Chapter 71 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 71 – Broken off all ties
Following Yin Hanjiang’s directions, the Sect Master stood in Qingyue’s room and began the technique. He had been told that, using this array, the transferer would be able to maintain some of their spiritual essence. He
waited for a moment, perfectly still, and was overjoyed to discover that he wasn’t losing as much spiritual essence as he thought he would.
Hè Wenzhao, standing guard outside, glared at Yin Hanjiang and Baili Qingmiao. At first, his thoughts filled with rage, he didn’t feel anything.
But gradually, he realized that his spiritual essence was incessantly pouring away. However hard he tried to take in spiritual energy, he couldn’t keep up with the rate of loss.
Abruptly, he found out he couldn’t move his legs from the spot he stood. Hè Wenzhao wasn’t an idiot. He turned toward Yao Jiaping. “Is this your
Underneath his skin, Yao Jiaping slowly smiled. He had already chased off all the other Shangqing Sect members, claiming that he needed peace and quiet, so now only the Sect Master, Qingyue, Hè Wenzhao, “Yao Jiaping”, and “Baili Qingmiao” were in the side hall.
Hè Wenzhao circulated his spiritual essence, trying to resist, but found out that the more he did, the quicker it was drained.
“What exactly did you do?” he said.
“Nothing much. I just feel so sorry for your master, being so old and having to fall back to Foundation Establishment. As his disciple, isn’t it proper for you to take on your master’s burdens?” Yao Jiaping said casually, as he enjoyed Hè Wenzhao’s look of alarm and fury.
This array was certainly an invention of Yao Jiaping’s. It had a very clever manner of action. The one undergoing the transfer inside was not actually transferring their spiritual essence, just maintaining the array, inexorably
sucking away the spiritual essence of the guard outside. Yao Jiaping, to think of such an array that traded people’s lives, certainly was a twisted person.
However, this array didn’t have the ability to prevent the guard’s escape. What Yao Jiaping wanted to see was the guard running away in order to preserve their spiritual essence, and the two people inside suffering backlash from the array, one ending up dead and one injured, knowing they had been betrayed by someone they trusted. That was Yao Jiaping’s goal.
Yin Hanjiang obviously didn’t want Hè Wenzhao to run. That’s why Wenren È had created that talisman, which Liu Xinye had gotten Hè Wenzhao to drink.
It was made to restrain the Blood Demon. Wenren È was one of the only two blood cultivators in the world. During the battle at the Blood Hell, the demon’s attack on his blood marks allowed Wenren È to comprehend how to restrict the marks. After Hè Wenzhao drank the talisman he had made from primordial chaos energy, the Blood Demon’s marks were sealed and he fell into slumber.
As for Hè Wenzhao, he was currently affected by an immobilization spell Yin Hanjiang had cast. Without the Blood Demon as backup, there was no way Hè Wenzhao could stand up to Yin Hanjiang, who had already broken out of the mortal realm.
“Yao Jiaping, you’re too vicious!” Hè Wenzhao shouted.
“Vicious?” said “Yao Jiaping”. “It’s your master inside, and the shishu you owe your life to. It’s only right for you to sacrifice yourself. Don’t you want to help your master? The Shangqing Sect still needs a Sect Master who understands the bigger picture.” Hè Wenzhao knew there was no use talking to Yao Jiaping. He immediately sent a transmission to his master, about to ask him to stop the transfer, but it was blocked.
Yin Hanjiang had already sealed off the courtyard, so that only he and Baili Qingmiao could hear Hè Wenzhao.
Seeing his spiritual essence was already half gone and he had fallen from Mahayana to Deity Transformation, Hè Wenzhao gave up on yelling at Yao Jiaping and turned to Baili Qingmiao. “Shimei, shimei, please, save me! If this goes on, I’m going to become an ordinary mortal who’s just stepped through the gates!”
“Why don’t you answer him yourself.” Wenren È gave Baili Qingmiao’s body back to her, leaving the choice to her.
If at this point, Baili Qingmiao’s mind was still muddled by the divine nature, then Wenren È would give up on her. He might as well cherish the time he had with Yin Hanjiang, before the three realms were destroyed.
Regaining control of her body, Baili Qingmiao watched Hè Wenzhao
wordlessly, then said, “Shixiong, Sir Yao’s methods are indeed excessive, but he’s not wrong. You owe a debt to both your elders, and just happened to break through to Mahayana, so the duty should be yours.
“Ever since I was young, you taught me that a cultivator must not obsess over temporary gains and losses, and instead value justice above all else. I’ve followed your teachings for all this time, putting others before myself in everything I did. Even if I can save just one life, then it’s worth it no matter what losses I suffer.
“If you can save shibo’s life, then what’s a bit of power? The Sect Master is already very old. If he were to fall to Foundation Establishment, then even though he says he’ll be able to cultivate again, he’s already over eight hundred years old. There’s no way Foundation Establishment power can
sustain eight hundred years of age. After the transfer, when the technique ends, the Sect Master’s time would instantly be up. This is just exchanging one life for another! “But it’s not the same for you. You’re less than a hundred years old, so Foundation Establishment power can extend your life to one hundred and fifty or even two hundred years. If you undertake the transfer, it’s the only way every person involved can survive.”
This was the reason Baili Qingmiao didn’t try to stop Wenren È. She herself also thought it would be for the best if her shixiong took her Sect Master’s place.
“Shimei! Are you under Yao Jiaping’s influence?” Hè Wenzhao was frantic, but he still maintained a loving expression toward her. “Shimei, think about me as well. I’m the Sect Master’s direct disciple. All my peers’ eyes are on me, treating me as an example. If I fell to a level below even an outer disciple’s, how will they all look at me? Do you know how hard it’ll be for me?”
Listening to him, the last traces of hesitation and affection in Baili
Qingmiao’s eyes vanished. She shook her head. “The Sect Master would’ve had a harder time than you.”
She had always thought her shixiong was a righteous person. Even if he had relations with other women, that just meant he hadn’t learned better on that front. Baili Qingmiao understood very well how difficult love was to
control, so didn’t really blame her shixiong, just grieving on her own.
Yet right now, Hè Wenzhao’s actions could not live up to the words he had said in the past. He had never taken to heart the things he’d taught Baili
“Shixiong, you have truly disappointed me.” Baili Qingmiao shook her head. “I thought you at least had compassion.”
She turned uncaringly to Yin Hanjiang and said, “From now on, Baili Qingmiao has broken off all ties with Hè Wenzhao. We no longer have
anything to do with each other. You can take up any grudge with him that you wish. I won’t get in your way. The agreement that we made is, as of now, nullified.” The condition that Baili Qingmiao had raised before letting Yin Hanjiang bring her to Shangqing Sect was that Hè Wenzhao needed to be judged before the public, instead of privately condemned. Now, Baili Qingmiao had been truly disappointed by Hè Wenzhao. She had no more feelings toward him, and thought it was perfectly natural for Yin Hanjiang to want to take vengeance on him.
“I never planned to follow that agreement anyway.” Yin Hanjiang gave Baili Qingmiao an approving look. “This Lord is glad you were able to make this decision, in the end.”
He was glad that his Venerable’s efforts had not gone to waste, and that Wenren È no longer needed to be placed side-by-side with Hè Wenzhao.
“The time has almost come.” Yin Hanjiang nodded slightly, watching Hè Wenzhao’s level steadily fall towards Foundation Establishment.
Inside the room, the Sect Master watched as Elder Qingyue regained his youth, rising to Body Unity, while his own realm had actually not decreased at all, remaining at Mahayana.
He had expended his spiritual essence, but after taking some supplemental elixirs and spending a few months in secluded cultivation, it would all recover.
The outcome was far better than he had expected. He sent a transmission to “Yao Jiaping” outside. “Sir Yao truly is a legendary doctor. Shidi has recovered fully, yet your array has managed to preserve this humble
“Since he’s recovered, this Lord can take his fee, right?” said the man outside the door.
This Lord? The Sect Master didn’t think about it too hard. “Sir Yao can go ahead and say it, as long as it’s something in my power.”
“It’s no big deal,” Yin Hanjiang transmitted. “On the seventh of next month, have all the sect masters and major elders of the Biluo, Jiuxing, and Tianjian Sects, the Wuxiang Temple, and the four great cultivation clans gather at True Yin Mountain. This Lord has an announcement to make.”
“This will naturally be no issue, but what does Sir Yao want to announce?” the Sect Master asked.
“If you’re worried I’ll set up an array there in advance, you can send out disciples to check beforehand. If you agree, then make a vow.”
Seeing that Elder Qingyue was slowly waking up, the Sect Master felt grateful towards “Yao Jiaping”, and thought that nothing could possibly happen with so many powerful cultivators going to the deserted True Yin Mountain, so he agreed to the vow.
“Well, remember this debt. This Lord is leaving.”
Upon hearing Yao Jiaping was going to leave, the Sect Master stopped the technique and, after making sure his shidi was okay, rushed out of the room.
Stepping outside the door, he stopped in his tracks, seeing his favorite disciple had now become forty years old in appearance, being carried off by Yao Jiaping.
Yao Jiaping, Baili Qingmiao, and the unconscious Hè Wenzhao were all riding on an enormous drum. No one in Shangqing Sect was more familiar with this drum than the Sect Master. Eighteen months ago, Yin Hanjiang had ridden it as he chased him home.
Yao Jiaping ripped off the skin on his face, revealing an extremely handsome, yet somewhat cruel face. He smiled calmly at the Sect Master. “This Lord is Yin Hanjiang.”
He tossed Hè Wenzhao to Baili Qingmiao and formed seals with both his hands. Two translucent drumsticks condensed from spiritual energy beat madly on the surface of the drum. Scarlet flames roared to the sky, carrying the Burning Sky Drum upward. With the Moon Pool Bell’s wards, flight was restricted within Shangqing Sect, but wielding the Burning Sky Drum, the Moon Pool Bell’s restrictions were nothing to Yin Hanjiang.
Among the three people in Shangqing Sect who could use the Moon Pool Bell, the Sect Master had expended his spiritual energy, Qingyue was still recovering, and Hè Wenzhao had fallen to Foundation Establishment and was being dragged away by Baili Qingmiao. The sect array could prevent entry, but not exit. Who was left to help Shangqing Sect?
There was no one.
If the Sect Master wanted to stop them, he had to get to the Moon Pool Bell and activate the array’s maximum strength, but he had to ride on a flying boat to get there. By the time a flying boat arrived, Yin Hanjiang would be long gone.
“Yin Hanjiang! Do you want to start another Great War?” The Sect Master yelled, coughing up a mouthful of blood.
“What’s wrong with that?” Yin Hanjiang said indifferently. “Don’t forget who suffered defeat in the last war thirty years ago? If my Venerable were not benevolent, thinking of the survival of mortal lives, how could the righteous path have even held out for ten years?”
“Release Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao!” the Sect Master shouted.
“Baili Qingmiao must return to Xuanyuan Sect to have her heart-linking gu and tracking curse removed. As for your disciple… this Lord will take back everything he is owed, one by one. I’ll be counting on you to inform the other sects. Their disciples are all at Xuanyuan Sect, and if they want to see them again, they better be at True Yin Mountain on the seventh of next month.”
With that, an enormous flame broke through the Shangqing Sect’s array. Yin Hanjiang flew out, riding on the drum. After the Great Sect War and the battle at the Blood Hell, there was no one left at Shangqing Sect who could stop him. Everyone was helpless to do anything but watch as the Xuanyuan Sect Leader entered and left Shangqing Sect unobstructed.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
Chapter 72 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 72 – Ziwu Soul Locking Array
The Burning Sky Drum flew at incredible speeds and arrived back at Xuanyuan Sect in less than an hour.
Yin Hanjiang completely removed Yao Jiaping’s skin. Standing atop the drum, his red robes fluttered in the wind, outlining his lithe frame. A silver belt stood out against the red, making his waist look particularly thin.
Arriving above the Main Hall, he didn’t descend, instead transmitting loud and clear, “All members of Xuanyuan Sect, deploy the Ziwu Soul Locking Array.”
Everyone in the Main Hall heard his transmission and was shocked.
Qiu Congxue, who’d been dispirited since having all the flesh sliced off her by Yin Hanjiang, immediately brightened up. Laughing wildly, she grabbed Su Huai, who was sleeping with a book in hand and drooling. “Come on, disciple, let’s go deploy the array!”
“W—what array?” Su Huai said, his brains rattled by Qiu Congxue’s
shaking. He immediately raised the Rod of Heartbreak. “Wh—what is it? Are we being invaded?”
“The Ziwu Soul Locking Array. I’ve only seen it once in three hundred years,” Qiu Congxue said, licking her lips. “A hundred years ago, when Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang slaughtered their way into the sect, and the old Sect Master was on the verge of death from the Burning Sky Drum’s backlash, he ordered us to seal them with the Ziwu Soul Locking Array.” The sky had turned dark at midday as over a hundred experts of the
Xuanyuan Sect set up the array, trapping the badly wounded Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang. Everyone thought the two would die. Qiu Congxue, who had been impaled through the brain, maintained the array most desperately of
all, determined to kill them.
They maintained the array for three days and nights. Just when everyone thought they had been killed, the twin stars of Polis and Alkaid blazed in the sky. A blood-red demonic sword and black halberd broke out of the
array together. Wenren È flew out, calling back the Seven Killing Halberd, and the blood sword transformed back into Yin Hanjiang, who collapsed, being caught by Wenren È and held against his chest.
“I must commend you for pushing me to such an extent,” Wenren È said slowly. “I thought the Xuanyuan Sect was full of fiends, not one worth keeping, but from what I see now, some can be used.”
A wave of the halberd called up the powers of the Northern and Southern Dippers. Above Wenren È’s head, a star map formed.
Fighting intent allowed Wenren È to not feel the pain of his wounds. The power of the stars replenished his drained spiritual essence. Wenren È’s black robe fell, revealing starlight shining on his back.
It wasn’t a technique he had purposefully cultivated, but the scars left from his life-and-death experiences on the battlefield as a mortal.
The scars mysteriously connected into a map of the fourteen major stars, steadily absorbing energy from them. With a swing of the Seven Killing
Halberd, the unleashed power of the stars injured all of the hundred-plus people maintaining the array.
At that moment, Wenren È stood alone with Yin Hanjiang in his arms. Of the Xuanyuan Sect members, who had just been trying to kill him, all who were capable of getting up kneeled to him, with both hands pressed against the ground and their heads deeply bowed. They kneeled to Wenren È’s power that could overcome a hundred men, to the courage to take on Xuanyuan Sect with only two people, to this miraculous scene of starlight filling the heavens.
From that moment on, Wenren È was recognized by all as the Lord of Demons.
And the Ziwu Soul Locking Array became a secret technique of the
Xuanyuan Sect. With Wenren È there, they would never need such an array. Even in the Great Sect War, it hadn’t been used.
Yet today, Yin Hanjiang wanted this array deployed. What kind of enemy warranted such vigilance?
“That was also the moment I decided I must rise to Mahayana, and worked up the courage to enter the hungry ghost path,” Qiu Congxue said. “I used to fear pain and death. Only now do I know that cultivation is like rowing against the current. Only by having courage can you surmount the heavens!”
But your courage is more like recklessness… Su Huai pursed his lips and didn’t speak his thoughts, in case he got beaten.
“The Ziwu Soul Locking Array requires at least ninety-nine Nascent Soul and above experts. Who knows if we still have that many,” Qiu Congxue said. “Come on. Let’s go watch the fun.”
Qiu Congxue and Su Huai arrived at the scene first, Zhongli Qian following them. After a while, Shu Yanyan led a group of a dozen or so subordinates, all over Nascent Soul stage.
Baili Qingmiao landed smoothly. Wenren È had already left her body by now. She greeted Zhongli Qian, “Brother Zhongli.”
Zhongli Qian took off his blindfold. He looked Baili Qingmiao over,
enduring his dizziness, then put his blindfold back on. He said in relief, “You’ve found your Dao.” “I must thank my seniors for their help,” Baili Qingmiao said quietly. “Who’s the Ziwu Soul Locking Array for?” Shu Yanyan asked.
“Hè Wenzhao, as well as the Blood Demon,” Baili Qingmiao said. “After infiltrating Shangqing Sect alone, Sect Leader Yin has brought back Hè Wenzhao. Right now, Hè Wenzhao’s fallen to Foundation Establishment, but the Blood Demon is tricky to handle, so must be sealed.”
“You didn’t stop Yin Hanjiang from taking Hè Wenzhao?” Shu Yanyan didn’t care about Hè Wenzhao’s life, of course, but she looked at Baili Qingmiao with concern.
