Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Chapter 82 - Chapter 82

Thank you so much to all ko-fi supporters, Hedgie, Chai, Milli, MikanOrange, Dao of potato, Golden potato, The ghost of potatoes, Somebody, No one (I love all these names)…You guys are seriously the kindest!! Here's an extra chapter this week for you! 

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Feeling lost, Sheng Lingyuan reached out and pressed his finger against Xuan Ji's forehead.

Xuan Ji suddenly felt like an ice pick had pierced through his skull.

The cold sweat on his body turned into ice shards, and the breeze that swept by made his heart, which was boiling like a pot of porridge, temporarily calm down.

His first reaction was to grab Sheng Lingyuan's hand, which had turned water into ice, as if he was trying to transfer the warmth from his palm.

This action was too ambiguous, and both of them were stunned.

Before the emperor could say anything, Xuan Ji reacted first and shook off Sheng Lingyuan's hand with a big reaction.

Sheng Lingyuan: "..."

Was this a side effect of the Retracing curse?

Fortunately, Director Xiao's phone call, which was like a lifeline, came in time.

Xuan Ji quickly grabbed onto this straw and answered the phone in a hurry.

"Let your people stay put for now and withdraw from Jiangzhou," Sheng Lingyuan quickly shifted his attention and solemnly instructed, "The earth veins of Jiangzhou may have already been drained by this demon."

Xuan Ji had the speakerphone on, and Xiao Zheng asked them, "The situation is unclear, we'll retreat first. What about you guys?"

"We have our own means of transportation, don't worry about us," Xuan Ji tapped his own wings and added, "Just be aware that the energy monitoring data in this area may have been interfered with."

Xiao Zheng took a deep breath, "So you're saying that the seventy years without any accidents may not have been due to timely accident handling, but rather the abnormal energy in the entire region being drained dry? What kind of consequences would that bring?"

"If it had only been drained, that would still be fine. At most, it would only affect the birth rate of the 'special abiliities' and prevent the growth of wild delicacies and rare creatures. Anyway now they are all raised in pens, so it doesn't really matter," Sheng Lingyuan had been watching documentaries for days, and had gained a preliminary understanding of industrialized society.

He looked around and saw the fierce north wind blowing small dust particles around him in a whirlwind. It felt like there were malicious eyes watching him from behind.

"I'm afraid he has already swallowed up the earth's veins."

These words were like a rocket, exploding in Xuan Ji's mind and shattering all philosophical questions about his identity and origin.

Even Director Xiao's voice trembled as he spoke, "Are you saying..."

"Did he assimilate the earth's veins?" Xuan Ji shuddered, "Does that mean his tentacles are now all over Jiangzhou? He can control every mountain and river, and manipulate every energy monitor's readings to deceive us... Are we all hostages now? Old Xiao, how many people live in Jiangzhou again?"

Xiao Zheng couldn't speak.

Even though the land is vast and the population sparse, there are still tens of millions of people in this area.

Xuan Ji said urgently, "You need to quickly..."

He had intended to say "contact Chief Huang," but suddenly there was a cry of alarm on the other end of the phone.

"What the hell!"

"What is that thing?"

"Director Xuan, leave the surface!"

"Be careful! Get out of the way!"

Xuan Ji asked, "What's going on?"

Amidst the cacophony of voices, Wang Ze's booming voice stood out: "There's a huge shadow on the ground! It's several kilometers long and moving at over 100 kilometers per hour. We can't see what it is with our naked eyes, but it's heading towards you! Get out of the way!"

Before he could finish his sentence, Xuan Ji could already feel it. A chilling aura that defied description suddenly enveloped them.

Despite the bright sunshine, the ground was shrouded in darkness, as if a cloud had covered the sun. The massive shadow flowed down from the horizon faster than a raging flood.

Crows, sparrows, and other animals that had already taken refuge in their burrows emerged in a frenzy, fleeing for their lives.

Xuan Ji sidestepped a panicked sparrow, but the bird suddenly stopped as it brushed past him. Suddenly, birds and small animals fell to the ground, and larger beasts came to a screeching halt.

At the same time, all the creatures froze in place.

Then, as the shadow approached, they slowly turned to face Sheng Lingyuan, each one tilting their head in unison.

It was like a bizarre and terrifying puppet show.

The phone signal cut out, and Xuan Ji heard a haunting voice echoing from the air, the earth, and all around him: "Greetings, Your Majesty... Your Majesty... Your humble servant has been waiting for a long time..."

