Chapter 257: Familiar Ancient Ruin
“The Sealing Bell of Truth is a God’s Artifact capable of seeing through all disguises, and it can even conceal its own presence.” Ying Luo turned to look at Zhu Yao, her face was filled with guilt. “That was my weapon in the past.”
“Then you gave it to Ding Chunqiu?” Zhu Yao asked.
Ying Luo looked down. “Because the God’s Artifact is in a life-bound contract with me, it should have been rendered unusable the moment I died. I should have long figured that following my revival, that God’s Artifact would naturally be brought back to life as well. He must have already seen through my identity the moment we first met back then.” She said with a slight ridiculing tone. “Back then, I bestowed him the God’s Artifact in order to protect him from being harmed by crooks. I never expected that he would use it against me in turn.”
“I already told you.” That ass was not a good person. Zhu Yao coldly snorted.
Ying Luo revealed a bitter smile. “You were right. Ever since we first met, everything you said came true. Be it the reaction of the masses, or…” Her voice suddenly sank incredibly low, as though she had lost all her vigour. Her pair of eyes were blank, and it sounded as though she was muttering to herself. “But, I did not believe them… nor did I want to believe them. I was bullied when I was young, and was shunned away while I was cultivating into a deity. When I finally managed to find a home of my own, I was disliked by my elder sister. Back then, I was still able to tell myself, that it’s fine as long as I have a clear conscience. When living in this world, everyone would start off being alone, and everyone would also leave alone in the end. So, even if I had to sacrifice my life to seal the Devil, I did not have any regrets. But… I don’t understand. I had clearly saved this world. I don’t wish for others to feel gratuitous in the depths of their hearts, but why did it end up attracting hatred instead? They didn’t even give me the opportunity to explain myself, and immediately ascertained my sin. Then, was everything I did… right, or wrong? I only seek a clear conscience, so why are others, who clearly do things that go against their own conscience, able to stay safe and sound? And just for what reason have I returned to this world?”
She suddenly went silent, and her eyes were slowly exuding emotions of despair.
“Ying Luo.” Zhu Yao grabbed onto her hands. “You still have me, I believe you.”
She was startled for a moment. After blanking for a short while, she finally smiled and nodded her head heavily. “That’s right, I still have you!”
A long while later…
“As I thought, you have been coveting my beauty, right?”
“Aiya, just honestly admit it already! Though this goes against the order of the world, we have both turned into two rats that had crossed the street. Why don’t we make do with it? I won’t despise you!”
“But this old lady despises you, alright? Back when you first reincarnated, your mouse pointer trembled too much and you ended up clicking on the wrong gender, didn’t you?”
“Mouse pointer? What’s that? I’m serious. If you don’t choose me, you will be alone for the rest of your life.”
“This old lady already has a man, so scram!”
“Aaaaah! That’s impossible, you don’t even have any breasts.”
You’re the one without breasts, your entire family do not have breasts.
“The reason why your elder sister, the former Palace Master, did not like you, could it be because you had some indecent thoughts of her?”
Zhu Yao adjusted herself for a while, before calmly going into meditation and restoring her Dantian. Taking a deep breath, she slowly released her own sword intent. A white phoenix slowly flew out of her body, and with its gigantic wings spread open, it tightly wrapped about her body.
The spiritual energy in her body instantly quietened down. She then proceeded to guid them bit by bit towards the location of her Dantian, and slowly began to restore it, filling and polishing the shattered spots with spiritual energy over and over again. After she was finally able to form its basic structure, she then guided spiritual energy into it.
However, the moment spiritual energy entered it, the Dantian which was fixed earlier, like an easily breakable chicken egg, once again shattered apart. The spiritual energy she accumulated through sheer difficulty instantly went out of control, and chaos appeared within various parts of her body.
Zhu Yao puked out a mouthful of blood.
“Yu Yao!” Ying Luo was startled, as she woke up from her trance state. Her injuries were not light either, however, she could no longer bother about healing her own injuries as she looked at Zhu Yao with a worried look. “How are you?”
“Impossible!” Zhu Yao was frightened by her own condition. Nothing was wrong with her method though? Everything was conducted according to her master’s instructions, and this was not the first she fixed it either, so fixing it was not impossible. However, why was the spiritual energy in her body flowing out even faster than before, to the point where spiritual energy would scatter the moment they entered her body?
She once again went into meditation and tried two more times. However, she realized that her situation remained the same. Her Dantian could not be fixed at all.
Zhu Yao was a little confused.
“My Dantian can’t be restored anymore…”
This was illogical. Could that God’s Artifact be part of the reason? However, she clearly could not sense any anomaly within her body.
Ying Luo frowned, as she was unable to think of anything in such a short time either. “Don’t worry, slow and steady. This place is very safe, you can have some rest for now.”
