Hong Luan's words struck everyone's heart.
Everyone looked at each other with caution, suspicion, and guilt in their eyes.
The Return to Void cultivators were still okay. In their opinion, possession could only take place if the target’s soul-mind was weaker than theirs. The highest level of remnant souls of gods and demons in the secret realm was no more than Return to Void, so they should be considered safe. But Jing Yue knew that this was not the case. The possession of gods and demons must be different from the human race. Otherwise, with his Tribulation Passage soul-mind, only a soul-mind that had ascended could compete with him, so it was not that safe for a Return to Void, after all.
But he couldn’t mention it bluntly, so he reminded them, “I can sense that the soul-minds of the gods and demons are strong, and their method of taking possession is different from that of the human race.”
As soon as he said that, everyone was even more dejected.
Jing Yue, “Since things have reached this point, it's useless to think too much. Everyone just needs to be careful.”
There was no solution to this matter because taking possession would devour their memory and continue the current cultivation of the physical body, so they couldn’t even give it a try.
Everyone reluctantly agreed, but Qin Yanzhi said, “Let’s walk in pairs and monitor each other, just in case.”
Hong Luan smiled wryly. “Okay then.”
In the next few days, they walked through the Gloom Valley, explored the Bone Land, climbed the extremely cold peak, went down the underwater cave, and experienced many things that Jing Yue had experienced back then, and things that he had never experienced. In a blink of an eye, it was the tenth day.
In a vast snowfield, countless huge rocks floated in the air. Arranged haphazardly, the strange rocks were steep, which looked very spectacular at a glance.
The shape of each giant rock was irregular, some like tiger claws, some like cockscombs, some like flying eagles, and some like snake coils, scattered all around like floating mountain ranges.
“It was said that because of the battle between the gods and demons, the heaven and the earth turned upside down here, so these mountain rocks floated in the air.” Hong Luan thought of the records she saw from the tower and said with a sigh, “The ancient gods and demons are really beyond our imagination. If only I could go to the ancient times to have a look.”
Another person said with a chuckle, “If the human race reached ancient times, how is it different from facing the gods, demons, dragons, and phoenixes? If we can go back in time, of course I’ll go to the Middle Ages to see how the first generation of ancient cultivators appeared.”
Hong Luan rolled her eyes at him. “You say that as if you can really go.”
The two chatted while walking. Because they didn't meet any powerful remnant souls on the way, and no one showed signs of being taken possession of, so they couldn't help but relax a little.
However, they still hadn't found the core of the secret realm.
Jing Yue followed Qin Yanzhi and walked behind, feeling rather depressed at this time. Today was the tenth day. No matter what, they had to leave.
What should they do after they left? If the Jadecloud Bell indicated that the chance encounter was here, did they misjudge the direction or did they miss it?
Jing Yue was startled. He turned his head to look at Qin Yanzhi, and the other party said, “The path of Heaven is destined, and we can only try our best. Even in the worst-case scenario, the demon spawn is really born, and the luck of the demonic path increases, the righteous path will not disappear completely even if we’re powerless to resist. At most, we can survive on the edge. No matter what, I’ll be with you.”
The gloom between Jing Yue's brows relaxed slightly. “You’re right. We’ll do our best.”
As long as he had a clear conscience, his great path would be unimpeded.
The group just moved forward, hoping to pass through this floating rock forest on the last day of the deadline, but after walking for half a day, they still couldn't see the end of the rock forest.
As he walked, Qin Yanzhi suddenly stopped and grabbed Jing Yue.
Seeing Qin Yanzhi's solemn expression, Jing Yue asked in confusion, “What’s wrong?”
Qin Yanzhi, “I think we walked here before. These rocks look familiar.”
As Jing Yue was preoccupied and had to raise his mental defenses, he didn't pay much attention to what the rocks looked like. At Qin Yanzhi’s reminder, he realized that the huge rocks in front of him looked familiar.
“But we have been heading west all along.”
There was no road on the snow field and they had no reference to judge the direction so they could only rely on predictions.
But the prediction was based on the position of the Big Dipper in the sky, which wouldn’t be affected by external objects, so they couldn’t have mistaken the direction. If they said it was west, it must be west. How could they turn back?
Jing Yue, “Is it just similar?”
Qin Yanzhi was silent for a moment. “It's possible, but there’s another possibility that this place is a natural maze.”
The eye of the formation couldn’t be predicted in a maze formed naturally and they could only rely on luck, which meant it would be difficult for them to leave the formation.
They didn’t look too good and finally attracted the attention of others.
Liu Yun, “Laozu, is there something wrong?”
Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi looked at each other and expressed their doubts. The others fell silent.
Qin Yanzhi, “We cannot confirm this matter for the time being. We need further observation.”
Hong Luan, “I think it’s probably the case. As soon as Qin-laozu said it, I sensed the similarities too. No wonder I felt something was wrong before.”
At Qin Yanzhi's command, Taiqing came out of the sheath and landed firmly in his hands. He raised his sword and slashed. The sword light flowed, and the word ‘Jing’ appeared on the huge rock in mid-air.
Jing Yue, “…”
Of course, Jing Yue knew that Qin Yanzhi was going to make a mark, but he didn't expect that the other party would engrave his surname.
He made a voice transmission, “What are you doing?”
Qin Yanzhi, “I thought you liked leaving your name in the secret realm.”
Jing Yue was silent. “I was young and naive back then.”
Qin Yanzhi, “You’re even younger now.”
Jing Yue, “…”
With a wave of Qin Yanzhi's hand, Taiqing soared into the air again, leaving another word 'Qin' on the rock, and then nodded in satisfaction.
