Chapter 219 - Too Shocking
Edited by RED
“The four of us lost our telepathic link to Lady Nuxi after she left, and we had no idea where she went. Since she was an almighty existence, we weren’t too worried about her, and focused on cultivating ourselves in our respective caverns. We never had any sort of contact with Venerable Ziyan. He was peaceful too, and never interrupted us,” Vermilion Bird said patiently.
“May I interrupt you for a moment? While you, the Four Divinities, were in your caverns, were you able to enter and exit at will?” Xu Qi asked curiously.
“We could exit our caverns and meet out here, in this plaza. Lady Nuxi was kind to us, and placed many spiritual treasures in our caverns to aid us in our cultivation. Our caverns were peaceful and brimming with spiritual qi. We were immersed in our cultivation and rarely came out,” Vermilion Bird replied.
“Oh? But when I entered Black Tortoise and your cavern, all I saw was ruins. I didn’t see any spiritual treasures, nor did I feel that the area was brimming with spiritual qi?” Xu Qi continued asking.
Her face turned slightly ashen at hearing this, her gaze seemingly about to spit fire. She humphed coldly and said, “This was all that Venerable Ziyan’s doing. He kept entering our caverns, citing Lady Nuxi’s entrusting him to supervise us, and stole the spiritual treasures while we weren’t paying attention.”
Xu Qi was stunned. Venerable Ziyan was actually stealing from them? This is unthinkable!
“When we realized spiritual treasures were missing from our respective caverns, we found Venerable Ziyan and confronted him. However, he actually denied committing thievery and I got into an argument with him. Who would have thought that he actually wanted to fight me! The Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise lost their patience, afraid that I would get bullied and took action, injuring Venerable Ziyan,” Vermilion Bird added.
“What happened after that?” Xu Qi asked, feeling this matter was getting stranger the more he heard about it.
“Hmph, we held back against him then. After all, he was a disciple of Lady Nuxi. He kept to himself for a long time after we taught him a lesson, and didn’t disturb us any longer. However, he stirred up a catastrophe just as we had forgotten about this matter!” Vermilion Bird said, her face ashen.
Xu Qi was thoroughly astonished by the Vermilion Bird’s revelation. This had completely overturned his opinion of Venerable Ziyan. That geezer seemed like a cultivated man, and gave off a good vibe. Why would he go around stealing the divine beasts’ spiritual treasures?
“Venerable Ziyan had told me that he truly regretted his reckless actions, and that he had made a grave mistake. But what was the catastrophe you spoke of?” Xu Qi asked curiously.
“Venerable Ziyan went against Lady Nuxi’s instructions and revealed the Four Divinities Coffer to the world. Not only that, he undid the seal outside the plaza and spread word of the existence of a great amount of spiritual treasures in here, attracting numerous cultivators here,” Vermilion Bird said.
“What did you say?! Those dead cultivators were lured here by Venerable Ziyan?!” Xu Qi exclaimed in shock. He couldn’t believe his ears.
“Right. For some unknown reasons, Venerable Ziyan was hateful towards us, and even dared to go against Lady Nuxi’s instructions. In the end, those cultivators came attacking us for their own selfish greed. Lady Nuxi had taught us and forbade us from killing others casually, especially cultivators. Their road to cultivation wasn’t easy, and thus we only taught them a lesson, having them back off.
“Alas, we repelled a wave of them, and another wave of them came. The cultivators who came were increasingly stronger, and in the end, we were forced out of our caverns, the spiritual treasures were all taken away,” the Vermilion Bird recalled, unable to hide the sadness in her gaze.
“What happened after you were forced out of your respective caverns?” Xu Qi continued asking.
“We never killed a single person, even after our spiritual treasures were snatched away. We kept enduring, but after forcing us out to this plaza, they set their sights on us next,” Vermilion Bird said, gnashing her teeth.
“Set their sights on the four of you? They tried to kill you?” Xu Qi asked in surprise.
“They were all cultivators, and understood what our inner core and blood essence meant to them. Humans are hard to fathom; when they are blinded by greed, they are truly able to commit all kinds of acts,” Vermilion Bird told him.
Xu Qi was astonished by the Vermilion Bird’s account. Venerable Ziyan actually turned out to be such a narrow-minded man. He actually revealed the Four Divinities Cavern to others to exact some petty revenge!
The Vermilion Bird continued her story.
