Hidden Moat City.
It was a city in the mortal world that was densely populated, covered in rivers, full of vessels, and extremely flourishing.
The streets were crowded with every sort of figure like scholars, peddlers, guards, jugglers, performers, and storytellers, and they could be seen everywhere.
Chen Xi felt a dense air of the mortal world assault his face as soon as he arrived in Hidden Moat City. The boundless mortal world was bustling, and it was completely different from the cultivation world.
"Rich Jade Steamed Buns, Rich Jade Steamed Buns right out of the steamer… My humble ancestor had once worker in the imperial kitchen. The founder of the Dynasty had once made an inspection and eaten the steamed bun my humble ancestor steamed, and he praised it profusely."
"Onlookers, this feathered fan was sewn together by the number one talent of Cleansed Jade Pavilion, whereas the poetry on the fan itself is from the Imperial Academy's number one scholar, Zhuang Wuyu. The feathered fan is suffused with fragrance and is a valued piece of poetry, and it's only 80 gold pieces. Don't miss this opportunity." This was the cry of a feathered fan peddler.
"The Immortal Jing Si opened her elegant mouth to spit out an immortal sword with a swish, and it just seemed like a white ray of light that penetrated the sun. Cold winds rustled as the immortal sword covered the heavens and the earth, and it terrified Old Devil Flowering Willow to the point his soul almost left his body, and he flashed off with the intent of fleeing…" Within a tea house, a storyteller was telling a story animatedly.
"Ah, so it's Brother Qing Xian. You're going to head to the capital for the exams as well? I heard the Imperial Academy's Head Examiner is Lord Xiao Jinyu. He's an upright and impartial person that possesses a powerful style of writing, and he detests flowery writing that's flashy but without substance the most. We have to consider Lord Xiao Jinyu's preference properly when we write, otherwise we'll probably fail the exam."
"You're right, Brother Feng Bao. Didn't we study the books of sages and men of virtue in spite of hardships for the sake of passing the examinations and being renowned in the world. Once I'm successful in the exams, I'll surely head to the number one brothel in the capital, Falling Cloud Pavilion, to have a nice drink before having a good time with the number one prostitute."
"Haha! Passing the examinations, having a wedding night, and running into an old friend in a distant land. Aren't these three prides of life things that we admire and yearn for? Brother Qing Xian, let's go have a drink and chat happily. We'll enjoy ourselves now and not waste our youth."
Two scholars in scholarly clothes were walking on the street as they chatted, and they seemed to be scholars that were heading to the capital for the exam and were filled with yearning and hope.
As he looked at the scenes before his eyes and heard the various voices on the streets, Chen Xi's mind calmed down unconsciously.
He strolled on the streets of the mortal world while experiencing the emotions of commoners, and he seemed to be lost in thought as he watched them bustle about for the sake of their livelihoods.
This was the mortal world, it was like a chaotic wave that the myriad of living beings traversed through while living and dying according to god's will. Even though they were tiny and ordinary like ants yet they lived and died endlessly, forming the myriad of forms of the mortal world and drove the changes in history.
Cultivators struggle beneath the Heaven Dao and work hard for the sake of obtaining eternal life. Commoners rise and fall on the path of life, carrying out manual labor for the sake of their own livelihoods. How laughable is it that cultivators look down upon commoners and feel they're supreme, and they think all living beings are ants? But under the Heaven Dao, who is the one that's truly tiny and like an ant?
If I'm able to stand above the Heaven Dao in this lifetime, then would I be able to transcend above everything? Chen Xi stopped moving in the mortal world that streamed endlessly with people, and then he looked up into the sky while his thoughts drifted far away. For the first time, he had the intention and strong impulse to break open the shackles upon him and stand above the Heaven Dao.
He really wanted to know what sort of scene he would be able to see when he stood above the Heaven Dao.
"Big Brother, do you want to buy a pair of straw sandals?" At the side of the street where Chen Xi stopped was a middle aged woman that was peddling straw sandals, and there was a young girl standing by her side. The young girl was short and emaciated, dark skin, and a dirty face, and only her pair of clear and pitch black large eyes were bright like the stars.
The young girl noticed Chen Xi had stood before their straw sandal stall for a long time, and she thought he'd taken a fancy to one of the straw sandals her mother had weaved, so she hesitated for a moment before mustering the courage to ask with a light voice.
"Girl, keep your mouth shut!" The middle aged woman's face went grim as she reprimanded the young girl. A normal person couldn't compare to the bearing Chen Xi revealed, and she was worried that her daughter speaking like this would cause Chen Xi to be displeased as that would be troublesome.
"Mother, but what will we do about little brother's sickness if we can't gather enough money?" The young girl lowered her head while her little hands intertwined together with uneasiness, and she spoke weakly.
Chen Xi returned to his senses, and he noticed that clothes of this mother and daughter were covered in patched and extremely shabby. Obviously, they lived their lives in extreme poverty and were very pitiable.
Besides that, there were numerous pairs of straw sandals placed on the stall before them, and it filled the stall completely. Chen Xi was able to discern with a single glance that they hadn't sold a single pair.
At this moment, it was already dusk, and if nothing unexpected happened, they might not have any income today.
"I'll take all these straw sandals." Chen Xi's palm moved to pass a silver coin to the middle aged woman. "Take it and quickly return to take your son to get treated." This silver coin was sufficient for a poor family to live stably for a few years.
"Ah! Thank you, Young Master. Thank you, Young Master…" The middle aged woman couldn't help but be stunned when she saw the large and heavy silver coin on her hand, and then she hurriedly expressed her gratitude and was excited to the point she spoke slightly incoherently.
