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Chapter 35

With a grab of Fan Yue’s hand, the pitch-black world suddenly brightened, and the two of them found themselves inside a cave. Without a second thought, Bai Shuo quickly pulled out seven or eight talismans and stuck them on herself, then swiftly hid behind Fan Yue.

Before she finished her series of movements, two voices rang out simultaneously.



It wasn’t an evil spirit?! Bai Shuo smelled a sweet fragrance, like the scent of an immortal, and peeked out from behind Fan Yue to look deeper into the cave.

She saw a large stone bed.

On the bed, a man and a woman were rolling around, their clothes disheveled. The woman, upon seeing intruders, hurriedly pulled her clothes to cover her half-exposed body, while the man calmly stood up and dressed himself.

My god, in this blessed land of the immortals, such scandalous activities?!

Bai Shuo wanted to take a closer look, but a pair of hands covered her eager eyes.

Bai Shuo knew it was her young disciple who did it.

“Hey, Mumu, let me see, let me see…”

Before Bai Shuo could pry away the hands, a sullen voice spoke up.

“Bai Shuo?”

Does this man know me? Bai Shuo was taken aback and pushed aside Fan Yue’s hands to take a longer look at the two in the cave.

She recognized both faces—familiar ones at that.

The woman was Er Lian, a disciple of the inner island, and the man… Bai Shuo swallowed hard, feeling bitterness in her heart. Why was he here?

Zhe Sang, the head disciple of Master Songfeng, Er Yun’s fiancé, and her old nemesis—not quite; Zhe Sang had no grudge against her but against Ah Zhao.

Zhe Sang was originally the first senior brother of Piaomiao, the foremost among the twelve Liuyun disciples. Though he hadn’t ascended to become an immortal lord, his hundred years of cultivation made him a standout among the disciples.

In the hearts of Piaomiao’s people, he was undoubtedly the next successor. Songhe and Songfeng had arranged his marriage with Er Yun early on. Three years ago, Chong Zhao saved the former sect master, Songhe, and was granted Songhe’s spiritual energy. As a mortal, Chong Zhao entered Piaomiao, breaking the peace of the island.

Chong Zhao had an exceptionally high aptitude for cultivation and became a Liuyun disciple within a year, gaining the admiration of many senior and junior brothers.

Er Yun also showed favor toward Chong Zhao.

Zhe Sang was originally unhappy with Songhe’s decision to take Chong Zhao in before his death, believing he was just a lucky mortal. He made things difficult for Chong Zhao after he joined and even challenged him to a duel after Chong Zhao returned injured from a training mission, declaring that the loser would leave Piaomiao.

Despite Chong Zhao’s rapid progress in spiritual energy, he was no match for Zhe Sang after just a year of cultivation. The sect’s internal strife was not permitted by Songfeng, but Zhe Sang made an oath with his immortal essence, forcing Chong Zhao into the duel.

Chong Zhao had no choice but to fight.

To everyone’s surprise, Chong Zhao won, and Zhe Sang left the island in anger, disappearing without a trace.

Bai Shuo never imagined she would encounter Zhe Sang again in such circumstances two years later.

Wasn’t he devoted to Er Yun, even fighting Ah Zhao for her? How quickly he had turned affectionate with Er Lian! The relationship between these young people is really thinner than paper…

If Sister Er Yun knew her number one loyal follower and her fiancé were entangled like this, even if she didn’t want to marry Zhe Sang anymore, she’d probably be spitting a mouth full of old blood…

Bai Shuo’s mind was wandering when she suddenly nudged her young disciple beside her. She had forgotten about him. Zhe Sang was not some ordinary disciple. If he detected the demonic energy on Fan Yue…

Bai Shuo’s mind raced, and she quickly put on a smile, bowing politely to Zhe Sang.

“Bai Shuo greets Senior Brother Zhe Sang. It’s been a long time. How have you been?”

“Good, thanks to you; very good.” Zhe Sang snorted softly, looking at Bai Shuo with some gloom.

