When Long Chen returned to his residence, he saw that Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er were in his courtyard, leaning against Little Snow and quietly muttering. He didn’t know what they were saying, but the two of them were smiling beautifully.
The courtyard was quiet, and the two of them were more beautiful than flowers. Long Chen leaned against the entrance, watching as the two of them talked and laughed. Occasionally, their bell-like laughter would ring out. He felt intoxicated.
“Long Chen, what are you just standing there for? You look like a thief.” Tang Wan-er and Meng Qi suddenly noticed Long Chen.
“Beautiful as jade, like a scene from a painting, as if made by the heavens, a perfect harmony. I really was unable to disturb it.” Long Chen laughed.
“It’d be strange if anyone believed you. Speak, just how many women did you play around with this time?” Tang Wan-er glared at Long Chen.
“Slander, a completely unjust accusation. There was definitely nothing like that.” Long Chen raised his hands as if crying injustice at the heavens.
“Hear that? Little Snow says he will testify for me.” Long Chen laughed.
Meng Qi suddenly laughed. “Little Snow says that Long Chen ended up running into someone called Mu Xue. Just who is this Mu Xue?”
Long Chen’s face darkened. Little Snow had actually betrayed him at this critical time to side with Meng Qi.
“Hurry up and speak. Don’t try acting taciturn while you come up with a lie.” Tang Wan-er glared at Long Chen, seeming like she would cruelly torture him for the answers.
Long Chen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Of Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er, one was gentle and soft, while the other was fiery and explosive. When the two were combined, it was truly like he was under interrogation.
Long Chen sat down with the two of them. He told them everything that had occurred once he had left the monastery, except the matter with dragon expert’s help and the real reason for the Mo family leaving.
It was naturally better for as few people as possible to know about those things. Having that burden rest on his shoulders was enough. Who asked men not to let their women worry so much?
“That Yin family really was hateful. They actually kidnapped uncle and aunt. They deserved to be destroyed.” Tang Wan-er clenched her teeth.
“The fact that uncle and aunt are living in seclusion and having a peaceful life isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” comforted Meng Qi.
“Sorry, I’ve caused you two to worry.” Long Chen couldn’t help but feel sorry toward the two of them.
Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er gently leaned against Long Chen. Smelling his familiar scent, they felt extremely warm inside, filled with peace and joy.
“That’s right, I almost forgot to tell you this. Sister Chu Yao has left the Skywood Palace,” said Tang Wan-er.
“Where did she go?”
“Half a month ago, sister Chu Yao stepped into the Xiantian realm. She actually awakened a manifestation, becoming a powerful Celestial.
“The Skywood Divine Palace sent someone to bring her back to the Skywood Sacred Land. Apparently, that’s very, very far from here.
“So sister Chu Yao wanted to see you before leaving, but at the time, you were with the Mo family in Qing Prefecture. This matter came so suddenly, that as a result, sister Chu Yao could only leave.” Thinking of Chu Yao’s sad and disappointed expression as she had left, Tang Wan-er’s eyes reddened and she almost cried.
“This is what sister Chu Yao left for you.” Meng Qi handed a scroll to Long Chen.
Long Chen opened the scroll. There was a painting on it. That painting depicted a martial stage with a youth fighting a human-shaped monster with long fur all over its body.
Seeing that scene, Long Chen immediately recalled his fierce battle with Huang Chang back in the Phoenix Cry Lantern Festival. At that time, Huang Chang had used beast transformation to turn into this form. His own appearance had been slightly immature. However, his eyes contained endless rage.
The drawing itself was just average, but the drawing of him was remarkably lifelike and perfect.
On one side of the painting was a line of graceful characters: The Dragon swims across the four oceans; the Phoenix flies throughout the nine lands. Seas of blood may block us, but we will never give up our path; Dragon and Phoenix will both live to old age.
This was their promise to each other. At that time, they had been insignificant figures, but even in the face of irresistible power, they still hadn’t retreated. They had both expressed their true thoughts.
“Seas of blood may block us, but we will never give up our path. Dragon and Phoenix will both live to old age… For me, Yao-er, you’re willing to be bathed in blood? Why bother?”
Long Chen looked up at the sky, sadness flashing in his eyes. Chu Yao had a quiet, peaceful temperament. She didn’t like fighting.
But in order to help him, in order to protect him, she had chosen the path of an expert. That was an endlessly bloody path. But she had stepped onto it without looking back.
Cultivation was a path of no return. Once you stepped on it, there was no chance to step off. Even if Long Chen gave up on cultivation right now, it would have no meaning at all. There were still countless enemies that would come find him. Giving up his cultivation was just crippling his martial might, allowing the heavens to decide his fate. Then his ending would be incomparably cruel.
Chu Yao had also realized the cruelty of cultivation, and she had firmly chosen to become stronger. But the fact that she hadn’t managed to see Long Chen before leaving was her greatest regret.
