“To China, all of Longsu Province isn’t much to look at. Regardless of whether it’s the cultivation world or mortal world.” Zhao Wuye clenched his teeth and said, “I did say that our Zhao Clan of Longsu can’t be considered a great clan. However, we have a strong point, but it’s hard to compare it with other clans…”
He paused and took a big gasp for air. Xu Yangyi smiled, and in the next second a qi ray instantly pierced through Zhao Wuye’s arm.
“YOU!” Zhao Wuye painfully sucked in cold air. This person wasn’t normal… Ordinarily, upon encountering such a situation, it was proper to accordingly welcome the line “a strong point”. However, Xu Yangyi simply didn’t hold this plan to idea. His actions were blunt, so frank that he was disdained to speak.
Either talk or go to the underworld down below.
“The Zhao Clan… is one of China’s ten great lineages of Dragon-Vein seekers.” Zhao Wuye firmly applied pressure on his arm wound, tightly pursing his lips. “Our ancestral founder was a native of Jiankang City. Regarding ancient curios and historical relics, we have our own unique understanding… Mr. Gao, perhaps you’re aware… of the enormous, startling changes that occurred in Longsu Province three days ago?” 
“It’s unlikely that you know…” Xu Yangyi had no intention of speaking, and Zhao Wuye gritted his teeth and continued, “because of this matter, all information has been intercepted by Longsu Province’s regional chancellor, the CSIB’s minister, Senior Yu Fangtong, and a Featherwood Guard branch master, Senior You Song, from the start. In the cultivation world, even the other Foundation Establishment cultivators don’t know!”
“But that’s not the only thing.” He matched Xu Yangyi’s gaze and said lowly, “Five of humanity’s great Core Formation cultivators oversee China’s five directions. Ancestors Skybearer and Earthcleaver stand guard in the central highest court. If it was just Senior Yu Fangtong and Senior You Song speaking, this matter wouldn’t have been able to be kept under wraps…”
Xu Yangyi’s expression finally turned grave. In Zhao Wuye’s eyes, his gaze faintly flickered. Zhao Wuye didn’t wish to die; he was fighting for all bargaining chips to stay alive.
“The Northwest King, ‘Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow’ Ancestor Ancientpine, Daomaster Ancientpine, the Featherwood Guard’s guild master, personally came rushing to the scene and sealed everything off for Longsu Province’s cultivation world!”
Xu Yangyi softly exhaled, yet his heart was beating even more violently. Unexpectedly… the events had drawn the Northwest King’s personal appearance!
Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow, Daomaster Ancientpine, his lifespan had already reached 353 years old. The true boss of the Featherwood Guard, the guild master of this generation! The overseer of the northwest! Be it branch masters of the CSIB or pavilion masters of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, so long as Daomaster Ancientpine said the word and wanted them to die, it would be difficult for them to stay alive.
The middle stage of Core Formation. In the period of the Nation’s Founding, the newly advanced Core Formation Qing Mingzi had slain demons at the peak of the Kunlun Mountains. This campaign had dyed the earth scarlet for a thousand li. For a month, the summit of the Kunlun Mountains was devoid of stars and absent of the moon. That wasn’t to say that this month was gloomy with overcast skies. On the contrary, there were few stars in this month, but… at the top of the Kunlun Mountains, the sky seemed to have been wiped away into emptiness! No matter what, the night was unseen!
At the beginning of the New Republic, humanity’s seven great Core Formation masters and demonkind’s three Core Formation greater demons had made the Shennong Convention and taken the lead. Although this oath’s process was terribly dangerous and infinitely complicated, humans and demons reached a common understanding in the end. Daomaster “Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow” Ancientpine’s name had also been carved into the history of China’s cultivation world! And Ancientpine had personally emerged and sealed off all of Longsu Province’s information with his own hands. Longsu’s awesome changes had evidently transcended the expectations of ordinary people long ago!
“Continue,” Xu Yangyi said and raised his chin.
“Perhaps Fellow Daoist already has a guess in mind?” Zhao Wuye’s arm had already stopped bleeding, and he proceeded, “For we Qi Condensation cultivators, this name alone is taboo to be spoken.” Zhao Wuye’s lips moved and no words came out, but Xu Yangyi saw it crystal-clear.
