Chapter 31 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 31 – Happy marriage
CW: attempted suicide
Zhongli Qian was prepared to be tortured every which way by Xuanyuan Sect, to be forced to do things that violated his morals, and maybe even lose his life and soul. He had already decided that, no matter what Wenren È did to him, he’d choose a path that would not violate his Dao.
On his second day at Xuanyuan Sect, though, he was taken to the Hellfire Pavilion, without having seen Wenren È once in that time. Shu Yanyan handed him over to a pale and sickly-looking man, who she called Altar Master Shi. He was apparently the new master of the Hellfire Pavilion.
“He needs to be taken to my place?” said Altar Master Shi, coughing harshly. “Cough, cough, the Hellfire Pavilion is under Ghost Peak, and I’m too scared to go there myself. You want me to take him there? There’s no way.”
“You’re the master of Hellfire Pavilion. You can’t even handle your own estate, yet you tried to compete for the position of Sect Master with the other Altar Masters? What were you thinking?” Shu Yanyan was
experienced at reading people, but she now realized that she still hadn’t figured out this previously unknown subordinate of Qiu Congxue’s.
“Cough, cough, it’s because I’m scared to go back there that I went with
Altar Master Yuan’s plan to sabotage Altar Masters Miao and Ruan.” Altar Master Shi’s face turned paler. “With my power and status, how could I become the Lord of Demons? I just have a tiny wish, just to change altars— I didn’t think it would turn out to be such a mess! Cough, cough, cough!“ He hacked out a couple of bugs. They were Altar Master Miao’s gu insects, which had been put in him as punishment.
“You even killed Altar Master Miao’s bugs with your sickness, so how can you be scared of the Hellfire Pavilion?” Shu Yanyan said, backing away a few steps. She was quietly glad that Wenren È had showed up before she
could enjoy Altar Masters Ruan and Shi. She might’ve ended up catching some sort of illness.
Altar Master Shi gave her a sullen glance. “Protector Shu, I heard you got along well with Altar Master Qiu. In that case, you should know what kind of subordinates she kept at the Hellfire Pavilion.”
“Who says I got along with Qiu Congxue? She was a ghost cultivator, so of course all her subordinates are ghost cultivators, aside from you…” At that point, Shu Yanyan understood Altar Master Shi’s problem.
Altar Master Shi was at Void Boundary but could even sicken Mahayana
stage cultivators, so he wasn’t to be underestimated. No Altar Master would feel secure with him as a subordinate. But at the Hellfire Pavilion, everyone was either dead bodies or ghosts, and the one with the best-preserved body was a thousand-year-old drought zombie, so who could Altar Master Shi
sicken? How could he bring his subordinates in line?
“Back when the Venerable took control of Xuanyuan Sect, he visited me just once, and Protector Yin came down with illness because of that. After that, he sent me to Hellfire Pavilion, for the ‘unity’ of the sect…” Altar
Master Shi wiped away some fake tears. “After becoming Altar Master, I went through a lot of trouble to force a couple of injured ghost cultivators who were Body Unity and under into obedience, and now, for the
Venerable’s orders, I had to send off some to dual cultivate with Altar Master Ruan. Protector Shu, does my job sound easy?”
Shu Yanyan didn’t speak. Altar Master Shi looked at Zhongli Qian and said, “Young Master Zhongli, you’re an upstanding man, and you know how they say, ‘If you don’t do crooked deeds during the day, you won’t fear ghosts knocking at night’. This one is counting on you to protect him in the
Hellfire Pavilion, okay?” Zhongli Qian: …
Like that, he followed Altar Master Shi Congxin to the Hellfire Pavilion under Ghost Peak. Altar Master Shi managed to find a non-haunted room to tidy up for him. Zhongli Qian couldn’t tell how old the building was, but the pillars had oracle bone script written on them. Altar Master Shi had heard Zhongli Qian liked literature, so had somehow gotten a pile of bamboo scrolls to send to him.
An ominous aura surrounded the scrolls and some had suspicious bloodstains on them. On a few of them, when the date and manner of
someone’s death was recorded, there would be a note in the margins along the lines of “Bullshit, I clearly didn’t die that way”, or “Turns out I’m only worth one line in the history books”, or “History is a bunch of lies, I can’t believe they wrote that I died while screwing. I’m so mad I could come back to life.” Zhongli Qian decided not to think too deep about who had
Aside from those few points, the situation wasn’t too bad. Though Altar
Master Shi had taken two drops of blood from Zhongli Qian’s finger, which made him kind of worried.
At the time, he had said, “The four great cultivation clans can spread prolifically without fear of their bloodline being used to curse their core members because they all have techniques for blocking bloodline curses. You won’t be able to use my blood against the Zhongli clan in any way.”
Altar Master Shi let out a long sigh, an anxious look on his face. Along with his sickly appearance, he looked so miserable that even with all of Zhongli Qian’s resolution, he couldn’t help but ask, “Altar Master, what is troubling you?”
“Ah, nothing much. Just a certain person is about to return.” Altar Master Shi gave Zhongli Qian a serious sideways glance. “She’s human! How
could she be human?” Zhongli Qian: … The people at Xuanyuan Sect were all eccentric, constantly saying things he didn’t understand and didn’t want to think too deeply about.
Knowing his blood wouldn’t harm the Zhongli clan, Zhongli Qian could relax and read books at the Hellfire Pavilion. Three months passed like that. In that time, his only visitor was Altar Master Shi, who dropped by occasionally for chats, saying that he wanted to hang out with a human being.
Wenren È hadn’t actually wanted to abandon Zhongli Qian for three months. The Zhongli clan had already sent many requests to meet with him, which he all turned down. He didn’t care to see any of them before he had
accomplished his goal.
Qiu Congxue hadn’t been able to bring Baili Qingmiao to the Hellfire Pavilion for three months because a major event had happened in Shangqing Sect. Wenren È had read about it too, from both books, in both points of view.
Abusive Romance (Revised Edition) recorded how Baili Qingmiao returned cheerfully to her sect with the lotus heart, looking forward to her shixiong finally being healed. However, upon returning, she heard disastrous news.
Like in the original work, Hè Wenzhao had had relations with Liu Xinye. Liu Xinye’s spiritual root had been mostly drained and she’d nearly lost her life, having to be sent to the medicinal hall to recover. Hè Wenzhao’s injury was too severe and couldn’t be restored even by Liu Xinye’s sacrifice, but he did recover to Foundation Establishment stage.
He knew that he had disrespected Liu Xinye while injured and unconscious, and was filled with turmoil, so left alone in order to find a cure for her, returning just before Baili Qingmiao’s return. He didn’t find any cure, but did manage to raise his own realm to Deity Transformation. He said that he had found a cave where a great immortal dwelled, and had raised his level using an elixir he had been gifted.
Hè Wenzhao promised that since he had risen in strength, he would surely be able to find a way to heal Liu Xinye in the future, and so begged for another chance from the sect elders.
Shangqing Sect didn’t have many powerful elders left and being Deity Transformation already put Hè Wenzhao among the top ranks of the
cultivation world. Faced with such a rare talent, they naturally couldn’t put any blame on him, and overlooked justice for Liu Xinye.
While Hè Wenzhao was in high spirits, Baili Qingmiao returned to the sect and hadn’t even managed to bring him the lotus heart when she heard what happened in the administration hall. She started weeping on the spot and
cried so hard she was nearly overcome by inner demons, right until her Master Qingrong and the Administration Hall Elder, Qingyue, came running to comfort her.
Hè Wenzhao had also rushed over and started explaining himself just as he had in the original story, telling her with full honesty that he had been unaware at the time, that he didn’t like Liu-shimei, that he hoped for Baili Qingmiao’s forgiveness. He said he was ashamed to face Liu-shimei, and wished for Baili Qingmiao to join him in finding a way to heal her.
He was an expert at sweet-talking people, and Baili Qingmiao was on the verge of falling for it like she originally had. She not only forgave Hè
Wenzhao, but ran over to the room where Liu Xinye was recuperating,
wanting to give her the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart to repay shixiong’s debt to her.
Right when she was about to mention it, Elder Qingxue, who had been flipping through Shangqing Sect’s rules with a frown on her face, said some words that changed everything. “Why doesn’t Hè Wenzhao marry Liu
Xinye?” Everyone: …
She held up the rulebook and pointed out a line. “It says right here that if two disciples of Shangqing Sect both agree, they can ask the sect master for permission to become cultivation partners.” Hearing this, Liu Xinye’s watery eyes fell on Hè Wenzhao, waiting for his answer.
Baili Qingmiao never imagined her master would say something like this. This would destroy her future with her shixiong. How could she accept it?
“Well…” said Elder Qingyue. “Look at the specifications, Qingxue. Both parties need to be at Nascent Soul stage to become cultivation partners. Liu Xinye still hasn’t reached Nascent Soul stage.”
“Is she still capable of it?” asked Qingxue. Everyone: …
Qingxue struck deep with that one comment. Liu Xinye slumped against the wall, sobbing, “It’s true, I’m useless now. I’m just a burden if I remain here, so I might as well end it all.”
Saying that, she attempted to strike her head against the wall, but with so many people in the room, they all rushed to stop her. Hè Wenzhao managed to throw his arms around her first. With an uncomfortable look on his face, he said, “But… but I love…”
He had just promised Baili Qingmiao he would love her and only her, but now couldn’t spit out the words in front of Liu Xinye. He could only give Baili Qingmiao a helpless look, asking her to beg Elder Qingxue to reconsider.
Seeing his expression, Baili Qingmiao seemed to lose her mind, throwing her arms around Qingxue’s waist and sobbing, “Master Qingxue, I— I love shixiong! If he gets married, then what about me?”
“It’s not like it’s hopeless,” Qingxue said, sweetly patting Baili Qingmiao on the head. She pointed a finger at Liu Xinye. “Look at her. She’s not going to last for more than ten years. You can just take her spot after she dies.”
Baili Qingmiao: … Qingxue’s words may have been crude, but her reasoning was solid. Her exceedingly straightforward manner of thinking actually convinced the Shangqing Sect elders.
Since Liu Xinye had saved Hè Wenzhao, he owed the rest of his life to her, and if he didn’t repay her, he would eventually suffer consequences from heaven. He might as well just marry Liu Xinye to absolve his debt and guilt. As for Baili Qingmiao… it was as Elder Qingxue had said.
Cultivators were ageless and could live for millennia, so they could wait for Liu Xinye to die to get married if they had to.
After the elders discussed this between themselves, they agreed to the wedding.
Baili Qingmiao had wanted to bring out the lotus heart to give to Liu Xinye, so she wouldn’t need to marry shixiong, but Qingxue reminded her, “The Lotus Heart will bring her right to Deity Transformation stage. She’ll be
even more qualified to marry Hè Wenzhao.”
After crying for a whole night, Baili Qingmiao begged her master to let her leave, so she could avoid the wedding.
She felt like she was possessed. The miracle elixir which could save Liu- shijie was right in her storage bag, but she didn’t want to hand it over. She thought about spending a decade wandering the world and forgetting her troubles, and after ten years, if Liu Xinye was still alive, she would return and give the lotus heart to her, and at the same time finally let go of her
shixiong. Right now, she couldn’t bring herself to do it, so better she let fate decide.
Qingxue was very much in favor of her decision, and several days before Hè Wenzhao and Liu Xinye were set to get married, they left Shangqing Sect together.
At the foot of the mountain, Baili Qingmiao turned back to look at its lofty peaks and, remembering that in five days her shixiong would be married, was happy that at least Master Qingxue would stay by her side. The revisions stopped here, so Wenren È flipped to the comments in the back.
[I approve of this marriage! Congratulations to the new couple!]
[Hahahahaha Qingxue’s thought process is killing me! How can she say ‘Liu Xinye is only gonna live ten years’ with a straight face? Masterfully done!]
[Now that he’s married to Liu Xinye, we’ll see if Hè Wenzhao has the face to marry the Violet Spirit Master. In the original he had the right to because he was single as well as the future sect master of Shangqing Sect, but now, well, I’m looking forward to what happens.]
[He can have them both and make one his concubine, hahahahahaha]
[Keep revising, author, I’m rooting for you. Never thought I’d follow a revision of this old trashy story so intensely. I believe you can strike gold again, author.]
Pleased, Wenren È set the book down and picked up God of Annihilation. The events were about the same as Abusive Romance, just expanding on how, when Hè Wenzhao had left the mountain, he had found with the help of his portable master (the Blood Demon Elder) a powerful relic, and raised his realm with it. The events after he returned to the sect were the same, but the reviews were wildly different.
[Why is this being revised? It was perfectly good as it was, so why does it need a revision? I’m so confused.]
[Probably censorship, they won’t let the MC have a harem. A lot of other authors have revised. That’s all understandable, but… what’s with this plotline?]
[If Zhao-ge can have all the beauties, then I quite like Liu Xinye. But if it’s only her, then she’s just too mediocre. Not as talented as little shimei, not as smart as the Violet Spirit Master, average looks.] [Even if he can have all of them, his main wife shouldn’t be Liu Xinye. She just can’t compare, she’s not worth the MC at all! Is that new wandering immortal Elder Qingxue a villain? Back then I thought she was Zhao-ge’s new wife!]
[I hate Qingxue the most out of the female characters, aside from demonic
cultivator Shu Yanyan. The author is really talented to be able to make these two beautiful girls this vicious.]
The difference in the reviews was like night and day. Considering them, Wenren È decided he rather preferred Abusive Romance‘s discussion page. The comments seemed more normal there.
“Venerable, Qiu Congxue has returned,” Yin Hanjiang said outside the door.
Yin Hanjiang hadn’t been sticking as close to Wenren È lately. Typically, if Wenren È didn’t shoo him away, he’d always stand behind him, even in his room. He didn’t know when Yin Hanjiang had started staying outside his room and standing guard by the door instead.
“What about Baili Qingmiao?” Wenren È asked.
“Her blood’s been taken and she’s been sent to the Hellfire Pavilion,” Yin Hanjiang said outside. “Altar Master Qiu and Protector Shu have started fighting in the main hall. Should something be done?”
Wenren È opened the door. Yin Hanjiang, who had been standing right next to it, lurched back several steps to put distance between them.
Wenren È gave him an odd look, but before he could ask, he heard the
sound of smashing rocks outside. His expression immediately turned cold and he said, “Come with this Venerable.”
the future update schedule should be every other day
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 writing system was used in Bronze Age China from 1200 to 1050 BC. ↩
Chapter 32 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 32 – Shi Congxin’s god
Shu Yanyan and Qiu Congxue had a simple reason for fighting. Qiu
Congxue had reported to the main hall after dropping Baili Qingmiao off at the Hellfire Pavilion, where she bumped into Shu Yanyan. Shu Yanyan hadn’t known Qiu Congxue was still alive and stared at her for a time, unable to take her eyes away.
Now that Qiu Congxue was a wandering immortal, she had a full body under the black robe and had lost her eerie rack of white bones and the bloodthirsty ghosts she’d kept around, so she was a little self-conscious. She had avoided all her subordinates at the Hellfire Pavilion, afraid her reputation as a ghost cultivator would be damaged.
Seeing Shu Yanyan stare at her, she immediately assumed she was being mocked. “What right do you have to look at me?” she said in annoyance.
“Why can’t I look at you?” said Shu Yanyan, raising her head proudly. “It’s your honor to have this Protector look your way.”
Thus the two had started fighting. There was really nothing else to it.
When Wenren È arrived with Yin Hanjiang, Qiu Congxue was chasing Shu Yanyan around the mountainside, while Altar Master Ruan snuck in an
attack every once in a while, yelling, “I’ll teach you to take in such disgusting subordinates! I’ll fuck— I’ll kill you!”
In this short time, Altar Master Ruan had learned to fix his language.
Wenren È nodded in satisfaction. His Xuanyuan Sect was finally shaping up. “Stop.” Wenren È raised his voice, the Seven Killing Halberd in one hand. The three felt a pressure far surpassing that of a Mahayana stage cultivator, and were unable to determine just what level Wenren È was at now. They immediately stopped fighting and knelt before him.
“Venerable, this subordinate—” Qiu Congxue blurted out first.
“This Venerable knows,” Wenren È said. “You can stay in the main hall for now. When the task is finished, bring Baili Qingmiao back to Shangqing Sect.”
“Venerable, how about my Hellfire Pavilion…” Qiu Congxue showed some rare hesitation. “Nevermind, Shi Congxin can have it.”
Her current position in Xuanyuan Sect was a bit awkward. Qiu Congxue had been beating Shu Yanyan handily in their battle, and was possibly the strongest person in Xuanyuan Sect aside from Wenren È. But the positions of the Altar Masters and the two Protectors were all filled. Qiu Congxue glanced over to Altar Masters Yuan and Ruan, racking her brains to
consider who she should kill to steal their domain.
Altar Master Yuan felt his hair stand on end from her gaze and quickly said, “Venerable, the main hall must handle many different affairs and cooperate with the other Altar Masters. Altar Master Qiu’s brains, er, I mean temperament, isn’t suited to managing it. If you ask me, Altar Master
Ruan’s Tortoise Shell Pavilion is more suitable.”
“You’re quite the schemer, aren’t you?” Altar Master Ruan spat.
“No need for concern,” Wenren È said. “This Venerable has already made a decision. Altar Master Qiu has offered great services and can be promoted to Sect Protector, ranking above the four Altar Masters.”
Shu Yanyan’s expression froze. She didn’t dare to defy Wenren È, and instead glanced over at Altar Master Yuan, her eyes venomous. If she couldn’t be Sect Protector, she could at least be the Main Hall Master. Sweat dripped down Altar Master Yuan’s face. He could dodge Qiu
Congxue by saying that she wasn’t smart enough, but how was he supposed to get past Shu Yanyan?
“This Venerable was referring to the position of Left Protector,” Wenren È said.
Shu Yanyan and the Altar Masters all let out a breath. Now that Qiu
Congxue was raised to the same position as Shu Yanyan, she was pleased enough that her inferiority complex faded some.
Yin Hanjiang watched Wenren È, without a hint of concern at losing his position. Power and status never mattered to him. The things that Shu Yanyan and the Altar Masters fought over so viciously were things the Venerable would toss him without a thought.
