Hearing Ruan Hongling's words, Zi Yuan suddenly turned serious and said, "What's your idea?"
"I met Yan Hua today and asked him to lend me the Liuhe Sword," Ruan Hongling said proudly.
Zi Yuan was stunned. "Why do you want to borrow that?"
Ruan Hongling smiled. "Liuhe was Second Shibo's personal sword in the past. It's also a chain attacker of Bahuang and Liuhe. Now that Second Shibo has captured Ao Wushuang, it's very likely that she's already obtained the Bahuang. If she were to retrieve Liuhe, she'd be able to achieve the combination of two swords. Once Bahuang and Liuhe come together, there'll be no need for Second Shibo to hide any longer. She'll definitely appear and directly attack Fox Zen School."
A thought flashed through Zi Yuan's mind, leading her to ask in confusion, "I kind of understand what you mean, but didn't Second Shibo immediately go and retrieve Liuhe after escaping back then?"
Ruan Hongling smiled. "I was thinking that Second Shibo might have already taken away Liuhe. But I met Yan Hua today and asked him. Guess what?"
Zi Yuan smiled. "It must still be here!"
Ruan Hongling clapped and said happily, "That's right! I can't believe that Liuhe is still here! It's honestly incredible! We were so busy with all sorts of things that we didn't even think of seeking Liuhe as soon as possible. But Second Shibo didn't get it either! Zi Yuan, don't you think it's a bit strange?"
A thoughtful expression appeared on Zi Yuan's face. "It is indeed very strange. Generally speaking, Second Shibo should have been the first to retrieve Liuhe. With her cultivation quotient, once she obtains Liuhe, her might should be redoubled, so why hasn't she gone to retrieve it for so long?"
Thinking of this, Zi Yuan suddenly said, "Don't delay any longer. Go and get it from Yan Hua's house now. No matter what, we must get to Liuhe first."
Ruan Hongling answered, turned around, and went out of the door. Sitting alone on the side of the bed and frowning deeply, Zi Yuan lowered her head and became lost in thought.
About half an hour later, Ruan Hongling exasperatedly rushed back. Before going through the door, she shouted, "Sister Zi Yuan, this is bad!"
Zi Yuan suddenly stood up and asked in a deep voice, "What's wrong? Is the Liuhe missing?"
Ruan Hongling's face was a little pale. "Yan Hua, he... he said that his aunt, Second Shibo, took Liuhe away from him!"
Zi Yuan frowned. "When?"
"It literally just happened! I should have gone there half an hour earlier," Ruan Hongling said resentfully.
Zi Yuan shook her head and said, "If you had gone half an hour earlier, I wouldn't have seen you ever again. In Second Shibo's current state, if anyone gets in the way of her taking revenge on Fox Zen School, she will not show mercy. If you incite her ire, regardless of whether you are her shizhi, even if you were her own child, I'm afraid that she will kill you."
Ruan Hongling sighed upon hearing this. "Although I don't like Second Shibo, I feel really uncomfortable about seeing her like this. What's the difference from falling into the Devil's Practice? Our Linggong Sect has actually been a bit short-handed, and now Second Shibo has made up her mind to go against Fox Zen School. You've also made up your mind to help the Fox Zen School out. God, why we are suffering so much? Are the Gods also going to destroy our Linggong Sect?"
With a faint smile on her face, Zi Yuan said, "Clouds form and fade, tides rise and fall. It's just natural. Hongling, everything in the world is just a fleeting puff of smoke. Don't pay too much attention to these things."
Ruan Hongling became more and more annoyed when she heard this patronizing advice. She said angrily, "You didn't care about yourself and Linggong Sect at all, but whenever Li Yundong is involved with something, you will start treating it with caution, as if it's as important as your own life. It's hard to believe that you don't like him!"
Zi Yuan blushed at first, but the color soon faded. She glanced at Ruan Hongling lightly and said, "I'm just honing my Tao in the mortal world. I'm nervous about my Tao, not Li Yundong."
Ruan Hongling approached Zi Yuan and looked at her with a searching gaze, as if she wanted to find some clues in Zi Yuan's face. She said slowly, "You're lying to yourself!"
Zi Yuan was a little annoyed and shouted back, "You're so rude!"
When Ruan Hongling saw Zi Yuan was angry, she secretly stuck out her tongue and changed the topic. "Well, sister Zi Yuan, why do you think Second Shibo waited 'til today to get the Liuhe? Why didn't she do it earlier?"
