In the first time of the Yuhu Immortal Sect, the elders and the sect leader had a heated dispute.
Including Elder Qiu Cailing, twenty elders were adamantly demanding that “Xie Hongchen” cancel the pursuit of Xie Lingbi.
These elders, though normally uninvolved in affairs, held the true heritage of the Yuhu Immortal Sect. They were the genuine backbone that allowed the Yuhu Immortal Sect to claim the title of the foremost immortal sect.
Despite their usual indifference to power struggles, their advanced age and detachment from worldly matters were evident. Moreover, they were highly satisfied with Xie Hongchen in terms of character and cultivation. Over the years, the elders of the sect had shown great care for Xie Hongchen, even favoring him far more than Xie Lingbi.
However, this didn’t mean that Xie Hongchen could publicly prosecute Xie Lingbi!
After all, Xie Lingbi had been the previous sect leader of the Yuhu Immortal Sect. If his cultivation were unobstructed, in another two hundred years or so, he could also become an elder and live his life leisurely.
Qiu Cailing and the others might not care about Xie Lingbi, and they might even dislike his actions and behavior. But no one could deny that Xie Lingbi, as the former elder ancestor, had accumulated considerable prestige over the years and was one of the faces of the Yuhu Immortal Sect.
Now, “Xie Hongchen” wanted to pursue Xie Lingbi, not only challenging his authority but also disregarding the honor of the sect! The elders would never allow it.
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Rd vbl Zluwd byzz, “Dkl Tsdtnbld” pyv yv vbl vyczl; lhld kq yzz vbl lzelap olal ralpldv, vblu sdzu vssj plyvp vs vbl pkel. Tl nyaakle bkxplzq okvb vbl rspvwal sq y plnv zlyela, obkzl vbl svbla lzelap qasodle, vbswtb vblu eked’v pyu yduvbkdt.
Ckw Uykzkdt pyke, “Flnv Nlyela Dkl byp caswtbv vbkp xyvvla vs pwnb yd lmvldv vbyv kv pllxp vbyv lhld vbl alrwvyvksd sq vbl plnv kp dsv kd bkp nsdpkelayvksd. Mbkp kp yzalyeu iwkvl ekpnsdnlavkdt, yde vbl svbla lzelap’ lmralppksdp talo psxcla. Mbl yvxsprblal kd vbl byzz clnyxl lmvalxlzu blyhu.
“Dkl Tsdtnbld” oyp dso ynvwyzzu Dkl Nkdtck.
Tl bye tykdle y dlo zlypl sd zkql, yde bkp blyav oyp qkzzle okvb lmvalxl fsu, yzsdt okvb y pvasdt ekpzkjl qsa vblpl lzelap.
Pwakdt Dkl Nkdtck’p vldwal yp plnv zlyela, bl oyp dsv olzz zkjle cu vbl lzelap. Tl oyp blyepvasdt yde pvwccsad, nywpkdt vbl lzelap vs byhl alplahyvksdp.
Tsolhla, vbl plnv dllele psxlsdl vs xydytl kv, yde Dkl Nkdtck eke pvyde swv yxsdt vbl ekpnkrzlp sq vbyv vkxl. Ebkzl bl oypd’v zkjle, bl oypd’v srldzu srrsple lkvbla.
Lso, pllkdt vblpl rlsrzl wpkdt vblka kdqzwldnl ytykdpv bkx, kv oyp ekqqknwzv qsa “Dkl Tsdtnbld” vs xykdvykd bkp qynyel yp Dkl Nkdtck yde nsxrzu.
Tl xwpv nyrvwal “Dkl Nkdtck.” Tl dllele vs cayde “Dkl Nkdtck” yp y nakxkdyz ps vbyv bkp osaep yp Dkl Tsdtnbld oswze cl nalekczl.
Otherwise, with “Xie Hongchen” still wearing his shell, he would still be recognized as the master. If the other party changed their mind and said something unfavorable about him, how could he handle it? He had to ensure that the other party was labeled with a bad reputation to have peace of mind.
But in doing so, he would inevitably offend these elders.
Inside, “Xie Lingbi” sneered coldly. He had already had enough of these elders during his time as sect leader.
To his surprise, even after changing into “Xie Hongchen’s” body, he still had to endure the meddling of these old coots.
