As they moved deeper into the city, Ye Zichen discovered that the closer they got to the city center, the denser the population was. In the flower gardens near the city center, there were people sitting on every available surface. Moreover, as night fell, an endless stream of people flowed into the gardens.
When Wu Di noticed that Ye Zichen’s apparent confusion, he took it upon himself to explain,
“Temporary residence permits don’t include housing. If you want a place to rest, you need to go to an inn or tavern. However, for most people, just living in the city is difficult enough already. The secondary expense of an inn or tavern isn’t something they can bear. People without much money have no choice but to do this.”
As he spoke, the two of them reached a small house, its four walls surrounding a courtyard. It wasn’t particularly large, but in Black Ox Town where an inch of land cost an inch of gold, it was still clearly above average.
“Senior, this one is my home.”
Beneath countless envious gazes, Ye Zichen followed Wu Di inside. Although his home wasn’t particularly well-located, having their own residence was those homeless people’s dearest ambition.
The courtyard was essentially entirely undecorated. Instead, the entire yard was filled with spirit grasses.
“Senior, please forgive the mess.”
In Wu Di’s eyes, staying here at his house was beneath this mighty senior. His courtyard was filled with spirit grasses and there was essentially no space to move around. It might very well displease this senior.
“Isn’t this rather good, though? At least you’ve got your own space to live. Little bro, I hadn’t realized you were doing so well for yourself in Black Ox City. You even have your own private residence! When I first got here, I saw several peak spiritual body cultivators and even some human immortals who obviously had no long-term place to stay.”
In response, Wu Di laughed self-deprecatingly. “I’m just borrowing my family’s prestige. There are three great families in the Thirteenth District: the Liu Family, the Wang Family, and the Wu Family. I’m from the Wu Family.”
“I hadn’t realized you were the son of a noble family.”
“What ‘son of a noble family?’ The Wu Family has already lasted for countless generations. Its descendants are already well over ten thousand. Ordinarily, main-branch clansmen all live in the Thirteenth District’s Raging Flame City but I’m nothing but a side branch clansmen. At the very least, the blood of the Wu Family flows through my veins. That’s why I can afford a place to live in Black Ox City. Also, my situation is comparatively sensitive. I trust you won’t laugh at me; in truth, I’m the current clan head’s son. However, I was born to a servant-girl.”
As he explained his status, Wu Di’s expression grew somewhat bitter. It was thanks to this “sensitive” status that his clansmen had mocked and disdained him from a young age.
Fortunately, after his coming-of-age ceremony, he’d been sent to Black Ox City and thus, was separated from the main-branch clansmen. Moreover, he lived in seclusion even after moving here in order to avoid askance looks from Wu clansmen stationed in Black Ox City.
In truth, his status was like a scar on his psyche. He’d never once discussed it with others. However, he felt that Ye Zichen was different from the other lofty figures he’d encountered. Wu Di was willing to talk about his troubles with him.
“If I were an ordinary member of a side-branch, Scarface and the others wouldn’t have dared attack me. Although the Axe-Gang is powerful, the Wu Family’s history in the Thirteenth district is long and they have an extensive intelligence network. However, due to my unusual situation, they know my father pays no attention to me. That’s why they dared attack and steal my treasures.”
“When mother passed away, she told me not to hate my father. But how can I not hate him? If he hadn’t been so heartless, my mother wouldn't have died.”
Wu Di’s eyes were bloodshot. His fists clenched and his entire body trembled uncontrollably.
He would never, ever be able to forget watching her die, nor could he forget the way he’d knelt before the gates of the Wu Family for over ten days purely for the sake of burying his mother’s remains in the family’s ancestral hall.
But what did that father of his say? “A maidservant was unworthy of the Wu Family’s ancestral hall!”
Who could imagine what it had been like? Beneath a mighty downpour, a gaunt youth, eyes blazing with hate, had carried his mother’s corpse to the mass graves outside Black Ox City and dug her a grave with his bare hands.
