It was said that while Doctor Li was on his way to exile, he was inflicted with an infection and fell into a dire illness. Before he began to serve his sentence he departed from this world.
When Qin Yu obtained this news, he calmly folded the paper and burnt it to ashes over the oil lamp.
As the paper ashes fell onto the table they were swept away by the wind, as if the final traces of his act were being erased.
Doctor Li had obtained his deserved punishment, but the threat from Ning Ling’s family still existed. Qin Yu couldn’t allow everything that happened in his ‘dream’ to occur once again. He had to prepare himself.
He recruited experts to guard his mansion and contributed a massive amount of resources to obtain the protection of a lord in the capital. Qin Yu busied himself for a long time and his cheeks began to turn thin. It was only much later that he finally started to relax a little.
Now, even Ning Ling’s family wouldn’t easily dare to take action against the Qin Family.
Unconsciously, a year passed. Everything remained peaceful, as if all the nightmares had already faded away.
On this day, the spring weather was just right. He thought about how he had been ignoring his wife lately and ordered his servants to prepare; he was going to take her out on a spring tour.
On the riverbank in spring, the scenery was beautiful and mesmerizing. Qin Yu stood against the coming wind, feeling some satisfaction at having changed his destiny. He smiled. He thought that this time he had to tightly grasp his destiny to prevent the tragedy of his dreams from occurring.
Suddenly, there was a pitiful scream. Qin Yu’s heart shrank and he turned around. He saw Ning Ling lying in a pool of her own blood. Her eyes were wide in shock as she looked at the young flower-selling girl in front of her that was staring at her with pure hatred. Slowly, the light faded from her eyes.
Qin Yu didn’t know how he ran over. He hugged onto Ning Ling’s body that was gradually turning cold, and fear tightly gripped his heart. He had already changed his fate, so why did Ning Ling die again?
The flower-seller girl was struck to the floor by his servants, but she was still happily smiling even as a maddening hatred clouded her eyes. “Qin Yu! When my father treated you and saved your life, there were people that visited him numerous times, trying to intimidate him to secretly harm you so that you would finally depart for the western paradise. My father withstood all of those threats to help you and you finally recovered, but how did you repay him? Today, I have killed your wife! I heard you love her very much. I curse you to suffer sorrow and regret for the rest of your life!”
She bit down on a poison pouch hidden in the back of her mouth and died from blood gushing out of her head. Even when her body stiffened she was still glaring at Qin Yu, a strange and macabre smile on her face.
There was a loud boom in Qin Yu’s mind. He looked at the dead daughter of Doctor Li. She had used a simple face mask, and now the mask had torn apart to reveal the face of the little girl who once affectionately called him ‘Uncle Qin’. But, her sweet smile was filled with a vicious evil, as if even after she died, she would still be cursing him.
“Master! Master! What is wrong!?”
“Men! Hurry and summon people!”
“Something has happened to the master!”
The panicked sounds all around seemed to become incomparably distant, as if he Qin Yu had separated himself from this world. The figures of the people around him gradually blurred and turned invisible. His field of vision was like a frail mirror, quietly breaking apart into countless pieces. Then, like ice dancing around in boiling water, they quickly disappeared.
Then everything fell into darkness.
He didn’t know how much time passed, but bits of light appeared in the darkness. They slowly grew brighter and brighter until the entire world was illuminated and his blurry surroundings became clear once more.
“Husband? Husband?” Ning Ling let out a long breath. “Why did you suddenly fall into a daze? I couldn’t wake you up no matter how much I called out to you. Are you not feeling well?”
Qin Yu blinked his eyes, as if he were a mud sculpture that came to life. He looked at his surroundings in a trace. This…this was…did he start over again?
“My wife, where are we going?”
“We’re taking a spring tour. Didn’t you arrange this? You said that the atmosphere within the mansion had been too stuffy these days so you wanted us to relax outside together.”
Qin Yu was shocked. That was today!
He found an excuse to change today’s trip, saying that he had something important to deal with. Ning Ling smiled in understanding and turned to lead the maids back home. Qin Yu had a dark expression. He brought some servants and found Doctor Li’s daughter. At this moment, she really had put on a mask to change her appearance and she had even hidden a knife in her chest.
