The hairpin tumbled at Song Ci’s feet. He looked down.
It had been a long time, but even if Qingyuan did not remember that this was the hairpin Fu Chi has been wearing on his head, shouldn’t she remember the item she had personally selected and gifted?
Song Ci was about to ask when he saw Dai Yanxing crouching down to pick the hairpin up. Blood gushed out of the savage-looking wound on the back of his hand and stained half of his sleeve red.
He kept the hairpin and held out the lantern with the other hand. “Shidi has been in this lantern all this time.”
Qingyuan flew into a rage on seeing it. “Do you see me as an idiot for you to fool? How is it possible for Li Chi to be in this broken lantern?!”
It seemed as if Qingyuan did not know that there was a Devil Seal fragment in this lantern.
Song Ci grasped Dai Yanxing’s wrist. “Hold on. I think you need to reconsider.”
Dai Yanxing cast a puzzled look at him.
Song Ci quickly gave him a reasonable explanation. “She is angry now. You can’t guarantee that she won’t tear the lantern up if you hand her the lantern without careful consideration. It will do more harm than good if she hurt Fu Chi.”
What a joke! The Devil Seal fragment was still in the lantern! Who knew what that crazy hag would do if Dai Yanxing gave her the lantern. Even if he wanted to hand it over, at least remove the fragment first.
Song Ci said in all seriousness, “Perhaps we can ask Fu Chi’s opinions first.”
“There’s no need to ask him. Shidi would definitely be willing. He loves shishu so much.” Dai Yanxing forced a smile and glanced at the lantern. “It was I who prevented the two from seeing each other for so many years. Shidi would be thrilled to be reunited after such a long absence.”
He was about to brush off Song Ci’s hands when Song Ci tightened his grip. It was when he brushed him off that Song Ci said stubbornly, “I don’t think so.”
“When I saw Fu Chi earlier, all of his questions were about you. Not once had he mention your shishu. It’s obvious your shishu isn’t that important to him.” Song Ci said, “Mo Yao is having a crisis at present. I think we should put the love affairs aside first and deal with these demons before we talk about anything else.”
Qingyuan heard every one of his words clearly. Her face contorted with fury.
Dai Yanxing frowned. “This whole mess was caused by love. Naturally, we should resolve this in kind. What shishu wants is Fu Chi. If I hand him to her, we can end this farce.”
“Hey!” Pissed, Song Ci yelled. “Look at the demons beyond the barrier. Is that something you can forget about simply because Qingyuan said so? There are few disciples in Mo Yao left who are up to combat. If even you look as if you’re putting yourself at the mercy of others, then who will defend Mo Yao?!”
“I owe them this much.” Dai Yanxing said. He felt that this man was meddling too much, and so he raised his hand to push him away.
Song Ci nimbly dodged him and grabbed the lantern. “I’m not interested in who you owe. In any case, you can’t give her this lantern!”
When Dai Yanxing saw that Song Ci had snatched the lantern from him in a moment of negligence, he hurried to give chase. “Return the lantern to me!”
Song Ci dodged him, but Qingyuan’s whip struck him. A deep gouge appeared from his left shoulder up to the side of his neck. The blood gushed out almost instantly.
It was so painful that Song Ci could not help but yell and roll twice on the grass. He was still holding the lantern in his arms as he pushed himself into a kneeling position. He glared at Qingyuan in fury.
The good thing was that his own self-healing ability was strong. After that initial pain had passed, the pain gradually weakened. The blood that had been spilled trickled down his fair skin and dripped onto the lantern in his arms. No one noticed the flash of dark red.
Song Ci had not been this enraged for a long time. The pain fused with his rage and rushed to his head. He stood up and sneered at Qingyuan. “Even if the others owe you something, I don’t. Did you enjoy this lashing?”
“You are full of nonsense! It’s only right for me to whip you. Li Chi and I love each other. How can I tolerate your fabrication?” Qingyuan pointed at Song Ci and swore at him, “Since you are so dauntless and dare to deliver yourself to me, then I’ll make an example out of you today!”
She flung her whip out as she said this. On seeing this, Dai Yanxing stepped forward to shield Song Ci. “Shishu!”
The whip did not stop because of Dai Yanxing’s obstruction. Instead, it hurtled toward the two men with a harsh wind following in its path. The whip glowed with a faint light as it relentlessly lunged towards Dai Yanxing’s neck.
If the whip struck him, it would flay his skin or even cut his tendons and break his bones.
However, Dai Yanxing did not evade it. It was as if he intended to take the blow head-on.
Just before the whip came into contact with Dai Yanxing’s neck, Song Ci subconsciously reached out to grab the tail of whip. The impact catapulted a wave of energy from the whip into his body along his arm, culminating in a collision of forces.
Surprisingly, his palm did not hurt.
Song Ci took a step to move before Dai Yanxing. He no longer appeared to be an immature youth. His height shot up. When he sidestepped around Dai Yanxing, there was an erected pair of snow-white fox ears in his ink-black hair, and his eyes were suffused with a light blue color.
He was still holding the bloody lantern in his arms.
His appearance stunned both Qingyuan and Dai Yanxing so much they stood rooted to the spot for a moment..
Dai Yanxing took several steps back and looked him up and down twice. He looked as if he wanted to ask something, but he never got his question out.
Song Ci’s expression was frosty. A blue flame leaped out from the palm that was gripping the whip and burned up along the tail of the whip. Qingyuan pulled it twice but did not manage to extract it from Song Ci’s grip. She watched as the flame climbed towards the handle. As the scorching heat moved in for the attack, she panicked and discarded her whip.
