At Shen Feixiao’s residence, Qin Kaiyi stepped forward and knocked on the door: “Shidi, are you there?”
Quite a while later, the door finally opened with a creak. Shen Feixiao looked at Qin Kaiyi, his face as expressionless as usual.
“You should prepare, next month you will go with me to the sky secret realm.” Qin Kaiyi saw that Shen Feixiao wouldn’t even let him cross his threshold. He truly felt a bit too amused, and directly stated his purpose in coming: “I specially came to inform you. “
“Why?” Shen Feixiao’s expression did not look pleasant. He stared at Qin Kaiyi and said: “Why am I able to go?”
“I want you to go.” Qin Kaiyi said lightly: “Do you need a reason?”
“I don’t want to go,” Shen Feixiao coldly said. His words made Qin Kaiyi’s heart drop. “Why don’t you take Liu Ling’er?”
“You should call her shimei,” Qin Kaiyi corrected.
“Why don’t you take Liu Ling’er?” He repeated his question again. Shen Feixiao’s gaze towards Qin Kaiyi seemed to connote loathing. His impression of his shixiong was poor.
“She is a girl.” Qin Kaiyi vaguely felt that Shen Feixiao probably heard the conversation between Liu Ling’er and him, and thus misunderstood his purpose in bringing him along into the secret realm… Well, actually he didn’t misunderstand, in the novel Qin Shi really let Shen Feixiao into the secret realm to kill him. “I’m just here to tell you, I’m not interested in asking for your thoughts.”
“…” After hearing this, Shen Feixiao went silent. After a long while he said in a low voice: “What if I don’t want to go?”
“Leave the Lingshan Sect or follow me into the secret realm,” Qin Kaiyi said coldly. Right now he didn’t care what Shen Feixiao thought about him at all: “Choose one yourself.”
Hearing this sentence, Shen Feixiao’s expression stiffened and he was silent for a long time before he hoarsely said: “Yes.”
Qin Kaiyi nodded with satisfaction, then turned around and left. He knew that Shen Feixiao must hate him to death right now. After all, anyone with an intact brain could deduce that bringing a disciple who hadn’t even reached the Qi Refining period into the secret realm was equivalent to asking for his demise. Qin Kaiyi was in a poor mood when he flew back to his dongfu. He thought that after this trip, maybe Shen Feixiao would understand the meaning of fighting his way desperately out of death.1
After arriving at his dongfu, Qin Kaiyi began to study the storage ring given to him by Zi Yangpei. He carefully sifted through the pills and rare books, and finally found a book for demonic cultivation titled “Black Military Ghost Scripture.” After carefully looking at the cultivation method, Qin Kaiyi sighed softly. If he really began to demonically cultivate, he would have to revise his cultivation method in the foundation building period and transform his entire body’s spiritual energy into demonic energy. However, once this method was used, it would be disastrous if others discovered him. The attitude of the cultivation realm towards demonic cultivation was very harsh, because those who demonically cultivated were always fond of killing. As long as someone was found to be demonically cultivating in an ordinary sect, then that someone would definitely be annihilated by the entire sect.
But even so, because of the amazing speed of demonic cultivation, many people entered that path.
Qin Kaiyi was not interested in doing so now. He knew that Zi Yangpei would definitely give him items to hide his demonic cultivation, but entering the secret realm was more pressing. Rather than spending a month to understand a cultivation practice he had never encountered before, Qin Kaiyi would be better off preparing practical items for the imminent trip. Qin Kaiyi remembered that Qin Shi did not enter the secret realm in the original book, but now the story had inexplicably changed, and he did not know what would happen in the secret realm.
The butterfly effect could be quite frightening.
As he was just contemplating this, Qin Kaiyi was suddenly attracted by the transparent spider in the storage ring. He took the spider out of the ring, took it in his hand, and then was surprised to find that this spider was actually alive!
The body of the spider was a translucent milky white, and about the size of a palm. At first glance, it looked like a jade carving, but upon closer inspection, the spider was actually moving.
The realization that living things could be placed into the storage ring made Qin Kaiyi dazed for a bit. He remembered that living things could not be placed in the storage ring, because there was no air and the space inside was warped. Living things taken out after being placed inside would probably become mincemeat. However, this spider managed to survive. Qin Kaiyi clicked his tongue–Zi Yangpei really spared no effort on him. If this spider were to be refined into a spirit beast, it would have to be at least in the third rank. In the cultivation realm, spirit beasts ranking above five were already very rare, not to mention the third rank.
Qin Kaiyi thought for a while and decided to bring the spider with him to the secret realm. The other items Zi Yangpei had given him all had the faint imprint of demonic cultivation. If those items were seen by others, Qin Kaiyi would not be able to avoid their speculations. The spider in front of him, however, would not cause others to harbor suspicions.
Qin Kaiyi pricked his finger and let a drop of blood fall onto the spider standing in his palm. That drop of blood was quickly absorbed into the spider’s body, and a faint layer of red light appeared from within the spider. The originally lazy spider’s movements became lively.
