First Immortal of the Sword - Chapter 332
It was morning on the first day of the fifth that Su Hongli received a secret intelligence report.
The Sea-Swallowing King, Ge Changling, had left Skyblue Mountain, and he was headed toward the Jade Capital.
After reading this report, Su Hongli sank into a lengthy silence. Finally, he snorted coldly and muttered, “You’ve stayed dormant for so many years, quietly enduring. It seems you finally can no longer resist getting involved.”
The sound of knocking emanated from the gate. Shortly after, Fang Yuan dashed into the room where Su Yi was eating breakfast and reported, “Your Excellency, the Sea-Swallowing King, Ge Changling, requests an audience.”
Su Yi paused, surprised. “Invite him in.”
Before long, Fang Yuan led over an elder in worn-out cloth robes. He was thin-faced, with graying temples, and his eyes were as clear as limpid pools. He carried a snow-white feather fan, and he emanated the leisurely air of one who lived a simple life.
This was none other than the Sea-Swallowing King, Ge Changling! He was a legendary figure, someone whose name first spread throughout the Great Zhou thirty years ago!
“This old man is called Ge Changling. Greetings, Fellow Daoist Su.” The old man clasped his fist and inclined his head with a smile.
Su Yi nodded back. “Don’t tell me you’re here because of the Pure Yang Fire Peaches I plucked back then?”
Ge Changling couldn’t help but laugh. “So, you still remember that trivial matter? I’m actually rather surprised.”
He paused, and his smile faded. “But no, I’m not here because of the peaches.”
Su Yi gestured to the seat next to him. “Please, sit down.”
When Fang Yuan saw this, he conscientiously went off to brew a pot of tea.
Once Ge Changling was seated, Su Yi thought for a moment, then said, “Fellow Daoist, before we discuss the business that brought you here, there’s something I’d like to ask you about.”
Despite his surprise, Ge Changling said, “Please, go right ahead.”
“I heard that you once ventured deep into the wilderness of Green Ivy Yao Mountain, and that you returned with a stone stele inscribed with a mysterious prophecy. Is the stele still in your possession?”
Ge Changling nodded. “I sealed the stele within Skyblue Mountain. If you wish to examine it, you’re welcome to come looking for me there any time.”
“Then I’ll just have to thank you in advance,” said Su Yi. “Once I’ve resolved my business with the Su Family, I’ll pay you a visit.”
Ge Changling smiled, then asked, seemingly out of nowhere, “Might I ask how you view other worlds, as well as the cultivators who hail from them?”
“If you mean the worlds beyond the Azure Continent, I truly know very little. As for otherworld cultivators… I only distinguish between friend and foe. I have no other thoughts on the matter.”
This response caught Ge Changling off guard. He thought for a moment, then said, “Should I interpret that to mean that you aren’t biased against otherworld cultivators?”
Su Yi arched his brow. “Is that question important?”
Ge Changling took a deep breath. “Fellow Daoist, three days from now, you shall proceed to the Su Family estate. However, I imagine that you still have many doubts surrounding the death of your mother, Ye Yufei. Furthermore, I’m afraid there’s no way Su Hongli will tell you anything. Thus, I thought it over, and decided it was necessary that I come here and visit you myself.”
Su Yi was instantly surprised. He stared at Ge Changling in silence for quite some time before saying, “Might you explain in further detail?”
Ge Changling sighed. “I don’t know why Su Hongli treated your mother like that, but there are some things I can tell you.
His eyes shone with reminiscence. “That year, when Su Hongli first visited Sifting Darkness Yao Mountain, he invited me to travel with him. We agreed that any fortune or opportunities we obtained, we’d split evenly.
“Su Hongli has a Celestial Compass that can discern the truth hidden within strange energies. It’s extremely mystical.
“I, too, have a secret treasure. It’s called the Heaven-Stealing Parasol, and when I encounter threats, it can resolve them safely.
“The two of us made thorough preparations. After arriving at Sifting Darkness Yao Mountain, we encountered little dangers along our path, nor anything else particularly surprising.”
“It was only when we were deep in the mountain wilderness that we encountered anything strange or terrifying. Eerie patches of dark light soared into the heavens, manifesting as countless sinister and terrifying scenes straight out of hell. It was only after Su Hongli used the Celestial Compass that we learned the truth: that was the legendary Sifting Darkness Aurora!
“Afterward, we followed the Sifting Darkness Aurora to its source and arrived at a mysterious underground abyss. There, fatal threats lurked on every corner. If not for my Heaven-Stealing Parasol, I’m afraid the two of us would have died many times over.”
As he said this, Ge Changling’s eyes filled with deep terror and dread. It seemed that even after all these years, the perils they’d overcome still lingered in his heart.
Su Yi wouldn’t have guessed that years ago, when Su Hongli ventured into Sifting Darkness Yao Mountain, he traveled alongside the Sea-Swallowing King.
When Ge Changling stabilized his emotions, he continued, “When we arrived in the depths of the underground abyss, we saw a swirling crimson vortex, easily a thousand feet across. Beneath it was a ninety-foot sword tomb.”
The crimson vortex was easy to understand. That was surely another spatial barrier.
But the phrase “ninety-foot sword tomb” piqued Su Yi’s curiosity. He couldn’t help but ask, “Might you describe the tomb in more detail?”
