The Daoist Seal - Chapter 26
The anger within him that had been mollified was raging once more. “They are just mortals.” These four words were neither an insult nor defamation towards the old man and the boy; however, they were full of derision. His relaxed hand was now clenched tightly.
His eyes seemed to blaze with fire as he pointed his finger at everyone around him and chastised them, “You bunch of degenerates! A mortal isn’t a human?! A mortal’s life isn’t a life?! Have you ever reflected upon yourselves that, before you stepped foot on this path to Dao, you were once these so-called mortals?!”
Immediately, silence settled in, even the drop of a pin could be heard. The faces of the cultivators soured, especially a certain group of people who avoided Jiang Xiaofan’s gaze.
Bingxin slightly quivered, and a small change occurred in her perception of Jiang Xiaofan.
Ye Yuanxue smiled. After all, she knew Jiang Xiaofan better than anyone. Back on Standstill Peak, he had the courage to stand up for the wasted Old Man Liu and confront the inner disciples from the three main peaks. His heart was a benevolent one.
The elder’s expression was cold and dismissive as he answered Jiang Xiaofan’s blunt inquiry. “That was before! Now, I am a cultivator! My only goal is the pursuit of Dao!”
“That’s right! We are cultivators! We only care for the pursuit of Dao!” Someone stood up and chimed in.
“Pursuit of Dao? Are you people even worthy?!” Jiang Xiaofan jeered at them. “Yeah, you’re cultivators alright. But what lies beneath all that beautiful, shining glory? What it hides is a filthy, wretched soul!”
Abruptly, everyone’s face turned ashen.
“Bastard, you’re courting death!”
The grey-robed elder’s face darkened. He raised his hand in preparation to suppress Jiang Xiaofan.
Jiang Xiaofan’s expression grew somber. He could feel immense pressure, a powerful qi, holding him down. He could see the movement of a large hand swerving around, but it was difficult to dodge it. Even so, his eyes maintained its cold, resolute stare.
At the same time, the cultivators on the second floor sneered at Jiang Xiaofan. Because the elder was now provoked, they believed that Jiang Xiaofan had no chance of surviving.
What soon followed left the onlookers disappointed. A flurry of white snow shot across the room with lightning speed, broke up the grey-robed elder’s qi, and successfully blocked the large hand from pressurizing Jiang Xiaofan.
Caught off guard, Jiang Xiaofan turned to look at Bingxin.
The elder also discovered who the attacker was, so he coldly swept a glance over her. Once his eyes met with Bingxin’s icy gaze, he uncontrollably shuddered. They were both Phantom Saint cultivators, but her frosty aura instilled fear in his heart.
Just after he had taken a close inspection of the flurry of snow against his large hand, his body staggered a few steps backward. Horror was reflected in his eyes as he looked at Bingxin. He stuttered, “Are you…. Are you the Ice Palace’s successor?”
The grey-robed elder’s voice trembled, but everyone could clearly hear what he had just said. All of a sudden, uproar broke out across the second floor of the teahouse. Definitely big news! The successor to the Ice Palace is here!
There were countless sects throughout Planet Ziwei, but the prominent four were Ziwei Sect, Emperor Heaven’s Sect, Ziyang Sect, and Ice Palace. They essentially dominated the cultivation world.
As one of the four prominent sects, the might of the Ice Palace was beyond terrifying. Nobody dared to offend any of its members.
The place came to a standstill yet again. The sounds of breathing and hearts beating was audible. Every cultivator looked at Bingxin in awe. Jiang Xiaofan, on the other hand, had his jaw dropped to the floor. He had never imagined that Bingxin, the girl who yearned to poke a few holes in his body, would lend a helping hand.
“Take them out of here.”
Bingxin walked over and shot at glimpse at Jiang Xiaofan. Ye Yuanxue, the grandpa, and the young boy followed her.
“Please wait, miss. May I know who the master is of the Ice Palace’s branch which you belong to?”
The elder smiled, showing deference in his demeanor towards her.
Jiang Xiaofan sighed. The world has never lacked this type of person. They always think that they’re superior, just like superhumans. They look at others weaker than them like they are the dirt beneath their soles. Once they encounter people stronger than themselves, they become lapdogs and pander to them.
“You don’t deserve to know!”
Bingxin frostily replied to the elder without even turning around to look at him.
Jiang Xiaofan felt the powerful qi exerting on his body dissipate. Astonished, Jiang Xiaofan froze on the spot as he stared at Bingxin from behind. He had never admired anybody, but all of a sudden, he thought, “This girl’s really cool!” However, what happened next left Jiang Xiaofan wanting to jump up and curse at her.
“That idiot is my Ice Palace’s guard dog.”
