The mood fell into silence once again. After a few seconds passed, Xu Yangyi said, “Riddle me a story.”
“Oh?” Zhao Fenglai replied noncommittally.
“How does the Legend of the White Snake go?”
A sneer was heard from Zhao Fenglai.
“I just ran into it inside.” Soon after, Xu Yangyi weaved a lie, and his gaze, deep and serene, turned back to look at the distant cave behind him. “But it’s too different from the Legend of the White Snake that I know.”
“Hehe…” Zhao Fenglai barked twice in dry laughter. He turned around, his back directed at Xu Yangyi and said lazily, “How is it different? Didn’t Xu Xian help Fahai restrain the white snake?” 
This time, it was Xu Yangyi’s turn to raise a brow. Zhao Fenglai… His voice was somewhat queer.
“Are you wondering how I know?” Zhao Fenglai’s voice started to become strange, and his shoulders raised up and down as if he was laughing. “What’s your guess?”
Xu Yangyi’s expression turned serious again. The cigarette butt was ruthlessly extinguished in the palm of his hand! This was because… Zhao Fenglai’s voice at this moment was the same as “Peony’s” at the very beginning! It started to become half-male and half-female! Ultimately… it transformed into a completely androgynous voice!
“Hiisss… Hissss….” At the same time, the tap above his head started to flicker. The iron chain behind him echoed with a terribly distinct and rhythmic clamor! It was as if… there was a soul-chasing devil pulling on the iron chain and crawling out little by little!
“Milord Official…” In the wake of a grotesque cracking noise, Zhao Fenglai’s head turned back by 180 degrees, beneath the glimmering twilight illumination. “It’s because… Xiaoqing is the azure carp…”
“Milord Official… do you know what the original Legend of the White Snake was like…?”
“Milord Official, you… have finally turned your head back…”
A triple-layered illusory realm! At this moment, Xu Yangyi came to a total realization. The first layer was him entering the Yellow Springs Path. To clearly make him feel something was strange!
The second layer was the grasped human hand in the darkness. All kinds of accumulated oddities allowed Daomaster Jadewave’s emergence to be incredibly natural. As for the third layer… it sensed his cautious attitude. With the Animus Armament’s sudden appearance, the Yellow Springs Path effortlessly crafted the illusion of leaving! It allowed him to believe he’d walked out from the path. As for him… in the end, the moment that his mind was most relaxed was when he “left” the cave. He finally turned his head back to glance at the already “departed” cave!
Xu Yangyi’s teeth fiercely grinded together. Was this... truly an illusory realm that a formation could create? Such an insightful awareness of the human heart… To say it was manipulated by the hand of a Core Formation ancestor wouldn’t be an understatement!
Swoosh! Before his eyes, everything turned pitch-black again. He only felt that his face was somewhat itchy and extended his hand to gently scratch. However, he grabbed onto a handful of hair!
Swish swish swish… In the Yellow Springs Path… those who turned back would die! Behind him, an endless cascade of hair spread forth like a tide! A horrific killing intent locked onto him in an instant. This was a killing intent that he’d never experienced, almost on the cusp of physicality. It was as if just this killing intent alone was enough to kill him thousands of times! Whoosh… Countless hairs wrapped around his neck, yet he discovered because of this killing intent’s lock down, he was simply unable to budge!
“Ten Cardinals Red Lotus!” Xu Yangyi was without the slightest indecision. At this moment, a single second was life! He bellowed angrily, and with Life Sacrification, the Ten Cardinals Red Lotus spewed forth with a rumble! However, the hairs all remained unmoved! There wasn’t even a sliver’s indication of burning!
A hand was softly stroking his cheek from behind. It was quite gentle and icy, like a corpse was caressing his face from the back. As for his surroundings, all there existed was unseen darkness!
Crack… A faint locking sound echoed from inside his body. Shortly, he discovered to his awe that all of his qi had been firmly locked! He was unable to mobilize a sliver or thread! All of a sudden, the hair around his neck tightened! The veins on his neck bulged out, but he wasn’t able to struggle free whatsoever!
Swish! At this time, his chest jetted out with a domain of golden light again. The half-sided Animus Armament was abrupt in its charge. And yet this time, it didn’t revolve around the crown of his head so simply.
A golden manifestation pervaded the space in a twinkling. The figure of Tai Sui that Xu Yangyi had once saw erupted with glorious light! Akin to a sun in the darkness, it slowly ascended! An incomparably glaring radiance quickly shot out from its two hands pressed together in prayer. Like waves, golden light swiftly removed all darkness!
“Huff!” Xu Yangyi instinctually shut his eyes. When he opened them again, his entire body was dripping with cold sweat. A sharp pain came from his thigh. He didn’t look straightaway but rather jumped straight up like a carp. Prompt, he assumed a stance to welcome enemies, measuring his surroundings with extreme caution!
The eidetic memory from the pill spirit constantly reminded him of one thing. Just now, he was standing. After he opened his eyes, his back was leaning against the tunnel and he was sitting! As for he himself, he wasn’t conscious of this at all!
All four sides were quiet. His chest spread with a burst of warmth, and the extremely thin golden-light shade still covered the top of his head. At his crown, the Animus Armament gently circled as if it was the same before he closed his eyes, absent of a shred of change.
Xu Yangyi maintained his battle stance for over ten minutes and only then lowered his guard a little. This situation… greatly resembled the time he had originally left the lotus sea. The strange situation of a three-year dream.
He mercilessly clenched his fist and exhaled. A wet sensation on his thigh and a stabbing pain battered his mind repeatedly. He lowered his head and looked, and his gaze suddenly jumped! A dagger was pierced into his thigh.
