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Chapter 195: Internal Injury

 Chapter 195 - Internal Injury

A long while later, after Zeng ShuShu and the others recovered from the astonishment, the three looked at each other, and saw the shock reflected in their eyes. However what was different was, for Lu XueQi and WenMin, their eyes held additional alarm and confusion.

This which only a small number of Big Bamboo Valley and Small Bamboo Valley disciples were aware, furthermore Reverend DaoXuan had privately sternly commanded several times that this secret must not be divulged, in the end, was it still leaked?

Different from WenMin and Lu XueQi, the damage to 'Zhu Xian Ancient Sword' news was even more startling to Zeng ShuShu who was kept in the dark about this, but after recovering, Zeng ShuShu chuckled and said, "Yun teacher-uncle, how could you play such a joke on us juniors, I was almost scared to death just now. The Zhu Xian Ancient Sword is QingYun sect's supreme precious treasure, held in safekeeping by sect-head-teacher-uncle himself, how could it be damaged! He he, Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Laughing, Zeng ShuShu kept shaking his head and then turned around to see his other two companions, wanting to see their amusements at this ridiculous rumour. Except, his smile stiffened, there was no trace of a smile on either Lu XueQi or WenMin, on the contrary, their brows were creased and their faces had paled.

In the hall, Zeng ShuShu's solitary laughter echoed and then died quickly.

Yun YiLan smiled and said, "Oh so it is just a rumour! That is for the best, else if the Zhu Xian Ancient Sword had been damaged, it would certainly be a disaster."

Lu XueQi took an abrupt step forward, coldly asked Yun YiLan, "Yun teacher-uncle, this is of course not a true rumour, and should not be believed. However, may I ask where did senior hear about this lowly and sneaky rumour?"

Lu XueQi's voice got increasingly colder as she spoke, and was beginning to sound faintly rude.

But Yun YiLan seemed to be well cultivated and did not seem to mind Lu XueQi's attitude, merely responded with his usual amiable manner with a wave of his hand, "Actually, this rumor is recently circulating in the southern border here, I inadvertently overheard some of the disciples talking about it, and did not expect it to hold any truth. Think about it, with Reverend DaoXuan senior-brother's remarkable powers, how could such nonsense have happened? But just that since good nephew came to visit, I thought I would just ask in passing to seek reassurance that these rumours are indeed just rumours. I am truly pleased!" He said smiling, looking absolutely pleased.

Lu XueQi and the rest frowned slightly, such a matter, how would it be 'casually' asked in public, not to mention the high status of Yun YiLan, how would he asked about such roadside gossip directly. The only logical conclusion was that he had some other plans.

In Yun YiLan's laughter, the three QingYun disciples turned silent, Lu XueQi's face was as white as snow, and so cold she looked inhuman, her eyes turning sharper, WenMin's complexion was just as pale.

Zeng ShuShu was indeed smooth, noticing the rapidly awkward atmosphere, promptly coughed and stepped forward, blocking Lu XueQi. Cupping his hands, he asked, "Yun teacher-uncle, various senior teachers sent me here to southern border, the purpose is to pursue the demon beast, wonder if you all have any clues that you can tell us, it will saved us from running around blindly."

Yun YiLan glanced Zeng ShuShu and nodded slightly but did not speak. He looked to his back.

Li Xun understood and took a step forward, facing Zeng ShuShu with his hands cupped, "Zeng senior brother, I am Li Xun, acting under teacher's orders, I will serve as your guide here in the southern border, for you ladies and gentlemen..."

"Humpf!" A snort of derision came from a corner, not even waiting for Li Xun to finish.

Li Xun paused, his face immediately contorted with rage.

Fortunately, WenMin was quick-witted and laughed, "Li senior brother, there is no need to trouble you with this, there are some of us who have been to southern border before and are still familiar with the roads."

Li Xun took a deep breath, glanced at the white figure with the corner of his eyes, his mouth twitched, suddenly his anger seemed to disappear, with a small sigh and a forced smile, he said, "This senior sister, it is not what my intentions are, however in the last few days we have managed to track down information about the missing Beast Deity."

At these words, Lu XueQi, Zeng ShuShu, and WenMin became excited.

Zeng ShuShu asked delightedly, "is this true?"

Li Xun nodded, "Indeed. In any case, FenXiang Valley has foundation and network of connections in the southern border for hundreds of years,we will still be better informed than outsiders." As he finished speaking, he glanced at Lu XueQi, intentionally or otherwise. Lu XueQi looked indifferent, and turned away.

Zeng ShuShu asked, "So where is the Beast Deity now?"

Li Xun said, "According to our news, that evildoer has fled into the strange depths of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains, towards the direction of his lair."

Zeng ShuShu and the others stared blankly, "Ten Thousand Great Mountains?"

