Chapter Twelve: He had never seen such a person in his past life
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
It hurt. Due to Chu HuanZhi injecting spiritual energy into Chu WuQing’s body, the turbulent chill kept creeping into Chu WuQing’s throat and chest, constricting his breath and causing the corners of his eyes to redden.
With his consciousness bewitched, and the spiritual energy growing more and more violent, Chu WuQing’s body felt like it was going to burst at any moment.
Chu HuanZhi drew back the hand that was applying spiritual energy slightly.
Immediately, his body was overwhelmed by the feeling of being too full. “Too much, I-I can’t take it.” His voice held the softest hints of tears.
The corner of Chu HuanZhi’s lips curled upwards, making him seem even more lofty and mysterious, but seeming to reveal a hint of his true emotions. His aura intensified, but the fingers on Chu WuQing’s forehead slowly slid down, carefully going over the other’s full forehead, landing on those lashes with tears clinging to them, like he was tracing the other’s features.
There were droplets of water beading on the bridge of Chu WuQing’s shapely nose, making his skin seem almost a translucent white. It was almost as if all he had to do to leave red marks on that unblemished skin was to close his lips over it with the mere touch of the tongue.
Chu HuanZhi retracted his fingers. A sheen of water covered his fingertips, mixed with the taste of Chu WuQing’s tears. His gaze darkened, bringing his fingers to his lips and carefully tasting the dew from Chu WuQing’s lashes. After a moment, he gave a sigh, filled with repressed emotions, “QingQing.”
This time, the nickname wasn’t said with the innocent affection it usually held. There were many more unspeakable and complicated emotions folding in on one another.
Chu HuanZhi’s other hand rapidly wandered along each of Chu WuQing’s major pressure points, finally landing at where the other’s Dantian 1 was. A white light shot from his fingers, countless carefully chosen runes flashed. The energy of the world around them rushed inside, taming the turbulent spiritual energy and transforming it into Chu WuQing’s own.
The white orb in Chu WuQing’s Dantian rapidly expanded, and when Chu HuanZhi pulled his fingers away, the aura that exuded from Chu WuQing was that of a Level Ten Qi Condensation stage cultivator!
Chu WuQing slowly came back to himself. Each level of Qi Condensation seemed to not be much different, but in actuality, with each level, one’s spiritual energy increased exponentially, which was why many four and five spiritual root cultivators were stuck at Level Five Qi Condensation stage or below.
With the expansion of the meridians, his physical body felt more well-honed. The feeling of power had Chu WuQing’s eyes lighting up. However, he was confused when he blinked and found droplets of water falling from his lashes. That sticky feeling seemed to be from tears, not condensation from the spring.
Though these breakthroughs and brute-force methods of increasing his cultivation base hurt, it was endurable. He had never thought much of physical pain. In his past life, the few times he had shed tears was from losing his cultivation entirely, having his entire family turn their backs on him, and the only time he outright cried was when his engagement was broken and he lost the love of his life.
“WuQing, if you’re done, you should hurry and meditate to stabilize your cultivation,” Chu HuanZhi’s expression seemed rather tense, “Hurry and get used to it.”
It seemed like his father had done something to him, causing him to obey his body’s need for catharsis. He felt some exasperation, but it was overwhelmed by the warmth that came from getting back what he had lost.
Only after losing it all once would one know how valuable his care and worry from family was.
The corner of Chu WuQing’s lips were upturned. With the experiences he had from his past life, his resolve was very steady. His cultivation would remain stable with no problems under Golden Core stage at least. Thus, he shook his head. “No need. I can get up now. There’s no problems with my cultivation.”
As he spoke, he stood, his soaked clothes tightly sticking to his form, water droplets rolling down his back and out from below, dripping into the spring. When he stepped out of the spring, his feet and ankles were covered in trails of water.
“Daddy, what about that Peak Foundation stage cultivator and the Artifact you obtained?” Chu WuQing asked.
With a simple spell from Chu HuanZhi, Chu WuQing was dried off, but that pair of snowy white feet remained exposed, becoming even more eye-catching. Especially in this grand hall, where the ground was made of liuli jade, 2 reflecting the silhouettes of those above. Every step was a beautiful scene that tugged at one’s heartstrings.
