Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Although Dong Zhi was temporarily out of trouble, the fight between Xinchai and Songen was at a stalemate.
The styles of the two sides were different, but there was no doubt that they were both extremely talented masters. Perhaps Xinchai was slightly inferior to Songen in his methods, but Songen wasn’t able to easily gain the upper hand.
Dong Zhi was a little worried about Long Shen. Seeing that Long Shen hadn’t appeared, it could only mean that his side was more difficult to deal with. He was about to leave for Long Shen’s side when he saw the building at the end of the stockade explode.
The explosion lasted only a moment, but the movement was earth-shattering. Even Xinchai and Songen, who were fighting to the death, couldn’t help but pause for a moment. Dong Zhi and Kenta not only witnessed the explosion, but also saw the roof collapse and a black cyclone rise into the sky. The dark clouds above their heads surged endlessly, responding to one another, as if the sky was being torn apart by a hurricane and was opening a passage to a different world.
“What is that?!” Kenta said in a low voice.
Dong Zhi rushed over without thinking, and at that moment, he only thought that Long Shen was there.
Xinchai was held back by Songen, unable to get away, but his face changed when he saw the scene.
Only Songen was overjoyed and was laughing wildly. “It’s the power of the great Lord Mara! Our lord has returned from the abyss, and you ants who dare disrespect him will all die here!”
As he spoke, the hurricane was getting smaller, but the force was getting more powerful. Everywhere it went, it razed the ground, causing countless fragments to fly and circle in the air. The trees were uprooted, and the water in the nearby rivers was sucked up and turned into countless drops of water, becoming water vapor that then condensed into a black mist around the hurricane.
In the eyes of mortals, it was like a scene of the sky and sun being covered. Even Suqi couldn’t be bothered with the pain in his stomach. He kneeled to the ground, trembling, and kept chanting Mara’s name.
Dong Zhi couldn’t get close. He struggled to move forward on the edge of the gale, and his face turned pale.
He knew that Long Shen was powerful, but in the end, artifacts were still only flesh and blood, while Mara was a legendary demon that made the gods and Buddhas tremble. Even if the demon was just newly born and hadn’t yet gained full power, and the two sides were still comparably matched, this battle was still bound to be bloody. He hated that he didn’t have the ability to teleport to Long Shen’s side. Even if he did his best, it would be better than doing nothing here.
When the surrounding buildings were razed, the field of vision became wider. The black hurricane gradually shrank into a small cyclone. Its height was still connected to the clouds in the sky, and the center was filled with black qi, making it impossible to see the situation inside.
Dong Zhi’s steps were stopped in their tracks.
Kenta had finally caught up after the remaining medicine man was subdued, and he saw that Dong Zhi wasn’t moving and felt it was a little strange. When he saw the situation ahead, he couldn’t help being stunned.
In the black mist, a man walked out. To be precise, a naked man walked out.
He had no hair, and his appearance was extremely handsome. His nose was high, and he had deep eyes, a fair complexion, and a figure that was the perfect golden ratio. His muscles were strong and elastic, as if his body had been designed with the word perfection in mind.
That was the ultimate pursuit of all mankind, and it was a perfection that even Michelangelo couldn’t imitate, but such perfection didn’t cause marvel or envy.
Dong Zhi and Kenta only had chills running through their bodies, and they only felt fear.
It was because of evilness.
They saw in the man’s eyes the cruelty and viciousness that destroyed everything in the world. Through that man’s eyes and face, all extreme and unimaginable evil was seen.
The human form was just a body to facilitate his walk in this world. He was born for the purpose of death and destruction. Wherever he walked, there would be plagues and wars, suffering and wailing, piles of corpses scattered with limbs, and sticky blood that would flow through the soil. The living dead would become his servants, and heaven and earth would be much darker.
At that moment, Dong Zhi and Kenta seemed to witness such a scene, and their limbs remained frozen.
This was not a scene they chose to see, but rather what the other party wanted them to see.
The demon that came out of the abyss of hell, a creature that should not appear in this world, would eventually destroy the world, but the door was opened by humans themselves.
The man walked towards them, step by step, slowly and calmly. He was the most beautiful, but he had the most chilling smile on his face. Even his voice was magnetic, as gentle as a spring breeze blowing across one’s cheek, which made people’s bones lax, but Dong Zhi and Kenta knew this was just an illusion by the demon to confuse people’s hearts.
