Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Chapter 65 - Chapter 65

Xuan Ji choked on his own saliva and struggled to catch his breath. 

Under the influence of the chaotic inheritance, his thoughts had taken a serious slide. 

When he heard the words "follow me" and "train," he immediately thought of something inappropriate.

"I only said to follow me for a while and teach you some tricks to save your life in a pinch," Sheng Lingyuan narrowed his eyes. "Why are you so nervous?"

Xuan Ji stuttered, "I'm not, not nervous, just...honored...cough cough...honored to be chosen." 

He tried to appear calm as he looked back at Sheng Lingyuan, but as soon as his eyes met the bottomless black ones, his liver trembled like a swing and his gaze immediately fell to his heels. 

Xuan Ji's left brain desperately tried to cool himself down and remind himself to stay calm, while his right brain was left with only the phrase "stay by my side", burning with a flame that shot straight to the top of his head. The conflicting sensations caused a whirlwind to stir up, rendering the parts on his neck almost useless.

Sheng Lingyuan looked at him, feeling more and more suspicious of this little demon. 

First of all, Xuan Ji had mastered too many things that he shouldn't have known. After all, the Vermilion Bird bone was sealed at the end of the fifth year of the Qi Dynasty, when the demon race was declining, the Mountain people and the witch race no longer existed, and the mermaids had long disappeared without a trace. 

Even if there were "wordless books" in the clan, they could not inherit so many obscure techniques. 

Secondly, and the most puzzling to His Majesty to this day, his body was kept by the Fire-keeping clan using the ancient method of "nurturing the soul and feeding the corpse" on his back, which required the infusion of his "life essence" into it. 

The nurtured corpse had been around for years and often appeared in the form of a "life-bound tool". Xuan Ji's "life-bound tool" was a sword, which was a "tool" that only belonged to those whose life essence was of the metal element. 

But how could the Vermilion Bird bone seal and the Chiyuan's veins produce a "metal" type, different from "thunder and fire"? 

Sheng Lingyuan lowered his head and stood up, pretending not to notice Xuan Ji's unease. 

He took a step towards the door and said, "It's late, I won't disturb your rest."

Xuan Ji couldn't help but turn his head and follow Sheng Lingyuan's figure. 

He was about to ask where he was staying when Sheng Lingyuan suddenly remembered something and turned around, saying, "By the way, do you know what a 'Shadow person' is?"

Xuan Ji was stunned. Sheng Lingyuan had just mentioned the term "Shadow person," which seemed to be one of the three major "humanoid races." Before this, Xuan Ji had never heard of this term, but perhaps due to the "inheritance," his brain was now like a search engine, automatically retrieving relevant memories when he inputted keywords. 

Xuan Ji blurted out, "The Shadow People...legend has it that they are a race without family, parents, surname, or rules. They are called the 'Shadow Clan' because they can pass through water and stone like shadows when they are I right?"

The witch people are skilled in spells, the Mountain people are skilled in crafting, but as for the Shadow People, they are both skilled and unskilled in everything. 

This is because they are a special race - it's even hard to say if they are a race at all. They don't live together with their own kind and hardly have the concept of "kinship" - they are without family.

The Shadow People don't care for their young, they just leave them on the ground after birth and let them grow on their own. If they can survive, they live, and if they can't, they die. 

That's why they are called "without parents." In the early years, the Shadow people were genderless and had no human form. They would often parasitize on rocks and mountains, resembling shadows. 

They could live for about twenty to thirty years before naturally disintegrating and returning to the spiritual energy of the earth and sky. Like plants, they grew and withered silently, going through the cycle of life and death, nameless and anonymous. 

In order for a Shadow person to continue living beyond their "childhood", they must "acknowledge a master". 

Acknowledging a master is the only way for them to survive, and it is also their instinct. Once they find a suitable master, the Shadow person will grow a body and a sense of self, and their personality and appearance will strictly follow the master's preferences. 

Generally, if the master is of a certain race, the Shadow person will identify as that race and gain the powers of that race. They will grow into whatever the master desires. 

In the old days, Shadow people were also called "shadow slaves" - this is in the era of "lawlessness". The master had complete control over the Shadow people, who would usually die with their master unless commanded to live on as a family heirloom. 

These Shadow people could live for thousands of years, even until the end of the family line. After the master's death, the Shadow person would inherit all of their memories and desires, becoming a living memorial.

The memories that came with the new Shadow person were vast and varied, but Xuan Ji managed to grasp the key point: the inheritance of the Shadow person was similar to a "wordless book". 

