Chapter 62: Evil—Part Two
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
His lips trembled, saying something in silence. Jiang Cheng stood up almost immediately.
It was Wei WuXian!
However, apart from the face, from top to bottom, this person was nowhere like the past Wei WuXian.
Wei WuXian had clearly been a bright, high-spirited boy. The tips of his eyes and eyebrows had always retained the hint of a grin, always refusing to walk properly. Yet, this person was entirely enveloped in a cold, dark energy. He was handsome, yet pale-faced, his smile eerie.
The sight before their eyes was too surprising. The situation was still unclear, and they couldn’t act rashly. Even though the two on the roof were flabbergasted, neither rushed inside. They only forced their heads lower and inched closer to the slit between the roof tiles.
Inside the room, Wei WuXian, clothed in black, turned around slowly. Wen Chao covered his own face. Now, only the raspy breath of his voice could be heard, “Wen ZhuLiu… Wen ZhuLiu!”
Hearing this, Wei WuXian’s eyes and lips curled up, “Even now, you still think that calling him would be of any use?”
He walked a few steps nearer and kicked into a white object by his foot. He looked down. It was the meat bun that Wen Chao had tossed away.
Wei WuXian raised a brow, “What, you’re a picky eater?”
Wen Chao fell from his stool, screeching, “I’m not eating it! I’m not eating it! I’m not eating it!”
As he bawled, he crawled on the ground with his finger-less hands. The long black cape slid down the lower half of his body, revealing his legs. The two legs dangled from his torso as if they were burdensome accessories. Even wrapped within bandages, they were still unusually thin. Due to his violent movements, the bandages stretched out to form gaps. Inside were ghastly white bones, crimson blood and strands of flesh still hanging from them.
All of the flesh on his legs had been sliced off, piece by piece. And, likely… all of the flesh had been eaten by himself!
Wen Chao’s sharp screams echoed within the empty courier station. Wei WuXian looked as though he didn’t hear anything. Lifting up the hem of his robe, he sat down at another table.
The second oil lamp lit up. Before the bright yellow of the flame, half of Wei WuXian’s face was in the light, the other half in the dark. He dropped his hand down. An ashen face appeared out of the darkness under the table. Soon, there came the crunching sounds of chewing.
A white child squatted by his feet. Like a young, carnivorous beast, it was gnawing on something that Wei WuXian fed it.
Wei WuXian took his hand away after patting on the white ghoul child’s sparse-haired head. Holding what he had fed it in its mouth, it turned around and sat down. Hugging his leg, it chewed fiercely as it glowered at Wen ZhuLiu with cold, glistening eyes.
What he was chewing were two human fingers.
Needless to say—they must be Wen Chao’s fingers!
Lan WangJi stared at the ghastly ghost child along with a ghastly Wei WuXian. His grip tightened around Bichen’s hilt.
Wen ZhuLiu was still in front of Wen Chao. Wei WuXian’s head looked down, his expression unable to be seen, “Wen ZhuLiu, do you really think that you can protect his dog life from my hands?”
Wen ZhuLiu, “Better die trying.”
Wei WuXian laughed coldly, “What a loyal Wen-dog.”
Wen ZhuLiu, “I can’t fail to repay the debt I owe their generosity.”
Wei WuXian’s expression darkened at once. His voice was harsh as well, “What a joke! Why is it that the debt you owe has to be repaid at the expense of others!”
Before he even finished speaking, from behind Wen ZhuLiu came Wen Chao’s piercing wails. Wen Chao had crawled to a corner and was trying as hard as he could to press into the wooden boards as though he could squeeze out from in between them. However, a red shadow suddenly dropped from the ceiling. A long-haired woman in red clothes, her face blue, fell heavily onto him. The dark face, bright red clothes, and black hair created a chilling contrast. Her fingers wrapped around the bandages around Wen Chao’s head and tore!
