The Devil's Life Challenge.
Jiang Zheliu had predicted this before he had gone to mend the Boundary Membrane. Thanks to the remote location of Zhongnan Mountain, it was actually a very good location to watch the shooting star, and it could be seen quite clearly.
Back then, when he still had his cultivation, he had predicted this night. But at that time, it had not occurred to him that he’d have the opportunity to drop everything and watch it so peacefully in this way.
He had the devilish handwarmer in his lap, warming up the palms of his hands. At this moment the terrain was utterly silent, the night was dense and the stars were twinkling.
Snow had fallen everywhere on Zhongnan Mountain, as well as on the small pavilion. Jiang Zheliu sat in the pavilion at the peak of the mountain. Wine was boiling on the stone table making a gurgling and bubbling sound.
As Jiang Zheliu lowered his head to drink his tea, his long snow-white hair was taken away by the night breeze and fell along beside his ears, effortlessly, in Wenren Ye’s eyes, it was such a beautiful sight that he thought he’d entered into some sort of fantasy land.
The Devil Lord was afraid that he would be cold, so he covered him up tightly, but he still felt that Jiang Zheliu was very cold. His body was cold and hard to warm.
“So, do you always just consider the greater good?” Wenren Ye hadn’t forgotten what had happened earlier, and he was still feeling quite worked up about it, as he poured the wine he said, “People like you will die from exhaustion sooner or later.”
He didn’t really say this with much ferocity, it was more a sense of disbelief and frustration.
Jiang Zheliu didn’t get angry either and he even nodded his head in agreement. He took a sip of his bitter tea and said: “I have thought about dying this way many times, but now I am fortunate to have some peace. Perhaps I have hope of living out the rest of my days peacefully …… Will you prepare my grave for me?”
He could not tell what kind of mood Wenren Ye was in from his gaze. Wenren Ye stared at Jiang Zheliu closely, as if he was a volcano that had been waiting to erupt for a long time: “I don’t care where you die.”
This devil never said what his heart was really feeling. The more he cared, the more his heart ached. The more he felt Jiang Zheliu was doing something for those who were undeserving, the more he refused to console him. His heart was burning like a fire, but the flame was smothered by Jiang Zheliu’s words, leaving only a beaten flame that represented the pain of his innermost feelings.
“Heartless.” Jiang Zheliu commented once again, as he looked up at the vast horizon, at the twinkling stars in the pitch black sky, “You are still young and talented, your future is extremely promising.”
Whenever Jiang Zheliu spoke, he always spoke to him like he was his senior, but it was true that he could be considered an elder. When Wenren Ye and his father had gone to Ling Xiao Sect to negotiate a treaty during the power struggles amongst the stirring undercurrent, Wenren Ye was still in his youth. In the prime of youth, only concerned about cultivation and swordplay so that he could reach the top.
“If I had such a successor, I’m afraid I could wake up laughing in my sleep, to know under the Netherworld that……
Before he had finished speaking, Wenren Ye was glaring at him intensely, seemingly he was extremely displeased with him for saying such things.
Jiang Zheliu took it in stride and avoided the subject, turning the hand warmer in his hand as he said, “My shidi is also young and talented.”
……Zhu Wuxin? Wenren Ye continued to listen by his side, observing the other man’s expression with restraint.
“It’s just that he’s undisciplined by nature and never put much effort into his cultivation and studies. But even so, I still needed to work a thousand times harder to surpass him.” Jiang Zheliu looked calm, his tone indifferent and extremely light, “I thought, as I am his shixiong, if I can’t be the strongest person when we encounter any danger, could I let my shidi protect me?”
He had learned from a very young age that the clumsy bird flies early1Idiom: Working hard to compensate for one’s limited abilities..
“It’s just a pity that your shidi doesn’t appreciate your efforts.” Wenren Ye said, “Why else would he be willing to let you move to the Zhongnan Mountain alone.”
Jiang Zheliu said: “It was I who wanted to leave, I don’t see what’s wrong with Zhongnan Mountain? Plus, you’re my neighbour.”
The surface of the tea moved slightly, it had been cooled a little by the night breeze. Jiang Zheliu placed the cup on the stone table.
“Wuxin is naturally proud and conceited, and may not be as mature as you when it comes to certain things.” Jiang Zheliu looked far up into the sky, “I’ve let everything go, now I don’t know what the future holds.”
Wenren Ye could not bear it any longer, his grip was so tight on the cup of wine that it smashed into pieces. He then took out a new one and said with a cold face: “Your shifu has done really well raising you. Making you put all your efforts into it, unto your dying day.”
