Published at 9th of February 2019 01:04:46 PM

Chapter 57

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Chapter 57 — Holy Mausoleum

Shen Qingqiu raised his head. It was as if two bright yellow lanterns had appeared outside the palace hall, the pair of piercing golden eyes staring wide-eyed at the scene. In the middle of each eye was a vertical pupil, which appeared to be unusually sinister.

The crowd of blind corpses, upon hearing this sound, seemed to be intimidated by some invisible force. They no longer resumed with their tearing and pouncing; instead, they withdrew into themselves, lowering their heads and shrinking back their shoulders. Eventually, they retreated into a tight huddle, trembling.

That pair of large lantern-like eyes stared straight at Shen Qingqiu for a moment, until they suddenly looked away. After a while, a figure emerged outside of the palace hall. Shen Qingqiu, identifying the new visitor, wasn’t surprised.

He called out pleasantly, “Xizhi-Lang.1”

Zhuzhi-Lang slipped mid-step.

He rubbed his nose. Although he was depressed, he wasn’t one to be rude. Smiling, he said, “Since Master Shen is willing to address me like this, then please feel free to continue to do so.”

Shen Qingqiu said, “The person who stole the corpse from the Palace Hall vault really was you.”

The bluish-black poison that covered the entire body was most likely the venom of the jade serpent. The reason why Mu Qingfan’s cursory inspection had been unable to find a wound was probably because the snake’s fangs were too small to leave a visible mark. If one were to examine the bodies more closely, they would find small tooth marks on the fingertips or the bottom of the heels.

Zhuzhi-Lang said, “The situation happened too quickly. I had no choice but to continue on to the next stage of the plan. I hope Master Shen will be magnanimous enough to forgive me.”

Shen Qingqiu coughed dryly. “The situation happened too quickly”; no matter how you considered it, this “situation” was caused entirely by him when he had fumigated realgar wine to subdue Zhuzhi-Lang, turning the other party back into their original form. Not only that but adding insult to injury, he had furthermore ridden Zhuzhi-Lang’s snake form for an entire stretch of the road.

He said, “You summoned me from the Holy Mausoleum, which can be said to have solved one of my… difficulties. Before, you wanted me to go to the Demon Realm. Now that I’m here, can you finally tell me your purpose?”

Zhuzhi-Lang said, “Reason number one, I’ve already explained to Master Shen. Since you’ve helped me, I will repay the favor many times over.2 As for the second reason, Master Shen wasn’t exactly summoned by the humble me… it’s better to ask Junshang directly.”

Shen Qingqiu said, “Alright. Where is Tianlang-Jun, then?”

Zhuzhi-Lang stared blankly, before saying, “I thought that Master Shen and Junshang had already met.”

Already met?

Shen Qingqiu lowered his head and stared at the stone sarcophagus.

Could it be that the corpse inside… was Tianlang-Jun?

Strictly speaking, this couldn’t even be called “meeting,” okay?!

The coffin lid that he had just spent some time on trying to open without budging suddenly began to shake, opening by itself. Inside, a person slowly sat up.

This person set an elbow against the edge of the coffin, a faint smile appearing on his face. He said, “Qing Jing Peak Lord, I’ve looked forward to meeting you for a long time.”

Shen Qingqiu was stunned.

…….This whole family’s interests were wide and extensive, but it seemed eventually all of their hobbies were the same kind of eccentric. The son enjoyed hugging corpses, the father enjoyed lying inside a coffin.

If one were to look at Luo Binghe’s overall appearance, he resembled his mother, Su Xiyan. However, it was still possible to see some of his father’s genes. For example, his eyes.

Tianlang-Jun’s eyes were large and profound, his tapered eyebrows emphasizing his brave and outstanding appearance. His black pupils were like two impossibly deep voids, a feature that Luo Binghe shared identically.

The original Luo Binghe was a pretty boy. If he had received his mother’s eyes, his appearance would be considered excessively feminine and soft, which wasn’t good.

Another similarity could be seen in their smiles. The smiling expressions of this father and son pair made Shen Qingqiu feel a hard-to-describe emotion… it was a feeling that was anything but reassuring.

Shen Qingqiu cautiously said, “I haven’t been a Peak Lord for many years.”

Tianlang-Jun crinkled his eyes as he smiled. “But I’ve been fascinated with the Peak Lord for quite a while.”

Shen Qingqiu knew profoundly from experience that presence was something taught from childhood and family background.

