During the day, Jiang Luo drew a whole stack of suppression talismans.
It was all thanks to the hand speed he had trained at the Design Institute. He also had to thank the ‘Qi’ which he still didn’t know much about.
As a result, he could now drown Chi You in the yellow talismans as if he were throwing money.
Smashing him until he could flatten Chi You to death.
Jiang Luo leisurely watched the mist as it became more and more sinister. He smiled widely; thin lips, curling upwards. Using that intact, unharmed hand, he pressed the held talisman papers down on the neck of human-shaped fog. Then, he used his knee—which had a talisman attached to it—and ruthlessly gave the mist a hard blow to its abdomen.
Chi You groaned.
Jiang Luo bent over at his waist. A few strands of his silken black hair slipped down his shoulders as he softly whispered, “Feel good, Teacher?”
The black mist froze for a few seconds. Suddenly, the evil ghost laughed.
His laughter grew louder; it contained a kind of underlying insanity. It made others who heard it tremble with fear with hairs standing on end.
Jiang Luo, instead, listened quite calmly. He stuck another talisman on the evil ghost’s body and softly said, “I’ll make you feel good all night long.”
Lu Youyi was dazed and confused when he woke up. He found that his classmates were calling for him to go down for food.
He curiously went down to the restaurant and saw seven people happily gathered together, eating breakfast. Slightly confused, Lu Youyi asked, “Why are you guys up so early?”
“Jiang Luo bought breakfast and called us to get up,” Ge Zhu replied happily, inhaling his soy milk. He had always been a ‘Yes Man’ in the face of wealth. While eating the food bought by Jiang Luo, his mouth was full of praise toward Jiang Luo. “Come over quickly, Jiang Luo got up early this morning and bought all this for us. Jiang Luo, you are really too kind. Blessed and Immeasurable Gods, it is really a blessing to have you as my classmate.”
Lu Youyi scratched his head. He walked over and sat down, then glanced over at Jiang Luo in wonder, “Why do you suddenly want to buy us breakfast?”
He looked down and was startled, “What’s up with your arm?”
Jiang Luo’s right arm was wrapped in a layer of brand-new plaster.
Jiang Luo ’s face was filled with smiles. In a good mood, he said, “Last night you guys drank too much. When I was bringing you to your rooms, someone slammed themselves right into me and dislocated my arm.
The few who were drunk last night froze. Their eyes looked uneasily at Jiang Luo, as if asking: who was that idiot?
Jiang Luo’s gaze went around the circle and gradually settled on Kuang Zheng, who grew more and more stiff.
He still hadn’t figured out what was going on with his Yin Yang Bracelet, so he used this well-timed excuse to get Kuang Zheng to take a look at it for him.
Sorry, I’ll be counting on you to carry this black pot, Mr. Artifact Refiner.
Beads of sweat slowly dripped down from Kuang Zheng’s head. At this moment, his usually sturdy and mountain-like figure became quite fidgety. After noticing Jiang Luo’s gaze, Kuang Zheng said with chagrin, “Sorry.”
He seldom drank, so he never knew what he was like after drinking.
But his classmates’ physiques were all slender and lanky. It seemed that the only one who could dislocate Jiang Luo’s arm was just him.
Kuang Zheng felt extremely guilty. His two fists clenched and released as he, once again, apologised in a small voice, “It’s all my fault…”
Jiang Luo suddenly felt like he was taking advantage of a good person. After blending into society for so many years, he had rarely seen such an honest person like Kuang Zheng. However his face was thick enough and his heart was black enough. Without changing his expression he said, “No worries. You were drunk at the time. It wasn’t intentional.”
The more he spoke, the guiltier Kuang Zheng felt. “I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you.”
“If there’s anything you need, you can let me help,” Kuang Zheng said, “Also the medical expenses, I will compensate you.”
Jiang Luo magnanimously shook his head, “No worries, I still have my left hand.”
