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Published at 20th of March 2019 05:24:36 PM


Chapter 63

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Chapter 63: A Trip to the South




The three different types of ancient demon blood were storms colliding within Shen Qingqiu’s body, locked together in a tangled web that was impossible to separate. Among them, Luo Binghe’s blood was holding together Shen Qingqiu’s five organs1and protecting the veins connecting them. It suppressed Zhuzhi-Lang’s blood, while just barely managing to contend with Tianlang-Jun’s. Alone, it tried to cover all three duties, facing off against its two enemies. This all inevitably took a great toll upon it. It would actually be best to let go of Tianlang-Jun’s poisonous blood, for there was absolutely nothing he could do.

He turned to Luo Binghe and spoke. “Think carefully about this. If it continues like this, who do you think is going to fall first?”

Luo Binghe’s eyes shone with a deep set worry, but a sense of helplessness began growing more and more. Finally, he backed off and replied, “You leave first!”

Tianlang-Jun didn’t have the slightest intention of graciously stepping aside for the younger man before him and said instead, “You first.”

Luo Binghe instantly replied. “Fine.”

Tianlang-Jun wore an inscrutable smile as he spoke. “Sure enough…” He turned towards Zhuzhi-Lang and said, “What to do…I don’t know why whenever I see them, there’s always this extremely unpleasant feeling that fills my heart.”

Zhuzhi-Lang nodded silently.

Shen Qingqiu knew this wouldn’t end well for him, but he didn’t want to drag anyone else down with him. His whole life, he’d always hated the kind of characters that just ended up becoming bargaining chips for others. If that was the kind of flimsy, delicate character role he was forced to play, he’d rather die.

He clutched his hand over his heart and forced his face to remain neutral as he spoke. “Whatever Your Excellency would like to do to me, please, feel free. As you’ve said, after being forced to drink so many times, I should be getting used to it. But don’t even think about seeking the flesh of Luo Binghe. Luo Binghe, if you agree to him, I will strike you down myself with the force of the heavens.”

Luo Binghe protested, angrily but helplessly. “Shizun…”

“You shut up,” Shen Qingqiu said.

Tianlang-Jun stared at him strangely. “Who said I wanted his flesh?”

Shen Qingqiu was left speechless.

Tianlang-Jun continued. “He can’t compare to my own noble, handsome figure, so why would I want his flesh?”
  
……
……
  

Who said you were more handsome than him?

Who put their seal of approval on this?

As penned by Airplane Shooting Towards The Sky himself, from heaven to hell, throughout every age known to man, there was none that could ever compare to Luo Binghe. Whether young or old, everyone universally agreed on this number one most handsome man, okay!?




Shen Qingqiu’s entire expression sunk in exasperation. “Then what exactly do you want?2”

Zhuzhi-Lang replied, “Junshang desires that sword.”

Tianlang-Jun confirmed, “That’s correct. I would like to present a gift to the human world, but I won’t be able to without that sword.”

Heh, so you want the protagonist’s golden finger? Shen Qingqiu’s entire mind was filled with thoughts of “keep dreaming” and “you overestimate your own strength.” He could only watch on as Luo Binghe raised his hand and Zhuzhi-Lang lifted his arm in response. In that instant, the exchange was complete. It passed over like a storm, swiftly and decisively, without the slightest hesitation!

Luo Binghe demanded. “Now hand him over!”

Zhuzhi-Lang immediately transformed into a serpent and caught Shen Qingqiu in his massive mouth. Tianlang-Jun leaped up gracefully, laughing loudly as he rose. “You really believed that? Hahahahahaha.”

The way he was acting right now was truly shameless. It was like an adult making a promise to trade with a child, taking away their toys, then turning around and pretending no such thing happened. Shen Qingqiu suddenly felt quite indignant on behalf of Luo Binghe, who was clearly being bullied. Even with the threat of a sharp fang right next to him, he couldn’t help but ask pointedly, “You do know you’re the adult here, right?”

Tianlang-Jun sat straight on Zhuzhi-Lang’s head and replied in that refined tone. “I know that I am a demon. I’m afraid that Peak Lord Shen’s disciple tarried far too long in the human realm and forgot that we demons have never committed to keeping our promises. Of course, most of the time you guys don’t do much more than pay some lip service to it either.”

With that final sentence, Tianlang-Jun’s smile vanished from his lips. Shen Qingqiu’s vision went dark. Something hot and red pulsed about, pressing in on him from all sides, as if trapping him inside a tiny pocket.

He was swallowed by Zhuzhi-Lang.

When he woke, the air around him was dry and his throat felt scratchy.

As Shen Qingqiu rolled and sat up, he saw a dark-skinned demon girl next to him. When she noticed him waking, she shouted loudly in a heavily accented voice, “He’s awake!”

Tianlang-Jun lifted the curtains with one hand and peered in. He lifted his eyebrows. “Peak Lord Shen has certainly slept long enough.”

