"Official Lord, you must not!" Bo Zhu rushed over and hugged Cui Jue's leg, looking at him pitifully, tears flowing out when his eyes were squeezed.
Xie Bi An begged immediately: "Official Lord, please don't be angry, though master's character is unruly, he has no evil intentions, just forgive him."
Zhong Kui was shocked too: "Zi Yu, don't be impetuous, I was wrong. We have been friends for so many years, do you bear to see me die an untimely death?"
Night Patrol also advised: "Official Lord, please think twice."
Cui Jue laughed coldly: "You ignored the underworld's laws, broke them countless times, looking at how the Emperor heavily relies on you, I have never punished you. Seems like I've been too lenient on you, such that you have been unbridled." He opened his lips slightly, blew a magical breath towards the book, the pages flipped with a rustling sound, finally a page was displayed, "Today I will let you know, the underworld's law..." He lowered his eyes and looked at the book, yet he was suddenly stunned.
Everyone was staring at Cui Jue's changing expression. The inner Jiuyun palace immediately became extremely quiet.
Fan Wu She broke the silence: "Official Lord, what's wrong?"
Cui Jue stared at Zhong Kui, his eyes were slightly bloodshot, his chest heaved heavily once, reprimanded: "You've always been acting in your own ways and don't listen to advice. Is it because you thought that you're very capable, so there won't be any taboos? As a martial judge, don't you know by randomly creating karmas it will lead to sufferings?!"
Xie Bi An has never seen this state of Cui Jue before, he had a bad feeling: "Official Lord, wh-what's wrong?"
Zhong Kui put away his smiling face, muttering to himself irresolutely: "My predestined lifespan has shortened, right?"
Xie Bi An froze. According to Zhong Kui's cultivation level, living over a hundred years is not a problem at all, if it's just decreased by ten or twenty years, Cui Jue wouldn't even react like this, unless...
Cui Jue closed the book, his lips shut tight.
"How many years left?" Zhong Kui asked and answered himself: "Oh, you can't say. Seems like there's not much left."
Xie Bi An anxiously said: "Official Lord, c-could you have seen wrongly? Take a look again, how can it decrease without any reason?"
"In this world, there is no ‘without any reason’." Cui Jue said softly, "You reap what you sow, you interfere with human matters frequently, you will only carry more and more karma."
Zhong Kui smiled: "I'm a living being originally, how can I be detached from the world of mortals totally? If it's because of a fear of death and am just hiding in the underworld, not getting involved in karma, then what's the point of cultivating in life? Life and death have their quota, there's nothing much, moreover, after I die, I'll officially be an Yin servant."
Bo Zhu hugged Cui Jue's leg, entreated: "Official Lord, can you increase Heaven Master's predestined lifespan? He has been chivalrous in the human realm, it's a blessing."
"Bo Zhu, don't speak rashly." Zhong Kui lightly reprimanded, "Official Lord Cui cannot be bribed."
"Someone who can increase predestined lifespan must have a huge amount of merits, you used the Eastern Emperor's Bell to reconstruct the enchantment of Fengdu, which has increased your life by 20 years, but you inadvertently created this cause and effect..." Cui Jue said angrily, "What did you do when you went to the human realm?!"
The three masters and apprentices went silent. At Mount Shu, Zhong Kui had conflicts with the leader of the world of immortality. It may be a possible reason for wanting Zhong Kui's life.
"Night Patrol said you all stayed in Mount Shu for several days. One night, a strong ghostly energy appeared in Cangfeng. What really happened to you all in Mount Shu? Is it related to this matter?"
Xie Bi An looked at Zhong Kui uneasily, eyes filled with anxiousness.
Fan Wu She whispered: "Senior brother, don't worry, karma can be reversed."
Zhong Kui replied: "In the cave of Cangfeng, we found a wild ghost sealed by a demonic formation, it’s likely that Li Bu Yu did it."
Night Patrol said, puzzled: "The yang energy in Mount Shu is very concentrated, I can't even get near Cangfeng. Why didn't that ghost get spotted before?"
"That night, there was a small movement in Mount Shu, the formation was destroyed, and then he was released."
Night Patrol frowned thoughtfully.
Cui Jue solemnly said: "Karma may indeed be reversed, your destiny depends on your choices in the future. Since you've been involved in this matter, you can only take one step at a time."
"No matter what, I will track it down." Zhong Kui laughed, "You guys don't have to be so serious, I really want to know, who can really kill me."
"Master, don't talk nonsense." Xie Bi An's expression was extremely unsightly, "We must never allow this karma to happen."
Zhong Kui patted Xie Bi An's shoulder: "Good disciple, it's okay, everything is fixed. Don't worry about it."
After Cui Jue left, Xie Bi An kept frowning, his mind in chaos.
Seeing his dazed expression, Fan Wu She called helplessly: "Senior brother, senior brother?"
"Huh?" Xie Bi An looked at Fan Wu She.
"It's time to change the dressings for me."
"Oh, right." Xie Bi An took the first aid kit, carefully treated Fan Wu She's wound, and said softly, "This injury heals more every day, it won't be long before your arm can move."
"Senior brother, you don't need to think too much, a person who makes any choices will affect the future, so this matter still has many turns for the better."
"Of course, I know. One can become a Buddha or a demon within a moment. Karma always exists within one object, one word, and one matter." Xie Bi An said solemnly, "It's just that, with master's cultivation level, he's no longer suffering from illness and old age. Only accidents can take away his predestined lifespan, and this accident..."
And this accident could only be slaughter. In the human and ghost realms, there are not many who are capable of killing Zhong Kui, yet Zhong Kui happened to offend one just now, how can one not worry?
"Master definitely knows these worries in his heart. He's not someone who will have his hands tied, waiting to be captured. Now we all know this matter, it's actually a good thing, let us be more on guard of Li Bu Yu."
Xie Bi An nodded and sighed lightly: "Whatever you say. I just...Master raised me up. He's like a father to me, someone very important to me. I can't let anything bad happen to him."
Fan Wu She was silent for a moment: "Your most important person, even if he died, you can still meet again in the underworld."
"Nevertheless, master is nostalgic for the world. If master is lucky enough to ascend, it is good, but I'll never see him again. If he can't ascend and continue to be a judge, he'll never be able to travel around the world and taste the best wine again. He would be very sad. Who knows, maybe he wants to go through reincarnation. If he reincarnates, I also cannot see him." Xie Bi An rubbed his painful temple again, "Master cannot die, he shouldn't die."
"He won't die." Fan Wu She hasn't changed his voice completely, his voice has a childish, youthful tone, but with that determined tone, whatever he says can comfort people, "We will find out the truth and pre-empt so that Li Bu Yu has no chance to harm master."
Xie Bi An clenched his fists secretly: "Wu She, teach me the Zongxuan sword technique."
"You really want to learn it?"
"Yeah." Xie Bi An's gaze was firm, "I'm not strong enough. If I'm strong enough, you will not get hurt, and master can get an extra helping hand. Though master's Qingfeng sword technique is also powerful, I have a feeling the Zongxuan sword technique fits me inexplicably. I definitely can master it."
"You said you could guess my sword technique at that time."
"Yes, doesn't this mean that I have fate with this sword technique?" Xie Bi An said, "I won't display it in front of others easily, so don't tell master about it. Maybe both of us can integrate Qingfeng and ZongXuan sword techniques, and exert greater power."
Fan Wu She said: "Okay, I'll teach you."
Zong Zi Heng in the previous life had broken through the eighth heaven of the Zongxuan sword. This kind of talent engraved in the life grid may not even change if he was reborn.
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An's eagerness to try and felt sentimental. This supreme talent is both a gift and a curse. He remembered what Shen Shi Yao said to him ----the sun and moon cannot shine at the same time.
That is the root of all tragedies.
Fortunately, in this present life, they don't have any conflict of interest, Xie Bi An has no possibility to become Zong Zi Heng.
During Fan Wu She's recovery period, Zhong Kui and Chunyang Sect had contact twice. He strongly urged Zhaowen to wait for the elder to invite Xu Zhi Nan to come out early.
Originally, he was supposed to go there personally, but ever since the Book of Life and Death matter happened, Xie Bi An was more nervous than anyone, and doesn't allow him to go to the human realm easily no matter what. In the end, both of them took a step back, if after Fan Wu She fully recovered, Zhaowen still disagrees, the three of them will go to Chunyang Sect together.
So these days, Zhong Kui obediently stayed in the underworld, and Xie Bi An hardly went to the mortal world except for harvesting souls and making purchases. He practiced swords every day, and in private, Fan Wu She secretly guided him in learning the Zongxuan sword technique. Just as he thought, he seemed to have a certain perception of this sword technique by nature. He learns fast and improves every day.
After getting along for a long time, Fan Wu She realized, although Zhong Kui is a master, Xie Bi An is more likely the one who calls the shots. In and out, big and small, without omission. Everything is handled as if the sense of mission as the "eldest son" is born inside him. It's exactly the same as Zong Zi Heng in the past.
For example, during this period of time, in order to heal Fan Wu She, every soup was medicinal. In pursuit of efficacy, taste must be sacrificed. Zhong Kui and Bo Zhu both complained endlessly. Fan Wu She also found it unpleasant, but he never complained. One is that he likes Xie Bi An's intentions for him, and the other is that he knows that it's useless to complain. Xie Bi An has the final say in regards to eating.
It's just that his injuries have almost healed. All the blood that was lost has been replenished. It's inevitable that some uncontrollable reactions will occur if he continues taking the supplements.
Tonight, because his wound was growing new flesh, he was always itchy. It was still okay when he's awake, yet at night he has the urge to scratch in his sleep. In order to prevent him from scratching his wound, Xie Bi An slept with him. He fell asleep with the refreshing fragrance of orchids, his blood boiled and rushed in his body, and his consciousness was dim. There seemed to be an incomparably sweet thing around him, tempting him to approach...
"Song Zi Xiao ... you ... you beast ... let go of me!"
Beside the ear is a panting curse, filled with humiliation. The breath contains a sweet-smelling orchid fragrance. The body is a constant source of stimulation. Right before the eyes are messy bedding and thick and long black hair, like splashed ink painting a whole picture scroll. That porcelain white face, scarlet lips, and two moist and watery eyes; it was unclear which was added as the finishing touch. This artwork cannot be even more fresh and lively.
The person under the body is his beloved.*
"Big brother ..." he heard his own voice. Trembling, repressed, manic and greedy.
"You don't deserve to call me big brother!"
"And you don't deserve to be a big brother either." He slammed hard, looking at the man's twisted face with supreme satisfaction in both mind and body.
"Beast ... bastard ..." The man was powerless to resist, and in this situation, instead of being hostile, the painful rebuke showed a bit of anger, which is only more inviting.
He clutched that narrow jaw: "Why have you lost weight. Is it that you are not eating properly again? Do you want me to feed you myself?"
"F*** off!" He leaned down, licked and kissed the already red and swollen lips. His compelling voice mixed with a flirtatious laugh: "Can't stand it anymore? Want me to leave you alone?"
"Call me Xiao Jiu."
"Bastard, you are not Xiao Jiu!"
"You're not the big brother I had in mind either, but who told you to still wear this skin that can seduce me." He pressed against that translucent red ear and threatened, "Scream. If not, for this whole night, don’t you think I will let you go.”
The man bit his lip, as if no matter what, he is not willing to let this man, who tortured and humiliated him, and that name be linked together.
"Scream, scream ah!"
The stoic silence was only rewarded with more frantic invasion and plunder.
The sea of suffering is endless, you and I sink together.
As he slept, Xie Bi An suddenly felt a growing stifling heat, as if he was pressed against something hot and constantly emitting heat, making his whole body hot. He opened his eyes with a grimace.
There was something heavy and suffocating on his chest and he stretched his neck to find an arm across his chest and a black head resting on his shoulder socket. Half of his arm was numb and he was having some trouble breathing. That wasn't the worst of it, as he came to his senses, he became aware of something hard that had been rubbing against his leg.
With sleepy eyes open, Xie Bi An stared at the head in confusion, and when he finally realized what exactly was pushing against him, all the heat instantly rushed to his brain. At that moment it was as if he was being cooked. He sprang up violently, trying to push Fan Wu She away.
When he moved, Fan Wu She reacted even more, unconsciously tightening his waist and wrapping his arms and legs around his torso like a snake, muttering something under his breath that seemed to be a rebuke, but was slurred.
Xie Bi An's scalp tingled and his ears turned red with anxiety, wanting to throw Fan Wu She off but was concerned about his shoulder injury.
As he hesitated, Fan Wu She's breath hit his neck, like a gentle brush of feathers or a frivolous caress of fingertips, hot, itchy and dry. Never had he been so embarrassed and flustered before that Xie Bi An couldn’t bear it anymore and pushed Fan Wu She away.
This burst of pain yanked Fan Wu She’s sanity back to the present moment. He opened his eyes in a daze, as if wiping away the morning mist from a bronze mirror, and the image before his eyes became clear. Xie Bi An's ripe, red, humiliated face was reflected in his pupils. Dreams and reality were intertwined and disordered. The walls that had been built over a hundred years collapsed at this moment, crumbling to pieces, and flying into dust. Some voice whispered in his ears, enticing him to unleash the beast within the gates, leaving all scruples behind and to feed on with fury.
Eat him, do what you have always wanted to do. He is yours, you can do anything to him.
Xie Bi An was startled by Fan Wu She's scarlet eyes. He snapped back to life and said angrily, "Fan Wu She, are you dazed from sleeping?!”
This roar shook Fan Wu She's disorganized soul back into place. He looked down to see his own part sticking up and was momentarily stunned.
Xie Bi An was so embarrassed that he wanted to bury his head under the bed. He gathered up his undergarments and stood up and thought calmly: This is the period when Fan Wu She is having puberty, and it is inevitably uncontrollable in his sleep. Was he too fierce to him? Fan Wu She swallowed, but his throat was dry and about to burn. He calmly asked, "Senior brother, what did I do to you?"
Xie Bi An simply wanted to explode, couldn't this boy give each other a way out of an embarrassing situation. Did he have to be so blunt!?
"Senior brother." Fan Wu She looked up at Xie Bi An, "What did I do and what did I say?" He didn't know if he had said anything he shouldn't have said after having that kind of dream.
