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The man walked up to Qin Wanwan, nodded and saluted towards her. Qin Wanwan came back to her senses and pretended to be calm: “What a coincidence.”
“How did Guniang come here?”
The man looked up at the statue as he asked. Qin Wanwan suddenly remembered why she came here and looked at the young man in front of her. He had the typical scholarly temperament and seemed to know a lot, so she deliberately started a conversation: “I was walking casually and entered this place because I was curious. So I came in to take a look. This is the second time we meet, may I know Gongzi’s name?”
“My name is Song Shi.”
The man smiled: “I wonder what Guniang’s name is?”
“I ……,” Qin Wanwan hesitated for a moment and gave her fake name, “Gu Beicheng.”
Song Shi nodded: “This name is quite heroic.”
“You just said this is the previous divine city lord?”
Qin Wanwan didn’t want to discuss the names anymore and turned her head to look at the statue before asking, “How come it looks so similar to you?”
“This is the ruler of Mingjing, the Lord of Guicheng back then. As for why it looks so similar to me,” Song Shi smiled bitterly, “I’m not quite sure, it’s probably natural.”
“The city lord of Guicheng of when?” Qin Wanwan was curious. Song Shi smiled, his gaze was filled with a bit of nostalgia, looking up at the statue.
“Two hundred years ago, there were no such city named Guicheng. Then a scholar, named Lin Yanzhi, the Dao member of Mingjing, who was born with a Golden Core and had extraordinary talent built a city. He was so talented that it only took him a hundred years to ascend as a God and was considered a peerless talent of that time. He was compassionate and saved countless people. He built an immaculate city to accommodate those who have nowhere to return.”
“That’s a great thinking.” Qin Wanwan lamented, and couldn’t help but glance at the weak golden light on the temple again.
Song Shi smiled, “Yes, so he became an immortal and before his time of tribulation to become a god came, he was the divine ruler of this small city.”
Saying this, Song Shi tilted his head to look at the statue and suddenly let out a sneer, “But just a hundred years ago, this divine ruler suddenly became evil overnight. He slaughtered all the people of the city. The current city lord Hua Rong at that time had no choice but to stop him and ensure that the souls of the people of the city wouldn’t scatter away. So that later, he could re-cultivate the souls and make them become immortal in that way. This is how the name of the city became Guicheng*.”
[T/N: As it was said previously, ‘Guicheng’ means ‘Ghost city’.]
Qin Wanwan’s heart thumped as she subconsciously inquired, “The city lord, Hua Rong is so powerful?”
Someone who can preserve the souls of the people who were slaughtered by a divine ruler who had entered the demonic path and re-cultivate the souls. Wanting to grab the Linglong Jade from him doesn’t mean they are seeking death?
Song Shi shook his head: “At that time, the Lord of Guicheng was just a child saved and raised by the divine ruler of Mingjing. The lord of Mingjing raised him(Hua Rong) for a hundred years and he was just a Nascent Soul cultivator at that time of the lord’s blackening. After the battle with Lin Yanzhi, he(Hua Rong) immediately stepped into the God Transformation Stage and became the lord of Guicheng.”
Qin Wanwan nodded awkwardly and suddenly realized that it was not good to know such history of the city. She felt a little nervous, as if she got to know something she should not know.
Song Shi also seemed to notice Qin Wanwan’s nervousness, so he looked up at the sky, and then looked at Qin Wanwan before saying, “Miss Gu, it’s getting late, why don’t you go back?”
“Ah,” Qin Wanwan nodded, “I should go.”
Saying that, she carried the vegetable basket and hurriedly walked out. But after taking two steps, she suddenly remembered something and turned around, “Song-gongzi, I have a question.”
“What is Lord of Mingjing’s spiritual beast?”
Song Shi did not expect her to ask this question. A trace of surprise appeared on his face, then he smiled and said the answer that Qin Wanwan had already expected, “Miyu.”
Qin Wanwan nodded her head, thanked him and then walked out with a calm face.
After walking outside, she started sprinting and ran all the way back to the courtyard. Jian Xingzhi had just finished sparring with Xie Lutang, Nan Feng was sitting on the side eating melon seeds. Xie Lutang had just lost the sparring and was excited to discuss the fight with Jian Xingzhi.
Jian Xingzhi was wearing a white shirt, holding a sword behind him. When he saw Qin Wanwan running in panic, he was a bit curious: “What are you doing running so fast? Someone is chasing you?”
Qin Wanwan swallowed her saliva and nodded desperately.
“What’s going on?” Xie Lutang frowned.
Jian Xingzhi poured a glass of water for Qin Wanwan and cupped her chin to feed her, “Calm down and take a sip. Tell me everything later.”
Qin Wanwan slapped Jian Xingzhi’s hand away. After calming down and slowing her breathing for a moment, she mysteriously lowered her head down as she whispered, “I got to know a big secret.”
Saying this, she grabbed Xie Lutang with her left and Jian Xingzhi with her right and dragged them inside.
Jian Xingzhi eyed one of Qin Wanwan’s hand holding him and the other holding Xie Lutang before moving his gaze away.
After entering the house, Jian Xingzhi calmly shrugged her hand away, pushed Xie Lutang from Qin Wanwan’s side and sat on a chair as he declared, “Okay the barrier is set, you say what did you know.”
