High in the sky, the winds roared.
"Die!" Lord Sky Crane screamed, using his remaining strength to turn into a white light, crashing towards First Generation Gu Yue.
"You're too naive to think of killing me." Blood wight opened his mouth, his fangs exposed, as he charged ahead.
A large explosion occurred, the impact pushing the two away by a long distance.
Both were injured!
"As long as the mountain remains, water continues to flow". Junior brother, remember today's grudge, I will repay it someday." First Generation Gu Yue laughed loudly, activating his bat wings, trying to fly away.
Suddenly a huge shadow appeared in the sky.
He raised his head, only to see that heavily injured iron beak flying crane king.
"Not dead? Damn it..." First gen Gu Yue's expression changed.
Being intercepted by the iron beak flying crane king, Lord Sky Crane caught up and unleashed a pincer attack. Eventually, the flying crane king's corpse fell to the ground, while blood wight was completely destroyed.
Lord Sky Crane grabbed First Generation Gu Yue's head, floating in mid-air, after his gaze was scattered for a while, he finally regained his concentration.
He raised his head and laughed three times, and then started crying.
After venting his emotions, he flew towards Qing Mao mountain, but was suppressed by Bai Ning Bing's self-detonation, forcing him to use the Life-burial Jade Gu, after he broke out of the ice, he frantically searched around, but only found Fang Zheng who was at his dying breath from under the ice.
The images on the wall, showed this scene truthfully.
What happened next will be skipped, it is the scenery along the path Lord Sky Crane travelled.
Immortal Crane Sect is one of the oldest sects in the Middle Continent. In practice, when a person in the sect goes out for an emergency mission, they would bring along a Gu worm that will record the process.
Regardless of whether the mission succeeds, the Gu Master will return to the mountain and report the results, and the sect will evaluate the assessment based on the events that were recorded.
Lord Sky Crane, although a sect elder, was also not freed from this rule.
However, he was too senior in authority and barely any Gu Masters had the qualification to assess him in the sect; not even the current Immortal Crane Sect leader could.
But at this point, the elderly sitting in front of Lord Sky Crane was not an ordinary person.
Supreme Elder He Feng Yang, Rank 6 Gu Master, titled Winged Crane Flying Immortal!
He was wearing a white robe with a black belt, sitting on a futon with wide sleeves.
His face looked like a youngster, smooth as jade. His eyebrows were green and long, extending to his waist. His eerie dark eyes stared at the scene in the wall, and then slowly retracted his gaze.
Lord Sky Crane stood beside him politely, not even daring to breathe loudly.
Truthfully speaking, Lord Sky Crane had been asleep for almost a thousand years, and the Crane immortal was still his junior. However, seniority was not determined by age, but by strength.
Lord Sky Crane was rank 5, and although he was only a rank away from He Feng Yang, this distance was like an entire world apart, the difference between heaven and earth.
Rank 5 are mortals, rank 6 are immortals!
"Lord Sky Crane." He Feng Yang spoke slowly, his voice as soothing as the calm river water.
"I am here." Lord Sky Crane quickly replied.
"Although you killed our sect's traitor this time, you did not manage to retrieve the blood skull gu. Instead, you were suppressed and toyed around by two juniors..." in the room, He Feng Yang's voice reverbed.
Lord Sky Crane's head was hung even lower, showing signs of shame.
"However, one of
them is the Northern Dark Ice Soul Physique, no surprise you got suppressed. What's fortunate is that you tried to make amendments later. Let me ask you, the young man that you brought back, is he really the twin of the young man in the video?" He Feng Yang asked.
"I've already investigated, it is so. The one that escaped is his older brother Fang Yuan, the one captured is the younger brother Fang Zheng. What's stranger is, these two are not on good terms. When I showed him the video of his brother slaughtering their clansmen, he hated his brother so much he would kill him on the spot." Lord Sky Crane laughed eerily.
He Feng Yang nodded: "It seems you have a plan, but do you have enough time?"
Lord Sky Crane's expression changed, his face turning solemn: "Supreme elder is right. My lifespan is at its limit, I am about to die, with only a few days left to live. Even the life-burial jade gu cannot change my fate."
His situation can only be resolved by finding a lifespan gu, to solve the root problem.
But lifespan gu is hard to find, there are a few in Immortal Crane Sect, but they are not for him. They are held in the hands of the sect leader and some supreme elders.
