Chapter 76 – Devoid of Conscience
This chapter is by Lianyin of BC Novels.
Linlan was already quite close to the Chu clan’s Falling Maple Leaf Valley. After returning to the Falling Maple Leaf Valley, Chu Yu prepared to set off for Tian Yuan Sect to resolve that troublesome matter.
When Chu Sheng heard that Chu Yu was leaving again, he got up from the bed where he had been recuperating and insisted on going with them, refusing to stay no matter what.
Chu Yu considered it for a moment. Tian Yuan Sect had placed a bounty on his head, and since this meant that it also concerned the reputation of the Chu clan, there was no harm in bringing Chu Sheng along. He snuck a glance at Xie Xi, who was pursing his lips and did not seem too happy with the arrangement. Chu Yu gave a light cough to dismiss Xie Xi before they all set off.
The three of them rode their swords to Tian Yuan Sect. As they drew near, Xie Xi glanced at Chu Yu’s back and dawdled for a moment before he kept his sword and went over to hug Chu Yu’s waist from behind. He sniffed when he saw Chu Sheng glaring at him and said with an aggrieved expression, “Shixiong, I’m tired…”
Chu Yu, “… Oh.”
If he weren’t here, Chu Sheng would have already drawn his sword…
He had yet been able to think about how to make these two get along when the light from a sword suddenly flashed before them. Chu Yu was startled, thinking that a cultivator was launching an attack on them because of that nuisance of a bounty. He was about to cast a spell with his hand when he heard an indifferent but firm voice coming from before him.
Chu Yu gave a start. “Shizun?”
He had not expected to meet Lu Qingan on their way to their destination.
Chu Yu looked over at Lu Qingan, who was still as cold as ever. But as he met those icy eyes while they seemed to be permanently emotionless, he could still see a trace of worry in them. Chu Yu felt guilty and lowered his head to greet his shizun.
Lu Qingan nodded his head as if nothing had happened. He did not mention the incident on Yuan Chen Peak either. Instead, his eyes fell on Xie Xi. “Xi-er, did you kill him?”
Xie Xi nodded obediently, although there was a sense of nonchalance in his eyes. He said, “I’ve wanted to kill him for a very long time.”
Lu Qingan sighed. “Just as well.”
He said no more as he brought them to Tian Yuan Sect.
Chu Yu contemplated the matter for a moment. It was likely that Lu Qingan had been busy on the frontline in Jin He and, therefore, could not rush back immediately after having heard about the bounties placed on both Xie Xi and him. But yet, the first thing he did on his return to Jiao Xia was to head for the Chu clan. Gratitude and warmth washed over Chu Yu’s heart. He quietly tugged on Xie Xi’s sleeve and whispered, “How’s the situation on the frontline?”
Xie Xi leaned over to Chu Yu’s ear and lowered his eyes to look at that fair earlobe of his. His lips were nearly touching that ear, and his breath felt warm.. Chu Yu almost fell off his sword as he went weak in the knees. Xie Xi smiled at seeing him so overwhelmed. He glanced at Chu Sheng, who was now glaring at him furiously and felt even more pleased. He drawled, “The demonic cultivators are already goners.”
The demonic cultivators had been plotting all these years to awaken Demon Lord Yan Heng. In doing so, they had squandered away vast amounts of manpower, material resources, and financial reserves. Demon Lord Yan Heng had also devoured several formidable cultivators as they recklessly approached him on the day they roused him. Now, their strength was significantly reduced as their gamble did not bear fruit.
Not long after Chu Yu’s plunge into the abyss, the Great Battle between the Righteous and Demonic Cultivators had resumed. If it were not for two demigod cultivators who were able to hold down the fort at that time when the Righteous Path was divided and lacking in cohesion, they would have all been beaten back to Yun Cuo in a crushing defeat.
After hearing that, Chu Yu wanted to laugh. Thinking about it for a moment, he suddenly remembered Mei Yin Valley and asked, “What about Wei Ciyin?”
Xie Xi was not pleased and rested his head on Chu Yu’s shoulder as he muttered, “It doesn’t make me happy to hear shixiong mention the names of others. He’s still alive. Mei Yin Valley always goes into battles half-assed and half-dead. They obviously did not want to take part in the war. All that’s left for Wei Ciyin to do, in the end, is to bring his tea set to brew tea on the battlefield.”
… He really knows how to enjoy life.
