Hua Cheng learned to decipher the Uyong script through his own deductive learning ability. He could understand the meaning of the characters, but since there were no surviving people to pronounce the words for him, he couldn’t match the sounds to the characters. Therefore, he couldn’t understand the murmurs of those corpse-eating rats.

However, Xie Lian, who had never been to Copper Furnace Mountain, understood them. What could this mean?

Hua Cheng could tell what Xie Lian was thinking and immediately said, “Gege, don’t be nervous. Let me repeat those words again, and you listen.”

Xie Lian replied, “Alright.”

With his exceptional memory, Hua Cheng repeated the words clearly as soon as they left the gathering place of the rats. Xie Lian stared at his lips and heard a string of peculiar, slightly strange pronunciations.

The peculiar tones and ancient charm of those strange phrases flowed from Hua Cheng’s mouth, neither light nor heavy, with a deep and beautiful voice, quite pleasant to the ears. After concentrating for a moment, Xie Lian said, “I don’t understand.”

It was strange indeed. Xie Lian understood the words spoken by the corpse-eating rats, but now, even though Hua Cheng repeated them accurately, he couldn’t comprehend them. However, he couldn’t dismiss the fact that he had understood them in that brief moment.

Hua Cheng continued, “When you heard those voices, did you instantly understand and comprehend them naturally?”

Xie Lian replied, “Yes. At that time, there was no process of translation in my mind.” He hadn’t even realized it was a different language.

Hua Cheng crossed his arms and pondered for a moment before saying, “I understand.”

Xie Lian asked, “What do you understand?”

Hua Cheng explained, “What you understood wasn’t the Uyong language, but the emotions of the deceased.”

Xie Lian understood and didn’t quite understand at the same time. Hua Cheng further explained, “In other words, a long time ago, someone heard these voices of the deceased, understood them, remembered them, and then, unconsciously implanted these memories into you, infecting you with their emotions.”

“Since that person understood the Uyong language themselves, they had already completed the ‘comprehension’ step. Therefore, you didn’t actually need to understand the Uyong language. These voices have been hidden deep in your mind, and when you heard them, you were directly brought into those emotions.”

Xie Lian felt that this explanation was plausible and asked, “But the question is, who passed these memories and emotions onto me? And when did it happen?”

After a pause, he murmured to himself, “Could it be the National Teacher?”

Hua Cheng replied, “It’s uncertain. Gege, you’re already assuming that your master is from Uyong. But have you ever considered one thing? If that’s the case, when they were inside the monster’s belly earlier, they should have communicated in the Uyong language. Why wasn’t that the case?”

It wasn’t difficult to explain. Xie Lian said, “Because the Uyong Kingdom was destroyed two thousand years ago, which means that in the past two thousand years, if they had been active in the mortal realm, they would have used the language of later generations more. When communicating, they would naturally use the more familiar language.”

Hua Cheng embraced Xie Lian’s shoulder and spoke with a slightly heavier tone, “Gege, don’t always lead yourself to think in that direction.”

Xie Lian snapped out of his thoughts and said, “Alright. So, San Lang, what are the usual conditions required to implant certain memories and emotions into someone else?”

Hua Cheng answered, “There are two conditions: first, you must have absolute trust in that person, let your guard down completely, and if necessary, be willing to be guided by that person.”

After thinking for a moment, Xie Lian had someone in mind. Hua Cheng continued, “And second, you must be completely powerless, suppressed by the other party, and have a deep sense of fear towards them. Gege, think carefully about the people you’ve known all these years, who fits these two conditions.”

Xie Lian pondered for a while, hesitated for a moment, and slowly said, “Perhaps… there are three.”

Hua Cheng asked, “Who are the three?”

Xie Lian replied, “The first one is my master.”

Although he deeply loved his parents and let his guard down, deep down, he held different views from his father. Therefore, it couldn’t be said that he was willing to be guided by his father. However, the master who introduced him to the path and taught him everything did meet this condition. It was to be expected, and Hua Cheng said, “Then, who is the second?”

Xie Lian answered, “Jun Wu.”

His admiration for Jun Wu was beyond words, and he met the first condition. Hua Cheng didn’t seem impressed but refrained from commenting and asked, “And the last one?”

Xie Lian said, “The third one doesn’t meet the first condition but meets the second.”

Hua Cheng understood. He said solemnly, “…Bai Wu Xiang?”

Xie Lian closed his eyes and nodded. He placed his hand on his forehead and said, “…I won’t hide it from you. Although it seemed like I had never revealed this to anyone, even in my exchange with Feng Xin and Mu Qing, I never uttered any discouraging words. But deep down, I…”

Deep down, he deeply feared this thing.

For a while, he even reached the point of shivering uncontrollably at the sound of that name. However, Xie Lian never dared to let anyone see the slightest hint. Because he was the only hope against Bai Wu Xiang. If even he was afraid, then others would be even more despairing. Everything would collapse!

Of course, things were much better now. Hua Cheng held onto his shoulder tighter and said, “It’s alright. It’s not shameful to be afraid of something.”

Xie Lian smiled and said, “It’s just that I’m not brave enough.”

But Hua Cheng replied, “If you have no fear, then there is no need for bravery. You don’t have to be so harsh on yourself.”

Upon hearing this, Xie Lian was slightly taken aback, and Hua Cheng continued, “So, are these three the only ones?”

