Chapter 13: “He sent his head a thousand miles away.”
The Sky Master Mansion was a sect that specialized in restraining ghosts and eliminating demons. Thus, all their disciples understood all the matters relating to ghosts very thoroughly. Mo Pan was even the disciple of the Mansion Master, so finding a corpse was naturally nothing difficult for him.
Pressing his middle finger and index fingers together while pinching a copper coin between his fingertips, Mo Pan circled his hand around Zhuge Qingtian’s broken neck. This collected the Yin energy of the corpse, causing the copper coin to float in the air.
Just when the copper coin was about to fly over their heads, three talismans in the small pouch on Mo Pan’s waist silently flew out. Wrapping around the copper coin, they actually ignited a cyan flame in mid-air.
Because he pursued homicide with no traces, Bi Qianren’s style had always been quite low-key. Thus, this was the first time Zhuge Qingtian saw a cultivator use an immortal spell. Although he couldn’t tell what was happening, he still clapped his hands with admiration. “Wow, you’re even better than a magician!”
This single sentence was able to hurt Mo Pan’s self-esteem again.
As a sect that restrained ghosts, the Sky Master Mansion had its own, unique tricks to determine a ghost’s strength. Right now, the fire that had been lit was precisely a Yin flame that took shape according to the amount of resentment from the ghost’s corpse.
Yin flames had four different colours. Among them, the white flame belonged to ghosts who had recently died. Generally, they didn’t have much resentment and could be reborn after they achieved their wish.
Grey flames belonged to wild ghosts. These ghosts remained in the mortal world because of their obsessions, so they refused to reincarnate. However, they didn’t pose any danger to people. More often than not, they were the prime choice for young disciples to practice their skills.
Blood-coloured flames belonged to malicious ghosts. These ghosts were extremely savage, and their types were very complicated as well. Almost every single one of them had their own, unique abilities, and even the elders of their sect had to be careful when dealing with them.
As for green flames, they belonged to the ghost saints, who ranked even higher than the malicious ghosts.
Nowadays, the three ghost saints in the ghost realm haven’t appeared in the world for a very long time. For many decades, the Sky Master Mansion had never seen a green flame being ignited. Mo Pan would never have expected that a young disciple like him would encounter such a rare sight.
It was no wonder this ghost wasn’t afraid of Bi Qianren! As a ghost saint, how could it be easy for his soul to scatter?
However, the appearance of this ghost didn’t adhere to the known characteristics of the three ghost saints. Was it possible that another ghost saint had silently appeared in this world?
If this was the case, Mo Pan had to survive. He needed to bring this news back to his sect so they could start preparations as soon as possible.
Mo Pan had left the city just to catch a wild ghost. However, he managed to encounter the demonic way’s Major Protector who had been hiding from the world for many years, in addition to a newly-born ghost saint. For a moment, he really had to admire his own luck.
It was rumoured in the jianghu that one would die immediately after encountering a ghost saint. In addition, if you made contact with the demonic way’s protector, you would be immediately poisoned to death too. If Mo Pan could return to his sect alive, he could probably brag about this encounter for the next ten years.
From what Mo Pan knew, ghosts who could become ghost saints were usually also tyrants before death. But this person actually played the fool, appearing like someone who hadn’t seen the outside world. It was obvious he was deliberately teasing him, pretending to be a pig to eat the tiger.
However, Mo Pan was suppressed by the ghost’s strength and didn’t dare to puncture his façade. He could only say angrily, “Cultivators can be killed but not humiliated. Looking at the way the Yin flame is moving, it is obvious that his head is thousands of miles from here. If you guys wish to kill me, just tell me directly. Why must you tease me in this way?”
Zhuge Qingtian’s head had just been on his neck a while ago. Both he and Bi Qianren also personally saw it fall into the river.
Now that this person was claiming his head had flown a thousand miles away from him, the ghost naturally didn’t believe him at all. He skeptically said, “Wife, I think this person is a swindler.”
However, Bi Qianren thoroughly understood the ghost-seeking skills of those from the Sky Master Mansion. He also knew that with the threat to his life hanging over his head, the young disciple definitely wouldn’t lie about a trivial matter like this.
Glancing at the headless corpse in front of him, Bi Qianren suddenly realized that there was something off about all of this. In response to Mo Pan’s words, he merely said in a light voice, “There is a corpse’s head in this river. Find it for me.”
In order to perform spiritual ceremonies to help a malicious ghost find peace, searching for the deceased’s corpse was usually an essential part of the process. Thus, the disciples of the Sky Master Mansion naturally didn’t rely on just the skill using Yin energy.
