Xie Hongchen was indeed determined to free Dai Yue from slavery.
In the mortal world, once someone becomes a slave, they become the property of their master. The master can buy, sell, and even kill them at will, leaving them with no freedom whatsoever.
Xie Hongchen understood the suffering involved, and the remarkable woman who cultivated Liang Mi and allowed millions of disaster-stricken people to survive the famine had clearly earned his sympathy. If he wanted to save her, he couldn’t simply take her as a concubine like he did with Di Yiqiu.
Now, the Yuhu Immortal Sect was at the peak of its power, and as its master, if he gave the order, even if the people of Huang Shu were reluctant, they wouldn’t dare to resist.
However, the information reported by his disciples was unexpected. Even someone as wise as Xie Hongchen found it strange.
His disciples had thoroughly investigated Dai Yue’s background. She was born after her mother was defiled by a fox spirit, and she grew up as a slave in the Huang family. Later, she was assigned to Huang Rang’s courtyard and became his personal maidservant.
After the beginning of the Chengyuan era, Dai Yue, who was once an unknown servant girl, suddenly rose to become an expert in breeding.
At the beginning of this year, Di Yiqiu of the Celestial Court even offered her the precious Xiancha town as a marriage proposal, intending to take her as a concubine.
The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com. If you are currently on the site and and you are seeing this, please clear your cache.
Ju clnsxkdt Pk Zkikw’p nsdnwckdl, Pyk Zwl oswze dyvwayzzu cl qalle qasx pzyhlau. Gde Pk Zkikw dlhla ldtytle kd wdrasqkvyczl elyzp; kq bl oydvle vs cwu vbkp pzyhl tkaz, svblap xktbv byhl vbl pyxl kely.
Tsolhla, kq Pyk Zwl clnyxl bkp nsdnwckdl, vbspl rlsrzl oswze byhl ds svbla srvksdp vs nsdpkela.
Jwv obyv byrrldle dlmv oyp lhld xsal ckgyaal: vbl Oxrlasa, Fbk Elduw, kdhkvle Pyk Zwl vs vbl ryzynl vs nwzvkhyvl ayal vall prlnklp, cwv Pyk Zwl xydytle vs jkzz vbl pllezkdtp. Mbl Ulzlpvkyz Uswav vbld vwadle vs Twydt Sydt qsa blzr.
Gde ps, vbl kely sq Pk Zkikw vyjkdt Pyk Zwl yp y nsdnwckdl oyp ycydesdle.
Ohlauvbkdt pllxle qwzz sq xupvlaklp.
Pswcvp qkzzle Dkl Tsdtnbld’p xkde, rasxrvkdt bkx vs vbsaswtbzu kdhlpvktyvl vbl Oul sq Esaze Vlanlrvksd sq vbl Dkydnby Msod. Mbl Oul sq Esaze Vlanlrvksd sq Dkydnby Msod bye y zsdt bkpvsau; kvp saktkdyz rwarspl oyp vs elvla elxsdp yde ralhldv nbysp.
Jwv dso vbyv bl bye eswcvp, bl nswzed’v blzr cwv vyjl y nzspla zssj.
Mbl Oul sq Esaze Vlanlrvksd oyp zsnyvle wdela y cyduyd vall kd vbl nldvla sq vbl vsod, sqqlakdt y casye hklo. Gqvla scplahkdt qsa y zsdt vkxl, Dkl Tsdtnbld ekpnshlale yd ydtzl qasx obknb bl nswze pll y rklnl sq qyaxzyde clzsdtkdt vs vbl Twydt qyxkzu. Tyzq sq vbl qyaxzyde kd Dkydnby Msod oyp wple qsa vbl Twydt qyxkzu’p nwzvkhyvksd lmrlakxldvp.
And before the beginning of the Chengyuan era, Huang Rang personally took care of this piece of farmland most of the time.
That year happened to be the year when Dai Yue cultivated Liang Mi.
Could a half-fox woman who seldom worked in the fields really cultivate such a world-shaking thing?
Xie Hongchen couldn’t understand it, but another person caught his attention.
Among the farmland, Huang Rang was graceful and gentle. She often stood among the fields, observing the tenants planting and caring for the seedlings. She never acted haughtily, and her words were always filled with kindness.
Her interactions with men were always appropriate, showing a calm and composed demeanor that seemed almost too perfect for a real person.