After all that, how could he not hate?
Sensing the youth’s mood, Ye Zichen reached out and patted him on the shoulder. Hands still tightly clenched, Wu Di spoke once more, “I heard that there’s a river on the border between the God and Yao realms: the River Styx. Beneath it, there’s a place called ‘Hades.’ All the souls of the departed are recorded there. I’ve always fantasized about becoming an unparalleled expert, entering the River Styx, finding my mother’s soul, and bringing her back to life. But it’s ridiculous….. I’m almost thirty years old and I've still yet to even breakthrough to human immortal.”
“Every mighty expert started out weak and grew one step at a time. Don’t give up. So long as you have the conviction to become an unparalleled expert, you can definitely do it.” Ye Zichen patted Wu Di’s shoulders comfortingly, then arched his brows. “You mentioned Hades earlier, so I’d like to ask you: do all souls wind up there?”
“This junior has only heard stories. I dare not guarantee that the River Styx or Hades even exist. However, while working as an attendant at a tavern, I overheard two earth immortal seniors mention the RIver Styx. That’s why I remember it.”
“So that’s how it is!” Ye Zichen knit his brows and nodded. He glanced back at the youth, “then do you know how I can get to the Yao Realm?”
“Senior, surely you don’t intend to seek out the River Styx?” Wu Di was stunned, but quickly realized he’d overstepped his bounds.
“Going to the Yao Realm ought to be rather difficult. We’re in the extreme north while the Yao Realm is all the way in the south. If you want to go there, the prerequisite is that you have to first reach the Divine Mountain of the South. As for what you need to do from there, this junior can’t say for sure.”
“Then do you know about the ‘Sea of Innocence?’”
Before he got here, Ye Zichen had never expected he'd be lucky enough to wind up directly in the Yao Realm. Besides, given his meager strength, it would still be extremely difficult to find any trace of Xia Keke even if he really did make it there.
In truth, going to the Yao Realm wasn’t particularly urgent. However, he’d just recalled the Wish God.
Back when he’d sent him back to the God Realm, the Wish God mentioned a “Sea of Innocence.” If Ye Zichen could find the Wish God, he might very well be able to quickly and easily locate Xia Keke.
“The Sea of Innocence? Of course I know! The water dividing our seventy-two districts into four great districts comes from the Sea of Innocence!”
“Really.” Wu Di nodded certainly and said, “I’ve heard the Divine Mountain overhead is actually a giant sea. That sea is none other than the Sea of Innocence. The water from the Sea of Innocence flows down from the Divine Mountain. That’s why we have it here.”
All of this could be considered common knowledge. Wu Di didn’t understand why this senior was even asking these sorts of questions.
When Wu Di mentioned the Divine Mountain, Ye Zichen’s delight instantly faded. He didn’t even need to question it; the Sea of Innocence the Wish God mentioned was definitely on that mountain. However, he was currently standing on the ground below.
He’d noticed the Divine Mountains as soon as he’d arrived. He’d tried flying towards them once….
He discovered that no matter how high he flew, the mountain only seemed to fly further and further away. It didn’t stop moving until he did.
It always seemed as if it were clearly just within reach, yet at the same time, impossibly far away.
But as the old saying goes, “an impatient man can’t eat hot tofu.” Although Ye Zichen was someone disappointed, he kept his emotions under control. With a calm smile, he pulled out a spatial pouch and tossed it at Wu Di.
“Don’t tell me you’re too ashamed to accept this. You said you wanted to become strong, didn’t you? In that case, you shouldn’t give up any possibility of improving your strength. These origin spirit stones are enough to break through your shackles and let you become a human immortal. Take it.”
Wu Di’s eyes reddened. He grit his teeth and accepted the pouch, then knelt on the ground and kowtowed to Ye Zichen three times.
“Senior, I’ll never forget your great kindness, not even when I’m old and toothless!”
“I still don’t know your name.”
“This junior is called Wu Di!”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter