“Third Elder…” At the old man’s side, a middle-aged man furrowed his brows. “Is this appropriate?”
“This person… his left arm is missing. There’s no doubt that he’s practically a cripple. In particular…” he whispered, “there’s a very deep wound on his dantian…”
“I know.” The old man coughed and said, “But who ever said that one can’t cultivate with a missing left arm? And who said that the qi sea has to be in the dantian?”
The middle-aged man was stunned. “You’re saying…”
“There are some arcane efforts that can shift the qi sea…” The old man studied Xu Yangyi intently. “I have only heard of these kinds of arcane efforts, but without such an explanation, how can the qi stored in Branchmaster Xu’s body be explained? As for his left arm…”
The old man laughed, “Although it’s quite difficult, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done. A peak Qi Condensation grand master can restore one’s shortcomings, even making someone better than before. It’s just that the price and materials… hehe, let’s just see if the pill master behind him is willing to stick his head out for him.”
“Not only that, but just on his ability to come out alive from Danxia Temple and Ancestor Ancientpine’s heavy regard, he is worthy of the Yi Clan’s association. Old Seven…” He looked at the middle-aged man. “You’re still young… In this cultivation world, good or bad, several millenniums of inheritance is quite large…”
At this time, a sound like muffled thunder resounded throughout the area.
Rumble! Following this loud echo, the entire heavenbound door suddenly burst into dazzlingly brilliant white light. As for the image of the giant Peng in the sky, it also erupted into red brilliance that went straight towards the heavens at the same time! One light ascended from below, and one light torrented down from above. Between heaven and earth, all that existed was red and white.
Bloody-crimson rays passed through the clouds. Because of the sky-consuming red light, the clouds became scarlet-red, weaving together and shining with the boundless white spiritual light from the ground. In the boundary of heaven and earth, this vagueness became two worlds of pure color.
“It’s returned…” Everyone watched this scene in astonishment. Even Daomaster Ancientpine was no exception.
“It is not… that I have never witnessed a qi reparation.” In the sky, Jadesun accompanied Ancientpine at his side. Ancientpine looked at the sky, mumbling, “But… I have never seen… such a massive one…”
“Such a vast artificial secret realm. This return to the heavens and earth is like the descent of sweet rains in a desert, transforming Longsu Province into a new cultivation holy land… Perhaps because of this, moderate changes will occur to the entire cultivation world’s structure…”
His voice was gentle, but in the wake of his words, red and white gradually melded together. Surprisingly, this fusion started to turn into a kind of strange… black!
“This…” Countless cultivators raised their heads to look at the sky. Yes, red and white qi completely entered the clouds, yet at this moment, it was different from the green jade that seemed to wash Nanzhou City’s sky a second ago. The sky was already filled with black clouds.
“Such a vast qi reparation, huh…” the Yi Clan’s Old Su watched the sky and muttered.
At this time, following this light rumble, the clouds in the sky gradually split apart. Endless rain began to bucket down.
Crash… A waterfall of raindrops landed. Xu Yangyi extended his hand, numerous raindrops hitting it. He didn’t look at the sky, but the present remains of the manifested door.
Countless lives had been buried below… In the wake of this door’s close… everything was finally declared to have come to an end…
He wasn’t sad anymore. People always wanted to look back, miring themselves in past sorrow or happiness. In either scenario, one could only bring themselves to a standstill, binding their feet without advance. Nevertheless, he was far from that time of hesitation and pause.
He looked at his hand in the rain.
In reality, he felt from the start that in the instant the rain fell, all his bodily qi had been mobilized. It was beginning to increase sliver by sliver.
Very slow… very, very slow. However, he didn’t absorb this qi at all! In any time and any place, the Eternal Alchemy Canon was sure to automatically draw in qi. His dantian, though, had been ruined, and his arm had yet to be restored. Presently, the Eternal Alchemy Canon definitely couldn’t be cycled via reflex. This spiritual force… was shockingly creeping into his body from the outside on its own!
