Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know Chapter 1-10

Chapter 1 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 1 – Divine book from the heavens

In the main hall of the Xuanyuan Sect, the Lord of Demons Wenren È had already been in secluded meditation for seven days, door shut tight behind him, the food and drink sent daily by his subordinates untouched. Who knew what profound cultivation technique he had comprehended?

Altar Master Yuan, who managed the main hall, felt quite troubled. The Venerable Lord suddenly entered seclusion without any orders to his
subordinates, and no one knew when he would emerge. If he’d really enlightened to a new technique or ascended in realm… shouldn’t a
celebration be prepared?

The Lord of Demons wasn’t extravagant in nature and didn’t like formalities. But if he really rose in level, then Altar Master Yuan should at least assemble everyone in the meeting room of the main hall, in order to congratulate him on his increase in strength and discuss the future of the Xuanyuan Sect in conquering the cultivation world[1].

Altar Master Yuan, after puzzling over his dilemma, finally decided to ask the Xuanyuan Sect’s Left Protector, Yin Hanjiang, for help. Yin Hanjiang was the Venerable’s closest confidant and had contact with him right before he entered seclusion. He was the one most likely to understand Wenren È’s thoughts.

Yin Hanjiang had been guarding the door to the meditation chamber for the full seven days, wearing all black, a frosty expression on his face. He was a man of few words. After listening to Altar Master Yuan’s concerns, his indifferent face showed a slightly puzzled expression, and he seemed to be at a loss. The rather short Altar Master Yuan looked up to meet Yin Hanjiang’s eyes, waiting for advice from him.

Yin Hanjiang worked his mouth and forced out a few words. “Not for now.”

“Huh?” Altar Master Yuan said blankly. “This one heard that the Venerable received a rare tome seven days ago and immediately entered seclusion.
The Venerable has not had a breakthrough in his cultivation for years. If a technique exists that can catch his eye and lead him to immediately study it behind closed doors, then isn’t it possible it might lead to a breakthrough?”

“Like I said, it’s not necessary,” Yin Hanjiang said coldly, and the sword in his hand flashed with a keen light. Altar Master Yuan didn’t dare to ask any more questions and hurried away.

After he left, Yin Hanjiang turned to look at the tightly-shut door behind him, and his frosty expression became one of confusion.

The Venerable indeed received a book seven days ago. Everyone assumed it was a secret tome, but only Yin Hanjiang, who was nearby at the time,
caught a glimpse of the book’s title—Abusive Romance: You Are the Unchanging One in My Heart.

The title was mushy enough to make Yin Hanjiang’s teeth ache. Nothing about this book resembled a book of secret techniques. Even the romance novels written by mortal scholars had more classy titles than this.

Yin Hanjiang had thought that Wenren È would immediately burn that rubbish work to ash, but who would’ve thought he’d open it, glance at the first page, let out a deep sigh, and immediately seclude himself with it?

For the Lord of Demons, was a mortal novel worth carefully pouring over for seven days?

The longer Yin Hanjiang stood in front of the doors, the more troubled he was. This was the cultivation world—it couldn’t be compared to the Jianghu and Wulin[2] of the mortal world. Wulin and Jianghu were gatherings of mortals who dedicated themselves to strengthening their bodies in order to stand out as slightly stronger than ordinary men. No matter how much they trained their inner power, it was only acquired strength, and at most they
could manage to slay a beast with one fist. However, the cultivation world was a level above the martial world of Wulin. Cultivators left behind the
affairs of the mortal world, using various methods to ascend to the realm of immortals. Their innate power also far surpassed the Wulin martial artists’ acquired power.

The people of Wulin could concern themselves with love and lust, and
stories of heroes and beautiful women, but cultivators tried to abandon the secular world, cut off ties of love and affection, and enlighten to their own version of the great Dao. And the Xuanyuan Sect was a demonic sect[3]. Those there who cultivated using male-female relations only did so with lust, not love. Using the art of plucking and replenishing[4] to steal essence from other people was far from a sentimental love story.

And the path Wenren È cultivated was the path of slaughter. He had never had sexual relations. How… how could he read Abusive Romance: You Are the Unchanging One in My Heart for seven days and seven nights?

Yin Hanjiang didn’t understand. He didn’t understand at all, but he was one of the Venerable’s protectors, Wenren È’s most loyal subordinate. He had vowed he would die before letting anyone give Wenren È so much as a
scratch. Anyone who wanted to kill Wenren È had to first go through Yin Hanjiang.

So even if he knew the Venerable was reading a love story, not meditating in seclusion, Yin Hanjiang still held his sword and stood before the doors of the cultivation chamber, still and silent, not moving a step.

On the other side of the door, Wenren È placed the book down, resting a hand on the cover. For a moment it seemed as if he would disintegrate the book with one strike. But his hand was trembling slightly, and finally he withdrew it, leaving the book intact. He had his brows furrowed, one fist propped against his forehead, and seemed to be thinking his way through a thorny problem.

Seven days ago, Wenren È had been discussing with Yin Hanjiang how they should teach a lesson to the righteous cultivators always threatening
Xuanyuan Sect, when a thick volume suddenly appeared in his hand. Wenren È was one of the most powerful figures of the cultivation world.
Unless an immortal had descended from the upper realms, no one in this world could place a book into his hand without him noticing, and without leaving any sign of their presence.

Wary of this situation, Wenren È didn’t destroy the book and, managing to look past the title, opened the cover and found a few lines on the first page: “Due to an overabundance of plot holes, this story has been rejected by its readers. Thus, the most popular character among the readers has been
selected to personally verify the story’s consistency, and make suitable changes.”

After reading this line, Wenren È immediately secluded himself, spending a full seven days reading this novel of over one million words cover to cover, word by word, several times over. With his strong powers of cognition, he had memorized it by the first read and had no need to reread, but he still did so several times, considering the meaning of every sentence.

After spending all this time, if there was something he still didn’t understand, he never would.

He understood all the words and sentences. He could even visualize what
was described when they were linked together. But in the end, he just didn’t get it!

The book told the story of the love and resentment of a man and woman’s entanglement across two lifetimes.

The female lead, in her previous life, was a primordial goddess of heaven. Unlike a mortal who had acquired godhood, she was born as a god, at the same time as heaven and earth. She was in charge of calamities, spreading
plague, disaster, and death across the mortal world. It sounded like she was an evil goddess, but in fact she maintained the balance of the cosmos. Life and death must always coexist. In the cycle of the universe, all things have a beginning and end. She was absolutely just and impartial, never targeting any race of people, doing her work for uncountable ages without joy or
sorrow.

After an indeterminable number of eons, most of the primordial gods had fallen, and the divine realm was populated by many ascended gods. These gods were those members of humanity, chief among all living things, who had awakened to the ways of heaven, gathered the essence of heaven and earth inside their bodies, and passed thousands of trials in order to gain power on the level of the primordial gods and ascend to the divine realm. The male lead was one of them.

The male lead was someone who saw all lives on earth as his responsibility. In the divine realm, he learned that the female lead was one of the rare primordial gods, in charge of unleashing disasters. Many natural disasters he had heard of as a human were in fact caused by her. Thus he began
constantly making appeals to the female lead, hoping for her to change her ways.

The primordial goddess was as emotionless as the cosmos. To her, the male lead’s words were no different than the drifting clouds, the soaring birds, or the buzzing of a fly near her ears. If he became too noisy, she would often use a silencing spell to seal his lips and toss him down from the thirty-three layers of heaven.

But the male lead was stubborn. He climbed back up every time, found a
way to get rid of the silencing spell, and went back to earnestly begging her to have empathy for mortal lives.

Millions of years passed like this, and the goddess’s predetermined trial came.

The cosmos must undergo the three calamities of wind, water, and fire, being destroyed and recreated innumerable times, and this applied to gods as well. The female lead accepted her own fate and actively faced the tribulation[5]. When she was prepared to undergo it, the male lead showed up.

The tribulation of a primordial god far surpassed any normal one. The female lead knew she would certainly die. Only if she could maintain her
soul, undergo reincarnation, and comprehend again the principles of heaven did she have a chance of survival. Therefore, before she underwent her tribulation, she left behind her divine essence, sealed somewhere in the human world, so that in the future she could reclaim it, regain her power,
and return to the divine realm.

As she was undergoing her tribulation, about to relinquish her body and
enter reincarnation, the male lead arrived and blocked a lightning strike for her, effectively taking on part of the tribulation in her stead. The two
entered the reincarnation cycle together.

Unknowingly, the male lead had created a karmic relation with her. After reincarnating, the naive and innocent female lead was inducted into a
cultivation sect, and when she laid eyes on the sect’s chief disciple for the first time, she was met with a sensation like her heart being struck by lightning. A lightning strike was how Wenren È judged the book’s description: “A tingling sensation spread through her body at first sight, and she was unable to move her gaze away or take a single step.” Wenren È had never experienced love, and assumed that these symptoms could only be
caused by lightning strikes.

The two fell in love at first sight. The female lead, named Baili Qingmiao in this life, had her heart stolen by Hè Wenzhao, the chief disciple who as before cared wholeheartedly about mortal lives. This was the beginning of a masochistic story of the female lead being abused body and heart, yet never relinquishing her love, and finally giving up the divine essence for Hè
Wenzhao, only wanting to live happily ever after with her beloved.

An overview of the specifics would be false accusations, misunderstandings, Baili Qingmiao being imprisoned, being abused, being poisoned, being hunted down, Hè Wenzhao marrying someone else, several important supporting male characters being wholeheartedly devoted to Baili Qingmiao, protecting and cherishing her, but Baili Qingmiao only loving Hè Wenzhao, ignoring everyone else’s goodwill, insistent on finding Hè Wenzhao and marrying him, then after being hurt by her enemies or fellow disciples, another male character would save her, and after recovering she would run off to be abused again.

This kind of plotline went on for over 800,000 words, and Wenren È nearly had a qi deviation[6] from reading it. If Baili Qingmiao appeared in front of him right now, he would crack open her skull to see just how her brain
worked.

The last page had no more story but a bunch of odd messages, labeled as a reviews section. The reviews were mostly along the lines of—

[This MC is insane, giving up being a god to stay with a previously married scumbag!]

[Trash, underdeveloped, kept me waiting for over a million words for MC to reclaim her divinity and punish the scumbag, but she was a wh*** until the end.]

[Hè Wenzhao loves the MC, but the world is more important than her, the sect elders are more important than her, the common people are more
important than her, everything else is more important than her. Hè Wenzhao can toss her aside whenever he wants. This love is far too humble, I can’t handle it.]

[Hè Wenzhao ruined MC’s life twice. She was a primordial goddess, she
saw things in a different way than an ascended god. Causing disasters was her duty, and it was also in order to balance the universe. He kept pressuring her to favor humanity and messed up her heavenly tribulation, making it so her next life she couldn’t help but be bound to him. This guy is too terrifying, torturing the female lead for the sake of righteousness!]

[Falling in love at first sight can be treated as the karma from their past life, but how come this karma is nothing to Hè Wenzhao? Yet it’s Baili
Qingmiao who wants to die for him? Hè Wenzhao can marry the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master, so why can’t Baili Qingmiao marry Zhongli Qian or Wenren È? Is the heir to the number one cultivation family not good- looking enough, is the Lord of Demons not cool enough? Why do you gotta hang yourself on Hè Wenzhao?]

[Wenren È was the only thing keeping me going for 1 million+ words. I wanted to see him tear the male lead a new one, but in the end the female lead still got him killed.]

[Wenren È, Zhongli Qian, Yin Hanjiang, any of them are better than Hè Wenzhao, the MC is blind!]

[That may be true but let’s forget about Yin Hanjiang, he’s too scary.]

[Cross out Yin Hanjiang, just seeing that name is gonna give me nightmares.]

[Cross him out +1, let’s just talk about Wenren È.]

These names that kept appearing in the comments, Wenren È, Yin Hanjiang, Zhongli Qian, and other familiar names, were the reason the Lord of
Demons endured reading through the book.

Wenren È knew the one written in the book was he himself.

Just like the first lines in the book said, Wenren È was Abusive Romance: You are the Unchanging One in My Heart‘s haughty but infatuated second love interest. The world he lived in was but a story in a book.

A normal cultivator who learned such a truth about the world would probably take a heavy psychological blow, either apathetically living out the rest of their days, or deviating and going mad. Even Wenren È was in a daze for a while, but he was a person who sought enlightenment in the midst of death and slaughter, and had an unshakable will. He quickly realized that the cultivation world was only one of the myriad worlds of the cosmos. In other people’s eyes, his world was only a novel, but the novel Abusive Romance: You are the Unchanging One in My Heart only recorded the love, hate, amity, and animosity of a few dozen people. The things not included within it were enough to make up an entire world. The book was only a record of the lives of certain people at certain times, not a world in itself.

Wenren È knew that he certainly existed, his thoughts and actions weren’t
subject to anyone else’s control, and the world was real, so that was enough for him.

The thing that Wenren È really couldn’t figure out was that the book said he would, in the future, fall in love with Baili Qingmiao, take on the world for her, and give his life for her. The cold and dispassionate Wenren È couldn’t understand this.

Just by reading the book, he wanted to yank Baili Qingmiao’s soul out of her body, make her forget her feelings for Hè Wenzhao, then shove it back in. How could he, for the sake of protecting her, risk his life to help Hè Wenzhao because she asked him to?

Wenren È knew that if he didn’t get to the bottom of these things, the obsession might give rise to an inner demon[7] that would obstruct his
cultivation. He had to figure out these matters, not necessarily to fulfill the assignment he was given at the start of the book, but just to settle his mind.

After contemplating for three days, he made his decision—that he would figure out why Baili Qingmiao was such a shameless… ahem, why she was so hopelessly infatuated. He himself couldn’t figure out, and maybe Baili Qingmiao was also muddleheaded—she’d been struck by lightning, after
all, so maybe her brain wasn’t working right. But the other people in the book, in particular Baili Qingmiao’s romantic rivals, probably knew what they were doing. After all, they also loved Hè Wenzhao, and were willing to fight each other to the death for Hè Wenzhao’s sake.

If one person wasn’t enough, then he would just have to find more. If he
asked enough people, he was certain to get an answer. When he figured out the problem, the difficulty of changing the plot would decrease.

After he made his plans, Wenren È opened the doors. As Yin Hanjiang, standing guard just outside, saw him, he dropped to one knee and set his sword on the ground, quietly awaiting the Venerable’s command. Wenren È looked at his Left Protector whom he trusted above anyone else and remembered that he was also in the novel. “Protector Yin, your thoughts on love… Actually, nevermind.”

After he said only a few words, Wenren È remembered Yin Hanjiang’s actions in the story that caused all the readers to be so creeped out and decided against asking.

Yin Hanjiang probably also didn’t understand love.

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. Not literally a world. Refers to the community of cultivators who exist separately from normal society, but in the same world. ↩
2. Jianghu and Wulin are terms referring to the communities of martial artists in wuxia novels, separated from ordinary society. ↩
3. Not literally demons. Demonic sect, demonic cultivator, and demonic path will be used to refer to those who cultivate using destructive methods not approved of by righteous sects, or those methods. ↩
4. Refers to a technique to cultivate by having sex. ↩
5. Tribulations are sent by the will of heaven in order to enforce certain laws of the cosmos. This is usually relevant because cultivators defy the laws of heaven. A cultivator often has to undergo a heavenly tribulation in order to move up a stage, usually taking the form of a shitton of lightning strikes. If they fail, they die. ↩
6. If you cultivate with an unstable state of mind, your qi can become messed up and damage your body and mind. ↩ 7. Literally, heart demon. Also not actually a demon. An obsession that
someone cannot let go of which eventually prevents them from advancing, disrupting their mind and causing them to see illusions. ↩

Chapter 2 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 2 – Temptress of Xuanyuan Sect

Yin Hanjiang figured out what Wenren È was about to say, that he was asking him his thoughts on love. Honestly, Yin Hanjiang also didn’t understand.

As a child, he was picked up out of a mass grave by Wenren È and taken back to Xuanyuan Sect. From the beginning, the Venerable’s command was his will, and he had never expressed his own opinions. Even though Wenren È hadn’t finished the question, Yin Hanjiang bowed his head and said, “The Venerable’s preferences are this subordinate’s beliefs.”

If the Venerable liked stories, Yin Hanjiang would collect all the stories on Earth for him. If he liked men or women, Yin Hanjiang would bring all the people he liked before him. The Venerable’s desires were Yin Hanjiang’s purpose in life.

Wenren È stared at Yin Hanjiang kneeling before him and recalled the novel filling his brain for the past few days.

Judging by the novel’s account, Yin Hanjiang really did act according to his words.

Yin Hanjiang was Abusive Romance: You are the Unchanging One in My Heart‘s love interest number four, trusted subordinate to number two
Wenren È. He was habitually silent and reserved, faithfully protected Baili Qingmiao, and tended to her every need. When Wenren È couldn’t watch over Baili Qingmiao himself, he would send Yin Hanjiang to guard her. Yin Hanjiang took blows for her, got poisoned for her, got injured for her, and nearly lost his life, all without a word of complaint. He never even
confessed to her. The most revealing words he’d ever expressed was when, while the two of them were facing danger, Baili Qingmiao told him to
escape first. He replied in a hoarse voice, “Either we both survive, or I die to protect you.”

What girl could resist such devoted, honest, and heartfelt words? In the
earlier parts of the novel, Yin Hanjiang’s popularity exceeded Wenren È’s at some point. Even Baili Qingmiao, still crazy for Hè Wenzhao, once told Yin Hanjiang in tears that she couldn’t repay her debt to him if she spent her life trying.

All the readers, including Wenren È, thought Yin Hanjiang was deeply in love with Baili Qingmiao, but after Wenren È died for her, Yin Hanjiang…

Wenren È thought back to the storyline he had reread four or five times. He asked Yin Hanjiang, “While this Venerable is here, you certainly are
wholeheartedly loyal. But what if, someday, this Venerable is no longer here?”

Listening to Wenren È’s words, a shudder ran through Yin Hanjiang’s body, and the hand propping him up trembled slightly. It seemed as if he could hardly endure even thinking about the possibility of Wenren È’s death. He didn’t want to imagine, but Wenren È had asked the question, so he forced himself to consider it. In a few moments, a cold sweat had broken out on his forehead and it seemed he was at his limit.

After a long while, he forced an answer out through gritted teeth. “This subordinate will die before the Venerable.”

Wenren È absently wiped away the sweat on Yin Hanjiang’s forehead with a brush of his sleeve. His actions were warm, but his words were uncaring. “What if this Venerable had unfinished business, and didn’t allow you to die?”

Yin Hanjiang’s pupils trembled, and he switched to kneeling with both knees, pressing both hands against the ground, lowering his head deeply. “This subordinate doesn’t know.”

He didn’t know, but Wenren È did. In the book, Wenren È ordered Yin Hanjiang to protect Baili Qingmiao before he died, thinking that Yin Hanjiang also liked Baili Qingmiao, and would certainly protect her just as he himself intended. And Yin Hanjiang indeed carried out his order, never leaving Baili Qingmiao’s side.

But at the same time, a man in a ghost mask inexplicably appeared in the
story. He seemed to be inescapable, using every method he could think of to harm Baili Qingmiao. After Baili Qingmiao was injured, he sprinkled bone powder on her wounds. After Baili Qingmiao passed out, he threw her into the Thousand Snake Pit. When Baili Qingmiao was alone, he hung up a
cauldron and tried to refine her into lamp oil. With each of his appearances, he became more and more depraved.

The entire time, the readers had guessed that the Ghost Mask was a jealous female character disguising herself. Even though he was described as a man, in the cultivation world, there were many ways for a woman to pretend to be a man.

But no one could’ve guessed what happened when, at one point, Baili
Qingmiao and Yin Hanjiang hid in a cave as they fled from the Ghost Mask. Baili Qingmiao had said quietly, “Mister Yin, I’m so lucky you’re here.”

“Really?” Yin Hanjiang had said.

Baili Qingmiao was exhausted, about to doze off against his back, when she saw that a corner of a bundle that Yin Hanjiang had been carrying had fallen open. What she glimpsed inside was the very same sight that had made her jerk awake from countless nightmares, the ghost mask!

After Wenren È died, Yin Hanjiang finally acted against his orders. He
wanted to torture Baili Qingmiao to death, he wanted to send her down to accompany him, he wanted to refine her soul into an everburning lamp, to light Wenren È’s path in the afterlife.

All the ways he had taken care of her in the past weren’t because he loved her, but because this was what Wenren È had ordered. Because of that, he made Baili Qingmiao’s safety his priority. After Wenren È died for Baili Qingmiao, Yin Hanjiang only wanted to hurt her in a thousand different ways.

While reading, Wenren È didn’t understand Yin Hanjiang’s motivations. Only after coming out and asking him did he realize how much pain Yin
Hanjiang must’ve been in. His first point of confusion in the book was now solved.

“You can get up,” Wenren È said.

Yin Hanjiang, after wiping his bottom lip with his sleeve, got steadily to his feet. Wenren È caught his arm and smelled a tinge of blood on his sleeve.

Forcing him to imagine the Demonic Lord’s death actually caused Yin Hanjiang this much pain. Even Wenren È, who cultivated the Path of Slaughter, was a bit moved.

Right now Wenren È hadn’t fallen in love with Baili Qingmiao like the him in the book, so he didn’t think there was anything wrong with what Yin
Hanjiang did. Among those who cultivated the demonic paths, who could be considered selfless? If you can’t have something, destroy it. If you die, take your enemy with you to the afterlife. This was all perfectly normal.

Wenren È just wanted to tell the book’s Yin Hanjiang, “Not bad!”

And while he’s at it, he’d like to beat up the book’s Wenren È. The female lead at least had something wrong with her head. What Wenren È really
couldn’t accept was that he himself had abandoned everything for the sake of love. That was totally impossible.

Why would he be pulled under and become completely unable to free himself? And why would Baili Qingmiao be infatuated with Hè Wenzhao until she lost herself, still wanting to be with him after being injured so many times? Why would the jealous female villains frame an innocent girl because of Hè Wenzhao?

There was too much that Wenren È didn’t understand. Yin Hanjiang had cleared up one point of confusion for him, but there were many more questions facing the Lord of Demons.

Wenren È rested a hand against Yin Hanjiang’s chest and sent a stream of energy into him to help him heal. Yin Hanjiang put up no resistance,
allowing Wenren È’s oppressive energy freely enter his dantian[1] and help suppress his spiritual essence, in turmoil from his unsteady mental state.

After casually fixing up Yin Hanjiang, Wenren È commanded, “Tell the Right Protector to come to the meeting room.”

Yin Hanjiang obeyed, taking out one of the Venerable’s commanding talismans and sending a summons to the Right Protector.

