Xiao Yuan finally went to Fang Baichu. Fang Baichu hadn’t slept all night waiting for news and was relieved to see him return safely.
"Young lord? How come you’re using your face again?" Fang Baichu asked, "Did something happen?"
Xiao Yuan was a little absent-minded; when Fang Baichu called him again, he recovered and said, "It’s nothing. You be prepared, tomorrow we will set off for the place where Qingyan and the earth souls are hidden."
Early the next morning, Xiao Yuan and the others bid farewell to Uncle Pan and Ah Yuan and left Qingzhu Village.
After Xiao Yuan returned to his original body, Mu Yingyang was happy and a little upset, asking, "Shixiong, don’t you need to deceive Gu Louyin anymore?"
Xiao Yuan said, "No."
"He can’t be deceived. He seems to be able to see through whatever face I use."
Mu Yingyang gave Gu Louyin a squinty look and said coolly: "Shixiong, don’t listen to his nonsense, he just said that to seem special in front of you and attract your attention. Oh, so scheming."
"That may not be the case." Xiao Yuan said, "I was recognized last time."
Mu Yingyang argued: "Coincidence, it must be a coincidence."
As Mu Yingyang said this, Xiao Yuan also felt a little suspicious. Was Gu Louyin really that good that he could recognize him anytime, anywhere?
Gu Louyin seemed to feel something and looked at the two of them. Along the way, Xiao Yuan always had Mu Yingyang beside him. The two talked and laughed and had a tacit understanding, as if no one could get in between them.
Fang Baichu walked side by side with Gu Louyin and out of boredom started taking care of Gu Louyin’s health: "Has Master Gu’s heart demon become better recently?"
Fang Baichu smiled and said, "Knowing that Master Xiao is not dead, Master Gu can live for about twenty more years."
Mu Yingyang’s voice reached his ears from time to time; Gu Louyin’s expression was calm, as if he didn’t care at all. Only he knew that his mood was in disorder and something terrible was on the verge of breaking through his suppression.
He was almost unable to help it.
Pangu Mountain was a notoriously dry mountain. There were no flowers and no trees, just huge black rocks and stones. Within ten miles around it, there was no grass; and no people within twenty miles. According to the information obtained by the disciples of Xingtian Sect, Pangu Mountain was originally a beautiful and lively place. Unfortunately, there was a mountain fire a decade or two ago. The fire burned for three days and three nights, and everything was burned out. At that time, there were several large family estates on the mountain, and many people lived there. Together with the villagers at the foot of the mountain and the birds and beasts of the mountain, they were all buried in the sea of fire. Because the creatures burned to death experienced extreme pain before they died and their resentment after death was higher than in other forms of death, Pangu Mountain was shrouded in resentment all year round and the choking smell of smoke could be smelled ten miles away. Some daring people once approached Pangu Mountain at night and later said that they could hear the screams of the undead in the wind and even see the twisting shadows in the light of a fire. Over time, ordinary people avoided Pangu Mountain.
Mu Yingyang said, "Why did Yunjian Pavilion hide Qingyan and Shixiong’s earth soul in such a place?"
"Compared to this question, I am more curious why Gu Hang put Qingyan and our earth souls together." Xiao Yuan frowned lightly, "Pangu Mountain… I feel like the name is a bit familiar."
Gu Louyin asked, "Have you been here before?"
Xiao Yuan looked at the mountain ridge hidden among the thick clouds in the distance, "I don’t remember." He had almost no memory prior to being adopted by Li Xianting. Perhaps he had come to Pangu Mountain when he was very young.
Gu Louyin said, "I’m going to scout ahead."
"No need," Xiao Yuan said, "I have already sent someone."
Xiao Yuan hesitated for a moment and said, "One of the guardians of Xingtian Sect, Li Yanzhi."
He hadn’t told Gu Louyin that he was now the lord of Xingtian Sect, but from the previous events Gu Louyin should be able to guess something.
Sure enough, Gu Louyin didn’t ask much but only said, "Okay."
It was still early at this time, and the four of them found a clearing nearby for a temporary rest. Fang Baichu asked, "Do you smell something burning?"
"I smelled it a long time ago," Mu Yingyang said. "Isn’t that what the rumors mentioned? Maybe we can even see ghosts at night."
Xiao Yuan was disgusted by the smell and felt a little nauseous, so he couldn’t help retching.
Gu Louyin’s expression changed slightly, "Xiao Yuan–" He wanted to step forward to support Xiao Yuan, but Mu Yingyang, who was standing next to Xiao Yuan, took the lead.
"Shixiong!" Mu Yingyang held Xiao Yuan’s arm with one hand and patted him on the back with the other, his face full of concern, "What’s the matter, Shixiong, do you feel uncomfortable anywhere? Fang Baichu, come here!"
Gu Louyin was taken aback and his outstretched hand slowly lowered.
"I’m fine," Xiao Yuan stopped retching and held on, "I just don’t like the smell."
Fang Baichu checked Xiao Yuan’s pulse and said, "It’s okay, it’s okay, don’t worry, Master Mu."
Mu Yingyang stared at him, "How is it okay if he vomited?"
"Master Xiao is just more sensitive to the burning smell, which is normal. To tell you the truth, I feel sick when I smell parsley."
Gu Louyin said, "I’m going to find some water."
Xiao Yuan looked at him walking away alone and suddenly said to Fang Baichu, "Take off your clothes, let’s change."
Fang Baichu subconsciously covered his chest, "That…"
Mu Yingyang was also taken aback, "Shixiong?!"
