Chapter 44: Manual Rebirth
At the border.
The night breeze was swift as it whistled through the tiny town between its scattered houses.
Along the entire street, only one small teahouse leaked warm light, giving it a bit of life.
The so-called ‘border’ wasn’t the boundary between two countries or two cities, but rather the demon world and human world.
The two races were separated into different worlds. Originally, there was still a space-rending Endless Abyss that served as a partition in the middle, but there were always a few weak spots in the formation that kept the two worlds apart, causing time and space to be in disorder. One could often find residents of both worlds passing through those spots to run away, and things like maliciously sneaking across the border was a common occurrence as well.
No normal person would want to live in a place where the demon race came and went like shadows, stealing things one day before committing murder and arson the next. Therefore, the population at the border became more and more scarce. Even though it used to be a flourishing metropolis, many people moved away once the space between the different worlds started to blur together. Only the disciples of the sects that came to mend the boundary stayed behind to guard the border.
Lu Liu poured a bowl of hot wine for the newcomer, exchanging greetings with him and a few other people as they surrounded the stove. “Brother, where did you come from?”
“From the south.”
“Oh, from there?” The people glanced at each other before making understanding expressions. “It isn’t easy to cross that area right now, is it?”
The newcomer held up his bowl of wine and frowned. “Who said it is? There’s a fight almost every day. Nobody can handle this kind of suffering.”
Someone chipped in from the corner, “Cang Qiong Mountain and Huan Hua Palace can both be considered one of the four big sects, so why have they stirred up so much trouble these past few years? Disciples from either side can’t go a day without fighting if they see each other. Why don’t the two Sect Masters do something about it?”
Lu Liu said, “How many years have you stayed in this cursed, god-forsaken place? You’ve been gone for too long. These disciples only fight so furiously because those two Sect Masters tacitly agreed to it!”
“Why’s that? Brother Liu, you should explain it a bit.”
Lu Liu cleared his throat and said, “This is complicated to explain. Do you guys know who the current head of the Huan Hua Palace is?”
“I heard that it’s a young brat.”
Lu Liu laughed coldly. “If Luo Binghe can be called a young brat, then both you and I don’t need to live anymore. It’s no simple task if we’re going to talk about this Luo Binghe. He came from Cang Qiong Mountain sect and was Qing Jing Peak’s Shen Qingqiu’s head disciple. Back then, during the Immortal Alliance Conference, he topped the rankings by a large margin. That was truly impressive.”
Someone else said, unconvinced, “If he came from Cang Qiong Mountain sect, then how can he be the head of Huan Hua Palace?”
“After the Immortal Alliance Conference, Luo Binghe went missing for three years, and nobody knew where he went or what he did during those three years. At that time, Shen Qingqiu said that he had passed away, so everyone believed that he was already dead. Who would’ve thought that, three years later, he would make a comeback as a key figure in Huan Hua Palace? He forced Shen Qingqiu to self-destruct then and there at Huayue City.”
The newcomer said, “I never could understand that. Was this Shen Qingqiu wronged, or did he deserve to die?”
Lu Liu said, “Who can say. The Cang Qiong Mountain sect has definitely been united in their treatment towards outsiders: they beat up whoever mentions it. Their sect has been like that all along; they recognize family, not logic. They don’t even allow other people to gossip about something resolute and final like An Ding Peak’s Shang Qinghua defecting to the demon world. Not long after what happened at Huayue City, Huan Hua Palace’s peak position changed hands. The Old Palace Master retired, and now you can’t even find his shadow anymore. Luo Binghe became the dominant authority, and if anyone brought it up, he’d kill them.”
Someone muttered, “Just because of a dead person.”
Lu Liu said, “The disturbance that this dead person created wasn’t small. Shen Qingqiu was someone from Cang Qiong Mountain sect, and he also used to be the Second Peak’s Peak Lord. His body definitely should have been sent back to Qing Jing Peak to be buried with the previous Peak Lords—but the problem is, Luo Binghe refused to return the body.”
Everyone thought of Luo Binghe doing something like whipping the corpse and putting it on display, and the hairs on their bodies stood on end. “If he refuses to return it, wouldn’t Cang Qiong Mountain sect forcefully steal it back? Bai Zhan Peak’s Peak Lord is still here.”
Lu Liu shrugged. “He can’t defeat him.”
“What?!” Everyone’s worldviews were destroyed. In the common people’s minds, Bai Zhan Peak’s Lord had always been like an undefeatable battle god. “He can’t defeat him” was something that was … truly unacceptable.