Feeling Yin Hanjiang’s gaze, Wenren È said, “Former Left Protector Yin
Hanjiang will now be the Deputy Sect Leader of Xuanyuan Sect. From now on, his words can be considered my words.”
Just as expected. Yin Hanjiang lowered his head calmly. This was the kind of person his Venerable was.
Shu Yanyan furrowed her brows, feeling that something was off. Only until Wenren È left for the Hellfire Pavilion with Sect Leader Yin and Altar
Master Miao did she realize. Yin Hanjiang, who used to be at the same position as her, now stood higher, and Qiu Congxue was now equal to her, so her position in the sect had actually fallen.
She’d initially been happy to find out Qiu Congxue had survived, but now…
The Left and Right Protectors shared a glance, enmity obvious in each other’s eyes.
Wenren È didn’t care how well his new Protector got along with the old. Ditching Altar Master Miao, whose light flash was slower, he flew Yin
Hanjiang to Hellfire Pavilion. Landing, he asked, “Protector Yin— no, Sect Leader Yin, you’ve seemed dispirited as of late. Are you unsatisfied with this Venerable’s arrangements?”
Shu Yanyan would’ve started picking apart what he could’ve meant by this line, whether or not he was dissatisfied with her, how she should reply. Yin Hanjiang didn’t consider any of that and answered honestly. “Now that he stands one step closer to the Venerable, this subordinate hardly knows how to express his joy, so how can he be unsatisfied?”
“Why do I feel like you’re further from me these days?” Wenren È looked closely at Yin Hanjiang, but he had his head bowed, not showing his face.
With some displeasure, Wenren È said, “This Venerable doesn’t like it when you kneel, and doesn’t like it when you lower your head. This Venerable doesn’t like not being able to see your face.”
Obediently, Yin Hanjiang raised his head and looked directly at Wenren È. His eyes were filled with complicated emotions. It seemed to be admiration, but other things Wenren È couldn’t recognize were mixed in.
“That’s better,” he said. “You’re now the Deputy Sect Leader. Your words and actions represent this Venerable. Show some spirit.”
“Understood.” Yin Hanjiang’s expression gradually became more firm.
His feelings toward his Venerable would not affect their relationship. The fact that the most important person to Yin Hanjiang was Wenren È hadn’t changed. That alone was sufficient.
Wenren È was very concerned with what would happen between Baili
Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian, so concealed himself and Yin Hanjiang, and headed to Baili Qingmiao’s cell.
Baili Qingmiao had been blindfolded and tied to a wooden bed. Sitting in a chair by the bed was Altar Master Shi.
The Hellfire Pavilion was constantly shrouded in yin energy and sunlight couldn’t shine directly in, so gloom filled it even at midday. Altar Master Shi placed an oil lamp on the desk, coughed lightly twice, and took out a needle, heating the point over the lamp’s flame.
“Who are you?” Baili Qingmiao said, her voice trembling slightly. Her
chest heaved up and down in fear, but she still steadied her voice and said, “Where’s my master? What have you done to her? If you harm even a hair on her head, I’ll pay you back ten times! A hundred times!”
“Cough, cough, cough!” Shi Congxin broke into a fit of coughing before he could speak. After it subsided, he said, “No one dares to touch her. You
should be worrying about yourself right now.”
With two needles in his hands, he pricked the tip of Baili Qingmiao’s middle finger with one, extracting two drops of blood. After setting it aside, he brought over the next one, with Zhongli Qian’s blood on it, and took off Baili Qingmiao’s blindfold.
Opening her eyes, Baili Qingmiao found herself in a shadowy room, a
sickly man sitting beside her. He looked young, not more than his twenties, and his skin was so pale that his fingertips appeared a bit translucent in the lamp light.
He wore a thin white single robe with a black overcoat thrown over, its dark brown fur collar making his face look even paler by contrast. His long
eyelashes were lowered as he focused on the needle in his hand. Mentally reciting a spell, he rapidly made several hand signs with his free hand, at a speed Baili Qingmiao had never seen before, such that his movements were just a blur.
“Set!” Shi Congxin barked, his index and middle finger pointing to the needle. The curse was now complete.
Now he would just need to drip both drops of blood into Baili Qingmiao’s eyes, and from then on, no matter where she was, the first thing in her sight would always be Zhongli Qian.
“Thinking about it, in all my years of laying down curses, I’ve never gotten such a strange curse request,” Shi Congxue said as he began dripping the blood. “The Venerable sure is a mysterious man.”
He first did her left eye. When moving to her right, his hand suddenly jolted, causing the second drop to miss her eye and slide down her nose.
“What’s this?” Altar Master Shi raised his emaciated hand, looking it over front and back. “Strange. Why did it shake?”
“What’d you do to me? What’d you put in my eye?!” Baili Qingmiao said through gritted teeth, just managing to hold back tears.
Her tears were for the people who loved her, not for her enemies to see her weakness. Baili Qingmiao might cry a lot, but she wouldn’t do something so pointless at a time like this.
“Something’s not right.” Altar Master Shi’s eyes fell on Baili Qingmiao’s face, and he suddenly froze.
Wenren È, watching from outside, also felt that something was wrong with Shi Congxin. He quickly flipped through Abusive Romance, finding that the words in it were changing furiously.
Originally, on the day of Hè Wenzhao’s marriage to the Violet Spirit Master, Baili Qingmiao had escaped with the help of Zhongli Qian, and separated from him after exchanging names. The night after the wedding, she also ran into Wenren È, who had been looking out for her. Wenren È had sat with her though that torturous night, and promised her he would bring the
Cowherd and Weaver Girl stars together.
Today just happened to be the wedding of Hè Wenzhao and Liu Xinye. Love interest numbers two and three weren’t there for Baili Qingmiao. There was only Shi Congxin, who was busy cursing her.
Wenren È watched the words on the page become: “Shi Congxin looked at Baili Qingmiao’s tearstained face, captivated by her frail yet resolute
expression. In the firelight, Baili Qingmiao’s body seemed to be shrouded in a thin layer of divine light. Shi Congxin’s heart was moved.” Wenren È: …
The divine light again. Shi Congxin could also see the divine light? And this passage had clearly been intended for Wenren È, with just the name changed.
That passage had appeared in Shi Congxin’s mind too. He raised the lamp, closely examining Baili Qingmiao’s face, then felt her fingers to read her fortune. When he got his answer, he started coughing violently.
He coughed so hard it seemed he was about to hack up a lung. Even the sound chilled Baili Qingmiao’s blood. She thought the person next to her might drop dead at any second.
Wenren È frowned. Yin Hanjiang put on the ghost mask and flashed inside the room. He picked up Shi Congxin in one hand and hauled him out, leaving Baili Qingmiao alone and bewildered inside.
“Venerable, cough cough cough…” Shi Congxin coughed for ages before he managed to recover. Gasping for breath, he said, “It seems this subordinate can’t act against her.”
“This subordinate cultivates illness among the seven forms of human
suffering—birth, old age, illness, death, resentment, parting, and desire. This is a principle that originates from Buddhism, and those who cultivate it must allow their body to be plagued by all kinds of illnesses and ailments,
and experience the depths of human suffering in order to awaken to the greater Dao. Back then, when I looked at that girl, I felt the might of a god.
“It felt like she was meant to be this subordinate’s superior, higher than Altar Master Qiu or the Venerable— no no no, not higher than the
Venerable. When this subordinate looked at her, it felt like… when Altar Master Miao’s gu insects look at their queen. It felt like I was possessed, wanting to live and die for her and give up everything for her.”
Wenren È: … In Baili Qingmiao’s previous life, she had ruled disasters, plagues, and wars, and was the source of Shi Congxin’s Dao. Even if he ascended to godhood later, he would be one of her servants.
anyone notice that Wenren È has never gotten as much of a description as shi congxin did in this chapter
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 33 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 33 – A deviation from the plan
Wenren È wasn’t angry. He had long since gotten used to the plot’s habits.
It was normal enough that reality, from time to time, needed to conform with the events of the original plot.
He was twisting the story’s events, trying to defy heaven and change fate, but the original fate still offered resistance. Under these circumstances, it
was fully expected that the original story, from time to time, would manifest itself on some originally unrelated character.
“Then, do you feel loyalty toward Baili Qingmiao?” Wenren È asked.
It had suddenly occurred to him that Zhongli Qian was no longer the only choice. Shi Congxin… Wenren È sized him up carefully. Aside from his sickly complexion, his looks weren’t bad. With Shi Congxin’s condition, before he could freely control his sickness qi, anyone who dual cultivated
with him would’ve died from his illnesses, and only ghost cultivators could be around him safely. That was why Wenren È had sent him to Hellfire Pavilion.
It was possible that only the female lead would be immune to Shi Congxin’s sickness qi. Didn’t that mean they were suited for each other?
Wenren È looked pleasantly at the “spare” he had chosen for Baili Qingmiao. Shi Congxin, feeling his expectant gaze, shook his head
furiously and said, “Cough, cough, how could this subordinate? This subordinate is only loyal to the Venerable.”
Meaning that since Wenren È was Lord of Demons today, Shi Congxin was loyal to Wenren È. If tomorrow Shu Yanyan pulled off a coup, Shi Congxin’s loyalty to the Lord of Demons wouldn’t waver. He had the same kind of loyalty as everyone else in Xuanyuan Sect.
Wenren È immediately lost interest and waved him off. “Since you can’t do anything to her, just leave Baili Qingmiao for now. Go cast the curse on Zhongli Qian.”
Shi Congxin hurried off. He took a glance at Baili Qingmiao through the window of her room, and shook his head slightly. Deep inside, he did want to help this girl… but the Venerable had given his orders. In the future, he could help her on some less important matter.
Seeing his expression, Wenren È was greatly disappointed and shook his head. “He can’t even defy this Venerable’s orders and save someone behind my back. Completely undependable!”
Altar Master Miao, just arriving: …
Did the Venerable consider defying his orders “dependable”? In that case, it made sense how Protector Shu had maintained her position. When it came to acting behind Wenren È’s back, he, Miao Qiuqing, really could not hold a candle.
Altar Master Miao entered the room, blindfolded Baili Qingmiao again, fed the gu insect to her, then left to go put it in Zhongli Qian.
Throughout the whole process of being cursed by Shi Congxin and having a parasite placed in him by Altar Master Miao, Zhongli Qian had been awake and aware that they’d done something concerning to him. He wasn’t afraid though, and in fact relaxed a little. He’d been anxious Wenren È would use him against the Zhongli clan, or use his reputation in the mortal world to lead scholars astray and set up an evil cult so as to increase his own power.
Neither of those things had happened by now. Zhongli Qian was widely read and had more practical knowledge than Baili Qingmiao. When the drops of blood were placed into his eyes, he recognized it as a curse for tracking the person the blood belonged to, not something that would affect his consciousness at all. When Altar Master Miao forced him to swallow the gu insect, he recognized it as the heart-linking parasite, which could link two people’s emotions. It was a type of love gu, often used by Miao women to know their husbands’ feelings.
It was said that the Miao had created the heart-linking parasite because
Miao women discovered that even though their husbands would fall in love with them under the influence of a love parasite, it wouldn’t stop them from sleeping around. Some men made a distinction between love and lust and
could love one woman and be in bed with another at the same time, then act like he didn’t know her afterward.
In order to completely control their husbands, Miao women had created the heart-linking parasite, so that the moment he felt desire for another woman, she would know.
Zhongli Qian recognized that this parasite would also not affect his
consciousness. They were not subject to the queen parasite, and though they were influenced by each other, it was two-way. If one’s will was strong, one could avoid being influenced by the other party, and could even suppress the other’s emotions.
“Sir Wenren should be aware that these two things cannot control me, so
what is his purpose? Could he possibly want me to track someone for him?” Zhongli Qian asked. “I have no particular skills in tracking. He could’ve found an expert instead of me.”
Zhongli Qian was sharp and had been considering Wenren È’s plans and intentions for these past months. During his time at the Hellfire Pavilion, he had played out multiple chess games against himself, thinking of countless possibilities, but they were all proven wrong at this point.
“The Venerable’s decisions are profound and we couldn’t possibly guess at them,” said Altar Master Shi. “Young Master Zhongli should just obey his orders, cough cough cough.“
Altar Master Miao, having more seniority than Altar Master Shi, knew a bit more. He was aware that Baili Qingmiao was Wenren È’s favored disciple, who had been stolen by Qiu Congxue. He also knew what the heart-linking parasite did, and he had just heard Wenren È call Altar Master Shi
“undependable”. Putting the pieces together, he figured the Venerable was intending to use Zhongli Qian to dispose of Qiu Congxue, so he could take back his disciple.
Obviously, he wouldn’t tell his conjecture to Zhongli Qian, and left right
after completing his task. He had already told Wenren È how to remove the heart-linking parasites, so now he could leave everything else to Wenren È.
After the two Altar Masters left, Baili Qingmiao struggled out of her ropes. She snuck out of the room, looking carefully around and seeing nobody in the area. Instead of escaping, she went deeper into the compound in search of Master Qingxue.
Baili Qingmiao wasn’t an idiot. The two people who had come to her cell were much higher level than her, so there was no way a mere Nascent Soul stage could’ve escaped on her own. They had to have some scheme and
were planning for her to escape. Instead of running face-first into a trap, better she go find her master. Master Qingxue was a wandering immortal, and with her, Baili Qingmiao would have a much better chance of escape.
Wenren È had expected Baili Qingmiao to make a break for the exit. There was an illusion array set outside, and if she went that way, she would run into a phantom wall that would lead her to Zhongli Qian’s room no matter which way she walked. Somehow, she had outsmarted him.
“Odd. Was Baili Qingmiao this perceptive?” Wenren È frowned, feeling that something somewhere had deviated from his plan.
If Baili Qingmiao went toward the exit, she would be led smoothly to Zhongli Qian. But she was heading deeper into the Hellfire Pavilion, which was crawling with ghost cultivators.
She’d only taken a few steps when she heard the sound of sobbing. She hurried over and found someone in a red robe and loose hair, crouching in the corner of a room and weeping pitifully. Baili Qingmiao walked over and placed a hand gently on that person’s shoulder, asking, “Miss, were you captured too?”
The red-robed person continued to sob, their whole body trembling, as if they’d had their heart broken.
Baili Qingmiao felt sympathy, wondering what awful thing could have happened to this maiden, and became even more anxious about Master Qingxue.
“They— they chose me for him. Why me…?” the red-robed person sobbed. “There were so many others who wanted to get closer to Altar Master Ruan. They could’ve gone! I didn’t want to!”
“What did they make you do?” Baili Qingmiao asked carefully, worried about digging up any trauma.
“They— they made me…” The person cried so hard they couldn’t speak. Slowly, they turned around and lifted their head. “They said I was the ugliest, so they made me go kiss Altar Master Ruan.”
“Ahhhh!” Baili Qingmiao couldn’t help but let out a yelp when she saw the other’s face. The eyeballs were dangling from their sockets, the flesh was rotting off, and the tongue had maggots crawling around in it. Most importantly, this person… seemed to be a man.
The red-robed person grabbed Baili Qingmiao by the arm and crawled toward her. He pointed at his face. “I— I wasn’t really unwilling to be with Altar Master Ruan, but he insulted me and said I got my bugs on him. Look at my cute babies! Do you think they’re ugly? See how chubby they are!
“Argh! Get away from me!” Baili Qingmiao shoved him away with her
spiritual energy. Despite using the full strength of a Nascent Soul cultivator, she only managed to toss him back half a meter.
The Moonlit Frost Silk twisted wildly in the air in fear. When coming into contact with one of the red-robed man’s bugs, it shuddered and flung it off. Baili Qingmiao ran away as the red-robed man staggered after her,
shouting, “How come Altar Master Shi and Altar Master Ruan think I’m ugly? Things were better when Altar Master Qiu was here. Altar Master Qiu liked me and often praised me. I miss her so much. Hey, why do you smell like Altar Master Qiu? Wait up! Don’t run away!”
Baili Qingmiao didn’t know who Altar Masters Shi and Qiu, but she did feel bad for Altar Master Ruan. She ran with all her might, her heart in her throat, but was unable to shake the red-robed man. It was less that she
couldn’t fight him, and more that she didn’t want to.
On the verge of desperation, she saw out of her left eye light streaming out from a room. She rushed in, locking the door behind her. A hand on her heart, she held her breath, hoping the other person wouldn’t find her.
The red-robed man stood outside the door and cocked his head at it for a moment. Sobbing a few times, he said, “This room is for Altar Master Shi’s guest. I’m not allowed to disturb him, so I’ll go now.”
He staggered off miserably, missing Altar Master Qiu.
Hearing his footsteps grow fainter, Baili Qingmiao patted her chest, her fear finally fading. She glanced around the room, but her left eye instantly landed on a white-robed young man with a book in his hand. He was also looking at her, and her left eye locked gazes with him, unable to be moved away.
Zhongli Qian: …
Earlier, his heart had been racing in a kind of terror that he hadn’t felt for a long time, which he knew was the work of the heart-linking parasite. He was trying to calm his emotions when a girl barged into his room. At that moment, Zhongli Qian could not tear his eyes away from her. Her image
seemed to be glued to the front of his eyeballs.
Her face felt like it was burned into his sight. Her body let off rays of light, which soon made his eyes ache, yet he couldn’t look away. Zhongli Qian, with Baili Qingmiao’s face filling his mind, wondered what kind of new torture method this was.
Baili Qingmiao was doing a bit better. Her left eye couldn’t see anything but Zhongli Qian’s face, but she could move her right eye to check her
surroundings. However, it was too uncomfortable to look at different things with both her eyes, causing overlapping images to appear in her vision.
When Zhongli Qian moved, Baili Qingmiao became so nauseous she nearly vomited.
Thinking there was nothing to do but cover his eyes, Zhongli Qian took out a piece of cloth and tied it over them. As a cultivator, he could use his
spiritual cognition to sense his surroundings, so being blinded wouldn’t really bother him.
His action reminded Baili Qingmiao, who tore off a strip from one of her sleeves and tied it over her left eye, so that she could only see out of the right. She instantly felt much better.
With her right eye, she could see Zhongli Qian properly, and found he was an upstanding young man. Seeing him move, she pressed her back against the wall, the Moonlit Frost Silk twirling wildly in the air before her. “Don’t move!” she cried. “Stay like that! Don’t bring any bugs near me!”