Jiang Xiaofan took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. Relax…. Don’t argue with a girl!
The grey-robed elder gritted his teeth as he spat out these two words. The expression on his face was unsightly, but he still politely gestured to Jiang Xiaofan. Since it was the Ice Palace’s successor who had mentioned it, he naturally couldn’t put Jiang Xiaofan in a dilemma. Not to mention, he had to be courteous towards him.
The young boy had already fully recovered by this point in time, but the old man whom he carried on his back was growing weaker by the minute. When Jiang Xiaofan reached the first floor, he noticed Bingxin furrowing her brows while inspecting the old man.
“Hey! Don’t you have any compassion? How can you allow a young boy to carry an old man?!”
Jiang Xiaofan eyed Bingxin tit for tat.
“Perverted Wolf, it’s not like that. The young boy insisted on carrying the old man,” explained Ye Yuanxue.
“Oh…. Well…. Er, Miss Xiao Bing, my bad.”
Catching a glimpse of Bingxin staring daggers at him, Jiang Xiaofan’s hair immediately stood on end. He almost called her “ice chick”.
Bingxin snorted *hmph* and furrowed her brows again as if she was in deep contemplation. She looked at the old man leaning on the young boy’s shoulder and directed Jiang Xiaofan, “Get them out of there! We’re heading to their place of residence!”
“Why? Can’t you cure the old man here?” He couldn’t understand her choice of decision. However, his perception of her had already changed for the better. He mumbled, “By the way, I’m not sure how I wasn’t able to discover this earlier, but you have a generous trait in your personality.”
Bingxin was about to explode when Ye Yuanxue quickened her pace, tugged on Jiang Xiaofan’s earlobe, and whispered, “Don’t say that about her! There’s evil qi inside that grandpa’s body. Nothing can be done other than to suppress it. If we want to cure him, then we must first find the source of that demonic aura!”
Jiang Xiaofan was surprised. He then examined the old man with his spiritual awareness and discovered that the old man did indeed have a faint demonic qi circulating throughout his body. It was no wonder why Bingxin had kept knitting her brows earlier. This was the presence of demonic cultivation.
Jiang Xiaofan felt relieved for the grandpa and the young boy. It was a good thing that the cultivators had treated the two of them with contempt and didn’t bother gauging them with their spiritual awareness. Otherwise, their lives would be endangered. The reason was that all cultivators on Planet Ziwei had a duty to root out all things that were demonic.
Planet Ziwei had once gone through a dark period that was brought about by demons. Nobody knew where these demons came from. However, they were extremely powerful, and their nature was heinous, cruel, and bloodthirsty. They didn’t seem to belong to this world.
Years later, these powerful demons were eventually annihilated by an unknown, peerless cultivator. This gave the world a respite of peace.
However, peace did not last long. Although the demons were wiped out, there then appeared demonic cultivators. Their spiritual attributes were very similar to those of the demons. In addition, their temperaments were eccentric, and their cultivation methods were equally as bizarre. There were some who even established unorthodox sects as if they were plotting something sinister.
Needless to say, Daoist cultivators would never allow for the existence of demonic cultivators. As a result, they declared an all-out war on these demonic cultivators. This period in history lasted several hundred years. This war concluded with the disappearance of the mighty yet mysterious Celestial Demon Sect. From then on, there was no more demonic cultivation. The dark ages were slowly forgotten as time passed.
Demons were wicked creatures, and demonic cultivation was considered unorthodox. This was the consensus among cultivators on Planet Ziwei.
Although the old man wasn’t a demonic cultivator, he would, nonetheless, be considered a demon if someone were to find out that there was demonic qi in his body. It would rile all the nearby cultivators who could then conduct a witch hunt. Even Bingxin of the Ice Palace wouldn’t be able to protect him.
The Ice Palace was a formidable entity, but it wasn’t strong enough to be at odds with the rest of the cultivation world.
At least, Jiang Xiaofan’s familiarity with Bingxin deepened somewhat. Although the girl always had an ice-cold expression on her face and seemed very unsocial, the fact that she was willing to help out the grandpa and the young boy proved that she was a good person.
As for Ye Yuanxue, Jiang Xiaofan didn’t need to say much about her. He knew her well enough. With her personality, even if he hadn’t made the first move, she would’ve lectured those people.
Since it had come to this, their itinerary was now changed. They veered off course and headed to the grandpa’s and young boy’s place of residence in search of the demonic qi’s source. This wasn’t solely done to save both of them but also for the sake of the cultivation world.
The young boy didn’t speak much, but he was very obedient and acquiescently led the way.
Along the journey, Bingxin repeatedly called Jiang Xiaofan “idiot” which made him extremely upset. You may be beautiful and very powerful with a prominent background, but surely, you can’t always put me down like this!
