Chapter 9: The First Crisis
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ever since that night, Yi Qing’s body was rid of all the demonic aura and he had finally recovered fully. Perhaps due to having used all his might to suppress the demonic aura all this while, now that the aura was cleared out, he actually felt that his cultivation which had been at a bottleneck was showing signs of possibly making a breakthrough. All of this was thanks to the demon core that his master had given to him, hence he was once again relieved to have met such a good teacher. He therefore swallowed back in the intentions he had been wanting to voice out.
“Uh, chef… Disciple… ah, ‘Qin’? 1 ” Shen Ying nudged the person who was cooking and asked, “Are… you alright?”
Stunned, pangs of guilt weighed Yi Qing down even more. He put down the ladle in his hand and bowed towards her, saying, “Have you seen through me? It is truly impossible to hide anything from Master.”
“…” Uh, it’s just that the same dish has been seasoned with salt thrice, and I wanted to ask if it’s still edible?
But his face showed the increasing guilt within him. He hesitated for a while before saying with conviction, “Indeed, I have a matter to consult with you, and I hope that Master will allow it!”
Shen Ying took a quick glance into the pan and casually said, “Just say what you want.” Hm, luckily it was carrots that were being cooked, not meat.
“I know that Master has a great heart, which is why you stay guard by the borders to prevent demons from leaving and causing chaos.”
“Uh…” No, she was just terrible with directions and dared not wander around.
“It’s just that, my request is not a common one and is also of great urgency.” He flipped his hand and took out the previously sealed Soul Devouring Gonfalon and explained, “This gonfalon is still the creation of Fiendish Cultivator Rui Mi. He once massacred tens of thousands of people and trapped their souls within this gonfalon to breed in the Blood Pool of Noxiousness. This incited the evil spirits within the gonfalon to kill each other, the purpose of which was to breed a Ghost King. Currently, this gonfalon still contains millions of evil spirits. Releasing any one of them would lead to the loss of lives as well as great misery and suffering.” Recalling the evil doings of that Fiendish Cultivator made him clench his fists. He continued after taking a deep breath. “Now that this gonfalon has become free of its owner’s control, the evil spirits inside will certainly make use of this opportunity to escape from it. Although I used a spell to temporarily seal the gonfalon last night, it is not a long-term solution. When the night of the full moon arrives, the Yin energy will be at its peak and the evil spirits will definitely break the seal, bringing harm to the world.”
“Oh…” Shen Ying nodded, totally not understanding a word he said. She then asked, “What exactly are you trying to say?”
“I’m afraid that no one person can suppress hundreds of thousands of evil spirits alone.” He gripped his palms and said with conviction, “So… I am intending to bring this gonfalon to the immortal sect, Blackheaven Sect. It is located above ley lines, and the energy from those ley lines can be used to cleanse the evil spirits’ noxiousness which can also an opportunity to help release those souls from their suffering. But…”
He suddenly thought of something as he turned his head hesitantly towards Shen Ying to look at her. “This trip to the Blackheaven Sect is going to be a very long journey. My knowledge and ability is very limited. If anything were to happen to the gonfalon, I’m afraid that it would be beyond my capabilities to salvage the situation.”
He cupped his fists and suddenly knelt in front of her. “Pardon my boldness, but may I ask that Master accompany me on this journey to the Blackheaven Sect?”
“I understand that Master has stayed here for the sake of cultivation. To ask you to just leave like that might be… Huh? Oh! M-master, you accept!” Yi Qing grew round-eyed in disbelief. He felt as if he had imagined what he heard. After all, her decision to stay by the borders of the Demon Realm must have been due to some huge obstacle in cultivation, a choice borne out of desperation. Giving up halfway was something that should be avoided the most during cultivation, yet she actually agreed to leave this place so easily!
“Stand up, stand up.” Shen Ying held him up. He should have said that he knew the way long ago. She had stayed in this old forest for a few months, and if not for that hunter who did not want to bring her out no matter what, not to mention her terrible sense of direction that might have gotten her lost with no roof over her head to sleep under, she would have long left to wander about. Getting a disciple was indeed beneficial.
“When are we leaving? Why not today? Let’s set off now! Lunch can be packed and brought along.”
“Master…” Yi Qing felt a lump in his throat—he was extremely touched. Master was indeed a person with great kindness. He felt no regrets in following under her wing.
“Why are you still standing there?” Shen Ying walked out of the kitchen and gestured at him. “Quickly, pack the lunches and we can eat them on the way. Time is of the essence, so we can forget about the vegetables in the pan.” Since they are already overcooked.
