Although Song Chun Gui prepared a room for Xie Bi An, the two did not stay in Yunding, because Fan Wu She is always following him without leaving half a step, so staying here is indeed not appropriate.
So the two of them returned to Lanxi Town, pretended to be travelers and stayed in the inn.
After returning to the inn, Xie Bi An took out the coffin, which was shrunk to the size of his palm, and put it on the table. In fact, he can put it into the qiankun bag directly. Only living things cannot be put inside the qiankun bag, but it is so big that a sedan chair can also be stuffed into it. It's just that if the coffin is treated as an object and is mixed with a pile of miscellaneous things, would be rather disrespectful to the dead, but if it's not put in the bag and swayed around, what will the inside become?
Fan Wu She took a glance, and guessed what Xie Bi An was thinking: "Just put it in the qiankun bag."
"It's not appropriate."
Fan Wu She suddenly felt an influx of grief in his heart: "Then what does big brother like now? Whatever you like, I'll find it for you."
Xie Bi An frowned slightly and didn't answer. He knew what places Fan Wu She would take him to places that would evoke his memories.
Fan Wu She walked up to Xie Bi An, squatted down halfway, supported one hand on his knee, and tilted his head to gaze at him: "You're hungry too, right? At this time, Lanxi Town is full of delicious food. Remember that restaurant you took me to, called Mianyue House? Let's go to that one, okay?"
Xie Bi An turned his face away: "No, let’s just eat at the inn."
"This inn's food is definitely not good. Let's go eat what you like, order a table of dishes and two pots of good wine."
"I don't like to eat anymore." Xie Bi An looked out of the window indifferently, "I am no longer interested in food, drinks, interesting things, and even orchids. I liked those things only because I was young."
Fan Wu She suddenly felt an influx of grieve in his heart: "Then what does big brother like now? Whatever you like, I'll find it for you."
"I don't like anything."
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An's dull and empty gaze in a daze. At this moment, he realized that this person was not speaking in anger, but really did not like anything, and did not look forward to anything anymore. The big brother who loved to travel around, who was curious about everything, who brought him gifts and new flower seeds every time he came home, who loved this world sincerely, has now become gloomy. His eyes were like dusty pearls, no longer emitting the light they once did.
It is because of him. He has turned his favorite person into this look.
Fan Wu She felt as if a knife was piercing his heart. He grabbed Xie Bi An's hand and held it tightly: "You, you'll like them again, okay? This time, no matter what you like, I will guard them with my life. You will never lose them again, you can confidently like them."
Xie Bi An turned his face back. There was a calmness in between his brows and eyes, so calm that it looked like a painting: "I have nothing to lose." "Big brother!" Fan Wu She’s eyes were full of pain. He endured silently without revealing his timidness, but from his pupils to his voice, he was pleading, "I know I am not qualified to say this, but I want a chance. I want a chance to make you laugh again. I want a chance that we can be together until old age. I know that besides me, you won't let anyone else get close. You are afraid of being alone. Big brother, I beg you, stop resisting me so much. I'm willing to atone for everything I've done wrong. Give me a chance, okay? Otherwise, I won’t give up. I’ll never give up.”
Xie Bi An tried hard to pull back his hand, but Fan Wu She gripped it tightly. He looked numb, but the corners of his eyes were slightly red.
Fan Wu She tilted his neck and exposed his throat to Xie Bi An's hand in a sacrificial manner. That was full of submission and trust. His bright eyes flashed and glittered: "Big brother, Xiao Jiu was wrong, can you forgive me?"
"Don't mention this name again." Xie Bi An said and gritted his teeth. "I'm going to mention it. I'm big brother's Xiao Jiu." Fan Wu She grabbed
Xie Bi An's hand and pressed it on his firm chest, "Last time, when I did something wrong, as long as I admitted my mistake, as long as I repented and mended my ways, you would forgive me. I've made a lot of mistakes this time. Don't give up on me. You can scold me, beat me, and teach me a lesson. Just don't give up on me."
"... That’s enough."
"Big brother, I miss you so much. I want to go back to the old days with you so much." Fan Wu She’s pair of extremely charming fox eyes were covered with a layer of moisture, which looked very soul-stirring.
In an instant, Xie Bi An did not hesitate to slap him with the other hand.
Fan Wu She’s head was tilted as he stared blankly at the ground. A light red palm mark gradually appeared on his jade white face. "Stop pretending." Xie Bi An said fiercely, "If you did something wrong, you can quibble and act obedient, and I will still forgive you no matter what? But what you have done is evil. What you have done to me and people in the world is unforgivable. The target of your atonement is also not me, but countless innocent living and dead souls!"
Fan Wu She raised his hand and gently stroked the fiery place on his face. Even though he was scolded fiercely, he still felt happy. He revealed an extremely bitter smile: "This is the first time big brother took the initiative to touch me."
"Big brother, I will atone for my crimes. To you and to the world. I will set things right, settle the disputes, and bring peace back to the human and ghost worlds. I will protect you and those you want to protect."
"We’ll talk about that after you've done it."
"I will do it." Fan Wu She grabbed that hand again, brought it to his lips and kissed lightly, "I’m insensible. Big brother can teach me more."
Xie Bi An withdrew his hand with strength and stood up.
Fan Wu She also stood up. The sense of oppression brought by height immediately overshadowed the vulnerability created by deliberate subordination, which made Xie Bi An's nerves tense and subconsciously take a small step back.
"I said I would grow taller than you one day." When Fan Wu She stretched out his hand again and saw Xie Bi An was on guard, he pulled the corner of his coat instead, "But even if I am taller than you, or more powerful than you, I will only listen to you."
Xie Bi An's heart trembled violently twice. He had once heard this statement from Song Zi Xiao when he said to him in a crispy teenage voice that had not yet changed. Now his voice had become deep and hoarse with an imposing manner. They have been drilled roughly into his ears and did not dissipate for a long time.
Like a charm that crossed time and space to respond, it kept on colliding with his heartstrings.
Compared to the force and aggression, this man constantly showed weakness and kindness, which made him feel hard to resist.
Xie Bi An still went to the town, but did not go to Mianyue House to eat. They just found a random noodle stall to fill their stomach, and then went to buy a new qiankun bag.
Putting Song Ming He’s coffin into the qiankun bag, Xie Bi An felt that the matter was finally settled.
The two of them are as usual, with one sleeping on the bed while the other sat on a chair meditating. Xie Bi An had been forced to get used to being inseparable from Fan Wu She. After all, he could not be driven away.
Just then, in the middle of the night, Xie Bi An suddenly felt an itch on his face. He let out a few gibberish words in his sleep and unconsciously turned his body over. Not knowing how long he had been hazy, he suddenly opened his eyes and turned over. Sure enough, he saw Fan Wu She lying beside him.
Xie Bi An felt his scalp go numb. He was stiff for a moment and did not dare to move.
Fan Wu She opened his eyes and actually said frankly: "Big brother, my waist hurts a little."
"Get off." Xie Bi An's heart was burning with rage.
"This bed is so big. I won't touch you." Fan Wu She blinked, "May I?" "Scram." Fan Wu She slowly got up and gave Xie Bi An a disappointed glance, "I just want to sleep with big brother. I don't have any unintentional thoughts." He said and got off the bed.
Xie Bi An laid down again, and covered his head with a quilt.
"Don't stuff yourself like this." Fan Wu She said softly, "When I was a child, you always told me I won’t grow tall if I stuff myself in the quilt like this." He was silent for a moment, and sighed, "In a summer like this, you would always fan me, and kill the mosquitoes. You would only sleep when I slept peacefully. Big brother, why did you treat me so well ah? Who can forget the good things you did?”
Xie Bi An clenched the corner of the quilt, and the pain in the chest was unbearable.
PS: if I suddenly felt an itch on my face in the middle of the night...I will scream so loud that my whole neighbors will hear me #cockroach
The night of the full moon is the day with the heaviest Yin energy in a month. All the rituals of worshiping ghosts and immortals among the people will be held on this day.
After the Hungry Ghost Festival, the fierce ghosts and evil spirits released by Jiang Qu Lian frequently harassed the living. Plus the immortal cultivation world is in turmoil, unable to manage two or more things at once. The people cannot get help from anywhere, so the incense of the City God Temples around the city suddenly flourished. On this day of the full moon, there are even more people going to worship the City God after the sun went down.
For safety reasons, Song Chun Gui sent the Wuliang Sect’s disciples to surround the City God Temple, not allowing anyone to enter. The people did not know the reason and thought that the Wuliang Sect was going to do some great magic to deal with the increasing number of evil spirits. Thus more and more people came to watch and simply could not be driven away.
Song Chun Gui was not at ease and came to guard personally.
Opening the Ghost Gate is a crucial matter. Even though Sun Xia Zhen, a small City God, is far less powerful than the red ghost king, tearing a gap may still have a huge impact on earth, and since Sun Xia Zhen is not a ghost king, he’s not very confident in controlling the Ghost Gate. It doesn't seem to be difficult to open. The difficult thing is how big it can be opened, where it will be opened, and whether it can be closed after they have been sent in. Sun Xia Zhen sincerely told Xie Bi An about these risks one by one. He would certainly not have done such a forbidden thing if it wasn’t for this special method at this special time.
"Elder Sun, I understood what you said. We will assist you with our soul weapons and try to control the Ghost Gate. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of the people. As for where we will appear in Jiuyou and how we will return to earth afterwards, you don't have to worry about it."
"Little White Master, I've never done this before, I'll do my best." "Many thanks."
After the sun went down, Sun Xia Zhen drew a talisman formation in the courtyard. There were ghost streamers inserted in the eye of the formation, and a pool of blood was splashed on the ground. When everything was ready, he pinched his fingers and frowned again.
"Elder Sun, what's wrong?"
"At this time, why is the Yang energy still so concentrated?"
Fan Wu She said, "There are many people outside the City God Temple." Sun Xia Zhen was surprised and said, "How could that be?"
At this time, Song Chun Gui happened to push open the courtyard door and walked in: "The sky is already dark, how are you guys preparing?" He couldn't see Sun Xia Zhen, but seeing everything that was set up in the courtyard, his expression had a hint of worry.
"It's ready, it’s just that the City God said the Yang energy around here is too concentrated." Xie Bi An said, "Can the people be dispersed?"
"Yes, but it will take some time." Song Chun Gui called his disciples and instructed them to go.
Soon, they heard some loud noises outside the City God Temple. The Wuliang Sect’s disciples were advising the people to go home, and the crowd was gradually dispersed.
Sun Xia Zhen said, "It's almost time. Little White Master, please send him out."
Xie Bi An glanced at Song Chun Gui, who immediately comprehended, "White Immortal, is this where you guys enter the Underworld? Will you be coming back from here?"
"We probably won’t come back from here. After going into Jiuyou, everything has to be improvised, and after that, there is no need to guard the City God Temple." Xie Bi An said, "Thank you, Song Zhen Ren."
"Okay, take care, White Immortal."
Xie Bi An said with a stern face, "Zhen Ren, if I come back alive, I hope to see that you have settled the 'internal affairs' and have gone to do more important things. Because whether we can succeed or not, the earth has to go through a long war. The Immortal Alliance must be set up again. This is up to you now.”
Song Chun Gui paused, and seemed to have made up his mind at this moment, "Definitely."
Song Chun Gui retreated and gently closed the courtyard door behind him.
Sun Xia Zhen began to recite incantations, while releasing Yin energy attached to the ghost streamers. Those ghost streamers were as if blown by a strong wind and stood up one after another, but the courtyard was silent and windless.
In fact, any ghost has the possibility of opening the boundary between human and ghost, as long as their cultivation is deep enough. Even if it's just tearing a small gap in the border, it also needs a lot of skill, and once it's discovered by Yin servants, they will be punished. Even Jiang Qu Lian had to escape because he had spent too much energy after he forced open the Ghost Gate. Therefore, to Sun Xia Zhen, this matter almost has no advantages, but he still did it without reluctance.
Sun Xia Zhen mouthed the words, and the ghost streamers began to move and flutter without the wind. The black and red soil splashed with cow's blood suddenly began to churn, as if something was about to break out from the ground. But what was unearthed was not seeds and branches, but blood, like a chiseled blood hole, streaming outwards. Also, as if it was boiling with rising heat and bubbles, with mumbling sounds, it emitted a strong stench at the same time, which made people nauseous.
The land seemed to be rotting in front of their eyes. The demonic red aura on the spell formation was flickering, and the blood-soaked land was sinking inward a little.
