When Jing Yue uttered those words, not to mention the rest of the onlookers, even Old man Liu nearly vomited a mouthful of blood.
He clearly remembered Jing Yue mentioned that he did not join any sects.
No matter how talented, he was only a level-2 Qi Refining cultivator. Since he had no backing, how could he say such things to the Hall of Fiery Pill?
“You’re courting death!” The black-robed envoy raised his hand and a strong wind gathered around him, forming a pillar of wind that blew so vigorously the tiles on the roof creaked ominously.
Jing Yue took out a little wooden plaque leisurely. When the wind column was about to hit him, the wooden plaque lit up brightly and absorbed the impact of the spell.
In the void created by the spell absorption, a mess of blue light appeared, thousands of sparks merged and blended, gradually forming the pattern of a giant clock. The body of the clock was covered with sigils, engraved with ancient and mysterious arrays, shining brightly even under the scorching sun.
The instant the black-robed envoy saw the clock, his pupils constricted with panic and he thought he was dreaming.
His companion, the alchemist that was sent to the Chen family, was so scared he fell on the ground, his whole body shaking like a leaf.
Everyone was dumbstruck at the sight. Who could tell them what was going on?
The black-robed envoy shouted, “Immortal being, please spare our lives!”
After that, he prostrated on the ground and kowtowed heavily to Jing Yue.
Jing Yue retrieved the wooden plaque and said blankly, “You may leave now. From now on, the Hall of Fiery Pill will not interfere in the affairs of Megasun City again.”
The black-robed envoy was still mindful of his position and did not forget to grab his paralyzed companion before leaving.
Watching the turn of events, Chu Yun attempted to retain them, but the envoy pushed him away, “Get lost! As per our agreement, the Hall of Fiery Pill has stopped the Tower of Desert Snake, and the help given to the Chu family all these years is more than enough to repay our debt of gratitude. From now on, we’ll no longer partake in the affairs of the Chu family!”
Chu Yun was horrified, and the Chu and Jiang families were even more panicked.
The prestigious Hall of Fiery Pill in their eyes was actually so afraid of Jing Yue, to the extent of no dignity left? What did the boy of unknown origin do? What did that clock represent? The word that was uttered by the black-robed envoy, what did it mean?
The rest of the onlookers were unsettled, and the Chen family members were even more terrified. Although Chen Shi belonged to the Chen family, they had to take responsibility for their past actions. It would be a miracle if they could avoid punishment, but for them to share in the glory?
Chen Yong felt as if he was in an ice cellar. Even a fool would realize the mayor’s position that Chu Yun had almost acquired was now lost for sure. Without the help of the Hall of Fiery Pill, the Tower of Desert Snake would have no scruples in supporting the Zhao family again. Even if Zhao Huai was injured, there were other people in the Zhao family.
As for Chu, Jiang and himself, they had directly or indirectly harmed Chen Shi. If Jing Yue had resolved to pursue the matter, the only outcome waiting for them was devastation!
At such a shocking reversal, Zhao Huai, who was already at the brink of desperation, could not help but burst into laughter. He struggled to stand up and bowed to Jing Yue, “From now on, the Zhao family will pledge ourselves to you.”
“That won’t be necessary. You’ll still remain as the city mayor,” Jing Yue refused decisively. “You just need to take an oath, that from now on, the Zhao family will protect Chen Shi forever. No matter what he requests for, as long as it doesn’t violate moral or justice, as long as it is within your ability, you’ll help him achieve it.”
Zhao Huai took the oath without any hesitation, “If we break this oath, the Zhao family will face death and never enter reincarnation.”
“Very well.” Jing Yue turned to Lil Pebble. “Did you hear that? If you face any problems in the future, you can seek help from this uncle.”
Lil Pebble nodded naively, and suddenly had a premonition that he was going to part ways with the big brother. He frantically broke away from Old man Liu’s arms and pounced into Jing Yue’s arms instead, burying his face on his chest.
Jing Yue covered both Lil Pebble’s ears and said softly, “And now, let the massacre begin.”
This declaration was made mildly, but it was permeated with frigidity and bloodthirstiness.
That very night, the entire mayor’s manor was akin to the depths of hell.
The floor, the walls, even the eaves of the roof were stained with red. Potted plants and shrubbery bathed in bloody water. All the pathways were littered with corpses and severed limbs.
