Thank you to Magpie for the ko-fi~

In the previous dungeon, Li Meng opened a study named “Li Dream Study,” and that pair of rings, Shu Shuishui had a feeling beforehand that the dungeon was created to refine those rings.

Shu Shuishui raised his hand and looked at the ring on his ring finger.
A pair of rings that transcended the cycle of life and death, unbound by the laws of heaven, and the conditions for their refinement must have been extremely demanding, including the person who refines them, the materials, the environment—everything was a constraint.

If the refinement failed, the losses would probably be not just the rings themselves, but also the souls of Li Meng and Wu Lan, or perhaps even more.

If Li Meng really came from the world of cultivation, then Li Meng’s own strength was probably also quite terrifying.
Because only in this way could Li Meng shatter the void, and reach another world.
Only in this way would there be the qualification and capability to refine such a pair of rings.

Gu Lanyi also sensed the peculiarity of the study in front of him.
Compared to the dilapidation throughout the city, although the study was imbued with the scent of dust, there was not the slightest hint of decay.

Extending his hand, Gu Lanyi couldn’t help but gently touch the door of the study.
Subconsciously holding his breath, he waited for a moment, but there was no sign of the building crumbling or dissipating.
“This is really strange, what kind of wood is this? Its preservation capabilities are incredible.
Judging by the level of weathering of the surrounding buildings, this city has been abandoned for at least thousands of years.”

Gu Lanyi marveled at the door, thinking about how even if it were iron, it would have corroded to nothing after such a long time.
He studied the door of the study, clearly wanting to open it and take a look.

Shu Shuishui also approached the main entrance, raising his hand to gently brush against the wall, sensing the residual spiritual energy on it.
If, as Gu Lanyi said, this city had been abandoned for thousands of years, then what kind of person could set up an array to last for so long?

“There’s no lock either, why won’t it open?” The door of the study wasn’t particularly heavy, and it had delicate carvings on it.
Through the gaps, one could vaguely see the interior.
Gu Lanyi couldn’t resist getting closer, leaning in to peer inside through the opening.

However, in just a few seconds, Gu Lanyi suddenly recoiled, quickly stepping back, and he almost stumbled due to his unsteady movement.

“What’s wrong? A little startled?” Shu Shuishui reached out to steady Gu Lanyi.


Gu Lanyi took a deep breath to calm himself down.
“There’s someone inside, moving around! I saw someone going upstairs.”

Shu Shuishui looked at the door, walked to the carved gap, and peered inside the building.

But he didn’t see anything.
Perhaps Gu Lanyi’s eyes had deceived him, or maybe the person had gone upstairs and was out of sight.
However, regardless of the circumstances, Shu Shuishui knew he had to explore this building.
After all, he still needed to confirm Li Meng’s identity.

Moreover, most of the buildings in this city were heavily weathered, turning to dust at the slightest touch.
This study was the only well-preserved structure they had encountered so far.

The building was equipped with an array formation, and Shu Shuishui had never broken an array before, nor was he sure if he could succeed.
Placing both hands on the door, he channeled his spiritual energy into his palms, intending to forcefully break the array.

Seeing Shu Shuishui’s actions, Gu Lanyi reminded from the side, “You won’t be able to open it like that.
I just tried.
This door…”

A slight creaking sound emerged, and the door was gently pushed open.

Even Shu Shuishui was surprised, looking at his own palm.
Had he become this strong already? It seemed like he hadn’t even exerted much force, and the door just opened.


“This door can recognize people!” Gu Lanyi exclaimed in astonishment, struggling to understand the reason behind it.

Shu Shuishui touched his own face.
“Perhaps this door is a fan of good looks.”

Gu Lanyi: “…”

The door to the study was completely open, allowing sunlight to pour in after thousands of years, casting its rays onto the floor, as if melting a millennium-old ice.

Stepping over the threshold, Shu Shuishui walked inside.
The floor beneath his feet was clean and tidy, without a speck of dust, as if someone cleaned it daily or an array was at work.

Gu Lanyi also cautiously followed in, stepping on the interior floor.
He worried that the floor might have aged too much over time and might break under his foot.
However, to his surprise, the floor was solid, and not even the slightest sound was produced.

Looking around, the layout of the ground floor wasn’t complicated.
Several square wooden tables were placed with four benches each, likely for people to rest and read.

Tea sets were placed on the tables, and Shu Shuishui went to examine them.
He found that even the tea sets had an array, not a complex one, but a temperature-controlling array that Shu Shuishui himself knew how to perform.

Apart from the tables and chairs, every few meters, there was a row of dark brown bookshelves.
Various books were placed on the bookshelves.
In comparison to the tea sets, the arrays on the bookshelves were much more intricate and thoughtful—dust prevention, preservation, pest repellence, fireproofing, waterproofing… it seemed to cover every possible accident.

