STH Chapter 99

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Chapter 99: Birds of a feather flock together

Ye Fan did not feel overly concerned, the mysterious aurichalcite was silent within his sea of bitterness and till now no one had noticed, there would certainly be nobody who came looking for him because of this.

“Maybe the Central Province will work together with the Eastern Badlands since both parties may have their most precious treasures buried within the depths of the Yin grave.”

“It’s rumoured that the Desolate Pagoda can even thoroughly suppress immortals, if it reappears it will definitely be able to seal movements of the demon emperor’s burial mound.”

“The Desolate Pagoda is within the Yin grave, what you just said means that there is simply no answer and no method to break into the Yin grave.”

“What exactly is the most precious treasure of the Central Province? How could it have gotten lost in our Eastern Badlands?”

“The Central Province is ancient and mysterious, it is rumoured that their most precious treasure has existed since the world existed, it is not something that people of our level would know.”

“What’s been lost within the Eastern badlands seems to be a broken fragment and what the complete object is, nobody knows.”

The few cultivators ate as they discussed and Ye Fan gathered much information.

“Over two years have passed and that piece of ruins is already covered in a mountain of corpses and drowned in a sea of blood, who knows how many more people will die before something actually happens. Thinking about it, the freedom of us wandering cultivators is still the best, otherwise, if we were within a large sect, we could have been forced to head there and only death would await us.”

“Various sects seem to have heeded the advice from a certain bigwig and are planning to use endless number of lives to perform blood sacrifices, forcefully opening that Yin grave. I have a premonition that as long as the Desolate Pagoda isn’t forced out, the Eastern Badlands will never be peaceful. That area will be a demonic area that is stained with blood. The demon emperor of the demonic race is simply too frightening, he likely anticipated this all those years ago, leaving behind a wake of destruction and calamity.”

“That’s right, various Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families are unwilling to give up on the Desolate Pagoda and continue to attempt to get it at all costs.”

Ye Fan felt very relaxed, he had the aurichalcite of the Central Province in his possession and did not have any ideas of obtaining the Desolate Pagoda. That was not something that he could acquire and the mysterious aurichalcite was already plenty. What he needed to consider now was how to enter the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land, he would certainly not take part in the snatching of the most precious treasure and the further he could stay away the better.

As he was about to leave, Ye Fan heard an important piece of news but did not have any change in expression as he sat back down.

“Several bigwigs of different Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families were at death’s door and it’s rumoured that they have plans to enter the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land.”

“That doesn’t seem likely, who would dare to barge in there? Since ancient times there have been countless people who have attempted to explore it but without exception, all of them have died. Back then, there was a certain immortal sect sacred ground who were at their very peak, using all their might they sent tens of thousands of expert cultivators to charge in but were all wiped out, that place is definitely a hell on earth…….”

“The Sacred Ground which got wiped out deserve it because they wanted to barge into the most inner depths of the abyss within the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land. This time those Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families have been forced into a corner, their powerful experts could die at any moment and they wish to go to the top of the nine different mountains to pick the divine medicine to save them, their goal is not to enter into the depths of the abyss.”

“I’m guessing that all the people who enter will die, the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land is even more frightening than the burial mound of the demonic emperor!”
“This isn’t necessarily the case, since ancient times there have been a small group of people who have successfully obtained a sacred medicine, the exact price that they had to pay to do so is however unknown. Those Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families have deep backgrounds and since they have the idea of going there to pick the medicines, they will definitely be well prepared and the hope of them succeeding is rather large.”

“This is also a large matter that will shake up the entire Eastern Badlands, the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land is one of the seven areas within the Eastern Badlands where life is forbidden and after a gap of such a long time there is finally a group of people who are prepared to enter into that place again.”

“When will those Sacred Grounds and ancient aristocratic families move out? Why don’t we go and join in on the action? When they climb those nine mountains to gather the sacred medicines, we will stay at the outer fringes to pick some ordinary spiritual medicines, there shouldn’t be too big of a problem.”

“We may still have to wait for a period of time, this is currently the most dangerous period within the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land……”

Finally, Ye Fan left this small town and his mind was filled with the discussions of the wandering cultivators, he felt there was a need to earnestly consider his next moves.

