I originally thought that the demon realm was a sinister and terrifying evil cave, hidden in a damp corner no human ever stepped foot in, so dark it never saw daylight.
But the sight before me was nothing like this at all.
Atop a big lake, dense fog swirled around. One could barely see the edge of the lake and glass-like water lilies grew, their appearance crystal clear and extremely dazzling.
An imposing and broad palace stood by the lake side, the two sides of it brightly decorated, appearing like a fairy land at first glance.
I marvelled secretly on the inside. This was much more beautiful than Cui Wei Peak.
Qiong Qi held my neck and flew across the lake, landing before the palace.
I pinched myself, wanting to step on the floor but a sneeze from Qiong Qi threw me to the shrub at the side.
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R vwxczle kd vbl pbawc, xu cseu nshlale kd nszsaqwz rlvyzp. Ebld R aykple xu lulp, R pyo Dkl Nkd okvb yd lmralppksd sq ekpeykd yde R iwknjzu tsv cynj vs xu qllv.
Dkl Nkd zle Cksdt Ck vs vbl essap sq vbl ryzynl obkzl R qszzsole clbkde. Mbl xsal R oyzjle kd, vbl pzsola R tsv, pkzldvzu pvyakdt lhlauoblal, zssjkdt qsa yd srrsavwdkvu vs lpnyrl.
Gp kq bl bye tasod yd lmvay ryka sq lulp, Dkl Nkd pyke, “Psd’v lhld vbkdj ycswv kv. Xdnl usw &dcpr;ldvla xu esxykd, vblal’p ds lpnyrl.”
R oyp pnyale cu bkp pweeld hsknl yde iwknjzu alvaynvle xu oydelakdt lulp.
Mbl tyvljllrla jdlzv esod, nwrrkdt vsoyaep Dkl Nkd kd alprlnv.
R bke clbkde Dkl Nkd yde plnalvzu tzydnle yv bkx, alyzkgkdt vbyv vbl rlsrzl sq vbl elxsd alyzx zssjle vbl pyxl yp saekdyau bwxydp. Mblu eked’v byhl sm blyep sa bsapl-qynl, ps vblu olald’v wtzu yv yzz.
Gp ol oyzjle yzz vbl oyu vs Dkl Nkd’p iwyavlap, ol rypple cu xydu rlsrzl yzsdt vbl oyu yde vblal oswze yzoyup cl psxlsdl obs oswze ypj ycswv xu saktkdp.
Xie Lin would patiently answer them, “He’s a new treasure I picked up today.”
I would’ve brushed it off if he merely smiled but he had to pinch my cheeks and made me smile at them.
I was extremely afraid. Pulling the corner of my lips, I stiffly maintained that arc.
Some people didn’t make salutations upon seeing Xie Lin, instead, they familiarly struck a conversation with him. Xie Lin didn’t seem to mind and languidly responded with a few words.
Looks like in this pit of snakes and mice, there was no division of superior and subordinate.
I was on tenterhooks and all the way until we reached the inner hall, I did not calm down.
The inner hall was decorated extremely sumptuously. Several big night pearls were embedded on top, emitting soft rays of light. The spacious seat was lined with a furry blanket and the bed frame made of simple dead wood from the sea, appeared very sturdy.
The dark red silk fluttered without a breeze, revealing the shelf behind. On top lay all kinds of rare treasures. I recognized a few: dragon bones, night pearls, thousand-year flowers… the rest were objects I’ve never seen, let alone recognize.
Xie Lin flicked my forehead and laughed at me for not having seen the wider world.
I wanted to retort. I’ve seen many treasures in the sea but none above the shore, but after mulling this over, I swallowed the words down.
Someone loudly called out “Your Majesty”. And he seemed to have said something else but because he spoke too quickly, I couldn’t catch it.
When Xie Lin heard his words, his face appeared urgent and he hurriedly left, leaving me alone in the inner hall.
The instant Xie Lin’s figure disappeared, I let out a breath of relief and sat on the ground to ponder over some matters.
My body was covered in filth and I didn’t know where I could take a bath. Once Xie Lin had settled his matters, I wondered how he would deal with me, then I thought, at this moment. Lord Ze Zhou must’ve realized I had disappeared from Cui Wei Peak, and I wondered when he would come rescue me.
After pondering for half an hour, my stomach rumbled in anger. Since I was now an ordinary human, I needed to consume food. On Cui Wei Peak, a kitchen was specially built for me to make food, the cooking auntie said that it was done under Lord Zezhou’s unders.
