Chapter 17: Withering

Something big has happened in the Yuhu immortal Sect!

First, Sect Master Xie Hongchen suddenly lost all his cultivation and was injured, entering seclusion. Meanwhile, the Elder Ancestor, Xie Lingbi, fell into demonic cultivation and was bedridden. Only Xie Yuanshu’s cultivation suddenly soared, surpassing even the peak of Xie Lingbi’s prime!

Of course, everyone understood that something suspicious was going on. However, Xie Shaochong, Nie Qinglan, and others couldn’t figure it out.

Now that Xie Yuanshu possesses such formidable strength, it would be suicidal to oppose him.

Therefore, Xie Shaochong sent Xie Hongchen, Xie Lingbi, and Huang Ran back to Dark Thunder Peak and arranged for a physician to treat their injuries and help them recover.


With Xie Yuanshu’s current overwhelming power, there were no more reservations. He immediately declared himself the new Sect Master and sent out invitations to all the other sects to come and congratulate him. The sect masters who received the invitations were surprised and doubtful. They had no choice but to seek advice from He Xijin and others.

After all, everyone knew what kind of person Xie Yuanshu was.

Dark Thunder Peak.

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Mbl hlkdp sd Dkl Nkdtck’p qsalblye vbasccle, yde bkp lulp cwztle yp kq vblu olal ycswv vs rsr swv. Tsolhla, ds xyvvla bso byae bl vakle, bl nswzed’v wvvla y osae.

Rd vbl kddla byzz, Twydt Sydt oyp dsv qyakdt olzz lkvbla.

When Xie Lingbi made a move back then, he was determined to take her life. She had held on until now, barely clinging to life.


Xie Yuanshu had visited twice, but Huang Ran was emaciated and sickly. He had no mood for her. He simply instructed her to rest well and then immersed himself in the arms of other beauties.

Of course, it didn’t matter to her.

Huang Rang didn’t care at all. She just watched Xie Lingbi day after day, almost obsessively. She saw his intense hatred and uncontrollable anger.

The severe poison in Xie Hongchen’s body has somewhat improved with the meticulous treatment from Baicao Peak. However, he has lost all his cultivation, and even a trace of such a potent poison could be lethal.

That’s why he remained unconscious.

The once flourishing Yuhu immortal Sect has suddenly reached a dead end in just a few days.

Two days later, the Yuhu immortal Sect held the ceremony for the succession of the Sect Master at the Emerald Peak.

Xie Yuanshu, a person who enjoys extravagance, wouldn’t allow any sloppiness on such an occasion, despite the short notice. He wanted the spectacle to be even grander than when Xie Hongchen succeeded as the Sect Master.

Early in the morning, the sound of bells and chimes echoed throughout the sect. The entire sect was covered in red carpets, and the trees were wrapped in golden foil.

Xie Yuanshu wore a red robe and a golden cloak, dressed in luxurious attire, as he began receiving the congratulations of the crowd. He was arrogant, relying on his current strong cultivation. However, influential figures within the sect refused to come forward. Instead, those with a bad reputation, who usually couldn’t even find a way to flatter the Yuhu immortal Sect, were now willing to boast and flatter.

As a result, visitors offering congratulations kept pouring in.

Xie Yuanshu didn’t care about the identities of those who came. He thoroughly enjoyed the flattery from everyone, but he also noticed that none of the leaders from the major sects had come.


In the current immortal sects, besides the Yuhu immortal Sect and the Celestial Court, there are four major forces.

The first was He Xijin’s Ruyi Sword Sect.

The second was Zhang Shuju’s Wenxin Pavillion.

The third was Wu Zichou’s Ancient Fist Sect.

The fourth was White Bone Cliff, led by Valley Master Miao Yunzhi, but he primarily focused on medical practice and rarely concerned himself with sect matters.

As for other sects like the Lost Flower Sect and Hundred Dew Mountain, they were too numerous in rank to count.

Xie Yuanshu had a notorious reputation within the sect in the past, and even now, sitting in the position of Sect Master, he wasn’t respected by the righteous cultivators.

As he looked at the empty seats, Xie Yuanshu felt a sense of displeasure.

At this moment, in the Celestial Court, the Azure Dragon Bureau.

More than twenty cultivators from the immortal sects, led by He XiJin, Zhang Shuju, and Wu Zichou, had gathered here. Ironically, they used to look down upon this imperial-affiliated Celestial Court, but now they needed to hold discussions here.

