The Divine Realm was the head of the Six Realms. Since ancient times, it had been established upon the reverence of millions of clans in those Six Realms.
Whether it was the dazzling prosperity of the realm or the incomparably powerful Divine Clans within, they all added an aura of unattainable eminence and sanctity to the Divine Realm.
Song Ci never expected that there would be a day when a bookworm like him who had only read the books of sages would get to ride a strange mount into the Divine Realm. No one would believe him even if he told them so.
Even Feng Zhuojun had to marvel at this. “That’s some stroke of good luck you have there. Since ancient times, many people have dreamed in vain of stepping through the Gate of the Divine Realm. But it has been pretty much a breeze for you.”
“The facts proved that having the right connections will make you welcomed everywhere.” He continued.
“You think it’s easy to be well-connected?” Song Ci made a feeble attempt at a retort. You have no idea how much effort I spent to cling on to Rong Bai…”
“It has been hard on you then.” Feng Zhuojun said.
Song Ci lifted the soft curtain of the window to look outside and was instantly blown away by the scene before him.
Suspended over the Heavens was the Milky Way in a riot of colors. The bright moon looked to be even bigger than before as it concealed itself behind the stars.
The entire Divine Capital was enveloped in a hazy veil of darkness. He could see a scattering of light as he looked down. It was an unreal sight to behold.
This was a place more exquisite than the Human Realm and more prosperous than the Demon Realm. Yet, it was also not as grand and sacred as he imagined it to be. Instead, it had the air of worldliness to it.
“Wow—” Song Ci leaned half of his body out of the carriage. “So this is the Nine Heavens? There are even day and night here?”
“That’s because your view of the world is narrow.” Feng Zhuojun said. “The rotation of the sun and the moon is fixed among the Six Realms. It’s not just the Lower Three Realms that have day and night.”
“I’ve heard you mentioned the Upper Three Realms and Lower Three Realms previously. Is there a difference?”
“The so-called Upper Three Realms refer to the Realms of Deities, Immortals and Devils.” Feng Zhuojun explained to Song Ci in all seriousness. “These three realms are located in the south of the Reincarnation Spring.1 The Reincarnation Spring distorts and divides the north and the south, resulting in a time difference on both sides. That’s why humans often say, a day in Heaven is ten years in the mortal world.”2
“That’s to say, if one stays in the Divine Realm for over ten days, the Human Realm would have already gone through several dynasties change?” Song Ci scratched his head. “Then, wouldn’t that be the end of the immortal and mortal if the former falls in love with the latter, and the immortal ends up getting captured back and detained for a few days?”
“Why capture the immortal back?” Feng Zhuojun did not understand.
“That’s just some tales the mortals fabricated. The deities and immortals don’t really care about these things.” Feng Zhuojun said, “They only oppose clans they disdain and hate. The relation between the Human Realm and the Divine Realm has always been good. There’s no reason to object.”
“So I see.” Song Ci nodded his head in understanding.
“But the majority of deities and immortals will not take the initiative to get involved with the mortals.” Feng Zhuojun added, “This is because a mortal’s life span is only a few decades. The deity would have too much to lose if he devotes all his heart to that one human.”
“That’s easy. All they need to do is to feed the mortal a little of the immortal’s blood and let him or her cultivate their way into immortality, isn’t it?”
“If it were that easy, the deities and immortals would have multiplied like jackrabbits here.” Feng Zhuojun was rendered speechless by Song Ci’s naïve thinking. “Don’t oversimplify matters. Not every deity’s blood will be effective. The stronger the power that runs in the blood, the more precious it is. Moreover, even if a demon obtained an immortal’s blood, it would only aid the demon’s cultivation at most. It’s not a miracle drug.”
“But see, I only drank a mouthful, but now I have two tails.” Song Ci used himself as an example.
