Chapter 13: “Please cherish the unblackened Little Leaf.”
The Rain Monarch Cave was located amongst the mountains. From its outer appearance, it only looked like an unremarkable cave.
But in reality, there was actually a spatial space located in the place right after one enters the cave. Other than the moonlight pool You Jiang and Fu Hongye had seen first, there were still five small other pools in the cave. Moreover, the ground underwater for each of them were each homes to the Coloured Glass Immortal Tea.
This cave had been produced naturally by the heaven and earth after many years, and the water in the cave was filled with spiritual energy. The Coloured Glass Immortal Tea soaked within the water was a high quality product used by cultivators to clear their hearts and calm their auras.
This kind of tea grew in places that were extremely Yin. The moment it was contaminated with Yang energy, it would dissolve into water and dissipate.
Thus, every autumn, the Azure Sky Mansion would hire unmarried women within the city to come and pluck the tea leaves. Following that, Nascent Soul cultivators would seal the tea leaves to preserve them before transporting them back to the city so it could be refined.
This meant that when Li Xiaopu had gone missing, not only were her fellow tea-picking women there with her, there were also the twenty golden core guards sent by the Azure Sky Mansion to protect the Immortal tea along with Elder Tang Zhuo.
But despite being guarded like this, a young girl with no cultivation at all suddenly disappeared with no traces. Something about this sounded extremely strange and fishy.
The Azure Sky Mansion has always been investigating the people who had gone missing within the city. After Qiu Yuebai’s name had appeared on a slip in the well, he had even begun using himself as bait, all in order to draw out the demonic thing operating behind the wishing well.
The day Fu Hongye arrived in the city, Qiu Yuebai had developed a plan with the Alliance Leader to pull the snake from its hole. However, although Fu Hongye really sensed something and chased after it, he never returned.
Qiu Yuebai had originally been worried about him and whether or not Fu Hongye had encountered any mishaps. Now that he had sensed sword intent from heavenly law appearing within the Rain Monarch Cave, he immediately brought people up the mountain to check the situation.
By the time Qiu Yuebai had rushed over, Fu Hongye, dressed in all white, was already standing by the cave entrance. Qiu Yuebai observed his complexion and noticed that it didn’t differ from before.
Only then did he feel relieved and swiveled his wheelchair over to ask, “Alliance Leader, I sensed a battle between the righteous and the demonic within the Rain Monarch Cave. Have you found the demonic thing?”
Fu Hongye wouldn’t expose You Jiang. He replied vaguely, “Something unexpected happened. Have you discovered anything new?”
Righteous cultivators couldn’t be as impolite and cheeky as demonic cultivators. In addition, since Fu Hongye was the leader of the righteous way, he was deeply respected by everyone in the world. Other than a few remaining Grand Elders in the Profound Sect, there was no one in the world who was qualified to question his behaviour.
Qiu Yuebai naturally wouldn’t offend the Alliance Leader either. When he saw how Fu Hongye hadn’t said anything, he didn’t continue to ask. Qiu Yuebai merely replied truthfully, “According to the investigations by my Mansion’s disciples, the people of the demonic way have been active outside the city these days.”
“You suspect the demonic way?”
The moment Fu Hongye stepped into Mingchuan, You Jiang had brought people to ambush him on his way back. The Azure Sky Mansion was naturally not blind to all of this.
There was no need to talk about Qiu Yuebai. If Fu Hongye hadn’t accidentally become entangled with You Jiang, he himself would also suspect that this matter was related to the demonic way.
“My Azure Sky Mansion is the one who supplies the Coloured Glass Immortal Tea to all the major sects. As early as a hundred years ago, the demonic way had once sent people to infiltrate the Rain Monarch Cave, poisoning the water and causing the Heavenly Alliance to suffer disastrous losses. Repeating an old trick now isn’t something impossible.”
Fu Hongye never knew the Azure Sky Mansion and the demonic way had old grievances. But this wasn’t surprising; since ancient times, the righteous and the demonic have always opposed each other. Was there really a righteous sect who didn’t have any grievances and enmity with the demonic way?
This fact made Fu Hongye develop a mild headache. His reason when he made his decision to abandon his old affection struggled to wake up.
Just when his heart demon was subjected to its biggest threat, You Jiang’s voice, one that always made Fu Hongye waver, appeared.
“A hundred years ago, a few righteous sects from the Heavenly Alliance made a huge disturbance in the ghost realm. Since the demonic way has already become in-laws with the ghost realm, those sects naturally should be given a bitter lesson. This will allow certain people who can’t sit still to properly manage their own legs.”
“If the Azure Sky Mansion didn’t do something that induced people to break their legs, why should they fear demonic cultivators coming to their door?”
The moment You Jiang walked out of the cave, he discovered the righteous way was once again making his demonic way their scapegoat. Naturally, he wasn’t in a good mood.
While he restrained his manner of speech in order to conceal his identity, You Jiang’s tone of voice was truly not very amicable. However, the explanation for his bad temper made Fu Hongye’s righteous heart, which had been vigorously hopping for a while, fall asleep again.
Fu Hongye already had no desire to care about their struggles for power. As long as You Jiang didn’t willfully slaughter the innocent, he would turn a blind eye to his other actions.
Thinking of this, Fu Hongye began living in harmony with his heart demon again. He was just about to smile and appease You Jiang, but the young man froze blankly the moment he raised his head.
That year in the past, the maple tree forest on the outskirts of Chang’an looked as red as fire. He had been attracted the moment he saw that teenager brandishing his paintbrush.
Even then, Fu Hongye had been thinking: for someone that looked so beautiful, he would be even more resplendent than even the celestial stars once he grew up.
Unfortunately, he never had a chance to see Jiang Fengzhi’s appearance after he grew up. By the time Fu Hongye had finally woken up, his old friend had already turned into You Jiang, a poppy that tempted him……but was also something he had to keep himself away from.
Fu Hongye never expected that after this person scattered his demonic energy, his appearance wouldn’t have changed much compared to the past. It was almost like Jiang Fengzhi had peacefully lived until his twenties, with everything in his path going smoothly. As if the teenager Fu Hongye had treasured the most was once again standing in front of him, calm and reserved.
In his memories, You Jiang had always been shouting malicious words, about how he would beat and kill the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect. Thus, Fu Hongye had also guarded against him in a hundred different ways. He had never seriously tried understanding the Jiang Fengzhi who had entered the demonic way.
Only now, after spending all his time together with him, did Fu Hongye discover that it was a bit silly of him to believe everything You Jiang had said.
So it turned out, as long as Fu Hongye didn’t attack him, You Jiang wouldn’t really put him to death even if he ridiculed him with malicious words.
But Fu Hongye had really believed in You Jiang’s declaration for a battle to the death. For a hundred years, he maintained distance from Fengzhi and didn’t try to get intimate with him. He placed all his thoughts on finding ways to resist the demonic way’s attacks.
Sure enough, Demon Lord He Huan’s evaluation of Fu Hongye before he had ascended had been right——it truly served him right to not have a Daoist companion!
Fu Hongye’s skills in comprehension were truly worthy of his ‘first under the heavens’ title. After interacting with You Jiang for a mere two days, he had already figured out the demonic leader’s personality.
As Fu Hongye relinquished his guarded heart, a bold idea slowly emerged from within the youth’s heart:
If Fengzhi’s personality hadn’t become wicked, was it possible for him to be like his Master Sword Lord, and find a demonic cultivator to become his Daoist companion?
In fact, Fu Hongye had a very good temper. He wouldn’t retaliate when being beaten or retort when being cursed. He practically made the perfect couple with the irritable and violent demonic cultivator!
——Cough, these were the thoughts of his heart demon. It had nothing to do with the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect himself.
Of course, Fengzhi had actually changed a lot too. For example, right now, You Jiang glanced at him insensitively and said, “Brat, you still haven’t introduced me to him?”
This “him” was of course referring to the baffled Qiu Yuebai.
Fortunately, when You Jiang appeared in front of others in the past, he always drew demonic patterns on his face. Now that he had cleaned up his face, he only needed to wear a single veil to make Qiu Yuebai completely incapable of recognizing him. So although Qiu Yuebai felt this person’s way of speech wasn’t very pleasant, he didn’t suspect him to be related to demonic cultivators at all.
The moment You Jiang spoke, Fu Hongye snapped out of his daze. He immediately explained to Qiu Yuebai, “This senior is my Master’s old friend. After encountering him by chance, he came to assist me in capturing that demonic thing.”
As expected, when the righteous way’s leader wanted to lie, he really stood out from the masses. Although nothing Fu Hongye said was wrong, it completely concealed the main point.
Everyone in the world knew that You Jiang had vowed to kill Fu Hongye, so nobody would believe the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect would bring his mortal enemy by his side.
Qiu Yuebai naturally believed him as well. He immediately smiled politely at You Jiang. “So you’re the Sword Lord’s friend. Forgive me for my impropriety.”
The demonic way and the heavenly alliance regarded each other with mutual disgust. Don’t talk about how they needed to scorn each other the moment they met, even if they didn’t meet, they would still need to send each other a whole letter filled with curses. As the demon lord, You Jiang had received many etiquette letters from various righteous sects every holiday, all condemning him.
But now he had to get along with a group of righteous cultivators in a normal way, it was practically making him feel ill at ease from head to toe!
Now that there was an additional senior with an unknown identity with them, Qiu Yuebai’s words became much more cautious. He only asked the Azure Sky Mansion disciples, who he had ordered to investigate the Rain Monarch Cave earlier, if they had found anything odd.
While they talked, Du Huo already took advantage of the situation to slink off. You Jiang was also too lazy to pay attention to the actions of the righteous cultivators, but Fu Hongye suddenly asked him a strange question. “Senior, does the demonic way always have a reason for their actions?”
This question of his was very senseless. Other than lunatics, why would someone kill people without any reason or cause?
However, You Jiang kept feeling that Fu Hongye’s gaze was a bit weird, so he deliberately sneered and replied, “No, the behaviour of demonic cultivators only depends on their mood. Whenever someone is unpleasant to their eyes, they would kill them.”
After this person grew up, he really became awkward and thorny. Fu Hongye already knew he shouldn’t hope to hear anything nice from You Jiang’s mouth. However, the most praiseworthy characteristic of the Sect Leader of the Profound Sect was how he welcomed difficulties head-on.
Fu Hongye immediately said in an amiable tone, “Senior, my Master has already ascended for many years. From beginning to end, I didn’t get any pointers from my elders. How do you think I did these years?”
With regards to the glorious achievements Fu Hongye obtained in these years, who could be more clear about them than You Jiang? These words were practically the greatest provocation to him.
However, You Jiang’s current identity was his righteous senior, and a curious Qiu Yuebai was still observing them to the side. No matter what, he ought to not curse out the junior who was humbly asking for advice.
Although You Jiang was restraining himself to the point he was practically choking back blood, he had no other choice but to grind his teeth and praise, “The youth has shown promise, not bad.”
After being beaten by someone for a hundred years, he still needed to praise them for beating him well. You Jiang truly felt grief and indignation in his heart.
However, it was precisely this appearance of his—where You Jiang was secretly grinding his teeth in hate—that made Fu Hongye’s heart quiver. Yesterday, this person had looked like this too. It was obvious You Jiang had been pained to the extreme, but he just wasn’t willing to cry out. The man had only stubbornly closed his eyes so he wouldn’t need to look at him.
In hindsight, the conscience of the righteous leader was indeed hurting. But while Fu Hongye was able to endure any type of beating or scolding from the demonic lord, he had to admit that these different flavors were all extremely excellent.
This kind of thinking may seem a bit sinful, but it was normal for qi deviated people to produce wicked thoughts. Fu Hongye didn’t try suppressing them anymore either. He only smiled gently and said, “So it turns out that senior actually finds me quite pleasing to the eye.”
It was clearly a very gentle and kind smile, but in You Jiang’s eyes, it looked extremely hateful. At this moment, he no longer cared about who Fu Hongye was. There was only a single thought in his heart——
After they send away the Azure Sky Mansion, You Jiang will definitely kill this rotten brat!