Everyone standing on the ground immediately turned pale. If this sword fell, it would likely destroy the entire square in an instant. No one would be able to survive.
The incomparably vast sword fell like the wind amidst a backdrop of thunder. In a flash, it eclipsed heaven and earth. The entire Lingtai Mountain began shaking. The dilapidated houses and temples collapsed under the impact of this mighty force. Countless disciples of the Devils' sects in the air were cut by the power on the edge of the soul blade before they could flee.
A loud explosion resounded as the sword finally fell, instantly producing countless cracks in the floor of the square and filling the sky with dust. Feng You clutched his chest after this attack, looking as if he had suffered a heavy injury. The countless disciples of the Devils' sects turned into a bloody fog under the remnant force of this impact.
However, the Three Pure Sect disciples on the ground didn't suffer any harm whatsoever because a Barrier suddenly appeared above them.
Two sword radiances appeared in the sky, one blue and the other purple. They swiftly landed on the square and turned into two white-bearded elders. One was dressed in a green robe, carrying a zither case. The other was dressed in a purple robe. It was the old guardian of the library on the Star-picking Peak.
The Elders of the Three Pure Sect finally relaxed after seeing the two people. Feng You sneered, "So the two Perfected Immortals of the Three Pure Sect have arrived. It's been a long time, Zither Saint Qing Feng, Unfettered Gentleman Zi Mo."
Qing Feng said coldly, "This isn't a place that you should come to." When he reached the end of his sentence, he suddenly slammed his Cloud-piercing Palm on Feng You. With a ripping sound, the latter's cloak was torn into countless fragments and a little mannequin slowly fell to the ground.
"So it's a doppelganger puppet. Here I was wondering how could he come to the Human World..." Zi Mo said to himself. Then, with a twist of his hand, the bag containing the souls of thousands of disciples fell into his hands. The rest of the disciples of the Devils' sects hastily fled. Mo Yu had stealthily left a long time ago, once he had the hunch that things were about to go wrong.
Xiao Chen, still shrouded in black mist, staggered toward Bai Ying step by step. "M... Master..."
Bai Ying's face had gone deathly pale since a long ago. He looked at him and murmured, "You're the devil... the devil in my dream..." She subsequently fainted. Xiao Chen wanted to pick her up but his vision turned black and he passed out beside her. The black fog gradually dispersed.
"Sigh..." Exhaling a long sigh, Qing Feng walked to the both of them. "Senior Brother, I'll leave this to you. I'm bringing this child to Sky Mountain."
Zi Mo looked at Xiao Chen, who fainted on the ground. "This youngster is good-natured. You're not going to kill him, are you? Or are you going to seal his Spiritual Meridian again this time?"
"Sigh..." Qing Feng sighed once again. He rolled up his sleeves and picked up Xiao Chen. He was about to turn around and leave when Li Muxue rushed up to him. "Elder, wait!" She looked at Xiao Chen. "He's not a devil..."
Qing Feng didn't reply. He turned into a sword radiance and pierced the sky. Zi Mo said, "It's okay, Lil Xue. My Junior Brother has always been soft-hearted..."
Right then, First Elder walked over to them. He looked at the Soul Pouch in Zi Mo's hand and said in a trembling voice, "Is there... hope for them?"
"They'll live after we return their souls to their bodies. It's not difficult to do."
After an uncertain amount of time, Xiao Chen slowly opened his eyes. He heard the sound of zither beside his ears while he was unconscious. The sound of the zither was carefree and as soothing as the river flow. It was incredibly calming.
"Master!" He sat up in shock. Just now, he had a dream that he incarnated into a devil that killed everyone in the Three Pure Sect.
Suddenly, a terrible pain exploded within his body. He was surprised to find that he could no longer operate his True Energy. He looked around and found himself in a small bamboo house about ten meters wide. The walls were bare. Though the house was simple and crude, it was also pure and free from vulgarity. Outside, the melodious sound of zither flowed like spring water.
He slowly recalled what happened that day. He had used the Mystic Diabolic Enchantment and eventually displayed the heaven-defying, life-robbing move of it...
Moments later, he slowly got down from the bed. He picked up a bamboo stick on the ground and staggered to the door. He pushed the door open gently and felt a fragrant air hit his face. Two or three peach blossom petals drifted into the room with the wind.
In front of the house was a forest of peach blossom trees. Inside the forest, an old man sat cross-legged in front of the Jade Zither. The gray hair that fell loosely on his shoulders danced in the wind. His blue and white Taoist robe was untouched even by the tiniest speck of dust.
"Did you save me, Senior?"
"You haven't recovered yet. Go back to your room and have a rest."
Seven days later, Xiao Chen felt a little better but he still couldn't trigger his True Energy. When he walked out today, he saw two newly-built houses on the left and right of the bamboo house. In front of the houses was a peach forest. Behind was a bamboo forest. Though the three bamboo houses were crude, they carried an air of inexplicable tranquility and serenity.
In the distance, the clear creek babbled. On both sides of the creek were towering mountain peaks. The spring water seemed to be pouring from the dome, accompanied by the singing of orioles and sunshine. It turned out that this place was close to the top of the mountain.
When he found Qing Feng, he made a gentle salute. "Was it you who sealed my Spiritual Meridian, Senior?" Though he had fainted that day, he didn't completely lose consciousness and vaguely heard Zi Mo's words.
Qing Feng pressed on the string of zither and ended the song. "That's right."
"Can you tell me why?"
Back then when he learned from Mu Chengxue that someone had deliberately sealed his Spiritual Meridian, he wanted nothing more than to rip the perpetrator to shreds. He had changed his mind now. Instead, he had gained some respect for the man in front of him.
