Chapter 423: The Truth Has Come to Light: It Was Qiu Shan
"Okay. I'll go in right away," replied Yun Jiuge. She sensed the anxiety coming from Zi Shang and immediately climbed over the wall to make her way towards the house.
"Hey! Wait for me!" said Leng Bai. He had intended to enter the place from the main gate, but was forced to follow suit after seeing Yun Jiuge climbed over the wall.
The area surrounding the house was dark and they could barely make out what looked to be a servant working soundlessly in the distance. The life energy that was exuded from his body was so weak that he almost seemed like a living corpse.
"Where's the Grand Preceptor's room?" Yun Jiuge asked Leng Bai in a low voice.
"His room is located near the garden in the west. I'll take you there," said Leng Bai. He walked down a long corridor and headed towards the most remote corner of the house.
The deeper into the house they ventured, the darker the place became. There was hardly any light anywhere even though the sun should be at its brightest then.
If the people moving about at the outer regions of the house were called ‘living corpses', then the people moving about in the inner regions should be called the ‘walking dead'.
Leng Bai was taken aback when he saw the ‘walking dead' before him, and he immediately attempted to strike them down.
"Leave them be. Finding the Grand Preceptor is our top priority right now," said Yun Jiuge as she stopped him.
"No, I can't do that. If we let the ‘walking dead' walk out of this place, they will ruin the whole Hui Kingdom," Leng Bai replied. The royal family had commanded that all ‘walking dead' in Hui Kingdom had to be killed after the Fiendish Qi Plague that occurred 100 years ago.
"We can deal with them later, they are not going anywhere right now," said Yun Jiuge. But she noticed that Leng Bai was still determined to kill the ‘walking dead' before him, so she had no other choice but to fish out several Corpse Controlling Talismans from her sack. She hurled them at the ‘walking dead'.
The ‘walking dead' were rendered immobile after being hit by the talismans.
"The moment I burn these talismans, the ‘walking dead' will all be set ablaze. Is that good enough for you?" Yun Jiuge asked.
Leng Bai replied, "Alright then." He was still a little reluctant to let the ‘walking dead' live, but he did not argue with Yun Jiuge any further. He immediately turned around and continued to lead her towards the garden in the west.
The garden was extremely dark, and the death energy that enveloped the area was also very strong. The stench of a decomposing body immediately assaulted their nostrils when they made their way to the Grand Preceptor's room.
"Why does it stink so bad?" asked Leng Bai, he could not help but cover his nostrils as he spoke. He remembered that the place was also dark like this when he last came to visit the Grand Preceptor, but it did not stink then. He was certain that the place had been very clean and tidy.
"Looks like your Grand Preceptor is on the verge of death," Yun Jiuge said with a grave look on her face.
"That's impossible!" said Leng Bai as he pushed open the door that led to the Grand Preceptor's room. The moment he stepped inside, the putrid stench that they smelled outside grew even stronger, and he saw the Grand Preceptor lying on a moldy bed.
The Grand Preceptor was beyond recognition now. He was all skin and bones. There were even maggots crawling all over his decomposing flesh.
"Grand… Grand Preceptor…" whispered Leng Bai. His face turned pale, and he quickly clasped a hand over his mouth to hold back his urge to puke.
The Grand Preceptor made a series of inaudible noises through his half-decayed mouth. It was clear that he was trying to say something, but the state of his body made it impossible for him to convey what was on his mind.
"How did this happen?" asked Leng Bai. He did not expect that the Grand Preceptor would be in such a terrible state from divine retribution.
"He is not suffering from the effects of divine retribution. Someone is trying to torture him by trapping his soul inside his decomposing body," Yun Jiuge said calmly.
"Don't tell me that it's the demon who is doing this, why?" asked Leng Bai who was still in shock. Since his divine retribution, the Grand Preceptor has been doing Enclosed Cultivation, and he should not have any interactions with Leng Hui. How did he encounter the demon?
"We'll have to ask the Grand Preceptor for answers," replied Yun Jiuge. She was certain that the Grand Preceptor had all the answers they needed.
"But now, the Grand Preceptor is in such a terrible state. What can we possibly learn from him?" said Leng Bai with a heavy heart. He was very sad to see the Grand Preceptor on the verge of death. He could not believe that the savior of Hui Kingdom would end up like this.
Leng Bai blamed himself for being careless. He ought to punish the servants who are supposedly looking after the Grand Preceptor severely when he returns to the palace.
"You're right. That's a problem," Yun Jiuge said with a frown. The Grand Preceptor would not be able to talk in his current state.
Likewise, his hands had decayed so writing a message would be impossible. How were they supposed to communicate with him?
