Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know Chapter 51-60

Chapter 51 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 51 – Inconstant hearts

Yin Hanjiang had been buried in the snow for over three months, but not managed to regain much spiritual essence. He had drained it using the
Burning Sky Drum to fend off the heavenly tribulation. If he didn’t care about the mortals living near the Ice Plains and absorbed all the spiritual energy around, he could recover most of the way, but he refused to.

He flew slowly, reaching the Blood Hell after half a month.

He had found out several weeks ago during the battle here that he could absorb the primordial chaos energy. This was the best place for him to recover his strength.

Slowly, he climbed to the edge of the cliff and looked down. The expanse of crimson made him dizzy, and he sat weakly atop the cliff. In his eyes, there were countless Wenren È’s, jumping downward, beckoning warmly for Yin Hanjiang to follow them.

“Without Sect Leader Yin, this Venerable is quite lonely,” one said, sitting by his side. “Didn’t you swear to follow this Venerable throughout every life?”

Yin Hanjiang gazed at Wenren È’s attentive expression and shook his head. “Venerable, I want to follow you, but I can’t. You forbade me.”

“This Venerable is allowing you now,” Wenren È said.

“This subordinate has unfinished business,” Yin Hanjiang said quietly. He took out the ghost mask, now riddled with cracks. Gazing down at it, he seemed to be looking at his old self.

The Wenren È at his side looked on with him.

“Venerable, do you still remember this mask?” Yin Hanjiang asked.

Naturally, he didn’t answer. He was only a creation of Yin Hanjiang’s imagination.

“You thought this subordinate was loyal, right? I may not have been a gentleman like Zhongli Qian, but at least I was open and honest, right?” Yin Hanjiang ran a hand over the cracks in the mask, his voice restrained. “But it wasn’t true.”

His family had been slaughtered at five. He had lain in a corpse pile for days; he had been picked up by Wenren È then abandoned for a decade. How could he be open and honest? How could he not hold resentment?

Before he turned eighteen, Yin Hanjiang had lived a harsh life. He knew he’d been saved by a powerful person, whom he had very little contact with. That person wanted him to become a sword cultivator, and he
understood that he had to win that person’s favor if he wanted to survive, so he dedicated himself to practicing the sword.

But Yin Hanjiang had never said that he liked the sword.

Before he turned eighteen, he wanted to survive and become stronger, so he did all he could to win that man’s favor. When he turned eighteen, he returned to his village, saw the man who had saved him, and found out his name was Wenren È.

While he watched quietly at the sidelines as Wenren È led his troops to protect the village, longing, admiration, and worship filled his heart. Yin Hanjiang wished to be someone like Wenren È, but he could not. After
eighteen years, his temperament was already formed. He would always be a dark and twisted person. Wenren È didn’t know that the enemy troops who had fled his battles had all been hunted down by Yin Hanjiang, one by one, and stabbed to death with triangular blades.

He had already found the corpse pile where his family members were now all bones, impossible to recognize. He had buried them and put up steles, then dragged the enemy tribesmen’s corpses before the graves, setting them alight one by one, illuminating the graveyard.

Yin Hanjiang’s face was shadowy in the firelight. The warmth of the flames didn’t reach him.

After Wenren È successfully drove out the enemy tribe, he drank with his surviving soldiers. Yin Hanjiang hid in a corner, watching him.

After everyone around Wenren È had passed out and Wenren È, with his spiritual energy sealed, was also drunk, he looked over to the only person still upright and dragged him over to drink with.

Yin Hanjiang’s face turned red after taking only a sip from Wenren È’s bowl. He fled in embarrassment, taking a mask from Wenren È’s belt in order to cover his face. It was a custom in the little border town. After battles, they wore the ghost masks to pray, to prevent the evil spirits of the enemy soldiers from harming them. During the festivities, Wenren È had also worn the mask and prayed.

Yin Hanjiang felt at ease after putting on the mask. With it, no one could see his expression, and he no longer had to act proper.

He hid the mask, and whenever he could no longer keep up the act, he would secretly put it on for a moment.

After pretending for so long, he had fooled himself into thinking he really was someone who lived up to his Venerable’s expectations. Only the presence of this mask reminded Yin Hanjiang that it was a lie.

There was no need to pretend now. The person he wanted to fool was gone. Yin Hanjiang released his hand. The crack-riddled mask fell into the sea of blood, dissolving into nothingness.

He paid no more attention to the illusions by his side. He called out the Burning Sky Drum, set up a protective array, and sat cross-legged on its surface, meditating.

The people of Xuanyuan Sect had always thought the Burning Sky Drum was a first-grade immortal artifact. It wasn’t; it was a divine artifact.

Yin Hanjiang hadn’t known himself. Despite having cultivated on it for three months, he had never realized. It was when he had forcibly used it during the Great Sect War and had its vicious energy invade his body that he had gained a connection to it.

During their thirty years of seclusion, Shu Yanyan had gotten to meditate on the drum for a year. After a year had passed, Wenren È was still in
seclusion, so Yin Hanjiang had gone there to wake her up and shoo her away.

After she left, Yin Hanjiang leapt into the ravine. He stood on the drum, hearing the sounds of war drums by his ears. He wanted to gain power quicker, hoping to sharpen his sword will by cultivating on the drum and help his Venerable.

But this time, he was completely unable to make progress.

He didn’t understand why. He was able to cultivate while wielding the demonic sword, but now he could not with the Army Crushing Sword.

He stared at the blade. There seemed to be a voice deep inside him, telling him over and over that the weapon wasn’t right.

Yin Hanjiang knew that swords weren’t suited to him. Swords were too
slow at killing people. When a triangular spike stabbed someone, the wound was difficult to close and the bleeding difficult to stop, so it was his favored weapon. He put on the ghost mask. After hiding his emotions, he felt his heart become unfettered, and he easily harmonized with the Burning Sky Drum.

His cultivation progressed quickly this time. After ten years, his sword had become the Army Crushing Spike, a weapon that truly suited him, and Yin Hanjiang had risen to the peak of Mahayana.

But once he left the drum and took off the mask, his realm dropped back to Void Boundary and his weapon returned to being a sword.

Wenren È had once said that if one’s mental state didn’t match their realm, it was like giving a three-year-old child a magic sword. They could have the greatest treasure in the world, but be unable to use its power. Yin Hanjiang knew that after taking off the mask and suppressing his true self, his mental state was insufficient for wielding Mahayana level power. In order to grow stronger, he had to let go of his pretenses.

He didn’t dare. He couldn’t imagine his Venerable’s expression upon seeing that he held a triangular spike instead of a sword. So Yin Hanjiang decided it was best to remain this way for now.

When Altar Master Yuan had beaten him and was about to take the Burning Sky Drum, Yin Hanjiang had no choice but to put on the mask and unleash his true power.

The mask wasn’t special at all. It was only a shield to allow Yin Hanjiang to show his true nature.

Now that it had no use, it might as well accompany his Venerable. After Yin Hanjiang finished what must be done, he would return to the Blood Hell.

After ten months, Yin Hanjiang opened his eyes atop the Burning Sky
Drum. Only a god could absorb chaos energy. Using the divine weapon’s power, he had already recovered, and had another breakthrough.

Yin Hanjiang didn’t know how strong he was now. He faintly felt he had already passed the point of his heavenly tribulation, and the heavenly lightning he had faced while pursuing Hè Wenzhao a year back had, aside from enforcing the laws of heaven, also been meant for his breakthrough.

He seemed to have immortal essence, but not quite.

Oh well, it didn’t matter. He just needed enough power.

Yin Hanjiang put away the Burning Sky Drum and Wenren È’s robe. After a long gaze at the sea of blood, he returned to Xuanyuan Sect in a light flash.

Xuanyuan Sect had been a bit chaotic this past year. First Sect Leader Yin and Protector Shu joined forces to kill Altar Master Yuan, then the Sect
Master had been surrounded and killed at the Blood Hell. Sect Leader Yin, who had previously been unassuming as a shadow, had snapped and scared the Shangqing Sect Master and his chief disciple into hiding in their sect for over a year. The battle had shaken the entire cultivation world.

After gaining renown in battle, Sect Leader Yin had vanished. The
Xuanyuan Sect was left without a leader, Altar Master Yuan’s subordinates fought and killed over his position, and the rest of the Altar Masters began to eye Yin Hanjiang’s position after a year had gone by with no news. The Altar Masters and Qiu Congxue would fight with each other several times in a month. Right now, they were nursing their injuries and saving up
strength for the next fight.

Shu Yanyan, who had once overcome all four Altar Masters, was
comfortable in her position. She never participated in the fighting, lazing about on her new large bed all day, occasionally going to mess with Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian.

Baili Qingmiao had been injured after her bonded weapon was destroyed at the Blood Hell and had been recovering at Xuanyuan Sect all this time.
Zhongli Qian had made his agreement with Wenren È, that he had to tell something to Yin Hanjiang, so he couldn’t leave before meeting Yin

The two, along with Su Huai, had been guests in Qiu Congxue’s cultivation grounds. Since Qiu Congxue was powerful and didn’t have many subordinates, their stay was quite peaceful.

“The Left Protector’s cultivation grounds are more deserted than a haunted house.” Shu Yanyan had come to “visit” the injured Baili Qingmiao again, striking up a conversation when she saw Zhongli Qian helping Su Huai
study. “Where’s Protector Qiu?”

“She has an appointment to fight the three Altar Masters in the Main Hall today.” Zhongli Qian signaled for Su Huai to stop and rose to greet Shu Yanyan. “Long time no see, Protector Shu.”

“It hasn’t been long, just three days.” Shu Yanyan yawned languidly. “She sure can fight. She’s just managed to get her flesh back and already turned into a skeleton again, yet she’s still fighting.”

Zhongli Qian poured a cup of tea for Shu Yanyan, saying warmly,
“Protector Qiu is an honest woman with a straightforward nature, but she tends to overlook details. I must thank Protector Shu for keeping an eye on her over this past year.”

“It was nothing,” Shu Yanyan said with a wave of her hand. “Is there a reason for your visit today?” Zhongli Qian asked.
“I can never fool you.” Shu Yanyan gazed at Zhongli Qian’s face. “You’re smart, Young Master Zhongli. What would you say I want?”

Zhongli Qian picked up his own cup of tea, saying in an unhurried pace, “The people of Xuanyuan Sect are inconstant and Protector Shu wishes to join in the fray, so is hoping for my support.”

“It sure is convenient talking to someone intelligent,” Shu Yanyan said, gazing at Zhongli Qian with her chin in her hand. “What does Young
Master Zhongli think? I know your relationship with Protector Qiu is better, but she doesn’t have a brain, and the Xuanyuan Sect would collapse after three days under her leadership.” “My thoughts? I hope Protector Shu will wait a few more days,” Zhongli Qian said.

He had barely finished speaking when the wards around Xuanyuan Sect broke. A terrifying force charged into the sect.

Shu Yanyan stood and said seriously, “Was this what you were waiting for, Young Master Zhongli?”

“Right.” Zhongli Qian put down his teacup and said to Su Huai, “Go prepare medicines and a spirit gathering array. Your martial ancestor will be getting a lot more injured today.”

Su Huai: …

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 52 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 52 – Tidying up the sect again

A fierce four-sided battle was currently going on at the Xuanyuan Sect Main Hall.

Altar Master Miao was trying to convince Altar Master Shi to fight Altar Master Ruan, Altar Master Shi was giving up and not helping either side, Altar Master Ruan wanted to team up with Qiu Congxue, but Qiu Congxue was determined to take all three on at once. Finally, it developed into a
scene where Altar Masters Miao, Shi, and Ruan teamed up against Qiu Congxue, while Miao and Ruan took potshots at each other from time to time, and Shi hid whenever he could.

Suddenly, a streak of cold light shot into the room. An earthshaking force caused the four to instantly stop and back off, trying to flee as quickly as possible. However, three streaks of fierce sword light slashed through the place where they were fighting. The tortoise shell that Altar Master Ruan hadn’t had time to pick up was split into pieces in an instant.

Altar Master Shi clutched his chest in terror. Good thing he was quick at hiding, because the sword light was vicious, able to split your flesh open at a touch. The attacker hadn’t held back in the least, as if they didn’t care
which of them were cut apart by the slash.

Wondering who was so merciless, Shi Congxin peeked out and saw Deputy Sect Leader Yin, wearing a crimson robe, with a silver belt that outlined the slim shape of his waist.

“Yin Hanjiang, do you want to die?” Altar Master Ruan yelled, looking heartbrokenly at his tortoise shell. “Do you also want to become the Lord of Demons? Come on! Whoever’s stronger will—” Yin Hanjiang waved a hand. Translucent qi in the shape of a drumstick smacked into Altar Master Ruan’s chestplate.

Altar Master Ruan’s armor was said to have been made from the Xuanwu’s shell, and was a top-grade defensive item, stronger than many smaller sects’ wards. However, under Yin Hanjiang’s strike, his chestplate shattered in an instant. It felt like his chest had been hit by the weight of an entire mountain. He flew out of the room, and might’ve gone much further if the
sect’s array didn’t block him.

When he crawled back up the mountain, covered with dust, he heard Yin Hanjiang’s cold voice echoing across the Main Hall. “After Wenren È, no one can be titled Venerable.”

“What do you mean?” Qiu Congxue said furiously. “Now that Wenren È’s dead, it’s no issue if you want to become the Lord of Demons, you just gotta fight for it. But if you don’t want it, what gives you the right to stop other people?”

Shu Yanyan, who had rushed over when the array was broken: …

“I thought I’d be in time to save her,” she said to Zhongli Qian. “Oh well. Might be better for her to get a beating.”

She grabbed for Zhongli Qian’s hand, deciding to back off, but reached for empty air. Turning, she saw that Zhongli Qian, who had been alongside her the whole way, had already backed a hundred meters away with Su Huai.

Shu Yanyan: …

This man with both looks and brains certainly never missed anything.

