Chapter 13 Master
The change happened so quickly, Yuan Yongzhi’s dream seemed to have been pierced by this sword light. He returned to reality, feeling an unbearable emptiness.
His swelling spiritual power rushed wildly in his meridians, the light and fluttery feeling had now disappeared. Instead, it was replaced by the pain of the rupturing of his meridians.
His spiritual power going the wrong way, he had become corrupt.
Yuan Yongzhi opened his eyes wide in horror. He couldn’t control the blood pouring from his mouth.
He couldn’t figure out why he suddenly became corrupt.
What’s even more unclear is why Shen Shu fell down. The secret technique was activated and the filthy energy accumulated in the medicine house for many years has been absorbed by Shen Shu. No matter how strong Shen Shu was, he was still only at the Nascent Soul stage. Unless he could get rid of the filthy energy on Shen Shu, no one could hurt him.
Ye Yunlan didn’t care about Yuan Yongzhi. He hurried forward to check Shen Shu’s condition.
With that move just now, he sent Shen Shu’s sword flying, but didn’t hurt Shen Shu.
Shen Shu fell by himself.
In the dim light, he saw a large swath of blood under Shen Shu.
When he hugged Shen Shu, he only saw blood stains on the other party’s clothes. Now that he looked carefully, he found that there was a wound on Shen Shu’s abdomen that was pierced by a long sword. Viscous blood was pouring out from the wound.
Was he hurt by that disciple earlier?
Ye Yunlan frowned. He didn’t think about whether Shen Shu would attack again and just helped him up.
Such wounds needed to be bandaged immediately, otherwise Shen Shu who has lost too much blood would have his life at risk.
He untied Shen Shu’s clothes and tore a piece of his clothing to bandage the wound on his abdomen.
The boy was pale and thin, with many welts and old wounds on his body. Ye Yunlan looked at it, and his brows became tighter and tighter.
He had Shen Shu lean on his shoulders, then putting his hands behind him and using the clothes that had wrapped the wound, he wounded a knot. Turning his face to the side, he saw Shen Shu’s long hair falling down to his cheeks. The back of his pale and slender neck revealed a weird mark.
Ye Yunlan saw the mark clearly. His eyes were cold.
At the same time, there was a sound of a heavy object falling on the side.
It was Yuan Yongzhi who fell to the ground.
A faint green bead rolled out of his hand, rolling to Ye Yunlan’s feet.
Ye Yunlan picked up the bead.
When it came in contact with his hand, it was cold. Ye Yunlan recognized it was a soul refining bead before he even used his spiritual power to penetrate into it.
Also seeing the puppet seal earlier, Shen Shu’s identity was already self-evident.
Shen Shu was a demonic puppet formed by refining a living person.
Refining demonic puppets was a sinister technique within the Demon Sect. The puppets were molded through treasures of heaven and earth, then engraved with forbidden techniques. They were weapons created to help their master fight.
However, demon puppets refined in this way have no intelligence and can only be regarded as artifacts. Their strength would be limited by the level of the heavenly materials and treasures used, so they were generally not too high and the things that could be done were limited.
Thousands of years ago, the Soul Refining Sect invented the technique of refining living people.
This technique was not spread outside. The outside world only knew that one of the steps of this technique was to torture a living person with extremely high talents for hundreds of days so they were in pain and despair. When they bore endless grievances and die, they would impose the forbidden technique to lock the three souls, then refine the corpse.
The demon puppet refined in this way would then have spirituality. As long as it could absorb enough filthy energy, it could increase its strength infinitely until the upper limit that the demon puppet itself can support, but it would not have the shackles of a human.
Demon puppets refined by using living people are divided into three classes: heaven, earth and human.
The more powerful the living person’s root aptitude, the deeper the grievances carried during the refining, the higher the rank of the demon puppet.
Even the lowest-level, human-level demon puppet, can have a cultivation base that can reach the stage of transforming into a god.
Demon puppets were not living creatures, they would never die. They would completely obey their master’s orders. Therefore, a demon puppet was once a very popular tool in the Demon Sect. Every demon puppet made by the soul refining sect could be sold at a sky-high price.
It’s just that the probability of refining a successful demon puppet was terribly low, sometimes even among tens of thousands of people, it may not be possible to refine one.
