Chapter 321: Ye Yunzhi Appears
"Senior Su, the dead will not come back to life. We should focus on the present and the living. Why don't you consider how you're going to distribute all these Black Crystal Reeds!" Yun Jiuge told Su Junqing as she emptied the sack of Black Crystal Reeds from around her waist.
Earlier she had specially swum to the deepest regions of the Black Pond and gathered a bunch of top quality Black Crystal Reeds that were over a hundred years old.
The Black Crystal Reeds that Yun Jiuge had brought back were each approximately three feet long, and they continued to give off a faint light even after having left the water. It was easy to tell that every single one of them was of the highest quality.
"These are all top quality Black Crystal Reeds. You'll be able to make your way across the Death Swamp with just one of them." Su Junqing pulled himself together and began distributing the Black Crystal Reeds to the disciples.
Even after handing out one Black Crystal Reed each to over 700 disciples, there were still a lot of them left.
The leftover Black Crystal Reeds were automatically given to Su Junqing for safekeeping.
At this moment, Yun Jiuge spoke up, "Why don't we give each disciple one more Black Crystal Reed? It's always better to be prepared for the worst."
"That's right! There should be more than enough for all of us. I'm sure there'll still be quite a few of them left even after each of us takes one more," Little Fatty added as he concurred with Yun Jiuge's words.
The other disciples naturally agreed with this view. With all the leftover Black Crystal Reeds becoming Su Junqing's possession from here onwards, they'd have to plead with him if they wanted more in future. And what if he refused their requests? Wouldn't that mean that their lives were in his hands?
Su Junqing was reluctant to let the disciples take one more Black Crystal Reed each, but he wasn't in a position to say no because Yun Jiu was the one who had brought back the Black Crystal Reeds.
If Yun Jiu wanted to give them one more Black Crystal Reed each, then Su Junqing would have to do as he said. Refusal to do so would only cause him to lose the support of the other disciples.
"Alright. Each of you take one more Black Crystal Reed then." Su Junqing distributed the Black Crystal Reeds to the disciples once more. When he was done, there were around 10 Black Crystal Reeds left.
Su Junqing felt an ache in his heart as he kept the leftover Black Crystal Reeds away. Thereafter, he ordered the disciples, "All of you should rest up for now. We'll set off for the Death Swamp in 45 minutes' time."
"Understood." The disciples gingerly kept their Black Crystal Reeds in a safe place before they checked for holes on their sacks.
The team promptly set off for the Death Swamp 45 minutes later.
Yun Jiuge and the rest of the disciples finally reached the Death Swamp after walking through a large stretch of barren land.
An endless brown swamp laid before their eyes.
The swamp looked very peaceful from afar. There were no mosquitoes or Armored Crocodiles, and it was devoid of miasma as well.
"Senior Su, is this really the Death Swamp you told us about? It doesn't look dangerous at all!" Liu Tian'er looked around but failed to see what was so ‘deadly' about the place.
"Something's fishy about this place. Be careful, everyone." Su Junqing didn't dare to let his guard down after his encounter with the Blood Earthworms at the grassland earlier. He immediately brandished his Demonic Flower Bone Spur before taking a few more steps forward.
A while later, he decided that just having his Demonic Flower Bone Spur with him was not enough. He then hastily opened a small red bag that had many runes sewn onto it — within seconds, a beautiful woman dressed in a red dress appeared next to him.
The woman's face was extremely pale, and her eyes were lifeless. She bore exquisite facial features and had a striking red mole in between her brows. Yun Jiuge recognized the Yin Corpse right away. It was Ye Yunzhi.
"Senior Su, is this your Life's Origin Yin Corpse? She's so beautiful!" Liu Tian'er exclaimed.
"Now's not the time to care about that. I want everyone to follow behind me closely. Don't be reckless and move off on your own." Su Junqing brushed off Liu Tian'er's words and gave the disciples instructions on what they should do upon entering the Death Swamp.
Although Su Junqing enjoyed being praised by others, he didn't like to discuss about Ye Yunzhi much.
He'd released Ye Yunzhi from the bag only because he was worried that he would pick up an injury while in this swamp.
Yun Jiuge felt a surge of fury the moment she saw Ye Yunzhi and her irises shrunk in rage.
If not for the fact that she was incapable of showing any emotion on her face due to being poisoned, she was certain that her face would look extremely frightening right now.
