Volume 2, chapter 21 – The Azure Ocean Sect’s Envoy at the Water State’s Entrance
The Rainbow Stonefield Water Country was located near the vast and enormous Eastern Sea, which was covered with dense reefs and thick fog that filled the air throughout the year. Fishes, animals, insects, and birds in this place were huge and had a peculiar and grotesque appearance, giving off a wild and savage nuance of an ancient time atmosphere. The subterranean earth’s veins in this place also released a magnetic origin force that not only rendered metals and magical treasures to be useless in this place, but also disturbed ones’ spiritual energy and their ability to fly.
Mountain ranges surrounded this Water State and there were 8 entrances, of which, each and every one of them was different from the other. Some birds might even perhaps find it difficult to cross over one entrance while the other entrance needs to be climbed using rope. There was also an entrance that must be passed through by a stream while the other must be swam across. A violent and powerful gale howled all day long, causing every step, movement, and action to be done slowly.
The entrance Zhang Yan was entering was located halfway up to the mountainside wall, which had a broad and wide cavern about 70 meters above. This place also had an Underground River with a coiled and twisted tunnel. Had one not been familiar with the passageways in this place, they would simply be unable to find the real entrance to the Water State.
At the high tide hours, the ships that were mooring in the shallow water shore would then be lifted along with the rising water surface and then cross over the cavern on the high wall, only then would they be able to take the opportunity to cross over.
Zhang Yan was riding the ship captained by a man called Huang Bao, a human cultivator at the Third Stage of Radiant Qi Realm who came from a small ancient family. He usually only trafficked and transported rare goods back and forth and never ferried people. However, since Zhang Yan was quite generous with money, and seeing that he was also a human cultivator, he was willing to take Zhang Yan and Luo Xiao on board.
At this time, he looked ahead and the sighed, “The tide today has already stopped, we can only leave this place step by step with bloody efforts.”
The entrance in this place was, relatively, the safest amongst the other seven. However, there were still some bad spots where the magnetic force of earth’s vein’s origin energy was chaotic. The tide hours were not fixed and it was very possible that one could miss it. Therefore, there were some Demon cultivators in the Water State that came up with the idea to pull over these ships to the top and collect small amounts of “toll fee”.
Zhang Yan looked up and saw 2 Demon Whales with a height of more than 30 meters that stood on the cavern on the high wall as they slowly pulled a big ship up. Judging from its speed, it would take at least half an hour for their turn.
At this time, he saw some Demon cultivators approach the deck and were talking with full enthusiasm. Having heard their conversation, a faint smile emerged from his face.
“I heard that a month ago, the Azure Ocean Sect’s Su Yihong took revenge for his younger brother’s death and had killed the Deep Ford Gorge’s old Qu.
“This old Qu’s cultivation base was but a Dan Transformation Realm. What origin does this Su Yihong have? How he could kill old Qu?”
“This is because you’re oblivious and ignorant. This person has outstanding talent and he only has been cultivating for less than 40 years, but he has already fully reached the Dan Transformation Realm. Moreover, I also heard that he takes the Strength Path, of which, is very rare for a human cultivator. He also has already entered the Inner and Outer Unity Stage, and it would be very difficult to injure him with magical treasures and flying swords. That Old Qu was definitely not his match.”
“Hey, since the Azure Ocean Sect suddenly launched an attack on Qu Yue, could it be that the two factions would be engaged in war again?”
“I think it wouldn’t happen, avenging Su Yiang is only a personal grudge. Besides, Royal Sovereign Ji will celebrate his birthday. How could it be that he would resort to raise arms at this time? It’s impossible, impossible.”
Having heard to here, Zhang Yan winked to Luo Xiao, of whom knowing the meaning, walked together to the other corner and didn’t pay attention to others.
Zhang Yan took a piece of jade from his sleeve and spoke, “Junior Brother Su, how do you see it?”
Su Yiang bowed in the jade and replied, “Senior Brother Zhang, knowing my eldest brother’s character, he will not let you off easily, and in order to ensure it, he will also seek Senior Brother in the Water State. You must be well prepared and preserve yourself.”
Upon hearing this, Luo Xiao’s long and curving eyebrows raised and coldly spoke, “This man is babbling nonsense. You secretly want to kill the Young Master. You want me to exterminate your soul it seems.”
