Published at 24th of January 2019 03:38:15 AM

Chapter 53

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Chapter 53: Master and Disciple Meet Again

Who wrote this ballad? What mountain was Chunshan referring to?

Qing Jing Peak?

Cang Qiong Mountain?

The Cang Qiong Mountain sect can wipe out your entire family, okay?!

Just why did the gossip spread everywhere, including the border territory, to the point that even the flowery love songs on the streets used them as material? It was as if he and Luo Binghe had been caught having sex in front of everyone in the entire world!

Zhuzhi-Lang burst out laughing. He turned around and said, “Is Master Shen … very interested … in this ballad?”

Shen Qingqiu looked at him coldly. Zhuzhi-Lang hastily adjusted his expression, but it was still hard for him to hold back. “It… it’s best if my humble self withdraws for a moment…”

However, he was just about to stand up when his body suddenly stalled, and he stiffened on his stool.

Shen Qingqiu snuck a look at his expression before laughing a bit. He asked, “What? Does your body finally feel out of sorts?”

He stood up and shook out his clothes. The green snakes that were lounging in his lap fell onto the floor with a patter, tumbling around and revealing their yellow underbellies. The women in the hall started to shriek out of fear, and the woman playing the pipa immediately threw it down.

Zhuzhi-Lang placed a hand on his forehead and stood up using the support of the table, swaying. He stared at Shen Qingqiu and lifted his right hand, grabbing a handful of small snakes which slipped out of his sleeve, but they all just wound themselves around his fingers, no strength to attack whatsoever. Zhuzhi-Lang shook his head and said weakly, “…realgar.”

Somehow, the entire extravagant building had long since been soaked in the scent of realgar wine.

(TN: Realgar wine is wine mixed with powdered realgar, a yellow-orange arsenic sulfide mineral that is supposed to be effective against disease, snakes, and evil spirits.)

Shen Qingqiu praised, “Top-quality realgar wine. Also, might I mention that it was all bought with your money.”

Nothing came for free. Looking for women was fake, looking for assistants was real. The assistants didn’t necessarily need to know how to fly or burrow into the ground; with a whisper in their ears, the girls in the building took the money and secretly bought all the realgar wine in the town. They surrounded the Warm Red Pavilion and fanned the wine as they boiled it for an entire night. If Zhuzhi-Lang didn’t faint from the fragrance, then he wouldn’t be part of the Snake Race. It wasn’t that Zhuzhi-Lang wasn’t on guard; it was only that he was on guard against Shen Qingqiu contacting other cultivators, not the girls in the building. In the end, he had been careless.

Zhuzhi-Lang lifted his head. The whites of his eyes had already turned gold, and his pupils were lengthening and sharpening at a speed visible to the naked eye. His face was also starting to change shape. Shen Qingqiu quickly opened the door, and he asked the maidens squeezed next to the door, “Are you going or not?”

The girls immediately scrambled to get outside, the woman playing the pipa at the very end. Shen Qingqiu adeptly stuffed a bag of coins into her pocket; it could be considered compensation for her pipa. He closed the door with a flip of his hand, and when he looked back again, an enormous, jade green snake whose width was so large that three people wouldn’t be able to encircle it with their arms, was now coiled where Zhuzhi-Lang had been standing. This enormous snake’s head was huge and triangular, its eyes bronze-yellow, its pupils an extremely thin line. It seemed to be dizzy, as if its slender neck couldn’t support its heavy head, which drooped from time to time.

The effect of the realgar wine was beyond expectations. It actually made Zhuzhi-Lang reveal his original shape, which made Shen Qingqiu’s head hurt a little. He picked up a folding fan from nearby that somebody had left behind before opening it and fanning it. The enormous snake slunk towards him and wound two circles around him, as if it wanted to bind him in place. Shen Qingqiu leaped out easily.

The snake rolled over and twisted together before breaking out of the building, as if it were drunk. It crashed into the middle of the street, causing the passersby to shriek and flee in all directions. Shen Qingqiu also followed after him and jumped down from the building, shouting, “It’s no use if you come outside either. This entire town is full of the scent of realgar wine!”

