After the fierce battle at Tiandu Peak, although the divine punishment caused by Xu Ling had not occurred, it began to rain the next day, leading Mount Huangshan to be shrouded in bean-sized raindrops. It was so dark that it seemed to be covered by a lid, with flashes of lightning showing in the thick dark clouds from time to time, as if they were alerting the world of something.
On the path to Mount Huangshan, Zhang Ling, a member of the Zhengyi Sect, raised her head up to the lighting-filled sky with reverent eyes. She was being closely followed by her disciple, Zou Ping, who asked, "Master, what's wrong?"
Zhang Ling sighed with deep feeling, "Spring is coming, and it's time to go through Lightning Retribution again..."
Zou Ping held a bamboo-framed paper umbrella and asked in confusion, "Master, why are you suddenly so emotional?"
Zhang Ling shook her head slightly. "The battle at Tiandu Peak happened so suddenly that we didn't receive any word of it. Unexpectedly, after this battle, Li Yundong, Zi Yuan, Zhou Qin, and the little fox demoness got to enjoy three Diyuan Jindan. What luck! The Jinshen Phase is the most difficult bottleneck for cultivators. Thus, as long as they can break through this bottleneck, the Lightning Retribution phase will be only a matter of time. After passing that, they can directly cultivate themselves to the Ninth Heaven..."
Zhang Ling let out a long sigh for a while, then said in a lonely and bitter tone, "I have been cultivating for decades, but I still can't break through to the Jinshen Phase. However, Li Yundong has only cultivated for half a year, yet he successfully reached the Jinshen Phase... It seems that the most favorable time to go through Lightning Retribution is in spring. When it happens, many people will want to take the challenge. Will Li Yundong be amongst them?"
Although she held a grudge against Li Yundong, Zou Ping was in awe of his rapid progress with cultivation. "Master, even if he has cultivated to the jinshen stage, he will not be able to survive the Lightning Retribution so easily! It took nearly ten years for Sect Master to go through the stage!"
Zhang Ling shook her head and said, "I don't think so. This guy is so lucky and amazing." As she said this, Zhang Ling turned around and looked at Zou Ping with bright, shining eyes, and continued in a deep voice, "Do you know why I brought you here?"
Zou Ping shook her head. "No. I'm just wondering why you're still here after the fight."
Zhang Ling said with a smile, "I'm not the only one. In fact, many sects have sent people here in private. They are searching everywhere."
Zou Ping was taken aback for a moment, but she quickly came to a realization. "Everyone wants the Medicine King Tripod?"
Zhang Ling nodded. "That's right! When Wan Zhenyuan left, he only took one Diyuan Jindan, but he left the Medicine King Tripod behind. There's been no news about that after the battle at Tiandu Peak, so I guess it must be in the vicinity of Mount Huangshan, and we may find it if we're lucky and it's not already been taken away by someone."
Zou Ping was happy at first, but then she said with a little frustration, "So what if we find it? Can I refine more Diyuan Jindan with it?"
Zhang Ling sneered and said, "You dullard! It doesn't matter whether we can refine with it or not. What's important is making sure that no one else can use it, understand?"
Zou Ping suddenly understood and said, "So that's how it is. Master, you are still the best, with insightful vision and a sophisticated mind."
Zhang Ling snorted and said, "Don't flatter me! Besides, if Wan Zhenyuan can refine the Diyuan elixir, why can't we? We can't do what the Gezao Sect can do? Although the Gezao Sect is the second largest sect in External Alchemy, there are many masters in our sect who are also good at refining elixirs! Like Zhang Kongyun, my junior fellow apprentice. He's one of them!"
Thinking of Zhang Kongyun's sloppy appearance of a farmer, she couldn't help but frown. "Him? A master in alchemy?"
Zhang Ling said laughingly, "Can't believe it? I've told you many times that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! He has many skills!"
The two of them chatted along the way, always looking around with sharp eyes. Suddenly, Zou Ping's gaze swept across the area and she saw a vague figure on a cliff.
Zou Ping pointed at it and exclaimed, "Master, look, there's someone there!"
