Shi Mu’s brows creased into a frown. He drained the cup of tea in one gulp. Then, he got up and started to walk down the stairs.
"I have also heard that this woman has arrived in the Heavenly Yu City barely half-a-month ago. I came to know about this from some guy who hails from a small sect in the coastal eastern part of the continent," another voice was heard.
Shi Mu’s eyes flashed as he heard this sentence. He went back, and took his seat again.
"Brother Shentu, won’t you introduce her to us if she is such a beauty? Could it be that you wish to enjoy alone?" the sturdy yellow-robed young man laughed heartily.
"You don’t know one thing about her, Brother Ge. This woman has rarely stepped out of her room ever since she has set foot in the Heavenly Yu City. It’s also said that this woman has had a cold and indifferent temperament towards others. In fact, you might not get to see her even if you stand at her door to meet her. Even Brother Shentu has suffered her closed-door treatment a few times. Some people have even bestowed her with a title – ‘the frost fairy’," another young man laughed as he said.
"Well! I wasn’t prepared for this during my previous visits. But, I’ll go with full preparation this time," the blue-robed man snorted.
He had said this while he had touched a ring between his fingers. Suddenly, a small purple and embroidered box appeared in his hand. He opened its lid, and a pair of pure and translucent green bracelets appeared before their eyes. A few magic characters were faintly engraved on the surface of those bracelets. They were emitting faint green rays of light; this item didn’t seem like a low-ranked magic tool.
"The Shentu family is indeed a noble family. Some of your ancestors had even passed through the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony and had gotten promoted to the realm of the Immortals. Your family genuinely deserves to be called an influential family. This pair of jasper bracelets is equivalent to two pieces of middle-ranked spirit stones. But, Brother Shentu is going to use it to win over a woman's favor alone," the yellow-robed man spoke-up in a somewhat strange tone.
"He he, wouldn’t it be a great idea if we go together today to have a look at that mysterious woman?" a young man spoke-up in a persuading manner.
"Fine then! I’ll take a few of you along to enhance your knowledge and experience. Let’s go!" The blue-robed man closed the small box, and received it into his storage ring again. Then, he stood up and said.
The other young men also stood up. They then walked down the stairs while talking and laughing.
Shi Mu’s heart skipped a beat. He stood up, and followed after them.
"Shi Tou, are you leaving already?" Cai called out.
However, Shi Mu didn’t pay attention to him. He continued to walk fast, and arrived close to the staircase in an instant. Cai hastily flapped its wings, and flew up behind him.
Those magnificently-dressed disciples left the restaurant. Then, they began to walk along the street under the guidance of the blue-robed man.
Shi Mu also followed after them, but kept a reasonable distance between them. He soon arrived at a secluded street after he had taken a few turns.
However, those young men had stopped since they had caught Shi Mu following them.
"Hey boy, why are you following us?" A young man with a somewhat gloomy facial expression walked over. He sized Shi Mu up-and-down in a malicious manner.
"I only happened to be walking on the same road, that’s all. Besides, I don’t have any desire to follow you guys," Shi Mu replied.
"Humph! Don’t pretend to be naïve. The fact is that you’ve been following us ever since we left the restaurant. And, you thought that we wouldn’t notice it?" the man with a gloomy expression countered.
"Is that so? I genuinely didn’t notice," Shi Mu continued to play dumb.
The trace of a furious look flashed through the gloomy-faced man’s eyes. He took a step forward, and moved closer to him.
"What do you want? You want to fight? Hmm, we aren’t afraid of you people!" Shi Mu didn’t say anything… it was Cai who had opened his mouth and begun to shout…
"Brother Qin, Ascension to Immortality Ceremony is around the corner. And, the Immortal Cult has already issued an order that prohibits any kind of fights within this city. So, don’t pick a fight and violate the Immortal Cult’s order," The blue-dressed man’s gaze swept around. Then, he opened his mouth and said.
"Well, boy… consider yourself lucky!" The gloomy-faced man’s eyes turned and shot a cold glance at Shi Mu. Then, he turned around and continued to walk again.
The other people continued to walk towards the front. However, the sound of footsteps continued to reverberate from behind them again. Shi Mu had started to pursue them again… as if nothing had happened.