Feeling her fear, Zhongli Qian began reciting poetry in his mind, trying to calm down both himself and Baili Qingmiao. “Miss, relax,” he said with a slight smile. “This is my true form. I’m not going to transform into
anything. This one’s name is Zhongli Qian. May I have your name?”
“Zhongli Qian? Of the Zhongli clan?” Baili Qingmiao did have some general knowledge of the cultivation world. Discovering she was now calm, she asked, “Are you also being imprisoned here?”
Zhongli Qian’s levelheaded attitude helped Baili Qingmiao relax quite a bit. Retrieving her bonded weapon, she greeted him respectfully. “I am Baili
Qingmiao of Shangqing Sect. While traveling with my master, we passed by Ghost Peak and were captured. I don’t know where my master has ended up, so I’m currently searching for her. Does Young Master Zhongli know
what this place is?”
“The Hellfire Pavilion in Xuanyuan Sect,” Zhongli Qian answered.
His doubts returned. Why would Wenren È bind him to this ordinary righteous disciple, who seemed to have no idea what was going on?
“Xuanyuan Sect?” Baili Qingmiao said, now even more puzzled. When she had encountered Wenren È before, he was a good senior to her, and he and Master Qingxue had also met. He wouldn’t hurt them, would he?
Perhaps something had happened to Wenren È and the leadership of Xuanyuan Sect now rested with someone else? No, there was also the possibility of people in Hellfire Pavilion acting on their own.
Baili Qingmiao took out the token Wenren È had given her from her storage belt. She had originally planned to never use it, but for the sake of her master, it was worth a shot.
Wenren È, observing in secret, winced when he saw it. He couldn’t let Baili Qingmiao use it to summon him. If he was there, how could Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian have their private first meeting?
Yin Hanjiang, seeing the awkward look on his Venerable’s face, put the ghost mask on. His bearing changed in an instant. He entered the room in a streak of shadow and snatched the token out of Baili Qingmiao’s hand.
“Who are you?” Baili Qingmiao cried, backing up against Zhongli Qian. They could sense Yin Hanjiang’s power, and through their linked emotions, they made a decision to fight him together.
The masked man ran a finger over the diagram of Polis on the token. In a deep voice, he said, “You’re not worthy of this.”
While wearing the ghost mask, Yin Hanjiang didn’t need to hide his
emotions. He had been suppressing his emotions over the last few days, and only now, under the mask, could he let them show on his face. For the first time in days, he relaxed a bit.
He looked sullenly at Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian, thinking back to that phrase—love takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches. A pang shot through his heart.
Were it not for these two, he would never have realized the intentions of his own heart, and he wouldn’t have to bear this kind of agony.
Wouldn’t it have been better if he’d never known?
Yin Hanjiang carefully placed the token in the lapel of his robes, near his heart. Without harming either of them, he left and returned to Wenren È’s
side. He took off the mask, revealing his usual expression of quiet devotion.
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 34 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 34 – High spirits
“Venerable.” Yin Hanjiang offered the token to Wenren È with both hands. Wenren È: …
He had given this token to Baili Qingmiao in exchange for the Shattered Mountain Meteorite. Both the workings of karma and Wenren È’s own character would not allow him to simply take it back. He had felt a bit
nervous when Baili Qingmiao first took it out, but if she actually used it, then he would’ve stepped in.
If he escorted the two out of the Hellfire Pavilion, they would part ways outside, and all his work would’ve been for nothing.
This was also the first time Yin Hanjiang had taken initiative without Wenren È’s orders. Just seeing his troubled expression, he had rushed in, still doing his best to ease Wenren È’s job for him.
After he put on the mask, he seemed to become a completely different person. Forget Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian, even Wenren È himself hardly recognized him. No wonder why neither the characters nor the readers had figured out, right up until Baili Qingmiao had seen the mask in his bag, that the Ghost Mask was actually the faithful and deferent Yin
Speaking of that, Wenren È guessed that Yin Hanjiang had purposefully let Baili Qingmiao see that mask. He had probably wanted her to fall into despair and give up on survival. Unfortunately, it hadn’t worked. “This Venerable cannot take back a token he has given out,” Wenren È said. “You can keep it. I’ll just give her a messaging talisman in the future.”
A faint smile appeared on Yin Hanjiang’s face. He replaced the token securely near his heart. Wenren È felt like if he didn’t stop him, Yin Hanjiang would try to shove it into his own chest.
It was just a little token that he had made out of the leftover material the Seven Killing Halberd was made from. It wasn’t actually good for much. Its only use was that if someone sent their own spiritual energy into it, Wenren È would be able to sense it.
Oh well. If Yin Hanjiang liked it, he could have it.
Seeing Yin Hanjiang act so meek, Wenren È was puzzled. When he
completed the Army Crushing Sword, Yin Hanjiang should’ve already
cleared his psychological blocks and stopped restricting himself. How come he seemed to have regressed?
Was it because of the ghost mask?
“Let me see the mask.” Wenren È held out a hand.
Yin Hanjiang didn’t offer it, instead clutching it tighter in his hand. Wenren È reached out and casually grabbed it, but felt some resistance. Only when he yanked harder, the second time, did Yin Hanjiang release it.
He examined it closely, but found it to be an ordinary mask from the mortal world, made from ordinary materials. Yin Hanjiang might’ve picked it up on a whim from a shop in the little border town. It shouldn’t have any
ability to influence a person’s mind. Why wasn’t Yin Hanjiang willing to let him have it?
Wenren È stuck it on his own face. Through it, he saw a faint tinge of red
color Yin Hanjiang’s face, as he showed an expression Wenren È had never seen before. He quickly took it off, but saw that Yin Hanjiang’s expression had returned to normal, looking as calm and unperturbed as always. Wenren È wondered if he was seeing things. He turned the mask back and forth in his hand, but couldn’t discover a trick to it.
“Give me your hand,” he ordered.
Yin Hanjiang extended his hand to Wenren È. Wenren È felt his pulse, then sent his own spiritual energy into Yin Hanjiang’s body. His meridians were unobstructed and there was no problem with his cultivation. He showed no signs of qi deviation.
Wenren È withdrew his hand, letting it rest on the mask. He still felt puzzled. Ever since he had picked up that first book, many questions had arisen in his mind, and when he answered one, another appeared. Maybe this was just fate. Maybe he would never be able to fully understand
“Does the Venerable like this mask?” Yin Hanjiang asked, seeing how Wenren È had held onto it for all this time.
“Not really.” Wenren È gave it back to Yin Hanjiang, watching as he replaced it in his storage pouch, his face still expressionless.
Something just wasn’t right. Yet he couldn’t put his finger on it.
Wenren È trusted that Yin Hanjiang wouldn’t lie to him or conceal anything from him. They had already confided in each other and always acted openly toward each other. How come when Yin Hanjiang put on the mask, Wenren È was completely unable to read him?
“From now on, if it’s just you and me, don’t wear that mask,” Wenren È said. “And don’t wear it when it’s not necessary, either.”
“Understood,” Yin Hanjiang answered, very lightly. He showed none of the resolution he had in the past.
Wenren È wanted to keep interrogating Yin Hanjiang about the mask, but Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian had started holding hands, so Wenren È had to turn his attention over to the developments on their side. They were holding hands because Zhongli Qian had stumbled and nearly fell, so Baili Qingmiao reached out and grabbed him. “Young Master Zhongli,” she said, “you can’t see anything, so let’s help each other out right now.”
Zhongli Qian shook his head. “I think it’s odd. Even if I can’t see, with my spiritual cognition, I should be able to sense everything around me. How
come I didn’t notice whatever I tripped on? Miss Baili, can you check what it was for me?”
Baili Qingmiao glanced back. “It’s a femur. It’s been rolling around by itself, trying to trip you up.”
Zhongli Qian released Baili Qingmiao’s hand. “Miss Baili, why don’t you use your bonded weapon to tie our hands together? Men and women
shouldn’t touch casually. I don’t wish to be improper with you.”
He wasn’t usually that stuffy, but he was nervous about the fact that his eyes had been cursed to only see Baili Qingmiao. He trusted that Baili Qingmiao was a member of a righteous sect and had good character, and wasn’t afraid of her harming him. But a person like her could easily be manipulated, so better he play it safe.
Baili Qingmiao didn’t mind and thought this idea was better. This way, if Zhongli Qian were to fall or be thrown by something, she could just loosen the silk and not be dragged along with him. Then, after getting better footing, she could pull him back using it.
Thus they swapped from holding hands to holding a silk tied between them. Baili Qingmiao looked like a guide for the blind.
Wenren È: …
This wasn’t what he had expected to happen. He had accomplished “picking the other person instantly out of a crowd” and “sharing their emotions”, so how come they were still so stiff and polite with each other? He hadn’t
expected them to blindfold their eyes! Was it really because he couldn’t understand the last line—”love takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches”? But what kind of a feeling was that referring to, exactly?
“What does ‘love takes you unawares, and before you know it, you’re deep in its clutches’ mean?” Wenren È asked.
“When you realize it’s happening, it’s already too late to break free,” Yin Hanjiang replied behind him. His voice shook slightly. He probably also thought this line was rather silly.
“I know what it means literally,” Wenren È said. “But how is it supposed to be accomplished? Cultivators cultivate their minds. How can anyone be so oblivious of their own intentions that they cannot discover them until they’re in too deep? If someone is really so confused, then how can they
cultivate? How can they enlighten to the Dao? Enlightenment happens in a flash. It never comes before you realize it’s happening.”
“Who knows?” Yin Hanjiang’s tone was a bit cold. “Probably only the people deep in its clutches can understand it.”
Then what was he supposed to do? Wenren È was aware that it wouldn’t be easy to make Baili Qingmiao forget about Hè Wenzhao. He didn’t try to
control Baili Qingmiao either. But wasn’t it natural for Zhongli Qian to fall in love with the female lead? Why didn’t he feel anything?
The Lord of Demons knew far too little about matters of love.
He could only reference the original book. He opened Abusive Romance, wanting to revisit every word and action of Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli
Qian’s meeting. But the words on the page were currently changing madly.
Wenren È could only read through it once before it was revised to something completely different.
Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian supported each other as they tried to
escape the Hellfire Pavilion, with only one eye between them. The sun had set by now, and Baili Qingmiao was afraid to run into someone like the red- robed man again, so struck up a conversation with Zhongli Qian. “I don’t know who captured me. My master is a really powerful wandering immortal, and we were walking together when it happened. My vision
suddenly went black and I lost consciousness. When I woke up, my master was gone and I was trapped in here. Some sickly but still good-looking man put a drop of blood in my left eye, and also extracted some of my blood. A bit later, a pretty and delicate-looking man made me eat something that made my chest hurt for a moment. I have no idea what they did to me.”
Hearing all this, Zhongli Qian pursed his lips. “Why only your left eye?”
“I don’t know. It looked like he was planning to do both, but when he got to my right eye, he suddenly had a fit of coughing and couldn’t manage it.
Maybe his sickness flared up?”
“That man was the master of the Hellfire Pavilion of Xuanyuan Sect, Shi Congxin. He cultivates the seven human sufferings, and in order to inflict suffering on others, he must first inflict it on himself. He’s always sickly, and he couldn’t possibly have a sudden flare-up. He is a walking illness.”
Baili Qingmiao suddenly turned her head, looking at Zhongli Qian closely with her right eye. She squinted a little and rubbed her chest. “Strange, why do I suddenly feel so suspicious of you?”
Zhongli Qian: …
That would be because he was suspecting Baili Qingmiao, and under the influence of the heart-linking parasites, she felt it too.
Zhongli Qian had held out hopes that only the tracking spell on their eyes would be linked, and the heart-linking parasite would be for someone else. Now that she had shared his emotions, his hopes fell.
With the heart-linking parasite, one could not hide any of their emotions. He and Baili Qingmiao had to cooperate, or they would never escape the Hellfire Pavilion. Zhongli Qian originally hadn’t planned to resist, but Wenren È’s recent actions made him wary. He was the heir to the Zhongli
clan. If, in the future, there was a possibility he would do something wrong under the influence of the heart-linking parasite, then it was better he give up his position now and become a wandering cultivator.
“Miss Baili, let me undo your silk and conceal myself somewhere. Then take off the cloth over your left eye and look for me. I want to confirm how strong the curse is,” Zhongli Qian said.
Only after obtaining all relevant information could they determine their next steps.
Baili Qingmiao readily agreed. She also wanted to know how bad her eye was. After Zhongli Qian hid, she took off her blindfold, and saw a thin thread with her left eye. She followed it, turning around, and saw Zhongli Qian through a door. Her vision could even penetrate through solid
“I can see you, Young Master Zhongli,” Baili Qingmiao said.
When Zhongli Qian opened the door and walked out, Baili Qingmiao’s vision was filled with his face again. She quickly covered her eye up, and described what she had just seen.
“This tracking curse truly is strong,” said Zhongli Qian with a sigh. “Even if the one whose blood was taken runs to the ends of the earth, they won’t be able to escape the other’s sight. Distance has no effect on it.”
“So the blood in my eyes was Young Master Zhongli’s? Then who got my blood?”
“Me,” Zhongli Qian said, knowing that he couldn’t hide it from Baili
Qingmiao. “I had to blindfold my eyes because my eyes can only see Miss Baili’s face. There’s basically no difference between having these eyes and not.”
Baili Qingmiao knew the sensation and felt sympathy for him. She at the very least had one working eye, while Zhongli Qian couldn’t use either. Zhongli Qian could feel Baili Qingmiao’s pity and sighed. “Miss Baili, we have to test one more thing. Try to think of something that makes you really emotional.”
Baili Qingmiao’s thoughts immediately turned to Hè Wenzhao, and her heart sank. She remembered that her shixiong was to marry Liu Xinye today, and they might be in bed together by now. It was so painful… huh? She wasn’t actually sad at all?
Baili Qingmiao rubbed her chest. One moment, it had felt like a knife had been stuck into her heart and was being twisted, and the next moment, it was gone.
“Try thinking of something happy now,” Zhongli Qian said.
Baili Qingmiao thought of growing up together with shixiong and how well shixiong had treated her. It made her so happy… No, she wasn’t happy at
all. Her heart was as calm as still water.
“Miss Baili, the things you just thought of were what make you most sad and most happy, right?” Zhongli Qian asked.
“Yes,” Baili Qingmiao said firmly. “I love shixiong. He’s the one who can stir my feelings the most.”
“That puts me at ease,” Zhongli Qian said. “What we both swallowed was the heart-linking parasite. Both parties who have it can feel each other’s
emotions and be controlled by the other. The one with the firmer will would be in control.”
“So you suppressed my feelings just now?”
“Yes.” Zhongli Qian smiled in relief. “When I felt your sorrow, I stilled my heart and was able to suppress it quickly. When I felt your joy, I was also
able to suppress it. I’m new to it now, but after getting some practice, I should be able to steady my emotions easily.”
Baili Qingmiao: … Didn’t this mean that she was the one being controlled?
Young Master Zhongli might be relieved, but what about her? Baili Qingmiao didn’t know how to feel about this.
“You also don’t need to worry,” Zhongli Qian said. “I’ll do my best to find a way to rid us of the curse and the bugs. What I was just testing was how badly we’re going to be affected for now. We can temporarily cover our
eyes. It may be a bother, but not much of one. As for our emotions, I’ll do my best to maintain a calm state of mind. I know this might be inconvenient for you, but it’s all we can do for now. We just have to stay calm and act rationally. It’s at least better than being ruled by emotions.”
“No, I’m fine with this.” Baili Qingmiao shook her head with a relieved expression. She smiled at Zhongli Qian. “My shixiong is getting married today.”
Zhongli Qian’s expression stiffened. He felt Baili Qingmiao’s grief and smoothly recited a few poems in his mind—”Stars hang over the broad
plains, the moon’s reflection ripples in river waters”, “Savour the joys of life, do not raise to the moon an empty goblet”. The verses raised his
Baili Qingmiao also felt the same. Her mood suddenly changed from that of a resentful young girl’s. “With your help, I can let go of shixiong and no longer agonize over him, so this could be a blessing in disguise. From now on, I can travel the world, seeing all the sights it has to offer, and put my
efforts toward ascending and becoming a god! Hahahaha!”
Her laughter was bright and open, and Zhongli Qian couldn’t help but feel her optimism.
Wenren È: …
Wasn’t this kind of development still good?
how many of my fellow aces here to vibe with WRE 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. Thoughts on a Traveling Night, Du Fu ↩
2. Invitation to Wine, Li Bai ↩
Chapter 35 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 35 – Truth revealed
Zhongli Qian was afraid if he kept reciting poems, the girl in front of him might swear brotherhood and sisterhood with him. He quickly switched to, “Picking a chrysanthemum under the fence, I look leisurely toward the
southern mountains” and some other poetry of the type. Seeing Baili Qingmiao go from spirited to relaxed and carefree, he realized what was going on and had to chuckle at himself.
“What is it, Young Master Zhongli?” Baili Qingmiao said, sensing Zhongli Qian’s mood.
“I just thought of something that made me realize I was wrong,” Zhongli Qian said with a self-deprecating smile. “I was afraid my emotions would be influenced by you and I would act out of order, so forcibly suppressed those emotions. But it’s not that my will was stronger than yours, but that Miss Baili is more considerate than I. When our emotions influence each other, you don’t immediately try to change your feelings to suppress mine, but instead go along with me. If we were to struggle against each other, we might both lose control of ourselves and suffer qi deviation.”
Baili Qingmiao felt self-conscious and waved her hands. “It’s not that. It’s just that I feel like I can’t be miserable and blaming myself all the time.
You’re actually doing me a big favor.”
“Then let’s make a deal,” said Zhongli Qian. “Until we get rid of these parasites, if either of us gets overly emotional, the other should help them calm down. Not influencing them with any other emotions, just allowing them to calm down and gain perspective.” “That sounds good!” Baili Qingmiao said, cupping her fists to him. “The rumors don’t do you justice. I often heard rumors about the Zhongli clan at Shangqing Sect. I feel ashamed to say that, since most sects seclude themselves from the mortal world, they have some prejudice towards
cultivation clans who intermingle with ordinary society, and some even accuse them of only seeking status and prestige. Meeting Young Master Zhongli today, I have understood the meaning of nobility.”