Zhu Yao nodded, and then she tried several more times, only to land in the exact same situation. If this persisted, her spiritual energy would only continue to deplete. Right now, she had no choice but to end everything quickly. She cast an art to seal a few of her meridians, preventing spiritual energy from flowing out too quickly.
“Girl, are your injuries better now?”
“About half of them have healed.” She said with a low voice.
“Good, then let’s first search for the final mystic artifact.”
“But, your injuries…”
“We can talk after finding it.” Zhu Yao stood up and walked into the depths of the ruin. After pondering for a moment, she pulled out the Metal Spirit, and had it sense the concrete location of the mystic artifact.
This time, the Metal Spirit leapt onto the ground, and then rolled towards a certain direction.
“It found the place.” Zhu Yao glanced at Ying Luo, and then hurriedly followed after it.
The braziers in the surroundings began to light up, brightening up the entire palace. A stone door appeared not too far away, and the top of door was further than the eyes could see.
“Yu Yao, this ruin is dangerous.” Ying Luo said with a stern look. “The place behind this door is filled with even more dangers, with formations that could send people to various terrifying boundaries. Back then, I was transferred to a dark forest filled with countless ferocious beasts.”
It’s that terrifying? Even Zhu Yao’s heart could not help but skip a beat.
“Chick chick chick…” The Metal Spirit seemed to have gotten tired of waiting, as it bounced a few times on the ground.
“No matter the case, let’s first take a look inside.” Zhu Yao took a step forward and reached out her hand to touch the door. As expected, in the next moment, a teleportation formation next to the door shone.
Ying Luo was still endlessly admonishing her actions when Zhu Yao directly pulled her into the formation. The scenery before her eyes then changed.
“This ruin is intricate and complicated. Though the Metal Spirit is guiding us, finding that mystic artifact definitely won’t be that ea… Ehhhh!?”
She suddenly widened her eyes and stared at the pitch-black dagger on the table in front of her. She was utterly speechless for a moment.
How was this possible? Previously, she had to risk her life entering here. Yet this time, putting aside how they did not encounter any danger, they even found the mystic artifact the moment they entered?
“Yu Yao, I’m not seeing things, right?”
Neither did Zhu Yao expect that they would find the mystic artifact so easily. The moment they teleported, they were sent right in front of the dagger, it was simply too much of a pleasant surprise. “It’s probably because we were guided by the Metal Spirit.”
She pointed at a certain rock which had already leapt onto the table and was planning to push the dagger off it.
Ying Luo reluctantly accepted this answer.
“Chick…” The Metal Spirit suddenly sounded out, and that black dagger instantly flew over. Zhu Yao casually pulled open her storage pouch, yet, that dagger paused for a moment, before turning and flying towards Ying Luo instead.
Uh… It couldn’t be, right? The Metal Spirit had actually changed its target of affection this quickly.
“Chick…” It suddenly called out again. Three mystic artifacts instantly flew out of the storage pouch, and they then headed towards Ying Luo as well.
“Chick chick chick chick…” Only then did it roll back to her. As though it had encountered something that was worth being happy about, it joyfully circled around her and made endless “chick” noises.
Chick chick, the mistress is now mine. Chick chick. All of you mystic artifacts, scram. Chick chick…
Zhu Yao: “…”
Ying Luo who was buried under the mystic artifacts: “…”
“Girl… You should hold onto those four mystic artifacts for now.” She felt that if she carried them with her, they would one day be smashed apart by the Metal Spirit.
Ying Luo nodded before keeping them.
She scanned her surroundings for a moment, and realized that this was a stone chamber. Placed at the center were only a table and a chair, making it look like a study room. Diagrams of phoenixes were faintly engraved on the table. However, strangely, there actually wasn’t a single book lying around.
Zhu Yao touched the diagrams on the table, and felt that she had seen them before somewhere.
“Yu Yao, that teleportation formation had already disappeared. How are we going to get back?” Ying Luo said.
“Since there’s a formation that teleports us here, then naturally there will be one that teleports us out.” This stone chamber was actually not locked, so they directly walked out and began looking for an exit. Outside the chamber was a passageway, and on the sides of the passage were a few similar stone chambers. “Let’s look around for now. Be careful.”
This was after all an ancient ruin, so they could not let their guard down. Zhu Yao directly had the girl Ying Luo place down defensive barriers, before opening the door to a stone chamber.
“Wa, there’s so many clothes.” Ying Luo exclaimed out. Walking in, what entered their eyes were clothes of various colours, which filled up the entire room. Some were neatly stacked in the cabinet, while some were scattered all around. “It seems like the owner of this ruin was a woman.”
