It was hotter this summer in Haizhou City in comparison to last few years.
It was either because the warm current flew this way, or because the city no longer had a huge flying whale to suck the water from the ocean and spit it out, making it down like a rainfall.
After the battle of the Cloud Platform, the West Ocean Sword Sect retreated to the deep part of the ocean, gradually losing their influence in Haizhou. As a result, many middle- and small-sized sects took the opportunity to come into the city.
There used to be a restaurant on the main street of Haizhou, and the owner was a vixen.
This restaurant was leveled to ruins by Nan Zhen and a few other swordsmen of the Old Ones. Yet, the location was excellent, so a new restaurant was built on the same spot a few years later. It was interesting to note that the restaurant did the same as the former one, serving hotpot. Besides seafood hotpot, they also served hotpots with Yuzhou flavor and other northern flavors.
A guest wearing a conical hat walked into the restaurant. He ordered a hotpot for one person, ate and drank a bit quickly and left after paying for the food. The stone steps in front of the restaurant were splattered with water; as the guest walked on the steps, his face under the conical hat was found to be black the moment it was shone on by the light reflected from the water. It was unclear whether he wore a mask or something else.
The waiter cleaned the table very quickly. He threw the remaining broth in the hotpot into the waste bucket, picked up a paper slip, and sent it to the kitchen in the back.
The paper slip was soon brought to a private room.
The pot for the hotpot in the private room was quite large, but it was not the double hotpot. The red soup looked like blood, or the setting sun at the Fruit Formation Temple, giving off a spicy flavor.
Yin San placed his right foot on the chair, scooping up the aorta and sliced intestines from the pot gracelessly. There were no beads of sweat, but a satisfied expression on his face.
Sitting across from Yin San, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect asked after having read the content in the paper slip, "Immortal, we have already gotten the address; when should we take off?"
"Let's finish eating first," Yin San replied casually, as he was preoccupied with the hotpot.
The amazing part about the hotpot was that one could keep on eating indefinitely as long as more water and food were added to the pot.
It wasn't until midnight that Yin San and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect left the restaurant.
They got out of Haizhou City, came to the seashore, passed through the scattered rocks on the beach, and headed toward the deep end of the ocean.
The purpose for their trip was not to pay respect to the ruins of the Cloud Platform, nor to take some magic treasures; they were here in search of someone.
In the dark night, accompanied by the sound of the ocean waves, they walked on the surface of the ocean for a long time, and eventually arrived at a remote and ordinary small island.
There were some green plants on the small island; no devil animals could be found there except for some lizards looking for food at night.
Following the map on the paper slip, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect came to a cluster of ordinary grass, commenting sentimentally, "He is indeed an experienced old guy; this formation has been set up expertly."
The cluster of grass didn't have any special energy or any trace of a formation. If they hadn't known beforehand, there was no way they would think this place was the entrance to the tunnel.
Seeing the tunnel leading to the deep end of the underground, Yin San remarked, "It turns out that he has been living at the bottom of the ocean, isolated from the outside world; that's why nobody could find him after so many years."
They had walked for a long time in the dark and gloomy tunnel, finally seeing a heavy bronze door probably after reaching the bottom of the ocean a few miles from the surface.
Some simple diagrams were etched on the bronze door, including flowers and fish. The drawings were done in an ancient style, exuding a light energy.
Looking at the door, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect said, "I can break it, but I'm afraid of alerting him by doing so."
"Let me do it then."
Yin San raised his right hand to press on a strange fish on the bronze door.
About ten minutes later, the flowers on the bronze door suddenly bloomed as if they had come alive. The strange fish seemed to come alive as well, attempting to swim away from Yin San's hand to alert the person inside. But it didn't get away.
Yin San touched the fish gently, as if his hand had the effect of the spring breeze, making it calm down.
The heavy bronze door opened slowly without a speck of dust coming off from it.
A great amount of sea water rushed out.
Yin San and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect didn't try to stay out of the water's way, nor felt surprised; their countenance remained unbothered.
They were floating in the sea water while looking at the scene in front of them.
The bronze door led to an underworld of ocean.
The fish of all sorts were swimming around; the peculiar flowers with glowing spots were swaying in the water. There were some huge, dreadful figures in the distance, though it was unclear what kind of vicious sea animals they were.
Yin San was well aware that all this was a false phenomenon. He folded his hands behind his back, his expression calm, and glided forward at will.
The guy hiding at the bottom of the ocean was rather interesting. He had an ordinary Cultivation state, but his formation and mental prowess were not weak, because he had already discovered them approaching him.
Yin San was not worried about the attack from that person; but he didn't want that person to commit suicide to prevent his spiritual soul from being controlled if the person knew his arrival ahead of time.
Those huge, dreadful figures got increasingly closer; it turned out that they were a bunch of dace devils.