A shadow emerged from the ground, shimmering silver and constantly changing shape. It seemed to be a humanoid figure, but with features that shifted between male and female, tall and short, and with a variety of different faces.

The figure appeared to be struggling with indecision, unable to settle on a single face to present to the world.

As the figure flowed like liquid mercury towards Sheng Lingyuan, Xuan Ji flicked two coins into the air, summoning twin dragons of flame that circled around Sheng Lingyuan and created a ring of fire.

The "mercury person" was forced to stop three meters away from the flames, and turned to face Xuan Ji with a curious tilt of its head.

In an ancient voice, the figure spoke: "Strange, I have never seen you before, and yet you seem familiar to me."

"Maybe because I'm too handsome and perfect," Xuan Ji said with a guarded expression, refusing to engage in conversation.

"I don't have as much advanced and intimidating creativity as you do. Please forgive me for my lack of wit."

The "Mercury Man" chuckled, not really bothered by Xuan Ji's attitude, and quickly lost interest in him.

He turned to Sheng Lingyuan and asked, "Your Majesty, do you remember me?"

Sheng Lingyuan smiled and replied, "Thanks for your guidance earlier."

Earlier guidance?

Xuan Ji was taken aback.

He did remember seeing a shadow figure earlier... Was this demon the shadow figure that the Mountain king Wei Yu had presented to His Majesty years ago?

The poor little thing whose transformation was interrupted halfway?

The shadow figure's voice became melancholic. "I was born for you, but you not only rejected me, but also forgot about me completely. I'm so sad that I had to resort to some tricks to remind you of the past."

Sheng Lingyuan spoke politely, "As one grows old, memory fades and mistakes are made. Please don't take offense."

Xuan Ji: "..."

He thought to himself, 'This shameless old man, how can he say such cheesy words so easily!'

Upon hearing this, the shadowy figure's constantly shifting body gradually stabilized.

He elongated and straightened, finally solidifying into a tall and slender figure dressed in bright ancient clothing, exuding the spirit of a young warrior on horseback.

Although his features were indistinct, his form was striking.

The shadowy figure's voice also transformed into that of a clear and youthful tone, as he said with a hint of grievance, "Back then, I was ignorant and lived in a pearl oyster. I was chosen by King Wei Yu as a gift. When I first saw Your Majesty, I was amazed by your beauty and couldn't wait to take human form and pledge my loyalty. But I was interrupted halfway... I never knew what I did wrong."

Sheng Lingyuan said, "You are innocent, but I do not keep shadow slaves. Afterward, I sent someone to set you free, and you can find another master."

"The Shadow people choose their masters," the Shadow person said softly. "Having seen Your Majesty, who in this world is worthy of making me willingly take on a physical form?"

Sheng Lingyuan's expression remained unchanged as he raised an eyebrow. "You flatter me, and I appreciate your misguided affection."

"Your Majesty is half-human, half-demon, with the bloodline of a divine bird. Later, you became a heavenly demon, making you neither divine nor demonic, neither human nor demon. You are unique in this world. If I could successfully take on a physical form and become your kin, I wonder what I would look like.

"When I had the fortune of being touched by a bit of Your Majesty's heavenly demon energy, although my transformation was interrupted, I gained spiritual roots and wisdom, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise."

Sheng Lingyuan's eye twitched slightly.

"I am no longer just a Shadow person, no longer need to rely on others to survive, no longer have to spend my whole life satisfying worldly desires, and no longer have to follow only one master for my entire life. I have become...the only free member of the Shadow Clan since the beginning of time," the Shadow person laughed, "all thanks to Your Majesty."

Just from the content of his words, Xuan Ji felt like the Shadow person was about to pledge his loyalty and offer himself up.

At the very least, he would have to present a "relief and aid" banner to Your Majesty.

However, for some reason, he could hear a deep malice in the clear voice of the young man and immediately became wary.

The next moment, Sheng Lingyuan grabbed his collar and pulled him to the side.

A fierce wind rose from the ground, almost brushing past his nose - the Shadow person had actually entered his flame circle!

Xuan Ji's pupils shrank. "How did it get in here?"

"This shadow creature has assimilated the earth veins of Jiangzhou. Every inch of land is a part of the demon. Even if you use pure white fire to draw a circle, it can still drill out from underground," Sheng Lingyuan lightly flicked his wings and lifted Xuan Ji up.