The two came to the meeting room and waited a while, until a woman in purple clothes arrived leisurely. What she was wearing could less be called clothes and more a strip of purple gauze wound about her body, barely
covering any vital areas, and instead outlining her alluring figure, capturing people’s attention.

Unfortunately, the two in front of her were blind and had hearts of ice. The Right Protector, Shu Yanyan, had long gotten used to this kind of reaction from them. She made a suggestive bowing motion to Wenren È, and after being allowed to rise, said impatiently, “Venerable, do you need me to go beat up those two-faced hypocrites of the righteous sects? This subordinate has been itching to do it.”

She covered her mouth, while revealing a bashful smile.

Wenren È well understood this subordinate of his. “Are you itching to punish them, or to harvest their yang to supplement your yin[2]?”

“Aren’t those the same?” Shu Yanyan fluttered her eyelashes at Wenren È. “Venerable, you know me. I follow the path of desire. I wouldn’t miss the chance to kill two birds with one stone.”

Wenren È raised a hand. Shu Yanyan, receiving his permission, walked to the seat on his right and sat down, languidly stretching out her long legs, every movement displaying irresistible feminine charm.

Wenren È ignored the seduction she had inadvertently released and said unhurriedly, “Do you know the chief disciple of Shangqing Sect, Hè Wenzhao?”

“Oh, him? Now that piques my interest.” Shu Yanyan sprawled lazily across the chair, without a hint of proper posture. Propping her chin with one hand, she said with a wink, “Venerable, didn’t you send us out three months ago to investigate the righteous sects’ plans? I disguised myself as a frail and pitiful songstress and pretended to be mistreated in front of some young disciples from Shangqing Sect. Hè Wenzhao was the one who came to my
aid. That guy…”

Stopping there, Shu Yanyan licked her lips, as if savoring a taste, and paused for a moment before continuing. “His true yang was quite
satisfying.”

Wenren È knew exactly what she was talking about.

In the book, Hè Wenzhao’s true yang was indeed taken by Shu Yanyan, and he had lost a lot of power. Shu Yanyan locked him up in her cultivation grounds and just about sucked him empty, and in the end it was Baili
Qingmiao, as always, who risked her life to save him. In addition, to help him replenish his true essence, she went to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains to find the elixir known as the Snow Flame. She then helped Hè Wenzhao
absorb it, increasing his cultivation immensely.

Shu Yanyan was essentially the number one villain of the first part of the story. She wasn’t in love with Hè Wenzhao but simply coveting his yang energy, a temptress in all aspects. And due to Shu Yanyan being a wicked person trying to harm Hè Wenzhao, Baili Qingmiao, for the first time, forgave him for having dealings with another woman.

The temptress of Xuanyuan Sect practiced the art of seduction, and her power was far above that of Hè Wenzhao. If she wanted to do something, Hè Wenzhao had no way to resist. He was the victim here. What Baili Qingmiao didn’t know at the time was that there would be a
second occasion and a third, and innumerable occasions beyond that when Hè Wenzhao was being “coerced”, expecting her to understand.

“Tell me what happened then,” Wenren È said.

Going by the book’s word count, the current plot should only have
advanced 70 or 80 thousand words in, which was also the only happy portion of the book. After Baili Qingmiao entered Shangqing Sect, falling in love with Hè Wenzhao at first sight, the two of them cultivated for over ten years, spending time together as innocent children. Hè Wenzhao showed every consideration to his little shimei[3]. The two often secretly stole out to pick flowers and watch the moon, or practiced techniques with each other in the dead of night, never going further due to propriety. Their affections toward each other were as sweet as honey, enough to give one cavities.

There were also some female disciples who stirred up trouble, but back then everyone was young and innocent and none of them did anything improper. Hè Wenzhao was also an upstanding young hero, the sect’s beloved prodigy, and yet to take on any heavy responsibilities.

The temptress Shu Yanyan was the first conflict between them.

“Who remembers that much?” said Shu Yanyan. “All I was thinking about was that man’s yang energy. As I’m sure the Venerable knows, my
cultivation level has remained stagnant for many years. If this keeps up much longer, I’m going to get wrinkles.” While talking, she brought out a mirror and inspected her face, which looked no older than a sixteen-year- old girl’s, and after finding it satisfactory, continued. “Hè Wenzhao’s yang
energy is unusual. He has a lightning spiritual root, and there also seemed to be a deeper, mysterious power inside him. I’m certain that if I can take his
essence, I’ll be able to raise my cultivation!”

Among cultivators, there were five different kinds of normal spiritual roots
—metal, wood, water, fire, and earth—and five kinds of variant spiritual roots—wind, lightning, ice, light, and land. Ordinary people mostly had mixed spiritual roots of three, four, or five elements. People with dual
element spiritual roots were already considered naturally gifted. A normal pure spiritual root was one in a million. A pure variant spiritual root was a heaven-blessed genius which might not be encountered even once in ten thousand years. Yet Hè Wenzhao possessed a pure lightning spiritual root.

Did this lightning spiritual root come from the heavenly lightning he was struck by in his past life? Wenren È muttered to himself, deep in thought.

And that mysterious power was naturally his divine power. Hè Wenzhao was an ascended god in his past life and kept his acquired divine essence with him in reincarnation. Baili Qingmiao possessed a primordial divine essence which was born together with heaven and earth. Unlike Hè
Wenzhao’s, it could not follow her into a mortal body.

If Shu Yanyan stole Hè Wenzhao’s essence, his divine power would certainly increase her cultivation significantly.

“Why didn’t you take action against him three months ago? His level of strength can’t stand up to yours,” Wenren È said.

“Ah,” Shu Yanyan sighed, “I wanted to take him, but the power in him is very unusual. If he isn’t willing to be with me, I can’t force him. He has a sweetheart, a little girl whose looks aren’t worse than my own. She’s very
sharp too, and was suspicious of me the whole time, always keeping an eye on her man. I couldn’t even find a chance.”

“Oh?” Wenren È raised an eyebrow slightly. “They have to be willing?”

The book hadn’t mentioned that. It was written from Baili Qingmiao’s point of view, and when Hè Wenzhao told her that Shu Yanyan drugged and
abducted him, Baili Qingmiao believed it.

“Venerable, don’t you know me at all?” Shu Yanyan said, pouting. “In these matters, I always pay attention to mutual consent. If a man performs particularly well and I like him, I’ll pay him back a little while cultivating
and help replenish his lost essence. Aside from my enemies, those sweethearts at my cultivation grounds have all received benefits.
Sometimes I get tired of someone and try to shoo them away, but they aren’t even willing to leave.” ‘I actually never knew that. It seems what this Venerable doesn’t know amounts to a great deal,’ Wenren È thought.

“But I won’t let Hè Wenzhao off lightly,” Shu Yanyan said faithfully to Wenren È. “His Shangqing Sect was the ringleader in the last assault on Xuanyuan Sect. How can I show mercy to the chief disciple of an enemy sect? Don’t worry, Venerable, I’ve already had secret contact with Hè Wenzhao behind that little Baili Qingmiao girl’s back for several days,
while pretending to be an innocent maiden. He pities me and kept sneaking out to bring me gifts. He’ll be mine soon enough.”

Wenren È hesitated for a moment. “No, it’s not necessary,” he said.
“What isn’t necessary?” Shu Yanyan said, blinking her large, pretty eyes. “It’s not necessary to ruin him,” Wenren È said, tapping a finger on his
armrest. “Do what you’re accustomed to. Draw it out for a while. He indeed has a unique power within him, which will be of benefit to you. No need to do anything extreme.”

“Huh?” Shu Yanyan stared in shock. Is this the same Venerable who would eradicate his enemies root and branch and not show a shred of mercy?

She furrowed her brows. “He’s Shangqing Sect’s most favored chief disciple, pillar of the righteous sects. Should we not deal with him while he’s young, and instead leave him to become a problem in the future? If I repay him while cultivating with him, his power will rise even more quickly. This might benefit me, but it wouldn’t be a benefit to Xuanyuan Sect.”

As Shu Yanyan spoke, her expression became vicious, all signs of her gentle, charming manner gone.

These words pleased Wenren È greatly.

If you asked Wenren È, this was how a cultivator should be. The great Dao is emotionless. Rather than cling to passions, better one uses them for their own benefit. And one must stand firm, lest in a moment of weakness they bring about their own demise.

Seeing Shu Yanyan’s farsightedness and Yin Hanjiang’s efficiency, then remembering the him in the book, so blinded by love he was willing to
abandon the Xuanyuan Sect for Baili Qingmiao, Wenren È felt deeply that he wasn’t much above his two Sect Protectors.

A normal person would probably try to stay away from Baili Qingmiao in the future, to avoid the possibility of being entrapped, but Wenren È was a person who faced problems head-on. He was determined to meet Baili
Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao, to harden his heart and not be moved by any emotion!

Thinking that, he ordered, “Shu Yanyan, we must think more long-term. You need to sabotage Shangqing Sect.”

Shu Yanyan thought for a moment and clapped her hands, eyes lighting up. “Venerable, this subordinate understands your intention. What I must do is use the guise of a poor, honest woman to lure astray the future pillar of the righteous sects, break down his defenses and have him wrapped around my finger, letting him believe that I’m a good-hearted woman who went down a wicked path, but inside still wishes for redemption. I should get him obsessed with me, captivated by my beauty, captivated by the power he can gain from me. And afterward, if one day I plead to him, ‘save me,’ he’ll happily divulge information regarding his sect that he doesn’t see as very important. Even better if he can take leadership of the sect in the future. I
can slowly lead him onto the demonic path, until he finds himself in too deep and unable to turn back.”

Shu Yanyan got more and more enthusiastic as she spoke, wanting to immediately head out to play damsel in distress. Playing the long game was the right way to go!

Wenren È: …

He just wanted Baili Qingmiao to see clearly that Hè Wenzhao was
willingly together with Shu Yanyan, so let Shu Yanyan hook Hè Wenzhao. But as it turned out, Shu Yanyan thought more deeply than him, and
elevated it from a matter of a relationship to being about the Great Sect War.

His Right Protector actually was a woman with high aims. In the past, Wenren È hadn’t even known.

“Your plan is functional. But keep two points in mind. First, do not harm Baili Qingmiao. Second, do not be entangled by love yourself,” Wenren È said.

“The Venerable indeed has keen foresight. Leaving Baili Qingmiao alone and letting her cause trouble will only push Hè Wenzhao closer to me, the good and obedient one. She’s certainly more useful alive than dead,” Shu Yanyan said, nodding. “As for Hè Wenzhao, there’s no need for concern. Your subordinate is a seasoned veteran; she can see though all the two- faced men in the world.”

After saying this, Shu Yanyan turned and left the meeting room, leaving the two silent men with the image of her slim back.

“Protector Yin,” Wenren È said after a long while. “This Venerable is not much better than the Right Protector.”

He was referring to the him in the book.

Yin Hanjiang said, “The Venerable is the most farseeing man in the world. The Right Protector is not worth a thousandth of the Venerable.”

“Ah, you…” Wenren È shook his head and changed the subject. “Leave the mountain with me. I want to meet this junior from Shangqing Sect.”

He wanted to see, now that Shu Yanyan wouldn’t steal Hè Wenzhao’s essence, just how Hè Wenzhao was going to explain himself to Baili Qingmiao, and whether or not she would forgive him as she had in the book.

The Lord of Demons was quite curious.  

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 dantian is an area in the lower abdomen where qi is gathered in order to form a golden core, to concentrate and refine the qi and increase in power. ↩
2. The principle of dual cultivation, cultivation by having sex. Men are high in yang, and women are high in yin. A woman will take yang from a man to complement her yin, and vice versa. ↩
2. Marital sister. Used to refer to two peers from the same sect. You can refer to this. ↩

Chapter 3 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 3 – So that was it

Cultivators could use the power of heaven and earth to travel a thousand miles in a flash. In less than half a day, the group had arrived at a small town near Shangqing Sect. This was with Wenren È lowering his speed to wait for Yin Hanjiang; otherwise, he could’ve arrived in fifteen minutes.

Cultivation stages in this world were split into nine stages—Qi Gathering, Qi Refining, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul,
Deity Transformation, Body Unity, Void Boundary, and Mahayana. Each stage had nine levels. After you broke through the ninth level of the
Mahayana stage, the heavens would send down a tribulation, and if you passed that you could ascend to the immortal realm. It’s said that immortals were also split into Wandering Immortal, Heavenly Immortal, Golden Immortal, Great Golden Immortal, Immortal Lord, and Immortal Emperor. After breaking through the Immortal Emperor stage, one could ascend to the divine realm. The divine realm was also split into countless stages, but no matter how much an ascended god cultivated, they could not surpass the primordial gods, born alongside the cosmos. Ascended gods, no matter how strong they were, were only borrowing the power of the cosmos. For the primordial gods, the cosmos was their home, while the ascended gods were just lodging temporarily. The difference between them was vast.

Wenren È, the Lord of Demons, was already recognized as the strongest among the demonic sects, but he was only at the sixth level of Mahayana. In the female lead’s past life, she had been infinitely stronger than anyone else who appeared in the book. Yet she had actually given up her divine
essence to be with Hè Wenzhao. You couldn’t blame Wenren È for thinking she had some issues in the head. He would even suspect Hè Wenzhao had cast some sort of sorcery on her
soul to control her, but the sorcerous arts of the cultivation world, no matter how strong, would all shatter when faced with Baili Qingmiao’s true divine might. They would be like a drop of poison in the ocean, or a wisp of toxic gas in a hurricane. In the face of absolute power, all the sorcery of the world amounted to nothing.

Wenren È, sitting on the second floor of a tea house, sipped the tea Yin Hanjiang had brought him as he pondered.

“This subordinate’s powers are weak, and has wasted the Venerable’s time.” Yin Hanjiang didn’t sit, instead standing at Wenren È’s back.

“No matter.” Wenren È indicated the seat next to him. “Sit.”

Yin Hanjiang obediently sat next to Wenren È. Without a command from the Venerable, he wouldn’t sit, and if he was commanded, he wouldn’t say empty words like “This subordinate doesn’t dare.” If Wenren È ordered it, even if Yin Hanjiang didn’t dare, he had to do it.

“Act natural, relax your breathing. Right now, we’re just two warriors from Wulin who know some martial arts,” Wenren È said, seeing Yin Hanjiang’s stiff back.

If Wenren È spoke once, Yin Hanjiang moved once. He relaxed his ramrod- straight back, though his muscles were still tense.

Yin Hanjiang was very rarely face-to-face with Wenren È. He hardly lifted his head, holding his teacup and watching the steam rise off it without drinking.

He was almost like a marionette, with no thoughts of his own. If Wenren È commanded, he acted.

Yin Hanjiang was only at the Body Unity stage, yet at Xuanyuan Sect he ranked above all but one man. The weakest of the Altar Masters, Altar
Master Yuan, was at the ninth level of Body Unity, and the other three were at the top of Void Boundary. Right Protector Shu Yanyan was also at the sixth level of Void Boundary. Of the six in Xuanyuan Sect who served directly under Wenren È, Yin Hanjiang was the weakest.

Sensibly, there’s no way he should be the Left Protector. The only reason he had such a high position was because Wenren È trusted him, and he was dedicated to Wenren È.

When Wenren È pulled him out of a pile of corpses, he was barely breathing and half his body was necrotic. No one would’ve thought he was alive, and even if they knew he was still breathing, they wouldn’t have tried to save him.

Wenren È had a keen sense of life and death. When he walked past, he discovered Yin Hanjiang, lying there and waiting for death with dull, staring eyes.

Wenren È, who at the time was the leader of a small demonic sect, used his foot to move the corpse on top of Yin Hanjiang’s body. Looking down at the child, he said in an impassive tone, “I need a sword.”

The tiny Yin Hanjiang somehow worked up the strength to raise his small, thin arm and grab Wenren È’s shoe.

From then, Yin Hanjiang became an emotionless sword, only swung for Wenren È.

He improved at breakneck speed and in only a few decades, achieved Body Unity stage, advancing many times faster than Wenren È himself had. But after reaching Body Unity, Yin Hanjiang couldn’t raise his level no matter how he cultivated, stagnating for a hundred years.

Wenren È originally thought Body Unity stage was Yin Hanjiang’s natural limit, but the book clearly stated the Ghost Mask was at the peak of
Mahayana.

This was also why Baili Qingmiao never would’ve guessed Yin Hanjiang was the Ghost Mask. The first reason was how Yin Hanjiang always treated her so well that there was no way she could’ve doubted him. The second was that even though Yin Hanjiang had chanced upon some ways to increase his cultivation while protecting her, he was still only at the ninth level of Body Unity. Who would conflate him with the Mahayana stage Ghost Mask?

By the latter parts of Abusive Romance, the Ghost Mask’s power already ranked number one in the cultivation world. If he wasn’t obsessed with refining Baili Qingmiao into lamp oil, he could’ve long since broken through the final level and ascended.

Baili Qingmiao really did get thrown into a furnace to be refined, but her luck came through at the last moment and she merged with the divine
essence, releasing a burst of devastating power at that instant that killed Yin Hanjiang.

Yin Hanjiang was at Body Unity, but the Ghost Mask was at Mahayana, two stages above.

Wenren È looked at his most trusted subordinate’s face and said, “Hold out your hand.”

Yin Hanjiang offered his hand and Wenren È took hold of his wrist, sending a stream of energy into his meridians[1]. After a moment of investigation, he confirmed Yin Hanjiang really was at the first level of Body Unity,
without any hints otherwise. And he had gathered a large volume of spiritual energy in his dantian that he was unable to transform, over a hundred years of cultivation. He had probably forcibly gathered this unbearable amount of energy in order to break through, and had been suffering all this time.

Were it not for the book, Wenren È would never be able to understand his situation, and would’ve only assumed his talent was insufficient.

It seemed many plotlines in the book that looked unreasonable at first sight actually had reasonable explanations behind them.

“How long has this gone on?” Wenren È said. Yin Hanjiang avoided the question, instead saying, “This subordinate will put all efforts toward making a breakthrough.”

Looking at him, a distant memory came to Wenren È’s mind. When he took Yin Hanjiang back to his sect, his first priority was eliminating his enemy
sects, so he left him at home to grow up and casually tossed him a cultivation manual for him to study on his own.

Ten years later, when he returned to his sect, Yin Hanjiang had already grown into a tall youth, and was hacking away with the sword again and
again on the mountainside. The assignment Wenren È had left him ten years ago was to split a waterfall, so he had been swinging at it for ten years.

Dedication, resolve, loyalty. These three words outlined everything about Yin Hanjiang.

“Don’t push yourself so hard,” Wenren È said. “You can take things slowly. This Venerable is already plenty strong.”

He thought that would reassure him, but a flash of pain showed in Yin Hanjiang’s eyes, like he was being abandoned. “Does the Venerable no longer need this subordinate?” he said hoarsely.

Honestly, he was not very necessary. Back then Wenren È wanted to unify the demonic sects and urgently needed talents under him. Now Xuanyuan Sect had great power and influence, all the demonic sects were under
Wenren È’s heel, and the Sect Protectors and Altar Masters were loyal to him. Wenren È long since had no need for a personal guard at the Body Unity stage.

The sword known as Yin Hanjiang had no chance to be unsheathed.

Wenren È didn’t answer him. He retrieved that brick of a book from his Qiankun sleeves[2] and opened it to a certain page.

That was when Yin Hanjiang was protecting Baili Qingmiao from Shangqing Sect’s pursuers. Baili Qingmiao said gratefully to him, “Mister Yin, you’ve done so much for me.” Yin Hanjiang held his sword. The firelight reflected on his faintly smiling face. “You are the only person the Venerable needs a sword to protect.”

The first read, one would think that Yin Hanjiang had feelings for Baili
Qingmiao, using loyalty as an excuse. But reading through again, Wenren È noticed the word “sword”.

Wenren È had left this sword, Yin Hanjiang, unused for too long. Only for Baili Qingmiao’s safety did he finally pick it up again. Why was Yin
Hanjiang smiling? It wasn’t that he loved Baili Qingmiao, but that he was needed once again by Wenren È.

Wenren È replaced the book. Looking at Yin Hanjiang, a bitter, nameless feeling rose in his heart.

“This Venerable doesn’t need a sword,” he said in a cold tone.

The light in Yin Hanjiang’s eyes died somewhat. He withdrew his hand resting on the table and tightly gripped the sword at his waist.

The book often described Yin Hanjiang as holding a sword. Once a
cultivator reached Foundation Establishment stage, they could store their bonded weapon inside their bodies. Even at the Qi Refining stage, they
could use Qiankun bags and other storage items. There was no need to hold their weapons all the time, yet Yin Hanjiang always had his sword in hand.

Unknown to Wenren È, his gaze had softened. He continued, “But this Venerable needs Yin Hanjiang.”

Yin Hanjiang’s hand on his sword relaxed a bit. He heard the next words from Wenren È. “Back when we had just met, this Venerable did not trust anyone on earth. This Venerable only trusted Yin Hanjiang.”

“Venerable…”

Yin Hanjiang’s words were hardly out of his mouth when he was interrupted by a woman in a thin white robe and a pipa[3] in hand. She had walked up to the second floor, strumming the pipa and beginning to sing. Wenren È: … Yin Hanjiang: …
This woman was Shu Yanyan. The two had gotten used to seeing her in revealing clothes, and this proper and pitiful Shu Yanyan like a white lotus flower that trembled in the wind looked really out of place to them.

There were a good number of guests with them on the second floor. Shu Yanyan was the tea house’s songstress. After she finished her song, she began to sell flowers.

She was trying to be self-sufficient, not charging for songs, just selling flowers after singing. The income from the flowers had to be split thirty- seventy with the tea house’s owner, thirty for her, seventy for him. She really was as pitiful as you needed her to be.

Wenren È took out a ten-tael silver piece and casually tossed it into the flower basket in front of Shu Yanyan. Shu Yanyan picked up the flower basket and slowly walked up to Wenren È. “Honored guest, this maiden is not selling songs, but flowers,” she said in a soft voice. “One basket is only ten copper coins. There’s no need to pay this much.”

She had ten baskets of flowers at her feet. Even if she sold all of them, after splitting it with the owner, she would only have thirty coins for herself. If
she saved for half a month, she could afford a taste of meat, and the other days she could only eat steamed buns.

Wenren È didn’t look at Shu Yanyan. He glanced at Yin Hanjiang and mentally transmitted to him, “Call me brother.”

Yin Hanjiang looked dazed, like he was in a dream. He spoke his lines woodenly from the script Wenren È had given him. “The Ve— my brother[4] gave it to you, so take it. Don’t be ungrateful.”

