Chapter 112 Nirvana
The Demon Realm’s sky was as somber as ever.
Black clouds eclipsed the moon, and rows of red lanterns hung high in Jialan City. The dark and hazy lights reflected onto the demonic cultivators on the street like world-wandering ghosts.
Behind an isolated pavilion, in the shadows of the corner, a demonic cultivator was impatiently urging. The plump hand accessorized by a jasper thumb ring yanked the hair of the person underneath tightly.
The person below whimpered in pain.
The scarlet lantern lighted their sides, dragging out long silhouettes. The suave singing of songstresses sounded from the pavilion.
“Since spring, the red flowers and green leaves bring sorrow. The young woman’s heart cares for none. The sun reached the top of the flora. Orioles’ cries travel in the willow. She still lies under the quilt, soft skin fading and hair hanging low in disorder. All day, she loathes grooming and dressing up, helpless. After the hateful, frivolous love left, not even a letter was sent…” [Note]
The demonic cultivator exhaled.
The man underneath looked up, exposing a bizarre face.
It’s odd because half of his face was stunning, while the other was scarred and ugly.
“Elder Cen,” tears were taking up his face, and his voice was marginally hoarse, “Can I go back?”
The chubby demonic cultivator surnamed Cen reached out his hand and petted his head as he would with a dog, “The night is still long. What’s the hurry?”
The kneeling person whitened and pleaded: “I just came down with a high fever two days ago, so I’m afraid I can’t endure it tonight and faint. I’ll spoil Elder’s spirits.”
The demonic cultivator laughed and said: “You had a high fever two nights ago? Perfect, I can see if you are any different today. Besides, this Elder has plenty of methods to sober you up. Get up and come back with Elder.”
The person underneath knelt before the demonic cultivator, clutching the demonic cultivator’s legs.
The demonic cultivator’s expression iced over. He abruptly stomped on his head, “Don’t forget where we are; this is the Extreme Desire Demon Sect. Do you have the right to say ‘no’?” He squatted down his large body, seized his hair, and jerked his head up, “Master Rong, you were previously a beauty on the Tianji List. I went to Sky Sect to express my favor to you, but you didn’t even want to glance my way because of my unattractiveness. I couldn’t even get on the stage. You tricked me into going astray and sinking into the demonic dao. Have you ever thought there would be a day like today?”
“Didn’t you take pride in your looks? Now, even a dog would dislike your current appearance. If it weren’t for me taking you out of the Zuihuan Building and giving you some face for our past, with your dantian damaged and your ruined body, how could you still be alive?”
The person underneath burst into tears.
The demonic cultivator suddenly slapped his face.
“Cry, why are you crying? Smile for this Lord. Otherwise, you’ll be stripped naked and thrown into the streets. The Demon Realm has been peaceful lately. Numerous demonic cultivators should be missing out on some fun, and a myriad will show you a good time.”
After he heard this, the body below trembled. He tried to stop his tears and smiled flatteringly at the demonic cultivator, “I was wrong. I will listen to Elder. Please don’t abandon me.”
The demonic cultivator patted his cheek, “Remember what you said. No matter what is used tonight, don’t beg for mercy.” Then, his stout hand dredged him up, and he hugged the half-disfigured beauty beneath.
Rong Ran nodded and leaned obediently on his shoulder.
When the demonic cultivator couldn’t see him, his smile died off promptly. His eyes turned hollow and cold.
Since his danitan was abolished and he got expelled from the sect 30 years ago, all his fame, achievements, and even his appearance and cultivation left him. Now, his life’s hardships had unfolded. Immediately after his expulsion from the sect, his father’s secret guard rescued him and placed him in a dilapidated hut on the outskirts, where medicinal pills saved his life. The secret guard promised him that his father would come to mend his injuries soon, but he waited for three days, only to receive the news of his father’s death.
He cultivated in Sky Sect for decades and befriended many. Regardless, none of his friends lent a hand after the disaster transpired. Even the secret guard loyal to his father went missing after Rong Qingjue perished. He lingered in the hut, but he did not expect the arrival of three desolate beggars on a night of thunder and rain. Furthermore, those filthy, dirty, and ugly people dared to do that kind of thing to him—and that was just the beginning.
After those few people had played enough, they sold him to a human trafficker for money. The trafficker knew him and knew that he was a disciple of a daoist school. He sold him to the Demon Realm at a high price with this label. The demonic cultivator took him all the way to the Demon Realm. After getting tired of him, he sold him into the Zuihuan Building.
He had been in Zuihuan Tower for half a year with only half his life to go. After that, he met Cen Fangzhi, who had formerly pursued him. But now, he had spiraled into the demonic dao and could be considered to have earned some achievements.
Although he still didn’t deem Cen Fangzhi as eye candy, he granted him a tiny chance of survival.
He couldn’t leave this pillar of support.
…He couldn’t die yet.
He still had grudges to avenge. He still had people he wanted to see and missed.
Rong Ran leaned on the shoulders of the bloated Elder Cen. His hollow eyes looked into the distance, evoking a little smile of nothingness.