Protector Shu didn’t get involved in matters of love, but she admired those in love. She thought well of Baili Qingmiao, admiring this pure and honest girl who didn’t make demands of others. If possible, Shu Yanyan wanted Baili Qingmiao to have the best in life. Too bad heaven toyed with people, and her impassioned feelings were met with a faithless man.
Baili Qingmiao smiled gently. “Thank you for your concern, Miss Shu, but I have already seen through mortal affairs and dedicated myself to the Path of Indifference.”
Seeing as she was calling her Miss Shu, she must be thinking of the past. Shu Yanyan smiled. “Back when we first met, you were still a little girl who threw tantrums because of me and your shixiong’s relationship. Now forty years have passed, and you’re climbing the path to the heavens.”
The beautiful woman raised her head to the sky with a sigh. “The path to the heavens is arduous, and so many bones lie beneath it. A single misstep can lead to your complete and utter demise. If you can’t find someone who can defy the heavens with you, then you might as well abandon love, and forge onward alone.”
She said these words for Baili Qingmiao, but also for herself. Even if her heart moved, whether or not she was willing to take a risk was another matter entirely. She, Shu Yanyan, had never indulged in love. She only pursued absolute power.
Shu Yanyan didn’t look at Zhongli Qian, but Zhongli Qian understood. He had realized this clever woman’s intentions all along. He also admired Protector Shu, but he had never admitted it because he knew she was a vicious beauty, living a free and willful life, never to be tied down by
Yet… Zhongli Qian felt the sharp killing intent that descended from the sky and thought it would also be nice to be like them, two people mutually
supporting each other.
It was difficult to reach the heavens, but more difficult to know another’s heart.
“Is everyone gathered?” Yin Hanjiang called out. “Deploy the array!”
The plaza before the Main Hall already contained a huge array. Ninety-eight experts stood at the spots suited to their own elements, leaving the center
spot to Yin Hanjiang.
Holding an unconscious Hè Wenzhao, Yin Hanjiang descended, leaving the Burning Sky Drum in the sky above the Main Hall as he activated the array.
Ninety-nine experts’ spiritual energy rotated around Yin Hanjiang in the center. With his strength alone, he would command all that power, redirecting it onto Hè Wenzhao and completely sealing him off.
Logically, such treatment shouldn’t be needed for a Foundation Establishment cultivator, but Yin Hanjiang had read God of Annihilation: Volume 2 and seen all the times Hè Wenzhao was in desperate situations,
even once being forced to destroy his own Nascent Soul, but, as long as he wasn’t dead, he always managed to make a comeback, becoming even
stronger and crushing his enemy.
So Yin Hanjiang had to be ever-vigilant. He had to keep his guard up against not only the Blood Demon, but Hè Wenzhao. That was why he had made an exception and used the Ziwu Soul Locking Array. If this array was used offensively, it had the power to destroy a
civilization. If it was used for imprisonment, even a Great Golden Immortal couldn’t escape.
The array was maintained for seven days and nights. In that time, the effects of Wenren È’s talisman wore off and the Blood Demon woke up. Blood mist gathered within the array, and Hè Wenzhao, an ordinary cultivator, let out the howl of a demon.
“Why, you bastards! If this ancestor were at his full strength, a Ziwu Soul Locking Array would be nothing! When I get out, I’ll feast on all your
souls!” the Blood Demon Elder roared.
He had already absorbed seventeen cultivators, so he wasn’t easy to deal with. Some lower level disciples were at their limits, and even Shu Yanyan was being drained.
Yin Hanjiang was completely immovable, however. He pointed one finger at the Blood Demon, steadily pouring spiritual energy into the array,
wearing him down. His other hand made swift hand seals, beating the Burning Sky Drum, diminishing the blood mist with every strike.
They were at a stalemate for seven days and nights. The Blood Demon Elder’s spiritual essence was finally exhausted, and with the flames of the Burning Sky Drum, he was no longer able to endure.
Yin Hanjiang was at his limit too, but his expression never changed,
stubbornly holding on until the Blood Demon had no more power. His voice steady, he called out, “For damaging my Venerable’s reputation and harming him twice at the Blood Hell, Blood Demon Elder, kneel!”
With his furious yell, Yin Hanjiang steadily pressed his finger down.
Ninety-nine streaks of black and white qi poured into Hè Wenzhao’s body. The Blood Demon continued to struggle, until his strength was finally at its limit, and he fell to both knees before Yin Hanjiang. The black and white qi restricted his spiritual essence, so he could no longer escape.
Yin Hanjiang was completely drained, but his expression didn’t change. He ordered Shi Congxin, “Throw him into the water prison and have ghost
cultivators watch him night and day. If anything unusual happens, inform this Lord immediately!”
Having risen greatly in power after retrieving his sickness qi, Shi Congxin said gleefully, “This subordinate understands!”
“You two.” Yin Hanjiang pointed to Shu Yanyan and Qiu Congxue. “Keep an eye on Baili Qingmiao for a month. She has not yet reached Mahayana, so it’s possible something might disrupt her rationality and she might release Hè Wenzhao in a moment of weakness.
“Altar Master Miao, take the righteous disciples to Altar Master Zhongli, and think of a plan that’ll make it impossible for the righteous sects to refuse this Lord’s invitation.
“Altar Master Ruan, follow Altar Master Shi to the water prison, set up an array there, and keep watch. You have the strongest defensive armor, so if anything happens, you’ll be able to protect the ghost cultivators before this Lord arrives.”
“This subordinate understands,” everyone said.
By now, Yin Hanjiang had proved by his own power that he was strong enough to become the new Lord of Demons.
After retrieving the Burning Sky Drum, Yin Hanjiang returned to Wenren È’s room. He clutched his chest, trying not to show weakness.
The inner demons, the Burning Sky Drum, and the Ziwu Soul Locking
Array were each difficult to endure on their own, but Yin Hanjiang had held on. “Venerable, I finally… subdued the Blood Demon.” Yin Hanjiang smiled. Though exhausted, he felt carefree.
He was obsessed with revenge, so he wouldn’t let go of his grudge even if Wenren È was alive. He didn’t just want to vent his anger, but tell everyone on earth that he protected the Lord of Demons, and no one else better even think of touching one hair on his head. Anyone who wanted to kill Wenren È needed to go through Yin Hanjiang.
“You’ve done very well, better than I could’ve.” The phantasm that looked least like his Venerable walked up, saying softly.
“Are you my Venerable?” Yin Hanjiang said, looking lost. “Close your eyes.”
Yin Hanjiang closed his eyes obediently.
Wenren È insubstantially rubbed his head. Yin Hanjiang, you’ve done so well.
Fifteen days had passed without them realizing it.
While Yin Hanjiang’s eyes were closed, Wenren È dipped his head slightly and kissed him on the lips, pressing their foreheads together.
Even though Wenren È wasn’t solid, Yin Hanjiang still felt a hint of warmth on his lips.
As he wondered, he began to feel tired, down to the depths of his soul. Wenren È entered Yin Hanjiang’s consciousness, to begin the next soul communion.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance. Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
1. The northern dipper is the Big Dipper. If you don’t remember, the
southern dipper is a Chinese constellation which contains Polis, now part of the modern constellation Sagittarius. ↩
2. The fourteen major stars are used in the Chinese school of astrology called Purple Star Astrology. These are the stars this book has been referencing. ↩
Chapter 73 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 73 – Second soul communion
The first soul communion had been under urgent circumstances. Wenren È had just wanted to stabilize Yin Hanjiang’s mental state, so didn’t look very deeply into his soul. The soul communion depended on the state of Yin
Hanjiang’s soul. If Yin Hanjiang was determined to resist him and not open up, then it would be no use.
The previous time, Yin Hanjiang’s mind was chaotic, and Wenren È had been immediately blocked by the memory of his confession and Yin
Hanjiang reading the book. After being treated and having this period of time to calm down, Yin Hanjiang had improved significantly. There were now many points of light in his soul.
Wenren È approached one light and saw within it the scene where he had retrieved the Snow Flame for Yin Hanjiang.
He walked to another, larger one, and saw Yin Hanjiang capturing Hè Wenzhao.
After looking at a few more, Wenren È realized that the many points of light of varying sizes were the memories that brought Yin Hanjiang joy and happiness. If the feeling was weaker, the light was smaller. If it was
stronger, the light was bigger.
In the largest light was Yin Hanjiang reading Abusive Romance, seeing
Wenren È’s confession through Baili Qingmiao. It hung at the highest point in his sea of consciousness, bright and round like a sun.
There was a bloodstain within the light, however, and when Wenren È extended his consciousness into it, he found a mess of chaotic, dark thoughts, with traces of the inner demons’ interference. It was the things that caused Yin Hanjiang the most pain.
Wenren È realized. The points of light were Yin Hanjiang’s happiest memories, while the bloodstains were the sources of his inner demons.
He walked further and further into Yin Hanjiang’s sea of consciousness, searching for the origin of his deepest pain. Finally, somewhere deep, he found an enormous bloodstain, bigger than the “sun” hanging in the sky.
This must be the root of everything.
Wenren È tried to enter it, but it resisted him, unwilling to let him in. “Sect Leader Yin,” he said softly. “It’s me, Wenren È.”
When he said his name, the bloodstain shrank even tighter, forbidding him.
Yin Hanjiang was resisting him. This was what he least wanted Wenren È to see.
What should he do, then? Hovering before the bloodstain, Wenren È felt a bit anxious. All the lights and bloodstains were events of the past, which meant this stain before him was something Wenren È didn’t know about, which Yin Hanjiang had sealed off from him.
Even if they were cultivation partners, there should still be some boundaries between them. If Yin Hanjiang didn’t want him to touch something, he
wouldn’t force him.
But if he didn’t resolve this bloodstain, he couldn’t treat Yin Hanjiang’s inner demons. He really was trapped in a dilemma.
Wenren È thought for a while, remembering all his interactions with Yin Hanjiang. Thinking that he also had events in his past he didn’t wish for anyone to know, he suddenly realized.
If Yin Hanjiang didn’t want him to probe, then he could allow Yin Hanjiang to understand him. Wenren È opened his arms. “This Venerable won’t overstep your boundaries. I just wanted to enter your soul and dissolve the walls between us.”
As he spoke, the bloodstain kept shrinking, until it was small enough that Wenren È could encircle it in his arms, and hold it to his chest.
Even if it was Yin Hanjiang’s dark past, Wenren È would use his body to protect it. The bloodstain slowly melded into Wenren È’s consciousness.
“Ah-Wu, Ah-Wu!” A remote and unfamiliar voice that nevertheless brought back memories rang by his ears. A gentle hand was patting his shoulder.
Wenren È opened his eyes blearily and saw a beautiful woman standing near him, saying quietly, “Time to get up.”
It was his mother, the heroic woman who, in times of need, could put on armor and lead the militia of the border town to protect it desperately for five days, until reinforcements arrived and she fainted on the city wall.
Wenren È found he now appeared to be a fourteen or fifteen-year-old youth, and suddenly realized that this was his memory.
“Martial arts, literature, calligraphy… you have many lessons today, so don’t keep your teacher waiting.” His mother held a pair of light swords. If Wenren È didn’t get up, they would probably be slicing down on his hair.
“I’m up, mother!” Wenren È leapt out of bed, quickly getting dressed and washing his face.
He had grown up at the border. Manpower was tight there, so Wenren È didn’t have a maid, only a servant boy who learned martial arts alongside him. He typically did everything himself, but he was in a hurry now, so yelled, “Hand me a towel!”
A pair of tiny, blackened hands held a white towel out to him. After taking it, Wenren È froze. His servant boy was gone, and in his place was a child who appeared just five or six years old. His skin was covered with purple welts, and half his flesh was rotten. He was dirty and stank, holding up a towel with trembling hands.
It was Yin Hanjiang.
Wenren È had taken in the memories Yin Hanjiang was most unwilling to face, and within his soul, Yin Hanjiang had found a suitable position to take and become his servant boy.
This wasn’t reality, it was Wenren È’s memories.
He accepted the towel, but didn’t use it himself. Picking up the tiny Yin Hanjiang, he wet the towel in warm water and used it to gently wipe Yin Hanjiang’s body.
A swollen and necrotic hand slapped the towel away. “Dirty,” Yin Hanjiang said through gritted teeth.
Yin Hanjiang wasn’t worried that the towel was dirty, but that his own body would dirty it.
“A towel can be washed clean,” Wenren È said. “You need treatment and a change of clothes.”
Changes in his mind could affect the people in his memories. His mother no longer pushed him to go study, instead patting Yin Hanjiang’s head gently. “How did this happen to little Jiang? Ah-Wu, help wash him, then bring him to Doctor Li for treatment.”
Wenren È obediently boiled water in order to clean Yin Hanjiang and dug out his own childhood clothes for him to change into. Carrying him, he used lightness art to get to the town doctor’s house.
In his childhood, Wenren È was a young general-in-training, always dressed in white brocade and a bit of a show-off. As he bounded across rooftops
with Yin Hanjiang in his arms, the residents looked up and started
complaining about how the Wenren clan’s little general was leaping around again. Back then, Wenren È was a dazzling youth. His figure appeared brilliant, and even the sky over the border town was a vivid azure.
“Ah-Wu?” Little Yin Hanjiang asked in his arms.
“Before I began cultivating, Wenren Wu was the name my parents gave me. They had also planned to give me the courtesy name Zhige, splitting apart the character for Wu,” Wenren È answered.
Unfortunately, before that day arrived, the Wenren clan was met with disaster, and Wenren Wu renamed himself to Wenren È.
Hopping down from the eaves to before Doctor Li’s door, he gave the man a shock. The elderly but still lively army doctor snatched up a broom beside him and swung it at Wenren È. “Why, you unruly brat! You’ll scare this old man to death! Can you knock properly on the door just once? Every time, you either hop down from the roof or run in from the backyard—my old bones can’t take the shock!”
Before his broom could connect, it was grabbed by a pair of hands. Little Yin Hanjiang glared at Doctor Li with a sullen expression.
Even the dark part of Yin Hanjiang’s soul was very strong. Wenren È, afraid he would fight, was about to stop him when Doctor Li said, “Oh dear,
whose kid is this? How did this happen to him? Quick, come in, I’ll get him bandaged.”
“He was picked up in a corpse pile. His parents and relatives were all slaughtered by foreign tribesmen,” Wenren È said quietly.
Doctor Li’s wrinkled face was instantly filled with sympathy. He had Wenren È place little Yin Hanjiang down on a bed as he fetched strong alcohol and a knife, then began to excise the dead flesh.
Back when Wenren È saved Yin Hanjiang, he healed him with just an elixir and some channeling of spiritual energy. The injuries of mortals were really nothing to a cultivator, so Yin Hanjiang had no particular impression of being treated. This time, Doctor Li painstakingly cut at his flesh, disinfecting with alcohol as he went, making Yin Hanjiang’s face twitch with pain. Wenren È was puzzled as he watched. In the form of a soul, why would he feel pain? What was Yin Hanjiang thinking right now?
Afraid of damaging healthy flesh, Doctor Li worked slowly. Only after ten hours, with the sun having moved from the eastern sky to the west, did he finish applying medicine to and bandaging all of Yin Hanjiang’s wounds.
Little Yin Hanjiang’s face was covered with sweat from the pain. When Doctor Li said, “Done,” Yin Hanjiang fainted on the spot, his brows furrowed.
“How many days had this child been hurt by the time you picked him up?” Doctor Li asked quietly, pulling Wenren È aside.
“About three to five days before I dug him out of the corpse pile,” Wenren È said in a low voice. He didn’t know whether Yin Hanjiang could hear,
and they couldn’t transmit each other messages within his consciousness.
“This child’s a bit odd,” said Doctor Li. “He’s so young that I didn’t want to use anesthetic, afraid it would damage his brain, so I had to work without.
Some of the necrotic flesh could be cut off with no sensation, but some flesh that was not yet dead but couldn’t be saved would cause agony just by touching. He’s such a small child, but after that long a treatment, with me wiping his wounds with alcohol now and then, he didn’t even make a
sound. If it was a braggart like you, I’d believe it if you grit your teeth and didn’t scream, but for such a young child to not even cry, I’m worried there’s something wrong with him here.”
Doctor Li tapped Wenren È’s chest, over his heart.
His heart? Doctor Li had noticed something was wrong in an instant, yet Wenren È back then just abandoned Yin Hanjiang on a mountain without a second thought. He thought it would be enough if he just gave him good food, new clothes, a cultivation method, and the power for revenge. A man didn’t need weakness. But Wenren È hadn’t realized that Yin Hanjiang wasn’t a man. He was only a five-year-old little boy, still at the age where he could cry.
