“Damn this Heavenly Way,” Xie Shuci cursed through gritted teeth.
With a few quick movements, he took down his small medicine pouch and thrust it into Chu Wenfeng’s hands, “There’s no use for Xie An and me to stay here, you might have use for these medicines.”
Chu Wenfeng was momentarily taken aback, “You…”
“Don’t waste time. I can make better ones later,” Xie Shuci said as he pulled a bronze cauldron from the pouch.
Refining the Subduing Dragon artifact in the cauldron would take a lot of time, and there were still flashes of golden light inside it, indicating the artifact hadn’t been fully refined yet.
Xie Shuci, with Xie An, started to leave from the back of the crowd. They had barely taken a few steps when they heard Helian Yong say from behind, “Zhu’er, indulge yourself. Perhaps after killing these people, your cultivation will be unmatched in the cultivation realm.”
Xie Shuci clenched his teeth, unable to stop himself from looking back.
Perhaps it was a coincidence, but Helian Zhu was facing Xie Shuci’s direction. As he lifted his head, tears meandered down his blood-streaked face, an expression of sorrow and despair intertwined. The Cloud Piercing Spear in his hands trembled uncontrollably, emitting mournful cries.
Xie Shuci’s heart dropped, a fierce rage spreading through his chest, involuntarily rooting him to the spot.
Seeing him suddenly stop, Xie An looked over in confusion.
Xie Shuci took a deep breath, drawing the cool air into his lungs, chilling him to the point of shivering.
For someone like Xie Shuci, it might be challenging to truly discern right from wrong. His perspective was short-sighted, his thoughts shallow. He could only see what was right before him and was easily swayed by immediate emotions. Knowing his own limitations, he always listed the worst possible outcomes for himself before making any decisions.
And what was the worst outcome now? Merely death. Rather than waiting to die, he preferred to do something—after all, he was the kind of person who even vampires would call a “hot-blooded youth.”
“Little blind, your brother is about to do something foolish again,” Xie Shuci said, taking his hand.
Xie An’s brow furrowed slightly, “You can’t save him.”
“I know, I don’t intend to save him, nor can I change anything. But he doesn’t want to kill. At least before he dies, I want to help him,” Xie Shuci replied.
Xie An pondered for a moment, then nodded, his lips barely moving, “I’ll accompany you.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw my life away.”
Xie Shuci led him behind a rock and said, “You help me call over Chu Wenfeng, and be careful.”
Xie An didn’t ask further questions and nodded before stepping out.
Little Blind had a keen hearing and his swordsmanship was also not bad, so he shouldn’t run into any trouble.
Xie Shuci sat down cross-legged in front of the bronze medicine cauldron, releasing his spiritual power to stimulate the cauldron.
After connecting his consciousness with the cauldron, Xie Shuci was delighted to find that the Subduing Dragon artifact showed no signs of being refined.
Moments later, Xie An returned with Chu Wenfeng.
In the fight, Helian Yong seemed to have no intention of intervening, probably wanting everyone else to become souls under Helian Zhu’s spear, to nourish him.
The elders of the Hehuan Sect, along with cultivators from several other sects including the Xiaoyao Sect, were barely holding their own against Helian Zhu. However, Helian Zhu had not yet fully absorbed the destinies of Helian Jue and Miss Lu, so his cultivation was still advancing. If this continued, they would inevitably die by his hand.
Just then, a beam of golden light descended through the misty sky, startling everyone. All eyes turned skyward.
“Subduing Dragon artifact?” Helian Yong’s expression changed.
No one knew what was happening, but they saw a silhouette flashing through the air, wrapping around Helian Zhu’s body and instantly pulling him beneath the Subduing Dragon artifact.
Seeing this, Helian Yong immediately realized what was happening and took to the air in pursuit, but he was a step too late.
When Helian Zhu was yanked to the side of the Shuci’s group by a long whip, a burst of golden light suddenly exploded in all directions, forming a dome neither too large nor too small, firmly sealing the ground and keeping Helian Yong outside of its barrier.
“Dammit!” Helian Yong cursed furiously. He formed seals through his hands trying to manipulate the Subduing Dragon artifact, but the bronze pill cauldron had already refined away the connection between him and the artifact, rendering it beyond his control.
“Now’s our chance! Take down Helian Yong!”
“Go for it!”
Inside the dome, it was pitch black, and the atmosphere turned slightly awkward.
“Uh… sorry about that, forgot we were in here too,” Xie Shuci said with an awkward chuckle.
“Shut up! Where’s Helian Zhu?” Chu Wenfeng quickly covered his mouth, his eyes anxiously scanning the darkness.
Helian Zhu was under Helian Yong’s control, and now the four of them were trapped in a dome with him—like livestock trapped with a butcher. Where… they were the livestock.
So, as the dome snapped into place, they finally realized they needed to get out. But it was too late. Now the four were squished against the wall of the dome: Xie An was against the wall, Xie Shuci was squeezed face to face into Xie An’s embrace, Chu Guiyi’s wheelchair was behind him, and Chu Wenfeng was at the very back.
Because of inertia, Xie Shuci’s lower half was pressed against Xie An, which he found embarrassingly awkward. So he stuck his rear out a bit, but behind him was Chu Guiyi in his wheelchair, facing him. The thought of presenting his backside to the gentle Chu Guiyi made Xie Shuci even more self-conscious, so he tiptoed to put some distance between his butt and him.
