When the blue phoenix woke up, it saw Jing-jing trapped by a net and hanging from a big tree, still unconscious.
Its first thought was, ‘So Jing-jing can end up like this one day too.’
However, it quickly brushed away that thought. Besides, it realized that it was hanging in a small net too. The net was tightly closed, and only a few hairs stuck out of the net.
The blue phoenix was nervous and wanted to look around to see what was going on, but the net swayed about and it couldn’t turn back.
The blue phoenix froze and felt that the net was being fiddled with. It turned around, and a man's face appeared in its sight.
The man was bare-chested, with only a piece of animal skin wrapped around his waist. The lines of his muscles were perfect and smooth. In the blue phoenix’s aesthetics, if the other party dyed colorful hair and put on colorful lipstick, he’d definitely become popular in some small entertainment circles and leave his name in film history.
But of course, it wouldn’t drool over creatures of different races. It was the first time the blue phoenix was recognized, and it blinked its eyes excitedly. “Yes, I am! Finally, someone recognizes this phoenix!”
The man had a strange expression on his face and finally shook his head. “The phoenix race is extinct. Besides, how can the blue phoenix clan be so stupid?”
The blue phoenix, “…” I really am!
The man poked the blue phoenix. “You look quite cute, little creature. Why don't you just follow me?”
The blue phoenix, “How dare you covet Ji-ji! Ji-ji will never betray Jing-jing, Ji-ji was born as Jing-jing's phoenix, and Ji-ji will not die!”
The blue phoenix chattered the lines it had memorized, but the other party obviously couldn't understand a word, and merely said, “Since you’re chirping so happily, it seems that you agree.”
“No, I don’t!”
The blue phoenix was furious, and suddenly felt something was wrong. Although that sentence hit the mark, it wasn’t the one who said it.
“It’s Jing-jing!” The blue phoenix came to its senses and twisted its neck vigorously to look back, but unfortunately, its neck was too short.
“Hey!” The man let go of the blue phoenix's small net and walked up to Jing Yue. He crossed his arms and said, “Are you finally awake, little beauty?”
Jing Yue, “…”
The blue phoenix, “…”
Without even fighting the other party, just by his vibes alone, Jing Yue could already tell that the man's cultivation base was far above him.
During the Middle Ages, even Tribulation Passage cultivators were not uncommon, not to mention he was trapped in the net at this time, weak and exhausted. He wondered what material the net was made of.
Now that the enemy was strong while he was weak, the situation was unclear. Jing Yue hesitated for a while but chose to bear with it.
But he looked at the man’s skimpy animal skin, and the dangling bit that was occasionally exposed during his movements, which was really an eyesore, so he gave a friendly reminder, “Fellow Daoist, can you put on some clothes?”
“Clothes?” the man was taken aback. “What’s that?”
Jing Yue, “…”
The blue phoenix, “Barbarian! Illiterate! No! Hooligan!”
Jing Yue said weakly, “It’s what I’m wearing.”
The man poked his fingers through the mesh and rubbed against Jing Yue's clothes. “Oh, it looks pretty good, and it's soft. Do you have more?”
Jing Yue took a deep breath. “Yes, let me out and I’ll get some for you.”
The Torrential Realm was different from other small realms. It was just a short piece of time, so this place was unlike the World of Seven Continents with many laws and restrictions. Everything on Jing Yue was still with him.
The man smiled and snapped his fingers. The net loosened instantly, and the lines tangled together, turning into a silver butterfly.
The butterfly flapped its wings and landed obediently on the man's shoulder.
Jing Yue contained his surprise and said calmly, “Can you release my spiritual pet too? We won't escape.”
Man, “Spiritual pet?”
Jing Yue, “It's this blue chicken.”
Man, “No problem. A little thing like you who hasn’t even crossed the Mortal Tribulation can't run away even if you want to.”
Jing Yue couldn't understand again. He was almost sure that this was the Torrential Realm of the Middle Ages. Although he knew a lot of secret information about the Middle Ages, compared with the people who really lived in the Middle Ages, he was simply ignorant.
However, it wasn’t convenient for him to ask at this time, and could only pretend to act obediently.
After the blue phoenix was also released, the man smiled and said, “So your name is Spiritual Pet?”
The blue phoenix, “…”
The man tapped the blue phoenix’s head and looked at Jing Yue with a smile, signaling to Jing Yue to take out the clothes quickly.
Jing Yue obediently took out a Daoist robe from his Sumeru Ring. He was influenced by Qin Yanzhi and prepared a few more sets.
However, the man didn’t take it but stared at his fingers instead. “What are you wearing?”
With that said, he grabbed Jing Yue's hand and looked at it carefully. “How can a small thing like that contain such a big thing? Did you refine a space into it?”
Jing Yue wanted to retract his hand but the man held it tightly. He could only give up struggling and said, “It's a storage ring, and there is indeed a space inside.”
The man took it for granted and said, “It's really interesting. Make one for me later.”
Jing Yue, “…I don’t know how.”
The man's smile went dim but he didn't make a sound. He only squeezed a little harder with his hand, and Jing Yue's fingers were almost broken.
Enduring the pain, Jing Yue bit the bullet and said, “I don't know how to make a Sumeru Ring but I can make a space jade pendant.”
The man brightened again in an instant. He let go of Jing Yue, took the clothes he handed over, and said, “Okay, I want a bigger space, the biggest.”
Jing Yue couldn't help but glance at the blue phoenix. “…Okay.”
When the man changed into the Daoist robe and looked left and right, he was obviously very satisfied.
“Hey, where are you from? The west? You have many strange things with you.”
Jing Yue dared not utter a word. If it was known that he came from outside the sky, based on this person’s erratic behavior, maybe he might even torture Jing Yue, so he nodded perfunctorily.
