Chapter 744: Archenemies Are Bound To Cross Paths
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
“Second Senior, how far away are we?”
A tall, skinny and dark-skinned youth was positioned above the rolling clouds of the Ying Sea – it was Lin Feng’s sixth disciple, Li Yuanfang.
He was sitting on top of the Black Dragon Jieyu with his legs crossed, and Zhu Yi was sitting beside him along with the Jade Dragon Baiguang, who was in her human form.
Zhu Yi’s eyes were wide open. His gaze was endless, much like the abyss in the deep sea, yet tinged with raging tides and monstrous waves as rays of light flickered ceaselessly.
There was a shadow of a giant turtle drifting in the void above his head. It was so immense that even the Jieyu, in his original dragon form, paled in comparison.
The eyes of this giant turtle seemed to contain the boundless oceans as well.
Innumerable glyphs and runes appeared in one moment and vanished in the next on the turtle shell and resembled the undulating air bubbles in the ocean.
These glyphs and characters were combining together continuously, and they seemed to form a giant formation of the eight trigrams.
“There are too many dangerous illusions in the Ying Sea and they are truly irritating. Thankfully, the information we received previously gave us a rough location and we can still find it.” Zhu Yi’s eyes were still fathomless as he cast his gaze across the skies. One could see, upon closer inspection, that there were patterns of the eight trigrams spiraling around within his pupils.
His tone was not so tense and was comparatively more relaxed. “We’re getting closer. We just have to proceed forward in the same direction and we should reach our destination within a thousand miles, give or take.”
As he spoke, his expression changed a little. “Oh, someone’s already there. Looks like we’re not the only ones that received this piece of news – everybody seems to be equally interested in the Green Glass Jade Stand.”
Li Yuanfang was calm as he said, “Judging from the current situation, the Green Glass Jade Stand is lost somewhere, and is the treasure that is the most closely connected to the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain. It’s possibly the most important and valuable lead in finding the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain as well.”
The company broke through the clouds and mist at breakneck speed and the three islands that formed a triangle appeared in sight in no time.
Zhu Yi glanced downwards and noticed immediately that there were flashes of golden light on one of the islands.
The golden light came from a small stand that was made entirely from green jade. As the green light flickered, voluminous numbers of golden runes surged into vision and released blinding bursts of golden light.
However, the permeation of golden light was intercepted at a radius of about a hundred meters away from the tiny island, as if there was some invisible barrier enveloping the island.
As the rays of light came into contact with this invisible barrier, they started to twist and refract. This made the whole thing look like an illusion and very surreal.
Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang immediately knew what was happening. “There’s a giant illusion array surrounding the island, and the Green Glass Jade Stand is trapped by this illusion.”
At this point, there were already five separate parties on a stand-off inside the island.
The people from the first pack were old acquaintances. They were cultivators from the Great Qin Empire, with the Vivant Joy Holy Man taking point and even the royal princess Shi Xingyun was among their ranks.
Of the four remaining parties, two were demon parties from the Barren Expanses and the remaining two were human cultivators.
One of the demon parties comprised Golden-Feathered Great Rocs. The leader of the flock was not a Great Roc, however, but a bird-type demon that was enveloped with black mist from top to bottom – it was the Sun-Swallowing Condor, who pledged his allegiance to the Golden Roc Grand Sage.
The rolling black mist around him seemed like it could consume all the light in the world. Even the group of Golden Rocs behind him kept themselves at a safe distance behind him.
The other party was a group of dragons. The leader of the pack was a Thunder Dragon at the Undying Demonic Soul stage.
The dragon race had varying abhijnas and talents depending on their breed. Jieyu was born into the Bastille Black Dragon Tribe and Baiguang was born into the Jade Dragon Tribe while the Falling Waves Dragon King came from the Sea Dragon Tribe.
