The night passed. Chen Wentian did not torment Li Yuechan and Xu Lanyi too much. Li Yuechan, especially, was emotionally drained and he let them rest early. He could control himself in that regard, he was mindful of their needs over his.
Li Yuechan was an interesting predicament. She was similar to Wu Qianyu in some ways and different in others. Their shyness about intimate moments and the way they carried themselves in public were similar. Yet Li Yuechan carried burdens that Wu Qianyu did not have.
Wu Qianyu was someone who experienced unspeakable tragedy but it was also a rebirth. She was a blank book for Chen Wentian to write his will upon. She was his and she would follow him to the end of the world. It was easier for her to declare her feelings because she only had him in her life.
Li Yuechan had not only him but her four sisters to consider. She was the elder sister, the steadfast leader. The survival and prosperity of the group rested on her shoulders. Perhaps she felt that she could not declare her feelings because she was putting her sisters' feelings into considerations. Perhaps she was thinking of them when she made that crazy declaration the previous night.
Chen Wentian felt awkward and did not voice his thoughts over breakfast. He did get a chance to after that as Li Yuechan and Xu Lanyi had to head out for their next challenges.
Song Wushuang and Su Xue'er were on another challenge together while this time around, Li Yuechan and Xu Lanyi would separate and tackle their own. Perhaps still feeling a bit of distance from the previous night, Chen Wentian assigned Zhou Ziyun to pair up with Li Yuechan.
He dropped Li Yuechan off at the Lake District and gave her Tortoise Can Fly. He wished her good luck and a speedy challenge and flew off with Xu Lanyi towards the second destination.
"Is she angry at me or something?" He asked along the way.
"What, Yuechan?" Xu Lanyi snorted, "Of course, not. She's probably feeling embarrassed for saying something so dumb. She doesn't often blurt out her feelings like that. When she does, she gets really shy and will retreat into her shell for a little while. She'll be fine."
"What about you?" She poked him, "What would you do if something happened to us?"
"I would wipe out that criminal's family and their entire sect." Chen Wentian said immediately.
"What if it's a Spirit King sect?"
"I'll wipe them out when I'm a Spirit King." He replied.
He slapped her butt, "Then I'll train you until you can take revenge yourself."
"That's more like it." She grinned and slapped his butt as well.
Audacious! He wanted to do some unmentionable things but they were in public. Xu Lanyi knew how to get him riled up. It was her specialty.
"You're lucky I'm not an exhibitionist. Otherwise, I might just punish you here." He growled.
She jumped away from him, loudly saying, "Master, let's go, the next challenge is this way!"
He glared at her but she merely smirked. He calmed himself and quickly caught up.
They were at the Old District. It was where the Eastern Sanmu Metropolis was first established. There used to be a spiritual lake here, similar to the Lake District. It used to be filled with water-attribute spiritual energy and water-attribute spiritual beasts.
Now, there was nothing left, not even the lake. Over thousands of years, all the resources here were drained by generations of human cultivators. They consumed the spiritual beasts and drank all the water. As the population increased, the drying lakebed was used as land for building or farming.
In the present day, there was almost no trace of spiritual energy left here. It was the cheapest place to live in the capital and those that could afford elsewhere all congregated here. This caused the district to turn into a continuous mass of human habitation. It was almost impossible to distinguish individual towns or cities because it all melded into one continuous mass of crooked buildings and narrow streets.
Such a crowded place was naturally chaotic. The Spirit Kings didn't bother with this district and let the residents to their own devices. Various small sects, gangs, and other organizations fought each other for power and influence. Because of this, it was a haven for seedy, unpleasant people, criminals of the cultivation world.
The challenge of the Old District naturally fitted into its theme. The one Xu Lanyi was assigned was to investigate numerous disappearances of the citizens over the past few years. People died from fights and gang battles all the time but this was different.
Citizens reported seeing a black shadow snatching cultivators at the Spirit Initiate Realm off the street at night. It happened often, almost every week, and those taken were subdued by mysterious ways. Those taken included not only lowly cultivators of trashy sects but ones from the major sects as well. This forced the Spirit Kings to finally pay attention but they made no headway in the past few months. The culprit was elusive and losses continued.
If the rankers could find a clue that furthered the case, they would receive a golden feather. The hope was that some might have special ability or Dao that could counteract whatever was behind the disappearances.
"Shit, can I skip this challenge?" Xu Lanyi said after hearing Chen Wentian's words.
"Yes… what if it's a rapist demon?" She asked.
"Don't worry. Those that disappeared included both men and women."
"What if it likes both?" She asked again.
"Don't worry. I'll be staying with you for this one. I'm curious about the powers that it has and how it compares to Chen Mo's powers and my bees."
"But you're not allowed to help me. I thought all sect masters swore a spiritual oath to do so."
Chen Wentian merely smirked and held a finger to his lips. The fact that spiritual oaths did not properly apply to him and his soul art was something he didn't feel like explaining out in public. Spiritual oaths didn't work on him because it was only tied to the soul that made the oath and not to all the other souls that he possessed.
As the main soul, he could also force the oath on any subservient soul he chose. This effectively meant that spiritual oaths were completely ineffective on him and he could do what he pleased.
Still, he wasn't going to go around advertising this fact to the whole capital. There were probably a few eyes and ears watching their every move.
"Alright, this is as far as I can take you." He said, stopping in the middle of the street.
He rubbed her shoulder, letting several shadow anchors were transferred onto her body. At the same time, a squadron of void bees flew out of his sleeve and into the folds of her dress.
"Yes, master." Xu Lanyi grimaced, slightly squirming from the insects that were now crawling around.
Chen Wentian then made a show of taking off into the air, leaving her alone to tackle the challenge.
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