Cultivator Li stared blankly. There really was someone? From the beginning of his encounter with Sister Nine, he’d prepared himself to die. There was almost no chance of victory for a lone cultivator against a demon cultivator of the same stage. The Ming Clan… was the demon clan with the heaviest killing nature. Moments ago, he’d only exerted all his power to fight, but to his surprise, there was truly someone present?
In the surroundings, no one answered.
Sister Nine’s smile became even icier. “Do you need me to ask…”
Just as her voice fell, countless black hairs suddenly drilled out from the earth in Xu Yangyi’s surroundings. They straightened out like needles, seemingly like vigilant cobras, and all targeted the demon slayer!
At some unknown time… Sister Nine’s hair was akin to a radar-like snake, already searching out the area he was standing. Cultivator Li’s voice from moments ago had completely put her on guard.
Sister Nine didn’t attack. In this place, making enemies without cause wasn’t rational behavior by any means. Especially… since there wasn’t a single person able to enter this place that was an ordinary character! Based on simply what she knew, there were a few people that weren’t below her in the slightest!
Silent, Cultivator Li inwardly wiped at the cold sweat on his head. He tightly pursed his lips and looked all around. If there wasn’t anyone… he was doomed to die!
After an unknown passage of time, a rustle echoed. A tall male silhouette emerged in front of the two people.
“It’s a small world.” Xu Yangyi smiled as he cupped his hands. “Fellow Daoist, this really is a coincidence.”
A bewildered voice and a pleasantly surprised voice rang out simultaneously!
Cultivator Li’s heart suddenly calmed down. Without a second word, he turned around and fled towards the other side of lotus leaves. As for Sister Nine, her expression changed. The light of her eyes glimmered as she watched the direction that Cultivator Li left for, but she didn’t speak.
“How is Fellow Daoist here?” Sister Nine’s hair swiftly pulled back, and she narrowed her eyes and studied Xu Yangyi. “I really didn’t expect… that the Xingtian Legion would actually get here alive.”
Xu Yangyi chuckled. “How I got here isn’t important. If there’s nothing else, it’s better for us to think of each other rather than meet face to face.”
Sister Nine’s face like an old well without the slightest ripple, and she smiled faintly. “Since you’ve come… why must you be so anxious to leave?”
The crook of Xu Yangyi’s mouth slightly curved, and his eyes swept all around like a knife. He said calmly, “I want to warn you of something. I don’t want to keep splitting hairs in this place. But...” His voice changed and became terribly chilly. “Just because I don’t want to cause trouble doesn’t mean that I’m afraid. If anybody dares to provoke me here, I don’t mind trading a move or two.”
Sister Nine’s lips formed a thin line. Unexpectedly, she didn’t say anything. Concerning Xu Yangyi, the two of them had once crossed hands. In kind, she was dreading the consequences in her heart.
Xu Yangyi faced Sister Nine and casually cupped his hands, turning around to leave. Yet at the same time, Sister Nine’s calm voice was heard.
As Xu Yangyi turned around, his smile was already quite dangerous. “Do you have pointers to give?”
Sister Nine took a deep breath. “The Ming Clan can wipe the slate for everything in the past.”
“Oh?” Xu Yangyi raised a brow, smiling yet not smiling.
“But…” Sister Nine took a heavy breath. “There is an item that you must return to the Ming Clan.”
“From here onwards about Eighteen’s matter, I’ll act as if I was never aware. The Ming clan will naturally rescind your warrant. And…” She revealed a deep smile. “In this place watched by tigers and wolves, the Ming Clan can even… work together with the Xingtian Legion.”
Xu Yangyi coldly looked at her and eventually sneered, “You want that pelt scroll?”
Sister Nine’s gaze flickered. She didn’t deny it nor did she confirm it.
“You have a minute to decide if you want to speak.” Xu Yangyi looked straight into her eyes. “After a minute, I’ll consider any obstruction to be a provocation.”
In the end, Sister Nine laughed coldly. “Fellow Daoist sure is confident.”
The duo’s gazes collided like swords in the air. Xu Yangyi nodded. “You can come try.”
