Xie Yuanshu spent a full two hours before finally absorbing Xie Hongchen’s cultivation.
He sat cross-legged on the ground, beginning to regulate his breathing and digest this powerful strength. However, the residual toxins in Xie Hongchen’s body had not completely dissipated. Now that he had lost his internal strength, he was extremely weak.
Huang Rang put away the umbrella that was forged by Di Yiqiu and placed it aside. Looking at Xie Hongchen lying on the bed, she still fetched a handkerchief, intending to wipe his face. Of course, she was pushed away by Xie Hongchen.
Xie Yuanshu saw this and said, “Ah Rang, why do you still bother about him? You haven’t let go of your feelings for him even in this situation?”
Huang Rang let out a sigh, every word filled with desolation. “After all, we have been married for a hundred years.”
Xie Hongchen turned his face away and sneered, “Your habit of acting—you never let it go no matter when.”
Huang Rang didn’t retort. Instead, she said gently, “I know you’re angry. Whatever you say, I won’t mind.”
Xie Yuanshu felt Huang Rang’s docility even more and pulled her over with one hand, saying, “He’s nothing more than a useless person now. If you’re angry, I can kill him right away to vent your anger.”
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He actually believed that he could be a hundred times better than Xie Hongchen!
So he said, “Ah Rang, you always consider things so thoughtfully.”
Huang Rang walked up to him, wiping the beads of sweat off his forehead, and said, “Now that Shu Lang has obtained his cultivation, within the entire Yuhu Immortal Sect, aside from the Ancestor, there’s probably no one who can rival you. Shouldn’t you discuss with the Ancestor about passing on the position to you?”
When she mentioned Xie Lingbi, Xie Yuanshu couldn’t help but shudder.
Meanwhile, Xie Hongchen, who was listening to their conversation, was full of doubts—why was she inciting Xie Yuanshu like this?! Since Huang Rang had already done what she did, she would never be content with just being the wife of the sect leader—she had long surpassed that. Why would she need to scheme again?
But if it wasn’t for those reasons, then what did she intend to do?
Xie Yuanshu furrowed his brow and said, “This matter needs to be carefully considered. He wants to have control over everything, and if I act like this, he probably won’t tolerate me, even if I am his biological son.” He spoke the latter sentence through gritted teeth.
Huang Rang silently nodded in her heart—this Xie Yuanshu had become somewhat clever at this moment. She looked gloomy and said, “Shu Lang’s words do make sense. In the current situation, the Ancestor simply won’t accept you, and I… I have no way out either. He never liked me to begin with.”
Xie Yuanshu remained silent. He also understood that if this matter was exposed, Xie Lingbi would definitely kill Huang Rang. He paced back and forth in the inner hall of the Yeyun Hall, unable to think of a solution, feeling quite anxious.
Huang Rang watched him quietly. After a long while, she said, “If the Ancestor finds out about this, he will most likely kill me and severely punish Shu Lang. Then he will…”
“Then he will demote Shu Lang and send him elsewhere. But after all, Shu Lang is his own flesh and blood, and he has Xie Hongchen’s cultivation. Many years later, he will surely be able to return to the Immortal Sect and regain a high position. Shu Lang, if there’s really no other way, you should apologize to the Ancestor!”
Her expression was filled with sorrow, and every word was sincere and earnest. The more Xie Hongchen listened, the more he felt something was off—he had always been clear-minded in front of Huang Rang. He would never be swayed by her words or emotions. So, to him, her words didn’t mean what they seemed to convey.
Indeed, Xie Yuanshu had already reached this point; how could he be willing to fail now? He walked to the edge of the table, suddenly slammed it hard, and said, “The old man has always looked down on me. How can I continue to endure silently?! Ah Rang, you have my wholehearted devotion. How can I watch you die without doing anything?!”
Huang Rang’s voice was already filled with despair as she asked, “Then… what can Shu Lang do?”
Sure enough, Xie Yuanshu’s spirit surged with determination and anger as he declared, “Today, I, Xie Yuanshu, must become the sect leader of the Yuhu Immortal Sect! No one can stop me, not even the old man!”
At this moment, Xie Hongchen, lying on the bed, suddenly understood what Huang Rang intended to do!
—She wanted to deal with Xie Lingbi!
He tightly clenched the edge of the bed and angrily said, “Big brother! Don’t be deceived by Huang Rang. This woman is treacherous; we must not trust her! The Ancestor is your biological father. How can you lay a hand on him?”
Huang Rang quickly followed up with persuasion: “Shu Lang, Hongchen is right. After all, the Ancestor is your father. Although he favors Hongchen a bit more, how can you, as his son, harm your own biological father?”
Her persuasion only made things worse. Every thorn in Xie Yuanshu’s heart was pricked. He grabbed the teacup from the table and threw it at Xie Hongchen on the bed, shouting, “Shut up! He is my biological father! Haha, I guess he’s your biological father, isn’t he?! From childhood to adulthood, he only had eyes for you. What am I to him?!”
He struck with great force, and Xie Hongchen, who was already unable to see, couldn’t dodge. The teacup hit his forehead, causing blood to flow down his face. Huang Rang exclaimed softly and quickly approached to check on Xie Hongchen’s injuries.
