The Immortal's Poison - chapter-20
The mysterious cave in Mount Emei quickly became a media sensation due to
the death of a person, and the media exposure was how the Wen family
learned of this matter. Afterwards, a specialist went and inspected the
cave and announced that the air of this cave contained large quantities
of arsenide. The cave has since been sealed off and the mainstream media
advised the citizens not to deliberately burrow into every hole…
Wen Tunhai nodded with slight fatigue and said, “These poisoned
sightseers will all die soon; their symptoms are very similar to the
effects of the Plague Ointment, which is a rare Wen ancestor’s legacy
poison. Wen Leyang, take a look at this. Our apprentice spent a great
price to obtain this, it’s a photograph of the wall mural in the cave,
taken by a sightseer before they died.
Wen Leyang only needed one look before he leaped up and declared, “This
is The Faulty Punch in its primary style!”
As this was a crucial matter, the four grandfathers of the Wen family met
up and descended the Nine Peaks Mountain before rushing off towards Mount
Emei’s Zhanyan Peak. According to a few family leaders’ analysis, the
cave was of antique origin and it could very possibly be related to the
Great Grand Master Tuoxie. Mount Emei is a place of divine sanctity, with
hidden dragons and crouching tigers (used to describe persons with
incredible talents who remain in concealment). In order to be prepared
for any contingency, they brought along all the master practitioners from
the Death Trademark who are the strongest fighters.
Wen Tunhai’s spirit was gradually depleting. After all, he had suffered
severe injuries. He said with great effort, “It would not take more than
two days by car to reach Mount Emei from the Nine Peaks Mountain, yet the
four grandfathers had been gone for almost four months now. Their phones
could not be reached, and as I was burdened with guarding the village I
can’t leave to go look for them. So I sent out a few groups of
apprentices one after the other to search for them, but so far there
hasn’t been the slightest news of the elders.”
Wen Leyang had already stood up and said, “I will go to the Mount
Emei’s Zhanyan Peak now. But… how about the issue of the Sun Dynasty
Palace? Now that you’ll be all alone in the village…”
First Uncle laughed boldly, “Did you think that there’s only a
prohibition spell in the Red Leaves Forest? Because of our Wen family’s
growth and gradual connection to the outside world, Grand Elder Wen was
worried that the prohibition spell around the village might accidentally
harm an innocent visitor so he disabled the spell. But we will no longer
tolerate the few riff-raff who have made their way up the mountain to
flaunt their prowess! There’s no need for you to worry, once you’ve
left the mountain I will enforce the prohibition spell!”
Wen Xiaoyi followed closely behind Wen Leyang and grabbed his hand
tightly while her big eyes were filled with anticipation.
Wen Leyang shook his head hastily, “You do not practice the Art of
Poison…” But before he could finish his sentence, Wen Xiaoyi took the
big-muzzled blunderbuss from the bundle on her back and loaded the weapon
with quick agile movements. It took only a short moment for her to do so
and she exclaimed proudly, “Do no fear, for I have this!” The little
girl’s expression was determined as she held on to the old-fashioned
blunderbuss that is almost as large as her, the look of it was ludicrous.
Wen Tunhai supported her by saying, “Wen Xiaoyi knows of many things, she
will be of great assistance if you brought her along, as Mount Emei has
many hidden dragons and crouching tigers. Her vast knowledge and
experience will come in useful if you were to encounter any trouble.” His
main motive for encouraging Wen Leyang to bring Wen Xiaoyi along was an
entirely selfish one. He had watched Wen Leyang grow from a child and had
been training with him for two years before Leyang went to the Red Leaves
Forest. Wen Tunhai felt a responsibility towards guarding the Wen
family’s only Inner Disciple and as long as anyone can be of assistance
to his nephew, he would certainly encourage Wen Leyang to bring them
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Fourth Elder Wen had been here, he would have given Wen Tunhai a sound
Wen Leyang hesitated for while more before he gave a curt nod. He made a
firm decision in his heart that whatever threats they may face, he would
risk his petty life to ensure that Wen Xiaoyi remained unharmed.
