Chapter 13: Journey to Xianmen
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Blackheaven Sect, Qingyun Temple
“Tell me again. What was the man carrying up the mountain?” Startled, the Blackheaven Sect’s Sect Master, Xi Qiu, shot up in alarm from his high seat in the great hall.
“Sect Master, the man said it was a Soul Devouring Gonfalon,” replied the disciple.
“Soul Devouring Gonfalon? It’s a Devouring Gonfalon! Could the man be the Fiendish Cultivator Rui Mi?” Xi Qiu stepped forward with an angry look on his face and said, “The cheek of that Fiendish Cultivator! He actually dares to break into my Blackheaven Sect. I’d like to see what he is capable of. Come with me comrades, let’s destroy this fiend together.” Saying that, he prepared to lead a group of elders down the mountain.
“Senior Brother, wait!” Disciplinary Hall Master Xi Chen held him back hastily. “In my opinion, this person might not be that fiend.”
“How so?” asked Xi Qiu, surprised.
“Senior Brother, have you heard the recent news about the sudden resurgence of Fiendish Cultivator Rui Mi’s Myriad Fiend Den?”
“Of course I’ve heard about it.” Xi Qiu nodded. “How is he connected to this matter?”
“A few days ago, I took a look at the Fiend Den,” Xi Chen explained. “I found that the harmful creatures inside had been totally destroyed. I didn’t see any sign of the fiend, but all his lackeys who practiced on live humans had been killed, and killed by a single stroke of the sword, no less. There was still some Sword Qi lingering in the den. Someone must have broken into it.”
“You mean…” Xi Qiu was stunned. “That person was a Sword Cultivator!” It was rare to come across a Sword Cultivator in this world, and one who was capable of breaking into the Myriad Fiend Den had to at least be at the Golden Core stage.
“Yes!” Xi Chen nodded. “Seeing how this man dared to come up to Blackheaven Sect so openly, and counting the fact that he is carrying the Soul Devouring Gonfalon, I think he is probably the one who broke into the Myriad Fiend Den.”
Xi Qiu’s eyes lit up and his anger subsided. He looked at the disciple in the hall and instructed excitedly, “Quickly, ask the man to come up.”
He walked back to the main seat and sat down. Within a quarter of an hour, he saw a man in white robes approaching from the entrance. He looked no more than twenty, and his entire body exuded powerful Sword Qi. A closer look revealed that he was actually a Golden Core Sword Cultivator, and he was holding a black flag in his right hand. One could faintly see the Ghost Qi swarming inside the flag. This flag was indeed the legendary Soul Devouring Gonfalon.
“Sword Cultivator Yi Qing, paying my respects to the Perfected Ones.” He clasped his fists and saluted.
“Yi Qing!” Xi Qiu exclaimed in surprise, rising from his chair once again. “You are that itinerant cultivator Yi Qing.”
“That’s right,” replied Yi Qing.
Yi Qing’s reply surprised him even more. Even the hall masters present all turned to look at the person in the center of the hall. It was no wonder as Yi Qing was such a well-known name among itinerant cultivators and even among Fiendish Cultivators.
No one knew where he came from because when he appeared, he was already a Golden Core Sword Cultivator. Rumor had it that he abhorred evil with a vengeance and that he was willing to champion the cause of justice. Countless Fiendish Cultivators had died by his hands.
Itinerant cultivators had always been a disorganized lot, made up of all manner of people. Most of them would either switch to become Fiendish Cultivators or turn to pilfering, killing and robbery. He was like a breath of fresh air in the world of itinerant cultivators, and he had ironclad integrity. Any wicked creature who fell into his hands came to no good end. And as if that were not enough, he was also a famous Sword Cultivator who was one level higher than his peers. It was rumored that Fiendish Cultivators below the stage of Golden Core had all been thrashed by him. Very few Fiendish Cultivators committed crimes in places he had passed through.
“Fellow Daoist Yi, what brings you to Blackheaven Sect?” Xi Qiu asked.
