As the organizers of the Demon Extermination Campaign, the residence of the Three Great Sects had to be the best inn in Sky Veil Town. Although the town was situated on the borders of a desolate territory, their supply of food and clothing was comparable to any prosperous district. Naturally, it came as no surprise that not just any random cultivator could afford the prices. Most of the rooms were allocated to the Three Great Sects, but there was also no lack of cultivators who couldn’t stand the crude and coarse rations they brought and came to the restaurant below the inn to eat.
While all YuanYing stage cultivators were able to practice inedia and Golden Core cultivators could go without food for a month, this didn’t stop them from tasting the local delicacies. Plus, as long as they were a large sect, they would always bring some Foundation Building disciples to gain some experience. In this way, food was indispensable, and so the first floor of the inn was quite lively.
Just as everyone at each table was chatting, a young man in white stepped through the entrance to the inn. Xuanmen has always been associated with the colour white, and the inn was already hosting two Xuanmen disciples, so anyone’s first thought would be that another Xuanmen person has come. Although the young man’s clothes and decorations were simple, they were made using rare materials. There was a sharp sword hanging in a cloud-patterned silver sheath around his waist, obviously a carefully crafted spiritual weapon. With this style of dress, no one would doubt him if he said he was a Xuanmen disciple. But if that was the case, why did he have to wear a veiled hat to hide his appearance?
Needless to say, this ‘young man’ was He Ku. Relying on the fact that he practiced Xuanmen’s cultivation method, the Sword Intent of the Natural Law, he slipped into the inn the Xuanmen sect was staying at. And as expected, no one suspected his identity. Apart from the few stares he got when he first entered the door, he was ignored when he ordered breakfast and the other patrons soon lost interest.
This was all within expectation. After all, other than his infamous face, nothing about him would lend others to believe he was associated with demonic cultivators. He was practically the best candidate to be a spy, but it was a pity that the two enforcers didn’t allow him to go out. Fortunately, Yun Ce’s escape tactics were extremely well-honed, so the two of them were able to slip out from the window. However, since this was the gathering place for countless righteous cultivators, Yun Ce, being a fox spirit, was too conspicuous. So he had to stay outside and wait for news.
While he was lamenting that he and Yun Ce were becoming more and more synergized in creating trouble, He Ku also observed the people in the inn and found that nobody, in particular, seemed like a powerful person. He was wondering if he should find a table of people to ask for information when a man and a woman walked down the stairs to the first floor.
The woman looked to be around sixteen years old. She had black waist-length hair, the locks by her temples were braided with silk headbands and fixed behind her head with a clear white begonia pin. Although she was dressed in white, she exuded an air of energy and life. As opposed to a fairy of nature, she was more like the girl next door who was preparing for an outing.
The man who followed her looked much older. And while he was not as eye-catching as He Huan and You Jiang, he was still personable. At a glance, people would know that he was a well-educated young master from a prestigious house.
As soon as these two people appeared, everyone knew that they were definitely Xuanmen disciples. Even He Ku couldn’t help but be impressed. Let’s not say how absurdly strong the Xuanmen cultivation method was, it was unrivalled just based on its effect on appearance alone. Otherwise, how would two randomly selected disciples be able to crush the combined attractiveness of the entire building?
As He Ku was looking at them, the girl unexpectedly returned his gaze and walked straight to him. Curiously checking out the veiled hat that covered his face securely, she refreshingly cupped her hands in greeting and asked, “Which sect are you from?”
Who knew that before he even approached the target, she came over on her own— He Ku was caught off guard. The male disciple quickly followed after her to explain, “My junior sister wasn’t looking to offend, but sir’s style of dress is quite similar to ours, thus the question.”
Well, it was no wonder they picked him out of the entire room since the only people in full white were the three of them. Initially, because he didn’t have any memories of Xuanmen, He Ku had thought that he wouldn’t have any feelings regarding them, but who knew that when this girl stood in front of him, he’d unconsciously have a good impression of her. However, with the complicated relationship between the other party and He Huan, he still naturally stood on He Huan’s side and kept his distance from Xuanmen, so he coldly replied, “It’s common courtesy to introduce yourself before asking for another’s name, isn’t it?”
He’d rarely treated people maliciously in the past so, knowing that his response wasn’t polite, his expression under the veil became a bit stiff. Fortunately, no one could see it, so everyone only thought that this was some arrogant disciple of some sect. But to behave like this in front of the Xuanmen Righteous Sect was really disrespectful.
However, Xuanmen disciples have never made trouble outside. Sure enough, the two of them were not angry. The male disciple replied very politely, “It was we who were rude. This humble one is Lu Wen, studying under Xuanmen’s Da Shixiong Swordsman Yao. This is my junior sister, Shizun’s daughter.”
Quickly skimming over the young girl’s identity, Lu Wen thought that anyone who resided in the Jianghu should at least give her a bit of face, but he saw that the white-clothed boy was still silent. Rather, his shimei’s curiosity was stronger. Unaffected by his cold attitude she asked carefreely, “I’m Bu LingYun, what is your name?”
