The part of the skull on top of his head immediately underwent a complex change. It became crystal-clear, surrounded by celestial energy. Meanwhile, a terrifying yet dazzling energy began to overflow, as if it was a dragon rushing towards the sun, mighty enough to shatter the sky.
Gu Changge felt that his essence had been condensed and sublimated to a much higher level compared to before. From the power he felt, it exuded a frightening sense that he could even survive the destruction of the world.
This was the benefit of Absolute Detachment Bone. It improved every aspect of his being. The skull was where the mind and Primordial Spirit resided. At this moment, even his Nature God’s Chant Talent was beginning to show vague signs of metamorphosis. It was changing from the Enlightened Grade to the Immortal Grade. Meanwhile, the power of his Primordial Spirit displayed a nine-coloured glaze. Mysterious changes also occurred on his spinal column bones, palm bones and leg bones. Just like a human-sized dragon, the spine penetrated through all sides of his body. The drop of Five-Coloured True Dragon Blood that he fused with, seems to react, emitting a long thunderous dragon roar!
“It was worth spending the Fortuity!” Gu Changge opened his eyes and said with satisfaction.
He felt that his strength had increased many folds. Now, he could clearly see the various rules and mysteries hidden in the world. As he reached out, tens of millions of Divine Chains of Order transformed into Force of Law Knives that were extremely powerful.
“Before this, I could kill a being of the Quasi-Saint Realm in seconds, but now, I can easily kill those in the Sacred Realm. If I break through from the Enlightened King Realm to the Quasi-Saint Realm, doesn’t that mean I can even go against those in the Sacred Noble Realm?”
He didn’t make this statement without any basis because according to his current control over the Force of Law, it was possible that many beings of the Sacred Realm were far inferior to him. Among the various factions and cults, only the monsters and demons of the older generation were in the Sacred Realm. As for his peers, they were nothing but a meer shadow in front of him.
[With a variable like me, I’m afraid that the Heavenly Path will breed a stronger Fortuitous One in the future. However, that’s not a bad thing either. To me, they are all just crops waiting to be harvested.] Thinking about it, he suddenly remembered Ye Ling.
[After I gave him more than a month’s worth of time, he should be able to find the cave that the Ancient Reincarnation Supreme Being left for him by now.] He sensed for the mark that Yin Mei left for him before heading towards where Ye Ling and the others were at the moment.
“Brother Kong, what do you think the Black Hawk Family and the Ancient Flying Serpent Clan are doing during this time? It seems like they are looking around for something. Do you think it has something to do with Ye Ling? Lady Chi Ling and the others have been away for more than a month, but there’s still no news of them.”
Meanwhile, inside a mountain range, a group of young cultivators set up camp and gathered around the fire to discuss matters. They were Chi Ling and Yin Mei’s followers. This includes men and women from the Nine-Tailed Fox Clan and the Vermillion Bird Clan as well as factions from the outside world. Their cultivation levels weren’t all the same since it ranged from the Honoured Lord Realm to the Honoured King Realm.
The person speaking was one of Chi Ling’s followers. The dashing man with a gloomy face in front of him was Kong Yang of the Vermillion Bird Clan. He was an admirer of Chi Ling as well as her follower.
Hearing the person’s words, Kong Yang said with a gloomy face, “Ye Lin is up to no good. He clearly knows what is hidden here, but he refuses to tell us. Not only that, he only brought Chi Ling and Yin Mei with him! He obviously has other intentions besides finding treasures and opportunities. Can’t you all see it? Now that a month has passed, has anyone heard news of them? Other than news of natives seen searching around the area?”
The more he talked, the more furious he became. Even though he wasn’t worried about Chi Ling in general, he felt something different with Ye Ling beside her. After all, not only was his background unknown, he also had many hidden abilities and seemed to have a clear understanding of everything around here. Therefore, how could Kong Yang not begin to suspect him?
“Actually, I suspect that Ye Lin has something to do with the Successor of Demonic Arts that appeared not too long ago…” Suddenly, he spoke in a deep voice, which instantly drew the attention of everyone around him as they looked towards him.