Suppressing his irritation, he said with the respectful tone of Xie Hongchen, “Elders, the Yuhu Immortal Sect is a renowned righteous sect and holds authority over the realm of immortals. The actions of Senior Xie have brought disgrace to the sect. As the current sect leader, I have no choice but to uphold justice, even if it means acting against my own kin. I hope all of you can understand.”
However, how could Qiu Cailing and the others possibly understand?
Even before Xie Hongchen entered the Yeyun hall, the elders had made their stance clear to him. Now, his open defiance and arbitrary decisions were like a slap in the faces of the elders.
Indeed, as Qiu Cailing’s voice fell, another elder, Kang Xuetong, spoke, “It seems that what Elder Qiu said yesterday was in vain. He’s just fanning the flames on the side.” Qiu Cailing’s expression naturally turned uglier.
He no longer consulted with “Xie Hongchen” and directly ordered, “Immediately halt the pursuit and find a way to salvage the sect’s reputation. Xie Lingbi cannot be publicly prosecuted.”
This was clearly an order.
“Xie Hongchen” felt a surge of anger. During his time as sect leader, he had already grown tired of these elders.
To think that now, after finally changing into Xie Hongchen’s body, he still had to endure the meddling of these old geezers.
Suppressing his frustration, he said, “Elders, as the current sect leader, I have the authority to make decisions in this matter. There’s no need for further discussion.” This was a direct act of rebellion! Qiu Cailing and the others were both shocked and infuriated. This was not Xie Hongchen’s usual demeanor.
In truth, Xie Hongchen had always been lenient and gentle by nature.
He managed the sect diligently and was willing to compromise. This was also why the sect admired him.
Why had his temperament suddenly changed, and why was he acting so stubbornly? Qiu Cailing and the others left the Yeyun with grim expressions.
At this point, it was no longer about pursuing Xie Lingbi; it had become a conflict between the sect’s ruling power and the elder council.
Luofu Hall, Inner Chamber
“Xie Lingbi” was trapped by a locking ring, his body restrained against the wall. He sat cross-legged, leaning against the wall, his disheveled white hair obscuring his face.
“Xie Hongchen” entered the room, but even his presence didn’t startle Xie Lingbi. Xie Hongchen had no choice but to take out two pills and place them in front of him.
“With such serious injuries, I’m afraid your time is running out. While these pills can’t cure you, they might at least prolong your life.” He spoke with Xie Hongchen’s voice, but inside was Xie Lingbi’s consciousness. The person sitting against the wall was unmistakably Xie Lingbi. Xie Lingbi found this perspective to be quite strange.
The person sitting by the wall finally opened his eyes. At this moment, he must have been suffering from a splitting headache. Xie Lingbi knew that feeling all too well. Yet his expression remained remarkably calm, giving no hint of the agony he was enduring. When he spoke, Xie Lingbi heard his own voice, which left him feeling disoriented.
“Xie Hongchen” said, “I don’t know why Master practiced the Evil spirits Scripture. But now you have taken over my body. I hope Master can let go of distractions and suppress desires.”
“Shut up!” Xie Lingbi scolded, “Let go of distractions, suppress desires, and then become like you? Hongchen, you are naturally kind-hearted, but even with unparalleled talent, you’ll never achieve greatness!”
With that, he turned to leave. Behind him, Xie Hongchen sighed lightly and advised, “Master, you have a new lease on life. It’s time to turn back.” However, how could Xie Lingbi listen to his words?
“Turn back?” He sneered, a trace of pity in his eyes. “You know nothing at all. How pitiful.” With that, he imprisoned Xie Hongchen, set up restrictions, and left the chamber.
Di Yiqiu had wrapped Huang Rang in a warm embrace. Originally, she was supposed to accompany him on a trip to Qingzhou Prefecture. However, someone suddenly reported, “Chief, someone outside claims to be Senior Disciple Nie Qinglan, the first disciple of Sect Leader Xie. They’ve brought something.”
Miao Yunzhi had already packed his medical kit, intending to accompany them. He spoke, “It’s likely a message from Xie Hongchen about the soul-binding bone-fixing needles. Since this needle is from the Yuhu Immortal Sect, he probably knows more about it.”
Immediately,Di Yiqiu accepted the item and found it to be a storage artifact.
