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Volume 2—Chapter 45: Tripartite Gathered, Encountering Qin Nan
After Xie Zongyuan greeted them, everyone boarded his Dragontooth ship together.
The flying ship was worthy to be used by Profound Light Realm cultivators, since its speed was comparable to imperial flying swords. In just a day, a palace hall with a green tiled roof and vermillion pillar appeared on the horizon.
Curling vortices of propitious qi soared up on top of the palace hall as it was connected with an auspicious mist of a magical cloud from the sky, with jadeite lights sprinkled down as it split open the layer of clouds. Three layers of jade stairs laid down before the palace hall as though they were frozen water clouds with its sparkling and translucent magnificent elegance. In front of it, the copper incense burner produced greenish blurry smoke as it curled up the hazy and imaginary mist.
In his astonishment, Xie Zongyuan said with a gasp, “Ai, the spiritual qi here is soaring to the sky. This Dao Master Peng really has a deep cultivation base, even being able to create a profound cultivation technique that is able to interact between the heaven and men with such red cloud accompanying. I fear that the 10 Dao Masters’ names in the Azure Ocean Sect would be changed within a few days of time.”
Zhao Zhen interrupted with a scoff, “Bah, how could it be so simple? It’s just a look-alike situation. But the fact is that the sky and the earth is still separated. My granduncle has once said that it would be quite fortunate if Dao Master Peng is able to cross over this mountain of obstacle within these 100 years. If he were unable to do it, even with his inborn talents, it would be hopeless in his entire life.”
Although Xie Zongyuan did not agree, since they would soon arrive at the Guardian Hall, he did not dare to speak anymore, so as to avoid it would be heard by Dao Master Peng and court more trouble for them.
On the other hand, Zhao Zhen thought that his words were sharp and had cut through the key point, as he could not help but feel proud of himself.
Zhang Yan felt funny inside. This Zhao Zhen seemed to be in a rush, coming up with harping in a different tune for each and every topic someone else raised. The more tit for tat, the more spirited he was with fallacious reasoning for most of his words, which made everyone feel annoyed and loathe him. If it were not because this group relied on this person to lead the way, he would perhaps have been driven away a long time ago.
Seeing the arrival of the flying ship, some guardians of the palace hall greeted them. Some of them were straight and stern, while there was also somewhat a beautiful Daoist nun who welcomed them. She bowed and said, “Several Senior Brothers also came to this Demon Hole to cultivate?”
Liu Tao and Zhang Yan glanced at each other, while Xie Zongyuan was the one who replied with a strange tone, “Ah, apart from us, are there anyone else who came here?”
The Daoist nun said with laugh, “It’s just like this Senior Brother said. 5 days ago, Dao Master Yan’s disciple from the sect, Senior Brother Fang, has come to this place. He said that he must lead some of his fellow apprentices to enter and cultivate in this Demon Hole. And 3 days ago, several Senior Brothers from the Pure Cloud’s Han Family also came here. Apart from Senior Brother’s group, perhaps there are at least 20 people here.”
Pure Cloud’s Han Family?
Even Xie Zongyuan’s face was also slightly moved. Pure Cloud’s Han Family was one of the Five Great Families name. It’s an influential family amongst ancient families in the Azure Ocean Sect. The members and disciples from this family usually had very few contact with other disciples, and it was unexpected that they would come to practice in this Demon Hole. It seemed like they were also practicing to enhance their cultivation base to attack the Three Anchor Lakes.
The Daoist nun continued, “The Sea Eye’s gate opened at the first day of lunar month, and only 15 people could enter. I’m afraid that several Senior Brothers would have to wait for a few days more. Anyway, what should I address these Senior Brothers as? I will have to go in to clean up the houses and prepare for the meals for all of you.”
When Xie Zongyuan was about to answer it, Zhao Zhen’s ridicule suddenly sounded, “We don’t need to tell our names since I fear that we’ll have to eat our own tongues tonight.”
Upon hearing these words, the Daoist nun was stumped for words as her face turned reddish, a somewhat humiliated and angry expression was suddenly cast on her face. She spoke no longer, turning around and then walked inside.
Xie Zongyuan shook his head and said, “I never thought that Fang Zhen and his group would have come here.”
Zhang Yan’s eyes slightly flashed as he said, “It’s not surprising though. Fang Zhen is also a Third Stage Radiant Qi Realm cultivator. They presumably also know about the Sect’s plan to attack Three Anchor Lakes. So they also came here to practice. Moreover, everyone knows that Dao Master Zhu and Dao Master Yan are sworn brothers, whilst Zhuang Bufan is also Dao Master Zhu’s disciple. He had suppressed the Demon Hole for 16 years, and he did not run into monsters and demons there. So he should be familiar with the situation inside. Thus, pointing about the path for Fang Zhen is not a difficult issue.”
“Suppressing eh?” Zhao Zhen spoke with disdain in his face. Then, he curled up his lips and continued, “He’s only openly taking advantages to practice supernatural powers. If it were not for this large array of restrictive seals from the Guardian Hall, the monsters and demons from inside would have already been running amok. When the hell has he suppressed anything? Lest that he’s only one person, even if there are many of him, it wouldn’t amount to much.”