People were born to be attracted to flesh. If a beautiful person stood next to an ugly person, even the most self-proclaimed fairest people in the world couldn’t deny that they would look at the beautiful person more. And demons, knowing the weaknesses in the depths of the human heart, would transform into their favorite appearance according to human preferences.
Mara raised his hand slightly, and a stone at his feet flew to his hand. He clasped his palms together, and the stone immediately turned into dust and flowed from his fingers.
He looked unhappy, like he wasn’t satisfied with his current strength.
Dong Zhi and Kenta remained motionless. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to move, but they couldn’t move.
The tremendous magic pressure overwhelmed them, and it was surprising that they could maintain their stature without retreating or kneeling.
“…Where, is, Long, Shen!”
Almost bursting out of his teeth, Dong Zhi stared at Mara and asked him word by word.
Mara tilted his head. His expression was puzzled, as if he didn’t understand what Dong Zhi was talking about.
“Lord Mara! You—you are the honorable Lord Mara!”
Suqi ran over and kneeled directly on the ground. He crept forward step by step, looking up at Mara. Tears were streaming down his face as if he had seen a real god descend to earth.
“My lord, please help me. My stomach hurts so much… I am your most pious servant. My name is Suqi…”
The man retracted his magic pressure and Suqi suddenly felt the pressure on his body was light. He couldn’t help but become overjoyed, speeding up his movements as he crawled towards his god.
Mara looked at him with a bit of curiosity.
Suqi reached his feet, hurriedly lowered his body, and kissed it carefully.
“My lord, I would like to be your most loyal servant. Please accept me!”
His abdominal pain hadn’t been eliminated, so the words he spoke were intermittent.
“Servant? You?” Mara repeated what Suqi had said.
“Yes!” Suqi smiled with joy. He turned his head and pointed at Dong Zhi and Kenta. “My lord, they are the enemy. They wanted to stop your resurrection!”
His voice stopped abruptly, and the smile on his face froze. In the last moment of Suqi’s life, he only heard a click, which was the movement of his neck being broken.
Then, his vision went completely dark, and his breathing disappeared in an instant. Naturally, he didn’t know that his neck was twisted off by Mara and blood was spurting out of his broken torso. The nerves caused by the body that had lost its head convulsed reflexively for a long time before dying. The blood and brain matter that was flowing from the detached head went directly into the man’s mouth.
Mara ate quite well, without even looking at Dong Zhi and Kenta. The unstoppable blood flowed down from the corner of his mouth. His perfect face was stained with blood, and it became even more cruel among the beauty—a kind of beauty that was laced with death.
The battle between Xinchai and Songen had also reached a critical point.
These two masters knew that this battle would never end. They had already sacrificed their best techniques. After Songen’s poison was cracked by Xinchai, he summoned the ghosts he had refined for many years. About eight skeletons flew out of the house and pounced on Xinchai. These skeletons were preserved using a secret method and soaked in a corpse bag. Anything they came into contact with would become infected with corpse poison. Xinchai summoned ten thousand insects to fight against them. The skeletons met with thousands of insects in mid-air, and the bugs fell and died one by one when they encountered the corpse gas, but there were some who were persistent and managed to bypass the skeletons to pounce on Songen.
At this time, Mara had resurrected and was walking towards them, step by step. Songen was overjoyed to see the heavenly demon but when he saw Suqi killed by the demon without saying a word, doubts suddenly arose, and his focus was inevitably loosened. Xinchai saw this gap and released his five poisons*, causing Songen to vomit blood and fall to the ground.
*(五毒) Refers to centipedes, poisonous snakes, scorpions, geckos, and toads.
With its controller damaged, the skeletons fell one after another, but Xinchai also suffered heavy losses as well. Those insects that he cultivated were infused with the essence of his own blood. Every time an insect died, it meant he himself also suffered backlash. He was now exhausted and injured and was no longer able to fight.
However, though the threat of Songen was temporarily lifted, a bigger enemy was born.
Mara was still sucking on the head with his hand, savoring the taste.
It seemed that this was perhaps his first food after coming into the world, and maybe he was really hungry, so he cherished it like a treasure, refusing to waste even a single drop of blood.
Dong Zhi hadn’t found Long Shen’s figure, causing his mood to sink. He didn’t want to think about it, but what he faced was most likely bad news.
He clenched the hilt of his sword and felt that the magic pressure seemed to have eased a little. Knowing that this was the moment when the demon’s defense was most relaxed, he suddenly jumped up and poured all his qi into the sword.