A sharp hiss came from the enormous snake’s mouth, and it shook its head and thrashed its tail in the street. Shen Qingqiu decided to draw him away from places where there were a lot of people, and he quickly leaped lightly onto its head. As long as the snake went in the wrong direction or was about to crash into pedestrians or houses, Shen Qingqiu would jab the fan into the side of its head. The snake’s scales were like armor, creating an enormous rumbling noise as it crawled along the floor. Shen Qingqiu often had to pour large amounts of spiritual energy into the fan to make it change direction, and so he forcefully drove the snake outside of the town.

After the girls in the building received the money, they went all out. He didn’t know how much realgar wine they boiled, but the scent was scattered far away by the wind. With great difficulty, they arrived at the foot of a mountain, and the scent was still floating steadily down from uphill. The enormous snake was overwhelmed with discomfort from the smell, and it had also been prodded and stabbed by Shen Qingqiu the entire way here. It was extremely exhausted, and it couldn’t crawl any further.

Shen Qingqiu saw that they were already far away from the town, and he finally jumped down. The enormous snake was weak and powerless, its head drooping down as it curled up across the mountain path several times. Shen Qingqiu said, “Even though I’m very interested in filling plot holes, I’m not interested in immigrating to the Demon Realm. Also, I’m under a lot of pressure right now. Since you can’t remove the ancient demon blood either, there’s no need to repay the debt of gratitude. Xizhi-Lang,1 goodbye!”

He was afraid that after the aroma of the wine wore off, Zhuzhi-Lang would return to his original shape and release another pile of snakes to annoy him, so he ran away extremely quickly. At the next slightly larger city, he found a very reliable chain store and rented a flying sword.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. He indeed rented it. Just like renting a car, flying swords could be rented as well. Moreover, the price was extremely fair and cost-effective!

In the end, he still used Zhuzhi-Lang’s money. Shen Qingqiu placed his palms together and thanked his dear friend before he sped off on the flying sword towards Cang Qiong Mountain.

About half a day later, twelve verdant green mountain peaks of varying heights appeared from the sea of clouds and mist, rising and falling along the mountain range.

It had been a long time. Cang Qiong Mountain.

Shen Qingqiu silently crossed out the word ‘Chunshan’ that had just appeared in his mind.

There was an air defense formation set up outside of the Cang Qiong Mountain sect, and flying swords that weren’t from the sect couldn’t enter without advance notice. If one entered without permission, they would be knocked off course, so Shen Qingqiu stopped at the bottom of the mountain and sent the flying sword back. Along the way, he changed into a different outfit and found a bamboo hat to wear.

There were often cultivators passing through the small town at the bottom of the mountain, but today he didn’t see very many. Shen Qingqiu was just thinking that it was a little strange when somebody asked, “This Immortal Master, do you… want to go up to the Cang Qiong Mountain sect?”

Shen Qingqiu nodded. The person spoke again. “It’s probably not very good to go now, right?”

Shen Qingqiu’s heart tightened, and he asked, “Why is it not very good?”

The person shared a glance with the others around him. “Do you not know? This mountain has already been surrounded for two days.”

After passing through the sect gate and climbing the stairs up the mountain, Shen Qingqiu unexpectedly didn’t see a single disciple guarding the Peak. The ominous feeling in Shen Qingqiu’s mind grew stronger and stronger, and he leaped up several stairs at once, rushing up the mountain. The further up he went, the more clearly he could see that much of the sky around Qiong Ding Peak was covered with thick, roiling smoke, mixed with flashes of lightning and the sound of rolling thunder.

At the summit of Qiong Ding Peak, everything was a mess. Fire burned through the forest, and ice was scattered all over the floor, the edges of the roof collapsed and destroyed; it seemed like several fierce battles had occurred here. Outside of Qiong Ding Hall, the two factions were clearly facing off against each other. One side consisted of cultivators from the Human Realm, some standing and some lying down, as Mu Qingfang bustled among them. The other side consisted of soldiers from the demon race, draped in black armor, dark and intimidating. Even though it seemed like they had ceased fire temporarily, as long as somebody’s sword left its sheath by an inch, it would undoubtedly reignite the spark in the air.

