Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Many High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters gathered at the place where Shi Zheng died, their Divine Senses shuttling back and forth as they communicated with each other.
A short while later, they seemed to reach a consensus. Yu Chang Dao nodded and said, “Since everybody agrees, then let us head to Lang Ya Paradise immediately. Not only will this trip be highly dangerous, but we might also face the risk of death. Please mentally prepare yourselves for that possibility.”
Shi Zheng might be dead, but there were bound to be other Masters in Lang Ya Paradise who were corrupted by the Black Ink. This matter could not be delayed in the slightest; therefore, they had to ferret out the rest of those dangerous existences as soon as possible. It was impossible to remain calm if those people remained in Lang Ya Paradise. There was no saying how many others like Shi Zheng might appear in the future if nothing was done about them now. Most importantly, they had to find the Black Ink clansman in order to avoid future troubles!
They nodded in agreement, but did not pay much attention to the dangers that Yu Chang Dao mentioned earlier. They were all Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters, so who among them had not faced death head-on before? The Cave Heavens and Paradises had always shared both weal and woe. That was why, even if Shi Zheng was the only one in Lang Ya Paradise who had his identity exposed, the others could not sit idly by and do nothing.
“We need you to come with us too, Sect Master,” Yu Chang Dao said while turning to look in Yang Kai’s direction; however, Yang Kai was no longer there. Yu Chang Dao couldn’t help being taken aback for a moment, “Where is the Sect Master?”
Yu Xiang Die helplessly pointed in a certain direction. He looked in that direction and felt the corners of his brow twitching slightly at the sight.
At some point in time, Yang Kai had gone to the place where Shi Zheng had died. That place was swirling with the Black Ink Smoke, but he was moving around in the smoke without the slightest hindrance. Even if he had the protection of the World Spring in his Small Universe and was not afraid of being corroded by the Black Ink Smoke, wasn’t it too much for him to swim about inside it so fearlessly and unscrupulously?
“What is he doing?” Yu Chang Dao was puzzled.
Yu Xiang Die replied, “I think he is searching for the Small Universe Shi Zheng left behind.”
When the others were discussing matters seriously, she noticed Yang Kai sitting by the side looking bored; however, it didn’t take long before he seemed to think of something. He quickly ran off with an excited look in his eyes and plunged straight into the Black Ink Smoke. It would now seem that he was searching for Shi Zheng’s Small Universe.
Shi Zheng was a Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master, and his Small Universe had already been transformed from immaterial to corporeal. If he were killed by an enemy, his Small Universe might have shattered and scattered throughout the Void. Seeing as he died by suicide instead, his Small Universe should have remained intact. There was a high possibility that the Small Universe would be preserved.
In reality, Shi Zheng’s Small Universe had indeed been preserved. It was just that it was hidden somewhere within the Void and enveloped by a thick layer of Black Ink Smoke.
Yang Kai searched around for a bit and soon detected a weak Space Principle fluctuation. Utilising his own Space Principles in the direction of that energy fluctuation, he opened the portal to Shi Zheng’s Small Universe and slipped inside.
As soon as he stepped into this place, he couldn’t help being a little startled. That was because Shi Zheng’s Small Universe was different from any Universe Cave Heaven or Universe Paradise that he had ever entered before. This entire world was dyed in black, as though smeared in pitch-black ink.
He immediately understood why the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters had suggested investigating each other’s Small Universes.
The Small Universe of an Open Heaven Realm Master corrupted by the Black Ink was certainly very different from the ordinary. Moreover, the difference was so obvious that it was impossible to conceal and could be seen at a glance. Relying on this method of investigating the Small Universe would accurately reveal whether a person had been corrupted by the Black Ink.
Yang Kai quietly perceived his surroundings. The Universe Paradise that Shi Zheng left behind after his death contained a rich Sword Dao Essence, which was in line with the Divine Manifestation he displayed before.