It was this knife that had stabbed Ning Ling, causing her to fall into a pool of her own blood!
After an interrogation, the information he obtained was the same. Qin Yu grabbed onto all of the Li Family members and questioned them, the results also the same. He didn’t want to believe it and even investigated through other channels. In the end, he found that Doctor Li had indeed been threatened by others several times, but had harshly refused.
But clearly…that time clearly…Qin Yu’s headache was so bad it felt as if his mind was splitting apart. He suddenly thought that when Doctor Li first refused to help treat Ning Ling, it was because he had been threatened. And this threat involved the lives of his family members so he had no choice but to agree!
Did he misunderstand the situation? Did he kill Doctor Li for no reason at all? Qin Yu didn’t want to think about it any longer. He returned to his mansion and hugged Ning Ling, shivering. An unexplainable fear covered his body.
A month later, the young maid from the Qin Family Mansion who had accused Doctor Li, suddenly stepped forward and voluntarily surrendered herself. She exposed the entire situation. She said that she had been forced by the family head and had no choice but to frame Doctor Li so that he would die in foreign lands.
The evidence was conclusive and caused great public anger. In particular, Doctor Li’s family members knelt in front of the magistrate’s office, covered in blood as they pleaded for justice! No one could save Qin Yu. Even that great figure who promised to protect Qin Yu returned all of the gifts overnight in order to draw a clear distinction between him and the Qin Family.
The Ning Family members appeared, requesting that Ning Ling leave with them. Otherwise, Qin Yu would die without a burial ground.
In order to save Qin Yu who was in prison and had been sentenced to execution by beheading, Ning Ling dressed back up as a daughter of the Ning Family and left the Qin Family Mansion with them.
Soon, it was finally decided that all of the Qin Family’s properties and assets would be seized and Qin Yu would be exiled 3000 miles away.
The day he left the city, along the road he encountered a ten mile marriage procession. He heard others say that the Ning Family was marrying off a daughter and he stood there, stunned.
A corner of the bridal palanquin was lifted up by the wind. As he met the gaze of the person within, without words, a tear fell down his cheek.
“What are you looking at!? The Ning Family is one of the nation’s wealthiest families, with a peak level of political power! Even when the Qin Family was still intact, you wouldn’t have had the qualifications to touch them, much less now! Let’s go. Stop standing there in a daze. The faster I deliver you the faster I can return!”
Qin Yu staggered forwards in an absent-minded haze. He had no idea how he left the capital.
Night arrived. He lay down on the muddy ground, looking up at the starry skies. He watched as a meteor streaked through space, a long tail dragging behind it as it vanished beyond his line of sight.
The elderly had a saying: when someone on the ground died, a star would fall from the heavens. Did someone die? Qin Yu was suddenly terrified. He was ruthlessly beaten up but he managed to wake up the county guards. After saying that he would tell them where the Qin Family had hidden a secret stash of treasure, they agreed to delay for a day and ask around for him.
As the sun set, the county guards returned from the capital. They looked at Qin Yu with a strange look in their eyes. After a moment of hesitation, they said, “After getting married last night, the Ning Family’s young miss committed suicide…”
Qin Yu’s world began to break apart once more. The look of surprise on the three county guards’ faces turned blurry. The bleak forests all around started to rip apart, vanishing piece by piece.
Caught within the vortex, Qin Yu was like a stone. But at this moment, this ice-cold stone seemed to gain some awareness. He blinked, a complex look on his expression. Then, he gently sighed. “So this is the famous Four Seasons Samsara of Spring Summer Fall Winter within the Mirage Bead? The variations of illusions are really infinite. It feels so real that it’s hard to distinguish from reality. But from the very start I already knew this was all an illusion.”
Atop the blue stone platform, Qin Yu’s complexion was calm and serene. Within his soul space, the purple crescent moon sprinkled down a faint moonlight. Bathed in this, Qin Yu’s consciousness was divided in two. One part was placed in the illusion, becoming an ignorant part of that dreamland. The other maintained consciousness and observed the infinite fluctuations of the Mirage Bead’s illusions.
