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Chapter 99 - A Grave in my Heart
Edited by RED
That night, Xu Qi stayed in Menxing Tavern accompanying Mo Ling, chatting with her until the wee hours. Mo Ling’s face was hung with a smile for the whole night.
In the end, Mo Ling requested that Xu Qi tuck her in before leaving. Left without a choice, Xu Qi could only comply.
Soon, Mo Ling gradually drifted off into sleep, still smiling. Xu Qi reached for her face and lightly touched it, then left silently.
After Xu Qi left, two trails of tears slid off Mo Ling’s face.
Xu Qi came to a secluded, desolate house. He scanned his surroundings and made sure no one was nearby. Rainbow light radiated from Xu Qi as he opened the Four Divinities Coffer in there, vanishing into thin air.
Xu Qi arrived at the entrance to the Four Divinities Cavern. He looked up at the words above, lightly sighed, and removed his mask, entering the plaza.
Just as he entered, a golden streak flew straight into his embrace. Xu Qi looked at the Giantwood Python in his arms flicking its tongue at him and smiled, “Little Snakey, you missed me?”
The python didn’t give an answer, but gave a nod.
Xu Qi petted it affectionately for a bit, then shifted his gaze to the stationary figure in the middle of the plaza.
He smiled and slowly walked to the front of the figure and said, “Uncle Tortoise, you can really sleep a lot. It’s been ten years, haven’t you slept enough?”
The one called “Uncle Tortoise” could only be the Divine Beast, Black Tortoise. Right now, it’s limbs and head were hidden in its shell. From an external point of view, there was only a huge tortoise shell laying there.
Two trails of tears rolled down his cheeks uncontrollably as he looked at it, triggering his memories from that time.
Ten years ago, in the great battle in Xu Clan, Yi Da grabbed Xu Qi in his arms and used a suicide technique, causing his body to explode. It was a technique that ignored the defenses of those hit by it.
That body explosion had shattered the meridians in Xu Qi’s entire body. If it wasn’t for the Celestial Core Pill’s godly protective effects, leaving him a slight chance at life, Xu Qi would long since reincarnated into another life.
That day, the Black Tortoise brought Xu Qi to Mo Dingtian’s secret room and used the Revitalizing Jet on Xu Qi, awakening him. However, it was still not enough to keep Xu Qi alive.
In there, Black Tortoise talked with Xu Qi for a long time, and in the end told him that it was sealed for too long, its cultivation was not even half of what it once was. In order to save him, it would have to expend an enormous amount of energy, but that would cause it to fall into deep slumber. It didn’t know when it would reawaken.
Originally, it wasn’t necessary for the Black Tortoise to save Xu Qi’s life. It would be able to return to the outside world if Xu Qi died, but for some unknown reasons, the Black Tortoise had an unspeakable fondness for this stubborn little brat.
In the end, the Black Tortoise gathered every bit of energy in it and used a stronger Revitalizing Jet on Xu Qi, restoring his meridians and internal organs, keeping Xu Qi alive. Furthermore, it wouldn’t impede Xu Qi’s cultivation training in the slightest when he trained in the future.
However, after Xu Qi took the Black Tortoise back into the Four Divinities Cavern, it fell into deep slumber and had been in this state ever since.
During the last ten years, Xu Qi would often come in here and speak to the Black Tortoise. He believed that his Uncle Tortoise was able to hear him, and that it wouldn’t die so easily. It was one of the legendary Four Divine Beasts, after all. Despite that, it just slept here all this time, causing Xu Qi to worry about it.
“Little Snakey, how is the absorption of your golden inner core going?” Xu Qi asked, looking at the Giantwood Python in his arms.
“Big Brother, the golden inner core in me is mostly absorbed. Using your human’s scale, my strength now is about that of a fourth stage Void realm cultivator,” the python answered. Its voice had become more enchanting following the passage of time.
“Hmm. Not bad. I can no longer win against you. Am I not allowed to call you ‘Little Snakey’ anymore and have to change it to ‘Big Snakey’?” Xu Qi chuckled.
Hearing this, the Giantwood Python didn’t utter a sound, only lying in his embrace silently.