He even felt that he had truly understood the essence of swordsmanship because this was almost the fastest attack he had ever used.
With all his strength, Dong Zhi was dazzling. Only then did Dong Zhi find that when people were extremely sad and angry, their minds would go blank.
The sword’s movement was getting faster, and the sword light turned into a stream of rainbow as it pierced the demonic pressure around the heavenly demon!
Originally, the heavenly demon, who hadn’t put the enemy in his eyes, finally raised his head and showed a trace of surprise.
Mara raised his hand, causing the sword light to penetrate his palm and head straight towards his heart.
The vast plain was flat, which made the advance unstoppable.
However, Dong Zhi didn’t have any time to rejoice. He found that his sword could no longer advance. At the same time, a huge reaction force came from the opposite side, pushing him back a little.
Bu Tian Gang qi and the demonic qi collided, bursting into the sky. Dust scattered everywhere as grass and rocks danced wildly in the air. Kenta flew back without being able to grab onto a fixed object, while Songen and Xinchai were unable to dodge; countless small wounds began to appear on their faces and bodies.
A few seconds later, the duel ended with Dong Zhi’s failure. He immediately followed in Kenta’s footsteps as his entire body was overturned by the demonic qi and fell heavily to the ground a few meters away!
“You look much better than him.”
Mara looked at the head, which had all its brains sucked out, and threw it away before walking towards them again. Suddenly, he could speak a language that others could understand.
Dong Zhi suddenly understood that this was due to the absorption of Suqi’s flesh and blood.
The “he” in the mouth of the heavenly demon was Suqi, who had just been disembodied.
This poor, sad young man blindly worshiped a powerful being and ended up being buried at the hands of the demon he wished to serve—a demon that didn’t give a damn about him.
“I like you.” Mara smiled faintly at Dong Zhi with unparalleled tenderness. “I’m going to save you for last and enjoy it when I eat you.”
But this kind of gentleness was only skin deep. His eyes were cold and ruthless, and he looked at Dong Zhi and Kenta as if they were no different than dirt.
In the eyes of the demon, any living thing was dead.
They were born to destroy, and the pain of the world was the most enjoyable music to their ears. Their most proud masterpiece and greatest pleasure was watching humans struggle and sink in their desires, wailing for mercy in order to survive, and willing to be servants to the demon.
Dong Zhi gritted his teeth and said nothing. He held onto the Changshou Sword with one hand and secretly started pinching his hand for another trick.
Mara didn’t take him seriously. In the heavenly demon’s eyes, Dong Zhi was just a fun toy that could be played with slowly.
He looked around for a while, and his eyes fell on Kenta. He started to slowly walk towards him.
Kenta naturally refused to sit still. He propped up his body and sat cross-legged on the ground. He held a wooden staff in one hand and tapped it on the ground as he opened and closed his mouth, as if he were chanting a curse.
With his movements, the ground seemed to move slightly and then calm down again.
He was the proudest disciple under Xinchai and was extremely talented with witchcraft. Otherwise, Xinchai wouldn’t have brought him along. At this moment, he specialized in snakes, which he studied for over ten years—hundreds of highly poisonous snakes’ species were mixed together, letting them kill each other until only one surviving snake remained. It could penetrate gold and jade, into earth and water, and kill people invisibly. It was similar to witchcraft practiced in the Miao area.
Mara’s brows moved, and he suddenly stood still.
Kenta stared at him nervously.
Mara lowered his head and stretched out his hand, slowly pulling out a small golden snake from his chest and abdomen.
The palm of his hand that was pierced by the Changshou Sword just now hadn’t healed, but there was no blood flowing out. This time too, the little snake had opened its teeth and drilled a hole through his chest and abdomen. Others would probably feel their bones run cold, but Mara didn’t take it seriously. He opened his mouth and ate the poisonous snake in one bite.
Kenta let out a low growl and rushed forward, where he was directly grabbed by the throat by Mara.
Seeing the situation, Dong Zhi no longer hesitated. His pinching had attracted thunder, and clouds billowed in the skies, filling them with dazzling electric arcs. Suddenly, lightning struck and covered Mara, but in the light, only Kenta’s screams could be heard.
Dong Zhi’s heart thumped, and after a second, the lightning dissipated, leaving behind a scene of Kenta with a hand impaled in his chest.
Mara was completely unscathed after that attack. He even had the leisure to smile at Dong Zhi. A slender and soft hand was stirring and digging inside Kenta’s chest and abdomen, causing his face to turn red and the corner of his mouth to overflow with blood. Kenta struggled with all his might, but it was to no avail. A single hand firmly controlled him.
