Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Spirit Qi flowed endlessly as it slowly formed three figures in the middle of the Dao Imparting Platform.
They looked blurry, so their exact appearances couldn't be made out.
Lu Fan observed these three people with a little curiosity.
The Dao Imparting Platform could randomly pull three people's consciousnesses into this place. These three were the lucky ones chosen by the platform.
Lu Fan narrowed his eyes. This Dao Imparting Platform Access was getting more and more interesting.
His consciousness wavered slightly, and he thought about the last bit he had read in his Qi Refining Manual. The manual had stated that in addition to consuming his Soul Strength, the Dao Imparting Platform provided him with another method of gaining Spirit Qi.
Perhaps the three who had been dragged into the Dao Imparting Platform were the key to getting more Spirit Qi.
After he figured this out, Lu Fan now had two choices regarding how he should face these three people.
One option was to pretend that he was also a "victim" of the Dao Imparting Platform and had gotten dragged in here unknowingly.
The other option was to use his understanding of and control over the Dao Imparting Platform to create the mysterious image of a higher being, lead them on, and get Spirit Qi from them.
It didn't take Lu Fan very long to decide.
There was no need to even consider the first option. Since he had control over and access to the Dao Imparting Platform, there was no need to act dumb or look shocked about anything.
As such, Lu Fan decided on the second option in a flash.
He sat confidently in the middle of the yin and yang symbol.
The billowing Spirit Qi covered the area in a mist, adding to the mysterious and strange aura around Lu Fan.
"The Emperor of Great Zhou and the Mayor of West County…" Lu Fan thought.
The message from the Dao Imparting Platform had put a strange expression on Lu Fan's face.
If he remembered correctly, the current emperor of Great Zhou should be that eleven-year-old who had just ascended the throne and was under great scrutiny and doubt from the other counties.
The Mayor of West County was the leader of all the counties currently rebelling against the emperor. He had caused the current mess.
One was the emperor, and the other was a rebel leader.
These were two people who would meet only if there was a grand showdown between both armies.
But they had appeared together in the Dao Imparting Platform through this strange method.
Was it a coincidence?
Or had the Dao Imparting Platform done this on purpose?
"Where am I?"
Yu Wenxiu frowned as he looked around at this extremely creepy place. He felt very uneasy.
But even though he was panicking inside, he had to maintain the assertiveness an emperor ought to have.
But after he spoke these words, he clutched his own throat in surprise. His usually childlike voice, which had not gone through puberty yet, now sounded very mature.
There were two more figures next to him. They looked very blurry, and he couldn't see their faces clearly, nor could he identify them.
Yu Wenxiu looked increasingly wary. He had been reading articles in the study just a moment ago, and now he was suddenly in this place.
Who had done this?
Who could have captured him from the fiercely-guarded palace of Great Zhou without anyone realizing it?
The other two seemed to be looking at their surroundings as well.
Suddenly, calm laughter rang out in the void.
"You're all awake?" a voice asked.
Yu Wenxiu and the other two figures looked towards the middle of the platform. There, a slim figure was seated cross-legged.
He slowly got to his feet, and as he stood up, the misty blue gas around him followed the movement of his body.
The form in front of them was brilliant and beautiful, as if a deity from a fairy tale had descended to earth.
"Where are we?" another figure demanded before Yu Wenxiu could.
"Do not speak so loudly."
Lu Fan lifted a hand and waved it slowly.
Suddenly, a whole cloud of Spirit Qi flew up and formed a giant face. It remained suspended over the person who had shouted, and the giant face quietly watched the man as if a deity or a demon was closely observing his every move.
Xiang Shaoyun's body stiffened, and his eyes widened. All the words that had been ready to spring out of his mouth earlier suddenly seemed to be stuck in his throat.
Lu Fan kept his face expressionless and made sure his eyes were difficult to read. He had to maintain a mysterious image for these three people.
"This is a secret realm for imparting Dao, a place for one to become an immortal. All of you have been equally blessed with an immortal encounter. Remember carefully—while you are in this place, you must not reveal your real identities. Otherwise, you may incur the wrath of the heavens and dwell forever in the depths of hell," Lu Fan said smoothly.