Seeing this, the blue phoenix in the space jade pendant immediately yelled, “Add a ‘Ji’. Ji-ji must be there too!”
Jing Yue locked the space.
After that, they left marks along the way, and of course, Jing Yue asked Qin Yanzhi not to engrave his surname anymore.
Two hours later, they returned to the original point again, and when they saw the words Qin and Jing on the giant rock, everyone felt a heavy weight on their hearts.
Hong Luan, “It seems that this place is really a maze.”
Liu Yun, “If astrology won’t work, I wonder how long it’ll take for us to go out.”
The original plan was disrupted. If they were trapped here indefinitely, and with the threat of the Star Destruction Formation looming over them, the consequences would be really bad. While worrying, a wind suddenly blew in the maze, and a white mist rose immediately, making it difficult to distinguish between snow and mist.
A few remnant souls could be vaguely seen in the mist.
Everyone's eyes sharpened, and they attacked first. Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi confronted a Return to Void god race remnant soul, working together seamlessly to defeat it.
Just as he was about to help others, a solid hand suddenly broke through the thick mist and struck Jing Yue's back!
Qin Yanzhi stepped forward and grabbed the hand. The opponent slid away like a snake, but Taiqing caught the attacker’s trail and attacked from behind.
That person was forced into a corner by Taiqing and had no choice but to move forward to avoid him, thus revealing his true face.
Both Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi were taken aback. The other party was actually the Return to Void cultivator from Mauve Aurora Sect.
Qin Yanzhi frowned. “He has been possessed.”
It was pretty obvious.
The two parties immediately started fighting. After getting a physical body, the remnant soul was much more flexible but rarely used spells. Even if they did, something would go wrong.
Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi quickly gained the upper hand, but the remnant soul somehow summoned more remnant souls, some Return to Voids among them. The two were quickly surrounded, while the others were engaged with their own opponents, so they couldn't help each other.
A hand tore Jing Yue's sleeve and left deep claw marks on his arm.
Jing Yue retreated quickly, but another shadow attacked him from behind, aiming right at his vital point.
Qin Yanzhi's heart tightened and he moved faster. He quickly got rid of his opponent and helped Jing Yue block a blow.
The opponent slapped him on the chest, and he countered with a slash on the arm. But he was still injured, and blood spilled from the corner of his lips.
As more and more shadows gathered in the dense fog, Jing Yue knew that the possessed person’s consciousness was gradually recovering, so he could summon more of his kind. In other words, the opponent was their biggest threat.
Jing Yue initially wanted to join forces with Qin Yanzhi to kill this person, but on second thought, the other person was a fellow cultivator, so he hesitated for a while and decided to take a risk.
When the shadow attacked again, Jing Yue unleashed his consciousness and hit the opponent's soul-mind!
At that moment, he felt great pain in his soul-mind, and an irresistible suction force swallowed his divine consciousness. If Jing Yue hadn't severed that wisp of divine consciousness in time, his soul-mind might have been attacked by the other party.
Seeing that this plan didn't work, he could only kill ruthlessly!
Jing Yue was about to transmit his voice to Qin Yanzhi, when the old man of Mauve Aurora Sect paused, his expression showing pain.
“Go…” A hoarse voice came from the other party. The old man's face was so distorted that his facial features could not be discerned, and his whole body was twitching.
Jing Yue suddenly understood that the old man's soul had not been completely devoured. Maybe the old man had an opportunity to struggle to regain consciousness because of his collision just now.
“The eye of the formation...is located...in the southwest...” The old man said with difficulty, a smile appeared on his distorted face, which looked extremely weird. “Go... don't look back...”
This was the first time the old man smiled since entering the secret realm, and it was also the first time Jing Yue saw the other party smile.
The old man must be telling the truth because while the remnant soul was devouring his divine consciousness, he also saw the memory of the remnant soul.
The old man screamed again, curled up, and muttered, “Go… go…”
His voice was fading.
But suddenly, the old man raised his head, his eyes full of chills.
Jing Yue gasped, and quickly sent a voice transmission for everyone to run southwest, while the other remnant souls followed relentlessly.
After running for a long time, they finally saw a huge rock standing on the ground, but at this time, the remnant souls chasing them had blocked their way from all sides, surrounding them at some point.
The old man controlled by the remnant soul came out and stepped on the snow with a creaking sound. He walked very rhythmically with a hoarse laugh from his throat. Then, he said something that no one could understand, but his tone was contemptuous and mocking.
The remaining eight cultivators stood back to back and formed a circle, everyone tensed up.
The fight was about to start, but suddenly, Jing Yue noticed that the old man's face was shaking strangely, and he subconsciously felt that the old man's real soul was about to appear again. Sure enough, the next moment, the old man reached out and grabbed the top of his head tightly with trembling hands.
When his hands slightly left the top of the head, all the cultivators were stunned. They saw two faint souls in the other party’s hand!
It was soul-searching!
The old man endured great pain and resorted to a soul-searching technique on himself!
In this way, he would disappear from this world forever together with the remnant soul that was entangled with him!
It was cruel but the most straightforward method.
Seeing the old man sacrificing himself to fight for their way out, the cultivators were agitated and angry. Hong Luan raised her sword and said, “Let’s go!”
Everyone rushed forward and fought with other remnant souls in an instant. Snow filled the sky like clouds.
Jing Yue focused on breaking the formation under everyone’s cover.
The huge rock shattered, and the road ahead was clear. At Jing Yue’s command, everyone immediately turned around and sped away.
When they flew to a mountain trough, they found that all the remnant souls had stopped and lingered near the mountain trough.