If Wen Tunhai knew that Wen Leyang would willingly risk his life in this
way, he would have certainly asked Xiaoyi to stay behind in the village.
The little girl burst out with loud cheers, while the two foolish uncles
each took a stride forward and squeezed Wen Leyang tightly between them.
Their faces bore a determined expression.
Wen Tunhai slammed his fist on the bed plank and cursed, “This time Wen
Leyang is leaving to handle some proper business!”
The two foolish uncles immediately started to make a scene and Wen Leyang
quickly tried to manage the dispute. He told them that the four
grandfathers had disappeared, and now First Uncle had suffered severe
injuries to his body. He was also worried that there were not enough
capable fighters left to defend the village. After persuading them for
half a day, Wen Nine and Wen Thirteen finally and unwillingly stayed
behind in the village to help guard their injured brother.
Wen Tunhai gave Wen Leyang some instructions and they agreed that he
would make the journey to Mount Emei early the next day. After making
arrangements for his travel Wen Leyang went to visit his parents, elders
and his siblings. Since defeating the group of priests who had assaulted
the village earlier, his popularity has soared sky-high and anywhere he
went he was greeted with kind, smiling faces and respectful looks. His
parents, especially, smiled so broadly that it was almost impossible for
them to keep their mouths closed. To the Wen family, becoming an Inner
Disciple of the Tuo Xie Sect was more prestigious than their son becoming
a battalion chief in the city.
Early next morning, amidst his father’s paternal advice and his
mother’s gentle tears, Wen Leyang and Wen Xiaoyi left the village and
descended the Nine Peaks Mountain. The little girl was carefree and
picked a bunch of winter herbs during the trip down. It was spring when
Wen Leyang first entered the Place of Birth, Life, Sickness, and Death.
He studied for half a year and was then unconscious for another four
months. By now it was already mid-winter and all the plants on the
mountain had wilted, leaving only the hardy winter herb which still
bloomed persistently with red flowers.
Not long after, they arrived without incident at the base of the mountain
and boarded the long distance bus towards Mount Emei.
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Emei has a reputation as one of the most exceptional mountains in the
whole wide world. It has a majestic quality and its lofty peak stood tall
above thousands of miles. The long-distance bus arrived right at the base
of Mount Emei. Wen Leyang and Wen Xiaoyi immediately started making their
way to Zhanyan Peak aided by the detailed map provided by First Uncle.
They slowly deviated their path away from the main road into the
mountain. One can clearly see Wen Leyang’s growth in both his spirit
and his physical abilities compared to how he was before he lost
consciousness, as he was able to trek the rugged mountain paths with ease.
He also carried Wen Xiaoyi on his back ever since they entered the
Wen Leyang kept thinking of the four grandfathers. He had a firm and
sturdy physique with the eyes of a hawk and needed very little rest even
during nighttime. They were making good progress up the mountain at a
steady speed. The impressive winter scenery of the mountain filled their
eyes, all the foliage had wilted and when seen from afar, the bare trees
added a tinge of desolate beauty to the profound vastness of the mountain.
Wen Leyang was full of energy but it was Wen Xiaoyi who felt overwhelmed
first and called for a break. The two of them built a campfire on a piece
of flat ground on the mountainside and rested for a moment.
It was Wen Xiaoyi’s first time traveling such a long distance. Though
her body was fatigued her enthusiasm for remained high. While living at
the Place of Birth, Life, Sickness, and Death, her favorite books from
the Birth Trademark had been those which contained summaries and records
from travelers. She has a huge trove of knowledge of many things and her
mouth has been talking non-stop, recounting tales about Mount Emei that
ranged from real-world facts to fantastic stories about insubstantial
Wen Leyang’s mood was slightly somber but he was not willing to disrupt
the little girl’s excitement, so he let her lead the way while talking
and laughing. Once in a while, he would add his opinions to the
Suddenly, the cracking sound of dry branches came from not too far away.
