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3260-chapter-19

Chapter 19

Xu Manman gradually felt her spiritual energy depleting, and a faint pain began to throb in her divine body. She estimated that she could only hold on for another quarter of an hour at most.

Fortunately, at this moment, Immortal Lang Yin discovered a passageway with an undercurrent, indicating a potential exit. The two of them advanced through the passage, with Xu Manman wearing her Lian Yue Crown to light the way, while Immortal Lang Yin followed closely behind, less than a meter away.

The feeling of suffocation grew stronger, and Xu Manman felt as if a giant bell was ringing in her divine body, causing her head to buzz and her pace to slow down. As she slowed, she suddenly realized something was wrong.

Immortal Lang Yin had not kept up!

Xu Manman hurriedly swam back. Immortal Lang Yin’s cultivation was far superior to hers, with abundant and vigorous spiritual energy, so he should have been able to sustain himself longer in this environment.

—Could it be that the earlier battle had consumed too much energy? Or was the blood curse too corrosive?

The pain from suffocation limited Xu Manman’s ability to think, and the light from her Lian Yue Crown was growing dimmer. She finally managed to see Immortal Lang Yin.

Immortal Lang Yin seemed to have lost consciousness, his eyes tightly closed, his limbs relaxed, his robe drifting in the dark water, and his long hair fanned out.

Xu Manman swam forward and embraced his slender waist, reaching out to touch his face. His breathing was stable, seemingly unharmed, but he had fallen into a deep sleep.

Xu Manman patted his cheeks, but when there was no response, she pinched him hard.

“Immortal Lord?” Xu Manman called out using voice transmission.

There was no response.

Xu Manman wondered if she should bite his neck—she didn’t think much before her body acted on its own, and by the time she realized, her lips were already against his neck.

She opened her mouth to bite, but at that moment, a wave of spiritual energy spread out from a petal on his neck, pushing Xu Manman back.

Her lips tingled from the shock. She stared in astonishment as the once-red petal on his neck seemed to be dyed with ink, spreading outward into a bewitching purple.

This was the first time she had seen Immortal Lang Yin change color.

Starting from the petal on his neck, the purple spread like ink in water, dyeing his white robes into purple and even causing subtle changes to his sleeping face.

His dense eyelashes fluttered, and Immortal Lang Yin opened his eyes, his gaze cold and deep, staring indifferently at the nearby Xu Manman.

He realized he was half-embraced by her, and she looked like she was about to bite his neck.

The light from the Lian Yue Crown was very faint now, and Xu Manman’s weak voice sounded in Immortal Langyin’s mind.

“Immortal… brother… Save me; my spiritual energy is nearly depleted; give me some!”

Immortal Lang Yin turned to look at her.

“You’re not going to die yet,” He heartlessly refused her plea for help, then pushed Xu Manman away and swam forward.

—You ungrateful Demon Lord Lang Yin! If I hadn’t come back to save you, I might have already reached the shore!

Xu Manman was both angry and frustrated, her eyes glinting with determination.

Driven by the will to survive and a desire for revenge, Xu Manman quickly caught up to Demon Lord Lang Yin.

He tried to shake her off impatiently, but Xu Manman clung to him like dog-skin plaster. In the dark water, their robes intertwined and their hair tangled together.

Demon Lord Lang Yin was so angry that he raised his hand to slap Xu Manman away, but he was caught off guard by a pair of small hands on the back of his neck, which pulled him hard. He leaned forward involuntarily, and the next moment, two soft lips came up and suddenly absorbed spiritual energy from his mouth.

Demon Lord Lang Yin was stunned; in three thousand years, he had never encountered such a situation—he was being forcibly kissed by a woman?

He stared wide-eyed at Xu Manman, momentarily forgetting to push her away.

Xu Manman held his head firmly, voraciously drawing spiritual energy from his mouth.

Immortal Lord spiritual energy is indeed sweet; she felt she could swim five hundred meters in one breath without effort!

As she continuously siphoned his spiritual energy, Demon Lord Lang Yin’s face turned dark with anger. He struggled to break free, but Xu Manman, like a demoness stealing his yang energy, sucked on his lips with deliberate force, even causing his lower lip to sting.

