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Chapter 32 – Misunderstanding

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
     Ning Ling hugged her knees as she leaned back against the stone wall. The black robe around her seemed to have his scent. Bright sunlight poured down, wrapping around her, but even so, she didn’t feel any warmth at all. Instead there was a cold chill percolating in the depths of her heart, causing her face to pale.

    She had already been awake for five days but Qin Yu had yet to return. He hadn’t left behind anything at all besides this black robe, and it was because of this that Ning Ling felt her heart tighten in pain. This was because she knew just what this meant.

    Qin Yu had this black robe, numerous pills, and he also showed he had the judgment and thinking required to escape. As long as he left her behind, he could have survived by himself. But in the end he didn’t abandon her. He gave her a chance to live and chose to be swallowed up by the darkness alone.

    Ning Ling stared at the cave opening, as if she could see his back on the day he left. She was unable to suppress the sorrow in her heart and began to weep, her tears as heavy as a rainstorm. It had been five days. With Qin Yu’s current state at the time he left, it would have been impossible for him to persist until now. If he hadn’t come back then he would never come back.

    In all her years, Ning Ling had never felt such a bitter grief before. It was like a meteor crossing through the horizon, illuminating its brief journey through life before immediately vanishing the next moment. No matter what happened, Qin Yu had left behind a deep mark in her heart that would never be erased.

    She wiped her tears, put on the black robe, and walked outside. As she stepped out of the cave, although her eyes were red there was an unprecedented coldness in them. This was different from the indifference of before, as if she had completely sealed away her emotions.

    Woosh –

    The sound splitting air rang up. A black demonic saber shot out, rushing towards her, its aura violent and cruel like a prison of hell. It stirred up strong winds that whipped up her hair and ripped off her black robe, sending it flying towards the cave. Ning Ling raised her hand to grab it, but she couldn’t. She watched as the robe fell into the cave, as if they were in two completely different worlds. Sorrow began to gush out from her eyes.

    When the demonic saber was ten feet away from her, it was locked down by an invisible strength. It emitted a shrill cry as to crack and shatter.

    A miserable shout rose up from not too far away. In the next moment, a figure shot into the skies, the billowing demonic energy revealing a Golden Core cultivator. This cultivator was stronger than Blacksky Demon, but even so, this sort of demonic path powerhouse was alarmed and terrified, just like a stray dog being chased.

    Shua –

    An old man appeared in the air, his eyes half-open and half-closed. But as he spoke, it was like claps of thunder, “Since you came, you should stay behind!”

    With a flick of his sleeve, space seemed to twist. The demonic Golden Core cultivator flew into the heavens like a fly before falling down to the earth and smashing into the cave entrance. Blood erupted from his entire body as he began disintegrating into nothing.

    Just a single strike had killed a demonic Golden Core cultivator and had also crushed him to paste; just what sort of strength was this!?

    Ning Ling didn’t look at this old man, instead looking at the black robe buried within the crushed stones, her eyes sad. But at this moment, all her emotions were hidden away, leaving behind nothing but endless cold in her eyes.

    It was unknown when the old man appeared behind her. He cupped his hands across his chest and said, “Seventh Miss, we should return home now.”

    Ning Ling turned around. She took a light breath and said, “Old Cloud, I want there to not be a living demonic cultivator for a thousand miles around.”

    Old Cloud frowned. “The dead cannot be brought back to life, so why must Seventh Miss be like this? If I really were to do that then I fear it would create immense waves.”

    Ning Ling’s voice chilled, “And if I insist?”

    Old Cloud sighed. Just as he was about to agree, his complexion suddenly changed. He turned and looked towards the distant mountain forests. Up above his head, the heavens began to darken and stars began to appear. A terrifying beam of demonic energy fell down, and the entire area for a thousand miles around fell into a deathly silence. Every living creature felt panic and fear rise up from the depths of their heart.