She retreated plenty fast, but was still hit by a flying Qiu Congxue. Her soft body caught Qiu Congxue’s rack of bones.

Shu Yanyan had brought out her spider lily, preventing her from being sent flying all the way to the mountain’s array like Altar Master Ruan. She managed to stand back up, tossing Qiu Congxue aside. After looking more closely, she saw Qiu Congxue really was on her last legs, and the remaining flesh on her face was also gone.

She said to Qiu Congxue, “Ah, you find trouble everywhere you can, and never learn your lesson until you get hurt.”

She placed a slim foot on Qiu Congxue’s face, her eyes curving into a
smile. Spider lilies bloomed around Altar Masters Shi and Miao, displaying a clear threat.

After she had held back the other two Altar Masters, Shu Yanyan got to one knee respectfully before Yin Hanjiang. “This subordinate greets Sect Leader Yin.”

Seeing the states Altar Master Ruan and Protector Qiu were in, and how Shu Yanyan threw in the towel immediately and had no intention of joining forces with them, Altar Masters Shi and Miao had no choice but to recognize Yin Hanjiang, even if they were unwilling.

Without any resistance, they knelt obediently alongside Shu Yanyan.

Yin Hanjiang landed on the ground. He glanced at Shu Yanyan and immediately closed his eyes. He hadn’t had contact with anyone over this past year, yet he saw phantoms of Wenren È whether his eyes were open or closed. Now everyone he saw looked like Wenren È, and even Shu Yanyan bore his face. It was truly improper.

“Ah,” Zhongli Qian sighed quietly. He told Su Huai, “Take your martial ancestor back for healing. She can go next to your master.”

Su Huai went over to pick up Qiu Congxue. At this point, she only had a skeleton left, and it was unknown how long it would take her to recover.

Shu Yanyan also had her subordinate Helian Chu take Altar Master Ruan away, and ordered people to clean up the Main Hall. Qiu Congxue and the rest had been fighting here for months, so it was a mess, and Shu Yanyan had been too lazy to fix it. After all, it’d be broken in a few days anyway. After Yin Hanjiang had crushed them under his heel, the Main Hall could finally be at peace. Shu Yanyan finally sent her subordinates to sort it out.

Yin Hanjiang saw that the Main Hall doors had been smashed, the hall, as well as Wenren È’s room had been covered with dust, and a beam had fallen on Wenren È’s bed. He waved a hand and sent Altar Master Miao flying, to join Altar Master Ruan and Qiu Congxue.

Altar Master Shi, who rarely acted, shrank into himself and followed Yin Hanjiang, trembling.

Yin Hanjiang raised his voice so that it reached every corner of the hall.
“You all can continue to fight in the Main Hall as usual, but from now on, however many stones you smash and however many beams you break, I’ll break that many bones and meridians!”

He waved a hand, having the Army Crushing Spike return to his grasp. Its vicious edges chilled everyone who saw it to their core. This was the
weapon who had stripped all the flesh off Qiu Congxue in an instant, with the proficiency of a master butcher.

With Qiu Congxue’s bloody body as an example, no one dared to revolt. Altar Master Yuan’s former subordinates also stopped their infighting, obediently casting spells to clean and fix up the place. In less than two hours, the Main Hall was repaired.

“Ven—Sect Leader Yin, should the head seat be changed?” One of Altar Master Yuan’s subordinates asked warily.

“No need,” Yin Hanjiang said.

“Then should Sect Master Wenren’s furniture be changed? Will Sect Leader Yin be moving into his room?”

“Of course n—” Yin Hanjiang was going to refuse, but hesitated. He pressed his lips together and said, “You can leave it the way it was. Where I stay isn’t any of your business.” After cleaning up the Main Hall in accordance with Yin Hanjiang’s orders, they all retreated, leaving only Zhongli Qian and Shu Yanyan. Having been there during Yin Hanjiang’s battle with Altar Master Yuan, Shu Yanyan felt rather wary. She took a step back and didn’t speak, leaving everything to Zhongli Qian.

Yin Hanjiang paid no attention to the two. He stared at the chair Wenren È usually sat on, unwilling to take it.

He had always stood to the left of that chair.

Zhongli Qian noticed he was standing still and spoke to remind Yin
Hanjiang. “Sect Leader Yin, I’ve been staying at Xuanyuan Sect for these past months because Sir Wenren asked me a favor. There are some words I need to pass on to you.”

Hearing Wenren È’s name, Yin Hanjiang froze. Standing before the seat, he said coldly, “What words?”

“Sir Wenren said, ‘This Venerable must go to the Blood Hell, and I have some certainty of my survival. For the moment, Yin Hanjiang need not
accompany me. If this Venerable does not return for one year, you can erect a cenotaph, and decide on your own whether to follow this Venerable or do something else.’ Those were his exact words, not one is missed.”

Zhongli Qian couldn’t see Yin Hanjiang’s expression, but he could sense his emotions. These past few months, he had also thought it was silly for him to remain at Xuanyuan Sect. A year had passed, and these words were already meaningless.

Even so, Zhongli Qian still had to fulfill his promise, and wait for Yin Hanjiang’s return to pass these words on to him.

“I can erect a cenotaph after one year….” Yin Hanjiang clutched his chest, feeling like it was rotting inside, the pain unbearable.

He rested a hand on the armrest of the chair for a long while. Finally, he slowly sat down on the chair that symbolized the supreme authority in Xuanyuan Sect.

“I won’t erect one right now,” Yin Hanjiang said through gritted teeth. “I’ll kill Hè Wenzhao and the other people who ambushed him that day, and offer their souls to my Venerable!”

Hearing his bloodthirsty words, Zhongli Qian had to advise him, “Sect Leader Yin, Sir Wenren could’ve entered the Blood Hell at any time, but he wanted the righteous sects to think he was the Blood Demon, in order to unmask the true Blood Demon inside Hè Wenzhao before the righteous and demonic paths. Sir Wenren has said that once a blood cultivator begins
consuming souls, they won’t be able to stop. The Blood Demon will need five years to completely absorb the seventeen cultivators’ powers. After five years, he’ll start killing again, so we’ll be able to act then. I beg Sect Leader Yin to endure for now, and not fail Sir Wenren’s plan.”

Shu Yanyan watched as Yin Hanjiang’s expression became darker and darker. Only when Zhongli Qian mentioned not failing Wenren È did Yin Hanjiang manage to restrain himself. Shu Yanyan was worried. Yin
Hanjiang could control his darker nature now because of Wenren È’s words, but after he completed his revenge, there might be nothing in the world to restrain Yin Hanjiang.

“I understand.” Yin Hanjiang took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down. “The Venerable is compassionate and thinks only of mortal lives. He doesn’t care who harms him, but I’m not like that.”

Compassionate? Shu Yanyan stared blankly. Who was Yin Hanjiang talking about again? Wenren È? Did he misunderstand Wenren È?

While she wondered, she saw Yin Hanjiang gripping the armrests tightly. “I can wait five years, but I won’t do nothing in that time.

“I remember all nine experts there that day. They were from Shangqing, Tianjian, Jiuxing, Biluo, and Wuxiang, the five great sects, as well as the Gongxi, Liangqiu, and Nanguo clans. I’ve killed the Nanguo clan elder, so eight remain. I’ll gift them all to the Blood Demon Elder!” Shu Yanyan had guessed what Yin Hanjiang would do. With a gulp, she
said, “Sect Leader, at our current strength, Xuanyuan Sect can’t take on so many sects and cultivation clans at once. Also… also, Shangqing Sect is holed up behind its wards, which you failed to break last time.”

The Great Sect War was one thing, but to destroy a rooted sect was another. Almost every sect and clan was warded by immortal artifacts. If they really hid shamelessly, it would be very difficult to snatch an elder or disciple from within a sect.

Yin Hanjiang said expressionlessly, “The larger sects have many branches, so there are always bound to be some disciples traveling outside. We’ll lie low for a few years, using soul puppeting, gu parasites, or curses to control them, then use them to lure in the experts of their sect and crush them one by one.”

Hearing his words, Zhongli Qian immediately said, “Sect Leader Yin, I’ve passed on the message, and the rest of this is Xuanyuan Sect affairs, so I don’t wish to get involved. I have already troubled Xuanyuan Sect for many months, so I think—”

Yin Hanjiang interrupted him. “Mister Zhongli is clever and the Xuanyuan Sect currently lacks an Altar Master. Since you’ve already troubled us for a year, why don’t you just stay? Protector Shu, prepare a residence for Altar Master Zhongli.”

Shu Yanyan’s eyes brightened and she eagerly said, “This subordinate understands!”

Zhongli Qian: …

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 53 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 53 – Inner demons’ illusions

CW: mentions of suicide interspersed throughout the next few chapters

Zhongli Qian wanted to refuse. He was a Mahayana cultivator, so with his power and intellect, Yin Hanjiang wouldn’t be able to stop him unless he crippled his cultivation. And since Yin Hanjiang wanted Zhongli Qian to work for him, he would have to treat him properly, not like a criminal.

He was about to raise his objections and ask Yin Hanjiang to reconsider, but the red-robed man said, “Zhongli Qian, do you know what the first thing I wanted to do upon returning to the sect was?”

Zhongli Qian’s heart stuttered. “I have an idea.”

“My plan was to first send Xuanyuan Sect members to gather up wandering cultivators and small sects unaffiliated with the great sects. We could accept those willing to make spirit vows and join the Xuanyuan Sect, while those unwilling would be interrogated for their secret techniques and killed,” Yin Hanjiang said heartlessly. “Within three years, all cultivators unaffiliated
with the great sects or cultivation clans would belong to us. At that point,
we’d take on the weaker sects and make their disciples ours, then overcome the others one by one.”

Yin Hanjiang laughed scornfully at himself. “I’m not my lord. I don’t mind the lives of the members of Xuanyuan Sect, or the lives of innocent bystanders. I’ll do anything in order to achieve my goals.

“Zhongli Qian, your words have held me back, but since you got in the way of my plan, you’ll have to make up for it.” “This…” Zhongli Qian used spiritual cognition to sense Yin Hanjiang, and found his words weren’t empty.

“I must take my revenge. If you don’t want me to bring chaos to the
cultivation world, then you had better do your best to stop me. I won’t lock you up. It’s up to you whether or not you’ll be an Altar Master.” Yin
Hanjiang stood up, turning his back and leaving the main hall, leaving Zhongli Qian to his decision.

Zhongli Qian smiled wryly. He knew Yin Hanjiang was telling him that once he left, Yin Hanjiang would return to his old plan.

Yin Hanjiang hadn’t been lying. He really didn’t care about Xuanyuan Sect, the cultivation world, or even all lives on Earth. The only person worthy of his concern in this world was Wenren È. In order to avenge Wenren È, Yin Hanjiang could throw away everything else.

“Still want to leave?” Shu Yanyan said, smiling.

Zhongli Qian sighed. “Sect Leader Yin and Sir Wenren both understand people well. Both have been open and upfront, never using underhanded plots so far, but… this is harder to deal with than a plot.”

“Well, Yanyan better go prepare a residence for Altar Master Zhongli. It’s not ideal to keep staying at Qiu Congxue’s place, right?” Shu Yanyan said.

“You don’t seem concerned about Sect Leader Yin’s current state,” Zhongli Qian said. “Aren’t you afraid of the world being thrown into chaos?”

“Altar Master Zhongli can worry about it, so why should I stress myself out?” said Shu Yanyan. “Even if the sky falls, there’ll be smart people to hold it up. I don’t desire much, so I’m happy just to have someone attractive near me to ease my eyes.”
Hearing her melodious laughter, Zhongli Qian said, “Protector Shu is wise.” Resignedly, he followed Protector Shu to accept his position as Altar
Master. No one was concerned he’d be unable to keep Altar Master Yuan’s former subordinates in line. With his capabilities, it wouldn’t take him more than a month to sort out the Main Hall.

Shu Yanyan dumped a huge pile of jade slips containing Xuanyuan Sect’s history, roster, and regulations on Zhongli Qian. A single jade slip of the cultivation world could hold as much information as a cartload of books, and there were over a hundred of them alone. After piling them all on Zhongli Qian’s desk, her face flushed slightly, and she said ruefully, “You
don’t need to overdo it. Don’t stress yourself out too much. The white hair lends you a distinctive air, but if you went bald, there’s no way I could like you anymore.”

“…I’ll do my best.”

While Shu Yanyan messed with Zhongli Qian, Yin Hanjiang had come to Wenren È’s old room, which was now his.

Wenren È was a frugal person. Unlike Shu Yanyan, who filled her
cultivation grounds with beds, his room only had a desk, four chairs, and a bed barely big enough to fit two adults.

The remaining vast space was for his cultivation. The floor was covered with arrays, only needing spiritual stones to be placed in their foci to be activated.

Yin Hanjiang came to the bed. Wenren È rarely laid down, so this bed was just here for him to meditate on.

He stared for a while at the simple wooden bed, then took off his boots and laid down with his clothes still on, resting his head on the pillow his
Venerable rarely used.

His heart thumped, louder than the Burning Sky Drum. Counting his own heartbeats, Yin Hanjiang painfully closed his eyes.

When his Venerable was still here, he often came to this room to listen to his Venerable’s teachings. Sometimes, Wenren È would read silently, and as Yin Hanjiang waited, his mind would wander. Sometimes, he would stare at Wenren È’s handsome features, and sometimes stare at the bed and daydream.

What was he thinking about back then? Yin Hanjiang wondered quietly. He didn’t remember.
“You do remember, don’t you?” said a familiar voice from beside the bed. It was his Venerable. Yin Hanjiang didn’t open his eyes, knowing this wasn’t real.

“Sect Leader Yin, at the time, you were thinking of how wonderful it would be to secretly lie in this bed, weren’t you?” The voice became more harsh, growing closer.

Yin Hanjiang’s eyes flew open. Wenren È was standing before him, only wearing a white inner robe.