In his previous life, after the soul-refining sect was destroyed by the Demon Lord, this refining method was lost forever.
“Give my things…return it to me…”
Yuan Yongzhi, who fell on the ground, struggled to speak. His face was twisted and hideous.
Ye Yunlan said coldly: “Does anyone from the sect know that you are collaborating with the demon sect privately to refine a demon puppet?”
Yuan Yongzhi was taken aback, his mind became a little sober.
A demon puppet was the most outstanding weapon in the world, but it is a thing of the demon sects.
It is a taboo for a person in the Immortal Dao to come into contact with the demon sect. If he was discovered, it would not be as simple as being expelled from the sect.
Yuan Yongzhi’s expression turned more and more pale. He changed his words: “These things were done by Liu Qing alone, it has nothing to do with our medicine house disciples… My two Senior Brothers were both caught by Liu Qing when they discovered this. Liu Qing killed them to silence them. Senior Brother, this time I really didn’t lie to you!”
“You said you didn’t know anything about it?”
The method of refining living beings was unique to the Soul Refining Sect.
Although Liu Qing would rebel from their sect to join the Soul Refining Sect in the future, he was still a member of the Sky Sect. It is impossible to know the method of the Soul Refining Sect to refine the devil puppets…unless he was originally an undercover agent sent by the Soul Refining Sect.
If so, the Demon sects’ hands were too long.
At this moment, Ye Yunlan heard another shrill shout from outside.
Liu Qing being corrupted was definitely not pretend.
The blood on Shen Shu’s wound oozed out from the bandaged clothes. Ye Yunlan didn’t want to think about these trivial matters anymore.
He took out the sound transmission spirit jade He Lanze gave him and briefly explained the matter here. He said indifferently: “I have notified the law enforcement disciples to come, if there is anything that needs to be explained, you can go and speak to the people of the law enforcement hall.”
Yuan Yongzhi shouted in horror: ” No– !”
Ye Yunlan stopped listening, he only looked at the bright red blood on Shen Shu’s wound.
A demon puppet refined by that method would have their blood turn black. They would lose their body temperature and heartbeat, they couldn’t be considered a living person.
Shen Shu’s blood was bright red, he should be only a semi-finished product.
His refining process was not perfect, which means that he is still a person.
He gently wiped the blood from Shen Shu’s cheeks with his fingertips, then his spiritual consciousness penetrated the bead.
Inside the round bead was a dark space. The space was full of interlaced chains, with a small figure wrapped by the chain in the center.
It was Shen Shu.
Shen Shu was much younger than he was now.
This should be the part of Shen Shu that was forcibly pulled out by the refiner before the refining method began.
The soul looked only about six or seven years old, with a pale little face and hollow eyes. It was like a lifeless puppet.
If possible, Ye Yunlan wanted to destroy the Soul Refining bead and unlock the restriction.
But by doing this, it would destroy a part of Shen Shu’s soul altogether.
The refining method of living beings was sinister. Even if the refining has not been completed, Shen Shu’s life was now connected with this soul refining bead. This means that it would be difficult for him to escape being in control of others in this life.
He held the Soul Refining bead in his palm. He slowly rubbed his fingertips on it.
He was thinking.
Suddenly he felt the unconscious teenager move in his arms.
When he looked down, he saw Shen Shu’s eyelashes trembling and slowly open.
At the moment when he saw Ye Yunlan, a bright light appeared in Shen Shu’s eyes. But immediately, he noticed the dark green bead in Ye Yunlan’s hand. The dark pupils contracted. He instinctively reached out to grab the bead, but was avoided by Ye Yunlan.
Shen Shu’s eyes darkened. He tilted his head and asked: “Immortal Lord…even you want to use me?”
Shen Shu used this word very naturally. Ye Yunlan frowned subconsciously. He reached out his hand to touch Shen Shu’s head, and explained softly: “Your soul is connected to the soul refining bead. If you destroy it, you will suffer severe injuries, you might even die.”
Shen Shu tilted his head and looked at him, “Is that really the case?”
The young man’s tone was very light, he didn’t seem to believe it very much, but he stopped trying to snatch the bead. He just raised his head and nudged his hand, a slight smile appeared on his pale face. He said in a hoarse voice: “Immortal Lord saved me again…I’m so happy.”
