Chapter 11 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 11 – Escape by feigning death
When reading the book, Wenren È had felt that Baili Qingmiao’s awareness wasn’t consistent and had an obvious bias. Toward Hè Wenzhao, her fellow disciples, or some of the female rivals, she acted like a fool and believed
everything she heard. But whenever Hè Wenzhao had any suspicious
contact with another woman, Baili Qingmiao became unusually perceptive, able to notice something was wrong in an instant. When she was with Hè Wenzhao, she could always tell when her love rivals were making advances toward him.
If Baili Qingmiao hadn’t been sent off by Wenren È, to leave and travel for six months, there was no way Hè Wenzhao could’ve messed around all day with Shu Yanyan. It would’ve taken only one or two times for Baili
Qingmiao to notice.
And indeed, she figured out something was wrong right upon returning. The entire way down the mountain, Hè Wenzhao tried to obstruct Baili
Qingmiao, but wasn’t able to. He could only watch as his shimei leapt onto the Moonlit Frost Silk and burst through Shu Yanyan’s window without
warning. Shu Yanyan was currently taking off her earrings in a mirror.
She leapt up, hearing the window fly open, and saw a furious Baili
Qingmiao, and Hè Wenzhao rushing in after her, while winking furiously at Shu Yanyan.
Shu Yanyan pretended to not see Hè Wenzhao, freezing up the moment she laid eyes on Baili Qingmiao. Tears instantly rolled down her cheeks. Her legs wobbled, and she fell to her knees. Miss Shu was always a considerate person. Hè Wenzhao had originally wanted to hint at her to not say anything while Baili Qingmiao was
distracted questioning her, but it turned out Miss Shu didn’t even see him, already too terrified by Baili Qingmiao.
“Miss Shu, you don’t have to be so polite even if you’re grateful to me,” Hè Wenzhao hurriedly said.
“You shut your mouth!” Baili Qingmiao said, shooting a glare at Hè Wenzhao.
She walked over to Shu Yanyan and said coldly, “Why are you kneeling to me?”
Shu Yanyan said nothing. She was sobbing so hard she couldn’t take a breath, and with a soft cry, she fainted on the floor.
Baili Qingmiao scooped up that little white flower Shu Yanyan with one
arm and pinched the space between her nose and lips hard, waking her. She set her on a chair and said coldly, “Miss Shu, you’re a civilian. I wouldn’t harm you however angry I was. You don’t need to cry.”
Despite those words, Shu Yanyan started crying again. “Miss Baili,” she sobbed, “you’re the one who saved my life. I—I cannot face you.”
Hè Wenzhao paled, hearing Shu Yanyan’s words. He clenched a fist, and were Baili Qingmiao not there, he didn’t know what he might’ve done.
Shu Yanyan glanced at Hè Wenzhao’s expression from the corner of her eye and chuckled inwardly.
They had known each other for six months. Shu Yanyan had known countless men, and figured out Hè Wenzhao’s true nature at a glance.
Hè Wenzhao really did love Baili Qingmiao and would always love her more than anyone. The two were childhood sweethearts who no one else
could easily get between. But Hè Wenzhao felt there was a clear distinction between his body and his heart. He thought that since he only loved Baili Qingmiao, his heart was pure, and he had done nothing wrong toward Baili Qingmiao. Shu Yanyan was just a temporary mix-up and a way to boost his cultivation. With his shimei gone, Hè Wenzhao would say all the sweet
words in the world to lure Shu Yanyan to his side, but now that shimei was back, Shu Yanyan was dirty laundry he had to cover up at all costs, and he had no feelings to spare for her.
When secretly seeking pleasure, it was only pleasurable if you could keep it hidden. Otherwise it was nothing but trouble.
“Why can’t you face me?” Baili Qingmiao turned to give Hè Wenzhao a look, then turned her gaze back to Shu Yanyan.
“I…” Shu Yanyan said hesitantly, then stopped.
“Miss Shu, I will use a truth spell. The truth spell has no effect on someone of a higher level or stronger spiritual cognition than me, but against an ordinary person, I can get anything I want answered,” Baili Qingmiao said.
Hè Wenzhao, hearing this, continued winking madly at Shu Yanyan. He made a hand seal, trying his best to tell Shu Yanyan that his level was higher than his shimei’s, and he could break the truth spell. Shu Yanyan could say any lie she liked. If anything happened, he would take responsibility.
In Hè Wenzhao’s mind, Miss Shu had always been a nice and obedient girl, and she knew she wasn’t worthy for Hè Wenzhao. She wouldn’t try to
compete with Baili Qingmiao for him. At this time, she wouldn’t be willing to or have the guts to speak the truth.
Unfortunately, Shu Yanyan failed to see him again, only staring at Baili Qingmiao with watery eyes. “Miss Baili,” she said softly, “I’m a little thirsty. Will you let me have a few sips of tea before I start talking?”
“Go ahead, I have time to wait,” Baili Qingmiao said, stepping back.
Shu Yanyan rose gracefully and took a tea bag out of a box, putting it in a pot. After the tea was brewed, she drank it slowly. She looked toward Baili Qingmiao with a bleak expression and said quietly, “Ever since that meeting in the tea house half a year ago, I have not been
able to forget Miss Baili’s heroism. After I fell that day, when Miss Baili carried me up to the second floor and demanded justice for me, I felt so happy.”
Seeing her in this state, Baili Qingmiao’s expression softened, and she pulled over another chair to sit in front of Shu Yanyan. Hè Wenzhao also relaxed, feeling that Miss Shu wouldn’t say anything out of place.
“Back then I thought, if I could live like Miss Baili, it would be so
wonderful.” Shu Yanyan looked sadly toward Baili Qingmiao, reaching out a pale and ice-cold hand to wrap around Baili Qingmiao’s.
Baili Qingmiao didn’t pull away.
She started to think that perhaps she had misunderstood. Her shijies’ feelings for her shixiong were all written on their faces, plain at a glance, and Baili Qingmiao could see them clear as day. But Miss Shu’s eyes held
no love for her shixiong, only admiration for Baili Qingmiao. And she was such a self-respecting woman; she couldn’t do something like this.
However, Shu Yanyan’s words took a turn. She shook her head and said, “But in the end I’m not Miss Baili. I’m so low, so selfish, so weak. In this world, I can’t even live without someone to depend on.”
“Shimei, I saw that too, so I helped Miss Shu buy a house,” Hè Wenzhao
said, taking over. “I come check on her once in a while and try to make her life a bit more comfortable. She’s someone you saved, so as your shixiong, I can’t let your kindness amount to nothing.”
Baili Qingmiao’s thoughts were in a tangle and she actually believed these words. She looked ashamed and said, “Shixiong, I misjudged you. I’m
Wenren È frowned, watching from the other room. He really wanted to give Baili Qingmiao a whack on the head. Things would be so much easier if she was dead. “Protector Yin, would you believe something like this? Can love really make people so brainless?” Wenren È really didn’t get it, and couldn’t help transmitting this question to the only other person there.
“This subordinate believes anything the Venerable says, and hears not a word of anything anyone else says,” Yin Hanjiang answered.
Wenren È shook his head. He shouldn’t have asked Yin Hanjiang—there really was no point to it.
Meanwhile, Shu Yanyan watched as Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao
embraced each other, all lovey-dovey again after their conflict was solved. Even while hugging Baili Qingmiao, Hè Wenzhao remembered to give Shu Yanyan an appreciative glance.
Shu Yanyan returned a beautiful but odd smile. Blood dripped from the corner of her mouth.
“Miss Shu!” Only after Baili Qingmiao had hugged her shixiong for a while did she realize something was wrong. She turned and got a shock to see Shu Yanyan start bleeding from the nose and mouth.
She glanced over to the pot of tea and poured it out to discover the teabag inside actually held deadly poison.
Baili Qingmiao frantically held Shu Yanyan, one hand placed against her back, trying to use spiritual energy to remove the poison from her system.
Shu Yanyan shook her head with difficulty. She lifted a hand and softly touched Baili Qingmiao’s face. “I really wanted to be you,” she said with a faint smile. “But… my life is… thin as paper. Couldn’t be you… I’m too
ashamed… to live… I hope… in the next life…”
Before she could say what she hoped, her eyes closed and the life drained from her.
“Miss Shu, why did you take such a desperate way out? I didn’t want to hurt you. Even if you and shixiong really… I would’ve just backed off quietly, so why did you?” Baili Qingmiao felt Shu Yanyan’s cold fingers slide from her face, her heart freezing over.
Hè Wenzhao also couldn’t have guessed that Miss Shu would use such a method to cover up their secret. Until the end, she never spoke of her relationship with Hè Wenzhao, only her admiration toward Baili Qingmiao. She hadn’t even glanced at Hè Wenzhao.
Hè Wenzhao also knelt down and said solemnly, “Miss Shu must’ve been harmed by someone while I wasn’t around. Shimei, we need to avenge her!”
Wenren È: …
Hold on, how did Hè Wenzhao come to that judgment?
Baili Qingmiao held up the teabag she’d just fished out from the pot. “Look at this mark. This is the tea Shangqing Sect gives to disciples who can’t practice inedia yet!”
“And there’s this!” Baili Qingmiao took a purse off Shu Yanyan’s belt and opened it to reveal a strand of hair inside. “Shixiong, isn’t this your hair?”
“Shimei, don’t be suspicious of every little thing!” Hè Wenzhao said, grabbing her frantically. “I gave her the teabag. It was what I had left over from before I established my foundation. Spiritual tea is beneficial to the body. Miss Shu had fallen from the second story, and I was afraid she’d hurt her vital energies, so I gave her this tea to help her recover. I have no idea
why the tea would be poisoned, or whose hair is in her purse!”
Baili Qingmiao threw off Hè Wenzhao’s embrace. Holding Shu Yanyan’s body, she shook her head, saying tearfully, “Shixiong, I don’t want to look at you right now. I’ll—I’ll go give Miss Shu a proper burial.”
She left the house with Shu Yanyan. Hè Wenzhao went after her, but she had somehow disappeared without a trace despite having just left, and he had no idea where she went. This was due to Wenren È casting an illusion spell, preventing him from following Baili Qingmiao.
Baili Qingmiao’s heart was a tangle of emotions. She arrived at a coffin shop in the dead of night, took a coffin after tossing down a silver piece, and placed Shu Yanyan inside.
Carrying the coffin with one hand, she flew to the cemetery near the town and dug a grave with the Moonlit Frost Silk, setting the coffin carefully inside.
She stared at the coffin for a long time without covering it with dirt. A voice came from behind her. “I can teach you the soul imprisoning technique, so you can capture her soul before it enters the underworld and get to the truth of matters. A living person can lie, but a dead soul won’t dare before the
soul imprisoning technique.”
Baili Qingmiao turned and saw Wenren È standing behind her. “Senior,” she said quietly.
“I’ve used an illusion to trick Hè Wenzhao, preventing him from following you,” Wenren È said. “You can ask questions without fear of him finding out.”
“Will it cause harm to Miss Shu’s soul?” Baili Qingmiao asked.
“Naturally. After the soul imprisoning technique is used, she’ll miss the
emissaries of the afterlife and never be able to reincarnate,” Wenren È said, unconcerned.
“I can’t do that,” Baili Qingmiao said. “Miss Shu has had a hard life. I’ll send her soul on, hoping she’ll be born into a better family next life.”
“You don’t want to know the truth?” Wenren È said.
Baili Qingmiao wordlessly bowed her head, looking at Shu Yanyan’s coffin. She raised her hand and tossed the first handful of dirt onto it, as if she was trying to bury the doubts in her heart. Actually, Shu Yanyan’s words and actions all that time had been telling
Baili Qingmiao that she’d had relations with Hè Wenzhao. And because she respected Baili Qingmiao, she felt too ashamed and therefore chose to take her own life with poison before she could be questioned. Baili Qingmiao had guessed all this, but she didn’t want to believe it without substantial proof.
“Find out the truth, and if Hè Wenzhao really betrayed you, I’ll help you kill him.” Wenren È stood behind Baili Qingmiao, his low voice like the whispers of a demon.
A shiver ran through Baili Qingmiao and she frantically shook her head. “No no, even if shixiong really cheated on me, we only had a verbal
agreement and private plans. We aren’t yet cultivation partners. At most, we’ll each go our own ways. How can I kill him? Plus, shixiong didn’t necessarily… maybe someone else really set him up. Shixiong is a gentleman—he wouldn’t take advantage of someone.”
Wenren È raised an eyebrow. He heard Shu Yanyan sigh inside the coffin. It seemed the Right Protector also thought Baili Qingmiao had mental issues.
“If you really like Hè Wenzhao, there’s another method,” Wenren È said. “Turn him into a puppet, so he’ll listen only to you and love only you, and never betray you for the rest of his life. Isn’t that better?”
Baili Qingmiao was taken aback. “Senior, how can you think like that? Love is built on both sides’ willingness, it must never be forced!”
“Then suit yourself,” Wenren È said, flashing away and leaving Baili Qingmiao to engrave a headstone for Shu Yanyan alone.
After they left the small town by Shangqing Sect, Shu Yanyan caught up
shortly and they returned to Xuanyuan Sect’s main hall. Shu Yanyan rolled her eyes and said, “Baili Qingmiao sure is stubborn. What exactly is good about Hè Wenzhao? This Protector has gotten so sick of that lovey-dovey act. Now that I’m finally back, I’m going to have a feast before the Great Sect War, and taste a few dishes at once!” Wenren È said, “You don’t get it either? This Venerable thought you would understand Baili Qingmiao’s thoughts, since you’re both women.”
“Venerable, if I professed undying love to a man, it would be because he has some value to me,” Shu Yanyan said firmly. “If I can get Shangqing Sect by flattering Hè Wenzhao, I’ll flatter him any way I can.”
As she was talking, she called over her favorite subordinate, an
extraordinarily good-looking man. She held his chin and said, “Dear, tell this Protector, what do you like about me?”
Her subordinate was at Nascent Soul stage. He wrapped his arms around Shu Yanyan and said, “Of course, that the Protector is brilliant, powerful,
and beautiful without compare. This subordinate admires the Protector from the bottom of his heart.”
“Speak properly,” Wenren È said.
The man knelt down with a plop, not daring to speak a word of a lie before Wenren È. “Naturally because I have benefits, I can raise my cultivation,
and the Protector is an incomparable beauty. It’s not a bad deal for me.”
Shu Yanyan didn’t mind at all, pulling up her subordinate. “I really like the way you know what’s what.”
“Why didn’t you expose your relationship with Hè Wenzhao, and make Baili Qingmiao truly give up on him?” Wenren È asked.
“For the Great Sect War, of course!” Shu Yanyan said. “This subordinate was concerned that Hè Wenzhao’s mental state would be disrupted by
fighting with Baili Qingmiao, and Shangqing Sect would change their plans and not let him participate in the array. The position of each disciple in the Spirit Severing Array has to be carefully calculated, and the entire layout has to be changed if one person is changed. This subordinate can’t mess up Hè Wenzhao at this point. Without the matter exposed, he can coax Baili
Qingmiao back to his side and keep his spot in the Spirit Severing Array.” She was going to strike a major blow against the righteous sects in the great war in order to gain prestige in her sect. How could she let her plans be ruined by something so small?
Hearing her mention the Great Sect War, Wenren È said, “Inform the four Altar Masters to prepare for battle!”
Shu Yanyan didn’t have time for fun when there was work to be done. She patted her subordinate on the chest and said, “Call over a few capable people and wait for me at the energy gathering array in my cultivation grounds.”
Her subordinate left happily. Wenren È saw Shu Yanyan’s indifferent attitude and silently approved. This was the way a demonic cultivator should be.
The four Altar Masters, after receiving Wenren È’s orders, immediately gathered at the meeting hall. Before starting the meeting, Wenren È made
sure to commend Shu Yanyan’s sacrifice for her mission and allowed her to cultivate for ten years in the Xuanyuan Sect’s forbidden grounds.
Every major sect had immortal artifacts, and Xuanyuan Sect, as the number one evil sect, naturally had a demonic artifact defending it. Located in the forbidden grounds was the demonic weapon, the Burning Sky Drum. It was said that during a war in the immortal realm, the blood of countless immortals and demons, filled with spiritual energy, solidified into this drum. It held terrifying power, but no one in the Xuanyuan Sect dared to
sound it, only cultivating on its surface.
Back when Wenren È dueled the old sect master of the Xuanyuan Sect, the sect master used the Burning Sky Drum in desperation and actually managed to cause Wenren È quite a bit of trouble. But before the sect master managed to kill Wenren È, the fighting spirit of demons and immortals that lingered inside the drum invaded his mind and, in a moment of distraction, he found himself on that ancient battleground. After he
suffered qi deviation, the heavily injured Wenren È shattered his soul with one blow. The drum was excellent to cultivate on, but if one used it, they would risk their life.
After obtaining this reward from Wenren È, Shu Yanyan giddily thanked him. She glanced over at the other Altar Masters and said, grinning, “After this period of cultivation, I might just reach Mahayana stage.”
“Sure, and get killed by lightning in your next heavenly tribulation,” said Altar Master Qiu Congxue.
She was the only female cultivator among the four Altar Masters and
cultivated an entirely different path from Shu Yanyan. She and Shu Yanyan could never get along. Additionally, being already at Mahayana, she was
stronger than Shu Yanyan.
Shu Yanyan was a bit afraid of Qiu Congxue. She cultivated the Asura path, the most difficult within the ghost path. In order to reach Mahayana, she had willingly entered the hungry ghost path. Fifty years later, when she
emerged, all that was left of her body was a skeleton and a perfectly undamaged head.
Qiu Congxue’s subordinates were also ghost cultivators, each and every one of them wrapped in black robes. Their heads might be normal, but who knew what their bodies looked like underneath.
Wenren È glanced over his six subordinates, each scheming against each other, all openly hostile with no sense of camaraderie, and secretly very much approved. This was how demonic cultivators should be.
Out of curiosity, he directed a question at Qiu Congxue. “Altar Master Qiu, if you had a lover, and he betrayed you for another woman, yet with his
words he kept insisting that he really did love you, what would you do?”
Qiu Congxue’s face was pale and her voice ghastly. “This subordinate would never have any lovers, but if I did, I would turn him into a ghost, refine him into a magic item, and keep him in my robes.” Shu Yanyan gulped. She knew Qiu Congxue’s robes were full of evil spirits and her bones!
Wenren È sighed inwardly. There really was no point asking these subordinates of his.
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. Both the Asura path and the hungry ghost path are part of the six paths of reincarnation in Buddhism. ↩
Chapter 12 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 12 – The coming storm
As Altar Master Yuan managed the main hall, he had the most contact with Wenren È and was the best at guessing his intentions. Seeing the Venerable look at them with an expression of ‘I can’t believe you’re all so useless’, he hurriedly said, “Is the Venerable speaking of a woman? There won’t be much use in asking Protector Shu or Altar Master Qiu about women. The Venerable should ask this subordinate instead.”
Shu Yanyan and Qiu Congxue looked at Altar Master Yuan. What do you mean, not much use in asking them about women? Aren’t they women?
Altar Master Yuan paid no attention to those two needle-like gazes on him
and continued, “If this subordinate may be so bold, what does the Venerable need this woman to do?”
“Not much, just forget a man,” said Wenren È.
Altar Master Yuan was short and plump, like a jolly next-door uncle. His
eyes squinted when he smiled, making him look kindly, but his next words were anything but. “This subordinate sees two methods. The first, kill that man. The second, find another man, and make this woman fall in love with him.”
Wenren È thought for a moment. The first method wouldn’t work for now. Baili Qingmiao loved Hè Wenzhao deeply, and if Hè Wenzhao died now, Baili Qingmiao’s heart would be stuck on him forever, and she would be trapped by her obsession and unable to pass her inner demon tribulation at the Nascent Soul stage. The second method, though, had some merit. But where to find that man? Abusive Romance‘s love interest number one Hè Wenzhao, number two Wenren È, and number four Yin Hanjiang were already struck from the running. Number five was currently less than a week old and couldn’t qualify, so the only one left was number three, Zhongli Qian.
But Zhongli Qian had debuted even later than number five. It had been the day Hè Wenzhao wedded the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master. He came to offer congratulations on behalf of the number one cultivation clan, the Zhongli clan, and met Baili Qingmiao, who had been confined to the back mountains by Hè Wenzhao and was trying to escape. That was still fifty years in the future.
Wenren È didn’t have the patience to wait fifty years. He decided that after he recovered from the injuries he would sustain in the Great Sect War, he would go kidnap Zhongli Qian from the Zhongli clan and throw him at
Baili Qingmiao, to wait for them to slowly develop feelings for each other.
“This method might work.” Wenren È gave Altar Master Yuan an
appreciative look. “Avoid discussing this matter for now. Right now, we should focus on the Great Sect War. After the war, everyone will be rewarded appropriately for their efforts.”
“Understood!” said the five in unison.