Shen Qingqiu kept his expression carefully blank as he wiped his face, making sure that there was no trace of reptile stomach juices remaining on him. The dry wind blowing outside made the curtains wave about wildly, allowing glimpses of the scenery outside of the carriage.

He was now lying on top of a massive, black-scaled snake. This massive snake was carrying a pavilion on its back as it slithered smoothly across the ground. Surrounding them were many beasts, large and small, as well as many demons with half-beastly forms. Together, these creatures merged into a chaotic but grand-scale army as they marched forwards.

Shen Qingqiu determined this was most likely the southern part of the demon world.

The north once belonged to Mobei-Jun but was now Luo Binghe’s territory. There, most of the demons had humanoid forms. The most beastly demons and half-beast hybrids were only common in the south, like some kind of animal kingdom. He didn’t know where Tianlang-Jun was planning to lead this group of demons. Or what he was planning to do.

After he finished observing his surroundings, Shen Qingqiu suddenly realized that the right side of his chest and his entire arm were still throbbing painfully and seemed to be moving rather sluggishly.

He took a deep breath and mentally prepared himself so that he was 120% ready for whatever he might see. Then he looked down.

……The problem was even more serious than he thought.


Like a prosthetic limb made of leaves and branches, every inch of his right arm was covered in green, fleshy leaves and sprouts, trembling slightly along the limb with every motion. All five fingers were completely numb, and he couldn’t even curl them.

After only a glance, he couldn’t bear to look at it any longer. The Xiu Ya sword was right beside him, and he was sorely tempted to just pick it up and hack the arm off entirely. Just then, Zhuzhi-Lang approached, holding a small, steaming gold stove. Shen Qingqiu jumped as if he’d seen a ghost, instantly on high alert. “What are you doing!?”

Zhuzhi-Lang froze in place. “This subordinate just wanted to help Master Shen……”

Shen Qingqiu immediately began pointing towards his own mouth. This was the type of thing he was most scared of hearing from Zhuzhi-Lang. He’d already had his taste of a snake’s gratitude–he was so grateful that he swallowed him whole in the end. Zhuzhi-Lang raised his trailing sleeves towards his face in a rather embarrassed gesture, as if trying to cover his own mouth.

He then quickly put them down and tried to persuade Shen Qingqiu in the most heartfelt manner. “Master Shen, you have to believe me. If the QingSi is not removed at least seven times a day, the roots will be buried deep inside your flesh. But they’ve only been plucked three times today. It’s the most critical moment right now. If we do not remove them now, then I’m afraid we will not be able to save Master Shen’s arm.”

When he heard that he’d be in danger of losing a limb, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t hesitate any longer no matter what shadows of reservation he was still holding in his heart. He immediately placed his arm out. Zhuzhi-Lang took out a burning red lump of coal from the stove. Then, holding it in his bare hands, he pressed it right up against Shen Qingqiu’s chest.

“……” Shen Qingqiu was silent.

He knew he shouldn’t have expected Zhuzhi-Lang’s “help” to be anything normal or sensible.

The piece of coal pressed against the QingSi sprouts on his chest, causing them to wither and curl as they burned to their roots. It was so horrifying Shen Qingqiu had to resist the urge to grimace at the sight. Only when Zhuzhi-Lang finally managed to burn off all the green shoots, one by one, could he finally stand to look at his arm again.

Zhuzhi-Lang withdrew the piece of coal and said. “In the afternoon and evening, they’ll need to be burned three more times.”

Shen Qingqiu pulled his robes back over his shoulders. Zhuzhi-Lang unconsciously glanced up, then quickly turned his gaze down again. Outside, Tianlang-Jun laughed. “Silly child, what are you embarrassed about?”

He’s right, Shen Qingqiu thought to himself. What do you have to be embarrassed about? Seeing this chest that was just covered in fleshy sprouts all over? Seeing this being that you just swallowed whole? What is there left to be embarrassed about?

Zhuzhi-Lang answered completely seriously. “My lord, please don’t mock this subordinate. I do not have the slightest of intentions towards Master Shen.”

He looked towards Shen Qingqiu and re-emphasized, “Absolutely none of Luo Binghe’s intentions.”

Why are you emphasizing that at me!?

Zhuzhi-Lang quickly took his stove and leaped off the snake’s back, returning down below to direct the troops marching about. Shen Qingqiu’s mind was a mess, his eyes beginning to dart quickly about, searching desperately. The Heart Devil sword…where was it…where was the Heart Devil sword?

Oh, it was outside, lying next to Tianlang-Jun’s seat. Thrown right down next to his feet.

Shen Qingqiu was about to roll over in laughter.

This was the number one, most infamous sword of the “Proud Immortal Demon Way,” the ultimate trump weapon on both heaven and earth. Was it something that should be thrown about so carelessly like this!?