After all, matters concerning the Successor of Demonic Arts had caused a huge uproar since it involved the death of the Young Master of the White Tiger Clan. Even until now, the White Tiger Clan was still searching around for the Successor of Demonic Arts.
Listening to him, someone from Yin Mei’s clan, the Nine-Tailed Fox Clan, replied in a serious tone. “Brother Kong, you can’t simply make that kind of accusation. You need to think about it carefully.”
The Successor of Demonic Arts was a serious subject, so if the accusation towards Ye Lin was true, their lady could be in danger.
With a gloomy face, Kong Yang continued, “I believe that you’ve all seen how mysterious Ye Lin’s methods are. It even allowed him to defeat opponents with much higher cultivation than him. He isn’t weak when compared to other young prodigies. But this is the thing that worries me the most. Don’t you think the name Ye Lin sounds a bit familiar?”
“Ye Lin? Ye Lin…”
“Eh, it does sound quite familiar. Could he be… that Ye Ling?”
Hearing Kong Yang’s words, some were still confused, but after careful thought, they finally connected all the dots.
Immediately, their entire body froze and their eyes widened. They felt a shiver down their spine. Ye Ling’s appearance was indeed nothing special at first, but the methods he displayed were enough to shock anyone because he was showing the strength of a young prodigy. They didn’t think much about it at that time, but now that they reflected on it, it was strange for a man with the ability of a young prodigy to be a follower of Chi Ling.
[What intention does he have?]
After connecting all the dots from Kong Yang’s words, everyone suddenly felt their body trembling from head to toe.
“Ye Ling… Ye Ling… The name… Could it just be a coincidence…?” Their voices began to stutter as they clearly knew that Bai Lie’s friend was named Ye Ling. The first name that came out about the Successor of Demonic Arts was also the same. When Ye Ling first introduced himself, they felt that their names sounded similar, but now that Kong Yang had pointed it out, they were all taken aback. It was possible that Ye Ling did this on purpose because he didn’t care about them finding out at all. After all, he could have easily changed his face and identity to continue fleeing.
[He is simply too arrogant to appear just right in front of us!] Thinking about it, they couldn’t help but tremble.
“Lady Chi Ling and Lady Yin Mei trust Ye Ling too much. It is dangerous.”
“I’m afraid that they are now in danger with Ye Ling beside them. I don’t know what evil plan he has that requires him to take the two of them with him!” Kong Yang clenched his fists with a gloomy face as he blamed himself for realising the truth too late.
“Looks like we can only spread the news that Ye Ling has shown up here. This way, others will rush here. Otherwise, the consequences will be devastating!”
Soon, everyone came up with a plan after a moment of discussion. They could only hope that it was enough to scare Ye Ling so that he wouldn’t dare to do anything to Chi Ling and Yin Mei!
Kong Yang also slowly nods his head. “We don’t have much time. If we expose Ye Ling’s whereabouts, it’ll be safer for Chi Ling and Lady Yin Mei.”
Then, everyone began to initiate the plan by sending the news out through various Communication Runes. This drew the attention of other cultivators to come and deal with Ye Ling.
Everyone had the right to kill the Successor of Demonic Arts.
Meanwhile, just when Kong Yang was spreading the news about Ye Ling’s whereabouts, Ye Ling, Chi Ling and Yin Mei were rushing towards an ancient town on a desolate mountain range 30,000 kilometres away. The trees on the mountain range were tall and ancient with vines reached the clouds, so no one would notice the three of them travelling in a hurry.
Compared to more than a month ago, the three of them were now in a more dire state as their faces were full of bloodstains. On the way there, they were pursued by the Black Hawk Family and other clans. In the end, their whereabouts were discovered. Due to the Slave Mark, some of the stronger cultivators from the Black Hawk Family could vaguely detect Ye Ling’s position and thus determine the direction he was heading. Not only that, among the three of them, someone seemed to be releasing a vague fluctuation, leaving the pursuers surprised yet somewhat confused, as if someone was deliberately transmitting Ye Ling’s exact location to them.
