Ch.
13: Danger When Entering The Secret Realm

 

[ Beginning of Arc 2: The Linyuan Small Secret Realm ]

It was the day of Kaiyuan.
Xu Zhengtian led ten great elders and some highly cultivated people on the eighth and ninth layers of Qi Refinement to protect the 100 Xu family juniors who would enter the secret realm and go to the far northern land by Golden Beaked Crane.

That far northern land was the Linyuan Secret Realm.

There were ten Golden Beaked Cranes in total.
This was a grand event, so all of them were dispatched.
As a miscellaneous worker with ‘lower-low’ qualifications, Xu Ziqing could only go because of Old Man He, so he could only stay at the end, standing at the tail of the tenth crane, next to Old Man He.

The sea of clouds churned under him, the crane surrounded by the wild gales.
Xu Ziqing looked ahead and saw a handsome man with a slim, graceful, and tall figure standing under the neck of the first crane wearing purple clothing.
It was Xu Zifeng.
He looked around again, but he knew Zhuang Wei didn’t have a chance to come, and Xu Zitang and Xu Ziluo also hadn’t come.

Xu Ziqing was quite surprised.
Xu Zitang was a woman with such talent and a superb cultivation level, why didn’t he see her here? But after a second thought, he understood a bit.
That day, Tian Cheng fought and tore faces with the Patriarch of the Xu family.
If Xu Zishu’s inquiries were reliable, it was precisely for this woman.
If Xu Zitang really came, she couldn’t know what accident she might encounter after entering the secret realm.
Xu Zifeng also didn’t know what would happen, but if he really saw something good, he could just bring it back to his sister.

Xu Ziqing didn’t know that Xu Zifeng was going not only for the benefit of his sister and himself but also by request of Xu Zhengtian.
Because the Tian family would definitely make trouble in the secret realm, in order to restrain Tian Cheng, Xu Zhengtian needed to keep an eye on him outside of it.
Therefore, Xu Zifeng was entrusted by the Patriarch to escort the juniors with outstanding qualifications while inside it.

The Golden Beaked Cranes were extremely fast, and it wasn’t long before they reached the entrance of the secret realm.

Everyone saw a stone stele appear in the vast sea of clouds, tens of meters high and tens of meters wide.
A golden light flickered above the rosy clouds and when the rays of light converged, five openings appeared on the tablet.
The notches were shaped like a toothed saw and depressed inward, all of which were different.

The Xu clan wasn’t early.
In addition to the south of where the stone stele was located, cranes hovered on the clouds in the east, west, and north directions, with spiritual energy billowing with immortal spirit.
It was the Luo family, the Wei family, and the Meng family.

Xu Ziqing was curious and couldn’t help but focus his eyes to look out.
Just seeing the people of the three families being beautifully dressed with handsome men, beautiful women, and extraordinary demeanor, he couldn’t help but admire them in his heart.

At this time, four of the five major families had already arrived, only the Tian family had not yet arrived.

He heard an old man with a long beard in the Luo family saying, “The auspicious hour is coming, we need to send a jade talisman to the Tian family.”

Xu Zhengtian closed his eyes and said nothing.
He and Tian Cheng had long been at odds and felt disinclined to pay attention to anything that had anything to do with him, no matter what it was.

The other two Patriarchs responded, “Wait for another stick of incense1.
If they don’t come, we will urge them.”

So they waited for a stick of incense, before finally seeing the shadow of a crane in the distance.

The Patriarch of the Meng family snorted coldly, “Ho, Tian Cheng has such a great manner!”

The other two families had no quarrel with the Tian family, but they were also dissatisfied with Tian’s belated arrival.

When Tian Cheng arrived, he immediately bowed his hands to the three families, “I’ve been impolite, I’ve been impolite.
My son’s breakthrough is just around the corner, which made me, as a father, have to protect him, so I’m late.
Fortunately, I’m not too late, otherwise, I, surnamed Tian, really wouldn’t know how to apologize.”

In any case, he was a Foundation Establishment expert.
Now that he had apologized, they wouldn’t insist on being adamant.
Xu Ziqing saw that behind him stood a man covered in spiritual light.
It was Tian Liang.
Since he didn’t conceal his cultivation base, he put great pressure on the small and weak like Xu Ziqing.

