Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Yuan Du and Gu Ling’er had a Master-and-Disciple relationship between them. Having stood out from among the lower disciples, Gu Ling’er had been taken under Yuan Du’s wing and became his only Legacy Disciple. That would explain how Gu Ling’er had been corrupted by the Black Ink. The Honoured Master himself was in this state, what more was there to say about the Disciple?
On this occasion, Yuan Du had used his status as her Honoured Master to travel to the Spirit Province where Gu Ling’er lived. Even if his movements were noticed by Li Yuan Wang and the others, they would not suspect him of anything.
At this moment, he looked at Yang Kai warmly and smiled, “You shone very brightly in the recent training, Martial Nephew. This King was amazed by your performance.”
Yang Kai bowed, “You praise me too highly, Senior. I was simply lucky. Unfortunately, I was forced to harm my Senior Brothers and Sisters. I feel very bad about that.”
Yuan Du chuckled, “The circumstances were unavoidable, and you had no other choice. Don’t take it to heart. Besides, it’s not as if you didn’t know how to hold back.” Turning to the side, he looked at Gu Ling’er and asked, “How are the preparations?”
Gu Ling’er nodded, “Please don’t worry, Honoured Master. Everything is in order!”
He nodded, “In that case, let us begin.”
Zong Yu Quan suddenly winked at Yang Kai, “Thanks to you, Junior Brother Yang, we will also receive some enlightenment.”
The other Black Ink Disciples also looked very excited. Their faces were filled with anticipation, as though something good was about to happen.
Yang Kai was puzzled, “What do you mean, Senior Brother?”
Zong Yu Quan smiled mysteriously but did not explain himself.
At this moment, a ferocious World Force surged violently. Yang Kai was startled and quickly glanced at Yuan Du. Yuan Du’s robes flapped noisily even though there was no wind in the air. The illusory phantom of a vast Small Universe emerged behind him before expanding outward all of a sudden.
Yang Kai was slightly startled. Yuan Du was clearly trying to manifest his Small Universe around them! However, Zong Yu Quan and the others showed no response. They seemed to have expected this scenario, so he did not dare to make any rash actions. Suppressing the doubts in his heart, Yang Kai simply waited quietly.
In the next moment, Yuan Du’s Small Universe came crashing down and swept everyone up into it.
This was not Yang Kai’s first time encountering such a situation. Back when he was pursuing Zuo Quan Hui in the New Great Territory, Zuo Quan Hui had manifested his Small Universe in a last-ditch effort to fight to the death.
In the end, Yang Kai had done the same and manifested his Small Universe to confront Zuo Quan Hui. Although Void Land ultimately won that day, the battle caused Yang Kai’s Small Universe to become mixed with a lot of impurities derived from Zuo Quan Hui’s Small Universe, which the latter intentionally collapsed as a final act of defiance.
Afterwards, Yang Kai spent great effort to remove the hidden dangers in his Small Universe, causing his heritage to weaken significantly in the process.
Having experienced such a battle once, it could be said that Yang Kai was traversing a familiar path when faced with the current situation.
Under normal circumstances, the power of the Black Ink would leak out if Yuan Du spread out his Small Universe in this manner and that would have alerted the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters in Lang Ya Paradise.
However, this place was Gu Ling’er’s private Spirit Province and there were many barriers and restrictions set up over this land to isolate the inside from the outside.
When Yuan Du asked Gu Ling’er whether the preparations were in order, he was probably asking about this matter.
In an instant, Yuan Du’s Small Universe spread outward with everybody being pulled inside. Yang Kai looked around only to see that Yuan Du’s Small Universe was identical to the Universe Paradise that Shi Zheng left behind after his death. Everything was dyed pitch-black, as though the entire world had been smeared with a thick layer of ink. The scenery in Yuan Du’s Small Universe gave off an extremely uncomfortable feeling.
Nevertheless, it was undeniable that Yuan Du’s heritage as a Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master was very impressive. The Dao Essence was extremely abundant in his Small Universe, though Yang Kai could not determine what type of Dao Essence it was.