As he kept his eyes on Wenren È, the phantasm came on to the bed with him, lying on his side next to Yin Hanjiang, saying in a low voice, “This Venerable is not opposed to sleeping alongside Sect Leader Yin.”

Yin Hanjiang sat upright, his gaze locked onto Wenren È, as if he was facing down his own unruly heart.

He had once said to Zhongli Qian, “If there is no desire, there will be no suffering. If there is only love, there will never be resentment.”

He had thought these words were the truth, straight from his heart. But the reason love led to suffering was that fantasies were hard to suppress. How could he not desire? How could he never have improper thoughts?

Even when he had not yet understood his heart, he had still thought that the wine from his Venerable’s cup was incomparably sweet, wanting to steal a sip. Now that he had realized, his fantasies had run out of control.

“Come here, Sect Leader Yin.” The Wenren È on the bed beckoned him. “Or do you want this Venerable to call you Hanjiang?” “Enough!” Yin Hanjiang roared. He lunged across the bed, wanting to grab that Wenren È, but only met with empty air.

There was nothing within his arms. His Venerable wasn’t there.

Yin Hanjiang stared at the empty bed in a daze. There wasn’t even a wrinkle at the place where Wenren È had been lying.

After spacing out for a while, he slowly rubbed the place where the illusion had been lying, seeming to feel a slight warmth. But when he moved over, then looked at the place where he had just lain, it was empty.

There seemed to be an insatiable beast in his heart, devouring all of his emotions.

He didn’t dare get on the bed again, despondently sitting at the desk. Another Wenren È appeared in the seat next to him.

Wenren È picked up a wine cup and poured himself wine. After drinking half the cup, he looked toward Yin Hanjiang. “Hanjiang, why are you looking at this Venerable in that way? Do you want to drink? Here.”

He purposefully turned the cup, letting the place he had drank from face toward Yin Hanjiang.

Obediently, Yin Hanjiang dipped his head, drinking from Wenren È’s hand, but as before, he sipped nothing but air.

He wasn’t devastated this time. He’d known it was fake, yet he had indulged himself in order to tell himself that this all was an illusion, and he could not trust in it.

He rubbed his face and took out God of Annihilation: Volume 2 from his storage belt. He needed to find some way to occupy himself in his
Venerable’s room.

Yin Hanjiang had heard Wenren È say that Abusive Romance and God of Annihilation respectively recorded Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao’s fates, and they seemed to be the focal points of this world. Yin Hanjiang had personally witnessed the spiritual realm change depending on whether Baili Qingmiao was conscious, so knew that this book recorded fate itself.

In order to defeat Hè Wenzhao, he had to know his enemy. Even though the second volume told of the events in the immortal realm, he could at least find the weak points of Hè Wenzhao’s character.

Yin Hanjiang had been injured before, so he didn’t dare open this book which recorded his Venerable’s death, afraid that it might affect his mind and impede his recovery.

Only now that he was back at Xuanyuan Sect, in his Venerable’s room, a place that put him at ease, did Yin Hanjiang dare to open the book.

Doing his best to ignore the mention of Wenren È’s death in the summary, Yin Hanjiang speed-read through the book.

In the book, Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao arrived in the immortal realm, initially keeping a low profile and gradually gaining renown. Baili Qingmiao had good aptitudes and looks, so there were always immortals foolish enough to hit on her. The first part of the story relied entirely on Baili Qingmiao to move the plot. Someone would harass Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao would act, then she would be harassed again, so Hè
Wenzhao would act again.

Hè Wenzhao had had several breakthroughs in his cultivation, seemingly just to save Baili Qingmiao.

After reading this, Yin Hanjiang was sure that women were Hè Wenzhao’s weakness.

Afterward, the Violet Spirit Master, the Gongxi mistress, Zhongli Kuang, Yao Jiaping, and Cen Zhengqi ascended one after another. Hè Wenzhao had also met several powerful female immortals and male immortals rebellious toward the Burning Sky Immortal. His influence gradually grew until he
could contend with the Burning Sky Immortal. In this part, Yin Hanjiang found Hè Wenzhao seemed to have no reservations toward women. He would even treat women who used to be his enemies warmly, as long as they didn’t already have a man. At the beginning, Baili Qingmiao had gotten plenty of scenes, but as the number of female characters grew, she became less prominent. After fighting a few times with Hè Wenzhao over his relations with other women, she stormed out and wound up kidnapped by the Burning Sky Immortal.

The Burning Sky Immortal cast Baili Qingmiao into the immortal realm’s divine flames, in order to refine her into a soul lamp.

Seeing “soul lamp”, Yin Hanjiang’s eyebrows rose. He felt this Burning Sky Immortal was somehow familiar.

Indeed, when he flipped the page, he saw: The Burning Sky Immortal looked sadly at Baili Qingmiao and said, “Since Wenren È loved you, you shouldn’t betray his feelings. I’m going to refine you into an everburning lamp, to place into the sky above the Blood Hell and illuminate it for
eternity, so you can always be with him. Isn’t that good?”

With these words, and his relation to the Burning Sky Drum, Yin Hanjiang was now certain that the Burning Sky Immortal in the second volume was himself. But what was his future self saying?

His Venerable loved Baili Qingmiao?

He put down the book, sitting at the desk in a daze, his eyes blank.

Baili Qingmiao had been recovering in Xuanyuan Sect for over a year at this point, spending most of that time unconscious. Her bonded weapon had been disintegrated by chaos energy. If a bond with a weapon was forcibly
severed, the dantian would be seriously damaged and it would be difficult to recover.

This wasn’t a problem to Qiu Congxue though. This just affected her flesh body. It would be so much better to just discard it and cultivate her soul as a ghost cultivator. She could give Baili Qingmiao all her secret techniques, as well open up the hungry ghost path for her and throw her in there to cultivate. That was a sacred ground for ghost cultivators.

Qiu Congxue always acted according to her words and was highly efficient. It was fortunate that Zhongli Qian arrived in time and told Qiu Congxue that Baili Qingmiao’s heaviest injury was not on her body, but in her heart. Even if she cultivated as a soul, the injury to her soul wouldn’t heal, and she had no possibility of surviving the hungry ghost path in such a state.

Zhongli Qian wasn’t doing so well at the moment either. He knew that Baili Qingmiao’s heart was broken. He himself was affected, feeling the urge to end his own life every day.

In truth, if Zhongli Qian wasn’t restraining her, Baili Qingmiao might’ve attempted suicide numerous times.

Eventually, Shu Yanyan had sought out Altar Master Miao for help in
suppressing the heart-linking parasites. Altar Master Miao wasn’t sure of Wenren È’s death at the time, so he didn’t dare remove the parasites and only gave some medicine to alleviate the effects. Thus, Zhongli Qian was temporarily freed, but Baili Qingmiao’s condition became worse.

Zhongli Qian could only ask Altar Master Shi to sit with Baili Qingmiao for a night. After one night, Baili Qingmiao fell ill, drifting in and out of
consciousness, so she didn’t have the strength to take her own life even if she wanted to.

Baili Qingmiao had spent these past days half-conscious, not knowing where she was and unclear on how much time had passed.

In her daze, she faintly felt that Su Huai had set down a rack of white bones next to her, mumbling to himself as he wiped them. “Are you an idiot?
Always looking for trouble. Is there anything in your brain besides fighting and eating?”

The skeleton moved its jawbone, making a click-clack sound, as if it were speaking. Baili Qingmiao couldn’t understand it, but Su Huai seemed to have no trouble doing so. He said casually, “Are you proud that you’re a skeleton again? After all the effort I went through to get a body, do you know how happy I was? Yet you’ve managed to get yourself the body of a wandering immortal, and treat it like this.”

Click-clack, click-clack… clack! The skeleton’s jawbone fell off.

Su Huai’s voice was suffused with worry. “How long is it going to take you to recover now? Consider from time to time, that you’re not a ghost
cultivator anymore. You’re a wandering immortal, with a body grown from the Flesh Mushroom. Each bit of flesh you lose lowers your power. Sect Leader Yin has already diminished your power to the Nascent Soul Stage. If this keeps up, you’ll lose your position as Sect Protector.”

Sighing, Su Huai helped the skeleton reattach its jaw. “Protector Shu said that you first absorbed the Flesh Mushroom by soaking your bones in its broth, so its essence is in your bones. You’ll recover with top-grade spiritual stones and attentive care. Mister Zhongli is currently setting up a spirit gathering array for you, so I’ll take you there in a bit. Cultivate properly.
Stop abusing the flesh on your body.”

He let out a long sigh. As a Core Formation cultivator, he was taking responsibilities far above his station.

After settling down Qiu Congxue, he went to feed Baili Qingmiao medicine. He pried open his master’s jaw with practiced motions, stuffing the pill in, then used his spiritual energy to move Baili Qingmiao’s throat and force her to swallow.

After he finished, he picked up the skeleton and went to find Zhongli Qian.

Baili Qingmiao was somewhat aware at this moment, and guessed that the skeleton was Qiu Congxue. She wanted to ask Su Huai if her master was okay and how she had gotten so injured. Her lips had moved slightly, but she was unable to open her mouth. After Su Huai left, Baili Qingmiao laid there, her body feeling heavy. She felt someone sit by her side. An ice-cold piece of metal touched her face a few times.

She sensed powerful murderous intent, and her survival instincts made her open her eyes.

The moment she did, she saw Yin Hanjiang sitting by her bed, holding a spike blade over her nose. There was a dark look in his eyes, as if he was deciding whether or not to stab down.

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 54 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 54 – Unstable mind

After reading the book, Yin Hanjiang had been in a daze for a long time. He didn’t remember what he was thinking back then.

He suddenly remembered his Venerable had once said he had a debt toward Baili Qingmiao, which he could only repay by helping her attain godhood. He also remembered how Zhongli Qian had told him that Wenren È had faced danger to save Baili Qingmiao, not because he didn’t care about his own life, but because he had a plan.

Sitting at the desk, he cocked his head slightly, not quite certain whether these memories were real or his own imagination.

He turned toward the Wenren È sitting at his left side and said, “Does the Venerable like Baili Qingmiao?”

“Don’t you remember what this Venerable has told you?” said that Wenren È.

Yin Hanjiang turned his head to the Wenren È sitting on his right. “What do you think, Venerable?”

“This Venerable has told you that these books record fate, and fate is difficult to change,” said that Wenren È.

With both Wenren È’s repeating his Venerable’s words by his ears, Yin Hanjiang’s thoughts felt disordered. He didn’t know whose words were
correct, and didn’t even know if the two people next to him really existed. He lifted his hands, wanting to cover his ears, but now that he was able to listen to his Venerable’s voice, he was loath to seal his hearing.

Yin Hanjiang shook his head a few times, feeling that something was wrong with him.

He put away the book and sat cross-legged on the bed, reciting the Clear Mind Spell, trying to calm his heart and quiet his unruly thoughts.

But the two Wenren È’s sat next to Yin Hanjiang, pressed against his sides. “Is Sect Leader Yin reciting the Clear Mind Spell because he no longer
wants to see this Venerable?”

Yin Hanjiang felt his meridians were clogged and he couldn’t even circulate his spiritual essence though his body. He forcibly tried to open his meridians, but spat up a mouthful of blood. There was a piercing pain in his dantian, and he was unable to circulate any spiritual essence.

“False, all false.” Yin Hanjiang brought out Wenren È’s robe. Holding it to his chest, he felt much better.

Clutching it tight, he closed his eyes. He was uncertain if he fell asleep or lost consciousness.

Vaguely, he seemed to have a dream, though it also seemed to not be a dream, and instead something that really happened. He dreamed that, after the Great Sect War, his Venerable had been saved by a woman of the righteous sects. His Venerable favored that woman very much, and at last, died saving her at the Blood Hell.

At the moment before he fell into the Blood Hell, his Venerable had thrown that woman, wrapped in his own robe, at Yin Hanjiang, along with a blood- red stone. His last words were, “Protect her for this Venerable.”

The pain that seemed to split his heart woke Yin Hanjiang. He looked at his arms and saw only a robe, but no woman.

Hm? Odd, how did his Venerable die? Yin Hanjiang shook his head. He seemed to have trouble remembering.

There were two series of events in his memories. In one, his Venerable was good to him and treated him warmly. He retrieved the Snow Flame for him, forged a bonded weapon for him, and gave him his robe. In the other… in the other, he quietly looked on as his Venerable treated a woman kindly, kindly enough to make his heart ache, kindly enough that time after time, he put on the ghost mask in the dead of night, carving that woman’s figure out of wood with his sword, after which he would gouge her face out with his fingernails, bit by bit, and slowly reduce the figurine to wood chips.

Which was real?

Yin Hanjiang dug through his storage belt and found many wood figurines of Wenren È, which he had carved secretly. They all looked unsightly, and he didn’t dare show them to his Venerable.

Wood figurines? So his Venerable liking that girl was true, and his
Venerable treating him well was just a fantasy created by his inner demons?

“Protector Yin, your body is cold. Drink some of this Venerable’s blood.” A Wenren È stood before Yin Hanjiang, holding out his hand, offering Yin
Hanjiang his blood.

Yin Hanjiang ignored him. He extended two fingers, digging them deep into his eyes. If he gouged out his eyes, then he would no longer see the illusions.

The pain shocked him back to his senses, and he managed to regain some reason.

Yin Hanjiang put away the robe and figurines. He pushed open the door and immediately ran into Su Huai, who was carrying a skeleton and looking for Zhongli Qian. When the skeleton saw Yin Hanjiang, all of its joints started clattering. Who knew if it was scared or cursing out Yin Hanjiang.

“Stop moving!” Su Huai grabbed Qiu Congxue’s bones, preventing her from speaking. “If your bones were shattered and the essence of the Flesh Mushroom flowed out, you’d really be done for!”

Seeing Yin Hanjiang walk directly toward him, Su Huai rushed to kneel down while holding the skeleton still. “This one greets Sect Leader Yin.”