“That mouthful of yours is much, much more precious than that of the other deities.” Feng Zhuojun grunted. “That’s the blood of Rong Bai’s heart.5 There’s only one mouthful of that in his entire body. You must have gotten this stroke of good luck after suffering through eight lifetimes of bad luck.”
Song Ci raised his eyebrows and asked, “Is the blood of the heart that important?”
“It represents one’s lineage.” He said, “If you extract the blood from your heart after cultivating into immortality, then your descendants will not have the Tu Shan bloodline.”
“So when Rong Bai left Tu Shan back then, it meant that he no longer wished to continue the Tu Shan’s bloodline.” Feng Zhuojun sighed inwardly. “That blood was later stolen, and its theft was a huge loss and blow to the Tu Shan. No one else in the entire Tu Shan clan has a bloodline purer than Rong Bai. They almost ransacked the entire Six Realms all for this drop of blood. But somehow, it ended up in your mouth.”
Song Ci frowned, trying to recall how he came to eat that demonic fruit tainted with the blood of Rong Bai’s heart. He realized to his surprise that his memory of that time was hazy. He stroked his chin and said, “It’s really strange…”
A man dressed in a long, light blue robe stood in the resplendent main hall. The spiraling white smoke from the incense burner obscured his indifferent expression. He remained motionless with both of his eyes slightly closed.
After a while, the sound of light, unhurried footsteps rang out within the hall. The man slowly opened his eyes. Those blue eyes of his resembled Rong Bai’s eyes.
“Clan Head.” Rong Bai came to a stop, and some of his pretty white hair fell over his face from the sudden change in movement.
“You’re here?” The man slowly turned around. His apathetic blue eyes were just like Rong Bai’s.
“I heard that you were the one who dealt with the beast that had unexpectedly broken through its seal during the Divine Hunt Meet?” He asked.
“Yes.” Rong Bai answered methodically. “The beast’s strength had yet to recover since it had only just broken through the seal. So, it wasn’t of any threat.”
“Well done.” The man’s voice was neutral. “One more thing—Did you bring back a demon from the hunting ground?”
“It hasn’t been long since the awakening of the Azure Dragon bloodline. We are at the point in time where our relationship with the Old Divine Realm is tense. You should understand this.” His gaze turned colder. “Your lineage is pure. And you will be of great use to the Tu Shan in the New Divine Realm. I will not permit you to screw up.”
The light in Rong Bai’s eyes dimmed. He did not answer.
The man said, “Receive your punishment or kill that demon. Make your choice.”
Rong Bai already had the answer in his heart, but he did not immediately make his choice known. Instead, he raised his eyes to look at the man and asked in a soft voice, “Father, is there nothing you truly desire?”
“Of course, there is.” Tu Shan Zhong replied. “I want to see the New Divine Realm at the helm of the Six Realms. I want our Tu Shan bloodline to endure on for all eternity. I’ll make the best and most suitable arrangement for you. Just like your mother and I did, you will father a child who is even more powerful than you and all the clans in the Six Realms. You still have to shoulder the responsibility of carrying and passing on the Tu Shan bloodline. That is what you should do.”
Rong Bai listened to his words in silence. It was as if he was already numbed from listening to this too many times. He said, “Then, I shall take my leave first.”
Without waiting for Tu Shan Zhong to say a word, he turned around to leave. He did not even linger for a moment.
Song Ci was led into the Tu Shan territory. It had been quite a while since he stared up at that massive white nine-tailed fox statue and sighed repeatedly in admiration.
“That’s enough!” Feng Zhuojun could bear it no longer.” Stop acting like a fool, will you? Aren’t you afraid of being the butt of jokes?”
“I’m merely just taking a look. It’s not like I did something.” Song Ci mumbled to himself. The youth before him heard him and turned around to ask, “Is there something Your Excellency needs?”
“Uh-huh…” Song Ci thought about it and asked, “Where are you taking me to?”