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Tianlang-Jun was resting his chin in his hand, observing the scene in the distance. When he noticed Shen Qingqiu’s expression, he asked, “Peak Lord Shen, what are you looking at?” He followed his gaze downwards. “At this sword of mine?”

Shen Qingqiu answered calmly, “That is Luo Binghe’s sword.”

Tianlang-Jun laughed it away easily and said, “Peak Lord Shen, there’s something I’ve always wanted to ask you.”

Shen Qingqiu replied, “Please.”

You can ask whatever you want, and I’ll just answer randomly.

Tianlang-Jun asked, “You and my son, have the two of you cultivated as partners3?”

Shen Qingqiu was sure he heard wrong. “What did you say?”

Tianlang-Jun patiently repeated himself, “I was asking Peak Lord Shen whether you and Luo Binghe……”

Shen Qingqiu’s face twitched several times and he immediately put up his hand in a gesture to “stop.” Tianlang-Jun continued. “Or perhaps Peak Lord Shen doesn’t understand what I mean by cultivating as partners? It means that…”

Shen Qingqiu interrupted. “That’s enough.”

Could you have some sense of shame at least!?

Shen Qingqiu forced himself to remain calm. “Why would you believe that he and I have…cultivated together?”

Tianlang-Jun replied. “To be honest, I’ve always yearned to know more about the culture and customs of the human world.”

“So?”

How did yearning for human culture have anything to do with the question?

Tianlang-Jun held out a finger and shook it a few times to silence him. Then he hummed out a soft, charming little melody.

Shen Qingqiu was proud to hold himself as a proper gentleman, always in total control of his expressions. But the longer Tianlang-Jun continued humming, the harder it became to maintain his cold, dignified front.

God! D**n! Resentment! Of! Chunshan!

How did it become popular even in the Demon Realm!!!

Tianlang-Jun hummed a full two verses before he was finally satisfied but still seemed to want to continue. “Only the illustrious spirit of the human world could produce such a stunning masterpiece. The boldly audacious plotline, the deep romanticism in each phrase, these are truly worthy of the highest praise. Especially at the end of every verse–it leaves you with a teaser, making it impossible for you to put down and leaving you eagerly awaiting more.”


Oh wow, the d*mn thing was still being serialized!

Shen Qingqiu suddenly realized, “……Wait. Back when we first met in the Holy Mausoleum, you said ‘I have long awaited the honor of meeting you.’” Could it be that this was the “long awaited honor” he was referring to? It was a reference to this bawdy love song?

Tianlang-Jun replied with joy, “Indeed, that’s exactly what I was referring to.”

System: [Chatting with the BOSS about interests and hobbies, increasing the villain’s depth of character, B-points +150!]

This was the most f**king absurd excuse for interests and hobbies!

While the two of them continued to stare at each other, the young dark-skinned demon girl that had been looking after Shen Qingqiu suddenly leaped up cheerfully like an antelope. Shen Qingqiu turned to her and found that she really did have a pair of antelope legs. The girl jumped about, looked up and shouted cheerfully. “My lord! Is the new place we’re going to very nice?”

Tianlang-Jun smiled and waved back at her. “Naturally, it will be the best place.”

The young girl asked rather innocently, “Is there a lot of water there?”

Tianlang-Jun replied. “The rivers flow freely across every plain and mountain, covering all the lands beneath the open sky.”

The girl cheered and leaped off into the distance. Shen Qingqiu watched as she left, contemplating the rather uneasy feeling he was getting. “Where are you taking them to?”

Tianlang-Jun replied in his unhurried manner, “Peak Lord Shen has already drawn his own conclusions, no? Why ask for what you already know?”

Rivers through plains and mountains…these clearly weren’t landforms belonging to the Demon Realm. This “nice place” was undoubtedly the human world. Shen Qingqiu spoke, “Judging by the numbers alone, at least 20% of the demons of the south must be traveling in this group right now. Your Excellency, do you think such a group of such massive size will be able to simply cross the border without the cultivators noticing?”

Tianlang-Jun replied, “Who said I was planning to cross over the border?”

He straightened up and gave him a disdainful laugh. “What do you think I wanted this sword for?”

Shen Qingqiu replied, “You’re planning to use the Heart Devil sword to open a crack between the two worlds?”

Tianlang-Jun corrected him. “To be accurate, it will be a merging of the two worlds.”

Merging the Human and Demon Realms!

 

The five organs referred to here are the zang of traditional Chinese medicine. You can look up more information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zang-fu. The original metaphor for Shen Qingqiu’s expression is quite interesting so I wanted to note it. It’s “满脸黑线” or “a face full of black lines.” It refers to the depression lines that appear on anime/manga characters, the shading that starts on the forehead and the black lines that drag down. We don’t really say this in English so I’ve changed it, but the original was quite funny. The term in Chinese is “双修”, literally “pair cultivation.” It’s a term in cultivation novels that usually refers to…a more intimate cultivation haha.
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