Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Dong Zhi dealt with the three medicine men alone. Although his life wasn’t in danger for the time being, he couldn’t think of a better way to deal with them, so he could only dodge and retreat. The perimeter of the stockade had been rearranged by Shawang’s black magic. There was also still Songen in the house, who hadn’t appeared yet. Even if they wanted to run away now, it was too late. Today’s battle was a situation where it would only end with either their deaths or the others’.
Kenta was dealing with another medicine man and didn’t seem to be at a disadvantage, but in Shawang’s eyes, they were already a turtle caught in a jar*. In fact, if it weren’t for Lord Mara’s fancy for Dong Zhi, who wanted to use the other party as a vessel for his temporary residence before his resurrection, he would have released thousands of corpses and insects long ago to devour these two people. Why would he bother to have them consumed so slowly?
*(瓮中之鳖) Metaphor referring to under control and cannot escape.
At this moment, a violent shout rose to the ground.
“Where is my enemy!”
As soon as the voice fell, a head flew out of the room extremely fast and hovered in the air. A pair of bloodshot eyes slowly turned, swept over Kenta and the medicine man, and finally fell on Dong Zhi.
Even if that figure had turned to ashes, Yamamoto Kiyoshi would still recognize it.
Yamamoto Kiyoshi, who only had his head left, would never forget his nightmarish experience in Lucheng.
The unbeatable man was actually beheaded by the sword of some unknown guy. If he hadn’t left a backup, he would truly be a dead man now.
When enemies met, they wouldn’t be happy to see each other let alone an enemy who had killed him. Yamamoto Kiyoshi’s fierce face locked on the target and rushed straight towards Dong Zhi.
Kenta couldn’t help but explain, “Flying head descent!”
Flying head descent was an extremely complicated and difficult black magic technique. It was said that if the master exercised this technique, he could detach his head from his body and take people’s lives from thousands of miles away. Generally, this was a technique black robe masters were passionate about, and Xinchai regarded it as an evil technique and strictly forbade his discipline, Kenta, from practicing it.
Strictly speaking, what Yamamoto Kiyoshi was now doing wasn’t considered a flying head descent because he had no body left. Songen had used a secret art to seal his soul into a skull so he could survive.
Seeing that Yamamoto was heading straight for Dong Zhi as if he was going to smash him into pieces, Shawang angrily said, “Stop! That is the body specified by Lord Mara and is not allowed to be damaged!”
However, Yamamoto couldn’t care less. Although Songen promised to help him recover his body, finding a suitable one wasn’t easy. Most people here were darker and had high cheekbones. Those that Yamamoto found pleasing to the eye weren’t suitable because they didn’t match his physique. As the days went by, he became more anxious and manic from being unable to find a body. Now, seeing Dong Zhi in front of him, how could he bear it? He couldn’t wait to bite into him, tear off a piece of flesh, and swallow it to stifle the hatred in his heart!
Seeing that Yamamoto wasn’t listening to his command, Shawang, who was afraid that he would accidentally bite into Dong Zhi’s neck, leaving Lord Mara without a vessel, was ready to intervene, but suddenly he felt a strange itch on the soles of his feet. He quickly took two steps back and looked down. As a result, Shawang felt a tingling sensation in his back, prompting him to yell, knelt, and stare in disbelief as an inexplicable hole appeared in his heart, directly from his back to the front. He was unaware of how this had happened!
Who! Who else was hiding in the dark?!
Shawang raised his eyes and looked around, only to see that Dong Zhi and Kenta were busy dealing with the medicine men and Yamamoto, so they didn’t have time to plot against him.
He couldn’t believe that a proud discipline of his dignified Master Songen could be so easily cursed.
“Master!” Blood gurgled from his throat as he screamed in pain while covering his heart. A pool of blood had already formed under him.
A hand touched his back. Using some unknown method, Shawang’s bleeding temporarily stopped, and his frazzled and frightened expression gradually calmed down.
Songen, who had been hiding inside, was finally forced to appear.
He stood next to Shawang, holding his apprentice’s shoulder with one hand, and looked at the rustling shadows of the trees outside the fence.
“If you don’t come out, I will kill your apprentice!”
Not long after, in the direction he was looking, Xinchai walked out slowly.
Songen’s face showed an expression of “it’s really you”.
“I knew that after you lost the duel you had been resigned to revenge, but I waited for so many years, but you were afraid of death and didn’t dare come. Do you think you will win today because you found helpers?”
Perhaps it was because of his long-term practice of sorcery, but even in his calm voice, Songen gave them a gloomy and indescribable feeling, as if there were invisible bugs biting all over them.