The Ghost Gate was about to open!
The spirit weapons in Xie Bi An’s and Fan Wu She’s hands were on standby in case the worst case scenario occurred, such as releasing a fierce ghost.
Just then, there was a commotion outside the door. Someone was arguing in a low voice, which wasn’t clear when listening, but the meaning of conflict was obvious, and the gradually thinning Yang energy gathered again.
Sun Xia Zhen broke into a cold sweat: "Quickly get rid of those people outside. The Ghost Gate has already been opened. The Yang energy will attract fierce ghosts."
Fan Wu She was about to go and manage them, but was stopped by Xie Bi An: "I’ll go. You stay here and guard the Ghost Gate." He was afraid that Fan Wu She would have no sense of priority and hurt someone.
When walking out of the City God Temple, Xie Bi An met someone unexpected --- Li Zhi Qing. He thought that Li Zhi Qing didn't dare to meet them at all, fearing that he would be "the son who repays the father’s debts", but seeing that Li Zhi Qing had brought so many people here to confront Song Chun Gui, could it be that he didn't know they were here?
"What's going on?" Xie Bi An looked at Li Zhi Qing coldly.
"Cut the crap." Xie Bi An interrupted him bluntly and said to Song Chun Gui, "Go home and close the door to solve your Wuliang Sect’s matters. The Ghost Gate is opening. This much Yang energy cannot be gathered here."
Song Chun Gui's face was ashen. He held back his anger and said, "Senior brother, you heard it, it's not that I want to practice at the City God Temple. Let's not delay White Immortal’s major event. Let's go back to Yunding first."
"So it is White Immortal who is practicing." Li Zhi Qing turned his eyes, "White Immortal, please don’t blame me. Really it's because during this period of time, several of my sect’s brothers have been involved in accidents due to removing the evil spirits, yet junior brother Song keeps sending people out." He looked coldly at Song Chun Gui, "You have deployed so many disciples at once, I naturally thought that you had come across something powerful."
"It is a cultivator’s duty to eliminate evil spirits for the people. The Red Ghost King has released so many fierce ghosts and evil spirits. My Wuliang Sect is the number one sect in the world, how can I turn a blind eye to it?"
Li Zhi Qing said with a deliberate ambiguity: "We naturally cannot ignore the people. When facing the evil spirits, sacrifice is occasional. Although it is sad, it cannot be helped. But I would like to ask junior brother Song, why are my nephews and sons of the Li family consecutively getting into accidents in these last few days? How is it that they always encounter powerful evil spirits in the places that they are sent to?"
Song Chun Gui said with a stern face, "Senior brother, these words seem to mean something. Why don't you say it more bluntly?" "To put it bluntly, it is ..."
"That's enough!" Xie Bi An shouted lowly, "Don't make me repeat what I just said."
Li Zhi Qing embarrassedly arched his hand, "White Immortal please don’t blame me." He looked askance at Song Chun Gui and led his men away.
Song Chun Gui sighed and said in a low voice, "White Immortal, within the Wuliang Sect, the relatives and friends of the Li family occupy half of the mountain, so ... I have had some difficulties."
"There is no one to help you now." Xie Bi An said in a deep voice, "I believe you know clearly in your heart about the father and son of the Li family. I only advise you to put aside your foolish loyalty and filial piety and take the big picture as the priority." After saying that, he did not wait for Song Chun Gui’s reaction, turned around and went back into the City God Temple.
The Ghost Gate has been completely opened. There is a rough crack glowing with red light on the ground, surrounded by black blood gushing out, like an angry beast’s mouth, waiting for its prey to fall into its trap.
Fan Wu She glanced at Xie Bi An. Although he didn't say anything, his eyes were calm and certain without any hesitation.
Xie Bi An felt tense in his heart. The pain and numbness hit him. He remembered those few years when he and Fan Wu She were junior and senior brothers. Whenever they were in danger, Fan Wu She always looked at him with such eyes. He told him "don't be afraid, I'm here", and did what he said, taking him out of danger again and again. As a result, the young man, who was still childish at that time, became his tranquilizer. It seemed that no matter what disaster they met, as long as they worked hand in hand, they would be able to break through.
Xie Bi An averted his gaze. He took a deep breath and walked to the Ghost Gate. Fan Wu She walked by his side and held his hand. The kind of strength would not allow him to let go.
Sun Xia Zhen said, "Little White Master, take care of yourself ah." "Thank you, Elder Sun. After we go down, close the Ghost Gate as soon
as possible." "Don't worry."
Xie Bi An took a step and then paused, "Elder Sun, if I don't make it back, I hope you will assist Song Chun Gui. He may be the only one who can support the immortal cultivation world."
Sun Xia Zhen sighed with a deep feeling, "Yes."
Without hesitation, the two of them jumped into the crevice of the earth.
From the earth, they fell into the endless darkness and bloody underworld.
The place where the two people fell was a mountain forest.
The trees here are towering and the leaves are dense. Only a thin light falls from the gap, but it is difficult to penetrate through the thick fog. The smell of blood and putrefaction is everywhere, and it is retained by the thick fog, fermenting in the humid and hot forest. It is like being enclosed in a big jar, making people feel extremely disgusted.
Their two stomachs were churning while being fumigated and almost unable to breathe. Their faces were red at first and then white again.
Xie Bi An held the tree and retched.
"I don't know how many dead bodies are responsible for this miasma. Let's leave as soon as possible." Fan Wu She took out two elixirs and stuffed them into their mouths. They swallow the elixir and quickly mobilize their breath to make the drug properties enter their spiritual veins.
The miasma produced by the long-term accumulation of dead bodies is highly toxic to living creatures, not to mention that this is the ultimate zone of death. The two of them are already very uncomfortable at this point.
Covering his mouth and nose with a handkerchief, Fan Wu She said, "If the human and ghost realms are the same continent but in different spaces, then the location of the underworld is Fengdu, which is seven hundred miles west of here. Let's have a try at it and keep going west." Xie Bi An lifted his head and vaguely saw a blood-red full moon through the forest leaves: "That's the only way to go."
Wuya possesses supernatural powers and can distinguish directions better than them. No matter how fast it ran or how fast it rushed, it could dodge the trees and rocks in the dense forest with extremely low visibility. After running, the air circulated and the elixirs also took effect. They finally felt less stuffy in their chest.
When his dizzy mind regained a trace of clarity, Xie Bi An realized that at some point he had been wrapped in Fan Wu She’s arms. His back was pressed against that hard, hot, broad chest, and his waist was encircled by a strong iron arm, and he couldn't stop feeling Fan Wu She's hot breath at the base of his ear.
Xie Bi An’s scalp suddenly went numb. He grasped the saddle and wanted to sit up straight, but Fan Wu She’s arm didn't move.
Two flirtatious chuckles came from behind his ears: "We used to ride like this. Has big brother forgotten?"
"... Let go."
"Wuya runs so fast. If I let go, big brother will fall off." "I'll take the reins."
"Sure, but if I don't tug on the reins, I'll fall, then I'll have to hug big brother tightly." He said, wanting to pass the reins to Xie Bi An's hand.
Xie Bi An was so angry that he hit his hand away.
Fan Wu She tightened his arms again and even pressed his palm against Xie Bi An's chest and pushed him back, so that the two of them were tightly pressed together.
"Let go." Xie Bi An warned in a low voice. They were too close to each other, so close that he seemed to be able to faintly feel Fan Wu She's heartbeat. "Is it not okay to hug big brother?" Fan Wu She murmured against Xie Bi An's ear, "Just to hug like this, not doing anything else?"
"Is it that when big brother rides on Wuya, you will remember us doing it while riding a horse?"
"You shut up!" Poking directly at the center of the matter, Xie Bi An became annoyed and struggled.
Wuya was slightly staggered by this sudden action, and almost fell down.
Xie Bi An exclaimed and immediately grasped the saddle.
Fan Wu She's legs clamped down on the horse's belly to stabilize its body, and then he put a stronger grip on Xie Bi An: "Don't move. I said you would fall."
Xie Bi An gritted his teeth.
"Big brother don't be angry." Fan Wu She said innocently, "I know you don't want to remember it, but no one can control what they think, right?"
Xie Bi An was already doing his best to avoid thinking back to that ridiculous sexual encounter, yet Fan Wu She wanted to bring it up on purpose. He didn't know how to shut Fan Wu She up, or how to completely erase those unpleasant images from his mind.
"Same for me, I can't stop thinking about it. I remember it was big brother who was curious about Wuya in the first place, so I took you for a ride, and you got angry again."
"I did a lot of bastard things back then and forced you to ... but I really couldn't help it. I wanted you anytime and anywhere."
"I'm sorry, I will never treat you like that again." Fan Wu She’s voice lowered. Xie Bi An glanced at the hand that was pressed against his chest: "Not forcing me? So what are you doing now?"
"I'm just afraid that big brother will fall." Fan Wu She said without changing his expression.
Xie Bi An couldn’t express his anger. He knew that he had never been this person’s opponent. When he was a child, he always compromised because he acted like a spoiled child and showed off his cleverness. Later, when he faced the Demon Supreme, there was no room for resistance. And later, they became martial brothers. Based on his understanding and past experience, this man played him around. Now, it's the same. He can't escape, he can't hide, he can't avoid it. He's always forced to face these turbulent feelings. He's always at a loss.
Fan Wu She hugged his beloved big brother tightly and looked at his tight jaw and stiff back from the back. He felt sweet and sour in his heart. It doesn't matter, he told himself, as long as they stay together like this, that’s enough. No matter how much he craves, he is not qualified to ask for more.
It's just that sometimes the surging desire in his chest was so strong that even he would be frightened. He knew that this had something to do with the Heavenly Secret Talisman. He gets a huge amount of Yin energy from the Heavenly Secret Talisman, at the cost of which he will gradually become a demon. At first, it seemed that he was controlling the Heavenly Secret Talisman, but when he is insatiable or has difficulty controlling himself, the Heavenly Secret Talisman may control him instead, just like in his previous life when he tore open the Fengdu boundary and barged into the underworld alone. The outside world thought that he was killed by Great Emperor Beiyin, but in fact, he was killed by the Heavenly Secret Talisman after he fell into the devil completely. So this time, he will never abuse or misuse the Heavenly Secret Talisman. But every time it caused a strong fluctuation of his mood, making the Yin energy, which was dormant in his body, stir and erode his mind, it all had to do with Xie Bi An.
The so-called demons in the heart are just unfilled desires. The deepest desire in his heart has always been the desire for his big brother. He is very afraid that the Yin energy in his body will wait for the opportunity to enlarge the desire again and eventually become an uncontrollable infringement.
If that day really comes, he would rather die than hurt his big brother again.
Thinking until here, Fan Wu She’s heart was severely oppressed. His desire and restraint were pushing each other violently. Finally, he moved his hand down from Xie Bi An’s chest, but he was still hugging that thin waist. In order to leave the Ghost Willow Forest as soon as possible, Xie Bi An had to bear it for a while.
Not knowing how long they’ve been running, Wuya suddenly neighed. It was loud and shrill. The surrounding Yin energy fluctuations gradually intensified, and the miasma became gradually thicker. Behind the heavy fog, there were several green firefly glows floating one small bit by one small bit, and then one patch by one patch. Under the rapid running of Wuya, it still could not shake them off.
The greenish lights were still moving unusually, and when they looked at them carefully, they were not fireflies. They were pairs of ghost eyes.
Xie Bi An suddenly felt cold all over.
"What is it?" Fan Wu She said in a deep voice.
"Fierce ghosts." Xie Bi An clutched the saddle tightly, "Those fierce ghosts who were born in the Hell Path are more powerful than those who were punished in the 18th level in Hell. They are resentment itself."
Ahead of them appeared large patches of greenish ghostly eyes floating in the fog, hanging from trees, squatting on rocks, and crawling on the ground. Countless ghostly eyes, and countless life-threatening and fierce spirits.
Fan Wu She tightened the reins, and Wuya stopped its four feet in a long whistle. Those fierce ghosts crawled out from the thick fog. Their bodies were rotten and stinky. None of them were intact. In their deep eye sockets, there are pairs of green eyes. Their hair is sparse, their exposed bones are black, and they are crawling on all fours. They almost have no "human" appearance.
All of them were heinous before they died, and only after they died would they suffer the harshest retribution to "live" forever in this way.