Bai Shuo was puzzled. Back when Zhe Sang left, she was just an outer disciple, barely known even among the inner island disciples, let alone to Zhe Sang. She had thought Zhe Sang had just recognized her by chance.

Why did his words sound like he had a deep grudge against her?

Oh, right, though she was just a small medicine disciple, everyone knew she was Ah Zhao’s old acquaintance from the mortal world.

Zhe Sang hated Ah Zhao, so he probably hated her by association.

Bai Shuo calmly pulled her young disciple further behind her, smiling even more sincerely.

“I didn’t expect Senior Brother to remember me. I’m flattered. I heard from the brothers in the inner sect that the sect master is always talking about senior brother. Senior brother must be tired after returning from training, so there is no need to delay his return to the island for me.”

“Oh? You seem very considerate of me.”

Zhe Sang walked slowly towards Bai Shuo.

“Not at all.”

Bai Shuo stayed alert and pretended to yawn.

“It’s late, and the night is cold. Let’s rest separately. Don’t worry, Senior Brother!” Bai Shuo raised her hand.

“I was just out collecting herbs. I didn’t see anything. Please continue. I won’t disturb you any longer.”

As Bai Shuo spoke, she pulled her young disciple towards the cave entrance, only to hear a sneer.

“I hear you’ve taken over the medicine hut, replacing the old turtle. I don’t feel so bad about losing now. Who would have thought the sect master would bring back two mortals, one of whom is a genius at alchemy. You helped Chong Zhao during that duel, didn’t you?”

Bai Shuo paused, looking at Er Lian. Er Lian’s gaze flickered, but she refused to show weakness in front of Bai Shuo, raising her head defiantly.

Bai Shuo finally understood Zhe Sang’s hostility.

He had found out.

Two years ago, Chong Zhao, who had just established his foundation, was no match for Zhe Sang.

Bai Shuo, in her anxiety, secretly took some spiritual herbs from the old turtle and refined a second-grade immortal pill for Chong Zhao.

Chong Zhao recovered overnight and defeated the overconfident Zhe Sang.

No one knew about this, but Zhe Sang must have learned about her alchemy skills from Er Lian and guessed the truth.

It seemed tonight wouldn’t end peacefully.

Bai Shuo sighed softly, her demeanor no longer polite, and spoke gently, “Senior Sister Er Lian should be cultivating in the back mountain, preparing for the disciple competition at the end of the month. She shouldn’t be here at this time.”

“Bai Shuo, you…!” Er Lian’s face changed.

She had admired Zhe Sang since childhood, but Zhe Sang was betrothed to Er Yun and was the next sect master’s candidate. She could only admire him from afar. Three years ago, when Zhe Sang left with no news, she often sought opportunities to find him.

A few months ago, she found the dejected Zhe Sang and, overjoyed, gave him all her stored pills for his cultivation, even telling him about Bai Shuo’s alchemy skills.

Zhe Sang finally understood that it was Bai Shuo who was behind Chong Zhao’s sudden increase in spiritual energy overnight.

He had genuinely thought Chong Zhao was a prodigy, but it turned out he had used underhanded means to defeat him.

Without hesitation, Zhe Sang returned to Piaomiao. How could a waste who relied on spiritual pills for cultivation compare to him? This time, he was determined to drive that mortal out of Piaomiao and win back Er Yun.

As for Er Lian, she was merely his amusement when he was bored.

“You’re threatening me?” Zhe Sang’s eyes darkened.

Er Lian, unsure of what to do, quietly tugged on Zhe Sang’s sleeve, only to have him shake her off. Er Lian’s eyes were filled with resentment, but she dared not speak.

“Not at all. Bai Shuo is just a little medicine disciple. How could she dare threaten you, Senior Brother? Now that you’ve returned to Piaomiao, you must still be concerned about Senior Sister Er Yun.”

Bai Shuo glanced at the two of them.

“I imagine Senior Brother wouldn’t want to hear any rumors, would he?”

