Chapter 1: Returning from the Forbidden Zone
“Chen Qingyuan, I’ll give you two choices. One, become my Dao companion; Two…”
Deep within a forbidden zone called Heavenly Abyss, a young woman dressed in a red gown spoke coldly.
The young woman in the red gown stood 1.7 meters tall, her long skirt trailing behind her with a few enchanting flowers embellishing the hem. Her bare feet were exposed, revealing ankles as white as jade, flawless and without blemish.
She wore a dark veil, with eyes like stars, willow-like eyebrows, and long hair cascading like a waterfall, exuding charm with every smile and frown.
“I choose the second option.”
Before the young woman in the red gown could finish her sentence, a young man dressed in a blue robe made a resolute decision.
Beautiful women are like poison, especially those who have lived for countless years. Chen Qingyuan had been tormented by the young woman in the red gown for a hundred years and knew well how terrifying she could be.
Apart from this reason, Chen Qingyuan had made a verbal agreement with another girl to become Dao companion, and he would not break his word.
“You little brat will regret it.”
The young woman in the red gown glared at Chen Qingyuan, coldly snorting.
“I will never regret it.”
Chen Qingyuan’s determination was unwavering.
“Then make nine agreements with me, and afterward, I will set you free, along with severing the karmic ties between us.”
The young woman in the red gown took out a jade bracelet and threw it over to Chen Qingyuan from a distance.
Taking the jade bracelet, Chen Qingyuan set foot on the road back home. He had been trapped in Heavenly Abyss for a hundred years and could finally leave this eerie place.
In the Northern Wasteland, within the Flowing Star Domain, there was the Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
“Master, Junior Elder Chen Qingyuan’s soul lamp has lit.”
Today, a core disciple on duty at the Destiny Soul Hall discovered something and hurriedly ran to the Elder’s courtyard.
“Nonsense! Junior Brother has been dead for over a hundred years.”
Inside the room, an old man was brewing tea and replied shouting.
“It’s true. If you don’t believe it, come and see for yourself.”
This was a major issue, and the core disciple confirmed it several times before daring to report it.
Upon hearing this, the old man choked on the tea in his mouth, staring wide-eyed, “Is it true?”
Upon arriving at the Destiny Soul Hall, a faint light indeed emanated from a soul lamp in the corner.
The old man’s body trembled slightly with excitement and a hint of unease, fearing that this possibility would be shattered, once again enduring the agony of despair. “The soul lamp has Reignited. Could my junior brother be alive?”
“Master, what should we do?”
The core disciple asked.
A glimmer of hope flickered in the old man’s eyes as he clenched his hands, his expression serious. His name was Dong Wenjun, the Elder of the Mystical Azure Dao Sect, with a high position and a distinguished identity.
Over a hundred thousand miles away from the Mystical Azure Dao Sect, there was an ancient forbidden zone called Heavenly Abyss.
A century ago, anomalies appeared in the Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone, and some claimed to have seen a Heaven and Earth treasure falling into the forbidden area.
As a result, many sects from the Northern Wasteland entered Heavenly Abyss.
Mystical Azure Dao Sect dispatched over ten powerful elders and dozens of core disciples.
Among them was a newly promoted inner sect elder named Chen Qingyuan, the strongest of the young generation in Mystical Azure Dao Sect, who was highly regarded by the seniors.
Upon entering the Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone, many experts from various sects never returned and fell there.
After a hundred years, Chen Qingyuan’s soul lamp lit up, causing great excitement among all members of the Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
“I finally made it out.”
Outside the Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone, Chen Qingyuan stood by the lake, taking a deep breath.
His clothes were covered in some dust, and there was no trace of spiritual energy fluctuations on his body.
This person was Chen Qingyuan, who was thought to have died over a hundred years ago, the once peerless genius and the last closed-door disciple of the late Patriarch of Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
Despite his young age, Chen Qingyuan held an extremely high status. The group of Elders in Mystical Azure Dao Sect all had to address him as “Junior Brother.”
“I never want to go back in there in this lifetime.”
Chen Qingyuan turned around and looked at the pitch-black jungle, inside of which lay an ancient abyss, concealing a hidden realm.
Just as Chen Qingyuan finished speaking these words, an ethereal female voice sounded in his ears, “Young man, don’t forget our agreement.”
Hearing this, Chen Qingyuan shuddered and quickly fell silent.
The experiences of a hundred years in the Heavenly Abyss were something Chen Qingyuan couldn’t bear to look back upon.
What still puzzled Chen Qingyuan to this day was why he managed to survive the ordeal. Could it be because he was handsome? Though this possibility was small, it wasn’t entirely implausible.
“Let’s find a shady place to rest for a while.”
Chen Qingyuan didn’t feel like walking and lazily lay down under a big tree, drifting off to sleep contentedly.
From Chen Qingyuan’s estimation, the Mystical Azure Dao Sect would undoubtedly discover his traces soon and send people to find him.
Not long after, Chen Qingyuan fell asleep.
It must be said that in such a desolate wilderness, Chen Qingyuan dared to act so leisurely despite losing his cultivation.