Unlike Xie Bi An, who was in a state of great hostility, Fan Wu She was calm, almost profound. Looking at the fierce ghosts hanging on the tree trunks, he whispered, "Big brother, you know, if I didn't escape from hell, I would be one of them."
Xie Bi An's body stiffened. Looking at those rotten things, he completely couldn’t think and didn't dare to think that he would have become like this.
"It was only because I kept thinking of you in my heart that I didn't lose my mind and was able to cross the Wangchuan River and return to your side."
Xie Bi An slowly turned his head back and ran into Fan Wu She's profound gaze, which was so focused and persistent that it seemed to have released an invisible net preventing all escape, capturing him firmly, making it impossible for him to avoid it. He paused: "If you don't want to be punished, then don't do evil."
"For you, doing evil is nothing." Fan Wu She lightly hooked the corners of his lips, "Barging into the underworld was for you, going to hell was for you, and returning to earth was still for you."
"You only have yourself to blame. Don't talk to me about this again." Xie Bi An chided.
Yet Fan Wu She insisted on saying it. He said aloud, "I crawled back to earth from Hell for the sake of loving you." Xie Bi An's heart shuddered and turned his head once again: "Now, now is not the time to talk about this. There are too many fierce ghosts. We can’t handle them. We must escape."
"No need, I can ..."
"No, don’t use the Heavenly Secret Talisman." Xie Bi An stopped him and said, "You have never encountered fierce ghosts. You do not know how powerful they are. If you use the Heavenly Secret Talisman, you will need to release very strong Yin energy in order to suppress them. In this way, the five ghost emperors will be aware of it. The ghost emperors are likely to have colluded with Jiang Qu Lian. Before we achieve our goal, we cannot take the risk."
Fan Wu She frowned, put away the Heavenly Secret Talisman and took out the soul-hooking rope. He tightened the reins with one hand, "Then be sure not to get off the horse. We’ll kill our way out.”
Xie Bi An gripped Wuqiongbi in his hand tightly. His gaze was firm and persistent, "Okay, let's kill our way out."
Wuya once again threw up its four hooves and rushed out.
Those fierce ghosts had no thoughts, no memories, and no souls. They were like a legless worm with glowing green, greedy eyes, crawling towards them from all directions with putrid, rotting flesh. The Yang energy on their bodies that belonged to the living was an irresistible temptation for these fierce ghosts who had fallen into darkness for eternity, and this instinct overcame the fear of the soul weapons, and the darkness scrambled to surround them.
After a bloody battle, they killed a path of Ashura paved by rotten corpses with the cooperation of Wuya. Wuya ran wildly and left that group of fierce ghosts far behind.
They ran west for dozens of miles, and only when they saw that the surroundings had finally returned to silence did they dare to stop and recuperate.
Both of them had multiple injuries. The corpse poison that had spread into their blood from the damaged areas, and the miasma that had taken advantage of the fight to invade their bodies, had created major toxicity inside their bodies.
Both of their faces were abnormally blue-gray. Their pupils turned reddish-brown, and their hands twitched slightly. The pain was like a tide. It came in a burst and retreated in a burst. Their bodies were as cold as falling into an ice cave, tormenting to the extreme.
Fan Wu She had always been protecting Xie Bi An, so he was more seriously injured and more deeply poisoned. His body was sweating like rain, and his expression showed a bit of hideousness because of his silent endurance.
Each of them took a top-level healing elixir. This level of elixir was also extremely rare in the great immortal sects. Usually, only when an heir encountered obstacles in his path of cultivation, would he take one as a supplement. It was clear how powerful the poison was this time.
After swallowing the elixir, the two of them meditated back-to-back and circulated their spiritual powers in complete big and small circles. A protective boundary with a shimmering light surrounded them, and Wuya silently guarded them on one side.
Six hours later, the two of them woke up one after the other. The toxicity was temporarily expelled from their organs and did not contaminate their hearts and veins, but some remained in their blood. Their wounds on the outside had festered and were seeping with black pus and blood.
"This flesh must be carved out." Xie Bi An frowned at the rotting flesh on his arm. What was only seen on the body of a walking corpse last time was now growing on his own body, which was disgusting and frightening.
Fan Wu She said in a hoarse voice: "Take off your clothes, let me see the wound."
Xie Bi An glanced at the blood on Fan Wu She. Although the blood did not show much color on the black clothing, the dried area has become hard, which was even more garish instead. He said hesitantly, "You are more seriously injured. Clean your wounds first."
"I'm fine. Deal with yours first."
"I only have three. You probably have more."
Fan Wu She smiled slightly, "Is big brother worried about me?"
Xie Bi An froze, feeling a little angry and ashamed: "This is not the time
..." "Or embarrassed to undress in front of me?"
"This is not the time and you're still talking nonsense!" Xie Bi An said angrily, "There are things with priorities. I'm afraid your injuries would delay our business!"
"Then you are worried about me." Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An warmly and said softly, "Big brother is so concerned about my injury, I’m so happy ah."
"Cut the crap." Xie Bi An subconsciously avoided those utterly sincere eyes.
"But still, deal with yours first." Fan Wu She continued before Xie Bi An spoke, "I have many injuries on my body. If yours are not taken care of, how can you help me?"
"... Alright." Xie Bi An braced himself and took off his coat. One of his injuries was on his arm while the other two on his back.
This slender, strong, well-proportioned, and white as a jade body had always been a fatal temptation to Fan Wu She, but at this time, he did not have the heart of the wind and the moon*. Just looking at those hideous scratches made his heart ache endlessly.
Xie Bi An took out the dagger and handed it to Fan Wu She.
Fan Wu She took the dagger and frowned at that wound, but he didn't dare to move.
Xie Bi An simply took it back by force, aimed at the wound on his arm, and stabbed the rotten flesh. He was in so much pain that his whole body was constantly shaking, and he still forcefully braced himself to quickly gouge out that meat until fresh blood gushed out.
"Big brother ..." Fan Wu She caught his wrist and sprinkled the hemostatic medicine on that wound. Looking at that pale, distorted face, his heart ached as if these few cuts were gouging his own heart. Xie Bi An gasped a few breaths with exertion and handed the dagger to Fan Wu She. He turned around and urged him in a low voice: "Hurry up."
Fan Wu She gritted his teeth, gestured the blade on that back a few times, and couldn’t bear to lay hands on it. He had been in hell for a hundred years and was accustomed to all the bloody tortures beyond imagination. This little wound should not have stirred a ripple in his heart, but because it was on the person he cared about most, he actually became reluctant at this moment.
"Hurry up." Xie Bi An emphasized his tone.
Fan Wu She reached out his hand and gently stroked down along Xie Bi An's bulging cervical vertebrae as he whispered, "Big brother, bear with it." He made up his mind, and quickly stabbed the knife into the rotten flesh, cutting all the way along the injury.
Xie Bi An let out a very brief short cry, then clenched his fist tightly and no longer made any sound.
Fan Wu She covered that bleeding wound with a cotton gauze. The dark red blood was reflected in his eyes. It was also bloody, and his killing intent was boiling in his heart, as if he wanted to smash the whole underworld into pieces. It was hard to dispel his anger. The black death aura took advantage of the situation, turned into blood vessels, and quietly climbed into his eyeballs.
He quickly applied the medicine and bandaged the wound. Xie Bi An was sweating all over. He looked like he was being fished out of the water. He bowed, supporting himself on the ground with his uninjured arm, and slowly adjusted his breathing.
Fan Wu She carefully held him by the shoulders and let him lean into his embrace: "Big brother, if you are in pain, you can shout, you can bite me, you can vent as much as you want." He put another arm around Xie Bi An's back, so that they looked as if they were hugging. Xie Bi An usually resisted Fan Wu She's approaches, yet he seemed to have exhausted his strength at this time. He leaned into Fan Wu She's arms in an intimate but restrained position, slowly adjusting his breath, and waiting for his strength to recover.
"Do you still remember in the Spirit Palace at the bottom of Fengming Lake, we were ambushed by the Flying Plume Ambassadors and were both seriously injured." Fan Wu She spoke softly beside Xie Bi An's ear, "I really hated that I didn't have the power of the previous life at that time. In fact, not only that time. When we went to Fumenghui to investigate the whereabouts of Meng Ke Fei’s human core and ran into Song Chun Gui, that was considered our first time being in danger. At that time, this body was too small and too weak. If I wanted to defeat Song Chun Gui, I was bound to expose my identity, but as long as it was for you, I would not hesitate."
"... You took me out of danger." Again and again.
Just that Xie Bi An did not say this latter half of the sentence, but swallowed it back into his stomach. He was more or less alert in his heart. Just now, he actually followed Fan Wu She’s train of thoughts and took the initiative to recall those memories that he had been emotionally affected by once.
"Because I swore before." Fan Wu She's breathing suddenly became heavy, "When you ... died in front of me, I swore that I would find you and protect you without leaving an inch* forever.”
A blunt pain came from Xie Bi An's heart. He knew this man was to blame, but what kind of pain and madness would force a mortal to be an enemy of the entire Underworld? It was his death that made this man sink into a hopeless situation of desperation. Just releasing a little courage to experience that kind of pain made him tremble with fear.
Xie Bi An didn't dare to think about it anymore. He was afraid that he would go deep into imagining the misery and terror of hell for a hundred years. He was afraid he would become softhearted. He sat up straight while enduring the pain and said, "Come on, it's your turn."
Fan Wu She handed the dagger to Xie Bi An and smiled lightly, "I'm not afraid of pain. You don't need to be nervous."
Having said that, Xie Bi An had just experienced what it was like. When it was his turn to cut, he also hesitated for a moment, then he started to clean up the rotten flesh with the dagger.
Fan Wu She’s body trembled. He naturally spread out his slender and powerful arms, and loosely encircled Xie Bi An’s waist.
Xie Bi An paused: “Don’t move.”
"Not moving." Fan Wu She's voice had a slight tremor.
Xie Bi An enumerated in detail and examined all of the seven scratches on Fan Wu She’s body and frowned deeply. He knew that this man got infected by trying to protect him several times, and he had a strange feeling in his heart. He was originally a caring and sentimental person. Last time, when the Demon Supreme forced him, he finally put an end to his own life. However, the Fan Wu She in front of him was so clever that he used the most irresistible method to swallow his will up bit by bit.
Xie Bi An shook his head, and told himself secretly that he could not be distracted at this time. He took a deep breath, and his eyes became firm. He cut the rotten flesh with the dagger. Fan Wu She occasionally hummed vexedly. Other than that, he just kept his hands and feet close to Xie Bi An, as if he could relieve all the pain and was the most effective hemostatic medicine in the world.
It wasn’t until Fan Wu She almost hugged him, and he could not get the right angle, that he lightly reprimanded, "How can I clean your chest when you’re like this?"
"Big brother, let me hug you for a while." Fan Wu She said in a low voice. "Aren't you not afraid of pain?"
"Because I’m numb to pain. In hell, I experienced torture day and night, so the pain became what I’m used to." Fan Wu She paused and smiled again, "Actually, it still hurts. It’s just that I can endure it."
Xie Bi An’s heart tightened. Looking at the hideous wound on Fan Wu She’s body and the blood dripping from the dagger, he had the illusion that he had stabbed him. Xie Bi An’s hand trembled a little. He opened his mouth, only feeling dryness in his mouth and tongue, and stammered a little, "If you’re in pain, you can, shout."
"Okay." Fan Wu She tightened his arms. He buried his face into the nook of Xie Bi An's neck, and said in an incredibly soft tone, "Big brother, Xiao Jiu hurts so much ah."
Xie Bi An felt a buzzing sound in his head. His heart went numb with pain, and his whole body froze on the spot.
"It hurts, big brother, blow on it for me." Fan Wu She closed his eyes. The corners of his eyes were flooded with glittering teardrops. In those hundred years of hell, how many times did he shout for his big brother when his consciousness was in chaos? He was in too much pain. A never- ending pain. He just wanted his big brother to save him, but no one came to save him, and finally he stopped hurting. The pain that no one cared about had to be hidden together with the screams at the bottom of his heart.
Xie Bi An gripped the dagger tightly and stared straight ahead to stop the outflow of emotions.
No, he is not Xiao Jiu, I must not be confused by him ...
PS: Xiaohei really knows how to attack Xiaobai's heart ah, worthy of being a GONG
heart of the wind and the moon*[ ⻛⽉之⼼]--- or ⻛⽉之情is used to describe the passion
Only after Xie Bi An took a few breaths was he able to brace himself and continue to clean up those hideous wounds.
