Hua Zhaoting and the Hua Sect disciples were still blocked outside the pavilion by the blizzard barrier.
Xiao Fuxuan, who was about to remove the barrier, stopped after hearing what Yi Wusheng said.
He asked, “Why not”
Yi Wusheng replied solemnly, “He must not hear it.”
“Is there a problem with your sect leader as well”
“He and I share a very similar situation.
It’s been a long time, and the problem is deeply rooted, so don’t startle him.”
Wu Xingxue glanced at him, who barely had any soul left in him, and asked, “How much time is a long time”
Yi Wusheng was silent for a second, then said softly, “It’s been more than twenty years.”
It was more than twenty years ago when he first realized that there was something wrong with him.
That day, Yi Wusheng and his fond disciple, A-Yao, were managing a batch of newly refined medicine in the Meditating Hall.
There were countless types of pills that cultivators liked to use, but the types that everyone had were only a few—those that increase cultivation, extend life, cure injuries, save lives, and, of course, those that take lives as well.
The rest of the pills were rare and abnormal, and there were so many types of them that they couldn’t all be named at once.
These were the kinds of things each sect privately refined and privately used, and all more or less exhibited some unique characteristics of the sects.
The Dreamless Pill, for example, belongs only to Yi Wusheng of Peach Blossom Island.
He had refined this type of medicine because, that year, incidents frequently occurred in the Valley of Great Sorrow1, a major route outside Yuyang City.
When ordinary people or cultivation disciples traveled through and first exited the valley, nothing abnormal about them could be spotted, but within three days, some strange things would happen—
On the back of their necks, something similar to a puppet mark would appear out of the blue.
In addition, they would often feel itchy, but they wouldn’t be able to locate the itch, so they couldn’t help but to scratch themselves everywhere.
Some people were agitated to the point of insanity, scratching themselves until their bodies were covered with blood.
Another problem was sleepwalking.
They would fall asleep at night and dream that they were starving and looking everywhere for food.
After searching for a long time, they would finally see a stall and sit down to eat, chewing on a mouthful of fresh flavors.
When they suddenly woke up after some time, they would find themselves actually holding stuff in their hands and eating overnight.
Some held vegetables and fruits, some held raw fish and meat, and some others… they held people.
Such acts were indistinguishable from demonic possession, making it impossible for huge sects to overlook the problem.
They all sent people to carefully investigate why, but being careful was useless.
Most of the people sent from the sects to investigate all fell victim to the same mysterious infection, and barely any were lucky enough to come out unharmed.
At the time, the sect that suffered the most losses was the Feng Sect.
The Feng Sect had always been on good terms with Peach Blossom Island, so the Feng Sect Sect Leader, Feng Juyan, and her elder brother, Feng Fei, both personally came to ask for medicine for their sect’s infected disciples.
As everyone knew, Peach Blossom Island’s Yi Wusheng was the most adept at the Dreaming Souls Technique, and the infected individuals from the Valley of Great Sorrow all feasted on human flesh in their dreams.
Thus, for a while, Peach Blossom Island was almost stomped down by people seeking help.
Yi Wusheng cultivated in seclusion for seven days, without eating, drinking, resting, or sleeping.
Finally, he invented a new type of medicine, the Dreamless Pill.
For those who fell victim to the Valley of Great Sorrow, if they took the Dreamless Pill within a month, their soul would be sealed for forty-nine days.
When they woke back up, they would have recovered.
The only risk was losing one of their five senses due to their soul being sealed for too long.
But if it has been more than a month, then even eating a jar full of Dreamless Pill would bring no benefit.
At that point, no one could save them anymore.
Yi Wusheng refined Dreamless Pills that entire year, often without sleep or rest, which in turn saved countless lives.
The Sect’s Leader, Hua Zhaoting, was afraid he would be too exhausted, so he specifically instructed the sect’s disciples to not disturb Yi Wusheng unless absolutely necessary.
He even selected a handful of disciples to help him organize and clean his Placid Hall. 2
By the end of that year, with the winter months approaching, the Valley of Great Sorrow had been sealed for over a month, and there were no new infections.
Yi Wusheng was finally able to rest for a bit and have some leisure time.
That day, the last batch of Dreamless Pills was buried in the flower jar.
