Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know Chapter 21-30

Chapter 21 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 21 – Wood carving practice

Sensing that Wenren È had left the room, Qiu Congxue opened the barrier with perfect timing. Wenren È said to the fuming Baili Qingmiao, “You can have him back. Continue crying if you want.”

He then transmitted to Qiu Congxue, “Bring Baili Qingmiao to meet me at the Golden Coast Cliffs. Keep an eye on her, don’t let her offer herself to Hè Wenzhao.”

In the book, Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao hadn’t gone all the way in their relationship even at the end. It was likely that Hè Wenzhao had genuine feelings for her and didn’t want to take her spiritual root. But they couldn’t let their guards down because of that. The story had already shown itself to change. They had to keep a careful eye on Baili Qingmiao, and prevent her from falling to any deceptions.

Wenren È considered the situation over and concluded that kidnapping Zhongli Qian would be a necessary action. Even if Baili Qingmiao wouldn’t necessarily fall in love with him, he could at least act as an obstacle.

Whenever a new love interest showed up in the book, Hè Wenzhao
wouldn’t appear for a while, or sometimes Baili Qingmiao would be woken up by the new love interest’s words, right up until the male lead talked her back over.

Now that the plotlines involving Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were impossible, Wenren È decided to give love interest number two and number four’s roles all to Zhongli Qian, and let him distract the female lead for a bit. Now that he had made his decision, Wenren È went to the administration hall and wrote down that Liu Xinye had lost a hairpin while on patrol and would be right back after finding it.

After descending the mountain, he left Liu Xinye’s body. Liu Xinye woke up in the small town at the foot of the mountain with a hairpin in her hand and no idea why she was there. She thought hard but just couldn’t remember what she had been doing for this period of time. She shook her head and turned around to return to the mountain. She still had to see her shixiong!

Wenren È, after watching Liu Xinye leave from afar, found a deserted place to reform his body and headed to the meeting point he’d decided with Yin Hanjiang.

He had left Yin Hanjiang in an empty alleyway. When Wenren È used a thread of spiritual cognition to find him, he discovered him holding his sword, leaning against a wall, waiting in the exact same pose as when Wenren È left.

It seemed like if Wenren È never returned, Yin Hanjiang would wait until the end of the world.

Yet the Yin Hanjiang in the book would never see his master return no matter how long he waited.

Wenren È materialized before Yin Hanjiang with a frown and said with some displeasure, “When this Venerable is not around, you can do
something of your own preference.”

Protector Shu was particularly talented at finding amusement for herself; she could put on an entire performance on her own. If Wenren È had told Shu Yanyan to wait for him, she probably would’ve found at least three men in that time.

“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang’s eyes brightened in an instant upon seeing Wenren È. Life returned to his entire form, and he no longer seemed like a discarded puppet. Seeing his joy, Wenren È’s annoyance faded some. He couldn’t help asking, “When this Venerable is in seclusion, do you usually stand guard like this too?”

“When the Venerable is in seclusion is when his subordinate must be most vigilant,” Yin Hanjiang responded.

Which was to say he was usually even more like a puppet. Back at the border town, there was still some life in him.

Wenren È didn’t say anything, and let Yin Hanjiang bring him on his sword to the Golden Coast Cliffs. Baili Qingmiao was merely at Nascent Soul Stage, and even with Qiu Congxue to carry her their speed would be very limited. Wenren È wasn’t in any rush.

When they arrived at the cliffs, Baili Qingmiao had, as expected, not yet arrived.

Wenren È took a glance at the silent Yin Hanjiang and told him to practice his sword by the ocean. After seeing Yin Hanjiang wordlessly obey and go practice, Wenren È found a centuries-old tree growing on the cliff face, cut off its thickest branch, whittled it down to its core, then took out a small knife and began to carve from memory.

When he was young, Wenren È would practice whittling when he was bored, mainly to steady his hand for archery in future battles. After his family was exterminated, in his grief, he would take his knife and carve their likenesses. Within that decade, he carved innumerable wooden figurines, and in the end buried them all with his family. While he was
cultivating in the mortal world, he would also carve some horses or swords when idle, and give them to children living at the border as toys.

After that, it had been many decades since he last picked up his carving knife.

As Wenren È thought back to their trip to the border town, he swiftly carved a figure from the wood. He only detailed its body and clothes, and left its face blank. The figurine was just the size of his palm. Wenren È approached the shore and tossed it over to Yin Hanjiang.

Hearing an object fly toward him, Yin Hanjiang turned and caught it. He saw in his hand a small wooden figurine, its build, clothes, and armor the perfect likenesses of the statue of General Wenren back at the memorial shrine, the only difference being the missing facial features.

“This Venerable also doesn’t know how to occupy himself in his spare time,” Wenren È said. “When I was young, I passed the time like that. You can keep the figurine and carve a face onto it for practice if you like. If you don’t want it, just throw it into the sea. I just made it to amuse myself.”

Yin Hanjiang shook his head furiously and put the figurine away in a rush, like he was afraid Wenren È would grab and toss it. “Any gift from the
Venerable is infinitely precious to this subordinate,” he said. “Your subordinate will finish this carving to the best of his ability.”

“After you’ve gotten some practice, you can carve your childhood town,” Wenren È said. “This Venerable would like to see what it looked like in your memories.”

Yin Hanjiang’s eyes dimmed and he said in a low voice, “This subordinate doesn’t remember clearly anymore.”

“Then carve what you do remember,” Wenren È said. “It doesn’t need to be your childhood home. Carve everything you can think of or imagine. You
are currently at the Void Boundary stage. If you want to reach Mahayana
stage, you need to train your mind. You will be unable to face off against a true expert if you have Mahayana level power but not the mental fortitude to control it.”

Yin Hanjiang had always fought by risking his life, relying on his tenacity and the demon sword to unleash explosive strength far beyond his own realm. But one only had one life, and if he constantly whittled away at it, eventually it would run out. “This Venerable has learned the blood arts and will not die easily. In the future, there’s no need for you to risk your life for this Venerable,” Wenren È said.

Yin Hanjiang paled upon hearing his words. If the Venerable didn’t need his life, then what did he have to give?

A chill ran through Yin Hanjiang’s heart. Though a warm sea breeze was blowing past his face, his whole body felt cold. What was a Yin Hanjiang who was not needed by his master? What was the vanguard without his general? What was Alkaid without Polis?

As Yin Hanjiang was on the brink of despair, he heard Wenren È say, “In the future, this Venerable needs you to treasure your life.”

“Treasure my life?” Yin Hanjiang instinctively replied.

“In the future, this Venerable must enter the Blood Hell. If you do not value your life and enlighten to your own Dao, how will you be able to follow this Venerable through heaven and hell?” Wenren È looked at Yin Hanjiang, a faint smile showing on his face.

Warmth slowly spread through Yin Hanjiang’s body at those words. He clutched the figurine in his hand and declared quietly, “This subordinate will not be a burden. This subordinate will follow the Venerable forever, whether to the divine realm or the underworld!”

“Good,” Wenren È said. “To gain the state of mind of a Mahayana
cultivator requires you to know the ways of heaven and defy them. You’re stubborn by nature, and your understanding of the ways of heaven is lacking. Reflecting on the past will help you focus and clear your mind.
This Venerable has high expectations of you.”

“Understood!” Yin Hanjiang responded. He bowed his head and stared for long at the figurine, and couldn’t help remarking, “The Venerable is talented at wood carving. Even the details of the armor are clearly visible.” “After cultivating my mind for long, I’ve developed a good memory, is all. It’s nothing impressive.” Wenren È waved Yin Hanjiang off, leaving him to work on it on his own.

Yin Hanjiang didn’t have a carving knife. He made motions toward the
small figurine with his sword for a while, but didn’t dare to do anything. He frowned down at it with a look of extreme apprehension, as if it were an insurmountable problem.

Wenren È twirled his knife in his fingers. He’d purposefully not given it to Yin Hanjiang, wanting him to ask for it on his own.

Yin Hanjiang didn’t ask to borrow it though, and instead used the Chiming blade to sever another tree branch and cut it into a small block. He couldn’t bear to do anything to the figurine Wenren È had given him, so created
another few wood blocks in order to practice on, so he could gain some skill before returning to the tiny carving.

Wenren È thought Yin Hanjiang would take his sword and painstakingly poke at the wood, but instead he used a hand seal to control the sword, and with an incantation it split into many small blades. They arranged themselves around the block of wood, unleashing sword aura on it.

Countless streaks of crimson light shot toward it. Wenren È looked on with interest, wanting to see how the wood block on the sand would turn out. But when the light faded, all that was left was a few wood chips. The tiny block had been reduced to sawdust under the power of the Chiming blade, already vanishing into the sea and sand.

“Hahahaha!” The deathly serious way Yin Hanjiang had faced the piece of wood had such a childish air, and now, looking at the outcome, Wenren È couldn’t help bursting into laughter.

Hearing the Venerable laugh at him, Yin Hanjiang forced himself to not look over. Stony-faced and wordless, he manipulated Chiming to attack the next piece of wood. He was as grim-faced as always, with only his burning red ears revealing his current embarrassment.

Baili Qingmiao and Qiu Congxue arrived at the coast two days later. In that time, Yin Hanjiang had butchered an entire cliff face’s worth of trees. He had gained insight into many new sword techniques, and the precision with which could control his sword also increased. Now, instead of causing utter destruction with one strike, he could gouge out a tiny sliver of wood.

Even though his mental state had not made any advancements over these two days, the will of his sword had become more flexible and he could
control it like an extension of himself.

Wenren È was originally going to give him the knife after amusing himself for a bit, but Yin Hanjiang proved to be exceedingly stubborn, making
attempt after attempt, and really did make advancements. Seeing his carvings look more and more proper, Wenren È quietly put away the carving knife, letting Yin Hanjiang refine his swordplay.

Baili Qingmiao first descended at the shoreline, and seeing the sand around her littered with palm-sized figurines, all oddly shaped, was frightened into backing up several steps. Pressing against Qiu Congxue’s side, she brought out the Moonlit Frost Silk, saying with vigilance, “Elder Qingxue, I suspect these are curse charms placed here as the focus of some wicked spell!”

Before she had finished speaking, a sword flew over the sand and its aura
smashed all the figurines at once. After the dust settled, a black-robed youth was revealed standing with sword in hand before Baili Qingmiao, looking down at her coldly. “It’s just a technique to practice the sword.”

Baili Qingmiao still remembered Yin Hanjiang and relaxed instantly upon seeing a familiar face. She cupped a fist toward him. “Senior!”

Wenren È also walked out of the cloud of sand, standing by Yin Hanjiang’s side.

He paid no attention to Baili Qingmiao. He held a small object in his hand
and transmitted to Yin Hanjiang, “This one looked the best. I thought it’d be a shame to destroy it, so I rescued it as a souvenir.”

Yin Hanjiang looked at the carving that resembled a grade schooler’s work, and when hearing that the Venerable wanted to keep it, frantically reached for it, but his hand closed around empty air. He saw Wenren È holding the figurine high, transmitting to him, “Don’t try to take this Venerable’s possessions, now.”

Yin Hanjiang’s face flushed in anxiety, finally seeming properly alive. Wenren È casually tossed the figurine inside his sleeve and, turning his back on Yin Hanjiang, went to face Baili Qingmiao. “I requested Elder Qingxue bring you to this place,” he said.

Even now, Baili Qingmiao was blissfully innocent that Wenren È was a demonic cultivator, and still thought of him as a good-intentioned senior. She certainly didn’t make the connection between him and the “Liu Xinye” of a few days ago, and bowed to him with utmost courtesy, the image of a polite and proper young girl.

Elder Qingxue was pleased and said with a slight smile, “It seems the problem with your eyes has gone away.”

“Huh?” said Baili Qingmiao. “What was wrong with my eyes?”

Qiu Congxue didn’t explain, leaving Baili Qingmiao to doubt herself.
Wenren È pointed toward the cliffs and said, “It’s said that a spiritual realm is hidden at the bottom of these cliffs. Have you heard of that before?”

“I have,” Baili Qingmiao said, nodding. “I have once read a record of
spiritual realms in the sect library. It said that spiritual realms were small worlds in the immortal realm, filled with treasures unknown to the mortal world. The one I remember best is the Shattered Mountain Meteorite, and I don’t know the names of any of the others.”

“I am indeed here to retrieve the Shattered Mountain Meteorite,” Wenren È said, paying particular attention to Baili Qingmiao’s expression. Seeing that she had no reaction, he was puzzled. In the book, Baili Qingmiao had retrieved the Shattered Mountain Meteorite in order to save Hè Wenzhao. How come she had no reaction to hearing its name?

After thinking things over, Wenren È realized it. Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul had been damaged in the book, but it was nothing like the current
situation, where it was stolen by Shu Yanyan. Originally, after Shu Yanyan had sucked away Hè Wenzhao’s essence, he had been able to cultivate a
Nascent Soul using the Snow Flame. Thus, it had no relation to Shu
Yanyan, and she couldn’t entirely steal it. Now, Hè Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul had been cultivated with Shu Yanyan’s help, and she could simply reach out and take it with ease. The injury Hè Wenzhao had sustained had been too
severe, and he couldn’t recover just by getting a new bonded weapon. Thus, Baili Qingmiao didn’t have high expectations for the Shattered Mountain Meteorite.

In that case, didn’t that mean that Liu Xinye’s golden core also wouldn’t be enough to restore him?

Who knew how the blood demon planned to heal Hè Wenzhao this time?

“If senior has a request, Baili won’t hesitate,” Baili Qingmiao said. “But…”

She fiddled with her fingers and said awkwardly, “My shixiong sustained heavy wounds during the Great Sect War. If we were to find an elixir which can restore a Nascent Soul, can I have some to take back? Just a little?”

She extended her pinky finger and indicated the size of its nail to demonstrate how little she wanted.

Wenren È nodded. “Fine.” By the time Baili Qingmiao got back, Hè Wenzhao would’ve probably recovered for the most part anyway.

The four arrived at the top of the cliffs. “Senior,” Baili Qingmiao asked, “It’s said the spiritual realm at the Golden Coast Cliffs has never been
encountered by anyone except the elder who recorded it in ancient times. How will we find it?” “That’s where you’re necessary,” said Wenren È, looking pleasantly at her.

“Me?” Baili Qingmiao pointed at her chest. With her innocent expression and her yellow robes flapping around her in the breeze, she looked like a flower growing at the cliff’s edge.

“Exactly.” Wenren È said, smiling, then with a single palm blow, pushed her off the cliff.

“Wha—? Ahhhhhh!” Baili Qingmiao had been caught entirely off-guard by her trusted senior pushing her, and started screaming.

A cultivator’s power would be suppressed at the Golden Coast Cliffs, and more severely the higher their level. Unlike Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang,
who couldn’t use any spiritual energy, Baili Qingmiao managed to use light step[1] to grab onto a vine on the cliff face. She called up to Qiu Congxue in a panic, “Master Qingxue, my cultivation has been suppressed to only the Qi Refining Stage, please help me!”

Qiu Congxue looked down emotionlessly from the top of the cliff as her disciple struggled. “If this master were to go down there, I would be
suppressed to only the Qi Gathering Stage. You’re stronger than I would be, so persevere on your own.”

Baili Qingmiao: …

On the brink of despair, she heard Wenren È’s voice. “Encountering the
spiritual realm is in your fate. Only you can summon it into being. We’re all depending on you.”

So it wasn’t that her senior was trying to harm her, but that he had no other way. Baili Qingmiao felt a bit of relief. As long as they weren’t trying to kill her, she would gladly lend her abilities to her seniors.

Having been convinced by one sentence from Wenren È, Baili Qingmiao started feeling her way along the cliff face with difficulty. Above, a Void Boundary cultivator, a Mahayana cultivator, and a wandering immortal all watched her struggles indifferently. Mystified, Qiu Congxue asked, “Will she really be able to find it?”

“If she cannot, no one will be able to,” Wenren È said.

Yin Hanjiang knew that Wenren È had used his foreknowledge of heavenly secrets to come here and search for the sake of making him a new spiritual weapon, and felt troubled. “Venerable, this subordinate…”

Wenren È knew what he was about to say and raised a hand to stop him. “This Venerable has made his decision.”