For the rest of the meeting, Shu Yanyan revealed the righteous sects’ plans, the Altar Masters offered their own ideas, and they finally settled on a battle plan. After they had each been assigned their duties, they went their
After leaving the meeting room, Altar Master Yuan came up to Shu Yanyan and asked, “Protector Shu, is there a woman who has caught the
“What?” Shu Yanyan gave him a sideways look. “Do you want to take advantage of his weakness of heart to harm him?”
Shu Yanyan spoke very frankly, but Altar Master Yuan waved his hands and said, “No, no, how could that be?” While they were talking, the other three Altar Masters also walked up. Even the frosty Qiu Congxue had a look of “I heard someone plotting against the Lord of Demons and I’m interested” on her face. Four pairs of eyes
watched Shu Yanyan intently.
Shu Yanyan sighed. “You’re overthinking it. Trust my years of experience. The Venerable probably isn’t interested in that girl, he just wants her as a disciple. He’s set on having a righteous sect disciple switch to cultivating the Path of Indifference, and I have no idea why either.”
The four Altar Masters’ enthusiasm vanished immediately. Taking a disciple was nothing interesting. Demonic cultivators didn’t worry about continuing a heritage like the righteous sects. They stole their cultivation
methods, and would pass them on to their underlings if they felt like it. Did that count as disciples?
“Why does the Venerable want to take a disciple, then?” asked Altar Master Yuan. “He cultivates the Path of Slaughter. Does he want his disciple to kill him?”
“How would I know? In any case, that girl’s aptitudes really are
exceptional. She established a foundation at eighteen and formed a golden core the same year. It’s just that her brain is filled with a man,” Shu Yanyan said with a shrug, then left quickly. She still had a feast waiting for her!
The other Altar Masters all nodded as they heard Baili Qingmiao’s speed of advancement. That kind of talent really was worth paying attention to. It
wasn’t too strange that the Venerable would be tempted to take on a disciple for fun.
After all his subordinates left, only Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were left in the meeting room. “There should still be two or three months before the
Great Sect War,” Wenren È said. “In this time, you should do your best to break through to Void Boundary stage, so as to add to our combat strength.”
“Understood,” Yin Hanjiang said. “This Venerable will take you someplace.” Wenren È stood and led Yin Hanjiang to the back mountains of Xuanyuan Sect.
There was a ravine running through the mountains, the bottom of which
was obscured by blackness and could not be seen. This was quite illogical.
Even an ordinary person should’ve been able to see the bottom under
sunlight, not to mention a cultivator could use their spiritual cognition to sense something even their eyes couldn’t perceive.
Wenren È stepped into the ravine and Yin Hanjiang followed, with no sign of hesitation at the foreboding depths.
After he flew for what felt like several dozen meters, he landed on a flat, hard surface which didn’t feel at all like solid ground.
“Where are we?” Yin Hanjiang said hesitantly.
“Under your feet is the Burning Sky Drum,” said Wenren È. “The legendary treasure of the Xuanyuan Sect. If back then the old sect master hadn’t tried to defeat this Venerable using it, this Venerable would never have known
where it was hidden.”
This was the demonic artifact of the Xuanyuan Sect, only authorized to be used by the sect leader. Yin Hanjiang hadn’t thought the Venerable had so much trust in him that he would lead him to its location.
“The Burning Sky Drum may be called a demonic artifact, but it has also absorbed much blood from immortals. Whether it’s celestial or demonic in nature depends on how cultivators use it. For these next few months,
cultivate on the drum by using the demonic energy of the demon sword to invigorate the immortal energy inside the drum, and raise your own sword cultivation with the clash of the two forces. At the same time, you can
weaken the demon sword’s essence,” Wenren È said.
Yin Hanjiang had used the demonic sword to forcibly increase his power, and was already closely linked to it. Even if he created a new weapon, he would have a hard time bonding with it due to it being unable to overcome the demonic sword’s remnant power. Only by slowly whittling away at it could he free himself from its influence.
“Venerable…” Yin Hanjiang stood on the Burning Sky Drum, gazing at Wenren È.
In all the years Xuanyuan Sect had had the Burning Sky Drum, no one had been allowed to see it beside the sect leader. Wenren È allowing Shu
Yanyan to cultivate on it was already quite an exception. Yin Hanjiang had never thought he’d stand here before Shu Yanyan.
He didn’t say anything about whether or not he was worthy or whether or not he dared. The Venerable had already said, that whether or not he was worthy was up to the Venerable to decide.
Yin Hanjiang firmed his expression, cupped his hands together, and knelt on one knee. He said solemnly, “This subordinate will put every effort toward breaking through to Void Boundary stage, to sweep away all in the Venerable’s path come the great war.”
“This Venerable doesn’t need you to be so desperate.” Wenren È raised a hand slightly, and a force lifted Yin Hanjiang to his feet. “Cultivate well. This Venerable will be waiting for you to treat his injuries after the war.”
Wenren È didn’t want to be saved by Baili Qingmiao this time. It was
enough to owe her for starting his cultivation; he couldn’t afford owing his life to her too. In the book, Wenren È was saddled with two heavy debts,
which triggered a love tribulation and made him want to give up everything for Baili Qingmiao.
Speaking of which…
Wenren È took out the book, tapping his fingers on the cover, suddenly remembering that the book foretold something else, the arrival of his love tribulation.
Were it not for every factor being right, how could Wenren È fall in love with Baili Qingmiao? He had met her quite a few times by now, but never had the slightest feeling toward her. He didn’t know whether this love tribulation would still arrive, and who would be the target.
Wenren È tried to guess but only came to the conclusion that the mysteries of heaven could not be comprehended by mortals, and even he didn’t know what would come in the future.
Putting away Abusive Romance, Wenren È said to Yin Hanjiang, “You focus on cultivating. This Venerable will protect you.”
Yin Hanjiang, hearing that he would be protected by his Venerable, felt deeply touched. He stared at the demon sword in his hand. If it weren’t for him being so weak that he could not suppress the demon sword, the
Venerable wouldn’t have to expend so much effort on him.
Wenren È left the ravine and sat cross-legged on a mountain peak, closing his eyes and entering meditation as well, as he sensed Yin Hanjiang’s aura below.
Before long, he faintly heard the sounds of war drums, clashing blades, and roars that shook heaven and earth. The memories of the Demonic War
within the Burning Sky Drum had been reawakened by the demon sword, creating an illusory realm.
Yin Hanjiang’s sword aura was vanishingly weak within the illusion, like something was obstructing it. Wenren È opened his eyes and raised the Seven Killing Halberd. Killing intent surged around him, like a beacon to illuminate a path for Yin Hanjiang.
Yin Hanjiang was trapped in the illusion. He felt tiny among mountains of corpses, turning over bodies and searching for his Venerable, panic rising in his heart. As he was on the verge of despair, Polis shone in the sky, and a familiar aura called him back to awareness.
That’s right, the Venerable was protecting him while he cultivated.
Yin Hanjiang made a hand seal and the demonic sword appeared. He gripped the sword that had tried to drive him toward madness with this illusion and raised it toward the sky, a bloody aura surging around him. With a single slash, he dispersed the illusion around him.
Wenren È, feeling that familiar unwavering aura, showed a barely perceptible smile. Resting his halberd against the ground, he stood on the summit, silently watching over Yin Hanjiang.
He stood there for three months.
He stood there until a message came from Shu Yanyan, reporting that the righteous sects had made their move. Their Core Formation and above disciples had gathered and were now heading toward Xuanyuan Sect.
“You confront the enemy first. This Venerable will need a few more days,” Wenren È said, not acknowledging Shu Yanyan’s urgency, the halberd in his hand remaining perfectly still.
The Great Sect War would last for ten years, so a few days would make no difference.
Shu Yanyan received the Venerable’s response and wanted to rip her hair out. As the master of the demonic sects, shouldn’t he be eager to personally massacre the righteous sects right now? What was worth waiting for?
Shouldn’t they take their chance before the high-level experts showed up to shred the Deity Transformation and below cultivators and show off the power of the demonic sects?
After fuming for a while, she sent a talisman with Wenren È’s order to the four Altar Masters, then picked up a veil and placed it over her face.
One of her underlings came and wrapped his arms around her waist, nibbling her ear. “Protector, why are you wearing a veil? It’s a shame to cover such a pretty face.”
Shu Yanyan chuckled. “I’m going to break the Spirit Severing Array with Qiu Congxue. There’s someone there who I don’t want to see me for now.” “Eh?” the subordinate said, puzzled. “How could there be someone who the Protector is afraid to face?”
Shu Yanyan held his chin, her smile fading and the look in her eyes becoming sharp. “It’s not fear. Sometimes, it’s more fun to save a dessert for last.”
After Shu Yanyan met with Qiu Congxue, they headed to the location of Xuanyuan Sect’s spiritual veins. Before long, a horde of righteous sect disciples approached, led by a Body Unity stage elder. Shu Yanyan, seeing
them approach, said warily and somewhat frantically, “The Xuanyuan Sect lies this way. You are forbidden to advance!”
The elder said, “This is the wicked temptress who practices seductive arts. Everyone, recite the Clear Mind Spell and concentrate on the array. Do not fall for her temptations!”
The disciples obeyed, taking their places according to their plan. The 108 disciples carried 108 demon subduing flags, inserting them into the spiritual veins’ intersection points and circulating their spiritual energy, forming the Spirit Severing Array.
Hè Wenzhao was reciting the Clear Mind Spell in his mind, but he still felt irritable.
Baili-shimei had been bickering with him for three months now. No matter how he tried to explain his relationship with Shu Yanyan, no matter how he tried to win her over, Baili Qingmiao always shook her head with disappointment and said she wanted to be alone.
If he sucked up to her too much, she would give him a pained look and say, “Aren’t you sad at all that Miss Shu died?”
Of course he was sad, she had a rare nine yin body and Hè Wenzhao could raise his cultivation at incredible speeds with her. How could he not feel dejected? But right now whether he said he was sad or not, it was a lose- lose situation. If he said he was, his shimei would say, “you really were involved with her”; if he said he wasn’t, shimei would say, “you’re too cold, not feeling sad at all when a woman you knew died in front of you.”
Hè Wenzhao understood Baili Qingmiao. She was a cute girl, just
sometimes she really was quite a hassle. So he answered her, “I was
acquainted with Miss Shu and she died so brutally in front of us. I’m not a heartless person, so there’s no way I couldn’t be saddened. But we must look to the future, shimei. This is the path of a cultivator, and we’ll probably have to face many more deaths in the future. We must learn to let go of life and death.”
He cleverly turned the problem from Baili Qingmiao’s suspicion of him to her weakness in the face of death. His shimei always listened to him, so she really did start to consider her views on life and death instead and let go of the matter over time.
Unfortunately, she still hadn’t forgiven him. He hoped that by the end of the war, after shimei had experienced the fear of losing him, she would treasure their relationship more.
Hè Wenzhao wasn’t concerned about Baili Qingmiao’s safety. She was at the rearmost lines with Yao Wendan, preparing to tend to injured disciples, the safest place she could be. Hè Wenzhao was also quite safe. After the Spirit Severing Array was set up, the demonic sects wouldn’t have access to natural spiritual energy and would soon be routed. The 108 demon subduing flags would raise barriers to protect the disciples in the array. This was an immortal-level array, and even if the Lord of Demons himself came, he might not necessarily be able to break it.
With the protection of a Body Unity stage elder, the two demonic sect
women were unable to stop them. The formation was complete in no time, and all the spiritual energy of the Xuanyuan Sect’s mountain range vanished.
Hè Wenzhao looked at the two women being beaten black and blue by the elder and thought the one in the veil looked somewhat familiar. Perhaps he had bumped into her once while fighting demonic cultivators. Realizing he was spacing out, he hurriedly recited the Clear Mind Spell and concentrated on maintaining the array.
The elder noticed the array was complete and quickly retreated, planning to fall behind its barrier. However, the black-robed woman who he had been beating so handily suddenly smiled ghoulishly at him. Her black robe blew open, exposing an eerie set of white bones and countless hungry ghosts
winding around her body.
The woman only had a head. Below it, there was no flesh at all.
Qiu Congxue extended a hand and seized the elder’s shoulder with bony fingers. Hungry ghosts leapt onto his body from her fingertips, their ghastly wails chilling his very soul. He tried to disperse them with a spell, but a
wave of wicked energy entered his dantian and he found himself unable to use any of his spiritual energy.
“The Asura Path… you—you’re Qiu Congxue, the Mahayana ghost
cultivator!” The elder tried to shout for the disciples behind him to retreat, but a hungry ghost bit down on his tongue, preventing him from speaking.
How could a Mahayana stage cultivator be beaten by him, and how could one let them successfully set up an array? The demonic cultivators had planned this!
This was bad…
That was the elder’s final thought. Surrounded by countless hungry ghosts, his consciousness gradually faded, and he was pulled into the hungry ghost path.
The elder was from Biluo Valley. Seeing him die, the Biluo Valley disciples were horrified, yelling, “Shishu!”
“Shh…” A white bone finger was placed against a crying disciple’s mouth across the barrier. The pale woman bared pure white teeth in a smile and
said, “Take care with the array. Don’t let your shishu die for nothing. And don’t even think about abandoning the formation and running. Right now, the array is protecting you, but if even one flag is removed, each and every one of you will die. I won’t let a single person escape.”
She still had many hungry ghosts under her robes, and before long they had surrounded the area in all directions. The Spirit Severing Array was
enveloped by a bloody haze that the disciples could no longer see through. They could only maintain the formation.
They were the ones who severed the spiritual veins, so why did it feel like they had fallen into a trap instead?
The 108 disciples heard Qiu Congxue’s voice resonate through the bloody mist. “If the righteous sects want to incite war, our Xuanyuan Sect
welcomes them with open doors. But we’d rather you come at us in a
straightforward battle. I’m not a fan of underhanded tricks like severing spiritual veins.”
Hè Wenzhao immediately said, “Nobody panic! She can’t break through the Spirit Severing Array. We just need to maintain it, and after our elders win, they’ll come to save us! Even wandering immortals have mobilized, so a mere Mahayana cultivator is nothing! Her words were trying to shake us
and prevent us from maintaining the array, so she can win without raising a finger. Don’t fall for it!”
His words reassured the group of disciples, who immediately sealed their senses and focused on the array. The power of the barrier strengthened, preventing the vengeful ghosts from approaching.
Shu Yanyan had one of her subordinates bring out a couch and lounged on it, watching Qiu Congxue scare the righteous sect disciples. She couldn’t help letting out a yawn, and said, “We really are huge villains, huh?”
“What?” Qiu Congxue’s ice-cold gaze swept over Shu Yanyan’s body.
“Nothing,” Shu Yanyan said, propping her chin in one hand. “This is the true nature of us demonic cultivators. I like being the bad guy.” “Be patient, don’t ruin the Venerable’s plan,” Qiu Congxue warned. “He wants to lure out the high-level experts of the righteous sects to fight them face-to-face.”
“Tch, he himself has no idea what he’s doing,” Shu Yanyan said, rolling her eyes in an unattractive manner.
Said Lord of Demons stood guard at the top of the ravine. The Spirit Severing Array had not affected the energy of the Burning Sky Drum, so he stood patiently for another forty-nine days, until he saw a sword aura pierce through the black fog of the ravine. Yin Hanjiang flew up on his sword,
stopping in front of Wenren È.
The demonic energy of that restless demon sword was very weak. Yin Hanjiang held it tightly in his hand, and it was unable to rebel anymore.
“Second level of Void Boundary.” Pleased, Wenren È clapped Yin Hanjiang on the shoulder. With a flick of his sleeves, he turned around and called,
“Join this Venerable in battle!”
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 13 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 13 – Alkaid paves the way
Only now did Wenren È take out the message talismans sent by the four
Altar Masters and the Right Protector, and break one at random to listen to.
Shu Yanyan’s exaggeratedly panicked voice came out of it. “My god!
Venerable, the righteous sects have set up a Spirit Severing Array, and I and Altar Master Qiu have no spiritual energy to use. Oh, I can’t go on! I’ll just lie here and wait for the Venerable to save us.”
Wenren È: …
Even though he knew it was an act, Yin Hanjiang was still angry. “As one of the Venerable’s Protectors, you still asked to be saved by him?
Wenren È approved of Yin Hanjiang’s words. Shu Yanyan had been top- notch at acting to hook a man, but her ability to fake a loss in battle was too poor.
Altar Master Yuan was the opposite. When Wenren È snapped his talisman, his frantic voice came from within. “Venerable, I encountered a large group of righteous cultivators while patrolling the northern mountains, each Deity Transformation or above. Fortunately, two other Altar Masters were there
with me, and we led the rest of the sect into combat, but the natural spiritual energy was suddenly severed, and we could only use our own to fight! We can’t last for much longer! We must immediately break the Spirit Severing Array. This subordinate begs the Venerable to use the Burning Sky Drum!”
According to these two messages, clearly intended for the righteous
cultivators’ ears, Wenren È should be heading toward the Spirit Severing Array with the Burning Sky Drum, in order to break it as soon as possible.
Therefore, there would certainly be an ambush on the way to the Spirit Severing Array, with who knew how many high-level cultivators lying in wait.
Pleased, Wenren È said, “Half a year ago, this Venerable dueled a
wandering immortal in the Thousand Mile Ice Plains. Even though she was of a higher realm, she offered no improvement to my cultivation. Ordinary fights are no longer able to make me advance in realm. Hopefully, the gathered forces of the righteous sects will not disappoint this Venerable.”
He turned into a ray of light and flew at blinding speed toward the Spirit Severing Array.
Yin Hanjiang chased after him on his sword, but was completely unable to keep up with Wenren È.
Previous occasions, Wenren È had slowed down to wait for Yin Hanjiang, but now he didn’t hold back. Just by his own light flash, he could surpass the speed of Yin Hanjiang’s sword by several dozen times.
Despite having broken through to Void Boundary, despite having awakened to a higher sword will on the Burning Sky Drum, Yin Hanjiang was still as powerless as always to keep up with his Venerable.
When Yin Hanjiang caught up to Wenren È, he saw him trapped in an array by twenty Mahayana and above cultivators.
Seeing this, Yin Hanjiang’s eyes blazed in rage, and drawing upon his
spiritual essence, he was about to charge into the array and fight side by side with his Venerable.
But just at that moment, he heard a cold and harsh yell. “Stay back!”
Yin Hanjiang froze instantly. Standing outside the array, he saw Wenren È turn and smile with satisfaction. “This Venerable never expected that the righteous sects would’ve brought out their highest talents in order to deal with me. This Venerable is very pleased. Protector Yin, don’t ruin this Venerable’s fun.”
Yin Hanjiang understood Wenren È. He had followed him for many years, watching his every action and expression. He could see that the Venerable really was surprised, and really was eager.
Wenren È had high expectations for this war. In his personal analysis with Yin Hanjiang, they had figured the righteous sects would send maybe ten Mahayana cultivators, and perhaps some of Shangqing Sect’s wandering immortals. Wenren È thought ten was a bit low, as he would have a hard time breaking through his realm unless he was on the brink of death. At the least, there were other ordinary disciples to fight.
He and Yin Hanjiang never could’ve predicted that the righteous sects would mobilize all their forces, and actually send twelve Mahayana
cultivators, eight wandering immortals, and a tenth generation Buddhist priest. The twenty-one experts had set a spell formation in advance and trapped Wenren È, swearing to take down the most powerful demonic
cultivator here and now.
In the book, only Shangqing Sect had mobilized their full forces, but this time the five top righteous sects were throwing all they could at him.
“Hahahahaha!” Wenren È’s laugh echoed through the sky.
Yin Hanjiang heard Wenren È’s joy in his laughter, and could tell that he truly believed it would be fine if he died in this battle.
This wasn’t what they had planned for! There were too many enemies, and the Venerable truly faced a threat to his life.
Yin Hanjiang closed his eyes, perfectly still, and opened them a moment later. His eyes were filled with resolution. Wielding his sword, he continued his charge toward the formation.
This was the first time he had ever disobeyed Wenren È’s orders. Even if he were to die, he wanted to die before his Venerable. He couldn’t take looking on and being unable to do anything as his Venerable faced danger.
“Alkaid has appeared,” said the Jiuxing Sect Master. “If Polis falls, Alkaid will go mad. The two must be eliminated together, lest Alkaid bring disaster to the human realm.”
A wandering immortal of Shangqing Sect tossed out a gold ring, carved in the form of a dragon biting its own tail. It was the second immortal artifact of Shangqing Sect, the Dragon Locking Ring.
The Dragon Locking Ring could even trap an immortal. As it was about to hit Yin Hanjiang, a black and gold halberd smacked it with a loud clang.
The ring transformed into a golden dragon and wrapped tightly around the halberd.
Wenren È was right behind it, appearing in front of Yin Hanjiang and shielding him. “Go!” he yelled in a low tone.
“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang gripped his sword, his eyes burning, refusing to take a step away from Wenren È.
Wenren È understood him. The Jiuxing Sect Master was correct; if Polis fell, Alkaid would go mad. There was no way Yin Hanjiang could see his Venerable surrounded by so many enemies and turn away.