This Sword Dao Essence was useless to Yang Kai, but he would not have refined this Dao Essence even if it proved otherwise. Shi Zheng had been corrupted by the Black Ink, so who knew whether there was anything wrong with his Dao Essence?
Yang Kai’s purpose in coming here was to search for Shi Zheng’s legacy. After investigating the Small Universes of the many High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters earlier, he saw various different treasures. Shi Zheng was also a High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Master, so he should also be fairly wealthy.
There were no traces of living beings in the Small Universe, which indicated that Shi Zheng had not raised any living beings. Not everybody was as blessed as Yang Kai to meet the conditions to raise living beings after all.
Yang Kai’s Divine Sense spread out like the tide and he soon found several buildings that resembled houses. Those buildings stood out conspicuously with no intention of concealment whatsoever. The Small Universe was the foundation of an Open Heaven Realm Master after all, so there was no need to worry about their treasures being stolen even if they left the treasures out in the open, unless they were dead.
There were pronounced energy fluctuations within those buildings; therefore, Yang Kai quickly rushed over with gleaming eyes and soon arrived. A quick search of the buildings immediately brought a smile to his face.
The wealth of a Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master was quite substantial indeed. Leaving aside the hundreds of millions of Open Heaven Pills, there were also cultivation materials of various Orders, including Sixth-Order and even Seventh-Order ones. Not to mention, there were quite a large number of them. He even found some Sixth-Order and Seventh-Order Yin and Yang Element materials. In addition, there were many artifacts that looked extremely extraordinary.
Shi Zheng was a Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master, so there was no saying how long he had lived. In any case, all the treasures that he accumulated in his life and stored in his Small Universe were now taken away by Yang Kai.
Yang Kai searched for a little while longer but found nothing else. Only then did he leave this place. Be that as it may, he used a Space Secret Technique to completely suppress and seal the portal of this Small Universe.
This place was within the boundaries of High Heaven Territory, so if the World Force from Shi Zheng’s Small Universe leaked out into the Void, it was bound to be absorbed by the Star Boundary World Tree. The power of the Black Ink Clan was far too bizarre. More importantly, Yang Kai was unable to determine the ramifications of the World Tree devouring this evil energy.
In that case, he might as well suppress and seal this place completely! With his current attainments in the Dao of Space, there should not be anyone in the 3,000 Worlds who could break through his Space Secret Techniques.
The only thing that continued to pose a problem was the Black Ink Smoke that Shi Zheng left behind. This thing could be said to have come from the same source as the Black Ink Insect. Furthermore, it was extremely corrosive. Leaving it here was not very safe. If a curious passerby were to approach this place, they would most likely end up being corrupted by the Black Ink.
Just as Yang Kai was trying to figure out a solution to the problem, he suddenly heard somebody calling him via transmission. Therefore, he returned to the deck of Yu Xiang Die’s ship.
“Have you finished your discussion?” Yang Kai asked.
Yu Xiang Die nodded, “Yang Kai, we need to head to Lang Ya Paradise as soon as possible. Seeing as Shi Zheng has been corrupted by the Black Ink, Lang Ya Paradise might be in danger.”
Yang Kai simply nodded, “Alright.”
She continued, “If you have nothing better to do, we would like you to come along with us!”
“No problem!” Yang Kai agreed readily.
Everybody couldn’t help being a little taken aback by his answer. They had been thinking about all the ways to persuade him if he refused to join them, but who could have known that he would agree so readily? All the words that they prepared in advance subsequently became redundant.
In their opinion, the biggest reason they wanted him to accompany them was that his Small Universe had the protection of the World Spring. There was no need to worry about him becoming corrupted by the Black Ink. It could be said that any one of them might become infected and be turned, but Yang Kai would not face such issues. He was somebody whom they could put their absolute trust in. In such a treacherous battlefield, a person whom they could trust explicitly would oftentimes make a big difference; otherwise, they would not have wanted to bring him along.
