Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Without exaggeration, Lu Ye was the first person ever to make Thousand Demon Ridge fear him so much at the meager cultivation level of Eighth-Order Spirit Creek Realm.
While the entire Heavenly Derivative Sect was wrapped in a somber mood, two very special guests finally arrived at their headquarters. They were none other than the Sect Master and Keeper of Seal of the Crimson Blood Sect, Tang Yifeng and Shui Yuan.
Inside a hall, two people were lying inside a functioning Soul Nurturing Ward. The ward itself wasn’t particularly complicated, but individually it was completely useless. It only nurtured the soul if some soul nurturing treasures were placed within the ward.
All treasures that could nurture the soul were incredibly valuable, and even an old sect like the Heavenly Derivative Sect only had a handful of them. They weren’t even particularly potent.
Even so, it was the only effective way to alleviate Zhao Li and Ju Jia’s symptoms.
Lu Ye was sitting at the side and watching Ju Jia worriedly. The great elder of the Heavenly Derivative Sect, Bai Qian was guarding the place as well. He was the one who made the ward after all, so of course it was up to him to ensure that everything was functioning properly. They were the only two people inside the hall.
Countless shadows were swaying to the weak candlelight in the hall when suddenly, Bai Qian let out a sigh. “Hey kid. If you’re going to pretend to be dead, then at least act like it. What if someone sees you like this and spreads the news?”
Lu Ye asked, “Don’t you trust your own people, Elder Bai?”
“That’s not it. I’m just saying that it’s better to be safe than sorry. A pair of prying eyes and a loose mouth are all it takes for secrets to spread.”
“You must not be confident in your wards then.”
“Screw you.” Bai Qian lifted his chin and declared arrogantly, “I dare not claim to be the best ward cultivator in Jiu Zhou, but I dare say that no one is capable of peering through the wards I’ve set up.”
The old man was generally a friendly man as long as you did not speak to him about wards. Otherwise, his personality would do a one-eighty. He was especially confident in his attainment in the Way of Wards.
Lu Ye would have loved to learn from the old man, but the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost had just succumbed to the enemy, and both Ju Jia and Zhao Li were still in grave danger right now. Naturally, he wasn’t in the mood to expand on the subject.
Suddenly, Bai Qian warned, “Get into the ward now. Someone’s coming.”
Lu Ye hurriedly lay inside the ward and closed his eyes.
As if on cue, the door swung open with a creak. A series of hurried footsteps resounded across the hall as Yu Xiao’s voice rang, “We have placed them inside a Soul Nurturing Ward. For now, their lives are not in danger.”
The next moment, Lu Ye felt someone grabbing his wrist as a familiar scent tickled his nostrils. He opened his eyes and saw Shui Yuan staring back at him.
“Sister Shui Yuan.”
“Don’t move.” The ice on Shui Yuan’s face melted slightly as she pushed Lu Ye back to the ground. Then, he felt her gentle Spiritual Power entering his body and inspecting his condition.
The Sect Master was standing behind Shui Yuan with a worried look on his face. Although Lu Ye had already informed them that he was unhurt, neither of them could be assured until Shui Yuan had checked him herself.
Shui Yuan did not pull her punches this time, not letting go of Lu Ye’s wrist until an entire incense stick had passed. Finally satisfied, she released her grip and moved to check Ju Jia next.
It was only then Lu Ye rose to his feet and saluted Tang Yifeng, greeting, “Sect Master.”
The sect master nodded back. “I’m glad you’re safe.” Since Shui Yuan hadn’t said anything, it meant that Lu Ye really was safe and sound.
“I’m so sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you both,” Lu Ye apologized in a regretful tone.
The Sect Master tapped his head lightly with his fist. “What are you talking about? Forget that this is no trouble at all, so what if you brought actual trouble to our doorsteps? We are your seniors, and we exist to act as your shield. If I was the type to balk at trouble, I would never have become a cultivator in the first place. All is well as long as you do not regret the decisions you made. Do not allow fear to cow you into inaction.”
“Yes, Sect Master.”
It didn’t take long for Shui Yuan to finish inspecting Ju Jia and move onto Zhao Li. An incense stick later, she rose to her feet and scrunched her pretty eyebrows tightly. “It’s definitely a poison that attacks the Divine Soul.”
Yu Xiao had given Shui Yuan the poison residue they obtained from the traitor after they arrived. Combined with her observation of Ju Jia and Zhao Li’s condition, she was able to make several educated conjectures in just a short time.
“Is it treatable?” Yu Xiao asked hurriedly.
“It is, but I’m worried they won’t be able to survive the treatment.”
“What do you mean?”
His best medicine cultivator had been helpless before the poison, but Shui Yuan had declared otherwise shortly after her arrival. It proved that her medical expertise was far greater than his medicine cultivators, though it was clear from her words that her solution wasn’t without its repercussions.
“The poison will be attached to their Divine Soul, and I know of a way that can remove it. However, it’s going to deal massive damage to their Divine Soul because they are only at Spirit Creek Realm, and their Divine Soul is quite fragile. Frankly, their chances of surviving the operation is pretty low.”
Lu Ye’s heart sank when he heard this. He was the reason behind this whole fiasco, so how was it that he was totally fine, and Ju Jia and Zhao Li were the ones who were suffering?
Yu Xiao frowned deeply. “Is it truly hopeless?”
“Well, they might still survive if we feed them treasures that could strengthen their Divine Souls in a short time, but…”
“Treasures that could strengthen the Divine Soul, huh…” Yu Xiao couldn’t help but utter in a bitter tone. Such treasures were so valuable that even the Vault of Providence did not sell them, and if he did possess such a treasure he would have consumed it as soon as possible. Of course they wouldn’t have such a thing.