    “Yin and yang reverse, a demonic pillar has been born!” Old Cloud’s voice was deep and bass, each word seeming to roll in the air, as if it were as heavy as a mountain. “Seventh Miss, a supreme elder of the demonic path has arrived. No matter what, I cannot allow you to mess around here anymore. We are leaving!”

    Ning Ling’s eyes turned red once more. She turned and bowed, “Qin Yu, I promise you that in the future I will kill this Blacksky Demon with my own hands and bathe the demonic cultivators in a sea of blood!”

    Woosh –

    Old Cloud sighed. He flicked his sleeve and lifted up Ning Ling. A long sword picked the two up and they fired off into the distance, soon disappearing from sight.

    Four hours later, Qin Yu stumbled his way here. As he stood outside the completely collapsed cave, he fell silent. The anticipation and excitement that was stirring in his heart began to gradually turn cold, before finally drowning out all his thoughts.

    Qin Yu knit his eyebrows together for a long time. How could this be? He had crossed the thin thread of life and death several times to return here, and he didn’t believe that the heavens would give him such a result!

    Taking a deep breath, Qin Yu began sifting through the rubble. With the strength of his Demon Body, he began to casually toss aside massive stones. But, he didn’t seem to care about this at all as he freely used his physical strength. He sweat in silence, allowing his clothes to become wet.

    Suddenly, Qin Yu’s body stiffened. A familiar black robe appeared before him. He cleaned away the surrounding stones and picked up the dusty black robe. As he saw several dried bloodstains around it as well a sharp hole made from a sword, his breath caught in his chest.

    After a long silence, Qin Yu folded the black robe and put it away into his storage bag. He turned and walked away. At this moment, the 18 year old’s back was still straight, but he seemed to exude endless sadness and grief. Just by watching him one’s nose would burn and their eyes would turn misty.

    Forcefully blinking his eyes, Qin Yu began to increase his speed. He was like a racing horse that sped through the mountains. When he arrived deep in a mountain valley, he reared back his head and screamed with all his strength. His thunderous voice reverberated through the valley, as if his heart and lungs were being ripped out.

    Outside the valley, two young female cultivators that were hurrying along were shocked. A naïve-looking woman saw Qin Yu, and for some inexplicable reason she felt a pain in her heart. She softly said, “Senior-apprentice sister, that person seems sad.”

    The senior-apprentice sister frowned. “There was a world phenomenon just now. A great demonic being is sure to appear soon. Let’s not stick our noses into other people’s business and hurry up instead.”

    “Okay.” The naïve-looking young woman gently nodded as she flew away with her senior-apprentice sister. But, she couldn’t help but turn her head and look at Qin Yu’s back. Why was he so sad? Did he lose a loved one? How pitiful! This must have been the actions of the demonic path. According to what her master said, the demonic path was intentionally stirring up trouble as they tried to invade the Southern Empire. They absolutely could not be allowed to succeed, otherwise who knew how many more people would be caught in their evil grasp!

    From start to finish, Qin Yu never realized that two female cultivators had passed by the valley and that one of them had felt a great deal of sympathy for him. After he let out his cry, he took deep heaving breaths until he calmed down. Then, he looked up to determine where he was and began walking towards the Eastern Mountain Sect.

    Perhaps nothing had happened to Ning Ling. No matter how small a chance, he could not ignore it. He didn’t want to believe that this woman who had entered his life, whether he wanted to or not, had completely departed this world.

    Five days later, Qin Yu stood at a northern river. As he looked at the flowing waters, he recalled that Ning Ling had stood at this riverbank and pointed a finger at it, asking him earnestly, “Junior-apprentice brother, what river is this?”

    With his heart falling, Qin Yu turned his eyes back to his path, wanting to continue onwards. But as he looked into the distance, his complexion changed. Five figures were fleeing ahead of them with demonic energy tumbling behind them. They were being chased down by three demonic cultivators.

