Menu

The Dragon

The Dragon By Oct 20, 2023 5 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Meeting the Azure Phoenix Again

The two of them rested for half a day, only leaving the cave once the firewood had burned out.

Zhong Michu’s complexion had improved after half a day of meditation and recuperation.

Standing on the mountainside, they looked out over the landscape. As far as the eye could see, there was not a single trace of green.

Gu Fuyou thought to herself, Just randomly falling into a place like this almost got us killed. Who knows if we’ll make it out of this place alive.

Feeling disheartened, Gu Fuyou said, “If we knew where the center of the inner layer was and had enough spirit stones, maybe we could find a way out directly.”

Zhong Michu asked, “Do you have a plan?”

Gu Fuyou picked up a round, charred stone from the ground and explained, “Elder Liuhe once mentioned that Xian Luo’s entire shape is spherical. The top is the outer layer, the middle is the mid-layer, and the bottom is the inner layer. Spiritual energy flows downwards, accumulating at the bottom. That’s why the inner layer has a richer concentration of energy, nurturing fiercer spirit beasts, while the outer layer has weaker energy, and thus weaker beasts. At the very top of the outer layer, where the energy is weakest, the defensive barrier is at its thinnest. Every seven hundred years, on this day, the barrier becomes so thin it’s almost nonexistent, creating an opening: the main gate to Xian Luo.”

Rotating the stone, Gu Fuyou continued, “There’s a formation called ‘Zhuan Fengshui’ which can reverse the flow of spiritual energy. If we reverse Xian Luo’s energy flow, pushing it to the outer layer, the center of the inner layer would become the weakest point with the most fragile barrier, creating an exit.”

While the Zhuan Fengshui formation defies the natural order and consumes a massive amount of spiritual energy, lasting only a short time, for them, a mere blink would be enough to escape.

Gu Fuyou sighed heavily, lamenting, “Unfortunately, we don’t know where the center of the inner layer is.”

After pondering for a moment, Zhong Michu said, “Perhaps some spirit beasts might know.”

Gu Fuyou’s eyes lit up. Zhong Michu made a good point, given her knowledge of beast-taming, they could seek answers.

However, her excitement quickly faded. The spirit beasts of the inner layer were all at the Golden Core Stage or above. Sending Zhong Michu to ask would be like throwing her into a tiger’s den.

Reading her concern, Zhong Michu said, “We could look for gentler spirit beasts that are not fond of fighting.”

“But it’s still dangerous,” Gu Fuyou countered.

“We can’t just sit here and wait to die,” Zhong Michu asserted.

True to her words, staying put wasn’t a solution. No one knew they were here, so no rescue was coming.

They decided to head down the mountain to seek a spirit beast for directions.

As they reached the middle of the mountain, a strange wind blew from behind them, carrying a barely audible sigh.

They both turned around. There was no one behind them, but they saw the half Jacaranda tree on the mountain, half of it visibly withering into ash, dispersing with the wind as if it had never existed.

Zhong Michu remarked, “This tree is very strange.”

Gu Fuyou then shared with her about seeing this tree in the sky, and how she had chopped off half of its branches to use as firewood. She laughed, “This tree saved our lives.”

Zhong Michu pondered, “It’s the only living thing in ten miles. I wonder why.” She also noted the earlier sigh, which vanished in an instant, as truly unusual.

Gu Fuyou asked, “Senior Sister Zhong, do you know the meaning behind the Jacaranda Tree?”          
                                                                                                   
Zhong Michu shook her head. Gu Fuyou said, “Legend has it that a woman, upon hearing that her lover had died far from home, was so overwhelmed with grief that she took her own life in despair and transformed into a Jacaranda tree. They say this tree symbolizes love lost in despair.”

Gu Fuyou chuckled, “Maybe it transformed from one of the elders of the Azure Phoenix clan who was buried in the Ice Chamber. Otherwise, why wouldn’t her body be buried with her clan, but here instead?”

Although Gu Fuyou made the comment lightheartedly, she seemed serious. Regardless, both had no way of verifying it, but deep down, both held suspicions about this place.

The two continued downhill. The deeper they went, the more their heartbeats intensified, causing an inexplicable sense of foreboding.

Reaching the foot of the mountain, they found a stone statue. The statue depicted a spirit beast sitting atop a stone tablet, its face determined, looking towards the peak. Chains passed through the base of the stone tablet, extending into the distance.

They had not noticed it earlier from above or on the mountainside; it was only upon closer inspection that they saw it. The statue was made of obsidian, blending in with the charred stones of the mountain, making it difficult to detect.

Gu Fuyou recognized it almost immediately. It was a formation known as the Ten Direction and Five Elements Evil-Suppression Formation, the most formidable of sealing formations.