Jiang Zheliu glanced at him, “You’re angry again, what exactly can I say that won’t make you angry?”
Even Wenren Ye did not expect his own mood swings to be so violent. Only after it had been pointed out by the other, did he come back to his senses. He reached out to hold the other’s ice-cold hand, and after a long silence, said in a muffled voice, “I’ll make you better.”
Jiang Zheliu was looking at him with his pitch-black eyes, they looked like calm bottomless pools, containing nothing but ice-cold deep water, utterly empty.
“Can you stop thinking about how to die all the time.” The Devil Lord was a little annoyed, “You should be thinking about how to continue living.”
Jiang Zheliu did not speak, but skipped over his glass, grabbing the wooden spoon to ladle the richly scented hot wine on the small furnace and pouring it into his tea cup.
His movements were so fluid that no one would have noticed for a moment that there was anything wrong with what he was doing. His wrists which were poking out from his sleeves were slim, narrow and slender, they were pale and colourless. Even his nails had a fragile translucency. He resembled more like a finished white jade sculpture.
The hot wine fell into the teacup, and it was only when Jiang Zheliu put the wooden spoon down that Wenren Ye noticed something odd and took a hold of his wrist, “You can’t drink wine.”
His body temperature was dangerously low and his wrist were so slender that it seemed they’d snap if twisted.
“Junior Lord’s wine smells too good.” Jiang Zheliu said, “Let me taste it.”
“You’re not well, don’t you know that? Jiang Zheliu……”
No sooner had he spoken than the white-haired, snow-skinned Jiang Xianzun across the room leaned in close, giving him a full frontal view of his beauty.
The other’s breath was cold and crisp, like the air blowing past on a wintry day.
“What’s the point of trying to live on when I can’t do anything?”
His voice was soft, yet extremely meaningful. Wenren Ye thoughts paused for a moment before he realised that the words were in response to what he had said before.
…… What Jiang Zheliu was saying made sense, but something wasn’t quite right……
Jiang Zheliu seized this opportunity to blow on the hot wine in his cup and finally taste the wine of the Devil Realm.
It was sweet.
He was surprised.
Wenren Ye wasn’t looking for a second, but then he saw him down the whole cup, his face remained unchanged, and he put the cup down slowly and calmly as if he hadn’t done anything.
Wenren Ye looked at the side of his face, and then at the hot wine on the furnace, his mind was like a ball of yarn that had been pounced upon by a cat, and only after a long time did he say, “Jiang Zheliu.”
“That wine is extremely strong, the after-effects even stronger.”
“Is it.” Jiang Zheliu paused for a moment, “I don’t feel anything.”
“That cup of yours could take down three or five great Devils of the Devil Realm.”
It took a few breaths before Wenren Ye saw him turn his gaze around and gently questioned, “So why’s it so sweet?”
The Devil Lord had a terrible headache: “What does taste have to do with its strength, you …… are you okay?”
Wenren Ye was unbelievably worried, but Jiang Zheliu was sitting there unexpectedly calm and quietly in his seat watching the shooting star. Just when Wenren Ye really thought that he could take his liquor, drink a thousand cups without falling over2expression: 千杯不倒 – someone who doesn’t get drunk. He was thinking about taking his hand and leading him back to the little pine house, he discovered the other’s usual pitch black dark eyes were somewhat moist.
His pale and almost colourless lips were also flushed, his ears were also red and burning, he was overly glowing.
Whilst probing his physical condition, Wenren Ye gazed into those somewhat disoriented eyes and whispered, “Are you drunk?”
Jiang Zheliu blinked and sluggishly returned to his senses, just as he got up and began to take a step forward, he fell into the arms of his good neighbour, resembling a precious porcelain vase.
He was more like a porcelain vase that, if touched, would level the entire Devil Realm, so precious that the average person wouldn’t dare to touch it.
Wenren Ye picked him up steadily, wrapped one arm around his waist, and on the other side, thinking that Jiang Zheliu’s current health had not become too bad at the moment, he said against his ear, “You’ve been so prudent for so long, how come you’ve become so reckless with me?”
Jiang Zheliu’s body temperature was very low, and at this time he seemed to be sleepy, he raised his arms to encircle the other’s neck.
The little deer in Wenren Ye was jumping up and down blindly, he’d been affected by the ice cold breath of the other party, the little deer was jumping so violently that it had broken off it’s own antlers. He took a very deep breath and picked up Jiang Zheliu.