Not accounting for anything else, if someone were to sit this pair of father and son inside a coffin and have them strike the exact same pose, Tianlang-Jun’s regal presence could transform sitting in a coffin into sitting on the Dragon Throne. On the other hand, though Luo Binghe was undoubtedly handsome… eh, it would probably still look like he was sitting in a coffin.

No wonder Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky had felt that Tianlang-Jun was a threat, and decisively cut him out of the plot.

To be sitting in the presence of two Heavenly Demons, and in a space where he was surrounded by the decomposing bodies of the demon race’s elders, Shen Qingqiu felt that the pressure on him was extremely huge.

He put on a fake smile, saying, “I don’t dare to accept this praise. And since your honor has been observing me for so long, why haven’t you come out… come out to meet me?”

No matter how much Tianlang-Jun put up a front, spending all of his time inside a coffin was really too outrageous. Unless—

He couldn’t stand up.

Tianlang-Jun’s finger slowly tapped against the edge of the coffin, his pupils reflecting the throbbing green flames within the mausoleum. He cheerfully said, “Alright. Is it possible to ask Peak Lord to assist me, then?”

Being scammed really made one reluctant. Shen Qingqiu slowly sighed, and then reached out to him. “Please.”

Tianlang-Jun gladly took hold of his hand and stood up. So sitting in a coffin wasn’t because he was concealing some kind of weakness. Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but feel some disappointment.

And then, he was pulling at nothing.

But he was still clearly grabbing Tianlang-Jun’s wrist. Shen Qingqiu glanced downwards, lowering his head. He indeed was still holding onto it, except all that remained was an arm.

Shen Qingqiu’s face lost all expression.

Tianlang-Jun, having lost an arm, his sleeve half-empty, was still very polite. “Ah. It broke again. Can I inconvenience Peak Lord to pick it up for me again?”

Shen Qingqiu: “…”
Despite how violent a shock his soul had suffered, Shen Qingqiu still managed to calmly pass that arm back to Tianlang-Jun. Behind them, Zhuzhi-Lang, wearing an expression of having seen this scene many times, with a ka-cha sound (really, a ka-cha sound!) reattached the hand.

Reattached it!

Are you a d*mned doll? Can your joints be attached and detached at will?!

After careful scrutiny, Shen Qingqiu realized that there were many scars on Tianlang-Jun’s arm. All over, the muscles, tendons, and arteries had turned black, a sight made especially shocking when contrasted against Tianlang-Jun’s stark white skin. Even below the collars of his robes, small black scars could be seen snaking out.

Shen Qingqiu decided resolutely not to say anything.

This was like the flap of a butterfly’s wings causing a tsunami. He had guessed earlier that Zhuzhi-Lang had taken the Sun and Moon Flower Seed to create a new body for Tianlang-Jun, a conjecture that now appeared to be correct. It was just that Tianlang-Jun did not seem to be very compatible with this new body.

The reason why Shen Qingqiu’s soul and the flower seed body had good synchronization was because, one, the flower seed was something that was born out of his own blood and vital breath; and two, the flower seed was a plant made of spiritual energy, something Shen Qingqiu also used to advance his own cultivation. Therefore, with these two reasons, it was no wonder they had fit so well with each other.

However, Tianlang-Jun’s situation was different.

He was a demon, and thus his foundation was built on demonic energy. Naturally, the seed would attempt to reject him. As a result, the quality of the body wasn’t guaranteed, and it was even possible to have circumstances when the body began to corrode.

Tianlang-Jun moved his reattached parts, smiling as he said, “I’ve incurred ridicule. Speaking of it, it’s possible for us to leave Bailu Mountain. That’s how we were able to witness Peak Lord Shen’s merit.”

Shen Qingqiu cast a glance at Zhuzhi-Lang, who was standing to the side. Originally, when they had first met in the Bailu Forest, that human-snake form was really… too horrible to look at. But even so, through all the years when Tianlang-Jun had been suppressed in the mountains, he had never left Bailu Forest. Afterward, when he received the Lotus seed, he did not use it on himself but rather without hesitation used it to mold a body for his master.

What a loyal subordinate!

Shen Qingqiu’s eyes swept across the murals on the Palace Hall, perfunctorily saying, “Much merit to Xi… to Zhuzhi-Lang. To live in seclusion in Bailu Mountain and wait for so many years for an opportunity; having such a capable subordinate, Tianlang-Jun really causes others to feel envy.”

Tianlang-Jun said, “Have you not heard of my nephew’s motto?”