The bandages were just wrapped again after Wen ZhuLiu had applied ointment to Wen Chao’s face. The ointment, the skin, and the bandages were still stuck together. Burned skin was naturally weak to begin with. With the violent tear, the scabs that hadn’t peeled off yet tore off along with a thin layer of flesh. Even his lips were torn off. The uneven, bald head immediately became a bloody, bald head.
Wen Chao passed out at once. As soon as he heard the scream, Wen ZhuLiu turned around to help him. On the roof, Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng clenched their swords as well, prepared to attack. However, they heard another scream. The ghoul child by Wei WuXian’s feet had thrown itself over. Wen ZhuLiu’s right hand struck at the ghoul child’s forehead before he felt a sharp pain on his palm. The ghoul child had opened its two rows of sharp teeth and bit into him.
Wen ZhuLiu couldn’t shake it off, so he ignored it and went straight to Wen Chao. The ghoul child, however, had bit out an entire chunk of the flesh on his hand and spat it out. He continued to devour the palm. Wen ZhuLiu grabbed the child’s head with his left hand, as though to put so much force on the small, cold head that it exploded. The blue-faced woman threw the bloodstained bandages on the ground and, like a four-limbed creature, she crawled to Wen ZhuLiu’s side almost instantly.
A swing of her arm and there were ten lines of blood. The two dark beings, one large and one small, wrangled with him incessantly. Wen ZhuLiu couldn’t attend to both sides at the same time, blundering amid the chaos. As he looked to the side and saw Wei WuXian’s cold smile, he threw himself at him.
Both of the two on the roof frowned. Lan WangJi smacked down. The tiles shattered and the roof collapsed. Through the roof, he descended into the second floor of the courier station and blocked Wen ZhuLiu from Wei WuXian. Taking advantage of Wen ZhuLiu’s surprise, a whip flickering with purple light swept over and around his neck, wrapping itself three entire times around his throat before lifting up. Wen ZhuLiu’s large, heavy body had been lifted up by the surging whip and was now dangling in the air.
Immediately, there came the crunching sounds of his neck bones cracked. At the same time, Wei WuXian’s pupils shrunk. He took out a flute from beside his waist and spun around, standing up. The ghoul child and blue-faced woman who had been tearing at Wen ZhuLiu quickly backed off to his side and stared with vigilance at the two strangers.
Behind them, Wen ZhuLiu hadn’t died yet. His face flushed red and his entire body twitched, struggling against his will. His eyes were opened so wide that it seemed as though they were about to burst out of their sockets. The ghoul child snarled at Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng, not at all hiding its enmity. Wei WuXian raised his hand slightly for it to withdraw its fangs. His gaze swept back and forth between Lan WangJi and Jiang Cheng. Among the three, nobody spoke up.
A few moments later, Jiang Cheng waved his arm and tossed something over. Wei WuXian caught it without a second thought. Jiang Cheng, “Your sword!”
Wei WuXian’s hand slowly dropped.
He looked down at Suibian and only responded after a pause, “… Thank you.”
Again, a short while passed before any words were spoken. Suddenly, Jiang Cheng walked over and struck him, “You brat! Where have you run off to in these three months?!”
Although the sentence itself seemed to scold him, his tone was full of joy. Although Lan WangJi didn’t step forward, he eyes had always been locked onto Wei WuXian. With the slap, Wei WuXian paused blankly. A few moments later, he struck him as well, “Haha, it’s a long story, it’s a long story!”
The cold air that had been on him was in some ways watered down by the two strikes. There was anger within Jiang Cheng’s joy. He hugged him tightly before shoving him back, yelling, “Didn’t we agree to meet at the lousy town down the mountain? I waited for almost six days and didn’t even see a shadow of you! If you died it wouldn’t even have been in front of my eyes! For the last three months I’ve been so busy that my head’s even gotten bigger!”
Wei WuXian lifted the hem of his robe and sat down again, waving his hand, “I’ve already said that it’s a long story. Back then a bunch of Wen-dogs were searching everywhere for me as well. They were waiting for me, caught me right there, and threw me to some hell of a place to suffer.”
