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Chapter 248: Helpless

 Chapter 248 - Helpless

As time passed by in the world, that beam of light seemed to be awakened, became brighter and brighter, as if responding to something.

On the platform, Mr Ghost's figure moved, he looked like he had sensed something but yet unsure, hesitated for a moment and then slowly opened his eyes, looked up at the cauldron.

Ghost Li's body moved slightly, gradually waking up from a confused state, turned around and sat up, he felt dizzy. With his current cultivation, he could actually be in this state, it was really rare. But Ghost Li did not seem to mind, composed himself, let out a long breath, turned around and was stunned, he saw a jade dish on the stone floor, emitting warm white glow, it was the Qian Kun Reincarnation Plate. And Xiao Hui was crouching beside the jade dish, it seemed curious, looking at it right and left, a few times it stretched out its hand to touch it but each time retreated halfway, it seemed to be rather afraid of this jade dish.

Ghost Li frowned, contemplated and couldn't figure out how did he drop this jade dish on the floor, he only had vague recollection of himself returning to his room from the icy cold chamber, it must have been he was too depressed due to the disappointment and couldn't focus! Ghost Li made a bitter laugh to himself after a moment, sighed and got off the bed, bent down and took the dish, Xiao Hui sat on the floor, looked up at Ghost Li, its three eyes bright, not knowing what it was thinking too.

Ghost Li gestured at Xiao Hui, said, "Come here Xiao Hui."

Xiao Hui [zhi zhi] and jumped over, leapt up to Ghost Li but it still seemed wary of the dish in Ghost Li's hands and did not stay in his embrace, jumped up to his shoulder and sat down, frequently glancing at the dish.

Ghost Li did not think much, patted Xiao Hui's body, in this world only this monkey stayed by him. After a while, his gaze returned to the dish, in the white glow, the dish was still the same as before, in the centre, the innumerable jade cubes were still following their own paths circulating, unceasingly, as if nothing had happened.

Ghost Li looked at the dish in his hand, the glow from the dish illuminated his face, not knowing what secret it contained, concealing deep within.

Ghost Li looked at it for a long time, eventually in the end still shook his head, a trace of disappointment flicked past his face, took the black cloth and again placed wrapped the dish in it. Xiao Hui watched Ghost Li's actions, as Ghost Li was about to keep the dish into his bosom, Xiao Hui suddenly [zhi zhi] called out.

Ghost Li turned his head over, felt puzzled, frowned and asked, "What is it Xiao Hui?"

Xiao Hui scratched its head but it couldn't tell too what was wrong or its concerns, spread it hands and shrugged. Ghost Li patted Xiao Hui's head and did not think much about it, sat for a while and suddenly spoke again, "Xiao Hui, how long have I been asleep?"

Xiao Hui's three eyes blinked, [zhi zhi zhi zhi] spoke, at the same time gestured with its hands, Ghost Li watched for a while, slowly said, "Such a long time ah, then let's go out and take a walk!" He paused, stood up and at the same smoothed Xiao Hui in his embrace, his expression slightly lost but he inhaled deeply, indifferently said, "No matter what we still have to live on, right?" Xiao Hui's three eyes peered left and right, not knowing if it understood Ghost Li's words but Ghost Li was not in the mood to ponder, gently patted Xiao Hui's back, Xiao Hui climbed up his shoulder, Ghost Li walked to the door, in the deep rumbling sound of the door opening, they walked out, outside the stone room, the multi directional corridors were still extending out to both sides, the thick cracks where were getting denser, strongly reminded the people here, the strange unknown was still here and dangerous. Ghost Li stood for a while at the entrance, his eyes on the big and small cracks on the walls.

In these cracks, some were already quite big, from the top of the wall all the way close to the ground, revealing the grey rocks within, the sturdy rock wall after these cracks appeared, seemed to have become as weak as a thin paper. Ghost Li walked slowly to the walls and to one of the cracks, expressionlessly watching, looked for a long time.

Following which he looked up above the corridor, his brows frowned, these cracks increased in numbers after his return, he was unable to tell at one glance but when he was at the icy cold chamber, he clearly recalled that sudden mysterious power, the source seemed to be coming from below but looking at the surrounding walls cracks, it was the ceilings of the tunnels that received the most severe damages, next the sides of the walls. An impatient look flicked across his face, seemed like he was in a bad mood, although the cracks looked extremely strange but he really did not have the mood to contemplate. Composing himself, Ghost Li did not look at the cracks anymore, with Xiao Hui headed to one of the tunnels.