Yin Hanjiang pressed his lips together and said nothing more. When Qiu Congxue realized that the treasure was for forging a sword for Yin
Hanjiang, vicious thoughts surfaced in her heart. Wenren È was already
enough of a problem, and Yin Hanjiang was his trusted lieutenant. If he got stronger, she might not have any possibility of defeating Wenren È in the future.

She had to take action, but aside from fighting head-on, what else could she do? Qiu Congxue thumped her head a few times, but felt like it was filled with the sound of the sea, and she couldn’t think of anything.

She ought to join forces with Shu Yanyan. She could come up with the plans, and Qiu Congxue would carry them out. That would simplify matters.

As for finally learning how to use her brain, Qiu Congxue gave no consideration to it.

The three of them each considered their own problems, while only Baili
Qingmiao dutifully searched the cliffs. She would sprain an ankle or scrape her arms from time to time, and suffered every injury that was described in the book, only this time without Wenren È to tenderly care for her.

Wenren È counted all the times she was injured until she finally got to the blood bats. He watched from afar as a swarm of blood bats dove at Baili Qingmiao. After a single scream, Baili Qingmiao fainted from the bats’ poisonous bite, dangling off a vine on the cliff face.

“Is she dead?” Qiu Congxue said with some concern. “I need to refine her soul before the emissaries of the underworld come to take it.”

Wenren È knocked Qiu Congxue several li away with a palm strike, then focused his attention on what was happening below. Just as he expected, soon after Baili Qingmiao lost consciousness, a thick aura of immortals shrouded the entire cliff face.

Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

Please support the original author over on jjwxc.

1. Qinggong ↩

Chapter 22 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 22 – Spiritual realm

Most cultivators, when encountering a spiritual realm, would treat it as the great fortune of a lifetime and rush in as quickly as they could, in case the entrance closed.

Qiu Congxue was the same, and when she felt the immortal aura, she rushed back over and was about to charge in, when Yin Hanjiang blocked her way.

“The Venerable has not yet entered,” Yin Hanjiang said. Sword in one hand, he stood behind Wenren È, preventing Qiu Congxue from taking another
step.

Qiu Congxue’s current strength was far above Yin Hanjiang’s, but she still remembered how Yin Hanjiang had taken on the experts of Xuanyuan Sect years ago at only Body Unity stage.

To tell the truth, at the time the high-ranking members of Xuanyuan Sect were at odds with each other, and no one wanted to reveal the full extent of their strength lest someone else used it against them. But it was impossible to deny that Yin Hanjiang’s full strength was truly terrifying. Back then,
Qiu Congxue was at Void Boundary stage, and hadn’t worked up the resolution to enter the hungry ghost path. After all, she would be cultivating into an Asura in the end. Back then, Qiu Congxue had her brain and her flesh, and was in no way willing to feed herself to hungry ghosts.

Then she had met Yin Hanjiang, and after knocking a mouthful of teeth out of Shu Yanyan, he stuck Qiu Congxue right through the temples with his
sword and left her heavily injured for some time. After the battle ended and before Wenren È had the chance to sort out the members of Xuanyuan Sect, Qiu Congxue pitched herself into the hungry ghost path. After twenty years, she had risen to Mahayana stage, and brought a swarm of vengeful spirits to challenge Yin Hanjiang. Wenren È, who had been idle at the time, left her picking up her bones all over the floor, and so Shu Yanyan made fun of her for quite a while afterward.

So even though Yin Hanjiang was only Void Boundary stage, Qiu Congxue didn’t dare take him lightly. She held back her greed for the spiritual realm and waited for Wenren È’s command.

Wenren È crouched at the cliff edge, seeing that the entrance to the spiritual realm had not only opened but was lightly sucking Baili Qingmiao inside.
He didn’t rush to enter, and instead yanked Baili Qingmiao back from the entrance. He cut off one of Qiu Congxue’s arms and refined the essence of the Flesh Mushroom from within her body, then fed it to Baili Qingmiao to cure the bats’ poison.

Qiu Congxue, now missing an arm: …

In the book, when Wenren È took the mushroom, he had a flesh body and the essence was completely absorbed by him. But all of Qiu Congxue’s flesh had been created by the Flesh Mushroom. Before it was completely absorbed by her, the essence could still be used for medicine.

The Flesh Mushroom worked quickly and Baili Qingmiao soon woke with a soft cry. The moment she opened her eyes, the spiritual realm vanished.

“Senior?” Baili Qingmiao saw Wenren È standing coldly beside her. She rubbed her eyes and sat up. “Senior, this one is far too incompetent. I
couldn’t even deal with a few blood bats and needed senior to save me.”

“I didn’t save you.” Wenren È shifted to one side and revealed Qiu Congxue standing there without an arm.

“Master Qingxue!” Baili Qingmiao hopped to her feet and ran to her master’s side, looking over her arm with concern. Tears started flowing down her cheeks. “You sacrificed your own body in order to save me. I… this disciple has no way to repay you. I can only dedicate the rest of my life to you, master.”

Qiu Congxue, clutching her arm, said stiffly, “It’ll grow back with enough spiritual energy. And I wasn’t the one who cut it off, so you don’t need to thank me.”

The situation was really a mess. It was Wenren È who had acted, but it wasn’t his own flesh he cut off, and Qiu Congxue hadn’t been willing
either. Neither of them had had any sincerity, and neither felt they deserved Baili Qingmiao’s thanks.

Wenren È spoke to Baili Qingmiao, who was hugging Qiu Congxue. “Don’t relax too early. I was just experimenting a little. In order to find the spiritual realm’s entrance, I’m afraid you’ll have to sustain more injuries.”

After saying that, he took Baili Qingmiao’s Moonlit Frost Silk, and after tying it around her waist, knocked her out again with a blow to the back of her neck.

Using the Moonlit Frost Silk as a fishing line, he dangled Baili Qingmiao’s limp body over the edge of the cliff.

This time, Wenren È dared to veer off the book’s path and do something different. After treating Baili Qingmiao’s injury, he let the entrance vanish, then knocked her out again and let her dangle by the cliff face.

It was completely different from the book’s events, yet the spiritual realm once again materialized.

Even Yin Hanjiang, who rarely thought on his own, asked in confusion, “Venerable, what is going on?”

A spiritual realm ought to be an opportunity one encountered once in a thousand years, and it was already incredible for them to witness one opening. How could it be that after Wenren È passed it up, it now opened again? “Let’s talk after we’re in.” Wenren È didn’t explain, instead wrapping the silk ribbon in his hands around himself and Yin Hanjiang, and jumping in after Baili Qingmiao.

Qiu Congxue wasn’t about to be left behind and, disregarding her missing
arm, jumped down the cliff. However, after the spiritual realm sucked in the other three, it paid her no mind and abruptly vanished. Qiu Congxue’s
spiritual powers were suppressed, leaving her unable to fly, and, failing to grab onto a vine in time, she fell into the sea with a plop.

Inside the spiritual realm, Wenren È tied the unconscious Baili Qingmiao into a bundle which he slung over his shoulder. He looked at the entrance now closed behind them and said, “As I expected, Qiu Congxue wasn’t able to enter.”

“She was right behind us, but the entrance completely passed her over,” Yin Hanjiang said, mystified.

“The spiritual realm only wanted to accept one person, Baili Qingmiao,” Wenren È said, indicating the bundle on his back. “If we weren’t tied to her bonded weapon, we wouldn’t have been able to enter either.”

In the book, Wenren È had been clutching Baili Qingmiao in his arms, so they couldn’t have been separated. This time, Wenren È had dangled her down the cliff to test if the spiritual realm had indeed been targeting her.

It seemed all the treasures of the world were attracted to the protagonist. Maybe they favored her as a primordial goddess, or maybe they wanted to absorb her power.

This spiritual realm was part of a palace in the immortal realm. The only areas open to them were a hall shrouded in immortal essence and a scenic courtyard outside. Beyond the courtyard was a wall of white mist and a powerful array that prevented them from leaving.

A crimson bird with one leg dozed in the courtyard, perched on a tree covered with scarlet fruits. In a small stream below, an azure carp
swallowed fallen fruits from time to time, its tail splashing happily. On a rock formation by the stream sat a yellow turtle, and a white cat came over, flipped the turtle over, and started sharpening its claws on its shell.

The two watched this scene from a window overlooking the courtyard, not willing to carelessly leave the room. Yin Hanjiang considered the animals for a while, then asked hesitantly, “The Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Black Tortoise, and Vermillion Bird are the four sacred beasts. Though they reside in the immortal realm, they are the guardians of the four directions and
should be protecting the heavenly pillars. Why would they all appear in this small courtyard?”

Wenren È brought out Abusive Romance and flipped through it. “The
stranger part is that this doesn’t fit the book’s description of the spiritual realm.”

What they should’ve entered was a pitch black cavern, guarded by many monsters and beasts. Baili Qingmiao had still been bleeding from the bite the blood bat had given her, and the scent drew many of the beasts forward. Protecting the female lead, Wenren È risked his life in order to slay them.
The two of them stumbled through the darkness and finally came across the Shattered Mountain Meteorite.

The meteorite glowed with light, preventing them from approaching. Only after Wenren È used the killing intent of the Seven Killing Halberd to
suppress it could he claim it. Afterward, Baili Qingmiao found detoxifying herbs to put on her bite. The moment the bleeding stopped, the exit
appeared, and Wenren È carried her through.

After reading through the section again, Wenren È said, “There are two divergences. One, Baili Qingmiao is currently unconscious, and two, she isn’t injured or poisoned.”
These two different conditions led to entirely different spiritual realms. “Is this place the same location as the book, just in a different form, or a
completely different location?” Yin Hanjiang wondered. From a table in the hall, he picked up a small metal box. Wenren È smiled and took it from him. “The Shattered Mountain Meteorite.”

The Shattered Mountain Meteorite that he originally faced a thousand dangers to reach was now sitting peacefully on a table for anyone to take.

He had already left the unconscious Baili Qingmiao on a bed. Wenren È glanced at her, wondering if their surroundings would change when she woke up.

When she was bitten by the blood bats earlier, Wenren È hadn’t noticed anything strange about her blood, but that didn’t mean nothing else
could’ve. He used his spiritual energy to make a cut on her arm. Her blood flowed freely, yet nothing changed about their surroundings.

After some consideration, Wenren È waved a hand and dissipated the blood qi that he had left inside her body. Baili Qingmiao immediately woke up, rubbing her eyes, and cried out in shock. “Where am I? Why is it so dark?”

In the instant her eyes opened, the spiritual realm had transformed into a pitch-black cavern.

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 23 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 23 – Xuanyuan Sect’s token

Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang saw the palace transform into a cavern before their eyes. Yin Hanjiang automatically drew his sword, standing in front of Wenren È.

The completely oblivious Baili Qingmiao gathered up the silk that had been binding her and, after examining her surroundings, asked, “These seniors, where is Master Qingxue? Argh!”

She had felt something cold brush her ankle and jumped to her feet, igniting a light talisman as she did. By its illumination, she could now see that the ground by her feet was crawling with snakes, the smallest with the thickness of a rice bowl and the largest over a meter in width.

The cavern was vast, and a faint breeze blew through it. The serpents were entwined together, completely covering the ground.

Wenren È held down Yin Hanjiang’s hand before he could unleash his
sword, and said calmly, “Don’t act yet. I feel that… they don’t intend to attack.”

“Ahh! I’m scared of snakes!” Baili Qingmiao’s cultivation was still
suppressed and she couldn’t fly. She only hopped about on the ground, tears streaming from her eyes.

In the book, Wenren È slew all the snakes upon seeing them, causing the blood to attract more beasts and putting the two in a worse situation.

Now that he had seen the spiritual realm transform from a palace to a cave, Wenren È held back from striking immediately. “Don’t be so frantic,” he said to Baili Qingmiao. “Stand still in an empty space and the snakes will probably leave you alone. If you attack them, you’ll bring trouble.”

Baili Qingmiao was obedient and planted her feet on the ground, enduring her fear. The thickest snake immediately began slithering toward her. Baili Qingmiao wanted to scream and attack it, but remembering Wenren È’s
words, she controlled herself and stood her ground. Once she calmed, she saw the huge python rub its head lightly against her leg like a dog, even wriggling the tip of its tail a bit.

Baili Qingmiao: …

“W—what’s going on?” she said, trembling with her back pressed against a rock wall.

Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were standing opposite to her and could clearly see the wall behind her open a huge yellow eye with a slit pupil. The eye
swiveled about until it saw Baili Qingmiao, at which point it narrowed as if in a smile.

Wenren È: … Yin Hanjiang: …
Now that they were calm and refrained from attacking the beasts, they could clearly see the affection they showed toward Baili Qingmiao.

“Before you entered the spiritual realm, did you have any thoughts of what it would be like?” Wenren È asked Baili Qingmiao.

“I did fantasize a little,” Baili Qingmiao said, leaning against the wall and completely unaware that the large eye above her head was now shifting
downward. “If it’s a spiritual realm, it ought to be a grand golden palace, all the objects within the palace would be rare treasures, the ordinary animals living in the courtyard would be divine beasts spoken of in legends, like the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Black Tortoise, and Vermillion Bird, or
something like that… huh? Why are you looking at me like that?” Even Yin Hanjiang, who ordinarily only paid attention to his master, couldn’t help but give Baili Qingmiao an odd look.

The place they had entered was precisely Baili Qingmiao’s fantasy. It also only appeared when she was unconscious, and when she woke up, all traces of it would vanish and the environment would become a terrifying hellscape. Though these beasts clearly liked Baili Qingmiao, and if no one attacked, all they would do was try to get closer to her.

“A fantasy realm, huh…” Wenren È muttered. Then he said, “Then, if there was a medicine that could save your shixiong in the palace, what would it be?”

“A blooming lotus in one of the courtyard’s ponds, I guess, its seven-
colored jade lotus heart would be able to cure shixiong… Senior, how come it feels like the wall behind me is moving?”

Probably like that one at your feet, it’s trying to rub its head against you, just its head is kind of big, Wenren È thought.

“Where would the spiritual realm’s exit be?” Wenren È asked.

“I imagined the palace would be surrounded by white fog, and since it’s a part of the immortal realm, it must have a powerful array surrounding it, preventing us from leaving, but the mist would be thinner at the back door of the palace, and it would act as a passage back to the Golden Coast
Cliffs… senior, this is all just my daydream, why— why are you asking all this? I seem to be stuck on something. What’s on the wall behind me?”

Nothing again, just she seemed to be leaning against a tongue, which was sticking to her.

“Baili Qingmiao, knock yourself unconscious,” said Wenren È. “After you open your eyes again, you’ll be at the Golden Coast Cliffs, and Elder
Qingxue will be there.”

“Really?!” Baili Qingmiao hesitated for a moment, then decided, “Since I’m so weak, I wouldn’t be of any help to these two seniors even on my feet. Here I go, then.”

Saying that, she stopped her breath and sealed her senses, her consciousness sinking deep into her dantian, and fell unconscious like flipping a switch.

The minute she lost awareness, their surroundings returned to the scene she had imagined.

“Venerable, could this spiritual realm actually be created by Baili
Qingmiao’s mind?” Yin Hanjiang asked in astonishment, slinging her over his shoulder. “Was the cavern real, or this palace? Or are neither real?”

“There’s one more possibility, that both are real,” said Wenren È. This time, he strode into the courtyard and plucked a lotus that hadn’t existed last time, extracting its heart.

The four ordinary-looking divine beasts made no move to stop him, still amusing themselves in their own ways.

“We’ve gotten everything we want. Time to go,” Wenren È said to Yin Hanjiang. “Let’s find the back door she mentioned.”

They came to the back door and found that the mist was indeed thinner here, and seemed passable.

Yin Hanjiang tried to rush to the front, to test the route for his master, but Wenren È held him back.

“We’ll go together, back to back, and carry Baili Qingmiao together,” Wenren È said.

“Understood!”