Xie Hongchen’s gaze lingered slightly on the image of Huang Rang. She was instructing a few tenants on how to plant. He redirected his scattered thoughts and refocused on Dai Yue.
Testing her authenticity was, in fact, very easy.
—Didn’t the emperor,Shi Wenyu, personally test her?
Thus, Xie Hongchen visited Xiancha Town once again, causing a sensation throughout the town. He ordered the local guards to gather all the people under the banyan tree at the center of Xiancha Town.
With his command, who would dare to defy?
In no time, the area under the banyan tree was crowded with people.
Xie Hongchen, with his white clothes and black hair, stood with his hands behind his back. The townspeople automatically made way for him, and he stood among the crowd like frost and ice.
The townspeople gradually gathered, and of course, the Huang family members were among them.
Huang Shu naturally squeezed his way to the front, positioning himself closest to Xie Hongchen as if to show that he was most familiar with the Sect Master. Xie Hongchen scanned the crowd, and his gaze briefly paused on Huang Rang.
Strangely, among the thousands of people, he happened to spot her with just one glance.
Sensing his gaze, Huang Rang slightly bowed, displaying extreme poise and courtesy.
Xie Hongchen also nodded slightly and said loudly, “Everyone, I’ve heard about Miss Dai Yue from this town. She has successively cultivated good strains like Liang Mi and Bitter Lotus to meet the needs of the people. The Yuhu Immortal Sect admires her benevolence.”
The people started whispering, and Dai Yue’s heart filled with excitement. The Sect Master indeed remembered her! The thought of being able to free herself from slavery and even having the chance to join an immortal sect made her breath quicken.
However, Huang Shu’s expression wasn’t as pleasant.
After all, Dai Yue was like a money tree to him. If he gave her to Di Yiqiu, he would obtain Xiancha Town. But if he gave her to the Yuhu Immortal Sect, he would be left empty-handed.
The immortal sect didn’t care about slavery, but what benefits could the Yuhu Immortal Sect offer him if they wanted someone?
He furrowed his brows.
At that moment, Xie Hongchen took out a pot of spirit herbs from his storage artifact and changed the topic. He said, “Today, the Yuhu Immortal Sect has a special spirit herb called ‘Merit Leaf.’ We would like Miss Dai Yue to cultivate it and enhance its medicinal properties. If it can reach three times its current potency, there will be generous rewards.”
Dai Yue looked bewildered.
Xie Hongchen gestured to her, and she stood among the crowd, feeling at a loss. Someone beside her reminded her, “Miss Dai Yue, the Sect Master is calling you. Go over quickly!”
Step by step, Dai Yue approached Xie Hongchen, looking at the pot of Merit Leaf in his hand. She dared not reach out to take it.
Xie Hongchen gently said, “Miss Dai Yue, please.”
Trembling, Dai Yue received the herb, and then Xie Hongchen delivered another heavy blow: “Please allow all the townspeople to accompany you in the cultivation process, so they can understand the hardships and difficulties involved in cultivating good strains.”
The people cheered loudly, but Dai Yue knew that she couldn’t fake anything in front of thousands of eyes.
Huang Shu looked puzzled; he didn’t understand Xie Hongchen’s intentions.
Taking big strides, Xie Hongchen walked towards Huang Rang and said, “Miss Rang, could we have a private conversation?”
Huang Rang immediately replied, “Of course.”
They left the crowd together, and Xie Hongchen finally asked, “There’s something I don’t understand. I hope Miss Rang can enlighten me.”
Huang Rang slightly bowed and said, “Please speak, Sect Master.”
Xie Hongchen asked, “The true master of the Huang family’s breeding expertise isn’t Dai Yue, but Miss Rang, isn’t that right?”
Huang Rang’s heart was clear as a mirror, but her expression briefly faltered. She evaded the question, saying, “Sect Master, why do you ask such a thing?”
Xie Hongchen continued, “Over these years, you managed the Huang family’s breeding business and put in a lot of effort. According to the Yuhu Immortal Sect’s investigation, before the beginning of the Chengyuan era, you had quite a few excellent strains. However, since they were from the Huang family, they were all attributed to Huang Shu. You have the talent but lack recognition. In the beginning of the Chengyuan era, you effortlessly cultivated Liang Mi, but in the end, the credit was taken by the servant, Dai Yue.”
