Unaware of the fight which was about to erupt across the continent, Li Yiming remained solely focused on the portal opening up in front of him.
“Why are you here?” Li Yiming looked at the golden barrier that Sai Gao erected and asked.
“I had some kind of premonition, so I came here with Sai Gao,” Fu Bo answered. With all of the unexpected turn of events, he was beginning to somewhat regret coming to the place.
“We’re here for him,” Tian Yan said. It seemed like Fu Bo was the only thing on her mind at the moment.
“What about her?” Li Yiming looked at Wu Jia, who was unconscious. He could not help but think about how unfortunate she had been ever since becoming involved with him.
“She said that she came here to travel. Apparently she met an asshole… wait… is it you?” Shao Xian came to a shocking realization.
“Travel?” Li Yiming did not pay attention to the second half of Shao Xian’s answer, too distracted with the black smoke around him.
“She’s fine. I just made her sleep for a bit since she lost control of her emotions.” Sai Gao said. Although he wore earphones during the train ride, he was still able to listen to the entire conversation between Wu Jia and Shao Xian.
Not wanting to waste further time with trivial matters, Li Yiming turned his attention toward Ying Mei instead, who was helping Chen Quan swallow down a healing potion.
“Sis Ying is here to protect me.” Tian Yan hurriedly explained as soon as she noticed Li Yiming’s gaze turn toward Ying Mei.
“How are you? I owe you for this.” Li Yiming asked Chen Quan, who seemed to be slowly recovering from his wounds after downing the remedy.
“Don’t worry, I’m not dead yet,” Chen Quan said. Upon confirming that his entourage all seemed to know Li Yiming personally, he decided to reveal his discovery. “I don’t know if it’s the entrance to the Realm of Ghosts you’re talking about, but I found a giant stone gate underground. It looked terrifying, and it was shrouded in the exact same black smoke.”
“So you’ve seen it?” Sai Gao could not believe an ordinary person was able to discover the gate.
“Yes. Right underground, probably three thousand meters, I would say. I was attacked by a couple of ghosts as soon as I approached it,” Chen Quan said.
“The discovery of the gate, the ghosts invading our realm… so all of the tales were true…” Ying Mei said as she remembered what Tian Yan told her on the train: everything around the mountain was destined to die, and guardians were no exception.
“So what are we supposed to do now?” Fu Bo asked.
“This is only the beginning. I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen if the gate was to open completely…” Bai Ze appeared with a flash of light.
“Is there a way to destroy the gate before it opens?” Li Yiming asked.
“The gate is a bridge connecting our world with the Realm of Ghosts. It serves the same purpose as the rock that he created, only one is sealed away the Heavens and Hell, and the other is protecting us from the evil spirits. I’m not even sure if Mr. Kong would be able to destroy it. You would need to change the rules at a fundamental level for that to happen,” Bai Ze explained.
“The rock that sealed away the Heavens and Hell?” Fu Bo could not believe what he heard.
“Yes. The rock that you lost, to be precise.” Bai Ze lashed out.
Fu Bo’s face turned white as a sheet of paper, as he realized what he had just done.
“What are we supposed to do now, just sit here and wait for a parade of ghosts?” Sai Gao changed the topic of the conversation. He had become close with Fu Bo during the past year and he knew nothing productive would come out of talking about past mistakes.
“What if I use… the Death Notebook?: Fu Bo proposed. Tian Yian instantly went stiff from anxiousness.
“Hah! I’ll give you three seconds before you’re sucked dry. Try it, I dare you,” Bai Ze exclaimed irritatedly. Fu Bo’s proposition confirmed her conjecture, and her opinion of him quickly dipped.
“Let’s just focus on the matter at hand. Is there anything we can do to stop the gates from opening now?” Li Yiming put a stop to Bai Ze’s hostility — he was also fond of Fu Bo, and more importantly, he needed his help to find Liu Meng.
“Lucky for us, you brought her along as well.” Bai Ze pursed her lips and pointed at Shao Xian.
“What? Me?” Shao Xian was taken aback and felt uneasy at the stares everyone was giving her. After all, even Chen Quan could be said to be more useful than her in such a situation.