“This Venerable promises you not to die.” Wenren È reached out a hand and placed it against Yin Hanjiang’s chest.
His face was very close to Yin Hanjiang’s, close enough that it seemed their lips would touch at any moment. Yin Hanjiang gazed into the Venerable’s
eyes, and heard him say, “In ten years, the Spirit Severing Array will be broken. Watch how this Venerable will do it!”
He shoved Yin Hanjiang with his palm, using immense spiritual energy to force him out through a crack that had formed in the barrier when the
Dragon Locking Ring and the Seven Killing Halberd clashed. Yin Hanjiang saw the barrier seal instantly behind him, leaving his
Venerable trapped within with twenty high-level opponents. He was unable to resist Wenren È’s force, being pushed into the distance, only managing to stop in the air above the sect’s main hall.
“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang let out a pained shout, then merged with the demon sword and transformed into many red blades, flying toward the north.
In the mountains north of Xuanyuan Sect, over a hundred Deity Transformation or above cultivators were fighting the Altar Masters and their forces. After the Spirit Severing Array had been set, the righteous as well as demonic cultivators were unable to access natural spirit energy.
However, the righteous cultivators had come prepared, and in the rear lines, nine Void Boundary cultivators manipulated nine Spatial Transfer Flags, forming a spatial link to continuously transfer spiritual energy from a distant vein.
Each of the righteous cultivators carried a magic item linked to the Spatial Transfer Flags, supplying them with spiritual energy.
The demonic cultivators couldn’t access spiritual energy, while the righteous sects had a steady supply. They were waging a war of attrition, and when the demonic cultivators exhausted their inner supply of energy, the righteous sects would be victorious.
A flurry of blood swords tore through the sky like swift arrows. While passing the crowd of demonic cultivators, several whisked around Altar Master Ruan Weiyi, forcing him to charge the righteous sects’ formation together with them, and causing him to take all the righteous cultivators’ attacks.
“I’ll fuck your grandma, Yin Hanjiang!” Altar Master Ruan frantically raised his shield, forced to block the attacks coming at him and Yin
Hanjiang. Yin Hanjiang ignored Altar Master Ruan’s fury. Altar Master Ruan had an earth spiritual root, and the power of the vast earth provided great defensive
ability. Yin Hanjiang couldn’t make a reckless charge to the Spatial Transfer Flags in the back lines alone and needed a strong defense, so he had picked Altar Master Ruan.
Altar Master Ruan was a Mahayana cultivator, but he knew he had to obey Yin Hanjiang at this time. The brat disregarded his own life in a fight, and was capable of killing him first if he tried to rebel.
While cursing out Yin Hanjiang, Altar Master Ruan yelled, “What are you fools doing? Hurry up and support me and Protector Yin! I’m gonna get killed if you keep standing around like a bunch of morons!”
At Altar Master Ruan’s yell, the demonic cultivators finally gathered their strength and, disregarding defense, charged forward to open a path for Yin Hanjiang.
For the last few years, the demonic cultivators had been forced into obedience by Wenren È, and they all knew that if they didn’t fight today, then if either Wenren È or Yin Hanjiang survived the war, those who hadn’t given their full strength on the battlefield would wish they had died. If they died but their soul was intact, they could seek Altar Master Qiu’s help in becoming a ghost cultivator, but if they angered Wenren È, they wouldn’t be able to die if they wanted to.
The demonic cultivators charged forward without fear of death, and the righteous sects were forced on the defensive. After a bout of fighting, Yin Hanjiang arrived at the back lines in a hail of blood swords. He saw the formation overflowing with spiritual energy created by the Spatial Transfer Flags, and used a portion of his swords to haul Altar Master Ruan to block the array’s focal point.
“Yin Hanjiang! I ain’t fucking your grandma! If we survive this, I’ll fucking fuck you, you just wait!” Altar Master Ruan cursed as he was tossed in the center of the array. The only one in Yin Hanjiang’s eyes was Wenren È. For Wenren È, he could give his own life, the lives of other people, and even all lives on Earth.
Ruan Weiyi, tossed into the array, was forced to bring out his bonded
weapon, the Xuanwu Shell. A yellow-brown suit of armor surrounded his body like a tortoise’s shell, covering him on all sides, and his body grew until he could block the array.
At the same time, the blood swords condensed into nine, demonic energy surging around them, and they flew toward the nine cultivators’ dantians.
No one doubted the power of these swords. If they really pierced one’s body, even if the Violet Palace of the dantian was not destroyed, their bodies would be invaded by demonic energy.
The nine experts hurriedly used spiritual energy to protect themselves, but the nine swords split into two the instant before striking, the second
charging toward the nine Spatial Transfer Flags.
No one had expected Yin Hanjiang would use the swords formed from his own flesh and blood to attack immortal artifacts.
The Spatial Transfer Flags were not quite immortal artifacts, but they
surpassed the magic artifacts of the cultivation world and had room to grow. These kinds of magic items were known as near-immortal artifacts.
It was akin to striking a stone with an egg or meeting a blade with one’s flesh. After a deafening crash, Yin Hanjiang stood above Altar Master
Ruan’s tortoise shell, dripping blood from wounds all over his body, nine tattered Spatial Transfer Flags in one hand.
“If you want to fight, then fight fairly!” Blood dripped from Yin Hanjiang’s mouth, but his voice rang over the battlefield. “The Xuanyuan Sect doesn’t fear attack. Our Venerable Lord welcomes any who dare to bring a
challenge, but remember this: I, Yin Hanjiang, will not forgive any who try underhanded schemes on the battlefield to harm my lord!” With a casual toss, the nine tattered flags fluttered to the ground. The nine cultivators watched Yin Hanjiang swaying on his feet, on his last legs, yet were unable to approach.
When faced with such resolution, whether from friend or enemy, one could only feel admiration.
With the Spatial Transfer Array broken, a weight fell from Yin Hanjiang’s chest. With spiritual energy unavailable to both sides, the Venerable surely wouldn’t lose.
The moment he relaxed, he fell heavily to the ground.
Altar Master Ruan’s shell dispersed and he slung Yin Hanjiang up with one hand, carrying him toward their own forces and cursing while he ran.
“Motherfucker, I’ve lost centuries worth of spiritual essence in this fight. Yin Hanjiang, if you don’t fucking repay me when we get back, I’ll go find Shu Yanyan and learn the art of plucking and replenishing so I can personally suck you dry!”
Yin Hanjiang didn’t even hear Ruan Weiyi’s words. A weak smile came to his lips and he muttered, “Venerable… I won’t… let you die before me…”
“Fuck you!” Ruan Weiyi spat, hearing that.
With the Spatial Transfer Array broken, both sides were in the same position, and the victor of this battle was now indeterminable.
In the northern mountains, the demonic and righteous cultivators both retreated several meters, reassembling the battle formations that Yin
Hanjiang had broken, deploying magic artifacts and preparing for the next clash.
Altar Master Ruan, with great effort, brought Yin Hanjiang back behind his own lines and tossed him at the Medicinal Hall’s master, saying, “Fix him up for me, and when he wakes up, I’ll kill him personally!” He spat blood while he talked. The Medicinal Hall Master said while trembling, “Altar Master Ruan, you should come for treatment too. Your injuries are also severe…”
“Pah! I ain’t a weakling like Yin… Han…”
Before he could finish speaking, a purple robe flashed before him and he collapsed.
The feminine and androgynous-looking Altar Master Miao said to the
Medicinal Hall Master, “I’ve put a heart-eating parasite in him, so he’ll be unconscious for now. Take the people who can be saved away for treatment, and when they’re half-healed, I’ll toss them back into the fight. No one
who’s still breathing gets to slack off.”
The Medicinal Hall Master wiped sweat from his forehead. This wasn’t reasonable, all he needed to do was make Altar Master Ruan unconscious. There was no need for such a terrible gu insect as a heart-eating parasite. If Altar Master Miao didn’t plan on removing it after the battle, Altar
Master Ruan would be under his control forever…
“Hm?” Altar Master Miao raised an eyebrow at the Medicinal Hall Master.
His eyes seemed to say, this Master has been waiting for such an opportunity for a long time, so why are you questioning me?
The Medicinal Hall Master was scared of angering any of the Altar Masters, and led his apprentices to carry away the injured for treatment.
At this time, the twenty-one experts who surrounded Wenren È had also paused. The Jiuxing Sect Master said with concern, “When Polis acts,
Alkaid will pave the way. The Spirit Transfer Array has now been broken. We indeed should’ve kept Alkaid here.”
Wenren È smiled in satisfaction and said, “Worthy of this Venerable’s vanguard.”
Yin Hanjiang used his every action to declare his loyalty to Wenren È. “I never approved of such methods in the first place,” said the Tianjian Sect Master. “We’ve already mobilized twenty-one experts to surround Wenren È, so why do we need such arrays? We need only set up a barrier and directly attack.”
“You’re gravely wrong, Tianjian Sect Master,” said Wenren È. “Without that array, none of you are any match for this Venerable.”
“Amitabha.” The abbot of Wuxiang Temple took off his monk’s robe, revealing the dragon tattoo around half his arm. Divine light shone from his staff, and he said, his voice filled with compassion, “I wonder if adding this old monk will be enough?”
“You’re about there.” Wenren È smiled, as Polis under the support of Alkaid shone with unprecedented radiance in the sky.
Wind billowed Wenren È’s robes as fighting intent surged around him.
Even if a Mahayana cultivator didn’t have natural spiritual energy, their inner energy was near limitless. The war raged on for ten years.
For ten years, Baili Qingmiao and the other disciples with Yao Wendan collected countless corpses from their side. The dead outnumbered the
injured, and the injuries sustained were more heavy than not. Those lightly wounded received some minor treatment, then had to return to the battlefield.
Both righteous and demonic sects sustained heavy blows in the war.
And as these cultivators lost their lives, the sun and stars were radiant, and the human world experienced ten years of prosperity, wars stopping and the dynasty entering a golden age.
After ten years, both sides had exhausted all their spiritual energy.
Qiu Congxue’s bony fingers dragged Shu Yanyan out of her halls of pleasure as she said coldly, “The time is near.” Shu Yanyan put on her clothes and her veil, saying to Qiu Congxue, “I know, I’m a key link in this plan. Tell me, since there’s no spiritual energy on the battlefield, is everyone just spitting on each other?”
“Shut up.” Qiu Congxue had no desire to chat with Shu Yanyan and tossed her toward the Spirit Severing Array.
Shu Yanyan turned gracefully in midair and descended like a fairy before the array.
At the same time, Qiu Congxue lifted the blood mist. In the Spirit Severing Array, Hè Wenzhao saw the veiled woman smile at him and extend a hand, actually reaching through the barrier.
“How…” Hè Wenzhao never imagined that this barrier he’d steadily maintained for ten years was only by the allowance of the demonic sect, and they could’ve easily broken it at any time.
“Do you still remember me, dear Hè?” Shu Yanyan said in a soft voice, taking off the veil and showing him a warm and loving smile.
“M—Miss Shu…” Hè Wenzhao was stunned. He felt a pain in his dantian and looked down to see Shu Yanyan had already stuck her hand into it.
“Are you confused about how I can enter the barrier?” Shu Yanyan said
with a laugh. “This Protector can naturally take back the essence she gives out whenever she wants. Don’t forget, we’ve dual cultivated for half a year and our essences are already completely intermingled. Our essences resonate with each other, and if I want to enter, you’re effectively a wide- open door for me.”
“Then, why did you drag it out for ten years…” Hè Wenzhao was unable to believe her words.
“That would be our lord,” Shu Yanyan sighed. “He said the Spirit Severing Array was a benefit, otherwise if we all used natural spirit energy to fight for ten years, the human world would be drained of spiritual energy, fields would be barren, and nothing would grow. Now everyone’s exhausted and unable to command too much spiritual energy, so it’s the perfect time to destroy the array!”
She tugged lightly with her hand and yanked Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul entirely out of his dantian. “What this Protector gives out must be paid back with interest. I’ll take your Nascent Soul in exchange.”
“Shu… have you… ever loved me?” Hè Wenzhao actually asked such a question as his Nascent Soul was pulled out of his body.
Shu Yanyan curled a lip and said coldly, “The art of plucking and replenishing is the same to me as you righteous cultivators taking in natural spiritual energy. Do you love the natural spiritual energy you cultivate
Hè Wenzhao widened his eyes, as if completely unable to believe such heartless words.
“Ah, right,” Shu Yanyan said. “Even spiritual energy can be rich or sparse, pure or mixed. To this Protector, you’re like a particularly boring and self- important mass of spiritual energy, who can’t even match up to my darlings.”
With a harsh yank, she ripped Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul from his body. Hè Wenzhao fell from the sky, and the Spirit Severing Array shattered.
Qiu Congxue’s hungry ghosts instantly entangled every disciple in the array.
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 Xuanwu is the Black Tortoise, one of the four sacred beasts of
Chinese mythology (azure dragon, black tortoise, white tiger, vermillion bird), the guardians of the four cardinal directions. ↩
2. Gu insects are made by putting many poisonous insects together and having them eat each other. At the end only one survives and it’ll,
supposedly, have gained the toxicity of the others. Anyways they’re usually just magic bugs. ↩
3. The Nascent Soul is something you develop through cultivation in the dantian (usually the upper dantian). It’s typically represented as an infant. Generally it’s a sort of avatar which at high levels can exit the body and make you immortal, among other things. Well, in this story it doesn’t do anything. ↩
Chapter 14 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 14 – End of the great war
The Spirit Severing Array used power that went against the natural order to forcibly change spiritual veins, and was an extremely difficult array to set up. It required 108 flags and 108 Nascent Soul and above cultivators.
Nascent Soul was already an impressive level among cultivators, and any sect who could deploy more than fifty at once would automatically rank number one among the cultivation world.
108 Nascent Soul disciples required the collective power of all the righteous sects to gather, and if they were missing even one person, the array would disperse, and all their efforts would be for naught.
The sects had been highly selective in choosing the disciples in the array, afraid one of them might have dealings with a demonic sect or their will wouldn’t be firm enough and they would be influenced by inner turmoil.
All 108 disciples they chose were future pillars of the righteous sects. Only when they were sure the array wouldn’t be broken did they feel free to
attack the demonic sects.
They never thought that Shu Yanyan had planted a time bomb in the righteous sects eleven years ago, and now, eleven years later, it disrupted the Spirit Severing Array and shook up the righteous sects’ entire plan.
In midair, the white-robed woman held a righteous cultivator’s Nascent Soul in one hand, and stuffed it casually inside her magic weapon, an unopened spider lily.
Shu Yanyan’s bonded weapon was a near-demonic artifact as avaricious and bold as she was. It demanded to be fed a Nascent Soul every time it was used. After devouring Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul, the spider lily slowly opened, and amidst Qiu Congxue’s ghosts, flowers bloomed into a blood-red path, like the one that led lost souls to the afterlife.
The remaining 107 disciples watched these two beautiful yet wicked
women with despair, and gradually lost consciousness among the fragrance of the spider lilies.
“Shu Yanyan!” Qiu Congxue yelled. “Your flowers devoured several of my ghosts!”
“You know my lilies,” Shu Yanyan said unconcernedly. “Even I can’t control them. They’ll eat whoever they want. Are you capable of
controlling your ghosts? Every time I get near you, I can hear the sound of those ghosts gnawing on bones—doesn’t that hurt? No wonder you can never beat the Venerable even at Mahayana stage. You can’t even control your own weapons, that’s so pathetic.”
The two women continued taunting each other while mopping up the enemy forces. Qiu Congxue grumbled. “The Venerable won’t even let me eat any of their souls. I can’t take it.”
She ground her ghastly white teeth.
“The Venerable said that dead cultivators can reincarnate into ordinary people in their next life, so unless there’s a deep grudge, there’s no need to destroy someone’s soul,” said Shu Yanyan. “Us killing cultivators is those who defy heaven killing others who defy heaven, so cosmic law won’t
assign us any crime. But destroying a soul is messing with the system of the six paths of reincarnation. It’ll be punished by the heavens, and our tribulations would be harder to pass.”
“He’s a demonic cultivator who’ll kill people without a thought, but he has hangups about weird things,” Qiu Congxue said disapprovingly. “After I first stepped down the Asura Path, I never thought of turning back.”
Shu Yanyan shrugged. “You can disapprove of the Venerable all you want, but you gotta be able to beat him first. In Xuanyuan Sect, might has always made right.”
Alongside the blossoming of Shu Yanyan’s spider lilies, Dubhe was slowly colored red in the sky, shining down with bloody light.
“Indeed,” the Jiuxing Sect Master said. “These three stars, Polis, Alkaid, and Dubhe, are our greatest obstacles in this war.”
The Biluo Valley Master said, “Then it’s fortunate we still have a backup plan.”
“Amitabha.” The Wuxiang Temple abbot softly flicked the prayer beads in his hand, and after reciting a Buddha’s name, he tossed them into the air.
At the same time, Shu Yanyan and Qiu Congxue saw above their heads a peacock shining with multicolored divine light. Under the light, the spider lilies withered. Shu Yanyan’s smile froze on her mouth and she said dully, “No way, the Buddhists have even called in the Great Peacock Wisdom
In Buddhist teachings, it was said that the peacock was born from the phoenix, and liked to eat people. One day, she devoured the Buddha, who cut her stomach and escaped, and wanted to kill her. The other Buddhas dissuaded him, believing the peacock had a destiny to be reborn, so he
sealed her in a spiritual mountain and gave her the title, “Mother of Buddha, Great Peacock Wisdom King Bodhisattva”.
The Peacock King was said to have the power to protect from disasters,
cure illnesses, and prolong life. Shu Yanyan’s flowers and Qiu Congxue’s ghosts were both powerless under its might.
Under the Buddha’s light, the spider lilies wilted, and the vengeful ghosts reentered the paths of samsara.
Shu Yanyan had it a bit better. Even if minds were cleared of desires under the Buddha’s light and the power of her charm was weakened, it didn’t harm her foundation. However, Qiu Congxue was a ghost cultivator, and she was in danger of being released from the world into samsara, her very life at risk.
Within the couple dozen remaining Nascent Soul disciples, eighteen took off their wigs and exposed bald heads, sat cross legged, and began reciting sutras.
“What’s going on?” Shu Yanyan cried. “I never heard there were a bunch of monks in the array! I can’t do anything to them!”
Qiu Congxue chuckled in the midst of the Buddha’s light and said, “Just now, we’ve killed or injured most of these righteous disciples, and the rest are low on spiritual essence and can’t fight anymore. Our duties are already done. Just wait for me to destroy the Wisdom King avatar, so you can
“Are you crazy? Do you want to be sent on?” Shu Yanyan said. “Is Qiu Congxue someone who’ll sacrifice herself for others?”
“Oh, you shut up.” Qiu Congxue gave Shu Yanyan a kick and flew upward. Many bones extended from her body, blocking the Buddha light for her.
A string of prayer beads was faintly visible in the light. Qiu Congxue could smell her own body burning, and her shield of bones gradually dissipated under the light’s assault.
She found it!
Reaching out bone fingers, she grabbed the prayer beads and threw them into the distance.
Shu Yanyan heard a terrible cry come from Qiu Congxue, and her silhouette vanished in the light. The eighteen monks all spat up blood. In this fight in which neither side had attacked, there ended up being no victor.
The Buddha’s light vanished. Shu Yanyan glanced at the beaten and bloodied righteous cultivators and the monks who had no more power to fight. Her smile faded and she said lightly, “You can go.” The crowd stared at her uncomprehendingly, having thought she would start a massacre. Instead they heard, “There have been uncountable casualties in this decade-long war. Both the righteous and demonic sects will need a
century to recover afterward. Enough have died, and I’ve also done enough killing already.”
With a piece of black cloth in her hand, she turned and left, leaving the surviving cultivators looking at each other in disbelief.
At the outskirts of the Xuanyuan Sect’s mountain range, Baili Qingmiao
was unceasingly working to pick up fallen cultivators, giving first aid to the survivors. She headed further and further, gradually leaving behind the other troops, and when she saw a black-robed figure on a riverbank, she quickly picked them up with the Moonlit Frost Silk.
“Thank the heavens, you’re still alive!
“Oh my god! There’s no flesh on your body!
“Your face is completely blackened, I can’t tell which sect you’re from. “Are you a man or woman?
“Don’t give up, you must continue to hold on!”
Qiu Congxue’s eyelids twitched, roused by the racket near her ears. She opened her eyes slightly and saw a girl in yellow robes treating her tearfully.
“Shut the hell up,” Qiu Congxue opened her mouth to say, but found that her throat had been burned and she could only make an inhuman rasping noise.
“You’re still alive!” Baili Qingmiao said, and started sobbing. “Please don’t die. Too many people have died. So many elders are gone now. Don’t die, I don’t want to see anyone die anymore!”
Qiu Congxue: … She opened her eyes, and for some reason, a line came to her mind—”A single ray of the rising sun landed on Baili Qingmiao’s body. Her
expression was warm but resolute, with a beautiful and pure wish to save others.”
