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Xu Yangyi’s statuesque muscle and build were sublime, but right now Su Lianyue still didn’t have the slightest inkling for lust in her heart. The relationship between she and Xu Yangyi wasn’t the ordinary sort between man and woman.
On the contrary, it was a bit similar to an older sister and a younger brother. At least in this unusual realm, after meeting again after a few years, a trace of an odd atmosphere—yet not at all rejected—had brewed. She was Xu Yangyi’s first woman, but both of them understood.
Xu Yangyi couldn’t accompany her.
The lives of ordinary people were fleeting. Neither of them had delved deeply into the meaning of love because the end was doomed for sadness and depression. The situation was better off in not continuing this topic. Nonetheless, Xu Yangyi had been moved by her sentiment and amazed by the dedication of this frail woman. Among the few he approved of, she was one of them.
She had no cultivation, no realm, and moreover no longevity. In the wake of increasing age, she would grow old and die, yet her unique style would leave her mark on his memories. Previously a one-time ephemeral love, this bond had now instead become a kind of warm and comforting relationship. Xu Yangyi’s friends weren’t many, and she was the only one of the fairer sex. There were some words he didn’t wish to say to a man and to a cultivator, as well. She was the best choice.
A resolute man also had his own soft side. The blood hatred of his parents was a chasm he couldn’t cross. He buried himself in Su Lianyue’s ample bosom, and the killing intent in his heart, deeply concealed and surging like a tide, finally began to gently scatter little by little.
“My privileges can only look up S-rank. Only after completing ten missions or a S-rank mission can I then upgrade my authority rights.”
The woman’s body under his own passed on a delicate fragrance that could bring the mind to swoon. He felt somewhat trapped yet recalled the beauty and tightness of this body. However, at this instant, he didn’t wish for anything else at all. A wide hand embraced her smooth back, and Su Lianyue patted Xu Yangyi’s shoulder. “How many years later will you forget me?”
No one answered. After a lengthy period of time, Xu Yangyi said in a muffled voice, “I don’t know. I’m a heartless man.”
Su Lianyue laughed, stroking the other’s spiky hair. “Then let it be early. It’s no good for a cultivator to remember a mortal for too long.”
“Mhm.” The response was still this sound. Once a few more minutes passed, Xu Yangyi tilted his head up. “I will help you find your little sister.”
“I hope so…” Su Lianyue chuckled as she looked towards the stars on the horizon, even if she herself didn’t announce whatever desire she held.
“Aren’t our goals the same?” Xu Yangyi laughed.
He was speaking of the black feather… Su Lianyue laughed gently and patted his back. “Remember. Tell her that her older sister met an early end.”
“Alright.” Xu Yangyi took her into his chest, pulling at a blanket.
Su Lianyue yelped out in alarm, “Don’t…”
“I’m not.” Xu Yangyi hugged her warm and sweet jade body, smelling wisps of this familiar fragrance and comfortably shutting his eyes. “It’s just a hug.”
It was a night empty of dreams.
On the morning of the next day, Xu Yangyi got up amidst his bout of leisure and pleasure. Su Lianyue’s petite hand was improperly groping a certain area that shouldn’t have been touched. Especially since it was a place where some men’s understandable physiological phenomenon would turn straight as a rod.
“Why is it even bigger… Have you been pent-up for a long time?” Su Lianyue’s sweet tongue was gentle against Xu Yangyi’s earlobe. “Don’t tell me you haven’t had a woman in three years.”
Xu Yangyi was stunned. “I really haven’t… so you can put a bit more into it.”
A petite hand made a loop around like it possessed its own spirit, yet Su Lianyue laughed gently and left. “Get out of bed.”
Her voice yet to fall, she was pulled back onto the bed. Xu Yangyi laughed as he nibbled her creamy collarbone. “You’re gonna turn me on and just run off?”
After two hours, Su Lianyue glared daggers at Xu Yangyi who was drinking milk. “Fortunately I’m from Heavens Law, too, or else I might’ve died if I was a normal person.”
“It’s because I know you’re from Heavens Law; don’t you remember you told me I was pretty reserved the first time?”
Su Lianyue gritted her teeth. “I really did think you were a man considerate of women… I didn’t expect you would be so petty.”
