The battle between Shi Luoyi and Zhang Xiangyang was no secret and quickly spread throughout the sect.

Fortunately this time people were not talking about Shi Luoyi being useless. Instead everyone was speculating about where Zhang Xiangyang got the Spirit Gathering Pill to improve his cultivation, and why he targeted Shi Luoyi specifically.

As the pavilion master of the Dan Pavilion, Han Shu needed to give Shi Luoyi an explanation. She came over and solemnly said, "Zhang Xiangyang still refuses to say, but I've checked and no Ling dan are missing from the Dan Pavilion. If Zhang Xiangyang's dan didn't come from adventures during practices, then someone in the sect must have practiced Ling dan but not reported it."

Shi Luoyi felt it was strange, "As far as I know, besides you, Elder Han Shu, there are only four vice pavilion masters in the sect who can refine Ling dan, right?"

Han Shu said, "Yes, I have spoken to them and they all don't know Zhang Xiangyang."

"Is it possible that some other disciple from the Dan Pavilion can refine Ling dan?"

"Impossible!" Han Shu denied firmly. "Refining Ling dan requires at least the Divided Spirit stage cultivation. Most alchemists spend so much time refining pills that their cultivation progresses slowly and I haven't taught any disciple the method to refine Ling dan yet."

Shi Luoyi couldn't help frowning. If Han Shu didn't teach it, how could Bian Qingxuan refine it? Could it be that she obtained the opportunity during her adventures and didn't report it to the sect?

"What are you suspecting?" Han Shu asked.

"I thought it was Bian Qingxuan at first, but after hearing what you said, I don't think it's her. She shouldn't be able to refine Ling dan."

Upon hearing Bian Qingxuan's name, Han Shu's expression also changed slightly. She had mixed feelings about this junior disciple.

Han Shu valued talent. She recognized Bian Qingxuan's abilities and talents - Bian Qingxuan was a rare genius who could simultaneously cultivate pills and sword techniques. Someone like this only appears once in a millennium.

However, this disciple looked pure on the outside, yet Han Shu could always sense a hint of mockery in her eyes. Whenever she assigned alchemy tasks, Bian Qingxuan treated them with great disdain.

Bian Qingxuan did not have sincerity and devotion towards alchemy, which displeased Han Shu greatly. But whenever she reprimanded her, Bian Qingxuan would look aggrieved, on the verge of tears, which gave Han Shu a headache.

Shi Luoyi's speculation made Han Shu fall into contemplation.

She knew it was highly unlikely, but she couldn't explain Bian Qingxuan's abnormalities. Could there really be a genius in this world who could defy the laws and refine elixirs?

Han Shu could only say to Shi Luoyi, "I will pay attention to any unusual activities in the Dan Pavilion recently and investigate the matter with Zhang Xiangyang. You should also be more cautious."

After bidding farewell to Han Shu, Shi Luoyi didn't dwell too much on the matter. She had witnessed too many strange things in her past life, to the point where she doubted herself that only she was just a waste and Bian Qingxuan was the true genius.

But after her downfall, she still followed her father's teachings and cultivated with great diligence, realizing that most people's aptitudes were not as good as hers. Shi Huan had also once said that she was an outstanding sword cultivator.

Since she couldn't compare herself to Bian Qingxuan, she could only compare herself to her past self.

In her previous life, her mindset was disturbed and it took her a full sixty years to reach the Nascent Soul stage. In this life she felt that if she kept it up, she could make the breakthrough in just ten years.

This was the good thing about sword cultivators - having a broad mindset.

If others fell into demonic cultivation, their inner demons would likely haunt them for eternity. Yet when Shi Luoyi cultivated her demon techniques in her previous life, she never completely lost herself. She had always tried to resist her inner demons unwilling to become a puppet for killing.

Starting over, she was even more vigilant. Every day, she constantly practiced her cultivation techniques and understood that her inner demons could appear at any time, but she absolutely could not fall to demonic cultivation again!

