Qiu Ling made his way to the chasm first. The tree he was supposed to find there was called the Beguiling Night Tree which was rare in the mortal realm and very inconvenient for righteous cultivators or practitioners to find since it liked dark places. Naturally, most of these were occupied by demonic practitioners so people from the righteous sects could hardly just walk in there and pluck some fruits.
Qiu Ling didn’t have any inhibitions though. What righteous side? What demonic side? He wasn’t even human! If he wanted to visit someplace, then he’d like to see who would dare to try and stop him!
Thus Qiu Ling flew to that chasm and looked around. In contrast to those small herbs he needed to search for, he spotted the tree easily. It really stood just there in the middle of the chasm. The only thing that made it slightly more difficult to spot was the fact that it was almost invisible from afar. The bottom of the chasm was shrouded in shadows and the tree had dark green sometimes even black leaves, not to speak of the fruits hanging on its branches that were of a deep purple color. This tree was camouflaging itself!
Well, it still couldn’t escape him! He had the winds carry the cloud down and just plucked some of the fruits. Who knew if they were of different quality? He should take some more so that the old geezer could choose which one to take.
Qiu Ling already wanted to hurry to the last destination when he spotted an estate close by that wasn’t deserted. This was the first time he happened upon a place with people while searching for the ingredients, so he stopped and had a look. Anyway, he didn’t feel like going to that last place yet.
The estate was spacious with several courts and buildings. In fact, it seemed like a small city instead of just one estate. One might compare it to the royal court in the capital city that Jing Yi had left five years ago, though it seemed to be even larger. It occupied a spot right in the mountain where a seemingly natural plateau had formed some way above the Beguiling Night Tree.
Just like the tree most of the buildings were black: Black lacquered beams held the roofs, while equally black tiles covered them. The wood the doors and windows were made of were black as well. It was quite the peculiar sight.
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes. This was how he imagined the court of the demon king: A dark and eerie place but still somehow stylish. It really fitted that bastard, Jin Ling. Had this estate something to do with him?
Qiu Ling hovered in the air and contemplated. If this was really related to the demons, then he couldn’t just leave. Not even considering that there might be a danger to his beloved if he let them stay in the mortal world … he just didn’t want that bastard to achieve whatever he had planned. Ruining his plans would be a joy.
Qiu Ling let the cloud disperse and flew over, landing on the roof of one of the courtyards in the back of the estate. It was the biggest one in the whole estate, with the best structure and the most lavish decorations. Knowing that bastard, he would definitely stay at this courtyard if he had something to do with this place.
Qiu Ling didn’t have to wait. Almost instantly he noticed a figure next to a gurgling stream. The person held a silvery sword in their hand and was swinging it through the air. It was alright for a human but nothing that could impress Qiu Ling. And indeed, the person was only human. Not just that, she was also a woman. Did this really have nothing to do with the demons?
Qiu Ling frowned. He couldn’t believe it. His instinct told him that something was fishy about all this.
He crept over the roof and tried to get a better look at the woman. Demons were the odd ones in comparison to dragons and gods. They didn’t think much of being faithful. That bastard of a demon king had an especially large harem. If the information Fu Min had given him a while back wasn’t outdated already then there should be over five hundred men and women in it.
Right, that bastard was swinging both ways. One of the countless reasons Qiu Ling hated him. If he was only into women it would be alright but since he also lusted after men he was an enemy that had to be defeated! He wouldn’t stand for that guy getting interested in his beloved!
Qiu Ling reached the other side of the roof and finally got a good look at the woman’s face. He stared at her, stunned. No, not because she was such a heaven-defying beauty. Actually, she wasn’t. She had a slightly rounder face with big eyes and some curves, though they weren’t enough to say she had a gorgeous figure.
The real problem was … He had seen that woman before. He couldn’t remember where but he knew he had seen that face before.
Hm … He took a closer look: She might have been a little taller than the average woman but not exceedingly so. There also wasn’t anything remarkable about the way she dressed. She only wore a long black dress with some red parts that highlighted the good parts of her figure. Really, the only thing noticeable was that she was a little on the chubby side.
Actually, Qiu Ling’s evaluation was quite mean. The woman couldn’t be described with the word ‘chubby’. The problem was rather that he measured everyone against crown prince Jing He who was a special sort of beauty. Even if one disregarded the mortals and only looked at the gods, he would still be considered a rare beauty and a good part of that was because of his slender limbs. If one was compared to him … It didn’t matter how one looked, the result would still be unpleasant to hear.
Qiu Ling frowned. He still felt like he had seen this woman somewhere before. But where could it have been?
Before he could find an answer, a door opened and a man in black robes stepped outside. Qiu Ling’s eyes narrowed. That guy, he had some resemblance to that bastard Jin Ling. So this was really related to the demons.
The man walked over to the woman and smiled seductively. “Still not finished?” He looped an arm around her waist and pulled her toward his chest.
The woman lowered her sword and turned around. She smiled sweetly at him and her eyes shone with a gentle light.
Qiu Ling slapped the roof in front of him in realization. He finally remembered who she was!
That’s right! It was her! That damned servant that had tried to kill his beloved! Grr! What was she doing here?! And even with some handsome, demonic-looking man to boot?! Was this the next part of her plan? But hadn’t the Heavenly Emperor already sentenced her?!
The man and woman both whirled around, drawing their weapons. Qiu Ling cursed in a low voice and slid down on the roof and out of their sight. This was an important discovery but he couldn’t get to the bottom of this now. He still had to find the last ingredient and make sure that Jing He could start to cultivate. He’d investigate this later.
Thus, Qiu Ling silently ran away and made his way over to the last place: The Glowing Sea. In spite of the pleasant-sounding name, this was a place he dreaded visiting.