This rain was also jade-green in color. Furthermore, the rain drops weren’t solid, and his clothes couldn’t get wet. But as this rain touched his clothes, it immediately transformed into rays of white spiritual light that sunk into his body.
“This isn’t rain.” Xu Yangyi raised his head to look all around. “This is…”
“The heavens are reached and listening. Qi transforms into sweet rain…” An old wrinkle-faced cultivator shuddered as he stretched out both of his arms into the air. Here and now, as far as the eye could see, to the end of the sky, everything was jade-green. It was as if a heavy green curtain had been pulled between heaven and earth.
No one spoke. How treasured was the increase of spiritual force? At some unknown time, the first cultivator sat down. Soon afterwards, there was a second cultivator, followed by a third and fourth… Less than ten minutes later, all present several thousand cultivators were already seated. In the last instant, they were still paying attention to the Danxia Temple interior. In the next, they were meditating and silently enjoying this gift from the heavens.
At this time, an azure lotus grew out from the ground and gently swayed in the wind. In kind, it wasn’t a physical object, but the solidification and formation of qi. Slowly, fields of delicate azure lotuses bloomed all over the earth. They were nicely set off with the jade-green rain in the sky.
Xu Yangyi also closed his eyes and began to enjoy the final present of this journey. After roughly an hour, the downpour finally ceased. In the instant he opened his eyes, he felt the front of him brighten.
The sky was still the sky. The earth was still the earth. But in this twinkling, Nanzhou City’s qi density levels… It was no exaggeration at all to use “an alteration of the heavens and a change of the earth” to describe it!
It was in every inch of soil. If a divine ability was used, floating qi could even be seen above! A situation like this could only be felt in the Capital district! Right now, in Longsu Province, China’s great northwest, the same had arose!
Xu Yangyi opened his eyes again. The qi required for the late stage of Qi Condensation was even greater than the middle stage. Around one hour of spirit rain had increased his boundary by no more than ten or twenty percent. In any case, this qi reparation wasn’t truly focused on people but instead the earth!
His spiritual sense abruptly scattered! Every blade of grass and each tree in the surrounding 300-plus meters emerged in his mind. He saw some animals. A trace of confusion even appeared in his eyes. These creatures… were in the stage of enlightenment. If they followed their instincts accordingly, perhaps they would be able to rouse their wisdom in one or several decades.
To people, this spirit-rain return was a sliver, but to these animals, it was no different from a shedding of their mortal bodies and an exchange of bones. He even saw… a couple plants—he couldn’t remember their names—lingering and twisting around the dense qi. They gradually bloomed in the great door’s surroundings.
“This is… Nine-Tailed Crane Saliva Grass?” Xu Yangyi’s gaze fell on a plant, and he sucked in deeply. This could no longer be considered a plant. A very small sapling was poking its head out from the soil. Nevertheless, its black leaf and the red strand in the middle of it could be no more familiar to him.
There were a few spirit plants quitely sprouting in the Nine-Tailed Crane Saliva Grass’s vicinity. The qi reparation provided Longsu Province, especially Nanzhou City, with enormous changes to the cultivation world!
Within 200 to 300 years… this place would become a true cultivation paradise!
“I’m going to have to inspect this place in the future.” He stood up and studied each blade of grass and every tree in the environment. A grand emotion arose in his heart, almost roaring towards the sky.
Ambition existed high and lofty in the dauntless and courageous. Magnificent goals to approach the clouds and resonate throughout the nine heavens.
At less than thirty years old, he had advanced to the late stage of Qi Condensation. Among those that he knew of, only Sunnihilator alone had accomplished this. However, Sunnihilator wasn’t enlightened in Pill Dao and furthermore wasn’t a branch master!
Not only had he not advanced to the late stage before thirty years old, he was moreover seated on the branch master’s throne while he was in the Qi Condensation realm! This was the stage he needed. Thousandedge had already died. Without the latter’s hindrance, and Daomaster Ancientpine’s bestowal of Longsu Province’s branch master position, his path was already opening up bit by bit!
