Forcibly pushing down the shock in his heart, Xu Yangyi clasped his hands and said, “Junior learned about this accidentally. I hope Seniors will understand.”
He didn’t speak. Xiaoqing coldly brushed an eye over Fahai. Both of them questioned no further.
“That’s right.” Yu Qinglin’s finger gently tapped the water throne, and she said apathetically, “I was enlightened by Jiang Shang. All together, Jiang Shang cultivated four lifetimes. The first life was Jiang Ziya. The second life was Sun Bin. Who I saw was the third life. Zhuge Liang.”
“What?! This…” Zhao Wuye blurted out in astonishment, “So much failure…”
He immediately shut his mouth.
Xu Yangyi was reticent… Like so… Zhao Wuye was sure to have felt… that there was certainly one side lying between Yu Qinglin and Fahai’s dialogue!
What was the objective of lying? One didn’t need to ask to know… that in this duo’s strange confrontation, so long as they offered assistance, disregarding that they were initial Qi Condensation, they could still allow these old monsters who surpassed Core Formation to return to glory like a dragon ascending the skies!
It could be Fahai... but it could also be Xiaoqing! Regardless of either one, both of them were absolutely able to crush all cultivators upon arriving in the modern cultivation world!
“Fellow Daoist Xu… is looking for the person telling the truth?” The situation seemed tranquil, but everyone understood that by no means were Xiaoqing and Fahai so idle and bored to tell them this story.
With their realms—even if they sacrificed their longevity—these figures were still able exterminate them in flash. However, neither of them did. On the contrary, with their statuses that transcended Core Formation, they were slowly and carefully narrating to them the secret of this place.
This was Fahai and Yu Qinglin’s fight for their trust! At this moment, Xu Yangyi felt Mao Ba’er write something on his hand. He closed his eyes and felt… a row of characters.
‘In any case, the person telling the truth will be easier to deal with than the person lying.’
He opened his eyes and glanced at the husky. Soon after, he ran his eyes over everyone present. Oddly, discounting himself at this instant, and even Fang Cheng and Quan Ningyue, no one said that they had walked the Yellow Springs Path! Furthermore, none of them mentioned the wall carvings!
Xu Yangyi could guess that the others were also thinking about this.
‘The person lying… might turn traitor and kill us… With the person telling the truth… at least there’s somewhat of a hope that we’ll survive.’ Mao Ba’er gritted his teeth and continued writing. Between the two of them… one of them is definitely lying… They only want us to let them go… Afterwards… will be the time of our death!
Yu Qinglin simply wasn’t moved to care about the Qi Condensation cultivators’ shock and continued speaking, “I was suppressed at the bottom of Danxia Temple. Only my incarnations could walk the world. But because of this formation, my avatars cannot hold a connection with myself… I have been stewing here… stewing… day by day… night by night!”
“Until… all of a sudden, there was an incarnation that was connected to me. That incarnation had no name. I had her pick a name. She was known as Xiaoqing.”
Everyone sucked in deeply. So it turned out… this was the story behind Xiaoqing!
“I then knew at this moment that a few centuries to a thousand years had actually already passed… and arrived in a dynasty called Southern Song. I once incarnated a hundred avatars. Unexpectedly, only seven survived in the world.” She took a long sigh, restraining her fluctuating mood. Xu Yangyi sharply felt that the closer the modern age approached, the more fierce her fluctuations in mood became.
“Xiaoqing was now actually following a white snake. I wanted to exterminate her with a hand, but I hesitated over and over. Ultimately, I chose to restrain myself in silence. Do you…” She looked towards Xu Yangyi. “Know why?”
Xu Yangyi furrowed his brows and thought it over. He cupped his hands and said, “According to the records, Xiaoqing cultivated the Dao for 500 years. Mortals don’t know of cultivators’ realms, so they use time instead. If the mortal story is trustworthy, Xiaoqing should’ve already advanced to initial Nascent Soul by then. As for Bai Suzhen, the records say she cultivated for a thousand years. She should be…”
“That’s right.” Yu Qinglin uttered, “She had already advanced to the realm after Nascent Soul. My main body couldn’t take action, but this precious avatar didn’t give up.”