Upon opening it, there were indeed scrolls and texts inside.
“Thank you.” Di Yiqiu handed them over to Miao Yunzhi, but unexpectedly, two sheets of paper fell out.
“What are these?” Miao Yunzhi picked them up, seeing that the first page contained two strange symbols. These symbols were quite peculiar and uncommon. The second page was a sword technique and a mental method.
Both lacked annotations.
Di Yiqiu examined them carefully but couldn’t quite grasp their meaning. He casually patted the papers onto the table, saying, “They seem to be intentionally vague.”
Miao Yunzhi knew that these two were not simple figures. He said, “Since Xie Hongchen sent these, there must be a reason behind it. It’s best to keep them safe.”
At that moment, Li Lu hurried over, saying, “Chief, we’ve received news from the Yuhu Immortal Sect. Xie Lingbi has gone missing.”
“Missing?!” This time, not only Di Yiqiu but even Miao Yunzhi furrowed their brows. Huang Rang’s heart raced. The moment she heard those words, her ears stood on end.
Li Lu’s expression became serious as he said, “What’s even stranger is that Xie Hongchen has suddenly issued orders to the sect, commanding them to pursue Xie Lingbi. He even offered a substantial reward.”
“Indeed, it’s strange,” replied Di Yiqiu with a contemplative look. “It doesn’t seem like something he would do.”
Miao Yunzhi also asked, “With his actions like this, would the elders of the Yuhu Immortal Sect agree? Those old monsters value the sect’s reputation above all else.”
“I can’t understand it either,” Li Lu said. “I’ve heard that Qiu Cailing and the others have come out one after another, but it’s difficult to learn more about other details.”
“Where could Xie Lingbi, who has escaped, be heading now? With his injuries, how can he escape the extensive pursuit of the Yuhu Immortal Sect?” Di Yiqiu pondered for a long time but still couldn’t figure it out.
Meanwhile, within the Yuhu Immortal Sect…
Qiu Cailing ordered Xie Shaochong to recall the pursuit of Xie Lingbi.
Xie Shaochong was in distress. The Elder Council had given direct orders, bypassing the sect leader. This was an unprecedented event in the Yuhu Immortal Sect, indicating a deep conflict.
Caught in a dilemma between obeying and defying, he had no choice but to report to “Xie Hongchen” again.
“Xie Hongchen” then arranged a secret meeting with Qiu Cailing in the Luofu.
When Qiu Cailing entered the hall, his face was gloomy. If it weren’t for his previous favorable feelings towards “Xie Hongchen,” he probably wouldn’t have come. Although the Elder Council usually didn’t involve themselves in sect affairs, they were the most powerful force within the entire sect.
These reclusive elders, if they found their authority useless, would certainly find ways to make it effective again. There had already been a proposal within the Elder Council to temporarily set aside the sect leader’s authority.
However, considering Xie Hongchen’s reputation and contributions over the years and the fact that the next generation of disciples, including Nie Qinglan, were not yet capable of leading the sect, “Xie Hongchen” had once again invited Qiu Cailing.
This time, “Xie Hongchen” appeared much more humble.
He stood up and said, “Elder Qiu, in light of recent events, even I, as the Sect Leader, was deeply concerned and infuriated upon seeing my beloved wife suffering. I was momentarily agitated, and my actions were not meant to defy the respected elders. Please forgive me.”
Offering an apology and invoking the name of his “beloved wife,” “Xie Hongchen” tried to placate Qiu Cailing. His expression improved slightly, and he said, “As I mentioned before, even if Huang Rang is truly harmed by Xie Lingbi, the matter has already been settled and cannot be reversed. If Xie Lingbi is truly guilty, we can investigate and handle it privately within the sect. There’s no need to make it a public spectacle.”
He emphasized the need to preserve the sect’s reputation and questioned the consequences of their actions. “Xie Hongchen” seemed to be regretful and conciliatory, admitting his rashness.
Qiu Cailing extended his hand to take the tea cup, seemingly willing to reconsider, but suddenly, “Xie Hongchen” made a hand gesture, and a powerful force surged towards him like thunder.
Caught off guard, Qiu Cailing was enveloped in a black mist, and with a loud thud, she spat out a mouthful of blood, only then realizing what had happened. “Xie Hongchen” had attacked him! Wide-eyed and shocked, he struggled to believe it.
