In comparison to the God Realm, Profound Sky Continent’s aura was thin and dirty.
However, the Phoenix Clan’s residence was undoubtedly a pure, utopia-like place in the Profound Sky Continent.
Time slowly passed by. After Yun Che had regained his ability to walk, he visited many places within the valley everyday. He was slowly recovering and getting closer the normal energy level of an average… mortal.
Summer passed, and autumn arrived. Yun Che’s footsteps remained somewhat slow as the autumn leaves flew all over the place. No one tried to lend him a hand, although Feng Xian’er was following him every step of the way. They were at the Phoenix Ruins, and the Phoenix’s barrier meant that neither outsiders nor profound beasts would be able to disturb their peace. However, Feng Xian’er just couldn’t help but worry over Yun Che.
The path ahead of them was filled with stones. There wasn’t any undergrowth anywhere to be seen. However, the path was covered in a thick layer of autumn leaves for some reason, and when Yun Che stepped on them he nearly lost his balance. Feng Xian’er hurriedly caught up to him and held him steady by the arm.
“It’s okay,” Yun Che smiled at her, “I can walk all the way back myself without problems if need be.”
Right after he said this, he noticed that Feng Xian’er was staring towards the front with a bit of a distant look in her eyes.
“Do you remember, Big Brother Benefactor?” Feng Xian’er said softly, “This is where we first met each other.”
Yun Che’s mind went blank for a moment before he stared towards the front as well.
“Back then, Big Brother and I were captured by a group of bad people called the ‘Black Demons’. It was here I encountered Big Sister Xueruo and you before Big Sister Xueruo sent those bad people packing and saved us…”
To Feng Xian’er, the memories of that day was something precious she would never forget for the rest of her life, not to mention that it was also the turning point of her fate, “Big Sister Xueruo is such a beautiful and kind person. Not only had she saved us from trouble, she promised to save our entire clan as well.”
“At the time, you were unconscious, dirty and bleeding a lot, Big Brother Benefactor. However, Big Sister Xueruo didn’t seem to mind it at all. She carried you all the way back to our home… You may have suffered some serious injuries back then, Big Brother Benefactor, but Big Brother and I thought that you were a very blessed person.”
Yun Che, “...”
“I wonder how Big Sister Xueruo… oops, I mean Empress Sis is doing.” Feng Xian’er said sincerely while looking towards the distance, “There’s one thing I’m sure of though, and that is she… must be missing you a lot, Big Brother Benefactor.”
Feng Xian’er’s words brought Yun Che all the way back to thirteen years ago. The memories were incredibly clear in his mind, and yet they also felt like they were from another lifetime.
If he were to say that Jasmine was the first turning point of his fate...
Then his encounter with Cang Yue, the girl who had called herself Lan Xueruo at the time was without a doubt the second.
“Junior Brother Yun, I’ll leave with you the moment I’ve fulfilled royal father’s wishes… princess… the royal family… I can give up everything...”
“Senior Sister, your tears are too precious. So precious that… I have no choice but to exchange my life for them.”
“The reason why I said those words was because I was uneasy and afraid… I do not know if I had actually entered Senior Sister’s heart because Senior Sister was so good to me and was also a princess. I, on the other hand, am powerless and of low birth. Other than my pride, hot-headedness, and my feelings for you, I have nothing else. Therefore, I was really uneasy and afraid… I selfishly wanted to see if you would shed tears for me…”
Although everything that had happened during those petty, uncertain days seemed somewhat childish to him right now, the fact that every word and promise had come from the heart remained true…
Lan Xueruo… Cang Yue… The royal princess who had fallen in love with him during his lowliest, most uncertain days, the girl had been willing to give up everything just to be with him...
“Xian’er,” Yun Che suddenly spoke up, “I wish… to visit Blue Wind Imperial City.”
Feng Xian’er’s head turned around as fast as lightning as great joy bloomed between her brows and inside her heart like fireworks. She then nodded strongly, “Okay, let’s go together… let’s go there right now!”
Feng Xian’er didn’t go away to make preparations or inform any clansmen. It was because she didn’t want to give Yun Che any opportunity to hesitate or go back on his words. Feng Xian’er grabbed Yun Che with her bare hands and took to the skies, flying away from the Phoenix Clan.