The expression on Zi Yuan's face suddenly became very cold. Ruan Hongling rarely saw such a look from Zi Yuan, and she couldn't help but feel a chill in her heart.
Zi Yuan said in a low voice, "There are several possibilities for Second Shibo not getting Liuhe sooner. Firstly, she might be as busy as us."
As soon as she said that, Ruan Hongling said, "I doubt that that's possible now. All she has to do now is one thing - revenge! But we have a lot of things to handle and there are also many things for us to think about. The enemy is in the dark, and we are in the light. It's normal that we wouldn't have thought of the Liuhe sooner, but it's impossible for Second Shibo, who is hiding in the dark, to have failed to consider it."
Zi Yuan nodded in agreement. "You're right. So there is the second possibility, which is that Second Shibo had been searching for it all this time, but remained unable to find it until today."
Ruan Hongling shook her head and said, "Yan Hua also told me that Second Shibo said this, but I don't really believe it, because Second Shibo was able to hide in Fox Zen School for nine years without being discovered. What kind of delicate and cautious personality does she have? I don't believe that she never thought of going to Yan Hua's house to look for the sword until now."
Zi Yuan gave Ruan Hongling an admiring look. "You're right. If Second Shibo hadn't said this, I wouldn't have been certain of the final possibility. But now that she's said it, I can almost certainly conclude that this sentence is a diversionary tactic she's using. Her purpose is to confuse us!"
Ruan Hongling was also an extremely intelligent girl. Her eyes lit up as she came to a realization. "Huh? Sister Zi Yuan, what do you mean?"
Zi Yuan's voice was a little cold as she explained, "It is very likely that Second Shibo has been following us! Last time, when Li Yundong and I returned to the place where we buried the golden snake's body, we found that it had been dug up by someone. At that time, we suspected that someone was following our moves, and that their cultivation quotient level was higher than ours! Now it seems that this person was most likely Second Shibo! The reason why she did not go and take Liuhe is probably that she had been kept busy watching us and thus could not break away and get it..."
Ruan Hongling frowned and said, "That's not right. Even if she had been stalking us, she couldn't have done it for 24 hours a day, could she?"
Suddenly, Zi Yuan burst into laughter. She said in a cold voice, "What if she mingled with us?"
Even the brave Ruan Hongling, who was was usually unafraid of anything, couldn't help but shudder at those words!
Ruan Hongling opened her mouth widely and wanted to say something, but the words wouldn't come. It was as if Yan Fang, who had been hiding for nine years, was standing in a dark corner and staring at her viciously at that very moment. It was seriously creepy!
Ruan Hongling subconsciously looked left and right, her entire body turning cold as she said, "Sister Zi Yuan, don't make such distasteful jokes. Don't scare me!"
"Didn't you notice? Last time when Second Shibo appeared, everyone from the Fox Zen School had gathered to buy clothes. They were all in the fitting room, giving Second Shibo a chance to leave her body. Coincidentally, Second Shibo appeared at this time. It just so happened to be right when the three Shibos of Fox Zen School went to the supermarket together. Well, I sure hope that was a coincidence," Zi Yuan said coldly.
Ruan Honglin felt her scalp tingling when she heard this. "Sister Zi Yuan, Second Shibo wouldn't be so daring, would she? Could she have really snuck back into the Fox Zen School again? It's just too terrifying, isn't it?"
Zi Yuan laughed and said, "The more impossible it is, the fewer people will be willing to doubt or believe it. Second Shibo took advantage of this to make us think that she had escaped and was sequestering herself somewhere far away. But in reality, she was already back. This is called hiding in plain sight!"
Ruan Hongling felt a chill in her heart. She asked fearfully, "Who could she be?"
After a moment of silence, Zi Yuan said darkly, "The three Shibos of Fox Zen School are the most suspicious. She should be among them!"
Ruan Hongling jumped up and was about to rush out of the door. "No, I have to tell Li Yundong immediately! Although this guy is a little villain, he is still a good person. If Second Shibo suddenly sneak-attacked him, he would very likely die and become nothing but a pile of ashes.
Zi Yuan grabbed her and shouted in a low voice, "Stop, don't go!"
Ruan Hongling turned around, her eyes wide. "Why? Sister Zi Yuan!"
Zi Yuan explained in a low voice, "Li Yundong has a pure heart and is easy-going. He is not a shrewd person. Once he finds out that Second Shibo is hiding within the Fox Zen School, he will definitely reveal the knowledge through his unconscious words and expressions. With Second Shibo's sensitivity, she will immediately notice and escape without hesitation. If that happens, it will be very difficult to find her again!"
