A sudden emptiness grew in Ziqing’s heart.
Qin Yu asked, “How many merit points do I have?”
The youth subconsciously gulped, feeling as if he had turned to wood. He stammered out, “167,000 points…”
Everyone within the hall stiffened as if they had been struck by thunder. They stared at the youth, as if wondering if he had read the number incorrectly.
The youth aggrievedly said, “It’s true, it really is!”
The heated gazes on him left his insides writhing.
Qin Yu asked, “Is it enough to reserve the Skythunder Bamboo?”
“It’s enough…” The youth blanched, his eyes wide, looking like a little white bunny seeing a wild wolf. His intestines were already blue enough with regret.
Qin Yu nodded, “Reserve it.”
“Y-yes!” The youth suddenly regained his composure. As he discovered that Qin Yu didn’t mean to create any difficulties for him, he seemed to come back to life. He hurried away, almost racing, and used only half the usual time to return with a certificate respectfully held in both hands. “My Lord, after you obtain the remaining amount of merit points you can use this to complete the exchange.”
Ziqing paled and her ears began to hum. She never thought that her judgment would be so good. In fact…it was too good. She was no longer wavering, because she now realized that the two of them didn’t exist in the same world to begin with.
A young girl’s ignorant puppy love, a little bit sweet, a little bit pure, had died like this.
This was the reality of a brutal world!
Qin Yu spared her a faintly apologetic look. After taking the certificate he turned to leave.
A figure flashed just outside the entrance and Zhu Bluecloud strode into the hall. His eyes brightened. I knew it was you…you finally returned!” He wanted to say the slightly disrespectful ‘boy’, but he caught the word as it was on the tip of his tongue and swallowed it back down. He didn’t want to admit it, but after recent events, he had developed a certain admiration towards Qin Yu.
To recklessly journey through the regions of the demonic path and cut down 15 Golden Core demonic cultivators, earning the infamous title of ‘Evil Star’ and even causing the high level figures of the demonic path to act in fury…he really wanted to cut open Qin Yu and see what this young fellow was hiding! Beneath that shell of skin, could there be some white-haired old monster lurking about? Or how was this all possible?
“Greetings, Elder Zhu!” Everyone in the Merit Department began to bow in a hurry.
Zhu Bluecloud waved his hand, “Let’s go, I have something I’d like to ask you.”
Qin Yu frowned. “I’m a little tired. I’d like to rest.”
“Hehe, that’s not up to you!” Zhu Bluecloud laughed twice and then lowered his voice, “Don’t force me to reveal your status as that Evil Star, otherwise the demonic path will definitely try to become more intimate with you.”
Qin Yu’s frowned deepened.
Zhu Bluecloud smiled in smug satisfaction. “Let’s go.”
And at this time, a few figures walked into the Merit Department. The one leading them was an elegant and scholarly middle-aged cultivator. The man smiled, saying, “Brother Zhu, it’s been a long time since I’ve been graced with your presence.”
Qin Yu’s expression suddenly froze.
Standing behind the middle-aged cultivator, Zhang Zhang was a bit puzzled as she looked at Qin Yu. She hadn’t missed his momentary change in expression. Does he know me? But as she carefully thought about it, she didn’t recognize him at all.
Zhu Bluecloud exchanged several words with the middle-aged cultivator. Then, with a glance behind him, he bid his farewells.
Qin Yu followed without question.
Zhang Zhang looked back at him. A familiar feeling tickled her mind, causing her to furrow her eyebrows.
At her side, Zhang Huo’s face darkened. “Zhang Zhang, that person dared to be rude to you, I will go and teach him a lesson!”
Before Zhang Zhang could respond, everyone in the Merit Department looked at him as if he were a raving idiot.
Zhang Chengzu felt his heart skip a beat. He turned and scolded, “Shut up, don’t speak recklessly!”
After the Zhang Family left the Merit Department, Zhang Chengzu thought for a moment. He asked, “Zhang Zhang, do you know that person?”
Zhang Zhang hesitated for a moment before shaking her head.
At the battle stage –
Seeing Zhu Bluecloud and Qin Yu leave, a ninth level Foundation Establishment cultivator couldn’t suppress his curiosity any longer. He asked out loud, “Are there any fellow daoists here who have a friend in the Merit Department? Could you help me ask a question to unravel the puzzle in my heart?”