It was at this moment Lu Ye called out, “Sister Shui Yuan.”
The medicine cultivator turned around and saw Lu Ye beckoning her to his side. After she went over, Lu Ye pulled her to a corner and produced a jade bottle from his Storage Bag stealthily. He then asked in a soft voice, “Will this help?”
Shui Yuan accepted the jade bottle, but did not really think that Lu Ye could solve their conundrum. He was just a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator, and it was unlikely he would have a treasure that would be up to her standards.
Her skepticism only lasted until she opened the jade bottle and took a sniff. Shock and puzzlement flashed across her features as she glanced back and forth between Lu Ye and the bottle. She had a feeling she knew what it was, but she needed to be a hundred percent sure.
“Sect master,” Shui Yuan turned around and beckoned Tang Yifeng to their side.
After the Sect Master reached them, Shui Yuan passed him the jade bottle and asked, “Can you please check what this is?”
“You don’t recognize it?” The sect master sounded surprised. His confusion lasted until he accepted the jade bottle and inspected its contents. He was so shocked that his hand trembled slightly. “I cannot believe it…”
“Is it really that?” Shui Yuan asked for confirmation.
The sect master nodded seriously and said, “I’m pretty sure,” before looking at Lu Ye. “Where did you get this?”
Lu Ye was just a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator, and he hadn’t left the Spirit Creek Battlefield until recently. So, how on earth did he obtain a treasure that even Divine Ocean Realm cultivators would kill to get?
“I recently entered the Lost City of Xianyuan.”
Lu Ye had immediately thought of the Soul Cleansing Water when Shui Yuan said that only a treasure that could strengthen the soul in a short time could save Ju Jia and Zhao Li. As someone who had bathed in the Pool of Soul Purification before, he was well aware of the effects of the Soul Mist. The Soul Cleansing Water was the condensed form of the Soul Mist, so of course it was going to be beneficial to the Divine Soul.
“Oh, the Lost City of Xianyuan…” The sect master exclaimed in realization. At his position, he was well aware that the Lost City of Xianyuan was connected to the Rift of Fortune. It was also the only way a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator might obtain such a priceless treasure.
However, the Rift of Fortune had appeared many times across the Spirit Creek Battlefield, and almost no one had obtained the Soul Cleansing Water. In fact, he had only ever heard of one lucky cultivator obtaining a couple drops of Soul Cleaning Water by chance. It might not sound like a lot, but it was easily worth a fortune.
However, Lu Ye had an entire bottle of Soul Cleansing Water. That was at least thirty or forty drops in total. Just how on earth did he do it?
“Will it help?” Lu Ye asked again.
Shui Yuan nodded affirmatively. “Yes, but are you sure…?”
“Their lives are more important.” Lu Ye knew what his senior sister was trying to imply and looked at the duo lying in the Soul Nurturing Ward. “Ju Jia is extraordinarily talented, and I am sure he will become a great cultivator in the future. I’ve already accepted him as an initiate, and I was going to convert him into an official disciple the moment we return to Mount Ao. Even if this wasn’t the case, we’ve been traveling together and fighting side-by-side for a while now. There is no way I’m going to leave him to die.
“As for Brother Zhao, I’m the reason he is suffering in the first place. If this item will help save them, then please do not hesitate to use it, senior sister.”
The sect master nodded. “I’m glad you can think this way. A senior sister should not spurn her junior brother’s good will, don’t you agree?”
Meanwhile, Yu Xiao and Bai Qian were exchanging conflicted looks with one another. It was because they had heard the trio’s conversation of course. They weren’t trying to eavesdrop on purpose, but the trio weren’t really trying to hide their conversation either. Long story short, they heard enough to know what was going on.
There were only a handful of treasures in this world that could stun the sect master of the Crimson Blood Sect. Considering the circumstances and the mention of the Lost City of Xianyuan, it became obvious what Lu Ye was offering to save Zhao Li and Ju Jia.
Under any other circumstances, they would be rubbing their hands together with greed or wearing a look of desire at the very least. Of course, they knew better than to do that right now.
Forget that they belonged on the same side, the Heavenly Derivative Sect and the Crimson Blood Sect also shared some old ties. It also took a kind of moral fiber to offer such a priceless treasure just to save an acquaintance.
That was why the duo feigned ignorance even though they figured out what Lu Ye had produced from his Storage Bag.
“Sect Master Yu,” Shui Yuan said in a frigid voice as she turned toward Yu Xiao.
She had been fuming ever since she received the message from Lu Ye. The man should count himself lucky that she hadn’t vented his anger on him.
Although the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost was conquered by Thousand Demon Ridge as a result of this, it did not change the fact that Lu Ye had been poisoned in their territory. She only cared about the effect and not the cause. That was just how she was, logic be damned.
“What are your instructions, Sister Shui?” Yu Xian asked in a humble tone.
“I require some herbs. You will prepare them all within the hour.”
Shui Yuan produced a jade slip, injected it with her Spiritual Power and imprinted it with some info. She then passed it to Yu Xiao.
“I shall handle this myself.”
If Lu Ye was willing to make such a huge sacrifice to save his disciple, how could the Heavenly Derivative Sect not cooperate to the best of their abilities? While it was true that they had lost their Outpost as a result of Lu Ye’s presence, Zhao Li was the one who invited the young man to his place. It made no sense to blame him for their loss.
Plus, Lu Ye himself did not realize that his visit to the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost would cause such a disaster.
Now was not the time to sort out this mess though. There were lives to be saved.
Plus, Zhao Li would actually benefit from this ordeal if he managed to survive. He was pretty talented to begin with, but now there was a chance he would surpass expectations. Yu Xiao was shrewd enough to realize this.