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Chapter 33

There were countless people who congratulated Yu Si. Some people saw the exquisiteness of Yu Xizhi’s talisman formation and wanted to learn from her. When they approached, they found that the girl had been surrounded by disciples from Xiya Tower and Baiyu Pavillion. Master Huaiyun and Master Huaiwei also wanted to ask, but they couldn’t bring themselves to do so because they wanted to save their faces.

So the person who came to chat with her found that if he took a step forward, he would be met with a cold smile from Baiyu Pavillion’s senior brother Xuanyuan Heng, and if he moved a step horizontally, he would be met with a mocking smile from Xiya Tower’s senior sister Tan Mingtang, clearly indicating they did not want Yu Xizhi to be disturbed.

Everyone was frustrated, so naturally, they wouldn’t force it. The people from Suying Pavilion and Xihu Tianzhu were only elders, and the disciples were also arrogant. What’s more, it would be better to congratulate Yu Si on his breakthrough than to come to Yu Xizhi’s side.

Not to mention, with the young man in the Golden Core stage standing there and being so outstanding in appearance, many female disciples secretly found their hearts moved, thinking that a Dao companion should be like Senior Brother Kunwu.

Just then, as soon as Yu Si stabilized his aura, he quickly took out a pill from his qiankun bag and carefully swallowed it.

A soft female voice was heard as a veiled girl from Xihu Tianzhu said gently, “Congratulations to Senior Brother Yu on achieving the Golden Core stage. May I ask what kind of pill this is?”

Yu Si had already tidied his long hair and his purple jade crown properly in place. Recognizing the speaker, he greeted her, “Junior Sister Feng, you are here too. It’s just a Pill of Nourishing and Stabilizing.”

The speaker was none other than Feng Wanxing, the junior sister of Xihu Tianzhu, famous worldwide for her unique zither sound. Ever since an incident where male disciples trampled over each other to catch a glimpse of her during an outing, she always wore a veil, showing only her beautiful eyes.

At this moment, with just one glance, several male disciples around Yu Si were already showing signs of being mesmerized. Feng Wanxing chuckled softly, “The Sect Master is truly meticulous, having prepared everything for you.”

“Not quite,” Yu Si said, shaking his head.

“My sister made this.”

At first, it sounded like he was boasting. Who in the world didn’t know that Kunwu’s second senior sister, Yu Xizhi, excelled in three disciplines: alchemy, talismanism, and swordsmanship.

Just before Yu Si’s breakthrough, she had effortlessly set up a talisman formation.

Now, many were congratulating the Old Taoist in red on gaining such a talented disciple, naturally making Master Tan look slightly lonely. Yu Si seemed to be trying to save face for the world’s number one alchemy master.

However, Yu Si remained calm, eating the pill as if it were candy. After the first pill, there was a second one. Feng Wanxing watched in astonishment as he continued to swallow seven or eight pills, the words “large quantity to satisfy your hunger” bizarrely popping into her mind, which she quickly suppressed.

Of course, Feng Wanxing wasn’t there to ask Yu Si what he was eating. It wasn’t her first time meeting him, either. A few years ago, during a mission, she saw him slay a demon with one sword strike, causing her heart to flutter. Seeing him again now, the once young boy had grown into such a refined and handsome figure, making her heart race, wanting to speak with him more.

But before she could say more, a timid and gentle voice sounded, “Senior Brother, this is my gift for you. Please accept it with a smile.”

Feng Wanxing was surprised to find someone with an even softer voice than hers. Looking closely, she saw Xia Yiyao gazing at Yu Si with sparkling eyes, holding an exquisitely embroidered sachet.

Seeing another junior sister, Feng Wanxing couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

Little junior sister, who has earned thousands of favors, is it your turn to steal my show?

So, before Yu Si could raise his hand, Feng Wanxing covered her lips with her fan and let out a delicate laugh with a hint of surprise, “If I didn’t see it, I would have thought this was a little girl’s gift from the mortal world. I don’t know where Senior Brother could use it, but it is quite thoughtful.”

—This was a sarcastic remark, mocking Xia Yiyao’s gift as being too shabby to present and pointing out that Yu Si, being impeccably clean, had no habit of using a scented sachet.

Xia Yiyao’s face paled slightly, and before she could retort, Feng Wanxing had already taken out an exquisite box with a broad smile. She opened it in front of Yu Si, revealing an ancient-looking spiritual treasure inside: “This Small Xumi Lamp is for senior brother. I heard you are breaking through to the Core Formation stage, so I specially acquired this lamp. May it ensure that during your meditation and cultivation, you are free from inner demons and always have light accompanying you.”

Yu Si’s gaze fell on the lamp.