"But aren't you afraid that something will happen to Li Yundong?" Ruan Hongling said anxiously. "You've always cared about him the most, haven't you?"
Zi Yuan gave her a strange look. "It seems that you are the more anxious one now, aren't you?"
Ruan Hongling stamped her feet. "I'm really like the back-seat driver here! Kindness is considered to be ill intent!"
Zi Yuan smiled slightly, her eyes revealing a trace of appreciation. "Don't worry. I used to provoke Li Yundong with my words before. As a result, the next day, I would see his breath. Black Qi could be seen coming from his left nostril, and red Qi could be seen from his right. This is the appearance that can only be seen with the highest cultivation of Eight Turns of Fire."
Ruan Hongling couldn't help but be shocked. "Impossible. He's able to reach the highest cultivation of Eight Turns of Fire in one night? Then is he just one step away from the Nine Turns?"
Zi Yuan also sighed and said, "If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have been able to believe it. How could a person's cultivation progress so quickly?"
Ruan Hongling shook her head helplessly. "It's too terrifying. The last time we were on the rooftop, I saw him use the Fan of Seven Treasures with ease after just one night. He used it as though he'd been practicing it over the space of a few lifetimes."
Zi Yuan nodded slightly as she replied, "So, you don't have to worry about Li Yundong. He is now in the pure Yuanying phase. In terms of his cultivation quotient and kung fu, he is above Second Shibo, not beneath her. If he fights righteously, maybe his power and Magic will not be as good as Second Shibo's, but if she wants to attack him sneakily, it will be another matter. With Li Yundong's cultivation, anyone who wants to attack him with a lower cultivation quotient will be seen by his Great Seer Shenjue. Since I can see through Li Yundong's cultivation quotient, I believe Second Shibo can also see through it, so she won't take the risk of attacking Li Yundong.
"Moreover, since she has taken such a big risk by sneaking back, she must have some amazing scheme! Now that we have found her traces, the enemy is in the open and we are in the dark. The situation is beneficial to us right now, but if she finds out, it will be bad for us."
Ruan Hongling thought for a moment and said, "What if Second Shibo attacks the rest of the people from the Fox Zen School? What should we do?"
Zi Yuan smiled as she said, "That won't happen. Before Second Shibo reaches her goal, she definitely won't start acting rashly or alert the others. With her personality, if she doesn't have the confidence to win, she will not expose herself!"
As she spoke, Zi Yuan's voice suddenly became cold. "I really don't know what Second Shibo is up to..."
Ruan Hongling was suddenly enlightened, but she quickly frowned again and said, "Since Second Shibo took Liuhe and it's impossible for her to take it with her, where could she have hidden it? Besides, why didn't she combine Liuhe and Bahuang together? If she had both Bahuang and Liuhe in hand, there's no one in this world she would need to be afraid of."
"I also thought of this before," Zi Yuan said, "but you have to know that Ao Wushuang was previously sealed into the Emperor's Clock by Second Shibo. Do you know what kind of powerful magical weapon this is?"
Ruan Hongling nodded and said, "Of course I know. It's Ye Fashan's magic treasure from the Tang Dynasty. It can seal any master below the Shenxian level, including masters of jinshen and the Lightning Retribution phase."
Zi Yuan nodded heavily. "That's right. The Emperor's Clock is very domineering, but it has one fatal flaw. Once it's sealed, it's very difficult to release it again. So, Ao Wushuang being sealed away by Second Shibo actually made her the safest person in the world. As Second Shibo can't break through the Emperor's Clock and release Ao Wushuang, she can't get her hands on the Bahuang Sword either!"
Ruan Hongling sighed. "That's to say, she overreached herself. Well, what should we do now? At present, Zhengyi School is aggressive, and Second Shibo is lurking around. We are just starting to do business now, and our ability to provide for ourselves is a problem. There are so many problems. What should we do?"
Zi Yuan said indifferently, "If others are strong, let others be strong, just as the breeze caresses a hill. If others are arrogant, let them be arrogant, just as the moon shines on the river. We just have to watch the changes and see what shows up in the end!"
Having said this, Zi Yuan suddenly sighed and began to speak again. "I hope that our guess is wrong. Otherwise, the grievances between Second Shibo and Fox Zen School will really never be resolved."
Hearing of the grudge between Yan Fang and Fox Zen School, Ruan Hongling couldn't help sighing. She said faintly, "Sister Zi Yuan, when the Second Shibo really wants to fight Li Yundong to the death, whose side will you be on?"