Xinchai tried his best to get up from the ground. He used his wooden staff to command the insect net to fly and surround Mara, trying to rescue his disciple, but the bugs fell one after another the moment they touched the man. Dong Zhi took the opportunity to raise his sword and leapt towards Mara. The sword pointed directly at his skull, while at the other end, Xinchai also attacked with his wooden staff.
Dong Zhi’s sword light was extremely fast. He had saved up for this moment to strike. The blade of the sword gathered heavy murderous qi, broke through the black mist around the man, and went forward into a heavy siege.
“Are you looking for the man just now?” Mara suddenly smiled at Dong Zhi.
His accent was rough, but his words were clear and unambiguous.
“He has been crushed by my demonic qi so that not even bones remain. What a pity. I originally wanted to taste him.” When he spoke, Mara licked his lips as if he couldn’t help himself, and there was a trace of regret on his face.
The tip of Dong Zhi’s sword trembled.
Mara laughed as if he were waiting for this tremble. His hand grabbed the body of the sword and ignored the blade. He twisted his hand, leaving a deep cut on his wrist, and demonic qi swept over, causing the sword light to suddenly shatter and blow Dong Zhi back.
On the other side, Xinchai’s eyes widened.
The wooden staff he had been carrying for 30 years, given to him by his village, splintered. The last sight he saw was a hand stretching out towards him.
“Master!” Kenta roared. His eyes flushed.
He saw Mara’s hand directly insert into his master’s skill, crush it, and directly take out the warm matter inside and begin to feast.
Although Kenta’s chest and abdomen temporarily stopped bleeding, he desperately wanted to move, but he was powerless in the end. He could only watch as his master died under the poisonous hands of the heavenly demon in order to save him.
Songen got up from the ground and didn’t foolishly rush up to show his loyalty. He stood not far away, as if observing whether Mara still recognized him as a loyal servant, but Dong Zhi found that he was in a clever position where he could attack and retreat.
As long as he killed Songen, he would be free from the ghost-faced peach blossom curse. Before the change, Dong Zhi would have done this long ago, but with Long Shen’s death, he changed his mind. He had to conserve his strength and hope that he could land a blow. Even if this killed him, he had to take the heavenly demon down.
The heavenly demon wasn’t allowed to leave. Otherwise, it inevitably set off a bloody storm. Even Xinchai had died, so those unarmed ordinary people outside were like vegetables waiting on the chopping block for the demon. If they lost here, the outside world would become purgatory.
His dim eyes slowly raised, sweeping past Kenta, who was dying and in grief. He still refused to give up and moved towards the heavenly demon, sweeping past the black whirlwind that hadn’t stopped behind the heavenly demon. Even if it was a world that he wasn’t familiar with, Long Shen vowed to guard it with all his heart, and it was also the world that he had grown up in since childhood.
Dong Zhi closed his eyes and focused all his energy on the Changshou Sword. The dull edge suddenly glowed slightly, and the light kept strengthening.
Mara finally dropped the skull in his hand. He glanced at Kenta with disinterest and finally landed on Songen, not far away.
Stared at by those sad and joyless eyes, Songen’s legs softened, and he knelt down immediately.
“Lord Mara… Do you remember me? I am Songen, your loyal servant, who helped you return to the world!”
Mara smiled at him. He didn’t know if he remembered or not. Songen felt uneasy, and his voice became softer and more sincere.
“On the night of the full moon twenty years ago, I summoned you into this world with great sincerity. For the past twenty years, every day, I have tried my best to find suitable vessels from all over the world and to refine your soul and provide you with nutrients. You said that when you are resurrected, you will make me your most loyal servant under your seat!”
“Me, did I say that?” Mara smiled. His voice was soft, but his face, neck, and hands were covered in blood, which provided a stark contrast.
Songen’s heart sank. He barely pulled out a smile. “Yes. Have you forgotten all about it?”
Mara beckoned him. “You, come here.”
Songen didn’t move.
Mara narrowed his eyes.
“Didn’t you say that you wanted to be my most loyal servant?”
Songen hesitated. “Do you remember everything?”
“Of course.” Mara smiled. It was bright and radiant, dazzling and intoxicating. “My most loyal servant, Songen. How are you?”
“Yes, yes!” Songen was overjoyed. He took a few steps forward, looked at Mara, and knelt down slowly. His face was pious and moving. “You have finally returned from the abyss of hell. I am very excited. From now on, I will follow you, obey your orders, and fight for you.”