Xinchai looked at him and said in a deep voice, “I didn’t know you were trying to resurrect Mara. Otherwise, I would have come here a long time ago!”
Songen laughed. “Xinchai, your brother died at my hands, but you didn’t dare come to me to get revenge for decades. A coward like you still has a day where you would show up at my door!”
Xinchai smiled sadly and sighed.
“He learned dark arts by mistake and harmed people’s lives. It was purely self-inflicted.”
Songen shook his head. “It’s a pity. If he were alive now, he would definitely become a greater sorcerer than you! A person like you, who has no talents and is rigid, shouldn’t have learned any sorcery. It’s because of you that the dark arts have become a protective umbrella for the rich and powerful and are looked down upon by others! I am the one who carries forward black magic. Me! These are all my masterpieces. Those medicine men were created by a dark art not seen before. Can you do such a thing?!”
Songen raised his voice. “Of course not. You only crawl under the feet of the powerful and lick their boots, begging them to give you a little glory so you can show off your power in front of ordinary people!”
Xinchai was unmoved and wasn’t angered by him. “Demons have their own places, but you want to lead them into the mortal world. Do you think it will really remember your service and make you its loyal servant? On the day that Mara is truly resurrected, even you will become one of its victims!”
Songen laughed. “I’ll be very happy! I’m willing to dedicate every drop of my blood, my life, and even my soul to Lord Mara! Those with power have the right to dominate this world that has been occupied by incompetent humans for too long. I will change its owner and make it better!”
Xinchai looked at his crazed expression. Knowing he didn’t need to go on, he raised his staff and slammed it heavily on the ground.
Suqi, who was hiding at the door, quietly poked his head out and found that the horizon had been shrouded in dark clouds for some unknown time. The dark clouds gradually descended and flew towards Songen. Looking closer, he found that they were countless flying insects, densely packed together. They buzzed closer and closer. Following the command of Xinchai’s gesture, they wrapped tightly around Songen.
Suqi’s heart sank, not for the sake of faith but for his master. Those insects flapped their gray wings, and they connected one by one, forming an airtight sheet. The net made out of bugs made his scalp numb, but he couldn’t help but look at it.
The insect net gradually shrank its enclosure, but Songen, who was wrapped in it, didn’t move. Suqi wondered if he was being eaten little by little by the flying insects.
Songen’s apprentice had a hole in his heart. Even if he had used a secret art to save his life, he lacked the ability to fight back for the time being. He fell to the ground and his breathing became more labored, not to mention commanding the medicine men to help Songen.
Yamamoto Kiyoshi was bent on revenge with all his heart and was frantically attacking Dong Zhi. Kenta and Dong Zhi were dealing with the four invulnerable medicine men, and their situation looked deadlocked for a while.
Suddenly, the insect net was torn open!
Xinchai’s slightly closed eyes abruptly opened and looked in the direction of the insect net.
He saw Songen’s head sticking out of the torn hole, and with a loud bang, the entire insect net was completely broken apart and scattered!
Master Songen was truly the most powerful! Suqi, who was watching the battle, became happy again and continued to pray for him.
“You’ve been so busy flattering the rich all these years that you probably didn’t have time to improve your cultivation. Did you want to trap me with this trick?”
Songen laughed out loud. Suqi only saw his hand raised as if to release something, but when he took a closer look, there was nothing.
Xinchai’s face changed because he saw Songen release a small, translucent bug.
Only one bug.
But it was able to dig a hole through the dense insect net. When the insect saw that bug, it instinctively avoided it and didn’t dare fight with it.
“Poison*?!” Xinchai said it in a daze.
*(药降) Similar to gu, the practitioner uses various medicines, such as oils, insects, and hair, to curse their opponent.
The technique was in the same vein as Chinese witchcraft, since it was related to the insects used in gu techniques. The so-called poison was actually a kind of bewitched insect refined with a secret technique. When this technique was achieved, the bewitched insect would become completely transparent and unrecognizable to the naked eye. Wherever this thing went, it would eat human flesh, bones, and blood. It was an extremely powerful black magic technique that couldn’t be easily refined. Like the one released by Songen, its outline could vaguely be seen, and it wasn’t completely transparent; while it wasn’t in the most powerful form yet, at this stage it was nonetheless quite amazing.
This translucent bug rushed towards the center of Xinchai’s brows menacingly, and ordinary methods couldn’t resist it. In a few seconds, Xinchai’s head would be pierced by two blood holes.
Under the strong will of Xinchai, the insect net resisted timidly, trying to stop the bug, but they quickly fell to the ground one after another. The speed of the bug didn’t decrease but rather increased, and its prey wasn’t the insect net, but Xinchai who was not far away!
