For a while, the auction hall was in a flurry.
Such a cruel and unknown method made the cultivators panic and vigilant because everyone in the venue had the possibility of committing the crime.
Seeing that Wang-zhenren died so tragically, the disciples of Genesis Sect were extremely emotional and clamored for Golden Pavilion to give an explanation.
The face of the woman in moon-white robes was also very unpleasant. She was in a difficult spot, and also noticed a pressure boring down on her, enough to be a Heavenly Grotto cultivator!
Because of the barriers in the private room, including Wu Chen-zhenren, the others only felt slightly uncomfortable. But the people on the first and second floors were extremely uncomfortable, as if the ants were facing a giant elephant. It was an irresistible and instinctive fear.
Fortunately, the person who released the coercion knew the limits and didn't really hurt them.
The noisy lobby was quiet for an instant. An old man appeared in the crowd and said, “I’m the service guest of Golden Pavilion, Daoist Li Bo. I hope everyone can settle down and stay calm. Today’s incident is the negligence of Golden Pavilion. We will definitely give everyone an explanation!”
Wu Chen-zhenren was taken aback. “Li Bo-zhenjun?”
Jing Yue, “Who is he? I’ve never seen his name on the Flying Immortal List.”
Wu Chen-zhenren, “He was originally an elder of the rogue cultivator alliance with Heavenly Grotto cultivation base, but I haven’t heard the news of him for more than a hundred years. I didn’t expect that he’s a service guest in Golden Pavilion now.”
Jing Yue, “Golden Pavilion actually invited a Heavenly Grotto cultivator to preside over an auction. It’s no wonder their position as the top auction house is so solid.”
In the transmission stone, Daoist Li Bo waved his sleeves and the array in Golden Pavilion was activated. A golden cage surrounded the lobby from all sides, trapping everyone in it.
“Li Bo-zhenjun, what is the meaning of this?”
“Yeah, why do you lock us up? Are you going to kill the witnesses?”
Some people in the crowd immediately questioned angrily but Daoist Li Bo calmly said, “This matter is peculiar. I suspect that the murderer is among you. Please cooperate for a while. Once you are cleared of any suspicion, you can leave at any time.”
Although what he said was reasonable, who was willing to be forced to stay?
Someone said, “It is clear that your security is lax, so why should we cooperate with you? If this delays our time, how will Golden Pavilion compensate us?”
“That’s right. Wang-zhenren was very arrogant just now and he obviously made a lot of enemies. If you want to interrogate, you should ask the disciples of Genesis Sect, or the people around him, right?”
“Yeah, I think the Amethyst Abode cultivator wearing a mask is the most suspicious! Maybe he used some secret method to seek revenge! But he’s long gone by now. Why don’t you chase after him instead of making things difficult for us?”
These words received a lot of approval, but the disciples of Genesis Sect and more than a dozen cultivators unlucky enough to sit near Wang-zhenren were dissatisfied, and they started to argue about it. Until the end, the quarrels deviated from the original topic and everyone spoke about different things, and even old grudges surfaced.
Daoist Li Bo's eyebrows couldn't help shaking. Just when he couldn't help but want to release another coercion, suddenly, his expression changed minutely.
The hall was still noisy. No one noticed as Daoist Li Bo swept away the body and appeared in front of the door of the first private room in a flash.
The door opened and Daoist Li Bo said directly, “Do you know the cause of death of Wang-zhenren?”
The person he asked was Wu Chen-zhenren and the latter bowed in a greeting. “How do you do, Li Bo-zhenjun. The reason I spoke to you is that I found some clues, but I have to look at the corpse to ascertain my suspicions.”
Daoist Li Bo, “I brought the body.”
After that, he tossed the body in his sleeve to the ground.
Jing Yue was originally comforting blue phoenix who was trembling in his arms. When he saw this scene, the roots of his teeth felt a little achy for some reason.
He twitched his nose, and sure enough, there was that expected smell, so he signaled to Wu Chen-zhenren with his eyes.
