Li Yundong's sudden appearance shocked Zheng Yuan, and his feeling of shock only intensified when he saw Zi Yuan, Su Chan and Ruan Hongling. He knew that things were not going well.
If it had been a one-on-one fight, Zheng Yuan would have had confidence in his ability to beat Li Yundong. However, if Zi Yuan was involved, Zheng Yuan could not be so sure about whether he would prevail. Moreover, there was a three-tailed fox spirit and the Zhengyi School's Ruan Hongling with him.
Ruan Hongling's cultivation was not outstanding, but her red damask was a big threat. Zheng Yuan was experienced and knowledgeable, so he was naturally well aware of how powerful that magical item was. He didn't have the Tongzi Yuanyang blood necessary to go against this magical item. He was fighting four people alone, with Ding Nan, a burden, who couldn't do any Magic, so he wanted to retreat.
Having been caught for the crime of murder on the spot, Zheng Yuan made no attempt to hide what he'd done. He smiled at Li Yundong, "Oh, It's Zhenren Li. What, do you also want this ancient golden python?"
He rolled his eyes and said with a smile, "How about this! Zhenren Li, you can take this golden snake's skin and scales, and I'll get to keep its flesh. What do you think? This python's skin and scales are impenetrable, at least by swords and spears. A true treasure! It'll be very powerful if you use them to make magical clothes or magical items."
Li Yundong's face darkened as the anger in his heart grew.
When Zheng Yuan saw Li Yundong's expression changing, he thought his tricks had been revealed. He chuckled and said, "What, you don't like my offer? Alright then, how about you take the flesh? An ancient spirit python's flesh can not only be used for the refinement of all kinds of elixirs of life, it's also a top-grade nourishing medicinal material! So I'll take the less valuable skin while you get the flesh. How do you like the sound of that?"
Li Yundong's expression was only worsening. Zheng Yuan frowned and said, "Zhenren Li, I do hope you're not think of snatching this Neidan from me? How about this, the flesh, skin, and scales of this snake can all belong to you, but the Neidan will be mine. What do you think?"
Li Yundong was absolutely livid after listening to him bargain for the python's body like it was a bale of hay. He said angrily, "You are the Leader of a sect. How can you be so shameless, sinister, and ruthless? You kill people without blinking! Aren't you afraid of bringing divine punishment upon yourself?"
Zheng Yuan said impatiently, "Zhenren Li, I only call you Zhenren out of respect. Don't refuse a toast only to drink a forfeit. In terms of age, I'm a bit older than your grandpa. You have no right to comment on me or my behavior! Besides, I'm not killing people with magical items or magic. How can I bring divine punishment down on myself?"
Li Yundong said angrily, "You heartless bastard! You have lived all this time for nothing!"
Zheng Yuan glanced at them and sneered, "What, are you think you're a good person? And you, Zhenren Zi Yuan, why did you get together with the Leader of the Fox zen Sect? Hmph, I didn't believe it when Zou Ping said that you and Li Yundong were in cahoots, but now it turns out to be true! If this gets out, I'm afraid it won't be good for your reputation! Hey, Zhenren Li, why don't you just take a good look at yourself. You've colluded with the fox spirit and demons, yet you still have the audacity to come here and criticize me! Ha, I say you're the one who's shameless!"
These words almost drove Li Yundong over the edge. He took a deep breath, made a gesture behind his back, and slowly mobilized his Zhenqi to get ready to launch an attack on Zheng Yuan.
Seeing Li Yundong's gesture, Zi Yuan and the others also quietly moved to surround Zheng Yuan and Ding Nan from all directions.
Li Yundong shot a meaningful look at Ding Nan and said, "Ding Nan, I didn't expect you to be collaborating with such a jerk! Take my advice and leave him before it's too late!"
Li Yundong's words caused Zheng Yuan's heart to tighten. He narrowed his eyes and glanced at Ding Nan, thinking, "How can Li Yundong know her when Ping'er changed her body? This is not gonna end well now. If I were alone, I could at least run if I couldn't defeat them. But how can I escape with Ping'er? I guess I'll just have to give her up!"
Zheng Yuan looked at Ding Nan. If Ding Nan wanted to escape, he would kill her first and then run away.
Ding Nan had been with Zhou Qin and had been visiting the rich and the powerful on official business for a long time. As such, she had gotten quite good at observing people's expressions and thoughts. She peeped at Zheng Yuan and found him looking at her dangerously. His fingers were repeatedly clenching and relaxing, and his expression was really full of killing intent.
Ding Nan's heart beat quickly and she immediately made a wise decision. Quietly moving closer to Zheng Yuan, she whispered, "Master, you can threaten Li Yundong by using me as a hostage. He won't do anything to us."
Zheng Yuan asked in a low voice, "Are you sure?"