“It seems that during my absence from Piaomiao, Chong Zhao has indeed gained some power. An outer sect medicine disciple dares to speak so brazenly in front of me…”

Before he finished speaking, Zhe Sang suddenly struck out, sending a wave of immortal energy towards Bai Shuo. Bai Shuo hadn’t expected the former top disciple of Liuyun to attack so suddenly. She was caught off guard and took the full brunt of the immortal energy. If she hadn’t covered herself with protective talismans earlier, she might have been crushed to a pulp.

“Zhe Sang, you…?!”

Zhe Sang didn’t give Bai Shuo a chance to speak and struck out again. Bai Shuo quickly reached into her qiankun pouch for a life-saving item, but her hand came up empty. She saw a flash of immortal light and closed her eyes in fear.

It’s over. My life is done for!

The immortal energy landed solidly on the ground, creating cracks. Bai Shuo felt herself being tightly held and rolled to the ground. When she opened her eyes, she saw her young disciple hugging her tightly, having taken the blow from the immortal energy and falling into a deep unconsciousness.

“Mumu!” Bai Shuo quickly checked Fan Yue’s breathing and, seeing that he was only stunned by the immortal energy, sighed in relief.

Good disciple, Master didn’t spoil you for nothing!

“Demonic energy?!”

Before Bai Shuo could recover, another shout of alarm rang in her ears.

Bai Shuo looked up to see Zhe Sang squinting at the boy beside her.

When Fan Yue had protected Bai Shuo from the disaster, the transformation talisman inside him had broken, releasing a faint demonic energy.

Damn! They found out!

“Well, well, Bai Shuo, you have quite the nerve, colluding with a demon while being a disciple of the immortal sect!”

Although encountering a demon, Zhe Sang was not the least bit flustered. He could see that the boy in front of him had very weak demonic energy, indicating he was just a newly transformed little demon.

“Perfect timing. I haven’t been back to the sect for a long time. I’ll kill this little demon and take you to Inner Island to surprise my master.”

Zhe Sang raised his hand to strike Fan Yue.

Bai Shuo suddenly stood up, shielding Fan Yue behind her, and pulled out a firecracker from her qiankun pouch.

“Stop! Or I’ll crush this!”

What Bai Shuo held was the “Thunderbolt,” commonly used by immortal sect disciples in times of danger.

Though it had no lethal power, once ignited, its immortal energy would shoot straight into the sky, visible for a hundred miles.

Zhe Sang never expected that Bai Shuo, a half-immortal, would possess an inner sect disciple’s spiritual weapon.

“Senior Brother Zhe Sang, he’s just a little tree demon I picked up while collecting spirit herbs. Even if the sect master finds out I took him in, at most I’ll be expelled from Piaomiao. Think carefully—if Senior Sister Er Yun sees this lively scene…” Bai Shuo glanced at the panicked Er Lian.

“Even if you have a hundred mouths to explain, Senior Sister Er Yun may not believe you…”

“You!” Zhe Sang’s brows furrowed in anger, his expression darkening.

He stopped his actions, creating a tense stalemate in the cave.

“Senior Brother Zhe Sang, I only want to peacefully refine medicine in the medicine hut. I don’t want trouble and can’t afford it. You are the sect master’s head disciple. Why jeopardize your reputation for the sake of a mere half-immortal like me?”

Zhe Sang stared at the “Thunderbolt” in Bai Shuo’s hand and snorted coldly.

Seeing a chance, Bai Shuo hurriedly said, “As long as Senior Brother spares my disciple and keeps his demon identity a secret, I am willing to swear an immortal oath never to mention tonight’s events to anyone.”

Zhe Sang squinted and suddenly said, “It’s not impossible for me to keep this little demon’s identity a secret… but you must do something for me.”

Bai Shuo was taken aback.

Er Yun opened the door and saw a familiar figure standing under the tree in the courtyard.

She paused, her expression complex, and sighed softly as she walked forward.

“Senior Brother.”

The immortal under the tree turned around—it was Zhe Sang.