The latter immediately said, “This is a kind of Gu witchcraft. The spell caster takes the blood essence of the target, refines it into a rune puppet, and then uses an incantation to fix the Bone-piercing Nails into the positions of the head, heart, and lower body of the puppet, and the cursed person will die instantly.”
(TN: Gu 蛊 referring to the practice using venomous creatures.)
Daoist Li Bo looked at the corpse intently and didn't notice the look in Jing Yue's eyes. Hearing Wu Chen-zhenren's words at this time, he said with horror, “Hidden Ghost Curse! It’s the Asura Tower!”
But then he paused and said, “Impossible! The heritage of the Asura Tower has been broken since the turbulent times of the Yao Catalyst!”
Asura Tower was demonic cultivation with extremely cruel and unpredictable methods, but it could only be passed on to one person in a generation. In the 8,000 years since the Yao Catalyst, no descendants of the Asura Tower had appeared in the cultivation world, and people of the righteous Dao simply assumed that the inheritance of Asura Tower had been destroyed.
Wu Chen-zhenren did not argue with him and continued, “To make the Hidden Ghost talisman, one of the main ingredients is the Sophora wood. The Sophora tree grows in extremely humid and dark places and has a scent similar to pine wood. People who die by this curse will also have this smell on their bodies. Do you smell it?”
Once reminded, Daoist Li Bo really smelled the faint fragrance of pine wood. He restrained the shock in his heart and reluctantly said, “So, in your opinion, no one at the scene can commit the crime then. After all, the commotion caused by the hidden ghost curse is not small. Is it really the Amethyst Abode cultivator just now?”
Wu Chen-zhenren shook his head. “It’s not him.” Then, he pointed at the door of the private room. “If the murderer is in the private rooms, the spell can be completed without being noticed.”
Daoist Li Bo frowned. “How can you be sure that it’s not done by the Amethyst Abode cultivator?”
Wu Chen-zhenren, “Zhen-jun only knows one but not the other. After all, very few people understand the hidden ghost curse. But in fact, this kind of spell can only be cast by women. Moreover, with the spellcaster as the center, the range of the spell cannot exceed one mile.”
Daoist Li Bo's eyes turned sharp. “How do you know this?”
Wu Chen-zhenren smiled lightly. “The legacy of Frostcloud Sect has been passed down for thousands of years and the secrets we have are extensive.”
The other disciples in the private room were dumbfounded. What secrets? Why did they not know anything? Why did Jing-laozu whisper a few words to Wu Chen-zhenren who was about to fly into a rage, and it didn't take long for Daoist Li Bo to come in, and for things to develop to this point?
Daoist Li Bo did not have time to ask about their origins just now, only knew that there were distinguished guests in the first private room, and only then did he know that they were from Frostcloud Sect.
He relaxed his vigilance a little and said, “I see. To think of it, how can the Amethyst Abode cultivator get hold of Wang-zhenren’s blood essence? But if the murderer used the hidden ghost charm to commit the crime, then this is not done in the spur of anger but a premeditated plot to kill Wang-zhenren. Why didn’t she choose to do it in a private setting instead?”
Wu Chen-zhenren pondered for a moment. “She’s most likely very familiar with Wang-zhenren. Perhaps in order to get rid of suspicion, she chose a crowded place. She should be familiar with Wang-zhenren’s character, knowing that he makes enemies easily, so she followed Wang-zhenren and waited for the opportunity to shift the blame on someone else.”
Daoist Li Bo, “And the dispute between Wang-zhenren and that Amethyst Abode cultivator just now gave her the opportunity? Then she didn’t know enough about this curse to put the blame on a man.”
Wu Chen-zhenren, “It’s just my guess, but the technique should be a hidden ghost curse without a doubt.”
Daoist Li Bo thought for a while and said, “Please wait a moment. I’ll go to the rest of the private rooms to check immediately.”
Wu Chen-zhenren, “No need. Those cursed by the hidden ghost charm will gather the grievances of the caster in the wound. It’s not visible to the naked eye but it can be caught by burning it with common fire.”
He lit a ray of flame with his fingertips, and with a flick of his fingers, the flame split into three points, which entered the three wounds of the corpse's head, chest, and privates. Immediately, a cloud of purple-black smoke wafted from the wounds of the corpse.