Lu Liu said, “You guys don’t know? After Huayue City, Bai Zhan Peak’s Liu Qingge fought countless times with Luo Binghe, but he never won once! That’s not the end of it either. When Luo Binghe brought Shen Qingqiu’s body back to Huan Hua Palace, only a few days passed before he personally abducted Qian Cao Peak’s Mu Qingfang.”
Someone said, “Qian Cao Peak has always disregarded worldly affairs, healing the wounded and rescuing the dying. How did he provoke this tyrant?”
Lu Liu said, “Luo Binghe dragged him to Huan Hua Palace and told him to revive Shen Qingqiu.” He sighed as he said, “His corpse had already stiffened. What was there to revive?”
The newcomer said, “When I saw the two sides fighting, Cang Qiong Mountain sect always liked to call Huan Hua Palace ‘the demon race’s lackey.’ Why do they say that?”
Lu Liu said, “That’s because the entire Cang Qiong Mountain sect, for some reason, continues to insist that Luo Binghe is associated with the demon race. Even though countless Zhao Hua Temple elders personally inspected him and found that the spiritual energy in Luo Binghe’s body works normally, Cang Qiong Mountain sect still persistently calls him that… they continue to seek revenge on each other, and the hatred between the two sects just keeps growing and growing. In my opinion, there’ll be a day when everything boils over and nobody will need to live anymore.” When he got to the end, he didn’t forget to console them a bit. “It can also be considered a good thing that we were sent to guard the border, leisurely and idly.”
The person in the corner said, confused, “I still don’t understand what happened between this pair of master and disciple and the two sects.”
“One explanation is a hatred as deep as the sea. But there’s still another explanation that I, Old Lu, find more believable. Let me tell you guys…” Lu Liu was about to happily continue speaking when, suddenly, the sound of knocking came from the door.
Everyone in the room was instantly on alert, and their previous exhaustion and sluggishness was swept away at once as they each readied their own weapons.
The population at the border was scarce, and it was extremely bleak and desolate. They were the only team that was permanently stationed in the town to guard the border, and those on patrol outside wouldn’t return so fast. The few remaining residents even more so wouldn’t come out seeking death in the middle of the night to stroll around.
Nobody answered from inside the room. After a long pause, there were two more raps on the door.
Lu Liu said severely, “Who is it!”
Suddenly, a cold wind blew across, extinguishing the oil lamp and the candles on the table. The room was instantly plunged into pitch darkness, leaving only the dim red light of the coals in the stove to burn faintly.
The shadow of a man carrying a sword on his back reflected against the paper window of the door. The person said in a loud and clear voice, “Brother Liu, it’s me. It was too cold today, so I came back first. Let me in quickly so I can drink a cup of wine to warm myself up.”
All the other people let out the breaths they were holding and berated him. “Do you want to die, Old Qin? Just knocking on the door without saying anything—if we didn’t know better we would’ve thought that you were eaten by a ghost!”
The person outside the door chuckled. Lu Liu felt that something wasn’t quite right but couldn’t pinpoint just what it was, so he said, “Come on in!” and opened the door.
A gust of cold wind blew directly in from outside. It was completely empty.
Lu Liu slammed the door shut. “Light the lamp! Light the lamp, light the lamp!”
The newcomer turned and struck up a flame with his slightly shaking fingers, and the trembling light of the fire cast their shadows. He hadn’t lit the candle yet before he turned around again. He stuttered, “Brother Liu, I… I want to ask you something.”
Lu Liu said impatiently, “What are you wasting time for?”
The newcomer said, “There were only six people in this room before, right?
“But when I look around now, why … does it seem like there are seven?”
Suddenly, there was an explosion of noise. It was unclear who moved first, but the sound of screaming and weapons clashing against each other mixed together, high and low. Lu Liu shouted, “Light! Light!” Everyone hastily created flames, but their movements were too chaotic, and the flames swayed wildly as their shadows shook violently, swaying to the point that it made their eyes dizzy. The more light there was, the less they were able to discern who was who. Everyone was afraid of hurting someone on their side, so they didn’t dare to act ruthlessly, allowing the thing that had wormed its way in to reap the benefits from their confusion. There was a claw here, a knife there, and Lu Liu was currently resenting everything when something suddenly gripped his neck.