His return to the island had spread throughout Piaomiao. After three years away, Zhe Sang’s spiritual energy had grown considerably, and his temperament had changed from being arrogant and wild to being humble and courteous, treating the disciples kindly. Even Song Feng was pleased with his disciple’s transformation. With no one else on the island, Zhe Sang’s return was timely.

Only Er Yun was distressed by the news of Zhe Sang’s return. Their engagement had been arranged since childhood, and although Song He had taken Chong Zhao as a disciple before passing away, he had not annulled the engagement.

Er Yun’s heart was now set on Chong Zhao, making it impossible for her to marry Zhe Sang. She had been wanting to find an opportunity to clarify things with Zhe Sang, but because they had grown up together, she felt guilty and didn’t know how to bring it up, avoiding him all this time. She hadn’t expected Zhe Sang to come to her today.

“Junior Sister, I haven’t seen you for three years, and you’re still the same.”

After not seeing her for years, Zhe Sang was delighted to see Er Yun. He raised his hand to pat her shoulder, but Er Yun quickly dodged.

Zhe Sang froze, awkwardly retracting his hand.

Er Yun quickly said, “Senior Brother, I…”

Zhe Sang sighed, “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, and we’ve grown distant. Master said you were injured while training outside the island and have been recuperating. This is a century-old ginseng dew, which will help with your injuries.”

As he spoke, Zhe Sang took out a porcelain bottle from his sleeve and handed it to Er Yun.

Seeing Zhe Sang’s deep concern for her, Er Yun found it even harder to say the words she wanted to say. However, some things had to be said. Er Yun took the porcelain bottle…

“Senior Brother, I have something to tell you…”

“Junior Sister,” Zhe Sang suddenly interrupted her, “I just went to see Master and asked him to dissolve our engagement.”

Er Yun was stunned, almost thinking she had heard wrong. She looked up in surprise to see Zhe Sang looking at her gently.

“I’ve known your feelings for three years. We grew up together; how could I bear to see you troubled? Our engagement was just the wish of our masters. Now that your heart belongs to someone else, I wish you and Junior Brother Chong Zhao all the best.”

Seeing the reluctance in Zhe Sang’s eyes, Er Yun felt a pang of sorrow in her heart, her eyes turning red. For a moment, she didn’t know what to say.

Zhe Sang patted her head, said no more, and turned to leave…

“Thank you, Senior Brother Zhe Sang!” Er Yun shouted at his retreating back.

Zhe Sang paused but did not turn around and walked away.

Watching Zhe Sang leave, Er Yun felt touched and finally let go of her worries from the past few days, a smile appearing on her face. What she didn’t see was the mocking and cold glint in Zhe Sang’s eyes.

In the medicine hut, the old turtle was bustling around, while Bai Shuo was daydreaming under a tree.

“Hey, girl!” The old turtle flicked Bai Shuo’s forehead, bringing her back to reality.

She saw the old turtle with his hands on his hips, looking annoyed.

“Can’t you see how busy I am? What are you daydreaming about? Get in here and help.”


Bai Shuo replied absentmindedly and obediently went into the medicine hut to stoke the fire.

Seeing her so docile, the old turtle clicked his tongue in wonder and rolled back into the hut to continue his work.

The fire in the cauldron danced, and Bai Shuo absentmindedly added spirit herbs, her face calm but her mind in turmoil.

Zhe Sang had been back on the island for half a month, and in a few days, it would be time for the inner sect disciples’ competition. She didn’t have much time left. What should she do?

If Chong Zhao wasn’t in seclusion, she could have someone to discuss this with, but he was in seclusion in the back mountain, and no one knew when he would come out.

Maybe she should tell the sect master everything. After all, Fan Yue had saved Senior Sister Er Yun on Fire Ice Island and eliminated the evil spirit, helping Piaomiao through a calamity…

Just as Bai Shuo was about to get up, her head hit something, making her dizzy. It was Fan Yue standing beside her, eagerly handing her spirit herbs.

