With purple mist lingering at his feet, Jing Yue stepped on the white jade stairs and saw a six-story tower in the distance. A jasper plaque hung on the gate where the name ‘Six Wheel’ was written, and it was surrounded by scattered golden lights, full of celestial aura.
Jing Yue was a little surprised. He had thought that a small world would at most possess an ordinary secret realm, but this six wheel secret realm looked quite extraordinary. The more unusual, the more lurking crisis, but the danger must be accompanied by a turnaround.
He touched his chest again and said in a low voice, “Bear with it a little longer.”
Jing Yue walked up the white jade stairs one step at a time. It wasn’t that long, seemingly only a thousand steps, but Jing Yue felt that he had walked for a long time. And the longer he walked, the farther the tower seemed to get.
But he was not flustered in the slightest, just a step behind the crowd. It couldn’t go wrong if he followed the veterans. At the same time, he also remained vigilant. He didn't know if there was any danger along the way and people from the other sects would not share their experience with him. Some might even want him dead in the secret realm.
Since he didn’t know anything, he should be more observant and stay alert.
Fortunately, the journey was smooth. When he thought that the end was still far away, he suddenly took a step, and they had already arrived at the gate of the tower.
At the same time, the tightly closed door suddenly opened wide, and a suction force swept everyone in.
The heavy door shut again, also announcing that there was no turning back for the twenty people. They would either die or wait until the secret realm’s teleportation array opened in ten years and send them away.
The scene that entered the eyes was a pool of clear water. Pieces of crushed ice floated on the water, and they were standing on top of a huge piece of crushed ice.
This was Jing Yue’s first thought. It was so cold that even as a single water spiritual root, he could hardly withstand it. Suddenly, his body was covered under a layer of spiritual energy to help him resist the cold. Jing Yue didn't need to turn his head to know that it was Qin Yanzhi.
“Ge, this place is very cold.”
Jing Yue, “Mm, this water is quite unusual.”
He lowered his head and saw many colorful fishes swimming in the water. It was beautiful, but the prettier it was, the more dangerous it was likely to be.
Jing Yue looked at the surroundings again and found only this water on the first floor. The surface of the water was vast and no end could be seen in all directions. The extreme ends were shrouded by the purple mist, and he wondered what lied behind the mist.
However, he was never a curious cat. Daoist Tian Luo had told him that the Six Wheel Secret Realm would be repaired and restored to its original form every time it was closed. In other words, everyone else knew how to deal with it, and he just had to follow suit.
The disciple of Bluecloud Valley, Wang Yingfeng, walked toward Luo Haicheng. “Do you have more Bloodred Pearls? If you don't have enough multicolor ore later, you can exchange it with that.”
Luo Haicheng's face changed and he sneered, “If you throw in your Bluecloud Valley’s Lichen Sword, I’ll reluctantly accept it.”
The two sparred verbally while the others laughed lightly. Only Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi couldn't understand a word, but they were not in a hurry, so they stood quietly and waited for the others to act.
Naturally, they couldn’t hide their intentions from everyone. Luo Haicheng glanced at Jing Yue with a sneer and winked at the other two disciples of Tiangang Sect. The three of them then jumped onto another piece of floating ice, took out a fishing rod from the Qiankun bag, hung the bait, threw the rod into the water, and sat down to fish.
The others followed suit. Only Xu Fenglan of Tianshui Palace gave Jing Yue an apologetic look before she left.
Jing Yue had expected that he would be ostracized, but he remained calm and relaxed, patting his chest and saying, “Come out.”
A small blue chicken poked its head out and chirped twice, “Ji-ji is finally free!”
But the blue phoenix did not leave Jing Yue's embrace because it also felt the unbearable cold just now. Ji-ji always had extraordinary wisdom on how to escape danger.
This movement naturally attracted the attention of others and Luo Haicheng was shocked. “What did you bring in?”
Apart fromthe twenty of them in the six wheel secret realm, it should be impossible for any other living creatures to enter!
