In the secret realms where there were traps everywhere, there might be sects, who had good relations with each other, progressing together, so as to avoid being bullied by other stronger sects.
On the first day of entering the secret realm, everyone still wore a fake mask of peace and courtesy, providing mutual aid. Everyone was in harmony.
After a day and night, despite being only the second day, this seemingly gentle mask, as though everyone was family, had finally been torn.
The requirement in Purple Gold Glaze was to collect the bamboo-destroying grass, and this was not something that grew everywhere.
After a day of searching, the various disciples, numbering nearly a hundred, could all see that the bamboo-destroy grass could only be found towards the west, or in the rather remote south. In one day, the teams who had all first headed in other directions were now moving in the direction of the west. Throughout their journey, they had come across quite a number of disciples from other sects.
When there was strength, there was weakness. There were those whose pockets were filled with riches, and there were also those who were very poor.
Along the way, people could all see which sects were the wealthy ones, and which sects were only scrambling for bits.
Some of the older disciples, who had some experience, guardedly encircled their spoils as well as their younger juniors when more and more people crowded around. Some of the more shameless sect disciples even started to rob and plunder.
In the lush, green forest, disciples of various sects were scattered everywhere, on guard against each other, snatching and fighting over the bamboo-destroying grass growing there. With so many people present, it was unavoidable that friction would occur with the high occurrence of interactions. As such, this friction resulted in a small dispute.
“Have some shame, we were the ones who picked this first!”
“So what if you were first? If we want it, do you dare not give it to us?”
The ones involved in the dispute were disciples from two sects who differed greatly. One sect was poor and humble, while the other was rich and famous. Against each other, those disciples that clearly were in the right now were at a disadvantage.
Just as the two sects clashed, disciples from other sects immediately withdrew a little, giving them enough space for a fight. Some were even happy to see such a scene, clapping their hands and inciting them to exchange blows.
Those disciples who had managed to collect the bamboo-destroying grass looked warily at the other sect, unwilling to be the first to make a move. As for the sect who was trying to rob them of their gains, they were eager to use the weapons they had in their hands.
One of them was a disciple of a young age. How was he able to wait? With a swing of his arm, he aimed the whip in his hand towards them.
“Hurry up and hand over the bamboo-destroying grass!”
Before the whip managed to land, a cry of surprise came from the audience.
At the same time, those who were standing in a circle and watching the dispute, suddenly fell into disorder. After the crowd pushed and heaved against each other, one person stumbled out from that circle.
It was a youth of about sixteen or seventeen years of age. His clothes were ragged, seemingly stained with spots of blood. Among his loosely bundled hair, a pair of half-crescent shaped ears stood up, and behind him curled a long and slender tail.
The youth’s feet seemed to stumble, falling right in the center of where the fight was about to start.
He gave a whimper, and slowly looked up.
The disciples of the two sects paused as this unexpected youth appeared, interrupting their dispute. All their eyes fell upon the youth’s face, and they were all entranced.
This youth was very good-looking, with a trace of seductiveness that belonged in particular to those of demons. However, his green, animal eyes were very innocent, and this contrast brought about quite a different flavour to his appearance.
He seemed to have suffered a fright, his eyes filled with panic. Upon seeing people around him, he immediately pleaded, “Save me! Someone wants to kill me!”
At the same time, there were three young men, dressed in white, following him. Their swords were bloody, and they exuded a murderous air.
In the crowd, someone suddenly exclaimed, “Lin… Xiao-shishu?”
“Sixth-shixiong? What is going on?!”
Sprawled on the ground, Lin Suci’s eyes twinkled. Scanning the crowd, he saw a youth in white amidst others. That youth was stupefied, and he actually even walked two steps forwards, seeming as though he wanted to help Lin Suci up.
Lin Suci clicked his tongue.
What was going on? Why was Wang Lichen here too? How was he going to continue this play?
The three people following Lin Suci closely had already ran into the area. The one leading was a young man in white, an aura of evilness and intimidation surrounding him. In his hand was a longsword, pointing straight at Lin Suci.
With a total of three people, the aloof, young leader did not speak, and the other two behind him, also dressed in white did not speak either. They only looked at Lin Suci, who was lying on the ground.