When he finally mustered up the courage to protest, Bingxin explained to him why he was an idiot. The young boy hadn’t suffered any internal injuries. All he needed was some healing with spiritual energy. Instead, Jiang Xiaofan wasted a gold core pill. If he wasn’t an idiot, then what was he?
“Why didn’t you say this earlier?!” Jiang Xiaofan was exasperated.
“You didn’t ask,” replied Bingxin scornfully. She then quipped, “Was there even a need for me to say it?”
Ye Yuanxue giggled and shook her head while looking at Jiang Xiaofan with pity in her eyes. Jiang Xiaofan opened his mouth, wanting to retaliate, but eventually, he could only keep silent.
He finally realized that in this world, there were two types of people whom he should never offend. One was women. The second was women who were tougher than him.
Jiang Xiaofan wanted to weep. Shit! He had already offended both of these types.
Their quest to the Ice Palace was once again delayed, but Jiang Xiaofan was very pleased with the turn of events since he didn’t need to maneuver the flying sword anymore. He detested the flying sword technique, and every time he crawled down from the blade, he felt that his body seemed to have shed a few kilograms.
Besides, it was obvious that Bingxin enjoyed messing with him. Each time they took a break, she would only give him half an hour to rest. Now that they were helping the grandpa and the young boy, there was bound to be many inconveniences along the way. He was very thrilled. Finally, I can get a longer resting period!
Not long after, a timeworn small village appeared in view. It housed about eight to nine families. Everything was disorganized, and the air quality was poor. Behind the village was a barren mountain.
“Everyone, I brought people here to save you!”
The moment the young boy entered the village, he hollered to his people. The boy was excited. Surprisingly, the villagers treated the boy rudely and disparagingly, and they avoided him as if he was the plague.
Jiang Xiaofan wanted to inquire the young boy about this but then decided to let it go.
Every time Ye Yuanxue and Bingxin were together, people’s gazes were always drawn to them. Soon, a few of the villagers walked forth. They were in a better state than Grandpa Zhang but were still feeble nevertheless.
Their mannerisms were uncouth, and they looked aggressive. After shooing away the young boy, more villagers walked forth and surrounded them.
“Fairies, please save us!”
There weren’t many people in the village. Frightened by Bingxin’s icy expression, most of the villagers encircled Ye Yuanxue instead.
Jiang Xiaofan couldn’t help but laugh. Do you see that? My Xiao Xue’er is the more popular one.
Bingxin, of course, knew what he was laughing about and ferociously glared at him. The latter instantly turned his head away and gazed at the sky.
Ye Yuanxue was invited to one side and began to examine these people. During her examination, the young boy wanted to assist her, but what he got in return was merely the scorns of his fellow villagers. Some even raised fists at him.
Jiang Xiaofan deeply furrowed his brows in disgust but said nothing of it. He pulled the young boy to his side and gently comforted him. Unexpectedly, although the boy was quite stubborn, he didn’t display much sadness. There was a level of maturity within him that didn’t match someone of his tender age.
Looking at him made Jiang Xiaofan disheartened. People used to say that impoverished kids had to grow up fast in order to support their families. He knew the truth of this saying. After all, he saw the shadow of his former self overlap with the young boy, except this boy was stronger, more understanding, and more mature than he was.
The extremely feeble Grandpa Zhang had already been escorted to his house. Meanwhile, the young boy stood behind Jiang Xiaofan. Although he and Bingxin were left alone by the villagers to one side, both of them secretly swept their spiritual awareness over them.
To their astonishment, they discovered something incredible. Everyone in this village, include the livestock, all had the faint demonic qi inside their bodies! The young boy was the only one who was free from it. His body was so clean and unstained, without a thread of impurity, that even Jiang Xiaofan who had consumed the Immortal Spirit Root couldn’t compare with him.
The boy was never well-liked among the villagers. After the incident had happened, people hated him even more because he was unscathed. They thought that he was a demon and that he had brought calamity upon the village. There were a few who even wanted to sacrifice him to the mountain god as appeasement. If it wasn’t for Grandpa Zhang’s persistent interference, the young boy would’ve already been burned at the stake.
Bingxin’s eyes glimmered with a white light as she murmured.
Among the three of them, Bingxin’s cultivation was the strongest. As a Phantom Saint cultivator, she could only suppress the villagers’ demonic qi from circulating throughout their bodies but had no way of purging it.
This meant that the power of the demonic qi was immensely strong and difficult to rid of. Oddly enough, a thirteen to fourteen-year-old boy, with no ounce of spiritual energy within him, was able to fend off the demonic qi. This was incredulous!