Looking at him like this, Ye Yunlan somehow remembered the first time he met him. The other party had stubbornly asked how to repay him.
——Immortal Lord, tell me, what do you want?
——What can you give me?
——Everything. I can give Immortal Lord everything.
——Including your life?
——Including my life.
The Soul Refining bead in his hand became very heavy.
Shen Shu’s injury should not be moved. It will take time for the people from the law enforcement hall to come over. Ye Yunlan was afraid that Shen Shu would pass out again, so he was silent for a while: “Shen Shu, tell me about your past.”
“What happened before you met me? Tell me about your former relatives and friends.”
Shen Shu: “I…have no relatives and friends. Before…maybe, but I have forgotten it. I only remember, many years ago that night…there was a lot of blood. That blood filled the sky and everyone died.”
Ye Yunlan didn’t ask him which night it was, he just listened quietly.
“I was taken into the mountains, where… there were many people my age. We were locked in a large wooden shed. Every once in a while… someone would be taken away.”
“The people who were taken away……never came back.”
“One day, they took me to a cave. In that cave… it was full of bones and poisonous snakes. They broke my limbs, dug up my abdominal cavity and put the bead… inside. They also had snakes crawl on me.” Shen Shu said, then suddenly grabbed his shirt, “It hurts, Immortal Lord.”
Ye Yunlan hugged him and whispered: “It doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s all over.”
Shen Shu snuggled into Ye Yunlan’s arms. Sniffing the faint and gentle fragrance of this person, he gave a low “en”.
He paused. A dark color flashed across his eyes, before he continued: “It was Liu Qing… who saved me. He secretly took me and the bead out of the cave.”
“In the beginning… I was very grateful. But later, I found out that he didn’t treat me as a human being, but as a…beast he was raising.”
“He took me back to Sky Sect. At first…for fear of me hurting others, he used a chain to chain me up. Later, I learned to behave, and he let me go.”
Ye Yunlan listened to Shen Shu quietly, gently stroking Shen Shu’s back.
“For so many years, everyone in the medicine house treated me like a beast, only Immortal Lord…” Shen Shu rubbed his cheek against him, “…only Immortal Lord was willing to treat me as a human being. So…I, I want to stay with Immortal Lord.”
Ye Yunlan’s long eyelashes trembled.
“I wasn’t able to pick the golden bell flowers for Immortal Lord… but can you reward me in advance?” Shen Shu said in a low voice, “Take me back, okay?”
Ye Yunlan was silent for a while, then understood Shen Shu’s meaning.
Shen Shu wanted him to take him back with him, then… stay by his side for a long time.
The boy’s request was so straightforward. His body was covered with bruises, but he still remembered the flower that he had promised to pick for him.
It’s just that from his previous life to now, he had lived alone for decades.
He had long forgotten what it felt like to have someone by his side.
There was no person who could accompany him in this world forever, everyone would leave in the end.
He once told Shen Shu this and at the same time he kept admonishing himself.
He was determined to live this life peacefully by himself.
He hugged Shen Shu. He looked at the old mottled wounds and winding bloodstains on the boy’s body.
Some strands of the other party’s soft hair rubbed against his neck, causing it to be slightly itchy.
Shen Shu was lonely since he was young and his relatives were all gone.
The disciples of the medicine house treated him like a tool. They treated him like an animal. He even stumbles when communicating because he hadn’t spoken for a long time.
He should have died in the fire in the secret realm, but was saved by him.
Shen Shu lived because of him.
Even though he suffered hardship, he was still clean and pure, always obsessed with repaying him back.
Even the Soul Refining bead, which controlled the life of his own soul, was handed over to him.
Ye Yunlan didn’t intend to leave any fetters or concerns in the world.
But if it was Shen Shu.
If it was just Shen Shu…
He closed his eyes and took out the blood-stained golden bell flower from his arm.
“The golden bell flower you picked for me, I have received it.”
Shen Shu’s eyes widened slightly.
“I said that I would give you a reward.” Ye Yunlan lowered his head and looked at Shen Shu’s bright black eyes. What was reflected in it was his shadow.
The other party looked up at him so wholeheartedly and expectantly.
He thought that he should respond to this expectation.
