Chapter 13 Master
The bitter fragrance of medicine wafted around the medicine house.
The bottom of the bronze medicine furnace on the high platform in the middle of the mountain was burning with vigorous fire. The blue flame rose, making a crackling sound.
There was a withered and scorched willow tree beside the medicine stove. Several crows stood on it’s branch, staring directly at the two people passing by underneath.
Yuan Yongzhi felt the deep chill of the sword point on his back. Cold sweat flowed down his cheeks drop by drop.
Behind the willow, there was a narrow crack in the rock.
The light was dim in the crevices.
Ye Yunlan raised his sword and walked behind Yuan Yongzhi. He caught a glimpse of the sporadic dark red blood stains on the rock wall by the roadside, his eyes sank.
This medicine house was full of strange things.
Did Shen Shu grow up in such an environment?
After walking through the cliff cracks for a while, the front became clear again.
What appeared in front of them was a valley in the mountains.
The setting sun shone down, and in the dim red light, there was a bloody smell that seemed to have lasted a long time in the valley.
A mountain breeze from nowhere blew by.
It was obviously the warm spring season, but Ye Yunlan felt a little cold.
At this moment, he heard a roar that didn’t sound like a human.
He looked at where the voice came from, and saw a row of prison houses at the back mountain rock wall, dozens of them.
“What’s in them?” he asked.
Yuan Yongzhi swallowed and replied honestly: “This…it’s usually living creatures captured for refining medicine, such as spirit beasts and monsters. But sometimes Master will also use it for disciples who have committed some mistakes, to let them… reflect on it.”
It was normal for a Master to teach their disciples.
But keeping the disciples in such a place would be wrong.
According to the principles of the Five Elements Feng Shui, this valley in the mountain was a place where Yin Qi converges in Qingyun Mountain. Such a place is prone to evil. For practitioners, it is easy to get possessed by evil spirits and fall into demonic ways.
Reflecting one’s misdeeds is to make disciples realize their mistakes, it’s not meant to ruin their humanity.
“Who is your master?” Ye Yunlan asked.
Xue Zhong previously only told him the surname of the person in charge of the medicine house was Liu, but he did not tell him the specific name.
Yuan Yongzhi wiped his sweat and replied, “Master Liu Qing.”
Ye Yunlan frowned.
It turned out to be him.
He still had some impression of Liu Qing.
It’s just that this impression was not made by him when he stayed in Sky Sect, but years after when he arrived at the Demon Sect.
This person was originally an elder of Xuanhu Peak, from the inner sect of Sky Sect.
In Sky Sect, Xuanhu Peak was also called Medicine Peak because most of the disciples who practiced on Xuanhu Peak were medical practitioners. Liu Qing was a well-known medical practitioner in Medicine Peak. The “Life-Returning Pill” he refined had the miraculous effect of regaining life and increasing longevity, which was hard to find in the world of cultivation.
The reason why Liu Qing was demoted to the outside was not known to many people at first. It was only when Liu Qing got corrupted, fell into the devil’s way, and rebelled against the Sky Sect, was it revealed that Liu Qing had used a living person to refine medicine.
The life-returning pill was made with living people.
Therefore, this pill was not a holy pill that took from the heavens and restored life. Instead, it was an evil pill that exchanged one life for another.
After Liu Qing rebelled against the Sky Sect, he became a guardian of the Demon Soul Refining Sect. Later, the Demon Soul Refining Sect was destroyed by the Demon Lord, but the man survived. Not only did he survive, he became a loyal lackey beside the Demon Lord.
Ye Yunlan saw Liu Qing once. He was covered in a black robe, never making a sound. He would only loyally complete the tasks assigned by the Demon Lord.
Liu Qing had died in Qianshang Pond.
The soul eater bug that was nurtured by the Demon Lord consumed his body and soul and died. His death was extremely miserable.
The reason was simply due to him being seriously injured at the time. The Demon Lord had ordered Liu Qing to refine the life-returning pill for him, but he had refused the offer.
At that time, the Demon Lord said to Liu Qing: “Since Lan Er does not want you to concoct medicine for him, you are useless. Go to Qianshang Lake to receive punishment. It just so happens that the soul eater bug that this Lord raised recently is still missing some nourishment.”
