"Ho ho, young man, your Soul is very powerful. It has not been destroyed after so many millennia. Can you tell me who you are?"
"Who I am... " Xiao Chen muttered. "I don't know either. I was a baby when I was rescued by my Master. Later, someone maligned me as a descendant of the Devils... only Master believes in me. She is the kindest person in this world... "
He spoke and the rims of his eyes gradually turned red. His voice also turned hoarse. "But now, Master doesn't know where I am. She doesn't know if I am alive. To be honest, sir, this Fuxi Zither was a gift from my Master many millennia ago. She wanted me to put living beings of this world before myself. I must not harbor any evil thoughts. But I killed so many people that day, so many... "
"Oh?" The old man's spirits revived. "So you were the former owner of the Fuxi Zither? No wonder you can find your way here... "
Xiao Chen wiped his eyes and put aside his sad emotions. He cupped his fists. "I know that my request may seem a little pertinent, but I hope that you can give me the C sharp major string. One of my friends is a Zither Spirit of the Fuxi Zither. If I cannot put the Fuxi Zither back again, his Soul power will gradually dissipate and completely disappear... "
"Ho ho... " The old man chuckled. "Young man, I know you are not lying, you are the former owner of the Fuxi Zither. I can die in peace now after handing you the zither string... " As he said this, a zither string, glowing with white light, hovered before Xiao Chen's eyes.
Xiao Chen took the zither string. His heart was still palpitating. He said, "Thank you, sir."
The old man sighed. "Well, well, it's been 1,000 years. I have kept my promise to my Master. Our Master expended all his spiritual force in his battle with the Devil. I shall leave the zither string with you. You've been here a long time. Go back now. I will seal this place completely with my remaining Soul power... "
Xiao Chen put the zither string into the Divine Vessel and gave a low bow. "In that case, I shall go, sir." Then he soared up on the tip of his toes. He surged out to the pool water and after a long time, finally resurfaced. He climbed ashore and dried his clothes with his True Qi.
"What happened? Are you alright?" Luo Shangyan saw that he had finally emerged. She hurriedly went to help him up.
Xiao Chen smiled. "It's too cold below. There's nothing there. Let's go."
They went back the same way they came. Suddenly, six figures blocked their way. They were six Foundation Building Realm Cultivators. One yelled, "Lad! Hand the magic treasures over and we will spare your life!"
Xiao Chen saw that their eyes were bloodshot and knew they had been infected by the Demonic Flower, giving them a killing lust. These were middle-staged Foundation Building Realm Cultivators, much more powerful than Ling Yuxuan and his minions. They had better combat experiences too. It was difficult to deal with them.
Just while he pondering, one of them suddenly brandished out his sword and hacked. "Crash!" The 3-meter long sword radiance severed several trees beside him into smithereens. Xiao Chen was astonished. The power of a middle-staged Foundation Building Realm Cultivator could not be underestimated. He was about to flash his Unsullied Sword out when a sword radiance streaked out from the horizon. A suave white-robed man landed.
Xiao Chen composed himself and realized that the white-robed man was in the final stages of the Core Forming Realm. He was an even more difficult preposition than these six. One of the six yelled, "We saw this lad first! So scram!"
"Oh?" The white-robed man had a faint, indistinct smile on his face. Suddenly, he condensed Qi out on his fingertips and out streaked a 10-meter long Sword Radiance. With a whoosh, these Foundation Building Realm Cultivators were all reduced to a mist of blood, before they could even react.
Xiao Chen was not surprised. This was the power of a Core Forming Realm Cultivator. He could slay six Foundation Building Realm Cultivators easily. It was only that Core Forming Realm Cultivators at the Immortals League Competition could not employ killing strokes. Likewise, a Cultivator nearing the Nascent Soul Realm could kill Core Forming Realm Cultivators easily, while a Nascent Soul superior could easily slay a Cultivator nearing the Nascent Soul Realm.
"Lad, hand me your magic treasures!" The white-robed man turned to him and said.
Xiao Chen did not answer. He took out his Fuxi Zither, now strung with two zither strings. Its power exceeded its former. The white-robed man's eyes sparkled with delight. "It is indeed a treasure!" He stretched out his arm to seize it.
Xiao Chen quickly retreated three steps and pluck the C Major string forcefully. Immediately, shafts of white light soared into the sky. True Energy rapidly condensed from the surroundings. The white-robed man was quite astonished. The glitter in his eyes became brighter. He was about to attack to Xiao Chen when Xiao Chen released his fingertip's True Energy. Instantly, a tremendous force hurtled over.
Wild gales began to resound noisily, overturning the earth everywhere. Countless ancient trees reaching into the sky were uprooted. The white-robed man did not expect this. He quickly defended himself but was still thrown more than 30 meters backward by this immense force. He lay prone on the ground, vomiting blood.
Xiao Chen's face was deathly pale. The Fuxi Zither's power had increased but he had also expended more energy as a result. He was afraid that his zither note would alert the Cultivators nearby. He quickly pulled Luo Shangyan and they ran. After about half a kilometer, three streaks of radiances descended from the sky, landing before them.
This time, however, Xiao Chen reacted with joy. He cried out, "Brother Yifeng!" Then, he saw a woman in white beside him. He stared at her in a daze for a long time, then muttered, "Miss... Miss Mu!"
Three persons were Mu Chengxue, Yu Yifeng and Monk Xu Gu, standing before him from left to right. Yu Yifeng glanced at Mu Chengxue and smiled gently. "So you know Chen as well."
Mu Chengxue nodded. Her glance fell on Xiao Chen. She did not say a word.