"Boy! You're courting death!" the gloomy-faced youth said in a furious manner. Other people's faces also darkened.
"You people are free to walk on this road. We aren’t blocking your way or obstructing your walk," Shi Mu replied.
"This is the main road, and many people can walk side-by-side. You can’t control where we should go and where not," the parrot yelled.
The gloomy-faced youth was infuriated by this. And, a layer of faint-green light bubbled-up on the surface of his body.
Suddenly, a palm pressed his shoulder. The gloomy-faced man’s facial expression changed, and the pale-green radiance also vanished from his body.
The blue-dressed young man looked at Shi Mu in an intense manner and said, "I don’t know who Your Excellency is, and where have you come from. But, I wish to remind you one thing - not everyone can offend somebody or violate the law here in Heavenly Yu City!"
"Thank you for reminding me, Your Excellency," Shi Mu cupped his hands in obeisance and replied with a smile.
The blue-dressed man snorted coldly. Then, he continued to walk ahead while leading other people. However, Shi Mu still continued to walk behind them.
Their group arrived in front of the gate of a secluded and quiet post house nearly half-an-hour later. Two men were stationed at the gate for keeping watch. They wore the uniform of the Immortal Cult.
The blue-dressed man and his companions took out a fist-sized jade token from their clothes. The guard glanced at them, and allowed them to pass without further questioning.
"Hey young man, this place is the Ascending Immortal Hall’s post house. Unrelated people mustn’t approach it," A guard held out his hand, and blocked Shi Mu’s body.
Shi Mu creased into a soft smile. Then, a ray of light flashed in his hands and two spirit stones appeared before their eyes.
Those two guards glanced at each other. The trace of an avaricious look flashed through their eyes.
There was a small courtyard inside the post house. The blue-robed man and his companions had gathered there.
The blue-dressed man’s eyes were smeared with the trace of a burning-hot look at the moment. He arrived before the door, and knocked on the door.
"Shentu Guang has come… especially to pay a visit to the Young Lady. So, I would request you to show yourself once," the blue-dressed youth announced loudly.
"Mr. Shentu, this girl isn’t feeling well today. So, I would request you to return," a melodious voice sounded from inside. It seemed as if a black-naped oriole had flown out of the valley.
"May I know what happened to the young lady? I have a little understanding of the medical profession. Also, I have carried a myriad of pills and magic charms along with me. I could look after you in all walks of life. So, I would request the young lady to not refuse this man who has come here from thousand miles away," the blue-dressed man replied.
The other young men in the courtyard seemed to be sighing.
The sound of footsteps spread from outside that small courtyard. It was followed by a silhouette that walked in. It was Shi Mu!
There was a strange look on his face. It was because he had faintly heard this conversation from afar. He hadn’t heard everything very clearly. But, the girl’s voice had given him a feeling of familiarity.
"Could it be that..." Shi Mu’s heart stirred up with overwhelming emotions.
The blue-dressed youth was about to say something. But, his brows wrinkled as he saw that Shi Mu had also appeared there.
A "Squeak" sound was heard at this moment. And, the door of that small courtyard was slowly opened.
The blue-dressed man was exhilarated. And, he no longer paid attention to Shi Mu’s arrival. Instead, he gazed towards the opening door with great excitement.
He had fallen deeply in love with this beautiful maiden the first time he had seen her. And, he hadn’t been able to extricate himself from this feeling ever since…
He had already visited this place ten times in these past few days. But, this was the first time the opposite party had chosen to show herself on her own initiative. How couldn’t this set his heart on fire?
He saw that a gorgeous maiden stood at the entrance; she was clad in a light-green dress. She had an elegant and exquisite appearance. Her beautiful neck looked slender and delicate. Her slender waist was tied with a pale-white jade ribbon. These traits made her look like a heavenly fairy. Her incredible beauty left the surrounding young men unable to take their eyes off her.
Shi Mu was left startled as his eyes fell on this young girl.
This woman wasn’t Ximen Xue as Shi Mu had originally guessed. But, he was familiar with this girl as well… she was actually Zhong Xiu!
Zhong Xiu felt a little frustrated and helpless as her wonderful eyes swept over those young men.
