Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 303

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The black smoke that sprayed out of the demonic puppet’s mouth gradually transformed in mid-air into eight demonic claws, which pounced at Li Mo.

“Li Mo, be careful!” Yun Ruoyan shouted. Despite Qiuqiu telling her that Li Mo would be able to handle the situation, the demonic puppet and its abilities were all a mystery to the gathered crowd, so they couldn’t help but turn anxious.

Yun Ruoyan clutched the Scarlet Eye tightly, ready to help at a moment’s notice, but she couldn’t yet fly on her sword. She could only watch on as the eight claws surrounded Li Mo all over, swatting, chopping, and clawing at him. Li Mo’s white robes fluttered as he skirted by each claw’s attack, dodging and twisting away so gracefully that the claws couldn’t even touch the hem of his robes. 

“Father!” Within the suite, as Yun Moxiao looked on anxiously at what was going on in the hall, he couldn’t stand still any longer. “Let’s go out there and help!”

“Help?” Yun Lan’s face was expressionless. “Help whom?”

“To help…” Yun Moxiao opened his mouth, but the words he was about to say stuck in his throat. Yun Lan didn’t know that the Demonic Duo was Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo!

Yun Lan coolly glanced at Yun Moxiao. “Whether this Demonic Duo is friend or foe, we can’t yet tell.” Although Qin Jianmei’s actions were truly unexpected and infuriating, she’s still a member of the Yun family. This is an internal affair, not some dirty laundry to be aired in public. 

And who were the Demonic Duo? They had appeared on the Chenyuan continent out of nowhere, and their first recorded incident was at Yuelu Villa. Allegedly, they snuck into the villa at night to rescue a large batch of beastkin slaves, but beyond that, they had done nothing else of note.

What Yun Lan didn’t understand was why they had suddenly appeared, as well as why they had kidnapped his daughter and targeted Qin Jianmei. If they sought revenge against her, why didn’t they kill her outright? What was the point of orchestrating this entire affair? What were their motives behind staging this show? Yun Lan couldn’t answer any of these questions, so he refused to get involved in the matter.

Yun Lan then carefully scrutinized the figures of the Demonic Duo in front of him. The white-robed man was clearly a master of his art, and he possessed a cultivation advanced enough to stand against even the demonic puppet. However, he had no clue who the man could be.

As for the woman, she was shrouded in an expansive, dark cloak. She neither spoke nor made a move, and it was even harder for Yun Lan to discern her identity. 

Curiously, however, both figures seemed somehow familiar to him. If I actually do know them, then they must have considerable skill at disguise…

“Father, this demonic puppet isn’t something native to the Chenyuan continent, and it boasts extreme offensive power. Given how close this region is to the capital, if we can’t bring it down in time…!” Yun Moxiao quickly thought of an excuse that would goad his father into action. “Father, what’s important now is to get rid of that monstrous creature!”

Yun Lan frowned. Qin Jianmei was still lighting up sticks of incense around the demonic puppet, causing it to slowly grow larger and larger. However… Yun Lan’s gaze landed on Qin Jianmei. Based on his understanding of her, he didn’t think she would make a big mess of things. The only reason she had even deployed the puppet at all was because she had to protect her secret.

It would be far better to show up only after the demonic puppet had defeated the Demonic Duo, or if both parties ended up injured.

“Father!” Yun Moxiao urged anxiously.

“That demonic puppet might not be at its peak strength, but it’s still not an easy opponent for either you or me,” Yun Lan replied. “Not even if we were to team up with that Demonic Duo!”

“In that case, what should we do?!”

“Wait and see!”

They suddenly heard a buckling noise—the puppet had grown so large that its head had finally reached the ceiling and was about to break through to the roof. However, its shoulders were stuck by the ceiling, so it reached out a gigantic hand and toppled the entire roof.

The commotion that the demonic puppet was causing would quickly startle those from the capital, so he began to attack in earnest. With a fireball in one hand and an icicle in the other, he circulated both fire- and ice-attuned spiritual energy at the same time.