    Before Qin Yu could think further, the fleeing group approached him. A middle-aged cultivator saw Qin Yu and anxiously shouted, “Hurry and run!”

    Seeing Qin Yu standing there as if he didn’t hear, the middle-aged cultivator assumed he was scared frozen. He hesitated and thought it was a shame, but he lowered his head and continued to flee with the four others around him.

    A tall demonic cultivator laughed, “There’s actually someone that doesn’t fear death. I just happen to need some brave heart blood to refine my demonic energy!” With a howl, he grasped out, his five fingers rushing forwards as if he wanted to rip open Qin Yu’s chest and take out his heart.

    Qin Yu looked up, his eyes so cold that it caused the demonic cultivator’s heart to shiver. Before the demonic cultivator could respond, a fist instantly appeared and enlarged in his eyes.

    Dang –

    With a loud cracking sound that left one’s scalp tingling, the demonic cultivator flew backwards. As he struck the ground one could see he had become a pile of ruined flesh and blood; it was almost impossible to see a human shape anymore.

    The remaining two demonic cultivators cried out in alarm and turned to escape.

    Qin Yu’s eyes locked onto someone and Spirit Stab shot out. As this person froze in place, Vorpal Edge slashed out and a head fell to the ground. At the same time he shot out the Corpse Sealing Nail and a giant hole was blasted open in the chest of the last person, causing him to stumble dead to the ground!

    In almost the blink of an eye, three demonic cultivators were slain. The five fleeing cultivators turned, their eyes widening and their faces filled with disbelief. But soon they all revealed looks of hesitation. Just now, they only had thoughts of escaping on their own, so if this person were to vent their anger on them…but at the same time, they didn’t dare to leave like this. They could only brace themselves and greet this person.

    “Greetings, my lord!” The five people were all Foundation Establishment cultivators. Although Qin Yu’s aura was also at that level, with the way he brutally killed those three people just now, they could only refer to him as such since they felt it was wrong to call him senior.

    Qin Yu eyed the middle-aged man who had warned him just then. He asked, “What happened? How could those demonic cultivators dare to chase you so blatantly in the Southern Empire?”

    The middle-aged cultivator felt his heart weigh heavy in his chest. He replied, “My lord, four days ago the demonic cultivators invaded the Southern Empire en masse, and countless sects were uprooted or eradicated.” He continued, “My lord, it’s best if you don’t continue onwards.”

    Qin Yu’s complexion changed. “Do you know what happened to the Eastern Mountain Sect?”

    The middle-aged cultivator cried out in his heart, “This…this is…”

    “Speak!”

    “The Eastern Mountain Sect was one of the first to be attacked by the demonic path. Nearly all the cultivators there perished, and the scene was…tragic.”

    Qin Yu fell silent. The air around him nearly froze solid. He didn’t have much feeling towards the Eastern Mountain Sect, but he inevitably felt dispirited to think that a place he was so familiar with had been destroyed in the flames of war.

    Of course, the main reason was that a hope he had been lying to himself with had been thoroughly destroyed with this information.

    As the five people were dripping with a frightened sweat, Qin Yu waved his hand, no longer interested in them, “You can leave.”

    The middle-aged cultivator seemed to want to say something but he was stopped by his companions. The five of them fled in a hurry, perhaps hoping to flee as far as possible from the wanton destruction of the demonic path.

    After a moment of silence, Qin Yu continued forwards. He was already close to the Eastern Mountain Sect. Even if he learned it had been destroyed, he wanted to confirm this with his own eyes. In any case, since the Eastern Mountain Sect was already destroyed there shouldn’t be any demonic path powerhouses remaining there. At most, there would be some small fish swimming around that wouldn’t pose a threat to him.

    He still had the Soul Burying Flag within his storage bag. The deeply sleeping Blacksky Demon within was only at early Golden Core realm, but he was still more than enough to deal with multiple scenarios.