“This child was saved a little late,” Doctor Li said, shaking his head. “His left leg will probably be crippled, and there’ll be scars left all over his face and body. I know you’re busy and Marshal and Madam Wenren are very
strict with you, but you need to find the time to look after him once in a
while. While I was doing the excision, he looked at you every time the pain was too much. He obviously thinks of you as his savior, so take care of him.”
“Your junior understands,” Wenren È said with a low sigh.
“What junior?” Doctor Li slapped him on the head. “Don’t be so formal with me, you’re practically my grandson!”
“Ah-Wu understands,” Wenren È said, having no choice but to pick up the name he had abandoned for so long.
When Doctor Li slapped Wenren È’s forehead, Yin Hanjiang had already woken up, and glared bitterly at the hand he used.
After having observed him for so long, Wenren È understood Yin
Hanjiang’s looks and thoughts, and realized he was currently angry that Doctor Li had hit him.
He sat on the bed, picking up little Yin Hanjiang and letting him rest his head on his thigh. “This man is Doctor Li,” he introduced. “He was once an imperial doctor.”
“Upstanding men don’t mention their past accomplishments,” Doctor Li
said. “I’m just a rotten old man who was chased away for misconduct while treating the imperial concubines and exiled to the army!” He turned his back, his figure seeming a bit glum.
Wenren È smiled. “Then let’s not mention that. Doctor Li’s medical skills are incredible, and after coming to the border town, he’s saved the lives of six thousand one hundred and forty-eight soldiers. A few years ago, he accompanied the army to the battlefield and saved dozens of soldiers within three days, finally collapsing behind the lines from exhaustion. Many times, he’s brought my father and elder brother back from the brink of death, and even I…”
He saw that Doctor Li’s ears were red and decided not to mention his
accomplishments anymore. He said quietly by Yin Hanjiang’s ear, “At the time, the town was in a state of emergency and my nine-months pregnant mother donned armor and joined the army on the walls. When reinforcements arrived and she was carried down, she was already bleeding. If it weren’t for Doctor Li’s skills, I would’ve died in the womb.”
Little Yin Hanjiang blinked up at him.
“Actually,” Wenren È said, lowering his voice, “I’m his adoptive grandson.”
Yin Hanjiang’s eyes brightened and he spoke for the first time to someone besides Wenren È. “Grandpa!” he called Doctor Li.
His voice was still hoarse and weak. Hearing it, Doctor Li grinned so hard his mustache trembled. Turning around, he bent down by the bed. “Oh, good child!”
Yin Hanjiang grabbed his mustache and grinned, pulling the bandaged wounds on his face. He instantly hissed in pain.
Doctor Li snatched back his whiskers and gave Wenren È a look, saying that this child was finally showing some life, so keep it up.
Little Yin Hanjiang was tired, so after some messing around, he rested his head against Wenren È’s hard and muscular thigh and slept.
Before falling asleep, he thought, so these were the people his Venerable wanted to protect.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
1. This is the character for wu 武, meaning martial/military. It’s made of these components ⽌⼽ zhi ge. The first character is stop. The second is dagger-axe, an ancient pole weapon. The quote that “Wu means to stop the
dagger-axe” (martial prowess is meant for stopping conflict) is attributed to King Zhuang of Chu, who ruled during the Spring and Autumn period.
However, the ⽌ in 武 actually comes from foot, so it refers to the movements of an army. The quote is just an artistic reinterpretation. ↩
Chapter 74 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 74 – Prosperity and chaos
“Wenren Wu!” Wenren È was carrying little Yin Hanjiang back when he heard a yell. “Was it you who smashed up Wang Whiskers’ liquor shop the other day?”
A tall and sturdy man with broad shoulders and a thin waist, a head taller than young Wenren È, strode over furiously and flicked Wenren È hard on the forehead. “We in the army are meant to protect the civilians, so how
could you go around causing mayhem?”
Wenren È stared blankly for a moment before remembering that this was his older brother, Wenren Tai, named for “the country prospers and the people live in peace”.
It was too long ago. Only after a lot of thought did Wenren È remember that he really had smashed the shop. Wang Whiskers was a perpetually pessimistic drunk who always said that this town would fall sooner or later, that the Wenren clan would leave and be replaced by some useless wine- guzzling official who would abandon the town and run away when trouble came. Instead of staying here, they might as well die sooner and reincarnate.
Wenren È had come to the liquor shop a few days ago. The emotions of youth were straightforward and strong. If he despised someone, then he despised someone. If he liked someone, then he liked them. He respected his father and elder brothers and thought nothing could possibly happen to the border town as long as the Wenren clan was there, so he was furious at hearing Wang Whiskers’ words. At night, he covered his face and smashed all of Wang Whiskers’ wine jars, and also shaved off his whiskers, leaving his face full of cuts. He thought he had lain low, but hadn’t considered that in the border town, there was only him who was a young teenager with good martial arts skills who spent all day leaping across rooftops. His pair of bright and scornful
eyes were different from anyone else’s in the town and could be recognized at a glance.
Young Ah-Wu’s forehead was bright red from his brother’s flick. Yin Hanjiang got mad and bit down on Wenren Tai’s arm.
Wenren Tai was frantic. “Little kid, let go! My arm is tough, you’ll break your teeth if you bite too hard!”
Little Yin Hanjiang: …
The sturdy young man was at a loss with Yin Hanjiang, afraid to hurt him, and finally turned the blame on his younger brother. “Wenren Wu, you use children as a shield when you’ve done something wrong?”
“Little Jiang, let go.” Wenren È gently squeezed Yin Hanjiang’s face. “You’ve just gotten your face bandaged. Don’t open your wounds.”
Yin Hanjiang slowly let go. Wenren È held him in one arm, and hooked his other arm around his elder brother’s shoulders. He pressed his forehead
against Wenren Tai’s broad arm and said softly, “Brother, I’m so glad to see you again.”
Even if it was only in his memories.
Wenren Tai was stationed year-round at the border and his skin was dark and a bit rough. His face reddened, and, lifting a scarred and calloused hand, he patted Wenren È on the head before coming back to his senses. “Don’t give me that act, it’s not going to make your beating any lighter!”
Wenren È took a beating that day. His father was at the army camp and his eldest brother was stationed at the rear lines, so Wenren Tai dragged him to apologize to Wang Whiskers and pay for the damages, then, in the liquor
shop in front of the civilians of the town, enforced military justice on Wenren È and sentenced him to fifty strokes with a rod, beating him until the skin on his young back was split open.
Little Yin Hanjiang was held by Wenren È’s mother, howling in fury and
struggling to escape from the pair of rough hands, wanting to throw himself over his Venerable to protect him.
“Don’t move!” The woman appeared gentle, but was actually strict. “Stay still and watch. No matter what the reason, a soldier who harms a civilian for personal reasons must be punished by military law. Since he’s young, his punishment has been lightened, otherwise it wouldn’t end until that rod snaps!”
“It hurts…” Yin Hanjiang put a hand on his own heart.
“Of course it hurts. Pain on a son’s body is pain in a mother’s heart.” A tear ran down Wenren Wu’s mother’s cheek, but she wiped it away and
continued. “But he must take the beating. No matter relating to the civilians is unimportant!”
A tear that she missed landed on Yin Hanjiang’s hand. He licked it. It tasted salty and bitter.
After the beating, Doctor Li bandaged Wenren È’s wounds—none too lightly.
When it was done, he also needed to kneel in the memorial shrine for a day and night.
Little Yin Hanjiang wanted to accompany him, and the people around him had no choice but to prepare a cushion for him. Because of the flesh that had just been gouged out of his legs, he couldn’t kneel and had to sit on a cushion, filled with indignation. “The Venerable wasn’t wrong.”
“No, I was wrong,” Wenren È explained gently.
“How could the Venerable be wrong?” Yin Hanjiang lifted his head, his eyes filled with admiration. “Is this how you’ve seen me all this time?” Wenren È smiled and flicked his nose. “No wonder I’m the phantom least like myself in your eyes.”
At the mention of how he was unable to distinguish the inner demons, Yin Hanjiang’s face creased, looking very troubled.
Since this was Wenren È’s consciousness and Yin Hanjiang was in a
spiritual body, he wasn’t affected by his inner demons. In his eyes, there was only the young Wenren Wu. However, he was surrounded by Wenren È’s mother and brother, who looked a lot like him. They had hurt his
Venerable, yet since they resembled him so much, Yin Hanjiang couldn’t find it in himself to punish them.
Wenren È rubbed little Yin Hanjiang’s head and said seriously, “Yin
Hanjiang, I wasn’t born powerful or wise. In my youth, I thought my father and brothers were gods and could hold back all the world’s calamities, and the border town would be peaceful forever, but this was a grave mistake.”
Who was all-powerful? People only straightened their backs, not letting their weakness be seen even if their spine shattered.
Wenren È told Yin Hanjiang what happened after he was beaten. After he was punished for a month, his father, Marshal Wenren, came back to the town on break, and when he heard what had happened, he gave Wenren È
another beating. Afterward, he had gone from strict to kind and told Wenren È Wang Whiskers’ story.
The drunk was fifty years old, and forty years ago, when Marshal Wenren was still a child, the border was in a desperate situation, with the troops having fled and the tribesmen invading. Wang Whiskers, then only ten years old, was hidden in a wine cellar by his mother, and his innocent and tender eyes witnessed uncountable horrors.
Listening, Yin Hanjiang thought of his own past, and the pain in his chest made it hard to breathe.
Wenren È pulled him into his lap and continued. “Yet he survived until my grandfather stepped up during the crisis, leading troops into battle and taking back the town. Since he was a war orphan, he could accompany the army to the nearest governmental office, where there was an orphanage taking such children. However, he didn’t leave the town, instead joining the militia. A few years ago, before I was born, he joined my mother at the city walls, dropping stones on the enemy tribesmen to hold them off.”
“Then why did he say things like that?” Yin Hanjiang asked.
“Because it was all true. The Wenren clan was unable to protect the town.” Wenren È’s voice was filled with pain.
This was the past he had never been able to revisit. All these vivid lives were filled with both good and evil, whether crafty cheats or slippery businessmen. Nobody could be painted in black or white, all making up a frontier town filled with life.
In the end, the Wenren clan was exterminated and the court ceded nine provinces at the border to the enemy tribes. The next day, the tribesmen massacred the town, not sparing men, women, young, or old.
“Don’t look at me.” Wenren È held tiny Yin Hanjiang in his lap, burying his face against his chest. Yin Hanjiang kept trying to raise his head, but it was always pushed back down by Wenren È. Right now, he was still young and could show weakness.
Drops of ice-cold water fell on Yin Hanjiang’s hair. Yin Hanjiang thought that these droplets must also be salty and bitter.
“Venerable…” Yin Hanjiang’s voice was muffled by Wenren È’s chest which was filled with the aura of youth.
“In here, call me Ah-Wu,” Wenren È said.
“A—Ah-Wu…” Yin Hanjiang flushed, and didn’t know if he was just stifled by Wenren È’s chest.
Wenren Wu was very healthy and was jumping around again only a few days after being punished, arguing with his teacher every day. He stole the wine that had been buried for his sister and sat on the eaves drinking it, even giving some to Yin Hanjiang. After his mother found out, she grabbed his ears and spanked him. Little Yin Hanjiang sat on a chair, covering his
eyes as he watched Brother Ah-Wu get spanked. His fingers were spread wide, a pair of large, bright eyes peeking out between his third and fourth fingers.
“Mother, don’t let him watch me get hit,” Ah-Wu said unhappily.
“You still know shame!” his mother said, smacking him again. “Yet you stole your sister’s wedding wine to drink—I can’t believe you!”
After he was beaten, he was forced to copy characters. He was young and couldn’t sit still, and his backside still hurt, so he could only lie on his bed to write. Yin Hanjiang watched at his side as he wrote crooked characters. His Venerable’s calligraphy had always been very good.
“My writing became good after I grew up,” Wenren È said. “Back then, all I cared about was martial arts and I looked down on literary stuff. Every day, I wanted to cut off my teacher’s beard and make it into a brush to send to him.” He smiled. “Only later did I learn what use this stuff was. Martial prowess can protect the kingdom, but literature can educate the people.”
“That’s why you looked favorably on Zhongli Qian?” Yin Hanjiang asked, resting his chin in his hand. The wounds covering his body had mostly healed, only leaving some scary-looking scars.
“In times of chaos, the Wenren clan is needed, but in times of prosperity, people like Zhongli Qian are needed. Without us, chaos will never become prosperity, but without them, prosperity will soon fall back into chaos,” Wenren È said.
After one month, Marshal Wenren came back, and Wenren Wu got beaten again just as he said. By now, little Yin Hanjiang was no longer angry. He had realized that here, anyone could give Brother Ah-Wu a few smacks. He got a small beating every three days and a major one every five. Even his
ten-year-old sister, Wenren Yan, gave him a scratch after he drank her wine. Yin Hanjiang’s face was covered with scars, and he had originally thought of wearing a mask, but he noticed that many people in the border town had scarred faces, and there were some with missing hands and legs, but no one looked at them differently.
Brother Ah-Wu told him that these were veterans or civilians who had been injured. Here, everyone accepted their scars and laughed at life. No one pitied themselves, because once you thought like that, you would be truly pitiful.
Thus Yin Hanjiang learned to face people without a mask. No one around him looked at him oddly, and even ten-year-old Wenren Yan adored her little brother, often sneaking the vegetables she didn’t like to him.
Yin Hanjiang knew that these people were only his Venerable’s memories. His Venerable’s buried memories turned out to be so gentle.
In this way, he lived happily for more than a year. What was to come, must. Things that had already happened could not be changed, and so Wenren È’s memories turned to that chapter.
After the army was recalled, Wenren Wu ran to the capital after recovering from his injuries, and found the walls hung with severed heads.
Digging around within a pile of corpses, he screamed and cried within the mass grave, as little Yin Hanjiang silently watched everything unfold.
All of these people, some resembling his Venerable, some looking a little similar to him, some looking nothing like him, were gone just that easily. Life was such a fleeting thing.
Right now, the two lonely figures huddled together and lit a fire. Beheaded criminals weren’t buried, and the young Wenren Wu didn’t have the
capability to buy coffins for all of his dead family. He himself was a wanted criminal right now.
He laid the countless headless corpses out in rows and set fire to them one by one. Yin Hanjiang didn’t help, just watching him. “I remember you seem to like fires.” After lighting the last body, a ten-year- old who might’ve been Wenren Yan, Wenren È turned to Yin Hanjiang.
After a moment of silence, Yin Hanjiang shook his head and said hoarsely, “I like to burn those who’ve sinned so the bodies once used to commit such crimes can go on to illuminate the night sky. I think that’s all they’re good for, but this is different.”
The Wenren clan wasn’t evil. They should’ve been alive.
“I don’t want them to burn…” Little Yin Hanjiang covered his mouth, choking down sobs.
Wenren È wiped away silent tears and said quietly, “Neither do I.”
Yin Hanjiang still remembered that when Wenren È had taken control of Xuanyuan Sect, he forbade his subordinates from harming any ordinary mortals. Any who disobeyed were killed by him with especially cruel methods.
Back then, Yin Hanjiang said indifferently, “Venerable, the Xuanyuan Sect is a demonic sect. If they are overly suppressed, they might rebel.”
“Then anyone who rebels will die,” Wenren È replied coldly. “The common people are innocent.”
Back then, Yin Hanjiang was ignorant, only knowing how to follow orders. At this moment, he understood what it was that Wenren È was willing to descend into the Path of Slaughter to protect in the midst of death and bloodshed. What it was that stood behind Wenren È’s back and provided his inexhaustible fighting intent.
The common lives that Wenren È protected became his will to never admit defeat. As he protected them, they protected him.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance. Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
1. A tradition in the shaoxing prefecture was burying a jar of a type of wine called nuer hong when a daughter was born and digging it up when she got married to serve at the wedding. ↩
Chapter 75 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 75 – Old scars
Wenren È rode a horse, carrying six-year-old little Yin Hanjiang in his lap, heading slowly toward the border with travel documents in hand.
Little Yin Hanjiang lifted a hand and touched the bandages on Wenren È’s face.
“Do I look scary?” Wenren È asked.
His hands and face were covered with burn wounds, which young Wenren Wu had inflicted himself.
After the Wenren clan’s extermination, Wenren Wu rushed back to the capital with the help of Marshal Wenren’s old subordinates, but didn’t manage to do anything other than recover his family’s corpses.