This Thunder Dragon was called the Red Dragon King, and the natural talent and abhijna of the Thunder Dragons was the ability to control and wield the Eight Barrens Divine Lightning.
In the olden days, there used to be a powerful Thunder Dragon that managed to cultivate the Eight Barrens Divine Lightning in his possession to a level so formidable that its power rivaled even that of the Thunder Lord’s Great Way of the Nine Heavens Divine Thunder and the Emperor Tai’s Chaos Cave Saint-Slaying Thunderbolt.
Even though the Red Dragon King could not possibly compare to his old ancestors and predecessors, he was already in the Undying Demonic Soul Stage and his power was already quite incredible.
Of the remaining two human parties, one particular group was wearing uniforms with long white robes etched with pictures of blue waves and they had longswords strapped around their waists.
The sword aura around them gave a feeling that resembled the endless vastness of the oceans.
The typical sharpness and acuteness of sword auras was generally known to be opposites with the concept of power of vast oceans, but now both were on prominent and harmonious display at the same time.
There was no need to look at the leader of the group to know that this party of humans were from the Vast Sea Sword Sect.
Still, the leader of the group that was standing off against the Red Dragon King, the Sun-Swallowing Condor and the Vivant Joy Holy Man was a middle-aged man who was one of the four great immortal soul sword cultivators from the Vast Sea Sword Sect – the Tidal Sword Elder, who was in the first-level immortal soul stage.
Zhu Yi was still familiar with the Vast Sea Sword Sect and the Tidal Sword Elder, but the last party of humans was a lot less recognizable.
Everybody wore green robes and looked a lot more casual than the cultivators from the Vast Sea Sword Sect. The vastness of their auras and energies were no less formidable than that of the Vast Sea Sword Sect cultivators, and were even slightly superior.
Facing them was like facing the colossal heavens.
Zhu Yi’s turned his gaze towards the leader of this group of humans. His eyes sparkled as his eyes entered that fathomless state once again.
He knew this person too well. All those years ago, when he was still living inside the residence of the Marquis of Xuanji, he had to visit this person’s pavilion every morning just to greet her. According to Zhu Hongwu, this lady was his stepmother.
The rules of the House stated that he could only address his biological mother, Meng Bingyun, as ‘aunt’.
Zhu Yi’s expression was calm as he quietly watched the lady in front of him that seemed like she was only in her twenties. “It’s been a long time, Lady Shao.”
She felt a little different from the First Lady in his memory. Her features and physical characteristics were still the same, but she seemed a little younger than before.
Lady Shao of the House of the Marquis of Xuanji used pills and magic items to stall the onset of age and maintain her youth. However, her body was mortal after all, and even if she took special care to look young, the irrevocable passage of time would leave marks on her body anyway.
He could not really tell the age of this lady in front of him. One would think that she was only a little older than twenty with a quick glance, but upon closer inspection, she seemed more like a teenage girl that was not even twenty years old.
Their demeanors were also different. The Lady Shao back in the House of the Marquis of Xuanji was majestic and dignified with the disposition like a true ‘mother of the house’. Yet, she seemed like the creeping vines spiraling around a giant tree. Her image of strength and power stemmed from the fact that she was the official wife of the Grand Advisor of the Great Zhou Empire, Zhu Hongwu.
Everything came from her husband, and therefore her status, as well as the rule of law in the Great Zhou Empire.
The Lady Shao in front of him now had an image of strength and power that clearly originated from her own cultivation.
She was just standing there casually – nothing like the old Lady Shao in the House of the Marquis of Xuanji, who was a lot concerned with her image and how dignified she looked. Still, no matter how casual she appeared, the other parties had to accord her with the same level of respect as before.
She gave off a feeling that heaven was one with the earth, and displayed a magical aura that seemed to integrate her with the heavens. The aura that came from her was also vast like the sprawling heavens.
The only thing about her that was no different from before was the fact that she looked exactly the same. Surprisingly, Lady Shao was also an immortal soul stage cultivator now.
