The Little White Dragon twiddled its whiskers and didn’t respond.
Si Lan hadn’t expected the Little White Dragon to answer, but its actions still made him chuckle.
Despite its young age, it had such a cold, aloof disposition. He figured that when it grew up, it would be quite a handful.
Si Lan lifted the Little White Dragon’s two horns and said, “As a dragon, you should be polite and not frown so easily.”
The Little White Dragon subconsciously extended its leg to kick Si Lan, but its limbs were too short, and it couldn’t reach him. Si Lan couldn’t help but smile, and his heart softened.
He decided to use a combination of encouragement and authority, so he took out a colorful feather from his storage pouch and handed it to the Little White Dragon. “Here, I only have three of these colorful feathers on me. This is one of them, very precious. I’m giving it to you as a gift. If you behave well, I’ll give you the other two.”
“…” The Little White Dragon.
A colorful feather…
They say that when birds of courtship give a beautiful feather to each other, it’s a sign of affection.
So, is this bird implying something?
The Little White Dragon scowled, but the other person’s attitude was so firm that he simply stuffed the feather into its arms. It reluctantly hugged it with its tiny paws.
As soon as Si Lan couldn’t see, it promptly tossed the feather away.
Si Lan quickly tidied himself up a bit and carried the Little White Dragon with him to find Lou Yuqing at Song Qing Pavilion to inquire about the snake mother’s matter.
However, the disciples of Song Qing Pavilion informed Si Lan that Lou Yuqing was busy preparing for tomorrow’s wedding and had no time to see him.
Si Lan had a gut feeling that Lou Yuqing was deliberately avoiding him. Thinking back to the scene he saw of Lou Yuqing last night, most of Lou Yuqing’s face was hidden in the shadows, not very clear, but his aura was still unique and unmatched. He was definitely the real person.
He wondered what was bothering Lou Yuqing and why he was acting so strangely.
The giant plant, Thorned Orchid, which was sprawled on Xuanling Mountain, now glistened with red flowers under the sunlight, emitting a brilliant red glow.
These flowers looked even more vibrant than the ones that had bloomed yesterday.
Si Lan sniffed the air delicately, detecting not only the faint scent of flowers but also a lingering trace of a snake-like odor.
At this moment, Xu Yili and a group of disciples came over, carrying a cloud-patterned bronze tray with items for the bridal chamber. They gently covered them with red silk.
Upon seeing Si Lan, Xu Yili and the others immediately bowed, “Greetings to Master Si.”
Si Lan suddenly thought of a way to approach Xu Yili and asked if he could accompany him since he wasn’t familiar with Xuanling Mountain and was considering taking a stroll in the vicinity. Xu Yili was a warm-hearted person, so he readily agreed and handed over the items to the other disciples, leading Si Lan on a tour.
“Master Si, I’ve been at Xuanling Mountain for over ten years, and I’m extremely familiar with every plant and stone here. You’ve found the right person for guidance.”
Si Lan smiled, “That’s good.”
The two of them walked down a stone staircase, following the unique terrain of Xuanling Mountain. The area was abundant with lush trees and vibrant flora, with an unusually high presence of wildlife.
After walking for a while, Si Lan casually asked, “The last time I saw your Master, he was entirely focused on cultivation. I didn’t expect him to suddenly marry.”
Xu Yili scratched his head, “Perhaps Senior Lan of Yunlan touched Master’s heart after all…”
Si Lan knew about the relationship between Lou Yuqing and Yunlan. Yunlan’s father was Lou Yuqing’s master, the former head of Xuanling Mountain, and Yunlan and Lou Yuqing had grown up together. Yunlan had admired Lou Yuqing from a young age, but Lou Yuqing had shown no romantic interest in her.
When the former head of Xuanling Mountain was on his deathbed, he entrusted Yunlan to Lou Yuqing, hinting at a marriage promise, but Lou Yuqing only said he was born for the Dao and had no consideration for love.
The former head of the mountain breathed out his last before closing his eyes forever.
After taking the position of the new head, Lou Yuqing secluded himself for several decades to sever any romantic feelings Yunlan had for him.
Si Lan chuckled, “Has something happened recently that made your Master change his mind?”
Xu Yili suddenly glanced around, ensuring there were no eavesdroppers, before saying, “It’s probably because Master had an experience in the Sacred Domain Demon Valley. When he returned, his priorities had shifted.”