Before Demon Lord Lang Yin could react and retaliate, Xu Manman wisely let go and swam away swiftly.

This time, with the spiritual energy replenished, she might swim faster than Ao Xiu.

Demon Lord Lang Yin’s face was dark with anger as he glared viciously at Xu Manman’s back, his fists clenched tightly. After a moment, he chased after her.

Xu Manman, wearing her Lian Yue crown, led the way. They swam for what felt like ages until they finally reached the end. She poked her head out of the water and took a long breath.

“Finally saved…”

Xu Manman emerged from the water, with Demon Lord Lang Yin following closely behind.

Seeing the impending outburst of Demon Lord Lang Yin’s anger, Xu Manman immediately kneeled down without a word.

“I have no way to repay you for saving my life, brother!”

Demon Lord Lang Yin’s thin lips turned red as he gritted his teeth and sneered coldly, “Your courage is growing by the day!”

Xu Manman responded seriously, “Not really; this time I didn’t use my teeth or draw blood…”

Last time, not only did she draw blood, but she also drank a big mouthful.

“Do you truly believe I won’t kill you?” Demon Lord Lang Yin’s wide sleeves billowed with spiritual energy, moving without wind.

Xu Manman quickly said, “When Xu Manman is revived, you can dispose of this lowly life of mine as you see fit, brother!”

Xu Manman thought to herself that if she could be revived in her original body, she wouldn’t need this one anymore.

Demon Lord Langyin’s anger remained unabated. Xu Manman raised her head, wearing a humble yet sincere smile, and softly said, “Brother, calm down. Last time you tolerated me biting your neck, this time I merely drew some spiritual energy from your mouth without hurting you. It’s not such a big deal, is it?”

Xu Manman said this, and her eyes fell on Demon Lord Lang Yin’s thin lips involuntarily. It seemed that she sucked a little harder, and the color of his lips was more red than usual, which made people want to swallow their saliva inexplicably…

Just now, she had been too focused on survival to notice anything else.

Looking back, the Immortal Lord’s neck and lips felt quite good…

Towards the Immortal Lord, she naturally wouldn’t dare be so presumptuous, but with the Demon Lord, she felt much less burdened. She was even a bit relieved that it was the Demon Lord in the water with her earlier. After all, her misbehavior towards the Demon Lord wouldn’t be known by the Immortal Lord…

“Hmph, you have plenty of twisted logic,” Demon Lord Lang Yin coldly sneered, angered by her words.

“I’m an upright person; I never spout twisted logic. Brother, your true form is a flower; whether it’s a petal or a leaf being kissed, what’s the difference?”

Xu Manman replied earnestly.

Demon Lord Langyin’s face unexpectedly flushed, “Naturally, there is a difference.”

Seeing his face turn red, Xu Manman was momentarily stunned.

Why was he blushing?

Was it out of anger or shyness?

What is the difference between a flower and a leaf?

She is a human, and there is a gap between species.

It is really difficult for people to understand what flowers and plants are thinking.

“Then think of it this way: humans all look similar; just consider me as Xu Manman, and you won’t be so angry.”

Xu Manman said, adjusting her Lian Yue crown, “Just focus on the crown.”

Her words only made Demon Lord Lang Yin take back the Lian Yue Crown, coldly saying, “You dare compare yourself to her? Stand up; she would never kneel so easily!”

Xu Manman secretly chuckled to herself: You clearly don’t know Xu Manman well enough; she was quite casual about such things…

“Brother is right, Xu Manman is noble and great, unparalleled in the world! But I’m just more down-to-earth…”

Xu Manman grinned cheekily as she stood up, taking the opportunity to compliment herself.

Demon Lord Langyin couldn’t be bothered to argue with her—it was futile against her mouth.

As he swept his sleeves and walked away, Xu Manman hurriedly followed.

“Brother, wait for me!” Xu Manman called out, finding the term “brother” more natural each time she used it.

“Where is this place?” Demon Lord Lang Yin looked around.

They were in a massive cavern, seemingly within the belly of a mountain. They couldn’t see any end in any direction. The stone walls were lit by torches made of bones, and when looking up, there was only darkness, shrouded in a black mist that obscured the ceiling.

Xu Manman attempted to use her cultivation technique to absorb spiritual energy, but she failed, her expression growing serious.