Zhu Yi’s instincts told him that even though there were five immortal soul stage cultivators who were all pretty much at the same level of cultivation – first-level immortal soul stage or first-level Undying Demonic Soul Stage – this lady in front of him was the most powerful.
He suddenly recalled Lin Feng’s remarks about the Mystical Way of the Heavenly Being. “The Mystical Way of the Heavenly Being has a good track record with helping immortal soul stage cultivators ascend to the next level. If she has already mastered the Mystical Way of the Heavenly Being, then she probably has a good chance at breaking through to the Virtual Entity Stage.”
Even though they were in silent tension, everybody still turned to look at Zhu Yi and company.
The lady stared at Zhu Yi and looked him up and down. “Meng Bingyun is useless, but she has a great son – definitely superior to my own sons and daughters.”
As she spoke, a cold look flashed across the face of a good-looking girl behind Lady Shao before she lowered her head.
“Shao Qingcheng, eh?” Zhu Yi nodded his head. “So that’s your real name. But it doesn’t make a difference to me.”
“The person that made my mother vomit blood before she passed away has always been you. Avatar or your original body – it’s the same.”
“Even though Meng Bingyun was in love with Zhu Hongwu to the point that she broke her own heart, she has always been trying to seduce him even till the day she met her end.” Shao Qingcheng replied plainly. “It was never meant to be her path. Our interests have always been at odds, and her fate had been determined a long time ago. If I didn’t do it, Hongwu would have done it himself.”
Her voice was plain and monotonous. However, she possessed a kind of self-confidence that stemmed from her own belief that her reasoning was impeccable. It was very different from the domesticated Lady Shao of the old, and was even a little similar to the same attitude that Zhu Hongwu possessed.
Zhu Yi’s expression was equally calm. He was not upset at all – but this very fact sent chills down everyone’s spine. “You murdered her just because your paths were different? You’re not so different from that father of mine after all.”
His turned his gaze towards the young girl behind Lady Shao who was still looking down at her toes and said quietly, “Zhu Yong and Zhu Le are the direct heirs to the position of the Marquis of Xuanji, but this person should be the person that you and my nurtured as your successor, am I right?”
“Truly a chip off the old block as well. You don’t have to lower your head anymore. I can already sense your hostility and how badly you wish to murder me,” Zhu Yi placed his hands behind his back as he continued, “If you wish to fight against your own flesh and blood, do go ahead. Just remember that you won’t have a chance to regret that decision should you make it.”
The young girl abruptly raised her head and shot a cold look at Zhu Yi.
Her name was Shao Huayang and her surname followed that of her mother. She was the child of Zhu Hongwu and Shao Qingcheng, and had plied the craft under the guidance of her mother ever since she was a little kid, and even Zhu Hongwu himself helped her along from time to time. Her talent values, potential and current level of ability were far greater than that of her siblings and cousins of the same generation.
She was already a nascent soul stage cultivator at this point. Even though she had a battle prowess that was superior to most others at the same level of mastery, her reputation was still nothing much compared to Zhu Yi’s. The kind of power that Zhu Yi possessed was truly extraordinary and unbelievable – on the same day that he sat for the exams at Tianjing City, Zhu Yi defeated and killed a nascent soul advanced stage grandmaster when he was only in the aurous core advanced stage.
This was the reason why she refused to answer even though Zhu Yi had already called her out. Still, the murderous and hostile look in her eyes was still there, and she did not even try to hide it.
Shao Qingcheng placed her hand in front of her daughter and said softly, “You’re no match for him. I made a mistake for not letting you leave the East Sea back then, but now you cannot engage in battle with him. You have to follow my lead.”
Shao Huayang answered her mother with a voice-projected message and exclaimed, “Mother, I’ve said before so long ago that we could not let this child live! If we ‘handled’ him all those years ago, then I won’t have to suck it up like I have to right now!”