Chapter 6: The Scholar (2)
This basin appeared to be the Hell Mantises‘ old nest. Pretty much a swarm of Hell Mantises of all sizes, both big and small, were all over the place. Yet somehow the sound of the qin carried Miao Yi right past them, narrowly avoiding their group entirely.
Obviously, if Miao Yi hadn’t come here due to the sound of the qin, and instead had come here by mistake, he would have been eaten by the Hell Mantises, until not even his bones were spared.
When the qin’s melody stopped, he had arrived at the side of the lake shrouded by cold mist, a mountain situated by its banks. The waters of the lake were calm. The qin’s melody had stopped abruptly.
The melody of the qin had indeed come to an end, because the ‘scholar’ had stopped playing. He stood at the edge of the cliff, the plain green cloak returned to his shoulders once more.
Miao Yi didn’t notice him, but the scholar had already caught sight of the puzzled Miao Yi who carefully peered about at the foot of the mountain.
The scholar clasped his hands behind his back, as he stared with downcast eyes at Miao Yi. He opened his mouth and calmly uttered, “The unblessed will not have luck. Those who enter the Boundless Secular World will either die a violent death or return home empty-handed. They would have difficulty in getting within twenty li near the basin. Those who are not equipped with both wisdom and a valiant character, would have difficulty in getting within twenty li near the basin. Those who have been here for a period of more than half a month would anxiously head back, so what right would they have to see me? Those who trespass within twenty li of the basin, yet cannot empathise with me or is not my Fated One, their fates will not end well. One hundred thousand years have elapsed in a flash. Since my Fated One has arrived, why waste time? Hurry and come up to meet me!”
After he finished, mist rolled in from afar. As he looked down from his position on top of the mountain peak, he could vaguely see the swarm of Hell Mantises being enveloped all around by the swiftly arriving dense mist.
Miao Yi, who was at the bottom of the mountain, did not hear a word that was said. He was still glancing around in alertness, wondering where the qin’s melody had gone to?
When he saw there was actually a man-made stone staircase at the foot of the mountain, which seemed to lead the way up, he carried the butcher knife and moved nearer, slowly climbing up one step at a time.
Once he stepped onto the mountain peak, he was instantly drawn in by the sight of a large stone. A flying nymph was depicted on the large stone; lithe, relaxed and graceful. Although it was a statue, the sculpt was extremely life-like, as well as so poignantly beautiful a person couldn’t help but look twice.
Fate ends not when the Immortal Hero has a path to walk, a boat made of white bones sails the boundless sea of blood!
Two vertical lines of large, blood-red wordings were situated at the side of the woman’s carved figure, akin to a background narration. The words looked bloody and awe-inspiring, exuding an extraordinary aura, but their meaning was unknown.
The flying nymph’s appearance was very attractive, but considering his current location, Miao Yi had no interest in leisurely admiring it. He gripped the butcher knife and continued walking forward.
After advancing several meters, Miao Yi stopped again after noticing a figure standing beside the cliff, with hands clasped behind their back. Seeing this, Miao Yi held the butcher knife nervously as he asked, “Were you the one playing the qin?”
The scholar turned slowly and looked at Miao Yi with scrutiny.
Seeing the scholar's appearance, Miao Yi was instantly shocked, his eyes widened and with mouth agape. He had never seen a man that good-looking, with an aura that reached above the clouds. The eyes that studied him were like those of an Immortal looking down from above the Nine Heavens.
“Immortal?” Miao Yi asked nervously.
The scholar shook his head.
Miao Yi asked again, “Demon?”
The scholar shook his head once more.
Miao Yi abruptly raised his hand and smacked his forehead as he laughed uncontrollably, realizing he was worrying too much for nothing. No matter if they were a god, demon, devil, ghost or a monster, they would not be able to enter the Boundless Secular World unless they were mortals. If not, the Immortals outside would have already entered by now.
Miao Yi smiled and said, “Uncle, you are so handsome.”
The scholar nodded with a smile, as if giving thanks for the compliment.
Seeing that the scholar had no weapons, Miao Yi felt slightly relieved and asked again, “Were you the one playing the qin?”
