Xu Yangyi left. He simply didn’t care what Qin Dianji thought. As he slowly made his way downstairs, he could sense that Zu Huai’en was down below in a car. The man was motionless, as if he was waiting on him.
As the demon slayer walked, his thoughts also began to ripple. Only now did he realize something, and that… was in case he truly returned to Earth. If so… it was quite possible that not only one person would be returning, but two!
He and the middle-stage Foundation Establishment cultivator behind Zu Huai’en.
How was the Clearcloud Realm to be divided?
“There’s definitely going to be a meeting. The meeting’s timing is worth considering.” Xu Yangyi continued walked down. A car was steadily parked in front of him. Zu Huai’en came out himself, and with a gaze that didn’t care for the surrounding people at all, he opened the car door for Xu Yangyi. The state-magus’s head was drenched in cold sweat, yet he dared not look at Xu Yangyi. He bowed and said, “Immortal Master of the Upper Realm… I invite you, sir.”
Xu Yangyi agreed indifferently and sat down in the car. It was unknown how many people’s eyes fell out as they saw this scene in front of the Post Horse Station.
“Is that… State-Magus Zu?” A wealthy-looking middle-aged man just happened to walk out from the mansion. At his side four people were reporting to him, yet they suddenly stopped as they looked on in disbelief. “He’s… opening the door for someone else?” 
This was impossible!
“That’s right…” An assistant at the man’s side was also dazed. Dumb as a wooden chicken, he watched the car cruise away. “Head Chief… I-I don’t think I saw that right… T-That was a state-magus…”
Unconcerned about others’ comments, Xu Yangyi was already seated in the back, his eyes shut and mind in rest. Zu Huai’en drove the car himself, but his energy wasn’t on the road. Instead, he looked back at Xu Yangyi in the rearview mirror every few seconds.
His hands gripping the steering wheel were moist to a somewhat unbearable degree. He sensed a volcano sitting behind him, his breathing so hot and heated that he found his situation a little difficult.
“Master Zu…” As they took a winding road and headed to the city outskirts, Xu Yangyi softly spoke out. His voice was extremely light. How could Zu Huai’en’s physiological reactions escape a Foundation Establishment cultivator’s eyes? Xu Yangyi didn’t want to scare the other, but to his surprise, his words directly caused the car to slide.
“Master Xu!” Zu Huai’en couldn’t help but pant for air. Once he opened his mouth, however, he discovered his voice was startlingly loud. Swift to act, his voice fell into a hush, “Do you have some instruction?”
Xu Yangyi laughed with a smile. This attitude really wasn’t much different from a Qi Condensation cultivator on Earth seeing a Foundation Establishment Senior for the first time. He smiled and said, “Nothing. You don’t need to be worried. I won’t do anything you. Just drive properly. Don’t go to meet that sir, just head onto the highway leading to Beifeng City instead.”
“Yes…” Zu Huai’en’s Adam’s apple shuddered. Sir, you might not care… but who wouldn’t be worried about an old tiger sitting behind them! Everyone knows that an old tiger eats their fill, but an old tiger still eats people!
“I’m not an old tiger, and I won’t eat you, either.”
“Master Xu!” Zu Huai’en nearly cried out, “You, you…”
“And I won’t read your mind. Just drive well, I have something I want to ask you.” Xu Yangyi laughed as he shook his head, opening a car window. “How long has that person been here? How do you know him?”
Zu Huai’en wiped away his icy sweat and mustered all his calm to say, “I don’t know how long he’s been here. It was he who took the initiative to find me. My villa is out in the country, and I was originally hiring a steward. He came and was chosen… but… but…”
He seemed to recall his memories, and a shiver traveled down the length of his body. His voice carried evident trepidation. “That night… h-he came to my room… With one move, no, not even a move; by barely pointing at me, I-I couldn’t even budge!”
“He told me many things. Only then did I know that the Clearcloud Realm was originally only one of Earth’s Lesser Thousand Realms! Outside the Clearcloud Realm, there are many worlds!”
His voice started to become a little excited. “He was basically like a demon-god to the Clearcloud Realm! If he wanted, the entire Clearcloud Realm would fall to calamity! I don’t know why he didn’t act that way, maybe… he felt the Clearcloud Realm was below him…”
He glanced at Xu Yangyi’s expression and quickly added, “Be assured! Master Xu, I certainly haven’t told anyone else about these things! I dare use mine and the lives of my family to make a vow!”
“Do you think he’s stronger or I am?” Xu Yangyi asked with a smile that wasn’t smile.
Zu Huai’en paused and followed with an evasive response, “I am unsure… I-I’ve never seen Master Xu…”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flickered. The state-magus hadn’t given a direct answer. Perhaps he didn’t dare or he was afraid of opposing him, but such an attitude already explained the issue.
There was still a fair difference between the oppressive might of middle-stage Foundation Establishment and initial-stage Foundation Establishment.
“Good.” Xu Yangyi skipped the question. “Later, I want you to help me with something.”
“Master Xu, please give instruction…”
“Find all your high spirit-masters. We’re going to a very dangerous place. If we succeed, I’ll give these people an arcane effort. If your destiny coincides, you might have a chance to reach my realm.”
SCREECH!!! The car turned straight around a bend on the highway. Through the rearview mirror, Zu Huai’en peered at Xu Yangyi in shock, his heart pounding frantically!
An arcane effort!