“Who are you?” The corners of Yin Hanjiang’s eyes were bleeding, as he stared at Su Huai.

Su Huai said frantically, “I’m Baili Qingmiao’s disciple and Zhongli Qian’s student. At this point, I haven’t yet entered the Xuanyuan Sect and am still on Shangqing Sect’s roster. I don’t know if I count as a member of
Xuanyuan Sect, but if possible, I’d like to enter the Hellfire Altar, hehe.”

Xuanyuan Sect was a major sect for ghost cultivators, and people like
Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were legendary figures of the kind it took three lifetimes of fortune to meet once. Qiu Congxue had originally also been in this class, but he had known her for too long. With how well Su Huai knew his martial ancestor’s tendencies, he really couldn’t respect her.

“I don’t remember you.” Yin Hanjiang stared at Su Huai, unsure if his memory was faulty or if they really hadn’t met before.

“I had the honor of meeting Sect Leader Yin at the Violet Spirit Pavilion. I’m such an insignificant person that it makes sense for Sect Leader to not remember me,” Su Huai said, scratching his head.

“You’re Baili Qingmiao’s disciple?” Yin Hanjiang lifted a hand. He remembered that Baili Qingmiao was the girl his Venerable favored. Even if he couldn’t kill her, could he not kill a disciple?

Su Huai, not sensing the danger, replied honestly, “Yes. My master and I
were victims of Shangqing Sect’s schemes and have much gratitude toward Sect Master Wenren for saving us. Su Huai is willing to join the Xuanyuan Sect and serve Sect Leader Yin for life.”

“The Venerable… saved Baili Qingmiao? At the Blood Hell?” Yin
Hanjiang withdrew the hand that had almost reached Su Huai’s body. “Yes. It was really dangerous. The righteous cultivators are all scum, and that Hè Wenzhao, *******…” Su Huai started cussing again. Since Zhongli Qian and his master weren’t here, he took the opportunity to cuss the righteous cultivators out so hard their ancestral tablets would be smoking.

Yin Hanjiang had never even heard some of the words he used, but he understood perfectly well. After listening for a bit, he clapped Su Huai on the shoulder. “Good cussing.”

“Hehe.” Su Huai chuckled awkwardly. “Master and Mister Zhongli both don’t like to hear me cuss. If Sect Leader likes it, I could sneak over and cuss for you to hear.”

“Sounds good,” Yin Hanjiang said. “Where’s Baili Qingmiao?”

“Protector Qiu’s quarters. It’s rich in spiritual energy, which Mister Zhongli said would help master recover,” Su Huai said a bit doubtfully. “After master returned from the Blood Hell, her mental state hasn’t been right.
Mister Zhongli said it wasn’t just heartbreak, but that something seems to be influencing her soul.”

“Mm.” Yin Hanjiang said nothing more to Su Huai, flying directly toward Baili Qingmiao’s room.

No one in Xuanyuan Sect would dare to stop him, so Yin Hanjiang entered Qiu Congxue’s room without any obstacles. Inside, he saw a beautiful girl lying on a bed, her brows knitted, seeming to be trapped in some nightmare.

He sat at Baili Qingmiao’s bedside, staring down at her. She really was very beautiful.

Yin Hanjiang brought out the Army Crushing Spike, bumping Baili
Qingmiao’s face a few times with its cold hilt. He aimed its point at Baili
Qingmiao’s nose, wondering if he should gouge her face out. Where should he start? The nose?

No, she wasn’t a carving, he couldn’t gouge her up. His Venerable wanted him to protect Baili Qingmiao. He had thrown over a blood-red stone along with her. What had that been? Where was it? On Baili Qingmiao?

Yin Hanjiang appeared calm, but the thoughts in his mind had repeated themselves a thousand times. His murderous intent fluctuated, and, sensing it, Baili Qingmiao finally opened her eyes.

The moment she did, she saw the Army Crushing Spike right next to her face. Baili Qingmiao took a deep breath, saying weakly, “Sect—Sect Leader Yin, w—what are you going to do?”

Yin Hanjiang could act as crazy as he wanted in private, but in front of other people, he had to be a flawless Sect Leader in order to gain their confidence.

“I’m here to see you.” Yin Hanjiang spoke very slowly, each sentence requiring a lot of thought.

As he spoke, the Army Crushing Spike still hovered above Baili
Qingmiao’s face. She had originally thought that this wasn’t a bad way to die, but the moment she saw Yin Hanjiang, all her hairs stood on end.
Somehow, she found the strength to prop herself up on her arms and shift bit by bit to the other side of the bed, trying to get herself out of the spike’s range.

Seeing her move, Yin Hanjiang shifted his weapon so it still pointed at her nose.

A deep chill ran through Baili Qingmiao’s body. She said in a trembling voice, “S—Sect Leader Yin, I want to sit up. Can you please move your weapon?”

“Oh.” Yin Hanjiang looked at the Army Crushing Spike, as if he had just noticed it. He said in realization, “This is the bonded weapon my Venerable forged for me, using the Shattered Mountain Meteorite.”

“Right, right!” Baili Qingmiao said frantically. “Senior Wenren, Sect Leader Yin, Master Qingxue, and I worked together to get the Shattered Mountain Meteorite!”

“Then this is real.” A slight smile appeared on Yin Hanjiang’s face, and he moved his weapon away.

Baili Qingmiao sat up, gasping roughly for breath, feeling like she had escaped a terrible fate.

She watched as Yin Hanjiang waved the Army Crushing Spike in front of her eyes, like a child showing off a toy. “This is the near-immortal artifact the Venerable forged for me from the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. It’s a powerful bonded weapon that suits me perfectly.”

“Yeah. Senior Wenren also retrieved the Snow Flame in order to drive out the yin energy within your body. It’s all my fault, that Senior Wenren is now…”

She remembered now. At the Blood Hell, she had seen Hè Wenzhao attack her without mercy. Instantly, her heart had frozen over. She had thought that since her shixiong wanted to kill her, maybe it was best that she just die.

That thought burrowed into her brain like a parasite, which she couldn’t get rid of no matter what. At that moment, Baili Qingmiao couldn’t feel
anything else besides the desire for death.

“What’s wrong with me?” she said, looking at her hands. “This isn’t me. Even if I wanted to die, I wouldn’t be so selfish. Brother Zhongli and I are connected by the heart-linking parasite. Before we can remove the parasite, how can I let Brother Zhongli’s mind be affected?”

It was now, under Yin Hanjiang’s murderous intent, that Baili Qingmiao
seemed to wake from her dream. Thinking back on the last year, a shudder ran through her.

“Am I crazy? Or is something controlling me? Inner demons?” No one else was around, so Baili Qingmiao could only ask Yin Hanjiang. “I don’t know.” Yin Hanjiang wiped the Army Crushing Spike’s blades with Baili Qingmiao’s skirt. “All I know is that if a cultivator goes mad, it’s because they themselves want to.”

The cold surface of the Army Crushing Spike reflected Yin Hanjiang’s twisted expression.

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 55 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 55 – Seems I was late

Baili Qingmiao didn’t notice that Yin Hanjiang had cut several gashes into her dress. She thought back on her memories of the past year, feeling like
she had been controlled. Besides thinking that if her shixiong wanted to kill her, she might as well die, there had been no other thoughts in her head.
She’d lost all will to live, her heart controlled by Hè Wenzhao. Occasionally another desire would surface within her, but quickly be crushed by the desire for death.

“No,” she said decisively. “A normal cultivator wouldn’t wish for themselves to go mad. Only when something is already wrong with them and their rationality is already destabilized by inner demons, so that only desire remains in their mind, can inner demons take advantage of their

Yin Hanjiang moved his gaze very slowly from the Army Crushing Spike to Baili Qingmiao. He laughed silently. “You’re right. I’m the one who let it happen.”

“Huh? You?” Baili Qingmiao blinked innocently.

Yin Hanjiang stood up slowly. “I’m not sure which is true. Since I can’t tell, I might as well not worry about it.”

“Worry—worry about what?” Baili Qingmiao faintly felt that something was wrong. She wanted to escape, but the moment she tried to use her
spiritual essence, she felt a sharp pain in her dantian and was powerless to do so. She could only slowly shrink to the other side of the bed, huddling in her blanket, looking pitifully weak and powerless.

The smile on Yin Hanjiang’s face hadn’t vanished. “Now that I think about it, there’s no need for me to figure out what’s true and what’s false. Because one thing doesn’t change—the fact that my Venerable is already…”

He couldn’t continue, unwilling to say it.

“Senior Wenren was trying to save me. It’s all my fault…” Baili Qingmiao began to sob, unable to stop her tears from flowing upon hearing his words.

“In that case, there are only two things I need to do. The first is to take vengeance, and the second is to send something he might like down to
accompany him.” Yin Hanjiang’s gaze landed on Baili Qingmiao. “Once I send it to him, the Venerable can decide whether or not he likes it. What do you think?”

As he spoke, he gradually raised the Army Crushing Spike. The cold light reflecting off the steel hurt Baili Qingmiao’s eyes.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said a voice from the doorway.

Yin Hanjiang remained in his stance of holding the weapon in the air, turning his head to see Wenren È standing at the doorway, with white hair and a blindfold, smiling slightly at him. He knew it was Zhongli Qian, but he couldn’t recognize him.

A head poked out from behind Zhongli Qian’s back, revealing itself to be Su Huai. He glanced at Yin Hanjiang’s face and said, “Sect Leader Yin, your eyes are injured, so I asked Mister Zhongli to look at your eyes.”

“I see.” Yin Hanjiang rubbed the now-dried blood at the corners of his eyes. “It’s no problem,” he said lightly. “It’ll heal soon.”

“At least let me wipe the blood,” Zhongli Qian said calmly. He took out a handkerchief and, seeming to not notice that Baili Qingmiao had woken, sat at the bedside. With Su Huai’s pointers, he gently wiped away the dried blood, applying medicine at the same time.

When he was about to bandage them, Yin Hanjiang stopped him. “If my eyes are covered, I won’t be able to see him.”

Zhongli Qian didn’t ask who “he” was, just changed the subject.
“Xuanyuan Sect’s historical records are long, so I still need a few more days to take my position at the Main Hall. Su Huai is a clever child, and he enjoys the atmosphere of Xuanyuan Sect, so I thought of having him help out there. I hope Sect Leader Yin will approve.”

“Su Huai belongs to Shang…”

Baili Qingmiao barely opened her mouth when Zhongli Qian tossed a jade slip into her hand, interrupting her. “Baili Qingmiao is the disciple of Protector Qiu, so she counts as half a member of Xuanyuan Sect. Since her heart is linked to mine, after she recovers, she could also help me out there. What does Sect Leader Yin think?”

“I don’t agree,” Yin Hanjiang said. “I have use for her.”

Use? What use? In what way? Zhongli Qian’s eyebrows rose. He couldn’t see, but it was obvious to him that Yin Hanjiang was in a bad state.

He arrived in time to save Baili Qingmiao only because, as Su Huai brought Qiu Congxue to him, he happened to mention his encounter with Yin
Hanjiang, as well as briefly going over their conversation and Yin
Hanjiang’s eye injury. Zhongli Qian sensed something was off upon hearing that. It was fortunate that flight was allowed within Xuanyuan Sect, and Yin Hanjiang seemed to have some hesitation, allowing Zhongli Qian to arrive quickly enough to prevent disaster.

In order to placate Yin Hanjiang, Zhongli Qian said, “Aside from the work at the Main Hall, there’s something else I wanted to report to Sect Leader. You’ve said before you were keeping me at Xuanyuan Sect to prevent you from throwing the cultivation world into chaos and disrupting Sir Wenren’s plans. Is that right?” “Yes.” As they spoke, Yin Hanjiang’s gaze never moved off Baili Qingmiao, and he didn’t put down the Army Crushing Spike.

Yin Hanjiang was powerful enough that, if he wanted to kill Baili Qingmiao, no one would be able to stop him. His words and actions contradicted each other, showing there was still conflict within him.

Zhongli Qian couldn’t force him. After some thought, he said, “Does Sect Leader remember that Sir Wenren had always wanted to solve the mysteries surrounding Baili Qingmiao?”

“Not too clearly.”

Ignoring Yin Hanjiang’s questionable state, Zhongli Qian continued. “I’ve traveled with Baili Qingmiao for thirty years and noticed two odd things
about her. The first is that she seems to draw all kinds of heavenly treasures and spiritual lands to her, and be able to escape any kind of danger she finds herself in. The second is that, though Sir Wenren and I have labored hard to free Baili Qingmiao of her infatuation, and her condition was good when leaving Shangqing Sect, she would regress whenever she met with a heavenly tribulation. It was only because I had a heart-linking parasite and could sense her emotions that she managed to stay away from her sect for thirty years.”

“What about those?” Yin Hanjiang reached out and grabbed Baili Qingmiao’s leg, about to drag her over.

“At the Blood Hell, both changed.”

Hearing “Blood Hell”, Yin Hanjiang finally reacted. He let go of Baili Qingmiao, focusing on Zhongli Qian.

“Now that I think about it, this was something I overlooked. When Hè
Wenzhao brought Baili Qingmiao to the Blood Hell, I was long aware of it, and had made a plan with Sir Wenren beforehand. I approved of that plan because I knew of Baili Qingmiao’s special characteristics, and believed that she wouldn’t be hurt in the Blood Hell, and might actually obtain an opportunity. I never imagined that she would be injured to such a degree and lose her bonded weapon.”

Zhongli Qian sighed, his face filled with regret. “I also never imagined that, after returning from the Blood Hell, Baili Qingmiao would want to die with a single-minded obsession as if possessed, to the point that I couldn’t even restrain her. This doesn’t make sense.”

Yin Hanjiang listened intently.

Baili Qingmiao also spoke up. “I also feel that something isn’t right. Previously, my mind was hazy, as if it wasn’t me acting at all.”