Lord Zezhou treated me really well. Even when he was thousands of miles away, he still didn’t forget to take care of me.
The sky had turned completely dark and unable to stand it, I tiptoed quietly to the door, pushing open a slight gap to take a look outside.
There was not a single soul outside, only a round moon hanging high up in the air.
With hunger bolstering my courage, I fumbled my way out the door and walked along the promenade, but was unable to find the kitchen.
On the way back, I was nearly discovered by someone. A group of guards suddenly appeared at the corner so I stuck close to the vermillion door frame, not daring to take a big breath.
Once the guards passed by, I suddenly became aware of the noisy voices in the room behind me, seemingly hearing hints of Xie Lin’s laughter.
I stuck close to the door and listened, reaffirming that it was indeed Xie Lin, and in fear of being discovered by him, I slipped away in haste.
Yet the moment I broke into a run, the door creaked open.
Xie Lin stood there with one foot atop a stool. In between his teeth was a game piece, appearing like an earthly insufferably arrogant white-silk trouser1White-silk trousers are commonly used to refer to hedonistic sons of rich families.
They were actually playing pai gow2Pai gow is a gambling game played with dominoes.
The man sitting across from him spotted me and told Xie Lin, “Send him back where he came from, don’t provoke the mortals.”
Seeing a glimpse of hope, I turned my short legs around and held the righteous man’s hand, crying, “Help! Please save me!”
The other man pulled me away and pinched his nose in disgust, “Dirty little thing, don’t touch my lord’s body.”
I stubbornly held on and howled loudly.
The lord he spoke of was the complete opposite of him, his temper was good and he didn’t regard me with the slightest disdain, speaking to me gently.
This lord’s posture was quite straight and had a disposition as kind as jade. I later on learned that he was the second highness of the demon world, Xie Ji.
The person who was glaring daggers at me right now was his servant, Xun Xi. He came from a humble background and was unruly and difficult to tame in nature, only listening to his second majesty’s commands.
Xie Lin was still biting on the game piece, the jade green tile making his face look particularly sinister.
Now that I had a mountain to lean on, I wasn’t afraid of him. I pressed closer to his second majesty’s body, begging Xie Ji to send me back to Cui Wei Peak.
Xie Ji stroked my dirty head but was stopped by Xun Xi who whispered in a low voice, “Your Majesty.”
His tone was dark and cold, making me shiver.
In an instant, only Xie Lin and I remained in the room.
Xun Xi had actually dared to offend his superiors. I immediately decided on the spot to take a detour if I ever came across him in the future.
The second prince was of no use, letting his servant threaten him and simply abandoning me without a word, leaving me alone in this precarious situation.
I regretted it. Truly. I shouldn’t have casually asked another unreliable person for help. Xie Lin’s face was so ugly, there was no doubt he was going to eat me!
Under such a tense atmosphere, humans would still get hungry. My stomach rumbled, breaking the chilly atmosphere.
Xie Lin expressionlessly said, “The little fellow sure knows how to put on an act.”
The moment he uttered the words ”little fellow”, I did not dare refute, only following his words and responding, “This little fellow is hungry and wants to eat something.”
Xie Lin did not hold his stiff face for long and chuckled, asking, “What do you want to eat?”
The moment he broke into a chuckle, I knew that the danger had been temporarily relieved.
I swallowed, and unable to suppress the desires of my heart, I gazed at him with twinkling eyes, “Can I have some chicken legs?”
That night, I had gobbled up 6 chicken legs. I wasn’t sure how the fowls in the demon world were grown but their legs were bigger than my little arm and they tasted tender and spicy, it was such a delight.
After eating my belly full, it took a bit of effort to start walking.
Xie Lin asked, “Does Su Zezhou usually abuse you? Does he not even give you a chicken leg to eat?”
I reluctantly said, “One naturally needs to be a bit more reserved in front of the person you like.”
Xie Lin then responded, “Wait til Su Zezhou comes and gets you, remember to also ask him for a chicken leg as compensation, we demon world people would never eat a loss.”
I immediately made a ton of excuses that my saliva dried before Xie Lin barely agreed to help me conceal his matter.
I quickly besieged him to also forget the previous remark I made about being his child bride.
Xie Lin then warned me, “Don’t ask for a foot after winning an inch3Means something along the lines of don’t push your luck..”