When he said the word “brother”, Yin Hanjiang’s ears turned bright red. “This one appreciates these honored guests’ generosity, but it’s not right for me to accept silver. This maiden isn’t willing to do so.” Shu Yanyan reached out her slender and ice-cold fingers, retrieved the silver piece from the basket, and placed it on their table, bowing to them respectfully.

What Wenren È was supposed to do was stuff the silver piece down the front of Shu Yanyan’s robes and tell her, “Take it out right here and I’ll
accept it back”, making her cry helplessly in the middle of the tea house. But he really didn’t know how to do that sort of thing, and Yin Hanjiang didn’t have any interest in that either, so the two of them only sat drinking their tea, ignoring Shu Yanyan.

Shu Yanyan grew anxious at their lack of response. If they didn’t humiliate her, how was she supposed to play the next part? She had already made plans for her subordinates to play the act, but the Venerable wanted to participate in the action, so she called off her subordinates and gave the main role to him.

She thought men all had these base urges; wouldn’t any be happy to play this kind of role? But as it turned out, the Venerable wasn’t that sort of person at all, and had no interest in bullying the weak.

Aren’t you a demonic cultivator? Can’t you act a bit like one?

Shu Yanyan saw Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao had already arrived to the ground floor of the tea house. The audience had taken their seats, but the stage wasn’t set yet; this wouldn’t do at all. She winked furiously at the Venerable until she was going cross-eyed.

“You do it,” Wenren È transmitted to Yin Hanjiang.

He had decided to delegate more things to Yin Hanjiang in the future, to try and help his “if the Venerable doesn’t need me, I can just die” attitude.

Yin Hanjiang, hearing his order, thought back to the script Shu Yanyan gave him, and stared numbly at the beautiful young woman. He was supposed to… pull open her robes, and shove the silver piece down her bosom? In front of the Venerable? He felt extremely awkward, but the Venerable had given him an order!

“You can go according to your own judgment. No need to follow Shu Yanyan’s script,” Wenren È transmitted, sensing Yin Hanjiang’s distress.

Gaining his approval, Yin Hanjiang’s expression immediately relaxed. With a frosty and toneless voice, he said, “If you insist on being ungrateful, then don’t blame me for what I’m about to do.”

With that, he picked up Shu Yanyan with one hand and tossed her down from the second floor, having her fall directly in front of where Baili
Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao were sitting. Shu Yanyan: …
Hè Wenzhao saw a human figure fall from the sky and wanted to help, but Baili Qingmiao was right next to him. He had just had a fight with Baili
Qingmiao back at the sect about his Liu-shimei and didn’t want to provoke her temper again. Seeing this figure was a woman and not seeing her face, he decided not to act.

On the other hand, Baili Qingmiao saw a person fall from the second story and immediately leapt forward to save her. Shu Yanyan’s plan was falling to pieces. She couldn’t let herself be saved by Baili Qingmiao! The one who
saved her should be Hè Wenzhao, embracing her in front of Baili Qingmiao!

So Shu Yanyan, hardening her resolve, used her spiritual energy to speed up her fall, so that Baili Qingmiao’s outstretched hand could only brush a
corner of her clothes before she hit the ground. She even stealthily used her spiritual energy to wound herself, acting like the fall had seriously injured her.

Baili Qingmiao’s fingers only clutched a piece of white fabric before she
saw that frail woman slam into the ground, spitting out a mouthful of blood.

She jumped down, kneeling by the woman’s side, and propped her up. “Maiden, are you alright?” she said with concern. When the woman turned her head, she discovered it was someone she knew. “Miss Shu?” Baili Qingmiao said in shock.

Hè Wenzhao only then arrived. Seeing it was the poor girl he’d saved
several days ago and still felt goodwill for, he regretted not being there to save her.

Shu Yanyan, who had taken the name Shu Lian, shed a single tear in her heart as she was held in Baili Qingmiao’s lap. This wasn’t how it was
supposed to go!

Going by her script, she was supposed to have been humiliated by one of the guests, so that Hè Wenzhao couldn’t watch anymore and had to help, and then subsequently took off his outer robe to wrap it around her. Baili Qingmiao, when seeing another woman wearing her sweetheart’s clothes,
would be so jealous she couldn’t think and have a fight right then and there with Hè Wenzhao, pushing Hè Wenzhao to Shu Yanyan’s side. Hè Wenzhao would escort her home, she would cry, Hè Wenzhao would hold her to
comfort her. One thing would lead to another, and things would get out of hand. Men, right?

Why did it end up like this?

Baili Qingmiao took out a medicinal pill. She carefully pried the dying Shu Yanyan’s mouth open and gave it to her. Normal people couldn’t take the
strength of the spiritual pills that cultivators used, so Baili Qingmiao could only give her some medicine to strengthen her heart and internal organs.
She would have to recover from her outer injuries and broken bones herself.

After swallowing the pill, Shu Yanyan’s deathly pale complexion improved significantly, and she couldn’t go on pretending to be unconscious. She despondently opened her eyes. Staying in character, she said tearfully to
Baili Qingmiao, “Thank you, Miss Baili.”

While falling, Shu Yanyan made sure to protect her face, only letting her forehead be struck so a drop of blood ran down it, to maintain the image of an injured beauty. That, combined with her expression, tugged at people’s heartstrings. Too bad that currently, her face was being seen by Baili Qingmiao, and Hè Wenzhao was standing behind her.

Baili Qingmiao had grown up at Shangqing Sect and was taught to oppose bullies and support the weak. Even if she usually had a temper toward Hè Wenzhao and had previously raised a fuss over him paying too much
attention to Shu Yanyan, when it came to important matters, she could keep a level head.
And she would never allow a frail woman to be hurt in front of her! With one arm around Shu Yanyan’s waist, she leapt to the second story.
After setting Shu Yanyan down on a chair, she glared at Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang. “Were you the ones who threw her off?”

Shu Yanyan didn’t dare to look at the Venerable and started pretending to cry.

Wenren È put down his cup and looked at Baili Qingmiao.

In the book, the first time Wenren È met Baili Qingmiao was after he had encountered a problem in his cultivation, and also run into the combined forces of the righteous sects, attacking the Xuanyuan Sect under the leadership of the Shangqing Sect. He sustained serious injuries in reckless battle and collapsed in a river. Baili Qingmiao, alone after being forced out by the rival female characters, found him. She didn’t recognize Wenren È and thought he was a fellow cultivator from an allied sect, so carefully tended to him.

Wenren È, awakening, saw a ray of sunlight fall across Baili Qingmiao’s face. Her body seemed to be shrouded in divine light, a beautiful sight out of this world. His heart was captured in an instant, and from that moment on, he’d protect and cherish this kind-hearted girl in every way.

Right now, without being injured and in an unsteady frame of mind, without the debt of his life being saved, when he met Baili Qingmiao in an ordinary situation, he wanted to see just what would happen. Baili Qingmiao was furious, her long hair fluttering with her spiritual
energy. Wenren È examined her, and found her body was shrouded in a faint layer of divine light.

Huh?

Wenren È blinked, used his spiritual energy to see clearly, and still saw that light.

When the book described Baili Qingmiao from Wenren È’s perspective, it would always use words like “goddess” and “holy”. He thought it was just figurative, but it turned out it wasn’t just a description—she was actually
surrounded by divine light!

He glanced at Yin Hanjiang and Shu Yanyan out of the corner of his eyes, but they didn’t seem to see any light.

Wenren È thought furiously and suddenly realized—he cultivated the Path of Slaughter. He set out on this path three hundred years ago, in the midst of war.

What was Baili Qingmiao’s role in her past life?

She had been in charge of disasters, sending plague, war, and death to humankind. Baili Qingmiao was currently eighteen years old, which was to say, her heavenly tribulation in the divine realm was eighteen years ago.

Thus, that war three hundred years ago that had led Wenren È to enter the Dao had been caused by Baili Qingmiao’s past incarnation. Effectively,
Baili Qingmiao was the reason Wenren È had awakened to the Dao, and she could be considered half Wenren È’s master.

If Baili Qingmiao hadn’t reincarnated, Wenren È wouldn’t have had to repay this karmic debt until he ascended to the divine realm. But she ended up reincarnating and meeting Wenren È. Unbeknownst to him, there was a debt of gratitude he had to pay to his teacher in order to pass his heavenly tribulations. So, that was it.

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. Meridians are a system like veins that circulate qi through the body. ↩
2. Refers to an extradimensional storage space, like a bag of holding. In his sleeves. ↩
3. A Chinese stringed instrument, like a lute. ↩
4. Doesn’t necessarily refer to familial relations, could be for friendship. ↩

Chapter 4 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 4 – Two birds with one stone

Being the protagonist of a novel, Baili Qingmiao’s appearance had no flaws. She wore the buttercup yellow dress of the female disciples of Shangqing Sect, hair tied in a simple bun with an ordinary multicolored string. A fresh peach blossom was stuck in her hair, and her face held the same gentle flush as its petals. A few strands of hair fell elegantly across
her forehead and framed her face, clear and free from makeup. She wore a pair of light yellow bead earrings and was filled with a youthful grace.

Wenren È was engrossed with her divine light and hadn’t noticed her
appearance at all. Yin Hanjiang clutched his sword. In his eyes, this girl who had confronted Wenren È with hostile intent was already dead.

Hè Wenzhao finally made it up the stairs. He had known Baili Qingmiao for over ten years, and would’ve gotten used to it no matter how beautiful she was. After getting to the second floor, all his attention was on Shu Yanyan. With a few coins, he sent one of the waiters to get a doctor who could treat fractures, then crouched near Shu Yanyan’s chair and said anxiously, “Don’t worry, Miss Shu, I’ll make sure to get justice for you!”

Shu Yanyan: …

No way, was she the only one who noticed this little Baili Qingmiao girl
was really quite beautiful? Do these three men all have eye problems? And the one getting justice is clearly Baili Qingmiao, what is Hè Wenzhao trying to get in on the action for?

Even though she was filled with doubts, Shu Yanyan had a strong work ethic and remembered her task—seduce Hè Wenzhao. With effort, she
placed her pale hand into Hè Wenzhao’s considerably larger hand, and said with eyes full of affection, “This maiden’s life is as thin as paper. Being
able to meet Young Master Hè today is the fortune of three lifetimes. Miss Baili, you don’t need to make enemies for someone like me.”

Even if you do, you can’t beat them, Shu Yanyan grumbled in her heart.

Baili Qingmiao was still too young, barely at Foundation Establishment. Hè Wenzhao was a bit older, but still only at Core Formation stage. Wenren È didn’t need to act, and Yin Hanjiang didn’t need to unsheathe his sword. He could kill these two Shangqing Sect juniors with one finger.

Baili Qingmiao was even more furious after hearing Shu Yanyan’s words, and she also felt regretful. That day, Hè Wenzhao had wanted to call on
Miss Shu, saying that some disciples met her in the small town a few days ago and helped her out. Even if it was a chance encounter, they had to take responsibility until the end. If they helped her but abandoned her halfway, this karma would be on them, and their heavenly tribulations would be harder in the future.

Baili Qingmiao was always preoccupied with her own jealousy. She’d just had yet another spat with her shixiong Hè Wenzhao about Liu-shijie. They had originally planned to set out at seven in the morning, but she had delayed them until nine. Her shixiong’s cultivation was much stronger than hers and he could deduce the ways of heaven better than she could. Maybe today he’d gotten a feeling that something was wrong, and that’s why he
was anxious to leave early. If she had been just a bit earlier, maybe Miss Shu wouldn’t have…

While berating herself, Baili Qingmiao heard Shu Yanyan’s words and
couldn’t restrain her anger anymore. She reached out an arm and the strip of silver silk around her waist, which clashed with the color of her clothes, moved of its own accord. This was the bonded weapon she had refined after attaining Foundation Establishment, the Moonlit Frost Silk. As it uncoiled, it resembled a streak of silver light glittering under the full moon, sublime
and beautiful.

“Shimei!” Hè Wenzhao was concerned about Shu Yanyan, but he also worried for Baili Qingmiao who he had taken care of throughout her childhood.

Seeing her bring out her bonded weapon, he was anxious she would get hurt if her opponents turned out to be cultivators. He flashed in front of her, the
sword on his back rising out of its sheath to float in the air, tip aimed at the two men.

“Please don’t get hurt for my sake!” Shu Yanyan sobbed.

All the guests in the cafe had already run off when Yin Hanjiang threw Shu Yanyan, so the only people left on the second floor were the few caught in this confrontation.

Yin Hanjiang’s expression darkened. If the opposing side had already brought out their weapons, then he might as well…

“Hanjiang.” Wenren È held Yin Hanjiang’s hand on his sword down, gripping it tightly, preventing him from killing the two protagonists in one stroke.

Because Yin Hanjiang had lain in a corpse pile for several days in his
childhood and still had death qi left in his body, no matter how much he cultivated, his limbs were always chilled, and his hand was currently ice- cold.

Wenren È sought the Dao in hot-blooded warfare. His body temperature was higher than normal people’s, and his hand was burning hot. Wrapped around Yin Hanjiang’s hand, it slowly transferred warmth to it.

Yin Hanjiang, after coming into contact with Wenren È, didn’t dare to move. It seemed to him it would be improper to let even the tip of one finger brush against Wenren È’s palm.

With his hand this cold, he probably had some internal injury, most likely left over from his childhood experience. This was likely also the reason Yin Hanjiang had a hard time advancing in realm, Wenren È thought. The treatment happened to be finding the strongest concentration of yang under the heavens, dwelling only in the bitterest frost—the novel’s Snow Flame. Yes, the very Snow Flame Baili Qingmiao nearly threw her life away to get for Hè Wenzhao.

Wenren È wasn’t interested in taking the protagonists’ opportunity for himself. He was practically the number one cultivator in this world and didn’t need those kinds of things, but Yin Hanjiang did need the Snow Flame.

He hadn’t concerned himself with Yin Hanjiang for many years, just treating him as another subordinate. If it weren’t for that book, he probably would’ve disregarded him forever. Thinking of how Yin Hanjiang had become so crazed and obsessed after his death, Wenren È was emotionally moved and couldn’t help but want to treat him a little better.

“Seeing as you two are honorable cultivators with profound powers, what need is there to pick a fight over a lowly woman?” Wenren È didn’t want to make an enemy of his half master Baili Qingmiao, so decided to back down first.

“What did you say?!” Baili Qingmiao got angrier at his words and tried to charge, but Hè Wenzhao blocked her way.

Baili Qingmiao had yet to suffer the cruelties of the novel and had a simple and frank outlook, unable to see these people’s hidden depths. Hè Wenzhao already had much more experience with the outside world and could see that Wenren È was likely of higher capability than he let on. These two
were so calm; what if they were Nascent Soul stage experts?

His palms broke into a sweat and he transmitted to Baili Qingmiao,
“Shimei, they aren’t good opponents for us. I’ll hold them off for now, you hurry back to the sect for backup.”

In Hè Wenzhao’s heart, Baili Qingmiao was his beloved little shimei who he was deadset on protecting. Even if he died, he couldn’t let his lovely
shimei get hurt.

“Shixiong…” Baili Qingmiao saw how tense and serious her shixiong was and realized they’d run into high-level opponents. She felt frightened, as well as grateful.

While they were transmitting messages and making plans, they were unaware that with how much lower their levels were, the other three in the room could hear them loud and clear.

Wenren È was a bit confused. He had already backed down, so how come the atmosphere had become even more tense? How should they end this? In the past, what did he usually do in these situations? It seems it was… kill ’em all? He couldn’t even remember the faces of the people who picked fights with him in the past.

Luckily, Shu Yanyan was there. As the Venerable’s Right Protector, she immediately saw though his thoughts and dragged her broken body to before the four of them, grabbing the silver piece on the table with a trembling hand. “Young Master Hè, Miss Baili, you don’t need to get hurt for my sake. What this master said was right. I am no more than a lowly woman.”

She bitterly put the silver piece into her lapel herself and choked out, “Thank you, honored guests, for your generosity.”

While saying her lines, she transmitted to Wenren È, “I’m begging you,
Venerable, just say, ‘since you know your manners, I’ll save the Shangqing Sect some face and avoid picking a fight with its juniors’, and then go. I’m certain my acting has managed to hook him.”

Wenren È nodded and said woodenly, “Since you know your manners, I’ll save the Shangqing Sect some face and avoid picking a fight with its juniors.”

The moment he finished speaking, he grabbed Yin Hanjiang and disappeared. Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao couldn’t follow even if they wanted to.

“Miss Shu!” Hè Wenzhao frantically held Shu Yanyan in his arms, who had broken her bones and could only crawl. His heart ached incessantly for her. His cultivation was too low, and he had no way of defeating those two probably Nascent Soul stage experts. He could only let this frail but self- reliant woman who was like a lotus flower rising pristine from the mud humiliate herself to protect him. The fault was on him.

Baili Qingmiao looked at Hè Wenzhao holding Shu Yanyan, and, also
seeing Shu Yanyan’s bleeding legs and her white dress which had already been stained half crimson, couldn’t bring herself to feel jealous. “Miss Shu probably won’t recover completely even if treated by a doctor. I’ll return to the sect and bring Yao-shixiong to help her.”

Hè Wenzhao nodded. “Alright, I’ll take her home.”

After Baili Qingmiao left, he picked Shu Yanyan up in his arms and brought her to her run-down thatch hut.

Though the inside was shabby, it was clean and neat, and a few pieces of delicate embroidery hung on the walls. You could tell at one glance that the owner was a poor but honest and cultured maiden.

Hè Wenzhao set Shu Yanyan carefully on her straw bed. Shu Yanyan had lost too much blood and was hovering on the edge of unconsciousness, her breathing growing faint. She weakly lifted her bloodstained fingers and said softly, “Young Master Hè, this lowly woman should’ve long since passed.
There’s no need for you…”

The moment her cold fingertips touched Hè Wenzhao’s cheek, Shu Yanyan fainted, leaving a streak of blood down his face.

“Miss Shu!” Hè Wenzhao felt her pulse and found her life force extremely weak. He feared she couldn’t wait for his shimei to fetch Yao-shidi.

He gritted his teeth and said, “Sorry about this!”

He undid Shu Yanyan’s sash. Seeing a silver piece fall out, he felt another pang in his heart. Putting aside the proper relations between men and
women, he pressed his palm to the warmth of Shu Yanyan’s chest and poured his spiritual energy into her, at the same time taking out a medicinal pill. It was true that ordinary people could not withstand a cultivator’s medicine and couldn’t take them directly. But if a cultivator was willing to use their spiritual power to help break down the medicine and guide it through the body, they could absorb it.

The cultivator would lose some strength by doing this. Not often would
cultivators waste their hard-earned spiritual essence on an ordinary person. Yao-shidi had drugs that would help an ordinary person take the pills, typically used for new disciples who couldn’t absorb qi yet, but he couldn’t wait any longer.

Hè Wenzhao was at Core Formation stage and had a comfortable amount of spiritual essence. After his qi completed a circuit in Shu Yanyan’s body, he fed the pill to her mouth-to-mouth, helping her absorb it.

After a few minutes, Shu Yanyan was completely healed. Hè Wenzhao embraced her and breathed a small sigh.

Only now did he realize how he was holding the warm and pliant body in his arms, like…

Why isn’t shimei back yet?!

While pretending to be unconscious, Shu Yanyan sent a long distance transmission to her underlings. “You guys, delay Baili Qingmiao for me, I’ve almost got it. No matter what, don’t let her bring that Yao-shixiong to wreck my plans!”

“No need to send your subordinates. I have delayed Baili Qingmiao,” a familiar deep voice sounded by Shu Yanyan’s ear.

Shu Yanyan: …

Venerable, how come you want to do it yourself again? This—this
subordinate doesn’t wish to trouble you; nothing good could come from you being involved! Though she shed tears in her heart, she was fully in control on the surface. She opened her eyes with a soft cry and, finding herself lying in Hè
Wenzhao’s lap, with her clothes… She exclaimed weakly, and her face turned bright red.

Elsewhere, Baili Qingmiao once again brought out the Moonlit Frost Silk, her expression grim, facing off against Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang.

Wenren È forbade Yin Hanjiang from acting and, extending a finger, tapped the silver silk once lightly. Baili Qingmiao’s bonded weapon quietly returned to within her body, and she found out she was unable to exert a hint of spiritual power.

Baili Qingmiao finally realized the extent of her opponents’ strength. She had grown up at Shangqing Sect and not really traveled the world before.
As a cultivator, she had beaten countless Wulin martial artists, but she never expected such hidden masters to be mingling among the populace.

Her shixiong was far more experienced and had probably already seen through these people’s true depths, yet he still stood his ground in front of her. Her shixiong treated her so well, willing to risk his life for her, yet she was always throwing tantrums and distrusting him. Her behavior was
altogether too ungrateful.

“If you want to kill me, then go ahead! If I even flinch, I’m not worthy of being a disciple of Shangqing Sect!” Baili Qingmiao said resolutely.

Wenren È didn’t know what twists and turns her thoughts were taking, and said evenly, “Miss Baili, don’t misjudge us. This Ven— I purposefully
sought you out, as I have a request of you.”

He raised a hand, and in the mountain wilderness, three elegant chairs appeared. They didn’t come from a storage item on him, but were
transparent chairs condensed from the spiritual energy of the mountains. Mahayana cultivators could connect to the heavens and the earth and manifest their will with a thought. Oftentimes cultivators at this stage
wouldn’t lightly use their magic weapons, and could create weapons out of ambient spiritual energy to attack their opponents. Wenren È made a gesture for Baili Qingmiao to help herself. After a trembling Baili Qingmiao sat down, he sat as well.

Usually he would sit first, but he had to show the proper respect to his half master, so he offered the seat to Baili Qingmiao first.

One of the three chairs was for Yin Hanjiang, but Yin Hanjiang didn’t sit, instead standing behind Wenren È without a word.

Wenren È didn’t make any demands to Baili Qingmiao. “Miss Baili,” he said, “you can probably tell that, with our strength, we’ve no need to
trouble an ordinary person. Earlier, I had seen you walk by downstairs, and merely threw down an object to catch your attention.”

Baili Qingmiao was furious, but the people she was facing were too powerful. Holding herself back with fists clenched, she said, “That was a person, not an object!”

“Really?” Wenren È flicked a finger and an ant crawling across the ground was whisked up by a gust of wind and landed on Baili Qingmiao’s knee.
“What difference between that and this?” he said indifferently.

The ant struggled to crawl on Baili Qingmiao’s leg. She lifted it with one hand and set it on the ground. “They are different,” she said in a shaky voice. “And ants are also guiltless.”

“In your life, have you eaten meat?” Wenren È asked

Baili Qingmiao didn’t say anything. Cultivators past Foundation Establishment could go without food, sustaining themselves on the qi of the environment. She established her foundation a year ago, and had grown up eating mortal food for the previous seventeen years.

She could only shake her head and say, “That’s not the same.”

