“Spirit soul energy… what’s that?”
Tian Ran: “Not a 100% certain myself. What I have heard from those in my sect is it’s what Ghost Gate’s members train. Remember I told you about twins’ spirit souls? I’d argue that’s why spirit soul energy is critical for them.”
“Wait… You’re saying Gui Xuanyue is preparing to kill the candidates?”
“There’s no telling. As I said, we don’t dare kill civilians of Moyun Mountains owing to the severe consequences. Ghost Gate’s members are no exception. Wait here for me. I’ll sneak into the city lord’s manor to see if I can dig anything up.”
Tian Ran didn’t take Mu Yu along as his cultivation level was too low. Additionally, she had experience tailing Gui Xuanyue. Mu Yu didn’t have any objections. In saying that, he carried Xiaoshuai with him to follow behind her once she took off. He was confident his wood control ability would suffice since he managed to spy on two Primordial Infant Realm cultivators already.
Mu Yu kept grass on him in case. He did a lap around the manor and sneaked in via a willow tree hanging over a wall. He moved through the lawn and his blades of grass until he overheard where Reverend Jiuhua resided. Upon reaching Reverend Jiuhua’s room, he spotted Elder Chilong in the courtyard.
Elder Chilong refused to give up seeking life, albeit face still glowing red. Presumably, the selected candidates had assembled at another courtyard. The servants at the manor mentioned Reverend Jiuhua was resting in the room Mu Yu was near. That being the case, he presumed the other candidates were safe for the meantime.
When Reverend Jiuhua finally stepped out of his room, he feigned surprise. “Oh, Elder Chilong. What are you doing?”
Elder Chilong had his knees and head on the ground again: “Your Eminence, please take into consideration our past and save this humble one. He does not have much longer to live but has a vengeance he wishes to exact before passing on. If this humble one could drag out an ignoble existence for a few more years, he would be willing to do anything for you.”
Reverend Jiuhua knew about Elder Chilong’s aging complication and could even sense the latter’s aura. Therefore, he smirked. “I knelt for three days and three nights to plead you. You have knelt for only one hour. You must pay the price if you want my help.”
Elder Chilong raised his head and brought it down again. “Your Eminence, please forgive this humble one for not seeing the greatness in you.”
Pleased, Reverend Jiuhua responded, “I’m not a petty one. If you can complete a task for me, I will cleanse your nerves and marrow for you to give you a few more years. I could even help you off Granny Bishe and make you a man again.”
“Your Eminence, you can… Please just say the word, Your Eminence. This humble one will complete hundreds and thousands of tasks if that is what it takes,” replied Elder Chilong, kowtowing three times.
“You are among the eldest cultivators at Moyun Mountains and should know it better than me. When I sought you out, you recited something about ‘dark ghost qi’. What did that mean?”
Elder Chilong raised his head, revealing his surprise. “Why do you want to know about that?”
Elder Chilong understood the snort meant he was in no position to ask questions, so he hurriedly explained, “Dark Ghost Qi is a ghost island on the eastern sea. It is said to be where vengeful wraiths from humanity’s battle against fiends wander. I once visited the island with two other people in my younger years, but a frightening energy took their lives before we could get close. Had I not been held up and was unable to join them, I would have met my demise there.” Elder Chilong looked visibly disturbed. He stole glances to check Reverend Jiuhua’s reaction and he continued, “To be honest, the energy was… was over a hundred folds more powerful than yours…”
“I thought there would be a place of that kind here. I thought I remembered hearing you mention ghost qi. Keep going.”
Knowing Reverend Jiuhua was happy to hear the information, Elder Chilong went on. “This next part is information from a stone tablet passed down for a thousand years. We heard of the place for the first time when we decided to venture there out of curiosity. We drifted along the water for five days according to the tablet’s directions. We eventually found a bizarre black skerry. As soon as we set foot on it, dense fog shrouded it. A red island emerged from the mist. We heard shrills and howls.
“The island was strangely colourful. If I have to hazard a guess, the light was emitted from a treasure a cultivator from a thousand years ago left behind. Hence, I flew over on my sword. I had to take a break at the black skerry because I was not use to travelling on water. Had I not stopped there, I would’ve perished with my two friends. I remember their cries. Those were not the cries of humans. Their cries scared the living daylights out of me. Something distorted their bodies until they eventually exploded into smithereens. Instead of dropping into the water, the island sucked away their shattered body parts…
“When I returned home, I personally destroyed the stone tablet. That is why I am the only one who knows about the island and tablet. After the incident, my mood was foul. That was why I rej-”
“That was when you rejecting me, right?” Eldest Jiuhua interjected with his grin.
Elder Chilong kowtowed once again. “Please forgive this ignorant one. Had it not been for the incident, he would have accepted you.”
“Let’s not go there. Had you not rejected me, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. Do you still remember where the island was?”
Reverend Jiuhua ambled over to a stone chair in the courtyard and took a seat. “My demand is simple. Take me there.”
“Your Eminence, are you sure…?”
Elder Chilong minded his words in case Reverend Jiuhua misunderstood he was marginalising the latter. Elder Chilong couldn’t see Reverend Jiuhua returning alive.
“I lack a competent attendant at the moment. I know your greatest fears are death and others finding out you’re no longer a man. I have a life extension pill, which will grant you another two years, in addition to an intermittent herb, which will reattach your manhood for you. I don’t want some freak following me around. Complete the task, and they’re yours. As a matter of fact, you can even have this woman.”
Reverend Jiuhua waved his hand, spawning a golden pill and black herb to the table. He proceeded to yank a woman to the floor. To Elder Chilong’s surprise, it was his ex-wife and target for revenge, Granny Bishe. He was jubilant to see her barely breathing. A savage expression spread across Elder Chilong’s face.
“I’ve erased her cultivation. It’s all in your hands now.”
“This humble one is at your service!”
“Sort yourself out first.”
Elder Chilong hurried to his feet. He took the pill, herb and Granny Bishe with him. Had Granny Bishe not been so vicious that she’d keep his manhood intact for so long just to provoke her ex-husband, he wouldn’t have ever found it again.
A dark ghost qi swept through the courtyard. Mu Yu was startled for a moment. He couldn’t tell if the individual who appeared before Reverend Jiuhua was man or woman since he couldn’t see their appearance. Nevertheless, the individual was a hundred folds stronger than Reverend Juihua. The individual’s power could rival the youth in red, so Mu Yu concluded it was Gui Xuanyue.
“Father, have you given him the life extension pill and intermittent herb I gifted you?”
Mu Yu fossilised upon hearing the word “Father”.