A carpet of snow covered the entire forbidden area perfectly. Grand Senior Sister trekked lightly across the ground, leaving no trace. Behind her was Li Chengfeng and the loud crackle that came with every heavy step he took, ruining the perfect scenery.
“G-g-g-grand Senior Sister!” The small guy guarding the forbidden area appeared hesitantly once again with an apologetic smile. “G-g-g-grand Senior Sister, you’re here ag-g-gain! M-m-may I ask… why?” Then, his eyes darted at Li Chengfeng.
Chengfeng was startled by him, for he did not see when the small guy appeared out of thin air.
This small guy seemed to be a stutter, emphasizing on the word ‘grand’... was she really that grand?
Chengfeng then looked at Grand Senior Sister. Hmm, even with her billowing robes, he could still see the stunning outline of a curve… She really is G-g-g-g-grand Senior Sister!
Grand Senior Sister did not even look at the small guy. She took out a jade order token and shook it in front of him. “See this?” Then, she kept it.
The small guy was privately disgruntled. Hey, who’s going to see anything if you shake it like that?!
But would he dare say anything? News of Grand Senior Sister hitting Huang Nishang with her whip had already spread and all the juniors were terrified. Who would want to provoke her any further?
He looked at Chengfeng awkwardly. “B-b-but… but even if you have t-t-the token… I c-c-can’t let…”
Grand Senior Sister was too impatient for this. She cut him off. “Get out if you can’t even speak properly. Get the fat guy over here!”
“Yes, Grand Senior Sister!” He’d suddenly lost his stutter- and then disappeared and reappeared on the branch of a tall tree. He kicked the big guy in the butt. “G-g-grand Senior Sister asked for you! G-g-go!”
The big guy yelled, “How dare you!”
“Ptui, G-g-grand S-senior Sister asked for you!”
Sulking, the big guy leapt off the tree and landed with a loud thud, causing the snow on the ground to bounce.
Although she was a lot smaller than him, he looked at her with reverence, quickly lowering his head. Is it too late for me to pretend to be a mute?
Grand Senior Sister glared at him coldly. “So, are you trying to stop me? And are you going to let him in? Speak up!”
Her voice was flat but he was scared out of his mind. The big guy clenched his teeth. “Just bring him inside if that's really what you want. But… this is a forbidden area and you must be careful. If any trouble arises… I’m afraid a newcomer like you will not be able to afford the consequences!”
The last part was meant as advice to Li Chengfeng, who forced an ugly smile that looked like he was about to cry. “Can I say no?”
Grand Senior Sister replied flatly, “No. If you break your promise, I will kill you all.”
He quickly replied, “I won’t do it if I’ll definitely die or it’s against my conscience! Or I’d rather die here now! If both result in death, I’d rather die innocent here first!”
She did not reassure him. “You won’t die if you listen to me.” As she spoke, she walked deeper inside. Li Chengfeng looked at the big guy, who glared at him threateningly. Li Chengfeng knew that other than the court masters and the sect master, no one could touch him.
“If… this task isn’t that dangerous and I delay finishing the three tasks, haven’t I found myself a protector?” Li Chengfeng suddenly felt like the gloomy skies had cracked open.
If she agreed to save Xiaobao so quickly, it meant she had something extremely difficult for me to accomplish. And she must let me start with the easiest task first, to test if I can do the ‘ultimate task’, right?
He calmed down quickly and swaggered behind Grand Senior Sister. It was like the fox walking behind the tiger, pretending to be the king when in fact everyone was only afraid of the tiger. The big guy almost beat him up.
He huffed furiously as he watched them enter the forbidden area, roaring up at the tree, “If you stutter one more time, I am going to kill you!”
The small guy was indifferent. “I-i-i-if you really k-k-kill me… you’ll h-have to g-g-guard this place alone…”
The big guy had no rebuttal. It made sense. If he had to guard this place alone, wouldn’t he have to suffer all the pressure alone too?
As the two bickered outside, Li Chengfeng looked around curiously as he followed Grand Senior Sister inside. He did not understand why this would be a forbidden area.
Grand Senior Sister obviously did not want to chat nor introduce the place so they walked in silence. He was completely oblivious to the number of traps and arrays he had passed. If he walked alone, he would have been pulverised on the spot already!
Li Chengfeng followed her to a stone structure. The building was not tall, though more like a cave dug into a mountain. There were two ten-metre-tall statues on both sides of the entrance, one holding a spear and the other a halbert. When she arrived at the entrance, both statues turned their heads immediately and glared at them with fireball eyes.
Terrified, he stood obediently behind her, afraid that he would be stomped to pulp if he made a wrong move.
He could call himself king in Cheng’an with his martial arts skills but upon entering the sect… he realised just how tiny he was in his big, big world!
Grand Senior Sister pressed her jade order token at a dent in the tightly shut door. In a moment, the three-metre tall, two-metre wide door opened to reveal stone steps. The two statues turned away and the flames in their eyes extinguished.
Li Chengfeng quickly followed behind her once she entered. He peered around curiously but it was just a stone pathway wide enough to fit two people. A candle in compartments in the wall would light up with every step forward. When his foot left the previous step, the candle behind would extinguish silently. As they walked, two rows of candles lit and extinguished continuously.
Space ahead widened upon exiting the stone tunnel. Through the candles lit nearby, he could see that it was a gigantic lake before him, so large he could barely see its other side. He could not imagine how such a vast space existed within a mountain. And how was this lake even formed?
Grand Senior Sister turned to him. “Wait here.” She then walked across the lake’s surface, a lily pad appearing beneath every step. When she took the next step, the lily pad would immediately close up to become a bud which bloomed into glowing white lilies. They floated beautifully on the surface of the water.
Grand Senior Sister walked to the middle of the lake, lilies forming in her wake, then held up the jade token. A ray of light shot out of the glowing token and turned into a green pillar of light shining vertically up and down the lake.
After a while, Chengfeng heard a deafening boom and the entire mountain trembled. The gigantic lake bubbled vigorously. Then, the lake water started to flow upwards to aggregate into an upside-down lake with a surface as still as an ink-green mirror!
The entire lake was now above his head!
Li Chengfeng’s jaw dropped!