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Please note: There is written smut in the latter half of this chapter, hence it is labelled as R18+/mature. But that’s what most of you readers are here for anyway…

Chapter 4.12

What happens next is full of confusion and chaos. Completely out of his depth, Sui Yuan is reduced to a mere spectator, unable to get involved.

At long last, the Demonic Ruler whom the poor Demonic Cultivators deem as their saviour arrives to the desperate cries of the badly-beaten group. As the sole cultivator in the almighty Blood Lust[1] stage, this individual is just one step away from becoming a Demon God. Having received admiration and respect for the longest time, he naturally looks down on Xuan Ling, who has only just broken through to the later stage before Ascension. As a result, he is beaten down in no time, suffering a sound defeat.

It is at this moment that the distant Heavenly Cosmos and Heavenly Element sect receive news from Shen Jiayi and Shao Peiyuan. Finally sensing that Xuan Ling’s spiritual signature is acting oddly, the leaders of these two brother sects gather their Elders without delay, hurrying towards the Demonic Cultivator’s domain. Eventually, under the combined might of the Elders and the Demon Ruler, they manage to suppress the berserk Xuan Ling.

Although every living Demonic Cultivator present deeply resents the fact that more than half their strongest fell to the blade of one man, they are equally afraid. Additionally, the Demon Ruler is heavily injured and it would be folly to try picking a fight with so many Elders. Powerless to stand against the group of Righteous Cultivators, they can only stare silently as Xuan Ling is brought away. In their hearts, they vow to never speak of this moment again.

Of course, Sui Yuan is also brought back by the Elders. It’s just that due to everyone’s concentration focused on keeping Xuan Ling suppressed but unharmed all the way back to the sect, no one else besides Shen Jiayi and Shao Peiyuan pays him any attention.

As soon as they return to the Heavenly Cosmos sect, Xuan Ling is imprisoned in the cave located behind the mountain. Confined with spiritual energy suppressing tools and layers upon layers of arrays laid out around the area. Assuming he wouldn’t be able to return to his senses for a short while yet, everyone assembles in order to consult each other about appropriate measures to deal with this situation.

As the sole eyewitness to the entire event, Sui Yuan is naturally called to attendance and requested to recount what happened. Explaining everything in detail from the beginning to the end, he confirms that Xuan Ling indeed succumbed to his inner demons due to love and consequently losing his conscience.

Listening to Sui Yuan’s words, the sect leader heaves a deep, heavy sigh. He noticed a problem surfacing in Xuan Ling’s cultivation long ago, and knew this day will come sooner or later. However, he didn’t expect it to come so suddenly, or for Xuan Ling’s reaction to be this intense, leaving him no time to prepare. Surely, when He Lianyu kidnapped Shen Jiayi with the intention of turning her into a furnace, he struck a chord in Xuan Ling, resulting in the Elder exploding with rage.

Since things have deteriorated to this extent, they can only give him what his heart craves, permitting him to slake his desire. After Xuan Ling calms, they will discuss what’s to be done. Thinking up until here, the sect leader confers with his Elders before his eyes fall on the anxious and nervous Shen Jiayi. “Since that’s the case, then you will immediately enter the cave and seek out your master.”

Shen Jiayi startles in alarm. It takes another few seconds for the sect leader’s words to sink in and can’t help a wave of disbelief from rising. Does the sect leader mean her master fell from the Righteous Path due to his love for her?!

Shen Jiayi doesn’t feel that Xuan Ling is even a little bit in love with her. But since the sect leader and Elders have made a decision, and Sui Yuan’s words confirming her master has succumbed to his inner demons, Shen Jiayi’s belief wavers a little. Perhaps she is a little slow when it comes to feelings, which is why she never noticed her master’s regards?

Firstly, her Senior Martial Brother took risks on her behalf, exchanging his life for hers. Then her master trod on the Demonic Path because of her. If she doesn’t take responsibility now, she would be a dishonourable, cruel person. Composing herself, she meets Sui Yuan’s anticipating but hesitant gaze before closing her eyes resolutely, then bows to the sect leader. “Disciple understands.”

Seeing Shen Jiayi withdraw from the temple without glancing back, Sui Yuan swallows the protest he nearly blurted out. Although he knows the real reason why Xuan Ling – or should he say Zhao Xihe – stepped onto the Demonic Path, he clings onto the faintest sliver of hope that the female lead is able to placate the male lead and become a happy couple.

“……You are thinking too much,” 5237 states uncomfortably.

Sui Yuan can only bury his head in his hands silently.

Feeling his beloved disciple’s depression, the sect leader pats his shoulder in comfort. He naturally knows Liu Minghui holds sentimental feelings towards Shen Jiayi – he was even willing to sacrifice his life for her safe return! But ultimately, their first priority must always be to benefit the sect. The feelings of a single individual cannot be more important than the future of the sect itself. In this case, Elder Xuan Ling is more important to them than Liu Minghui, and the sect leader is willing to give the former anything to ensure his recovery. This includes sacrificing his beloved disciple’s feelings for Shen Jiayi.

Lifting his head to stare at the temple doors, Sui Yuan feels like he is drowning in misery.

“……What do you plan to do?” 5237 asks after a short moment of quiet. “If – ”

Before it can finish speaking, Shen Jiayi bursts through the doors. The previously determined expression has morphed into a complicated one, clearly showing that she has been put in a rather difficult situation. Her originally pure white robe is now stained with dust and blood, her hair in disarray. Bafflement and fright visible in her wide eyes, she collapses to the floor immediately after stepping in.

“What’s the matter?!” The sect leader exclaims in shock, shooting to his feet and taking two paces forward. He had believed that misfortune can be turned to blessing by sending Shen Jiayi to Xuan Ling, but little did he expect this to happen. This dishevelled appearance undoubtedly means she was chased out. Xuan Ling has fallen to the point that he can even raise his hands towards the person he loves most!

If – if there really is no way to pull Xuan Ling away from this path, then… The sect leader’s heart aches, his face turning pale and defeated.

