Nine Mysterious Demon Restraining Pagoda sensed Tao Ying’s aura and radiated golden light in all directions, turning the entire hall resplendent.
Under the radiant light, the dark qi on Tao Ying’s body started to unravel at a rapid pace. He stared at Liu Fuyi motionlessly, his thoughts a mystery.
All monsters and demons knew of the power of the Demon Restraining Pagoda. If Liu Fuyi ever lets the pagoda freely swallow evil spirits, whether it be demons or ghosts, they would all need to run from this calamity. No matter how sly or elusive he was, being exterminated was only a question of time.
However, Liu Fuyi pointed and the Demon Restraining Pagoda retreated a few steps, diminishing its radiance at the same time. His expression was very severe, “I’ll let you finish speaking.”
The resentful spirit Tao Ying paused for a moment before dragging on a trembling smile, “Exorcist Liu need not hypocritically put on a show of fairness—”
”Even the honorable and righteous family head of the Mu clan, Mu Huaijiang, helped the royal family cover up their scandal. Now, Mu Yao also took the initiative to stick her head into matters of the nether, once again trying to kill off these unwilling souls. You are demon hunters, pining after a life of vanity and garnering praises from the masses are you not? Bullying and taking advantage of the weak for your entire life?”
Liu Fuyi took a step forward, “The things that happened back then, I do not understand. However, Mu Yao came here this time because Dowager Consort Zhao used their jade tablet to bring her over. She had no choice.” He looked at the badly damaged, resentful spirit only left with part of its body. “Tao Ying, you’re doing this to take revenge for Tao Yushi. According to reason, I shouldn’t interfere. However, you shouldn’t have tricked so many of your followers into incinerating themselves in addition to intentionally harming Princess Duanyang. They were all innocents. Since you decided to do such a thing, Yao’er and I must take action to deal with you.”
He reached out and the Demon Restraining Pagoda floated above the two of them. As it was about to burst out with brilliance, his hand started to shake a bit due to anxiety, “Your revenge and hatred is to be decided by the nether world. Now tell me, where is Yao’er?”
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The little girl had no legs. She was an extremely young small demon.
She pulled on his sleeves and timidly spoke, “I know where that sister went, f-follow me.”
The small and little resentful spirit was adorned entirely in silk. She was also wearing several layers of golden ornaments on her wrists. Her head only reached up to Liu Fuyi’s waist.
Liu Fuyi followed her out of the hall, “Are you also one of his followers?”
The small demon turned around, the dark orbs above cheeks focusing on him, “Mother said that I was born on the same year, month and day as the princess. It was a great fortune and because I have great fortune Dowager Consort Zhao chose me, letting me take the princess’s place as goddess.
Liu Fuyi felt his heart grow stiff.
Duanyang was innocent. However, what did this little girl, burned at the stake in Duanyang’s place, do to deserve such a thing?
He warmly held onto her small palm, “Does it hurt?”
The small spirit shrunk for a moment, as if she had become afraid. She lowered her head to think for a while before answering in a tone full of dread, “Brother, I’m helping you lead the way… because I have a condition.”
Liu Fuyi was startled but immediately asked, “What do you want?”
”You can leave the temple so can you tell my mother? She didn’t lose her embroidery needle, I hid it. I hid it under the mattress, because she always burnt the midnight oil to do embroidery. No matter how many times father told her, she wouldn’t listen. The day I left, she was still looking for it.”
Liu Fuyi didn’t expect such a reply. He nodded, after returning to his senses, “…Sure. I’ll help you tell your mother. If you have anything else to say, I’ll also tell them all to her.”
The little spirit thought about it and then smiled at him, “Tell my mother that I’ve become a goddess. I live in the most perfect house in heaven, sleep on the softest bed and have a maid to help sweep the courtyard.”
Liu Fuyi was dumbstruck for a long time before finally nodding at her.
With the farce and scandal that happened back then, Dowager Consort Zhao would naturally clean up all the loose ends. Ten years had passed, people had changed but things were still the same. Even the seas could have turned into mulberry fields in time.