“Besides…” Her tone started to waver again, and she looked at Fahai like she was looking at a dead man. “Indeed, this old donkey spoke of the true Legend of the White Snake. But he hid one point! An extremely crucial point!”
“In the Legend of the White Snake… the one who met Xu Xian at the very start… wasn’t Bai Suzhen, but This Palace!!! And do you know why I met him?!” She locked her eyes on Xu Yangyi, biting her lips so the point that they became partially white. “Because he was a person… a person who had already cultivated three lives but failed to reach perfection! An old friend… preparing to recultivate his fourth life!”
Xu Yangyi nodded symbolically, but his gaze suddenly flashed. Without warning, his heart was roused, and he blurted out, “Jiang Ziya?! Jiang Shang!”
“WHAT?!” Quan Ningyue’s eyes quickly opened wide. She looked at Xiaoqing, not daring to believe. “Jiang Ziya… is Xu Xian?!”
“Freakin’... unbelievable…” Fang Cheng’s mouth opened wide. Unconsciously, he slightly shook his head, flabbergasted. “The Legend of the White Snake… actually has so many unrecorded things concealed in it!”
Fahui’s gaze twinkled. He and Xuan Chengzi were the same. They tightly bit their lips, not saying a word.
This story was too bizarre. It had already surpassed their imaginations!
“Xu Xian? No… it was Xu Xuan…” Yu Qinglin made a long sigh, her teeth gnashing in bitterness. “On that day, he didn’t know anything. Perhaps he had forgotten, but I was imprisoned here by him! Imprisoned here… for a full thousand years! He didn’t even know that my avatar walked in front of him with great difficulty… The memories of his past three lives, Jiang Shang… Sun Bin, and Zhuge Liang, were in his spiritual sense. As long as I learned from him the method to undo the seal here, I would be able to immediately escape!”
“I didn't expect…” Her face transformed into a faint taunting smile. “Fahai… this person wasn’t simple at all. He was also an ancient cultivator recultivating life… He didn’t know how to see through Xu Xuan’s three almighty recultivated lives… and moreover didn’t know how to make out that Xiaoqing was an incarnation. This person draped a Buddha’s outer skin on his shoulders but used a divine ability to bring Xu Xuan into Buddhism!”
“Descending into the waters and battling… hehehe… how can such a nonexistent event be trusted?! Leaving aside that Bai Suzhen’s cultivation absolutely couldn’t accomplish this bit, wouldn’t you continue suppressing her if she could do so, Fahai?! I have NEVER heard of this matter!”
The lotus sea had already become completely quiet. So quiet that a falling needle could be heard.
None had foreseen that there would be so many hidden circumstances in the Legend of the White Snake. Such a great upheaval!
Xiaoqing wasn’t a Dao Master, Bai Suzhen sought her desires, Xu Xian had cultivated three lifetimes, but Fahai… was even more lowly and shameless!
“Amitabha…” At this moment, Fahai’s chant echoed, and he looked at the crowd serenely. “Right and wrong possess their own arbitrations. Arbitration lays in the heart, possessing its own standard.”
“Hehehe…” Xiaoqing’s killing intent wasn’t masked in the slightest in her grim laughter. “These juniors might not know, but how could you not? If an almighty figure recultivates, the greatest taboo is to be seen through by another cultivator… Any recultivating cultivator is bound to have left behind an escape route for themselves, a treasury to return to prominence. Your cultivation has long since been unable to advance an inch and your aptitude is ordinary. With Xu Xuan standing in front of you, how could you not rise with thoughts of greed?”
Fahai sighed deeply and shook his head in silence. He softly chanted sutras.
Xu Yangyi’s gaze imperceptibly looked over the duo. Between these two… someone was definitely concealing something. But as the one who saw these things, it was quite possible that he would meet eternal rest here if he didn’t pick the person telling the truth!
This was a gamble. Not freeing these two was fine. However, everyone would be trapped and die here! Release… who to release? Who was the “truth”? Who would be able to truly set them on a path of survival?!
A choice without gain and loss. There was no choice but to choose the straightforward person. At least with the side who dared to act and accept responsibility… their chances at survival would be a level higher.
There seemed to be no fighting or magik exchanged, but in fact, life and death merely lay between a thought! On one side was heaven and on the other was hell.