Xu Gu chanted Buddha's name and said, "Mr. Xiao, we meet each other again. It's only been a short time. Have you decided to come with me to the Wuyin Monastery?"
Yu Yifeng smiled quietly. "This is Senior Brother Xu Gu from Wuyin Monastery. He is the one who told me that you were here, so I came over to have a look." Xiao Chen said, "I have met Senior Brother Xu Gu already."
Yu Yifeng nodded. "This is no place to stay. We'd better get out first." Then, he said to Xu Gu, "Senior Brother Xu Gu, are you coming with us?"
Xu Gu chanted Buddha's name again and sighed. "The murderous desire here is quite strong. I will stay to convert these people... Amitabha!"
Yu Yifeng put his palms together at him. "Then, we shall take our leave first." He said to Xiao Chen, "Let's go outside and talk."
With Yu and Mu in the front, no ordinary cultivators dared to provoke them. When they reached the desert outside, the winter seemed to disappear into summer again. Yu Yifeng summoned a Flying-cloud Stone and they all leaped up. Finally, Yu Yifeng asked, "Martial Uncle Qing Feng sent me a message and told me that you have come to Violet Manor more than a month ago. Why didn't you come to the Jade Qing Sect?"
"Err... " Xiao Chen grinned. "I was held back by some matter in the Zhou State." Mu Chengxue said, "Oh? So you were that Han Chen, who stormed away with the beauty?" As she spoke, her gaze shifted over to Luo Shangyan and rested there.
Xiao Chen smiled bashfully. "So you two know everything." Yu Yifeng turned to face Luo Shangyan. "How should I address you, Miss?"
Luo Shangyan replied, "I am a disciple of the Three Pure Sect, Luo Shangyan." Yu Yifeng nodded. "Years ago, I went to visit Perfected Immortal Zixu once. You were then still very young. You must have forgotten me."
Luo Shangyan immediately raised her head. "Do you know where my Master is now?"
Yu Yifeng sighed and shook his head. "I have heard. Old senior Changfeng, Perfected Immortal Zixu, Master Lingjue... the three of them went three years ago to investigate the Soul-consuming Evil Flower and then had disappeared together. No one has heard of them since."
Xiao Chen did not wish to upset Luo Shangyan and changed the topic. "By the way, Brother Yifeng and Miss Mu, what have brought you here?"
Yu Yifeng looked at Mu Chengxue and said, "Actually, we have been trying to locate Miss Mu's elder brother for years."
Xiao Chen stared at Mu Chengxue and saw a dejected look on her face. The present trip must have been a fruitless one too. No wonder she tried to steal the Closing-sky Mirror from Skygale Sect. The Closing-sky Mirror could reveal everything that had happened in a particular location. She must have needed it to trace her elder brother.
No one spoke. At last, Yu Yifeng said, "Miss Mu, my Master has asked me back over an urgent matter. I will search for your brother with you after this. Don't worry. We will locate him."
Mu Chengxue nodded and smiled. "It's time you go back. Your two young disciples have missed you."
Xiao Chen felt his spirits rise. He had not expected Brother Yifeng to have taken in disciples. He, on the other hand, was still the same muddle-headed boy. He smiled. "How do you feel about being a Master?"
Yu Yifeng shook his head and smiled. "I just hope they aren't so playful as to pull out my Master's beard again. I will still be the one getting scolded... " After he said this, he realized that Xiao Chen had turned despondent, all a sudden. He asked, "Chen, what's wrong?"
Xiao Chen lifted his head and smiled. "No... nothing!" He suddenly remembered that he was a naughty boy too when he first went up Mystic Cyan Mountain. He had tugged his grandmaster Perfected Immortal Qingxuan's beard too. Perfected Immortal Qingxuan was the Sect Leader of the Mystic Cyan Sect. No one had the guts to do this for several centuries.
The Flying-cloud Stone soared for an hour. Yu Yifeng gazed ahead. He said, "If I'm not wrong, it's the Mu Family Village ahead. Miss Mu, it's been a while since you came back. Since it's along the way, why don't we all drop by for a visit?" Then, he said to Xiao Chen, "Let's wait till tomorrow before we leave for the Jade Qing Sect together."
Xiao Chen nodded. He had wanted to go to the Jade Qing Sect in the first place. His grandfather was an old friend of Perfected Immortal Qingchen. He ought to visit him on this trip to Violet Manor. Moreover, he needed Brother Yifeng's men to search Xian'er out.
They soared for another 20 or so kilometers and landed in a peach blossom wood. The entire wood was full of flowering peach blossoms. Their scent invigorated the senses. Xiao Chen felt a little strange. It was the height of summer. Why were peach blossom trees blooming so resplendently?
Mu Chengxue's mood took a turn for the better. She inhaled a deep breath and smiled. "Every time I return, these peach blossoms will flower so beautifully. They look like they will never wilt."
Yu Yifeng said, "You're right. Spiritual Qi lingers here everywhere. This must have been the reason."
Spiritual Qi lingered here everywhere? Xiao Chen stared around him. Why did he sense a lifeless, gloomy air? He was very sensitive to death and lifelessness.
As they talked, the trembling voice of an old woman rang out from the other end of the wood. "Is it Xue? Are you back?" An old woman, over 70 years of age, staggered in on her walking stick.
"Aunt!" Mu Chengxue gave a joyful cheer and dashed over.
Yu Yifeng smiled gently. "Miss Mu was brought up by this aunt. She is a close kin. Let's go over and greet her."
Xiao Chen focused his eyes. Was it so? Why did he sense something odd about this old woman?