Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Chapter 48 - Chapter 48

While Xuan Ji was pondering over the heavenly demon, little did he know that the demon was on his way to desecrate his ancestors' graves.

Sheng Lingyuan didn't buy a ticket and swaggered past the ticket inspector as if he didn't exist. The inspector simply ignored him and went straight to the passengers behind him, asking for their tickets.

Meanwhile, Xiao Zheng secretly ordered the closure of all local branches, including the headquarters in Yong'an, declaring that "until the infectiousness of the virus is confirmed," no one is allowed to enter or leave.

Those who were infected and fainted have been isolated, while those who were unaware of the situation began to worry that they might have contracted the virus. Those with a keen sense of smell began to suspect that there was more to the situation than meets the eye. Suddenly, a whirlwind-like search swept across the entire special ability system without warning. 

In a rural-urban border over 100 kilometers away from Dongchuan City, there was a desolate rental house where suddenly a heavy object fell to the ground. Mr. Nian, who had been trapped in the spatial teleportation array for over eight hours, struggled out of it and collapsed onto the floor, clutching the pocket on his shirt front, exhausted.

After an unknown amount of time, Mr. Nian finally caught his breath and tremblingly took out the piece of broken metal from his chest pocket to examine it. 

The evening sun shone through the window, casting a gentle golden edge on the fragment, and the fine light fell into the man's deep well-like pupils, causing ripples in his icy cold eyes. The man checked the metal piece to make sure it was intact, then hung it back around his neck and adjusted it close to his body. 

The chill from the fragments stimulated him, and he struggled to get up. He went to the kitchen and grabbed a can of energy drink and some chocolate to quickly replenish his strength. Mr. Nian closed the curtains, put on gloves, and took out a small ceramic box he had obtained from the black market in Dongchuan. 

He confirmed that it was well sealed before putting it away and sending a message on his phone: "I will visit tomorrow." 

As soon as he sent the message, he heard a soft "click" sound. He looked down and saw that the brass compass on the back of his watch had inexplicably cracked open. 

The once exquisite and antique dial quickly showed signs of aging, with visible rust creeping up and corroding most of the celestial stem and earthly branch scales. The compass had become a lifeless piece of junk. 

This compass's age is unknown, but it is exceptionally sensitive to special abilities and even more accurate than contemporary instruments. It can easily penetrate the mental barriers of those with special abilities. 

It was passed down from his ancestors and is said to have a history of several thousand years. Yet, it just died peacefully like that. Mr. Nian frowned and lit a cigarette, thinking of that terrifying black mist.

Mr. Nian considered himself experienced, but he had never encountered such a frightening presence before. He couldn't even see the other person's face clearly. 

He remembered that deep voice, and even now, he could feel the chill seeping out of his bones. If it weren't for that lightning, the other person could have torn apart his spatial barrier with their bare hands. Who exactly was this person?

Was it a mysterious expert recruited by the Bureau from the civilian population? 

Or was it something else entirely? 

Smoke rose into the sky as the sun set. Nightfall had descended upon the world known as "the human realm" for three thousand years. As the train from Dongchuan City to Shuzhong made a stop at Chiyuan, it was already three o'clock in the middle of the night. The train carriage was at its quietest, with people either dozing off or staring out the window at the flickering lights, unable to sleep. No one spoke to each other, and the train seemed to be carrying a collection of mismatched dolls.

With a long screech, the train pulled into the station, its signal lights piercing through the thick fog. The train attendant rubbed his eyes wearily and announced, "We have arrived at Chiyuan station. We will stop for two minutes."

A man with long hair walked past her and got off the train, saying, "Thank you." 

"Ah, no problem," the train attendant yawned and mumbled in response. Suddenly, her wide-open mouth froze halfway as she jolted awake - the person she just spoke to didn't have any luggage with them and had gotten off from the dining car. But...the dining car was already closed, she had just checked and there was no one inside! 

The train attendant widened her eyes in disbelief and looked towards the platform. The fog had thickened, the stars and moon were hidden, and the lights on the platform were dim and hazy. The few passengers getting on and off the train were dragging their tired feet, where could there be a creepy long-haired man? 

