Early in the morning on the next day, Xiao Chen was still planning to head for the Sky-gazing Gorge for his cultivation. Even though there was too little Spiritual Qi there for him, it was better than nothing. Just as he was about to set off, Luo Shangyan whom he had not seen for more than a month suddenly came to his door.
"Senior Sister Luo!" Xiao Chen was overjoyed. Just as he was about to question her for not coming over for so long, his smile immediately faded after seeing the melancholic look on her somewhat sallow face. He presumed hat she was worrying over Perfected Immortal Zixu not returning after so many days.
"Did your cultivation improve recently?" Luo Shangyan asked.
Xiao Chen shook his head. "I'm still stuck at Lv 6 Qi Refining Realm. The Spiritual Qi in the Sky-gazing Gorge is insufficient for me."
Luo Shangyan had long become immune to the speed of his cultivation progress. She said, "It's true that the Spiritual Qi in the Sky-gazing Gorge isn't enough for you to break through the late stage of your Qi Refining Realm. I'll take you to the Spiritual Qi Gorge at the Black Dragon Peak today. It's the place with the richest Spiritual Qi."
Xiao Chen was a little stunned. She would take him to the cultivation gorge for Inner Disciples? This was obviously something he should be overjoyed about but he could not bring himself to feel happy no matter what. "What's wrong, Senior Sister Luo?"
Luo Shangyan shook her head and said after a long pause, "I might not be around in the sect sometime later. You must take good care of yourself in the future."
Alarmed, Xiao Chen held her shoulders. "You're leaving? Where are you going?"
Luo Shangyan sighed. "It's been four months since my master has gone missing without news. I went to see First Elder yesterday to ask him to send people to search for my master, but he rejected the request..."
"So you're planning to go and search for him on your own?"
Luo Shangyan nodded, "Master is the one who raised me. No matter what, I'm worried about him. When he was out for a long time in the past, he would send me letters. It's too strange this time..."
Xiao Chen's heart sank. Wasn't he going to find his own master as well? But that was easier said than done, considering his insufficient strength. "Senior Sister Luo, listen to my advice. Perfected Immortal Zixu has such mystical Dao Arts while Master Lingjue has profound Buddhist Arts. Coupled with my grandfather, they could be considered peerless in the mundane world. They're definitely safe. Perhaps they're at a critical juncture of their investigation and outside contact is inconvenient."
When Luo Shangyan did not reply, Xiao Chen continued saying, "Senior Sister Luo, trust me. Give it more time. If they still don't return by then, why don't I go with you to find them?"
This Senior Sister of Three Pure Sect was the person kindest to him as well as his most trusted person. He did not want anything to happen to her. He had seen what the Soul-consuming Evil Flower was capable of yesterday. Never mind Luo Shangyan, not even he necessarily had the means to deal with it.
Moments later, Luo Shangyan finally nodded. "I'll take you to the Spiritual Qi Gorge first. If you don't get into arguments with other people, they won't be saying much either."
The two of them then walked until they reached the courtyard. Luo Shangyan took out her flying sword. Just as she was about to pull him up on it, Xiao Chen laughed. "I can now operate my own sword."
Luo Shangyan immediately shot him a light glare and Xiao Chen promptly grasped what it meant. His cultivation was borne out of "illegitimate means". Naturally, he must not let others see him.
Thus, like last time, Luo Shangyan operated her sword with him in tow and flew toward the Black Dragon Peak. The Spiritual Qi Gorge was situated in the back mountain and while its size was similar to the Sky-gazing Gorge, the difference in their Spiritual Qi was like heaven and earth. Xiao Chen could immediately feel the abundance Spiritual Qi that he had never experienced before. It was to the point that the Spiritual Qi was enough to support his Mystic Cyan Cultivation Method.
He could not help feeling tempted. The Foundation Building Realm was imminent!
The disciples under the five Elders would come here to cultivate as well. There were more than several hundred people already here in such a massive cultivation gorge.
Some of the disciples at the mouth of the gorge frowned after seeing Luo Shangyan bringing an Outer Disciple in. Even if she was Sect Leader's True Disciple and had the right to bring anyone in, there would after all be a little less Spiritual Qi with the addition of another Human Qi.
Facing the inquiring gazes coming from all around, Luo Shangyan gently tugged on Xiao Chen's sleeve. "Don't speak. Just walk."
Just then, a male disciple in Lv 5 Qi Refining Realm stood up and said unhappily, "Senior Sister Luo, we won't oppose to you bringing someone here but he's just an Outer Disciple of perhaps Lv 1 or 2 Qi Refining Realm. Isn't it a little unnecessary for him to come here?"
Luo Shangyan replied coolly, "You're not qualified to comment on who I bring in."
It had been so long since she was made Sect Leader's True Disciple but it was her first time using its dignified status. It caught everyone off guard as well. Someone then sneered in a cold voice and said, "Forget it. Let her do what she wants. There are innumerable pretty men who ride on their women's coattails. We'll see how many she can bring in."
"You!" Xiao Chen was about to fly into a rage. Luo Shangyan tugged on his sleeve. "Let's go."
