That day, the wind was strong and the moon was white.
Huang Yue'er went straight to Du Manor and killed the young madam of the Du family with her evil energy, and also harmed many others. It didn't take long before she finally attracted a Daoist priest.
The earth baby knew what she did and was afraid, but he was even more afraid that Sister Yue'er would be caught by the Daoists, so he attached himself to the other party and covered up her evil energy.
He had always thought he was repaying a favor, but now he was confused. Had he helped the wrong person?
At that moment, he heard the Daoist say, “See? Huang Yue'er has long since become an evil spirit, her mind controlled by evil thoughts and malice. These ghosts are a big nourishment to her, and she can't control her instincts at all.”
The Daoist pointed his finger and pinned Huang Yue’er's legs. No matter how hard Huang Yue’er struggled, she couldn't escape.
“My guess is that you protected her soul and prevented her from being reincarnated. But if you didn't intervene, she will at most atone for her sins for a lifetime. Now, she had defied heaven and heavily in debt, and she will never be reborn again. Not only did you harm her and harmed yourself, but you also harmed the people in Greentown and betrayed generations of people's faith in you!”
The earth baby was stunned and said, “Is it all the baby's fault?”
“You’re at fault.”
“What should baby do?”
“You should know.”
The earth baby was at a loss. He didn't know anything.
“You’re the deity of the land. What you wish for can be realized.”
What he wished for?
He wished for the spirits to be at peace.
He wished for the townspeople to be well.
He wished to help Sister Yue’er atone for her sins.
He also wished for Sister Yue’er to return…
Gold light emanated from the earth baby's body and the faith that had accumulated for a thousand years exploded at the same time, giving back to Greentown.
The netherworld spirits gradually faded under the golden light, and they returned to this land again, quietly waiting for the day of reincarnation. The people of Greentown who had been infected by evil spirits suddenly recovered and surprised cheers could be heard throughout the night. Wisps of black smoke emerged from Huang Yueer's body and poured into the earth baby’s body. The earth baby became more transparent, while Huang Yue'er's eyes that were full of hostility gradually returned to clarity.
With a muffled noise, a crack appeared on the earth god statue.
The earth baby's consciousness gradually became chaotic. He knew he was going to sleep again. He wondered how long this sleep would last, and if he would ever wake up again.
Just then, he heard a soft voice, “Baby, thank you. You aren’t wrong. It’s all my fault.”
Immediately, he felt strength in his body, and the tip of his nose seemed to smell the fragrance of flowers, the same scent of the moment his spiritual consciousness woke up.
Then, he fell into a deep sleep.
The temple returned to tranquility, but the cracked statue reminded people of what had just happened. The eyes of Jing Yue and the others fell on the palm of the statue. A small orange flower grew out of the fingers of the clay sculpture.
At the last moment, Huang Yue'er's soul manifested into faith and merged into the body of the earth baby.
After a while, Ruan Jiu whispered, “Can the earth baby still wake up?”
Jing Yue, “Maybe. The faith generated by a sacrificial soul is very powerful. Maybe it can preserve a bit of the earth baby’s spiritual awareness.”
Ruan Jiu whispered, “He's actually not bad. I hope he can wake up again.”
Jing Yue, “If we can get the people of Greentown to believe in him again and make offerings to him, he’ll have a good chance of reawakening.”
As he spoke, he took a few steps forward and picked up a red round pellet from the ground.
Several people noticed that it was a Yao core left behind after Huang Yue'er's sacrifice.
“Huang Yue'er devoured this Yao core and became an evil spirit. Ruan-daoyou also said that Hong Luan-laozu sensed the Yao energy here, and both events happened ten days ago. In other words, the owner of this Yao core is likely the one slain by Hong Luan-laozu, and it’s in the lake.”
Qin Yanzhi, “There shouldn’t be any Yao here. There must be a problem at the bottom of the lake.”
Jing Yue nodded. “I want to explore the lake.”
Qin Yanzhi, “That should be the way.”
A quarter of an hour later, they found the corpse of a big Yao at the bottom of the lake, which was a giant loach about three feet thick from the looks of the bones. At this time, the body of the big Yao had not rotted, but half of it had been eaten by aquatic creatures, and the Yao core was missing from the abdomen.
Jing Yue, “The Yao core in Huang Yue’er’s body should come from this loach.”
Qin Yanzhi, “The aquatic creatures have eaten the body. I'm only afraid that after a while, they’d also turn into Yao.”
Jing Yue, “So we have to purify it later to get rid of the Yao energy in the water.”
Not long after, they found a mud hole near the loach monster. The hole was only three feet wide and looked like it was dug out by the loach. There was a very faint Yao energy in the cave, which could only be detected near the entrance of the cave.
The four looked at each other underwater and swam into the cave one after another. As the cave terrain continued to go higher, it surprisingly connected to the belly of the mountain, and further down, it was a secret realm.
However, there were restrictions outside the secret realm, but with Wei Zhentu around, Jing Yue and the other two just waited on the side.
Ruan Jiu stared intently at Wei Zhentu casting spells with admiration and love in his eyes. Blue phoenix sighed inwardly when it saw this. “Today I love you but you don't love me. When I’m heartbroken and don't want to love you anymore, it’s your turn to love me. Dog-blooded, sour exhilaration! Ji-ji likes this! It’d be better if there were a change of genders. Ji-ji is a straight phoenix.”
Jing Yue only understood half of it, but he didn’t intend to pay attention to blue phoenix. He said to Qin Yanzhi instead, “Zhenjun, we never found any clues about the alliance between the demonic cultivators and the Yao race. I have a hunch that the truth may be behind the secret realm.”
However, Qin Yanzhi said through a voice transmission, “In the past, Tao Xian-laozu said that there was a chance of life in the righteous way. Now that I think about it, the silver lining should be tied to the Daoist Master.”