“As a cultivator, you should know that all life under heaven goes to the same destination, and all things have their own awareness. There is no
distinction between man and other living beings,” Wenren È said. “We as cultivators absorb the spiritual energy of the environment. Do you know how many lives that energy could’ve given rise to? Shangqing Sect has occupied its spiritual mountain for centuries—do you know how many unique creatures and spiritual beings that mountain sustained in ancient times? Why is it that now, not one is left? Because human beings
cultivating on that mountain have seized the spiritual energy. That mountain is no longer able to give rise to spiritual beings.”

Baili Qingmiao had been a cultivator for only a short time, and had no way to refute Wenren È’s words. Her heart was in disorder, feeling like her old worldview had been toppled. Her spiritual essence ran wild out of her
control, and sharp pains stabbed into her internal organs like knives.

Wenren È wasn’t willing to just watch his half master have a qi deviation, so changed his angle and said, “There’s no need to blame yourself for this. Humanity is currently the chief of all living things, and this was also decided by fate. In the age of gods and demons, humanity suffered
endlessly. Any beast of the land or air, or deadly flower or tree, could treat human beings as its prey, refine their bodies into magic tools or absorb their souls. Now, the fact that humanity has the upper hand can be seen as nothing more than the revolution of fortunes.”

Hearing this, Baili Qingmiao’s expression eased. The things that bewildered her in her mind seemed to be resolved, and her mental state relaxed quite a bit.

She closed her eyes to contemplate in silence. After a quarter hour, she opened her eyes, stood, and cupped a fist toward Wenren È. “Thanks to this master for the guidance.”

Wenren È waved a hand. “It was hardly anything. I just randomly said some truths of heaven. The fact that you were able to comprehend shows that you’re naturally suited to cultivate the Path of Indifference. In your future
cultivation, don’t choose the wrong path.”

Baili Qingmiao had just enlightened to a principle of heaven, and the
expression in her eyes was currently far from that of the innocent young girl she had been. Underneath her long lashes, her eyes were dispassionate yet held compassion, and though she was looking at that ant, she also seemed to be looking at nothing at all.

Wenren È looked upon her with approval, but in the next instant, Baili Qingmiao’s eyes brightened. Coming back to her senses, she said,
“Shixiong and Miss Shu are still waiting for the medicine!”

Her eyes twinkled like stars, resembling once more the lovestruck girl from before.

“No need for concern, that woman is fine,” Wenren È said. “I came to you because I needed you to help me retrieve something.”

“Senior just guided me in my cultivation. Baili is deeply grateful. If there’s anything I can do to help my senior, I would not hesitate to do so,” Baili
Qingmiao said.

“I am looking for the spiritual treasure called the Snow Flame, to help my sub— friend recover from his injury,” said Wenren È.

Yin Hanjiang looked at Wenren È in astonishment.

“I have heard of the Snow Flame from my master before. It appears in the Thousand Mile Ice Plains, and no one knows its location. Any cultivator below Core Formation stage who enters would almost certainly die. Senior, your cultivation is profound. Can this junior really be of use?” Baili
Qingmiao said in confusion.

“The Snow Flame is fated to be yours,” said Wenren È. “Other people can’t take it. We can only have it with your permission. Everything has its predetermined outcome, and one cannot obtain everything just by having power.”

Actually, they could just follow Baili Qingmiao, and after she obtained the treasure, take it from her. This would be the way of a demonic cultivator.
But Wenren È couldn’t steal something from his master, and he didn’t want to do something as lowly as rob another person of their fortune either. He wanted to make an exchange. “I can help you ascend to divinity. I can help you comprehend the Dao. I can assist you in obtaining the things you want, all in return for the Snow Flame.”

Wenren È thought this was a fine idea which could repay his debt to his master and help Yin Hanjiang at the same time, and secretly approved of himself for his own quick thinking. Behind his back and unbeknownst to him, Yin Hanjiang’s eyes were faintly rimmed in red.

Yin Hanjiang bowed his head, hiding his eyes, and spoke hoarsely. “Venerable—”

Wenren È, with a sweep of a gold-embroidered black sleeve, cut off Yin Hanjiang’s words. He transmitted to him, “This Venerable is giving it to you, so you’re not allowed to refuse.”

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 5 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 5 – Brilliant plan, Venerable

Wenren È was an unfeeling man. The book’s description of him was that he had no eyes for anyone on earth except Baili Qingmiao. He would take the moon and the stars from the heavens for Baili Qingmiao. A character like that attracted hordes of fans, and every time there was a scene in which he was alone with her, the readers would all be engrossed and cheering them on.

One of their typical interactions was: The night Hè Wenzhao was to be married to the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master, Baili Qingmiao was injured and accompanied by Wenren È as she gazed at the night sky filled with
stars. She pointed at the stars of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl[1] separated by the Milky Way and said, “Such a happy couple, why did they need to be torn apart?”

A single tear slid down her pale face. The bright-eyed and smiling young girl from the beginning had long since vanished. Even though cultivators almost never aged after Foundation Establishment and she still looked the same age of eighteen, her heart had grown much older.

Wenren È raised a hand and covered Baili Qingmiao’s eyes. “Before I become a god, don’t look at the stars.”

“Why?” Baili Qingmiao said in confusion.

“It’s said that when a cultivator ascends to godhood, they can change the
stars and galaxies to their liking. I will bring the Cowherd’s star to the other side of the Milky Way.” Baili Qingmiao smiled and nodded. “Okay. Until you become a god, I won’t look at the night sky again.”

In the end Wenren È died without being able to ascend to godhood, but he fulfilled his promise to Baili Qingmiao nonetheless. Baili Qingmiao was
able to regain her divine essence thanks to the arrangements Wenren È had made prior to his death. In the moment she merged with the divine essence, the heavens trembled and stars shifted, and the Cowherd and Weaver Girl were brought to each other’s sides. The power unleashed by the changing
stars instantly turned a continent into an ocean.

This was the power of a primordial god. The moment the goddess of calamities reclaimed her place, chaos was unleashed across the world.

When Baili Qingmiao came back to her senses and saw that she had destroyed an entire continent, she thought back to her shixiong’s teachings and the words of that ascended god in her past life. She didn’t want to be a god, to disrupt the stars so casually, so she abandoned her divinity.

The Cowherd and Weaver Girl didn’t return to their original places, though. They were finally together, like the two protagonists in the end.

Regarding this plotline, the readers discussed like crazy that it was Wenren È’s love for the female lead even after his own death, saying that if this man wanted to pamper someone, he would really go to any lengths, he wouldn’t let her suffer any grievance—even if he died, he would be there for her until the end.

Wenren È had no reaction when he read this part and the discussion about it, because he knew how fickle he really was.

Xuanyuan Sect had countless subordinates who would wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to him, but Wenren È never paid them any mind. He knew this dedication was built on the power he possessed that could crush all opposition. If someone else had the same power, those people would
show the same kind of devotion. The target of this devotion wasn’t Wenren È, it was the strength of a Mahayana stage cultivator. As for familial bonds, Wenren È had already set them aside when he
entered the Dao. Three hundred years had passed, and there was no one with his bloodline left on the earth.

What he had with Baili Qingmiao was the workings of karma and heavenly law, and couldn’t be counted as love.

He was alone in this world, and there was nothing in the world that would tie him to it after he left.

Just that after reading that book, an odd feeling had grown inside him toward Yin Hanjiang.

Yin Hanjiang had toward him a debt of life, of being raised by him, and of being taught by him. After his death, whether Yin Hanjiang sought vengeance for him or carried out his final wishes, it was all what he naturally ought to do. Even if his body was broken and his bones were
shattered for Wenren È, it would be reasonable.

But Yin Hanjiang had to choose such a wretched way to show his devotion. While reading, Wenren È had never taken Yin Hanjiang to be the Ghost
Mask, and when the truth was revealed, at the moment the female lead saw the mask in Yin Hanjiang’s bundle, it wasn’t just Baili Qingmiao who was shocked. Wenren È was also shaken by it.

At one point in the book, one of the female villains got a magic item that could change one’s appearance in a way undetectable to others. She took
Baili Qingmiao’s appearance to trick Hè Wenzhao, but got captured by Yin Hanjiang instead. Without a protagonist’s plot armor, she naturally got refined into lamp oil. Yin Hanjiang had taken off the ghost mask and come to Wenren È’s cenotaph. Lighting the everburning lamp, he entered the tomb and, clutching Wenren È’s black robe covered with dark gold patterns, peacefully closed his eyes.

That sentence sent a chill through Wenren È. It seemed as though the next moment Yin Hanjiang would, while hugging Wenren È’s robe, self-destruct his Nascent Soul to kill himself. However, at that point, the tracking device that Yin Hanjiang had placed on the female lead lit up. He saw that she was still alive and had run into trouble again.

Yin Hanjiang stared at the image of her that was displayed in the air before him, tilting his head slightly, then he rubbed his cheek along Wenren È’s robe, folded it, and replaced it neatly in the tomb.

He quietly walked out of the tomb. Without using spiritual energy to protect his hand, he smothered the everburning lamp with his palm. Next, with a
sweep of his arm, it shattered against a nearby boulder, shards scattering across the ground, lamp oil slowly spilling into the dirt.

“Hahahahahaha!”

Yin Hanjiang looked at his singed palm and suddenly burst into laughter. As the laughter went on, he placed a hand over his mouth, making painful, muffled noises, as if it was taking all the strength he had to restrain his
emotions.

He bowed his head, staying that way until Venus rose in the sky. At the darkest moment before daybreak, Yin Hanjiang lifted his head and placed the ghost mask on his face. From behind the mask came words through gritted teeth. “Bai. Li. Qing. Miao.”

This whole section made readers’ hairs stand on end. Wenren È, as one of the story’s protagonists, felt an indescribable emotion.

He could accept Yin Hanjiang dying for him, but he was unable to understand Yin Hanjiang going mad because of him

To go from perfect calm to extreme mania, what kind of suffering did he go through?

When Yin Hanjiang rubbed his cheek against Wenren È’s robe, it was like against his heart. Wenren È, looking up from the book to Yin Hanjiang himself, felt like he was properly seeing this subordinate of his for the first time. He felt like what he had done for Yin Hanjiang wasn’t worth such heartfelt repayment, so he ought to treat Yin Hanjiang a little better.

Shu Yanyan wasn’t planning to suck Hè Wenzhao into an empty husk this time around and was even going to use her techniques to help him improve in cultivation, so he wouldn’t need the Snow Flame. It was a perfect chance to use it for Yin Hanjiang.

Wenren È had been the Xuanyuan Sect Master for many years and had obtained quite a large collection. He dug around in his Qiankun sleeve and gave Baili Qingmiao some materials, pills, and magic items that were
suitable for her cultivation stage, and a Flame Feather Cloak to protect her from the cold air of the Ice Plains, so the protagonist didn’t freeze to death.

“This… I can’t take all this!” Baili Qingmiao looked at the items that were rapidly piling into a small mound, her face reddening as she waved her hands.

Wenren È also took out a simple hairpin, which was a storage item suitable for holding the things he had provided. Giving Baili Qingmiao no opportunity to refuse the gifts, he grabbed Yin Hanjiang and left.

Baili Qingmiao held the hairpin in her hand and spaced out for a bit, staring at the sky in the direction Wenren È had disappeared. With a stamp of her foot, she said, “Shixiong! Miss Shu!”

She quickly stored all the gifts in the jade hairpin, placed it inside her robe, and flew at a slow pace toward Shangqing Sect.

Disciples leaving Shangqing Sect all took with them an emergency talisman. If they shattered the jade talisman, nearby disciples would be
alerted to come and save them. Baili Qingmiao could’ve used this method to call for help, but these talismans were meant to be used in matters of life and death, not whenever one wanted. If she really broke one and called over a pack of disciples only for it to turn out to be no urgent matter, she would
earn the disapproval of her seniors. After Nascent Soul stage, she would be able to create her own communication talismans, but Baili Qingmiao hadn’t reached that stage yet, so she had to go up the mountain herself. Meanwhile, Shu Yanyan slept on a straw bed, her face rosy and one of her shoulders bared. Hè Wenzhao, standing next to the bed with his shirt open, spaced out for a moment, then pulled a simple blanket over Shu Yanyan.
His action woke her.

Shu Yanyan opened her eyes, and when meeting Hè Wenzhao’s eyes, her face reddened and she grabbed her clothes and pulled them over herself
carelessly. She wrung her hands and said in a soft voice, “Young Master Hè, you don’t need to worry. I know you have feelings for Miss Baili. This was unintentional. I had been injured, so Young Master Hè was just helping me recover.”

Hè Wenzhao was perfectly clear whether or not it had been to help her recover. He stared at Shu Yanyan, simultaneously wondering how he
could’ve done something like this, and reminiscing over how it had felt
earlier. There was even a bit of tenderness in his eyes as he looked toward her.

“I— I’ll help you buy a house. This place is too run-down, it’s not a suitable place to live,” Hè Wenzhao said dully.

Shu Yanyan cursed men out in her mind a few times, but shook her head with a slight smile. “Young Master Hè, are you treating me as a prostitute? If I had wanted to sell my body, why would I wait until now?”

Hè Wenzhao stared dumbly for a few more moments.

“I am a lowly woman, and I do not mind how others see me. But Young Master Hè is such a noble character. How could he be a man who pays for
pleasure?” Shu Yanyan said, turning the subject around as she looked sadly at Hè Wenzhao.

She wouldn’t accept the money not only because of her own morals, but out of concern for Hè Wenzhao. Such a thoughtful and considerate person!

“But… I truly have disrespected you, miss.” Hè Wenzhao reached out and brushed a strand of Shu Yanyan’s hair back behind her ear. He accidentally touched her blushing cheek and his heart skipped a beat. Shu Yanyan smiled warmly. “Isn’t it often mentioned in stories that one
should give oneself to repay a life debt? Young Master Hè is a noble hero. I am honored to be with you.”

Her words gradually smoothed away Hè Wenzhao’s regrets. He thought about all the times he’d helped Miss Shu. This woman didn’t have many
capabilities, and could probably only use this method to repay him. Besides, back then, with her warm and supple body in his lap, and her wholehearted trust in him, what man would be able to hold back? And it’s not like she
was a woman from a brothel. They both had feelings for each other, so wasn’t it a good thing?

The only problem was Baili Qingmiao. What should he do about her?

But wasn’t the fact that the situation had progressed this far because of Baili Qingmiao taking her sweet time? If she came back earlier, he wouldn’t have had to forego propriety with a woman in order to save her!

The more Hè Wenzhao thought, the more he felt that he didn’t do anything wrong. He just didn’t know how he would explain it to his beloved shimei.

He really did like Baili Qingmiao. They were childhood friends, and Hè Wenzhao had taken care of her since she was just a seven or eight year old child. He had watched her grow from a little girl plump with baby fat to a beautiful young woman. Shu Yanyan couldn’t come between such deep feelings.

Shu Yanyan didn’t want to get between them either. She placed a soft hand on Hè Wenzhao’s shoulder and said understandingly, “Worry not, Young Master. This matter stays between you and me. No one else will hear of it.”

Right! Wasn’t it fine as long as no one else knew? Miss Shu was a smart girl, she got it.

Hè Wenzhao, his inner conflict now resolved, embraced Shu Yanyan.

Shu Yanyan, after arranging her clothes properly, fell asleep again, acting like she’d been put through too much and was exhausted. Hè Wenzhao, looking at her sleeping face, in the end still felt his heart move for her.

After staring for a moment, Hè Wenzhao remembered he had violated his body of true yang. His teacher always reminded them that they should avoid dual cultivating with anyone until they reached Nascent Soul stage, or they could easily harm their cultivation. Hè Wenzhao hurriedly checked himself over and found that his cultivation had not weakened and instead risen
significantly, from the seventh level of Core Formation stage right to the ninth!

Shu Yanyan had cultivated to the sixth level of Void Boundary though this method. Raising a Core Formation stage junior’s level was as easy as breathing for her. She had also absorbed the lightning energy from inside Hè Wenzhao’s body and that mysterious power he possessed, so she benefitted quite a lot herself. She was just waiting for Hè Wenzhao to go so she could cultivate.

Why would his cultivation increase? Hè Wenzhao was very confused.

He looked at Shu Yanyan and thought back to a book he had read in the sect library on dual cultivation. At the time, he’d discovered he was in love with his shimei, so went looking for methods of dual cultivating. That book had also said that one should not dual cultivate before Nascent Soul stage, but
with two exceptions—those with a nine yang body, and a nine yin body.

If a woman with a nine yin body were to dual cultivate with a man, even if she was just an ordinary person, she could still raise their cultivation and provide many benefits. Could Miss Shu have a nine yin body?

While Hè Wenzhao was letting his thoughts wander, Baili Qingmiao finally arrived with Yao-shixiong. “Sorry I was late, shixiong,” she said, out of breath.

Hè Wenzhao patted her head and said, “No worries, shimei. Miss Shu is
already okay. As it turned out, Yao-shixiong made this trip for no reason.” Seeing Shu Yanyan sleeping on the bed with a rosy complexion, Yao- shixiong felt suspicious and said, “How did she recover?”

Hè Wenzhao didn’t want him to check Shu Yanyan and said in a low voice, “We shouldn’t talk here, let’s go outside first.”

They left the thatch hut, and Hè Wenzhao explained that the situation had been urgent and Miss Shu had been coughing up blood and near death, so he helped her take some medicine of the kind cultivators used. He even took out his pill bottle to show that it was missing one pill.

“Can an ordinary person endure that kind of medicine?” Yao-shixiong sniffed at the pill bottle. “These pills are for Foundation Establishment
cultivators. An ordinary person’s meridians wouldn’t be able to bear such strong spiritual energy. Their meridians would rupture and they’d die.”

“I used my spiritual essence to help her absorb it,” Hè Wenzhao said, putting it simply.

“But…” Yao Wendan thought about the procedure to help someone absorb medicine. He mainly studied refining medicinal elixirs and knew clearly that this procedure required skin to skin contact.

“But what?” Baili Qingmiao said innocently. She was young, and she hadn’t learned about this yet.

Hè Wenzhao fixed his gaze on Yao Wendan. Yao Wendan got his intent and said, “Well, I was just worried shixiong didn’t understand enough about medicine and hadn’t treated her properly. But I see now that Miss Shu is
completely healed, so there’s no issue.”

Baili Qingmiao relaxed at that and wanted to go see Miss Shu. Hè Wenzhao had said that any danger was past, and an unmarried man and woman
shouldn’t be together alone, so let Baili Qingmiao go in on her own.

Once she entered the house, Yao Wendan raised an eyebrow and elbowed Hè Wenzhao. He said with a smirk, “Shixiong, have you done something improper?” “The situation was urgent, so I had to do something on the spot. I covered my eyes at the time,” Hè Wenzhao said.

He acted exceedingly righteous. Yao Wendan said, with some lingering doubt, “Then why didn’t you tell shimei earlier?”

Hè Wenzhao sighed and shook his head. “It’s not like you don’t know
shimei’s attitude. She even raised a fuss when Liu-shimei came to me to ask about a technique. I’m everyone’s senior, it’s my duty to help my juniors
with their cultivation. If our master is busy with other stuff, it’s up to me to fill in. I even taught you your first techniques. Why wouldn’t I help Liu-
shimei?”

“That’s all true,” Yao Wendan said. “Baili Qingmiao is good in so many aspects, just that she gets jealous too easily.”

“That’s right. And it wouldn’t be right to Miss Shu to tell people, so let’s just shut it down here. A human life is invaluable. What I did is still a good deed.”

Yao Wendan bought Hè Wenzhao’s words. After Baili Qingmiao confirmed that Shu Yanyan was fine and left the hut completely oblivious, they returned to Shangqing Sect.

After they left, Shu Yanyan got up, rubbed at her skin, and kicked the straw bed, exclaiming, “This straw is too prickly! How can anyone sleep?”

“Just now, why didn’t you tell Baili Qingmiao what you and Hè Wenzhao did?” a voice spoke in the thatch hut.

Shu Yanyan looked up and saw that the Venerable and Protector Yin had appeared in the hut at some point. She chuckled and said, “Venerable, you’re a hard-hearted man, you don’t know anything about women. How could you understand how those self-important false gentlemen think?
Those men, in bed they’ll say all the sweet words for free, but after they put their clothes back on they’ll act like they don’t know you. If I’d said it, the next day Hè Wenzhao would’ve said that I’d bewitched him and blamed me for everything.” Wenren È thought about it. It really did happen like that in the book. Hè Wenzhao clung to the story that Shu Yanyan had abducted him, and there was no way he could fight off the Right Protector of a demonic sect.

“Then when will you tell her?” Wenren È asked.

He wanted Baili Qingmiao to hurry up and see Hè Wenzhao’s true face, so as to more quickly lead her to cultivate the Path of Indifference and ascend.
After she successfully merged with the divine essence, Wenren È could consider his debt repaid.

“We need to wait a while,” Shu Yanyan said, leaning against a wall. “After Hè Wenzhao leaves, it’ll only be a few days before he comes looking for me again. After getting a taste, what man wouldn’t want a second? And I
can even help his cultivation improve. As time passes and things develop, he really won’t be able to get me out of his head. And one time might have been coercion, but could a second and third also be coercion? In the future, even if he tries to make excuses, he wouldn’t be able to gloss over all of that.”

She frowned. “Though, didn’t Venerable want me to win over Hè Wenzhao and play the long game, to get intel for the Great Sect War?”

“Mm.” Wenren È nodded. “That’s also necessary. But when it comes to Baili Qingmiao, it’s better to have her sooner leave her sect and switch to cultivating the Path of Indifference.”

“Huh?” Shu Yanyan didn’t get it. What did the Venerable mean by that? If he was interested in Baili Qingmiao, he ought to get her to betray her sect and go down the demonic path, then find some way to make her his. Why the Path of Indifference?

“Just do what you’re supposed to,” Wenren È said.

“Then I need a few subordinates for luring away Baili Qingmiao to give Hè Wenzhao more chances. Every time they leave the mountain they’re joined at the hip. It’s way too hard to find an opportunity.” “No need. I’ll keep Baili Qingmiao away for a few days,” Wenren È said. “You—you personally, again?” Shu Yanyan’s expression stiffened.
Wenren È raised an eyebrow. “Is there a problem?” “Not at all,” Shu Yanyan said with a weak laugh.
Yin Hanjiang saw that she didn’t trust Wenren È and said unhappily, “The Venerable sent Baili Qingmiao to retrieve the Snow Flame. We’ll be able to obtain a treasure, and make it easy for you to seduce Hè Wenzhao at the
same time. It’s two birds with one stone.”

“So that’s it!” Shu Yanyan’s respect grew and she knelt on one knee. “Brilliant plan, Venerable.”

