He Huan’s appearance calmed He Ku’s initial worries by a lot. At least now he didn’t have to worry about being the victim of a surprise attack. The two deliberated in detail for an entire day, deducing that in their current state, as long as either one of them was in control of their body, the other would automatically become something akin to their Yuan Ying. However, since this was originally He Huan’s body, all the body’s cultivation goes wherever he goes. If He Ku wanted to manipulate the energy within the body, he’d have to start cultivating from the beginning. The good news was that the demonic art He Huan practiced was primarily soul-based, so he didn’t have to worry about opposing techniques conflicting with each other and could learn any technique he wanted.
Although this was what He Huan said, He Ku had the faintest sense that this person probably didn’t want him to also go down the demonic path, which matched perfectly with his intentions. Besides, compared to those depraved and evil techniques, he’d definitely preferred a just and honourable one, one that was fitting of a chivalrous hero. Using a normal person’s perspective, a sword-wielding righteous gentleman in white who travelled the world on his handsome horse couldn’t possibly be worse than a shameless perverted demon who was constantly under threat of elimination.
Speaking of this, He Ku tried to ask after where that white robe had gone, but He Huan, that bastard, only said he threw it away. When he continued to pursue the matter, He Huan would joke around and start spewing some bullshit. In any case, nothing he did was able to get He Huan to spill, leaving He Ku to accept reality. He felt extremely regretful, after all, he really did like that white robe.
The two continued to idly chat. He Ku also learned that in this state, He Huan’s soul could go wherever it wanted, it was only because he hadn’t started cultivation yet, that if He Huan didn’t borrow the power within the mirror, he wouldn’t have been able to see him. As for why he falls dead asleep whenever He Huan takes control, the answer was simple——not enough cultivation.
This also fueled his heart to work harder, after all…who knows whether this shameless He Huan would lie in wait in the shower and peek at him taking a bath!
After being accused, He Huan wailed in grievance, so much so that he even took a blood oath to prove that even if he wanted to see himself taking a bath, he would’ve just wheeled the mirror directly to the edge of the pool, he would never resort to a low-level act like peeking. This also let He Ku ascertain one thing, it wasn’t that he doubted He Huan (that bastard) was a pervert, it’s just that he was one.
Talking with He Huan was actually quite pleasant, after all, he had still lived for a hundred years. Anything from all the corners of the Earth, he more or less knew something about it. In addition, he didn’t put on any airs, so when the two of them reached a disagreement, regardless of how He Ku talked back, all he would do would crack a few jokes and the matter would be passed. If he’d met him in his previous life, He Ku would’ve probably been a follower for a while, but now, after combining all the evidence on this person’s background, he decided that he’d continue judging him.
To cultivators, choosing a technique that suited them was very important. After the two chatted for an entire day, He Ku still decided to wait and see. He Huan also didn’t force him, instead, he started to introduce which part of the Palace had the best scenery, which small restaurant had the best food, he even commented on his disciples’ bed techniques. Of course, when it came to the last point of discussion, he once again received one He Ku’s eyeroll™.
Lost in conversation, the sky had begun to light up again. Ultimately, He Ku still didn’t have any cultivation. His sleepiness had already started to take over. It was only because he could hear Yun Ce, this silly child, was about to wake up, that he persisted in not laying down.
Seeing him yawn several times in a row but still not go to sleep, He Huan was puzzled. Very considerately, he suggested, “The time we’ll be stuck together will probably be quite long, we can chat anytime. How about you go back inside, I’ll just handle some of the Palace affairs.”
But who could have expected that when faced with his rare display of actual consideration, He Ku completely didn’t appreciate it. He glanced in his direction and said, “How would I know that the moment I leave, you wouldn’t behave like a beast with Yun Ce?”
It was only now that He Huan realized, the only reason why He Ku had been fighting sleepiness was for this demonic disciple who he’d only just met. His gaze changed as he looked to his extremely upright self. That was an expression that he hadn’t seen in several decades.
He’d cultivated for a century. If one compared life to a long river, then his youth would’ve been the origin of the spring. Following as the river grew longer, there was no longer any trace of the original clear spring water. He once thought that he’d already let go of his past, it was only until just before that tribulation when he’d allowed his consciousness to roam about, chasing back to his beginnings, where all of his luxury, all of the dust he’d accumulated on his journey was dispersed, the one standing at the center of his being was still that sword-wielding, righteous, heroic youth that challenged the Jianghu so long ago.
