Jing Yue woke up after nearly being suffocated by Ji-ji. He felt his cheeks were fluffy, a little warm, a little itchy… Subconsciously scratching it, he grabbed blue phoenix that was sprawled on his face.
“Jing-jing, you finally woke up!” Blue phoenix cried bitterly. “Ji-ji almost gave you artificial resuscitation!”
Jing Yue: ???
Blue phoenix wiped away the tears and said reproachfully, “Jing-jing, don’t scare Ji-ji anymore. Ji-ji can’t live without you!”
Blue phoenix was really frightened. After seeing Jing Yue activating a magic talisman, he spewed a fountain of blood and then fainted. Even his breathing was very weak.
Since its birth, Jing Yue could handle most things with ease. Even in a dangerous situation, he was never in such a miserable state, as if he would sleep forever…
Blue phoenix was very sad. If Jing-jing was no longer around, it didn’t want to live alone either… although it also dared not die…
Jing Yue sat up with great difficulty. He sensed blue phoenix’s emotions and hugged it in distress, “Ji-ji, calm down, it’s my fault today.”
Only comfort, not promise.
The cultivation world was perilous and every cultivator walked on the edge of the knife. Even he dared not guarantee he would never be injured or dead.
Fortunately, Ji-ji was easy to coax. It sobbed, “Well then, Ji-ji will forgive you.”
The energy in Jing Yue’s body was almost drained out. His soul-mind throbbed with pain, like it was cracking open, and it was very difficult to even stand up. After all, Wei Tianli’s sword Qi was in the Amethyst Abode stage and was too demanding for a Foundation Establishment cultivator to activate.
Luckily, he took advantage of the fact that Yazu was unprepared and the opponent’s soul-mind took a direct hit. Before he fainted, he saw Yazu protecting his innate spirit and escaping.
At least he got rid of the strongest enemy, right?
Jing Yue only passed out for a short time. The situation outside the cabin was still unsatisfactory, but the other two demonic cultivators may have seen Yazu escape, or they may have been frightened by Wei Tianli's sword Qi, and both suspended their attacks for the time being.
Old monster He, “Is Wei Tianli on the sky vessel too?”
The female cultivator snorted, “If so, he’d show up long ago, why wait until now? Most likely, someone urged Wei Tianli’s sword Qi. Teehee, isn’t the child patriarch of Frostcloud Sect in there too?”
Old monster He pondered for a moment, “The enchantment of this sky vessel has integrated with Daoist Lin’s Amethyst Core and can hold on for a while longer. If they have any other powerful magic weapon, it can also delay for some time. If we wait for reinforcements, it’d be difficult.”
Female cultivator, “What do you mean? Do you want to stop here?”
Old monster He, “I don’t want to either. How long have we planned on this? The sky vessel is full of talented juniors of the righteous Dao. If we can get rid of them, the hypocrites of the righteous Dao will suffer a great blow, but we can’t afford to lose our lives either.”
Female cultivator, “You’re right. We have to be cautious in every way. It’s not easy for us to cultivate to this point. The major event is not achieved yet. We can’t waste time on these bugs.” She chuckled, “However, I’m not willing to let them off so easily. I can’t wait to enjoy the sight of those righteous dogs being heartbroken over their loss!”
Having said that, she took out a small cauldron from her Sumeru Ring, stimulated the spiritual energy on her palm, and scarlet runes lit up on the small cauldron.
Old monster He’s eyes condensed. “This is!”
The female cultivator looked at the small cauldron and laughed lightly. “It took great effort for me to sneak into the Genesis Sect. I obtained the Tianyin Bead successfully and controlled this cauldron. Let them have a taste of this precious cauldron! Teehee…”
At the same time, Jing Yue, who had accumulated a little bit of strength, came out of the cabin holding blue phoenix, just to see the female cultivator throwing a cauldron at them. Before he could react, the female cultivator disappeared without a trace in an instant. Seeing that the situation was not good, Old Monster He cursed and ran away in a hurry.