Jing Yue, “Divine beast.”
Unfortunately, no one would believe Jing Yue even if he told the truth. Luo Haicheng mocked, “A little chick like that is a divine beast? In that case, I’m a heavenly god!”
Jing Yue, “Alas, I understand you, because I doubt this fact many times myself.”
Blue phoenix, “…”
In fact, Jing Yue didn’t want to bring blue phoenix along to this risky adventure, but Ji-ji made a big fuss. He also wanted to test if the suppression of the secret realm had any effect on divine beasts, and it turned out that it didn’t.
Blue phoenix, “Jing-jing, there are colorful fish in there!”
Blue phoenix, “Ji-ji likes it!”
Blue phoenix, “Can you catch it for Ji-ji?”
When Jing Yue was about to speak, he saw Pockmarks Yu, the disciple of Tiangang Sect, lift his pole excitedly, and a small colorful fish hung on the hook. After catching it, he observed for a long time, sighed, and threw the fish back into the water.
Wang Yingfeng mocked, “Hehe, do you want to succeed on the first try? You must be dreaming.”
After saying that, a disciple of Bodhisattva Yu lifted his pole, and there was also a colorful fish on the hook. After he carefully looked at it, he suddenly looked up to the sky and laughed wildly. “Just for today, I have practiced for fifty years. Heaven rewards my diligence and good luck shall remain with Bodhisattva Yu!”
Jing Yue watched as the youth cut open the belly of the fish and took out a colorful stone from it, before putting it into the Qiankun bag carefully. Apart from the few happy faces of Bodhisattva Yu’s disciples, the rest of the people looked at the youth with eyes full of jealousy and scorn.
He had some guesses in his mind, so he spread his divine consciousness and plunged into the water.
There were a lot of colorful fish underwater that swam in groups very quickly. They were not vigilant about the bait and would always bite whenever they saw the hook, but they were quick to react and rarely got caught. Even if they got hooked, they could break away most of the time, and when the angler lifted the fishing rod, it would be empty.
And among these fish, some were different. Other fish had colorful fins and tails while they had gorgeous scales. As the colored fish were very small, only as wide as a little finger, when the fish were mixed in groups, this subtle difference was difficult to detect with the naked eye. Even by using divine consciousness, it required precise control to discover it.
From the rest of the people's words and actions, Jing Yue judged that they should be trying to catch the fish with the colored scales and obtain the colored stones. Although he didn’t know the role of those colored stones, he just needed to execute the principle of ‘imitation’.
For others, catching the colorful scaled fish was up to luck, but for Jing Yue, it was a breeze with his divine consciousness as an aid.
Thus, he said to blue phoenix, “I’ll catch it for you.”
Jing Yue glanced at Qin Yanzhi. The latter knowingly followed and the two also chose a piece of floating ice and jumped on it.
Luo Haicheng noticed their movements and sneered inwardly. Even if Jing Yue found the clue, so what? Did he really think the colorful scaled fish was so easy to find? Jing Yue didn’t even have a fishing tackle. Was he going to go into the water to catch fish? Haha, if he really entered the water, that would be a good show to watch. The water looked very shallow but was in fact bottomless. Moreover, the temperature of the water was extremely low, which could quickly consume the spiritual energy of the practitioner without realizing it. When the practitioner realized, it would be too late, and could only freeze to death.
If the leader of Mini Frostcloud Sect died on the first floor, that would be good, right? Even if he didn't die, he could only make an exchange with valuable items if he wanted to enter the second level. In that case, should he demand the fetal sculpting talisman or the Genesis Elixir later?
Luo Haicheng was intoxicated with mirth when he suddenly heard Jing Yue say, “Over there!”
Immediately after, he saw the youth beside Jing Yue draw his sword and stabbed it nonchalantly into the water, splashing water in the icy lake. When the other party brought his sword up, there was a colored fish stuck to the tip of the sword.
Jing Yue, “Cut it open.”