“Master… Master, he…” Shen Jiayi breath trembles as though she is recalling a terrible memory. Lips trembling for a moment, she visibly suppresses her emotions and lifts her head, looking at the sect leader before shifting her gaze to Sui Yuan, who is standing by his side. “He said the person he wants is not me… It is…Senior Brother Liu…Liu Minghui…”

Sect leader: “……”

Sui Yuan covers his face with both hands again.

Under the strange stares of the people present, Sui Yuan calmly makes his way out of the temple, deeply resenting the fact that this huge pressure bearing down upon him thanks to the plot derailing once more is all courtesy of his pig teammate.

“What will happen next?” Despite his serene face, Sui Yuan’s thoughts are extremely chaotic, and he feels as though he has been transported to another dimension altogether.

Sympathy written all over its face, 5237 stares at Sui Yuan after observing a moment of silence in tribute. “Perhaps you can choose not to save him? Let him be erased by the system, which means you will be rid of a large problem.”

While he may not be fond of Zhao Xihe, he cannot watch him die, especially when he has the ability to save him. Hence, Sui Yuan doesn’t consider this proposal for even one second.

5237 waves a stubby arm in wordless acknowledgement. To it, human lives are like blades of grass, so besides the life of its partner, it doesn’t care for anyone else. Hence why it dares to suggest this route. Still, it knows Sui Yuan’s nature, and understands that no matter what, he cannot bear to see Zhao Xihe being erased.

“In any case, no matter what you will encounter, you are still determined to rescue him, right? Then don’t think too much about it. Let him do whatever he wants to you. He will definitely take the initiative, so just follow along.”

Sui Yuan nods obediently, heart easing a little.

“Also – ” 5237 pauses, then continues solemnly. “You must remember that whatever you two do later, it is all in the name of rescuing him. There is absolutely no other meaning. You must control yourself, or else the one facing extermination may be you.”

Even though he is a little confused by this warning, Sui Yuan doesn’t ask more, simply nodding his head again. From the system’s peculiar tone, he reckons it is something he doesn’t want to fully comprehend.

Harbouring a sliver of nervousness, Sui Yuan enters the cave. However, contrary to his expectations, Xuan Ling doesn’t appear to be suffering at all. In fact, he looks rather idle and carefree.

His blood-soaked clothes have been changed for a new set and his long hair is neatly combed, draped over his shoulders and left to hang freely as he sits upright beside the stone table. A cup of clear tea[2] rests upon the grey, stone surface. If it isn’t for the chains one can see picking out from beneath his snow-white robes and the shimmering arrays spanning the interior of the cave, Sui Yuan would have thought he was merely here to commence closed-door cultivation.

Catching sight of Sui Yuan, Xuan Ling’s face and eyes becomes gentle, the corners of his mouth turning up as he extends a hand towards him.

“……Are you sure he really succumbed to his inner demons?” No matter how one sees it, Xuan Ling seems pretty clear-minded. Hence, Sui Yuan can’t help voicing his doubts towards 5237.

The system remains taciturn, then finally replies tentatively, “This…I am also not too sure. After all, I have never personally witnessed a Righteous Sword Cultivator fall to the Demonic Path before. I have been relying on the resources at hand to guess…”

Seeing Sui Yuan’s hesitation, the faint smile on Xuan Ling’s face ebbs. His gaze turns chilly, a trace of scarlet seeping into his irises. Sui Yuan’s heart jumps in fright and doesn’t dare dither further. Quickly striding forward so he is standing directly in front of the seated man, he places a hand on his outstretched palm. Strong fingers wrap around his hand and tugs, making him fall into Xuan Ling’s lap.

Drawing Sui Yuan close and holding him tight, Xuan Ling buries his face in the curve of his neck, warm breath teasing bare skin as he exhales, “Minghui…”

Sui Yuan stiffens even as 5237 chokes on its non-existent breath. Soaring into the air, the system turns its back on its partner and zooms away. “I reckon I ought to hide for a while. What’s coming next is considered private affairs. I should respect your personal privacy, right?”

Staring blankly at 5237’s rapidly retreating figure, a lump of congealed emotions clog Sui Yuan’s throat. He can’t believe he had been abandoned just like that! At the most crucial moment, 5237 threw him aside to fend for himself! Weren’t they meant to be partners who would never leave each other?! QAQ

“Zhao…Xihe?” With great self-control, Sui Yuan resists the urge to smack the wandering pair of hands away from his body, repeatedly telling himself to keep calm.

“Shhh…” Xuan Ling interrupts him quietly. “Even if I don’t like it either, right now, I am Xuan Ling, and you are Liu Minghui.”

Sui Yuan: “……You haven’t actually succumbed to your inner demons, right? You are actually very clear-headed?”

“What do you think?” Xuan Ling chuckles softly as he pinches Sui Yuan’s chin lightly, pulling his head down so they are face to face.

Seeing the originally black irises now a solid, dull red, bellying a wild glint that yearns to tear everything within sight into shreds, Sui Yuan inwardly promises to be obedient. Following his body’s instincts, he wraps both arms around the other man’s neck.

An inexpressibly pleased feeling surges through Xuan Ling as Sui Yuan presents such a tame side of himself and even takes the initiative to return his touch. Removing the hairpin at the top of Sui Yuan’s head so that his long hair falls enticingly over a shoulder and flows freely down his back, he combs through the soft, dark tresses gently.

Sensing Xuan Ling’s spiritual energy calming down, Sui Yuan breaths a soft sigh of relief. Despite the fact that he feels somewhat awkward, it isn’t as intolerable as he originally thought it would be. After all, didn’t Zhao Xihe frequently touch him this way before in the other worlds?

“Besides me, has anyone else touched you in this way?” Xuan Ling murmurs, leaning down so that his mouth is next to Sui Yuan’s ear.

Although Sui Yuan doesn’t quite understand what Xuan Ling means by “touched in this way”, in his current situation, he sensibly decides to shake his head.

