Estranged - Chapter 17

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Chapter 17. Because you want to kill me

“Huh?”

Hummed Yun Hai in a low and deep voice. His hand on Changming’s waist was a bit too warm.

“Because you want to kill me.”

Changming sighed. Indeed, if a tiger went down to level land, it would be insulted by dogs.

If a tiger went down to level land, it would be insulted by dogs: a man who lost position and influence is subjected to indignity.

Those years, he overran the whole world, could go anywhere he pleased, followed his heart’s desires, and could enter the Qingyun School, the Celestial Abode Shenxiao, and all other places meeting no resistance; how did he fall so low that he let this Yun Hai threaten him?

“When this man attacked me with his knife, I had three options. First, to defend myself. Second, to look for your protection. Third, go to daoyou Xu. When I met your eyes, I noticed you raised your hand slightly, looking at me. If I passed by, you would have killed me without the slightest hesitation.”

Yun Hai smiled: “Daoyou Changming is very meticulous in his observations.”

Changming: “When I decided to go to Lady Xu, it was already too late, so I could only choose self-defense at first.”

Yun Hai: “I didn’t expect daoyou Changming to know the Art of control.”

Changming: “I’m in bad health, so I don’t move unless I have to. Forcibly using this Art causes a backlash, and I’m paying the price right now.”

Yun Hai: “A person with no abilities can’t take a single step in the Nine Layers of the Abyss. Instead of dying a miserable death, it’s better to let me solve daoyou’s worries, since death can solve any trouble. But I’m pleasantly surprised that you actually know the Art of control and can defend yourself if you put enough effort. I want to see how long you can survive in the Nine Layers of the Abyss, so I won’t make an unnecessary move.”

Changming: “Then I’m really thankful for daoyou Yun’s mercy.”

Yun Hai: “Don’t mention it. I’m a very compassionate man.”

“Do you know Xiao Yun?” Changming asked suddenly.

Yun Hai raised his eyebrows: “Is it daoyou Changming’s nickname for me? Then should I call you Xiao Chang? Or Xiao Ming?”

Changming: …Just forget that I asked.

He started coughing again, and the taste of blood in his throat got stronger. Changming didn’t want to vomit blood, so he endured and swallowed it, but that only made him feel worse.

Yun Hai even patted him on the back and said, showing a tender affection: “Daoyou Changming should rest more.”

His manner of speaking was very intimate, and a stranger would have thought they shared some kind of an unspeakable relationship.

Xu Jingxian vented her anger completely and finally remembered about Changming’s existence. She jumped back to the roof just to see the two of them having this “intimate scene”, and felt a bit odd trying to figure out when they had become so close. Suddenly, she met Yun Hai’s eyes, and couldn’t help but be a little frightened, averting her gaze subconsciously.

In a moment, Xu Jingxian decided to confirm this feeling and looked at Yun Hai again.

She finally realized what was odd.

Compared to his gentle and amiable behaviour, his eyes were too calm, like stagnant water with no waves. The eyes Xu Jingxian saw were dark, and if she tried to probe how deep they were, she would definitely see—

Endless evil spirits, mountains of corpses and seas of blood; if you immerse in there by mistake, you will never be able to come back.

This person was even more terrifying than Clan Master Zhou.

Yun Hai saw Xu Jingxian staring at him and smiled at her, as if he was interested in her.

Xu Jingxian couldn’t help but take a few steps back.

She looked at Changming again.

He bent slightly because of coughing, and she couldn’t see his expression in the darkness; Xu Jingxian failed to notice any traces of him suffering because the other hurt his waist. On the contrary, it was hard to describe the expression on Yun Hai’s face, probably because he didn’t manage to frighten the other and was thinking about something.

At that moment, the battle between Bei Shu and the whip wielder was reaching its climax.

Bei Shu jumped right to his opponent. He raised his long staff high, its whole shaft dazzling like Buddha descending to Earth, magnificent yet merciless, like a furious Arhat with a vadjra [1].

This long staff could topple mountains and overturn seas, make rivers flow backwards and extinguish stars. Thunder rumbled, and lightning flashed in the direction of the cultivator with the whip.

Unexpectedly, he managed to withstand it.

His short whip bursted into bright light, covering most of his body in flames. Ignoring the staff, the whip cut through right to Bei Shu’s chest.

Even the slightest mistake, the shortest delay, could overturn the flow of the whole battle.

Almost everyone in Seven Star Rivers was now looking at these two.

Regardless of the outcome, a battle between masters of this scale was bound to be outstanding, leaving a strong impression on many.

But there is always only one winner, while the other might pay a high price, perhaps even lose their life.

“Bei Shu will lose!” Xu Jingxian couldn’t help exclaiming.

She saw that the two of them had equivalent banners and drums, but Bei Shu was still a bit weaker, so he was likely to fall victim to the whip.

Equivalent banners and drums: evenly matched.

“Not necessarily.”

She didn’t notice when Changming had approached her.