Si Lan was surprised and curious, and even the Little White Dragon poked its head out from his collar, listening to the gossip.
Xu Yi lowered his voice and said, “Well, in order to fulfill the wishes of our ancestors, our Master has been hunting down the three major demons that threaten humanity. The first two demons were relatively easy to deal with, but this third one, the Holy Domain Moth King, is causing some trouble.”
With a sigh, Xu Yi continued, “Ah, three months ago, after our Master jumped into the Moth Valley, he lost contact with the outside world. When he returned, it was as if he had changed completely. It didn’t take long for him to propose the idea of marrying Senior Brother Yun Lan.”
Si Lan had heard about the three major demons from Lou Yuqing before, but at that time, Lou Yuqing mentioned it in the context of overcoming the ordeal of love and avoiding Junior Sister Yun Lan, saying he had been hunting demons outside. What on earth happened in that demon valley to make Lou Yuqing give up his ruthless path?
Si Lan was perplexed and furrowed his brow. As they walked halfway up the mountain, a cluster of Téng Yīng flowers danced in the wind and came towards them. Si Lan reached out to catch the vines and gazed at them, saying, “The Téng Yīng flowers seem to be blooming more vigorously than yesterday.”
Xu Yi smiled and replied, “Yes, the flowers are getting better day by day. Maybe it’s because of the good Feng Shui of Xuanling Mountain.”
Si Lan neither confirmed nor denied this, but during their conversation, he discreetly checked for the presence of the Serpent Mother’s aura. Unfortunately, the entire Xuanling Mountain seemed to be saturated with the scent of the serpent clan, making it impossible for him to detect the Serpent Mother’s presence.
He could only continue walking while observing possible locations where the Serpent Mother might be held captive.
He remembered asking Xu Yi about the Charming Serpents last night, and Xu Yi seemed genuinely unaware of why they attacked the Xuanling Sect. So, he tentatively asked, “I’ve heard that Charming Serpents are usually led by a Serpent Mother. When they attacked Xuanling Gate last night, it seems we didn’t spot the Serpent Mother.”
Xu Yi looked bewildered and said, “Is that so? I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Serpent Mother.”
Si Lan observed Xu Yi’s expression and concluded that he genuinely didn’t know about the Serpent Mother’s captivity in the Xuanling Sect. This meant that the other disciples of the sect were probably also in the dark.
What was Lóu Yù, in secret, doing behind the entire Xuanling Sect’s back?
As they passed by several locations, Si Lan casually asked questions, but he found nothing unusual.
Dusk had quietly descended over Xuanling Mountain, enveloping the entire place in a faint twilight. Si Lan was growing anxious as he hadn’t discovered anything yet. However, just when he was in deep thought, the small white dragon in his arms suddenly emerged.
With its four tiny pink paws, it scuttled through the grass towards a waterfall up ahead.
The waterfall was located on the left side of Xuanling Mountain, cascading down from steep cliffs. The stream was very shallow, with layers of yellowish stones in the water. The setting sun’s rays shimmered on the surface, creating a beautiful display.
The small white dragon crouched by the stream, drinking water.
Si Lan suddenly remembered that he had been so focused on feeding the small white dragon Immortal Fruits these past few days that he had forgotten to give it water. He felt a bit guilty about it.
He bent down, intending to remind the small white dragon to drink slowly, but his gaze fell on the stones in the stream, and he suddenly froze.
At first glance, the pile of stones in the middle of the stream seemed no different from the ones on the side. However, upon closer inspection, he realized that these small stones were connected, forming a dense and orderly pattern. This seemed to be the entrance to a hidden passage, cleverly disguised as a stack of stones.
Si Lan remained composed. After the small white dragon had finished drinking, he picked it up and thought to himself that this little creature was quite resourceful, even in something as simple as drinking water. Bringing it to Xuanling Mountain had been a good idea.
Xu Yi, who had been cautious earlier, now felt more comfortable around Si Lan and asked, “Master Sì, what kind of snake can change color in your arms?”
“Oh, it’s a chameleon snake,” Si Lan made up a response, not revealing the true identity of the small white dragon to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Upon hearing “chameleon snake,” the small white dragon ground its teeth.
“Xu Yi, it’s getting late. You should go back and attend to your tasks. I’ll take a walk by myself.”
“Sure, Master Sì, if you need anything, just call me.”
Red banners fluttered in the wind on Xuanling Mountain, and red lanterns lit up along the ridges, resembling a dragon of joy, creating a festive atmosphere across the entire mountain.