A distant, mountainous building stood under the dusky sky.
That was the Demon Palace.
The people of the Demon Realm spent ten years building the palace for their Lord.
“Chu Lan, after you see the Lord, you must be cautious of your words and deeds. You must not look and pry into the face of the Lord without permission.” Elder Xue warned.
In front of him stood a boy in white.
The boy was beautiful. He looked only seventeen or eighteen years old. A white outfit cloaked his thin body, showing a somewhat fragile posture for no apparent reason. His lips were light-colored but shiny and very attractive. His long, narrow black eyes held some panic, but his face was indifferent.
The boy was holding a guqin in his hands.
“Your waist should be straighter.” Elder Xue said, “Remember not to smile at will. Legend says that that person’s disposition is indifferent and worldly. If you can learn to be like them a little bit, you’ll have more chances to preserve your life.”
Next to him, Elder Li said, “How can they be identical? The one in the legend has a heavenly appearance and peerless charm. You just found someone with no relation to him from a commonplace. If he is sent to the Lord, aren’t you afraid of the anger that the Lord might rage when it’s time? That you might burn yourself?”
Elder Xue: “What do you know? Chu Lan is also the number one beauty of Wan Li and is pleasing to the eye. Moreover, he is sent to the Lord to relieve his boredom this time. As long as Chu Lan is capable, how can he set off Lord’s temper?”
He glanced at the boy’s uneasy face and covertly transmitted to Elder Li: “Recently, the Lord has a fluctuating temperament. He slaughtered several Demon Sects, and the next one is us two’s sect. His attitude toward that person is not clear yet. Let us send a fake up. If he wins the Lord’s favor, it’s a good thing. If not, we can give a thing for the Lord to vent his recent anger on.”
Elder Li did not answer. There was a hint of pity in his eyes for the boy.
Elder Xue waved his hand forward, “Go, go. Don’t miss the hour.”
The boy held the guqin, strode nervously, and walked into the dark and deep Demon Palace.
The full moon above his head was titanic, and the cold moonlight fell on him, making him shiver.
The door of the Great Hall of the Demon Palace was open.
The quiet, chill wind blew past, and a row of bamboo planted beside the palace rustled.
Chu Lan hesitated for a while but walked in.
The hall was dim, and a dark figure was seemingly seated on a high seat.
Chu Lan didn’t dare to look up.
He knelt down, put the guqin in front of him, and whispered: “Chu Lan was ordered to play the qin for the lord.”
The person in the seat did not respond.
Chu Lan only felt his back shudder. It felt as though some terrible beast was staring him down. He bit his lip and could only brace himself and start stroking the qin.
He had been practicing the qin for more than ten years, and even his qin teacher praised him for his excellent skills. He was confident that he wouldn’t make a mistake while playing.
The sound of the strings chimed, and the sound of the qin trickled in the cold hall, bringing a soft and soothing qi.
Chu Lan closed his eyes and skillfully played the qin.
There was no error.
He just smiled slightly, and suddenly, something cold seemed to entangle his neck. He was forced to raise his head in horror, and the string in his hand made a deafening sound. It was forcibly broken in his hands.
He saw a life-long unforgettable horror.
Countless slanting shadows encased the entire hall. A long, inhuman-like, and narrow shadow was at the very middle in the highest seat. It had only two scarlet lights akin to lanterns and was watching him.
Evil. Fierce. Indescribable.
And the thing presently strangling his neck was actually his own shadow.
“Who let you in?”
It was a dark, hoarse voice.
Chu Lan was suffocated and could not breathe. He was shaking all over, only desiring retreat.
But he was immobile.
There was nowhere to escape.
The monster on that seat stared at him, and frantic shadows filled the entire palace. He seemed to fall into a grotesque and absurd horror dream. Only the feeling of suffocation and dying was factual.
He sensed the shadows peeling off the white clothes on his body, and the pale fragments were floating in the air like white silk. He felt cold. When the things he had never thought of before were about to come, he did not have the joy of receiving any grace. There was only endless icy fear.
He closed his eyes.
Suddenly, he felt his body lighten, then he was thrown out of the hall and fell on the bluestone floor outside. His four limbs and hundreds of bones were shattered. He spat out a mouthful of blood.
*Note: he was not touched; he thought he was going to be
The hoarse voice revealed a murderous intent.
“Don’t wear white clothes to flash this Lord.”
The broken guqin was also thrown out. Chu Lan sat on the ground, trembling, and found that the main hall door had been closed tightly.
He picked up the remains of the guqin, staggered, and ran out of the Demon Palace. He didn’t dare to look back.
In the hall, the darkness and silence had been restored now.
The black shadow sat on a high seat. The blood-red light in his eyes flowed like splashes of blood. The pale moonlight shone in, and a deep roar was in his throat. His thin, sharp black knuckles were bent, covering his face. The shadows twisted frantically.
In a terrifying space comparable to h*ll, the moon outside the window was progressively setting towards the West Mountain, and the morning sun slowly climbed up.