Silence. After these words, the two of them completely sunk into silence. Sister Nine’s eyes revealed consideration, and Xu Yangyi didn’t urge her. Like so, time flowed past unhurriedly. The noiseless second hand of a clock seemed to ring out in the air. Ten seconds passed. Twenty seconds. Thirty seconds. Forty seconds passed.
“If you give the pelt scroll to me, I’m willing to share its secret with you.” Once fifty-two seconds passed, Sister Nine finally hardened her heart and said, “This generation’s God Ming has twenty wives in total. Eighteen and I were siblings from the same mother. It was I that originally found this item, but he stole it from me. Even if you didn’t kill him, I would’ve pulled out his tendons and removed his bones.”
At last, Xu Yangyi displayed a smile. “Isn’t he your little brother?”
“Does that trash…” Sister Nine sneered, “even deserve to be called younger brother and older sister with myself?”
“So how about? What have you decided?” She seemed as if she didn’t want to waste a scrap of time on God Ming Eighteen’s beheaded body. With cool eyes, she gazed at Xu Yangyi and said, “Except for myself, no one can undo the seal on it. You’ll never know about its true appearance, either.”
Xu Yangyi’s expression was motionless. After a short moment, he swiped his storage ring, and an ancient pelt scroll flew out. It floated in the air. Sister Nine’s eyes brightened. However, Xu Yangyi didn’t hand it over to the other and said calmly, “Proof. This is the prerequisite that we can discuss.”
“Your caution disgusts me,” Sister Nine snorted coldly. Without another spare word, she lightly cut her finger, and a drop of blood darted towards the pelt scroll.
The instant the blood drop and the pelt scroll touched, Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed. Right in front of him… he actually sensed the pelt scroll oddly stiffen!
Ruuuustle… A noise similar to silkworms spitting out silk was heard. The “pelt” began to peel apart sliver by sliver. Xu Yangyi watched with rapt attention for several seconds and murmured, “This is silk?”
“Correct.” Sister Nine gazed straight into his eyes. “It’s silk… A sealing magik passed down in the Ming Clan for a thousand years. Without the Ming Clan’s bloodline there’s no way it can be undone.”
Xu Yangyi turned his gaze and looked at Sister Nine, laughing. “You’re not worried that I’ll take this and leave?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Sister Nine likewise answered with a laugh. “Could it be that Fellow Daoist believes that a single drop of blood can completely undo the seal?”
Their words secretly crossed swords. Between the two young foxes, neither seized a small advantage. The blood drop caused half of the pelt scroll to “stiffen”, but it stopped at that point.
Sister Nine remained quiet, only gazing straight at Xu Yangyi. Several drops of blood revolved around her finger, but didn’t otherwise go over.
Xu Yangyi mumbled to himself for several seconds. Spiritual force swirling at his fingertips, he cut the half-soft, half-hard pelt scroll in half and launched it high in the air. At the same time, both of them seemed to be joined in heart. Sister Nine’s gaze flashed, and her finger slightly moved. Another several blood drops sprinkled onto the pelt scroll in Xu Yangyi’s hand.
These two odd partners—sharing the same bed yet holding different dreams—silently completed the first exchange of trust. The blood pearl appeared to be ink penetrating water. The silk on the pelt scroll in Xu Yangyi’s hand seemed to come across boiling water and started to slowly come off layer by layer. 
In a flash, the silk finished coming off. As for the object in his hand, it had already transformed into...
It was unknown what creature’s shell this was. The shell was only a little chunk and couldn’t be considered hard. However, the texture was rather strange. Its blackishness carried a rosy color as if… it was just about to break.
The shell was quite smooth, but its back side used the colors white, azure, and violet to sketch out a diagram with four paths. The route’s end point altogether used white, azure, or violet to paint dots of all different colors.
“Good…” Sister Nine took a deep breath. “I like working together with those who keep their promises… Although if you’re working with me, those who break their promises have long become corpses…”
“Don’t use the Ming Clan’s name to pressure me.” Xu Yangyi smiled indifferently, yet his smile concealed a thick killing intent. “I dared to kill a God Ming Eighteen, I don’t care much more about killing a God Ming Nine at all. Do you… want to try?”