Kuang Zheng didn’t say anything else, but his expression clearly showed his determination to take care of Jiang Luo.
Wen Renlian sighed, “How could you hurt your right arm?”
Jiang Luo was right-handed. He used his right hand to do things and write talismans. Hearing this, he sneered in his heart.
Wasn’t it because Chi You got angry at him for sticking seven talismans on him and destroying all of his puppets?
“In a month, it’ll be the Yunnan1A province in China located in the south-west, bordering Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. Competition,” Ye Xun said. “There’s enough time to let your arm heal.”
Jiang Luo smiled happily. His hand injury didn’t affect his good mood. “I’m just tagging along. When the time comes, I’ll just watch you guys perform.”
In reality, Jiang Luo wasn’t interested in this competition.
But after reading the promotional poster of the “National Natural Science Competition for Post-Secondary Students”, he frowned and stared straight at the prize for first place.
It was a bead.
It had a transparent-like texture and emitted a cold white mist. It was extremely similar to the one that the funerary shop owner had, making Jiang Luo very concerned with the bead.
On the poster, there are only two lines written beside the bead.
【First prize: Yuan Tian Zhu2Also known as Heavenly Pearl/Heavenly Bead. However, Yuan Tian Zhu sounds cooler so I left it as is.. 】
【Effect: Result in enhancement of the spiritual body. 】
These two very simple sentences could even be called excessively concise, but they almost caused stormy waves in the entire metaphysical world.
What did it mean to enhance the effect of one’s spirit body?
In this line of work, talent was the most important thing. Designing still depended on inspiration. In addition to inspiration, however, one could also create templates—looking upon a 180 degree panorama of design samples while asking: how could I design a set myself? Yet in this industry, talent was not enough. So no matter how hard one worked, there were things that one couldn’t do.
Jiang Luo looked at this lone little bead and inevitably thought of the forbidden technique that the original owner used to kill Chi You.
That forbidden technique and this bead had a similar underlying function3异曲同工 – Different instruments playing the same tune; an idiom means using different means to achieve the same goal.. That forbidden technique could deprive others of their spiritual bodies, while this bead could strengthen other people’s spiritual bodies.
Moreover, there seemed to be more than just one Yuan Tian Zhu.
Did this bead have anything to do with the forbidden technique that lured the original owner into becoming a pawn?
This little bead made Jiang Luo very intrigued, but if he wanted to get a closer look at this bead, he needed to somehow survive the first two levels of the competition. For the rest of the month, except for going to class, studying, and practising writing talismans with his left hand, Jiang Luo spent the rest of his time in the school library.
He desperately absorbed every single piece of information, wanting to become stronger as quickly as possible.
In a blink of an eye, a month had passed. It wasn’t until his classmates dragged him to the airport to board their flight that Jiang Luo realized that it was already time to head for the Yunnan Competition.
In a muddle, Jiang Luo was hauled onto the plane. Kuang Zheng sat next to him, so that it was convenient to take care of him.
The plaster on Jiang Luo’s right arm had just been removed that week, and his right hand hadn’t been used for almost a month. It was inevitable that it was a little out of practice. While he was getting used to the feeling of writing with his right hand, Kuang Zheng silently handed Jiang Luo a sheet of information about the Yin Yang Bracelet.
For an entire month, this upright person had been delivering meals and doing chores for Jiang Luo without fail while offering to study Jiang Luo’s Yin Yang Bracelet on the side4The raws says: 又将江落的阴阳环祭炼了一遍 which to my limited Chinese knowledge means something similar to using the Yin Yang Bracelet as a means/sacrificial offering of appeasement. If there’s anyone who knows how to translate this better comment below. After completing all that hard work, Jiang Luo felt guilty for taking advantage of him.
However, Kuang Zheng’s thoughts were sincere and honest. After firmly believing that he had made a mistake, he insisted on making amends. Even now, when Jiang Luo had had the plaster removed, he didn’t leave. He wanted to determine whether Jiang Luo’s hand had truly recovered.