“A fire and ice dual cultivator!” Qin Jianmei and Yun Lan were both shocked, Yun Lan especially so. He had only seen such dual cultivators in an alternate dimension—the ridiculously strong, top-tier cultivators could even use three or four different attunements of spiritual energy at once, and there were even legends of those who could employ up to five.

However, this was almost unheard of on the Chenyuan continent. Were the Demonic Duo not cultivators from the Chenyuan continent?

The demonic claws that surrounded Li Mo were impervious to physical attacks, but the spiritual attacks that Li Mo employed did considerable damage to them. After Li Mo began attacking, he swiftly dispatched five of the demonic claws.

“Bodhisattva, what are you waiting for? Kill them!” Qin Jianmei urged the demonic puppet, which spat out a red fog at Li Mo this time.

Just as before, the red fog morphed into eight demonic claws, their nails sharp and long, and a considerable upgrade over the black claws.

“Bodhisattva, aren’t you full of energy? Keep going!” Qin Jianmei continued berating the puppet, then lit up a stick of incense made of blood extracted near her spiritual vortex. The demonic puppet took a huge whiff, then blew out two streams of mist from its mouth, one black and one red. In mid-air, they took on the form of gigantic claws which pounced toward Li Mo.

In a matter of moments, Li Mo was completely surrounded by the claws.

“Qin Jianmei, aren’t you worried about your daughter’s life?” Yun Ruoyan hurriedly shouted.

Qin Jianmei stilled, then directed the demonic claws away from Li Mo, revealing his figure once more. He stood atop his sword, dressed in robes of pure white. A mask covered his face, and his hair was neatly tied behind his head, not a strand out of place. Only then did Yun Ruoyan relax once more.

“If you hand my daughter over now, I’ll consider letting you die a painless death,” Qin Jianmei shouted at Li Mo. She seemed to radiate a demonic aura, having completely lost the tenderness and gentleness that had been her guise. 

“Madam Qin, your daughter also possesses the demonic bloodline. Are you planning on making her a second you?” Li Mo interrogated her scathingly.

“Naturally, my daughter will inherit the legacy of us demonkin.” Qin Jianmei sighed, her sinister expression taking on a hint of misery. “Yu’er fell in love with the crown prince, but the crown prince had never cared for her. Having fallen in love with a man that she would never be able to lay claim to, she would have been destined to remain single her entire life—but no more!”

The sadness on Qin Jianmei’s face transformed into egotistical laughter. “I spent a whole decade trying to raise this Bodhisattva. It might not be at its peak power, but it’s more than sufficient to deal with the likes of you! Once I slaughter you all and continue refining Bodhisattva further, I’d be able to dominate the Chenyuan continent itself! Then, I’d be able to gather my kin and construct a kingdom just for our shamanic tribe, and then we mother and daughter would be able to get anything we want!”

Qin Jianmei inclined her head as she laughed crowingly.

Her unexpected words stunned everyone around. Li Mo had only thought that she was so deeply in love with Yun Lan that she had killed Lin Yuemei and turned Madam An crazy out of jealousy, but she was instead motivated by a rapacious ambition!

Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan had intended to leave her alive in order to question her about Lin Yuemei, but now it seemed as though they had to kill her at all costs, lest they unleash a disaster on the Chenyuan continent.

Even Yun Lan, still watching the commotion in the side room, widened his eyes in shock. As he glanced toward Qin Jianmei, still sitting on the puppet’s shoulder, he thought back to the first time they had met. He had thought the memory lost to him, but now it came back as clear as day.

It was a rainy afternoon. Yun Lan was strolling through the streets when he suddenly ran into a young woman carrying an umbrella. She stumbled and almost fell, but Yun Lan caught her by her waist in the nick of time.

Her face was like a lotus flower, pure and unsullied. When she saw Yun Lan, her face flamed red. Her eyes, like those of a panicked doe, were clear and expressive. 

Decades later, that pure, unsullied, clear, expressive girl had turned into a madwoman...

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