Cai also seemed to have sensed that formidable aura on the sacrificial altar. Therefore, he crouched on Shi Mu’s shoulder in a well-behaved manner. He still couldn’t refrain from glancing around. But, he didn’t make any noise.
Shi Mu retracted his gaze. Then, he swept his vision over the surrounding crowd in order to look for Ximen Xue’s silhouette.
However, there were a large number of people in the public square. So, it was practically impossible for him to find a person in this boundless sea of people despite his extraordinary eyesight. In fact, it would be no different from searching for a needle in a haystack.
He slowly recovered his eyes. But, the hint of a bitter smile spread on his face.
"Brother Shi..." A trace of sadness flashed through Zhong Xiu’s beautiful eyes at first. But, she resumed her normal state immediately-after. Then, she opened her mouth to say something.
Suddenly, a strange thing happened!
A dazzling ray of light appeared far in the deep-blue sky. Then, it began to get nearer. It simultaneously began to grow larger and brighter at a very fast speed. In fact, it had soon illuminated almost half-of-the sky with its radiance.
The dazzling radiance grew more and more distinct. And, bursts of delightful heavenly music began to spread from inside. Then, the sound began to grow more and more sonorous.
The surrounding people were left flabbergasted as they saw the scene. Then, a multi-colored magic cloud emerged before their eyes. It rapidly advanced towards the square along with the dazzling rays of light. Two person’s silhouettes could be vaguely seen on that cloud.
"Oh God! Look! Quickly! They genuinely are immortals!"
"The immortals are indeed descending to our world!"
"There are two of them!"
"I... I can see Immortals!"
Numerous screams rang out in the air inside-and-outside the public square. The clamorous sound that was ringing around the foot of the mountain seemed as if a pot had blasted.
The common people at the foot of the mountain had already started to kneel down in quick succession. They knelt and bowed down towards the direction of the cloud. Some of them even clasped their palms and began to pray.
The multi-colored cloud refracted the bright rays of sunlight as it approached. It also continued to curl up and cover the whole sky.
Numerous rays of sunlight proliferated in all directions, and soared to the heaven for a moment!
Then, the multi-colored cloud stopped over the square. Two silhouettes that stood on top of the cloud emerged while floating in the air.
One of them was a white-haired old man with snow-white eyebrows. He was attired in a white Taoist-robe; his robe was fluttering and producing soft flapping sound. His overall appearance was giving off an aura of extraordinariness and immortality. In fact, his disposition bore a slight resemblance to the appearance of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult’s head who was seated on the altar. The only difference was that he was floating in the air at this moment.
The old man held a white horse-tail whisk in his hand. Its body was faintly emitting a layer of white rays of light. It added a divine aura to his charm.
The other person was a purple-robed middle-aged man. He was brimming with a plentiful amount of a jade-like spirit. A purple lightning could be seen around his body. It was lingering around his whole body in a way that made it seem as if the ancient Thunder God had possessed his body. However, the lightning didn’t seem to originate because he was angry. It only seemed as if the God of Thunder had blessed him with his might.
The middle-aged man also supported a thin and fragile young boy with his hand. The boy’s complexion looked pale.
Shi Mu’s eyes flashed with a touch of faint golden light. His gaze then hovered over those two Immortals. But, his facial expression changed slightly as his eyes fell on that fragile young boy.
Wasn’t this boy the same young kid whose convoy was rescued by Shi Mu when they were on the way to the Heavenly Yu City?
"Wu Chen welcomes the two Immortal Envoys on their arrival!"
Wu Chen — the head of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult was seated on the altar. His Taoist-robed figure slowly flew up from the altar and positioned itself in front of those two Immortals. Then, he bowed to the two people as a part of the ritual.
"A respectful welcome to Immortal Envoys!"
The never-ending babbling voices below abruptly came to an end. The nobilities, the Emperor of the Lu Shan Kingdom, the people of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult, and several participants of the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony also hurriedly saluted to them. Some of them even knelt down before the Immortals.
"You don’t have to be overly courteous. The two of us have received orders to patrol the world of mortals. I have also heard that the Heavenly Yu City is about to conduct a new Ascension to Immortality Ceremony. So, I deliberately came over to have a look," The white-haired old man waved his white horsetail whisk and a soft breeze emerged in the public square.
