Seeing Nine Lanterns going toward the temple wobblingly, Song Shuhang jogged and followed her.
At this time, he had absolutely no idea what Nine Lanterns planned to do next. Perhaps she would just bring him to the most mysterious place in the Heavenly Island and make him leave after having his memories sealed...
Anyway, he had given up on guessing what was going on in that mind of hers.
After returning to the temple, Nine Lanterns sat once more in her original position. Then, she quietly removed the formations on the enlightenment stone and started to lazily poke Lady Onion with her finger.
"..." Lady Onion.
Seeing that Nine Lanterns didn't want to talk, Song Shuhang pondered for a moment and went once more into the corner, squatted down, and continued to read his books.
After poking Lady Onion for a while, Nine Lanterns finally managed to calm down—every time she thought of that disgusting scene where she was imitating a rabbit, she wished she could die.
After returning to her senses, Nine Lanterns took out the notebook and crossed another line.
1) Prepare a dish and see him eat it. (Crossed)
2) Accompany him on a trip to a not too dangerous place. (Crossed)
3) Save him one time. (Crossed)
4) Read many books together. (Crossed)
5) Dance for him amidst a sea of flowers surrounded by green mountains and beautiful flowing water. (Just crossed)
Just like before, as soon as she crossed out the fifth line, the magical technique concealing the contents of the sixth line disappeared, finally revealing them.
6) Fulfill a not too big and not too small wish of his.
The pure and innocent heart of a young girl… wait, was this even the pure and innocent heart of a young girl?
The fact she was willing to prepare a dish for him, accompany him on a (dangerous) trip, save him to gain a favorable impression, read books together, and dance for him… could be explained by the fact that she was a young and innocent girl at the time.
But what was the deal with the sixth line? 'Fulfill a wish of his'?
'I'm not a friggin' wish-fulfilling machine! Why did I write something like this at the time?' Nine Lanterns racked her brain, but she couldn't remember why she wrote down this wish.
'Was I really the one to write this wish?' Nine Lanterns rubbed her temples.
She was only at the sixth line, and things had degenerated to the point she had already become a 'wish-fulfilling machine'. What others monstrosities did she write in that notebook when she was young?
Luckily, only seven wishes were written in this notebook called [Nine Lanterns' wishes]. So, there was only one last wish to fulfill after the sixth one.
After putting away the notebook, Nine Lanterns squeezed out a smile and gazed at Song Shuhang.
Song Shuhang had just finished reading a thick book when he felt Nine Lanterns gaze. He raised his head and looked at her.
"You can take it." Nine Lanterns stretched her hand and calmly threw a case toward Song Shuhang.
Song Shuhang stretched his hand and caught the case. After opening it, he saw the shed skin of the Little Finger Snake inside.
After leaving the Heavenly Island, he could ask a senior specialized in refining materials to manufacture a 'size-reducing bag' for him with this snakeskin.
"Thank you," Song Shuhang said with a smile. Then, he put the case away cautiously.
The case itself was also a treasure, and even after coming in contact with the skin of the Little Finger Snake, it didn't reduce in size. This was Nine Lanterns' complimentary gift.
"Right, Shuhang. Do you wish for something?" Nine Lanterns rested her chin in her hand and blinked her eyes.
"A wish?" Song Shuhang put down the book in his hand and thought a bit. After a while, he asked, "What type of wish? Related to material things? Related to immaterial things? Or another type again?"
"They're all fine. No matter which type it is, I'm all ears," Nine Lanterns said with a gentle smile.
"In this case... can I wish for the peace on Earth?" Song Shuhang replied—he too was unsure why he had randomly blurted out this wish.
Blue veins started to slightly bulge on Nine Lanterns forehead, and since she was bald, these bulging veins were clearly visible. It took Song Shuhang only a single glance to discover that she was angry.
"Miss Nine Lanterns, wait a moment. I was just kidding! Since the atmosphere was so good, I couldn't help but crack a joke!" Song Shuhang immediately tried to salvage the situation.
Recently, there were times where his brain would suddenly stop working, pushing him to perform death-seeking actions unknowingly. Have I been infected by Senior Thrice Reckless Mad Saber?
After leaving this place, I must remember to block Senior Thrice Reckless Mad Saber for a while. This death-seeking disease seems very contagious. Moreover, its infectivity is incredibly high!
After hearing his apology, the bulging blue veins on Nine Lanterns forehead became slightly less prominent.
"Cough. Actually, I have many wishes. For example, I really wish to become stronger quickly and have the power to hold my own against my enemies," Song Shuhang replied after pondering for a while.
Once he was strong enough to hold his own against his enemies, he could finally let his family members lead a peaceful life without having to worry about enemy cultivators attempting to harm them due to his identity. Moreover, he would be able to help his cultivator friends properly. For example, when Soft Feather headed to her friend's family, Song Shuhang couldn't do anything to help her because his strength was too low.
"On the road of cultivation, you can take only one step at a time. Strengthening your body, increasing your realm, cultivating your heart… all of them need to be promoted bit by bit and you mustn't make haste. Otherwise, you would just leave behind potential dangers," Nine Lanterns explained earnestly as she joined her palms together.
Song Shuhang wasn't the only one to wish for something like this, all cultivators did. However, it was something you could attain only in due time.
