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AIP - Chapter 131: Together Forever

Bang!

The head hit the ground in a spray of dust, bouncing several times before rolling next to Tang Jie.

The eyes were still wide open, staring into Tang Jie's eyes, the mouth opening and closing several times as if it wanted to say something more.

Tang Jie slowly pulled the bisected arm from his chest. "The Weapon Mantra is the Martial Lord's secret art. It can shatter weapons and condense weapons. The art can take on countless variations and is unbreakable."

Once this was said, Gu Changqing's eyes finally closed.

They never opened again.

Whew! Tang Jie exhaled, instantly falling to the ground.

He had finally won the battle, but it had been dangerous and hard-fought.

He felt something like a pillow behind his head, soft and flexible.

Then he heard Yiyi angrily yell, "You're squashing me! I hate you! I hate you!"

Tang Jie laughed and raised his head with great difficulty, allowing Yiyi to crawl out. Her little face was rather pale.

Though she had not made any attacks in this battle, almost all of the spiritual energy Tang Jie had consumed had come from her. Sprites relied on spiritual energy as their basis and blood energy as their nutrition. Tang Jie had absorbed so much of her spiritual energy in this battle that her vitality had been damaged. As she lay atop Tang Jie, she weakly said, "Big Brother, are the bad people dead?"

"Mm, dead," Tang Jie replied.

"All dead?"

"All dead."

"Great," Yiyi muttered, and then she fell asleep atop Tang Jie.

Tang Jie saw that she had become a lot smaller and knew that she had suffered a massive loss of spiritual energy that had damaged her foundation. This one battle had almost brought her back to her original size, and she was both cute and pitiful. But he was heavily injured himself, so he also lay down and fell asleep.

He had no idea how long he was out for.

Tang Jie felt a warmth on his face.

Opening his eyes, he saw the little tiger crouched on his chest, licking him.

This little guy had done barely a thing in this battle, so he had the most energy.

When he saw that Tang Jie was awake, the cub stared at Tang Jie and began to growl.

Tang Jie immediately understood what he was trying to say.

"It seems you're hungry."

The cub was hungry, and so was he, his stomach grumbling.

Tang Jie saw that his injuries were much better, so he sat up. He gently put the sleeping Yiyi to the side and covered her with some of his clothes, after which he began to search through the Mustard Seed Bags.

Tang Jie had the Mustard Seed Bags of both Shi Ke and Kong Wulang, and now he had Gu Changqing's, for a total of three.

Tang Jie found some food inside. He threw some meat to the tiger, but alas, it was cooked, so he didn't know if the tiger cub would eat it.

To his surprise, the cub lunged at the meat and began to devour it, seemingly enjoying it quite a lot.

Tang Jie chuckled. "So you like cooked food."

In the marsh, the man and tiger ate and drank.

With nothing else to do, Tang Jie emptied out the contents of the three Mustard Seed Bags to see his spoils.

The Mustard Seed Bags were all from Mortal Shedding Realm experts, and all the items within were unusual. Alas, because of that battle, Shi Ke and Kong Wulang had taken out all the weapons, and Tang Jie hadn't had the time to take them with him. There were no other treasures within their bags. The contents were primarily pills, medicines, and talismans, which was quite the sorry sight, worth even less than the Mustard Seed Bag. However, the two of them had had three-thousand-some spirit coins all together.

Gu Changqing had quite a few art relics. Besides the Soul-Seizing Claw, Essence-Pinning Mirror, the Godhead Armor, and the Soul-Sealing Stake, he also had a flying sword, a bow, three green arrows, and a protective jade talisman.

These all required the cultivator to expend spiritual energy to work, and they couldn't work alone. Thus, Gu Changqing had not used them in that battle. Otherwise, any one of them would have ended any hope Tang Jie had of winning.

Besides that, there were numerous pills, medicines, and talismans, many of which were Mortal Shedding Realm spell arts. If not for Tang Jie's special constitution that made him so hard to kill, these talismans alone would have been enough to end him.

Finally, there was a big pile of spirit coins.

To Tang Jie's surprise, Gu Changqing had kept thirty entire spirit jades in his Mustard Seed Bag.

But he quickly understood. Gu Changqing was the Eagle Master of the Hawk Hall, and he was also the one who controlled the Hawk Hall's finances in the Sageheart Kingdom. He naturally carried a lot of money on his person to use.

In comparison, his art relics were rather average. These art relics added together might not even match Xu Muyang's Azure Light Sword.

This was because art relics were personal items that had to be bought with one's own money.

Though he was an Eagle Master of the Hawk Hall, he was still a Deputy Eagle Master. Moreover, he had been promoted to the position of Deputy Eagle Master so that he could catch Tang Jie. In actuality, he had been a young man who hadn't cultivated for that many years. He was completely different from someone like Xie Fengtang, who was a Celestial Heart Realm existence who had cultivated for several hundred years and had been able to accumulate a vast amount of property.

Thus, his personal wealth was limited and invested into these art relics, and more than half was probably public property, as it wasn't as if there was a lack of public money. But all of it was Tang Jie's now. 

Tang Jie now probably had one hundred thousand spirit coins, and Tang Jie happily laughed.

This was also an important reason he had to fight this decisive battle with Gu Changqing. If he didn't kill someone strong, how could he get rich? And how could he pay back his enormous debt?

"Right, there seems to be another unexpected benefit," Tang Jie said, his eyes resting on Gu Changqing's head.