Because of this, the three of them spent this period of time escaping various pursuits, but under fortuitous opportunity, Ye Ling was able to advance his cultivation and even found some great treasures along the way.
Looking at his luck, Chi Ling was left speechless because she and Yin Mei had avoided death along the way and were almost severely injured many times, which left them physically and mentally exhausted. They weren’t as lucky as Ye Ling, so they only encountered a few relatively good spirit herbs during their journey with him to search for opportunities. They practically received no rewards but rather, quite a few injuries.
Chi Ling was a righteous and trustworthy person, so she wouldn’t easily backtrack after promising to accompany Ye Ling. However, she just couldn’t understand why they would always be found no matter where Ye Ling brought them to hide. Therefore, she started to suspect that he had something on him that allowed the other clans to track their whereabouts. When she spoke about this, Ye Ling didn’t believe her at all, which left her very disappointed.
“Brother Gui, I feel that the cave is located inside the ancient town ahead…” At the moment, Ye Ling’s face showed vague excitement as he chatted with the spirit turtle inside his pendant. His premonition was very strong, and he relied on it to avoid many dangerous situations along the way, even gaining some benefits too. Now, the premonition only made him even more certain.
“By the way, Brother Gui, why do you think those natives were able to find us no matter where we hid ourselves?” Ye Ling then asked.
The matter left him in a gloomy state, and Chi Ling had mentioned it to him before, but he didn’t pay much attention to it at that time because he had asked the spirit turtle before and found out that those chasing after him could vaguely detect him but not precisely locate where he was.
[But why were they able to find me every time?]
He even started to suspect that it was Chi Ling who was deliberately exposing his whereabouts. He had also suspected Yin Mei before, but during this journey, she suffered the most injuries and now looked to be the most exhausted. So, he couldn’t bear to have any doubts towards her. Not only that, he trusted her a lot more because her previous actions proved to him that she was very forthright and was very insistent on the things she views as right. Even though she constantly faced Gu Changge’s oppression within the sect, she still dared to resist him. Other than that, he also believed in Yin Mei’s affection for him.
However, he also felt bad suspecting Chi Ling. After all, they were both old friends, and she was the only one who still believed in him after hearing rumours about him being the Successor of Demonic Arts.
Then, the voice of the spirit turtle rang inside his head, making his head buzz. “This situation can only mean that one of them is definitely suspicious. Ye Ling, you must be careful and decide according to your own judgement.”
The spirit turtle’s words instantly rendered him silent. In fact, he himself had vaguely guessed it, but he was unwilling to accept the fact that one of them had chosen to betray him.
“Brother Gui, I want to listen to your opinion,” Ye Ling asked with a serious expression. Listening to him, the spirit turtle in the pendent pondered for a moment before slowly speaking, “On this matter, my statement will exclude personal emotions, which makes it more subjective. It’s okay for you to listen to it, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide.”
Ye Ling nodded his head. “Say what you want, Brother Gui. I trust your words.”
Quickly, the spirit turtle opened its mouth and analysed the situation based on its own subjective thoughts without any hints of emotions mixed within. “From what I saw, the possibility of Chi Ling betraying you is greater than Yin Mei’s. If it is Yin Mei who betrayed you, it’s difficult for me to see the reason why. After all, you were the one who chose to save her back then. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have come into contact with her at all, let alone bring her to this place. These events are completely accidental.”
Hearing the spirit turtle’s explanation, Ye Ling remained silent as he knew this already. [What intentions could Yin Mei have towards me? In all honesty, I’m the one who covets her beauty. If I didn’t save her at that time, we wouldn’t even be together right now and come to this place. All of this is based too much on coincidence. It would be quite scary to think that Yin Mei had all of this planned out. Most importantly, she offended Gu Changge, whom I suspect to be the Successor of Demonic Arts, which puts us in the same situation.]
“Brother Gui, please continue,” Ye Ling uttered solemnly.