The dace devils charged toward Yin San.
Yin San paid them no mind; his sight was fixed on a pile of rocks not far away.
One dace devil swallowed him and then turned into a glowing speck, dissipating in the sea water without a trace.
Yin San drifted to the pile of rocks, squatted down, and looked at an ugly fish hiding in a crack between rocks.
The ugly fish and Yin San eyed each other.
"Who are you?…How come you can recognize this old man's formation?"
The ugly fish spoke out.
He could sense that Yin San was at most in the Free Travel State; buy, why wasn't he affected by his spiritual awareness?
"You shouldn't play such an insignificant trick in front of me," Yin San said with a smile. "And I would like to remind you that you don't call yourself 'this old man' during our conversations from now on; it's because you don't have the qualification in comparison to mine."
Having said that, Yin San flicked his fingers.
All those dace devils disappeared after turning into light specks, so did all those swaying flowers and tens of thousands of strange fish. Even the sea water was nowhere to be found.
This place was indeed at the bottom of the ocean, but it was not in the middle of it. And it was a manor cave hidden deep in the underground, with dry ground, devoid of any water.
The decoration of the manor cave was quite lavish. The mini-pine trees lined against a wall; dozens of koi carps were swimming amid a skeleton of white bones in the jade pond.
The white skeleton was a dace devil; the koi carps were the strange fish; the mini-pine trees were the peculiar flowers. But all this was an illusion.
"You are renowned for predicting destiny. So it's normal to raise some koi carps; but what is that white skeleton all about?"
Yin San pulled back his gaze and looked at the old man.
This old man had white hair covering his head, with wrinkles all over his face. His eyes sank deeply into the sockets. It was unclear how long he had been blind.
He was that ugly fish; but in fact, he was Tian Jinren, who had disappeared from the world for many years.
Tian Jinren used to be an important figure.
He was more than famous for his ability to predict destiny, as mentioned by Yin San. Back when he was in charge of the Institute of White Deer, he was considered to be able to judge someone's life and death with a few words and anticipate the heavenly opportunities.
Even the likes of Huo Huainan and the Prince Jing Xin wanted to be evaluated by him.
He had a close relationship with the West Ocean Sword Sect. In the old plum garden, he attempted to kill Jing Jiu at the request of Fang Jingtian.
Unexpectedly, he failed the attempt, because he didn't know that Jing Jiu's spiritual soul was extremely strong, even though Jing Jiu's Cultivation state was very low at the time. Then he was expelled from Zhaoge City by the Young Zen Master. Next, his Institute of White Deer was burned to the ground by Pei Baifa and the disciples of the No-Mercy Sect during the battle of the Cloud Platform. At the time, he reacted exceedingly fast and fled in advance, having been hiding in his manor cave ever since.
He needed a long time to recover after being wounded by the Young Zen Master. Even though this manor cave was within the territory of the West Ocean Sword Sect, he still didn't go out. He had been very cautious, but he didn't expect to be found.
"He was one of my disciples. Unfortunately, he went mad and died because he had been too anxious to improve his Cultivation."
Tian Jinren said this while looking at the skeleton, showing a regretful expression.
It could be a touching and hideous story, but Yin San had no intention of probing further, saying, "I came here to ask you a few questions."
"Who on the earth are you?"
Tian Jinren asked in a deep voice and appeared very cautious, with his head lowered slightly. He sensed that this person had an enormously strong mental prowess, and that his Dao Heart was so profound that it was as deep as the ocean. The Cultivation state displayed by this person was much lower than his actual ability, which reminded Tian Jinren of Jing Jiu; and moreover, Tian Jinren sensed that this person's willpower was even stronger than Jing Jiu's.
Yin San answered with a small smile, "I'm the one who asks questions, not you."
Tian Jinren said, "I have set up the formation in ten years. I don't believe you can dismantle it. No matter how strong your spiritual soul is, there is no way you can do it."
It didn't mean that this person could really dismantle the formation even though he had recognized the illusory environment in the manor cave and was unfazed by the mental assaults.
Yin San didn't give a response. He closed his eyes, his willpower coming out from his mind.
Countless light rays suddenly appeared in the air of the manor cave; gradually, those rays pulled together to form many lines and diagrams.
Though Tian Jinren couldn't see the scene, he could sense it. His face turned paler, thinking that this person's spiritual soul was powerful enough to force out the original formation and then dismantle it.
It grew brighter in the manor cave. Those lines and diagrams seemed as if they were covered in tacky honey and on the verge of breaking apart.
The manor cave changed into the underworld of the ocean. Those dreadful dace devils appeared again, but they didn't dare swim toward Yin San; those peculiar flowers with glowing spots swayed even more violently, as if they wanted to flee from the mud at the bottom of the ocean.