“That area where life is forbidden is more dangerous than I thought, back then the reason why we could live is likely due to the nine dragon corpses as well as the presence of the large bronze coffin.”

“Ye Fan did not fly but rather walked and actually came across the capital city of the Yan State. This city was very grand and took up a large area of land, the walls seemed endless as they stood erected there.

The capital city of the Yan State was very prosperous and the streets were bustling with activity with people everywhere. Ye Fan felt overwhelmed, he had been alone cultivating in the mountains for over two years, comparing that silence and peace to the ruckus before him, it was two entirely different perspectives.

Facings forests, stone cliffs and mountain gorges everyday, the hustle and bustle of the prosperous city felt extremely familiar to him.

“Golden Silk Candied Jujube, big and sweet!”

“Crisp-fried chicken wings, if it’s not nice don’t pay!”

“Zhang Shi Guan’s steamed dumpling, thin skin, plenty of filling and extremely juicy and delicious, come and have a taste!”

“Candied fruits! One stick only requires one bronze coin!”

Various sounds of peddling drowned the streets, there were even several areas along the street where people were basking and performing various arts, surrounded by several children and adults. Various shops had enthusiastic waiters who were pulling customers as they flattered with enough words to fill up a wicker basket.

“Cultivating is so bitter, human society is so carefree……” Ye Fan lamented, he felt that everything was so familiar and moving when compared to the bitter life of cultivating, this was a simple life that he actually yearned for.

However, he could not give up on cultivating, he missed home and wanted to return to the place where he had grown up.

Three years had passed since Ye Fan came to this world and his bitter cultivating had finally ended as he returned to human society. He had tens of thousands of thoughts and found it difficult not to think of home.

“Time flies by and three years have already passed, I wonder how the other classmates are faring……” Ye Fan thought of Pang Bo and was very concerned for him, thereafter he thought of Liu Yi Yi, Zhang Zi Jun, Li Jia, Wang Zi Ling, Zhou Yi and the others.

“Before entering the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land, maybe I should visit those classmates of old first.” He wanted to visit Liu Yi Yi and Zhang Zi Jun, they had separated for three years and he wanted to know their current situation.

“Big brother……. I’m hungry, can you buy a bun for me too eat? I’m begging you please, I am extremely hungry.” At this moment, Ye Fan noticed a pitiful little girl who was covered in dirt staring at him with her big eyes, she was looking up towards him, her clothes were in tatters and stains covered her face, only her eyes were clear and bright.

Ye Fan could not stand seeing such a scene and each time it would leave a bitter taste in his mouth. He swiftly bought a few steaming hot dumplings from the nearby bun shop and greasy paper to contain them before handing it over to the pitiful little girl. Thereafter he took all the money he had on him and stuffed it in her bosom before anyone noticed.

Until he disappeared from the street, the little girl was still standing there dazed.

Ye Fan took big strides as he left the city, he realised that he was closest to the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary and the distance was barely four hundred odd miles, he remembered that Liu Yi Yi had become a disciple of that sect and decided to go there to take a look first.

The Yan State was two thousand miles from North to South and three thousand miles from East to West, the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land was located within the centre and the surroundings were endless mountains, the Ling Xu Immortal Sanctuary, Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary and the other four sects were all located in the outer regions of this area.

The Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary was surrounded by celestial mountains, cloud and mist swirled and from a distance it was only faintly discernible, like a piece of pure land that was not of this world.

Ye Fan came before the main gate and felt a natural,auspicious and peaceful aura, this place had green peaks and green jade like valleys, flowing streams ended in waterfalls, vegetation was lush and abundant, birds and beasts had gained spiritual awareness, like a world from a painting.

Before the main gate of the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary, there was a unique beast that stood guard, its body was like that of a bull but its head was like that of a qilin, its body was nine metres long and was lying prone within a puddle, its huge eyes were open as they stared will ill intent at Ye Fan.

“Who are you, why did you come to our Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary?” At this moment, the disciple in charge of guarding the main gate of the sect noticed him.

“I’ve come to the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary to look for a friend.” When Ye Fan said Liu Yi Yi’s name, the expression on the face of the disciple guarding the main gate became less tense as he said: “Wait a while, I will sent someone to inform.”

