Black stone. Deep below. In the great lake of magma.
Qin Yu let out a long breath and opened his eyes. There was no sharp light that burst out and no incredible aura that surged forth. Rather, he sat there peacefully, seeming as if he had fused together with the black stone and space around him.
This was a wonderful feeling that could only be experienced, not explained. When he stretched his waist, his spine cracked and his entire being seemed to come alive. It was like he had emerged from some ancient and primal landscape, returning to the mortal world of flesh and blood.
The Eighth Furnace’s light began to recede. The deep crimson furnace body dimmed down and shakily flew over.
Qin Yu blinked his eyes, his mind a bit empty. He didn’t respond for a while.
The Eighth Furnace was enraged. The lake of magma began to tumble once more and a fiery aura rushed forth.
Qin Yu was startled for a moment, immediately regaining his composure. He said, “I will certainly keep the promise I made to you, but are you sure you want to use such a weak appearance to face the Fleeting Flame Furnace?”
The Eighth Furnace replied with its actions. It crashed back into the lake of magma. Its last parting actions seemed to be a threat, as if it were warning Qin Yu not to play tricks, and also seeming like it was somewhat impatient.
Qin Yu shook his head and rose up. As he looked at the great lake of magma, he smiled.
This dream lasted for 16 days and he dreamwalked through the lives of 16 people. Although it wasn’t him personally experiencing it and many places gradually blurred in his memories, as his wisp of soul returned to his body it still left a profound influence on him. On the surface, Qin Yu didn’t seem to have changed and his aura was the same. His temperament seemed to have become much more warm and gentle, like a sealed bottle of wine covered in dust, or a jade figure a thousand years of age.
This was a gift left behind from the baptism of years. Qin Yu was far from achieving this, but through experiencing the world in his dreams, he was similarly able to have these traces of time appear. Of course, this wasn’t the key point. In the great dream he dreamed for 16 days, he was gradually influenced and learned all sorts of alchemy skills and knowledge.
No one could become a true alchemy Grandmaster through a dream, but Qin Yu had already obtained the necessary background, or perhaps it could be called inheritance. When his alchemy skill reached the required level, he could naturally unseal these skills and obtain a corresponding ability.
Daoist Wang’s lifetime of knowledge had firmed his foundation of knowledge and the inheritance of the Eighth Furnace had deepened his heritage. In just a month, Qin Yu could be described as a fish that transformed into a dragon. These gifts would evolve into potent boosts for him in the future, allowing his cultivation to go further and steadier.
Up until now, Immortal Eclipse Valley experienced all sorts of coincidences until it evolved to its present state. This left a deep impression on Qin Yu. Plans would always change, and in these changes there were many opportunities and lucky chances hidden away.
Of course, it was only because his cheap senior-apprentice brother had recognized him in Immortal Eclipse Valley that he had accomplished this. And it was also closely linked to his initial encounter with Cang Mangzi, that could also be called the hand of fate. But, there was no one in this world that could be lucky forever. Perhaps the next unexpected change he encountered would be filled with deadly dangers.
Qin Yu closed his eyes, not meditating or cultivating. He only quietly thought about his past actions so far, and whether or not he had made a misstep.
Because in the great dream that lasted 16 days and where he experienced 16 lives, he had learnt more than just alchemy.
First, he learned to be cautious.
Second, there was no free lunch in this world.
With Xu Ao and Fan Jianghai forcefully suppressing the situation and Qin Yu closed up in seclusion accepting the inheritance, on the surface, the turbulent conflicts throughout Immortal Eclipse Valley began to gradually subside. But in the dark, the conflicts between the Eclipse Clan members and the other disciples didn’t stop. Rather, all sorts of stories appeared each day.
And the lead of today’s small story originated from a small and commonplace cultivating family in the Southern Empire. Although they had a bit of alchemy talent, they didn’t have any root or backer in Immortal Eclipse Valley and was considered an unimportant person that sat at the very edge.
Eclipse Shoucheng was 36 years of age. His martial talent wasn’t low or high, but because he had the surname Eclipse and was backed by a respected Golden Core mother, he was lifted into the position of a department steward. This wasn’t a high position, but he still managed over several dozen people. His normal days were carefree and idle; this could be considered a cushy management job.
