Chapter 71: The Mountain God Moves
Once Xu Yangyi finished speaking, he said no more. The path of cultivation was the struggle of all beings. Countless facts reminded him one by one that with a single misstep, all would come to an end.
Heavens Law's negligence had lead to Vermillion Snow's invasion, no one the wiser. Ultimately, seven thousand people had been massacred and eight great Foundation Establishment cultivators had their Daos buried away.
Li Zongyuan's negligence had caused him to become his demon familiar, and in addition, hand over all his Dew Congealing Grass. In that case, what of his own negligence? If he let them go this time, it would be Thousandedge himself coming the next!
Life could only be lived once.
The night wind blowing on his hand was somewhat cold. Sometimes, a battle between cultivators was even more merciless than a battle between humans and demons. From the beginning he chose to walk this path, he knew that there would inevitably be such a day.
Modern cultivation, cultivation civilization, beneath this flowery word, there were far too many things, hidden things that could not see the light. It was nothing more than everyone's hard-working perseverance that maintained this fragile balance.
"Prepare to relocate. Bai County is unsafe; I need a place far from the city."
"Master, we can leave the province." Li Zongyuan said lowly.
"No! I bet there isn't any surveillance camera right now that isn't under the monitor of the Featherwood Guard branch! You mustn't leave!" Zhou Tingting shook her head and said.
"That just won't do." Li Zongyuan laughed: "I have a secret art that is capable of forming a dimensional space within my body. As long as all of you get into my dimensional space, I guarantee that I'll bring you away."
They were still somewhat unwilling to part from their home.
"I don't wish to remind everyone." Li Zongyuan didn't possess the respect he had for Xu Yangyi to these two, and he laughed grimly: "But if you remain here, all of you are sure to die."
"In less than a day, arrest warrants will fill the sky. In any case, I will deliver you to the Western Paradise. Afterwards, wherever you wish to go will be no concern of mine."*
"Will your movement draw heavy inspection from the government?" Xu Yangyi looked towards the starry sky and asked indifferently.
"No!" Li Zongyuan immediately laughed: "Demons, if they awaken early, will be around fifteen to sixteen, and our appearances will change no more. In order to not make neighbors and friends feel why is it that their neighbors haven't changed in several years and rouse society's panic, it is written in the Shennong Convention that not only can we not be disturbed, but we must be given protection!"
Xu Yangyi nodded, withdrawing his gaze: "We leave at once."
Time dragged on.
"Bang, bang, bang…" Simultaneously, in the Featherwood Guard's branch master office that was twinkling with light, the sharp and crisp sound of bamboo cracking could be heard from within the room.
The secretary was stunned, and he walked to the door to ask what had occurred, but just as he neared the the front of it, he heard the branch master's ice-cold void: "Get out. Any who trespass will receive thirty lashes."
Within the room, Thousandedge's gaze looked deeply at the three tiny bamboo effigies before him. Written with the names of Wind Trace-03, Tiger King-03, and Heaven Listener-04, they entirely split apart in two at this moment. At the same time, they had completely died!
He inhaled deeply and calmly picked up his cup of tea, placing it at his mouth, yet not drinking.
"Little bastard… you even truly dare to kill the best three scouts of the C-rank legions…"
"I really am becoming more curious. Why is it that Daomaster Floatingcloud must find you?" He stood up, his finger stroking a glass window: "HL-01, Xu Yangyi, Heavens Law's Yuyang City students still remember you. And yet… there was no news of any of your information at the graduation ceremony…"
"Three years ago, there wasn't so much as a word disseminated from the heaven-shocking Vermillion Snow incident. You just happened to be at this graduation. Then if that's the case… what connection do you have with this event?"
"It's possible that Heavens Law's avatar recorded a video. The scope of privileges so high that not even I can view it… and Daomaster Floatingcloud issued a black kill order, one that has never been had. How much does he hate you? Or is it… how much he fears you?"