Fan Wu She had always been half-leaning on him, clutching his clothes tightly, and letting out gruff snorts when he was hurting like hell, but most of the time, he was just restraining himself by shivering. Occasionally whispering in his ear, "Big brother, I’m in pain."
Anger and pain were the poison that infused emotions. The black death aura couldn’t stop diffusing from his whole body, and the blood vessels in his eyes were getting darker and darker, as if wanting to swallow the sclera*.
Xie Bi An regretted it. He regretted saying “cry out when you feel pain”. When Fan Wu She really announced the pain in his mouth, the one who couldn't resist was him instead. He finally couldn't help but respond: "Bear a little more, it will be done soon."
Even if there was only a trace of a soothing tone in this sentence, it was also grasped by Fan Wu She. To him, it was like a long drought meeting sweet dew, because that was the tenderness that this person had not given for a long time. Almost in a flash, the black death aura was collected, his eyes also regained clarity, and his heavily damaged heart was smeared with honey. He held the clothing material in his hand tightly, secretly revealing a light smile, and continued to say in a hoarse voice: "But it really hurts. Was big brother in this much pain just now?"
"No." "It must have." Fan Wu She put his hand on Xie Bi An's waist’s eyes*, "If only all of the pain was on me, that’ll be good.”
"... Don't move." Xie Bi An cleaned another wound again, "It's almost done."
Fan Wu She snorted: "Last time, when I couldn't keep up with practicing my martial arts, big brother always said that the time would be up soon. In the end, it was still a long time. Is big brother lying to me again?"
"I’m not lying to you."
"Then if I persist till the end, how will big brother reward me?" Fan Wu She’s tone carried some joy, "Make some delicious food for me in the evening? Or take me out to play?"
Xie Bi An pursed his lips. Looking at Fan Wu She’s whole body covered in blood, his tall and strong body was trembling in his arms, and repeating those warm and intimate conversations of when he was young. A flaw had appeared on his heart that was in full gear at this moment. He heard himself reply without thinking: "When was there a day that I didn’t make what you loved to eat?"
When this statement came out, both of them were equally shocked. Wouldn’t this response admit that Fan Wu She was Xiao Jiu? This seemingly ordinary sentence was like a tempestuous storm to their moods and circumstances.
But what came subsequently was great sorrow. At this moment, they seemed to have really dreamed back to a hundred years ago, when they seemed to be close brothers and all the ugliness had not happened. This was not the Underworld, the land of the dead, but just an ordinary afternoon in Wuji Palace.
What other words in this world are crueler than "last time"?
This was Fan Wu She’s deliberate attempt to drag Xie Bi An to this stage. He should have been overjoyed, and should have continued his victorious pursuit, but he carefully leaned against Xie Bi An and did not speak again. He was afraid that this was another dream, and that even the slightest sound would frighten the person in this dream.
Xie Bi An also didn't speak anymore. He quickly finished cleaning Fan Wu She’s wounds, applied medicine and bandaged it in one go.
Fan Wu She took out a new set of clothes from his qiankun bag and slowly put them on his body, but he was very weak and could not put them on after several attempts.
Xie Bi An helplessly took the clothes.
Fan Wu She smiled embarrassedly, "After I turned five, you wanted me to put on clothes by myself."
"Raise your hands." Xie Bi An turned his face away and did not look at him.
Fan Wu She straightened his chest, raised one arm, and intentionally placed it next to Xie Bi An's shoulder in an embracing position.
The two of them were very close to each other, not far from each other since they started to heal each other's wounds. Gradually, Xie Bi An became completely lax about this kind of distance, so much so that only now did he notice that Fan Wu She's naked body almost surrounded him. Those undulating muscles, which were wrapped in white gauze in many places and could not be covered, were like lofty mountains. That broad, hard chest and long, strong arms made Xie Bi An suddenly feel the heat of his skin, and that heat also naturally fumigated him.
This body was very familiar to Xie Bi An. In those absurd and licentious days in Wuji Palace, Xie Bi An had once fused together with him like water and milk* countless times. It was tall, strong, and extremely aggressive. Even if Fan Wu She pretended to be harmless, he could not stop recalling those countless fragments and details. Xie Bi An straightened his body, took back his gaze, and put the clothes on Fan Wu She expressionlessly. However, when Xie Bi An was fastening his belt, Fan Wu She took advantage and put both arms around and embraced him.
Xie Bi An stiffened and said coldly, "Let go, don't make me hit you.”
"It doesn't matter if you hit me. To be able to hug big brother like this, even if it’s just for a while, nothing else matters.”
"You won't get what you want by being shameless and rascally like this."
"I want you. Everything is changing except you. For example, I just wanted to stay by your side and redeem myself from my previous mistakes. Later, I wanted you to recall more of our past. Today, when you admitted I’m Xiao Jiu, I will reach out for a yard after taking an inch*. I want you... "
"I did not admit anything. If your injury does not recover, it will affect our operation." Xie Bi An paused, "That's all."
Fan Wu She smiled, "You admitted it. Now it's too late to go back on your word. Big brother always had me in your heart, why do you need to deceive yourself?"
Xie Bi An glanced at him faintly and clasped his wrist. He secretly exerted some force and pushed his whole arm away from his body.
This move affected the wound. Fan Wu She’s face turned white with pain, and let go of Xie Bi An. He could not hide his disappointment, but he did not give up: "Big brother, do you still remember what you said before you drank Meng Po soup?"
Xie Bi An's face changed slightly. He had the memories of his past life and present life, but what happened in the Underworld were memories after death, so he naturally did not know. It was Meng Po who told him, told him that when he chose to forget everything and went forward to reincarnate, at that moment when he truly ended being Song Zi Heng, the biggest regret of his life, the person he could not let go of the most, was still Xiao Jiu. "If big brother can cook another meal for me, I would die willingly."
Xie Bi An's face showed anger: "Shut up. Concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Don't delay our business."
"Big brother is so nice." Fan Wu She stared at Xie Bi An, his eyes wishing to be filled with affection, "Always this nice."
Xie Bi An simply turned around and meditated with his eyes closed.
"I will never let you down again." Fan Wu She said softly and promised seriously.
The two of them rested here for the night, and thanks to the top-notch immortal elixir and their top-notch roots and bones, their bodies began to take a turn for the better.
After dawn, Wuya led them to continue their journey and finally escaped from the dense forest full of miasma.
Galloping on the boundless land, the blood-red sun in the sky was their only guide. The Underworld was so dark, desolated, and overgrown with underbrush ---- it seemed that there was nothing here, only endless desolation. No matter people or ghosts, if they lost their way, they would be lost here forever.
So when a village suddenly appeared in front of them, both of them had a sense of surrealism, as if being cut off from the outside world for ages.
"It's the ghost citizen’s village." Fan Wu She looked into the distance, "Should we grab a ghost citizen and ask if we are going in the right direction?"
"Many ghost citizens are born in the netherworld* and may never have been to the Underworld in their lives, they may not know even if they are asked." "Then let’s go into the village and ask. There must be someone in the village who knows."
"This will scare the snake by beating the grass*." Xie Bi An thought for a moment, “Let's take a look around the village with the blind-eye talisman first, and act according to the situation."
The person or object pasted with the blind-eye talisman is as inconspicuous as a stone on the roadside in the eyes of those with low cultivation. As long as one doesn’t make big moves or make loud noises, one can muddle through.
They pasted on the talismans, held their breaths and adjusted their breathing to the lowest state, hid their scent of the living, and then strutted towards the ghost village.
The ghost village looked similar to the earth’s village, just that they were very impoverished. The houses and appliances were very simple and crude, like a gathering place for refugees.
Ghost citizens don't need to eat or drink, so naturally, they don’t need to farm, but that doesn't mean they don't do anything. They have to think of ways to "live". Apart from their own cultivation, they also risked going to the mountains, swamps, the wild and dense forests looking for herbs and spiritual treasures that can improve their cultivation. Although they don’t eat nor drink, don’t get old nor die, but in fact, they are food for all fierce ghosts, evil spirits, monsters, and beasts.
And one of the greatest threats to them is that they do not know when a hungry ghost reincarnated from the Hungry Ghost Path will all of a sudden be born beside them.
After those hungry ghosts have had enough months, they will tear their own ghost mother's belly and crawl out, taking the ghost mother as their first food to satisfy their hunger, and then frenziedly eat the ghost citizens around them. After eating up a village, they will find the next village. When they become powerful enough, they will eat fierce ghosts, demons, and even devour each other. In the end, they either become food or a ghost king.
When a hungry ghost is no longer hungry, no longer manipulated and tormented by the desire that seems to be unable to be filled, his cultivation must have been very good.
This was the path that the red-clothed ghost king, Jiang Qu Lian, had taken in the Underworld for hundreds of years.
After entering the village, they soon got something. The two ghost hunters were discussing which forest they found a large area of spiritual weaving grass, but there were a few fierce ghosts guarding it, and how many ghost citizens had to be organized to go there together. When they talked about the direction of that forest, they used the Underworld as a reference, so that they knew from their words that they were going in the right direction, and that the Underworld was only half a day's journey away according to them.
The two of them got their answer and didn’t want to delay. They intended to set out on a journey as soon as possible, but were stopped at the same time because of a sentence.
The ghost hunter behind them said, "Have you heard? Casting the living into Hell is unheard of."
"Yes, then this Lan Chui Han, is he still considered a living person now?" Xie Bi An opened his eyes wide and he turned around suddenly.
The ghost hunter had a quiver and felt something unusual around him, but when he scanned around, nothing seemed different, so he couldn't help but scratch his head in confusion.
"Big brother, calm down." Fan Wu She said softly. Xie Bi An clenched his fist. "According to reason, when a living being comes to Jiuyou, he is naturally dead, but then Heaven Master and Impermanence are also living people traveling back and forth in the Underworld, so it’s not unusual to see Lan Chui Han being alive. But putting the living into Hell, isn’t that just torturing him to death?"
"Who knows? What exactly is the feud between the Red King and that Lord Lan? That Lord Lan doesn’t seem to be an evil person. He originally shouldn’t have gone to Hell.”
"It must be a grudge from the previous life." The ghost hunter sighed, "Whatever his grudge is, just don't let it affect us. I heard that the earth has been in chaos, and the Underworld is now controlled by the Red King. Who knows whether it is a blessing or a curse."
"That's not for small insignificant citizens like us to think about. Let's discuss how to deal with those fierce ghosts."
Xie Bi An held back his raging emotions and silently retreated from the village to a farther place before tearing off the blind-eye talisman and viciously throwing it on the ground, growling, "Jiang Qu Lian, this evil beast, how dare he do this to Brother Lan!"
"Big brother, it’s useless to be anxious now. If Jiang Qu Lian really wants revenge, he will not kill him so easily. Let's go save him."
Xie Bi An gasped: "I'm afraid that big brother Lan has been ..." "Wounded? Crippled? It's useless to think about these now. It's good that
he's alive. Big brother, don't worry, wherever you want to go, I will accompany you."
"That is Hell ah." Xie Bi An muttered.
Fan Wu She looked at Xie Bi An's worry that was frozen on his brows, and he felt distressed. He hooked his lips and smiled: "It would be good if big brother also worried about me like this." Xie Bi An was slightly stunned and remained silent.
"Big brother, let's go." Fan Wu She held back his jealousy, "Let’s go save him."
After several days of trekking, they found Mount Luofeng. Mount Luofeng was still the same as before, towering so high that it’s impossible to see its peak, and stretching for more than a thousand miles. The Underworld was set up in that mountain range, along with Huangquan Road, Naihe Bridge, Yanluo Hall, and Hell, where the world was familiar with them.
Xie Bi An was hovering above the Underworld with his sword. Looking at the familiar buildings beneath his feet, especially the Heaven Master Palace where he grew up in, he felt an oppressive pain. The Underworld did not seem to have changed much, but it had been forced to start afresh. He didn't know whether the Underworld under the rule of the red ghost king was still performing its responsibilities, whether the trial in Yanluo Hall, Meng Po soup and the six paths of reincarnation were still operating as usual. Looking far from the sky, it seemed that nothing had changed, but there was no place for him to go back to.
"Big brother, now all of the Underworld is Jiang Qu Lian’s people. Let's mingle in and have a look around by acting like Yin servants."
"Jiang Qu Lian will most likely put the Book of Life and Death in the Red Palace."
"I know you're worried about Lan Chui Han, but this time our most important goal is to get the Book of Life and Death first." "I know." Xie Bi An sighed, "I don't know what kind of scene the Underworld is in at this time. Maybe we can still find someone to help us. Let's go in first."