The powerful enemies had retreated for now, but not far away, the cauldron became bigger and bigger, thick blood overflowed from it, and the whistling of the cold wind could be faintly heard, like the cry of a thousand ghosts.
“Oh no!” Lin-zhenjun exclaimed in shock. “It’s the Soul Cauldron!”
As soon as the voice fell, the cauldron flew above them and enveloped the entire sky vessel!
Jing Yue only felt that his soul was being splintered, torn, and split apart, trying to leave his body! As the world spun around him, a sinister coldness gradually replaced the pain, and he found that he had entered a mysterious world.
It was made up of black and white—black was the endless void and Xuanming water; white was the soul of evil spirits, countless as grains of sand.
A student beside him panicked and said, “Where is this place?”
“The sky is arc-shaped and the ground is round. Are we trapped in the cauldron?”
A student pointed in horror. When everyone turned, they saw that a dozen evil spirits had approached the sky vessel at some point, tearing at the protective barrier outside.
The bodies of the evil spirits were light as mist and the facial features could only be seen vaguely, but the pain and hatred of their destruction were projected clearly.
Soon, more and more evil spirits gathered and surrounded the sky vessel. Under the erosion, the barrier visibly dissolved.
The student who screamed earlier reacted quickly. A spell broke through the barrier and smashed an evil spirit into pieces, turning it into a cloud of smoke that gradually dispersed.
But at this moment, Lin-zhenjun, who just woke up and saw this scene, almost fainted again, and hurriedly shouted, “Stop!”
Everyone was puzzled. Before they could ask, they saw the dispersing smoke gathered again, condensing into a new evil spirit, and the body was larger than before!
“What’s going on?”
The students were at a loss and Lin-zhenjun coughed anxiously. “If I’m not mistaken, this is the Soul Cauldron.”
According to Lin-zhenjun, the Soul Cauldron was the magic weapon of the great demon Wanhun-laomo four thousand years ago. The old demon slaughtered hundreds of thousands of mortals, put their souls in the cauldron, refined them into evil spirits with secret methods, and became the sustenance of this cauldron. From then on, he used this cauldron to wreak havoc in the cultivation world. Any creatures ingested by it would be swallowed up by evil spirits and became new evil spirits.
“Those evil spirits are immortal. If we attack them, the evil spirits will just become stronger as we have just seen. Thus, the cultivators trapped in the cauldron have no chance to escape, all turned into the nutrients of the cauldron.”
Lin-zhenjun continued solemnly, “After that, Wanhun-laomo was besieged by the righteous Dao. He was seriously injured and fled. Since then, there was no trace of him and the Soul Cauldron never appeared again. Unexpectedly, we saw it today.”
Hearing this, everyone was at a loss. If they couldn't escape, would they also be trapped in the cauldron and become mindless evil spirits?
“No, that’s not the Soul Cauldron.”
The people were shocked again. They all looked at the person who spoke and Lin-zhenjun said, “Jing-tongxue, what do you have in mind?”
“This is the demonic cauldron passed down by the Asura Tower—Nirvana Cauldron!”
Many people thought of the previous incident in Golden Pavilion of Emerald City. At that time, Wang-zhenren of the Genesis Sect died from the secret technique of the Asura Tower, but there was no conclusion to that matter. Even the combined efforts of Genesis Sect and Golden Pavilion failed to track down the traces of the real murderer behind the scenes.
“Could it be that the Asura Tower is making a comeback?”
“The demonic forces have been very active in the recent years. Why is that so?”
Lin-zhenjun’s tone lowered, “Is Jing-laozu confident that this thing belongs to Asura Tower?”
Of course Jing Yue was sure. In his previous life, he fought with the descendants of the Asura Tower. The other party tried to trap him into the cauldron but failed, and he remembered the runes carved on the Nirvana cauldron.
However, he couldn’t speak the truth and only said, “There are records about this cauldron in Frostcloud Sect. I am sure.”
