Just as all the heroes were getting ready to show their strength at the Taoist assembly, the sound of Buddhist scriptures being read could be heard and aromas wafting around could be smelled in Li Yundong's home.
When people living in the Hepan community passed by Li Yundong's house, they could hear Buddhist scriptures being chanted almost unceasingly.
Sometimes it was being done by a group of young women, and sometimes it was from a lone girl, but without exception, these voices were very pleasant to listen to. Even if they were just chanting Buddhist scriptures, people couldn't help but stop and look at the building with curiosity.
Although Li Yundong lived in seclusion with the disciples of the Fox Zen School and people like Zi Yuan, who was very humble, such a handsome man living with a group of beautiful women was naturally a matter of gossip. Even if there was nothing going on, people would still discuss it.
The identity of him and these beauties, as well as the relationship between them all, was one of the most talked-about topics in the community.
Among this group of people, two women with extraordinary auras were indifferently watching the onlookers as they gesticulated and talked about Li Yundong and his companions. One of them whispered to a beautiful woman next to her, "Shijie Zou Ping, they all went to the Taoist assembly today. What are we doing here?"
Zou Ping’s outfit today was not much different from that of any other girl who enjoyed dressing up. She was wearing a dark gray windbreaker, which showed off her slender figure while also concealing a hidden magical sword within. Her curly hair was coiled behind her head, and her black hair, which looked like a dark cloud, hung over the handle of the magical sword behind her collar.
Zou Ping expression was calm as she said, "This is what Master ordered. He heard that Li Yundong had borrowed the burning thumb pot from Master Puren, so he asked me to come and see if he had managed to subdue it. From the looks of it, this guy must have failed and his entire apparition and soul have been sucked into it."
Although Zou Ping’s Shimei was inferior to her in terms of appearance, she looked extremely youthful, as if she was only fifteen or six years old. Furthermore, her oval face was small and cute. She asked curiously, "The burning thumb pot? Is it from Fahai?"
Zou Ping looked at her Shimei with a complicated expression and said, "That's right!"
Shimei laughed, flashing her canine teeth. "Hehe, then Li Yundong is going to lose this time! This burning thumb pot is no ordinary magical item. The difficulty of subduing it is no less than rebuilding the Zhuji phase!"
Zou Ping harrumphed. "Although this lunatic's Cultivation Quotient is formidable, he's only been at it for a short period of time. He just happens to have some short-term luck, and let's not forget that he's a lecher. It's no wonder he's so shameless! Master, you really think too highly of him. You even told me to pay attention to him! Hmph!"
The younger sister giggled. "Master Haideng spent thirty days on subduing the burning thumb pot. Even if he's powerful, he won't be able to get out within thirty days! It seems that this guy won't be able to make it to the Taoist assembly!"
Zou Ping sneered. "It's better that way. If he gets out, I'll be annoyed just by looking at his face!"
The younger sister smiled and said, "That'd be annoying. I specially asked the master to let me come down the mountain in order to see his kung fu as he's known as the number one expert of the younger generation in the Cultivation World. If he doesn't come, what's the point in me coming to watch the Taoist assembly?"
Zou Ping snorted. "There's no point in him even if he's here. There are as many experts as there are clouds in the Taoist assembly this year. The strongest fighters of all the sects are all clamoring to win the tournament. Even If he comes, he'll only be laughed at and humiliated."
The younger sister was a little disappointed and asked, "Is this guy really that unbearable?"
Zou Ping said earnestly, "Shimei, you think too highly of him. In the past, when Li Yundong settled a score with others, he relied on his own strength to beat his opponents, so he was always lucky to get a win. Winning like that can't be considered an ability at all. Even if he has real talent, he's still a far cry from the cultivators who've been cultivating for more than ten years in our Xuanmen Sect! The Taoist assembly is a comparison of the effects of magic, not of Zhenqi and strength! We have tens of thousands of Taoist magic arts, and the important things are the 'spirit' and how wonderful they are, not their strength."
The younger sister nodded. "Shijie Zou Ping, I understand. Thank you for your guidance. Let's make a move."
Zou Ping nodded back and said, "Yeah, let's go. There's no need to waste time here."
Just as the two of them were about to leave, they suddenly heard a commotion nearby.
Zou Ping and her younger sister turned their heads to look, only to see three women off in the distance, each dressed differently. One of them was wearing a student's uniform, and she was extremely beautiful. Her eyebrows were as black as ink, and her black hair was scraped back into a ponytail, revealing her full and smooth forehead. She looked confident and proud. It was none other than Ruan Hongling.
Next to her was a woman in white. Her hair cascaded down her shoulders like a waterfall, and every strand of her hair was soft and straight. Just looking at her back, people could sense that every move of hers exuded an ethereal divine aura. She possessed Wave-like Subtle Steps and seemed to tread lightly.
The moment Zou Ping set eyes on the two ladies, she gritted her teeth in anger and sneered. "It's these two useless b*tches again!"
The younger sister looked at Zi Yuan and Ruan Hongling curiously, then asked in a low voice, "Is that the same Zi Yuan who used to be called the top master of the younger generation? She's so beautiful!"
Zou Ping grimaced. "Look at her, she might look all pretty and dignified, but in reality, she's just a degenerate sl*t. No one decent would hang out with a bunch of fox spirits all day long. I feel ashamed just looking at her!"
Younger sister saw that there was no trace of Evil Qi in Zi Yuan, let alone an obscene aura. In particular, there was an elegant and otherworldly aura between her eyebrows, and her eyes were as clear as mountain springs, lacking even a glimmer of human malice.
She couldn't help saying, "How could such a woman be so unbearable? Shijie, are you sure you've not made a mistake?"