Just at this time, the auspicious hour arrived.
The five pitch-black holes burst into golden light, swaying in all directions.

The Patriarch of the Meng family let out a sharp shout, “Swords out!”

The other four Patriarchs raised their hands with him, a white light bursting from the palm of their hands, piercing straight into one of the openings!

In the blink of an eye, the jade sword faced the opening, and the golden light on the stone tablet became more and more blazing.
Whoever it swept by, there would be a burning sensation.
Old Man He brought out a magical tool, covering both himself and Xu Ziqing to keep out the golden light.
Looking at others, they also brought out magical tools one after the other.
The extraordinary splendor was very stunning.

Xu Ziqing watched attentively.
Unexpectedly, the stele suddenly expanded continuously and abruptly burst—it was broken into five pieces, each flying into the hands of the Patriarchs respectively.

After the stone stele burst, a black spot appeared in the empty area behind the stele, which turned into a vortex, becoming larger and larger, kicking up a great force of wind.
The Patriarchs all exclaimed, “Tsk!2”

The five stone tablet fragments shone brightly, forming an immense light cover suspended in front of them.
The experts and juniors who were about to enter the secret realm used magical methods to penetrate into the cover one after another.
Xu Ziqing was unable to do the same and became anxious, but Old Man He took his arm and pulled him forward.
He felt his body lighten before he stepped on a hard surface.

Xu Ziqing opened his eyes and looked down to see that the bottom of the light wall was under his feet.
Oddly enough, he didn’t feel hindered when he entered.
However, after going in and touching the light wall, it felt very sturdy.
Before he could think about it, the light wall had floated up and cast straight into the whirlpool.

There was a burst of dizziness as if he had suffered countless bumps before it finally stopped.
Only after Xu Ziqing recovered, did he see the light cover falling apart in the air, and everyone was thrown out in an instant!

He, as a lower-low cultivator with only a layer of Qi Refinement, had to use all his spiritual power to protect his body but was still flustered with pain when he fell to the ground.
Although he stepped onto the path of immortality as a cultivator, Xu Ziqing was still on the bottom.
Even though he had opened up a number of acupuncture points, there were still many deficiencies in the strength of his body.

Looking around, he did not know where Old Man He was, and there was no one else nearby.
Beneath him was soft ground, full of abundant greenery and fine grass.

The flowers were fragrant, the birds were softly singing, and there were many ancient trees several meters high on the side, with their roots knotting and intertwining together.
There were several mountain peaks stretching out in the distance, standing grandly.
And taking a deep breath, his seven senses felt even more refreshed.

What heavy spiritual energy! If this was the secret realm, the secret realm was truly beautiful.

Xu Ziqing stood up, patted away the dust on his clothes, and looked around.
Not only was Old Man He not there, but none of the other people could be seen.
Was it possible that he was separated? Or was there some other accident?

After thinking about it, again and again, Xu Ziqing couldn’t be sure, so he slowly found his way forward, gently caressing his cuff with the palm of his hand.
It turned out that although Old Man He felt that Xu Ziqing would be in the same place with him in the secret realm and would be able to take good care of him, he was also worried about any accidents, so he gave him four or five talismans at hand, which could be used for protection.

In the hands of cultivators, talismans have always been of great use.
Although Xu Ziqing was not yet able to use spiritual talismans, among the three types of yellow, red, and green regular talismans commonly used by experts in the Qi Refinement period, green talismans were quite rare, but Old Man He gave him one.
There were also three second-class red talismans.
If he was careful, he could also use them.

Because of the abundance of spiritual energy in the secret realm, there are also many kinds of spiritual herbs.
Xu Ziqing walked all the way, identifying them along the way, and found that he recognized quite a few of them.
After all, those spiritual herbs were not recited and memorized in vain.
Unfortunately, he had no magic tools at hand and could not collect them, so he had no choice but to keep moving.

Although there was no one around, Xu Ziqing still exercised caution to its fullest extent.
Although the secret realm was beautiful, it was also very dangerous for him, a little Qi Refinement cultivator who was alone.

As he was thinking, a fishy scented wind suddenly came from behind him.
Xu Ziqing’s pupils shrank, and he turned, rushing off to the side.
Sure enough, where he was just standing, was a pool of sizzling pitch-black liquid, as if he had been splashed with a handful of sulfuric acid, which immediately corroded a large area.

