Chapter 17: “Demonic cultivators are all abominable youngsters.”
The shopkeeper of the Red Apricot Tavern was called Wang Facai1. According to Qiu Yuebai, the Wang family had an old grievance with the Zhang family.
The Rain Monarch Cave was a spiritual cave developed by the Azure Sky Mansion a hundred years ago. Before then, Mingchuan was still known as Mingchuan2, and their tea business hadn’t yet begun. The common people still relied on farming to make a living, and because their mountains blocked the trade routes, there weren’t many rich families in the city.
Back then, the Zhang family was the only rice merchant in the entire city. Meanwhile, because one of the ancestors of the Wang family had been a cultivator, they had some family property.
Originally, the two families had a marriage contract, and were supposed to have a good relationship. Thus, their non-existent contact nowadays was because of one affair.
At that time, the Azure Sky Mansion had just discovered the Coloured Glass Tea. In order to shape this business line, they encouraged the common people in the city to cultivate tea leaves.
Spiritual tea that was watered by the water from the Rain Monarch Cave were fine goods that were beloved by cultivators. Even back then, the Wang family had realized this was a good opportunity. Since they weren’t good at business, they invited their relatives by marriage, the Zhang family, to run it together.
Afterwards, they also partnered with Scholar Li3. The three families joined together to establish the Chamber of Commerce in Mingchuan City, before buying a large piece of mountain land and transforming it into a tea plant farm. They were precisely the ones who begun the first tea leaves business.
Natural spiritual water was rare. Sure enough, the spiritual tea leaves sold excellently.
However, when enormous profits appeared, contradictory views also followed.
The children of the Wang family were engrossed with cultivation, while the scholar from the Li family was even more absorbed with academic pursuits. Thus, operating the Chamber of Commerce and the purchase of the farmland all fell onto the Zhang family.
At the beginning, when the venture had just begun, this was still tolerable. But as the Chamber of Commerce gradually grew, the people from the Zhang family began to have complaints.
The contradictions between the three families began to gradually deepen. Finally, the Zhang family came across an opportunity that could let it grow independently.
One day, the Azure Sky Mansion urgently summoned all of the tea merchants in the city. They told them that the demonic way had poisoned the water in the Rain Monarch Cave, and requested them to destroy all of the immortal tea plants that had been watered with this water.
They must immediately investigate all of the tea leaves that had been recently sold, and absolutely shouldn’t let even a single poisoned tea leaf out of the city.
Nobody dared to be careless with a big matter like this. The city’s Chamber of Commerce began to pursue all of the already sold tea leaves relentlessly. However, the Zhang family actually hid this news from the other two families, allowing them to sell their tea like normal.
Sure enough, problems arose with the people who drank the poisoned tea. Only wealthy and influential people had the means to drink spiritual tea frequently, so when the victims came to their door, the two families panicked.
Profiting from their misfortune, the head of the Zhang family claimed he could help them invite a cultivator to settle this matter. However, the cost for this wasn’t low, and the two families must pay for it themselves.
How could money be more important than their lives? The Wang family and the Li family immediately agreed. Listening to the head of the Zhang family, they also put up their shares of the farmland as collateral for the loan.
Who would have expected that after the Zhang family obtained their farmland, they immediately kicked them out of the Chamber of Commerce. The two families lost their livelihoods while their huge debts remained.
The head of the Wang family felt so remorseful and shamed, he hung himself in his home that very night. Meanwhile, the Li family left their homes against their will to become armed escort guards to settle their debt.
As for the Zhang family, they used this opportunity to become the richest household in Mingchuan City. From henceforth, their lives went by in a swimmingly fashion.
This was an affair from Wang Facai’s grandfather’s generation. After he found out the truth from his father when he was twenty years-old, he began to continuously disturb the officials.
However, that year, the poisoned tea from their families had truly been sold outside the city. The contract to put the farmland from the two families up as collateral for their loans had also been written in black and white, impossible to erase. Thus, the authorities kicked Wang Facai out and ignored him.
Afterwards, Wang Facai went to the Zhang family to curse them out, and then asked the Azure Sky Mansion to uphold justice. The Zhang family was afraid he’d cause more trouble, so they gave him the Red Apricot Tavern.