So he continued: “…The reward is, after you get well, I will accept you as a disciple.”
The enforcement department came quickly.
He Lanze led dozens of law enforcement disciples and blasted open the gate of the Medicine House, then followed the direction pointed out by Ye Yunlan to the valley in the mountain.
His face was extremely cold and his heart was full of worry and anxiety. When he saw the blood on Ye Yunlan’s body…
He couldn’t help but change his face. He ordered the law enforcement disciples to tie up Yuan Yongzhi and Xu Ze, then walked quickly to Ye Yunlan’s side.
“Junior Brother, are you hurt?” He Lanze asked.
“It’s not me who’s injured.” Ye Yunlan shook his head. He turned sideways, and allowed He Lanze to see the bleeding, pale boy in his arms. “It’s him. Does Senior Brother have healing medicine?”
He Lanze frowned. He knelt down, and took out some medicine. He wanted to help the person take it but was stopped by a slender hand.
He watched Ye Yunlan pinch the pill and carefully feed it into the boy’s mouth. He didn’t care that his fingertips were stained with fresh water. He couldn’t help asking, “Who is he?”
“His name is Shen Shu, he is also a disciple of the medicine house. In the secret realm, I saved his life.”
He Lanze: “He is the disciple you saved in exchange for that serious injury?”
Ye Yunlan lowered his head to observe Shen Shu’s injury: “Yes.”
He Lanze looked at Shen Shu. He was suddenly not pleasing to the eye.
He was the one who caused Junior Brother Ye to be severely injured by the Divine Fire? Now it was also him who caused Junior Brother Ye to come to the medicine house and into danger?
Yet, Junior Brother Ye still held this person in his arms so intimately…
His complexion changed: “Junior Brother Ye, you said that someone in the medicine house was in collusion with the demon sect and used a living person to refine a demon puppet. Who was refined into a demon puppet?”
Ye Yunlan: “It’s Shen Shu.”
He Lanze had already guessed it. He frowned deeply at this moment: “A demon puppet is bloodthirsty by nature, it is hard to control, not to mention trying to restrain it’s nature. Junior Brother is weak, how can you be so close…”
“Shen Shu is a human.” Ye Yunlan interrupted, “The demon puppet refining technique on him is not complete, it can be reversed.”
“Junior Brother means to protect him? But, a demon puppet is an evil, fierce thing. Even if it is only a semi-finished product, left alone, I am afraid the elders will not agree.” He Lanze said.
“Senior Brother,” Ye Yunlan’s voice was slightly cold, “Shen Shu is just an innocent victim. It is not his fault he was refined into a demon puppet.”
“Medicine house Liu Qing had long committed this crime as early as when he was in the inner sect. The fault of refining medicine with a living person was only expelling him to the outside. Medicine house disciples Yuan Yongzhi and Xu Ze both helped him to abuse Shen Shu. The former abused Shen Shu, and the latter forced Shen Shu to test medicine and even planned to kill him. Compared to these sc*mbags, what is wrong with Shen Shu?”
Ye Yunlan has always been indifferent to personnel, it is rare for him to say such a long sentence.
He Lanze was silent for a while.
Not far away from the place where the disciples of the Law Enforcement were gathered, Yuan Yong Zhi tried to defend himself loudly: “I haven’t done it! Everything in the medicine house was done by Liu Qing! I don’t know anything!”
Xu Ze slowly came to his senses. Realizing that he had two charges of “testing medicine with a living person” and “murdering a member of the same sect” on him, his face turned pale. He hurriedly defended: “I didn’t try to kill a member of the same sect, it was Senior Brother Yuan who first tried to kill Junior Brother Shen. I saw Junior brother Shen was injured, so I wanted to take medicine to heal him. I was not forcing Junior Brother Shen to test the medicine for me. Moreover, I absolutely didn’t want to take his life. It was obvious that he stabbed himself with a sword—”
He stopped suddenly. He didn’t even believe these words, so how could others believe that Shen Shu, that beast, had indeed held his sword and stabbed himself in front of him?
He stabbed hard, as if he didn’t know pain at all.
When Xu Ze thought of that scene, his blood ran cold.
“Xu Ze wanted to take Shen Shu’s life with a sword, I saw it with my own eyes.” Ye Yunlan said.
