Chapter 7: “The man born to be a demon.”
It was unknown whether or not they had taken a fancy to this tiny place, but mountain bandits began occupying the mountain road outside of the Zhu family ten years ago. They robbed and killed all the passers-by who had once travelled on the road in the past. After the bandits finished looting all the belongings from the bodies, they would throw the corpses into the burial mounds beside the mountain road.
Thus, these years, other than the government-arranged troops that transported cargo, no one in the entire Zhu family was able to leave the village and stay alive.
From what Zhuge Qingtian could recall, after he was killed by the mountain bandits, he woke up in the burial mounds. At that time, he still didn’t know how to use his own power. Only after he had returned to the town and killed the woman who had lied to him, did Zhuge Qingtian gradually learn how to order the little ghosts to do things for him.
However, just when he was hovering outside the town, unsure of what to do next, a white-robed teenager suddenly charged in.
With regards to Zhuge Qingtian, who had grown up in the Zhu family, everything about the teenager was strange yet dazzling. This included the youth’s mystical True Energy, his manner of speech and bearing that was completely different from mortals, and his expression; one that firmly believed he was defending the righteous path, with no regrets even if he died in battle.
Although the teenager chopped off his head out of nowhere, even when Zhuge Qingtian’s head fell onto the ground, his gaze had never left the white-robed youth’s body.
Zhuge Qingtian and Fu Hongye were the same age, but their destinies were completely different. That teenager wore white robes embroidered with clouds, treading on frost-covered leaves as he soared into the horizon.
In contrast, Zhuge Qingtian could only hide in the desolate countryside, waiting indefinitely until he could enter the cycle of reincarnation again. If the ghost wasn’t careful, he might even be annihilated by a cultivator passing by.
In the past, Zhuge Qingtian never knew a person could live like that teenager. He didn’t know who that white-robed youth was, or why he had come there.
Zhuge Qingtian only envied him, the high-spirited teenager who appeared as if his body was made up of the entire world’s radiance.
Afterwards, an old cultivator passing by told him, “You must work hard to control your fierce nature. As long as the resentment on your body disappears, you can reincarnate and start a new life.”
Ever since then, Zhuge Qingtian discovered his reason for staying in the world of the living. Every day, he would try his best to counsel himself, and he also stopped himself from feeling malice toward people. In this mountain forest, he harmlessly spent every ice-cold night, alone by himself.
Zhuge Qingtian thought, he must do his best to be reincarnated. That way, he could completely break away from this unlucky life of his.
In his next life, Zhuge Qingtian also wanted to become a bright and impressive person like the white-robed teenager.
Although Zhuge Qingtian wasn’t acquainted with Fu Hongye, that white-robed youth represented his hope for the future. Every time he was nearly unable to persist, he would think of the teenager’s appearance.
Then, Zhuge Qingtian would encourage himself; as long as he persevered, everything would change for the better. At the very least, he would still have a next life.
However, even now, when Zhuge Qingtian saw how the black-clothed man sighed as he mentioned this matter, the ghost still felt very envious of the white-robed youth.
When he died, no one helped him investigate his cause of death, let alone cared about avenging him.
Even now, the ghost wasn’t sure……if he suddenly disappeared, would his wife even sigh for him?
When he thought of this, Zhuge Qingtian couldn’t help but ask, “Wife, is it that, as long as you are born outside, people could become like you guys?”
“Living outside is indeed much better than living here. However, if you want to have a happy life, don’t copy me or Fu Hongye.”
Zhuge Qingtian’s line of thought was actually very simple. When Bi Qianren heard his tone of voice, he immediately guessed seventy or eighty-percent of what the ghost was thinking.
With regards to ordinary mortals, cultivators were precisely an existence worth longing for. However, it just so happened that the two cultivators Zhuge Qingtian encountered, were ones who didn’t live that well.
Sighing mentally, Bi Qianren held out his hand. He put the snow-white jade pendant he had picked up in front of the malicious ghost and asked, “Do you know what this is?”
Zhuge Qingtian naturally didn’t know. Qianren didn’t wait for him to answer either, and instead immediately began in an indifferent tone, “This is the identity jade pendant used by the disciples of the Profound Sect. The moment the owner of a pendant dies, the scene of their death will be recorded before it would return to the Sect.”