Then he heard Liu Qing’s trembling voice for the first time. The voice was extremely hoarse: “Your honor! I have followed your orders for so many years, you can’t treat me like this– ”
The Demon Lord waved impatiently. The guards, left and right, stepped out and dragged Liu Qing away.
“You said, you have been with me for so many years, but how can you forget my rules? I said I don’t like hearing your voice.” The Demon Lord spoke coldly, then ordered the left and right guards, “Take him and throw him into Qianshang Pond. You don’t have to fish him out.”
He was seriously injured and was held in the Demon Lord’s arms. Hearing this, he felt it was wrong. He grabbed the sleeve of the Demon Lord and wanted to open his mouth to intercede.
But, the Demon Lord raised his hand to pinch his chin. He pressed his fingertips against his pale, bloodless lips. His tone was indifferent, and it seemed to contain some hidden anger: “Lan Er, don’t make me angry anymore.”
The Demon Lord had always been known for being cruel and violent. Yet, when he was sent to the demonic gates, the other party’s attitude towards him was always gentle.
He almost forgot that this man was a moody, life-threatening demon.
Even though Liu Qing used living people to concoct medicine, death should given due to a crime. He shouldn’t be thrown into Qianshang Pond and die from being devoured by insects because of such a trivial matter. Ye Yunlan couldn’t understand.
Liu Qing was just a negligible lapdog under the Demon Lord, just a plaything in the hands of the Demon Lord.
Liu Qing’s death made him feel a bit sad. He didn’t use the life-returning pill, and the injury on his body could not be delayed any longer.
The Demon Lord carried him back to the Demon Palace Hall. Passing through the curtains, he laid him on the bed.
The lights in the hall were dim. The Demon Lord looked down at him, his ghost mask looked extremely evil and hideous.
He couldn’t clearly see the expression of the other party. He was unable to figure out the other party’s thoughts.
After a long time, the Demon Lord raised his sleeves and blew out the lights.
The surroundings became completely dark.
The mask was thrown on the ground with a crisp sound. The Demon Lord stretched his hand into his clothes and covered his waist wound with his palm. He asked him coldly, “Does it hurt?”
The wound was just a flesh injury, it had already slightly scabbed. The real injury was actually inside his body, but being touched this way, he still couldn’t help but frown.
“It doesn’t hurt,” he said.
The Demon Lord was agitated by his indifferent tone, his hands pressed slightly harder. He sneered: “Now?”
He trembled, smelling a faint bloody smell. The Demon Lord’s cold fingertips touched his wounds, the young and tender flesh under the scab.
He had realized that the Demon Lord was not in the right mood, but he was also angry in his heart, so he just turned his head and said in a more indifferent tone: “…It doesn’t hurt.”
For a moment, the Demon Lord wanted to crush the person under him.
But in the end he just took back his strength slowly. He took a deep breath: “There was an assassination at the demonic palace yesterday. Why didn’t you call me immediately?”
He said, “That person is dead.”
“I am asking you, why didn’t you call me?” The Demon Lord asked.
He just wanted to answer, when he shuddered. He noticed that the bleeding wound had been licked by something warm and wet. It was numbing and itchy, his hands could not help but clench the bed.
“I just don’t think… it’s necessary.”
The two white jade rings on his ankle that imprisoned his spiritual power have long been taken off by the Demon Lord. His cultivation base has recovered a lot, so he could still handle the strength of the assassin.
What’s more, yesterday was the night of the full moon.
Every time it was the night of the full moon, the state of the Demon Lord was very wrong and he would always disappear for a period of time. He thought that the other party probably had no time to take care of these trivial matters.
“Not necessary?” The Demon Lord’s lips were stained with blood. Hidden in the darkness, his voice was cold and deep, “Heh, Senior Immortal always said that he doesn’t feel pain… Then when I come to help you heal, don’t cry.”
He didn’t know how the Demon Lord would heal him. He only felt the weight of the opposite party and a hot touch.