Half a minute later, Liu Yi Yi did not appear but a youth with greying hair on his temples suddenly shouted as he saw Ye Fan: “Ye Fan! It’s really you!”

Ye Fan was stunned before an expression of happiness appeared on his face: “So you’re also cultivating within the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary.”

This person was a classmate of the past, Zhang Wen Chang, whether it be during school or after graduation, he was always ordinary and normal, he was inarticulate and did not like to talk much, when the group gathered it was easy for people to forget about him.

Ye Fan went forward and laughed as he gave him a light punch: “You’ve regained your youth! Congrats!”

Zhang Wen Chang had a bitter smile on his face as he said: “Only my skin isn’t wrinkled anymore, look, the hair by the side of my temples is actually greying.”

“Much better than when we separated, back then you already seemed senile, like a youth who had grown white hair early.”

“I really envy you, enjoying your youth once again.” Zhang Wen Chang who was usually inarticulate had also learned how to make fun of people.

The two people laughed loudly as they looked at each other, old friends reacquainting themselves made a real feeling of happiness well up within them.

Back then, each of the six immortal sanctuary had chosen two people and equally divided the group, only Ye Fan was an exception.

Zhang Wen Chang and Liu Yi YI were taken away by Liu Yi Yi to the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary and had cultivated there for three years already.

“Yi Yi is the favourite of the elders within the sect, her potential is the greatest and she is currently engaging in closed meditation. It’s rumoured that she may be able to reach the Spring of Life realm within half to a full year, this cultivating speed is too frightening.”

“You aren’t too bad yourself, you’re looking quite good.”

“I can’t compare to Yi Yi, within the sect I can only be considered to have a middle-low aptitude, the reason why I could regain my looks was because Yi Yi pleaded with a venerable elder to do so.”

Zhang Wen Chang brought Ye Fan into the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary, it was really beautiful inside with lush green celestial mountains that were like green jade, dots of light could be seen and a mist swirled about it, waterfalls could be seen flowing down and the white streams seemed to be condensed and was formed from starlight.

Several misty clouds shrouded the tops of the mountains and one could occasionally see palaces and buildings, extremely faint giving off a very celestial vibe.

What was most astonishing was a snow white tall mountain that stood in the middle of the group of mountains, its entire body was like jade, totally barren as it flashed with dots of light, its form was like a circular cauldron.

“We’ve parted ways for three years, we must have a good drink today.” Zhang Wen Chang was clearly happy and excited.

“Your sect has wine and meat?” When Ye Fan was within the Ling Xu Immortal Sanctuary, Pang Bo and him had to eat vegetarian every day, that period was a sort of torture for them.

“Relax, there’s wine and meat, I’ve already stepped on the path of cultivation and no longer need to eat vegetarian to train my will like those disciples who had just joined the sect.”

The Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary was very vast and after traversing over several mountains, Zhang Wen Chang brought Ye Fan to a patch of peach blossom trees, there were several small taverns here and they seemed to have a picturesque charm to them.

“Cultivators are also human, they also need to relax.” Zhang Wen Chang laughed as he explained: “Of course we can’t guzzle wine like in the mortal world or have an overpowering greed for food, we only eat and drink in small amounts, enjoying delicious fine food.

“This isn’t bad.” Ye Fan nodded as he smiled: “otherwise, I would actually believe that cultivators needed to cut off their seven emotions and six desires.”

The two people found a small bar and sat down with pear wood octagonal tables and on peach wood seats. Seeming to carry a feelings of ancientness together with an old smell. By the side, peach blossom trees were erected and the scenery was beautiful. The other bars were also like this and the tables and chairs were all placed outside.

They ordered some dishes and wine and began to drink, coming to this strange world and meeting an old classmate, the people people were deeply moved and had endless things to talk about.

“Coming to this unfamiliar world, I was unable to have a good night’s rest for a long time, in my dreams I would dream of going back, I miss my parents and friends……” Zhang Wei Chang who was usually inarticulate spoke a lot today, his emotions flowed out as though he had met a relative.

Li Xiao Man had been cold and indifferent while Zhang Wei Chang was enthusiastic, the disparity between the two made Ye Fan feel wistful.