“These Dreamless Pills aren’t the same as normal medicinal pills.
They can’t touch fire, so they can’t enter the pill cauldron.
They need to be carefully buried in sand three inches underground.
The sand must be watered every day with fresh spring water, and—”
Just as Yi Wusheng was just instructing A-Yao, he suddenly felt a slight itch on the back of his neck.
He frowned and scratched it a bit.
“–And the spring water is best if it’s frozen. Please make sure you don’t forget that–” As he spoke, he felt another itch, so he just straight up handed the pills in his hand to A-Yao, and he himself stepped to the side.
After he scratched for a bit, he suddenly felt a burning pain in the back of his head, and so he quickly turned around to return to his hall.
But as soon as he turned around, he heard A-Yao let out a soft scream, “Ahh, master, your neck is bleeding.
Let me apply some ointment to help stop the bleeding.”
Did it bleed from just a few scratches
Yi Wusheng was puzzled in his head as he waved his hand, “No need, keep on burying the Dreamless Pills, I’ll go to my room.”
At the time, there was a small cleaning disciple inside the room.
He was organizing the medicine cabinets and the bed.
Seeing Yi Wusheng coming in with blood on his hands, he quickly dug out some blood-stopping ointment, “Mister, let me help you.”
Yi Wusheng looked at his sand and blood-covered fingers and didn’t refuse this time.
He waited for the disciple to apply the medicine on him, but after waiting for a long time, the disciple still didn’t move.
“Mister, you…” the disciple’s voice could barely be heard.
Yi Wusheng turned his head, only to find him holding the medicine with a pale face.
“What’s up with the pale face It’s not like you’ve never seen blood before.
Why are you so frightened of just a few scratches ” Yi Wusheng laughed to himself.
He grabbed a piece of cloth on the side to wipe his hands and was about to take the medicine to apply it himself when he suddenly saw that the disciple’s hands were trembling.
The medicine bowl fell from his hand, smashing onto the ground and spilling the medicine everywhere.
For a moment, Yi Wusheng was stunned.
He quickly lifted his robe and went to the inner room, where he took out two copper mirrors to take a look.
From the copper mirror, he saw his heavily scratched nape.
The bloodiness didn’t look like it was scratched by a human finger at all, more like it was torn by some beast’s claws.
And below those few scratch marks, he could faintly see a black mark, exactly like the one on the necks of the infected people from the Valley of Great Sorrow.
Immediately, Yi Wusheng felt a chill down his spine.
He put down the copper mirrors and rummaged through the boxes and shelves to find the rest of the last batch of Dreamless Pills.
Normally, one pill would be plenty.
After swallowing a pill, he didn’t even bother to change his clothes as he quickly laid down on the bed.
He opened his eyes wide until nightfall, yet there were still no signs of his soul being sealed.
He got up from the bed again, grabbed the entire bottle with trembling fingers, gave himself a palmful of Dreamless Pills, and swallowed them all…
This time, he did fall asleep, but the soul remained unsealed.
He refined the Dreamless Pills himself, so he knew the effects better than anyone else.
For an infection lasting longer than a month, they would be useless no matter how many were consumed.
So, after that, he couldn’t remember anything.
But although he couldn’t remember anything, he still knew what would happen –the devil that lived in his body would be startled, quickly devouring his flesh and soul, taking over as the owner of his body.
“He” would still do the things he usually did every day, not allowing anyone to discover any abnormality, and then he would wait until starvation came.
Every now and then, devils would feel hungry and uneasy, and get the urge to devour the raw spirit and flesh of humans.
On extremely rare occasions, Yi Wusheng would recover a little bit of his consciousness.
It was like a vestige of his soul didn’t want to leave, still clinging tightly to its power.
The first time he regained his consciousness, he saw that the small disciple who had helped him apply medicine earlier was sweeping beside the bookshelf.
The disciple even bowed towards him, calling out, “Mister.” He tested him with a knock on the back of his head, unsurprisingly hearing the sound of hollowness.
The second time he regained consciousness was on that cold night twenty-five years ago.
A-Yao was manically crying and screaming in front of the hall.
His brother, Yi Wuqi, was lying in a puddle of blood with a smile on his face.
When his wife, daughter, and father, were knocked upon, they all emitted a hollow sound just like that small disciple.