His eyes rolled upwards as his feet slowly left the ground, unable to see what was choking him. Just when he thought that his life would end right then and there, the door abruptly burst open and a fierce wind rolled in. A human figure rushed inside.
Without seeing him make any particular movements, Lu Liu heard a strange shriek next to his ear, which seemed to come from the thing that was choking him. Afterward, its grip around his throat loosened.
The six people inside the room were still badly shaken, and there were some that were already lying on the ground. The person snapped, and all the oil lamps inside the room lit up at the same time.
He bent down to inspect the ones on the floor for a moment before standing up and saying, “Unharmed. They just fainted.”
This person was covered in black mud, and he looked exactly as if he had just crawled out of a grave. Furthermore, his face was covered with a beard, densely concealing his features. His figure was clearly thin, but his face made it seem as if he was a big burly man with sideburns. Lu Liu finally managed to stop coughing, and he looked him up and down for a moment before he cupped his hands and said, “Many – many thanks to Your Excellency for chasing away that demon just now!”
The person placed a hand on his shoulder. “I have something I wish to ask.”
Lu Liu, “Please do.”
The other said, “What year is it now?”
When Shen Qingqiu rolled and crawled down from the mountain, covered completely in mud, he really wanted to destroy Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky ten thousand times over. Destroying his soul, or destroying his backdoor, either was fine.
Back then, the life-saving method that he had considered the most was actually faking his death.
But what was the point of faking his death? He could find a puppet or someone who looked like him to die in his stead so he could slip away and escape, but the dramas had already overused that trope!
So, the method he used was to actually die.
That day, he had honestly, genuinely self-destructed, and he had done a good deed on his way out, drawing out a large portion of the out-of-control berserk energy from Luo Binghe’s body. To say that his spiritual veins had been ground into dust wouldn’t even be an overstatement.
When faced with death, he could only fight to survive.
The Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed’s nickname “Flesh Seed” represented its literal meaning. Even though this seed wasn’t much use for cultivating, it was still grown from the synthesis of the spiritual energy from the world and the essence of the sun and moon. If its seedling was planted and cultivated in a place abundant with spiritual energy, meticulously molded and vigorously watered, it would be able to grow a living human body by the time it matured. Though the human body could be grown, there was no way to create a soul using this method. In other words, what was grown was a soulless, empty shell, and it couldn’t be any more suited to be a vessel.
It was no longer just a dream to “plant a small Shen in the spring and reap a big Shen in the fall”!
But it wasn’t as if the Dew Flower Seed was a big white cabbage that could be raised if you just sprinkled some fertilizer on it. Shen Qingqiu had ruined several Flesh Seed sprouts before he finally grew one that wasn’t crooked.
He and Shang Qinghua had calculated various coordinates well in advance and implemented remote operations. They set up a transportation array underneath Huayue City’s tallest building, and when the sunlight was at its strongest, Shang Qinghua set up a propelling array at Cang Qiong Mountain. Once Shen Qingqiu’s soul left its body, he would be transported to the matured Dew Seed that they had long since buried deep in the mountains at the border.
Three locations, three arrays. When they were connected, they would form the most stable equilateral triangle shape. It should’ve been completely stable, completely reliable.
The only flaw rested with a certain someone.
Great God Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky was much too reliable.
Even though the mistakes Shen Qingqiu was worried about happening didn’t occur, like ‘his arms and legs didn’t finish growing’ or ‘a key part of his body forgot to grow,’ a Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed that had been forced to ripen too early using chemical fertilizer indeed had some side effects.
When he first woke up, Shen Qingqiu waited quietly for a while, but he didn’t hear that abominable Google Translate beep.
His heart went wild with joy: The System didn’t come out, hahaha the System didn’t come out! I changed my hardware, I’m not going to install your virus software again hahaha! Even though he was only temporarily set at ease, he still couldn’t help but dance for joy… dance for joy, his ass.
His whole body was still buried in the mud, unable to move!
He was buried for a whole day, storing up strength first from his fingers all the way up to the point that he could control his limbs. Only then did Shen Qingqiu climb out shakily.
The moment he broke free from the dirt, he had yet to revel in the pure and fresh air of freedom before he fell down face-first. Ah, his body wasn’t listening to him again. He laid on the ground.
For an entire day, he did warm-up exercises as he walked, and only then did Shen Qingqiu’s walking posture seem like that of a normal person by the time it was night. At any rate, he was no longer walking with the same arm and foot forward anymore.
