After the storm, the group prepared to board a ship for the Bonesea. This group consisted of Ruyan, Jianshi, Daoist Puresun, Xiong Qianbei, and Fairy.
Ruyan was puzzled by this choice: "Why are you bringing Fairy along?"
Ever since Fairy got here, she rarely talked to others outside of Li Qiye. If she wasn't with him, she would be in her room, alone. It was as if she was out of tune with others. She gave a surreal feeling, one of not belonging to this world.
Ruyan looked at the emotionless fairy and commented: "Maybe she doesn't belong to this world and is an immortal goddess that fell down to the mortal realm."
Li Qiye only smiled in response: "The world doesn't necessarily have immortals or an immortal world."
But regardless of whether there were immortals in this world or not, anyone who had seen Fairy before would be amazed and enchanted.
"If immortals exist, she would definitely be considered one." Daoist Puresun was bewildered after seeing her as well.
At this time, Li Qiye's group was waiting for boneships. Another group of ships had arrived, but Li Qiye chose not to board.
Ruyan saw that Li Qiye had no intention of boarding as more ships passed by and had to ask: "When are we boarding?"
"Waiting for a bigger and sturdier ship." Li Qiye answered while staring at the muddled waters.
He took out a wooden box and protection talismans before distributing them to the group: "Stick this on your body so the skeletons won't attack you after we get on."
These were the talismans he bought from Old Chu. Of course, he was confident in distinguishing good items from fakes.
The group took them and remembered his instruction.
"A big ship is coming." After a long wait, a great ship capable of accommodating more than one thousand passengers finally came. It looked as if it was made from a gigantic skull and emitted a dense white glow.
There were many skeletons lying on the ship. One was an unknown race with four legs and eight arms. A half dragon, half snake creature was present as well among certain gigantic skeletons. It could be said that there were more than just the remains of cultivators on this ship, there were also skeletons of fierce beasts.
All the waiting cultivators could only watch. A few big characters from the previous generation couldn't help but lick their lips. Everyone knew that the bigger ships were safer. Of course, the first condition was to take down all the skeletons.
Without doing so, climbing on board would simply be suicidal. However, the creatures were stronger on bigger ships. If one wasn't strong enough, it would be a foolish endeavor to board. Thus, as this huge ship approached, people only kept on watching.
"Come." Li Qiye ordered and jumped up with Fairy. The rest of the group easily made the leap as well.
Afterward, they followed Li Qiye's instruction and placed the talismans on their bodies. Sure enough, the skeletons didn't move at all; it was as if they didn't notice the intruders' presence. The crowd felt quite envious after seeing the successful boarding. However, it stopped at envy since they didn't dare to follow them.
"Is that a phoenix skeleton?" Ruyan noticed a particular corpse on the deck. It looked like a giant bird. Even though countless years had passed and its bones had been charred, its divinity was still flashing on the broken fragments.
It maintained some divinity after the relentless torture of time. One could easily imagine just how powerful and frightening this bird used to be.
"It isn't that easy to meet a real phoenix in this world. It is a priceless and invincible creature, after all." Li Qiye smiled and shook his head: "It is already remarkable enough to have some of a phoenix's bloodline."
Jianshi curiously asked: "Where did these bones come from? Are these experts who have died while adventuring in the Bonesea?"
Li Qiye answered: "Not necessarily. In a certain sense, the dead adventurers only make up a small portion here."
It was the daoist's turn to ask questions: "I heard the Bonesea contains mountains of skeletons. Are there any differences between the skeletons here and the ones at the Bonesea? Why are they on these ships that follow this pattern of going back and forth?"
Li Qiye chuckled at this question: "This is a key question. Your four branches, starting from Immortal Emperor Gu Chun all the way to Immortal Emperor Yan Shi, could be considered the lineage who has explored the Bonesea the most. You might not know about this, but they certainly were aware of many things."
The daoist cupped his fists and humbly said: "I would like to hear your opinion to have a better understanding."
Li Qiye smiled and politely refused: "I can't answer a few questions because your ancestors have their reasons and plans for not telling their descendants. However, I can answer the last question for you."
He stared into the vast sea ahead and continued: "The reason why these boneships go back and forth is that they have no escape, they're unable to leave the Bonesea. In a certain sense, these skeletons on the ships want to flee from the Bonesea. Alas, it is but a pipedream."
"They want to escape?" The group was astounded after hearing this. Xiong Qianbei had to ask: "But they're already dead. Is it out of a desire to return to their home to be buried there?"
"A burial at home?" Li Qiye couldn't help but chuckle. He shook his head and replied: "Heaven Spirit isn't their home."
"What does that mean?" Ruyan became curious: "They came from other places when they were alive?"
"You are thinking about a different matter entirely." Li Qiye slightly smiled: "Very few who have died in the Bonesea are qualified to sit on this particular ship. To be able to get up from the bottom of the sea and onto this ship means that they were extremely powerful!"
"Where did these skeletons come from then?" The daoist's heart skipped a beat as he thought about some old records from his sect.
Li Qiye avoided the question while calmly commenting: "In a very distant era, they were unwilling and full of regret. Because of that, you can see this scene right now — these boneships drifting in the Bonesea. Some just travel aimlessly while others might make it to the edge, but in the end, escape is not their fate."
Jianshi asked: "Not even one can escape?"
Li Qiye turned quiet for a long time before answering: "There are some, but that is far back in the past."
"Just what kind of skeleton is capable of this then?" Ruyan was very interested in this topic. The formation of the Bonesea had always been an unsolved mystery.
Li Qiye smiled again but didn't answer this time.
While the group was enjoying their chat, Fairy hadn't said anything after boarding. She didn't only look at the skeletons but also tilted her head in contemplation. Her beautiful eyes became incomparably bright and enchanting. However, this flash only lasted for a moment before her pupils became dazed again. She thought quite hard, but nothing came of it.
"Did you remember anything?" Li Qiye gently patted her hair as she stood there in a solitary daze.
She stared at him with vacant eyes and earnestly replied: "I seemed to remember something, but it is too vague, nothing specific."
He gently said: "Some things will come naturally when the time is right. You will remember eventually."
Still a bit perplexed, she nodded and eventually spoke: "I don't know why, but my heart aches sometimes as if it has happened before."