His father’s friends couldn’t help him much, only prepared a false identity for him and told him to travel as far away as possible. Before the Wenren clan was exonerated, he must not return.
Since Wenren Wu was a fugitive, in order to protect himself and not bring anyone else trouble, he threw himself into a bonfire, burning his face.
Before his burns healed, he sped away from the capital, running into a
checkpoint on the way where a disbelieving officer ripped off his bandages, revealing crimson and bloody flesh.
“No.” Little Yin Hanjiang curled up in his lap, thinking about how the young Wenren Wu had spent these years. His whole family was dedicated to the country, yet only he now remained. He wasn’t more than a fifteen-year-old boy, having not long ago been a mischievous troublemaker who caused chaos wherever he went, but now he needed to hide his name and identity, crushing down his willful and carefree nature, destroying his own uncommonly handsome face and facing a world filled with malice, alone.
A cultivator could heal any sort of injury. By the time Yin Hanjiang met Wenren È, he had already been cultivating for two hundred years and was powerful as to resemble a deity. He knew no match in the cultivation world, an embodiment of strength itself. No one would be able to imagine he once had such a past. Even though Yin Hanjiang had occasionally heard Wenren È bring up the past, he was unable to connect what he heard with the man he knew.
Only now did Yin Hanjiang realize, more clearly than ever, that his
Venerable wasn’t a deity. He was a flesh-and-blood mortal, who understood better than anyone what pain was.
Little Yin Hanjiang climbed up, wrapping his arms around Wenren È’s neck and raising his head to kiss his bandages. “Hurts,” he said softly.
“What are you thinking?” Wenren È poked Yin Hanjiang in the head.
“Three hundred and fifty years have passed, so how could it still hurt?”
In his memories, certain special points couldn’t be changed. After all, the events had all already happened. At points when Wenren Wu’s emotions were most intense, Wenren È would be forced down the same actions. But during this blank space which he had no particular impression of, he could stay levelheaded.
Yin Hanjiang didn’t say anything, just buried his head in Wenren È’s shoulder.
They traveled for half a year before arriving at the border. It was no longer the border they had left, after nine cities had been ceded to the enemy forces. “Back then, I knew I couldn’t kill the worthless emperor, so I fled back to the border and infiltrated the occupied cities in order to assassinate as many of the enemy leaders as possible,” Wenren È said to Yin Hanjiang. “The halberd I always used was in the family manor, so my only wish was to return home and take back my weapon.”
Yin Hanjiang’s heart clenched.
He watched as young Wenren Wu, instead of becoming an official with his recommendations, relied on his martial arts skills and leapt the city wall at midnight. He ran the rest of the way, avoiding enemy soldiers for several days and nights, until he arrived at the town where he had lived.
He had thought that if he returned home, even if his family wasn’t there, there would be traces left of his life, as well as his weapon and the wine his parents had buried for his sister.
But when he arrived, he distantly saw fires in the evening light.
He killed a lone enemy soldier and stole his clothes in order to sneak into the town, finding it abandoned to flames.
Doctor Li, Wang Whiskers, and so many other people he knew were now
corpses sprawled across the streets. The enemy soldiers had dug out Wenren Yan’s wine, and were now drinking it as they celebrated.
Wenren Yan had been too young to have any thoughts about marriage. All
she knew was that marrying someone was like finding someone to take care of her like her father. She knew her father liked to drink, so treasured her
wine, thinking about digging it up and bringing it with her when she got married. She had shown off her fine wine in front of Wenren Wu the whole day, making him mad enough he dug it up and drank it.
The wine she had treasured like her own life had all been wasted, the jars smashed before the doors of the manor.
“Kill them! Kill them all! Burn them! Make them into lamps to burn
eternally!” Little Yin Hanjiang spoke beside Wenren È, his face twisted. This was Wenren È’s memories, and when Wenren È entered a particular frame of mind, Yin Hanjiang would be separated from the world. If Wenren È could see him, everyone else could see him. If Wenren È couldn’t, no one else could.
Right now, Wenren Wu didn’t notice Yin Hanjiang. Staring at the heartless scene before him, he gripped his arms so hard his nails broke skin, forcing himself to endure.
He couldn’t go, he couldn’t go! He was all that was left of his family, so he must survive. There was no meaning at all in killing a handful of people. He needed to survive in order to find his chance.
He covered his eyes, then turned around and ran, leaving the town behind. When he was in the deserted wilderness, he finally collapsed on the ground, curling up, burying his head in his arms and letting out an inhuman howl.
Little Yin Hanjiang stood to one side, watching his Brother Ah-Wu, unable to do anything else.
As he watched, a man descended from the sky at Wenren Wu’s side. Looking loftily down at him, he said, “I was drawn here by the smell of blood from this town and looking to capture a few resentful ghosts, but the spirits’ resentment was completely insufficient. I thought I wasted a trip, but who knew I’d run into a good prospect like you?”
Yin Hanjiang knew this was a demonic cultivator, at the Nascent Soul stage.
Hearing someone suddenly talk to him, Wenren Wu hid away his pain, lifting his head and saying coldly, “Who are you?”
“To you ordinary mortals, I should be considered a god, huh? Hahahaha!” The demonic cultivator burst into haughty laughter. “How about it? Do you want revenge? I have here a manual for the Path of Slaughter. It’s not my path but it’d be a waste to throw it away. I need someone to try it, so what do you say?” Wenren Wu refused. “However strong one person’s martial arts is, they
can’t take on an army. My family’s martial arts are strong enough. I don’t need yours.”
“Hahahaha! With your handful of external martial arts techniques?” the demonic cultivator said. “The blades on a battlefield are merciless and anyone would die no matter how strong their martial arts are, but this method is different.”
“I won’t take you as master.” Wenren Wu wasn’t dumb. After suffering so many tragedies, he was highly on-guard.
“And I don’t need you to. I just want to see how powerful this method is. This manual says that the Path of Slaughter is the supreme demonic path and those who succeed will become the demonic path’s star of death, unmatched within the cultivation world. Tut, tut, a lot of hot air. The last line says that in all of history, of the over one thousand people who have tried this path, not one has made it to Nascent Soul. Not even a single
Nascent Soul, and it wants to brag about being the supreme demonic path? How come I don’t believe it?
“What do you think? Do you want it? If you do, all you have to do is hand over a droplet of blood.” The demonic cultivator waved the book in front of Wenren Wu.
The demonic cultivator flipped open the first page, holding it in front of
Wenren Wu’s eyes. In a glance, Wenren Wu was entranced by the mysteries recorded within. Before he could read more than a few lines, the demonic
cultivator closed the book and held out a hand maliciously.
“I won’t trick you. I can use this drop of blood to control you. If you manage to form a Nascent Soul, I can take it and switch to the Path of Slaughter. If you fail, you’ll die in the heavenly tribulation, and I can use your Golden Core to make elixirs. But either way, you’ll have enough time to gain power and take revenge. How about it?”
Wenren Wu hesitated for a long time, but eventually stuck out a hand, offering a drop of his blood and receiving the book in exchange. The demonic cultivator flew away, laughing. Seeing that a human could fly in the sky, Wenren Wu clutched the manual in his hands tighter, his
expression twisted and his eyes hazy.
“Brother Ah-Wu.” Little Yin Hanjiang clung to Wenren Wu’s leg. No matter how much he shouted, he had been unable to call him awake.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s fine. It’s all in the past.” Wenren È put down the book and picked up Yin Hanjiang, tapping him on the forehead. “It’s just a memory. Three hundred years have passed, and aren’t I still alive? And that method was indeed what that demonic cultivator said it was, providing the power to take on a hundred men.”
Little Yin Hanjiang just held him tightly, muttering, “Ah-Wu, my Ah-Wu.” Not Venerable, just Ah-Wu.
Yin Hanjiang felt sympathy for Wenren È with his entire heart. This was no longer the worship that once saw him as a god, and no longer the dedication of a subordinate to protect his master. He wanted to use his own tiny body to protect Wenren È, and shield him from all the cruelties of the world.
“Don’t cry. Ah-Wu isn’t crying, is he?” Wenren È patted Yin Hanjiang on the head, and suddenly discovered that the scars on Yin Hanjiang’s face and body had disappeared.
Doctor Li had once said that Yin Hanjiang would never fully recover and be left with scars and crippled. This place was Wenren È’s memories, not Yin Hanjiang’s, and if he wanted to recover, he could do so fully. But he didn’t, just becoming what Doctor Li said, crippled and disfigured, brooding and quiet, his thoughts unknown.
Now his scars had vanished on their own. Wenren È examined his smooth face and said, “How come you’re healed?”
Yin Hanjiang felt his face and was confused himself. He’d had no notions of wanting to recover, but without noticing, he had slowly gotten better on his own. They were both stumped, and after thinking for a while without figuring it out, Wenren È patted Yin Hanjiang on the head. “I’m so glad you’re recovering.”
He stared intently at Yin Hanjiang. Reliving his old memories, he finally realized why he had left Yin Hanjiang alone on a mountain and ignored him for years after saving him.
To him, Yin Hanjiang was an incomplete promise. At the moment when Wenren È found him, dusty memories from many years ago were reawakened, stirring an old ache in his heart. He saw history repeating before his eyes, and as he faced this young child, he didn’t know how to comfort him.
All Wenren È could do was give Yin Hanjiang everything he hadn’t had. A healthy body, a secure environment, a method guaranteed to be safe, and a sword that could give him power. And… when Yin Hanjiang grew up, a
safe and peaceful border.
So he donned his armor again, for the sake of his realm which had stagnated for long, but also in order to let a child no longer hate the world.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
Chapter 76 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 76 – My Ah-Wu
Time passed differently within his consciousness compared to outside. Its speed was related to the depth of Wenren È’s memories, so the next ten years passed like an instant to Yin Hanjiang.
He was an observer in this world, looking on as ten years flew by and Wenren Wu changed his name, running around within the occupied cities and saving whoever he came across. All the while, he was gathering
strength and waiting for his opportunity.
At the same time, great changes occurred in the imperial court. With a new emperor’s rise to power, the country became more prosperous and the military stronger. The new emperor hoped to take back the lost lands and was waiting to build up power. War could break out any instant.
Wenren Wu took the opportunity to ally with the underground resistance in the cities, and with cooperation from inside and outside, they drove the foreign tribe out in one fell swoop. His martial arts were powerful and he
commanded forces with skill, as well as having the support of the civilians at the border. He built up renown within the military, waiting for his opportunity, then revealed himself as the orphaned son of Marshal Wenren. Everyone rallied in support of him, and faced with his influence, the court had no choice but to exonerate the Wenren clan.
After laying low for ten years, Wenren Wu finally entered battle as a general, taking back the nine cities in one move and pushing the tribespeople back to the prairies where they didn’t dare to emerge.
By this point, his natural talent in cultivation had brought him to the peak of Core Formation. Wenren Wu had climbed to the Core Formation stage quickly through conflict, but at that moment, he felt himself reach a bottleneck.
No matter how many people he killed or how much territory he took back, he was unable to break through. Just as the manual had said, it was very difficult to break through to the Nascent Soul stage on the Path of Slaughter.
By now, that demonic cultivator returned. He made a suggestion—Wenren Wu had not yet forged a bonded weapon, but a meteor had just fallen onto the prairies, starting a fire which burned for half a month. The tribespeople lost their grazing lands and many of their livestock had starved to death.
Wenren Wu discovered a divine metal within the meteor and forged it into a halberd with divine fire, but no matter what he did, he couldn’t merge with it and make it his bonded weapon.
The prairie fire destroyed the foreign tribe’s power, and they had no choice but to surrender, becoming vassal states who sent tribute to the imperial
court every year.
The new emperor negotiated peace and the war that had lasted for three years finally ended. Wenren Wu was unable to accept this.
When his town was slaughtered, he had vowed to exterminate the enemy tribe, not leaving a single soldier or civilian.
The official that the court sent to negotiate surrender happened to be a branch member of the Zhongli clan named Zhongli Chu. He was also a Core Formation cultivator and had great prestige. In one move, he brought
Wenren Wu under control, forced him to give up his leadership, and put him under house arrest.
Rage burned within Wenren Wu. Holding his newly forged halberd, his expression was dark and vicious, and he showed faint signs of deviation.
Yin Hanjiang was still tiny after fifteen years had passed. He had never seen his Venerable like this before, and hugged his leg, wishing he would return to normal, but Wenren Wu was submerged in his memories and didn’t notice him. “Tut tut, looking at your state, you’ll probably never break through to
Nascent Soul.” The demonic cultivator had returned. He figured Wenren Wu should be forming a Nascent Soul any time now, so often hung around the border, waiting for his chance.
“The Path of Slaughter is indeed quick. I’ve never heard of someone making it from Qi Gathering to Core Formation in just ten years. But in the past five years, you’ve made no progress. Ah… the Path of Slaughter is
easier to cultivate than other paths—you only need to kill people to
advance, but the more you kill, the stronger your inner demons will be, and you’ll be unable to pass your Nascent Soul inner demon tribulation. No
wonder Nascent Soul is a threshold that no one can surmount on the Path of Slaughter.”
Wenren Wu swung his halberd at the demonic cultivator, who quickly backed off. “Woah, you’ve become so addicted to killing, you even want to kill me. How about this? I have an idea for you. You’ve been unable to merge with that magic weapon, probably because it doesn’t have a
consciousness. Consciousness can be nurtured by heaven and earth, or
created by sealing souls within it. Haven’t you captured many prisoners of war? There are also herders who have fled the fires and come to the cities, and are being managed in the prisoner of war camps. All together, it probably comes up to a hundred thousand people.
“They’re of different races and we can’t see eye to eye. Since you have a grudge against them, you don’t need to see them as people. Think about it
—with a hundred thousand killings and a hundred thousand souls refined into your halberd, shouldn’t you be able to break through to Nascent Soul? At Nascent Soul, what could the disciple of the Zhongli clan do to you?
“Can an exoneration make up for the over a hundred lives of the Wenren
clan? You might as well declare yourself a king and slaughter your way into the capital, eliminating the corrupt officials of the court, making the
emperor into a figurehead and ruling yourself. Doesn’t that sound better?”
Those words, dripping with poison, ate at Wenren Wu. At night, he left the manor with his halberd in hand, breaking into the prisoner camp. His gaze slowly swept across the battered and exhausted prisoners, sleeping huddled together.
It was hard to recognize the tribespeople’s foreign features. In Wenren Wu’s eyes, their faces overlapped with the soldiers who had slaughtered his town years ago.
“Ah-Wu!” Still a five or six-year-old child, Yin Hanjiang grabbed Wenren Wu’s leg, wishing he would wake up.
But this was only a memory, and all of Yin Hanjiang’s actions had no meaning.
Wenren È raised his halberd, aiming it at a prisoner wearing tattered
clothing. When he was about to strike, he heard the weak voice of a child
say, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” He regained awareness. Looking at the halberd in his hand, his body began uncontrollably shaking.
What was he doing?
Taking action against defeated soldiers, the elderly, women, and children, in order to seal their souls eternally within this halberd. It was the same as the deeds the tribe’s heartless soldiers had once carried out against his hometown.
“Eh? What are you thinking?” the demonic cultivator said. “Why aren’t you acting?”
Not long ago, he had sworn to protect the common people living at the border, but now he had become the same kind of slaughterer as his enemies.
When he refused his orders and insisted on slaughtering the foreign tribes, what had Zhongli Chu said?
“Marshal Wenren, you’re a genius commander with unrivaled martial arts.
You can single-handedly wipe out all life on the prairies, but what good would that do? When the spring breeze blows, the grass will sprout again. The vast prairie needs people to manage it, herd cows and sheep and raise horses. After you kill these people, where will the court find people to raise herds? Do you want the border army to manage the lands while you make yourself king of this territory? Or do you want exiled criminals to be sent there, so in a few generations, a new enemy tribe emerges?
“You are a general, so you want to slay the enemy and defend the kingdom. But prolonged military campaigns will only empty the country’s treasury,
and the fighting will disrupt the lives of the civilians living at the border. Only by letting the enemy feel the pain of a defeat, then educating and overseeing them, opening up trade and commerce, can we truly defend the border and ensure lasting peace.
“You say that your grudge from fifteen years ago for the slaughter of your town is still unavenged, and I understand you. But looking into the future, this grudge must stop here.”
Back then, Wenren Wu just thought he was full of it. Because he hadn’t suffered, he didn’t understand how deep this grudge ran.
But now, he stood in the sky and watched the prisoners living lives like animals in the prison camps.