Zou Ping flew into a rage. She glared at the girl beside her and spat in a low voice, "You little fool, what do you mean by that? Don't think that I won't teach you a lesson just because you're the daughter of third Shibo!"
When the younger sister saw Zou Ping's rage, she quickly forced a friendly smile and changed the topic by pointing at the woman next to Zi Yuan. "Then who is this woman? I've never seen such a spirited female cultivator before!"
Zou Ping harrumphed angrily. She looked over and studied the valiant woman standing next to Zi Yuan. This woman was also extremely beautiful, and her two dashing eyebrows were as sharp as swords. Her black eyes were like stars, flickering with a glint of light, and there was an indescribable coldness and look of disdain in her gaze.
Zou Ping was shocked. She couldn't help but mumble in a low voice, "Isn't that Zhou Qin? Has she finished building the Zhuji phase?"
The younger sister asked curiously, "Zhou Qin? Who is she? She seems very powerful."
Zou Ping sneered, full of contempt. "How powerful can someone who has just built the Zhuji phase really be? Hmph, let's go!"
The younger sister blinked and looked at Zhou Qin, then muttered in her heart, "I wonder if Zhou Qin will attend the Taoist assembly. If she does, I must observe how powerful she really is."
The two of them turned and were about to leave, but before they left, Zou Ping couldn't help but turn her head to look at Zhou Qin. She felt a little shocked in her heart. "The old saying goes that after three days of separation, the other person will change. I hadn't expected that Zhou Qin could have improved so much in the past few days! It's almost scary! No way, I have to tell Master immediately. Otherwise, once she grows up, she'll be just another enemy for the Zhengyi School!"
Zi Yuan, Zhou Qin, and Ruan Hongling walked out under everyone's gazes. When Ruan Hongling saw where they were heading, she couldn't help laughing and said, "Peace in the Tao, we are finally home now, and we can at last end our miserable days of no hot baths and no TV watching."
Zi Yuan chided with a smile, "Are you still a cultivator? Why are you so addicted to amusing yourself?"
Ruan Hongling made a face and said, "That's not totally true. Sister Zi Yuan, don't you also dream of taking comfortable hot baths?"
Zi Yuan gave Ruan Hongling a look, but before they could say anything more, Zhou Qin cracked up laughing. "Stop fighting. I don't know if Zhenren Zi Yuan wants to take a shower or not. In any case, I can't wait anymore. I've lived so long and I have never before gone for so many days without taking a hot bath! These days, I've been secretly washing in the lake and the river, but it's so uncomfortable!"
Ruan Hongling couldn't help clapping her hands and laughing after hearing this, and Zi Yuan flashed an amused grin as well.
The three of them chatted and laughed as they walked downstairs. Suddenly, they heard the sound of scripture being chanted coming from their home. Zi Yuan could not help but be stunned. "This is the Great Compassion Mantra. Who's reciting it?"
Zhou Qin couldn't help laughing. "It seems to be Su Chan's voice. Maybe she's doing something weird again."
Ruan Hongling was not known for her patience, and she immediately grabbed the key to open the door. As soon as she saw inside, she was shocked. The room was filled with smoke and there was a strong smell of sandalwood everywhere. Su Chan was kneeling in front of a Kwan-Yin Shrine and had her palms together as she recited the Buddhist scriptures devoutly.
Ruan Hongling exclaimed, "Su Chan, what are you doing? Since when did you become a Buddhist?"
When Su Chan heard this voice, she looked back. She had suddenly found someone with whom she could cry fearfully after more than ten days. She couldn't help weeping as she said, "Sister Zi Yuan, Sister Zhou Qin, Hong Ling, do you know that Yun Dong, he..."
Zhou Qin's heart suddenly thumped, and her face changed greatly. She couldn't help but step forward quickly, grab Su Chan's arm, and ask in a trembling voice, "What's wrong with Master?"
Zi Yuan also trembled slightly, and she asked in a shaking voice, "What happened to Li Yundong?"
Su Chan said with tears in her eyes, "He still hasn't woken up after surrendering the burning thumb pot. It's already the 18th day!"
"What?" Zi Yuan and Ruan Hongling were shocked.
Zi Yuan couldn't help but stomp her feet and say, "Ugh, it was my fault for leaving in such a hurry and not telling him. This burning thumb pot is a powerful magical weapon used by the past eminent monks. It's extremely difficult to subdue. If one's mind isn't pure, it's easy to fall into the worlds of the trichiliocosm. Damn it, damn it!"
Zhou Qin had successfully finished reaching the Zhuji phase. She had originally wanted to give Li Yundong a surprise, but she had never expected that she would encounter such bad news upon her return. She said with a pale face, "What should we do now?"
Zi Yuan took a deep breath and composed herself. She said in a low voice, "Don't worry. Take me to have a look!"
Su Chan wiped away her tears and took Zi Yuan, Zhou Qin, and Ruan Hongling to Li Yundong's room.
Zi Yuan opened the door and saw that Li Yundong was sitting cross-legged on a futon like a stone statue, holding a shining flaming burning thumb pot in his palm. He looked like he usually did, but he wasn't moving at all. If Su Chan hadn't told her that he hadn't woken up for 18 days, she would have thought that he was just sitting in meditation.
Zi Yuan approached him and observed him for a while. She then turned back and said to Su Chan, "Go and get the golden needles."
Su Chan had been staring at the Zi Yuan eagerly, hoping that she would be able to find a solution for this mess. Therefore, when she heard the order from Zi Yuan, she immediately responded and quickly hurried off to her room to retrieve the golden needles.
At this time, the little foxes in their own rooms also heard the movement. They knew that Zhou Qin had returned after successfully reaching the Zhuji phase, so they all went out of their rooms to say hello to him. Then, they crowded together and looked at Li Yundong in with a concern, all wanting to know how Zi Yuan could wake him up.