“I was only drawn here by the melody of the qin,” the scholar finally spoke. His tone was weirdly calm, as he waved his hand and pointed at an ancient qin. “Only the qin is seen, but the qin player is nowhere to be found. I wonder who was playing the qin.”
“Err……” Miao Yi turned his gaze to the platform and felt slightly speechless. If it weren’t for the scholar pointing it out, he really wouldn’t have noticed that the gigantic thing was actually a qin. As he walked closer to see it, he immediately felt his heart stir.
Upon approaching the instrument, he felt an unknown pressure from the qin, and even glancing at it caused his heart to palpitate. The feeling was not due to the qin’s great size.
”Is this really a qin?” Miao Yi asked, unable to stop himself.
The scholar answered quietly, “Should be.“
“What a gigantic qin……” A thought suddenly flashed across Miao Yi's mind, unknown to others. Miao Yi looked left and right to check if there were other people. He suddenly spread out his arms and held the qin, grunting as he leaned on it for a while, with his face flushed red.
The scholar looked astonished as he wondered what Miao Yi was doing.
After watching for a while, the scholar understood and grinned.
The scholar hadn’t guessed wrong. Miao Yi had already assumed that this qin was a treasure, because it was impossible for ordinary people to play due to its huge size. Thus, Miao Yi had the idea of taking it. There was no one else around, the scholar didn’t look the type that could fight and had no weapons, while he himself did. Therefore, he wanted to seize this chance to flee with this ancient qin.
However, the thing that made Miao Yi frustrated was that even when he exerted his full strength, he couldn’t move this ancient qin, not even an inch. It was as heavy as a mountain.
As Miao Yi really couldn’t move it, in the end he let go of the ancient qin and smiled awkwardly, “I was only checking how heavy it is. And it really is heavy…...Uncle, what’s your surname?”
“Just call me Lao Bai.” The scholar smiled and stared at the ancient qin as he asked, “You want to take it outside?”
Miao Yi said with disdain, “You don’t want to take it outside?”
The scholar answered, “I too, wouldn’t be able to move it.”
Miao Yi tried asking again, “Are you going to go back and find people to move it outside?”
The scholar shook his head slightly as he answered, “I would suggest that you keep this ancient qin a secret, otherwise, you will only bring trouble to yourself.”
Miao Yi felt dubious as he asked again, “Why?”
The scholar smiled softly and said, “Didn’t you notice how dangerous it was on your way here? If the Immortals outside knew, even if they sent men to to help you move the qin, they would definitely ask you to lead the way. Therefore, I won’t mention this qin when I get out, because I don’t wish to bring trouble upon myself.”
Miao Yi pondered for a while. He couldn’t help but admit that what the scholar said made sense. Disregarding the date for when the Ultimate Formation would be sealed off, Miao Yi himself had already experienced the dangers in this place. It was already considered lucky for him to be able to make it this far. If he was forced by the Immortals to lead the way, he might not be able to make it back alive.
Miao Yi thought it through and realized that he could only leave this qin aside temporarily. He then stared at the scholar, whose clothes looked clean and spotless and asked, “You really didn’t see who played the qin just now?”
“If you are talking about just now, I did simply pluck it a few times.” The scholar walked to the qin and stretched his fingers as he plucked the strings, making a bell-like melody which sounded like the flow of water.
As the melody of the qin rang, Miao Yi quivered. In that very instant, it was as if he were a man possessed, as he stared at the trembling strings with a blank expression.
“You are so young, so why did you risk your life to come here?” The scholar didn’t even turn his head. He only stared at his own five fingers that were playing the qin, and nonchalantly asked his question.
It was as if Miao Yi were dreaming. Whatever the scholar asked, he answered honestly.
When the scholar asked everything he wanted to know, he plucked the string with his index finger, making a “Dong” sound. Miao Yi immediately woke up from his absent-minded state.
Before he realized what was going on, the scholar stretched out his hand towards Miao Yi, showing a piece of jewelry in his palm.
It was a string of dark green beads. It seemed to be a necklace, appearing simple but very pleasant to look at.
Miao Yi exclaimed in shock, “For me?”