What was that rubbish? Qiu Congxue wrinkled her blackened brows. How did such cheesy words suddenly appear in her head?
As the sun rose, another battle elsewhere neared its end. The battling armies of cultivators in the northern mountains of Xuanyuan Sect were nearly
evenly matched in strength, and in ten years their numbers had decreased by more than half. The Medicinal Hall’s stores collected over many years had
all been used up, and even if more wounded arrived, nothing could be done for them.
Altar Master Yuan was the only one of the Altar Masters who could still
stand, and the righteous cultivators also only had a handful left who could move. “Are we still fighting?” Altar Master Yuan asked. “The spiritual
energy has returned, so if we keep fighting, everyone’s sure to die.”
The righteous cultivators silently looked toward Wenren È’s battle with twenty-one experts and shook their heads.
Ten years of war had come to a cruel resolution. At the very least, they had managed to ensure the survival of the cultivation world and avoid a once in ten millennia calamity.
Altar Master Yuan cupped a fist and said, “In that case, we ask you kindly to leave Xuanyuan Sect, and in return promise not to attack while your backs are turned.”
After a moment of discussion among the righteous cultivators, they nodded and, carrying their allies, deployed a large flying boat and left Xuanyuan Sect.
The only participants left in the Great Sect War were its twenty-two top cultivators. Yin Hanjiang had recuperated for many years and recovered from his injuries. He paid no mind to the retreating cultivators, only gazing at that faraway battlefield. The day passed, night fell, and stars appeared, but Polis was dark.
“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang said frantically, getting to his feet with sword in hand.
“Stop looking, there’s no way Wenren È will survive,” Altar Master Ruan “reassured” at his side. “He’s surrounded by twenty-one high-level experts, and one of them is a Buddhist. Do you know how strong their edicts to ‘deliver all living beings’ and ‘let go of the blade’ are? A single sutra can make all your fighting intent vanish. Wenren È has defeated opponents
stronger than him so many times by relying on passionate fighting intent, so a Buddhist cultivator is his worst matchup. Without fighting intent, Wenren È is just an ordinary Mahayana cultivator.”
Altar Master Ruan really demonstrated the backstabbing nature of demonic sects. He had been saying “Venerable”, but now instantly switched to
“Wenren È”, willing to abandon someone in an instant.
After that reassurance, he spat a dead bug out of his mouth and stamped it under his heel, cursing lowly, “Putting a heart-eating bug in me? I’ll kill you dead! Ten years ago while Wenren È was still alive, you already had a plan for controlling all the Altar Masters and Sect Protectors to steal his position, didn’t you? Why didn’t you die in the great war, you little
“He might as well be dead,” said Altar Master Yuan. “His queen parasite was killed. Otherwise, how could you spit out his bug so easily?”
Even the merciless Altar Master Ruan, looking at the remnants of
Xuanyuan Sect, couldn’t help but remark, “There were too many deaths.”
“The righteous sects were just trying to prevent the calamity of a millennium,” said Altar Master Yuan. “The demonic sects have actually gotten quite tame under the Venerable’s management. We just mess with righteous cultivators, and don’t even dare go after civilians anymore. The righteous sects taking the offensive and starting the Great Sect War, even using strategies like the Spirit Severing Array, was all to trick the heavens and mitigate the cleansing of the human world via a great disaster. Using this many human lives to ensure survival for the next ten thousand years can still be considered a worthwhile trade.”
“We’re all people who invite calamities. It’s in our fate.” Altar Master Ruan spoke some rare cultured words, then turned and saw Yin Hanjiang had disappeared and started cussing again. “Fuck, where’d Yin Hanjiang go?!”
The people who could still move turned their heads painfully and found the spot where Yin Hanjiang had sat conspicuously empty. And from deep
within the mountains, in the Xuanyuan Sect’s forbidden ground, came the faint sound of drumming, each beat louder than the last.
Hearing Altar Master Ruan’s words, Yin Hanjiang understood what kind of attack the Venerable was facing.
Fighting intent! If only there was fighting intent, the Venerable would not lose!
But of the three battlefields, two of them had already laid down their flags, and the Venerable was up against the most powerful Buddhist cultivator of the Wuxiang Temple. There was no fighting intent for him.
In his desperation, Yin Hanjiang remembered the Burning Sky Drum, filled with the memories of the Great Demon War in the immortal realm.
He instantly fused with the demonic sword and transformed into a hail of red blades to rush headlong to the Burning Sky Drum. With the power of a Void Boundary cultivator, he used his own body to sound the drum.
The first light drumbeat seemed to resonate in Wenren È’s heart.
He slowly opened his eyes and saw a kind-faced old monk facing him,
saying, “Major-General Wenren, let go of your hate. Set down your blade, and you will be absolved of your sins.” Major-General? Such a nostalgic title; it had already been three hundred years since he’d last heard it.
Three hundred years ago, he was still an ordinary person, and the Wenren clan were loyal servants of the state. But the entire clan ended up executed. He hated, he resented, he wanted to kill every foolish ruler on the earth, but… what happened afterward?
Bong! A second beat struck heavily in Wenren È’s heart. His brows rose, seeing a young child appearing in his memories, reaching out a tiny hand and grabbing the end of his robe. So much like a younger him, barely
surviving a battle and being saved by the civilians living at the border, only to hear that the Wenren clan had been exterminated to a man.
“Major-General, the sea of suffering is boundless, but turn around and you will find the shore.” The old abbot went back to reading sutras, and the fighting intent that had risen within Wenren È dissipated again.
Bong bong bong! Three urgent beats sounded, like a horn calling Wenren È to battle.
He saw another image, a man in a ghost mask, embracing his robe before an everburning lamp and peacefully closing his eyes.
Bong bong bong bong! The sound of the Burning Sky Drum was deafening, sounding like a voice by Wenren È’s ear yelling, “Venerable, Venerable!”
Wenren È opened his eyes fully and said to the monk looking upon him
with compassion before him, “Great master, if you want me to set down my blade, how about you first ask if my blade is willing?”
The Wuxiang Temple abbot shook his head, trembling. “It seems we were just short.”
Along with his words, the illusion surrounding Wenren È shattered, and twenty-one experts brandished their bonded weapons at him. If he had
awoken a second later, these twenty-one weapons would’ve destroyed him body and soul. The drumbeats continued incessantly. Wenren È raised the Seven Killing Halberd and said in a clear voice, “The fact that you could pressure this
Venerable to such an extent shows you were worthy of the full extent of this Venerable’s strength. We’re all at our limits, so in this last bout, let the heavens determine the survivors!”
Polis shone radiantly in the sky, as Wenren È’s halberd clashed with twenty- one bonded weapons. The force unleashed by twenty-one powerhouses
clashing called down peals of thunder around them.
As the Xuanyuan Sect cultivators chatted idly and looked at the sky, Altar Master Ruan said in disbelief, “The Venerable is actually still alive! How did he survive? He’s fighting twenty-one experts!”
“Is calling him Venerable again what’s most important? Hurry up and set up a barrier! Do you want to die?” Altar Master Yuan planted a foot in Ruan Weiyi’s rear end.
Ruan Weiyi hurriedly activated Xuanyuan Sect’s wards. The instant the barrier rose, a streak of red light flew out of it, charging into the battlefield without a second thought.
Yin Hanjiang was uncaring of how the aftermath of such powerful opponents clashing might cause him injury. His vision was a field of red, as he searched among rubble and ruins for Wenren È’s figure.
That limb wasn’t his, and that weapon wasn’t his—where was he, where could he be?
A monk staff fell from the air, about to hit Yin Hanjiang, but in that moment, a beaten-up halberd flew forth to shield him as if it had a will of its own, blocking the staff.
Seeing that halberd, Yin Hanjiang resumed human form. He held Wenren È’s bonded weapon, and following its resonance, found the barely breathing Wenren È. He flew forward and scooped him up. His mouth felt numb from joy, and he found himself unable to speak.
The two landed on flat ground. Yin Hanjiang clutched Wenren È, trembling all over. Wenren È slowly raised a hand and stroked Yin Hanjiang’s cheek. “Protector Yin, you really did save this Venerable,” he said weakly.
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 Buddha of infinite light. ↩
2. You can look up Mahamayuri. ↩
Chapter 15 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 15 – Severing blood and engraving soul
After regaining awareness with the help of the Burning Sky Drum, Wenren È engaged twenty-one experts in a desperate battle to the death. He didn’t know how many of them he had managed to kill, and how many had
Wenren È had originally planned to unleash all of his power and fight to his limits, to learn just what he was capable of. He had wanted to disregard
everything else, but the drumbeats brought him back to his senses at the last moment.
Yin Hanjiang had not risked his life using Void Boundary stage power to activate the Burning Sky Drum in order to see Wenren È die in battle.
He had promised Yin Hanjiang before the battle that he would survive.
Wenren È would never go back on his word. At the very end, he held back a part of his power in order to defend himself, and so managed to preserve his life to be saved by Yin Hanjiang.
With his last breath, he let Yin Hanjiang know that he was still alive, before losing consciousness.
His injuries were too severe, and while drifting in and out of consciousness, he could hear Yin Hanjiang calling him, but his eyelids felt heavy and he
couldn’t open them.
In the original plot, Wenren È had lain unconscious for some time, and upon waking, saw Baili Qingmiao busy working before him. He saw a
single ray of the rising sun land on Baili Qingmiao’s body. Her expression was warm but resolute, with a beautiful and pure wish to save others. Seeing her bathed in that ray of sun, or perhaps divine light, the heart of the demonic sect leader was moved.
At the time, Wenren È was not yet aware that his love tribulation had
arrived, and only coldly told this righteous junior disciple that he could grant her one favor. Baili Qingmiao stared blankly for a moment, then shook her head and said, “I just need you to live.”
Wenren È had sustained heavy internal injuries, and also wasn’t willing to return to Shangqing Sect with Baili Qingmiao for treatment. Baili Qingmiao could only use the communication talisman Master Qingrong gave her to report back that she would be gone for a while.
Before the war, Shangqing Sect had given each of the support disciples a jade slip and rushed them through some medicinal knowledge and the locations of some magic herbs. During the three months Yin Hanjiang had been cultivating, Baili Qingmiao and her fellow disciples were busy memorizing the jade slips and practicing medicinal spells.
She realized Wenren È’s injuries were too severe; the Violet Palace of his dantian was a mess and his spiritual essence was almost completely drained. In order to save his life, Baili Qingmiao decided to take him to the Nine Cauldron Mountains, the location of the Nine Yang Soul-Reviving Flesh Mushroom which could bring back the dead and regrow flesh from bones, as recorded in her jade slip. Wenren È watched her coldly for the
entire journey as she climbed the mountain carrying him and did battle with the beasts guarding the mushroom. After she obtained the mushroom, she boiled it into broth and didn’t take a spoonful for herself, feeding it all to Wenren È.
In the book, after Wenren È was healed, he saw Baili Qingmiao’s overjoyed expression and his heart finally fell for her. He didn’t reveal his identity, just left a token and told her she could use it to call him if she met with trouble. No matter what it was, Wenren È would go through hell and high water to help her.
Baili Qingmiao had never thought of receiving something in return from Wenren È, and was only happy she was able to save one more life. After bidding Wenren È farewell, Baili Qingmiao returned to her sect and, when she saw Hè Wenzhao had lost his Nascent Soul, her heart froze in an instant.
The gravely injured and despondent Hè Wenzhao said to Baili Qingmiao, “Shimei, when I was injured, all I wanted to do was see you one last time, but where were you then?”
Baili Qingmiao was sobbing so hard she couldn’t speak. She had just obtained the Flesh Mushroom, but used it on a stranger instead of her shixiong.
She asked her elders for a way to save Hè Wenzhao, and set out alone toward the Golden Coast Cliffs. Along the way, she “bumped into” Wenren È, who had been watching her all that time, and now accompanied her on her journey.
This time, the one saving Wenren È was Yin Hanjiang, who didn’t know
where the Flesh Mushroom grew. The Venerable was unconscious, so all he could do was bring him to the small mountain valley where he’d begun
This was the small sect that Wenren È had led once, which he brought Yin Hanjiang to after picking him up. After Wenren È unified the demonic
sects, he secretly gave this place to Yin Hanjiang and set up wards around it. It belonged to Yin Hanjiang alone and no one else knew of it.
While Wenren È was in battle, Yin Hanjiang had noticed how Altar Master Ruan had dropped his title. The demonic sects were rife with ambition, and from the Protectors and Altar Masters to the common cultivators, each and every one would kick you while you were down. If Yin Hanjiang brought a heavily injured Wenren È back to Xuanyuan Sect, Shu Yanyan would probably be the first in line to kill him.
When the Venerable was at his full power, the Xuanyuan Sect all stood behind him, but when he was weak, Xuanyuan Sect was as a den of
cannibals. Since Yin Hanjiang didn’t dare bring Wenren È to Xuanyuan Sect, he only had two options. First, the small border town where he had grown up, and second, the place the Venerable had taken him to train when young.
Holding Wenren È, he dove through the waterfall he once cultivated in front of into the small cave behind it, rich in spiritual energy and well suited for recovery.
The Venerable was seriously injured. Yin Hanjiang placed him down on his back and took out all the medicine in his storage belt, picking out some milder ones that could replenish spiritual essence and shoving them in
Wenren È’s mouth.
Wenren È had no spiritual energy and was unable to swallow the pills. Yin Hanjiang hesitated for several moments, then after saying, “Excuse my rudeness,” pried open Wenren È’s mouth, and, with an inch of distance between them, exhaled a mouthful of spiritual energy into Wenren È.
He acted with extreme care, terrified of touching his Venerable’s pale lips with his own.
After Wenren È had taken the medicine, Yin Hanjiang also poured the remaining dregs of his spiritual essence into him and cycled it through his body once. After feeling his Venerable’s essence begin circulating on its own and absorbing the medicine, he breathed a sigh of relief.
After relaxing, Yin Hanjiang found himself wobbling on his feet. He coughed up a mouthful of blood and collapsed at Wenren È’s feet.
The old sect master of Xuanyuan Sect had been at the peak of Mahayana, but while using the Burning Sky Drum, he had been trapped by its illusions and suffered qi deviation. Yin Hanjiang was barely in Void Boundary stage. After forcibly activating the Burning Sky Drum and suffering the backlash of its violent energy, his internal organs had been heavily damaged.
Singlemindedly desiring to save Wenren È, he hadn’t even noticed his own state or felt the pain. Only after he revived Wenren È did Yin Hanjiang notice that he was on his last legs. Waking up after absorbing the medicine, Wenren È found himself in a dark and damp cave, with a black-clothed man lying at his feet, face pressed
against the cold stone. Turning him over, he found green lichen smeared on his face, making him look like the victim of some horror from a folk ghost story.
When Wenren È tried to channel energy, pain shot through his dantian like it was tearing apart. He took off his black robe and saw that his body was covered with wounds from swords, knives, whips, staves, seemingly every kind of wound that could be made by eighteen different magic weapons.
His physical injuries weren’t a big deal, but what was more important was that the Violet Palace of his dantian had been destroyed and he had drained his spiritual essence using the Seven Killing Halberd. Without the Flesh
Mushroom, he might not recover after recuperating for a hundred years.
He struggled to sit up and lift Yin Hanjiang in his arms, and felt that Yin Hanjiang’s clothes were damp. He opened his robe and saw that his thin
body looked like it’d been slashed up by a blade before being stitched up by thin thread. It was hard to find an undamaged patch of skin on him.
Wenren È was aghast at the sight of his split-open flesh. He placed a hand on Yin Hanjiang’s chest, trying to heal him, but he couldn’t call up a single wisp of spiritual energy. Powerless, he could only sit down next to Yin
Hanjiang and let out a despairing laugh.
In the three hundred years since he’d entered the Dao, he’d never before been in such a pathetic state.
He had no way to heal himself. In the book, Baili Qingmiao had found the Flesh Mushroom to save him, but in order to change the plot, Wenren È had given up on the easy way out and picked a painful and arduous path for himself.
“Protector Yin,” Wenren È said lightly. “The most difficult time in this
Venerable’s life was three hundred years ago, when I dug through that mass grave to find my family.” There were two hundred and seventy-three corpses of the Wenren clan there, all beheaded. Criminals would not get a burial, and after the
execution the heads would be burned and bodies thrown into a mass grave.
Seven days had already passed by the time Wenren È made it back to the capital and the bodies had started to decompose. There was no way to tell anyone apart.
He dug through the corpse pile day and night, dragging out two hundred and ninety-six headless corpses. The youngest was just three months old. Aside from the few with unique statures, Wenren È had no way of telling apart the remaining two hundred and thirty-seven corpses.
The bodies of other criminals were mixed in, so Wenren È didn’t even know which were his relatives.
The entire clan had been loyal to the end, yet they were killed and their corpses desecrated. At sixteen, Wenren È knelt before two hundred and
ninety-six headless corpses, crying and howling, unable to vent his hatred.
The Wuxiang Temple abbot’s power had been great, and led Wenren È to uncover memories that had been forgotten three hundred years ago. He glanced over at Yin Hanjiang’s closed eyes, and his gaze held a weak smile. “Protector Yin, when this Venerable walked past that corpse pile and saw a hand grab me, do you know how happy I was?”
A hundred years ago, when Wenren È thought he’d already forgotten the past, that tiny hand reached out for the train of his robes. He picked that child up out of the corpse pile and felt his neck to check that he wasn’t a
beheaded corpse. He pressed an ear against the child’s chest, and that weak heartbeat was like music to his ears.
At that moment, the cold and heartless Wenren È held little Yin Hanjiang in his arms, not noticing the tears that slid from his eyes.
It was like he was finally free of the powerlessness he had felt at sixteen. He had finally managed to save someone. Wenren È held Yin Hanjiang’s wrist. The child he’d saved back then was going to die soon.
This silly child was already heavily injured, but had given the last of his spiritual essence to Wenren È, throwing away his last lease on life.
“Yin Hanjiang, if this Venerable can save you once, he can save you twice. If this Venerable doesn’t allow you to die, then you can’t die.” Wenren È looked at the demonic sword at Yin Hanjiang’s side, as his expression darkened.
Yin Hanjiang never put his sword away in a storage item, stubbornly holding it like a sentinel. Yet this sword had a will of its own.
After becoming a cultivator, Wenren È had stolen many techniques from other demonic sects. There had been one which was the hardest to use of all, but perfect for this moment.
“Your name is Chiming,” Wenren È said to the sword.
Back when he handed this sword to Yin Hanjiang, he never told him its name.
Calling the name would call awake the demonic sword’s consciousness.
Chiming, hearing its own name, trembled lightly and left its sheath, hovering before Wenren È. Many sinister patterns appeared on the surface of its blade, an appearance Yin Hanjiang had never seen.
Looking at the sword, Wenren È recited a spell, and the same patterns appeared on his body.
The Seven Killing Halberd sensed what its master was doing and hummed plaintively. Wenren È raised a hand. “Don’t fuss.”
The halberd reluctantly trembled a few times, but eventually came under Wenren È’s control and quieted down. Chiming transformed into a hail of blood swords and, with Wenren È’s
spell, stabbed deep into the patterns on his body, pinning him to the cave wall. Blood flowed down the stone, dripping onto Yin Hanjiang’s face.
Yin Hanjiang’s eyelashes twitched painfully a few times, but in the end he was unable to wake and see the Venerable he wanted to protect at all costs engrave his body with the Chiming blade and go down a path few survived.
With thousands of swords in his body, Wenren È never stopped reciting. He slowly raised a hand and drew an array in midair with difficulty, matching the patterns on his body.
The Lifeblood Soul Locking Array. After the array was completed, the lines drawn in crimson light melded into Wenren È’s soul.
Using the body to sever the blood, and using the blood to engrave the soul.
Chiming left Wenren È’s body, and the instant the blades were pulled out, Wenren È’s body burst into a cloud of bloody mist, dispersing within the cave.
The Seven Killing Halberd let out a lamenting cry, and the sixth star of the Southern Dipper was gradually stained blood-red.
After several minutes, the blood mist gradually condensed, solidifying into a human figure. At the moment when his body and soul were dispersed, he endured the soul-splitting pain and, through his resolution, managed to
complete the Blood Severing Array.
There was a lost technique in the cultivation world called the Blood Severing Art.
The user needed to carve the blood marks into their flesh, then voluntarily destroy their body and soul, and use the technique at the moment before death. It would fuse one’s soul and body together, and from then on, if a
single drop of one’s blood remained in the world, they would not die. Only one person had succeeded at the blood art in hundreds of thousands of years. It was not because it was weak, but because it had such a low chance of success. Without an iron will, no one could even bear the pain.
After it was completed, one could recover from any injury no matter how severe, as long as they had sufficient spiritual energy.
Wenren È put the black robe he’d discarded back on, the pain of his soul shattering still lingering in his body. He frowned slightly and took a pill from his sleeve to swallow.
After he had mostly recovered, he picked up Yin Hanjiang and sent the spiritual energy he had just restored into his meridians, chasing out the murderous aura of the Burning Sky Drum.