“Mm.” Wenren È nodded expressionlessly.

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. Google the story of Qixi. This is also the Tanabata story if you’re more familiar. ↩

Chapter 6 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 6 – Thousand Mile Ice Plains

Baili Qingmiao didn’t feel comfortable taking the pile of treasures Wenren È had left her. She returned to Shangqing Sect and after meditating for a night, found that her level had actually increased from the second level of Foundation Establishment all the way to the seventh, an abnormally big leap. She assumed it was the help of those two experts’ guidance.

Baili Qingmiao had been taught since childhood that the gratitude of a drop of water should be repaid by a spring. She couldn’t accept such a benefit for free, so met with her master and said she wanted to leave the mountain to gain experience.

Baili Qingmiao’s master Elder Qingrong was a female cultivator, and most of the female disciples were under her. Shangqing Sect didn’t forbid its disciples from dual cultivating and just warned them that dual cultivation
should only be done after Nascent Soul stage. The first reason was to give irresolute disciples something to look forward to; if someone had a goal, they would put out more effort. The second reason was that after Nascent Soul stage, a cultivator’s emotional maturity would rise and the impulses of youth would be weakened. Only true and deep desires would remain. So it was also to help disciples know their own hearts, so they wouldn’t sabotage themselves while still young.

The Shangqing Sect believed that it was better to restrict something than to forbid it. Instead of banning disciples from romantic relations, it was better to properly guide them, to avoid making them want to rebel.

This regulation worked quite well. Some disciples dedicated themselves to cultivating hard so they could be together properly with the person they loved. The whole sect was full of motivation to advance. Elder Qingrong, hearing that her favorite young disciple had resolved to set out alone to train, showed a gratified smile. She patted Baili Qingmiao’s hand and said warmly, “And I was worried that you were too reluctant to leave your shixiong to travel alone.”

“Oh my god, master…” Baili Qingmiao blushed, hugging Elder Qingrong’s arm.

Elder Qingrong saw that her little disciple had finally grown up and felt relieved. She nodded and said, “It’s good that you’re motivated. You’re a rare talent. Back then, if I hadn’t held you back, thinking that it was too early, you probably would’ve built your foundation at twelve or thirteen.
After Foundation Establishment, your body won’t grow until Nascent Soul stage. Would you have wanted to have a twelve or thirteen year old body for the next hundred years of cultivation?”

Baili Qingmiao was a bit embarrassed. Back then she was young, okay, she didn’t understand anything. If she looked twelve or thirteen, shixiong taking her places would look like a father with his daughter. That would be awful.

Elder Qingrong told Baili Qingmiao that she shouldn’t go anywhere too dangerous, and to immediately break her jade messaging talisman if she ran into trouble, to think before acting and not show off. After cautioning her on a great many things, she also gave her a protective magic item, which
could block one full-power attack from a Deity Transformation stage
cultivator. After she felt she had covered everything, she finally sent Baili Qingmiao with her own seal down to the administration hall to make a record.

Shangqing Sect had many disciples, and they needed to keep a clear record of everything. These kinds of trips usually lasted half a year to a year, and if Baili Qingmiao wasn’t back by then, the elders would set out to find her
whereabouts, so it was also for the disciples’ safety.

Hè Wenzhao was the chief disciple and also held several posts at the
administration hall. He was currently on duty, and when receiving Baili Qingmiao’s seal of authorization, he stared at her for a moment. “Shimei, you want to leave the mountain alone?” “Yeah, I can’t be shixiong’s shadow forever,” Baili Qingmiao said with a smile. “I want to quickly reach Nascent Soul, so I can slay monsters and defeat evil alongside shixiong, and become renowned in the cultivation world.”

“Is that so? Good, that’s good…” Hè Wenzhao had had erotic dreams all night and was a bit distracted, his mind feeling blank. He originally felt a bit guilty when he saw his shimei, but when hearing she wanted to leave, he didn’t feel reluctant and actually relaxed a bit.

Baili Qingmiao didn’t notice Hè Wenzhao’s inattentiveness. After making her record, she lit a soul lamp, which was what all travelling disciples were meant to do. If something happened to them, the lamp would go out, and people at Shangqing Sect would know immediately.

After reluctantly bidding farewell to Hè Wenzhao, Baili Qingmiao left the mountain and came to the tea house where she had previously met Wenren È.

Wenren È had already made the arrangements with Baili Qingmiao. Seeing her arrive, he nodded and said, “You start flying, we’ll catch up later.”

At Baili Qingmiao’s speed, it would take at least seven days to get to the Ice Plains. Yin Hanjiang could get there in four hours, and Wenren È in less than ten minutes.

“I’d rather return these things to you. It’s not right for me to take them.”
Baili Qingmiao took off the storage hairpin and placed it on the table. “I’ve kept the Flame Feather Cloak to protect myself in the Ice Plains. Due to
senior’s guidance, I’ve risen much in cultivation. Since you’ve already given me something, it’s only natural I complete a task for you. I can’t accept more on top of that.”

Wenren È raised an eyebrow. “All things are guided by karma, and the things I’ve given you are also due to that. You’re just being repaid, not incurring a debt, so don’t be concerned.” “Oh?” Baili Qingmiao said, surprised. “I have a karmic connection to this senior? But I grew up at Shangqing Sect. I’ve never met you before.”

“Karmic relations are not limited to this life, and not necessarily incurred by you. They may be from past lives, or your blood relatives,” Wenren È said. “I’m not only going to give you these, I’m going to assist your cultivation, help you become a god, help you realize all your desires.”

Baili Qingmiao tugged at her sash and said bashfully, “I don’t dare think about becoming a god, but I do have a desire. I want to quickly reach
Nascent Soul stage, so I can…”

She trailed off midway, but Wenren È could guess where she was going. Disappointed but unable to do anything about it, he gulped down a mouthful of ordinary tea without a hint of spiritual energy and waved her off. “You get going. We’ll meet at the entrance to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains in seven days.”
“Okay.” Baili Qingmiao left the tea house, leaving the hairpin on the table. After she left, Yin Hanjiang used his sword to draw an array in the air,
casting a simple illusion around the two. Anyone looking from the outside would see the two of them sipping tea and eating while chatting idly, but they could do whatever they wanted within the illusion.

Wenren È frowned and said, “Protector Yin, what’s your desire?”

“This subordinate is the Venerable’s sword. While the sword exists, I exist. When the sword breaks, I die,” Yin Hanjiang said.

He didn’t even blink, seeming to say these words instinctively without thinking about them, like he had replayed them many times in his heart and it had already become an obsession.

“You certainly are boring.” Shu Yanyan walked out of a corner. Leaning against Yin Hanjiang’s shoulder, she said, “A high position, unmatched
power, good-looking guys—ah, I mean girls—which one of these wouldn’t people desire? Am I not right, Venerable?” Wenren È said expressionlessly, “I’ve never thought about it.” Shu Yanyan: …
Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were like two lumps of steel, and it brought an unhappy memory to Shu Yanyan’s mind.

It was eighty years ago, when Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang fought their way into the main hall of Xuanyuan Sect and Wenren È dueled the old sect master, killing him after three days and nights of combat. Yin Hanjiang
stayed by him for all that time, preventing anyone else from approaching.

Yin Hanjiang was only at the first level of Body Unity, but he wielded a demonic sword which he had forcibly fused with, and could unleash a frightening amount of power in an instant. He would kill man or god who got in his way, and many Void Boundary experts were too scared to
approach a mere Body Unity stage opponent.

But demonic cultivators didn’t just fight face-to-face, and had quite diverse methods. Altar Master Yuan had Shu Yanyan go up and seduce Yin
Hanjiang, and she wasn’t just a pretty face. If a Void Boundary expert were to unleash all her charm, anyone under Void Boundary stage, no matter if male or female, old or young, would all become Shu Yanyan’s servants, and even men above Void Boundary would have a hard time resisting. Dealing with a Body Unity opponent would be a piece of cake.

So Shu Yanyan approached full of confidence and got several teeth knocked out by Yin Hanjiang. For over a year, her teeth were full of gaps and she
couldn’t talk properly, and it wasn’t until Wenren È reinstated the sect’s previous positions did she dare to heal them.

That battle essentially gave Shu Yanyan a fear of Wenren È and Yin
Hanjiang. They seemed to have no feelings. Wenren È cultivated the Path of Slaughter, and when he saw a beautiful woman, his first thought would be what kind of difference there was to fight a woman versus a man. And as for Yin Hanjiang, he actually seemed to deeply believe he was an ice-cold
sword, blind and heartless, not caring if what was in front of him was a man, woman, or beast, so long as it wasn’t Wenren È. Yin Hanjiang’s world was divided into Wenren È and not Wenren È, and Shu Yanyan occupied the “not” category. Over eighty years had passed, but whenever Shu Yanyan saw Yin Hanjiang, her teeth would ache, and this man nearly became her inner demon.

But she was a woman who rose to challenges, so how could she let something like this hold her back?

Just as Wenren È assumed, the loyalty of his subordinates was dependent on his own overwhelming power, but they constantly desired to drag him down from that altar. Shu Yanyan was that kind of ambitious woman.

She walked in front of Wenren È, her voice soft like an enticement from the abyss. “Venerable, you already have power and status, so don’t you want
something more? That Baili Qingmiao is such a good innocent girl. Should this subordinate coax her to your side for you?”

Unbeknownst to Shu Yanyan, when she said these words, Yin Hanjiang’s face paled and he stiffened against the wall, like an emotionless puppet.

Shu Yanyan knew she didn’t have the power to charm the Venerable, but that was fine. If Wenren È was tempted, his heart would be moved, and she would have a chance.

“Shu Yanyan.” Wenren È placed a hand on Shu Yanyan’s scalp, but the action was without a slight hint of warmth, and the pressure was as if he
was looking to crush Shu Yanyan’s skull with one hand. “I approve of my subordinates’ ambition, and so allow you to do what you want, and I also don’t care about you placing your weird notions on me.”

“Ah, ah, the Venerable is magnanimous.” Shu Yanyan was too scared to breathe.

“But, don’t overestimate yourself,” Wenren È said in a heavier voice. “Use your ambition for productive things. I’m still looking to the Great Sect War as a chance to increase my cultivation.” In the path of slaughter, one advanced in combat. At Wenren È’s current realm, mortal warfare could not have any effect for him. Only a war that
affected the entire cultivation world would be enough. The righteous sects were taking the offensive this time, and Wenren È planned to use it as an opportunity to break through his realm.

“Yes, yes,” Shu Yanyan said, her head in splitting pain and a few streams of blood running down her forehead. Her expectations that had just been raised came crashing down.

Wenren È saw that the lesson was sufficient and released her. Yin Hanjiang handed over a handkerchief, which Wenren È used to wipe the blood from his fingertips before tossing on the floor.

Shu Yanyan didn’t dare to wipe her blood and said with it dripping down her face, “This subordinate will put every effort towards getting information. The day the Venerable returns from the Thousand Mile Ice Plains will be the day the Great Sect War begins!”

“One more thing,” Wenren È said. “Do your best to make Hè Wenzhao obsessed with you. I want Baili Qingmiao to give up on that man.”

“Understood!” Shu Yanyan bowed her head, looking like a female ghost with her hair loose.

After waiting for a while and hearing nothing, she lifted her head and found the two men had left. She plopped down on the floor in a cold sweat, hand over her heart.

After she treated her injuries, she saw from the second floor Hè Wenzhao walk by below, in the direction of her home. Shu Yanyan chuckled coldly.
Ah, men, so impatient. Little shimei’s just left and here you are—can’t even wait a few days.

But these kinds of men still gave you a sense of accomplishment. As for the Venerable and his Left Protector… Shu Yanyan shook her head, chased the memories of her painful experience from her mind, and focused her attention on Hè Wenzhao.

Wenren È brought Yin Hanjiang to the entrance of the Thousand Mile Ice Plains. Seeing Yin Hanjiang was very pale, he grasped his hand and found that it felt like that of a frozen corpse. “Better for me to enter alone,” he
said. “Your body is chilled and can’t take the cold air. Wait at the entrance for me.”

Yin Hanjiang looked toward the boundless expanse of ice and shook his head. “It’s said to be an extremely dangerous place where wandering immortals are secluded. This subordinate insists on following the
Venerable.”

“I order you to wait here,” Wenren È said.

“This subordinate does not wish to deceive the Venerable. When the Venerable goes, this subordinate will follow.”

He was stubborn like an unbending sword, and his honesty actually managed to move Wenren È.

Wenren È sliced open his wrist with a finger and brought it in front of Yin Hanjiang. “The Path of Slaughter may be rejected by the righteous sects, but it is a path of true yang. The hot blood of combat, the stirring emotions, the ruthless spirit of hundreds or thousands of men meeting in battle that leads even vengeful ghosts to keep their distance, all fills this Venerable’s blood with yang energy. If you drink this blood, this Venerable’s power will be able to protect you on your way through the Ice Plains.”

“Venerable, you’re hurt. This subordinate isn’t worthy…” A hint of pain showed in the depths of Yin Hanjiang’s emotionless eyes.

“That demonic sword is associated with coldness and yin. Do you want this Venerable to have to save you in the Ice Plains because you cannot bring out the full power of merging with the sword? Besides, whether or not you’re worthy is up to this Venerable,” Wenren È said. “If you’re not willing, this Venerable will seal your power and leave you at the Ice Plains’ entrance.”

Crimson blood dripped slowly from Wenren È’s wrist. Yin Hanjiang shut his eyes in pain for a moment, then opened them. He gritted his teeth, then brought his lips to Wenren È’s wrist and sipped a mouthful of warm blood.

A current of warmth flowed into his dantian. Wenren È used spiritual
energy to stop the flow of blood and, squeezing Yin Hanjiang’s finger, felt it was finally gaining some warmth. He nodded, satisfied.

Yin Hanjiang’s expression looked a little strained. He rubbed his warm chest and felt a bit off-balance in his heart. That shouldn’t be; the
Venerable’s sword shouldn’t have thoughts of its own.

He suppressed his unruly emotions and stood wordlessly by Wenren È. They waited there for ten days, until Baili Qingmiao finally arrived.

Wenren È didn’t mind; while the protagonist was travelling alone, she was sure to run into some unexpected situations and be delayed. That was quite normal.

Baili Qingmiao on the other hand was rather embarrassed. “Apologies, seniors. On the way here, I passed by a village cursed by ghosts. I was
delayed for a few days to exorcise them, and failed to meet our agreement.” A village cursed by ghosts?
Wenren È was certain that this was the debut of love interest number five, Baili Qingmiao’s little disciple.

This little disciple was originally a stillborn fetus. While Baili Qingmiao
was exorcising ghosts, one of the evil spirits had actually not been dispersed and hid inside that fetus, filled with hate for her. Eighteen years later, he reencountered Baili Qingmiao who was now at the Nascent Soul stage and took her as a master, waiting for a chance to eat her soul. Later, Baili Qingmiao’s kind, honest, beautiful, and gentle nature led this ghost cultivator to reform and willingly become her disciple. Hating Hè Wenzhao for causing his master to cry, he tried to assassinate him and was killed by him. After his death, he was exposed as a ghost cultivator, and the female villains took the opportunity to accuse Baili Qingmiao of colluding with evil.

The reason he existed was probably to give Hè Wenzhao a better excuse to mistreat the female lead.

Wenren È didn’t really worry about these small details. None of these things would be a problem anyway if Baili Qingmiao didn’t love Hè Wenzhao.

The three of them entered the Ice Plains. To let Baili Qingmiao find the Snow Flame her own way, Wenren È put a tracking spell on her and told her to wander around randomly in the endless field of ice. He and Yin Hanjiang just had to keep an eye on her from afar.

Baili Qingmiao’s cultivation was low, and even with the Flame Feather Cloak protecting her, she was still so cold her face was turning purple,
struggling arduously through the frost and snow. On the other hand, Yin Hanjiang was at Body Unity stage and had drunk Wenren È’s blood, and Wenren È also provided him with his own spiritual energy now and again.
Even after several days, his face was still flushed, and his condition had also improved significantly. It was a sad comparison to make with Baili Qingmiao.

Yin Hanjiang, watching Baili Qingmiao’s movements, opened his mouth several times wanting to ask something, but always held back.

In this way, they tailed her for five months. As Baili Qingmiao endured the harshness of the Ice Plains, she managed to raise her cultivation to the peak of Foundation Establishment, and would only need to use a Core Formation cultivation manual to raise her stage. However, she found no trace of the Snow Flame.

Wenren È also didn’t expect to waste this much time in the Ice Plains. Puzzled, he said, “This shouldn’t be. The Snow Flame is destined to belong to Baili Qingmiao. Why hasn’t it appeared?”

He thought back to the story and realized that the time now aligned with the book’s progression, just around the time Baili Qingmiao would’ve found Hè Wenzhao sucked empty by Shu Yanyan, and took him to find the cure.

In the book, Baili Qingmiao hadn’t had the Flame Feather Cloak. Her limbs were frostbitten after three days of being in the Ice Plains, and all her
spiritual energy was going towards protecting Hè Wenzhao, as she crawled across the ice with him on her back. When she was on the verge of freezing to death, a ball of flame appeared before her. She reached for it with all her remaining strength and caught that flame, tears of relief flowing from her
eyes.

“Could it be that she has to be near death to see the Snow Flame?” Wenren È mused.

The Lord of Demons was an action-oriented man. With a thought, the Flame Feather Cloak on Baili Qingmiao’s body vanished and appeared in his hand. The merely Foundation Establishment girl was instantly left
shivering from the cold.

Seeing this, Yin Hanjiang opened his mouth again.

Wenren È saw his expression and said, “You’ve been holding off on saying something all this time. What is it? This Venerable orders you to say it.”

With Wenren È’s order, Yin Hanjiang was more at ease, and said, “Doesn’t the Venerable like Baili Qingmiao? Why…”

Why doesn’t it seem like you like her at all? Why does it seem like you’d be fine with her freezing to death?

“Who told you I liked her?” Wenren È felt this matter was very important to clarify; he didn’t want Yin Hanjiang to misunderstand like in the book. He poked Yin Hanjiang in the forehead. “This Venerable has deduced the
workings of fate and realized I have a debt to Baili Qingmiao’s previous incarnation for helping me enter the Dao. In this life, I have to help her ascend. That’s why I helped her.”

“Now I see.” For some reason, a weight was taken off Yin Hanjiang’s chest. He pointed to Baili Qingmiao and said, “But Miss Baili is going to freeze to death.”

“Not a problem,” Wenren È said. “There are so many cultivation paths in existence. If she dies, she can cultivate as a ghost. She doesn’t necessarily need to cultivate the righteous path.”

Yin Hanjiang thought for a moment and nodded. The Venerable’s words were reasonable as always.

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 7 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 7 – Battle with a wandering immortal

Baili Qingmiao was not a suspicious person by nature, and believed what people told her. This inclination somewhat had to do with her position in her previous life. Back then no one dared to lie to her face, and her vast power also meant she didn’t need to worry whether other people were telling the truth or not. She didn’t care to hear a word either way. Due to that, in this life she had no ability to distinguish a lie.

She never considered that this senior who had suddenly shown up could have harmful intentions toward her. His powers were vast and he could kill this little junior by lifting a hand, so what need was there to scheme against her?

When the Flame Feather Cloak vanished, she didn’t think much of it, just
assumed that the cold of the Ice Plains was too fierce and the cloak had run out of spiritual energy and vanished, or some powerful creature that lived in the Ice Plains had stolen it away without her noticing.

She used her spiritual energy to warm her body and continued forging through a field of endless white.

Baili Qingmiao had no idea where to find the Snow Flame. She just knew that that senior had advised her to wander around and follow her intuition, and she was sure to find it one day.

The Thousand Mile Ice Plains were buried in snow year-round. In daytime, the sky was blanketed in grey clouds, and at night, the light reflected off the snow was almost as bright as day, so it was difficult to tell time. Baili
Qingmiao didn’t know how long she’d been walking. She had shed tears multiple times, but she didn’t give up once. Shangqing Sect taught its disciples to uphold their promises. Baili
Qingmiao had already agreed to this for her seniors, so she couldn’t break her word.

Without the Flame Feather Cloak, Baili Qingmiao very soon collapsed into a snowdrift. Fluffy flakes of snow floated down from the sky. Slowly, she reached out her numb fingers to catch the falling flakes.

Shangqing Sect was located south of the Yangtze River, in the area richest in spiritual energy in the Nine Provinces[1]. It had mild seasons and little snow. Baili Qingmiao’s only impression of snow was during her sixteenth
birthday, when flurries had filled the sky, but melted into the dirt when they landed. She hadn’t seen snow before and reached out a hand, but only felt the cold water it melted into.

Baili Qingmiao was sitting on the stone steps of the sect and pouting,
staring into the air. Hè Wenzhao, who was on patrol duty that day, saw his shimei sitting in the snow hugging her knees, the end of her yellow dress
stained with mud, and had to ask, “Baili-shimei, why are you sitting here?”

“I’m watching the snow,” Baili Qingmiao said unhappily. “It’s so pretty, but it melts so quickly. I can’t see the ground covered with snow. It’s not fair.”

Hè Wenzhao smiled at her, and said to his juniors patrolling with him,
“How are your freezing spells? Since it’s snowing today, it’s a good chance to practice.”

He had a few dozen disciples simultaneously use the freezing spell. Frosty air blanketed the ground in front of Shangqing Sect’s gates, preventing the snowflakes from melting. Flake after flake landed on Baili Qingmiao.

“Happy birthday, shimei,” Hè Wenzhao said with a warm smile.

Baili Qingmiao, hearing the sound of falling snow and the loud pounding of her heart, realized at that moment how much she liked her shixiong.

The snow of the Ice Plains wouldn’t melt without a freezing spell. It fell gently, slowly burying Baili Qingmiao until the spot of bright yellow was no longer visible.

Baili Qingmiao closed her eyes in the snowdrift. With tears frozen on her face, she sobbed quietly. “Shixiong…”

A voice sounded by her ear. “What a besotted little girl. Are you thinking of your lover?”

The voice was cold like an icicle falling in the distance, belonging to a woman.

Baili Qingmiao’s face was numb from cold. She worked her mouth and said silently, “Shixiong…”

As her consciousness slowly faded, a ray of brilliant light appeared in her
sight, and a gentle warmth enveloped her. From somewhere deep within the ground, a ball of flame rose up. Baili Qingmiao opened her eyes and saw a lick of flame appear in her outstretched palm, warming her limbs and body, yet the nearby snowflakes didn’t melt.

It was the Snow Flame!

It seemed this mystical flame really was hidden in the snow, and she could only find it when she was buried in the snow herself.