As he spoke, the blue-faced woman crawled toward him using both her arms and her legs. When she had been fighting, her face was almost hideous, but now, with her dark face against Wei WuXian’s lap, she somehow seemed to be a charming concubine, obediently pleasing her master. Giggling laughter came from her mouth as well. Wei WuXian sat leaning to one side, his right hand stroking her soft, long hair over and over again.
As he watched his movements, Lan WangJi’s face grew even colder. Although the scene made Jiang Cheng feel somewhat uncomfortable, at the moment, he was more shocked than anything else, “What hell of a place? I’ve carefully asked the people in the town, so how was it that everyone said they hadn’t seen you?!”
Wei WuXian, “You asked the people in the town? They’re all a bunch of naive farmers scared of bringing themselves trouble, so who’d dare tell you the truth? And the Wen-dogs have definitely done something to shut their mouths. Of course all of them said that they hadn’t seen me.”
Jiang Cheng cursed, “Those old idiots!” He quickly added, “What hell of a place? Qishan? The Nightless City? Then how did you get out? And you’ve become like this. What are… these two things of yours? They actually listen to your command. A while ago Second Young Master Lan and I took the task of assassinating Wen Chao and Wen ZhuLiu at night, but somebody had gone before us. I can’t believe that it was you! You were the one who changed those talismans as well?”
From the corner of his eye, Wei WuXian saw that Lan WangJi had always been looking at them. He smiled, “Pretty much. If I say that I found a mysterious cave somewhere and there was a mysterious book that a mysterious expert had left, and then when I came out I was this powerful, would you believe me?”
Jiang Cheng spat, “Wake up. You’ve read too many legends in those picturebooks, haven’t you? How could there be so many experts in the world? With secret caves and books everywhere!”
Wei WuXian turned his palms up, “You see? You don’t believe me even if I say it. I’ll tell you about it if I ever get the chance to.”
Jiang Cheng glanced at Lan WangJi. He knew that it was probably something that shouldn’t be said in front of disciples from other sects and wiped the joy from his face, “Alright, then. You can tell me about it later. It’s all good as long as you’re back.”
Wei WuXian, “Yep. As long as I’m back.”
Jiang Cheng murmured the words ‘as long as you’re back’ a couple of times before hitting him again, “You really are…! You live on even after being captured by Wen-dogs!”
Wei WuXian gloated, “Of course. Who am I?”
Jiang Cheng couldn’t help but scold him, “What are you proud of?! You’re alive and you didn’t come back sooner!”
Wei WuXian, “I just got out, hey? I heard that both shijie and you were fine, and you were rebuilding the YunmengJiang Sect and forming an alliance, so I went to kill a few Wen-dogs first to lighten up your burden, and do some contributions. In these three months, you’ve been working hard.”
Hearing the last part, Jiang Cheng remembered the past three months of rushing about and working day and night. He felt somewhat moved, but quickly put on a harsh face, “Put away your shabby sword! I’ve been waiting for you to take it away. I don’t want to be carrying two swords all the time and get asked that many questions any longer!”
Lan WangJi suddenly spoke up, “Wei Ying.”
He had been standing quietly at the side. As he spoke, both Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng turned to him. It was as though Wei WuXian finally remembered to greet him. He nodded slightly, “HanGuang-Jun.”
Lan WangJi, “Were you the one who has been killing the Wen Sect’s disciples?”
Wei WuXian, “Of course.”
Jiang Cheng, “I knew it was you. Why did you kill them one at a time? It’d be so much of a hassle.”
Wei WuXian, “To play around, play with them until they die. Straight up killing all of them at once would be too easy on them. Much better killing them in front of one another one by one, one slice after another. Of course, with Wen Chao, I hadn’t tortured him enough yet. Wen ZhuLiu, however, he’d received the guidance of Wen RuoHan and joined the Wen Sect with his surname changed, protecting Wen RuoHan’s precious son under his orders.” He laughed coldly, “He wanted to protect him, but I wanted to make him see how in his hands, Wen Chao would become more and more distorted, unlike a man but also unlike a monster.”