“Who knows? We may be able to return in the future.” Ye Fan replied.

“Going back……. I no longer hold any hopes for that.” Zhang Wei Chang bitterly shook his head: “How have you been these three years? Were you at the Ling Xu Immortal Sanctuary or living an ordinary life within the mortal world, why did I hear news that Pang Bo disappeared?”

Seeing an old classmate, Ye Fan really wanted to say the truth but he swallowed it down. His experiences were very complex and the words he shared between the two would certainly bring about many problems. He could only nod: “Pang Bo has indeed gone missing and I’m very worried. I left the Ling Xu Immortal Sanctuary a long time ago and I’m currently travelling between places.”

“Ai, we both haven’t had it easy. Ordinary people don’t have it easy and cultivating isn’t as wonderful as I imagined, extremely vexing. In the future I may even have to face with various life threatening situations.”

“You should be more careful, focus on cultivating and don’t travel too much.” Ye Fan reminded.

Zhang Wen Chang nodded as a bitter smile floated onto his face: “I’ve come to accept the fact that no matter where I go, I won’t become famous. It was like that in the past and even now it remains the same. I will only be able to be mediocre throughout life. Maybe one day I will leave this place and go to the mortal world, open a bar and live a simple and dull life.”

“Don’t be so negative……” Ye Fan attempted to console.

“You don’t know, the world of cultivators is cruel. If I don’t extricate myself, I will die sooner or later in someone’s hands. By then I would die without a single trace, like a normal wave on a flowing river, no one would notice and no one would cry for me, only I would know that I no longer exist within the world.”

Hearing this, Ye Fan felt for him, he had not really stepped into the world of cultivators and it could be seen that it was really rather cruel.

Zhao Wen Chang lamented: “I’ve heard that Lin Jia, Zhou Yi, Wang Zi Wen and Li Xiao Man have been doted on heavily by their elders, it seems that for some people no matter where they go, they will always be able to be dazzling.”

The two people drank as they chatted and spoke about many matters, they spoke about their current difficulties and finally when Zhang Wen Chang was thoroughly drunk, he actually lay on the table as he began to cry: “I really wish to go back, I don’t want to stay within this unfamiliar world, when I left my wife was pregnant and our child would have been born at any time, I disappeared when she most needed me and arrived here…….”

He could no longer control his emotions as he began to bawl bitterly like a little child.

“I really wish to go back…… my child should already be three years old, even in my dreams I will see him, hug him, kiss him…….”

Seeing Zhang Wen Chang cry so bitterly, Ye Fan’s emotions were riled and he continually consoled.

“I was thinking who was crying, so it’s actually this useless old man.” Not far away, mocking laughter could be heard as a few youths with obvious loathing expressions on their faces walked over.

“Your hair’s all white, a half crippled person still wants to cry.”

“It’s really laughable!”

The few people looked to be in their twenties and did not give any face was they ridiculed.

Ye Fan sighed, he finally understood that Zhang Wen Chang had been having a hard time within the Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary. Two streaks of divine light seemed to shine from his eyes as he looked down on the few people before him and said: “You people should be more conscientious in your speech.”

“Who are you? Before bothering with other people’s business you should first measure your own strength.”

“You really believe that you’re an expert of the Spring of Life realm, laughable!”

“The friend of a half crippled old man, what kind of expert could he be…….”

“Don’t talk like this, if Liu Yi Yi finds out she might go and tell on us again.”

“It’s you!” At this moment, the eyes of the youngest amongst them widened as he had an incensed expression on his face and glared at Ye Fan.

“Junior brother Han, you recognise him?” The few youths by the side questioned.

Fire seemed to spit out from the eyes of the youth as he grit his teeth: “Of course I recognise him, he isn’t someone from your Yu Ding Immortal Sanctuary, he had previously stayed in our Ling Xu Immortal Sanctuary and is a complete wastrel!”

Ye Fan sighed in his heart, he felt that the world was really so small at times, who knew that he would meet Han Fei Yu once again.

“Is that right, so it’s actually a wastrel, birds of a feather do indeed stick together. The friend of a half crippled old man is also a cripple.” By the side, the few youths began to laugh unrestrainedly.

Many thanks to Joshua J. for sponsoring this chapter! Cheers!

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