Su Yiang trembled and was scared shitless as he kowtowed repeatedly in the jade and shouted in a hoarse voice, “Senior Brother knows about it, Senior Brother knows about it. The unworldly beauty celestial being could see that I don’t have this intention.” That day, the scene of Luo Xiao massacring He Fang had been deeply imprinted in his soul. He knew that this woman was very fierce and powerful. As she dared to say, then she also dared to do it.
Zhang Yan laughed and spoke, “Junior Brother Su, you don’t need to be afraid. I know that you can be trusted.”
Upon hearing this, Luo Xiao couldn’t help but speak in an anxious tone, “Young Master, since now we will appear in the Water State, should the Su Family send out some people to chase down and kill us, wouldn’t it be very dangerous there?”
Zhang Yan, who planned in advance, replied with confidence, “Fellow Daoist Luo, you can feel relieved that my coming here is to send the Royal Sovereign Ji a birthday gift. Once I have arrived there, my identity is an Azure Ocean Sect’s emissary to attend the Royal Sovereign Ji’s birthday. So he wouldn’t let any accident to befall onto me, and instead will send some protection for me. Otherwise, he would provoke annoying troubles and crack the relationship between the two factions.”
Had Zhang Yan been attacked in the round-trip journey, the two factions could have found excuses to conceal it. However, if he was killed in the Water State’s territory by someone, the Azure Ocean Sect would flare up. Otherwise, where would they place their honor and face as great factions?
Su Yiang hastily replied, “Yes, yes, this and that would take a while. My eldest brother is also a wise man. Once Senior Brother has gained a foothold in the Water State, he would also decide not to provoke Senior Brother again at that time.”
Zhang Yan nodded slightly, expressing his approval.
Although he had become an enemy with the Su Family, but his weight compared to this Family’s major scheme was insignificant. After they had occupied the Deep Ford Gorge, the Su Family would also exert all their capital and strength to digest this place first, and it’s very likely that they hadn’t found out about the present situation at this time. The things that they feared the most were that Zhang Yan knew about their secret conspiracies and would jump out to bite them.
Therefore, if Zhang Yan wanted to ensure his own safety, under the premise of publicly appearing in the Water State, he also must keep his mouth shut tightly and never mention this matter. This, all in itself, was a temporary reconciliation flag.
Even if the Su Family wanted to deal with him, they absolutely would not choose this time.
As for the others who had died, since they were not true disciples, perhaps after Zhang Yan had returned to the Sect, some people would make a fuss about it. But it was absolutely not a matter that needed to be concerned with at present.
At this time, they heard loud shouts that came from the shallow water on the shore, “Hey~! Hey~!”
Everyone looked at the sound’s direction and were surprised to see that the ship’s hull on the side was stranded in a shallow pit, and this location was also extremely dangerous. The ship was stranded in the middle of the reef’s columns’ gap. If the rising tide came tomorrow, the ship would absolutely be torn to pieces.
More than 10 tall and strong Demon races jumped into the water that was only up to their chest’s deep and tried to pull the ship. But since the soil for their footing was very soft, they were unable to exert their full strength. Even if they had pulled the ship for a long time, they were only trapping themselves in the mud.
A young Demon cultivator, who was standing on the back end of the ship, was seemingly impatient to see this and simply jumped off the ship and shouted, “Get out of the way!”
Upon hearing his shout, everyone moved aside.
This demon cultivator looked up and opened his mouth, and to everyone’s surprise, it was as if a gigantic whale pulled and swallowed the water underneath the hull in one breath, creating a white stream of water that was sucked into his mouth and soon made his stomach bulge up.
He patted his stomach as he walked shakily and swayed to the side where the hull was dumped. He opened his mouth and spat out, as crashing sounds followed. A huge amount of water just like a water sluice was loosened and washed down. The ship shook and swayed along with the accompanying creaking sounds as it then rushed out from the shallow pit. After the ship came out, it was tilting and turning around before it returned to its normal state.
The ship’s captain—Huang Bao—stepped forward and looked forward with rapt attention as he spoke, “It’s the Eastern Sea’s Wall Reef Mansion’s ‘Nine Phase Art’. This ‘Whale Swallow Phase’ is really powerful. This person’s cultivation, from my observation, is only at the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm. He only combined at most three Pure and Impure spiritual qi. If he is able to cultivate his family’s cultivation law to 12 strands, he doesn’t even need to use the water, and his strength alone would be able to pull this huge ship out of this shoal.”
“Oh! This person is unexpectedly taking the Qi Path, isn’t he?” Zhang Yan, who just came to the guardrail side, looked at the bottom with an enthusiastic expression.