Li Xun nodded, "Yes, needless for me to say, all of you would have heard about it, it is a strange and treacherous, mysterious and unfathomable, one of the world's most dangerous place. If you all have not arrived, I was also planning to lead a group of juniors to search the Ten Thousand Great Mountains. As such, since the three of you are here, if we all go together, wouldn't it be better? I don't have any other intentions, just that I have lived in the southern border for many years, and to some extent, have some knowledge of the dangers of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains. With me to guide, it would perhaps be beneficial and no disadvantage for the three of you!"

As he finished, he sneered.

Zeng ShuShu frowned, glanced backward at WenMin and Lu XueQi and said, "Li senior brother please wait, give us a moment to discuss."

Li Xun nodded his head and said, "As you wish."

Zeng ShuShu and the others retreated to a corner and whispered in conversation. From Li Xun's perspective, Zeng ShuShu spoke for the majority of the time, with WenMin inserting a few words now and then. Lu XueQi was silent, with occasional nods or shakes of her head.

That lady in white, seemed to be always that quiet, elegant and unsecular, quietly standing there. Li Xun gazed at Lu XueQi from a distance, momentarily he looked infatuated. And at this moment, someone swatted his shoulder suddenly, Li Xun gave a start, not expecting anyone to be able to come so close to him without his awareness, and quickly turned around, it was Yun YiLan.

Li Xun turned red, and whispered, "Master, your disciple forgot himself, what is it?"

Yun YiLan glanced at Lu XueQi, with an expressionless face and said lightly, "Do not forget your task."

Startled, Li Xun quietly said, "Disciple understands."

Yun YiLan nodded his head and said, "Take care of them, I'll head off first." As he left, he did not bid farewell to the three from QingYun sect and left quietly.

Li Xun watched Yun YiLan figure disappeared into the entrance to the rear halls of the Mountain River Hall, his emotions in a mix, his face reflecting the uncertainty.

At this time, Zeng ShuShu and the others seemed to have finished their discussion and returned.

Zeng ShuShu walked over with a smile, and said, "Li senior brother, we have discussed, this time... ai where's Yun teacher-uncle?"

Li Xun wore an apologetic face, and said, "Master had a last minute matter to deal with and seeing that the three of you were still in the middle of discussion, so he instructed me not to disturb and left first. We seek your forgiveness for the lack of manners."'

Zeng ShuShu quickly replied, "You are too kind, we are the ones that are lacking in manners, if we have breach any etiquette just now, could Li senior brother Li please convey to Yun teacher-uncle that we are still juniors and unaware of the etiquette, didn't know our limits too, hope that he will not mind."

Hearing Zeng ShuShu's smooth words flowing out of his mouth like water, Lu XueQi and Wen Min looked somewhat embarrassed, but Zeng ShuShu was at ease and did not appear embarrassed at all.

Li Xun smiled and nodded his head and did not say anything further about that, only asked, "What about the conclusion of your discussion?"

Zeng ShuShu cupped his hands and said, "It looks like we will need to trouble Li senior brother."

Li Xun looked delighted, and replied the gesture, "You're too kind, we are all one Good Faction family, we should do this." Speaking, he took a quick glance at Lu XueQi, coughed and said, "However, Ten Thousand Great Mountains is after all an extremely dangerous place, and you few should start doing early preparations. Come, I will tell you some of the matters that need to take note."

Zeng ShuShu laughed, "Trouble Li senior brother." He turned back and beckoned, "Two senior sisters, quickly come over and listen too."

Lu XueQi frowned, seemingly unwilling, but was pulled along by WenMin who was next to her, walked over.

Low voices, echoed in the hall...

In the depths of the Ten Thousand Great Mountains, leaving the last trace of darkness, crossing the last crooked old trees, Ghost Li and Jin PingEr finally walked out of the Black Forest. Outside of the forest, the day had a rare warm sunshine, which warmly illuminated them, the ground and the crooked old trees but was unable to penetrate the mysterious and austere forest.

Jin PingEr opened her arms to embrace the sun. Even though she had been through the forest once before, coming out still gave her a sense of relief. Indeed, days of walking through a forest full of poisonous insects and continuous rain would not put anyone in a good frame of mind.

Standing outside the forest, the air which they breathed in, was much warmer and comfortable. After Jin PingEr had her fill of deep breaths, she turned to look at Ghost Li, he had just walked out of the forest, with the usual look of indifference but it was also obvious he had a look of relief.

After a short rest, Ghost Li raised his head to look in the distance, with the rare good weather, the view of horizon widened, in the distance, there seemed like endless mountains, rolling and continuous, as far as the eye could see.

Ghost Li's countenance changed slightly, Jin PingEr walked to his side, looked at him, laughed and said, "Why, did not expect the treacherous southern border to be actually so vast, right? When I first came here, I was also surprised."

