Li Lu nodded docilely, coming to a stand beside Huang Xiaolong.
"I heard you plan to return to the Divine Dan City a few days later." Li Lu broached the subject after some internal hesitation.
Huang Xiaolong flashed a wide smile, "That's right ah, I want to bring you back to see my parents and the others, Mother and sis will be very happy seeing you. For so many years, Mother has always been talking about you."
Li Lu's eyes glimmered with complicated emotions, "Xiaolong, I want to return to the Fortune Gate first."
Huang Xiaolong stiffened, "You're not coming to the Divine Dan City with me?"
Li Lu lightly nodded her head.
Huang Xiaolong looked deeply at Li Lu, a heavy sigh escaping his heart. He knew there were some things she still couldn't let go of, and a large portion of it was related to the Deities Templar in the past.
Although Li Lu had recovered her memories, that somehow seemed to make things worse as she remembered the incidents that took place.
During the time she was brainwashed by the Deities Templar, Li Lu's hands were stained with the blood of many Martial Spirit World cultivators. On top of that, she had even attacked, aiming to kill Huang Xiaolong on the Ten Directions Continent.
Huang Xiaolong softly asked, "Is it because of what happened in the past? In all truthfulness, I don't blame you. Whatever you do, we will never judge you. Mother, Father, and the rest feel the same."
Li Lu's eyes were red-rimmed, shaking her head, "I know, but..." Her words trailed off. She then took a deep breath and spoke again, "I'm sorry, Xiaolong." She turned and left with that.
Huang Xiaolong's hand reached out, wanting to pull Li Lu back, but his hand stopped midway, then a bitter smile formed on his face. He had thought the knot in Li Lu's heart would have been resolved after so long and she would be willing to follow him back to the Divine Dan City, but now...
Three days later.
After arranging matters in the Ghost Refining Sect, Huang Xiaolong departed with the Ascending Moon Old Man and Li Lu, leaving the Ghost Refining City. Due to Li Lu's matter, the journey was missing the cheerfulness and laughter that were supposed to be there.
Two months later, the three of them were finally out from the Path to Hell. From there on, Li Lu separated from Huang Xiaolong, returning alone to the Fortune Gate.
Watching Li Lu's figure disappearing from view, Huang Xiaolong stood blankly for a long time.
"The girl has already left, what are you still looking at?" Seeing his disciple standing woodenly still, the Ascending Moon Old Man took a stab at him, adding, "Little brat, if I were you, I would go chase her back this instant!"
Huang Xiaolong shook his head. He understood very well Li Lu's temper, the result would be the same even if he chased up to her.
"Old man, let's go." Huang Xiaolong turned around and flew off.
The Ascending Moon Old Man quickly followed behind him.
The two of them made it out from the Icebound Galaxy in a few days, then traveled onward to the Divine Dan City.
After a little more than a month of travel, Huang Xiaolong and the old man appeared on the streets of the Divine Dan City.
"You know right? Huang Xiaolong went to the Path to Hell some time back, then the Ghost Refining Sect Master, the young lord, and the Infernal Ghost Messenger were killed by him!"
"Are you joking? Maybe it's just a rumor. How come my family's elders didn't hear about this?"
"It's truer than true! This matter has already spread like wildfire in the Path to Hell, it's said that Huang Xiaolong has taken control over the Ghost Refining Sect, and the Ancestors and Patriarchs of all the first-rank forces in the Path to Hell have sworn allegiance to him! The outside world still hasn't got wind of this news, but I believe it is only a matter of time before it reaches countless galaxies!"
The two cultivators walking in front of Huang Xiaolong were discussing in secretive low voices.
The Ascending Moon Old Man turned to Huang Xiaolong, grinning, "Little Huang brat, see? Didn't I say this matter can't be kept under wraps for long?"
Huang Xiaolong nonchalantly replied, "I didn't plan to conceal it at all."
