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A few months later—
In the vibrant mountain valley, a tiny stream meandered down from the mountain peak. Beside the stream were luxuriant green grasses with tender leaves. They swayed with the gentle breeze as drops of morning dew dripped down the ends of the grass blades.
At that moment, a girl with hair that reached her waist was fetching water from the stream. She was dressed simply in an outfit that was dotted with flowers. She was holding up the leggings of her pants, revealing her fair calves that were covered in water droplets. She was truly the picture of a washer-maid from a farming household.
That young girl was none other than Dong Xiaowan. Over the past few months, she had been meticulously taking care of Ling Xie'er and keeping everything in the mountain valley in good order.
Suddenly, a faint aura glided over her. Beside Dong Xiaowan's naked feet, the green grass rapidly grew as a result of the aura, working hard to extend its tender leaves. Even the stream appeared to be a lot happier. The sound of the water flow seemed to resemble a pleasant tune.
Dong Xiaowan's heart stirred as she turned back to look. She saw that Yi Yun was standing not too far behind her. He had just walked out of the house, which was still immersed in a lush green brilliance.
"Young Master, you have finally come out of seclusion."
"Yes, my cultivation level improved slightly. I gained some new insights, so I came out."
"Young Master, everything is well with Xie'er." Dong Xiaowan was pleasantly surprised but she did not forget the mission Yi Yun gave her. "Young Master Yi, there is something I need to tell you. A few days ago, my father sent me a message…"
"Oh? What is it?"
Yi Yun knew that it was definitely not easy for Dong Xiaowan and Dong Shaoqing to communicate. To transmit information across such great distances to such a precise location definitely came at a cost. Therefore, they would not communicate unless it was something important.
"It's this. There has been a major outbreak of a plague in Myriad City. Many people have contracted a strange illness that resembles the one you cured me of. Their initial symptom is being unable to cultivate. As time goes on, a small number of people begin turning weaker. And those infected have all been young geniuses.
"Oh?" Yi Yun’s brows pricked up as he sighed slightly. It must have been the evil entities he was pursuing. After they fled into Myriad City, they began wreaking havoc.
These evil entities needed to use living bodies for nourishment before they could be reborn. And the best candidates were obviously young geniuses.
Warriors of the older generation were not easily possessed due to their strength. Furthermore, their physical performance had drastically decreased. They were naturally unlike young geniuses, who had limitless potential.
I wonder how Princess White Fox is faring…
Yi Yun was somewhat worried. Of all the young geniuses in Myriad City, Yi Yun was only concerned with Princess White Fox. If she had fallen ill, he would not turn a blind eye.
"Young Master, in addition, the Myriad Immortal Pavilion will be holding a Grand Alchemical-cum-Medical Meet with experts from several divine territories. It was supposed to be held this month, but for various reasons it has been postponed by another two months. My father said that the Myriad Immortal Pavilion spent almost half a year organizing the meet. It can be said that they have made sufficient preparations. Also, they have gathered several natural treasures as rewards."
"Okay…" Yi Yun nodded. It was certain that many geniuses of the Myriad Immortal Pavilion had fallen prey to the evil entities. It had already lost two geniuses because of him. If the rest were to be crippled by the plague, the Myriad Immortal Pavilion would be completely out of young talent to replace the old.
Now, the Guiyuan family was catching up to the Myriad Immortal Pavilion in terms of status. It was likely that the Myriad Immortal Pavilion was forming the meet to resolve the plague.
"What sort of rewards are there?" Yi Yun casually asked.
He didn't think too much of it, but as Dong Xiaowan began listing the rewards, Yi Yun felt a jolt through his heart. "Soul Returning Root!?"
"Yes…Yes." Dong Xiaowan was taken aback. She never expected Yi Yun to have such a huge reaction after hearing the words 'Soul Returning Root'. "Is this herb very important to you?"
"Yes!" Yi Yun took a deep breath and nodded. He had come to the Myriad Divine Territory in order to refine Hollow Soul Pills. However, when Ling Xie'er’s soul suddenly and heavily weakened, he ended up having to use half of his Soul Returning Root that was the main ingredient for Hollow Soul Pills.
Now, with the Myriad Immortal Pavilion offering a Soul Returning Root, how could Yi Yun not be tempted by it? However, the matter reeked of suspicion.
The Soul Returning Root was an extremely rare natural treasure. It only grew in netherworlds under the auspices of the heavens and earth. It would absorb the pure Yin gases within the netherworld over tens of millions of years before taking form.
It was nearly impossible to find a fresh one on short notice. If one needed it urgently, one had to buy it off someone else. Naturally, the price would be extremely high.
A Soul Returning Root was extremely valuable, but its uses were limited in scope. It could only nurture the soul or heal injuries related to the soul. It was priceless when there was a need for it, but of no use when there was no immediate need for it.
Most alchemists would favor natural treasures that could directly raise one's cultivation level. They were evergreen treasures, which would make them suitable as a reward for the Grand Alchemical-cum-Medical Meet. Why would a rare but not often needed Soul Returning Root be used as a reward? Furthermore, he had a great need for one. How could it be a coincidence?
Could this offer be targeted at him?
Upon thinking of this, Yi Yun's expression sunk slightly. Before he left, he had transmitted his voice to City Lord Qin to search for a Soul Returning Root.
Although City Lord Qin was formidable in strength, he was only one man. He needed to rely on his social connections to search for items. As such, how could he be comparable to the Myriad Immortal Pavilion that had done business in Myriad Divine Territory since time immemorial?
Could it be that City Lord Qin's search for the Soul Returning Root caused the Myriad Immortal Pavilion to make the connection that Yi Yun needed the Soul Returning Root? Or perhaps, his desperation to buy a Soul Restoring Relic had given the Myriad Immortal Pavilion certain ideas…
Yi Yun instantly thought of many possibilities. It was absolutely impossible that the appearance of the Soul Returning Root as one of the rewards of the meet was a coincidence. It was very likely aimed at him.
The Myriad Immortal Pavilion was attempting to lure him out. It was a trap, but one that Yi Yun could not ignore.
Furthermore, other than the Soul Returning Root, Yi Yun was still concerned about Princess White Fox, Xue Wuxia.
Although the evil spirits that laid in slumber would have awakened sooner or later, it was Yi Yun who caused them to prematurely enter Myriad City and wreak havoc. In addition, Yi Yun was indebted to Xue Wuxia, so regardless of the matter, he needed to ensure that she was safe and sound.
"It looks like I will need to attend the Grand Alchemical-cum-Medical Meet."
"Young Master, you want to go? But the Myriad Immortal Pavilion has offered lots of rewards for your capture. Everyone is looking for you," Dong Xiaowan turned a little anxious when she heard what Yi Yun said.
"That I naturally know. But since I dare to go, I definitely have my confidence."
A strange glimmer flashed in Yi Yun's eyes. Since the Myriad Immortal Pavilion had produced the Soul Returning Root to lure him to the Grand Alchemical-cum-Medical Meet, he decided to accept their invitation and take the Soul Returning Root back!
"Xiaowan, make preparations to go to Myriad City with me."
"Ah? I'm going too?" Dong Xiaowan was taken aback.
"Yes, both you and Ru'er. Move Xie'er into the God Advent Tower and the both of you can care for her inside it. Leave the rest to me."