Time reversed half an hour ago. Before Dong Zhi entered the stockade under Suqi’s guidance, Long Shen and the others weren’t far behind in the stockade.
Long Shen didn’t rush to protect Dong Zhi but went around the rear of the stockade alone and sneaked into it quietly, looking for traces of the heavenly demon.
The most dangerous opponent of their journey, in his opinion, was not the powerful Songen, but Mara, whom he served.
Even if it was a heavenly demon that was not fully formed, it was still powerful enough to cause great damage to the world.
In the entire stockade, there was an area that was densely covered in demonic aura. It was rich and overflowing, signifying that this was where the heavenly demon resided.
The stockade was full of dangerous traps. Along the way, Long Shen encountered hands that suddenly popped out of the ground, poisonous arrows shot out in the dark, and countless tricks, but this didn’t hinder him. Whenever the sword light went out, evil spirits and demons would all turn into ashes.
The room filled with demon qi was at the end of all dangers. The door and windows were tightly closed, making it impossible to see a trace of them.
Long Shen didn’t rush forward in a hurry. He raised his sword and broke the door from a distance of more than ten meters.
Wind poured in from outside, slamming the door against the wall and causing it to bounce back with a loud bang.
But nothing came out of it. Everything was extremely quiet, as if Long Shen had disturbed the good sleep of the resident inside.
The quiet was surprisingly eerie.
Long Shen walked in slowly. There wasn’t any light inside. The only single candle that was burning was blown out by the wind.
The light from outside came in, adding a little bit more pop to the room.
Long Shen looked around and found bottles and jars everywhere on the table. There was a large table against the wall that only had a dark clay pot about a meter high. The jar was an ordinary pottery jar that could be seen anywhere, but Long Shen knew well that what was in the jar might be the focus of this room.
Incense was lit next to the clay pot, and the entire room was full of strange smells. The fishy sweetness was too sweet, as if it were wrapped in a thick sea of blood. Beside the table, there was a person sitting, half leaning against the edge, with his head lowered, as if he was asleep.
At the other end, a glass coffin had been erected, containing a blond woman soaked in yellow liquid. Her abdomen was bugling like a ball, and a mass of blackness flowed slowly from there, ready to come out.
Soon, there was a loud noise from not far away. It should be that Dong Zhi had started his confrontation with Songen.
Long Shen didn’t rush to turn around to go help. Dong Zhi was grown up enough to take the lead, and he should give him his full trust.
He moved suddenly.
With the long sword in hand, he slashed at the woman in the glass coffin towards her abdomen!
The sword light swept away, and the glass coffin cracked into countless pieces as the yellow liquid gushed out. However, the woman’s abdomen wasn’t cut by the sword’s light but suddenly broke open. The mist-like black ball swelled sharply, circled quickly, and formed into a small black cyclone. It merged with the black qi that was jumping around in the pottery jar next to it and spun in the air in the same place, swallowing the sword light with it.
At the same time, a small stream of black qi from the black ball flowed into the top of the man’s head. The man immediately opened his eyes and raised his head, smiling at Long Shen.
The light coming in from outside shone on the man’s face. It was Hong Rui, the mainland businessman, who had been missing all this time.
“After today, I will be able to take shape. Your body is good. Stay and be my 99th vessel!” Hong Rui cackled.
It wasn’t so much Hong Rui’s voice but more like a demon crawling out of hell through Hong Rui’s throat.
Long Shen didn’t say any nonsense. His hands rose and fell, and another sword light slashed out towards Hong Rui. He then leaped up with his strength and swept towards the rapidly rotating black mist with his sword. The sword was as powerful as a rainbow, almost as fast as lightning, and almost unmatched.
When the sword light pierced the black cyclone, the black qi wrapped along the sword light and quickly engulfed the entire sword’s body and spread. At the same time, Hong Rui gave a grin and attacked Long Shen from the side. Long Shen had to take some effort to pull the sword out of the cyclone and instead dealt with Hong Rui who was attacking him.
Hong Rui’s figure was extremely fast. He was no longer an ordinary person who was bent on pursuing power and glory but was directly possessed by the demonic qi of the heavenly demon. He was soaked in it day and night, and his body became semi-demonic, becoming a vessel for the demon.
Even so, despite how powerful the heavenly demon was, it was impossible for a mortal body to carry all its power. Before its own body was fully formed, it had to keep replacing its body over and over again.
Long Shen previously felt that with him and Xinchai, even if he couldn’t completely destroy it, he could temporarily seal it up, or drive it back into the abyss of hell, but at this moment, he found that he had underestimated its power.