These people didn’t seem to have an ordinary status. In fact, it wasn’t good to offend them. Therefore, she began to find an excuse to drive them away.
Her beautiful pair eyes were glancing around in a random manner. And, they suddenly stopped and rested on a seemingly ordinary grey-robed young man. However, she couldn’t move her eyes away from him for some reason...
The blue-dressed man’s eyes had become even more fervent with excitement. He took a step, and moved towards her. He was about to open his mouth and say something since he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.
However, the beautiful maiden’s stature flashed and changed into a green shadow. Then, she pounced towards Shi Mu.
A green light flashed in front of Shi Mu’s body. Then, a green person’s silhouette threw herself in Shi Mu’s arm while carrying the whiff of a delicate fragrance.
"Lady Zhong..." a jade-like warm and sweet-smelling woman embraced him with her arms. But, Shi Mu couldn’t understand how to react in this situation.
This scene left the surrounding young men profoundly shocked.
The blue-dressed man’s facial expression turned pale. And, his eyes nearly blazed with raging flames as he glared at Shi Mu in a fierce manner.
The blue-dressed man’s body emitted a faint blue flame. Then, he shot the flame towards the surrounding.
The surrounding people exchanged glances with one another. Then, they moved a few steps back. Their faces revealed a delighted look, and it seemed as if they were taking pleasure in this show.
"Young fellows, an order has already been issued that has prohibited promulgating fights within the city. This is one of the post houses of the Ascending Immortal Hall. So, I will notify them in case you start a fight here. Then, they will deprive you of your qualifications of taking part in the grand ceremony," a voice resounded.
Nobody noticed when a middle-aged man had appeared in front of that small courtyard’s gate. He was attired in the uniform of Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. But, he seemed far more handsome than those guards who stood outside this post house. Also, there was a trace of formidable aura around him that was similar to a Xian Tian-ranked warrior.
The blue-robed man’s complexion changed. The layer of blazing blue flame also disappeared from his body the next moment.
Zhong Xiu’s complexion looked bright-red as she loosened Shi Mu from her arms. She glanced towards the other men. Then, she pulled Shi Mu inside the small courtyard – who was still in a surprised state - and closed the door.
"Well, let's go!"
The blue-robed man’s complexion turned unsightly. He turned around in anger and walked away.
Other people shrugged their shoulders since they had no other option left but to follow him.
The middle-aged helplessly let out a sigh. He looked at the tightly closed door of the courtyard. Then, he turned around and departed.
In the small courtyard… Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu gazed into each other eyes. But, they didn’t speak anything for a while.
A hint of blush could still be seen across Zhong Xiu’s face. Her eyes were smeared with a touch of bashful look. But, she was still gazing straight into Shi Mu’s eyes.
Cai glanced at Shi Mu. Then, he shifted his gaze to Zhong Xiu. He then let out a yawn out of boredom, and began to sweep his gaze around the small courtyard.
The courtyard’s layout looked very quiet and beautiful. There was a pine tree on the left side of the courtyard. And, four or five long bamboos on its right side; they were nearly as tall as two or three people combined.
Cai spread its wings and took off. He then landed on those tall bamboos.
Shi Mu glanced toward Cai, and the corners of his mouth slightly moved. He then slowly pulled out his hand that was held by Zhong Xiu.
A trace of faint sadness flashed through Zhong Xiu’s eyes at first. Then, it disappeared from her eyes as if it never was there. Then, a smile glittered across her face.
"Brother Shi, I never thought that I would bump into you here."
"Nor did I! In fact, I’ m rather surprised to see you here, Lady Zhong. Have you also come here to attend this grand ceremony?" Shi Mu thought of something, and asked.
Zhong Xiu eyes slightly moved, and it seemed as if she was considering something. She then flashed a smile and replied after some time, "That’s right. Ascension to Immortality Ceremony is a rare opportunity. I am still not formidable enough to participate. But, I wanted to pay a respect to my Sect’s masters for holding a high opinion of me. So, I obviously have to try it once.
"We have been standing outside and speaking this entire time. It really slipped my mind to invite Brother Shi to my room to have a seat," Zhong Xiu said in an apologetic manner. Then, she invited Shi Mu in her room.
There were no basic amenities in that room apart from a few seats.