When everyone craned their necks and looked ahead, they saw a slender woman suddenly appear in front of them. She was extremely beautiful, and there was a cold temperament showing on her face. After she came in, she glanced at everyone indifferently. Although she looked unfamiliar, she did not shrink back under everyone's gaze. On the contrary, some of the cultivators avoided her bright eyes subconsciously.
Everyone looked at her and wondered in their hearts, "What sect does this female cultivator hail from? Why does she have such a strong aura? What's more, her appearance and temperament are simply outstanding! Is there another female cultivator comparable to Zi Yuan in the cultivation world?"
Seeing this, Ding Nan, who had been standing next to Zheng Yuan, became even more shocked. She gritted her teeth and thought to herself, "Damn it, I thought I was cultivating quickly, but I hadn’t expected Zhou Qin to develop even faster. Damn it! Why am I always one step behind her? Am I not as good as her? Impossible, absolutely impossible!"
Zheng Yuan stared at Zhou Qin closely. His face showed a hint of shock as he thought to himself, ''How is this possible? She has actually reached the Zhuji phase! How could her cultivation speed be so fast!! Damn it, it must be down to Li Yundong giving her the Renyuan Jindan to consume!''
As the two of them thought this, they suddenly saw a girl with roaming eyes coming from behind Zhou Qin. Her eyes were bright and attractive, and she was beautiful. There was a hint of immaturity in her charming appearance. However, when she looked around, there was a kind of seductive aura emanating from her, which made people think that this girl would no doubt grow up to be gorgeous!
This girl was none other than Su Chan. She saw that everyone was staring fixedly at her. Many male cultivators were showing streaks of greed and possessiveness in their expressions that could not be concealed. She was startled, and then shrank back, hiding behind Li Yundong as if she felt safe only behind him.
Li Yundong patted her head with an encouraging smile and then walked in alone.
As soon as he entered the ship, he could feel that everyone's eyes were boring into him. This place was like a battlefield packed with weapons and surrounded by murderous intent!
If this was the past, Li Yundong's aura might have been stimulated and burst out like a bomb. But now, his aura had changed from being uncontrollable to being able to be restrained. He was no longer the impulsive man he had once been.
In the past, Li Yundong had been a Furious River. As soon as he met any obstacle, he would roar majestically and call forth huge waves to sweep away anything in his path. But now, he was a towering mountain. No matter how strong the opponents were, the wind could not blow a mountain away!
Facing this aggressive and suffocating gaze, Li Yundong smiled and made an obeisance by cupping his hands. Then, at a leisurely pace, he led Su Chan and the other little foxes over to where Zi Yuan was sitting.
The cultivators on the boat saw that Li Yundong's temperament was calm and stable. He didn't seem to be as wild as the rumors said, nor did he have an aggressive aura. They couldn't help thinking, "Is Li Yundong afraid?"
Only a few cultivators like Zhang Ling, Zhang Tianhe, and some others vaguely felt that Li Yundong's whole aura had changed, but they couldn't put their finger on how.
Zhang Cunyi of the Qingcheng Sect looked at Li Yundong swaggering around with his group of fox spirits and sitting down beside Zi Yuan in front of everyone. Zhang Cunyi couldn't help snorting and saying derisively, "What a weirdo. Nowadays, the bullies are rampant, and demons as well as the witches are still hanging around him. Hey hey!"
Zhang Tianhe, who was not far from Zhang Cunyi, listened to his words and glanced at Zhang Cunyi, then secretly snorted and looked at Li Yundong unkindly. Especially when he saw Li Yundong talking very intimately with Zi Yuan, he couldn't help showing a flash of jealousy and hatred in his eyes.
He clenched his fists so tightly that his nails dug into his flesh, but he didn't even seem to notice the pain.
Most of the cultivators around Zhang Tianhe were paying attention to Li Yundong and this group of incomparably eye-catching fox spirits. Only Zou Ping looked at Zhang Tianhe affectionately. However, when she saw Zhang Tianhe staring at Zi Yuan and making uncontrollable movements, she couldn't help but feel a stab of pain in her heart. She secretly gritted her teeth and thought to herself, "If it weren't for that little b*tch Zi Yuan, my shidee would be with me! It's all because that cow Zi Yuan not only took away my shidee's heart, but is now sitting with Li Yundong in public. This is a betrayal! Does this woman truly have no shame? Humph, I will definitely ruin her reputation!"
Although Li Yundong's cultivation was well-developed, he was not a Shenxian after all. How could he understand everyone's thoughts from every sect?
After boarding the ship, he secretly looked around. He could see that there were about twenty or thirty square tables arranged on the ship. Beside each square table was ten stools, and an incense burner was placed on the table. In the middle of these dozens of smaller square tables was a larger square table. This one was set against the wall, above with Lao Tzu, the ancestor of Taoism, also known as the statue of Senior Moral. On both sides of the statue were other statues of Primus and Tianzun Lingbao.