The tunnel stretched ahead, what was different from the past was, it was much more quieter, the disciples rather stay in their room and hide, no one was willing to come out and walk around, in the huge tunnel, only Ghost Li's figure was seen.

However, Ghost Li did not seem to mind that, the direction he was heading, was towards the entrance of the cave, not knowing if it was because he was too vexed and intended to go out and walk.

Ghost Li's footsteps reverberated in the tunnel, the footsteps sounded louder due to the silence. Xiao Hui crouched on his shoulder, seemed unused to the unusual silence, turning its head here and there, peering all around.

Suddenly, Xiao Hui's head stopped, looking ahead, Ghost Li also seemed to sense something too, stopped, watching ahead, there was nobody in front but the next moment, there was a movement, it was a black figure quietly drifting out.

It was actually that mysterious unfathomable elusive Mr Ghost.

Mr Ghost at the same time saw Ghost Li, seemed to be startled also, stopped. Both of them looked at each other for a while, did not speak, the atmosphere in the tunnel seemed to turn rather cold and awkward, finally Mr Ghost indifferently said, "When did you return?"

Ghost Li was indifferent, said, "Not long ago."

Mr Ghost nodded, as if nothing more to say and since he had already said something, considered making his greetings, stepped forward to move off, Ghost Li quietly stepped aside to make way.

Mr Ghost suddenly stopped after passing by Ghost Li, saw that he was unusually hesitant, after a moment of silence, said, "Did you say you have just return not long ago?"

Ghost Li indifferently said, "Yes, what is it?"

Mr Ghost hesitated, as if deliberating his words, slowly said, "Then did you... notice here...something not right?"

Ghost Li glanced at Mr Ghost, said, "What do you mean?"

Mr Ghost after a period of silence, again shook his head said, "No, nothing, I will make a move first." After speaking, he walked straight ahead, did not speak further.

Ghost Li watched his back figure, watched as Mr Ghost gradually walked further away, drifting unsteadily, like an apparition but his figure was moving much slower than before.

To Ghost Li, Mr Ghost's slower movements and unsteadily walk, from time to time leaning against the stone walls, especially near the stone rooms, Mr Ghost would deliberately or undeliberately went near the room entrance, paused for a moment and then continued.

For some reason, he seemed to be searching for something?

Ghost Li indifferently turned around, even if Mr Ghost was searching for something, it was nothing of a concern to him. Following the original direction, Ghost Li continued forward, this time he did not meet anyone again and soon reached the entrance/exit.

When Ghost Li walked out of the entrance, a beam of sunlight, carrying some warmth, shone onto his face. He squinted his eyes slightly, inhaled deeply, in the sunlight, under the light, the stone in his heart, seemed to finally lighten up the slightest.

Qing Yun Hill, Tong Tian Peak.

As the days passed by, Qing Yun Hill sect head Reverend Daoxuan never revealed himself once, with his status as the world Good Faction leader, this was naturally not a trivial matter, and his eldest disciple Xiao Yicai who had been concealing this fact while searching secretly, the burden on his shoulder increased as the days passed.

Not mentioning the frequent enquiries from Good Faction various sects at Qing Yun sect, those were easy to turn away but Qing Yun sect was a sect with many branches and disciples and Reverend Daoxuan did not really hand the position to Xiao Yicai, and so Xiao Yicai faced difficulties in handling many affairs. And Qing Yun sect had always placed Tong Tian Peak central to them, as their sect head strangely had no news for many days, the news from the branch was always in seclusion, in the end they also could no longer use seclusion as excuse, Xiao Yicai simply stated that Reverend Daoxuan had already left to roam the world, nobody knew where the elder was.

Actually Xiao Yicai could not be blame, Reverend Daoxuan's current situation, among the thousands of disciples in Qing Yun sect, only Small Bamboo Valley Shuiyue Master and Lu Xueqi knew the truth and Big Bamboo Valley Tian Buyi, Suru who were great supports, have passed away. If Shuiyue Master and Lu Xueqi did not reveal, how would others knew about this great secret and so the people could only question Xiao Yicai.

And right now Xiao Yicai looking exhausted, he seemed to lost weight, greatly different from his usual wit, competency and vigour, one could imagine how much pressure he was having right now.

And he was still unable to rest, in the Crystal Hall Tong Tian Peak, the other six branches of Qing Yun sect seemed unable to wait another day, came together to Tong Tian Peak to ask what exactly happened to Reverend Daoxuan, the reason for his long absence, this was something that had never happened before.