Four words. Longsu’s Danxia Temple Colonnades!
Xu Yangyi took a long sigh. Yes… that was right, only great world-shaking changes at one of the eight deadlands could bring the Northwest King to reveal himself! His gaze wordlessly looked to Zhao Wuye. How was this and the latter related?
“However, Fellow Daoist might not know, but the very first party to discover these alarming transformations wasn’t the CSIB or even the Featherwood Guard. It was our Zhao Clan… Longsu’s Zhao Clan.” Zhao Wuye observed Xu Yangyi’s face, and an idea suddenly appeared in his heart.
This kid… His strength is unfathomable! At the very least, based on the year he reached the middle stage, I’m not his opponent. He’s pretty skeptical. I wonder if the clan elder, who’s at the late stage and in death seclusion right now, can make this guy surrender. Plus… his backer is definitely big! The Thousand Illusions is a precious item that was only sold for one year! The reputation of a low-level cultivator who’s disguised with this primary spirit artifact ain’t putting on a show. How many clans are there that can’t buy this, but he can?
His captor’s divine abilities were above his Zhao Clan’s legacy divine abilities! Although their ranks were unclear, Zhao Wuye dared to confirm that they absolutely weren’t ordinary! Xu Yangyi’s strength was powerful and his backer was amazing. Perhaps… not even the Zhao Clan would necessarily be able to join hands with the other!
This great destiny was in no way something that a lone Zhao Clan could consume! Longsu’s Danxia Temple, one of the Eight Great Deadlands, was outstanding in its horror and prestige. Just two or three cats of their Zhao Clan wouldn’t be enough to get stuck between the temple’s teeth after entering!
Without eternal foe and only eternal benefits. Once this idea emerged, Zhao Wuye immediately became passive in initiative and started to clarify the matter. “That day, the Zhao Clan just happened to have an elder leading a batch of new seeds to Danxia Temple’s surroundings to tell them some rules. Our Zhao Clan witnessed everything with our own eyes!”
“Several hundred mountain caverns surged out with spring water. They converged into a design. As for this design…” His gaze turned fiery, and he looked at Xu Yangyi’s chest. “It’s the object that Fellow Daoist is wearing!”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed. “Go on.”
“There’s no rush, Fellow Daoist…” With an idea in his heart, Zhao Wuye laughed in difficulty, “The sundial that just appeared at noon. There’s a saying that a lonely sun is not for long. Perhaps to all of China, Danxia Temple is a field of mist, but from the beginning I saw Fellow Daoist’s item, I knew. The area below is incredibly dangerous… for a great flourishing of yin qi to exist. Does Fellow Daoist know… where yin qi thrives the most?”
Not waiting for Xu Yangyi to reply, he immediately answered his own question. “A cemetery… We of the Zhao Clan are skilled in finding Dragon Veins. Underground… there’s quite the chance that it’s some almighty graveyard!”
“Moreover… just as this other party was on the verge of death, they took all of their servants and subjects to the grave! At the minimum, this is a ten thousand-man pit!” Zhao Wuye studied Xu Yangyi’s expression, regretful since he couldn’t make anything out. He promptly supplemented, “Of course, this is only the most preliminary conjecture.”
“Fellow Daoist, if you’re to explore such a dangerous land, how many people would you have to take to fill in the numbers? I say this not out of disrespect, but if a Core Formation master goes in, whether or not he’ll come out is a question. But, we have some assurance, at least.”
“In particular… among our seed starting to draw qi into their bodies this time, there’s someone named Zhao Ziqi. He was born with Netherpierce Eyes and can even see a few interesting things…” Zhao Wuye paused, looking towards Xu Yangyi with a burning gaze.
Xu Yangyi finally laughed and asked for the first time, “Such as?”
“For instance… before the strange changes, there was a thousand-meter-tall giant hacking Danxia Temple with an ax!” Zhao Wuye continued without hesitation, “The Zhao Clan has already verified this matter several times! It’s true!”
At the core of his heart, Xu Yangyi had already become incomparably cautious. Everyone knew that a titanic secret lay hidden in each each deadland. Nonetheless, everyone further understood that one had to be alive to enjoy and benefit from these secrets!