There must be similar statues in the distance, ten in total, connected by chains, encircling the mountain peak.

This formation was typically used to seal off extremely malevolent beasts. But using an entire mountain peak for suppression, Gu Fuyou had never seen such an extravagant formation.

It was unclear what kind of beast it was suppressing.

Upon entering the cave at the mountain’s peak, it was entirely covered in ice. She had broken the formation within the Ruizhu Palace, and after retrieving the artifact, the ice on the cave walls didn’t show any signs of melting. Even where they made a fire, the ice showed no signs of melting.

The icy rocks formation inside the cave have nothing to do with the formation in the Ruizhu Palace. There must be another reason.

It was most likely another formation causing ice to form at the peak of the mountain, possibly in response to the Ten Direction and Five Elements Evil-Suppression Formation to hold down the beast below.

The beast must be of a fire attribute.

Of course, these were just Gu Fuyou’s speculations without evidence. But one thing was certain; such elaborate measures wouldn’t be used to contain anything good.

Gu Fuyou glanced back at the mountain peak, feeling as if she could hear the roar of an ancient beast. A cold shiver ran from the sole of her feet up her spine. She knew they shouldn’t linger, so she immediately said, “Senior Sister Zhong, let’s leave quickly.”

Zhong Michu also sensed something and agreed. They left, and after walking a distance, Zhong Michu realized she could fly with her sword. She carried Gu Fuyou and they flew off.

They eventually landed in a dense forest. Zhong Michu put her sword back in her sleeve when suddenly, a grumbling sound was heard.

She looked at Gu Fuyou to see her cheeks flushed, holding Ah Fu in front of her face, “It’s hungry…”

After a pause, Gu Fuyou mumbled, “I’m hungry too.”

She had been dizzy with hunger in the desert, and after resting a bit, had somewhat recovered. But after facing one challenging event after another, she was completely exhausted.

Zhong Michu said, “There should be wild fruits in the forest to help with our hunger. We can also look for spirit beasts.”

The two went deeper into the forest. The inner layers were rich in spiritual energy, nurturing everything around. The environment was thriving with various plant species.

Tall trees stood proud, ancient pines reached for the skies, bamboo stalks appeared pure, willows swayed gracefully, and thousands of flowers and leaves intertwined, dancing in the light and shadows.

Annoyingly, although the vegetation was abundant, fruit-bearing plants were hard to find. They went deeper into the dense forest, finally finding a plum tree. After picking some plums, they heard rustling noises coming from the nearby bushes.

They turned around and saw, just three steps away, grass parting not for a spirit beast, but a person stepping out.

“I was wondering who intruded into my territory. It turns out it’s just two little girls.” The woman who emerged held a staff in her hand. Despite her rough attire and hair tied with simple hairpins, she radiated an air of nobility.

She still had a charming presence, clearly having been a beautiful woman once.

Most notably, she wore no makeup, but the corners of her eyes were painted in a seductive red.

Gu Fuyou couldn’t help but say, “It’s another Azure Phoenix.”

Although Gu Fuyou spoke in a whisper, the woman heard her clearly. Her expression changed, and she asked in a stern tone, “Another Azure Phoenix? Have you encountered another one… Did you come from the mountain on the eastern side of the forest? Have you seen her?”

Gu Fuyou instinctively felt danger in her tone. The woman gave Gu Fuyou a glance, and when she saw Zhong Michu by her side, her expression momentarily stiffened. Her eyes circled around Zhong Michu, and with a furrowed brow, she muttered, “Huh, very strange…”

Gu Fuyou, unsure of her meaning, felt an instinctual wariness about this woman and quickly said, “We didn’t know this was your territory. We entered by mistake. Please forgive us, we will leave immediately and not disturb you.” With that, she tried to pull Zhong Michu away.

By the woman’s tone, it seemed she recognized the woman from Ruizhu Palace. If they were blamed for disturbing the peace of that woman, who knows what might happen.

The woman extended her staff, hooking Zhong Michu around her waist, “Where do you think you’re going?”

Gu Fuyou felt as if a heavy weight pressed on her feet, rendering her unable to move.

The woman laughed, “It’s been tens of thousands of years since anyone visited here, and now two little girls appear. One at the Golden Core stage, the other at Qi Practicing. Just children, daring to come to the inner layers with such meager cultivation. Are you here seeking death?”

Upon hearing this, Gu Fuyou was shocked. A thousand years? This woman must be at least at the Nascent Soul stage.

The woman retracted her staff and said, “Follow me.”

Zhong Michu and Gu Fuyou felt the pressure lift, but the thought of fleeing never crossed their minds. Their cultivation gap was too vast, so they obediently followed.

