This was the second time trying to reach second-level Heaven's Mandate.
Feiyun opened his palms again; the spirit stones inside have been used up by half.
He quickly gathered three thousand strands of violet energy in his dantian. They were surging down there and caused his body to tremble. An unprecedented eruption of power occurred.
"Boom!" The central palace exploded like a big bang. It expanded and became several times wider than before, allowing it to contain much more violet energy.
He had officially entered the second level. Even though it was only one level, his power had increased by several folds.
He opened his eyes and two plumes of flame surged out. If anyone were to take a careful look, they would see that there were two shadows of a fiery bird within.
The Heavenly Phoenix Gaze had broken through as well, reaching the "Corporeal Discernment" level. His two rays destroyed the formations in the cave and rushed straight to the sky. The clouds nearby began to burn, creating a beautiful river of fire.
'My gaze is finally at the minor completion level, its offensive power won't be weaker than a spirit treasure.' Feiyun was quite pleased with himself.
At his current level, he could easily erase third-level Heaven's Mandate cultivators and was strong enough to handle any fourth-level. If he were to use the vessel and use its strongest attacks, he would become even more powerful.
Though he didn't know how strong the upper historical geniuses were at this moment, the gap between them couldn't be so great, if there was one at all.
He stopped meditating and noticed that Ye Xiaoxiang has escaped again. She would always do so if there was a chance. Earlier, the gazes had broken through the formations by the entrance so she ran away.
"Feng Feiyun, let me go, I have never done anything to you so why won't you let me go?" She was captured by Feiyun again since she didn't make it out of the river area just yet.
He used a rope to restrain her hands this time and held on to the other end. 'We'll see how you're going to run now'.
"Sorry, a friend of mine owes you a favor so I must take you back safely to the capital. If you run around like this, they'll capture you in less than six hours and who knows if you'll survive afterward." He walked in front and pulled on the rope while Ye Xiaoxiang unhappily followed behind him.
The famous Maestro Ye probably had never seen someone who didn't show any mercy towards her like this.
They made it to below the towering statue to rest again. Even its heel was as large as a hill.
There were many citizens prostrating on the ground and burning money and incense to worship this statue. They were very pious and considered it a goddess.
Feiyun stopped an old man and asked respectfully: "Hi, is everyone here villagers from below the mountain?"
The old man saw that he had a tied-up beauty behind him and thought that he was a human trafficker. He quivered with fear and stammered: "I, I, don't know anything!"
He pulled an old woman and ran along the river towards the downstream area and quickly disappeared from Feiyun's sight.
"Do I look like a bad guy?" In the end, he had to untie her and went to ask another old woman with gray hair.
The old woman saw that the pair was quite good-looking and clearly not bad people. She cheerfully told Feiyun: "My house is at a village eight miles downstream. Recently, there are many strange things happening here and people saw unclean things. That's why everyone came to pray to the goddess so that she can protect our village."
Just the omission of a rope gave a completely different first impression. Appearance alone wasn't enough to distinguish good from bad.
Feiyun smiled and said: "Aunty, you are saying that this statue is the Jin River Goddess?"
"Yes, this has been passed down all along. Because of the goddess' protection, our village was able to have peace and no disasters." She bowed towards the goddess again.
Feiyun sneered in his mind. This vile Shui Yueting is considered a goddess? If it wasn't for the protectors inside Faith Convent, he would have broken down this statue already.
Feiyun asked again: "Oh, Aunty, do you know if there is a shrine for the goddess too? I want to offer my respect."
The old woman contemplated before answering: "I've been living here for a few decades now but I've never heard of a shrine. Young lad, if you want to offer your respect, the statue ahead will be fine."
"Ah, okay, thank you." Feiyun's eyes became serious. The turtle shell clearly had records of a shrine as well as the mysterious story about the two siblings. How could it not be here?
Maybe too much time had passed and the shrine, as well as that particular village, were gone now?
'Why?' Feiyun became disappointed. His clue was cut off again.
'Shui Yueting, why is your statue from the past appearing here all of a sudden, what is going on?'
"Hey, did you not hear aunty talking about the strange things going on at her village?" Ye Xiaoxiang was unhappy.
Feiyun regained his wits and said: "So what?"
"You're so strong so you should lend them a hand." She said.
"Why should I?" He asked.
"Why are you so cold? If you don't help them, so many people might die there. How can you stand and do nothing?" Her dissatisfaction grew.
Feiyun took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead before looking deeply at her. This woman was too kind, even worrying about the struggles of mortals. She had no arrogance usually found in a beauty.
Despite being the sixth beauty in the dynasty on top of her good fame, she didn't consider herself amazing or anything. On the contrary, her heart was still innocent and kind. This was a very rare and praiseworthy characteristic.
"Are you joking? We're being hunted right now, when do we have time to carry about others? Who will care for our wellbeing then?" Feiyun wasn't someone who tried to be on good terms with everyone. He only wanted to survive in this cruel world so he must be careful with each step. A single mistake could bring about damnation.
"I'll go myself then, hmph, coward!" She looked at him with disdain. Having said that, she started walking downstream.
Feiyun had been loved and hated by women. Some even tried to kill him before. However, this look of disdain was the first.
'Damn, what is that look?!' He thought to himself.
"I dare you to say it again?!" He shouted with a force that made her stumble and fall on the ground. Her slender legs became numb from the soundwave so she couldn't get back up.
Tears were about to drip out: "But you're really a coward. So what if the Beiming is trying to find us? If I'm not afraid, why should a man like you be afraid?'
"Who says I'm afraid? I just don't want to expose our location and bring on needless trouble." Despite his answer, Feiyun was a bit moved. Even a woman like her was so kind yet he was gradually becoming more aloof and distant while viewing others' lives as trash.
'I'm not an emotionless person like this. Remember, I helped that girl from the tea shop and took down the oppressors. Why can't I do the same now?' He thought.
Could it be that as one grew stronger and gained higher status, they would believe themselves to be infallible and stopped caring for others? 'I'm indeed inferior to this girl in this regards.'
"Why are you staring at me like that? What do you want… I was just speaking my mind… you can't be this narrow-minded…" Ye Xiaoxiang became a bit nervous while watching Feiyun approach closer.
'What am I going to do if he wants to do something…' She was scared.
Feiyun crouched down and condensed a black mist in his palm before placing it on her beautiful thighs. This mist permeated throughout her legs and the numbing sensation gradually lessened.
But now, a different numbness came instead since she could feel his masculine touch: 'This guy-y…'
"Okay, let's go." He withdrew his palm and began walking downstream.
She stood up and stared at his back before asking: "Where to?"
"To that small village. Looks like I want to be an exorcist tonight and find some ghosts." He teased.
She became slightly surprised. This guy was inscrutable, as ferocious as a devil at times but now, he seemed to be someone completely different.