What is that stuff?! Xu Ziqing sucked in a breath of cold air, hurriedly took two more steps back, and immediately looked around quickly.

Then another mass of black liquid was sprayed out.
Xu Ziqing swept to the right again to avoid and looked along the path of the black liquid to see an arm thick snake coiled on a dead branch of an ancient tree, with colorful scales, hissing with a flicking tongue.

Seeing that Xu Ziqing noticed it, it opened its mouth and spit out more black liquid.
Only then did Xu Ziqing realize that it was the snake’s venom.
Once his body was stained with even the slightest bit of it, he would be corroded like the grass!

Xu Ziqing was alert.
He had very little spiritual power in his body, and he had only opened up a few acupuncture points.
He was not the opponent of this snake at all.

The snake was a little lazy, and looked at him sideways, with a trace of contempt in its eyes.
Xu Ziqing was taken aback.
The snake seemed to have some spiritual intelligence, but it was indeed a thing of the secret realm, so it must not be underestimated.

He didn’t know how many methods the strange snake had, so Xu Ziqing put his fingers in his sleeve, pinched a red talisman, and prepared to shoot out as soon as something went wrong! Facing off with the snake for a moment, the snake made no move.
Xu Ziqing stepped back slowly, but his fingers pinched even more tightly.

After retreating for about four or five meters, the snake abruptly raised its head and suddenly lunged forward!

Xu Ziqing was just about to use the red talisman, but he saw that the snake had stopped moving.
The snake’s mouth was still wide open, revealing four extremely long hooked teeth inside.

“Second Brother3, what do you think of my immobilization technique?” He heard a clear youth’s voice ring out.
“It’s a Spotted Demon Snake! Look, I caught it! I’ll dig out its core to refine medicine for Second Brother!”

Another voice, a little more mature and pampering, answered, “Fifth Brother’s immobilization technique has already met the eighth level of attainment.
This Spotted Demon Snake has been cultivating for 100 years, its core is promising.
This foolish older brother thanks Fifth Brother for this great gift.”

Xu Ziqing was a bit frightened and raised his eyes to see the two people approaching together.
One of them was young in appearance, the other was tall and slender, both of which were unfamiliar faces.

As soon as he wanted to thank them, he saw the young man wave his hand impatiently, “What are you still doing here? My brother is going to kill the snake and take its core! Your spiritual power is weak, you should leave quickly!”

Xu Ziqing knew that these two people had saved his life, but they did not deliberately do it for his benefit.
Although the young man’s words were unpleasant, he was neither relative nor friend to them.
It was exactly the time to hunt monsters and get the spoils.
It was improper for him to really stay here.
He bowed slightly and thanked them, then turned and left immediately.

It was only after this incident that Xu Ziqing became even more cautious about this secret realm.
His every move became more and more careful.

Footnotes

1, An ancient Chinese time measurement, depending on the author it generally, means either 5 minutes or 30 minutes.
In this case, I believe it is 30 minutes.

2, This is a sound, rather than a word.
The character written here was ‘咄’ which makes a ‘tut’ or ‘tsk’ sound by clicking the tongue.
I’m not sure why it’s used in this instance.

3, Although I said in previous chapters that I would be using pinyin for things like this, I decided otherwise after some deliberation.
If you want me to go back to using pinyin, do tell me.
In using the address Second (Older) Brother and Fifth (Younger) Brother, in groups of people (and especially in families), the members are sometimes distinguished and addressed according to age/rank, rather than by name.
In a group of male friends or siblings, they can call each other Boss / Big Bro 大哥, Second Bro 二哥, Third Bro 三哥, Fourth Bro 四哥, Fifth Bro 五哥, etc etc… This could be according to birth order or their social ranking within the group.

T/N, I didn’t intend to take this long to post this chapter, however, my village, as well as several other towns nearby, lost power due to powerful winds for a few days.
I slept in my unheated house for the first night (much to my suffering), and then stayed at a motel, unable to use my PC.
Then I had to attend an early Christmas dinner after the power returned, and because of that first night of sleeping in the cold house, I am now sick.
So, I struggled to translate this and am still sick now.
The next chapter might take a bit of time because of this as well, I hope no one minds.

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