“Save me! I discovered their secret, and they want to silence me by killing me!” Not caring for anything else, Lin Suci jumped and tumbled on the spot, hiding behind that disciple who had been seeking for a fight just now. His voice was bright and full of energy.
“The bamboo-destroying grass is poisonous!”
Just as Lin Suci finished speaking, the young leader swung his sword at him!
Crying in alarm, Lin Suci crawled miserably on the ground, struggling to use a talisman to block the attack.
The sword slid across the talisman between his fingers, and did not hurt him at all.
Lin Suci’s words were like thunder crashing out of the blue, breaking the frozen peace around them. The audience started speaking, asking questions that were closely related to their own personal interests.
“What’s going on? What do you mean?”
“The bamboo-destroying grass is poisonous?”
“How did you know that?!”
Perhaps to get an answer, someone finally made their move.
The three young men in white were separated from Lin Suci by rows of wary disciples, and they were not allowed to get close to him.
“What’s going on? Wang Lichen’s eyes were so wide that it seemed as though they could fall out. With unquestionable anger, he looked at his senior. “Sixth-shixiong! What exactly are you doing?!”
Wang Lichen’s senior glanced at him indifferently. Clearing his throat, he spoke in a voice louder than that of Lin Suci, “It was him who spoilt my plan, causing me to be punished. I’m only just teaching him a lesson now, is there anything wrong with that?!”
“He’s your elder, how can you attack him!” Wang Lichen was furious. Rolling up his sleeves, he wanted to rush forward. Fortunately for him, someone next to him held him back, quietly saying, “Shidi, don’t start a fight with him.”
Lin Suci took the opportunity to clamber up. Having been chased all the way here, his tragic appearance made people sympathise with him.
Pointing, he said sharply, “If you want to attack me, just do so! Why did you ask your shifu to hire an assassin here?! And you’ve even joined hands with Golden Jade Pavilion!”
These words further increased the astonishment of the crowd.
“Hired an assassin?”
“Are you serious? The disciples of Mysterious Heart Sect are so absurd in their actions?”
“How did Golden Jade Pavilion end up being embroiled in this matter?”
“No… Shouldn’t the key point be what he said previously… The bamboo-destroying grass is poisonous?!”
Everyone in the crowd each had a different focus. The only thought they shared was that a big problem was occurring here, and they all firmly protected Lin Suci.
Lin Suci immediately said, “Mysterious Heart’s disciple, Qian Guan, schemed against my sect. After being discovered, he held a grudge, and the most terrifying thing about this is that his shifu had actually stood up and hired an assassin!”
He pointed a finger at a youth with an icy expression.
The appearance of the youth was plain, but his figure was particularly outstanding. Especially that faintly oppressive aura of his, it made others could not help but feel anxious.
With just one glance, the crowd knew that this was not some ordinary disciple. After being suppressed, he was still so scary, as expected of an assassin!
Lin Suci then pointed at a youth smirking behind him. “They wanted to kill me, and while in the midst of running away, I discovered that this so-called Mysterious Heart Sect disciple was actually someone from Golden Jade Pavilion, and he revealed a huge secret!”
People started to make the connections. The eyes of an aloof-looking girl burned bright. “Golden Jade Pavilion is the owner of Purple Gold Glaze. Just now, you said that the bamboo-destroying grass is poisonous, don’t tell me…”
Lin Suci immediately said, “That person refused to touch the bamboo-destroying grass. Before trying to kill me, he commanded me to harvest some. Later on, he accidentally spilled the secret, and that was how I found out. The bamboo-destroying grass is corrosive, and it will seep into the body!”
Everyone’s faces suddenly changed.
All of them had been squabbling and fighting over the bamboo-destroying grass over the past two days. There was no one here who had not touched the grass, and with Lin Suci’s words, everyone was extremely frightened.
“You’re not lying, aren’t you?! This is no small matter!”
Lin Suci: “If you don’t believe me, you can confront the people of Golden Jade Pavilion! Ask them if they dare harvest the bamboo-destroying grass!”
Lin Suci had said it with such great confidence, and it was coupled along with his pitiful appearance of being chased and hunted down. If not for having discovered this secret, how could he have ended up in a situation like this?
The crowd could not help but believe his words.
They were all cultivators, and everyone knew what sort of obstacle this corrosive influence had on their cultivation. Without a change of expression, they stared at the three people, their eyes burning.