Under everyone’s incredulous gaze, Mini Frostcloud Sect got their first colored stone from the belly of the fish.
Luo Haicheng, “…”
The feeling of being bludgeoned!
However, the blow didn't end there. Before they could recover, Jing Yue said, “Southwest, six feet.”
Qin Yanzhi urged his sword. The sword light was like a shooting star and another colorful fish landed in his hand.
In this way, one person looked for it and the other stabbed at it. The person looking for it didn’t need to be very precise about the location but the other could accurately find the target from thousands of fish. The Jing and Qin duo worked perfectly together and caught six or seven colorful fish in just a short while.
Blue phoenix was so happy that it kept flapping its little wings. “The more fish Jing-Jing catches, the more he loves Ji-ji!”
After several times, the others finally awakened from the petrified state. When Jing Yue once again shouted out the direction, everyone headed in that direction with their heads lowered and flicked their fishing rods frantically. If they hadn’t learned from the records of their ancestors that they couldn’t enter the water, they really wanted to jump down and grab it!
Hence, such a scene was seen on the water surface—a dozen fishing lines entangled in one area, tossed about ten feet northeast, while another one flew northwest.
Jing Yue silently looked at a young monk named Yong Ming from Cihang Gate as the other party recoiled the line with a red face. The secret that had been hidden for so many years was exposed overnight, making him afraid to face it.
His shixiong shook his head, put his hands together, and recited a mantra.
At this time, a whooshing sound was heard. A sword was launched later but struck first, reaching into the water for only an instant before it was withdrawn again. A colorful fish was stuck on the tip of the sword, hovering in midair for a moment, before it returned to Qin Yanzhi's hands again.
As for the rest? What was the point of fishing when all the lines were tangled up in a mess?
It didn’t make sense! How could this be!
The crowd wanted to cry and it took them a long time to untangle the mess of lines. They had to split up again and also wrap their divine consciousness around the fishing line to control where the hook fell. Some people even threw the fishing rod away and directly used the weapon, but unfortunately, they did not have the tacit understanding between Qin Yanzhi and Jing Yue, let alone the speed of Qin Yanzhi, and couldn’t catch anything at all.
Seeing Jing Yue harvesting the colored scale fish one after another, everyone got more anxious.
Jing Yue observed them and speculated that there were probably only 20 colorful-scaled fish, and the colorful stone in the belly might be the pass to the second floor, one for each person.
If any sects didn’t get enough colored stones, they had to use treasures to exchange with the sect that had a surplus of stones, which resulted in the conversation between Luo Haicheng and Wang Yingfeng earlier.
In that case, he wouldn’t leave them with any at all!
Jing Yue’s plan was well thought out, but luck was a mysterious thing, and some people were occasionally favored by lady luck.
Take Luo Haicheng for example. When he watched Qin Yanzhi getting another colorful fish again, he was so angry that he vented with his fishing rod. The fishing line made an arc through the air and fell into the water, exactly where Jing Yue just found a colorful-scaled fish, and it just happened to hook the back of the fish.
Jing Yue's eyes constricted and he said to blue phoenix, “Ji-ji, do this…”
In his arms, blue phoenix nodded fiercely with excitement, “Jing-jing, don’t worry. Ji-ji will fight for the sake of your face!”
At this time, the colorful fish at the bottom of the lake struggled frantically and pulled the float. Luo Haicheng, who was still in anger, hadn't noticed yet. He stared at Jing Yue fiercely when he heard Pockmarks Yu saying, “Fish! Luo-shishu, fish!”
“You have fish on the hook!”
Although Luo Haicheng thought that the possibility of catching a colorful scaled fish was slim, he was still delighted to have a fish on the hook. What if?
He turned around, lifted the rod fiercely, and a colorful fish flew up in the air. Luo Haicheng's pupils dilated, his nostrils stretched, and his mouth widened. With his ape-like arms, he was about to catch the fish.
The fishing line was cut by a leaf, slithering like a snake, and fell into the water together with the colored fish, disappearing in a flash.