“This trip might be dangerous!” Yu Xiang Die looked at Yang Kai seriously.
Yang Kai laughed, “I faced danger too, when Shi Zheng was trying to kill me earlier. The Black Ink Clan affects the peace of the 3,000 Worlds. This Yang Kai might have been on the safe side for some time, but I am also partially responsible for this matter.”
He then quickly advanced the conversation and asked, “Have you decided on your course of action? You don’t expect all the Open Heaven Realm Masters in Lang Ya Paradise to open the portal of their Small Universe for you to check, right?
Yu Xiang Die shook her head and replied, “We don’t need to check all the Open Heaven Realm Masters. As I told you before, the Black Ink Insect is very rare and precious in the 3,000 Worlds. The Black Ink Clan will not bother to corrupt any cultivators below the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm. That is why we only need to investigate the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters. At that time, we only need to investigate their Small Universe to discover any problems as soon as possible.”
After pondering in silence for a moment, Yang Kai shook his head and said, “That’s not enough! If there are more Masters who have been corrupted by the Black Ink in Lang Ya Paradise, then your actions will only force them to take drastic measures. There’s no saying how much harm you will cause to Lang Ya Paradise if that were to happen. You might also put yourselves in danger. What if those people choose suicide like Shi Zheng and the Black Ink Smoke in their bodies permeates the air? How can any eggs be left unbroken when the nest has been disturbed? What’s more, you are not looking for the people who have been corrupted by the Black Ink, but the actual Black Ink clansman behind them! Investigating the Small Universe is the easiest way to alert them to the situation.”
Yu Xiang Die sighed, “How can we not know that? But investigating Small Universes is definitely the most convenient and effective method. Besides, we can’t think of a better idea. The people who have been corrupted by the Black Ink look no different from ordinary people on the outside. As for the actual Black Ink clansman, we might be able to capture a few people who had been corrupted by the Black Ink and interrogate them thoroughly.”
Yang Kai again shook his head, “Shi Zheng clearly had the strength to fight still, but when he realised that you were approaching and that he no longer had hope of escaping, he resolutely ended his life. His actions go to show that the people who have been corrupted by the Black Ink have blind allegiance to them. Although you can find the people who have been corrupted by the Black Ink, judging by Shi Zheng’s actions earlier, it is impossible to learn the whereabouts of the Black Ink clansman from them.”
Everybody looked at each other in distress. They undoubtedly had a greater understanding of the Black Ink Clan than Yang Kai. Even though it was their first time seeing somebody who had been corrupted by the Black Ink, there were some records in ancient books after all. Besides, they also witnessed the scene of Shi Zheng’s suicide just now, so they knew that Yang Kai was speaking the truth. The people who had been corrupted by the Black Ink were literally loyal to the death, so it was extremely difficult to obtain any clues from them.
“Do you have any good ideas?” Yu Xiang Die asked.
Yang Kai rubbed his chin quietly, then he suddenly turned to look at the Black Ink Smoke that Shi Zheng left behind. An inexplicable light flickered in his eyes and a short while later, he finally asked, “Do you know whether the people who are corrupted by the Black Ink can sense each other?”
Yu Xiang Die shook her head, “That has never been confirmed; after all, the 3,000 Worlds has been stable for so many years, with the exception of the incident from 70,000 years ago. At the time, only one person had been corrupted by the Black Ink. Besides, very little information on the Black Ink Clan has been recorded in the ancient books.”
Yang Kai thus said enthusiastically, “We should prepare for the worst-case scenario. Assume that there is a pure Black Ink clansman concealed within Lang Ya Paradise, there are many Masters who have been corrupted by the Black Ink, and these Masters are able to sense each other.”
Yu Chang Dao looked at Yang Kai with a puzzled expression, “Sect Master, why does it seem as though you are very excited?”
“Nonsense!” Yang Kai flatly denied, “I’m simply making assumptions. How can I possibly be excited?”