It was a great demon, and when compared to the Archfiend, it should be several levels higher.
Legends told that the heavenly demon, Mara, often blocked Buddha’s cultivation and did everything possible to prevent Siddhartha from becoming Buddha. Although he was finally defeated by Buddha’s light, even Buddha could not completely destroy him. He could only let it transform into a heavenly demon, which showed how powerful this thing truly was.
Forces that were too powerful would automatically be excluded from the world, so the complete body of Mara couldn’t completely descend into this world. It could only accept sustenance from Songen and from the space of the abyss of hell, separate its qi little by little, and finally condense into shape, which would be its so-called resurrection.
But for this world, such power was enough to cause great damage.
At this time, Long Shen was held back by Hong Rui, and he had no time to deal with Mara, so the cyclone kept getting bigger and bigger. There was a strong wind blowing around, and all the furniture in the room was swept away by it. The cyclone at the center was spinning frantically, but Long Shen and Hong Rui were able to stabilize themselves.
The two fought against each other around the cyclone, almost turning into two shadows in the wind with sword light crisscrossing, but Hong Rui was able to match Long Shen by relying on the qi provided by the cyclone.
He smiled grimly and said, “You’re too late. Twenty years on earth are enough for me!”
After saying these words, he didn’t take the initiative to attack Long Shen. Instead, he turned around and ran into the expanding cyclone. His body was immediately engulfed by the black mist. Long Shen’s face suddenly changed. He raised his sword, turned around, and rushed out. At this time, the black qi behind him had quickly spread out and filled the entire room. An explosion sounded, and the roof was overturned. The black cyclone instantly turned into a hurricane and rushed straight into the sky.
As a disciple of Xinchai, Kenta was talented with the dark arts, but he wasn’t very good at melee combat. Facing the deadly crazed attacks of the medicine men, despite dealing with just one, it was already difficult. Dong Zhi had to deal with the other three, plus the crazy head of Yamamoto Kiyoshi.
Although the medicine men were still humans, they had lost their fear and other feelings that normal people have. Even if their hands and feet were useless, as long as their bodies could still move, they would attack endlessly. From this view, the medicine men were no different than zombies.
At this time, Long Shen’s teachings showed their advantage.
Before entering the Special Administration Bureau, although Dong Zhi envied Long Shen because of how powerful he was, he also knew that he had been an ordinary person since he was a child, so it was impossible to reach the same level as Long Shen in this life. After he worshiped the Hezao Sect and was named a disciple, Dong Zhi felt that if he could combine the sunlight talisman with the five thunder dharma, the result would be quite amazing. When he became a disciple of Long Shen, he decided to explore it again. Under Long Shen’s strict requirements, he not only got up earlier than chickens but also worked more diligently than chickens. He continued to practice his kung fu tona and sword paintings on a daily basis. Over time, his physical fitness greatly improved, and his agility and reflexes were significantly different than before. It was like his entire being was reborn. It could be seen that people’s potential was unlimited. The difference was only whether there was someone out there to tap into their abilities and if the person was willing to put in that kind of hard work to achieve their goals.
Dong Zhi used to think that he was lazy and unambitious and was just muddling through. Like countless ordinary people in the world, he worked a nine-to-five, rushing back and forth to the steel jungle, arguing with his project manager every day, and maybe meeting up once or twice with friends on the weekends for dinner or karaoke. Occasionally, on a whim, he would bring his drawing board and get on a train bound for spring and use his own brush to paint the scenery before his eyes. Perhaps he would meet an ordinary but cute girl, have a love that was no different from others’, get married and have children, and run around in the exhaustion of life, spending his entire life in such an uneventful way.
But that night on Changbai Mountain, an unprecedented and magnificent world opened up for him, allowing him to see a gorgeous world different from one of feasting and revelry*. Since then, he had been unable to calm down. Whether he admired Long Shen or the restless throbbing in his bones, today he finally understood that this was the life he wanted.
*Red lanterns and green wine (灯红酒绿) Idiom describing a corrupt or pleasure-seeking life. It’s also used to describe the bustling and lively scenes of cities or entertainment venues at night.
Everything was just right. He just happened to get on that train, happened to meet Long Shen, happened to have the curiosity to explore, and since then, his world had been turned upside down. Like a breach was blasting through a valley and stream, the course was changed and was heading straight towards a surging river.
Even if he were to meet death, even if he ascended to heaven and earth and explored the depths of the sea and mountains, he was able to find the love of his life and find a goal that he was willing to follow and work endlessly towards. He was willing to do his best for this, to give his blood and sweat, and even pay with his life, and he would have no regrets!