The eidetic memory from the pill spirit exhibited itself again. In his mind, countless images seemed to flash through like a lantern of galloping horses. As if he returned to the past to his and “Zhao Fenglai’s” conversation. However… from his memories, he had faced air and spoke, making the action of taking drags from a cigarette. And then… he had turned his head and glanced back!
But the instant he turned back, the half-box suddenly rang out with a wooden fish’s sound. At the same time, a smidgen of clarity emerged in his eyes! Soon, he took out a dagger from his storage ring without the slightest hesitation and thrust it into his leg! The images arrived at this point, coming to an abrupt end. It was like he was reviewing everything from before. 
“Huff…” Xu Yangyi’s face was heavy like water, and he latched onto the dagger hilt in his thigh without pause. Slightly gritting his teeth, he suddenly exerted himself and immediately pulled the dagger out.
He fiddled with the knife in his hand, but he wasn’t a sliver careless. Furthermore, he didn’t risk it at all, because as the golden light flashed just now he clearly saw his own position from the wall carving.
The original location! Right from where Duke Jiang hooked the fish, he hadn’t even advanced by a step!
“So… I was trapped since the beginning?” The coldness of his gaze was somewhat frightening. Studying the dagger in his hand, he forcefully stabbed it into his left arm without warning! There were no wretched screams. In the darkness, all that was heard was tightly clenched teeth.
Xu Yangyi realized why he’d looked upon these paintings… The human body was a rather marvelous structure. As for the human eye, it possessed the ability to preserve images. His eyes had seen these pictures, yet at that time, he had already been influenced by the illusion. However, his brain had sent a command of “refuse or accept”! And yet, these images certainly existed in his mind.
Once he awakened, under the gift of his eidetic memory, these images immediately ran through his mind like a lantern of galloping horses! A burst of sharp pain spread, and blood followed the dagger and flowed onto his hand. He clenched his teeth and licked.
Salty with the smell of rust. Only then did he take a deep sigh. Quietly, he gritted his teeth again and pulled out the dagger. He cut the sleeve of his camouflage attire and fastened it to his arm.
The action was fairly slow, and his head was faintly dizzy, a symptom of losing a great volume of blood. Even if a Core Formation ancestor spilled out so much blood, they would also be like this. The violent pain caused his teeth to shiver considerably. This was from stabbing himself with a dagger. While it was the dumbest method, it was also the most reliable. This was because it was so simple that even an idiot could do it.
Snap… He snapped a finger and a flame appeared. Due to sharp pain and his faintly trembling fingers, he fished out a cigarette. He held it in his mouth and took a couple fierce drags. Heavy nicotine surged into his chest, seemingly alleviating his arm pain.
Such pain could be cured with the use of a healing-type talisman at any time, but he wasn’t planning on doing so. He… wanted to leave these pains to remind him… that in this place, what in the end was real and what was false.
“Thanks.” Eventually, Xu Yangyi stood up and laughed towards the Animus Armament above his head, his voice a little raspy. Were it not for this item, he wouldn’t even know whether he could leave. He reached out with his hand to take back the little box. However, the instant his hand touched the Animus Armament, a white halo suddenly erupted from it!
SWOOSH! A formless white halo flushed through the entire cavern in a flash! As the halo swept through, he heard again… miserable and devilish wails. Rather bizarre, these voices weren’t felt in his ear but rather echoed straight in his mind.
They were terribly mournful, resentful, and horrific. It was like… the people on the countless wall carvings were living creatures! Nonetheless, Xu Yangyi simply wasn’t of mind to think about these things… because a strange scene emerged before his eyes!
He was standing before the wall carving of Jiang Ziya hooking a fish. At this moment, in the cavern that was dark as before, a ray of red light flashed for the first time. It was… the wall carving at his side. Duke Jiang’s fishing line formed an arc. On the entire wall carving, only this region was flashing with an abnormal red light!
“This…” His gaze flickered, and he immediately turned his head back. From the start of this wall carving, there was a twinkling red light at every ten mural intervals! In addition, it was akin to sidewalk lights, like the moment a giant star appeared. It wasn’t a synchronous brightening, and stone carvings shone quickly afterwards!
Swoosh swoosh swoosh… Silent red lights flickered one by one, reaching as far as he could see within the tunnel. The display was like before the start of a concert, lights immediately proceeding to flicker!
However, their forms were extremely unusual. Duke Jiang’s wall carving was an arc and the next mural was a hook… Numerous like an assembly of trees, all the flashing stone carvings suddenly began to produce a deep and low hum altogether! In the next second, so long as it was a slate twinkling with red light, all of them flipped over like a hidden door!
Behind them… were an endless amount of supremely complex talismans that Xu Yangyi didn’t recognize at all! Grooves formed a coincidentally natural formation. The surface… seemed to be connected by the energies of a futuristic spaceship in a scifi movie, beginning to shine from groove to groove!
Swoosh swoosh swoosh… At this moment, all the red light appeared to receive some attraction. Like a hundred tiny red serpents, they cruised in front of Xu Yangyi’s body and weaved together. The lights seemed like they wished to fuse yet were lacking some item from start to finish, essentially unable to harmonize.
Xu Yangyi’s storage ring instantly sparked with a searing heat. In the next moment, his ancient sheepskin scroll suddenly flew into the red light!
Very soon… like a miraculous chemical reaction, the red lights seemed to find a master pillar! They frantically charged towards the scroll and formed a tremendous blood-colored qi orb!