Back to back, with one shoulder supporting Baili Qingmiao, and their free hands holding each other’s, they cautiously walked through the fog.

After walking for an indeterminable length of time, through white fog that gave them no sense of distance, they suddenly smelled the salt of the sea breeze. Following the wind for a few more steps, the fog parted and left them standing on the cliff’s edge, with the golden sea before them.

Now that his vision was filled with something else beside white, Yin Hanjiang set down Baili Qingmiao and turned to look at Wenren È’s
familiar face. Only then did he breathe a sigh of relief and plop down onto the ground.

“Protector Yin, why’re you so tense?” Wenren È said, sitting by his side at the cliff edge. He didn’t get why Yin Hanjiang had relaxed the instant he
saw him, and had never seen him act improperly like this before.

“I was afraid that it wasn’t only Baili Qingmiao’s fantasies that were realized in the spiritual realm, and that my thoughts would be too. This subordinate was just overthinking things.”

“What were you thinking?” Wenren È asked.

Yin Hanjiang bowed his head and didn’t answer. He had walked back to back with Wenren È along the whole path, and could only touch his icy fingertips. Yin Hanjiang had feared that when they exited and he turned around, he would find a corpse behind him.

When Yin Hanjiang was five years old, he had woken up in a mass grave, and fumbled around in it searching for his mother and father. His legs were broken, and the weights of dead bodies pressed down around him. After
searching for some time, he realized the clothes of the body lying atop him were patched in a familiar way, and recognized them as his mother’s. Back then, he didn’t understand death clearly, and only hugged the corpse and
cried. Ignoring the pain of his injuries, he turned the body over, and found a rotten face crawling with maggots.

Yin Hanjiang roughly shook himself out of his memories. He felt he was pathetic for thinking of these things. Over a hundred years had already passed, and ordinary people would’ve lived out their entire lives, yet he still couldn’t move on from his memories as a five-year-old child. The Venerable would not become a corpse. Wenren È was the strongest person in the cultivation world. There wasn’t anyone who could kill him.

Wenren È grabbed one of Yin Hanjiang’s hands and found his palm covered with sweat. Cultivators had already transcended mortality. They could
sustain themselves without food and escape the cycle of reincarnation, and would only sweat out of extreme fear. If Yin Hanjiang was unwilling to say, Wenren È couldn’t guess his thoughts. He only felt that Yin Hanjiang’s later madness in the book hadn’t come out of nowhere after all.

These days, he paid more and more attention to Yin Hanjiang, and realized that there seemed to be a bottomless pit in Yin Hanjiang’s heart. If his heart couldn’t be at peace, Yin Hanjiang would never be able to reach Mahayana.

“It seems when we have free time in the future, I should take you drinking so you can relax and vent a little,” Wenren È said. “And at that time, you should tell me what you were thinking. How about it?”

Yin Hanjiang’s expression seemed strained. He didn’t wish for the Venerable to understand him better.

Wenren È could order Yin Hanjiang to speak, but he had no wish to force him, and instead said, “In that case, I’ll let you set the time. Whenever you want to speak, this Venerable will be there to hear it.”

While they spoke, a person climbed up the cliff from the ocean—Qiu Congxue.

She had been unable to use spiritual energy in the ocean, and it had taken her a long time to swim back and climb to the top.

Seeing that her arm still hadn’t regrown, Wenren È asked, “How long were we gone?”

“Less than two hours,” Qiu Congxue replied. “Did the Venerable meet with any threats while in the spiritual realm?” Wenren È had no intention of telling her. He slapped Baili Qingmiao, who seemed to always be losing consciousness one way or another, awake, and placed both the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart and the Shattered Mountain
Meteorite before her. “I had assumed the Shattered Mountain Meteorite was fated to me, but it seems that was just wishful thinking. These two both belong to you, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with them.”

“How can you let me have everything?” Baili Qingmiao said, waving her hands. “I didn’t do anything and was a burden the entire way. I’m just grateful that you didn’t give up on me. The Shattered Mountain Meteorite naturally belongs to you. As for the lotus heart… will you please treat it as this disciple borrowing it for now? In the future, I will surely repay you.”

“It’s the opposite,” Wenren È said. “Treat it as this Venerable borrowing this.”

“This Venerable?” Baili Qingmiao said, cocking her head.

Copying the book’s events, Wenren È took out a token of the Xuanyuan Sect Master and handed it to her. “This is this Venerable’s token. If you are in need in the future, you can exchange it for one favor from this Venerable, no matter what it is.”

Baili Qingmiao accepted a token that resembled a tiger tally[1] with both hands, and couldn’t help but ask, “May I inquire after your name?”

“This Venerable is Wenren È.”

Hearing him, Baili Qingmiao was panicked into dropping the token, and stammered at Qiu Congxue, “Master Qingxue, this— this senior is the— the demonic sect leader.”

“Why are you so flustered?” said Qiu Congxue. “You and I together are no match for him, so don’t think about being a hero.”

Her composure helped Baili Qingmiao calm down as well. If Wenren È had wanted to kill her, he could do it by lifting a finger. “Sect Master Wenren, I cannot accept your token,” Baili Qingmiao said with a shake of her head. “The righteous and demonic sects are in opposition to one another, and each side inflicted heavy casualties on the
other during the Great Sect War. My sect master was deeply injured by you and is still unconscious, and my shixiong had his Nascent Soul taken by one of your subordinates. I will not forget all the aid you’ve given me, and in the future, if possible, I will be sure to repay you. But from now on, I can no longer be in contact with you, and even less can I keep your token.”

Baili Qingmiao bowed to Wenren È in farewell and offered the tally back with both hands.

“Don’t be so hasty. You’ll have use for it.” Wenren È didn’t move to accept it. “And the righteous and demonic paths are not so black and white as you were taught. When the day comes that Shangqing Sect turns on you and tries to harm and imprison you, you can decide whether or not you need it.”

“Why would my sect turn on me?” Baili Qingmiao said, mystified.

Wenren È didn’t answer, only vanished into a streak of crimson light and flew off with Yin Hanjiang, leaving Qiu Congxue and Baili Qingmiao
staring blankly after them.

Before his departure, Wenren È had transmitted to Qiu Congxue, “Delay your return by a few days, so that it takes longer to get the medicine to Hè Wenzhao.”

Now that he gave Hè Wenzhao and the blood demon some time to act, he wondered what would happen this time around.

Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

Please support the original author over on jjwxc.
 1. Tiger tallies are (what wwx had in cql) made in two halves and given to generals to authorize troop deployment. If the halves fit together, it can be determined to be genuine. ↩

Chapter 24 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 24 – Side by side

Wenren È’s goal with this trip had been to forge a new sword for Yin Hanjiang, an immortal weapon if possible, or at least a near-immortal weapon.

After trading for the meteorite with his token and a promise to help Baili Qingmiao in the future, he took Yin Hanjiang to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains.

It should now be named the Thousand Mile Fire Plains. The field of boundless white from eleven years ago had been transformed into a sea of magma. Even at Yin Hanjiang or Wenren È’s level, they didn’t get too close to the surface, just surveying the landscape from high above.

“The wandering immortal of the Violet Spirit Pavilion had been cultivating using the flames underneath the ice for centuries, yet was never able to find the Snow Flame. Yet when Baili Qingmiao collapsed in the Ice Plains, it instantly appeared in her hands. In order to find that immortal’s true body, this Venerable broke through the ice layer, and now without the ice
suppressing it, the underground fires have transformed the Ice Plains’s environment,” Wenren È said.

Even though Yin Hanjiang normally paid attention to nothing besides Wenren È, he couldn’t help but ask, “Why did the spiritual realm change according to Baili Qingmiao’s wishes? And the things she imagined
actually materialized.”

Yin Hanjiang took out the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. He still had difficulty believing that this treasure in his hands was real. “What if it suddenly turns into mist and vanishes?” Yin Hanjiang asked.

Wenren È saw curiosity sparkling in his eyes and couldn’t help but smile slightly. “In the beginning, heaven and earth were primordial chaos and
everything in existence was formless energy. A primordial god awakened in the chaos, and used his power to separate heaven and earth, becoming one with the cosmos and giving rise to all things. This was the one origin from which everything in existence developed.[1]“

Yin Hanjiang had reached Void Boundary stage over a century of
cultivation and his ability of comprehension was actually quite high. He thought it over and asked, “Is the Venerable’s meaning that the spiritual realm was neither a palace nor a cavern, but a gathering of primordial chaos like the cosmos before the separation of heaven and earth? What we saw today was a smaller-scale version of the shaping of the cosmos?”

“Perhaps.” Wenren È was unsure of his conjecture himself, and could only give Yin Hanjiang an indecisive answer.

“Then how come everything became dark when she opened her eyes and bright when she closed them? It’s almost like the legend of the torch dragon who brings day when its eyes are open and night when they close. Except it’s reversed.” Yin Hanjiang rubbed the meteoric iron, still looking at it with disbelief.

He had remained composed in front of Qiu Congxue and Baili Qingmiao, as cold and emotionless as always, but alone in front of Wenren È, he had finally learned to show a bit of curiosity.

“This Venerable does have an idea about that.” Wenren È hadn’t noticed the indulgent smile that had appeared on his lips. “The book stated that Baili
Qingmiao was a primordial goddess in her previous life, and managed plagues, disasters, and war. Everywhere her sight landed, disasters would befall mortal beings, so she wouldn’t have often looked at peaceful
surroundings. If the spiritual realm was a collection of primordial energy that had been attracted to Baili Qingmiao, it would naturally reflect her fate.” Dark and hellish when awake, and only a paradise in her dreams.

The Abusive Romance novel was the same. It was just as one reviewer said
—the author had given the female lead a primordial divine nature, the talent and luck to overturn fate, and impeccable looks and character. They had
crafted an exceptional protagonist, then let Hè Wenzhao stomp all over her. Baili Qingmiao could probably only have what she wanted in her dreams.
“In any case, the Shattered Mountain Meteorite is undoubtedly real, and the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart will also certainly be able to heal Hè Wenzhao. Who knows if Baili Qingmiao will have the chance to use it, though?”
Wenren È said.

Even though Qiu Congxue was now a wandering immortal, she could still return to Xuanyuan Sect after stealing a few of Shangqing Sect’s secret techniques. With Qiu Congxue’s intellect, she wouldn’t have any impact on Shangqing Sect even if she stayed, let alone become a mole for the
Xuanyuan Sect. Wenren È had no ambitions to unify the entire cultivation world either, so logically he should’ve brought Qiu Congxue back.

The reason he’d let her return to Shangqing Sect was that he was curious what kind of changes she would wrought if she stayed by the protagonist’s side.

Wenren È was also quite amused by the way Qiu Congxue went about things. What other cultivator would say something like “Obviously a magic elixir ought to be used on me, who would save a piece of garbage like you?” to Hè Wenzhao?

After Baili Qingmiao had fainted, Qiu Congxue was so concerned she wanted to retrieve her soul immediately, which meant she really was
attached to her disciple, even wanting her to become the heir to her ghost cultivation techniques. With such a “considerate” master by the protagonist’s side, Wenren È was really looking forward to seeing how the story would diverge. For now, though, he had a more important thing than the story to focus on, namely, to forge Yin Hanjiang’s sword.

With a bonded weapon, a cultivator could access the weapon’s wisdom, and their understanding of the Dao would grow deeper. Wenren È hoped that
after Yin Hanjiang got his new sword, he could let go of his obsessions and make actual plans toward his future. That way, if Wenren È truly died
someday as he had in the book, Yin Hanjiang would be able to act rationally, and wouldn’t become what he had.

The Chiming blade had its own awareness and sensed that Wenren È was going to refine it. It tried to escape as it was drawn from its sheath, but it was trapped by a cloud of blood mist.

“Venerable!” Yin Hanjiang cried, not thinking that Wenren È would sever one of his own arms. The blood mist that made up that arm snatched the meteoric iron from Yin Hanjiang, and began forcing it to combine with the Chiming blade.

“In order to craft a legendary weapon from these fires, human blood and souls must be sacrificed,” Wenren È said calmly. “Demonic cultivators would usually kidnap a Nascent Soul or above cultivator for their crafts, sealing the soul inside the weapon in order to make an artifact of unparalleled power.”

Righteous cultivators would of course not sacrifice their fellows in order to make weapons, but would capture spiritual beasts.

Spiritual beasts were naturally endowed with spiritual power from the heavens, such as qilin and other beasts of myth. Righteous cultivators
would take their inner cores, from which they could refine near-immortal weapons.

Although there were still some near-death cultivators who would offer themselves to be forged into weapons, in order to gain a new lease on life.

Wenren È wouldn’t be using any of those methods. Whether a Nascent Soul or a beast core, in the end it was all just spiritual energy, refined into very dense and pure essence through cultivation. Unlike other cultivators,
Wenren È’s body was made of merged blood and soul, and he no longer had a Nascent Soul either. His whole body was filled with very highly refined
and pure spiritual essence. A single arm of a Mahayana cultivator was more than sufficient to make up for the entirety of a Body Unity cultivator’s power.

Yin Hanjiang wanted to stop Wenren È, but he was held back with a ribbon of blood. He could break free if he used all his strength, but since it was formed from Wenren È’s other arm, he would just be hurting his Venerable more if he struggled.

He could only watch as crimson light engulfed the Chiming blade and the Shattered Mountain Meteorite and dove down into the flames. Wenren È began reciting an incantation, and the mist that had been his arm began to rapidly absorb the power of the flames.

A deep rumble began underneath the plain of fire as the lava boiled madly, shooting sparks high into the air.

The heavens now sensed the creation of a weapon from power stolen from the natural order, and clouds gathered over the sky, heralding a heavenly tribulation.

A burst of lava of frightening temperature spewed into the sky like a geyser, until it met the clouds above and clashed with the first bolt of lightning, repelling it.

Within the flash, a pure black sword could be seen, slowly coming into shape. Wenren È ordered Yin Hanjiang, “Retrieve your sword!”

Yin Hanjiang forced back his anguish and charged into the flash. He couldn’t let the Venerable’s lifeblood be wasted.

Meeting the second bolt of lightning, he grabbed hold of the sword, and a current of warm energy flowed from it to his hand. Within the blade, he
could sense a will to protect him. The intent to kill and the wish to protect combining into one, both in harmony without any conflict—this was Wenren È’s path!

When a legendary weapon was forged, it must withstand nine bolts of heavenly lightning, each stronger than the others. The first two were
silvery-white, but the third one was violet. In order to subdue the weapon, Yin Hanjiang had to take advantage of when it was weakened by the lightning to make it submit to him while enduring the strikes himself.

In the silver-violet flash of the third bolt, Yin Hanjiang’s silhouette could faintly be seen, sitting cross-legged in the air as the sword hung before him, letting out a high-pitched hum of resistance.

There was nothing else Wenren È could do at this point. He remained at a short distance from the lightning, observing Yin Hanjiang.

Yin Hanjiang would certainly be able to refine the weapon. Wenren È had unwavering faith in him.

In the light, a barrier slowly formed around Yin Hanjiang and the sword, protecting both of them. It withstood the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh bolts without trembling.

Each of the nine bolts of heavenly lightning was twice the strength of the previous one. The first one was not hard to endure, but once it came to the eighth or ninth, the power involved was already enough to destroy the Thousand Mile Ice Plains.

With the eighth bolt of lightning, a crack ran through the barrier around Yin Hanjiang. The lava of the Ice Plains churned, and the temperature even high up in the air rose to a hellish degree. If a chunk of ordinary iron was tossed up, it would’ve melted in midair, to vanish into the sea of flame below
without a trace.

In order to destroy this new immortal weapon, thunderclouds gathered from a hundred li around, now glowing violet, gathering power for the ninth
strike. There was no way Yin Hanjiang’s barrier would be able to withstand this one. If he could not subdue the sword before then, they both would be reduced to ash by the bolt of violet light.

Yin Hanjiang did all he could to communicate with the sword, asking it to become his. He conveyed his good intent to it, his intent to protect his
Venerable, but the sword disregarded him. It only wanted to charge out of the barrier, and escape the control of heaven.

