Central Region, There’s An Inn.
This was the most famous inn in Dachuan City of Central Region.
At this time, many customers gathered on the first floor of the inn, eating and sharing the gossip they heard recently.
Customer A, “Has the Ruyi Merchant started selling the fetal sculpting talisman again?”
Customer B,” I haven't heard, but since the one from Frostcloud Sect has returned, it should be soon, right?”
Customer C, “Why ask so many questions? It's not something you and I can think about.”
They sighed in unison.
Customer A added, “I heard that Jing-laozu is already at mid-level Golden Core stage as soon as he returned to the sect. His cultivation speed is much faster than Qin-zhenjun, right? I'm afraid the name of the first genius of the cultivation world will have to be changed.”
Customer B was obviously a fan of Qin Yanzhi. He crushed the peanut shell in his hand and said, “Nonsense, Qin-zhenjun has also reached the Heavenly Grotto stage. No matter how many realms Jing-laozu has crossed, can it be more difficult than Amethyst Abode to Heavenly Grotto?”
Customer C, “Yes, the ranking on the Flying Immortal List has changed. Jing-laozu is not on the Golden Core list, but as soon as Qin-zhenjun returned, he jumped straight to first place on the Heavenly Grotto list. I heard that he charged into the West Shu alone and turned that place upside down. He personally slaughtered six Heavenly Grotto demonic cultivators but the demonic Dao dared not say anything at all.”
Customer A, “How many powerful demon cultivators are there? He’s only a Heavenly Grotto, how dare he be so bold? Isn’t he afraid that Lurking Ghost Sect would come after him?”
Customer B said contemptuously, “The Lurking Ghost Sect has shunned all connections about the ambush of the righteous Dao disciples back then and is unwilling to come forward. Other demonic sects are not that powerful either. If the enemy is really difficult to deal with, Qin-zhenjun can just avoid it. Does he really have to fight head-on?”
Customer A, “Isn’t sword cultivation all about charging ahead?”
Customer B, “Sword cultivators are not idiots.”
They talked so enthusiastically that they didn’t notice when a Daoist came into the inn, and he had a little blue chicken on his shoulder.
At this time, Jing Yue sat in a corner of the inn, listening to a few people talking nonsense, thinking about Qin Yanzhi… ah no, just thinking about something related to Qin Yanzhi, with mixed feelings.
Could Qin Yanzhi be Yi Wang?
The inexplicable sense of familiarity of the other party, certain words and actions in daily life, as well as the unintentional destruction of the Amethyst Abode to reshape the physical body, and even Taiqing’s choice, all made Jing Yue suspicious, but why couldn’t he feel that Qin Yanzhi possessed the soul of Yi Wang?
By right, if Yi Wang was reincarnated, his soul would still have a causal relationship with him.
But Qin Yanzhi's soul was unfamiliar to him. Even if there was cause and effect now, it was because they had experienced too much together, which was different from the connection of the previous life.
“Jing-jing, Ji-ji wants to say something…”
Jing Yue, “Don’t say it.” At such times, nothing good would come out of blue phoenix’s mouth.
Blue phoenix, “Hmph!”
During the interaction between man and phoenix, the people at that table had changed the subject.
“By the way, why are there so many cultivators in Dachuan City recently? It wasn’t this lively the last few times I came.”
“The Melody Fruit of Four Elephants Villa is about to be born. Sect Leader Mo Qianyun has sent a message to the public. The cultivators are most likely here for the Melody Fruit.”
“Melody Fruit? Is it the fruit that bears one fruit in a hundred years and can help Golden Core cultivators stabilize their realm?”
Stabilize the realm? Jing Yue was a little moved.
He had formed a golden core due to the fusion between the ‘original self’ and the ‘other self’. It was too big of a jump at one go and it would probably take five or ten years to completely stabilize the realm. If not for the sudden feeling that came over him this time, he wouldn’t have come out of seclusion early and headed to Three Realm Temple.
If the melody fruit was really as these people claimed, it was exactly what he needed, but why had he never heard of such a thing before?
“Jing-jing! Me, me, me! Ji-ji knows!”
The blue phoenix jumped in front of him, with wings on its back, swaying its head and saying, “Guanqi Mountain, there is a tree, named Melody. The tree produces a flower, the flower has nine petals, the flowering period of a hundred years. Hear the sound of heaven and blossom, bear a fruit, calm the mind and stabilize the state.”
Jing Yue, “Guanqi Mountain? Isn’t it nearby?”
Blue phoenix, “Yes, but now there is no more Melody Tree on Guanqi Mountain. It has long been divided up by greedy people. It is difficult to raise the Melody tree without the old soil. The melody tree they were talking about at Four Elephants Villa is probably one of the few left. The reason why Jing-jing hasn't heard of it was that the melody tree was a plant that grew after the Yao Catalyst and only effective for the Golden Core stage to stabilize the realm, so it’s not very popular.”
Jing Yue, “In other words, taking the melody fruit can save me a few years of cultivation?”
Seeing blue phoenix nodding with certainty and thinking about what it had just said, Jing Yue couldn't help but be a little convinced, so he got up and walked to the table where the customers were talking.
“Everyone, I’m sorry to interrupt.”
At once, the eyes of ABC went slack and they looked as if they had been dazzled.