Mo Pan was someone who cherished his life. Previously, he had only used the simplest and most accurate searching spell using Yin energy. But now that Bi Qianren’s expression had become much colder, Mo Pan didn’t dare to refuse. Immediately tying a red string to his copper coin, the youth threw it into the water to look for the corpse.
Sure enough, not much time had passed before that string flew back, with a dripping wet head tied to it.
Before this, Bi Qianren had never taken a serious look at Zhuge Qingtian’s appearance. He casually caught the head that had been found back, before carefully rubbing the skin on the head’s face.
Pulling over the headless ghost’s hand to compare the two, only then did Bi Qianren realize that, although the skin of both the head and the body belonged to a youth, there were still some differences.
Zhuge Qingtian stayed in the Zhu family from birth. Ever since he was a child, he hadn’t had any good days, and after he went insane, there were even less people caring about him.
Thus, when all was said and done, although this face was still tender, it was rather thin, making it very obvious that it had experienced hardships.
But when Bi Qianren rolled up the headless corpse’s sleeves, he discovered that whether it was his fingers or his arm, all the skin looked extremely fair and clear. His hands also had no traces of manual labour, making it obvious that this was a body raised by a rich family.
The youth’s palms had no calluses, while the flesh of his arms were as soft and tender as a baby’s. This was the body of either someone who had been pampered and spoiled from childhood, never doing any manual work, or an advanced cultivator who had reconstructed his body and was at least in the Nascent Soul realm.
However, in this era, there were only a few genius cultivators who had reached the Nascent Soul realm in the past hundred years. Logically, they shouldn’t be completely unknown in the jianghu……
Arriving at a tentative guess in his heart, Bi Qianren lowered his head to sniff Zhuge Qingtian’s palm. There was only the scent of mud and the river water, with none of the foul odor a dead body was supposed to have.
With a cultivation level that could maintain his body at what it was like before he died for so many years, he truly had to be a powerful ghost who had at least the strength of a ghost saint.
It was Bi Qianren who had been too careless. After seeing this person’s erratic behaviour for such a long time, he ended up not investigating his origins thoroughly. Qianren actually let someone with an unknown identity stay by his side for so long.
If a normal person was touched by Bi Qianren, the demonic way’s Protector, for such a long time, they would have long fainted from fright. However, Zhuge Qingtian wasn’t very afraid.
He merely glanced at the dumbstruck Mo Pan standing beside them, before advising in slight embarrassment, “Wife, it isn’t very suitable for you to caress anything higher before we marry. Of course, I don’t mind having a frank exchange with you. If you insist on it, let’s at least go to a place with nobody else……”
Bi Qianren actually regarded this guy, who was more bold and unrestrained than a demonic cultivator, as a simple and honest youth from the countryside……
Helplessly holding his forehead for this mistake, Bi Qianren raised his gaze to look at this person indifferently. “I think you are playing with me.”
Zhuge Qingtian stared at him blankly. He really hadn’t expected that the black-clothed man was actually just conducting an autopsy.
Although the ghost hadn’t understood why Qianren, who was usually extremely indifferent to him, was suddenly being so intimate, Zhuge Qingtian didn’t resist at all and allowed the man to move him about.
In any case, he was already a corpse who couldn’t feel anything anymore. So why should he avoid it?
Zhuge Qingtian’s expression didn’t look like he was faking it. Bi Qianren also believed that with his jianghu experience, he shouldn’t be deceived by a youth like this.
However, when he carefully examined the cut marks on the ghost’s neck again, he suddenly discovered something. Although the scars on the part attached to his head had truly come from Fu Hongye, the marks on his neck were obviously caused by a sharp blade. When reassembling the two, there were actually some gaps on his nape.
Bi Qianren couldn’t help but knit his forehead as he said, “It’s no wonder you keep losing your head. The wounds don’t even match up, so how can it stay stable on your neck?”
When he heard this, Zhuge Qingtian’s expression became even more blank. He supported the head they found back with great difficulty before innocently saying, “Wife, what are you saying? I feel a bit dizzy……”
Bi Qianren had already found it a bit strange before. Usually, a malicious spirit should possess the ability to control his own body. However, only when it was attached to his neck, would Zhuge Qingtian’s head open its eyes. The moment it fell off, it would close his eyes peacefully like a dead corpse.
Now, Bi Qianren finally understood the reason behind this. When he saw Zhuge Qingtian looking like this, he couldn’t help but say, “You can’t even tell whether or not this is your own head?”
The moment he said this, Zhuge Qingtian finally understood. As if everything he had once known was suddenly overthrown, he immediately turned pale with fright. “What? This isn’t my head?”
“You really didn’t know?”