In no way was it the Zhang Family’s breathing art! Perhaps the Zhang Family’s breathing art could also cultivate to this level, but it hadn’t happened in these past hundred-odd years! However, before his eyes, Xu Yangyi’s arcane effort had two living examples!
“Master Xu…” His voice was shaking. He wanted to say something, yet what he said left him staring blankly. “Sir… do you mind… if we join?”
In his daze, he swiftly firmed his thoughts.
Arcane effort… Master Xu’s realm! He could take another step beyond the apex of enlightenment! This was his long-held wish of many years!
Xu Yangyi studied him in interest. “You?”
“The state-magi!” Zu Huai’en swallowed his spittle in determination. “Me and… another friend! He’s also a state-magi!”
“It’s up to you.” Xu Yangyi was noncommittal, yet he said with seemingly deep meaning, “But my words stand first. This time, life will be used to exchange destiny. If you come back alive, everything’s well said. If one doesn’t have such great fate, it’s better to just act as you can.”
“You have ten years to think it over and tell everyone else. I don’t have time now to see them. In ten years, I’ll hear their answer. Those who want to go…”
The light of his eyes flashed, and a bottle flew out. “Eat this and make the most out of cultivation. When the time comes, I’ll have no time to look after them.”
Zu Huai’en opened the bottle doubtfully. Just as he undid the cap, though, his gaze suddenly brightened! Afterwards, he slammed the cover shut!
He could sense how powerful the spiritual force was contained inside these onyx pills!
“Tell them that taking it is my initial payment. So that they handle my work to give me peace of mind. Otherwise…” Xu Yangyi’s gaze chilled. “I guarantee, be it the edges of heaven or the corners of the sea, they won’t survive.”
Zu Huai’en trembled in his heart and promptly nodded.
The car continued to drive. Zu Huai’en appeared to be driving, but his heart was already facing countless twists and turns.
It was quite likely… that the place they and Xu Yangyi were going to was the Final 10,000 Miles! In the Clearcloud Realm, only here was the nebulous fog not uncovered!
And although with his realm Xu Yangyi spoke of using life to exchange destiny… once they entered, perhaps they would be little white mice searching for a path.
However… as long as the little white mice had a 1% chance to survive… in that case… could he also reach such an awesome realm as Xu Yangyi?!
Could he also… ascend like Grandmaster Zhang that year, leaving for an upper realm?
Fortunately… he still had ten years to properly consider the matter.
“Lastly, tell that sir something for me.” Xu Yangyi’s gaze narrowed, and he looked outside the car window thoughtfully. “I’ve already found the return path, I don’t need him…”
“Your Excellency?” Zu Huai’en said startledly. “That sir said… that y-you would definitely go look for him…”
“He thought wrong.” Xu Yangyi sneered and tucked his gaze away. He settled back in his seat. “I said… go to Beifeng City.”
If he hadn’t found the way back, Xu Yangyi might’ve truly went to find his fellow Foundation Establishment cultivator. Nonetheless… he was now plotting to seize the Clearcloud Realm. If so, there would be a distinction of primary and secondary between the two of them.
Before the next Sky Burial Festival, he needed the strength to withstand the other’s true body at the very least! If… he really was returning to Earth, and in a situation where the other betrayed him, he seriously needed a hidden trump to kill the other.
“The last three Heavenly Opening Erosions…” He shut his eyes. “This time, I gained the spiritual force of several hundred thousand people. Maybe this was way beyond your plan, right…”
District A-31 was resealed.
As Xu Yangyi entered the valley again, Tian Guotao was still waiting there for him. Xu Yangyi shot him a look and tossed out a jade slip. “In ten years, you’re going on a trip with me.”
“If you don’t want to go, then you don’t need to. This is your pay. If you go, you might lose your life.”
Tian Guotao said nothing. He stowed the jade slip and then bowed and left.
The movements of Shangchen’s government was fast. Not even a week later, within three days, all materials were piled up like a mountain outside District A-31.
In the basement cellar, the Vajra Formation equipped with the supreme-grade spirit stone was floating up and down in the air. In front of Xu Yangyi, an already extremely familiar furnace-cauldron appeared again.
Advancing his strength… this was his most crucial goal for seclusion this time!
Bladevessel’s invitation, the mysterious door, and the Clearcloud Realm’s benefits, all were intertwined. All of this required his power to act as support!
Without strength… perhaps the instant he returned to Earth would be when that middle-stage Foundation Establishment cultivator who came back with him attacked!
Swoosh! His spiritual sense submerged into his mind once more. The Eternal Alchemy Canon’s domain of golden light instantly came into view.
The pill formulas he gained weren’t many, and maybe it could be said they weren’t much to care about in the past. But this was in fact because he had no time. Even if the canon’s concoction of pills accumulated qi, he could still only pick a few that Grandmaster Fivetastes and Grandmaster Knowledge once gave to the “Master of the Pill Dao”. The difficulty degree of pills that fit Foundation Establishment was rather great.
“But… it’s different now…” He searched through his memories. “Something that made Great Sage Sun suppress it with his staff definitely isn’t minor, but Bladevessel’s words can’t be completely trusted. The person behind Zu Huai’en is out, as well. If I’m going to enter the passage under the Taiji, I can only rely on my own strength.”
“I…” He took a deep breath. “What I need now is something to rapidly increase my battle strength… to the extent… of a few heretical methods!”
1. “Wealthy”, so the actually Chinese is 方面大耳, which is something like “A square face and large ears”. This is supposed to represent wealth, I guess, based on the old days in Chinese culture. Like how being fat used to be thought of as a symbol of wealth.
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