Jiang Luo rubbed his nose and took the information with a guilty conscience. Coming up from behind, Wen Renlian walked up beside them. With a smile, he patted Kuang Zheng’s shoulder, “Hey, big guy5大块头 – big muscle man, switch seats with me?”
Today, Wen Renlian wore a long denim skirt that seemed especially neat and tidy and had big, wavy, curls. Both sassy and pretty, his beauty was extremely moving. Kuang Zheng glanced at him. He got up silently and made way for Wen Renlian.
Wen Renlian: “Thank you.”
He gracefully sat down beside Jiang Luo. Looking to the side, Kuang Zheng was still standing in the aisle, motionless. Wen Renlian couldn’t help but laugh, “If you really don’t want to change with me, we can change back later.”
Kuang Zheng’s wheat-coloured face seemed a bit stiff. He shook his head and walked towards Wen Renlian’s seat.
Jiang Luo and Wen Renlian greeted each other. Wen Renlian cupped his cheek as he looked at Jiang Luo, “Jiang Luo, you’ve really gone all-out6好拼 – very desperately doing something this month.”
Jiang Luo replied modestly, “Not really.”
“The speed of your progress… has already exceeded our imaginations,” Wen Renlian murmured, “You really seem to have…”
Jiang Luo couldn’t hear him clearly: “Seem to have what?”
Wen Renlian shook his head with a smile and tapped his chin, “Let’s see what information the big guy has prepared for you.”
Jiang Luo read through the information once more, the Yin Yang Bracelet was a rare portable magic tool which could be used for immediate self-defence as well as exorcising evil spirits. Just that, if one wanted to use the Yin Yang Bracelet, one needed to activate it.
As for how to activate it, Kuang Zheng, this artifact refiner, also didn’t know.
After Jiang Luo finished flipping through the information, he couldn’t help but sigh. He raised his right hand and shook it a bit. The jade-like, wood-like bracelet on his wrist exuded a soft glow. It was definitely beautiful, but if he didn’t know how to use it, then it was useless compared to a talisman no matter how beautiful it was.
Wen Renlian said, “Still don’t know how to use it yet?”
Jiang Luo shook his head.
Wen Renlian thought for awhile, “Feng Clan’s celestial master, Feng Li, will also be attending this competition as an appointed examiner. You are a child of the Feng Clan. Do you want to ask Feng Li?”
Jiang Luo sat up straight. “Feng Li is an appointed examiner?”
“Every time there’s a competition, the Six Great Sects will send out one person to be an appointed examiner,” Wen Renlian sneered, tone filled with vague implications as he said, “In the past, Feng Li had never accepted invitations to competitions, but this year, he became the competition’s appointed examiner. No matter how you think about it, this year’s competition will not be easy.”
Although Wen Renlian was not a member of the Six Great Sects, his information sources weren’t lacking. Since he said that Feng Li would come, then Feng Li would definitely attend.
Jiang Luo definitely didn’t want to see Feng Li. He kneaded his forehead, “Let’s talk about it when we get there.”
In《Devil》, Feng Li’s intelligence was closer to that of a demon. He was also cold-hearted and apathetic. Just by looking at the fact that he was an accomplice who helped Chi You get revenge on the original character, Jiang Luo didn’t want to rashly confront him.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, the plane landed in Yunnan. In May weather, Yunnan’s sky was bright blue with thick, white clouds. Everywhere one looked was like a scene from an oil painting.
The welcoming staff had been waiting at the airport for a while. After receiving them, they were rushed to the hotel.
The teacher who led the group from Baihua University was Master Fang who taught Feng Shui. He had a kind disposition and was easy to get along with. Before reaching the hotel, Jiang Luo had seen a lot of young college students on the journey there. At this time when it was neither summer vacation nor a rest day, from a glance this group of college students were most likely students from various schools who were majoring in the Natural Sciences and Social Studies program.
