Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 469
Chapter 469: Entering The Jiyuan Continent
The first elder of Kongming Academy, under Yun Ruoyan’s urging, opened the portal to the Mingyuan continent through the all-seeing mirror. Li Mo took the lead, and Yun Ruoyan the back, leaving Yun Moxiao in the middle. The spatial rends and blades of wind they would encounter within the portal were sharp and exacting, but they were no match for Yun Ruoyan’s augmented defenses.
Of the three of them, Yun Moxiao would be most badly affected by the portal. He had originally intended on overcoming these obstacles with his own cultivation, but his spiritual membrane broke with the first wave of blades.
Luckily, both Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo were paying careful attention to him. They grabbed him at the same time and extended their spiritual membranes to cover his body, stabilizing him and flying smoothly through the portal.
“No wonder you said Li Yan couldn’t follow us here,” Yun Moxiao murmured.
“Exactly,” Li Mo replied. “Eighth-rank blademasters and below can’t handle the journey.” However, he couldn’t help being reminded of what happened a few years ago, when Yun Ruoyan had accompanied him into the portal despite being heavily wounded and only then having the cultivation of a sixth-rank blademaster.
If not for her persistence, they wouldn’t have had little Li Yan so quickly, and Li Mo couldn’t help smiling at the fortuitous outcome of her rash decision.
Yun Moxiao glanced at Li Mo at that exact moment. He was somewhat confused as to what could have made the usually stoic Slaughtering King so happy, but before he could think further about the matter, Yun Ruoyan called out, “The exit’s right ahead.”
Yun Moxiao looked at the direction in which Yun Ruoyan was pointing to see a whirlpool-like exit quickly approaching. Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo, still holding onto Yun Moxiao, sped up and rushed out of the exit.
They appeared over a near-endless ocean and a glittering blue sky. Once they had exited the portal, Yun Ruoyan summoned Qiuqiu from her pocket dimension. “Qiuqiu, can you tear apart the space here?” she asked.
Qiuqiu looked carefully around him. “Yes, Mistress. This is an excellent spot. I need to borrow your silver bracelet.”
Yun Ruoyan handed Qiuqiu her silver bracelet, who tossed it into the air. It slowly increased in size until it was as large as a millstone. Qiuqiu jumped up from Yun Ruoyan’s lap, grew in mid-air, and landed on the enlarged silver bracelet.
“Everyone, stand back,” Qiuqiu warned, and the three cultivators retreated behind Qiuqiu. It stood on two feet, its front claws raised, and circulated spiritual energy throughout its body. The waves of force that billowed from Qiuqiu blew its fur and Yun Ruoyan’s hair every which way.
Suddenly, Qiuqiu let out an ear-splitting howl, then clawed at the sky before it. As though his claws were scraping steel, sparks were generated at the tips of its claws. The three cultivators’ eyes widened, because they could clearly see a spatial rend where Qiuqiu’s claws had struck what seemed like nothing.
Qiuqiu shoved its claws into the rend and slowly widened it. “Mistress, Li Mo, Yun Moxiao, hurry inside!”
The three of them immediately stepped forward. Li Mo was the first, Yun Moxiao the next, and Yun Ruoyan the last. After all three of them had entered, Qiuqiu darted into the silver bracelet, which morphed into a beam of light as it shot into the rend after Yun Ruoyan.
They had finally arrived in the Jiyuan continent.
The sunny blue sky turned into the dark of night, and the glittering, vast ocean into an endless snowfield. Empress Xue Tong had told them that the Jiyuan continent was eternally in winter, that the snow that covered the land was enriched in spiritual energy and could easily be absorbed during cultivation.
They gazed at their surroundings. They had landed by the corner of a street, and all around them were magnificent buildings. Because it was nighttime, the streets were empty and desolate.
“This is the capital of the silver dragon clan.” Li Mo pointed at a faraway building, a spire that seemed to crest the sky. “And that’s probably the silver dragon pagoda.”
The top of the pagoda seemed to poke through the clouds. Some unusual material at the crown of the pagoda gave off a shining white light.
The map that Empress Xue Tong had given them clearly marked the buildings all around. She had specifically informed them that they would be able to see the silver dragon pagoda as long as they were in the silver dragon city, and the silver dragon palace was situated right in front of the pagoda.
The three of them were very happy to have found their objective so quickly.
“There’s an inn over there. Let’s rest for the night and act tomorrow,” Li Mo suggested.
The Jiyuan continent also used spirit crystals as its primary currency, and both Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo had a number of spirit crystals in their storage rings.
However, just as they took a few steps toward the inn, a troop of patrolling guards rounded the corner and headed straight for them. They were all wearing a white uniform. When they saw the three cultivators, they immediately hurried forward.
“Hold it!” the captain of the patrolling guards called out, and the three of them all stopped.
“Who are you? Don’t you know that there’s a night curfew in the silver dragon city?” the captain questioned them.