Among these several dozen people, there were some that Eclipse Shoucheng found displeasing to the eyes. It wasn’t because they weren’t respectful enough nor was it because they didn’t perform their duties. Rather, it was because during an internal alchemy competition, they had caused Eclipse Shoucheng to lose a bit of face.
Immortal Eclipse Valley was a sect that was founded by alchemy and supported by alchemy. If his staff wasn’t even as good as a young servant, how could they possibly serve him? Although no one spoke much about this matter later, Eclipse Shoucheng always bore a grudge in his heart. It wasn’t common for him to add on some additional scolding and seek extra punishments on ordinary days.
The unimportant person resigned himself to his fate. But as time passed, Eclipse Shoucheng found this person increasingly annoying. And fortunately, an opportunity appeared. The conflicts within the valley were becoming increasingly serious, and everyone was becoming increasingly wary with each day. Through this time, this unimportant person didn’t do anything that was worth criticizing, so Eclipse Shoucheng didn’t have an excuse to do anything to him.
Without any openings, Eclipse Shoucheng finally used some methods to lure him into a trap.
Simply put, he was framing him for theft.
Even unimportant people could come into contact with this spirit grass. Although it wasn’t precious, the rules of Immortal Eclipse Valley stated that there was still the punishment of being whipped.
30 whips wouldn’t kill someone.
But, that was if arrangements weren’t made.
Eclipse Shoucheng had relied on his mother to arrive where he was. His cultivation and alchemy skills were average at best, but his eloquence and persuasiveness were his strength. The preparations he made were simple. The one passing down punishment would be the oldest and most skilled punisher in the entirety of Immortal Eclipse Valley. 30 whips might seem ordinary, but if they came from this person’s hand, they were enough to take a life!
Stealing was an evil crime and an execution would occur in a fair and upright manner, serving as a warning for all. Because the Eclipse Clan members and other disciples were hostile to each other at this moment, this punishment attracted the attention of many people. The Disciplinary Hall sent some high level figures to follow up on it, and they arranged for the place of execution to be at Dawnperch Platform. Although this wasn’t within the core region of the valley, it was actually connected to one of the major transportation hubs.
Moreover, this place was quite near to the Eighth Furnace station.
Naturally, this high level figure from the Disciplinary Hall was surnamed Eclipse.
“It’s time. Bring out Zeng Zhongxiu!” The Disciplinary Hall cultivator pronounced, his voice dark and chilling, passing straight through the heart.
Eclipse Shoucheng’s lips curled upward. He looked around the platform, excited to show off his accomplishments. After today, he might even become one of the frontline representatives that stood against disciples of foreign surnames. He would be able to earn the attention of the elders.
And the price for all of this was a single Zeng Zhongxiu!
Pushed up Dawnperch Platform in shackles, Zeng Zhongxiu’s expression didn’t change at all. But, his fists remain clenched and his bloodshot eyes were filled with anger and sorrow. He didn’t try to argue, because all the words he could say were said at the Disciplinary Hall, and even though he tried explaining, he had still been sent here.
Pressed down on a stone pillar with his hands and feet tied up, the scarred punisher walked over, carrying his whip in hand. As he saw Zeng Zhongxiu’s face from afar, he revealed a vicious smirk.
The crack of the whip spread out far and wide. Skin instantly tore apart and blood flowed down, dying the robe red even as it dripped to the ground. Zeng Zhongxiu’s eyes popped open and he tried to struggle. He could feel the aura of death coming from the whip. He didn’t want to die. It wasn’t just because of fear, but also because he was the sole hope of his entire family! But, this was all a show of futility. The whip still fell down without end. His body began to turn numb and his consciousness started to fade away.
Was he going to die here? In East Stream Town, the Grandmaster had bestowed upon him a pill that changed his destiny, but no matter how far he ran or how hard he tried, he still couldn’t escape the fate of death. But to die like this, he truly wasn’t resigned! Zeng Zhongxiu’s eyes widened and he stared up into the heavens. The shadow of the whip came howling down once more, ready to slash his face into pieces.