Xie Zongyuan coughed as he looked at Liu Tao, who appeared to understand the situation. Liu Tao then immediately spoke, “This is the first time I came to this Guardian Hall. I don’t know what scenery this place has. How about Senior Brother Zhao give a tour for me now?”
Then, regardless of whether Zhao Zhen agreed or not, he dragged him away.
Cheng An did not make any sounds whatsoever. He seemed to hesitate for a moment before he followed Liu Tao and left.
Xie Zongyuan gestured Zhang Yan and went to a secluded corner, saying, “I am not familiar with the path under the Sea Eye. The only thing that can be expected is this Zhao Zhen. But this fellow’s words are annoying. And he’s a scatterbrain and damn is frivolous. I really don’t know if I can take it any longer.”
Seeing that Xie Zongyuan began to get incensed, Zhang Yan could not help laugh and say with a smile, “We don’t need to doubt somebody who would work for us, neither do we need to suspect him. Besides, this fellow’s words are aimless. Just take it as lips and teeth service jokes from him.”
Xie Zongyuan nodded and said, “What I’m worried about right now is that Fang Zhen knows that I also came to the Demon Hole. He perhaps has set up a few traps for us secretly.”
Zhang Yan understood the meaning of his words. Then he thought deeply for a while and then spoke with a solemn tone, “We’ll have to prepare for the unexpected.”
At this time, the previously leaving Daoist nun came back. But at the moment, her face was expressionless, “Several Senior Brothers, I have checked that our guest houses have been fully occupied, whilst there are also female cultivators in the Guardian Hall. So, it’s not convenient to receive foreign guests there. I believe since everyone here is also cultivator, you wouldn’t be too caring about spending the nights and having meals outside, would you?”
Xie Zongyuan’s brows knitted. For him, he did not care about where he stayed. But Fang Zhen and the others were obviously staying in the hall, while they had to stay outside. Another day, when he met them, he would be sneered at, damaging his Xie Family’s honor.
But Zhang Yan thought that this was also good since it would also avoid encountering with Fang Zhen and the others. And perhaps there would also be more trouble if it happened.
At this time, a sudden voice came from behind and surprised him, “Senior Brother Zhang.”
Zhang Yan could not help but look back as he saw Qin Nan standing nearby. Her charming face was blushing red, and her robe was exactly alike with the Daoist nun. He unable to restrain his astonishment as he spoke, “Junior Sister Qin? You are also cultivating here?”
A look of joy was revealed on Qin Nan’s face as she said, “Yes.”
She thought for a second before she turned her head and spoke to the Daoist nun, “These Senior Brothers are guests from afar. Since the guest houses are full, prepare the side hall for them to rest there.”
The Taoist nun bowed her head and respectfully replied, “At your words, Martial Aunt.”
Xie Zongyuan let out a light laugh and then said, “Junior Brother, since you have met with a long met friend, I presume you have many words to say. I’ll go and have a walk somewhere else.”
After swaying his sleeve, he then left.
Zhang Yan faintly smiled and said, “Ah, Junior Sister, how do you address Dao Master Peng?”
Qin Nan was a bit embarrassed and replied, “I was originally Senior Brother Chen’s in-name disciple, but then when Master Ancestor saw me. He received me as his last disciple.”
Zhang Yan carefully looked at Qin Nan and exclaimed in admiration, “It’s really Junior Sister’s good fortune.”
The last time they met was only half a month or so, and Zhang Yan did not expect that Qin Nan was already at the peak of First Stage of Radiant Qi Realm, and it seemed that she would soon breakthrough into the Second Stage. This improvement speed of cultivation base was truly unthinkable.
Qin Nan looked at Zhang Yang with eyes opened wide as she asked, “Senior Brother, are you also coming to the Demon Hole to practice?”
Zhang Yan said, “I am. Has Junior Sister also gone there to cultivate?”
Qin Nan nodded heavily, “Yes, I’ve cultivated there a few days ago.”
Zhang Yan suddenly understood. It was no wonder that her cultivation base would leap for 10,000 li this quick and far. It was originally because of this. As he thought up to there, his heart moved and then asked, “Since Junior Sister has gone there, do you know about the pathway under the Sea Eye?”
Qin Nan thought for a moment, and then her beautiful eyes turned bright and said, “Senior Brother, please wait for a moment.”
Then, she turned away and left. When it was about a stick of burning incense, she rushed back with her hands holding a foot square-sized map made from thin, tough silk. The silk was full of dense and numerous marks, it was even hard to tell the outline thread of the red lines. “I was drawing this map silently from the map in my Master’s study room. I don’t know whether this would be useful for Senior Brother, but you might as well take it.”
The author make typo a lot with Liu Tao’s name, Three Anchor Lakes and many other terms. For example, sometimes he wrote Long Tao for Liu Tao, and only wrote Three Lakes without Anchor word. It’s kinda vexed me.