Baili Qingmiao’s spiritual energy was restored. Cupping that lick of flame in her palm, she climbed out of the snowdrift, and saw that in front of her, the wind and snow solidified into a woman in white. She had white hair and brows and lustrous skin like snow. Even her eyes were a pure white, with no pupils.

She may have been a person, but she seemed more like a sculpture made of ice and snow.

Translucent fingers brushed Baili Qingmiao’s cheek and the voice came
again. “Sweet girl, take the Snow Flame to see your beloved. But you must give your word—if someday your love betrays you and your heart turns to ash, you must come back and stay with me.” “Forget it!” a voice rang out. At the same time, the Snow Flame in Baili Qingmiao’s palm was transferred to that person’s hand.

Wenren È took possession of the Snow Flame, having figured out the
situation. It turned out Baili Qingmiao only needed to be buried in the snow and visualize her true love Hè Wenzhao for it to appear. With a body in cold frost but a heart seeking warmth, that single ember in the midst of the
endless fields of ice would be able to call forth the Snow Flame.

But what about this woman before him? The book hadn’t mentioned her.

When the woman in white saw Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang come forward, one of her arms suddenly turned into a blizzard of howling snow, gathering into a vortex and aiming straight at Yin Hanjiang’s chest.

The whirlwind was impossibly quick, and before Wenren È could raise a sleeve to block it, it had engulfed Yin Hanjiang and carried him into the sky. The snowflakes transformed into innumerable blades of ice, drawing lines of blood across his face.

“Senior!” Baili Qingmiao cried in shock, and hurriedly beseeched the
woman in white. “This senior, please, those two are my companions. I was retrieving this Snow Flame for them, they didn’t take it from me!”

Though Yin Hanjiang was being attacked, Wenren È had not moved an inch, and only Baili Qingmiao was frantically running around.

In the air, Yin Hanjiang unsheathed his sword and let it merge into his body. In an instant, Yin Hanjiang’s body split into countless streaks of blood-red light. Looking closely, one could see that they were actually innumerable red swords. At the tip of each blade, a gap was opened in the wall of wind
and snow.

Under the assault of the crimson light, the blizzard formed from the natural energy of the Ice Plains was slashed apart. After breaking through the snow, the flurry of blood swords circled once around Wenren È, and then gathered together behind his back, solidifying again into Yin Hanjiang with the Flame Feather Cloak draped over his shoulders. “Huh?” Baili Qingmiao stared blankly at the cloak he was wearing.

The woman in white slapped her on the head. She pointed at Yin Hanjiang. “Are you silly? These two’s powers are higher than yours. Why would they need you if they wanted to come to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains? They
clearly knew of my preferences and put your life on the line to lure me out! Do you really think they care whether you live or die?”

“No! Senior, you’re mistaken!” Baili Qingmiao believed both sides’ words and trusted they were all good people, and this was just a misunderstanding. She spread out her arms and stood in front of Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang, forbidding the woman from harming them.

The woman in white had possibly never met such a silly girl. She waved a sleeve of snow and tossed Baili Qingmiao to one side. “Get lost!”

Baili Qingmiao had been thrown into an ice wall and turned into a wall relief, still maintaining her protective pose with both arms out and concern in her eyes.

Wenren È scrutinized Baili Qingmiao’s expression and posture and felt he’d finally answered one of the questions that had been plaguing him.

There were many scenes in the book of Baili Qingmiao throwing her arms out to block an attack for Hè Wenzhao, Wenren È, Zhongli Qian, and various other people. Wenren È really couldn’t understand the thought process of the female lead while he was reading, and thought this depiction was completely illogical. All of the people Baili Qingmiao wanted to protect had stronger cultivations than her. No one would use a Foundation Establishment body to protect a Mahayana-level cultivator. This was sillier than a mantis trying to stop a chariot.

Now that Baili Qingmiao had jumped in front of him for just that purpose,
Wenren È understood that this was really something the female lead was capable of.

But it was still inexplicable. Black robes billowing around him, the Lord of Demons transformed into a ray of light and appeared in front of Baili Qingmiao. With a tap of his finger, the ice wall shattered and Baili Qingmiao tumbled out from within, falling into the snow. She clutched her heart in shock and said to Wenren È, “Many thanks, senior.”

Wenren È didn’t need her thanks. Looking down at her, he said, “Do you know my realm?”

“I’m not sure, perhaps Nascent Soul?” Baili Qingmiao said hesitantly. Her master was at Deity Transformation stage, and in Baili Qingmiao’s mind, no one could be stronger than her master, so this expert must be at Nascent Soul stage.

“Mahayana,” Wenren È said slowly.

Baili Qingmiao’s eyes went blank, completely unable to comprehend the realm Wenren È was talking about.

“Why is a merely Foundation Establishment stage ant thinking of protecting me, at Mahayana stage?” Wenren È said.

Baili Qingmiao shook her head. “I—I didn’t think it over at the time. I just rushed forward.”

Wenren È didn’t think this was much of an answer, but Baili Qingmiao really did seem like she was lacking in brains, so he could only reluctantly accept it. “Next time you try to take a hit for someone, even if there isn’t time to think, at least count down from three in your head before you rush in. You probably can’t manage to think before you act, but you can start by learning to count.”

“Oh.” Baili Qingmiao was so berated by Wenren È’s toneless words that she couldn’t look up. Hanging her head, she recorded his words into her memory.

Some distance away, Yin Hanjiang was fully occupied with fighting the snow woman. The reason Wenren È could approach Baili Qingmiao without any interference was all because Yin Hanjiang was keeping her away.

The woman turned into snow flurries, surrounding Yin Hanjiang, who once more turned into swords and began skirmishing with her. The Ice Plains instantly became a subzero hell, and Baili Qingmiao saw a piece of her robe that landed on the ground immediately shatter into pieces. The current temperature was probably dozens of times colder than when she was buried in the snowdrift.

In the midst of the howling blizzard, only the area in which Wenren È was standing remained calm, like a paradise in a different realm.

Mixed in with the wind was a voice, howling alongside the storm into
everyone’s ears. “A mere Body Unity stage who picked up a demon sword from who-knows-where thinks he can fight me? Even your Mahayana stage master is nothing to me!”

At her words, the attacks of the blood swords became more vicious. Of the swords guarding Wenren È, half of them buried deep into the snow. When the woman tried to call up the power of the Ice Plains, torrents of snow
exploded from her body and burst from the ground, along with her blood- curdling cry.

Crimson blood dotted the white expanse.

Wenren È reached out and caught a drop of blood. He clenched his fist, veins popping out on the back of his hand and moving under his skin like green snakes.

Fury filling his chest, he raised his voice. “Come back!”

At his command, the blood swords flew to Wenren È, dropping to the ground and transforming into a half-kneeling Yin Hanjiang.

Wenren È grabbed his shoulder with one hand. One of Yin Hanjiang’s hands and feet were missing. When Yin Hanjiang was fused with the demonic sword, each sword was made from part of his body. The swords that had just blown apart the snow were his hand and foot.

“Ah! You’re hurt!” Baili Qingmiao frantically took out a handkerchief and tried to hand it to Yin Hanjiang, but Wenren È shoved her aside with a burst of energy.

“Absorb the Snow Flame. I will protect you.” Wenren È opened his palm, and the flame materialized before Yin Hanjiang.

“But…” Yin Hanjiang glanced at the snow flurries that were currently trying to solidify again, and his eyes dimmed. He hadn’t been able to kill the woman with that one attack.

Wenren È didn’t give Yin Hanjiang any more chances to argue. He slapped his palm on Yin Hanjiang’s head and sent the Snow Flame into his body through his Baihui acupuncture point. After the Snow Flame entered his body, Yin Hanjiang must circulate his spiritual essence to absorb it, or
waste the Venerable’s efforts.

He couldn’t go against the Venerable’s orders, so sat cross-legged on the spot to meditate.

By now, the snow swirling in the sky formed into a woman smaller than before, and her voice now carried a tone of rage. “A mere Body Unity
stage, yet you managed to harm me?”

Wenren È’s robes billowed in the wind. A frosty light shone in his hand and formed into a black halberd. With a sky-rending thrust, it drove into the
woman’s body.

The woman’s body dispersed in midair and the entire Ice Plains trembled. The near kilometer-thick layer of ice under it shattered, and thousands of tons of snow were blasted into the sky, to fall down again and stir white flurries into the air. Baili Qingmiao huddled close to Yin Hanjiang, feeling like she was a tiny bird beneath the vast heavens, her feathers nearly blown off by the snow, whimpering and shivering in the Thousand Mile Ice Plains. She couldn’t see her surroundings clearly; the only thing visible in the snow and mist was Yin Hanjiang by her side. She looked into the snow for a
while and felt her eyes were a haze of white and she couldn’t see anything.

It was snow blindness—she’d hurt her eyes by looking at the snow too long.

Baili Qingmiao quickly closed her eyes, curling up in the snow and listening to the wind howl around her.

After some time, she heard Wenren È’s unwaveringly steady voice.
“Wandering immortal? Do you think being a wandering immortal puts you above others? Without the Ice Plains, you’re absolutely nothing!”

Again the sounds of combat followed. Baili Qingmiao used her spiritual energy to heal her eyes and after a moment felt she could see again. She opened her eyes and got a shock from the landscape around her.

There was no more Thousand Mile Ice Plains and woman made of snow. Only Wenren È facing off against a blue-robed woman above a field of bubbling magma.

Where… where was the snow?

The blue-robed woman bore the same features as the snow woman, but she had the complexion of a living person and black hair and eyes. She was
clutching her chest, blood dripping from a corner of her mouth, looking heavily injured.

Wenren È held his halberd in one hand. It was the same gold-threaded black as his robe, though now Baili Qingmiao could see that the gold on his robes and halberd linked together to form a diagram of the star Polis[2]. As gold light shimmered on the black cloth, Polis in the sky above gave off a brilliant radiance.

Manipulating the power of the stars, shattering the Thousand Mile Ice Plains—this was the power of a Mahayana stage cultivator. With a wave of a hand, the landscape was changed. The Thousand Mile Ice Plains which Baili Qingmiao had trouble even breathing in could not stand up to a single strike of Wenren È’s true
strength.

Yin Hanjiang, who had awoken after completely absorbing the Snow Flame, muttered, “Venerable…”

Baili Qingmiao looked over and saw that his foot had already been restored, though his hand was still slowly healing itself.

She hopped up and ducked behind Yin Hanjiang’s back, peering out to watch Wenren È.

Baili Qingmiao thought back to when he had asked her why she was jumping in front of people. She had only given half an answer, because she really couldn’t bring herself to say that she had actually thought she could block a blow.

Only now, as she watched the battle between these two shake the heavens and earth, did Baili Qingmiao realize that she was really insignificant as a speck of dust, and her whole body could not block a single breath from these opponents.

Previously, Baili Qingmiao had wanted to reach Nascent Soul because her shixiong had said they would be able to dual cultivate together after that. She didn’t really care about the Dao, having only love in her head. Seeing Wenren È’s strength, she finally understood what being a cultivator meant, what power meant.

Not reaching Nascent Soul so you could become cultivation partners, but using a mortal body to surmount the heavens and conquer the void!

Baili Qingmiao had a moment of sudden enlightenment, entering a deeper realm. Even without a Core Formation manual, the essence inside her dantian had begun to condense. Dark clouds gathered in the sky, building up heavenly lightning. Cultivators would have to undergo a heavenly tribulation at each stage starting from Core Formation. The Core Formation stage had a small lightning tribulation, the Nascent Soul stage had one face their inner demons. These were all set in stone and could not be avoided.

Wenren È took the time to glance over at Baili Qingmiao and silently approved. She was worth teaching. If she enlightened to the Path of
Indifference this easily, there was no need to kill her and make her cultivate the ghost path.

The blue-clothed woman’s arms trembled slightly. “Who are you?” she demanded. “Why have you destroyed my cultivation grounds and damaged my foundation? I’ve never heard of anyone like you prior to my seclusion!”

“I don’t think you were in seclusion,” Wenren È said. “You discarded your body and used secret techniques to cultivate into an immortal, no?”

A cultivator who reached the peak of Mahayana would have to face a heavenly tribulation, and after passing it would be able to ascend to the realm of immortals. Many cultivators died in this final tribulation, body and soul extinguished. Some Mahayana cultivators knew they couldn’t avoid it, so during the tribulation, they would use secret arts to disperse their own body and trick the heavens, as well as using the immortal qi exposed during the tribulation to cultivate into wandering immortals. Then, after they
cultivated to the next stage, they could ascend to the immortal realm
without undergoing a heavenly tribulation. This counted as stealing power from heaven, and their strength also surpassed that of a Mahayana
cultivator’s.

Many large righteous cultivation sects had wandering immortals supporting them, and they didn’t easily show themselves, only acting when the sect met with great trouble.

In the book, Wenren È had been injured by the wandering immortal of Shangqing Sect before being rescued by Baili Qingmiao, and that immortal had been killed by him. After losing their strongest asset, Shangqing Sect
slowly declined. “This Venerable entered the Dao three hundred years ago,” Wenren È said. “How long have you been hiding from heaven?”

The blue-robed woman was speechless. Mahayana in only three hundred years? She had been in seclusion for eight hundred years! Were all the young cultivators of this age so impressive?

“As for destroying your cultivation grounds,” Wenren È said, gaze
sweeping over the Ice Plains, “we only wanted to retrieve a Snow Flame. Was it not this elder who attacked my subordinate without reason?”

“That was because of how you were mistreating that little girl. I saw it as unjust,” said the woman in blue.

“The fact that she has now awakened to the Core Formation stage is partly because of the life-threatening experiences she has undergone,” Wenren È said. “It is not your place to meddle in our business. I wonder if the truth was that this elder had made advances in cultivation and when seeing us here, wanted to test your strength against us?”

The woman in blue was rendered speechless.

Wenren È swung his halberd and said coldly, “Attacking groundlessly because you felt you’ve gotten stronger, and even picking a low-level target; now that you’ve realized you might not win, you’re trying to reason. But what you’re mistaken on is that this Venerable is the one who decides whether or not we have anything to discuss.”

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. Ancient name for China. ↩ 2. Polis is a star in the modern constellation of Sagittarius. In Chinese it’s known as the Seven Killing Star and the General Star. ↩

Chapter 8 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 8 – Violet Spirit Pavilion Master

Wenren È watched the roiling magma beneath his feet. The Seven Killing Halberd in his hand swung lightly to point to the blue-robed woman, making it clear he had no intention of letting her off easily.

“Wait a minute!” the woman said. “We have no grudge with each other and you’ve obtained the Snow Flame, so why don’t you let it go now?”

Seeing she couldn’t win, she was trying to escape.

“I can let you off,” Wenren È said. “Protector Yin, you’ve followed me for many years. Under what circumstances will I let my opponents go?”

Yin Hanjiang appeared behind Wenren È, clutching his missing hand. “The Venerable is magnanimous, and rarely insists on killing his opponents.”

Though he practiced the path of slaughter, Wenren È very rarely killed people himself. Back when he attacked Xuanyuan Sect, most of the killings were done by Yin Hanjiang, and Wenren È only killed the old sect master. As for the remaining high-ranking people like Shu Yanyan, Wenren È left them completely untouched.

Yin Hanjiang explained to the blue-robed woman, “The Venerable will very rarely take action against those weaker than him. They are not worth his
attention. As for those with potential, the Venerable will give them a way out, and wait to battle them again after they’ve raised their strength.”

The Path of Slaughter consisted of struggling for survival against impossible odds. Without an opponent who could push oneself to one’s limits, without an even match, without winning from a disadvantage, there was no way to advance. After Wenren È had first stepped onto this one-way road with no going back, every step was taken on thin ice, yet he had quite enjoyed the journey.

“Can you increase your strength? Do you have any worth for this Venerable to spare you?” Wenren È asked.

The blue-robed woman gritted her teeth. She pointed a finger at Baili Qingmiao. “My reason was her.”

Wenren È raised an eyebrow. “Hm?”

Baili Qingmiao sat in the midst of striking lightning, which filled the air
around her for hundreds of meters with silver flashes. It looked impressive, but to these three people, a mere lightning tribulation at the Core Formation stage was nothing.

“Speaking of, why did you give her the Snow Flame?” Wenren È asked.

In the original plot, Baili Qingmiao spent five days treating Hè Wenzhao after obtaining the Snow Flame, but hadn’t encountered any wandering immortal.

“I didn’t give her the Snow Flame. It was drawn to her.” The blue-robed
woman knew it was meaningless to lie to Wenren È. “I’ve been cultivating underneath these Ice Plains for eight hundred years, in order to obtain the flames of true yang underneath the ice. But after all these years, I’ve not obtained a single wisp of yang energy, while she found it after just arriving. I wanted to see just what was with this little girl.”

Yin Hanjiang thought about what Wenren È had said, that the Snow Flame was Baili Qingmiao’s destiny and could not be obtained by anyone else.
Indeed the Venerable had spoken a truth of heaven. All the time this
wandering immortal had waited couldn’t match up to five months for Baili Qingmiao.

“I have the essence of an immortal, so I can see things that ordinary
cultivators cannot. As she was on the brink of death, between her brows, there was a ray of divine light protecting her, which attracted the Snow Flame to her. I think she may have a connection to the remnants of some old divinity, so I placed a mark on her in order to keep an eye on her in the future.”

“That’s all?” Wenren È said. “The mark of a wandering immortal shouldn’t require you to show up.”

“Isn’t that because I discovered your presence?” said the blue-robed
woman. “I was worried you’d also figured out there was something special in that little girl and were after that trace of divinity. I didn’t want to hand it over to you, so I was planning on unmasking your identities as demonic
cultivators in front of Baili Qingmiao and then doing away with you to gain her trust. Then in the future I could find a way to stick with her, awaiting an opportunity to steal her destiny.”

All quite reasonable; this was how a cultivator ought to act. Wenren È nodded his head slightly in approval. But how come this woman was never named in the original story? She never made her appearance to harm Baili Qingmiao right up to the end.

“If we weren’t here, would you have contacted Baili Qingmiao?” Wenren È asked.

The blue-robed woman was silent, seemingly not wanting to answer.

Wenren È raised an eyebrow and the Seven Killing Halberd shone with dark gold light. An immense force fell upon the blue-robed woman, as Wenren È pressed her head toward the lava below. This wasn’t ordinary lava, but the flames of true yang which were sealed under the Ice Plains. Touching it
would damage the soul as well.

While Wenren È was fighting that snow woman, he realized it wasn’t her true body, but was just an avatar unleashing great power using the energy of the Ice Plains. If they couldn’t find the real body, there was no meaning in defeating the false one. So he had brought out his bonded weapon, the Seven Killing Halberd. The gold patterns on the halberd and Wenren È’s robes linked together to form an array, invoking the power of the sixth star of the Southern Dipper[1].
With his body as the foundation and the harsh energy of many winters as the focus, he could draw upon the power of the star for his own use, breaking apart the millennia-old Ice Plains and uncovering her true body hidden in the ice sheets.

Sadly, despite having sealed herself in the ice for eight hundred years, she had never realized that not a hundred meters below her was the fire of true yang.

The blue-robed woman was beautiful, but she had a haughty and aloof aura, quite different from Shu Yanyan’s charming manner. She highly valued her looks, and with Wenren È pressing her down like this, the injury to her face would never fully heal until she could ascend to the immortal realm and recreate an immortal body for herself.

“Stop!” she cried. Admitting defeat, she said, “I’m the supreme elder of Violet Spirit Pavilion. Wandering immortals are not restricted to a flesh body. I have an agreement with the master of Violet Spirit Pavilion, whose body I can use in order to carry out affairs. I saw that the little girl
cultivated Shangqing Sect’s techniques, so if you guys hadn’t been here, I would’ve gone to Violet Spirit Pavilion to make my plans.”

The Violet Spirit Pavilion Master? Wasn’t that the woman Hè Wenzhao had married in order to support his sect? And afterward, when she discovered Hè Wenzhao loved another woman, she went after Baili Qingmiao’s life like mad, taking the role of a very powerful female villain.

In the original plot, Baili Qingmiao had dragged Hè Wenzhao to the Ice Plains. With how cunning this wandering immortal was, she would’ve instantly seen that Hè Wenzhao was Baili Qingmiao’s weak point. So that’s why she cared about him—in order to get Baili Qingmiao’s divinity.

This made perfect sense then. Wenren È not only didn’t get why Baili
Qingmiao was so attached to Hè Wenzhao in the book, but also why all the other female characters were so possessive over him. Why were they so cutthroat over this indecisive man, that they were even willing to kill each other? Wenren È never thought people could become so crazed over love, but if it was for power or prestige, then he understood perfectly.

The power of an old god was worth going wild over for any cultivator. Too bad this wandering immortal never realized that Baili Qingmiao didn’t have a connection to a divine remnant, but she herself was an old god, and her divinity was something no other person could take.

Unless Baili Qingmiao chose of her own will to give it to them.

From what Wenren È remembered about the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master, she spent most of her time sucking up to Hè Wenzhao or plotting against
Baili Qingmiao, and her power had not grown very much. There wasn’t any use in letting her go.

Thinking this, Wenren È’s expression didn’t change, and he kept pushing her head toward the roiling lava.

The blue-robed woman struggled like mad, resisting with the full strength of a wandering immortal. But she was held fast by the Seven Killing
Halberd, only managing to slow down Wenren È slightly.

However, at this moment, Baili Qingmiao finished her heavenly tribulation, entering the first level of Core Formation. She awoke within the flashes of lightning, opening her eyes.

She first blinked her eyes in confusion, then examined her dantian. Seeing that she had successfully formed a golden core, she jumped up excitedly. “I’ve finally reached Core Formation! When I get to Nascent Soul next, I can be together with shixiong!”

Wenren È: ?

He released the blue-robed woman and moved to Baili Qingmiao in a flash.
Yin Hanjiang followed, standing behind Wenren È, warily watching the woman in case she held a grudge and attacked when their backs were turned. With Yin Hanjiang there, Wenren È never had to fear attacks from behind. “What did you just say?” Wenren È said with a cold look.
“Be together with my shixiong…” Baili Qingmiao flushed and stamped a foot. “Oh my god, senior, don’t talk about it!”

Wenren È grabbed her wrist and checked her spiritual essence. With a strained look on his face, he said, “What happened to your Path of Indifference?”

She had just formed her golden core by enlightening to the Path of Indifference, not using the Shangqing Sect methods at all. But after undergoing the tribulation, she no longer had the methods of the Path of Indifference inside her, and the way she circulated energy throughout her body was the same as Hè Wenzhao, the method of the Shangqing Sect.

“Path of Indifference?” Baili Qingmiao said, like she had no memory. “What’s the Path of Indifference?”

She seemed to have forgotten the guidance Wenren È had previously given. “It seems your brain really was struck by lightning,” Wenren È sneered.
Or how would she completely forget the Path of Indifference after undergoing the tribulation, and only be thinking of Hè Wenzhao?