Shi Mu also followed the crowd, and bowed as a part of the ritual. But, he felt that a wisp of gentle force emerged and lifted his body. The same thing happened to the surrounding people. He was left flabbergasted as he witnessed this strange scene.
There were perhaps several thousand people in the square at the moment. But, the white-haired old man had simply waved his hand in a convenient manner, and had held-up several thousand people in the air as a result. Moreover, Shi Mu couldn’t even see how he had displayed this technique.
The strength of such cultivation was indeed incredible and boundless.
Shi Mu looked at the two Immortals as they floated in the sky, and let out a sigh.
Shi Mu couldn’t stand the slightest chance against the head of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult if he relied on his present strength. But, he was still able to sense his aura indistinctly.
However, as far as these two Immortals were concerned...
Shi Mu closed his eyes and tried to sense something for a moment. Then, he opened his eyes, and the trace of an astounded look flashed through his eyes.
He could clearly see that the two people stood in mid-air. But, he couldn’t sense anything when he used his spirit-sensing ability. In fact, it seemed as if there was no one in mid-air.
"I used to be an ordinary martial warrior of the Lu Shan Kingdom’s Mo Yun Sect thousands of years ago. Later, I got admitted to the Meng Sect. I had been very lucky that I got the opportunity to attend the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony. Then, I performed well, and ascended to the world of the Immortals. I comprehended the unsurpassed main path, and this is where I am - my present accomplishment. I can see the presence of a large number of young people here. Also, many of them seem exceptionally talented. You can also make a place in the world of the Immortals, but only if you practice in a diligent manner," the purple-robed man spoke-up in an unhurried manner. His voice wasn’t loud. But, it spread throughout the public square; so much so that even the people around the entire Heavenly Yu City could hear his words.
There were numerous talented disciples in the square. They had obviously come to participate in the Grand Ceremony. Their hearts overwhelmed with emotions, and they were left speechless for a moment.
The Immortal Envoy in front of them had also been an ordinary warrior like them at one point in time. This had proved that they also had the opportunity to rise.
They could also ascend to the Immortal rank once they had comprehended the main path at the designated time. Then, their every movement could move the mountains and fill the sea. Indeed, that would be an incredible scene to behold - a free and unfettered scene!
Two young disciples could be seen amid the crowd in the inner area. They were dressed in a long light-purple robe. A pattern of red cloud was embroidered on their cuffs. A glorious ray of light flashed through their eyes, and their hands started to shake with overwhelming excitement.
"Immortal Envoy Zhu, have planned to take Young Hong back to the World of Immortal?" the Elder Taoist Wu Chen turned to look at the petite young boy as he asked.
"Immortals are rather different. I am an Immortal, but I still can’t take him to the World of Immortal. Alas, I hadn’t expected that my family would gradually decline after my departure. They’ve left this boy behind, but he’s all alone. Moreover, the boy looks very frail and sick," The purple-robed man sighed as he caressed the boy's head with his hand.
"Immortal Envoy Zhu doesn’t have to worry about him. I will surely help him practice and grow. I guarantee that he would lead a glorious life even if I fail to make him attain the desired result," Elder Taoist Wu Chen said.
"That’s good. I can now leave him here since I have a friend like Wu Chen who can take proper care of him. I’m now relieved." The purple-robed middle-aged Immortal gave him a nod after he had considered those words for a moment. Afterwards, he turned around and said a few things to the young boy in a soft voice. He then thought of something, and took out a bottle with a pill inside it. After that, he stuffed it in the boy’s hand.
The boy nodded nimbly. But, the expression in his eyes seemed to show his unfamiliarity towards his ancestor. Moreover, he didn’t utter a single word from beginning to end.
The purple-robed Immortal let out a soft sigh. Then, he waved his hand and the boy flew toward Elder Taoist Wu Chen.
Wu Chen caught the boy. Then, he waved his hand in front of his eyes. The boy closed his eyes, and sank into a deep slumber.
"The two Immortal Envoys took a lot of trouble to grace our mortal world with their presence. I don’t know whether you will stay here for some time or not… But, it would be good if you would come over to watch the Grand Ceremony," Elder Taoist Wu Chen spoke-up in an inviting manner.
"Friend Wu Chen, you don’t have to be too polite. We Immortals are occupied with some work. But, we will still continue to visit this place. We can’t stay here for a long time. But, let’s hope that destiny brings us together soon. Till then… goodbye," the white-haired old man replied. Then, he raised the horsetail whisk with his hand, and miraculous light began to flow on the surface of his body.
