Volume 2, Chapter 20 – The Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, Three Great Daos to Immortality
“Eldest Young Master, we found the Second Young Master…” This voice came from a cultivator who hurriedly lowered his head and didn’t dare to look at Su Yihong.
“Carry it up.”
There were no changes in Su Yihong’s expression. However, everyone who was familiar with him could see from his expression that he was barely able to contain his murderous intent.
A cultivator who was standing on the side waved his hand as two warriors came in with fear and trepidation. One of them held a headless corpse while the other one held a head.
Su Yihong’s eyes were like the tip of a blade as he stared at the head, giving off a chilly feeling for everyone who was standing around him. At this time, only He Guo dared to speak in a low voice, “Eldest Young Master, there are only the remains of the Second Young Master, the other remnants are incomplete. Someone must have been moving them, so we can’t find out what kind of weapon killed them.”
Su Yihong coldly snorted, “Do you know who is missing?”
He Guo spoke in a solemn tone, “Zhang Yan.”
Su Yihong’s eyes became more chilly and icy, causing everyone around him to unconsciously step back.
He Guo, with an ashamed expression, then whispered, “Asking the Eldest Young Master, how should we handle this matter?”
The Flying Sunlight Tower was hit-wrecked by the Purple Heart Core Hammer, so it was not difficult to trace this. Moreover, if one were to examine it, they would be able to find out that the magical weapon’s owner was He Guo, who had a close relationship with the Su Family. Therefore, they must handle this issue cleanly with care, otherwise, anyone can associate this incident to the Su Family.
He Fang received the hammer when he left, and not only were they unable to know whether he was still alive or not, but there were also make dismal results, causing He Guo to have no face to face Su Yihong.
Su Yihong looked at the remnants of the broken bricks and tiles with a tense and vexed expression as he waved his hand.
Even without being told explicitly, He Guo understood. He sighed, turned around and said, “You wait here as previously ordered, first clean up and take care of this place. Remember to put up a few Demon cultivators’ corpses and don’t leave the slightest clues.”
Although they originally wanted to shift the blame toward the Water Demon from the Nine Twisted Stream Palace. However, they obviously had suffered invisible losses in accordance to the previous arrangement. They still even had to clean up the aftermath, causing everyone here to feel dejected and frustrated.
Su Yihong turned around and looked to the side toward a dwarf cultivator who had small eyebrows and eyes, “Mr. Yang, this Su would like to ask for some advice. How should we proceed to the next step?” Zhang Yan’s abrupt and unexpected actions had disrupted his original deployment, and now he was hesitating on how to make decisions.
Mr. Yang stroked his sparse and fragmentary beard before he unhurriedly replied, “Eldest Young Master, at the moment, we could use the Second Young Master’s death as an excuse and immediately attack and capture the Deep Ford Gorge in one fell swoop.”
Su Yihong’s brows knitted, “If we use the Second Young Master’s death as an excuse, it would be seen as avenging for a personal grudge and not for common interest since we don’t have a just and righteous cause. What I am afraid of is that the Sect Master would look at my Su Family and incite troublesome matters.”
The Su Family had yet to be fully prepared to go hostile against the Azure Ocean Sect. And taking actions in regards for a personal grudge, it was also impossible to wage war with either Ji Jiushang or the Azure Ocean Sect. The resulting consequences would cause the entire Su Family to fall, and they would be doomed to lose many advantages and benefits.
Mr. Yang sternly replied, “Eldest Young Master, after we occupy this genuine Dragon’s den, the Su Family could immediately establish a base in this place. We could advance and retreat again at that time, so the gain is greater than the loss. This time we have reached the point of no return and could only move forward, we mustn’t by any means have any hesitation.”
Su Yihong thought for a moment before he slowly shook his head and said, “Honorable Mister, even though you say that, we still need reasonable excuses. You have actually forgotten that our main goal is to capture the Deep Ford Gorge. We can find out any excuses afterward.” He paused and then shouted, “He Guo!”
He Guo stood and bowed, “Eldest Young Master, please command us!”
“Take several groups of manpower to cruise and patrol around the Azure Ocean Sect’s border for the next 10 days. If there are any suspicious people heading towards the Sect, kill all of them!”
He Guo received the order respectfully and said, “Yes!”
Su Yihong looked around and said, “Where is Miao Kun?”
“Present!” A short, robust, and strong cultivator stood with a grinning-like expression on his face, completely unlike the other cultivators who were apprehensive and nervous.
Su Yihong glanced at him, he frowned for a second and then said, “I will also give you 10 days, take several people to sweep over the direction to the Water State. In case you find this person, kill him!”