As per Xu Qi’s usual routine, he came to the mound before the Green Mystique Trees and bowed thrice.
However, when he was done paying respects, Xu Qi suddenly thought of a sentence and smiled uncontrollably.
That sentence was, “There was once a grave in my heart, none of those buried under it were humans.”1
Xu Qi turned to look at the gigantic tortoise shell. He shook his head and said to the Giantwood Python in his embrace, “I have many matters to tend to in the upcoming days. You stay here and accompany Uncle Tortoise. I’ll bring you out to play when I’m done.”
The Giantwood Python nodded obediently in agreement.
Xu Qi smiled. He squatted down and gently put the python on the ground, then turned to leave.
Perhaps Xu Qi would never believe even if you were beat him to death, that after he left the Four Divinities Cavern this time, everything would be different the next time he came back here.
In the Imperial City2 within the capital, the ruler of Mirrorlink, Lian Chengwei, was sitting on his throne. Next to him stood an elder dressed in golden-colored clothes. Lian Chengwei looked at the empty hall before him in a dismal mood, rubbing his temples.
“Sire, are you sure about opening the seal on Mt Fengwen?” the elder next to him asked respectfully.
“Second Uncle, do you think I still have a choice? The position as ruler of the nation was passed down through generations, and it became a position that is only in name in my generation. Now, if you were to ask the people who are the strongest powers in the Capital City, I’m afraid every one of them will state the Huang, Cai, Qin, and Fan Clans. None of them will remember this Sire,” Lian Chengwei smiled helplessly.
The elder Lian Chengwei had addressed as “Second Uncle” was his uncle by blood, Lian Qijin, who supported him at his side wholeheartedly.
Lian Qijin sighed and asked, “Sire, you making such a decision, was it all in the hopes of Wei’er having a fortuitous encounter?”
“You can say it’s for Wei’er. Of course, there are also some reasons that I can’t do anything about.” When the ruler of the nation of Mirrorlink spoke in such a helpless way, one could see that truly no one saw him as someone to be respected.
“Then, in the Fengwen Examinations, what are you going to test the candidates on? And who are you going to assign as the host?” Lian Qijin inquired.
“Since my taking office as the ruler, I’ve hardly shown myself in public. Why not use this opportunity and let me be the host of the Fengwen Examination? I’ll give them the test personally; what do you think?” Lian Chengwei stood up and said.
Hearing this, Lian Qijin’s face changed subtly. He wanted to speak out, but decided against it when he saw his Sire’s gaze.
Lian Chengwei looked at the capital city outside the royal palace and said, smiling, “It’s still too early to know who will get the last laugh. Let’s wait and see.”
Today, Xu Qi once again donned his ugly beggar disguise, sitting by the main streets waiting for people to give alms with his head lowered.
“Uncle Beggar, you’re still here?” a soft, gentle voice suddenly whispered.
Hearing the voice, Xu Qi immediately realized the voice’s owner was Cai Xiaoxiao. He furrowed his brow and kept silent, his head lowered.
“Hey, damn beggar, our Young Miss is talking to you, can’t you hear her!?” someone next to Cai Xiaoxiao shouted.
Cai Xiaoxiao immediately turned and stared at that person angrily. He was shocked, and his face turned pale, looking down.
“Uncle, do you have time? I wish to talk to you,” Cai Xiaoxiao continued.
Seeing as he couldn’t avoid this, Xu Qi picked up the broken bowl in front of him and stood up.
Cai Xiaoxiao smiled and turned to leave, with Xu Qi following behind.
As these few people left, a girl in a corner with her appearance covered with a white veil watched them go with a resentful gaze.
In another corner, a black-clothed man who was observing the situation on Xu Qi’s side quickly made his exit.
Xu Qi followed behind Cai Xiaoxiao, maintaining a distance that wasn’t too near or far. He was wondering what this girl wanted from him. Could it be that she discovered it was me who saved her that night? Impossible, she wasn’t in a clear mind. What exactly was going on?
After making a few turns, they arrived at a quiet courtyard. Cai Xiaoxiao pushed the door open and entered, while her attendants stood outside the door.