“This is the mountain’s core, where neither sky nor earth can be seen, known as the Suspended Realm.”

Xu Manman frowned deeply and said solemnly, “This place is also devoid of spiritual energy, likely due to a formation set up by someone.”

“You seem quite knowledgeable about formations,” Demon Lord Lang Yin glanced at her.

“Not as much as Xu Manman. Everything I know, she taught me,” Xu Manman lied smoothly.

“Immortal Lord is a god of creation, born extraordinary, with the power to summon wind and rain, move mountains, and fill seas. Naturally, you wouldn’t care about formations. However, in my opinion, formations are the true power of the gods.”

“A formation is divided into two parts: the ‘Fa’ and the ‘Zhen.’ The ‘Fa’ refers to the laws of heaven and earth, and the ‘Zhen’ is the language used to communicate with heaven and earth. For thousands of years, cultivators have used formations as a means of attacking enemies, categorizing them into four types: defense, confinement, killing, and special. Major sects’ protective formations are defensive and extremely difficult to breach from the outside, while confinement formations are difficult to break from within. Killing formations are the strongest offensive means, and special formations are diverse, such as the Ascending Formation and the Mountain Moving Formation. A master of formations can use spiritual energy to control the laws of heaven and earth, essentially becoming a god within their domain,” Xu Manman explained.

“So, what type of formation is this?” Demon Lord Lang Yin asked.

“If I’m not mistaken, this formation restricts spiritual energy, preventing the use of any techniques. It should be a ‘Forbidden Formation,’ a type of special formation. Forbidden formations can nullify one or more laws of heaven and earth within a given area, such as preventing levitation or speech. This one forbids the use of spiritual energy.”

Xu Manman glanced back at the pool and smiled bitterly, “The Blood Sect lured us into this well, filled the opening with the Mountain Moving Formation, used puppets to drain our spiritual energy, and finally forced us into this Forbidden Formation. It looks like they have a grand plan for us.”

Clapping sounds echoed in the darkness, followed by the sound of footsteps approaching slowly.

“Impressive, you truly live up to your reputation as the Daoist partner of Lian Yue Daozun, just as skilled in formations as she is.”

Xu Manman squinted toward the source of the voice. The figure wasn’t clear, but the voice was very familiar.

“Jing Wuye,” Xu Manman smiled.

“It’s you, after all.”

Jing Wuye’s face gradually became visible in the firelight, a smile playing on his lips, an appreciative look in his eyes.

“No wonder the Young Master of the Di Luan and the Sea Emperor follow your words so closely,” Jing Wuye said with a smile.

“Where are they?” Xu Manman asked.

“We’ve already captured them,” Jing Wuye replied smugly.

He clapped his hands, and two cocoon-like objects descended from the top of the cave, with some rustling sounds above.

Xu Manman squinted and saw that both Ao Xiu and Li Que were wrapped in spider silk, only their noses and eyes exposed, looking anxiously at her. Above them, two enormous human-faced ghost spiders crawled back and forth. The spiders had human heads with blue faces and sharp fangs, bodies as large as cattle, and legs covered with coarse, spiky hairs, making them look incredibly disgusting.

Xu Manman was relaxed.

“Now I feel relieved.”

Ao Xiu and Li Que were both stunned, “?”

Jing Wuye thought he had misheard.

Xu Manman suddenly walked briskly towards Jing Wuye, a bright smile on her face, “Old Jing, don’t take action, I’m one of you!”

Demon Lord Lang Yin: “???”

“Stop right there!” Jing Wuye took a half-step back, glaring at Xu Manman in shock and suspicion, “What do you mean by that?”

Xu Manman smiled, “Isn’t it clear? I’m also a member of the Blood Sect!”

She suddenly knelt on one knee, raising her hands, and solemnly recited, “The Supreme is merciless, and the long night is dark! Defy the heavens and change fate; burn the heavens and reap the souls! Only I, the Blood Sovereign, walk the great path alone!”

Jing Wuye’s face changed slightly, “That’s the Blood Sect’s oath of martyrdom. How do you know it?”