“I believe that something in the Blood Hell must’ve affected Baili
Qingmiao,” Zhongli Qian said. “Sir Wenren probably entered it despite the risk not only to resolve his blood cultivation, but also to investigate

“When I touched your leg just now, your skin was burning,” Yin Hanjiang suddenly said. “Do you have a fever?”

“That would be my fault,” Zhongli Qian said. “I asked Altar Master Shi to give some of his sickness qi to Baili Qingmiao, so that she would be unconscious from fever and unable to seek death.”

Baili Qingmiao: …

She knew Zhongli Qian had good intentions, but it felt so awkward.

When it came to Altar Master Shi, Yin Hanjiang remembered perfectly clearly. His muddled memories were all concerning Wenren È.

Hearing that Altar Master Shi had transferred sickness to her, Yin Hanjiang shook his head. “That doesn’t make sense. There’s no way Altar Master Shi’s sickness qi could affect her.”

“Why?” Zhongli Qian had no knowledge of this. Acting without warning, Yin Hanjiang extended a finger and tapped Baili Qingmiao’s blindfold. Zhongli Qian slipped a bamboo scroll out of his
sleeve in alarm. If Yin Hanjiang jabbed his finger in, Baili Qingmiao would really lose that eye.

Fortunately, Yin Hanjiang’s finger stopped at her blindfold. “Shi Congxin was unable to curse Baili Qingmiao, stopping after only one eye. How
could he transfer sickness qi to her, and leave her bedridden for over a year at that?”

Zhongli Qian wasn’t clear on what he was referring to, and after hearing Yin Hanjiang’s explanation, told Su Huai, “Go find Altar Master Shi.”

“No need.” Yin Hanjiang scribbled out a message talisman, with the message, “Get your ass over!”

Zhongli Qian: …

The Yin Hanjiang he was looking at seemed to be a completely different person from the Yin Hanjiang he had first met.

Altar Master Shi rushed over upon receiving the message. After fearfully hearing Zhongli Qian explain everything, he said, “Truthfully, when Altar Master Zhongli told me his request, I was in quite an awkward position.
During that night, I never approached her, and sat in a corner the whole time.”

He pointed at the corner of the room furthest from Baili Qingmiao.

“If you didn’t transfer sickness qi to her, how come she developed fever the next day?” said Zhongli Qian.

Altar Master Shi trembled harder. “She took it herself! She’d been knocked out by Protector Qiu that evening, and suddenly woke up in the middle of the night. She walked over to me and sucked away my sickness qi!”

“What?” Baili Qingmiao said in disbelief. “I don’t remember that at all.” “I—I don’t understand it either!” Altar Master Shi said, pulling his cloak tighter. “Haven’t you noticed that I haven’t coughed much lately? You took most of my sickness qi and made me lose a lot of power. I can’t have
anyone notice, so when Altar Masters Miao and Ruan roped me into their fights, I didn’t dare do anything!”

Everyone was puzzled by Altar Master Shi’s words, but unbeknownst to them, as they spoke, great changes occurred at the Blood Hell.

Being the place where the primordial gods had sealed 180 thousand demonic gods, the atmosphere above the Blood Hell was influenced by demonic energy and always overcast. The grey sky wasn’t covered with clouds, but a corrosive mixture of primordial chaos and demonic energy,
which blocked sun and rain and ensured the weather in a hundred li around the Blood Hell hadn’t changed in a million years.

But now, the clouds of a heavenly tribulation attempted to form in the sky above the Blood Hell. It tried several times to gather, each time being devoured by the chaos energy. Eventually, it powerlessly released nine tiny sparks before vanishing.

The moment it vanished, a whirlpool appeared on the ocean surface. A man holding a black halberd flew out.

Ignoring the restriction on flying above the Blood Hell, he landed on the top of the cliffs in one move.

That man closed his eyes, as if taking in the experiences and memories of the past days. After twenty-four hours, he slowly opened his eyes.

He wore only a white inner robe, covered with holes made by magical
weapons. With a wave of his hand, a grey robe draped itself over his body. Along with the robe appeared three books and a blood-red stone.

He first opened God of Annihilation: Volume 1. Flipping through it, he said quietly, “A year and a half has passed. It seems I was late.”
 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 56 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 56 – Lord’s return

This person was Wenren È. He had asked Zhongli Qian to tell Yin Hanjiang that he would return after one year, a figure he had arrived at after repeated analysis. He thought it was enough, but only the heavens knew in the end.
Some things, he had no way of anticipating.

He looked at the red stone in his hand and said quietly. “At least I got this. It wasn’t a pointless trip.”

This stone was the second reason he entered the Blood Hell.

The Blood Hell was a vital location in both Abusive Romance and God of Annihilation. In Abusive Romance, Wenren È died in the Blood Hell, after throwing Baili Qingmiao a blood-red stone. Treating it as his parting gift, Baili Qingmiao hid it on her body. The first time Yin Hanjiang tried to kill Baili Qingmiao, he mistook Liu Xinye for her, and the second time, as he pursued her as the Ghost Mask, he occasionally took off the mask and pretended to protect her, all in order to lure her to the Blood Hell.

At the time, the book’s Yin Hanjiang was on the brink of victory. Baili
Qingmiao’s strength was far below his, and there was no one near the Blood Hell, so no one could possibly have come to the protagonist’s rescue. Since victory was within his grasp, Yin Hanjiang purposefully let Baili Qingmiao see the ghost mask. He wanted to kill Baili Qingmiao as she was filled with despair, at the closest place to Wenren È.

He had wounded Baili Qingmiao, about to yank out her soul in order to refine into a lampwick. With that red stone in hand, Baili Qingmiao had fled to the edge of the Blood Hell. Staring at the stone, she thought about how Wenren È had died to save her. Hearing Yin Hanjiang darkly tell her to accompany him in death, she said, “You’re right. I own Wenren È my life and ought to repay him with it, but it won’t be at your hands.”

With that stone the size of a man’s fist clasped in both hands, she leapt into the Blood Hell. Within the sea, the stone unleashed a mystical radiance, protecting Baili Qingmiao from the corrosive energy.

From a seal at the depths of the Blood Hell, a ray of light shot up to the surface, entering Baili Qingmiao’s body. As she merged with the divine nature, she inadvertently struck a blow against Yin Hanjiang, her divine
power instantly disintegrating his soul. Only one wisp escaped, clinging to its obsession, and returned to Xuanyuan Sect to hide within the Burning Sky Drum, enduring for a thousand years to finally become the Burning Sky Immortal.

The moment Baili Qingmiao merged with the divine nature, she regained all memories of her past life. It turned out that she had hid the divine nature at the depths of the Blood Hell. Her divine power was great and might be
sought by greedy people, so the Blood Hell was the safest place to put it within the three realms. The power of chaos could incorporate all other energies, so it would be able to hide her divine power.

And after Baili Qingmiao gave up her divinity, she automatically hid it within the Blood Hell again, wanting it to remain a secret forever.

To the end, the book never mentioned what the red stone was, and how it
could protect Baili Qingmiao within the Blood Hell and allow her to obtain the divine nature before she was ready. There was no clear explanation, and the readers had been so mad at Baili Qingmiao giving up her divine nature to follow her man that they couldn’t think straight, so they were in no mood to ask about the red stone. Thus it became an unresolved thread.

Wenren È had never understood how he’d managed this in the book. From the book’s depiction, Wenren È had had no knowledge of the divine nature before falling into the Blood Hell, so how could he suddenly come up with a stone? The readers had all assumed it was a plot device the author made up because she was stuck, but Wenren È didn’t think this way.

Everything in this world was logical. Baili Qingmiao’s love for Hè Wenzhao, Wenren È, Zhongli Qian, and Yin Hanjiang’s love for Baili Qingmiao, the unconditional loyalty Zhongli Kuang and Cen Zhengqi
showed toward Hè Wenzhao, and the Violet Spirit Master’s willingness to be his wife, had all had reasonable explanations behind them. The red stone also couldn’t appear out of nowhere.

If there was no description of it at all in the book, then there was only one possibility. Wenren È could only obtain it at the moment he fell into the Blood Hell, while he was still conscious.

After reading God of Annihilation: Volume 3, Wenren È had more questions. First, who was the supposed god who slaughtered Hè Wenzhao’s village? In the first volume, the Blood Demon deceived him into thinking it was Wenren È, while the third volume didn’t mention it at all. Second, Hè Wenzhao had become a god in the third volume, yet never regained the memories of his past life. Only at the end as he faced the divine nature did he remember everything. How did that make sense?

The readers had brought up these questions too, but everyone just said that the story was too long and the author had forgotten the beginning. Wenren È understood this was possible with a mortal’s memory, but if the world
was real, then there must be a cause behind these two points.

It seemed everything was pushing Wenren È to go to the Blood Hell. Thus, after preparing properly, he had entered the sea.

“So that was it.” With the red stone in his hand, Wenren È understood everything.

Reading through the revisions to God of Annihilation, he saw how Yin
Hanjiang had snapped, and, controlling the Burning Sky Drum, scared Hè Wenzhao and the Shangqing Sect Master into shutting themselves at home. Wenren È sighed slightly. It seemed Yin Hanjiang’s madness after his death was impossible to prevent. The readers of God of Annihilation were flaming it in the comments, saying the author was insane for revising a perfectly good harem novel into
something like this, moving the immortal lord from the second volume into the first volume to terrorize the protagonist, turning his main wife into a man, letting his shimei be kidnapped by the demonic cultivators for a year. Even Liu Xinye kept avoiding Hè Wenzhao for some reason. A perfectly good protagonist had been kicked around by the villain and lost his wives
and followers. It seemed like the author was taking revenge on society.

Wenren È put away God of Annihilation and opened Abusive Romance. He was in an unusual situation and needed to use Baili Qingmiao’s viewpoint to confirm the leadership of Xuanyuan Sect before he decided whether or not to go back.

The revision used a good thirty thousand words to describe how heartbroken Baili Qingmiao was by Hè Wenzhao’s act, how she didn’t want to live on, how she sobbed even in her sleep. She seemed like a completely different person from the previous silly but pure-hearted protagonist.

The comments here were cursing the author for getting back in her old habit of abusing the protagonist. Only when Yin Hanjiang woke Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian spoke his conjecture did the comments calm down.

[The ten straight chapters of wishing for death made me so scared I almost didn’t want to follow anymore, but when I was about to give up, somehow the author came up with such an amazing plot twist! This revision really is legendary!]

[I knew with Zhongli Qian’s brains around, everything would be fine.
Xuanyuan Sect sure is crafty to take our Qian as Altar Master. They really have an eye for talent.]

[I feel a bit bad for our Qian. He’s herding a bunch of cats and can’t make them do anything.]

[The brooding ghost cultivator fifth love interest has now become a little nanny, wiping down his martial ancestor and looking after his master, so good and obedient. I suddenly want to steal him away. Have I gotten old?] [Hold on a minute, was Qian’s words telling us that there’s a reason behind Baili Qingmiao’s blind love for the male lead? That she’s being controlled by something?]

[Anyone know who Shi Congxin is? Has he been mentioned before? Why does it seem like he likes the MC?]

[Shi Congxin said Baili Qingmiao sucked away his sickness qi while unconscious. Why is a good little female lead being described like some life-sucking demoness?]

[I thought daddy Wenren È had died like in the original story, but now Qian said there’s a possibility he survived. Will he come back? Will he explain
everything after he does? How come this story doesn’t seem like a masochistic romance anymore? It’s become a suspenseful mystery?]

[“Suspenseful mystery”, I’m dying, adding in Yin Hanjiang will make it horror suspense, hahahahaha!]

[No matter how the story changes, Yin Hanjiang still wants to slaughter the MC. When he was making motions at the little flower’s face with his
weapon, he really gave off the feeling of a horror story serial killer.]

[I want to know just what relationship Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang have. How come Yin Hanjiang always goes dark after Wenren È dies?]

[After scrolling through the comments for half an hour, the word that
appeared the most was “know”. This story’s title should be changed to “The Readers Also Want to Know”]

Seeing the current leader of Xuanyuan Sect was still Yin Hanjiang, Wenren È let out a breath. With his current condition, if someone else were leading the sect, he’d find it difficult to act.

Looking at the stone, he furrowed his brows slightly, and replaced it and the books within an extradimensional storage space. The moment the stone left his hand, the robe he wore slipped off his body. As if the person wearing them had vanished, the grey outer and white inner robe passed through Wenren È’s body and gently landed on the ground.
Though both his clothes had fallen, Wenren È still appeared to be wearing the black robe he had used to protect Yin Hanjiang.

With a small sigh, he vanished into light and arrived at Xuanyuan Sect. The sect was protected by an array, and anyone who wanted to enter had to
either break it, defeat the gatekeepers, or secretly enter along with someone else. Of course, each member of Xuanyuan Sect had their own password to open it, so whenever someone entered, the guards instantly knew who they were.

Wenren È used none of those methods. He passed through the barrier tracelessly, not alerting anyone.

He had to first find Yin Hanjiang and let him know he was alive.

He had seen from the book that Yin Hanjiang had already deviated. It was the outcome Wenren È least wanted to see.

He first came to Yin Hanjiang’s room, which looked like no one had been in it for a long time.

Thinking that Yin Hanjiang was now in command of Xuanyuan Sect, he was probably staying in the Sect Master’s room. Their rooms were only separated by a wall, so Wenren È directly passed through it, but found no sign of Yin Hanjiang.

Coming to the spiritual spring in the back mountains, he finally found Yin Hanjiang there.

Yin Hanjiang sat silently by the spring, holding an empty wine cup.
Dipping his head, he carefully put his lips on the cup’s edge. He appeared normal for now.

Wenren È let out a breath and called to him, “Sect Leader Yin, this Venerable has returned.” Yin Hanjiang didn’t turn his head, acting as if he hadn’t heard. Pouring wine into his cup, he threw it back in one gulp.