Chen Xi had already left trippingly instead.
"Mother, did we encounter a god?" Chen Xi vanishing instantly caused the young girl to be unable to help but rub her eyes, and she thought it was a hallucination.
But when she looked once more, she was unable to find Chen Xi's figure any longer, and there was only that silver coin in her mother's hand. This caused the young girl to think that she'd encountered a god of legend, and her pitch black and large eyes were filled with excitement.
Outside Hidden Moat City, Ghost Wasteland.
This was a ghastly place that caused the faces of everyone in the city to go pale just from mentioning it. There were evil spirits wandering about within it and would make appearances at night, and they specialized in seizing away the souls of others and eating the internal organs, causing them to be extremely terrifying.
Supposedly, the evil spirits were treacherous ministers and traitors that were killed here during a rebellion. They were killed here in the wilderness while their blood flowed into rivers, whereas, their resentment didn't disperse and formed numerous evil spirits in the end.
During these few hundred years, almost no one dared to approach these ghastly place, causing it to be desolate like a restricted place.
However, on this night, there was a tall figure that had arrived within this wasteland, and he'd arrived within a temple that had fallen to ruins a long time ago.
The walls of this temple had collapsed and it was completely covered in dust and spiderwebs, whereas the statues of the gods within the temple had blurred faces, were broken, and had collapsed long ago, and it was impossible to discern exactly which gods they were.
Rumble!The veil of night descended and black clouds covered the sky, causing it to be so dark that one couldn't see one's own fingers. Suddenly, a wave of muffled thunder resounded out as silver bolts of lightning danced about in the sky, and then a rainstorm poured down.
Thunderclaps, bolts of lightning, and a rainstorm… They caused the ruined temple within this wasteland to become even more ghastly and terrifying.
A strand of flame arose suddenly before lightning up the dried wood that were gathered on the ground, and it blazed brightly, causing the ghastly temple to have a trace of warmth.
I've finally finished all 107 test assignments. Based on my calculations, I've already left the sect for over a month, and there's only another seven days before the Peak Trials… The flickering light of the flames illuminated Chen Xi's handsome and determined faced, and his gaze swept the duck egg sized jet black pearl in his hand before he put it away with a flip of his hand.
It was the Specter Soulpearl, and he'd obtained it from killing one of the evil spirits in the Ghost Wasteland. It couldn't be considered to be precious, yet it was a requisite material to refine a heaven-rank spirit pill.
Hmm? Right at this moment, Chen Xi's brows raised as he seemed to have noticed something. This place is filled with evil spirits and covered with ghosts while containing an extremely dense aura of resentment and Yin. Moreover, it's deep in the night while raining cats and dogs with thunderclaps tearing through the sky. Why would there be someone coming here at this time…?
Eh, so it's them. Chen Xi's Divine Sense stretched out and instantly saw a pair of mother and daughter at the bottom of the wasteland braving the rainstorm as they walked over. They staggered along while completely drenched, and they seemed to be in an extremely sorry state.
They were precisely the pair of impoverished mother and daughter Chen Xi had seen peddling straw sandals in Hidden Moat City.
Strange, could it be that they don't know this place is dangerous? Chen Xi frowned, and he felt this was slightly strange because it was simply like lambs entering the mouth of a tiger when commoners like them came here. After all, the evil spirits here were indifferent to good and bad when they killed.
"Mother, there's light over there. Let's go in and avoid the rain first. How about we return home overnight after the rain stops?"
"Alright, girl. You walk slower and be careful." Not long after, the pair of mother and daughter had arrived on the wasteland and hurried into the ruined temple, and they were both stunned when they pushed open the door and saw Chen Xi who was by the fire. They seemed to have never imagined that they would actually encounter Chen Xi here.
"Sit down and warm yourselves first." Chen Xi stood up and spoke as he looked at the pair of mother and daughter who were soaked through.
"Thank you, Young Master. Thank you, Young Master." The middle aged woman helped the young girl wipe of the rainwater on her body as she thanked Chen Xi, and she kept repeating the same words. Even though she was slightly long-winded, Chen Xi was able to perceive that she was a simple and kind hearted woman.
Before long, Chen Xi found out that this pair of mother and daughter stayed in a village on the other side of this wasteland. There was another path that led directly to the village yet since they wanted to make the best use of their time to go treat her son, she couldn't care about anything else and could only use this nearer path to rush home overnight.
"Big Brother, what're you doing here? This is the Ghost Wasteland, and there're many evil spirits here. Aren't you afraid?" The young girl raised her small head and asked Chen Xi.
"Since there are evil spirits, then why aren't you afraid?" Chen Xi asked with a smile on his face.
"I'm afraid. But I and my mother still have to go home and boil medicine for little brother. He's extremely sick, and we're very worried about him, so we can only rush home overnight." The young girl grinned as she spoke.
Chen Xi looked at the brilliant smile the young girl squeezed out on her dark little face and he was stunned abruptly as a wisp of indescribable feeling of being touched and shocked arose.
This is only a child around the age of five or six, yet has even forgotten fear for the sake of treating her younger brother, and she even disregarded her own safety…
What sort of feelings are there that they're able to allow her to be brave and fearless?
"Big Brother, this is a red-crowned crane I weaved for you. See if you like it." The young girl suddenly spoke excitedly as she carefully opened up the pocked on her clothes, and then she searched for a long time yet only took out a bunch of wet straw.
"The red-crowned crane has been squashed… Big Brother, I'm sorry." A layer of tears gushed out from the large eyes of the young girl as she looked at the straw in her palm, and she spoke with a light voice.