Song Ci’s gaze moved downwards and stopped on the scimitar in the hand of the white-robed Taoist Priest. His fox’s ears twitched slightly.
What was the probability of success if he tried to snatch it back?
The Daoist priest in white still wore a faint smile on his face, and his lackadaisical eyes looked dangerous as he casually played with the scimitar in his hand. It was as if he was saying to Song Ci, come on, come to me.
Song Ci could hardly hold himself back and stood on tiptoe, intending to leap in front of the priest to reason with him.
However, just as he was about to exert force in his legs, a piece of wall beside him came flying at him at full speed. Song Ci changed directions and rolled aside to dodge the flying wall.
The stone wall broke into pieces when it struck a house, and the scattered dust and debris fell at Song Ci’s feet, burying them. He took two steps back. As soon as he looked up, he saw Sun Yunniang’s face close by.
Song Ci reflexively pushed her face away with his hand, saying, “It’s improper for men and women to be in physical contact.”1
Sun Yunniang was completely a different person now. Not only had she grown a beautiful and alluring face, but even her demonic power had increased tremendously. The scarlet red dot in between her eyebrows was glaringly conspicuous.
Both of her eyes were crimson. She glared at Song Ci with hatred and said, “You killed my mother, I want you to pay with your life!”
With great speed, she transformed her sleeve into a blade and aimed right for Song Ci’s neck.
Song Ci subconsciously blocked the blow with his hand. His elbow hit the iron sleeve, and a blue flame erupted from his palm. He immediately set her long sleeve aflame, and the fire rapidly spread up her sleeve.
Sun Yunniang felt the scorching heat and hurriedly retreated, decisively cutting off her sleeve to reveal her long white arm.
Now that both of them have one arm exposed, they were even.
Song Ci had never expected this ball of flame to appear out of his palm, and he looked at his hand in surprise. He clenched his fist, and the flame disappeared. He wondered what was going on.
Sun Yunniang’s body conjured up a black fog that spread out from her sides. Rubbles everywhere shook and rose into mid-air, whirling around Song Ci.
Seeing her making her move yet again, Song Ci said somewhat helplessly, “Sun Yunniang, Old Madam Hu has long been dead. Her soul has since passed through the underworld and reincarnated. The one in the coffin is just a corpse…”
Sun Yunniang, however, turned a deaf ear to his words. Her gaze sharpened, and hundreds of pieces of broken stones in the air hurtled towards at Song Ci like thunderbolts.
Gravel came from all directions and bound Song Ci tightly. He knew that there was no place for him to hide, thus he remained where he was. He detected a formidable power the moment the consciousness sank into his body.
It was the first time Song Ci felt the power circulating among his veins, but it did not feel unfamiliar. His consciousness headbutted into that power.
The powerful blue flame suddenly flared up. With Song Ci at its heart, it surged outwards in a circle to the surrounding area. Everything on the ground where the flame passed burned into ashes, which scattered in the air.
Sun Yunniang subconsciously conjured up more black fog to resist the overwhelming heat when she felt it coming, but she was still scorched by the flame and retreated with a scream.
The Daoist priest in white on the roof squinted his eyes slightly when the flames rushed towards him, a look of pure enjoyment on his face.
The handsome young master beside him backhandedly created a ray of red light that enveloped him. There was a dazzling burst of color when the blue flame came into contact with the red light, completely shielding him and shutting the flame out.
The good thing was that the flame did not spread far, so it did not reach Second Missy Hu and the two Mo Yao disciples, all of whom had passed out.
When the flame dissipated in the air, Song Ci was left standing in a daze. There were sparks of flames on both the tips of his ears, but Song Ci was oblivious to it.
“Goodness gracious me.” Big Beard put away the red light and shook his head. Sighing softly, he said, “It’s this idiot all right.”
Instead of answering, the white-robed Daoist priest looked up at the sky and said in a low voice, “Time is running out.”
“Oh!” Big Beard was startled and clapped his thigh. “Damn right, we almost missed the time!”
He glanced below at the city that had been razed to the ground. Raising a hand to summon a red whip made out of light, he wrapped it around Song Ci’s waist, then flung the man directly out of the city. He said to the priest, “Do it.”
The two men had never forgotten the reason they came to this small city.
