Chapter 3: The First Meeting
It was currently the spring equinox. Last night, Cang Ya Mountain received a bout of rain.
This morning, mist sprawled over the mountain. The greenery looked even more lush, showcasing the layers carved deep into the mountain.
A teenager was walking on the mountain’s rugged stone path. Faint clouds of mist ensconced his figure, while the condensation on the plants dampened the hem of his winding robe.
This boy was at the age where youths were high-spirited. However, his pace was steady, neither hurried nor sluggish. In addition, his gaze was calm and gentle, with not a single trace of arrogance.
In comparison, the pink-clothed young girl chasing after him appeared rather impatient.
He YanYun concentrated her gaze onto the back of the person in front of her.
A few moments ago, senior-apprentice brother Luo had become Cang Ya Mountain’s succeeding disciple. Currently, he was wearing a complicated and dignified ceremonial robe. It was a big difference from the simple, white robe he wore in the past.
Senior-apprentice brother Luo’s new outfit consisted of a dark blue outer robe made of satin, one that covered a white gown embroidered with snowflakes and a meticulous drawing of Hanhai Cangsong.
His cuffs and his collar were lined with embroidered clouds made from silver thread. Last but not least, a green coiled dragon jade pendant was tied to the waist of his outer robe.
As he walked, the many folded layers of his wide sleeves billowed like clouds. Needless to say, his new outfit accentuated his tall and straight figure extremely well.
He YanYun felt as if the distance between herself and the person in front of her was gradually growing, as if she would soon be left behind. Thus, the young girl concentrated her spiritual energy and leapt into the air. Her figure flashed before she suddenly landed in front of the teenager boy.
He YanYun hurriedly called, “Senior-apprentice brother!”
The teenage boy was not at all surprised. Instead, he gently said, “If junior-apprentice sister has a matter you must discuss with me, please wait until after I return from this trip.”
Originally, this youth’s appearance was more of a strict and severe type of handsome. However, because of his gentle temperament that surrounded his body like an aura, he instead looked rather friendly and reliable.
Some people had an inherent and unique ability. Whenever they spoke words of rejection, not even the slightest degree of malice would be born in the hearts of the people around them.
Luo MingChuan was precisely someone who had that kind of ability.
The young girl was apparently confident in his good temper. Like before, she was unwilling to spare him and continued to block his path. Her tone even had a somewhat coquettish feel as she asked, “Senior-apprentice brother, I heard you asked our Master, the Sect Leader, for a Cang Lan Edict. What do you intend to do?”
He YanYun was a lovable, charming and pretty girl. Acting like this didn’t make others feel that she was being rude. Instead, she gave the cute and innocent feel of a family’s young daughter.
However, the teenage boy’s expression did not change. He replied, “Junior-apprentice sister, please return. I need to travel down the mountain.”
“If you want to go down the mountain, why would you need a Cang Lan Edict?” The young girl knitted her forehead and began pondering for a moment. Suddenly, as if she had thought of something, her large, round eyes widened. “Cang Ya Mountain’s dungeon?!”
“Senior-apprentice brother, don’t tell me you want to visit that guy named Yin something?!”
The teenage boy fell silent.
He YanYun knew that her senior-apprentice brother Luo did not lie. This kind of reaction was basically his tacit agreement.
Thus, she became even more emotional. “Why do you want to visit him?! So what if he’s from Xi Hua Peak?! What’s so amazing about that?! It’s evident that his thoughts are malevolent, deceitful in many ways and that he’s someone who wishes to harm us! Senior-apprentice brother, now you are Cang Ya Mountain’s succeeding disciple! Could it be you’re scared of him?!”
Luo MingChuan knitted his eyebrows. “Junior-apprentice sister He, please speak more cautiously.”
However, the young girl didn’t even think over her next words before she blurted them out. “Don’t tell me I said something wrong? Seven days later, after the public trial, his cultivation will be destroyed and he will be evicted from the Sect. In my opinion, for the serious crime of slaughtering his own Sect disciples, even Xi Hua Peak wouldn’t be able to protect him. Even if it’s the Sword……”
Suddenly, He YanYun lost her voice and became mute, as if there was an invisible hand tightly gripping her throat. Overwhelming fear began bubbling forward, and her skin began dripping with cold sweat. This type of dread wasn’t because of anything or any person around her, rather, it originated and burst out from deep inside her heart.
She wasn’t the only person who feared this much. In this world, practically everyone was the same as her.
Even though it was simply blurting out some words that were slightly disrespectful, the fear engraved in her bones would instantly rush forward, pressuring her until she could not breathe.
Only now did He YanYun understand, when senior-apprentice brother Luo had reminded her to speak cautiously, it wasn’t to curb her insults to Yin BiYue. No, he had been afraid she would say something rude regarding that person.
The words she had almost said was Yin BiYue’s famous Master’s name. The Peak Master of Xi Hua Peak who had been out travelling for many years —— the ‘Sword Saint’, Wei JingFeng.
She was indeed too forgetful. This wasn’t something she could rashly comment on.
