Within the Southern Empire, the number one, largest immortal cultivating sect was Immortal Eclipse Valley…these words were spoken with great earnest but the reality was that this was only something said by the cultivators of the Southern Empire as a bragging point to enhance their own image. This was because Immortal Eclipse Valley was situated at the border of the Southern Empire and Northern Dynasty, and in fact, the majority of its lands could be said to be located in the Northern Dynasty. Of course, the cultivators of the Southern Empire would never acknowledge this, and if anyone were to ever dare challenge this fact, they would be cursed to death!
In particular, with the demonic path rampaging through the Southern Empire, the only reason the Southern Empire was currently able to hold their ground was because of the assistance of Immortal Eclipse Valley. Due to this, both sides found even more reasons to draw closer together.
The core region of Immortal Eclipse Valley was indeed a mountain valley, and the valley was where the people of the Eclipse Clan and other cultivators lived. However, things weren’t as simple as this, especially for a sect known as the number one immortal faction and even more so for one that was obscenely wealthy due to their production of pills.
In terms of the mountain valley core region, it was over 50 miles wide and bordered by 17 mountains, all of them within the scope of Immortal Eclipse Valley’s entrance and thus protected by a great array formation. Although the degree of protection couldn’t compare to the core region, this level of display was already terrifying. Just the maintenance required to keep the array formation revolving consumed a mind-boggling amount of spirit stones every day.
Now, in the exterior region of Immortal Eclipse Valley, a massive amount of cultivators had gathered. They mostly originated from the Southern Empire and had come to avoid the flames of war brought about by the demonic path. Of course, these cultivators all had to pay spirit stones and also had to be examined by Immortal Eclipse Valley in order to prevent any spies from infiltrating their way in.
An Immortal Eclipse Valley disciple stopped and turned to say, “You can go in by yourself. Choose one of the stone buildings to live in as soon as possible. Here, dragons and fish are mixed together with both good and bad people. It would be wise for you to not casually walk around lest you provoke some disaster. Remember, in the scope of my Immortal Eclipse Valley, cultivators are forbidden from killing each other.”
The disciple seemed a bit proud, but his helping in these arrangements could be considered dedicated work. He wasn’t arrogant and even had an air of nobility to him.
The black-robed youth cupped his hands together. “Much thanks.”
The Immortal Eclipse Valley disciple turned and left.
The youth looked ahead. This was a stretch of flat land on the mountainside with many simple stone houses built atop it. It was one of the residency spaces built by Immortal Eclipse Valley for outside cultivators.
Standing here and looking afar, one could see the lingering fog of the mountain valley. Pavilions, palaces, temples, halls, and all sorts of finely wrought buildings were partially visible in the distance. The light of the array formation occasionally flashed, exuding a vast and incredible aura.
The youth’s pupils flashed. He whispered, “Immortal Eclipse Valley is truly amazing.”
This youth was suppressing his aura to hide his cultivation. He was Qin Yu!
In the past, Ning Ling bestowed to him an aura restraining law formula and aura restraining pendant. With his current insight, he realized it was even more uncommon than he thought. It wasn’t empty bragging when it was said to even be able to shield from the sense of a Nascent Soul cultivator!
But although the jade pendant was here, the woman who gave it to him had perished. Qin Yu suddenly seemed much more dispirited as he revealed a saddened look.
Several people arrived. One of them was a naïve-looking girl. She looked at Qin Yu and then said, “Senior-apprentice sister, look at that person!”
The senior-apprentice sister frowned. “That person? I don’t recognize him.”
The naïve cultivator hurriedly said, “If I’m not wrong, when we avoided the great demon and flew past the nameless mountain valley, that was the person we saw.”
The senior-apprentice sister gave Qin Yu a careful look. She shook her head, “How can it be him? Stop making a big deal over nothing.”
The naïve young cultivator stuck out her tongue, her cute expressions causing the eyes of the men beside her to brighten. Suddenly, Qin Yu was quite displeasing to their eyes. Who was this boy and where did he come from? Even Junior-apprentice Sister Qi took notice of him. He’d better screw off as far as he could!
Qi Jiao looked at Qin Yu and his pained expression suddenly caused her heart to tremble. Was he recalling his beloved? What a pitiful young man. She suddenly had an urge, and before she could compose herself she found herself standing right in front of him. She looked at him with a blushing face, timidly saying, “The dead cannot be brought back to life. Sorrow comes and goes. You have my condolences.”
Qin Yu was startled. He cupped his hands across his chest. “Many thanks, miss. But do we know each other?”
Qi Jiao shook her head. “Three years ago me and my senior-apprentice sister saw you in a valley. But at that time you were immersed in your sorrow so you probably didn’t notice us.”
Three years ago…that should be when Ning Ling died.
