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He Zun and Li Yan were under the influence of Gu Yu's trick even before they summoned their minions. Everything they saw after that was an illusion.

Drawing two people into his vision at the same time was Gu Yu's current limit. Essentially, joy, anger, sorrow, pleasure, sadness, fear or shock all worked the same way. If one had to make comparison, though, fear would doubtlessly be the most powerful emotion.

During Gu Yu's daily practice on small animals, since he meant no harm, the emotions he imposed on them were either happiness or joy. For instance, he would create illusions for them such as encountering a pretty female or running into a pile of delicious worms. Today was the first time he ever used fear to induce the vision, which turned out to be very effective.

It was a pity that he could only create a vision for a rather short period due to his limited strength. Otherwise, they might not be able to come out alive.



According to the fishbone, the mighty ones could draw into a long dream tens of thousands of people all at once, who would then be living their whole life in an illusion without ever realizing it—a true limitless and eternal world.

Despite the fact that He Zun and Li Yan had woken up, the overwhelming fear seemed to have remained in their minds. Hearing Gu Yu's voice, they shivered and shuddered, feeling too scared to answer.

"Mr. He!"

Gu Yu picked up the subject following the timeline in the real world and asked, "You are the one who brought me here today, what do you want from me?"

"I…"

What He Zun really wanted to ask him at the moment, was 'What bloody creature are you?!'

However, as soon as he looked into those deep and indifferent eyes, he flinched inside and replied in a shaking voice, "No, no, I don't want anything. It was all a misunderstanding! A big misunderstanding!"

"Yes, yes! Exactly!"

Li Yan also nodded feverishly and added hastily, "We've heard so much about your excellent incense-making skill and arranged this special trip here to call on you. That's all."

"Is that so?" Gu Yu tilted his head.

"Right! Exactly!"

"Definitely! Nothing else!"

The two gestured in a flurry to deny that there was any other possibility.

"..."

The others stood gazing at one another, speechless. Granny Zeng was completely baffled and the goon squad was even more confused. 'What's going on here? What happened to our arrogant, bullying and power-abusing bosses? Why are they suddenly as terrified as cowardly dogs?'

The two fifty-or-so years old business tycoons were now huddling on the sofa like helpless kids, which looked hilarious yet creepy at the same time. The minions were embarrassed and angry but dared not make a sound. The only person who seemed to have an idea of what was going was old Priest Mo, who was stroking his beard again.

Gu Yu was secretly watching the two men and after making sure that they were indeed scared out of their wits, he said, "I feel very honored to have you two come all this way just to see me. Unfortunately, I still have some errands to run today and don't have time to…"

"That's ok! No Problem! We'll find some other time!"

"Exactly. We won't keep you here any longer and will take our leave now."

"Old Sister, sorry for our intrusion today. We'll definitely visit you another day to apologize properly."

With that, He Zun and Li Yan stood up. While still rambling on, mumbling some random formalities, they hurried their steps and slipped out of the courtyard right away. Seeing their retreat, Old Priest Mo gave Gu Yu a slight nod. "I myself shall leave as well."

That was neat. This whole bunch of people was rushing away in the same way as they had rushed in. No one could have seen that coming.

"Xiao Gu, that was…"

The old lady sat in the hall, still not fully recovered from the confusion. After going through all the upheavals today, she could not think of the right words to express her feelings just yet.

"Don't worry, everything's fine." Gu Yu comforted her and smiled. "Your incense is almost ready. I'll come back with it in a few days… well, I should get going."

"Hey, Xiao Gu! Xiao Gu!"

The old lady ran after him but could not keep up with his steps. She could only watch him leave.

Somehow, for a minute back there, she thought he looked rather detached—not in an indifferent way, though. He reminded her of someone standing behind a curtain of thin fog, obscured and elusive.

She couldn't understand why He Zun and Li Yan's attitude changed so drastically, but had no doubts that it must have had something to do with this young man, who was now looking more mysterious than ever.

"Priest! You must know the answer. What on earth happened back there?"

Inside a luxurious hotel in Bai Town, as soon as Li Yan set foot in a suite, he started imploring for an answer.

They did not return to Shengtian right after leaving the Zeng manor, but came to this hotel, which was one of the properties of the He family, instead. The two men dismissed their underlings and asked old Priest Mo to stay behind so as to get the truth out of him.

The old priest was stooping to flattery in front of Gu Yu, but had retrieved some of his confidence when faced with their begging. He asked in reply, "What did you see?"

"He, he just disappeared into thin air… then there were so many snakes coming from everywhere! There must have been tens of thousands of them!"

He Zun gestured with his hands, his agitated tone mixed with a hint of panic. "Everyone was covered in snakes, rolling around and screaming…"

Li Yan added, "Then A Yang's gun also turned into a snake. We fell down to the floor… they crawled onto us and bit us. I could still vividly…"

At that, they both stopped talking abruptly, recalling the misery of being swallowed by ten thousand snakes.