Meanwhile, Sheng Lingyuan felt that the train, steady and fast, was much better than the "iron bird" flying in the sky. This journey was quite enjoyable as he passed through the night and headed straight towards the Chiyuan Grand Canyon. 

At the bottom of the Chiyuan Grand Canyon, the weapon spirit Dao Yi had already grown into a nightmare-like form and no longer needed sleep. Every night, after settling the other weapon spirits, he would go to the altar alone. The altar was situated high up, where the first ray of morning light could be seen falling into the deep valley.

It is said that when people age to the point of barely surviving, they live for three meals a day. After finishing breakfast, they count the hours until lunch, take a nap after lunch without knowing what time it is, and wake up in a daze, surprised to find that they are still alive. Then they go through the motions of a human ritual - eating dinner. Once dinner is finished, the day's events come to an end, and another day is added to the dusty fur of life, like a dog's tail. 

The days of Dao Yi were even more monotonous than those of an old man. He didn't even have three meals a day, only the sunrise and sunset. Every dawn was like a small "lottery" for him. When he saw a sunny day, he would happily "reward" himself by picking a beautiful stone from the river and piling it up in the palace garden. 

The garden was often filled with stones in just over a decade, and then he would dump those stones back into the river and start over again, following his own rules, repeating the cycle.

However, on this day, as he focused on staring at the eastern horizon waiting for the dawn, the Chiyuan Grand Canyon suddenly resonated with something and trembled slightly. 

At first, Dao Yi thought it was Xuan Ji returning, and his face cracked open with a smile, saying, "Fire-keeper..."

But the next moment, his smile froze on his face. 

No, this was not the Fire-keeper. 

The valley shook more and more violently, as shadows and thick fog closed in. 

All the spirits were alarmed and emerged from every nook and cranny, gathering together in a dark mass.

With a loud "buzz," the seal on Chiyuan was unexpectedly disturbed by the arrival of someone. Countless flame-colored inscriptions floated up from the mountain walls and ground, and the entire valley seemed to be on fire.

Then, the barrier outside of Chiyuan was opened by someone, and the spirits' bodies in the deep valley began to emit hoarse cries. 

Dao Yi suddenly realized that the fifth stone tablet next to the altar had cracked open!

Without thinking too much, Dao Yi quickly turned around and rushed onto the altar - there was a magic circle in the middle of the altar that could directly send messages to the Fire-keeper.

However, the magic circle had only just started to activate when Dao Yi suddenly froze. The thick fog had engulfed him, and he was trapped. 

In a panic, Dao recoiled, but he ran straight into a pale hand that emerged from the thick fog. The hand grabbed his neck with precision. 

"Hmm?" The person touched his trembling throat. "A useless...sword spirit?"

Dao shuddered as his sword body flew out of the underground palace on its own, but it dared not approach. The person holding his neck emerged from the fog, revealing a face with jet-black hair and an icy white complexion. It was not the smooth, glossy white of porcelain or jade, but a frosty white that was chilling. The person's eyes seemed to hold a deep abyss.

Dao Yi felt like he should know this person, otherwise, how could their mere presence make him tremble uncontrollably? 

However, his memories had been ground down by time, and he couldn't piece together a complete identity. 

In the middle of the night, the one who broke into Chiyuan was none other than Sheng Lingyuan. As soon as he entered, he saw a valley filled with broken and rusty objects, which was both amusing and ridiculous. 

While others kept cats and dogs as pets, the fire-keeper demon was probably too lonely and had collected a bunch of old and worn-out instrument spirits as pets, which was quite peculiar.

"Don't move." Sheng Lingyuan waved his hand, and the black mist wrapped around the blade of Dao Yi, dragging the damaged blade closer to him. He casually scanned the rusty blade and said, "The blade is damaged, and the sword spirit will suffer ten times the pain. If you're already in this state, why don't you just rest in peace?"

All the weapon spirits in Chiyuan were blocked outside the altar, and those who had lost most of their consciousness were even more courageous, constantly trying to rush in. Dao Yi struggled and painfully tried to pry off the hand that was stuck around its neck. 

Sheng Lingyuan's voice was as gentle as a lover's whisper: "I can help you, absolutely painless, how about it?"

