Before Shen Zhu arrived, her voice preceded her: "As a rule, ten people follow one disciple of the Yueshui Bureau. There are only five of you, so I'll be enough. More people will only add to the chaos."
Jin Lan was startled and exclaimed, "When did you arrive?"
"Since Sect Leader Shi started jumping around," Shen Zhu smiled.
Without giving Shi Jingzhi time to look awkward, she continued, "I recognize this technique. It's called Sticky Shadow and is used for navigation. However, creating something like this for navigation is too extravagant and not intuitive enough, which led to its disappearance. I never thought I'd see it here... Sect Leader Shi, please step back ten paces. Don't worry, it's just an illusion and won't hurt anyone."
Shi Jingzhi obediently stepped back ten paces. The illusion initially followed him step by step, but halfway through, it stopped and no longer followed.
"This is the result of taking the wrong path. Sect Leader Shi, please move forward twenty steps and take the fork in the road," instructed Shi Jingzhi. The phantom figure walked ahead of him, choosing its own path.
Shen Zhu exclaimed, "You see, this is how it leads the way."
Jin Lan complained, "...It's really troublesome. No wonder it's been lost. Can't we just use a compass? Who has the time to create something like this?"
Yin Ci calmly replied, "Perhaps a lonely person."
Yan Qing remained silent for a moment before asking, "Can I not go? I don't want the treasure."
"No," Shi Zhongyu shook her head. "You were the first to notice the sound of footsteps. I need your ears. When we return to the sect, I will report this to the Sect Leader and request recognition for your contribution."
Yan Qing reluctantly agreed, and Yin Ci gave him a few more glances. As soon as he collided with him, he knew that this blind man's martial arts were mediocre, even below Jin Lan's level.
Those who could see the Sticky Shadows were not much better in martial arts. It was unlikely that he could explain it solely based on his sensitive ears.
Could there be other selection criteria for that technique?
Exploring the Ghost Tomb was the right thing to do, and interesting things were happening one after another.
Yin Ci smiled and poked the blind man, "Brother Yan, you have Heroine Shi to protect you, while I can only follow my Shizun. But I dare to go, seeking wealth there will naturally be danger, you know."
Shi Zhongyu said, "Good disciple, you don't have to be so frank."
Jin Lan shook like a sieve, but didn't want to embarrass himself in front of his senior sister. So the three from Taiheng Sect, two from Ku Mountain Sect, and one Shen Zhu, set off quietly.
Shi Zhongyu felt like she should lead the way, saying,"We have few people, so our main focus is on exploration. If there is a conflict, don't get involved."
Yin Ci was not surprised. Shi Zhongyu was the top disciple of the Taiheng Sect, with a reputation that preceded her and a place among the top heroes of the jianghu. In terms of overall strength, Shi Jingzhi was not even her match.
The faceless monk led them away from the brothel and into the chaotic alleys. Unfortunately, even though they were cautious, Yin Ci still noticed a small tail following them.
A presence trailed behind them, neither too close nor too far, all the way to their destination - a coffin shop.
The faceless monk stopped in front of it, turned around, clasped its hands together, and dissipated like thin smoke. The shop had two floors and a conventional appearance, inconspicuous in the dark alley.
Shi Zhongyu rolled up her sleeves to reveal the Blood Bone Beads Bracelet. The beads were once pure white as snow, but now they were blackened as if they were about to drip blood.
She drew her sword and warned, "Be careful, there are demons and evil spirits nearby."
The other five people quickly hid behind her, forming a neat line like a row of chicks.
The old mother hen, Shi Zhongyu: "..."
She pricked her finger and smeared a few drops of blood on a pebble, then flicked it towards the shop door. The pebble landed with a soft thud and there was no other sound.
Shi Zhongyu looked at Yan Qing, who shook his head. "It seems that the monster is not the type to attack first," she sighed.
Shi Zhongyu collected her bracelet, held a sword in her right hand, and switched to a bronze dagger in her left. She stepped into the coffin shop, her white clothes reflecting a pale yellow like paper money, her fierce aura undiminished.
The chicks followed quietly, keeping a distance of about five steps behind her.
Inside the coffin shop, there was nothing particularly special. The paper man shopkeeper was leisurely reading a book, and there were no customers in the store, only lacquered coffins.
The air was mixed with a faint smell of blood, and the Blood Bone Beads were getting redder and turning almost black.
