The night was peaceful and indistinct, fully shrouded by the fog as they climbed up the ancient stone steps covered in moss.
It must have been years since the last visitors. The steps weren’t perfect either and had cracks everywhere, perhaps from the weathering of time.
Lu Qi looked around and frowned, wondering why this place got Li Qiye’s attention. He walked slowly; each of his steps seemed deliberate and timed in a mystical manner.
The two of them eventually reached the end of the steps. It turned out that this pathway only took them to the ridge.
There was a large crack in the middle of the peak, seemingly separating two different worlds. An arched door waited at the last step. It had lost its color and had spots everywhere.
They heard loud swallowing noises and saw a youth holding a wine gourd. He devoured the drink and didn’t care that the wine was spilling on his sleeves.
He appeared to be around twenty years of age. His robe was dirty but one could tell that it was made from precious materials with golden threads and silks. He didn’t seem to care about his image, resulting in a shabby appearance.
He was rather handsome with long brows and bright eyes. He had a wide smile as if everything in life was so beautiful.
His unkempt hair was charming, displaying confidence and freedom. A sword was tied to his back and had a faint pulse - clearly an exceptional weapon. The stains on it showed that he didn’t treasure it too much.
“Oh, someone’s here.” The youth was surprised to see the duo and stopped drinking.
He only glanced at Li Qiye for a moment before stopping on Lu Qi.
Li Qiye’s cultivation was obvious but Lu Qi was hiding her aura. Intuition told him that she wasn’t simple.
“It is a pleasure to meet you two in this remote area.” He cupped his fist and said: “My name is Dong Ling.”
Li Qiye nodded then shifted his focus towards the arched door. There should be a plaque at the top but it might have gone missing due to the years.
“There’s evil energy inside.” Lu Qi’s eyes narrowed.
“How sharp of you, Fellow Daoist.” Dong Ling said: “I feel something ghastly in there. I got here not long ago and have been thinking about entering. That’s why I need some wine to build up courage.”
Anyone else would have refrained from revealing this because it was embarrassing. He didn’t seem to mind.
“Let’s go take a look.” Li Qiye continued without any hesitation. Lu Qi followed right behind him.
This surprised Dong Ling. He hurriedly asked: “Fellow Daoists, you don’t need to prepare?”
He decided to enter as well and smiled: “I’m too afraid entering alone but now, there’s a group. Let’s see if we can get lucky and obtain a fortune.”
“There’s no fortune in here. One misstep and it’ll be death.” Li Qiye flatly responded.
“Don’t scare me, I want to live for tens of thousands of years, I can’t die here.” Dong Ling was startled.
Li Qiye chuckled and didn’t say anything else.
The trio entered the crack and saw a mountain range. There seemed to be architectures built on top of these mountains.
This area might have had inhabitants before but it looked abandoned now. There was no sign of life. The vegetation had dried and withered. The buildings were dilapidated and broken.
“What is this place?” Lu Qi wondered.
“We’ll find out soon.” Li Qiye smiled and moved forward.
More steps could be seen for each of the mountains. This place was prosperous once with plenty of inhabitants. This was no longer the case so the steps were covered in a thick layer of dried leaves and branches.
Lu Qi had an ominous feeling about this place despite being so powerful. On the other hand, Li Qiye seemed unaffected by everything.
He eventually stopped to take a look at a tablet. This tablet also showed the same signs of aging just like other things found here. Its original color was indiscernable.
There were three ancient characters carved on the surface, barely legible after being assaulted by rains and winds.
“Divine, divine something peak.” Dong Ling carefully examined it and understood two characters.
“A scholar, how surprising.” Li Qiye said.
Dong Ling didn’t know what to say after being looked down upon by a yin yang cultivator despite being a famous prodigy. Others might have become angry at Li Qiye but he had great self-restraint.
He coughed and continued: “My sect has scrolls regarding these ancient characters. I learned a little during my youth.”
“Your Heaven Silkworm School does have a long history.” Lu Qi interjected.
“You know where I’m from?” Dong Ling didn’t expect Lu Qi to figure him out so quickly.
Lu Qi didn’t answer and kept on walking behind Li Qiye. This perplexed the youth as well.
He could tell that Lu Qi was definitely stronger than Li Qiye. However, she looked like his maid.
“Divine Crow Peak.” Li Qiye sighed, looking a bit disappointed while staring at the peak.
“Oh, that’s right, this character is ‘crow’, it seems like my knowledge of the old language is inferior to yours.” Dong Ling replied.
Meanwhile, Lu Qi was taken aback by Li Qiye’s obvious look of disappointment. This guy never showed any emotion. She thought that he would be able to stay calm even when the sky was falling down. Why would looking at this peak elicit such a response? She didn’t see anything special about the peak.
Li Qiye looked away and moved on to another peak with Lu Qi behind him.
As for Dong Ling, he was curious about the tablet and Li Qiye’s reaction. He thought that there might be treasures here but it would be improper to ask.
As they traveled across the peaks, they saw signs of greatness and prosperity from the ruins. There must have been a powerful sect here in the past.
They eventually made it to a street paved with bluestones, also covered in dried leaves. To the left and right were buildings tightly erected.Previous Chapter Next Chapter