Chapter 64 – Rendezvous in Enemy Camp
Wasn’t this the same as crushing all the alternate dimensions together into one giant mass?
Shen Qingqiu didn’t think such an idea was inconceivable. On the contrary, he was certain that, so long as one held the Heart Devil sword, this seemingly preposterous notion was absolutely possible. Because this was the basis of the original work!
In the finale, the merging of two worlds was exactly what Luo Binghe achieved, as a way to finally unify the realm of demons and cultivation by his own demented design. Before, Shen Qingqiu had always believed that this original “Luo Binghe” was the one he was most familiar with.
But thinking on it now, somehow that character seemed very strange and distant. That “Luo Binghe” cared not of the devastation such a plan would leave in its wake. His only reasoning was that two separate realms were rather unfavorable to his regime. Furthermore, the resources were rather unevenly distributed which caused all the demon wives and kids to make such a ruckus every day, annoying him to no end. Finally, he decided he was done with it and just merged everything to make managing it all more convenient.
Shen Qingqiu’s voice dropped low. “So this was the ‘present’ you wanted to send? Don’t you think it’s a bit too malicious on your part?”
Tianlang-Jun rubbed his chin in contemplation, then spoke in that cultured tone of his. “I really harbor no ill will towards them at all–I love the human world very much, and it’s long been a long-cherished wish of mine for deeper communication between the two races.”
Shen Qingqiu raised an eyebrow. “Has Tianlang-Jun truly never considered the consequences? Or perhaps you simply don’t care? Even if the demons can adapt to living in the human world, how many non-cultivating humans do you think can adapt to living among demons? Or, in other words,” he chose his next words carefully, “even if you ‘love’ humankind, can you guarantee that all demons agree? The two worlds have been separated since ancient times, but even so, we have had countless disputes. If they were to suddenly merge, I’m afraid that there will not be a single day of peace ahead.”
Tianlang-Jun answered rather grudgingly, “Peak Lord Shen is truly one from the Four Great Sects–all of you sing along to the same tune. Perhaps it seems a bit rash, but that is not at all my intention. With failure so close at hand, I must see this through until the end. We will merge first and deal with the aftermath slowly as it comes. In the face of unchangeable circumstances, even those that cannot adapt will eventually learn to accept it.”
There really was some kind of law that every BOSS needed to have a bad case of chuunibyou syndrome. But Tianlang-Jun was a bit of a special case. Perhaps he was once the young, naive type of chuuni who imagined himself to be the savior of the world, the one destined to forge love and peace between the two races. But after being crushed beneath Bailu Peak for so many years, he was now the type of chuuni that carried a deep, undying resentment in his heart. Actions that could break heaven and earth were merely “a bit rash.”
And that last bit was exactly the kind of logic rapists use: assuming that your partner will relent in the end so you might as well force yourself on them, take what you want, and deal with the consequences later.
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but ask, “You and Su Xiyan…could it be that the two of you were just another part of this ‘deeper communication between races’?”
When he heard this name, the smooth, easy smile on Tianlang-Jun’s face began sliding off.
He turned so that Shen Qingqiu could no longer see his expression. He could only hear him sigh quietly. “Ah Xiyan, she really was…”
She really was…what?
Shen Qingqiu pondered over that subtle tone of his. Sweet and gentle? Pure and kind?
Tianlang-Jun continued, “Cold and ruthless. That was what I loved about her.”
Shen Qingqiu was about to roll over with laughter. Tianlang-Jun waved his hand and said, “But it doesn’t matter now–she’s already dead.”
So he didn’t miss her even a bit?
Unfortunately, it seemed that a demon’s “love” was rather shallow and cold.
Shen Qingqiu remained silent for a moment, then asked, “How do you really feel about Luo Binghe?”
Tianlang-Jun glanced over at him. “I…feel rather sorry for him?”
Shen Qingqiu could only smile back emptily, unable to reply.
Although Luo Binghe had never mentioned a word, Shen Qingqiu knew that deep inside, he often dreamed about what his birth parents would be like. He knew that he was born of a distinguished young woman and a powerful demon noble, but he could never put names or faces to them. So he always secretly imagined how it would be if they were still there…how tender and warm they would be, and how they would protect him from anyone that looked down on him.
If Luo Binghe knew that his birth father was this type of man…one who, on account of his human blood, might not even bother to spare him a glance…then those dreams of his would truly become just laughable figments of his imagination.
As night fell, the troops and the billows of smoke surrounding them came to a halt. Upon a wide expanse of grassland, they began setting up camp.
