A short moment after Lu Chen left, Ding Dang instinctively feels something and turns to look at the Dragon Lake. On the opposite end of the lake, behind a giant boulder, a human silhouette suddenly appears.
A delighted smile creeps onto Ding Dang’s face. She stuffs the ignitable paper roll into her robe and rushes over.
The Clear Stream Village, as well as the tea mountain beside it, is actually just an unexceptional village in the sphere of influence of Nansong Mountain’s Thousand Autumn Doors. In fact, in the incomparably powerful world of cultivators in the center continent, the Thousand Autumn Doors is just an unexceptional small sect as well. In the vast center continent, the countless lives and innumerable powerful human cultivator sects and cultivators are as numerous and spectacular as the countless bright stars in the night sky.
In the current human world of cultivation, the Immortal Alliance is without doubt, the number one power in the world. This is because the Immortal Alliance isn’t just an individual sect, but an alliance comprising thousands of powerful cultivator sects. Most notable sect in the center continent that possess an acceptable level of strength are part of the Immortal Alliance. That is, excluding unorthodox sects such as the Three Realm Divine Cult.
This massive organisation has a long history behind it. Throughout its long period of existence, this unique gigantic alliance has built a foundation very different from other sects, the ‘Immortal City’. Most of the cultivator sects in the world, regardless of their scale, are similar to the Thousand Autumn Doors, in the sense that they would occupy a blessed land, a location optimal for their disciples to cultivate in. After time, a mountainside city role such would be developed beside the dwellings of these sects. However, the Immortal Alliance is different. This organisation occupied the largest and most fertile land of the center continent, the ‘Four River Plains’, and built a gigantic city on it. After innumerable years of expansion and reparation, the Immortal City has became one of the world’s most prosperous and powerful city, as well as a place where countless look forward to. All of the important departments and subsidiary organisation of the Immortal Alliance also root their bases within the city.
Countless people live in that large and ancient city. Everyday, people are coming to and fro, contributing or departing from the commotion. Under the intersection of light and dark, who knows how many joyous reunion and sorrowful separation had taken place? Wherever light can be found, darkness will exist, just like how the cycle of sunrise and sunset will continue for all eternity.
In the massive city, there is covert location which resembles a vast secret chamber. Placed in the room is a large round-shaped table with a hollow center, where a flicker of flame dances inconspicuously. If one were to take a careful look, one will realise that under the glowing flame, the material feeding it is a pile of peculiar bones, bones that seem to belong to some beast, and yet not so. Savage and unnerving, it bears a level of resemblance to the faces of the demons depicted in ancient legends.
Other than that, there are eleven seats by the large round-shaped table. At this very moment, there is a lonely figure sitting on a tall metal chair. The body of the figure is completely concealed under a dark-red robe, and a hood covers the head, hair and neck. A golden mask is worn on his face. Other than the eyes, not an inch of the body is exposed.
On the golden mask is a carved demonic face which bears some resemblance to the bones burning in the center of the table, thus adding an eerie atmosphere to the figure.
The secret chamber is completely silent. Sitting quietly on the metal chair, the eyes of the mysterious masked man are fixated on the bundle of burning flames, his body remaining motionless for a long period of time.
The burning flame reflects in his eyes, as though two balls of fire are burning its depths.
After a seemingly long period of time, a soft echo sounds out of a blue from a corner of the secret chamber. After which, a door appears in the shadows, and from the other end, a person pushes on it and enters.
That is a male who seems to be in his thirties. With an ordinary face, he looks like the kind of person one could meet on the streets everyday. Paired with ordinary clothes, his presence is something one could easily disregard. The man’s gaze sweeps through the secret chamber and it doesn’t take long for it to stop on the body of the mysterious figure sitting by the peculiar round-shaped table.
His face tenses for an instant and a hint of anxiety flashes across the depths of his eyes. Even so, his emotions does not reflect on his impassive face. He walks over and from the opposite side of the table, he bows respectfully to the masked figure.
“Chen He pays respect to elder.”
The head donned in a golden demonic mask moves slightly and the eyes on it glance at him. A short moment later, a peculiar voice echoes, “How is the interrogation coming along?” The voice is hoarse and deep, reminiscent of the sound produced by rubbing metal and rock together, making it difficult to distinguish the gender of the speaker.
With his head slightly lowered, Chen He inhales and says, “That fellow couldn’t survive the sentence and died. However, based on the words he spoke before his death, it is unlikele that he is acquainted with the Hei Lang that year.”
The flame in the secret chamber suddenly surges upwards, as though a fearsome dormant demon suddenly roars, causing a cold chill to go down one’s spine.
A suffocating silence falls upon this dimly-lit secret chamber. The man named Chen He stands upright as though a taut spear. Facing downwards, he dares not to even breath loudly.
After a short moment, the raging flame regains its tranquility. The fearsome golden mask tilts upward once more, and the peculiar hoarse voice sounds out once again, “All of the fishes that had escaped during the battle of the barren valley had been looked into, but there isn’t any results. What do you intend to do next?”
Chen He contemplates for a moment before saying, “After the catastrophe ten years ago, the traitor disappeared without a trace. Despite our efforts to track him down, the clues we found on him were always cut off by someone, or it would end with us alarming certain powers within the Immortal Alliance, inducing retaliations against us. From this, we can tell that there is a powerful influence in the Immortal Alliance protecting that traitor.”
A cold harrumph filled with annoyance and callousness seems to echo from beyond the demonic golden mask, and the voice sounds once more, “Continue.”
With a heavy tone, Chen He continues, “In my humble opinion, it is highly probable that the traitor isn’t in the Immortal City now. Perhaps, he could be hidden by some influential figure in some corner of the world. He might even be playing the role of an inconspicuous harmless individual in a random small sect to avoid our pursuit.”
The masked man doesn’t respond to his words and remains silent.
Chen He pauses for a moment before continuing, “Based on my humble opinion, I believe that we should change our methods.”
“Un? Why is that so?” There is a slight movement with the golden mask, seemingly signalling the interest of the person beneath.
“All of the signs throughout these ten years has showed that the Immortal Alliance is related with the event in the barren valley back then. Thus, if we wish to seek down that traitor, Hei Lang, we should focus our effort in the Immortal Alliance. Our previous method of scattering our net into the countless cultivator sect to hunt him down is a method simply too difficult to achieve success.”
A Thorough Investigation (抽丝剥茧 chou si bao jian)
It refers to the action of drawing silk from the cocoon of silkworms. In order not to destroy the cocoon, it has to be done with carefully, thoroughly with in a specific order.
It metaphors the action of looking into something thoroughly.
Confirmed uh, I will reach 49 by this week, by hook or by crook. Even if a layer of my skin tears off.
Have the files translated until 46. I will look through them and post them as soon as I’m finished. Enjoy~