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Chapter 216: Return

 Chapter 216 - Return

Qing Yun Hill, Small Bamboo Valley.

Late deep night, the inky black firmament solidified, heavy dark clouds could be seen moving indistinctly in the sky, from the infinite darkness, silent rain fell. And even further in the horizon, distant rumbling thunders could be heard, not knowing if a more severe storm was coming.

Qing Yun sect disciples who left for southern border, have already returned for several days, Lu Xueqi who had met her teacher and elders, returned to Small Bamboo Valley, and never once appeared, even the undercurrents in Qing Yun sect regarding the disappearance of Reverend DaoXuan and Tian BuYi, she seemed not to have notice it at all.

Lofty beautiful Small Bamboo Valley, the same tranquility for the past thousand hundred years, the tall bamboos covering the entire mountain, in this storm night, as usual hummed with [sha sha] bamboo motions sounds, quietly watching the people on this summit.

Small house oil lamp, the candlelight shining.

The doors were gently closed, half of the window was still opened, the storm quietly arrived between the mountains, the wind carrying the rain frequently blew into the hut, wetting the bamboo-made windowsill, slowly forming water beads which dripped quietly, leaving streams of water. The wind, causing the window to move slightly, in this still night, making light [zhi ya] sounds.

The candle on the table in the hut, wavered, flickering between light and darkness, a few times it looked as if it was about to be extinguished but always in its struggle, held on until the wind weakened, slowly regained light and again illuminated.

In the night, there was no other light, moving slightly away from this candle, would be shrouded by a blanket of shadow.

Lu Xueqi sat below the lamp, quietly watching this spot of candle.

Green light, red colour, in this kind of night, the melancholy which could not seemed to coagulate, quietly inscribed into time, nobody knew, how much time, could be kept?

Outside the door, light footsteps were heard, Lu Xueqi's head moved slightly. A gust of breeze blew in from the window, the candlelight on the table wavered and elongated, strands of her hair, also gently floated with the wind.

The door, making a heavy sound, pushed opened by someone. The storm outside the hut, suddenly turned loud, as if the wind had suddenly turned stronger, about to charge into the hut, fortunately, after that moment, the person had already entered into the hut and turned to close the door, blocking the storm out at the same time returning the peace in this hut.

Lu Xueqi stood up, bowed her head slightly, said, "Senior sister, why are you here?"

It was WenMin, she glanced at Lu Xueqi, walked to the table, sighed and said, "Ever since returning, I hardly seen you out of this door, if I still don't pay you a visit, I'm afraid I won't even know how you are doing now?"

Lu Xueqi looked up at WenMin, saw the smile on her lips, her eyes gentle, clearly filled with concern.

She quietly laughed, said, "What could happen to me, many thanks for senior sister's concern."

WenMin looked at her for a long time, saw that other than her slightly pale face, her vitality was still as usual, was relieved, and then said, "Junior sister, I'm glad you are fine, but being your sister, looking at your state now, I am really heart-pained. And, ever since returning, you've only met teacher on that same day and then shut off yourself in this room, never once going to see her again, no matter what, you must not blame teacher in your heart, you must know, we are all brought up by her."

Lu Xueqi shook her head, said, "Senior sister, what are you saying, I definitely would not dare to have a single thought of blaming teacher, I didn't dare to go visit teacher is because I know I am unfilial, afraid I may caused teacher to get angry and affect her health."

WenMin was surprised, looked at Lu Xueqi, after a long time, her expression complicated, wanted to speak but stopped, in the end only sighed and stood up.

Right now in the horizon, a flash of lightning streaked past, followed by a shock of thunder, like the sound of silk tearing, as if right above their heads, the sounds reverberated for a long time.

The wind outside the room, seemed to tense up even more.

WenMin frowned, walked to the window, glanced outside, said, "Look at this weather, seems like the rain is going to get heavier."

Lu Xueqi stood up, walked to the window slowly, stood beside WenMin, looking out, in the night, two slender figures, standing together, watching that heavy black night and boundless storm.

In the distance, the bamboos rustled making [sha sha] sounds, the sound of the rain hitting the bamboo leaves, were heard faintly. For a moment, not knowing if they were immersed in this tranquility, both were silent.

After a long time, WenMin inhaled deeply, smiled and said, "Speaking of which, we have not watch the rain together like this since a long time right?"