Mara walked over slowly. He looked at Songen and stretched out his hand.
Whether it was intentional or not, Songen had bowed his head against the soil just out of Mara’s reach.
Mara smiled slightly. His hands were as swift as lightning as his five fingers turned into sharp claws and pierced Songen’s head!
As if Songen had eyes behind the back of his head, before he raised it, his body quickly reached out, grabbed his dying apprentice, Shawang, next to him, and threw it at Mara.
The demon grabbed him and broke Shawang’s neck with a click. He lowered his head and smelled it, as if a little disgusted, and threw Shawang away like a rag doll and continued to walk towards Songen, unconcerned.
Songen’s vicious and mean eyes in the past were full of fear at this moment. He couldn’t believe the heavenly demon he had resurrected with all his heart was going to kill him in the end. However, he reacted quickly. Even if he couldn’t believe it in his heart, he still turned and ran away at the fastest speed of his life.
However, the cat-and-mouse game was finally over. Mara’s figure moved. When Songen was about to run out of the stockade, there was a sharp pain in the back of his neck. Songen didn’t even turn his head as he felt a hand insert into his back and pulled out his beating heart. Songen felt cold, and his body lost all its strength and fell limply to the ground.
“I don’t need any servants.” The heavenly demon smiled happily. “But since you summoned me from the abyss, I will eat your heart as a reward for your deeds.”
In a daze, Songen seemed to hear something being said in his ears, but the voice seemed to be nothing, and it quickly floated to an unknown distance.
He opened his mouth, unable to spit out even a word of regret or scolding, and then lost his breath. His eyes were wide open, full of sadness and regret.
The black-robed master, who had been rampant in Thailand and Myanmar for decades and had claimed countless lives, had lost his own life in such an ironic way.
At the same time, Dong Zhi felt cold in the center of his brows, as if something had been taken away from there. He couldn’t help but reach out and touch it, but he didn’t touch anything.
He understood that Songen’s death meant his curse was lifted.
Mara ate Songen’s heart one bite at a time. But it wasn’t enough. He turned his head and looked around, finally focused on Dong Zhi.
He was covered in blood, as if he had returned from a bloody battlefield, with an extremely evil smile on his face. His perfect figure covered in blood formed a visually impactful scene. With each footstep, black lotuses bloomed in the soil, withered, and then instantly turned to ashes. The beauty of extreme evil could be admired and desired, but Dong Zhi would never be that person.
He recited the spell silently, and the sword light in his hand became brighter.
Mara didn’t care. His steps didn’t slow and kept a steady pace.
In the eyes of the heavenly demon, everything in the world, whether it was Songen, Dong Zhi, or even the grass or woods, were just toys that he could play with at will. The only meaning of these toys was to allow him to kill and destroy for his own amusement.
This was supposed to be an extremely evil demon that shouldn’t exist in this world, but Songen forcibly tore open the gap in space and summoned it into the world, setting off a stormy wave that created a monstrous sea of blood.
Mara stretched out his hand towards Dong Zhi, while at the same time Dong Zhi met it with his sword light.
Thunderclouds surged in the sky, and lightning illuminated half the sky. The sword light suddenly flourished with the thunder and pierced Mara’s chest.
“You can’t kill me like this, stupid.”
Dong Zhi was horrified. He couldn’t believe that two heavenly lightning bolts in a row had no effect.
Could it be that the legendary heavenly demon was so invincible that there was nothing in this world that could kill him?!
The heavenly demon smiled and stretched out his hand and grabbed Dong Zhi’s neck.
The strength choking him tightened, and Dong Zhi’s complexion turned blue. He grabbed at the wrist that was pinching him in vain with one hand and kept pushing the sword light further with his other. Under the power of the lightning, the black qi around Mara frequently dispersed, and even his body fluctuated and was starting to become unstable.
There was finally a look of impatience on the heavenly demon’s face. He didn’t want to play with this “toy” any longer. Dong Zhi’s constant provocation had finally made him feel irritable. He wanted to leave because there were more delicacies waiting for him outside.
At this moment, the black whirlwind behind him suddenly changed!
In the midst of a loud noise, the whirlwind suddenly collapsed and turned into countless spots of light, and among the spots of light, a figure emerged from the void, holding a long sword, like a god descending.
RIP Xinchai. So if this is the casualty level in the battle with Mara… How many are going to die battling the earth demon in the final arc?