Most of the branch leaders have already arrived, leaving only Small Bamboo Valley Shuiyue Master, her most outstanding disciple Lu Xueqi was also not seen but her senior sister, Wenmin was present. The other branch leaders sat in the center, and the most glaring was the leader position of Big Bamboo Valley, in the end it was still taken over by big disciple Song Daren.

In the crowd, Song Daren was still wearing the mourning clothes, clearly still in mourning for his teacher and teacher's wife, his expression was also sombre, occasionally his eyes swept past the crowd, inadvertently came to Small Bamboo Valley Wenmin who stood before him, nodding slightly to him.

Song Daren was silent, his lips moved and forced a smile to Wenmin but soon looked down, obviously his mood was still immersed in grief. Wenmin's eyes revealed sadness, her expression also seemed dejected.

The gathering today although were for the six branches but those leading were naturally not Song Dare, Qihao these newly promoted second generation disciples. Return of the Wind Valley Zeng Shuchang etc would not leave to the responsibility to others, immediately started to question Xiao Yicai.

And Xiao Yicai who had been managing the daily affairs of the sect for some time but Reverend Daoxuan afterall did not hand the position to him and so he still had to stand and reply before these leaders, without a seat. Right now in the hall the sect head Reverend Daoxuan's seat was still empty, Xiao Yicai stood beside the great seat, a bitter smile on his face, replying to each of the questions.

Just that the questions, although the atmosphere was not the best but they were unable to get the answer, Xiao Yicai insisted that he did not know where Reverend Daoxuan was and truthfully he really did not know, he could only reply that Reverend Daoxuan with his high cultivation, might had been inspired the day before and so left to roam the world.

The branch leaders naturally could not accept this, Reverend Daoxuan had been leading for so many years and never behaved like this, leaving without any notice. However, Xiao Yicai repeatedly only had this answer but it also made one felt helpless, he couldn't be rude and reply that without a precedent, it doesn't mean it won't happen right?

The interrogations lasted from morning until noon, all of them were hoarse from questioning, Xiao Yicai was even more exhausted but in the end, he was still having the same answer, the rest of them looked at each other, after a long while, Return of the Wind Valley Zeng Shuchang was the first to stand up, with an angry snort, flung his sleeve and left.

The one leading had left, Qihao, Song Daren and the rest were called here to add to the numbers, naturally also followed and left.

Watching the people leaving, Xiao Yicai then let out a relief, suddenly his body wavered, felt he was about to collapse, fortunately he had strong foundation and so immediately composed himself, bitterly laughed secretly to himself, sighed and said to himself, "Teacher, where are you exactly, if you still do not return, I really can't sustain anymore."

Let's not talk about Xiao Yicai's bitterness temporary, Song Daren who was also following the crowd out, as Big Bamboo Valley was still in mourning, nobody came with him. He quietly walked out of Crystal hall, the scene just now, reminded him of his teachers' demises, Song Daren felt even more anguished, he really did not want to stay here for even a minute longer, only wished to leave this place quickly.

Just that when he walked out of the hall and down the stairs, was about to cross the rainbow bridge and onto the clouds to return back, he suddenly heard someone called him, "Daren".

Song Daren turned, it was Small Bamboo Valley Wenmin who was waving to him, Song Daren felt a slight warmth in his heart, walked over. Wenmin saw his haggard look, felt a pain in her heart, was about to speak but stopped, saw that there were passer-by constantly and not a good place to talk, and so signalled to Song Daren and walked ahead.

Song Daren understood and followed her across the bridge, came to the broad expanse of cloud platform, both of them walked to a secluded area, after checking that nobody was around, Wenmin said, "Are, are you fine?"

Song Daren smiled bitterly, looked down and said, "You know my situation, sigh..." he heaved out a long sigh, said, "But I still have some junior brothers, if I do not take up this responsibility, I'm afraid they might find it even harder to accept." [Translator's note: This part is a bit weird but I have searched around, seemed to be the same]

Wenmin stunned for a moment, said, "Why, Xueqi and teacher are together?"

The young female disciple beside said, "That's right, this morning after you left, teacher called Xueqi senior sister over."

Wenmin nodded, said, "Alright I know it, I will go over now, you can continue with your work!"

The group acknowledged, smiled and left, Wenmin looked these naive junior sisters, couldn't help but envy them, maybe being simple and pure instead would make one more happier!

She watched as they disappeared and then let out a sigh of relief, hurried towards Shuiyue Master's hut deep inside the bamboo forest.