Fighting for power was a huge gamble. The stakes involved were the future, lives, and entire families. In just one night, the four great families of Megasun City were left with only the Zhao and the Chen, and the former four-way opposition disappeared like a cloud of smoke.
In the city.
Liu Yi and his brothers got together and exchanged the news they gathered.
Even though one of them lowered his voice, he could not help his excitement, “The person from the Hall of Fiery Pill struck out as fast as lightning, and a spell was directed at Jing-shaoxia^. At this moment, Jing-shaoxia took out a magic artifact from his Qiankun pouch. The magic artifact turned into a giant clock and the spell was rebounded to the attacker.”
(^TN: Shaoxia少侠 can be loosely defined as ‘young hero’ or ‘young swordsman’)
“People from the Hall of Fiery Pill were instantly beaten to the ground, choking on dirt, some of their front teeth even fell off, and they could only stammer incoherently, “Could…could the Shaoxia please spare our lives!”
The brothers laughed at his words. The person who was telling the story was very pleased with the reception he received, and continued, “Jing-shaoxia held the magic artifact and said disdainfully, ‘It’s not auspicious to kill today, so I’ll leave you with your miserable lives. Get lost!’”
Liu Yi touched his chin, “Hmm, Jing-shaoxia’s arrogance reminds me of my youth!”
His brothers, “…”
Another one said, “What I’ve heard was, on the day of the annihilation, anyone from the Chu-Jiang who resisted was killed, but those who kept quiet were merely stripped of their cultivation. Furthermore, the Chen family also suffered great losses, and the Chen family head was killed by his younger brother…”
“Are you trying to get yourself killed? The Chen family head is Young Master Chen Shi!” Liu Yi quickly castigated before looking around surreptitiously.
The person who made the mistake slapped his own mouth, “Pooh! I’m talking about Chen Yong, that crazy and inhuman beast! Rumors are spreading, not only has he sent his son and nephew to their deaths, but he also betrayed his family loyalty and caused the death of the old family head. Also! The current Young Master Chen Shi was poisoned by him and he almost lost his ability to cultivate, but he was cured by Jing-shaoxia.”
Another person sighed, “Just the other day, I came across a deplorable bald man and felt that he looked familiar. After some thought, I realized he was the former head steward of the Chen family!”
For some inexplicable reason, everyone’s heart was sorrowful.
Liu Yi looked at the sky glumly; a white cloud drifted slowly and shaded him from the scorching sun.
He suddenly said, “Fame and fortune would eventually be reduced to nothing. The scenery in front of you may be turned to dust in the next moment. What you have today may be lost tomorrow. Only the cultivation base is one’s own, and only the Dao is the right path.”
As he said the last word, he felt that his cultivation had loosened up a little.
In the next moment, there was a loud cry in the city, “I’ve finally advanced!”
At the same time, Chen Shi had just advanced to level-1 Body Forging. Old man Liu was almost beside himself with joy, but as he saw Lil Pebble’s forlorn look, his smile slowly disappeared.
Lil Pebble, “Has the big brother really gone away?”
Old man Liu consoled him, “He won’t stay here for long anyway. If you’re destined, you’ll meet again in the future.”
Lil Pebble was silent for a while before he asked, “Was big brother really going to join the Frostcloud Sect? Frostcloud Sect, is it really powerful?”
Old man Liu, “Very powerful. Everyone in the cultivation world looks up to it.”
Lil Pebble nodded, “I’ll most definitely practice hard. In the future, I’ll go to Frostcloud Sect and look for big brother.”
Old man Liu smiled in solace and touched Lil Pebble’s head.
‘I hope you’ll achieve your dream someday…’
Evernorth Lu Region.
It was common knowledge that the Lakhfrig Mountains lie to the north of the Evernorth.
According to legend, ten millennia ago, a Daoist Jing Yuan arrived at this place. With one stroke of his sword, he split nine mountains and reduced a radius of tens of thousands of miles into flatlands. With his ability to construct mountains and forge valleys, he created 18 large summits, 36 small summits, and 72 islands, and a sect was established.
That sect was named the Frostcloud Sect. When Daoist Jing Yuan broke through his thousandth-year, he buried a spiritual source seedling under the sect.
The spiritual source seedling transformed into a vein, nurtured by the heavens and grew in the earth, and the Frostcloud Sect eventually became a blessed land.
Frore City, the nearest city from the Lakhfrig Mountains.