For the next few months, Wenren È stayed in that small cave, absorbing
spiritual energy to transfer to Yin Hanjiang, slowly restoring his damaged meridians.
In a distant location, Qiu Congxue was being carried on Baili Qingmiao’s back as she scaled a mountain.
Qiu Congxue had said to Baili Qingmiao, “Leave me be, don’t take me back to your sect,” before passing out. She was injured worse than Wenren È. The Buddha’s light was terribly effective against ghost cultivators and all the spirits she kept inside her body had been sublimated. She had no power left.
Baili Qingmiao assumed the reason Qiu Congxue didn’t want to return to her sect was that she didn’t want to face her compatriots like this, injured so severely with no hope of recovery. She was determined to save her fellow
After reporting the situation with her message talisman, she tied the unconscious Qiu Congxue to her back and set off to Nine Cauldrons Mountain. It was said that Nine Cauldrons Mountain was a dwelling place of immortals. Even a Mahayana cultivator there would have their powers suppressed to the level of an ordinary person.
Baili Qingmiao was unable to fly and the cliffs were treacherous. She gripped a vine and climbed, gritting her teeth and holding back tears.
She fell countless times on the way up, until her face and body were bruised and battered. She thought of giving up, but each time, she remembered how the person on her back was relying on her, and how she had been unable to save so many people in the Great Sect War, and she gritted her teeth and
encouraged herself to continue climbing.
By the time she reached the top, she was about to collapse from exhaustion.
The Flesh Mushroom was very well hidden, impossible for ordinary people to find. After Baili Qingmiao collapsed on the mountaintop, the mushroom took her for a corpse and, drawn by her divinity, rose up from the ground in order to eat her.
A spiritual snake who protected the Flesh Mushroom slithered up and,
seeing that the mushroom had emerged, bit down on it and began wrestling with it.
Baili Qingmiao was roused by the noise and was overjoyed to see the Flesh Mushroom right before her. With the dregs of her strength, she slew the
snake and picked the Flesh Mushroom, then cooked it in a stew together with the snake.
The aroma emanating from the Flesh Mushroom healed Baili Qingmiao’s wounds, and also allowed her to rise from the fifth level of Core Formation all the way to the final level.
If she drank the broth, she could probably ascend on the spot. But she had no desire of it for herself. She let Qiu Congxue soak in the broth and
watched as flesh regrew on her bones. “So you’re a girl,” she exclaimed happily. After all of Qiu Congxue’s organs had been restored, Baili Qingmiao fed every spoonful of the broth to her.
Qiu Congxue’s realm was instantly restored to Mahayana, her skin rosy, looking to be in perfect health.
After waking, Qiu Congxue saw a beautiful girl watching her with chin in one hand, expression filled with genuine joy. “Senior, you’re healed at last.”
Healed? Qiu Congxue sat up and felt something was off with her body. She checked and saw that she had flesh now.
A passage appeared in Qiu Congxue’s mind—”He saw Baili Qingmiao’s gaze filled with concern and that empty pot of broth which had all been given to him, and let out a sigh. ‘Well, that’s it, I guess.'”
Qiu Congxue had no idea where these words came from, but she nodded in agreement. “That’s it.”
“What is?” Baili Qingmiao said, blinking naively as she gazed toward Qiu Congxue.
“This Altar Master was a perfectly good ghost cultivator, willingly offering her own body to hungry ghosts in order to cultivate the Asura Path and reach Mahayana.” Qiu Congxue turned a threatening gaze toward Baili
Baili Qingmiao finally realized something was wrong. She backed away a few steps and fell to the ground, saying in a wavering voice, “S—senior, what’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong?” Qiu Congxue said, rising and approaching her. Her warm fingers clenched around Baili Qingmiao’s neck. “Do you know how hard it was to give up my body? You went and restored it with a few spoonfuls of soup! I’ll kill you!”
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 16 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 16 – A handful of moonlight
Qiu Congxue’s cultivation was suppressed by the seal on Nine Cauldrons Mountain, and her strength was currently roughly equal to Baili
Baili Qingmiao forced back Qiu Congxue’s hand and rolled out from underneath her, getting out of her range.
She seemed about to say something, then suddenly her face flushed and she ran off. In a moment, she came back with a black robe in her arms, which
she threw onto Qiu Congxue. She turned her face away and said, “Senior… please put something on.”
“Huh?” Qiu Congxue looked down at her body which was as full and curvaceous as Shu Yanyan’s, and didn’t see anything wrong with it.
She had gotten used to walking here and there as a skeleton, and long since forgotten what it was like to have a flesh body.
She was still fuming, but when Baili Qingmiao backed off, she calmed down a bit and realized her cultivation was being suppressed. Without
spiritual energy, she stopped lashing out at her savior and coldly watched as Baili Qingmiao blushed and ran off for clothes.
Qiu Congxue slowly put on the robe. She squinted at Baili Qingmiao and suddenly said, “You’re Baili Qingmiao?”
“I am.” Baili Qingmiao only turned fully around after seeing that Qiu
Congxue was dressed properly. “Did senior hear me muttering to myself while you were unconscious?” She hadn’t heard it, but that passage like a excerpt of text or someone reading a story by her ear had told her this girl was called Baili Qingmiao.
Speaking of which, that name Baili Qingmiao seemed kind of familiar.
Qiu Congxue wasn’t like Shu Yanyan, constantly full of wicked ideas and acting behind people’s backs. Altar Master Qiu never used her mouth if she could use her fists. Well, mouths were involved, but it was the mouths of her hungry ghosts.
Though she was lying in wait to kill Wenren È, Shu Yanyan was a dedicated Sect Protector, helping Wenren È sort out the sect’s business, keeping the
smaller sects under Xuanyuan Sect firmly in line, while not forgetting to pick a few good-looking men from them to take home with her. She made
every move to build Wenren È’s trust, while only wanting to indulge herself and steal the life force of a Mahayana cultivator.
Too bad that Wenren È was blind and really treated beautiful women like dirt. Every time Shu Yanyan showed a hint of seductive power, she’d be thoroughly dealt with, and so had settled down a lot after a few decades.
On the other hand, Qiu Congxue also wanted to overthrow Wenren È, but never concealed her hostility and had an agreement to duel him every ten years. At the present time, she had already had all the bones in her body
smashed five times by Wenren È.
Shu Yanyan often said Qiu Congxue’s brain had been eaten by a hungry ghost, and that was pretty much the truth. A thousand year old ghost lived in her skull and served as her hidden ace, which she didn’t bring out lightly.
Baili Qingmiao… Qiu Congxue thought for a long time, and finally remembered that Shu Yanyan had mentioned her eleven years ago. She was the talented disciple who Wenren È favored, the one he wanted to steal from Shangqing Sect and have practice the Path of Indifference.
“You’re a Core Formation disciple of Shangqing Sect?” Qiu Congxue asked. “I am. Have we met before, senior?”
Core Formation at eighteen was certainly unprecedented, but Baili
Qingmiao was now twenty-nine and still at Core Formation, so that was a bit less special.
“Stick out your hand,” Qiu Congxue commanded. She typically
commanded hordes of ghosts and was used to ordering others around. Fortunately, Baili Qingmiao was obedient and respected her as a Mahayana cultivator, so stuck out her hand without hesitation.
Qiu Congxue probed Baili Qingmiao’s meridians and her eyes widened. “Ninth level of Core Formation?”
The first level and the last level of Core Formation were completely different. The ninth level of Core Formation put Baili Qingmiao on the threshold of Nascent Soul, only needing the manual and to pass her inner demon trial.
Nascent Soul before the age of thirty certainly was exceptional talent. Even the cold-hearted Qiu Congxue felt some appreciation for her.
No wonder the Lord of Demons wanted her as a disciple. If Baili Qingmiao cultivated for a hundred years, there was a possibility she could surpass
“If I can’t beat Wenren È, maybe I can steal his disciple?” Qiu Congxue scrutinized Baili Qingmiao head to toe.
Baili Qingmiao was intimidated and worried over whether this senior had had a qi deviation. None of her behavior after waking up made sense. She tugged carefully on Qiu Congxue’s robe and said, “Senior, I’ve already been away from the sect for too long. Now that you’re healed, why don’t we part ways here?”
She didn’t bring up a word of the other’s debt to her. Just saving a life was enough for Baili Qingmiao. “Hold on!” Qiu Congxue grabbed Baili Qingmiao’s collar. “We’re heading down together.”
Qiu Congxue was over a thousand years old, but still appeared as a young woman, with smooth pale skin and jet-black hair, fine brows, and elegant eyes. They were tender yet heartless, making her a cold, distant beauty.
Just that she was far too casual, lifting up her robes and spreading her legs multiple times as she descended the mountain, acting like she was still a
Baili Qingmiao felt like facepalming several times, but she didn’t want to put pressure on Qiu Congxue, so managed to bear with it.
At the bottom of the mountain, she finally spoke. “Senior, I have a gown. It’s not of the best quality, but… but it can at least cover you up.”
She took out a light green gown, something that Wenren È had previously given to her. She had been determined to refuse at first, but Wenren È left her with no other choice.
Qiu Congxue put it on. The gown suited her very well. With her tall stature and slender waist, she seemed like a thin willow. Baili Qingmiao looked at her for a moment, then took out an ordinary jade hairpin she had bought and helped pin up Qiu Congxue’s hair.
“Senior is so beautiful,” she said with a small sigh.
“What’s the point?” Now that Qiu Congxue was off the mountain, her power was no longer being suppressed. She investigated her condition and was so irritated she almost rolled her eyes at Baili Qingmiao.
Her realm really had been restored and her powers had grown, but the ghost qi she had spent so much effort cultivating was gone, and her body was filled with immortal qi instead. She had become a wandering immortal.
Qiu Congxue tried summoning some nearby spirits, but not a single one came. She clenched her fists. How was she supposed to use this body to vie for the leadership of Xuanyuan Sect with Wenren È? How was she supposed to keep Shu Yanyan in her place?
Fortunately, Altar Master Qiu was a determined person. She could offer her body to hungry ghosts in order to cultivate the Asura Path, so now she
could switch to cultivating as an immortal!
Baili Qingmiao felt much more at ease after taking care of Qiu Congxue and bid farewell to her so she could return to her sect, only for Qiu
Congxue to grab her hair.
“Ow ow ow!” Baili Qingmiao clutched her hair and said lightly, “Senior, do you need anything?”
“I recall that your righteous— er, your Shangqing Sect has a regulation that you can accept a wandering immortal as a guest, as long as they stay and help Shangqing Sect. According to how much they contribute, they can
study techniques passed down from other wandering immortals in the sect library.”
Wandering immortals were exceptional existences in the cultivation world.
They were more powerful than Mahayana cultivators, and the strongest
among them could go toe to toe with immortals from the upper realm. Any sect would highly welcome an unaffiliated wandering immortal. The sect’s core techniques obviously couldn’t be passed on to outsiders, but there was nothing wrong with letting them study some other techniques left behind by predecessors. The wandering immortal could also leave behind their own knowledge, so Shangqing Sect had collected many secret techniques over the years. This was what Qiu Congxue was after.
The Shangqing Sect had sustained heavy losses in the Great Sect War and needed the support of powerful experts. Qiu Congxue’s body was full of immortal essence after eating the Flesh Mushroom and no one could tell she was a demonic cultivator, so she was confident she’d be accepted by Shangqing Sect. She decided to become the respected elder of a righteous
sect, and after gaining influence at Shangqing Sect, fight her way back into Xuanyuan Sect and keep challenging Wenren È. “Huh?” Baili Qingmiao said, dumbfounded. Why did this senior want to follow her back to her sect now?
“Let’s go. I’ll take you back to Shangqing Sect.”
Qiu Congxue was a resolute woman and her actions always followed her words. Since Baili Qingmiao flew too slow, she picked her up and flew toward Shangqing Sect in a streak of light.
By the time they arrived, Wenren È had finished purging the violent qi from Yin Hanjiang’s body. Yin Hanjiang opened his eyes slowly and immediately caught sight of Wenren È.
“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang instantly went to stand, but was held down by Wenren È and sat back down.
“Your body was badly damaged by the violent qi of the Burning Sky
Drum,” Wenren È said lightly. “This Venerable has already cleared it out, and there are some medicinal elixirs here you can take on your own.”
“Many thanks to the Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang took the medicine. Turning his senses to his dantian, he found the energy of the Burning Sky Drum
completely gone and his wounds healing easily.
After circulating qi through his body thirty-six times, he had completely recovered from his wounds. The only problem was that he had lost some spiritual essence, but he could slowly cultivate it back. After healing, he went looking for Wenren È and found him standing at the cave entrance, watching the waterfall outside.
“Awake now?” Wenren È said.
“This subordinate is useless,” Yin Hanjiang said, kneeling. He hadn’t been able to help the Venerable with his injuries, and forced the Venerable to help him. He was far too incompetent.
Wenren È said nothing. He flew out of the cave, with Yin Hanjiang following close behind him. Wenren È had been busy treating his and Yin Hanjiang’s injuries the past few days and hadn’t noticed where they were. He had only sensed the wards he himself had put up and known it was safe. After exiting the cave, he looked around and saw it was indeed the mountains behind the small sect he used to lead, where Yin Hanjiang had grown up.
“This was where you practiced the sword,” Wenren È said, looking at the waterfall.
“The Venerable still remembers?” Yin Hanjiang said.
A full moon happened to be out tonight, bathing the two in gentle moonlight. Yin Hanjiang’s face seemed to be shrouded in a silver glow.
Wenren È closed his eyes. “This Venerable remembers. After we obtained Xuanyuan Sect, I gave this place to you. Have you given this place a name?”
“Yes.” Yin Hanjiang walked to the pool before the waterfall and scooped up a handful of water. “This subordinate has named this area the Moon-Fishing Pool.”
Yin Hanjiang’s brows softened, as if thinking of a happy memory. With a faint smile, he said, “This subordinate used to practice the sword here, until I was too exhausted to move, and laid beside the waterfall looking at the
sky. Sometimes the moon was curved, and sometimes it was round and reflected in the pool. Back then, I thought you could scoop up the moonlight, and fished at the water again and again.”
There was faint amusement in his words. He held his handful of water out to Wenren È. “Eventually, when my hands steadied, I could scoop up the moonlight.”
Wenren È looked down and saw the moon reflected in that handful of water which Yin Hanjiang held up with his spiritual energy. He was presenting a tiny image of the moon in his hands. This had been Yin Hanjiang’s favorite game in his short, lonely childhood.
Wenren È gazed at the Moon-Fishing Pool and seemed to see a little child, picking up handfuls of water again and again under the full moon, trying to catch the ever-elusive moonlight.
He reached out a hand and kept the water together using his spiritual
energy. From his sleeve, he produced a crystal vase and poured the water inside.
“This Venerable accepts your moonlight.”
Yin Hanjiang stared, dumbfounded, as he watched Wenren È use a treasure which could hold an entire river to store his little handful of water, then replace it in his sleeve. The night wind blew across Yin Hanjiang’s face
with a faint coolness, and only then did he realize that his face was burning hot, and even his ears had turned bright red.
“Venerable, it was nothing,” Yin Hanjiang mumbled, bowing his head.
Wenren È clasped his hands behind his back. “This Venerable can’t remember many old things. I just remember that in my childhood, I grew up in a border town where my father and elder brother were garrisoned year- round, leaving behind me and my mother. She personally taught me to fight with a halberd, but I complained that a halberd was not as elegant and good- looking as a sword.
“My mother told me that length lends power and protection. The weapons on a battlefield are indiscriminate, and she wanted me to have a better
chance of survival, so she taught me the halberd.
“Before my sixteenth birthday, I woke with the dawn each morning and
studied combat and literature, in order to follow in my father and brother’s footsteps and become a learned general who could protect the town I lived in. But I didn’t know how to be a child, how to play and enjoy myself. After I took you in, I only thought about teaching you to cultivate, and not to have fun.” Yin Hanjiang opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say. He only
stared wide-eyed at this completely unknown version of his Venerable and committed the sight to memory.
“Thinking about it now, this Venerable never really had any childish impulses. This handful of moonlight is the childhood that Protector Yin has given to this Venerable.” Wenren È smiled faintly. “Since you’ve given this Venerable something so precious, I should give you some reward. Is there anything you want?”
Yin Hanjiang wanted to say, no need, but seeing Wenren È’s slight smile, he felt that he would ruin this rare good mood his Venerable was in if he refused.
“This subordinate does have a wish,” he said quietly. “This subordinate has always wanted to go back and visit the border town where he grew up.”
“That’s no big deal at all,” Wenren È said. “Since you want to go, why don’t you take this Venerable on your sword? Then I won’t have to wait for you there.”
Yin Hanjiang called out Chiming. Seeing the patterns that had appeared
across the blade, he felt some concern and wanted to ask, but at Wenren È’s encouragement, just mounted the sword and flew off with Wenren È, until they reached the little border town.
The sun had risen by the time they arrived. The two hid themselves from sight and landed within the town. “What’s this?” Yin Hanjiang said in
The sparsely populated town he remembered had become a fort with walls strong as steel and a bustling marketplace within. The citizens looked prosperous and happy, and merchants peddled their wares enthusiastically from their stalls. “The Great Sect War allowed the mortal world to rejuvenate for ten years,” Wenren È said. “With abundant spiritual energy, there have been few disasters. Since the plains haven’t suffered storms or frost, the nomads have been living well, and don’t need to plunder bordering towns for grain each winter. Spiritual veins reinforce ley lines, so that more capable officials are born in the capital. They’ve opened up trade, and the commerce has brought prosperity to the residents here. Ten years is more than enough time for a
small town to become a fortress.”
Yin Hanjiang walked to the memorial shrines and found a temple dedicated to a general. He bought incense to offer to the general and bowed to him deeply.
Wenren È didn’t know what to say. After Yin Hanjiang left, he asked, “This is what you wanted? This Venerable is right here. Why are you paying respects to my old mortal identity?”
Looking at the statue people had carved for Wenren È, Yin Hanjiang said solemnly, “It’s not the same.”
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 17 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 17 – Border town
In the decades that had passed, the temple would’ve already fallen into ruin if not for repairs by the government, and there were few people making offerings.
Wenren È saw how familiarly Yin Hanjiang did everything and felt some suspicion. When Yin Hanjiang returned to his side after offering incense and washing the statue, he asked, “Do you often come?”
The base of Yin Hanjiang’s ears reddened slightly, but his face didn’t change. “If not in seclusion, I come once a year,” he said.
Though this was the first time he had come with Wenren È.
“This Venerable doesn’t cultivate merits or sustain himself on incense offerings. I’m right by your side, so why do you need to come bow to a statue of me?” Wenren È said, puzzled.
Yin Hanjiang had followed him from childhood, and Wenren È had
assumed he understood him. It was only when he opened Abusive Romance that he discovered he was seeing only the side of Yin Hanjiang the man deigned to show. Since then he observed Yin Hanjiang more closely, and discovered many things he’d never noticed before.
For instance, this temple was over eighty years old, but the statue was still like new. This must’ve been at least partially Yin Hanjiang’s doing. He
would visit every year, yet Wenren È had never noticed.
Yin Hanjiang was about to answer when a man dressed like a government official approached them. He seemed around fifty or sixty, and came forward to strike up a conversation upon seeing Yin Hanjiang. “Is this young hero named Yin?”
Yin Hanjiang didn’t treat this old official coldly as he did all others. He cupped his hands respectfully and replied, “I am.”
The official seemed reminiscent as he looked at Yin Hanjiang’s face. He sighed. “I came into management of the memorial shrines when I was
sixteen. Now over forty years have passed, and fewer and fewer people come to pay respects every year. Only the Yin family, from your grandfather to you today, would visit every year before winter. Yet your
father didn’t show up for the past eleven years, so I thought your family had also forgotten.”
“My father hasn’t been able to walk these past few years and kept lamenting how he could not go. This year, I set out on a trip, and my father implored me that I absolutely must come here. He told me that my great grandfather had been saved by General Wenren eighty years ago, and the future generations of the Yin family should not forget this debt. When I grow old, my son should also come here.”
Yin Hanjiang rarely spoke so much and was never good at expressing his thoughts. Wenren È saw how well he had played his own father, grandfather, and great-grandfather in front of this official, and would probably play his own son and grandson in the future, and an unfamiliar feeling rose within him.
Those eleven years were hardly because his father’s legs didn’t work, but that he had been caught up in the Great Sect War and unable to come.
“My father is the same,” the old official said. He wiped the stone stele that stood in front of the entrance to the shrine with a damp cloth, so that each name stood out clearly. “He always told me that in that war eighty years
ago, if it weren’t for General Wenren, this town would’ve already fallen to the enemy.”
As his cloth ran over the names, he stared at one that said Zhang Ergou and said with pride, “This one is my grandfather, who died in battle after my father was born. My father said that the peace this town enjoys now was
won with the blood of my grandfather and countless other soldiers, and they deserve the highest honors.”