Jing Yue, “I heard that you mentioned the melody fruit just now. I wonder if you can tell me more details about it.”
Customer A was a local and he didn’t know how to react at this moment. He said hesitantly, “Uh, of course, we can.”
It turned out that Four Elephants Villa was the largest sect in Dachuan and also ranked highly in the entire Central region. There was a melody tree in the villa, also the only one in the central region.
Every hundred years, when the melody fruit of Four Elephants Villa was about to mature, the sect leader would invite all cultivators to the villa to get the fruit. Whoever could produce the most beautiful music to attract the melody fruit to bloom would get the melody fruit.
Although Jing Yue was not good at instrumental music, he was still quite interested, and said, “May I ask how do I get to Four Elephants Villa?”
Customer A gave directions. “The villa is on the cliff mountain not far from Dachuan City.”
Jing Yue, “Thank you very much.”
In a blink of an eye, he had disappeared from the entrance of the inn.
After he had left, ABC still didn’t come back to their senses after a long while. Suddenly, customer A slammed the table, took out a picture book from his pocket, and lowered his head while flipping through it. Then, he pointed at a full-length portrait and shouted, “It’s him! No wonder he looks so familiar!”
“Who is it?” the other two asked impatiently.
“Frostcloud Sect! Jing Yue-laozu!”
“So it’s him… really…”
Several people looked in the direction of Jing Yue's departure with respect and envy in their eyes, seemingly in a trance.
From Dachuan City to Cliff Mountain would take half a day by flying magic weapon.
In the evening, Jing Yue had arrived at the foot of the Cliff Mountain.
At this time, the red hue of the sunset permeated the trees in the distance. The mountains were hidden in a sea of rouge-colored fog as if they were burning in flames. Even the knowledgeable Jing Yue couldn’t help but sigh at the beauty.
He was about to go up the mountain when he heard a pleasantly surprised voice. “Could it be A-jing?”
The blue phoenix turned its head faster than Jing Yue and accidentally twisted its neck but it didn't have time to cry out—they must be wary of those who still dared to call him A-jing!
“Hmph! So it’s him!” blue phoenix said resentfully.
Jing Yue also saw the person clearly by now. “It’s him…”
“A-jing, it’s been a while.”
The young Daoist stopped in front of Jing Yue. His long eyebrows grew into the temples, stars hidden in the phoenix eyes, long and slender body with a dignified appearance, and undisguised surprise on his face.
Jing Yue, “So it’s Wei-daoyou.”
A person by the surname Wei and who acted so familiarly with him could only be Wei Zhentu, the genius disciple of Scattered Star Villa.
This person had lost to Jing Yue during the bamboo-picking event and later came to ask for advice on formation, getting burnt into carbon in the process, so Jing Yue had a deep impression of him.
Wei Zhentu, “I really didn't expect that A-jing still remembered me.”
Jing Yue, “Hehe.”
Blue phoenix, “Jing-jing, you have to be careful of him. Ji-ji thinks he’s up to something.”
Jing Yue pressed blue phoenix into his arms. Seeing that Wei Zhentu had become a golden core, he asked, “Is Wei-daoyou here for the melody fruit as well?”
Wei Zhentu, “Exactly, it seems that A-jing is the same.”
Jing Yue smiled. “We are competitors then.”
Wei Zhentu also smiled. “When we compete, we are opponents. Now, let's go up the mountain together.”
Jing Yue, “After you.”
Wei Zhentu made a gesture, signaling Jing Yue to go first, and Jing Yue went right ahead.
There were a total of seven peaks on Cliff Mountain and the Four Elephants Villa was located on the seventh peak. Due to the melody fruit, the mountain gate of Four Elephants Villa was wide open. Any cultivator could easily enter the barrier without any tokens.
But as soon as he entered the barrier, Jing Yue found that the scenery in front of him had changed. He seemed to have entered an ink painting—the mountains, water, clouds, and buildings were all painted with ink without any sense of reality. It was like he could only touch a thin sheet of paper.
A layer of ripples suddenly appeared in the air. A Daoist boy slowly appeared as if he had torn open the paper and walked out.
The Daoist boy half bent over and greeted, “Two distinguished guests, please follow me.”
As he spoke, he fiddled with his hands a few times, and the ink painting gradually became three-dimensional, no longer the original flat feeling as the scenery came to life.
“Huh?” Jing Yue looked curious when Wei Zhentu said, “It's the mountain-entry formation of Four Elephants Villa. It looks odd but the principle is not complicated. If A-jing is interested, I’ll tell you about it later.”
Jing Yue nodded and said, “Okay.”
They followed the Daoist boy all the way to a courtyard.
Daoist boy, “The melody fruit is expected to mature tomorrow afternoon. Someone from the villa will invite you in advance. Please have a good rest today.”
Jing Yue, “Thank you very much.”
Wei Zhentu asked the Daoist boy, “Am I supposed to stay with him?”
Daoist boy, “There are two guest houses in the courtyard.”
Wei Zhentu frowned imperceptibly but Jing Yue perceived it keenly. “What? Does Wei-daoyou have any difficulties?”
“No, it’s just a casual question. A-jing, don’t think too much about it.” Wei Zhentu still had his usual smiling look as if what Jing Yue saw was an illusion.
When the Daoist boy left, the two walked into the courtyard together.