Looking at this young miss in front of him, Qin Yu suddenly felt a bit closer to her. He smiled. “Thank you for the kind words miss. I’m fine.”
Qi Jiao’s face blushed even redder. She clenched her palms tightly. She discovered that Qin Yu’s eyes were very black and very bright, and his smile left one’s heart racing.
The senior-apprentice sister glanced over at the fuming senior and junior apprentice brothers and then glanced back at the oblivious Qi Jiao. She bitterly smiled in her heart. If this continued, she might provoke some disaster for this boy.
She stepped forwards and said, “Junior-apprentice sister, there are still matters to attend to. Let’s go.”
Qi Jiao was shaken from her daze. “Oh…I’m coming senior-apprentice sister!” She waved her hand and her lips moved, but in the end she didn’t say anything.
The several men looked over Qin Yu with scorn-filled eyes, but they couldn’t come up with any reason to attack him. They could only curse in their hearts that this boy had good luck.
Qin Yu smiled and walked away.
The mountainside settlement was over half occupied already. Most of these people came from the same sect, clan, family, or even knew each other. As they gathered together, it was a chorus of voices ringing out. A trading market had spontaneously formed in the open area between the stone buildings. Many people set up stalls, shouting out loud and bargaining back and forth. It was extremely lively.
But lively was lively. While it was nice, it wasn’t a good place to live. He had already realized this and quickly moved further away. In the end, Qin Yu could only choose from the edges of the market where there were more unoccupied stone buildings.
He shook his head and casually chose one. At least the space was broad and it was more convenient here for him to buy or sell things he needed…well, this was all purely to psychologically comfort himself. The things in the trading market were already useless to him.
After tidying up the area and making sure that the building was fine, Qin Yu rested for two hours. Then he left to visit the market. As he thought, there was nothing here that he took a liking to. However, since he was currently under the guise of a young fourth level Foundation Establishment cultivator, wouldn’t it be strange if he wasn’t interested in visiting such a lively trading market?
Perhaps no one noticed his performance from beginning to end, but it was still best to be a little discreet.
After all, this was Immortal Eclipse Valley!
Strolling left, strolling right, bargaining back and forth, Qin Yu finally bought several ‘good things’ at a ‘satisfied’ price. Just as he was prepared to leave with a smile, he caught sight of a stained scabbard in a stall from the corner of his eye.
From within a storage bag, a fluctuation spread out. Although Qin Yu’s thoughts stirred, he didn’t reveal any of this in his heart. He squatted down for a more careful look.
Qi Jiao was standing behind the stall, looking pleasantly surprised. She also appeared a bit shy as her hands twisted together and she felt a little helpless. Why would he come here? Was it for me? If he speaks to me, what do I do?
Master said that in this world, there were few good people and many bad people. If master said it, it must be true. But, could he be a bad person? That didn’t seem possible…his smile was so warm.
As Qi Jiao’s head was in a daze, the several men next to her were like a pot of boiling oil with water tossed into it. They gnashed their teeth in anger!
Qin Yu looked up. “Fellow daoist, how do I buy things here?” He pointed a finger towards the rusted and stained scabbard.
But soon, he was stunned. “It’s you?”
What an act!
The several men had faces of contempt. Little brat, no matter how wonderful your performance is, it still won’t get past our ultimate golden fire eyes!
Don’t even think of having any ideas about Junior-apprentice Sister Qi! That is just seeking death!
Qi Jiao’s heart fell a little. “Hm? You want to buy that?”
Qin Yu hesitated for a moment and said, “The truth is that I only want to buy that scabbard. How much can you sell it to me for?”
Qi Jiao thought, he doesn’t want to try and trick me!
Her eyes brightened. “That scabbard is something I accidently found in the mud near a riverside. Because it’s a bit hard I kept it around until now, but it isn’t worth anything at all. It’s fine if you take it away.”
Beside him, the several men had eyes red with envy. How could this boy be favored by Junior-apprentice Sister Qi? In terms of looks, cultivation, background, bearing, how was he better than us?
“Junior-apprentice Sister Qi!” A man quickly spoke up, “Our current situation is not like how it was in our sect. We have all sorts of expenses to pay and in addition to high master, she…we need spirit stones right now.”
Everyone began to nod one after another. “What Senior-apprentice Brother Li says is extremely reasonable. If there is an opportunity to earn spirit stones, we cannot miss out on it.” He coldly shot a glance over. “Moreover, since this is a trade between you and him, if he wants the scabbard it’s natural for him to compensate you with spirit stones.”
Qin Yu nodded, “What you two say is right. Miss Qi, please state your price.”
Miss Qi…miss your head! Why are you speaking with her on such intimate terms?