Yi Qing immediately placed the flag which he had been holding in his right hand on his other palm, saying, “I’m here to give this to you. I would like to ask you to use your sect’s Spirit Cleansing Qi to rid the Ghost Qi in the flag and release the thousands of vengeful spirits from the gonfalon.”
“This is the Soul Devouring Gonfalon.”
“Fellow Daoist Yi, is the Soul Devouring Gonfalon…”
“The Soul Devouring Gonfalon is dead!”
Sure enough, Xi Qiu was a little excited but before he could speak, the hall master next to him asked urgently, “A month ago, the Myriad Fiend Den was resurrected. Was it your doing?”
A chorus of amazed exclamations erupted yet again. It really was him! The Fiendish Cultivator Rui Mi had always been a big headache for the Blackheaven Sect. Although he committed many acts of evil, he managed to keep his whereabouts a secret. No one knew the location of his old hideout, the Myriad Fiend Den. Also, he had perfected his Golden Core cultivation and possessed the Soul Devouring Gonfalon. There was no real chance of defeating him even with the help of a Nascent Soul cultivator. Many times the Blackheaven Sect had wanted to besiege his hideout but could not find any trace of him. And to think that Yi Qing had managed to solve this problem. He had actually defeated the Soul Devouring Gonfalon whose cultivation level was higher than his. He definitely lived up to the high standards expected of a Sword Cultivator.
“Hahaha, you really are an outstanding young man!” Xi Qiu laughed loudly, and then exchanged looks with each of the hall masters in turn. Everyone had the same thought: such a talent had to stay with them no matter what.
“I give thanks to Fellow Daoist Yi for helping us get rid of Rui Mi, the scourge of our sect,” Xi Qiu said with a brilliant smile, patting Yi Qing on the shoulder approvingly.
“I did not subdue the Fiendish Cultivator by myself,” Yi Qing answered honestly.
“You don’t have to be modest. That man had been wanted by all the factions for a long time.” Xi Qiu smiled even more happily, pointing to the flag in his hand. “Now that he is in my sect’s jurisdiction, it is our duty to release the souls from the Soul Devouring Gonfalon.”
“I greatly appreciate your help, Sect Master Qiu.” Yi Qing passed the flag in his hand directly over to him. “Since this matter is over, Yi Qing will now take his leave.” But as he was about to turn around and walk out, Xi Qiu blocked his way.
“Fellow Daoist Yi, wait a moment.” Xi Qiu quickly stamped a few seal arrays on the flag before keeping it away. “I can see that my fellow Daoist is naturally outstanding and brimming with Sword Qi. I think it is only a matter of time before you condense Sword Intent. But the process of understanding Sword Intent is always dangerous and cannot be interrupted. No doubt you will find that going at it alone will be much harder. Have you ever thought of joining our sect to receive our protection?”
“Thank you for your kind offer.” Yi Qing shook his head and continued, “But I have no intention of joining your sect.”
“Fellow Daoist Yi, don’t refuse so hastily.” Xi Qiu continued to try and persuade him. “My Blackheaven Sect, though not very well known, is the leader of the Three Sects Four Schools. Among the Three Sects Four Schools, my sect possesses the deepest knowledge regarding sword cultivation. My sect’s Senior Master was a Soul Formation Sword Cultivator. For many years, he has been wanting to get a disciple of his own. If you remain at my school, with your qualifications, he will definitely select you.” It was a great honor to come under the tutelage of a Soul Formation cultivator. No cultivator would be able to refuse this offer.
Yi Qing, however, began to frown. “I’m sorry, I already have a master.”
“What! Aren’t you an itinerant cultivator?” Surprised, Xi Qiu blurted out, “Who is your master?”
“I am!” Just as he completed his sentence, a raised fist appeared before his eyes and the next moment a super-sized face zoomed right in front of him. “I say, big brother, don’t you think you are too much trying to lure my staff away right before my eyes?”
Startled, Xi Qiu took a step back. “Who are you… where did you come from?”
“I’ve been here all this time.” Come on, it was obvious that she had entered together with her chef disciple.
Yi Qing instinctively stood half a step behind her. He straightened his back a little haughtily, and pronounced in a grave tone, “My master, Shen Ying.”