"Thus, I have given up my lifetime's saving and gu worms earlier, to exchange for a spirit incubating flea. I've brought Fang Zheng into our sect, and made him my pupil. Afterwards I will teach him, and refine the bloodkin worm. I will then incite him to kill his brother, and retrieve the blood skull gu for our Immortal Crane Sect!" Lord Sky Crane said.
He Feng Yang raised his eyebrows: "It sounds like you are confident of your plans. But, will that Fang Zheng really be manipulated by you?"
"Although he had good talent, he is after all a kid. After I die, and store my soul in the spirit incubating flea, I will accompany him to grow, and advise him in cultivation. The road has already been paved for him, all he has to do is to walk!"
Saying so, Lord Sky Crane kneeled on the ground, begging: "Please give me another chance supreme elder!"
He Feng Yang was solemn, before saying: "Nevermind, this might be your last attempt anyway."
"Thank you elder, thank you elder!" Lord Sky Crane was overjoyed.
"Go, I await your good news."
"Within twenty years, I will attain success!" Lord Sky Crane was excited and his tone was trembling, as he made his way out.
Southern borders, Wan Cheng mountain, Tie clan city.
The tall thick blackrock walls, extended thousands of li. Tie clan city was built at the upper half of the mountain, many rock houses, steel towers, lined up and extended to the mountain peak.
The sunlight shone down on people who moved about in the city; carriages, horses and crowds, showing off a scene of prosperity.
Clan leader pavilion is situated at the mountain peak, heavily defended, and have little people moving around. Patrolling groups take turns and the Gu Masters are all vigilant, with not a hint of slack.
On top of the clan leader pavillion, two people were standing.
A middle aged man with a face cold as steel, with some warmth in his eyes.
Beside him was a young girl, having a sad but determined gaze.
It was Tie Ruo Nan.
"You've only been back for a few days right? This is the 19th time you are asking me. I am extremely upset by your father's death. You lost your mother early, and now your father too, but you must remember, you have me, your uncle. You are my niece, I will not put you in danger." Tie clan leader sighed.
Tie Ruo Nan's eyes were shining, staring straight at Tie clan leader: "Uncle do you know? Although father passed away, I feel happy for him amidst my sadness. Father has spent his life eliminating evil, punishing crime. He did it, even with his injuries he did not back down. He walked on his path and finished it with resolution. And now, it is time for me to do the same."
Tie clan leader was stunned.
This moment, he could see Tie Xie Leng's shadow in Tie Ruo Nan.
So similar, these eyes, this gaze.
In his recollection, he seemed to have returned to his younger days, with Tie Xie Leng by his side, staring at the demon suppression tower at the peak of the mountain, saying with determination: "I will bring down all crime in this world, and fill the world with justice and love! Locking all demonic Gu Masters in the demon suppression tower, even if I have to fill it up!"
The oath back then, was still echoing in his ears. But his friend is no longer around…...
Seeing the two images overlap, Tie clan leader shook his head, dispelling the memories, he looked at the adamant Tie Ruo Nan with an admiring, loving, worried, and encouraging gaze: "The path that you chose is not an easy one."
TRN did not answer, but looked at the mountain peak.
On Wan Cheng mountain's peak area, there is a majestic steel tower.
Its aura was overwhelming, like it is holding up the heavens, stepping on the mountains. The white clouds surround it like a mist, causing others to see it in a foggy image, adding a hint of mystery to the tower.
This tower is not only famous in the southern borders, but also famous all over the world, even in middle continent many people know of it.
Demon suppression tower!
The tower itself is a over three hundred metres tall, with almost a hundred floors. It was designed to be rustic, and ancient, overflowing with righteousness. Since it was built, hundreds, thousands, and even ten thousand demonic Gu Masters have been imprisoned by Tie clan.
Even Tie clan leader was not sure.
It was the symbol of righteousness, the pride of the Tie Gu Masters. It is also the resting place for many demonic cultivators, leaving behind their anguish, regret, indignance, and remorse.
Demonic Gu Masters pale when talking about it, and righteous Gu Masters dance in pride when speaking of it!
Tie Ruo Nan opened her mouth, her tone determined, like she was talking to Tie clan leader, and also herself: "Wan Cheng mountain peak has a demon suppression tower. My heart also has a demon suppression tower, this path, father could not finish walking on it, I will walk it for him!"