He based this body on the appearance that he, Shen Yuan, originally had in his past life. It wasn’t as good as Shen Qingqiu’s immortal demeanor, but it could still be considered a pretty good body. The only thing was that it gave off a bit of a dispirited feeling like he was a pretty boy sitting around waiting to die. But because they had used a bit of his blood when they were raising the Dew Seed, it would still have some effect no matter what. When Shen Qingqiu rolled to the edge of the stream and used the sharp edge of a rock to shave his beard and take a look, this face still looked thirty-to-forty percent similar to Shen Qingqiu’s. He silently picked up the beard again and stuck it back on his face.
After that, he finally managed to get down the mountain and grab someone on the side of the road to ask—holy sh*t, five years had already passed!
He could understand that the reason his body was uncoordinated or occasionally wouldn’t move when he first woke up was because it needed a certain amount of time to adapt and reconfigure itself, but to be buried for five years before waking up—how did that happen?!
He had complaint after complaint, but in the end, this body… was simply overflowing with spiritual energy!
If the original Shen Qingqiu’s body didn’t have Without A Cure occasionally causing trouble, then it could also be considered as having abundant spiritual energy. The only thing was that if he compared it to the feeling he had now, it would be like comparing two bars of battery (still enough to use) to a full bar of battery (just unplugged after it had finished charging). Or, in other words, he could just be called a generator!
Could this be considered casting off one’s old self and completely remolding it?
Was this a sign that his life as a protagonist was also about to begin?!
After many years, this was the first time that Shen Qingqiu felt like he had gained a little bit of dignity as a reincarnator, the first time he felt like the incompetent him was no longer dragging down the long line of seniors who had reincarnated before him!
When he refocused again, Lu Liu was still talking endlessly. “The problem of the demon race invading these past few years has become more and more serious. All kinds of monsters have come pouring into the human realm, and I’m afraid that a huge battle is about… oh, I still haven’t asked for Your Excellency’s name?”
Shen Qingqiu’s ‘haha I am Shen Qingqiu of the Xiu Ya sword from the Central Plains’ Cang Qiong Mountain sect’s Qing Jing Peak’ didn’t even reach his throat before it made a sharp u-turn. Close call, close call, he almost used his old name. He momentarily couldn’t think of another name, and he hesitated for a second before resolutely spitting out two words, “Peerless Cucumber.”
His past vanished like smoke. From today onwards, he would walk off the beaten path, and he would use this ID that had swept through book review sites for countless years.
After he finished speaking, Shen Qingqiu glided away, leaving behind a room full of frozen people.
A long pause later, the newcomer murmured, “Did he just say… Peerless… what was it?”
Lu Liu guessed, “Peerless… Chrysanthemum?” (t/n: 黄花/huang hua sounds like 黄瓜/huang gua/cucumber in Chinese)
“Wasn’t it Peerless Crown?” (t/n: 皇冠/huang guan, same thing)
“No no no, it seems like it was Peerless Wild Flower!” (t/n: 狂花/kuang hua, they’re just getting further and further away at this point lol)
Shen Qingqiu had walked several meters away when his feet nearly slipped out from under him.
Perhaps he should rethink it later and change it to a different name…
Naturally, the first step towards the start of his new life had to begin with the item that Shen Qingqiu was the most familiar with. The first prop he needed was a folding fan.
A fan with a white silk base and an ink-splashed landscape on it.
Shen Qingqiu opened the fan with a swish, fanning it in front of his chest, sending his long hair and beard flying. He probably didn’t look very good, as he didn’t really match his prop, but it didn’t matter. With a folding fan in his hand, he now had the tool he needed to seem pretentious.
Shen Qingqiu placed one foot on the mountain rock and said, “Spill it. What exactly are your intentions for sneaking into the human world?”
- Chapter translated by Yan.
- This chapter marks the birth of a brand-new character, Peerless Cucumber! As you know, this name is an innuendo since “cucumber” is one of the euphemisms for… *cough* you know.
- Oh, no! It seems that Shen Qingqiu’s reputation has definitely suffered even after he sacrificed himself. Hmph, I would have thought Luo Binghe would want to cleanse his poor Shizun’s reputation.
- There have been so many people reading Scum Villain that this website went over the website hosting bandwidth limits. I had to pay the bill prematurely and when the hosting has to be renewed in February I will have to get a more expensive one.
- This is because BC Novels is now getting more than 500,000 views per month. It’s around 18,000-20,000 per day now.
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