Tomorrow was the wedding day, and most of the preparations were complete. Many early arriving guests had also made their way to the mountain.
After wandering around the mountain for a while and confirming that no one was following him, Si Lan used a spell to conceal his presence and approached the waterfall. He ran his fingers along the stones in the middle of the stream, making sure it was a stone door, and then used magic to pry it open.
At the moment the stone door moved, the waterfall suddenly stopped, and the stream froze, creating an eerie scene, as if it had been subjected to a petrification spell.
Inside the stone door was a narrow, winding passage that extended into darkness, seemingly endless. Si Lan didn’t hesitate and jumped in.
As the stone door closed behind him, the world instantly became pitch black.
Faint sounds of dripping water could be heard from all around, creating a mysterious and somewhat eerie atmosphere in the otherwise silent space.
Si Lan conjured a small flame and flew it ahead to provide some illumination.
The stone passage was surrounded by huge rocks, and the dim light revealed a network of intricate patterns on the surface of these rocks, giving them an eerie appearance.
After walking for some time, he suddenly reached a fork in the road, with tunnels leading in all directions.
He was unsure which path to take when the small white dragon in his arms tugged at his collar and flew towards the left path.
In this left direction, there was a distinct scent of snakes, stronger than in the other three directions.
Si Lan quickly grabbed the small white dragon and said, “Little one, don’t wander around!” This place was strange, and caution was essential.
As expected, as he approached the next corner, an unfamiliar presence suddenly emerged, and a powerful strike of palm wind aimed for Si Lan’s head.
Si Lan moved aside just in time to dodge the attack and quickly circled behind the assailant, pinning him against the stone wall.
The assailant was an ordinary cultivator in the Yuán Yīng stage.
“Don’t kill me! Are you here for the treasure too?” the man hurriedly begged for mercy, turning his head with a fawning expression.
Si Lan scrutinized him. The man wore a white robe over a blue Taoist robe, had a thin build, and a crafty-looking face with sunken eyes, giving him a somewhat cunning appearance.
Si Lan released his grip, maintaining his composure, and replied, “Hmm.” Although he didn’t know what the man meant by “treasure,” he pretended to understand, ensuring that he didn’t make any mistakes.
“I’m a cultivator from the Tiān Jí Sect, Song Guang. May I ask, friend, what’s your name?” Song Guang inquired.
Si Lan spontaneously provided a false name, “Luo Ting.”
“Luo Fellow Daoist, it seems you’re a kind-hearted person. How about we team up to steal this treasure and cultivate together?” Song Guang proposed.
Si Lan felt the small white dragon in his arms shift and gently patted its back, trying to calm it. He responded, “Sure, Sòng Fellow Daoist. May I ask how you learned about the treasure here?”
Song Guang lowered his voice and spoke in a secretive manner, “A few days ago, I infiltrated the Charming Serpent Clan while hunting demons. I overheard it accidentally from an elder of the Charming Serpents. It seems the Sect Leader Lou Yuqing achieved his current strength at a young age thanks to this treasure. Haha, the Xuanling Sect had been boasting about Lou Yuqing being a once-in-a-millennium genius, but he’s nothing more than an opportunist.”
Si Lan neither confirmed nor denied this information. As Song Guang continued to speak, it became clear that the Serpent Mother had sent a dream to the Charming Serpent elder, revealing that the Xuanling Sect had imprisoned her to access the Golden Orb Immortal Box.
This mysterious treasure was hidden within the Immortal Box, which had been safeguarded beneath Xuanling Mountain for centuries.
As they continued walking, Song Guang suddenly asked, “By the way, Luō Fellow Daoist, how did you know the treasure was here?”
Si Lan pointed ahead, changing the subject, “Look over there!”
Song Guang immediately turned around and saw a massive circular platform at the end of the stone passage. It resembled an ancient sacrificial altar, adorned with peculiar runes on all sides. Four chains descended from different directions, suspending a massive iron cage.
Inside the cage, a green serpent lay motionless. Runes were affixed above its head, rendering it motionless like a wooden sculpture.
Si Lan and Song Guang cast spells to levitate and observed the green serpent.
Song Guang exclaimed in surprise, “Could that be the Serpent Mother?”
Si Lan nodded. The serpent before them had an elliptical head, a thicker tail, vivid and colorful patterns on its body, and a brown gem adorning its forehead, all signifying its identity and status – a member of the Charming Serpent Clan, the Serpent Mother.