Xie Bi An clenched his fist and began to find his way out of an embarrassing situation: "No, it's nothing, you ... said something in your dream and I didn't hear it. At your age, like this, it’s, it's normal."
The way Xie Bi An was so ashamed and yet so calm, one could never get tired of looking at him. Fan Wu She licked his lips lightly and had the idea to tease, asking in pretend ignorance, "Is it normal for me to be like this ...? Sometimes I get up in the morning like this, senior brother, are you like this too?"
Xie Bi An just felt smoke coming out of his head as he stammered, "Maybe, everyone, all, all the same."
"So, do you have dreams like that, too?"
"..." It was better not to mention the dream, but when he did, Xie Bi An instantly remembered the dream he had in Yunding, which he had desperately tried to forget, but now that he was forced to remember it. He was simply embarrassed to the extreme.
"Senior brother." Fan Wu She came to the edge of the bed, his glittering eyes blinking at Xie Bi An, "I dreamt that I was naked, with a ..."
Xie Bi An covered Fan Wu She's mouth: "Don't say anything improper."
Fan Wu She's eyes fluttered for a moment as he yanked the hand off, "I just want to talk to someone. I don't even know who to talk to." "I ..." Looking at this Fan Wu She, who was bewildered even by the strands of his hair, Xie Bi An began to blame himself again. Fan Wu She had no father or brother, and as a senior brother, it was his duty to give him the right guidance. "I can't say it clearly. I'll bring you something tomorrow. You'll understand when you read it."
"What is it?"
Xie Bi An lowered his voice and said, "Some picture books, don't tell master."
A hint of cunning flashed in Fan Wu She's eyes, "Okay."
"How's your shoulder?" Xie Bi An suddenly remembered the purpose of his stay here for the night.
"Well, it hurts a little." Fan Wu She covered his shoulder.
Xie Bi An lifted his shirt and looked at it, "Luckily, the wound did not open. You should rest early and never scratch it."
"Aren't you going to sleep with me?"
"Your room is too hot." Xie Bi An quickly said, "I'm going back."
The corners of his lips lifted into a smile as Fan Wu She watched Xie Bi An grab the door and leave. He lay back down on the bed, and as soon as he closed his eyes, all he could see before him was the exquisite colors of his dream. The man's flushed face, his suppressed voice, his highly heated body, all of it. All of it, driving him crazy.
He would get back everything that had belonged to him in his previous life, including that person.
The next day, there was no more medicinal food on the table. Zhong Kui was overjoyed: "It's a good thing we don't make those weird and unusual things anymore, I'm already craving for vegetarian food."
Bo Zhu also looked like he was about to cry with joy: "The food is still as good as it was before, I missed it so much I could die. No wait, I am already dead ..."
Xie Bi An coughed lightly, "Wu She's injury is almost healed, so there is no need to supplement anymore."
Fan Wu She nodded: "Well, too much qi and blood is not a good thing.
Anything that goes too far is just as bad as not going far enough."
Xie Bi An gave Fan Wu She a sidelong glance, wondering if this was a statement made with intent. After he went back last night, he couldn't sleep at all, and after he enlightened himself for half a day, he felt that he had made a big deal out of it. When a man is in his young-and-strong period, accidents like this happen from time to time. Fan Wu She did not do it on purpose when he fell asleep and dreamed, so if he takes it to heart too much, he will appear to be narrow-minded, then he will not have the demeanor of an adult and elder brother.
So in the afternoon, after practicing with his sword, Xie Bi An took his treasured beautiful book and pornographic picture book. He quietly and gently gave them to Fan Wu She. When he was travelling in the mortal realm, he was curious about all sorts of things and loved to buy them. He bought everything else in a generous manner, except for these books, which he hid, fearing that Bo Zhu would find them when spring cleaning.
Fan Wu She flipped through the covers and pulled out one of the books, deliberately pretending to be naive: "Senior brother, this book, 'The Treasure of Flower Tasting', is it about how to enjoy flowers?"
Xie Bi An was shocked and snatched it away, "You can't read this one." "Why?" Xie Bi An was so annoyed that he wanted to bash himself. It was the fault of the bookstall owner, who said it was cheaper to buy all five books together and highly recommended this one, saying how good it was. He also wants to save his own face, so he dared not open it to see whether it was really "good" or not, so he bought it together. It was only when he got home and looked at it that he realized it was written about gays, so he sealed it off. Not realizing that he hadn't noticed it today and took it with him.
He asked, "Why can't I read it? Senior brother, I want to read it." He was about to get it while saying.
Xie Bi An hid the book behind his back, "This one is not good, I didn't read it either, just, just flipped through it a bit, it's very bad, you can't read it, just read the other ones."
"I think the title of that book is very elegant, it must be a good book, I want to ..."
"You don't want to." Xie Bi An tucked that 'The Treasure of Flower Tasting' into his inner lapel, looked around like a thief, and whispered, "Remember, you can't let Master know, and you can't let Bo Zhu know."
"Okay." Fan Wu She nodded, "If there is something I don't understand, can I ask for advice from senior brother?"
"You will naturally understand when you read it!" Xie Bi An walked away in a huff.
Fan Wu She laughed non-stop. It turned out that this man had so many interesting expressions that he had never seen before. He had missed so much in his previous life, and in this lifetime he would have to make up for it.
The person under the body is his beloved.* [⾝下⼈，是⼼上⼈] the
translation kind of destroyed the romantic feel xD If I were to translate in a
crude way, it's "Body below person, is heart above person" xD
After winter, the first snow fell on the mortal realm, and they received a reply from the Chunyang Sect, inviting Zhong Kui to Jingzhou after the New Year to discuss the invitation of Xu Zhi Nan out of seclusion. Seems like these few times of sending letters are not in vain.
Compared to their concern for the identity of the evil spirit, the Wuliang Sect's response was indifferent, and there has been no news about them since they left Mount Shu. Even Lan Chui Han had written to ask about the progress once, but Wuliang Sect had not even bothered to make a perfunctory reply and did not investigate at all. When they thought that Zhong Kui had inexplicably reduced his life because of this incident, they were even more determined to find out the truth.
While Fan Wu She was recovering from his injuries, he was almost "grounded" in the Heaven Master Palace and was bored out of his mind, so as soon as he recovered, he proposed to wander around the Underworld.
It was only then that Xie Bi An remembered that since he had come to the Underworld, he had been moving around almost exclusively in the Heaven Master Palace, and as impermanence, even if he was not officially appointed, he should be more familiar with the place.
The brothers left the Heaven Master Palace and flew deeper into Mount Luofeng on their swords. The Heaven Master Palace is built at the foot of Mount Luofeng. The magistrate's palace and the residences of the underworld generals are built around the mountain. Surrounded by mist, visibility is very low and often feels isolated. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of ghosts in the Underworld, but they are all in their own places. As you look upwards, you can see palaces and beacon towers among the mist, ghostly fires lining the paths, smoke of wolves’ dung* and meteors, making the whole Mount Luofeng look like a volcano with lava flowing from it. Another river comes from the sky and flows down into Jiuyou and into the infinite darkness.
Mount Luofeng in the human realm is much the same as any other mountain in the world, and this spiritual, eerie beauty only belongs to the ghost world.
Xie Bi An stood tall on his sword. The wind from the mountain blew, his white clothes fluttering and rattling as he exclaimed, "Beautiful, isn't it?"
"From here, you can get a general view of the Underworld." Xie Bi An pointed at his feet, "The underlings take the human souls through the Yin Yang Monument, walk through the Huangquan Road, and then through the Ghost Willow. The first place they reach is the Mirror of Sins. The Mirror of Sins can reveal a person's good and evil virtues. If they are good or if their good offset against evil, they can be sent directly to reincarnation; if they are evil or if they have difficulty distinguishing between good and evil, they will be sent to the ten Yanluo Halls for trial, and that is the Yanluo Hall."
Halfway up the mountain, there are ten majestic palaces spread out, each bearing a flag.
"Underneath the Yanluo Hall is the entrance to hell. If you want to go and see it ...," Xie Bi An turned to Fan Wu She, but saw him looking at the Yanluo Hall with a stony expression, as if there was some kind of flooding beast there," … Wu She?"
Fan Wu She said, "I don't want to go."
"Well, that place makes people unwell, so it's better not to go." Xie Bi An flew forward and made a small half circle around the mountain, "This river is called Wangchuan. See that bridge over the river? That is the Naihe Bridge. People who are going to reincarnate have to pass this bridge and drink Mengpo Soup on the bridge to forget their past and re-enter reincarnation."
"Mengpo Soup." Fan Wu She said softly, "You drank Mengpo Soup." "Of course." Xie Bi An said, "Everyone has to drink it, and you drank it
too, otherwise you wouldn't be able to reincarnate. However, there are exceptions." He pointed to Wangchuan River and said, "This water comes from the sky and turns black when it flows down to the ground, but in fact it is not black, but blood red. There are countless ghosts drowning in it. They want to bring their memories and reincarnate, so they are not willing to drink Mengpo Soup and could only cross Wangchuan River. But the majority of them lost themselves in Wangchuan and became wild and lonely ghosts.”
Fan Wu She secretly clenched his fist and said in a low voice, "I didn't drink it."
"What?" Xie Bi An didn't hear clearly.
We had agreed that no one would drink and we would meet again when we reunite, yet you reneged on your promise and forgot about me.
"Why should I drink." Fan Wu She raised his voice, "Is there no memories
worth keeping alive for this lifetime, and the people in this lifetime?”
Xie Bi An thought for a moment, "There’s definitely memories worth keeping alive. But if you can't let go of the past, how can you start again in the next life."
"Why must we start over, many people live their whole lives without understanding at all, and starting over from scratch is just repeating the same mistakes." "You're right. But I think that reincarnation is a lesson for everyone. To cultivate goodness, to cultivate evil, to cultivate poverty, to cultivate wealth, to cultivate health, to cultivate sickness and weakness. Only by maintaining one's original heart and one's thoughts for goodness in every life's trials can one cultivate full merit and virtue and transcend reincarnation and be free from its suffering. Drinking Mengpo soup is actually giving one a chance to start all over again, otherwise many people would just repeat the same mistakes and obstinately stick to the wrong course."
Fan Wu She was silent.
Xie Bi An smiled lightly, "Besides, after a hundred years of life, at the end of the day, one doesn't even care about one's life anymore, and there are actually very few things that are important enough to part with."
"Very little." Fan Wu She gazed into the distance, "But as long as there is one thing, it is worth going through fire and water*."
Xie Bi An snorted, "You're so young, why do you sound so mellow?"
Fan Wu She turned his face away and pondered for a moment, "Senior brother, can you take me to see the Eastern Emperor’s Bell?"
"Sure. Have you heard many legends of the Eastern Emperor's Bell in folklore?"
"You've never been to Kunlun either, have you? Have you never seen any of the four ancient magical weapons?"
"Haha, senior brother will take you to see the world today."
The two of them flew into the mountain range, and a flat valley appeared between the two peaks. Looking from the sky, a huge spell formation was painted on the ground, and the eye of the formation was none other than a large antique golden bell. When they landed, the bell looked even bigger, like a giant tree. The body of the bell was covered with many dirty and stained signs of age, but the inscriptions were still clear.
Xie Bi An couldn't help but say proudly, "This is our master's magical weapon, it's really intimidating."
Fan Wu She looked at the Eastern Emperor's Bell in silence, his heart stirring for a few moments. He was someone who had used Shen Nong Ding to forge a sword and had mastered two ancient magical weapons, but only at this moment when he saw the Eastern Emperor's Bell did he believe that the folklore was true, that this Eastern Emperor's Bell was worthy of being the first of the four ancient magical weapons, and that just being near it gave him a sense of divine power that forced him to bow down and worship.
Xie Bi An walked into the spell formation, "Wu She, you can come closer to see it, you can also touch it, it's okay."
Fan Wu She walked over. He stretched out his hand and gently stroked the body of the bell, which felt warm, cool and heavy to the touch. The thought that it was a divine object from a million years ago makes people fill with deep veneration.
"This Eastern Emperor's Bell, a man can touch it, but a ghost cannot touch it." Xie Bi An's finger curled slightly and knocked on the bell, "but we cannot make a sound or shake it a bit, only the Master can."
"With this divine object, it would be easy to unify the Immortal Cultivation World. Unexpectedly, Master is willing to put it here to mend the boundary instead."
"That's why Master is admired by the world." There was admiration in Xie Bi An's eyes, "Although Master, as a person, is sometimes unreliable, he has a red heart and a heart for the people, which no one can compare to."
Fan Wu She's feelings were somewhat mixed. He was both disdainful and had to admire Zhong Kui's broad-mindedness. So selfless and generous, he could not do it.
He did not want admiration, he wanted submission. He wanted those things that had been taken away from him to return obediently one by one, and that man he wanted, his eyes cannot have others except for him.
Xie Bi An put his ear to the Eastern Emperor's Bell and whispered, "Wu She, listen, it seems like you can hear a sound."
Fan Wu She followed his example and closed his eyes.
The clouds in the highest heaven opened, the holy light shone, and a distant and magnificent sound of the bell came from the sky, gong - like a dragon whistling, like a thunderclap. It’s lingering sound uninterrupted, traveling through millions of years of time, piercing through the three realms of the ghost, mortal and immortal, pulling the heartbeat of all living creatures, resonating with them in their chests, rivers and lakes, flowing through all limbs and bones, towering mountains and precipitous ridges, sculpting flesh and bones, the essence of the sun and moon, transforming the soul and the spirit.
It called out to the living beings with a deafening bell sound, and all three worlds responded to its call.
Fan took a violent step backwards, panting heavily. A layer of sweat appearing on his forehead.
Xie Bi An pressed his shoulder soothingly, "I forgot to tell you, the divine power of the Eastern Emperor's Bell is too strong. You cannot touch it for too long. It will mess with your mind. Let's go back."
As the two of them walked out of the spell formation, Fan Wu She looked back at the Eastern Emperor’s Bell again, "Senior brother, if there was an Eastern Emperor’s Bell a hundred years ago, what would have happened?"
"Song Zi Xiao would not have been able to raise that much of a stir." Xie Bi An said with determination. "Makes sense." That was why this object had to be a barrier forever. He would never let anyone stand in his way.