Originally, there wasn’t a full-on awkward contact, but since he was a tad shorter than Xie An, it wasn’t an issue until he decided to tiptoe, and that’s when the real awkwardness set in.
At that moment, Xie Shuci felt so anxious he thought his scalp might explode, and with Chu Wenfeng covering his mouth over Chu Guiyi’s wheelchair, the position they found themselves in could only be described as “extremely compromising.”
In the darkness, Xie Shuci could definitely sense Xie An’s breathing deepen a bit. Of course, he was in no position to comment on others; his own heart was about to burst out of his chest, and he was breathing just as heavily. He patted Chu Wenfeng’s hand, signaling him to let go.
Chu Guiyi cleared his throat and said, “No need to panic. The Subduing Dragon artifact is no longer under Helian Yong’s control. Spiritual power can’t enter the dome, so he can’t control Helian Zhu.”
The three of them breathed a sigh of relief, but nobody dared to move first, afraid that Helian Zhu might hear something and skewer them together like kebabs with his Cloud Piercing Spear.
Chu Guiyi sighed in resignation and said, “Wenfeng, take out the luminous spirit pearl.”
At that, Chu Wenfeng withdrew his hand from Xie Shuci’s mouth. Xie Shuci, like a fish returned to the water, gasped for air with his mouth wide open. Because of his exaggerated breathing, the bells hanging from his waist jingled loudly. Xie Shuci’s heart tightened, and he quickly held his breath.
The sound of the bells startled Chu Wenfeng as well, nearly causing him to throw the spirit pearl he was holding. Annoyed, he lifted his leg and kicked Xie Shuci’s butt.
“Ow!” Xie Shuci cried out in pain, tumbling forward onto Xie An. The small gap he had managed to create between them closed up again because of the kick.
That Wenfeng brat, I swear we’re not done yet!
Xie Shuci cursed inwardly.
He shifted his backside, trying to find a less awkward position and avoid any more contact. But as soon as he moved, he unintentionally brushed against something, sending an odd tingle up from his waist. He shuddered, and Xie An’s hand shot out to grab his waist, clenching it to keep Xie Shuci from moving any further.
In fact, Xie Shuci didn’t dare to move anymore.
Chu Wenfeng fumbled and finally managed to pull out the spirit pearl from his pouch. The light, as bright as daylight, shone behind them, illuminating the area under the dome.
Only then did they realize that, besides Helian Zhu, another person had slipped into the dome.
Xie Shuci squinted against the bright light, and when his eyes adjusted, he found himself staring into the eyes of a tall man holding a raised knife, ready to strike.
Deng Fengming, “…”
Having seen Xie Shuci and Xie An leave earlier, he had stealthily followed them, lying in wait nearby. Seizing the opportunity with a random knife in hand, he was about to make his move when the dome suddenly appeared, trapping him inside as well.
In the moment of darkness, he relied on his knowledge of Xie An’s position to stealthily make his way to them, carefully reaching their side and then…
After adjusting to the light, Deng Fengming opened his eyes, only to meet Xie Shuci’s gaze head-on.
They looked at each other, both pairs of eyes wide, both speechless.
Deng Fengming’s grip on his knife wavered as he glanced over the four people tightly packed together. Damn it, there was no way to strike without hitting the others.
Chu Wenfeng, upon noticing the silent addition of a person to their group, was also caught off guard for a moment. Recovering quickly, he lashed out with a kick that sent Deng Fengming flying and followed up with a crack of his nine-section whip.
Caught off guard, Deng Fengming winced in pain as the knife was whipped from his hand.
“Ahem.” Chu Guiyi cleared his throat. The usually composed and courteous man rarely faced such awkward moments and couldn’t help but show a trace of embarrassment on his face. “Wenfeng.”
Chu Wenfeng glared warily at Deng Fengming and then pulled his wheelchair back to give Xie Shuci and Xie An room to retreat.
Xie Shuci hastily scrambled out of Xie An’s arms. The electrifying sensation from the contact a moment ago had left him in inner turmoil.
Xie An, on the other hand, remained composed, straightening his clothes.
Xie Shuci, not sure how to face the ‘little blind’ just then, decided to turn his ire towards Deng Fengming instead.
“You again? How dare you follow us in here?! It was you who wounded Xie An, wasn’t it?” Xie Shuci pointed at Deng Fengming, his voice filled with venom.
Deng Fengming, having expended too much spiritual energy within the Subduing Dragon artifact and now with his sword in Xie An’s possession, faced four against one and stood no chance against them.
“I wounded him? That was…” Deng Fengming choked on his words. He couldn’t very well admit that he actually intended to kill Xie Shuci, could he? In the current situation, where he was outnumbered, it was best not to invite death.
Deng Fengming didn’t dare to continue, instead, he pointed to Helian Zhu, who was slumped on the ground.
“Maybe we should check on him first? Otherwise, we’re all going to die.”
The moment Helian Zhu was pulled into the dome, he had lost consciousness.
Or rather, it was more like he was forcefully pulled into another space.
In this dark space, he could see nothing.
Yet Helian Zhu felt as if his hands were still stained with blood, the deaths of Helian Jue and Lu Jin replaying in his mind. He covered his face, crying helplessly.
Just then, a soft sigh echoed in the void, “Child, stop crying.”
It was a young man’s voice, yet it carried an incredibly ancient and kind timbre.
Helian Zhu paused, his heart’s turmoil miraculously beginning to ease.
He looked around the pitch-black void and asked softly, “Who are you?”
“I am called Bixie.”