Nine Heavens

Nine Heavens

Chapter 11 - Chapter 11

Even if he was being used, he had no excuse to refuse when the other party had made it so clear.

Zhou Yin had no interest in the so-called position of elder, but his ability to establish his foundation so quickly was indeed inseparable from those spirit stones and cultivation pills.

He acted according to his heart and did not want to owe anyone favors.


Zou Jingyuan was quite satisfied with his response and nodded with a smile: "You have just advanced to Foundation Establishment, and your foundation is not yet stable. Don't be in a hurry to go into seclusion for cultivation. You can walk around, and if you need spirit stones, you can come and tell me."

However, Zhou Yin asked a completely unrelated question: "Has Anyang been destroyed?"

"I heard that the capital city of Songzhou has not yet been captured, but it's almost the same." Zou Jingyuan remembered that his parents were from Anyang and comforted him: "You don't need to worry too much. Although there is war and chaos, I heard that the army of Dongyue is well-disciplined, and ordinary people should not be harmed."

Zhou Yin said: "I want to go back and take a look."

"That's good. Filial piety and family relations are a matter of course." Zou Jingyuan paused. "It's just that you have now completed Qi Refinement and are in the early stage of Foundation Establishment. If nothing unexpected happens, you should have a lifespan of over two hundred years, while your parents are both mortals.

"Even if they prolong their lives, they will live for at most a hundred years or so. This is the fate of each person. You must not be too obsessed, lest you neglect your cultivation."

In his previous life, Zhou Yin had cultivated to the Nascent Soul stage and naturally had magic treasures he was accustomed to using. However, before he reached the Core Formation stage, he could not open the cave abode that he had sealed with restrictions in his previous life. Therefore, the only thing he could rely on now was the Melting Water Sword bestowed by the Mirror Sea Sect.

Now that he had successfully established his foundation and was recognized by the sect leader, his status in the sect was different from before. The spirit stones and elixirs he received each month were also more than before.

Zhou Yin used these spirit stones to first go to the Yunzhou market where cultivators gathered to buy talisman paper and cinnabar. He wrote dozens of low-grade talismans and infused them with spiritual power for unexpected needs.

He had always been like this, never entrusting his life entirely to a certain person or magic treasure. In this world, there are always people beyond people and heavens beyond heavens. Only his own reactions and judgment were the most reliable.

When he arrived in Yunzhou, he discovered that the situation had indeed been turned upside down. Although Yunzhou was only the former capital of Anyang, with the destruction of Anyang and its incorporation into Dongyue, the special geographical location of this city also made the atmosphere of the city very subtle.

Patrolling Dongyue soldiers could be seen everywhere on the streets and alleys, each wearing heavy armor and holding halberds, with a solemn and murderous look on their faces. The city gates were even more heavily guarded, strictly inspecting those entering and leaving.

Ordinary people were frightened by such scenes, but cultivators would not take it seriously. The soldiers were also very good at observing words and expressions. As soon as they saw someone whose appearance and behavior were different from ordinary people, they guessed that there was an eight or nine out of ten chance that they were a cultivator and did not dare to make things difficult for them.

Zhou Yin had a cold and stern appearance, with a unique temperament that was naturally not mistaken for an ordinary person, so he had a smooth journey.

After making the talismans and leaving Yunzhou, he flew on his sword towards the Zhou family's village.

Leaving Yunzhou, it would take about three days on horseback to reach Fulin County. The Zhou family's Village was a small village dozens of miles outside Fulin County. Although remote, it was blessed with unique conditions.

Not only were the mountains perennially covered in various herbs and medicinal plants, with trees easily over a hundred years old, but even the fish in the streams seemed more plentiful than other places.

As a result, after hundreds of years of development, although the village population was not large, most were self-sufficient. Every ten to fifteen days, someone would go to the county town to trade.

From time to time, peddlers would also bring goods from the county town to sell here. So unless it was the icy and snowy season, the village was often lively, exuding a simple warmth.

However, when he arrived at the village at dusk, he found that the village, inside and out, emanated an eerie atmosphere.

By this time, the sky had gradually darkened. Usually at this hour, every household should have lit their oil lamps, with cooking smoke curling up. But as Zhou Yin entered the village, there was only one feeling.

Dead silence.

In addition, there was a thick, insoluble stench of blood.

Entering the village, he walked towards his own home. Seventeen years away had not blurred his memory.

Along the way, it was a true mountain of corpses and sea of blood.

The village originally had hundreds of people. Now almost all of them were here.

Some had their chests pierced by long spears, nailed alive to the walls. Some had a deep axe wound on their necks, with half their heads hanging to the side, connected by only a thin layer of tendons and flesh. Even four or five-year-old children were dismembered and brutally killed.

His steps did not stop as his gaze swept over these corpses, continuing forward until he halted.

Even after seventeen years, Zhou Chai and Madam Ji had clearly aged a lot, but Zhou Yin still recognized them at a glance.

The two were nestled together, collapsed at the base of a wall. Zhou Chai had a dagger stuck in his back, while Madam Ji had a slash across her chest.

The blood had long dried. Like the other villagers, Madam Ji's face did not show much horror, but rather appeared peaceful. Only Zhou Chai's eyes were wide open, as if he could not rest in peace.

Zhou Yin looked at all this expressionlessly. He slowly squatted down and reached out to stroke his face.

"I'm here. I will avenge you. Go in peace," he said softly.

Where his palm passed, Zhou Chai closed his eyes.

Zhou Yin pulled out the dagger from his back. Engraved on it was a military emblem and the character "Hui".

Zhou Yin recognized the emblem. He had seen it many times in Yunzhou. It was the symbol of the Pingnan Army of Dongyue. The character "Hui" referred to the Pingnan Army's commander-in-chief, General Hui.