Xie Bi An’s qiankun bag was stocked with Yin servant’s clothes. The two of them changed their clothes, put on their ghost masks, hid their breaths again with the Breath Closing Technique, and pretended to be the Yin servants on patrol, going all the way into the Underworld.
On the surface, it seems that the Underworld is operating as usual. There are still many Yin servants moving around, and there are also souls being taken back to the Underworld to go where they should go, as if nothing has changed.
Fan Wu She grabbed an Yin servant, put the puppet talisman on him, and asked him to find out what was going on.
Since the battle at Fengdu City, Jiang Qu Lian had taken complete control of the Underworld. Cui Jue, Night Patrol, Bo Zhu, and many of Cui Jue's former subordinates were imprisoned, but Day Patrol escaped, while Meng Po was still boiling her soup on the Naihe Bridge, seemingly completely unaffected by whoever was running the Underworld.
She was able to stand alone, which was obvious because she did not participate in that battle, and Jiang Qu Lian still needed her.
The two of them discussed and decided to take a risk by asking Meng Po for help.
It was difficult for them to steal the Book of Life and Death and save someone from Hell at the same time without exposing themselves, and Meng Po was the only one who was capable of helping them. However, Meng Po had always been unpredictable. No one knew what she was thinking, why she was willing to guard that bridge, day after day, repeating the same thing. Even the Great Emperor Beiyin was somewhat courteous to her. However, they were also worried that Meng Po was like the five ghost emperors, standing by and watching others battle, or maybe not only refusing to help them, but also selling them out. But they could only try now.
The two blended into the queue of Yin servants to send souls to reincarnate, and slowly went up the Naihe Bridge. Looking at the scarlet water under the bridge, they couldn't help but sigh with emotions.
When they stood in front of Meng Po, she was not surprised at all. She just waved her smooth snake tail: "I thought you guys were dead, coming back so late." There was some coldness in that mocking tone.
"Meng Cao Lao." Xie Bi An arched his hand, "I wanted to come back every day, but I was recovering previously."
"Looking at your injuries, you are not recovering well either." Meng Cao Lao could see from a glance that both of them were unhealed from their injuries, and neither had much blood in their faces.
"This was because of encountering some fierce ghosts in the dense forest." Xie Bi An said seriously, "The Underworld has become like this today, with Official Lord Cui, Night Patrol and the others being locked up. This is not what Meng Cao Lao wants to see, right?"
Meng Po gently flicked the unkempt hair with her fingers. Her pale face seemed to be tired of making an expression. She said, "Then do you know why the Red King did not imprison me?"
"Did Meng Cao Lao have some kind of deal with him?" Xie Bi An stared straight at Meng Cao, "If we turn around and leave now, will Meng Cao Lao tell the Red King about this?"
Meng Cao Lao let out a string of laughter, "Look at how scared you are.
You are too inferior to your master." "How can I compare with Master?" Fan Wu She narrowed his eyes dangerously, "Meng Cao Lao, if you keep evading the crucial points like this, we will not let you go if we are found out."
Meng Cao Lao let out a sorrowful laugh: "Your Holiness doesn't have to drop these harsh words, I didn't say I wouldn't help you guys either."
sclera*[⽩眼]---white part of the eye
waist’s eyes*[腰眼]---this was a direct translation. The position of ‘waist eyes’ are:
fused together with him like water
and milk*[与其⽔乳交融] ⽔乳交融: The analogy is that the
relationship is very harmonious or the bond is very close, or become one just
like blending water and milk together reach out for a yard after taking an
]--- be insatiable; give him an inch and he'll take an ell; Much will have
more; The more one gets, the more one wants;
netherworld*[ 幽冥 ]--- 幽冥 and 冥府 both mean the same thing… actually
scare the snake by beating the grass*[打草惊蛇]--- act rashly and alert the enemy
Xie Bi An asked Meng Po about the situation in the Underworld.
Lan Chui Han was indeed thrown into hell by Jiang Qu Lian. No one knows his current situation. Cui Jue and Night Patrol are under house arrest in the Judge's Mansion, including the "little servant of Heaven Master Palace", that is Bo Zhu.
Ox Head and Horse Face are in charge of animal souls. The gains and losses have little to do with Jiang Qu Lian, so he didn’t touch them. They know how to put their own safety first before matters of principle. What they used to do, they are still doing now, and they do not participate in the strife of the underworld. The Ten Yanluo Halls are all civil officials, and most of the Yin servants under their commands are controlled by Jiang Qu Lian, unable to resist.
Jiang Qu Lian fostered a group of his own ghost generals to replace the former Underworld generals, pocketing the entire Underworld.
Xie Bi An's eyebrows knitted tightly: "Is there no news from Lan Chui Han?"
"No. The Red King was originally the hell warden. Up and down, inside and outside, are all his ghosts." Meng Po hummed lightly, "However, using the body of a living person to go to hell is definitely more ominous than propitious."
Xie Bi An hung his head and did not say anything. Only his fists were clenched to the point of pain. Fan Wu She said, "Jiang Qu Lian won't kill him. If he wants him to die, why would he go through so much trouble?"
"So just to torture him?" Xie Bi An gritted his teeth, "Not to mention the torture, just the Yin energy corroding the living is enough to kill him. He won’t last long."
"You want to save him?" Meng Po shook her head.
"Meng Cao Lao, can you help us find out where Lan Chui Han is and where the Book of Life and Death is now?"
"The Book of Life and Death is such an important thing. It must be carried by the Red King. As for that living person, I can try, but if he is in the Infernal Hell, you should give up."
"The Infernal Hell is not indestructible." Xie Bi An glanced at Fan Wu She meaningfully.
Meng Po laughed coldly: "That's because Your Holiness had the Red King’s assistance. Could he have possibly left the Infernal Hell on his own? Since ancient times, no ghosts have been able to escape from the Infernal Hell."
Fan Wu She’s face was gloomy and he did not reply.
"The Red King and Your Holiness used each other to risk bringing you out of Hell and even sending you to reincarnation, but what use does Lan Chui Han have for the Red King?"
"Lan Chui Han's value to Jiang Qu Lian is clearly not a 'use'." Fan Wu She looked straight at Meng Po, "Can you help us or not?"
"Besides me, who else can help you?"
"Why are you helping us?" Fan Wu She asked in reply again.
Meng Po's snake tail slid, making a rustling sound, "The Great Emperor Beiyin has been kind to my Nǚwa Clan. Since the disconnection between heaven and earth, our ancestors were forced to return to the ancestral tablet. The half-human, half-snake clan members that remained on earth lost their protection and were hunted by the earthly deities due to the residual divinity of the snake pearl in their bodies. It was the Great Emperor Beiyin who saved our clan. While he was in seclusion due to his injuries, how could he allow his underworld to fall into the hands of ambitious people?"
"Meng Cao Lao is highly principled. I thank you in advance." Xie Bi An arched his hand, "In your opinion, what should we do now?"
"I have no wise opinion. You want a wise opinion, you should go to see Official Lord Cui."
"Can you take us to see him?" Xie Bi An's eyes lit up.
"Compared with the Book of Life and Death and Hell, it is naturally easier to mingle into the Judge's Mansion, but it is not me who will take you there, but Patrol."
"Day Patrol is now in the Underworld?"
"In order to avoid the Red King's pursuit, he has been shuttling back and forth between the human and ghost worlds. Even when he came back here, he has always been hiding. He came to find me before, and I can find him too. He has been waiting for you to come back." Meng Po stared at Xie Bi An, "We were all waiting for you to come back. With the Heaven Master gone, perhaps you are the only one who can save all of this."
Xie Bi An said gloomily, "I am afraid that I will let down my master's expectations."
"Then don't let him down." Meng Po straightened her slightly stooped back, and the snake body also followed and pulled up to the height of two people. She looked at the two of them from a high position, "Whatever you guys owed to both the human and ghost worlds, pay them back."
--- The two followed Meng Po's words and waited under the ninth smoke beacon that leads to Yanluo Hall.
That spacious mountain road not far away is the road to Yanluo Hall. It is the continuation of Huangquan Road, with Yin servants coming and going from time to time. The two hid under the tall artemisia grass, waiting for Day Patrol to come and find them.
Xie Bi An was silent for a long time, holding the hilt of the Junlan sword with one hand, and looking worried.
"Are you still thinking about Lan Chui Han?" Fan Wu She finally couldn't help but ask.
Xie Bi An did not answer.
"Jiang Qu Lian won't kill him. He's only been in hell for a few days. You really don't need to worry so much." Fan Wu She's tone was cold.
"Whoever I’m worried about, it's not up to you to decide whether it’s needed or not."
Fan Wu She slightly narrowed his eyes. The jealousy and unfairness in his chest could not be suppressed anymore no matter what: "I had been in the infernal hell for a hundred years, but I don't see you getting worried about me, and not even asking a single question."
Xie Bi An turned his face away, obviously not wanting to continue this conversation.
"You are so worried about him being punished in hell, afraid he’s facing more disadvantages, but did you even think about me once? About how I survived those 100 years!?”
Xie Bi An gritted his teeth: "Are you accusing me by saying this to me? Is it my fault?" It’s not that he didn’t want to think of it, but he didn’t dare to. While he was worried about Lan Chui Han, he could not help thinking about how this man had endured the suffering of a hundred years of extreme punishment. This heart hanging on the abyss seemed to have the risk of falling and breaking at any time, so he could not think deeper.
"..." Like a fishbone getting stuck in Fan Wu She’s throat, his shoulders quietly slumped a bit. He said dejectedly, "No."
"Then don't say any more." Stop forcing him.
"I just want you to care about me a little, just a little, even if it’s one millionth of the last time. I don't care how much pain I went through, but if you still don’t care in the slightest..." Fan Wu She lowered his eyes and said softly, "I’ll be really sad."
Xie Bi An was still looking elsewhere, only leaving Fan Wu She with a tensed side face and a slightly undulating throat pearl*.
Fan Wu She’s heart was in extreme pain. At this moment, he wanted to use some extraordinary means, even if it’s forcing this man to say a few fake words to appease him, as long as it could relieve the pain of this heart.
The depressing atmosphere flowed between each other. What broke it all was the arrival of Day Patrol.
Day Patrol looked a lot more haggard. He was awake only half of the day. Without Night Patrol taking care of him, he had to do what he had to do in the limited time he had, and then find himself a safe hiding place before the sun went down. He’s anxious all day long, and with the worry and longing for his wife, he was naturally exhausted.
"Impermanence, you've finally come back. Official Lord Cui said you would definitely come back to save them."
Xie Bi An was a little ashamed: "I will save them at all costs."
"I know the secret passage to the Judge’s Mansion. I can take you to see Official Lord Cui. However, this trip is very risky. If the Red King finds out, what would you guys do?" "Then we can only fight." Fan Wu She sneered, "Fighting at close quarters is the worst strategy. We want to get back the Book of Life and Death and save the hostages first, but if we are exposed, there is no choice."
"I'm afraid getting the Book of Life and Death will be difficult. I've been to the Red Palace's underground treasure trove and haven't seen the Book of Life and Death or the Judge's Brush, so they must have been taken by the Red King with him, but they are Official Lord Cui's things after all. To get them back, maybe Official Lord Cui has a way."
"Quickly, take us to see Official Lord Cui."
The two Patrol Generals’ duties were to patrol the earth and gather information for Cui Jue, so they were extremely fast, wary, and extremely good at hiding and infiltrating. Although the Judge's Mansion was heavily guarded and bounded, Day Patrol had already worked out the loopholes and had snuck in to see Official Lord Cui sometime ago.
Some effort was taken this time, but the two of them were finally brought in unnoticed.
Cui Jue was imprisoned in his chambers, and could only move around in his bedroom and study room all day. His look was obviously a little dispirited. Only when he saw Xie Bi An at that moment did his eyes become bright: "Bi An, you are finally back."
"Official Lord Cui, I came late. I-I was wounded, so ..."
"No need to explain, I understand." Cui Jue looked at Fan Wu She on one side and said indifferently, "You actively plotted and took back the Heavenly Secret Talisman. Did it give you what you wanted?"
Fan Wu She's expression changed slightly. He pursed his lips and said nothing.
"After living two lifetimes, you still don't understand the truth that absolute power can't accomplish everything, but it can ruin everything." "...I understand now." Fan Wu She snuck a glance at Xie Bi An, and lowered his eyes again.