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 57 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 57 – This Venerable permits you

Wenren È walked around to Yin Hanjiang’s front. Yin Hanjiang’s face was flushed, a handkerchief clutched in one hand. A jar of wine was set beside him, with the empty wine cup in his other hand and Wenren È’s robe in his lap.

“Sect Leader Yin, is your alcohol tolerance low?” Wenren È asked.

If a cultivator didn’t want to get drunk, they could use their spiritual essence to expel the alcohol. If one was drunk, either they hadn’t expelled the
alcohol, or they were drinking spiritual wine.

Wenren È sniffed the wine jar. It was the spiritual wine he usually drank, made from the spiritual fruits growing in the back mountains. It couldn’t be considered particularly good wine and wasn’t strong enough to get drunk on.

Yin Hanjiang’s eyes were hazy, half his red robe having slipped off. He lazily raised his eyes to look at Wenren È, then poured himself another cup of wine and gulped it down. “Haven’t you switched to calling me Hanjiang by now? How come it’s back to Sect Leader Yin?”

“Hanjiang?” Wenren È repeated.

He had never seen Yin Hanjiang like this before. The Sect Leader Yin he remembered dressed in all black and was silent as a shadow. Though
Wenren È knew he was good-looking, ordinarily, he was so reserved he was easy to overlook. This Yin Hanjiang dressed in scarlet, his hair loose and fluttering in the breeze, a vicious spark in his eyes. Were he in a crowd, his figure would instantly draw one’s sight.

From what Wenren È remembered, Yin Hanjiang typically never drank, only secretly stealing a sip when Wenren È wasn’t looking. Wenren È never imagined he’d see him throwing back one cup after another.

“This jar and cup…” Wenren È raised an eyebrow, faintly remembering that these were the ones he had given him, after catching him drinking wine.

“The Venerable has drank from them.” The corner of Yin Hanjiang’s lips, pressed against the edge of the empty cup, showed a slight smile.

An odd feeling rose in Wenren È’s heart. He looked at the unfamiliar Yin Hanjiang before him, so eye-catching compared to his previous self.

“This Venerable assumed you didn’t like wine.” Wenren È also sat down on Yin Hanjiang’s left side. Things hadn’t developed the way he had expected, but he didn’t mind chatting with Yin Hanjiang for a bit.

“Right, I don’t like wine.” Yin Hanjiang looked toward his right and raised his cup toward empty air. “I like the wine that my Venerable has tasted.
After he’s taken a sip, I’m willing to drink it.” Wenren È: ?
Only now did he realize that every time Yin Hanjiang poured a cup, he first tipped it toward the empty air on his right side, spilling a drop, as if feeding it to someone.

After offering it to empty air, he then turned the cup, placing the side that had faced the air against his lips and slowly enjoying the wine.

“Sect Leader Yin, who are you giving the wine to?” Wenren È sensed something was wrong.

“What, do you want some too?” Yin Hanjiang looked toward Wenren È
with hazy eyes. He lifted the wine jar, giving it a shake. “Too bad there’s no more.”

He held the jar in his arms, wiping away nonexistent dust with his sleeves. Pressing its cold surface against his cheek, he blissfully closed his eyes.
“My Venerable gave me this jar and cup, that he drank from.”

He raised the handkerchief clenched in one hand. “This is the handkerchief my Venerable once used to wipe his hands. It had Protector Shu’s blood on it, but I washed it clean and kept it.”

Wenren È furrowed his brows. After a while, he finally remembered that Shu Yanyan had once thought he liked Baili Qingmiao and tried to tempt him with her. Wenren È had nearly cracked her skull with his hand as a
warning, her blood being left on his fingertips. Yin Hanjiang, right behind him, handed over a handkerchief, which Wenren È had tossed away
casually after wiping his fingers.

Yin Hanjiang rubbed his cheek with the handkerchief, a contented smile on his face. Finally, he carefully put the handkerchief, the wine jar, and the cup into a storage space. The Army Crushing Spike was left carelessly by his

The spike had been forged with Wenren È’s blood and soul, so he instantly recognized it as the Army Crushing Sword. “Is that your bonded weapon, Sect Leader Yin?” he couldn’t help asking. “Wasn’t it a sword? How come it looks like this now?”

“If the Venerable wants me to use the sword, I’ll use the sword. If the Venerable thinks I’m suited to being a sword cultivator, I’ll be a sword cultivator.” Yin Hanjiang held Wenren È’s robe in his arms, his eyes
blurred. “If the Venerable doesn’t allow me to follow him in death, then I’ll live on.”

“Sect Leader Yin, this Venerable only made a suggestion. My ideas might not always suit you, and you don’t need to follow me in everything.” As Wenren È looked at Yin Hanjiang, he suddenly realized that he had never really seen this subordinate of his. The Yin Hanjiang he saw was an act in accordance to Wenren È’s expectations. He thought he had expressed himself clearly, but Yin Hanjiang didn’t even look at him. Instead, he reached out a hand toward empty air, as if stroking someone’s face. He said in a low voice, “Does the Venerable like Baili
Qingmiao? How about I send her to be with you?” “This Venerable doesn’t like her,” Wenren È said.
Yin Hanjiang’s gaze finally turned toward Wenren È. He reached out and grabbed for Wenren È’s sleeve, but his hand passed through his body.
Wenren È’s current body was condensed from primordial chaos, so couldn’t be touched.

“This Venerable…”

Wenren È wanted to explain his current condition, but Yin Hanjiang said, “False.”

His expression didn’t change, as if he had experienced this a thousand times already. He reached out toward his front, back, and right, grabbing nothing each time, and threw back his head in laughter. “False, all false.”

“Only this is real.” He clutched Wenren È’s robe to his chest, curling up on the ground by the spiritual spring, closing his eyes. He seemed to have fallen asleep.

“How many of me are you seeing?” At this point, Wenren È generally understood Yin Hanjiang’s condition.

Yin Hanjiang didn’t reply. He would speak to an illusion if he was lonely, but he mostly ignored them. He especially couldn’t reveal his weakness in front of other people.

Wenren È sat next to the sleeping Yin Hanjiang, thinking back to the Ghost Mask in Abusive Romance. Putting that together with the Sect Leader Yin before him, he seemed to finally understand something.

Yin Hanjiang hadn’t deviated and lost control. For Wenren È, he had been suppressing his true nature from the start. After reading that book, he had kept telling Yin Hanjiang that what he needed wasn’t an obedient subordinate, but a companion who could fight alongside him. Ever since he had picked up that child and told him to
practice the sword, Wenren È had been filling him with his own notions, but it hadn’t been what Yin Hanjiang wanted.

Wenren È thought Yin Hanjiang was suited for being a sword cultivator, so Yin Hanjiang became a sword cultivator. Wenren È thought Yin Hanjiang was his most loyal subordinate, so Yin Hanjiang changed his personality to one that would put Wenren È at ease. Wenren È thought that Yin Hanjiang would be able to take over Xuanyuan Sect in his absence, so Yin Hanjiang had done his best to live up to his expectations.

Every time Wenren È’s notions clashed with Yin Hanjiang’s own personality, he always chose Wenren È.

The Lord of Demons sat beside the spring, looking toward the full moon rising on the horizon. He took out a handful of water from his storage space using spiritual energy, letting it reflect the moon in the sky.

This was Yin Hanjiang’s favorite source of joy in his youth. After the Great Sect War, he had given it to Wenren È.

He seemed to see a scene where a young Yin Hanjiang smiled contentedly, watching the empty reflection of the moon on the water.

“This Venerable was wrong,” Wenren È said quietly, putting away that handful of water.

After taking in that child, he had raised him to be what he wanted him to be. He thought he had given him the best, but he had never considered whether they were things Yin Hanjiang wanted.

Inner demons didn’t form overnight. At the very beginning, Wenren È had planted their seeds into Yin Hanjiang’s heart.

He brought out the red stone, clutching it in one hand. “I’ll borrow this for a moment,” he said quietly. With the stone in his hand, his body became solid, and the robe that had been created from chaos energy vanished. With a flick of his fingers, he had the robe in Yin Hanjiang’s arms fly onto his body, then sat by Yin
Hanjiang’s side, lightly stroking his hair.

“Huh?” Yin Hanjiang’s spiritual sense was sharp and he woke instantly. On discovering the robe was gone, he became frantic, losing all his stubborn
composure from before. He scrabbled around everywhere, looking for it.

Wenren È let his sleeve brush against Yin Hanjiang’s face. He grabbed the sleeve and said quietly, “Right here.”

Yin Hanjiang saw that the Wenren È before him was wearing his real robe. Grabbing his hand, he found it was solid.

“The inner demons are already so strong?” Yin Hanjiang shook his head in a daze. Though he believed it to be fake, he still held onto Wenren È’s hand.

“Sect Leader Yin, this Venerable is real. I’ve returned from the Blood Hell,” Wenren È said.

“Right, the Venerable has returned,” Yin Hanjiang said lightly, not really believing.

Wenren È didn’t mind if Yin Hanjiang thought he was fake. Seizing this opportunity, he began to speak. “The Wenren clan had been dedicated to the emperor and the people for generations, yet wound up executed to a man.
Digging around in a mass grave, I dragged out one headless corpse after
another. With each body I dug out, I hoped to find that it had a head, and the person was still alive, but I didn’t find a single one. Probably, ever since then, an obsession had taken root in my heart, a hope that even one member of the Wenren clan had survived.

“After many years passed, I believed that I had let go of attachments and escaped the chaos of the mortal world, traveling down the path of immortality without any connections to family. But this obsession still remained deep within me. “When I picked you up in a mass grave, my first act was to touch your neck. From that moment onward, I took you as a survivor of the Wenren clan, and raised you to be a general.

“It was all my fault. It was my obsession that turned you into this.”

Wenren È pulled Yin Hanjiang into his lap. “From now, Yin Hanjiang need not live for Wenren È. You should use your own eyes and ears to decide.
You don’t need a mask, and you don’t need to pretend. Do the things you want.”

Yin Hanjiang knew this was an inner demon, but the warm embrace, the gentle tone, and the words he had never heard before led him to willingly indulge in it.

“I want to take vengeance for my Venerable,” Yin Hanjiang said. “I’m a ruthless person and might ruin the plan my Venerable has set. I have to be patient. I can’t act out.”

“You can act out,” Wenren È said. “This Venerable permits you. Whatever you want to do, I’ll help you.”

“I want to destroy everything you love and offer them to you, so they can accompany you down there. Can I?” Yin Hanjiang lifted his head, looking expectantly at Wenren È.

” …I don’t like Baili Qingmiao. You don’t need to burn her.”

“How wonderful.” Yin Hanjiang sighed. “No wonder so many people are unable to escape the illusions of their inner demons, when it’s so perfect.”

“I’m not an inner demon.”

Yin Hanjiang didn’t listen to him. He pursed his lips and, after taking a deep breath, said, “What if this subordinate liked the Venerable? Can I?”
 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 58 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 58 – Predetermined

Yin Hanjiang’s words were a shock to Wenren È. The way he remembered it, Yin Hanjiang had always been oblivious to love. Back when Hè
Wenzhao was lying to Baili Qingmiao about Shu Yanyan, Wenren È had
asked Yin Hanjiang, “Protector Yin, would you believe something like this? Can love really make people so brainless?”

Yin Hanjiang had answered, “This subordinate believes anything the Venerable says, and hears not a word of anything anyone else says.”

Wenren È had always believed that Yin Hanjiang was ignorant like him. Yet he had said he liked Wenren È.

Was it the doings of inner demons, or Yin Hanjiang’s own thought?

When Wenren È didn’t respond for a long time, Yin Hanjiang looked displeased.

He pushed Wenren È over with one hand, looking down at him with a fierce glare. “A mere inner demon dares to defy me?”

Wenren È had never seen Yin Hanjiang be so unreasonable before. “Sect Leader Yin, I…”

Before he could finish speaking, Yin Hanjiang dipped his head and trapped Wenren È’s lips with his own.

Yin Hanjiang’s cold lips pressed against Wenren È’s, carrying the lingering taste of wine. Wenren È had never experienced something like this before in his life. He felt a tingling sensation spread throughout his body. His body was already formed from primordial chaos, but he couldn’t summon his spiritual energy to push Yin Hanjiang away.

Wenren È lost all sense of time, knowing only the cool softness against his lips.

As he wondered why Yin Hanjiang’s body was still so cold, the red-robed man had already let go of him, sitting up shakily.

Yin Hanjiang rubbed his temples, then splashed a handful of spring water on his face. “What am I fighting with an inner demon for?” he muttered to himself.

He glanced sideways at Wenren È. His eyes were frosty, a cold smile at the corner of his lips, as if he was scoffing at himself.

He stood up and, while Wenren È was still in a daze, yanked the robe off him. Holding it lovingly in his arms, he walked away without a backward glance, leaving Wenren È alone.

The red stone fell from his hand, causing Wenren È’s body to return to energy. He touched his lips with his fingers, feeling like the tingling had spread to his soul.

No one would come to the back mountains. Wenren È sat there stunned for a long time, until he finally remembered something. He picked up the stone and brought out Abusive Romance. Flipping it open, he saw the scene
where, when Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao first met, Baili Qingmiao bumped her shixiong’s finger. She had felt a tingling sensation travel from her fingertip all the way to her heart, as her heart began to race wildly.

Wenren È had thought this was the lingering effects of the lightning that had struck her.

Only now did he realize there really could be a tingling sensation when people touched. Wenren È plunged his hand into the spiritual spring. The spring water was far warmer than Yin Hanjiang’s hands.

In Baili Qingmiao’s conversation with Zhongli Qian and Yin Hanjiang, she had nearly been killed by Yin Hanjiang. Only with Zhongli Qian’s advice did Yin Hanjiang suppress his murderous intent and, as he was leaving, he shot Baili Qingmiao a vicious glare. Baili Qingmiao was so terrified that
she collapsed with a high fever.