“You’re overstating,” Zhongli Qian said quietly. “It’s not easy to live this way. Since I can’t hide my feelings from you, I might as well confess that I also want to gallop around on a horse, indulging in wine and doing
whatever I please. I wish I didn’t have to force myself to save someone I didn’t even like for the sake of the Zhongli clan’s heritage and reputation.”
Zhongli Qian’s responsibilities were the source of his strength, but also fetters for him. He didn’t even know if it would be better to let go or
continue bearing them.
The two wandered in circles throughout the Hellfire Pavilion several times, running into a few ghost cultivators Wenren È had sent to scare them.
Wenren È was still holding onto the hope that being in danger would reveal their true feelings and spark something between them.
But as the two became closer together, they treated each other more like
siblings, no spark of romance between them. Instead, Zhongli Qian became more vigilant.
After they repelled another wave of ghost cultivators, Zhongli Qian stood in place, bamboo scroll in hand, and looked up to the stars in the sky. Venus
shone bright, heralding the coming of dawn.
He slapped the scroll against the palm of his hand. “I get it now.” “Get what?” Baili Qingmiao said, cocking her head.
Zhongli Qian put away the scroll and said into the distance, “Sir Wenren, I have still not developed any feelings for Miss Baili. There’s no point in dragging this out any further. Why don’t you reveal yourself to us?” Wenren È stared blankly. It wouldn’t be hard for Zhongli Qian to guess that everything was part of his plan, but how did he realize that he intended for Zhongli Qian and Baili Qingmiao to fall in love?
He appeared before the two with Yin Hanjiang, saying coldly, “How did you figure out?”
“Ah! Senior Wenren, I’m so glad you’re okay!” Baili Qingmiao said, her face lighting up with joy. “I thought something had happened at Xuanyuan Sect and the man in the mask harmed you!”
“No one can harm the Venerable,” Yin Hanjiang said in a frosty tone.
“The masked man naturally wouldn’t harm Sir Wenren, because the masked man is Sect Leader Yin,” said Zhongli Qian.
Wenren È finally sized up Zhongli Qian properly. The third love interest was far more perceptive than he had expected. With that kind of foresight, how did he fall for Baili Qingmiao in the original book?
The way Zhongli Qian had guessed that Wenren È was trying to matchmake him and Baili Qingmiao was simple. While wandering around the Hellfire Pavilion with Baili Qingmiao, he had asked about her meetings with
Wenren È in detail and learned about their three encounters at the Thousand Mile Ice Plains, after Miss Shu’s death, and at the Golden Coast Cliffs. Baili Qingmiao wasn’t a very shrewd person and trusted Zhongli Qian by now, so told him every detail. Cultivators had strong memories, and under Zhongli Qian’s directed questioning, she relayed everything accurately.
Going by Baili Qingmiao’s descriptions, Zhongli Qian determined that Miss Shu Lian was actually the Right Protector whom he had met once, Shu
Yanyan. Since Hè Wenzhao was an anchor for the Spirit Severing Array, Wenren È had ordered her to seduce him many years in advance. Thus, he could break the Spirit Severing Array with no difficulty, yet purposefully dragged things out for ten years, until cultivators on both sides were too weak to make use of natural spiritual energy. “As Qian admires what Sir Wenren has done for all human lives, it was difficult to attribute malice to your intentions. I could only consider what
was most logical.” Without any subtlety for Baili Qingmiao’s sake, Zhongli Qian explained his conjectures to everyone.
Baili Qingmiao was dumbstruck, seemingly shaken to her core.
“Senior Wenren, was Miss Shu really the Xuanyuan Sect Right Protector? Sh—she’s not dead?” Baili Qingmiao grabbed Wenren È’s sleeve without thinking, gazing up at him with her right eye.
“This Venerable can summon her right now,” Wenren È said.
A searing glare landed on Baili Qingmiao’s hand. Wenren È didn’t look toward where it had come from, just casually pulled his sleeve out of her grasp. After he was no longer in contact with her, Yin Hanjiang’s glare vanished.
Did Yin Hanjiang bear hostility toward Baili Qingmiao? But Wenren È had already explained part of the plot of Abusive Romance to him, as well as
Baili Qingmiao’s relationship to him as half his master. Yin Hanjiang shouldn’t be misunderstanding like he had in the book, so why was he acting this way?
After some thought, Wenren È couldn’t figure it out, and didn’t want to discuss it in front of Zhongli Qian either. He could only set aside his doubts for now and send Shu Yanyan a message talisman, ordering her to come immediately to the Hellfire Pavilion.
“In the three times Sir Wenren and Miss Baili have met, though the methods were harsh, I have noticed an intention to guide her,” Zhongli Qian said.
“Miss Baili has good aptitudes, and it’s my conjecture that Sir Wenren felt the desire to mentor her, subsequently becoming frustrated with how her heart was stuck on Hè Wenzhao, after watching Hè Wenzhao involve himself with Miss Shu and Liu-shimei, at the same time professing love for her at every turn.” He smiled faintly. “Plus, you put the heart-linking parasite inside us. The heart-linking parasite is often used by Miao women to know the feelings of their husbands. Putting all these points together, it’s not hard to guess that Sir Wenren wishes to use me to help Baili Qingmiao escape the turmoils of her love.”
His explanation led everyone to see him in a new light. Zhongli Qian had been an outsider to the situation, with all his information coming from Baili Qingmiao, who was not a particularly self-aware person. With his information so limited, he managed to see through a situation that even Shu Yanyan and the other members of the Xuanyuan Sect still hadn’t figured out, which was undoubtedly impressive.
“How did you know I was the masked man?” Yin Hanjiang took out the mask and put it on. Baili Qingmiao involuntarily shuddered upon seeing it. The mask filled her with dread from a place deep within her.
“Don’t be scared,” Zhongli Qian said comfortingly to Baili Qingmiao. “Sect Leader Yin’s disguise is very good, but he said one thing that exposed him
—that we weren’t worthy of Sir Wenren’s token. This is something that would be said by one with a great deal of veneration toward him. In that case, the masked man couldn’t have harmed Sir Wenren.
“Additionally, since the masked man holds him in such respect, if
something had happened to him, the masked man wouldn’t be bothering with us. Therefore, Sir Wenren must’ve been safe and sound. Of the members of Xuanyuan Sect that I’ve met these past few days, only Sect Leader Yin met these qualifications, so I made a guess. I was simply fortunate that it turned out to be right.”
Venus shone above Zhongli Qian’s head, the only light remaining in the night sky. He had a slight smile that put people at ease, and truly fit the
expression of a gentleman being unparalleled in the world.
Wenren È clapped three times, saying appreciatively, “Zhongli Qian fits his reputation of a prodigy.” And he also fit his role as a major love interest. Only someone like him was worthy of ranking as third love interest, directly below Wenren È.
“Sir Wenren is overstating,” Zhongli Qian said evenly. “There’s just one thing that I don’t understand. Why did Sir Wenren believe Baili Qingmiao and I would develop feelings? Baili Qingmiao has a kind nature and I
admire her greatly, but to fall for her isn’t such a light matter.”
“This Venerable also doesn’t understand, and was hoping Young Master Zhongli could explain,” Wenren È said.
Zhongli Qian raised his eyebrows, his doubt showing even through his blindfold as he waited for Wenren È to elaborate.
Wenren È considered his wording for a moment, then said, “This Venerable has glimpsed the workings of heaven, and seen that Young Master Zhongli and Baili Qingmiao might have a fated connection.”
“Can you clarify? I would also like to know under what conditions I fall for Miss Baili,” said Zhongli Qian.
As their exchange went speedily back and forth, Baili Qingmiao looked between the two of them, her head spinning. They were talking about her, but their wording was carefully chosen to avoid putting her on the spot.
Baili Qingmiao looked at Zhongli Qian, wondering how he could’ve fallen in love. He was such a level-headed person, not obsessive like her.
Before she could wonder more, Wenren È knocked her unconscious in one strike. Abusive Romance‘s revision was written from Baili Qingmiao’s perspective. Wenren È didn’t want the fact that he had obtained the book to show up in the story, so had to resort to crude methods.
“According to fate, you would’ve attended Hè Wenzhao’s wedding and discovered Baili Qingmiao imprisoned in the back mountains. Pitying her, you helped her escape. On your next meeting, seeing that she was entangled helplessly in love, you helped her again. As this went on, you came to love her, eventually promising to abandon the Zhongli clan to travel the world with her. This Venerable also wants to know why.”
Zhongli Qian had never heard of anyone being able to divine fate with such specificity, as if they’d seen it with their own eyes. If anyone else had told this to him, he wouldn’t have believed them, but Wenren È wasn’t someone who would make up such a wild story. Seeing how serious he was, Zhongli Qian fell into deep thought.
He thought until Venus faded from the sky and faint sunlight illuminated Ghost Peak, then said abruptly, “Since it never happened, it’s difficult to guess my thoughts at the time. After considering it carefully and imagining
the circumstances Sir Wenren has proposed, I’ve come upon an explanation which I can deeply sympathize with.”
Zhongli Qian said with a bitter smile, “I should not say this, but the relationship between Hè Wenzhao and Baili Qingmiao is a lot like the relationship between the Zhongli clan and me. They can both be considered our shackles. I carry the fortunes of the Zhongli clan, and must obey its principles in every word and action. I cannot slip up for even a moment,
cannot act for my own sake and defy the Zhongli clan’s traditions. Miss Baili is bound by a cruel fate, wanting to break free from Hè Wenzhao yet infatuated with him. I am shackled by my clan, and she by her heart.
“If the fate you described is true, then there is only one reason I would abandon the Zhongli clan. Not loving Miss Baili, but wanting to draw
courage from her. If she could abandon her feelings, then maybe I could live for myself.”
“I see,” Wenren È said.
Zhongli Qian had never confessed any love to Baili Qingmiao. The readers had simply misinterpreted his words and intentions. It was a romance novel, after all, so when a good-looking young man appeared who looked after the protagonist and offered to give up his clan position for her, the readers
would naturally understand it as love. Just like Wenren È’s love tribulation and previous debt, Zhongli Qian’s feelings also had hidden reasons.
Baili Qingmiao was pitiful too. She had so many entangled relationships with so many men, yet not a single one truly loved her.
“Everyone wishes to obtain someone who will be true to them for their entire life,” said Wenren È to the still unconscious Baili Qingmiao. “It seems that one never existed for you.”
Too bad that she couldn’t hear it.
“Even if you figured everything out, this Venerable won’t undo the heart- linking parasites and tracking curse,” Wenren È said to Zhongli Qian. “If you don’t want to become infatuated with Hè Wenzhao alongside Baili
Qingmiao, then you’d better work with this Venerable.”
Zhongli Qian wasn’t annoyed and even had a hint of relief in his voice.
“The Zhongli clan won’t allow someone who cannot use his eyes and has a heart-linking parasite in him as their heir. Your actions have actually given me a new possibility.”
“The reputation and prestige of the Zhongli clan gives you the ability to
surpass Mahayana at Body Unity stage. Will you not regret giving it up?”
“I can cultivate to Mahayana someday on my own,” said Zhongli Qian. “I plan on returning to the clan to pass on my responsibilities, then traveling the world with Baili Qingmiao. After a few decades, perhaps I can find my own Dao.”
Indeed, Wenren È’s actions had opened up a new opportunity for Zhongli Qian, and Zhongli Qian was willing to face it.
“After you reach Mahayana, this Venerable looks forward to facing you in battle!”
“Qian thanks the Sect Master for his recognition,” said Zhongli Qian. As they spoke, Shu Yanyan had arrived at Ghost Peak, looking annoyed. She landed at Wenren È’s side and said, “It stinks here! And Qiu Congxue asked me to bring her back an unowned bone so she can have a memento. I wish I could beat her to death! Too bad she’s stronger.”
“Protector Shu,” greeted Zhongli Qian.
“What happened to your eyes?” Shu Yanyan asked, her expression filled with concern. “Can you not see? Did the Venerable gouge your eyes out?”
Zhongli Qian hadn’t finished talking when Shu Yanyan turned to Wenren È. “Venerable, if you were going to take his eyes, why didn’t you let this
subordinate do it? This subordinate is capable of it! Thinking of how the last thing he’ll ever see is my face… it makes me very happy!”
Baili Qingmiao drifted back to consciousness. The first thing she saw was Miss Shu’s face, and the first thing she heard was those words. She nearly fainted again from shock.
“You’re still alive, Miss Shu?” Baili Qingmiao said, getting to her feet.
“Oh, it’s you, little fool.” Noticing another woman, Shu Yanyan instantly took up the attitude of a Demonic Sect Protector. She said calmly and boldly, “You’ve got a problem with me being alive? Are you happy that the two of you got tricked into running around in circles because of me? If you’re not, that’s good. I love it best when people are unhappy.”
“No, I’m happy,” Baili Qingmiao said, a single tear flowing from her exposed eye. “I’m really glad you’re alive.”
Even though she had been tricked, her first thought upon learning it was, thank god she didn’t really drive someone toward death. She didn’t think anything along the lines of how despicable the demonic sects were, taking advantage of righteous cultivators. Shu Yanyan, on the other hand, felt uneasy at Baili Qingmiao’s words. She stiffened her expression and said, “Being happy is right too. You should thank this Protector for exposing Hè Wenzhao’s true face for you.”
Shu Yanyan wiped away Baili Qingmiao’s tear with one hand, saying gently, “I’ll only tell you this once. Take it as repayment for deceiving you. I’ve seen too many men like Hè Wenzhao. He was fully willing to be with me, but would be happy to turn around and say it was seduction. He goes
after anyone who catches his eye, yet constantly tells you you’re the only one in his heart. He puts all the responsibility on the woman. Men like that are good for nothing!
“You deserve better than him, silly girl.”
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. Drinking Wine by Tao Yuanming ↩
2. It has associations with wisdom in Chinese culture ↩
Chapter 36 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 36 – Seclusion
“Miss Baili,” Zhongli Qian said gently to Baili Qingmiao, “No matter what you feel now, I won’t obstruct you. Whether it’s joy or grief, I’ll bear it with you.”
Zhongli Qian was prepared for the depths of heartbreak, but after a moment, his heart was still calm. He looked questioningly at Baili Qingmiao.
“It’s strange…” Baili Qingmiao said, hand over her heart. “I should be sad, so why don’t I feel anything? I’ve long since had suspicions about Miss Shu, and even decided me and shixiong should go our own ways after that. Just, when I saw him injured in the aftermath of the Great Sect War, I forgot about everything else. When shixiong married Liu-shijie, I wanted to let go again, but right now I feel like if I returned to the sect and saw him, I’d fall back into my old habits.”
“That’s indeed pretty odd,” Shu Yanyan said. She withdrew her hand, the tenderness vanishing from her face as she returned to being the uncaring Demonic Sect Protector.
“Did the Venerable have orders for his subordinate?” Shu Yanyan said, looking at Wenren È.
“Nothing anymore.” Wenren È gave Shu Yanyan a look that said “you can scram now”.
He’d just called over Shu Yanyan in order to let Baili Qingmiao know of Hè Wenzhao’s actions. That goal was accomplished, so he didn’t need her here. Shu Yanyan, who had dropped everything to rush over: …
Even if she was annoyed, she had to hide it in front of the Lord of Demons. She might as well go look for a bone.
“You also want to break free?” Zhongli Qian asked Baili Qingmiao.
“Of course. I… don’t want to become a person I would despise. But how can I make sure I don’t make a mistake again?” Baili Qingmiao said, at a loss.
She wasn’t stupid, just ruled by her emotions. Everyone could understand things logically, but few people could carry it out.
“Letting go is difficult, not something you can do overnight,” said Zhongli Qian. “I’m willing to help you along the way. In return, I hope Miss Baili will help me find a new direction.”
No one was forcing Baili Qingmiao to let go immediately. They were all encouraging her, helping her, giving her time. Gradually, she felt less troubled, and was reminded of something. “I was planning to return to the
sect after traveling for ten years, but rethinking it, this was a selfish thought. Young Master Zhongli, I need to return in order to complete an unfinished task. Would you be willing to accompany me, and prevent me from making a mistake again?”
“I also hope Miss Baili can accompany me back to the Zhongli manor. If they see you, the clan elders will be more willing to find a new heir,” Zhongli Qian said.
Baili Qingmiao: ?
Why would they be more willing to let go of Zhongli Qian upon seeing her?
Wenren È silently watched their exchange, which was friendly without any hint of deeper feelings. He felt like the next minute, they would swear brotherhood and sisterhood, but there were no romantic intentions there. But this was still fine. Instead of changing Baili Qingmiao’s affections, Wenren È preferred she didn’t love anyone, so as to cultivate the Path of Indifference. The Path of Indifference was the best way for her to merge with her divine nature.
“Oh yeah!” Baili Qingmiao slapped her thigh. “Senior Wenren, where’s my master? Is she okay…?”
Her right eye was filled with hope. Since Senior Wenren’s purpose in all of this was to help her overcome temptation, then the disappearance of her master must’ve also been part of the plan. Certainly nothing bad had happened to her.
“She might not necessarily be,” Wenren È said casually.
Upon just returning, she had picked a fight with Shu Yanyan, and the main hall was only still standing because Wenren È had stopped her. Right now, the Lord of Demons, his deputy, and the Right Protector were all away from the main hall, so there was no one who could keep her in check. Anything
could’ve happened by this point.
“When I left, she was letting Altar Master Miao’s bugs bite her.” Shu
Yanyan had returned after picking up a bone, and hearing mention of Qiu Congxue, barged into the conversation.
“Bugs?” Zhongli Qian said.
After hearing Baili Qingmiao’s description of Elder Qingxue’s actions, he was very curious who this person was before the Great Sect War. The
events Baili Qingmiao had related became more concerning the more he thought about them. He really hoped his guess wasn’t correct.
Shu Yanyan rolled her eyes. She transmitted to everyone except Baili
Qingmiao, “She used to be a ghost cultivator with no flesh, so she had no reason to fear Altar Master Miao’s bugs. Now that she’s a wandering immortal, Altar Master Miao threatened that he had a king gu that could even harm wandering immortals, and she didn’t believe him and wanted him to try. I was waiting for her to croak.” Zhongli Qian: …
He had basically guessed who Elder Qingxue was. The people of Xuanyuan Sect really were true to their natures and could make themselves at home in any situation.
