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Chapter 13 – Demonic Path

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
     Zeng Mo’er froze in place. She suddenly turned, her eyes looking straight towards him, filled with pleading.

    Qin Yu took out his storage bag and pulled out a jade bottle. Then, he rolled a pill onto his palm. “Is this enough?”

    Zeng Chingming’s breathing quickened and the wrinkles on his face began to shake; it was obvious just how excited he was. “Enough! It’s enough!”

    Of course it was enough. There were still four leftover pills from when Qin Yu broke into Foundation Establishment, and all of them were top grade pills.

    “My talent was poor so I required Foundation Establishment pills bestowed upon me from Grandmaster in order to make my breakthrough. Since the Zeng Family needs one, it shouldn’t be a problem for me to give one away.”

    “After today, young friend here will be the most honored guest of my Zeng Family!” Zeng Chingming said, deep veneration in his voice.

    Zeng Mo’er’s hands shivered as she took the top grade Foundation Establishment Pill from Qin Yu’s hand. Then, she carefully put it away and bowed.

    Leaving behind all the gifts, the Zeng Family left.

    Qin Yu was preparing to close the courtyard door when he suddenly saw a beautiful figure standing on the side of the street. He hesitated for a moment before cupping his hands across his chest and saying, “Miss Ning, is there something wrong?”

    Ning Ling said, “Mo’er already said that as long as you gave her a pill, she would be willing to agree to any conditions you put forth. I understand her character and if she says something she will not go back on her word. Fellow daoist Qin, it seems you’ve lost a good opportunity here.”

    Qin Yu wryly smiled. “Miss Ning, please don’t tease me. I certainly cannot take anything Miss Zeng says seriously, otherwise people might believe I really think of the Zeng Family’s old ancestor as some piece of furniture just sitting there. To trade that pill for a little bit of sentiment is more than enough for me.”

    Ning Ling looked at him, her pupils dark and profound. It was like she could see through everything and it was impossible to hide any thought from her. Qin Yu felt his hairs stand on end, and just as his calm façade was about to crack apart, she said, “I happen to have an aura restraining law formula in my hands. While it isn’t a particularly high level technique, it shares similar roots with the aura restraining pendant. If you were to use the two together, then even a Nascent Soul level cultivator would find it hard to detect you.”

    To hide from the divine sense of a Nascent Soul master, this law formula obviously wasn’t as simple as she said it was.

    Qin Yu looked at the jade slip that was held out before him. The plain texture of the jade slip melded together with the skin of her hands, producing an oddly aesthetic sense.

    At this time, he suddenly recalled the first time he saw her and the few bloodstains that she hid beneath her skirt. His thoughts heated up and his face began to flush red.

    “Thank…thank you Miss Ning.”

    He received the jade slip, being careful not to touch her fingers. As he thought that he had inadvertently taken a peek beneath her skirt and had even received this law formula from her today, he suddenly developed a bit of guilt in his heart. He subconsciously asked, “Miss Ning, how are your injuries doing?”

    Ning Ling smiled. “I must thank fellow daoist Qin for worrying over me. My injuries are much better.”

    Qin Yu nodded. “You should make sure your wounds don’t touch water and you move as little as possible…” His voice suddenly halted. He looked up and saw Ning Ling’s eyes narrowing as she stared at him, coldness beginning to flash from deep within her gaze.

    “How does fellow daoist Qin know that I am wounded?”

    A faint sheen of sweat appeared on Qin Yu’s forehead. He said, “It’s my sense of smell, yes, my sense of smell! I was born with an inherent sensitivity to the smell of blood, so although Miss Ning took good care of your wounds, I was still able to discover them.” Qin Yu coughed. “Well, it's getting late and I have to help Grandmaster refine pills. Miss Ning, farewell.” With that, he turned and left. Although he tried to keep his waist and back as straight as possible, it was still clear that he was moving away in a panicked haste.

    Ning Ling bit her lips, looking towards the courtyard doors. A bit of anger and shame colored her face. Finally, she sighed. Qin Yu had clearly explained this matter and there was nothing she could do about it. Did she really think she could just walk up to him and ask if he had seen beneath her skirt?

    Mo’er had been right all along. This fellow was hateful to the extreme!

    She stamped her feet and revealed the rare temper of a young girl. Then, she turned and left.

    As she vanished, it was only then that some figures began to appear outside the small courtyard. They all glanced at each other, all of them feeling heartfelt admiration for what had just occurred.

    This young fellow Qin Yu was truly worthy of being the disciple of the Grandmaster; he was even skilled when it came to the relationships between men and women! He had actually managed to stir up the thoughts of this proud daughter of heaven. The figures lingering around the courtyard had no choice but to admit defeat!

