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Chapter 127 – Reasons For Driving Ou

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
    

    The capital city guard division was located in a small and humble office. From the outside, it seemed like a tiny courtyard, and after entering, one would secretly sigh at the diligence and thriftiness of the lord captain. It was exactly because of these reasons that Guard Captain Meng Li had such an excellent reputation within the capital city.

    But if someone entered the storage room where the confidential documents were kept, they would discover that there was an entirely different world within this simple courtyard. There was purple coral furniture crafted from the most exquisite materials. A rug woven from soft seahorse hair was spread out across the ground. Just a small piece of this was enough to supply an ordinary sea race family for an entire month.

    At this time, thrifty and honest Meng Li was sitting back against a wide and deep-seated purple coral chair. He gently rolled a string of beads in his hands. The beads were translucent and glossy, formed from some type of red material. Although one couldn’t see any signs indicating where they came from, they were undoubtedly produced by some grandmaster. A wide purple coral table was in front of him. The tabletop was perfectly smooth and formed from a single slab; it was clear that the coral this originated from had to at least be several thousand years old.

    Right now, his eyebrows were furrowed as he was lost deep in thought. He was contemplating his recent actions these past days. If there was anything he did wrong or anywhere he had been lacking, then he had to promptly fix the situation. The Zhang Mansion’s third young master’s concubine was with child…his niece at the summer palace was getting married…the royal palace guard captain had just taken in a new mermaid lover…

    Mm…all of the requisite courtesy gifts had been sent. That was good.

    Meng Li lifted a purple sand cup and took a sip. He sighed. These past years, it had been extremely difficult to work in the capital city, and this was especially true as a guard captain. Although he had managed to save up some wealth during this time, the expenses required every month were also considerable, especially since he had to curry favor.

    But money that needed to be spent had to be spent.

    Meng Li immediately recalled a point where he had to waste money recently. A month ago, Mister Turtle had brought a human cultivator from who knew where, and until he knew this person’s true background, he had to be careful around him. So much time had passed but Mister Turtle hadn’t returned to ask anything. In this situation, it was likely that Mister Turtle had already forgotten. After all, Mister Turtle was infamous for his memory throughout the entire capital city. Unless someone took the initiative to raise the topic, this human boy would probably not be remembered for another hundred years.

    Thinking that he had made a completely useless investment, Meng Li sighed inwardly. Luckily, he had been wary at the start and hadn’t put in too much money to begin with. Since this boy was useless, there wasn’t any point to keeping him around. Any residence within the capital city was worth a small fortune. No matter how remote the location was, the rent that could be acquired every year was considerable.

    Life wasn’t easy. He had to save where he could.

    He knocked on the table. Someone immediately pushed open the door and entered. Meng Li gave several orders to have someone send Qin Yu away.

    “Wait.” Before the man left, Meng Li said, “Be tactful so that he doesn’t bear any grudges. Understand?”

    The subordinate smiled flatteringly, “Captain, don’t worry.”

    …

    On a high cliff, a giant willow tree rose up into the black clouds. Strong winds howled. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning came crashing down from the heavens, striking the crown of the willow tree. The entire willow instantly turned into a blazing conflagration of fire that dyed the skies red. After an impossibly long time, the flames began to gradually die down. The willow branches and leaves had been burnt away, leaving behind only a pitch black tree trunk. Eventually, the rainy season arrived. Drops of rain started to bathe the blackened willow, and unexpectedly, an eye-catching glint of green appeared. The willow hadn’t truly died, and after bathing in fire, a newly formed branch began to grow out…

    These were the memories that Qin Yu had fused with after refining the second of the five element spiritual objects – the wood-attribute willow branch. At this time, within his dantian sea, a verdant willow branch appeared beside the black lotus seed. The deep green divine light was overflowing with vitality. If one said that Qin Yu’s restorative abilities had increased after he had refined the lotus seed, then these regenerative capabilities had now risen to a whole new level.

    With the regenerative powers of water and wood stacking on top of each other, combined with the potent recovery strength of the Demon Body itself, then Qin Yu might be able to give himself a new nickname – the Mighty Young Qin.