Lu Xueqi smiled said, "Yes, actually I also remembered, I came up when I was a child, in the beginning senior sister it was you who took care of me, at that time I was still young, everytime there was a storm in the night, when the thunder rumbled, I was especially afraid."

She slowly turned over, her eyes full of tenderness, quietly said, "Each time it was you senior sister who brought me to sit by the window to watch the rain together, telling me not to be afraid."

WenMin shook her head and laughed in spite of herself, gently caressed Lu Xueqi's hair on her shoulder, sighed and said, "In a blink, you have already grown up."

Lu Xueqi felt WenMin's hand, gently patting her shoulder, as if from there, warmth emanated.

After keeping silent for a while, Lu Xueqi looked at her senior sister, said, "Senior sister, if you have something to say, please say it!"

WenMin was surprised, made a bitter laugh and said, "I knew you have always been intelligent, nothing could be hidden from you..."

She paused for a while, said, "Junior sister, actually with your intelligence, you have far surpassed me this sister, but why is it that you just cannot look pass it, can't comprehend, and for nothing suffered in your heart?"

Lu Xueqi's smile slowly disappeared, replacing it was, a familiar indifference, just that, facing WenMin, she did not have that icy cold feeling.

"I am not suffering!" Lu Xueqi watched the night outside the window, quietly said it like that.

WenMin was stunned, Lu Xueqi gazed far into the distance, not knowing where she was gazing at, but in her words and tone, it was clear beyond doubt, "I have never suffered senior sister. The reason our sect passes us Tao, is for us to be free from care, our minds to be free, to comprehend creation, to seek longevity, isn't it?"

WenMin nodded, said, "That's right, actually on the road to cultivation, our Taoism school is similar to Buddhism."

Lu Xueqi gently placed a hand on the bamboo window handle, a gust of cold wind blew in, she seemed cold, her body shrank back slightly but she still stood there, her pale hand, soon had crystal water beads forming.

"But, what do I want longevity for?"

WenMin's mouth slightly agape, her brows frowning.

"I know, Qing Yun sect for several thousand years, our ancestors passed down these teachings, definitely it would not be wrong, I and the rest of the mortals if we want to escape reincarnation, with this cultivation, maybe we can achieve longevity. In the past, I too had those thoughts and so trained wholeheartedly. Just that today..." Lu Xueqi laughed quietly, like as if she was facing her own self, said, "If in my entire lifetime I can't have love and emotions, I have to ascend to an immortal with my heart like a white paper, that kind of immortality, that kind of immortal, why would that be what I desire!"

WenMin stammered, said, "Junior sister, what, what are you talking about exactly?"

As if she never heard WenMin, Lu Xueqi continued on, "I know what you are thinking of, senior sister, you'll most probably be reprimanding me for not knowing the ways of the world, not knowing the hardships and dangers of the world, what I desire in my heart, most likely would not have any outcome. Actually how would I not know that? If to say my heart is suffering, I have indeed suffered for this before. But now, I have accepted the situation, others said the world is harsh, hard to forgive and eventually I cannot be like him, betray the sect and leave. But even though it is so, I only hope that I can pine for someone in my heart, and I know too, he has me in his heart, with this, I am satisfied."

WenMin humphed, said, "Don't tell me you don't know, that both of you eventually cannot be together? Don't tell me this you too are not concerned?"

On Lu Xueqi's face, for the first time her expression changed, as if that deep dejection, quietly flashed past, after a long time, she quietly said, "Of cos I care, if there is a possibility, who wouldn't wish to be together for their lives, who doesn't want forever? Just that clearly knowing this is hard to achieve, and so I don't think! Anyway whatever happen in the future, who knows, but I will still refuse to forget."

WenMin looked at this beautiful lady, in the night, she was as beautiful and elegant as a lily, blooming in the loneliness.

She gently sighed and said, "Anyway I knew long ago that I can't change your mind, tomorrow morning, you better go and visit teacher!"

Lu Xueqi was surprised, turned her head over and said, "Although it's not that I don't wish to see teacher, just that if I go, most probably I would cause her to be angry."

WenMin shook her head said, "It was teacher who privately allow me to come and summon you, it is for official business so don't worry."

Lu Xueqi hesitated, said, "The southern border trip, the Beast Deity has perished, the great woe of Good Faction is gone, what is there more?"

WenMin paused and said, "The resurgence of the Evil Sect."

Lu Xueqi's body shook, at the same time a complicated glint flashed past her eyes, said, "What?"