Zhang Ling looked over and saw a figure hanging from a green pine on the cliff. Turning to Zou Ping, she said, "Let's go and see what's going on."
Zou Ping nodded and her Yang Spirit instantly went out of her body and circled the man. Then, she quickly returned to her physical body and said, "Master, it's a foreigner who seems to have fallen off the cliff and is unconscious. Will you save him?"
Zhang Ling was stunned. "A foreigner? Maybe it's a foreign tourist who has lost his footing. Save him. See if he's still alive."
Zou Ping agreed and her Yang Spirit flew out again. After a while, a man with blond hair and blue eyes on was brought over Zou Ping's Yang Spirit's back. It was John, who had fallen off the cliff.
Zhang Ling bent down and felt his pulse on his neck, saying with a smile, "He's still alive! How lucky!"
Zou Ping's Yang Spirit returned to her physical body and she also checked John's pulse with a frown. "But Master, he's almost dead, what should we do? Save him with Qi Control?"
Zhang Ling thought for a moment, sighed slightly, and said, "There's no need to use Qi Control to save him. Mount Huangshan is not Mount Longhu, and we are not in the territory of our sect. The Buddhists and other Taoist sects here are very powerful, so we can't waste our Zhenjiang. We'd better save him with a Rehabilitation Pill."
Zou Ping was slightly shocked. "Master, saving a foreigner with a Rehabilitation Pill? This... is too wasteful, isn't it?"
Zhang Ling shook her head, bowed with one hand to the sky, and said, "That's not true. As the saying goes, the heavens have good virtues. It's unusual for him to have fallen off the cliff and not died. This is the mandate of Kismet that cannot be violated. You're also a cultivator, have you done your daily homework for nothing?"
Although a little reluctant, she took out a small purple-green porcelain bottle from her arms and poured out a golden, thumb-sized pill. She pinched John's cheeks and stuffed the pill into his mouth, muttering, "You lucky guy. It is a life-saving elixir that is hard to buy even with a mass of gold. You can eat one. Hum! I have never tasted one!"
Zhang Ling couldn't help laughing. "Do you want to try it? It's easy. If you jump from the mountain, you can try one."
Zou Ping stood up and said with a smile, "Master, I'm just joking. I just feel that it's a pity that such a good elixir has been used to save a foreigner."
Zhang Ling didn't comment. She stared at John with her bright eyes, only to see that his pale face was gradually turning a little redder. She suddenly had an idea. She felt that John's face was a little familiar, so she said to Zou Ping, "Push his hair away and have a look."
At this time, it was raining heavily. His hair was very messy, even covering most of his forehead and eyes. After Zou Ping pushed his hair away, she was surprised and exclaimed, "Master, he looks so familiar!"
Zou Ping suddenly understood and said, "Ah, I remember seeing him at the Taoist Assembly! This guy has been chasing after Li Yundong, hoping to be his apprentice, right?"
Zhang Ling suddenly sneered and said, "Li Yundong again! Humph! If I had known earlier, I wouldn't have saved him!"
Zou Ping immediately said, "Master, why don't I push him off again?"
Zhang Ling suddenly glared at her and said, "Are you crazy? How can you say such things? Let's go. It's his life to look after now! I just hope that he won't go against us with Li Yundong in the future!" After that, she waved her sleeves unhappily and left.
Seeing that she was leaving, Zou Ping looked back at John and shouted, "Master, wait for me!" With that, she chased after her.
As they walked along the path towards the ropeway, a few people came toward them. The leading woman had blond hair and blue eyes and was a tall and beautiful westerner. She was followed by a round-faced beauty and a busty beauty, behind which stood a handsome boy.
They were none other than Kris, Feng Na, Cheng Cheng, and Yan Fang. Behind them, a few locals were continuously gesticulating.
Holding a tiny umbrella and looking around carefully. Feng Na saw Zhang Ling and Zou Ping at first glance coming from the opposite side of the ropeway and she called to them loudly, "Hello! Have you seen a foreigner with blonde hair and blue eyes around here?" As she spoke, she handed over a pre-prepared photo of John to them.