Miao Kun cupped his hands at will and replied while smiling, “Receiving order.”
Having completed the arrangement, Su Yihong walked toward the Palace’s jade stairs. He flung his Qilin cloak on his back and loudly shouted, “The rest of you, follow me to attack the Deep Ford Gorge immediately. We will avenge the Second Young Master!”
Everyone loudly shouted their acknowledgment as dozens of profound lights soared to the sky. The Golden Palace followed behind them, rushing to kill in the Nine Twisted Stream Palace’s direction.
3 months later.
The Rainbow Stonefield Water State’s frontier.
Zhang Yan’s sleeves were fluttering as he rode the wind and flew across the sky. 2 strands of qi encircled his body from top to bottom as he flew along with the clouds, which was like a crane accompanying a celestial being. However, Luo Xiao, who was flying ahead, actually looked at him repeatedly as she then spoke with a displeased expression, “Fellow Daoist Zhang, it’s too slow of a technique, if you let me carry you with my profound light, this trip to the Water State will only take a few days.”
Zhang Yan slowly replied with a calm expression, “There is still 9 months’ time for the Water State’s Sovereign’s birthday. This is a rare peaceful place. Just wait for me to cultivate and refine again for a few months, it wouldn’t take long for me to breakthrough into the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm.”
Half a month ago, using the Evil Qi he had been storing in his qi openings, he was able to breakthrough to the Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm. It was also thanks to the “Self Moonheart Jade” that enabled him to cultivate faster at night along the way. His cultivation speed had been doubled due to this reason, and he only needed a strand of Impure Qi to step into the last stage.
Now, he was on the verge of breaking into the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm—the “Heavenly Rain Subduing”. For this Third Stage, he needed to combine his Pure and Impure Qi into one and integrated it with his True Primordial Qi. Once this combined qi was integrated into his True Primordial Qi, he would be able to control and transform the Yin and Yang energy, enabling him to fully use magical arts easily unlike before.
Luo Xiao spoke with a puzzled expression, “If so, why does Fellow Daoist still insist on going to the Water State?”
Zhang Yan didn’t answer this question.
He perfectly understood that if he wanted to go back to the Azure Ocean Sect in the future, then he had no other choice but to go to the Water State. At least, he should go there first before he went back. Otherwise, as the only surviving diplomatic mission’s member, he still had the responsibility to send a birthday congratulatory gift as to avoid the inevitable future that Ji Jiushang would use it as an excuse to launch a war toward the Azure Ocean Sect.
The other reason as to why he wouldn’t turn around to go back to the Sect was that it was just simply a joke, he didn’t have that much loyalty in his heart toward the Sect to begin with.
Moreover, even if he risked his life to brave the danger to go back to the sect, he had completely broken the Su Family’s plan, and they absolutely would attempt everything to deal with him. Thus, the gains truly weren’t worth the losses.
Luo Xiao’s beautiful eyes moved and said, “Fellow Daoist Zhang, you’re already not far away from the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm. Have you decided what main road you will take in the future?”
Zhang Yan pondered for a moment and said, “I actually only had a glimpse of it when reading a book. However, it’s just like a mountain shrouded by fog and I don’t understand it clearly. But I also hope that Fellow Daoist Luo would enlighten me a bit.”
Luo Xiao replied with a smile, “Fellow Daoist Zhang, you human cultivators always loved to mingle with the abstruse and profound mysteries, but I will tell you nevertheless. Once a cultivator has reached the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm and has condensed his profound light seed, he must then decide his future path, because there are three main paths to immortality.”
Zhang Yan’s attention was sparked as he asked, “I don’t know which these three main paths are?”
Luo Xiao rolled and cuffed her robe’s sleeve as she stretched out three verdant fingers successively and said, “The first one is the ‘Strength Path’. The ones who take this path must use external objects such as concocted pills to boil down and temper their Golden Elixir to refine an unbreakable Golden Body. Cultivators who reach the peak of this path would be able to overturn rivers and seas and would be able to seize the heavens. The second one is the the ‘Qi Path’, by practicing breathing techniques to absorb qi essence. The ones who take this path are focused on the achievement towards delicate principles, to achieve the oneness between the heavens and living beings. Cultivators who can reach the acme of this path would be able to transform into the myriads of embodiments, and neither will his existence die nor be extinguished. The third one is the ‘Law Path’, which is the path to becoming enlightened towards everything, to integrate oneself into nature, and carefully and meticulously study all profound laws in the heavens and earth. The ultimate peak of this path has infinite changes and possibilities, just like transforming into a bright star after changing from the moon.”