“Respects, Branch Master.” At this time, a voice was heard from his side. Xu Yangyi raised an eye and glanced. Surprisingly, it was Xuan Chengzi.
“Fellow Daoist Xuan Chengzi.” To say that he wasn’t excited was a falsehood. He was thrilled with his success, spring wind bringing pleasure and the gallop of horse steps ever swift and graceful. The long trial finished, great freedom was unleashed, the flowers of Chang’an long since viewed in their majesty. In this time of high spirits, who was not a youth?
Such a feeling could not be wrestled. It was only through great effort and striving. Until the phase of some goal was finally achieved, it could not be experienced.
“You need not call me Fellow Daoist,” Xuan Chengzi said sincerely. “This poor Daoist wishes to join the Xingtian Legion.”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flickered. The order he passed down to Wei Zhongxian was to erase all memories related with him. In that case… Xuan Chengzi was certain to have not remembered the Emperor Armament’s appearance. But if so, how was he able to still remember him?
“Branch Master.” Xuan Chengzi laughed, “Each person of the Dao Sect studies secret arts to strictly guard against memory tampering. Especially us. Grandpa Wei’s secret arts are quite profound, but I still remember a little.”
Xu Yangyi heavily studied Xuan Chengzi. The Dao Scripture… held such a profound relationship with the Dao Sect. In particular… the revealed location of the final secret hidden in the Thirteen Ming Tombs that Wei Zhongxian had spoke of. True to heart, Xuan Chengzi wanted to join him? Xu Yangyi wasn’t very convinced.
“Now isn’t the time to speak of this,” Xu Yangyi said, cool and collected. Xuan Chengzi remembering a few things was beyond his expectations. Presently, the most pressing was to first stabilize himself.
Xuan Chengzi… in Danxia Temple, apart from himself currently, was possibly the sole person who was aware of the entire secret. He knew why Danxia Temple’s strange changes had occurred and knew about what was concealed below. He knew of Xiaoqing and Fahai’s grievances and moreover knew… of what he possessed.
Xuan Chengzi laughed wryly and pulled open the lapel of his robe.
Xu Yangyi raised a brow. On Xuan Chengzi’s chest, he saw a blood-red talisman. This was a rune that he recognized.
“A Heart-Devil Oath?” He finally eyed Xuan Chengzi seriously. Such a pledge was almost similar to the pull of Li Zongyuan’s soul. Violation was death. Xuan Chengzi was actually willing to make such an oath. One could see the other’s sincerity.
Xu Yangyi didn’t immediately answer but rather gazed at the other deeply. After ages, he said, “Why? I only saved your life. It’s not necessary. Saving you was to save myself. If I didn’t do it, none of us would’ve made it out.”
Xuan Chengzi’s expression was calm and indifferent as he closed his lapel, like he didn’t have a time bomb on his chest. “I naturally have my reasons… but Branch Master speaks the truth. Now is not the time to discuss these things. The most important matter is to clearly explain this entire affair to Ancestor Ancientpine.”
“I’ll go now.” Xu Yangyi nodded.
At this time, Xuan Chengzi took a knee in front of Xu Yangyi and said brightly, “Respectful partings, Branch Master!”
Simultaneously, Li Zongyuan, Zhan Twelve, and Quan Ningyue took a knee on the ground with a single fist presented in front of their chests. They shouted as loud as they could, “Respectful partings, Branch Master!”
Before several thousand cultivators, they had to announce in Xu Yangyi’s stead. From this day forth, in the Featherwood Guard of Longsu Province’s Nanzhou, he, the late Qi Condensation Xu Yangyi, had the final say!
1. “Spring wing bringing pleasure and the gallop of horse steps ever swift and graceful… the flowers of Chang’an long since viewed in their majesty.” Poem by Tang Poet Meng Jiao (751-814 CE). I believe I have explained this in the past. Based on context, I usually like to come up with new renditions and interpretations.