Translated by Rikko of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The moon-less night veiled the sky in ink-black darkness. The only audible sounds outside the window were the whooshing wind and flurries of snow. Although Zhong Yan was joking around with the system just moments ago, the thought of his imminent death tomorrow robbed any bit of sleepiness from him.
Unexpectedly, most of his uneasiness didn’t come about from his looming death. Instead, it arose from the worry in him of what Gu XuanYan would do after knowing he died. After all, Gu XuanYan stepping back onto the path of evil was much more terrifying than dying…
As he tossed and turned in bed for a while, an idea popped up in his mind. [How about I leave him a letter?]
The system chimed in. [To leave your last wishes?]
[Just shut up.]
On the table was a candlestick with a dim flame flickering on it. The wind whizzed past outside, sweeping up the falling snow. After laying the paper down, Zhong Yan chewed on the end of his writing brush in hesitation, clueless as to what he should pen down.
A while of pondering later, he ended up just writing a few words.
‘The course of life is determined by fate. There’s no need for concern.’ He ruminated a bit before adding. ‘Don’t you kill anyone in the future too.’
Just when he finished writing, the window flew open by a gust of wind. A flurry of snow poured into the room, blowing out the flame in an instant. Finding things were amiss, Zhong Yan turned over and drew his sword, but was restrained from behind.
“Senior Brother, it’s me.” Gu XuanYan pressed onto Zhong Yan’s hand, his voice low, “I’m back.”
He made an incantation gesture to lit up the candle again, returning luminance to the room.
One look at the man in front of him lifted the weight in Zhong Yan’s heart. Gu XuanYan must have concealed his aura since his arrival had gone utterly unnoticed by Zhong Yan, “Are you trying to scare the wits out of me in the middle of the night?”
Gu XuanYan sounded as though his reply was a matter of course, “Seeing that Senior Brother still has the lights up, I came in.” He lowered his head, picking up the letter on the table. “What’s this?”
Shock coursed through Zhong Yan as he tried to snatch it away.
Nonetheless, Gu XuanYan had already read every word on the paper. With his expression darkened, he asked, “Senior Brother, what are you planning on doing?”
Not knowing what to reply, Zhong Yan opted to zip his mouth shut.
After a long while, Gu XuanYan let out a low chuckle, “There’s no need for concern? Senior brother sure is easy going.”
Zhong Yan mumbled, “Unless ascended, everyone will die someday. There’s no difference in dying early or later.”
Gu XuanYan sighed, “Senior Brother, I’ve always told myself to be patient so as to not frighten you, but you just keep riling me up.”
Although his tone was as gentle as can be, Zhong Yan sensed its ominous undertone. He took a step back subconsciously, but Gu XuanYan yanked him over the very next second, flipping Zhong Yan’s field of vision. In a flash, Zhong Yan was pressed onto the bed.
Zhong Yan attempted to struggle but was rendered immobile by the person on top of him. A mixture of shock and fury swirled within him as he hollered, “What are you do -”
Before he could finish his sentence, Gu XuanYan seemingly made an incantation gesture to cast a barrier outside the room and unleashed his aura.
In a split second, dense waves of demonic aura raged over, enveloping the entire room.
Zhong Yan swallowed down his previous holler as he tossed over an urgent question, “The demonic aura on you…” is so, so dense!
To Zhong Yan’s surprise, he found the demonic aura within Gu XuanYan’s body to be much stronger than that of Cang Luan’s, faintly resembling an all-powerful force that could pulverise evil.
Gu XuanYan’s voice was soft, “The centuries-old spiritual energy residing in the Buddhist hall’s relics is indeed beneficial for cultivation.” He let out a low laugh, “Senior Brother, let’s take a blood oath.”
With his head lowered, he sealed Zhong Yan’s lips with his own.
Unlike Gu XuanYan’s tone, the kiss was empty of warmth, ravaging Zhong Yan’s lips mercilessly. The only sound Zhong Yan could produce was a tiny whimper, which was devoured by Gu XuanYan in an instant.
Sometime later, a bloody metallic scent seeped into Zhong Yan’s mouth.
Unable to evade, Zhong Yan had no choice but to swallow the mouthful of blood down.
Seemingly satisfied, Gu XuanYan inched away before burying his head into Zhong Yan’s neck, planting kisses onto Zhong Yan’s earlobe and neck. Finally, he stood up. “Now that Senior Brother is bound in a blood oath with me, Senior Brother’s course of life isn’t determined by fate but by me now.” He lowered his voice again, “Senior brother, don’t ever leave me alone.”