Ghost Li gazed into the distance, lingering on the mountains, and asked indifferently, "The Subdue Devil ancient cave you mentioned, how far away is it?"

Jin PingEr coquettishly smiled, took two steps in front of Ghost Li and surveyed the endless mountains for a while, then pointed a finger at one of the hilltop which appeared strangely black from the summit and said, "See that black mountain peak? Once we round that mountain top, the foot would be the location of the Subdue Devil ancient cave."

Ghost Li raised his eyes, and saw the very strange mountain far away, always shrouded in a layer of light black mist as if there was no sunlight. It looked mysterious.

Ghost Li nodded his head and said, "Then let's go!"

At that, he moved forward. However, Jin PingEr did not follow, and instead stood in place.

Ghost Li took a few steps, sensing Jin PingEr did not keep up. Slightly surprised, he turned to look and asked, "What's wrong?"

Jin PingEr rolled her eyes at him, but even through that resentful look, in the warm sunshine, still looked somewhat seductive, "You are of course a great figure but unfortunately the woman in front of you is weak, and unable to walk now."

Ghost Li said indifferently, "Considering all the women in the world, it won't be your turn to qualify as weak."

Jin PingEr smiled sweetly and did not get angry, found a block of dry stone nearby and sat down.

Even though Ghost Li did not believe Jin PingEr but on second thought realised that the last few days in the strange black forest, both of them did not have a good rest at all, and so he did not insist on hurrying and sat down near Jin PingEr.

The monkey Xiao Hui who had been lying on his shoulder, made [zhi zhi] calls and seemed to have awakened suddenly from its dispirited self, jumped down energetically from Ghost Li's shoulder, looking around, blinking its three eyes nonstop and then sticking its tail up, it scuttled to the underbrush at the side, and in a flash, disappeared.

Jin PingEr looked in its direction and asked, "There is danger everywhere here, are you not worried about your monkey running around?"

Ghost Li shook his head and said, "It won't be harmed, even if the both of us were to meet with a mishap, that guy will be well."

Jin PingEr giggled, covered her mouth and said, "That guy, it's obviously only a monkey!"

Ghost Li looked at Jin PingEr's lustrous like jade face, the corner of this mouth couldn't help but curl into a faint smile, then looked towards the direction where Xiao Hui went and slowly said, "In my eyes, he is a much better than the countless people in this world."

As Jin PingEr looked at his pale face, the smile on her face slowly disappeared. She gazed thoughtfully at Ghost Li, who was frowning, a heavy emotion weighing his face.

Perhaps, he found himself unexpectedly revealing something?

Jin PingEr has always been an extremely intelligent woman but she was definitely not those quiet and virtuous secular lady, she quietly watched Ghost Li's face with soft eyes but as she watched, his face turned more and more unhappy.

As the moment became more and more awkward, and Ghost Li's eyebrows frowned even more tighter, Jin PingEr suddenly asked, "What's wrong?"

Startled, Ghost Li said, "What?"

Jin PingEr looked at him, with a ghost of a smile on her face, yet her eyes conveying a different emotion, softly asked, "You seemed uncomfortable?"

Ghost Li coughed once, and said, "No."

Jin PingEr appeared not to hear his answer, mused and said, "Is it because, in front of a woman like me, you've unexpectedly revealed some of the words in your heart, and that made you feel a little embarrassed?"

Ghost Li's expression instantly turned cold, but before he could speak, Jin PingEr quickly spoke, "'This past decade, especially after BiYao incident, you have never travelled alone with a woman for this long right! Inadvertently after so many days of contact, there is less hostility between us, and your unguarded words made you feel that you have let her down?"

Ghost Li stared at Jin PingEr, with cold eyes and said, "What did you mean by all these, and, why did you mention BiYao?"

In the face of those icy threatening eyes, Jin PingEr displayed no fear, on the contrary, she smiled, her eyes seemed to be excited and said, "You are afraid, aren't you?"

Ghost Li jumped upright,and said angrily, "What am I afraid of! If you continue with such nonsense, I will not be polite..."

"You are afraid you will forget BiYao!" Jin PingEr shouted, a clear sound like cutting through the snow, stabbing into the invisible ground between them.

Ghost Li opened his mouth in anger and froze, unable to make a sound, as if his vitals were attacked. Jin PingEr abruptly went silent, as the echos of her words reverberated around them, their surroundings became quiet and still.

At this moment, the sky was blue, the distant rolling mountains, a breeze seemed to be blowing from the horizon, the woods and grass nearby rustled.

It was now after noon. The wind blew across their faces.

The sun turned more lazy, the two of them faced each other and were silent, no one spoke.

Jin PingEr looked at the man in front of her, whose eyes were glistening with something, looking pitiful and yet looked like sneering.

