Translated by Lianyin
Edited by AlexPT
The cacophony of wind and commotion was the most prevalent sound of all after the gate opened. Lin Suci seemed to hear Yan Boshen saying something. But even when he erected his ears and relied on his keen kitty sense of hearing, he could not make out what Yan Boshen was saying. So, the first thing he did upon stepping out of the gate was to look up blankly at Yan Boshen and tug at his sleeve to ask what he had just said.
A pity that Yan Boshen had a heart of stone. No matter how Lin Suci probed, he enigmatically refused to reveal a word to him.
There were over a hundred disciples who had entered the secret realm. The sudden opening of the gate and closure of the secret realm threw them into confusion. Like dumplings being thrown into the pot, a dense mass of hundreds of disciples fell out of the secret realm one after another, calling out to each other as they searched all over for their own fellow sect members.
Lin Suci was lucky to be carried in Yan Boshen’s arms all this while, so he was largely unaffected despite all the tossing and tumbling around earlier.
Having failed to pry the words out of Yan Boshen’s mouth, Lin Suci wrinkled his nose and simply decided not to think about it. He craned his neck out to look all around for his own fellow seniors.
Lin Suci’s eyes widened in a stare around the sea of people. With a talisman to enhance his vision stuck to his forehead, he swiftly searched among the crowd before he caught sight of one.
Huilian cut a sorry sight as he staggered around with Zhongli Haiming in his arms, while Xiaolan was still holding up a spiritual beast high above his head. All three of them were at a loss and in a fluster. But when they saw their little junior waving his arms at them from afar, their eyes brightened, and they forcibly squeezed their way through the crowd.
Yan Boshen finally released his grip when they reached outside.
Once Lin Suci and his seniors gathered together, Xiaolan probed, “How did you guys suddenly fall into the lake? Are you alright? We went down and swam a few rounds to look for you but to no avail. What happened?”
Lin Suci spontaneously blurted out, “There’s a cave at the bottom of the lake. We made our way out from there.”
“Luckily you’re both fine…”
Xiaolan breathed a sigh of relief. Only then did he stuffed the howling spiritual beast in his hands into his spiritual bag.
“Are those few people still in your spiritual bag?” This was the first thing Huilian asked on coming over.
Lin Suci pointed with his hand, “All fully secured with our eldest shixiong.”
Whether it was Qian Guan or Hu Se, they were all important witnesses to this whole shady business. But the most crucial one was still that youth from the Golden Jade Pavilion.
The disciples outside had already more or less found their fellow sect members. They whispered among one another, totally unable to make any sense of the sudden closure of the secret realm and the opening of the gate. However, this did not stop them from launching a crusade against the Golden Jade Pavilion.
The various sects’ disciples had dispersed and parted ways in the secret realm. So that show Lin Suci had put on had only been witnessed by twenty or thirty people. But after these twenty, thirty people spread it on to the people around them, over a hundred people all came to know exactly what had transpired at that time.
Leaving the others aside for now, just the mere mention of the corrosive effect of the bamboo-destroying grass alone could drain the color from everyone’s faces. The chief disciples of the various sects thus gathered together in batches to mutually exchange information and discuss the matter.
Lin Suci saw Bai Qingkong. He was different from the assertive and domineering protagonist Bai Qingkong in the secret realm. After coming out, he was just simply a weak little cabbage neglected and unloved by his own fellow sect members and companions.
He was ostracized by his fellow sect members. Even though he was clearly standing among them, with his head and eyes lowered, he still looked like that little errand-runner from the Southern Shuge.
Only, Lin Suci knew very well that this little cabbage had an imposing high-level demonic blade teeming with murderous, ominous aura in his hands as well as rare realm-subduing precious gems in his arms; there were even treasures inside of his body.
The unostentatious little cabbage searched all over pitifully like a wilted vegetable for the people he wanted to see. He heaved a sigh of relief when his eyes met Shu Changyi, who was a distance away. And when he saw Lin Suci, who just happened to be staring at him, he bit his lower lip and showed a bashful smile as he waved a hand carefully at him.
Lin Suci returned the greeting and waved back at him.
After waving to the little cabbage, Lin Suci thought about it and waved to Shu Changyi too.
