Chapter 15: Ordained 

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Ning Huaishan and One-arm waited beside the mountain road on the outskirts of the city.

Before they got into the carriage, Yi Wusheng lifted the curtain and took a look at them from afar.

It was snowing very heavily outside, so he couldn’t see their faces clearly.
But he could tell their general appearances apart.
At first glance, one of those two subordinates looked extraordinarily thin and weak, like a teenage boy.

A little kid?

Yi Wusheng shook his head and sighed in his head, “During these years, there were many people who entered the diabolic path from a very young age.
How deplorable and pathetic.”

He had once come across a child like this before, and at the time, he didn’t have the heart to kill him.

“Why did you shake your head, sir?” Wu Xingxue asked.
His voice sounded very nice, and he talked no differently from an ordinary young master.

But for some reason, it also made one panic.
Maybe because of how light his last words were.

Yi Wusheng immediately dropped the curtains.

He squeezed the paper.
But just as he was about to reply, the doors were opened, and snow and wind rushed in with a “swoosh”.

“City Lord, we had to wait so long!” Ning Huaishan walked in.
Right after he called Wu Xingxue, he saw Yi Wusheng, and his face immediately turned blue.
“How come it’s you?”

Yi Wusheng was stunned.

“This reaction,” Wu Xingxue looked at the two, “Do you guys know each other?”

“Humph,” Ning Huaishan gave a sneer and said enigmatically, “How would I, a devil from Zhaoye City, know him, an elder of a famous sect? It was only many years ago when we accidentally met each other once.”

Yi Wusheng clearly didn’t recognize him.
He showed a confused expression: “?”

Ning Huaishan’s face grew even bluer.

He gave a low curse, then tugged down his collar to reveal his lower neck.
A long sword scar was found near the most vulnerable area of his neck.
On top of the scar was a fresh scab, and it seemed to have even cracked open not too long ago.

After seeing the scar, Yi Wusheng finally recognized him.
He looked at Ning Huaishan in astonishment, and the paper became a little more wrinkled, showing how surprised he was, “Are you… that child from Jiaming Wilderness Wilderness?”

“Little your mom,” Ning Huaishan said as he pulled open his collar.
“I was only a teenager back then, but it’s been over 40 years already.”

Naturally, Wu Xingxue naturally didn’t understand what they were talking about at all.

But that didn’t prevent him from joining the conversation, “Jiaming Wilderness?”

Ning Huaishan was originally done cursing, but after being asked this, he said again with a cold laugh, “Yes, the Jiaming Wilderness.
City Lord, you know, it was when Black Bodhisattva and I went there to take care of business, but we were stopped by the Hua Sect.
That was how Black Bodhisattva died.”

“……”

He actually didn’t know.

Wu Xingxue gave an “oh”, then said, “Yeah, I remember what happened to Black Bodhisattva” my ass.

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“Then, this sword wound of yours is?”

As a devil already, wasn’t it very common to fight with the cultivation sects? Why did I hold such a long grudge just over getting a sword cut?

“Ask him,” Ning Huaishan pointed at Yi Wusheng.

“…” Yi Wusheng thought to himself: “What did I get myself into” T_T.

He was silent for a moment, but still continued, “At that time, my sword was covered with some… medicine.”

They went there to slay devils to start with, and so every Hua Sect disciple had their swords smeared with spiritual medicine.
In fact, he made this medicine himself.
With a single cut, even if it didn’t kill the devil in one blow, the medicine was a potent enough poison to make the sword wound repeatedly rupture and fester.

Because the people of Zhaoye City cultivated diabolic techniques, they of course had a means of healing wounds as well.
They could heal their wounds exceptionally quickly, but it came at a high price.

“This sword wound forced me to go into the medicinal pool almost every day, cultivating the Poison Restriction Technique, and soaking for more than thirty years.” Ning Huaishan clenched his teeth, “My body hasn’t grown since then!”

“And you were scolding me at the time,” Ning Huaishan glared at Yi Wusheng, “What is it that you were saying? Oh, that from a young age I had lost myself to the evil ways, mistakenly taking the wrong path, telling me to open my eyes and take a good look at those people who had been killed by devils; that if I had ever thought about my family for even a single second.
You said that if I continued like this, I would certainly regret it my whole life.”

“Old mister,” said Ning Huaishan with a smile, his two sharp canine teeth gave off a sinister feeling.

Old… mister.

Yi Wusheng remained silent.

Cultivators wouldn’t age easily.
In the eyes of the common people, his appearance looked like somewhere around his mid-twenties.

“The entire Zhaoye City knows that I’m an orphan who crawled up from beneath the ground.
I don’t even have a family to bother thinking of, what can I do? But old mister, did you ever think back then that there’d be a day when you’d be facing me again?”

Yi Wusheng: “……”

Facing you again with swords? Maybe.
But facing you again while sharing a carriage? Certainly not.