    But right now, comrade Mighty Young Qin wasn’t happy at all. His previous feeling had been correct. The feeling of weariness that spread through his soul wasn’t simple at all. The reason that spiritual objects were so precious was because within the heavens and earth, they had bred their own spirit. And if one had to simplify how the concept of a spirit worked, then it would be that they had their own consciousness.

    With consciousness came memories. After refining, these memories entered Qin Yu’s soul, becoming a part of him. The birth of spiritual objects required an incredibly long period of time. In other words, it meant that spiritual objects contained an extremely long memory, a massive amount of information.

    The potency of Qin Yu’s soul far surpassed other cultivators’ of his level. Even so, after refining two spiritual objects of wood and water, he found it increasingly hard to sustain this with his soul. He couldn’t continue to refine them; it was too risky. Once his soul fell into illusion he would drown in the memories of the spiritual objects and lose his own individuality.

    Or, to be more honest, his body would be seized by the spiritual objects.

    Of course, this was different from ordinary instances of having his body seized. Even so, the end result was the same. Qin Yu’s memories would become a vassal in his body, and the memories of the spiritual objects would rise to the dominating role. After hesitating for days, Qin Yu finally decided to stop refining the spiritual objects for now. As he thought about how much his strength would have risen after refining all five of the spiritual objects and how far away that goal seemed now, he felt depressed.

    But soon, he took in a deep breath and composed himself. Since things had already happened, he should try to find a method to fix it. Needless worry would only waste his time.

    If his soul wasn’t able to hold all the memories of the spiritual objects, then he could solve this by increasing the intensity of his soul. But, although this sounded simple to do, it was actually exceedingly difficult. The soul was the most important aspect of a cultivator, and this was especially true for Nascent Soul cultivators and above. Qin Yu had no idea how many pills he had eaten to reach his present state, but his current soul force was only able to hold the memories of two spiritual objects. If he purely relied on taking pills to increase his soul force, he had no idea how long it would take him to achieve his goal.

    The Soul Mushroom was a cheat device used to accelerate growth of the soul. But, it was clearly different from other spiritual plants. Ever since he obtained it from Immortal Eclipse Valley, he had bathed it in a foot of sea blue light every day. But even so, it had never turned blue, meaning that it hadn’t yet reached a hundred years of age. It was clear that the little blue lamp’s growth accelerating abilities were greatly reduced on this plant.

    Even taking a step back, unless there was a moment of life or death, Qin Yu wouldn’t swallow the Soul Mushroom even if it reached a hundred years of age. What he wanted was the thousand year Partner Soul, not the so-called inextinguishable soul.

    As things fell into a dead end and Qin Yu was at a loss for what to do, it was at this time that the guard subordinate sent by Meng Li arrived. He politely knocked, and after the courtyard doors opened, he greeted Qin Yu with a bright smile. He explained that the lord captain was busy with official business and was fully apologetic that he couldn’t personally come. It was only after a long period of small talk that he segued into the main topic.

    The guard said with an embarrassed expression, “Fellow daoist Ning Qin, you are the lord captain’s friend so you should be well taken care of. However, in recent days some people have charged the lord captain with accusations of bribery and corruption, and it just so happens that there are some questionable points about the origin of this residence. Right now, there are many people paying attention to this place. If possible, could you temporarily move out? Once this matter is over, this residence can be given to you and you can live here as long as you want.”

    Qin Yu’s face filled with amazement. “I never expected something like this to occur. I don’t want Big Brother Meng Li to experience any problems because of me. Tell him that I will immediately move out.”

    The guard was overjoyed. He repeatedly praised that fellow daoist Ning Qin was an understanding and righteous person, and after returning to the guard division he would spread word of this so that they would become closer to him in the future. But as soon as the guard turned and left the narrow lane, his smile disappeared to reveal disdain instead. Who said that the humans were all intelligent? This person was completely brainless. He had been completely played with, and even after being driven out he was still so grateful.