A chilly wind blew past, and the old official wrapped his clothes more tightly around himself. He said with a chuckle to Yin Hanjiang, “You young people might not mind the cold, but if you don’t put on more layers when
winter is coming, you’ll feel it when you’re older.”
He picked up his washcloth and bucket and slowly walked away from the shrine.
After he was gone, Yin Hanjiang turned to Wenren È and repeated his earlier words. “It’s not the same.”
Wenren È understood this time.
Wenren È the ruler of the demonic sects wasn’t the same as the General
Wenren enshrined in the small border town, the same way Yin Hanjiang the Left Protector of Xuanyuan Sect wasn’t the same as the Young Hero Yin
who visited the shrines every year.
Wenren È walked to the memorial stele and brushed his fingertips over the names with a soft smile. “I can actually match each name to a face.”
Not “this Venerable”, just “I”. At the moment he wasn’t the Lord of Demons, but General Wenren.
All the people named on the stele had probably already entered the cycle of reincarnation, maybe even multiple times. But in this small town, they lived on in many people’s hearts.
Together, these names could be called “guardians”.
Winds at the border were strong and pierced your clothes like knives come winter. As it picked up, the pedestrians on the road rushed along to the
warmth of their homes and the street merchants packed up their wares. In a bit, only Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were left standing out in the streets. The bitter cold wind blew a lock of Yin Hanjiang’s hair across his face. Normally, Yin Hanjiang’s hair was tied up neatly so not a strand was left loose, so that even though his appearance was youthful, he gave off a far older aura. With a loose lock of hair hanging by his face, blown by the wind, Wenren È felt that Yin Hanjiang had gained a shred of youthful innocence.
In truth, Yin Hanjiang had always been like this, and it was only that
Wenren È never really looked at him, and so had never noticed throughout all these years.
Wenren È smiled slightly. He took out the Abusive Romance book from his sleeve and said, “I must be grateful for this book. If not for it, this
Venerable would’ve overlooked one Yin Hanjiang.”
Yin Hanjiang’s eyes fell on that familiar title again, of the book his Venerable so inconceivably kept around.
Maybe it was because he had shown the Venerable another side of himself today, or maybe it was because today, the Venerable seemed different than usual, but Yin Hanjiang decided to see him right now as General Wenren and not the master of the demonic sects, so boldly asked a question. “Just what mysteries does that book hold?”
He remembered that it was after obtaining this book that the Venerable had left Xuanyuan Sect and focused his attention in particular on the righteous disciple Baili Qingmiao, looking after her in various ways.
The Venerable only treated Baili Qingmiao as his junior, so Yin Hanjiang had also unconsciously begun paying closer attention to this besotted young woman, and even become frustrated at her various shortcomings. The
Venerable looked so highly upon her aptitudes, and said that they had a karmic relationship, even wanting to take her as disciple. Yet Baili
Qingmiao just thought of living happily ever after with Hè Wenzhao, while, with the kind of person Hè Wenzhao was…
Even though Yin Hanjiang rarely had opinions on people besides Wenren È, he still couldn’t help but acknowledge that Hè Wenzhao didn’t deserve her. Baili Qingmiao was at least a pure-hearted and kind disciple of the righteous sects, but Hè Wenzhao really left a bad taste in one’s mouth.
If Yin Hanjiang gave his heart to one person, he would never have
considerations toward another. How could he bear to watch Hè Wenzhao proclaim his love for Baili Qingmiao while at the same time sleeping with Shu Yanyan?
“This book tells the story of a romance,” Wenren È said, in summary, then changed his mind and said, “This book led this Venerable to consider Protector Yin in a new light.”
Yin Hanjiang was dumbstruck again.
“The wind is picking up.” Wenren È put away the book. “What other
secrets does Protector Yin keep in this small town? You might as well tell this Venerable all at once, now that we have this chance.”
“This subordinate… also often goes to restaurants to hear plays and stories,” Yin Hanjiang said. “The actors and storytellers have made excessive changes to the stories, but they’re still not bad to hear.”
“Why don’t you take this Venerable to one, then?” Wenren È said.
Yin Hanjiang obediently led Wenren È to a restaurant. After the wind
started, not many people remained outside, but the inside of the restaurant was crowded. The first floor was already seated full, so Yin Hanjiang requested an expensive room on the second floor.
The tea house at the foot of Shangqing Sect’s mountain served high-quality teas with spiritual energy, offering delicate pastries and poetry readings.
The border town had a completely different atmosphere. The two had barely taken their seats when a waiter brought over a bubbling pot, a large platter of sliced beef, a platter of lamb, a jar of wine, and two bowls of sheep’s milk tea.
The cups here were nothing like the delicate teacups in the Henan area,
wider than their bowls. Without a word, the waiter began pouring two big bowls of wine for both.
Yin Hanjiang seemed a bit embarrassed at the lack of restraint and was about to ask the waiter to switch for some smaller bowls, when he heard
Wenren È say, “No need for bowls. Isn’t wine meant to be drunk straight from the jar?”
The waiter said with a clap, “I thought you’d know your stuff! I’ll go fetch a jar immediately.”
Wenren È lifted the jar with one hand and took a swig. A trickle of wine ran from the corner of his mouth and vanished before it could drip down,
evaporated by the temperature of his skin. Yin Hanjiang had never seen his serious master act so unrestrained and took a hard swallow. He felt that the wine in the jar smelled richer than before and raised it to gulp down a mouthful. The sting made his eyes water, and he looked at Wenren È as if it was somehow his fault.
Wenren È burst into loud laughter. “Hahahaha! So Protector Yin really can’t drink alcohol. I can’t believe a mouthful of wine can burn a Void Boundary cultivator so strongly.”
“The Venerable’s alcohol tolerance is just too good,” Yin Hanjiang replied.
Wenren È shook his head. “The first time I drank, I took a gulp like my father and brothers and nearly killed myself. I didn’t understand why white wine was so intense, and later my mother told me that if a soldier was injured on the battlefield, the strong liquor could save their life.”
Right up until the extermination of the Wenren Clan, Wenren È had never learned to drink. It was a hundred years ago, as he fought alongside the
soldiers defending the border, that he learned to drink wine and eat meat unreservedly like the rest of them. Back then, he still had a flesh body, and despite practicing inedia had no problem with eating mortal food once in a while.
Right now, on the other hand… Wenren È glanced over to the boiling pot and cooked a slice of lamb meat for Yin Hanjiang. He didn’t take a bite for himself and only drank and
watched the performances. Yin Hanjiang just thought Wenren È didn’t like meat, so copied him in drinking wine. Once he got used to the strength of the alcohol, he as a Void Boundary cultivator naturally didn’t need to worry about intoxication.
In the center of the hall was a storyteller, relaying in a thick border accent the story of a bold woman from a small town trying to land a husband. The woman had a blunt attitude, was free in her emotions, and never beat
around the bush, and the audience loudly approved of her.
Listening, Wenren È nodded. “This is how love ought to go. If this Venerable were to fall prey to a love tribulation, and the other party
reciprocated, I would keep that person by my side forever. If they had no interest, then I would let them go. What dignity is there in clinging to
He slapped Abusive Romance down on the tabletop. Whether it was Baili Qingmiao or Wenren È, neither had chosen the right path in this story.
Yin Hanjiang saw a splash of wine land on the book’s cover. Wenren È didn’t seem to treasure the book very much at all. Under the influence of the wine, Yin Hanjiang showed open curiosity.
“This is a novel of Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao’s romance. It tells of how Baili Qingmiao rose to unmatched heights, only to let herself be torn down by Hè Wenzhao. Wouldn’t you say that’s ridiculous?”
Wenren È felt he could explain a part of the book’s contents to Yin
Hanjiang, to keep him from always looking like he was choking on his words. He really worried this kid would suffocate someday. Though the
latter parts with Wenren È’s death and Yin Hanjiang’s madness could be left out.
“Back when this Venerable obtained this book, I just thought it was a story, but reading more closely, I found it divulged the arrangements of heaven. This book records the events of the Great Sect War. It was what allowed this Venerable to anticipate the plans of the righteous sects.”
Astonishment showed on Yin Hanjiang’s face, but he held back his questions, quietly listening to Wenren È.
Wenren È summarized Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao’s relationship in the book, omitting how he also fell in love with Baili Qingmiao and died. Instead he provided as explanation, “This Venerable was also in the book, and because of a debt to the primordial goddess, provided help to Baili
Qingmiao many times. That’s why I want to take her as a disciple, to lead her to practice the Path of Indifference and free her from Hè Wenzhao’s influence.”
“I understand now.” The doubts in Yin Hanjiang’s heart gradually dissipated and were replaced with praise. The Venerable was indeed far-
seeing, and could even make use of the plot of a romance novel, taking the Great Sect War as an opportunity to challenge heaven’s arrangements.
“This Venerable also learned of the location of the Snow Flame from this book,” Wenren È said. “Additionally, the book mentioned that there was a fated opportunity for you at the Golden Coast Cliffs, the Shattered
Mountain Meteorite, which is perfectly suited for refining into your sword.”
The Shattered Mountain Meteorite was really Wenren È’s fate, but he
swapped it around so Yin Hanjiang wouldn’t be moved by gratitude and pledge to live and die for him again. Wenren È didn’t much like seeing him like that.
Wenren È had benefitted plenty from the border conflict where he picked up Yin Hanjiang, so there was no need for the man to act so indebted to him.
“It’s convenient for us that both the righteous and demonic sects are
currently recuperating from the war. Xuanyuan Sect should be fine for now, so this Venerable will accompany you on a trip to the Golden Coast Cliffs,” Wenren È said casually. Xuanyuan Sect… should be fine? Yin Hanjiang furrowed his brows.
“Venerable, the Xuanyuan Sect is like a pack of dragons without a head right now. This subordinate fears that if the Venerable is absent too long, the Right Protector and Altar Masters will shift loyalties.”
“No matter.” Wenren È took a large gulp of wine. “I can kill them all and save myself some effort. Right now the righteous sects can’t fight us, so
leaving so many high-level demonic cultivators alive doesn’t do us anything but invite trouble.”
“Good point, Venerable,” Yin Hanjiang said respectfully.
Wenren È raised a finger and tapped him on the forehead. “This Venerable isn’t all-knowing or all-powerful,” he said in an annoyed tone. “There are times when I get things wrong too. If you follow me blindly in everything, I’ll have trouble recognizing my mistakes. You also need to use your brain now and then, and help this Venerable think.”
“This subordinate understands.” Yin Hanjiang rubbed his forehead and smiled slightly.
This trip to the border seemed to have brought the two closer. Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang no longer stayed in their rigid roles as master and subordinate and had gained a deeper connection.
The two had finished ten jars of wine between themselves, and even the
shop’s owner was so astonished he came personally to ask the two’s names, so they could be remembered as immortals in the restaurant.
Wenren È declined to give his name and, with Yin Hanjiang behind him, left the world of mortals. He hadn’t touched a mouthful from the steaming pot on the table, whereas Yin Hanjiang had eaten quite a bit.
After they left the town barely before curfew, Wenren È said, “Protector Yin, why don’t you take this Venerable on your sword again until we get to the Golden Coast Cliffs? The demon sword doesn’t have many days left
anyways. After we get the Shattered Mountain Meteorite, we’ll refine the sword together with it.” Chiming rattled a few times, as if objecting to Wenren È’s words.
Yin Hanjiang didn’t question him and took Wenren È on his sword, heading toward the Golden Coast. His sword flight speed couldn’t compare to
Wenren È’s light flash and the Golden Coast was far enough away that it took a day and night’s worth of flying. By Wenren È’s assessment, even if Baili Qingmiao had returned to her sect by now, this wasn’t enough time for her to set out for and reach the cliffs.
The Golden Coast Cliffs were in the far eastern part of the Middle Province. The beaches were covered with fine golden sand, thus it was called the
Golden Coast. A high cliff lined the coast, and since golden stone made up the cliff face, it was called the Golden Coast Cliffs.
Yin Hanjiang landed at the top of the cliffs, unable to ride his sword past that point. An immortal realm was said to be hidden there, and any place with traces of immortal or divine power would suppress a cultivator’s power. The higher level they were, the more they were affected, while a Nascent Soul or lower cultivator would be unrestricted.
Wenren È was stronger than an ordinary person even with his cultivation
suppressed, though, and since he practiced martial arts, his movements were more agile and powerful than most cultivators. Yin Hanjiang was also quite capable, having practiced the sword from youth, and they climbed the rock face steadily as they descended the cliff.
In the book, Baili Qingmiao fell many times and had to be caught by Wenren È, only to fall again, for him to catch her again, and so on.
Thinking back, it was odd—she hadn’t fallen once while climbing Nine
Cauldrons Mountain and carrying Wenren È, yet constantly lost her footing once she came to the Golden Coast Cliffs. Was it because the rocks were
weathered by the sea spray and had come loose?
Yin Hanjiang didn’t cause any problems of the sort. His footing was firm and he climbed quickly enough to keep up, no matter how fast Wenren È progressed. In the book, they spent a month searching for the spiritual realm, purely because Baili Qingmiao would twist an ankle once every couple thousand words, or sprain a shoulder, or get all kinds of other injuries, so that they constantly needed to stop and treat her.
Wenren È didn’t know the exact location of the spiritual realm either. In the book’s account, Baili Qingmiao had been bitten by a poisonous bat and fainted. Wenren È was carrying her, and while she was near death, discovered the entrance to the spiritual realm. Thinking back, Baili
Qingmiao had found the Snow Flame at the instant before she froze to death, and the Flesh Mushroom had appeared before her on its own when she collapsed and fell unconscious.
Hold on, was the cause for all these legendary treasures appearing Baili Qingmiao’s near-death experiences?
After searching for three days, Wenren È finally paused. Would the spiritual realm really not appear unless Baili Qingmiao was there?
Wenren È felt a bit troubled.
“Venerable?” Yin Hanjiang saw Wenren È stop, hanging onto the cliff face while deep in thought, and hurried to his side.
“This Venerable seems to have…” Before Wenren È could finish, he glimpsed a greenish-black blur out of the corner of his eyes, rushing toward Yin Hanjiang. Instantly, with a wave of a sleeve, one of his arms transformed into a cloud of crimson mist, enveloping the flying shape.
In a few seconds, the bat dissolved into blood in Wenren È’s hold, falling drop by drop into the ocean below.
“Venerable, your arm…” Yin Hanjiang saw Wenren È’s dissolved arm, and a tremble entered his voice.
“Seems you found out in the end.” Wenren È smiled slightly, solidifying his arm again and ruffling Yin Hanjiang’s hair.
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. I do editorialize his dialogue sometimes to make it sound better in English, but actually he says I all the time. Just to clarify. ↩
2. Baijiu, a Chinese liquor with a high alcohol content. ↩
Chapter 18 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 18 – Elder Qingxue
The blood arts were lost techniques, due to so few people succeeding in them, so very few people in the cultivation world knew of the Blood Severing Technique. However, Yin Hanjiang had followed Wenren È for many years and was there when Wenren È obtained the manual for the blood arts. Therefore, he had some understanding.
Forgetting about the agony the Blood Severing Technique caused oneself, or how difficult it was to succeed in, the most important fact was that ten thousand years ago, the only blood cultivator in the world went mad and became a demon, needing the combined forces of the righteous and demonic sects to slay him.
This was not a demon as in the distinction between righteous and demonic cultivators in the cultivation world, but as in an inner demon.
If the heavens were an elder, a cultivator was a junior. Righteous cultivators would go along with the heavens in order to cheat spiritual energy out of it. They used their techniques to connect themselves to the heavens, trying to become one with the cosmos, so that the spiritual energy of the natural
world recognized them and allowed itself to be absorbed by them.
Righteous cultivators were careful to obey the principles of heaven and to accumulate merit in order to harmonize with the cosmos. In order to fool the heavens, they must first fool themselves. Thus, they walked the path of cheating heaven.
On the other hand, demonic cultivators were like brats who struck their
elders and kicked their younger siblings. They directly stole spiritual energy from the cosmos, their methods greedy and quick, known as the path of robbing heaven. The righteous cultivators had always disapproved of the demonic
cultivators, not because of differences in their ideology, but because stealing was much faster than coaxing. While righteous cultivators spent much time and energy to obtain a tiny bit of spiritual energy from the cosmos, the demonic cultivators essentially stole most of the family inheritance.
If a righteous and demonic cultivator cultivated in the same spiritually-rich spot, more than 90% of the spiritual energy would be stolen by the demonic cultivator, leaving just some leftover scraps for the righteous cultivator.
This was the origin of both sides’ conflict. One was deceivers and the other thieves, so there was no moral high ground either could claim. The whole reason righteous sects found trouble with demonic sects was that they
couldn’t beat them in stealing.
However, there were upsides to the righteous path’s techniques. Since they harmonized with heaven, their tribulations were relatively easy to pass. The heavens went much easier on them, letting them off after throwing a few lightning bolts their way. As for the demonic path, the more they stole, the harder the tribulations they faced would be. It was said the immortal realm was full of righteous cultivators, while demonic cultivators were very few, likely having all died to heavenly lightning.
However, the type of demon that the blood cultivator had become wasn’t referring to the distinction between schools of cultivation, but the distinction between gods and demons, demons referring to collections of all the negative energy in the cosmos.
When a cultivator underwent their tribulation, they could absorb the qi that came down from the immortal realm, transforming their own essence
completely into immortal essence and ascending. But a blood cultivator was unable to transform immortal essence. They could absorb all kinds of
energy in the world, spiritual qi, immortal qi, and even the primordial chaos of the divine realm, but it would all be transformed into blood qi within the body.
A blood cultivator had no limits and could cultivate to the power of a
Golden Immortal while still in the cultivator realm. But at the same time, they could never ascend to the immortal realm, and could never become an immortal without immortal essence. None of the upper realms would
welcome a blood cultivator, and if Wenren È dared to go there, all the gods and Buddhas of heaven would join forces to destroy him.
Aside from the Blood Hell which was the entrance to the demonic realm, there was now no place in the world for Wenren È.
Once he was corrupted, the demonic nature would overtake his humanity, and he would become a monster only capable of transforming everything around him into blood and absorbing it.
He hadn’t had any of the meat back at the restaurant because his body was now composed of blood mist fused with his soul. Alcohol was a liquid and could be absorbed into his blood without any problems, but as for other foods, unless he dissolved it into blood to be absorbed, it would leave his body unchanged as he could no longer digest food. He was unable to store the Seven Killing Halberd inside his body either, since his dantian no longer existed.
Right now, Wenren È’s body was made of solidified blood mist. He wasn’t unable to use light flash anymore, and in fact, a blood cultivator’s light flash was the fastest in the cultivation world. But if he used it, he would
expose himself to Yin Hanjiang.
After he carried out the Blood Severing Technique, the only path left to Wenren È was abandoning his humanity and becoming a demon, with ascension becoming a near-impossibility.
“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang clutched frantically at Wenren È’s robes, choking on his words and unable to speak further.
Wenren È picked Yin Hanjiang up with his now-solidified hand and
climbed back to the top of the cliff. He threw an arm around Yin Hanjiang, patting his back, and said quietly, “Don’t grieve for me. This Venerable is still alive, is he not? And now that I’ve increased my power, I’m afraid there might be no one in this world who can take me on.” Between living now and dying of his injuries back in that cave, Wenren È had chosen to live.
He hadn’t wanted to tell Yin Hanjiang because he was worried Yin
Hanjiang would obsess over it, beating himself up for being too weak to save his master.
Wenren È didn’t want to see that kind of self-blame. It was so meaningless.
Yin Hanjiang understood Wenren È well. He clung to Wenren È’s sleeve, making choked noises, but in the end did not cry. Controlling himself, he let go of Wenren È’s robe.
He got down on one knee and said resolutely, “It is indeed as the Venerable said. The ultimate victory is survival. This subordinate has pledged to follow the Venerable for life, so this subordinate can only ask the Venerable to take him along to the Blood Hell.”
“Very good. This is more like the child this Venerable raised.” With a sweep of his sleeve, Wenren È lifted Yin Hanjiang to his feet. “You can follow me, but don’t kneel to me. This Venerable doesn’t want to see you kneel.”
“Understood,” Yin Hanjiang said.
The glimpse of pain on his face had already been hidden away, and the hint of youthful vigor that he had shown over the last few days at the border town had also vanished. Yin Hanjiang was once again the expressionless Left Protector, dedicated to his master with no thoughts of his own.
His pain hadn’t vanished. He only forced it back, putting on his habitual mask to cover up his emotions.
Wenren È saw that Yin Hanjiang had calmed and assumed he had been reassured. If he guided Yin Hanjiang a bit now and again, then even if in the end he died like the book said, Yin Hanjiang hopefully wouldn’t go mad.
Neither of them brought up the blood arts again as they continued to search for the spiritual realm. In the end, aside from running into a horde of poison bats, they didn’t manage to find anything after a month of searching.
The strangest part was that around now was the time Baili Qingmiao had arrived at the Golden Coast Cliffs in the book, yet after waiting several days, they saw no sign of her.