Evidently pleased by Sui Yuan’s reply, Xuan Ling laughs, a hand sliding beneath the collar of Sui Yuan’s robe and lightly kneading soft flesh. “Then, do you know what I want to do to you next?”

Uncertainty swarming his brain, Sui Yuan shakes his head wordlessly.

Subconsciously, he thinks that maybe what Xuan Ling wants to do is what He Lianyu – or perhaps he should say what he wanted to do to He Lianyu that day in Demonic Cultivator’s dwelling. But it’s a pity that Sui Yuan still has much to learn about this activity. During that time, 5237’s lesson was interrupted by Xuan Ling’s violent intrusion, so he had no chance to learn what the next step is after the removal of clothes.

…Nevertheless, it seems he will learn very soon.  →_→

Looking at Sui Yuan’s ignorance and pure confusion mixed with a little unease, the curl of passion stirring in Xuan Ling skyrockets. Even if his system hadn’t protected his mental conscience on time, he didn’t lose all reasoning, for he had numerous revisions done to his psyche over the years of his career. Still, the control he has exerted since the beginning of his berserk state is slowly waning and has all but disappeared as soon as Sui Yuan stepped into this cave. Now, all that’s left behind is his craving to plunder and dominate every inch of this innocent individual.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t know. I will teach you,” Xuan Ling states softly, then abruptly stands, carrying Sui Yuan over to the bed hidden in the corner. Muscles tense and body stretched taut, Sui Yuan can only allow himself to be manhandled until he lays spread out on the relatively hard surface.

Sui Yuan is currently feeling rather bitter. Without 5237 by his side, he doesn’t have the courage to face and accept what will happen next!

Soon, his robes are pushed open, separated to reveal chest…abdomen…navel. Xuan Ling latches onto his mouth, claiming it in a kiss, tongues dancing, and lips clashing. His hands move down Sui Yuan’s body, following the dip of ribs and hipbones before moving to the firm softness of his behind. Any attempt to struggle out of the taller man’s hold is suppressed without mercy. Along with Xuan Ling’s teasing caresses and gentle pinches, Sui Yuan finds his body gradually heating up, breaths coming out in short pants. The heady sensation slowly overtaking his mind makes it seem as though he has lost all control of his own body.

The organ between his legs starts to harden, making Sui Yuan feel a tad nervous at the novel experience. A numbing tingle spreads, starting from his tailbone and up his spine, rushing towards his brains. His body feels heavier now, movements more sluggish as his heart races faster. His arms can’t help but reach out, encircling Xuan Ling’s body, fingers curling as he clutches desperately at the other man’s back.

By now, Xuan Ling has abandoned his swollen lips and move onwards, pressing open-mouth kisses down the slender column of his neck, leaving vivid red marks behind. He doesn’t stop there, tongue tracing the length of a collarbone, sucking a trail down the pale, slim chest, blemishing the flawless skin.

One hand still placed firmly on Sui Yuan’s rear, the other hand slides to the front, over a warm thigh and down to brush teasingly against his small erection. Feeling strangely excited but frightened at the spike of desire to be touched down there, Sui Yuan can’t help the soft gasp as slender fingers wrap around his length, skilfully stroking it. Assaulted by the sensations coming from his pink nipple being sucked and the warm administrations on his erected organ, the inexperienced Sui Yuan couldn’t hold out for long, surrendering to the haze of pleasure. Strings of milky-white substance shoot forth, staining the front of Xuan Ling’s half-opened robes. Sui Yuan’s back arches up and his mouth is once again sealed off in a domineering kiss. This time, Xuan Ling is more aggressive than before, sucking, stroking and nipping Sui Yuan’s tongue until his mouth goes numb.

He is not so far gone that he is unaware when the hand on his behind eventually moves after staying relatively passive for all this while. A slender finger moves towards the gap between his ass cheeks, stroking once…twice…then a single cold digit slips in. Inch by inch it enters his body slowly, exploring leisurely.

Sui Yuan stiffens and wriggles in discomfort, only for Xuan Ling to distract him with kisses. Gradually, his body relaxes as the initial pain fades, not putting up any more resistance. Breaking away from Xuan Ling’s mouth, Sui Yuan gazes up at the man, watching his movements with faint curiosity.

Feeling his stare, Xuan Ling raises his head, the originally stoic, icy visage thawing significantly. Warm tenderness is etched in every line of his face and fills his dark eyes. “Do you know what I want to do next?”

Sui Yuan shakes his head, his thirst for knowledge mixing with rising bad premonition.

Xuan Ling smiles, lifting Sui Yuan up and arranging their positions so he is slotted neatly between the youth’s soft thighs. With their bodies plastered together, he lets Sui Yuan feel his own hard erection pressing against the slim stomach. Voice thick with lust, he pulls his finger out of Sui Yuan’s hole before thrusting it back in. “I want to put it in here.”

As he says this, the lone finger buried in Sui Yuan’s body curls slightly, indicating where ‘here’ is.

Although he lacks all knowledge when it comes to lovemaking, he is not stupid. With Xuan Ling’s index finger pressed in up to the knuckles and his hard organ nudging against Sui Yuan’s flat stomach, he is able to compare the length and width of these two objects. Even a dumb person will be able to tell how much bigger one is from the other!

After three seconds of solid silence, Sui Yuan’s face abruptly pales. Flipping over with the intention of escaping, his plans are dashed by Xuan Ling, who has already prepared for this reaction. A firm hand presses down on his upper back, pinning Sui Yuan flat on his stomach.

“Your mind is rather quick…” Moulding the front of his body to Sui Yuan’s back, Xuan Ling effectively immobilises the youth. Although his tone is light, the dangerous edge beneath it is very obvious. “Do you know, being taken from behind for your first time will be easier on your body?”

Sui Yuan fists his hands helplessly in the bedsheets, suddenly really wanting to weep…

“I’ve said before, you are mine.”