It seemed like Luo Binghe already felt that it wasn’t worth hiding his identity anymore. Shen Qingqiu wasn’t surprised. The original Luo Binghe had exposed his own lineage at around the same time. His influence as the one at the top of the demon race was already solidified, and he had also brainwashed Huan Hua Palace from the inside out, so it was docile and obedient under his control. With a solid foothold, he naturally wouldn’t need to continue concealing his identity. The only thing was that the general summary of the scene where he revealed himself was different, that’s all.

Even though the disciples of the Peak all had to wear uniforms, there were also quite a few famous cultivators who weren’t subject to this restriction. Shen Qingqiu’s unsuitable attire didn’t really attract that much attention, and he squeezed to the front of the hall, peering in.

Yue Qingyuan sat with his eyes closed, Liu Qingge behind him with his hand on Yue Qingyuan’s back. The spiritual energy fluctuating around their bodies seemed to be somewhat unsteady; most likely, both of their situations weren’t too good. When he looked at his Sect Master senior apprentice brother and unlucky junior apprentice brother and saw how it seemed like they had reached this point only because he had screwed them over, Shen Qingqiu felt a twinge of guilt. He turned his head away once more, and his breathing stilled.

Luo Binghe stood darkly at the other side of the hall.

He wore all black, which contrasted against his skin, making it seem so pale that it glowed. His eyes were extremely black, but also extremely bright. His expression was cold, and the aura around him made people feel anxious and uneasy. Mobei-Jun stood behind him, and although it was the position of a deputy, he still held his head slightly higher, just like an arrogant ice sculpture who naturally belonged there.

Yue Qingyuan suddenly opened his eyes. Qi Qingqi said hastily, “Sect Master senior apprentice brother, are you… well?”

Yue Qingyuan shook his head and looked at Luo Binghe. “In the past, when the demon race attacked the Cang Qiong Mountain sect, Your Excellency served as part of the resistance force that met the demon race head on. Your Shizun even more so protected the entire Qiong Ding Peak with his entire being. Unexpectedly, today, you’re also the one leading the demon race, forcing Qiong Ding Peak to this state.”

Luo Binghe said indifferently, “If it wasn’t for your sect going too far, I wouldn’t want to do this either.”

Qi Qingqi burst out laughing from rage. “Ha, ha! ‘The Cang Qiong Mountain sect going too far’ is really something that everyone should hear. You’re an ungrateful traitor who betrayed your master. It’s one thing if you bite the hand that fed you, but you forced your own Shizun to self-destruct in front of you, and afterwards, you wouldn’t let him go even though he died. Who knows what secret, shameful things you did with his corpse? Now you’re making a false accusation? Just who is going too far?!”

Luo Binghe acted as if he couldn’t hear her sneering. He said apathetically, “Who’s next? I’m going to remove this engraved sign.”

Shen Qingqiu was startled, and he lifted his head up to look. The engraved sign Luo Binghe was referring to was the one currently in the middle of Qiong Ding Palace, suspended high in the air on a horizontal board. The two words on it, ‘Cang Qiong,’ were personally handwritten by one of the Cang Qiong Mountain sect founders. It was extremely old and unusually significant, and it was equivalent to being part of Cang Qiong Mountain’s face. If somebody removed this sign, it would be the same thing as slapping Cang Qiong Mountain right in the face. Back then, when Sha Hualing rashly led a bunch of warriors to surround Qiong Ding Peak, her idea was precisely to remove the engraved sign and take it back to the Demon Realm to show off.

Qi Qingqi said, “If you’re going to fight, then fight. First you burn a cave here, then you destroy a gate there, and now you want to remove this engraved sign━what’s the meaning of that? Torturing us in bits and pieces, unwilling to be straightforward about it?”

Yue Qingyuan said, “Junior apprentice sister Qi, stay calm.” He stood up. Even though they were at a disadvantage, his expression was extremely steady, so it wouldn’t ruin their morale. “Junior apprentice brother Qingqiu’s immortal body has already been settled inside the palace. He’s someone from my Cang Qiong Mountain sect’s Qing Jing Peak. After he passed, he inevitably must be buried in the Qing Jing Peak tomb with the other past Peak Lords, so he may be at peace. Unless Your Excellency completely obliterates Cang Qiong Mountain, no matter how much time you waste, junior apprentice brother Qingqiu’s body will never be handed over to you, as long as someone from my sect still has breath remaining in them.”