Why was it unwilling to submit to him? The sword was forged from
Wenren È’s own blood and soul and had inherited a portion of his Path of Slaughter. When Yin Hanjiang told it he wished to protect Wenren È, why did it not obey?

Yin Hanjiang couldn’t figure it out, and meanwhile the barrier couldn’t even withstand the pressure of the next bolt of lightning and shattered
completely, leaving Yin Hanjiang and the disobedient sword undefended under the stormclouds.

He had no control over the sword, which wanted to charge toward the clouds and clash head-on with the heavenly lightning!

Yin Hanjiang grabbed the sword and managed to force it down. The will of the sword flooded his mind. He heard it chant endlessly: battle, battle, it
wanted battle!

The fighting intent led Yin Hanjiang to remember a scene at the border town, when he was eighteen, watching from a distance as his Venerable, with all his cultivation suppressed, led his troops into the bloodbath of battle like a mortal man. Wenren È disregarded his own safety with every attack, and even if a spear pierced his shoulder, his halberd would never slow.

Yin Hanjiang naively stood before his Venerable, wanting to be his sword, wanting to protect him, but Wenren È wielded a halberd. He had said to Yin Hanjiang, “This Venerable doesn’t need you to protect him.” What meaning was there in Yin Hanjiang’s life, aside from protecting his Venerable?

The ninth bolt of lightning became a violet dragon, roaring and coiling
around Yin Hanjiang. As Wenren È watched, he raised a hand slightly, but eventually lowered it again.

If he were to help, Yin Hanjiang would never be able to overcome his inner demons.

Wenren È had said before that he didn’t mind Yin Hanjiang dying for him, but he did mind Yin Hanjiang losing his mind over him.

The Lord of Demons had witnessed death many times, and neither his death nor his subordinates’ deaths mattered to him. He only wanted to die when he chose, after expending all his strength and leaving behind no regrets. He hoped Yin Hanjiang would understand that what he wanted wasn’t an obedient puppet and a blindly loyal subordinate. He needed a vanguard who would charge with him into the enemy’s ranks, a sharp blade who would cut down all opposition.

Yin Hanjiang, will you be able to understand?

The violet lightning had already completely engulfed Yin Hanjiang. Wenren È saw his silhouette vanish and wondered if this was as far as he could
come.

Suddenly, a metallic sound rang out from within the lightning, and a sword flash slashed through it, surging toward the heavens, charging into the
storm and resembling a black dragon that thrashed within the clouds. After a flurry of other sword flashes, the stormclouds dissipated.

Yin Hanjiang’s clothes were tattered and he held a sword in one hand, raised toward the clouds it had cleaved in one strike. Its blade, hilt, and tassel were all pure black, blade sparkling with points of light like stars.

Wenren È heard Yin Hanjiang say in a low voice, “Your name is the Army Crushing Sword.” Alkaid shone brilliantly in the night sky overhead. The Army Crushing Sword hummed ceaselessly, and when Wenren È summoned his Seven Killing Halberd, it began shaking of its own accord.

It was out of happiness.

Happiness that a weapon which understood it completely had been born, happiness that there was finally a companion that could advance side by side with it, and surmount the heavens.

There were no shortcuts on the road of cultivation. If they had made it their resolution to rebel against heaven, then they must abandon their human bodies and become gods. On this path, no one needed a protector. They
would only need to face battle, to use their own power to cut open the path to heaven!

Yin Hanjiang slowly flew back to Wenren È’s side, his eyes unreadable. He didn’t kneel, instead facing Wenren È directly and saying in a clear voice, “Yin Hanjiang understands.”

No longer “this subordinate”, just “Yin Hanjiang”.

Wenren È laughed out loud in joy, and the Seven Killing Halberd touched its blade to the Army Crushing Sword, humming non-stop. Wenren È said, pleased, “This Venerable is glad to have another person in the world who can fight alongside him.”

Yin Hanjiang also smiled faintly. He had finally managed to live up to his Venerable’s wishes. Upon subduing the Army Crushing Sword, he had
completed his own sword will.

Wenren È didn’t need Yin Hanjiang to protect him. Wenren È needed someone who could stand back to back with him, wielding a weapon
alongside him, as they charged down the path of defying heaven, slaying even gods and Buddhas in their way.

Wenren È released the Seven Killing Halberd and let it and the sword start fighting and chasing each other. He faced Yin Hanjiang and gripped his hand in his.

With both their hands wrapped into a fist, an unspoken oath was formed in their eyes.

They looked up at the sky together, seeing Polis and Alkaid mirror each other in brilliance, both shining with greater strength than ever before.

However, Dubhe was also radiant, nearly drowning out Polis and Alkaid’s light.

“Hm?” Wenren È shared a glance with Yin Hanjiang. What had happened to Shu Yanyan that her fortunes had increased so?

Speaking of, since the Great Sect War, he had now been missing from Xuanyuan Sect for a whole year. Who knew what state it was in now?

Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

Please support the original author over on jjwxc.

1. That’s the story of Pangu, a Chinese creation myth. ↩

Chapter 25 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 25 – Insubordination

Wenren È had originally planned to go right out and kidnap Zhongli Qian after finishing the sword, but seeing Dubhe shining in the sky, he was
abruptly reminded that he had a sect to run. Xuanyuan Sect had sustained heavy losses from the Great Sect War, with many experts having died and been sent on. Out of the four Altar Masters, three were severely injured and the fourth had run off to Shangqing Sect to become a wandering immortal. With the Left Protector and the Sect Master missing, the only person who was still capable would’ve been the Right Protector.

“Speaking of which, even if this Venerable captured Zhongli Qian, I still need a place to imprison him,” Wenren È said. “The Right Protector knows more on matters of love than we do, so the matter of making Zhongli Qian love Baili Qingmiao must also be assigned to her.”

Now that he’d obtained his sword, Yin Hanjiang recognized that he wasn’t supposed to be the Venerable’s yes-man, but help him and ease his burdens.

He thought about it hard and said, “The Right Protector has high ambitions. The Xuanyuan Sect is currently without a leader, so I fear it has fallen into chaos.”

“It looks to me like she’s living large right now,” Wenren È said, glancing at Dubhe overhead. “Oh well. There’s still several decades until Baili
Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian are meant to meet. We have plenty of time, so let’s return to Xuanyuan Sect and sort things out first.”

“Understood,” said Yin Hanjiang. Before they departed, Wenren È glanced down at the Ice Plains, whose flames had all but dissipated after the last lightning strike. Originally, the flames would be covered by ice again after a hundred years or so, forming a new Ice Plains, but now the strikes of heavenly lightning had expended much of the underground fires’ power. Mountains had been pulverized into dirt, slowly burying the fading flames.

The lightning had filled the land with immense spiritual energy, enough to give rise to new living beings.

Soon, the land beneath them would be transformed into a vast grass plain.

With only a glance, Wenren È left in a flash of crimson light, paying it no more mind. Yin Hanjiang flew on the Army Crushing Sword and caught up to him. Wenren È had held back his speed for him, but Yin Hanjiang’s
sword flight had become significantly faster. Wenren È, seeing that Yin Hanjiang kept up easily, sped up some more.

Yin Hanjiang urged his sword on and was still able to follow at a steady distance an arm’s length behind Wenren È. It was only until Wenren È reached twice his original speed that Yin Hanjiang started falling behind.

It had taken them half a day to arrive at the Ice Plains, but this time it only took an hour to return to the outskirts of Xuanyuan Sect. Wenren È didn’t
arrive directly to the main hall, instead stopping outside. Pleased, he said to Yin Hanjiang, “You’ve finally understood the true meaning of sword flight, as opposed to letting swords fly you.”

Yin Hanjiang’s speed had always been slow, not only because of his low level, but also because the demonic sword didn’t obey his will. He was
always distracted with keeping it under control, which slowed him down.

“Sword cultivators are the strongest among all cultivators. Previously, you were able to exert power beyond your realm because the demonic sword was using you, not due to your own strength or sword will. Now that you’ve bonded to a weapon of your own, this Venerable looks forward to seeing your true strength as a sword cultivator.” Wenren È looked at Yin Hanjiang with encouragement. Yin Hanjiang, however, only looked at Wenren È’s missing arm which had yet to regrow, his face rather pale.

“Don’t worry.” Wenren È covered his shoulder with one hand. “Since I cut off a part of my soul, it’ll naturally take a while to recover. A minor injury like this won’t prevent this Venerable from taking back Xuanyuan Sect.”

Yin Hanjiang gripped his sword tightly, determined not to let the blade his Venerable had forged with his own soul go to waste. He cupped his hands and said, “The sect array has been completely changed from before. This subordinate will break through and open a path for the Venerable!”

“That’s not necessary,” Wenren È said, holding back Yin Hanjiang’s fighting intent. “I’d like to see what Shu Yanyan has gotten up to these days. If we barged in directly, someone as shrewd as her would surrender immediately, which wouldn’t be fun.”

Wenren È used an illusion to hide them both and after making a circuit
around the barrier, found some people entering and leaving. They were all strangers, and who knew where they had come from.

Wenren È possessed one of them and entered with the group, quickly learning the new array password. He quietly left that body and returned to the outside, where he opened a small entrance and beckoned Yin Hanjiang through.

Xuanyuan Sect had no regulations forbidding flight or duels within its grounds. Everyone picked fights whenever they wanted, and whoever was stronger got their way. Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang went directly to Shu Yanyan’s cultivation grounds, a mountain peak dense in spiritual energy on which she had built a palace resembling that of a mortal emperor. Its inside was filled with beds, hot springs, grass fields, and so on, so Shu Yanyan
could cultivate wherever she pleased.

When she wasn’t carrying out orders or out looking for new subordinates to raise, Shu Yanyan spent most of her time cultivating in her palace. But today, not only was she nowhere to be seen, but not many of her
subordinates were around either. Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang entered the palace and found most of the rooms were empty, with even the beds missing. Hearing someone approach, they both hid, and saw Shu Yanyan’s most favored subordinate leading a few underlings with both middling cultivations and looks, directing them, “You two go to the Moon Embracing Hall, you three to the Star Plucking Hall,
and put everything in storage bags. Make sure you’re careful with the Right Protector’s beds—you better not knock or bump them. If the Protector were to get injured in cultivation, the fault would be on your heads!”

He ordered everyone around left and right while sitting in the main hall like he owned the place, eating from a plate stacked with spiritual fruit.

Yin Hanjiang saw this clearly and knew there was only one tree in the sect that bore spiritual fruit, which grew in the Venerable’s back garden.

He wanted to charge in, but was held back by Wenren È. While everyone
else was busy moving furniture, Wenren È transformed into blood mist and entered the body of Shu Yanyan’s subordinate. He said to Yin Hanjiang,
“Disguise yourself, and let’s go have a chat with the Right Protector.”

Yin Hanjiang considered using a disguising technique, but Shu Yanyan was a high-level cultivator and would be able to see through it easily. He was
worried he would ruin the Venerable’s plan, and so took a black ghost mask from his storage bag and put it on.

Wenren È’s heart skipped a beat when he saw that mask. He was about to ask when he saw several of the subordinates returning. “Master Helian,” they said to him, “we’ve already cleared out everything.”

Wenren È held back his questions and replied, “Come on.” He glanced at the masked Yin Hanjiang and said, “You too.”
Several of the men shot suspicious glances at Yin Hanjiang. Wenren È said in a harsher voice, “What are you looking at? The Protector’s new disciple doesn’t want to be seen. Keep your heads down.” There were some people who weren’t willing to show their faces when Shu Yanyan first brought them in. The underlings didn’t dare to question any further and hurried to follow “Master Helian” as they flew toward the main peak where Wenren È’s residence was.

They ran into Shu Yanyan right in the sect’s main hall, wearing a set of lavish red robes and currently talking to another subordinate.

They were in time to hear him say, “My Lady, the four Altar Masters have all been brought to the main peak. What should be done with them?”

Shu Yanyan considered for a moment, then smiled and said, “Let’s see, Altar Master Yuan is too ugly. I don’t know why he likes to walk around with all that fat. I don’t like him, so seal his powers and throw him in the water prison. Altar Master Miao doesn’t look bad, but who knows if he’s
keeping one or two of his bugs around for emergencies. I don’t want to get bitten, so throw him in the water prison too. As for Altar Master Ruan and that new Altar Master Shi… take them to my room for me to enjoy thoroughly.”

“Understood,” her subordinate said, nodding.

“Oh, wait!” Shu Yanyan called. She held him by the chin and kissed his handsome face, saying in a soft voice, “I forgot I’m currently moving out. Take them to Wenren È’s bedroom and stay there yourself too. In a moment this Protector… no, this Venerable will take good care of you.”

Hearing that she wanted to use the Venerable’s bedroom for such things, Yin Hanjiang couldn’t hold back anymore and drew his sword, charging at Shu Yanyan. Shu Yanyan’s red robe was a top-grade defensive item, so she disregarded the masked man who suddenly appeared, assuming he was one of the Altar Masters’ underlings. She raised a sleeve to block, but the blade cleaved through the robe and her arm alike.

“Who are you?” Shu Yanyan demanded, furious, as a spider lily bloomed in the palm of her hand. Her subordinate rushed to pick up her severed arm, which she could reattach after she was done fighting.

“That’s a strong sword will! Are you from Heavenly Sword Sect? How did you get into the Xuanyuan Sect main hall?” Shu Yanyan circulated her
spiritual essence and spider lilies blossomed across the hall, forming a blood-red carpet under Yin Hanjiang’s feet. They transformed into twelve heavenly demons, who seductively approached him.

The heavenly demons could awaken someone’s inner demons and destroy a cultivator’s dantian. If one let their guard down for even a moment, they
would fall under the demons’ manipulations. Yet Yin Hanjiang treated their alluring figures as no more than clumps of dirt. He paid attention only to Shu Yanyan, his current enemy.

The stars of the Big Dipper shone on the Army Crushing Sword’s blade. Its black light filled the hall, and the twelve heavenly demons were instantly nailed to the walls, the spider lilies shredded by the sword’s aura and their petals drifting through the air in a flurry of crimson.

Shu Yanyan saw her adversary face the heavenly demons without wavering and decided to bring out her full power. After fully absorbing Hè
Wenzhao’s Nascent Soul, she had risen to the fifth level of Mahayana, and
could freely command natural spiritual energy. With a wave of her hand, the flower petals transformed into red silk, which wrapped around Yin
Hanjiang’s body and immobilized him.

The spider lilies were demonic flowers which would suck away the spiritual essence of anyone they touched. Yin Hanjiang had been plastered with them head to toe, and his essence was continuously being drained.

Wenren È sighed inwardly. Even if Yin Hanjiang had awoken to his own
sword will, there was still a realm of difference between Void Boundary and Mahayana. It seemed his help was still needed…

Right when Wenren È was about to jump in, the twelve swords that had pinned the heavenly demons to the walls flew to Yin Hanjiang, forming a sword array around him, ringing in unison and making the flower petals tremble. Within them, Yin Hanjiang made a hand seal, and the swords split into innumerable small blades, blasting the flowers away with their aura.

The masked man leapt out of the flower petals, the tip of his blade aimed for Shu Yanyan’s heart.

Shu Yanyan didn’t have enough time to avoid, and even though she dodged a vital blow, the sword still impaled her through her left shoulder.

Gritting her teeth, she called to her subordinate, “What are you waiting for? Set up an array!”

Yet a cloud of blood mist suddenly emerged from Helian’s body, and
solidified into the shape of a one-armed figure, standing behind the masked man. Calmly, he said to Shu Yanyan, “Right Protector, did you have any problems managing the sect in this Venerable’s absence?”

Seeing he had shown himself, the other also removed his mask, revealing Yin Hanjiang’s frosty expression.

Upon seeing the two, Shu Yanyan fell to her knees on the spot. “Venerable, you’ve returned at last!” she cried. “The four Altar Masters were conspiring together, and only with great difficulty did this subordinate manage to bring them in line!”

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 26 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 26 – Tidying up the sect

“Well, start explaining.”