Shu Changyi was courteous and cupped his hands back in return from afar.
Lin Suci turned around and took advantage of the ruckus of human voices engaged in conversations around them to telepathize his voice stealthily to Yan Boshen. “I’ll tell you a secret.”
Yan Boshen’s eyebrows did not even twitch. “There’s a problem with Shu Changyi?”
Lin Suci was astonished. “…” He hadn’t even said anything yet!
How did his keeper know?
“I can tell from the way you behaved that there’s something odd about him,” Yan Boshen explained.
Lin Suci nodded and said quietly, “I had a dream. In my dream, Shu Changyi shouldn’t be acquainted with the little cabbage at this point in time.”
Lin Suci did not say more, but he was perfectly well aware.
In the novel, Shu Changyi was affected by evil energy only on the third day. But this time, he fell into a coma right on the first day. He even knew of the spiritual spring. What’s more, he befriended the little cabbage and accompanied him on adventures this early on.
Lin Suci now suspected that this Shu Changyi was not Shu Changyi.
Forcible possession, transmigration, or… rebirth?
The serious little kitten scratched his own chin. These three options flashed through his head in turn as he hesitated in indecision.
If Shu Changyi really was… then won’t this little cabbage be dug up by the others1—stem, leaves, and all?
So, before that, should he… dig all the good stuff out of him first?
Stirred, Lin Suci lifted his eyes. “Boshen Boshen, the little…”
“If you want to piss me off, then carry on speaking…” Yan Boshen’s voice was very soft, and his tone sounded mild and gentle. Yet, Lin Suci shrank his neck back a little. Surprisingly enough, he could make out a hint of… murderous intent from his words?
Never mind, forget it. Whoever had his way with the little cabbage had nothing to do with him. Anyway, he was the male protagonist of this world, and his protagonist halo was absolute. He definitely would not get bullied. Right.
The most pressing matter of the moment was this Great Keeper of his.
Cupping his own cheeks with both hands, Lin Suci pushed up the meaty flesh of his cheeks and continued his previous words with a pure and innocent expression, “… little white and tender kitten, do you want it?”
The kitten was skinny and still in the midst of development, but there was still a little bit of meat on his cheeks. He looked all the more naïve and adorable with his puffy cheeks pushed up, which also accentuated the innocence and purity in those round, beast eyes of his.
Yan Boshen fell silent. Then he raised his hands to pinch Lin Suci’s cheeks and squeezed them hard.
“Ow ow ow!” Lin Suci did not expect Yan Boshen to pinch him and hurriedly saved his own face from Yan Boshen’s demonic claws. With great difficulty, he finally broke free. His cheeks had turned red from the pinching, a few finger marks left behind.
Zhongli Haiming was delighted to see this and clapped his hands to cheer. “Eldest shixiong really ought to have disciplined him. See how he will still dare to act so arrogantly all day.”
Lin Suci rubbed his poor, tortured face. “Can’t you show me a little brotherly love?”
On hearing this, Zhongli Haiming dug around in his cloth bag and fished out a handful of fragmented gold gems. “Here. Don’t say this shixiong of yours doesn’t show you brotherly love. It’s good stuff. I kept it specifically for you.”
Lin Suci’s eyes lit up. Although these were fragmented pieces of gold gems, they had a bright, luminous luster. This scattering of light in his hand was really a pretty sight to behold.
The gold gemstones of Purple Gold Gemstones Mine were not something that was easy to gather. Most importantly, there was only one place where these gold gemstones could be found.
Lin Suci took the fragments of gold gems and asked with a beam, “Little shixiong, how did you manage to get your hands on this treasure?”
Whether the gold gems were pretty or not was secondary. The primary and most important thing was the hardness of the material. It would be for the best if these were used to forge magical weapons.
Although this bit of fragmented gold gems could not be used to craft anything, it would still prove to be beneficial when used in talismans.
“I picked them up from the ground.”
Huilian looked left and right. The people around them had all gone forth to surround those disciples from Golden Jade Pavilion to dispute and discuss with them, creating an incessant ruckus. Huilian let out a soft cough, like a thief with a guilty conscience.
Lin Suci’s smiling face froze. “… Picked them up?”