Feng Wanxing had clearly put a lot of effort into preparing her gift.

Coming from a prestigious family with extensive knowledge, she understood the miraculous uses of the Small Xumi Lamp. To an ordinary person, it was just a lamp, but to a cultivator, having this lamp beside them during cultivation not only increased the chances of entering a deep meditative state but also helped dispel inner demons and illuminate all confusion.

In this round, she naturally triumphed over Xia Yiyao.

Ha, a stinky sachet; is she worthy of competing with her?

Feng Wanxing was thinking this when she saw Xia Yiyao still had another move. With a slight frown, Xia Yiyao took out a beautiful, long silk box. When opened, it revealed ten neatly arranged exquisite pills and ten yellow talismans: “The sachet was just a token of my affection. This is my real gift. These are the recently famous Dream-Induction Pills and Sleep-Inducing Talismans. I hope Senior Brother’s cultivation reaches even greater heights.”

Yu Si smiled slightly and did not decline either gift. Though his gaze towards the Dream-Induction Pills was somewhat peculiar, he accepted both gifts: “Thank you, junior sisters. May you both achieve breakthroughs soon as well.”

Having given their gifts, it was inappropriate to linger. Feng Wanxing shot a discreet glance at Xia Yiyao, thinking that this junior sister of Kunwu was indeed a worthy opponent. Unexpectedly, Xia Yiyao was also secretly watching her, her eyes full of disdain and contempt.

The two junior sisters’ eye contact was brief, and when they looked up again, both had returned to their gentle smiles. Each etched the other in their minds, heading off in different directions.

While these two junior sisters were locked in a close contest, Yu Xizhi was busy promising Xuanyuan Heng a set of lightning-protection formation talismans, all the while observing the rivalry between Feng Wanxing and Xia Yiyao. She thought to herself that her brother truly deserved to be the dream of 70 million girls on Yuanshen continent. Now, having stepped onto the Golden Core stage, countless girls would have sleepless nights tonight.

But aside from that, she was particularly interested in the gift Xia Yiyao had presented.

Had the ten consecutive draw pills really spread so quickly in just a few days?

Yu Xizhi rubbed her fingers together, remembering the three hundred orders that arrived from the black market the previous day. She thought, truly, that no one could resist the fun of drawing cards, especially when it was a tenth consecutive draw.

Old Wang next door hit one. Are you feeling sour?

Old Li across the street got one. Are you feeling sour?

Thinking about the money that she would make, Yu Xizhi’s eyes curved into a smile. After chatting briefly with her two masters, senior brother and senior sister, she excused herself and returned to Qianya Peak to refine pills.

Unbeknownst to her, although she had casually reported a name starting with “Xia,” the karma from this meditation-enhancing merit would not mistakenly recognize anyone else. Threads of golden energy quietly merged into the fate of the Kunwu Mountain Sect, bit by bit, settling upon her.

As she walked to the foot of Qianya Peak, she saw a figure in white standing at the end of the path. While everyone was congratulating Yu Si, only Xie Junzhi, from all corners of heaven and earth, noticed the faintly rotating Golden Core within her.

“Congratulations, True Immortal,” the young man in white smiled slightly, “You’ve taken another step towards the goal of becoming a Grandmaster.”

(T/N: just a little recap, Qi refining and foundation establishment stage are known as little immortal, while Golden Core,Nascent Soul and Soul Accumulation stage are known as True Immortal.)

The orange cat, Mimi, darted out from behind him, rubbing against Yu Xizhi’s legs and letting out a soft meow.

Yu Xizhi bent down to pick up the orange cat, letting its tail whip around her, “Will I really never have to face lightning tribulation?”

“Not forever,” Xie Junzhi walked alongside her.

“Once my blood can no longer suppress your cultivation, the lightning tribulation will find you, lock onto you, and try to strike you down.”

Yu Xizhi was shocked.

“How much longer can I survive then?”

“Once you reach the free and unfettered stage, lightning tribulation will chop you down,” Xie Junzhi said calmly.

Yu Xizhi relaxed, “Then it looks like I won’t be easily struck down.I think this will take a long time, not to mention becoming a grandmaster. Being True Immortal is good enough for me.”

Xie Junzhi glanced at her with a hint of amusement, “How good?”

Yu Xizhi unsheathed her sword and, with a step, effortlessly rose into the sky, gliding smoothly.

She laughed lightly and said, “This good.”

Xie Junzhi, hands behind his back, coughed gently, watching as the girl navigated the lone forest atop Qianya Peak, soaring higher step by step. Although he could reach the peak in an instant, he found walking and watching her enjoyable.

The ten-mile lone forest was cold and windy, with snow-laden branches. The ground showed no broken branches, seeming to share in his good mood, with branches gently trembling and stretching.