The girl stopped and pointed at somewhere far away.
Before them was an extremely tall shelf. There was a girl adorned in layers of golden ornaments tied up at the top of it. She was only in undergarments and a short, embroidered skirt. Her pale, white wrists and thighs were exposed to the air. Her long hair was scattered all over. She suddenly looked out, almost like a flirtatious Yab-Yum becoming reality.
Mu Yao was a very prideful person. As she had been captured and hung up like this for everyone to see, it was hard to imagine how wronged she felt.
Liu Fuyi looked back at the small spirit, “I won’t capture you. Turn yourself into the underworld of your own accord, understood?”
The little girl tilted her head and looked at Liu Fuyi. She rapped her fingers against the wooden pagoda in his hand in curiosity, “Master Tao Ying is inside?”
Liu Fuyi somewhat panicked as he put the pagoda back into his sleeves, “His injustices will naturally have someone to help deal with. However, he has also committed wrongs so he has to pay the price. My Demon Restraining Pagoda only takes the guilty who deserve it.”
He stuck a Guiding Talisman onto the back of the little girl that didn’t quite understand what was going on. He watched the talisman working on her as she left. He sighed then leaped up the shelf.
Mu Yao was unconscious. The corner of her lips were stained with half-dried blood.
He untied the rope and wrapped his arm around her waist. They flitted down to the ground and his heart burned with anxiety, “Yao’er? Yao’er?”
Mu Yao opened her eyes a fraction, just enough to see his face. Before any words were even spoken, a thread of grief flashed through her eyes.
Liu Fuyi cupped her face, speaking very softly so that he didn’t scare her, “I was too late Yao’er. I was too late, I’m sorry.”
Mu Yao’s throat choked up with emotion and tears uncontrollably flowed out. Liu Fuyi hugged her deep into his bosom while caressing her back. “Don’t cry, it’s alright now.”
Mu Yao thought about how the clothes on her were rather inappropriate at the moment. She felt both humiliated and wretched but he saw everything. For a while, grievance, humiliation, anger and pain all mixed together. She struggled to get up but Liu Fuyi hugged her even tighter.
“I know what you’re thinking.” His voice was exceptionally calm, “Your current appearance is absolutely beautiful.”
The two of them sat on the ground in a rather wretched position, completely unlike the many years of confidence and brightness like the typical condor hero pair they were. However, this was also the period of time where they felt close, closer than they had ever been.
He let go of her, staring into her eyes. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, and only a long while later did he open his mouth, “Yao’er, you know my heart. I will never leave you again in this life.”
Mu Yao was stunned, tears streaming down her pale white cheeks. She saw Liu Fuyi speak towards the wooden pagoda in her palm, “I, Liu Fuyi, swear on the Nine Mysterious Demon Restraining Pagoda, that I will never let Mu Yao suffer another humiliation like this.”
She stared into his eyes, eyes that seemed to want to hold up the sky and all the difficulties she would ever face. She felt like her heart was under heavy attack, a strong wave of warmth flooding her entirety.
She completely let her heart relax, resting comfortably in his embrace.
If she had only been a drifting boat before, now she had finally found her safe harbor.
Mu Sheng set out at almost the same time as Liu Fuyi. They also chose the same shortcuts yet his path was exceptionally thorny.
His Yin Constitution was especially effective at attracting demons and ghosts. In addition to the two times he bled to draw reverse talismans, to evil creatures, he was just like a giant hotpot of delicious fragrances. Every few steps, he would be blocked by a resentful spirit. Even the black bats from the forest would charge at him and try to flap their wings at him.
In three days, he had already used the reverse talisman once but it didn’t help at all with control. It was extremely easy to lose control of himself. Thus, he could only forge and slaughter his way through the hordes of evil spirits step by step. He had nearly used up all the talismans on him so he could only stubbornly rely on the Demon Restraining Circlet and Exploding Sparks to clear open a path.
By the time he broke into Xingshan Temple, all exhausted and nearly out of juice, there was only a mess within the halls without a single shadow of a human.