Before him, “Xie Hongchen” had successfully executed his move and grinned sinisterly. “Old man Qiu, I’ve tolerated you for many years.” He seemed to take pleasure in this act. Qiu Cailing quickly retrieved a multicolored flag from his storage, lightly shook it, and disappeared from the spot.
His name was Cailing, and he possessed numerous such flags. While defeating him would be relatively easy, killing him would prove troublesome.
Inside the Luofu Hall, there were array formations that prevented him from escaping far. “Xie Hongchen” sneered, searching around. Suddenly, he heard a faint sound coming from the inner chamber corridor.
He moved towards the entrance, prepared to chase after him. Just then, Xie Shaochong’s voice came from outside: “Sect Leader, Elder Kang Xuetong is here.” Kang Xuetong? A strange smile crossed “Xie Hongchen’s” face. “Invite him in.”
Capital City, Celestial Court
Di Yiqiu was guiding Huang Rang and Miao Yunzhi as they prepared to travel to Qingzhou. Suddenly, Fu Gonggong arrived. Miao Yunzhi frowned and said, “It seems like there are many matters today. It might not be suitable to go out.”
Di Yiqiu nodded in agreement and said, “Let’s delay our departure for now.”
Di Yiqiu paid no attention to him and approached, saying, “Fu Gonggong, what’s the matter? Does His Majesty have an edict?”
Fu Gonggong smiled and replied, “Of course. His Majesty said there will be a guest visiting later, so the chief should refrain from going out for now.”
“A guest?” Di Yiqiu furrowed his brows.
Fu Gonggong continued, “Indeed. His Majesty also mentioned that the chief hasn’t seen their siblings for a long time. He ordered this servant to send them to the Celestial Court to catch up and welcome the esteemed guest.”
Di Yiqiu finally understood. Could this mean a formidable enemy was coming?
He turned to Miao Yunzhi and said, “It seems our senior was right. Today’s affairs are many, and it’s not advisable to go out.” Huang Rang was getting drowsy listening to the convoluted conversation.
Fu Gonggong waved his hand, and several carriages entered the White Tiger Bureau. It appeared that the chief officials’ siblings had indeed arrived.
Given their numerous siblings, Di Yiqiu couldn’t recognize them all.
These princes and princesses were dressed in black robes, with many of them wearing black veils on their faces. Clearly, they were sensitive to light.
Miao Yunzhi was quite intrigued by these individuals and examined them one by one. Huang Rang was seeing so many prince and princess siblings for the first time.
They all had stern expressions. Some had scales on their faces, while others had vertical golden pupils. Upon observation, Huang Rang found Di Yiqiu to be the most pleasing to the eye.
She surveyed them, and they surveyed her in return.
One of them remarked, “Is this the plaything that the 86th brother shares meals and beds with?” The person raised Huang Rang’s chin, speaking with a flirtatious tone, “Indeed, she’s beautiful.”
Huang Rang’s gaze lifted, and she saw the person’s face—wasn’t that the Fifth Prince, Zhao Yanzhi? She sighed internally—after all that time, you haven’t improved at all?
As expected, the Fifth Prince, Zhao Yanzhi, was about to reach out and touch Huang Rang’s lips, but Di Yiqiu moved her wheelchair slightly backward and said with a smile, “Fifth Brother still finds her interesting. How about I send her to your residence?”
Zhao Yanzhi had no memory of anything outside of his dreams. Upon his revival, he only remembered the events of the dream, which spanned a hundred years. He coldly sneered, “You’ve become quite sensible in a few days.”
Huang Rang really didn’t want to talk anymore.
Just then, Bao Wu hurriedly arrived, saying, “Chief, Xie Hongchen has suddenly soared on his sword and is heading towards the capital.”
All voices inside the room fell silent. “Xie Hongchen?” echoed Di Yiqiu and Miao Yunzhi in unison.
A princess questioned, “Could the person His Majesty mentioned be Xie Hongchen?”
“That wouldn’t make sense,” Miao Yunzhi said, furrowing his brow. “The last time Xie Hongchen came, he only fought against Di Yiqiu. How long has it been? Moreover, he just sent us the scriptures earlier. Can he change his stance so quickly?”