After that, the multi-colored cloud under their feet emanated a bright and sparkling radiance. Then, a whirlwind emerged in the surrounding out of thin air.
That cloud quivered and sped away into the distant horizon while carrying those two people. In fact, the cloud had disappeared from everyone’s sight in an instant.
The strange heavenly music that was ringing in the sky also gradually faded away along with the departure of those two people. And, everything eventually returned to normal.
The sky soon resumed its normal state. But, seeds of passion had thoroughly been set on fire in the hearts of the surrounding people.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the two Immortal Envoys couldn’t stay to observe the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony. And, that is truly regrettable. However, you all only need to try hard and practice. Then, that propitious day would surely arrive when you’d soar to the world of the Immortals." Taoist Wu Chen watched the receding silhouettes of those two people. Then, he turned around and made an announcement.
Many people in the square flared with excitement as they heard his speech. All of them replied in unison, and their voices went straight into the sky.
Shi Mu gazed towards the receding figures of the two Immortal Envoys as they drifted far into the distance. He remained silent. But, his eyes couldn’t refrain from revealing his feelings - overwhelming excitement, and desire.
Zhong Xiu watched Shi Mu in a quiet manner. But, she didn’t say anything since she didn’t wish to disturb him.
Cai also looked at Shi Mu, and it seemed as if he wanted to say something. But, he looked at Zhong Xiu and eventually closed his mouth.
The dignitaries and highly-placed people in the periphery of the square also looked quite excited. Many government officials had gathered in groups of three or four. And, their discussions had soon picked up the pace. They then started to sing poems. It seemed that they wanted to express how they had felt during the Immortals’ arrival.
Several formidable military officers were also present in the surrounding. They also appeared ‘all fired up’, and eager to get into action. In fact, many of them had started to discuss how they could send their children to the sect.
A slender man stood in an obscure corner of the square. He was clad in a long cloak, and half of his face was covered. He raised his head and gazed into the sky.
This person was Liu An!
He bore a calm look on his face. In fact, He looked rather different from the surrounding crowd since there wasn’t the slightest trace of excitement on his face; he seemed out of tune with the present situation.
However, the surrounding people didn’t have the time to pay attention to him since they were swaying in the tide of excitement at this moment.
Liu An retracted his gaze after a long while. He then glanced at Elder Taoist Wu Chen who was still on the huge altar. After that, he turned around and walked away. And, his silhouette soon disappeared from the square.
The Emperor of Lu Shan Kingdom also came forward and delivered a rhetoric speech. Afterwards, the Welcome Ceremony for the Immortals was officially declared as ‘concluded’. Consequently, Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu left the square along with the flow of other people.
They walked down the mountain. Then, they began to walk side-by-side on a street of the western district. But, they didn’t talk for a long while.
The surging emotions in Shi Mu’s heart slowly subsided. But, Ximen Xue’s image again surfaced in his heart.
"Lady Zhong… Miss Xiu, thank you for accompanying me today," he glanced at Zhong Xiu and said.
"I will accompany Brother Shi no matter what happens if he asks me. In fact, I would like to accompany you," Zhong Xiu replied in a soft tone.
"Miss Xiu, I…" Shi Mu’s heart overwhelmed with emotions
"Brother Shi, I understand. You are not an ordinary person like me. And, I believe that you will be able to break through the Immortal realm someday," Zhong Xue looked into his eyes and said.
"You are born with the bloodline of the phoenix. You possess an excellent innate talent. So, you are bound to stand out in the Grand Ceremony. And, there is this possibility that you would subsequently gain access to the World of the Immortals," Shi Mu said.
Zhong Xiu creased into a smile. But, there was a hint of bitterness and sadness peeping through the mask of her smile.
They talked for a moment. Then, they bid farewell and went their separate ways.
"Shi Tou, will you really go to the World of the Immortals?" Cai looked at Shi Mu and asked.
"That’s right," Shi Mu replied in a tone that was brimming with unprecedented firmness.
"Quack, then you must take me along with you when the time comes. I am also very curious about the World of Immortals..." Cai shouted.
A man and a parrot were advancing towards the front. Meanwhile, a person’s silhouette walked past them on that street; it was Liu An.
He glanced at Shi Mu from behind, and a strange gleam flashed through his eyes.
His stature then flashed, and vanished into thin air the next moment.