Suddenly, Shi Jingzhi stopped in his tracks.
Although he had a Nuo mask on his face, his demeanor was completely different from before, and even Shi Zhongyu glanced at him slightly.
"Don't move," he said, his tone no longer relaxed. "Miss Shi, the monster is the 'Three Thousand Anxiety Silk'."
Shi Zhongyu immediately became serious. She threw her bronze dagger to Jin Lan and said, "Cut a circle around our feet and quickly go back to report!"
Shi Jingzhi shook his head. "It's too late. There are quite a few of them, and I'm afraid we'll be ambushed outside the store."
Jin Lan and Yan Qing listened to the two people playing dumb riddles, and looked at the empty coffin shop, both showing a puzzled expression.
Yin Ci lowered his head and hid his face in the shadow, not saying a word.
"'Anxiety Silk' is a kind of... well, whether it's a worm or a vine is still uncertain. Anyway, it's a kind of monster that is as thin as a spider's silk, weightless, and invisible to the naked eye. When they gather in thousands, they become 'Three Thousand Anxiety Silks'," Shen Zhu explained casually, still looking relaxed.
"They start crawling up from the feet, causing a slight itch when passing through the waist and abdomen, and only after passing through the neck will they cause obvious discomfort. Unfortunately once it reaches that step...But don't worry, we just arrived, there must be a way."
Jin Lan and Yan Qing were only in their early twenties, and they were scared by this topic: "What will happen when we reach that step...?"
Anxiety Silk could turn a person into a half-dead lump of flesh, fed and slowly consumed by tomb rats and insects, Yin Ci added in his mind.
Actually, there was no problem with directly feeding the Anxiety Silk with rats and insects. Yin Ci had seen the Anxiety Silk squeeze live rats into meatballs.
It's just that human bodies are larger and have more energy, which the Anxiety Silk especially love to consume. The amount of Anxiety Silk in this pile was so exaggerated that their appetite was insatiable.
No wonder Yan Budu kept them in the coffin shop, where the coffins were definitely filled with "feed".
Since becoming immortal, Yin Ci gradually could see various invisible monsters.
At this moment, countless fine threads flowed like water in front of him. They flowed down from the second floor, crawled all over the walls and coffins, and accumulated into a large puddle outside the shop.
The things in the room were covered with silver-white threads, as if they had been hit by a snowstorm. They silently circled around his feet, and perhaps from either fear or disgust, refused to even touch him.
Yin Ci looked towards the other five people, with the three from Taiheng Sect and Shen Zhu, with the Anxiety Silk crawling up to their ankles.
On the other side, Shi Jingzhi had the Anxiety Silk climbing up to his knees, as if he had put on a pair of white furry leg guards.
Yin Ci thought to himself, "Are they eyeing this person because he has tender and delicious skin?"
But this did not stop him from watching the show - he was just a "weak mountain dweller". When the situation became critical, he would find a way to get rid of Shi Jingzhi.
Shi Zhongyu reacted quickly. She drew a circle with her palm and splattered blood around her body.
While the Anxiety Silk were distracted, she took out a few pills and threw them towards the others.
"This is poison, hurry and swallow it," Shi Zhongyu whispered, throwing five white pills. "The white ones are the antidote, take them after escaping."
Shen Zhu gulped down the poison. "Not bad, not bad. Mixing poison with blood will slow down its erosion speed... Sect Leader Shi, I see you have a good understanding of the Anxiety Silk. Have you dealt with this before?"
"I've read in books that burning it with fire can solve the problem."
Everyone fell into silence. This was the Paperman Street, even touching a paperman required first chilling oneself. Setting fire on the spot would attract the Firefly Spiders from two miles away.
Shi Jingzhi seemed to have thought of something and spoke again.
"Yan Budu is quite interesting. He made a monk lead a group to chop down this Three Thousand Anxiety Silk. Is he trying to make us collectively become monks?"
Yin Ci said, "...Shizun, please be quiet. If we don't escape soon, we'll be having a collective funeral."
Shi Zhongyu had no interest in listening to Shi Jingzhi's nonsense.
With a flash of green light on her sword, a faint heat could be felt. As she danced with her sword, Yin and Yang intertwined, and her sword emitted a green Yin fire.
The head of Taiheng Sect specifically chose her to lead the team, most likely because of this skill.
Shi Jingzhi stopped talking and stared at the sword technique without blinking.