A growl intertwined with a threatening air makes Sui Yuan shiver. A second finger joins the first, a little more impatient this time, thrusting in and out, twisting and stretching him open. Unused to the intrusion, Sui Yuan writhes at the additional burn. But no matter how much the person beneath him whines in protest, Xuan Ling has long reached his endurance limit.

A third finger is inserted not long after, drawing a startled moan of pain and pleasure. Xuan Ling’s dark eyes flash red. Letting his fingers slip free, his hands wrap tightly around Sui Yuan’s hips, absently admiring the pink flush staining the jade white flesh. Leaning down, he trails more kisses down the arched spin, then presses his erection into the hastily-prepped hole.

At this moment, only one thought remains in Sui Yuan’s nearly incoherent mind. 5237 come back! Help! Me! I really can’t take anymore without you ah… QAQ

But under Xuan Ling’s bruising grip and ‘harsh, intense loving’, even that thought flees as he gasps and shudders in pleasure.


The author has something to say: Don’t blame me for making Sui Yuan lose his virginity so soon. Because I want to let this shameless gong sample a grand feast, then force him to abstain for a period of time. Imagine how much his heart will itch *insert Holy Mother smile*

Why, you ask? Find out in the next world…



[1] Blood Lust stage: I assume it is the equivalent of a Righteous Cultivator in the last level before Ascension.

[2] Clear tea: Tea that has been boiled until the leaves become tasteless, then all dregs are removed, leaving clear water behind.

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IANEWtbaSML 4.11

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Chapter 4.11

Like a crafty rabbit who always builds three burrows, a skilled villain like He Lianyu naturally wouldn’t stay in one place after his business has concluded. As soon as he released Shen Jiayi, he immediately brings Sui Yuan to another location before heading straight for his real hideout.

Mindful of the fact that He Lianyu hasn’t completely let his guard down around him, Sui Yuan doesn’t rush indiscriminately into action. Besides displaying abhorrence whenever the other party tries to be intimate, he doesn’t resist in any other way. Fortunately, He Lianyu apparently doesn’t plan on forcing himself on him. Or should he say, he is lucky the time and location is all wrong for more intimate acts. So long as He Lianyu is out of his domain, he will not try to do anything to Sui Yuan.

The entire time, 5237 gives Sui Yuan all sorts of pointers that it thinks might help in his escape. As for his spirit pet, the little Crystal beast’s current whereabouts is unknown, but Sui Yuan is not at all concerned about it as anywhere else would be safer for it compared to remaining by his side.

Bearing the title of the Heavenly Cosmos sect’s Head Disciple and one of the unofficial leaders of the new generation of cultivators, Liu Minghui is regarded highly. After snatching Liu Minghui away, it is only natural that He Lianyu has made appropriate mental preparations and plans for the near future when he is confronted by members of Righteous sects.

In the cultivation world, the Righteous and Demonic sect each claimed one half of it as their territory since a long time ago. Typically, everyone minds their own business because as long as one side oversteps their boundary, what awaits these two parties is a large-scale war. He Lianyu is naturally aware of this point, which is why he brings Sui Yuan directly back to his cave not far from his sect. This way, when the Heavenly Cosmos sect comes knocking on his door, he will be able to call for reinforcement right away.

Righteous Cultivators value their soul while Demonic Cultivators value pleasure and other material desires. Thus, compared to the sparse, bland caves of Righteous Cultivators, He Lianyu’s own dwelling is extremely luxurious. With nothing to fear, Sui Yuan treats this place like his home, calmly enjoying the large jade bath in He Lianyu’s residence, scrubbing himself clean from head to toe. Even if he is now a cultivator with ice veins and jade bones[1], whose body wouldn’t be filthy even if he doesn’t wash all year round, Sui Yuan still likes the feeling of soaking in warm water. Tension flees from his body and his muscles loosen, all fatigue vanishing like smoke in thin air.

Soon, it should be about time he rebels against He Lianyu.

Removing a clean set of clothes from his interspatial pouch, he uses a little spiritual energy to evaporate the moisture on his body before dressing himself properly and exiting the baths.

After a satisfying soak, a languid charm unknowingly exudes from his person, a kind of lazy allure that the original Liu Minghui never possessed. Eyelashes and hair still carrying faint traces of moisture, it serves to enhance his gentle air and delicate features. One look at this obliviously enticing Sui Yuan causes the still-smug He Lianyu to freeze momentarily, heart thumping in his chest. Rising from where he is sprawled on a couch, he encircles Sui Yuan’s waist with both arms, drawing him towards the soft cushions on the other side of the room.

“It is said that when a man’s lust is at its peak, he will lower all defences in that short period of time. When that moment comes, your chances of a successful attack will be the highest,” 5237 persistently continues spewing out the strangest ideas.

“…Are you sure that’s what you want me to do?” Sui Yuan asks hesitantly.

The system falls silent for a second. “Let’s pretend I never said that.”

Sui Yuan: “……”

Sui Yuan was created with no notion of chastity, and his instincts merely tell him that two supporting male leads who are meant to treasure the female lead will cause big problems if they get together. However, the original text which is written from the female lead’s point of view didn’t exactly deny that Liu Minghui and He Lianyu were nothing else but business partners. After all, Demonic Cultivators are people without integrity, and Liu Minghui…he has even lesser integrity than them. If he can use his body in exchange of controlling He Lianyu, Liu Minghui will most probably not refuse. Once he exploits He Lianyu and suck him dry, he would show no quarter and kill the other party off.

If his attempt at resistance fails, Sui Yuan intends to follow the aforementioned route. Of course, whether he will wholly walk down that path is another matter, as according to the storyline, Liu Minghui dies in front of He Lianyu.

Still…at least everything he does up ‘til then will be logical…right?

Half-pressed into the soft cushion, the front of Sui Yuan’s robes has fallen part-way open. Narrowing his eyes, he interrupts He Lianyu’s movements and abruptly flips them around. Although he is startled by it, He Lianyu simply laughs and praises, “Minghui is indeed passionate.”

