After they came out, they passed through the plum blossoms forest again. Jing Yue couldn't help but said, “I feel that he’s trying to make things difficult. Who’d agree to such conditions?”
Qin Yanzhi, “It doesn't matter. We can just continue our search.”
Jing Yue frowned. “The Dragon Tomb will open soon, and no one knows exactly when. We have very little time.”
Qin Yanzhi suddenly stopped and said to Jing Yue, “Do you realize that you’re always anxious these days?”
Jing Yue was startled and looked at Qin Yanzhi blankly.
Qin Yanzhi, “When encountering similar situations in the past, it was usually you who consoled others, but now…”
Like a lightbulb that suddenly switched on, Jing Yue realized that something was wrong with him. He was so worried about Qin Yanzhi that he lost his patience.
Qin Yanzhi, “You’re worried about me.”
Qin Yanzhi, “But I’m worried about you too.”
The plum petals fell like flying white snow.
Qin Yanzhi stood under a plum tree, his expression calm, like a drifting cloud in the clear sky, slender and indifferent, making Jing Yue feel at ease.
Jing Yue pursed his lips slightly, lowered his eyes, and said softly, “You’re right. Even if we couldn’t get another one, I still have one. At that time, you can go alone.”
Qin Yanzhi, “Why don’t you get it for me instead?”
Jing Yue smiled and said, “I can do that too. If I go, I'll definitely bring back the dragon bone for you.”
The two returned to Dragon Gate City on the same day and found an inn to stay in. They intended to find out more about the Dragon Emergence Stone the next day.
In the middle of the night, they were cultivating separately when suddenly, both of them opened their eyes at the same time.
Almost at the same time, a figure quietly appeared in the room, reaching out and grabbing at Jing Yue!
When the other party made a move, Jing Yue noticed the cultivation base of a Return to Void. He immediately conjured a clone, while his main body teleported to a corner of the room.
The clone quickly dispersed and Jing Yue could finally see the appearance of the other party. The face was full of strange lines, and the five fingers exposed were black as if they were stained with ink.
This person was a demonic cultivator. Jing Yue was sure of it.
However, the demonic cultivators of East Yu had always been law-abiding, and he and Qin Yanzhi had both changed their appearances and disguised their cultivation bases. They looked no different from normal cultivators, so how did they attract a Return to Void demonic cultivator?
The demonic cultivator didn't expect Jing Yue to escape. He was taken aback briefly and was about to release his domain.
However, Jing Yue’s practice in the past 100 years wasn’t in vain. He had reached the upper level of Amethyst Abode and was only one step away from the absolute level.
He pulled out the Mini Canglan Sword and slashed gently, and the sword light emitted a dazzling light like the bursting sun. At the same time, Jing Yue triggered a lightning flash, which also used strong light to temporarily blind the enemy's vision.
His sword wasn’t aimed at the Return to Void demonic cultivator but broke through a wall instead.
Taking advantage of the moment when the Return to Void demonic cultivator squinted, Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi quickly crawled out of the hole and fled outside.
The demonic cultivator was furious. His sneak attack today was related to whether his beloved disciple could enter the Dragon Tomb, so he couldn’t let them escape and quickly gave chase.
But when he chased into a forest, he realized that he was chasing after Jing Yue’s clone, and the other two had disappeared.
At this time, Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi were hiding on a certain hill on the opposite side of the demonic cultivator.
As Jing Yue’s cultivation improved, the control over his clone was more precise, so he successfully deceived the other party.
Qin Yanzhi, “This is strange. Our illusory technique has never been seen through before. Even if the demonic cultivator could see through it, he shouldn’t go against us in this bustling Dragon Gate City. But on the other hand, if he didn’t know our true identities, why did he come after us?”
Jing Yue, “There must be an inside story about this.”
After he finished speaking, he lowered his head. In his arms, the blue phoenix was listening intently with its little head propped up and didn’t even bother to adjust its hat when it slipped down.