Was their sect really so poor that they even had to get their cultivators to go pick things up from the ground?
“Don’t listen to Third-shixiong.” Zhongli Haiming promptly rectified the error and cleared his name. “We didn’t pick them up. We smashed them off from the gold gemstones.”
“You only smashed it once. It was when everyone was busy smashing away at it that you seized the opportunity to get these fragments back,” Huilian added.
And so Lin Suci found out from their conversation that they had encountered a team who went to hack away at the gold gemstones, and they had conveniently gone to glean some in passing.
It was just that…
“Those people are so formidable that they could even defeat the winged demon?” Lin Suci held up the fragments of gold gems in both hands and stuck out his tongue in astonishment.
Good stuff like gold gemstones was not something that could be found everywhere. It was no low-grade material either. To put it more accurately, it was a fine material that could basically accompany a cultivator for half of his or her cultivation journey.
And he knew jolly well that the gold gemstones in Purple Gold Gemstones Mine’s secret realm were guarded by a high-level winged demon whose capability was at the level of a golden core and above.
The little cabbage’s halo had already dealt Lin Suci a blow. And now he was hearing about a bunch of ordinary disciples defeating a golden core demon. How was this possible?
Is everyone but me the protagonist?
Lin Suci was curious. “Who’s that powerful?”
Xiaolan lifted a hand to point the person out with a smile. “Weren’t you waving to him earlier? The one who looked thin and small.”
Lin Suci looked back. “…”
For a moment, his eyes were misty. “The little cabbage? Bai Qingkong?”
“I think that’s his name,” Zhongli Haiming said. “The people from his sect shoved him out like they were getting him to impede the winged demon. At that time, we thought it was impossible. Wasn’t this just sending their disciple to his death? But who knew? That lad sure is something. To think he actually managed to do it.”
It was somewhat surprising, but also somewhat expected. “…”
Lin Suci felt oddly comforted.
From start to end, there had only been one person with the protagonist halo. How nice. There was no need for him to feel crushed now.
“Boshen…” Lin Suci said bleakly. “Let’s go back.”
Yan Boshen did not probe further and waited as Lin Suci kept away the fragments of gold gems before he raised his hand to summon his sword.
“Hold on,” Huilian said. “The people from Golden Jade Pavilion are here. Aren’t we going to ask for an explanation? And there’s the Mysterious Heart Sect too. How can we not punish this bunch of scums?!”
“There are plenty of people who will demand an explanation from Golden Jade Pavilion,” Yan Boshen said indifferently. “Let’s head back first to settle the side affairs of the sect.”
Side affairs… Mysterious Heart Sect?
Lin Suci was curious. “Boshen, Boshen. How are we going to settle it?”
Yan Boshen patted his head and said in a gentle voice, “How about exterminating the sect?”
Lin Suci blinked. “… Hahaha. Boshen, your joke is so funny.”
“Yeah. A joke.” Yan Boshen’s unfathomable eyes arched, revealing a hint of a smile.
Looking fixedly at Yan Boshen, Lin Suci hesitated.
Why did he feel that those words his keeper had said earlier did not seem to… be a joke?
Is he really going to exterminate the sect for real?
He’s joking right? Lin Suci tugged at Yan Boshen’s sleeve. “You can forget about exterminating the sect. Someone already pre-ordered its destruction.”
If his keeper were to beat the antagonist Yan Ran to it, then wouldn’t that just invite attention from the latter? A small sect like theirs would probably be destroyed by Yan Ran in just the time it took for him to raise his hand.
No, no. That cannot happen.
“Oh?” Yan Boshen’s interest was sparked. “Who?”
Lin Suci opened his mouth. “Of course it’s Yan…”
An intimidating voice blazing with infinite wrath and fury descended from the sky, enunciating each and every word.
Before Lin Suci could finish his words, his heart felt as though a giant palm had suddenly clenched hold of it, causing him to tremble all over. The instant he heard the roaring in his ears, he could not hold back the wave of metallic taste rising in his throat and coughed out a mouthful of fresh blood with a wail.
Shocked, Yan Boshen said, “Fuck this shit. Imma just yeet myself outta here and marry Lianyin instead.”
=end of novel=