The winding small path inside the forest, flanked by exuberant bamboos, the air with a fragrance, after a few turns, the hut gradually appeared in sight.

Wenmin came to the door, gently knocked twice on the bamboo door, said, "Teacher, disciple Wenmin is here."

Shuiyue Master's voice was heard from the hut, faintly said, "Come in!"

Following her voice, the hut's door emitted a deep [zhi ya] sound, was pushed opened, Lu Xueqi's beautiful figure appeared, smiled lightly to Wenmin and said, "Senior sister, you are back."

Wenmin smiled to Lu Xueqi and walked in.

Inside the hut, Shuiyue Master was sitting on a simple bamboo bed, Lu Xueqi walked in and stood beside her, Shuiyue Master glanced at Wenmin and said, "Just back?"

Wenmin respectfully said, "Yes, disciple is just back from TongTian Peak."

Shuiyue Master was silent for a moment, asked, "Tell me what was the situation at TongTian Peak?"

Wenmin nodded and said, "Yes." And truthfully related the morning situation, the crowd's questions, Xiao Yicai's difficult position and replies, did not miss out anything.

Shuiyue Master quietly listened, did not speak, Lu Xueqi was also expressionless, only when Wenmin spoke about Xiao Yicai's difficulty, couldn't help but turn and glance at Shuiyue Master but Shuiyue Master was expressionless.

After a while Wenmin reported finished, hesitated a moment and said, "Teacher, there is one more thing, disciple is unsure if should say it..."

Shuiyue Master closed her eyes, seemed to be contemplating Wenmin's words earlier on, heard her request and said, "You can just speak what's on your mind!"

Wenmin acknowledged, said, "Yes, then disciple will say it, today the six leaders were to gather at TongTian Peak, the other five leaders were there, only you were not, Return of the Wind Valley Zeng Shuchang and some of them, grumbled to disciple and asked disciple to convey to teacher, said everyone is part of Qing Yun sect, worship the same ancestors, wanted teacher you to step out and talk to."

After speaking, Wenmin carefully looked up at her teacher, saw her keeping quiet, there was no anger and also no reply, only closing her eyes and contemplating.

Shuiyue Master did not speak, Wenmin also did not dare to speak anymore, after a moment, Shuiyue Master slowly spoke, "What you have just said is that other than me, the rest of the five leaders were there?"

Wenmin was stunned, nodded and said, "Yes."

Shuiyue Master glanced at Wenmin, said, "Who from Big Bamboo Valley came?"

Wenmin's heart jumped, for some reason when her teacher singled out Big Bamboo Valley, she hesitated and said, "It was Tian teacher uncle and Suru teacher aunt's big disciple Song Daren."

Lu Xueqi's expression quietly turned sombre, anguish flickered past her eyes.

Shuiyue Master's expression also turned somewhat sombre, let out a breath and said, "Other than him, who else from Big Bamboo Valley?"

Wenmin said, "Big Bamboo Valley senior and junior brothers are in mourning, so only Song Daren senior brother went alone, even Song senior brother was also wearing the mourning clothes."

Shuiyue Master was silent for a moment, indifferently said, "It is not easy for them too ah...did you go and console that Song Daren?"

Wenmin was taken aback, Shuiyue Master had always been strict with her disciples, especially in love matters, Wenmin and Song Daren were secretly in love for many years, it was already an open secret, her heart was already in jitters, afraid that her teacher would reprimand her and now Shuiyue Master suddenly brought it up, she was even breaking out in cold sweat, hesitated for a long time, she quietly said, "Teacher, I, I saw Song senior brother he was quite pitiful and so I was soft-hearted for a moment and then, then went up and spoke a few words to him. Disciple, disciple definitely dare not defy teacher's guidance."

Shuiyue Master quietly looked at Wenmin, Wenmin's heart pounded faster and faster, not knowing if she would be reprimanded by teacher. Who knew the next moment, Shuiyue Master suddenly sighed and said, "Xiao min, you don't have to be this scared, teacher is not blaming you."

Wenmin almost thought she had heard it wrongly, asked in surprised, "Teacher, what are you saying?"

Shuiyue Master indifferently said, "Big Bamboo Valley is still in mourning, in the short period of time it is not possible, after another period of time, ask that Song Daren to come and propose marriage, anyway he is afterall a branch leader now, he will not be unworthy of you."

A [weng] sound rang out in Wenmin's head, she seemed unable to accept the sudden news, was too overjoyed to speak but did not understand why her teacher who had always firmly objected to this, would suddenly changed her attitude.