Yu Wenxiu and Xiang Shaoyun were completely confused by these words.
Secret realm for imparting Dao?
A place for one to become an immortal?
The butcher stall boss, Nie Changqing, on the other hand, started laughing to himself.
"There's no such thing as an immortal in this world. You're just pulling a fast one…"
Lu Fan glanced at Nie Changqing. Since this man had been chosen by the Dao Imparting Platform despite being only a butcher stall owner, he was certainly no ordinary person.
Nie Changqing narrowed his eyes at Lu Fan and said, "I don't care about this immortal stuff. I have twelve more pigs to slaughter, so I don't have time to listen to your babbling."
Yu Wenxiu and Xiang Shaoyun remained silent.
Lu Fan raised an eyebrow, but he maintained his elegant and mysterious look.
"When the way to heaven collapsed, the road to becoming an immortal closed along with it. Thus, no more humans sought to become immortals. But since all of you have appeared, it means that the road to becoming an immortal has opened once more, and Spirit Qi will fill the earth again. Since you have been able to reach this place, it means you are not ordinary people."
Lu Fan spoke these words slowly as he purposely swirled the Spirit Qi around his body to make himself look even more like an immortal.
These words shocked both Yu Wenxiu and Xiang Shaoyun.
They both felt that Lu Fan had a haughty look in his eyes, but he also seemed like he had seen everything the world had to offer.
Could Lu Fan have identified who they were?
Yu Wenxiu was the current emperor of Great Zhou. Xiang Shaoyun was the rebel leader and headed the rebel troops from the other 12 counties. They were not ordinary people by any means—one could even say they were right at the top of this world.
The butcher stall boss, Nie Changqing, also fell silent.
He was just a butcher, but he was one of Beiluo City's best butchers. He could kill a piglet with just one knife, so he wasn't ordinary either.
Lu Fan smiled, satisfied. This was the effect he had wanted.
If he only had a fancy pavilion built among these clouds, that would create the perfect ambiance for this scene.
Just as the thought crossed his mind...
The trigram labels started to float in front of his eyes.
They rose to arrange themselves in accordance with his thoughts, and his surroundings began to change.
Yu Wenxiu, Xiang Shaoyun, and Nie Changqing all felt the shift in their environment. They looked around them in shock and wonder as things shifted and reorganized themselves, and the dark void beyond the platform disappeared.
Several pavilions suddenly appeared, each one built on a layer of clouds in the distance. This change shocked them more than anything ever had before.
Even Lu Fan himself was taken aback by this newfound ability, but there was no way he was letting go of this chance to look powerful even for just a moment.
His expression remained the same, and he even recited poetry.
"The White Jade City of the heavens... Five castles and twelve buildings. An immortal touched my head, granting me immortality." A deific voice rang in the air and echoed throughout the space.
This added on to his mysterious aura.
His words were otherworldly and difficult to understand—like he was caught between heaven and earth.
Three sitting mounds appeared.
Xiang Shaoyun, Yu Wenxiu, and Nie Changqing obediently sat on the mounds. All these things had appeared out of nowhere. The shock they felt was more intense than any they had ever felt before, so right now… They needed a moment to think.
Pavilions in the clouds, a deity that seemed to come from another world…
Were they dreaming?
Lu Fan had a faint smile on his lips.
Perhaps this was the legendary feeling of pretending to be superhuman.
Lu Fan glanced at the three of them and slowly spoke again.
"Since you have been able to enter this place, all of you must have been fallen fairies with broken legs in your previous lives."
Fallen fairies with broken legs?!
The three men, who were seated obediently like good students, exchanged glances.
Had they really fallen that low?
Lu Fan coughed quietly. This was the first time he had ever pretended to be an immortal, and he seemed to have gone a little too far with it.
"All of you have been chosen to have this immortal encounter. Afterward, you will return to the world of the mortals and restore the universe to what it once was. Today, I will officially start by imparting this encounter to you," Lu Fan continued calmly.