Knowing Protector Shu, Sect Master Wenren, and now Protector Qiu, Zhongli Qian couldn’t help but think that he had restricted himself too much in the past. He had never been able to express his true nature, and didn’t know what kind of a person he would become after letting go of his responsibilities.
Everyone in the demonic sect acted according to their desires, each living their own way. Though there was one person who drew Zhongli Qian’s
He cast his senses toward Yin Hanjiang. The newly appointed Deputy Sect Leader had his eyes half lidded, looking at the train of Wenren È’s robes.
Zhongli Qian couldn’t help but transmit to him, “Sect Leader Yin, of the
seven human sufferings, birth, old age, illness, and death are certainties, but the last three, resentment, parting, and desire, can be avoided.”
Yin Hanjiang shifted his gaze to Zhongli Qian with difficulty. Even though the young man had his eyes covered, his perceptive gaze seemed to pierce through his blindfold.
“Sect Master Wenren is an extraordinary person,” Zhongli Qian said. “He is powerful and decisive in his actions, and few things in the world are able to capture his attention and his heart. A desire too strong might give birth to resentment down the road. Better for Sect Leader Yin to let go early and not invest your heart, lest it lead to deviation in your future cultivation.”
Yin Hanjiang understood this rationally. But just like Baili Qingmiao was fated to be trapped by Hè Wenzhao, he was unable to let go of his
admiration toward Wenren È. Of course he wanted to step away. He had tried, but just ended up sinking deeper. When his Venerable inadvertently showed tenderness and concern for him, it was like a blow to his heart.
Baili Qingmiao wanted to let go, but he only wanted to hold on tighter.
“If there is no desire, there will be no suffering,” said Yin Hanjiang. “If there is only love, there will never be resentment.”
He wouldn’t hold any expectations for his Venerable to return his feelings, and he wouldn’t pursue something that was impossible. He would be happy just staying by his Venerable’s side, keeping his tiny wish hidden.
Zhongli Qian shook his head. Sect Leader Yin was more stubborn than he had expected. This situation would lead to tragedy if it went on.
Since they had said all they needed to, the four returned to the main hall. Zhongli Qian and Baili Qingmiao remained outside its array, with Wenren È reassuring her that he would return Elder Qingxue in one piece.
Baili Qingmiao sat obediently in a guest room, waiting. Zhongli Qian thought back to what Shu Yanyan had said and felt Wenren È might have some difficulty keeping his promise.
Indeed, the moment Wenren È entered the main hall, he saw Qiu Congxue, who had had half her body eaten by bugs, stepping on a badly battered Altar Master Miao and laughing. “Hahahahaha! What did this Protector say?
Even if I have a body, you still can’t do anything to me!”
Wenren È saw that she only had half her face, half her flesh, and half her organs and thought back to how he’d told Baili Qingmiao he’d return her in one piece. It turned out Qiu Congxue was willing to use her own life to
Seeing Wenren È’s displeasure, Yin Hanjiang blasted Qiu Congxue away with a swing of his sword. Qiu Congxue had already expended all her
energy against Altar Master Miao and was unable to resist. She slammed into the opposite wall, spitting up a mouthful of blood. Wenren È sighed heavily. Holding back his anger, he said, “I don’t care how you do it, but make yourself presentable to others. You can heal your injuries later.”
Qiu Congxue didn’t dare backtalk and shifted the flesh from the intact parts of her body to her face. She wrapped her black robe tightly around her, making it so her head looked undamaged while blood still dripped from her body underneath.
Looking at her current state, Shu Yanyan laughed her ass off. She tossed the bone to Qiu Congxue and said, “Here, your bone. Take it back and have fun reminiscing over it.”
Wenren È flew to the main seat and sat down, with Yin Hanjiang following close behind, standing next to the throne. Qiu Congxue and Shu Yanyan rushed to take their places as Left and Right Protectors. Four battered and beaten Altar Masters also managed to stand with each other’s help.
Wenren È swept his gaze over all of them. “After the Great Sect War, this Venerable was occupied with other matters and overlooked Xuanyuan Sect. Each of you also seem to have forgotten your positions, constantly fighting amongst each other. If this continues, the Xuanyuan Sect cannot
“This subordinate was wrong,” the six said simultaneously.
“From today forward, the Xuanyuan Sect’s array will be closed and no one will be allowed to exit. The four Altar Masters are to return to their own domains and recuperate, so that in a hundred years’ time, you can return to your power from before the Great Sect War.”
“Protector Shu, for not knowing her place and trying to steal this
Venerable’s position, has already been assigned a punishment of a hundred years. However, this Venerable previously agreed to let her cultivate on the Burning Sky Drum before the war. Therefore, during our seclusion, Protector Shu is permitted to cultivate on the Burning Sky Drum for the duration of her punishment,” Wenren È said.
“I can cultivate for a hundred years?” Shu Yanyan said, her eyes lighting up.
“Venerable!” Altar Master Yuan said frantically. “If she cultivated on it for a hundred years, she could ascend on the spot, and probably become a Great Golden Immortal on top of that! This is clearly a reward, not a punishment!”
The other Altar Masters and Qiu Congxue also looked dissatisfied.
“Thus, this Venerable has decided Protector Shu’s punishment will be shortened by ninety-nine years. That leaves only one year. Is everyone
satisfied with this?” This was the reward he had previously offered Shu
Yanyan, but it was in return for something she had done for him, not for the Xuanyuan Sect. If he wanted to reduce the punishment, other people still needed to be appeased. After all, Altar Masters Ruan and Shi had been sent to Shu Yanyan’s bed.
“Yes, of course.” Everyone nodded their heads in succession.
Shu Yanyan also felt it was reasonable. After all, she preferred a good work-life balance, and would get tired of cultivating for a hundred years straight.
“Protector Qiu will leave and remain undercover in Shangqing Sect,” Wenren È said.
“Should this subordinate relay information about Shangqing Sect?” Qiu Congxue asked earnestly.
“…That won’t be necessary,” said Wenren È. “Just act according to your own judgment. If you put your efforts toward helping Shangqing Sect, that’ll be its own form of interference.”
Qiu Congxue: … Was the Venerable praising her? She’ll just take it as praise.
Shu Yanyan covered her mouth. Were it not for how serious this situation was, she would be laughing her head off.
“Altar Master Shi will be presented with the Hundred Ghost Flag, which can prevent ghosts of Void Boundary and below from approaching,”
Wenren È said, glancing at Shi Congxin.
Shi Congxin was so happy he nearly spat up blood. After receiving the flag, he returned contentedly to the Hellfire Pavilion.
The other three Altar Masters all earned their own rewards. Even the deeply traumatized Altar Master Ruan had received a Forgetfulness Potion which
could erase some memories he didn’t like.
The Xuanyuan Sect had fallen into disorder after the Great Sect War. With both rewards and force, Wenren È beat it back into shape, sorting out the place near-effortlessly. His subordinates probably wouldn’t think of stirring any more trouble for the next few decades.
After receiving their orders, each of the Altar Masters left, Qiu Congxue going with Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian. Xuanyuan Sect sent out word that it would be in seclusion for thirty years, not engaging with the outside world. Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang then each entered seclusion on their own, to work on their new techniques or new weapon respectively.
Wenren È’s cultivation grounds consisted of an indoors and outdoors space. The room was very big, enough to comfortably hold Shu Yanyan’s hundred- meter-long Frost Jade Bed. That was because if Wenren È released his power in a smaller room, it would probably need to be rebuilt every day.
Both the inside and outside spaces were surrounded by arrays. He and Yin Hanjiang could cultivate alongside each other without interfering with each other.
After he was finally alone, Wenren È placed a hand on his left arm. The illusion he’d made out of blood mist vanished. Everyone, including Yin Hanjiang, thought that the arm Wenren È had used to forge the Army Crushing Sword was quickly restored. Only Wenren È knew that this arm was a fake created out of spiritual essence, which he
couldn’t use for anything.
Over the past days, he’d taken many elixirs for restoring the body and soul, all to no use.
Blood had to be restored with blood, and soul with soul. What he needed
was not legendary treasures or spiritual medicines, but the blood and soul of a cultivator.
No wonder the Blood Demon Elder had become the target of the entire
cultivation world ten thousand years ago, and people saw blood cultivators as destined to become demons. Only after becoming a blood cultivator did Wenren È realized that his body no longer had meridians or a dantian, and he could no longer cultivate by his previous methods. The only thing he
could do to advance or restore his body was devouring others’ souls.
His power had no bottlenecks and, being above Mahayana, he no longer needed to face heavenly tribulations. Just by absorbing souls, he could become strong enough to fight the immortals of the upper realms. But if he kept increasing his power without strengthening his mind, then sooner or later he would be enslaved by it, and become a heartless monster who only knew to consume.
Blood cultivators were destined to become demons. There was no return after going down this route.
Wenren È clamped a hand on his arm, blood qi roiling within his body. He didn’t care about the lives of other cultivators, and had killed several
experts of the righteous sects during the war. He was willing to kill, but he would not absorb anyone’s soul. Some people might think that there was nothing wrong with taking the soul of an enemy. They could eliminate opposition and increase their power at the same time. But this was a
slippery slope, and human desire was a bottomless abyss which would never be satisfied. Someday, he would have no more compunctions about devouring human souls. At that point, he would turn on the people most important to him.
He would never go down that path, even if he could never advance, and would waste away and eventually die.
He had closed the gates of Xuanyuan Sect for thirty years in order to figure something out in that time. Even if he didn’t find a solution for thirty years, Yin Hanjiang was sure to make significant advances, and would be able to help him manage Xuanyuan Sect.
He at least had to be strong enough that, if the day came when Wenren È was desperate enough to enter the Blood Hell, Yin Hanjiang would be able to follow him.
Wenren È put up another array inside and took out his two books. He needed to use them to keep an eye on outside happenings from time to time. He couldn’t be completely ignorant for thirty years.
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. oh my god you were on a date with your boyfriend ↩
2. Ok, there is no plural conjugation in Chinese but… there’s only one person… but I don’t think he’s realized that yet, I think he’s speaking generally ↩
Chapter 37 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 37 – Thirty years later
In this time, nothing much happened in God of Annihilation. Hè Wenzhao and Liu Xinye’s wedding was passed over in a few lines. Afterward, Hè Wenzhao made progress in cultivation with the help of his mental master, working on revitalizing his sect and continuing to investigate his village’s massacre. On occasion, he would miss Baili Qingmiao, but never mentioned Liu Xinye—his new wife seemed to have become invisible. The female character all the readers of Abusive Romance hated so much had been reduced to a shadow.
This was how God of Annihilation operated. Hè Wenzhao would get involved with many girls over the course of the story, having short flings with some, all of whom never got mentioned again. Only Baili Qingmiao and the Violet Spirit Master were female characters who consistently
showed up in volume one. The Violet Spirit Master was a “good wife” who helped Hè Wenzhao manage his harem, and was perfect in the readers’
Baili Qingmiao was a plot device. Whenever Hè Wenzhao needed to go
somewhere else or fight a new enemy, Baili Qingmiao would be “stolen” by a new man. Hè Wenzhao would search for her, kill the man, and level up.
Then Baili Qingmiao would be “stolen” again and Hè Wenzhao would go after her again, killing his way from Zhongli Qian to Wenren È. Yin
Hanjiang had never been mentioned though, and it was unclear why there was no sign of him in God of Annihilation.
Abusive Romance‘s plot was much more exciting that God of Annihilation‘s. Baili Qingmiao had left Shangqing Sect in deep anguish, met Zhongli Qian in the Hellfire Pavilion, he had seen through Wenren È’s plan and Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang had shown themselves—even the Ghost Mask’s identity had been revealed several hundred thousand words in advance. The comment section was on fire, seemingly longer than the
chapters themselves, enough to make Wenren È’s eyes blur.
[Extra, extra, Abusive Romance (Revised Edition) has made the charts again. Never thought this trashy work would make a comeback in my
lifetime. Cheers to the author, it was worth following the revision since the beginning.]
[Not surprising, the author has written so many plot twists I can’t keep up. I can’t guess at all what she’s going to write next. All the melodrama in the original has become perfectly reasonable and logical, some people have
even put up side by side comparisons in the discussion pages. It’s really impressive that the author has managed to change the story so much
without contradicting the old characters.]
[As a new reader who’s only seen the revision, how come someone as loveable as Shu Yanyan had no fans before?]
[Because Shu Yanyan originally only showed up once and slept with an unconscious Hè Wenzhao in front of Baili Qingmiao, making him a cripple. She was awful to the protagonist and brought her a lot of suffering.]
[Forget the old Shu Yanyan, now we have our Sister Yanyan who’ll lovingly wipe the tears off your face while calling you ‘silly girl’. Oh, that was incredible.]
[Everyone stans Shu Yanyan? I stan Qingxue. I fell in love with her back when she set up Hè Wenzhao and Liu Xinye. What a unique woman!]
[Oh come on, why are you all discussing girls? Isn’t Zhongli Qian smart? Isn’t Wenren È badass? My god, his badassery has increased in the revision. I’ve never seen the number 2 love interest pair the MC with the number 3 to get her away from the ML. That man has some unique ideas.]
[Let me summarize the previous post. Why does Wenren È want his girl to get stolen?] [I get the feeling that this time around Wenren È is treating the MC as a daughter, and now he wants to pick a good husband for his silly girl.]
[Zhongli Qian didn’t steal his girl, he sees her as a sister… no, actually, as a little brother. I feel like the next moment, Zhongli Qian will find another girl to introduce the MC to.]
[Baili Qingmiao laughing boldly was hilarious. I never imagined Baili
Qingmiao could be described as bold. Wenren È was a genius for coming up with the heart-linking parasites.]
[Looking forward to future developments. I’m eager to see what kind of high literature the author can revise this novel into.]
Seeing that most of the reviews were positive, with only a few fans of the original story trashing the author, Wenren È nodded to himself, feeling an uncommon sense of accomplishment.
Closing the book, he rubbed his missing arm and took out several manuals from his sleeves. He had stolen them while unifying the demonic sects
some years back. Along with techniques from sects he had eliminated, he even had the methods of the two Protectors and four Altar Masters.
He knew that what he’d gotten from his subordinates wasn’t complete. Some crucial points could’ve been hidden or revised. But Wenren È didn’t mind. He didn’t intend to actually practice them, and just collected them for intimidation.
He looked through one jade slip scroll after another, studying them
carefully for a whole month. There were hardly any references to blood cultivation to be found. Ten thousand years was a long time even in the
cultivation world, and most records of the blood arts had already been lost. Wenren È had learned the Blood Severing Technique when he obtained the Chiming blade.
Chiming was a demonic sword born in the Blood Hell, even older than the Blood Demon Elder, so the Blood Severing Technique Wenren È had used didn’t originate from the Blood Demon Elder. However, there was a line written in the surviving records of the war against the Blood Demon ten thousand years ago. The leader of the righteous sects at the time, the Sword Immortal, had said that if a blood cultivator wanted to walk the righteous path, then they must rise from their own ashes. The Blood Demon Elder had shown himself to not have such a resolution, and thus was slain by the
Rise from one’s own ashes?
Wenren È wasn’t incapable of such resolve. He just needed to make some prior arrangements. If he wasn’t able to succeed, he had to make sure
someone he left behind wouldn’t be lost without him.
Wenren È had wished to be alone in life and death, to have no connections to anyone.
He looked into the distance, toward the direction where Yin Hanjiang dedicated himself to cultivation, hoping to become stronger to serve his lord.
Wenren È also settled down and focused on investigating the state of his body, trying to find a way to absorb natural spiritual energy. At the very least, he wanted to restore his arm.
Cultivators were untouched by time. A year passed in the blink of an eye, and Shu Yanyan completed her seclusion on the Burning Sky Drum. She giddily took her subordinates who had been sent to the main hall back to her palace, where she had a satisfying session of cultivation. She had increased her power in this past year, and her subordinates received greater benefits in return. Their loyalty to Shu Yanyan grew and they served her more faithfully.
There was just one point of concern. The Right Protector had her
subordinates buy many books and ordered them all to read them, hoping to raise a cultured gentleman to satisfy some craving of hers. After three months, though, she gave up. It was easy to raise snobs but hard to find real gentlemen. She wasn’t one to force people to do things, and she still liked how her subordinates were direct with their intentions and wishes.
The gentleman who Shu Yanyan had been hung up on for all of three months before forgetting about had accompanied Baili Qingmiao to Shangqing Sect, after leaving the Hellfire Pavilion.
Since Hè Wenzhao was currently traveling, Baili Qingmiao greeted several of her elders, then called over Liu Xinye to give the Seven-Colored Jade Lotus Heart to her.
“Wh—where did you get such a mystical item?” said her master, Elder Qingrong.
“With the help of Immortal Qingxue, I obtained it at the Golden Coast Cliffs,” Baili Qingmiao said. “I wish to give it to Liu-shijie to aid in her recovery.”
In front of the rest of the elders, Qingrong couldn’t scold her disciple, but she was frantic. If Baili Qingmiao had gained such an amazing treasure,
why wasn’t she using it to raise her own realm, and instead giving it to Liu Xinye? Her disciple had only one fault, which was that she didn’t use her brains enough. After becoming the nominal disciple of Immortal Qingxue, this habit had only gotten worse.
“Silly child, all you’re thinking about is your Liu-shijie?” said Elder
Qingrong, blinking desperately at Baili Qingmiao. “Don’t you ever consider yourself? Look at your eyes. You’ve had your left eye covered all this time
—has it been injured? You ought to have the medicinal hall elder take a look at it. The Seven-Colored Lotus Heart might be able to cure it.”
Baili Qingmiao’s remaining eye shone clear and bright as she held the lotus heart in both hands. “Don’t worry, master,” she said. “Your disciple also has desires for herself.”
She turned to Liu Xinye. Thinking back to the words Zhongli Qian had helped her rehearse, she said resolutely, “Liu-shijie, we’ve always disagreed with each other. Everyone at Shangqing Sect knows this, and I don’t wish to hide my thoughts from you. I don’t like you, and I’m not giving this lotus heart to you for your sake, but in order to let go of my fantasies.”
