Hearing these words, Qin Wanwan realised that this was indeed not her hallucination.
Hallucinations, in general, work by conforming to the people’s perception, because the more they conform to a person’s perception, the easier it is to be confused with the illusion.
But the voice of Hua Rong was very different from the one she set as her illusion, so it was clear …… that the voice of Hua Rong was real.
When she became aware of this matter, Qin Wanwan became shocked. Her previous guesses were all wrong, it truly wasn’t any ghosts or her illusion. Many questions began to swirl in her mind as she thought about it.
She immediately came out of the illusion she had laid, the pain caused by the Qi rushing inside her body reached to the top of her head. Qin Wanwan sucked in a breath of cold air, the pain was so much that she couldn’t even think straight. She tried to control her breathing, continuing to lead the Qi leading to her body to open her veins from one side while using the ‘Spring Birth’ heart technique to quench her muscles on the other. Only when she recovered a little did she began to throw question after question towards the unknown voice: “You are Hua Rong? Then who is the person we have seen Cuilu serving recently?”
“Come here and save me first,” Hua Rong ignored her questions, his voice only urging her to save him, “I’m at the southwest corner. Three hundred feet away from you, there is a stone, if you remove the stone, you can see my spirit animal there. It’s a Miyu, I’m inside its body. After you come in, you will see a coffin. You have to use your sword to split up the lid of the coffin and free me.”
“I won’t.” Qin Wanwan decisively refused.
Hua Rong was silent for a moment: “You want something in return?”
“It’s too dangerous.” Qin Wanwan shook her head and seriously analyzed, “That Miyu is your spirit animal. If I go in, won’t I be looking for death?”
“What does Benzou need your life for you yellow-haired girl!*”
[T/N: Yellow haired girl (黃毛) literally refers to foetal hair (alternatively 胎毛), the hairs on a newborn that will fall off later. The hair is unpigmented which contributes to its name (in contrast to the black colour found in most East Asians). The metaphor here is used as; foolish/young/immature/inexperienced.]
Hua Rong was anxious: “What do you want!”
“Why are you trapped?”
In fact, everything had been foreshadowed before in the dream. Qin Wanwan didn’t doubt Hua Rong’s words, but once she released Hua Rong, she would lose her bargaining chip, she had to know everything before releasing Hua Rong.
“You are so powerful but you are trapped in a coffin. Doesn’t it mean the place is too dangerous for me to go in?”
Qin Wanwan’s voice was smooth, she looked up at the surrounding spell as she said: “Moreover, I am just a Golden Pill Stage cultivator. Just now, Daoist Xie was with me but you didn’t speak. Now that Daoist Xie isn’t present, you are telling me to come alone to save you. Are you sure you aren’t tricking me?”
“I don’t have the ability to do anything to you now.”
Hua Rong finally spoke, “I don’t trust that Daoist, I didn’t want anyone to know about me at that time.”
“Then you trust me?”
Qin Wanwan raised her eyebrows.
“I’m not trusting you,” Hua Rong whispered, “it’s that only you can open this coffin.”
“Why?” Qin Wanwan heard him and sounded interested.
Hua Rong thought about it for a moment and spoke: “The sword in your hand, can break the formation of the person who trapped me.”
“How do you know?”
“Because this formation was created by a person I know, and the original owner of the sword was also the same person who created the formation. So this formation is ineffective for swords tainted with the original owner’s breath.”
“Who is the original owner of this sword?”
Qin Wanwan was a bit confused: “Why did it appear in the Sword Mound of Tian Chen Sect?”
It was logical that the swords placed in the Sword Mound were all ownerless swords, because the owners of the swords were dead.
“Because,” Hua Rong’s voice was calm, “that person, has been dead for a long time.”
Qin Wanwan took a moment to think about it and reacted after a while, “Is it Lin Yanzhi?”
“You are quite smart.”
Lin Yanzhi died a hundred years ago, legend has it that Hua Rong saved the city back then, and there has been a legend of Hua Rong creating Guicheng. But Qin Wanwan became more bewildered the more she thought about his situation, “So you were trapped for a hundred years? Then who is that Hua Rong outside?”
“No ……” Hua Rong said slowly, he seemed to be deliberately speaking slowly. After a long moment of hesitation, he spoke, “Anyway, when you see me, you will know. I might as well tell you. I was not trapped for a hundred years, but some time ago. I was trapped here by someone. He used my body as sustenance and wanted to summon the Linglong Jade to appear in Guicheng. So I have no ability to resist at all now, and there is no need to be afraid when you come to save me.”
“Who is that person who harmed you?”
“I don’t know.”
Hua Rong’s voice was calm: “I only know that he wants the Linglong Jade.”
Qin Wanwan listened to his explanation but didn’t answer immediately. She used her spiritual energy to expand and open her last spiritual root. The whole process of quenching the muscles was completely completed before she opened her eyes.
She was covered in sweat, as if she had been fished out of the water. After resting for a while, she got up and walked towards the place Hua Rong told her to. While walking, she kept asking questions, “Why is he using you to summon Linglong Jade?”