"..."

Old Priest Mo managed to retain his composure with much self-constraint, but tempestuous waves were billowing underneath. 'That was surely Taoism! The real Taoism itself!' Having been pursuing it strenuously his entire life without any success, he was finally given the opportunity to witness it.

Overwhelmed with a myriads of thoughts, he stood there absent-mindedly, as if in a trance.

"Priest?"

"Priest?"

He did not recover from the chaos in his emotions until they called him several times. Calming down, he said, "At this point, I guess I should let you know the truth. That Senior is a master who is not concerned with this mundane world. What you went through was a conjuring skill of his."

"A conjuring skill…"

The two man laughed in disbelief and felt their world overturned in that instant. It was quite a while before He Zun was able to make a sound again. "Are you saying that there are immortal men in this world for real?" [1]

"Hoho, 'immortal men' isn't the exact term I'd use."

While they were at it, Priest Mo thought he might as well reveal a little bit more. He explained, "We are people of the cultivation community, each following his own teachings. People like us have always been present in this world, but there are only a handful of us and you common folk do not have the ability to identify one even if you meet them.

I am in no way comparable to that young master. I myself will thereby give you two a piece of advice: it'll only do you good to let this thing drop right now and not cause any other complications. He has skills unfathomable to you. Offend him and you are putting your life at risk.

And remember, under no circumstances should you let others know about it. Otherwise, the entire Taoist community will be disturbed and start its own investigation. By then, you cannot even be sure of your safety, let alone those worldly power of yours."

"..."

Another round of silence fell over the room. Li Yan replied, "Thank you for taking the trouble to educate us. Please allow us to think it through."

"All right. I myself will stay here for a couple more days and won't be going back with you. I'll bid you farewell here."

With that, he flipped his sleeves and left. The two miserable middle-aged men remained behind to rack their brains.

Should they wait for an opportunity to take revenge?

The priest couldn't make it clearer. Should they try that, they would not even realize what hit them when they die. Thinking back to their sons' symptoms and those densely packed black snakes, well, they dropped the idea immediately.

How about leaking out the news?

They did not need others to tell them the answer to that. They might be somebody in Shengtian, but they would be nobody on a national scale. They still cherished their lives and were not at all that eager to provoke the true giants.

In that case, it seemed that admitting their defeat was the only choice left. Forget about their whacked sons and the cheeks that got slapped—even if they were swollen with humiliation!

They might be feeling oppressed and treated unjustly, but...

Having experienced the hustle and bustle in this mortal world for this many years, the two men were incredibly adaptable to just about any circumstances. Considering this incident from another angle, they had actually obtained a rather favorable position! That young Immortal would not meet just anybody!

They didn't need much. As long as they could make a slightly better impression on the young master, the fortune would be turning to their side. Achieving immortality would be too long a stretch, but surely longevity should be something attainable? Just look at old Priest Mo...

To these men, could there be anything more tempting?

Gu Yu was unaware of what was going on in those people's head. For one split second back there, he was considering eradicating them all. Unfortunately, he did not have the required strength and the aftermath would be difficult to cope with.

Both He and Li families were influential in Shengtian. Having the two die at the same time would bring way too much trouble for him to handle.

After calming himself down, he broke out in cold sweat involuntarily. He hated the idea of 'looking down on all creatures', yet could not help but lean towards it.

Gu Yu did not want to turn into a condescending and pretentious being. Obsession, love, compassion, persistence, abhorrence, longing, sorrow, pain, struggle, hesitation… he would not exchange any of these emotions for the world--otherwise, what fun was there left to live in this world?

He got back home from the Zeng manor in the afternoon and went on concocting the incense.

By evening, the second exam day for Fang Qing was over and the Fang family invited him over for dinner again. According to the girl, she did pretty well again today. The only subject left was the comprehensive arts exam tomorrow, which mainly consisted of mechanical memorizing stuff and was a strong point of Fang Qing.

The girl was full of confidence. Getting in No. Two High School should not be a problem at all.

Gu Yu did not leave the Fang family until six in the evening. As soon as he reached his own gate, he saw a dark figure standing in his yard. Moving closer, he recognized the old Priest Mo.

"You are still here?" Gu Yu found that rather strange.

"..."

The old priest's facial impression was a telltale sign that he was struggling on the inside. He seemed to clench his teeth when he dropped down to his knees with a thump. "Senior, please direct me towards the right path!"

[1] ED/N: There is a joke that cannot be translated: TL/N: About that laugh—the expression "红红火火" is equivalent to "哈哈哈哈", but is more comical. The pinyin of both expressions start with letters "hhhh" (hong hong huo huo, ha ha ha ha), which would produce a list of words to choose from when you use a Chinese input. "红红火火" comes out further up the list than "哈哈哈哈" and it just sounds funnier in Chinese. On its own, "红红火火" means "prosperous" or "flourishing".

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