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The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 08, 2023 9 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Even With Wings, One Cannot Escape the Net

The next morning, Zhong Michu bid farewell to Ji Chaoling and set off at noon for the Xuji Mountains.

Gu Fuyou accompanied her, wanting to familiarize herself with the path. Dongoli was also there to see them off.

Zhong Michu and Dongli flew on swords. Gu Fuyou rode on Zhong Michu’s spiritual sword. As she fiddled with her storage bag, she peered inside with wide eyes, commenting, “You didn’t bring much with you.”

Zhong Michu replied, “Those who cultivate in solitude do not prioritize material desires. Moreover, everything commonly needed for cultivation is available in my ancestral master’s cave. There’s no need to bring much.”

Lost in thought, Gu Fuyou murmured, “Books, alchemy furnace… there probably won’t be any pots or pans there. I should bring some…”

Zhong Michu, tilting her ear slightly, asked, “What are you talking about?”

Gu Fuyou said, “I’m thinking about what I should take with me. Senior Sister Zhong, I’ve never been to Xuji Mountain. What’s it like?”

Zhong Michu described, “Xuji Mountain is in the far north, stretching for thousands of miles. Its peaks are perennially covered in snow, and the pure spiritual essence nourishes all things. It’s a beautiful and spiritually rich.”

Gu Fuyou remarked, “A snow mountain? I wanted to bring lotus root seedlings and seeds to plant there. The lotus roots from Xiaoyao City are so sweet, and the lotus flowers are beautiful. And tea trees, once they grow, I can make tea for you.”

“Well, it is a snow mountain,” Gu Fuyou pondered aloud, her tone tinged with disappointment.

As for the lotus, Zhong Michu mused, “There are snow lotuses in Xuji Mountain.”

“Really?” Gu Fuyou’s eyes sparkled with eagerness, “I’ve heard that snow lotus soup is nutritious and tastes exquisite!”

Zhong Michu replied with a playful tone, “As for tea plants and lotus flowers, if I advance my cultivation to the Nascent Soul stage, I might be able to contain the coldness of a small area, so you could wait a while before trying to grow them.”

The surrounding mist swirled, and a cold breeze blew, but Gu Fuyou felt a warmth inside her as if she had just sipped hot porridge. She hummed a happy tune, securely tied her storage bag, and hooked it onto Zhong Michu’s waist.

Looking at Zhong Michu’s slender waist, she remembered how it had once been off-limits. Now she dared to reach directly for things at her waist, as bold as plucking hairs from a tiger’s head. She knew, however, that Zhong Michu wouldn’t mind, which gave her the courage. Smiling dreamily, she indulged in the thought.

After a short journey, Zhong Michu suddenly looked behind and said, “Someone is coming.”

Zhong Michu and Dongli turned to look, spotting a figure gradually emerging from the mist. In a soft murmur, Zhong Michu recognized, “Senior Elder.”

Ji Xiyan came flying on his sword, stopping not far from them, and said, “You all left so quickly, making it quite a chase for me.”

Zhong Michu inquired, “Is there something you need, Senior Elder?”

Ji Xiyan, slightly disheveled, took a deep breath, seeming like he had hurried, “Your master sent me to call you back. He has something important yet to discuss with you.”

Zhong Michu expressed her surprise, “I met him in his study this morning…” She paused before continuing, “May I ask what he wants to discuss?”

Ji Xiyan revealed, “He wishes to hand over the sect’s leadership token to you. This is a major matter for the sect, not to be decided lightly. I have repeatedly advised him to think thrice before acting, fearing that he has been hesitant and indecisive until now. It’s an important matter, hence why I came personally.”

Gu Fuyou peeked out from behind Zhong Michu and fixed her gaze on Ji Xiyan, “Senior Sister has only just returned from her training. There should be no rush to transfer the sect leader’s token. Why summon her back immediately after she departs?”

Ji Xiyan’s gaze swept over Dongli unintentionally and then glanced at Zhong Michu. Both were silent, showing no reaction to Gu Fuyou’s words. A cold light flashed in Ji Xiyen’s eyes towards Gu Fuyou, “Are you trying to deceive me?”

He looked toward where the three were headed, hand casually resting behind his back. “She’s headed to Xuji Mountain to cultivate,” he began, pausing to gauge their reactions. After a brief moment, he added, “At the minimum, it will be several decades, or it could be as long as a century. Can such spans be considered brief or momentary? Given the unpredictability of fate, who can foresee what may transpire over these years? The sect leader has made his choice to designate an apparent successor for the Xuan Miao Sect. This ensures that if a crisis arises, there will be someone to guide the sect, preventing divisions and power struggles, and maintaining our unity rather than divided.”

He said to Zhong Michu, “Your master is cautious, you know that. He’s making preparations in advance.” Then he looked at Gu Fuyou with a sneer, “What, do you doubt my words now?”