“This Linglong Jade of Guicheng has long been depleted of its spiritual energy when the city was built. In order for this Linglong Jade to reappear and be used to open the door to immortality, it must be replenished with spiritual energy. I alone is actually far from enough, did you see those blood lines outside?”
“Saw.” Qin Wanwan glanced at the formation with blood behind her. All the blood lines were linked and went to different parts of the hillock.
“When the formation is paved with blood, the Linglong Jade appears. Those blood lines are linked to the people of Guicheng. If my blood is not enough to replenish this formation, he will immediately use the people’s blood to make up for it. So you must save me! Save me for the people!”
“Didn’t you just say you have no ability to fight right now? Now you’re saying that saving you is the only way to save the people?”
“You are asking so much, aren’t you worried that people will die?!” Hua Rong, who was sick of Qin Wanwan’s questioning him, became unusually angry. Qin Wanwan only shrugged, after reaching the place Hua Rong told, she removed the stone. A small animal, resembling that of a fox, was lying inside a small hole behind the stone.
It looked very weak, and was covered in blood. Behind it were lines of blood, flowing all the way out from the mountain.
The little fox opened its eyes, its forehead lit up. When it opened its mouth, Hua Rong’s voice was heard: “If you press the magic seal on its forehead, you can come in.”
Qin Wanwan lifted her hand and placed it on the little fox’s forehead. In an instant, she entered the little fox’s body. The place inside was exactly the same as she saw in her dream. A huge cave, and the sound of heartbeat. A coffin was placed in the middle of the cave. Qin Wanwan walked over, and heard Hua Rong eagerly urging her, “Quickly, open it!”
Qin Wanwan didn’t say or do anything, she looked at the tubes inserted in the coffin. Blood was flowing out of the tubes, spreading all the way out. The blood carried her familiar Qi, which made her frown: “The spell formation outside was set up by you.”
“Open the coffin first! Open the coffin and we can discuss!”
“If you were trapped here only a few days ago, then it was you who wanted a Gongzi resembling Lin Yanzhi just a month ago. And it was also you who wanted Linglong Jade in the beginning, right? What do you want the Linglong Jade for?”
“Little girl,” Hua Rong’s voice cooled down, “I advise you not to not ask too many questions.”
“If you give me an honest answer, I will open the coffin for you.”
Qin Wanwan looked down at the coffin. Hua Rong was silent for a long while. After thinking hard for a while, he spoke out, “I want to resurrect him.”
“But back then, it was you who killed him.” Qin Wanwan reminded, “You want to resurrect him again?”
“It’s true that I killed him, but it was also me who wronged him.”
Hua Rong’s tone was smooth: “When I was a child, he saved me, and at that time he was a modest gentleman, as gentle as a jade. He said that the greatest value of a person is to help others, and I believed in his words and treated him as a God, as my only faith.”
Qin Wanwan listened quietly as Hua Rong began to recall the past: “At that time, I was not the only one who was rescued, there were also many children. All followed him to here, everyone followed him all the way to build Mingjing. He said that Mingjing would be a city that would accommodate all those people who have nowhere to return in the world. He saved innocent people and brought them here. For this reason, even reaching the Tribulation stage, he not only did not want to be an immortal but also offended many people. At first, people chased him to kill him, but after reaching the Tribulation stage, they became more heartless. There were many people who didn’t like him.”
Qin Wanwan listened, as she anticipated that this kind of person wouldn’t have a good end.
“Later, there were many people who betrayed him. I once asked him if he would resent them for being betrayed even after doing good deeds. He said he wouldn’t, but actually he did. More and more resentment accumulated inside his heart.” Hua Rong let out a mocking smile, “then, he suddenly entered the demonic path. His heart became dark and he finally slaughtered all the people of the city. I couldn’t bear to see him in such a mess, so at the last moment, I killed him.”
Qin Wanwan didn’t believe him: “You were only at Golden Pill Stage at that time, how did you kill him? And, how did you step into the Tribulation stage?”
“I learned a gong method.” Hua Rong continued without feeling apologetic, “At that time, he had already become a demon, so I devoured all his cultivation.”
“But you still want to resurrect him?”
“Because I feel guilty.” Hua Rong immediately said, “Every night afterwards, I would dream of him, and always remember the time when I was a child, when I was about to be sacrificed to a River God, he saved me. At that time, I swore to myself that I would follow him all my life. He was my brother, my Master, my only family, but in the end it was me who killed him. In fact, the fault was not with him, the fault was with the demons residing in his heart. I know, if he could live again, he would still be the best person under the Heaven.”
“So you want to resurrect him.” Qin Wanwan raised her eyebrows, “Back then you killed him to save the people of the city. But now you want to kill the people of this city to resurrect him, don’t you think it’s absurd?”
“Absurd?” Hua Rong laughed, with a bit of mockery in his voice, “He was so good, it was they who betrayed him first. They were the ones who were at fault. Back then I thought I should save the people, but what benefit did it give me? How did they treat me in these 100 years?”
“I am their benefactor, but they have no gratitude for me. They only think that since I am the Lord of the City, I should only know how to give. They are always asking me for something, always bothering me!”
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