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AIP - Chapter 138: Working Together (1)

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

The girl suddenly appeared and looked in surprise at the ghost.

The ghost was probably dizzy from its flight. The moment she appeared, it brandished its claws and lunged, trying to take a person hostage to protect itself.

The girl softly chuckled. She took the string of bells at her waist and waved them at the ghost.

There was a melodious ring, and the ghost froze in shock. The girl extended her slender finger and tapped the ghost on the head. The ghost turned into a black light and was sucked into the bell.

The girl waved the bells around, seemingly listening to it. She then grinned and tied the bells back to her waist.

Just like that, she had taken care of the ghost.

Tang Jie and Abbot Fuyu stopped in unison, both dumbstruck by what they had seen and clueless as to what to say.

In the end, Abbot Fuyu came forward and respectfully bowed. "Fuyu respectfully greets this benefactor. This ghost was a savage being, so it is fortunate that this benefactor was able to lend a hand and prevent it from escaping."

The girl replied, "It can't be considered lending a hand. I just saw a ghost, so I captured it."

Her voice was indescribably pleasant to the ear.

Abbot Fuyu replied, "Since that is the case, why does our benefactor not destroy this wicked ghost?"

The girl crisply replied, "That's my business. What does it have to do with you?"

From her tone, it seemed that she already considered the ghost to be hers.

Abbot Fuyu froze, momentarily unable to speak. It was Tang Jie who chuckled and said, "It's like this. This wicked ghost had possessed members of Secretary Li's family and has already killed someone. Miss, since you've captured the ghost, it's best if you can follow us and explain things to the Li Clan so that they can rest easy."

"Ah, I see." The girl thought it over and nodded. "Alright, I'll go with you and ask those Li Clan people if they're willing to let me take this ghost away."

The abbot wanted to say, "Would these people dare to say they aren't willing?" But all he could do at this point was agree.

The three of them made their way back up the mountain.

The girl walked with her hands behind her back, a languid yet somewhat carefree and naughty look on her face. She had a fleeting personality, and it was somewhat difficult to see through to her true nature.

The abbot asked for her name, but the girl only replied, "We're just strangers who were brought together by chance, so why ask so many questions? Once my business is done, I'll be on my way."

The abbot was somewhat displeased. "It will just make it easier to address you."

"I see… My surname is Xu."

"So it is Miss Xu. This one is Fuyu, as Miss already knows, a mere unaffiliated cultivator. This is Basking Moon Student Tang Jie," the abbot introduced.

When the girl heard that Tang Jie was a Basking Moon student, she took a few more looks at him, but all she said was, "So he was from Basking Moon Academy." There appeared to be a more profound meaning to her words.

As for Abbot Fuyu, he called himself an unaffiliated cultivator. He was at the Spirit Sea Tier and not far from Mortal Shedding.

Upon reaching the summit, they found the Li Clan's people still paralyzed in fear. When they saw the abbot, they immediately went to ask him about the situation.

The abbot told them that the ghost had been captured, and the young lady of the Li Clan sighed in relief. When all of them heard that Tang Jie was a Basking Moon student, all of them began to express their gratitude, showing none of the disrespect from before. That servant who had reprimanded Tang Jie even repeatedly slapped himself until Tang Jie stopped him, saying that it was Miss Xu who had captured the evil ghost.

That Miss Xu said, "I've captured this ghost. If you don't want it, I'll handle it myself. Is that fine with you?"

Young Lady Li naturally didn't have the slightest objection and hastily agreed.

One of the servants recommended that she stay in the monastery for a few days so that the abbot could dispel the evil energies around her.

In truth, ghosts were not really Yin creatures that inflicted disease. This was simply their mode of existence. And they also would not leave behind Yin energies that would harm people. In the end, these were simply the actions of the ignorant to comfort themselves.

Miss Xu said, "Since that's settled, can I go now?"

She turned to leave.

The abbot hastily said, "Benefactor, please hold."

"What?"

Abbot Fuyu smiled. "It's nothing. It's just that it's getting late, so why doesn't our benefactor stay the night in the monastery? You can room together with Young Lady Li."

"I see…" The girl thought it over and nodded. "Alright."

Tang Jie saw this and said, "Abbot Fuyu, you seem to be showing rather unfair treatment. Since it's getting late, why not have me stay the night too?"

The abbot chuckled. "Young Master Tang, you're joking. It's simply that the monastery has a limited number of guest rooms and can't entertain too many guests."

"Oh, then it's simple," Tang Jie said. "Just find a storehouse for me and my little sister to stay in. I don't need anything too good."

The abbot hesitated. "Young Master Tang is a Basking Moon student. Isn't treating you like this a little too improper?"

Tang Jie shook his head. "It's fine. I want it."

From the sound of it, he was going to stay the night no matter what.

With no other option, the abbot ordered a page boy to clear out a firewood storeroom so that Tang Jie and Yiyi could stay in it.

Once they were inside, Yiyi pointed at Tang Jie's nose and shouted, "Talk! What's your purpose? Is it that you find that girl pretty and want to stay because she's staying too?"

After all, Tang Jie was a Spirit Lake Tier cultivator, and he could ascend and descend a mountain as easily as traversing flat ground. "Not going down a mountain because it was getting late" was only for normal people. What did such things matter to him?

Thus, even Yiyi found his excuse incredibly ham-fisted.

But Tang Jie hadn't expected her to tie the reason to Miss Xu, so he was momentarily speechless. Truly, girls could feel jealousy without needing to be taught. 

