Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“Elder Shi Zheng is a long-term resident of the Star Boundary. You can always visit him if you need anything in the future, Junior Brother Yang. Lang Ya Paradise has a long history with you after all, so it’s only natural that we help each other,” Zing Yu Qian said with a smile.
Yang Kai nodded, “I met Elder Shi Zheng just before coming here. He took great care of me.”
Zong Yu Quan asked in concern, “How is Elder Shi doing?”
Yang Kai smiled, “He is doing just fine.”
After conversing for a bit more, Zong Yu Quan seemed to receive some sort of message. He then said apologetically, “This Zong needs to oversee the dock and verify the information of the people who come and go here. I’m afraid I can’t stay and chat any longer, Junior Brother.”
Yang Kai tactfully stood up, “Please go ahead, Senior Brother.”
Zong Yu Quan nodded, “Junior Sister Gu will be here soon. Why don’t you take a stroll around Star City? There are many treasures that can be found in Lang Ya Star City. If you find anything you like, feel free to let me know.”
“I will!” Yang Kai responded. When he turned around to leave, a strange idea suddenly came to him. He nodded lightly at Zong Yu Quan and murmured softly, “Black Ink Eternal!”
That was what Shi Zheng mentioned before he died. Yang Kai had not understood what those words meant at the time, but he came to understand their meaning after listening to the explanation from Yu Xiang Die and the others.
Those who had been corrupted by the Black Ink generally looked no different on the surface, but their hearts had already undergone a drastic change and they were only loyal towards the Black Ink Clan. Even a Seventh-Order Open Heaven Master like Shi Zheng had shouted those words just before his death. It could be seen just how dangerous the Black Ink Clan’s influence was.
The truth was that Shi Zheng probably lost his sense of self a long time ago; furthermore, these words were most likely a belief that they upheld or some kind of mantra they lived by.
It was not as though Yang Kai had noticed anything out of the ordinary when he said these words at this time. He simply wanted to probe the waters and did not expect any response to his statement.
Contrary to expectations, Zong Yu Quan stared at Yang Kai with a stunned expression for a moment before he reached out to touch his chest lightly and whispered, “Black Ink Eternal!”
Yang Kai nodded lightly and turned to leave. Exiting the dock, he turned into a crowded street and quickly blended into the crowd with the help of the stream of people passing by.
A short while later, he came to a halt in front of a shop. Although his expression was normal on the surface, Yang Kai was cursing madly deep down in his heart. [Didn’t they say that the Black Ink Insects were precious, so the Black Ink Clan will only target High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters!? I can’t believe Zong Yu Quan is one of those who were corrupted by the Black Ink!]
This discovery was so shocking that he could barely believe it.
Yu Xiang Die and the others told him that the Black Ink Insects were extremely precious to the Black Ink Clan and converting a Mid-Rank Open Heaven Realm Master was simply not worth the effort. That was why the Black Ink Clan would only target High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.
For so many years, all the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters who did not come from any Cave Heaven or Paradise had either been recruited by the Cave Heavens and Paradises or sent to some unknown place instead because the Cave Heavens and Paradises were afraid that these people might be targeted by the Black Ink Clan. At that time, it would only take one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch.
However, a casual probe from Yang Kai had confirmed that Zong Yu Quan was corrupted by the Black Ink!
Looking at the situation now, it would seem that Zong Yu Quan had been probing Yang Kai when he either intentionally or unintentionally mentioned Elder Shi Zheng earlier. In that case, he probably knew about the plan in the Star Boundary too. The fact that he responded without the slightest hesitation when Yang Kai said the words, ‘Black Ink Eternal’ clearly indicated that he believed Shi Zheng had succeeded!
The truth was that Yang Kai would not have been able to escape unscathed during his encounter with the Black Ink Insect if he had not coincidentally obtained the World Spring. Hence, in the eyes of a person corrupted by the Black Ink like Zong Yu Quan, Shi Zheng’s success was only to be expected.