“I don’t know ah. When I woke up, I was already in the burial mounds, and there was only this head beside me. The moment I put it on my neck, I immediately recalled the past.”
Although he was facing Bi Qianren’s skeptical expression, Zhuge Qingtian was still incapable of accepting this reality. All of his memories were so clear and distinct, so how could they not be his own?
However, it was unlikely his wife would lie to him. So if he wasn’t Zhuge Qingtian, then who was he?
Why would he appear in the burial mounds outside the Zhu family?
As the former number one killer in the world, Bi Qianren had great confidence in his autopsy skills. Giving the ghost a glance, he said decisively, “You are not Zhuge Qingtian.”
“Of course I’m not Zhuge Qingtian, I’m……Zhuge Qingtian? This isn’t right ah, why do I keep thinking I’m not called Zhuge Qingtian1?”
Those words slipped out instinctively. Only then did Zhuge Qingtian realize that there was a problem.
Ever since he had woken up, he always felt that the name “Zhuge Qingtian2” was very unfamiliar. He only thought it was a shadow left by what he had experienced during his life, so he had claimed to be Zhuge Qingtian instead.
Thinking of this, could he really have taken the wrong head?
Now this was rather troublesome. With great difficulty, his wife had finally gotten used to his existence. If Zhuge Qingtian changed his head to something that looked unpleasant to the eye, what could he do?
Forget about it. If the other head was too ugly, it was still better to just use this one. After all, with regards to him, the only use a head had was to look good. Exchanging a head was the same as switching hats to him……
Bi Qianren naturally didn’t know about this person’s strange, inner struggles. But when he saw Zhuge Qingtian’s stupefied expression, he finally believed that there was actually a silly ghost in this world who could mistake his own identity.
For a moment, Qianren could only sigh. Sure enough, regardless of what it was, this ghost was an existence that surpassed the understanding of normal people.
It was obvious that it was impossible to obtain any answers from Zhuge Qingtian himself. Bi Qianren could only turn toward the Sky Master Mansion disciple who was an expert in matters relating to ghost saints. “Can ghosts inherit other people’s memories?”
Mo Pan hadn’t even heard of something like this. The birth of malicious ghosts completely relied on the amount of resentment they had. Ghosts who could maintain the strength of a malicious ghost even when they had no memories truly surpassed his knowledge.
Mo Pan could only reply helplessly, “Don’t look at me. My Sky Master Mansion has never encountered a strange situation like this before.”
Bi Qianren hadn’t hoped a Golden Core disciple could help them figure this out. After thinking for a moment, he asked again, “Where is his real head?”
What he got in response was Mo Pan’s sincere gaze. “Believe me, if I had the cultivation level to search for someone who is thousands of miles away, I would have fled the moment I saw you.”
After confirming the lamentable fact that the two people in front of him were completely useless, Bi Qianren could only give up on this struggle. He only said with a sigh, “Let’s go and enter Jiangdu City.”
Bi Qianren thought that regardless of what the truth was, staying outside the city walls like this was meaningless. It would be better to enter the city and ask the Sky Master Mansion to help them investigate.
However, the moment Mo Pan heard that these two savage characters wanted to enter the city, he finally remembered his identity as a righteous disciple.
It was possible for Mo Pan to accept compromises when it only involved himself, but letting the two of them harm other people absolutely exceeded his bottom line. He quickly spoke to put a stop to this. “Wait, Jiangdu City is full of ordinary common folk. You cannot enter the city!”
Of course, with regards to the belated resistance of a hero, Bi Qianren only said one sentence, “Zhuge, beat him unconscious.”
He had originally said this in a probing tone. However, the moment Zhuge Qingtian heard him, he immediately blew out a breath of Yin energy at the youth. Without using any effort at all, the ghost actually took down a Golden Core cultivator.
But Zhuge Qingtian himself didn’t seem the least aware of how strange his cultivation level was. As if presenting a treasure to Qianren, the ghost smiled, “Wife! You finally stopped using “hey” or “you” to address me!”
In all honesty, Bi Qianren really didn’t understand what made this person happy……
Qianren silently looked at this malicious ghost, who, despite already knowing his name, still insisted on calling him “wife” to brainwash him. The expressionless Bi Qianren only had one thought in his mind right now—
Sure enough, the reason why Zhuge Qingtian was this weird……must be because he had lost his brain thousands of miles away, right?
- There’s a trick on the “Zhu” characters used in these sentences. The first and third “Zhu” are the same Zhu character as the Zhu family (朱). The second “Zhu”, which is what have been used the entire novel so far, is a different Zhu and normally part of the two character surname Zhuge (诸).
- The “Zhu” here is using the Zhu from the Zhu family again, while the next one uses the other Zhu.