If he killed them and used them to refine his weapon, he could break through to the Nascent Soul stage and truly become a god of death. If he let them go, he would never have any possibility of advancing, and the demonic cultivator next to him was coveting his golden core.
Wenren Wu’s sight slowly turned from the prisoners to the demonic cultivator. The man, who called himself Wanderer Yinsha, said
suspiciously, “What are you looking at me for? The ants below you are your targets. With all these people here, even if you aren’t willing to kill them, I’ll take their souls. After experiencing the tragedies of the war and fire, they’re each filled with resentment, so they’ll make top quality materials!
It’s hard for me to even let you have them!”
Wenren Wu raised his halberd, but instead of pointing to the prisoners, it now pointed at Wanderer Yinsha. “What are you doing?” Wanderer Yinsha asked.
“Even if they’re barbarians, they can be educated and become our citizens. A general’s duty is protecting the common people. I won’t kill prisoners of war, and I won’t allow someone to take advantage of warfare to capture
souls for evil arts!”
As he spoke, his black halberd thrust toward Wanderer Yinsha.
The Nascent Soul stage Wanderer Yinsha calmly took out an item, a doll stained with Wenren Wu’s blood. He stuck a needle through its chest, and
Wenren Wu felt deep agony there. Bearing the pain, he continued to attack, but he had no way to defeat the demonic cultivator who was a realm higher than him and was captured within a few moves.
“Forget it, I’ve wasted fifteen years without any point. The Path of Slaughter isn’t as strong as it’s said to be, nothing but empty words. At least I still have a golden core and these resentful spirits, and after I refine them, they should be perfect for breaking through to Deity Transformation, so it wasn’t a complete waste.” As he spoke, Wanderer Yinsha reached toward Wenren Wu’s dantian, about to take his golden core.
The doll painted with Wenren Wu’s blood had already been taken apart by Wanderer Yinsha, and with each limb being removed, Wenren Wu felt himself lose control over part of his body. Now he lay powerlessly, unable to move, only capable of watching.
He raised his head, looking up to the myriad stars dotting the sky above the prairie, and felt unwilling. Fifteen years ago, he hadn’t been able to protect his family and the civilians at the border, and now, fifteen years later, he
was still unable to protect his former enemies, the prisoners of war.
Wenren Wu gripped his halberd tightly. It was covered with fresh blood. The halberd had been forged from the meteorite’s iron, and no matter how much blood it absorbed, he was unable to control it and couldn’t use it to fly. Right now, Wenren Wu had one thought left. The common lives at the border no longer needed Wenren Wu, so then the only use he had for this life was protecting peace and securing the future.
Kill! Kill this demonic cultivator!
Killing intent filled him, but the intention to protect allowed him to maintain his rationality.
At the moment Wanderer Yinsha took out his golden core, that halberd
which had never responded before moved. It absorbed the blood covering it and let out faint golden rays of light.
In the sky, Polis shone, the power of the star called down by the light of the halberd. The halberd flew up and slashed through the night with a streak of golden light, severing Wanderer Yinsha’s arm. The golden core returned to Wenren Wu’s dantian.
Wenren Wu’s upper robe fell away, revealing the scars crisscrossing his body which he had gained in years of fighting at the border—the proof of him protecting his homeland.
As starlight descended, Wenren Wu circulated his spiritual energy. While his halberd did battle with Wanderer Yinsha using the power of the stars, he needed to break through to Nascent Soul.
Only a battle that put his life on the line could have a chance of killing his opponent.
At this point, whether or not he could pass his inner demon tribulation and whether or not he would survive was no longer important to him. All he needed was the burst of power at the instant he formed his Nascent Soul.
The inexhaustible power of the stars restored Wenren Wu’s injured body.
With a thought, his halberd returned to his hand. All the deaths he had
caused flashed before his eyes, but Wenren Wu wasn’t shaken, clutching the halberd firmly. With the spiritual energy from the formation of his Nascent Soul, his halberd thrust through the sky, aimed for Wanderer Yinsha. Rays of frosty light shone out. At the last moment before daybreak, the halberd pierced Wander Yinsha’s dantian. Wenren Wu stood in the sky, gazing silently at the ground below.
Polis shone above his head, reflecting the golden patterns of light on the halberd.
Before the power of the stars, Wanderer Yinsha’s soul was scattered. Two streaks of blood ran from Wenren Wu’s eyes. In the end, he hadn’t been
able to take his revenge.
“Marshal Wenren’s righteousness fills this one with admiration,” Zhongli Chu said respectfully as he slowly walked up to Wenren È. “I followed you here, originally intending to sacrifice myself to stop you, but I didn’t imagine that you would show great virtue, abandoning your vengeance and martyring yourself. Today, Marshal Wenren has used battle to stop the dagger-axe, and truly deserves the name of ‘Wu’.”
Wenren Wu glanced at Zhongli Chu and said in a low voice, “You don’t need to worry about me using a cultivator’s power to mess with imperial matters. From now on, Wenren Wu no longer exists in this world. There is only Wenren È.”
When war broke out once more and disaster descended to earth, Wenren È would be there.
That night, Wenren Wu died from old injuries the night before peace was negotiated, being posthumously awarded the title of the North Defender King.
Not long after, a new Nascent Soul stage expert suddenly appeared among the demonic sects. In just a few months, he destroyed several sects who had harmed the public. He wielded the Seven-Killing Halberd, surrounded by the aura of death, calling himself Wenren È.
At the end of the memories, Yin Hanjiang was ejected from Wenren È’s consciousness. Having relived the past, Wenren È also slowly opened his eyes. Within Yin Hanjiang’s soul, he saw that the bloodstain that had prevented him from approaching had transformed into a vast circle of light. Wenren È looked into it and found it was every moment of little Yin Hanjiang’s
experiences in his memories.
The circle of light carried Wenren È up into the sky, hanging at the peak of Yin Hanjiang’s consciousness and beginning to absorb all the lights around it.
The points of light like stars gathered together, becoming blinding radiance that illuminated the previously dark expanse of Yin Hanjiang’s soul,
causing all the bloodstains to vanish under its light.
Wenren È smiled. He left Yin Hanjiang’s consciousness and reappeared in the real world.
Yin Hanjiang opened his eyes, and for a moment, didn’t know where he was.
He looked around himself. All the Wenren È’s crowded in his sight vanished one by one, only leaving the one least resembling him, before Yin Hanjiang.
No, it wasn’t the one least resembling him. It was the true Wenren È that he had never seen before.
Admiration and reverence had led him to deify this man. Thinking that he
could never match up, he had automatically retreated from him and put up a boundary between them.
Yin Hanjiang extended his arms to the man before him, holding him tight. “My Ah-Wu,” he said quietly.
Even if he was unable to touch him right now, he needed to hold him.
However, when Yin Hanjiang’s arms tightened, he touched a solid body.
Even Wenren È was shocked. He had already returned the divine blood to Baili Qingmiao, so how was his body solid? “Where’s the Seven-Killing Halberd?” Wenren È felt in his storage space for it. Since he had no material body, he had been unable to store it inside his body and kept it in a storage space all this time, but it was no longer there.
The Army Crushing Spike lying by the bed hummed toward Wenren È’s chest, as if greeting something.
Yin Hanjiang, linked to the Army Crushing Spike’s intent, placed his hand against his Venerable’s chest. “In here.”
The Seven-Killing Halberd had been forged from a heavenly meteorite. Back then, the goddess in charge of disasters had flung it to the earth to bring devastation to the prairies, so the iron contained the power of the
primordial goddess. Because of this power within it, Wenren Wu had been unable to awaken it as his bonded weapon, and also because of it, after it awakened, it commanded the power of the stars and absorbed Wenren È’s blood.
Within his memories, Wenren È had relived everything that happened back then and once more awakened the divine power within the Seven-Killing Halberd. It fused with his body of primordial chaos and, without knowing it, he had reformed his physical form and cultivated a divine body.
Cultivation was about cultivating the mind. While treating Yin Hanjiang, Wenren È had returned to his origins and rediscovered his original desires that had set him down the path of cultivation.
Wenren È clasped the hand Yin Hanjiang had placed on his chest. “Yin Hanjiang, I’ve returned.”
“Welcome back, Venerable,” Yin Hanjiang said respectfully, but he still had his arms around Wenren È and was unwilling to release him.
“Can Sect Leader Yin return this Venerable’s robes to him?” Wenren È said.
After reforming his body, his illusory clothes had disappeared. The two had just awakened from their soul communion so weren’t in a normal frame of mind and hadn’t noticed until now. But with Yin Hanjiang hugging him, Wenren È began to feel a bit awkward.
“No!” Yin Hanjiang said stubbornly. “The Venerable bestowed it to me himself.”
“…This Venerable has just returned to Xuanyuan Sect, and his subordinate has left him without even his clothes?” Wenren È said with a smile.
“That’s right.” Yin Hanjiang looked at Wenren È, his expression the same as his child self.
Wenren È smiled and leaned over to take back his robe. They struggled for several days, until Yin Hanjiang was exhausted, lying contentedly in
Wenren È’s arms.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
1. haha it means zhongli first. ↩
2. the È comes from zai e which means disaster ↩
Chapter 77 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 77 – Imminent war
After returning from Shangqing Sect, Yin Hanjiang shut himself in for an entire month. The seventh was tomorrow and Zhongli Qian had already prepared everything, pressuring the great sects so that they had no choice but to come, but would Yin Hanjiang be ready tomorrow?
While the two sect leaders secluded themselves, Zhongli Qian had to use various methods to “reassure” the Altar Masters and motivate the
exceedingly lazy and individualistic Xuanyuan Sect key members to do
work. He had finally completed the tasks the two sect leaders had set out for him, and when he thought he’d finally be free, the two refused to emerge.
In truth, the tracking curse and heart-linking parasite didn’t really matter to him. After thirty years, he’d long gotten used to them. Besides, after Baili Qingmiao reached Mahayana, he wouldn’t need the Altar Masters, as if he and Baili Qingmiao joined forces, they could simultaneously break the
curse and expel the parasites.
As for this position as Altar Master, Zhongli Qian truly didn’t want it
anymore. He hoped after the Blood Demon was dealt with, the sect leaders could let him free to wander the world as he pleased and prepare for his tribulation.
“Altar Master Zhongli.” The soft and feminine Altar Master Miao came up to him. “After you helped me tweak the method for raising king gu, I really have seen results. It’s already made a cocoon, and when it emerges in a few days, it should have the power to kill a wandering immortal. I really must thank you. Also, I have a few other ideas, and after the king gu emerges I’d like to raise a few more gu with different effects, so I hope Altar Master Zhongli will help out then too.” Zhongli Qian maintained a faint smile, not mentioning how he had already decided to leave Xuanyuan Sect after everything was over tomorrow.
“Move!” Altar Master Ruan pushed aside Altar Master Miao. “Altar Master Zhongli, what you said was right. Things will tip back when at their
extremes, so everything is at its strongest when it can find an equilibrium. After I added some flexibility to my Xuanwu Armor, its defensive power has skyrocketed. I grabbed a few gu and they were unable to burrow through my armor. In the past, they’d always find a way in.”
Altar Master Miao paled. “Ruan Weiyi, you stole my gu?”
“No way, I just borrowed a few of the righteous disciples,” Altar Master Ruan said, stiff-faced.
“Sir Zhongli, Sir Zhongli!” Helian Chu rushed over, holding a book.
“Thank you so much for your pointers. When I presented the poem I wrote with your advice to the Protector, she especially favored me. I’ve written
another poem today, so can you help me edit it?” Zhongli Qian smiled slightly.
“Cough cough cough!” Altar Master Shi piled in. “Altar Master Zhongli, there’s still a point I don’t understand in desire of the seven sufferings, can you…”
Zhongli Qian kept smiling.
He didn’t have power that far surpassed the cultivation realm like Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang, so in order to get the Altar Masters working for him, he had to coax them a little and get them helping him of their own free will.
The four Altar Masters of the Xuanyuan Sect crowding cheerfully together was truly a sight unprecedented since the sect’s founding. With a yawn, Shu Yanyan leaned against a doorframe, watching them, a bit puzzled over
whether Helian Chu was asking Zhongli Qian for poetry help in order to kiss up to her, or if he really wanted to spend more time with Zhongli Qian. “What’s the racket?” A black-robed woman with a frosty expression marched into the hall—Qiu Congxue.
She hadn’t been in a good mood lately. It had taken a lot of effort to get rid of her flesh, but it had all regrown. Even though she’d risen in strength
again, and it wouldn’t take long for her to ascend to the immortal realm, she was still unhappy.
Baili Qingmiao and Su Huai followed her. Baili Qingmiao wanted to leave Xuanyuan Sect. Her sect had never kicked her out, so she was still a Shangqing Sect disciple, and she really felt out of place in Xuanyuan Sect’s environment. Plus, the ghost taking care of her was the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master whom Qiu Congxue had refined into a puppet. She felt like she was sitting on needles all day and really looked forward to departing
after the gathering.
In the past, that one line from Qiu Congxue would’ve had all the Altar
Masters scuffling with her, but now Zhongli Qian was here. He greeted Qiu Congxue while unobtrusively placating the Altar Masters, preventing
conflict from breaking out.
“Did Altar Master Zhongli call us all here in order to prepare for tomorrow?” Yawning, Shu Yanyan slowly wandered up.
“Precisely,” Zhongli Qian said. “Tomorrow, the righteous cultivators might turn on us, so we should be prepared. Everyone here is a pillar of Xuanyuan Sect, and even if one person gets injured, it’d be a loss to us. Sect Leader Yin isn’t allowing us to set an array in advance, but we at least have to take defensive measures.”
With just a few skillful words, he had all the Altar Masters looking proud of themselves, and even Altar Master Shi, who had his guard up toward Zhongli Qian, decided he was a decent guy.
Suddenly, a black blur flew into the main hall. In a clear voice, he said, “No need for preparations. Just follow this Venerable.”
It was Wenren È. With a wave of his sleeve, he transformed the head seat into two. After
Wenren È seated himself on the left one, another man in red flew in, sitting down at Wenren È’s right-hand side—Yin Hanjiang.
The sect members, all huddling in a group, instantly took their places, saying simultaneously, “Greetings to the Venerable.”
Everyone stopped there, with only Shu Yanyan and Zhongli Qian going on to say, “Greetings to Sect Leader Yin.”
Everyone hurried to greet Yin Hanjiang. Though deferential and polite, they secretly observed Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang together, and were bewildered.
According to Xuanyuan Sect’s customs, when Wenren È was gone, Yin
Hanjiang took his position, so when Wenren È returned, shouldn’t he teach the new Sect Leader a lesson and take his seat back? How come they hadn’t fought?
Shi Congxin was especially worried. He had wanted to support Sect Leader Yin, but who could’ve imagined that the two leaders would settle
everything amicably? Who should he kiss up to now?
He secretly looked at Zhongli Qian and felt bitterness in his heart. Zhongli Qian had been the confidant of both sect leaders from the beginning. How was he so perceptive?
Sweeping his gaze over the assembled crowd, Wenren È spoke calmly, with his right hand holding Yin Hanjiang’s left. “Today, I have an announcement. From now on, Yin Hanjiang is Sect Master of Xuanyuan Sect alongside me. His words should be considered this Venerable’s words. If my ideas conflict with his, you should listen to Sect Master Yin.”
The two’s auras had now far surpassed the cultivation realm. No one understood why these two villains hadn’t been taken by a heavenly tribulation to the immortal realm, and were still lingering about the
cultivation realm. They didn’t dare to question though, and only answered obediently, “Understood.” Shu Yanyan bowed her head, cursing in her heart. “After learning my techniques, you only secluded for one month? Useless!”
When she lifted her head, her face was filled with smiles like usual, as she decided she couldn’t just tutor Yin Hanjiang, the key to having them
seclude for longer would be Wenren È.
Though everyone’s thoughts were going in wild directions, Zhongli Qian’s attitude was unwavering from the start. He took a step forward. “Reporting to the two Sect Masters, everything has been arranged. At noon tomorrow, the righteous sects and cultivation clans will gather at True Yin Mountain. The message carriers have brought info that they’ve already set up a
Heavenly Net Array at True Yin Mountain and are awaiting us.”
“Oh?” Yin Hanjiang seemed a bit tired. Propping himself up one one arm, he lazily swept a gaze over Zhongli Qian. “How did you manage to get them to come quietly?”
Zhongli Qian smiled lightly. “I simply asked the message carriers to investigate a few matters, and found out several secrets from the righteous disciples Sect Master Yin captured earlier. I sent word to each of the sects that if they didn’t attend, these matters would be spread to the public, so naturally they each had to come.”