On the bookshelves, various types of records were organized meticulously – bamboo slips, bound books, parchment, jade slips – each item was carefully preserved and handled, without the slightest damage, as if the passage of a thousand years hadn’t occurred here in the study.


Upon discovering the books, Gu Lanyi’s eyes immediately lit up.
He approached a bookshelf, examining the books closely.
While flipping through them, he voiced his questions, “There’s definitely something unusual about this study.
There’s no sign of decay within the study, not even these paper-based books, which are most prone to weathering, have been kept intact…”

Soon, his voice trailed off, and Shu Shuishui looked over to see that Gu Lanyi had already immersed himself in the world of books.
His brow was slightly furrowed as if he had come across something puzzling.
Shu Shuishui could somewhat understand why Gu Lanyi claimed to specialize in cultural matters.
This person was similar to Xie Feng – once they encountered something of interest, they would instantly lose themselves in their own world, even forgetting the person who startled them before entering.

Shu Shuishui wasn’t in a hurry to read the books.
After all, it wasn’t something that could be finished quickly.
With infinite space now available, he could pack them up and take them with him if necessary.

Instead, what caught his attention more was the figure Gu Lanyi had seen earlier.
Shu Shuishui turned and headed towards the staircase, planning to go upstairs and check.
However, as soon as he lifted his foot onto the first step, he heard faint footsteps from the second floor.
Soon, a person dressed in a white cloud-sleeved robe appeared on the second floor.

Shu Shuishui’s steps halted, maintaining his motion to go upstairs, as he cautiously looked towards the upper floor.
Looking up from here, he could only sense that the person was quite tall and had a slender, broad figure.
He had meticulously groomed hair and held a scroll of books in his hand.
Silhouetted against the light, he exuded an aura of elegance.

The person upstairs also appeared surprised upon seeing Shu Shuishui below.
After a long moment of stillness, he raised an eyebrow, appearing somewhat surprised, somewhat teasing.
“You’re back.”

Shu Shuishui: ???

Seeing Shu Shuishui’s puzzled expression and lack of reaction, the person began descending the stairs step by step.

Shu Shuishui couldn’t help but take a step back, feeling like a dormouse that should run away if it didn’t want to be caught.

When the person reached the first floor’s floor, Shu Shuishui realized he was taller than him.
He couldn’t help but recall his own height after transforming and felt a bit disheartened.

“How come? Haven’t seen each other in thousands of years, and you don’t recognize me?” The person smiled, his aura completely open.

Shu Shuishui couldn’t help but take another step back.
“Are you angry? Did you mistake me for someone else? Thousands of years? I’m only a few hundred years old, still a child.”

The person was genuinely amused by Shu Shuishui’s serious response.
“Angry? Mistake? A few hundred-year-old child? Are you trying to tell me that I could even mistake my own father?”

Shu Shuishui stumbled, experiencing his first time being retorted so directly.
His usually sharp mind felt a bit stumped.
Wait a minute! Father? Such a grown-up offspring? How could he explain this to Gu Langu? No, something was definitely off here! “Big brother, you’ve definitely mistaken me.
I can tell from your refined appearance that you’re not someone who would resemble a mouse.
We’re definitely not the same kind!”

“Impossible!” The person outright denied, then took a step forward.
He held his gaze firmly on Shu Shuishui.
“Even if you turned into ashes, I wouldn’t mistake you.”


Hearing this, Shu Shuishui was even more tempted to run away.
Why did this sound like there was some sort of grudge? Now that he thought about it, since entering this dungeon, it seemed even jiaolong had mistaken him for someone else and had arbitrarily given him an age of ten thousand years.

Perhaps sensing Shu Shuishui’s unease, a low roar suddenly came from outside the study – Jiaolong’s voice.

Shu Shuishui turned his head and saw jiaolong lowering its massive head to the doorway.
Its big eyes were filled with concern as they rested on him.
When its gaze shifted towards the white-clothed youth, it snorted heavily, as if issuing a warning.

The youth, who had originally adopted a stance of wanting to interrogate him, huffed.
“Thinking you’re the real deal!”

Shu Shuishui glanced at jiaolong, then at the white-clothed youth, finally confirming that they both knew each other.
Furthermore, the white-clothed youth seemed to be under jiaolong’s influence, and after receiving jiaolong’s warning, his aura had somewhat subdued.

The youth took a few steps, placing the scroll he held onto a nearby bookshelf with remarkable dexterity.
Once positioned, the books were aligned so precisely that they appeared to have been sliced by a knife.