Hearing “fantasies”, Elder Qingrong sighed deeply. Hè Wenzhao had good aptitudes and was a beloved disciple of Shangqing Sect, so even if he had some improper relations with women, the sect elders could look the other way. As long as he didn’t cause major trouble or deviate, they would leave him be.
But when it came to Baili Qingmiao, who had been infatuated with him for many years, Hè Wenzhao really hadn’t treated her right. For each day that Liu Xinye went unhealed, Baili Qingmiao’s mind would be stuck on Hè Wenzhao for one more day, thinking dark thoughts like “I wish Liu-shijie would die already”. Her cultivation would eventually be affected. In this
way, her choice could be considered as opening a new path for herself. It wasn’t out of thoughtless altruism.
Of course Liu Xinye wanted the elixir. She was tired of the way Hè
Wenzhao looked at her. She had sacrificed her spiritual root for him, but
after their marriage, every time Hè Wenzhao looked at her, he would sigh. He was a kind person and obviously wouldn’t say anything like “You’re the reason I can’t have Baili Qingmiao”. But Liu Xinye kept thinking—if she was stronger, would shixiong like her more?
She reached out a hand for it, but Baili Qingmiao stepped away.
“Baili Qingmiao!” Anxiety rose in Liu Xinye’s heart as she glared at Baili Qingmiao.
“I’m happy to give you the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart, and I don’t need
anything in return,” said Baili Qingmiao. “But I didn’t get this alone. I was only able to because of Master Qingxue’s help, so Liu-shijie ought to thank Master Qingxue first.”
She handed the lotus heart to Qiu Congxue.
“Huh?” said Qiu Congxue, who’d been dozing off this whole time. With
some effort, she lifted her eyelids and stuck an intact hand out of her robe to accept it. She was currently missing most of her body, and had to focus on maintaining the flesh on her face, so even making that motion wasn’t easy.
“Immortal Qingxue,” said Liu Xinye, gazing at Qiu Congxue. She could be angry to Baili Qingmiao, but she had no will to defy a wandering immortal.
The Seven-Colored Lotus Heart was an elixir for restoring spiritual roots and spiritual power, and didn’t have much use for restoring flesh, so Qiu Congxue wasn’t particularly interested. She was a demonic cultivator, though, and wouldn’t give something valuable to someone else even if she had no use for it.
She tossed the glowing treasure in her hand a few times. Liu Xinye’s gaze followed it up and down, frightened that she would drop it and dirty it on the floor.
“Why do you want to give something this good to her?” With effort, Qiu
Congxue recalled the events at the Golden Coast Cliffs. “While getting this thing, I crawled in the ocean with no spiritual energy for hours,” she said unhappily.
After her lord dropped her into the ocean, she had to swim back to the cliffs.
Bitterly, Liu Xinye got to her knees. “Immortal Qingxue, the lotus heart is useless to you. Will you please let this disciple have it? I swear I’ll return the favor to you in the future.”
“In the future?” Qiu Congxue furrowed her brows, a scornful look on her face. “What good is that? What if I ascend in the future? What if you die in the future?”
Liu Xinye: …
Her master, Elder Qingyi, quickly stepped in for her. “Isn’t this because
Xinye currently has no spiritual root and is as good as an ordinary person? Even if she swore to do something for you, she couldn’t. That’s why she has to promise to repay you in the future.” “I don’t believe in the future,” Qiu Congxue said flatly. “I’ll take payment now. Make a spirit vow that you’ll pay me back with a treasure of twice the value. If you can’t, your spirit and Nascent Soul will be mine.”
Liu Xinye: …
“Immortal Qingxue, this… this demand of yours is too heavy,” said Elder Qingyi. “It’s hard to find another treasure like the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart, let alone one twice the value. If you make her take this vow, won’t you really be taking her spirit and Nascent Soul in the future?”
“Of course. It can have some use in refining elixirs or magic items,” Qiu Congxue said, unconcerned. “Or I can eat it myself, or send word out to
anyone interested in buying it. I’m sure to find someone willing to pay good money.”
Liu Xinye, gritting her teeth, made the vow on her knees. Qiu Congxue roughly extracted a wisp of her soul, then finally gave the lotus heart to her.
The whole time, Liu Xinye glared at Baili Qingmiao.
Baili Qingmiao only thought back to Zhongli Qian’s words. “Miss Baili, I want you to turn the final decision over to Elder Qingxue. Not to make things difficult for Liu Xinye, but to test Hè Wenzhao. If Liu Xinye can’t pay her debt, will Hè Wenzhao help her? He owes his life to Liu Xinye, so it’s the proper thing for him to do. If he’s willing to watch his wife lose her soul to a pact without lifting a hand to help her, then you’ll know you were mistaken about him.”
Therefore, Baili Qingmiao didn’t immediately leave Shangqing Sect and stuck around for a few days for Hè Wenzhao’s return. When Hè Wenzhao heard that his little shimei was back, he ignored his wife and ran to Baili Qingmiao.
Baili Qingmiao looked at Hè Wenzhao with one eye, the other covered with a band the same black as Qiu Congxue’s robes. Hè Wenzhao stopped short. Taking a deep breath, he said, “Shimei, your eye… were you injured?” “It’s nothing,” Baili Qingmiao said. She put a hand on her heart and found it calm. Silently, she exchanged a thankful gaze with Zhongli Qian before continuing, “Shixiong, don’t you want to see Liu-shijie? She’s in seclusion right now, and her spiritual root will be restored in a few more days.”
“Shimei!” Hè Wenzhao grasped Baili Qingmiao’s hand. With a soulful look, he said, “You know who the person I truly love is.”
“But aside from love, duty and debt are also important.” Baili Qingmiao pulled her hand away firmly. “Shixiong,” she said coolly, “if you’re
someone who values his responsibilities, then while you’re in no position to marry me, please keep your own wishes hidden. Don’t betray the two
women in your life. If you can’t even manage this, then how can you handle the leadership of the Shangqing Sect in the future? How can someone who can’t deal with his own problems make the world a better place?”
She turned away decisively, reporting to the administration hall master that she wished to travel the world for a few decades, to return after she made peace with her emotions.
Elder Qingrong tearfully accepted.
At the foot of the mountain, Zhongli Qian held a walking cane, waiting for her with a faint smile.
The single-eyed team greeted each other with a smile, about to head off together, but Elder Qingxue came after them. She said haughtily, “I’m bored at Shangqing Sect. I’ve decided to leave and steal— find some opportunities to raise my cultivation.”
“I’m so glad master can accompany us!” Baili Qingmiao said, throwing her arms around Qiu Congxue. She felt her sleeves. “Eh? Master, what happened to your body?”
Zhongli Qian: …
Altar Master Qiu truly was exceptional. Thus, the three traveled the world together for thirty years. Zhongli Qian rose to Mahayana, while Baili Qingmiao came across many opportunities
and managed to rise to Body Unity, entering the top ranks of the cultivation world.
The comment section wasn’t altogether pleased at this development.
[Aw come on, if Baili Qingmiao and Zhongli Qian want to travel the world, what does that have to do with you, Immortal Qingxue?]
[Aw come on, if Baili Qingmiao wants to travel the world with her Master Qingxue, what does that have to do with you, Zhongli Qian?]
It was all this type of complaint.
After glancing through the comments, Wenren È closed the book. He
created a new illusory arm from blood mist, opened the array, and left the room.
Yin Hanjiang had already exited seclusion and was waiting outside. Seeing Wenren È exit, he immediately went forward to pay respects to him. His Venerable swept an odd, hungry look over him, then looked away quickly. “Top level of Void Boundary, on the threshold of Mahayana,” he said
lightly. “Sect Leader Yin has shown incredible progress in just thirty years.”
“It’s thanks to the Spirit Gathering Array the Venerable set,” Yin Hanjiang said.
“Since you are a high-level cultivator in your own right, this Venerable is assigning you a task,” said Wenren È, a hand on his sleeve. “There is a traitor in Xuanyuan Sect, who will join forces against us with Hè Wenzhao
in the future. His name is Cen Zhengqi. I’m uncertain whether or not he has already joined the sect at this point, or whether or not he has changed his name. Find this man for me.”
Yin Hanjiang stared for a moment. He wasn’t surprised there was a traitor in the sect. Strictly speaking, Xuanyuan Sect was all traitors except Yin Hanjiang. If Wenren È showed the slightest weakness, anyone might turn on him.
Wenren È didn’t mind disloyalty in his subordinates. He had said before that he only minded incompetence.
Thirty years ago, Wenren È had never brought up looking for a traitor,
whether during the Great Sect War or while sorting out the sect afterward.
How come after thirty years, he suddenly cared about insubordination within his own ranks?
Yin Hanjiang looked up doubtfully, but saw that Wenren È wasn’t looking at him. He couldn’t meet his Venerable’s warm gaze.
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 38 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 38 – Crane-Haired Wanderer
Wenren È had sealed his sense of smell, and did his best to not look at Yin Hanjiang.
In the last thirty years, he had not only failed to find a method to restore his body, but his desire for blood had grown over time.
While he was cultivating, he had awakened to how to use the blood art on his own. One just needed to use the blood mist that composed their body to envelop the target and dissolve them, then direct the blood to flow into the patterns engraved on one’s soul. After circulating it through the body thirty- six times, the victim would be completely absorbed without a trace, and the entirety of their spiritual essence preserved.
A Mahayana cultivator, even if they had unparalleled aptitudes and boundless opportunities, would’ve taken at least a century to cultivate to that stage. Yet a blood cultivator could gain that power in just three days.
If someone practiced the blood art from Foundation Establishment and managed to consume enough cultivators, then before the year was out, they could become a Great Golden Immortal. In a decade, they could surpass the immortal realm and ascend to godhood.
Wenren È had said before that the “demon” in “demonic path” was distinct from true demons. What was truly a demon? If there was a single demon in a world, then all life within it would go extinct and the land would become barren. That was a demon.
In the myriad ways of cultivation, countless worlds had developed countless demons. During primordial times, the gods worked together to seal 180 thousand demonic gods. After sustaining losses that more than halved their numbers, they sealed them within the demonic realm, only connected to other worlds via the Blood Hell. No one could enter the Blood Hell and return.
Following Wenren È’s command, Yin Hanjiang left to verify Xuanyuan Sect’s roster with Altar Master Yuan. Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang usually didn’t pay attention to these unimportant masters and left managing personnel to the rather more shrewd Altar Master Yuan. Yin Hanjiang
would need his help to find Cen Zhengqi.
After he left, Wenren È slowly turned around.
In these thirty years, he had hoped Yin Hanjiang would reach Mahayana and let go of attachments to the self and others, so he wouldn’t lose his mind if Wenren È died. That way, Wenren È could enter the Blood Hell without concern.
In the first volume of God of Annihilation, Hè Wenzhao plotted with the
Blood Demon Elder and Cen Zhengqi. Together, they lured Wenren È to the Blood Hell with the news that Baili Qingmiao was in danger, and after a round of fighting, managed to knock him into the sea of blood.
It seemed some things were predestined. Wenren È was meant to enter the Blood Hell, and the Blood Hell was meant to be his grave.
He had avoided his destiny to be saved by Baili Qingmiao in the Great Sect War, and Baili Qingmiao had let go of Hè Wenzhao with the help of Zhongli Qian. Wenren È thought that after he had accomplished so much, fate would’ve been diverted a little. But he had made no progress in thirty years. It seemed he had no choice but to enter the Blood Hell.
Then was Yin Hanjiang’s madness predetermined too?
No, it couldn’t be. Wenren È looked down at his remaining hand and clenched his fist. Polis would not fall, and Alkaid would not go mad. He would only allow Alkaid to fall with him. He had already told Yin Hanjiang he could
accompany him after he died.
He had already prepared for the worst. Now he just needed to resolve some other problems before he left for the Blood Hell.
When he obtained God of Annihilation thirty years ago, he hadn’t paid much mind to the demonic sect traitor, Cen Zhengqi. He couldn’t remember this name no matter how much he thought. Xuanyuan Sect was big, with
each of the Altar Masters and Protectors managing their own territory.
Wenren È didn’t even know Shu Yanyan had a subordinate named Helian, so how would he remember a Cen Zhengqi?
He had sent Yin Hanjiang to search so he would be relatively nearby while not being by Wenren È’s side. That way, he could resist the blood arts’ temptation while making sure Yin Hanjiang didn’t feel abandoned.
Wenren È didn’t mind his subordinates being disloyal. Members of
Xuanyuan Sect who didn’t want to become the Lord of Demons themselves weren’t worth much. But Cen Zhengqi had committed three unforgivable
acts in the original story. First, he had helped Hè Wenzhao kill Shu Yanyan.
Hè Wenzhao hated Shu Yanyan, and joining forces with the perfectly
average-looking Cen Zhengqi, set a trap to do away with her. Second, he helped Hè Wenzhao eliminate opposition within the righteous sects, and put all the blame on Wenren È. Third, he killed Wenren È with Hè Wenzhao.
After Wenren È’s death, Cen Zhengqi took control of Xuanyuan Sect, while Baili Qingmiao and Hè Wenzhao ascended together. Who knew if the
second volume would touch on the Xuanyuan Sect again, or how many of the Protectors and Altar Masters had ended up surviving?
Even if Wenren È wanted to go to the Blood Hell, he would enter it on his own terms, and not be pushed in by a backstabber.
The one in Xuanyuan Sect most suited to finding Cen Zhengqi, who wouldn’t let information leak, was Yin Hanjiang. Yin Hanjiang visited Altar Master Yuan and obtained several ledgers of names. They were very thorough, even listing people who had already died when the old sect master was in power. Altar Master Yuan had also painstakingly recorded when they entered Xuanyuan Sect, who recruited them, and any changes in position in the intervening time.
“This old man entered Xuanyuan Sect three hundred years ago and became the Main Hall Master two hundred years ago. The records since then are all complete. From two hundred to three hundred years ago, everything’s recorded from memory and they can’t exactly be considered complete.
Further back than three hundred years, there’s nothing.” Altar Master Yuan might’ve referred to himself as an old man, but in actuality he wasn’t old, just plump. He looked like a typical middle-aged man.
Yin Hanjiang carefully looked over the names and found no Cen Zhengqi. He returned the records from two hundred years ago to Altar Master Yuan and kept the incomplete register from three hundred years ago. He planned to check every name who had entered Xuanyuan Sect three hundred years ago and was still alive now.
“What does the Venerable need the register for? Can this old man lend a hand?” Altar Master Yuan said with a fawning smile.
“No need,” said Yin Hanjiang, rolling up the list. He had not, at any point, mentioned Cen Zhengqi.
If he was a traitor and had changed his name, then he would increase his vigilance if he heard it.
Yin Hanjiang first eliminated all the Nascent Soul and below names from the list. If your level was too low, you wouldn’t even have the chance to backstab in Xuanyuan Sect. Those who were still alive after more than two hundred years only consisted of the Altar Masters, the Sect Protectors, and some of their most trusted subordinates.
Qiu Congxue had been a ghost cultivator of the Hellfire Pavilion three hundred years ago. She didn’t have brains and couldn’t be much of a traitor, so could be crossed off the list. Shu Yanyan had joined a hundred and fifty years ago. Having been close to the old sect master, she was immediately made Right Protector, so she could be crossed off. Though, she had a
subordinate called Helian Yi who had remained at Body Unity stage for many years. He had joined Xuanyuan Sect three hundred years ago and his record wasn’t very detailed. It was a bit odd that he had been content to be Shu Yanyan’s boytoy all this time.
The final candidates were Helian Yi and Altar Masters Miao, Ruan, and Yuan. None of them were convenient to investigate.
Yin Hanjiang returned to Wenren È and reported his findings. Wenren È was seated, reading Abusive Romance in one hand, and nodded slightly in approval.
Cen Zhengqi had made his debut a hundred years into the story, so it was possible he was yet to join. But these four suspects Yin Hanjiang had found couldn’t be overlooked either. They needed to be quietly monitored.
Aside from the traitor business, Wenren È also paid attention to Baili Qingmiao’s side of things.
Baili Qingmiao, Immortal Qingxue, and Zhongli Qian had wandered together for thirty years. From the book’s description, Qiu Congxue had dropped her cover multiple times, only remaining unnoticed because of Zhongli Qian covering for her and Baili Qingmiao being gullible. The plot had had no changes in thirty years, with the author only writing several
chapters of slice of life. Even just reading, Wenren È broke into a sweat for Qiu Congxue’s sake. Zhongli Qian, on the other hand, was right there with her.
It seemed that his hair had turned white overnight twenty-two years ago. With white hair and a young appearance, he appeared even more like an immortal now.
Why did his hair turn white? The reason had to do with the “young”,
“innocent”, “playful”, and “good-natured” new disciple of eighteen years old that Baili Qingmiao had taken in. Baili Qingmiao also had a fate with this disciple. Eighteen years ago, she’d passed by a village haunted by ghosts on her first outing from Shangqing Sect. She had helped exorcise the ghosts and thus delayed her arrival to the Thousand Mile Ice Plains for a few days, making Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang wait for her.
Eighteen years later, Baili Qingmiao coincidentally returned to the village and found a youth with a passion for practicing martial arts, who had managed to make it to Qi Refining stage without being taught, just a step away from Foundation Establishment. Baili Qingmiao, who had reached Deity Transformation by then, decided to take him as disciple upon seeing such incredible aptitude. While Zhongli Qian was busy helping Immortal Qingxue escape the righteous cultivators that had been chasing them down all this time, she helped the boy establish his foundation, and by the time Zhongli Qian returned, the boy had already kowtowed to her as master.
Baili Qingmiao dragged him over to introduce him to Zhongli Qian and Immortal Qingxue.
With his spiritual cognition, Zhongli Qian could see that the boy was cheerful to Baili Qingmiao’s face, but behind her back, his expression
turned dark and his eyes vicious. When Immortal Qingxue loudly praised the boy for being nice and obedient, immediately getting along with him, Zhongli Qian started getting a headache.
Baili Qingmiao had said, smiling, “Brother Zhongli, Su Huai was born the day I exorcised ghosts here. Maybe destiny is connecting us?”