After the end of the Great Sect War, Wenren È hadn’t paid much attention to the events of the plot, and hadn’t been interested in looking into the righteous sects’ affairs. All he knew was that Shu Yanyan had taken Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul and broken the Spirit Severing Array, leaving Hè Wenzhao to fall from the sky. Who knew if he had survived?
What if he had really died? Maybe Baili Qingmiao’s heart was broken and that’s why she hadn’t come to the Golden Coast.
That wouldn’t be acceptable, Wenren È thought.
She could grieve all she wanted, but he needed the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. Yin Hanjiang couldn’t go on not having a bonded weapon forever.
“It seems the opening of this spiritual realm is also tied to Baili Qingmiao,” Wenren È said. “We need to go pay a visit to Shangqing Sect.”
Yin Hanjiang didn’t say anything, only followed him in silence. It seemed like the life that had returned to him over the last few days had all been drained out of him.
He forced himself to think nothing, only trusting and following his
Venerable. If he thought, his heart would hurt, and if he let his pain show, the Venerable would be disappointed in him. The Venerable wanted him to become a strong and self-reliant sword cultivator, so he had to banish any feelings of weakness.
“This Venerable will ride with you again,” said Wenren È. “I can’t let others see my light flash at this point.” Yin Hanjiang flew on his sword for a day and night, until the two arrived at a deserted area near Shangqing Sect. To hide their identities, they tweaked their appearances slightly and entered the small town at the foot of the mountain.
Though ordinary people lived and worked here, since they were close to Shangqing Sect but situated outside its protective barrier, they were vulnerable to threats from the sect’s enemies. Therefore, the sect would send disciples to patrol the town daily.
Shangqing Sect’s protective array was anchored to an immortal artifact, and even Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang had no hope of getting in by normal means. But as a blood cultivator, Wenren È had many more options open to him.
They found the new patrol of disciples that had just arrived, a group of Qi Gathering disciples led by a Core Formation stage girl.
Wenren È said quietly to Yin Hanjiang, “Protector Yin, wait for me here. I’ll get Baili Qingmiao off the mountain.”
Seeing Yin Hanjiang assent, Wenren È transformed into a streak of crimson light and entered the leading girl’s body. If he had his choice, even he
wouldn’t have preferred to take a woman’s body, but the outer disciples of Shangqing Sect lived outside its wards and had no opportunity to come into contact with Baili Qingmiao. The only one Wenren È could choose was the Core Formation stage female cultivator.
A blood cultivator’s soul was fused with their blood and could tracelessly
enter someone’s body and meld with their bloodstream. The body he was in would act like a shield for him, and even an immortal may not be able to discover him.
The girl paused in her stride and stood for a moment with a hand on her head. Her previously soft and anxious gaze instantly became steely. Her
consciousness had already been suppressed by Wenren È, and she seemed like a completely different person. Wenren È could kill her with less effort than raising a finger, but he wasn’t interested in harming those weaker than him. He only temporarily
suppressed her awareness and put her in an unconscious state.
“Liu-shijie, are you feeling unwell?” said one of the disciples following her, rushing forward after seeing her steps falter.
“No.” Wenren È didn’t know this girl’s personality, so the less he said, the better.
He was fully capable of using a soul delving technique to read all the memories of this disciple from her soul, so as to prevent himself from
slipping up, but that would lead to the certain death of the victim. Wenren È only wanted to get Baili Qingmiao away from her sect, and had no wish to cause further complications.
A female outer disciple in a grey robe said with concern, “Liu-shijie, are you thinking of Hè-shixiong? There’s no need to worry. The elders are incredible, so surely they’ll come up with a way to save Hè-shixiong.”
“No,” Wenren È said.
He had no interest in patrolling and continued, “We’re returning.”
After taking a few steps, he paused and turned to that outer disciple. “What shixiong did you just mention?”
“Hè-shixiong,” she replied. “Liu-shijie, you look pale. When we get back, you should go to the administration hall and request some calming drugs, so you don’t make yourself ill from anxiety.”
Hè-shixiong? Was there another person named Hè in Shangqing Sect?
Unimportant characters in Abusive Romance hadn’t been given names, but of the named disciples, Hè Wenzhao had been the only one with that
Also, what did this disciple just call him? Liu-shijie? There indeed had been a named female disciple of Shangqing Sect in the book, Liu Xinye, the very female cultivator who secretly had feelings for Hè Wenzhao and forced herself upon him when he was injured, having her foundation drained in order to replenish his essence. She was also the villain who disguised herself as Baili Qingmiao and got refined into lamp oil by Yin Hanjiang.
Seeing as she once… no, more like someday would become an everburning lamp for him, and now Wenren È was possessing her body, perhaps their fates were connected in some slight way.
This wasn’t a body that suited him very well, but he was only trying to find Baili Qingmiao, and anyone would do for that purpose. Liu Xinye had a high position within the sect and could easily reach Baili Qingmiao. It was just a simple errand—he should be in and back in no time.
From what Wenren È remembered of the book’s descriptions, Liu Xinye was a two-faced person who was warm and considerate in front of Hè Wenzhao, but became quite condescending when with the outer disciples.
That sort of temperament wouldn’t be hard to imitate.
With a cold expression, he raised his voice. “As an outer disciple, is it your place to tell me what to do?”
Liu Xinye was typically very highly respected among the outer disciples. In the face of her anger, the disciples were too scared to say anything more and followed Wenren È back up the mountain.
Wenren È only knew Shangqing Sect from general descriptions in the novel, and had no knowledge of its specific layout. Fortunately, the
compound was constructed with careful attention to feng shui, and with a little calculation he could figure out which area was most suited for housing the outer or inner disciples, and which area was most suited for the
He quickly led the disciples there and in the day’s patrol records, mimicked Liu Xinye’s handwriting from previous days and wrote “Nothing out of the ordinary” down.
The outer disciples used the hall’s jade slips to record their day’s patrol tasks. They would earn a few contribution points this way, and if they saved them up, they could use it to buy elixirs.
After they left, Wenren È first searched through the record of departures, not finding Baili Qingmiao’s name within it. After determining the location of the inner disciples’ quarters, he was about to go look for her, when he heard a completely plain and ordinary-looking Core Formation disciple call to him, “Liu-shimei, haven’t you been concerned for Hè-shixiong? I’m taking care of him tonight, so you can come see him.”
After saying that, he winked, as if to say, “Look how considerate I am, giving you a chance to get close to Hè Wenzhao”.
Wenren È, who had Abusive Romance memorized cover to cover, was very familiar with these words. The plotline they led to was the one where Liu Xinye took the opportunity while caring for Hè Wenzhao at night to give herself to him and help him recover his Nascent Soul.
“I’m not going,” Wenren È replied bluntly.
It was no concern of Wenren È’s whether Hè Wenzhao lived or died. He was only here to find Baili Qingmiao, and after he got Baili Qingmiao
away, Liu Xinye could find her own opportunity to sleep with Hè Wenzhao.
The disciple who had fulfilled the role of a pimp in the story was shocked speechless at Wenren È’s words, as he saw Liu Xinye turn away carelessly with no regard to Hè Wenzhao’s well-being.
“No way, shimei,” he said. “Didn’t you like shixiong?”
Wenren È couldn’t raise suspicions right now and had to turn around, feigning annoyance, and say, “When he was at Nascent Soul, of course this
— I liked him, but now that he’s useless, why should I waste my time on him?” The disciple was speechless.
The coldhearted “Liu Xinye” finally got away from the nameless disciple, and headed directly for the inner disciples’ quarters.
Wenren È was puzzled by something. If Hè Wenzhao had been saved by the relief teams and brought back to the sect, and this time around Baili
Qingmiao hadn’t used the Flesh Mushroom on Wenren È, shouldn’t she have set out to find it for Hè Wenzhao?
Yet she hadn’t searched for the mushroom for him, and hadn’t gone to the Golden Coast Cliffs to get the meteorite for him. What was she doing in the sect?
Thinking this over, Wenren È hurried towards the compound where the inner disciples lived and cultivated. Sword flight was forbidden within the sect’s grounds, so he had no choice but to walk. After some time, he got to the quarters for Core Formation female disciples, and yet didn’t know
which room Baili Qingmiao was in.
He saw a plain and ordinary female disciple pass by, who he could tell at a glance was a bit character in the book whose position was far below Liu Xinye’s, so he grabbed hold of her and asked, “Where’s Baili Qingmiao?”
His tone was harsh, but fortunately Liu Xinye often didn’t treat other disciples very nicely, and her attitude got worse whenever she talked about Baili Qingmiao.
The passerby replied, “Baili-shimei… no, now that she’s Nascent Soul
stage she should be shijie. Baili-shijie is in seclusion on Dustless Peak with Elder Qingxue.”
Nascent Soul? Wenren È furrowed his brows. When had Baili Qingmiao reached Nascent Soul? This didn’t match the novel’s events. And who was Elder Qingxue? They had never appeared in the book.
After releasing the disciple, Wenren È found a deserted spot and accessed the extradimensional space within his sleeves to retrieve the Abusive Romance novel, wanting to double-check when Baili Qingmiao had reached Nascent Soul in the story. However, when he opened the first page, he found that the first line of text had changed: “Plot holes have been partially fixed. Please continue your efforts.”
Wenren È hadn’t opened the book in eleven years and never imagined the contents were capable of changing. He hurriedly flipped it open and
carefully scanned it, looking for alterations.
Abusive Romance was still from Baili Qingmiao’s perspective, but had
changed from the Thousand Mile Ice Plains on, perfectly matching the real events that Wenren È remembered. He read up to the Great Sect War, and saw that Baili Qingmiao had rescued a skeletal person in black robes.
Wenren È: …
After she saved them, the black robed person turned out to be a domineering woman and a wandering immortal, following Baili Qingmiao back to Shangqing Sect. The Shangqing Sect leader was heavily injured and unconscious following his battle with Wenren È, just like in the original
story, and several wandering immortals were injured or killed, so the sect was desperately in need of support. They quickly admitted this wandering immortal overflowing with immortal essence who was clearly at a glance not any sort of demonic cultivator. That wandering immortal took the new name of Elder Qingxue.
After helping Elder Qingxue settle in, Baili Qingmiao went looking for her shixiong and found that Hè Wenzhao had had his Nascent Soul taken by a heartless demonic cultivator. Instantly forgetting the reasons for her previous standoff with him, she threw her arms around him and started
Hè Wenzhao slowly opened his eyes and, seeing his beloved, said in a heartbroken tone, “Shimei, when I was hurt, all I thought of was seeing you one more time. But where were you then?”
Baili Qingmiao cried so hard she could hardly breathe. She was about to blame herself when she heard a cold voice beside her say, “She went to find the Flesh Mushroom to save me. Got a problem with that?”
Elder Qingxue’s cold gaze swept over Hè Wenzhao. “The Flesh Mushroom certainly could’ve restored you, but if you put a wandering immortal side by side with a disciple who’s lost his Nascent Soul, everyone knows who ought to be saved. Can you possibly bring greater benefit to the Shangqing Sect? Where do you get the audacity to ask Baili Qingmiao to save you?”
Hè Wenzhao was furious enough he could spit blood. Clutching Baili Qingmiao’s hand, he forced out, “Shimei, I— I never said anything like that.”
“I know,” Baili Qingmiao sobbed. She wanted to hug Hè Wenzhao, but was picked up in one hand by Elder Qingxue.
“At your level, even if you want to save someone, you have to consider whether you actually have the ability to,” said Elder Qingxue. “Hurry up and take me as a master, and after you improve your cultivation, you can worry about saving people.”
“B—but I already have a master,” said Baili Qingmiao awkwardly. “No matter,” said Elder Qingxue. “I can just take your master as an
honorary disciple. I’m not worried about the distinction between being your master or your master’s master.”
Baili Qingmiao: … Wenren È: …
you ever just pour alcohol directly into your bloodstream
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
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Chapter 19 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 19 – A thoughtful subordinate
Baili Qingmiao’s master, Elder Qingrong, may have only been at Deity Transformation Stage, but she was the same generation as Elder Qingxue. After hearing the wandering immortal wanted to take her as disciple, she hesitated for a moment, and after some thought, said, “At this moment, the most senior members of the Shangqing Sect are the Sect Master and me. If I were to become the nominal disciple of Elder Qingxue, you would become the Sect Master’s martial sister. I don’t have the authority to do something like that.”
In actuality, Qingxue being a wandering immortal meant she was entirely qualified to be considered senior to Elder Qingrong and the Sect Master.
But she was a guest and Shangqing Sect could not allow an outsider to stand in a more senior position than the Sect Master.
Qingxue’s expression twisted and she started using her few remaining brain cells to weigh the possibility of getting rid of Elder Qingrong.
Fortunately, Elder Qingrong patted Baili Qingmiao on the head and said, “And I know Elder Qingxue does not actually wish to take me as disciple, but was only impressed by Qingmiao’s talent and unable to pass her up.
Qingmiao, it is your great fortune that Elder Qingxue wishes to transmit her teachings to you, so there is no need to reject it. It would be awkward if she wanted you to become her sworn disciple, but as a nominal disciple, there’s no problem.”
“Mm, that’s fine,” said Qingxue.
Thus Baili Qingmiao entered seclusion with Elder Qingxue and rapidly reached Nascent Soul stage, becoming the rising star of Shangqing Sect’s next generation.
She wanted to visit her shixiong too, but Elder Qingxue was much more powerful than her and had set a barrier around their cultivation grounds, telling Baili Qingmiao that she wasn’t leaving until she could break it with her own power.
For the sake of seeing her shixiong, Baili Qingmiao dedicated herself to cultivating and made progress at breakneck speed, absorbing techniques and teachings like a sponge.
Wenren È: …
He flipped a few more pages, but the rest of the story was identical to the original, the two halves not matching up.
The last page had gained several more reviews, however.
[Extra, extra, the legendary trash novel writer has returned from the dead, and started a revision!]
[Me before reading the revision: Can this braindead story actually be revised? Probably just fixing typos. Me after reading the revision: Good shit!]
[Elder Qingxue is so badass! ‘Between a wandering immortal and a disciple who’s lost his Nascent Soul, everyone knows who deserves to be saved,
where do you get the nerve to compare yourself to me?’ That line killed me, hahaha!]
[Don’t you guys think this Elder Qingxue’s appearance is too sudden? The MC originally should’ve saved the Demon Lord, but instead Wenren È got an earlier debut, and without a debt to the MC he didn’t care if she lived or died. Instead Elder Qingxue took his place and started putting down the male lead for her. I suspect that Elder Qingxue is a man in disguise. Look at her description, she’s half a head taller than Baili Qingmiao. Seems
suspicious to me!] [After seeing the above post, I suddenly want to see Elder Qingxue take off her clothes to be revealed to be bigger than the male lead, haha!]
[Don’t be so hopeful, you guys! Back when the MC saved Qingxue, she
saw her body and she was definitely a woman. And besides, worst case the author could be setting up a storyline where the ML takes Qingxue into his harem, Qingxue and the MC become rivals, master and disciple turn on
each other, and the author can torture the female lead even worse.]
[Well, from what we have so far, the revised story is pretty decent. I’ll wait and see.]
It seemed the changes made in this world would be reflected in the novel in the form of revisions. And the viewpoint was very limited, only focusing on Baili Qingmiao. Baili Qingmiao knew nothing about Wenren È’s blood
cultivation or Yin Hanjiang reaching Void Boundary stage, so the book said nothing about it.
Well, it seemed reality was not set in stone. The world he lived in might
appear to be a novel, but it did truly have its own existence. Each and every character, through their own thoughts and actions, could change the thoughts and actions of those in a higher plane. After Wenren È obtained Abusive Romance and started changing the plot, the author in a higher plane had probably decided to start revising the story out of the blue one day, inspiration flooding through their mind, and rewrote the first half to what had happened up to now.
The author would think it was their own ideas, but in actuality it was different worlds influencing each other.
After thinking this through, Wenren È could affirm his belief that, as long as the people in this world acted in rational and befitting ways, the story,
which was to say, fate, could be changed.
He found the exact location of Baili Qingmiao’s seclusion in the book and after putting it away, hurried to Qingxue’s cultivation grounds. Though they couldn’t fly within the bounds of the sect, they could ride flying boats to get from place to place, so Wenren È drove one to Frost Peak. Shangqing Sect greatly respected Elder Qingxue and gave her this entire mountain as a cultivation ground.
She was being treated pretty good. Wenren È’s expression darkened.
After arriving at Frost Peak, Wenren È disembarked and was immediately stopped by a barrier. Qingxue’s array prevented people from entering or
even seeing inside.
A mere array was no obstacle to Wenren È. Even if he couldn’t unleash the blood arts within Shangqing Sect’s territory, he was highly skilled in arrays.
He quickly found a weak spot and used Liu Xinye’s power to open an entrance barely big enough for one person, then strode in.
A moment after, the opening automatically sealed behind him.
“Who dares?” A tall woman in the robes of Shangqing Sect appeared in the air, glaring down at Wenren È.
“Indeed it’s you,” Wenren È said lightly, seeing her familiar face.
While reading the book, it was not hard at all for him to guess that Elder Qingxue was actually Qiu Congxue.
“Who are you?” Qiu Congxue drifted down, continuing to look down at “Liu Xinye” from her full height.
“Liu Xinye” stood with an aura of unruffled calm, hands behind her back, and said with a dignified air, “Altar Master Qiu of Xuanyuan Sect, if you wish to infiltrate the righteous sects, shouldn’t you at least remember the faces and names of each disciple in your sect first?”
Qiu Congxue was at the very least an expert of the demonic sects. Even if
she didn’t have much intellect, she was very experienced. After scrutinizing Liu Xinye for a moment, she said, “You must be a demonic cultivator, using the Soul Puppeting technique or some other secret art to take over this disciple.”
Wenren È didn’t really have anything to discuss with this subordinate of his and after exposing her identity, continued with, “Whatever you plan to do at Shangqing Sect is of no matter to this Venerable. This Venerable only cares that you not do anything to Baili Qingmiao, as I have plans for her.”
“This Venerable? Wenren È!” Qiu Congxue exclaimed in shock. She initially backed up several steps out of caution, then stood her ground and said, “This is the Shangqing Sect’s territory, protected by an immortal
artifact. Even you would be suppressed by its power! Since you borrowed this disciple’s body to infiltrate, you’ll be unable to exert your full strength. If I kill off this disciple and activate the sect’s array against you, you’re sure to sustain a heavy blow!”
After speaking, she struck without hesitation at Liu Xinye’s chest, showing no regard for the disciple’s life.
Wenren È smiled lightly. The Xuanyuan Sect was still as he knew it, a group of cold-hearted snakes who would betray anyone for their own ambitions.
After a glance at the array surrounding the mountain peak, he gathered blood mist around his body, and in a flash of crimson light, severed one of Qiu Congxue’s arms. It slowly dissipated into blood vapor, while the remainder of her arm began to dissolve as well.
Qiu Congxue acted decisively and, taking out a large blade, severed her right arm from the shoulder, managing to stop the progress of the blood mist.
“The blood arts… you’ve actually used the Blood Severing Technique!” Qiu Congxue said in alarm. “So you’re not controlling this disciple from afar, you’re here in person!”
Her eyes darted back and forth as she formulated an idea. On impulse, she was about to open the barrier around the mountain peak. “You’re thinking of opening the barrier and turning the main array of Shangqing Sect against this Venerable,” Wenren È said. “A blood cultivator would be the enemy of the entire cultivation world. If one was discovered in Shangqing Sect, all of the righteous sects would mobilize to kill him.”
Qiu Congxue wasn’t deterred by Wenren È seeing through her plan and was about to open the barrier anyway when “Liu Xinye” extended a hand toward her, and a cloud of blood vapor pierced through her chest. Qiu
Congxue had just become a wandering immortal and was not yet familiar with using her immortal essence. She instantly sustained heavy injuries from that one attack.
“Altar Master Qiu, before you open the barrier, this Venerable can take your body, dissolve your soul, and make all of your immortal essence his own,” “Liu Xinye” said darkly. “It’s up to you how you should refer to this
Venerable, and it’s up to you whether you open the barrier.”
Qui Congxue wiped the blood that had dripped down her chin and said with difficulty, “Venerable, this subordinate belongs to Xuanyuan Sect as a
wandering immortal in life, and a ghost cultivator in death! I swear absolute loyalty to the Venerable!”
“That’s better.” Wenren È withdrew his hand and the blood mist vanished back into Liu Xinye’s body. “Deal with your own wounds,” he said coldly. “As a wandering immortal, these flesh injuries should be nothing to you.”
“This subordinate thanks the Venerable for his mercy,” Qiu Congxue said. “This subordinate is fine.” Even as she spoke, the gaping hole in her chest grew in size, but she stubbornly acted as if it didn’t bother her.
“This Venerable’s subordinates certainly are talented,” “Liu Xinye” said with a cold sneer.