“Well done,” Yin Hanjiang praised.
“It was Sect Master Yin who originally captured the disciples. I also had
Altar Masters Shi and Miao’s help, and Protectors Shu and Qiu went out to interrogate righteous cultivators. Also, Altar Master Ruan led the members of his Tortoise Shell Pavilion to handle the cowards harassing Xuanyuan Sect. I only made use of everyone else’s abilities,” Zhongli Qian said. “One person can’t accomplish much alone. I was only able to complete the two Sect Masters’ tasks in a month thanks to the Xuanyuan Sect members
acting in harmony and working toward a common goal.”
He made everyone happy with those words, and several people puffed out their chests unconsciously. Wenren È fell into thought, wondering when his Xuanyuan Sect had become something that could be described as “acting in harmony”.
Yin Hanjiang was tired, and hearing that Zhongli Qian had gotten
everything done flawlessly, didn’t feel like speaking. He closed his eyes, leaning back against the chair. The interpersonal relationships of the sect members were nothing to him, as long as they didn’t fight in front of him.
Wenren È saw he was resting and knew he wanted to save his strength for tomorrow, so turned the topic back. “Zhongli Qian, you’ve done admirably.
Altar Master Shi, Altar Master Miao, immediately remove the tracking
curse and heart-linking gu from Altar Master Zhongli. We’ve been rude to Sir Zhongli over the past thirty years.”
Zhongli Qian shook his head. “It is thanks to the Sect Master that I can be here today, after I was given the opportunity to leave the Zhongli clan.”
The Zhongli clan’s prestige, influence, and power were what the disciples of other clans longed for, but to Zhongli Qian, who had been brought up as an heir from his birth, they were only chains. From youth, his cultivation had progressed faster than his fellow disciples, but no one recognized it as his own talent, just the prestige that he carried. The Zhongli clan didn’t need Zhongli Qian. They just needed a person who could gather prestige. It could be Zhongli Qian or anyone with the name Zhongli.
He had always wanted to know what kind of person he would be if he left the Zhongli clan. If he followed his own ideas, what path would he walk down? With his own power, could he open the way to the heavens?
Now, he knew the answers.
After the curse and gu were removed, Zhongli Qian took off his blindfold. The Xuanyuan Sect main hall was bathed in sunbeams. He blinked a few times, feeling like the world he saw was different from what he remembered. His hair also slowly returned to black.
Baili Qingmiao also removed the blindfold around her left eye. Her heart felt lightened, knowing that they had finally reached the end of their journey together. From now on, she and Zhongli Qian would part ways, each walking their own paths.
They shared a smile with each other and bowed with cupped hands, thanking each other for their companionship and wishing each other well on their future journeys.
Seeing that they had finished their farewells, Wenren È said, “There’s no need to prepare too much for tomorrow. Just follow this Venerable closely. The righteous sects’ traps will be nothing to this Venerable. As for how Hè Wenzhao should be dealt with and how we’ll negotiate with the righteous
sects, that can all be left to Sect Master Yin, so you don’t need to interfere.”
The battle at the Blood Hell had been planned by Wenren È. He had only used the righteous sects and the Blood Demon to achieve his goal. This grudge didn’t belong to Wenren È, just Yin Hanjiang.
Yin Hanjiang hated the righteous sects’ blind slandering of Wenren È, and how their scum had pushed countless crimes onto his Venerable.
Wenren È didn’t care about empty fame, but Yin Hanjiang did.
Tomorrow, he would bring forth Hè Wenzhao and let the righteous
cultivators see just how much filth hid beneath their dignified facades.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
Chapter 78 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 78 – Hidden corruption
True Yin Mountain, original location of Violet Spirit Pavilion.
Two years ago, when True Yin Mountain erupted, its natural might razed Violet Spirit Pavilion in a day, the lava spewing forth for a month before stopping. Now, after two years, the area blanketed by the ash was filled with the vivid green of lush growth. The lava had reshaped the landscape
around True Yin Mountain, but fortunately it was remote and had no human settlements nearby. Countless plants and animals had died though. The life in the vicinity had undergone a cleansing, reemerging stronger than ever before.
After the eruption, a new spiritual vein had formed underneath True Yin Mountain, enriching the spiritual energy around it. If no new sect claimed
it, after a thousand years, there was a good chance it could give rise to a few primordial spiritual beings or new species.
Yin Hanjiang selected this place because the surroundings were remote, so even a major battle wouldn’t affect mortals. Also, though it was covered with lush plants, new animals had yet to appear after the disaster. This was the location where the least innocent lives would be harmed.
Even though his thoughts had been muddled and filled with the desire for revenge, Yin Hanjiang instinctively chose a place which would do the least harm to the mortal world.
He had watched Wenren È for so many years, so even if he didn’t understand, he had been subconsciously influenced by many ideas. The sects here had all been threatened by Zhongli Qian, so in tacit agreement, they arrived ahead of time, checking that the demonic
cultivators hadn’t set up a trap and setting up an inescapable net of their own, hoping to bring the demonic path down in one move.
The previous Great Sect War started because under Wenren È’s management, the internal strife in Xuanyuan Sect decreased. Their influence grew by the day, and since demonic methods were faster than righteous ones, in just ten years, the Xuanyuan Sect had the power to take on the entire righteous path alone, and Wenren È had become the top expert of the cultivation world, unmatched by anyone.
Thus, the righteous sects needed to curb the expansion of the demonic sects and fight over the limited spiritual energy. Also, of course, both the righteous and demonic sides had realized that only by having this war could they escape the judgment of heaven.
The last time, the righteous sects found a random excuse to declare war. A small sect had been slaughtered, everyone assumed by the demonic
cultivators, so that had become the fuse to kick off the Great Sect War.
This war, however, wasn’t fate. It was Yin Hanjiang’s determination for justice.
Altar Master Yuan used to work with the righteous sects’ scum, growing his own power in the shadows, so his death unearthed many secrets. Any one of the things Yin Hanjiang discovered would be enough to make a great sect’s reputation completely collapse. Zhongli Qian well understood the importance the righteous sects and cultivation clans placed on reputation,
and since Yin Hanjiang was impatient and Zhongli Qian had his own motives, he had used the Xuanyuan Sect’s name to threaten each and every sect.
Several arrays from ancient texts had been dug up, and the small mountain was blanketed with the Drunken Dream Array, the Sky Fire Array, the
Ascending Firmament Array, and over a dozen others, awaiting the arrival of Xuanyuan Sect so they could massacre them all at once. A red streak flew over the mountain first. The people waiting in hiding saw it was Yin Hanjiang and quickly gave the signal to activate the arrays.
A vast torrent of spiritual energy approached Yin Hanjiang. He made no move to avoid, stopping in the air and watching as countless cultivators emerged from hiding.
His Venerable had said that he should just focus on doing what he wanted, and not worry about anything else.
When the force that could collapse mountains and overturn seas was about to crush Yin Hanjiang’s frail body, a halberd cut through the air, severing the lines of several arrays.
Wenren È appeared behind Yin Hanjiang. He raised a hand, and the natural spiritual energy gathered by the arrays instantly fell under the control of his primordial chaos.
The cosmos was born from chaos, so all spiritual energy came from chaos and would return to chaos. After Wenren È comprehended this, all the techniques of the cultivation world were nothing more than transformations of energy to him. These arrays used secret techniques to transform the
spiritual energy suffusing the human realm into weapons, so he could then use the power of chaos to return the weapons to the earth. He no longer needed to use his own power to block, leading to both sides being hurt and spiritual energy being wasted pointlessly.
A whirlpool of spiritual energy formed around him, absorbing the power of the arrays and magic weapons around him. When the righteous cultivators no longer dared to attack and were powerless to do so, with a wave of
Wenren È’s sleeves, the terrifying volume of spiritual energy reversed its direction, transforming into sparks of light and falling onto True Yin
Mountain as a rain suffused in spiritual energy.
When Baili Qingmiao, following Qiu Congxue, saw this scene of rejuvenation, she was moved and instantly sat cross-legged in the sky, having a moment of sudden enlightenment. Qiu Congxue, Zhongli Qian, and Su Huai never could’ve imagined that with a war on the brink of starting, Baili Qingmiao could just have a moment of enlightenment whenever she wanted. What kind of talent did
she have? She was already at the peak of Void Boundary, so when she woke up from meditation, wouldn’t she be at Mahayana?
Sensing a change in spiritual energy, Wenren È glanced toward Baili
Qingmiao and finally realized. Back then, True Yin Mountain had been influenced by Baili Qingmiao and thus shown signs of erupting. Even though it was eventually brought about by Wenren È’s fight with the Pavilion Master, the ultimate trigger was Baili Qingmiao’s command over disaster.
Her duty was unleashing disaster, so wherever she went, any kind of hidden danger would be prematurely awakened. Even in the spiritual realm, what Baili Qingmiao had seen was the darkness and terror that always
But after she closed her eyes, the spiritual realm was peaceful, bright and dazzling, abundant with treasures.
That scene in the spiritual realm resembled the True Yin Mountain now. In both cases, Baili Qingmiao had brought about disaster, and the disaster had been followed by new life.
After awakening to the Path of Indifference, Baili Qingmiao no longer placed her gaze on a single person, but looked further and higher. When she looked at someone, she saw not a human, but the earth behind them.
The Dao was dispassionate yet held compassion, and such was the cosmos.
After the prairie fires raged, new flowers would always open trembling petals in the aftermath, greeting the new land in a new form.
For millions of years, the three realms had existed like this, destruction being followed by rebirth in turns, the cycle repeating without end. In her meditation, Baili Qingmiao seemed to hear someone speak incessantly by her ear. She didn’t remember their words, but she faintly remembered there was something she had never been able to say.
“You’re incorrect,” Baili Qingmiao muttered in her trance. Only Su Huai, laying out a chair near her, heard.
What? Su Huai leaned close to his master, hearing her say, “If a god of heaven were to place their sight on a single species, then they would not be worthy of being a god.”
As she spoke, Hè Wenzhao was tossed at Yin Hanjiang like a dead dog,
whom he caught in one hand. Yin Hanjiang looked around, his gaze finally falling on the Shangqing Sect Master, throwing Hè Wenzhao at his feet.
“Since you’ve completed your oath, I’m returning your disciple to you,” the red-robed man said coldly.
“Wenzhao!” The Sect Master threw himself at Hè Wenzhao. He saw that he was covered with talismans and unconscious. Seemingly even his soul had been sealed away.
“Yin Hanjiang,” the Sect Master said furiously, “On that day, I led the
attack on the Blood Demon. The Shangqing Sect has ancient records that
say, when a blood demon appears, all life in the mortal realm will perish, so he must be eradicated at all costs. Now that Wenren È has survived, I’m
willing to give my life in order to slay the Blood Demon! But none of this has anything to do with my disciple. If you have a grudge, then take it up with me! Why harm an innocent?”
With Wenren È’s appearance today, everyone knew they had failed to
eliminate the Blood Demon. Somehow, he had gotten more powerful in the Blood Hell, breaking their painstakingly set arrays in one move. Many people wanted to flee at that moment, but their paths were blocked by the members of Xuanyuan Sect, and many people also prepared to fight to the death against the Blood Demon. The new abbot of Wuxiang Temple placed his palms together, saying to Yin Hanjiang, “Benefactor Yin, a blood demon is like no other cultivator. If you are determined to shelter him, then even if we’re to give up our mortal bodies, we must prevent you from making a grave mistake.”
“Shelter him? Hahahaha!” Within the spiritual rain, the red-robed man burst into laughter. His eyes were filled with contempt, as if he saw the righteous sect experts before him as no more than a herd of silly sheep.
With a sweep of his sleeves, Yin Hanjiang appeared before Wenren È. “Today, if you’re determined to kill the Blood Demon, I certainly won’t
stand in your way. But as for who truly is the Blood Demon, we need to clarify matters.”
As he spoke, Yin Hanjiang’s fingers flew through hand seals. The talismans of the Ziwu Soul Locking Array on Hè Wenzhao’s body faded, the power
sealing him growing weaker and weaker.
Over this past month, the Ziwu Soul Locking Array had been steadily draining at the Blood Demon’s soul. In order to survive, the Blood Demon would’ve had to expend his spiritual essence to fend off the corrosion. By now, the spiritual essence he’d absorbed from those seventeen experts
should all be used up.
At the moment before the array lifted, Yin Hanjiang summoned the Burning Sky Drum, which began to sound in the sky. The cultivators prepared themselves to defend or attack Yin Hanjiang in order to stop him from
casting his techniques, but after a few beats, they realized that the drum’s sound wasn’t targeting them.
The pressure of its sound waves were all focused on Hè Wenzhao.
The sound of the Burning Sky Drum had the power to awaken someone’s demonic nature. Yin Hanjiang had experienced this heavily. Now he wanted to see whether the Blood Demon, who was so steeped in dark impulses,
could withstand it. The Blood Demon and Hè Wenzhao regained consciousness
simultaneously. The past month had been hard on them. Hè Wenzhao had been protected by his divine nature and the power of primordial lightning, so could resist the array for some time, but the Blood Demon was vulnerable to it. By the last few days, he had long expended the spiritual
essence he previously absorbed and held out by secretly consuming Hè Wenzhao’s primordial essence and divine power.
Hè Wenzhao didn’t know it was the Blood Demon absorbing his essence, and just assumed it was the array.
Now, finally, the array had been lifted, and when Hè Wenzhao opened his eyes, he saw his master before him. Joy rose in his heart. Had his master come to rescue him?
And the Blood Demon was hungry, starving, as if he hadn’t eaten for a hundred thousand years, his soul parched without the nourishment of
spiritual energy. He felt as though if he didn’t eat a few people, he wouldn’t survive.
Underneath the pounding of the drum, the Blood Demon was brought back to ten thousand years ago, when he was attacked by the entire cultivation world. So many people flashing about before his eyes, attacking him like
they wanted to throw their lives away. When he ran out of spiritual essence, he could randomly grab one of them to consume and use the power he replenished to continue fighting. Countless died in that battle, and the Blood Demon, drunk on slaughter, laughed madly as he watched the cultivators fall one after another.
He was hungry, so hungry, enduring as a wisp of a soul for ten thousand years. After he had finally consumed a few more cultivators, all of that
spiritual essence was lost. He desperately needed to replenish his spiritual essence.
His rationality told him that before he had fully subjugated Hè Wenzhao, and without knowing the current situation, he needed to endure. After figuring out what was going on, he could find an opportunity to act. But if rationality could suppress demonic nature, then Yin Hanjiang
wouldn’t have been so tormented by inner demons, unable to free himself.
Only those who had experienced this madness could understand it, so only Yin Hanjiang could awaken it.
The Blood Demon shook his head, seeing the Shangqing Sect Master through Hè Wenzhao’s eyes. Hè Wenzhao had dragged his battered body toward the Sect Master, who supported him upright.
The moment Hè Wenzhao’s hand touched him, the Blood Demon felt the overflowing energy beneath his skin.
At that moment, his dark urges were impossible to resist. In an instant, he took over Hè Wenzhao’s body, and with a slight effort, blood mist
enveloped the Sect Master while his guard was down.
The Sect Master let out a scream as his body began to dissolve into blood. He watched helplessly as a heartless smile appeared on his disciple’s face, as he ripped off his leg which had already dissolved and began absorbing his soul.
Fortunately, the new abbot of Wuxiang Temple reacted quickly, thrusting his staff at the Sect Master and separating him from Hè Wenzhao, and forcing back the blood mist with Buddha power, saving the Sect Master’s life.
However, half of the Sect Master’s spiritual essence had been absorbed by the Blood Demon, his own disciple. Staring at Hè Wenzhao uncomprehendingly, he asked, “Wenzhao?”
Yin Hanjiang raised his voice. “You say my Venerable is a Blood Demon, but who’s personally seen him killing cultivators? You say this Lord is
sheltering the Blood Demon, but this Lord wants to ask the Shangqing Sect Master, exactly what is Hè Wenzhao?”
While the righteous cultivators were too shocked to act, Yin Hanjiang
clapped his hands, and his subordinates tossed out the scum of the righteous sects. They had been tormented by Altar Master Miao for a month and had lost any will to fight.
Yin Hanjiang kicked one of them in the chin and said, “Tell them what you did!”
“I—I’m a disciple of Biluo Valley. We cultivate by signing contracts with resentful ghosts—we help them fulfil their lingering regrets and they serve us for a few years. I wanted a more powerful resentful ghost in order to
show up the other disciples, so I pretended to be a demonic cultivator and killed a bunch of people, and tortured a woman for a few months before killing her, then showed up and told her the culprit was Xuanyuan Sect, getting her to sign a contract in exchange for revenge. I—I even forced her to eat her family’s souls in order to become the most powerful ghost,” that disciple said, sobbing with a battered face.