“I’ll call you Little Jade from now on,” Qin Kaiyi said without thinking too much. “It’s quite like your color.”
He didn’t know if the spider could understand him. After crawling in Qin Kaiyi’s palm for a while, the spider stopped moving again. He looked like he wanted to sleep. Qin Kaiyi laughed and threw it back into the storage ring. He usually disliked these kinds of crawling insects, but because this jade-like spider was smooth all over without the terrifying hairiness of ordinary spiders, Qin Kaiyi wasn’t that disgusted.
After finishing up with the spider, Qin Kaiyi began to prepare some necessary elixirs. He knew how many horrible spirit beasts were in the sky secret realm. In the novel, Shen Feixiao had encountered very few. After all, the ancient god beast sable was beside Shen Feixiao, and those spirit beasts had to take it into consideration. But Qin Kaiyi was different… as a villain without a golden finger, Qin Kaiyi was under immense pressure.
He knew that the strength of the Lingshan Sect would rise to a new level after this trip to the secret realm. Shen Feixiao would directly break into the foundation building period, and also seize the opportunity to gather many treasures in the secret realm. Qin Kaiyi sat there thinking for a long time. He finally decided to use this year when they would be in the secret realm to reach the fasting period. The risk of practicing demonic cultivation within the sect was too great, so he would be better off doing so in the secret realm despite the presence of various ferocious spirit beasts. Compared to those spirit beasts, human beings posed the greatest threat to Qin Kaiyi.
With this resolution in mind, Qin Kaiyi began to attempt to put all the things he needed into the storage ring, such as pills, rare books, alas–there were not many items in this room, and he had probably already packed all of them. He didn’t wear the bracelet Qing Xuzi gave him. Most of the people in the sect were acquaintances. A bracelet with such an extraordinary appearance suddenly appearing looked suspicious no matter what, and Qing Xuzi also reminded him not to let others know that he would enter the secret realm through a backdoor…
During this month, although Qing Xuzi had already set the rules for entry, there were still many who tried to break through the guards stationed at the forbidden area in order to explore the secret realm. Some of them were intruding cultivators who slipped in from the outside, and some were disciples under the Lingshan Sect. All were killed on the spot. This also demonstrated Qing Xuzi’s approach. He treated all equally without a shred of tolerance. If others had the courage to offend, then they must pay with their lives as a consequence.
Because of these unstable factors, the atmosphere of the Lingshan Sect seemed extremely heavy, and everyone carried him or herself with the strict solemnity of waiting troops.
A month later, the list of those who would enter the secret realm came out, and the names on it were basically what Qin Kaiyi had previously guessed. The majority of the names were composed of a few elders and their disciples who practiced independently. There were a small number of people like Qin Kaiyi with good prospects listed as well, but Shen Feixiao’s name was really in a class of its own.
Qin Kaiyi very seriously prepared for this trip in the month prior. He went to his shijie and shixiong to gather many talismans, and also wore inner armor of a decent grade. In other words, Qin Kaiyi firmly wrapped himself up into the form of a tortoise with little attack power, but with full-to-bursting defensive power.
As soon as the list of names was released, Liu Ling’er stalked up to Qin Kaiyi’s door.
She was extremely dissatisfied with Qin Kaiyi now, and rightly so–Qin Kaiyi had solemnly vowed that he would not enter the secret realm. Now there he was, on the list. Shen Feixiao’s name appearing on the list made the situation even more difficult to bear. She didn’t believe that Qing Xuzi could have noticed Shen Feixiao. Even a fool would understand that Qin Kaiyi must have done something.
Qin Kaiyi saw Liu Ling’er’s menacing approach and felt his spirit fade (T/N: 焉了 [yānle], meaning his vigor or his interest lost vitality). He didn’t want to quarrel with her…
“Shixiong, what did you say to me before?” Liu Linger got right to the point.
“Ling’er.” In fact, Qin Kaiyi didn’t know how to explain himself. He couldn’t say he actually didn’t want to go, right? Even he himself would think these words sounded fake.
“It turns out that shixiong is this kind of a person.” Liu Ling’er sneered: “Ling’er, from today, understands.”
“…” Qin Kaiyi was choked to the point of being unable to speak, and it took a moment before he could sigh: “Do you really think I don’t want you to go?”
“What do you mean?” Liu Ling’er furrowed her brows.
“Do you know the role of disciples below the Qi Refining period in entering the secret realm?” Qin Kaiyi looked sad: “Ling’er, do you have to be a bait to lure spirit beasts?”
“Shixiong, you…” Liu Ling’er’s eyes widened sharply.
“Hehe.” Qin Kaiyi smiled bitterly: “I didn’t want to tell you such a cruel thing, but…”
“Shixiong, do you mean…” Liu Ling’er’s tone was full of disbelief.
“What I said is naturally…” Fake, Qin Kaiyi muttered silently in his heart, but on the surface, he looked sad: “True.”
- An idiom from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.” Place somebody on a field of death and he will fight to live.