Di Yiqiu sat in the main seat, with Deputy Chief Li Lu and Azure Dragon Bureau’s Deputy Chief Bai Qingyun standing beside him.

The other sect leaders and masters took their seats in order. Everyone wore a worried expression. Yue Mihua, the former sect master of the Lost Flower Sect, with white hair, leaned on his cane and said, “Chief, fellow sect masters, this villainous Xie Yuanshu dares to be so arrogant. It seems he must have some dependence. The situation of Elder Lingbi and Sect Master Xie is not good. Our immediate priority is to rescue the two of them.”


They found his words sincere, but everyone glanced at Di Yiqiu.

To be honest, the current state of the Yuhu immortal Sect is simply self-defeating. As the master of the Celestial Court, it was already good enough if he didn’t burst out laughing. Rescue people? Really?!

Even people like He Xijin had the same thoughts.

Unexpectedly, Di Yiqiu said, “The Celestial Court is also one of the immortal sects, and we cannot shirk our responsibility for sect matters.”

Hmm… He agreed so readily? This time, even Bai Qingyun looked at him, while Li Lu remained unsurprised.

He Xijin said, “Please, please, please…”

The others were reluctant and dared not speak up. Zhang Shuju said, “With the invitation in hand, we can go to the Yuhu immortal Sect and attend the banquet. Let’s see how much Xie Yuanshu’s cultivation has improved.”

He Xijin nodded repeatedly, and everyone looked at Di Yiqiu. Di Yiqiu said, “Very well.”

Bai Qingyun furrowed his eyebrows slightly. He knew the character of their own Master very well. Hmm, his moral character, to be precise. At this time, shouldn’t they let the Yuhu immortal Sect fall into chaos and take advantage of the situation as the Celestial Court?

Why did he agree so readily?!

Fortunately, although the Chief’s intentions were unclear, the Deputy Chief cooperated tacitly. Li Lu added, “However, considering the current state of the Yuhu immortal Sect, it is necessary to find someone else to take charge temporarily within the immortal sects.”

As soon as these words were spoken, the other sect masters couldn’t help but become vigilant. It turned out that the Celestial Court still wanted to command the immortal sects.


Who would have expected that Di Yiqiu would calmly say, “For such an important task, it naturally falls to Sect Master He Xijin.”

“Uh…” This, this, this… The other sect masters were suddenly in a panic. He Xijin had profound cultivation, high moral character, and enough qualifications. However, his habit of… if they let him mobilize before a battle, wouldn’t he take a whole year to finish?

“No, no, no…” He Xijin hurriedly said.

Zhang Shuju said, “Big Brother is not suitable. In the future, Brother Qiu will marry my big brother’s sister-in-law, so we are all on the same side. There’s no need to distinguish between us. Let Brother Qiu take charge. However, when we go to the Yuhu immortal Sect, there may be battles. As for artifacts and such, Brother Qiu may have to put in some effort.” Ah? Marry He Xijin’s sister-in-law? The sect masters looked at Di Yiqiu with great admiration—indeed, those who could be considered brothers by the ‘Fearful Trio’ were all warriors!

To their surprise, Di Yiqiu didn’t refuse and readily agreed, “Okay.” Then he turned his head and instructed, “Order Deputy Chief Bao to lead everyone to the Vermilion Bird Bureau, select some suitable artifacts, and prepare some elixirs for unforeseen circumstances.”

The sect masters and sect leaders couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing this.

If someone was willing to bear the consumption, they only needed to contribute their strength, making things much easier. They weren’t afraid of besieging the wicked thief; the righteous path had gained experience over the years. Without having to spend their own money and having the opportunity to practice their skills as well as gain a reputation for upholding justice, it couldn’t be better.

On the side, Bai Qingyun’s expression became somewhat strange. Such consumption should have some benefits. For the Celestial Court, launching such a massive operation against Xie Yuanshu was actually inferior to waiting for him to make a fatal mistake before taking action. By that time, the reputation of the Yuhu immortal Sect would be completely ruined, and it would be natural for the Celestial Court to govern the immortal sects.

The Supervisor’s behavior today was very unusual… Bai Qingyun saw the group off at the Vermilion Bird Bureau and still had a pensive look on his face. Suddenly, Li Lu asked, “Can’t figure it out, right?”

“I would appreciate the Deputy Chief’s guidance!” Bai Qingyun respectfully bowed.

