Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“Heh, in truth, that old fart Qian Tong isn’t the type of person who likes fighting with others, but the significance of that Red Candle Fruit piece is just too great. If it could really promote him to the Origin King Realm, then my Shadow Moon Hall would become the first Sect on Shadowed Star. Not even Star Emperor Mountain would be a match for my Shadow Moon Hall, so although this hope is slim, in the end, it is still hope. Old Qian knows this and Feng Zhen naturally knows it as well, so the hostility that had been just below the surface finally broke out. The internal workings of Shadow Moon Hall can now only be described as a chaotic mess,” Fei Zhi Tu said with some sadness, “If this matter isn’t handled well, at best my Shadow Moon Hall will suffer a sharp decline, and at worst it will completely collapse!”
“Are things really so serious?” Yang Kai’s face changed slightly.
“The grievances between the Elders and Deacons of the two factions that Qian Tong and Feng Zhen lead have been piling up for many years. Until now, they had been suppressed by the Sect Master so no big trouble ever erupted, but this time, the Sect Master is truly helpless. In fact, if not for Sect Master being so old, this Red Candle Fruit piece would have been taken by him and that would have been the end of it, but Sect Master couldn’t bear to waste such a Heaven defying treasure, so he refused to use it. If this dispute inside the Shadow Moon Hall really turns into an all-out conflict, heh, little brat, you understand what it means to be an egg in a quarrelling nest?”
Yang Kai’s eyes twitched; how could he not understand what Fei Zhi Tu wanted to say? If Shadow Moon Hall really fell apart, then Dragon Cave Mountain would also suffer disaster; after all, Dragon Cave Mountain was still within the core territory of Shadow Moon Hall, so what would happen to them if a war broke out was impossible to say.
But soon, Yang Kai’s expression became flat as he stared at Fei Zhi Tu and asked, “Senior need not spin such a terrifying tale, this Junior just wants to know now, which faction do you belong to?”
“Me?” Fei Zhi Tu raised his brow, laughing wryly a moment later as he slowly said, “This City Lord had grown tired of those people’s infighting, so I asked the Sect Master to assign me the duty of overseeing Heavenly Fate City. As the master of this city, which faction do you believe I belong to?”
Yang Kai gently nodded and said with a smile, “From Senior’s words just now and the concern you showed about Elder Qian, I thought for sure you were a member of Elder Qian’s faction.”
“Bullshit! Qian Tong that old fart…” Fei Zhi Tu coldly snorted, seemingly wanting to continue cursing, but halfway through he swallowed his words and waved his hand in annoyance, “Forget it. Long story short, I owe Qian Tong a big favour, so this time I plan on paying it back in full!”
“What does this matter have to do with me?” Yang Kai frowned, “For what reason did Senior call Junior out here so late at night?”
Fei Zhi Tu stared at Yang Kai with a solemn look and said, “Qian Tong ran into some trouble!”
Yang Kai’s eyes narrowed.
“You don’t seem like an ungrateful person. Your Dragon Cave Mountain being able to develop steadily these past few years has much to do with Qian Tong’s care. Do not think he hasn’t looked after you. If not for him taking a commanding position here in Heavenly Fate City, your little home might have already been swallowed whole. A trivial few youngsters who don’t know the immensity of Heaven and Earth actually occupying other people’s territory and lording over it? Hmph.”
“For the time being, let us not mention Dragon Cave Mountain. City Lord Fei, tell me about Elder Qian’s situation. If there is any place I can help with, I will certainly not refuse,” Yang Kai said lightly. There was no need to mention out loud things that Yang Kai was already well aware of. He knew that Dragon Cave Mountain remaining so calm and steady these past few years was indeed mainly thanks to Qian Tong’s shelter, but Fei Zhi Tu blatantly pointing out this fact was still uncomfortable to hear, causing his tone to become somewhat cold.
Fei Zhi Tu didn’t seem to mind either way and continued, “What I want to tell you next is something only a few people know. This matter is of great importance, so absolutely do not let it leak out.”
After receiving this urge, Yang Kai nodded in understanding.
Listening to Fei Zhi Tu’s explanation, Yang Kai realized that Qian Tong had been missing for nearly half a year. Calculating the time, Qian Tong had already been gone when Yang Kai and Yang Yan set out for Coloured Glass Sect.
As for where he went, there were many differing opinions. Some people said that he had entered a secluded retreat to comprehend some kind of profound Secret Technique. Others said he went out in search of some opportunity and encountered an unexpected accident. Others still said he did not wish to be the cause of Shadow Moon Hall’s collapse and had decided to go into exile.
However, no matter which hypothesis, no one was able to confirm anything.
At this moment, when Shadow Moon Hall was falling apart and fierce disputes were happening throughout the Sect, Qian Tong’s sudden disappearance was truly quite puzzling. It was precisely because he had disappeared at such a critical juncture that Feng Zhen was becoming more and more daring. Now, in Shadow Moon Hall, although there were still several influential Elders who could join forces to suppress Feng Zhen, without a key person like Qian Tong to lead them, they had fallen into a disadvantage.
If Qian Tong failed to return soon, the consequences would definitely be unimaginable.
This time, Ma Xin Yuan and several others joining forces with the Xie Family to deal with Dragon Cave Mountain was a final probe from Feng Zhen towards Qian Tong. Feng Zhen wanted to see if, when he took this opportunity to deal with Dragon Cave Mountain it would force Qian Tong to appear. Although the result of this probe was the death of an Origin Returning Realm master from the Xie Family, it should still be able to satisfy Feng Zhen’s faction.