Lin Suci was shielded behind them, while that assassin, that smirking youth and the disciple of Mysterious Heart sect exchanged a look and ran.
If they did not run, the disciples here might have been able to be convinced. However, with them running away, did it not mean that they were guilty? The other disciples immediately rushed forward, trying to capture the three people.
As for Lin Suci, who had revealed such a shocking secret, was well protected behind everyone else.
“Xiao-shishu…” Wang Lichen who did not join the chase had a look of complication on his face. “Is what you said true?”
Lin Suci patted away the dust on his sleeves, glancing at him.
If not for Wang Lichen tipping him off, allowing him time to prepare himself and tear that net, Lin Suci would not have been so successful. Thinking about it, Lin Suci was still very courteous, and he said solemnly, “Of course it’s true. Aren’t you clear about what sort of person that Sixth-shixiong is?”
“But he’s a little strange…”
Before Wang Lichen’s voice faded away, Lin Suci coughed, calmly changing the topic. “You didn’t touch the bamboo-destroying grass, right? I heard that person say that the corrosive poison is quite strong.”
Wang Lichen was immediately distracted, and his entire focus was placed on this matter.
“I… Although I didn’t pick any, the people around me have all touched it.”
Lin Suci patiently guided him, “Then, your Sixth-shixiong and the other two people, have they touched it?”
Wang Lichen hesitated. “When we were together yesterday, they did not touch the grass at all. After we separated yesterday, I don’t know.”
“Is there anymore to say? They definitely have not touched the grass!” In the crowd was a bad-tempered youth. Hearing such irrefutable evidence, his rage took over him, and he rushed off with his sword.
Another whoosh, and another group of people started the chase as well.
There were not many people left where they stood, and all were asking Lin Suci about the bamboo-destroying grass.
As for Lin Suci being hunted down? That had nothing to do with them. The urgent matter was the bamboo-destroying grass, and it affected everyone.
There were bloodstains on Lin Suci, but no wounds could be seen. Pulling out a few healing talismans, he stuck them on his own body. Quickly, he stopped bleeding.
When asked about the bamboo-destroying grass, Lin Suci evaded the questions. “I only know that the bamboo-destroying grass is poisonous. As for why Golden Jade Pavilion asked us to collect the grass, I have no clue.”
There were few fools here, and so someone asked, “Does this bamboo-destroying grass have some special medical properties?”
Lin Suci shook his head obediently, “I don’t know, but I feel that Golden Jade Pavilion is bullying us on purpose.”
He was of a young age, and his appearance was innocent and adorable. Whatever he said, many people would believe. It was especially so after Wang Lichen added that his little martial uncle had only learnt how to transform into a human for less than a year, and this further erased their other thoughts and opinions of the matter.
People from the demon clan were all very innocent when they were young, and they would not lie. This youth in front of them was definitely telling the truth.
Lin Suci was surrounded by others. Not too long later, the heaving, bustling crowd returned.
At the head of the group were a few youths dressed in black.
Lin Suci’s eyes brightened, scampering forward. “Eldest-shixiong!”
Yan Boshen, his expression indifferent, casually tossed a shrunken spirit-capturing net onto the ground.
“What a coincidence. These people had bumped into us, and my senior gave a hand and caught them,” Zhongli Haiming explained, standing behind Yan Boshen.
Lin Suci’s other seniors too gathered together, surrounding Lin Suci as they all spoke at the same time, “Xiao-shidi, are you alright?”
With a look of anxiety, Lin Suci said, “Fortunately, I quickly ran away. I’m fine, just a little scared.”
His animal pupils gleamed slightly, his lips pouting a little, and he looked very aggrieved.
The mouths of his seniors, who were gathered around to show him concern, all twitched.
However, Yan Boshen was very calm. Walking over, he stroked Lin Suci’s forehead. “There’s no need to be afraid.”
The two martial siblings were sharing a deep bond, while on the other side, others were very angry.
In the net, the three people who had been caught could not move their lips at all. They howled and groaned away, but no one could hear what they were saying. Instead, everyone rushed up, kicking and punching the three people.
“Golden Jade Pavilion must give us an explanation about this matter.”
Among them, an older disciple with a dark face said angrily, “They’re taking us for free labour! Golden Jade Pavilion sure has thought things through!”