Xie Lian nodded. So, among these three, there was someone who had instilled the memories and emotions of the Uyong people during volcanic eruptions into him. Hua Cheng seemed lost in thought, slightly furrowing his brows, while Xie Lian remained silent for a moment. Suddenly, he said, “Not only that.”

Hua Cheng turned his head and asked, “What?”

Xie Lian took a deep breath and said, “Actually, there is a fourth person. This person meets the first condition, but I’m certain that they have nothing to do with the memories and emotions of the deceased.”

Upon hearing this, Hua Cheng turned around completely and said, “Oh? How can you be sure? Have you had a deep friendship with this person like with the others?”

Xie Lian thought that although they hadn’t been friends for many years, he considered their relationship deep. However, he couldn’t bring himself to say it so directly, so he said vaguely, “Anyway… he might be the person I trust the most, even more than my master and Jun Wu.”

Hua Cheng asked, “How does that work?”

Xie Lian cleared his throat, feeling a bit embarrassed, and said, “To be honest… if I were to make a catastrophic mistake or cause a huge mess, he would be the first person I think of… and the trust I have in him is different from the trust I have in my master and the Emperor.” Before he could finish, he noticed that Hua Cheng’s expression was somewhat strange, so he stopped and hesitated for a moment, “San Lang?”

Hua Cheng finally snapped out of his thoughts and raised an eyebrow, saying, “Oh. It’s nothing. I was just thinking about something else. Your Highness, do you really trust this person so much?”

Although his raised eyebrow usually indicated satisfaction or teasing, it didn’t seem quite natural this time.

Xie Lian nodded and said, “Well… is there a problem?”

Hua Cheng lowered his head slightly, adjusted the silver wrist guards on his sleeves, and casually said, “No major problem. It’s just my personal opinion. Gege, it might be better not to trust others so easily.”

Upon hearing his words, Xie Lian wasn’t quite sure if Hua Cheng had figured out who he was talking about, but he didn’t dare to reveal any more. He simply responded with an “Oh…” After a moment’s pause, he couldn’t help but ask, “San Lang, don’t you want to know who this person is?”

Hua Cheng asked, “Hmm? Me? Since Gege says you trust him and firmly believe that he has nothing to do with this matter, there’s no need to ask.”

Xie Lian rubbed his temples, and then Hua Cheng continued, “However, if Gege is willing to tell, San Lang is willing to listen attentively.”

Although his words sounded polite, it would be awkward if Xie Lian revealed the person he trusted the most at this moment. It would be like insisting that someone ask you who you trust the most. Xie Lian couldn’t tell if it was just a polite remark or if he genuinely didn’t mind. Just as he was about to respond, the death butterflies, which had been torn apart in the battle with the corpse-eating rats, flew back. After a fierce battle, the silver butterflies flew lower, seeming somewhat tired. Xie Lian quickly stepped forward, extending his hand to catch one particularly delicate little silver butterfly, and said, “You’ve worked hard!”

As soon as he reached out his hand, the swarm of butterflies paused in mid-air, then, as if they had caught the scent of something delicious, they madly rushed towards him. Xie Lian held the little silver butterfly, almost stunned. Hua Cheng coughed lightly, and the butterflies froze again, flying obediently towards him, landing on his silver wrist guard and blending with the butterfly patterns engraved on it.

The two continued their search for the Jade of Calling. After walking for a while, Hua Cheng suddenly said, “It’s not Feng Xin, right?”

Xie Lian had already started thinking about other things, so he was taken aback and asked, “Huh? What?”

Hua Cheng said, “The person Gege mentioned.”

Xie Lian immediately waved his hand and said, “Of course not!”

Hua Cheng’s eyebrow twitched, and he said, “Then it’s not Mu Qing either.”

Xie Lian broke into a cold sweat on his forehead, waving his hands even faster, and said, “That’s even less possible! But why are you suddenly asking about this again?”

Hua Cheng smiled and said, “I thought about it and suddenly felt that this fourth person was the most suspicious. So, just to be safe, could you please tell me who this long-standing trusted person of yours is? If you don’t mind.”

Xie Lian looked at the smile on Hua Cheng’s face and had an intuitive sense that the smile seemed fake. Just as he was about to take a deep breath and speak, the faint silver glow on the probing silver butterflies suddenly disappeared.

The surroundings plunged into darkness, and Hua Cheng quickly took Xie Lian’s hand, moving swiftly to the side of a street. Sensing that something was amiss, Xie Lian whispered, “San Lang, is something coming?”

Although they were suddenly enveloped in darkness and couldn’t see anything, Xie Lian followed Hua Cheng’s footsteps accurately and flipped into a hidden spot in a nearby house. Hua Cheng’s voice sounded in his ear, “It’s here.”

In the darkness, a series of eerie sounds suddenly rang out.

Thump, thump, thump.

Although they were still far away, with each thump, the sound grew increasingly heavy, and with each sound, it approached a significant distance. Xie Lian felt a strange familiarity with this sound. He had definitely heard it somewhere before. When the sound approached nearby, he looked outside.

Indeed! On the streets of the underground city, there appeared a bride dressed in tattered wedding attire.

Despite wearing a wedding dress, the clothes were in shreds, giving off a desolate and sinister aura. Although her facial features were beautiful, there was no trace of life in her. Above her head, a faint green ghostly fire flickered, casting a green glow on her pale face. She held a child in her arms, whose face was also pale, but it was evident that the child had more vitality, clearly being alive.

Hua Cheng said, “An old acquaintance again.”

It was none other than the female ghost Xuan Ji and Gu Zi!