Yin fire was effective against living things, but not as effective against evil creatures. Shi Zhongyu had been poisoned and targeted by the Anxiety Silk, causing her face to gradually turn pale.
Jin Lan used a bronze dagger to randomly scratch at everyone's feet, taking the opportunity to escape with the others. But before they could reach the door, everyone's feet were trapped again by the Anxiety Silk, like sinking into a quagmire.
Seeing the situation was not good, Shi Zhongyu abandoned defense and instead started to clear the way for the other five people.
Jin Lan's eyes turned red in an instant: "Senior Sister..."
Unexpectedly, she had only released this Green Maiden Sword Technique halfway when a flagpole suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Shi Jingzhi's voice carried a smile: "Miss Shi, life is precious, don't be so quick to sacrifice yourself."
The words "Cure All With Medicine" appeared on the flag, with a layer of golden flames floating above it. The flames were dazzling, but the flag remained undamaged.
"I have no intention of stealing Senior's unique skills, but the situation is urgent, so please bear with me. Thank you for your guidance."
Shi Zhongyu hesitated before saying, "...You're welcome?"
Shi Jingzhi received her affirmation and flipped the flag upside down with one hand... then swept the ground with it.
Who knew what he did to the Greed Maiden Sword Technique, but he managed to turn the Yin fire into Yang fire. The Yang fire stuck tightly to the flag and didn't leave, and the flag was much wider than the sword, so the effect was excellent.
The Anxiety Silk immediately fled in all directions, not even wanting to eat.
Shi Zhongyu stood in confusion for a while before turning to Jin Lan and saying, "Remember to bring some mops next time we hunt demons."
She then fell into deeper confusion - was it really so easy to learn how to turn spiritual energy into fire and cover objects with it?
Yin Ci looked at the pile of Anxiety Silk trembling and huddling in the corner with a smile. It seemed that he didn't need to intervene this time.
It was a job well done. As Shi Jingzhi cleaned up the store, everyone sat on the ground and ate their antidotes. Jin Lan and Yan Qing had the worst martial arts skills and were still affected by the Anxiety Silk, unable to walk properly.
When Shi Jingzhi finished cleaning, the huge Anxiety Silk had long crawled out of the coffin shop and rolled away sadly.
Shi Zhongyu's Blood Bone Beads Bracelet had turned white again, but the awkward atmosphere remained. Shen Zhu said she wanted to take samples and record them, but no one knew where she went. With one less person, the atmosphere became even colder.
Jin Lan tried to liven up the mood, "Thanks to Senior Sister and Sect Leader Shi, we finally drove away the monster and can freely search. With so many coffins in the store, there must be many treasures hidden."
"Jin Lan, be careful what you say," Shi Zhongyu finally snapped out of it, "No monsters doesn't mean there are no traps or mechanisms."
After keeping the flag, Shi Jingzhi opened his medicine box and said, "With both the poison and the demons, they will definitely harm your vitality. Come, everyone should take the medicine."
Seeing Shi Jingzhi's strength, Shi Zhongyu spoke with more respect, "May I ask, Sect Leader Shi, what is this?"
Shi Jingzhi replied, "This is a special product of the Ku Mountain Sect, the Great Strength Pill."
Shi Zhongyu: "..."
She patted her cheeks and regained some composure, "Thank you, Sect Leader Shi, for your help. Just now..."
"Our family's imitation martial arts are not easy to explain. It was just a fluke. Miss Shi, don't worry about it." Shi Jingzhi stood up. "You guys eat first! I'll go out and see. Maybe the Anxiety Silk hasn't left yet."
Yin Ci chewed on the pill and looked meaningfully towards the door.
Outside the coffin shop.
'I'm sorry, I haven't found the right time since receiving the message from the sparrow demon,' Shen Zhu said, putting away her casual expression and speaking in lip language.
'It's true that Yin Ci has a grandfather who has read books, and his father has also sold fur in town a few times. But as for Yin Ci himself, I haven't found much information.'
Shi Jingzhi looked at her quietly.
Shen Zhu frowned. 'Yin Ci lives in the deep mountains, so it's not surprising that there's a lack of records. It's not a loophole, but...'
'You're doing well,' Shi Jingzhi replied in lip language.
'Don't worry, I have my own sense of propriety,' Shen Zhu said.
Demon Lord Yin: Enjoying the show, but unfortunately it isn't convenient to clap.
Sect Leader Shi, the real monk sweeping the floor (×
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