When I was young, I, too, walked the world with just a sword in hand and trusted steed, appreciating the flowers on the path…
He sighed in his heart, he really was getting old, already starting to reminisce on past ‘glory days’. However, although his Yuan Ying had always been in his body since the day he turned to demonic cultivation, it luckily hadn’t been affected by any of his hardships and resentments. It still remained at how it was in the beginning.
The flowers in He Huan’s memories had already faded, all that was left of them was a pile of shriveled petals. But He Ku had only just opened his eyes, whatever he was to see in the future solely depended on He Huan. As for He Huan, he was a person who’d gotten used to doing things according to his desires. Previously, whatever he wanted to do, he did. Never had he cared about other people’s words. He’d originally thought that for the rest of his life, he wouldn’t listen to other’s orders anymore, he never could have predicted that, just hearing what He Ku said, his original intention to play with Yun Ce in order to pull in the force standing behind him dulled. However, he was also a straightforward person, since he didn’t want to do it anymore, then he just wouldn’t. To wrong himself for the sake of the demonic faction’s cause, this type of thing, this Grand Palace Master He would never do it.
He Ku didn’t know just an unintentional line had unexpectedly evoked so many of He Huan’s inner thoughts. Of course, he wasn’t able to tell either, the person in the mirror continued to hold that flawless smile. No matter how he looked at him, it just looked like a licentious young master pondering about other things, not a sliver of hurt, regret, or longing to be seen. But who knew, in this person’s pondering he suddenly laughed, “How can you say that I’m behaving like a beast when both parties desire it? Though, since ‘I’ don’t want to, not doing it is also fine.”
In actuality, the descriptions of He Huan in those letters weren’t really that convincing, in just the short time they interacted, He Ku felt that other than He Huan, that bastard, having a fondness for teasing him and throwing down a few suggestive lines whenever he got bored, he was a pretty decent person. It was likely that he also wasn’t as despicable as the rumours made him out to be.
Thinking about it, He Ku still decided to trust him. Facing the mirror, he warned, “You must control yourself ah, when I wake up, I’m going to check.”
“Just relax, I have never lied to myself.”
Seeing He Ku decide to trust him and slowly begin to sink into sleep, He Huan inwardly shook his head. In the end, this version of him was still young and gullible, how would you be able to check these types of things if you were the one topping?
Although this was what he thought, he still behaved himself and didn’t do anything. Gently returning to his body and using his spiritual energy to take a brief sweep of the damage to his meridians, He Huan manipulated a strand of qi to put his sleeping Yuan Ying back into his dantian for protection. It was only after doing all of this, that he used one hand to press against the bronze mirror and started to circulate his energy.
The cultivation Calamity Crossing experts have is directly connected to the sky, the moment he started to circulate, the area above the Hall began to gather energy. The weather changed, any cultivators within the scope of 500,000 meters stopped whatever they were doing to witness this phenomenon. They silently knew that this commotion was caused by He Huan coming out of seclusion.
It was only once he’d estimated that this grand of a demonstration would be able to intimidate all those restless sects around him that He Huan withdrew his spiritual energy. He lightly tapped on the surface of the mirror, causing little bits of silver trails to connect and form into a complex system of lines, as if a sudden meteor shower had descended. Looking closely, it was actually the blueprint to his meridians.
Examining these tangled meridians, it would take a lot of effort to be able to unravel them again. Although he remained expressionless as he manipulated the silver trails, his every action was clearly reflected on his body as his meridians protruded and were pressed down. He was unexpectedly forceful in setting his meridians back in place. Typically even just the slightest twist would have made the average person cry out in pain and soak themselves with cold sweat. It was clear how much pain he was feeling, and yet he didn’t even twitch his eyebrows, let alone utter a single whimper or scream. Such willpower, it really wasn’t strange that he was the Jianghu’s youngest Calamity Crossing expert.
Even though his line of sight was directed towards the mirror, his awareness had constantly been at attention. Yun Ce had only just started to blearily blink awake, before he heard someone ask from above him, “Awake?”