Ning Huaishan’s gaze swept past the black strip of cloth stretched across his mouth and nose.
He said harshly: “Aiyaya, it looks like your treatment here isn’t very nice, I—”

Yi Wusheng’s bleak white face was almost about to be mocked to red from the anger inside of him.
But suddenly, a silver sword sheath rose next to the door and knocked against the back of Ning Huaishan’s knee.

With a thud, Ning Huaishan knelt down in front of Yi Wusheng.

“……”

I—

He clutched his numb legs with a “fuck”, then turned his head to stare at the person who hit him.
The Celestial Immortal was looking down at him, then he moved his fingers expressionlessly, and the sword returned to its original position.

Ning Huaishan saw the black water lily across Xiao Fuxuan’s hand and remembered that this was his City Lord’s puppet.
Everything he did was according to the City Lord’s will.

Ning Huaishan turned to look at Wu Xingxue and said, “City Lord, you let him hit me?”

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Wu Xingxue: “……”

I didn’t.

He raised his eyes and looked at Xiao Fuxuan on the opposite side.

Xiao Fuxuan also looked back at him through the dim lighting.
After a moment, he very lightly moved his eyebrows, then he showed a face of “nothing to do with me.” ¯_(ツ)_/¯  1

Wu Xingxue: “……”

Being the dignified immortal you are, why are you sowing conflict between me and my subordinate?

He rubbed his hot fingers and watched for a while.
Then he tapped the table with his fingers and said to Ning Huaishan, “You don’t have to keep kneeling here.
You’re blocking someone from entering the carriage.
Go sit down.”

“Who?” Ning Huaishan gave an angry glare behind him.

Just in time to see One-Arm grabbing the door with a single hand, one foot in the carriage, the other still hanging outside.
He expressionlessly gave Ning Huaishan a single sentence, “You’ve been testing my patience, scram inside.”

Ning Huaishan: “……”

He felt aggrieved, staring at the empty seat beside Yi Wusheng for a very long time.
Then he turned his head to look at Xiao Fuxuan.
He gritted his teeth, then decided to sit beside Wu Xingxue.

Then, he saw Xiao Fuxuan’s sword move.

Ning Huaishan reflexively jumped up from the wooden chair the moment his butt touched it.
He quickly got to Yi Wusheng’s side and sat beside his “enemy”.

“Okay, okay, I won’t sit there, City Lord, but please kill don’t me.” He muttered.

Wu Xingxue: “……”

A giant question mark was sitting above Wu Xingxue’s head.

Who didn’t let you sit?

A moment later, Ning Huaishan realized that Xiao Fuxuan didn’t have any intentions to draw his sword, and then realized that he had made a big deal out of nothing.
He immediately felt himself get embarrassed.

Too embarrassed to switch again, he could only squeeze next to Yi Wusheng with a face like he was attending a funeral.

One-arm looked around, and then squeezed next to Ning Huaishan.

It wasn’t that he didn’t dare sit next to Wu Xingxue, it was just that it would be easier to whisper to Ning Huaishan when sitting next to him.

“Did you notice, City Lord didn’t move from start to finish, and he’s been holding that handwarmer this whole time,” he pressed his finger against Ning Huaishan, using a method that only the two of them could hear.

Wu Xingxue’s internal energy was extremely frigid, even colder than the Eternal Sea, which was covered in snow for hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
A layer of frost would often form on the very swords he held, and when he gripped one’s chin, frigid frost could run an icy path all the way from his fingertips to one’s face.

Only others feared him, and he had never feared anything, not even the cold.

How could such a person hold onto a handwarmer for so long and not let go?

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Ning Huaishan thought for a bit and replied in the same manner, “I was blinded by anger just then and didn’t notice.
Now that I think about it…I barely managed to survive in the Jiaming Wilderness back then, and when I returned to the city, the first person I saw was the City Lord.
He saw my sword wound fester endlessly.

Although it had been over thirty years already, and there was still the possibility that he might have forgotten, if the wound didn’t remind him of anything at all, then something strange was definitely going on.

After getting into the carriage, they became firmer and firmer about their previous thoughts.

***

The carriage did not stop once in the next three days.
After avoiding more than twenty cultivation sect restrictions, they could finally see the shape of the Valley of Great Sorrow from afar.

Wu Xingxue lifted the window curtain to take a look, just to see that enormous, deep valley silently lurking behind the snow and fog.
Before entering the valley, there was a high cliff, forming a moat.
On the cliff was a long and narrow suspension bridge, leading to the entrance of the Valley of Great Sorrow.

The chains of the bridge were covered with vines, dropping down at different lengths.
At first glance, it looked obvious that no one had come here for a very long time.

But the strange thing is that there was an inn less than a mile away from the valley’s entrance.