The Strength Path was often practiced by Demon cultivators. And some of them, in order to enter the Dao as early as possible, after they had entered the Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, refined a strand of pure impure qi. They would direct it to enter their bone marrow’s meridian channel and integrate it with their body, and then used it to break through the Third Stage.
On the other hand, apart from certain secret methods, this was also quite similar to warriors amongst human cultivators, albeit in the sense that warriors entirely depended on external objects. Of which, the both of them couldn’t be compared in the same light.
Huang Bao glanced to the side and spoke, “The Eastern Sea’s Wall Reef Mansion is one of the rarest and most extraordinary Demon families, which had lasted for tens of thousands of years. They naturally have a lot of cultivation laws to choose from, unlike the rest of those feral families who could only choose no other path aside from the Strength Path, because they have no other alternatives.”
He turned his head and sized up Zhang Yan from top to bottom as he then laughed and smiled, “Having been observing Young Master’s corona above your head, you certainly have two and a half strands of pure impure qi that are being concealed, and you seem to have gathered the Yin and Yang energy that is still intertwining and concealed. But yet, it could be released suddenly. Young Master should also be just like that Demon cultivator, a Radiant Qi Realm Second Stage. If my judgment is correct, in the past you certainly have cleansed the marrow as well as your meridian channels and is about to breakthrough into the ‘Heavenly Rain Subduing’ stage. Hehehe, I don’t know whether you have chosen the next main path ahead?”
This ship’s captain really had the ability to make discerning accurate judgments. Zhang Yan smiled and was about to speak when Huang Bao suddenly scuttled for several steps as he clung along the ship’s guardrail and moved forward to see ahead and spoke in a happy tone, “It’s our turn now.”
He took care of the ship’s sail and ran up to the helmsman’ place. However, when he was about to steer forward, a loud shout sounded nearby, “Hey, human cultivator over there, why haven’t you drawn back? There is a Pill Master that the Eastern Sea’s Duke Shentu has invited here, and we must go to the Royal Sovereign Ji. Why don’t you wait for us to go first?”
Upon hearing this, Huang Bao turned around to see and his complexion slightly changed.
The speaking person was a young Demon cultivator who moved the ship by spurting water out a moment ago. Although this youth’s cultivation base was lower than his; however, he was perfectly aware of his own ability. If he really engaged in a fight with that youth, he might not even be his match.
In the Eastern Sea area, Duke Shentu had a big reputation and was one of the 18 Demon Kings, so where would he dare to offend?
The demon cultivators’ manners were completely unlike human cultivators that were fastidious about etiquettes, honor, and face. They were open and straightforward, the strong was the king, and the weak was always prey for the strong. Such was the law of the jungle—If one had sufficient strength, he could go everywhere and do anything. If one was weak, he could only obey someone more powerful.
Moreover, Huang Bao was a human cultivator, and no one would defend him in this place. If he was insistent and stubborn, he might lose his life here.
He couldn’t help but secretly curse and steer the ship with a bitter expression, to give way for the ship.
However, he had yet to act, but Zhang Yan’s hand suddenly grabbed Huang Bao’s wrist and spoke, “Hold on.”
Huang Bao was startled, however, there was no angry expression as he instead sighed and spoke in a comforting tone, “Young Master, you don’t need to be stubborn. This place is the demon cultivators’ country. Depending on our manpower, we cannot fight them, much less that we’re on the ship. If a Pill Master is on the ship, then he must visit Royal Sovereign. Moreover, he was also invited by Duke Shentu. It’s better to temporarily give way for now so as to avoid any troubles ahead from all sides that could bring danger to us.”
Zhang Yan slightly smiled and said, “Captain Huang, wait a moment.”
He took out something from his sleeve and handed it to Luo Xiao, “Fellow Daoist Luo, give this to the Pill Master.”
Luo Xiao received and in a flash, her figure had arrived on the ship ahead, causing shock and astonishment in everyone’s heart. Only then did they know that she was this powerful.
In the next scene, everyone didn’t know what she had said, however, the attendant in that ship let her enter the cabin.
Huang Bao looked back at Zhang Yan, and upon seeing his calm and composed expression, the restless thought in his mind also slightly calmed down.
Shortly after, the cabin’s door in that ship opened as Luo Xiao walked out, along with that young demon cultivator and an old man. The old man cupped his hands over to Zhang Yan at the distance and spoke, “Myself doesn’t know which Grandmaster is ahead? Apparently, this one has acted rudely. Would it be possible for Honorable One to take the trouble of visiting and chatting?”