Chapter 70 – In Zhao Hua Temple 3
Everyone was stunned and began whispering amongst themselves: “Su Xiyan actually had a child with that person?
“Who was it?
“Wasn’t she just instructed to deceive Tianlang-Jun? How is it possible…….”
Some were more interested in the aspect of reproductive compatibility: “Can humans and demons really produce offspring?”
“Physically, it’s not that big of a difference. It’s probably feasible.”
Wu Wang said: “Su Xiyan may have approached Tianlang-Jun on her master’s orders, but if she had not been tempted to begin with, how could she have been swayed? My humble self believes she was initially able to restrain herself, but demons have always excelled at deception. Without constant vigilance, a single misstep will cause you to fall under the demon’s wiles and lead to a lifetime of regret. She was already pregnant around the time of the siege. As for the child born from the two of them, you are all here well acquainted with him. It is no other than the one you were just discussing ━the Luo Binghe who has seized and taken over Huan Hua Palace!”
As soon as the words left his mouth, the muted whispers in the temple suddenly rose to a roar.
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but quietly observe Luo Binghe.
In the beginning, Luo Binghe only listened and even had the mood to chuckle. But the more he heard, the more serious he grew. Right now, his smile had completely faded and his face was pale. Only his eyes were dark and wintry.
Yue Qingyuan’s knuckles slowly brushed against the hilt of the Xuan Su sword as he spoke: “I have met senior1 Su Xiyan once a few years ago during the Immortal Alliance Conference. Luo Binghe certainly bears a strong resemblance to his mother. Initially, I put it off as mere coincidence. After all, in this whole wide world, there are many who share similar features. But for him to carry half of the blood of a demon, it can no longer be a coincidence.”
The man from BaQi Sect butted in again: “If she had been forced, then it’s not her fault. But why, knowing that she was carrying the child of that demon, did she give birth to it?”
Someone else agreed immediately: “That’s right, if she hadn’t given birth, we wouldn’t be plagued by this Luo Binghe. Why didn’t Su Xiyan terminate the pregnancy?”
“Tis a shame, really a shame! It’s no wonder I have never heard of this person called Su Xiyan. It’s only natural to hide such a scandal. Having a traitor within your midst━if they didn’t settle the matter themselves, how can they still face their sect master?”
Hearing this, Great Master Wu Chen seemed to have something to say but hesitated. He shook his head slightly and finally said: “Originally, this matter involves a lady’s reputation; moreover, benefactor2 Su has passed away. However, this matter is not simple. It should not remain hidden, else this issue will remain unresolved. The blood of the demon race is strong, and the fetus the mother carries is tied to her lifeline. At that time, attempting to abort the fetus would have carried a very high risk….. Benefactor Su had a proud heart; this was unacceptable to her. In her state, she wouldn’t tolerate the stares of strangers. The Old Palace Master gave her a drug that was harmful to the demon race. After she took it, she left Huan Hua Palace and disappeared. Buddha is merciful. May the rest of you be mindful of your words.”
Luo Binghe remained expressionless, but his fingers flexed and clenched unconsciously.
Near where they both stood, some people whispered furtively: “A child spurned by his own mother even before birth━not an ounce of mercy spared for her own flesh and blood. It’s amazing how women can be so cold-blooded.”
“That’s right, if she hadn’t been so ill-fated as to fall for Tianlang-Jun’s wiles, she would have had such a bright and promising future and be a person of great renown today.”
“I don’t care what fantastic rewards are promised to me━having an affair with a demon and getting knocked up with a monster child is just plain disgusting. This kind of merit, I wouldn’t accept even if it was served to me on a silver platter.”
“Su Xiyan was probably too ashamed to remain, and thus ran away from the sect master.”
The man from BaQi Sect suddenly said: “So from the beginning till the end, there are no facts or evidence pertaining to Tianlang-Jun, and this all rests solely on what the Old Palace Master has told us about Tianlang-Jun?”
The hall fell silent.
The man was oblivious and continued: “I’m just airing my thoughts; you guys can just listen. But, are you really going to launch an offensive just based on the Old Palace Master’s side of the story? Why do I get the feeling that, from the beginning till the end, these are the actions of a jilted lover? Moreover, letting a girl approach a dangerous demon, teaching her to be deceitful, and giving her poison for the abortion, and in the end causing her to leave with grievances━I feel it’s rather despicable. Us from the BaQi Sect would have never done that.”