Gu XuanYan’s surprisingly pitiful tone dissipated most of Zhong Yan’s anger.
Zhong Yan lifted his line of sight to scrutinise the guy in front of him. Although Gu XuanYan still looked as striking as a perfectly chiselled sculpture, his eyes were peppered with streaks of blood. Since the Northern Wilderness was quite a distance away from the Buddhist hall, rushing back must have worn Gu XuanYan out.
Zhong Yan stared at Gu XuanYan in silence.
Having no idea what was on Zhong Yan’s mind, Gu XuanYan called out, “Senior Brother?”
Only after a long while did Zhong Yan sigh, “Got it. I won’t.”
Gu XuanYan raised his eyes before kissing Zhong Yan again.
Instead of dodging away, Zhong Yan closed his eyes, letting out a sigh in his heart.
What in the world… Not only did I fail to swing him back to the right path, but also made myself swing the other way.
As their lips locked, Gu XuanYan’s hand reached into Zhong Yan’s robes, prompting Zhong Yan to press his hand down on him. With a chuckle, Gu XuanYan intertwined his fingers with Zhong Yan’s.
His hand ventured inside Zhong Yan’s clothes, inching along as he caressed his back. His fingers crept down, landing onto his waist.
Zhong Yan couldn’t help but push Gu XuanYan away, panting lightly. “Hold on.”
Still, Gu XuanYan didn’t stop, his voice softening, “Won’t Senior Brother let me touch a bit?”
Zhong Yan was rendered speechless.
Acting coy right now?! Fuck off!
Zhong Yan rolled his eyes as he tried shoving him off, but Gu XuanYan glued himself on him, refusing to get up. Quite a while later, Zhong Yan broke their stalemate by chastising, “I’ll just go back on my word if you keep this up!”
Coinciding Zhong Yan’s low holler was a knock on the door. Cang Luan’s voice rang out behind the door, sounding awfully deep in the still of the night, “I heard Cultivator Qin wanted to see me?”
Only then did Gu XuanYan stand up, discontent glazing over him, “Senior Brother, why did you want to see him at such a late hour?”
Zhong Yan was muted at once. What’s with that I-caught-you-in-the-act tone?
Due to the barrier cast at the room, Cang Luan couldn’t hear anything inside the room, so he continued, “It may be impertinent of me to disturb Cultivator Qin at such a late hour, but I have sensed our blood oath being broken just now.” After a pause, he added, “Please open up and let me have a look.”
Nonetheless, the room remained deadly silent.
With his patience running out, Cang Luan, who merely knocked out of formality, struck his palm towards the door! At that instant, a long sword darted out of the door. Accompanied by its crisp, clear sword hum, it whizzed straight towards Cang Luan!
Caught off guard, Cang Luan took a few steps back before striking his palm at the sword, eyeing inside the room with his raised line of sight. Right at the door stood Gu XuanYan, who stared right at Cang Luan with his sword in hand.
A momentary second later, Cang Luan revealed a hint of a smile, “Northern Wilderness is thousands of miles away from the Buddhist hall. What a surprise it is for Cultivator Gu to return at such a fast pace.”
“It’s natural for the return trip to be short since I rode the wind.” Upon registering Gu XuanYan’s reply, both Zhong Yan and Cang Luan had their expressions morphed.
Cultivators rode swords while only the ascended celestials rode the wind. Of course, Gu XuanYan had not truly elevated to that of an ascended celestial.
However, maybe due to the added boost he gained from the eminent monks’ relics, coupled with the fusion of his initial Daoist vitality energy and his demonic energy, his cultivation base skyrocketed, nearing the level of an ascended celestial.
How lucky can he get…?
Perhaps such thought had crossed Cang Luan’s mind too, as his expression darkened by the second. “Never have I imagined Gu XuanYan to be treacherous.”
“Such acts naturally can’t be considered treacherous when dealing with you.” Gu XuanYan’s voice was as cool as a cucumber, “Do you think I’ll still let Senior Brother drink your blood again when it already had been forced upon him once?”
With a leap, Gu XuanYan lunged his sword straight at Cang Luan!
Blazing in rage, Cang Luan hurled a palm strike at Gu XuanYan instead of dodging away. A violent collision of the two’s auras exploded in the air, causing the floor to quake. Even the array of precious gems; jades; and engravings adorned on the porch plummeted down, shattering into smithereens.