The beams were shattered, slanting down onto the ground. Tiles had fallen down and covered a large portion of the ground. There were two red candles that had burnt down to its base on the sacrificial table. The wax from the candles had dripped off the side of the table, making large splotches of blood red wax on the ground.
The dusky yellow and swaying candle light barely illuminated the ground full of mid. All of the resentful spirits had either been completely wiped out or had escaped far away by now. It was clear that a great battle with evil had been fought here.
The surroundings were deathly silent. Mu Sheng took a few steps forward and took a look around, was he too late?
From a far distance, a long haired little spirit zoomed past him at a fast pace, panic written all over her face. Only once she managed to pull onto his sleeve did she stop.
“That was dangerous, that was too quick.” The young girl used his sleeve to wipe her forehead, face full of false alarm.
His gaze fell onto the single smear of yellow on her silk adornments— there was a Guiding Talisman on her back, which was why she had been moving uncontrollably towards the indicated position. However, the strength of the talisman was a little too much for a small spirit like her, which was why she was running so quickly and without control.
Mu Sheng’s expression was complicated as he looked at the familiar calligraphy on the talisman. For a while he didn’t know whether or not he should be rejoicing or regretful. Liu Fuyi woke up and found his way here?
”Brother…” The little girl raised her head. Her pitch black eyes landing curiously on him, “Did you also come to save sister?”
Mu Sheng looked into her eyes then suddenly turned around and left without a single glance back. The cold wind blowing ruffled the edges of his robe.
A person’s figure, adorned with pitch black irises, grew more and more near. She could nearly smell the scent of burnt on him. It was so thick it was basically slapping into her face.
Ling Miaomiao made sure this was a person, a person that had nearly been burnt into carbon.
”Wait, wait! Let me go—-” Ling Miaomiao’s four limbs were tightly clasped in the hands of small demons as she struggled for her life, “What is the Holy Child? Why don’t you all explain to this princess?!”
The old man made a gesture and the small demons lifted her onto their shoulders.
“Goddess, you don’t need to know. This Holy Child is just like you, someone chosen by the heavens. The separation of heaven and earth, the harmony of yin and yang, yang is always present where yin exists……..
Ling Miaomiao was at the end of her straws, “Speak like a normal human!”
The old fogey was stunned for a moment. He then started to rub his beard as he grinned widely, “Basically, the meaning is that the Goddess and the Holy Child are both necessary. With yin and yang in harmony, only then can connect the heavens and the earth. With both the Goddess and the Holy Child placed back where they belong, eternal joy and happiness….”
What a complete load of crap! Absolute nonsense!
A strange sense of grief and indignation rose up within Ling Miaomiao’s heart. This ‘Holy Child’ was probably just some unfortunate soul that was passing by but had to have their life taken ahold of like this. Even his body wouldn’t be able to rest in one piece.
Tao Ying and the imperial family definitely had a bloody sea of revenge between them. He thought of so many methods to torment Duanyang, even if he was already dead. He still ruthlessly insulted and humiliated her, so driven that it could make one gasp in exclaim.
She watched the old man’s face as she somewhat embarrassedly pointed at the freshly scorched corpse, “Well um… look, that ‘Holy Child’ already… already entered nirvana. This princess hasn’t yet accepted the burning at the stake and to uhm… consummate my marriage with him right, this princess feels ashamed.”
Several of the small demons encircled her, sitting on the ground. Upon hearing what she said, they looked at one another with dismay but then nodded one after another. She had no idea what kind of things they were whispering to one another.
The old man stared blankly for a moment. His eyeballs spun and he grinned, “Goddess, your talents are extraordinary. You and the Holy Child are a match made in heaven! There is no need to be ashamed.” He beckoned and several of the small demons once again surged forth to pull her arms, nearly picking her up. They headed towards the corpse once again, “The optimal time is limited! Goddess, you must not waste time!”
Ling Miaomiao just wanted to cry, “Wait… wait a second!”
TLN: Oh boy, we’re catching up on on the stockpile already >.> How’s everyone’s summer coming along? I basically don’t have one lol.