Why did he suddenly bring up the Shadow people? 

Although it is said that desire can cloud one's judgment, Xuan Ji's reaction was still quite fast, but it was too late. 

In just a moment of distraction, Sheng Lingyuan had already approached him. Xuan Ji didn't have time to dodge and was surrounded by black mist. 

In his panic, his clan emblem appeared on his forehead and his wings were about to spread from his shoulder blades, but Sheng Lingyuan pressed them back with one hand.

With a "crackling" sound, Sheng Lingyuan's hand that forcibly held down Xuan Ji's wings was burned to a crisp. 

Xuan Ji was startled and hastily retracted the flames. 

Then, he was forced to face the enlarged face in front of him, his mind blank. 

Suddenly, cold lips pressed against his and a cold hand forcefully opened his jaw. Something soft swept over his tongue and even paused for a moment, savoring it carefully... 

The Shadow people are no different from ordinary people, except that their tongues are transformed from parasitic creatures in their youth. 

They are cold as dead objects and may contain the essence of sand, stones, or plants. Tasting it can reveal its nature.

This little demon was clearly frightened, and although his tongue was stiff, it was as hot as boiling water... 

Hmm, it seems he is not a Shadow person.

It's a relief that he's not a Shadow person.

Sheng Lingyuan released the "wooden chicken" in his hand and was amused by Xuan Ji's expression, which was like a calamity from heaven. 

"What's wrong with you..."

As soon as he spoke, Xuan Ji suddenly snapped out of it and forcefully pushed him several steps away.

Director Xuan's face, which was usually like a big-tailed wolf, quickly turned red. The blood rushed to his ears, neck, and almost spewed out of his eyes, uncontrollably staining his entire face. 

"Ah, why so angry? The fact that the Vermilion Bird Bone Seal has gained sentience is truly beyond my expectations," the demon lord, who had just finished causing trouble, landed lightly on the ground and laughed as if nothing had happened. 

"There are rumors that the Shadow Clan originated from the Nanming Valley - also known as the Chiyuan. Later, for some unknown reason, they were expelled by the Vermilion Bird Clan and scattered throughout the human world. I don't know if it's true or not, but your clan's method of passing down the 'Wordless Book' is too similar to that of the Shadow Clan. I have to consider this possibility."

Xuan Ji's eyes were blazing with anger, and they involuntarily fell on Sheng Lingyuan's lips. It was as if he had been burned, and he even subconsciously held his breath. 

He felt as if all the blood in his body was evaporating from his pores, and his face went from red to white, with a hint of misery. 

At first, Sheng Lingyuan thought it was amusing to tease Xuan Ji. But as he observed Xuan Ji's expressions, he felt a slight movement in his heart, realizing that his nervousness might have a different meaning.

The emperor had been on the throne for over twenty years and had seen all kinds of debauchery and extravagance. 

Of course, he was not ignorant of the ways of the world, but he considered them trivial and not worth his attention. 

Seeing Xuan Ji's reaction, he found it both amusing and surprising that this fire-keeper not only refused to fast, but also had no self-control and was easily swayed by beauty. 

Next, Sheng Lingyuan couldn't help but feel a bit uneasy - he remembered that this little demon didn't even know the basics of meditation. It wasn't necessary to have a completely pure mind, but at least a stable heart was necessary. 

Otherwise, even if he could control the thunder and fire of the heavens, he could easily be trapped in an illusion. He didn't care if others had a stable heart, but the fate of the Chiyuan Seal rested solely in the hands of this demon.

Out of the thirty-six fire-keepers, only this one little sprout remained, and yet this little demon was able to survive by relying on "inheritance"! 

Xuan Ji's mind was still trying to reboot when Sheng Lingyuan suddenly remembered something and flicked his finger towards him. 

Xuan Ji's paralyzed limbs couldn't keep up with the sudden movement and he couldn't dodge in time, watching helplessly as a white light entered his forehead. 

"Even if you're not doing it for the world, at least do it for your own life. Use your brain a little." With these words, Sheng Lingyuan angrily stormed out of the room. 

The special care ward of the hospital often housed peculiar and extraordinary individuals, so the walls were lined with special protective spells. 

The soundproofing was so effective that if Xuan Ji didn't make any noise, the only sounds in the room would be the hum of the air conditioning and his own heartbeat - which was so loud that if he strapped a microphone to his chest, he could be a one-man band for a square dance troupe. 