Xie Hongchen was disgusted to the extreme. He forcefully pushed her away. Huang Rang was pushed with such force that she fell to the ground. She let out a low cry, holding onto her ankle, truly appearing fragile and delicate.
“Big brother!” Xie Hongchen felt completely powerless, but Xie Yuanshu quickly helped Huang Rang up and angrily pointed at Xie Hongchen, saying, “You blind fool! It turns out you’re still blind! Ah Rang, did you get hurt from the fall?”
Huang Rang’s teary eyes were brimming with tears as she said, “I know Shu Lang has suffered a lot over these years. I know.” She rested her head on Xie Yuanshu’s shoulder, exuding a fragrant beauty that melted Xie Yuanshu’s heart.
He gently patted Huang Rang’s shoulder and said, “Ah Rang, together, let’s take down that old man. I want to truly have control over the entire Immortal Sect!”
Xie Yuanshu was like someone possessed, unable to listen to any persuasion.
Hearing Xie Yuanshu’s words, Huang Rang, although moved, did not approve. She said, “But you are still father and son, Shu Lang. I don’t want to see you two torn apart like this. Listen to me and report the truth to him. Even if I die, I can’t bear to see you and your father become enemies, engaging in violence.”
Before she could finish speaking, Xie Yuanshu interrupted, “You don’t need to persuade anymore. Ah Rang, could you… accompany me one more time? Even if it means death, I want to die with you.”
Despair filled Xie Hongchen’s heart.
“Shu Lang…” Huang Rang sobbed against his shoulder and said, “I will consider this my last day in this world. But in this life, to have known Shu Lang, Ah Rang has no regrets until death.”
“Big brother…” Xie Hongchen’s voice was weak, as if the strength that supported his conviction had been drained.
But how could Xie Yuanshu hear his voice? Xie Yuanshu wanted to have another intimate moment with Huang Rang, and of course, Huang Rang wouldn’t refuse. She said, “Since it’s our last day, let’s make the most of it. Shu Lang, could you help me freshen up?”
Xie Yuanshu was infatuated, and how could he refuse? He eagerly said, “Okay! Okay!”
Huang Rang then repeated her previous actions and added the aromatic ingredients prepared with herbs to the incense burner. Xie Yuanshu was already impatient, so naturally, he dragged Xie Hongchen down from the bed. With Huang Rang’s help, they dragged Xie Hongchen into a corner. Xie Yuanshu went cheerfully to tidy up the bed while Huang Rang discreetly swallowed a wakefulness pill and casually put a few wakefulness pills into Xie Hongchen’s mouth.
Xie Hongchen was taken aback, but as he swallowed, he already knew what they were.
Huang Rang was already skilled at using the incense. She knew exactly how much Wakefulness Pill to administer and in what dosage. So, in no time, Xie Yuanshu was completely immersed in illusions.
Huang Rang spread out Xie Hongchen’s palm and stuffed something into it. Xie Hongchen held it in his hand and carefully felt it, realizing that it was actually Xie Jiu’er.
“Why didn’t you kill it?” he asked, knowing that his anger and urgency were futile and his tone cold.
Huang Rang sat beside him, watching Xie Yuanshu lose his mind. “Because I don’t know if, after dying here, it would also die in reality when waking up. It’s just a child, and if there is any fault, it’s our fault. Why should we take its life?”
But Xie Hongchen’s response was still sarcastic. He said, “Huang Rang, when will you be able to tear off this layer of hypocrisy?”
Huang Rang didn’t want to argue with him and said, “I can’t tear it off.” She held Xie Hongchen’s hand and made him press his own skin on the back of her hand. “It’s grown together.”
Xie Hongchen pulled his hand back in disgust, and Huang Rang smiled again. Her smile was never loud; it was always gentle and dignified. Xie Hongchen initially ignored her, but thinking about her words just now, he still asked, “What did you mean by ‘dying in reality when waking up’? Huang Rang, what exactly happened to you?”
Huang Rang sat with her hands around her knees, contemplating for a while. She said, “I don’t know.” She leaned against Xie Hongchen’s shoulder, but he coldly avoided her. Huang Rang found an opening and slowly said, “I suddenly realized that we have never had such a conversation before. Actually, I wanted to ask you if you have ever loved me in your entire life. Even if it’s just a tiny bit, have you? But if I ask, the answer will surely disappoint me.”
She buried her face in her knees and sighed softly. “It will surely disappoint me.”
Xie Hongchen didn’t answer her. As the Sect Master, how could he be concerned with matters of love and emotions at this moment?
He only wanted to know what had happened and if there was any way to salvage the situation. But there wasn’t. As Xie Yuanshu had said, they had reached a point of no return.
With his cultivation completely lost now, once Xie Lingbi found out, Huang Rang would be doomed.
Xie Hongchen could only say, “I don’t know why you chose this path. You are digging your own grave.”
“Yes,” Huang Rang said, holding her face in her hands, sitting quietly, and only after a while responding with a single word.
At this point, she could step back and plunge into the abyss or move forward and shatter into pieces. Where was there still a grave?
Huang Rang sat with her knees hugged, no longer attempting to rely on Xie Hongchen.
In fact, this person by her side had never been her reliance. Throughout her life, she had never had anyone to rely on.