“Yes, yes, I just wanted to ask that too!”
“If it were anyone else, I might consider this question a joke. But since it concerns Senior Ning Qin, I can’t help but be a little flustered.”
“I feel the same, I do!”
A female cultivator stood up, “I have a junior-apprentice sister who works at the Merit Department. I can go and return quickly.”
After a long time, when everyone thought she had forgotten halfway, the female cultivator returned. She was pale, with an absentminded look in her eyes.
As if she had been frightened silly.
Zhu Bluecloud lived in an opulent and elegantly designed garden. The scenery was quiet and tranquil. He stood on the side of the lake, asking, “Did you take a liking for the miss of that family?”
Qin Yu didn’t even bother to glance at him.
Zhu Bluecloud didn’t lose his temper. He continued, “That’s your old lover, isn’t it? Don’t try to deny it; I have very good eyesight, so you can forget trying to lie to me.”
Qin Yu said, “If you only want to dig into my private life, then I’ll simply bid my farewell here.”
“Wait there!” Zhu Bluecloud clenched his teeth. “Since you’re in such a hurry, let’s get down to business. Did you know that I was dragged into becoming the ‘Evil Star Duo’ with you? I can’t even take half a step out of Canyondwell City these days, because there are tens of thousands of demonic cultivators all clamoring to take my head! How do you think we should settle this?”
“I saved you.”
Zhu Bluecloud stamped a foot. “I’ve been suffering in your place for you!”
“I saved you.”
“Just shut up. Did you think that’s how I see it? If you did such a good deed then why did you have to drag me underwater with you!?”
Qin Yu flippantly said, “What are you trying to say? I don’t understand at all. Also, I saved you.”
Zhu Bluecloud started to gasp like a cow. But, he seemed to think of something and immediately calmed down. A happy smile crossed his face. “Ning Qin, you might have wanted to hide your skills so you can pretend to be a pig as you eat the tiger, but let me tell you that that has become a dream! Weren’t you puzzled why that bell outside the Merit Department was ringing so much earlier?”
Qin Yu’s complexion changed.
Zhu Bluecloud laughed. “That is the merit service bell. Whenever someone kills a demonic Golden Core cultivator, it will ring throughout the entire city. Just then, it rang a total of 15 times, meaning 15 Golden Cores. No wonder the high level figures in the demonic path have been so breathless with anger that they issued out a kill command for you.” As he thought about how he had been drawn into this mess, his complexion darkened before immediately becoming brighter than it was before. Just where can you hide now? Come with me together so that we’re all exposed to the wrath and hatred of the demonic cultivators!
Qin Yu’s complexion turned cloudy. He really wanted to grab onto the fellow who set up the merit service bell and give him a good punch to the face. he had wandered the demonic path regions for months without being caught, and yet he was somehow exposed here today.
Seeing Zhu Bluecloud’s smiling face, Qin Yu coldly humphed before turning to leave. He knew that his identity could no longer be kept a secret. Even if the alliance issued a ban on all news, there were demonic path spies placed in the city who would certainly send this information out. Fortunately, he had already prepared countermeasures.
As he turned the corner, Qin Yu suddenly stopped and turned around. “Are you thinking that I am the same as you right now, so you’re feeling happy about it?”
Zhu Bluecloud’s smile froze. “What do you mean?”
Qin Yu said, “I mean that you are far too naïve.” He pointed a finger at his own face and then walked away.
Zhu Bluecloud was stunned for a moment. Then, he began to fume and curse out loud, “Despicable, you are a despicable bastard!”
Hearing the wild calls behind him, Qin Yu started to smile. Perhaps things like fate truly existed between people in this world. Just like the Zeng Zhongxiu that he met in East Stream Town, he also had a very good impression of Zhu Bluecloud. This fellow might be a bit grumpy and stubborn, but he was actually quite interesting.
If there was a chance, they could even become friends.
But soon, Qin Yu regretted his own thoughts. He really wanted to chase Zhu Bluecloud out of his life!
This was because this fellow had a hidden attribute of extreme nagging and gossip!
