HSSB265: Coming to the door for guidance
After seeing Yuan Zhengfeng enter seclusion, Yan Zhaoge turned to depart from the Converting Lake Peak to return to his residence.
On the road, he saw the silhouette of someone who seemed to be purposefully waiting for him.
Yan Zhaoge greeted him. “Senior apprentice-brother Xu, you’ve finally returned to the Mountain? Have you transferred over your post in Suzhou City?”
That tall and burly figure who looked straightforward and upright was indeed Xu Fei.
“Brother Fei!” Ah Hu enthusiastically greeted him as well.
Xu Fei nodded in response. “Zhaoge, Ah Hu.”
Yan Zhaoge invited Xu Fei into his residence. After both parties had taken a seat, Xu Fei went straight to the point and asked, “Yan Zhaoge, even though you are still a Martial Scholar, you were able to break both Devilish Domain Grand Formations and have come into contact with many fallen practitioners.”
“Out of everyone in our clan, I think that regarding matters of Nine Underworlds Evil Devils, the Decimating Abyss and fallen practitioners, you must be the foremost expert.”
“This time, I came here to ask for guidance.”
After hearing what Xu Fei said, Yan Zhaoge was silent for a moment before responding, “What senior apprentice-brother Xu wants to ask is whether fallen practitioners have any possibility of regaining their humanity, right?”
Xu Fei nodded. “This may be an extravagant desire, but if there is even a glimmer of hope and that masked Martial Grandmaster is really senior apprentice-brother Shi, then I still want to attempt it.”
Yan Zhaoge did not beat around the brush, and replied, “Senior apprentice-brother Xu, frankly, I also hope that senior apprentice-brother Shi Songtao can revert back to a human, but from what I know at the moment, after someone becomes a fallen practitioner there is no way for them to ever turn back.
“Of course, I do not know everything. I cannot say with certainty that there is no way, but I, at least, do not know of a method.”
The two were very close and Xu Fei was a very straightforward person so Yan Zhaoge did not feel the need to mince words.
Sure enough, after hearing what Yan Zhaoge had said, Xu Fei gently sighed. “I was still holding onto a miniscule hope, but after hearing junior apprentice-brother Yan speak on the matter, I am afraid that it may be futile.”
Yan Zhaoge lightly responded, “All fallen practitioners, in the end, made their own choice.”
“After falling to the devil, people are no longer human, but rather Nine Underworlds Evil Devils existing in a different place from the Nine Underworlds. They can be said to be an entirely different life form altogether.”
“Although the newly fallen devils retain the memories of the people they once were, they treat killing just as we treat slaughtering cattle and chickens. Their previous memories are more like the remnants of a previous life.”
Yan Zhaoge shook his head. “If it is possible, we all hope that senior apprentice-brother Shi would forsake the darkness. However, would he be willing to do so?”
“Of course, all this speculation is predicated on the assumption that the masked assassin really is senior apprentice-brother Shi.”
Thinking on the problem brought up by Yan Zhaoge, Xu Fei reached for the wine flask hanging at his side. Pulling out the stopper, he did not drink in a grand manner like before, but rather slowly drank a few mouthfuls.
He slowly said, “What you just said, I understand.”
“Even if the people he killed weren’t from our clan, we both know that there is a stark difference between a human killing another human and a Nine Underworlds Evil Devil killing a human.”
Yan Zhaoge looked at Xu Fei. “Exchanging moves these past few times, I’ve managed to gauge a few things about the assassin. Even though he did not display great skill with his martial arts, his murderous aura is extremely cold–he truly wants to send us to our deaths.”
“Although we don’t know of a way to revert a fallen practitioner, it isn’t impossible to first capture him and then try to slowly find a way afterwards.
“However, you and I both know that it is much more difficult to capture an opponent rather than kill them, especially when that opponent may not be any weaker than we are.”
“When two foes are closely matched, the outcome of the match, and life and death, can be decided in a single moment.”
Xu Fei heard this but didn’t respond. After a moment, he nodded.
Yan Zhaoge continued, “I have the pillar from the Great Western Desert which can suppress opponents, so I have confidence if I were to fight him one on one. However, what about you, senior apprentice-brother Xu? Of course, capturing him is best, but are you ready to brave the dangers of being killed by him and still leave him a path to life?”
Xu Fei showed his steely resolve. He quietly said, “Yes. If this person really is senior apprentice-brother Shi, then that is my intention.”
“If he really is irredeemably evil, then I will not let my emotions skew my actions.”
“But before that, I have to at least try.” Xu Fei stood up and said, “I have no parents or blood relations. Instead, I grew up being raised by master, side by side with senior apprentice-brother Shi. Even if I have to take this risk, I will not hesitate.”
Yan Zhaoge sighed, then stood up as well. “We’re still not sure of that masked assassins identity. For now, if you meet him then you shouldn’t treat him as senior apprentice-brother Shi, otherwise it could be very dangerous.”
“If he does not use the techniques which he painstakingly cultivated previously, and only uses the Light Dark Killing Arts, then he isn’t your match. However, if you show mercy while fighting him, then the one who loses may well be you. This martial art has great explosive power, and is specialized for killing people.”
Xu Fei nodded, “Rest easy, I will pay close attention. If someone else is trying to use senior apprentice-brother Shi’s identity to surprise me, I will naturally teach them a lesson.”
Yan Zhaoge spoke again. “If you think this way, then that is for the best.”
After seeing Xu Fei out the door, Yan Zhaoge looked up towards the mountain peak as the sun filtered through the leaves and branches of the foliage. “Now that Grand Master has gone into seclusion, there will be violent tides from the outside world. If our clan can tide through this tribulation, our situation will only get better.”
“But this tribulation is not going to be overcome so easily.”
Xu Fei also stopped, standing side by side with Yan Zhaoge. He squinted as he also looked at the mottled sunlight. “Although the chance of Grand Master succeeding is higher than that of him failing, at the end of the day, neither the Sacred Sun Clan nor the Heavenly Thunder Hall is going to wait for the results.”
“Especially if Huang Guanglie successfully steps into the Martial Saint realm, the Sacred Sun Clan is likely to immediately rush to the Heaven Domain and directly pounce towards our clan.”
“The Decimating Abyss could also take this opportunity to make an appearance. Without speaking about anyone else, just the ‘Scaly Dragon King’ Sima Chui is already an Essence Talisman Martial Grandmaster.”
“And also….” Xu Fei wrinkled his brows. His status was also incomparable to that of his fellow disciples now.
Though his information gathering might not be comparable to Yan Zhaoge’s, he was still able to get access to information that most ordinary disciples did not know.
Yan Zhaoge finished his sentence for him. “And also, there is another person that we must be wary of.”
The two glanced at each other as they spoke in unison, “The Devil Saint, Yuan Tian!”
Out of the Eight Extremities World’s known six Martial Saints, one was the Devil Saint. Despite being a lone cultivator, he was a peak existence. He was also possibly involved with the Nine Underworlds and the Decimating Abyss.
When the incident at Clear Concealed Lake occurred, Yuan Tian obstructed the Sacred Sun Clan when they hurried to reinforce their forces with the Heaven Measuring Ruler. Afterwards, he disappeared without a trace. However, no one was foolish enough to think that it had been a coincidence.
This person’s power was on a level that far surpassed Sima Chui’s.
Or perhaps, it would be more apt to say that all of the Decimating Abyss’s forces that they had encountered up to this point wouldn’t even be able to stand up to a swat from the Devil Saint’s hand.