[Just how many people have been corrupted by the Black Ink in Lang Ya Paradise!?] It would seem that the situation had taken a turn for the worse, so Yang Kai couldn’t help feeling a slight sense of panic.
He wandered around the Star City aimlessly for some time, but it didn’t take long for a familiar Divine Sense to appear in the surroundings, seemingly searching for something in Star City. It was Gu Pan’s Divine Sense.
Yang Kai quickly responded to her probing. She quickly confirmed his location, and a petite figure descended from the sky a moment later. Many people stopped and looked around on the street, wondering who was so bold as to act so recklessly in Lang Ya Star City. However, they quickly understood upon seeing the clothes she was wearing. Upon seeing that she was from Lang Ya Paradise, they were not surprised by her actions.
“Senior Brother Yang,” Gu Pan landed in front of Yang Kai and nodded in greeting.
“Junior Sister Gu!” Yang Kai nodded lightly, “It’s been a few years since I last saw you, but your noble bearing remains the same!”
The last time he met her was during Yin-Yang Cave Heaven’s Dao Theory Assembly. In the blink of an eye, nearly 100 years had passed.
She replied, “You seem to have gotten stronger, Senior Brother Yang.”
He chuckled, “I was lucky and came across some opportunities.”
She asked curiously, “Senior Brother Yang, did you come here for something?”
He casually said, “It’s nothing important. I mainly came here to see you.”
Gu Pan studied him seriously for a moment before all of a sudden, she took out a jade slip and turned to face him while speaking calmly, “Senior Brother Yang, please repeat what you said just now.”
“What do you mean?” Yang Kai asked, somewhat bewildered.
To which Gu Pan frankly stated, “I’m collecting evidence. When Senior Sister Qu comes out from retreat, I’m going to inform her that you were busy picking flowers everywhere while she was in seclusion!”
Yang Kai’s expression turned as black as the bottom of a pot as he protested, “There’s no such thing! Besides, even if I want to mess around, I wouldn’t be interested in your small body!”
Gu Pan giggled, “One may know a person for a long time without understanding his true nature. Who knows what kind of special interests you have, Senior Brother?”
Yang Kai looked a little crestfallen as he mused, “Junior Sister, you’ve changed. You were not like this before. You used to be so innocent, but you’re so suspicious of everything now…”
“Come, have some dried fish!” Yang Kai suddenly took out a large bag of dried fish from his Space Ring.
Meanwhile, Gu Pan continued to point the jade slip at him and used a Secret Technique to record his current actions as she stated, “Look at this, Senior Sister Qu. Senior Brother Yang is deliberately catering to bribe me so I keep silent about his crimes!”
Yang Kai raised a fist and rapped his knuckles on her head. At the same time, he stuffed a dried fish in his hand into her mouth, “Stop fooling around! I came here for a reason!”
Although Gu Pan’s mouth was stuffed to the brim, she did not forget to add another sentence, “Senior Brother is getting angry out of shame and being unreasonable!”
He glanced sideways at her.
Fortunately, she quickly put the jade slip away and swallowed the dried fish in her mouth, “This is not the place to talk. Follow me, Senior Brother.”
While saying so, she soared into the sky, after which he quickly followed behind her.
They soon left Lang Ya Star City and headed straight for the central area of Lang Ya Territory. That was where Lang Ya Paradise’s headquarters was located.
Yang Kai travelled forward with Gu Pan. The space ahead was empty, but he could sense that there was an enormous array covering the entire area in front. Passerbys could not see the inside of Lang Ya Paradise’ from the outside.
When they arrived in front of the Grand Array, Gu Pan took out a token. After a flash of light, a magnificent scene immediately entered Yang Kai’s eyes. Countless small Spirit Provinces dotted the void like Stars, surrounding three large Spirit Provinces that formed a triangle in the middle. Even though they were separated by a distance, Yang Kai could clearly sense the abundant World Energy and dense World Force coming from those Spirit Provinces.