Born into a cultivation sect, he was once elegant and talented as well.
But that night, he suddenly felt a sense of vicissitude.
He remembered clearly that in the depth of that night, he used up all of his spirits, fighting to hold onto the shred of humanity remaining.
He sprinted to the Sect Leader’s Jianhua Hall.
He wanted to tell Hua Zhaoting to strip him of his position as an Elder of the Four Halls and to entrust the tasks in his hands to others.
Then, he would let Hua Zhaoting kill him.
Because the devil in his body would not allow him to commit suicide, he needed to find someone who could restrain him and kill him..
Stumbling into Jianhua Hall, he ignored etiquettes and respect and barged open the doors.
Hua Zhaoting was carrying a teapot with a long spout, bending down to water the flower pots next to the wall.
When he heard the noise, he turned his head around, his face exhausted.
He pointed at Yi Wusheng, saying: “How dare you! If you were a disciple of this sect and charged into my Jianhua Hall like this without my permission after I set the ban order, you would be severely punished.”
Yi Wusheng didn’t reply.
He could feel that his consciousness was about to disappear.
He must explain everything before that happens.
He bumped the table and grabbed Hua Zhaoting’s elbow, “Sect Leader…”
At that moment, because of the great strength he used, his grab also caused Hua Zhaoting to bump against the table, his body crouching a bit.
Yi Wusheng saw the back of his neck.
There were also partially healed scratch marks on the back of Hua Zhaoting’s neck, and there were also traces of a black mark below those scratches.
Yi Wusheng’s pupils shrank, and an icy chill poured from his head to his toes.
“What’s the matter with you” asked Hua Zhaoting.
Yi Wusheng’s words stopped at his tongue, “I… I need to go into seclusion for a while.”
Yi Wusheng’s face was ghastly pale, his appearance grave.
He turned his head and looked at A-Yao, who was still stunned in place.
“A-Yao’s personality is normally steady and outgoing.
He’s someone who can do great things in the future, and he’s also a cultivation disciple.
He wouldn’t, just because of witnessing some murder, be scared into such a state.
He’s been intentionally cast with a Silencing Technique by someone, not allowing him to speak clearly.
“After returning to my Placid Hall, I only had enough time to do one thing,” Yi Wusheng continued solemnly, “I added another Silencing Technique on A-Yao.
Under two layers of Silencing Techniques, no one could remove them, at least no one on Peach Blossom Island.
He would remain in this lunatic state for as long as the Silencing Techniques are in effect.”
“I’m afraid that after he wakes up, he will say things that shouldn’t be said.
On this island, no one can help him.”
After all, A-Yao had grown up beside Yi Wusheng, and he had personally witnessed the entire course of events leading to Yi Wuqi’s death.
After he awakened, he would definitely explain everything to Yi Wusheng.
And if he also saw that mark on the back of Yi Wusheng’s neck, then his fate would most likely end up the same as that of the small cleaning disciple.
“Afterwards, I never regained consciousness, up until today.” Yi Wusheng looked into the darkness of the night outside, towards all of the silhouettes outside the blizzard barrier.
“As long as devils don’t become startled, twenty-five years can pass just like this.
The Sect Leader cultivates the path of the sword, and he’s one of the people who’ve come closest to ascending to immortality in the past hundred years.
If the devil living inside his body is startled, there’s truly no one above him who can stop him.
The thousands of disciples of my Peach Blossom Island might all.
Before he finished speaking, he saw that the outline of a sword beside him had already emerged from its sheath.
Yi Wusheng: “”
“You– must absolutely not!” Yi Wusheng couldn’t tear away the golden paper, but he was so panicked that he didn’t bother with polite speech.
“Ah, welp, too late.
You should rest for a bit.” Wu Xingxue held him back, then looked at Xiao Fuxuan, who was surrounded by a body of freezing sword energy.
He looked back at Yi Wusheng, “How high did you say his cultivation was”
“Almost ascending to immortality!” Yi Wusheng repeated heavily.
Xiao Fuxuan repeated lightly, “Oh, almost.”
The moment his voice fell, the phantom sword had already pierced through the air, turning into tens of thousands of golden beams of light.
With thundering sounds, the beams of light formed into one and a giant sword came smashing down directly towards Hua Zhaoting!