The white-robed Daoist priest kept the scimitar and closed his eyes. A light breeze rose, swirling up his long hair and adorning his snow-white robe with it.
When he opened his eyes again, the original ink black color of his eyes had faded into light blue. His pupils could be clearly seen. He raised his right hand slightly, and his index finger glowed brilliantly.
The breeze suddenly turned into a gale, ripping up the land inch by inch. As the earthquake raged on, all the buildings in the small city were pulverized, as if the earth was plowed. There were aftershocks for several miles.
The tempest howled. As the violent wind purged the land, only the house underneath the white-robed Daoist priest remained untouched. The two men were not in the least bit affected and simply watched, with their robes flapping wildly in the wind, as the ground in front of them split.
Under the myriad of cracks, a dark red light appeared and emerged from the ground. Big Beard was delighted upon seeing it. “It’s really here!”
The white-robed Daoist priest pointed at it with his index finger, and his entire palm was awash in blue light. The blue light in his eyes grew more and more intense as the strong wind swept the dark clouds over, concealing the moon. Under the darkness, the brilliant blue light suddenly burst into full bloom like a magnificent flower.
Amidst the furious roar of the storm, the whole ground was unearthed, revealing the strange patterns buried underneath.
The incantation was dark red and interlaced with one another, almost blending into the land.
The white-robed Daoist priest clenched at the empty air, and the dark red incantation disintegrated. At the same time, a gigantic force came crashing out. Along with the surge of power, a piece of white jade floated up from among it and stopped in mid-air.
On seeing it, Big Beard raised his hand and gasped the jade in his hand. “Got it.”
Outside the city, Song Ci saw that immense force had squashed the entire city into powder. He inwardly patted himself on the shoulder and comforted himself thinking how lucky he was for not rushing up to snatch his blade away from the white-robed Daoist priest.
A moment later, a man walked out of the dust storm. Song Ci narrowed his eyes and took a closer look; it was the handsome young master sans his beard. He emerged from the cloud of dust, yet there was not a single trace of smudge on his clean, spotless robe.
Song Ci met him head-on, “Did you guys destroyed the City of Le Yu?”
“That city has already been more or less destroyed by you.” The dashing young master brushed off his sleeves and said, “At first, the plan was to bury everyone in the city. But thanks to you, they all escaped a disaster.”
“But why?” Song Ci asked doubtfully. “What’s your motive in doing so?”
Song Ci could not tell if this man was good or bad. If he was a bad person, why would he extend a helping hand to help people he did not know? Yet, if he was a good man, how could he have been able to simply stand by and do nothing when it came to Le Yu? He even talked about burying all the people in the city.
“Who exactly are you?” Song Ci asked again.
“Lu Shaoqing.” The handsome young master replied with a laugh. “My name.”
Song Ci thought it sounded a little familiar, but he could not remember where he had heard it, so he simply disregarded it and asked, “Are you an immortal or a demon? Or someone from a Cultivation Sect?”
“Me…? It’s hard to say.” Lu Shaoqing did not seem to know the category he was in. He laughed and said, “I am not a good person, but I am not a bad person either.”
“There’s something buried under the city.” A snow-white jade appeared in the palm of his hand. “This is the one. It’s brimming with the malevolent energy of demons. The people in the city have been living on this demonic energy all year round. Their hearts have already blackened, and they have become neither human nor demon. Sun Yunniang is an example. Her resentment was too intense after her death, and she had absorbed too much demonic energy, that’s why she turned into a demon.”
“Once this kind of demon is born, it would have no sanity and would only think about revenge. It’s a scourge of humanity. There is no longer any real human beings in the city of Le Yu. But now that I have taken this out, there will not be another Sun Yunniang.” Lu Shaoqing put away the jade and sighed, “Sun Yunniang is really pitiable. I will take her away for the time being and arrange a good place for her.”
Song Ci’s mind was in a whirl after hearing what Lu Shaoqing had said. A question popped up among the myriad of thoughts, “Can Sun Yunniang still be reincarnated?”
“I’m afraid not.” Lu Shaoqing replied. “I was going to kill her after taking out the jade and send her soul for reincarnation, but now that she had drunk your blood and turned into a devil with awareness, she cannot be exterminated.”