Dao Yi's face, which had almost no good skin left, had veins popping out, and the sword, which was wrapped in black mist, trembled uncontrollably. In that moment, there was a "clang" sound, and it broke free from the black mist, slashing towards Sheng Lingyuan's arm. However, it stopped half an inch away from the man's wrist and couldn't move forward any further.

"If this broken sword touches me, you'll really be six feet under." 

Sheng Lingyuan waved his hand, and Dao Yi felt a lightness all over his body. 

Together with his own knife, he floated out of the altar, and the cold air choked him as he knelt on the ground coughing.

The man on the altar looked down at him, and after a moment, seeming somewhat bored, the man withdrew his gaze. 

"If you want to live, then forget it. I don't meddle in other people's business. You can continue living," Sheng Lingyuan raised his index finger at him. " quiet. I just need to borrow something and I'll leave soon. No need to disturb your host."

As soon as he finished speaking, he had already teleported to the corner of the stone tablet that had cracked earlier.

Before coming, Sheng Lingyuan only wanted to try his luck and didn't have high expectations. 

After all, the Chiyuan was an ancient demon pool that was previously guarded by the divine Vermilion Bird clan. After the divine bird clan was destroyed, he forcibly suppressed it with a forbidden technique, which was quite difficult. 

The Vermilion Bird Bone Spirit...also known as the Fire-keeper, would likely turn to ashes after each sacrifice to the Chiyuan, and it was uncertain if there would be any bone fragments left.

Unexpectedly, as soon as he arrived at the Chiyuan altar, he saw this circle of stone tablets. A circle of stone tablets surrounded the altar, some of which were already broken. The remaining tablets displayed birth and death dates, and emitted a faint residual fire aura. It was undoubtedly the tomb of the Vermilion Bird Bone Spirit from before, and it was unexpected that there were still remains of the Vermilion Bird Bone Spirit.

Despite their limited intelligence, it was difficult for these scrap metal creatures to understand the meaning of Sheng Lingyuan's words. 

However, as he approached the stone tablets, they all changed their expressions and recklessly charged into the thick fog.

"The stone tablets..." Dao Yi's voice was like sandpaper, struggling to speak, "cannot..."

The stone tablets cannot be broken. Every time a stone tablet is broken, the fire-keeper will "die." 

But how could Sheng Lingyuan be willing to listen to someone's rambling? 

Before Dao Yi could even struggle to speak, the black mist on his body had already turned into a shovel and dug into the cracked base of the stone tablet, searching for broken bones underground.


"Hmm?" Sheng Lingyuan frowned. The ground was empty - not to mention broken bones, there wasn't even a trace of clothing.

Wasn't this stone tablet a tombstone? Then where did the Vermilion Bird's aura in the "grave mound" come from?

Suddenly, Sheng Lingyuan looked up in astonishment at the stone tablet. He saw the cracks on the stone tablet rapidly expanding, and with a light sound, it split in half from the middle and then collapsed with a loud crash, smashing into pieces.

Sheng Lingyuan: "..."

Although the emperor was not a good person, he must have a purpose for everything he did. He didn't have the hobby of harming others for no reason. As for the Fire-keeper, even if he had showed disrespect towards his corpse, he had still spent many years sacrificing himself to guard the entrance to the Chiyuan. He had made great contributions to the world. His temporary solution required a Vermilion Bird's bone, but he didn't want to disturb any graves or smash any tombstones unnecessarily - that's why he didn't touch the stone tablet earlier.

But that's not the end of it.

When the broken stone tablet collapsed, it happened to hit the adjacent one. These tablets were as crispy as fried dough sticks, so brittle that they shattered with a continuous cracking sound. Before Sheng Lingyuan could catch his breath, the surrounding tablets began to crack and crumble like a contagious disease. The forest of tombstones around the altar collapsed in an instant.

Dao Yi let out a mournful roar, and all the weapon spirits followed suit with a mournful cry. Suddenly, it seemed as if a group of ghosts were crying in the Chiyuan. 

The emperor was at a loss for words. 

The commotion had caused Sheng Lingyuan to develop a headache, and he wore a rare troubled expression on his face as he looked at the mess around him. His black mist began to swirl, and he separated it into thousands of gentle threads, intending to fix the stone tablet just like he did at the Dongchuan Hotel. 