The two of them circled around Mount Luofeng and returned to the Heaven Master Palace.
As soon as they landed, Xie Bi An's gaze fell on Fan Wu She’s hands, seeming to notice something, "Hey, your sleeves, did they get shorter?"
Fan Wu She slightly unfolded his arms, "It seems a bit."
"You've grown taller?" Xie Bi An held his wrist and stretched his arms straight, comparing them, "It's really the age when you jump up sharply. In a little more than half a year's time, the clothes became surprisingly short."
"I'll be as tall as you next year." "Really? How do you know." "You'll see."
Xie Bi An skimmed, "It's a good thing that when the clothes were being tailored, the tailor thought of you growing and left a little surplus when sewing the hem so that it could be altered easily, otherwise the clothes would have been a waste." He looked down, "And the trousers, are they shorter too?"
Xie Bi An went around behind Fan Wu She again and suddenly wrapped both arms around his waist, measuring up with his hands and murmuring words under his breath.
Fan Wu She's body tensed up. A sultry fragrance mixed with warmth burrowed into all his senses. He could even feel Xie Bi An's chest unintentionally brushing against his back. He even stopped breathing.
"One, two..." Xie Bi An gestured for a moment, "Our waists are about the same. You go back tonight and change into my clothes first. Bigger ones are slightly less uncomfortable to wear than smaller ones. Give me all your clothes, I will alter them for you ."
Fan Wu She took a deep breath: "You still know how to alter clothes?" "What's so difficult about that? It would be a waste of silver to go to a
tailor for this little job." Xie Bi An smiled and patted Fan Wu She’s back, "Well, your body is much stronger, I seem to have fed you well."
Fan Wu She stole a glance at Xie Bi An, his expression didn’t change but his heart was already filled with a hint of sweetness...
In the Underworld, there are two festivals that are particularly important, one is the Ghost Festival and the other is the Chinese New Year Festival. During this period, there are many rituals and offerings in the mortal realm, and those in the underworld can receive tributes from their friends and relatives in the mortal world may also go back to visit those they miss.
Xie Bi An started early to get busy for Chinese New Year. He and Fan Wu She went to Fengdu City to buy a lot of Chinese New Year goods, such as couplets, lanterns, firecrackers and fireworks. Everything that should be here is here, and they brought them all back to decorate the Heaven Master Palace. In order to have the freshest meat, Xie Bi An even brought back two geese to keep. Live animals are not allowed in Qiankun bags. The two of them had to go through a lot of trouble for this pair of fresh meat.
Fan Wu She looked at the shit on his trouser leg and felt that his dignity as a demon supreme was being greatly provoked, but the person who had "provoked" him didn't even notice, still smiled so beautifully and wiping his sweat so gently that he couldn't even get angry.
"Wow, wow!" Bo Zhu chattered around them, "White Master, I thought you can't bring living things back to the Underworld? The last time Heaven Master brought back Black Master, Official Lord hadn't even gotten over it yet." Xie Bi An shushed, "Two geese are nothing to worry about, we'll kill one on the 30th and one on the 2nd. If Official Lord finds it delicious, he will be embarrassed to scold me.
"Then why don't you bring back more chickens and ducks? I like your chicken stew best."
"Chickens and ducks are noisy, and a goose doesn't like to honk as long as there's nothing around to startle it." Xie Bi An touched the big white goose and said, "Look, it's white and fat, it must be delicious."
"Then this goose, how do we eat it?" Bo Zhu asked, his saliva couldn't avoid dripping down.
"I'll think about it." Xie Bi An asked, "Have you sent out all the invitations you were asked to send?"
"I sent all of them."
"So the patrols are coming together?"
"Yes." Bo Zhu nodded, "It's just that one person always falls asleep and it's so awkward at dinner time."
"What's so awkward about it? As long as we're together, it's a reunion." Fan Wu She wondered, "What do you mean?"
"Oh, I don't think I've told you before. The two tour patrols…" Xie Bi An laughed, "I'll explain it to you when they come."
On New Year's Eve, Cui Jue, who had been invited to the Heaven Master Palace, and the Day Patrol and the Night Patrol all showed up at his door as scheduled. He understood what Xie Bi An and Bo Zhu had been talking about that day. The man who came with Cui Jue this time was Day Patrol, who wore the same blue suit as Night Patrol. He is handsome with an extraordinary appearance, just that he looked cold and frosty, while Night Patrol, whom he had seen before, was floating beside him as if she were asleep, which seemed strange.
Xie Bi An welcomed the guests in. After Day Patrol sat down, Xie Bi An put Night Patrol in a chair, padded the backrest and straightened her limbs and head, his movements very gentle.
Fan Wu She wondered, "This is ..."
Xie Bi An pulled him to one side and explained: “Day and Night Patrols were originally a couple. I heard that they made a terrible mistake in their life, but the emperor was touched by their deep love, so he punished them by having them patrol the mortal realm day and night. Only Day Patrol is awake during the day, after sunset, he will fall into deep sleep, whereas Night Patrol is the exact opposite. Only active at night, and will fall into a deep sleep when dawn arrives. Although the 2 of them stay together, they could only look at each other in a hurry twice a day. They might not even have time to say a word."
Fan Wu She looked at them in amazement.
"I often wonder if this is the emperor's mercy or cruelty." Xie Bi An sighed, "The moment their eyes met was all that was left between them, and the rest of the long hours were spent only guarding a sleeping lover."
"But even then, they couldn't bear to give up."
"Well, if they reincarnate, they will never see each other again, so they prefer to hold on to each other like this." Xie Bi An frowned gently, "What a deep love for each other."
A tingle of pain passed through Fan Wu She's heart. He understood this obsession to keep the other person by his side at all costs. Xie Bi An had prepared a sumptuous New Year's Eve dinner. The colors and flavors of which were so delicious that they made people's fingers tingle.
Cui Jue praised Xie Bi An and Zhong Kui tried to persuade him to drink more wine, but Cui Jue was not a strong drinker. When he drank a little, he became more of a lecturer and when he drank more, he became more poetic.
At the banquet, Bo Zhu also didn’t behave; he ate and played with fireworks sticks at the same time.
As the night arrives, Day Patrol and Night Patrol switched states, with Night Patrol occasionally feeding Day Patrol a little wine and occasionally whispering something in his ear, with a rare feminine touch on her face.
Xie Bi An and Fan Wu She also drank some wine and chatted about the world. At this moment, Fan Wu She forgot about the past for a while and focused on being his junior brother.
It had been a long time since the Heaven Master Palace had been so lively, and everyone was red-faced and joyful.
Suddenly, they heard a loud honking sound, which seemed to be a goose.
Cui Jue looked to his left and right in bewilderment, "Why, why do I seem to hear something honking."
Xie Bi An immediately sobered up and Bo Zhu looked at him nervously and said quietly, "What's going on? I thought geese didn't like to honk."
"Something must have scared it, I'll go and see." Xie Bi An said and ran outside, but before he could step outside the threshold of the Jiuyun Hall, a vermillion figure strutted in.
"Red, Red King?"
Jiang Qu Lian carried two small red clay wine jugs in his hands and smiled faintly, "How come there are geese in your Heaven Master Palace?" Xie Bi An scowled at him and waved his hand.
Jiang Qu Lian raised his eyebrows, "I thought our Impermanence was a good boy, but it turns out that he has been taught badly by his master."
Xie Bi An was embarrassed when Fan Wu She stood beside him and said warily, "What are you doing here."
"I'm here to celebrate New Years with everyone." "No one invited you."
"I know." Jiang Qu Lian said with a big smile, "I'm thick-skinned and uninvited."
Jiang Qu Lian stepped in as if no one was there, "Heaven Master, Official Lord, I've come to pay you New Year's greetings, aiya, the Patrols are here too."
Zhong Kui looked at him with a tigerish face, "What are you doing here."
"As a colleague, you didn't invite me to join you for this reunion festival, it's so sad." Jiang Qu Lian shook the wine in his hand, "I am much more generous than you. These two 100 year-old jugs of wine, does Heaven Master want to try?”
Zhong Kui's eyes lit up, "Fine, fine, the visitor is a guest, have a seat." Jiang Qu Lian sat down with a smile.
"I warn you, don't think of my magical weapon." "I indeed thought of your magical weapon, but as
long as you keep an eye on it, there's no need to worry, right?" Zhong Kui glared at Jiang Qu Lian, "Cut the crap and come drink with me, Cui Zi Yu cannot take it."
Xie Bi An watched dumbfounded as Zhong Kui and Jiang Qu Lian drank together, the two of them exchanging words and verbal sparring, but it didn't stop them from drinking with great enthusiasm.
Fan Wu She pulled Xie Bi An to one side: "Just ignore them and eat well."
Xie Bi An whispered, "We can't drink anymore, we have to help our master keep an eye on the Red King."
"Don't worry, I'm here." Fan Wu She gazed at Xie Bi An, his eyes were full of deep feelings that he himself had not even noticed, "Senior brother, this is our first New Years together, in the future…in the future let’s spend the New Years together.
Xie Bi An smiled and said: “Of course, in future we will celebrate New Years together.”
Fan Wu She raised his glass: "It's a deal." "It's a deal!"
smoke of wolves’ dung*[ 狼烟]---these are burnt at the border posts to signal alarm
going through fire and water* [赴汤蹈⽕]---not afraid of any difficulties and dangers
In the end, Xie Bi An drank too much. It was rare for the Heaven Master Palace to be so lively, and he loved it. With the festive atmosphere, the more he drank, the happier he became.
When Fan Wu She wanted to send him back to rest, he tugged on Jiang Qu Lian's sleeve and asked him not to scare his junior brother.
Jiang Qu Lian looked at Xie Bi An with a smile on his face, "So protective of your little junior brother, how cute."
"You also ... should not think of the…magical weapon" Xie Bi An said with a big tongue, "Master, Master is not afraid of you, I ... I am not afraid
... of you either."
Zhong Kui had a disgraceful expression on his face, "Quickly take him back to rest. This capacity for wine, doesn't look like my disciple at all."
"Senior brother's drinking is not bad, it's just that master has the capacity of a sea." Fan Wu She held Xie Bi An's shoulder and said softly, "Senior brother, don't drink anymore, I'll take you back to your room to rest."
Jiang Qu Lian looked at Fan Wu She's unconscious flow of tenderness and playfully hooked his lips, "So concerned about your senior brother, why don't you drink on his behalf."
Fan Wu She simply ignored him and called out, "Bo Zhu, take care of Master and Official Lord, I'm sending Senior Brother back." Bo Zhu ran over, "Ah? So early, aren't you keeping watch of the night* together? I still want to wait for White Master to set off fireworks with me."
Fan Wu She said disgustedly, "Go and play by yourself."
Xie Bi An was half dragged and half carried back to his bedroom, his mouth slurred something; saying he wanted to drink at one moment, but said no at another moment.
Fan Wu She put him to bed, took off his shoes and untied his belt so that he could be more comfortable.
Xie Bi An looked laxly at the top of his head and waved his hands in front of his eyes, "Master, Stop, stop drinking."
"You stop drinking too." Fan Wu She moistened a towel and wiped his face and hands, "Didn't you say you wanted to watch Jiang Qu Lian? Yet you drank until you were like this."
"Yes, watch, watch him, magical weapon ..."
Fan Wu She put down the towel and poked Xie Bi An's soft, white and pink cheeks with his finger: "You usually put up a brotherly front, always lecturing me, look at you now, leaning from side to side." His face was unconsciously smiling, and inside his chest was soft.
Xie Bi An pushed Fan Wu She’s hand away like a mosquito, muttering something under his breath.
Fan Wu She took his hand back and brought it to his lips, kissing it gently.
Xie Bi An yawned, already drowsy.
"Sleepy?" With one hand, Fan Wu She drew out Xie Bi An's hairpin and removed the crown, threading his hand through the thick hair, caressing it.
Xie Bi An yawned again and tried to turn around in response. However, Fan Wu She did not allow him to turn around, but instead leaned close to his face and said softly, "Call me Xiao Jiu."
Xie Bi An shook his head in bewilderment, not sure if he had listened. "Call once, call me Xiao Jiu, and I'll let you sleep." Fan Wu She gently
shook Xie Bi An, "Just call me once, okay?"
Xie Bi An looked at Fan Wu She with drunken eyes and opened his mouth, but it was an unintelligible mumbling.
"Say ah, ‘Xiao Jiu’, say it."
Xie Bi An hesitated for a long time before whispering, "... Xiao Jiu?"
Fan Wu She was stunned, almost instantly his eyes were hot. He drew a backward breath and buried his face in Xie Bi An's warm chest, as if he had suffered endless aggression, his voice was already choked: "Big brother."
Xie Bi An seemed to feel his grief and grabbed his hand in his half- asleep state.
"Big brother, I miss you so much, I really miss you so much." Fan Wu She bit his lips, "I hate you, but ... I miss you so much again."
Xie Bi An, however, had let out an even breathing sound.
Fan Wu She closed his eyes. A strong heartbeat sounded beside his ears. The sound was telling him that this person was alive. A hundred years in a flash, reincarnated and returned to him alive.
The next day when he woke up, Xie Bi An was chagrined. He hurried to see Zhong Kui and only put his mind at ease after making sure that nothing was missing from the Heaven Master Palace.
The Patrols and Jiang Qu Lian have left, only Cui Jue stayed over at the Heaven Master Palace due to drinking too much. He woke up more angry than anyone else and felt that he had lost face, and gave Zhong Kui a good scolding before leaving.
It was only after Cui Jue had left that Xie Bi An breathed a sigh of relief: "Fortunately, Official Lord doesn't remember what happened last night, so the goose wasn't found, was it?"
"No, yesterday Official Lord even complimented you on the delicious stir-fried goose meat you made." Bo Zhu said gluttonously, "The night is long, let's eat the other one as soon as possible."
"That goose is so alert. It cries when the Red King comes."
"No, I heard that the goose is more powerful than the dog in guarding the house, and is even fiercer."
"Is that so." Xie Bi An stroked his chin, "How about ... keeping it for now? The Red King is always hitting on the Master's magical weapons, and the barriers of the Heaven Master Palace can't stop him, so this goose can at least be a reminder."
Zhong Kui gave a "heh" sound, "Aren't you afraid that Zi Yu will scold you?"