The Demon Lord had superb skills in playing with people and his body that had long been soaked in medicinal baths over the years was extremely sensitive. In the past, it would not be long before he softened into a pool of water for the other party to take as they wanted. But today was different.
The Demon Lord sensed his resistance and coldness, and bit his shoulder, hard.
The canine teeth grinded again and again through his clothes, as if trying to break him apart and eat him. He said hoarsely: “What are you doing now?”
While speaking, a few cold, slippery things got tangled up.
He closed his eyes, and said in a low voice: “Liu Qing…”
“You really are angry with me about that today.” The Demon Lord said solemnly.
He frowned and endured the strange feeling of something curling around his body, “Liu Qing did not commit a big mistake…”
“But you don’t know it,” The Demon Lord sneered, “Me letting him end his life in Qianshang Lake is already a kindness to him.”
He bit his lip, tears were forced out from the end of his eyes.
The Demon Lord’s tone turned gentle, “Are you afraid that I will treat you like Liu Qing?” He no longer bit his shoulders, but held his lips. He was like a hungry wolf, hunting.
A faint smell of blood blended between his lips and teeth.
“But you’re completely different.”
“Senior Immortal, I have said this before, I just need you to live nicely beside me.” The Demon Lord exhaled softly in his ear, “I will never do this to you.”
He didn’t believe it.
Firstly, the world recognizes the Demon Lord’s temperament as being perverse and unpredictable. Secondly, since he was sent to the demon palace by Chen Weiyuan, his last point of trust in human nature has been lost.
The movement of the Demon Lord continued.
He thought that the other party was just angry and wanted to play tricks on him, but he didn’t expect the Demon Lord to really start to heal him.
He was the furnace of the Demon Lord. The top human furnace developed after years of soaking his exquisite bones in medicinal baths. Everyone in the demonic sect regarded him as the Demon Lord’s forbidden meat. Everyone in the immortal sect regarded him as a traitor and scum. He had a bad reputation and an extremely humble status.
He always thought that the Demon Lord loved him and cherished him because his body still had value in it.
But now, the Demon Lord injected his cultivation base and spiritual power into his body in order to heal his physical injuries.
But if this is the case, the Demon Lord would become his furnace instead.
He didn’t expect that the Demon Lord would use this method to heal him.
He was hurt by the Demon Lord, his eyebrows were frowning, and tears couldn’t stop streaming. The injury inside his body was getting better.
“You said you were not afraid of pain. But Senior Immortal, you have to remember,” The Demon Lord embraced him, kissing the tears in the corner of his eye, and whispered in his ear, “Only I can hurt you in this world.”
“No one can bypass me and touch you at all–unless they step on my corpse.”
He had already lost his trust to the world, and did not take the Demon Lord’s words to heart at that time.
….However, the Demon Lord did as he said.
He remembered that even at the times when there was no retreat and they had lost all hope of survival, this person… still protected him.
Ye Yunlan stopped.
“Your master Liu Qing, where is he now?” He asked Yuan Yongzhi.
Cold sweat oozed out of Yuan Yongzhi’s forehead. He wondered why Ye Yunlan asked this question. He said vaguely: “Master… Master, the old man made some small mistakes when he was in closed door training, and is recovering.”
Ye Yunlan had some guesses in his heart. The tip of his sword reached Yuan Yongzhi’s back, “Say the truth.”
“You can’t touch me!” Yuan Yongzhi raised his voice, “My Master was originally an elder in the Inner Sect. Many elders on the other peaks rely on the pills made by my Master. If you hurt me, even if you are an inner disciple, you will definitely be severely punished!”
Ye Yunlan ignored the threat in his words: “Liu Qing is recuperating?”
In the past, Liu Qing had betrayed Sky Sect. Thinking about it carefully, it should be in a few years time.
Seeing Yuan Yongzhi’s secretive attitude, Ye Yunlan turned sideways to the room that made the weird noise: “He’s gone crazy. Is he the one who’s locked up there?”
“How did you know?” Yuan Yongzhi was shocked, “Master’s corruption into the demonic ways, only the medicine house disciple knows…right, did Shen Shu that evil creature tell you?”
Hearing the word “evil creature”, Ye Yunlan’s eyes sank slightly.