She must find a way to eliminate her inner demons.

In January, the snow was still falling heavily, and the outer disciples had more miscellaneous daily tasks like sweeping snow.

The disciples were impatient with such chores. Carrying brooms, they discussed a strange incident that had happened a few days ago.

"Some disciples from Chuanyun Sect came a few days ago. I wonder what happened."

"Chuanyun Sect?"

"Yes, a small sect in the south. It's far inferior to our Hengwu Sect, so it's normal if you don't know about it," the disciple said. "But they have always been reclusive, not even participating in the big competition between sects held every fifty years. For them to send people to our Hengwu Sect this time, something must have happened."

Xiao Ding Bai, who was listening at the door, had heard enough and hurriedly ran inside.

This month, Bian Lingyu was recovering from injuries, leaving Dingbai with nothing to do. So, he took the initiative to relay the information he had heard to Bian Lingyu.

Not knowing what Bian Lingyu wanted to hear, he just told him everything he had seen and heard.

Most of the time it was just idle gossip, like a male disciple giving a magical tool to a female disciple, or disciples from the East Courtyard fighting with those from the West Courtyard over a spiritual plant… They were all sorts of things that made Bian Lingyu impatiently critique him for chattering too much.

Ding Bai was happy to have found something interesting, and didn't mind Bian Lingyu's indifference and lack of interest.

But when he told him about today's events, Bian Lingyu looked up, seeming lost in thought: "Chuanyun Sect..."

"Young Master, do you know the Chuanyun Sect?"


"Oh." Ding Bai scratched the back of his head. As a child, he was naturally curious about a sect he didn't know coming. He hoped Bian Lingyu would tell him about Chuanyun Sect's history, but didn't expect he had no intention of chatting with him.

Fortunately Bian Qingxuan came in the afternoon.

Ding Bai happily went up to greet her: "Senior sister!"

Bian Qingxuan handed him a bottle of elixir, a reward for Ding Bai's care of Bian Lingyu. Ding Bai carefully put it away. The young man was planning ahead, as these were his capital he was saving for marrying a Dao companion in the future!

"Ding Bai, close the door."

Bian Qingxuan entered the courtyard. Knowing that Bian Lingyu didn't like her beating around the bush, she got straight to the point: "Something happened in Qingshui Village in the mortal world."

With that said, she looked grave as she told Bian Lingyu the purpose of the Chuanyun Sect's visit this time.

It turned out that three months ago, something strange happened at Qingshui Village at the foot of Chuanyun Sect's mountain. For over ten days, no one had been seen coming out of the village.

This itself wasn't too bizarre. After all, compared to cities and county towns, small villages didn't have large populations to begin with. Plus ordinary people couldn't travel as fast as cultivators and unless there was something important, they rarely left the village.

However, the strange thing was, there was a family in Qingshui Village who were supposed to marry off their daughter. The groom from another village brought his wedding procession to the village in the early morning, but the day darkened, there was no sign of them bringing the bride out.

The nearby villagers sensed something amiss and went to search for them, but Qingshui Village was like a giant mouth, greedily devouring anyone who entered the small village. The commoners who went in one after another never came out.

Only then did people realize something was wrong - they must have encountered some evil spirit. They quickly sought help from the immortals of the Chuanyun Sect.

At first the Chuanyun Sect didn't think it was a big deal. Demonic creatures causing trouble was nothing new to cultivators. But it turned out this was just the beginning: any disciples from the immortal sect who entered Qingshui Village also disappeared without a trace, just like the commoners.

Among them was even the son of Chuanyun Sect's sect master. The Chuanyun cultivators didn't dare to recklessly enter anymore, and had no choice but to swallow their pride and seek help from the Hengwu Sect.