Thinking of Chu Yao standing alone as she looked in the direction of Qing Prefecture, Long Chen felt like needles were stabbing his heart.
“Long Chen, don’t think too much about this. Once a person steps on the path of cultivation, there’s no looking back. We all have to get stronger. Once we stand at the peak of the martial path, our fates will in our own hands.” Seeing the pain in Long Chen’s expression, Meng Qi couldn’t hold back from comforting him.
“That’s right. We all have to work hard at our cultivation. Sister Chu Yao is waiting for us, and maybe sister Zhiqiu has also revived. We’ll all get stronger and meet again one day,” said Tang Wan-er.
Thinking of Ye Zhiqiu, a sad but beautiful scene resurfaced in Long Chen’s mind. Ye Zhiqiu’s icy goddess-like face’s first smile had been like a blooming ice lotus, beautiful but poignant to the peak.
“Long Chen, don’t cry. A hero capable of supporting heaven and earth shouldn’t cry for a woman. I don’t want you to be laughed at by others…
“I really was very happy those days when I accompanied you. The only regretful thing is that those days were just temporary. I won’t get to see you standing at the peak of the world.
“Long Chen, didn’t you always want to see me smile? Then I can let you see it one time…”
Ye Zhiqiu’s voice once more resounded in his mind. It felt like it had been a lifetime ago. Thinking of how Ye Zhiqiu might be revived, Long Chen was filled with a lofty ideal. He wouldn’t allow a repeat of that tragedy. He would get stronger and trample all his enemies beneath his feet.
After coming in contact with that dragon expert, after seeing that scene up in the void, Long Chen felt himself to be incredibly miniscule. The first thing he had to do was to get stronger.
“Meng Qi, Wan-er, do you want to become a Celestial?” Long Chen suddenly asked out of nowhere.
Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er thought their ears had broken.
“I should have the ability to turn one of you into a Celestial. So decide which of you wants to try it.”
Long Chen was extremely confident. On his way back here, he had noticed a strange discovery that had almost made him go crazy.
On the way, he had killed two Xiantian Magical Beasts and thrown their corpses into the black soil, turning them into life energy. Those withered trees had slowly revived.
But the strength of two Magical Beasts was still just a drop in the ocean. The trees had only recovered the slightest vitality.
In order to fully recover, it would require quite some time. Long Chen noticed that all the huge trees had died, but there was one tree that was still flourishing without the slightest sign of withering.
That small tree’s leaves all contained a faint rune. But each rune was incomparably clear and released a powerful fluctuation.
The thing that filled Long Chen with disbelief was that at some point, this small tree had borne a fruit.
That fruit was only the size of a fist, and it was covered with runes that emitted powerful fluctuations. Seeing those runes, Long Chen had almost cried out.
Those runes were the same runes Yin Wushang had summoned with his manifestation. Even the fluctuations were similar.
However, this fruit’s energy was powerful, but it wasn’t berserk. Long Chen had directly plucked it and swallowed it.
He found that it had a Heavenly Dao seed inside it, just like the Dao seeds in Mo Gate. But Long Chen was depressed to find that no matter how he tried to absorb it, it refused to merge with him.
In the end, the primal chaos bead had directly taken back the Dao seed and thrown it into the black soil again. That small tree once more bore a fruit, one exactly the same as the one Long Chen had swallowed.
Seeing this situation, Long Chen knew that the primal chaos bead had to have absorbed Yin Wushang’s core runes when he had killed him in order to form this Dao Rune Fruit.
Furthermore, this Dao Rune Fruit had no will that was fighting him. Long Chen didn’t know why he was unable to absorb it.
But just because he wasn’t able to absorb didn’t mean others couldn’t. So Long Chen had an extremely brazen idea. In the future, each time he killed a Celestial, wouldn’t he also gain a Dao Rune Fruit? And then wouldn’t there be another Celestial by his side?
Just what would an army of over three hundred Celestials look like? Thinking of that, Long Chen felt like he might go crazy. It didn’t seem all too impossible. The theory was solid.
“Give it to Wan-er. I’m a soul cultivator, and it seems the power of a Celestial isn’t able to help me much. But Wan-er is a wind cultivator, and if she becomes a Celestial, her wind blades will reach a terrifying level,” said Meng Qi.
“Sister Meng Qi…” Tang Wan-er was about to decline.
“Meng Qi’s right. Wan-er, your temperament is very explosive. Perhaps becoming a Celestial can mellow you out a bit. You truly are in need of it,” said Long Chen.
“Bastard, if you don’t anger me for a day, will you feel unwell?!” raged Tang Wan-er.
“Come, be my experimental guinea pig. There’s no need to say so much. Let’s go somewhere secluded to do some exciting stuff.”
Meng Qi couldn’t help but smile strangely as she watched these two clowns enter a private room.