He spoke at a steady pace, keeping an eye on Huang Rang’s expression, and continued, “As the master, why did you let your servant take credit for your achievements?”
Of course, that was for you, my husband.
Huang Rang sneered inwardly but showed no sign of it on her face. She took a step back and said, “Sect Master, you are overthinking it.” Then she turned and left.
Xie Hongchen’s suspicions deepened. He was not the kind of person to overlook details, and if there was one exception in his life, it might be Huang Rang. He both despised and couldn’t let go of her.
Today’s events weren’t going to be left unresolved.
Indeed, Xie Hongchen was determined to get to the bottom of things.
The villagers kept a close watch on Dai Yue day and night, excited to witness her cultivation of good strains. Some storytellers were already busy revising their tales, ready to tell the world about them.
Dai Yue needed various items, which the people provided for her. She was like the moon, surrounded by stars, trapped under the banyan tree.
Everyone talked about this significant event, predicting that Dai Yue would gain fame throughout Xiancha Town.
Meanwhile, as Xie Hongchen passed by Huang Shu, he caught a whiff of the spirit herb’s scent.
He had smelled this aroma before, but now, with Huang Shu holding a smoking pipe, the smell was much stronger. Although Xie Hongchen was a sword immortal, he was also skilled in alchemy. His sensitivity to herbs far exceeded that of an average person.
The medicinal properties of these spirit herbs were much stronger than usual. Huang Shu’s way of smoking them would undoubtedly lead to addiction. Ordinary awakening pills wouldn’t have any effect at all.
Xie Hongchen glanced at Huang Shu’s smoking pipe but didn’t say much. Nevertheless, a thought was slowly taking shape in his mind.
— How could Dai Yue, being a servant, take credit for her master’s accomplishments?
If there was some leverage her master had over her, then it made sense.
But what leverage could Huang Shu possibly have? The variations in the spirit herbs he smoked seemed to be connected to Huang Rang. If she had cultivated those variations to poison her own biological father, it would explain things.
Moreover, after Huang Shu became addicted to smoking the herbs, he was under Huang Rang’s control. She had the motive and would benefit from it.
If Dai Yue knew about this, she might be able to threaten Huang Rang to relinquish the credit for cultivating the strains.
The more Xie Hongchen thought about it, the more logical it seemed. However, he couldn’t understand why Huang Rang would want to harm Huang Shu.
Despite Huang Shu’s flawed character, he was still her biological father. Her actions were chilling.
Seeing him head to Huang’s farmland, Huang Rang knew he had almost figured everything out.
Most likely, she should unleash her trump card now.
Xie Hongchen, whether in dreams or reality, I have been doing all of this for you with good intentions.
As Xie Hongchen arrived at the fields, he soon discovered a small plot of land with spirit Herbs growing in it.
With just a glance, he immediately noticed the small amount of variation mixed in. He plucked a flower from one of the mutated spirit Herbs and smelled it closely. Its medicinal effect was far more than three times stronger.
It seemed that this woman had to go as well.
As he was about to return to the banyan tree with the flower in his hand, suddenly a woman blocked his path.
“Master Xie,” she said, bowing deeply to Xie Hongchen. He frowned, recognizing her as another earth spirit, and asked, “Who are you?”
The woman said, “I am named Huang Jun.”
Xie Hongchen searched his memory but couldn’t recall this name. The woman smiled as she explained, “I am Huang Rang’s elder sister, from the same father and mother.”
Upon hearing that, Xie Hongchen finally noticed the resemblance between her and Huang Rang, though their charms and elegance couldn’t be compared. He asked, “So, you are Miss Huang Jun? What do you want to say?”
Huang Jun bowed deeply again and said, “No matter what you discover, please do not harm Rang.”
“Oh?” Xie Hongchen became slightly interested and asked, “Why is that?”
Huang Jun bowed deeply once more and said, “Do you know what lies beneath this patch of spirit Herbs?”
Xie Hongchen wasn’t interested in playing guessing games and remained silent. Huang Jun could only explain, “It is our mother, the mother of both Rang and me.”
Underneath the spirit Herbs, the soil was mixed with fine sand. Suddenly, Xie Hongchen remembered that earth spirits turned into sand after their deaths. He asked, “Do earth spirits use their mother’s remains to plant herbs?”
