After observing the room in the distance for a long time, Gu Suihan eventually shook his head. He didn’t want to risk it, because that room seemed rather strange.
“Hmm?” Gu Suihan narrowed his eyes slightly. He noticed a familiar figure walk past and disappeared again.
That was Nan Xingyuan.
She was a new disciple and at a very low level of cultivation, so theoretically speaking, she would not be allowed to cultivate in this area.
There was only one possibility. She was here to meet with a man.
What could possibly make her pay such a price to do such a thing?
Gu Suihan snorted quietly and snuck his way to the little courtyard just next to where he was.
“Spiritual Snake Navigator!” Wind gathered beneath his feet, helping him to swiftly move around the poorly setup formations.
As he leaned gently against the room door and heard the light breathing of the people inside, he relaxed a little. He had been afraid that the room was empty, which meant that he would have to find a different place and risk exposing his presence.
“Illusion Walk!” Gu Suihan’s body instantly became as thin as a sheet of paper, enabling him to slip right through the gap between the door and the door frame.
If someone were here to witness this, they would have thought they had just seen a ghost.
After barely managing to control his spiritual energy, Gu Suihan breathed a sigh of relief mentally. This spell seemed useless most of the time, but sometimes it was really useful to have. It wasn’t easy to execute, but he was glad it didn’t fail.
He narrowed his eyes and silently observed this residence he was in. The two servants in the adjacent room were sleeping soundly, so he quickly knocked them out by running his fingers across their necks and walked into the main bedroom without bothering to conceal his footsteps. He stood next to the bed and looked down at the person on it.
“Who are you?” The person on the bed was already awake. He had been rudely awakened by Gu Suihan’s obvious footsteps.
But Gu Suihan didn’t respond immediately. His eyes lit up as he sized up the man in front of him very carefully before saying in a relieved voice, “You’re at the Perfect Physical Realm but you’ve yet to activate your Qi. Not bad.”
The person on the bed pulled his blanket aside, sat up, and leaned against his headboard as he said in an agitated voice, “Who on earth are you? Don’t you know that this residence belongs to the Way Seekers Alliance?”
“Don’t bother raising your voice,” said Gu Suihan with a chuckle. “This place is surrounded by a Soundproof Formation, so nobody will be able to hear you.”
“How clever.” The man’s heart sank but he didn’t show any of his fear on his face.
Gu Suihan casually thrust his saber into the wall next to the man, picked up his robe, and sat down on the bed before gently speaking, “You’re one of this year’s new disciples, right? Are you going to be part of the secret realm expedition?”
The man’s expression shifted slightly as he replied in a stern voice, “So what if I am? You’ve snuck into my room and you’ve even used a spell to hide some of your features so that I won’t recognize you. I’m sure you’re up to no good.”
“I want you to do me a favor,” said Gu Suihan with a wide grin as he ignored the other party’s accusations.
“You’re hoping that I’d tell you where the secret realm is?” The other man scoffed. “Too bad for you. I’m too far down the hierarchy, so I don’t even remotely know where it is.”
Gu Suihan sensed something wrong, so he shot his left hand out, grabbed the other man’s left elbow, then tapped the man’s forearm with his fingers several times. He smiled faintly and said, “My friend, I’d advise you to cooperate with me. Otherwise, you might not get to keep this arm.”
It turned out that the other man had secretly taken out two talismans with his left hand. One was a Fiery Explosion Talisman and the other was a Heavenly Pitch Talisman.
The former could ignite a huge explosion, while the latter sent out invisible sound waves which could damage one’s mind and cause dizziness if one wasn’t alert enough to hold up against its effects.
“Fine.” The other man paled as he glanced down at his left arm to find that all his Qi was really stuck at his elbow and even though his forearm looked perfectly fine on the outside, the meridian channels in his forearm had shrunk significantly. He started feeling afraid as he realized how vicious this intruder was.
“I just want you to wear this thing,” said Gu Suihan as he took a small jade pendant out. He sounded like he couldn’t bear to part with it as he said, “It wasn’t easy for me to get this made, so I hope you’ll protect it well.”
“You…” The other man glared at Gu Suihan angrily and gritted his teeth. He glanced at the jade pendant and said, “You’re asking me to betray the Way Seekers Alliance?”
“Hmm?” The image of Nan Xingyuan walking past earlier flashed in Gu Suihan’s mind and he smiled as an idea struck him.