In Xuanyuan Sect’s main hall, a black-robed man with one arm sat in the highest seat, his bodyguard holding a sword and standing at his left side. Several rows of people knelt below him, with the four Altar Masters and one Sect Protector in the front line, and their subordinates behind them. Each of them had distanced themselves from the other four, the lines in the sand clearly drawn.

Hearing the black-robed man’s command, a tremble went through all five, but none dared to speak first.

“This Venerable isn’t mad at you,” Wenren È said, his remaining hand resting on an arm of the chair, as he surveyed them languidly. He continued at an easy pace, “This Venerable is just curious. How were two cultivators at the seventh level of Mahayana and two cultivators at the last level of Void Boundary all subdued by an average Sect Protector at the fifth level of Mahayana?”

Seeing that still no one dared to talk, Wenren È continued, “Seeing as it’s been over a hundred years, you should understand this Venerable by now. I don’t mind if my subordinates are disloyal. Xuanyuan Sect is a demonic
sect, open to all paths of cultivation, and everyone has always done as they please. I don’t care if you cultivate gu parasites, seduction, ghosts, tortoise shells, or the pursuit of power. All your pathetic ambitions can coexist in this sect. The only thing that can’t be permitted is incompetence.”

Hearing this, Shu Yanyan perked up. She still knelt as properly as ever, but her back straightened a bit. However you told it, she had come out ahead of everyone else at the end of this struggle, so she could be considered the most competent, much more so than the four kneeling beside her.

Seeing her straighten up, Wenren È said, “Protector Shu, you seem to have something to say.”

“Venerable,” Shu Yanyan said, loud and clearly. “From the beginning, this matter can’t be considered this subordinate’s fault. Your subordinate only wished to stop the infighting caused by the Altar Masters. Venerable, you’ve given the order before that when you aren’t here, your Protectors
can be your deputies. When I saw the Altar Masters fighting amongst themselves, imagine how disappointed I was! How could I not stop them? And as for bringing Altar Masters Ruan and Shi to my rooms… Venerable, you understand this subordinate. How could I not keep a little bonus for myself?”

Wenren È nodded in satisfaction and said to Yin Hanjiang, “Remember
what I said, Protector Yin? If we had charged straight into Xuanyuan Sect, Protector Shu would’ve deferred to me immediately, and we wouldn’t get this show.”

Yin Hanjiang had never seen Wenren È act so mischievous before and smiled inwardly, though he kept his face emotionless and said, “The Venerable is right.”

Shu Yanyan’s bluff faltered at his words, and she could only try to change the subject. “Well, about this, you should probably ask Altar Master Ruan. If he hadn’t supported Altar Master Shi in getting his position so they could join forces against Altar Master Miao, how could someone like me, who had just risen to Mahayana with average abilities and some seduction and
charms, take out all four of the others?”

“Shu Yanyan, you watch your fucking mouth!” Altar Master Ruan
exploded. He slammed a hand onto the floorboards. “I backed Altar Master Shi? Why don’t you say that one more time—who exactly backed him? I must’ve been blind to work with this backstabbing pretty boy. When I get the chance, I’ll fuck him dead!” Altar Master Shi was a pale and sickly-looking young man who looked like a scrawny intellectual-type. Hearing Altar Master Ruan, he put a hand to his mouth and after coughing a few times, said weakly, “Altar Master Ruan, I
can’t accept being called a backstabber. I never planned on working with you from the start. You’re the one who ran to me and started yapping about how you needed to teach Altar Master Miao a lesson, and needed to borrow my sickness qi in order to weaken his bugs. Faced with something like that, how could I not go discuss with Altar Master Yuan in the Venerable’s place?”

After Altar Master Shi had finished talking, Altar Master Miao raised his soft voice. “You still ended up going along with Altar Master Ruan’s plan
afterward. You made all my bugs sick and let Altar Master Ruan smash me with his hammer over a thousand times.”

Altar Master Shi coughed until a tinge of red appeared on his pale face. He said reedily, “Didn’t Altar Master Ruan fall sick too? I was just following Altar Master Yuan’s plan. He said in order to stop you two from destroying the unity of Xuanyuan Sect, the best way was to let you cool your heads for a bit.”

The rotund Altar Master Yuan also had to cut in at this point. Squinting his eyes, he said, “But Altar Master Shi, you weren’t supposed to tell them that I told you to do it. And you weren’t supposed to let Altar Master Miao have the opportunity to have his bugs bite me!”

“So what if they bit you?” said Altar Master Miao. “If I hadn’t been hit by
some idiot a thousand times and low on spiritual energy, I would’ve used all that fat on you to raise a new nest of bugs. With your spiritual energy, I
could probably grow a king parasite!”

“Altar Master Yuan, why don’t you mention how you used your techniques on me to force me to sicken them?” said Altar Master Shi. “You’re the one who secretly appointed me to the position of Altar Master, and also made a private agreement with me, that since Wenren È was dead, when you became Sect Master, I would be a Sect Protector. You also said that you
stole a piece of my soul that you placed into a tablet, and that if you
shattered it, my soul would be damaged and I would never be able to reach Mahayana. I had to work with Altar Master Miao in order to get the tablet back, out of self-defense!”

“You see, Venerable?” said Shu Yanyan. “Is any of this my fault?” She pointed a slim jade finger at the other four, her face full of innocence. “By the time I arrived, Altar Master Miao had been smashed into a pancake,
Altar Master Shi was trying to take Altar Master Yuan’s soul to refine it, Altar Master Ruan was hugging his tortoise shell and cursing out Altar Master Shi, hitting him while coughing blood. As an acting Sect Master,
how could I let them behave in such a manner in the main hall? Naturally, I had to punish them all equally, and make sure they were all disciplined!”

Wenren È nodded slowly. “Mm, Protector Shu’s words are reasonable. But this Venerable must still request Protector Shu remove the hundred-meter- long bed from his quarters and burn it. This Venerable doesn’t generally need such a large bed.”

Shu Yanyan’s face stiffened, and her back sank again. She said in a fearful voice, “Venerable, that’s the Thousand Year Frost Jade Bed. It took me many decades to collect the materials to make it. I can’t— I can’t burn it!”

“Then smash it,” Wenren È said indifferently. “Do it personally, and take it out in pieces while this Venerable watches.”

“Understood.” Shu Yanyan didn’t dare to speak more. Her severed arm was still lying by her feet, and she still hadn’t worked up the courage to reattach it yet.

Now that the Venerable had started assigning punishments to them in turn, the Altar Masters also zipped their lips, no longer daring to squabble
amongst each other, waiting for Wenren È’s verdict.

“Protector Yin, what would you say they’re all guilty of?” Wenren È said, turning to Yin Hanjiang instead.

After hearing that these people hadn’t rushed to find their injured lord and instead started making grabs for power, Yin Hanjiang was already burning with rage. He responded decisively, “Right Protector Shu Yanyan showed arrogance beyond belief, taking over the Venerable’s residence and framing herself as Venerable. She ought to have her cultivation grounds leveled, her subordinates dismissed, her mouth sealed, and be forced to practice
asceticism for a hundred years.”

“That’s too harsh!” Shu Yanyan cried, her head whipping up to look at Yin Hanjiang. She couldn’t help but feel he was a bit different to how he was in the past.

Yin Hanjiang ignored her and continued. “When it comes to the Altar Masters, as the Venerable has said, their greatest crime is not
insubordination but incompetence. Seeing as how they were so focused on their internal strife that Protector Shu could overpower them all in one fell swoop, they are clearly unfit for their positions. However, Altar Master
Ruan single-handedly incapacitating Altar Masters Miao and Shi is somewhat commendable, and may merit a lighter punishment.”

Wenren È was a bit surprised. He glanced at Yin Hanjiang and said, “This Venerable had assumed you had no opinions on anyone other than I. I didn’t know you got along with Altar Master Ruan.”

Yin Hanjiang pursed his lips and didn’t reply. He and Altar Master Ruan hardly got along, it was merely that they had fought side by side in the Great Sect War.

“Then let it be as Protector Yin has said,” Wenren È said, tapping his fingers on the arm of the chair.

Since Shu Yanyan’s mouth could still be of use, Wenren È didn’t seal her speech, but ordered her to smash all her beds personally and burn her grandiose rooms within her palace. He also reassigned all her subordinates to run errands at the main hall, and got Altar Master Miao to plant a gu insect in each of them, so that if they felt any desire for Shu Yanyan, Altar Master Miao would know instantly.

As for the four Altar Masters, Wenren È decided that the incompetent
should be judged by the incompetent and let them all decide punishments for each other, and have the results reported to him later. Seeing as Yin Hanjiang had vouched for Altar Master Ruan, he let him off the hook.

In one short day, Wenren È had tidied up the Xuanyuan Sect, put everyone in their places, and ensured everyone’s loyalty once again.

After observing three of the Altar Masters release insects and sickness qi
and so on upon each other for a bit, Wenren È got bored and returned to his quarters with Yin Hanjiang. Shu Yanyan had already tearfully smashed up the bed that was placed there and cast all the pieces into the mortal world, which would form a rich jade mine in a few hundred years. She swore that the bed had just been moved in, and she hadn’t had the chance to do
anything on it yet.

Her face had been filled with regret while saying this—regret that she hadn’t taken the chance to properly enjoy it before Wenren È returned.

Upon entering, Yin Hanjiang was hit by a faceful of Shu Yanyan’s perfume, which had been on the bed. He scowled, unsheathing his sword, and the force of its swing swept through the entire room, clearing out the scent.

“No need to go to so much trouble,” Wenren È said. “I’ll just have Shu Yanyan personally renovate this place.”

“She’s not necessary,” Yin Hanjiang said, fuming. “This subordinate will do it.”

Instead of preventing him, Wenren È began inquiring on his experiences with Altar Master Ruan.

Yin Hanjiang went over the full account, even including the exact insults
Altar Master Ruan had hurled at him. Wenren È raised an eyebrow and said, “Oh? I didn’t know Altar Master Ruan had these preferences. I suppose we must satisfy him.”

“Satisfy him?” Yin Hanjiang yelped, his voice hoarse. Satisfy him how? Wenren È saw his shock and quickly said, “Doesn’t he want to fuck grandmas? This Venerable would like to pick a maggot-filled corpse from among Qiu Congxue’s ghost cultivators for him and see just how much he likes it.”

Yin Hanjiang relaxed upon hearing this. “Altar Master Ruan has a sharp tongue, is all,” he said quietly.

“And this Venerable is just going to scare him a little,” Wenren È said. “My order that the Sect Protectors should represent me when I’m absent was
aimed at you. In the Great Sect War, you didn’t just save this Venerable, but changed the course of the entire battle. It was Ruan Weiyi’s duty to help you, so there’s no need to feel gratitude. This Venerable simply wants him to know, that he can’t say whatever he wants to just anyone!”

Hearing Wenren È back him, Yin Hanjiang felt a faint warmth in his heart. He stood behind Wenren È, watching him vent on his behalf.

Qiu Congxue’s ghost cultivators had been taken in by Altar Master Shi, and when he heard he could personally pick one as Altar Master Ruan’s punishment, he half-coughed, half-proclaimed that he would of course put every care into picking a suitable dual cultivation partner, and even went to Shu Yanyan to borrow a manual. The corporeal ghost cultivators under his command, hearing that they could dual cultivate with Altar Master Ruan, put their names down one after another, and enthusiasm was sky-high.

Yin Hanjiang: …

He felt like Altar Master Shi’s subordinates wouldn’t leave it at just scaring him.

Wenren È was pleased upon seeing that the members of Xuanyuan Sect had returned to their usual semblance of “peace”, and were focusing their
energies internally instead of going around causing trouble in the mortal realm. He returned to his room in order to focus on his readings.

The book he was reading was, of course, Abusive Romance. It had been about a month since they and Baili Qingmiao had parted, and even with Qiu Congxue delaying the journey, they should’ve returned to Shangqing Sect by now. He was interested to see how Hè Wenzhao was doing, and whether or not he’d restored his Nascent Soul.

As expected, the revisions had continued, recording from Baili Qingmiao’s perspective the entire sequence of events from when she had left her sect up through the treasure hunt in the spiritual realm. The discussion page was particularly heated this time, even longer than it had been in the original
work.

[Hold on, hold your horses! WHAT did Baili Qingmiao’s senior say his name was? Wenren È?! How come my badass second male lead is now Baili Qingmiao’s senior?]

[Honestly, at that black-robed senior’s debut, when he gave Baili Qingmiao the Flame Feather Cloak, and told her to go to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains, he hadn’t gotten any in-depth description, so I assumed he was an old man.]

[He IS an old man, Wenren È is over three hundred years old, he’s just got a pretty face. Age doesn’t matter for cultivators—the Violet Spirit Master was over a thousand but Hè Wenzhao still married her. Three hundred years is
still pretty young in the cultivation world, ok?]

[If the black-robed senior is Wenren È, then is the person who was always with him, who was given the Snow Flame, Yin Hanjiang? Oh god, the trauma, someone light a lamp for me.]

[In the revision, didn’t Wenren È say he was giving the Shattered Mountain Meteorite to Yin Hanjiang as a sword material? Hold on, let me see.
Wenren È helped Baili Qingmiao retrieve the Snow Flame for Yin
Hanjiang, he obtained the Shattered Mountain Meteorite for Yin Hanjiang, and he gave MC his token for Yin Hanjiang… guys, I think I’ve discovered something big.]

[What’s inspired the author lately? Baili Qingmiao and Wenren È’s plotlines were all given to Yin Hanjiang, and Wenren È being saved by the MC was given to… some Elder Qingxue who came out of nowhere and clearly has something wrong with her head?]

[Speaking of Qingxue, I actually quite like her. She’s taken care of the MC all along and gives no shits about Hè Wenzhao. With her there to protect
Baili Qingmiao, the later plotline where Hè Wenzhao gets married and imprisons Baili Qingmiao should also change, right?]

[But the imprisonment plotline was her meeting with Zhongli Qian! If Elder Qingxue protects Baili Qingmiao, then how will Zhongli Qian get his debut? My Young Master Zhongli, you’re my number one, sob…]

[Oh no, I’m getting more and more excited to read. The author hasn’t
continued after Baili Qingmiao returning to the sect, we don’t know if he’s slept with Liu-shimei. If he has… well, I’m looking forward to Elder
Qingxue.]

[Also looking forward to Elder Qingxue +10086, that method of killing Hè Wenzhao and waiting for his reincarnation to grow up was wild. I stan
Qingxue!]

The story had only gotten to Baili Qingmiao and Qiu Congxue returning to Shangqing Sect. Wenren È closed the book and started considering how he should capture Zhongli Qian.

“Call in the Right Protector. I have a way for her to lighten her punishment,” Wenren È said.

i assure you wenren e you may want a hundred meter long bed in the future 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 27 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 27 – Sleeping through the literature conference

Azure Sky Mountain, outside Five Willow Manor

Just like in old days, the Lord of Demons was accompanied by his two Protectors. His Left Protector stood at the side of his missing arm, while the Right Protector held a pipa, a silk veil over her face. She wore a thin blue robe which accentuated her figure, and was playing the pipa for Wenren È.
Inadvertently, she let the scar on her right arm show. It stood out starkly against her fair skin and must’ve been caused by some terrible injury, garnering the pity of anyone who saw it.

They were at a library just outside Five Willow Manor, which was a favored place for mortal scholars to gather and read poetry or discuss literature. It
was also a place where the Zhongli cultivation clan recruited disciples.

The greatest difference between a cultivation clan and a sect was that a sect was situated apart from the mortal world, while a cultivation clan participated in it. The Zhongli were a clan of learned scholars, situated in Five Willow Manor, and the main family were cultivators. The branch family would enter the court through the imperial exams, dedicating their lives to serving the emperor.

This was the path of a cultivation clan. Just like Wenren È had sought the Dao on the battlefield, the Zhongli clan took the path of sages, writing poetry or books to gain the acclaim of mortal academics, and using that to advance in cultivation. In ancient times, the one known as the Poet Sage, the Azure Lotus Immortal, of “Killing one man in ten steps, unstoppable in a thousand li”[1] fame, had also walked this path. Therefore, each of the four major cultivation clans would accept disciples from the general public, and each generation the clan head and successor
would build up their own reputation. Their admirers and fame served as the foundations of their cultivation. The more people read books in the mortal world, the further their works would spread, and the greater the power of the Zhongli clan would be.