Time passed swiftly. After an hour, Su Lianyue dressed up tidily and stood up. She didn’t laugh, but instead gazed calmly at Xu Yangyi and eventually said, “I’m going.”
“Mhm.” Xu Yangyi gave her a ceremonial hug.
“No need to miss me.” Su Lianyue chuckled at the side of his ear. “I won’t be missing you, anyways.”
“Good bye.” She walked to the door and stopped. “If there’s nothing major later on, I won’t be seeing you anymore.”
Xu Yangyi was silent for a couple seconds and deeply nodded. This was a cruel truth. Su Lianyue would only slowly get older, and perhaps the next time Xu Yangyi left seclusion she would already be completely gray in hair. Her springtime of youth would live on in Xu Yangyi’s memories. She didn’t want to, nor was she willing, to let her first man see her when the pearl that was her age had lost its luster and yellowed.
Rather than share circumstances together in aid, it was better to forget each other along the path of martial conquest between the Rivers and Lakes. Perhaps, in the long years and moons of Xu Yangyi’s cultivation, he would recall her… This was sufficient. At the very least, it was also proof that she had once walked this world.
Xu Yangyi didn’t remain; this was Su Lianyue’s choice, her pride. He only watched her back, his gaze rising and falling. “This is a cultivator. Lonely and solitary like a Daoseeker on an endless path. Watching as close friends and family depart, one strides to the peak of power. It’s no wonder that all cultivators are merciless, only considering benefit. Life and death viewed as indifferent, smoke and clouds pass the eyes. All that is left is myself. It is that of the fish’s fin and the bear’s paw, an everlasting question.”
He sighed yet calmed down. He understood it well. These topics had been clearly explained at Heavens Law. It was known as the heart tribulation. A cultivator HAD to overcome it. Perhaps it could be said that a cultivator who desired to stand at the world’s summit was required to survive this calamity.
I raise my blade towards the heavens and laugh. Drawing my sword to survey the four reaches, my heart is unbounded.
Although these lines wasn’t from the same poem, Xu Yangyi felt that these two lines were exceptionally intimate at this moment. As a cultivator, oneself rose up from among the masses yet cast them away and transcended the impure world. The same time he seized such power was destined to be a life removed from the possibilities of ordinary people.
How to handle and analyze one’s mentality and psyche were a good deal of Heavens Law’s teachings. Nonetheless, he hadn’t remembered a single lesson. But in any case, right now, he seemed to realize a few matters.
The feeling Su Lianyue gave him was quite unique, similar to love, yet it was in no way romance. This emotion could be said to be a temporary haunting of hormones, yet it was mixed with an element of affection. It was complex, and he found its lost to be a pity, yet it was likely he wouldn’t stay mired for too long. Like the other, it was impossible not for him to be aware; she as well couldn’t linger for an extended period over him.
“This… might be the so-called Dao heart, huh…” A wisp of vexation emerged in his eyes, but it was soon replaced by resolution. “But at the very least, before I find my parent’s mortal enemy, I won’t dwell upon anyone.” He was silent for ages until he said indifferently, “Well, as much as I can.”
He sat down in the hotel room like so, taking gulps of his milk. Once another ten minutes passed, he suddenly smiled. “And I thought I was a callous person straight down to my core.”
“So I actually turned out not to be.” After a long time, he finally steadied his emotions. Inhaling deeply, he looked towards his finger. His harvest this time were undoubtedly tremendous. A millennium-old demon, the Red Spider Lily of Jadewave the Mosasaurus had bloomed. His origin crystal, this core, was worth the combined sum of his other possessions! If this gain still couldn’t be considered great…
He laughed as stroked the ring on his hand. Everything inside was enough to make up for all of his losses! Besides… at most, his damages were nothing more than that of blood, flesh, and qi.
“3,000 low-grade spirit stones, a hundred middle-grade spirit stones, and three high-grade spirit stones…” He was unable to resist bringing his spiritual sense to invade the storage ring once again. “180 bottles of all kinds of pill elixirs, a hundred talismans, and most importantly…” He sucked in deeply, gently waving his hand. In the next second, a tattered sheepskin scroll appeared in his hand.