The morning light spilled into the hall.
The shadows slowly faded, retracting to a corner of the wall. On the high seat, a figure of a man was slowly revealed.
The raven black hair fell down his embroidered blood patterned black robe. The hands on the armrests were pale and slender.
He had a scarlet sword beside him.
Cold blood radiated from the sword.
The man was handsome.
It’s just that there was an intense hostility between his eyebrows, which would make people ignore his appearance. They would only instinctively feel fear.
He shut his eyes.
There was still residual fatigue in his expression.
He whispered slowly and hoarsely. The Shura Sword next to him vibrated, hushed.
It was quiet for a long time.
The man slowly opened his eyes.
The blood-red eyes seemed to be a first-class glaze, turning into an icy indifferent light. If one looked carefully, a black fire would seem to burn deep within his eyes.
There was a hidden madness that seemed to be able to swallow everything.
He rose from the high seat.
He held the Shura Sword, and the sword tip hung down. The dark gown, elongated shadow, and gloomy and still palace exuded sinister energy.
He raised his sword and waved his hand in the void before him.
There were ripples in the space in front of him, and a dark crack materialized there.
Behind, there was a puffy shadow fanning out.
He was expressionless, and he stepped into the crack.
This space was illuminated by only a few night pearls on the dome. Black towers with sharp points stood everywhere in the city, while ancient altars of varying shapes were scattered.
A charred, archaic tree was in the center of the ancient city, and a coffin rested in front of the olden tree. A skeleton lay in the coffin, secreting golden red light.
Someone leaned in front of the coffin.
His long white hair was spread out, his pale face was almost transparent, and his thin lips were stained with blood. His eyes closed tightly, and his chest no longer heaved. All signs of life vanished.
A crimson light slowly oozed into him from the coffin during the silence.
The golden red light on the bones thinned more and more.
Until the last trace was gone.
The skeleton in the coffin, unchanged for thousands of years, suddenly became embers and dissipated.
When he woke up from the silence of darkness, he first identified the agony that seemed to come out of his limbs.
It was as if every inch of flesh and blood had been torn out. Every inch of meridians was squeezed and ruptured, while every bone was torn out and broken.
It was the divine fire colliding. There was also a kind of energy more powerful than the fire coursing internally.
He seemed to be crushed into a mass of flesh, then forcibly glued together by that force, creating a new life.
It was the sound of regeneration after a limb broke.
More energy rushed into the divine soul on the edge of collapse—a result of the forbidden technique’s usage. It made the body of his soul gradually solidify.
He didn’t know how long it took, but the torment finally subsided.
He laid on the ground like a newly born chick just out of its shell, with his feathers wet and curled up in a slimy ball.
There was a pool of dark red blood beneath him, and the spread of white hair was winding and sticking to his sweaty cheeks.
He struggled to open his eyes.
His eyes were sort of lax from the ache, but their colors were as golden as the burning sun.
He thought of getting up, but his arms were feeble. He couldn’t even budge.
Resuscitation of blood vessels.
Ye Yunlan didn’t expect that he would get his life back because of this.
The power condensed on the corpse of the Divine Phoenix slid into his body, resuscitating the blood of the Divine Phoenix inside. After death, it relied on this power to regenerate and reach nirvana.
Most of the bloodline power in his body was used to repair the soul that was about to dissipate to save his life, but this regenerative power was what really assisted in conserving his existence.
His nirvana was incomplete.
This was him at his weakest.
He closed his eyes.
One day in Time City was a year for the outside world.
He was in a coma. He had no idea how many years had ticked by in the outside world.
And Shen Shu…he wondered how he was now.
Just as he was thinking this, there was a sudden shock and noise outside Time City.
——It’s equivalent to the sound of a sword chopping something.
Was someone out there?
The entire Time City had escaped into the void, and those who had not stepped into the Void Tracing Realm couldn’t enter. Otherwise, it would cost them their lives.
Perhaps, after he was unconscious for around a year, a strong cultivator in the Void Tracing Realm was born in the outside world?
He opened his eyes to see.
Because of the resuscitation of his blood vessels, his eyesight was hundreds of times clearer than before.
Hence, he could witness a crack slowly forming on a side wall of Time City.
The crack expanded with the vibration of Time City until it burst open with a crash.
The turbulent flow of the void was outside Time City. It was chaotic and perilous.
And at this moment, there was a demon standing in the chaotic void and turbulent flow.
Countless gigantic and terrifying shadows unfurled behind the demon. His scarlet eyes and the blood-colored long sword in hand were particularly prominent among the black shadows dancing around.
It was like ghosts and gods had descended on the world.
In the next instant, the demon teleported to him.
His long inky hair fell down and intertwined with the other’s pale hair soaking in a pool of blood.
The demon’s hand gently strangled his throat, his crimson pupils approached, and he laughed hoarsely.
“Master, I caught you.”
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[Note]: The words and phrases in the text are from Liu Yong’s “Ding Fengbo.”