After a long while, she gently pulled a stray hair loosened by the wind to the back of her ear, and said with a gentle and light voice, "For that feeling at that time, now even you don't even believe yourself, are you afraid of forgetting her subconsciously?"

Her smile was light, like a wild flower caressed by the wind, "Constantly repressing yourself, always reminding yourself, who would have imagined, Ghost King sect's number one great general Ghost Li whom everyone fear, is such a pitiful man?"

Ghost Li's expressions oscillated, between dark and white, suddenly he took a deep breath, looked up at the sky, pausing for a moment of breath and released it in a rush. When he looked back at her again, his face was as calm as usual, without the slightest hint of any colour of emotions, completely indifferent.

"Who do you think you are, saying such things about me, how about yourself?" He said with mock in his eyes, as if the earlier moment was completely forgotten.

Jin PingEr smiled and said, "Me? I am nobody, only just a woman accompanying you now!"

Ghost Li ignored the indistinct sarcasm in her words, turned his head, and suddenly the underbrush nearby parted and a grey shadow flashed, it was Xiao Hui who took a couple of jumps to Ghost Li's side. At a closer look, the monkey was carefully clutching some kind of wild fruits, even its mouth was chewing nonstop, no wonder there was none of his familiar [zi zi] calls.

Ghost Li picked up Xiao Hui, extended an open palm and Xiao Hui split his mouth in a grin before placing the wild fruits in Ghost Li's hand. The wild fruits were adorable bright red things, and even though they weren't very big, they looked very plump and delicious.

Ghost Li took one into his mouth and chewed a couple of times. It tasted slightly underripe but

very juicy and sweet, a rare thing to come by.

Nodding his head, he separated a few of those fruits, looked at Jin PingEr, and handed her the fruits, saying, "Xiao Hui has the innate ability to distinguish poison, so these wild fruits can be eaten."

Jin PingEr did not immediately take the fruits offered, staring at his extended hand, smiled suddenly and said, "By sharing the food with me, you won't be having more misgivings in your heart?"

Ghost Li frowned, snorted, and his palms closed into a fist as he started to pull back.

Unexpectedly at this moment, Jin PingEr reached out and grasped his hand, and said laughing, "I want, I want..."

Ghost Li's expression changed slightly. He looked at Jin PingEr, slowly uncurled his fingers to reveal those few wild fruits.

The palm skin was soft, from far, a faint aroma, drifted in the breeze. At this moment, Jin PingEr's eyes seemed to soften, like a ripple in gently flowing water, stretched out her white long fingers, picking up the wild fruits from Ghost Li's hand one by one.

Slender fingers brushed casually against the rough skin, a warmness that carried a peculiar touch of cold.

She stared at the man in front of her, gently and slowly let go of his hand, then smiled before placing a wild fruit in her mouth. Chewed a couple times and said smiling, "it's delicious!"

Her smile, like the most beautiful flower blooming in the afternoon, was breathtaking.

Ghost Li gazed at her, silent.

Jin PingEr's smile became more coquettish, and joked, "What's wrong, you are not saying anything, standing there like a fool..."

Ghost Li looked at Jin PingEr covering her mouth while smiling but he remained quiet. After a moment, he suddenly said, '"Purple light sword is an extremely evil and vicious weapon, you are able to master it to "Pure Yin Return to Pool' stage, and merging it with the energy vessels of your body, that is really an extraordinary feat."

[Pu], the wild fruits in Jin PingEr's hand suddenly burst, before the juices all spilled out, it had already turned into ice from the sudden strange chill and fell to the ground.

The warm smile that was on Jin PingEr's disappeared, and instead now had eyes like daggers, staring sharply at the Ghost Li.

Ghost Li instead did not seem to feel the hostility, and said lightly, "Just that although you are still a pure Yin body and compatible with the Purple light swords spiritual energy but the cold Yin energy is too much and relying just only the Yin, you instead forcefully cultivate, the Yin energy penetrates your body, your meridians have all been damage from it. Using this weapon naturally is very powerful but in the future if you want to cultivate to the next level and become stronger, I'm afraid it is very difficult."

As he finished, he ignored the animosity emanating from Jin PingEr, turned and started walking while calling out for the monkey. Xiao Hui, who was eating the wild fruits nearby, scuttled over and jumped on to his shoulder, and the two of them continued their journey towards that strange black mountain.

Jin PingEr was left standing there, looking at their silhouettes slowly disappearing, and then she slowly raised her right hand, staring. In the sun, her white slender and beautiful palm shimmered like hidden precious stones but from the deepest beneath the surface, although not obvious, one could see the indistinct unnatural light blue, like tiny veins scattered deep within the flesh.

Jin PingEr's face was like cold water, suddenly snorted, without saying nothing, started walking towards the direction where Ghost Li went. With her foot, she stepped heavily on the frozen wild fruits, smashing them into pieces.