He YanYun took a deep breath and strived to restore her usual calm. Her tone also weakened a bit as she began to plead, “Senior-apprentice brother, do you have to go? If you really must visit, then bring me along as well. I also want to see what kind of place the dungeon is……”
Although the youth’s tone was still warm and gentle, there wasn’t a trace of him wavering. Instead, he just said in an helpless manner, “Don’t fuss.”
Undeterred, He YanYun still wanted to persuade him a bit more. However, she saw the teenager’s figure begin to ripple like a wave of water. The ripples were both deep and shallow, and then, in the blink of an eye, his figure dissipated completely.
Turning pale with fright, He YanYun quickly recovered and realized that the youth had teleported. Although senior-apprentice brother Luo couldn’t normally perform this level of space manipulation arts, he currently possessed the Cang Lan Edict. With it, he could borrow the power of Cang Ya Mountain’s mountain range to instantly transport himself away.
Left behind just like that, the young girl was so indignant that she stamped her foot.
Meanwhile, inside the mountain, a thick, black iron door slowly opened, slowly letting in light to expand the small crack in the darkness. It seemed as if it was an abyss that swallowed people, one that was finally revealing its true colours.
The moment Luo MingChuan walked in, he felt his spiritual energy stagnate. He was a spiritual cultivator, so the feeling of his true essence being limited was indeed terrible.
At first, it had only been a slight discomfort. However, that discomfort deepened as he walked down the stairs. By the time his feet touched the lowest floor, it felt as if he had been chained with invisible shackles.
The guard had long received an explanation. He carried a small, portable oil lamp, the candle flame looking as if it would flicker out at any second, before he began waiting by the entrance.
Luo MingChuan slightly bowed to salute him before saying, “Thank you for your troubles.”
The guard moved aside to evade his salute. His tone was hoarse and sluggish as he replied, “I don’t dare.”
Luo MingChuan knew why he wanted to come here. He knew that he was the person Yin BiYue had wanted to kill in the Violet Heaven Secret Realm. Everyone else was only dragged into the mess because they had been associated with him.
However, he didn’t understand. Why had Yin BiYue wanted to kill him so badly?
Clearly, they became acquainted with each other that year in the Lan Yuan Academy. Although they no longer interacted with each other after they both entered Cang Ya Mountain, there shouldn’t be any hatred between the two of them.
Luo MingChuan stared at the pitch-black, cold and gloomy prison cell before he mentally sighed. That innately talented, enviable teenager he had seen during their first meeting……today, he had unexpectedly declined to this state.
Besides the ticking of the water clock, the sound of footsteps echoed within the corridor. They were steady and calm as someone walked down the long and narrow pathway. Hearing this sound, the Yin BiYue who had been leaning against the wall opened his eyes. Now that his true essence was sealed, his eyesight could no longer compare to what it had been before. Thus, he hadn’t recognized who came to visit him until the person was five steps away, their face finally illuminated by the candle flame’s weak light.
A jade crown, white robes. Raised eyebrows, dignified eyes……
Yin BiYue’s pupils abruptly shrunk! Instantly, every muscle in his body was stretched taut as he nearly jumped to his feet. However, Yin BiYue immediately used up all his strength to force himself to relax.
This was the instinctive reaction the original Yin BiYue had whenever they saw the person in front of him. It was so strong that now, even though the original’s soul had long left this body, this reaction still remained.
This……Exactly how much did the original hate the protagonist, ah!?
The guard handed over his oil lamp to Luo MingChuan before he retreated himself. Luo MingChuan gazed at the gloomy prison cell before calling out in a probing tone, “Junior-apprentice brother Yin?”
Within the darkness, the noises of rubbing metal and clashing chains echoed in the room, sounding particularly sharp and grating.
The person in the prison cell approached with the sound of jangling chains, before he appeared under the weak light of the candle flame. His face looked deathly pale and his head was bowed. He was wearing a simple and white robe, one with nothing embroidered on it and lacking all decorations. In addition, his long hair was not combed up, and instead flowed down over his body in a disorganized manner.
His wide and long sleeves were engulfed in the gloom outside the reach of the weak candle flame, making this person’s figure seem even more thin.
The youth lifted his head, and immediately, his eyes met Luo MingChuan’s gaze. Those eyes looked deep and cold, as if it was an icy star traveling high in the heavens.
For a moment, Luo MingChuan could only stare blankly.
His keen intuition told him that there had to be something wrong. His impression of junior-apprentice brother Yin wasn’t like this.
This person’s gaze had always been gloomy and cold, one immersed in melancholy. Occasionally, when the other lifted his head to look at him, it always gave him the feeling that some cold-blooded beast was staring at him.
However, the coldness emitting from the youth in front of him was more like the indifference of a god on a cloud looking down on mortals. It was an inherent apathy.
It suddenly made Luo MingChuan feel absent-minded and dazed.
When they had met for the first time in the Academy, he had already thought that this junior-apprentice brother had excellent looks. But when he carefully sized him up now, he suddenly realized that although this youth had not fully matured, his facial features were already completely developed. He had thin lips and a straight nose, sword-like eyebrows and eyes that looked like stars. One couldn’t find a single flaw on this boy’s face.
Yin BiYue looked like a statue placed in an ancestral hall, one meticulously carved out of the best white jade. But although he had the beauty and loftiness of a deity, there wasn’t even the littlest amount of life present in his appearance.