It was not his first time entering a Cave Heaven or Paradise. In the past, he had also seen the heritage of a top great force with a long history during his time in Yin-Yang Cave Heaven. Nevertheless, Yang Kai could not help feeling amazed by the sight of Lang Ya Paradise at this moment. The Cave Heavens and Paradises truly deserved their reputations. Void Land could not compare with them at all. It was not just a matter of the number of Masters and disciples in the Sect, but also the accumulation of time and inheritance.
At present, what Void Land lacked the most was time.
The area after entering the Grand Array could finally be considered the core of Lang Ya Paradise. This place that was covered by the Grand Array was not a place where ordinary people could enter.
They continued forward and soon arrived at a certain Spirit Province. This Spirit Province was not very big, but it had a beautiful environment. That was especially true for the huge lake in the middle. The lake even had large fish swimming about freely. Surprisingly, there was nobody on this Spirit Province.
Gu Pan explained, “This is where I cultivate. Most of the time, other people will not come here.”
Yang Kai couldn’t help gnashing his teeth in envy. A great force is a great force indeed. Even a Core Disciple can monopolise a Spirit Province without anybody’s interference.
“Why did you come here, Senior Brother?” Gu Pan led him to a bamboo building by the lake and poured him a glass of water.
“The thing is… Elder Shi Zheng asked me to give you a message, Junior Sister.” Yang Kai had given some thought to this matter on the way here. His initial plan was to visit Gu Pan as soon as he arrived here. With her identity as a Core Disciple, it would be easier for him to move around unnoticed.
However, thanks to his experience with Zong Yu Quan, he could no longer decide whether even she was safe or not. A mere Zong Yu Quan had been corrupted by the Black Ink, so wouldn’t a Core Disciple like Gu Pan be targeted too? She would definitely be more valuable to the Black Ink Clan than Zong Yu Quan if she was corrupted.
If possible, Yang Kai did not wish to suspect her; unfortunately, this matter was related to the Black Ink Clan. It was better to err on the side of caution. Otherwise, he might set off a turmoil in Lang Ya Paradise if the truth was exposed. Many people would die if that happened.
“Elder Shi has a message for me?” Gu Pan was a little taken aback. Although she was also a Lang Ya Paradise Elder, she had not interacted much with Shi Zheng in the past. That was why she couldn’t help being surprised.
Yang Kai nodded.
Gu Pan sat opposite him and asked curiously, “What did Elder Shi want to tell me?”
Yang Kai stared at her and spoke in a solemn manner, “Elder Shi said… Black Ink Eternal!”
Zong Yu Quan’s reaction had convinced him that these words could help him distinguish between friend and foe. If Gu Pan responded with those words, then there was no doubt that she was also corrupted by the Black Ink. For that reason, Yang Kai couldn’t help feeling anxious as soon as the words left his mouth.
On the opposite side, Gu Pan stared at him blankly before she nodded lightly, “Black Ink Eternal!”
Yang Kai’s expression became a little melancholic, and he couldn’t help feeling heartbroken! [Has this petite and adorable little girl also been corrupted by the Black Ink?]
Suddenly, something unexpected occurred. A paintbrush appeared out of nowhere, and with a surge of Sixth-Order World Force, the paintbrush danced in the air and struck Yang Kai a dozen times in a row.
A chain suddenly wrapped around his body, and a powerful restraining force shackled him firmly in place. Immediately after that, Gu Pan grabbed hold of the paintbrush and made several smooth strokes. Another layer of restraint was instantly layered onto his figure.
Everything happened so quickly, and Yang Kai had been distracted due to his distress at the time, so he had been caught completely off guard as a result. By the time he recovered from his shock, it felt as though there was an entire Universe World bearing down on him. The pressure caused him to hunch over and become breathless.