“Ji-ji can do it!” It immediately understood Jing-jing's intention, and it was full of energy, flapping its wings and flying into the night.
Half an hour later, the blue phoenix returned.
“Jing-jing, something bad has happened!” Blue phoenix pounced into Jing Yue’s arms and kept gesturing with its wings. “Old Man Hanmei is dead!”
Jing Yue was shocked. “How did he die?”
“He said he was harmed by Jing-jing and Hooligan!”
Jing Yue: ???
Blue phoenix said anxiously, “Ji-ji overheard them say that after seeing you today, Old Man Hanmei never saw other outsiders again. Not long after you left, the leader of the Rogue Cultivator Alliance came looking for him. The Daoist boy led him in, and they saw Old Man Hanmei seriously injured and dying. Before he died, he said that you and Hooligan were disguised as two young men, stole his Dragon Emergence Stone, and even harmed him!”
Jing Yue immediately understood. Most likely, the Return to Void demonic cultivator had received the news and wanted to grab the Dragon Emergence Stone from them before the people from the Rogue Cultivator Alliance arrived.
After all, anyone with the stone would keep quiet about it, while Old Man Hanmei had the Rogue Cultivator Alliance as his backer, and no ordinary people would dare to mess with him. On the other hand, the forces behind him and Qin Yanzhi were far away from East Yu, and nothing could be done even if something happened. By the time reinforcements arrived in East Yu, the demonic cultivator had already run away!
But he was still puzzled. “How did Old Man Hanmei know our identities?”
Qin Yanzhi had more or less guessed the information from blue phoenix’s actions and was equally puzzled. “Even Han Guang couldn’t see through our disguise. If my technique didn’t expose me the other day, Han Guang wouldn't have known that I was there. Besides, I’ve never heard that Old Man Hanmei was proficient in the art of illusion.”
Jing Yue, “The point is, he died, and he pointed us out as the murderers before he died.”
Did someone really pretend to be them and killed Old Man Hanmei, or did the other party frame them on purpose?
The two were silent. After a long while, Jing Yue asked, “Ji-ji, how did the leader of the Rogue Cultivator Alliance react?”
Blue phoenix hugged Jing Yue and said aggrievedly, “He brought many people to look for you with portraits, and surrounded the inn where we stayed.”
Jing Yue frowned. “Although Frostcloud Sect has little interaction with the Rogue Cultivator Alliance, I didn’t expect that he wouldn’t give me any face at all.”
Not to mention his identity, even Qin Yanzhi was also very reputable in the righteous path.
Qin Yanzhi, “It's useless to think too much. It won’t do any good for us to enter the city tonight. Let’s find out more tomorrow.”
Jing Yue, “We can only do that for now.”
Early the next morning, Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi re-disguised themselves and quietly joined the flow of people into the city.
For the sake of caution, the two simply transformed into women and acted as sisters.
Qin Yanzhi saw Jing Yue dressing up as a woman for the first time, and felt a little rueful. After all, it wasn’t the other party’s original appearance. He couldn't help thinking that many years ago when they sent the inner core of the Tranquil Fox to the Qin family household, Jing Yue was mistaken for a girl by the Qin family patriarch. At that time, Jing Yue even asked Qin Yanzhi if he looked like a woman.
Although it had been many years, Qin Yanzhi could still clearly recall the other party’s demeanor and every detailed expression.
But at that time, he didn't know that the person in front of him was his destined one.
At this time, the city was already very lively. Not only were the members of the Rogue Cultivator Alliance patrolling everywhere but there were also many people on the street.
“Have you heard? Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi killed Old Man Hanmei for his Dragon Emergence Stone.” This was a local cultivator of East Yu.
“Jing Yue? Which one? The one from Frostcloud Sect?” This was a non-local cultivator.
“Who else would be so bold but him? The Rogue Cultivator Alliance is looking for him everywhere.”
“I can’t believe it. With their identities, would they stoop as low as killing someone for a Dragon Emergence Stone?”