"I'm aware of this point… but the reason I wished for it is precisely because it's so difficult to achieve. Hehe," Song Shuhang said with a smile.
Nine Lanterns nodded silently.
"Then, as for wishes related to material things… I hoped to obtain a certain item this time," Song Shuhang said while holding his chin.
Nine Lanterns eyes lit up. "What item?"
"It's a natural treasure called 'skeletal dragon's withered vine'. A friend of mine suffered a severe injury, and with the help of the skeletal dragon's withered vine, she might be able to recover at a faster pace." Song Shuhang thought of Su Clan's Sixteen.
He had no news of her since the day she mailed herself over and had some fun with him. Later, she was picked up by Seven and brought back to the Spirit River Su Clan to continue her treatment.
When the seniors in the group asked about Sixteen's condition, Seven said that the skeletal dragon's withered vine could hasten her recovery. However, he didn't inform them about the concrete state of her injury and the time needed to recover.
"The skeletal dragon's withered vine? This thing is pretty rare. In the past several hundred years, very few people were able to chance upon divine beasts such as dragons," Nine Lanterns said after pondering for a moment.
The skeletal dragon's withered vine was a spiritual herb that grew on the bones of dead dragons, and in this case, dead dragon referred to a real 'dragon' and not to a mere 'dinosaur'.
However, dragons had their own dragon tombs, and very few died in the outside world. Moreover, the corpse of a dragon wouldn't rot for millennia, and it would take a lot of time before it turned into a pile of bones. Therefore, you had to be pretty lucky to find one that had vine growing on it.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be a real dragon, the withered vine growing on the corpse of a flood dragon is also fine," Song Shuhang said with a smile.
Nine Lanterns tapped her finger on the table.
After a short while, she giggled and looked at Song Shuhang. "If the withered vine growing on the corpse of a flood dragon is also fine, I know a place on the Heavenly Island where it's possible to find it."
Song Shuhang was a bit surprised. Soon after, he straightened his body and expectantly looked at Nine Lanterns.
"However, obtaining that withered vine won't be easy either," Nine Lanterns said as she kept tapping her finger on the table.
"I still beseech Miss Nine Lanterns to tell me more about it," Song Shuhang asked as he sat with his back straight; he wanted to strike while the iron was hot. From the looks of it, it seemed that Nine Lanterns wanted to do him a favor—although he had yet to know what the price of this favor would be.
But if he could obtain the 'skeletal dragon's withered vine' through this favor, Song Shuhang couldn't refuse it.
Soon after, Nine Lanterns did once more something unexpected. "The way you used the term 'beseech' was really cool, I like it!"
"..." Song Shuhang.
"Cough, you rest for a while. In the meantime, I'll get ready. Soon, I'll bring you to see a senior, who is also the spirit beast protecting the island. From what I remember, this senior should have in his collection a very old dragon flood corpse that has withered vine growing on it. The withered vine shouldn't be of any use to that spirit beast senior. However, obtaining it wouldn't be easy. You should already steel yourself for a possible failure." Nine Lanterns stood up and patted her buddhist robe.
Song Shuhang took a deep breath and replied, "As long as there is a sliver of hope, I wish to give it a try."
"Fine, ready yourself and try to be in your best condition. There is a chance that the spirit beast senior might test your strength. I'm going to change my clothes, wait here for a moment." After finishing her sentence, Nine Lanterns gently swept her hand on the table, returning the enlightenment stone and Lady Onion to Song Shuhang.
Soon after, she entered the inner part of the temple to change her clothes.
What kind of senior are we going to meet? Even Miss Nine Lanterns wants to change her clothes before meeting them...
When Nine Lanterns said that the spirit beast senior was the protector of the island, Song Shuhang immediately recalled the four legendary protector beasts, the Azure Dragon, the White Tiger, the Vermillion Bird, and the Black Tortoise.
Just the thought of meeting such a legendary creature was enough to make his heartbeat speed up.
Moreover, Nine Lanterns said she was going to change her clothes. Was she going to wear women's clothing?
Once she was back, Song Shuhang saw that Nine Lanterns was wearing a brand-new… buddhist robe. Wait, the color was different. The new robe was greenish-white while the previous one was gray.
"Let's go." Nine Lanterns faintly smiled and left the temple with a buddhist monk's staff in her hands.
Song Shuhang put the enlightenment stone (and Lady Onion) away and quickly followed her.
They didn't ride a horse or a carriage; it seemed that Nine Lanterns wanted to go there by foot.
After walking for nearly half an hour, Song Shuhang saw a huge mountain valley.
Both the mountain and the valley seemed to be out of this world, and Song Shuhang could faintly hear the heavenly melody of a zither come from the depths of the valley. Moreover, hundreds of birds were coordinating with the melody and singing according to the tune.
It was literally a paradise on Earth!
The spirit beast senior living in this celestial place seemed to like music. Maybe the trial Song Shuhang would have to pass also involved music?
"Carefully look at my steps and place your feet in the exact places I leave footprints in. Do not stray from them," Nine Lanterns said as she took the lead.
Song Shuhang faintly nodded and followed in her footsteps, approaching the mountain valley. Then, he saw that there was a huge parasol tree at the entrance of the valley...In Chinese: