Chapter 1: “Delaying you for a lifetime.”
Hua Che coughed twice. In the large and empty hall, it sounded especially abrupt.
The Protector who had been kneeling beside him for a long time trembled slightly. With beads of sweat surfacing on his face, his eyes were distressed as he said, “My lord, take advantage of how they have yet to attack and quickly escape!”
Hua Che felt the light was too dazzling. With his bare hands, he pinched the wick of a candle and extinguished the flame. Because he had moved too slowly—in addition to how he hadn’t used his True Energy—the flame ended up burning his fingertips, scorching them red.
However, Hua Che didn’t care and only placed his hand on his knee. He indifferently asked, “Escape where?”
“Anywhere is fine, just don’t stay at the Fen Qing1 Palace Hall any longer!”
From the Kunlun mountains, they journeyed all the way south while beheading demonic cultivators along the way, leaving not a single one alive. Their attack on Fen Qing Palace Hall was but a mere question of time.
The Protector also knew that the chance of survival was uncertain, but he couldn’t bear not trying his best to persuade his lord one last time. “As long as the green hills still exist, there won’t be fear of having no wood to burn5. Go to the spiritual beast world, or to the Ghost Valley, or even to the all-inclusive mortal realm to hide. As long as this subordinate still breathes, I will for sure protect my lord and ensure his health!”
Hua Che laid bonelessly on the beauty couch. He didn’t seem to feel even the least bit of urgency for his imminent demise, and only gave his Protector a dispirited glance. “Fen Qing Palace Hall already disbanded yesterday, and thousands of demonic cultivators have already gone their separate ways. Why haven’t you left yet?”
The Protector: “This subordinate pledges his life, and swears his loyalty and devotion to the Lord!”
The Protector’s gaze was resolute, his expression filled with emotion, but Hua Che wasn’t the least moved by his subordinate’s devotion.
In the immortal realm, the righteous way was headed by Yuntian Shuijing. Every Sect and faction had answered their call, resulting in a large-scale attack on the demonic realm. Their purpose was precisely to raze Fen Qing Palace Hall to the ground, to save Sect Leader Chu Binghuan.
Since ancient times, immortals and demons had never been able to coexist. The demonic realm has always stared at the immortal realm like a tiger watching his prey. Meanwhile, the immortal realm felt restrained fear toward the demonic realm and had long thirsted for a massacre.
After many thousand years, although there had been constant wars and small battles, for the sake of the common people across the world, the wars between good and evil hadn’t been fierce enough to cause bloodbaths.
This attack against the demonic realm that didn’t consider any of this, was entirely because the Immortal Realm’s Holy Saint— one worshipped by millions—had been kidnapped!
More accurately, he had been forcibly married.
The notoriously violent murderer Demon Lord Hua Che used a vile and despicable plot to strip the Holy Saint of his cultivation and then locked him in captivity, before forcing him to become his own Daoist companion.
As soon as this matter was released, the entire world was furious. Everyone from Yuntian Shuijing acted as if someone had set fire to their tails, each vowing to dismember Hua Che’s body into thousands of pieces.
In addition, the Sect Leader of Shang Qing Sect, who was also Chu Binghuan’s highly respected Master, had been angered to the point of vomiting blood at the very scene, before he cursed three times: “He has no sense of shame!”
Who was Chu Binghuan?
With an illustrious family background, he had become famous very young. His immortal appearance was outstandingly handsome, and his lonely frostiness was unparalleled.
With his Hearing Spring6 Sword, Chu Binghuan had killed numerous treacherous villains, and his frozen heart had saved countless lives!
On the contrary, who was Hua Che?
His birth mother had been a prostitute who had slept with thousands, while his biological father was an evil spirit everyone wanted to kill. Hua Che’s family background was humble, and despite having the fortune of receiving pointers from a famous Master, he didn’t know to be grateful. Instead, he did the bastardly affair of deceiving and murdering his Master, abandoning the immortal way to enter the ghost realm.
A single disagreement could cause Hua Che to slaughter an entire family. He had a bewitching face and a devil’s heart, and despite having a good appearance, what was inside was rotten, filthy, gloomy, and utterly foul!
Even with everyone yelling about how he needed to be beaten, Hua Che still didn’t become well-behaved. Unexpectedly, the toad wanted to eat swan meat7, and coveted Sect Leader Chu whom everyone praised.
He even did that with him, yes, that! He practically had no sense of shame!
Hua Che offended everybody just like this, becoming the first Demon Lord literally everyone condemned since the establishment of Fen Qing Palace Hall.
Demonic cultivators had always liked killing and fighting. Even if the immortal way was always abhorrent of them, battling every day, they were never afraid.
However, of all times, at this critical juncture, Hua Che ordered the disbandment of Fen Qing Palace Hall.
No matter how fierce the demonic cultivators’ fighting spirit burned, they still couldn’t withstand a war without a leader. Without Hua Che and his unique cultivation as their backbone, their crushing defeat was inevitable.
Thus, they all escaped at the first opportunity.
The demonic cultivators really couldn’t understand. Even if Hua Che was repeatedly denounced by the people because of his innumerable black history and his humble family background, he was undoubtedly strong.
When the demonic realm was still ununified, countless vied for supremacy. It had been extremely chaotic.
However, relying just on himself, Hua Che took over the Fen Qing Palace Hall that was on the brink of collapse, unifying every section and becoming the supreme Demon Lord.
Even now, Hua Che was the unprecedented leader of the demonic realm.
This kind of Demon Lord……why would he not fight, but surrender?
Even if they broke their brains thinking, no one could understand. But the Protector had a faint guess in his heart.
Although the Protector couldn’t imagine who had the ability to hurt Hua Che to this degree, a few days ago, Hua Che received a wound from somewhere.
Hua Che’s complexion was deathly pale and his internal breath was unstable. The True Energy flowing around his body was sometimes strong, sometimes weak. If it were not for his staggering cultivation level, he was afraid he would have long dropped dead.
Not fighting and instead announcing defeat, disbanding Fen Qing Palace Hall so early, this was all to avoid even more casualties and death.
Seriously injured, nearing death.
These four words were like a flame igniting in the Protector’s mind, before quickly strengthening. A hint of greediness flashed across his gaze, one he carefully hid, before he slowly lifted his head to look at Hua Che’s eyes.
Demonic cultivators were always cruel and vicious. Where could you find something like true emotion and honesty?
If he could take advantage of this situation to obtain Hua Che’s soul……
“There’s something I need you to do.” Hua Che suddenly said. The Protector paused blankly, warning himself in his mind to not be hasty. He quickly bowed, eyes dropping, before he saw a silk brocade bag floating over.
“Give this to Sect Leader Chu. Tell him, go to the bamboo house to wait for me.” There was visible weariness on Hua Che’s face, but his unique, bewitching phoenix eyes were still bright.
He gave the Protector a specious glance and said, “Execute my command. Be more obedient and don’t think of doing anything crafty, otherwise……”
The Protector’s heart skipped a beat as an invisible force smashed onto him. He immediately collapsed onto the ground, shivering.
Hua Che’s lips curved into a bloodthirsty, cold smile. “This lord’s soul isn’t something just anyone could covet.”
The Protector began sweating profusely. He had never thought that even now, Hua Che still had the ability to do something like this so easily!
His interest in usurping was strangled before it even had a chance to grow. Scared witless, the Protector repeatedly agreed, both his legs trembling violently as he left to handle business.
Hua Che leaned on the beauty couch for a while, enduring the sharp pain from all his organs. He didn’t have a mirror on hand, or else he would have been able to see how terrible his complexion was.
Indeed, he was about to die soon.
It wasn’t because someone had launched a sneak attack, nor was it because he had fallen into someone’s plot.
As early as the moment Hua Che had killed his Master, he had already known that his life was in a precarious state, and it was uncertain when someone could wipe the floor with him.
Hua Che forced himself to raise his spirits before he walked toward the bamboo house.
After passing through the colourful maple grove, Hua Che stopped walking before he sneered. “Elder Qian Yang is here to fight as the vanguard?”
The moment he said this, Elder Qian Yang, who had been secretly following him for a while, flashed out. He was precisely Chu Binghuan’s Master.
His beloved disciple was locked up in prison, passing days that were worse than death at the devil’s hands. As Chu Binghuan’s highly respected Master, of course he would take the initiative to fight as the vanguard.
Because of Hua Che’s frightening reputation, Elder Qian Yang hadn’t dared to act blindly without thinking. But after observing, he realized that Hua Che was indeed seriously injured.
This let Elder Qian Yang rejoice. His chances of ridding the world of an evil had increased a few times.
“Your first sin is how you have fallen into the demonic way, deceiving and killing your Master. Your second sin is how you have become bloodthirsty by nature, slaughtering entire families. Your third sin is how you’ve captured Sect Leader Chu as a hostage. Your fourth sin, is how you’ve murdered my Shang Qing Sect’s Sect Leader.”
Elder Qian Yang concisely summarized a few of Hua Che’s sins. Without waiting for the man to start on his smaller crimes, Hua Che’s lips curved into a sneer.
He said, “You say I killed Lu Yao?”
“Cutting the weeds and eliminating the roots8, is there anything wrong with that?” There was a severity in Elder Qian Yang’s gaze. “The Demon Lord has always been courageous enough to take responsibility for his actions. What, you don’t dare to admit this?”
Lu Yao, Hua Che’s junior-apprentice brother.
When he was young, Hua Che had worshipped Shang Qing Sect as a disciple together with Chu Binghuan.
At that time, Shang Qing Sect was awfully impressive and almighty. As the immortal realm’s top major sect, they raised eight thousand disciples. Every one of them were outstanding, and you still needed to add on Hua Che and Chu Binghuan, these cultivation geniuses that were rarely seen in a thousand years. For a short while, how majestic had they been!
Chu Binghuan had worshipped Elder Qian Yang, while Hua Che had been picked by the Sect Leader of that time, becoming the Sect Leader’s direct disciple.
The Sect Leader only had one son, and that was precisely Lu Yao. Later, with respect to Hua Che, who had started cultivating first, he became Hua Che’s junior-apprentice brother.
Much later, Hua Che killed his own Master, along with all the disciples who had worshipped Sect Leader Lu. Out of the eight thousand disciples of Shang Qing Sect, he killed so many until only three thousand were left. With this calamity, the strength of Shang Qing Sect had been vastly damaged, and from henceforth, had been unable to recover.
Shang Qing Sect’s title of being first under the heaven, had later been replaced by Yuntian Shuijing.
The animosity for his father’s murder, the hatred of his sect—the Lu Yao who had succeeded as the Sect Leader of Shang Qing Sect had of course become irreconcilable enemies with Hua Che.
At this critical juncture, Hua Che’s Master—to prevent Hua Che from taking his anger out on his son—sacrificed his own soul to cast a symbiotic curse on the two of them.
While it was called the symbiotic curse, it was actually unidirectional. If Lu Yao died, Hua Che would also die. However, if Hua Che died, Lu Yao would still survive.
Therefore, if Hua Che wanted to live, not only could he not touch a single hair on Lu Yao’s head, he also had to protect Lu Yao to ensure his safety.
Hua Che had long known, the moment Lu Yao found out about their “symbiotic curse”, he would definitely drag Hua Che together with him to their graves.
Thus, Hua Che smiled mockingly at Elder Qian Yang, his expression calm.
In a perfunctory manner, as if this matter was of no concern to him, he said, “Lu Yao committed suicide, it has nothing to do with me.”
Elder Qian Yang looked like he had just heard the biggest joke under the heavens. “He would commit suicide when his father’s murder had yet been avenged?”
Hua Che: “This is something you should ask him ah. The 7-day period after his death hasn’t passed yet. Just wait until he returns to the world of the living to ask. Otherwise, you can hang yourself right now, so you can go to the ghost realm to seek him out and ask now.”
To be mocked even at this time, as expected, the Elder Qian Yang who had a bad temper was angered. Adding together both his new and old hatred, he pulled out his sword and immediately began rushing toward Hua Che.
Luckily, only Elder Qian Yang was here. Hua Che forced out his natal spiritual tool “Gentle Breeze”.
Spiritual tools were spiritual, so it took the initiative to meet the edge of Elder Qian Yang’s sword. They began to contend with each other, ironically appearing loathe to part.
Hua Che didn’t want to waste any more time. Taking advantage of how his spiritual tool was stalling Elder Qian Yang, he walked into the depths of the maple grove, entering a clearing with mountains on one side and water on the other; where the bamboo house was at.
From the inside to its outer appearance, this bamboo house looked exactly the same as Chu Binghuan’s residence in Yuntian Shuijing. This was because Hua Che had been worried Chu Binghuan would be homesick, so he intentionally built it like this.
There was no one in the bamboo house. Chu Binghuan still hadn’t come yet.
This didn’t matter. In any case, Hua Che was going to die here. Chu Binghuan coming earlier or later was the same to him.
By the time the immortal way’s army below the mountain attacked this place, they would only see the Demon Lord who had died violently in the bamboo house, as well as Sect Leader Chu standing beside his corpse.
“Chu Binghuan killed the Demon Lord with his own hands”, what a meritorious achievement for the world!