His words surprised Shen Qingqiu somewhat. Really couldn’t tell that this dear fellow, who seemed to be perpetually ky3, could still sometimes talk sense even while he was being ky. It seemed that his IQ was not at the same level as that of the normal supporting characters.
In the end, it was Wu Wang who broke the stilted silence. His white brows bristled disapprovingly as he rebuked: “Foolishness! From time immemorial, demons have been attacking the human world. Would you have us regret our inaction only after Tianlang-Jun has bathed the earth in blood? Moreover, as the head of one of the four major sects4, how would it benefit the Old Palace Master of the Huan Hua Palace to deceive everyone so maliciously? As for the bastard born of this illicit affair with the demon, we definitely cannot allow him to live! It is regrettable that the demon was able to survive the poison and was not aborted as a fetus!”
This statement was delivered with a strong sense of righteousness and was immediately greeted with claps and cheers. Great Master Wu Chen clasped his hands together as he recited a prayer, disapproval writ large on his face.
It wasn’t that no one felt such a pitiless act wasn’t particularly cruel, but having heard Wu Wang’s stirring speech, as well as influenced by the mood of the gathering, their thoughts had shifted. The fetus was Luo Binghe, after all,━why should they spare it any sympathy? And so, they also cheered along.
Luo Binghe’s eyelids were lowered, his gaze hooded. He seemed to be listening still, but his mind had already drifted elsewhere. His features, which had been gradually softening in these past few days, were now glacial again.
The people gathered in the Hall of Great Strength5were now gnashing their teeth over his escape from death, and exclaiming over how good it would have been if he had died in the womb. All this fell on deaf ears.
According to the ideal flow of the script, in this location, the plot should have developed thus: the leaders gather to seriously discuss how to coordinate and deal with Tianlang-Jun → the sudden appearance of demons hellbent on wreaking havoc → Luo Binghe single-handedly defeat the demons in the ambush, and brush up on the feelings of goodwill. But because of this group of gossipy hens who brought up Luo Binghe’s background story, the focus has shifted.
Eyeing Luo Binghe who remained mute, Shen Qingqiu suddenly regretted his decision.
He should not have accepted the mission of Zhao Hua Temple.
Great Master Wu Chen sighed: “Why are such words necessary? Benefactor Su, ai, benefactor Su was a single lady who lived on her own outside. The Old Palace Master sent out people to search for her for years in vain━who knows how much she had suffered before her death? The blood flowing in Luo Binghe’s veins may be half demon, but Luo Binghe has never caused any grievous harm…..”
Wu Wang rebuked him: “Shidi should not be so carelessly merciful. You almost lost your life back in Jinlan City. You should well understand the sinister hearts of demons. Against them, it is always best to take the pre-emptive course of action. This father and son duo have been planning for a long time━they will join hands and make a comeback to wreak destruction on us. Tolerating their existence is not an act of mercy, but a show of womanly weakness. The final outcome will be worse than anything you can dream of!”
Although this monk Wu Wang’s cultivation was decent, he was too bellicose. Aside from not having hair, he did not radiate the sense of enlightenment that marked those who practiced Buddhist ethics. An ax would suit his temperament better than the abbot’s staff.6 Unlike Wu Chen, whose skills were average but has a kind and peaceful heart, he was more worthy of bearing the title of “Great Master.” Even in the face of such harsh criticism, he remained serene, and did not back down: “Joining hands against us, this…. is mere conjecture, no?”
It was unclear how long the two abbots of Zhao Hua Temple intended to continue wrangling. Yue Qingyuan suddenly spoke up: “Whether they join forces or not is up for debate, but one thing is certain: Luo Binghe is not a good person.”
He raised his voice: “Qingqiu, still not coming out?”
Shen Qingqiu’s hair stood on end.7 He dawdled for a bit, before slowly standing up.
There was the sensation of being a primary school student who has been singled out by the class teacher for a scolding. His face felt hot, but he was fortunately thick-skinned enough to maintain a calm and unruffled appearance. He bowed in greeting: “Zhangmen-shixiong.”
