"I have a solution, sister, I really do. I've been to a place, and I've obtained the Poison Chapter that Tang San, who was part of Shrek Academy's first generation of Shrek's Seven Monsters. There is a record in there that describes how to resolve the problems with your Evil Phoenix! You have to ingest some immortal herbs, and you can dispel that evil aura within you. Furthermore, there are several immortal herbs that you can choose from. When we finish what we have to do here, I will accompany you to look for them. Alright?"
"Really?" Ma Xiaotao's eyes lit up. "Are you just saying that to make me happy?"
"How can I crack jokes about something like this?" Huo Yuhao said seriously. "Your ancestor, Ma Hongjun, who was the first to possess the Evil Phoenix, used the very same method to resolve his problems. Can you remember what happened before this?"
A complicated look and a dash of pain flashed across Ma Xiaotao's eyes. She nodded slightly and said, "I can remember parts of what happened. I need some more time to regain my memory."
Huo Yuhao continued, "Sister, we are in Sunrise City, and this place is very dangerous. I'm staying in this inn next to us, and I'll be here for a while. Come and find me at midnight everyday so that I can help you suppress the evil flames inside you. At least, I can help you control them so that they won't affect your emotions and your mental state. Judging by how fast those energies of darkness are recovering inside your body, they shouldn't affect you within a day."
Huo Yuhao stopped here, and his face suddenly changed. "Not good, someone else... it seems like they're from the Holy Ghost Church. Sister, you're not fully lucid yet, can you manage?"
Ma Xiaotao's eyes froze for a moment, then she immediately nodded. "I can manage. As long as I remain lucid, I can use my willpower to fight against that evil within me. Leave, quickly. I can deal with this."
"Take care, sister." Huo Yuhao hugged her tightly before he jumped into the air and swiftly disappeared into the inn that he came from.
Ma Xiaotao watched him leave. A forlorn look flickered across her eyes as she muttered, "Yuhao, my brother... do you know that some things can't be forgiven and forgotten by lying to myself? Do you know that I've created mountains of corpses and oceans of blood while following them?"
She couldn't help but press her lips together tightly as she spoke. Ma Xiaotao looked up into the sky and forced back her tears as she clenched her fists tightly. "The Holy Ghost Church, the Holy Ghost Church!"
Shadow after shadow quietly appeared not far behind her, and stepped briskly in her direction.
There were six people altogether, but when they realized that Ma Xiaotao was the one standing in the middle of the street, not a single one dared to come near. They knelt down on one knee as they muttered in unison, "Greetings, Holy Lady."
"Eh?" Ma Xiaotao suddenly turned around, and in that moment, dark red flames were dancing in her eyes once more.
"We've just received reports from the city defense army that there were chaotic soul power undulations around this area, so we came here to take a look. I'm not sure if you…"
"Scram!" Ma Xiaotao shouted coldly.
"Yes." All six evil soul masters didn't dare to probe any further, and they turned and slunk away. They had witnessed with their own eyes what their Holy Lady was capable of.
Ma Xiaotao watched them disappear, and two rows of tears started streaming down her cheeks. Memories shocked her heart and soul like torrential tides, but she still had to take step after step into the distance. The window behind her that closed not too long ago was deeply imprinted at the bottom of her heart.
My younger brother... no matter what, I will always have you, brother.
A dash of despondence flickered beneath Ma Xiaotao's eyes as she rose into the air and flew into the darkness.
Huo Yuhao lay on his bed limply, as soon as he returned to his room. He managed to seal the blood vessels in his shoulder, but the pain that he felt was so intense that he had to grit his teeth as tightly as he could so that he wouldn't cry out in agony.
Huo Yuhao had started this day by using his spiritual avatar to scout and investigate, and he had ended it with his attempt at awakening Ma Xiaotao. Furthermore, he had had to sustain Spiritual Interference and Imitation continuously while resisting Ma Xiaotao's Ultimate Fire and suffering the wound on his shoulder at the same time. It had taken all of his willpower to accomplish all that!
The high-altitude surveillance soul tools had finally discovered something amiss in the end, because Huo Yuhao had already reached the limit of what he could take, and his spiritual power was almost unable to sustain his soul skills.
However, Huo Yuhao had a smile on his face at this moment.
He had succeeded, he had successfully awakened Ma Xiaotao! I've successfully awakened my sister! From the bottom of his heart, helping Ma Xiaotao to clear her head brought him more happiness than if he had saved every single hostage, because she was his family. Furthermore, with Ma Xiaotao as their inside man, they would have a far, far easier time saving those hostages.
Spiritual weakness and bodily pain were nothing much for Huo Yuhao's resilient willpower. He calmed himself down for a moment, and waited to recover a little before he immediately activated his Eye of Destiny to amplify his spiritual power. He found Xu Sanshi, and he passed a message to him that he was alright. Afterwards, he sat down with his legs crossed and began to meditate.
He wanted to return to the northern side of the city, but his body was in such a state that he really couldn't do that. Furthermore, he had awakened Ma Xiaotao, so he naturally wasn't afraid of his enemies coming back to search for him.