"Get off the ground."

"Where are you touching me?" Xuan Ji's wings were extremely sensitive, and he was almost tickled by Sheng Lingyuan's touch.

He grabbed Sheng Lingyuan's wrist and lifted him up into the sky.

"The land belongs to the public, you feudal law people!"

The shadow creature failed to strike and dissolved like stagnant water, laughing lightly as it seeped into the ground and disappeared.

With a flick of his wrist, Xuan Ji sent two coins with flames rolling across the ground.

Upon contact with the dark energy, they exploded into a shower of sparks.

"You, a former Shadow person, why do you go out of your way to harm those who liberated you? What's wrong with you?"

"Li...ber...ation...do you even understand what that means? Don't you know that 'liberation' and 'release' are two different words?"

The shadow split open its mouth, speaking with a rhythmic cadence.

"To 'liberate' is to loosen the shackles of bondage, while to 'release' is to banish to an endless world. I am innocent, why must I suffer this extreme punishment?"

Xuan Ji retorted, "Are you out of your mind?"

"I was forcibly awakened with spiritual intelligence, with nowhere to go. I roamed the human world in an unformed state, only seeking a place to stand. In those years, I wandered with humans, demons, half-humans, and humanoid creatures... tossed around in countless hands. But in times of war, life is like a blade of grass. Thanks to His Majesty's grace, I don't have to die with my master. When my master dies, I'll return to my unformed state again.

"Every time my previous master died, I was picked up by the enemy the next day. One day, I would call the people on one side my brothers and swear to die with them, but the next day, I would meet my old friends on the other side with swords drawn, as if they were mortal enemies.

"I wanted to come find you, Your Majesty, ha! But the Emperor is as bright as the moon, what kind of person is he? How could a lowly person like me have any connection with him? Instead, I accidentally met Wei Yun, who is by Your Majesty's side, and he took me in for a few years. At least I had a few years of peaceful days."

The voice of the Shadow person suddenly changed from a crisp young voice to a very gentle female voice, and the black shadow on the ground grew long hair and a long skirt.

"Wei Yun is the 'Tian'er' who can communicate with the metal of the world, be careful!"

As soon as Sheng Lingyuan's words fell, there was a light "ding" sound, and the two metal coins thrown by Xuan Ji were crushed into a ball on the ground, rebounding and attacking their owner with flames.

The demon black mist immediately stood in front of the two people, and the coins with flames were like two sharp blades, piercing through the layers of black mist like a hot knife through butter, and were caught by Sheng Lingyuan in his palm.

In his palm, the coin melted into molten iron and flowed back into Xuan Ji's body. The Emperor's hand was also burned by the Vermilion Bird fire, and Xuan Ji's pupils shrank while the emblem on his forehead turned red as if it was about to drip blood.

"But Prince Wei Yun is also dead, and as a newly reincarnated lonely ghost, I was taken by your Qingping Division."

The gentle female voice turned into a crisp teenage voice, then into a deep male voice, with an indistinguishable tone...

As he spoke, the entire Jiangzhou land shook, and thunderclouds gathered in the sky.

A demon-like thunderbolt struck down, igniting the nearby dry grass. Then, a strong wind rose, and the thunder and fire joined forces, quickly gaining momentum in the dry air of the north, causing smoke and dust to rise.

Suddenly, the small animals began to scream in terror.

They watched the sparrows grow three-foot-long sharp beaks, their bodies expanding and their claws turning into steel knives. The once small and harmless rabbits roared and transformed into small mountains, their fur standing on end as their long fangs protruded from their mouths.

At the same time, the entire city of Jiangzhou experienced a power outage, and a raging fire began to spread.

Despite this, the temperature continued to drop.

"I have spent countless lifetimes by the side of the passionate and powerful Qingping officials... My Majesty, have you ever heard of anything more absurd than Shadow people turning into demons? Look at me, I am neither human nor ghost, all thanks to your divine grace."

"Don't be polite," said Sheng Lingyuan with a smile as a crow monster exploded into a cloud of blood mist two meters away. "You have earned this through your own hard work and the blessings of heaven."

"But I have not yet achieved enlightenment," murmured the Shadow person, their voice echoing from all directions. "I want to break free from the lowly shadow clan... Your Majesty, you have shed blood and risked your life countless times, burdened by the world. Since you despise this heavenly demon body so much, why not give this burden to me?"