He hugged her and said, "Silly girl, you're not allowed to speak such nonsense."

"Then it must be!" Yiyi harrumphed and ignored him. Hugging the tiger, she said, "Bao'er, let's go. Don't pay any attention to this lustful wolf."

She went off to play with the tiger cub.

Tang Jie had been rendered utterly speechless. But a moment later, his expression turned grave and his eyes glinted.

The curtain of night fell.

Fairy Peak was utterly silent.

Tang Jie left his room and took a casual stroll around the monastery. He soon arrived at the shabby courtyard from earlier in the day, where he saw Miss Xu.

She was sitting on one of the stone stools and had changed into a short-sleeved pink jacket, exposing her fair and slender arms and the golden bracelet on her wrist. She had a hand propped on her chin and was seemingly pondering something.

When she heard footsteps behind her, she turned her head and spotted Tang Jie, and a hint of derision appeared in her eyes. It appeared that she had already noticed that Tang Jie was coming, but she said nothing, turning away and continuing to think.

Tang Jie chuckled and asked, "Miss Xu, do you still have the ghost you caught earlier?"

The girl took off that string of bells and tossed it to Tang Jie, simply giving the bells to him.

These bells could absorb ghosts and were probably some treasure, yet she didn't seem to care.

Tang Jie was startled. He took the bells and looked them over, unable to figure out how to use them. He heard the girl say in her melodious voice, "You can release the ghost by rotating the second small bell in a circle."

Tang Jie did as she said, and a mist emerged from the bell. The ghost from earlier appeared, but it was on its last breath and lacked any of the viciousness it had had during the day.

Tang Jie covered his hand in spiritual energy, grabbed the ghost, and began to inspect it. "The Yin energy is condensed. As expected, there are signs of ghost essence forming. But for a ghost that's this weak to be able to condense a ghost essence is very suspicious."

There was a faint red light within the ghost's body.

Tang Jie hadn't been able to clearly see it during their battle in the day, but now that it was night, Tang Jie could clearly see that red light in the ghost's navel.

Tang Jie reached his hand out to the ghost. In shock, the ghost tried to evade his grasp, but it didn't have the strength to.

Just when Tang Jie's hand was about to enter the mist and touch that red light, Miss Xu suddenly said, "Don't touch it."

Tang Jie's hand froze, and then he slowly drew it back. "Do you know what it is?"

"The Black Taurus Yin Bead."

"The Black Taurus Yin Bead?" Tang Jie was flabbergasted. "No wonder this ghost is harboring a little ghost essence despite being so weak. As expected, someone is raising ghosts!"

Tang Jie became enraged.

The Black Taurus Yin Bead was an insidious kind of magical tool used to absorb Yang energy from the human body. If it were used on a ghost, it could be used to create an artificial ghost essence.

Fiend pellets, sprite cores, ghost essences, and monster marrows were all rare treasures of the cultivation world, each with their own functions and value.

Fiend pellets were ideal for strengthening the flesh and blood energy. Sprite cores provided a large boost to spiritual energy. Ghost essences strengthened one's mental energy. Finally, monster marrows could increase the power of elemental spell arts.

Of these four, fiend beasts were the most numerous, so fiend pellets were the easiest to get. Ghosts and monsters were few in number, so ghost essences and monster marrows were the most difficult to find.

Items were expensive because of their rarity, and so the price of ghost essences had soared. It was said that the lowest level of ghost essence could easily sell for tens of thousands of coins.

But ghosts were rare, and ghosts with ghost essence were even more rare and even more difficult to deal with.

This was precisely why cultivators had developed the Black Taurus Yin Bead.

When implanted in a ghost, the Black Taurus Yin Bead could artificially create ghost essences.

Several thousand years ago, this had been a very popular method, and the sect most well known for this was the Ghost Raising Sect.

The Ghost Raising Sect had been the one that had developed the Black Taurus Yin Bead.

As this Black Taurus Yin Bead absorbed human essence, even a cultivator could be affected. This was precisely why the girl had told him not to touch it.

But raising ghosts took too many lives and was exceptionally cruel, so the other cultivators quickly began to protest. The Ghost Raising Sect had a brief moment in the limelight before gradually vanishing into the river of history. The Black Taurus Yin Bead also became a forbidden tool for cultivators.

He hadn't expected to run into one today.

"You didn't know?" That Miss Xu turned to look at Tang Jie. "And I thought that you had already noticed back then."

Tang Jie smiled. "That ghost was possessing a cat when it fought with me, and later on, when it manifested and ran, I was only able to get a brief glimpse of it, and then you took it away. When do you think I would have the opportunity to confirm it?"

"Then why did you stay?" The girl's smile turned cold.

Tang Jie was taken aback by this attitude, but he quickly understood. This girl had probably misunderstood in the same way Yiyi had, so he laughed and said, "Although I didn't know that this ghost was being raised by someone, this Abbot Fuyu is very suspicious. He's clearly a cultivator, but he failed to notice this ghost and did nothing about it. Moreover, he only struck right when I was about to capture that ghost, and his actions only served to make it run away faster. These are already very suspicious points. After you captured the ghost, he seemed far too concerned about the ghost's condition, and then he even had you stay the night. What would be bizarre is if I didn't notice anything fishy."

Tang Jie loudly added, "Am I right, Abbot Fuyu?"

There was a light from the hall behind him, and the shadow of a figure emerged.

hypersheep325's Notes:

If you thought Abbot Fuyu was sus, you are correct!

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