Yu Xizhi made a turn mid-air, throwing the clinging Mimi to the ground, then hovered beside Xie Junzhi, “Little Martial Uncle, what is your cultivation level?”

“When you can walk out of that cave on your own, I’ll tell you,” Xie Junzhi replied leisurely, “Wanna spar?”

Her legs trembled slightly, nearly causing her to fall from the sky. Her face turned pale, clearly recalling the unpleasant memories of being thrashed. She thought it wasn’t a spar but rather a beating. Yet, she gritted her teeth and said, “Let’s fight.”

Without warning, Xie Junzhi raised his hand, casually breaking a branch from the ten-mile lone forest, and effortlessly struck towards Yu Xizhi, who was still mid-air.

Yu Xizhi skillfully dodged, her head ducked, evading the pursuit of his sword intent. She retreated clumsily for several miles before daring to draw her sword.

Xie Junzhi had, of course, taught her swordsmanship.

He had thrown her into a cave behind Qianya Peak.

The cave was empty except for a single lamp and walls covered in sword marks.

At first glance, it was blindingly painful to the eyes. Even sitting quietly inside, one could feel the interwoven sword intent, as if the sword energy from the entire Qianya Peak had been compressed into this cave.

Xie Junzhi would accompany her, saying nothing and merely reading beside her. Sometimes he read sword manuals; other times he read tales of the wilderness, but he never looked at her.

She could only face those sword intents alone.

Fighting them while still, fighting them while wielding her sword, fighting them with every breath. The myriad sword intents etched on the walls were evidently not all from the same person; some were gentle, some violent, and some peerless. She was wounded by the sword energy until she was covered in injuries, lying on the cold cave floor, hearing nothing but the slow turning of a book’s page behind her.

So she began to learn to make healing pills, draw defensive talismans, figure out how to withstand those sword intents, and how to replicate them. In her dreams, she woke surrounded by countless sword marks, which then turned into lines, formed patterns, and finally compressed into pills.

Others only knew that being a three-discipline master was impressive and arrogant, but they didn’t know that in the past six months, she hadn’t had a single good night’s sleep.

Sweeping her sword from her feet to her hands, Yu Xizhi tapped the treetops with her toes and leapt up, daring to face the somewhat diminished sword intent head-on.

Xie Junzhi’s sword strikes were never merciful. This strike was no less powerful than the one he had used against the Xu family patriarch, who had already reached the Nascent Soul stage and had fled in panic. Fortunately, this was Qianya Peak. With each meter Yu Xizhi retreated, other sword intents diluted Xie Junzhi’s sword light. Thus, after retreating several miles, she was finally able to withstand the strike.

Naturally, Golden Core and Foundation Establishment were different. As soon as she grasped her sword, Yu Xizhi felt her spiritual energy boiling within her!

She swung her sword.

Sword light and sword intent surged together, the immense pressure from Xie Junzhi’s sword wind crashing towards her. No matter how many times she faced it, it was always terrifying. Yu Xizhi forcibly took the blow, enduring it for a few seconds before the talismans around her shattered piece by piece. She couldn’t hold back and spat out a mouthful of blood.

Blood—if you keep spitting it out and don’t die, you get used to it.

Yu Xizhi got up from the snow, casually covering the patch of crimson with her foot. She adeptly took out a pill from her pouch and swallowed it, her complexion improving significantly. Cheerfully, she ascended on her sword again: “Xie Junzhi, look! This time, I only retreated five miles—! Golden Core stage really is great!”

The young man in white was almost at the mountaintop. He seemed unbothered by what she called him, ready to say something, when a deep bell rang out from the direction of Taiqing Peak.

The mountain’s white cranes and birds were startled by the bell, and countless people stopped what they were doing, rising abruptly to look towards Taiqing Peak. But most did not understand what was happening.

After all, the bell had been silent for so long that new disciples thought the bell tower on Taiqing Peak was just that—a bell tower, with a giant bell hanging because a bell tower needed a bell.

The Taiqing Peak bell was not an ordinary bell.

It was a life bell.

Every Kunwu Mountain Sect disciple, upon entering the inner sect or becoming a direct disciple, would place a fragment of their soul on the bell. If a disciple was in mortal danger, the bell would ring throughout Kunwu, as it does now.

Yu Xizhi turned back in shock.

Another bell rang.

White cranes flew wildly, and the air quivered.

Someone from Ziyuan Peak hurried over on their sword, shouting before even reaching Taiqing Peak, “Senior Brother Shen Ye sent a distress signal; a snake demon has appeared in the Kongti Desert. He fears he cannot hold out and requests assistance from the sect—!”


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