The only ones that really needed to set up camp were the few humanoid demons. The beastly ones could get by just fine in the wild. They could sleep in a ditch, in the treetops, on the grass…anywhere at all.
Shen Qingqiu had a white tent that was quite spacious and comfortable. Though it looked rather simple from the outside, it had everything he could need within. Zhuzhi-Lang came by personally to make sure all was arranged accordingly and led Shen Qingqiu into the tent. As soon as that demon girl that had been following him the entire time left, Shen Qingqiu immediately collapsed onto his bed in relief. He closed his eyes and waited for the dreamscape to descend.
He didn’t know how much time had passed before he suddenly felt the moonlight quiver. Shen Qingqiu opened his eyes and saw Luo Binghe half-kneeling before his bed.
“Luo Binghe, listen to me, there’s something very important here––” Shen Qingqiu had just begun speaking when Luo Binghe immediately tackled him.
He threw himself over Shen Qingqiu, who fell back onto the bed, his mouth sealed shut by a soft warmth on top of him. He couldn’t make the slightest sound and was forced to stare helplessly as his face grew furiously more red by the moment. Luo Binghe had no sense of restraint, and his kisses grew deeper and deeper like he was a small beast trying to devour his prey.
Shen Qingqiu finally managed to catch his breath and commanded, “…….Luo Binghe, kneel properly now!”
Luo Binghe lifted the hems of his robes and immediately fell into a perfect kneeling posture.
“Do you know why you’re kneeling right now?” Shen Qingqiu asked.
Luo Binghe’s back was as straight as a board as he replied. “This one is but a lowly disciple, and yet assaulted Shizun……”
Shen Qingqiu chastised him. “Who told you to say that! This master will settle the matter with you later. Tianlang-Jun told you to hand over the Heart Devil sword and you just went ahead and gave it to him? I don’t remember teaching you to be such a……” Such a naive little girl1!
Luo Binghe replied, “I had no choice. Besides, it wasn’t anything particularly important, so why not hand it over?”
Wasn’t anything particularly important? This all-powerful treasure that most could cry and sob for but never even glimpse at! Even a mountain of riches couldn’t stand up to the prodigal son.
Shen Qingqiu spoke, “Did you stop to think about what he might want the Heart Devil sword for? From the northern reaches of the country to the southern borders, for Cang Qiong Peak and Huan Hua Palace alike, did you consider the type of threat he could pose?”
Luo Binghe replied, “Is Shizun is angry at me for handing over the Heart Devil sword out of concern for all these places? Or perhaps it’s just because you’re afraid of involving Cang Qiong Peak?”
His tone was rather like that of a petulant young woman, one who was always clinging onto her partner asking, “Do you really love me? Do you love your career more than you love me?” Shen Qingqiu was just about to scold him again on the degree of danger at hand and force him back onto the main topic, but he quickly choked down his words.
Through the screen, they could see flickers of torchlight as a patrol of demon guards passed by. And they could hear the howling of the wolves, the rustling of cattle, and the low, angry murmurs of voices.
Somehow it seemed like……this wasn’t a dream?
That meant…Luo Binghe was standing in his tent, and not just in his dreamscapes.
The one in front of him was the man himself!
He no longer held the Heart Devil sword that could open a door to anywhere. Crossing the entire northern country to arrive here had to be well over a thousand miles. Even if Shen Qingqiu wanted to give him a good strike to the back of the head with his fan, the mere thought of his journey here was enough to make him hesitate.
Luo Binghe took advantage of his hesitation to press one leg up onto his bedside2. Shen Qingqiu could almost taste the blood rising into his mouth, but he needed to maintain his dignity as Shizun. “Luo Binghe, ah Luo Binghe. Don’t you think you’re being too arrogant, far too conceited in your audacity? You’ve served yourself up on a silver platter. At least twenty percent of demons of the South are here, not to mention two powerful elders of your bloodline. If you’re discovered, you’re as good as dead!”
Luo Binghe replied, “Shizun, I couldn’t bear to stand by as you were stolen away. I was afraid he would activate the demonic blood within you. You can’t tell me to just sit there and wait. Shizun, please stop scolding me for this; I truly couldn’t hold back any longer.”
Shen Qingqiu kept pushing his head away, trying his best to maintain a serious composure. “When you came in, did you run into anyone?”
Luo Binghe replied, “How would that be possible? If I want to get inside, there’s no one that could catch sight of me. There’s just one thing that I’m worried about…”
He hadn’t said exactly what he meant when suddenly a cough sounded from outside the tent.
Zhuzhi-Lang’s voice carried in. “Master Shen3? Have you turned in already?”