After obtaining these benefits, Wang Facai stopped making a fuss. Everyone thought these old affairs would finally end there, so nobody expected that Wang Facai would actually be involved with the demonic thing in the Rain Monarch Cave.
“When this matter happened a hundred years ago, I was still young. I didn’t understand the true situation behind Mingchuan’s Chamber of Commerce. Later, Wang Facai had also made a fuss at the Azure Sky Mansion. However, I cannot order the Zhang family to return the farmland based on just his side of the story. If I did that, who would still dare to do business in Mingchuan?”
After Fu Hongye began to question him, Qiu Yuebai ultimately explained what had happened that year. In the end, he could only sigh helplessly, “In the final analysis, the demonic way was truly too ruthless. They actually poisoned the water, causing this entire calamity.”
With this past grudge, it was possible for people from both the Wang and Li families to have written down Master Zhang’s name. But Li family’s daughter had also gone missing. Thus, the most suspicious person was ultimately shopkeeper Wang Facai.
However, after the Wang family’s fall, they no longer produced any cultivators, and Wang Facai was no different compared to ordinary people.
So how did he discover this secret path?
The secret path wasn’t far from where Wang Caihe had fainted. Hidden under the rocks, the road was uneven while the stones were rugged. It appeared as if it had been naturally formed.
However, the path led directly out into the ancient forest outside. And after just a short walk forward, you would be able to enter the city. If this path wasn’t created by someone, it would be a bit too coincidental.
This discovery increased everyone’s doubts, but Cun Jie felt upset when he heard Qiu Yuebai’s explanation.
Although Qiu Yuebai’s wheelchair was a rare spiritual artifact, it was difficult for it to move on such uneven, rocky ground. Thus, Cun Jie took advantage of the situation to offer to carry him as they left for the secret path.
Currently, the Mansion Master of the Azure Sky Mansion was lying on Cun Jie’s back. Although he was clearly one of the top righteous cultivators in the world, Qiu Yuebai was so slim, he practically weighed nothing. It really raised the question: exactly where did the spiritual supplements he ate all go?
While Cun Jie viewed the righteous way as his enemy, he didn’t like to bully the weak. He originally had no wish to have much dealings with this sickly person with handicapped legs.
But who would have expected that he would actually criticize their Leader!
Although You Jiang himself didn’t mind at all, Cun Jie, who had promised his Master to properly protect their Leader, couldn’t endure it.
He immediately said, “I heard that the poison the demonic way’s leader used that year was Scattering Soul. Scattering Soul only dissipates the True Energy of cultivators, damaging their cultivation. But if ordinary people ate it, it would cause nothing more than two days of diarrhea. With regards to demonic cultivators, this kind of trick is already extremely merciful.”
Two generations of the demonic way Protectors were all experts at using poison. Thus, there were more than ten million different types of poison in the demonic way, and casually picking any of them would turn the entire Mingchuan City into a ghost town. That year, You Jiang had truly been lenient.
However, Qiu Yuebai, who would never harm anyone, truly couldn’t understand the doings of demonic cultivators. Since childhood, he had never liked to fight, and the only reason he cultivated was so he could find a way to cure his disabled legs.
Merely staying alive was already difficult for people. Qiu Yuebai didn’t understand why the righteous and demonic factions would slaughter each other for things that would dissolve into mist after their deaths.
However, he wasn’t someone who could change the major circumstances of the world. Qiu Yuebai could only choose to not join them, instead putting his entire heart and soul into developing Mingchuan City and saving the common people.
Noticing that this youth had some problems with his way of thinking, Qiu Yuebai kindly advised him, “You are still young, and don’t understand the viciousness of demonic cultivators. Remember, don’t try to have any dealings with them.”
Since he was young, Cun Jie had grown up in the demonic way, and he never thought there was anything bad about demonic cultivators.
Hearing Qiu Yuebai’s words, he lowered his eyes unhappily. Concealing his tone, he pretended to be calm as he said, “Mansion Master isn’t familiar with any demonic cultivators. Did you decide the demonic way is all evil just based on the rumors?”
Righteous cultivators never had a good time interacting with demonic cultivators. Qiu Yuebai didn’t understand why this teenager would have this kind of attitude toward them. However, even the Alliance Leader didn’t react, so there ought to be no problems with this youth.