All three cultivators had put on white, hooded capes before entering the Jiyuan continent, and their faces were all hidden from view. The guard stepped forward and reached out for Yun Ruoyan, who was the closest of the three to him.
Li Mo immediately grabbed his wrist and removed his hood, revealing silvery hair and piercing blue eyes that glared at the unfortunate guard.
The guard immediately averted his gaze. As if he had received a great shock, he almost stuttered as he said, “S-Sir, I’m under orders to patrol the city. I apologize for having disturbed you.”
Empress Xue Tong had told them that the people of the Jiyuan continent were divided by what was essentially a caste system, in addition to their cultivation. The silver dragons generally had hair in three shades of color: gray, silvery-gray, and pure silver. Those who had pure silver hair possessed the most concentrated silver dragon bloodline, followed by those with silvery-gray hair, and finally those with plain gray hair.
That was why the guard had been so shocked to see Li Mo with hair of purest silver.
Li Mo released his grip and replied icily, “I’m a traveller from afar. What happened here to cause the city to impose a night curfew?”
“Sir, the curfew was imposed by an elder of the silver dragon clan. Supposedly, there are a few cultivators from lower realms here to cause trouble, so security around the city has been strengthened all over,” the guard responded politely.
“All this fuss for some lower-realm cultivators?” Li Mo pressed.
“I’m not aware of the specifics, Sir.” The guard thought for a moment, then added, “I heard that one such cultivator was caught near the silver dragon castle not too long ago. Apparently, he was skilled enough to kill quite a number of experts in the castle, and the elder himself had to step in to subdue him. However, the elder was also injured in the process, and he’s in closed cultivation at the moment.”
“I understand. Leave!” Li Mo threw a high-grade spirit crystal at the guard, whose eyes brightened. He hurriedly thanked Li Mo, then left with the rest of his troops.
As the three of them entered the inn, it was again Li Mo who asked the innkeeper for two rooms. Draped in a thick coat, the innkeeper himself led the three guests up the stairs, engaging in idle chatter all the while. “The three of you are the first guests I’ve received at night these past dozen days. How poor business has been after the night curfew was imposed! The silver dragon city used to be crowded even at night, and now there’s no one on the streets any longer.”
None of the three replied, but the innkeeper forged on. “Have you heard? A week from now, a lower-realm cultivator who stormed the silver dragon castle is going to be executed!”
“We came from the extreme north, and were unaware of this information,” Li Mo replied. “Are you certain of this?”
“Of course! My brother’s a guard in the castle, and he wouldn’t lie to me!” the innkeeper replied. Alright, these two rooms are yours. Please rest early, honored guests.”
The innkeeper left, and the three of them entered the same room. Yun Ruoyan immediately noticed the hearth at the center of the room, over which hung a kettle of water. By the side of the room was a large urn filled with clear water, and she smiled. “So this is what inns here are like. No wonder the innkeeper didn’t offer to bring us any hot water.”
She had almost asked for hot water from the innkeeper, but had luckily refrained from doing so. Otherwise, it would have exposed her cluelessness. Li Mo handed Yun Ruoyan the kettle, lit the coals, and started a fire.
“Isn’t it surprising that there are others from the lower realms here?” Yun Moxiao wondered.
Yun Ruoyan filled up the kettle, then handed it to Li Mo to hang above the hearth.
“Li Mo, who do you think this person is? Could it be someone we know?” Yun Ruoyan sat down by the fire and turned to Li Mo.
Li Mo frowned. “Ruoyan, I suspect we’re thinking of the same person.” He turned to her, and they spoke simultaneously, “Zhuo Yifeng.”
“Zhuo Yifeng!” Yun Moxiao was a little surprised. “Him? Didn’t you say that he vanished on the Mingyuan continent?”
Although Yun Moxiao and Zhuo Yifeng thought highly of each other, they hadn’t known each other for much time. Yun Moxiao hadn’t asked specifically about why Zhuo Yifeng had failed to return to the Chenyuan continent with them.
Yun Ruoyan explained how Zhuo Yifeng had been possessed by a demon and had then suddenly disappeared. “We don’t know how he ended up possessed, either,” Yun Ruoyan replied. “But thinking back about it now, there was a long period during which he seemed to behave somewhat strangely. We were both busy with other things, so we didn’t even notice.”
Yun Ruoyan had been very shocked when Zhuo Yifeng suddenly confessed to her, but she was so busy that she didn’t think too much about it. And while she was shocked by Zhuo Yifeng’s rapid growth in cultivation, she chalked it off to his hard work and being in an environment rich in spiritual energy. As someone who called Zhuo Yifeng a good friend, however, she was ashamed that she hadn’t noticed anything unusual until it was too late.
“Li Mo, if it really is Zhuo Yifeng, then we have to save him,” Yun Ruoyan said, glancing at the embers in the hearth.