"If Official Lord asks, I'll tell him I'll make him goose meat next time." Zhong Kui laughed twice, "You are worthy of being my disciple." "Heaven Master, you still said White Master was a poor drinker
yesterday, unlike your apprentice." Bo Zhu laughed playfully. "Don't talk nonsense, child."
Fan Wu She sat at the side, quietly admiring the scene of them laughing and joking, and his gaze unconsciously softened.
--- After the New Year, the three of them packed their simple clothes and planned to leave for Chunyang Sect.
Since Xie Bi An had known that Zhong Kui's life was about to end, he had hardly been allowed to leave the Underworld, so Zhong Kui was really suffocated and wanted to leave every 15 days.
Chunyang Sect was located in Jingzhou, not far away, and he arrived on the same day using his sword.
Since the destruction of the Wuyun Sect by Song Zi Xiao a hundred years ago, Chunyang Sect had become the largest sect in the Chu region, and was the only one among the sword cultivation sects, and its position had been unshakable for many years.
Chunyang Sect has even more disciples than Wuliang Sect, but the attrition is so severe that most of them leave at the age of fifteen when they reach adulthood, because of the harsh requirements of their technique, which is known as the "Die without descendants" technique.
Even so, there are countless families who are willing to send their sons to Chunyang Sect, because even if they only train for a few years, they will have a much stronger body than ordinary people. Chunyang Sect does not reject anyone, regardless of their qualifications, and is very much a Taoist sect.
It is also true that the Yuanyang technique is so good that anyone who has reached a high level of cultivation will be able to look ageless and live a long life as long as there are no accidents.
When he arrived at Chunyang Sect, Elder Zhaowen was accompanied by two of his disciples and personally welcomed them.
They were all tall, fit and well-groomed, and an outsider could tell just by looking at their physiques that they must have reached a high level of cultivation in the Yuanyang technique. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Zhong Kui asked, "Zhaowen, has Wuliang Sect sent anyone to investigate?"
"After departing from Yunding, Wuliang Sect has never come and asked?"
Zhong Kui snorted coldly, "The wild ghost was found in their territory, and they don't even care about it."
"Perhaps Immortal Lord is too busy investigating the death of his martial nephew to care about it yet." Zhaowen spoke very cautiously.
"After investigating for so long and not finding the murderer, I'm afraid it's a mystery." Zhong Kui said thoughtfully, "Either the murderer came prepared, with all the back roads arranged so as not to leave a single trace, or he may even have had the help of a mole, or he had a temporary intention, so that no one could find out the motive for a while. In short, the most unlikely is that he came specifically to steal the core."
"It's a pity." Zhaowen sighed, " Xiang Qu Zhen Ren saw one's child die before himself, and I heard that he was very ill."
"Wuliang Sect cannot find Meng Ke Fei's murderer, but we still have a chance to find your martial uncle's killer."
Zhao Wen said, "Heaven Master, things have not yet come to light, that person may not be my uncle."
Zhong Kui nodded, "We'll know when your master comes out."
Another elder said, "Heaven Master, we are reluctant to disturb the Master and have put the matter off several times. We hope Heaven Master won’t blame us. However, after thinking about it, that martial uncle and our master have a deep relationship, we are worried that if he is really our martial uncle, our master will blame us when he comes out of seclusion. That is why we invited you to Chunyang Sect, and together we can ask the Master to come out of seclusion."
Zhong Kui laughed heartily, "You are just afraid of being scolded, so you asked me to take the blame."
The few elders looked at each other, all a little embarrassed.
"It's fine, it's fine. I asked for it, I'll suffer if I'm blamed, it's not too late, let's go now."
Zhaowen said, "There is no hurry. In a few days, it will be the 15th day of the first month. The night of the full moon is the time when yin and yang are in full bloom. On that day those who practice the Yuanyang technique need to take a rest and tune-up. Asking Master to come out at this time will cause the least disturbance to him."
"In these few days, why don't the Heaven Master and the two Impermanence immortals just wander around? My Chu land is rich in delicious wine, Heaven Master will love it."
"Haha, love it, love it." Zhong Kui rubbed his fists and wanted to taste the fine wines of the Chu region.
Chunyang disciples took them to the guest room and Xie Bi An arranged his clothes, "This is also my first time in Chu land, I heard that the food here is even spicier than our Shu Land."
"Hmm." Fan Wu She was a little distracted.
"Wu She, why haven't you spoken since you've got here, what happened?"
"Nothing." Fan Wu She just remembered too many things, about Chunyang Sect, about Song Zi Heng and Song Zi Xiao. In his last life, his first trip out of the palace had been via Chu land, where he had first seen the evil spirits, first heard of the stolen cores, first encountered an assassination, and the first time his elder brother had been injured trying to save him, and it was at the branch of Chunyang Sect where he had been recuperating.
After all that had happened, he had let Chunyang Sect live for the sake of Xu Zhi Nan, who had taken good care of Song Zi Heng.
Now that he has revisited this place, his heart is full of emotions.
"People outside say that Chunyang Sect is old-fashioned and serious, with a lot of rules and often rejects people. But I think it seems okay.”
"Because of the presence of Master."
"Haha, that's true." Xie Bi An shrugged, "I don't know why, but they are all afraid of Master. He is powerful but not a bully."
"That's a good thing." Fan Wu She’s mind was in a mess. When he reincarnated, he had actually forgotten many people and events from his previous life, but as he grew older, especially since he had reunited with this person and kept revisiting his hometown, more and more things came to mind, and even the images became clearer and clearer, as if they were yesterday.
"Well, I just hope that Master maintains some decency out there and doesn't drink himself into unconsciousness and spoil his own prestige." Xie Bi An finished, amused by his own imagination, he folded his clothes, "Wu She, it's still early, want to go out for a walk?"
keeping watch the night*[守夜] google
says ‘night vigil’ but idk if it’s the correct meaning. 守夜 is what Chinese usually do during Chinese New Year Eve; we won’t go to bed until 12am
struck. Something like a countdown haha. And then our ears will keep ringing
with fireworks explosion until 2-3am……(it’s against the law to set off fireworks on your own in Singapore, so I can only go to Malaysia and do
"Wow, this string of wind chimes is actually made of water chestnut, what a beautiful sound. Wu She, do you know about water chestnuts? They are strange-looking but edible and only found in Chu land." Xie Bi An said as he pulled out his money bag, "Boss, how much is this?"
"That expensive?" Xie Bi An retracted his hand that grabbed the money bag, "Boss, don't rip us off just because we're foreigners."
"Look at what you're saying, such a handsome gentleman, only fifteen for you, okay?"
"Ten, I’m buying them for my little brother, make it cheaper."
Fan Wu She looks distracted. When he heard the word "little brother", his ear bones twitched and he turned his face away, "I don't want this shit."
Xie Bi An laughed: "It's for Bo Zhu, you're too old to be playing with this."
Fan Wu She grabbed Xie Bi An's money bag, "It's too expensive, don’t buy it." After saying that, he turned around and left.
"Ugh ..." Xie Bi An chased after him.
"Mister, ten coppers will do, Mister! Eight! Seven!" Fan Wu She walked away so fast that Xie Bi An ran for a while to catch up with him: "Wu She, what are you doing? He is selling it for seven coppers."
"How many things have you bought for Bo Zhu along the way?" Fan Wu She suddenly stopped in his tracks and stuffed the money bag into his Qiankun bag under Xie Bi An's gaze, "Why do you like to buy him these useless things so much?"
"Because Bo Zhu can't leave the Underworld."
"He can’t leave the underworld has nothing to do with you. It's not like you killed him."
Xie Bi An sighed, "Bo Zhu is the soul I collected. He was very pitiful in life, in his life ..." He paused. He did not say anything further and turned to say, "Why are you upset again? Is it because you think I didn't buy you anything?"
How could Fan Wu She admit it?
"You tell senior brother what you want ah. I’ve never seen you ask me for anything."
"Will you give me everything I want?" Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An slyly.
"You tell me. My salary is quite high, and I have some private offerings, so I can afford most things." Xie Bi An smiled, "You, child, are too competitive."
What Fan Wu She really wanted, how could he say. He was in an irritable mood, he casually pointed, "Buy that."
Xie Bi An turned to look at a shop that sold jade jewelry: "Which one do you mean? This one?" He walked over and picked up a string of jade pendants carved with heavy petals of orchids, "You have a good eye, Wu She, this is quite pretty." Fan Wu She lived in a royal family since he was young, after that he ruled the world. He has seen all kinds of goods, how can he look up to this cheap stuff? He was just about to deny it when he suddenly noticed that there was an identical string next to it, only with a black and white string. He walked over and picked up the other string, "Why don't we each have one and hang it on our swords?"
When Xie Bi An looked at the other string, he sniggered and teased him, "Your sword is a pair with Pei Xue, and your soul weapon has to be named like two lines of poetry matching in sense and sound. Now even the jade pendant has to be paired with me. I see that you, who usually act like an old man, are actually a clingy person."
Fan Wu She looked askance at Xie Bi An, his thin lips lightly spat, "What if I only wanted to cling to you?"
Xie Bi An froze for a moment. The fox eyes of Fan Wu She, with their hooked ends, seemed to have been born for the purpose of compelling people. The thin eyelids opening and closing, playing with light and shadow within the pupil crystal, half covered by the fluttering eyelashes. The emotions in his eyes were like the dappled fragments of sunlight that split down between the leaves, dark and bright, cold and hot.
When he was gazed at intensely, Xie Bi An's heart skipped a beat as if he had stepped on a void, and his face burned inexplicably.
Xie Bi An quickly looked down and pretended to be examining the jade pendant: "I'm your senior brother, so if you want to cling, just cling. Haha, you really haven't grown up yet."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An's ear, which was so red that it was almost transparent, and his heart snickered. An unprecedented thought came to him. He thought, in this life, given a chance to start all over again, would it be possible for this person to like him?
Stop treating him like a little brother, stop treating him like an enemy, and to actually, like him? This thought made Fan Wu She's heart palpitate and even feel vaguely heartbroken.
In the end, Xie Bi An bought the pair of jade pendants and tied them to their swords.
Looking at the pair of trinkets dangling from his sword, Fan Wu She felt that all those rare treasures that had been presented to him in his previous life were not worth mentioning.
It was a bit cloudy today, and after being outside for a long time, the damp and chilly air was a bit too much for even the cultivators to bear. They found a small restaurant and ordered a pot of roast wine and a few small dishes with the intention of warming up their bodies.
Fan Wu She asked the waiter for a hand warmer and handed it to Xie Bi An, "Take it, your hands and feet always become cold in winter."
Xie Bi An was surprised: "How do you know?"
"... Your hands are all frozen red." Fan Wu She tugged Xie Bi An's hand, pinched the red fingertips, and shoved the hand warmer into his hand.
Xie Bi An held the hand warmer and that warmth traveled into his heart.
He asked, "Are you cold? Put your feet near the fire to warm them up."
"My body is hot, I'm not cold." Fan Wu She looked around the small restaurant and noticed that there were several tables with disciples of Chunyang Sect, and some female customers were whispering and shyly sniggering at them.
Xie Bi An said, "Most of the disciples of Chunyang Sect are so handsome and physically fit that both ordinary women and female cultivators have their hearts set on them. Temptation everywhere, yet they still can withstand it, they are indeed extraordinary. "If the heart of Dao is not strong, one will not be able to follow this path." Fan Wu She recalled what had happened a hundred years ago and was in a trance for a moment.
"The heart of the Dao, the heart of the Dao." Xie Bi An lamented, "Even a high-ranking cultivator of Chunyang Sect had abandoned his previous work for a demonic cultivator woman... It's hard to say which is more important, the heart of Dao or love."
Fan Wu She did not answer, he said in his heart: sometimes, one person can be worth all in the world.
The food and wine soon came, and Xie Bi An picked at the problem as he ate: "The food here is really average, we should ask around to find out which one is good first."
"Then let's change the restaurant."
"It's too wasteful. It's okay, we can eat several more meals."
A rush of footsteps suddenly hurried into the restaurant, and a disciple of Chunyang Sect called out, "It's not good, brothers, hurry back, the Cangyu Sect's people have found the Luojinwu."
"What's going on?!" The disciples of Chunyang Sect stood up one after another.
"I'm not sure exactly. I heard, I heard that the old demon woman is dying and has come to borrow the Seven Stars Life-Sustaining Lamp."
The senior and junior brothers looked at each other and also followed the disciples of Chunyang Sect back to the Luojinwu.
Qi Meng Sheng, the head of Cangyu Sect, is a great master on a par with Li Bu Yu, Xu Zhi Nan and Zhong Kui. Although Cangyu Sect's techniques were always somewhat evil and had always been criticized by the orthodox immortal families, they had cultivated their weaponry to a superb level, and had guarded Shen Nong Ding for generations, so their position in Jianghu was unshakeable. They have maintained a delicate balance with the various sects in the Central Plains.
It is only natural that Qi Meng Sheng, who is from the era of Emperor Song, is now approaching the end of her life, but no one thought that she would hit on the idea of the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp.
The Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp is the magical weapon of Zhuge Kongming, the greatest treasure of Chunyang Sect. It is said that if the lamp is not extinguished after casting the spell, even if you are on the verge of death, so long there is one breath left, life can be sustained.
How could such a treasure be lent to outsiders? They could smell the murderous aura of the Luojinwu from a long distance away, so it was no wonder that these Chunyang Sect disciples all looked grave.
In his heart, Xie Bi An thought helplessly: why is it that everywhere they go these days, there is trouble?
When they returned to the Luojinwu, they saw that Chunyang Sect's mountain gates were already
surrounded by many disciples, and among the group of cultivators in their light
gold uniforms, two icy grey silhouettes stood out, like two ice crystals protruding from a field of wheat.
There were whispers all around. Chunyang Sect's method requires a clear mind and to have no desire, but young men who are in their prime can't help but see a beautiful woman and have their hearts stirred.
When they got closer, even Xie Bi An was shocked at the beauty of these two women. There was no doubt that they must be the famous Flying Plume Ambassadors of Cangyu Sect, and also the adopted daughters of Qi Meng Sheng - Yun Xiang Yi and Hua Xiang Rong*. They each carry a large bow on their backs, which is at odds with their slender physiques, yet they have a different kind of valiant and heroic look.