With an expressionless face, Sui Yuan merely quirks an eyebrow.

Since Liu Minghui has his own pride, he will definitely not adopt a submissive attitude during sex. Under He Lianyu’s deliberate indulgence, Sui Yuan takes the initiative to touch him first. A hand pressing his shoulder down, the other pushes the collar of his violet robes open, revealing a firm chest. Fingertips running teasingly across He Lianyu’s red nipples, his mind is filled with 5237’s loud yells as the system urgently instructs him.

“What should I do next?!”

“Strip him bare,” 5237 says bluntly. “According to my resources, this is a crucial step in the art of lovemaking. Additionally, if you decide to flee halfway, He Lianyu cannot chase after you while naked, so you will have more time to escape when he puts on his clothes.”

The system’s words make sense, so without further ado, Sui Yuan pulls the top half of He Lianyu’s robes down, baring his upper torso to his waist. Only, when his hands drift down towards the man’s trousers, his hands are caught.

“My little treasure is rather impatient,” He Lianyu chuckles.

Lazily lifting a hand to grip the back of Sui Yuan’s neck, the other hand caresses his face from his slender eyebrows to his lower jaw. Although He Lianyu’s motions are neither slow nor hurried, the heat emitting from his bare skin and tensed muscles all betray his increasing lust. His dark eyes burn brightly as he all but devours Sui Yuan with an intense stare.

“Your target is at hand!” 5237’s passion is also at its peak – for a different reason. Darting around Sui Yuan’s head in circles, it cries out, “At this time, the male’s sex organ between his legs is the weakest spot!”

Sui Yuan stares at his system blankly. While he has never experienced being attacks between his legs – or seen it done to others, for that matter – as a male, he can’t help but cringe instinctively.

As Sui Yuan is warring with himself over whether to do it or not, He Lianyu, who is still caught up in rising lust and completely defenceless, pushes himself up on his elbows, intending on plundering Sui Yuan’s mouth. It’s a pity that this plan is interrupted a second time.

An earth-shattering bang instantly breaks the enthralling, steamy atmosphere within the room. Alarmed, Sui Yuan make an abortive move, only to be pulled firmly towards He Lianyu as the other tightens his grip on his neck and waist. Still a little dazed after being abruptly pulled from his haze of lust, He Lianyu isn’t all that clear about what is going on right now. However, he is appropriately startled that an intruder is able to get to this room without setting off or being slowed down by the traps laid out around his dwelling that he takes so much pride in.

The initial wave of sword intent cleaves the entrance of the room in two, and a figure stalks in to the sight of Sui Yuan and He Lianyu frozen like ‘adulterers caught in bed’.

With his white robes opened seductively to reveal a glimpse of chest and shoulders and He Lianyu’s bare upper torso, even a fool would be able to tell what is going on between the two men. A captivating but abnormal faint red colour stains Xuan Ling’s frosty visage. Scarlet bleeds into his originally clear, tranquil black irises. Not saying a single word, a forceful wave of sword intent carrying traces of berserk demonic nature rushes towards the pair. Even an ascended Immortal wouldn’t dare despise the power behind this strike.

Sui Yuan and He Lianyu separate immediately, dodging in two different directions. Having foreseen their actions, the sword intent twists, neatly avoiding Sui Yuan and directly attacking He Lianyu.

Evidently, Sui Yuan is not Xuan Ling’s target, which makes him somewhat relieved. Besides, according to the plot, he is not meant to die here. But a second thought strikes him immediately after, causing him to inhale sharply again.

Xuan Ling’s murderous intent has risen to the point it can only be pacified by seeing the blood of his target. A Solid Aspect He Lianyu is naturally not the opponent of Xuan Ling, who is nearing Immortal Ascension. The former is forced to retreat with each passing second. Even worse, Xuan Ling apparently doesn’t plan to claim his life in one blow, avoiding his vitals while inflicting non-critical cuts all over his body. It seems the Elder wants He Lianyu to wish for death but receive no relief.

– Not only should Liu Minghui survive this scene, He Lianyu also cannot die here ah!

Sui Yuan has nearly gone mad with worry, but because of his identity as Liu Minghui and a mere Core Formation cultivator, he cannot get involved. What he can do is stare at the one-sided fight and pray that either He Lianyu’s reinforcements come on time to defuse this situation, or Xuan Ling will suddenly come to his senses and remember that He Lianyu must not be killed now.

As a crafty villain, He Lianyu naturally has a backup plan. In the split-second after Xuan Ling’s intrusion and the sudden spike of killing intent, he has already called for help. Having received a distress signal, his fellow sect members come rushing over – He Lianyu is a young, talented and well-known Demonic Cultivator. If they make the slightest mistake, their Demonic sect will suffer a huge loss!

Just when it seems Xuan Ling will finally cleave He Lianyu’s heart from his chest, dense, dark clouds cover the cave as chilly gales roar to life. Countless Solid Aspect Demonic Cultivators and those nearing Ascension appear, gathering to attack Xuan Ling en-masse. This time, Sui Yuan is worried that Xuan Ling would die here, and his own situation is rather perilous!

Materialising an advanced charm, he scatters the ball of demon fire heading directly for him. For a short time after, he couldn’t spare any energy to pay attention to Xuan Ling and He Lianyu as he does his utmost best to block every attack heading his way. Fortunately, it seems the weaker, Core Formation Sui Yuan is not the Demonic Cultivators’ primary target. Very quickly, the majority of them are drawn over by the stronger Xuan Ling, allowing him some breathing space.

“I feel that this turn of events is not too encouraging.” As a system whom no one else but its partner can see and interact with, 5237 can naturally observe its surroundings without worry. Right this moment, its tone is confused and uncertain, as though it has unknowingly fallen into a pit.

“I don’t need you to tell me that our situation is unfavourable!” Sui Yuan replies bitterly. Jerking his head backwards when a white round thing pounces towards him, he raises a hand to smack it aside, only to swiftly change directions and catch it once he can make out what this strange object is.