As soon as he heard this, Luo Binghe’s eyes suddenly took on a murderous light as he turned towards the sound with an ice-cold glare. Shen Qingqiu was busy holding him down, giving him a stern look that told him not to be rash.
He didn’t know what was happening, but Luo Binghe’s face blushed quite red under that look, sending a shiver down his spine. Outside the tent, the demon army was patrolling, and inside the tent, there was nowhere to hide. With little other choice, he lifted the covers and Luo Binghe readily slid in.
Outside, Zhuzhi-Lang murmured to himself, “Turning in so early?”
There was a moment of silence outside, and Shen Qingqiu, thinking he had left, was about to let out a sigh of relief. Then Zhuzhi-Lang spoke, “Then…this servant will have to disturb your rest.”
So regardless of whether I was sleeping or not you were going to come in anyway?
Why even bother asking!
Luo Binghe peeked out and asked suspiciously, “Why is that snake coming inside while Shizun is sleeping?”
Just hide yourself, you little brat! Shen Qingqiu shoved his head back under the covers, leaped out of bed, and called out, “Don’t come in!”
Zhuzhi-Lang indeed stopped before coming in and sounded rather perplexed. “So you weren’t sleeping after all? Why did Master Shen not answer before?”
Shen Qingqiu replied, “I was sleepy, and didn’t want to reply. Xizhi-Lang, you should go now.”
Zhuzhi-Lang was taken aback. “Didn’t we already agree during the day?”
Shit. Shit, shit, shit. They had indeed agreed earlier in the day that Zhuzhi-Lang would come by in the evening to help him burn out any remaining trace of QingSi on him!
Luo Binghe poked his head out again and questioned him quietly, “What did you agree to?”
Shen Qingqiu just managed to stack a second blanket on top of him and drop the drapes around the bed when Zhuzhi-Lang’s foot stepped into the tent. He said, “I apologize for disturbing you so late at night, but please understand. It’s just that if these QingSi are not removed, I fear they may only give rise to greater incidents in the future.”
Letting him in or kicking him out were both equally troublesome. Besides, for some reason, Zhuzhi-Lang didn’t dare to meet his eyes for long so he would have to just tread carefully. Shen Qingqiu stepped in front of the drapes, blocking it off from view, then smiled. “Alright, then I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you.”
Zhuzhi-Lang responded politely, “It is only right that I do so. Master Shen, why not use the bed……” He hadn’t even taken a single step forward before Shen Qingqiu moved in front of him, caught his hand, and turned him around.
Only after Zhuzhi-Lang’s back had been turned towards the drapes did Shen Qingqiu finally speak. “Not on the bed. Right here is fine.”
Having been spun around by the hand for no apparent reason, Zhuzhi-Lang found that he had no good way of asking. After he had recovered his senses, he asked good-naturedly, “Standing up?”
Shen Qingqiu replied decisively, “I’ll stand.”
Zhuzhi-Lang asked, “Master Shen, will you be okay?”
Behind him, Luo Binghe suddenly tore off the blankets, his entire face full of rage. Shen Qingqiu expression didn’t change the slightest. “I’m used to it.”
Zhuzhi-Lang nodded, then turned and placed a golden stove on the small table beside them. Taking advantage of the moment, Shen Qingqiu waved a hand and forced Luo Binghe back under the blankets, covering him in an instant. By the time Zhuzhi-Lang turned back around, he was already back to standing as usual, not a single hair out of place. Zhuzhi-Lang took one of the burning red coals out and said, “Master Shen, please remove your overclothes.”
Shen Qingqiu lowered his head and began slowly untying his waist sash. He was afraid of moving too quickly. If he actually took it all off, Luo Binghe would likely tear down the bed and Zhuzhi-Lang along with it. He moved slow enough to drive even the most patient man to frustration. After waiting for a long while, Zhuzhi-Lang finally couldn’t help but glance towards him. “Perhaps Master Shen’s fingers are having trouble? Would this one be able to help?”
Shen Qingqiu saw his gaze lifting towards him, and hurriedly pulled at the lapels of his robes, the outermost garment sliding easily off his shoulders.
By pulling like this, the garment slid down to his feet. He then moved his arm under Zhuzhi-Lang’s gaze, and the man immediately focused all his attention on it, studying it carefully. After an entire day of trying to remove the QingSi, it finally began showing signs of receding. It was no longer covering half of Shen Qingqiu’s chest and arm in thick leaves like it was when he first woke this morning. Now only a few small sprouts remained.