"Didn’t you refuse to believe that Gu Louyin can recognize me?" Xiao Yuan said as he untied his robe. "Then let’s test him."
When Gu Louyin came back with the water, there was only ‘Fang Baichu’ on the spot. He paused and asked, "Where did the other two go?"
"Oh, they went to find food." Xiao Yuan wore Fang Baichu’s face and Fang Baichu’s clothes, imitated Fang Baichu’s tone and thought he was flawless and invulnerable. If Gu Louyin could still recognize him, he would immediately write ‘concede’ to Gu Louyin on the ground.
Gu Louyin handed the pot to Xiao Yuan and asked, "Are you feeling better?"
Xiao Yuan’s face froze for a moment and he immediately put on a confused expression: "Huh? Haven’t I always felt fine?"
Gu Louyin said calmly: "You were retching just now."
Xiao Yuan: "…"
"Why did you suddenly start using Fang Baichu’s face?"
Xiao Yuan said gloomily: "Because I didn’t believe in the abnormal."
"Believe in it now?"
"Believe it, believe it completely." Xiao Yuan turned back to his own face and took a sip from the pot. The cold mountain spring water diluted the bitterness in his mouth.
He still didn’t feel very comfortable, and the burning smell continued to penetrate into his nose and he couldn’t hide from it. But he found that as long as he and Gu Louyin got close, the nausea and discomfort would subside a lot. It was probably because Gu Louyin always had a clear ice-like aura on his body, just the right thing to counter the smell of smoke.
It seemed that even if he had nowhere to hide, at least he could hide by Gu Louyin’s side.
Xiao Yuan couldn’t help but take a step forward and ask, "Gu Louyin, you smell… very good."
There was a difference in size between the two of them. Gu Louyin looked down at him, his long feather-like eyelashes trembled slightly, "Do you like it?"
Xiao Yuan said, "At least it smells much better than here."
Xiao Yuan saw Gu Louyin’s Adam’s apple twitch silently and realized that his words and actions seemed a little offensive. He distanced himself from Gu Louyin and casually found a topic: "Why hasn’t shidi come back yet?"
"You can smell me." Gu Louyin’s voice was low, "Can you just ignore him?"
Xiao Yuan raised his head suddenly and looked at Gu Louyin whose eyes seemed clear but there was darkness underneath. Before he could say anything, the two people who went looking for food came back.
"We found a very sweet and fragrant wild fruit that Shixiong will definitely like." Mu Yingyang leaned over to Xiao Yuan, smiled and brought the washed wild fruits to Xiao Yuan’s face, "Shixiong, open your mouth."
Mu Yingyang stood in front of Xiao Yuan and couldn’t see Gu Louyin’s expression. "Thanks," Xiao Yuan took the wild fruit, "I will eat it by myself."
Mu Yingyang looked a little disappointed but there was nothing he could do. He asked Xiao Yuan: "Shixiong, did Gu Louyin recognize you this time?"
"He did," Xiao Yuan walked away from Mu Yingyang, "it took him about half a blink."
Mu Yingyang who was willing to bet but refused to lose, held his anger and said, "How on earth did he do it?!"
It was getting dark. At this time early in autumn, the night was supposed to be dewy and bleak with the autumn breeze. But instead of any trace of autumn, Xiao Yuan and the others felt that it was getting hotter and hotter, as if they were in the heat of midsummer. They were still a short distance away from Pangu Mountain and it was already like that. One could imagine what it was going to be like on the mountain.
Fang Baichu looked at the mountain peaks in the distance and said, "I don’t see the light of fire on it either."
Xiao Yuan said carelessly: "Maybe even the undead have to pick a day to come out?"
Not long after, Li Yanzhi, who had finished exploring the road, found Xiao Yuan and reported to him everything he had seen on the mountain.
"Pangu Mountain is not a single mountain, but a mountain range with multiple peaks connected together, bigger than Xingtian Sect, like a small city. But there is really nothing on it, it’s bare, and my brothers and I have been searching for two days and haven’t found anything special."
Xiao Yuan asked, "Did you all go during the day?"
"Yes, it’s too hot in the mountains at night, and it’s like being by a stove at the foot of the mountain. I climbed halfway up the mountain last night but I couldn’t stand it. I nearly died of heat."
Fang Baichu was so hot that he stuck out his tongue: "Even Guardian Li can’t go up the mountain at night, let alone us."
Mu Yingyang was sweating profusely and said, "Speak for yourself, you don’t need to go with us."
Xiao Yuan fanned himself with Bihai Chaosheng and said, "To be honest, I don’t think you can go either."
Mu Yingyang stubbornly said, "How can I know if I don’t try."
Gu Louyin said, "I’ll go."
Everyone’s eyes focused on Gu Louyin. Each of them was too hot, only Gu Louyin was still as cold as a beautiful jade, and there was not a drop of sweat on his forehead. Just looking at him seemed to dissipate the heat a little.
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, "I almost forgot that you are the cold jade spirit from the snow-capped mountain. Go ahead, I will go with you."
Gu Louyin didn’t even want to think about it: "No."
Li Yanzhi also said, "Can the young lord withstand the heat?"
"Yes, as long as I stay close to the cold jade spirit, I will be fine."
Gu Louyin: "…"
Mu Yingyang took a deep breath, feeling a choking sensation of being held by the throat: "Shixiong, you can’t!"
Xiao Yuan ignored him and asked, "Gu Louyin, will you take me with you?"