Everybody looked around after they appeared on the black-coloured land. Zong Yu Quan and the others looked confused, but Yang Kai did not know what was puzzling them.
As the owner of this Small Universe, Yuan Du simply looked at Yang Kai with a smile and asked in a pleasant voice, “Martial Nephew, I suddenly thought of something. May I ask you a question?”
Yang Kai was looking around his surroundings when he heard the question, and he nodded in response, “Please ask, Senior Yuan. This Junior will surely answer to the best of my abilities!”
Yuan Du asked, “You were enlightened by Elder Shi Zheng, right, Martial Nephew?”
“That’s right!” Yang Kai nodded.
“How did Elder Shi Zheng enlighten you?” Yuan Du inquired further.
[Is he suspecting me… He would not have asked me this question otherwise.]
Yang Kai’s heart was as bright and clear as a mirror. Besides, he had already prepared himself for such questions. It was just as he had mentioned to Li Yuan Wang and Gao Ting earlier. The grass had already been rustled, so there was no way the snakes would remain quiet after that.
It was precisely because of these considerations that Li Yuan Wang warned Yang Kai that staying here would be dangerous and asked him to consider his next course of action carefully.
In any case, Yang Kai came here for the Black Ink Disciples and the true Black Ink Clansman. If he wanted to remain safe, he would not have taken the initiative to propose going out to the front lines to gather information in the first place.
As such, he answered calmly and respectfully, “Elder Shi Zheng used a Black Ink Insect. When this Junior felt the wonders of the Black Ink Strength, I suddenly experienced an epiphany. Therefore, I boldly embraced the Black Ink. It is all thanks to Elder Shi Zheng that Junior is here today!”
Yuan Du gently nodded and asked meaningfully, “Did Elder Shi Zheng tell you anything else?”
Yang Kai mulled over the question, “He told me some things, but not everything. What may you be referring to, Senior Yuan?”
Yuan Du laughed, “To be honest, this King has known about your identity as a Black Ink Disciple since the day you stepped into Lang Ya Paradise and met Zong Yu Quan. This King has also been waiting for you to visit me on your own recently. It’s a pity that you never came. If not, this King would not have taken the risk to come and meet you here.”
Yang Kai bowed, “Please forgive me, Senior!”
Yuan Du continued, “Furthermore, your various actions during this time have led this King to believe that you didn’t know the identity of any other Black Ink Disciples aside from Zong Yu Quan. What’s wrong? Didn’t Elder Shi Zheng tell you these things after enlightening you?”
At first, Gu Ling’er and the others were confused as to why Yuan Du was mentioning these topics to Yang Kai. It was not until this moment that the realisation struck them. Yuan Du was clearly suspicious of Yang Kai’s identity.
If Yang Kai had been enlightened by Elder Shi Zheng, then Elder Shi Zheng should have informed him about the situation in Lang Ya Paradise to a certain extent. Yet, he had seemed ignorant of their identities during the training. Rather, they were the ones who took the initiative to reveal their identities to him.
Naturally, that did not prove anything. It might be that Yang Kai was simply being cautious, so he was reluctant to reveal his identity first; however, since Yuan Du was suspicious, it was only proper for them to show the corresponding attitude.
With a shift of their bodies, Gu Ling’er and the others quickly surrounded Yang Kai in unison. At the same time, they silently mobilised their World Force.
Meanwhile, Yang Kai remained calm, not the slightest hint of nervousness in his countenance as he replied, “Please forgive me, Senior. After Elder Shi Zheng enlightened this Junior, he only told this Junior to head to Lang Ya Paradise. As for what this Junior was supposed to do or who to meet, Elder Shi Zheng did not explain anything. It was only after repeated enquiries that Elder Shi Zheng finally told this Junior about Senior Brother Zong’s identity. He told me that I only needed to reveal my identity to Senior Brother Zong who oversaw the Void Dock when I arrived at Lang Ya Paradise. He also mentioned that there was no need to worry about anything else because someone would approach me when I arrived!”