Xu Qi shook his head helplessly, then entered the place. The place was secluded, and there was a stone table, with a big tree providing shade. A man sat behind the stone table, leisurely sipping on his cup of tea.
Cai Xiaoxiao quickly walked to the man and said, “Father, I brought him here.”
She then stood by his side, looking at the approaching Xu Qi. This man was none other than the patriarch of Cai Clan, Cai Wubo.
Xu Qi cursed inwardly, thinking, This is bad. It seemed like this girl discovered something when Xu Qi helped her that night. Since he was already here, he could only continue on and observe the situation.
Cai Wubo stood up when Xu Qi came to the tree he was under. He looked at Xu Qi’s appearance, a hint of doubt flashed across his eyes. Cai Wubo smiled and said, “Mister, please take a seat.”
Xu Qi didn’t say anything and sat down casually. Cai Wubo blanked for a moment and took a seat as well.
“Mister, you don’t seem to be someone from the capital?” Cai Wubo asked and offered a cup filled with tea to Xu Qi.
Xu Qi received the cup and nodded slightly.
“From the way I saw Mister walking, you should be a cultivator too. May I ask Mister what your cultivation level is at?” Cai Wubo asked, looking intently at Xu Qi.
“Are you Cai Clan’s patriarch, Cai Wubo?” Xu Qi asked. Seeing as he couldn’t avoid this any longer, he decided to take the initiative instead. He no longer used his hoarse voice. He spoke with his original voice and didn’t answer his question. Instead, he shot a question back at him.
Cai Xiaoxiao was dazed by this voice. She said in disbelief, “Uncle, your voice?”
Cai Wubo, too, noticed something was amiss with this voice. It sounded very young, very different from his appearance. When he heard what his daughter said, Cai Wubo looked toward Xu Qi.
However, Cai Wubo wasn’t surprised at Xu Qi accurately identifying him. After all, there were many people who knew him in the Capital City.
“Miss Cai, how did you find out it was me who saved you that night?” Xu Qi asked as he took a sip of the tea.
As expected! Cai Xiaoxiao and Cai Wubo exchanged glances, confirming the doubt in their hearts.
Cai Xiaoxiao answered politely, “The scent on your body.”
“Oh? Miss Cai is attentive to details, indeed. You actually noticed such a tiny detail; I’m impressed. But I wonder what did you two find this useless beggar for?” Xu Qi continued asking.
Cai Wubo chuckled, “Mister, you don’t have to put yourself down like that. We two only wanted to thank Mister for saving my daughter that day. We don’t mean harm, please don’t take this to heart.”
Hearing this, Xu Qi didn’t continue the conversation. He continued sipping his tea, his mind recalling some matters regarding the Cai Clan.
Cai Wubo, the patriarch of Cai Clan. Although the position of patriarch was passed down for generations, they still held a spot as one of the four top clans in the Capital City. They might not be the number one clan, but they weren’t the last, either. The most notable thing about Cai Wubo was that he was a Healer at the third stage of the Spirit realm.
Cai Wubo didn’t get angry at Xu Qi for keeping mum. He continued asking, “Mister, are you here in the Capital City for Mt Fengwen?”
“Patriarch Cai, to tell you the truth, my original intention for coming to the capital was to visit a friend of mine. However, I was indeed interested when I heard about the matter regarding Mt Fengwen. May I know why Patriarch Cai asked this?” Xu Qi explained.
Cai Wubo blanked for a moment. He didn’t think Xu Qi would actually be so forthright. He smiled, “Mister, this one surnamed Cai wishes to propose a business deal with you.”
1: This sentence is a reference to another webnovel author, Chen Dong’s/辰东 work, Shen Mu/神墓. The original was about a sad love story, where a grave turned into a human, and his beloved was buried in him. The author of AR is making a joke about how there’s a mound (grave) for all the ancient experts buried in there, none of them humans when he first saw them. Also, the Four Divinities Coffer is somewhere within Xu Qi, and within the coffer are where the Four Divinities are sealed, and where the Giantwood Python is kept. Obviously, none of them are humans, either.
2: The Imperial City is just another name for the palace the kings/rulers stay in. Like the Forbidden City in China.
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