The Desolate Era - Book 12, Chapter 12 - The Sound of the Flute in the Mountain Cave
Yu Wei, hidden within the Waterflame Lotus while controlling her phoenixes of fire and ice, watched as the three-headed, six-armed Ji Ning battled with full force against Xiamang Zishan, then diverted part of his attention to use his sword formation against Cangwu Jiu. This caused the eyes of Yu Wei, who was only controlling her phoenixes to protect herself, to instantly turn red.
How long had it been? It had already been six months. During the past six months, she and Ning had adventured together through the world of the Brightmoon Diagram of the Mountains and Rivers. They had fought nearly a hundred times on every single day; sometimes, others fled, while other times, it was her and Ning who fled!
Ning was more powerful than her, and was a Fiendgod Body Refiner as well; each time they were in danger, it had always been Ning who had charged forward to block the enemy from pursuing. Although this time there were only two enemies fighting them, compared to the previous dangers they had undergone, this was the most dangerous one of them all!
“Senior apprentice-sister, hurry up and leave!” Ning’s voice echoed out in Yu Wei’s mind.
“He’s telling me to leave again. To leave again. Why am I always a burden to him?” Yu Wei ground her teeth, tears flashing through her eyes. She sent back, “Junior apprentice-brother, don’t worry about me. I’m not strong enough to continue. I’ll give up. I’m going to leave this Diagram. In the future, you’ll have to rely on yourself.”
With her slowing him down, Ji Ning would definitely find things easier. Given his power, there was no need at all for him to go fight anyone head-on if he didn’t have to.
In front of Yu Wei, many talismans suddenly appeared, and they scattered out in the area around her.
She truly didn’t want to accept this.
It had only been six months.
She truly wanted to accompany Ji Ning in continuing to journey through the world of the Diagram until the year was over.
“Give up the talismans and I’ll spare your life.” Cangwu Jiu, in midair, revealed a smile. But suddenly… his smile froze.
This was because Yu Wei, who had just thrown out all her talismans… actually grabbed a handful back. Then, with a wave of her hand, she actually collected all of them once more.
“Are you looking to die?!” Cangwu Jiu, who felt as though he had just been played for a fool, was instantly enraged. He no longer waited there in midair; he immediately transformed into a streak of light and charged downwards.
Yu Wei, who had just taken back her talismans, now had a deep, dark, dangerous look in her eyes. She stared at the charging Cangwu Jiu, then gently pointed a single finger towards him. Instantly, the 72 Rahu Godneedles separated into two groups which undulated in the air.
36 of the Rahu Godneedles, summoning the power of the natural world, formed into a single, enormous black phoenix. This phoenix was completely black, and the tail-feathers of the phoenix blazed with black flames.
As for the other 36 Rahu Godneedles, they transformed into an enormous white phoenix which was completely pristine and pure, emanating an almost holy gaze. Lines of glowing white light could be seen emanating from the tail-feathers of the white phoenix as well.
“Eh?” Cangwu Jiu instantly felt his heart tremble as an inexplicable, nameless sensation of danger caused him to instantly explode forth with full power.
Whoosh! The sixty-meter-tall Cangwu Jiu struck out with his golden right arm, and his saber was absolutely dazzling to behold, leaving behind a beautiful, solitary, perfect arc in the skies as it chopped downwards towards that black phoenix. The black phoenix let out a bird’s call; although it was knocked backwards, it wasn’t damaged in the slightest.
“Screech!” The white phoenix began to battle against Cangwu Jiu’s black vulture… and the black vulture actually began to tremble and crack.
“How can this be? She, she…” Cangwu Jiu was incomparably shocked and angered. This woman was clearly much weaker than him! Ji Ning was one thing; he had been famous before this, and was even capable of battling with Xiamang Zishang for so long. Most likely, Cangwu Jiu himself was only on par with Ji Ning.
But how was it that this woman, who had no reputation whatsoever, was able to completely block him now?
“Not happening. Don’t believe it.” Cangwu Jiu exploded with power, also manifesting two more heads and four more arms. He now wielded three scimitars in his hands, and he transformed into a tempest as he shot forward, his scimitar-light seeming capable of splitting the skies and carrying a terrifying majesty.
