Chapter 66 - Making Plans

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Everyone stared strangely at Gu Suihan while he left the mountain quickly without any expression on his face.

Gu Suihan arrived at the Weapons Refinery Court and showed the attendant the token from the old man, and the attendant immediately became more polite towards him. “Sir, this way, please.”

The staff led Gu Suihan down a quiet corridor, made a few turns, then came to a closed stone door. The attendant helped place the token into a special slot in the door and excused himself.

The old man called out from inside, “Who’s there?”

“It’s me,” replied Gu Suihan as he looked around the old man’s workshop.

The old man stared at Gu Suihan in surprise. “You’re back so quickly? Did you run into a very tough opponent?”

Gu Suihan raised an eyebrow but didn’t intend to explain what really happened, so he said flatly, “Indeed. He was very powerful and defeated me in seconds. How are things going on your side?”

“I just finished gathering all the materials required and the furnace is still heating up. What do you think?” The old man rolled his eyes at Gu Suihan.

The entire room was littered with metal equipment and remnants of various ores and other materials. It was quite spacious, but there was barely any space to stand. A large cauldron about three meters across stood in the middle, with several terrifying, bloodthirsty and ferocious demonic beasts carved into the surface. Faintly red runes flickered, and the tiny cracks all over the cauldron made the already ancient-looking cauldron look even more rugged.

“This thing must be pretty old, right? And it’s pretty high quality, since it’s managed to stay in one piece,” said Gu Suihan as he looked at the numerous tiny cracks on the surface.

The old man looked offended and said, “What do you know? I got this through a chance encounter and it should have been a Dao apparatus. But it was left to rot for more than a thousand years and didn’t have sufficient Qi to upkeep its level, so it’s now a spiritual apparatus. If the runes on it weren’t damaged, I wouldn’t have used it to refine weapons like this.”

“A Dao apparatus?” Gu Suihan narrowed his eyes as he glanced suspiciously at the old man’s smug face. To Gu Suihan, this cauldron was of pretty high quality, but the biggest reason it hadn’t fallen apart was due to the complex runes carved into its surface. Besides, if this thing really was a Dao apparatus, there was no way it would have found its way to this lowly weapons refiner. The high-level cultivators of the sect would have taken it for themselves by now.

“I don’t care if you believe me or not,” scoffed the old man in annoyance when he saw Gu Suihan’s doubtful expression. He cast a spell, and the cauldron boomed loudly.

A rattling sound that resembled an old machine's noise when it was cranked up came from deep inside the cauldron. The ferocious beasts carved into its surface started trembling as though they had come to life. Frightening and domineering roars echoed in the workshop.

The temperature suddenly rose to a degree that was far too high for an ordinary person to bear. A purplish red spark flew out from inside the cauldron and made explosive sounds as it reacted with the air.

“Don’t make any unnecessary noises, I need to be very focused during this process. Otherwise, don’t blame me if anything goes wrong,” said the old man gleefully as he saw how Gu Suihan was suffering from the sweltering heat.

Gu Suihan sat down in a lotus position to readjust his breathing and happened to notice some strange markings on the legs of the cauldron. “What characters are these?” His heart skipped a beat, and a shockingly bright gleam shone in his eyes.

“Those are words that nobody understands anymore. Apparently, they were left behind by the ancient Demonic Race. However, over the past millennia or so, cultivators became more and more powerful, and we gained much power from the Upper World as well, which more or less wiped out the Demonic Race in this world. That is why our world is unable to understand what these words mean anymore.” The old man’s voice faltered, and he seemed rather saddened by this.

Gu Suihan just smiled in response without saying anything. There was an incomprehensible glint in his eye.

This old man was a crafty one. Immediately Gu Suihan could tell that the old man had been trying to test him with those words. No ordinary person knew anything about how the ancient past was connected to recent history or knew anything about the Upper World.

At the same time, the old man had said those words to see if Gu Suihan knew what the characters on his cauldron meant or how much he knew about some of these things and what he wanted to know. He had noticed that Gu Suihan’s tone of voice and expression looked different when he asked about the characters. Gu Suihan hadn’t just looked curious. There was some delight, some surprise, and a sense of urgency to get answers.

Unfortunately for the old man, Gu Suihan had lost all interest and gone back to meditating once he had heard about the fate of the demonic race and how the characters were unreadable–much to the dismay of the old man.