“As per the Young Lord’s orders, I’m taking you to the Young Lord’s palace to bathe at the Tianqiong Spring.” The youth answered.
“Again?” Song Ci said. “But I just did not long ago. I still smell so nice.”
The youth smiled gently at him. “If you don’t, the Young Lord is not likely to let you step into his palace.”
“Right, right! Of course, I have to bathe.” He swung his two muddied sleeves. “Then this outfit…”
The youth got the message. He had already thought of it. “Don’t worry. Everything you need will be prepared for you.”
Rong Bai’s palace was much more magnificent than Song Ci had expected. There were all kinds of pavilions, verandas, mountain springs, flowers, and trees. The immortal attendants serving in the palace all looked astonished when they saw his unfamiliar face. But no one dared to gossip and merely set about preparing the items according to the youth’s instructions.
Tianqiong Spring was a hot spring used exclusively by Rong Bai. As the only Young Lord of Tu Shan with a pure lineage, every single thing around him was top treasure. Tianqiong Spring was located in the center where the spiritual energy of the Divine Realm circulated, so the spring contained extremely powerful spiritual energy that was beneficial for one’s cultivation.
Song Ci sent away Feng Zhuojun and stripped off his robe to plunge into the spring water. The warmth embraced his body as the spiritual energy entered his body.
Song Ci let out a long sigh. “This feels so good…”
He closed his eyes and enjoyed the power the spring water brought him. If he soaked a few more times in this hot spring, it would be just a matter of time for him to cultivate out nine tails, wouldn’t it? No wonder Rong Bai was so powerful.
As he thought about it, he suddenly ducked into the spring water and gulped down two big mouthfuls of it. It was only when he choked that he hurriedly swam back to the surface. After he surfaced, he took several gasps for breath and thought, “… So drinking it serves no purpose.”
He wiped the water off his face. As soon as he opened his eyes, he came face to face with a pair of azure blue eyes. He was so startled that he shrank back.
Rong Bai was initially crouching by the side of the spring to search for Song Ci in the water when he saw him suddenly burst out of its surface. The sparkling, crystal clear drops of water slid down the contours of his beautiful neck, making his fair complexion look even brighter and whiter. His long, black hair cascaded over his chest and back, providing an intense and distinct contrast with the color of his skin.
Rong Bai’s gaze slipped down Song Ci’s face to his body and wandered around before it slid back up again. His eyes came to a stop at Song Ci’s throat where his Adam’s apple was bobbing because of the gulp he had made.
Inexplicably enough, Rong Bai swallowed too.
The instant their eyes met, Song Ci subconsciously shrank back into the water. However, Rong Bai suddenly grabbed hold of his wrist. The slightly cool temperature sent a shiver through Song Ci’s body. A strange feeling flooded his heart.
Rong Bai pulled Song Ci closer to the bank and slowly lowered himself to lean towards him.
Song Ci did not know what spell he was under as he remained motionless and gazed into those blue eyes. His heartbeat sped up. “Rong Bai…”
Then he twitched his nose, and his expression changed. “Why is there… the scent of blood on your body?”
- 轮回 Lunhui, also means reincarnation. So 轮回泉 is literally Reincarnation Spring
- 天上一天，凡间十年。 It’s commonly believed that the passage of time is faster on Earth than it is in Heaven.
- 牛郎织女 the Cowherd and the Weaver, a pair of star-crossed lovers in folklore. Separated by the milky way, they can meet only once in a year when magpies fly together to form a bridge over the milky way.
- (刘(沉香 (Liu) Chengxiang, from the folklore, Lotus Lantern (宝莲灯). His mother was an immortal who fell in love with his father, a mortal scholar. But her brother (Chenxiang’s uncle), the Deity Erlang, forced them apart by imprisoning his mother under a mountain.
- 心头血. A very rare blood that is obtained from the heart. Unlike normal wounds that will heal easily, a stab to the heart is said to be extremely excruciating.