When it stopped, Mu Yi looked puzzled and left his room.
That boat was really nice, especially the top floor. The view was stunning and panoramic. And for that reason, Mu Yi saw some boats of all size in front of them, they blocked the way.
“What’s going on there?”
asked Mu Yi to the manager of the boat.
“Master, local people are holding a ceremony for the God of the Yellow River. We can’t cross.” said the man, he felt helpless.
Nobody would have been happy to be stuck that way. There were other boats in the same situation. Besides, everybody was kind of forced to do the same thing. They also had to burn some incense for the God of the Yellow River.
“They worship the God of the Yellow River?” Mu Yi nodded. They had no choice but to wait.
“Do you want to go down and have a walk, Master?” asked the man in charge when he saw Mu Yi didn’t look angry. He knew offending Mu Yi could be dangerous, even if Xu Le hadn’t told him clearly to be careful with Mu Yi, he would have, because he had heard of what had happened at Western Ji Hill as well.
It was difficult to imagine that little boy was the Taoist Master who had destroyed the Octagon Organization.
The man looked at Mu Yi with amazement when he thought about that. During those two days, each time he saw Mu Yi, Mu Yi was kind and polite, which was inconsistent with the rumors.
In the world of travelers, many people called Mu Yi the “Evil Taoist Priest”.
When Mu Yi heard the man, he had a particular feeling. No matter what he had done in the past, he was young, that couldn’t be changed.
Mu Yi was only fifteen years old, and even by adding the year of the lunar calendar, he was only sixteen. He was a very young man, but he was extremely mature, and with all he had accomplished, it was easy to forget about his age. When people thought of Mu Yi, they didn’t think about his age anymore, they thought of his accomplishments, they thought of the “Evil Taoist Master”.
Many people didn’t even know he was only sixteen, otherwise, how would they have reacted?
Even though child prodigies were not rare in history, such as Gan Luo had become prime minister when he was only twelve, Huo Qubing had become marquis when he was seventeen, Xia Wanchun, on his horse, had fought against big troops when he was fourteen, those people had all become famous because of history, because of their background, because of their environment. Mu Yi was different, he had become famous only thanks to himself, he had crushed the Octagon Organization.
But fundamentally, Mu Yi was still young, he didn’t have the heart of an old man. And after the old Taoist Priest had died, he had solely focused on cultivation, then he had had incredible battles, he kept focusing on becoming stronger. He hadn’t had a real rest since he had left Funiu Mountain.
No matter how determined he was, he could also be exhausted sometimes.
So when the man in charge of the boat proposed to go and have a walk, Mu Yi suddenly felt relieved, happy, like a child.
“Alright, I’ll go and have a walk.” said Mu Yi nodding.
“I’ll lead the way, Master.” said the man nodding.
“No need. You can go back to your duty. No need to worry about me. I’ll come back in, at most, two hours.” said Mu Yi straightforwardly.
The man didn’t mind, especially that he felt under pressure when he was next to Mu Yi.
After that, Mu Yi got off the boat with his Bamboo Tree of Life. He didn’t bring Big Slave though. Mu Yi was going for a walk for fun after all, he didn’t want to draw people’s attention. With Big Slave, he would scare some people and some others would pester him. That wasn’t Mu Yi’s goal. He wanted to relax.
The ceremony for the God of the Yellow River was a big event every year, especially for people who lived on the banks of the Yellow River. People who lived near rivers relied on their resources to live after all, they ate fish, they drank water from it… Their lives depended on the river.
Not far from the bank of the Yellow River, there was a temple for the God of the Yellow River, there were many people of all ages around it. There were merchants too.
Mu Yi opened an umbrella in one hand, and with his other hand, he was holding the hand of a little girl in a blue dress, she looked like a little doll carved out of jade and powdered with white face powder.
Even though that umbrella was a paper umbrella, the middle was the Bamboo Tree of Life. When Mu Yi had gotten off the boat, he had seen merchants who sold umbrella so he had had the idea of transforming the Bamboo Tree of Life into an umbrella. And the little girl he held the hand of was obviously Nian Nuer.
After the battle in Western Ji Hill, Mu Yi initially thought the little girl would need time to sleep and recover but against all expectations, she had completely recovered after a few days. Besides, her cultivation level was now stable. Mu Yi was astonished.
The only thing which had changed was that she had something more in her third eye, a simple word, “SOUL”.
Mu Yi was stupefied, that was the word which had been created using the souls of the hundred men who had died. Besides, those people were all quite strong, they were elites, they were not ordinary people. Therefore, that word contained a deadly force.
If it hadn’t been powerful, Mu Yi would have been able to destroy it with his copper lamp.