Gu Fuyou curled her lip, speaking more out of curiosity than suspicion. She glanced at Ji Xiyan, who was glaring at her. Hurriedly, she stepped behind Zhong Michu, feeling Ji Xiyan’s gaze as intense as her former master’s. At that moment, she wished Zhong Michu was larger to completely shield her.

Dongli, standing to the side, chuckled softly, saying, “Senior Elder, don’t be angry. She didn’t mean it that way. It’s just unexpected that the sect leader recalled her. We’ll accompany you back.”

Ji Xiyan snorted coldly, directing Zhong Michu, “Let’s go quickly, we’ve delayed long enough. It’s better to return early and then set off for Xuji Mountain.”

Zhong Michu responded, “Yes.”

The group turned around to head back to Xuan Miao Sect, with Ji Xiyan flying alongside them. As they approached the skies above Jingdu Mountain, Gu Fuyou looked down, seeing they were close to the mountainside. The purple wisteria tree there marked the boundary of the mountain’s protection formation.

The weather had been growing colder recently, and today gusts of chilling wind rustled through the trees, creating an eerie whistling sound. As the leaves fluttered, Gu Fuyou noticed dark figures beneath the trees. Before she could focus, Dongli announced, “It’s people from the Xu Ling sect!”

There were hundreds of them in the forest, all of them skilled cultivators. Their combined aura was overpowering, causing the winds around Jingdu Mountain to howl even more fiercely. The mountain’s protective formation had been activated, and these people stood right before it, clearly up to no good.

An odd thought flashed through Gu Fuyou’s mind. Trying to make sense of it all, a sudden movement caught her eye—a shadow sprang from the woods, a gleaming weapon aimed right at her. Before she could even react, she felt a sudden drop beneath her feet, only to be caught around the waist moments later. The sound of clashing swords echoed in her ears, and a stinging sensation spread across her face as she was swiftly pulled back.

The two descended gracefully, carried by the wind; the attacker did not pursue, hindered by the protective formation—a formation of Elder Liuhe, based on the terrain of Jingdu mountain, it was incredibly potent and even a dozen cultivators at the Hallow Void stage would struggle to break it easily.

Gu Fuyou and the others had jade tokens that identified their status, allowing them to bypass the mountain’s protective formation. As soon as Gu Fuyou landed, her legs felt weak, and she stumbled backward, leaning against someone behind her. Having regained her composure, she recalled the face of the person who had attacked her earlier. The fanatical look in his eyes, which sent a bone-chilling shiver down her spine.

Zhong Michu supported her and asked, “Are you hurt?”

Gu Fuyou, still in a daze, shook her head blankly when she turned to look at Zhong Michu, who suddenly reached out to touch her face, her thumb wiping across Gu Fuyou’s cheek; that’s when the sharp pain hit—she had been cut in the earlier attack. Despite Zhong Michu’s timely reaction, Gu Fuyou’s cheek bore a slash, not too deep but enough to draw a trace of red; in the wake of this, Zhong Michu’s expression darkened into silence.

Dongli and Ji Xiyan also landed. Ji Xiyan glanced outside and frowned, saying, “Why are people from Xu Ling Sect here? And the sect’s protective formation is still activated.” After pondering for a moment, he said to Zhong Michu, “I’ll go ask Elder Liuhe what’s going on. You go to Xiangxing Hall and find your master.”

Ji Xiyan hurriedly headed to Xiyi Peak. The three exchanged glances, and Zhong Michu said, “We should go see the master first,” and they headed to Xiangxing Hall.

Outside the mountain’s protective formation, two people stood on the mountain path. One of them, with his hands behind his back, watched the others leave and chuckled, “Du Pan, you’re too impatient.”

Du Pan held a dagger and licked a drop of blood from the blade. After a moment, he squinted his eyes, letting out a pleased moan, “Elder Liu, you don’t know how much I’ve longed for this treasure; the moment she stood before me, my heart soared with joy. If I could possess her, there’s no pill I couldn’t refine; even the mere imaginings of formulations could come to life. If achieving such marvels requires damning my soul, then so be it; I would accept that fate with open arms.” His eyes almost ignited with passion as he trembled, “Looking at her, how could I resist?”

Elder Liu had seen Du Pan’s obsession before and wasn’t surprised. He laughed, “They won’t escape, there’s no need to rush. You’ve already crossed swords with Zhong Michu, what do you think?”

Du Pan replied, “Twin cultivation of the Golden Core within a hundred years; you’re aware.”

Elder Liu chuckled, “It’s all hearsay until personally witnessed.”

Du Pan added, “She’s not just impressive in name, her talent is probably still hidden. Yan Zhi once said she could take the upper hand against two mid-Golden Core cultivators without using artifacts. You saw my move earlier; not even a Nascent Soul cultivator could have reacted to that, but she caught it very quickly.”