"It's easy. You just need to search his soul," Zi Shang said coldly.
"Search his soul?" repeated Yun Jiuge. She was a little troubled after hearing Zi Shang's words. The Grand Preceptor was not their enemy, and she could not bear to do something that cruel to him.
"He's been tortured by that cultivator in the Core Formation stage all this time. He'll be willing to let us search his soul if we help to exact revenge on his behalf. If you don't believe me, you can ask him," Zi Shang said confidently.
Yun Jiuge decided to go ahead and ask the Grand Preceptor directly She said, "Grand Preceptor, we are investigating the demon who took over Emperor Leng Hui's body. Are you willing to let us search your soul?"
"No. We cannot do that!" exclaimed Leng Bai. He intervened before the Grand Preceptor had the chance to respond. The Soul Searching Technique was extremely brutal. How could they use such a technique on the Grand Preceptor?
But the Grand Preceptor drew in deep breaths, and struggled to nod his head with all his might.
"See? I told you that he'd agree to us searching his soul," said Zi Shang with a proud look on his face.
"Grand Preceptor…" Leng Bai lamented.
"If the Grand Preceptor agrees to it, then let's do it!" said Yun Jiuge. She noticed that Leng Bai was still hesitating, and she continued to say, "All you are doing is adding to the Grand Preceptor's suffering by dilly-dallying. You are also delaying our efforts to save your brother."
Leng Bai immediately thought about the demon that was repressing his brother's soul, and he reluctantly nodded his agreement. "Okay! Let's do it then!" he said.
"Give your body to me. I'll search his soul on your behalf," Zi Shang told Yun Jiuge. He did not trust her to do it right.
Yun Jiuge closed her eyes at once and yielded her body to Zi Shang without hesitation.
Leng Bai, who was waiting anxiously by the side, noticed that Yun Jiuge had her eyes closed and did not move for a long time. He was just about to approach her to ask what was going on when Yun Jiuge's eyes suddenly flew open.
The Yun Jiuge before him now seemed to be a completely different person. Her raven black irises exuded a faint purplish light. She seemed cold and arrogant and gave off an aura that warned others not to get close to her.
Leng Bai could not help but took a step back when he saw the changed Yun Jiuge. She was now like a person to be revered.
Zi Shang did not care about what Leng Bai was feeling at the moment. He walked straight towards the Grand Preceptor, extended his hand to point his fingers at the latter.
A stream of purplish fog burst out from his fingers and wrapped itself around the Grand Preceptor's head.
Yun Jiuge's soul was hidden away in the recesses of her mind. She could see a ball of consciousness coming towards her from the Grand Preceptor's body. The truth of the entire incident immediately came to light.
The Grand Preceptor was just an ordinary gray-skinned warrior who served the Hui Kingdom. One day, he accidentally fell into the crevice of a volcano which was near to his house. He then found a Supreme Skill Book inside the crevice.
The book had been written by a cultivator in the Core Formation stage named Qiu Shan. The content detailed the recipe for the Marrow Cleansing Pill that would allow the user to become very powerful after it was consumed.
The Grand Preceptor became obsessed with the book. He gathered all the ingredients that were listed in the book, and he ultimately succeeded in refining the Marrow Cleansing Pill.
After he took the Marrow Cleansing Pill, a soul named Qiu Shan immediately sprang out from the Skill Book and took over his body. All that had happened thus far was intentionally planned by Qiu Shan.
Qiu Shan was a cultivator who had reached the advanced stages of the Core Formation stage. He came from the outside world, and his real body was destroyed when he accidentally fell into this world.
Qiu Shan used a secret technique to hide his soul before he wrote a book about the Supreme Skill and waited for his victim, the host for his soul, to appear.
After Qiu Shan took over the Grand Preceptor's body, he killed 99 gray-skinned people. He took their souls to create an evil formation, which he then used to cause the Fiendish Qi Plague in Hui Kingdom.
Thereafter, he waited till the Emperor of Hui Kingdom was at his wits' end before he brought the antidote to the kingdom and thereafter, successfully became the Grand Preceptor of the Hui Kingdom.
Over the next 100 years, Qiu Shan began his plan to build a high tower that would be able to connect the Fiendish Qi on earth to the Fiendish Qi in the heavens.
He also captured a lot of people living in the Hui Kingdom for his research. It did not matter what age, gender or skin color they had. Everyone became his test subject. Even a grandson of the royal family who was not favored, was captured.
Through his extensive research, he found out that the white-skinned women in the secret realm possessed the Demon Attracting Body. This made them the best vessels to grow the Fiendish Demon Fetuses.