Having dropped its disguise sometime between when Sui Yuan last saw it and now, the Crystal beast cheeps non-stop. As though finally reuniting after centuries apart, large tears hang at the corner of its red, watery eyes. Sui Yuan doesn’t have the energy to soothe it and directly places the spirit pet on his shoulder. The Crystal beast digs its paws into the fabric of his robe, then abruptly let loose a loud call. Immediately, an indescribable feeling courses through Sui Yuan’s meridians, flooding it with additional spiritual energy that enables him to deflect another powerful attack.

So it seems that besides acting cute, the Crystal beast has its more practical uses.

Noticing that Sui Yuan’s safety is now secured thanks to the spirit pet’s arrival, 5237 opens its mouth once more. “I meant Xuan Ling – or should I say Zhao Xihe – has succumbed to his inner demons.”

Sui Yuan freezes, then snaps his head around to look at Xuan Ling.

Jian in hand, the domineering man has long lost his elegant, pure aura. Instead, his current state is even more terrifying than the original icy chill that freezes one in their place. Snow white robes now stained crimson with the life essence of numerous Demonic Cultivators, he resembles a blood-soaked Asura. Every swing of his blade is accompanied by a spray of blood. The once cold, sharp sword intent is tainted by demonic energy. Dark bloodthirst bubbles forth from his person, causing everyone in his vicinity to tremble in fear. The amount of spiritual power contained within his being climbs upwards unceasingly, to the point that it seems he might just make a breakthrough to the later stage just before Ascension.

“Quick! Quickly notify the Demonic Ruler! This bastard is going to advance a level!” Feeling the increasing pressure indicating a near breakthrough, a Demonic Cultivator shouts as he retreats.

Sword Cultivators are the strongest fighters amongst cultivators, and generally experience breakthroughs during critical moments in the heat of battle. Their fighting prowess is extraordinary and even their intent can be a deadly weapon in the hands of experienced Sword Cultivators. The moment they set foot onto the Demonic Path, their aptitude for slaughter doubles and continues to grow as their innate potential is swiftly ignited. While it is a dazzling spectacle, it only lasts for a short period. Back when Xuan Ling was still an initial-level Nascent Soul, he crippled two cultivators who were mid-way to Ascension in a single slash. If he is allowed to enter the last stage before Ascension now, the entire Demonic sect will be wiped out under his blade. Their lives would be mere offerings to hasten his advancement!

As the Demonic Cultivators descend into a chaotic mess, only one thought runs through Sui Yuan’s mind. “Succumbing to his inner demons? Isn’t he only acting?”

“Looking at the situation now, I really don’t think so,” 5237 states in a rare, grave and deadly serious tone, anxiousness in every minute twitch of its plump body. “Xuan Ling practices a ruthless Sword Art. The moment he falls in love, his tranquil state of mind will begin to undulate. Once it gets too intense, he will inevitably succumb to his inner demons. Even if the person within this body is Zhao Xihe, his cultivation is unequivocally linked to his soul. When a person first steps off the Righteous Path, they will lose all reason, meaning that Zhao Xihe has entered a berserk state. “

“But, doesn’t every actor’s system have the ability to defend their partner’s mental conscience?” Sui Yuan frowns worriedly. “In the previous world, didn’t you protect my mind after I swallowed the source of darkness and allow me to be free of its influence?”

“That’s because I was well prepared!” 5237 says, agitated. “I knew when the darkness magic will try influencing your mind, so I was able to shield your mind fully before that happened. But now, if Xuan Ling is indeed Zhao Xihe, 0007 never expected him to suddenly go berserk. It didn’t even have the slightest warning to prepare shielding its partner’s mind. Thus, Zhao Xihe himself has lost all reason.”

“Succumbing to his inner demons…if he doesn’t snap out of it, what will become of him?” Sui Yuan asks, heart sinking in dread.

“…He will be wasted,” 5237 replies heavily, deep regret in its voice. “The ‘regulation’ will erase him.”

Sui Yuan falls silent.

Massacring his way through his enemies, Xuan Ling resembles a killing machine. Unfeeling. Merciless. Several droplets of blood stain his flawless, sculpture-like visage, making him seem like a flirty, devilish spirit. This wicked air interweaving with his chilly temperament captures one’s gaze and holds it hostage. It’s a pity that presently, no one here is carefree enough to appreciate this charmingly demonic appearance.

Powerless to contend against him, the Demonic Cultivators – what is left of them – steadily backs away. None here is capable of matching this Death God, and each one values their lives above the sect’s interest. Everyone dares not challenge Xuan Ling or face him head-on, only retreating slowly as though afraid if their movements are too abrupt, it will incite this wild beast to attack them.

Along with the Demonic Cultivators’ steady retreat, Xuan Ling gradually calms. Sleeves dripping with the blood of the deceased, feet treading over scattered corpses in his path, his wintry eyes gleam with a razor-sharp light. Sweeping a leisurely glance across the fearful remnants of challengers, his gaze settles on the gravely injured He Lianyu hiding amongst them.

He Lianyu is now devoid of all previous confidence and haughty composure. Ashen complexion, terrified eyes, bruised and battered body… When Xuan Ling’s gaze locks onto his person, he jolts in fright, turning around and trying to escape. However, Xuan Ling naturally wouldn’t let his prey run. In a flash of crimson and white, he appears directly in front of He Lianyu.

“Don’t!” Sui Yuan yells, not carrying if his action is out of character or not. Flinging the charm between his fingers towards He Lianyu, he creates a barrier between Xuan Ling and his intended victim. “He can’t die here! You know that!”

Xuan Ling’s movement halts for a second, then a hand darts out, spiritual energy coiling around and binding He Lianyu, who attempted to flee once more. Turning his head towards Sui Yuan, a faint smile curves his lips.