Ding Nan had mixed feelings in her heart as she said calmly, "Yes, because the owner of this body is his classmate."
Hearing this, Zheng Yuan was overjoyed. He immediately lunged for Ding Nan's throat with his five fingers and shouted, "Li Yundong, don't push your luck! I'll strangle your classmate to death!"
Li Yundong had not been expecting Zheng Yuan to threaten him with Ding Nan, and shock and anger overwhelmed him. "Zheng Yuan, that's your own disciple! Are you insane?"
Zheng Yuan laughed wildly as he said, "I'd rather betray the whole world than let myself be betrayed! Haven't you heard this, kid?"
Li Yundong spat fiercely on the ground. "Bah, you don't know sh*t!"
Ruan Hongling shouted angrily from behind Zheng Yuan, "Li Yundong, don't waste your breath talking nonsense with this villain! Just get it over with! I don't believe that he would dare to kill his disciple!"
Li Yundong, however, saw that Zheng Yuan's eyes were full of murderous intent and his five fingers were digging into her neck like hooks. If he exerted only a little force, Ding Nan's airway would be cut off. He thought of the villagers killed by him just now and how quickly he had turned from a sage-like person to a cruel murderer. Obviously, he was ruthless and cold-hearted. If they pushed him too hard, Zheng Yuan would definitely kill Ding Nan and then run away on his own.
Li Yundong stared fiercely at Zheng Yuan and said through gritted teeth, "You win this time, Zheng Yuan! But let me tell you, this is the last chance you'll ever get from me. Next time, I won't show you any mercy!"
After that, he shouted at Ding Nan, "Ding Nan, you will pay for it if you do any evil things! Do you hear me? This time, I'll let him go for your sake. Next time I see you fooling around with him, I'll turn against you too!"
Li Yundong's loud roar was like the clanging of thousands of bells, making Ding Nan feel a wave of nausea.
Zheng Yuan sneered, rolled up his sleeves, then quickly turned into a plume of black smoke and flew into the air, catching Ding Nan. However, he didn't leave at once. Instead, he shot through the air and greedily attached himself to the golden python's body.
Zi Yuan shouted coldly, "Zheng Yuan, are you waiting for us to go back on our words?"
Only then did Zheng Yuan regain his senses. He let out a long roar of anger and indignation, and without so much as a second glance at the golden python, he fled.
After he had taken Ding Nan back to the cave on Wuhua Mount, he returned to human form. The disciples in the cave greeted him joyously when they saw him and Ding Nan coming back. They said, "Master, sister Ding Nan, you are back!"
Zheng Yuan still had a kind smile on his face as he nodded kindly to his disciples, but when he walked into his inner mansion with Ding Nan, his fair face suddenly changed, the expression on it becoming extremely ferocious.
Zheng Yuan picked up a teapot next to him and threw it to the ground fiercely as he shouted angrily, "Li Yundong, how dare you! You killed my adopted son and took my treasure. You really went too far this time!"
Ding Nan was startled. Taking a moment to think quickly, she stepped forward to Zheng Yuan, gently caressed his back with a smile, and whispered, "Master, don't be angry. Is it never too late for us to take revenge! What's more, when I have achieved success in my cultivation journey, I will be your right hand."
Hearing this, Zheng Yuan's anger dissipated appreciably. He turned his head, nodded at Ding Nan, and said appreciatively, "Not bad. You did well today. The time I spent on cultivating you was not wasted! From now on, feel free to take all of the the Elixirs of life that I've collected. I'll help you improve your skills as soon as possible. In the future, you'll be in charge of dealing with Zi Yuan. That b*tch, she looks like an innocent fairy on the outside but is as lustful as a cheap harlot on the inside! Humph, Li Yundong killed my adopted son and snatched my treasure today. I must take revenge for this! When your Cultivation Quotient reaches a certain level, will they dare to be so arrogant? How dare they mess with our Wuhua Mount?!"
After that, he suddenly thought of something. He slid a three-inch-long golden hairpin from his sleeve and handed it to Ding Nan, then smiled and said, "This is the Threaded Hairpin of Traversing Soul that I got from the Fox Zen School. Take it with you and wear down its Lingqi very day. When you have succeeded at cultivation, refine it into your own magical weapon. Hehe, Li Yundong will never expect you to use the Fox Zen School's Magic item to fight against the Fox Zen School. Hahaha! At that time, his reaction will no doubt be very interesting!"
Ding Nan took the Threaded Hairpin of Traversing Soul and said with a smile, "Thank you, Master!"
Zheng Yuan waved his hand and said, "As long as you hurry up with improving your Cultivation, I will give you whatever you want! I can't wait to see the day of revenge arrive!"