This was the item that God Ming had Jadewave decrypt on that day. At that time, a kind of brutal aura that seemed to pass through from an ancient era caused everyone to be shocked. In their hearts, everyone understood this to be a supreme treasure.
God Ming’s life had been reaped, yet Xu Yangyi truly lacked the skill to seize the other two rings. The situation during that time had been too complicated, however, he had ordered Li Zongyuan to take aim at the middle finger, plundering this bauble.
“Any cultivator’s storage equipment will automatically lock up and collapse after the owner’s death…” He pensively fiddled around with the sheepskin scroll. “Not even mentioning this sheepskin scroll, just this twenty-square-meter storage ring has yielded me a great profit…” All of a sudden, he faintly knitted his brows. The feeling in his hand was off…
As a sheepskin scroll, it was too heavy. So heavy… it rendered Xu Yangyi, who was at the middle stage of Qi Condensation and wanted to lightly toss it, motionless to the extent that he couldn’t even fling it!
Xu Yangyi narrowed his gaze and unfurled the sheepskin scroll little by little. A wooden sword, like that of wood yet not wood, astonishingly appeared in the sheepskin scroll. It was approximately three inches long and as broad as two thumbs. The sword hilt wasn’t like a normal sword hilt, instead similar to a ring. The entire body was cast in a kind of gold yet not gold, a material forged out of wood yet not wood. A feeling of great vicissitudes, akin to azure seas transforming into mulberry fields, assaulted the senses. However, the sword’s entire body didn’t possess a hair of damage, soft like it was new.
This sword… God Ming hadn’t given it to Jadewave to decrypt. Xu Yangyi muttered to himself for a period of time, planning on using two finger to press down on the sword from both sides. Nevertheless, he surprisingly discovered that the blade wouldn’t budge from either side no matter what! This wooden sword’s weight had totally exceeded his imagination!
“What the heck is this material?” He picked up a glove with fair caution, taking the sword in his hand. He then hefted it up in difficulty. “That day, Jadewave said this thing was of no minor destiny.” He mumbled to himself for a brief moment, spreading out the sheepskin scroll.
The sheepskin scroll wasn’t complete. The surface was covered with gaps and tears. Evidently, it had been procured from different places and then finally fit together and made whole. However, even like so, it was still missing a fifth.
Xu Yangyi lit a cigarette and narrowed his eyes, looking at the drawn figures on the surface. This… was a map. A map circulated in the cultivation world absolutely held some relation to an ancient secret. Perhaps it was a certain almighty Dao sanctum or the tomb of some forerunner. The sheepskin scroll was nothing but curves and zigzags, all of bending lines. However, there were three icons that were exceptionally striking to the eyes.
The first was a lotus. The second was a blaze that filled the sky. The third was a pavilion.
“This is…” Xu Yangyi’s eyes saucered wide, and he grabbed onto the sheepskin scroll with a death grip!
A lotus sea! This was a lotus sea! He had once gone there, but he was unaware whether it was a dream realm or a true lotus sea! He dared not to be certain, but his intuition was telling him that he HAD to take a look!
He couldn’t relinquish any object related to the Eternal Alchemy Canon. This was his greatest secret and also his greatest support! However, he had never thought that such a thing as the lotus sea would actually exist in the world!
“Don’t tell me that my spiritual sense can’t enter this thing?” He looked at the ruined map with complication in his eyes. “Rather… back then, I really was in that realm?”
“No, if it was like that, then how can that gigantic fish be explained?”
“It’s fundamentally impossible for such a massive demon to exist in the world. A thousand-meter demon form… What realm is that?”
“But anyways, what’s this map illustrating? Maybe it isn’t the lotus sea? If it is… then where is it?”
1. Of the Fish’s fin and the Bear’s paw. Is based on a Chinese classic by Mengzi otherwise known as Mencius. Mengzi is talking about how he wants to have one of these things, but he knows that he can’t at the same time. He remarks that for something to be gained, something must be lost. But because it is a willful choice, it makes that which is chosen even more important.
2. This line is a combination of two figures, Tan Sitong, an intellectual and politician of the Qing dynasty era (1865-1898 CE) and our favorite poet Li Bai.
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