Shen Qingqiu said: “I’ve heard it. A favor given is paid back many times over.”

Zhuzhi-Lang’s red face looked extremely weird underneath the mossy green candlelight. He said, “Lord and Master Shen are teasing me.”

Shen Qinqiu did not intend to tease him; he was exerting all of his attention on studying a mural instead.

This mural’s colors were bright and gaudy, and the brush strokes mad and frenzied. Still, it was possible to discern that the image directly facing the Mausoleum’s entrance way was the large face of a woman. Her eyes were crinkled into crescents and the corners of her lips pointed upwards as if she was unable to suppress her joy. This section of the mausoleum was definitely the “Hall of Delight” of the Holy Mausoleum’s three “Delight, Fury, and Sorrow” temples.

Tianlang-Jun had not sensed anything strange yet. He said, “He’s just like this. His mind can only think straight-forwardly. That’s why he’s always begged me to take you to the Demon World.”

Shen Qingqiu had never understood this kind of reasoning. Turning around slightly, he looked at Zhuzhi-Lang. “What does bringing me to the Demon World and returning a favor have to do with each other?”

Tianlang-Jun calmly said, “Of course it’s connected. The four great sects cannot be allowed to remain. As Peak Lord Shen is still with the Cang Qiong Sect and thus falls into this scope, Zhuzhi-Lang naturally doesn’t want you to stay in that place.”

Shen Qingqiu didn’t know how to respond.

He had initially thought that Tianlang-Jun was relatively reasonable. However, after conversing with him, he now discovered that this man was virtually indistinguishable from any of those ambitious “destroy the world, kill the good” kind of BOSSes!

But if one were to consider it, an idealistic, expectant youth of a noble bloodline had been suppressed by members of a different race under a mountain for so many years. A deep-rooted resentment was entirely to be expected.

Shen Qingqiu paused, then asked, “Is the next step extinguishing all of humanity?”

Tianlang-Jun seemed confused. “Why would you think like that? Of course not. I like humans, just not the four great sects.”

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He smiled, then continued: “In contrary, I have a gift to give to the human race.”

Although he didn’t know what this so-called gift was, it definitely wasn’t some ribbon-wrapped object that would bring humanity great joy! Shen Qingqiu had just begun to spit out a rather out-of-practice “f**k” when suddenly, the mausoleum began to shake.

The gravel on the ground quaked. Shen Qingqiu’s two feet were steady against the ground, but his body couldn’t help but sway wildly. In the distance, he could even faintly hear an earth-shaking yelling noise.

Cautiously, he asked, “What is it?”

Tianlang-Jun listened carefully for a moment. “They’ve arrived a lot faster than I thought.” He turned towards Zhuzhi-Lang. “How many?”

Zhuzhi-Lang said, “At least two hundred.”

Tianlang-Jun smiled: “Just catching ten is extremely difficult, this must hard for him.”

Shen Qingqiu couldn’t understand what they were talking about, but it seemed that they had no intention of enlightening him. Tianlang-Jun brushed off a wisp of sand from his shoulder then said: “Peak Lord Shen, since five years ago my nephew has been trying force you to make a clean break with Cang Qiong Mountain sect. What do you think of this? Would you like to go with him?”

You’ve practically already brought the person into ancestral tombs and you’re still asking this useless question—wait a second… five years ago? Making a clean break?

Shen Qingqiu’s heart lurched. He blurted out: “The Jinlan City sowers. Was that part of your plan to make me leave Cang Qiong Mountain sect?”

Now that he thought about it, the reason that he couldn’t return to the sect was because of everything that had started in Jinlan City.

Shen Qingqiu asked: “The sower who pointed his finger at me, that was your doing?”

Zhuzhi-Lang lowered his head. Tianlang-Jun patted his shoulder as if encouraging him. “Originally, that was just an experiment to solve the southern devil tribes’ food deficiency problems. It just happened that Peak Lord Shen was present. Zhuzhi-Lang only wanted Peak Lord Shen to sever any desire to return to humanity, that’s all.”

Shen Qingqiu immediately glared at Zhuzhi-Lang. So this so-called repayment was getting a sower to defame him, wasn’t this too fraudulent?! A snake’s favor really wasn’t reliable!

Zhuzhi-Lang said softly, “Master Shen, Junshang said that he wanted to eliminate all of the four great sects, without leaving a single person alive… this humble person sincerely didn’t want, at that time…”

Shen Qingqiu suppressed his anger, saying: “Qiu Haitang was also your doing?”