They were split into the same ranks as the righteous and demonic
cultivators, but their strength could be drastically different. Those disciples of cultivator clans with many fans could become more powerful the more highly they were thought of in the world, but if they didn’t have fans, they might not even be able to defeat a Body Unity stage at Mahayana.

The cultivation clans had originally been little-known, but the Great Sect War, while causing the cultivation world heavy losses, ushered in a prosperous age for the mortal realm. More and more people had the chance to read books, and even the lower class could learn a few words, recite a few lines of poetry, and remember the names of some sages. Thus, the
cultivation clans had now grown in influence. After the fifty years of prosperity won by the war, Zhongli Qian had the clout to steal Baili Qingmiao away from Shangqing Sect.

This time around, because of Wenren È’s personal interference in the Great Sect War, even more spiritual energy had been returned to the mortal realm, and the Zhongli family had grown influential and powerful in just twenty years. The library at Five Willow Manor was bustling, and the fact that
Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were able to get a window seat was only thanks to Shu Yanyan forking over money.

They had come because this was the day several young masters from the Zhongli family would discuss literature here. Scholars came from far and wide to attend, and no one could get in without an invitation.

It was easy enough for them to bluff their way in with an illusion, but the seating was more trouble. Shu Yanyan had pressed a silver into the doorman’s hand, and let her hand brush against his a little. He was only a Foundation Establishment cultivator and no match for Shu Yanyan’s seduction, so pocketed the silver in a daze and showed them to an out-of- the-way position.

The Zhongli clan young masters had not yet arrived, but the seats were
already filled. A few people, seeing how Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were dressed like martial artists and not even wearing scholarly robes, yet had gotten such good seats, came over to pick a fight.

They obviously weren’t going to throw fists, but challenge them to recite poetry.

Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang could beat people in a fight perfectly fine, but they both frowned simultaneously when poetry was brought up. All the reciting sounded like the buzzing of flies beside their ears, and they thought that Shu Yanyan’s twelve heavenly demons would be easier to deal with.

Fortunately, Shu Yanyan was more cultured than they and, strumming her pipa, sang a few poems, the music and verse matching perfectly. She
shamed the scholars into silence, and they bowed and bid farewell, leaving the group alone.

Shu Yanyan returned to her seat and gave Wenren È a fawning smile, transmitting, “Venerable, I did well, right?”

Wenren È nodded slightly and raised one finger.

Shu Yanyan’s eyes brightened. “My punishment can be reduced by ten years?” she said excitedly.

Wenren È shook his head.

“One— one year?” Shu Yanyan pressed her lips together. “One month,” Wenren È said.
“Only one month?” Shu Yanyan cried, feeling frantic. “Venerable, you said if I showed good results, my punishment would be decreased.” “Capturing Zhongli Qian can be considered results,” Wenren È said. “You haven’t done anything at all yet.”

Shu Yanyan didn’t dare argue anymore with the Venerable and shrank back, tears filling her eyes. She looked so pitiful that the scholars watching nearly got up and started berating Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang’s lack of
consideration for the fairer sex.

Fortunately, the Zhongli clan’s arrival spared the gathering from being massacred by the Lord of Demons.

The current generation of the Zhongli family had three distinguished young masters. The highest ranking was Zhongli Qian, looking cultured and refined as he entered slowly, wearing white robes with a bamboo scroll in hand. He took the main seat, his bearing distinguished, each motion calm
and at ease.

“In cloud-like dress, he raises a bow and takes aim at Sirius[2],” Shu Yanyan said, her eyes fixed to Zhongli Qian from the moment he had entered.

She transmitted to Wenren È, “Venerable, do you know how much time I once spent studying poetry in order to foster the image of a cultured
woman? It was just so I could hook up with young scholars like Zhongli Qian. Ah… he’s amazing!”

Zhongli Qian was the most favored heir to the Zhongli clan. He had recently broken through to Void Boundary stage and naturally could sense Shu Yanyan’s gaze on him. He gave her a slight nod, then moved his gaze away and didn’t look back.

“Venerable!” Shu Yanyan transmitted in excitement. “The one we’re supposed to lure in is him, right? He’s the best! Back then, I used my seduction when he looked at me, but he wasn’t affected at all. Have I actually found a true gentleman?”

“If you can get him, he’s yours,” Wenren È transmitted back. If Zhongli Qian could be charmed by Shu Yanyan, then there was no point in setting him up with the female lead. Wenren È didn’t want to create
another Hè Wenzhao. He might as well wait for that ghost cultivator to grow up—it should only be eight more years or so.

No reason to not let Shu Yanyan test Zhongli Qian to see whether he really was a true gentleman.

The two young masters accompanying Zhongli Qian were Zhongli Heng
and Zhongli Kuang. Zhongli Heng wore a plain green robe and looked very dignified as he followed Zhongli Qian. Zhongli Kuang wore brocade and had a willful and frivolous look in his eyes. When Shu Yanyan accidentally met his gaze, he raised his wine dish and made a toast to her in midair.

Shu Yanyan showed no reaction, turning away and ignoring him completely to sip at her tea.

Without waiting for Wenren È to ask, she answered his question on her own. “I’ve seen too many self-important men like Zhongli Kuang, always after women and liquor. Normally I could fool around with him for a bit
seeing as his looks are okay, but now that I’ve caught sight of Zhongli Qian, my appetite’s been whetted and I can’t spare a glance for anyone else.”

Zhongli Kuang, upon seeing Shu Yanyan ignore him, bared a malicious smile, excitement in his eyes.

If Zhongli Heng hadn’t quietly grabbed his robes, Zhongli Kuang might’ve charged right up to Shu Yanyan to toast her.

After the three Zhongli young masters sat, the meeting began. Zhongli
Heng would first bring up a topic, and everyone would give their own view. Then Zhongli Kuang would interrupt and shoot down a few people’s ideas, which the majority would applaud for. Everyone was cursing each other out with polite language, and as the debates grew heated, Zhongli Qian rapped his bamboo scroll on his desk and said something that Wenren È didn’t understand. The room suddenly went quiet and respectful, all following Zhongli Qian’s lead. Wenren È’s eyelids were drooping as he listened. Seeing Shu Yanyan pick up a pen and start scribbling down notes, he scrubbed a hand over his face with some difficulty, and suddenly felt someone’s head bump his shoulder. He glanced over to see that Yin Hanjiang had dozed off.

Realizing that he had neglected propriety and invaded the Venerable’s personal space, Yin Hanjiang bit his bottom lip, his ears burning red. “Venerable, this subordinate must’ve fallen under the Zhongli clan’s
enchantment,” he transmitted. “This subordinate’s abilities are too low, and has brought shame to the Venerable.”

Wenren È held back a smile and transmitted back, “If you hadn’t hit this
Venerable, I probably would’ve also fallen asleep. Ever since I was young, I always started dozing off the minute I heard poetry recitals. Who would’ve thought that even after becoming a cultivator, I’d be powerless to escape this curse.”

“This subordinate is the same,” Yin Hanjiang said awkwardly.

The two were a bit reinvigorated by their private conversation, but they
couldn’t resist in the end. As the meeting went on and Zhongli Kuang began asserting his own opinion again, Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang had already
stopped paying attention. Though their eyes were open, their heads were tipping toward each other’s again, and they knocked each other awake a second time.

Zhongli Kuang, who had kept glancing over at Shu Yanyan, obviously noticed that the two men accompanying her were nodding off with their
eyes open. Furiously, he addressed them, “Do these two sirs have anything to add?”

In this literature meeting, everyone besides the three Zhongli young masters was all referred to as sir. Wenren È never expected someone to use “sir” to refer to him, and since he was half-asleep, it took him a while to realize that Zhongli Kuang was talking to him.

Zhongli Kuang was incensed at this and stood up. “May I inquire as to these two’s names, places of origin, and who they got recommendations from?” Everyone’s eyes turned to Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang and, seeing that they weren’t dressed like scholars, a hubbub immediately broke out.

Zhongli Kuang’s attitude was unacceptably rude for Yin Hanjiang, and after gaining Wenren È’s approval, he said in a clear voice, “It was not that we
came here specifically, but simply caught wind that there would be a literature meeting today. My master and I have been troubled by insomnia for some days, and since we were already dozing off just listening from outside, we were very eager to attend. Indeed, we’ve been able to sleep very soundly, and must thank the honored people here.”

Yin Hanjiang managed to offend everyone in the library all at once, and in particular, Zhongli Kuang’s face darkened further. He gripped a brush in one hand, secretly circulating his spiritual energy, planning to teach the two a lesson.

However, Zhongli Qian stood up. “The purpose of the Zhongli family’s literature conferences is to offer knowledge and aid to all members of
society. Even if these two sirs are not interested in literature, Qian is still grateful that this conference could relieve your insomnia.”

His response was so excessively lenient that even Yin Hanjiang couldn’t stay angry. With just a few words, he managed to dissipate the tension in the room, and even if Zhongli Kuang wanted to throw a tantrum, he no longer had an excuse.

Wenren È looked at him appreciatively. Cupping his hands, he said, “Many thanks to Young Master Zhongli. We have indeed gained much from this visit.”

After Zhongli Qian smoothed out the situation, the conference continued, with no one minding when Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang fell asleep again. After all, Young Master Zhongli had said that books could heal the mind,
and insomnia was a disorder of the mind. If the two sleeping men’s ailment had been cured, then at least they had gained some results.

“Protector Shu, I’m afraid you won’t be able to get this man,” Wenren È transmitted to Shu Yanyan. “I didn’t know real gentlemen still existed in this world,” Shu Yanyan said, propping her chin in her hand as she watched Zhongli Qian. “Now that I think about it, even if I can’t get him in my hands, that’ll just further prove his integrity. Just looking at someone like that from afar is good too.”

Everyone in attendance approved of Zhongli Qian. Only Zhongli Kuang, sitting to his left, had a malicious look in his eyes.

Wenren È picked up on his ill intent and was watching him, trying to remember what importance he had to the story, when he felt an odd difference in the space above Zhongli Kuang’s head, in which he saw the faint shape of a book.

He was suddenly reminded of how he had obtained Abusive Romance. He had also felt a spatial disturbance above his head, and when he reached out, his hand had closed around the book.

Seeing that the book was about to fall into Zhongli Kuang’s lap, Wenren È picked up a book on his table and threw it at his head, just managing to knock the other one off course.

“What are you doing?!” Zhongli Kuang couldn’t take it anymore and rose with a slap of his hand against his desk.

“My hand slipped and I accidentally threw over two books,” Wenren È replied casually. He turned to Shu Yanyan. “Can you go pick up those two books?”

Shu Yanyan, who was still under punishment, couldn’t disobey the
Venerable’s order. She hurried over to Zhongli Kuang and, seeing that he was stepping on two books, said awkwardly, “Young Master, I beg you to step aside.”

Her eyes were pitiful and sparkling with tears. Zhongli Kuang, with
everyone looking at him, couldn’t trouble an innocent girl. Seeing that Zhongli Qian’s eyes were on him, he reluctantly moved his foot, allowing Shu Yanyan to retrieve the books. After thanking him, Shu Yanyan bent gracefully to pick them up. She saw that one of them was a book of poems she had brought, but the other was a tome as thick as a brick.

Handing them back to Wenren È, she saw out of the corner of her eye the title in bold characters across the cover—God of Annihilation: Volume 1.

hey guys if I ever mix up zhongli kuang and zhongli qian please tell me Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow
cultivators will offer guidance.
Please support the original author over on jjwxc.

1. This is a reference to Li Bai. He was known as the Householder of Azure Lotus or the Poetry Immortal. The quote is from his poem Ode to Gallantry, which I couldn’t find a translation of anywhere. It illustrates a Chinese
wandering hero. ↩
2. It’s Lord of the East from the Chuci Nine Songs by Qu Yuan. This is a poem praising a sun god. Once again my translation – I did find a professional translation but it did not put these two lines together. Woe is me. ↩

Chapter 28 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 28 – A pile of rubbish

When he tossed the book, Wenren È had put up an illusion, making it look like two books had flown over. As a Mahayana stage cultivator, it was easy for him to fool some mortals, and even Zhongli Kuang hadn’t realized that there was only one book. Only Zhongli Qian swept over a suspicious glance. He had also caught a glimpse of the cover, and knew it didn’t belong to the library. But in that case, where had it come from?

The Lord of Demons had no intention of explaining. Right when he saw the second book appear, he no longer had any interest in staying at the
conference. He transmitted to Shu Yanyan, “Use whatever method you can to separate Zhongli Qian from the Zhongli clan. If you can do that, your punishment will be decreased by ninety-nine years.”

The last year could be for the two Altar Masters who had been locked in the water prison and the two who had been dragged to her bed. A year was nothing for Shu Yanyan, anyway. Hearing that her sentence could be lightened so much, her eyes brightened and she immediately replied, “Your subordinate won’t disappoint you!”

After issuing his command, Wenren È nodded to Zhongli Qian, then leapt out of the window, so quickly that none of the ordinary people in attendance knew what happened.

The three Zhongli young masters had noticed, however. Wenren È, after taking his leave of Zhongli Qian, had shown that he was a high-level
cultivator. Not wanting to cause any trouble, Zhongli Qian turned his
attention to the conference instead. Zhongli Kuang was fuming and on the verge of flipping a table. Zhongli Qian smoothly took the brush out of his hand, turned around, and wrote a poem across a wall. His bearing was dignified, his brush strokes free and graceful. Flecks of ink landed on his white sleeve, blossoming through the fabric. His literacy and bearing both stopped people in their tracks. Zhongli Kuang, after having his pen taken, knew Zhongli Qian wouldn’t permit him to make a fuss
anymore, and could only suppress his anger. He returned to his seat and gulped down a mouthful of wine.

After the conference ended, the scholars all gathered around Zhongli Qian with praise, unwilling to leave. Zhongli Qian reassured them that Five Willow Manor was open to all with a love for learning, and they were
welcome to come back for the next discussion.

Only then did they all leave happily. Shu Yanyan kept making eyes at Zhongli Qian, only waiting until the end to get up. Seeing that Zhongli Qian really didn’t pay any attention to her, she dejectedly walked out of the library.

After going a few steps, she heard a voice call to her from behind. “Could this lady please wait?”

Shu Yanyan put on a soft smile and when she turned around to see Zhongli Kuang, she thought that even if she couldn’t get the shark fin soup, she
could still make do. The important part was that Zhongli Kuang could be used to lure out Zhongli Qian. If she could get ahold of Zhongli Qian, the Venerable would return her darlings to her!

Shu Yanyan was willing to occasionally pick a weed from the roadside for the sake of a forest.

Meanwhile, after getting the book, Wenren È immediately flew to a faraway mountain range with Yin Hanjiang. Only after setting up an array and having Yin Hanjiang stand guard outside was he finally willing to start reading.

Just the first volume of God of Annihilation was about equal to Abusive Romance in thickness, another doorstopper of over a million words. Wenren È created a table and chair and sat down to study it. He spent three days and nights reading it non-stop. After finishing, Wenren È was left with some troubling thoughts.

Objectively speaking, if this book had been an ordinary story, he would’ve enjoyed it. Some of the plot points were genuinely exciting, and he had
wanted to applaud the protagonist several times.

The protagonist of the story was a male, who had lived in an unremarkable small town in his youth. His father was never mentioned, and he took painstaking care of his ill mother. He was a ringleader of the other penniless kids, but the rich children next door would often bully him, and even their
servants would look down on him. But the protagonist told himself that he would prove them wrong someday, and make his way up in the world.

One winter, he left to gather firewood in the mountains. When he returned, he found the entire village silent. Running in, he discovered that everyone had been slaughtered. The boy fell to his knees, crying, and the sound drew the attention of a passing cultivator. The boy returned with him to his sect and was found to have a rare spiritual root. His path of cultivation was opened up before him.