Chu Yu silently looked up at Lu Qingan before him and remembered another person. “How about Third Shidi?”
There was a strange expression on Xie Xi’s face. “Third Shidi…”
Chu Yu’s heart skipped a beat.
“Elder Shen said that he had an aptitude for crafting talismans and he would be able to go far in the future. So he threw Third Shidi into the Jing Hua Secret Realm to train. Third Shidi has not emerged for a year already… I don’t know if he is still alive.”
Chu Yu, “…”
All Shen Nian knew was how to create trouble, trouble, trouble.
However, it was also a blessing for Third Shidi to have such a talent like Shen Nian to guide him.
Third Shidi should be fine since Lu Qingan had not voiced any objections about it. His talismans had actually helped Chu Yu a lot during his time in the abyss. He would have to thank Third Shidi properly once he reappeared.
While his mind wandered they managed to arrive at the Tian Yuan Sect.
As if he had gotten wind of their arrival, Song Yuanzhuo was already waiting with his sword before the mountain entrance to Tian Yuan Sect. Even his reclusive wife was standing beside him. Packed around the gate were the remaining Tian Yuan Sect disciples and the other cultivators who had all rushed here to watch the show.
Chu Yu swept a glance across the once impressive Tian Yuan Sect and sighed.
Half of the nine hundred and ninety-nine mountain steps had broken off and caved in, and the hollow space below them was likely connected to the abyss. Further away, the Tian Yuan mountain range had more or less collapsed; who knew how many innocent souls had been buried underneath? It was chaos everywhere; even Yuan Chen Peak was missing.
Lu Qingan and the sect master’s wife had trained under the same master. On account of their past relationship, his indifferent gaze passed over Song Yuanzhuo and paused on her before giving her a slight nod of acknowledgment. “Shimei.”
However, she did not appreciate the gesture and sneered. Her eyes were red as she stared at Chu Yu and gnashed her teeth. “What a good disciple Lu shixiong has produced! My… Jingyi died a miserable death! Jingyi treated you like his brothers and was open and aboveboard in all his dealings with you, but you repaid his kindness with enmity… Chu Yu, Xie Xi, Jingyi did not die in peace. Do you not hear of karma?! Lu shixiong, are treachery, desertion of one’s clan, and the torture of one’s comrades the lessons you have taught your disciples?!”
The surrounding crowd looked at the sect master’s wife whose face was contorted in fury and agony. They sighed, then cast an odd look over at Chu Yu and the others.
All of Song Jingyi’s dirty deeds had been carefully covered up by Song Yuanzhuo. Since his actions had not been exposed, the world only saw Song Jingyi as a polite and easy-going gentleman, so it stunned them to hear that Xie Xi and Chu Yu had tortured a fellow disciple to death. But then, they recalled that Chu Yu did indeed have some bad blood with Song Jingyi, and Xie Xi was a maniac when it came to protecting his shixiong…
Rumors had spread since then, with one side blaming the Chu clan and Lu Qingan. Even the old rumors of Chu Sheng committing patricide had been dug out. The conclusion was: everyone from the Chu clan was devoid of conscience.
Most of the onlookers were thinking about how Lu Qingan had always been righteous and honorable and usually kept his words. Since he had brought the offenders with him this time, perhaps it was to beg for pardon and to make amends.
However, several Tian Yuan Sect disciples could not contain their anger and stood up for Chu Yu. “Back then in the Qingtu Secret Realm, Song Jingyi intended to wipe all of us out with Heavenly Thunder. It was Chu shixiong and Xie shixiong who saved us! Song Jingyi was a psychopath. Xie shixiong has done a good job killing him!”
“At that time, outside Fangye City, Song Jingyi deliberately stalled for time instead of calling the elders for reinforcement. He almost caused the deaths of Chu shixiong and Xie shixiong. What goes around comes around. This time it must have been Song Jingyi who started it first and ended up being killed by mistake.”
“I also heard that it was Song shixiong who first pushed Xie shixiong into the illusionary realm at the Mausoleum Ruins. He was so full of malice, why didn’t the sect master’s wife say anything about that?”
There were fragments of other voices, all of them from Tian Yuan Sect’s surviving disciples. Some were refuting, and yet some were also speaking up for Chu Yu and Xie Xi.
Chu Yu was astonished as he did not expect anyone to stand up for them. He looked intently at them and saw several familiar faces.