"If it is hate, he can act righteously without deceit. Compared to a Core Formation cultivator's fury, even the government has to make considerations three times. In that case… it is fear." He turned around, each finger of both hands constantly rubbing: "What do you have in your hands that even causes Daomaster Floatingcloud fear? Fear to the extent that if it is goes unobtained, you must be killed? Fear that goes so far as to clearly wish to obtain it swiftly so that on the contrary it warrants the black kill order that is dared not to be issued lightly?"
He ponderously narrowed his eyes at the black card in his hand. No death, no rest. Without time, without limit.
"As of now, the three hounds let loose have all died. Should I personally take to task? No… If I handle it myself, my Foundation Establishment qi fluctuations will be sensed by those cultivation court bastards in less than five minutes. My future prospects will be ruined in a short time because of the violation of cultivation trust laws… however, if that little scoundrel does indeed have an item that can stir the heart of a Core Formation master in his hands…"
He was silent. Only after no less than half an hour later did he set down the card, noiselessly sighing. Currently, what was most important in the end was what did this HL-01 have in his hands? Was it worthy of him braving the danger?
Of those capable of treading into Foundation Establishment, which one wasn't a person of wisdom and tenacity, of courage and ambition? Vermillion Snow dared to bathe a Heavens Law branch with blood to achieve Core Formation. If this opportunity truly was sufficiently large, Thousandedge would absolutely not mind braving the risk.
Wealth and honor would be sought amidst danger, success would be taken from the details.
"Thud…" At this time, after the sound of the door knocking rang out three times, the door was pushed open, and a tall, handsome youth walked in.
"Branch Master." He hammered his hand on his chest and said without any respectful demeanor: "The Hidden Dragon Legion has completed the mission and returned. I've come specifically to report back."
Backstabbing son of a bitch… Thousandedge carried a smile, yet his gaze was void of a single trace of sentiment. Is that Xu your father? You actually dare put on pressure before me!**
Otherwise, why would there be a need to sacrifice three hunting dogs?
Once the IP is locked on, he won't be able to escape even if he sprouts wings!
"Commander Chu has gone through much hardship." He laughed and said: "Vice Minister Chu is an old acquaintance of mine, as well. Commander Chu need not be restrained."
Chu Zhaonan didn't take to his words.
"Go rest up first, alright." Thousandedge waved his hand: "Commander Chu still has two years of field work left. When the time comes, I shall preside over your formal advancement ceremony to an A-rank legion myself."
"My thanks, Branch Master." Chu Zhaonan paused and followed up: "In addition, because the friction between the demons and humans of Mingshui Province is straining, I've requested a party of five prosecutors of the Mingshui Province cultivation court to head towards my stationed region of Panshan City and conduct an investigation for half a year. I am hereby notifying you of this."
"Hiss…" A gust suddenly fluttered before Thousandedge. It was unknown when, but the wooden desk his hand was pressed down upon was already one small piece less. It seemed to be shaved apart by a thousand blades, transforming into flying dust.
He didn't look at the other and he didn't have a smile, as well. After a minute passed, he insipidly raised his head, looking calmly at Chu Zhaonan. His voice was chilling like ice: "Commander Chu, do you put my in your eyes?"
"I dare not to. Junior is only following duty."
No one spoke, and the Foundation Establishment spiritual pressure increased by a hair. Chu Zhaonan only felt bursts of desolate pain from his chest, the blood of his heart almost jetting out. Suddenly, the spiritual pressure loosened. His head drenched in sweat, he stood in place, gritting his teeth.
"Leave." Thousandedge smiled: "Later on, remember to report these kinds of matters first."
The door closed. Thousandedge sat peacefully, holding his teacup. The moonlight outside the window illuminated his body and the window curtains blew in the night wind. This scene appeared gentle and tranquil.
Yet in the next second!
"Bang! Bang! Bang!" The sound of countless fragments shattering rang out in the room! The window, the desk, the resource materials, cabinets, floorboard, all in the blink of an eye! Everything fell into ruins!
Thousandedge himself seemed like a demon sitting among the wreckage.
"Junior, you really believe I don't dare to move against you?" He coldly licked his lips, his voice dense with killing intent: "You should be thankful you have a good family, otherwise… I certainly would've sliced you up by a death of a thousand cuts!"