Since he has been called out, attention would also be drawn to the one next to him. Sure enough, someone immediately exclaimed: “Luo Binghe! It’s Luo Binghe!”
“It really is him! When did he enter?!”
“Shen Qingqiu is here too. Isn’t he supposed to be dead?!”
“But I saw him self destruct at Huayue City with my own eyes…..”
The hubbub was as noisy as all hell, but mixed in it were the soft and delicate voices of women. They were the three beautiful Taoist priestesses from Tian Yi Monastery. The three women clasped at each other’s arms, their faces strangely flushed. Stranger still was that their maidenly shyness seemed to be directed at Shen Qingqiu…..
Yue Qingyuan gazed at him while seated, and asked bluntly: “Are you done with this buffoonery8?”
Yue Qingyuan has never spoken to him so harshly before. For him to use the word “buffoonery” was on the same level as administering a heavy beating9. It seems like Liu Qingge had been very enthusiastic while bad-mouthing him.
Shen Qingqiu vowed to one day steal Cheng Luan and use it to slice all the pork legs in the Twelve Peaks’ kitchens until the sword’s bright gleam was smothered under layers of grease.
Follow the script, follow the script, okay? I’m begging you to please turn all your attention to the demons who have already broken into the temple, alright! How am I supposed to increase the values of goodwill!
He was about to make a move to draw their notice to the suspicious figures who had infiltrated the ranks of the various sects disguised as their disciples, when Wu Wang slammed the butt of his staff on the ground, sneering: “Luo Binghe, you’ve saved us quite some trouble by delivering yourself to our doorsteps. Why not just tell us what Tianlang-Jun has dreamt up for us this time?”
Luo Binghe replied icily: “That is his business, not mine.”
Someone spoke up: “He is your father━dare you say it’s not your business as well?”
Luo Binghe remained indifferent: “He’s not my father.”
Wu Wang said: “In the face of overwhelming truth, you’re still trying to evade. Do you think all of us here are gullible children?”
Luo Binghe shook his head stubbornly as he repeated: “He’s not my father.”
Wu Wang snorted: “You really are the scourge of the century. If Su Xiyan had gotten rid of you back then, it would have saved everyone a lot of grief!”
The vicious words struck a nerve. Luo Binghe’s breath caught in his throat for a moment, his eyes reddening. Without a second thought, Shen Qingqiu caught hold of his hand.
Liu Qingge had been standing behind Yue Qingyuan with his arms crossed. Seeing him openly move to Luo Binghe’s side under everyone’s watchful gaze, a vein jumped on his forehead: “Hey!”
Liu Qingge was too irritated to say more and only barked out sharply once. However, it didn’t deter Shen Qingqiu, who willfully ignored it. It definitely wouldn’t be fun if Luo Binghe flew into a rage here and now. It’s not just a question of whether the feelings of goodwill can be increased. The crux was, in the novel’s Zhao Hua Temple chapter10, they had to tread carefully.
If spiritual power was used, the hundreds of people present could pulp them with one collective blow; using demonic power, there were countless masters of spell arrays from Zhao Hua Temple who were most skilled in sealing away demon magic.11 It’s not like his IQ has fallen to the level of the Sha Hualing father and daughter pair.
Luo Binghe said freezingly: “Who is Su Xiyan? My mother is just a laundry woman.”
Shen Qingqiu said softly: “Wu Wang’s words are without basis. You should know by now what kind of person the Old Palace Master was. The credibility of these people’s stories about what happened in the past is debatable. Just forget about it!”
He used the tone of a master instructing his disciple, striving to appear calm and objective. Luo Binghe tugged at his arm, as if seeking proof and validation: “Shizun, Tianlang-Jun is not my father. I don’t need a father.”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t know what to say. He could only grip his hand and motion for him to calm down first.
Originally, Luo Binghe’s past was not sketched out in such detail. Shen Qingqiu really couldn’t predict how big of an impact it would be on Luo Binghe, but it was unlikely to be something that could be resolved with a few comforting words and pats on the head.