Di Yiqiu had similar thoughts—Xie Hongchen wouldn’t turn hostile so swiftly, even if he had a change of heart. However, Xie Hongchen’s arrival was indeed aggressive.
In any case, he was here to provoke. The Celestial Court could only confront the threat.
Di Yiqiu handed Huang Rang over to Miao Yunzhi, taking the princes, princesses, and Celestial Court forces to the outskirts of the Celestial Court. This area served as the entrance to the capital city.
Indeed, a dark figure appeared on the horizon, rapidly approaching and soon arriving. It was Xie Hongchen.
He wore white robes and a jade crown. Once a dignified and otherworldly sword immortal, however, his eyes were now filled with arrogance. Upon seeing the group led by Di Yiqiu, he scornfully remarked, “Insects like you, can you really oppose me?”
Di Yiqiu furrowed his brows and said, “Sect Leader Xie, your aura is quite arrogant today, and your words are audacious. Have you gone mad?”
“Xie Hongchen” approached with a sinister smile and retorted, “Did Emperor Shi Wenyu only send you ants here to die?”
Di Yiqiu sneered, not understanding why this person suddenly went insane. He asked, “Sect Leader Xie, what brings you to the capital today?”
However, at that moment, from the rooftop outside the building, someone appeared—disheveled, barefoot, covered in blood, and carrying a crushed transmission talisman. “He’s not Xie Hongchen!” the person shouted. “Beware!”
With these words still hanging in the air, the airborne “Xie Hongchen” raised his hand and lightly struck at Di Yiqiu.
However, the chief had always been cautious. Unlike Qiu Cailing and the others, even while speaking, he remained vigilant. Though the strike from the airborne “Xie Hongchen” seemed feeble, it carried a hidden force.
The surrounding vegetation remained undisturbed, but the protective artifact on Di Yiqiu’s body shattered with a loud bang! The paving stones beneath him turned into powder. This strike, if he hadn’t been vigilant, would have killed him instantly.
Observers might have found the strike seemingly lacking in power.
Even the airborne “Xie Hongchen” was momentarily surprised, seeming unexpectedly astonished by the result.
Only Di Yiqiu lowered his gaze, fixated on the crystal-clear, translucent fragments on the ground.
After a moment, he dusted off his clothes, relaxed, and turned to his Fifth Brother, Zhao Yanzhi, saying, “Fifth Brother, why don’t you chat with him for a bit? I need to attend to some trivial matters, and I’ll be right back.”
Zhao Yanzhi snorted and stood before the group. He raised his voice and questioned, “The imperial court and the Yuhu Immortal Sect have coexisted peacefully. Why does Sect Leader Xie come with such aggression and ruthlessness today?”
Of course, the chief paid little attention to his words.
He swiftly approached Miao Yunzhi and took out a sachet, handing it over. “Senior, please take Ah Rang and leave the capital.”
Miao Yunzhi was bewildered for a moment before grasping the meaning behind the words. He angrily retorted, “In such a dire situation, what nonsense are you spouting?”
Di Yiqiu chuckled, “Although I have aspirations, my abilities are limited. This sachet contains a private item I’ve refined over the years. Whether it’s useful or not, that’s up to you. With the sudden turn of events, consider this a small token of my goodwill. I ask you, esteemed senior, to honor my request.”
After saying this, his gaze shifted downward, and he reached out to touch Huang Rang but withdrew his hand.
“Go,” he lightly flicked his finger, then turned away, using the most audacious manner to leave behind the most cowardly words, “Even if I’m not strong, I can still hold him back for a while to give you, esteemed senior, a chance to escape.”
Meanwhile, in front of everyone, Zhao Yanzhi raised his voice and said, “Sect Leader Xie, haven’t you heard the saying, ‘A strong dragon does not suppress a local snake’? Even though you’re acclaimed as the number one sword immortal, is our imperial court really without anyone?”
The gaze from “Xie Hongchen” was peculiar. Zhao Yanzhi had no idea what it meant. It wasn’t until “Xie Hongchen’s” natal sword was unsheathed and directed at him that he finally understood.
This sword was silent, and Zhao Yanzhi only felt a coldness before his head and left shoulder fell to the ground, while the rest of his body remained standing. In his final moments, there was only one thought in his mind—Di Yiqiu, I’ll curse you to death, you dog bastard…