Si Lan gently waved his hand, causing the seal on the Serpent Mother’s forehead to instantly vanish.
In the next moment, the Serpent Mother slowly opened her eyelids, revealing two large black eyes, like pearls, which turned to focus on Si Lan and Song Guang.
Excited, Song Guang stepped forward and eagerly asked, “Serpent Mother, do you know where the Golden Orb Immortal Box is hidden?”
The Serpent Mother ignored Song Guang’s question, instead slowly rising, swaying her tail, and causing the cage to creak.
Looking down at Si Lan, she asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Luo Ting,” Si Lan calmly told a lie.
“Are you working with that old Daoist?” she inquired.
Si Lan heard the term “old Daoist” being used to refer to Lou Yuqing for the first time. “No, that Lou… Old Daoist, why did he capture you?”
“He’s a madman! He caught me and deliberately lured my clan members to rescue me, intending to use their blood to nourish the Téng Yīng flowers… I can’t let my clan members die trying to save me again…” The Serpent Mother suddenly became emotional, swaying her tail as if trying to break free from the cage.
However, her core was sealed, and the cage was covered in runes. As she struggled, silver beams of light fell from above, and she let out a howl of pain.
“Don’t move! Si Lan glanced at the runes on the cage and was contemplating how to free the Serpent Mother when Song Guang interrupted.
Song Guang impatiently approached, “Luō Fellow Daoist, the longer we stay here, the more dangerous it becomes. Our top priority is to find the Golden Orb Immortal Box.”
As he spoke, Song Guang greedily looked at the Serpent Mother.
The Serpent Mother gasped for breath, tears welling up in her eyes due to the pain. She said, “I don’t know where the Golden Orb Immortal Box is!”
“I distinctly heard your elders talking about it. Lou Yuqing captured you to unlock the seal of the Golden Orb Immortal Box,” Song Guang’s face grew darker, thinking the Serpent Mother was deceiving him. He suddenly grabbed the cage and asked, “So why couldn’t you possibly know where the Immortal Box is?”
Si Lan extended his hand to stop Song Guang’s action, but he was too late.
When Song Guang touched the cage, it triggered a mechanism. With a loud rumble, the cage plummeted rapidly, and the circular platform beneath their feet suddenly split open, absorbing the cage before seamlessly closing.
Strange sounds echoed from the walls of the cave. Black mist seeped out of the cracks, gradually coalescing into a terrifying face, resembling a faceless beast with a gaping mouth. It lunged at Si Lan and Song Guang.
The black mist was a Mist Demon, and it could rot the skin upon contact. More and more black mist emerged from the cave walls. Simultaneously, other mechanisms were triggered, sending countless silver arrow-like lights rushing toward the two.
Si Lan hurriedly chanted a spell, his figure transforming into a green radiance, as he swiftly left the circular platform.
However, Song Guang was accidentally hit in the shoulder by one of the arrows, and he let out a cry of pain, falling to the ground. Seeing this, Si Lan grabbed Song Guang’s clothes and pulled him away.
As the black mist advanced and the silver lights closed in, Song Guang couldn’t keep up. The tunnel ahead had a narrow path that could accommodate only one person at a time.
Si Lan directed the wounded man to go ahead while he created a protective barrier at the tunnel entrance. However, the black mist was fast, and it soon caught up.
Just as it was about to reach them, Song Guang suddenly placed a rune above Si Lan’s head, freezing Si Lan’s body in place, attempting to use him as a shield against the mist.
“Sorry, Luō Fellow Daoist. I’ll repay this life-saving favor in the next life,” Song Guang said with a grin. After saying this, he turned and tried to run away. However, just a few steps later, he suddenly let out a sharp cry of pain.
In the darkness, the Supreme Immortal in purple robes and a jade belt appeared, holding a long sword and slowly advancing towards Song Guang against the light.
“You… you… you…”
As Song Guang saw the face of the approaching figure clearly, he was overcome with fear and despair, falling to the ground.
The black mist closed in from all sides, and a pair of hands emerged from the dense fog, gripping Song Guang’s throat. The skin that came into contact with the black mist quickly rotted away.
Song Guang struggled in agony, but he couldn’t break free. He desperately turned his neck, trying to seek help from behind. However, the figure of Si Lan, who had been fixed at the tunnel entrance, had suddenly disappeared.
Song Guang was left stunned and bewildered. What was happening? Where was Si Lan?
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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