Observing this, Shu Shuishui inquired, “Are you the one responsible for maintaining the books in this study?”

The youth tilted his head slightly to the side, though he didn’t turn around.
“Yeah, you left with such flair.
What am I supposed to do?”

Lost in thought, Shu Shuishui mused that it was probably Li Meng who had left with such flair.
“Have you been in this study the whole time? How long?”

“Almost nine thousand years, I guess.
After all, I’m just a bookworm.
Where else can I go?” The youth’s expression remained calm, and he spoke as if he had spent nine days, not nine thousand years.

Shu Shuishui fell silent again, not sure how to interact with someone who claimed to be his offspring, especially one this grown up.

“It’s good that you’re back.
Since you’re back, don’t leave! Tell me a story.” The youth, at some point, had grabbed a stack of books from the shelf.
He walked over to Shu Shuishui, thrusting the books into his arms.
Then, he found a nearby table, sat down, poured a cup of tea, and adopted an attentive pose.

Shu Shuishui looked utterly bewildered.
What was going on here?

Approaching the table and placing the books down, Shu Shuishui absentmindedly picked up one of the books – it was a collection of strange tales, specifically recording unusual events.
Flipping through the pages, he began reading aloud to the anticipating youth.

Thanks to the patience Shu Bao had once cultivated in him, Shu Shuishui could read the cumbersome classical text fluently without any hesitation.
At times, he could even provide explanations.

The study remained quiet, with only the sound of pages turning and reading filling the air.

The contents of the book were captivating.
As Shu Shuishui continued reading, he became engrossed in the stories, which chronicled the adventures of an individual and their close friend as they traveled through myriad worlds.
They confronted monsters and demons, living boldly and recklessly.
The stories included mortals, spirit beasts, spiritual plants, and cultivators.
A complete and vivid cultivation world was brought to life through these stories.

The book wasn’t thick, to begin with, and coupled with the succinct classical text, Shu Shuishui quickly finished it.
After finishing, he couldn’t help but remark, “This book is really well-written.”

The white-clothed youth huffed.

Shu Shuishui blinked, turned to the first page of the book, and saw the author’s name prominently written – Li Meng…

So, this book was written by Li Meng and his friend during their travels across different worlds?

Shu Shuishui sat up straight, thinking he was fairly familiar now.
It was probably time to have a serious conversation.
“Uh, this… offspring… what’s your name?”

The white-clothed youth glanced at Shu Shuishui.
“You left before giving me a name.”

Shu Shuishui: “…”

The white-clothed youth then looked at jiaolong, whose head was resting against the door frame outside the study, and then turned his gaze to Shu Shuishui.
“Name me now!”

Shu Shuishui: “…”

The two of them stared at each other in silence.
Suddenly, a puzzled voice came from the side – Gu Lanyi walked over with a book in hand.
“Brother Shu, what does this sentence mean? ‘Polarizing Yang, Polarizing Yin’? Is this a tongue twister? Wow wow wow! Who’s this? Who are you? When did you get here?”

Gu Lanyi looked up and immediately spotted the white-clothed youth sitting at the table, dressed in ancient attire, resembling an actor.

Suddenly, Shu Shuishui really wished for Gu Langu, because at least if Gu Langu were here, he wouldn’t react as slowly as Gu Lanyi.

The white-clothed youth turned to Shu Shuishui.
“Who’s this now? Where did you find him? Did you go picking up random things again?”

“How can you talk like that? What do you mean by ‘picking up random things’? I am a person, you know,” Gu Lanyi said, displeased.

The youth seemed to ignore Gu Lanyi’s words and continued urging, “Quick, give me a name.”

Shu Shuishui buried his head on the table, took a deep breath after a moment, and then lifted his head again.
“Let’s call you ‘Da Bai,’ how about that?”


After a while, the person at the table let out a deep hum.
“As usual, that sounds terrible.”

Shu Shuishui really wanted to try using a human fist to punch someone, wondering whether it was more effective than using claws.
“Da Bai, can you talk about your story now?”

The youth sat upright at the table, exuding an air of scholarly sophistication.
“What’s there to talk about? Didn’t I mention it before? I’m just a bookworm you raised.
You promised to tell me stories until I grew up, but suddenly there was no one around.
You said you would be back very soon, and yet I waited for nine thousand years.
You left with such flair, leaving behind someone who went insane.
With the arrival of the end of times and the chaos in the world, things took a turn for the worse.”

“A bookworm? Are you referring to the bookworm I understand?” Shu Shuishui hesitated a bit, after all, on Earth, the term ‘bookworm’ had more than one meaning.

The youth raised an eyebrow.
“Who else could it be? Do you have a different kind of ‘worm’ now?”

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