never agree with.
After all, in the demonic way, the thing that had the least worth was precisely one’s life.
After someone enters the demonic way, the only thing they should want from henceforth, was to live to their heart’s content.
As for something like life, it could be tossed away any time in order to achieve their desires.
Perhaps Fu Hongye’s life was very valuable, but You Jiang’s wasn’t.
In this world, there was nobody who would cherish a demonic cultivator’s life. Even You Jiang himself wouldn’t.
The two of them continued to fight. You Jiang knew in his heart that he wasn’t a match for Fu Hongye. Thus, he decided to lead the youth outside the city walls.
With their high cultivation realms, cultivators like them could transform into a stream of light in the blink of an eye, before immediately disappearing with no traces.
What was left were the common folk who had been stupefied by the fight between the mighty. They surrounded the ruins of the restaurant and discussed the event in high spirits.
Relying on their virtuous behaviour, Azure Sky Mansion had the lowest ranking seat in the Heavenly Alliance.
Just for this, no matter whether Qiu Yuebai was a real saint or just a hypocrite, he still needed to be benevolent in front of other people. He definitely couldn’t ignore someone who looked clearly like an injured righteous cultivator.
This was why You Jiang had ordered Cun Jie to go directly to Qiu Yuebai.
And although this Samaritan Qiu didn’t understand why Fu Hongye would chase a demonic cultivator and leave just like that, he still ordered his people to bring Cun Jie into the Qiu mansion.
Both Fu Hongye’s arrival and departure had been extremely sudden. Azure Sky Mansion’s steward didn’t figure out what was going on.
However, when he realized Qiu Yuebai was planning on keeping this person of unknown origin, he couldn’t help but advise him, “Mansion Master, nowadays you are standing where the wind and the waves are the fiercest. It’s better to avoid unnecessary troubles ah. ”
The blue-robed person sitting on the wheelchair had always been as serene as water. He hadn’t shown even the slightest astonishment when he saw Fu Hongye’s shocking sword intent.
However, when Qiu Yuebai heard his steward’s words, the look in his eyes changed.
Silently lifting his head, he met the gaze of the common people who had assembled there. What he saw the most were expressions of worry or suspicion, and it was very hard to find the trust he had once seen in the past.
Subconsciously, Qiu Yuebai’s finger plucked a string on his guqin. What followed was a deep sigh before he said, “Things have already reached this point, could it even get worse? Carry him into the mansion first and call a doctor to properly treat him.”
The Azure Sky Mansion wasn’t a small and weak sect. If it was merely some rumours or slander, Qiu Yuebai could have settled it himself. There would have been no reason for the Heavenly Alliance to get involved.
The reason why things had developed to the point where they needed Fu Hongye to come personally, was precisely because even Qiu Yuebai wasn’t able to find the source of the problem.
He didn’t know whether or not Fu Hongye had discovered the truth behind everything. Qiu Yuebai could only hope that the demonic cultivator the Alliance Leader was chasing was precisely the main culprit.
But for now, he could only tell the common people again, “Everybody, regardless of how you may question this one, there is one thing you must remember. There is a problem with the water in Rain Monarch Cave, so you absolutely must not give it to anyone to drink. Moreover, you cannot use it to water the immortal tea plants.”
Mingchuan relied on immortal water to become prosperous. From generation to generation, the common people planted immortal tea plants to make a living.
Rain Monarch Cave was precisely the source of the immortal water.
However, three months ago, Qiu Yuebai suddenly proclaimed that there was a demonic thing within Rain Monarch Cave, before completely sealing off the entire place and forbidding anyone to use its water.
Immortal tea plants depended completely on the spiritual energy of immortal water to grow. If normal water was used to water the plants, the leaves would lose its effectiveness. In that case, why would any cultivators want to purchase them?
When Azure Sky Mansion sealed off this water source, it was as if they had cut off the income for everyone in the entire city.
Hindering one’s livelihood naturally attracted everyone’s resentment. In the beginning, Qiu Yuebai was still able to use his prestige to keep this matter under control.
However, as time passed and no demonic thing was found, the common people within the city became unable to continue waiting. They each began asking Azure Sky Mansion to give them an explanation.
From time to time, there would even be people sneaking into Rain Monarch Cave to draw water. Thus, clashes would happen between the common people and the disciples guarding the place.
Like this, the problems became more and more critical. There were even some rumours that claimed Azure Sky Mansion had discovered a treasure in the Rain Monarch Cave and wanted to monopolize it.
This was how the current, tangled mess came to be.
The rich families in the city were waiting for immortal water so they could exchange it with the righteous sects for spiritual stones. The common people were also waiting for immortal water so they could water the immortal tea plants they had been planting for an entire year.
Now that they heard Rain Monarch Cave had to be sealed off for even longer, people immediately began protesting with resentment.
“We have been using this water for nearly a hundred years and there has never been any problems. Before this, nobody had ever become ill due to it either. Isn’t it too excessive for Azure Sky Mansion to seal off this place just because they want to?!”
These days, Qiu Yuebai has heard their complaints many times. He reckoned that the people in the city were already fed up with his explanations as well.
Thus, he merely replied in a deep voice, “My Azure Sky Mansion has already invited the Heavenly Alliance Leader to investigate. That person just now was precisely the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect. With him undertaking this task, I believe it wouldn’t be long before he finds the cause for the change in our water supply. I request everyone to continue waiting with patience.”
The fame of the Heavenly Alliance finally had an impact. When everyone at the scene recalled the sword intent that had practically split open the sky, they finally calmed down and began scattering.
However, one could still hear people lament, “Sigh, I hope the prohibition will be lifted soon. We can’t break off the water source for the immortal tea plants for too long. If this continues, the harvest for our entire year will disappear.”
Immortal tea had originated from Azure Sky Mansion. No one could understand more clearly than Qiu Yuebai, just how important the Rain Monarch Cave was to Mingchuan.
This place was surrounded by mountains, so they didn’t have much resources. The land wasn’t suitable for them to farm, nor was it easy for them to establish a trading market.
If they didn’t have this source of spiritual water, it would have been impossible for them to develop to this extent.
The common people couldn’t lose their immortal water. However, it was impossible for Qiu Yuebai to let the contaminated water be sent to all the major sects in the world, becoming the cause of calamity and chaos.
Right now, he could only resist everyone’s pressure by himself, before entrusting all of his hopes and expectations to Fu Hongye.
The black-robed youth who had collapsed beside him was very heavily injured. Qiu Yuebai was unsure exactly what the demonic way was scheming right now.
He could only hope Sect Leader Fu would be able to solve that demonic cultivator and return peace to the city. In addition, Qiu Yuebai prayed that there was still hope for Rain Monarch Cave to be saved, so Mingchuan’s century-long business wouldn’t be demolished just like that.
In the midst of the bleak autumn wind, the blue-robed cultivator’s sigh could barely be heard. In the end, Qiu Yuebai only said a single sentence in a helpless tone——
“Sect Leader Fu, I hope you can rid evil and quickly return.”