After listening to her, Bian Lingyu's expression also became serious. "Do you suspect it's the Untransformed Toad?" (bùhuà chán)

Bian Qingxuan nodded and said mockingly, "If it really is Buhua Chan, sending Hengwu Sect disciples would just be sending them to their doom. Unfortunately, those fools don't know how dangerous it is. They have already agreed to go investigate Qingshui Village to find out what happened and rescue the Chuanyun Sect's disciples."

Bian Lingyu fell silent.

Bian Qingxuan asked him, "Will you go?"

"Refine as many Soul-Cleansing Pills for me as you can."

Hearing him say this, Bian Qingxuan knew he intended to go. She wasn't surprised. She understood he was barely hanging on just to get rid of these beasts. If Buhua Chan grew stronger, it would be a calamity for everyone.

Speaking of business, Bian Lingyu wasn't annoyed by her presence. "I'm going to Qingshui Village. You handle the explanation to Hengwu Sect."


"There's one more thing you need to do."

Bian Qingxuan looked at him and listened as he said, "No matter what method you use, don't let Shi Luoyi go."

"Okay." A smile appeared on her face as she immediately agreed. Bian Qingxuan also didn't want them to interact. Seeing that Bian Lingyu was about to give up, it would be best to minimize their encounters.

When he returns from Qingshui Village, he will only be weaker, and he will surely give up by then.

While Shi Luoyi was determined to go to Qingshui Village.

Others might not know how dangerous it was, but she knew. The Chuanyun Sect disciples trapped in Qingshui Village were probably already dead by now.

In her previous life, Shi Luoyi barely made it out of Qingshui Village alive, and only then found out that creature was called Buhua Chan. That time, not only did many disciples sacrifice their lives, but Elder Han Shu also remained there forever.

Since she wanted to change her fate, she must go there. She had to try to save as many people as she could, and bring Han Shu back safely too. Bian Qingxuan didn't care about Hanshu's life or death, but Shi Luoyi did.

When the demonic thoughts arise for the third time, they would completely corrupt her. Whether or not she could suppress the inner demons and prevent them from reappearing was also depended upon the Qingshui Village incident.

Thus, on the second day after the Chuayun Sect disciples arrived, she went to seek the sect master.

The sect master looked down at her from his high seat, his gaze inscrutable: "Shi Luoyi, why do you want to go? Didn't you say before you didn't want to do missions together with your fellow disciples?"

Shi Luoyi said, "Senior brother Changyuan is definitely going, and if he goes, Bian Qingxuan will go as well. I have to go and guard him!"

She spoke with a sense of righteousness, which was in line with her character, so the sect master didn't doubt her.

The sect leader laughed helplessly: "You… if that's the case, you can go with everyone, but you will have to listen to Changyuan and Han Shu."

"Luoyi understands, thank you Master Uncle."

She walked out of the great hall. In her previous life she used the same reason to tag along. Even back then, the sect master agreed without hesitation. Shi Luoyi thought to herself the sect leader probably hoped she would take on more missions and meet with more accidents, and it would be best if she died unexpectedly.

But it was fine, she would live longer than him, until the day her father woke up! She'd anger this hypocritical old bastard to death.

Right after Shi Luoyi left, Bian Qingxuan came to see the sect master. The sect master had his own considerations, so she naturally returned empty-handed.

Bian Qingxuan's expression was respectful on the surface, but inside she was so furious that she wanted to curse this damn old man. But after all she was just a disciple and couldn't defy Hengwu's Sect master, so she had no choice but to accept this outcome.

She felt a little uneasy. It was a long way to Qingshui Village, and what would happen on the way was far beyond her control.

Thinking of Bian Lingyu, her fists unconsciously tightened slightly.

The Chuanyun Sect disciples were already impatient, so they set off the next day.

Shi Luoyi refused Huixiang, who wanted to come along. Knowing she was not well-liked now, she silently stood at the back of the group, carrying the Shenyun Sword on her back.

Her eyes widened slightly. She wasn't mistaken, it was indeed Bian Lingyu standing there!

Bian Lingyu, with ink-black hair and cold eyes, still had a somewhat pale complexion. He was frowning as he was speaking to Han Shu about something.

