As soon as these words came out, even Wei Zhentu was stunned. “Daoist Hong Luan really said that?”
Ruan Jiu nodded heavily. “Ten days ago at night, when my Shizun was on the way back, she suddenly sensed a faint Yao aura in the northwest direction of upper south region. She immediately predicted the direction of Moonflower City and slashed out with a sword. Shizun said that she was sure that she had hit something, but when her consciousness swept over, she found nothing.”
Several people showed thoughtful expressions. A small portion of the Yao race was suppressed in Three Realm Temple, and the rest were sealed in Yao Detention Mountain. Even if the barrier was unreliable, there were still people guarding outside. How could any Yao come into the human world soundlessly? Could it be another half-Yao?
Ruan Jiu, “My Shizun returned to the sect but still felt uneasy, so she asked me to check it out. As a result, when I arrived in Moonflower City, I heard that something strange has happened in Greentown, so I rushed over.”
After saying that, he glanced at Wei Zhentu reproachfully. “I really didn't come here to pester you.”
Wei Zhentu also knew it was a misunderstanding by now, awkwardly arching his hand. “I'm sorry.”
Ruan Jiu suddenly smiled, his face slightly red. “It's okay, I'm also very happy to meet Wei-daoyou.”
Wei Zhentu, “…”
“Jing-jing, that Lil Wine must like Leafblower!” Blue phoenix nestled in Jing Yue's arms and stared straight at Ruan and Wei.
(TN: Ruan Jiu 阮酒 Jiu = wine/alcohol)
Jing Yue, “Well, you guessed right this time.”
Blue phoenix suddenly glared at Wei Zhentu jealously. “Hmph, Leafblower is quite blessed, huh? But don’t worry, Jing-jing, you have Ji-ji to like you.” After a pause, it said, “Hooligan likes you too. You have one more than him, so you win!”
Jing Yue, “You don’t have to remind me about that.”
Several people delayed outside the door for a while. The original team of four became five. Su Xiaocui knocked on the front door. Although the grief of losing her father had not yet faded, she was full of confidence.
After all, there were four immortals behind her!
“Is anyone there? I'm Xiaocui. I'm back, along with a few immortals.”
But after a long while, there was no movement inside the door.
Jing Yue couldn’t be bothered to wait any longer. With a flick of his sleeves, the door slammed open, and many people from the Du family were standing behind the door, all with pale faces and staring at them numbly.
Blue phoenix hugged Jing Yue in fear, and the latter also felt a little creeped out. Looking at all the women here, he guessed that the male members of the Du family were not doing well.
Jing Yue sighed and asked, “Where's your young master?”
No one answered, and everyone still looked at them impassively.
Su Xiaocui shrank her neck and whispered, “The young master has been sick for a long time.”
Jing Yue, “Was he also infected by evil?”
Su Xiaocui, “Not really. The young master seems to be traumatized by fright and went a little crazy.”
She simply brought several immortals to the young master's courtyard, and the rest of the Du family did not react to this.
When they entered the room, they saw a person lying on the bed, looking skinny and unconscious, muttering under his breath, “Yue'er, I'm the one who let you down…”
Jing Yue, “Who is Yue’er?”
Su Xiaocui's eyes flickered, and she finally said reluctantly, “S-She was the young master’s close acquaintance before he got married.”
It turned out that Young Master Du had a ridiculous affair before he got married. He was already betrothed long ago, but he was on good terms with a young woman from a family in the town. The young woman got pregnant, so the family came to the Du family to discuss, and asked Young Master Du to be responsible. Young Master Du really liked that young woman sincerely, so he had a falling out with his family for a while, and even eloped with the young woman.
“At that time, the master and madam were very anxious. They sent people to look for them, but how could they find them? Unexpectedly, the young master returned by himself the next day.” Su Xiaocui tried her best to recall what happened at that time. “I remember that the young master was very lost for a while. Everyone was on tenterhooks during that time. At the slightest movement, the young master would startle and then burst into anger. It wasn't until a year later that the young master and the young madam got married, and had a son another year later, that he completely recovered. But now…”
Jing Yue, “Obviously, Young Master Du thinks that the Du family incident has something to do with that young woman. Perhaps it would be better to know what happened on the day they eloped.”
Seeing that Young Master Du didn't seem to be able to speak normally, he said to Qin Yanzhi, “Zhenjun is more proficient in hypnosis than I am. Sorry to trouble you then.”
Qin Yanzhi nodded slightly, knowing that Young Master Du's restless state was not conducive to hypnosis, making it difficult for Jing Yue.
He stepped forward and pointed at Young Master Du's forehead. Young Master Du was immediately frozen, staring at Qin Yanzhi, while Qin Yanzhi's eyes turned completely black, without the whites of his eyes.
After about a quarter of an hour, Qin Yanzhi walked back to Jing Yue. “It's not an elopement. That night, he wanted to die with that young woman in the Earth God Temple in Greentown, taking their unborn child with them.”
Qin Yanzhi said that he saw that Young Master Du and the young woman made a pact to drink poisonous wine. While Young Master Du hesitated for a moment, the young woman was already bleeding from her seven orifices, clutching her stomach and screaming. Blood soon stained her skirt wet. Young Master Du was very frightened, and suddenly he didn't dare to die. Seeing the young woman breathe her last very quickly, he panicked and wanted to flee home, but also worried that the matter couldn’t be explained clearly and provoke a lawsuit for him, he took the young woman's body out of the Earth God Temple and threw it into a lake not far from the temple.
“It was night and no one noticed.”
“Scum!” Wei Zhentu said angrily. “Other matters aside, why does he still want to destroy the corpse?”
Jing Yue asked, “Didn’t the young woman’s family come looking for her?”