He Lanze naturally believed him.
He deliberately wanted to ease the rigid atmosphere between the two of them, so he stood up. Raising his voice, he ordered the disciples of the law enforcement court, “Take these two people back and put them in the water jail. They will await the trial in the law enforcement court.”
Yuan Yongzhi and Xu Ze had no blood on their faces.
But Ye Yunlan only felt that these words were familiar
…. After he was framed in his previous life, He Lanze also coldly sent him to the water prison to await trial.
The water prison is the place where the Sky Sect convicts of serious crimes were held before trial.
The water inside was cold to the bones and it sealed one’s spiritual power. After a few days of soaking, his mind almost dissipated. Later, he was convicted and sentenced, and his dantian was abolished. The angry disciples dragged him down the stairs and threw him out in the hot sun.
Rong Ran used a carving knife to vent on his face. His eyelashes were covered with blood, and he couldn’t see the way forward, he could only crawl on the ground little by little.
He was in a desperate situation and thought he would die there.
Die outside the sect where he had lived for more than 20 years.
No one cared. Quietly he would fade.
When he crawled, he inadvertently grabbed the hem of a person’s robe.
The material was soft.
His five fingers were trembling and he clenched it, “Help…I…”
The man paused and squatted down.
A slender and strong hand lifted him from the ground.
“How pitiful.” A low male voice brushed his ears, it was very pleasant, “You’re hurt like this, but you still want to live?”
Ye Yunlan: “…want.”
“If I save you, how can you repay me?” the man said.
The man laughed, “I’m just teasing, I don’t need anything in return. But you have to remember the name of the person who saved you, I’m called–“
Ye Yunlan closed his eyes and tried his best to leave the name behind.
He looked down at the boy in his arms.
He Lanze’s pill was very effective, the wounds on Shen Shu’s body no longer bled, and his complexion improved a lot.
The past was over.
Reliving a lifetime, he can see his future. He should live his peaceful life, he won’t have anything to do with anyone anymore.
Shen Shu was the exception.
But this exception was the only one.
He Lanze sent someone to open the house where Liu Qing was detained and Liu Qing rushed out with a crazy look. He was arrested by He Lanze and the other law enforcement disciples who had already expected it.
It was the first time that Ye Yunlan saw Liu Qing’s true face that was usually covered by the black robe in his previous life, but he only glanced at it briefly.
He lowered his head and touched Shen Shu’s cheek with his fingers.
The softness of his cheeks made his heart soft, he couldn’t help but whisper.
“Get better quickly.”
Liu Qing’s matters set off a firestorm in the sect.
Using living people to refine medicine without authorization and colluding with the demon sect was taboo. All the disciples of the medicine house were picked off. The minor crimes resulted in direct expulsion from the sect, while the more serious ones, such as Yuan Yongzhi and Xu Ze, had their cultivation abolished and were stripped of all their wealth and tools before being expelled.
Only the punishment for Liu Qing had been delayed.
“Some elders in the inner sect are protecting Liu Qing,” He Lanze said when visiting him. “Although the reason is that Liu Qing has lost his mind and it would be wrong to kick him out of the sect, in fact, it is only because of Liu Qing’s returning god pill. They don’t know where it was taken. Until they find it, the elders will not expel Liu Qing from the sect.”
“As for the demon puppet, I have kept a portion of it a secret for you.” He Lanze said, “We found evidence in Liu Qing’s cave that he studied demonic magic, which proved that he had already rebelled against the sect. This matter cannot be faked. As for the rest, we…don’t know anything.”
Ye Yunlan was silent for a while, then said: “Thank you.”
“No need to thank me.” He Lanze said, “I know that Junior Brother doesn’t like trouble, so if some things can be avoided, they should be avoided. As far as I know, there is an elder in the inner sect who has coveted the demon puppets refined by the soul refining sect for a long time. He had always wanted to refine the puppet for the immortal sect. If Shen Shu’s matter was known to him, I am afraid that even I would not be able to protect him. But the method of refining living people, no matter how you see it, it is a sin in the end. I…actually don’t want the innocent to suffer.”
This was his response for when Ye Yunlan criticized him.
Ye Yunlan: “Thank you for your trouble, Senior Brother.”