“Just now, that hotel boss tossed this pendant at you. Presumably, he treated this as an object used for exorcisms. Disciples of the Profound Sect would never let this jade pendant leave their body, let alone think about gifting it to someone else. Someone must have taken advantage of how Fu Hongye didn’t have his guard up to secretly steal it. Thus, he must have been killed by the common folk he wanted to protect.”
“On my way here, I couldn’t understand why my Master would ask me—a demonic cultivator with an awkward identity—to get involved with this matter, when disciples from the Profound Sect can be found all across the world. Only now do I understand. This is truly a mission righteous cultivators won’t be able to complete.”
As the leader of the righteous way, the Profound Sect always had many enemies in the jianghu. Thus, the protective measures they gave their disciples were indeed very excellent.
If he had just been ambushed, news of Fu Hongye’s death would be transmitted to the Profound Sect by his protective jade pendant. As long as someone knew this, no one would dare to kill him if it meant they needed to face the dangers of being investigated by the Profound Sect.
However, this jade pendant ended up appearing in the hotel boss’ hands. Thus, this man was without a doubt, one of the accomplices responsible for Fu Hongye’s death that year.
Perhaps, the potential accomplices weren’t just limited to the hotel boss. All the common folk in the town who knew about the sacrifices to the ghost saint but didn’t tell the Profound Sect the truth, none of them were innocent.
Fu Hongye and the entire Profound Sect had trusted these villagers too much. In their eyes, the villagers were victims who were being bullied by the ghost saint, while they were righteous heroes coming in to save them.
Since all of the villagers said it was Zhuge Qingtian who was haunting them after becoming a malicious ghost, and since there was indeed a malicious ghost outside the town, naturally they couldn’t be lying.
Fu Hongye believed the villagers. Thus, he went to the burial mounds to subdue Zhuge Qingtian before suffering a serious wound.
Afterwards, the disciples of the Profound Sect who came looking for traces of Fu Hongye also believed the villagers. They thought the malicious ghost had already been subdued, and that Fu Hongye had long left this place without leaving further traces of his whereabouts.
Only He Huan, who had always been doubtful of people and believed everyone had malicious intentions, realized something was fishy from Fu Hongye’s file.
Born in the demonic way, Bi Qianren knew that in an isolated place like this, there were way too many methods to make the common people shut up. The common folk didn’t trust foreigners, and always used their own inherent judgment to determine everything.
Their simple and diligent lives were all spent in their own worlds. These people couldn’t be considered as bad people. In the final analysis, they were nothing more than stupid and ignorant.
Because they were uneducated, they only need some lies to be swindled. Because of their ignorance and fear, they personally buried their only hopes of being saved.
This was precisely the reason He Huan gave this mission to Qianren. The Profound Sect was the perfect model of the righteous way. Whenever they did something, they must convince the people of their actions with logic and reasoning.
Thus, even if the Profound Sect found the cause of Fu Hongye’s death, it was impossible for them to do anything to the common folk who had been lied to. Even the punishment of the local government office must be handed over to the imperial court.
This wouldn’t be the best ending for the deceased.
From the moment the hotel boss tossed out Fu Hongye’s jade pendant, Qianren finally understood what his Master wanted him to do. However, facing Zhuge Qingtian and his simple gaze—one that still belonged to youth—he didn’t tell him the cruel reality.
Instead, Qianren glanced at the large vermillion doors of the government office and said, “Wait here for me. Once I’m done with my mission, I’ll bring you to see the outside world.”
“Wife, you won’t abandon me, right?”
What Bi Qianren was going to do next wasn’t suitable for someone like Zhuge Qingtian, who wanted to live under the sunlight, to see. Thus, when he saw the youth’s worry, Qianren casually untied his headband and handed it to the ghost. “This was gifted to me by my Master. Take it, I’ll quickly return to fetch it back.”
“Alright, then you need to return quickly. After the sky brightens, I’ll frighten people.”
When Bi Qianren saw how Zhuge Qingtian really had no doubts that he was lying and began obediently sitting on the stairs to wait for him, the man raised his hand. A tremendous amount of demonic energy instantly smashed open the vermillion big doors that symbolized the government. Raising his foot, Qianren walked in.