In his sect, he became the shixiong everyone looked up to, but there was a dark shadow in his heart. He was still focused on finding the assailant who had murdered his family and friends. His master had told him that the village might’ve been massacred by demonic cultivators as part of some
evil technique, so he vowed to destroy the demonic sects and dedicated himself to cultivation. After reaching Foundation Establishment, he left the sect and, meeting the family that had once bullied him, which had moved
away and avoided the massacre, he took vengeance on them viciously.

Later, he became the Sect Master and took in many supporters. Among them was a bastard son of a cultivation clan, a good-hearted demonic
cultivator, a wandering cultivator who had gone down the wrong path, and elders who treated him as their equals. He was also fortunate enough to meet an ancient deity who became his master, helping him through many dangers and earning his deepest gratitude. He had also met many and varied female companions, who were all willing to share him between them. His main wife, whom he respected highly, kept everyone in line.

At the end of the first volume, he had, with the help of his master, finally
entrapped and killed the number one demonic cultivator and the one he had suspected of killing his family. However, he subsequently found new clues that pointed to the murderer being someone else, an immortal from the upper realms.

In order to find his nemesis, the male lead took his most talented little
shimei and ascended to the immortal realm, ending the first volume. At the end was a message that those who wished to know how the story continued in the immortal realm should pick up God of Annihilation: Volume 2.

There was nothing wrong with the story itself, per say. But if one mentioned the names of the characters, the matter would be different.

The main character of God of Annihilation was Hè Wenzhao. His main wife was the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master. His headstrong and disobedient
shimei was Baili Qingmiao, one of his friends was Zhongli Kuang, and the demonic cultivator he had killed at the end was Wenren È.

By taking another point of view, this book had turned the plot of Abusive Romance completely on its head. The events were the same between the two, but Baili Qingmiao had one perspective in Abusive Romance, and Hè Wenzhao had a different one in God of Annihilation.

For example, when Baili Qingmiao was imprisoned, it was because the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master had pointed out, right before her wedding to Hè Wenzhao, that her fate was governed by Polis, and she would always be followed by death and disaster. In order to protect his beloved shimei, Hè Wenzhao had her locked up in the mountains to prevent anyone from getting to her.

From Baili Qingmiao’s point of view, it was because Hè Wenzhao had heard that the Violet Spirit Pavilion Master had medicine that could save the Sect Master, and when he went to ask for it, the Pavilion Master took a liking to him and made it a condition to marry her. Hè Wenzhao had told Baili Qingmiao to be patient and not make a fuss, then locked her up in order to prevent her from disrupting the wedding.

Wenren È: …

And as for the part where Zhongli Qian ran into Baili Qingmiao and rescued her, from Baili Qingmiao’s point of view, she was grateful to have been saved from a place that had hurt her, but for Hè Wenzhao it was: bad news, someone stole the protagonist’s wife, better hurry and go kill that two-faced bastard.

Wenren È: …

If he hadn’t been the villainous mastermind who died at the end, Wenren È might’ve really believed the twisted facts of God of Annihilation.

The first page of God of Annihilation had a passage similar to what Abusive Romance had, but where Abusive Romance had said, “Due to an overabundance of plot holes, this story has been rejected by its readers.
Thus, the most popular character among the readers has been selected to personally verify the story’s consistency, and make suitable changes,” God of Annihilation‘s message read, “Due to the story deviating from its original form, it has been rejected by its readers. Thus, the most loyal character to the protagonist has been selected in order to correct inconsistencies with the original work.”

God of Annihilation had appeared above Zhongli Kuang’s head, so he must be the “most loyal character to the protagonist”. He was a supporting
character in the story, just like Wenren È.

Wenren È placed both books on the table and considered them deeply. The appearance of God of Annihilation confirmed further for him that the world he lived in was real. The characters in it had their own thoughts and intentions, and were not subject to any outside control.

One of the books was merely the female lead, Baili Qingmiao’s, view on the world, whereas the other was the view of the male lead, Hè Wenzhao. They showed the same world filtered through two different lenses. If
Wenren È had become the protagonist, it would probably lead to another, completely different book.

To Baili Qingmiao, Wenren È was her savior who sacrificed himself in the Blood Hell for her sake, but for Hè Wenzhao, Wenren È was his sworn
enemy who had killed his family and taken his girl. His strength couldn’t match up to Wenren È, so in order to take down the villain who had
singlehandedly masterminded the Great Sect War, he asked for help from the master who lived in his body. Wenren È was surrounded and killed at the Blood Hell, and Hè Wenzhao managed to rescue his poor shimei from his clutches.

The story of God of Annihilation seemed to be more logical than Abusive Romance, or at least all the readers could follow the protagonist’s actions. But if you asked Wenren È, it was a pile of rubbish.

Wenren È placed a hand on the cover and said coldly. “Planning to use the Blood Hell to do away with this Venerable? This Venerable would like to see if you have what it takes.”

He put away the books and took down the array. Seeing Yin Hanjiang
standing guard outside, he asked, “Has the Right Protector reported any news?”

“The Right Protector sent word yesterday that she had already gotten her hands on Zhongli Kuang, and was going to use him as bait for Zhongli Qian. According to Zhongli Kuang, Zhongli Qian is powerful and has an
immortal artifact on him, so may be a tough opponent. The Right Protector hopes the Venerable will lend a hand, in order to ensure Zhongli Qian’s
capture,” Yin Hanjiang replied.

Wenren È didn’t respond, just turned into a streak of crimson light, picked up Yin Hanjiang, and returned to Azure Sky Mountain in scarcely the blink of an eye.

Zhongli Kuang’s house was outside Five Willow Manor, and Shu Yanyan was currently living in the courtyard, having daily dalliances with Zhongli Kuang. After they were done she would also recite poetry or paint with him, not enjoying herself in the least.

When Wenren È barged in, Zhongli Kuang was in the sheets with Shu Yanyan. Seeing two people suddenly appear in his room, he was shocked and prepared to attack when a blood-red flower bloomed before his eyes, and he lost consciousness.

“Right Protector,” Wenren È said coldly, a book in one hand. “Steal his Nascent Soul, turn him into a puppet, and use his soul as bait for Zhongli Qian!”

“Sweet!” Shu Yanyan said, her eyes brightening. She immediately put a palm against Zhongli Kuang’s dantian and extracted his Nascent Soul in no time, a task she was quite practiced in.

“Y—you people…” Zhongli Kuang could only manage these two words, before the wicked woman by his side destroyed his foundation forever.

if Wenren È read the comments on his own book, he would find a lot of people thirsty for YHJ to top.

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 29 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 29 – Poisonous woman

“Venerable.” Shu Yanyan presented Zhongli Kuang’s Nascent Soul to Wenren È with both hands.

“It’s yours,” Wenren È said, not sparing her a glance. “Put your clothes on.”

He had underestimated Shu Yanyan’s ruthlessness. He’d thought that Shu Yanyan would at least put on her clothes and fight Zhongli Kuang head-on, but instead she had taken action immediately with only a thin blanket
wrapped around her. Forget Zhongli Kuang, Wenren È had been taken by surprise after giving the order himself.

Zhongli Kuang was also a decisive person, and seeing that Shu Yanyan had wasted no time in turning on him, also immediately abandoned his body
and Nascent Soul, trying to escape as a spirit. However, the black-robed youth standing near him was prepared for anything, and drew his sword to cut off the fleeing soul’s path.

“Who are you people? If you kill me, the Zhongli clan won’t forgive you!” Zhongli Kuang’s soul stammered out.

“Really?” said Wenren È. “Didn’t you always believe that the Zhongli clan didn’t recognize you, and was willing to dispose of you at any time to further Zhongli Qian’s interests?”

Zhongli Kuang’s soul wavered at having his deepest thoughts be guessed. People might be able to lie, but it was difficult for a soul to do so, and Wenren È noticed immediately that his words had struck home. As they spoke, Shu Yanyan had already put on her clothes. She climbed off the bed with perfect grace, and, if she wasn’t still holding Zhongli Kuang’s corpse-like body, she would’ve looked like a painting.

Her fingers were like claws, digging into Zhongli Kuang’s head as she dragged his body onto the floor. Yet a warm smile graced her face— poisonous woman was certainly a fitting descriptor for her.

“Venerable, Zhongli Kuang leaked a lot of intel in these last few days,” Shu Yanyan said. “Any time I said something good about Zhongli Qian, he
would call him a self-righteous fake, power-hungry and always mistreating branch family members and bastard children like him. Seeing how deep his resentment for Zhongli Qian is, if you ask this subordinate, the Venerable got it in one.”

“You seductress!” Resentment suffused Zhongli Kuang’s soul, pouring out as black smoke.

Shu Yanyan smiled. “What if I’m a seductress? You really think
seductresses have no standards? I originally had eyes for Zhongli Qian, not you, and I can’t believe how much of a self-important loser you are either. I don’t even want to absorb your Nascent Soul. If I refined it into elixir and rewarded my subordinates with it, they would at least have some sweet
words for me in exchange.”

“This Venerable seems to recall that Protector Shu no longer has
subordinates,” Wenren È said, giving Shu Yanyan a sideways glance.

Shu Yanyan’s face fell and her carefree posture slumped. She said obediently, “The entire Xuanyuan Sect belongs to the Venerable. This
subordinate is your vanguard and will— ow! Why’re you kicking me?”

Yin Hanjiang, upon hearing “vanguard”, couldn’t help but give her a kick in the kneecap.

“Alkaid is not this Venerable’s vanguard,” Wenren È said. “You are my right arm.” Yin Hanjiang pulled back his foot and gave Shu Yanyan a nod. “Vanguard.” Shu Yanyan: …
If she’d known earlier that Wenren È had actually survived battling twenty- one righteous sect experts, she would’ve let go of her concern for Qiu
Congxue and went after him while he was down!

There was nothing she could do about it now. She made a misplay, and now she was a fish for Wenren È to gut in any way he liked.

The ever-flexible Right Protector said, “Venerable, I’ll refine Zhongli Kuang’s body into a puppet right now.”

“No!” Zhongli Kuang’s soul cried. “A—aren’t you after Zhongli Qian? I hate him! I want him dead! If you give me my body back, I’ll trick him for you! I don’t care what you want to do to him!”

Even if his Nascent Soul was taken, he could use some sort of elixir to restore it, but if his body was refined, he could only become a ghost
cultivator.

“You sure say what you think,” Wenren È said.

Zhongli Kuang had been this kind of person in God of Annihilation too, openly proclaiming his hate for Zhongli Qian in front of Hè Wenzhao, swearing that he would kill him and take over the Zhongli clan. Hè
Wenzhao resented Zhongli Qian at the time for taking his beloved shimei away, and bonded with Zhongli Kuang over their shared nemesis. He also transferred the resentment he held from being bullied by rich children to Zhongli Qian, believing that rich heirs who grew up pampered like him were all just scumbags and womanizers.

Thus Hè Wenzhao and his secret master helped Zhongli Kuang plot against Zhongli Qian, destroying his reputation and power along with it. Zhongli Kuang, who had stolen his good name, eventually killed him. These events were never mentioned in Abusive Romance, where Zhongli Qian never showed up again after Baili Qingmiao rejected his offer, still insisting on staying with her shixiong. Zhongli Qian was a true gentleman, and he left quietly after telling Baili Qingmiao that she could come to Five
Willow Manor any time she was in trouble. Who knew that after he let Baili Qingmiao go, he was killed by Hè Wenzhao and Zhongli Kuang?

The most interesting part was that, in the reviews of Abusive Romance, the ones regarding Zhongli Qian were mostly:

[Sob, Zhongli Qian is too good, really a true gentleman, respecting and protecting the MC and wanting to spend his life with her. And yet when
Baili Qingmiao chose Hè Wenzhao again, he let her go, and told her ‘I can forever be your second option.’ I love him so much!]

[If Baili Qingmiao doesn’t plan on using her eyeballs, she can donate them to someone in need. Don’t let that pair of ‘big sparkling eyes’ go to waste.
Every time she looks at Wenren È, Zhongli Qian, Yin Hanjiang, her eyes are always ‘sparkling’. The word ‘sparkling’ is triggering me by now!]

[Cross out Yin Hanjiang up there, we don’t want him.]

[No one wants Yin Hanjiang? I think the murderous psycho type is kind of hot.]

[With two hotties like Zhongli Qian and Wenren È right in front of her, each with their own qualifications, Baili Qingmiao has to go choose someone like Hè Wenzhao… this bitch is seriously blind. At least when she gets tortured to death by Hè Wenzhao, her organs can go to someone in need.]

But the reviews regarding Zhongli Qian in God of Annihilation were completely different.

[He should die for stealing the MC’s girl!]

[Zhongli Qian disgusts me. What do you mean ‘If I can’t give you happiness then better I let go’? Where do you get off sounding so self- righteous after stealing someone’s girl? Don’t you know every woman in the world belongs to my Zhao-ge[1]?]

[Yes! Zhao-ge finally killed off Zhongli Qian!]

[Shimei is way too rebellious. Just think, among all his wives, Zhao-ge loves little shimei the most. Every time he gets into danger, it’s for shimei. Yet she’s not faithful at all and runs off with other men every chance she gets. She even attacked Liu Xinye! Liu Xinye is so cute, always dedicated to Zhao-ge, offering her own body and golden core to save Zhao-ge—that’s my kind of girl! Yet Zhao-ge tosses Liu Xinye aside to save little shimei
who’s always going after some other guy? I can’t stand women like that!]

[How does Baili Qingmiao have the nerve to say to Zhao-ge ‘Zhongli Qian has also been good to me’, ‘Wenren È may be the Lord of Demons, but he is honest in his words and actions and worthy of respect’? Don’t make me barf!]

[Is the author reading this? Don’t give such a fickle woman to our Zhao-ge. She can’t hold a candle to the Violet Spirit Master.]

Wenren È decided to do everything he could to hide God of Annihilation. If Yin Hanjiang read it, he would have a qi deviation out of anger.

Zhongli Kuang’s soul knelt in midair, begging Wenren È to spare his life. Wenren È smiled, then ordered Shu Yanyan, “Refine it!”
“I’ve already started,” Shu Yanyan said with a glance at the soul, as she started reciting an incantation and refining his body into a puppet. “What should we do with his soul? Ah, if Qiu Congxue was here, we could just give it to her for her Heart Devouring Ghost Mother technique.”

Wenren È hadn’t revealed the fact that Qiu Congxue was undercover at Shangqing Sect yet, so Shu Yanyan still thought her soul had been
sublimated by the Great Peacock Wisdom King, and looked a bit gloomy as she mentioned her name. “Take one of his earthly souls and turn it into a talisman to send to Zhongli Qian,” Wenren È said. “Tell him to leave the mountain by himself and not let anyone accompany him, or Zhongli Kuang’s soul will be thrown to hungry ghosts, never to enter reincarnation.”

“N—no, please!” Zhongli Kuang said, crying and wailing. “I can use a secret password of the Zhongli clan to get Zhongli Qian down the mountain! Don’t take any of my souls, I’m begging you!”

Humans had three divine souls and seven earthly souls[2]. If they lost any earthly souls, they would be mentally disabled in their next life. If they lost any divine souls, they could only reincarnate as an animal, and could never become a human again. Zhongli Kuang would rather enter reincarnation right now than lose one of his souls.

Unfortunately, the three heartless demonic cultivators paid no heed to his pitiful cries. Shu Yanyan yanked out one of his earthly souls and made it into a talisman, and Zhongli Kuang immediately became listless, his
weeping turning faint.

The earthly souls governed emotions—love, hate, desire, sadness, anguish, rage, and joy. Shu Yanyan had removed the soul governing hate, which had the most clear target and would be able to find Zhongli Qian easily, ignoring everyone else in his family to deliver itself right into his hands.

“What’re you crying for?” Shu Yanyan said after sending out the talisman, flicking Zhongli Kuang’s spirit. “The Venerable is letting you see with your own eyes whether or not Zhongli Qian is a real gentleman.”

She had used a very gentle method to take his earthly soul, and even though it had been turned into a talisman, it could be rejoined to his spirit later.
Zhongli Qian would realize that Zhongli Kuang could still be saved upon
seeing the talisman, and if he was really willing to risk his life to save him, that would prove he was a good elder brother who protected his juniors.