Wen Leyang immediately felt his heart tighten though his facial
expression remained neutral. He adjusted the direction of his body
slightly to face the source of the sound while at the same time shielding
Wen Xiaoyi with his back.
The sound of a Buddhist chant cut through Wen Xiaoyi’s brisk laughter.
Quick footsteps sounded next to them and moments later, a sloppy fat monk
waddled towards them with big strides.
Thinking they had bumped into a robber, Wen Xiaoyi muttered, “Oh dear.”
She immediately stretched out her arm to remove the big-muzzled weapon
slung on her back.
The monk looked to be about over forty years of age and wore a string of
Buddhist prayer beads the size of quail’s eggs around his neck. The
prayer beads were jet black and it was impossible to guess the material
that they were made of. He was at least one head taller than Wen Leyang
but almost twice as wide. His Buddhist robes were stretched around fat
belly rolls that bulged against the cloth. However, contrary to his fat
midsection, he had a pair of slender arms and legs. The effect was as if
a pencil compass had been stuffed into an apple. His facial features too
were akin to being pinched into a bunch by his father at birth, with a
face as large as a wash basin but the nose, eyes, and mouth were all
grouped closely in the middle of it. Despite his looks, he could still
wear a serious expression. He must have found a way to transcend his
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fat monk was momentarily stunned upon seeing Wen Leyang but recovered
himself immediately. His eyes glowed valiantly and he seemed like a huge
mountain as he walked towards Wen Leyang with huge strides. He circled
around them for two rounds before suddenly bursting into a loud cheerful
yell. He then started roaring with laughter, with the fat rolls on his
belly jiggling and quivering with an alarming movement. Wen Leyang had
perfect hearing now and he could hear the sound of mighty waves beating
against the shore as the monk laughed.
Wen Xiaoyi hid behind Wen Leyang and softly said, “Look at the monk’s
shoes!” The fabric shoes on the monk’s feet had been completely worn
out for heaven knows how long. It was full of a thousand holes and had
deteriorated into such a state that half of his ten toes were completely
exposed to the outside.
The huge monk laughed for a little while, then extended his arm and gave
a few strong smacks on Wen Leyang’s shoulder as he said, “Little
benefactor, fate has brought us together!”
Wen Leyang was trying to suppress the poison’s desire with all his
might, for the shoulder of a Wen Bucao practitioner could not simply be
patted by anyone. He controlled himself and laughed along with slight
puzzlement as he asked, “Great master, what kind of fate is that?”
“The little benefactor has a fine and clean bone structure, it glows with
a divine light from the outside, yet your divine essence is contained
from within. This has nothing to do with fate, quick give me a kowtow and
formally acknowledge me as your Master!” While saying all that, the monk
was extracting something from his chest pocket and he unexpectedly pulled
out a thick stack of hundred dollar bills. He touted as he stuffed the
bills into Wen Leyang’s hands. “This is a welcoming gift from your
Wen Leyang numbly accepted the stack of dollar bills not knowing if he
should laugh or cry. He’s a pioneer in his area of expertise, and
therefore could not formally acknowledge another Master as his teacher.
And even if he were to be an ordinary apprentice, he would not
acknowledge a random vagrant as his Master either. Before he could come
up with an appropriate response, the sound of clothes flapping in the
wind could be heard from a distance and a moment, an old monk as large as
the huge monk ran towards them.
The fat monk seemed to recognize this old monk and reacted with fury. He
stood in front and blocked Wen Leyang with his back as he cursed in a
low, muffled voice, “Useless fellow! No matter where I go the ghost of
you inexorably hangs on. Dare you try to rob this old monk of his
Wen Leyang suddenly recalled a funny joke about stealing apprentices.
The old monk had not seen Wen Leyang at first but after hearing what the
other monk said, he paid closer attention and started to examine Leyang
in detail. His expression then shifted into one of joy and he roared with
laughter as he approached Wen Leyang and said, “Hey there little brother,
don’t you be fooled by this monk’s trick! You should acknowledge me
as your Master instead! As your Master, I will teach you how to live
forever and never grow old as well as to turn stone into gold!” As soon
as he said that he jumped up high into the air and looped his arms around
the other monk’s bald head with great effort and said, “Bald donkey, do
not block the Great Master!”