The wind was blowing behind him. Dong Zhi let out a loud cry, and white mist condensed and shot out from his sword. The medicine man staggered to the side a few times, and before he could stabilize, tried grabbing Dong Zhi again. In the gap of half a second, Dong Zhi had already thrown the sunlight talisman out. The talisman ignited and was followed by the tip of the sword, shooting straight towards the center between the medicine man’s eyes.
“The heavens give birth to water, the earth gives birth to fire, the heavens give birth to wood, the earth gives birth to gold. The five central palaces, subdue malignity, overcome disasters, and eliminate all traces of evil!”
The talisman fire burned the medicine man’s eyes, causing him to go blind. He scrambled aimlessly and could no longer pose a threat.
Without looking back, Dong Zhi lowered his body and stretched out the sword, knocking away Yamamoto Kiyoshi’s head that was trying to bite him, then turned around, spun twice in the air, and landed on one knee. He stuck the sword to the ground and pulled out the talisman paper. He slid his fingers across the edge of the sword and smeared blood on the talisman paper. He avoided another medicine man’s attack, twisted his arm with his backhand, and pulled it to his side towards the sword. Dong Zhi slapped the talisman between the medicine man’s eyebrows and drew a blood mark on it, causing the talisman to ignite. As Dong Zhi broke away from the medicine man, he stuffed an unburned talisman into his mouth, causing the medicine man’s figure to instantly fix in place. Dong Zhi raised his foot and kicked him carefully, causing the medicine man to fly out, breaking the stockade’s barrier and rolling into the river.
This series of actions were all done so smoothly, like floating clouds and flowing water, but Yamamoto Kiyoshi didn’t have the mind to appreciate his opponent’s heroic posture. He couldn’t wait to gnaw on Dong Zhi’s bones and eat his flesh. After being swept away by the Changshou sword, he quickly flew back again. Facing the talisman fire thrown by Dong Zhi, Yamamoto Kiyoshi opened his mouth and swallowed the talisman. He sneered, “Is that all you have?”
When he opened his mouth, black mist spewed out and rolled towards Dong Zhi.
On the other end, the third medicine man also roared and rushed over. His opponent was already big, so it felt like a small Mount Tai pressing down on him.
After being attacked relentlessly by the enemy, it only took Dong Zhi a quick second to react. After the black mist spewed out of Yamamoto’s mouth and drifted towards him, it surrounded him from three sides, but Dong Zhi remained motionless and didn’t panic like Yamamoto had expected.
Well, it didn’t matter. Even if he wanted to hide, it was too late! Yamamoto showed a hideous smile.
His head could move freely and much faster with the assistance of Songen, but as a person who had lived for decades, how could Yamamoto Kiyoshi get used to his current appearance of being neither human nor ghost? He hated that he couldn’t cut off Dong Zhi’s head and let him experience this hell! No, simply beheading wasn’t enough. He wanted Songen to turn Dong Zhi into a medicine man so that the other party could still maintain his sanity while being tortured by him, begging for death.
Yamamoto suddenly heard a muffled sound that came not from the front but from the top of his head. With his body physically restricted, he couldn’t look up, but soon, there was another rumbling sound in his ear.
This brought back bad memories for him because he had first heard a similar sound inside the warehouse on the outskirts of Lucheng…
Yamamoto’s face changed drastically.
It took time for his opponent to summon thunder, and this time around, it was much faster than last…
The bright sky suddenly changed color. Dark clouds rolled in with lightning that illuminated them. The thunder had already arrived!
At the moment when he heard the thunder, Yamamoto Kiyoshi subconsciously withdrew and flew back, but he never expected that heavenly lightning would have a tracking function. Even though he had flown back several meters in an instant, the heavenly lightning was impartial and still struck him squarely, as if to make up for its regret at not being able to completely kill him like last time. Yamamoto didn’t even have time to say his last words before he was immediately burned into charcoal!
The power of the heavenly lightning was so great that even Songen, who was busy fighting Xinchai, couldn’t help but lose focus.
He never thought that by cursing Han Qi’s body through Hong Rui would bring him so much trouble and consequences.
But it was too late to regret it now. When Yamamoto’s head was burnt by the heavenly lightning, Dong Zhi flew directly sideways and kicked his head like a ball and shot it towards the medicine man that was entangled with Kenta!
Kenta’s reaction was quite fast. When he heard Dong Zhi say “duck”, he didn’t hesitate and immediately lowered his head to dodge.
Yamamoto’s head flew over Kenta and directly smashed into the medicine man, instantly burning him up.
Kenta breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn’t good with words, so he gave Dong Zhi a thumbs up, which Dong Zhi replied with the same gesture.