It had been a few days since they returned to the Palace of Bliss. The righteous faction always felt the need to proclaim their enemy’s crimes to the world before a fight, providing sufficient reason for amassing their forces, and as the leader of the Xuanmen Sect, Qing XuZi wasn’t any different. In fact, rumours swirled among the Jianghu that Xuanmen had abstained from aiding the other sects when they were harmed out of lingering fondness for He Huan, only raising a hand when it was their own disciple being harmed, rendering them unworthy of their reputation for being just.
When He Ku heard these rumours, he was speechless. In his heart, he criticized the righteous faction and the unscrupulous tactics they displayed the moment they gained the slightest advantage. He Huan hadn’t even done anything, but they spun a narrative that he wanted to suppress Xuanmen. Sure enough, there was no need to fear a god-like opponent, only pig-like allies. However, from his standpoint, he obviously thought it would be best if the righteous faction just straight-up became a pig farm and hustled Qing XuZi back into seclusion.
The righteous faction was delayed by internal conflict, but the situation on the demonic side was also quite strange. Thinking about it, this was a critical junction, and aside from He Ku using the body at night to hone his swordsmanship, the rest of the time He Huan had control of the body. However, he wasn’t summoning an army, picking generals, or even strategizing’ other than occasionally meeting up with Bai Chen for tea and conversation, he locked himself within QingYun Hall to read. Moreover, that sort of unmentionable reading material from those two cabinets! To He Ku, he gave off the strong impression that he was waiting for death.
In fact, through his conversations with Bai Chen, he also knew that He Huan probably planned to fake his death. However, He Ku felt that this method was too risky; if escape were possible, it would be a better plan. This worry reached its peak when he discovered that the disciples within the palace were packing up their belongings and evacuating in batches. He cornered the idle He Huan while he was eating pastries on the day bed to clarify the reason.
Yet he didn’t expect that once He Huan heard this, he still remained as impassive as ever. He Ku watched him reach out his hand and pull him into his arms, even taking advantage of He Ku’s momentary lack of reaction to steal a few touches of his waist. He Huan smiled. “Since they can’t defeat the enemy, why make meaningless sacrifices? What do you think about gifting the Palace of Bliss to Xuanmen?”
This pervert had spent the last few days reading porn and was currently ready to seduce whoever he saw. Naturally, He Ku wouldn’t just lay there and wait to be eaten, instead, he quickly rolled into a corner of the bed and sat up straight. Only after doing all that did he worriedly ask, “Isn’t this loss a bit big?”
Harassing his Nascent Soul was a habit he’d developed since entering the Calamity Crossing Stage, so he really wasn’t going to do anything. Even now, all he did was give He Ku a soft reminder. “Have you forgotten ‘Miracle Hand’ Kong Kong’s evaluation of us?”
Thinking of the letter he had read at the beginning and how a certain thief had complained there was nothing valuable inside the Palace of Bliss aside from their porn books, He Ku instantly calmed down. He suddenly felt that it wasn’t bad to let the Xuanmen Righteous Sect come and clean out all the smut from this lousy place.
Demonic cultivators have always lived in the moment, so when they obtain priceless treasures or pills they’d immediately use them, unlike the righteous faction’s sects who would build a treasury. He Huan himself didn’t even use external tools, since the Technique of Bliss cultivation method was practiced within the mind and heart.
Therefore, to them, the Palace of Bliss was just a place of residence. Early in Bu QingYun’s career as He Huan, before he had the strength to dominate the demonic faction, whenever he encountered a force he couldn’t win against, he’d retreat from the palace and would only return to rebuild it after assassinating the opponent’s upper-echelon.
Feng Xie’s skills were already extremely powerful; back then, this was what allowed him to sneak into the imperial palace undetected. After He Huan beheaded him, he refined Feng Xie’s soul and learned the same skills. Nobody below the Calamity Crossing Stage would be able to detect him.
After He Huan joined the demonic path, he no longer avoided using underhanded methods like poison or concealed weapons; as long as it killed his opponent he was willing to use anything, which made him a hundred times more terrifying than Bu QingYun. This also deterred the various sect leaders of the time from making any moves alone, for fear a dark figure would jump out of the shadows when their guard was down and take their head.
It was only later, as He Huan’s cultivation steadily improved, that he no longer had to resort to such guerrilla tactics, merely passing on these skills to his disciple, QianRen. He himself spent his days lavishly in the Palace of Bliss and enjoying his retirement. Apparently, these years of peace had made everyone forget that He Huan alone was the world’s most terrifying killer.
However, He Huan didn’t intend to use those underhanded methods against Xuanmen. Now all he was thinking about was He Ku’s worry. After all, he was confident in his strength and reinforcements, even joking, “The majority of Xuanmen’s disciples are pure virgins, their faces would probably be quite interesting if they saw my extensive collection.”
“I think they’d just straight up burn these things.”
Although He Ku still retorted according to habit, he silently imagined the impact these things would have on the abstinent Xuanmen disciples. He Huan had arranged this QingYun Hall so elegantly that ordinary people would never be able to guess that the cabinets stored something as crass as porn. It was almost a guarantee that someone would fall for it.
In the end, He Ku couldn’t resist lamenting that sure enough, ginger gets spicier the older it becomes. He Huan was much more proficient in digging pits for people to fall into. His act of hanging a Mingmen Righteous Sect plaque paled in comparison to this cabinet.