The huge monk was speechless with fury and angrily raised his small hands
to grab the other monk’s head and followed that with a punch. The two
of them then scuffled and threw punches at one another but it was soon
over as there was not much of difference between the level of their
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The big monk had a red-hot palm print on the top of his bald head while
the old monk had a bruised black circle on his left eye.
The old monk looked to be about the same age as the first monk, but his
appearance was much flashier than the other guy. His face was the color
mauve jade, his waist was like a bee’s and his back was like an
ape’s. A purple jade crown sat on top of his head while a turquoise
jade pin was fixed to his long hair. He wore a jade-green colored
monk’s robe and by the way the fabric rippled in the light breeze, one
can tell that it was of high quality.
Wen Xiaoyi again spoke up behind Wen Leyang, “Look at the old monk’s
Despite his ostentatious appearance, the old monk also had on a pair of
torn shoes. However, his shoes were not as deteriorated as the other
monk’s and only his great toes protruded from the holes in his shoes.
The old monk flushed red with shame as he heard Xiaoyi’s observation,
he tried to pull his great toes back into his shoes with great effort.
Shortly, his sage-like behavior like that of the immortals was blown away
with the breeze, and what remained was a ground full of exclamation marks.
The old monk had ultimately arrived one step behind the other monk. He
felt slightly anxious in his heart as he looked at the fat stack of
dollar bills in Wen Leyang’s hand and feared that this goodly young man
would leave with the other monk. Without wasting a moment, he drew out a
square jade pendant as red as a blazing flame from his chest pocket and
shoved it into Wen Leyang’s hand while saying, “Little brother, this is
a treasure beyond the what can be found in this world. It is far more
superior and can’t be compared to any earthly gold and silver!”
Wen Leyang had just received the pendant in his hand when Wen Xiaoyi made
an astonished exclamation and grabbed it from his hand. She narrowed her
large, lively eyes and scrutinized the jade pendant closely under the
Wen Leyang hastily pulled Wen Xiaoyi to his side as there are many hidden
dragons and crouching tigers especially in a place of divine sanctity
like Mount Emei. Though based on their fight the monks did not show an
exceptional level of skill, it was still obvious that they have a firm
underlying foundation of martial arts.
Wen Xiaoyi studied the pendant for a short while before she placed it
between her palms and started to rub hard. The old monk became flustered
and jabbered while he tried to stop her, “You… What are you doing! Stop
that or you’ll destroy a precious divine treasure!” Whether it was out
of respect for their gender difference, the old monk spun around in
anxious circles but did not lift a finger against Wen Xiaoyi at all.
To Wen Leyang, the old monk gained a higher level of respect deep inside
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Xiaoyi gave the jade pendant a few good rubs then lifted her hands and
said to Wen Leyang, “It’s fake!” Her delicate and fair palms were
smudged with patches of red dye!
Wen Leyang’s heart skipped a beat and he hastily looked at the stack of
dollar bills in his hand… they were all printed with the same serial
These two monks that they had encountered, one carried around forged
bills and the other carried around forged jade but neither of the items
was forged with the even the slightest amount of professional care. For
this round, both monks held equal footing.
Wen Xiaoyi, at a loss of whether to laugh or cry, stared at the two of
them and berated, “Welcoming gift? A precious divine treasure? Shame on
the both of you!”
The fat monk stared into the distance and said, “These are but mere
worldly possessions. How can you cultivate yourself to become immortal if
you are chained down by earthly desires?”
The old monk was obviously more intelligent than the fat one as he was
capable of not making a fool out of himself at this crucial moment. He
firmly clenched his teeth and pulled out another small square tablet from
his chest once again. He stuffed it into Wen Leyang’s hand and said,
“This is for you, it is a genuine precious treasure!”