However, the moment his mist touched the stone fragments, a dazzling flame-colored light suddenly burst out from the monument. Sheng Lingyuan reacted quickly and retreated immediately. However, even for a notorious villain who could fly and escape, he was no match for the speed of light. 

In an instant, he was enveloped by the fiery light. Sheng Lingyuan was temporarily blinded by the light and had a strange sensation as if he was being embraced tightly, and something pierced through his chest.

He felt a sharp pain in his heart, as if something was about to explode inside him. 

Without hesitation, Sheng Lingyuan stabbed himself in the chest. A black mist cocoon enveloped his chest, and in a flash, he deflected the fiery light that was trying to penetrate his heart. This sudden confrontation almost cleared the black mist that surrounded him. 

In the light, a figure that seemed like an illusion let out a mournful sigh as it brushed past him. The phantom appeared to desperately want to stay by his side, but was helplessly pulled away by the light, disappearing into the distance as it quickly changed shape and dissipated with the light.

At this moment, Xuan Ji was on the plane back to Yong'an - the one from the aftermath department. The people who had been busy for the past few days were now sleeping soundly in the luxurious cabin. Wang Ze on the sofa next to him was smacking his lips, while Yang Chao had already slipped down to the floor without realizing it. The sound of Luo Cuicui's snoring almost drowned out the noise of the plane's engine. Compared to them, Xuan Ji's sleeping posture was quite "gentle".

Once he fell asleep, he looked like a quiet bird, curled up with his head buried in the darkness, as if a gust of wind could easily startle him. At around four in the morning, Xuan Ji dreamed again of the iron gate with a blood-red seal. 

The "thing" inside was struggling even harder, and he could hear heavy and painful breathing coming from behind the thick door. What could be locked inside? 

Xuan Ji approached, wondering why he kept having this dream. Maybe he had some kind of psychological issue. Suddenly, he heard someone speaking amidst the breathing. 

"Quick, go...go away from here..." 

Xuan Ji was stunned. "What?" 

"Go...leave this place..." The voice sounded familiar, and he couldn't help but take a step forward. He saw the faint patterns on the blood-red seal, which seemed to be some kind of formation, but he couldn't recognize it without the Thousand Demon Bestiary. 

"Are you talking to me? Who are you?" 

With a loud bang, the iron door shook and almost deformed the seal. Xuan Ji was caught off guard and took a big step back, his shoulders hunching up. 

"It''s not sealing properly," the voice from inside the door became clear. "The stone tablet...the stone tablet has shattered too with me..." 

Xuan Ji couldn't remember where he had heard this voice before. Without hesitation, the man inside the door began reciting a long prayer, with elegant tones mixed with an unfamiliar language. The rhythm was full of charm and very pleasant to listen to, but the person reciting the prayer seemed to have a blade in his voice, becoming increasingly hoarse with each sentence, as if each word was being ground on a sharp edge, spoken with blood and fear. 

A long string of prayers lasted for five minutes. Xuan Ji understood only half of it and could only guess from the remaining fragments that it seemed to be about sealing something.

Who could remember all of that? 

Was everyone born with the most powerful brain?

"Wait, wait - slow down, say it again..." Xuan Ji interrupted.

There was another loud bang on the iron door, even more intense than before. The seal was broken, and at the same time, Xuan Ji felt a buzzing in his head. He felt as if the broken seal was his skull, and the pain almost pierced his temples.

A voice shouted, "Hurry!" 

In the chaos, Xuan Ji didn't even know what he was saying. It was a string of incomprehensible words, but his lips and tongue seemed to have muscle memory, reciting the astonishing prayer flawlessly as if he had said it hundreds of times before. 

A flame-colored light flickered on the seal, and it sealed up the cracks. As soon as the seal closed, Xuan Ji's pounding headache subsided, and he instinctively recited the prayer several times.

The violent knocking on the door stopped, and there was now a shoddy repair mark on the seal. 

In just a few moments, Xuan Ji's back was drenched in cold sweat, and his legs were weak. In the darkness, all that could be heard was the exhausted and pained gasps from behind the iron door.

After a moment of calming down, Xuan Ji tentatively asked, "What's going on?" 