Zhongli Qian instantly had misgivings and wanted to prevent her from
accepting the boy, but he couldn’t go against Immortal Qingxue. He only
sat meditating for a night, and the next day, the sun shone on his white hair.
Baili Qingmiao: …
“Brother Zhongli, was it that last night I was anxious about not being able to teach a disciple properly and stayed up the whole night? Did I make your hair turn white?”
Zhongli Qian slowly shook his head. After Baili Qingmiao had taken her disciple, she was only happily looking forward to their time together. She had stayed up worrying a whole night because Zhongli Qian had stayed up, looking up at the stars and thinking that he’d never be able to correct Baili Qingmiao’s ways. Baili Qingmiao was only anxious because he was
“Cultivators can change their own bodies after reaching Nascent Soul,” Zhongli Qian said. “Even if I was worried, my hair wouldn’t turn white from it.” He tied up his hair, fixing up his appearance.
The meaning of his words being that he’d made his hair white himself, and wasn’t planning to restore it for now.
Baili Qingmiao didn’t get it, and neither did the readers of Abusive Romance.
[This journey has been wild. Three people only have three eyes between them, so that’s at least one for each. But how come they collectively only have one brain? Isn’t Zhongli Qian overworked carrying the whole team?]
[Man, I was mistaken. I thought Qingxue was a good counterpart for the idiot protagonist with how domineering she was, but I didn’t know she’d take it this far. If they didn’t have Zhongli Qian with them, nothing would be standing in these two’s wake. The only thing keeping Qingxue from murdering everyone they meet or the two from being murdered is Zhongli Qian.]
[The more I read, the more I feel like something’s wrong with Qingxue? When the Nanguo clan sent out invitations to their newborn’s celebration, she toppled the Ghost Suppressing Stele in their back courtyard, exposing how the Nanguo clan extracted the spiritual roots of their bastard and branch children in order to give birth to an heir with a pure spiritual root, and letting loose a bunch of resentful child ghosts.]
[Isn’t that a good thing? Immortal Qingxue is such a charitable wandering immortal!]
[The problem is that she didn’t denounce the Nanguo clan alongside the righteous cultivators, but instead grabbed the clan head full of enthusiasm and asked how they raised such splendid resentful ghosts, and also whether or not he could give them to her. If Zhongli Qian hadn’t explained that she was joking, the righteous cultivators would’ve exorcised her along with the ghosts.]
[After hearing about the evil technique, she also looked at Baili Qingmiao with her eyes shining. That gave me chills at the moment. I was scared Baili Qingmiao would wake up one day with her spiritual root stolen.]
[I don’t believe it. Immortal Qingxue takes care of Baili Qingmiao the best. She had to have been trying to save those suffering children.]
[Are you as braindead as Baili Qingmiao? Even Zhongli Qian can see the problems with Qingxue and he’s blind. Can Baili Qingmiao donate her eye to him? Let my Qian see the light again!]
[I don’t care about Zhongli Qian and Qingxue fighting over Baili Qingmiao. There’s just one thing that’s been bothering me. Author, look up at your own title. ‘Abusive Romance: You Are the Unchanging One in My Heart’. How does this story fit this title anymore?]
[It’s a good thing that it doesn’t fit the title.] [Yeah, it’s a good thing.]
Baili Qingmiao might’ve been mystified as to why Zhongli Qian’s hair was white, but Wenren È knew. He had used a technique for suppressing ghosts
This could only be learned by the four great clans, who studied
Confucianism deeply. Those who used it would experience the vicissitudes of human society in a single night, their hair turning white as a result. After completing the technique, ghost cultivators would be scared to approach,
suppressed by great virtues.
And indeed, after Zhongli Qian’s hair went white, Qingxue and Su Huai settled down a lot. Qiu Congxue, at least, was a flexible person who had learned from Zhongli Qian to think before she acted, and now first discussed with Zhongli Qian when anything came up. They wouldn’t end up pursued by dozens of righteous cultivators anymore.
After completing Wordless Child, Zhongli Qian decided to spread philosophy in his wanderings, teaching countryside children how to read
and write. The three separate generations of Qingxue, Baili Qingmiao, and Su Huai also quietly obeyed him and helped him run his schools. After twenty years, Zhongli Qian awakened to his own Dao—to learn by teaching the people. He had managed to completely break free of the Zhongli clan’s fetters, ascending to Mahayana under his own power.
At Mahayana, he could easily will his hair to become black. But Zhongli Qian felt he looked more like a teacher this way, so kept his hair the way it
was. He took the name Crane-Haired Wanderer, leaving his legacy in the cultivation world.
Over thirty years, the three had each made progress in their own way. Even Baili Qingmiao managed to become calmer after years of teaching. At last, the author seemed to remember that her novel was called Abusive Romance, and Baili Qingmiao received a message from her sect.
Elder Qingrong told her that the Sect Master, who had lain unconscious for many years, now only needed an elixir made of the Lockheart Herb to be
cured. Shangqing Sect had learned that the Violet Spirit Pavilion, which had secluded itself from the world for many years, was in possession of this herb. Hè Wenzhao had gone to ask for it and had been given a lot of trouble by the Pavilion Master. It was feared that Hè Wenzhao would be rejected,
so if Baili Qingmiao was willing, Elder Qingrong hoped she could go to help him.
Seeing the words “Hè Wenzhao”, Baili Qingmiao felt a pang through her heart which had been at peace for so many years.
Zhongli Qian sensed Baili Qingmiao’s pain and said calmly, “We can go together. You have to repay your masters and overcome your own trials.
One can’t avoid their problems forever. After all this traveling, you might as well see if your mental state has matured.” Since Zhongli Qian was already seen as the leader of the group, they all set off for the Violet Spirit Pavilion.
The Pavilion lay in the far north on True Yin Mountain, a neutral sect which hid itself from the world. They were a sect shrouded in mystery, who didn’t even join the Great Sect War.
The revision abruptly stopped here. Wenren È still remembered that
wandering immortal of the Violet Spirit Pavilion whom he had beaten up once, and her possession technique.
Wandering immortals actually arrived at the same state as blood cultivators through different means. They discarded their flesh body for a purely
spiritual existence and were not limited by the mortal world. Perhaps the possession technique of a wandering immortal could help him deal with a blood cultivator’s desire for blood.
Wenren È closed the book, deciding he should also set off for the Violet Spirit Pavilion.
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 just means white hair ↩
Chapter 39 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 39 – Rod of Heartbreak
Wenren È couldn’t leave Xuanyuan Sect without a word to anyone.
Appropriately speaking, if the Sect Master wasn’t around, the new Deputy Sect Leader, Yin Hanjiang, who had been in his position for just thirty years, should handle his duties in his place.
Wenren È was planning to leave Yin Hanjiang at Xuanyuan Sect and set off for the Violet Spirit Pavilion alone. Xuanyuan Sect didn’t have any important affairs he needed to manage, and it hardly mattered if his
subordinates rebelled after he left, since they’d surrender when he returned anyway. Yin Hanjiang was always too close to Wenren È, and his power
was at the peak of Void Boundary. He never showed any wariness toward Wenren È. If Wenren È were to say to him, “This Venerable needs to
consume souls”, he was afraid Yin Hanjiang might offer his own up in a heartbeat.
It was too dangerous to travel together with him. He would have more ease in restraining himself if he was alone.
Thus, before departing, Wenren È called over Yin Hanjiang and told him he was heading to True Yin Mountain.
Yin Hanjiang completely failed to clue in onto the fact that Wenren È was trying to ditch him. He quietly followed behind, ready to leave with him.
Seeing his behavior, Wenren È stopped walking, carefully considering what he was about to say. He slowly opened his mouth. “Sect Leader Yin, about the sect leadership while this Venerable is gone, and the search for the traitor…” Yin Hanjiang’s expression turned blank. He stared silently at Wenren È,
seeming to think nothing of his own, simply awaiting his Venerable’s next order.
If Wenren È commanded it, Yin Hanjiang would carry it out to perfection, even if he was unwilling.
Wenren È couldn’t continue. Yin Hanjiang maintained his attentive posture, waiting for his Venerable to finish his command.
“…it can be left to Protector Shu. She’s gotten a lot of practice, anyway. Since the other Altar Masters were overcome by her before, they’ll be more wary and less willing to disturb the peace. The matter of the traitor isn’t urgent. We don’t even have any clues now, but it’s possible that if we both leave, Cen Zhengqi will let something slip.” Looking at Yin Hanjiang’s
expression, Wenren È finally completed his sentence this way.
Yin Hanjiang’s face finally gained some life. He dipped his head low and said, “Your subordinate understands.”
Wenren È furrowed his brows. It wasn’t like he and Yin Hanjiang had never left each other’s sides before. The Lord of Demons came and went when he pleased, and he hardly needed to report it all to Yin Hanjiang. Yin Hanjiang had never asked, either. It was just that after reading Abusive Romance,
Wenren È was worried about Yin Hanjiang’s psyche and tried to avoid leaving him alone. Now he wanted to leave him, but felt misgivings.
This wasn’t right.
He had originally hoped to settle Yin Hanjiang down and avoid him taking some actions that would displease him if he died, so he paid more attention to him. But now he felt less comfortable about leaving Yin Hanjiang alone.
When Wenren È wanted to go somewhere, since when had he paid attention to how dejected Yin Hanjiang looked? And since when had it softened his heart? “Yin Hanjiang,” Wenren È said, switching to using his name. “This Venerable is not a god. He is the same as you, just another cultivator journeying on the path to divinity.”
“This subordinate understands,” Yin Hanjiang said, still bowing his head.
“Admiration is all well and good, but you need to walk your own path. Do you understand this?” Wenren È took a step closer. He put a hand on the back of Yin Hanjiang’s neck, his thumb by his ear, applying pressure and forcing him to raise his head.
The distance tinged both their faces slightly red. Wenren È sensed the
essence of a sword cultivator that surrounded Yin Hanjiang, which was top- quality spiritual essence to a blood cultivator. Wenren È had not been able to absorb spiritual energy for thirty years, and he felt dizzy. The pressure of his hand on Yin Hanjiang’s neck strengthened, as the incantation for
absorbing blood surfaced in his mind. With just slightly more force from his hand, he could dissolve Yin Hanjiang into blood, and his soul and all his
spiritual essence would belong to Wenren È.
Blood qi tinged Wenren È’s face red, but for some reason, Yin Hanjiang was blushing too. He struggled out of Wenren È’s grab and said, cupping his hands, “This subordinate understands. This subordinate will put every effort toward ascending to Mahayana to help his Venerable.”
Yin Hanjiang backing away returned some control to Wenren È. He
suppressed his surging blood qi and turned away. “Message Shu Yanyan and tell her she’s the acting sect leader.”
After Yin Hanjiang sent the message talisman, Wenren È didn’t turn around, just departing in a streak of light. Yin Hanjiang frantically brought out his
sword to chase him.
He gnawed on his lip. What did his Venerable mean by those words? Did he notice Yin Hanjiang’s intentions? While they were talking, had Yin
Hanjiang let something show in his expression? Yin Hanjiang continually berated himself that in the future, he had to be more vigilant around his Venerable. He was the Deputy Sect Leader, and ought to manage Xuanyuan Sect in the Sect Master’s absence. He should not be disheartened because he couldn’t follow his Venerable around. Even if he felt pained, he couldn’t let any of it show.
The two arrived at True Yin Mountain, both dwelling on their own problems. Wenren È landed outside the Pavilion’s array, avoiding the patrolling disciples, and opened his book to check on how events had developed. He would be deciding right now whether to barge directly into the Violet Spirit Pavilion, or order their gates open for him.
Baili Qingmiao’s group had arrived at True Yin Mountain three days ago. Baili Qingmiao had paced back and forth in front of their Misty Dawn Bell, unsure of whether or not she should ring it.
From what Elder Qingrong had said, the Violet Spirit Pavilion had told Hè Wenzhao that since they only had one stalk of the Lockheart Herb, it truly was difficult for them to give it to him. They could only let him have it if he could find a way to make a new stalk mature. The Lockheart sprouts needed the lava of True Yin Mountain in order to grow, but the eruption could not be such that it destroyed the Violet Spirit Pavilion. He had to make the mountain erupt while keeping it in check. This was an unreasonable task.
Hè Wenzhao’s party had been staying at the Violet Spirit Pavilion all this time, hanging around the crater and trying to come up with a way to make a volcano that had erupted only once in the last three thousand years do so
again. Over half a month had passed, and they had made no progress.
Elder Qingrong hadn’t contacted Baili Qingmiao hoping that she could
complete this impossible task. She had wanted Baili Qingmiao to convince Immortal Qingxue and the Crane-Haired Wanderer to act. Qingxue was an honorary elder of Shangqing Sect and ought to help in sect business
anyway, just her personality was a bit problematic. It was said that the
Nanguo clan was still after her life. Shangqing Sect knew Qingxue favored Baili Qingmiao, so they hoped Baili Qingmiao could bring her around. Also, in these few years, the name of the Crane-Haired Wanderer had
already become renowned across the cultivation world, filling the Zhongli clan with regret for passing him up. The Shangqing Sect knew that Baili Qingmiao and the Crane-Haired Wanderer had a heart-linking parasite, so thought she could convince him.
With the Crane-Haired Wanderer’s help, they were sure they could satisfy the Violet Spirit Pavilion’s demands.
As for Su Huai, he was just a Core Formation disciple. No one expected him to do anything, and Baili Qingmiao just brought him along so he could go new places and gain experience.
The gloomy and brooding Su Huai was actually the wildest one in the group. He had originally planned to kill Baili Qingmiao in revenge for once having been exorcised by her. If there hadn’t happened to be a stillborn
which he could hide in, he would’ve been destroyed that day, so he truly had it out for her.
Therefore, when Baili Qingmiao returned to the village and decided to take him as disciple, he instantly agreed. He planned to be a good and obedient disciple, to put Baili Qingmiao on a pedestal and make her think of him as unfailingly loyal and considerate. That way, when he betrayed her later on, he would get to witness her expression twisted in shock and heartbreak.
With these thoughts, Su Huai accepted her as master, then felt a gaze on him that made his hair stand on end.
He followed the gaze and found his nominal marital ancestor licking her lips while looking at him. He broke out in a cold sweat.
That night, while Baili Qingmiao meditated, Immortal Qingxue kidnapped Su Huai into her hut. Su Huai was unable to resist the power of a wandering immortal, and the array she casually set up was impossible for him to break. Even if he screamed, no one outside would hear him.
“Help!” the eighteen-year-old boy cried, pounding on the door, but the woman behind him heartlessly yanked him back. “Stop moving. Let me take a look at you,” Immortal Qingxue said, her eyes gleaming. She held Su Huai down against the ground and put a hand against his chest. Her eyes brightened. “A heartbeat! You’re a living ghost
“You know I’m a ghost cultivator?” Su Huai exclaimed.
He thought his disguise was perfect! He had tricked Baili Qingmiao, but didn’t expect Immortal Qingxue to see through him at a glance.
“How did you manage to cultivate the hungry ghost path while retaining a body?” Qingxue fixed her eyes on Su Huai’s chest. “If I removed your heart, would you survive?”
“I don’t know!” Su Huai cried, crumbling under Qingxue’s predatory gaze. “When my spirit was about to dissipate, I sensed a stillborn being born. It was a rare kind of infant, where the soul that should’ve occupied it had left but it was still breathing. I possessed it, and that’s how I became like this, between a living person and a ghost cultivator.”
Su Huai had reached Qi Refining stage without any instruction because he ate the ghosts around the village. Only a ghost cultivator should be able to consume ghosts, but with Su Huai’s unique constitution, he could do it
while still alive and increase his spiritual essence.
Hearing his explanation, Qingxue fell into deep thought and finally said, “It seems it’s the matter of this body of yours. If I devoured your soul and took your body, I could probably go back to being a ghost cultivator!”
She seemed like such an enlightened master! After thinking for a whole night, all she came up with was this? Was her head for decoration?
Su Huai tried pitifully to escape. When Immortal Qingxue had him pinned down and was about to eat his soul, Baili Qingmiao’s voice came from outside the hut. “Master Qingxue? Disciple? Where are you guys? The
sun’s up, so it’s about time to head out.” “Probably inside that hut,” came the man in the blindfold’s warm voice. “It seems Immortal Qingxue is helping you discipline your new disciple.”
“Really? I’ll go check.” Baili Qingmiao opened the door with a smile.
In that moment, Qingxue let go of Su Huai and took down her array, so that Baili Qingmiao instantly caught sight of them.
“Master!” For the first time, Su Huai realized that Baili Qingmiao was truly a kind and righteous person. He leapt at her and threw his arms around her waist, swearing to himself that he would treat Baili Qingmiao good in the future and never leave his master’s side. He had to make sure he was never alone with Immortal Qingxue.
“Elder Qingxue must’ve felt this child was rebellious and took the opportunity to teach him to obey his masters, eh?” Zhongli Qian put weight into that last word, and Su Huai and Qingxue both shuddered.
Qingxue may have been stronger than Zhongli Qian, but every time she met his blindfolded gaze, she felt uneasy. Unlike Wenren È’s direct and oppressive manner, Zhongli Qian was gentle and never forced anyone, putting everyone around him at ease instead. Yet something about his perceptive gaze that seemed to see through everything made him intimidating.
After that experience, Su Huai discarded his grudge and dedicated himself to Baili Qingmiao, treating her sincerely and considerately.
Seeing Baili Qingmiao pace in front of the bell at this moment, Su Huai squinted and said, “Master, are you nervous?”
Baili Qingmiao flushed. “It’s not like I’ll fall for shixiong again. Shixiong is married to Liu-shijie, and I couldn’t come between them. I’m just worried that since we haven’t seen each other in thirty years, my emotions will be
stirred and I’ll affect Brother Zhongli.”
Su Huai was originally scared of Qingxue, but after Zhongli Qian learned Wordless Child, Su Huai and Qingxue became close instead. Su Huai also learned that Immortal Qingxue was once a ghost cultivator, and the master of the Hellfire Pavilion at Xuanyuan Sect.
The Hellfire Pavilion! A small-time ghost cultivator like him didn’t have a hope of getting close to a place like that. From then on, Su Huai had started studying under Qingxue. Gradually, his actions became influenced by Qiu Congxue.