He patted the other man’s shoulder and shot him a friendly smile as he said, “Everybody chooses to do only what’s beneficial to himself. That’s human nature. I’m not asking you to betray anybody. I just want to ensure Nan Xingyuan’s safety, that’s all. Her father is not one to be trifled with, after all.”
“Nan Xingyuan?” The other man paused before suddenly realizing who Gu Suihan was talking about. “Oh! I see! You don’t have to worry about that then. But why don’t you pass this pendant to her directly? Why—”
“Please don’t be mistaken, we’re not in a relationship or anything like that. But I’ve spoken to her father, Nan Yuntian, before and I received a letter from him telling me to protect Nan Xingyuan from harm in secret.”
This really wasn’t something Gu Suihan thought he’d ever say, but he continued with this narrative anyway, “But as you know, internal disciples like myself have very little contact with external disciples. I just found out that the new external disciples are going to be sent to a secret realm and I think it could be fairly dangerous, so I’ve decided to protect her secretly. Then I won’t owe her father anything.”
“I see.” The other man frowned, but when he remembered how difficult and unreasonable Nan Xingyuan could be, he could suddenly see why Gu Suihan was doing it this way. So, he said in a solemn voice, “I’ll promise to do this for you.”
“Don’t worry, once all of this is over, I’ll make sure you’re rewarded handsomely,” said Gu Suihan. “You can have these pills first, just in case they come in handy.” His storage ring gleamed and he retrieved a bottle of Body Stabilizing and Qi Nourishing Pills.
The other man was stunned to see these pills. This pill usually cost 20 Spiritual Stones each, so one bottle was worth 200 Spiritual Stones, which made it quite expensive. Seeing the storage ring on Gu Suihan’s hand also dispelled some of the suspicions he had earlier.
“I hope you won’t take what I did earlier to heart, I didn’t really have a choice.” Once the other man accepted the bottle of pills, Gu Suihan ran his right hand across the other man’s left arm to restore it, then pulled his saber out of the wall.
The other man watched in shock as Gu Suihan slowly turned into nothing but a flat shadow that slipped back through the gap between his room’s door and its door frame.
“What…what on earth is this spell? That’s…amazing. He’s an internal disciple alright.” The man’s heart pounded in fear as he was both in awe and afraid of what Gu Suihan was capable of.
Gu Suihan weaved in and out of the residences and finally made it out of the Way Seekers Alliance’s territory. As he exhaled deeply, he also felt a sense of relief.
His initial plan was to force the other man to consume a Qi Dispelling Pill and threaten to withhold the antidote unless the man did what he wanted. But he suddenly thought of Nan Xingyuan, so he decided to use her as an excuse and even made up a story about himself. He had purposely allowed the other man to see that he had a storage ring.
Storage rings were usually worth a five-digit figure, so unless you were given one by the sect for being one of the best internal disciples, the only other way to get one would be to save up and buy one. So when the other man saw that Gu Suihan had a storage ring, he believed Gu Suihan’s story about him being an internal disciple and all that.
As for the option of killing the other man and replacing him during the expedition, this was something that didn’t even cross Gu Suihan’s mind.
There was a gigantic formation that covered all of the Seven Kill Sect and operated 24/7. Members of the Disciplinary Court used this formation to watch the disciples’ every move. Others might not realize how powerful this formation was, but an experienced ancient like Gu Suihan certainly knew.
This formation was based on an inferior version of the Heaven Reaching Blood Demonic Formation of the past. But even if the current formation were only one hundredth the strength of the original, it was still an extraordinary formation.
The next day, Gu Suihan hid and quietly started sensing where that jade pendant was right now. The signal that the jade pendant sent out was very faint.
“Northeast,” he murmured as he suddenly opened his eyes.
He had changed out of the usual garb that the Seven Kill Sect disciples would wear. He had also cast a Bone Shifting Spell on himself so that his face and body shape changed slightly. Even his saber now looked like a sword instead.
As he looked towards the northeast, he made a hand seal to move his Qi, sending his body flying into the air. He dodged the tree branches expertly like a raptor gliding through the air.
In theory, a cultivator at the Foundation Establishment stage could fly. But doing so consumed too much spiritual energy, so most of them preferred to stick a Lightweight Body Talisman to themselves if they needed to move quickly.
But Gu Suihan had other plans in mind, so he had no choice but to take the risk of flying in order to get ahead of the new disciples.
Even so, Gu Suihan still decided to be cautious and stuck a Faint Shadow Talisman on himself so that his body would not be so easily spotted flying in the sky.
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