Li Lu crossed his hands behind his back, his face profound and inscrutable. “The intention of the tipsy is not in the wine.”

Bai Qingyun stared at him, and Li Lu smirked. “Figure it out for yourself.”

With those words, Li Lu leisurely left. Bai Qingyun watched his figure and pondered for a long time. He was in the Vermilion Bird Bureau, and all his maneuvers were part of officialdom. Regardless, he always wanted to understand his superior’s intentions clearly.

He paced back and forth at the entrance, thinking for a long time, but still couldn’t grasp the main point.

How would he be able to sleep tonight?

Bai Qingyun was anxious.

The next morning, the Celestial Court’s precious ship, Bixiao, landed at the Yuhu immortal Sect.

The sect masters and sect leaders disembarked from the ship, feeling somewhat puzzled in their hearts—over the past few years, the Celestian Court’s power had grown too rapidly. This precious ship alone was not inferior to the Yuhu immortal Sect.

Di Yiqiu took the lead, and the disciples of the Yuhu immortal Sect couldn’t help but have mixed feelings upon seeing him.

In the past, the Yuhu Immortal Sect held a lofty position. Even the current chief of the Celestial Court had never caught their attention. But now, it seemed that things had changed.

The thousand-year-old sect had been destroyed in just a few days.

Di Yiqiu and the others were led up the mountain by the knowledgeable disciples and soon arrived at the Harmony Garden.

There were already many people seated here. Di Yiqiu scanned the surroundings and knew that they were a group of miscellaneous individuals within the immortal sects. As expected, He Xijin and the others were seated separately, clearly distinguished from these people.

Xie Yuanshu came forward with a fake smile, exchanging cold greetings with everyone. Although they knew he was absurd, everyone present was still influential and didn’t want to publicly tear their faces apart. So they greeted him vaguely and left it at that.

But Xie Yuanshu clearly had a different intention.

He first bowed his fist to Di Yiqiu and said, “Chief, you are busy with official duties, yet you still found time to congratulate us. I am deeply moved. How about having the congratulations to Heaven read out by the Chief? What do you think?”

Di Yiqiu was put in a difficult spot by this remark. The congratulations to Heaven were memorials sent to the heavens to be heard by the divine. They usually listed the achievements of the succeeding sect master and were burned after being read aloud. If he accepted, he didn’t know how he would be ridiculed in the future. If he declined, a conflict would immediately arise. And the thing he most wanted to know was still unknown.

But fortunately, Di Yiqiu was adept at diverting the topic. He immediately said, “To be frank, among everyone present today, He Xijin, as the leader, holds the highest seniority. It would be best for him to read it.”

He Xijin stood in front of the Yeyun Hall and began to read the congratulations to Heaven.

Above were indeed Xie Yuanshu’s various words of boasting. This was an extremely infuriating matter, and if anyone else in the room were to read it, it would be a lifelong shame. Only He Xijin, stumbling and stuttering, managed to read it in a way that didn’t provoke anyone’s anger. The others silently ate and drank, suppressing their laughter.

Xie Yuanshu’s face turned livid—He Xijin was usually reticent, and he had no idea this person had such a talent for stumbling over words. At first, everyone managed to keep a straight face, but later on, they felt like dying from holding back their laughter.

At night, the sounds of clinking cups and mingling voices gradually subsided at Emerald Peak.

The knowledgeable disciples escorted the guests to their rooms to rest. Xie Yuanshu embraced several newly acquired beauties, enjoying himself to the fullest. The other disciples, whose morale had greatly diminished, felt quite dispirited.

The security within the entire Yuhu immortal Sect was not tight.

Dark Thunder Peak, in particular, was especially quiet.

There were three side halls here where Xie Lingbi, Xie Hongchen, and Huang Rang resided. Because the other disciples were busy with the ceremony for the succession of the sect master, there were only a few disciples from Baicao Peak taking care of them.

The disciples from Baicao Peak didn’t possess much combat power, so Di Yiqiu, accompanied by Bao Wu, easily subdued them.

As he stepped into the hall, the first thing he noticed was the strong smell of herbs. He furrowed his brow and, following the information relayed by Li Lu, found one of the side halls. He pushed open the door and found Huang Rang lying on the bed.

Huang Rang had heard the sound and knew it was him. She felt somewhat pleased in her heart.

“I didn’t expect that we would meet again,” she said softly.