“I asked you to take care of your mouth, don’t be unruly and bark everywhere.” Thinking of the purpose of his trip, he temporarily left the matter of Liu Qing behind. He pointed his long sword forward, “Tell me, Where did you lock up Shen Shu?”
Yuan Yongzhi felt a sharp pain at the center of his back and shuddered.
A strong black aura floated in his eyes.
He slowly rolled his eyes, “Senior Brother, it’s not because I’m insecure. Senior Brother probably doesn’t know that evil… Shen Shu has evil things on his body, which will affect the luck of cultivators. In the past few years, the medicine house disciples have suffered a lot of hardships, and it is all caused by him. He was locked in here to face his punishment. He deserves it.”
The bead slipped from the sleeve of his shirt and was pinched in his palm. “So Senior Brother, I would like to advise you, in regard to Shen Shu, it is better to stay away… Otherwise, Senior Brother, I am afraid that you won’t even know how you’d die.”
Yuan Yongzhi thought if he said this, Ye Yunlan would hesitate. After all, the most taboo thing for a cultivator is his luck being affected. He didn’t expect the other party to just have a cold voice and say: “Are you teaching me how to do things?”
Yuan Yongzhi choked. Suddenly he heard a sound of broken porcelain in the distance, then Ye Yunlan passed by him. He walked quickly to the end of the rock wall, and stepped into a cell.
It was the cell that held Shen Shu.
Yuan Yongzhi heard the sound of long swords colliding, and his heart burst. He followed him and found that the door of the cell was opened wide.
The setting sun had gone into the west mountains, and in the dim light, the scene inside surprised him.
The floor was filled with broken pieces of the medicine bowl. His junior brother Xu Ze lay on the ground, unconscious.
While Ye Yunlan was holding the beast in his arms.
The beast was covered with blood, his clothes were torn by a whip and a chain was hung on his thin wrists. He was resting on Ye Yunlan’s shoulder. With long hair hanging down, it revealed his pale cheeks.
He looked pitiful.
When Ye Yunlan first came in, he saw Shen Shu curled up in the corner and a disciple was about to strike Shen Shu with his sword.
Before he could think about it more, he took out his sword to rescue Shen Shu.
When Shen Shu saw him coming, he stood up swaying and fell into his arms. His hands held his shirt and his body trembled, “Immortal Lord.”
He was like a scared little animal.
The blood wetted his white clothes. He held the bruised boy in his arms. He had a slight pain in his heart, “Tell me, what happened? Who caused your injuries?”
The man he saved with his own life wasn’t in front of him for a moment and then got wounded like this?
Shen Shu replied hoarsely: “Senior Brother Yuan locked me here and beat me with a whip. He said it was to punish me for going out privately… Senior Brother Xu asked me to take medicine, if I refused, he would kill me.”
Ye Yunlan listened, then turned his head to look at Yuan Yongzhi: “This is what you meant by Shen Shu being punished to reflect on his mistakes? Is this not just you guys using this as an excuse to torture him and murder a fellow disciple?”
Murdering a fellow disciple is a great crime in Sky Sect.
Yuan Yongzhi didn’t believe it: “Impossible! I used a whip to teach him a lesson, that isn’t fake. But Junior Brother Xu has been waiting for this beast to come back to test the medicine for several days, why would he intentionally kill him? Not to mention the chains on his body are broken. That is a chain made from Xuan steel, even if it is chopped with a sword, it would not be broken in a short while— ”
“Test medicine?” Ye Yunlan caught a word in his statement, and his eyes became dark. “You…forced Shen Shu to test medicine?”
Trying medicine on a living person is the same as refining medicine with a living person. It was taboo.
Liu Qing committed similar things but was only demoted to the outside because the returning god pill he made had something to do with many elders in the sect. For Yuan Yongzhi, he would not be so lucky.
Yuan Yongzhi’s expression changed.
He had finally with great difficulty sat in the position of chief of the medicine house. His buttocks were not even warm yet! Rhis matter must not be known by outsiders——!
Seeing Shen Shu raising his head from Ye Yunlan’s shoulders to look at him, his eyes were sly and dark, a teasing, mockery expression was revealed.