These two women are well known in the immortal world, not only for their beauty, but also for their excellent cultivation, and there are many cultivators in the world who have beautiful dreams about Empress E*, but unfortunately all those who came for marriage requests would return disappointed.
Xie Bi An's eyes lit up: "They’re really beautiful, just like the rumors." Fan Wu She rolled his eyes, "They're old enough to be your mother."
"Cultivators don't age easily, especially female cultivators, they all cultivate childhood beauty."
"And what does that have to do with you."
"Everyone has a love of beauty, and beautiful women are like orchids, worthy of admiration." Xie Bi An laughed, "You're sixteen, you should know better."
Fan Wu She gave a cold snort.
Ahead of them, a disciple who was blocking
the mountain gate said, "Please don't make things difficult for me, Flying Plume Ambassadors. Women are not allowed to enter Luojinwu unless it
is a matter of vital importance. We have already informed the elders, so please wait for a while."
"Since you have already informed them, why are you dawdling about?" Hua Xiang Rong scolded angrily, "Our master's life is at stake, isn't it vital?! Besides, it's not like we're borrowing it for nothing!"
The disciple said coldly, "Forgive me for saying so, but the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp is the greatest treasure of Chunyang Sect and is never lent out. When the demon supreme demanded for it that year, master did not even give it. If the Flying Plume Ambassador could back off, we would all feel better."
"You're really good at saving face, is it because your master didn't give it? It's clear that the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp can only save the living. The Human Emperor has long since died, and the demon supreme only stopped when he learned of it, otherwise there would be no Chunyang Sect now."
The disciple's face looked pale. Xie Bi An said in surprise, "How could there be such a thing? Wu She, have you heard of it?"
Fan Wu She did not answer, but his face was silently frosted. Ever since he came to Chunyang Sect, he had been haunted by countless memories, and now that nightmarish past was easily brought up by others. It was like a knife had been stabbed into his heart.
Back then, he carried Song Zi Heng’s corpse
to Luojinwu and demanded like mad that Xu Zhi Nan hand over the Seven Star
Life-Sustaining Lamp. Xu Zhi Nan, with the knot of his throat pressed against
the tip of his sword, calmly told him that even if he slaughtered the entire Chunyang
Sect, the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp would not be able to save the dead.
So he tore through the Fengdu barrier, reversing the paths of both humans and ghosts, just to reclaim one person.
All his hatred for Song Zi Heng was no match for the fact that he had left him in such a hateful and desperate manner.
Xie Bi An also said to himself, "These two brothers are truly legendary. Fighting to the death in life, and then, when he really died, he broke into the underworld for him alone."
Yun Xiang Yi seemed to be more calm and collected, and she said slowly, "Zhen Ren, Cangyu Sect and Chunyang Sect are both great sects of the Immortal League, and we had a common friendship in the past to fight against the enemy, so it is not your turn to decide whether or not to lend the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp. Are you forcing us to barge in with your rudeness?" "You are treading on the territory of Chunyang Sect, and there are disciples of Chunyang Sect around you, so it is best to be cautious with your words."
"Sister, don't talk nonsense to him, let's see if we can enter this door today!"
"Yo, what’s up. What are all of you surrounding here for?" A slightly drunken voice came from behind.
Xie Bi An turned his head and saw Zhong Kui, with a red face, walking in through the three layers of onlookers.
Xie Bi An gently scolded, "Master, it's not even dark yet and you've already started drinking."
The Flying Plume Ambassadors looked Zhong Kui up and down, their gazes were unimpressed until they saw the blue-bladed sword at his waist, and the two of them said in surprise, "Heaven Master Zhong?"
"Aren't you the maids of Cangyu Sect? What are you doing here?" "We …”
"Elder Zhaowen has arrived "
Elder Zhaowen walked out with modest steps, his face serious and cold. Seeing everyone looking at him with bated breath, he said in a deep voice, "Two Flying Plume Ambassadors, please come inside."
The crowd was seated in the front hall, and the two juniors, Xie Bi An and Fan Wu She, stood behind Zhong Kui.
For a while, no one spoke.
Until Zhong Kui let out a loud burp. Xie Bi An silently lowered his head. This is really a bit humiliating.
Zhaowen coughed lightly, "Flying Plume Ambassadors, this humble servant manages the internal and external affairs of the sect on behalf of my master, and can decide most things. I know the purpose of your visit, and my answer is, no. Please go back."
Hua Xiang Rong jumped up from her chair, but Yun Xiang Yi held her wrist and gave her an eye expression to make her sit back down. She said, "Our Sect Master is very old and is indeed approaching the end of her life, but there is still one wish that has not been fulfilled. So long Chunyang Sect lends us the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp for a year, our sect is willing to trade our Cold Jade Snow Elixir.”
The crowd was in an uproar.
Xie Bi An knew about this Cold Jade Snow Elixir. It was a top-notch immortal elixir refined by Cangyu Sect using Shen Nong Ding, a supreme elixir for those who practiced Cangyu Sect's technique, and could only be enjoyed by the Sect Leader. Even the clan that had been guarding Shen Nong Ding for generations could only produce one every twenty years.
However, this Cold Jade Snow Elixir was simply poisonous to people of other sects because of its extremely cold medicinal properties, the only exception was to Chunyang Sect.
This Yuanyang Technique is an extremely hot and yang technique. Although it is possible to cultivate a vajra body, if one is not careful, the extreme heat of the Yang may cause the heart to become too hot, and in serious cases, it may even endanger one's life. It is like a blazing fire, seemingly unstoppable, but once it burns out, it will be extinguished.
A Chunyang cultivator who has reached the master level must find a balance in this "burning". Immortal pills that are cold in nature have always been essential supplements for Chunyang cultivators, and the Cold Jade Snow Elixir is the best of the cold immortal pills. Cangyu Sect's willingness to offer this elixir in exchange was a sign of their sincerity.
As a matter of fact, Zhaowen and the elders looked at each other, unable to make up their minds for a while.
Fan Wu She whispered in Xie Bi An's ear, "Xu Zhi Nan is in seclusion, precisely to break through the realm of the Indestructible Heavenly Flame, but unfortunately there has been no movement for more than ten years. If this pill is available, he might succeed."
Xie Bi An said back in an even quieter voice, "So, will they agree?"
Zhong Kui turned his head back, held his hand over his mouth, and said mysteriously, "Zhaowen can't make the decision."
He thought his voice was small, but in fact everyone could hear him clearly, and the atmosphere was awkward for a moment.
Xie Bi An set Zhong Kui's body upright and called down, "Master, don't say anything!"
Zhaowen paused, "The conditions proposed by Flying Plume Ambassador are indeed hard to refuse, and I did not expect your sect to be willing to pay such a great price. However, as what Heaven Master said, I cannot make the decision on this matter. Only Master can decide, and only Master can use the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp."
Hua Xiang Rong said anxiously, "Master has been in seclusion for more than ten years, who knows when he will come out of seclusion, how can we keep waiting!"
"We only need to wait two more days." One of the elders said, "Two days later, on the night of the full moon, we will welcome the Sect Master out of seclusion."
"That is exactly why the Heaven Master has appeared in our sect." "Then it's still two days away ..."
Zhaowen interrupted her, "Flying Plume Ambassador, this is the only way now, whether or not to lend the Seven Star Life Sustaining Lamp can only be decided by the Sect Master. Please stay in our sect for two days and wait for the Sect Master to come out from seclusion."
When the three of them returned to the house arranged for them by Chunyang Sect, Xie Bi An saw that Zhong Kui's beard was a bit disheveled and insisted on trimming it for him.
"You're going to meet Xu Zhi Nan in two days, you can't look this disheveled." Xie Bi An said as he trimmed it, "You didn't even bring the clothes you were told to bring. In the end I brought them for you, otherwise you wouldn't even have a decent outfit to go out with."
"I'm not sloppy, it's called being unconventional." "Don't move."
Fan Wu She watched them quietly from the side. Although he was a bit fed up with Xie Bi An being so attentive to others, he couldn't help but think of Song Zi Heng in his previous life. Zhong Kui wasn't perfect, but he was the "father" this person had always wanted, right?
"Master, do you think Xu Zhi Nan will lend out the Seven Star Life- Sustaining Lamp?"
"I don't know Xu Zhi Nan well, so how should I know? Anyway, he has not been able to break through the Indestructible Heavenly Flame. If he gets that Immortal Pill, he might be able to succeed, otherwise Zhaowen wouldn't have changed his attitude so much."
"Aren't you all curious as to why Qi Meng Sheng needs to renew her life for a year?" Fan Wu She said, "She has lived for over a hundred years and has hardly moved in Jianghu in recent years, so what’s the difference with 1 year?”
"Yeah, Elder Zhaowen also asked the Flying Plume Ambassadors and they refused to say."
Fan Wu She smiled coldly, "Unless, she is just trying to con them into giving the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp and not return after 1 year as Chunyang Sect can’t really fight with her."
"This Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp, it looks like something rare in the mortal realm, but to us, it doesn't have much value at all. Life and death are destiny, so why force it." Zhong Kui yawned, "Besides, hanging the life of a dying man is going against the decrees of heaven, and there is a price to pay after death."
"Yes, I have also heard that even if one hangs his life by the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp, it is still worse than death, because one simply cannot leave those seven lamps." Xie Bi An said, "What's the point of living like that?"
"Well, the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp requires a very high level of skill to perform. It must be in an impermeable dark room to ensure that the lamp does not go out and the person cannot step out of the seven-star formation." Zhong Kui stroked his newly trimmed beard, "I am also curious as to why Qi Meng Sheng wants to live like this. Hasn't she lived long enough?"
"By the way Master, today I heard from the Flying Plume Ambassador that the demon supreme once came to Luojinwu to ask for this magical treasure back then ah."
Fan Wu She’s movement stalled. "Yes, after the Human Emperor killed
himself, he brought the corpse of the Human Emperor to Luojinwu and almost slaughtered Chunyang Sect for it." "I didn't even know about this part. I don’t even hear the outside world talking about it either."
"Chunyang Sect didn't spread it outside for the sake of face, I guess." Zhong Kui shook his head, "That Song Zi Xiao is really a madman. He went to Mount Luofeng after he knew that the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp was useless. What kind of person is bold enough to defy the ghosts and gods to go to the Underworld to rob someone?"
Xie Bi An frowned: "These two brothers, Song Zi Heng and Song Zi Xiao, is there sentiment or no sentiment?"
"As brothers, there’s sentiment and no sentiment, I guess." Zhong Kui grunted, "Their sibling rivalry has stirred up chaos in the world. Both deserve to die, with or without sentiment."
Xie Bi An sighed, "So is the throne really that important that even his own younger brother won't be spared? Though the demon supreme is indeed detestable, but if the human emperor hadn't disregarded his brother's love, so many tragedies would not have happened."
Fan Wu She gazed at Xie Bi An, and his heart was infinitely sad. Yun Xiang Yi and Hua Xiang Rong* ----
their names come from Li Bai's famous verse: 云想⾐裳花想容。 Seems like SQC like to use names from Poems xDDD
Empress E [娥皇⼥英] https://baike.baidu.com/item/娥皇⼥英
Basically, those guys who came to ask for marriage proposal dreams of marrying
both sisters at the same time, just like the story of Empress E. I’ve included
the Baidu link for your reference. PS: I'm quite busy today, so I probably won't upload another chapter today.
On the night of the full moon on the 15th day of the first month, they finally welcomed Xu Zhi Nan, the head of Chunyang Sect, out of seclusion.
Xu Zhi Nan had been in seclusion for eighteen years in order to break through the highest realm of the Yuanyang technique, the Indestructible Heavenly Fire. This time coming out from seclusion proves that he has still not been able to break through this highest realm. In the 500 years since the founding of Chunyang Sect, apart from the Ancestor, there are only three people who have been able to cultivate the Yuanyang Technique to its highest level. Xu Zhi Nan, with all his natural talent, enlightenment and diligence, is likely to become the fourth person, and Chunyang Sect is only one step away from being on par with Wuliang Sect.
Therefore, when the Flying Plume Ambassador offered to exchange the Cold Jade Snow Elixir for the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp, the elders of Chunyang Sect could not help but be tempted.
At about 1-3am, Xu Zhi Nan finished bathing and dressing, and met his guests in the front hall.
Xu Zhi Nan came from a merchant family, not a cultivation one, and was initially sent to Chunyang Sect only to strengthen his body, but he had excellent roots. After being accepted as a disciple by his former master, he showed his exceptional talent and later gave up his family business to pursue immortality.
A hundred years ago, at the time of the demon supreme’s emergence and the former Sect Master's death, he was appointed to the post of Sect Master. At a time when the immortal world was at its most precarious and everyone was in danger, he not only saved Chunyang Sect, but also saved many sects and practitioners from the demon supreme.
This man's prestige in the immortal cultivation world is no less than that of Li Bu Yu.
Xu Zhi Nan's physique and appearance were still that of a man in his prime, except that his black hair had turned to frost and snow, and his eyes were full of the vicissitudes of a century.
When Fan Wu She looked at Xu Zhi Nan, he felt a lot of emotions in his heart.
When he saw the same old man, he had only disgust and hatred for Li Bu Yu, but for Xu Zhi Nan, who was neither an enemy nor a friend, his connection with Song Zi Heng only brought back countless memories of his past life.
He couldn't help but wonder if he and Song Zi Heng would look like this if they grew old together.
When he saluted, Fan Wu She felt Xu Zhi Nan's gaze fall on him, and he looked up graciously, meeting Xu Zhi Nan's gaze. Li Bu Yu had seen him as a boy and as a young man, but Xu Zhi Nan had only seen him as a boy and as an adult. Both of which were very different from his brief youthful appearance, and after more than a hundred years, he was sure that Xu Zhi Nan would not recognize him.
Sure enough, Xu Zhi Nan's gaze lingered on him for only a moment before averting his gaze indifferently.
Before Zhaowen could say anything, Hua Xiang Rong had already said in a fervent voice, "Immortal Sect Leader, Elder Zhaowen should have already explained to you the purpose of our sisters' visit."