This small upturning of his lips can be considered stunningly attractive, causing even Sui Yuan to gape. Xuan Ling’s frosty visage softens, tender affection flooding into his dark pupils. However, the words that are spat out is bone-piercingly cold. “He deserves to die. Anyone who has touched you even once all deserve to die.”

Before the last word leaves his mouth, the blade easily skewers through He Lianyu’s chest, completely ignoring the protective barrier Sui Yuan erected.

Aware that his end is nigh, He Lianyu coughs out a mouthful of blood, then smirks viciously. Gathering what little remaining inner energy he has, he compresses it all into a small, destructive point.

A formidable wave of demonic energy explodes from He Lianyu. But in Xuan Ling’s eyes, that amount of power is equivalent to a puny insect’s. With a mere wave of his sleeve, He Lianyu’s final, desperate attack is dissolved. Following that, Xuan Ling raises a hand and pulls the struggling soul out of its battered cage of flesh. As it thrashed against Xuan Ling’s unyielding grip, it tries in vain to self-destruct.

When it eventually realises it is completely helpless, it cries out in fear. But the faint smile on Xuan Ling’s face doesn’t waver in the slightest. Bit by bit, his finger tightens, until a mournful screech erupts from the soul a second before it disintegrates. He Lianyu’s soul has just been denied any chance of entering the reincarnation cycle.

Having fulfilled his heart’s desire, Xuan Ling unhurriedly turns back to look at the stupefied Sui Yuan. The desire to plunder and conquer Sui Yuan in every way possible fills his scarlet eyes. His faint smile widens, carrying a trace of delight and cheer. “You…can only be mine.”

Sui Yuan & 5237: “………So – so scary! I suddenly feel like begging for death! What to do?! QAQ”



[1] Ice veins and jade bones: Basically means a body void of all impurity

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IANEWtbaSML 4.10

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Chapter 4.10

Although he doesn’t quite know how everything came about, Sui Yuan at least realises that the storyline has already been messed up.

The female lead shouldn’t have been kidnapped and said kidnapper should definitely have not used her to threaten Liu Minghui. Shao Peiyuan also shouldn’t have placed Liu Minghui’s life above the female lead, preventing him to seek out He Lianyu……

Since everything has deteriorated to this extent, Sui Yuan is ultimately forced to acknowledge his flaws. Previously, he firmly believed it was Zhao Xihe’s involvement that caused everything to be in disorder, but now, even without Zhao Xihe interfering, the plot still derails. Clearly, the issue is his inability to be a good enough actor. After all, he can’t be so unlucky as to bump into yet another actor who likes to mess things up, right?!

Is it because his analytical skills are poor? His inadequate ability to thoroughly comprehend the plot? Or is it because he cannot grasp the tempo of the story, inevitably reading the other character’s mentality wrongly? Sui Yuan fully blames himself, and all previous grievances he has with Zhao Xihe begins to wane. As the proverb says, a clap cannot be produced with just one hand. In the first world, he provoked Zhao Xihe, which led to the derailment of the story. But besides the changes brought about by the male lead, his inexperience clearly played another major part. Back then, if he had carefully analysed every aspect of AnHe Qin Wang’s character from top to bottom, he most likely wouldn’t have been hooked into this ill-fated relationship.

Hearing Sui Yuan’s thorough examination, 5237 can only sigh heavily. Although its partner is a special, custom-made being with a diligent and conscientious attitude, he is still inexperienced. Only when one goes through various trial and errors and become more knowledgeable will they finally meet the standards of a good supporting male lead. It is exactly this aspect of Sui Yuan that the creators cannot input into his brain. He will have to physically go through these worlds and accumulate wisdom from there.

“It’s good enough that you are capable of thinking this far,” 5237 comforts its partner with heartfelt words. “Therefore, what you need to do now is to adapt appropriately to these changes and try your best to untangle this mess.”

“…Can it really be done?” Sui Yuan mumbles into his hands. Right now, he doesn’t have a drop of self-confidence left.

“Even if it is impossible, do you plan to simply give up halfway?” 5237 asks, tone rising.

“……Of course not.” Lips thinning, he inhales deeply, fighting spirit rising once more. “Cross a trench, gain a new piece of information. Even if I fail this time, I will still learn another lesson, and will definitely do even better the next time!”

“That’s the spirit!” 5237 encourages cheerfully. “Relax, as long as you put in all your effort, you will surely not be abandoned!”

Sui Yuan nods gravely.

With the story as it is currently, Sui Yuan’s top priority is to rescue the female lead from He Lianyu’s clutches. No matter what, in a BG world, the female lead is the most important character and must not be exposed to any danger she cannot save herself from.

Sui Yuan sends Shao Peiyuan back to the Heavenly Cosmos sect to seek out Elder Xuan Ling while he will track down He Lianyu’s whereabouts and delay the Demonic Cultivator for as long as possible. Regarding Sui Yuan’s way of handling the situation, Shao Peiyuan is naturally opposed to it. But no matter how he protests, he cannot sway Sui Yuan, who has already made a firm decision. As he leaves reluctantly, he can only vow to bring Elder Xuan Ling back as swiftly as he can.

After driving Shao Peiyuan away, Sui Yuan gets in touch with He Lianyu once more, expressing the desire to speak with him. This time, the other party doesn’t ignore the message, arranging a time and place to meet without the slightest hesitation.

When the two finally face each other again, the first thing He Lianyu does is toss an interspatial pouch over. Snatching it out of the air, Sui Yuan opens it to see the requested items taken from Shen Jiayi within. He stiffens, well aware of the non-verbal implication, warning him not to forget the two of them have gotten into the same boat.

Eyes darkening, Sui Yuan tucks the pouch away, regarding He Lianyu wordlessly.

This time, the Demonic Cultivator’s attire is more enticing than before. Violet robes edged with gold, exposing a portion of fair, flawless chest, neck, and collarbones. A trace of sensuality floats in those dark, almond eyes, the upturned corners of his mouth betraying his good mood. “You got what you wanted. Now, it should be my turn, hmm?”