Ge Changling nodded. “The sword tomb was ninety feet across, and it was carved entirely out of mysterious black jade. Its surface was covered in a layer of strange and intricate inscriptions and formation diagrams. With our cultivation, neither Su Hongli nor I could understand them. They were just too mysterious and inscrutable, and they were constantly changing, so there was no way to copy them down.”
“Constantly changing glyphs and formation diagrams? That means that when you arrived, the grand formation on the sword tomb was already active, running, and extremely dangerous,” deduced Su Yi.
Ge Changling’s eyes flashed with a strange light. “That’s right, but at the time, it was the nine swords sealed above the tomb that drew our attention. Each of the nine swords had a different style, aura, and luster.
“One was pure, transparent white, and as radiant as the blazing sun. From a distance, it looked like a mountain of fire, and its heat was searing and painful. It felt as if even our souls were burning.
“Another was pitch-black and cold as ice. Just looking at it made us feel as if our minds had plunged into the nine abysses of the Netherworld. The bone-piercing chill permeated our entire bodies, and we felt an unprecedented sense of helplessness and despair.
“And another was… Well, what I’m trying to say is, all nine of those ancient swords were unparalleled treasures, and discovering them made Su Hongli and I mad with delight. This was the rare and grand stroke of fortune we’d been looking for!
“Su Hongli immediately tried using the Celestial Compass to break through the formation, while I carried the Heaven-Stealing Parasol and watched over him.
“He spent a full month on divinations before uncovering a ‘safe path’ to the top of the sword tomb. However, as soon as Su Hongli took action, an accident occurred.
“A terrifying killing intent escaped the tomb’s interior. This murderous energy resonated with the nine ancient swords, which immediately descended upon us.
“I didn’t even have time to react, much less resolve the threat with my Heaven-Stealing Parasol.
“It was at that moment of extreme peril that an enormously powerful energy fluctuation appeared from within the crimson vortex. The fluctuations formed a crimson arc and forcefully suppressed the nine ancient swords.
“Su Hongli and I had escaped from the brink of death. We were so scared that we were drenched in cold sweat. It was then that we saw a woman emerge from the vortex…”
Ge Changling looked as if he were in a trance. “She was just so radiant, and she was swathed in rosy light, like an immortal beauty.”
When he said this, his expression turned complicated, and he glanced at Su Yi. “Fellow Daoist, I imagine you’ve guessed this by now, but that woman was your mother, Ye Yufei.”
Su Yi nodded, but although his expression remained tranquil, on the inside, he wasn’t the least bit calm.
This news was just too shocking!
His mother, Ye Yufei, hailed from another world!
Furthermore, according to Ge Changling, Ye Yufei had directly crossed through the spatial barrier. She hadn’t used a Dao Cocoon to initiate a possession first!
That only left one other possibility—
It was highly likely that, at the time, Ye Yufei was in possession of some treasure capable of resisting the power of the spatial barrier. That, or she’d unleashed from kind of shocking divine skill related to the Dao of Space!
Ge Changling continued, “After your mother appeared, she warned us that the ninety-foot sword tomb sealed a peerless cursed sword, and that the likes of Su Hongli and I shouldn’t even think of touching it.
“It was only then that we realized that it was your mother who’d saved our lives.”
“Su Hongli wasn’t willing to just leave, but your mother comforted him. She casually taught him a cultivation technique, and said that so long as he used it, he could step onto the path of a true cultivator.
“Unexpectedly, she seemed to see through my jealousy, and she gave me a cultivation technique too.” Ge Changling sighed. “Looking back on it now, I still find it hard to imagine. How could a woman so kind and beautiful possibly exist in this world?
“She was like an immortal beauty. The sight of her filled others with respect, straight from the heart. Before her, I was like a pious devotee, and I dared not even think of blaspheming against her.
“It was after that first encounter that your mother left Sifting Darkness Yao Mountain with us. In the days that followed, the three of us explored the world together, and she often guided our cultivation.
“I never would have guessed that…” Ge Changling’s expression shifted erratically. “Years later, Su Hongli managed to capture your mother’s heart, and soon, the two of them got together….”
His tone was rife with deep despondency and gloom.
Su Yi furrowed his brow and interrupted him. “No need to discuss all that.”
Ge Changling instantly woke from his reminiscence. He said, a bit shamefaced, “My apologies. I forgot myself there.”
Su Yi waved his apology away. “Just tell me about what Su Hongli did to my mother.”
Ge Changling nodded. “Shortly after your father stripped your mother of her position, I received word of it. I was more furious than ever before, and I immediately barged into the Su Family estate to ask why.
“It was then that I picked up on Su Hongli’s changes. He wasn’t the modest, good-natured man he’d been before. He’d become cold and heartless.
“He told me that your mother had done this to him and that she was, after all, someone from another world. He said she harbored evil intentions, and that it was only out of consideration for their former bond that he didn’t kill her and instead placed her under house arrest.”
Su Yi’s gaze focused. “And you? How did you see it?”
Ge Changling’s eyes flashed with hatred, as well as pent-up fury. “I obviously didn’t believe it!
“Even if I ignore the fact that she saved our lives deep within the chasm of Sifting Darkness Yao Mountain the day we met her, how could someone so kind possibly hurt Su Hongli?”
He was so angry that his hair and beard bristled, and he no longer hid the years of rage and hatred building up in his heart. His expression was terrifyingly dark.