But the black phoenix and the white phoenix supported each other… and were actually able to block the berserk Cangwu Jiu.
Previously, Mu Northson, the Whitewater Hound, Little Qing, Immortal Fivecraze, Adept Vastriver, Northmont Baiwei, and Ninelotus were all extremely nervous. Now, they were all stunned. How had Yu Wei suddenly exploded forth with such power? Her defense was completely airtight, causing even Cangwu Jiu to be unable to do anything to her at all. This was simply inconceivable!
It was Cangwu Jiu she was facing!
“Can, can it be that senior apprentice-sister had been hiding her power all along?” Northson was puzzled. “But she hasn’t been training for much longer than senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning has.”
The main hall of the Skylight Palace.
The Xia Emperor, watching, couldn’t help but smile. “The situation has just reversed.”
“Just like in the poem; ‘the same mountains and the same rivers, with seemingly no path forward; then the shady willow tree, the brilliant flowers, and a mountain village’[1. In the original Chinese, only a very short fragment of the poem was included, which has become an idiom. The full poem, which comes from 1166, involves a weary traveler who traveled through countless mountains that seemed identical, but then finally, as he was expecting yet another identical mountain, he saw a beautiful village with a willow tree and brilliant flowers beneath it.]. Something pleasant and unexpected has just occurred.” Lu Dongbin sighed in surprised. “Who would’ve imagined that at this critical moment, the little girl managed to reawaken her memories from her past life? Judging from what I saw… her reawakening of memories caused her to master at least four complete Dao-Paths. Her level of insight in the Grand Dao of Taiji is quite high as well; in her past life, she must’ve been a fairly formidable Loose Immortal.”
The Grand Dao of Taiji and four complete Dao-Paths; this would make someone a supreme expert amongst Loose Immortals.
“She had already mastered two Daos before this.” The Immortal Elder of the Northlands, nursing a cup of wine, rolled his head. “When one is at a high enough level of comprehension, it does indeed become possible for the memories from a previous life to reawaken. However, it is quite hard for the memories of a past life as a Loose Immortal to completely awaken; it seems in that instant, she suffered a severe mental blow which stimulated her, causing her soul to instantly explode and activate the hidden memories.”
The Pure Yang True Immortals present all nodded.
The Conclave of Immortal Destiny had more than a hundred thousand participants, and there were many reincarnated Immortals amongst them. It was indeed theoretically possible for them to reawaken their past memories… but it was extremely, extremely rare.
“What’s the name of this little lass?” Lu Dongbin looked towards the Xia Emperor. “I don’t know her name yet.”
“Her name is Yu Wei. Her Daoist title is Rainbowflame; because she is a reincarnated Immortal, she is referred to by others as the Rainbowflame Fairy,” the Xia Emperor said. “She, too, hails from the Black-White College of Stillwater Commandery. You already know about Ji Ning, who is next to her. This time, the Black-White College has produced three attendees, and each of them truly are formidable.”
“The Sloppy Daoist is the disciple of Grand Emperor Xuanwu, and his power is on par with Cangwu Jiu, Xiamang Zishan, and Ji Ning. This Yu Wei was originally weaker, but now that she’s regained her former memories, she’s on the same level as well,” Sovereign Hao said with a sigh.
“As I see it, the Sloppy Daoist has trained for more than a century, while Yu Wei had memories from a past life that she reawakened. But Ji Ning has only trained for thirty years, yet already has such incredible power… this is rather inconceivable.” Lu Dongbin stroked his jaw, murmuring to himself, “As I see it, Ji Ning has tremendous potential.”
The Xia Emperor laughed. “Lu Dongbin, can it be that you want to take on a disciple?”
“No, no, no… I actually have more of a liking for that little lass named Yu Wei.” Lu Dongbin’s eyes lit up. “She was actually stimulated to the point of having her former memories awaken; this little lass is quite, quite amusing.”
The others all immediately shook their heads. Reincarnated Immortals generally didn’t have much potential; if they weren’t able to overcome the tribulation and become a Celestial Immortal in their past life, then the chances they would succeed in this one would be very, very low.