Zhongli Qian shooed Altar Master Shi away, so he wouldn’t make her illness worse. He ordered Su Huai to feed her medicine, and after seeing her condition stabilize, he said to Su Huai, “Come with me to the spirit gathering array in the Main Hall. We still have to help your marital
ancestor. There’s never any rest with these two.”

He told Baili Qingmiao to rest, and that Su Huai would be back to take care of her tomorrow.

Baili Qingmiao sank into a doze again, until in the middle of the night, she suddenly felt a chill. Her eyes flew open, and in the dim light, she saw a figure watching silently at her bedside.

The last time she had been suddenly awoken, it was to see Yin Hanjiang
wave a triangular spike in her face. This time, Baili Qingmiao couldn’t see the figure’s face. Wrapping herself in her blanket, she said tremulously,
“Who are you? What do you want?”

“It’s me.” Wenren È lit the lamps within the room with a wave of his hand, revealing his face.

“Senior Wenren!” Baili Qingmiao exclaimed. “Are you alive, or am I dreaming?”

“This Venerable is alive,” Wenren È said.

“I’m so glad. It’s my fault you fell into the Blood Hell. I swore at that moment that if you were to survive, I’d be willing to serve you for the rest of my life, and do anything you asked of me.” Baili Qingmiao began to sob in relief. She stumbled shakily out of bed, about to kowtow to Wenren È.

“No need.” Wenren È stepped aside. He couldn’t let Baili Qingmiao lower her head to him. “This Venerable came here to ask something.”

“Whatever you ask, I’ll say everything I know.”

“What does love that takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches, mean? I understand the literal meaning. That’s not what I’m asking for.”

He had spent a long time in thought in the mountains, but his thoughts were in a tangle. He didn’t know if Yin Hanjiang’s feelings were a delusion, and he didn’t know how he should respond.

He decided he probably didn’t understand romantic matters well enough, having never figured out that third line. That must also be the reason that,
after he got Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian together for thirty years, they still only treated each other like siblings. He had never understood why
Baili Qingmiao was so obsessed with Hè Wenzhao, and he didn’t know how to answer Yin Hanjiang.

This… what could Baili Qingmiao say, besides the literal meaning? At this moment, she really wished she had Zhongli Qian’s wisdom.

“You don’t know?” Wenren È looked at Baili Qingmiao. “Doesn’t that exactly describe you and Hè Wenzhao? Not only are you deep in love’s clutches, but infatuated and unwilling to let go. Even after Hè Wenzhao
took a wife, you still pined after him. After he let you be imprisoned in the back mountains and strung up over the Blood Hell, you still want to die for him. This Venerable wants to know just what kind of a feeling this is? That can cause someone to…”

He paused, thinking back to how Yin Hanjiang sat by the spiritual spring, with his lips pressed to a wine cup and a robe in his lap, and an odd pang shot through his heart. “Can cause someone to lose their soul and cease to be themselves.” Wenren È had thought Baili Qingmiao would have an answer for him, but she grabbed her hair and said, “I… I don’t understand either! All I know is that I love my shixiong, and even after he’s married, I still love him, but
why? Before he was married, I loved him for being warm and considerate, always secretly taking care of me, but now, he’s married yet still longs after me, disrespecting both me and Liu-shijie, so why do I love him? It’s my most despicable habit. Why do I love him?”

She slapped herself across the cheek, saying in disappointment, “I even wanted to die for him. What was I thinking?”

Wenren È: …

Baili Qingmiao seemed to be at her breaking point. She couldn’t answer anything for him.

The more Baili Qingmiao thought about it, the more she felt it wasn’t right. Her fingers tangling her hair into a mess, she paced back and forth across the room, saying, “It’s odd… I feel like I’ve split into two, one half knowing rationally that I should let him go, while the other still pines for him, even hoping Liu-shijie will die soon, so that we can be together.
What’s wrong with me? Senior, I…”

Walking up to Wenren È, she tried to grab his hand. Wenren È avoided her in time, but his sleeve brushed against her fingertips and passed through her hand.

Baili Qingmiao: …

“Forget it,” Wenren È said. “Seeing as you’re in a bad state yourself, this Venerable asked the wrong person.” Stepping away from Baili Qingmiao, Wenren È took out a red stone. “I must borrow this for a few days, but by the time you need it, I will certainly return it to you.”

“What is that?” Baili Qingmiao swallowed hard as she looked at the stone. She wanted it, she had never before felt such desire for an object—it was as if it should be hers in the first place! “This is the divine blood,” Wenren È said. “It can help this Venerable
stabilize chaos energy and cultivate a divine body sooner. Without it, this Venerable is only a phantasm, who can be seen but not touched.”

This was the second safeguard the primordial goddess had left behind for herself besides her divine nature. She had hidden it within the chaos energy of the Blood Hell, so that when Baili Qingmiao became an immortal and
was on the threshold of godhood, she would feel the calling of the divine blood. With the help of the blood which contained the essence of the primordial goddess, she would be able to successfully merge with the divine nature.

The instant the book’s Wenren È had fallen into the Blood Hell, due to his fated connection with Baili Qingmiao, he had come into contact with the divine blood, and realized everything the moment he touched it. Before his death, he tossed it to Baili Qingmiao. When she caught it, Wenren È’s debt to Baili Qingmiao was fully paid, and from then on he had no more ties to her.

In this life, just like in the book, Wenren È had found the divine blood the instant the sea of blood engulfed him. When he touched it, he finally understood how his fate was connected to Baili Qingmiao.

Three hundred years ago, the primordial goddess helped Wenren È enter the Path of Slaughter; thus, three hundred years later, the now Lord of Demons needed to retrieve the divine blood for Baili Qingmiao.

Everything one gets in life is predetermined.

That deep love was only the machination of fate, in order to ensure Wenren È wouldn’t be tempted to take the divine blood’s power for himself.

Wenren È had originally planned to give the divine blood to Baili Qingmiao upon seeing her, and cut off his connection to the female lead there.
However, right now, he needed the divine blood, in order to get Yin Hanjiang to believe, through the inner demons that plagued him, that Wenren È was alive. “How can I decide what happens to something so important?” Baili Qingmiao said, crushing down her desire toward it. “Senior can use it however he wants.”

“Thank you.” Wenren È nodded to her. “This Venerable will do all in his power to help you obtain everything that belongs to you.”

In a blur, he vanished, extinguishing the lamps behind him.

Baili Qingmiao was still feverish. She sat on her bed, tugging at her messy hair a few times. “Did that really happen, or was it a dream?”

After a short while, she laid down and passed out again.

With the divine blood in hand, Wenren È returned to his room. He saw Yin Hanjiang had arranged his robe on one side of the bed, while he slept stiffly on the other, not touching the opposite half of the bed at all.

Cultivators usually rested in meditation and rarely needed to sleep. Yin Hanjiang seemed to be drunk, though, his face slightly flushed. He slept
cautiously on one side of Wenren È’s bed, not willing to even move, like a completely different person from the one who had boldly pushed down an “inner demon” earlier.

Wenren È lightly leapt onto the bed. Laying on his side, he watched Yin Hanjiang’s face as he slept.

“Sect Leader— Yin Hanjiang,” Wenren È said quietly. “You have the right to love me. It’s not my place to permit you. But as for me… how do I
answer you?”

Neither refusal nor acceptance could be resolved with just a few light words.

He had to treasure Yin Hanjiang’s feelings and answer from his heart.

Yin Hanjiang slept until the late morning. Upon waking, he rubbed the
space between his eyebrows, and, with a glance at Wenren È, snatched back the robe. “Is this yours to touch?” he said coldly. Wenren È: …

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 59 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 59 – Side by side

Good thing Wenren È hadn’t used the divine blood to become solid and was lying on the robe with his primordial chaos body, otherwise Yin Hanjiang’s yank would’ve left them both speechless.

In truth, it would’ve been easy to let Yin Hanjiang know he was real. He just had to call over Zhongli Qian, Shu Yanyan, Qiu Congxue, and so on. Anyone could prove his existence, but could he really do that?

Yin Hanjiang was a reserved person, having always hidden his own nature, putting on the mask and cutting loose only when he could no longer bear it. From the revisions of Abusive Romance, he could see that Yin Hanjiang had never let his current state, beset by inner demons, slip before Zhongli Qian or Baili Qingmiao. Aside from trying to kill Baili Qingmiao, he hadn’t revealed anything else.

Even though his thoughts were confused, he still remained unperturbed in front of other people, not showing any weaknesses. If that kind of person had everyone around him telling him, what you’re seeing is not an inner demon, how would he react? Would he gladly accept it, or fall apart

Wenren È wasn’t willing to bet, unable to accept such an outcome.

If when he had first returned to the sect, he had directly entered the Main
Hall and announced his return to everyone, so that it was known to all at the same time, Yin Hanjiang probably would’ve accepted it. But if he had done so, then Yin Hanjiang would’ve continued to hide his heart. Inner demons that were affecting his mind so severely wouldn’t just vanish because Wenren È was alive, and someday, suppressing his true nature would destroy Yin Hanjiang.

This way was still good. At least he could secretly observe Yin Hanjiang, and understand his most loyal subordinate, the man he trusted most in the world, so he could slowly resolve his inner demons.

Wenren È was always direct and had crushed all his problems with force in the past, so he had never felt helpless like this before. It felt as though he was using strength enough to lift a mountain, to pick up a needle and
embroider a flower.

His forehead was dripping with sweat, his fingers trembling, terrified of damaging that flower covered with thorns.

After Yin Hanjiang got up, he didn’t spare another glance for Wenren È. There were countless Wenren È’s in his sight, all speaking to him, so he habitually ignored them. When he was alone, he would answer whichever one he wanted, but in front of other people, he needed to be the Sect Leader with the power to crush the righteous sects.

Having sobered up, he used a spell to clear the scent of alcohol from his body, and sat businesslike in front of the desk, sending out several message talismans.

The first was to Zhongli Qian: “Altar Master Zhongli, after you fix up Protector Qiu, immediately give me a plan to eliminate the eight righteous experts and Hè Wenzhao. If you don’t have a satisfactory solution before my patience runs out, I’ll act my own way.”

The second was to Shu Yanyan: “Protector Shu, you’ve had contact with Hè Wenzhao. His weakness is women, so hurry up and come up with a way
with Baili Qingmiao to lure him out and make him sell out the Blood Demon.”

The third was for Wenren È. Yin Hanjiang only wrote it, without sending it. It had only one line. “I’ve asked Sir Zhongli to be the Main Hall Master. All is well in Xuanyuan Sect, so the Venerable may meditate in peace.”

After completing it, Yin Hanjiang held it in his hand, but didn’t ignite it. To send a message talisman, one needed to know the location of the recipient, and alert their spiritual consciousness so that they could accept it. There
was no way to send this talisman to Wenren È.

“I know,” Wenren È said earnestly, sitting across from Yin Hanjiang. “You’ve done very well.”

Yin Hanjiang paid no heed to this phantasm who wouldn’t even call himself “Venerable”. After he finished everything, he left the room.

After casting an illusion so that no one else could see him, Wenren È followed Yin Hanjiang out. Yin Hanjiang came to the Main Hall and took the register of Message Carriers. It was an organization created by Altar Master Yuan, most of them directly taking orders from him instead of
Xuanyuan Sect. There was no way this register was complete either.

Yin Hanjiang took the register and, after messaging Altar Master Miao, flew out of the Main Hall. He was probably going to clean out the ranks.

Wenren È wanted to follow, but he was worried about being detected by others, and also had some preparations of his own to make. For now, they would have to act separately.

He had no doubt Yin Hanjiang would be able to root out the traitors within the Message Carriers and sort out Xuanyuan Sect’s personnel. He couldn’t help but worry, though, for no reason relating to trust, just out of concern. Wenren È let out a sigh. If only he had a book with Yin Hanjiang as the protagonist, so he could keep track of what he was doing.

When Yin Hanjiang left, Wenren È immediately came to the spirit gathering array in the Main Hall. The only person who could help him plan at this time was Zhongli Qian. Zhongli Qian had just finished healing Qiu Congxue when he received Yin Hanjiang’s message. He quickly picked through the pile of jade slips,
selecting the important ones to read. However smart he was, he would need knowledge to act.

The vital question was how he could satisfy Yin Hanjiang while diverting him from his plans to wreck the cultivation world.

While he was studying, Zhongli Qian suddenly felt a gust of wind pass by. After having sealed his sight for thirty years, his spiritual sense had become even sharper.

Putting down his jade slip, he released his spiritual cognition, but didn’t sense anyone. Instead, the spiritual energy in the room seemed to have gotten several times thicker.

No, it wasn’t spiritual energy. It wasn’t even immortal energy—being a Mahayana cultivator, and having spent time with the wandering immortal
Qiu Congxue, Zhongli Qian had a good understanding of immortal energy. Yet the presence in the room was something stronger.

“Which honored person is this?” Zhongli Qian asked.

“The Crane-Haired Wanderer lives up to his name. This Venerable has hidden himself from even the sharpest sight, yet you found me.” Wenren È revealed himself, allowing Zhongli Qian’s spiritual cognition to instantly pick up on him.

Zhongli Qian let out a long breath, then cupped his hands and said, “Sir Wenren has managed to return from the brink. I’m not certain whether to congratulate you on surviving or rising in power.”

“Have you told Sect Leader Yin of your return?” he continued. “He nearly wrecked the Shangqing Sect for you. He’ll certainly be overjoyed to know you’re safe.”

First he praised Wenren È, then immediately got to roundaboutly telling him, hurry up and go to Yin Hanjiang, in a few days he’ll start slaughtering people.

“I know,” Wenren È said. “This Venerable came here to discuss something with Altar Master Zhongli.”

Hearing Wenren È call him an Altar Master, Zhongli Qian’s expression froze. “I’m really not qualified to be an Altar Master…”

“If Yin Hanjiang says you’re qualified, then you’re qualified,” Wenren È said, interrupting him. “This Venerable also has a task for you, and if you complete it, I can have the tracking curse and heart-linking parasite removed.