Yin Hanjiang kicked another one. “And you?” “I—I’m from Nanguo clan, I…”
One righteous cultivator after another was brought forward, confessing what evil deeds they had pushed onto the Xuanyuan Sect. Even Qiu
Congxue couldn’t stand to listen in the end and shattered the Bilou Valley disciple’s skull with a kick, saying, “You’ll do the deed but you won’t admit it! Worthless!”
The Biluo disciple’s body was dead, but his spirit lingered in the air, yelling, “It wasn’t just me who did it, my sect’s strongest resentful ghost was created using evil techniques!”
After his words, several other people, at Yin Hanjiang’s hinting, also yelled out what their sects had done, such as how Tianjian Sect had forged their immortal blades, how the Gongxi clan had unleashed plagues of locusts onto the populace because of a feud with the Liangqiu clan, and various other matters, revealing that not a single person present this day was innocent. It wasn’t that the sects had never done anything good, but there were too many members and too many connections, and there would always be people willing to do evil for power or fame. It was as if a sheet of white paper was stained by dots of ink, and they could no longer stand up for themselves.
“Shangqing, Biluo, Jiuxing, Tianjian, Wuxiang, Nanguo, Gongxi, Zhongli, Liangqiu… the great righteous sects and four cultivation clans have a thousand years of heritage, following the path of heaven and preserving mortal lives. This is how you preserve mortal lives? Such righteousness!
Such value in sentient lives! What a breeding ground of hidden corruption!” Yin Hanjiang said.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
Chapter 79 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 79 – Hè Wenzhao’s death
Being in the wrong, the righteous cultivators had no way to defend themselves. Even the Shangqing Sect Master, the old-fashioned righteous cultivator who had never done anything wrong in his life, never could’ve imagined that the Blood Demon he’d declared he would eradicate was his own disciple. The shock was such that he was unable to speak.
Yin Hanjiang wasn’t interested in slaughtering the righteous cultivators. He only cared about Wenren È’s reputation. His Ah-Wu thought purely of mortal lives, would rather face death and enter the Blood Hell to seek a slim chance of survival than give in to demonic nature and devour souls. Yin
Hanjiang couldn’t bear such a person being slandered as the Blood Demon.
He glanced at the Shangqing Sect Master. With the amount of spiritual essence the Blood Demon had taken, he probably wouldn’t last much longer, so Yin Hanjiang paid no more attention to this worthless mentor.
The soul of the Shangqing Sect Master alone was far from enough for the Blood Demon. He looked around, searching for victims. With a strange technique, Yin Hanjiang appeared behind each of the experts who had
ambushed Wenren È that day, kicking them toward the Blood Demon.
“Don’t you want to slay demons? This Lord has delivered the Blood Demon to you! Go on!”
With his last yell, the righteous experts gained some spirit. They brought out their weapons, determined to fight to the death against the Blood
However, the righteous cultivators had just expended all their power on the arrays set against Xuanyuan Sect, their spiritual energy having been transformed into a rainstorm by Wenren È, so they had hardly any power left.
The Blood Demon had recovered some strength from the Shangqing Sect Master, and the Burning Sky Drum’s awakening of his demonic nature had faded. He knew he had exposed himself and could no longer lie low, so
abandoning all caution, he grabbed a Shangqing Sect girl who was the closest to him and dissolved her into blood, consuming her.
She just happened to be Liu Xinye.
Seeing that Hè Wenzhao was actually the Blood Demon, all the love left for Hè Wenzhao in her heart had turned into hate. She knew that after
everything was settled, she would be humiliated when she returned to the
sect for being the wife of the Blood Demon. Liu Xinye had often used other girls’ love toward Hè Wenzhao and jealousy for Baili Qingmiao to make
Baili Qingmiao an outcast within the sect, so she knew better than anyone what it was like to be bullied. She desperately wanted to escape such a
Right now, her only choice was to sacrifice her love for the sake of justice. If she struck the first blow against Hè Wenzhao, even if she failed to defeat the Blood Demon, people would admire her. So she hid behind one of the experts and attacked.
Unfortunately, Liu Xinye had never really faced any opponents in her life
and her experience was lacking. She thought she was hidden, but the Blood Demon was aware of every move she made. The Blood Demon had taken on every expert of the cultivation world single-handedly ten thousand years ago. He easily discovered a particularly weak girl within the crowd, perfect for replenishing his spiritual essence.
Liu Xinye, too clever for her own good, thus died at the Blood Demon’s hands.
After absorbing Liu Xinye’s soul, the Blood Demon became more powerful and began to attack, taking on the righteous sect experts. By now, Yin Hanjiang had backed off a great distance with Xuanyuan Sect’s members. He watched coldly as the righteous cultivators battled the Blood Demon, occasionally kicking a few of the scum he’d captured into the circle.
Zhongli Qian, who had regained his sight just yesterday, felt uneasy, but he didn’t plan to plead for Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang to help the righteous
cultivators and take the higher road. Zhongli Qian could be selfless, willing to save Zhongli Kuang even though he knew the other hated him, but he
wouldn’t make other people follow his own standards.
He sighed quietly, unrolled a bamboo scroll, and entered the fray, doing his best to protect the disciples who had gotten caught up in the conflict.
“Don’t you hate Hè Wenzhao?” Wenren È didn’t know what Yin Hanjiang was thinking right now. He couldn’t help clasping his hand under their wide sleeves.
Wenren È thought of himself as someone who didn’t care for reputation,
and didn’t mind when others pushed their crimes on him. As for whether or not it was his doing, heaven kept its own record. Besides, as the leader of a demonic sect, it was better for him to have a bad reputation.
But today, as Yin Hanjiang felt injustice on his behalf, vented for him, and cursed the blind righteous cultivators for him, Wenren È’s heart felt
“I’ll deal with him myself, of course,” said Yin Hanjiang. “But these righteous cultivators have to bear the fruits of their own actions.”
Back when his Venerable saved him, he had vowed to be a vanguard and follow his Venerable throughout every life. Right now, Yin Hanjiang no longer wished to be Wenren È’s yes-man. He wanted to stand in front of
Ah-Wu and protect this man who was willing to sacrifice himself for mortal lives.
“The Venerable may continue on his own path and pay no mind to the gossip of the outside world,” Yin Hanjiang said, gazing at Wenren È. “But I care about the things you don’t care about, so let me deal with the things you don’t feel like dealing with!”
Yin Hanjiang saw that several righteous cultivators had been consumed by the Blood Demon, who had grown in power significantly. If this went on, even he wouldn’t be able to handle him. And the righteous cultivators had gotten enough of a lesson, so the time was now.
“Leave!” The red-robed man dove from the sky, a wave of his sleeve tossing aside the righteous cultivators, who were gathered into a clump and making themselves easier targets for the Blood Demon. Under everyone’s eyes, he faced the Blood Demon.
A few righteous cultivators wanted to set aside prior conflicts and team up with him, but he kicked them away.
“Yin Hanjiang!” one person said, flustered. “This isn’t the time to bicker over the past! The righteous and demonic paths have to work together to defeat this demon! Why are you attacking us?”
“If you stay here, you’ll be a burden. If you don’t want to become fodder for the Blood Demon, then get out of this Lord’s way!” Yin Hanjiang yelled.
That man wanted to say something, but Zhongli Qian knocked him out with his bamboo scroll from behind and dragged him off. Before leaving,
Zhongli Qian gave Yin Hanjiang a look that said, “don’t worry, I’ll deal with them”.
At the same time, a spike blade shining with frosty light transformed into countless copies and surrounded the Blood Demon.
The Blood Demon extended a wisp of soul, trying to dissolve the Army Crushing Spike and absorb Yin Hanjiang’s bonded weapon.
The moment his soul touched the weapon, though, the power of Polis descended from the sky. Wenren È stood behind Yin Hanjiang, halberd in hand, and the Blood Demon found himself unable to touch the Army Crushing Spike with Wenren È’s chaos energy shrouding it.
The leader of Jiuxing Sect looked up to the seventh star of the Northern Dipper and muttered, “Auspicious signs for Alkaid.”
Alkaid was the vanguard unit on the battlefield, disregarding their own lives to enter enemy lines alone. If there was insufficient support, then they
would be crushed, so the danger was great. But if they were supported, then great fortune would come to them and they could rewrite the situation.
If Polis couldn’t give Alkaid sufficient backup, Alkaid would be a lone
soldier, unable to unleash its power. With its master behind it, Alkaid was a dagger that could penetrate deep into the enemy’s ranks.
Countless blades pierced into Hè Wenzhao’s body, pinning the Blood
Demon. During the time when Yin Hanjiang and Wenren È were fighting over his robe, they had looked into methods to deal with the Blood Demon.
A blood cultivator was formless and immaterial, difficult to truly get rid of. Ten thousand years ago, the cultivators had used everything available to them but still allowed a wisp of soul to remain, to wreak havoc again today.
The best method was pinning his soul, preventing him from leaving Hè Wenzhao’s body. Wenren È taught Yin Hanjiang the Blood Severing
Technique and the two came up with a method to immobilize the Blood Demon’s soul. While the Blood Demon was still unwilling to give up Hè Wenzhao’s divine nature, they would seal him within Hè Wenzhao.
With the Army Crushing Spike pinning the Blood Demon, Yin Hanjiang laughed coldly, and began an incantation he’d learned from the Burning Sky Drum. Using the vein of fire beneath True Yin Mountain, he began the Burning Sky Technique.
A streak of crimson fire rose into the heavens, becoming a fiery dragon and wrapping around Hè Wenzhao. The Blood Demon tried to escape, but found himself unable to leave Hè Wenzhao’s body. All he could do was use his spiritual energy to fend off Yin Hanjiang’s flames. After his spiritual energy was drained, the Blood Demon began absorbing Hè Wenzhao’s divine nature without any regard to him.
The divine nature held great power, and even Yin Hanjiang was only at a level slightly above the cultivation realm. Gradually, his strength diminished and the flames began to weaken.
When Yin Hanjiang was gritting his teeth and struggling to hang on, Wenren È took his hand before everyone’s eyes. With a slight smile, he said, “You’re up against two people, so why don’t we work together?”
Yin Hanjiang bit his lips, unwilling. Wenren È leaned closer and said, “Ah- Wu understands that Sect Master Yin wants to protect him. But this
Venerable also wants to protect Yin Hanjiang, so will Yin Hanjiang give him this chance?”
Yin Hanjiang had originally wanted to defeat the Blood Demon with his own power in place of Wenren È, but hearing Wenren È’s words, his
stubbornness faded away.
He understood the desire to protect more than anyone, so how could he let his Venerable be worried?
Chaos energy entered Yin Hanjiang’s body. The spiritual rain mingled with the flames, becoming part of his power. The flames engulfed the Blood
Demon, who, nearly unable to endure, released Hè Wenzhao to control his body again.
Hè Wenzhao had been bewildered the whole time. He had suddenly fallen back to Foundation Establishment, suddenly been captured and sealed at
Xuanyuan Sect for a month, suddenly harmed his own master, and suddenly been engulfed in raging flames, suffering with his spiritual energy drained.
“Master, Shishu, what’s happening?” he cried. “Why am I on fire?”
A hand on his chest, the Shangqing Sect Master asked, “Wenzhao, did you know there was another soul within your body?” Hè Wenzhao froze for a moment, then screamed again from the flames.
Seeing him, the Sect Master was resigned. Coughing up a mouthful of blood, he said, “Then did you know he was the Blood Demon?”
Hè Wenzhao opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but suddenly froze and was unable to speak.
He hadn’t known at the beginning, but at the battle at the Blood Hell, when the Blood Demon took over his body to attack Wenren È, Hè Wenzhao had gotten the faint impression that the person possessing him maybe wasn’t
anything good, and possibly those experts hadn’t been killed by Wenren È.
But he hadn’t told his sect, possibly worried the Blood Demon would turn on him, or possibly afraid to take responsibility for his wrongdoings, or possibly…
Looking at his expression, the Sect Master sighed. “Hè Wenzhao is my disciple, so as his master, I should pay the price for the grave mistake he has made. If Baili Qingmiao hadn’t helped Sect Leader Yin capture this monster, who knows how many more people would’ve died? Let it be known to all disciples of Shangqing Sect that Baili Qingmiao has helped to eliminate evil and achieved great virtue. After this lowly Daoist’s death,
Baili Qingmiao should inherit the leadership of Shangqing Sect!”
After he spoke, he gathered his remaining strength and leapt into the flames.
“Master!” “Sect Master!” The members of Shangqing Sect all began shouting, some people trying to sacrifice themselves to save him.
The Sect Master held up his hands, though, and said, “If we fail in righteousness, we should bear the punishment.”
“Amitabha,” the Wuxiang abbot recited.
It was clear to everyone that the righteous sects had truly lost all face to Yin Hanjiang today. If they didn’t make such a display, the righteous sects would be unable to stand in the cultivation world in the future. The Shangqing Sect Master wanted to die not only because of his own shame, but to bring honor to the Shangqing Sect. If any future disciples wanted to go down the wrong path, they would remember the outcome today.
Within the night, a circle of fire burned until daybreak, like an lamp in the darkness that illuminated the sky above True Yin Mountain.
By the time the sky lightened, the three people within the flames had been reduced to ash. Within the Burning Sky Drum’s fire, only a spike blade remained.
Yin Hanjiang retrieved his weapon, haughtily surveying the ash-covered righteous cultivators. With a scoff, he said, “The Shangqing Sect has a
sense of responsibility, using two of its lives to make up for its mistakes. As for you guys… this Lord will return your disciples to you, so figure out yourself what should be done. And remember one thing—in the future, each sect will take responsibility for its own actions. Don’t go finding someone
else to blame!”
After finishing, he led the Xuanyuan Sect members and left True Yin Mountain grandly.
Upon departing, Yin Hanjiang’s body listed. He had been injured fighting the Blood Demon, but endured it in front of everyone, not willing to let them see.
Suddenly, a hand closed around his ice-cold fingers and warm spiritual energy poured into his body.
The two exchanged a smile.
At the last moment before daybreak, Polis and Alkaid shone brilliantly, reinforcing each other, beating Venus, which should be the brightest in this moment, in radiance.
guys i just translate the chapter titles Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
Chapter 80 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 80 – Book-burning immortal
The day Hè Wenzhao died was the apocalypse for God of Annihilation‘s discussion page and cause for celebration for Abusive Romance‘s. The
atmospheres of the two were night and day.
In the discussion page of God of Annihilation—
[What do you mean ‘the end’? When I heard such an old book was
suddenly getting revised, I rushed to the site to read it, and after following for a million words, the protagonist suddenly… dies? I thought he could
still come back to life, but the author wrote ‘the end’? What kind of **** ending is this? I ********.]
[Author you ****, why did I pay money for this ****, you made the protagonist into a ****, you ****]
[Wasn’t this an old classic? I even bought a physical copy once! Now the protagonist is dead before the end of the first volume. **** author, I want my money back]
[I agree but… previous poster, this book was never printed. Did you read a 1 million word physical copy?]
[Then what did I buy?]
[Was it an especially thick book with especially small text, poor paper quality, which constantly had broken punctuation replaced by question marks? That’s called a pirated edition.] [Forget about the pirated edition. Author, what do you mean by this revision? When Zhao-ge was locked up by Xuanyuan Sect, I was waiting for him to make a comeback, but at the conference he just got burned to death by Yin Hanjiang? And then right afterward, the story was finished? What does this mean?]
[Speaking of this book, God of Annihilation, I always thought it was a
classic because of the mind-blowing ending. But now that I’ve come back to it ten years later, I suddenly feel like the protagonist is kind of a hypocrite and the logic of the harem is questionable. I guess I’ve grown up and my tastes and outlook have changed?]
[It’s probably the same for the author, I guess? After getting older, he looked back on his previous work and just wasn’t satisfied with it, so decided to toss it all out and start over. I can understand the author not
wanting to face his shameful past, but you have to make a sensible ending, you ****]
[Why are there so many ****s in this discussion page?]
[Language filters. Curse words aren’t suitable for children. This story isn’t either, it’ll make you doubt your life. Let’s just go read no romance stories to clean our eyes.]
The readers of God of Annihilation went from rage to helplessness to finally indifference as they moved on to other stories, while the discussion page of Abusive Romance was harmonious throughout.