Zhu Yao nodded. She casually swiped up a piece, and looked at it carefully. The piece of clothing was pink, its size was about hers, and similarly, the familiar phoenix diagram was embroidered on the sleeves. Compared to other clothes, the sleeves of these clothes were especially short, as their openings had only stopped at her wrist. Though, she was a little used to such designs. She had always felt that the sleeves of ancient robes were bothersome, and were not as convenient as the straight sleeves of modern clothes. Thus, whenever her master gave her clothes, she would pull back the sleeves.
A strange sensation flashed in the depths of her heart. She never expected that someone else other than her would have such habits as well.
“My girl Yu Yao! Quick, over here!” Ying Luo stretched out her head from another stone chamber, and waved her hand at Zhu Yao with an excited look.
“What is it?” She walked over.
The girl pushed her inside. “Hurry and look, there are many things of various colours here.”
When Zhu Yao took a glance, she saw the room was placed with a few dozen large crates, and each single one of them was filled with various types of dried fruits. There were also what looked like formations used for preservation cast atop the crates, which prevented these fruits from receiving any sort of influence after so many years, and still emitted a tempting aroma.
“They smell so good.” Ying Luo wiped away her saliva. “I wonder what they are?”
“Dried fruits.” Zhu Yao replied.
“Dried fruits!” Ying Luo’s eyes shone. “Doesn’t that mean they can be eaten?” As she said that, she picked up a purple dried fruit and bit on it, only to let out a scream the next instant. “Aiya.”
That dried fruit suddenly burned with purple flames, and she flung it onto the ground with trembling hands. Half of sleeves were even burnt away.
The girl looked as though she was about to cry. “What happened to the promise that it can be eaten?”
“Your method was wrong.” Zhu Yao sighed. She stepped forward and similarly picked one up. Forcefully pinching it, the purple shell instantly shattered, revealing a deep purple kernel, and passed it to her. “The shell of this dried fruit will ignite if it touches water. The kernel inside can be eaten.”
Ying Luo took it curiously. “There’s actually such a mysterious dried fruit. What is it called?”
“Purple Flame Fruit.” Zhu Yao said.
“Then what about this?” She pointed at the crate of snow-white dried fruits at the side.
Then she picked up another red one. “This?”
“Woah…” She had a stunned look. “My girl Yu Yao, you’re so incredible. How do you know all these? I have never seen these dried fruits before.”
“How is that possible? Don’t joke around, aren’t these often stored by the Phoenix Clan…” Her words once again paused halfway through, and her eyes fiercely widened. A daring conjecture suddenly emitted from the depths of her heart, causing her to fluster instantly.
“Eh? There’s an especially big crate at the center.” Ying Luo held onto one crate with one hand, and then leapt closer to the big crate. “This crate is so big, I wonder what’s placed in it?”
Zhu Yao raised her head to take a look. As expected, a phoenix with spread wings was also engraved on the crate, but that beautiful phoenix body lacked a feathered tail. In an instant, the answer was revealed in the depths of her heart.
Ying Luo had already torn open the crate lid, and instantly, a golden light emitted from within. Plump golden seeds of various sizes filled the entire crate.
“Melon seeds, and they’re golden!” Ying Luo exclaimed.
Zhu Yao simply felt hard to breathe, as her pair of legs powerlessly took two steps back. Diagrams of phoenixes, clothes with unique sleeves, and various types of dried fruits. All the clues lined up together.
“My girl Yu Yao, what happened to you?” Seeing that she had suddenly turned pale, Ying Luo hurriedly crawled out with a shocked look. “Has your injuries worsened?”
“I know who’s the owner of this ruin.”
“Ahhh?” Ying Luo was a little dumbfounded. “Who is it?”
Zhu Yao did not reply, as she turned around and left through the door, heading towards the end of the passageway.
“Ehhh… Yu Yao, wait, wait for me.” Ying Luo chased after her.
However, her jog turned into a sprint, as the sour feeling in the depths of her heart burst out, carrying an anxiety that she found hard to suppress. Those things, the things in the rooms, were things she was too familiar with. Too familiar to the extent where, with a single glance, she was able to guess that those things were prepared for her. And, there was only one person who would go this far.
She ran for about seven minutes, before she managed to reach the very depths of the palace. In front of her was a stone door of several dozen meters in height, and above the stone door engraved a gigantic tree. Its roots touched the ground, and its leaves shrouded the sky, as though it was connected between the entire sky and earth.
Parasol Tree, the habitat of phoenixes.
“Yu Yao.” Ying Luo caught up to her. “A dead end?” She looked carefully at the door. “There seems to be a word activation seal on the door, and only a specific incantation can open it.”
Zhu Yao raised her head to look at the tree. It was both familiar, and foreign to her. Heaving a deep sigh, she lightly called out. “Shao Bai.”
When her voice fell, the door suddenly rumbled, before slowly opening itself. A fragrant scent instantly poured towards them, as a world of flowers was revealed before their eyes.