Once again, Gu XuanYan launched his sword, its aura even more so imposing than his first strike. In the twinkling of an eye, he had closed the gap he had between Cang Luan. Despite evading away, Cang Luan still suffered an injury from the sword aura; blood spluttered out from his mouth instantly.
Gu XuanYan turned around to deliver yet another attack.
In a predicament, Cang Luan whizzed right into the room all of a sudden!
[System!] Prepared ahead of time, Zhong Yan yelled out in his heart before swinging his sword at his fetter! The moment the shackle clinked open, Zhong Yan darted away from Cang Luan.
Already gotten behind Cang Luan by then, Gu XuanYan rammed his sword right into Cang Luan’s heart meridian. Due to the swiftness of the attack, the outcome of Cang Luan was crystal clear at that very moment.
As Cang Luan collapsed onto the floor at a snail’s pace, his demonic aura dispersed all over. His jet-black hair was stripped away of any colours instantly while his facial features deteriorated to that of an elderly man. Given that Cang Luan relied solely on the freezing cold to extend his lifespan, no way could he defeat the present Gu XuanYan.
Void of any fear or begrudge in his expression, he raised his head towards Gu XuanYan, his tone utterly aged, “It’s just as well. When I get to the underworld, I’ll personally apologise to your parents.”
Perhaps due to the sudden mention of his parents, Gu XuanYan had a slight change in expression. Although no trace of it could be found the very next instant, he remained silent for a moment.
Zhong Yan behind him took an abrupt step ahead, holding onto Gu XuanYan’s hand.
“There’s no need.” Zhong Yan scoffed. “His parents were well known for leading a life of generous chivalry. Even if they had their lives destroyed at your hands and couldn’t ascend, they are still able to reincarnate and continue on with their merits. Do you even think you deserve to meet them?”
“I see.” After letting out a series of violent coughs, Cang Luan sighed before lowering his head in silence. In a split second, his body and robes disappeared into the wind, leaving only his skeleton behind.
Cang Luan’s demonic aura had always sustained the Northern Wilderness. Due to Cang Luan’s demise, every single demonic cultivator detected a change in the aura. In an instant, an earth-shattering number of demonic cultivators gathered over, tightly jammed as they surrounded the courtyard.
Gu XuanYan swept his eyes over to them, his voice calm and collected, “I’ve killed Cang Luan. Come at me if you want to avenge him.”
He did not even suppress a wisp of his demonic aura, allowing its outburst of pressure to blanket the entire courtyard. Gu XuanYan’s black robe fluttered in the wind, dark gloom dimming his eyes.
The group of demonic cultivators exchanged glances with one another, having no courage to come forward. Finally, one of them took a look at Gu XuanYan, squeaking timidly, “My Lord.”
Upon hearing that, all demonic cultivators bowed down in succession, addressing Gu XuanYan, “My Lord.”
Zhong Yan let out a deep sigh. Unlike the four other schools of cultivation, the demonic cult had always been ruled by the strongest.
Now that Gu XuanYan’s terrifying powers grew into a force to be reckoned with, the entire demonic cult revering of Gu XuanYan as their new Demonic Lord was well within Zhong Yan’s expectations. Of course, as Zhong Yan accurately predicted, none of them stepped up to avenge for Cang Luan.
Despite being obliterated into ruins, after a series of twists and turns, the plotline somehow managed to reunite with the story. Although in front of Gu XuanYan was a crowd kowtowing to him, unexpectedly, his first reaction was to peer at Zhong Yan. Detecting gloom on Zhong Yan’s face, Gu XuanYan coaxed gently, “Senior Brother, don’t be mad. I didn’t mean to do that.”
Nowhere was there any fury left in Zhong Yan; He waved his hand in resignation, “Got it. Just get them to leave.”
Once Gu XuanYan dismissed the crowd with a wave of his hand, he began following Zhong Yan’s footsteps when he noticed him entering the room. As he caught up to him, he gave a tender apology, “Senior Brother, I’m sorry. Don’t be mad.”
“I’m not.” Zhong Yan cast a glance at him, softening his tone, “But don’t ever keep things from me in the future. After all, we are…” A brief pause later, Zhong Yan switched up his sentence, “Anyway, just let me know everything from now on.”
With mirth dyed in his eyes, Gu XuanYan made an abrupt suggestion, “Senior Brother, let’s have intercourse.”
Due to the swift change of topic, Zhong Yan thought he had heard Gu XuanYan wrong, brimming with disbelief as he asked, “What?”
To his surprise, Gu XuanYan’s voice was utterly serious. “Let’s dual cultivate.”
Zhong Yan was muted instantly.