If he recalled correctly, the Basking Moon Sect had issued a reward of one Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill and one year exempt from tribute for this head.

The value of one year exempt from tribute varied from person to person, as sects did not all pay the same amount of tribute. The real value was in the Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill.

This was a true upper-grade spirit medicine and was no longer something that could be evaluated in purely monetary terms.

It was just that if one wanted to form one's Celestial Heart and enter the Celestial Heart Realm, one would need the help of a Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill. It could be considered the key support for entering Celestial Heart.

It was truly surprising. The property of three cultivators couldn't match the value of Gu Changqing's head.

He wrapped Gu Changqing's head in cloth and put it in the bag. Tang Jie saw the little tiger finish eating. Seemingly unsatisfied, the tiger stuck his head into the pile of items, rummaging for something else to eat.

The little cub ended up falling into the pile, leaving only his two flailing back legs sticking out. Tang Jie found it very amusing as he pulled him out by the back legs.

The cub sat on his butt with a talisman stuck to his face, gnawing on a pearl and trying to swallow it.

"Eh? What's this?" Tang Jie found this pearl rather strange, as he hadn't noticed it before. He hastily took the pearl from the cub's mouth.

The tiger cub was furious that the pearl had been stolen from him and started to gnaw at Tang Jie's arm. But though he bit and gnawed on Tang Jie's arm, he couldn't bite through.

Tang Jie petted the cub on the head and smiled. "Alright, alright, let me take a look. I know it's yours, so I'll give it back."

He carefully examined the pearl.

This was a small sky-blue pearl. It had a moist and sparkling luster, as if it was made of crystal, but the insides were misty as if there was a cloud inside.

Tang Jie sent in a sliver of spiritual energy. The spiritual energy vanished like a mud doll dropped into the sea, but there was no reaction.

"How bizarre. Is it like the New Rain on Barren Mountain Curse, an art relic for sealing spiritual energy?" Tang Jie muttered.

He looked at the pile of random knick-knacks, so jumbled together that he could no longer tell what had belonged to whom. Thus, he did not know if this pearl belonged to Gu Changqing or the other two unfortunate souls.

The little tiger was still biting at Tang Jie, so Tang Jie threw the pearl back so that he could play with it.

At this moment, Yiyi finally woke up with a yawn.

Upon seeing Tang Jie, Yiyi jumped to her feet and jumped into his embrace, holding tightly onto his neck and refusing to let go.

"Alright, alright, it's all over." Tang Jie patted Yiyi's back comfortingly.

Yiyi started to cry. "I hate you! You threw us away for so long! Do you know what I had to go through!?"

"I know… I know…" Tang Jie kissed Yiyi on the cheek.

He could understand what Yiyi had gone through without her saying it.

A small child with a small tiger had to travel all the way from Wanquan City to the Cloud Marsh, and then she had to plant countless green roses to keep a watch on her surroundings. How could he not understand how difficult this was?

If Yiyi hadn't been a sprite, she probably wouldn't have been able to pull it off.

But even for a sprite, born of spiritual energy, this hadn't been easy.

And she also had to take care of the little tiger.

Thus, as Tang Jie hugged her, she began to describe her trials.

He listened as she described how she had gotten here from Wanquan City, how she had almost been discovered, and how she had taken care of the tiger and stolen food for him.

Ten short days had been like ten years for Yiyi.

She had thought countless times about giving up.

If not for Tang Jie's sake, if not for her fear that if she gave up, she would lose her "big brother" forever, she wouldn't have been able to last until the end.

Even when she reached the Cloud Marsh, things still were not exactly smooth sailing for her.

The Cloud Marsh had all kinds of poisonous insects and fierce beasts, and also various fiends, sprites, ghosts, and monsters that were "interested" in her.

Yiyi had to avoid these powerful fiend beasts and plant her surveillance green roses in safe areas. In truth, there were many areas in the Cloud Marsh that Yiyi could not keep watch on.

Fortunately, Gu Changqing wasn't someone who liked to cause trouble, so he had also avoided the territories of the fiend beasts. Otherwise, Yiyi might not have been able to find him in time.

Yiyi had experienced deep pain and suffering from this experience, but she had also matured a lot.

Perhaps this was precisely why she had been able to doggedly hold on when the puppet had attacked her.

Ten days!

In ten days, Tang Jie had crossed vast distances and experienced all sorts of danger, but Yiyi had experienced her own difficult journey.

It had truly been difficult for her to endure it all!

When he realized this, Tang Jie looked at Yiyi with a somewhat different gaze.

"Thank you, Yiyi," he said.

Wiping away her tears, Yiyi sternly said, "Big Brother, promise me that you will never separate from me again, okay?"

Tang Jie felt his heart growing hot.

He answered, "Your Big Brother promises that I will never leave you again!"

Yiyi nodded and loudly said, "Never again!" 

"Never again!" Tang Jie extended his pinky finger. "Come on, pull my finger and I swear to keep this promise for one hundred years!"

Yiyi waved around Tang Jie's hand and shouted, "One hundred years isn't enough! I… I want more years! Lots and lots of years!"

She still had a very fuzzy concept of numbers and didn't know how much was a lot, so she decided to just ask for lots and lots.

"Alright, pull my finger and I swear to keep this promise for lots and lots of years!"

The two of them shouted together and then giggled.

The little tiger continued to gnaw on that pearl. When he heard their laughter, he raised his head in confusion, wondering what they were doing.

hypersheep325's Notes:

Aww, a happy little reunion.

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.