It’s obvious when one thinks of Mu Yi back then, when he had the strength of the first difficulty and had fought against the protector of the Church of the Thousand Children. The protector had the strength of the second difficulty, Mu Yi the first, but the protector hadn’t been able to protect himself against Mu Yi’s copper lamp. And now Mu Yi had the strength of the second difficulty, he was ten times stronger than when he had fought against the man, so his copper lamp had also become more powerful.
But even that way, the copper lamp hadn’t sufficed to destroy the “SOUL” magic figure, so it wasn’t difficult to imagine how powerful it was. It was the great leader’s secret weapon.
Mu Yi had thought he would get killed by it, or at least severely injured, but at that critical moment, Nian Nuer had suddenly come out and blocked the attack.
At least, that’s Mu Yi had thought.
Nian Nuer’s cultivation wasn’t stable then, she had just become a fierce ghost, if was much weaker than Mu Yi, she wouldn’t have been able to do anything against that copper lamp, but she had been able to withstand the “SOUL” word attack.
Mu Yi was extremely worried but Nian Nuer was safe and sound so Mu Yi didn’t feel worried anymore. And even stranger, the result of it was that after having recovered, the word “SOUL” had appeared in her third eye.
Nian Nuer told Mu Yi she didn’t know what was going on either. She just knew that the “SOUL” magic figure was beneficial to her, she also said many things had “appeared in her mind” but she didn’t know how to explain.
Even though Mu Yi wasn’t worried, he remained vigilant. It had been created by the great leader, and it was made of a hundred people’s souls….
But so far, luckily, everything seemed normal.
Mu Yi had learnt all that after having gone onto the boat though… if he had known earlier, he would have chased the great leader and forced him to talk.
But Mu Yi was convinced that even without the great leader, he would be able to obtain answers in Cangzhou.
With the Bamboo Tree of Life as an umbrella, and since Nian Nuer had become a fierce ghost, she could now come during the day without having to worry at all. She was even extremely excited.
She had never walked on the street, and now she was having a walk with Mu Yi, nothing else mattered.
“Brother, I want this.”
“Brother, I want that.”
“Brother, I want to eat tanghulu (Translator’s note: tanghulu is an extremely famous snack we eat a lot in northern China in winter, for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanghulu )”
“Brother, I want the exact same sugar figurine as that one! (translator’s note: figurines made of sugar, children at the time of the story loved them, for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_people )”
On the way, Nian Nuer kept asking Mu Yi to buy her things. Mu Yi bought her everything she wanted. He was incredibly happy to see her happy. Slowly, without noticing, he started forgetting about the horrors he had gone through in Western Ji Hill.
Since the battle in Western Ji Hill, no matter what Mu Yi said or did, people around him felt under pressure near him, including Xu Le, Wang Tao, the two bodyguards, the man in charge of the boat…
Even the man in charge of the boat was scared to get too close to Mu Yi. It made Mu Yi feel a bit sad. People kept shaking with fright around him.
Mu Yi knew why, obviously, but he couldn’t change anything. Mu Yi had killed many people, and people could feel it. He couldn’t change anything about that, except when he meditated with his copper lamp in the evening, then he slowly purified his body. That way, he’d need at least six months to be completely purified from death.
But now, suddenly, staying with Nian Nuer made him so happy, his heart felt much lighter. Half of the negative energies were instantly expelled from his body and the remaining negative energies would have no influence anymore.
When Mu Yi noticed that, he was surprised. He also understood something new.
Retain the heart of a newborn baby!
He suddenly understood what he needed, to retain the heart of a newborn baby.
Mu Yi was mature, for some it was a good thing, but from another angle, it meant he didn’t have the heart of a young man anymore, yet having the heart of a newborn baby enables oneself to remain pure.
And seeing Nian Nuer free and unrestrained, happy and carefree as well as hearing her laugh suddenly purified Mu Yi’s heart. Suddenly, it was as if the pressure and the responsibilities had fallen. He enjoyed himself.
Without noticing it, his heart became purer and purer, he could feel it on the inside and on the outside as well. It was as if a jade had been polished.
Remaining royal to himself, he didn’t allow his heart to become empty.
Mu Yi smiled. He felt truly relaxed at that moment. It felt as if he had turned into a child again, he was free from inhibitions and happy, and enjoying himself with Nian Nuer.
A young, clean and smart Taoist priest with a little girl who looked like a little doll carved out of jade and powdered with white face powder… of course, that scenery drew people’s attention, maybe because that little girl was adorable, or because that young man’s smile looked pure and innocent. Thanks to that, some merchants even refused their money and offered them things, because they were adorable.
“Brother, the atmosphere is so lively there.” said Nian Nuer. She had a mask which was hanging around her neck, she had a pinwheel in one hand, Mu Yi was holding snacks, they had bought enough things already, at that moment, Nian Nuer pointed at the nearby temple.
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