"I can hold on much longer..." Chen Cui Hua felt her head spinning, feeling sick and wanting to vomit at times. But she had nothing to vomit, and her body felt weak, as a sense of lethargy hit her.
Her plan to was hold on for three days, but a day had passed and she knew she was too optimistic.
The danger the python poison caused her was worsening. She knew she was being forced into a dead end; she needed to find a healing gu worm as soon as possible.
"God damn it, if not for those two bastards, I might've caught a wild gu and cured my poison already." She felt uneasy, after getting poisoned, she had been trying to find a healing gu, but amidst the large forest, filled with danger, she did not have any catching methods and have no made any progress.
Bai Ning Bing raised her dagger, cutting towards her right ear.
"Hold it." Fang Yuan stretched out his arm, grabbing Bai Ning Bing's limb.
The sharp knife was only a millimetre away from her right ear.
To use the earth hearing ear grass, one needed to cut off their right ear and replace it. It was just a ear, nothing much, especially compared to the rewards, Bai Ning Bing did not feel any hesitation.
Demonic cultivators, were ruthless in nature; ruthless to others, and even more to themselves!
Only people like who can give up what is needed and can have a great achievement.
"No need to do so, she's out." Fang Yuan said, starting to move.
He used the earth hearing ear grass, following Chen Cui Hua from far away.
Not long later, he heard fighting noises.
The two moved closely with the dense shrubs, following behind secretly, only to see this demonic female Gu Master fighting with a twin-headed boar.
After watching for a while, their eyes shone with excitement.
Chen Cui Hua's situation was disastrous, her battle strength was lower than ordinary by a large margin. This twin-headed boar is a hundred beast king, having a defensive gu.
"This is a battle of attrition, we can take advantage of them."
"She really buried the charred thunder potato gu!"
"A bit strange, this Gu Master fought for so long, why isn't her primeval essence running out?"
"It seems she has some support gu like the heavenly essence treasure lotus, or fish bubble gu etc…"
After another short while, Fang Yuan saw that the time was right, and called the stealth scales gu, handing it to Bai Ning Bing.
Bai Ning Bing understood and nodded in agreement, hiding his body and getting closer secretly.
Another explosion occurred, the twin-headed boar stepped on another charred thunder potato gu.
This time, it fell for good, never getting up again. It laid on the ground, continuing to struggle as its stomach was blown open. Its intestines started to flow out as its blood oozed out.
"This damn boar, what a thick skin. Only after so many explosions did it die!" Chen Cui Hua breathed roughly, leading against a tree, seeing darkness ahead of her.
This battle drained her last remaining energy, as extremely fatigue hit her.
The fear in her heart sustained her, preventing her from just fainting immediately.
"No, I have to hurry back to the cave, if I collapse in the wild, it will be too dangerous!"
She was about to move, when she felt wind by her ears.
"Strange, how can there be wind?" This was the last question in her lifetime.
Bai Ning Bing patiently got closer, and struck like lightning. She used the boar's death, to cause the demonic female Gu Master to let down her guard, then killed her in one strike!
Chen Cui Hua's brain was smashed by the chainsaw golden centipede, as her headless body plopped on the ground.
"We did it." Fang Yuan laughed heartily, walking over quickly.
Bai Ning Bing had already squatted down, her mind entering Chen Cui Hua's aperture, slightly disappointed: "There's only three gu in the aperture."
Gu worms that were refined by Gu Masters were slightly rigid, not as witty as wild Gu worms.
The demonic female Gu Master was dead. Her aperture started to get dark, as the three Gu worms remained inside.
But this was no problem for Fang Yuan.
"Plunder Gu!" He willed, easily retrieving these three Gu.
They were: One rice bag grass Gu, one iron thorn thistle Gu, and a charred thunder bean mother Gu.
These were not all.
Fang Yuan searched around, and found a hairy leg Gu in the demonic female Gu Master, a jumping grass Gu. Lastly he found a bookworm in her smashed brain matter.
Unfortunately, this bookworm had already been killed by Bai Ning Bing's attack earlier.
"This bookworm has to be the inheritance item, the information inside helped her to learn many things about Gu Masters, it should have some secret recipes etc." Fang Yuan said in pity.
"Nevermind the bookworm, there's no healing Gu in this demonic Gu Master?" Bai Ning Bing was greatly disappointed.