Thus, Qiu Yuebai used his always gentle tone to reply, “I am not fond of people with heavy killing intent. However, my body gives me no opportunities to join the battlefield between the righteous and the demonic. What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.”
This made it sound like demonic cultivators were something dirty. Cun Jie’s eyes darkened.
Although he really wanted to throw down this person and give him a beating, he recalled the mission Leader had assigned him. Thus, he could only reply lightly, “A person like the Mansion Master is naturally very clean.”
The actions of these two people naturally couldn’t be concealed from You Jiang. Young people were always full of youth and vigor, and just a few causal taunts would anger them.
If only they could learn from their demonic elders. While the entire righteous way was cursing them out, they could still stay calm and composed, before angering those old Daoists until they were slapping the table.
Although he was inwardly shaking his head, You Jiang immediately straightened his back and blocked Fu Hongye, who appeared like he wanted to make a move.
Sure enough, the moment this Heavenly Alliance Leader encountered righteous cultivators meeting danger, he wouldn’t be able to sit still. When Fu Hongye saw how Cun Jie’s expression had turned abnormal, he wanted to go and separate them.
But how could You Jiang allow the youth to make a move against people from his demonic way? He immediately blocked Fu Hongye’s path before saying in a deep voice, “You’re not allowed to touch my little brat.”
If it was in the past, Fu Hongye would definitely knock him away in a single strike, before heading over to prevent a demonic cultivator from approaching someone in his Heavenly Alliance.
However, if he made a move right now, nothing would change. Things would end up exactly like how they did in the past.
Ultimately, Fu Hongye retreated a step. He seriously told You Jiang, “Then you must also promise me. You must properly restrain your subordinates, don’t let them injure Mansion Master Qiu.”
The demonic way originally had no plans to deal with the Azure Sky Mansion. However, making an agreement with the leader of the righteous way still made You Jiang feel very unhappy. He sneered before saying, “Why must this lord agree to this?”
Demonic cultivators being arrogant and obstinate wasn’t a phenomenon that started only a day or two ago. It wasn’t easy to hear something nice from their mouths.
Fu Hongye also knew that advising him kindly would only reap an eye roll from You Jiang. Thus, he simply said the frank truth, “You can’t win against me.”
Sure enough, this reply infuriated the demonic way’s leader, who was always eager to be the strongest. Just when You Jiang was about to make a move, Fu Hongye rushed to grab his wrist first.
Rubbing the back of You Jiang’s hand to placate him, Fu Hongye said, “Fengzhi, I’m someone in the midst of a qi deviation. My mind isn’t very clear right now, please be understanding.”
Who are you trying to fool?! Even your heart demon was nearly frightened into crying by you, alright?!
However, although he knew this person was just playing dumb, You Jiang’s tightly clenched fist slowly relaxed after the youth gently called the name “Fengzhi”.
Even if there was only a tiny possibility, You Jiang didn’t want to have an argument with that youth from his past. He ultimately compromised, “Fine, this lord promises you. Before finding that demonic thing, no one will make a move.”
Although You Jiang’s temper was fierce and violent, he never went back on his promises. Thus, after obtaining this reply, Fu Hongye also felt at ease.
Seeing how You Jiang had silently turned his head, the youth took the initiative to step forward and begin a new conversational topic, “Why do you care so much about that demonic thing? Is it because of me?”
Sure enough, this question made You Jiang roll his eyes. “Don’t think too much4. What this lord hates the most is being wrongly accused.”
“If the demonic way is truly behind something, there’s nothing we don’t dare to admit. But for the things we didn’t do, nobody is allowed to buckle the blame onto our heads.”
As if he had recalled some memories while speaking, the leader of the demonic way began caressing his Naihe fan, something that had been involved in countless massacres.
For the first time, You Jiang revealed a gaze that was truly brimming with killing intent.
“Whether it is human or a demon, anything that tries to scheme against this lord must all die.”
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- His name is pretty funny. Facai can be translated as “to get rich”.
- Although these look the same, they are actually made up of different characters. The first (and current) Mingchuan is 茗川. It has the implications of mountains + water, so essentially a beautiful place. The second (and previous) Mingchuan is 明川. This “Ming” means bright.
- The title Scholar Li has means he is someone who passed the county level imperial exam.
- This is an idiom for thinking that one’s love is reciprocated.