Yuan Du frowned slightly upon hearing those words.
If it had to be said, Yang Kai’s words were reasonable and worth considering. There was nothing wrong with his explanation, and thinking about Elder Shi Zheng’s personality, it was not impossible for him to come up with this arrangement.
Even so, Yuan Du could not shake off his feelings of suspicion towards Yang Kai, one that seemed almost instinctive.
Despite calmly observing Yang Kai for a while, he did not detect anything unusual from the latter’s expression. Only after some time did Yuan Du speak again, “The Black Ink Strength is mysterious, but not omnipotent. Divine Spirits have a certain degree of resistance towards the Black Ink Strength. I believe you are a Grand Dragon, Martial Nephew. Have you truly been enlightened by the Black Ink Strength?”
Yang Kai glanced at Yuan Du, “So, you’re suspecting my identity, Senior?”
Yuan Du replied grimly, “This is an important matter. This King has no choice but to proceed with caution!”
Yang Kai nodded with an expression of understanding, “This Junior understands. I am a new Black Ink Disciple after all. It is only natural for you to doubt my words, Senior. In that case, please take a look at this!”
While saying so, he stretched out his hand. A ball of black energy immediately appeared in the palm of his hand. The energy wriggled on the palm of his hand like a living creature.
“Black Ink Strength!” Gu Ling’er exclaimed softly.
They had similar energy within their bodies; moreover, this energy came from the same source as the Black Ink Strength that flooded the entirety of Yuan Du’s Small Universe. It was only natural that they were familiar with the energy.
As soon as the Black Ink Strength appeared, the vigilance of Gu Ling’er and the others immediately vanished. Even Yuan Du’s expression became much kinder again.
The ability to mobilise the Black Ink Strength undoubtedly proved that Yang Kai had been corrupted by the Black Ink. That was not something just anybody could touch.
“In this way, have your worries been assuaged, Senior?” Yang Kai asked.
Yuan Du nodded lightly, “Since you can mobilise the Black Ink Strength, this King is willing to recognise you as our comrade.”
Before Yang Kai could breathe a sigh of relief though, he heard Yuan Du’s voice again, “However, just to be on the safe side, I ask that you open your Small Universe for this King to inspect, Martial Nephew. That’s the only way to truly confirm your identity.”
Yang Kai was speechless, he would be exposed if his Small Universe was investigated!
It was true that there was some Black Ink Strength suppressed and sealed in his Small Universe, but that was all thanks to the World Spring. The World Spring had strengthened his Small Universe to the point of impregnability, so the Black Ink Strength could not corrupt his foundation. That was why he was not taken over by the Black Ink.
Unfortunately, his identity would be exposed immediately if he were investigated by Yuan Du.
Without any hesitation, Yang Kai revealed a troubled expression, “What’s wrong? Are you still unwilling to believe me, Senior?”
Yuan Du answered calmly, “Martial Nephew, it is not that this King is unwilling to trust you. Nevertheless, investigating your Small Universe is the safest and easiest way to confirm your identity. Open your Small Universe and let this King take a look. Whether you are an enemy or an ally, everything will become clear at a glance. You have nothing to lose in doing so.”
Yang Kai quickly asked, “What if I refuse?”
Yuan Du’s gaze immediately sharpened once more. He glared intently at Yang Kai, “Why would you refuse?”
His initial doubts had been assuaged for the most part. Yang Kai had activated the Black Ink Strength after all, which was enough to prove his identity as a Black Ink Disciple.
However, Yang Kai’s reaction made Yuan Du suspicious again. [If he has nothing to hide, then why would he refuse? It’s just an investigation of his Small Universe. It’s not as if I was planning to do anything to him. Could it be that the power of a Grand Dragon is enough to resist the erosion of the Black Ink Strength even if one is affected by it?]
Yuan Du’s heart moved with his will. All of a sudden, the wind swirled about in his Small Universe World and his murderous intent surged.