“Put on your shoes first,” Chu HuanZhi said with exasperation, “What if others see?” He waved his hand and a pair of shoes that held a pulse of spiritual energy appeared on Chu WuQing’s feet. Now, he was once again dressed impeccably.
An artefact that looked like a two-floored pagoda tower flew towards Chu WuQing.
“This tower is called Deep Linglong Tower. Inside is a hidden space, the five elements circulate through it continuously. You can put a cultivator inside and no one under Void Comprehension stage would notice.” As Chu HuanZhi spoke, he clapped his hands together lightly.
A few moments later, a tall young man walked into the hall. His muscular form was completely naked, blue flames swirling around his body and exuding a dangerous aura.
The atmosphere seemed to gain a tinge of fire from his arrival.
The young man knelt in front of Chu WuQing, head bowed as he introduced himself respectfully, “This subordinate is called Gao Ran, cultivating the Path of Hellfire.”
The Path of Hellfire?!
This was one of the stronger Greater Paths of cultivation. The Death Sworn he had brought with him into the Lower Realm in his past life wasn’t this person, but a middle-aged cultivator cultivating a rather average Path. Why ever would a person with such talent willingly become a slave to others, give their life into another’s palms?
And this person was a mere Qi Condensation stage cultivator, too.
Chu WuQing ordered, “Raise your head.”
What was revealed to Chu WuQing was a strong, handsome face, marred by a terrifying scar that went across the bridge of his nose. He was like the alpha wolf of the plains, battle-scarred but still the king of all wolves!
Iron pipes didn’t bend.
Yet, Chu WuQing had never seen such a person in his past life.
There was only one possibility: that this person only appeared after he died, full of potential, with a levelling-up speed equal to the protagonist’s, thus only becoming a face-slapping target or sidekick of the protagonist’s in the late-novel.
“Father, where did you obtain him?” Chu WuQing asked, shelving the thought.
“From the War of Realms,” Chu HuanZhi replied calmly.
The War of Realms. Just the very mention of it seemed to bring the scent of blood on the wind. There were many cultivation realms, and naturally, not all of them would be able to maintain peace. War for resources, for survival in a world where anything could happen, for the ownership of a Hidden Realm, or perhaps merely to satisfy one’s battlelust, none of it was rare.
No wonder this person bore such a scar on their face, wrapped in hellfire, and even managed to achieve the Path of Hellfire. With a Path like that, he was sure to be guided towards the true heart of cultivation, possibly even to the Great Ascension stage!
However, no matter what he might achieve in the future, what powerful dragon he might become, what influence he might have, it was all irrelevant… He would be Chu WuQing’s servant and nothing but, completely under his control.
No matter if he was made a prisoner of war because of his own helplessness or if he… came here with ulterior motives, Chu HuanZhi would be able to suppress him with ease, making sure that he stayed obedient to Chu WuQing for at least the next several hundred years.
As for after that? What had that to do with Chu WuQing?
Chu WuQing’s slender white fingers tilted the young man’s chin up. From his position above, he scrutinized the other’s body. After a moment, he chuckled. “Since you belong to me, Chu WuQing, now, then you should forget your past and identity. From today onwards, your surname shall be Chu.” He bent down, face close to the other’s and breath against his skin. His expression was somewhat smug. “I’ll gift you with the name You, 3 after the flickering fires of hell.” He paused, chuckling again. “Well, do you like it?”
The young man’s expression didn’t change, seeming to accept his new identity as a slave and Death Sworn. His calloused fingers grasped the hem of Chu WuQing’s robes, bringing it up for a gentle kiss. Flames burned in his eyes. “Thank you for the name, master. This subordinate likes it very much.”
“Chu You.” Chu HuanZhi’s voice rang out without a hint of a cultivator’s aura tainting it, yet causing the young man to let go, withdrawing all those burning sharp edges of his. “You’re dismissed.”
The young man rose at the command, yet before he could fully stand up, a soft, pale hand landed on his shoulder, pushing him back down.