There were several disciples who had trained with them back then on Yuan Chen Peak, with fourth shidi leading them. Then there was also Lin shidi and a bunch of female disciples…
Chu Yu who had initially been fuming because of the sect master’s wife’s words now was able to calm down. He patted Chu Sheng’s shoulder and whispered a few words to soothe him, then held Xie Xi back and winked at him.
Since Lu Qingan had brought them here without saying a word, he must have a trump card that could shut Song Yuanzhuo and his wife up and turned the tide in their favor… Perhaps, it had to do with Song Jingyi’s background.
All he needed to do was to listen quietly. It just so happened that he had been curious about Song Jingyi’s origins for a very long time.
When the Tian Yuan Sect disciples had gradually quietened down, Lu Qingan spoke up. “The disciples under me had acted out of righteousness. They have no need to fear Heaven’s punishment. Shimei and sect master shixiong are the ones who need to weigh the extent of their sins.”
He had only just spoken when the wife of the sect leader frowned as if she had thought of something. Her expression grew more frosty and cutting. “My husband and I have done nothing against our conscience. Sins? Bah.”
Song Yuanzhuo then said coldly, “Lu shidi, what nonsense are you babbling about? Didn’t you bring these two vile spawns with you today to punish them and avenge Jingyi?!”
On seeing that they would not own up, Lu Qingan frowned and his tone grew more grave and distant. “Yu-er and Xi-er were merely collecting the debts owed on behalf of the entire massacred Luoshan Jun clan.”
On hearing the words “Luoshan Jun Clan”, a slight change came over Song Yuanzhuo and his wife’s expressions, but they still took their chance to speak in their own defence. “What Luoshan Jun Clan? We haven’t heard of them. Lu Qingan, don’t slander us!”
Lu Qingan shook his head. The last shred of compassion in his heart had all but extinguished. Not bothering to try to spare their feelings anymore, he began to recount the story in a flat tone.
Following the story told in Lu Qingan’s insipid voice, the onlookers’ eyes widened until they were almost staring dumbfounded at Song Yuanzhuo and his wife. By the end, they all wore furious expressions as they shook their heads, sighing and censuring, “Hypocrite! He even said that the Chu clan was devoid of conscience. Who’s the one devoid of conscience now? All three of them deserves to die, not just Song Jingyi!”
Chu Yu was also dumbstruck by Song Jingyi’s background.
No wonder Song Yuanzhuo and his wife had been braying for revenge as if their son was the one who died… He had truly never expected Song Jingyi to be their biological son.
It was no longer strange that the aloof wife of the sect master would welcome Song Jingyi with open arms, treating and doting on him as if he was her own son… it turned out that they were indeed mother and son.
Chu Yu sucked in a breath and quickly sorted out the entire sequence of events in his mind.
He had previously heard that Song Yuanzhuo and his wife had once had a son. Unfortunately, that child had died young. And because of some ailment, they never had managed to have another child. Some cultivators did not place that much importance on begetting male offspring, while others regarded it as their lifeblood. This couple belonged to the latter group.
Their son was dead, yet they could not bear another one. What should they do?
Song Yuanzhuo had probably read some unorthodox books and had thought of possession after a discussion with his wife. However, the child was still young and had yet to cultivate, so his psyche had been weak. It was with some difficulties they were able to preserve his soul. To possess another body, they need to find someone whose eight characters1 and soul were a match for their child.
Song Yuanzhuo took his son’s psyche and wandered around for some time until he finally found a suitable child in a small place barren of spiritual energy.
It was a pity that the small cultivation household the boy belonged to had heeded the teachings of their ancestors to live in reclusion in that tiny place. Naturally, they did not make it easy for Song Yuanzhuo when he suddenly appeared to inform them he wanted to accept their one and only precious son and heir as his disciple. After being rejected repeatedly, Song Yuanzhuo finally blew his top and prepared to abduct the child.
But if he just snatched the child away, his reputation and that of the Tian Yuan Sect would be destroyed if that small clan spread any words of it. Therefore, he hust had to nip the problem in the bud.
One night, Song Yuanzhuo abducted the child, slaughtered all the cultivators of that small clan, and set everything on fire. A clan of more than a hundred people lost their lives all because they turned down Song Yuanzhuo.
The common folks nearby did not dare to step forward to investigate when they heard that the Jun clan had all been wiped out by a fire. As time passed, they gradually forgot about the incident. And because the Jun clan was relatively unknown, no one ever noticed when that small clan quietly disappeared from the cultivation world.