“Certainly not,” Huang Jun said, reminiscing about the past. “Our mother was the main wife of Huang Shu, our father. When she married into the Huang family, she faced opposition from the entire clan. However, she insisted on severing ties with her own family and accompanying our father to live in this small town of Xiancha. Without the backing of her family, our father soon revealed his true colors. He began to take in many concubines. Countless beautiful women entered the Huang household like flowing water.”
She recalled that time with a voice as dark as the sea at night: “Mother cried and pleaded, wanting to bear a son to secure her position as the main wife. But… she gave birth to me. Father ignored her, and the other women ridiculed her. She sank into depression day after day, and later, she became irritable. However, she didn’t give up. She tried all sorts of medicinal formulas and finally became pregnant again.”
Xie Hongchen didn’t speak; he knew the outcome.
As expected, Huang Jun continued, “She was ecstatic, but during her ten months of pregnancy, she gave birth to my younger sister, Huang Rang. No one in the Huang family cared about her. My father’s concubines continued to give birth to one child after another. My mother wanted to be strong and wanted to give birth again. However, by then, her body was already weak. Those women looked down on her one by one. She was desperate and even dreamed of giving birth to a son. But my father never came to her courtyard again.”
Huang Jun’s words paused at this point, and Xie Hongchen couldn’t help but inquire further, “And then?”
“Then one day, my father finally came. That night, he was drunk and caught me in my mother’s room.” Xie Hongchen was shocked, and Huang Jun continued, “He… violated me. My mother, after drinking the fertility medicine, returned to her room and saw that scene.”
Xie Hongchen couldn’t imagine the scene. Huang Jun said, “But my mother couldn’t do anything to him; she could only vent her anger on me. She cried and called me a slut, accusing me of seducing my own father. Ah, she grabbed my hair and tore a piece of my scalp off.”
She smiled and pointed to the scar on her head, where no hair would ever grow again.
Huang Jun’s voice was neither sad nor happy as she continued, “From that moment on, every time my father visited my mother’s courtyard, he made me accompany him. Gradually, people in the Huang family learned about this, and they used every vicious word to humiliate my mother and us sisters. Every time she endured this humiliation, she came back and beat us sisters.”
Xie Hongchen remained silent as Huang Jun said, “At that time, Rang was still young and didn’t beg for mercy even when being beaten. She stubbornly endured it. Finally, one day, when Mother took a knife and wanted to scar my face, I blocked it with my hand…” She raised her arm, showing the scar that ran deep into her flesh. “Rang suddenly rushed over, snatched the knife, and cursed Mother with the cruelest words. Then she dragged me away from the courtyard.”
Huang Jun smiled and pointed to the land, saying, “We sat here embracing each other, too afraid to go back. But as night fell, we finally decided to return and take a look.”
Xie Hongchen asked, “Your mother… is she still angry?”
Huang Jun looked up, gazing at the sky for a long time before softly saying, “She’s gone. When we returned, we found her dead. She used that knife to dig out her own heart. Huang Rang and I were right there, watching her spiritual energy slowly dissipate, turning into yellow sand. After enduring so many years, she finally chose to die.”
“Ah, father didn’t care about her and even ordered that no memorial tablet be erected for her burial. Huang Rang scattered the sand she had turned into here and later planted spirit herbs here.” Huang Jun didn’t cry; she hadn’t shed a single tear throughout.
Finally, Xie Hongchen asked, “Are you okay?” He knew what it meant for a woman to have such a reputation.
Huang Jun gazed at the spirit herbs as if answering someone else’s question. She took a deep breath and said with a smile, “I’m doing fine. After Huang Rang took over the family business, she married me off. I married far, very far away. So far that… no one has heard of my past there. My husband’s family buys good breeds every year, so sometimes I can come back to take a look.”
Xie Hongchen fell silent.
Huang Rang never appeared. This was the truth she laid out before Xie Hongchen.
And in the fifth year of Chengyuan, outside of dreams, Dai Yue kept this hidden from Xie Hongchen. Now, she uncovered her scars and showed them to him, still bleeding.
Why did she poison her own biological father?
Huang Rang sneered; of course, it was for seizing power. In such a muddy world, how despicable human nature could be.
If people want to live with some dignity, they always have to resort to some means.