The four divine beasts couldn’t just sit and wait for their deaths after being surrounded by a group of ancient experts. They finally started killing, which in turn enraged the cultivators. The fight spiraled into an all-out battle.
The Black Tortoise was the first to be forced back into his cavern, and Venerable Ziyan suddenly showed himself. He brought the Ominous Beast, Primal Chaos, and threw it into the Black Tortoise’s cavern, sealing them in together.
The Vermilion Bird, too, was slowly forced back into her cavern. Similarly, Venerable Ziyan used Lady Nuxi’s treasures to set up a seal, and before he did so, he threw the Ice-Armored Horned Dragon in as well and sealed them in together.
She had no clue what happened to the White Tiger and Azure Dragon. Though, she was sure that they wouldn’t be much better off, either. They were probably in a similar situation, or even worse.
Xu Qi couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath of air. The doubts in his heart were still there. Venerable Ziyan disappeared for a period of time and got his hands on the Ominous Beast, Primal Chaos, and the Ice-Armored Horned Dragon, then sealed them in Black Tortoise’s and Vermilion Bird’s cavern using Lady Nuxi’s treasures.
Who exactly was responsible for killing the cultivators he saw in the plaza?
“Did you kill many people during your battle here in the plaza?” Xu Qi asked.
“No, I am certain that we killed less than ten people before I was forced back into my cavern. We wouldn’t leave any corpses behind, either. There was no way you’d see them,” Vermilion Bird said.
Xu Qi felt a chill down his spine at hearing this, lamenting that the Four Divinities were ruthless indeed. They actually killed without leaving corpses behind.
“Then could it be the White Tiger and Azure Dragon’s doing?” Xu Qi continued asking.
“That’s even more improbable. Like I said, none of us would leave any corpses behind when we killed. Moreover, Big Brother White Tiger and Azure Dragon’s strengths are miles above mine and Black Tortoise’s. Even so, there is something I don’t understand. With their strengths, there shouldn’t be a problem for them to escape despite being surrounded. Why would they be sealed in their caverns, too?” Vermilion Bird said, looking at the two stone doors.
“Oh, I suddenly thought of a question. If I were to open the White Tiger’s cavern now and bring you in with me to meet him, wouldn’t we learn everything after we save him?” Xu Qi said, coming to a sudden realization.
“You’re dreaming! Not to mention that I am unable to enter the White Tiger’s cavern, I wouldn’t even if I could! Brother White Tiger is a violent one, and he only obeys those who are stronger than him. Up until now, the only one who managed to tame him was Lady Nuxi. I reckon you won’t make it out alive if you were to enter his cavern,” Vermilion Bird said.
Xu Qi didn’t put her mockings to heart and continued asking, “Why are you unable to enter the White Tiger’s cavern?”
“Lady Nuxi was an almighty being; she set up restrictions in the Four Divinities Cavern that prevented us from entering each other’s caverns at will, not even half a step,” Vermilion Bird explained.
It’s that Nuwa again. Why is she so meddlesome? Even so, Goddess Nuwa was the creator of the world, after all. She must have her reasons for doing so. She wouldn’t have done something like this otherwise. So what was the reason for it?
Xu Qi didn’t dare to think about the White Tiger’s cavern for now. Since he learned something new from the Vermilion Bird’s mouth today, it could be said that he had benefited greatly.
“This Green Mystique Tree wasn’t here in the beginning. Could it be that Venerable Ziyan brought it here after we were sealed?” Vermilion Bird muttered, shifting her gaze over to the Green Mystique Tree.
“Who knows? Right, you wanted to dig up this grave earlier; were you trying to find out who killed them?” Xu Qi asked.
The Vermilion Bird nodded. She was indeed thinking of such.
“Then I’ll just tell you. Their corpses were rather complete, and there were signs of battling among themselves. Most of them were killed by one another, their bodies were stabbed with all kinds of weapons. They probably died due to infighting amongst themselves,” Xu Qi said, recalling the scene when he first entered the plaza.
“Oh? Are you sure of this?” Vermilion Bird asked, feeling slightly doubtful.
“Of course. I was the one who buried them; how could I not know?” Xu Qi affirmed, slapping his chest. He even wanted to say that he had taken their weapons one by one; naturally he was very clear on this.
Vermilion Bird supported her chin with one hand and paced about, seemingly thinking of something. Xu Qi didn’t want to interrupt her and kept to himself, digesting the information she told him earlier.