Xu Zhi Nan leaned back in his chair, his face pale and frail. His body still a little out of sorts after eighteen years of seclusion, and he said softly, "I have already heard that. I am afraid I will have to disappoint Cangyu Sect this time."
Hua Xiang Rong's eyes widened and she said urgently, "We are willing to exchange the Cold Jade Snow Elixir for just one year!"
Yun Xiang Yi's face was also pale, "Is Immortal Sect Leader really not going to save us from death?"
"The most important treasure of Chunyang Sect cannot be lent out." Xu Zhi Nan said calmly and silently.
The others also looked at Xu Zhi Nan, probably feeling sorry for him. They just need to lend it for a year in exchange for an immortal pill that would help him cultivate his Yuanyang technique. This is a good deal no matter how you look at it.
"How could Immortal Sect Leader be so unadaptable! A year's period in exchange for a supreme immortal elixir, why do you refuse?!" Hua Xiang Rong said angrily, "My Sect Leader's life is at stake. We only ask for a magic treasure to prolong her life for one year. As the head of a major faction of the Immortal Alliance, isn’t this cold and ruthless?!”
Yun Xiang Yi gently scolded, "Sister." "I ..."
Yun Xiang Yi stepped forward and kneeled down in front of Xu Zhi Nan with a thud, her peach blossom-like face was full of sorrow which looked truly charming, "Please, Sect Leader Immortal, save my master."
Seeing this, Yun Xiang Yi also followed suit and knelt down, "I beg Immortal Sect Leader to save my Sect Leader."
All the people in the room looked at each other in disbelief.
Xu Zhi Nan was silent for a long time before saying softly, "You two, please return." Hua Xiang Rong raised her head, her eyes filled with tears: "You ... you
... look at the fact that you and my master had a…." The crowd stared straight with their eyes.
"Shut up!" Yun Xiang Yi said angrily, "Who gave you permission to have a loose tongue."
Hua Xiang Rong cried, "Then just watch our master die?!"
Yun Xiang Yi stood up and pulled Hua Xiang Rong up too. She returned to her indifference and arrogance and glared at Xu Zhi Nan with frosty eyes, "Immortal Sect Leader’s lack of affection is no less than that year. Your life's obsession with the Immortal Dao may finally be fulfilled, but ascension does not mean completion. Will you really not regret remembering the people you have let down?"
Xu Zhi Nan sat as still as a statue, his eyelids didn't even flutter.
"Let's go." Yun Xiang Yi pulled Hua Xiang Rong up and turned to leave.
Hua Xiang Rong took a few steps, but she turned around again and sarcastically said, "What not lending to outsiders? That year the demon supreme came to snatch it, did you dare not to give it?”
"Don't be rude." Zhaowen scolded.
After the duo left angrily, they left the crowd with a room full of embarrassment.
They were still in shock from the fact that Xu Zhi Nan and Qi Meng Sheng might have had an affair. However, it seemed that Xu Zhi Nan had finally given up on love and was determined to follow his path of Dao, but it was a matter between a man and a woman that was most likely to cause bubbling and gurgling, and this secret had remained unknown for a hundred years.
Xu Zhi Nan was embarrassed in front of his disciples and grand disciples, so he pondered for a moment and said, "The most important treasures of Chunyang Sect cannot be lent out, so if there is anything like this again, just politely refuse."
Xu Zhi Nan's gaze shifted to Zhong Kui.
Zhong Kui arched his hand and said, "Immortal, I have no choice but to disturb your practice."
"I have already heard from Zhaowen. It is understandable that the Heaven Master is so obsessed with that man's identity. Unfortunately, that man is not my junior brother."
Zhong Kui was astonished, "Immortal can assert that without even looking at him? Junior would also like to invite you to come with me to Mount Shu ..."
"No need, that person could never be my junior brother Cheng Yan Zhi, because my junior brother ..." Xu Zhi Nan said gruffly, "was cremated by me personally."
"After Yan Zhi's accident back then, I did escort his corpse back home with some of my disciples, but I knew that I could not leave his body intact and cremated it with the consent of his family."
"Why?" Zhong Kui and his two disciples were puzzled. Several elders, however, showed expressions of clarity.
"There was no choice." Xu Zhi Nan said, "Because my Chunyang Sect disciples have extremely positive and pure Yang bodies. They are coveted by lecherous cultivators and demonic cultivators in life and coveted by lonely spirits after death. To them, whether dead or alive, this body is a great tonic. After the death of Chunyang Sect’s high-ranking cultivators, they are either buried in the back mountains of Luojinwu, where there are powerful barriers to keep them peaceful after death, or if they return to their hometowns for burial, the burial place is concealed and a barrier spell is set up. But my junior brother's case is too special. He has had his core stolen, and the higher the cultivation level of a cultivator who has had his core stolen, the greater the possibility of becoming a walking corpse. Even if we chant the purification incantation ten thousand times, there is no guarantee that in a few years' time his corpse will change due to deep resentment. By then it will become a great disaster."
"So just ..."
Xu Zhi Nan nodded: "Only cremation can eliminate future problems forever. Therefore, the walking corpse that was suppressed by the Big Dipper Zhengji Binding Demon Formation at the Diancang Peak could not be Yan Zhi."
Zhong Kui frowned bitterly, "But in that case, it would be impossible to explain why that person knew the Yuanyang technique."
Xu Zhi Nan sighed tersely, "Actually, there is an explanation." The crowd all looked at Xu Zhi Nan.
"Back then, although we caught the core hunter, eliminated the Lion Alliance, and avenged Yan Zhi and many of the murdered cultivators, it was impossible to check which belly his golden core had entered.”
Xie Bi An was so shocked that he almost forgot his manners, "Are you saying that the evil spirit might have eaten your junior brother's core?!"
At these words, the crowd was in an uproar.
Although Xu Zhi Nan had already said this, after all, the era of rampant core stealing demonic cultivators is too far back. Everyone present in the scene did not think at this level, except for Xie Bi An, who had a flash of insight in his head and instantly guessed this possibility, even he did not know where this thought came from. Fan Wu She was also shocked, Song Ming He might have eaten Xu Zhi Nan's junior brother’s golden core?
"Is this, is this possible?" Zhaowen's face bristled white, "Master, eating a human core allows you to possess someone else's technique?"
"These past few decades, although the core thieves have not been extinct, they are indeed rare, so you guys know very little about them. What the golden core condenses is one's innate root and innate cultivation. Although it is impossible for those who eat the human core to fully obtain the golden core owner's abilities, they can obtain a portion of it. The reason why people don't know this is because the vast majority of cultivators are sword cultivators and are unable to manifest the changes in their bodies, except for Chunyang Sect cultivators, whose lifelong cultivation is all about forging their physical bodies."
"Immortal, can you be sure of that?" Zhong Kui's face was extremely stern.
Xu Zhi Nan shook his head, "This is only my guess as I interrogated the Master of the Lion Alliance once, who had brutalized countless cultivators with this magic weapon, Gong Shu Ju. He had eaten no less than four human cores, and those who had eaten them could manifest some of the golden core master's abilities, which he had unintentionally revealed."
"If that's true, then it does explain the fishy situation." Zhong Kui took a breath backwards, "Why he doesn't have the physique of a high-ranking cultivator of Chunyang Sect, yet he can regenerate severed limbs."
"Actually, I have a guess in my mind as to that person's identity."
Xu Zhi Nan and Zhong Kui met at eye level. As expected, both saw a similar answer in the other's eyes.
"Master, who is it?" Zhaowen said in disbelief. "Emperor Ning Hua, Song Ming He." Fan Wu She clenched his fist secretly. His mind was in turmoil, still in amazement. Of all the people present, only he could be certain that the evil spirit was Song Ming He, just that ... Song Ming He had actually eaten a human core? He had eaten Xu Zhi Nan's junior brother’s human core?
"Emperor Ning Hua!" An elder said in fear, "The father of the demon supreme and the Human Emperor?!"
Xie Bi An was equally shocked beyond words, if that man was really Song Ming He, everything seemed to be explained. The grudge, the cause and effect, the motive, it all matched. People around the world rumored that those human cores ended up in the big immortal sects, and although this sounded like a conspiracy theory, there may be some truth to it. After all, the human cores sold by the core hunters were at sky-high prices, and the smaller sects usually couldn't afford them.
"Given the feud between the Song clan and the Li family, it is indeed possible for Alliance Master Li to do this in order to vent their anger." Zhaowen murmured, "That's why he used the Thunder Ancestor Treasure Grant to silence him, otherwise this would be a scandalous matter if word got out. Tarnishing the face of Wuliang Sect and his personal reputation."
"If that man is really Song Ming He, and he really ate Yan Zhi's golden core ..." Xu Zhi Nan narrowed his eyes, "If he is also the buyer behind the Lion Alliance, then could it be that he was involved in all the many cases of core thefts that happened back then? "
"But wasn't that the work of the Wuyun Sect? After the demon supreme destroyed Wuyun Sect, he even found a few golden cores that didn't have time to be refined."
Another elder said, "This matter has not been conclusively discussed. If that evil spirit is really Song Ming He, I am afraid that many things that happened back then had another hidden agenda, but if not ..."
"Right, now we have confirmed that that person is not the martial uncle. We should find a way to determine whether he is Emperor Ning Hua or not." "But how can we confirm it?"
Zhong Kui said coldly, "Why don't we ask Li Bu Yu directly. He looks like he doesn't know anything about what happened in the cave. I'd like to hear how he's going to explain."
Xu Zhi Nan's body was still a bit weak, so they only talked for half an hour before dispersing for the time being. As to whether they should go to Mount Shu to question Li Bu Yu and considering Li Bu Yu's high and powerful position, they could not make up their minds yet.
When they returned to the guest house, all three of them were filled with questions, so they all looked pensive. It was hard to digest what they had learned at once.
Zhong Kui scratched his hair in annoyance: "This is getting confusing. Song Ming He eats human cores? Wasn't that the work of Song Zi Xiao's mother in collusion with Wuyun Sect?"
Fan Wu She clasped the armrest with one hand and heard a slight creak as a crack was made in the sturdy pearwood.
Xie Bi An pondered, "There is also a theory that he was framed by Song Zi Heng. Anyway, that's when the two brothers broke up, and it's an undisputed fact that Wuyun Sect colluded with the Lion Alliance to steal the Human Core. Unexpectedly, this had something to do with Song Ming He behind it."
Fan Wu She said in a low tone, "You guys only think about Song Ming He taking the human core, did you forget that Song Ming He's golden core was also dug out?"
"Oh yeah, and who dug Song Ming He's human core…" It is already clear who’s the suspect.
"Song Zi Heng will do anything for the throne. Brotherly love, parental kindness, which of these does he put in his eyes? It is not surprising that he would eat his own father's human core." As Fan Wu She spoke, his gaze slowly moved towards Xie Bi An, a pair of pupils so dark that they seemed to be able to suck in everything in sight.
But Xie Bi An did not notice.
Zhong Kui shook his head, "I don't think Song Zi Heng has eaten Song Ming He's core."
"They are direct bloodlines and Song Ming He is highly cultivated. If Song Zi Heng ate such a great tonic human core, with his natural talent, I'm afraid he wouldn't lose to Song Zi Xiao in the duel at Wuji Palace."
"But Song Zi Xiao has Yin soldiers." Xie Bi An said, "He doesn't even need to exert much effort. The Eighteen Horsemen of Yan Yun could trample down a city."
"In the Wuji Palace duel, Song Zi Xiao didn't summon a single Yin soldier." Fan Wu She said coldly.
"Seriously? But the legend ..."
"In the Wuji Palace duel, the two men only used the Zongxuan sword technique." Zhong Kui said, "You should not listen to the blind white lies of those storytellers. It turns out that the two brothers are equally gifted, but Song Zi Xiao broke through to the eighth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword because he ate his own father's human core."
Fan Wu She turned his face away, suppressing his anger.
Xie Bi An dawned on him, "So if Song Ming He's core was really eaten by Song Zi Heng, he ought to break through to the eighth Chongtian as well, and he might not have lost." "Then Song Ming He's core ..." Zhong Kui narrowed his eyes, "Could it
Xie Bi An was startled and unconsciously lowered his voice, "Master, you don't think that it was Li Bu Yu who ate it, do you?"
Fan Wu She said, "Song Ming He was suppressed in the Demon Binding Formation, he is the most suspicious. Then it’s reasonable and fair to suspect him for digging Song Ming He's golden core.”
Zhong Kui rested his cheek and thought hard for a while, "It doesn't seem like that either, Li Bu Yu's cultivation level doesn't seem to have made a great leap."
"Could it be that his current cultivation isn't profound enough? Besides, Song Ming He is powerful, but he is not a top cultivator either."
"Song Ming He's Core should have a greater effect." Zhong Kui muttered.
"Why, it's not like they're related."
Zhong Kui shook his head, "Compare to who ate Song Ming He’s core, I really want to know whose cores he had eaten. Maybe more than one person.”
Both the master and the brothers sensed that Zhong Kui seemed to be hiding something, but they were not in a position to ask if Zhong Kui did not want to say.
Once again, silence fell in the room.
After a long time, Xie Bi An said, "Master, have you ever thought about what will eventually come out of this matter, and what if Li Bu Yu admits that he was the one who suppressed Song Ming He's corpse in Diancang Peak, what can be done about it?"
"But if Song Ming He had colluded with the Lion Alliance, then there must be another hidden agenda for what happened back then." "Even if there was another hidden agenda, so what?" Xie Bi An said, "A hundred years have passed, and only three people are still alive who had anything to do with what happened back then, and their grudges have already returned to the dust."
Zhong Kui wondered, "Why do you suddenly seem not to care about the truth? Just a short while ago, Li Bu Yu's martial nephew had just died at the hands of the Core Stealing Demonic Cultivator, and these matters, perhaps, are related."