Tianlang-Jun said, “I don’t recognize the name.” He looked at Zhuzhi-Lang, who turned to look at Shen Qingqiu.

Zhuzhi-Lang said, “That woman really isn’t someone that I found.”

The suddenly-appearing Qiu Haitang and sower people attacking Shen Qingqiu left-right in a pincer attack, forcing him to surrender to the Huan Hua Palace and become imprisoned in the water prison, really was just a coincidence? Forget it. Now that things had come to this, it no longer mattered.   

Shen Qingqiu said, “What’s the other reason?”

Tianlang-Jun calmly replied, “Summoning Peak Lord Shen here was also because of my own selfishness.”

He sighed. “That son of mine, to raise him for so many years really has been an inconvenience for Peak Lord Shen.”

Although he had long suspected that this matter had to do with Luo Binghe, hearing his name still made Shen Qingqiu’s heart tremble. He begrudgingly tried to pump himself up, before asking: “Luo Binghe? What does this have to do with him?”

Tianlang-Jun snorted, lowering his head. “How do I say this? I’ve noticed that towards Peak Lord Shen, he’s extremely…”

Although his words were vague and unclear, dodging the question entirely, Shen Qingqiu still did not have any difficulty stringing together a theory.

As the time Tianlang-Jun possessed this body for increased, as his demonic energy became more vigorous and his cultivation began to recover, the body he used would begin to fall apart more and more, requiring touch-ups all over. Sooner or later, he would require a new body. This body would work best if it was someone related to him, a similar heavenly demon. If this body happened to be a hybrid and was capable of using two separate cultivation systems, it would only be even better.

Whose body was more suitable than Luo Binghe’s?

Shen Qingqiu narrowed his eyes. “So the reason why you called back my soul was to draw him to the Holy Mausoleum?”

Tianlang-Jun said, “Peak Lord Shen is a perceptive person.”

Shen Qingqiu warned him, “Luo Binghe hasn’t taken over your original position yet. He can’t enter the Holy Mausoleum, even if he wanted to.”

Tianlang-Jun looked at him confidently. “As long as he wants to, he’ll definitely be able to come.”

Shen Qingqiu slowly said, “No matter what you want to do, this is your son.”
Tianlang-Jun said, “Indeed.”

“Yours and Su Xiyan’s son.”

Tianlang-Jun said, “So?”

Hearing these words, Shen Qingqiu was finally convinced.

In the few sentences that Tianlang-Jun mentioned Luo Binghe, although his smiling expression remained the same, his words and expressions were all cold.

That image of a loving and fair Tianlang-Jun in Shen Qingqiu’s mind immediately disappeared. Now, he realized that whenever Tianlang-Jun spoke about Su Xiyan, his tone never wavered. He fondly referred to Luo Binghe as “this son of mine,” but one would hardly think that they shared any father-son relationship.

Not only was Tianlang-Jun not a pacifist, but he was no romantic either. This completely subverted Shen Qingqiu’s long-held (and perhaps wishful) thinking.

Actually, this was normal. The demon clan looked at emotions with cold contempt, much preferring good food, influence, and power. It was just that seeing this “couldn’t care less” attitude in person, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t but feel uncomfortable.

Luo Binghe really was… an unloved child.

Shen Qingqiu had always used that blackened pot of Jinlan City to smash against Luo Binghe’s head. This child, wearing such a face of aggrievement for so long, had tried to defend himself for so many times, but to no avail. Not long ago when they separated, Shen Qingqiu had even used harsh words to rebuke him.

He was extremely resentful against Tianlang-Jun. However, if one were to consider it, he himself was not much better. He had hurt Luo Binghe deeply.

The tomb had just fallen into a deathly silence when the second wave of animals roaring and battle descended. This time it was even more vicious, the sounds of upheaval drawing closer by the moment.

At this point, Shen Qingqiu was unable to stand for any longer. Gripping onto the coffin, he asked, “Can someone explain to me what exactly is going on?”

Before he could finish the “what,” all of the precious stones embedded on the mausoleum began to drop off. All three of the people inside the palace hall had quick reactions, quickly stepping far out of the way. With a sudden crash, an extremely heavy object smashed through the roof of the palace hall, landing in the middle of the room. The smoke and dust intermingled with the rays of light from above, revealing a black figure.

Luo Binghe stood on the head of a pitch-black giant beast, his black robes billowing wildly in the dust. The Xin Mo sword lay unsheathed on his back. A pair of eyes glinted red in the light, overlooking the scene with ferocious killing intent.

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