Besides Primus was a statue of the founder of the Taoist assembly, Great Zhenren Luo Gongyuan, and one of Ye Fashan during the era of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. Beside Tianzun Lingbao was the statues of Yu Huang Da Di and the Queen Mother of the West.
There was a huge Eight Trigrams of Yin and Yang hanging on the wall behind the statues. On both sides of the Eight Diagrams were couplets. The upper line on the right read: Tao gave birth to one, one gave birth to two, two gave birth to three, and three gave birth to all things. The lower line on the left read: Humans follow earth, earth follows heaven, heaven follows Tao, Tao follows nature. The horizontal batch of couplets read: Great Tao is invisible!
Li Yundong couldn't help cheering in his heart when he saw this pair of couplets. He turned to Zhou Qin and said, "Zhou Qin, you see that this couplet explains the mystery of our cultivation? You should engrave these words on your heart!"
Zhou Qin nodded her head. She pointed at the statues in front of the couplet and asked in confusion, "I know some of these statues, but some are unfamiliar to me. Master, could you tell me about them?"
After coming out of the small worlds of the trichiliocosm, Li Yundong was no longer an ignorant man. At this point, he had already read the classics of Buddhism and Taoism. He smiled and explained them one by one. Beside him, Su Chan and the little foxes also listened with great interest.
Just as they were whispering to one another, they suddenly heard a crisp dinging sound ring out.
It sounded like a bell being rung. Everyone looked in the direction of the noise, including Li Yundong and the others.
Li Yundong saw a cultivator about 1.7 meters tall with a pair of deep-set eyes and a high-bridged nose and a goatee on his chin. He was Wan Zhenyuan, the master of the Gezao Sect and the host of Taoist assembly!
He was dressed in a Daopao and his long sleeves fluttered in the wind, making him look ethereal and above all vulgarity. His eyes were sharp as he looked over the crowd. When his gaze landed on Li Yundong's table, he paused for a moment and then quickly shifted his focus away.
Wan Zhen Yuan walked over to the front of the square table, made an obeisance by cupping his hands, and said, "Brothers of the Tao, I'm honored by everyone attending the Taoist assembly! Truly! This year's Taoist assembly will be..."
Before he could finish his words, he heard someone shout impatiently, "Master Wan, hurry up and show us the reward for this year's Taoist assembly. We're here to win a prize, not listen to you blather on!"
Hearing this, Li Yundong smiled knowingly because the person was none other than Dang Qiang of the Penglai Sect, whom he had met several times.
Dang Qiang was sitting at a table with one of his feet on the stools beside him, noisily eating seeds and shouting loudly. His behavior was really drawing attention from the crowd and making others roll their eyes at him.
Wan Zhen Yuan was so choked by Dang Qiang's words that he could not continue. He was furious in his heart and glanced at Dang Qiang angrily, but he still smiled and said, "It turns out to be the Penglai Sect's brother of the Tao. Nice to meet you!"
Dang Qiang laughed heartily and said, "Master Wan, you must really want to slap me to death. Last time you certainly considered doing so on Mount Gezao. This time, you must want it even more! Don't pretend to be polite. The most important thing is that we get to the point quickly!"
Although this fool was like a hooligan, his words were not vulgar. The cultivators in the cabin couldn't help but laugh and say, "He is right. Master Wan, let's get down to business! We are all waiting impatiently!"
"That's right. We've been cultivating for more than ten years. Are we here to listen to your nonsense? Let's start fighting!"
"That's right, Master Wan, what's the reward this time? Bring it out so we can have a look!"
Wan Zhenyuan's expression was a little awkward. He forced a smile and was about to speak when Zhang Ling of the Zhengyi School suddenly slammed the table and stood up. She said sternly, "Nonsense, do you think of this place as a vegetable market? You're cultivators, but those who don't know would assume that you're a bunch of hooligans. They would think this is a gang!"
Zhang Ling was a famous Great Cultivator in Jianghu and she was also the elder sister of Zhang Tianshī from Zhengyi School, so she had a very high bearing and considerable prestige. As soon as she shouted, the hall suddenly became silent, and no cultivators dared to speak again.
Wan Zhen Yuan looked at Zhang Ling with an unnatural expression. He thought to himself, "The prestige of the Zhengyi School is really high. Is Zhang Ling trying to shake things up and take control of me at the Taoist assembly?"
As he was deep in thought, Zhang Ling spoke to him, "Master Wan, the Taoist assembly that occurs once every four years is extraordinary. This is a good opportunity for our Taoists to recover our strength and go back to basics, as well as a good opportunity for us to cast aside all of our grudges and work together..."
When Wan Zhenyuan heard this, he suddenly became vigilant. He thought to himself, "Humph, go back to basics? What basics? To abandon our previous grudges and work together? Hah, Zhengyi School really can't bear this. They're going to show their true colors! They're trying to unify the Taoist sects!"