"Tch, she dares bring in a disciple when her quality is just so-so." Sarcastic comments from all around were unceasing. In the beginning, they would still somewhat fear her status. Now that Sect Leader had not returned after so long, these people had become completely unrestrained.
Xiao Chen did not find their attitudes strange. It was just like when he was living with the Xiao Family. These people were envious of Luo Shangyan for being Sect Leader's True Disciple.
30 minutes later, the two of them arrived next to a scenic but secluded small mountain. All around there were birdsongs and fragrant flowers. Even though it was midsummer, the air was still unbelievably cool and refreshing. Xiao Wan'er, Xiao Han, and Cheng Ying happened to be there as well.
When Xiao Wan'er saw them, she cried out in astonishment, "Brother Xiao Chen, why are you here?"
Xiao Han was cultivating with his eyes closed on the sidelines. He said coolly, "If he's here, then he's here. What's there to make a fuss about? Do you want everyone to know he's here?"
Xiao Wan'er immediately clasped her hand over her little mouth. Luo Shangyan chuckled. "This is great. You three can cultivate together."
With a smile, Xiao Chen immediately looked around his surroundings. Xiao Wan'er asked, "Who are you looking for, Cousin Brother?"
Xiao Chen chuckled and clutched his chest, thinking to himself that it was fortunate that the Ghoulish Woman was not here. Just as he was thinking this, he felt a burst of cold wind behind him.
"Xiao Chen, are you thinking of me?"
Xiao Chen forced a smile and said nothing. It was a small world, indeed. He turned around and replied, "Hi, how are you, Miss Shangguan..."
The beaming Shangguan Yan, with her hand winded around Luo Shangyan's arm, looked just like a fairy in the woods. But no matter how Xiao Chen looked at her, he could only think of her as a ghoul. This must be the reason why fewer people come to this area to cultivate.
"That's enough banter. Let's all focus on our cultivation with calm hearts. Don't bother the other disciples nearby." Just then, Cheng Ying opened his eyes with a chuckle.
Thus, they stopped all conversation. Xiao Chen, in particular, did not wish to put off his cultivation any longer and quickly found a small piece of ground to begin. He fell into meditation and used the Mystic Cyan Cultivation Method to absorb the abundant Spiritual Qi around him.
The so-called act of Qi Refining involved drawing the Qi into one's body. With the addition of tempering, one's human body would essentially become an Ancient Chinese Cauldron. Thus, to cultivators of Qi Refining Realm, the Spiritual Qi between heaven and earth was undoubtedly the most important thing for them.
An hour later, Xiao Chen opened his eyes slightly and found that Shangguan Yan had somehow shifted next to him. He said quietly, "Hey, Ghoulish Woman! Stay far away from me lest the insects on your body crawl up to me."
Shangguan Yan's small eyes widened. "Try saying that again! I wouldn't mind sending Little Flower, Little Red, Little Green, and Little Purple up your body."
A shiver immediately ran down Xiao Chen's spine. He thought to himself that it was a good thing that he was engaged to Huangfu Xin'er. Otherwise, with his father's close friendship with Shangguan Fei, he might end up getting engaged to this Ghoulish Woman...
Shangguan Yan glanced at him before saying in a low voice, "What are you thinking about? Let me tell you. Even if you're the only man left in this world, I wouldn't marry you."
Xiao Chen sneered and shot her a smug sidelong glance. "What a joke. If I, this Young Master, am the only man left in the world, shouldn't I be picking my wife carefully? Do you think I'd still choose you? You're dreaming."
"You! Forget it. I have something important to tell you..." Shangguan Yan came close to him as she spoke and muttered something into his ears.
Xiao Chen's expression changed slightly and he said in a solemn voice, "You must be mad to dare to even provoke Mo Yu. Even with a wave of his hand, he could crush you to death!"
"Hmph! He was just too arrogant. Moreover..." Shangguan Yan suddenly lowered her voice as she cast Xiao Han a glance. "Last month, he slapped Ice Face."
"What did you say?!"
"Hmph! Wasn't it because of your matters three months ago? He had no choice but to exercise his anger on Ice Face."
Xiao Chen looked at Xiao Han. Xiao Han would never tell him anything and kept everything buried in his heart. However, it was true that Mo Yu was being a little too outrageous. Did he really think that the members of their Xiao Family that easily bullied...
"Let me also tell you this. Mo Yu would sometimes act mysteriously. I once saw him standing by the cliff alone at midnight, talking to himself..."
Xiao Chen's expression turned solemn and he said in a low voice, "He's not talking to himself. He's using a type of secret technique of the southern shamans. He's passing on his voice through a thousand miles... Either way, don't provoke him anymore. You can argue again after obediently improving your cultivation."
His expression turned grimmer and grimmer by the time he reached the end of his sentence. It seemed that Mo Yu really was not a simple character. With Sect Leader missing, it was Mo Yu's master who monopolized the authority in Three Pure Sect. No matter what, Xiao Chen knew he must improve his cultivation as soon as possible.
For some reason, he kept getting a bad feeling about this. Something major might happen in Three Pure Sect in the foreseeable future.