“Yes! Let Golden Jade Pavilion give us an explanation!”
The other disciples all started making a fuss.
As the owner of Purple Gold Glaze, to show fairness, the disciples of Golden Jade Pavilion had never entered the secret realm with the other sects. Hence, other sects had only thought that it was in the sake of fairness and impartiality. Now, thinking about it, that sect was basically asking them to provide free labour. They could not be any angrier, yet there was nowhere for them to vent their anger.
However, Purple Gold Glaze was opened for a total of seven days, and the gate to the secret realm would only open five days later. Thinking that they would only be able to vent their anger five days later, the disciples all felt very aggrieved.
With nowhere else to vent, those three people captured within the net now become the temporary targets of the disciples’ anger. There was no one who had not touched the bamboo-destroying grass, and each was angrier than the other. As such, they started taking turns, queuing up to beat those three people.
Afraid that they would be beaten to death, Huilian and Wang Lichen stood up. They gave an excuse that the matter had something to do with Mysterious Heart Sect as well, and it took them great effort to save the three people from their imminent death.
The three people had already been beaten beyond recognition. Bruises were scattered across their face, their clothes stained with blood, and their faces had swollen to twice their original sizes.
At the end of the day, Wang Lichen came from the same sect as Qian Guan. Looking at his appearance, he felt bad as well. Taking advantage of everyone’s attention being focused on the matter of the bamboo-destroying grass, he secretly asked Lin Suci, “Xiao-shishu, how do you wish to deal with this matter?”
Lin Suci did not hesitate at all. “I’ll listen to what Eldest-shixiong says.”
Yan Boshen glanced at him, grabbing the collar and dragging the dirty little kitten towards himself.
“In six days’ time, I will personally go to Mysterious Heart Sect and demand an explanation.”
Wang Lichen’s face wrinkled up. He wanted to say something, but under Yan Boshen’s oppressive aura, he could not even open his mouth. Resentfully, he crouched under a tree, sighing bitterly.
After sticking some talismans on the three people, Huilian placed the rest of his talismans back into his bag. Looking at his eldest senior and his youngest junior, he said, “Now that the play is finished, what are we going to do next?”
Lin Suci stroked his chin. “In this secret realm, probably everyone knows about the bamboo-destroying grass being poisonous now. Like this, everyone would not take the initiative to touch the grass, and that means…”
“We should take advantage of the current situation, and quickly gather other spiritual plants and animals!” Lin Suci clapped his hands together, speaking quickly, “Golden Jade Pavilion has been very underhanded in their doings, and now, so many people are under the corrosive influence of the bamboo-destroying grass. After this round, Golden Jade Pavilion will definitely not dare to open Purple Gold Glaze for the second time. Even if they open it, no one will dare to come. So, let’s quickly use our time wisely, and take everything that can be taken away as compensation!”
“But…” Xiaolan scratched his head. “We didn’t touch the bamboo-destroying grass.”
“This means….” Zhongli Haiming was deep in thought. “Right from the start, you wanted us to head east. Along the way, we didn’t see any bamboo-destroying grass at all. Xiao-shidi, you…”
Indifferent, Yan Boshen interrupted Zhongli Haiming, then spoke to Lin Suci, “What do you want? We’ll go collect it now.”
Lin Suci’s eyes shone.
His eldest senior, even in front of his juniors, still continued shielding him.
Lin Suci swayed his tail, giving Yan Boshen a very sweet smile. “Let’s go look for some new spiritual beasts, and catch as many as possible. Like this, we’ll have enough to both eat and sell when we go home.”
They worked fast.
While others were still going around communicating with the disciples of their own sects, or with disciples of other sects whom they were closer with, the people of Cardinal Sect, who had exposed this matter, had already calmly dusted off their clothes and left, off to hunt for spiritual beasts.
There were a total of five people from Cardinal Sect. Four of them stood in the north, south, east and west direction, and the center position was left for Lin Suci.
Starting from the lowest grade spiritual beast, they let Lin Suci deal with them alone. After half a day of hunting, Lin Suci already dared to face a level four spiritual beast that had yet to be maddened by himself.
Huilian and Xiaolan started working right there and then. Dissecting the spiritual beasts, they stored them in specific spiritual storage spaces, not even glancing over at Lin Suci who was fighting hard.