Jing Yue smiled. “If that’s true, I’m not reborn in vain, but the chance at life of the righteous path shouldn’t be tied to one person, but all members of the righteous path.”
Qin Yanzhi, “You are different.”
Jing Yue, “I'm the same as you.”
Qin Yanzhi suddenly turned his head to look directly at Jing Yue. After a beat, he said, “Well, we’ll advance and retreat together.”
Jing Yue, “Okay.”
When blue phoenix saw that Jing-jing would rather flirt with the Hooligan and ignore it, it was about to shed a phoenix tear to attract Jing-jing's attention, but it heard a soft noise—the restriction was broken.
As soon as they entered the secret realm, everyone felt the Yao energy. Although not as strong as the Misty Forest, this place was neither Yao Detention Mountain nor the Yao Tower of Three Realm Temple, which was enough to make them surprised and vigilant.
Many strangely-shaped plants grew in the small space in front of them. Jing Yue recognized at a glance that these plants belonged to the Yao world. At the same time, he suddenly felt something and took out a branch from the Sumeru Ring.
At some point, a leaf had grown on the withered branch.
The withered branch had returned to life!
“Tianzhu’s mother bamboo must be nearby!” Jing Yue exclaimed in surprise.
Both Qin Yanzhi and Wei Zhentu knew the reason why he was looking for the mother bamboo. Only Ruan Jiu was confused. “Tianzhu? Is it the one in Green Bamboo Sanctuary?”
Jing Yue, “That's right.” He repeated the Old Man Tianzhu's entrustment and released his divine consciousness to explore. “The mother bamboo is in the southwest and there are no other creatures around.”
As the secret realm was not big, they only walked a few miles to find the mother bamboo. The heavenly bamboo was thick and towered into the sky, but the mother bamboo was no different from ordinary bamboo. If not for the vision produced by the withered branch, Jing Yue would probably have missed it.
When he was about to chop a piece of the mother bamboo, he suddenly paused.
Qin Yanzhi looked equally grave. “It’s the Boundary Bamboo!”
Where the Boundary Bamboo was located, it could open up a barrier passage with a radius of one mile!
Ruan Jiu, “Boundary Bamboo? Hasn't it been extinct for a long time?”
Wei Zhentu didn't recognize it either. After all, the legacy of Scattered Star Villa was far inferior to Frostcloud Sect and Sword Inscription Sect, but he had heard the name of this bamboo. “No wonder there are Yao in Greentown. It's because of this bamboo!”
With the Boundary Bamboo, the Yao could pass through the barrier and come to the human realm!
Jing Yue, “The boundary bamboo is not a product of the Yao world. It was also planted in Greentown before. That goes to show that it was purposely transplanted here.”
Wei Zhentu said solemnly, “The Yao hid the boundary bamboo in the secret realm. Obviously, they want to enter the human realm through this bamboo. But if Yao have been coming and going from Greentown for a long time, it’s impossible for no one to notice.”
Jing Yue, “That goes to show that the Yao rarely use this passage. They are taking great pains to cover it up too. I think they’re waiting for a suitable time to break into the human realm in a big way and catch us by surprise.”
Everyone felt chills down their backs. If they hadn't found out in advance, the Yao race could have stabbed them at any moment of crisis.
Qin Yanzhi, “Since the demonic Dao joined forces with the Yao race, do they also know about the existence of the boundary bamboo?”
Wei Zhentu said angrily, “This is upper south region with many strong sects of the righteous path. Regardless of whether the demonic Dao knows about it, the Yao’s target must be us!”
Several people nodded. Jing Yue circled around the boundary bamboo and suddenly said, “Since the Yao can come to the human realm through this bamboo, we should also be able to enter the Yao realm. This is a good opportunity.”
Wei Zhentu, “A-jing’s meaning is…”
Jing Yue, “Let’s pay a visit to the Yao realm. Maybe we can get some unexpected results.”
Ruan Jiu, “Shouldn’t we find more helpers? Maybe this passage leads directly to the Yao City.”
Wei Zhentu frowned. “What are you thinking? The fortune of the Yao race is not yet exhausted. It’s impossible to destroy them in one fell swoop. Why do we need so many people? To alert the enemy?”
Ruan Jiu was scolded by Wei Zhentu and his eyes turned red again. “I thought we’re going to make a killing there.”
Jing Yue, “No, just to explore. The cultivation base of the few of us should be enough.”
After he finished speaking, Ruan Jiu quickly glanced at Wei Zhentu, before averting his eyes guiltily. But Wei Zhentu still noticed and said irritably, “What do you mean?”
Ruan Jiu, “N-Nothing.”
Qin Yanzhi, “He’s probably afraid that you’d drag us down.”
Ruan Jiu waved his hands. “No! I’ll protect Wei-daoyou!”
Wei Zhentu sneered, “Thank you, but I don't need it.”
Jing Yue smiled inwardly, but said seriously on the surface, “First of all, we must be able to enter the Yao realm without a hitch, and not be detected by them.”
In order to prove his strength, Wei Zhentu immediately said, “There should be a Yao formation near the boundary bamboo. I’ll find it!”
However, a quarter of an hour later, Wei Zhentu returned unhappily.
Jing Yue, “How is it? Aren’t you able to crack it?”
Wei Zhentu, “It can be done, but to enter the barrier, we must use Yao blood as a trigger. Where do we get Yao blood?”
Jing Yue thought about it. “Can we use Yao core?”
Wei Zhentu, “No.”
Ruan Jiu, “It can’t be that we have to go to Yao Detention Mountain to find one, right?”
Just when everyone was at a loss, Jing Yue suddenly tensed. “Someone is coming.”