“Ji Ning does have some potential.” The Xia Emperor murmured quietly to himself. He had already taken notice of twenty-one youths in this Conclave, each of which had tremendous potential; Ji Ning was one of them.
Within the world of the Diagram.
Ji Ning was suppressed by Xiamang Zishan’s might; although he used his agility to counter the other’s raw power, he was still wounded by their colliding blows. Still, this sort of injury was minor; Ning was still paying full attention to his senior apprentice-sister, only to discover that under Cangwu Jiu’s attack, Yu Wei had suddenly exploded with power. She was actually able to fight him to a standstill! This caused Ning to feel both astonished and delighted.
“Junior apprentice-brother, come over here. Hurry up and collect your sword array,” Yu Wei sent frantically.
“Senior apprentice-sister!” Ning stopped wasting time with Xiamang Zishan. With a whoosh, he swept through the air to move towards Yu Wei, while at the same time mentally commanding the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] swords to return to him.
“Let’s go.” Yu Wei grabbed Ning by the arm.
The black phoenix and the white phoenix suddenly began to revolve around each other, forming into a black and white vortex. Yu Wei grabbed Ning, then charged into the vortex.
A brilliant, dazzling streak of black-and-white light appeared in the skies. They had instantly moved more than a thousand kilometers away.
“What, what technique is this?!” Xiamang Zishan walked over, saying in astonishment, “How could they have escaped so quickly? Cangwu Jiu, even you were unable to catch them? Didn’t you say that you are the fastest person in the world at the Wanxiang level?”
“I can’t catch them.” Cangwu Jiu shook his head. “I can tell that this is an evasive technique which uses a magic treasure… a technique that was specifically designed for escape, formed from the Grand Dao of Taiji. This woman has an extremely high level of comprehension in the Grand Dao of Taiji!”
Within a mountain cave. After setting up a simple formation, Ning plopped his rear down.
“Xiamang Zishan really was an absolute madman.” Ning felt utterly exhausted; the earlier battle had been simply too frenetic. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye he saw a pool of water located deep in the cave. He immediately ran over, then used his hands to cup some water and wash his face. “That feels great.”
Yu Wei laughed.
She was going to be able to continue to stay with her junior apprentice-brother in the Brightmoon Diagram of the Mountains and Rivers.
She walked towards the side of the pool, then sat down. With a wave of her hand, she produced a jade flute, then began to gently blow it.
The sound of the flute was melodious and leisurely, seeming to reach deep into a person’s heart.
Ning, stunned, put down the water in his hands and sat down to listen.
The sound of the flute was drifting and soft…
…it spoke of a vast grassland, a peaceful, gentle tribe, and a female child who was the member of that small tribe…
…the peace was destroyed, and disaster descended…
…the female child embarked upon the path of slaughter, becoming a terrifying female Asura…
One scene after another, starting from childhood in the past life, to death and reincarnation… they all entered Ning’s mind.
The sound of the flute seemed to possess an indescribable magic power, causing Ning to feel joy, rage, sorrow, and pleasure. It was a flute song that bored straight through to the heart. Ning was completely drawn into it. He looked at the black-robed woman playing the flute. This memory was deeply engraved into Ning’s heart. Even after a tremendous period of time passed, he would still be unable to forget it.
A single tear fell down onto the ground, staining the dirt.
Ning was startled awakened from the reverie the flute song had brought him into. Only now did he realize that Yu Wei had two tearstains on her face. He couldn’t help but call out, “Senior apprentice-sister!” Yu Wei trembled… then gently put down her flute.
“Senior apprentice-sister, you…” Ning was a bit worried.
“I’m fine.” Yu Wei shook her head, looking at Ning. She even smiled. “I just thought of some things in my past life. Although everything has already happened… now that the memories have truly returned, they really do make it hard to control one’s emotions. Still, those are all in the past now; let the past be in the past. I’ve already reincarnated into a different world. In truth… I would rather not know about what happened in my past life.”
“Can you talk to me about it?” Ning asked.
“I don’t want to.” Yu Wei shook her head.
“Then… did you have a Dao-companion in your past life?” Ning suddenly asked.
Yu Wei was startled. She gave Ning a close look, as though wanting to see something in Ning’s expression. She then gently shook her head. “I did not!”