For the past time, Yun Che had acted as if someone had sealed him inside the Phoenix Clan, as if he couldn’t even take a single step beyond its boundaries. However, a small gap had finally opened in his closed heart.
When they left the center of the Ten Thousand Mountain Range, a pale-colored barrier soon entered their vision. When Feng Xian’er and Yun Che got close, a gap automatically appeared to admit the duo’s exit. Soon, they were making way towards the north.
“When was this barrier erected?” Yun Che asked. His determination was starting to waver again when he looked towards the distant north and thought of all the people he was about to meet.
Feng Xian’er was in an excellent mood due to Yun Che’s change of mind earlier. She replied, “Lord Phoenix God didn’t just cure us of our bloodline curse back then, it also erected this Phoenix Barrier to protect us after the two of you had left the Ten Thousand Beast Mountain Range. It was so that we would have enough to time grow strong, and not suffer the same tragedies as we did many years ago.”
“I see.” Yun Che nodded slightly. So, the barrier had been erected after Cang Yue and him had left. It could be that the Phoenix Spirit had done it out of regret because it hadn’t expected the bloodline curse to remain active for generations... Or maybe it was because it knew that it didn’t have much time left after gifting Yun Che both its divine soul and Flame of Nirvana, so it converted the last bit of its strength into this power of protection.
“Back then, the Phoenix Barrier was the one thing that kept us safe when the Divine Phoenix Empire invaded Blue Wind Nation en masse. Also, there has been a lot of profound beast disturbances for the past few years, and they have even spread all the way to the Ten Thousand Beast Mountain not long ago. For whatever reason, the profound beasts nearby have become incredibly scary, although again, Lord Phoenix God’s barrier has protected us from harm,” Feng Xian’er said.
Suddenly, he sensed Feng Xian’er tensing up a little, and it was at this moment a sharp, clearly violent cry cut through the air before a gigantic blue figure burst out of the undergrowth below and flew towards them like a storm.
The blue creature’s name immediately flashed across Yun Che’s mind:
It was a Blue Scale Beast!
A Blue Scale Beast was a high level wind type Earth Profound creature. It mainly fed on grass and bamboo, and it was a gentle animal that seldomly attacked humans or other profound beasts unless someone or something had offended it first.
However, this Blue Scale Beast had appeared out of nowhere, and it was charging at them madly with a cry that bordered on insanity. It was almost as if they were its its sworn enemy.
She to the six stage World Ode of the Phoenix and Overlord Pellets Yun Che had left behind many years ago, Feng Xian’er and Feng Zu’er’s cultivation had grown by leaps and bounds. Both of them were currently at the Emperor Profound Realm, and it was practically impossible for a single Earth Profound level beast to wound her even if she allowed it to attack her to its heart’s content.
But Yun Che at his weakened state was a completely different story!
If he were to come into contact with the storm conjured by the Blue Scale Beast, he would instantly be crushed into dust!
“Watch out!” Feng Xiang’er subconsciously cried out in alarm. Yun Che’s body couldn’t withstand bumps and jolts, so she dared not move as quickly as she was able. Her first reaction was to apply most of her profound energy around Yun Che as a shield in haste before fueling the rest to her phoenix flames.
The scarlet flames ignited the wind, and the Blue Scale Beast was mercilessly caught in the blast. It let out a sharp cry before falling straight toward the ground… However, dozens more similar screeches immediately followed suit before an equal number of Blue Scale Beasts suddenly took to the air and rushed them in unison. The entire sky became filled with dangerous gusts in no time.
“...” Yun Che was stunned by what he was looking at. What was going on? Why did the Blue Scale Beasts suddenly turn so violent? Could he be mistaken about these creatures’ identity?
“Ah!” Feng Xian’er let out a soft cry, but quickly regained her cool. She immediately ignited a ring of fire around her.
The phoenix divine flames normally put incredible spiritual pressure on the profound beasts. Their natural reaction was to run away in fear especially since Feng Xian’er was two great realms above the Blue Scale Beasts. However, not only were the Blue Scale Beasts not deterred in the slightest, they continued to rush them in a straight line while screeching harsh enough to pierce one’s eardrums.
It was almost as if they had all gone insane.
Feng Xian’er altered her hand gestures slightly in an attempt to burn them all to crisp at once, but a sudden sword blast had preceded her thoughts.