“This cauldron is extremely inauspicious. It has ingested so many living souls that the Heavenly Dao can no longer tolerate it. If the owner doesn’t know the correct way to use it, they will also suffer the karmic effects and sustain backlash if they are careless. The Wanhun-laomo you mentioned just now got the Nirvana Cauldron from somewhere but he obviously doesn’t know how to wield it. After being seriously injured, his soul may have been sucked into this cauldron. His world sunk into disrepair, he cannot be reincarnated and will undergo constant catastrophes, and this is his nirvana.”
Lin-zhenjun, “The correct way to use it?”
Jing Yue, “Yes. After activating the cauldron, the owner must stay away as soon as possible and set up an array to conceal the connection between themselves and the nirvana cauldron. This can deceive the heavens and reduce the causal effects. After everything is done, use the Tianyin bead to summon the cauldron.”
Lin-zhenjun, “…It can be done in this way?”
Jing Yue, “Most inheritance of the Asura Tower is beyond our imagination. This is nothing.”
Lin-zhenjun, “In that case, the woman just now is a descendant of Asura Tower?”
Jing Yue, “Most likely. The woman escaped quickly and is obviously adept at using the cauldron. Moreover, the woman who used the Hidden Ghost Curse to kill Wang-zhenren before has exchanged an ancestral bead with her dorm mate for an unknown purpose. Thinking about it now, the friend is probably a demonic cultivator from Asura Tower and the item is the Tianyin Bead.”
Lin-zhenjun and the students were silent. They had long heard that Jing-laozu was very knowledgeable and knew many secrets of the cultivation world. Even if they had doubts about what he said, they would place their trust in him at this moment.
After a long time, Lin-zhenjun sighed, “It seems that the descendants of the Asura Tower have indeed appeared. I wonder what storms they will cause.”
Jing Yue, “No matter what she wants, we must first solve the current dilemma.”
Lin-zhenjun's eyes lit up. Yeah! Since Jing-laozu was so knowledgeable about the Nirvana Cauldron, maybe he knew the way to escape!
Everyone looked at Jing Yue hopefully. The latter choked and said, “Actually, I don’t know either.”
Jing Yue, “But I think if we can create enough vitality to fight against the deathly energy in the cauldron, there may be a sliver of chance.”
Lin-zhenjun, “How do we create it?”
Jing Yue said hesitantly, “I once learned a formation method but I need the help of 18 cultivators with wood spiritual roots. The stronger the wood spiritual root, the stronger the formation.”
Lin-zhenjun said with joy, “18! We have 500 disciples here. We can definitely find some.”
Jing Yue, “But this formation is very unfavorable to the people who activated it. At the least, the cultivation base will regress, and at the worst, it will cause permanent damage to the spiritual root.”
As soon as this statement was made, the scene fell silent again.
Although it was a critical moment of life and death, people would always be concerned about inequality. If they could escape, only 18 disciples would suffer heavy losses or lose everything they had. But who would be willing to be one of the 18 people to sacrifice themselves?
For a while, no one moved.
Jing Yue sighed. He had guessed that it would be like this.
After thinking about it, he still had the jade stone given by Old Man Tianzhu in his Sumeru Ring. He originally wanted to use it as the eye of the formation, but now, he could only try to use it to support the entire array. However, the jade was an inanimate object after all, and there was only one, so he didn’t have much confidence.
Suddenly, a weak voice sounded, “I… I’m also a wood attribute. Can I do it?”
Jing Yue almost choked. He never expected that the first person to respond to him turned out to be blue phoenix, which was always timid and afraid of death!
In his consciousness, he hurriedly asked, “Ji-ji, are you serious?”
In his arms, blue phoenix poked its head out and said tremblingly, “Ji-ji don’t want you to die. Ji-ji also doesn’t want to die. I want to go out together with you.” It never wanted to see Jing-jing unconscious again!
Jing Yue’s heart was moved yet distressed. Words of rejection came to his lips several times but he finally held back.