Man, “No wonder.”
He looked at Jing Yue with a look of understanding, a little more sympathy, and repeated, “No wonder.”
Jing Yue: ???
Man, “Do you know why I captured you?”
Jing Yue said honestly, “I don’t know.”
The man smiled. “The sword energy you just released on the sea is very interesting. How did you do it?”
Jing Yue, “It’s a talisman.”
The man raised his brow in surprise. “A talisman? What’s that?”
Jing Yue, “Do you want to take a look?”
The man jerked his chin in agreement.
Jing Yue took out a yellow talisman from the Sumeru Ring, made a few hand gestures, and handed the talisman to the man.
The man held the yellow talisman and looked at it for a while. He couldn’t figure out how such a piece of paper could emit such majestic sword energy, but people in the West always had many strange things, and he had no intention of doubting it.
“How do I use it?”
Jing Yue, “Just tear it apart.”
The man complied and tore it with his hands.
A dazzling golden light lit up, and the man had to close his eyes. At the same time, Jing Yue grabbed Ji-ji and crushed a Splitting Sky talisman. His guess was right. The man really didn't know anything about talismans, so he quickly made a flashing talisman on the spot and ran away in a hurry while the man was dazzled by the strong light.
But before he got very far, he felt a sudden pain in his shoulder. A strong force pulled him back and he was pressed heavily on the ground again.
A hand grabbed his neck fiercely. The man's face was so close to him that he could even see the consuming anger in his eyes.
“As I said, you can’t escape.”
Jing Yue felt that his neck bone was about to be crushed. He forced out a little spiritual power at his fingertips and poked at the vitals of the man's waist!
With a sound, Jing Yue's phalanx was broken.
The man grabbed his deformed hand, held it up in front of his eyes, and said with a smile, “You’re bold but brainless.”
Jing Yue, “…”
The blue phoenix, which was still held by Jing Yue, was very anxious. It kept calling Jing Yue and wanted to jump out and attack the man.
“Ji-ji, don't!” Jing Yue was really worried that the blue phoenix would make the man angry. This person was moody and erratic. If he hurt Ji-ji, it’d be too late to regret it.
The blue phoenix, “Jing-jing, don't be afraid. Ji-ji will blow it for you later.”
Enduring the pain in his body, Jing Yue said, “It seems that I can't escape. This person's strength is far superior to mine. He has probably reached Tribulation Passage.”
The blue phoenix was shocked and said, “Then let’s gain his trust before we find a chance to escape!” It said vehemently, “Ji-ji is willing to endure humiliation for Jing-jing. I’ll sell my body, pretend to be his spiritual pet, spy on him, seduce him, and win the chance for Jing-jing!”
Jing Yue, “…No need.”
If he really followed the blue phoenix's plan, he probably wouldn’t escape for the rest of his life.
Jing Yue's mind raced, but he looked terrified on the surface. The man let go of his hand with a sneer, got up from him, and said, “Be good, and I'll treat you better.”
Jing Yue clutched his neck and coughed fiercely, but didn't say anything.
Man, “I'll give you another chance. What's with the sword energy?”
Jing Yue silently took out another yellow talisman from the Sumeru Ring, and the man's face immediately darkened as if on the brink of a thunderstorm.
Jing Yue said hoarsely, “I didn't lie to you. It's really a talisman.”
After saying that, he tore the yellow talisman and released the mighty sword energy again. The trees in the forest moved without wind.
The man smiled innocently like a child. “Do you have more?”
Jing Yue handed him another one.
The man was about to tear it immediately, but he paused, half-closed his eyes, and carefully ripped a seam in the talisman.
Jing Yue didn’t trick him this time. When he felt the gushing sword energy, the man laughed very happily, squatted down, and said, “Any more? Let me play.”
Jing Yue, “No more.”
The man’s eyes darkened. “Don't lie to me.”
Jing Yue suddenly had a thought, and he said, “Although I don't have any more talismans, I know the owner of the sword energy.”
The man became interested. “Who is it? Where is he?”
Jing Yue lowered his eyes and said dejectedly, “I don't know where he is either. We got separated.”
After saying that, he suddenly felt a pair of hands on the top of his head. Jing Yue looked up in a daze and saw the man smiling gently. “It's okay, I'll help you find him.”
Meanwhile, the person the two of them wanted to find was currently undergoing great torment.
That day, Qin Yanzhi was taken away by the young man. Before he woke up, he was thrown into a pool that was filled with crimson blood and had a foul stench.
The young man locked him firmly with an iron chain, put various unknown things in the blood pool, and left him alone.
Qin Yanzhi was awakened by the pain. His skin, muscles, bones, and internal organs seemed to be gnawed by thousands of ants sometimes and cut and crushed inch by inch at other times. But when he woke up, he found that he couldn't move at all. Even the spiritual power in his body was sealed, just like a mortal.
He had no idea where he was, let alone what happened to him, but he couldn’t give up. He had to hang on until he saw Jing Yue again.
He could sense a trace of Jing Yue here. Although far away from him, like Jing Yue, he also believed that they would find each other eventually.
Then, he wanted to tell Jing Yue that he was Yi Wang, Jing Yue's second disciple before he was reborn.
Even if he was reincarnated, even if he had lost his three souls, he still had the deepest affection for Jing Yue. Even though his feelings might have changed, his wish remained the same. He wanted to be with the other party for the rest of his life.
In this way, Qin Yanzhi gritted his teeth and endured the never-ending pain, day after day.
One day, a person suddenly came to the edge of the blood pool.
Author’s Note: As for why Yanzhi was able to reincarnate after losing three souls, this topic will be addressed later.