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Volume 2, Chapter 44 — Gathered Together At the Forging River Island to the Guardian Hall.
Five days later, Zhang Yan returned to the sect. After he entered his Immortal Cave, a warrior gave him a letter.
After he took it, he waved his hand and went back to his Cave.
He opened the letter and read it. It was from Xie Zongyuan, who informed him that “the thing” had been obtained. He told him to feel relieved as he would give it to him when they met 10 days later, when they gathered at Forging River Island on the west side of Wild Dragon Great Lake. They would gather at that place and set on a journey together to the Demon Hole.
Zhang Yan also knew that the “things” naturally referred to the Fire-attribute Cloud Sand. However, it was inconvenient to tell him in the letter. Since he had collected the 5 different attributed Cloud Sands, Zhang Yan felt completely relieved.
But, since there were still other contents in Xie Zongyuan’s letter, he couldn’t help but read it.
Xie Zongyuan’s originally intended to bring along a few experts from his family to the Demon Hole. But after inquiring some information from people who had gone to the Demon Hole, he found out that there were various kinds of monsters and demons that were able to bewitch and confuse anyone who entered the Demon Hole. Those monsters and demons were also very powerful. After obtaining this information, he had no choice but to drop his idea so as to avoid overreaching himself.
Zhang Yan smiled faintly. He had long expected this kind of situation earlier. Otherwise, how could anyone who had gone to the Demon Hole always be protected by their elders or employ other experts to protect them? This meant that they would only go there if they truly had a reason, else they wouldn’t have gone there.
Moreover, he also heard that the female immortal in the Guardian Hall, Dao Master Peng, also had a profound cultivation. She surely perfectly knew about anyone who came to the island and wanted to enter the Demon Hole. So, for this journey, he could not bring along Luo Xiao and must go alone.
After reading the letter, a few words aroused his attention.
As mentioned above, there were various kinds of monsters and demons. And the most common one, was the Yin Demon. Xie Zongyuan exhorted him to take a few types of necessary concocted pills, especially Mind Purification Pills from the Alchemy Pavilion, to prepare for an emergency situation.
The world’s spirit holes were divided into two kinds, which were Pure and Impure. The Pure spirit hole exuded out exuberant life force. Thus, if there was a spirit hole in that place, the vegetation would be very lush and dense, having a lot of rare spirit animals, birds, and beasts of various kinds, as well as being full of life force. This place was usually used for Fairylands and Blessed Lands for the Righteous Path cultivators.
The Impure one was exactly a Demon Hole. The spiritual qi in this place was stuck and didn’t come out. Along with the passing times, the energy essence nourishes the subterranean hole and easily gives birth to various kinds of monsters, demons, and evil spirits.
Regarding Zhang Yan and the other cultivators at the Radiant Qi Realm, Yin Demons were undoubtedly the most likely to encounter.
These demons were formless and shadowless. They were originally only transformed souls and drifted everywhere. If there was a living person nearby, they would infect his seven emotions and six sensory pleasures, making them succumb to their lust and obsession. Along with time, these demons would also open their spiritual wisdom. If any cultivators who were cultivating in this place were slightly careless, their mind and spiritual state would fall and their sea of consciousness would be invaded by these demons. Their cultivation would then be reduced greatly, having great changes in personality, becoming heavily obsessed by their mental demons, and eventually falling onto the Devil Path thoroughly.
6 Great Demon Clans in Great Eastern Continent had a particular method to cultivate all kinds of monsters and demons for their uses, and placed them inside the Demon Hole to cultivate.
To resist these kinds of monsters and demons, apart from a firm conviction that one must have, cultivators also could rely on various kinds of concocted pills to protect their state of mind and soul. This was exactly the effect given by the Mind Purification Pill, as it was able to purify one’s mind thoroughly and make them immune from foreign intrusion. This would naturally make it difficult for Yin Demons to enter their minds and souls.
Hence, Zhang Yan then went to the Alchemy Pavilion the next day.
He actually had taken a lot of concocted pills before. However, since going to Demon Hole was a matter of life and death, he took a lot of rejuvenation and qi restorative pills apart from Mind Purification Pills without restraint, as he put all of them into his Universe Pouch.
After fully preparing, Zhang Yan calculated the time, and it was quite short and urgent. The appointed time to set on the journey had almost arrived. He left a few words to Luo Xiao, released and boarded his flying ship, and then flew towards the western direction of the Wild Dragon Great Lake.
Forging River Island was the nearest solitary island to the Guardian Hall. There were no other islands in the surroundings, and only vast boundless water surrounded it. After having flew for 5 days and nights, his eyes caught sight of the island ahead.
Zhang Yan looked around from afar and could see a few people sitting on a high platform ground. The person who led them was Liu Tao.
Zhang Yan steered his ship to land. He waved the ship’s Token Seal and put it into his sleeve.
“Ah, Senior Brother Zhang has come.”