A thousand-meter-tall giant, a hundred streams to form a pattern… Danxia Temple had yet to even open, but strange occurrences had already happened one after another.
“You want to work together with me, but your qualifications still aren’t enough,” Xu Yangyi laughed after a short moment. Zhao Wuye’s intentions were obvious. The Zhao Clan wished to cooperate with him, especially with the power behind him! A joint unearthing of Danxia Temple’s secret!
Perhaps Zhao Wuye hadn’t held such inclinations at the beginning, but between life and death, he chose to cooperate. Although he wasn’t aware of what Danxia Temple’s hundred-stream pattern represented, they were unwilling to relinquish this secret no matter what, now that a physical object had emerged!
“The first essential of cooperation.” Xu Yangyi looked at Zhao Wuye and raised a finger. “Is good faith,” he chuckled, “Your good faith still isn’t enough.”
Zhao Wuye wasn’t annoyed but rather elated. There was a trick in the words that the other spoke!
“Fellow Daoist wants to know if I’m definitely hiding something,” Zhao Wuye laughed, “Fellow Daoist is also aware that the Zhao Clan is rather caring towards relics of a kind. It just so happens that I’m the assistant moderator of the forum which Liu Shuren liked to visit.”
“In the first moment he posted this chest, I truly thought I was mistaken. Afterwards, I immediately deleted the thread and blocked his IP address from logging into my forum again. I then rushed over here straightaway. Fellow Daoist, if it weren’t for your quick actions and your luck to know of this business, perhaps the one coming to find you today wouldn’t be I, a Qi Condensation cultivator.”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze flickered minutely, and he finally cupped his hands. “Fellow Daoist Zhao is of heart.”
In his mind, Zhao Wuye sighed long and deep. Perhaps outsiders couldn’t see, but just now... Xu Yangyi’s faintly discernible killing intent had never faded away. Until Xu Yangyi had modified Zhao Wuye’s title to Fellow Daoist Zhao moments ago, it was then that the stony murderous will had slowly dissipated at the bottom of his heart.
“But barely relying on these points still isn’t enough.”
The light of Zhao Wuye’s eyes joined and sparked, and he began to laugh through gritted teeth, “Of course, it’s not enough… We of the Zhao Clan also have an extremely vital piece of information to convey…” He opened his wallet and searched for an image, tossing it over to Xu Yangyi.
After Xu Yangyi took it, with a mere glimpse, his hand instantly tightened somewhat! This… was a photo of the spring water spraying out from Danxia Temple’s countless caverns! And in this spring water… there existed two distinct things that made his mind grow terribly heavy now!
A man-sized scale… and hordes of lotus petals! His other hand, held behind his back, was already clenched in a death grip! This… was the lotus sea?! Presently, countless clues seemed to finally find a collective mouth to give vent! At the Four Great Joint Pools, the sheepskin scroll which God Ming had requested Jadewave to decipher was this lotus sea.
Danxia Temple’s frightening transformations were being personally undertaken by the Northwest King. As for the endless lotus petals that followed the stream currents and the scales… this was the lotus sea!
The first location that the Animus Armament in Xu Yangyi’s hand had taken him to was the lotus sea! Maybe this wasn’t the lotus sea, but be it the scales or lotus petals, regardless of whichever it was, Xu Yangyi had already come to a resolution in this instant. He HAD to clarify what in the world this was!
He shut his eyes and sucked in deeply. With great effort, he caused the infinite and chaotic emotions in his heart to settle. There was actually… a chance… that the lotus sea truly existed in the world!
The location… was situated in Longsu’s Danxia Temple Colonnades, under one of the Eight Great Deadlands!
There within, there was no wind, no border, no limit, and no qi… In that place, there was only the lotus sea that stretched across the end of the eye’s horizon, and… the terrible, ancient greater demon below the water!
1. Two things here. One: Dragon-Vein seeker refers to a practice in Fengshui (geomancy). Dragon Veins are said to be places of strong vitality. It has good things associated with it. Best analogy to western fiction/magic I can think of is ley lines. Second: Jiankang City is the ancient name for Nanjing in modern day China.