"I'm sorry about that… That was Disiciple You, a new disciple that had been recruited by Master shortly after the zither competition, so she's a little arrogant. And for some reason, she's obsessed with surpassing me." Ai Wan said to Yuan afterward.
"You can also ignore what she said."
"What's this Lily Pavilion?" Yuan asked.
"It's a place where disciples go to battle each other with their instruments. The loser must jump into the cold water that surrounds the place. It's a very popular area for disciples who want to settle disputes."
"That does sound like a pretty fun place." Yuan smiled.
At least they don't have to injure each other, which is the biggest reason why people go there instead of the traditional challenge, where disciples fight each other with weapons.
"Anyways, let's continue to the Zither Goddess's immortal cave."
About half an hour later, they arrive at this secluded area where many immortal caves existed, and it sort of reminded Yuan of the immortal caves at the Jaded Garden but at a much larger scale.
"Which one belongs to the Zither Goddess?" Yuan asked as he looked around.
"Do you see that one with a closed entrance in the middle? That's the one." Ai Wan pointed at the immortal cave that had a couple of people standing outside of it.
"What are they doing?" Yuan asked when he saw the scene.
"They are all trying to open up the immortal cave without breaking the place," she said.
"You see people like that almost every day."
A few minutes later, they climbed the hill and approached the Zither Goddess's immortal cave.
"Damn it! This place really doesn't want to open up!"
"If it was so easy to open, it would've opened tens of thousands of years ago…"
"There must be some sort of secret to opening this door!"
"Hey, look over there! That's Prime Disciple Ai!"
"What's she doing here?"
The disciples stopped their investigation when they noticed Ai Wan's presence.
"Greetings, senior apprentice-sister."
They all greeted her when she was close enough.
"Hello," she nodded, acknowledging their greetings.
"What brings you to this place today, senior sister?" One of them asked her.
"I'm just looking around," she casually said before turning to look at Yuan, who was intensively staring at the immortal cave.
"Have you figured something out already?" she couldn't help but ask him, her voice sounding a little excited.
If anyone can open the immortal cave, it should be the person who managed to play the Zither Goddess' Soul Ensnaring Zither!
"I'm not sure… I don't see anything out of the ordinary about this place." Yuan said.
"Why don't you try playing a song with the Soul Ensnaring Zither?" Ai Wan suddenly said.
"What song should I play?"
"Maybe something the Zither Goddess used to play?"
Yuan nodded and took a seat in front of the immortal cave before retrieving the Soul Ensnaring Zither.
"Senior apprentice-sister, who is this guy? I don't recognize him." One of the disciples there asked her.
"I don't know him either." Ai Wan calmly responded.
The disciples looked at her with wide eyes, as they were not expecting such an answer. In fact, they believed that she was only joking with them.
Once Yuan was seated, he took a deep breath before playing Zither Goddess's Ethereal Arts before the immortal cave.
His performance immediately shocked the spectators.
'This guy… He's really in a different world in terms of talent…' Ai Wan sighed inwardly, and her disappointment in Yuan for not taking advantage of such talents grew stronger.
A few minutes later, Yuan stopped playing the zither when the song finished, but there was no response from the Zither Goddess' immortal cave.
"I-It's not opening…" Ai Wan mumbled in a dazed voice.
"Sorry that I couldn't be of any help," Yuan said to her afterward.
"No, don't worry about it. I should be apologizing for wasting your time."
"What a pity, though. I really wanted to see her immortal cave…" Yuan sighed as he placed his hand on the large boulder that hasn't budged for over 20,000 years.
It was at this moment the boulder suddenly began trembling.
However, before Yuan could even react, his vision suddenly blacked out, almost like someone had turned off all the lights in a room.
"W-Where am I?" Yuan looked around, but even with his enhanced vision, he was unable to see anything.
Meanwhile, outside Zither Goddess' immortal cave, Ai Wan and the other disciples were shocked by what they had just witnessed.
"H-He disappeared!" One of the disciples there exclaimed after snapping out of his daze.
"Where did he go?! He was just standing there a second ago!"
Ai Wan quickly went to touch the boulder just like Yuan did, but nothing happened.
"This has never happened before!" She muttered in a voice of disbelief.
After standing there for a moment, Ai Wan turned around and began running away.
"W-Where are you going, senior apprentice-sister?!" The other disciples called out to her.
"I am going to get my Master!" she said.
And she continued, "You guys stay there just in case he returns!"
Sometime later, she arrived at the Sect Master's headquarters.
"Master! Are you here?!" Ai Wan rushed into the building while shouting.
"What happened?" Song Ling'er frowned when she saw how frantic Ai Wan was acting.
"D-Do you remember Yuan? That person who was at the zither competition? He disappeared!" She said, confusing Song Ling'er.
"What are you talking about? Start from the beginning, and slow down." Song Ling'er said.
Ai Wan took a few deep breaths before explaining to Song Ling'er the situation.
"He disappeared right in front of you after touching Zither Goddess' immortal cave? How is that possible?"
"It's true, Master! There are other disciples that witnessed it!"
"Let's go. We're going to the immortal caves." Song Ling'er said as she stood up.
Ai Wan then followed Song Ling'er back to the immortal caves.. Ai Wan hoped that Yuan would have returned by then, but alas, he was still nowhere to be seen.