With this throw, the whip was completely burned to ashes, scattering over the grass.
Song Ci had the urge to pin Qingyuan on the ground and give her a beating. But she was a woman after all, and he was not such a brutal person.
More importantly, although he had gotten the gist of using the demonic power in his body these days, his control was still unstable. If he really came to blows with Qingyuan, he would surely be on the losing end.
Song Ci forced himself to suppress his anger. After shaking off the ashes in his palm, he clasped the lantern and said, “I’m not interested in your private affairs. But Dai Yanxing, there’s something I must remind you.”
“Those demons outside are waiting for Qingyuan to open the gate. If you persist in making amends, you will only harm more people.”
Qingyuan had planned it for a long time; she was determined to destroy the Mo Yao Sect. The sect leader was now out traveling, while Elder Qingyi was still in seclusion. Most of the Ping Luan disciples had left, and even the two gatekeepers who were of the same generation as Dai Yanxing had gone with them. The current Mo Yao was so vulnerable that it would not be able to withstand a blow.
Once the barrier was destroyed, those newly recruited children and Mo Yao disciples would not be able to hold out for even a moment.
Done with his speech, Song Ci turned to leave. Dai Yanxing shouted behind him. “Wait a minute!”
He yelled, “Is that lantern yours? You’re going to just leave with it? Give it back to me!”
Song Ci paused. It was not easy for him to put on a show; how could he let others expose him so easily? Thus, he ignored Dai Yanxing and quickened his pace.
Behind him, Dai Yanxing kept up pace with him with the intention to get it back. Unexpectedly, it was at this time that Qingyuan formed a seal. A dark light gathered from her palm and flew straight at the fissure on the Easternmost side of the barrier.
On hearing the movement, both of them turned back at the same time. The light punched a huge hole through the barrier. The horde of demons that had been waiting howled in excitement and swarmed in through the hole.
A black mass that was like churning thundercloud came crushing down on them.
The color drained from Dai Yanxing’s face as his body trembled. It was as if he could not believe that Qingyuan had really opened the main gate to let those demons in.
Song Ci knew the situation did not bode well. He had to find Rong Bai quickly. Holding the lantern in his arms, he was about to slip away when there was a sudden gust of wind heading towards him. He squinted. There was a dark flash of light and a man appeared before him.
The man was dressed in a silver robe and his long black hair fluttered as he walked. It was only when he approached that Song Ci saw that he was an excessively beautiful man.
His facial features were delicate and charming, while his faint smile added a touch of softness to his face. Fortunately, those eyebrows are not slender willow eyebrows, so Song Ci could at least see that this man was not a captivating maiden.
Song Ci warily took two steps back, intuitively sensing that this person did not have good intentions.
“Tushan Clan?” The man opened his red lips slowly. Even his words had charm. His eyes were full of unabashed desire as they greedily roamed over the wound on Song Ci’s neck.
“Lord.”1 Qingyuan quickly walked beside the man and lowered her head humbly.
Song Ci recalled Mirror Old Man telling him that among the demons who had come this time, there was a head of one of the twelve demon cities who had come in person. Looked like it was this feminine-looking man.
The man closed his eyes and raised his head to take a deep breath. His expression changed slightly as a sneer escaped his lips. “I can’t believe that you have hidden so many people in a small place like Mo Yao. There are even devils.”
It was clear that Qingyuan did not know that there were devils in Mo Yao. She was stunned for a moment before she said, “The barrier has always been there. No devils should have infiltrated…”
“If a devil really wants to enter, how would this tiny barrier stop them?” The man scoffed, belittling the sect. His eyes were fixed on Song Ci even as he said to Qingyuan, “Find that Devil Seal fragment. I’ll handle this Tushan Clan.”
He shook his hand and sharp fingernails extended from his fingers. His eyes shone with excitement and violence. “I have long wanted to taste the blood of the Tushan clan.”
As he spoke, four big, fluffy bluish-gray tails extended from behind him, swaying restlessly. His black eyes turned a shade of mountain brown.
Song Ci’s gaze moved up. He saw a pair of fox ears erected at the top of his head and instantly understood that the man in front of him was also a fox demon.
“A fox shouldn’t make things difficult for a fellow fox.” Song Ci said to the man. “Since we are all fox demons, why kill each other?”
Who would expect the man to burst out laughing as if he had heard a joke? “Cut the rhetoric. The Tushan Clan has always despised the Qingqiu clan. Why would you even bring up the sentimentality of being the same species?”
“Strictly speaking, I’m not a demon…” Song Ci still wanted to quibble.
Rong Bai had once said that the fox’s tail was a symbol of strength. This man before him had four, so he should be pretty formidable. It would be grossly unfair if Song Ci died under his hands.
Before he could finish his words, a loud bang rang out a distance away. The few of them simultaneously turned their heads aside and saw a massive huge demonic beast flying over from the Mo Yao gate. Its body smashed those towering doors into smithereens as it swiftly charged towards Song Ci.
As it neared them, Song Ci saw that the demonic beast was not galloping towards them with its limbs. Instead, it seemed as if someone had punched it and sent it flying. It glided for several zhangs2 after landing, leaving savage looking tracks in the wilderness as the howling wind uprooted a wave of grass that reeked heavily of blood. It finally came to a stop not far away from them.
The demonic beast was drenched in blood and its head hung limply. It was evidently dead.
Before any of them could react, a man suddenly leaped onto the head of the demonic beast and said in an arrogant voice, “There you are.”