The sword blast tore apart the storms, space itself and three Blue Scale Beasts in an instant. Then, a white figure appeared from the distance and fired even more sword blasts at the rampaging Blue Scale Beasts, sending them all to the abyss of death.
“This person…” Feng Xian’er slowed down a little and parted her lips slightly, “He’s so strong.”
She didn’t notice that Yun Che’s gaze had frozen for a second before dissolving into unspeakable complications.
Yun Che might’ve lost his spiritual perception, but he still easily recognized the sword the man was wielding. It was the Heaven’s Might Absolute Sword.
Although the man’s figure and sword movements were too swift for him to capture, it didn’t prevent Yun Che from guessing his true identity...
“Xian’er,” Yun Che said quietly, “Don’t let him see me.”
“Ah?” Feng Xian’er looked surprised, but only for a moment. She quickly surrounded him in a layer of scarlet phoenix flames.
The sword continued to swing energetically, and it wasn’t long before every Blue Scale Beast in the area and even the chaotic storms had been vanquished into nothingness. The man dressed in white clothes that turned around and flew towards them. He had a handsome figure and a pair of eyes that looked like cold stars. Although the white sword in his hand looked incredibly bland, its light was unbearably sharp in the man’s hand.
The man shot a glance at Feng Xian’er before a bit of surprise passed through his features, “Are you a member of the Divine Phoenix Sect? It looks like I have acted unnecessarily.”
It was only now he realized that the girl wielding phoenix flames before him was at the Emperor Profound Realm. His intervention really had been unnecessary.
“Thank you for your help.” Feng Xian’er said politely.
“You’re welcome, although I’m sure that you’d be able to thwart even a thousand Blue Scale Beasts without any trouble.” The young man nodded, “I am Ling Jie of Heavenly Sword Villa. If I may ask, why are you here?”
“Ah?” Feng Xian’er exclaimed, “You’re the legendary Blue Wind Sword Saint? No wonder you’re so strong.”
Blue Wind Sword Saint?
Yun Che sighed inside his mind… Ling Jie was truly deserving of his reputation. It had only been a few years since they last met each other, but Ling Jie had already surpassed his grandfather Ling Tianni and took over his title.
Ling Jie hadn’t gone back on his promise to him back then, and he definitely hadn’t gone back against his own will and pursuit. In the future, Ling Jie would definitely rise to a higher place and become the eternal symbol of pride of Heavenly Sword Villa.
“It’s just false reputation, miss. I don’t deserve such praise from you,” Ling Jie replied politely. As compared to before, Ling Jie had shed his youthfulness in exchange for an air of maturity and grace just like his older brother, Ling Yun.
Feng Xian’er looked like she was in her twenties at best, but her profound energy clearly marked her as an Emperor Profound Realm profound practitioner. It was no wonder that Ling Jie was caught by surprise. Then, his gaze shifted slightly to fall on Yun Che. Yun Che’s appearance was blurred behind a veil of fire, but for some reason Ling Jie still felt a strange tug in his heart. He blurted, “Who is this?”
“He’s…” Feng Xian’er started, but she wasn’t sure how to reply to his question.
Yun Che looked away before lowering his voice, “Let’s go.”
“Mn.” Feng Xian’er replied before lifting Yun Che into the air once more, but then Yun Che turned away and said, “I mean, let’s head home.”
“Ah? Head home?” Feng Xian’er looked slightly caught off guard.
“Mn. Let’s head home.” Yun Che closed his eyes.
At first, he thought that the period of calm and tranquility and his increasingly uncontrollable impulse to reach out meant that he was ready to face his family and friends already, but when Ling Jie was actually standing right in front of him, he finally realized that he still wasn’t ready...
“...Alright.” Feng Xian’er didn’t try to force the issue. Instead, she nodded obediently and flew Yun Che back the way they came… In fact, she was so focused that she had even forgotten to bid Ling Jie goodbye.
Ling Jie didn’t leave immediately. He watched the duo until they vanished beyond the horizon. The focus of his attention wasn’t Feng Xian’er, but the figure who was shrouded in red. His heart hadn’t stopped tugging at him even once throughout the meeting.
Who… is he?
That man was utterly void of profound energy, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call him a mortal among mortals. But why… had he given him such a subtle sense of familiarity?