Di Yiqiu frowned. The woman on the bed was not how he remembered her. The Huang Rang in his memory was dignified on the outside but gentle and charming at her core. She was the kind of woman whose brilliance couldn’t be overshadowed by anything.

Huang Rang noticed his gaze and said, “I look terrible now, don’t I?”

Di Yiqiu lowered his gaze and said calmly, “How did you become like this?”

He spoke as if he cared, as if they had known each other for a long time. But in reality, their interactions had been quite shallow. Huang Rang struggled a bit but couldn’t move. Di Yiqiu took two steps forward and helped her up.

However, with just that slight movement, she began to cough up blood again.

Di Yiqiu was not knowledgeable in medical principles, but he knew that her life force was fading away.

He asked, “Wasn’t there anyone to treat you?”

Huang Rang smiled and shook her head, saying, “It’s incurable. I’m barely hanging on. If it weren’t for seeing you and feeling momentary joy, I probably wouldn’t be able to speak anymore.”

Di Yiqiu’s face remained cold, and he still hadn’t looked up. After a long silence, he said, “I always thought you were doing well. You should be doing well, shouldn’t you?”

A lifetime of planning and achieving. Shouldn’t she be doing well?

“Don’t bring it up.” Huang Rang waved her hand and said, “Can you take me back to the Qilu Terrace?”

Di Yiqiu furrowed his brow and asked, “What for?”

Huang Rang sighed, “I just… can’t get used to being in such a miserable state. If I can go back, at least I can change into clean clothes.”

Di Yiqiu didn’t say anything more. He simply bent down and lifted her up in his arms.

On this night in the Yuhu immortal Sect, the moon shone brightly in the sky.

It was very quiet all around, and the disciples guarding the mountain were not on patrol. Di Yiqiu carried her, avoiding the lights and taking the narrow paths. It seemed that over the years, he had become very familiar with the paths of the Yuhu immortal Sect.

Huang Rang was cradled in his arms, her gaze catching glimpses of the indigo night sky and twinkling stars.

Di Yiqiu’s pace was quick, yet his footsteps were light.

In his embrace, Huang Rang felt a sense of stability. During those days when she was in the Celestial Court, Di Yiqiu often held her like this, so she had become quite accustomed to it. Unfortunately, in the dream of Huang Liang, everything was but an illusion( read the note below to understand these sentences).

When they reached the Qilu Terrace, Di Yi Qiu asked, “Where are the clothes?”

Huang Rang pointed to a room behind them, and Di Yiqiu pushed the door open.

This puzzled Huang Rang; he seemed to have no sense of caution. And when Di Yiqiu took a look inside, he was speechless. There were really a lot of Huang Rang’s clothes. The room consisted of three connected chambers, all of them filled with her dresses.

Di Yiqiu was astonished. He only had six sets of official robes: three for spring and summer and three for autumn and winter. Simple and plain, they could all fit into a single box with room to spare, without any extras.

But now he had no choice but to take out those clothes one by one and hold them up in front of himself for Huang Rang to choose.

Some of them were exceptionally lightweight, and even after looking at them for a long time, he couldn’t figure out how they were worn. He was completely baffled.

—Where exactly do these things cover?

Huang Rang chuckled softly for quite a while before selecting a dress in orange-red. The color of the dress resembled autumn maple leaves, with a touch of fading splendor.

Di Yi Qiu handed her the dress and asked, “Can you change by yourself?”

She must change, even if it means risking her life! Huang Rang nodded and struggled to sit up. She began to undress. Di Yiqiu silently turned his back, standing upright as before. Huang Rang saw his shadow cast on the wall by the candlelight, as graceful as a jade tree.

T/N: “A Dream of Huang Liang” comes from “The Pillow in the Pillow” by Shen Jiji in the Tang Dynasty. In the seventh year of Kaiyuan Tang (719), Taoist Lu Weng met a poor scholar, Lu Ying, in a guest shop on the ancient road in Handan. Lu Ying lamented that he was poor and destitute, and his ambitions were hard to reach. Lu Weng then took a celadon pillow and let Lu Ying sleep on it. Because Lu Ying fell into a dream, he enjoyed the prosperity of the world in his dream. After waking up from the dream, he saw that the yellow millet that the store was cooking was not yet cooked. Lu Weng on the opposite side smiled and said, “Is it fun?” Lu Ying couldn’t help feeling melancholy for a long time. As a result, he had an epiphany and no longer wanted fame.

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