The hazy moonlight behind the black clouds was suddenly roused. Underneath the bright moon, a demonic cultivator reached out to gently brush away his scattered long hair. Black hair slid between his fingers, before numerous strands began wounding around his knuckles.
Following the movement of his fingers, Qianren’s hair began silently lengthening. Then, the heads of all the people who had run over after hearing the racket fell onto the floor, their blood splashing three feet away. Even until the very moment of their death, these people didn’t know how they died.
Bi Qianren had been cultivating the demonic way for over sixty years. When he was twenty years-old, he used a sword, because that was the weapon that made him look the most confident and handsome as he killed people under the moonlight.
When he was thirty years-old, Qianren liked to use the dagger, because he had learned how to conceal his sharpness and could now kill people in a hidden manner.
By the time he was fifty years-old, Bi Qianren no longer carried any other things with him, because his own body had become the world’s deadliest weapon. Making a single gesture was enough for Qianren to slaughter any living thing around him.
In Bi Qianren’s perspective, this world only consisted of people he didn’t need to kill, and the dead. Thus, he never told any lies.
Since he already told Zhuge Qingtian that he’ll be able to settle this matter quickly, merely raising his hand sent all the living people in this government office to the underworld.
However, Qianren still remembered his mission. After pushing open the door to a room, he reached out to pinch the neck of the county magistrate who had been startled awake.
Using an expressionless voice, Bi Qianren asked, “How did Fu Hongye die?”
The cultivation level of the person on the bed was merely at the Forged Body realm. Qianren only needed to move a single finger to kill him.
However, such a weak existence like this was precisely the most powerful person in the Zhu family. He deceived all the common people in the town, who allowed him to cruelly suppress them. Even Fu Hongye, whose cultivation far surpassed the country magistrate, had fallen in his hands.
This county magistrate wasn’t stupid. The moment he saw Bi Qianren, he already knew he couldn’t beat him. Not resisting at all, the county magistrate only pretended to be at a loss. “Brave hero, what are you talking about? I don’t know that person ah!”
The county magistrate’s expression actually looked extremely sincere. If the person who had come here was a righteous cultivator, they would definitely have released him to ask questions, so they wouldn’t kill an innocent by mistake.
Unfortunately, the person the county magistrate was facing right now was a demonic cultivator. After shooting him a glance, Bi Qianren didn’t say anything more. He merely drew a line in the air. Following his action, an arm was immediately severed before falling onto the ground.
Qianren made this look so easy, even the country magistrate didn’t figure out what had happened until a few moments later. Covering the stump of his broken arm, he screamed, “What do you want to do? I am one of the officials from the imperial court, protected by the emperor! You people from the jianghu cannot kill me!”
In this world, the emperors from every generation received the mandate of Heaven. After the emperor ascended to the throne, they would be protected by immortal beasts. Thus, when the Emperor oversaw the imperial palace, their power was comparable to Post-Calamity cultivators.
Even if it was the Profound Sect, they needed to respect the emperor to some degree, and wouldn’t meddle in the court affairs.
However, this was merely a rule established for the safety and peace of the mortal world. Why would a demonic cultivator, one completely incompatible with the righteous way, care about it?
Amid the county magistrate’s collapsing gaze, Bi Qianren also severed a leg. The demonic cultivator’s expression didn’t fluctuate at all. He merely repeated his question again, “I’m asking you. How did Fu Hongye die?”
“I’ll talk! I’ll tell you everything! Just let me go, I’m begging you……”
Coldly watching this person—who was fierce outwardly but weak inside—crawl to his feet to beg for forgiveness, Qianren’s expression was still serene.
He thought, with regards to the general situation, following the rules and reaching a peaceful solution was probably the best method. However, even though Bi Qianren was taught by a Master who cherished the world, he was still addicted to being corrupt.
The Elders had been right, he was born to be a demon. He just couldn’t bear seeing the people he didn’t like continue living in this world.
Bi Qianren was a bad person, and he didn’t want to become a good person for his entire life.
Fu Hongye was a good person, but he didn’t have a chance to learn how to be a good person before he left the world.
With regards to Zhuge Qingtian, the two of them really weren’t good examples worth studying from.