He was already certain, it was 100% a person of the Hidden Dragon Legion that had hacked into the branch's computers! Caused him to be incapable of locking on to the IP!
Right now… he was one step closer to being forced to resign. This was informing the other party that the personnel of the cultivation courts already had their eyes on you, and the matter between us ought to just pass, as if it hadn't occurred.
Moments ago, he was truly stirred to fury, however, as his Foundation Establishment spiritual pressure swept past, he discovered Chu Zhaonan had at least three magik artifacts on his body that were capable of resisting the Great Circle of Foundation Establishment for a whole hour!
At that instant, Thousandedge was truly placed in a position where he could neither advance nor retreat! Above, he had accepted Daomaster Floatingcloud's command. In case the mission wasn't completed, his prestige, his opportunity, would all go scattering like ash on the wind! Below, there was the cultivation court, the Chinese government's dog! In case the mission was completed, his prestige, his opportunity, and even his future and prospects, would likewise go up in a puff of smoke!
He was awfully aware… that apart from nuclear warheads, if the Chinese government didn't have a true weapon capable of threatening Core Formation cultivators, the world's balance would immediately change.
This wasn't to mention all the gathered scientists in Heavens Law though that had painstakingly created the three great Slaughter Weapons. These armaments were also the same, capable of causing the cultivation world not dare to take action lightly.
"Emperor Armament…" He sucked in deeply: "If I had an Emperor Armament in my hand, how could I be so passive this time…" He still lacked the confidence to shed all pretense of cordiality with the Chinese government. Just as incredibly fast as his boundless imaginings surged, they settled just as unfathomably.
A day later, at the side of Panshan City's national highway, countless cars converged. Entering the national highway of the provincial capital was always this congested. Especially since Panshan City was still the north's largest city besides Beijing.
"Ugh, it's so backed up." In a car, a forty-plus-year-old driver was playing around with a child as he grumbled: "It's gonna be clogged up for at least half an hour. These road conditions really do suck."
The child was a girl approximately around seven or eight years old, yet at this moment, she didn't listen to her father's words at all, but rather stared unblinkingly through the car window glass.
"Sweetie, what're you looking at?" Her mother sat in the front passenger seat, following the girl's gaze over for a glance, and was immediately stunned.
"Hey, don't pull, don't pull." The mother's hand was pulling on the driver, and the driver raised his head and furrowed his brows: "What's going on, eh? What's there to be ruffled about…"
The mother's hand was gently trembling and her other hand was covering her mouth, a finger faintly shaking as it pointed out towards a direction. Just as the driver looked over, he was rendered astonished, as well. At this instant, an immeasurable number of people had left their cars on the national parkway, some even using their cell phones to take pictures of this strange scene.
"Is this the Mountain God moving?"
"Holy shit! What could be so big?"
"Has a monster left the mountain?"
"Hurry up and take a photo! If you put it on Weibo, who knows how many people will come! Live stream it!"
"What on earth is this thing?"
On a mountain not too far away from the side of the national parkway, absent of the wind and without the other trees moving, there was a sole stretch of forest that undulated like a wave and moreover everything below!
It was like… there was an enormous creature walking by within the forest, pushing down on the other trees! From Panshan City, it continued to creep towards a distant place, progressively venturing further away!
They didn't know that at this moment, within the mountain forest, an old farmer was shivering flat on his butt at the center of a six-to-seven-meter-long footprint of a gigantic toad. At a distant place, another silent footprint gradually proceeded further away.
"T-this is the Mountain God moving!"
* Making a note here as a refresher, but Western Paradise refers to the Buddhist concept of the "pure land" The exact line where this concept is introduced though is from the novel of a Qing era novelist named Wen Kang, from his book "The Gallant Maid". The idea behind delivering someone to the Western Paradise is to bring them to safety.
** Backstabbing here is actually a chinese idiom that I localized, since I think it fits too. Real meaning behind this idiom is "to accept one side's benefits, but put in work for another side".