But before the whip fell, it returned at an even greater speed and cracked against the face of the punisher. The scarred punisher’s face burst open with blood and flesh and he stumbled to the ground, crying in pain and misery. A shadow appeared in front of Zeng Zhongxiu. He subconsciously opened his eyes, and his lips tugged up as if he wanted to say something. But in the end, he could only bitterly smile.
Qin Yu broke his shackles and helped him sit down. “I was invited to come here, but it seems Brother Zeng has no means of receiving me.”
Zeng Zhongxiu coughed several times. He struggled up to bow, “Thank you for saving me, my lord!”
Qin Yu helped him staunch his bleeding. He lightly said, “I don’t see any lord here, only a friend who came on an invitation.”
After a moment of stunned shock, the Disciplinary Hall cultivator suddenly roared out in anger. “Who dares to interrupt the punishment sentence and injure my Disciplinary Hall people! Grab him for me!”
Qin Yu retracted his hands. “You rest first while I take care of them.” Turning, he looked at the arriving Disciplinary Hall cultivator. His eyes were icy cold.
“Stop!” With a loud shout, a Golden Core cultivator appeared, his complexion grim. He clenched his teeth and cupped his hands together. “Greetings, Junior Uncle.”
In the current Immortal Eclipse Valley, there was only one person who held such a title.
The entire Dawnperch Platform was sent into an uproar!
Countless hot-blooded Eclipse Clan members suddenly had icy glares as they gnashed their teeth. Many of the foreign surname disciples revealed looks of awe and worship.
Eclipse She stood up straight. He had worked for many years as a deputy of the Disciplinary Hall, and his entire body was wreathed in a dreadful slaughter intent. His eyes were cold and callous, and few others dared to meet his gaze. “Junior Uncle, although you have an exalted status, the valley’s rules of punishment were established by our ancestors. Are your actions today a provocation against the Disciplinary Hall? Or are they an act of disrespect against the ancestors of my Immortal Eclipse Valley?”
With a fierce expression and threatening words, it was clear he didn’t have any good intent!
Qin Yu retained a calm expression. “Who are you?”
“Disciplinary Hall deputy, Eclipse She!”
“With your cultivation, you couldn’t see that he was about to be beaten to death?”
Eclipse She’s expression didn’t change. “He hasn’t died.”
Nothing else could be said.
Qin Yu narrowed his eyes. He had no intention of playing word games. “I am going to take him away.”
Eclipse She’s eyes exploded with a bright light. “With Junior Uncle’s honored status, you naturally enjoy such a privilege. As long as no one objects today, you can take him away.”
“And what if someone objects?”
“Simple!” Eclipse She raised a finger. “Then I ask you to suppress all objectors!”
Qin Yu remained silent.
Eclipse She smiled. Without giving Qin Yu a chance to respond, he turned and roared, “Out of all of you, who objects!?”
Eclipse Shoucheng’s eyes brightened.
He knew that his mother hated Qin Yu to her bones. If he could make Qin Yu lose face today, he would definitely be able to please his mother. And most important of all, everyone knew that while Qin Yu had an exalted status, his cultivation was only at the fourth level of Foundation Establishment. It was simply sloppy and crude. As for the Eighth Furnace… if Qin Yu were to summon the strength of a great furnace atop the Dawnperch Platform, then the Eclipse Clan elders wouldn’t stand idly by!
Great Uncle Eclipse She’s actions had given him a prime opportunity!
“Young nephew opposes!” With a loud roar, Eclipse Shoucheng burst up. “My Immortal Eclipse Valley has an inheritance that spans over a thousand years. How can all of our rules be cast away just for the sake of a single person? Junior Granduncle, if you want to take away Zeng Zhongxiu, then you must pass me first!”
The aura of the eighth level Foundation Establishment burst out.
After a moment of silence, cheers erupted.
“Senior-apprentice Brother Shoucheng is amazing!”
“The hot-blooded men of my Eclipse Clan are filled with righteousness and valor!”
“If you want to break the rules then you need sufficient strength. To suppress others with their position will only bring contempt!”
The foreign surname disciples all revealed anxious expressions and cursed Eclipse Shoucheng for being shameless. But, with things having come this far, there was no turning back. No matter what choice was made, they feared that their Junior Uncle would inevitably lose all face.