Song Yuanzhuo had been ruthless back then. If Lu Qingan had not felt that something was amiss and probed further, he would not have found the jade pendant that Song Yuanzhuo had accidentally left behind among the ruins of the Jun clan, and this matter would have never come to light.
The facts were laid out on the table; good or evil, black or white, it was clear for all to see. The cultivators who had come to watch the show and gossip did not dare to make a sound. The Tian Yuan disciples who had refuted Fourth Shidi and his supporters earlier also fell silent. Everyone stared at Song Yuanzhuo and his wife, who were ashen-faced in the face of the looming calamity. A thought involuntarily flashed through their minds:
Tian Yuan Sect was truly finished.
On their way back, Chu Yu was still lost in his reverie. Glancing at Lu Qingan repeatedly, he finally had an epiphany.
No wonder Lu Qingan hardly made any appearances in the original novel.
For fear of stealing the protagonist’s limelight.
Before the mountain entrance of Tian Yuan Sect earlier, Lu Qingan had disabled the spiritual pulses of Song Yuanzhuo and his wife. Then, with a slash of his sword, he cut off a portion of his sleeve to break off all ties with Tian Yuan Sect. He was just too cool when he left the sect!
Even Shen Nian could not help crawling out to tempt fate, paying no heed to the cold, gleaming blade of the sword.
Aware of all those glances Chu Yu kept casting at Lu Qingan, Xie Xi’s face gradually grew darker until he could not help but cover Chu Yu’s eyes. He whispered, “What does shixiong think of shizun? Is he good or not?”
Chu Yu did not hesitate. “Good!”
The next moment, he felt a cool palm sliding in through his lapels.
Xie Xi seemed to be smiling happily, but he spoke through clenched teeth, “Oh? Is that so? Then shixiong, how about shidi? Am I good or not?”
Chu Yu was immediately cowed into submission and replied with a straight face, “You are the best.”
The groping hand finally showed him some mercy and withdrew, but it gave Chu Yu a pinch as it brushed against his waist. Chu Yu drew back his lips in a frown as his waist went numb, wanting very much to elbow Xie Xi and send him flying.
Xie Xi’s tone was sour. “Shixiong promised shidi not to stare at others all the time…”
Chu Yu smiled. “No, so I just take a look from time to time.” After a pause, he said, “Shidi, I feel like I’m going to hit a tree soon if you still don’t remove your hand from my eyes.”
Only then did Xie Xi release his hand.
Chu Sheng’s face was already completely black. “Alright, the matter is settled… Little brother, you will follow me back to Falling Maple Leaf Valley. Since Elder Lu has left Tian Yuan Sect… Xie Xi, why don’t you roam the world with Elder Lu?” It’d be best if you never appear before Chu Yu again.
Chu Sheng’s heart stung.
The tender cabbage he had nurtured for such a long time had been uprooted by an outsider. He had kept trying to force himself to accept it, but… he just couldn’t.
Lu Qingan was momentarily speechless on hearing his name brought up for no reason. Then, he said lightly, “The Great Righteous and Demonic War is not yet over.”
Chu Sheng was struggling not to bite his fingers. He lowered his head and looked at his recently replaced right hand. This hand had a delicate and graceful palm, and neat, slender fingers. It did not have any calluses that would be formed from years of wielding a sword. Somehow, he found it… somewhat familiar.
… It must have been his imagination.
Chu Sheng’s heart was pounding. He quickly shut his thoughts down and suppressed the rage that had been bubbling up within him earlier. He thought about the Great Righteous and Demonic War and pondered over it. He said, “In that case, then little brother will remain at Falling Maple Leaf Valley while I set off for Jin He with Elder Lu and Xie Xi.”
Chu Yu did not know whether to laugh or cry. “Big brother, you can’t make decisions for me. I want to go to Jin He with all of you as well.”
Although Chu Sheng was unwilling, it was finally decided that the four of them would change direction and head for Jin He together.
If you would like to support BC Novels, you can use these links
- This chapter is by Lianyin of BC Novels.
- Whoa, that’s why the sect master and his wife always doted on Song Jingyi!
- *sighs longingly* I wish we could see how heroic and awesome Lu Qingan looked when he dealt with the evildoers and cut his ties with the sect.
- Please let me know if there are any errors.
- Thanks for reading.