Liu Tao was the first person to greet him with a smile. He turned around and pulled a middle-aged cultivator beside him and introduced, “Come, Senior Brother Zhang this is Senior Brother Cheng An. We are going to board his Agarwood Ship to the Demon Hole. Senior Brother Cheng, this is Senior Brother Zhang I’ve talked with you about. He is a true disciple of the Azure Ocean Sect.”
When Cheng An heard Zhang Yan’s identity, his expression seemed to have changed, and slightly restraint himself as he hurriedly came over and greeted.
After Zhang Yan returned the greeting, he slightly observed him and saw that this person had a round face and thick lips, looking honest and simple, and seemed to not be eloquent and rarely talked. His observation was accurate, since that person quickly retreated and stood aside without speaking after the greetings.
Liu Tao also pointed to a young cultivator in the distance and said, “That is Senior Brother Zhao Zhen. He comes from the Zhao Family. A few elders from his family had once gone to the Demon Hole, so I specially asked him to come traveling with us.”
Zhang Yan’s eyes slightly moved as he cupped his hands over whilst observing this person a few times.
Zhao Zhen was a handsome youth. He had a tall body, with a Daoist robe that was fluttering by the winds, giving off the impression of extraordinariness and an immortal aura. However, his brows were slightly awkward and slanted. When Liu Tao introduced him to Zhang Yan, he also came over, as a slight contempt could be seen from his eyes.
The Zhao Family was also one of 12 Great Clans, although it was ranked at the most bottom. But seeing this person mixing with Liu Tao, he was presumably not a direct descendant of the family, and only from a branch line.
Since this person seemed to be self-important, Zhang Yan also didn’t want to say anything as he retreated back alone to the side, sitting cross-legged and closing his eyes.
Each one of them then sat down. The only one left who had yet to come was only Xie Zongyuan. The place turned silent, and apart from the whistling gales, only surging mighty waves from the Great Lake could be heard.
However, the silence only lasted for a few minutes. Xi Zongyuan still had yet to appear when Zhao Zhen was the first to become impatient as he complained to Liu Tao, “Senior Brother Liu, this Xie Family truly has a style, eh? He even makes us wait for him.”
Liu Tao smiled and advised, “Senior Brother Zhao doesn’t need to be anxious. There’s one day left from the appointed time. Please wait for a bit.”
Zhao Zhen frowned and no longer spoke.
Zhang Yan slightly opened his eyes as he was quite curious. Zhao Zhen was also a member of an Ancient Family. But how come he seemed to have a trace of fear toward Liu Tao? Could it be that Liu Tao had his secret in his hand?
At this time, Liu Tao suddenly stood up and looked at the distance and said, “Senior Brother Xie has come.”
Everyone looked together and saw a black spot in the sky, as a 300-feet-long flying ship drew near in an instant. A ferocious dragon head was carved on the front of the ship, as the rear was carved with 2 alligator tails. The ship had 3 layers of attic building in the middle. In a glance, everyone knew that this ship was a Dragontooth Ship usually used by Profound Light Realm disciples in the Azure Ocean Sect.
Zhang Yan couldn’t help smiling. It seemed that Xie Zongyuan was really determined to go back home as a Profound Light Realm cultivator.
Xie Zongyuan was standing before the pavilion on the flying ship. He cupped over his hands toward them from distant and loudly shouted, “I’m really sorry for troubling everyone. And thank you for the waiting for a long time. This Junior Brother has come late. Please don’t be mad at me.”
Zhao Zhen coldly grunted.
Liu Tao walked forward as he replied with a smile, “It’s alright. Senior Brother Xie has come just at the right time.”
Upon seeing such small talks and courteous greetings, the impatient expression on Zhao Zhen’s face increasing and he said, “Since he has come, why don’t we quickly go?”
Xie Zongyuan did not mind his attitude. He only smiled and said, “This is Senior Brother Zhao isn’t it? Senior Brother Liu has mentioned about you a few times. I heard that your family elders had once gone to the Demon Hole. This time I’m really under the favor for troubling you, Senior Brother.”
He brightly smiled as Zhao Zhen only laughed dryly as he reluctantly cupped his hands over and replied, “Ah, you’re flattering me too much.”
Xie Zongyuan laughed and said, “Everybody, please board my Dragontooth Ship. This ship is three times faster than ordinary ones. It will only take a day to the Guardian Hall with this ship.”
Zhang Yan, as a bystander, could tell that Xie Zongyuan was unlike a member from an Ancient Family. He didn’t pretend to look high and aloof, but was open-minded and vehement. He didn’t care about someone’s background. He was also very patient and quite caring for his friends. Such a person was worth to make friends with. By comparison, Zhao Zhen was much worse, he always looked grumpy, arrogant, and thought highly of himself. From this group, Zhang Yan could tell that the one who was supposed to be making mistakes would be this person.