“Don’t worry, master. If you become muddleheaded again, I’ll knock you out and drag you away. Senior Zhongli won’t be affected at all,” Su Huai said. He rang the Misty Dawn Bell for Baili Qingmiao.
Baili Qingmiao: …
Were they kin of different generations? Her disciple was becoming more and more like Master Qingxue.
After the sounding of the bell, Baili Qingmiao showed the Violet Spirit Pavilion’s disciples a greeting slip that could only be created by the Shangqing Sect to verify her identity, and they invited her group in to meet Hè Wenzhao. There was no sign of the Pavilion Master.
Hè Wenzhao had come with Liu Xinye and a few other disciples he was friends with. Upon seeing his little shimei for the first time in thirty years, he stopped dead in his tracks. He gazed at her from afar, unable to look
away, not even feeling Liu Xinye when she tugged on his arm.
Baili Qingmiao was the same. Over these past years, she had undergone two heavenly tribulations, for the Deity Transformation and Body Unity stages, and each time she had wanted to let go of her resolve and return to her
shixiong’s side. She would be happy just looking at him from a distance.
If it weren’t for Zhongli Qian, who knew Baili Qingmiao’s emotions at all times and could quickly help her reconsider, and the much more powerful Immortal Qingxue keeping an eye on her, Baili Qingmiao would’ve already snuck off. Now that she was looking at Hè Wenzhao, Zhongli Qian could feel his heart pound wildly. Even though he couldn’t see, he could sense how distinguished and tender that distant silhouette was.
The built-up emotions of thirty years were too intense, and for a moment, Zhongli Qian was unable to suppress Baili Qingmiao.
Fortunately, Baili Qingmiao had only taken half a step forward when she felt a cold gust at her back. She pulled her head out of the way, and, looking back, saw that Su Huai was swinging his bonded weapon at her—the Rod of Heartbreak.
The Rod of Heartbreak was forty meters long and as thick as Baili
Qingmiao’s waist. Zhongli Qian and Qiu Congxue’s help had been needed to refine it. It was capable of changing size to the wielder’s will.
Su Huai had made it the maximum size, and though Baili Qingmiao managed to avoid it, Hè Wenzhao, who was standing in a daze thirty-nine meters away, took a blow right to the head. Even if he was a Void Boundary cultivator, he would feel a metal stick with the thickness of a human’s waist hitting him in the skull.
Su Huai, having missed Baili Qingmiao, spun the rod in his hand and transformed it into two thin sticks, about to whack her again. Baili
Qingmiao was already calm with the help of Zhongli Qian, and quickly reached out to stop her disciple’s weapon. “Disciple, stop swinging that thing! I’m okay!”
Zhongli Qian showed a faint smile. “Su Huai sure has Immortal Qingxue to thank for his magic weapon. It was forged with the resentment of thousands of vengeful spirits before they were exorcised, all female ghosts who had been abandoned or harmed by men. It may not be a near-immortal artifact, but it has unique powers.
“If a woman is hit by it, her love will turn to hate. The more she loves
someone, the more she’ll want to kill him. If a man were to be hit by it, his body would be invaded with yin energy, and he will lose capabilities in a certain area.” It wasn’t really convenient for Zhongli Qian to explain further, so Qiu Congxue gleefully continued for him. She was quite proud of what she’d made for her little disciple, after all.
Hè Wenzhao had been hit in the head, yet he felt agony in some other part of his body. He couldn’t check in front of a bunch of other disciples, so he could only grit his teeth and say, “Shimei, who is that kid behind you? Why is he trying to hit you?”
the rod of bonk go to horny jail
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. Yin is associated with the feminine ↩
Chapter 40 – Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know
Chapter 40 – Who are you, handsome?
While speaking, Hè Wenzhao used his spiritual essence to force out the yin energy inside his body. He was a Void Boundary cultivator, and Su Huai’s level was too low in comparison, so any effect he had could only be temporary. After the yin energy was gone, Hè Wenzhao would be fine.
But Su Huai had humiliated him in front of his fellow disciples and his wife, so his expression was rather strained. If Baili Qingmiao wasn’t
shielding Su Huai, Hè Wenzhao would’ve taught the Core Formation brat a lesson.
“This is my disciple, Su Huai,” said Baili Qingmiao. Now that she had come back to her senses and her emotions were being suppressed by
Zhongli Qian, she could speak casually with her shixiong. She put a hand on Su Huai’s shoulder as she introduced him.
“Shouldn’t he greet his elders, then?” Liu Xinye said at Hè Wenzhao’s side, an unpleasant look on her face.
Su Huai pulled a face. He had only reluctantly accepted Baili Qingmiao. As a ghost cultivator, he had no loyalty to the Shangqing Sect, and in fact, now that he and Qiu Congxue got along, she had promised to recommend him into the Hellfire Pavilion. If he did good, she said she would even help him get rid of the current Altar Master Shi and gain the position of master of
Su Huai had no wish to show respect to these strangers in front of him.
Baili Qingmiao had been taught manners by Shangqing Sect since youth
and was about to order him to, when Immortal Qingxue said, “Huh? I’m an elder. Why don’t you greet me?”
Su Huai immediately bowed deeply to Qingxue. “This disciple greets Master Qingxue.”
The assembled members of Shangqing Sect were speechless.
“Oh, and you.” Qingxue took out a jade with the piece of Liu Xinye’s soul sealed inside. “When are you going to repay me my elixir? You’re only at Deity Transformation? A Deity Transformation Nascent Soul isn’t worth the Seven-Colored Lotus Heart. It’ll probably even out if you add in your cultivation partner.
Liu Xinye: …
Hè Wenzhao: …
Hè Wenzhao quickly grabbed Liu Xinye’s hand and led the rest of the disciples to bow to Qingxue. “Greetings to Elder Qingxue.”
At the same time, Su Huai also bowed, following Zhongli Qian’s instructions. That way, neither side was insulted.
“Elder, for the past thirty years, we have been searching for a cure for the Sect Master and unable to find you an elixir. Fortunately, the Lockheart Herb is the last thing he needs, and after he wakes, this disciple can leave his duties and accompany his wife to find a treasure for you. We beg for your forgiveness,” Hè Wenzhao said. Even though he had been
embarrassed, he suppressed his emotions and was willing to plead on his wife’s behalf.
Her shixiong was such a good husband, Baili Qingmiao thought, and she couldn’t help but fall back into her old infatuation.
Zhongli Qian slapped his bamboo scroll against his palm and Su Huai immediately drew the Rod of Heartbreak. Baili Qingmiao frantically said, “Don’t hit me! I’m calm!” Seeing the giant weapon brought out again, Hè Wenzhao quickly dodged out of the way with Liu Xinye. With no one to hit, Su Huai curled his lip and put away his weapon.
Since both sides were tense, Zhongli Qian announced, “Let’s go check out the volcano. Curing the Sect Master is what’s most important.”
The standoff was resolved, with everyone heading toward the crater.
From Hè Wenzhao’s words, when they had arrived at the Violet Spirit Pavilion, the Pavilion Master had glanced at them through a curtain and
sent them all to the crater to come up with a solution on their own, saying that they could have any sprouts they managed to ripen. Everyone had been spending this time racking their brains at the top of the volcano, but had not found a way to restrict the lava to a suitable area.
Baili Qingmiao’s group didn’t even enter the main hall, directly being taken to the crater.
No one dared to criticize the Violet Spirit Pavilion. After all, the Pavilion had been secluded with no contact with the rest of the cultivation world for years, and they were here to beg their favor. It was already great that they were allowed up to the crater.
Hearing that it had been dormant for three thousand years and was
completely safe, Baili Qingmiao’s group approached it confidently. Zhongli Qian, Qingxue, and Su Huai didn’t discover anything out of the ordinary, but when Baili Qingmiao stuck her head over the edge, a streak of flame
shot toward the sky, aimed right at her face.
She pulled back with a cry of shock and barely managed to avoid the fire. The black cloth around her eye had been burned off, though, and fell into the crater.
“Shimei, are you okay?” Hè Wenzhao shook off Liu Xinye and charged over to see whether or not Baili Qingmiao’s face had been burned. Baili Qingmiao opened her eyes and saw her shixiong’s concerned face in her right eye, but before she could feel touched, Zhongli Qian’s giant face was plastered in her left eye. Looking at Zhongli Qian with one eye and Hè Wenzhao with the other, she nearly went cross-eyed.
She shoved Hè Wenzhao off and closed her eyes, turning her head away. “Give me a blindfold.”
Su Huai handed her a black cloth. After she tied it around her eye, Baili Qingmiao finally let out a breath. Now she could see Hè Wenzhao’s hurt expression properly. Wanting to explain, she took a step forward, but Liu Xinye came over to help Hè Wenzhao off the ground, shooting Baili
Qingmiao a glare.
Baili Qingmiao retreated her step, thinking that this was for the best.
“After all this time, the volcano has finally reacted!” Yao Wendan said, ignoring the atmosphere. “Shimei, what did you do just now to get it to erupt? It was so precise too, just aimed at one area.”
“I didn’t do anything…” Baili Qingmiao was also confused. She had only stuck her head over slightly, and flames had spewed out. Yet after she backed away, the flames vanished.
It was like it was targeting Baili Qingmiao, Zhongli Qian thought, standing at one side.
After being with Baili Qingmiao for thirty years, he had gotten the sense that legendary treasures were plentiful around her. He had managed to reach Mahayana after only thirty years, not only because of learning Wordless
Child and awakening to the path of teaching, but also thanks to the treasures he kept running into which could increase his spiritual essence.
He suddenly remembered Wenren È. Baili Qingmiao had told him that
she’d twice met Wenren È when he told her that a certain item was fated to her, and wanted her help in retrieving it. Had Wenren È long since discovered Baili Qingmiao’s quirk? Zhongli Qian frowned, deep in thought.
While everyone discussed how they should awaken the volcano, a scent drifted past on the wind.
“This incense… I smelled it back when we met the Pavilion Master,” Yao Wendan said. “Is the Pavilion Master here to check on the activity at the crater?”
As he spoke, several purple-robed women flew towards them, a few of them carrying a radiant carriage. A curtain shrouded the person inside from sight.
Approaching the crater, they landed on it, and the four servant girls set down the carriage. The leading disciple said, “Who was it who made the volcano react?”
The crowd backed away, leaving behind Baili Qingmiao. A deep voice came from inside the carriage, “Indeed it was you.”
Baili Qingmiao cocked her head, then cupped her fist respectfully. “This one is Baili Qingmiao. Is the Pavilion Master implying that we have met before?”
“Who knows?” A single hand pushed aside the curtain, and a young man in lavish silver robes emerged. He swept his gaze over Baili Qingmiao’s face and said, “Perhaps we met in another life.”
His black hair was gathered together by a silver band, with a few loose
strands draped over his shoulders. He had cold elegant eyes and colorless lips, and upon catching sight of Baili Qingmiao, had shown a smile without any hint of warmth.
“The Shangqing Sect is certainly the leader of the righteous sects. Since so many eminent persons have gathered here, the Violet Spirit Pavilion dares not be discourteous. Why don’t you all stay in the Pavilion as guests, while we work together to think of a way to grow the Lockheart Herb? There’s no problem if we can’t. Isn’t there one ready? As long as Shangqing Sect offers something of equal value in exchange, we aren’t unwilling to give it.”
Hey now, you weren’t saying these things several days ago.
Not only were the people there confused, Wenren È also was. The readers of Abusive Romance and God of Annihilation were also dumbstruck.
For once, the comment sections of both books were aligned, all filled with people saying, “Who are you, handsome?” Even Wenren È had trouble believing his eyes.
The Violet Spirit Pavilion Master, the main wife in God of Annihilation, the top female villain in Abusive Romance, the wandering immortal who
Wenren È had found underneath the Ice Plains and beaten up, was now a man?
Yin Hanjiang watched as Wenren È stood in front of the Misty Dawn Bell, reading for two hours straight, then suddenly stopping. He had a strained look on his face, seemingly having run into some problem.
“Venerable?” Yin Hanjiang looked at him in confusion. He couldn’t imagine what could stump Wenren È.
“Nothing.” Both revisions stopped there, so Wenren È put his books away.
After thinking for a time in front of the bell, he said, “Sect Leader Yin, it seems we need a change of plans.”
Wenren È had come to the Violet Spirit Pavilion with two plans. The first was destroying the array, fighting his way in, and forcing the wandering
immortal to give out her possession technique. The second was demolishing half of True Yin Mountain, then communicating his request to the Pavilion Master, making her offer it freely.
But now that this unprecedented development had occurred, Wenren È decided on a different plan, to enter the Pavilion “courteously” under different identities.
“We need to change our appearances. Let’s say we’re… guest cultivators of the Zhongli clan. We’ll hand over greeting slips and follow the regulations. Zhongli Qian should be able to figure out the situation and help cover for us.” Wenren È thought up a new plan on the spot, relaying it to Yin
He had met the Pavilion Master before, and without a disguise, he would be recognized. He might never be able to figure out why the story had taken
such a turn.
If the Pavilion Master, as a major female character, changed her fate and avoided marrying Hè Wenzhao, then didn’t that mean that as two major
male characters, Wenren È and Yin Hanjiang’s fates could also be changed?
Xuanyuan Sect was naturally rich in disguising techniques. Yin Hanjiang took out two masks. These weren’t like the skin masks used in the Jianghu, and appeared like two lumps of dough. Once stuck on one’s face, it could be kneaded to one’s liking. This was a very low-level magic item without much spiritual energy, and couldn’t do anything other than change one’s
appearance. However, as long as no one touched your face, you were certain to not be discovered.
“Sect Leader Yin, why don’t you make a face for this Venerable?” Wenren È said.
Yin Hanjiang stuck the dough on Wenren È’s face, carefully smoothing it with his fingers. “What would the Venerable want to look like?”
“Anything you want,” Wenren È said. He had faith in Zhongli Qian’s intelligence. Whatever his disguise looked like, Zhongli Qian could see through it and help cover for him.
Yin Hanjiang was quite tall, just an inch shorter than Wenren È. He gazed intently at Wenren È’s face, shaping it carefully. After he created a face, he hesitated, and was about to wipe it out and start over when Wenren È said, “Are you done yet? Let me see.” With a flick of a finger, a mirror of ice appeared before him. Wenren È stared silently at the face in the reflection.
This was exactly the same as his face. Only the eyes were slightly different, looking a bit more relaxed and resembling the General Wenren stationed at the border town one hundred years ago.
“Is this how I’ve always looked in your eyes?” Wenren È felt a spark of annoyance, though he didn’t know why. “General Wenren was just this
Venerable’s identity when he walked the mortal world. This Venerable has long since progressed past that. If you remain stuck in that time, you will never reach Mahayana.”
“It’s not that,” Yin Hanjiang said. “It’s just…” He himself didn’t know how to explain it. His Venerable had looked at him with such a warm and
attentive expression. His hands had moved on their own at the time.
“This subordinate will make the Venerable a new one,” Yin Hanjiang said quickly.
“No need.” Wenren È waved a hand and the mask became a completely unremarkable face, his black robes also transforming to the grey robes of the Zhongli clan’s guest cultivators.
Yin Hanjiang stuck the dough on his face and was about to sculpt an ordinary appearance for himself when Wenren È said, “Let me do it.”
A forceful hand landed on Yin Hanjiang’s face. Yin Hanjiang stiffened, his whole body freezing up, not even daring to breathe.
After creating an average face for Yin Hanjiang, Wenren È withdrew his hand and said, “Sect Leader Yin, you mustn’t always live chasing this Venerable’s shadow.”
“This subordinate hasn’t…” Yin Hanjiang was unable to continue. He had once told Zhongli Qian that he wouldn’t desire, would only watch from a distance, and therefore he would never feel resentment. But fantasies were difficult to do away with once they arose. He wanted to be General Wenren’s most loyal subordinate. Even if they were both mortals, he would be happy just fighting alongside him, even dying alongside him.
The Lord of Demons was too powerful and too impossible to pursue. Yin Hanjiang only dared to hold this small wish, hoping that he would have
such a chance in his next life.
Wenren È looked at him and sighed quietly.
When the Army Crushing Sword was forged, he had felt Yin Hanjiang begin to dissolve his psychological blocks and move past the thoughtlessly loyal Left Protector he had been. Everything was going well then, so why had he regressed and gotten even worse than before?
“Sect Leader Yin, is there something important that you’ve been hiding from this Venerable?”
“No…” Yin Hanjiang trailed off again. He really was hiding something from his Venerable, something he could never admit. Even if after he died, someone interrogated his soul, he wouldn’t let a word slip.
He lifted his head and looked at Wenren È, his eyes filled with resolution. It was the resolution to take his secret to the grave. “This subordinate does have something on his mind. However, it is unrelated to the Venerable. The Venerable need not concern himself, as this subordinate will carry out his duties regardless.”
“You—” Wenren È reached out, and his hand froze the instant before it grabbed hold of Yin Hanjiang’s throat.
Yin Hanjiang didn’t avoid him, instead raising his head and making it easier for Wenren È to grab him.
“After we return to Xuanyuan Sect, go to the forbidden grounds and reflect for fifty years. If after fifty years, you cannot resolve your concern…”
Wenren È stopped. He couldn’t think of a punishment, and at last said, “We’ll talk again after fifty years.” Reflect for fifty years… that was just as well. Yin Hanjiang lowered his head with a bitter smile.
Seeing nothing he said could make Yin Hanjiang listen, Wenren È felt oddly powerless. He raised a hand and sounded the Misty Dawn Bell,
announcing with the bell’s sound. “We guests of the Zhongli clan under Zhongli Qian, Wenzun and Yinjiang, are here to call upon Young Master Zhongli. Hoping the Violet Spirit Pavilion will relay him this message.”
Zhongli Qian, hearing this: …
Wenzun and Yinjiang… was Wenren È worried that people wouldn’t know who they were?
yao wendan, why are you here? why does hwz even like you anymore?
I went through, checked my footnotes, and found out most of them were broken. They’re fixed now. From 1-39 that is, no guarantees here or here on
Thank you for reading. If there are any mistakes, I hope my fellow cultivators will offer guidance.
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1. That’s the zun in this Venerable ↩