Watching it all, WenMin sighed in her heart but her tone was still as normal, said, "Recently the rumours are rife, The evil sect which had fallen in the demon beasts catastrophe, apparently there are still remnants of the evildoers, and having the intention to stage a comeback. Our Qing Yun sect right now is facing internal problems and external invasion, teacher she seemed to be weighed down with anxieties, you know that she has always think highly of you, most likely she is summoning you because of these."

Lu Xueqi was silent for a long time, nodded and said, "Yes, I will go visit teacher the first thing tomorrow morning."

WenMin nodded and said, "Then you better rest early, I will leave now."

Lu Xueqi did not ask her to stay longer, sent her to the door, WenMin suddenly stopped, turned and looked at Lu Xueqi, said, "Junior sister, in the future if you have any trouble, you must not keep it in your heart, if you can trust me as your sister, tell me about it, it is better than worrying it in your heart."

Lu Xueqi slowly nodded and quietly said, "Yes senior sister, I know."

WenMin looked at her, saw that although she agreed but with her character, most likely if there was any difficult matter, she wouldn't speak out. And so with a bitter laugh, turned and left.

Lu Xueqi leaned against the door, watched as WenMin walked off.

She slowly looked away, saw the night as dark as ink, wind and rain soughing and pitter-pattered, the silent heaven and earth, seemed to emanate a bleak atmosphere.

She seemed to be in a daze, a very very long time, as if waking up from a dream, she quietly turned and gently closed the door.

The storm, was closed out together at the same time.

And as what Qing Yun sect's reported news, far thousand miles away in Fox Majestic Mountain, the once deserted mountain, suddenly became lively again. Large batches of Evil sect disciples, returned to Ghost King sect base, the once sealed up mechanism, one by one activated, the abandoned sentry post, under orderly directions, all started to resume.

On a fine and sunny day, the last Evil Sect branch, which also consisted of the most powerful strength of Ghost King sect, under Ghost King's command, again returned to Central Plains.

Big and small baggages, an infinite line of troops, looking like a line of ants returning back to their hill, and in this troop, the most attention-grabbing point was, every several zhangs, there would be hundred over disciples escorting certain huge animals, the exteriors were covered with thick grey cloths, revealing shapes of enormous rectangles, and under the cloths, deep scary roars could be heard at times, the roars vicious and filled with anger, but for some reason, hearing it, the roars were weak, as if some strange animals which were extremely exhausted.

This huge mysterious object, soon was transported by the Evil sect disciples who were already familiar with the road to Fox Majestic Mountain huge mountain cave which Ghost King sect had operated from for generations, in the air, leaving and gradually distancing, the plaintive cry and roars of unknown strange animals which reverberated quietly, at the same time, for some reason in the wind, a strange stench of blood, diffused out from the surroundings, drifted in the wind.

Ghost King with his hands clasped behind, stood at the side of the cave, watched as the last mysterious huge animal was transported deep into the cave, looking expressionless.

At a glance, he looked the same, other than the sides of his hair, which had turned grey for his daughter, seemed to have increased.

Behind him, two people stood, one was Youji, still covered by black veil, silent, the other covered entirely in black, was Mr Ghost.

When most of the disciples have entered into the cave, very quickly a number of people ran up to report to Ghost King, Ghost King did not say anything, only nodded, the disciples quickly dispersed, under the silent command, the cave entrance huge stone mechanism, slowly descended, blocking out the sunlight in the outer world.

Ghost King in the darkness, gently let out a breath. This familiar, cave smell.

In the deep cave tunnel, lights slowly lit, that was a disciple, one by one, lit up the fire torch hanging above the tunnel, under the familiar yellow light, shadows started to appear and wavering.

Behind, Youji walked forward, softly said, "Sect head, do you want to go take a look at Ghost Li?"

Ghost King's eyes glinted, said, "After I came back, I didn't see him, where is he?"

Youji quietly said, "He is at Biyao all along."

Ghost King was about to stride forward, paused, the next moment, said, "I will go over myself, you all don't have to follow along."

Youji acknowledged, watched Ghost King walked far off, until that figure disappeared.

She turned over, and had a shock, that mysterious shadow beside her, had already disappeared. Under the black veil, Youji's brows slowly frowned, a complicated look in her eyes.