Zhongli Qian: …

He had thought that when Wenren È returned, he would take charge of the situation, Yin Hanjiang’s obsession for revenge would subside, and peace would return to the cultivation world. After the Blood Demon was defeated and Baili Qingmiao was freed from her infatuation, Zhongli Qian could travel the world freely, spreading his Dao. But now…

Oh well, most things in life didn’t go the way you want. Cultivation was to open one’s mind. Adjusting his outlook, Zhongli Qian said, as even- tempered as always. “What orders does Sect Master have?”

“Two things. First, gather up all information you can find on inner demons, and find a healer who can treat them. Second, cooperate fully with Yin
Hanjiang. Help him keep control of Xuanyuan Sect, and let him do whatever he wishes. Don’t mind this Venerable’s previous plans.”

Wenren È knew that Zhongli Qian wouldn’t have overlooked Yin
Hanjiang’s current condition. He might’ve already figured it out, just not told anyone. Instead of trying to deceive Zhongli Qian, it was better to get him on his side. Wenren È could act more easily in the shadows with Zhongli Qian as cover, and slowly help Yin Hanjiang.

“Sect Master, do you know what Sect Leader Yin’s original plan was?” Zhongli Qian asked carefully. “He wanted to use force to unify the cultivation world, killing anyone who defies Xuanyuan Sect and eliminating the sects that participated in the attack on you.”

Wenren È really hadn’t been aware, as the book only said Yin Hanjiang wanted to kill Hè Wenzhao. After some thought, he chuckled. “He does have ambition.”

There was no admonition in his tone, and even a hint of praise. Zhongli Qian: …
He daringly circled Wenren È with a thread of spiritual cognition, carefully examining his current state, and came upon a guess. “Has Sect Master
already been to see Yin Hanjiang? Did… he say something to you?”

Wenren È hesitated a moment. Looking carefully at Zhongli Qian, he saw the certainty on his face, as if he had seen through everything. “You truly are perceptive,” he said. “However, this Venerable hopes you won’t keep guessing. Even if you guess right, there’s no need to say it. This Venerable has a handle on everything. All you need to do is act for me in secret, and not let anyone know I’ve returned.”

“But if Sect Leader Yin is determined to bring suffering to the people, then I must stop him.” Seeing Wenren È had decided to stand with Yin Hanjiang in everything, Zhongli Qian made his own stance clear.

“He won’t,” Wenren È said with certainty. Yin Hanjiang was the child he had raised. Even if he was a bit gloomy and self-loathing, he was a good child.

“What if, though?” Zhongli Qian insisted.

What if? After a moment of thought, Wenren È answered, “Then Altar
Master Zhongli may lead the entire cultivation world in alliance against Yin Hanjiang. This Venerable will stand side by side with him.”

This… Zhongli Qian shook his head with a helpless smile. “Baili Qingmiao ought to see for herself how the Sect Master treats Sect Leader Yin.” “What do you mean?” Wenren È looked at him in confusion.

“Nothing in particular. When the Sect Master wants to know, he’ll understand it.”

How mysterious. It made no sense. Wenren È told Zhongli Qian to work on his tasks, and the Main Hall Master who was already buried to his neck in work had to delegate some responsibilities. He messaged Protector Shu and, pretending that Baili Qingmiao was still seeking death, and saying that he feared inner demons would arise within her, asked Protector Shu to find an expert healer. Then he asked Altar Master Shi, who cultivated the seven
sufferings, to find books regarding resentment and desire, and had Altar Master Ruan look for methods to treat inner demons.

At the same time, he continued to quickly memorize the information in the jade slips, so that by the time Yin Hanjiang returned, covered with blood, Zhongli Qian knew Xuanyuan Sect inside and out.

Yin Hanjiang tossed the list of Message Carriers who could still be trusted at Zhongli Qian for him to sort out, then headed for the spiritual spring to wash off the blood.

Wenren È, seeing he had no reservations toward him, entered the spring
with him. Sitting at one side, he said. “You’ve brought the Message Carriers under control after only one day. I’m quite impressed.”

Wenren È assumed he would be ignored like before, but Yin Hanjiang suddenly looked at him and ordered coldly, “Come here.”

“Me?” Wenren È wasn’t sure which inner demon Yin Hanjiang was talking to. After all, he couldn’t see what Yin Hanjiang saw.

“Yes, you,” Yin Hanjiang said. “The one least like the 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.

Chapter 60 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 60 – The nature of infatuation

He was the one least like himself… Wenren È was speechless for a moment. He really wanted to see what the inner demons in Yin Hanjiang’s eyes were like, or, in other words, what Wenren È was like in Yin
Hanjiang’s mind.

Right now, Wenren È had a body of chaos energy, so his clothes were transformed from it. He didn’t use the divine blood. Since Yin Hanjiang
was in the spring, if he went in there without any clothes, it wouldn’t be too proper.

Wenren È entered the spring without raising a single splash, as if he had melted into the water.

Keeping a handspan of distance between their shoulders, he sat side by side with Yin Hanjiang, turning his head to watch him closely.

He had never seen Yin Hanjiang like this. Each action and word seemed to be the opposite of what he would’ve originally done, yet oddly, he didn’t
clash with the past Yin Hanjiang at all.

Previously, whenever Wenren È looked directly at Yin Hanjiang, Yin
Hanjiang would always avoid his sight, either turning his head or lowering it. He very rarely shared a direct gaze with him.

Now, however, Yin Hanjiang watched him straight-on, some murderous intent lingering in his eyes.

He had dealt with many Message Carriers today. They ought to be
subordinate to Xuanyuan Sect, yet they were helping outsiders, colluding with righteous sects and cultivation clans along with Altar Master Yuan.
After interrogating many of them, Yin Hanjiang had found out there were plenty of lowlifes among the sects and cultivation clans, doing evil deeds in secret and blaming them all on Xuanyuan Sect with the Message Carriers
and Altar Master Yuan’s help.

The Venerable rarely minded such small matters, delegating everyday tasks to the Altar Masters. Miao, Ruan, Qiu Congxue, and Shi Congxin all had odd ways of thinking and didn’t want to bother with such things, so left them all to the jolly old Altar Master Yuan. Altar Master Yuan had managed to smear Wenren È a lot.

Such things as abducting virgins to harvest their essence, slaughtering villages to take their souls, snatching months-old infants to refine magic items, killing six to nine months pregnant women for their placentas, all sorts of matters that felt dirty just to hear about, Yin Hanjiang had
memorized one by one, recording the names of the wandering cultivators, righteous sect members, and clan members who had done them. After killing a bunch of Message Carriers to vent his rage, he gave their leader to Altar Master Miao.

Altar Master Miao gleefully dragged him away, not even letting his soul go, saying that he was going to raise a king gu that could control a wandering immortal, specifically to deal with Qiu Congxue.

After he had killed so many, the Army Crushing Spike had drunk its fill of blood and kept humming. Yin Hanjiang had forcibly returned it to within his body, but he couldn’t fully hide the glee in his eyes.

Some of the Wenren È’s around him praised him, while others disapproved, the clamor grating on his nerves. After returning to Xuanyuan Sect, he didn’t want to enter his Venerable’s room while covered with blood, so first came to the spring to wash. Seeing one of the inner demons watch him quietly, standing out among the crowd, he wanted its company.

He was a bit out of control after killing and needed to cool his head. He
wanted to see his Venerable, but didn’t want to let his inner demons control him. He might as well pick the one least like him, to reminisce. “In what way am I not like Wenren È?” Wenren È asked. He was really curious what the him Yin Hanjiang was seeing looked like.

Yin Hanjiang’s gaze was fierce as he shot him a glance, as if he didn’t want to chat with an inner demon.

Wenren È’s question still brought back memories for Yin Hanjiang, though. He lowered his eyelids, his long lashes faintly trembling.

Scooping up a handful of water, he splashed it across his face. A droplet slid down the corner of his eye. It could’ve been a teardrop or the spring water.

Wenren È put a hand to Yin Hanjiang’s face, but the drop of water passed through his hand, vanishing in the spring. For a moment, Wenren È had an urge to empty the spring in order to find that tiny droplet.

Yin Hanjiang’s weakness passed in an instant like this. If Wenren È hadn’t been watching every moment, he might’ve thought he was just washing his face.

Wenren È suddenly remembered that when Yin Hanjiang gifted him that handful of moonlight, he had said that when he was tired of practicing the sword, he would lay by the waterfall and play with the water. How many times, while acting like he was playing, had he used the water to disguise his feelings like this?

Wenren È’s impression of Yin Hanjiang had always been a child covered
with wounds. Eventually, he had grown into an adult, who quietly followed behind his lord. Wenren È had taken no part in his decade or so of
childhood, and had no way of knowing what he was like back then. “You shouldn’t like me,” Wenren È said. “I don’t deserve it.”
Yin Hanjiang was infuriated at those words. He had always ignored his inner demons, but never imagined that a phantasm that came from his deepest desires could speak such a thing. Yin Hanjiang thrust a palm at Wenren È, but just before he came into contact with the “phantasm”, he moved his hand to the side slightly, barely grazing past Wenren È’s face, smashing a rock a dozen meters away.

Yin Hanjiang couldn’t even attack an illusion, as long as it bore his face.

If this went on, how could he possibly overcome his inner demons? How could he recover?

Wenren È felt an ache in his heart which had always been cold as steel. He wanted to tell Yin Hanjiang that, if he let go of his feelings, he would be more at ease. But he couldn’t get the words out.

With such pure and sincere feelings placed before him, how could Hè
Wenzhao bear to proclaim love for Baili Qingmiao, while having dalliances with other women? Wenren È couldn’t understand it.

In this life, he had seen through the ways of heaven and earth, and the vicissitudes of human society, but he still had yet to understand love.

Fuming, Yin Hanjiang stood and, waving an arm to put on his clothes,
stormed toward Wenren È’s room. Inner demons were capable of saying anything. Why should he believe Wenren È wasn’t worth his love?

Wenren È followed closely after. Yin Hanjiang was lying on his side on Wenren È’s bed, his hair still damp, and upon seeing Wenren È enter, he roared at him, “Get out!”

Being yelled at by someone was a fresh feeling. Who was the last person who had done so? Probably the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master forty years
ago. Where was he now? Oh, it seemed he had been turned into a puppet by Qiu Congxue, who helped take care of Baili Qingmiao when Su Huai
wasn’t around.
Of course Wenren È wouldn’t leave. Why should he leave his own room? He stood before the bed, seeing Yin Hanjiang’s chest heave in rage.
However, it didn’t seem his anger was leading him to lose control of his spiritual energy and causing him any internal injuries, so Wenren È relaxed. He sat on the edge of the bed.

Yin Hanjiang was helpless against the “inner demon” and didn’t want to destroy the inside of Wenren È’s room, so all he could do in the end was sit up and glare at it. After fuming for a while, he said helplessly to himself,
“Why am I so mad? Of course an inner demon would have ways to disturb my mind, so it can weaken me and cause me to deviate. Not right now, though, I can’t let that happen right now.”

“I didn’t want to disturb your mind,” Wenren È said. “I just don’t understand why you love me to such an extent.”

He had thought his actions were insufficient. What he had done wasn’t worth being repaid with such pure feelings.

“What would an inner demon who can’t even call itself Venerable understand?” Yin Hanjiang said coldly.

He stopped paying attention to Wenren È and sat cross-legged in meditation, reciting the Clear Mind Spell.

After watching him for a while and seeing that he might not leave his trance anytime soon, Wenren È left to find Zhongli Qian. “Have you found a way to deal with inner demons?”

“…You only gave me half a day,” Zhongli Qian said.

Sensing Wenren È’s impatience, he continued, “There is a wandering immortal called Yao Jiaping, one of the top healers in the cultivation world. Protector Shu has already invited him to Xuanyuan Sect, and is currently negotiating with him.”

Yao Jiaping? Wenren È frowned, remembering this name. He was one of Hè Wenzhao’s followers, originally an eccentric wandering immortal with great medical skill. On one of Hè Wenzhao’s travels, he had met the eldest daughter of the Gongxi clan. She had a haughty attitude, at first looking down on Hè Wenzhao and only reluctantly traveling with him. In their journey, she caused many problems and wound up nearly getting herself killed. Hè Wenzhao took her to see Yao Jiaping, and since Yao Jiaping
admired how he had treated this woman, he agreed to help. After that, the Gongxi mistress fell for Hè Wenzhao, going from an unruly brat to one of his wives.

Yao Jiaping also got some backstory. He had once had a lover who suffered the same injury as the Gongxi mistress. At the time, his medical skills
weren’t high enough and he could only watch as his beloved died. From then on, he had become an eccentric wandering immortal obsessed with medicine, habitually rude to everyone with only Hè Wenzhao having gained his respect. They became the best of friends.

Seeing how dedicated Yao Jiaping was to his beloved, Hè Wenzhao admired him and often helped him out. And Yao Jiaping… was a person who was difficult to describe.

The clothes he wore and the everyday objects he used were all things that had been given by his beloved, and he thought of her all day, resenting his own powerlessness, like an infatuated loafer. Yet Wenren È couldn’t understand his actions at all. His medical skills were incomparable, so many people came to beg for his help, and yet his demands were quite random.
Sometimes, he would ask for someone’s most important possession, other times, for their wife or daughter, all according to his whims.

The women Yao Jiaping chose all had looks or personalities similar to his lover’s. Often, while with those other women, he would reminisce about his lover, and then toss that woman aside afterward, saying she couldn’t
compare to one finger of his beloved, looking upon her as if she were dirty.

Hè Wenzhao recognized Yao Jiaping as a man driven by love, and promised that if he became a god someday, he would help Yao Jiaping find his lover’s reincarnation. In the third volume, Yao Jiaping really did find her, and they reunited without any trouble, living sweet and joyful lives.

After reading that book, Wenren È only thought that Yao Jiaping’s love really matched Hè Wenzhao’s. They were just as bad as each other.
 Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

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