“If it is Chi Ling, there are actually a lot of suspicions points. At first, she firmly believed in you and even said that she can find someone to help clear the suspicion of you being the Successor of Demonic Arts… If she is willing to help you, I have nothing else to say, but now that someone is exposing your whereabouts, she has become suspicious since she should know that you are the successor of the Ancient Reincarnation Supreme Being. Given that she has been following you all this while… her goal is obvious for you to see.” The spirit turtle continued pointing out his suspicions.
Of course, it was highly possible that Chi Ling knew about Gu Changge’s true identity, but even though Ye Ling reminded her many times to be careful of him, she still remained unconcerned. Combined with these points, Chi Ling truly was the biggest suspect. After all, it was difficult to read a human’s mind, so how could Ye Ling know what she was thinking inside.
As he nodded his head, he could feel the weight of these words inside his heart since everything the spirit turtle had said was quite sensible. He looked back and glanced at Yin Mei, who was resting on a boulder with her eyes closed. Her delicate face had some baby fats. She had a pair of curved brows, a jade-like nose, red lips, crystal clear teeth, and hair as smooth as silk, but now, she looked pale and weak, with blood stains all over her dress.
On the other hand, the jewel-like eyes on Chi Ling’s delicate face were shimmering without much injury.
The next moment, Ye Ling had already made a decision inside his heart as he stood up.
Both Chi Ling and Yin Mei were recuperating at the moment, and when they saw Ye Ling standing up all of a sudden, they looked over to him in shock.
“The following journey is very dangerous, so why don’t we split up? Since Yin Mei is so badly injured, I’ll travel together with her. It’ll be dangerous if she is left alone… Chi Ling, since you didn’t suffer much injury, we can gather at the ancient town ahead when the time comes.”
Ye Ling weighed his words as he didn’t plan to have a fallout with Chi Ling at the moment. Thus, he spoke naturally and reasonably. However, if he didn’t show up at the rendezvous, what would Chi Ling do? From his perspective, if Chi Ling was coveting his opportunity, she would still choose to follow his plan even if she didn’t want to.
Hearing his plan, both Yin Mei and Chi Ling were stunned as their eyes widened, especially Yin Mei, who couldn’t help but say anxiously, “Ye Ling, what are you saying? How can we split up at this time? We should stay together so that we can look after one another.”
Chi Ling also looked at Ye Ling in a daze. Her eyes gradually turned cold and unfamiliar. [Why is he suddenly asking us to split up at this time? Could it be? He is planning to take all the opportunities for himself now that we are almost there? Is that why he plans to have us go there separately?]
For a moment, Chi Ling was left dumbfounded as she couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. She wasn’t actually greedy for Ye Ling’s opportunity since she wouldn’t have come here if she didn’t promise to help him in the first place. There were still many other opportunities in the Celestial Ancient Continent, and she had wasted a lot of time here. After hearing Ye Ling’s sudden words, she was really taken aback. It wasn’t the first time she suspected that there was something strange between Ye Ling and Yin Mei. Now that he suddenly brought up the plan of splitting up, she couldn’t help but sneer.
“Fine then. Since you’ve put it that way, we’ll just go our separate ways,” she said calmly with a cold and arrogant face. She didn’t explain nor ask for anything, and from today onward, the friendship between the two of them had come to an end.
“I found you!” Suddenly, a terrifying pressure appeared in the sky.
As the surging pressure appeared, raging black clouds began to show up, and among them were several strong cultivators from the Black Hawk Family, the Ancient Flying Serpent Clan and the other clans. In that group, the weakest one was in the Enlightened Noble Realm. Some were even in the Enlightened King Realm. In order to capture Ye Ling and the others, the powerful clans could be said to have deployed their most powerful forces.
“Oh no!” Looking at the scene, Ye Ling was stunned, and before he could react, he transformed into a rainbow and headed far away. At the same time, he transmitted his voice to Yin Mei from afar. “There isn’t much time. We should each escape first before meeting in the ancient town.”
He initially wanted to bring Yin Mei along with him, but everything happened so suddenly that he couldn’t react in time. [Since I’m the target, I might be able to draw the enemies away and relieve some burden for Yin Mei. I suspect that these warriors are actually all drawn here by Chi Ling. Otherwise, how were they able to track down our whereabouts so quickly? But now isn’t the time to settle my score with her.]