In Abusive Romance, revised edition, Baili Qingmiao exited meditation having reached Mahayana, achieving minor enlightenment of the Path of Indifference. After hearing that Hè Wenzhao had died and she had been appointed the new Sect Master, she was silent for a bit, then accepted her new responsibility.
Her disciple Su Huai was puzzled. She was already at Mahayana and would soon be able to ascend, so why did she want to tie herself to Shangqing Sect? Baili Qingmiao smiled gently at her disciple. “Do you think that Shangqing Sect and the entire righteous path all consists of chasers of fame?”
“All of them, except for you,” Su Huai answered angrily.
He had also been listening on True Yin Mountain as Yin Hanjiang interrogated the righteous scum on each and every one of their deeds. When he realized just how much dirt had been smeared on Xuanyuan Sect, he was furious, wishing that Sect Master Yin would just burn everyone there, but Sect Master Yin hadn’t done so. He just eliminated the Blood Demon, then gave all the prisoners back to their sects, for them to deal with themselves.
If you asked Su Huai, the best would be killing all the righteous experts present, so Xuanyuan Sect could take over the cultivation world!
“But do you know why the righteous cultivators could push all these deeds onto Xuanyuan Sect?” Baili Qingmiao asked.
“That…” Su Huai found himself wordless.
He wanted to say that Xuanyuan Sect had a bad reputation, but why was its reputation bad? Because it really had done many awful things.
“Before Sect Master Wenren unified the demonic sects, Xuanyuan Sect truly was capable of all evils.” Baili Qingmiao thought back to Zhongli Qian’s teachings and the stories of the past that Master Qingxue had told
her. “Their actions were in no way inferior to the ones of the righteous sects today.”
Over these past several years, Baili Qingmiao had been free from Shangqing Sect, wandering the world and witnessing the sufferings of the mortal realm with her own eyes. She understood that the world wasn’t black and white. When her eyes, previously blinded by infatuation, had been
cleared, her understanding of the world had changed.
She patted Su Huai’s hand, saying, “After Wenren È became the Lord of
Demons, he used harsh methods to purge the ranks of the old Sect Master’s subordinates. That was destruction. He then reformed the sect’s ranks, ordering everyone to follow new regulations. That was rebirth. After a hundred years, Xuanyuan Sect has transformed from a demonic sect to a sect where anyone can express their nature. You feel comfortable in
Xuanyuan Sect because everyone there is true to themselves, displaying malice and kindness openly with no pretenses or masks. But the one who made this possible was none other than Wenren È.”
“As for today, when Yin Hanjiang unmasked the righteous sects’ years-old decay on True Yin Mountain, it was destruction. After all these years of the righteous sects taking in disciples from far and wide, they’ve inevitably
ended up unable to manage them. A large sect is bound to have rotten
elements. If they don’t excise them with a firm hand, the rot will spread to healthy flesh, until righteous and demonic have no meaning, right and
wrong, black and white, are intertwined, and chaos ensues under heaven.”
“So… what Sect Master Yin did was for the benefit of the righteous sects?” Su Huai said, astonished. “Master, have you become smarter? Did you really think of all this yourself? Sir Zhongli probably taught you, right?”
He was close with Qiu Congxue and Baili Qingmiao was a friendly person, so there was no distinction of age between them.
Baili Qingmiao tapped a finger on Su Huai’s forehead. “Your master thought of it herself. After your master obtained the Iridescent Blood Flame Silk, she remembered a great deal.”
The Iridescent Blood Flame Silk was transformed from the divine blood, which the primordial goddess had prepared in order to regain her divinity, so it also stored some memories of her previous life. After ascending to Mahayana, Baili Qingmiao gradually regained some of those memories.
Having been influenced by Hè Wenzhao’s previous incarnation, she really had believed that what she had done was wrong. Only now that she reincarnated and saw Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang’s actions did she come to understand.
“Sect Master Yin’s destruction is painful to the righteous sects, but it’s also their only path for survival,” Baili Qingmiao said regretfully. “In my previous life, I brought immeasurable pain to the mortal realm. To the lives individually, this pain was a devastating blow, but to the cosmos, each disaster is a chance for a new start.”
Su Huai cocked his head as he listened, not really understanding.
“In my previous life, I always brought about destruction, never rebirth. The leadership of Shangqing Sect is an opportunity for me. Shangqing Sect is the leader of the righteous sects, so the Sect Master used his life to wash
away the stain Hè Wenzhao brought to it, and trusted me enough to give me this chance to reform the sect and the righteous path. I cannot refuse such a heavy responsibility.” Baili Qingmiao’s expression grew solemn, and facing the direction of True Yin Mountain, where the Sect Master had passed, she made a deep bow.
She faintly felt, deep inside, that the day she led the righteous sects to once again gain prestige in the world would be the day she was qualified to regain the divine nature.
The primordial goddess had been born together with heaven and earth, and all of her thoughts and actions were in order to preserve the realms. If only disaster existed in the cosmos, then it would head toward inevitable
extinction. Disaster was only a means to clear out the weeds, refreshing the cosmos so it could grow brighter.
Su Huai was still confused. Baili Qingmiao asked if he wanted to go to Shangqing Sect or stay at Xuanyuan Sect, and after a lot of thought, he decided he would follow his master. Even though Xuanyuan Sect was his aspiration, his master was a bit dumb and he was afraid she would get pushed around at Shangqing Sect, so he couldn’t leave her alone.
And if he stayed at Xuanyuan Sect, that Altar Master called Shi Congxin would keep looking at him secretly, paranoid about him stealing his seat as the master of Hellfire Altar. Su Huai thought the members of Xuanyuan
Sect were a bit out of control, and even Sir Zhongli, with all his brains, was about to go bald. He rubbed his thick head of hair and thought there was nothing wrong with being a head disciple at Shangqing Sect. Before Baili Qingmiao left Xuanyuan Sect, some people who got along well with her showed up to say their farewells.
Qiu Congxue was highly unsatisfied. Her disciple had finally reached
Mahayana, but instead of joining forces with her to assassinate Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang, she was heading off to be the Sect Master of Shangqing Sect. She grabbed Baili Qingmiao and yelled at her for a while, until Su
Huai couldn’t listen anymore and, pulling her aside, quietly told her his master wanted to unify the righteous path.
Qiu Congxue’s eyes instantly brightened and, puffing out her chest, said, “Go get it done, and by the time you’ve unified the righteous sects, I’ll be the Xuanyuan Sect Master. By then, when we meet on the battlefield as master and disciple, it’ll be legendary!”
Su Huai rubbed his forehead, feeling like what she was saying wasn’t even close to legendary.
“Don’t you worry,” the alluring Protector Shu said, stroking Su Huai’s face. “With this Protector around, there’s no way your martial ancestor is going to take over the demonic path. If she becomes leader, she’ll probably turn the whole sect into ghosts, and if everyone’s a skeleton with no flesh, who will this Protector dual cultivate with?”
Faced with Protector Shu’s overwhelming beauty, Su Huai’s face reddened and he backed up several steps. Watching her warily, he said, “I’m entering the righteous path with my master, I’ll never d—dual cultivate with you!”
Shu Yanyan laughed slightly and took a few steps forward to squeeze Su Huai’s cheeks. “I wouldn’t touch someone like you. You’re too serious and sentimental, willing to give up everything for the person you love. I can’t take responsibility for that.”
While Shu Yanyan talked to Su Huai, Shi Congxin quietly moved up to Baili Qingmiao and presented a jade talisman with both hands.
“What’s this?” Baili Qingmiao said, looking doubtfully at him. Over her stay at Xuanyuan Sect, she hadn’t actually had any disagreements with Altar Master Shi. When she was unconscious, she instinctively took Altar Master Shi’s sickness qi in order to protect herself and fend off the divine nature. Thus, she had owed him a debt. But after she returned the sickness qi, it had been strengthened by the body of the primordial goddess that
commanded disasters, so Altar Master Shi had gained power and Baili Qingmiao had repaid her debt.
“T—there’s a curse inside. You can use it if anyone defies you,” Shi Congxin said timidly.
Every time he laid eyes on Baili Qingmiao, he wanted to fall to his knees and offer everything he had to her. He really didn’t understand it.
“Thank you.” Even if she wasn’t necessarily going to use it, Baili Qingmiao still accepted his gift.
And, thinking back to the tracking curse that had been placed on Zhongli Qian and her, curses didn’t necessarily have to be bad things, as long as they were used in the right ways.
Thinking about the friend she had traveled for thirty years with, she looked at Zhongli Qian, cupping her hands to him for farewell.
There were no unnecessary words or demands made of each other. A relationship between gentlemen was as faint as water, but Baili Qingmiao knew that if she ever met with trouble in the future, Zhongli Qian was sure to help her out, and if Zhongli Qian needed help, she would do the same.
After bidding farewell to Baili Qingmiao, Zhongli Qian asked Shu Yanyan, “Protector Shu, when will the two Sect Masters exit seclusion? I need to resign and take my leave of them.”
“Exit seclusion?” Shu Yanyan lifted a slender hand to cover her surprised expression. “Who knows how much longer that’ll take? Yesterday, upon returning to Xuanyuan Sect, Sect Master Wenren borrowed a manual from me before entering seclusion. He asked for the most profound manual
which not even I have grasped, so if he wants to master it, it might take thirty or fifty years.” Zhongli Qian: …
He looked toward Baili Qingmiao, hoping his friend could lend him a hand, but Baili Qingmiao had hurried off right after saying her farewells and was long since gone.
Zhongli Qian let out a long sigh. The two Sect Masters seemed to be leaving the task of controlling the demonic cultivators entirely to him. They say that once you set foot on a pirate ship, you can’t leave, and Zhongli
Qian understood exactly what that meant now.
Abusive Romance‘s last page stopped on this chaotic scene. Each of the readers acted as if they were proud to see their first daughter grow up.
[sob sob Reading Baili Qingmiao’s final lines, I feel like my daughter who’s been tricked into running off with a scum man finally grew up. It’s such a bittersweet warm feeling, it’s great.]
[Yeah, she not only stomped on him, but stole his company. Beautifully done!]
[After reading for over a million words, there wasn’t any romance up to the end, or you could say it was a romance between Wenren È and Yin
Hanjiang written from Baili Qingmiao’s point of view, so it was actually a danmei. I’m pondering the title.]
[Abusive romance? All I see is Yin Hanjiang awesomely destroying Hè Wenzhao, where’s the abuse?]
[Abuse of Zhongli Qian’s hair. After this, he needs to keep the demonic cultivators in check. An award-winning teacher goes bald over his misbehaving students—is this twisted morality or the decay of societal values? Hahahaha!]
[Stop it, it’s too vivid. My poor Qian… he might as well shave off all his hair. Monks are self-restrained and good-looking, and it’s better than having a bald spot.] [Who says there’s no abusive romance? Baili Qingmiao and Elder Qingxue a hundred years later, one the leader of the righteous sects, the other the
Demon Lord, forced to kill each other even though they love one another. ‘Back then, I saved your body, you helped me escape a worthless man and saved my soul, we supported each other for thirty years, how could we end up facing each other in battle?’ Isn’t that cruel?]
[You’re thinking too much. Qingxue doesn’t have the brains to become the sect leader. If she goes for the position, Sister Shu won’t let her.]
[Speaking of Sister Shu, I want to see how her deepest techniques can take thirty to fifty years to master.]
Slap! Yin Hanjiang slammed shut Abusive Romance: You Are the Unchanging One in My Heart, giving up on reading the comments.
With the book in hand, he eyed the lamp by the bed, and slowly extended the book to the flame.
A sturdy arm reached over and took the book out of his hand. A lazy voice sounded by his ear. “What does it say? That makes you angry enough to burn it?”
“This Lord is just concerned…” Yin Hanjiang opened his mouth, but found his throat was hoarse, and took a cup of spiritual wine from his storage
space, gulping it down before he continued. “This work is malicious and might affect one’s emotions.”
He roughly went over how, when Wenren È was in the Blood Hell, he had seen scenes from the original edition of the book and it had aggravated his inner demons.
“It isn’t just you who’s experienced that.” Wenren È thought back to how, when Qiu Congxue had been saved by Baili Qingmiao in his place, the original dialogue had appeared in her mind. When Shi Congxin first saw Baili Qingmiao, he also saw divine light. Only, if the same plot was placed on a different person, a completely different outcome would result.
“Why would such a thing happen?” Yin Hanjiang took out Abusive Romance and the three books of God of Annihilation and flipped through them, finding that Annihilation Volumes 2 and 3 had already become blank.
Aside from people still hurling insults in the discussions, there were no signs of a revision.
“I’ve always had a question. In both God of Annihilation and Abusive Romance‘s comments, there has never been any mention of the other book. They clearly have the same two protagonists, so has no one read both books?” Wenren È said.
Yin Hanjiang was bewildered for a moment. Staring at the books, various guesses flashed through his mind, but only one was close to a plausible
answer. “The two books don’t exist in the same world.”
“Correct,” Wenren È said. “The myriad worlds are all disconnected from each other, but they also influence each other. The cultivation realm has many legends about the immortal realm and the divine realm, but when it comes to whether they’re true, we can’t know until we go to the immortal
realm or the divine realm. Yet this doesn’t stop us from knowing things and discussing them.
“Our story is the same. From the viewpoints of different people, it’s reflected in different worlds. Thus, no book in no world has the entire story, only the perspective of a certain person.
“If I have to give a judgment on both books, I’d say these two books are
warnings about the end of the three realms. The fact that they each appeared in different hands is heaven working in mysterious ways, spreading the knowledge of the calamity facing the three realms. Whether or not the people who obtained the books can grasp the single chance of survival
would depend on how they act.
“As for the plot appearing in people’s minds, it could be the doings of the divine nature, or a warning from heaven, or other worlds influencing ours. But there could also be other reasons, so it’s impossible for me to judge.
“The only thing we can be certain of is that, after cultivating the Path of Indifference and taking on the leadership of Shangqing Sect, Baili
Qingmiao’s will should be firm enough to subjugate the divine nature.”
Yin Hanjiang didn’t care about whether or not Baili Qingmiao could save the three realms. If you asked him, being able to live and die alongside Wenren È, then melding together with him after death and becoming the new cosmos, was a fine conclusion.
“I wonder if there’s a book with us as the main characters?” Yin Hanjiang suddenly said, as he flipped casually through the book over the oil lamp.
“Who knows?” Wenren È smiled slightly, and didn’t go to stop Yin
Hanjiang’s move to burn the book. “Would you object to our story being read?”
“What does it matter to me?” Yin Hanjiang tossed the book onto the ground.
Just as Wenren È had said, even if other worlds could see their story, they didn’t have the power to affect the two of them. To Yin Hanjiang, the most important thing was that Wenren È was alive and they were together. This alone was enough.
Yin Hanjiang’s long hair, usually tied up neatly, was loose over the bed,
with one lock being lain on by Wenren È, but he didn’t mind. He picked up a lock of their entwined hair and began playing with it.
“Is the Burning Sky Immortal me or someone else? Am I the reincarnation of the Burning Sky Immortal, or just someone who stole his position?”
“When we reach the immortal realm, we’ll naturally know the answer. In order to reach the immortal realm sooner, should we practice Protector Shu’s techniques again?” Wenren È said. Yin Hanjiang threw an arm over Wenren È and turned over. He half-lidded his eyes, hiding his look of triumph.
As he turned over, he flicked a wrist and set aflame the four books discarded on the floor.
The fire illuminated their somewhat shadowy bedroom. Seeing the light in the corners of his eyes, Yin Hanjiang smiled.
This is the last chapter, but stay tuned for two extra chapters! I think they’re fairly short?
I haven’t translated the author’s notes all along because I’m lazy and want to avoid having to translate slang at all costs, but this last one I’ll
Yin Hanjiang: At the very end, I’ve lit one last fire.
Wenren È: Playing with fire is bad, minors shouldn’t emulate it.
The text ends here, but the story of Xuanyuan Sect, Yin Hanjiang and Wenren È, and Baili Qingmiao will continue in their own world.
The author goes on to ask you to check out their next work, I Await You at the Abyss.
They thank each of their subscribers and say their likes, subscriptions, comments, and bookmarks give an author the power to finish a story.
As an extraneous comment from me, I Await You at the Abyss is another danmei with a gong protagonist, their dynamic has some pretty clear
similarities to this one. It’s set in a modern world with scifi elements. At the beginning, the shou is a patient at an asylum, the gong is a doctor and the only person he can trust, and the asylum becomes a living hell every midnight. The protagonists have to solve the mystery, there’s nice horror and psychological thriller elements.
I heard it’s unfinished and I don’t believe a translation exists.
Thank you for reading, point out my mistakes, and support the original author over on jjwxc.