On hearing this, Song Ci silently touched his stomach. The hole that Sun Yunniang had bored through him had healed, but the bloodstain was still there. Song Ci mulled over how he could find and eat more red dates and wolfberries and other nourishing stuff to replenish his blood.
“You don’t have to worry about her. I have my own plans. You’d better think about yourself.” Lu Shaoqing raised his eyebrows and said. “Now that the time has passed and the Demon Gate has closed, you would have to wait at least a month if you still want to enter the Demon Capital.”
“As a matter of fact, that’s another troublesome matter.” Song Ci sighed, “Can you talk to that friend of yours and ask him to return the blade to me? Without the blade, I do not dare to enter the Demon Capital.”
Lu Shaoqing took him by the shoulders and said. “Listen to me, Master Rong is much more useful than that broken blade of yours. If you can get him to take you into the Demon Capital, I guarantee that all the demons will prostrate themselves, and no one will dare to touch you.”
Song Ci’s eyes shone, “Master Rong is that powerful?”
“That’s for sure. Furthermore, who knows how long it will take for you to find the Demon Gate yourself. Follow him, and you’ll definitely find one.” He stretched out his hand and pointed in an unspecified direction. “All he needs is just one command to open and close the Demon Gate once his temper flares. So why are you still so fixated on that knife?”
“How would I know Master Rong is such a formidable character.” Song Ci said. “Could he be an immortal from Heaven?”
Lu Shaoqing chuckled.“He’s much more formidable than that.”
Now that Lu Shaoqing had said so, Song Ci could no longer wait. “Where did he go?”
“Don’t be in such a hurry. There’s something I need to warn you in advance. Master Rong has a bad temper, and he likes to kill. I’m afraid you’ll rub him the wrong way and end up throwing your life away.”
Song Ci swallowed a mouthful of saliva and said, “Then we have nothing to discuss. I only have this one life. If I die even before stepping into the Demon Capital, I will drown Hell in tears.”
“Relax, lucky for you, I’m kind-hearted.” Lu Shaoqing patted him on the shoulder. With a ray of red light on his fingertip, he made a mark on Song Ci’s solar plexus.
Song Ci felt a fleeting flare of heat at the pit of his stomach. It faded in a twinkle of an eye. He looked down and asked, “What is it?”
“Something that can preserve your life at the most critical moment.” Lu Shaoqing said, “But it can only protect you once. If you sense something wrong with the situation, run away without delay.”
“You are really a good man!” Song Ci was filled with emotion and heartfelt admiration.
“Stop ‘good man’-ing here and there.” Lu Shaoqing extended his hand and swept it across the top of Song Ci’s head. A pair of ears that were ablaze with blue flames vanished instantly. Even the markings on his face disappeared. He told Song Ci, “This is all I can do for you.”
“Where is Master Rong now?”
“I saw him heading East just now.”
Song Ci gathered his sleeves2 in front of him and bowed to Lu Shaoqing. “Thank you very much. I will certainly repay this kindness if I have the chance someday.”
His refined and courteous manner made Lu Shaoqing laugh. “All right, until the next time we meet.”
“Last question, what’s Master Rong’s name?” Song Ci asked.
Lu Shaoqing thought for a moment before he replied, “Rong Bai.”
Song Ci did not know where the white-robed Daoist priest came from, or what his identity was. He did not even know that thousands of years ago, the name Rong Bai was highly esteemed and feared by the gods and demons of the Six Realms.
After the storm had abated and all was calm, the moon quietly reared its head, blanketing the shambles below with a soft, silver veil of gauze.
At the same time, three rabbit demons stared at the city ruins of Le Yu with grave expressions.
“Eldest brother, it seems like we have to find another means of livelihood.” One of them sighed.
The three of them simultaneously shook their heads and lamented about how life was not a bed of roses before they gradually left the ruins of the city.
The next morning, the people of Le Yu returned to find that their homes had all become a wasteland. Some wept bitterly, some swore and cursed, while others thanked that fake Daoist priest Song Ci for saving their lives.
This disaster, which had arisen because of their words, had finally taught the people of Le Yu a lesson they would never forget.
Mah gahd, Lu Shaoqing finally revealed his name, I don’t have to keep typing Big Beard anymore. :V