“Hehe…” The crook of Sister Nine’s mouth curved upwards, yet she didn’t smile. At the very least, the first step of this duo’s partnership could be considered amicable.
Sister Nine didn’t waste another word, but rather swiped the storage ring on her hand. A toad statue, seemingly jade yet not jade, flew out from the inside and revolved as it fell on the ground. The top of the toad’s head was lit with a foot-long incense stick, yet at this moment, the incense stick had already burned down to over half until only a third remained!
A bizarre, delicate fragrance suddenly pervaded the area. An excited flush quietly spread across Sister Nine’s face. Even she, who was sophisticated and reserved, was partially unable to restrain herself right now.
“Wait a moment… Fellow Daoist…” She sucked in deeply and licked her lips. “In another hour… you’ll see a marvel that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life…”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. His spiritual force was ready to cycle to the max at any time. He didn’t take his eyes off the jade toad as he stared at it.
Time drifted on by the minute and second. After roughly forty minutes had passed, the toad’s eyes cried and suddenly flowed out with two lines of scarlet fluid! In addition, the incense on the top of its head began to fiercely ignite! It was to the extent that it made crackling noises and combusted out a chain of dazzling sparks!
Swoosh… At this time, a great blood-red formation was faintly discernible underneath the pair’s feet! It seemed as if it had always existed here. In this instant, this formation had been roused!
The formation wasn’t large, approximately around twenty meters. As for the place where they stood, it was shockingly located in the center!
Furthermore… this entire formation wasn’t one that Xu Yangyi had ever witnessed! He didn’t know how it should’ve been described. If it had to be insisted upon, this formation gave him a kind of desolate and ancient feeling. It was like this formation structure’s calligraphy and qi construction had been engraved countless years and moons ago. The formation appeared not to be something of modern Cultivation Civilization!
“This is?” Xu Yangyi’s eyes flared with spirited light, and he promptly fell back several steps. Sister Nine also seemed to have been startled, leaping outside the formation at the same time.
“You need not be anxious.” The duo cautiously studied the formation, and Sister Nine clenched her teeth. “The Ming Clan is a thousand-year-old clan. Our research concerning the Eight Great Deadlands is unquestionably ranked among the best of China’s hundreds of clans. This formation is a sealed array. It’s not dangerous at all…”
Before her voice even fell, the two of them jumped out of the array in the next second. An azure light pillar no less than twenty meters in diameter appeared! From the inside of the formation’s entire surface, it charged forth!
RUMBLE!!! A majestic qi erupted in a flash. The azure light pillar drew forth a resplendent brilliance in the night! It went directly to the horizon!
In the wake of this skybound light pillar shining, withered lotuses all around and countless fragments actually ascended upwards. However, in contrast to this tremendous light pillar, they seemed to merely be butterflies revolving around the side of this enormous azure tree.
The entire night had been illuminated by this azure pillar. At this moment, people everywhere all looked upon this incredibly gorgeous light pillar!
“This is…” In an expanse of wilted lotuses, Fahui’s eyes quietly opened, and he watched from an unknown distance away. The azure pillar charged straight to the horizon, and he coldly gasped, “good fortune.”
In another lotus patch, the Nangong Clan’s Sixth Young Master suddenly raised his head to look at the nearby azure light pillar. The light of his eyes glinted, and he didn’t say anything. The camouflage clothing on his back crumbled apart without warning, and the muscles on his entire back seemed to come alive, madly bulging. After several seconds, a pair of black wings whooshed out and carried his figure to frantically zoom towards the azure light pillar!
In the horizon, three silver stars brightened. Three rays of sword light screamed forth. On each sword, there was a solemn-faced young Daoist standing.
Everyone knew what this was. In any secret realm, their existence caused people to be immensely eager.
Arcane efforts! Medicinal pills! Secret treasures!
The use of all titles to name this was correct, but perhaps there was still a more direct term.