"Senior Yun Jiu, what's wrong?" The sensitive Little Fatty was able to discern a change in Yun Jiuge's emotions.
"Nothing." Yun Jiuge lowered her eyelids to hide the fury in her eyes.
"You find the swamp strange too, right?" Little Fatty mumbled to himself.
In Little Fatty's mind, the Death Swamp was a fearsome place that was shrouded in miasma, with countless mosquitoes flying in the air and numerous Armored Crocodiles prowling about the area. He certainly didn't expect the place to be this quiet. Anyone would find the quietude and inactivity strange.
"It doesn't matter how strange this place is. We still have to enter no matter what," Yun Jiuge replied him in a flat voice.
"Junior Yun Jiu is right. Since we've come all the way here, there's no point in being scared now. We all have the high grade Black Crystal Reeds with us anyway, and we'll definitely be fine as long as we are careful. Remember to follow behind me closely later." Su Junqing took out a yellow-colored pearl from his sack.
It was an Earth Spiritual Pearl which could be used to detect walking land amidst the swamp.
Su Junqing injected Spiritual Power into the Earth Spiritual Pearl, and it emitted a brownish-yellow light thereafter. The color of the light was deep in some areas and pale in others.
A deep brownish-yellow color meant that there was land in front of them that they could walk on, whereas a faded color meant that it was wetlands.
With the help of the Earth Spiritual Pearl, everyone made their way into the deeper regions of the Death Swamp successfully.
Ye Yunzhi walked next to Su Junqing quietly. There was a layer of light grayish air underneath her red shoes that seemed to allow her to float above the ground as she moved.
Little Fatty's eyes lit up at that sight. Previously he'd never understood what Senior Yun Jiu meant when he told him to practice concentrating his powers underneath his feet. He finally understood after seeing how Ye Yunzhi was moving at this moment.
A layer of yellow light emerged underneath his feet thereafter, making it much easier for him to walk on mud paths.
"Use your Spiritual Power sparingly, or you might run out of it later," Bing Xinlian warned him. Now was not the time to be cultivating.
"Okay." Little Fatty also realized that his actions had used up a lot of his Spiritual Power and he immediately stopped. He then focused on following behind Su Junqing.
The swamp might have looked peaceful from the outside, but everyone realized that the place was extremely hot and stuffy after they'd stepped foot into it. They felt as though they were in a sauna and could not stop perspiring. Not even drinking water could make them feel better.
Their entire journey through the Death Swamp was eerily quiet and peaceful, like walking through a graveyard. There were no sounds of insects, fishes, or birds that you'd expect to usually hear in a swamp.
"Senior Yun Jiu — something's amiss." Little Fatty looked around him and felt a shiver run down his spine.
Yun Jiuge had been observing the swamp keenly this entire time. When she heard Little Fatty's words, she immediately took out a piece of white leaf that resembled a feather and tossed it onto the ground.
"What's this?" Little Fatty asked curiously.
"This is a White Feather Leaf. It's a medicinal herb that can be used to remove dampness from our bodies. It has the ability to float on water and never sink," Yun Jiuge explained in simple terms.
"Then why did you toss it here?" Little Fatty didn't understand how a medicinal herb that was capable of removing dampness from their bodies had anything to do with their current predicament.
"You'll come to understand later." Yun Jiuge didn't explain further and simply followed behind Su Junqing.
After the group walked past two small marshes, Little Fatty immediately understood what Yun Jiuge was getting at earlier.
The White Feather Leaf that Yun Jiuge had tossed onto the ground earlier had appeared before his eyes once again.
"We've been going around in circles the entire time!" Little Fatty exclaimed.
The look on Su Junqing's face became very awkward the moment he saw the White Feather Leaf.
If Yun Jiu hadn't used the White Feather Leaf to test if they were walking around in circles, Su Junqing definitely would've continued to lead the disciples around aimlessly.
"Senior Yun Jiu, have we been put under some sort of spell that's caused us to keep going around in circles?"
"What should we do?"
The disciples were in a state of panic. Every single one of them ran to Yun Jiuge for advice, completely disregarding Su Junqing's presence.
"I don't think this is a spell that someone has cast over us. It's probably some kind of illusion instead. As to how we could destroy it, I'd need to borrow Senior Su's Earth Spiritual Pearl first." Yun Jiuge looked over at Su Junqing expressionlessly. She could not summon her Spiritual Eye at this moment so she could only rely on others for help.