Yun Hai was also walking towards her slowly.

“Daoyou Changming is right, the winner is not yet determined.”

Xu Jingxian was watching the battle closely, so she retorted: “Bei Shu seems full of valour and vigor, but in reality lacks powers. That half-demon, on the other hand, is tough, his stamina is high; he can become one of the great masters if he tries more.”

Although she had treaded the path of a demonic cultivator who picks up yang to replenish yin, she was unwilling to use this cultivation method in her heart, but was rather enthusiastic about martial cultivation instead; otherwise, she wouldn’t have risked her life for the Yangzhen Grass that might not even exist.

“You are right, but you’ve overlooked human hearts.” Before Xu Jingxian could digest Changming’s words, the situation changed drastically.

A ray of white light suddenly struck the whip owner from the back!

The powerful white light wasn’t moving very quickly, and its strength wasn’t fierce either, but the whip owner had to fend off the light anyway.

While he was distracted, Bei Shu seized the opportunity to counterattack, and broke his opponent’s defence with brute force. The whip owner’s spiritual powers were disturbed, his defenses torn; even if he was only distracted for a short moment, it was enough for the long staff to reach his head.

“There was a person standing under these eaves just now, looking at these two. If he was not here for Bei Shu, he wanted to attack the other.”

Yun Hai started speaking slowly. The side he was pointing at was just a pitch-black remote corner in the beginning but at the next moment, lightning struck, illuminating the place.

“But this half-demon had already defeated him, so that person had no chance to make a move. That’s why he could only attack using his enemy’s battle with Bei Shu.”

While he was talking, the owner of the whip fell down from the sky powerlessly, which was surely against him rather than in his favor.

Not many people could have predicted such an outcome of the battle. They were still staring blankly at Bei Shu who was standing on the highest spire of Seven Star Rivers with the staff in his hand.

“Bo Ye is dead, Seven Star Rivers has no Owner now. The most powerful general under his command, Tai Luo, is already killed by me. So, from this day on, I am the Owner of Seven Star Rivers! If anyone refuses to obey, they can come forward, and I will give them a chance to challenge me tonight, but after that, anyone who provokes me will be killed mercilessly!”

Beu Shu’s voice could be heard clearly by everyone in Seven Star Rivers even at a great distance.

The town fell into silence.

Nobody was moving.

Some people probably wanted to move, but they were waiting for others to start.

Xu Jingxian finally understood Changming’s words.

After the Owner of Seven Star Rivers had been killed in passing by Xu Fenglin who left for the second layer soon after, Seven Star Rivers was like a swarm of dragons without a head, everyone was in panic. The strongest ones among them who were qualified to take the position of Seven Star Rivers’ Owner were Bei Shu and Tai Luo. Although Tai Luo was superior in cultivation, he didn’t expect Bei Shu’s allies to plot against him under such circumstances.

He was too confident in his skills, and his confidence killed him in the end.

Bei Shu waited for a while, but no one confronted him. His lips curled upwards.

“In two hours, this venerable one will host a banquet on Seven Star Rivers Platform. I respectfully await everyone present to come without written invitations.”

Obviously, he proclaimed himself the Owner of Seven Star Rivers. Those who would attend the banquet would automatically acknowledge his position.

Xu Jingxian had never seen a place change its owner so quickly. Although the Human Realm was ruthless, it wasn’t a place of such undisguised cruelty. After all, the so-called famous and righteous sects paid attention to virtues and honour; even if people from her demonic sect used unscrupulous divisive tactics, Zhou Keyi was very powerful, and although he was moody and hard to please, his position as Master of the Jianxue Clan was never challenged by others.

Changming raised his head.

Thunder and lightning in the sky were fading away little by little, but the black clouds didn’t clear.

The layers of dark and light clouds piled up, as if reflecting the complex, ever-changing situation on the earth.

“Did daoyou Changming solve some kind of a mystery?” Yun Hai asked.

“I’m just thinking, are the dark nights in the Nine Layers of the Abyss always so long?” Changming asked.

“You like bright days more?”

“I like to see clearly. That helps me to realize the truth.”

Changming gave him a look of deep significance, his words having a double meaning.

The other laughed, not overthinking Changming’s words: “Daoyou Changming, daoyou Xu, shouldn’t we attend this banquet together?”

Tn:

[1] Furious Vajra Arhat with his eyes wide open: vajra, lit. “diamond”, a Buddhist weapon. The vajra is a type of club with a ribbed spherical head. The ribs may meet in a ball-shaped top, or they may be separate and end in sharp points with which to stab. I like weapons, and surely everyone loves pictures, so here it is:

Arhat is a person who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and achieved nirvana [wiki]. There is no special type of “vajra arhats” (or maybe I just didn’t find them), but there are “vajra guardians”, those who defend Buddhism. As for the whole metaphor, I presume Bei Shu was described to look roughly like this:

(https://www.163.com/dy/article/FH04SK9R0521JF6I.html)

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