Blue phoenix, as an ancient divine beast with a pure wood attribute, was indeed the best choice as the eye of the formation. Moreover, the divine beast had no spiritual roots, so it wouldn’t suffer irreversible damage like a cultivator. No matter from which angle, it was the most suitable, so he decided to be cruel for once!
At this time, another person said, “Count me in.”
Jing Yue saw that it was Ran Yu who got Ku Sheng. Her brother Ran Ping immediately said, “Me too.”
“Count me in too.” Meng Wan still displayed a cold attitude but her words made people warm for once.
After someone took the lead, more than 20 disciples came out one after another, which exceeded the number of 18.
Jing Yue's original solemn expression stretched into a bright smile. “It’s a great blessing to be classmates with all of you.”
Since people were willing to help out, Jing Yue didn’t delay and immediately commanded everyone to start the formation. In a blink of an eye, the vitality formation made up of spirit stones was formed. 18 people stood in different positions while blue phoenix’s chubby and trembling body was curled up in the center as the eye of the formation,
Jing Yue noticed its ashen face and teary eyes, but unexpectedly, it didn’t make a fuss nor complained in a grievance. The silence made him particularly distressed.
He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he was ready.
The evil spirits without tangible bodies still threatened the protective barrier of the sky vessel. Passing through or squeezing with each other, countless evil spirits gathered together, forming an enormous giant—the entire body seemed made up of fuzzy heads and thousands of arms.
They even squeezed the thin barrier into a distorted form, seeming able to break through the barrier at any time and pour into the sky vessel.
Right at this moment, a blue light radiated in the sky vessel, and every strand of blue glow exuded a strong vitality, making the evil spirits very uncomfortable. The smaller spirits hurried away while the bigger ones gnawed at the barrier even more ferociously.
More strands of blue light gathered together in the center of the formation and the vigorous vitality enveloped blue phoenix. Before it could enjoy it for a moment, it felt as if a big hand was extracting energy from its body, and it cried out in horror!
The blue light in the array dazzled, and the radiation was like a blooming lotus, spreading from the eye of the formation to the surroundings, overflowing from the enchantment, and sweeping away countless evil spirits!
Everyone in the sky vessel heard the sharp screams of the evil spirits, saw them squirming frantically after the vital energy permeated, gradually becoming transparent until it disappeared.
More evil spirits retreated like a tide, shrinking in the distance, and brandishing their teeth and claws at the sky vessel.
“It works!” Lin-zhenjun said with joy and the disciples all sighed and relaxed slightly.
However, Jing Yue frowned slightly—the effect was not as good as he expected. He wondered how long it could last.
The judgment of the person who set up the formation was always the most accurate. Hundreds of people remained in the cauldron for an immeasurable time, maybe one day, maybe ten days, but the evil spirits were endless, and the vitality array could no longer hold on!
Seeing the evil spirits gather quietly again, but the blue light in the formation was much dimmer.
To avoid causing irreparable damage to everyone, Jing Yue constantly rotated the helpers, so his spiritual energy and divine consciousness were rapidly consumed. At this time, he was almost at the brink of exhaustion.
But he must persevere. A little carelessness might lead to death.
Suddenly, Jing Yue’s heart quivered.
A sword light could be seen rushing into the cauldron from the outside, piercing through the deathly atmosphere with an unstoppable force, illuminating the world with Yin and Yang. Wherever it went, all evil was wiped out!
Author’s Notes: Divine Bragging
Jing-jing: Our Ji-ji is constantly changing. From the beginning, pretending to be a system to control me and often fighting with me, until acting like a baby all the time. Always being cowardly and trying to escape at first, until it was willing to sacrifice for me. Wanting me to start a harem at the beginning, to just wanting me to pamper it only…
Ji-ji said anxiously: No, no, the harem is still a must!
Ji-ji: Get out of the way! Ji-ji must give Jing-jing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation!
Rouge: Mouth-to-mouth? Isn’t it chicken beak to mouth?
Ji-ji: You’re hateful! I’m a phoenix! PHOENIX!
Rouge looked at the little chicken’s beak, imagined the scene, and said nothing…