Fang Yuan was solemn, not speaking.
He expected her to not have a healing Gu already, since she was poisoned and if she had a healing Gu, even if it could not remove the poison, she would not be in such a bad state.
What he felt weird was, in the battle earlier, this demonic Gu Master's performance was weird. Especially in terms of primeval essence, her recovery speed surpassed A grade, in par with the ten extreme physiques.
But she was not a ten extreme physique, only having A grade talent, and among these Gu worms, none could help recover primeval essence.
"So this is how the breasts are tied." At this time, Bai Ning Bing unfolded the demonic female Gu Master's breast wraps.
Fang Yuan's gaze was fixated on the silver triangle tattoo on the corpse's breasts.
"The third watch Gu!" Fang Yuan was surprised.
"Third watch Gu, what's that?" Bai Ning Bing raised her eyebrows.
"This Gu is rank 5, able to accelerate time by three times. It is gone after one use, an expenditure type Gu. Once used on a Gu Master, it will form a silver triangle tattoo on their chest."
Soon after, Fang Yuan explained in detail.
Third watch Gu, when used on a Gu Master, caused their time to flow three times as fast.
The river of time, flowing at its pace, measured at a singular speed. To normal people, a day is a day.
But to the third watch Gu's user, a day is akin to three days condensed into one.
Chen Cui Hua who had the third watch Gu, experienced rapid cultivation growth. When others used one day to nurture their aperture, she used three. The difference in speed is evidently seen.
There is another advantage, that is primeval essence recovery. On her, the river of time flows faster, three times of normal people. Thus, her primeval essence recover is also three times.
This is also why, in the battle earlier, her recovery was something that caught Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing by surprise.
But everything has two sides, good and bad.
With such a great effect, the third watch Gu has an equivalent weakness!
The worse was, it expended lifespan. When time flows three times as fast, her lifespan shrinks in proportion, reduced to a third of the original.
Chen Cui Hua only got her inheritance for less than a year, but to her it was almost three years.
Also, any injuries or illnesses that required time to aggravate, would intensify on her.
The green python's poison, needed time to infiltrate her body, and worsen. When others get poisoned, they experience the worsening of poison at a daily rate. But to her, it was three days worth of worsening everyday.
This is also why the poison affected her so greatly.
"To be given this third watch Gu, it seems this woman's inheritance is at least a rank 5 inheritance. Unfortunately, it had gone to waste, falling in the hands of such a person." Bai Ning Bing snorted, looking at the headless corpse in disdain.
In the long run, the third watch Gu's danger is huge, shrinking the Gu Master's life to a third. But the truth is, this Gu is very useful to a demonic Gu Master.
Demonic Gu Masters fight alone, without any clan or sect's support. They also have to guard against the ganged attack of the righteous faction, and thus put survival as their priority.
Only living is important, everything else can be discarded.
The higher their cultivation, the greater their chances to survive.
Third watch Gu can condense a Gu Master's life, displaying their full potential at once, like the sakura blossoms, or fireworks, shortlived but brilliance.
But without the third watch Gu, the sakura's buds won't grow in time, and would have been uprooted already.
"This is nothing strange, those who use the third watch Gu are all courageous and forward looking people. But this woman had a different personality, weak and meek, like dragging and have no courage to move ahead. Thus she ended up like this, it is life." Fang Yuan gave the corpse a final look, before concluding.
Bai Ning Bing's expression was ugly.
Without a healing gu, what outcome would they face. This demonic female Gu Master was the best example.
Would this be her future as well?
Fang Yuan laughed instead, patting her shoulders, consoling: "The paths in this world can carved out by humans. Everyone has their own paths, no matter how wide others' path is, it might not suit you. We are both walking on our own paths, what is there to worry?"
Hearing so, Bai Ning Bing's expression froze, before lightening up, nodding: "You are right."
Fang Yuan squinted, gazing at the dense forest ahead.
After killing this demonic Gu Master, and obtaining her Gu worms, his strength increased tremendously.
But he knows that he lacked a healing Gu, and did not place his hopes in his luck.
From now on, he might get a healing Gu, or be like this demonic female Gu Master, not getting anything even until death. Or the next moment, he might get trampled by wild beasts and die, ending his ambitions.
But so what?
Stepping on his path, and continuing forward; that is all there is to do.Third watch meaning the third shift in night patrol.