“Yes!” Yi Qing rubbed his nose and suppressed the gratitude within him as he turned to extinguish the fire. He stood tall and upright as he strode outside, slightly overwhelmed with the pride of being under the wing of this master of his.
Shen Ying was a little excited about finally being able to leave this shabby place. She rushed into the house to pack up but realized that there was nothing much to pack. After pondering for a bit, she decided to leave a note for the rabbit. Stepping outside, she saw that her chef disciple had already packed lunch and was ready for her.
“I’m done.” She walked over and casually asked, “Which way are we going?”
Yi Qing stretched out his hand and pointed to the right. “Just heading south will do.”
“Yes.” He habitually raised his hand and a sword appeared out of nowhere. He climbed onto the sword and it began to fly. But as it gained speed, he turned back to realized that someone was still standing at the same spot. He then reminded, “Master? This journey to the Blackheaven Sect is going to be very long, so it is necessary to travel by sword-riding.”
Shen Ying: “…” What sort of high technology was sword-riding? If she knew how to fly, would she have even been stuck here for four months?
“I don’t know how.”
“Ah?!” Yi Qing almost thought he had heard wrongly but she did not seem to be joking, so he tried asking, “Master… are you used to traveling by artifact-riding?”
“Then how about wind-riding?”
“Never heard of it.”
“What about stealth advancement?”
“I don’t understand.”
Yi Qing was silent for a full minute before flying back with complicated emotions. He hesitated, then stretched his hand out towards her. “Then… may I give Master a ride?”
“That’s great!” She replied immediately as she leapt onto his sword. “Thank you, I’ve gotten my balance. Start the car, start the car.”
That urgent look of hers seemed to be a little… overly excited? Appearing just like those young disciples when they were having their first experience of sword-riding.
Yi Qing shook his head and tossed this absurd thought away, and once again resumed sword-riding with a passenger. Master being so formidable, how could she not know sword-riding? There had to be another reason. Could it be that when she helped him eliminate the demonic aura last night, she sustained some internal injuries? Was she afraid that he would be worried and so was keeping it from him?
The more he thought about it, the more plausible it seemed. He could not help but turn back to look at Shen Ying. Master… was indeed too kind.
Shen Ying who was truly flying for the first time: “…” Uh, what’s with this cheapskate chef’s sympathetic gaze, looking at me as if I’m a disabled child? Isn’t it just a getting a ride from you?
This flight journey had taken up two days of their time. After leaving the forest that loomed with demonic aura, they traversed through the wastelands. On the afternoon of the third day, they only saw the walls of a small city in the distance from which they could hear faint bustling noises.
“Master, we have arrived.” Yi Qing stopped and put away his spiritual sword.
“This is Blackheaven Sect?” Shen Ying raised her head and glanced at the words above the city gates, but she could not see them clearly.
“No.” Yi Qing shook his head. “This is the nearest city for cultivators, Shunyu City. The distance to Blackheaven Sect is way too far, so relying solely on sword-riding would take half a month before we can get there. This city has an array formation for transportation which can send us directly to Blackheaven Sect.”
“Oh.” Although she did not exactly understand, his words should mean that there was a shortcut.
Yi Qing brought her into the city, cutting a path through the bustling streets towards the central area. They only stopped after they reached the most crowded area that was a small public square. There were many people there; some were in groups while others were traveling alone. All of them were sage-like, standing in the line of a long queue seemingly waiting for something.
Yi Qing brought Shen Ying to stand in line at the very end of the queue. He pointed to the front and said, “Master, the transportation array is right in front. We will be able to reach Blackheaven Sect in a while.”
“Yeah.” Shen Ying nodded absent-mindedly. Feeling a little sleepy, she did not have the strength to look around at the surroundings.
The queue moved very quickly, and within a short period of time they were at the very front of the line. Shen Ying finally had a clear view—there were glowing patterns in the center of the transportation area, some of which looked like the magic arrays that could be seen in cartoons. Surrounding them were four stone pillars that were inscribed with incomprehensible words. Once someone walked towards that pattern, they would disappear.
So this is a transportation array! Shen Ying felt that her transmigration had become more surreal.
“50 spiritual pearls per person!” The cultivator guarding the transportation array stretched out his hands towards them.
Yi Qing habitually searched for the storage bag by his side, but there was nothing. He froze and his face turned white.
“What’s the matter?” Shen Ying glanced at him.
Yi Qing’s face turned green as he lowered his volume and asked, “I forgot that my storage bag was lost during the battle with Rui Mi. Master… do you have any spiritual pearls with you?”
“What are spiritual pearls?”
Yi Qing: “…”
The guard: “…”
After her transmigration into this world, the first crisis Shen Ying encountered was—having no money!