Qian Tong not showing up from beginning to end was enough to prove that something had gone wrong.
As soon as the outcome of this probe was passed back to the Sect, it was almost certain that Feng Zhen’s faction would begin making a big move.
“Where is Elder Qian now?” Yang Kai asked with a frown.
“An Ancient Ruin!” Fei Zhi Tu replied in a low voice.
“An Ancient Ruin?” Yang Kai’s eyes lit up.
“Yes, but whether he’s alive or dead, I don’t know,” Fei Zhi Tu sighed, “The last time I received news from him was half a month ago. At that time, he used this thing to pass me a message.”
Saying this, Fei Zhi Tu flicked his wrist and a small white light suddenly appeared at his fingertips and flew directly to Yang Kai.
Yang Kai reached out and directly grabbed the white light, holding it in his palm as he observed it. To his surprise though, this white light turned out to be a kind of insect similar to a snow-white silkworm. It was only a couple centimetres long and through its pure white exterior one could make out some tiny blood vessels.
However, when Yang Kai swept this strange insect with his Divine Sense, a message suddenly sounded in his mind.
Yang Kai was startled but quickly calmed down and listened quietly.
The message this insect relayed was indeed left by Qian Tong, and by listening to it, Yang Kai immediately understood the other party’s situation.
It was just as Fei Zhi Tu had said, Qian Tong was stranded in an Ancient Ruin and could not get out of it. He had been forced to let this insect come to Heavenly Fate City with his distress message to ask Fei Zhi Tu for help.
“This insect is called a Messenger Insect. It is an Exotic Ancient Insect whose only use is delivering messages. However, because it can ignore all forms of barriers and arrays, it is quite convenient to use. Don’t be fooled by its bloated appearance either, it’s quite fast,” Fei Zhi Tu explained after Yang Kai finished his investigation.
Yang Kai gently nodded, and a dignified look flashed across his face as he returned the Messenger Insect to Fei Zhi Tu.
Judging from what he heard just now, Qian Tong’s situation was not optimistic. The message left in this Messenger Insect seemed to have been recorded after Qian Ton had suffered injury, so after so long it was impossible to know what state he was in.
“City Lord Fei, might I ask why Elder Qian would choose such a critical moment to go explore an Ancient Ruin?” Yang Kai asked in confusion.
Fei Zhi Tu coldly snorted, “How should I know what he’s thinking?”
After a pause though, he continued, “If I had to guess, he didn’t want Shadow Moon Hall’s conflict to erupt into a full blown civil war, so he was looking for a way to balance the two factions’ power again in order to stabilize the current situation. You should know that he had a close personal relationship with Grandmaster Ge Lin before. En, with the prestige and contacts of Grandmaster Ge Lin, it was previously possible to completely suppress Feng Zhen’s faction, but now that Grandmaster Ge Lin has passed away, while the other side still has an Origin Grade Alchemist supporting them, the delicate balance has naturally disappeared. The Ancient Ruin Old Qian went to explore was something Grandmaster Ge Lin had discovered, and the reason Grandmaster Ge Lin was able to become an Origin Grade Artifact Refiner was also thanks to that ruin. Qian Tong going to search this Ancient Ruin this time was his desperate attempt to allow another person to break through their bottleneck and reach the level of Origin Grade Artifact Refiner. Once another Origin Grade Artifact Refiner emerges, the initiative for this situation would fall back into Qian Tong’s hands. Right, I forget to tell you, Qian Tong did not go out alone, he brought with him another person, a Saint King Grade Artifact Refiner who can be regarded as Grandmaster Ge Lin’s successor.”
“Then Elder Qian’s actions were well thought out,” Yang Kai could not help saying with a hint of admiration.
“Well thought out?” Fei Zhi Tu sneered disdainfully, “I think he was just trying to avoid the issue. Originally, with his means and connections, as long as he could harden his heart, even without Grandmaster Ge Lin’s presence he could definitely make Feng Zhen beg for death, but instead, that old fart chose to go around the sun to reach the moon. Why bother with those damned Ancient Ruins? Why not just solve the problem once and for all?”
Yang Kai grinned meaningfully, “It seems City Lord Fei and Elder Qian have a very good relationship.”
“The relationship between this City Lord and that old fart has no need for your comments!” Fei Zhi Tu’s face went cold, “I called you this time because I want your help fishing Qian Tong out from those Ancient Ruins, lest he really dies inside.”
“How this Junior can assist in this matter, I hope City Lord Fei can make clear. If those Ancient Ruins can trap Qian Tong, with my negligible cultivation, if I were to run over and explore them, what difference with seeking death would there be?”
“You’re certainly cautious enough, but this City Lord will make his point clear, lest you not be able to feel at ease. What I am interested in is not your personal strength. You are indeed extraordinary, a Third-Order Saint King being able to socialize with so many Origin Returning Realm masters, and even receive a move from me is quite extraordinary. Even if you relied on external forces like that shield artifact and your Artifact Spirit, your skills cannot be discounted. But if you were to enter that Ancient Ruin with only this kind of strength, you would only be a burden… however, your Artifact Spirit is a different matter. I want to borrow its power.”
Yang Kai curled his lips, realizing that Fei Zhi Tu’s purpose in calling him out here late at night was because he had his eyes on the Artifact Spirit.
“There is an ice road inside that Ancient Ruin which is extremely dangerous. Your Artifact Spirit’s flames are also not ordinary; even my Blue Jade Bowl was unable to refine and disperse them. If this City Lord can have your Artifact Spirit’s assistance, it will be much easier to pass through that ice road.”