Are you familiar with our Junior-apprentice Sister Qi!?
Senior-apprentice Brother Li sneered. “Although we don’t know what sort of treasure Junior-apprentice Sister Qi’s scabbard is, it’s a fact that it is extremely hard. An opening offer of 100 spirit stones isn’t too much, right?” He spoke with rabid hate in his voice.
Brat, since you dare to flirt with Junior-apprentice Sister Qi, I’ll have you suffer! To a Foundation Establishment cultivator, 100 spirit stones is a sky high price!
Qin Yu thought for a moment. He slowly nodded, “Alright.”
Senior-apprentice Brother Li’s sneer froze on his face. He turned his head around, as if wanting to see if anyone also misunderstood this. What he saw was the stunned expressions of his several junior-apprentice brothers. 100 spirit stones, the opening offer of 100 spirit stones he had suggested out of malice, had actually been agreed to!
The faces of several men darkened.
Another person coughed, saying, “Senior-apprentice Brother Li, I seem to have heard high master mention that this scabbard is quite good. I think 100 spirit stones might be too low a price.”
Senior-apprentice Brother Li was suddenly ‘enlightened’. He said, “Right, right…it was my fault for not remembering!” he stared at Qin Yu and grew his teeth. “For this scabbard, we want…we want 500 spirit stones!”
The surroundings suddenly burst into uproar.
The original price of 100 spirit stones already attracted a great deal of attention. No one thought that the price would suddenly rise to 500!
This price was enough to purchase a small top grade magic tool.
“Just what is that scabbard? He is actually being that greedy over it?”
“It might be the scabbard of a magic weapon level sword!”
“That’s possible. If it really is part of a magic tool, the materials themselves will be worth over 500 spirit stones.”
Amongst the discussion, Qin Yu frowned.
Suddenly, someone spoke up from the crowd, “500 spirit stones, I’ll buy that scabbard.”
The crowd blew into an uproar once more!
The eyes of countless people widened and their chins nearly fell to the ground.
500 spirit stones! And someone actually wanted it!?
Senior-apprentice Brother Li was startled for a moment before he was overjoyed. “Okay.” He turned and spoke up from a lofty position. “Someone is willing to pay 500 spirit stones. If you want it, you can raise the price.”
For a fourth level Foundation Establishment, 100 spirit stones might be their entire fortune. Saying these words was purely meant to humiliate.
Qi Jiao was suddenly angered. “Senior-apprentice Brother Li!” She wrenched the scabbard back and handed it to Qin Yu. “I already said that it wasn’t worth anything. I’ll give it to you.”
Senior-apprentice Brother Li and the others were stunned. At this moment, they felt as if their hearts would break into pieces.
Qin Yu thought a bit and said, “Miss Qi, this scabbard is indeed a bit uncommon. I cannot accept such a precious gift. I will buy it from you for 100 spirit stones.”
Qi Jiao hesitated, “This…” But as she saw Qin Yu’s earnest eyes, she hesitated and then slowly nodded.
Qin Yu received the scabbard, flicked his sleeve, and took out 100 spirit stones. They formed a small pile on the ground where they were a dazzling sight.
Many people gulped.
For cultivators below the Golden Core realm, unless they had deep backgrounds, 100 spirit stone was a considerable wealth.
As for Senior-apprentice Brother Li and the others, their complexions changed.
This boy had a storage bag!
Qi Jiao was stunned. She seemed completely helpless.
Qin Yu swept his eyes around and softly said, “Miss Qi, please hurry and receive the spirit stones.”
“Oh…oh!” Qi Jiao glanced around. A junior-apprentice brother took off his upper robes and wrapped up the spirit stones.
The cultivator who bid 500 spirit stones coldly glared at Qin Yu before turning to leave.
Qin Yu glanced at the man and frowned. This person’s aura didn’t leave him feeling too happy.
But this person didn’t stay long and Qin Yu wasn’t willing to create issues of his own volition. He cupped his hands and bowed to Qi Jiao, then took the scabbard and left.
After returning to his stone building, he took out several array discs and placed them in several different corners. Although they didn’t possess much defensive ability, they were more than enough to conceal his aura. If someone wanted to spy on him, they would warn him ahead of time and give him sufficient time to respond.
With a flick of his sleeve, a brilliant light flashed and the scabbard appeared. Right next to it was a black short sword, the one obtained in the Land of Sealed Demons.
The black short sword shook and cried, as if it were weeping. It whistled and shot up on its own before inserting itself into the scabbard. Then, with a glow of black light, the rusty surface of the scabbard began to wriggle and change, eventually turning into a deep bluish black with bloodstains.
Icy coldness, a yin chill, ferocious, violent, all sorts of auras spread out from the black sword, as if it were slowly waking up from a deep sleep.