“Why are you still sitting there? It’s time to escape!” Seeing that Yin Mei was still sitting there in a daze, Chi Ling furrowed her brows before quickly fleeing. At the same time, she crushed a Divine Transportation Rune and prepared to leave the place. Ye Ling had disappointed her, so now, she decided to draw a line between the two of them. As for the opportunity he was searching for, she didn’t care about it at all.
Soon, both Ye Ling and Chi Ling were gone as they quickly left the mountain range.
While sitting on the boulder, Yin Mei didn’t seem to look concerned anymore as her face became calm. There was even a hint of relief and reluctance.
“Master, I’ve finally completed the mission you gave me,” she softly murmured.
During this period, she didn’t forget the mission Gu Changge arranged for her, which was to drive a wedge between Chi Ling and Ye Ling’s relationship. Today, she finally succeeded in doing so.
However, due to the many powerful cultivators she faced along the way, her body was indeed badly injured since she didn’t have the luck that Ye Ling and Chi Ling had. After all, the enemies were all beings in the Enlightened Noble Realm and above. Quite a lot were even from the Enlightened King Realm. Her current cultivation had only broken through to the Intermediate Honoured King Realm, so the gap was far too big. The reason she was able to stay alive was because of the good fortunes of the Nine-Tailed Fox Clan. It wasn’t a stretch to say that she was able to finish Gu Changge’s orders and provoke Ye Ling and Chi Ling’s relationship in exchange for her life.
Now that she was severely injured, she couldn’t escape far even if she wanted to, so she calmly accepted her fate. However, she felt a little regret and reluctance because she couldn’t see Gu Changge before her death, and at the same time, there was an unspeakable emotion she was feeling gnawing at her. [In the end… I’m nothing but a pawn in his hand. I’m the kind that he throws away without even batting an eye once I am of no use.]
“Hehe, why isn’t she running away? Is she planning to die? Looks like she has accepted her fate after running for so long. Now that I got a close look at her, I can see that she is quite beautiful…”
There were still two powerful cultivators in the sky. One of them was in the Enlightened Noble Realm while the other was in the Enlightened King Realm. The sky was filled with their frightening aura, and there was a surging fluctuation that rendered the entire mountain range silent. The one in the Enlightened King Realm, who was speaking, had the tail of a snake since he was from the Ancient Flying Serpent Clan. At the moment, he was staring at Yin Mei lustfully as he was somewhat tantalised by her.
“Why don’t you surrender yourself to me and I’ll let you live?” He opened his mouth and spoke.
Looking at the expressions of the two powerful cultivators, Yin Mei remained calm and answered. “Stop dreaming. I would rather blow myself up than let you two get your way with me.”
She didn’t want to die, but at the same time, she wouldn’t allow herself to live with such humiliation. Though, in the end, it all depended on the person. Even though she surrendered herself to Gu Changge and recognised him as her master, it didn’t mean that she would simply submit herself to anyone else.
At this moment, she would rather choose to die.
“Hmph, don’t you know that you are about to die?” Her words somehow angered the Enlightened King Realm cultivator in the sky. He didn’t expect her to act so recklessly in the face of death.
*Boom!* Then, he struck out his hand and a powerful energy fell from the sky, transforming into an enormous hand rushing forward to grab Yin Mei.
Even so, she still had a cold and fearless face as she prepared to blow up her body.
*Hum!* Suddenly, an even more terrifying energy emerged in front of her, transforming into a bright and unparalleled sword-like energy. With a few clangs, it sliced the one in the Enlightened Noble Realm in half.
“Who!?” The other native came back to his senses and was enraged while looking at the direction of the sword-like beam with murderous intent.
“Master…” Yin Mei was stunned at the moment. Her gorgeous eyes widened in disbelief. As she looked at the space in front of her, a young man suddenly walked out of it. Instantly, she jumped into Gu Changge’s arm, eyes filled with tears. “Aaaah! I thought that you didn’t want me anymore…”