Elder Liu clicked his tongue in admiration, saying, “Such a promising seedling; if we could have her join the Zuo family and bear children for us, how wonderful that would be.”

Du Pan sneered twice, “Elder Liu, better put that thought to rest. With her talent, not even our two protectors can match her, and none of the younger generation of the Zuo family can compare to her. Once she grows up, no one will be able to control her. Keeping her would be like raising a tiger that would turn on us. We must seize this opportunity to eliminate her.”

Elder Liu shook his head with a sigh, then smiled again, “What a waste.”

The Xuan Miao Sect’s formation has two layers. One layer is the mountain’s protective formation managed by Elder Liuhe. The other is a defense formation set up by the sect leader, located outside Xiangxing Hall. Beyond the main gate of Xuan Miao Sect, past the palace and further up, there’s a plateau with buildings and a square. This place, known as Xiangxing Hall, serves as a reception area for guests and a meeting place for the sect’s elders.

As soon as the three of them arrived, they saw two groups of people standing opposite each other in the square. The three had come up from the side stairs and could see the side profiles of these people. Gu Fuyou focused her gaze and saw that the leader was Zuo Yuezi; she was utterly confused and wondered to herself how the Xu Ling Sect and the Xuan Miao Sect, which seemingly had no grievances, could confront each other with such a large formation today—it was very strange. She murmured, “They couldn’t possibly be here for me, could they?”

Zhong Michu whispered, “Why would they come looking for you?”

Gu Fuyou replied, “I’m just guessing. It’s a long story, but to put it simply, it’s because of Zuo Tianyi. The Zuo family eventually decided that Zuo Tianlang should marry me. They even intercepted my father. I’m not sure what their intentions are.”

Zhong Michu gave her a strange look, resulting in a strange silence. Gu Fuyou shrank back, her voice becoming softer, “What’s wrong?”

Zhong Michu said to Dongli, “Both of you wait here; don’t approach them just yet.”

“Alright.”

Gu Fuyou, feeling ignored, said, “…”

Zhong Michu walked toward the group. Past the stone archway was the sect leader’s defensive formation. This formation could only be entered by those wearing their identity jade token, but only the major elders and key inner disciples were allowed to set foot inside.

Zhong Michu entered smoothly. On the Zuo family side, there were seven people. Standing in the center on the opposing side was Ji Chaoling, flanked by various elders. Aside from Elder Liuhe and Ji Xiyan, the other seven elders were all in attendance. Yunran, the Third Elder, was responsible for overseeing the manners and regulations taught to the inner disciples, effectively acting as a law-enforcing elder. Having distanced herself from worldly affairs after a period of spiritual retreat, her role had largely become ceremonial, with Ji Chaoling handling her duties. Yet, contrary to expectations, she was present on this occasion.

Zhong Michu glanced at her briefly, her eyes deepening slightly before turning to Ji Chaoling, “Master.”

Ji Chaoling exclaimed in surprise, “Why have you returned?”

Zhong Michu was startled, “The First Elder caught up with me, saying that the Master had instructions and asked me to return to the sect quickly…”

Ji Chaoling’s brows furrowed, and he shouted to the elders behind him, “Go find him!”

Zuo Yuezhi raised his hand to stop them, laughing, “Ah, Sect Leader Ji, since your disciple is back, let’s clarify this matter properly.”

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Previous: Chapter 47

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Otaku046
Otaku046
8 months ago

Ugh I knew it. They shouldn’t have returned. It would’ve been better for Michu to get stronger first. Nothing would have probably happened if they didn’t return. I think them returning will cause a fight to break out.

MatrixM
MatrixM
3 months ago
Reply to  Otaku046

I think it wouldn’t make a difference. The elder is probably strong enough to take all 3 of them by force.

Anon
Anon
8 months ago

That Du Pan really licked his bloodied knife like a typical villain lol

Alex Potus
Alex Potus
8 months ago

Ji Xihan, the traitor!
Now both Michu and Fuyou are in danger. The Zuos want to kill both of them.
I like how Michu is protective of her little mate Fuyou, and I think we saw a glimpse of jealousy when Michu heard about marriage.
I hope Michu’s mother will protect the sect and her daughter, while Michu also protects her mother, which will lead to somewhat reconciliation and love between mother and daughter.
All in all, I’d love to see more love between Michu and Fuyou.

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
8 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

dadin
dadin
8 months ago

of course, living together in seclusion is too good to be true..

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Wuwuuw the seclusion dream ;-; where’s the power up when you need it??

MatrixM
MatrixM
3 months ago

As soon as I read the chapter title….oh dear.

Hatimo
Hatimo
28 days ago

Nooo my little domestic michu Fuyou 😭 I know that elder ji xihe will betray the sect from the moment he opened his filthy mouth