Cui Jue nodded and said meaningful and heartfelt words, "It's not too late to mend the pen after sheep are lost*."
They exchanged information with each other. Xie Bi An knew that both Night Patrol and Bo Zhu were safe and sound, just that they hadn't seen each other since they'd been imprisoned here. It was Day Patrol who visited them separately.
And Cui Jue was furious when he learned that Lan Chui Han had been thrown into hell by Jiang Qu Lian, "Jiang Qu Lian has repeatedly defied the natural order and violated the ban. Punishment in hell is insufficient for him."
"I'm very worried about Lan Chui Han. I have to go save him."
"It's not that easy to go into hell to save someone. This matter needs to be considered in the long run."
"There is a secret passage under the Red Palace that leads straight to hell. I just don't know if it has been sealed up by Jiang Qu Lian." Xie Bi An sighed, "We're waiting for Meng Po to pry out some news to see which floor Lan Chui Han is at."
"If it's the Infernal Hell ..." Cui Jue wanted to say something but stopped. Several people were silent. If Lan Chui Han was really in the Infernal
Hell, that would be the worst-case scenario.
This also made people not help but wonder, what did Lan Chui Han do to Jiang Qu Lian in his previous life which made Jiang Qu Lian hate him so much as to throw a living person into hell?
Fan Wu She said: "Official Lord Cui, let's not talk about Lan Chui Han. The most important thing for us to do on this trip is to get back the Book of Life and Death and the Judge’s Brush. We guessed that if the Book of Life and Death is merged with the Golden Trunk Jade Policy, Jiang Qu Lian may find the secret of controlling the six paths of reincarnation."
Cui Jue sighed with deep emotion, "Indeed. If he is allowed to control the six paths of reincarnation, not to mention the underworld, even the earth will fall into his hands, and even ..."
"Both the Heaven Path and Asura Path may be affected. After the disconnection between heaven and earth, the only way for people to become immortal is to cultivate, but if the six paths of reincarnation became a tool for Jiang Qu Lian, he doesn’t need to cultivate hard to become an immortal in the future and could directly reincarnate into a celestial being. By then, the three realms will be in chaos."
Xie Bi An gasped a cold breath. How could they not have thought of this? Could it be that Jiang Qu Lian's ambition is much more than just the earth and the underworld?
"So the Book of Life and Death must be retrieved." Cui Jue said, "After all, I have been in charge of the Book of Life and Death for a thousand years. I have a plan, but I have to rely on you guys."
"Please speak, Official Lord Cui."
throat pearl*[喉珠]---Adam’s apple
mend the pen after sheep are lost*[亡⽺补牢]--- better late than never
"The Book of Life and Death and the Judge's Brush have spiritual senses that I've secretly planted on them. I know where they are. As long as they are close enough, they can accept my summons and return to my hands. Getting them back is a very simple matter, but it’s up to you guys on how to keep them retained."
"Are they in the Underworld now?"
"No. Jiang Qu Lian is likely to have gone to earth."
"We will have the leverage to exchange for you guys if the Book of Life and Death is taken back." Xie Bi An said hesitantly, "But big brother Lan
"Bi An, you guys find a way to save that Lord Lan first. His living body will not last long in Hell. After rescuing him, don't bother about us. Leave the Underworld immediately and find the Golden Trunk Jade Policy."
"I can't leave you guys here."
"Don't worry, Jiang Qu Lian will definitely not kill us. It’s nothing but getting locked up for a period of time." Cui Jue said with a stern face, "But if he gets the Golden Trunk Jade Policy first, the consequences will be unimaginable."
"Official Lord Cui is right. Jiang Qu Lian must also be looking for Xu Zhi Nan's whereabouts." Fan Wu She said, "We must find Xu Zhi Nan first." Xie Bi An pondered for a moment, "That's good, but Xu Zhi Nan has the intention to hide, and there are no clues so far. I don't know where Hua Xiang Rong is now. She's been tracking Xu Zhi Nan throughout, maybe ..."
"You can let Day Patrol help you. Although Day Patrol can only be active during the day, he has always been patrolling the earth for me. There’s probably no one faster than him in finding people and clues."
Day Patrol arched his hand to Cui Jue, "Order received."
"Many thanks, Official Lord Cui." Xie Bi An’s expression remained grave, "Official Lord Cui, we still have to go to Hell to save someone. Do you have any ideas?"
"I have one thing that might help you guys." Cui Jue opened a drawer, took out a wooden box, and took out a jade token from it, "This was originally my Judge’s token to pass through Hell, but now that Jiang Qu Lian is in charge of the Underworld, there are already many of his subordinates in Hell, so I cannot say whether this Judge’s token will work well when encountering Yin servants. However, it can pass through Hell’s boundary. That boundary was set up by the Great Emperor Beiyin. The rules must be followed in order to pass through, which he cannot control."
"Okay. With this object, as long as we can avoid the Yin servants and guards, we can enter Hell.”
Cui Jue shook his head and sighed, "Don't be happy too soon. This is only entering Hell. If you guys found Lord Lan, you guys still have to find a way to bring him out."
"To get out of hell, you need the official documents of the ten Yanluo Halls."
"That’s right. Only those who have completed their sentence can be released by the Yin servants with the official document from the ten Yanluo Halls. You also have to go and find King Qinguang. Heaven Master had a good, friendly relationship with him. He will definitely help you." Xie Bi An nodded and arched his hand towards Day Patrol: "Yanluo Hall is full of Yin servants. I'll have to bother Patrol to lead the way for us."
"Don't worry, I will bring you guys to see His Highness King Qinguang."
"This matter should not be delayed. You guys should go now." Cui Jue patted Xie Bi An's shoulder, gave Fan Wu She another look, and said meaningful and heartfelt words, "There are many hardships in this world, but don’t give up. Bi An, Heaven Master has always believed in you. You will definitely bring peace to both the human and ghost worlds."
Xie Bi An was ashamed: "I will do my best and live up to Master’s expectations."
With the help of Day Patrol, they also managed to mingle into Yanluo Hall and found King Qinguang. When King Qinguang saw Xie Bi An, he complained bitterly and reproached Jiang Qu Lian's various evil deeds ----
ignoring the laws of the Underworld and trying to manipulate the trial and reincarnation as a way to win over the Yin servants and ghost generals. Among the ten Yanluo Halls, some of them have already submitted to Jiang Qu Lian, some are still circling around, but none of them really dare to revolt, otherwise the position of Yanluo will not be preserved.
When he heard clearly and understood Xie Bi An's purpose of coming, King Qinguang immediately gave him an official document and assigned his own trusted Yin servant to Xie Bi An to meet him in Hell. As long as they do not cause a big commotion when they rescue Lan Chui Han, they can take him out of hell unnoticed. And Jiang Qu Lian is not in the underworld now. It is very likely that he has gone to the earth to find Xu Zhi Nan. Now is their best opportunity and they have to take action.
After getting the official document, it’s almost dawn.
In fact, Jiuyou is dark and gloomy. The difference between day and night is not big, and there is a boundless and rootless large area of land that is forever imprisoned in darkness, but they still decided to wait until nightfall to take action, because the Yin servants like to collect souls after sunset, so the Underworld would be “livelier” at night, and they could take advantage of the chaos.
The two of them were hiding on Mount Luofeng.
Xie Bi An was carefully wiping his sword. When he wiped the shining silver blade with a napkin, he saw a pair of quiet and calm eyes on the blade. He blinked and looked at himself attentively, yet he read the emotions that even he himself could not express with words.
He has always had extremely deep feelings for this Junlan sword. Even if the Zongxuan sword was forged by Shen Nong Ding and was a generation of divine swords, it was far from comparable. What he wanted to be accompanied with all his life was still the Junlan sword.
Even though he used the Zongxuan sword for ten years, he never felt that the sword really belonged to him. Perhaps because he resisted the identity of the Human Emperor from the bottom of his heart, while the Junlan sword not only appeared at the moment he needed it most, but as a sincere gift ----
no matter what Xu Zhi Nan became afterwards, he firmly believed that the moment Xu Zhi Nan gave him the sword, it was sincere.
Therefore, while holding this sword, it was extremely disheartening to think that he and Xu Zhi Nan have come to this point.
Fan Wu She rested and nursed his injury for a week. When he opened his eyes, he saw Xie Bi An was wiping his sword again and again. In fact, that sword was already clean with a surface so bright that it could serve as a mirror. He didn't really have to wipe it again and again.
"Big brother." Fan Wu She called out in a soft voice.
Xie Bi An, who was immersed in his memories, only reacted when he was called a second time: "Hm?"
"What are you thinking about?" Fan Wu She glanced at the Junlan sword and was actually able to guess it. Xie Bi An said in a low voice, "I treated him as a trusted elder brother at the beginning. After ascending to the Human Emperor’s throne, he was my close assistant."
Fan Wu She slightly narrowed his eyes, "He deserves to die." "I really can't see through people."
"This person danced beautifully with the help of long sleeves*, had extremely deep shrewdness, and deceived everyone. We were also kept in the dark. Big brother, it’s not your fault.”
"It's not just him. There's also Li Bu Yu." Xie Bi An mocked himself, “Even my mother. We were the closest people in the world, and I had never really gotten to understand her."
"Big brother, it's not your fault." Fan Wu She gazed into Xie Bi An's eyes and emphasized his tone, "Because you are gentle and kind, and you are carrying a huge treasure, so those people used you and deceived you. That is not your fault. They are too evil." He paused and said in a low voice, "Me too. I also hurt you, but I will never do it again from now on."
Xie Bi An diligently wiped a few more times: "I won't trust you and anyone else anymore."
Fan Wu She's heart ached, but he could only swallow the bitter fruit himself.
Before the sun went down, they went back to the Naihe Bridge, and when the appointed time with Meng Po was up, they came to ask for clues.
Meng Po gave them an answer that, although expected, was still terrible - Lan Chui Han is really in the Infernal Hell.
In the 18 levels of Hell, the upper seventeen levels have their own punishments for different sins, such as the Hell of Tongue-ripping is to punish those who have created oral karma, the Hell of the Wrongful Dead is to punish those who do not value their lives and committed suicide, but the eighteenth level of Hell is the Infernal Hell for the most treacherous and evil people. Infernal means never-ending suffering.
Xie Bi An had been prepared for a long time. He steadied his emotions and calmly asked many questions about hell. This was not the first time he went to Hell. He had gone with Zhong Kui many times before on a tour, but he had never been to the Infernal Hell, not to mention that his status was different this time. He was going to "break into a jail and rescue a prisoner".
After making preparations, the two arrived at the entrance of Hell, which is located deep in Mount Luofeng, late at night.
danced beautifully with the help of
long sleeves*[ ⻓袖善舞]--- People who have the means are good at tricking.
Different from what the world described in supernatural legends, the entrance to hell was not a ghost head with a blue face with its teeth stuck far out*, nor a gate surrounded by thistles, thorns and a river of blood, nor was there any ghost servants or rakshasas* guarding tier upon tier. It was actually a volcanic crater.
When they climbed up the towering Mount Luofeng, the summit was a boundless plain made of volcanic ash and crisscrossing lava where the ghostly aura was dense, and not even a blade of grass grew here. Finally, that lava joined together to form a stream, wrapping with stinking blood, broken limbs, and dense resentment. Flowing down the high Mount Luofeng and into the Wangchuan River, letting every ghost who fell into the Wangchuan River quickly lose their strength, memories, making it difficult for them to escape again.
In the center of the plain, there was a huge crater parallel to the ground. Looking from the sky, it looked like a deep hole piercing through the earth’s core, with golden red hot lava tumbling inside, as if it could melt everything in the world into ashes.
At this moment, a group of Yin servants were taking some ghosts to be thrown into hell after the trial and walking slowly towards the entrance of hell. When they arrived at the edge of the crater, like ants on the edge of a small saucepan, they jumped down one following the other.
The two of them were watching from the sky. Xie Bi An felt a little terrified. Last time, when he and Zhong Kui came to hell to patrol, Zhong Kui had the Heaven Master's token, and could freely pass through hell. Whether going in or out, or doing activities in hell, he would never be in danger, but today is not like the old days. They are going to the real Shura field, and if the token in their hands does not work, they will plunge directly into the magma, not even leaving a chunk of bone.