Huo Yuhao quickly displayed his formidable regenerative powers. The wound on his shoulder had completely scabbed over after two hours, while his spiritual power was recovering at lightning speed.
There were two other people hard at work late into the same night.
Ji Juechen was sitting in a small bar not far from the northern city gate. He was drinking by himself, and his handsome looks had attracted more than one girl. But whenever they came over to flirt with him, he had shaken his head each time.
Ji Juechen's face had always been ice-cold, but he would laugh foolishly from time to time, and his facial expression would occasionally become a little strange.
Jing Ziyan was still feeling a little excited as she walked discreetly between shadows from wall to wall. She tossed rocks one after another into certain dark corners, and some even rolled near the city wall.
Jing Ziyan's movement and actions were very covert and discreet, while she applied just enough strength from her wrists. She completed almost one round back and forth along the northern city wall within two hours.
She looked up at the sky after she finished all that. It was now late into the night, but she didn't feel any fatigue or exhaustion at all. Instead, there was only satisfaction in her eyes.
Jing Ziyan patted her hands and stepped out silently from the shadows, and quickly arrived at the bar Ji Juechen was drinking at.
A cunning look flashed across her eyes, and the smile on her face immediately transformed into fury as she barged into the bar looking angry and indignant.
Jing Ziyan gazed around inside the bar once she stepped in, and instantly locked her eyes onto where Ji Juechen was sitting.
"Very well, you drunkard! You don't come home this late into the night, and you come out to drink alcohol. Follow me home, right now!" Jing Ziyan seemed just like a termagant as she dashed in Ji Juechen's direction. She pinched his ear viciously and immediately began to drag him out.
"Aiyo, can you be gentler?" Ji Juechen felt the pain from his ear as a thread of exasperation and helplessness flowed from his eyes, but there were also dashes of amusement and happiness.
"Gentler? What? If I find out that you've come out to drink one more time, I'll break your legs!" Jing Ziyan was still pinching his ear as she dragged him out of the bar just like that.
The bar's customers all looked on with widened eyes and slack jaws, and even the bartender, who was initially dozing off, now had a pitiful look in his eyes. "No wonder he didn't dare to accept those girls' flirts, he actually has such a fierce wife! That's just pitiful. So, so pitiful."
Jing Ziyan dragged Ji Juechen several dozen meters outside before the furious and ferocious look on her face gradually became one of amusement.
Ji Juechen didn't struggle out of her pinch, and he forced a laugh as he asked, "Are you enjoying yourself?"
Jing Ziyan giggled and said, "A little bit."
Ji Juechen said, "Then you should pinch for a little while longer."
Jing Ziyan was momentarily stunned. "You…"
Ji Juechen heaved a faint sigh and said, "I've devoted my life to the sword before this, and I've overlooked far too much. I've overlooked things that I should be treasuring, especially you.
Jing Ziyan was momentarily stunned. She subconsciously released her grip on his ear, and she planted her hands on her hips. "Are you saying that I've been very proactive, and I've always been trying to take advantage of you?"
Ji Juechen shook his head as he smiled faintly and said, "I'm foolish and stupid."
Jing Ziyan couldn't maintain her pose anymore, and her chin quivered gently as tears covered her eyes. "Why do you have to make me cry?"
Ji Juechen pulled her into his embrace and said, "I will use our future days to compensate you, alright?"
Jing Ziyan hammered his shoulder heavily and said, "Who needs your compensation?"
Ji Juechen didn't answer her question. Instead, he hugged her tightly around the waist. "I don't know anything about words of love, Ziyan, and I can only tell you that I thought about this long and hard when I was drinking before this… you are more important than my sword."
Ji Ziyan's body trembled when she heard his words. She suddenly looked up, and stared at Ji Juechen with incredulous eyes.
If another couple had the same conversation, comparing one's partner to an object would undoubtedly lead to conflict and resentment. However, these words were different when they came from Ji Juechen's mouth.
Ji Juechen was a sword maniac, and his sword had been the only thing in his life over his entire twenty years alive. His sword was his everything!
Jing Ziyan raised her trembling hands and clasped them around his face. Her voice quivered as she said, "You're the foolish one. No words of love can be more melodious than what you've just said to me. I love you, Juechen." She whimpered and sobbed, and tears were all over her lips as she pressed them against his. This time, her kiss wasn't passionate and intense anymore. Instead, her kiss was full of tenderness and warmth.
Dawn arrived, and Huo Yuhao had already awoken from his meditation when the first ray of sunlight peeked through the windowsill.
There were two more people in his room long before he woke up: Xu Sanshi and Ye Guyi. They were both sitting in their own chairs with their legs crossed, and opened their eyes when they felt Huo Yuhao awaken.
"Seems like you've succeeded? How's your wound?" Xu Sanshi asked Yuhao with a smile on his face. Even though they were startled when they witnessed Huo Yuhao's injury after they came back last night, the fact that he could return to this place and indicated many things!