Qin Yu could originally break apart this dreamland. It was only because he heard that the Mirage Bead could temper a cultivator’s soul force that he decided to allow it to continue a little longer. After all, a year within the dreamland might only be but a moment outside.
He recalled all of the experiences from the dreamland. Meeting Ning Ling in his dreams might be considered a comfort, but when he recalled all the accidents that happened, he became aware of one thing: sometimes your eyes would deceive you.
This realization was already worth the delay. A sharp look crossed Qin Yu’s eyes and he lightly said, “It’s about time to finish this.”
Thus, this dreamland that seemed like an illusion that would never end suddenly dissipated like a bubble being popped. Four complete spirit plants appeared. Among them, one of them was very familiar; it was the black fleeceflower root that Doctor Li had gifted him during the banquet.
On the blue platform, four spirit plants appeared around Qin Yu’s body. As the observing cultivators saw this, they all sucked in a breath of cold air.
“This is the Four Seasons Samsara of Spring Summer Fall Winter!”
“Heavens, Qin Yu actually encountered such a terrifying test. I heard that even super powerhouses at the Blue Sea boundary might lose themselves in it if their will isn’t strong enough!”
“For Qin Yu to pass the test so quickly, this means that the strength of his soul surpasses everyone’s imagination!”
“Chu Taidou has only taken out two spirit plants so far. Whether it is in difficulty or speed, he cannot even be placed on the same level as Qin Yu!”
“The Ancient Perishment Decree’s ninth-ranked, that is a seriously horrifying title!”
Kang Mingqiao’s eyes flashed with a look of shock and appreciation before a cold intent appeared. “I hear that there is only a one in ten thousand chance that the Mirage Bead will open the Four Seasons Samsara. Qin Yu’s luck is quite poor.”
Tao Yuan’s face paled and a look of consternation came over him. He never thought that Qin Yu would be able to pass the Four Seasons Samsara. It had to be known that even he didn’t have full faith he could overcome it.
When he heard these words he suddenly stiffened. He coldly snorted and said, “The Mirage Bead is a precious treasure bred from the sunflower snake. I don’t have the ability to tamper with it!”
Kang Mingqiao revealed a mocking look of surprise. “I never mentioned anything about that, so why would Grandmaster Tao Yuan feel such an urgent need to explain? Is it possible that there are some things no one knows about, some things that happen in the dark?”
“You…!” Tao Yuan was enraged.
Mei Ruliu smiled. “Four Seasons Samsara? This actually matches quite well with my Four Seasons City. Perhaps it really is just a coincidence. Little friend Qin Yu’s strength is amazing; I must say I admire him. In this competition Grand Authority Chu has really fallen behind.”
Tao Yuan coldly said, “It’s just a momentary advantage. The Mirage King Bead has nine holes and nine checkpoints. Qin Yu has only broken past the first four checkpoints for now.”
“When the Four Seasons Samsara are added together, how can this be merely described as ‘first four checkpoints’? Grandmaster Tao Yuan, as the Honorary Director of the Alchemy Association, this is something you should be well aware of.” Kang Mingqiao lightly said, “I believe that the results of today’s competition can already be concluded.”
“Humph!” Tao Yuan sneered, “How about we make a bet ourselves? Let’s bet on just who will be the winner in the end?”
Kang Mingqiao’s lips curved up in a smile. “If Grandmaster Tao Yuan is in such good spirits, I naturally cannot ruin the mood.”
“Good! If Qin Yu wins, I will give this nine hole Mirage King Bead to Arena Steward Kang.”
“If Chu Taidou wins, the Dao Arena must help Grandmaster Tao Yuan build three high quality training rooms for free!”
“It’s settled then.”
Mei Ruliu smiled. “You two seem to be having fun. If so, I will act as a witness for you two.”
Kang Mingqiao cupped his hands together, “Thank you, City Lord.”
Tao Yuan sneered. The strength of Qin Yu’s soul had indeed far surpassed his expectations, but Chu Taidou was sure to win this round.
This was because he already knew of the strength of the Immortal Sect’s supreme alchemy treasure many years ago!
Previous Chapter Next Chapter