“Because I’m the Blood Sect’s spy planted beside Lian Yue Daozun, just like you,” Xu Manman stood up, looking sincerely at Jing Wuye, “You’re from the Soul-Reaping Division, right? I’ve been under Mo Duo, the Respected Envoy of the Burning Heaven Division, infiltrating for nearly a hundred years. This time, I was ordered by Mo Duo, the respected envoy, to deliver false information to Lian Yue Daozun and lure her into the Burning Heaven Division’s trap.”

Jing Wuye’s expression was dark, and his eyes flickered, “I don’t believe you.”

“Do you really believe that Lian Yue Daozun’s partner would be a woman?” Xu Manman smirked mysteriously, “That was all a ruse to deceive the world, to lead these people into the Soul-Reaping Division’s ambush and avenge Mo Duo, the Respected Envoy. One is the Young Master of the Di Luan, and the other is the Sea Emperor Ao Xiu. Both possess divine veins. And this Immortal Lord Lang Yin is even more extraordinary. The Blood Sovereign plans to hand him over to the Fate-Defying Division for research, as the Chaos energy is extremely rare.”

“What proof do you have that you’re with the Blood Sect?” Jing Wuye’s face was full of suspicion.

“What proof do you need? I brought them to you.”

Xu Manman spread her hands helplessly and said, “Think about it. Wasn’t it I who told Qian Luo Yaozun about the empty tomb in the Youfu Mountain Range?”

“Yes, but…”

“And think about it, if I hadn’t informed you in advance, could you have set up this trap and lured them here?”

“Yes, but…”

“If I weren’t from the Blood Sect, would I know that we have people in the Myriad Thorn Palace? Would I know that the Tongshan tribe is the headquarters of the Soul-Reaping Division? Would I come here with just three people to die? I should’ve brought the seven sects of the Daoist Alliance to flatten this place!”

“Hmm…” Jing Wu Ye seemed somewhat convinced, his brows relaxing slightly.

“I deliberately separated these three earlier, making it easier for you to defeat them one by one. I put in so much effort, even using myself as bait, all for the Blood Sect’s eternal legacy, and yet you doubt me. Hmph, I’ll report this to the Blood Sovereign one day!” Xu Manman started showing a stern face after having said all the right things.

Jing Wu Ye’s expression changed, and he smiled.

“I misunderstood. So, we are sister and brother in the Blood Sect. You mentioned earlier that you’re from the Burning Heaven Division.”

Xu Manman nodded.

“Yes, Lian Yue Daozun pursued the Blood Sect relentlessly, her mind extremely meticulous. I was ordered to approach her a century ago to gain her trust. This time, the Burning Heaven Division’s operation succeeded largely because of my efforts, though my identity was exposed. Fortunately, Lian Yue Daozun is dead, and no one knows of my connection to the Blood Sect. To prove my loyalty, I risked my life to bring these people here. Seeing the Blood Sovereign will naturally prove I’m not lying.”

Xu Manman sighed.

“The Burning Heaven Division lost hundreds of people to the Immortal Lord. This hatred must be avenged.”

Jing Wuye, now almost fully convinced, became much more friendly towards Xu Manman.

The Blood Sect did not solely value strength because their methods for enhancing power were unconventional. Quickly advancing to the Nascent Soul stage wasn’t difficult, so Jing Wuye didn’t dare look down on Xu Manman despite her being in the Golden Core stage.

“So…what do we do next?” Jing Wuye asked.

Xu Manman smiled at the grim-faced, cold-eyed Demon Lord Lang Yin.

“Immortal Lord, you always acted high and mighty. Didn’t expect to become a prisoner, did you?”

Demon Lord Lang Yin clenched his fists and coldly replied, “You can try.”

“Still defiant,” Xu Manman snorted, then told Jing Wuye, “He still has some strength left. Exhaust him completely, then trap him with a formation. This is the Blood Sovereign’s desired spirit herb, the world’s only thousand-petaled hibiscus. You can injure him, but don’t kill him.”

Jing Wuye bowed his head.

“Understood!”

With a clap, countless puppets emerged from the darkness. These puppets were small, with developed limbs and dull expressions; half of them were likely practitioners of the Tongshan tribe’s Eight-Armed Mytic Skill; the rest were probably kidnapped from elsewhere.