He Lanze’s complexion melted. He stared at Ye Yunlan’s face and whispered: “Junior Brother, aren’t you going to invite me in for a cup of tea?”
The other party just helped him a lot, so Ye Yunlan couldn’t refuse him: “Senior Brother, please come in.”
The wind chime at the door made a crisp sound.
Going around the bamboo screen, there was a wooden floor one step higher, with a low table in the middle.
The two sat opposite each other at the low table.
Ye Yunlan set about making tea.
When he was making tea, his eyebrows were drooping and he was silent. The rising smoke enveloped his face, showing a little gentleness.
He Lanze looked at him. He felt a sense of peace.
He was born enthusiastic about the sword dao. He was clean, and he pursued the principle of respecting the strong.
In his mind, only by reaching the summit can he achieve a happiness of a lifetime.
But when he was sitting opposite Ye Yunlan at this moment, he felt that if he could accompany him hand in hand in this life, then even if he retired and became a mortal, a hundred years of his life would seem to be complete.
He picked up the tea cup that Ye Yunlan handed over. He took a sip and felt that his mouth was slightly bitter, but the aftertaste was sweet.
What came to mind when drinking tea was Ye Yunlan’s white wrist that made the tea.
He couldn’t help sighing, “Good tea.”
Ye Yunlan: “Senior Brother is exaggerating. This tea is just ordinary Junshan silver needle, not some great spiritual tea.”
He Lanze smiled, “As long as it is made by Junior Brother himself, it is good tea.”
Ye Yunlan was silent.
When He Lanze finally got up, he had already drunk three pots of tea. This made Ye Yunlan wonder whether this person was a tea craze in his previous life.
He Lanze was sent away. When he turned back, he saw Shen Shu quietly standing at the door of the bedroom, standing there watching him.
The other party’s worn-out clothes were no longer usable. What Shen Shu was wearing right now was the clothes he wore when he was young.
The boy’s hair was hanging down. Dressed in white, his thin and tall figure was quite similar to that of his youth, but his temperament was completely different.
Especially when those narrow eyes looked over. They would only remind people of wild, untamable creatures such as wild wolves, hawks, and falcons.
Shen Shu was more suited for wearing black Ye Yunlan thought.
He walked over and saw that Shen Shu was staring at him. “What?”
“Immortal Lord, my injury is healed.” Shen Shu said.
Ye Yunlan paused, remembering what he had promised Shen Shu.
He looked at Shen Shu’s complexion. He saw that it was indeed much better than the previous few days: “Go and help me pour a cup of tea.”
Shen Shu’s eyes lit up and he did as he was told.
Ye Yunlan walked into the study, took out the carved wooden sword from the case, and placed it in his hand for a closer look.
He paused for a moment with his eyes on the character “Shu”. Then, he took the carving knife, and added a line of small characters beside it.
“Gift to my disciple.”
As soon as he finished carving, Shen Shu walked in with his tea.
Without hesitation, he walked directly to Ye Yunlan and knelt down. He held the cup of tea in both his hands, “Please accept me as a disciple.”
The words were very smooth, he was unsure how many times he must have practiced secretly.
“You are very clever.” Ye Yunlan smiled.
He took the tea in Shen Shu’s hand, took a sip, and gently exhaled: “Get up.”
Shen Shu stood up, blinked at him, and couldn’t look more well behaved.
Ye Yunlan handed him the wooden sword in his hand.
“This sword is for you to practice sword everyday. When you are successful in sword practice, I will find a suitable natal spirit sword for you.”
Shen Shu took the wooden sword and held it in his hand, fondling it admiringly. He quickly noticed the words engraved on the sword. He raised his head and said, “Is this what the Immortal Lord did for me personally?”
The straightforward and warm eyes of the young man made Ye Yunlan want to turn his head to avoid him, but this time he restrained himself, to the point that he made direct eye contact.
He said: “Shen Shu, you should call me Master.”
Shen Shu was taken aback, bright light streamed through his eyes.
Sunlight came in from outside the window.
The young man looked up at him, and shouted: “Master.”
Ye Yunlan was in a trance.
He has never accepted a disciple in his life.
But for some reason, he felt that he had traveled back hundreds of years and lived a lifetime, all for this call of “Master”.