“Take her out of the Ice Plains.” Wenren È singlehandedly picked up Baili Qingmiao and tossed her at Yin Hanjiang.

Yin Hanjiang caught her. He didn’t ask why, just slung Baili Qingmiao up with one hand like Wenren È and flew off. In the book Wenren È handled the female lead like a treasure that he feared would shatter, treating her with every care, so Yin Hanjiang would also take care of her like the Venerable’s own life. Now that Wenren È treated Baili Qingmiao as a weed, Yin
Hanjiang also didn’t care about her.

After they left, Wenren È walked up to the blue-robed woman. He thought of how Shu Yanyan smiled when she was coaxing her subordinates and tried to smile at her.

The Supreme Elder of Violet Spirit Pavilion was so terrified that she knelt down in midair. “W—w—what do you want?” she said in a trembling voice.

What’s with her? I’m smiling warmly and everything. Wenren È was puzzled. He stopped smiling and said with a stony face, “I’m interested in the divine remnant you spoke of. If you find a way to obtain it, I won’t
expose your true aim to Baili Qingmiao.”

The blue-robed woman looked suspiciously at Wenren È. He clearly wasn’t interested earlier!

“If you don’t believe this Venerable, I won’t force you. This Venerable will come find you a hundred years later, in the hopes that by that time your
strength is worth fighting.”

“What kind of monster are you?” the woman said, trembling. “How could a Mahayana cultivator have the power to stand against an immortal?”

“Wenren È of Xuanyuan Sect.” With those last words, Wenren È left the Ice Plains.

Baili Qingmiao had been undergoing her tribulation while they were talking and hadn’t heard what they said. She didn’t realize the blue-robed woman wished her harm and thought she was another well-intentioned senior.

She didn’t know Wenren È was the master of Xuanyuan Sect either, so obediently waited for him with Yin Hanjiang at the Ice Plains’ entrance.

She was even worried for the blue-robed woman, and paced at Yin
Hanjiang’s side. “Is senior going to be okay? Is the senior from the Ice Plains going to be okay? They should stop fighting. They’re clearly both good people, so why do they need to fight? It was all my fault.”

Yin Hanjiang acted as if deaf and showed no reaction to anything Baili Qingmiao said. Wenren È, who had arrived just in time to hear these words, let out a sigh. Was her brain beyond help?

“Senior!” Baili Qingmiao’s eyes brightened when she saw Wenren È return unharmed, and she rushed forward. On seeing his impassive expression, she felt anxious again. “The senior from the Ice Plains…”

“Not dead,” Wenren È said casually.

Baili Qingmiao calmed down at that and bowed to Wenren È. “Many thanks to senior for the assistance. If you hadn’t sent me to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains, and also taken away the Flame Feather Cloak, I would not have
awakened to the Dao while facing death and cultivated a golden core.”

On hearing this, even the cold-hearted Wenren È wanted to say, no, this Venerable was planning for you to die.

“Mm.” He nodded. “You’ve been gone for long, and I need to treat him, so you can go now.”

Baili Qingmiao formally bid him farewell and set off happily, seeming full of enthusiasm even from the back.

Wenren È placed a hand on Yin Hanjiang’s severed wrist and said in displeasure, “The point of coming here was to heal you, but it led to your injury instead.”

“This subordinate was too weak,” Yin Hanjiang said, head lowered. “Let’s return to the sect. This Venerable will treat you.”
Saying this, Wenren È wrapped an arm around Yin Hanjiang’s waist. He enveloped him in his light flash, and in the blink of an eye, they arrived
back at Xuanyuan Sect’s main hall. As for the wrecked Thousand Mile Ice Plains, Wenren È couldn’t care less. The Ice Plains had a special
environment anyway, filled with cold energy, so it would probably restore itself in a hundred years’ time. They came to the spiritual spring behind the main hall and Wenren È had Yin Hanjiang enter. Yin Hanjiang immediately took a few steps back. “This is the Venerable’s cultivation grounds, this subordinate cannot.”

“Yin Hanjiang, don’t make this Venerable repeat himself over and over.” Wenren È grabbed Yin Hanjiang’s chin. “If you refuse one more time, this Venerable will cut off your tongue.”

Warm fingertips brushed against Yin Hanjiang’s skin, and his face burned. He daringly looked at Wenren È for a long moment, then closed his eyes, removing his robes and entering the spring.

Most cultivator clothes were protective magic items, like Wenren È’s robe which had been personally created by him to serve as an offensive and defensive tool. If everyone wore ordinary clothes, forget about defense; the weak materials would be blasted into dust by one’s own spiritual power,
which would be in bad form.

Because clothes served a protective use, they would block most external spiritual energy, so for things like cultivating in this spiritual spring or
healing, they would need to change into normal clothes. Yin Hanjiang wore a thin inner robe, which stuck to his skin after it got wet.

Wenren È also took his robe off and entered the spring. He placed a palm against Yin Hanjiang’s back and helped him separate from the demonic
sword.

After being forced to leave Yin Hanjiang’s body, the blood-red sword spun unhappily in midair. Wenren È called out his halberd, which resonated with a humming sound, and the demonic sword obediently returned to its sheath.

“You need to refine your own bonded weapon,” Wenren È said. “The demonic sword can forcefully increase your power, but there’s no way for you to develop it further, and you cannot control it as you will. The lava underneath the Thousand Mile Ice Plains is a good place to forge a weapon, but there are no suitable materials.” Yin Hanjiang felt drained after the demon sword left his body and couldn’t speak. He closed his eyes and started to absorb spiritual energy with
Wenren È’s help.

Wenren È guided him a little and seeing that Yin Hanjiang had successfully entered a meditative state, exited the spring. He set up an energy gathering array and waited for Yin Hanjiang to slowly refine the Snow Flame.

He retrieved a jar of spiritual wine from his sleeve and sat against a rock near the spring, simultaneously watching Yin Hanjiang cultivate and
considering what he should do next.

In this trip, he’d had extensive contact with Baili Qingmiao, met the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master, and through Shu Yanyan, made contact with the male lead Hè Wenzhao. Through these interactions, he’d realized things
weren’t as he’d imagined.

He took out the book and looked through it again, and found many details that shocked him. He had originally thought it was filled with inconsistencies, but now it seemed methodically thought out.

For example, the Violet Spirit Master. Wenren È had taken her as a pathetic woman who had been won over by Hè Wenzhao’s flowery words and blinded by love, doing many irrational things with her mind overtaken by jealousy, using every method under the sun to torment a poor girl.

But after meeting the blue-robed woman today, he’d realized that
everything the Violet Spirit Master had done was reasonably motivated. Without the remnants of an ancient god as bait, how was Hè Wenzhao qualified to have a woman love him to such an extent?

Since this character turned out to be sensible, the Lord of Demons in the book giving his life for Baili Qingmiao must also have something deeper behind it. Could what he had thought was a trashy book actually turn out to contain profound knowledge?

Wenren È flipped though it while drinking, memorizing each illogical detail to investigate in the future. He didn’t necessarily need to care about this. Wenren È didn’t have any interest in fixing plot holes as the first page had instructed him to do. But he had to repay his debt to Baili Qingmiao. And if things would play out like the book from beginning to end, then was his death and Yin Hanjiang’s madness predetermined?

He had already been swept up in the midst of things, so there was no reason to try and escape now. Wenren È wasn’t predisposed to avoiding trouble
anyway. If things were thus destined, then he would reject the heavens and rewrite destiny!

Spiritual wine still had some effect on cultivators. Wenren È’s thoughts wandered and, half-closing his eyes, he dozed lightly against the rock.

Yin Hanjiang stirred in the spiritual spring, having completely absorbed the Snow Flame. His hand had been restored, the corpse energy inside his body had been entirely cleared out, and his level had risen from the first level of Body Unity to the ninth, with the Void Boundary stage within sight.

Yin Hanjiang saw that his Venerable had apparently fallen asleep. He
climbed out of the spring, watching Wenren È’s sleeping face. He stared intently for a while, then picked up the outer robe that Wenren È had tossed onto the floor and, after holding it to his chest for a moment, draped it over Wenren È.

He then looked at the half dish of wine Wenren È had left and stood unmoving, like a puppet.

Wenren È had woken when Yin Hanjiang draped the robe around him, but kept his eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. He wanted to see what Yin Hanjiang was like when he thought he wasn’t looking.

Being accustomed to the usual deferential Yin Hanjiang, then thinking of his madness later in the book, Wenren È thought that a person couldn’t instantly change in such a drastic way—there had to be signs that he just hadn’t noticed before. Yin Hanjiang stayed frozen for a long time. After seeing that Wenren È
wasn’t going to wake, he slowly reached out a hand and picked up the wine dish which had already cooled. He stuck out a tongue and sampled it a bit, before putting it back.

He didn’t even drink it, just tasted a drop. If Wenren È hadn’t seen it just now, he never would’ve noticed.

Yin Hanjiang’s heart was pounding, his breathing fast, when he heard Wenren È behind him say, “Protector Yin, do you want to drink?”

Yin Hanjiang turned pale, not daring to look up. He said in a shaky voice, “Venerable, this subordinate…”

“You always have such self-restraint that you won’t cause any problems even if you drink. There’s no need to repress yourself to such an extent.” Wenren È got up, and with a gesture, his robe replaced itself on his body.

He picked up the wine jar and dish and pushed them onto Yin Hanjiang. “When idle, this Venerable permits you to drink.”

Yin Hanjiang: …

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. An ancient Chinese constellation which corresponds to part of Sagittarius. The sixth star is Polis. ↩

Chapter 9 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 9 – Polis and Alkaid

Wenren È thought he really needed to have a conversation with Yin
Hanjiang. Yin Hanjiang was the Left Protector of the first and foremost demonic sect. There was no need for him to be so timid that he had to wait until Wenren È was asleep to secretly sip some wine.

Back when he first picked up that child, Wenren È hadn’t wanted a puppet.

He flicked his fingers, and the robe discarded on the floor draped over Yin Hanjiang. Yin Hanjiang had just taken in the Snow Flame and was full of yang energy, so his wet clothes and hair had already dried. Yin Hanjiang
stuck his arms through his robe, tied up his hair again, and got down on one knee before Wenren È, sword in hand, deferent and respectful.

Wenren È slowly said, “Protector Yin, back when this Venerable ordered you to become a sword cultivator, did you have any complaints?”

Back then, after Wenren È brought that child home to his sect, he had his fortune and aptitudes looked into. Yin Hanjiang had a pure metal spiritual root, and his birth had been influenced by Alkaid, the seventh star of the Big Dipper, also known as the Army Crushing Star, favoring offense and
possessing great destructive power. In mortal armies, this was suited toward being a vanguard or suicide unit. Wenren È’s star was Polis, also known as the General Star, and was the most suitable pairing with Alkaid.

With these kinds of aptitudes, Wenren È thought Yin Hanjiang was suited to being a sword cultivator as well as his vanguard, so handed him a sword
and a manual he’d stolen from someplace. From then on, Yin Hanjiang became Wenren È’s sword. Wenren È rarely asked Yin Hanjiang for his thoughts. Yin Hanjiang raised his head to look at him, eyes shining like stars. “Venerable…”

He had something to say but hesitated. Wenren È knew Yin Hanjiang was stubborn and wouldn’t say what was actually on his mind unless forced to, so he said coldly, “Speak.”

After getting Wenren È’s order, Yin Hanjiang spoke smoothly. “When this subordinate was five years old, foreign tribes attacked and slaughtered my entire village. This subordinate was fortuitous and barely survived. Seeing someone pass by, I thought the worst that could happen was that I would die, so I mustered up the strength to grab that person’s robes. That’s how this subordinate met the Venerable.”

He rarely spoke so many words, so Wenren È sat and listened earnestly.

“There is something the Venerable doesn’t know.” Yin Hanjiang patted the
storage belt on his waist, and an old sword spotted with rust appeared on the ground before him. It was the one Wenren È had given him. “When this
subordinate was eighteen and had reached Foundation Establishment, I took the sword the Venerable had given me and left to find the foreign warriors who slaughtered my village.”

That year… Wenren È absently thought back to something.

The corner of Yin Hanjiang’s lips curved slightly, as if in a smile. He stroked that old sword and said quietly, “This subordinate saw the
Venerable, wearing silver armor with a spear in hand, draped in a red cloak, leading a group of battered soldiers to face the invading forces.”

Wenren È had raised his broken spear and spoken to those ragged soldiers, “We can flee, but do remember, behind us are the commoners living at the border. If the city wall falls, we can form a wall with our bodies, but if we flee, do you want the common people to use their bodies to protect us?”

Wenren È had not been using any superhuman powers. He’d sealed his
spiritual energy, and alongside his comrades, fought off the enemy with the strength of a mortal man. After several days, they had successfully defended the borders and killed all the enemy tribesmen who had attacked the village that day.

Yin Hanjiang was afraid the Venerable would notice him, so acted like an ordinary commoner and hid in the border town, waiting for Wenren È to return triumphantly with his troops.

What was the Path of Slaughter? Yin Hanjiang watched those smiling soldiers return after their victory and began to understand.

The Path of Slaughter could be to act as the blade that slaughtered the masses, or the sword that protected the people. Killing to stop death, fighting to stop war, was Wenren È’s path.

Yin Hanjiang offered up the sword with both hands. “While this subordinate was hiding and watching the Venerable’s return, there was only one wish in my heart, to be the Venerable’s vanguard.”

He carefully held the sword in his lap, hand resting on the rust-stained steel, as if he was telling him with every action that Yin Hanjiang was willing to be Wenren È’s sword.

Wenren È never realized that something like that had happened a hundred years ago. He had to strengthen his mental state in the midst of countless battles, so in order to temper his mind, he would often seal his powers and go to the mortal world, starting from a foot soldier and rising through the ranks all the way to a general leading forces into battle.

When cold blades sliced across his face, when his fellows’ blood splashed across his cheeks, life and death was the most clear-cut truth.

The most difficult part of the Path of Slaughter was how to remain clear- headed in the midst of death, to not blame oneself for it, and to not go mad from it.

After innumerable battles, the Seven Killing Halberd was forged on the battlefield. Wenren È thought it would be an evil weapon that consumed souls, but didn’t expect that what the most savage grounds on Earth would give rise to was a weapon made to protect.

When Wenren È entered this path, he had suffered immense trauma and wanted to gain power by taking lives, thinking to ascend to divinity by
stepping on innumerable corpses and becoming a heartless demon. But in that battle that Yin Hanjiang had witnessed, the one where the Seven
Killing Halberd had finally taken form, Wenren È had to acknowledge something—since his youth, he had never changed.

The Supreme Elder of Violet Spirit Pavilion hadn’t understood how Wenren È could have power surpassing the Mahayana stage, sufficient to subdue a wandering immortal. She only knew to hide from tribulations and seclude herself for eight hundred years, so how could she understand that the Seven Killing Halberd upheld not just the power of one demonic cultivator, but the wishes of the common people in the three hundred years of war Wenren È had participated in?

When the Seven Killing Halberd was forged, the General Star shone, and the Army Crushing Star along with it.

Wenren È’s moment of enlightenment was also the moment Yin Hanjiang had entered the Dao.

“So that was it.”

Wenren È beckoned with a finger, and the vicious demonic sword that Yin Hanjiang wielded landed obediently in his palm. If gods exist, demons must exist. Wenren È had obtained this demonic sword at the Blood Hell. It was a weapon that had collected the murderous energy of a hundred thousand evil spirits, its power surpassing the first-grade magic items of the cultivation
world.

Magic items were split into three stages of magic treasure, spiritual treasure, and magic artifact, and each stage was split into upper, middle, and lower grade. Also above magic artifacts were immortal artifacts, which didn’t originate in the cultivation world. Only a few large sects had immortal
artifacts to guard their locations. Demonic artifacts were equivalent to immortal artifacts. When Yin Hanjiang fused with the demonic sword, he could unleash power far beyond his own realm, but it also harmed his soul.

At the time, Yin Hanjiang had begged Wenren È to bestow the demonic
sword on him, so that he could follow Wenren È and be his Left Protector. By using his own body to feed demons, he gained power far beyond that of a Body Unity cultivator.

Yin Hanjiang had corpse energy in his body, which allowed him to fuse with the demonic sword, but also caused him a lot of suffering. His soul
constantly had to fight the demonic sword, and he had only avoided being corrupted by it because of his dedication to Wenren È.

“This sword doesn’t suit this Venerable’s vanguard.” Wenren È tossed aside the demonic sword and lifted Yin Hanjiang out of his kneeling posture.
“This Venerable will forge you a better one.”

“It’s because this subordinate is too weak, and has to rely on the demonic sword’s power,” Yin Hanjiang said.

“No need to worry,” Wenren È said. “As this Venerable’s vanguard, you should naturally follow this Venerable throughout every life. From the
cultivation realm to the immortal realm or the demon realm or the divine realm, you must follow me no matter where I go, so how could you let this demonic sword impede your progress?”

The sword he would make for Yin Hanjiang could not in any way be inferior to the demonic sword. In order to forge a legendary weapon, timing, location, and human qualification all needed to be right. For timing, the Great Sect War was approaching and the spiritual energy and fighting intent stirred by so many cultivators was a perfect opportunity. The place
was also set, the flames underneath the Thousand Mile Ice Plains being a suitable location to forge the sword. Also, Yin Hanjiang had awakened to
the depths of the Army Crushing Star’s meaning, and with the assistance of the Seven Killing Star, the human qualifications were also met.

The only issue was the materials. Wenren È dug around in his Qiankun
sleeve. He had collected many treasures over the years, but none of them suited Yin Hanjiang and they could only serve as supplemental materials.

While looking, Wenren È found the Abusive Romance book, and when his hand landed on the book’s cover, he suddenly remembered that the book detailed many legendary treasures, the Snow Flame being only one of
which.

In the book, Hè Wenzhao had reached Nascent Soul stage after absorbing the Snow Flame, conveniently right at the beginning of the Great Sect War. Nascent Soul and above cultivators were told to follow the sect elders and help set up an array, in order to serve as the main force of the war. The
Great Sect War raged for ten years, and Hè Wenzhao had just reached
Nascent Soul, so his power was lower than his fellows. The bonded weapon he had refined at Foundation Establishment stage was broken, and his foundation seriously damaged.

By the end of the war, both sides had sustained heavy casualties. Many sect leaders and wandering immortals had fallen by Wenren È’s hands, and
Wenren È himself had hidden after suffering serious injuries, ending up saved by Baili Qingmiao.

Baili Qingmiao, after treating Wenren È, heard Hè Wenzhao’s foundation had been damaged, and unless a suitable treasure was found to create a new bonded weapon, he would age and die within five years.

Baili Qingmiao couldn’t stop crying as she saw her shixiong bedridden with grave injuries. When she heard that there was a spiritual realm at the
Golden Coast Cliffs, in which one could find magical pills or materials, she secretly ran off to look for something that could heal her shixiong.

On the way, she ran into Wenren È, who on hearing she was planning to face danger alone, accompanied her on her journey. After facing innumerable trials at the Golden Coast Cliffs, they finally found the
spiritual realm and within it the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. Baili
Qingmiao giddily took the treasure to Hè Wenzhao, not mentioning a word of how much danger she had gone through and only wishing to see her
shixiong recover. But while she had been searching for a year, Hè Wenzhao had been on the brink of death a few times, and his shimei Liu Xinye, seeing her shixiong undergoing a qi deviation, forcibly dual cultivated with him despite herself being only at Core Formation stage, using her own true yin to save Hè
Wenzhao’s life. Due to that, she dropped from Core Formation to Foundation Establishment stage.

Hè Wenzhao, even with Liu Xinye’s help, didn’t manage to return to his original level, though his life had at least been saved. With the addition of the treasure Baili Qingmiao had found, he secluded for three years, refining the Shattered Mountain Meteorite, and rose to Deity Transformation stage in one go.

Baili Qingmiao found out what had happened between Hè Wenzhao and Liu Xinye during that period and cried daily for three years, but whenever she saw a sickly-looking Liu Xinye practicing with a group of rookie disciples, she couldn’t help but feel bad. Liu Xinye was another natural genius with aptitudes comparable to Baili Qingmiao’s, and in the sect
everyone had revolved around her, but now that she had fallen to Foundation Establishment stage, and there were also a few disciples who
said she took advantage of Hè Wenzhao, there was no way Baili Qingmiao could take up an issue with her. She just had to grit her teeth and bear it.

After Hè Wenzhao exited seclusion, he wanted to find an elixir for Liu
Xinye to restore her cultivation. Baili Qingmiao had been holding back her anger for three years and had a huge fight with Hè Wenzhao, demanding to know whether he had feelings for Liu Xinye.

Hè Wenzhao grabbed Baili Qingmiao’s shoulder and said soothingly,
“Baili-shimei, you saw how injured I was at the time. Liu-shimei acted on her own accord. I didn’t even know what had happened! Qingmiao, let me tell you, ever since we were kids, the only one for me has been you. But I owe a debt to Liu-shimei, and I won’t be able to live comfortably for the rest of this life if I don’t repay it. It would also become an inner demon in my future tribulations. Shimei, please understand this once, I have to help her! And Liu-shimei is in such a bad situation. Don’t you feel sympathy?” Baili Qingmiao pointed to her chest and said tearfully, “Shixiong, you only see how Liu-shimei damaged her foundation for your sake, but what about me? All those times I risked my life at the Golden Coast Cliffs? Just because you didn’t see those, shixiong, do they not exist to you?”

“Of course not!” Hè Wenzhao grabbed Baili Qingmiao. “Shimei, you and I swore to live and die together. Pain on your body is pain in my heart!”

Hè Wenzhao did all he could to coax Baili Qingmiao, either catching fireflies with her in the mountains and releasing them to light up the night sky, or using Deity Transformation stage power to bring her above the
clouds, sitting with her and speaking sweet words.

When Baili Qingmiao’s temper finally faded, she still had to accompany Hè Wenzhao to find a cure for Liu Xinye. She thought that after she found a
cure, shixiong would have no more obligation to Liu Xinye, but in the end, it was Liu Xinye who hurt her the most cruelly, showing no gratitude for
everything Baili Qingmiao had done for her.

What was also worth mentioning was that Liu Xinye was the girl who got refined into lamp oil by Yin Hanjiang. In the end, she paid her debt to Baili Qingmiao with her life.

Everything one gets in life is predetermined.

Wenren È thought back to this plotline, but he had no interest in Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao’s abusive relationship that dragged on for
several hundred years. The thing that caught his attention was the Shattered Mountain Meteorite.

Hè Wenzhao had refined it into a fan, so he could look fittingly cool for a male lead.