When the staff member saw the group of students who had run out to go sightseeing, they mysteriously said, “Master Fang, do you know how many people are participating in the competition this year?”
Master Fang replied curiously, “How many? It shouldn’t be less than 100 people.”
The staff member: “There’s a total of 180 people participating in this year’s competition! In addition to the students from 12 colleges and universities, a good number are the young disciples from the Six Great Clans who have come to participate. How could the numbers from the previous two years compare?”
Teacher Fang laughed and spoke in a low voice, “They all came for the prizes.”
There were a total of eight students in the metaphysics class of Baihua University, and all eight students had fulfilled the 20 credits required to participate in the competition. This achievement was quite impressive. When Jiang Luo and the others alighted the car, others heard that they were people from Baihua University. Many eyes, both openly and secretly, settled upon their bodies.
Jiang Luo stretched his waist. His long hair was slightly longer than a month before; it had already reached the butterfly bone on his back. He had taken a nap on the plane, so his hair was a little messy, but his face was rosy and lively, dazzling the eye.
He was accustomed to being watched and ignored the gazes directed towards him. Luggage in hand, he followed his companions upstairs.
Jiang Luo and Lu Youyi shared a room. Once the two of them finished putting away their luggages, Lu Youyi ran to the window and pulled aside the curtains. “It’s so pretty.”
He suggested in excitement, “Jiang Luo, should we go try the local Guo Qiao Rice Noodles7过桥米线 – Also known as Crossing-the-Bridge Noodles; a soup noodle where the ingredients are served on separate plates/bowls with boiling broth in a stone bowl. You place the ingredients into the broth yourself.?”
Jiang Luo had his head down as took off his clothes. “Okay, wait for me to change.”
Lu Youyi watched as he changed his shirt and couldn’t help sighing at Jiang Luo’s good skin. It was both tight and firm as well as white; beautiful and sexy. When Jiang Luo started to take off his pants, he inexplicably became too embarrassed to continue watching. He turned around and looked out the window. Suddenly, he went, ” Oh, f*ck! Jiang Luo, people from your Feng Clan have arrived!”
Jiang Luo had pulled on his pants. While readjusting his clothes, he went to the window and looked down.
A few young people got out of a van. From the memories of the original owner, these people were the most talented people within the younger generation of the Feng Clan.
Jiang Luo fell into deep thought.
With so many people attending, most of them were definitely here for the Yuan Tian Zhu. Objects that could improve one’s spiritual body were rarer than most. With opportunity laying before them, there were few people that could remain unmoved.
The exceptions were those who were truly and exceedingly talented, who thought the effects of the Yuan Tian Zhu were not worth their time.
The last person got off the van.
The man was wearing a black Tang suit. With an indifferent expression, his temperament stood out from the crowd like a crane amongst a flock of chickens. The young student who was standing in front made way as the man slowly made his way into the hotel.
It was the protagonist gong from the original story, Feng Li.
The author has something to say:
Gong: Why don’t you change your clothes in front of me?
- 1A province in China located in the south-west, bordering Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
- 2Also known as Heavenly Pearl/Heavenly Bead. However, Yuan Tian Zhu sounds cooler so I left it as is.
- 3异曲同工 – Different instruments playing the same tune; an idiom means using different means to achieve the same goal.
- 4The raws says: 又将江落的阴阳环祭炼了一遍 which to my limited Chinese knowledge means something similar to using the Yin Yang Bracelet as a means/sacrificial offering of appeasement. If there’s anyone who knows how to translate this better comment below
- 5大块头 – big muscle man
- 6好拼 – very desperately doing something
- 7过桥米线 – Also known as Crossing-the-Bridge Noodles; a soup noodle where the ingredients are served on separate plates/bowls with boiling broth in a stone bowl. You place the ingredients into the broth yourself.