It was just one line, but Yun Ce was able to tell from his tone that the Palace Master returned to normal. However, his attitude didn’t really change in light of that, only looking to the bronze mirror and lamenting, “Everyone says that the Xuanmen Righteous Sect’s sect treasure, the Soul Inquiring Mirror, had fallen into Master’s hand, ‘Miracle Hand’ god-thief Kong Kong had gone undercover for so long in search of it. Who knew that you were treating it like a common bronze mirror and hung it up on the wall.”
He Huan didn’t have anything to say in response to his exclamation. Lazily peering at him, he pulled at another one of his meridians in passing as he said indifferently, “This Master likes to chat with young people, by seeing you guys glowing with high spirits, it lets me remember the time when I hadn’t fallen into demonic cultivation. Afterall, I’m getting old, and inevitably, I’d start to reminisce. So, Yun Ce, no matter how I behave from here on out, as long as you listen to what ‘I’ say, this Master will guarantee that no one from the Snowy Mountains will be able to take you away.”
To be honest, Yun Ce didn’t really understand what He Huan had been talking about, but hearing this, he suddenly remembered something his xiaoshishu1 Little Martial Uncle had revealed to him once, subconsciously he’d already asked aloud, “But Palace Master, before, weren’t you—”
“You Jiang should have already taught you what can and cannot be said in the Palace of Bliss.”
He hadn’t even finished before being interrupted by He Huan. Seeing his expression chill, Yun Ce knew that what his xiaoshishu said about that event being He Huan’s reverse scale was true. Immediately dropping the subject, he only shook his head and sighed, “If you don’t want me to say it, then I won’t. Back on the Snowy Mountains, you said you liked me quite a bit, and now we haven’t even dual-cultivated yet, but you’re already planning to throw me away because I caused a little trouble?”
Towards this youth’s half-hearted complaining, He Huan didn’t mind. Instead he looked at his reflection in the bronze mirror and revealed a few hints of a smile, “That’s because this Palace Master realized, no matter how perfect and beautiful you young people are, the only one who makes this Master happiest is still myself ah.”
Seeing him talk on and on, and even raise his hand to pet at his reflection, Yun Ce deeply recognized that after the tribulation, their Palace Master had become mental. He then remembered that his elders had often said that it was easy to accidentally experience qi-deviation when entering into the Calamity Crossing stage. There had even been past cases where the cultivator had gone insane or turned into a vegetable! Suddenly, he felt as if his path to becoming a male pet had become increasingly difficult, exaggeratedly wailing, “It’s over! The Palace Master’s crazy, I must find another target now, is it better to dual-cultivate with the Head Enforcer or the Second Enforcer?
Not anticipating that his movements would have led the other to this brainhole, He Huan also didn’t explain, instead, with a serious face, he continued to help dig this brainhole, “You definitely wouldn’t succeed with QianRen, but you can try your luck with You Jiang.”
Sure enough, the honest youth was easily redirected, worriedly he asked, “The Second Enforcer wouldn’t hack me to death, would he?”
“How about this Master lets you borrow a bottle of aphrodisiac?” From the nightstand, he fished out a porcelain bottle. He Huan used his actions to verify his Yuan Ying’s evaluation of him. Although he did have some times where he was honorable and serious, for the majority, he truly was a pervert.
“Palace Master is so evil.” Yun Ce sighed in admiration, as he received the medicine bottle. Then, he seemed to think of something again and turned back to face He Huan, “Is this medicine effective on you?”
This brat’s hidden motives really weren’t that hard to guess. He’d heard that the Snowy Mountain disciples were especially supple and flexible, what a pity…
Although He Huan had never had the habit of refusing those who volunteeringly crawled onto his bed, he thought of what would happen when He Ku found out he broke their promise, he’d probably be angry for a long while. He Huan decided to just lightly smile, replying, “Recently, QianRen developed another miracle medicine that would make men find no interest in seeking pleasure so as to be more focused on cultivation…”
“This disciple will take his leave!”
Sure enough, the moment Yun Ce heard this, he was frightened. He practically flew in the direction of the window and then jumped off. Seeing this display, He Huan was also in quite a good mood, lightly using his qi, he sent his voice out to within a 500 km radius, “All disciples gather at the Main Hall, this Master will arrive shortly.”
End of Chapter 8
THISBRO: School’s finally out, time for summer break~
- 1Little Martial Uncle