Hè Wenzhao’s lightning root and Yin Hanjiang’s metal root were both associated with metal in the five elements, so a material suitable for Hè
Wenzhao should be suitable for Yin Hanjiang. Wenren È wouldn’t steal a treasure which was destined to belong to someone else, like the Snow Flame, which he traded for with Baili Qingmiao. But the Shattered Mountain Meteorite was originally obtained by Wenren È for Baili Qingmiao. The Lord of Demons had full rights to decide what to do with something that originally belonged to him.

And why should the Lord of Demons give something of his to Hè Wenzhao?

Wenren È had a karmic relation with Baili Qingmiao, but he had no
connection to Hè Wenzhao. Hè Wenzhao could die for all he cared, but he
certainly wouldn’t use something that belonged to him to save Hè Wenzhao. Thinking that, Wenren È beckoned to Yin Hanjiang. “Come here.”
Yin Hanjiang hesitantly approached and sat at Wenren È’s side. Wenren È said, “There is a spiritual realm at the Golden Coast Cliffs, in which is
hidden the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. In ten years, the door to the realm will open, and this Venerable will retrieve the meteorite for you, to create a legendary weapon.”

Yin Hanjiang didn’t refuse this time. The Venerable didn’t permit him to refuse.

Wenren È was pleased with his obedience and said, “The Shattered
Mountain Meteorite is in this Venerable’s destiny, so it is my right to take it. But this Venerable is destined to face a bloody trial in the Great Sect War.”

Yin Hanjiang’s face turned gloomy on hearing this. The demonic sword sensed his mood and returned to his hand with a swish.

“Don’t worry,” Wenren È consoled, “I’m not fated to die. Cultivate well, and at the time, if I go missing, come here to find me.”

He indicated to Yin Hanjiang the place he had washed up in the book. This time, he wouldn’t need Baili Qingmiao to save him. He was entrusting his safety to Yin Hanjiang’s hands.

In Abusive Romance, Yin Hanjiang had probably searched tirelessly for Wenren È, but he would constantly have to deal with attacks from disciples of the righteous sects. By the time he found Wenren È, it was already after Wenren È had gone to the Golden Coast Cliffs and gotten the meteorite.

The book’s Wenren È had been heavily injured and knew well he wouldn’t be able to maintain his hold on the ambitious members of Xuanyuan Sect, so he didn’t contact his subordinates even when he could. Back then, he didn’t even trust Yin Hanjiang.

But now, after reading the book, Wenren È knew that Yin Hanjiang would never betray him.

After knowing Wenren È would face disaster, Yin Hanjiang became very anxious, training at Xuanyuan Sect every day and hoping he could break through to Void Boundary Stage before the Great Sect War. Every bit he could increase his power was another bit of help he could be to his
Venerable.

Wenren È had no fear despite knowing his fate. After receiving information from Shu Yanyan, he ordered the four Altar Masters to prepare for war.

It had already been six months since their meeting in that small town. With Baili Qingmiao gone, Hè Wenzhao constantly used going down the mountain to patrol or slay monsters as an excuse to meet Shu Yanyan.
Though he didn’t have the Snow Flame this time, by dual cultivating with Shu Yanyan, he had reached Nascent Soul just as in the original plotline.

After reaching Nascent Soul, he could have access to more of the sect’s resources. The sect master and many elders also viewed Hè Wenzhao favorably, even telling him some pieces of information that only the sect master could know.

After Hè Wenzhao had gotten such obvious benefits, he favored Shu
Yanyan even more, buying a house for her in the small town where they spent time together like husband and wife—a far cry from their enmity in the book.

In the book, Shu Yanyan had been killed by Hè Wenzhao. She was
effectively a huge obstacle that Hè Wenzhao had run into early in his cultivation and which had caused him a not insignificant amount of
suffering. Hè Wenzhao despised her and later, when he had gained enough power, killed her the first chance he got.

Shu Yanyan was skilled at ferreting out information and found out many of the righteous sects’ plans from Hè Wenzhao, all while feigning ignorance. She secretly sent this information to Wenren È, while also asking,
“Venerable, when can I ditch Hè Wenzhao to go be with my subordinates? It’s been six months! I’ve touched just one man for six months. Do you know what it’s like to eat only one dish for six months? It’s awful!”

Wenren È: “This Venerable practices inedia and doesn’t eat food.”

Shu Yanyan: “…Then just absorbing spiritual energy from one area for six months?”

Wenren È: “When you cultivate in seclusion, can you be unsatisfied with the spiritual energy you’re absorbing, get up, and go cultivate somewhere else?”

Shu Yanyan: …

She didn’t have high hopes for her cold-hearted master’s understanding,
and just secretly wished for the fighting to start sooner; best if Hè Wenzhao died in the great war.

At the same time, Baili Qingmiao finally returned to the sect and reported her advancement to her master. She became the youngest to achieve Core Formation in the whole of recorded history, shocking the entire Shangqing Sect.

Hey guys if I ever mix up Polis and Alkaid please tell me

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 10 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 10 – The great Dao is emotionless

Before Baili Qingmiao, the fastest to achieve Core Formation in Shangqing Sect had been Hè Wenzhao, who after reaching Foundation Establishment at eighteen, formed a golden core in a mere three years. Cultivation was the way of stealing from heaven, more difficult the further you advanced. Qi
Gathering and Qi Refinement were simple enough, and people of Wulin
with good aptitudes could accomplish them, but Foundation Establishment was the threshold to the cultivation world, and it was a high threshold
which blocked countless people aspiring to seek the Dao, who could never advance a single step further.

And you couldn’t fly all the way to the top just by reaching Foundation Establishment.

There were many people who stalled at Foundation Establishment for fifty or a hundred years, unable to form a golden core until their spiritual energy ran out and their lifespans were up. Qi Gathering was absorbing the energy of the cosmos into one’s body, Qi Refinement was refining it for one’s own use, and Foundation Establishment was using the Qi of the cosmos to force out acquired impurities in the human body, acquiring a primordial body.
The golden core was formed out of spiritual essence within the dantian. For the first time, one’s spiritual awareness could see within one’s own body,
and the Violet Palace[1] first appeared within the dantian. The inside of one’s body would form its own contained cosmos, and this would be a person’s first step toward transforming their body into an immortal’s.

Hè Wenzhao taking three years was already exceptional, but as for Baili Qingmiao, she had established her foundation when she’d just turned
eighteen, and before the year was out, before her master even had time to teach the core formation methods to her, she had inexplicably formed a core.

Elder Qingyue checked Baili Qingmiao over at the administration hall and confirmed that her qi was pure and orderly and she had cultivated perfectly by Shangqing Sect’s methods, somehow comprehending the core formation methods by her own ability.

This kind of gift was unprecedented in Shangqing Sect.

Elder Qingyue nodded with approval and smiled slightly. After offering incense to the sect founder, he rang the sect’s Moon Pool Bell.

The Moon Pool Bell was one of Shangqing Sect’s three great immortal artifacts, supporting the wards around their mountain for years. If it was
rung, anyone in the sect could hear it unless they were on the brink of death. Ordinarily forming a golden core wouldn’t be worth the administration hall elder announcing it to the entire sect. Even Hè Wenzhao’s three years hadn’t been worth such treatment. Baili Qingmiao’s situation was truly unique, and after deep consideration, Elder Qingyue decided to ring the bell.

When it sounded, Hè Wenzhao who was in bed with Shu Yanyan also heard.

After three rings, Elder Qingyue’s voice was transmitted to each person’s ears. “Baili Qingmiao of Rising Clouds Peak, under Elder Qingrong, has formed her golden core in one year.”

Hè Wenzhao froze, dumbfounded.

Shu Yanyan also heard the ringing of the bell, but she wasn’t a disciple of Shangqing Sect and couldn’t hear Elder Qingyue’s transmission. She acted as if she hadn’t noticed anything and wrapped her arms around Hè
Wenzhao’s neck, saying, “Dear Hè, don’t be cruel, hurry…”

Impeccable acting skills, worthy of the Xuanyuan Sect’s Right Protector! But Hè Wenzhao wasn’t in the mood and hurriedly got up, using a purification spell to rid his body of any smells. Shu Yanyan turned over, her eyes hazy. “My dear?”

“I just remembered urgent business I must return to the sect for,” Hè
Wenzhao said coldly. “I might not be able to see you for the next few days. Be good and wait for me.”

Then he turned around and left. Shu Yanyan sprawled over the bed, propping her chin on her elbow. “Once they have their clothes on they’ll act like they don’t know you. No-good swine, pah!”

“Baili Qingmiao has returned,” a voice came from the window. Shu Yanyan jumped, and when she looked over, she found Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang had entered through the window at some point.

“Oh, it’s you, Venerable, you nearly scared your subordinate to death. I thought that my cultivation had dropped and my awareness had gotten so bad that I didn’t even notice intruders coming in.”

Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang acted like they were blind to the state of Shu Yanyan’s body. Yin Hanjiang used a spell to clean a desk and chair inside the room, opened a window and cleared the smell out of the air with a wind charm, and only afterward, invited the Venerable to sit.

Shu Yanyan: …

She grimaced and waved a hand, having the clothes on the floor put themselves on her body. She respectfully greeted Wenren È, then glanced at Yin Hanjiang, and her face stiffened. “Protector Yin, you’re already at the top level of Body Unity?”

Shu Yanyan felt alarm in her heart. She and Yin Hanjiang were both the Venerable’s Protectors, but the Left Protector had been favored by the
Venerable from the beginning. Before, Shu Yanyan would console herself that Yin Hanjiang was only Body Unity stage, and though the demonic
sword was powerful, using it harmed his body and soul and could not be
sustained for too long, or he would be corrupted by it. If they really went at it, she had the upper hand. But in a mere six months, Yin Hanjiang had managed to rise from the first level of Body Unity to the ninth. Wasn’t he about to break through to Void Boundary stage any day now?

The Right Protector felt quite threatened.

However, the Venerable shook his head, seeming displeased. “Only the ninth level of Body Unity. There’s still far to go.”

This wasn’t right! Shu Yanyan felt like she’d caught a whiff of something odd. She looked back and forth between Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang
several times. Yin Hanjiang was the same, silently loyal as always, and the Venerable was as cold and overbearing as he always was, and nothing about their interaction had changed. The only thing was…

Shu Yanyan squinted and found that Protector Yin was standing a bit closer behind the Venerable than before, and with Yin Hanjiang protecting his back, Wenren È’s posture was also slightly more relaxed.

Just slightly, but it gave off a completely different feeling.

Alarm bells sounded in her mind and she hurried to report. “Venerable, for this past half year, this subordinate has offered herself to Hè Wenzhao, helping him reach Nascent Soul stage, giving him the chance to participate in important matters of his sect. I have found out the location the Nascent Soul disciples will be setting up their array. The five great forces of Shangqing Sect, Tianjian Sect, Jiuxing Sect, Biluo Sect, and Wuxiang
Temple, as well as several smaller sects, will be sending out their Nascent Soul disciples to form a giant array north and south of Xuanyuan Sect in order to temporarily sever the spiritual veins[2], so that we won’t have
access to natural spiritual energy as we fight.”

Shu Yanyan reported everything she had done over the past months and all the information she had gotten, trying to vie with Protector Yin. She needed to show him just kissing up to the Venerable wasn’t enough, you had to
accomplish things! Abusive Romance had described the Great Sect War from Baili Qingmiao’s point of view. She was just a Core Formation disciple and didn’t get to know much. For ten years it was basically missing her shixiong, worrying for him, and being concerned for him, all while she saved people here and there, showing off her kind nature as the female lead. Thus, Wenren È hadn’t known exactly what plans the righteous sects were making. With Shu Yanyan’s information, their schemes were starting to come into shape.

“This subordinate believes that we should send two able fighters to the locations ahead of time and have them take the best positions to break the array, and subsequently exterminate all those Nascent Soul disciples!” Shu
Yanyan looked up, and the seductive warmth in her eyes had vanished, only leaving ruthlessness.

In her white robe, she seemed like a blooming spider lily, softly beckoning, leading the lost to the next shore[3].

Cold-hearted and merciless, willing to use any means toward a goal—this was the true nature of the Right Protector of Xuanyuan Sect, Shu Yanyan. As she spoke, Dubhe[4] appeared in the night sky, giving off dazzling radiance.

The leader of Shangqing Sect was currently with the leaders of several other major sects, observing star signs to predict the ways of heaven. The Jiuxing Sect Leader looked at the night sky, his expression grave. “Polis, Alkaid, and Dubhe are all shining, resonating with each other. It is an ill omen!”

“How could this be?” said the leader of Biluo Valley. “Several months ago, we made our calculations, that Dubhe would vanish, subdued by lightning; Alkaid had demonic signs, showing the color of blood, and the possibility of self-destruction would be high; and Polis had signs of peach blossoms
and would meet with a tribulation of love. The three stars all had signs of decline—it was a perfect opportunity for the righteous sects to wipe out the demonic. How did fortune suddenly take such a turn?”

The Tianjian Sect Leader glared at the sky. “Six months ago, Polis’s love tribulation vanished, his protector Alkaid shook off demonic temptation, and Dubhe brightened. Everything suddenly changed, and the source is Polis.”

The Shangqing Sect Leader said, “Polis represents Xuanyuan Sect’s Wenren È. This man took the world by storm a hundred years ago, with a demonic
sword wielder behind him, and unified the demonic sects in just a few decades. The balance of power shifted, and the righteous sects have been gradually weakening. If we do not eliminate Wenren È, that one man will suppress the righteous sects for a thousand years.”

“We had originally planned for Shangqing Sect alone to deal with him, but it seems now that will not be enough,” said the master of Biluo Valley. “We must send more high-level experts and immortal artifacts to surround and
eliminate Wenren È.”

The Jiuxing Sect Master said, “The will of heaven is hard to fathom. My
sect reads the signs earnestly, trying to glean heavenly mysteries, but often fail. Why is it in this past half year, destinies have changed so quickly? Do the heavens not wish for us to see the outcome of the great war?”

The abbot of Wuxiang Temple, while reciting a Buddha’s name, set down the rosary in his hand, and a monk’s staff appeared in his palm. He opened his eyes, and all shades of compassion faded from them, replaced with furious light. He resembled the ferocious law-protectors placed before
statues of the Buddha.

“Abbot, you will act personally?” The Shangqing Sect Master was filled with glee. “With you there, we can do twice the work in half the time, and victory will be within our grasp.”

During the great sect leaders’ secret meeting, they set down the time of attack and one by one returned to their own sects. The Shangqing Sect
Master left the secret room, arriving at the administration hall and asking Elder Qingyue, “Baili Qingmiao has risen to Core Formation stage?”

Elder Qingyue explained everything to him, and the Sect Master smiled, gratified. “With Qingmiao and Wenzhao, the Shangqing Sect has promising successors. We can freely focus on this war. Qingyue-shidi, stay at the sect, protect the Moon Pool Bell, and maintain the Shangqing Sect’s strength.”

Qingyue knew this battle was unavoidable. He said, “But these two children are currently squabbling with each other.”

“Baili Qingmiao is having another tantrum?” The Sect Master chuckled. “Young girls can be moody. After she reaches Nascent Soul, she won’t be like this anymore.”

Qingyue and the Sect Master didn’t take the two’s fight very seriously, but Hè Wenzhao was doing everything he could to win over Baili Qingmiao.

The reason was when Baili Qingmiao returned, she immediately went to the administration hall to check her shixiong’s patrol records. This was her first time being away from her shixiong for so long, and she had just personally witnessed a clash between a wandering immortal and a Mahayana-level
expert in the Ice Plains. Feeling lucky to be alive, she naturally missed her shixiong and wanted to know what he had been doing while she wasn’t
around.

The administration hall’s records were publicly available. Baili Qingmiao was at first happy for her shixiong for reaching Nascent Soul, but she felt
something was off the more she looked. Hè Wenzhao was heading down the mountain once every two days or so—that was way too often!

Baili Qingmiao used to be just about joined at the hip with Hè Wenzhao, and she would follow nearly every time he left the mountain, so she knew well that he left about once a month. Just at that moment, Yao Wendan happened to come to the administration hall to retrieve materials for the medicinal pavilion and found Baili Qingmiao spacing out in front of the jade slip records, so went over to congratulate her for reaching Core Formation.

“Yao-shixiong,” Baili Qingmiao said, “have you seen head shixiong? I saw the task rotations, and he’s supposed to patrol the mountain today, so why isn’t he around?” “He probably left. He’s been heading down the mountain all the time lately and even bought a house for Miss Shu, probably out of guilt.” Yao Wendan was a straightforward person and blurted this out without thinking. He immediately regretted it and slapped himself on the cheek.

The jade slip in Baili Qingmiao’s hand clattered to the floor. “What did you say? Shixiong bought a house for Miss Shu?”

Hè Wenzhao got back in that moment, just in time to hear Baili Qingmiao’s tearful words, and his vision went dark for a moment. He grabbed Baili
Qingmiao and said soulfully, “Shimei, you’ve finally returned. I’ve been so worried about you these past days. I’ve missed you so much.”

Yao Wendan knew he had misspoken and ran off with his head down, leaving Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao to figure things out themselves.

After Baili Qingmiao interrogated Hè Wenzhao, she rushed down the mountain to find Shu Yanyan and question her on her relationship to him, with Hè Wenzhao rushing after her.

After she left the mountain’s wards, Shu Yanyan could detect her movements. “Venerable, what should this subordinate do?” she asked.

“Don’t reveal your identity before the Great Sect War. Everything else is up to you,” Wenren È said.

“Great!” Shu Yanyan said with a clap. “I’ve had enough. I want to get out of here and go back to my cute subordinates, boo-hoo…”

She really did tear up. Ever since she had started cultivating, she had never been with one man for this long. She had already gotten enough of the lightning spiritual root and that mysterious power, and risen to the ninth level of Void Boundary. She’d long since gotten sick of Hè Wenzhao too, and wouldn’t have forced herself to endure this much if it weren’t for getting information.

Wenren È shared a glance with Yin Hanjiang, then left the room and cast a monitoring spell in the adjoining one, to see events unfold. Wenren È was curious what kind of choice Baili Qingmiao would make this time, after knowing Hè Wenzhao’s actions.

The other room in Shu Yanyan’s house was a servant’s room, but since she didn’t have any, it stayed empty, with only one small bed placed in it. After Wenren È sat down on it, Yin Hanjiang couldn’t stand behind his back
anymore, so stood at his side. Wenren È tugged him down. “Sit.”

Yin Hanjiang, seemingly overwhelmed, sat shoulder-to-shoulder with the Venerable on that small bed, his throat bobbing slightly, his eyes downcast.
He didn’t dare to look at their shoulders, which were barely half an inch apart.

They waited for a while, but Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao still hadn’t
arrived, probably arguing with each other on the way. Wenren È sensed Yin Hanjiang by his side open his lips slightly, as if he had something to say,
and said, “Just say it.”

Yin Hanjiang, hearing an order from the Venerable, no longer dared to hide it and after some hesitation, spoke, “The Venerable’s Path of Slaughter is for the purpose of preventing deaths and protecting living beings, so why
start the Great Sect War and bring chaos to the common people?”

He wasn’t any sort of good person and hadn’t minded earlier when Shu Yanyan had spoken of exterminating all those righteous sect disciples. No matter what the Venerable wanted him to do, he had no objections.

But, there was a hint of confusion within his heart, and he didn’t understand why the Venerable was doing this. If he already knew about the Great Sect War, couldn’t he avoid it? This didn’t seem like the Venerable’s Dao.

Ordinarily Yin Hanjiang would never take the initiative to speak up, but now the Venerable had asked first. Alkaid should not question Polis, so Yin Hanjiang decided to confide in the Venerable, and allow him to clear his doubts.

Wenren È didn’t answer his question, instead asking, “Protector Yin, what do you think cultivators are?” Yin Hanjiang thought for a moment. “The elite?”

He had never considered this type of question before. He just knew that ordinary people would call cultivators “esteemed immortal”, and cultivators would also think of themselves highly, separating the cultivation world from the secular world, when they clearly both existed in the mortal realm.

“Wrong,” Wenren È said emotionlessly. “You, I, and the thousands of other cultivators whether righteous or demonic, are all a pack of petty thieves
who steal opportunities from other lives.”

Yin Hanjiang never realized that Wenren È had this judgment of cultivators.

“Look at the location of Shangqing Sect,” Wenren È said, pointing to the distant mountains. “How many living beings could be nurtured by this mountain abundant in spiritual energy and protected for millennia from natural disasters? If human beings built a city in this area, many millions of people could be born in it in a thousand years. But Shangqing Sect has less than a hundred Core Formation and above disciples.”

“The great Dao is emotionless,” Yin Hanjiang said. “The lives and deaths of mortals are nothing to it.” He pressed his lips together, thinking back to his slaughtered village. He had spoken of his thoughts toward the heavenly Dao for the first time.

“That’s true, but the laws of heaven will not allow cultivators to steal opportunities granted by heaven. If cultivators had no internal strife, and everyone focused on cultivating in seclusion without disrupting one
another, then after several thousand years, all the spiritual energy in the world would be completely consumed and not a blade of grass would be able to grow. There would be no more life in this world,” Wenren È said.

The purpose of the Great Sect War was not for the righteous sects to slay the demonic, or the demonic sects to slaughter the righteous, but it was that both sides had found through analyzing signs that another heavenly
calamity was imminent, and if they didn’t relieve pressure through infighting, many more cultivators would die in heaven’s judgment, until the world had no more cultivators, and no more human beings. Stealing from heaven, deceiving heaven, robbing heaven, that was the true nature of cultivators. They tried to maintain a balance with the laws of heaven, seeking a way of survival.

“Whether or not this Venerable dies in this battle, my spiritual energy would still belong to this world. If I died and all my cultivation was lost, the place where I was buried would nurture countless lives in a hundred years,”
Wenren È said.

He looked calm and indifferent, unconcerned about life or death.

Yin Hanjiang felt a pang of pain in his heart, however, and clutched the demon sword. “This subordinate will not let the Venerable die.”

“This Venerable knows.”

In the book, Yin Hanjiang had proven his loyalty to Wenren È with his life.

Wenren È patted the back of his hand, and his voice held a rare warm tone. “If this Venerable is gone, you can follow me.”

Don’t be like in the book, living half a life on the order of the Lord of Demons.

Yin Hanjiang, hearing these words from Wenren È, unintentionally showed a look of relief and said solemnly, “Thank you, Venerable.”

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. From what I can find, the Violet Palace refers to the upper dantian which is in the head, but who cares. Anyway for this story’s purposes, it’s a part of the dantian, in the abdomen. ↩ 2. Like ley lines. ↩
3. Referring to the afterlife. Spider lilies are said to bloom on the path to the underworld. ↩
4. A star of the Big Dipper. Also called the Greedy Wolf Star in Chinese. ↩

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