The smile was somewhere among cold, cruel, and pleased. Lan WangJi watched with clarity in his expression. He walked one step forward, “What means do you use to control such dark creatures?”
The curvature of Wei WuXian’s lips dropped slightly as he glanced at him. Jiang Cheng had also heard the dissonant tone, “Second Young Master Lan, what do you mean by this?”
Lan WangJi’s eyes were glued to Wei WuXian, “Answer me.”
The ghoul child and the blue-faced woman began to stir. Wei WuXian turned around and looked at them. They backed off slowly, reluctant, and sunk into the darkness. Wei WuXian finally turned to Lan WangJi again and raised his brows, “If you will… what would happen if I don’t answer?”
Quickly, he ducked to the side, dodging Lan WangJi’s sudden attack. He walked three steps back, “Lan Zhan, we’ve just met each other again after so long and you’re already trying to catch me. That’s not nice, is it?”
Lan WangJi moved without saying anything. Wei WuXian blocked whatever attack he threw at him. Both of them were fast. The third time he moved Lan WangJi’s hand away, he spoke, “I thought that we could be considered familiar with each other. You starting a fight with me without saying anything does sound a bit heartless, doesn’t it?”
Lan WangJi, “Answer me!”
Jiang Cheng blocked himself between the two, “Second Young Master Lan!”
Wei WuXian, “Second Young Master Lan, what you’re asking about really can’t be explained in a short amount of time. And it’s kind of strange. If I were to ask you about the GusuLan Sect’s secret techniques, would you answer me?”
Lan WangJi walked past Jiang Cheng and came straight at him. Wei WuXian crossed his flute in front of hin, “That’s too much, isn’t it? Why so unfriendly? Lan Zhan, just what in the world do you want to do?”
Lan WangJi spoke one word at a time, “Go back to Gusu with me.”
Hearing this, both Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng were surprised.
Quickly afterward, Wei WuXian laughed, “Go back to Gusu with you? To the Cloud Recesses? Why go there?”
He immediately seemed to realize, “Oh. I forgot. Your uncle Lan QiRen hates crooked people like me. You’re his proudest disciple, so of course you’re the same as him, haha. I refuse.”
Jiang Cheng stared at Lan WangJi, cautious, “Second Young Master Lan, all of us understand the Lan Sect’s ways. However, Wei WuXian saved you in the cave of the Xuanwu in Dusk-Creek Mountain, much less your friendship of having fought together. Now, to mercilessly denounce him straight away would be too unreasonable, wouldn’t it?”
Wei WuXian, “Look at you. What a Sect Leader.”
Jiang Cheng, “You can shut up.”
Lan WangJi, “It is not that I want to denounce him.”
Jiang Cheng, “Then why do you want him to go back to Gusu with you? Second Young Master Lan, at such a point in time, the GusuLan Sect doesn’t work with the others to kill the Wen-dogs and is instead still hanging onto its inflexible ways?”
One against two, Lan WangJi still refused to back off. He gazed at Wei WuXian, “Wei Ying, for cultivating an evil path you would eventually have to pay. Throughout time, there has not been a single exception.”
Wei WuXian, “I can pay.”
Seeing how unconcerned he seemed to be, Lan WangJi lowered his voice, “The path would not only damage your body, but your heart as well.”
Wei WuXian, “Damage or not, how much damage, I know it the most. As for my heart, it’s my heart after all. I know what I’m doing.”
Lan WangJi, “Some things you cannot be able to control at all.”
Displeasure flashed across Wei WuXian’s face, “Of course I can control it.”
Lan WangJi walked a step closer. He seemed to be about to speak again when Wei WuXian closed his eyes, “After all, on the topic of how my heart is, what could other people know about it? Why should other people care about it?”