Xie Bi An said: "If you want to go to hell, you have to go from here. The Yin servant needs to have both a Yanluo’s token and the official document in his hand. The authorization token is used to pass through the boundary, and the official document is used to send and retrieve people. Otherwise, we won’t reach the real hell and will jump into the magma pool directly." He paused and said, "Similarly, without official documents and authority tokens, what's inside can't come out. All of hell is wrapped in magma." The reason why they can't use King Qinguang’s Yanluo token is because official documents can be forged, but the token can't. If they fail, they will implicate King Qinguang, so they can only take the risk by using Cui Jue's authorization token. If Jiang Qu Lian did a screening on Cui Jue's authority token, or the guards of hell checked it, they may be exposed.
After waiting for a long time, Xie Bi An didn't get a response. He turned his face to look at Fan Wu She, but he saw that Fan Wu She's face was pale. His eyes were staring straight at the entrance to hell, his pupils were bulging, his eye muscles* were tense, his face was covered with a thin layer of sweat, his fists were cackling from clenching them, and the black death aura was surrounding his side. That was the fear and wariness when he encountered a deadly threat.
Xie Bi An felt his heart tightened. This man had been in and out of this place as a prisoner, and served a hundred years sentence, so he truly understood the horrors of hell.
Xie Bi An didn't make any more noise, but just looked at Fan Wu She silently. He knew that Fan Wu She was struggling with his own fear and the fear induced by his inner demons.
After a long time, the black death aura gradually receded. Fan Wu She's eyes gradually regained their clarity. He took a deep breath, but his face was still covered with haze. He said in a deep voice, "Let's go." "You ..."
"I'm fine. No matter what, there's no way I'm going to let you go in by yourself."
"Did you hear what I said just now? If Official Lord Cui’s token doesn't work, we'll just jump directly into the lava."
"No." Fan Wu She took out the map of Shanhe Sheji, "If we really can't get through the boundary, I'll change the landscape and won't put you in danger."
Xie Bi An was a little relieved. He realized that no matter how much he resisted Fan Wu She, no matter how many dangerous tribulations he encountered, which were actually brought on by this person, he never doubted that this person had the ability to save them from danger.
The two of them arrived at the entrance of hell. The hot air from the underground lava kept rising, scorching their hair and skin. They looked at each other. Fan Wu She held Xie Bi An’s hand, and Xie Bi An held the Judge’s token.
They leaped down.
The fall did not last long. In the blink of an eye, they appeared in a large cave, surrounded by a rock wall made from piled-up volcanic rocks. Both of their feet landed on the ground.
The coarse, honeycomb-shaped rock walls were embedded with soul lamps one by one, emitting a blood-red light. The rock wall extended upward, and the top could not be seen. In front of them was an arched door. This is the real entrance to hell.
The guards at the entrance and the Yin servants who were lining up to enter discovered them at the same time. The two of them were wearing Yin servants’ clothes and ghost masks, and they kept holding their breath, hiding the breath of the living, so the Yin servants and guards did not notice anything unusual. Xie Bi An waved the official document deceptively, lowered his voice and said, "Retrieving someone."
"Which hall?" The guards asked. "King Qinguang's Hall."
The guard reached out his hand to get the official document.
The official document was a real official document, only the name on it was fake. Naturally, the guard had no way to know, so he let them in.
Through the gate, there was a sago palm in front of them. The trunk was riveted by various mechanism bearings, and the branches extended out in the shape of opened umbrellas. There were 18 branches in total. Under each branch, there was a huge skeleton skull. Those skeleton skulls carry the Yin servants up and down, relying fully on a group of ragged clothed ghosts on the top of the sago palm exerting all their strength to push the mechanism.
The two walked into a skeleton skull. A little ghost was lying on it, peeking its head in from where the eye’s position was and looked at them.
"Eighteenth floor." Xie Bi An said.
The little ghost disappeared, and soon the big skeleton skull carried them down slowly.
The raging heatwave was accompanied by miserable screams that entered the eardrums at the same time. As the big skeleton skull descended, they were "passing by" each level of hell. Although they could not see anything through the stone walls, those unceasing, rising and falling, incomparably shrilling cries were probably more penetrating than the sharpest sword in the world, going through the depths of the human soul and making people feel the chill from the inside out.
When Xie Bi An came here for the first time, he thought if those who did evil came to see the consequences of karma, there would be fewer evil people in the world. Unfortunately, those people didn’t believe it, or even if they did, they couldn’t resist the corrosion of desire.
The descent was not very long, but they seemed to have gone through a long ordeal. That howling sound was like a dull knife grinding flesh, so ear- piercing that it made people feel pins and needles. If they kept listening like this, it would be able to drive a person crazy.
The further they descend, the higher the temperature. They had already been sweating like rain, even their skin was steaming with pain.
Finally, the big skeleton skull reached the bottom and they landed. They came to the 18th level of hell the infernal hell.
Xie Bi An walked out. He turned around, but he saw Fan Wu She still standing in the skeleton skull, not even knowing when he retreated to the far corner. His face was frighteningly malicious, like a fierce beast forced into a desperate situation, ready to pounce and fight for his life.
Xie Bi An’s heart suddenly ached. He sighed to himself and walked to Fan Wu She's side: "We're here."
Fan Wu She stared at Xie Bi An. The black blood vessels crawled into his eyes again. His evil tendencies rose suddenly and sharply with the spiritual pressure, and he was full of vigilance and hostility to everything around him.
Xie Bi An knew that the skeleton skull vehicle was going up soon, so he couldn't delay here, and he still needed Fan Wu She to help him save Lan Chui Han. He simply took Fan Wu She's hand in his.
Fan Wu She’s body shook. The twisting black death aura in the eyes instantly faded. He looked at Xie Bi An blankly and helplessly.
"Don't be afraid." Xie Bi An opened his mouth and swallowed the second half of his sentence back into his stomach. Fan Wu She's eyes gradually regained clarity, and then tinged with a hint of joy. He entwined his fingers around Xie Bi An's hand, as if he was afraid that he would regret it: "Big brother ..."
"Let's go." Xie Bi An pulled Fan Wu She out, and then let go of his hand.
Fan Wu She clenched his fist tightly, wanting to keep the residual warmth belonging to big brother between his fingers and palm.
SQC’s note: (she meant the chapters) These 2 days are a bit short, because the later content is too difficult to write, and it's better not to interrupt the important plot. Let's put it to the next chapter.
PS: Today marks the anniversary of WCJ yayyy!! Time for me to take a rest, byeee
blue face with its teeth stuck far out*[ ⻘ ⾯ 獠 ⽛ ]---ferocious- looking/terrifying in appearance
rakshasas*[罗刹]---a type of demon. Also known as “man-eaters”
eye muscles*[ 轮匝 ]---or specifically 眼轮匝肌 --- orbicularis oculi muscle, I used a
layman term here called eye muscles xD
The Infernal Hell was quiet, so quiet that it made people exceptionally flustered. The thick walls of volcanic rock blocked their view from the outside and the ongoing torture from the inside, making the unknown even more terrifying, and the unknown being the terror itself.
They walked through an endlessly long stone corridor with a row of soul lamps hanging on both sides of the stone wall. The candle flames flickered, casting pieces of ghostly shadows on the ground, and constantly extending forward, as if guiding them into the endless darkness.
Fan Wu She's panting became increasingly gruff. Finally, he had to stop and lean his back against the wall, closing his eyes and adjusting his breath.
"How are you doing?" Xie Bi An looked at him worriedly.
Fan Wu She hung his head. After a long time, he took out something from his pocket and handed it over.
Xie Bi An opened his palm hesitantly. When Fan Wu She let go of his hold, a jade talisman fell into his palm.
The Xuanyuan Heavenly Secret Talisman!
Xie Bi An was pale with fear, as if the thing in his hand was not a warm and cool jade, but a red-hot soldering iron. He nearly threw that object out.
"Big brother, listen to me." Fan Wu She lifted his head. The whites of his eyes were being invaded and occupied by the black death aura, "I can't put it on my body anymore. This place evokes many ... memories for me. It's tempting me to take revenge. I'm afraid of losing control."
Xie Bi An clutched the Heavenly Secret Talisman tremblingly: "If you can't control it, don't go any further. Wait for me here."
Fan Wu She shook his head: "You can't deal with those 'things'. I won't let you walk into the Infernal Hell alone."
"If you lose control, wouldn't that be counterproductive?" Xie Bi An could see that on this journey, Fan Wu She was always restraining his fear and hatred. Anyone who was tortured for a hundred years would turn into a fierce ghost with the deepest resentment. Despite Fan Wu She having been reincarnated as a human, the anger and resentment engraved in the depths of his soul could not disappear as long as the memory was not obliterated. He would naturally keep remembering when he returned to his former haunts.
Fan Wu She gazed at Xie Bi An, gently pulled his arm, wrapped his own palm around his fist, and felt the power of the Heavenly Secret Talisman through the vivid skeleton and warm skin texture, as if with this barrier, the spiritual pressure of the Heavenly Secret Talisman was not so aggressive: "Big brother, as I said, you are my inner demon, but you are also my antidote."
"... What does that mean?"
Fan Wu She brought his hand up to his lips and kissed it: "You can induce all my evil thoughts and also give me true peace of mind. Big brother, everything I have is in you. Do you understand?”
Under that kind of absolute sincere, frank gaze that released infinite deep love, Xie Bi An couldn't help but want to retreat, but Fan Wu She pulled his hand and wouldn't let go, obviously seeking redemption.
Xie Bi An sighed and said, "What do you want me to do?" "I want you to save me." Fan Wu She said in a trembling voice, "Only you can save me."
"I can't save you. Haven't you realized? In my past and present life, all the people I wanted to save, my most important people, even including myself, are dead." Xie Bi An's pupils were gloomy, "But I’m still, I’m still not resigning. As long as one breath remains, I always have to try."
"There's still me. You can still save me." Fan Wu She took the opportunity to hug Xie Bi An, and let out a depressing, weak cry from his chest, "Save me, big brother. Only you can save me in this world."
Xie Bi An gasped and was at a loss for a moment.
This sentence "you can still save me" was like a sword stabbing straight into a chaotic fog. A ray of light suddenly leaked in from this place. Even if it was only a very weak light, it still tenaciously wanted to light up the surroundings.
"I just want a little bit of your goodness, and that’s enough. Like how you held my hand just now. If you can smile at me again..." Fan Wu She felt his internal organs tearing with pain, "I really missed you so much. I missed you every day and every moment. If I didn’t think about you, how could I have survived those hundred years?" Since that moment he stepped into the Infernal Hell, all the ultimate pain and despair that he desperately wanted to forget came one after another. He seemed to feel the intense pain of endless cruel torture on his body, as well as the yearning of not knowing if he could see his big brother again. It was too painful. Every fragment of memory here contained poison and was soaked with bitterness. Life was worse than death. Death was worse than life. Life and death were cast away, and endless torture remained.
"Big brother, I know I'm wrong. Don't hate me anymore, okay?" He cried.
Xie Bi An's eye sockets burned without him knowing. His nasal cavity gushed with a burst of sourness. Perhaps Fan Wu She was right about this point. He was afraid that he was really the only one who could save him. In this cruel cycle of karma and reincarnation that spanned two lives, they switched back and forth between the identity of the perpetrator and the identity of the victim, and it might not matter what the truth was long ago, because the truth did not save anyone.
Xie Bi An felt the strong arm that held him, and the dependence that was the opposite of that strength. There was extreme pain and anxiety for a short while. Any love and hate were confused and difficult to distinguish at this moment. He was only attracted by that sentence from Fan Wu She "you
can still save me".
He also needed to be saved. He needed to save himself by saving others. It's just that this person holding him tightly had taught him too many unforgettable lessons. Are these compromises, these displays of weakness, and this repentance a premeditated pretense?
He was afraid of this person. From that day the Demon Supreme returned in Wuji Palace, in Zhengji Hall, in that duel of irreconcilable adversaries, in the days and nights of mutual torture afterwards, fear was deeply rooted in his heart and could not be removed.
A dragging sound of a rope chain on the partitioned wall pulled their thoughts back to reality.
The two of them were instantly alerted. Xie Bi An pushed Fan Wu She away. He concealed his expression by turning his face away. He was clutching the Heavenly Secret Talisman in his hand and said, "Then leave it here with me."
"It's 'him' "
Fan Wu She lifted his head. His gaze completely changed from an injured and begging little beast to a cruel hunter. He pulled Xie Bi An, walked forward by following the sound, and soon turned and entered into a stone room with bloody torture instruments hanging on all four walls. This was a torture room.