Numerous people at the scene chorused together, “That’s exactly how it is!”

Shen Qingqiu just knew that they would have this attitude. It was precisely because Cang Qiong Mountain would definitely do all that it could to protect his body that Shen Qingqiu had to come back.

The corner of Luo Binghe’s mouth tugged, his smile ice-cold. He lowered his head and said unhurriedly, “I will not personally act against Cang Qiong Mountain. Nor will I kill a single member from the Cang Qiong Mountain sect. But what I do have is time that I can slowly waste.”

Those two words, ‘slowly waste,’ smashed crisply into Shen Qingqiu’s ears. Suddenly, his entire heart sunk.

Luo Binghe absolutely wasn’t somebody who would fight a battle of words with you this politely. With the pressure of unconditional strength, he had no inclination of feigning civility. If he wanted something from a particular sect, he would use the most direct and effective method to do so: bloodbath, massacre, and then take it away. But for Luo Binghe to actually waste two entire days so patiently like this—it didn’t seem like he was in a leisurely and carefree mood, but rather as if he was waiting for something.

Such as, waiting for Shen Qingqiu himself to come out.

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Shen Qingqiu’s fists tightened.

Luo Binghe: “Go.”

Mobei-Jun made an ‘oh’ noise and took a step forward before he suddenly said, “I already went many times.”

The piles of exploded ice shards, and the floor and walls filled with holes outside of the hall, were all part of his masterpiece. Luo Binghe said, “Then pick someone to fight on your behalf.”

Mobei-Jun nodded. He stuck his hand out behind him and fished out a quaking person.

He lifted this person out like he was carrying a baby chick before he threw him with a thud onto the stretch of empty ground between the two sides. Shang Qinghua climbed up, terror-stricken. When the Cang Qiong Mountain sect’s people saw him, their eyes looked like they were about to shoot out fire.

It wasn’t just them, Shen Qingqiu was also about to spew raging fire from his own eyes and mouth: the deceptive Great God Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky ah fck fck f*ck!

Qi Qingqi drew her sword at once and shouted, “Traitor!”

Shang Qinghua smiled apologetically. “Junior apprentice sister Qi, if you have something to say, then say it nicely. Don’t dance around with your sword. You’re so beautiful, if you just act a little gentler then…” Qi Qingqi had already long since struck out with her sword, and she said furiously, “Who’s your junior apprentice sister!” Shang Qinghua hastily evaded her and went to hide behind Mobei-Jun. Mobei-Jun ruthlessly kicked him back. Shang Qinghua said bitterly, “I didn’t have any other choices either, don’t be like this. It’ll make other people laugh at us if they see fellow disciples fighting each other.”

Shen Qingqiu was stupefied. Shang Qinghua was really even more lacking in morals than he had imagined. He could still say something like that at this kind of moment━this… was indeed a little shameless…

Qi Qingqi cursed, “Who’s your fellow disciple? At the Immortal Alliance Conference, when you let demons in, did you think of the Cang Qiong Mountain sect disciples who died or were injured as your fellow disciples? As a traitor who was reduced to the demon race’s lackey, did you think of us as your fellow disciples? Today you fight your way up the mountain with this world-wrecking demon king, and you still have the face to call yourself our fellow disciple?!”

The two of them chased each other around the palace, and it was truly a chaotic scene. Shen Qingqiu watched from the side, emotions surging through his mind: “Cut him, cut him, cut him… f*ck, just off by a bit! Qi Qingqi, cut off his [BEEP]! Use effort!”

Liu Qingge removed the hand that was on Yue Qingyuan’s back sending him spiritual energy. He had finished calming down, and he stood up. Cheng Luan shuddered incessantly in its sheath, continuously buzzing and ringing. Yang Yixuan clenched his fists and said, “Shizun, you fought that demon for a whole day already!”

Liu Qingge lowered his voice. “Step back.”

Luo Binghe glanced at him and chuckled before he said quietly, “My defeated opponent.”