Lan WangJi paused. He had suddenly been angered, “… Wei WuXian!”
Wei WuXian had been angered as well, “Lan WangJi! Do you really have to make this difficult at such a point in time? You want me to go to the Cloud Recesses for the GusuLan Sect’s confinement punishment? Who do you think you are, what do you think the GusuLan Sect is?! You really think that I won’t resist?!”
Hostile energy formed between the two of them. Over Bichen’s hilt, Lan WangJi’s knuckles turned white. Jiang Cheng’s voice was cold, “Second Young Master Lan, right now, the chaos with the Wen Sect hasn’t been stopped yet. This is the time where we desperately need forces. People don’t even have the time to care for themselves, why would the GusuLan Sect be concerned about something so far away from it? Wei WuXian is on our side. Do you want to punish our own people?”
Wei WuXian regained his composure, “That’s right. It’s all good as long as the Wen-dogs are the ones killed. Why care about how I kill them?”
The two knew how to continue each other’s words ever since they were young. Now, one sentence after another, the argument flowed seamlessly, “Apologies for saying something so blunt, but even if we get to the bottom of this, Wei WuXian isn’t from your sect either. It’s not in the GusuLan Sect’s place to punish him. No matter whom he goes back with, it wouldn’t be you.”
Hearing this, Lan WangJi’s expression froze. He looked up at Wei WuXian, the lump at his throat trembling, “I…”
Before he could continue, a thin scream came from Wen Chao at the corner. Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng immediately turned around. At the same time, the two of them walked around Lan WangJi and toward Wen ZhuLiu and Wen Chao. Wen ZhuLiu hung from Zidian. He was still struggling in agony. Wen Chao was half-dead. As he slowly opened his eyelids, he saw at once the two faces looking down at him.
The faces had the same youth, the same familiarity. They had both showed him expressions of either despair, anguish, or deep-set hatred. However, right now, their faces above him had the same cold smile, the same cold eyes.
Wen Chao didn’t scream anymore. He didn’t try to run away either. Vapidly, he raised up his finger-less hands and began to drool. Wei WuXian kicked him into the position of kneeling in the direction of Yunmeng. The revealed bones and flesh rubbed against each other. Wen Chao cried sharply in pain. It sounded especially jarring in the empty courier station.
Jiang Cheng asked, “Why is his voice so sharp?”
Wei WuXian, “Of course it’d be with a certain thing gone.”
Jiang Cheng was disgusted, “You’re the one who did it?”
Wei WuXian, “It’s nasty if you think about it that way. Of course I wasn’t the one who cut it off. It was bitten off when his woman went mad.”
Lan WangJi was still standing behind them, watching them. Wei WuXian suddenly remembered his presence again. He turned around and smiled, “Second Young Master Lan, the following scene might not be suitable for your eyes. Perhaps it’d do you best to avoid it.”
Although ‘perhaps’ was used, his tone sounded not in the least refutable. Jiang Cheng also spoke with both respect and distance, “That’s right. Second Young Master Lan, Wen Chao and Wen ZhuLiu are already in our hands. The task has been completed, and it’s time for us to part. What goes after this would be a personal matter of our sect. It’s best if you return first.”
Lan WangJi’s gaze was still locked on Wei WuXian, while Wei WuXian’s attention had already been taken away by his dying enemy. The eyes he looked at Wen Chao and Wen ZhuLiu with glistened, and his grin was both excited and cruel. Jiang Cheng had on him the same expression. Both of them had been buried within the overwhelming pleasure of revenge. Neither had the concern to deal with an outsider.
A few moments later, Lan WangJi turned around and walked down the stairs.
After he went out of the courier station, he stood before the door for a long time, but he never left.
He didn’t know how long had passed when the silent night was ripped apart by a shrill wail.
Lan WangJi looked up behind him, his white robes and forehead ribbon fluttering in the cold wind.
The night had passed. The sun in the sky was about to rise.
And the sun on the ground was falling.