Zhang Yan thought and focused his attention as he nodded slowly and then asked, “I don’t know which path Fellow Daoist Luo has taken?”
A forced and wry smile emerged from Luo Xiao’s face as she then sighed, “My Demon cultivators lack the manual legacies as well as profound cultivation laws. So I have taken the ‘Strength Path’. However, because I happened to obtain a rare Dao manual, I’m now stepping onto the ‘Qi Path’. But I’m also clueless about where the next step will head to.”
Although these three main paths to immortality have different approaches. However, they were pointed and headed to same goal and conclusion. But cultivators who took the ‘Qi Path’ would need a superior law inheritance, of which could only be provided by Great Sects or wealthy and powerful ancient families. For ordinary cultivators, it would be very difficult to obtain. Even amongst Demon cultivators, very few took this path.
It was even fewer for cultivators who took the ‘Law Path’. This is because of the excessive difficulties to reach enlightenment when treading on this path. One must comprehend profound laws in the heavens and earth. Thus, enabling them to thoroughly pervade all living things. And it would be almost impossible to find one cultivator who took this path amongst tens of thousands of human cultivators.
There were words in Dao manuals, “The whole 16 numbers would become one law.”
This meant that cultivators needed to use 16 strands of spiritual qi to fully cast magical arts.
If ones were to take the ‘Strength Path’, their qi would be less than 16. And unless they found and practiced other profound cultivation methods to complement it, they would be unable to fully use any magical arts in their lifetime. As for those laws that were able to promote cultivators’ spiritual force in a very short time, it could only be heard in fables.
Therefore, most human cultivators only put little importance on this ‘Strength Path’ and mostly took the ‘Qi Path’. But in contrast, there were only a few Demon cultivators who would take this ‘Qi Path’.
On the other hand, the ‘Strength Path’ was different. By tempering and refining the mortal body as the main focus, not only would Demon cultivators be able to release their inborn superiority, but they also wouldn’t have to fear magical treasures and flying swords anymore once they reached the peak of this path. This path, for Demon cultivators, was undoubtedly the best choice.
Should Zhang Yan want to tread on further in his cultivation path, he would also reach this state where he would stand at the intersection. Therefore, he also had to consider this issue in advance. He couldn’t help but stand still on the clouds, drowned in deep thought.
The profound lights enveloping Luo Xiao’s body spread out and formed a solid bridge which connected to the clouds where Zhang Yan was standing, as if a scroll of a picture being unfolded. She then leisurely walked toward Zhang Yan as she smiled and shook his hand, “Fellow Daoist Zhang, in fact, you don’t need to worry if you go to the Water State. The cultivators there also wouldn’t give you any harm. You also know that Royal Sovereign Ji will hold an Alchemist Competition to celebrate his birthday. He will also provide the ‘Golden Fruit Life Essence Manual’ as a reward for the winner. This manual is a superior-grade ascending law for the ‘Strength Path’…”
Zhang Yan’s complexion slightly moved and replied, “Could it be that there is another inside story?” He also heard that in the alchemy event, many human cultivators’ alchemists were there, but should they become the winner, they would also want the ‘Qi Path’ or the the ‘Law Path’ manual. How would they use this Strength Path’s manual?
Luo Xiao didn’t expect that Zhang Yan would respond this fast. Having gotten startled for a moment, she then nodded and said, “It’s exactly this matter. Royal Sovereign Ji has a young son named Ji Zhang. His mother is a human cultivator and has refined more than half of his Demon blood when he was still in the womb. So, although he is of the Demon race, he’s also a human. He had once gone out and learned alchemy from an expert, and this competition…”
Having spoken to this point, she stopped talking, and only smiled without saying anything else.
Upon hearing it up to there, Zhang Yan also understood the meaning behind Luo Xiao’s words. He then smiled and said, “I understand. Originally, it’s not Ji Jiushang that craves for greatness and success, but it’s to promote and support his youngest son, while each and everyone else is nothing more than to serve as a background to bring out his youngest son’s brilliance.”
Luo Xiao covered her laugh and said, “It’s precisely so. Now, after Fellow Daoist Zhang has heard about it in retrospect. It’s really boring, isn’t it?”
Zhang Yan smiled and said, “How could it be boring? Since Royal Sovereign Ji has publicly announced it to the world and invited alchemists around the world to this assembly, he naturally has his own means and has prepared all the machinations respectively. But in the end, the one who can come out on top is still unknown right now.”
Luo Xiao’s beautiful eyes widened and stared at him as she stepped backward. Seizing up Zhang Yan from top to bottom, she then said, “Fellow Daoist Zhang… Don’t tell me that you want to grab that manual for the first prize, do you?”