Gradually, those dace devils and strange fish, as well as those peculiar flowers, grew lighter in color, and dissipated when being washed by the sea water, turning into the wisps of green smoke in the end.
Yin San was seen amid the green smoke with his eyes closed, the corners of his mouth showing a seeming grin.
The formation was on the brink of collapsing.
Tian Jinren's face grew calmer rather than paler.
He suddenly opened his eyes.
There was nothing inside his eye sockets except two black holes as deep as the abyss.
It took merely an instant for the sea water to hurl the dace devils, strange fish, and peculiar flowers into his eye sockets.
Even Yin San's spiritual soul had been sucked into his eye sockets.
The fight between two spiritual souls was the most dangerous and the simplest; all they needed to do was test whose soul was powerful enough to annihilate or control the other's spiritual soul.
Yin San was not worried about the outcome because he believed that no one in this world had a more powerful spiritual soul than his, save for a few monks in the Zen sects, some ancient divine animals…and Jing Jiu.
It was then that Tian Jinren suddenly laughed, and his wrinkles grew deeper, showing a gloomy and mocking intent.
"Immortal Taiping, you are used to controlling others' spiritual souls, but you have never thought that yours would be controlled by somebody else."
The expression on Yin San's face changed slightly.
His clothing drifted along with the current of the sea water, heading toward Tian Jinren.
"Your spiritual soul has already intermingled with mine. If you don't strike now, then what are you waiting for?"
Tian Jinren yelled harshly.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect had suddenly materialized behind Yin San.
He seemed to have disappeared since he had come to the manor cave. It was at this moment that his full energy had suddenly come out.
The brutal energy filled the manor cave, and his sparse hair pointed upwards like tiny swords. At the moment, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect didn't look like an old dog at all; he looked like a demon who had just arrived in the human world.
His wound received at the Fruit Formation Temple had mostly recovered; as long as his palm landed on Yin San, he would be able to strike Yin San to death, or at least shudder his Dao Tree.
Yin San closed his eyes and said sharply, "Are you inviting death?"
Upon hearing this, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect grunted once, feeling a chill going through his spine.
It was a chilly feeling caused by a sword.
The chilly intent came from Green Mountain over ten thousand miles away; but he could feel it clearly and thoroughly.
It was evident that the Sword Formation of Green Mountain would be able to find his location instantly as soon as Yin San took away the magic method; it was a critical moment.
It was because of this chilly intent that the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect had stayed underneath the cold mountains and barren fields, without sunshine, for hundreds of years. Should he continue to hide like this?
It was then that a sword will came over high in the sky.
Though it was a sword will, it seemed as if countless swords struck at the same time, moving forward like the tide. It blocked the chilly intent.
According to the accord reached by the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect and the other person, if the Sword Formation of Green Mountain arrived, the other person would have to block it for a while, before he could suppress Yin San.
But it was the Sword Formation of Green Mountain!
Few people in Chaotian could achieve the feat even if it was only blocking it for a brief moment.
Except for the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean!
"You think I'm really a dog of yours!"
It was full of brutal energy on the face of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect, as he swiped his palm downward with full strength.
His palm landed on Tian Jinren's head.
The remaining formation in the manor cave had dispersed completely.
A great amount of sea water gushed out from Tian Jinren's deep eye sockets, including those strange fish and peculiar flowers, which were then torn into shreds after hitting the rocky wall of the manor cave.
"You have dared…"
Tian Jinren's face was ashen, extremely surprised and furious, as he "looked" at the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect blankly.
His voice trailed off only after uttering three words, with no more sea water coming out from his eye sockets.
His spiritual soul had been totally controlled by Yin San even before he died.
Yin San opened his eyes, and raised his hand.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect placed his head under Yin San's hand as quickly as possible.
Yin San rubbed his head to indicate his satisfaction.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect sensed instantly the disappearance of that chilly intent coming from more than ten thousand miles away.
However, the sword will as powerful as the tide was still hovering high in the sky. If the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean found out what had happened here, it would be hard for him to deal with a powerful swing of the angry sword. They must leave this place as soon as possible while the Sword Formation of Green Mountain was keeping the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean in the sky.
It didn't take long before the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect and Yin San arrived on the land fifty miles away. They propped themselves against hays that had been just moved there from the fields, panting fiercely.
"You have performed quite well. But the statement 'You think I'm really a dog of yours' is a bit too exaggerated. Who would say this sort of nonsense before killing somebody?"
Yin San said this after he turned his head to look at him. It was like a master of the theatre was teaching his new disciple.
The Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect said with an obsequious smile, "That statement was from the bottom of my heart. I had to say it to feel better. But I only had enough time to state the first half."
"What was the last half then?" Yin San prompted curiously.
The Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect claimed seriously, "Yes, I'm indeed an old dog of the Immortal's, and a very loyal one!"
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