“Remember the Scripture of Purity and Stillness?” Bai Ze asked.
“Oh, please. Divine Voice Materialized.”
“Oh yes. That!”
“That song is a seal powerful enough to seal away Heaven’s Laws, so I’d reckon it’s powerful enough to deal with this.” Bai Ze said as she looked up at the cloudy skies with reluctance.
“Really? Are you sure?” Sai Gao said with a frown as he remembered the events that had transpired at the music festival a year ago.
“So you’re saying that as I just need to sing that song to seal up… this?” Shao Xian said as she looked at the bottomless pit of black smoke with incredulous eyes.
“Of course not. That song is only part of the sealing spell. Otherwise Mr.
Kong would not have waited for that long to put his plan in action.
“What do we need to do then?” Sai Gao urged.
“We need to channel the power of the song into a targeted spell. On top of that, we’ll need someone with a pure Yin spirit to guide the spell, and someone with a pure Yang spirit to amplify its power.”
“Channeling the power of the song will be the easy part, but where are we going to find pure spirits?” Sai Gao asked.
“To put it simply, we’ll need two virgins. One male and one female.” Bai Ze shrugged her shoulders.
The group went quiet at Bai Ze’s revelation. It would have been a lot easier to satisfy Bai Ze’s demand if everyone within a few hundred kilometers had not been turned into skeletons. With no other choice, they could only find the candidates amongst themselves.
“Uh… I’m not one.” Fu Bo said abashedly, especially as he could still feel the warmth from Tian Yan’s embrace.
“I also can’t… I mean... My eyes channel both the Yin and the Yang, so my Yin source is lost. I’ve never…” Flustered, Tian Yan gave a quick explanation.
“Well, I am a virgin, but surely you can’t imagine my body being a host of pure Yang would you?” Sai Gao made a smile that sent shivers down Li Yiming’s spine.
“If that’s the case, then I…” Chen Quan seemed to have recovered a little bit of energy.
“Oh, really?” Sai Gao found it hard to believe, given how old Chen Quan looked.
“According to my teacher, it helps ward off evil spirits, so…”
“Well, that’s some kind of strange cult…” Sai Gao shrugged his shoulders. “Okay, so we’re okay for the Yang. What about the Yin?”
“Don’t look at me. You know what I did in the past.” Shao Xian said as soon as eyes were turned in her direction.
“Me neither,” Ying Mei said bluntly.
“Why are you all looking at me? I’m not a human being!” Bai Ze swung her fists in frustration.
“Could she… be one?” Li Yiming pointed at Wu Jia, the only woman remaining.
“Shouldn’t you know the answer?” Shao Xian cried out, as she was reminded of Wu Jia’s story.
“How would I know?” Li Yiming’s face went red, not understand what Shao Xian was talking about.
“I think she is one…” Ying Mei picked up one of Wu Jia’s hands.
“Let me have a look.” Bai Ze picked up Wu Jia’s hand. “Oh, she is!”
“What? Really?” Shao Xian could not believe it. Even Sai Gao was staring at Li Yiming in bafflement.
“Why are you all looking at me?” Li Yiming asked.
Shao Xian had an awkward smile. ‘So nothing happened, just like that time in my room… Does he have some kind of problem…?’
“Alright, so we have everything we need. What should we do now? We need to hurry,” Sai Gao said as he looked at the black smoke, slowly creeping up to them.
“So what’s the whole channeling thing you were talking about?” Li Yiming asked as his glance shifted from Chen Quan to Wu Jia and then back to Chen Quan. If it truly involved some kind of cliched ritual, then he would much rather attempt to seal the gate by himself first.
“It’s not that complicated. I just need to draw a few spells on them to amplify the effects of the song.”
“Let’s begin then.” Li Yiming let out a sigh of relief.
“Alright, so shall we start with you?” Bai Ze looked at Chen Quan with an amused smile.
“What do you need me to do?” Chen Quan nodded in determination, as he felt honor in being the one to save the world. He was resolved to die if that meant that he could save hundreds of thousands of people doing so.
“Remove your clothes. All of them.”
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