Xu Manman observed, seemingly casually commenting, “The wars among the seven nations over the years have benefited the Soul-Reaping Division, haven’t they? You’ve collected many high-level cultivators’ bodies.”

Jing Wuye laughed.

“It took quite an effort. Cultivators with sects have their bodies retrieved by their sects after death. Only the lone cultivators’ bodies, left unattended, could be turned into puppets.”

“I envy the brothers of the Four Divisions for their achievements. Unlike me, I’ve hidden for a hundred years, avoiding any contact with the Blood Sect to avoid suspicion by the Lian Yue Daozun.”

“Years of preparation for a moment’s use. You made great contributions in eliminating the Lian Yue Daozun, so you’ll surely be rewarded when you return to the Blood Sect,” Jing Wu Ye flattered.

“The Burning Heaven Division needs rebuilding; I don’t dare hope for a reward. Serving the Blood Sovereign is reward enough for me,” Xu Manman replied earnestly.

“Indeed, indeed. I’ve underestimated your dedication,” Jing Wu Ye said, admiringly.

“Capturing two divine vein possessors and the Immortal Lord is no lesser achievement than eliminating the Lian Yue Daozun. Your contributions are significant. I’ll surely speak highly of you to the Blood Sovereign,” Xu Manman said.

Jing Wuye was overjoyed. “Thank you!”

“We are brothers under the Blood Sovereign’s banner; no need for thanks,” Xu Manman waved dismissively.

Demon Lord Lang Yin, facing countless puppets alone, was already low on spiritual energy in the formation, becoming increasingly exhausted. The puppets felt no pain, continued attacking even with broken limbs, forcing Demon Lord Lang Yin to the brink of exhaustion.

“Immortal Lord seems about to collapse. Go subdue him,” Xu Manman casually instructed.

“Yes!”

Jing Wuye stepped forward, taking a few blows from Demon Lord Lang Yin before finally subduing him.

Jing Wuye frowned.

“Immortal Lord wasn’t wearing this clothes before.”

“Hibiscus can change color, don’t you know? You are a plant spirit.”

Xu Manman shook her head in disdain.

Jing Wuye blushed with embarrassment.

“I’ve never seen a purple hibiscus before, so I didn’t recognize it.”

Xu Manman smiled, taking out a finely crafted enamel flowerpot and beckoning to Demon Lord Lang Yin.

“Immortal Lord, into the pot.”

As she spoke, the pot glowed, its enamel patterns shining mesmerizingly, drawing attention. Demon Lord Lang Yin’s body flashed, turning into a streak of light and flying into the pot.

Inside the pot, there was no human figure, only a beautiful Thousand-Petaled Hibiscus. Its petals unfolded, revealing a deep purple hue, with lush leaves almost covering the entire pot. The hibiscus swayed gently, exuding a captivating fragrance.

Xu Manman examined Demon Lord Lang Yin’s true form, noticing black spots on the petals and leaves. She frowned.

“These are blood curse marks. Will they affect the hibiscus’s medicinal and divine properties?”

Jing Wu Ye quickly reassured, “No, no. I have a bottle of Guanyin Water to remove the curse marks.”

Xu Manman took the porcelain bottle from Jing Wuye, poured some into her hand, and the curse marks slowly dissipated. She then poured a few drops on the petals, but they moved, missing the marks and falling onto the leaves instead.

“Don’t play around,” Xu Manman chided softly, pouring the entire bottle over the hibiscus, much to Jing Wuye’s dismay.

“No need to use so much…” Jing Wu Ye protested.

Xu Manman ignored him, handing the empty bottle back. “I can’t send messages here. You inform the Soul-Reaping Envoy that we’ve captured the three. But these individuals are special; they must be sent to the Fu Yue Shenzun to extract their divine veins together. The Soul-Reaping Division cannot act rashly.”

“I understand, I’ll report immediately.”

Xu Manman held the pot with one hand, rubbing the curse marks with the other, trying to remove the black spots. However, Demon Lord Lang Yin didn’t cooperate, dodging and even using two leaves to pinch her fingers.

Xu Manman narrowed her eyes, secretly transmitting a message to Demon Lord Lang Yin while Jing Wu Ye was busy with the communication conch.

“Brother, don’t be angry. I said those things to fool him. We’re on the same side.”

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