Even though he couldn't absorb or refine any of the Spirit Qi in the Dao Imparting Platform, Lu Fan could still control its movements. So within the Dao Imparting Platform, he was indeed like an immortal in that he had control over the thick layer of Spirit Qi.
He lifted a hand, causing the waterfall-like Spirit Qi to billow powerfully. He turned the huge cloud into a dragon with five claws in one moment, then into a flying phoenix in the next moment, each one mysterious and unpredictable.
He was serious about showing off what he could do.
All three of them were stunned into silence.
After several moments, Xiang Shaoyun finally managed to open his mouth. His voice was a little low, but it wasn't his normal voice either.
"Your Excellency, what will you grant to us in this encounter? Do we have to give up something in exchange? Or is this merely an illusion like the ones created by those mediums in the Yinyang Clan?"
He was a very practical martial arts practitioner. Just like Lu Changkong, he only believed in Qi and blood. He didn't believe in immortals.
Xiang Shaoyun narrowed his eyes.
"The Spirit Qi of the universe has not been restored, so there is no use in giving you the method to attain immortality," Lu Fan said calmly. His eyes narrowed when he remembered that the Dao Imparting Platform was able to create and refine cultivation methods.
"Instead, you can hand over your own cultivation techniques. I will make some changes to them that will help you to cultivate with the aid of the Spirit Qi of the universe."
Xiang Shaoyun's lips twitched a little.
Yu Wenxiu shook his head. "One's cultivation technique is vital to every martial arts practitioner and concerns the life of his entire clan. Nobody would hand this over so easily. Unless Your Excellency is trying to trick us into handing it over? If our flaws are exposed, then we could die when we face our enemies."
Xiang Shaoyun looked at Yu Wenxiu, clasping his hands and smiling as he said, "My brother, we are of the same opinion."
Yu Wenxiu clasped his hands and smiled gently in return. Even though he couldn't tell who this other person was, he suddenly felt like he had a connection with this man. He felt sad that they hadn't met before this.
Lu Fan continued looking as immortal-like as possible. He watched the two in front of him suddenly find a friend in each other, and his lips twitched.
One was the emperor, and the other was the leader of the rebel army.
They were feeling sad that they hadn't met before this? What a joke.
If each knew who the other was, they'd probably be trying to strangle each other right now.
Lu Fan shook his head, but his cheeky side started imagining what expressions they would have on their faces when they each found out who the other was.
When he thought about the three people in front of him, he suddenly formed a hypothesis.
"System, if these three men manage to refine Spirit Qi, will it have anything to do with me?" Lu Fan asked.
He didn't think the system would answer him.
But, unexpectedly, a message from the system popped up.
"If the ones chosen by the Dao Imparting Platform refine Spirit Qi, the Host can use an exchange of treasures or cultivation methods to exchange for the refined Spirit Qi."
Lu Fan's eyes lit up.
So this was the secret behind refining Qi.
If he gave them something here, that would be like putting in a long-term investment, right?
His lips twitched a little.
There was a sudden burning in his heart. So he could refine Qi in this way too!
Still, he maintained his godly appearance, making sure that his expression remained cold and calm, as if even the collapse of a mountain wouldn't faze him.
When it came to the way he carried himself, he had always done a good job of presenting himself exactly the way he intended to.
He looked at Yu Wenxiu and Xiang Shaoyun, who still looked very touched and attached to one another.
Lu Fan's consciousness shifted.
He suddenly disappeared.
He didn't amount to much in reality, but within the Dao Imparting Platform, he was as powerful as a god.
When he reappeared, he was right in front of Xiang Shaoyun and Yu Wenxiu.
He touched his middle finger to the fleshy part of his thumb, placing one hand on Yu Wenxiu's forehead and the other on Xiang Shaoyun's forehead.
"There was a real immortal encounter right before your eyes, but you did not know how to cherish it."
"Since that is so, I will just grant you a simple gift. Do not regret this in the future."
Then he flicked his fingers.
His Access to Spirit Qi Deployment activated.
Deployment targets: Xiang Shaoyun and Yu Wenxiu.
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