Shi Luoyi had always thought he was weak and sickly, but seeing him now, it wasn't the case. He was very tall, towering over even Bian Qingxuan, who was already considered exceptionally tall among female cultivators. She was a full half head taller than Shi Luoyi, which made her feel quite stifled in the past. Yet Bian Qingxuan's height barely reached his shoulder.

She measured him with her gaze and was surprised to find that Bian Lingyu was actually slightly taller than Wei Changyuan.

Standing up, Bian Lingyu did not look sickly at all. If it weren't for the absence of a sword at his side and the lack of a cultivator's strong aura, he could pass for a steadfast sword cultivator.

Did Bian Lingyu go to Qingshui Village in her previous life?

She vaguely remembered that he did, but by then Shi Luoyi was already overwhelmed by her inner demons, filled with restlessness and hatred. She was desperate to rid herself of those inner demons, afraid that she would harm someone so she he avoided facing her own mistakes and never paid attention to him.

Shi Luoyi thought to herself: He's just an ordinary person, what's he going for? Bian Qingxuan has always cared deeply for her brother, so how could she bring him along?

Perhaps her gaze was too obvious. Bian Lingyu, who was speaking, paused and looked over at her.

It had been a month since the poisoning incident, and this was their first time since then.

Their eyes met, and she remembered the icy touch of Bian Lingyu's fingers that night, and the pain when he pinched her cheek.

However, he just glanced at her plainly, with no emotion in his eyes, making it seem like Shi Luoyi was the one caring too much.

She did care a lot. This was the first time she saw an ordinary person who was completely shameless about poisoning someone. Shi Luoyi found it funny, but she actually had a very generous personality. If she didn't take something to heart at the time, she wouldn't care about it later.

Although Bian Lingyu took advantage of her injuries to feed her a poisoned pill, she allowed him to do whatever he wanted for revenge.

Everyone stood far away from Shi Luoyi. At this time, a male disciple complained to his companions in a low voice: "Why is she here? I hope she doesn't cause trouble for us."

Shi Luoyi: "..."

What an accurate prediction, she couldn't even refute it.

"Luoyi," Wei Changyuan cast a cold glance at the male disciple, then motioned for Shi Luoyi to come to his side. "You come with me."

Since Shi Luoyi explained the situation to him, although he didn't say anything at that time, he silently kept the matter in his heart. Hearing his junior brothers talk about her like that, a wave of anger rose in his heart.

Even if Shi Luoyi wasn't the same as before, she was still the little sister he had raised since childhood and his nominal fiancée.

Bian Qingxuan bit her lip, thinking of Bian Lingyu standing right there, she remained silent, appearing quite well-behaved.

Shi Luoyi looked at Wei Changyuan. His concern was something she had desperately sought in the past.

In her previous life when they traveled together, Wei Changyuan rarely paid attention to her situation. She watched him interact with Bian Qingxuan with a heart full of anguish, almost aggrieved to the point of tears.

Yet her pride didn't allow her to pull him away from Bian Qingxuan in front of everyone. Even then, she still remembered getting rid of demons was most important.

Now, this belated concern was no longer something Shi Luoyi needed. She shook her head and calmly said, "Senior brother, you lead the way. I'll just follow along."

She had already decided to let go, and would not hinder him from seeking the life he wanted, no longer clinging to becoming part of his life.

Wei Changyuan frowned.

Han Shu said, "Let's go."

Just as Shi Luoyi was about to follow, but she felt a gaze directed towards her from a certain direction, and met Bian Lingyu's eyes.

He looked at her coldly for an unknown length of time.

Strangely enough, Shi Luoyi inexplicably felt that he was displeased again. She couldn't help but be confused, what did she do just now to provoke him?

But she had clearly just been talking to Senior brother Changyuan, she didn't do anything to him at all.

However, when she looked again, Bian Lingyu had already withdrawn his gaze.


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