Daoist Li Bo stretched out his hand, nodded to Wu Chen-zhenren, pinched his finger, and instantly disappeared from the room.
Very soon, a woman's scream came from the seventh private room.
In this way, Golden Pavilion captured the real murderer, and they apologized and made all sorts of promises while sending the rest of the guests away.
On the way back, the party from Frostcloud Sect was very silent, and the atmosphere was particularly solemn.
The murderer was Wang-zhenren's shimei and the entanglement of grievances was quite complicated, which Jing Yue had no interest in. That was something Genesis Sect should worry about.
But the murderer still refused to reveal how the hidden ghost curse was obtained. With no other choice, Daoist Li Bo had to search her soul personally, and the other disciples from Genesis Sect dared not object.
However, from the memory fragments of the murderer, it was found that the person who taught her was a close friend of her dormitory, and the other party got an ancestral glass bead that she was wearing in exchange for that technique.
After some investigations, the close friend had been dead for many days, and the track was completely broken.
Jing Yue pondered. That close friend of the murderer was originally a person of righteous Dao. Where did she get the Asura Tower inheritance technique from? And why did she end up dead? Was there any significance to the glass bead she exchanged for? Does this matter have something to do with the Asura Tower?
Now that both the demonic forces and the Yao tribe were acting up, it seemed that the Heavenly Dao would soon be in chaos.
When he returned to Green Bamboo Sanctuary, Wu Chen-zhenren immediately informed the various factions of this matter while Jing Yue returned to the guesthouse.
As soon as he entered the door, he received a message from Jin Baozhu.
Jin Baozhu did not come to Emerald City this time. Now that she had learned the price of the fetal sculpting talisman, her tone was very excited.
“We can’t be selling the talismans at such a high price in the future, but these talismans are precious and must be in short supply. Therefore, I plan to set a price of 20,000 spirit stones. I wonder what you think. By the way, how many talismans can you refine in one day?”
Jing Yue thought of the fetal sculpting talismans he had sold for 500 spirit stones and his heart ached again.
After thinking about it, Jing Yue replied to Jin Baozhu, “The price is up to you. I can refine about 40 talismans every month, and I will give 10 of them to Frostcloud Sect.”
Just after replying, he received another message.
Jing Yue was stunned, opened it, and it was actually sent by Golden Pavilion.
“I’d like to thank Laozu for helping out in today’s incident. Laozu was a distinguished guest in my pavilion and I’m horrified that Laozu was not taken care of well. Therefore, this pavilion will present the five elements mutated fire and sincerely hope that Laozu will accept.”
Jing Yue smiled. The owner of Golden Pavilion probably heard the report from Li Bo-zhenren and guessed that he helped. After all, the pavilion master couldn't be more aware of who the guest in the first private room was.
However, to be willing to part with a five-element mutated fire, it seemed that the pavilion master attached great importance to him. He wondered if he was interested in his method of refining the fetal sculpting talisman, or the value of his identity.
That night, Jing Yue received the pill furnace from Golden Pavilion, and the five-element fire was naturally contained in the furnace.
He looked at the five-color flame and finally dispelled the psychological shadow of the talismans sold for 500 spirit stones.
A night passed.
Early the next morning, as soon as Jing Yue opened the door, he saw Zheng Bai standing outside. The hair crown was neatly tied, he wore a brand-new robe, and even the sword box was shining brightly. In short, he looked very coquettish.
Jing Yue, “… What's the matter?”
Zheng Bai, “I’m going to the bamboo-picking event with Laozu!”
Jing Yue, “I know, but why are you so… radiant?”
Zheng Bai smiled triumphantly. “I think if I'm lucky enough to become the bamboo-picker, I can make the sect proud if I wore nice clothes. Hahaha, one can hope, right?”
Jing Yue, “…”
At that moment, a four-character phrase taught by Ji-ji suddenly popped from his mind—yin que si ting.
(TN: Basically 因缺思厅 is a homophone of ‘interesting’.)