There had been a slight intermission, but the end goal of Liang Chen's group didn't change so Yumao kept flying in the same direction, only decreasing his speed slightly due to the new passenger. As for Liang Chen, he lowered his gaze to look at the little girl that had hopped into his lap with crossed legs, her torso swaying from side to side as she seemed to struggle with containing her excitement and desire to bounce around. Her pristine white hair had grown a bit untidy thanks to the spirited way in which she had jumped down to him earlier, his hands reaching up and stroking the hair to tidy it.
"You and Mamaran, what did you experience in the place you were? Were there any hurtful or exciting things?"
Liang Chen hadn't seen Yan Ling for quite some time already, and the time distortion both of them experienced only made it feel even longer. But now she had sent Lan Yun to him, so while he couldn't actually contact her, he could at least hear a little about what she had experienced after she left. Lan Yun's torso still kept swaying so Liang Chen's tidying of her hair didn't have much effect, but she seemed to enjoy the sensation, a wide smile on her face as she spoke.
"There were so many exciting things! An entire ocean came to life when Mamaran asked it to hand over a bit of its core, its waters rose all the way into the clouds! But hehe, Mamaran still beat that meanie black and blue until it had no choice but to comply, it couldn't do a single thing to her! Oh Oh, there was also a planet that was made from just wind! It was a big ball of wind moving so fast that it looked like land, but the moment Mamaran tried to land we were swept away and tumbled around for several weeks!"
Lan Yun's eyes were sparkling like gems as she spoke about the events, her hands moving about as if she was trying to paint a vivid picture of the scenes. And while she didn't go into details, what she said was enough to leave Yin Long rather shocked. Wind strong enough to mimic a planet, and a water elemental so large that it could reach the clouds?
Neither of these were things you could just find anywhere, the sheer amount of wind and water-type Qi that you would need to birth them was something he didn't feel like guessing at. But if things like that could be born there then Liang Chen felt like he was starting to understand why the Nine Star Demon God had sent Yan Long to that multiverse, it certainly seemed like a place that was geared towards her two main laws.
"But there was one big meanie Mamaran met there, a stinky old uncle who wouldn't leave her alone. He kept throwing around some dumb name as if it was supposed to impress Mamaran, and he got so angry his face turned red when she rejected him and flipped him off. But Mamaran said that the stinky old man was stronger than her so she took me and ran, but that baldie kept coming after her. He hadn't found us for a bit when Mamaran sent me here, but Paparan, you have to beat up that stinky man for Mamaran!"
Lan Yun tilted her head backwards to look up at Liang Chen, her little cheeks puffing out as she complained and tried to force the job onto Liang Chen. But there was no need to force any job like that onto Liang Chen, his eyes narrowing dangerously for a split second.
"Don't worry, Paparan will have a good talk with that man if Mamaran hasn't already dealt with him."
Liang Chen wasn't exactly used to love rivals, but that didn't mean he was unaccustomed to them, Yan Ling was a very outstanding woman after all. Of course, if that man had just pursued Yan Ling then there wasn't really much Liang Chen had to do, he would only have to draw a clear line. But if the man had tried to go further than that, or gotten violent, then it would become an entirely different story.
But the narrowing of his eyes only lasted for a short second, Yan Ling hadn't mentioned it in her message so she clearly wanted to deal with it on her own, it wouldn't be too late for him to swoop in if she asked for help. Of course, he would first have to get over to that multiverse if it was a sudden request, but he felt that the Nine Star Demon God would at least indulge him that much. As such, he returned his attention to Lan Yun, gathering up her hair as he slowly started to braid it like he had braided Yan Ling's hair in the past.
"So, what other exciting places did you see? Paparan wants to hear all about them."
Lan Yun's bubbly voice continued to sound out from Yumao's back as they flew, Liang Chen, Yumao, and the lotus that was still placed on Liang Chen's shoulder all listening closely. She told them about all the places she and Yan Ling had gone, the people they had fought, the battles they had lost, the treasures that had slipped from their grasp, as well as the things they had gained.
If there was one thing that surprised Liang Chen in Lan Yun's stories then it would be the actual time difference between this multiverse and that multiverse. He already knew that time flowed differently depending on where you were in this Sphere of Existence, infant multiverses would have a greatly increased flow of time to quicken their growth. And from the looks of it, this multiverse she was was quite the infant.
From Yan Ling's perspective, it had already been several years since she and Liang Chen separated, Lan Yun didn't properly count so it may actually have been more than ten years already. Liang Chen had used his own law of time to distort time around him as well, but it wasn't anywhere close to this extent, Yan Ling had been 'alone' for far longer than him.
But perhaps as was to be expected, the quickened pace of time allowed her to reap great harvests in terms of cultivation. According to Lan Yun, Yan Ling had said that she was already at the peak of the Primordial Immortal realm when she was sent back, she would need just a tiny bit more to reach the Transcended Immortal realm.
Hearing this, Liang Chen couldn't help but smile. He was still only at the early stage of the Primordial Immortal realm, but Yan Ling was already stepping into the next realm, he would have to be careful that she wasn't the one to pick him up by the neck the next time they met. At the same time, he couldn't help but be curious as to what stage the two of them would have reached when they met again. Yan Ling had her own journey into a different multiverse and he had his meeting with Purgatory, both of them would probably be fundamentally different when they met again.
"Ey, Father, there's a city not too far away from here. It's not exactly in our way, but do you want me to head over there?"
The voice of Yumao eventually interrupted Lan Yun's storytelling, one of his feathery wings flapping as he gestured towards the distance. You could just barely see the spires of a city rise in the distant horizon, so small that they looked like toothpicks. It looked like it was still far away, but Liang Chen knew Yumao's speed so he knew that the city really was within what he'd consider not too far away.