On the other side of the iron door, there was silence. After what felt like an eternity, a weak voice spoke, "Go back to your world." 

Xuan Ji was shocked. The voice spoke perfect Mandarin, and the more he listened, the more familiar it sounded. 

Before he could even process it, the voice let out a bitter laugh and said, "Remember to eat something good when you go back." 

Was this a joke!

Xuan Ji was about to unleash his verbal skills when suddenly, he felt like he had been hit by something. The voice was distorted through the iron door, and one's own voice can sound different to others. It wasn't until he heard the last sentence, "Remember to eat something good," that he realized the voice sounded familiar because it was his own! 

With a start, he felt as though he had stepped into thin air and woke up on the plane. After a moment of confusion, Xuan Ji's first instinct was to pull out his trusty notebook and quickly sketch the seal formation he had remembered from his dream. Then, he consulted the 'Thousand Demon Bestiary' for answers.

The book quickly responded with the answer: the Nirvana Formation. 

'Sounds pretty impressive,' he thought, eagerly awaiting a detailed explanation. 

However, after waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the 'Thousand Demon Compendium' remained silent.

As expected, this shoddy book was always unreliable. 

Xuan Ji sighed in resignation and was about to close his notebook when he suddenly widened his eyes. 

For the first time, there were words on the page of the 'Thousand Demon Bestiary' that had nothing to do with the explanation. 

On the blank paper, it was written: 'Having seen the Nirvana formation, the Nirvana Stone has already shattered. The end is near, so stay in the present moment.' 

Xuan Ji could hardly believe it. Although the words were about Nirvana, it was clear to him that he was being cursed! 

After the Thousand Demon Bestiary finished its writing, it disappeared from his sight, perhaps out of fear of being beaten. 

Xuan Ji tried to summon it again, but it pretended to be dead and couldn't be called out! 

Xuan Ji checked his pulse and felt that it was steady and strong, without any signs of terminal illness. After lying down for a while, he inexplicably developed a headache and couldn't sleep, perhaps due to psychological effects. 

In his lifetime, Xuan Ji had two experiences he lacked: one was the inability to eat, and the other was the inability to sleep. After tossing and turning for a while, he couldn't successfully brew up any drowsiness, so he had to lift the blanket and get up to make himself a glass of milk.

At this moment, he unintentionally saw a glow in front of him - someone was using a computer. 

At this hour? 

Who else is suffering from insomnia? 

The other person who couldn't sleep in the middle of the night was Gu Yuexi.

Gu Yuexi's drooping eyes had already been strained to a bright red, making her look even more depressed, as if she had just finished working overtime at a funeral home. 

She was focused on repeatedly watching several surveillance recordings on her computer. With the loud noise on the plane and Xuan Ji's silent footsteps, Gu Yuexi didn't notice him at all. 

Due to several accidents in Dongchuan, Xuan Ji had doubts about these Wind God elites. So he quietly stood in the shadows and observed for a while. He found that Gu Yuexi was watching surveillance footage near the Dongchuan market, around the time they were searching the black market.

"Did we miss anything that day?" He suddenly spoke up, causing Gu Yuexi to jump and almost drop her laptop.

"Director Xuan..." She nervously closed her laptop. "N-nothing, just as a precaution, I'll check the surveillance around the black market and improve our work. Why did you wake up so early, Director Xuan?"

"Who knows, maybe I'm just getting old." Xuan Ji's face revealed nothing as he yawned and casually chatted with her before heading towards the bar. 

'Team Leader Gu was clearly lying,' Xuan Ji thought as he poured milk into his cup. 

She wasn't just flipping through the surrounding surveillance footage, but rather focusing on a specific area with purpose. Xuan Ji had caught a glimpse of a street name in one of the shots, and with his strong sense of direction, he could automatically match the places he had been to with the map. 

He estimated that the different angles of the shots all seemed to be of a shantytown several hundred meters southwest of the market. 

She was searching for something specific - did she see anything while surveying the black market in Dongchuan from above that day?


Happy readers make me float like a cloud in the sky. If you enjoy my translations and want to read them more quickly, I'll translate bonus chapters as a thank you for coffee!

Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@eyks.

Buy Me a Coffee at