Wen Leyang felt a burst of cold dread when the square tablet touched his
palm. At the same time, he heard an indistinct gust of shrill and sad
cries in his ear. He looked down at the old monk’s gift, it was a piece
of stone-like or jade-like square tablet about the size of a cellphone
battery. A strange pattern was carved on it and in the middle was a curvy
and twisty Gu Zhuan (a type of chirography used in ancient Chinese seals).
Wen Xiaoyi squeezed Wen Leyang’s hand in hers as she stood on tiptoes
and whispered in his ear, “This is a Necromancy Seal from Crow Ridge!
This old monk…Is he one of the Luo family from Crow Ridge?”
Wen Leyang shook his head as he gently weighed the Necromancy Seal in his
hand. Though he did not know what the purpose of this object was, he is
certain that it was not made by the Luo family to be a commercial gift.
If the old monk was really from Crow Ridge, it would be unlikely that he
would bring this item around with him and simply gift it to a stranger.
There was still a difference between the Necromancy Seal and carrots.
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Without caring for his composure, the fat monk gathered around to poke
his little round head at the Necromancy Seal as he made a sound, “Hmm.”
An instant later, he came to a revelation and he started fumbling around
his chest for another gift and seemed to regret his tardy response as he
slapped his thigh hard.
Wen Leyang kept his head lowered and did not say a word. The old monk
watched him with bright eyes and said proudly, “This is a welcoming gift
from your Master and you would do well to keep it safe! Don’t ever let
others catch sight of it as this item here…”
Wen Leyang lifted his head and addressed the old monk in a tone which was
far more polite than before, “How do I address you, Master?”
The old monk was ecstatic and he forced a steady look on his face, smiled
lightly and nodded at Wen Leyang, “I, your teacher, was given the Taoist
monastic name of Ji Fei. My practice of Buddhist magic arts is beyond the
prediction of the divine and evil, my three feet long double-edged sword
named the Serene Spear defends traditional moral principles and
vanquishes the devil, my six spirit coins divines the secrets of the
Universe, my nine pieces of celestial talismans…”
The fat monk could not procure any treasure of value and could only watch
as the precious apprentice (whom he had discovered first!) is now
following another person. He was dejected and despondent but upon hearing
the old monk’s bragging, he raised his fist and punched a little tree
next to him in rage, splitting the tree into two.
Wen Xiaoyi almost swallowed her tongue in shock, “And how may I address
The monk’s demeanor had brightened upon hearing this and he took a
closer look at the little girl, but an instant later his face dimmed
again. He shook his head as he muttered, “Little girl, you are gifted
with quite decent natural endowments, with lively eyes and a clear gaze.
But what a waste to Old Na, who has already attained a high level of
spiritual practice, and prefers to have male apprentices over female
ones; little girl, you are not born under a lucky star!”
Though the two monks appeared to be on opposing sides, Wen Leyang was
convinced that they must have learned to brag from the same teacher.
Wen Xiaoyi chuckled and shook her head, “I am not asking you to be my
Master, I’m only asking what your name is!”
“I am referred to as Old Na, or Shui Jing Chan Master.” The monk may have
a coarse appearance, with a body full of fat rolls, yet his name was
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Leyang cautiously held the Necromancy Seal with both hands and asked the
old monk, Ji Fei, “Master Monk, do you know what this is?”
“This is…” The old monk’s hand that had been stroking his beard
stopped and his gaze glistened as he answered, “This… This is the
Thunderstorm Summoning Stone! It can summon the wind and call for rain as
well as control thunder! It is our own… our party’s most valuable
treasure and you should take good care of it. Once you have succeeded in
practicing the Buddhist magic arts in the future, this tablet will
naturally become useful to you.”
All of a sudden the fat monk erupted in a stream of deafening,
The old monk’s expression changed abruptly as he leaped up high into
the air, brandishing his fists towards the fat monk like a hurricane as
he cursed loudly, “Bald donkey, leave immediately! If you were to spoil
the elder Taoist’s good thing here, this elder Taoist will strip off
your dog’s skin!”