Bu LingYun1 Bu QingYun = Bu Clear Clouds; Bu LingYun = Bu Above Clouds ? There was a hint of mockery in this name… What was He Huan’s shidi thinking when giving his daughter this name?
He Ku had already accepted the fact that he was once Bu QingYun, so when he heard this name, he wasn’t very happy.
He looked up and saw that the two of them had a smug look on their face. Unconsciously, he remembered He Huan’s expressions when he talked to him about the past. It was an indifference from having walked through the vicissitudes of life and watched the prosperity of the world. He didn’t like that look of He Huan’s, so he had to work hard to cultivate and grow into a Bu Qingyun that never fell onto the demonic path. Then he would tell him that even a Bu Qingyun who had reached the Calamity Crossing stage still liked his demonic self, completely solving the knot in that person’s heart.
Finger stroking the edge of the teacup, the young man watched the tea leaves slowly rise from the bottom of the water, his eyes gradually deepening. If Qian Ren was here, he would find that his expression at this time was very much like the current He Huan’s. He Ku didn’t quite understand why He Huan liked to drink tea before, but now, when he brought the cup to his mouth he realised that the slightly bitter taste actually helped calm people down from complex emotional states. True, he was indeed a teenager who loved to cause trouble, but he didn’t want to show that side of him to these people.
He Ku slowly raised his eyes, his voice as he answered was very steady, “Me? My name is Bu QingYun.”
Bu QingYun, just three characters, but they caused the whole inn to fall into silence. No one expected to hear this name again after eighty years. Everyone focused on the white-clothed young man, seemingly wanting to see past the veil covering his face.
Although there weren’t many Nascent Soul stage cultivators present, that didn’t mean there weren’t any. After a long silence, an old veteran in blue robes coughed twice and reminded, “This little brother really knows how to jest. Bu QingYun was already in the Golden Core’s late-stage when he was 20 years old. After he turned to demonic cultivation, he directly entered the Nascent Soul stage. He’s not someone a kid like you, who hasn’t even formed their golden core, can impersonate.”
He Ku knew that he wouldn’t have been able to hide his cultivation level from a Nascent Soul stage cultivator, not to mention this old man was trying to help him out of potential trouble, so he didn’t say anything. However, even with his identity being brushed to the side, it seemed that his words had sparked everyone’s interests. A scholarly middle-aged man immediately asked, “Elder LiuYun seems to know much about the events of that year. I’m curious, Bu QingYun was also considered to be quite a romantic figure back then, since both Yue family sisters were practically smitten with him, so why would he rape and kill his fellow sect members?”
Since cultivators who have made it to the Nascent Soul stage were all quite old, it was not surprising that he knew some details of the past. After hearing what the middle-aged man said, the old man’s expression became a little awkward. Moreover, there were two Xuanmen disciples present so it was inconvenient to speak bluntly, he could only vaguely say, “This is Xuanmen’s internal affairs. As an outsider, I don’t know enough to speak informatively on the matter.”
However, just because he didn’t say anything didn’t mean there weren’t other, less savoury characters who would do the same. In the next moment, a large man in black said, “I heard that it was a male disciple. Not even 18 years old when he got toyed with to death by Bu QingYun. Such a pity.”
Just as Xuanmen was a taboo for He Huan, Bu QingYun was Xuanmen’s taboo. After hearing what they said, Bu LingYun became a little angry. Fortunately, Lu Wen was more mature and hurried to pull her to sit down at He Ku’s table, whispering, “Shimei, don’t listen to their gossip and rumours.”
He Ku glanced at them before moving his attention to the other people in the inn, also interested in how the Jianghu spread the events of the past. So he stayed silent, eating his breakfast.
When rumours came together they were difficult to suppress. As soon as the large man mentioned it, the middle-aged scholar curiously continued, “You are talking about Beauty He2 This is a different “He” (贺) from He Huan’s (何) ?”
“Wait, what’s this story?”
Seeing the crowd’s confused looks, the scholar smiled and said, “You also know, Bu QingYun was the respectable Xuanmen Da Shixiong. What kind of beauty had he not seen yet? To make him lose his self-control like that, it must have been a heaven-defying beauty, right? Xuanmen is quite hush-hush over this matter, all we know is that the disciple’s surname was He and that he was personally accepted into Xuanmen by Bu QingYun as an outer court disciple. So, we call him Beauty He.”
When he said this, the man in black slapped his thigh in a show of comprehension. “To be unmoved by the beauty of the Water Moon Manor’s two sisters, he clearly didn’t swing that way! Hearing you say this, I can only think that he and this so-called Beauty He were already in an improper relationship. Just that he was a little too heavy-handed that time and was found out.”
End of Chapter 23.1
THISBRO: Sorry for splitting this chapter in half, I also hate doing it, but it was way too long 🙏. Nonetheless, I hope you guys enjoyed it.
- 1Bu QingYun = Bu Clear Clouds; Bu LingYun = Bu Above Clouds
- 2This is a different “He” (贺) from He Huan’s (何)