Luo Binghe silently threw his palm forwards, sending a massive wave of black Qi towards Zhuzhi-Lang’s back. Shen Qingqiu suddenly waved his hand and smacked the piece of coal right out of Zhuzhi-Lang’s grasp.
The coal rolled across the ground and out of the tent. Zhuzhi-Lang, who was smacked for absolutely no reason, was left at a complete loss. Shen Qingqiu explained apologetically, “My hand slipped.”
Zhuzhi-Lang accepted this explanation with little inner turmoil and left the tent to go pick it up. He walked about for quite a while, wondering, “Where did it roll to?”
Shen Qingqiu immediately leaped onto the bed. Luo Binghe whispered, “Shizun, what kind of life have you been living under them!?”
The kind where you have nothing to do but wait around helplessly until you die!
Shen Qingqiu whispered back, “Don’t mess around. If you’re discovered, we’ll both be in trouble.” After saying that, his hand rose and fell, shoving Luo Binghe back under the blankets.
Luo Binghe was not at all placated by this and stewed sullenly. He thought that he could probably put up a fight against Tianlang-Jun now, but each day the demonic blood remained within Shizun was another day he was forced to hold back. He beckoned with his finger and the fallen garment flew into his hand. He threw it onto Shen Qingqiu’s shoulders. “Put it on!”
Outside, it seemed that another lowly patrolling demon passed by the tent and greeted Zhuzhi-Lang. “General!”
Zhuzhi-Lang hummed in acknowledgment, then said, “Just in time. Help me find something.” His tone and stature were completely different compared to how he held himself in front of Tianlang-Jun and Shen Qingqiu. It was truly befitting of an army general.
Shen Qingqiu spoke, “Why? I’m going to need to take it off anyway.”
Luo Binghe replied angrily, “…Why is it that Shizun has to take off your clothes and let him stare are you?”
No matter how much he was pressed or scolded, he just wouldn’t stay down. It was a waste of energy for Shen Qingqiu. Just then, Zhuzhi-Lang suddenly returned. It was too late to get back into place, so he immediately turned and sat upright in the center of the bed. Zhuzhi-Lang asked, “Master Shen, didn’t you just say ‘not on the bed’?”
Shen Qingqiu smiled a little. “Oh? Really? Did I say that?”
Having to cover it up in a rush, he had accidentally sat right on top of Luo Binghe…….
But sitting like this was actually not bad–Luo Binghe finally obediently stopped moving. Zhuzhi-Lang walked over and, seeing the mess of blankets, asked casually, “Is Master Shen not hot?”
Shen Qingqiu just wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. He grabbed Zhuzhi-Lang’s hand and pressed the bright red coal right up against his chest. In the midst of the hissing sound, he calmly stated, “It’s not hot.”
Zhuzhi-Lang replied, “Then, Master Shen, doesn’t it…hurt?”
“It doesn’t hurt,” Shen Qingqiu replied.
Zhuzhi-Lang’s voice was gratified. “Several times before, Master Shen always seemed extremely reluctant. Tonight you’ve finally taken the initiative, as it should be.”
Shen Qingqiu wasn’t really listening to what he was saying at all, his entire mind focused solely on getting this over with as soon as possible so he could chase him out. He asked, “Is this enough?”
Zhuzhi-Lang took back the piece of coal and replied, “Yes, this is fine.”
Shen Qingqiu was overjoyed. Luo Binghe was probably approaching his limit too. But who knew that Zhuzhi-Lang wasn’t quite done speaking yet. “Junshang has just said that tonight, he too wanted to stop by…”
He hadn’t even finished his sentence when Luo Binghe finally couldn’t take it anymore and stood up violently.
- This chapter is by satellite of BC Novels.
- I was supposed to publish this tomorrow but I will be busy then so I released it a few hours early.
- Please let me know if there are any errors. Thanks for reading!
- The expression Shen Qingqiu was thinking and didn’t say aloud was “傻白甜” (sha bai tian), literally “foolish, pure, and sweet.” It’s very modern Internet slang for a naive little girl
- I’ve summarized the original metaphor for the sake of flow, but in the original text, Shen Qingqiu actually observes Luo Binghe “打蛇随棍上” (da she sui gun shang). This literally translates to something like “hitting a snake and watching it come up with the stick.” This expression comes from a saying that you cannot get rid of a snake by trying to hit it with a stick (a straight rod) because the snake will simply climb up the stick instead, taking advantage of your oversight.
- Zhuzhi-Lang refers to Shen Qingqiu as “沈仙师” (Shen Xianshi), literally “Immortal Master Shen.” Basically, an honorific title referring to those that have attained a high level of cultivation.