He stroked Ding Nan's soft hand with a smile and said, "When your Cultivation Quotient reaches a certain level, we two can revive the Yin Yang Sect based in Mount Wuhua!"
Seeing his obscene smile, Ding Nan felt a wave of abject disgust wash over her. She suppressed her discomfort and smiled back at Zheng Yuan, but when she turned away from him, the smile on her face instantly disappeared and was replaced by a cold expression.
Ding Nan squeezed the Threaded Hairpin of Traversing Soul tightly in her palm. She had once witnessed Yan Fang using this magical item to destroy Ye Yu, who was so powerful that it was as if nobody on earth could have beaten her her. However, he had turned her into a pile of ashes, blood, and gore! Thinking of that, Ding Nan wanted to immediately pierce this lustful old man's throat with the Threaded Hairpin of Traversing Soul.
But she knew that it was not the right time. She stroked the Threaded Hairpin of Traversing Soul expressionlessly and thought, "Li Yundong, sooner or later, I will make you see me in a whole new way!"
After Zheng Yuan had escaped with Ding Nan, Ruan Hongling shouted angrily, "You let that b*stard escape just like that? Damn it! Even calling the police to arrest him would have been better than this!"
Zi Yuan said in a low voice, "Nonsense! Issues between cultivators must be resolved in the Cultivation World!"
Li Yundong took a deep breath and suppressed his anger before saying, "Let's take the body of this golden python back and bury her with her husband."
Ruan Hongling sneered, "The dead litter the ground and no one has collected their bodies yet. This dead snake demon, on the other hand, is going to be buried in a fair and just manner. What kind of world is this?"
Li Yundong glared at her. "As far as I can see, the worst one in this world is a human!"
Seeing that the two of them were arguing, Zi Yuan broke in in a calm voice, "Stop arguing. The villagers here will come to collect the corpses. If we intervene, we will definitely get into trouble. Ruan Hongling, think twice before you speak and act. Don't be so rash!"
Ruan Hongling snorted but didn't respond.
Li Yundong and the others took the golden python back to the top of the mountain. When they put the two golden pythons together, Su Chan suddenly said to Li Yundong, "Aren't they a bit big to be buried? What size hole should we dig? Yundong, I think it's better if we cremate them."
Ruan Hongling laughed and said, "This golden snake's skin is resistant to fire and water. How are we supposed to burn it?"
When Su Chan saw the two dead golden snakes, she felt a jolt of sadness. So, for once, she didn't quarrel with Ruan Hongling and instead just said, "How about we use the True Flames of Samadhi?"
Zi Yuan shook her head. "No. If the True Flames of Samadhii are ignited, this whole mountain will disappear. I think we'd better dig a pit without anyone noticing."
Li Yundong agreed. "Makes sense. Are cultivators afraid of digging holes?"
They rolled up their sleeves and got to work one after another. They dug a big pit with magical items and put the bodies of the two golden pythons inside. Then, they covered it with soil. Li Yundong sighed, "I didn't expect to encounter such a thing this time. Let's go back. I hope we won't run across this kind of thing again."
Zi Yuan's bright eyes were fixed on Li Yundong. She asked, "The Golden python's body is extremely valuable. If you want to refine the Diyuan Jindan, you must have the Golden python's Neidan. The skin and scales of it can be used to make high-quality magical items. Are you really not interested in such treasures at all?"
Li Yundong asked in response, "What about you? Aren't you tempted?"
Zi Yuan said indifferently, "Everything in this world is nothing more than a passing cloud to me. What's there for me to value? What's there for me to covet?"
Li Yundong smiled slightly and said, "Your Cultivation is higher. I would just feel fundamentally wrong about keeping such a thing in my pocket. Cultivators value the state of mind most. If I feel guilty, then my mind will not be firm and my cultivation will regress. Therefore, although this golden python is a treasure, compared with my cultivation, it is just a worldly possession."
Zi Yuan couldn't help but nod in approval. "Bravo! Seems like you're truly starting to think like a cultivator now."
Li Yundong smiled and didn't say anything. He turned to Su Chan and waved at her, then said to Zi Yuan and Ruan Hongling, "Let's go back."
Zi Yuan nodded and they flew off toward Mount Tianlong.
It was not until noon that Li Yundong returned to the secret cave of the Fox Zen Sect. When Zhou Qin, who had been waiting all this time, saw Li Yundong, she immediately greeted him and asked, "How did it go?"
Li Yundong smiled at her. "It's a long story. I'll tell you all of the details later. Let's just go back to the Fox Zen School first."
They flew from the cliff to the Taoist temple. Cao Yi, who was busy cleaning up the belongings in the room of the former Leader of the sect, heard the sound. When he came out and saw Li Yundong, his face was transformed by an expression of surprise and joy, and he greeted loudly, "Leader, you're back! I've found the property of our Fox Zen School!"