Before leaving the Ghost Refining Sect, Huang Xiaolong had told the group of Ancestors and Patriarchs not to leak the news that he had killed the Ghost Refining Sect Master, young lord, and Infernal Ghost Messenger, but the truth was bound to come out sooner or later. By now, he assumed that quite a few super forces in various galaxies got wind of the news.
Then again, Huang Xiaolong hadn't planned to conceal the matter, having others know that he had reined in the Ghost Refining Sect made no difference to him. Even if this matter caused some to feel threatened, most likely none of them would dare to ally against him.
When Huang Xiaolong arrived at the Abundant Deities Manor, his family too had heard about the rumors related to the Path to Hell. In an instant, he was surrounded and bombarded with questions from all around, all of them wanted to know in great detail what happened in the Path to Hell.
Huang Xiaolong smiled wryly as he ushered them in and recounted to his parents and everyone present what happened. But, he did not mention Li Lu.
With much hardship, Huang Xiaolong survived half a day of questions until all members of his family were satisfied with his story; at one point, when they heard that Huang Xiaolong had disguised himself as the Spiriting Demon Gates' Ancestor, and was subsequently pursued by the Ghost Refining Sect Master, their hearts tightened nervously.
As the story moved on, reaching the part where Huang Xiaolong killed the Ghost Refining Sect Master and took over the Ghost Refining Sect, oficially conquering the Path to Hell, cheers erupted in the hall.
"Big brother, is the Path to Hell fun? I also want to go have some fun." Huang Xiaohai asked.
Huang Xiaolong smiled stiffly, "You'd better wait until you breakthrough to the Highgod Realm before we talk about it, otherwise, you lot won't be able to make it past the icebound Galaxy's coldness, what's more reaching the Path to Hell."
Hearing this, Huang Xiaohai immediately looked crestfallen, "Wait until I breakthrough to Highgod Realm, who knows when that will be." Currently, he was only an Eighth Order God Realm.
Even with the limitless resources and divine pellets Huang Xiaolong gave him, it would take him at least a hundred years to advance to peak late-Tenth Order God Realm? Or perhaps two hundred years? The Highgod Realm was too far away.
By early next day, the news of Huang Xiaolong having returned had spread throughout the whole city, spurring all the Alchemist Grandmaster Union's Eminent Elders to drop at the Abundant Deities Manor for a visit.
After the Eminent Elders, it was the Wangu Clan, Mu Clan, Zhou Clan, the Dark Elf Tribe, and a string of other Ancestors, Patriarchs, and Chiefs.
Watching these illustrious characters fidgeting in front of him to the point of not daring to sit, nany of thoughts crossed through Huang Xiaolong's mind.
Years ago when he participated in the Highgod Advancement Tournament, the Wangu Clan Ancestor and Patriarch were powerful people he looked up to, whereas now, in less than a hundred years, their positions had reversed.
The following days, Huang Xiaolong remained in the Divine Dan City, concocting pills during the day and guiding his family in their cultivation, while at night he would dual cultivation with Shi Xiaofei, striving tirelessly in the act of creation.
Every night, Shi Xiaofei would beg and plead, out of breath, for leniency.
Nurtured by Huang Xiaolong's three supreme godheads, she grew increasingly enchanting and beautiful.
Days turned into months, and soon, two years had passed peacefully.
In between, Huang Xiaolong returned once to the Ghost Refining Sect, taking away all rank ten and above godheads, as well as the top grade Yin Soul Stones the sect had collected in millions of years.
He took some time during the day to refine these items, night time belonged to him and Shi Xiaofei.
As time flowed, fifty years went by.
In these fifty years, Huang Xiaolong had refined all the godheads and top grade Yin Soul Stones he had taken from the Ghost Refining Sect treasury, bolstering his cultivation to peak late-Ninth Order Highgod Realm. Just half a step more and he could breakthrough to Tenth Order Highgod Realm.