Chapter 308: Saving the Vermilion Bird (2)
“Wait,” Shen Jingbin suddenly said, stopping Xu Sheng in her tracks. “Overseer, there’s something I’d like to ask you before we leave.”
Xu Sheng turned to look at her. “What is it?”
“Both Shao Feng and you refer to this bird as the Vermilion Bird. What I don’t understand, is that the Vermilion Bird is one of the Divine Beasts mentioned in the legends. How did it end up like this? And, why was it sealed within in the Virtuous Heaven Temple?”
“What’s the intent behind these questions?”
“I’ll be frank with you; Shentu and Yulü have tasked me with finding the four Divine Beasts. Thus far, I’ve already found the White Tiger and the Black Tortoise. All I’m missing is the Vermilion Bird.”
Xu Sheng turned back and briskly walked up to her. “You’ve found the White Tiger and the Black Tortoise?” She asked anxiously. “Where are they? May I see them?”
Shen Jingbin nodded and released Mascot and the little Black Tortoise from her pet inventory. The moment they appeared, Mascot jumped onto the little Black Tortoise’s shell like an idiot. The little Black Tortoise couldn’t be bothered to move or deal with Mascot, so it resigned itself to letting this childish thing kick up a fuss on top of its shell.
Good thing Mascot didn’t revert to its original form and was now the size of a kitten. Otherwise, all it would’ve taken was just a single paw from Mascot to crush the little Black Tortoise.
Xu Sheng was thrilled to see the two Divine Beasts. “After all these years, the time has finally come!” She slowly approached the two Divine Beasts and squatted before them. She stretched out her hand with the intent of touching Mascot’s furry head but was deterred when it bared its teeth.
Shen Jingbin gave a wry smile. “Um, Mascot’s a little… dumb,” She said as she used the tip of her foot to gently kick Mascot.
Xu Sheng was dumbfounded for a moment, but then she quickly recovered. “It’s alright. This is the Divine Beast, White Tiger. It’s natural for it to dislike being touched… You were asking about the Vermilion Bird, weren’t you? We’re not supposed to tell anyone else, but...”
She stood up and went back to her seat. Everyone’s attention was now focused on her.
“Do you know that the Southern Sea was one of the main battlefields in the great war between good and evil?”
All six of them had read the official announcement when the Southern Sea map was first opened, so they nodded their heads in unison.
“In that war, the two Celestial sects worked together, and with great difficulty, they managed to convince the Vermilion Bird to leave its home and help them. However, the Vermilion Bird was at the end of its life, and its rebirth happened on the battlefield in the Southern Sea. The Vermilion Bird isn’t a Phoenix, but they’re similar in some ways. It can also rise from the ashes and be reborn. During this time, the Vermillion Bird is at its weakest. When the Vermilion Bird was about to reborn, the Sect Leader of the Shinra Sect contaminated the karmic blaze lotus of its Nirvana with his sin fire. The Vermilion Bird was unable to reborn and was corrupted by the evil qi of the Shinra Sect, turning it into an evil spirit.”
“As a Divine Beast, the Vermilion Bird must have known that it was at the end of its life. Why would it agree to leave?” Asked Pure Crane.
Xu Sheng sighed. “Because the Vermilion Bird was the guardian of the Celestials. Both sects of the Celestials were in trouble and beseeched it for help, so how could it deny them? It had no chance but to accede to their request. Regardless, the Vermilion Bird was still a Divine Beast, so it managed to retain some of its consciousness after emerging from the sin flame. It held itself back and even killed many people from the Shinra Sect. Back then, the Shinra Sect suffered a great loss at the hands of the Vermillion Bird.”
“Before it completely turned into an evil spirit, the Vermilion Bird worked with the Sect Leaders who were present at the time to seal itself. Virtuous Heaven Temple guards the southern end of the Southern Sea, and it has the strongest seal because of our location. So, the Vermilion Bird was sealed here.”
“The Vermilion Bird’s a Divine Beast,” Said Quiet and Steadfast. “Would just a few Sect Leaders be enough to seal it?”
“Normally, even if all six Sect Leaders from the Six Great Sects worked together, they still wouldn’t be a match for the Vermillion Bird. But, as you’ve said yourself, the Vermilion Bird was born from the world’s qi and possessed a Celestial body. The Vermillion Bird naturally took a huge hit to its strength when it was corrupted by the sin fire. That, coupled with the Vermilion Bird suppressing itself, allowed for this to happen.” Xu Sheng’s face became forlorn. “I’ve been guarding this seal for countless years as I watched the Vermillion Bird’s true nature struggle against the evil qi within. However, not long ago, I found that the Vermillion’s Bird’s true nature was weakening while the evil qi within it grew ever stronger. It won’t be long now before it completely turns into an evil spirit… If it manages to escape when that happens, a great disaster will follow.”
“When the Demonic Sect’s dungeons were first opened, I wondered why a Divine Beast like the Vermillion Bird would be part of it,” Pure Crane commented. “Now I know why.”
“Overseer, is there any way it to return it to its former state?” Shen Jingbin asked.
Xu Sheng fell silent for a good long while before she finally looked up at Shen Jingbin and said, “There is a way, but it’s far too difficult; you might not be able to see it through.”
“There’s no such thing as it being too difficult. Just tell us! Our Nutty is never afraid!” The Wind of Ximen said without thinking.
“Then I’ll tell you. The Vermilion Bird knew that things wouldn’t end well when sin fire contaminated its karmic blaze lotus, so it left behind its Blood of Regret. This Blood of Regret is the key to helping it recover. But alas, no one knows where it is.”
Shen Jingbin’s eyes twitched. This Blood of Regret sounded awfully familiar.
“Wait, I think I’ve heard of it before.”
“Huh?” Everyone’s attention immediately shifted to her.
Back then, when she was running the three Demonic Sect dungeons with Morning Glory Chime, National Treasures, and the others, she received an item called “The Vermilion Bird’s Blood” in the Blood Soaked Hell. She didn’t know what it was for, so she kept it in her bag and paid it no mind. Little did she expect it to show its worth now.
She took the Vermillion Bird’s Blood out and showed it to Xu Sheng. “Overseer, is this it?!”
Xu Sheng’s face lit up in joy. “It is! Everything truly is preordained; I didn’t expect you to have it!” She looked Shen Jingbin in the eye and said, “Young hero, you’ve tamed the White Tiger and the Black Tortoise, and possess the Vermilion Bird’s Blood. In my mind, the mission of rescuing the Vermilion Bird falls to you and no other! I’m about to tell you how to heal the Vermillion Bird. I hope that you’ll listen carefully to what I have to say and that you’ll stand firm no matter what happens. You’re the only one who can help the Vermillion Bird.”
A glint flashed through Shen Jingbin’s eyes.
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