The most fearsome was the sudden silence that came after, followed by an eruption of anger. Luo Haicheng's eyebrows were raised and his eyes were red. “Who! The! Hell! Is! It!”
His first target was Jing Yue and the latter calmly said, “Don't look at me. All of you are staring at me and Yanzhi. You may ask your fellow disciples if I did anything.”
Luo Haicheng again turned his gaze to Pockmarks Yu. Pockmarks was shocked by his expression, gulped nervously, and his voice changed a little. “They didn’t move.”
Luo Haicheng recalled that he didn’t feel any spiritual energy fluctuation from Jing Yue’s direction just now, so he glared at the other party viciously, and turned his aggression to the others.
“It's you!” He roared at Wang Yingfeng. “The spiritual energy fluctuation came from your direction. You snuck an attack on me!”
Wang Yingfeng looked innocent. “Fellow Daoist Luo, did you misunderstand something? Although we are competing against each other, the elders of our sects have warned that the secret realm is full of danger. Everyone must help each other and avoid internal conflict, otherwise, it will be harmful to everyone. I think that after a thousand years, the five immortal gates have reached a tacit understanding.”
Luo Haicheng was even more furious when he heard that. “Are you still pretending? You bunch of hypocrites from the Bluecloud Valley talk better than singing, but have you ever followed it? The last time and the time before that, you made it till the very end, and why was that? It’s because you have a conniving heart! Hmph, in the past, you’d still make a show out of it, but this time, you can’t even control yourselves at the first floor!”
His words immediately drew echoes from the disciples of Bodhisattva Yu. “Well said! Help each other? When has Bluecloud Valley never acted like a rabid dog at the end? Grabbing everything in their sight!”
Wang Yingfeng was also angry now. “How dare you insult my elders?”
Luo Haicheng, “So what if I insult them? The person who made the first move is at fault. Who told you to harm my fish in the first place?”
“In the past, the five immortal gates vowed to advance and retreat together, but Tiangang Sect was narrow-minded and betrayed the covenant, and was the first to attack my ancestors. If you want to say that the fault lies with the first person, the fault lies with you!”
“That’s none of our business. We also told you 10,000 times before that Tiangang Sect has fallen to the trap set by those baldies from Cihang Gate back then!”
The five immortal gates bore grudges for many years and the old debts were being overturned like an endless tide. When they got excited, they even came to blows.
But they were still afraid of disturbing the fish after all and controlled themselves to only using hands and legs, every strike to the flesh. However, no one noticed that the little blue chicken in Jing Yue's arms had wiggled into his clothes, revealing only a small bit of fluff on its head.
“Jing-jing, you must never give Ji-ji up! You have to protect me!”
“Obedient Ji-ji, don’t be afraid. No one will find out.”
Blue phoenix’s leaf blade could conceal spiritual energy fluctuations. He had intended to let Ji-ji snatch the fish unknowingly, but unfortunately, Ji-ji’s skills were too inferior. Moreover, coupled with the heavy responsibility to participate in the rare face-slapping session, in a moment of emotional excitement, the leaf blade that it spat out slightly leaked a trace when passing by Wang Yingfeng.
Although he was targeted first, and Wang Yingfeng was purely collateral damage, Jing Yue would not take the initiative to own up to it. He felt guilty for a moment and secretly said, “Live and fight another day. Brother Wang, I’m sorry about this!”
An hour later, everyone's anger finally calmed down. Except for the female cultivators from Tianshui Palace who were in a better condition, the others either had messy hair, disheveled clothes, bruised faces, or panting and glaring at each other.
Luo Haicheng was about to make another harsh threat again when he heard the voice that made his teeth itch with hatred.
“Fellow Daoists, according to my observation, there are no more colorful scaled fish in the lake. I caught a total of 19, plus the one that Bodhisattva Yu has gotten, the total is 20.” Jing Yue asked sincerely, “So, is 20 the maximum number? Is there no more fish for you?”