“Daddy, he’s mine.” Chu WuQing objected. His personality had always been rather tyrannical, and with the betrayal in his previous life, he had become even more possessive of what was his. Even his father, Chu HuanZhi couldn’t change anything about that.
“Return.” With a single thought, Chu WuQing placed Chu You into his Linglong Tower. 4
“QingQing,” Chu HuanZhi called out in exasperation. Even so, he reached out to pat Chu WuQing’s head, his eyes full of adoration. “You’re leaving tomorrow. You should rest here tonight.”
The night before the trials were set to begin, there was no peace before the storm in the Chu Clan. Some people were nervous, some eager, some confident, and some…
Within a certain Chu Clan main branch abode.
“All I did was take some bribes! Who in the Chu Clan in a position of power is innocent? What a joke!” The middle-aged Golden Core stage cultivator’s eyes were filled with cruel violence. “Stripping me of my position for a Qi Condensation stage brat, even destroying ten years of my cultivation and making me apologize to that brat? Does Chu HuanZhi really think he has power over everyone in the Chu Clan? In the AnYang Realm?”
“Father, it wasn’t you who resigned that day?” The young man beside him asked.
Lament flashed through the middle-aged man’s eyes. “What do you know? If I don’t punish myself and pretend to be regretful, then it wouldn’t be nearly as easy as being stripped of my position. Your position as a core disciple might even be stripped away. WuDan, for our branch of the family, I’ve had my position as the elder of the Punishment and Interrogation Department and your uncle’s influence has all but been uprooted, our position in the Chu Clan has fallen. You’re the hope of our entire branch. The Lower Realm is chaotic and filled with all sorts. Due to what happened, there’s no Nascent Soul Elder there to preside over things. Find a chance to eliminate Chu WuQing in secret.”
The young man called Chu WuDan was shocked. “But… father, aren’t you afraid the Clan Head might find out?”
The middle-aged man sneered, “The Lower Realm isn’t under anyone’s control. Not only do you have to compete against each other, you have to compete against those in the Lower Realm as well. He only has a cultivation level of Level Eight Qi Condensation. He hasn’t even gotten to Foundation Establishment. There are plenty of people that are able to kill him. His arrogant, good-for-nothing personality means that he’s bound to offend cultivators that are stronger than him. So long as you make sure you don’t do it in front of other Chu Clan family members, who would know it was you? Plus, in this competition for this opportunity, everyone is a suspect. If you can’t win it, then frame the one who does.”
“Don’t worry, father. For this trial, I’m almost positive I’ll win it.” Chu WuDan, listened to his father’s advice carefully. “I’ve already grasped the way to Golden Core stage. I’ve been hiding it for the next Candidate Successor battle. I hadn’t thought such an opportunity would present itself though. Now has come my time to shine.”
The middle-aged cultivator’s eyes flashed. “As expected of my son, you’re already approaching Golden Core stage. Once you win the opportunity this time and take the position of successor from Chu WuJuan, even if Chu HuanZhi finds out one day that it was you that killed Chu WuQing, he can’t do anything about it. The Patriarch will, naturally, protect you.”
After a pause, he took out a pill and continued, “I and your uncle spent everything to go to the Higher Realm to hire a killer ranked in the top hundred on the Foundation Establishment cultivator rankings. With a killer to help you out, it’ll make your journey much easier. On the surface, this elixir is a high-grade pill that will restore one’s spiritual energy, but in reality, it’s a mind-control pill. I will give this to the killer tomorrow and have him consume it. That way, he will obey every order you give. If it comes to it, you can even have him self-destruct. That’s sure to kill Chu WuQing.”
Chu WuDan’s lips curved into a smile, eyes filled with confident arrogance. He licked his lips. “It’ll be such a waste to turn a beauty like that into a puddle of blood and flesh. A Heaven Spiritual Root is top-tier potential for cultivating, but also top-tier potential for being a human cauldron. If I’m exposed, I’ll take him as a human cauldron and drain his cultivation. Once I’m done, I can give him to others in the Chu Clan. I’m sure they’d be very willing to share.”