Although the location was remote, and the climate bitterly cold, owing to its proximity to the Frostcloud Sect, it was boisterous and prosperous, the area was vast, and there were frequent travels between cultivators.
“We’ve finally arrived...”
Blue phoenix sprawled on top of Jing Yue’s head lethargically. After traveling many days on spiritual flying beasts, all its feathers were almost blown away.
At this moment, it fell on the ground and stood up again, before taking a good look around. The city was full of carts and horses, crowded with people, it was several dozen times livelier than that Megasun City. The blue phoenix immediately came back to life and flapped its wings on Jing Yue’s head, “Hurry, hurry up and take out your wooden plaque!”
Jing Yue grabbed it and stopped its mischief, “What’re you trying to do?”
Blue phoenix jumped on his hand, “Make them envious, of course! Humph! The people here are definitely unlike the country bumpkins of Megasun City, who don’t even know the teleportation charm of the Frostcloud Sect. Although it was a little cool to scare off the Hall of Fiery Pill, no one else actually knew anything about it. They only know to fear you, but no idea why. This sort of half-baked fun is suffocating Ji-ji!”
Jing Yue, “Ji-ji? Have you accepted this name?”
Blue phoenix froze and mumbled, “I’m… I’m just giving you face.”
Jing Yue held it with both hands, a pair of black-and-white orbs stared into green beady ones, “You’re so cute.”
Blue phoenix suddenly felt the heat in its cheeks, like the feathers were burning up. It quickly covered the cheeks with its wings, but still felt uncomfortable. So it flew to Jing Yue’s shoulder, buried its soft head into the crook of Jing Yue’s neck, and fell silent.
Jing Yue heaved a quiet sigh of relief. It was finally peaceful.
He thought of looking for a restaurant to fill his belly. He could only practice inedia upon reaching the Foundation Establishment stage. However, when he passed a street, there were many people gathered around, and through a gap in the crowd, he could vaguely see a wooden sign filled with names.
Driven by curiosity, Jing Yue also joined in.
It was indeed a wooden sign, about one foot wide and half a foot in height. The sign was made from Pearwood, a type of spiritual wood, which would not rot for ten millennia.
The top of the sign was engraved with the Interstellar List, Heaven and Earth List, and the Mountain River List. Under each list was a catalog of names, and each name was marked with this person’s cultivation level at the side.
Jing Yue first noticed the Interstellar List. It had the fewest names, and all of them were at the Return to Void stage, but all were unfamiliar to him.
“I don’t know any of them…” Jing Yue mumbled softly.
The person next to him exclaimed in surprise, “You don’t know the people on the Flying Immortal List?”
Jing Yue turned and saw a burly man dressed in shorts, his cultivation not very high, a step before the absolute level of Body Forging.
He smiled innocently, “This Big Brother, I just came from the Megasun City of the Miniwest Lu Region and have very little knowledge of such matters. Can you tell me more about this Flying Immortal List?”
It turned out that he came from the remote countryside, and at such a young age, no wonder he had not heard of the most influential Flying Immortal list.
At first, the burly wanted to ignore him, but because of the boy’s beautiful appearance, he could not help explaining, “The Flying Immortal list is a ranking of the cultivators’ strength that is distributed from time to time. It is categorized by the different stages of cultivation and only the first 100 cultivators will be on the list, which is very authoritative.”
“Among them, the Mountain River List predominantly includes cultivators of the Foundation Establishment stage and Golden Core stage, while the Heaven and Earth List include cultivators of the Amethyst Abode stage and Heavenly Grotto stage. As for the Interstellar List, those are stalwarts of the Return to Void stage, but the dozen or so names had been there for quite some time.”
“Does the list not include cultivators of the Tribulation Passage?” Jing Yue had already inquired that the little disciple he accepted back then was still alive, and now a Tribulation Passage stage.
The burly man looked quite amused, but shook his head, “There are only a handful of Tribulation Passage patriarchs. If they ever started fighting, won’t the cultivation world fall into turmoil? How could their names be on the list if so? Even the Interstellar List remained the same most of the time, and the current ranking is just an estimation based on their past fights.”
Jing Yue finally understood the implications and took another good look at the list.
Suddenly, he noticed an unfamiliar name on the list.
Body Forging - (guiding Qi into the body) - Qi Refining - Foundation Establishment - Golden Core - Amethyst Abode - Heavenly Grotto - Return to Void - Tribulation Passage