Qiu Congxue disregarded the scorn and quickly took a healing elixir. She was an experienced demonic cultivator, and no one among her station
would say empty words without the strength to back them up. You could only make it in the world by understanding which way the wind blew. After much difficulty, she managed to fix her arm and the hole in her chest and got down on one knee, bowing her head and no longer daring to look down on “Liu Xinye”. Even if the Venerable was in a shorter body than hers, a subordinate could not make their master look up at them.
“You don’t need to be concerned,” said Wenren È. “Just stay at Shangqing Sect as a sect elder. I see you’re doing very well for yourself. However, I have need of Baili Qingmiao today for a minor errand. Make an excuse that you’re taking her to gain experience and bring her down the mountain.”
“Your subordinate understands.” After some hesitation, Qiu Congxue said, “Venerable, as Baili Qingmiao is your favored disciple, it’s improper for this subordinate to take her in. How about this subordinate slaughters the Shangqing Sect and leaves her without a home, and if you then save her,
she’ll naturally accept you as her master.” Wenren È: …
He was the Lord of Demons, but the way his subordinates thought always managed to surprise him.
“That isn’t necessary. This Venerable is indeed impressed by her aptitudes, but I have no need to take her as disciple. I just wish for her to become
sufficiently powerful.” He didn’t bother explaining why. In any case his subordinates always came up with reasons for him.
Indeed, Qiu Congxue said, “I see, the Venerable wishes to train a worthy opponent in order to raise his own realm. This subordinate understands, and will make sure to raise Baili Qingmiao well.”
“…Mm, as long as you understand,” Wenren È said.
As they were conversing, a figure emerged from the cultivation chamber and descended before Qiu Congxue, saying, “Master, this disciple has
already learned the Principles of Array Formation and has come to test the barrier.” It was indeed Baili Qingmiao, and only after reporting to Qiu Congxue did she turn around to see the person with her master. Upon seeing it was Liu Xinye, her expression stiffened.
Liu Xinye wasn’t a fan of Baili Qingmiao, and Baili Qingmiao wasn’t an
ass-kisser. Since Liu Xinye also liked her shixiong, she had always resented her.
After shrinking behind Qiu Congxue’s back, she poked out her head and said, “Master, are you also going to take Liu Xinye as a nominal disciple? Eh? Master, why are you squatting?”
Qiu Congxue couldn’t let Baili Qingmiao see her kneeling, but she also didn’t dare stand taller than Wenren È, so she could only half squat on the ground, completely disregarding how improper it looked.
“This is the horse stance,” Qiu Congxue explained. “Even if we cultivators have great spiritual powers, we can’t neglect our physical prowess. That
way, we can be prepared for any situation.”
“I see!” said Baili Qingmiao, nodding. “Thank you for the instruction.”
Qiu Congxue, noticing Wenren È’s gaze upon her, immediately said, “Baili Qingmiao, you can exit seclusion. You’re going on a trip to the Golden
“Really?” Baili Qingmiao said cheerfully. After fiddling with her fingers, she asked, “Then, can I go visit shixiong before I go?”
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
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Chapter 20 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 20 – Blood Demon Elder
Baili Qingmiao hugged Qiu Congxue’s arm and shot a look at Liu Xinye. Though she was being subtle, her provocative intent was clear to see.
Wenren È: …
If anyone dared to look at him that way in Xuanyuan Sect, they would probably never be able to look at anything for the rest of their life. Wenren È would’ve dug out those eyes and hung them in Xuanyuan Sect’s main hall so they could stare at him all they wanted.
Baili Qingmiao was blatant enough that even Qiu Congxue noticed. She instinctively gauged Wenren È’s reaction and, seeing that he looked displeased, immediately reached a hand for Baili Qingmiao’s eyes.
Completely oblivious to the danger she was in, Baili Qingmiao lowered her head and dove toward Qiu Congxue’s chest. “Master Qingxue, I really really miss shixiong, please?” she begged.
“You can go see him. Seeing as you won’t have a chance in the future, right?” Qiu Congxue said pleasantly, pulling her back and looking at her large, sparkling eyes.
That last question was directed at Wenren È, probably asking him for mercy on behalf of Baili Qingmiao, to let her see the one who was most important to her before she was blinded forever. It could also be considered one last favor from master to disciple.
Wenren È looked at Qiu Congxue coldly and said, “There’s no need.” Though she had been spared, Baili Qingmiao was still unaware of having been in any danger. She hid behind Qiu Congxue’s back again and said, “Liu-shijie, Elder Qingxue has given me permission to go see shixiong! You don’t have the authority to stop me!”
Yet this Venerable has the authority to stop Qiu Congxue gouging your eyes out, Wenren È thought.
After hearing Wenren È’s words, Qiu Congxue pleasantly patted Baili
Qingmiao’s cheeks and said with a warm smile, “That’s true. There’s not much difference in you having those eyes or not.”
“Huh?” Baili Qingmiao rubbed at her eyes and gave her master an odd look. Her eyes were fine.
Qiu Congxue had inadvertently agreed to Baili Qingmiao’s request. As “Liu Xinye” was just a Core Formation disciple, she couldn’t refuse her elder’s decisions. She silently followed them as Qiu Congxue opened the barrier
array. Baili Qingmiao shot her rival another smug look before boarding the flying boat.
After she climbed on, she felt an odd sensation behind her and turned
around to see Elder Qingxue and Liu Xinye both silently following her. “Why are you coming?” Baili Qingmiao snapped at Liu Xinye.
Hearing her tone, Qiu Congxue took out a small knife and began twirling it at her fingertips, thinking if Baili Qingmiao didn’t want her tongue she
could cut it out for her; it wasn’t necessary for cultivation anyway.
“This— I also need to depart Frost Peak,” Liu Xinye said, while reaching out to push down Qiu Congxue’s hand with the knife. Qiu Congxue, seeing the Venerable didn’t need her help, put away the knife.
Baili Qingmiao, unaware that she had narrowly avoided two disasters, grumbled to herself as she steered the boat. She’d never liked Liu-shijie. Liu-shijie bullied her back when she was an outer disciple and always stole her contribution points, so that she couldn’t earn manuals or elixirs at the administration hall. If it weren’t for her shixiong’s consideration, she might still be an ordinary Qi Gathering disciple.
But now that she had Elder Qingxue on her side, Liu-shijie wouldn’t dare do anything to her. It was also only with the backing of Elder Qingxue that Baili Qingmiao dared show her resentment to Liu Xinye.
As Baili Qingmiao steered the ship, Wenren È sent a voice transmission to Qiu Congxue behind her, asking, “How did she pass the inner demon tribulation for the Nascent Soul stage?”
Baili Qingmiao’s Core Formation stage lightning tribulation had caused her newly gained awareness of the Path of Indifference to vanish, and Wenren È guessed that her Nascent Soul stage tribulation would be similar.
Qiu Congxue answered, “After forming her Nascent Soul, she saw Hè
Wenzhao with Protector Shu, this body the Venerable is currently using, and countless other women, some with blurred faces, all having relations. At the time she was weeping and sobbing, nearly failed to form her Nascent Soul, and even her golden core almost dissipated.”
“How did she overcome her inner demons?” Wenren È asked.
Qiu Congxue pulled a face. “When she was on the brink of qi deviation, she suddenly calmed down, completed the formation of her Nascent Soul, and the illusion completely vanished. When I asked her afterward, she told me that in the illusion, her shixiong smiled gently at her and said that he loved her most in the world, and everyone else was just distractions. At that, she instantly calmed down, as all that mattered was shixiong loving her.”
Wenren È: …
He had a growing suspicion that some sort of hidden power was interfering with Baili Qingmiao’s tribulations.
When in the original plot, she gave up the divine will, acting like she’d been possessed and thinking “shixiong wanted her to protect mortal lives”, could that have been because something interfered with her actions? Qiu Congxue saw the grave expression on Wenren È’s face and said
considerately, “Venerable, I may be a wandering immortal now, but I still know some ghost cultivation tricks. Why don’t I call a few spirits in, scoop out her brains, and stuff a vengeful ghost who hates men in there?”
Wenren È glanced at his “considerate” subordinate trying to “ease his burdens” and replied, “Altar Master Qiu, now that you’ve grown a brain again, you should see Protector Shu sometime and learn how to use it.
Don’t let it go to waste.”
“Understood, Venerable,” Qiu Congxue said obediently.
While they were communicating, Baili Qingmiao had flown the boat to the main peak. After the Sect Master and his direct disciple were both injured, they were both housed in the Sect Master’s quarters.
“Liu-shijie, we’re at the main peak,” Baili Qingmiao said rudely. “You can leave now.”
Wenren È was already used to Baili Qingmiao’s attitude toward Liu Xinye and paid her no mind as he followed her in silence.
“Why are you following me?” Baili Qingmiao said, furious. If Liu Xinye tailed her the whole way, how was she supposed to say her farewells to her shixiong?
“I’m also going to meet Hè Wenzhao,” Wenren È said.
He wanted to personally see how Hè Wenzhao planned to balance two women’s demands and reassure both Baili Qingmiao and Liu Xinye.
On the main peak, Baili Qingmiao couldn’t deck Liu Xinye to prevent her from visiting her shixiong, so she could only reluctantly take her two tails, Elder Qingxue and Liu Xinye, to the place Hè Wenzhao was recuperating.
Upon entering the door and seeing Hè Wenzhao lying weakly on the bed, Baili Qingmiao’s tears started flowing. “Shixiong…” she sobbed. “Shimei…” Hè Wenzhao opened his eyes and gazed emotionally at Baili Qingmiao… as well as “Liu Xinye” standing behind him. “And Liu-
Baili Qingmiao didn’t care about Liu Xinye and threw herself at Hè Wenzhao. “Shixiong, has the medicinal hall elder told you how your injuries are yet?”
Hè Wenzhao smiled bitterly and shook his head, reaching out to stroke Baili Qingmiao’s hair. “Shimei, you’ve already reached Nascent Soul? You’ve formed your Nascent Soul several years sooner than me. I can rest assured
and leave the future of the sect to you.”
With difficulty, he wiped away Baili Qingmiao’s tears, saying softly, “Don’t cry, shimei. As a Nascent Soul stage core disciple and a future pillar of Shangqing Sect, you need to be strong and act as an example to your juniors.”
Hè Wenzhao’s words made Baili Qingmiao cry harder. The pillar of the sect was supposed to be Hè Wenzhao. Was shixiong saying this because he had already given up and wanted to pass his duties onto her?
“Master Qingxue!” Baili Qingmiao lifted her head and looked toward Qiu Congxue, tears staining her face. “You told me that after I reached Nascent Soul, there would be a way for me to save shixiong. How do I?”
Qiu Congxue said, “Well, like this. After Nascent Soul stage, there is a
secret technique you can learn, which will put a mark on a person’s soul and allow you to find them after they reincarnate. After I teach you this technique, you can use it on Hè Wenzhao, kill him, and then find his reincarnation and raise him until he grows up. For a cultivator, eighteen years is the blink of an eye.”
Baili Qingmiao: … Hè Wenzhao: … Even Wenren È wanted to applaud Qiu Congxue. Xuanyuan Sect was certainly overflowing with talent these days.
Baili Qingmiao was speechless for a moment, then hugged Hè Wenzhao and started bawling. “Shixiong!”
Hè Wenzhao embraced Baili Qingmiao, but his eyes fell on “Liu Xinye”. He really was good-looking by nature, and his tender eyes seemed to be able to speak to you. His warm gaze told “Liu Xinye”, “Shimei, I’m no longer even worth your love, so you don’t need to come visit me again.”
The real Liu Xinye probably would’ve offered her body on the spot. But Wenren È just looked at him coldly, and after watching him for some time, furrowed his brows slightly.
While exchanging gazes with Liu Xinye, Hè Wenzhao suddenly acted like he was listening to a voice, then abruptly paled, looking at Wenren È with alarm. He opened his mouth, about to yell.
Wenren È strode forward in a step and covered his mouth with one hand. He pulled Baili Qingmiao off and said, “You step away.”
“Liu Xinye!” Seeing that “Liu Xinye” had the audacity to physically pull her and shixiong apart, Baili Qingmiao was fuming, but got dragged off by Elder Qingxue.
“Master!” Baili Qingmiao cried in a mixture of fury and anxiety as she watched Elder Qingxue seal the door with a wave of her sleeve.
Elder Qingxue grabbed her by the head and held her down. “Shut up.”
The Venerable’s expression just now had said he was facing a dangerous enemy. Something was wrong with Hè Wenzhao! Qiu Congxue set up a barrier around the room, preventing anyone outside from listening to the two’s conversation.
Inside the room, Wenren È noticed Qiu Congxue had taken the care to put up a barrier, and so released Hè Wenzhao’s mouth, and unleashed his spiritual awareness to thoroughly examine him.
Hè Wenzhao retreated to the opposite wall, his magic weapon in one hand and a transmission talisman in the other. If he snapped the jade tally, the
experts of Shangqing Sect would immediately arrive to help him, and
activate the mountain’s array to banish what was possessing Liu Xinye.
Wenren È glanced at the talisman and said, “You can call in backup, but this Venerable won’t help you hide your own identity.”
Without learning the blood arts, Wenren È would’ve never been able to notice that there were currently two souls inside Hè Wenzhao’s body. A wisp of blood qi hid inside him, the same blood art as Wenren È.
Ten thousand years ago, the only blood cultivator in the realms deviated and became a demon, and was eliminated by the righteous and demonic sects joining forces. But a blood cultivator was the most difficult being to truly get rid of, as if a single drop of their blood still existed, they could slowly recover their strength.
“Who are you?” Hè Wenzhao demanded. “Liu-shimei wasn’t possessed when I saw her seven days ago. What did you do to her?”
“You aren’t worthy for this Venerable to speak to,” Wenren È said coldly. “Swap with the person inside you.”
Hè Wenzhao’s expression was unwilling, as his eyes flicked back and forth wildly and he seemed to be conversing with someone. In a moment, his
expression shifted dramatically, from that of a sentimental and indecisive righteous disciple to a cruel and merciless blood cultivator.
The blood demon spoke with Hè Wenzhao’s body, “Heheh, over these ten thousand years of recuperating, this Venerable never thought another blood cultivator would appear in the cultivation world. This Venerable must
commend you for withstanding the Blood Severing Technique.”
The words “This Venerable” rather grated on Wenren È’s ears. He replied in the same haughty manner, “This Venerable has never met another person worthy of calling themselves Venerable.”
“Is that so? You have no idea how strong this Venerable was in the past, and how much stronger cultivators were ten thousand years ago. The cultivators of this age are not even worth a mention!” “Hè Wenzhao” sneered.
Wenren È didn’t want to continue arguing with the blood demon. There wasn’t a point in seeing who could make comebacks quicker. Cultivators
certainly were stronger ten thousand years ago, but ten thousand years ago the world was filled with suffering, natural disasters were never-ending, and humans made sacrifices to the gods, but they cared not for humanity. If things continued down that path, the heavens would cleanse the human realm and eliminate all life, so that the earth could slowly recuperate, and give rise to new sentient beings.
Fortunately, one blood cultivator drew the focus of the entire cultivation world, and in the conflict that followed, countless cultivators died and
allowed the human realm some time of recovery. This had been the great calamity of the cultivation world ten thousand years ago.
“You’ve possessed Hè Wenzhao but haven’t taken over his body. What’s your goal? Does he know you’re a blood cultivator?” Wenren È questioned.
He knew that if the blood demon didn’t want Hè Wenzhao to hear their conversation, Hè Wenzhao would naturally not hear a word.
“Heheh, why do you think? This Venerable advises you not touch Hè
Wenzhao. Otherwise, if the sect’s array is activated, we’ll be like fish in a net, and neither of us will get out alive.” The blood demon spoke unconcernedly, knowing Wenren È wouldn’t expose his identity.
“When did you possess him? After the Great Sect War?”
By Wenren È’s calculations, the calamity of ten thousand years ago should not appear within the same ten-thousand-year period. It must’ve been the
Great Sect War which awoke him from his slumber. And if the blood demon had been possessing Hè Wenzhao while he was dual cultivating with Shu Yanyan, she probably wouldn’t have got off unscathed. Since Shu Yanyan was perfectly fine and also managed to snatch Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul, he must have encountered the blood demon after his Nascent Soul was
Wenren È was puzzled by something in the book. Liu Xinye gave herself to a righteous disciple, so why did she lose her golden core? The explanation given in the book was that Hè Wenzhao was in qi deviation and wasn’t in
control of his actions. After recovering, he got over his inner demons and the Shangqing Sect elders confirmed that he had returned to normal. It was awkward for them to investigate what Hè Wenzhao did while unaware, so they just viewed it as Liu Xinye having brought trouble upon herself.
Plus, Hè Wenzhao showed every consideration to Liu Xinye afterward,
searching day and night for a way to restore her golden core. After reaching Body Unity stage, he even dual cultivated with Liu Xinye, helping her regain her power and break through to Nascent Soul.
Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao had many fights over this. He married the Violet Spirit Master because he had to save the Sect Master’s life, and only the Violet Spirit Pavilion had the cure. But what was the excuse for dual
cultivating with Liu Xinye so many times? Was dual cultivating the only way to restore her power?
Wenren È had no interest in reading the male lead make excuses for himself. Baili Qingmiao would always give in by the end anyway.
The last time he met Hè Wenzhao, he didn’t have any good impression of him. He saw just a man who was irresolute about his feelings and lusting
after Shu Yanyan. But the Hè Wenzhao in the book, after losing his Nascent Soul, suddenly became much more shrewd, even managing to take a
wandering immortal like the Violet Spirit Master into his harem.
After meeting this blood demon possessing many thousands of years of
experience, Wenren È felt that several illogical points in the book had now been explained.
Had the Hè Wenzhao in the latter parts of the book already been replaced by the blood demon? After thinking it over, Wenren È decided he couldn’t have been. Just that with the blood demon in his head, helping him plan his every step, Hè Wenzhao was slowly brainwashed and manipulated from a righteous disciple to someone who would use any means to achieve his goals.
As a fellow blood cultivator, Wenren È guessed that the blood demon had probably taken an interest in the divine nature inside Hè Wenzhao, and
wanted to wait until after he had cultivated into a god, so that he could take Hè Wenzhao’s body and divinity in one action and become a demonic god. The plot of Abusive Romance only went up to the main couple ascending together to the immortal realm and didn’t get to their ascension to godhood. So Hè Wenzhao was still himself at the conclusion, but who knew how he fared afterward?
Yet another of his doubts were now cleared. It turned out that Hè Wenzhao would’ve regained his Nascent Soul no matter what. Even if it hadn’t been Liu Xinye, it would’ve been someone else. The blood demon cared not
whether his victim was male or female. As long as they had spiritual power, he could absorb it and transform it into Hè Wenzhao’s own power.
“This Venerable won’t lie to you,” said the cultivator who had once been called the Blood Demon Elder. “This brat fell into the place of this
Venerable’s seclusion during the Great Sect War. I saw his aptitudes were quite good and felt like taking a disciple, heheh.”
“Raising him in order to steal his body later?”
The Blood Demon Elder didn’t reply but instead burst into laughter. There was a vicious glint in his eyes, as if he wished he could kill Wenren È on the spot.
Wenren È was pleased at his maliciousness. They exchanged a smile, and Wenren È said in a carefree tone, “After the Great Sect War, this Venerable rose to the peak of Mahayana, merely one step away from ascension.
However, after learning the Blood Art, there are hardly any opponents left in the world to challenge this Venerable. Without entering the Blood Hell, there are few ways for this Venerable to advance further.” If Wenren È entered the Blood Hell, Yin Hanjiang would have to follow, and a Void Boundary cultivator like Yin Hanjiang had no possibility of
surviving the Blood Hell.
A blood cultivator’s path had no bottlenecks, and one could gain power at breakneck speed by endlessly absorbing the qi of the cosmos and the
spiritual essences of others. But the Path of Slaughter was different. Without an opponent to match him, his mental state would not be able to keep up with his power. It would be like giving a three-year-old child a legendary magic weapon. Even if they had it, they couldn’t wield it.
With power but insufficient mental fortitude, sooner or later he would suffer deviation. The Blood Demon Elder right before his eyes was an example of just that.
Though Wenren È was now on the path of blood cultivation, he didn’t want to become a madman with no self-control. He would continue to hone his mind and carve out a new path for himself through impossible odds.
For that, he needed a worthy opponent.
Thus he said, “You can relax, this Venerable will not hurt Hè Wenzhao.
Raise him well in the meantime. The day you take his body and become a god is the day this Venerable will kill you.”
“Kill me? Hahahaha!” The Blood Demon Elder seemed to have heard some incredible joke. “A mere Mahayana stage blood cultivator imagines he can kill this Venerable? Such arrogance! Fine, this Venerable would like to see just how you live up to such wild boasts!”
Wenren È could sense the fighting intent that charged the air between them, allowing him to have a small breakthrough in his mental state.
After they had made their agreement, the blood demon returned to his slumber. Hè Wenzhao, regaining consciousness and seeing Liu Xinye smiling eerily at him, cried, “Release Liu-shimei!” “Don’t worry, this Venerable has no interest in her, nor any interest in you,” Wenren È said, then turned and walked out of the room.
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
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