The boy had a mark on his wrist, a shadow-following curse placed by Zhe Sang. Bai Shuo had initially wanted to secretly send Fan Yue away and deny everything, but Zhe Sang was meticulous and had put a restriction on Fan Yue, making it impossible for him to leave the outer island.

Seeing the boy’s clean and trusting eyes, Bai Shuo suppressed her thoughts.

No, if the sect master discovered Fan Yue’s identity… a once-powerful Lord of the Haoyue Palace who had lost his demonic energy, given the enmity between immortals and demons, who knows if the sect master would hand him over to the Heavenly Palace for merit? Moreover, apart from Ah Zhao, only the Haoyue Palace Lord knew about Song He’s fall into demonic ways. What if he wanted to keep this secret forever…?

After the incident with Song He, Bai Shuo no longer held the immortal way in such reverence.

If it weren’t for Fan Yue, she and Ah Zhao would have died on Muxiao Mountain back then. How could they have today’s lives?

Zhe Sang just wanted to use that item to enhance his spiritual energy and defeat Ah Zhao. The disciples’ trial period was imminent. Even if he obtained the item, it was impossible for his spiritual energy to increase drastically in just a few days. If she could just delay until Ah Zhao came out of seclusion…

Countless thoughts swirled in Bai Shuo’s mind. She finally stomped her foot and made a decision.

In the main hall of Cold Spring Palace in the demon realm.

The bright sky hangs high.

Fu Ling, covered in a murderous aura and still stained with fresh blood, walked in.

Yan Yu, sitting high in the main hall, raised an eyebrow when he saw her return.

“You’re back?”

“Yes, Palace Lord.”

“Did you complete the task I assigned you?”

“Thankfully, I did not fail.”

Fu Ling’s expression was cold as she waved her hand.

A guard beside her presented a box. The box emitted a faint red light, and no one knew what was inside. The entire box was trembling slightly.

Fu Ling carefully opened the demon box, revealing a fist-sized demon artifact inside.

The artifact seemed incomplete, just a broken piece, yet even this fragment exuded such powerful demonic energy that it made it difficult for the demons in the hall to breathe.

Yan Yu’s eyes lit up, and with a wave of his hand, the demon box fell into his hand. He picked up the demon artifact and couldn’t help but caress its surface.

“The Demon Tiger Clan has long been in decline. What right do they have to control the Demon Gathering Banner? It’s a pity that the divine artifact of the demon god is scattered in pieces, with no one able to harness its divine power to command the demons.”

A hundred years ago, the Ten-Tailed Heavenly Fox ascended to godhood, leaving the demon world without a successor to the throne. He divided the Demon Gathering Banner into four pieces and hid them throughout the demon realm. A century later, the four pieces were held by Cold Spring Palace, Haoyue, Jingyou Mountain, and the Demon Tiger Clan.

“Now that the Palace Lord has obtained two of the pieces, it won’t be long before you can destroy the Haoyue Palace and Jingyou Mountain, gather the divine artifacts of the demon god, become the demon emperor, and unify the demon realm.”

Fu Ling said loudly.

“Well said!” Yan Yu laughed heartily, looking at Fu Ling below.

“You exterminated the Demon Tiger Clan and retrieved the Demon Gathering Banner for me. You have rendered great service. Ask for anything, and it shall be yours.”

“Fu Ling would like to request a favor from the Palace Lord: to admit someone into our Cold Spring Palace.”

“Oh?” Yan Yu was surprised.

“The person you’ve taken a fancy to must be exceptional. Which demon sect does he belong to?”

“An immortal.”

Fu Ling replied slowly.

The hall fell silent. Yan Yu’s gaze shifted from the Demon Gathering Banner to Fu Ling.

“An immortal? To turn from immortal to demon is unacceptable to the world. Which immortal has such courage?”

“He doesn’t know yet.”

Fu Ling smiled, looking towards the east in the direction of Piaomiao across the sea of clouds.

“But I believe he will eventually belong to our Cold Spring Palace.”

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