    Shaking their heads, several people left with faces full of envy. Without accident, the minor affair between the Grandmaster’s disciple and Fairy Ning Ling would soon spread throughout East Stream Town, causing the eyes of countless young elites to go red with jealousy. If they weren’t deterred by the Grandmaster’s reputation, then this small courtyard might have already been declared a warzone by the resentful young elites and their wild hormones.

    As things stood, one event led to another. With the top grade Foundation Establishment Pill, Zeng Zhongxiu was able to successfully break into Foundation Establishment, and then he came to express his thanks. According to principle, Qin Yu could only receive him.

    “Brother Qin, I will never forget the graciousness of bestowing this pill upon me! If an opportunity ever arises someday, I will surely repay the favor!” Zeng Zhongxiu had the appearance of a middle-aged man, but the occasional white hair did nothing to ruin his dashing appearance. The vicissitudes of time that wrapped around him gave him an even more clean and affable appearance. If the person standing across from Qin Yu was a young girl, he might have long since been captivated by her.

    But this person didn’t have any feminine aura at all. Every action and movement was open and broad, and when he spoke he did so with deep admiration. One could feel the sincerity in his words.

    Qin Yu didn’t dare to ignore him. He earnestly replied, “Brother Zeng takes this too seriously. The Foundation Establishment Pill was exchanged for by the Zeng Family; I wouldn’t dare to take credit for it.”

    Zeng Zhongxiu smiled, no longer speaking of this matter. From his appearance, it was clear he would engrave this matter in his heart. He looked towards the depths of the courtyard and lightly sighed. “I envy Brother Qin, that you can follow beside the Grandmaster and learn the art of alchemy from him. I wonder if I will ever have such a lucky chance in the future.”

    Qin Yu didn’t know how to reply. He knew that the person in front of him was someone deeply infatuated with the dao of alchemy and what he said was the truth. But, the problem was that there was no so-called ‘alchemy Grandmaster’, and no matter how sincere Zeng Zhongxiu was, he would never be accepted as a disciple.

    Noticing Qin Yu’s silence, Zeng Zhongxiu realized the awkward situation. He smiled, “There is no need to think about it Brother Qin, I was merely expressing my emotions for a moment. And the world is vast and boundless. Even if I miss the Grandmaster, there will surely be countless opportunities awaiting me. I have already packed up my things. Today I will leave for Immortal Eclipse Valley and enter their sect to study alchemy. If there is a chance in the future, Brother Qin must come visit Immortal Eclipse Valley and we can meet again.”

    With that, he laughed as he strode out of the courtyard. As the dappled sunlight fell across his back, he seemed carefree and unfettered.

    Qin Yu rose up and sent him off, a happy smile on his face. People were strange yet wonderful like this. They had clearly met for the first time and yet they felt extremely close to each other already.

    This Zeng Zhongxiu was a man of true virtue and passion. If he had a chance in the future, he would definitely see him again.

    Half a day after Zeng Zhongxiu left, Zeng Mo’er appeared before him. Qin Yu was uncomfortable and confused by her polite attitude and greetings. In particular, her bright and wide eyes occasionally glanced up at him, and the strange shimmer within left his heart beating a little faster.

    “Big Brother Qin, has my uncle come to bid his farewells already? Did you know that there is no one happier than me that he has recovered? Otherwise, I would have to live my entire life in guilt. I know that I was rude in the past, and I ask Big Brother Qin to forgive me for any offenses.” A blush of red appeared on Zeng Mo’er’s face. “A top grade Foundation Establishment Pill is incomparably precious and the gifts that my family delivered are only common; they cannot be compared. If Big Brother Qin has a condition that you would like to put forth, then I will agree to it on behalf of the Zeng Family.”

    This situation didn’t seem right at all! This Zeng Mo’er definitely could not agree to anything on behalf of the Zeng Family. If she was representing someone, it could only be herself!

    Qin Yu’s mouth was dry. “The Zeng Family’s gifts are more than enough. Moreover, I have already entered Foundation Establishment, so top grade Foundation Establishment Pills are useless to me. Miss Zeng need not worry about this; you can let this matter go as it is.”

    A flash of disappointment appeared in Zeng Mo’er’s eyes, but they soon brightened up again. This Big Brother Qin was truly a modest and noble gentleman. They chatted for several more moments, but just as Qin Yu was nearly unable to withstand the burning look in her eyes, she was called back by the Zeng Family to greet an honored guest.

    Zeng Mo’er bid her farewells with a bit of reluctance.

    Qin Yu sent her out the door.

    “Big Brother Qin, how long will you be staying in East Stream Town?” Zeng Mo’er suddenly asked.

    Qin Yu shook his head, “It all depends on the Grandmaster. But, he once mentioned that he will stay for at most two months, and that time is soon approaching.”

    He needed to leave soon.