“Ning Qin, have you heard about the Western Ridge Sect’s old man Liu? If you haven’t, that’s no problem, I can tell you everything you need to know. That old fellow is over 300 years old but actually married some 18 year old girl from the Rainbow Sect not too long ago. I wonder whether or not that old waist of his will break off in bed or not. Hehe, you might not know, but that old fellow still tries to pretend he’s so virtuous in front of everyone else.
“Ning Qin, what do you want the Skythunder Bamboo for? Hey, don’t look at me like that. I’m a Disciplinary Elder of the alliance, so I have the right to look up certain information. Rest assured that I have no intention of taking it from you, well, in truth, I also don’t have that many merit points. I just want to remind you that the Skythunder Bamboo isn’t easy to raise. It has extremely strict standards for its environment and care, so wouldn’t it be an utter tragedy if you were to exchange for it and then accidently kill it?
“Ning Qin, the red carp in my family’s lake have been tossing about recently. I called someone in to examine them to see if they were sick, and can you guess what the real reason was? Hehe, that’s right, they are in heat! That’s right, these red carp can actually enter into heat. This is the first time that I have ever seen fish in heat. The veterinarian that I spoke to said that this might be because the atmosphere in Canyondwell City is very tense and nervous right now, and that created a feeling of crisis in the red carp, where they are all rushing to lay eggs and give birth to offspring.”
This was too much!
Even if he were ignored, Zhu Bluecloud could still talk endlessly in front of a person for hours on end without seeming as if he would ever stop.
This continued for days since they left the Merit Department!
As Qin Yu was wondering whether or not he should quietly move away, Zhu Bluecloud finally brought him some slightly useful news.
“There’s finally some entertainment!” The fellow said, full of excitement. “This is the most recent news. The demonic path has attacked Canyondwell City without any result, so they have decided to issue a letter of challenge to decide the ownership of the city through three battles. If the demonic path loses they will voluntarily retreat 300 miles and not make any attacks for the next half a year!”
Qin Yu’s eyes brightened. “Are there any merit points to earn?”
Zhu Bluecloud looked at Qin Yu as if thinking ‘what a smart boy’. “There are, there definitely are, a great deal of merit points!” The three battles would each respectively be at the early Golden Core realm, middle Golden Core realm, and late Golden Core realm. Every victory would earn a person 30,000 merit points, the same as killing three demonic path Golden Cores.
Qin Yu smiled.
Zhu Bluecloud glanced at him. “What, do you want to participate?” If you beg me to help you with a pleading expression, then I guess I will be magnanimous and help you this once.
Qin Yu said, “Since they let you disclose this information to me, they naturally would give me the qualifications to participate.”
Zhu Bluecloud curled his lips, disappointment etched all over his features. “You’re too sharp. How boring, too boring!” But in his heart, he was secretly invigorated. As the one facilitating this matter, the alliance would reward him for doing so. Hehe, Ning Qin, oh Ning Qin, no matter how wily you are, you’re still drinking this old man’s foot washing water.
Qin Yu shook his head. “Don’t get so excited that you laugh your head off. If you convince me to participate, the alliance will definitely give you some advantages. But, since I need merit points, I’ll just go along with it. I’m fine with this as long as you don’t think up some vile and disgusting thought as if I’m drinking your foot washing water or something.”
Zhu Bluecloud’s complexion changed. His mouth dropped open, “You can read minds?”
Qin Yu’s face darkened. “Zhu Bluecloud, did you really think of foot washing water?”
“No, no way! I, um, I have some matters to attend to so I’m leaving first. Goodbye!” He turned and left.
Watching him leave, Qin Yu relaxed. At least he would have some peace today. Since the alliance had Zhu Bluecloud visit him, then this matter should have already been determined in advance. Soon, he would be able to obtain the 30,000 merit points and nearly have enough to obtain the Skythunder Bamboo.
Several days later, Zhu Bluecloud visited, bringing with him details that the righteous and demonic sides had settles on. The battle would occur at Hidden Wind Valley, 30 miles outside the city. It would be best two out of three, and after stepping on stage, one’s life or death would depend on their own destiny.
This wasn’t much different from what Qin Yu thought it would be like.