The candle flame in the torture room was dull, only shining a halo of light in a limited area. The invisible corners were hidden in the darkness, but they both knew that there was something in that darkness.
The chains rattled again. Something in the darkness wavered for a moment, and then leaned toward them slowly, accompanied by the sound of several strings of chains dragging on the ground, which made a person’s scalp tingle.
Xie Bi An drew out his Junlan sword and watched unblinkingly as something huge came out of the darkness.
Fan Wu She's gaze was cold to the core. His hands were behind his back, wringing his fingers around each other and making a crackling sound.
It was a ghost, but not an ordinary ghost. He was as tall as two people, extremely obese, with layers of flesh stacked on his body, and a huge bloated belly that almost dropped to the ground. His face was so fat that his features couldn’t be seen clearly, like melting into a ball of paste. His neck, limbs and waist were tied with long, thigh-thick iron chains, dragging on the ground, letting out a horrifying sound with every step.
Xie Bi An vaguely guessed what was in front of him.
"Brought it?" That big ghost turned his thick fat neck, looking for the ghost next to the "Yin servants", but was unsuccessful. Although he was as fat as a hill, his voice had no bloated feeling.
He was the execution officer of Hell.
Saying he’s an “officer”, when in fact there was no real authority. The only thing they had to do was to punish the prisoners in Hell, but only the prisoners in infernal Hell are worthy to have an "officer". The other Hells were mostly rotated by the Yin servants. The execution officer of the Infernal Hell was a frightening existence for the ghosts. Not only did they have a profound cultivation and long-term immersion in strong resentment, but each was also brutal, bloodthirsty, and knew how to torture ghosts.
He remembered Zhong Kui also said that the execution officers in the Infernal Hell all grew up to be fat, because after they dug up the cores, extracted the bones, skinned, pulled the tendons, and tortured the utmost of those who served the sentence, those people always recovered to meet the next round of torture. Most of the people who entered the Infernal Hell had profound cultivation in order to cause a great disaster. The golden cores, flesh, and bones that fell from them were great tonics. The execution officer eats them for years, which greatly improved their cultivation, and most of them became giants from eating it.
Xie Bi An felt revolted at the thought of how many ghosts’ limbs they had eaten to take on this bloated form. He waved the official document with a cold face: "Retrieving someone."
"Why run into the torture room to retrieve someone?" The execution officer was about to retreat into the darkness.
Fan Wu She took a step forward and suddenly called out, "Qi Mo Ke, do you still remember me?" He took off the mask of a Yin servant and revealed a stunningly beautiful face.
Qi Mo Ke looked at Fan Wu She suspiciously for a long time. It was dark in the room. He had to get close before he could finally see Fan Wu She’s face clearly. After a short period of astonishment, he suddenly shook the fats on his body and stepped back in horror. This step shook the whole room three times, and the chain made an ear-piercing, dragging sound.
"You ... you ..."
"I said I would come back. I said I would take revenge. I said I would tear you guys to pieces bit by bit." Fan Wu She’s whole body was surrounded by the black death aura. He smiled while revealing a mouthful of white sharp teeth. His eyes were brewing with blood and ruthlessness. His face was sinister to the extreme!
"My immortal bones and spiritual flesh have fattened up many execution officers in the Infernal Hell." Fan Wu She stared at Qi Mo Ke in a sinister manner, "I want you guys to return all of it."
"I was following orders, following orders!" Qi Mo Ke shouted in a trembling voice, "Your Holiness, in this Infernal Hell, I had no choice ah." Ever since they heard that the Demon Supreme of a hundred years ago not only didn't enter the Hell Path, but was reborn as a human instead .That he even seized back the Xuanyuan Heavenly Secret Talisman, and killed his way back to the Underworld, there was not a day when they didn’t worry, and that day finally came.
The Demon Supreme was back. Back then, that Demon Supreme who was arrogantly shouting how to give a tooth for a tooth* when he was being punished, really came back.
give a tooth for a tooth*[ 以⽛还⽛]----whatever you’re given, you pay back
the same amount. answer blows with blows; eye for eye; give as good as one
gets; measure for measure;
Qi Mo Ke waved his fat arms. The thick, long, and heavy iron chain turned into a quick-witted python, slithering and biting towards Fan Wu She at high speed.
Fan Wu She stood as still as a mountain, only to hear a "swish" sound. Ting Mo was out of its sheath. The sword's energy went on a rampage. A few silvery lights flashed in the darkness. That iron python’s "spine" was cut off into several sections in mid-air and hit the ground with clanging sounds.
Qi Mo Ke cried out madly, and several iron chains attacked Fan Wu She.
This execution officer had eaten a lot of good immortal materials. His cultivation was not low, but he seemed powerless in front of the Demon Supreme. Just like the Demon Supreme in the beginning, who was only left with a wisp of a human soul, unable to resist during the torture in hell.
Ting Mo drew out luxuriant sword patterns in Fan Wu She’s hand. These iron chains were chopped off once again. The sharp sword energy constantly closed in on Qi Mo Ke’s body. Qi Mo Ke resisted with difficulty.
Xie Bi An stood on one side with his hands clasped behind his back. He could clearly see the path of the Zongxuan sword technique and also saw Qi Mo Ke’s ending in advance.
The sword energy viciously bit into Qi Mo Ke's legs, which were as thick as pillars. With a scream, those two legs were cut off at the thinnest part of the ankle. His mountainous body hit the ground with a bang. Fan Wu She lightly tapped with his toes and leaped onto Qi Mo Ke’s back.
Qi Mo Ke suddenly turned over his body and clasped his hands, wanting to slap Fan Wu She flat. Fan Wu She jumped into the air again. The sword patterns flew. Among the splashing of blood and flesh, he crippled those two arms.
Qi Mo Ke slumped to the ground like a pile of rotten meat, crying and begging, "Your Holiness, please spare me."
Fan Wu She landed on Qi Mo Ke's stomach. His eyes were lowered and his expression couldn’t be seen clearly, but his tensed jaws revealed a silent grimness.
"Your Holiness, I was just following orders. It was them. They eyed your immortal bones and spiritual flesh."
"I will find them." Fan Wu She held his sword and quickly drew a formation on Qi Mo Ke's belly.
That formation was not unfamiliar to Xie Bi An. It was the Big Dipper Zhengji Demon Binding Formation that had once suppressed Song Ming He at Diancang Peak. This formation could cause ghosts to be trapped in pain and suffering forever.
But to directly set this formation on a ghost, probably only the Demon Supreme who studied the "Yellow Emperor’s Yin Fu Heavenly Secret Scripture" could do it. Not knowing whether there would be a more terrible effect, but seeing Qi Mo Ke’s violent struggles and desperate wailings, the answer was self-evident.
The Demon Supreme’s revenge was to return the infernal pain of the torture in hell to the torturer.
Fan Wu She put away his sword, lowered his head, and said to Xie Bi An, "Let's go." Xie Bi An blocked in front of Fan Wu She: "Lift your head and look at me."
Fan Wu She's shoulders and neckline obviously stiffened for a moment, he pondered for a moment and slowly raised his head. The veins of black blood were indeed spreading in those charming hanging fox eyes.
"We are not here to take revenge." Xie Bi An said in a deep voice, "If you want to take revenge, after settling Jiang Qu Lian, who else can stop you? You can't be controlled by the inner demons now."
"Mn." Without looking at the rotten flesh struggling on the ground, Fan Wu She pulled Xie Bi An out of the torture room and closed the stone door. He was standing against the wall, adjusting his breathing as the heaving in his chest gradually calmed down. Only after a long time did he say, "We may encounter more execution officers later. I will try to restrain myself."
"You must restrain yourself." Xie Bi An aggravated his tone.
Fan Wu She picked up the mask. Before covering his face, he looked at Xie Bi An again. His face was pale, but his eyes were black, "Only you can stop me. It depends on whether you’re willing to or not."
"Don’t think of coercing me with this." Xie Bi An said with irritation.
Fan Wu She put on the mask, but he couldn't hide a light smile from the corner of his lips: "Big brother still doesn’t understand? I will do whatever it takes."
The Infernal Hell was actually composed of torture rooms of varying sizes. No wonder they couldn't hear the screams from other hells. Each room was like an airtight stone jar, temporarily sealing up the bloody cruelty that was being performed. The quietness of this place only made people more flustered. How were they going to find Lan Chui Han with these torture rooms all over the place?
When Xie Bi An casually pushed open a room, a raging wave of heat forced him back several steps. The infernal hell was in the heart of a volcano. The heat was unbearable. They could only persevere with gritted teeth by protecting their bodies using spiritual energy, but the heat in this torture room had turned into a tangible weapon. Just a few more steps forward could melt off a layer of their skin.
"Big brother, don't go in."
Fan Wu She was too late to stop him. Xie Bi An drew an ice talisman to protect his body and walked in using all of his willpower. The torture room was a pool of boiling magma gurgling with bubbles. An inhuman object was immersed in the magma with only white bones left on the torso and four limbs. There was only a skull floating on the surface of the magma. The facial skin hung down to the neck like a melting candle. "He" opened his mouth wide, seemingly to be screaming, but his throat had been dissolved by the magma, so he couldn't make any sound.
The next moment, Xie Bi An was dragged out by Fan Wu She and the stone door was closed firmly. He panted heavily, still not recovered from the shock.
"There are hundreds of torture rooms here, with a different torture in each one." Fan Wu She said gloomily.
Xie Bi An grabbed Fan Wu She's collar and stared at him. His eyes seemed about to pop out.
"... Big brother."
"You, you also ..." Xie Bi An thought of the human soul he had just seen, which was thrown into the magma pool, constantly corroding and burning, unable to live or die. Was that the unimaginable severe pain and despair that the prisoners of the Infernal Hell had to go through? It was not that he did not know the horrible punishments of hell. That was the means to punish those who did evil. It was the karma that every evil person should suffer, but he was still shocked by seeing such cruelty with his very own eyes. What made him most painful and scared was that he clearly and inevitably saw what kind of torture Song Zi Xiao had once suffered here.
"Of course, we were tortured in different torture rooms all day long. All the tortures, I have tasted them all." Fan Wu She gently grasped Xie Bi An’s hand. Even though he recalled the most unbearable past that seemed to be able to cut his skin and cause severe pain now, but just because this person showed a little care for him and even took the initiative to grasp his clothes, he miraculously remained calm.
Xie Bi An looked blankly at Fan Wu She. Looking at this face, which was so familiar to him that he could close his eyes and sketch it exactly, Xiao Jiu’s childish, smiling face overlapped with it. He couldn't help imagining that this face would become something in the magma pool that was neither human nor ghost, and could not even cry out in pain. His heart began to prick, and this pricking gradually expanded and deepened, as if wanting to pound his internal organs into pieces.
Xiao Jiu, his Xiao Jiu, had been hurt like this ...
A hundred years in hell. It was just four words. What exactly did it mean?
Fan Wu She saw Xie Bi An’s face was as white as paper, and his body also went a little weak. He thought he was injured by the heat generated by the magma, and held his waist in a hurry: "Big brother, what’s wrong? Where do you feel unwell?"
Xie Bi An shook his head. How should he answer? Saying he was actually distressed about Xiao Jiu? He would never say it.
"Don’t randomly open the torture rooms again. The cold kiln, poisonous miasma, scorpion pots*, and sea of fire, these may hurt you. Even those seemingly ordinary torture rooms may not necessarily have anything after entering. We can't go room by room to find him."
Xie Bi An nodded again, however his expression still did not recover. "Big brother, what’s wrong?" Fan Wu She gently pinched his jaw,
causing him to lift his face, trying to see the answer in those pupils that were struggling in pain.
Xie Bi An pushed him away, gathered his emotions with some effort, and said in a hoarse voice, "I'm fine."
"Is it possible to grab an execution officer and demand information regarding the whereabouts of Brother Lan?"
"I don't think any execution officer would know. It's too rash. On the contrary, it'll easily alarm the enemy."
"Then what do we do?"
Fan Wu She was silent for a moment. His gaze became increasingly gloomy: "There is an execution officer who is Jiang Qu Lian’s trusted aide. He'll definitely know."
Xie Bi An said hesitantly, "That execution officer and you ..."
"It's the one I want to turn into dust the most." Fan Wu She said ruthlessly.
PS from Emzie: jeez I really can't read names right. Every single time I read Qi Mo Ke as Mochi Ke XD
scorpion pots*[虿盆]---one of the ancient tortures,
where you YEET someone into a pit to feed poisonous snakes…. Ugh