Outside the icy-cold stone chamber deep inside the cave, was completely different from the bustling scene outside, there wasn't any noise here, like the usual quietness, or maybe to some people, what this place had even more, should be loneliness!

Ghost King stood outside the room for a very long time, facing that stone door, for some reason, he never raised his hand to open, the thick stone door vertically before him but his eyes, seemed to stare past that sturdy stone.

Behind that door, where the chilly cold air was, was his daughter still peacefully lying there?

As strong as someone like him, would he have moments of weakness, unwilling to face his own daughter?

Not knowing how much time had passed, time quietly slipped away, Ghost King's body moved, slowly stretched out his hand, activating the mechanism, deep quiet rumbles, the stone door before him, slowly opened.

A burst of cold air, assaulted his face, tendrils of white fog, drifting in the room.

Ghost King strided in, the stone door behind him, again closed up.

Everything, was still the same. That body lying peacefully there, including that man which in his memory had always sat there.

Ghost Li did not turn to look, he was still watching Biyao, and Ghost King did not speak, quietly walked to the other side of the platform, watching his daughter.

Biyao was still lying peacefully with a faint smile on her lips, at where her hands crossed in front of her body, that mystical Evil sect treasure HeHuan Bell, was quietly lying in her hands.

Faint, golden glow, seemed to shine out from the bell, radiating long and short rays. The extremely silent room, for some reason, always made one had the wrong impression, from somewhere quietly resounding, clear crisp sounds of bell, but listening carefully, always unable to find its trace, on that faint glow constantly glimmering on the bell, like a gentle and soft eyes, watching these two men in the room.

"Those days I am not here, is she still well?" Ghost King asked faintly, his gaze, from the time he entered, was always on his daughter.

Ghost Li slowly lifted his head, looked at Ghost King, Ghost King's eyes from Biyao's figure, shifted to look at Ghost Li.

The two men's eyes, met across mid-air, like a soundless wind and thunder.

Between them, Biyao's hands, the glow from HeHuan Bell, gently rotated.

"She is well." Ghost Li stood up, indifferently said.

Ghost King nodded, said, "With you around, I am very assured."

He paused for a while, said, "Your trip to southern border, did you manage to get any news of the Soul Return Unusual Art?"

A downcast look flashed past Ghost Li's face, shook his head. Ghost King was silent, looked down at Biyao, gently sighed. Ghost Li's trip to southern border this time, mainly obviously was to pursue the Beast Deity and on Ghost King's secret command, catch the TaoTie beside the Beast Deity, but their conversations right now, seemed like they had long forgotten this matter.

In the room, again another period of silence.

At the end, Ghost King's face turned solemn, indifferently said, "I still need to speak to you, but it's not convenient here, we better go out!"

Ghost Li nodded, did not speak, with one last glance at Biyao, for some reason, guilt flashed past his eyes and then turned and walked out. Ghost King behind him, walked out, the heavy door slowly closed up, again trapping the stillness, in the huge cold stone room, leaving only the rotating HeHuan Bell's faint glow.

Two men, walked together in the spacious tunnel, along the way, disciples who met them made way for them, bowing their heads, their footsteps, lightly resounded.

Passing through a few corners, the two of them came to Ghost Li's residence, Ghost King glanced at Ghost Li, seemed to sense something, Ghost Li frowning but did not look at Ghost King, after hesitating for a moment, opened the door.

Two of them walked in.

[Zhi zhi zhi, zhi zhi...]


The familiar shrieks from Xiao Hui, accompanied by a few strange roars, TaoTie which once followed the Beast Deity, right now was lying at Ghost Li's room floor, only it looked dull, closing its huge eyes, unmoving on the floor.

Instead it was Xiao Hui which was as usual, jumping around TaoTie, touching it on the left, hitting it on the right, and next moment pulled its tail or patted its head, more than this, occasionally he even placed his hand inside TaoTie's bloody mouth, pulling its mouth, curiously peering in.

Looking at Xiao Hui, it looked like it was cheering TaoTie, to play together but obviously it did have any effect on TaoTie.

Ghost Li and Ghost King walked in, TaoTie ignored them, continued to lie on the floor, Xiao Hui delightly cried out, leapt over to Ghost Li, crouched at his shoulder.

Ghost Li patted Xiao Hui's head, indifferently said to Ghost King, "This is it."

Ghost King did not speak, watched the TaoTie on the ground. His lips, slowly revealed a smile, but his smile contained that trace of inscrutable meaning