Venerable Ziyan first stole the Four Divinities’ spiritual treasures, and conflict arose among them. After he was taught a lesson by them, he revealed the Four Divinities Cavern to the world and caused a catastrophe.
Xu Qi deliberated over this matter carefully. He kept feeling something was amiss, but the Vermilion Bird had witnessed all of this. She had no need to lie to him, but what exactly was wrong?
Would Venerable Ziyan go against Lady Nuxi’s will just because he suffered a little, and reveal the Four Divinities Cavern to the world without any consideration? In that case, wasn’t she lacking a little when it came to accepting disciples?
After pacing back and forth for a while, her gaze fell onto the walls around the plaza, seemingly looking for something.
When her gaze fell onto the stone door leading to the Azure Dragon’s cavern, her eyes opened wide and she immediately flew over.
Seeing this, Xu Qi followed behind curiously.
The Vermilion Bird extended her delicate hand, gently touching the three-clawed marks on the stone door.
“This claw mark didn’t belong to Brother Azure Dragon, nor Brother White Tiger! It seems that some other monster was in here after I was forced into my cavern!” Vermilion Bird said, shocking even herself.
Xu Qi was stunned for a moment, then thought of Primal Chaos and the Ice-Armored Horned Dragon. He reasoned, “Since the Primal Chaos and Ice-Armored Horned Dragon were thrown into Black Tortoise’s and your cavern and sealed in there, it is no surprise if he got some other monster to suppress the Azure Dragon and White Tiger.”
Vermilion Bird nodded slightly at hearing this. Xu Qi’s words weren’t without reason. Since he was able to bring the Primal Chaos and Ice-Armored Horned Dragon here, it was possible for him to get some other monsters here.
As Vermilion Bird looked at the claw marks on the stone door, she felt that they looked familiar. However, too much time had passed and she truly couldn’t recall where she had seen them before.
“Erm, there’s something I have to inform you. We are no longer at the world you were from. Venerable Ziyan has vanished, too. I hope you’ll forget about those grudges,” Xu Qi said.
He didn’t know whether she’d heard his words or not. She nodded as she kept touching those claw marks.
Xu Qi didn’t wish to interrupt her thoughts after seeing this. He had been in here for quite some time, and it was about time to leave.
“Are you supposed to leave now?” Vermilion Bird asked, her gaze still fixed on the claw marks. She felt as if the answer she was searching for was only behind a piece of paper. All she had to do was to pierce through it, yet she wasn’t able to recall.
“Hmm. I’ll be leaving first. I’ll summon you in just a moment to meet with Black Tortoise. We’ll think of a way then to recover your strength,” Xu Qi said.
“Hmm, go ahead, then. I haven’t seen Black Tortoise for a very long time,” Vermilion Bird replied, continuing to study the claw marks.
Xu Qi left the cavern without any further words.
He appeared in the Xu Clan and headed straight to the Black Tortoise’s room. It was great that the latter didn’t like to move around, and was staying in his room. Black Tortoise couldn’t help but reveal a smile at seeing the seemingly travel-worn Xu Qi.
“You succeeded?” Black Tortoise asked.
“I did it. I’ll let you both meet in just a moment, but I have something I wish to confirm with you,” Xu Qi said.
“It seems like she told you some of our past,” Black Tortoise said.
Xu Qi wasn’t surprised that Black Tortoise managed to guess as much. After all, they had known one another for uncountable years, and understood each other to some extent.
Thus, Xu Qi repeated everything Vermilion Bird told him, no matter how insignificant.
What followed was Black Tortoise’s slight nod of confirmation.
Xu Qi sat down on a chair, overwhelmed. Getting the Black Tortoise’s confirmation of the Vermilion Bird’s account was akin to confirming Venerable Ziyan’s despicable acts.
“Damn brat, don’t blame me for not telling you about all this before. I only felt that Venerable Ziyan’s actions seemed a little off, and wasn’t as simple as we’d thought. That was why I kept it from you,” Black Tortoise said.
Xu Qi felt a little better at hearing this. He, too, was a little suspicious of Venerable Ziyan’s actions. It seemed that he would have to verify all of this himself.
As of now, the most important matter was recovering the Vermilion Bird’s strength, in order for him to carry out his plans.
The rainbow summoning seal quickly formed in Xu Qi’s hand, and the Vermilion Bird’s delicate figure slowly materialized in the room.