Wenren È and his companions set up a trap over a mountain for Zhongli Qian, as Zhongli Kuang’s spirit sobbed all the while. “He won’t come for me, he’d be happy to see a bastard like me die, he’s a hypocrite who’d take any chance to get rid of me.”

They waited until midnight, whereupon a white-robed figure came to the designated location under the bright moonlight. Standing before Wenren È’s array, Zhongli Qian said, “Qian has arrived as promised. If I am your target, I hope you honorable individuals can release my little brother’s soul to be reincarnated.”

Shu Yanyan appeared before him, holding Zhongli Kuang’s soul. “Zhongli Qian, it should be clear to you that our target is you. As the heir to the Zhongli clan, your importance far outweighs a bastard son like Zhongli
Kuang. Why would you risk your life for him?”

“It’s not Qian that’s important, but the Zhongli clan,” Zhongli Qian said
calmly. “The reason I am placed above others is not because my cultivation is strong, but because the reputation of the Zhongli clan that had been built up over many years rests on my shoulders. Without the Zhongli clan, I am just an ordinary cultivator. It doesn’t matter if Zhongli Qian dies, but the Zhongli clan cannot abandon a single one of its members. Each of them make up the foundation of the Zhongli clan.”

Shu Yanyan secretly approved of Zhongli Qian, but her expression didn’t
show it. “I removed Zhongli Kuang’s hatred soul. You should’ve been able to read from it his resentment of you. He wants you to fall from grace,
wants to kill you and dismember your corpse. Knowing that, why did you come save him? Even saints ought to have their limits! This Protector has taken a liking to you, but I like saints with true intentions, not idiots!”

“I know,” Zhongli Qian said, cupping his hands. “To tell the truth, I also dislike this little brother of mine. He is arrogant, thoughtless, and unreliable.”

“Yet you still want to save him?” Wenren È revealed himself. He looked over Zhongli Qian, mystified as to his thought process.

Wenren È had unleashed the pressure of a Mahayana-level expert, and Zhongli Qian paled, realizing that he had met with real trouble. He let out a long sigh. “I still want to save him. I, Zhongli Qian, can die, but the Dao of the Zhongli clan cannot crumble!”

The Zhongli clan’s heritage was the path of gentlemen. Zhongli Qian upheld the clan’s entire path, and if he failed to abide by it, the Zhongli clan would fall. Coming out tonight to save Zhongli Kuang, the worst outcome could be that he died without accomplishing anything, but the Zhongli
clan’s Dao would stand regardless. The clan had many branches, from
which they could simply pick the most outstanding candidate to inherit their Dao.

But if at this point, Zhongli Qian didn’t come to save Zhongli Kuang, the entire Zhongli clan and their Dao would all crumble.

Even if one was cheating the heavens, one still had to do it properly. You could only accomplish it if you bluffed until you yourself believed it and actually became what you said you were.

In Abusive Romance, Baili Qingmiao often said that Zhongli Qian always looked tired, and that she wished he would relax a bit, smile a little easier. Zhongli Qian always answered that he had a responsibility, and though it was tiring, it was worthwhile.

In his life, the only time he had let go of his responsibilities and path was when he asked Baili Qingmiao if she would leave with him and wander the world. He could select someone else in the clan to take up his position, and
they could accompany each other to the ends of the earth, as true cultivation partners.

Sadly, Baili Qingmiao refused him.

Looking at Zhongli Qian, Shu Yanyan sighed inwardly and transmitted to Wenren È, “Venerable, your subordinate is powerless against this man.”

Wenren È didn’t speak, and Shu Yanyan continued. “If I wanted to get this man, I would have to give up the whole forest. Too bad I’m greedy by nature, and will never dedicate myself to one person.” She ordered the puppet made from Zhongli Kuang’s corpse to take his soul and step before Zhongli Qian. “Be quiet, close your eyes, and don’t move,” she said gently. “I’ll return this trash to you.”

Zhongli Qian obeyed and closed his eyes. Shu Yanyan stroked his face, then gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

She drew back and turned to Wenren È, saying coldly, “Venerable, should I cripple him too?”

Even Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang were surprised by how two-faced Shu Yanyan could be.

Refocusing, Wenren È said, “No need. Bring him back to Xuanyuan Sect. As for Zhongli Kuang… let his soul and body return to the Zhongli clan,
and force him to reveal all his thoughts when he gets there. Let his own clan clean up the mess.”

Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

Please support the original author over on jjwxc.

1. ge is big brother, which can be used to refer to an older male unrelated to you. It shows some familiarity and some respect but it’s still pretty casual.
2. I just decided this was a good way to translate hun and po. The three hun
go to the afterlife after death while the seven po remain in the body. ↩

Chapter 30 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know

Chapter 30 – Deep in its clutches

After Zhongli Qian watched Zhongli Kuang’s soul and puppeted body depart, his tense expression relaxed slightly.

The fact that he didn’t like his younger brother had nothing to do with his parentage, but was purely because of his behavior. Now that he was returned, whether the Zhongli clan wanted to save him or send him on to his next life was no longer Zhongli Qian’s business.

“Seeing as you’re a magnanimous person, this Venerable won’t try to deceive you,” said Wenren È. “This Venerable is Wenren È of Xuanyuan Sect.”

“So it is Sir Wenren,” Zhongli Qian said in shock, and quickly cupped his hands in greeting. “After Sir Wenren’s battle with twenty-one experts of the righteous sects twelve years ago, you can be considered the strongest in the cultivation world. Though we walk different paths, I have deep admiration for you, and wish to offer thanks on the behalf of all mortal lives.”

The Zhongli clan wasn’t sided with the righteous or demonic sects and was considered a neutral party. A major event like the Great Sect War had of
course been much talked about among the four great cultivation clans. Those who understood the ways of heaven naturally realized that both the righteous and demonic side’s goal was to avoid a ten-thousand-year great calamity. And the ease with which the demonic cultivators had broken the
Spirit Severing Array two years ago allowed many to guess Wenren È’s true intentions.

The rise of the cultivation clans was related to Wenren È’s actions, and
since they weren’t affiliated with the righteous sects, they were grateful to him.

Zhongli Qian spoke with sincerity, not a hint of pretense in his words, and Shu Yanyan couldn’t help but glance at Wenren È. She couldn’t understand why he was interested in Zhongli Qian. Xuanyuan Sect had no connections to the cultivation clans, nor any grudge, and Wenren È wasn’t someone who would mistreat innocents. He may not be intending to kill Zhongli Qian, but holding some deeper intentions.

“You have a good character, and this Venerable doesn’t intend to harm you,” Wenren È said. “This Venerable just wants to keep you as a guest at
Xuanyuan Sect for a few days. I am a reasonable man, who does not wish to pressure others. You can choose to be our guest standing up, or lying down.”

Zhongli Qian stared for a moment. Knowing that the three before him were demonic cultivators, and seeing how mercilessly they had treated Zhongli Kuang, he had never expected he would be allowed to live. If there was
even a single ray of hope, Zhongli Qian would fight with all his strength, but facing Wenren È, the combined strength of the Zhongli clan might not be enough, let alone Zhongli Qian himself.

“This one of course hopes to be Xuanyuan Sect’s guest in good health,” Zhongli Qian answered.

“Mm, well spoken.” Wenren È nodded, satisfied. “Come then. Right Protector, watch over Young Master Zhongli along the way. If he isn’t the one who arrives to Xuanyuan Sect, this Venerable will feed your Nascent Soul to the beasts living on the mountain.”

He spoke without a hint of jest, then left with Yin Hanjiang to Xuanyuan Sect, not concerned at all about Zhongli Qian escaping.

Tears flowed down Shu Yanyan’s face as she spoke to Zhongli Qian.
“Young Master Zhongli, you don’t need to worry. I’m still the Xuanyuan Sect’s Right Protector. Even if there are mountains of people who can replace me, the Venerable… he might not necessarily turn me into dog food.” She cried like a rain-drenched flower, as she continued, “I’m also reluctant to bring an upstanding young man like you to Xuanyuan Sect to be tormented by that devil. If you were to escape along the way, I’ll make sure to turn a blind eye. Even if he feeds me to dogs later, you mustn’t blame yourself.”

Zhongli Qian: …

He was a gentleman, not a stupid man. Wenren È had spoken to Shu Yanyan for his benefit, to prevent him from escaping. He also understood that
Wenren È wouldn’t speak empty words. The Lord of Demons held no mercy in his eyes, and though he looked upon his Left Protector Yin
Hanjiang with endless lenience, he really would feed Shu Yanyan to beasts.

“There’s no need for Protector Shu to worry,” said Zhongli Qian. “I won’t try to escape. Since Sir Wenren genuinely wishes for me to be his guest,
escaping could bring trouble to the entire Five Willow Manor. As he doesn’t intend to kill me immediately, I imagine he needs me to do something.”

As for what it was, or whether it would violate Zhongli Qian’s principles, he decided to not think about it for now and deal with everything as it came.

Shu Yanyan’s tears stopped at once. She wiped them away with a handkerchief and said seriously, “I thought scholars were all brain-dead, but you’re actually pretty sharp.”

Zhongli Qian bowed and said, “This one also thanks Protector Shu for her trust.”

“Huh? What for?” Shu Yanyan raised an eyebrow.

“Protector Shu may have been putting on an act, but you didn’t try to hide it. The fact that you trusted I wouldn’t try to escape meant you trusted my character. Naturally, this one should thank you.”

Shu Yanyan stared at him, and shook her head with a sigh. “Best I can’t get you.” Zhongli Qian: …

After their conversation, they made their way smoothly back to Xuanyuan Sect. Currently, all the workers at the main hall were Shu Yanyan’s
subordinates, and all manner of beautiful men were tidying up around the place, not allowed to use spiritual energy. Upon seeing Shu Yanyan bringing home an even-better looking man, and not a type she’d ever had dealings with before, they were all anxious.

Helian approached and threw an arm around her waist, gazing at her tenderly. “Protector, it’s been so long. Your subordinate has missed you.”

Shu Yanyan took a book from her lapel and pressed it to his chest. “Go read some books and cultivate your character.”

After bringing Zhongli Qian to a guest room, she went to see Wenren È. By now, Wenren È had explained Zhongli Qian’s relationship to Baili
Qingmiao in the book to Yin Hanjiang.

He explained, “This Venerable was thinking of, after having Baili Qingmiao owe enough debts of gratitude to Zhongli Qian to cancel out the karma from her divine tribulation, killing her, then having Zhongli Qian find her reincarnation and raise her. That way, she should forget about Hè Wenzhao for good.”

Yin Hanjiang didn’t think there was anything wrong with this plan, and praised, “The Venerable is wise.”

It wasn’t his idea, and Wenren È didn’t like taking credit for other people’s work. He waved a hand and said, “This Venerable thought of it from Altar Masters Yuan and Qiu’s words. Altar Master Yuan wanted to change the object of her affections, and Altar Master Qiu once told Baili Qingmiao to kill Hè Wenzhao and wait for his reincarnation. This Venerable believes
Baili Qingmiao may be beyond saving in this life, so we’ll just put our hopes on the next one.”

Hearing “change the object of her affections” gave Yin Hanjiang pause, and after some thought, he said, “Affections that run deep enough can persist after reincarnation. It’s possible even Meng Po’s soup[1] won’t be able to erase Baili Qingmiao’s obsession.”

“Is that true?” Wenren È glanced at Yin Hanjiang. “It would be for me,” Yin Hanjiang said resolutely.
After some thought, Wenren È said, “Well, this is troublesome. But we should still try it. Let’s start from planning out Zhongli Qian and Baili Qingmiao’s meeting.”

Yin Hanjiang was still doing all he could to make Wenren È’s job easier. In order to confirm the plan with him, he asked, “Because of the Venerable’s actions, Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian’s first meeting will now be far different than what was destined. Will Zhongli Qian really fall for her
again?”

An awkward silence suddenly fell over the room.

After some time, Wenren È slowly spoke, “This Venerable seems to have overlooked that.”

Right then, Shu Yanyan arrived to ask what she should do with the newly settled-in Zhongli Qian.

Wenren È ordered her to come to the meeting room and immediately asked upon seeing her, “Protector Shu is well versed in matters of love. Do you know how to make a man fall in love with a woman?”

“It depends on the man,” Shu Yanyan replied.

Wenren È didn’t beat around the bush. “Zhongli Qian.” Since Shu Yanyan was going to be involved in the whole plan, there was no point hiding
anything from her.

Hearing his name, Shu Yanyan brightened up and raised her head.
“Venerable, Zhongli Qian is a rare man with brains, even sharper than I assumed. Tricks won’t work against him, so we can only be overt. Have him know very well what he’s getting into, but have no other choice. For example, if the Venerable were to have this subordinate seduce him, and
also let him know I would be punished if I failed, that could work as long as he doesn’t already have a person in his heart. He wouldn’t fall in love with me, though. And if he does already have someone, then no plots are going to work.”

“This Venerable didn’t say you were the woman,” Wenren È said coldly.

Shu Yanyan lost interest in a flash. She said lazily, “This subordinate has never wished for love, only for pleasure. This subordinate doesn’t understand that kind of deep-seated emotion.”

“Does anyone in Xuanyuan Sect?” asked Wenren È.

He got no answer. Very few in Xuanyuan Sect cared for matters of love.

After dismissing Shu Yanyan, Wenren È opened Abusive Romance and reread Baili Qingmiao’s meeting with Zhongli Qian several times, hoping to find some inspiration. Yin Hanjiang stood quietly behind him, not looking
at the book’s contents, instead focusing all his attention on Wenren È.

Yin Hanjiang didn’t understand love either. The only strong emotions he’d felt in his life were for Wenren È. It wasn’t just because Wenren È had once saved him, but that Wenren È represented all of Yin Hanjiang’s hopes and dreams.

“Venerable, does the book say what love is?” Yin Hanjiang asked.

“It mentions a few things,” Wenren È said, flipping through the pages to find the part where Baili Qingmiao analyzed her feelings for Hè Wenzhao.

It was when Zhongli Qian had told Baili Qingmiao of his wishes, asking her to abandon Shangqing Sect and stay by his side. She had said—

“I don’t know what’s so good about shixiong. I just know that if he was in a crowd, my eyes would pick him out instantly. If he’s happy, I’m happy. If he’s unhappy, then I can’t bear it. I would be willing to give up everything for him to live a blissful life. I don’t know when I started liking him either. I suppose… it’s one of those loves that takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches.”

Baili Qingmiao smiled bitterly. “I’ve tried to forget shixiong before. If I didn’t love him, then I wouldn’t need to suffer. But I couldn’t do it. This is probably just my fate.”

Wenren È pointed out the passage to Yin Hanjiang. “This is what we need. If we can accomplish these three things, Zhongli Qian should fall in love with her.”

He wrote them down and carefully considered each of them.

The first was to pick the other person instantly out of a crowd. He could put the tracking spell on Zhongli Qian and Baili Qingmiao. If each had the other’s blood dripped into their eyes, they would only be able to see each other.

The second was being happy when the other person was happy, and sad when they were sad. He could have Altar Master Miao put heart-linking
parasites in them, so that wherever they were, they would always feel each other’s emotions.

The third one—love takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches—was a bit harder. He wasn’t quite clear on the meaning. For now, he decided to focus on the first two, and consider the third some other time.

Having finally come up with a plan, Wenren È let out a breath. After doing this, the rest was up to heaven’s will. If Baili Qingmiao still couldn’t
change, then he could always kill her and try again in her next life.

He sent word to Altar Masters Shi and Miao to tell them to prepare the spell and parasite, then messaged Qiu Congxue, telling her to get Baili Qingmiao to Xuanyuan Sect sometime soon.

Yin Hanjiang picked up the piece of paper with Wenren È’s notes, and after reading it, his fingertips began to tremble. He stole a glance at Wenren È’s back and read to himself the final line
—”love takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches.”

Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.

Please support the original author over on jjwxc.

1. Meng Po is an old woman who serves the soup of forgetfulness to souls awaiting reincarnation in the afterlife. ↩

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