“The chain on my body… was cut off by Senior Brother Xu,” his voice was still weak, “Senior Brother Xu said killing me was letting me off too easily. It would be more interesting to play out the roles of a cat and mouse…”
Why would Xu Ze say such a thing!
Yuan Yongzhi suddenly realized that the pitiful appearance of this beast was all pretend, he was just trying to push the blame on them!
His heart was agitated. This beast was obviously already controlled by him, yet he dared to play this trick on him——!
The cat playing with the mouse, who is the cat and who is the mouse?
Yuan Yongzhi looked at Xu Ze lying on the ground. His face completely sank. Raging emotions surged in his heart, making him almost lose his ability to judge the situation.
He thought, since the matter of living people being medical test subjects has been exposed, there was no need to conceal Shen Shu’s matters anymore. As long as Ye Yunlan can be kept here forever- no one would know what happened in the medicine house!
The black energy in Yuan Yongzhi’s eyes surged. He no longer hesitated. He poured his whole body’s spiritual energy into the bead in his hand.
Ye Yunlan realized that the body of the young man in his arms became stiff, then he trembled slightly.
Shen Shu said hoarsely: “Immortal Lord…leave…”
Shen Shu stretched out his hand to push him away. He staggered back, then shrank into the dark corner alone.
A gust of wind blew by, it was very cold.
This was an extreme Yin place in the mountains. At this time, the surrounding Yin Qi was gathering frantically in this house. Not only yin qi, but the ghost qi and evil qi left by creatures who died in this valley began to spread here.
The bright moon in the sky was covered by dark clouds. Yuan Yongzhi’s face was crazy.
“Yes, that’s it…Shen Shu, Master has raised you for such a long time, now it’s your turn to work for our teacher.”
“What did you do to him?” Ye Yunlan’s appearance was cold. He raised his sword to point to Yuan Yongzhi.
Endless death intent extended out. Yuan Yongzhi was sweating, he could not help but grasp the faint green bead in his hand, and shout: “Get him for me!”
An attack struck from the side. Ye Yunlan shifted sideways to dodge the blow. As his sleeves flew, he saw Shen Shu’s face.
Those eyes had lost all their brilliance, they were hollow and cold. He was holding the long sword Xu Ze dropped to the ground.
Shen Shu’s state was obviously abnormal.
Ye Yunlan was able to perceive all the living things in his surroundings, but Shen Shu at this time was completely different from usual in his perception.
If he really had to say it…At this moment, Shen Shu didn’t seem to be a living person at all.
Ye Yunlan was in the midst of observing him.
In the dim environment, his eyesight was lacking, but Shen Shu’s energy was like that of a demon. The long sword brought along a sinister energy, extremely fast and unpredictable. It made people unable to defend. However, the attacks were disordered with no real swordsmanship.
Ye Yunlan dodged the sword sideways, a few black hairs floated down.
He furrowed his eyebrows. He wanted to steady his vision to look, but his vision became more blurred.
He didn’t want to hurt the other party, so it made it difficult for him to make a move. He also didn’t have any cultivation skills, so he gradually tired from parrying.
Yuan Yongzhi could not help but be overjoyed.
It stands to reason that Shen Shu’s strength should be more than this after the secret technique was launched, but Yuan Yongzhi so excited, he couldn’t think at all. The pleasure of holding a powerful evil spirit in his hands was too great. What made him even more excited was how after taking down the person in front of him he would be able to ravage him.
Fear made his desire grow wilder.
When this man put the sword on his neck, did he ever think that the person he had tried so hard to see would take him down and send him to his hand?
Yuan Yongzhi could only feel the excitement and flow of the spiritual energy all over his body swelling in his meridians. It made his body light and fluttery. His heart beated rapidly, it even reverberated in his ears.
Countless colorful and treacherous illusions emerged in his mind as if he had already climbed up to the clouds. Everything he had imagined was just at his fingertips.
Suddenly, a sword light flashed across the dim space. Shen Shu’s long sword was sent flying and fell to the ground with a “clang”.
He also fell to the ground, motionless.