After walking for a while, the scenery suddenly opened up. The trees around them towered, their branches forming a natural dome, yet the area was still brightly lit with vibrant greenery. Ahead, four or five bamboo houses were enclosed by a fence.

The woman pointed at Zhong Michu, “You, come with me.”

Then to Gu Fuyou, she said, “You, don’t step into my yard. You’ll dirty my place.”

Gu Fuyou stared in disbelief. Why was Zhong Michu allowed inside while she was considered unclean? Was it just because Zhong Michu was more attractive?

Neither Gu Fuyou nor Zhong Michu moved.

The woman turned to see Zhong Michu hadn’t followed, “What, are you scared I’ll eat you? Your little bit of flesh wouldn’t even stick between my teeth.”

Zhong Michu said, “I don’t understand why the senior has specifically brought us here.”

The woman glanced at her, “It’d be a waste for someone so young to perish here. I thought I’d heal your injuries.”

“I am not injured and need no treatment,” Zhong Michu replied.

Gu Fuyou interjected, “No, you are injured.” She had been concerned about the injuries Zhong Michu sustained from the formation and blurted it out without thinking.

“Not injured?” The woman tapped Zhong Michu’s head with her staff, “I’m not blind. What is this, then?”

Zhong Michu suddenly widened her eyes, staring at the woman in shock.

The woman, tired of talking, hooked Zhong Michu’s waist with her staff and dragged her inside, with Zhong Michu unable to resist.

“Senior, senior! My junior sister is also injured, you…”

Without turning her head, the woman tossed something back over her shoulder. Gu Fuyou caught it and saw it was a bottle of pills.

The woman said, “As long as you don’t go beyond this courtyard, no spirit beasts will bother you. But if you wish to go out and seek death, I won’t stop you.”

These words were clearly meant for Gu Fuyou. Gu Fuyou slightly pursed her lips, clutching Ah Fu, not daring to get close to the fence.

Since there was no danger outside the courtyard, it was no harm to wait here. She found a dry patch of grass to sit on, took out some plums she had earlier, and ate them while waiting for Zhong Michu.

Although the Azure Phoenix clan doesn’t particularly like humans, they did not randomly take lives. Earlier, she inadvertently revealed that they had visited Ruizhu Palace. Thinking about it now, the woman’s reaction was not one of anger but surprise. Gu Fuyou had been overly cautious, mistakenly thinking the woman was out for revenge.

It was strange that the woman suddenly offered to help Zhong Michu, but it was not entirely unbelievable. If she wanted to hurt them, she could have done it straight up without any tricks.

After finishing the plums, and with Zhong Michu still not appearing, Gu Fuyou meditated to recover some spiritual energy, but Zhong Michu still didn’t come out.

Bored from waiting, Gu Fuyou stood up and wandered elsewhere, when suddenly her eyes caught something sparkling.

She screamed excitedly and ran towards it.

Just beneath the old trees in the forest, spiritual herbs were lush and thriving, with rare flowers fresh and tender. Clusters and bunches of spiritual flowers and herbs were growing vigorously.

This place was a treasure trove!

The value of a spirutual herb, subjectively, depends on whether you need it or not.

However, objectively, people classify the rarity of a herb into different grades: common, precious, rare, very rare, and immortal.

Gu Fuyou wasn’t as skilled as Si Miao in distinguishing spiritual plants, but she could roughly tell that the plants here were at least of the very rare grade!

Initially, Gu Fuyou was extremely excited, thinking about taking these back to Si Miao, who would probably go mad with joy.

She found a thick piece of wood and began digging up the spiritual flowers and herbs, soil and all, storing them in her storage bag. Eventually, when the bag could hold no more, and there were still more plants left, she even took off her outer robe to use it for carrying them.

After a while, as the initial excitement faded, Gu Fuyou threw down the piece of wood and said, “It’s no fun being happy alone.”

“It would be great if Senior Sister Zhong was here.”

Picking up Ah Fu, who was crawling around nearby, and said, “Let’s go find Sister Zhong, tell her the good news, and let her be happy too.”

“But that Azure Phoenix said we can’t go in…”

“We’ll sneak in.”

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 14

Author

4.3 3 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dadin
dadin
8 months ago

Fuyou is really very knowledgeable

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Fuyou really is so daring lolol 😂

Doom
Doom
5 months ago

Fl is weak but full of knowledge! And did ah fu just spoke?!?!?!

Hatimo
Hatimo
29 days ago
Reply to  Doom

Maybe she talk to herself..gu Fuyou

Hatimo
Hatimo
29 days ago

I wonder earlier, why do gu Fuyou didn’t take the core from ah fu’s mom..