Liang Chen's gaze turned to the side and inspected the distant spires, his expression unknowingly turning somewhat murky. He knew what sort of place this was, and that knowledge was what made his expression change. But at the same time, that knowledge, that murky and gloomy expression, was what drove him.
"Yeah, please head on over. It'll be a good lesson for Hui Xin and the others on exactly what path they're trying to step on."
The new disciples that Liang Chen had picked up recently ranged from mortals to those who had reached the Heaven's Gate realm, even the strongest was so pitifully weak that Liang Chen didn't think that any of them had that much experience. That was especially the case when it came to taking a life, saying it was easy, but actually having to do it was a different matter. As such, the faster he could show them how grim the path they wanted to follow was, the better.
Yumao obliged and turned his serpentine body, shooting towards the distant city. His father had decided to pay it a visit and that could only mean one thing, sin was about to be met with wrath and judgment.
It really didn't take Yumao too long to reach the city, soaring over its defensive walls and hovering above the city. He was so high up that only stronger cultivators like Primordial Immortal cultivators would be able to see him, but if they wanted to interfere then he wouldn't mind eating them up.
"Thanks. Alright, Little Lan, Paparan is going to do something for a bit so please be a bit patient and don't run around, you might fall off."
Liang Chen stroked Lan Yun's now braided hair as he smiled at her, the little girl vigorously nodding her head. He didn't know if she would be able to actually stay patient for as long as he would like, but Liang Chen had no intentions of not trusting Lan Yun, she was basically his daughter after all.
He closed his eyes and slowly spread out his Qi, dust-like particles of poison seeping out from his body and slowly spreading throughout the city beneath him, transforming into eyes and ears for him. They latched onto every single person moving about in the city, the three rulers in their grand towers, the lowly beggars scurrying about to remain out of sight, the farmers tending to their crops, not a single one could escape his sight.
And then he just sat there, he didn't infect anyone with the poison and simply allowed it to linger in the air or on their clothes, observing them as they went about their lives. Minutes turned to hours and then to days, sin piling upon sin as the days passed and the people acted within the dark spots of society where they thought they wouldn't be seen. But Liang Chen was there with them, even in the darkest pits, and he tallied up all their deeds, all the stains on their hands.
And so, nine days after Yumao stopped above the city, Liang Chen opened his eyes again. Lan Yun was still sitting in his lap, but he could see that she was practically hyperventilating, ready to burst at any second after having to sit around for so long. He placed his hand on her head and ruffled her hair, smiling softly.
"Sorry that it took so long, I'm done now. The next little bit won't take long, after that you can run around a bit, okay?"
"You promised! I'll hold you to it!"
He couldn't even say that Lan Yun's eyes were sparkling as she spoke, they practically burned with light, she had been far too bored while she waited for him. But she was a good girl, her mother had said that many times, so she had to wait patiently so that papa would also know that she was a good girl.
"Let's go, I've already selected a few."
Yumao flapped his wings in response to Liang Chen's words, following the slight flaring of Qi that Liang Chen had used to mark the targets he wanted to visit. He could deal with them all from this range with exceptional ease, but he was going to teach his new disciples a little so that approach wasn't entirely suitable.
Yumao shot to the ground like a black blur, shrinking slightly and landing outside a cabbage farm located at the very edge of the city. There was a weathered man with skin so tanned it had become leathery currently working the fields, Yumao had landed directly in front of him and blown his crops aside.
"Hey, what giv...?!"
The man cut his words short when he saw the creature that had landed, a feathered serpent with wings and horns was far from normal so his voice got stuck in his throat. Liang Chen hopped down from Yumao's back, Lan Yun bouncing down to hurry after him. He stopped a few steps away from the man, who covered his brown hair using a somewhat tattered straw hat that cast a shadow on his black eyes. Liang Chen quietly looked at his face for a bit before swiping his interspatial ring and bringing out Jiao Hui Xin and the others, a total of 52 people appearing from within the orb in his interspatial ring.
"The Disciples greet you, Wolf Lord! How can we be of assistance?"
The disciples had received a bit of notice ahead of time so they weren't too shocked by suddenly being pulled out of their cultivation, quickly kneeling respectfully as they addressed Liang Chen. But before Liang Chen could say anything, Lan Yun tugged on his robe and spoke up first.
"Paparan, Mamaran said that she was the wolf and that you were the storm, so why are they calling you wolf?"
Liang Chen could almost feel his expression cramping, if it wasn't for her looking so innocent he would have been convinced that Lan Yun was just messing with him. But she clearly wasn't, so he couldn't help but be at a bit of a loss, mentally cursing a certain someone as he responded.
"Whenever Mamaran says things like that, you don't have to listen to her. Your Mamaran is a bit special in the head so she has many funny ideas, you don't need to take after all of them."
Yan Ling had already messed with Yumao, skewing his vocabulary and personality into something that Liang Chen had never expected from him. And now it seemed like she had been doing the same to Lan Yun, it really seemed like Liang Chen would have to take great care that she didn't mess up everyone around him like that, just she alone was already more than enough.
Lan Yun nodded her head seriously, as if she was trying to engrave the words in her heart. But she had spent so long with Yan Ling that Liang Chen wasn't sure if it would have any effect, turning his attention towards the people he had brought out.
"You said that you wanted to become strong, that you wanted me to guide you onto the same path as me, that you wanted to save others while venting your burning anger. This, this will be the first step. This man, he deserves death, one of you kill him with your own hands. The path to eradicating evil is marred in sin, whether you want to or not, you will become as bad as those you hunt. So, if you have the determination to damn yourself, take the first step."