The faint dreams and fantasies he had long held have been mercilessly crushed to powder. Father and son refuse to recognize each other. Tianlang-Jun, as a pure-blooded demon, has never had any concept of familial ties. Add to the fact that he has suffered at the hands of humans and Su Xiyan, that hatred has been spread to Luo Binghe. There was no mention of the relationship between the two in the Holy Mausoleum and no tenderness either. And towards this father and son pair, Su Xiyan had also long made her choices clear through her actions: deceiving, exploiting, loathing, rejecting, viewing them as disgraceful, and abandoning them.
Luo Binghe was not a wanted child.
Wu Wang frowned: “As expected of a demon, to be able to utter such words.”
Luo Binghe turned a deaf ear to him: “If he is my father, why didn’t he mention it?”
At most, when he had been beating up Luo Binghe, he had said off-handedly: “Looks like his mother.” And? What else?
There had been nothing else.
Shen Qingqiu was silent. Personally, he thought that it was most likely because…. Tianlang-Jun was truly a nutcase?
This was all wrong. Shen Qingqiu hurriedly turned around, saying: “Everyone, please don’t be hasty. Luo Binghe is not here at Zhao Hua Temple today to cause trouble, nor does he have any ill intent….”
Great Master Wu Chen echoed: “That’s right, Shixiong may wish to listen to Peak Lord Shen.”
Shen Qingqiu threw him a grateful look, but Wu Wang sneered: “No ill intent? How do you explain this then?”
His voice rose to a shout on the last word. Dozens of warrior monks in red gold robes suddenly popped up within the crowd, seizing and twisting several people to the ground. From the bodies of the people who were pinned down, black qi slowly swirled out. Naturally, the scene was thus:
“There are demons rushing in!”
“Luo Binghe, you’ve really come well prepared!”
This development was FUBAR!
These disorderly lackeys of Jiuzhong-Jun were originally supposed to be used to brush up the goodwill towards Luo Binghe, but has now been turned around to implicate him instead, with Luo Binghe deemed as the mastermind of this ambush!
With great foresight, he whipped out his folding fan and, sure enough, Wu Wang’s staff came crashing heavily against it. Shen Qingqiu lifted the fan a little, unyieldingly holding it against the staff in mid-air.
“An ax would suit his temperament better than the abbot’s staff.” 不该拿支法杖做方丈，应该抄对板斧做李逵 Bit of a pun here. Basically saying instead of carrying
法杖 (Fǎ zhàng) – staff (like what the monk Tang Sanzang in Journey to the West carries, probably)
方丈 (Fāngzhàng) – abbot
李逵 (Lǐkuí) – Li Kui is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. The character is a tough melee fighter who uses a pair of axes in battle and often charges ahead of his men. Can be somewhat indiscriminate when he goes on a rampage, with innocents sometimes getting killed.
- This chapter is by Syeki.
- The next chapter (71) will be published on the 12th.
- My mother’s surgeon told her to schedule the operation on April 15. We have to get her “pre-admission” stuff done first but that date is what we are aiming for.
- I didn’t have a lot of time to do check everything so please let me know if there are any errors.
- Thanks for reading.
6 – chapter 70
12 – chapter 71
18 – chapter 72
24 – chapter 73
30 – chapter 74
- 前辈 qián bèi – senior, the older generation
- 施主 shī zhǔ – almsgiver, benefactor (term used by a monk to address a layperson)
- KY – Kuuki Yomenai, meaning one who can’t read the atmosphere, someone who is totally clueless or can’t take a hint.
- 派 pài – translated as “sect” for ease of understanding but it could also mean faction or school.
- 大雄宝殿 (dàxióngbǎodiàn) – the Main hall of a Buddhist temple containing the main image of veneration. It’s where the statues of Buddha are generally placed and where sacrificial offerings are made.
- There’s a pun here that is explained in detail after this chapter.
- 背嵴一毛 not sure if this means hackles raised, but in English, raising hackles means to be angered, so probably not the best term to use for the translation.
- 胡闹 hú nào – “to act willfully and make a scene” or “to make trouble”
- 打板子 (Dǎ bǎnzi) – A form of corporal punishment where the victim is held/tied face down and beaten with staved. Injuries from this form of punishment can range from painful to crippling to death.
- Non-literally translated this. Literally, it would be “Zhao Hua Temple instance” (instance as in a video game/MMORPG dungeon or event) 副本 fù běn – copy, instance
- 硬打 yìngdǎ – not sure what this means in this context. Suggestions?