Huffing and puffing, Lin Suci ran about in the enclosed area. Behind him, a three foot tall agile spiritual beast was chasing after him.
Leaning against a huge tree, Yan Boshen was watching his movements and calmly guiding him.
This was a level four spiritual beast that was higher than Lin Suci’s cultivation level. On one hand, its strength was high, and on the other, its agility was high as well. Lin Suci was thus pushed to the edge of torture.
Lin Suci gripped onto the talisman in his hand tightly. He leapt up, throwing out the talisman with a backhand. With a bounce of his foot, he flew right over the head of that spiritual beast.
At the same time, another talisman, crackling with lightning, landed on the head of the spiritual beast and exploded.
The spiritual beast already carried quite a number of wounds caused by Lin Suci. Completely infuriated, it had signs of descending into madness.
Panting heavily, once Lin Suci heard Yan Boshen’s indifferent voice, he ignored everything else and leapt upwards.
Yan Boshen took a step forward. A trace of spiritual energy at his fingertips transformed into a strong wind, and it shot directly at that spiritual beast.
In the next moment, the spiritual beast that was about to descend into madness collapsed onto the ground, no longer breathing.
Lin Suci was lying on the ground, breathless. His head was covered with sweat, and clutching onto his heaving chest, he did not want to move at all.
After some time, Lin Suci finally recovered. He lay on the ground, turning his head to the side, and watched his two seniors huffing and puffing as they moved the corpse of the spiritual beast.
As for Yan Boshen, he was standing in front of him, looking at him quietly.
Lin Suci reached out.
Yan Boshen grabbed his hand. With a slight exertion, Lin Suci was pulled into his arms.
Lin Suci lay in Yan Boshen’s arms, and Yan Boshen patted the back of his head.
“I don’t want any superficial praise.” Lin Suci had been killing spiritual beasts for half the day, and it was only under Yan Boshen’s guidance did he then manage to escape from a high level spiritual beast. He was so exhausted that he did not even want to move his fingers, and leaning in Yan Boshen’s embrace, even his words were spoken feebly.
Yan Boshen murmured, “I’ll get you a sword when we get out of here?”
Lin Suci’s eyes brightened. “I accept this one!”
He had long been envious of Yan Boshen’s sword. Unfortunately, he was too young, and he had yet to decide his fighting style, neither did he know how to use a sword. After so long, he had always been fighting using the basic talismans, which was easy to learn.
Cultivating the way of the sword.
With his sword, he’d rule the world.
Thinking about this, a desire grew in Lin Suci’s heart.
By the way, the little innocent fool was also a sword cultivator. After receiving the peerless Soaring Sword of the cultivation word, no one was his match with regards to weaponry.
The Soaring Sword was for Bai Qingkong, the Wind-destroying Sword belonged to Shu Changyi, and the Smoke and Scent Sword was Bu Qi’s.
Then what sword should he have, that when people mentioned it in the future, it would also sound awe-inspiring and majestic?
Lin Suci fell into a dream of creating a world-shaking name for himself. Lying on Yan Boshen, he did not move at all, allowing his official keeper to carry him to the lake nearby and clean him up.
For the whole of that day, he had been pretending to be injured, covering himself in blood, then fighting with spiritual beasts, becoming even more dirty. While Huilian was preparing their meal, Yan Boshen hurried the little dirty kitten off to wash up.
Out of habit, Lin Suci transformed back into a cat in Yan Boshen’s arms. As soon as he saw the lake, self-aware, he jumped in.
The water of the lake was very cold. Shivering, Lin Suci gave a mewl of pleasure.
Seeing him treading water in the lake, playing, Yan Boshen did not go straight to washing him up. He sat down by the lake, wiping his own sword.
Lin Suci’s four paws paddled away in the water. He did not sink, but floated on the surface, feeling very comfortable.
Closing his eyes, he imagined, the sun, the beach, an island, a coconut, a big table filled with seafood…
A rippled occurred in the calm lake.
Lin Suci opened his eyes.
In the next moment, huge waves appeared on the surface of the lake. Lin Suci was alarmed, only feeling a whirlpool forming under his paws, sucking him down with great force!
Lin Suci only had time to cry out once loudly. The next instant, the palm-sized, helpless kitten was dragged to the bottom of the lake by the huge waves and strong whirlpool!