When the time comes, thousands of people would sing him praise, awarding him a good reputation for all of eternity.
Hua Che hadn’t actually abolished Chu Binghuan’s cultivation; he merely sealed it temporarily. What was in that silk brocade bag, was precisely the way to liberate his golden core.
After today, Chu Binghuan will still be the Sect Leader Chu praised by everyone, still the Yunmiao Immortal Lord whose strong cultivation could support the nine states and all of the six realms.
Hua Che supported himself by holding onto the corner of a table. He had used all of his cultivation to fight against the symbiotic curse for an entire day and night. Now, his tightly stretched nerves had finally snapped, and the backlash felt like a crumbling mountain’s landslide.
He was unable to persist, as a mouthful of blood gushed onto the ground.
Since Hua Che had to die anyway, he might as well credit his death completely to Chu Binghuan. This could also be an insignificant compensation for imprisoning him for so many years.
Before he and Chu Binghuan had been born, their family elders had already arranged their marriage, forming their bond from henceforth.
Afterwards, they met in their youth and both appreciated one another. Hua Che in particular had been shocked at Chu Binghuan’s temperament and appearance, falling in love at first sight. He had especially adored Chu Binghuan’s bright, noble character, and his merciful personality.
Unfortunately, Chu Binghuan was wholeheartedly devoted to cultivating, and didn’t understand anything when it came to love. Thus, he had paid no heed to Hua Che’s adoration.
Even with things reaching this state, Hua Che still didn’t regret anything he had done. He was the unmatched Demon Lord, the leader of both the ghost and demonic realms. If he liked something, of course he would seize it.
However, if he had the chance to redo everything, Hua Che thought……he wouldn’t do this again.
Forcing Chu Binghuan to be with him, destroying his pure cultivation way, ruining his immortal ranking.
Every person was ambitious, but Chu Binghuan was precisely the one person whose pureness transcended worldly affairs. What was the point ah!
Hua Che’s line of sight was gradually becoming fuzzy. Suddenly, a silhouette approached him, looking indistinct.
The person appeared to have yelled something, but Hua Che, who had already lost his five senses, couldn’t understand.
“I’m sorry ah!” Right before he died, with his almost completely scattered consciousness, Hua Che said his last obsession out loud. “For delaying your life.”
Hua Che died relatively peacefully. There was nothing he was unwilling about, nor anything he was reluctant to part with. On the contrary, he felt a certain type of relief.
Unfortunately, this way of dying would scatter his soul, ensuring he would never be reincarnated. Otherwise, he would have really wanted to become a wandering ghost to return to Fen Qing Palace Hall, to see how Chu Binghuan would have reacted in the bamboo house.
The Demon Lord who had pestered him for half his life had finally died. In addition, he even died this tragically, Chu Binghuan must have felt extremely carefree and refreshed, right?
Hua Che could practically imagine the way Chu Binghuan would have raised his head to laugh happily at the skies.
“Young Master, Young Master.”
Hua Che froze. Who was talking?
“Young Master, hurry and wake up. We have already reached Yuntian Shuijing.”
Hua Che sat up with alarm as the intense light forced him to squint. By the time his eyes adapted, he found himself staring incredulously at the old lady sitting on the sedan chair outside of his carriage.
“This is the first time Young Master met Young Lord Chu, right? Chu family has many old customs, and Yuntian Shuijing is also prestigious among the immortal realm—there’s no need to dwell on how strict the Sect’s rules are. Young Master must restrain that stubborn temper of yours. You’re not allowed to be naught or mischievous, or else you’ll become everyone’s laughing stock.”
The old lady instructed sincerely and earnestly, before combing Hua Che’s somewhat messy side bangs. After adjusting his collar until she was satisfied, only then did the old lady hand over the carefully kept keepsake in the small brocade box.
“This is the proof for the arranged marriage. You must not lose it.”
Seeing two bellboys walking over from afar, the old lady hastily urged. “Quickly go, this old slave will wait for you here.”
- Fen Qing can be translated as “Scorching Passion”.
- Yuntian Shuijing can be translated as “Cloudy Sky Water Mirror”.
- Feng Ming can be translated as “Phoenix Cry”.
- Shang Qing can be translated as “Upper Purity”.
- Idiom for “Where there’s life there’s hope”.
- The “spring” here means that of a small stream. So this name means listening to the sound of a small stream.
- Idiom for trying to punch above one’s own weight.
- Idiom for eliminating completely.