Before they could finish their sentence, a bright white light suddenly pierced through the darkness, and the Shadow person let out a scream.

With a sudden burst of flames, Xuan Ji's wings stretched to an unbelievable length, resembling the mythical bird that disappeared into the river of history.

His scorching feathers turned into shooting stars, piercing through the forehead of a giant beast and into the throat of a shadow on the ground.

His divine consciousness, which had been tormented by Sheng Lingyuan on the grasslands for days, was now put to good use.

Suspended in mid-air, he accurately found the weak spot of the shadow figure and shot an arrow that caused a mercury-like liquid to gush out of the ground, evaporating into the air along with the smoke and flames.

"What do you mean 'your' majesty? He has nothing to do with you!" Xuan Ji exclaimed.

If you want the body of a heavenly demon, who do you think you are?

I'm still waiting in line, holding my 'love number ticket'!

He reached behind him and without waiting for Sheng Lingyuan to stop him, he shot a feathered arrow that was intended to turn the earth and the Shadow people into a sieve.

Sheng Lingyuan, who had been effortlessly dodging attacks, suddenly felt something and his face changed.

He grabbed Xuan Ji's elbow and quickly climbed to a higher place. They saw a large amount of "blood" flowing on the ground, like mercury, evaporating upon contact with fire and instantly producing a large amount of black mist that was identical to the true demon aura, rushing towards them!

Xuan Ji exclaimed, "What kind of bootleg is this?"

The Shadow person laughed hysterically, "Wei Yun and the Qingping Division are just slaves of the emperor. The emperor must not be interested in the petty tricks they learned from their masters. So today, I will return to you what I took from the emperor!"

Xuan Ji was taken aback.

The Shadow person had his transformation interrupted years ago, but still managed to steal the demonic energy from Sheng Lingyuan, and even use it to his advantage.

No wonder he was skilled in puppetry!

Sheng Lingyuan's expression turned cold.

Two identical streams of demonic energy collided in mid-air.

The emperor's robe sleeves were like dark clouds, pressing down like a mountain torrent, directly suppressing the fake goods that had been nourished by the earth's veins for three thousand years.

However, at this moment, a bolt of lightning flashed, and the Heavenly Way, which had been guarding against the demonic energy, unexpectedly caused chaos!

In the blink of an eye, Sheng Lingyuan turned around and held Xuan Ji in his arms. The black mist behind him formed into a huge shield, like a tornado, and managed to withstand a lightning bolt several dozen meters thick.

The shield made of condensed magic shattered instantly under the heavenly punishment. Sheng Lingyuan's throat felt a surge of nausea, and Xuan Ji's shoulder almost crumpled under his grip.

But with this divine thunderbolt, the situation was reversed in an instant. The black mist on the ground surged up and engulfed them both.

Xuan Ji's wings disappeared in an instant, and the two of them fell from mid-air in a sorry state. Xuan Ji's mind was filled with curses, and the next moment, everything went black.

With a "plop," they rolled into the icy pool.

Sheng Lingyuan quickly formed a hand seal, and a bubble emerged from his fingertips, rapidly expanding to envelop them both.

The enormous buoyancy stopped their descent and gently lifted them up.

With a splash, Xuan Ji emerged from the water, coughing and sputtering.

He couldn't speak for a moment, so he just raised his middle finger to the sky before being washed up onto the shore.

Sheng Lingyuan had already floated onto the shore ahead of him, and as he landed, the water on his body had frozen into ice shards that fell to the ground with a light shake.

"What the hell!" Xuan Ji ran his fingers through his wet hair and exclaimed, "Is there no justice in this world? Those monsters illegally occupy the land and even dip their fingers into the earth's veins. What kind of world is this?"

"Choosing the lesser of two evils, of course the Chiyuan is more important than just one Jiangzhou vein," Sheng Lingyuan, who was perhaps used to being struck by lightning, remained calm.

"Let's light a fire and see where we are." Xuan Ji snapped his fingers and a small flame flickered to life. "Your divine sense has been restricted?"

"This is the Demon Illusion Realm. Within this place, the six desires of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind are all interconnected. Even memories from long ago can be brought to the surface."

Sheng Lingyuan explained as he surveyed their surroundings by the light of the flame.

They had fallen into a pond within a meticulously crafted garden, complete with pavilions and mountains.

It all seemed so familiar.

"This is..."

"The Du Ling Palace?" Xuan Ji finished his sentence.


Skye
Skye

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