The Pingnan Army was renowned for its strict discipline and invincibility, enjoying prestige within the Dongyue. When he stayed in Yunzhou, he even heard the local people refer to it as the Hui Family Army.

Zhou Yin's eyes narrowed, his expression growing colder.

Although Anyang had been destroyed, along the way, the impact on the common people was just on their daily lives. If they did not rise up in resistance, they generally would not be captured and killed.

Ordinary people only cared about living well. In this chaotic world, changing emperors made no difference to them, let alone that Anyang's rulers were incompetent and would not be supported.

Since even the people of Yunzhou were safe and sound, how could it be that a remote mountain village warranted the passage of a great army to massacre them, leaving not a single survivor?

These people had looks of bewilderment, but no fear, indicating that at least before their deaths, they did not know they were going to die.

Since the corpses were all outside the houses, it was impossible that they were drugged and then massacred. Rather...

Someone had gathered them all outside, then cultivators used techniques to instantly kill them.

Afterwards, knife and sword wounds were added to create the illusion that the army had killed them.

Regardless of whether it was truly done by the Pingnan Army or someone borrowing their knife, this entire matter was inextricably linked to the Pingnan Army.

Not far away, disorderly footsteps could be heard. Zhou Yin immediately concealed his presence, hiding in the darkness.

"Third Brother, come look over here! There's more..."

"Shh, keep your voice down! Do you want to attract people?!"

"What's there to be afraid of? The whole village has been massacred. Who would come here in the middle of the night!" Ding Da walked out of a house, gleefully stuffing gold and silver jewelry into his bosom.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a well-dressed man lying under a tree. He walked over and started rummaging through the dead man's body.

The moonlight cast the shadow of the person behind him. Ding Da didn't even turn his head as he continued his actions: "Hey, Third Brother, go search those houses over there. I took a good look during the day. The households there are well-off. But then again, that person's methods were really ruthless. Hundreds of people, not a single one spared. This is not like..."

His words abruptly stopped. Ding Da stared wide-eyed, utterly terrified at the hand gripping his neck.

"The village was massacred during the day. Was it you who did it?" the other party asked, his expression and voice devoid of warmth.

Ding Da trembled violently, stammering: "No, no, no, how could it be me? Sir, spare my life. I was just following orders. I didn't kill anyone, I didn't kill anyone!"

"Who was it?"

"I, I don't know. There were a few immortals. Lord Yao had us follow them here. They seemed to be looking for something, but couldn't find it..."

"Go on."

"Then they used immortal arts to summon all these, these people out, asking them one by one. If they couldn't get answers, they killed them..."

The person before him was dressed all in black, his face pale and indifferent, like a ghost. Compared to these corpses under the moonlight, he made Ding Da even more fearful and afraid.

The other party did not speak, only stared at him. Ding Da finally could not bear it and confessed everything: "After those immortals killed the villagers, Lord Yao had us add knife wounds to frame the Pingnan Army. Sir, spare my life. I saw everything at the time, saw it all. These villagers were already dead. I only added the knife wounds afterwards. I didn't kill anyone, I really didn't!"

"What were the identities of the killers?"

"I don't know. I only saw Lord Yao treat them with utmost respect, even addressing them as Immortal Seniors."

"Lord Yao?"

Ding Da gasped for breath, striving to recall: "Yes, yes, Yao Xincheng. I heard he's a big shot from the Dongyue's capital. We're all refugees, temporarily hired by him. We followed his orders, put on Pingnan Army uniforms, and came here..."

Before he could finish, he was so frightened that his eyes rolled back and he foamed at the mouth, literally scared to death.

What this man said largely aligned with Zhou Yin's speculations.

What thing was it that those people searched high and low for, to the point of killing to silence them? He fell silent, but suddenly a bright light flashed across the sky, like a raging fire connecting with the heavens, turning half the night sky a burning red.

In just a moment, the red light disappeared, as if nothing had ever happened.

It was in the direction of Dragon Shadow Pond.

Almost without a second thought, he immediately flew towards the outskirts of the village on his sword.

Outside the village, the closer he got to Dragon Shadow Pond, the more he felt a spiritual energy hitting him in the face.

Zhou Yin had long known that Dragon Shadow Pond was abundant in spiritual energy, otherwise he wouldn't have always meditated and cultivated there before. But now this spiritual energy was even more rich and full, a hundred times more than before.

The waterfall was still flowing rapidly, gushing straight down into the deep pond. Zhou Yin walked closer and bent down to lightly touch the pond water.

It was warm.

Moreover, in the pond water, there seemed to be a wonderful power that connected with his palm and rushed straight into his mind. In an instant, it was like a clear sky and bright moon, indescribably marvelous.

His heart stirred and he put his hand in the water, staring at Dragon Shadow Pond for a moment before suddenly leaping in.

Dragon Shadow Pond was bottomless. Zhou Yin had stayed underwater before and speculated that the water here might connect to some sea outlet. However, he previously didn't even have the cultivation of Qi Refining, so naturally he couldn't stay in the water for too long. Now that he was at Foundation Establishment, holding his breath for an hour was no problem.

The pond water was a clear jade green, with aquatic plants and small fish occasionally passing by. Zhou Yin didn't even glance at them as he swam towards the source of the spiritual energy.

The water was no longer icy cold, but warm and cozy enveloping his whole body, making one feel relaxed and comfortable.

Swimming down for about half an incense stick of time, pushing aside layers upon layers of rocks and moss, he finally found the culprit that caused the celestial phenomenon.

An oval, grayish-black, stone-like egg.


Hello! I'm Echo, and I've always been fascinated by how stories can connect us across different worlds. When I'm not translating, I'm probably playing guitar or experimenting in the kitchen. I hope my translations resonate with you, just like a good melody

Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ohce.