He didn’t speak very loudly, but his enunciation was clear and melodious. The end of his sentence lilted upwards, and everyone in the entire palace could hear it. The hand that Liu Qingge used to hold his sword tightened, lightning flashing through his eyes. There was nothing that could make Bai Zhan Peak’s Peak Lord feel more humiliated than the words ‘my defeated opponent.’ Yang Yixuan’s temper spiked, and he immediately counterattacked, “Demon Realm bast***!”

Luo Binghe was unconcerned. “Yes. I’m a bast***.2 The entire Cang Qiong Mountain was stirred up by a bast***, isn’t that glorious? Not just Qiong Ding Peak, I can stir up each and every one of the other Peaks as well and let the whole world know that the eminent Cang Qiong Mountain sect of the Righteous path was attacked by a bast*** to the point that they didn’t have the ability to fight back. How’s that?”

Ning Yingying said, distressed, “Luo… Luo Binghe, will you only be happy if you burn down Qing Jing Peak as well?”

Luo Binghe didn’t even think before he replied instantly, “Of course not.” He frowned. “If anybody dares to destroy a plant or tree, bamboo or house, on Qing Jing Peak, I will not let them off lightly.”

Liu Qingge snorted through his nose. “What a pretense.”

Cheng Luan surged out, and the sword energy swept past Luo Binghe’s cheek, sending his hair flying. Luo Binghe placed his hand on the sword hanging from his waist, and he said in retaliation, “You’re overestimating yourself.”

However, in the end, the two swords did not cross blades again.

Shen Qingqiu stood in between the two of them. Both of their sword energies swept up and collided, instantly slicing the bamboo hat that he was originally wearing just for show into two halves. He caught Cheng Luan’s sword edge between two fingertips of his left hand, not allowing Liu Qingge to advance a single inch; his right hand firmly restrained the hand that Luo Binghe had already placed on the Heart Devil sword’s hilt, not allowing him to draw the sword.

“It’s only a corpse, everyone, it’s only a corpse. There’s no need to be like this, is there!”

Shen Qingqiu looked to the left before he looked to the right. He didn’t have a chance to say that line yet when Luo Binghe suddenly flipped over his hand and grabbed Shen Qingqiu’s wrist, and it felt as if an icy band was wrapped sturdily around his wrist. The smile on his face was near distorted, and he said, one word at a time, “Caught you. Shizun.”

Even though Shen Qingqiu had long since mentally prepared himself, he still couldn’t resist feeling his blood run cold when he saw this face up close.

After a beat of dead silence, a huge racket surged up in the hall immediately. Yue Qingyuan was extremely astonished, and his voice shook slightly. “But… junior apprentice brother Qingqiu?”

Qi Qingqi even forgot to hack at Shang Qinghua, and he hastily seized the chance to roll back behind Mobei-Jun. Ning Yingying grabbed Ming Fan, who had a bloody nose and a swollen face, and muttered, “Senior apprentice brother, did you hear that? A-Luo and Sect Master senior apprentice brother said that person is… Shizun?”

Ming Fan: “How come he seems like he is… but he also seems like he isn’t?”

Yang Yixuan had an extremely different point of view. He said in shock, “Isn’t this Peerless Huang… Elder Huang?! Huang… Elder Huang is Shen Shibo?”

(TN: 绝世黄瓜 – Peerless Cucumber. Huáng guā means cucumber but he only used “Huang” which is a common surname. Shibo is a respectful way of calling your teacher’s senior brother.)

Thank you for not saying the entire ID out loud!

Liu Qingge’s eyes suddenly widened, and his usual unruffled calm was so disturbed that it spilled over onto his face. He said, “…you didn’t die?”

Shen Qingqiu’s originally guilty but grateful emotions were smashed into pieces. He couldn’t accept it, and said, “Junior apprentice brother Liu, what kind of expression is this? You’re not happy that your senior apprentice brother didn’t die?”

The color of Liu Qingge’s face first went green and then black, black and then white, all sorts of colors, very unimpressive. Quite a few people were more or less the same as him. Shen Qingqiu didn’t get to continue speaking before a hand turned his face away.

Luo Binghe said, “You’re finally willing to come out now?”

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