"Maybe there isn't." Xie Bi An took a deep breath. He didn't know why, since he had come Chunyang Sect, there had always been an unspeakable uneasiness in his heart, as if he was increasingly resistant to knowing too much. He put it down to the fact that he was worried about Zhong Kui, "Master, I suspect more and more that the reason your life has become less in the Book of Life and Death is because we are obsessively investigating this matter. It concerns the head of the number one immortal sect in the world, it is dangerous no matter how you think about it. Now that it has been confirmed that the evil spirit is not Xu Zhi Nan's junior brother, Li Bu Yu did not kill an innocent person indiscriminately, and his feud with Song Ming He is not for us to dictate. I feel that it is no longer necessary to investigate further, instead ... instead of getting ourselves killed instead."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An. He vaguely felt Xie Bi An's uneasiness, an uneasiness that did not only come from his concern for Zhong Kui, but also seemed to be the same as his own. Wanting to know what secrets Song Ming He was carrying, but at the same time fearing to know. It was just that he knew why he was so conflicted, while Xie Bi An was more instinctive, like fainting on the eight trigrams platform and dreaming of "Xiao Jiu". Xie Bi An was haunted by the memories of his past life, only he didn't know it.
"You think if I stop this, my life expectancy will go back up?" "I ..."
"The cause has been planted, it is bound to bear effect." Zhong Kui said in a rare moment of seriousness, "Bi An, if we are involved in this matter, it is a fate that cannot be disobeyed. Maybe if we go on, as you said, we will be in danger of being killed. But misfortune is a blessing. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel is my road to self-help.”
Xie Bi An was silent.
"Moreover, master has a bad feeling." Zhong Kui stroked his beard and sighed, "What you say is actually not unreasonable, even if there are many hidden secrets behind it, they are all a hundred years old and it might be useless to find out, but I always feel that this matter is deeply involved and not as simple as it appears."
Xie Bi An sighed, "Master's concern is also right."
Zhong Kui smiled cheerfully, "Anyway, they say I love to meddle in nosy matters, so I will do so to the end."
"Master, there is one more thing that disciple does not understand." Fan Wu She said, "Xu Zhi Nan has spent the rest of his life working on breaking through the Indestructible Heavenly Flame, the Cold Jade Snow Elixir might be his last chance, why did he refuse?"
"Yes, I find it strange too." Xie Bi An said, "Did you notice the expressions of Zhaowen and the others? Obviously none of them expected their Sect Leader to reject it immediately, without even giving it a second thought."
Zhong Kui bristled, "Could it be that hatred is born out of love? It's amazing that this Xu Zhi Nan had an affair with Qi Meng Sheng. When Qi Meng Sheng was young, she was a famous demonic girl in the immortal cultivation world, and the Cangyu Sect has always been both good and evil, although it's not like the demon cultivators that everyone cries out for, the orthodox immortal families in the Central Plains would not care to deal with the Cangyu Sect if it wasn't for Shen Nong Ding, not to mention the old-fashioned Chunyang Sect that doesn't get close to women. No matter how everyone think that the two of them have nothing to do with each other." Xie Bi An thought about it, "Could it be that Xu Zhi Nan was seduced by Qi Meng Sheng and almost failed to keep his heart of Dao, so he holds a grudge?"
"Xu Zhi Nan doesn't look like such a person." Fan Wu She said.
"You know what kind of person Xu Zhi Nan is?" Zhong Kui couldn't help himself, "Little fart, always pretending to be old-fashioned when you talk."
"Hahahahaha---" Xie Bi An laughed nonchalantly. Fan Wu She just snorted coldly.
"However, Xu Zhi Nan really doesn't look like a narrow-minded person. As for why he refused to lend the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp, it's indeed puzzling. That magic treasure is powerful, but it can't fight or defend. Its only function is to hang on to the breath of a dying person. It is said to be a treasure of the Sect, but usually it is not used at all. Qi Meng Sheng's life is at stake, and they are willing to offer the Cold Jade Snow Elixir, who wouldn't do such a good deal." Zhong Kui shook his head, "Forget it, I got carried away."
"If Qi Meng Sheng really dies, I don't know if the next Sect Leader will be this Yun Xiang Yi or Hua Xiang Rong*.”
"Doesn’t matter." Zhong Kui shrugged, "It doesn't matter who is the head of her Cangyu Sect, but the bad nature of guarding the Shen Nong Ding and pulling out the hair from the geese passing by* won't change. Sooner or later, she will be crushed."
Xu Zhi Nan's health was not good after he came out of seclusion. The fire of extreme positive Yuanyang is too intense for a Chunyang Sect cultivator who has reached the Patriarchal level. Difficulties must be overcome in order to move forward with this technique. This technique can only go one of the two ways at this point, either to break through to a new realm, or to take care of himself and live out his old age in peace with the conditioning of the cold immortal elixir.
Xu Zhi Nan is a genius of Chunyang Sect who is rarely found in a hundred years. Naturally, he is not willing to stop here, so he embarks on this arduous path of inquiring Dao. The closer he gets to the point of breakthrough, the greater the load on his body, and this is the ultimate test of whether he will be able to be reborn.
That is why his refusal of the Cold Jade Snow Elixir was all the more incomprehensible.
The master and disciples had to stay in Chunyang Sect for the time being and wait for Xu Zhi Nan's health to improve before discussing what would happen afterwards.
In the past few days, Xie Bi An and Fan Wu She followed Chunyang Sect cultivators in their morning exercises, eating and resting together, and found that their life was really boring and harsh. It is probably the only way to suppress one's natural instincts. But this kind of repression often backfires. How many Chunyang Sect cultivators are unable to give up elegant and graceful girls and give up decades of cultivation to return to the red earth. What is more difficult to cultivate than this Yuanyang technique is the heart.
On this day, the two brothers were sitting in the courtyard drinking tea, listening to the distant shouting from the practice field, when Xie Bi An sighed softly, "These Chunyang Sect cultivators are really talented, no wonder the female cultivators can't forget them."
Fan Wu She gave a distracted "hmm".
"Brother Lan ... was born good looking, and his mother is a famous beauty in the immortal cultivation world. You can see that he is now flirting around. I can't imagine that he grew up in such a conformist place when he was a child." Fan Wu She said disdainfully, "He was just born to be horny, it's useless to go and become a monk."
Xie Bi An laughed and said, "There are no men who are not lustful, otherwise why would Chunyang Sect have so many rules and regulations?"
Fan looked askance at Xie Bi An, "Then is senior brother also lustful?" "I'm ..." Xie Bi An didn't expect to be turned against him, "Why are you
dragging me in?"
Fan Wu She moved closer to Xie Bi An and gazed deeply into his eyes, "I'm just curious about what senior brother is thinking and doing when he's 'horny'."
PS: I just passed away seeing how Fan Wu She is so ‘curious’ BAHAHAHA
Hua Xiang Rong* FYI, the original
novel wrote Yun Zhongjun [云中君], which is a typo by the author. The correct
name should be Hua Xiang Rong.
pulling out the hair from the geese passing
by* [雁过拔⽑] metaphor: people love to take advantage, and if they see benefits, they must take advantage of it.
Xie Bi An panicked. He pushed Fan Wu She away from him and said seriously, "This is a private matter, how can I talk about it with outsiders?"
Fan Wu She raised his eyebrows, "Is this a private matter between brothers? Didn't you say that you treat me as your own younger blood brother?"
"You ..." Xie Bi An rose to his feet, "The tea is getting cold, I'm going to read a book."
But Fan Wu She tugged Xie Bi An's wrist, and he also followed and stood up, "Senior brother."
"What are you doing?" Xie Bi An turned around and realized that Fan Wu She was really almost as tall as himself, at this age, had he really grown up so fast?
"Brother, I've read all those books you gave me, but there are still things I don't understand, can we talk about them."
Xie Bi An's eyes were rounded like deer eyes. He was embarrassed and annoyed. This kind of thing was not understood by anyone, instead it was secretly understood. Would he ask Zhong Kui when he did not understand? Why is this kid not ashamed at all? He lowered his voice sheepishly, "You can just look at it yourself, why ask me?"
"If you want me to read it, don't you want me to understand it? Since senior brother knows, why can’t you tell me directly?" Xie Bi An's shy look tickled Fan Wu She’s heart. He grabbed that slim but strong wrist without letting go, his thumb even rubbing the slightly raised pulse intentionally or otherwise. When thinking of this hand, which could give him the gentlest of strokes, and also exert the Zongxuan Sword Technique so exquisite and invincible, made his heart flutter.
"I don't really understand it either, you will, you will know it by heart." "Is that so ..." Fan Wu She rolled his eyes and added, "I know half of it,
but I do know that I did something disrespectful to senior brother that night."
Xie Bi An's face turned red almost instantly, and he shook Fan Wu She's hand away with force, "It's not true, you're overthinking it, you're just confused from sleeping."
"But I remember that I was erected and senior brother felt it too, right, would senior brother blame me?"
Xie Bi An was about to explode. He panicked, "Don't talk nonsense, no one blames you, and you should stop asking such nonsense questions, cut out distracting thoughts and cultivate properly!" He abandoned Fan Wu She behind and hurried away.
Fan Wu She stared at the handsome back of Xie Bi An's slender waist and long legs, the tip of his tongue slowly licking over his dry lips, a deep and undisguised desire in his eyes. Sooner or later, he would be able to hold this person whenever and wherever he wanted, just like he had in his previous life.
For the whole day, Xie Bi An kept avoiding Fan Wu She. He had never known that raising a younger brother would be so troublesome. He thought that by keeping his younger brother well-fed and warm, supervising his kung fu training and protecting him outside, he had fulfilled his duty as an elder brother, but he had never expected that he would have to face all the embarrassing problems of a young boy growing up. Moreover, he didn’t know if he’s being oversensitive, but from time to time he can feel Fan Wu She staring at him with all sorts of meaningful eyes, sometimes even making his heart shiver, it was as if there was some other karma between the two of them which he didn't know.
However, there was no way he could keep avoiding Fan Wu She. They have to practice their swords together at night.
When they met again, Fan Wu She looked normal, but Xie Bi An looked uncomfortable and was a bit distracted during the fight.
Fan suddenly thrust his sword across fast and fierce, at Xie Bi An's vitals. Xie Bi An was startled. When he regained his focus, it was already too late to dodge.
The blade brushed the clothing in front of Xie Bi An's chest. Fan Wu She took the opportunity to go around his back and clasp his arm with one hand, while the blade crossed in front of the thin white and slender neck.
"Senior brother is not concentrating." Fan Wu She's front chest indistinctly pressed against Xie Bi An's back, his warm breath spraying on his ear, "You always warn me not to be distracted at any time, yet you are so careless during a sword fight, what if I am the enemy?"
Xie Bi An was a little deflated, "It was senior brother who was negligent." He tried to break free from Fan Wu She's grip, but the hand was clenched tightly.
"Senior brother has been avoiding me today, are you angry at me?"
"No, your senior brother is not a narrow-minded person." Xie Bi An said, "Let go of me first."
Fan Wu She hesitated for a moment, let go of his hand and said with a sullen face, "Why are you angry at me."
"I'm not angry at you." "You are clearly angry at me because I asked you those questions?" "I said I am not."
Fan Wu She pursed his lips and looked at Xie Bi An with some resentment, as if he was really aggrieved, but stubbornly refused to say anything.
Xie Bi An couldn't help but feel guilty, he said softly, "Wu She, it's senior brother's fault, but senior brother is really not angry at you."
"Then will you still avoid me?"
"Not anymore." Xie Bi An stroked Fan Wu She's head, like he was comforting a puppy.
Fan Wu She let out a soft hum, "Only you can touch me like that."
Xie Bi An laughed, "Who asked me to be your senior brother." He couldn't help but sigh again, "How did you grow so fast."
"I told you, this year I'll be as tall as you and next year I'll surpass you." "And then I'll stop growing and you'll grow to five foot seven one day?" "Hmm."
"Big talk." Xie Bi An snorted, "How can anyone know what will happen later."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An with a smile in his eyes, a gentleness he would never have thought of himself. Yes, no one could know the future, but he remembered the shape and appearance of the person who had filled his eyes.
As night fell, Xie Bi An took Fan Wu She to Jingzhou City to have some fun. He heard that there was a monthly night market tonight, and this one in the first month is the most lively of the year.
The market was so crowded that it was difficult to walk along the two parallel streets, and some of the food stalls had long queues. The more people Xie Bi An saw, the more he wanted to get involved.
To prevent getting separated, Fan Wu She naturally held Xie Bi An's hand, who was busy strolling around, eating this and that, and didn't notice anything wrong.
However, Fan Wu She recalled when he was a child, his elder brother took him by the hand and led him around the lantern fair. When he got tired of walking, his elder brother let him ride on his neck. Looking back, he still can't tell if he was born to be a deviant or if it was because Song Zi Heng was so good to him that he wanted to keep him for himself for the rest of his life.
Xie Bi An bought a freshly cooked sesame candy, took a bite for himself and his eyes instantly lit up, bringing the still steaming deliciousness to Fan Wu She's mouth, "Delicious, quick, try it."
"I don't ..." Fan Wu She looked at the sesame candy that had a piece missing from Xie Bi An's bite, his heart moved, and took a bite at the place where he had bitten. It was crispy and sweet when it entered the mouth. He licked his lips, gazed at Xie Bi An and smiled faintly. "So sweet."
The sesame candy was made into a thin and round biscuit which was as big as a faceplate, and there were places that had not been touched, but Fan Wu She was inclined to bite where Xie Bi An's teeth marks were. Xie Bi An retracted his hand, momentarily bewildered, seems neither caring or not caring.
Yet Fan Wu She seemed nothing unusual: "Senior brother, why aren't you eating?"
"Oh, I'm a bit full." Xie Bi An wrapped the sesame candy and threw it into his Qiankun bag. "I have never eaten this stuff before. We don't have it in Shu land." "Yeah, me too."
Fan Wu She held Xie Bi An's hand again, "There are a lot of people there in front, let’s go and have a look."
Xie Bi An drew back his hand without a trace, "Sure, let’s go. I guess there's a queue again."
He took a few quick steps, but was soon caught up by Fan Wu She. Fan Wu She held his hand again, "Don't run around, there are so many people here, we may get separated."
Xie Bi An suddenly felt his palm get hot. On such a cold day, sweat even seeped out.
At midnight, the streets were still full of people, and the two brothers had enough to eat and drink, so they planned to go back and rest.
Without warning, there was a sudden loud bang in the distance, as loud as a thunderclap in heaven, which startled the people all over the street. , a burst of fire was seen in the direction of Chunyang Sect.
"Oh my God, something's happened, something's happened in Luojinwu!"
Xie Bi An was startled: "Is that ... Luojinwu on fire?!"