“What a pity…” Xiaoqing ridiculed as she looked at Fahai. “He guessed it to be an almighty reincarnated cultivator but hadn’t anticipated what level of might this figure held by the slightest margin. His clumsy methods on the contrary allowed Xu Xuan’s memories to be awakened in their entirety. He was forced to hide in a crab’s stomach. In addition, Jiang Shang had already aided King Wu of Zhou by cloaking himself with the sin of murder. He wasn’t willing to burden himself with this stigma. It was only then Fahai was let go once. Unexpectedly… his wicked intentions weren’t put to rest! He was unable to plot against Jiang Shang, so he instead made use of Xiaoqing to find my main body!!!”
“This was also the thousand-year-old white snake’s suppression, and the true reason that the 500-year-old Xiaoqing escaped calamity!”
The scene was silent, and Xiaoqing’s chest faintly heaved up and down. After ages, she regained her coolness and smiled. “My only chance at escape was harshly interfered by this old, bald donkey and that damned Bai Suzhen… not only was everything ruined for this pittance of a single basket, it also caused Jiang Shang to remember me… hehehe… Fahai… even if I don’t leave today, you… will still remain here with me!”
Fahai smiled. “I am using my life to suppress a demon. Even if this poor monk is accompanying you, what is there to fear?”
There were no voices whatsoever.
Fahai shut his eyes and chanted sutras. Xiaoqing’s gaze brushed over each and every person’s body.
The story ended here. But if someone now said that Fahai, who they had only heard about in this story, was possibly nothing… Xiaoqing would absolutely slaughter this person on the spot!
Yes, the story had come to a conclusion. Now was the time to make a choice! If you don’t want to die, you must release one of these people! THIS was the wordless dialogue of this silence!
Xiaoqing was watching the others, but everyone else’s gazes fell on Xu Yangyi!
Fahui hung both of his eyes low. He didn’t know what to think.
“It seems that you are these people’s bellwether.” In the end, Xiaoqing gazed towards Xu Yangyi. She glanced at him a little carefully and nodded casually. “Your talent is not bad. Even among ancient cultivators, you are one among ten thousand.”
“Choose.” After she glanced, her gaze turned cold again. “I can promise not to move against all of you by not a fraction of a hair. I will escort all of you out of Danxia Temple myself. Although I cannot be considered a good person, I will absolutely do all that I have said.”
“Amitabha.” Fahai recited a chant and said peacefully, “Benefactors, I thought up of every possible method to attract your entry! It appears that the thoughts of cultivators nowadays and us ancient cultivators are already different. Even now, this poor monk isn’t asking you to help me suppress this demon. As long as the seal is not undone, it is fine.”
“And I will naturally send benefactors out.”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. He understood very clearly that these two cultivators were being very, very polite to him right now. Nonetheless… once the wrong choice was made and the chain was pulled out, they would lay eyes upon a true demon!
Who to choose? Who would abide by their promise and bring them out? At this moment, he seemed to be walking on a steel rope. A single misstep and he, and everyone involved, would be laid out here as corpses!
If Xiaoqing was telling the truth, Fahai couldn’t be chosen in any way! How could a person who had already gone insane for cultivating their realm possibly allow those who knew his secret to survive?
But if Fahai was telling the truth, Xiaoqing was far more ruthless than the white snake! Furthermore, she was the final boss in the Legend of the White Snake! Only four words could be used to describe their potentially brutal deaths at her hands—following the heart’s desire. 
If she was set free, there would possibly be unexpected consequences for the entire cultivation world!
Under the cover of a nest, were eggs not completely safe? 
Xu Yangyi breathed in heavily. His gaze was like a boulder as he studied the woman and monk. This choice of life and death was the greatest test of his cultivation to this day!
Extended note: In Legend of the White Snake, Xu Xian (Xu Xuan) is the lover of Bai Suzhen, the white snake. As a boy, one of the Eight Immortals, Lu Dongbin, sold him pills of immortality. Xu Xian ate the pills, but then returns to Lu Dongbin because he no longer feels hungry. Lü Dongbin then brings Xu Xian to a bridge and flips him upside down to vomit out the pills. Bai Suzhen is a snake cultivating and manages to get the vomited pills, thus gaining more magical powers. She feels thankful to Xu Xian, therefore intertwining their fates.