    The reputation of an alchemy Grandmaster had become increasingly loud. He feared that if he didn’t leave soon, some incident would occur.

    “Ah, you’re leaving!” Zeng Mo’er suddenly felt anxious, but she soon realized she had no standing to be anxious, and she immediately turned dispirited.

    Qin Yu’s expression was calm. He had become aware of this young woman’s changing emotions around him, but all of that was based upon a web of lies. There simply was no alchemy Grandmaster, and he was only an outer court disciple of the Eastern Mountain Sect who had come across a bit of good fortune. There were thoughts that he shouldn’t have, lest he harm others and himself.

    But suddenly, Qin Yu’s heart shook and all the hairs on his body stood up on end. In the next moment, two terrifying eruptions sounded out, nearly at the same time. It was like two thunderclaps that shook the earth, causing incredible airwaves to surge outwards and scatter sand and stone into the air. Several small trees on the street snapped in half and flew away, and nearly all the leaves and branches broke apart, turning into powder that rained down from the skies!

    The world seemed to darken. If someone were standing high in the sky and looking down at East Stream Town, then they would discover that the two largest and most luxurious residences had been turned into ruins, with two massive pits in the center and horrifying cracks spreading out from them.

    Woosh –

    The sound of whistling air rose up from nowhere. Qin Yu quickly grabbed Zeng Mo’er and flew onto the roof. In the next moment a giant block of stone crashed into the location where the two had just been. If they had been even a moment slower, then even if someone with a Foundation Establishment cultivation wouldn’t die, they would still lose most of their skin!

    He lifted his hand, wanting to wipe the cold sweat that formed on his forehead. But at this time, Zeng Mo’er began to struggle from his grasp. She cried out, “My family, that’s my family!”

    Qin Yu’s complexion changed. The Zeng Family had ruled over East Stream Town for generations and also had a Golden Core powerhouse assuming personal command, so who would dare move against them?

    He soon had an answer.

    Bang –

    Black demonic energy shot into the skies, as thick as ink. A green-clothed devil was lifting a corpse high in the air, a hand inserted into its stomach. Then, flesh and blood rained down as the devil pulled out a Golden Core. Licking his lips, the green-clothed devil cackled and bit down on the corpse’s neck. As the corpse’s throat twitched about, it began to wither away at a speed visible to the eyes.

    Demonic cultivator…the one who died was the Kong Family’s old ancestor!

    A headache began to develop in Qin Yu’s head and his complexion became extremely ugly. The Southern Empire was located in a remote area, and had never been regarded as too important or valuable by the immortal and demonic sects. Although there had been endless posturing and threats made throughout the years, there had never truly been a war that erupted between the immortal and demonic sides.

    But today, he had struck the jackpot!

    “Grandfather!” Zeng Mo’er called out in alarm, nearly fainting.

    Qin Yu held her up, whispering, “Senior is alright!” But before his voice fell, two figures shot up from the ruins of the Zeng Family residence. A black-robed old man cried out miserably as an arm was sent flying away.

    Zeng Chingming’s face was pale as he held a long sword in his hand. As he swept his eyes over the ruins of the Zeng Family before him, his eye sockets seemed as if they would crack open. Even if the Zeng Family still had their bloodline outside, today’s catastrophe meant that the Zeng Family was on the precipice of destruction!

    “Seven Slaughter Demon Sect, how brave of you, you actually dared to break the agreement and invade the south. I swear I will never forgive you!”

    Just as he roared, 12 billowing demonic auras rose up from 12 different spots around East Stream Town, blocking everything within so that no one could sense what was occurring inside.

    A youth stepped out from the black energy. He was delicate and pretty, with red lips the color of blood and black hair that fell behind him like a waterfall. If he were to wear the clothing of a woman, then his beauty would be enough to topple empires. At this moment, his lips were curled up in a small smile that revealed dimples. But although his expression seemed warm and inviting, there wasn’t the least bit of warmth in his pitch black eyes.

    “The demonic path’s Little Monarch!”

    The crowd cried out in shock.

    Liang Taizu cupped his hands across his chest. “Just what sort of character is senior? Yet you would actually think about using such a method to send out information; this junior is truly saddened. Today, my demon sect hasn’t brought many people here, so I had no choice but to block out the aura so that no outsiders would disturb us. I’m afraid senior must be left disappointed.”

    He swept his eyes out, causing shrieks of panic to rise up from wherever he looked. His smile rose even higher. “Ning Ling, you are the woman who I have set my eyes on. Even if you flee to the ends of the earth, you cannot escape me. Be a good little girl and return with me to the Seven Slaughter Demon Sect and become my dual cultivating dao companion.”

    “Otherwise…” Liang Taizu swept his finger across his neck. “Everyone here will die!”