Su Xiaocui hadn't recovered from Qin Yanzhi's words and only said after a long while, “T-They did. Later, the master paid hundreds of taels of silver, and her family forgot the whole thing, saying that they never had this daughter.”
Jing Yue, “If the evil spirit is really the young woman named Yue'er, it’s still reasonable if she wants to take revenge on the Du family, but why harm others in town?”
Blue phoenix stuck its head out and said, “She must think that all men are scum!”
Jing Yue pressed it back and said, “It's not normal that so many people died here, but there's no trace of evil spirits. Since everything points to the young woman named Yue'er, let's go to the lake to explore.”
Wei Zhentu, “It so happens that the Earth God Temple you’re looking for is also there.”
Su Xiaocui, “Earth God Temple?”
Jing Yue, “Anything wrong?”
Su Xiaocui said, “Nothing, it's just that the Earth God Temple in the town was originally full of worshippers, but after this incident, the townspeople believe that the earth god didn’t bless us, so they overturned the temple in a fit of anger.”
Jing Yue, “They demolished the Earth God Temple?”
Su Xiaocui, “Not really. After all, they still had reverence and dared not destroy the statue, but they refuse to worship the earth god now.”
Jing Yue nodded. “So that's how it is.”
Ruan Jiu said cautiously, “C-Can I go along?”
Before Wei Zhentu could speak, Qin Yanzhi said, “Of course.”
Wei Zhentu, “…”
Thus, they quickly arrived at the lakeside, and Jing Yue scanned with his divine consciousness. “There’s no trace of evil or Yao energy in the lake.”
Su Xiaocui, “Maybe it’s not Miss Yue’er?”
Jing Yue, “Didn’t you say that when the members of the Du family died, it was as if they had been soaked in water? Regardless of whether it was related to Miss Yue'er, the evil was definitely involved with water. Is there another lake in town? Or nearby rivers and streams?”
Su Xiaocui shook her head. “No, there is only this lake in town or the wells in each residence…”
There were many wells in the town, and it was a bit cumbersome to check. Wei Zhentu said thoughtfully, “A-jing, why don't I go check the wells and you can check out the earth god temple.”
Jing Yue, “Alright, sorry to trouble you then.”
Qin Yanzhi, “Ruan-daoyou should go with Wei-daoyou. It will be faster that way.
Ruan Jiu agreed immediately and glanced at Qin Yanzhi gratefully.
Wei Zhentu was tempted to refuse, but in front of Jing Yue, he really couldn't make such a squeamish gesture.
Since Su Xiaocui had to help lead the way, she left with them, so only Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi were left by the lake.
The breeze blew gently and the lake surface rippled. Jing Yue's ink-like hair also moved with the wind. He stared at Qin Yanzhi. “Did you do it on purpose?”
Qin Yanzhi was frank, “Yes.”
Jing Yue was silent. “Come on, let's go to the earth god temple.”
The Earth God Temple was located by the lake, less than a mile away. The temple door was wide open, and the overturned offering table in the temple, as well as offerings of incense and candles, could be seen from a distance.
Before entering the door, Jing Yue noticed the air of integrity coming from the temple. He and Qin Yanzhi looked at each other and walked straight in.
The temple was dark with all the windows closed tightly. Jing Yue looked around and his gaze finally landed on the statue of the earth god right in front.
The clay statue was painted with colored lacquer. An old man with a beard and white hair sat in the center, holding a walking cane in one hand and the palm of the other hand facing upwards.
Jing Yue examined the statue's benevolent form. After a while, he signaled to Qin Yanzhi with his eyes. The latter understood, and the two retreated from the temple together.
Just as they turned around, the figure in the shadow suddenly moved, and the corner of his mouth curled into an evil smile.
Once outside the temple door, Qin Yanzhi asked, “Aren't you looking for the mother bamboo?”
Jing Yue took out the withered branch given to him by Old Man Tianzhu. “Old man Tianzhu said that if there is the presence of the mother bamboo nearby, the withered branch will return to life. But now there is no movement, which means that the mother bamboo is not here.”
Qin Yanzhi, “After all, 8,000 years have passed, and this place isn’t full of spiritual energy either. The mother bamboo was either taken away by someone or no longer exists.”
Jing Yue, “Forget it, I'll help the old man to think of a way in the future. It’s not difficult to make a clone from the main body. The difficult part is to completely detach the clone to form another self, and to merge with the main body again in the end.”
Qin Yanzhi, “Just like you and me.”
Jing Yue said with a smile, “When we came out of the altar that day, I went to the Haotian Realm to pick Ji-ji up. The disciples in Mini Frostcloud Sect missed you, and Song Xiaobao even asked about you specifically.”
Qin Yanzhi remembered the fat goose who chased after his ‘other self’, calling him pretty little Jiejie, and his expression went blank for a moment.
Seeing Jing Yue looking at him teasingly, he knew that the other party said this on purpose, and was amused. “Unfortunately, I’ve already reached Heavenly Grotto and cannot return, but I’ll never forget what happened in the Haotian Realm.”
Qin Yanzhi spoke while seriously looking at Jing Yue, as if the distant mountains and lakes were insignificant, with only one person in his eyes.
Originally, he thought that Jing Yue would avoid talking about it, but the other party said, “Well, I won't forget either.”
Qin Yanzhi was slightly taken aback. “You…”
Jing Yue, “Huh?”
Qin Yanzhi immediately smiled. “No, nothing.”
He just felt that Jing Yue was getting closer to him as if everything had changed since the day Jing Yue confessed his secret.
However, they were supposed to be close.
The two stood quietly by the lake. Although they were separated by a distance of one person, the wind constantly ruffled their sleeves and robes. The sleeves sometimes overlapped, and there was an indescribable ambiguity in the atmosphere.