Fan Wu She drew his sword: "Go, let’s go back and take a look."
Chunyang Sect has a curfew, so there were no Chunyang Sect’s disciples in the city at this time. The two of them rose up with their swords and left the gush of alarm behind them in the blink of an eye.
They flew back to Luojinwu as fast as they could. The closer they got, the more they could see that the fire was fierce, and looking down from the sky, Chunyang Sect’s disciples were running around putting out the fire like a bunch of ants with no rules. When they landed, Xie Bi An grabbed one of the disciples, "What's going on?"
The disciple said sharply, "There’s a fire*, do you still need to ask?" He broke away and ran away with the bucket.
"It's definitely not just a simple fire, there's an explosion." Fan Wu She said.
"Hurry up and find master." Xie Bi An was very worried about Zhong Kui, fearing that he would drink and become unconscious, "You go to the master's residence, I will go to the place where the fire started."
Xie Bi An ran to the place where the fire was at its peak and his heart went cold. That was the residence of Chunyang Sect's successive sect heads
- Zheng Yang Palace, which was not only the sect head's sleeping quarters, but also the location of Chunyang Sect's hidden treasures.
It was hard not to think of Cangyu Sect's Flying Plume Ambassadors in this situation, and although the two female cultivators really did not look like crazy people, no matter how one looks, this attack was directed at Xu Zhi Nan and the treasure trove.
The high-ranking disciples were drawing a formation
to pray for rain. The lower-ranking disciples were fetching water to put out the fire,
and the elders had probably already gone in to save the people. Because Yuanyang
technique is a fire attribute technique, they are more resistant to heat and fire than ordinary people, but it doesn't mean that they can't burn, and
such a big fire, the people inside are likely to be in bad luck. Xie Bi An was anxious, worried about both Zhong Kui and Xu Zhi Nan. "Senior brother!" Fan Wu She ran over, "No sign of Master."
Xie Bi An looked at the smouldering fire, "Wu She, Master won't ..." If Xu Zhi Nan had been killed, according to his knowledge of Zhong Kui, he would have gone in to save him.
Fan Wu She shook his head, and his brow was tightly locked at the thought that Xu Zhi Nan might be inside.
Xu Zhi Nan, as a master of his generation, should not have been trapped here, but this was a time when his body is weak. If there is a further premeditated set-up…
"Master!" A wail rang.
Only seeing Zhong Kui, carrying a man with a head full of frost and snow, came rushing out of the fire.
It's almost time to go back to the past life again~~ There’s a fire*[⾛⽔]---direct
translation is walk water/or out of water, which is incorrect. In ancient China,
⽕ (fire) is a taboo word (just
like how 死 (die) cannot be said because these words are inauspicious/taboo)
"Master!" Looking at Xu Zhi Nan's weak appearance, Zhaowen's knees went weak and he knelt on the ground. He walked on his knees to Xu Zhi Nan's body, hands trembling and not daring to touch him. His eyes became scarlet in the light of the fire.
Zhong Kui violently wiped a handful of sweat from his face, leaving a few wretched traces of carbon dust: "Why is Immortal's pulse so weak? I've infused spiritual energy into it, but it's like a clay ox going into the sea. It is absolutely useless!" If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, Zhong Kui really couldn't believe that the man in front of him, one of the strongest people in the immortal cultivation world today, was so depleted in spiritual energy that it was as if his entire body had been emptied.
Xu Zhi Nan had aged a lot overnight, his lips were tragically white and dry, and he could not find any color on his face. He faltered and grabbed Zhong Kui's sleeve, his breath like a gossamer, and said, "No need ...my limit. has reached."
Xie Bi An stood aside, anxiously watching Zhong Kui still infusing spiritual power into Xu Zhi Nan's body, but from Zhong Kui's expression, he could tell that it was just a futile effort.
Fan Wu She looked solemn. Looking at the old man who was as weak as a candle in the wind and remembering Xu Zhi Nan being high-spirited and vigorous back then. His heart had mixed emotions.
If Xu Zhi Nan died, the only people in the world who remembered his big brother and shared his memories of him would be him and Li Bu Yu, whom he loathed.
He did not want Xu Zhi Nan to die. He did not want to be the only one left in this world who remembered the amazing Song Zi Heng.
Zhaowen choked, "Master, it is this disciple who is useless and has let you down."
Zhaowen's guilt was not unreasonable. Xu Zhi Nan was a rare genius in the three hundred years of Chunyang Sect. At the year of establishment, he breakthrough and became a Senior Brother of the Sect Master, and his journey to immortality was smooth sailing. However, his disciples did not have such luck. He only accepted five disciples in his life, none of whom had the qualifications to have the power to rule the sect, but Zhaowen's disciple had some of the momenta of Xu Zhi Nan back then. Unfortunately, he was too young to support such a large sect.
The decline of the Daming Song Clan is certainly the main cause of the Clan's sibling rivalry, but the root cause is the failure of the Clan to produce a leader who could lead the immortal world for three generations in a row, and its inability to keep the foundation left by its ancestors. If a sect does not have a leader who can stand up to the immortal world, then the bigger the family business, the fatter the meat will be in the eyes of outsiders.
Xu Zhi Nan, at such an old age, is still determined to break through the Indestructible Heavenly Flame because this realm is like Phoenix Nirvana, which will allow him to regain his life. But it is a double-edged sword; the more critical it is, the more fierce the fire in his heart, and if he fails, he will have to watch his own decline.
Xu Zhi Nan shook his head, "Zhaowen, you have done ... very well, Chunyang Sect, I’ll leave it to you."
"No, no, Master ... Seven Star Lamp!" Zhaowen hissed, "Go find the Seven Star Life-Sustaining Lamp."
"The Seven Star Lamp has been stolen." Zhong Kui said in a deep voice. Zhaowen had tears of blood in his eyes, "Cang, Yu, Sect! Chunyang Sect will take revenge for this!"
Xu Zhi Nan looked at Zhong Kui with those grey eyes and said in a mute voice, "Heaven Master, I have an ... unrequited request." He struggled to get up, but this body, which was known as the toughest and strongest in Jiuzhou, could hardly move at this moment.
Zhong Kui felt his heart sink as he leaned down, "Please speak, Immortal."
Xu Zhi Nan pressed himself against Zhong Kui's ear and whispered a few words.
Zhong Kui's eyes widened and his expression changed.
Xu Zhi Nan covered his chest and coughed violently twice, his body jerking violently as blood suddenly seeped from his mouth and nose.
"Sect Leader Master!"
Xu Zhi Nan clung to Zhong Kui's hand as if returning to light, his eyes wide: "Emperor Kong Hua ... he ..."
Fan Wu She was struck by lightning.
Empress Kong Hua, the last human emperor of the Immortal Cultivation World - Song Zi Heng.
Daming - Wuji Palace - Qinghui Pavilion
"Really?" Song Zi Heng put down his tea in his hand in surprise. His pair of hands and feet suddenly somewhat at a loss as to where to place them. Shen Shi Yao covered her lips with her fan, her beautiful eyes smiling, "Really, the emperor has just told me that the decree has not yet been issued, but it has already been decided."
Song Zi Heng stood up and blinked somewhat helplessly, "Many thanks, mother."
"What's the point of thanking me? Talking about it, you should thank yourself for this matter."
"This son does not understand."
"Three years ago you missed the Jiaolong
assembly in order to investigate the identity and cause of death of that lonely
spirit. We have suffered a lot as mother and son in these three years, I felt unjust in my heart, but ..." Shen Shi Yao snickered, "Who knew that it’s
a blessing in disguise. That evil spirit was actually the guard of the head
the Huaying Sect. When the Huaying Sect came to Daming to say thanks,
father praised you for seeing the uneven road*, but in reality he was angry at
you for missing the Jiaolong assembly, but just yesterday the head of the Huaying Sect sent someone to ask for a marriage proposal for his daughter." She was overwhelmed with joy, "Heng Er, this is a
wonderful marriage." Song Zi Heng didn't understand and said, "Sect Leader Hua's daughter is famous for her beauty, and I heard that countless famous sect’s men have already proposed to marry her before she became an adult. Those who went to propose were targeting me?”
"Of course, that guard is close to Sect Leader Hua's family. He grew up watching their daughter, so the Hua family praises you." Shen Shi Yao laughed, "Besides, although the Huaying Sect is a famous sect, my son is the eldest son of Emperor Song, and gifted, so you are more than worthy of her."
Song Zi Heng said in his heart: Everyone knows that his eldest son is weak and unpopular. Although the Huaying Sect is not a top immortal family, it is still a famous sect. Even though being the Emperor Song’s queen is not a bad deal, it’s a surprise that she admires me.
"Great, it's wonderful." Shen Shi Yao couldn't stop smiling. Being able to tie the knot with the Huaying Sect, their mother and son's status would definitely change drastically. With such a father-in-law, would they still worry about not having a supporter in the future? She said excitedly, "Heng Er, you must cherish this marriage, I will also urge the emperor to announce the marriage as soon as possible, and choose an auspicious day to have the wedding."
Song Zi Heng could not say what he felt in his heart, he was more apprehensive than happy about marrying a woman he had never met before. He obediently nodded his head: “Son will listen to mother.”
Outside the door, there was a sudden rush of footsteps and a figure rushed into the house like the wind.
"Xiao Jiu, don't barge in like this. How many times have I told you!?" Song Zi Heng didn't need to look to know who the visitor was.
A half-grown teenager ran in with a nervous look on his face. He was superb looking, but at a young age, he has a face that is going to be a real crowd-pleaser. "Big brother ...," Song Zi Xiao saw Shen Shi Yao and gave a perfunctory salute, "Consort Shen."
"You guys play." Shen Shi Yao got up and walked out in a modest manner. As Song Zi Xiao grew older and his talent became more and more amazing. Her attitude towards him was not as cordial as when he was a child.
After Shen Shi Yao left, Song Zi Xiao said anxiously, "Big brother, I heard that Father is going to appoint you a marriage, is that true?"
"Mother was just talking to me about it." Song Zi Heng laughed, "It's true, it's Huaying Sect's Sect Leader’s daughter. I've just ..."
"You cannot get married!" Song Zi Xiao yelled.
Song Zi Heng was startled, the tea in his hand almost spilt on him. He said in confusion, "Why?"
Song Zi Xiao bit his lip indignantly, "Why do you want to get married?
Aren't we fine without it? Why must you get married?!"
Song Zi Heng couldn't help himself, "There's no such thing as to why or why not. For most people, don't they all have to get married?"
"But there are also many people who never marry for life."
"Those who are dedicated to the Dao may find the mundane world a drag, and there is nothing wrong with that, but this is a lifelong matter that should be decided by parents. Father and mother have decided, and that is not something bad either."
Song Zi Xiao said angrily, "You just want to get married, you just want to get a wife! You ... how can you be so debased!?"
"Tsk." Song Zi Heng frowned, "Xiao Jiu, you've grown up. You can no longer speak to big brother as childishly as you once did. If you keep being so rude, I'm going to punish you." "You still want to punish me?" Song Zi Xiao was so angry that he was about to cry, "You're going to get married, you're going to leave me behind, and you still want to punish me?"
Song Zi Heng’s heart softened as soon as he saw his watery little face. He pulled Song Zi Xiao to his side and let his ninth brother sit on his lap like he did when he was a child, and said in a good-natured and amusing way, "Where did you get these nonsense thoughts from? Why would I leave you alone when I get married? You are my younger brother, how could I not care about you?"
Song Zi Heng was amused. He pinched both of Song Zi Xiao’s fleshy cheeks, "Are you going to cry? Let's see who’s the man who isn't ashamed to shed tears after being told off by his big brother."
Song Zi Xiao opened Song Zi Heng's hand, "Ever since I was little, you have always been with me. You spend the most time with me. You cannot give it to others."
Song Zi Heng stroked Song Zi Xiao’s head and said in a soft voice, "Xiao Jiu, Big Brother grew up with you, but Big Brother can't stay with you for the rest of your life. No one can stay with anyone for the rest of their lives. You will have to grow up too, and one day maybe you will have to get married and have your own family too. But we are still brothers, always brothers, big brother will never leave you alone forever."
Song Zi Xiao shook his head in panic and begged, "Big brother, don't get married, I beg you. Don't take in any wife. Can't we stay together forever? I don't want you to stay with someone else." The ignorant teenager still could not yet understand the true meaning of this fear. He only knew that he was not willing to share his big brother with anyone. From young till now, he isn’t willing to even let go of his hands and feet. The thought of an outsider trying to take his big brother away from him was something he already hated before he even met her.
"Of course we will always be together. In the future even if we don't live in Daming anymore, you can still live with your big brother, we will never be apart as long as you want." "No, it's not the same. You cannot get a wife, I don't want you to take a wife." Song Zi Xiao grabbed Song Zi Heng's arm and shook it.
Song Zi Heng was not annoyed, wiping Song Zi Xiao's tears while coaxing him patiently.
"I don't care, you're not allowed to get married. You're definitely not allowed to get married! How can you suddenly take a wife!"
"How could I suddenly take a wife? It's still early. Xiao Jiu, Xiao Jiu, listen to big brother." Song Zi Heng said, " year you will be attending Jiaolong assembly, and at this time, Father is most concerned about this matter and cannot be distracted from anything else, so big brother will not get married so fast. You should calm down and train hard. Remember, you swore that you would win the Jiaolong assembly next year and get the sword quenched by Shen Nong Ding."
Song Zi Xiao bit his lips and stared at Song Zi Heng mournfully.
"By the way, at that Jiaolong assembly, Master Hua's daughter will also be there. I heard that she has both talent and beauty, maybe you will like her when you see her ..."
"I will not!" Song Zi Xiao jumped off Song Zi Heng and said angrily, "I hate her, I hate you, I hate you all!" He ran off indignantly.
"You ..." Song Zi Heng chased a few steps after him and gave up. He shook his head helplessly. This child seemed to be really spoiled, not only does he have no manners, he is already twelve years old and still so arrogant and unaware. He couldn't help but reflect on whether he had spoiled Xiao Jiu too much.
There are only a few months left until the Jiaolong assembly. He could only hope that this matter does not affect him.
SQC’s note: Now one is nineteen years old and the other is twelve years old, so I'm going to keep writing until they break up