Thinking of this, Wan Zhenyuan couldn't help interrupting Zhang Ling's words. He asked with a fake smile, "Then may I ask what you mean by basics?"
Zhang Ling snorted and waved her hand, and then all the people wearing Daopao from the Zhengyi School stood up. Zhang Ling pointed at their outfits and said, "This!"
This sentence was meaningful, as it satirized others for betraying their roots and forgetting their ancestors by not even wearing the clothes that Taoist priests should wear at a Taoist assembly. At the same time, it also implied that Zhengyi School was the most orthodox sect of the world.
Wan Zhenyuan laughed heartily. "Is wearing a Daopao orthodox?" He waved his hand and bellowed, "Come out, all of you!"
Then, a group of Taoist priests in Daopao filed out of the hold, all looking at the people in Daopao of the Zhengyi School with unfriendly eyes.
Zhang Ling saw the Taoist priests blocking the ship and surrounding them. She sneered and said, "What's wrong? Are you going to catch us all in one fell swoop, Master Wan?"
Even though everyone could understand the intent behind her words, none of them could stifle their alarm. Their gazes were filled with hostility as they looked at the other Taoist priests of the Gezao Sect.
Just as the battle was about to begin, a cheeky, leisurely voice said, "If wearing a Daopao is orthodoxy, then I'm also orthodox!"
Everyone turned their eyes and saw that Dang Qiang was talking with a mischievous smile pasted over his face again.
Someone next to him sneered. "You're wearing a vest. Where's your Daopao, huh?"
Dang Qiang jumped up with a laugh and said casually, "Brothers of the Tao, please watch carefully!" After that, he quickly took off his clothes and stood naked before them.
The male cultivators in the cabin all laughed in horror, while the female cultivators blushed and turned their faces away.
Wan Zhenyuan was both shocked and furious as he shouted, "Dang Qiang, what are you doing!"
Dang Qiang laughed wildly. He picked up a cup of tea with one hand and said, "I'm putting on a Daopao to show you!" As he said this, he poured the tea over himself and quickly smeared it all over his body with his hands.
The crowd realized that there seemed to be ink hidden in Dang Qiang's palm. Wherever it was smeared, it would leave behind a mass of darkness. After a while, Dang Qiang had smeared a close-fitting Daopao on himself as if he were playing at body painting.
After that, Dang Qiang clapped his hands together and said with a laugh, "What do you think? Is this a Daopao?"
Everyone could see that Dang Qiang's chest had been painted to look like a Daopao, but underneath was a white body. They were shocked and laughed. "Dang Qiang, what kind of Daopao is this?"
"What about your ass? Why is your ass not covered by the Daopao?"
"Dang Qiang, what's that thing in front of your body? A handle?"
Dang Qiang did not feel ashamed at all as he said, "What is a Daopao? Can it hide your shame? If it could, would you quarrel like this at a Taoist assembly?"
His words were a pun, suddenly attracting cheers from all the cultivators from the other sects at the same time. All of a sudden, the tense atmosphere slackened heavily.
Li Yundong also smiled and nodded to Zi Yuan. "Dang Qiang is a ruffian, you needn't take notice of him!"
Zi Yuan's face turned slightly red. She whispered, "He doesn't need to... be naked like this, right?"
Li Yundong laughed and said, "When you were born, you were naked, and when you die, you'll leave naked. That's what it is to be human!"
Zi Yuan angrily glared at Li Yundong. "Then why don't you go and do the same thing he's doing?"
Li Yundong chuckled and did not answer. At this time, Wan Zhenyuan snorted and waved his hand again. The Taoist priests disappeared in an instant, as if they had never been there at all. He glanced at Dang Qiang, then sneered at Zhang Ling and said, "I'm just telling you, Zhenren Zhang Ling, that you are not the only one who remembers the orthodox ways of Taoists!"
Zhang Ling sneered as well. "I'm doing this out of goodwill to remind all of the cultivators not to forget their roots at this Taoist assembly!" With that, she led her sect's cultivators to sit down.
The people from the other sects watched Wan Zhenyuan and Zhang Ling fighting secretly, but in reality, this was a battle between the largest sect of the Neidan Sect and the first sect of External Alchemy. They frowned at the same time and thought to themselves, "Is this conflict in the cultivation world really so white-hot? Why can't they control themselves? Fighting before the Taoist assembly even begins, tsk!"
Su Chan tugged at Li Yundong's sleeve curiously and asked in a low voice, "Yundong, why do I feel like they are going to fight?"
Li Yundong chuckled and whispered in a low voice, "Don't worry about it. Let's see how they bite each other!"
As they were conversing quietly, Wan Zhenyuan started saying, "... Since no one wants to listen to my nonsense, I shall keep it brief. Let's get someone to bring out the prize for this Taoist assembly!"
After that, he shouted, "Bring forth the powerful magical weapon!"
Su Chan and Li Yundong concurrently stopped talking and looked toward the field. They all wanted to see what the Taoist assembly's reward would be this time.