“Don't you know that Qin Yanzhi was injured by Han Guang a hundred years ago? It was rumored that he never recovered, and he couldn’t even activate his sword soul, so they want to find a chance encounter in the Dragon Tomb.”
“That's right. Old man Hanmei has always been an upright person. He personally identified Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi before he died. How could it be a lie? Besides, if those two didn't hurt anyone, why did they escape? Isn’t that a sign of guilt?”
“How dare the Rogue Cultivator Alliance not give face to Frostcloud Sect and Sword Inscription Sect?”
“Tsk, this is East Yu! With the Dragon Palace in charge, no matter how strong their two sects are, it’s impossible to risk the conflict with the Dragon Palace and stick their fingers out to East Yu!”
“That's right. Now that the righteous path is in turmoil, and Frostcloud Sect has a huge grudge with the demonic path and the Yao race, if they offend the Dragon Palace on top of that, it will affect the overall situation of the righteous path.”
Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi listened silently.
Although the Rogue Cultivator Alliance belonged to the righteous path, it was located in East Yu and had always governed on its own. They were always excluded by other sects of the righteous path and were not even involved in guarding Yao Detention Mountain. When Frostcloud Sect called upon all the great forces to discuss the matter of the demon spawn, the Rogue Cultivator Alliance wasn’t invited either.
Moreover, as rogue cultivators, they mostly didn’t see eye to eye with disciples who had great sects as their backing.
The righteous path wasn’t completely united in love and harmony either. Hidden disagreements existed between them. It was just that such little conflicts were trivial in the face of a major calamity.
But now, the crisis hadn’t arrived yet, right?
“No matter what, it’s impossible for Alliance Master Zhuge to kill Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi, right? This is a major event that can cause chaos in the righteous path!”
“Of course not. He just wants the two of them to explain the inside story, and then invite them to stay in the Rogue Cultivator Alliance as guests. As for the rest of it, it must be shared with Frostcloud Sect and Sword Inscription Sect.”
“That’s right. If the two of them weren’t guilty, why don’t they take the initiative to come out and tell Alliance Master Zhuge the truth?”
Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi smiled wryly. They were still confused too, so how could they clarify the situation? Besides, they didn't know whether the leader of the Rogue Cultivator Alliance was a friend or foe.
This matter was obviously aimed at them. If they fell into the hands of the Rogue Cultivator Alliance, they would be digging their own graves.
“Old Man Hanmei was really unlucky. I heard that he was stabbed more than 100 times all over his body. As a Heavenly Grotto cultivator, only Qin Yanzhi could hurt him to this extent!”
“I heard that Alliance Master Zhuge wanted to take him back to the Rogue Cultivator Alliance for treatment, but he breathed his last on the way.”
“Seeing the death of a close friend with his own eyes, how could Alliance Master Zhuge not be angry?”
Hearing this, Jing Yue guessed that the corpse of Old Man Hanmei had been taken to the Rogue Cultivator Alliance. He exchanged a glance with Qin Yanzhi, and both of them planned to go to the Rogue Cultivator Alliance to see if they could find some information.
However, when they walked near the pier, they heard someone say, “Little maiden in front, please wait.”
Neither Jing Yue nor Qin Yanzhi realized that the other party was calling them until a lavishly-dressed young man led three or five servants to stand in front of them.
“Little maiden, I’m sorry to impose.”
Jing Yue, “…”
Qin Yanzhi, “…”
The young man's eyes darted between Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi, showing some struggle and regret for some unknown reason.
In the end, he sighed and looked at Qin Yanzhi ruefully. Then, he raised his smiling face and said to Jing Yue, “This little maiden, do you have a betrothal?”
Jing Yue: ???
Youth, “Little maiden, my name is Luo Feng, 26 this year, and I’m not betrothed yet. If the little maiden is willing to marry me, I’ll order eight sedan chairs to welcome you into the family, and offer you a thousand spiritual stones as dowry.”
Jing Yue & Qin Yanzhi, “……….”