    At the courtyard doors, after watching the guard leave, Qin Yu’s expression became indifferent again. As a noble and solemn guard division captain of the sea race capital city, if Meng Li were to be framed and accused just because of a small courtyard at the edge of the city, then he might as well buy a block of tofu and smash his head in with that. However, even though he was being driven out, everything had been done so tactfully. This Captain Meng Li was a truly outstanding individual.

    However, this also gave Qin Yu another important piece of information – the old turtle really had forgotten about him. This relaxed the final knot in Qin Yu’s heart. He had to hurry and leave. Even if the old turtle remembered him in the future, finding him in the incredibly vast capital city wouldn’t be easy.

    The Hundred Nether Sword needed to stay behind. This was a treasure-like land that it wished it could stay in for the rest of its life; if Qin Yu tried to take it away, it would absolutely turn against him. After a short negotiation, the Hundred Nether Sword simply dove into the well. As long as it was a bit more careful, it would never be discovered here.

    There wasn’t much to clean up. Qin Yu spent some time to reclaim the array formation and erase any traces he left behind. Then, he pushed open the courtyard doors. At this time, a sea race boy just happened to see him. The boy was startled for a moment before he smiled and greeted, “Big Brother Ning.”

    After his plan of refining the five elemental spiritual objects had been hindered, Qin Yu hesitated for several days. He took a walk around to relax his mind, and casually inquired into information about the well. It was impossible that such a rich spectral energy would appear in the well without reason.

    This was the capital city’s edge as well as a remote and narrow alley. Those that lived here were correspondingly the lowest echelons of the sea races. Perhaps it was because they had been suppressed too much or discriminated against too much, but all of this had distorted their mindsets, and when these low level sea races faced Qin Yu, they finally found someone they could look down upon. They didn’t answer or even acknowledge his questions, simply turning away and pointing their noses towards the sky. If it wasn’t because they saw him living alone in the entire courtyard, their curses of being an ugly, shameful, vile, and despicable human would have already drowned him to death.

    This young boy that greeted Qin Yu was his neighbor. He lived in the courtyard next door. To be more accurate, he was one of the several dozen neighbors that lived next door. His name was Leon. He had a single name, no surname – a distinctive feature of the low level sea races that didn’t possess a clan name. Leon was a bright and sunny young sea monster. He lived together with his mother and little brother and was the only one willing to speak to Qin Yu. They got along rather splendidly.

    This was the explanation. When asked about the spectral energy in the well, Leon gave an answer – the source was the Sea Mausoleum. The Sea Mausoleum was a place where only the sea race royal family or those who had made incredibly important contributions had the qualifications to be buried. It represented the highest proclamation of honor. At first, the Sea Mausoleum was normal and peaceful, but as time passed, more and more powerful specters appeared there. Slowly, it became a nation of specters. As the endless years passed, the spells binding the Sea Mausoleum weakened, and a powerful spectral energy began to leak out.

    At the very start of this incident, it caused great chaos and turmoil within the capital city. At least 100,000 sea race members had been influenced by the spectral energy and died as a result. The sea race ruler at the time has sacrificed a thousand years of their life as well as the flesh and blood of 100,000 sea race members as the price to reinforce the spells of the Sea Mausoleum.

    The spectral energy was sealed away, but not completely. Within a certain range of places closer to the Sea Mausoleum, there was a chance that spectral energy could leak out. Over time, all of the upper class sea races moved away from the scope of the Sea Mausoleum. This even affected the direction that the capital city grew towards, and that area eventually became the edge of the capital city.

    In other words, where Qin Yu was living right now.

    Qin Yu smiled, “Leon, did you just get off work?”

    Leon nodded. His smile wasn’t able to cover up all the weariness he felt. But still, he was happy every day and his smile was warm and affable. He forcibly nodded. “Teacher worked for over a month and finally managed to save the precious Sea Heart Orchid. He let us leave early.” He raised a paper bag in his hand, “I bought some desserts on the way here. Would Big Brother Ning like to have some?”

    Qin Yu had a thoughtful look. “I’m not hungry. You eat it.”

    Seeing his pensive look, Leon thought that Qin Yu assumed the sea races had ill intentions towards him. He awkwardly smiled and blushed red. “Then, I’m going home first Big Brother Ning.”

    “Wait!”