Qing Feng took a deep breath. "Sit down. I'll tell you slowly."
Two hours later, Xiao Chen stood up with a myriad of expressions crossing his face. Finally, he gave a respectful salute. "I see. Thank you for saving my life back then."
"I've removed the devil Qi in your body. You must never use Devilish Skills again in the future, especially the three transformations of the Mystic Diabolic Enchantment. Do you understand?"
More than a month passed. It was now March in the Human World. The peach blossoms were bloomed even more brilliantly. With Qing Feng's help, Xiao Chen's skills were restored to their original condition.
Today, he must leave this place and return to the Three Pure Sect. Even though he had learned that everyone was fine, he still wanted to go back and take a look. More importantly, he wanted to go to the Skygale Sect to rescue Luo Shangyan and Murong Xian'er.
Back at the Three Pure Sect, he was glad to hear that the three princes and the rest were able to live despite the damage to their souls. Meanwhile, Lil Ruo wasn't captured that day. Xiao Chen found Bai Ying in the Moon-watch Pavilion and walked over with light steps.
What happened that day was still vivid in his mind. Bai Ying tilted her head. "I'm not your master."
"Then I'd better call you Elder Bai."
Xiao Chen smiled. Seeing Bai Ying that day was like seeing his master, Ling Yin. However, he knew that they couldn't be the same person.
"You'll be leaving for the Purple Manor in another seven days. Have you thought it through?"
"Yes. I must go and rescue Senior Sister Luo and Xian'er."
Xiao Chen learned not only what happened these few days, but also the identities of Qing Feng and Zi Mo. As members of the Three Pure Sect of the Purple Manor, it was impossible for them to demand Luo Shangyan and Xian'er from the Skygale Sect on his behalf. Doing so might cause a feud between the two sects within the Purple Manor.
Next, he looked for Xiao Han and the rest. Xiao Chen looked at Xiao Wan'er and solemnly said, "Let's move separately. I'll go to the Skygale Sect while you guys help me take Lil Ruo back to the Xiao family house. Remember, Xiao Wan'er, you're a cultivator now. The chieftain isn't here now, so you must protect the Xiao family house until I come back."
"But... Cousin Brother, aren't you coming back with us?" Xiao Wan'er was now in Lv 5 Qi Refining Realm. She was basically peerless in the martial arts circle of the Human World but she was used to relying on someone else.
Xiao Han held a map in his hand. "The Skygale Sect is far on the South Sea, but you can't handle it alone. Let me go with you."
"I'm going too! I'm going too!" Shangguan Yan appeared very excited.
Li Muxue frowned. "I know some healing techniques. Why don't I go with you as well?"
Xiao Chen shook his head. "I'm infiltrating the place this time and secretly taking the hostages away, not swaggering in. I'll surely attract attention if I go with so many people."
"You don't have to worry about that. I've made a comprehensive plan during your absence." Xiao Han laid the map flat on the table and pointed to a small spot near the South Sea. "This is Sang Town. The townsfolk will send supplies to the Skygale Sect every month. This month happens to be the day the sect recruit new members. We can easily infiltrate in and return to Sang Town with the cargo ship one month later."
Later on, they agreed that Xiao Wan'er would return to the Xiao family house with Lil Ruo while Xiao Chen, Xiao Han, and Shangguan Yan would infiltrate the Skygale Sect for the rescue mission. Li Muxue would be providing support at Sang Town in case there was any change in plan.
The next day, the party set off immediately. Three days later, Xiao Chen and four others arrived in Sang Town. The town was located in the South Sea. There were countless people who go out to sea every year to search for immortals and seek advice but few returned.
Many large ships were docked at the pier, one of which was engraved with a Yin-and-Yang cosmological diagram. They exchanged looks and found a nearby inn to stay. The staff of the inn was so terribly busy recently that it took them more than thirty minutes to send several dishes up to their room.
The ground and first floor were full of diners engaged in enthusiasm conversations. These people came from all over the world and their topic of discussion was mostly about the recruitment of the Skygale Sect.
When night fell, it gradually quieted down outside. The waves lapped on the shore, one after another. Xiao Chen, Shangguan Yan, and Li Muxue was sitting in the room. Before long, Xiao Han returned with a package in hand.
Inside the package were some easy-to-use props and three delicate small bamboo slips, each with a name written on it.
"The number of new students in the Skygale Sect has been determined. Here are three identification bamboo slips."
Xiao Chen picked up a bamboo slip with the name "Han Chen" on it and frowned. "Did you kill these three people?"
"They won't survive anyway." Xiao Han's tone was placid. He then looked at Xiao Chen. "The Skygale Sect has been recruiting more and more disciple lately but these people all disappeared. They were said to have been sent to the Purple Manor but do you think that's possible?"
Xiao Chen couldn't help worrying about Huangfu Xin'er after hearing his words. It had probably been a year since she entered the Skygale Sect.
The next day, the sound of a bugle horn came from the pier before dawn. They immediately felt refreshed. Xiao Han looked at Li Muxue. "Princess, you'll have to suffer a little for now. If we don't return after a month, please go back and inform Senior Zi Mo."
Li Muxue shook her head. "It's no big deal." She then looked at Xiao Chen. "Please be careful."
Outside, the sky was still a sea of azure. They could see numerous dimly-lit figures lining up in the distance, heading for a big ship. It was the big ship with the Yin-and-Yang cosmological diagram. Xiao Chen and the other two joined the queue. There were people at the pier checking the bamboo slips and people were only allowed to go up the ship after passing the examination.
When it came to their turn, the examiner suddenly raised his hand. "Wait."