Gu Suihan knew that the old man hadn’t been lying. The language of the ancient Demonic Race was something that they taught only to the most superior of their own descendants. Inferior Demons would not understand a single word.

“From the looks of it, the strange secret realm that Disciplinarian Zhang has is a clue, and the mysterious Upper World has probably inherited something from the Demonic Race. The reason why they are able to travel between planes and break through the barriers of various worlds and create stable corridors between the worlds despite falling short of Immortality is probably something that was lost over time.”

As Gu Suihan quickly sorted out the bits and pieces of information he had and put them together, he suddenly realized that even though they seemed random and didn’t add up to much, they all more or less pointed towards the same place. The Upper World.

Why did the people from the Upper World wipe out the superior members of the Demonic Race from ancient times? Also, why didn’t they just wipe the entire race out? How did the royal court of the mundane world and the Way of Martial Arts (the one that the castellan, Nan Yuntian, talked about) become more and more powerful?

It seemed like the powers that formed the Upper World were trying to hide something, or rather, they were trying their utmost best to cover up something and did not want anybody else to find out about it.

“What in the world are you trying to hide?” wondered Gu Suihan. He felt that the answers he had been pursuing had something to do with whatever the Upper World was trying to hide.

Only thinking about these things would lead to no conclusion, so Gu Suihan gave up and focused his attention on the way the old man made his weapon.

---

Xiexin zhenren looked furious as he stared intensely at the confused-looking Li Rong. “Why did Gu Suihan give up? Did he get wind of something?”

“Father, I have no idea.” Li Rong scratched his head and tried to think about whether he had let slip anything that might have made Gu Suihan do this.

“In just a few months, the Ethereal Court will be putting the seven sects to the test, and their aim is to kill off all our best youngsters. If we fail to protect our next generation and do not have successors to take over, our tug of war with the Ethereal Court will end almost immediately. Annihilation of the sect looms.” Xiexin zhenren’s gaze burned with fury. Gu Suihan kept doing things that nearly ruined his plans.

“Gu Suihan has backed out of the competition and wants to hide himself to keep himself out of trouble. Do you have a contingency plan? If you don’t then….” Li Rong bent his head as a venomous and hateful look flashed in his eyes, but his voice trembled slightly as he continued, “Why don’t we go with the original plan?”

“Humph!” Xiexin zhenren stared expressionlessly at the boy in front of him, who looked like a spitting image of himself. He looked toward the fiery red setting sun and murmured calmly, “If I don’t have a choice, I will do that. Gu Suihan may be a cultivator who took over another’s body and has restarted his cultivation journey in this new body. Still, he is now merely a Seven Kill Sect external disciple at Beginner Foundation Establishment. He’s formidable among his peers, but so what? He can’t possibly get out of this.”

“You don’t have to be involved in this matter anymore.” Xiexin zhenren took another sip of tea, motioned to his son to leave, then disappeared in a flash.

The barren peak was left with nothing but one lonesome Li Rong.

“You’ve already given into your inner demons,” murmured Li Rong. He had a conflicted expression on his face as he stared dimly in the direction where his father had left. “Nobody else is to blame for Mother’s death. It was all your fault.”

“Senior Brother, I need to talk to you urgently,” Xiexin zhenren sent a message to You Hantian via telepathy as he made his way swiftly to the main hall of Peak One with a grim look on his face.

You Hantian waved his hand to dismiss all the servants in the hall. He smiled and stroked his beard as he asked in return, “Junior Brother, are you here to ask me about Gu Suihan?”

“Yes, that’s right. Are you able to answer my questions?”

“Don’t worry, he won’t be able to get away. Not just him, but Feng Ran and the rest won’t be able to either,” said You Hantian with a sparkle in his eye that displayed indescribable levels of confidence and dominance.

“What about Martial Uncle?” Xiexin zhenren frowned even harder. He knew how stubborn and conservative that Martial Uncle could be.

“Junior Brother, you must always remember that I am the Sect Leader. Sect rules exist because I say so, and cease to exist also because I say so.” The smile on You Hantian’s face revealed his white teeth, and his expression was sinister beyond words.

“The fact that the Ethereal Court has joined forces with the other sects means that something bad has indeed happened in the Upper World, otherwise they wouldn’t dare to do something like that. We’ll just have to fight to the death. This test of the seven sects is their scheme, but it could also be our chance.”

You Hantian had a confident look on his face as he said spitefully, “So, they think they can get rid of us? They have a long way to go.”

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