He Huan was never one to suffer losses, even if it was porn. He didn’t plan on throwing them away. He picked up a jujube pastry and put it in his mouth and mumbled, “You Jiang has the content more or less memorized, so later I’ll just ask him to redraw them.”
“Our family’s enforcer sure has many talents.” Just remembering that You Jiang, a person who practically exuded a ‘fuck the world’ aura, was not only a master in the four gentlemanly arts but also good at recreating porn, He Ku couldn’t help but sigh in admiration.
It would be fine if it was just regular porn, however He Huan wanted the last straight male in the entire palace to draw gay sex. He Ku was just worried that You Jiang would rather die than obey. When he thought of this, a look of worry emerged on his face. He asked, “Are you sure You Jiang wouldn’t defect with how much you torment him?”
It seemed like He Huan found pleasure in scaring him. He languidly ate a pastry and used a tone like he’d just bought cabbage at the grocery store to reply to him. “I reckon he’s more or less defected already.”
As if verifying what he said, the two people heard a gust of wind sweep past them as they chatted. Yun Ce nimbly flipped through the window, a piece of jade in his hands as he shouted at He Huan, “Palace Master, bad news! Last night when I went to find the second enforcer to cultivate with me, he knocked me unconscious, left this communication stone, and defected!”
A considerable amount of information was contained within this one sentence, however He Huan wasn’t surprised in the slightest. He received the communication stone from Yun Ce then waved him away. “Got it. Go inform QianRen since their relationship was quite good, enough that it is appropriate to drink a few cups in silence.”
Frozen at the side, He Ku watched him use less than a minute to handle his capable subordinate’s defection. He almost felt as if he was dreaming. Why did a major event like having an ally defect the day before the battle become an ordinary development when it came to He Huan? Wasn’t this too irresponsible for a Demon Lord?!
Moreover, the reason behind You Jiang’s defection was because he couldn’t stand Yun Ce’s harassment. In all of history, they were probably the only ones to have this happen. Even after a moment of silence, He Ku still wasn’t able to accept this explanation, so he voiced his thought, “Don’t you think this reason is a bit perfunctory?”
Fortunately, the demonic faction wasn’t actually so unreliable. Playing with the communication stone the enforcer had left behind, He Huan laughed lightly. “You Jiang told me once, he could be the demonic cultivator He Huan’s subordinate but he would never obey Bu QingYun.”
It wasn’t strange for someone with You Jiang’s character to say such a thing, but He Ku also knew that He Huan wasn’t the type of person who could be threatened. Instantly He Ku’s face darkened. “My intuition tells me that you didn’t give him a proper answer.”
“I told him, everyone knows that Bu QingYun and He Huan are the same person, so why deceive yourself into believing otherwise? Since you are unwilling, why don’t you pick a time to firmly draw a line and form your own power.”
Sure enough, He Huan’s response didn’t contain even a hint of reluctance. Thinking for a bit, he even added, “However, for him to leave so hurriedly, Yun Ce’s effort in bothering him every night definitely can’t be ignored.”
At that comment, He Ku only gave him a cold glare. “If I remember correctly, you were the one who unleashed Yun Ce upon him.”
With a smile on his face, He Huan accepted his Nascent Soul’s look of discontentment. He knew that during He Ku’s stay in the Palace of Bliss, the ones he interacted the most with were the three enforcers. Now that one of them had suddenly left, he was naturally upset. However, since He Huan had already made up his mind to let Bu QingYun reappear in this world, there was no way he and You Jiang would stand on the same side. It would be better to let him develop the demonic faction on his own.
There was no loyalty between demonic cultivators. The reason why You Jiang had stayed in the Palace of Bliss all these years was because He Huan had defeated him and had established a blood oath. His reply, however, was equivalent to dissolving the blood oath. Considering You Jiang’s personality, he would have already recognized this favour. There would be some kind of return in the future to come, so it was worth it.
He Huan had long stopped doing benevolent things, but He Ku didn’t need to know all the calculations in his actions. He still wanted to look at this innocent version of his young self for a few more days.
Smiling, he hid the depths within his eyes. He held the communication stone in his fingers as he asked, “Say… should we open the connection within this stone? With You Jiang’s temper, he’d probably curse me to hell and back with his new found freedom, right?”
He Huan never sought others’ opinions when he wanted to do something and this time was no different. As he joked, he had already crushed the jade. “Oh well, if he goes overboard with his curses, I’ll just go over and stab him.”
Only a cultivator at the Nascent Soul stage and above could activate a communication stone. Following the flow of spiritual energy, a glass-like lens appeared before them and a black-clothed You Jiang was reflected inside. There was no longer any trace of respect on his face as he looked at the person on the daybed, and his tone was distant. “Palace Master, today will be the last time we talk to each other.”
His indifference was within He Huan’s expectations, the only surprise was the woman in pink standing behind him. Xiu Niang, the subordinate that had followed him since the beginning of his demonic journey, had followed You Jiang in leaving.
However, in the end, He Huan was He Huan. Even though something unexpected had happened, the only thing that moved was the light in his eyes. Quickly, his mood returned to its initial calmness, and he carefully looked at the two people in the glass lens, his mouth slowly curling up into a smile. “You Jiang, this master has known right from the start that you were a promising demonic cultivator.”
End of Chapter 29
THISBRO: Sorry for the late update, please forgive me 🙏. RL caught up to me since I’m preparing to move onto the next phase of my life: uni!