Xuan Ji stood there for a moment, before finally regaining feeling in his limbs. 

He wandered aimlessly around the room like a donkey pulling a millstone, until he became dizzy and infuriated at the injustice of it all. 

Does being the emperor give one the right to act like a hooligan without consequences? This is indecent and obscene! 

He should have filmed it as evidence and reported it to the authorities... No, he should have just roasted that old demon until he was medium rare!

Xuan Ji lowered his head, his eyes filled with hatred, and his hands were still trembling. 

These chicken claws, which had always been greedy and selfish, had just rebelled against their master's wishes and almost pulled Sheng Lingyuan over!

He fell onto the hospital bed, causing it to scream in protest. 

He lay on his back, exposing his belly to the air conditioning, which blew on him with all its might. 

Soon, he was chilled to the bone, and his fiery emotions began to calm down. Xuan Ji instinctively touched his forehead. 

Before his fingertips could touch his forehead, he heard a soft command in his ear: "Focus." 

"Who the hell are you?" exclaimed Xuan Ji. 

Ignoring him, the voice continued like a voicemail message: "This is the 'Heavenly Heart Incantation,' consisting of three chapters. Look inward to your sea of consciousness and eliminate distracting thoughts..." 

Xuan Ji listened intently for a moment, but his previously calmed heart began to burn again - this time with anger. 

The old demon had left him with a beginner's meditation tutorial! Was he being underestimated? 

Frustrated, he poked his brow, but the thing wouldn't close. It continued to recite the instructions in a monotone voice, as if reading from a scripture. 

"Damn it," Xuan Ji muttered, running his fingers through his hair. "How do I pause this thing?" 

The audio tutorial seemed to anticipate his question. After reading the preface, it kindly reminded him, "This technique has already been implanted in your mind. Just enter a state of meditation and sink into your mind to remove it."

Xuan Ji couldn't take it anymore and exclaimed, "Are you crazy?!"

Sheng Lingyuan flew past in the night sky and heard Xuan Ji's outburst from afar. 

He couldn't help but smile. 

This method was similar to the principle of "transmitting sound into a room," but it bypassed the ears and directly entered the mind. It was harmless to humans and wouldn't trigger the backlash of the Vermilion Bird power in Xuan Ji's body. 

It was the perfect way to deal with this incompetent little demon. 

He himself had used it before...

Back then... 

As Sheng Lingyuan was lost in his memories, a sharp pain suddenly interrupted his thoughts. 

The smile on his face froze, and he furrowed his brow. He emerged from a cloud of black mist and stumbled slightly, ending up in front of the small inn where he had stayed a few days ago.

The inn was already closed, but a faint light shone through the crack in the door. The innkeeper was probably settling accounts. 

Sheng Lingyuan leaned against a lamppost outside the door for a while, waiting for the sudden migraine to pass. It took with it the last bit of color in his face.

He knocked on the door and the innkeeper, yawning, opened it without surprise. 

He didn't ask where Sheng Lingyuan had disappeared to for two days and nights, but simply said, "The talented brother is back. I'll make you a drink after I finish the accounts. The ingredients haven't been used up yet, so it's perfect timing." 

The storefront was small and cozy, with dim yellow light falling diagonally on the wooden tables and chairs. Sheng Lingyuan entered and sat on his usual wooden chair - he had been carving small objects for customers on it for the past few days. 

Although he hadn't practiced his craft in years and his skills were a bit rusty, the young people who came to the shop were all happy and didn't criticize him. 

The shop owner had a carefree and absent-minded look on his face. He called himself a "color-sexual" and would waive the bill for any good-looking customer. His accounting skills were also a bit lacking, and he had to do other odd jobs after closing the shop to make ends meet. 

He didn't even bother asking the name of the stranger he took in, and casually referred to him as "talented brother," "big brother," or "handsome guy." 

Most of the customers were tourists who left their worries and troubles at home, only bringing with them a lazy vacation vibe. It was a glimpse of humanity that Sheng Lingyuan had never thought of before.

Sheng Lingyuan sat down and said, "You never asked about my background." 

"Meeting by chance, why do you need to ask so many questions? I run a shop, not a collector of stories," the shop owner replied nonchalantly, not paying attention to whom he was sending a voice message to. 

He then lowered his head to his phone and sent a voice message distractedly, "What's so good about going to or leaving from Yuyang? You two should take advantage of the long holiday and travel abroad, I'll foot the bill."

After putting down his phone, the shop owner noticed that Sheng Lingyuan was looking at him. He chuckled, emitting an unreliable aura along with his toothy grin. 