As Zhang Ling had accidentally saved John, who was related to Li Yundong, she was rather unhappy to see that the person in the photo in Feng Na's hand was John. She sneered and said angrily, "I haven't seen him before!" As she said that, she took Zou Ping and rushed away.
Feng Na was tongue-tied as she looked at their backs. For a moment, she was at a loss for words, but then she muttered in a low voice, "They've never seen him before. Why are they so angry?"
Cheng Cheng, who was standing to one side, whispered, "Well, Nana, don't argue with them over it. Let's look around. It should be this area, right? Kris?"
Kris was looking around anxiously after hearing Cheng Cheng's words, and she nodded, "John fell somewhere nearby, but we were looking for him at the foot of the mountain and didn't see him. I don't know if he is dead or alive. I'm so anxious!"
Feng Na comforted, "Kris, the residents nearby also said that there are a lot of trees here so it's possible he got stuck on one. John is blessed by the heavens, he should be fine."
While she was talking, she saw that Yan Fang was turning her head and staring at Zou Ping and Zhang Ling, who were leaving, with a faint sneer at the corner of her mouth.
Feng Na asked her, "Yan Hua, what are you looking at?"
Yan Fang turned her face to cover up her gaffe. "He" said with a smile, "Nothing. I just feel that they are a little strange. Why did they come to the Mount Huangshan on such a rainy day?"
Feng Na smiled and said, "What's so strange about that? Why did you come to Mount Huangshan, hm? Don't stare anymore. Look carefully."
Yan Fang smiled and stopped talking. "He" finally glanced in the direction of Zhang Ling's departure and thought to himself, "Hum, they are indeed looking for the Medicine King Tripod! Have they found it?"
Cross and the others searched along the road but found nothing. Feng Na stood on the path halfway up the mountain in a somewhat lost manner and said, "This isn't a good idea. Perhaps we should spread out and look around? We should also call for him. Perhaps John will hear us if he wakes up."
Kris laughed bitterly and said, "That's the only way. I'll look east. You guys can look in other directions."
Feng Na nodded. She turned to Yan Fang and said, "Yan Fang, where will you go?"
Yan Fang had no intention of looking for someone with them. The reason why she had come to Mount Huangshan with Feng Na and the others was that she wanted to spy on the situation after the battle of Tiandu Peak and find the whereabouts of the Medicine King Tripod. Secondly, Yan Fang knew through her own sources that Kris had also obtained the Divine Aura of Elixir, so she wanted to find an opportunity to transform.
Ever since Yan Fang had taken over her nephew's body, her strength had decreased even though she had changed from a body with five punctures to a desirable male body. Especially when she was cultivating, there would always be a strong sense of sin lingering in her heart. What was worse was that the Yuanyang Qi in Yan Hua's body would always cause a violent conflict with her own Yuanyin Qi, leading to a setback in cultivation!
Yan Fang smiled and said to Feng Na, "Kris is new here and I'm afraid that she'll be in danger, so I'd better stay with her."
Thinking for a moment, Feng Na said with a smile, "Well, let's split up for now and meet back here in an hour?"
After discussing it for a while, they dispersed in all directions.
Kris did not know that she was being stared at by Yan Fang. On the contrary, she smiled at Yan Fang gratefully and said, "Thank you very much. You are really a gentleman."
Yan Fang put on a fake smile and said meaningfully, "You don't have to thank me. I'm not a gentleman."
Kris knew that Chinese people were modest, so she thought it was Yan Fang being humble. She smiled politely at "him" and said, "Where should we start looking for them?"
Yan Fang deliberately wanted to lead her to a place where there was hardly anyone around. "He" casually pointed and said, "Let's go over there."
Seeing that Yan Fang was pointing at a mountain path, she hesitated for a moment, but soon nodded and said, "Okay, let's go." With that, she walked forward by herself.
Walking behind her, Yan Fang stared at her as if she was a hunter watching his prey walk into a trap, a faint sneer at the corner of her mouth.
After walking for a while, Yan Fang saw that the trees were green and dense, and there was no trace of other people around. It was obviously a good place to kill and silence someone. She sneered in his heart, but just as she was about to go forward to attack, she suddenly heard a cry of surprise. Kris ran forward like crazy and shouted, "John, is that you? John!"