This indicated that although his cultivation was crippled, he surely still concealed some unknown cards. Otherwise, he wouldn’t dare to act so arrogantly.
An hour later, Dong Wenjun arrived with a group of people.
As Dong Wenjun looked at Chen Qingyuan lying in the shade of the tree, his whole body trembled with excitement, and his lips quivered. He wanted to shout out loudly, but Dong Wenjun was afraid that it might be an illusion, so he stood still, his eyes rippling with waves.
“Junior Elder, wake up.”
Some disciples quickly stepped forward and called out.
Chen Qingyuan slowly opened his eyes and saw the crowd.
In the next moment, Chen Qingyuan locked eyes with Dong Wenjun, showing a delighted expression as he called out softly, “Senior Brother Dong.”
Hearing the familiar voice, Dong Wenjun seemed to snap back to reality and hurriedly came to Chen Qingyuan’s side. He carefully reached out his hands and grabbed Chen Qingyuan’s arms. “Junior Brother, is it really you?”
“It’s me.” Chen Qingyuan chuckled, “Be gentle, Senior Brother, it hurts!”
Then, Dong Wenjun released his grip and carefully observed him.
“Junior Brother, what happened to your cultivation?”
Dong Wenjun hadn’t paid attention to this before, but now, upon closer examination, he found that there was no trace of spiritual energy fluctuations inside Chen Qingyuan’s body, and he had no cultivation at all.
“It’s gone, but it’s not a big deal.” Chen Qingyuan’s emotions didn’t fluctuate much, and he kept a smile on his face.
Normally, if a cultivator became powerless, it should be even more distressing than death. However, Chen Qingyuan seemed indifferent, as if it was not a big deal.
The hundred years in the forbidden zone were not without rewards.
“Ah? This…” Dong Wenjun was extremely surprised and felt a twinge of heartache.
“Let’s not dwell on that now; let’s go back first!”
Chen Qingyuan waved his hand, interrupting the conversation.
Dong Wenjun nodded heavily; indeed, this wasn’t the right place to chat.
Then, Dong Wenjun took out a treasure and protected Chen Qingyuan’s physical body, heading back towards the Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
Mystical Azure Dao Sect was able to find Chen Qingyuan successfully, guided by his lit soul lamp.
Soon, Chen Qingyuan finally returned to Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
Mountain ranges stood tall, and clouds and mist veiled the scenery.
Looking at this beautiful sight, Chen Qingyuan’s face lit up with joy.
“I’m finally back home.”
Chen Qingyuan grew up in Mystical Azure Dao Sect since he was a child, but unfortunately, he had just become the disciple of the late Patriarch when his master’s life reached its end.
Thus, Chen Qingyuan continued his cultivation under the guidance of his senior martial brothers and sisters, and he had a very good relationship with them.
The main hall was filled with people, all of them were elders of the Mystical Azure Dao Sect.
This meeting was crucial and not open to core disciples.
Chen Qingyuan was brought to the main hall, where he looked at the familiar faces and respectfully bowed, “Greetings, Senior Martial Brothers and Sisters.”
The Sect Master of Mystical Azure Dao Sect was named Lin Changsheng, Chen Qingyuan’s eldest senior martial brother.
“Junior Brother, how did you survive?”
Seated in the main position, Lin Changsheng already knew the general situation.
“Well, it’s a long story, not easy to explain.”
Standing at the center of the hall, Chen Qingyuan felt uneasy under the gaze of dozens of pairs of eyes.
“We have plenty of time; take your time!”
Lin Changsheng’s expression was serious.
Seeing this, Chen Qingyuan had no choice but to slowly speak, “On that day, we entered the Heavenly Abyss…”
Next, Chen Qingyuan recited the prepared account of events.
In summary, the group entered the Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone and encountered various taboos and unknown dangers, with only Chen Qingyuan surviving in the end. He used a secret technique to fake his death and escape, spending a hundred years to come out.
Although he managed to survive, the backlash from the secret technique destroyed all his cultivation, and his spiritual roots were also severed.
As the others listened, they fell into deep thought. They were not familiar with the situation inside the Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone, so they couldn’t discern the truth of Chen Qingyuan’s words.
“Only you survived, sigh.”
Lin Changsheng sighed.
Originally, they held a glimmer of hope that others might have faked their deaths and escaped like Chen Qingyuan.
“The Heavenly Abyss Forbidden Zone is a place that cannot be entered.”
Chen Qingyuan recalled the tragic scenes of his fellow disciples’ deaths, his face filled with grief.
The rules within the forbidden zone were extremely terrifying, and anyone who touched them would perish. Chen Qingyuan’s survival might be due to luck or his fate.
“Junior Brother, for the sake of safety, we have to examine your physical condition.”
Lin Changsheng said seriously.
“Understood, go ahead and check!”
Mystical Azure Dao Sect was worried that Chen Qingyuan might have been possessed by someone else. If they were not cautious in dealing with this situation, it could be detrimental to the sect.
Under normal circumstances, a possession would only take over the physical body, unable to access the memories. However, there were extremely rare cases where the possessor could retain some memories of the original body.