"My parents still think I'm a programmer in the big city. I quit my job two years ago and traveled the world before settling down here to open this shop. I can't let them come visit, or else it'll be too obvious. After all, we're now a popular shop in the area. Thanks to you, talented brother." 

Sheng Lingyuan smiled and said, "I have to go now." 

The shopkeeper was taken aback. "Thank you for your hospitality. I came to say goodbye." 

"Ah...yes, we are all wanderers in the world, meeting and parting by fate." The shopkeeper rubbed his hands. 

"Then, should I make you a cup of Irish coffee to taste? I just learned it online-" 

"No need to trouble," Sheng Lingyuan's gaze fell on the Duobao Pavilion displayed at the door of the shop. "If possible, can I have that?" 

The shopkeeper followed his gaze and turned his head, seeing a wooden carving on the top level of the Duobao Pavilion. It was a chubby bird chasing a butterfly. 

The chubby bird was a "Q version" cartoon style, which he bought online for ten yuan. It was obviously poorly made, even to the untrained eye. 

The shopkeeper suddenly remembered that this "talented gentleman" was attracted by the small ornament when he first came in. 

He took the wooden carving down, wiped off the dust with a tissue, and handed it to Sheng Lingyuan: "Why do you like it? This thing is not an antique, I think you could carve something better yourself."

"It must be fate," Sheng Lingyuan gently touched the head of the chubby bird, "I feel a strange connection to it."

"Or you could take the xun with you too, since no one else knows how to play it..."

"Are you leaving already? Why not stay for the night... Hey, can I put your photo on the display shelf over there?"

"Next time when you come to Yuyang, if my shop hasn't closed down, I'll treat you to a free meal!"

Sheng Lingyuan tucked the small wooden carving into his pocket, waved goodbye to the shopkeeper, and walked towards the sea. 

At midnight, the sound of the xun rose mysteriously from the seaside, blending with the sound of the waves and lingering at the end of the coconut grove. The sea birds landed quietly on the nearby beach, standing still. 

The sea breeze swept away the thin clouds, and the stars fell, with the crescent moon hanging over the sea, casting shattered light like rolling beads.

It was such a peaceful and beautiful night.

Despite the serene surroundings, Director Xuan was stuck in the hospital, listening to an online course on repeat. 

No, it was more like a tutorial. He muttered to himself, trying every trick in the book to turn it off, but to no avail.

The tutorial only covered basic knowledge for beginners, and even Xuan Jī, who was not particularly skilled, understood it. 

If he couldn't grasp it, it must be due to a physiological defect, not a technical problem.

That old demon was just messing with him. 

As the dawn broke outside the window and the sky gradually turned white, Xuan Ji had been tormented by the demonic audio all night and was at a loss. 

Finally, he was forced to surrender and got up to adjust his posture.

In the past, his highest record for meditation was five minutes. As soon as five minutes passed, he would definitely be interrupted by sudden heart palpitations. 

Xuan Ji closed his eyes and glanced at the electronic clock on the wall, sighed, and followed the audio to eliminate distractions. 

The pounding heartbeat in his ears gradually subsided, the surrounding noise faded away, and his mind became clear. Only the audio, like a guide, led his consciousness to sink all the way down.

Xuan Ji was prepared to be interrupted at any time, but this time, the familiar feeling of heart palpitations did not come again. 

His consciousness sank all the way to a place he had never been before, as if the resistance that had always prevented him from exploring his sea of knowledge had disappeared. 

Xuan Ji had taken a desperate gamble, but it paid off. Xuan Ji found himself inexplicably in the deepest part of his sea of consciousness, where he saw an iron gate. 

To his surprise, it was the same iron gate he had dreamed of before, but the blood-red seal on it was gone.

A faint mark was left on the iron gate, like loose soil that would fall off at a glance. It must be the checkpoint of the annoying "tutorial". As expected, when the mark disappeared, the incessant audio in his ear also quieted down.

But Xuan Ji didn't have time to care. He carefully circled around the iron doors, wondering if what had previously prevented him from meditating was related to this. 

The silence around the iron gate was unsettling. Where the seal had once been, there was now a narrow slit, as if whatever was inside had already escaped. 

Upon seeing the slit, two desires arose in Xuan Ji's heart: one urging him to turn and run as far as possible, and the other pulling him closer to the gate.

Xuan Ji was torn between the two desires when he heard a faint sigh from deep within the gate. 

Slowly, it slid open...


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