“Can’t you just get better, you’ve been concerned about that Zhu Wuxin for so many years now, can’t you ……”
Wenren Ye couldn’t say it out loud.
He wanted to say, “Can’t you just think about me? But when the words came to his lips, he remembered that he was still just a “good neighbour” and had no right to ask the other person to continue living on for him.
Moreover, before this moment, Jiang Zheliu didn’t even know him or even remember him. He was able to stay by his side by taking advantage of his current weakness.
Wenren Ye reached out and touched the other’s reddened ear, and seemed to think of something as he slowly said, “So it turns out you weren’t born to not eat sweets.”
It was still very early when Wenren Ye carried Jiang Zheliu back to the house, so neither Chang Qian nor Ah-Chu were asleep.
These two little demons knew that their Shenxian gege was drunk and looked at each other, but not daring to speak out in anger. The little deer Ah-Chu watched Chang Qian prepare the hangover soup, whilst he walked around the small house with his hands behind his back, muttering worriedly to himself one moment, and then scolding the Devil Lord for not watching him closely in the next moment.
Knowing that he was in the wrong, Wenren Ye didn’t bother to care what Ah-Chu was cursing him with. Instead, he tucked the quilt around the sick and still drunk little willow and gently held on to his hand.
Normally everything should have just got better, but in the early hours of the morning, Jiang Zheliu was burning up without reason. This time, even Chang Qian couldn’t sit still.
Wenren Ye used his devil body as a vessel to purify and channel some spiritual energy into him. He continued to probe his condition for a long while but couldn’t figure out why he suddenly had a fever. He even started to be a little suspicious of the ingredients of his wine from the Devil Realm.
Until Jiang Zheliu woke up.
He had such a horrendous headache, even though he’d woken up he didn’t want to get up. He glanced over at Wenren Ye and then turned his head to try to go back to sleep.
His body temperature was usually very low, so now when he got a fever, the contrast seemed to be even greater, making it impossible for Wenren Ye to let go. When Wenren Ye saw that he was awake, he leaned down and touched his face, whispering, “Is there anything wrong with you? Your body is feverish but I don’t know why.”
He seemed a little anxious.
Jiang Zheliu reacted slowly, propping open his sleepy eyelids pressing his head onto his hand, “It’s nothing.”
In the past, when he had his cultivation, he was able to suppress it, but now since he didn’t have a spark of spiritual energy, he naturally couldn’t suppress the outward manifestations of his special physique.
After saying that, Jiang Zheliu stopped caring, seemingly completely oblivious to what all the fuss was about.
Wenren Ye froze for a long time, staring at the sleeping sickly beauty in a daze. His mind kept circling back to the other’s words he had just said, wondering whether he should pry open Jiang Zheliu’s head to see if he was talking nonsense, or whether he should pry open his own head to see if his hearing was normal.
He forced himself to stay silent for a short period, and then he asked again with considerable difficulty.
“…… just ignore it?”
Wenren Ye did not think he would get an answer, but after a short moment, he still heard Jiang Zheliu’s vague and sleepy voice.
“Hmm, it’s fine.”
He then murmured, “Stop talking and let me sleep ……”
This sickly willow tree took a long while to wake up from his sleep and he would lose his temper if he was disturbed. Wenren Ye didn’t speak again, his mind was buzzing for quite a while, staring at the quilt, then the other’s inner robes. The Devil’s gaze finally fell upon the other’s abdomen.
……his body, wants a baby？
He had heard about the Heavenly Spirit Body, but what was it？
Wenren Ye felt that his devilish life was being challenged in a huge way.
The Devil Lord, who had never been a coward in his entire life, was utterly terrified out of his wits in front of his sickly little willow tree……
Heavenly Spirit Body: You never would have guessed right!?
The author uses “Heavenly Spirit Body” and “Heavenly Spirit Physique” interchangeably in the OG so I will too.
Reminder about the Heavenly Spirit Physique- Qing Lin and Lie Zhen talk about it in quite a bit of detail in Chapter 5 but I’ll summarise below quickly. Here’s what we know so far:
- It makes our little Willow tree very attractive to Demons and animals.
- It’s a special feature/characteristic that only manifests in men.
- It hindered his cultivation and made him have to work much harder than others.
- There are some ancient accounts and warnings that anyone who has this physique will end up sad, unloved/unable to love and alone *boohoo*
- Anyone with this physique is able to bear children! hehe
29/01/22 – Realm Boundary → Boundary Membrane