Xie Lutang sat down next to Jian Xingzhi and Qin Wanwan sat on the other side. She was excited to reveal the big secret and leaned closer to the side of Jian Xingzhi, “I just went to inquire about the past of Hua Rong, only to find a very interesting thing! Two hundred years ago, Hua Rong was adopted by a person named Lin Yanzhi. This Lin Yanzhi was actually the original builder of Guicheng, that’s previous name was Mingjan, and became the world’s pseudo-immortal. But then suddenly, he became a demonic cultivator overnight, and slaughtered all the residents of Guicheng. But Hua Rong protected Guicheng and became the new city lord.”
“Master, I also know this secret.” Nan Feng said, “And I also heard that the criteria for finding male pets for Hua Rong was they have to have the appearance and temperament of the divine city lord of Mingjing, Lin Yanzhi. For example, Xie-daojun has the similar temperament to him; Jian-daojun has the similar face to him. All the male pets have similarity with the divine city lord. Either have the same face, nose or eyes.”
“According to those male pets, although Hua Rong brought them into the house, none of the men had actually seen him or served him.”
Xie Lutang added, and Qin Wanwan froze. She risked her life to find out such a great secret, only to find that these people had more information than her.
She hurried to find her footing, “So, a hundred years ago, Hua Rong was just a Golden Pill cultivator. At that time Lin Yanzhi entered the demonic path, he(Lin Yanzhi) was at the stage of God Transformation. Now Hua Rong is trying hard to find a man who looks like Lin Yanzhi. Why exactly was he doing this and what is his intention, have you guys ever thought about it?”
“What does Miss Qin mean?” Xie Lutang frowned.
Nan Feng froze and suddenly murmured, “I know.”
“That’s right,” Qin Wanwan looked at Nan Feng, nodded in affirmation and spoke together with Nan Feng, “He wants a stand-in of Lin Yanzhi!”
“Back then, he killed Lin Yanzhi in order to save the people of Guicheng and advance to the next level.” Qin Wanwan clenched her fist and said passionately.
“But after losing Lin Yanzhi, he realized that the world without Lin Yanzhi is meaningless!” Nan Feng shouted excitedly.
“So he searched for a stand-in, wanting to rekindle the love he once had from these men! Even if it’s unreal and a dream, it doesn’t matter to him as long as they look like Lin Yanzhi!”
Qin Wanwan finished her hypothesis excitedly and Nan Feng nodded along. He looked at Qin Wanwan, showing a very sympathetic look before saying: “But in the end, the stand-ins aren’t real after all!”
“His spiritual beast is Miyu. According to the dream I had last night, the Linglong Jade must be in his hand, or rather, in Miyu’s body. So now how are we going to get close to him?”
Qin Wanwan spoke of her doubts clearly, expecting to get an answer.
Jian Xingzhi frowned and said hesitantly, “I went to Cuilu today to ask for information, and she told me that every month, Hua Rong will show himself once and choose a man he would like to be served by. There are still seven days,” Jian Xingzhi glanced at everyone before finishing, “we still have time to prepare.”
“And what kind of man Hua Rong likes?” Nan Feng looked at Qin Wanwan, who recalled the face of Lin Yanzhi’s statue and asserted.
“He likes the sophisticated ones.”
Jian Xingzhi’s face changed greatly, Qin Wanwan suddenly realized something, and showed an excited smile to Jian Xingzhi as she said, “Master, let’s work hard in these seven days.”
Jian Xingzhi spoke nervously: “It is not necessary, right? How about Daoist Xie trying?”
“Master, you said it yourself, people shouldn’t give up so easily. You broke my ribs several times, but did I give up? What would even happen if you just read a few books?”
After saying that, Qin Wanwan got excited, she lifted up her sleeves as she declared, “So, I’m going to get some books for you. If cultivation needs struggle and effort, so does reading. Master, wait for me.”
Qin Wanwan immediately stood up, called Nan Feng, and happily went to Cuilu to get permission to leave the house, and went straight to the bookstore.
She arrived at the largest bookstore in Guicheng and looked at the vast sea of books. Her heart was filled with a feeling of revengeful pleasure.
“Boss,” Qin Wanwan took out all her money she had and shouted excitedly, “Bring up all the anthologies and poetry books of the cultivation world of the past ten thousand years!”
The author has something to say:
Qin Wanwan: “You taught me to fight, so I will teach you to read. Isn’t this the most beautiful master-apprentice relationship? 5,000 years of poetry for a broken rib. Master, come and recite it.”
Qin Wanwan: My master said, he likes to fight alone, and doesn’t need protection!
Jian Xingzhi: I didn’t! You are talking nonsense!
Qin Wanwan: My master said he wants to finish all the poetry books of the past ten thousand years!
Jian Xingzhi: I didn’t! You shut up!
Qin Wanwan: My master said he will challenge Wen Kexing* in writing poems. If he lost, he would kill himself.
[T/N: ‘Wen Kexing’ is a character of a Chinese drama named ‘Faraway Wanderers’. The character ‘Wen Kexing’ poses as a typical gentleman who has a vast knowledge of manners and poetry. The personality of the character ‘Wen Kexing’ radically changes, where he’s highly unpredictable and sadistic, acting completely calm when killing and taking delight in how the other Ghosts are terrified of him. He is dubbed as ‘Wen the Lunatic’ in the Valley where he rules due to his behaviour.]
Jian Xingzhi: I didn’t!!! I didn’t dare!
Qin Wanwanzhi: My master said, he wants to marry me.
Jian Xingzhi: I didn’t!!! Oh no, this one, I did.
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