No, it was a bit too much to call it an inn, it was at most two straw shacks.
The straw shack in the front was empty on all sides and only had a roof.
It could block the rain from above, but wouldn’t stand against the winds that would blow in all directions.
There were tables and chairs inside the shack.

The straw shack in the back looked more completely; one should be able to temporarily live there for a day or two.

Before their eyes, there were even people inside that shack.

***

The carriage stopped in front of the shacks.

“We’re the most familiar with the Valley of Great Sorrow.
We two will go first to explore around and clear out some miscellaneous barriers so that they won’t be in the way when you enter the valley.” Ning Huaishan and One-arm gave a heads up to Wu Xingxue and then left.

Wu Xingxue and the others got off after them and walked towards the straw shack.

Afraid that people would find him strange, Yi Wusheng took a long scarf from the carriage that was used to keep warm and wrapped it around his neck a few times, covering the black cloth on his nose and mouth.
He asked the people sitting in the straw shack, “It has been a long time since the Valley of Great Sorrow was sealed.
Why are you guys here?”

Inside the shack, there were three cultivation sects’ disciples, but they didn’t wear their sect’s badges.

They were all very young.
Their robes fluttered in the wind, making them seem like they were not afraid of the cold.
They looked at the incoming carriage with a cautious look.

There were also another four people in there as well.
They looked like ordinary people, two men, and two women, all middle-aged.
They were dressed in cheap, simple robes.

Perhaps because they were afraid of the wind, their hands and feet were tied tightly.
Their necks  were also wrapped in thick cotton scarves, and their faces were deeply wrinkled and scarred.
Swords were laid on the table in front of them, and also several bowls of hot soup and tea with white steam coming from them.

One of the women’s eyes was completely red, like she had just been crying.
Her eyes swept past Yi Wusheng and landed on Wu Xingxue.

Maybe because they saw that Yi Wusheng was wrapped up with a large scarf, much like themselves, and Wu Xingxue didn’t have a sword or weapon on him, only holding a handwarmer, making him look like he didn’t pose much of a threat.

The woman hesitated for a moment, then replied, “There’s no other way.
We came to search for people.”

“Search for people?” asked Wu Xingxue curiously.

“Mm,” the woman nodded, then continued, “My two daughters…”

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One of the cultivators on the side gave a cough and said, “Don’t say too much.”

The region of the Valley of Great Sorrow was filled with evils, especially after the valley was sealed.
Very few living people came, and the atmosphere felt very deadly.
The entire deep valley was covered with dark clouds and gloomy fog.

“Before we came, we already knew that the people we see here won’t necessarily be humans,” the cultivation disciple said softly again.

Wu Xingxue had good ears and heard what he said.
He raised his eyebrows.

He thought, he was indeed right.
A vestigial soul, a resurrected corpse, and a devil were among them; none of which could be considered living humans.

He pretended that he didn’t hear them and went on asking, “If you guys are looking for people, then why are you sitting here?”

The Cultivation Sect disciple frowned.
After a moment, he asked back, “Have you never been to the Valley of Great Sorrow before?”

Ning Huaishan and One-arm weren’t here anyway, so Wu Xingxue replied, “We haven’t.”

“No wonder,” replied the disciple.

“The Valley of Great Sorrow has been sealed for a long time.
Many people never come back and don’t know the rules.” The cultivation disciple pointed at the bridge and continued, “This valley can only be entered at night after the sun has set behind the mountains.
There are lamps in the celestial temple next to the valley entrance, and the bridge can only be crossed after the lamps light up.
Or else, stepping on the bridge means certain death.”

“What makes you say that?” Wu Xingxue asked as he looked over towards the bridge.

The woman said softly, “Then there are so many things lying under the bridge.”

“Since this place is so dangerous and there are so many restrictions along the way, how can someone enter here by mistake and end up needing to be searched back?” Yi Wusheng asked.

“They didn’t enter by mistake.” The woman looked at the celestial temple at the entrance of the valley, then said to Yi Wusheng, “They were ordained here.”

Wu Xingxue heard the sword beside him move a little.

He turned his head and saw Xiao Fuxuan frowning.

“What’s wrong?” asked Wu Xingxue.

“Ordained,” replied Xiao Fuxuan,  heavily.
“Before, there was only one situation where one would be ordained.”

“What type of situation?”

“To be granted a name by the heavens and ordained as an immortal.”

Most of the immortals had come to be through cultivation and ascension, and there were only a few minimal exceptions—without cultivating, they had already received immortality at a very young age.

In the Immortal City, this was known as a “heavenly decree.” Those who were ordained by “heavenly decree” to become immortals would be granted a name by the heavens and weren’t under the jurisdiction of the Lingtai Twelve Immortals.

There have only been two such people in Immortal Capital from beginning to end, and Xiao Fuxuan was one of them.

So… why would the ones ordained by the heavens appear in the Valley of Great Sorrow?

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