“You didn’t touch her?” Sui Yuan questions.

“Of course. I made a Blood Demon Oath, so I have to do as promised.” He Lianyu chuckles. “If I touch her, I wouldn’t be able to touch you. I can only pick one. So, I will leave selection rights in your hands.”

Despite the seemingly generous wording, it is, in reality, overbearing and arrogant. He Lianyu’s gaze locks on Sui Yuan, ensuring he doesn’t miss even a split-second’s change in the latter’s expression.

“For what reason are you doing this?” Sui Yuan grits out coldly.

“Reason?” He Lianyu’s eyes narrow. “I just like beauties, especially those with an attitude, which is why both you and Shen Jiayi match my taste. I would like to watch you struggle, surrender, have no choice but to give yourself wholly to me no matter how disgusted you may be. How is that for a reason?”

“You have a vile interest.”

“Thank you for your compliment,” He Lianyu says with a mock-honoured expression. “A cultivator’s life is long. If I don’t find something to pleasure myself with, wouldn’t this road be excessively dull?”

Well aware that He Lianyu would never compromise, Sui Yuan can only pick the most terrible choice. “……Let her go.”

According to a character’s personality, Liu Minghui would never sacrifice himself for the female lead even if he harbours intentions towards her. However, Sui Yuan is not the real Liu Minghui. He has his own misgivings, thus deciding to rescue the female lead from He Lianyu’s hands first before attempting to flee from this pig teammate. In any case, Liu Minghui is a villain whose words never matches his actions. As such, he has no qualms in breaking any promises given, including this one between He Lianyu and himself.

Hearing Sui Yuan’s answer, He Lianyu’s brain blanks for a second, then jealous fury flashes through his eyes. “You wouldn’t regret?”

“I wouldn’t.” Sui Yuan’s tone is hard as steel.

“Really can’t tell that you value feelings so highly. However, if you love her so much, why did you collude with me to thrust her into dangerous situations?” He Lianyu inquires, not quite understanding this logic.

Sui Yuan closes his eyes. “It’s none of your business.”

In actual fact, he too cannot make sense of Liu Minghui, and even more cannot comprehend his contradicting feelings. Attempting to interpret his strange actions is like trying to cut down a tree with a chopstick.

“Fine, fine. I’m not too interested in knowing anyway,” Sneering, the Demonic Cultivator beckons Sui Yuan forward and strides away.

Very quickly, the two reaches He Lianyu’s temporary hideout. Although she is powerless to resist due to the seal blocking her meridians, Shen Jiayi is safe and unharmed.

Seeing He Lianyu appear together with Sui Yuan, Shen Jiayi is somewhat bewildered. When her eyes land on the former, it is filled with hatred. This disdain fades away to faint suspicion when her gaze shifts to Sui Yuan.

Having seen every emotion flickering through the woman’s face, He Lianyu silently admits that she at least has a brain, accurately guessing that everything was planned by Sui Yuan. However, an indescribable annoyance fills his heart, as though that suspicious look is extremely offending to his eyes.

Laughing mockingly, he wraps an arm around Sui Yuan’s waist, looking the chained and kneeling Shen Jiayi over slowly. “You are free to go. Your beloved Senior Martial Brother exchanged himself for you and I agreed.”

Shen Jiayi stiffens, eyes widening in disbelief as she stares at Sui Yuan. Taking in the tightly pursed lips and sombre expression, every kind of emotion bubbles forth.

Self-resentment for being mistrustful, actually daring to doubt her Senior Martial Brother colluded with the Demonic sect; happiness over her freedom, being able to escape from danger; worry for her Senior Marital Brother and how he will be able to get away from the tiger’s den; gratefulness towards him for his self-sacrificing nature… Shen Jiayi’s eyes grow hot. Tears falling from her eyes, she grits her teeth and chokes out, “Senior Martial Brother, don’t…”

Sui Yuan smiles reassuringly, but before he can give a verbal reply, He Lianyu abruptly shoves him back, pressing him into the small bed behind.

Right this moment, He Lianyu finds himself struggling between two contradictory emotions. He didn’t like Shen Jiayi’s using a suspicious gaze to look at Sui Yuan, but he even more dislikes the intimate, wordless interaction full of tender affection between them. Before he can distinguish what these strange emotions are, he found himself interrupting their exchange.

More or less accustomed to being pinned down by another man, Sui Yuan manages to keep his cool, his reaction no more than a small startled noise at the back of his throat. On the other hand, Shen Jiayi explodes in anger, struggling against the chains to stand up. “Let Senior Martial Brother go! You beast!”

“Let go?” A corner of He Lianyu’s lips pull up in a smirk. “This is something I rightfully deserve. Why would I let him go? Rather, I want to take things one step further.”

Saying this, he leans down, intending to taste the pair of tempting red lips he has been coveting ever since their initial meeting. But his plan is thwarted when Sui Yuan turns his head away, speaking in a cold, indifferent tone. “Let Junior Sister Shen go.”

“Senior Martial Brother! I will not go!” Shen Jiayi yells. After becoming a cultivator, she is used to keeping calm and collected at all times, learning how to place herself before others. However, her innate virtuous nature cannot be completely erased. How can she be at ease and flee when Sui Yuan so selflessly walked into the tiger’s den in order to save her?

“Junior Sister Shen, don’t be willful!” Sui Yuan snaps, temper rising. He detests the sensation of being pinned under a man like this. All he needs is the female lead to get out of here, then he can do as he please without worry and escape this place ah!

“Do you think you will be allowed to stay just because you refuse to go?” Feeling neglected when the two disciples begin to argue, He Lianyu immediately pipes up to remind them of his existence. “I don’t like having an audience during sex!”

Shen Jiayi’s face flushes red from a mixture of embarrassment and rage. As soon as the chains around her are removed, she pounces forward, wanting to pull this blasphemous beast away from her Senior Martial Brother.

It’s a shame that her spiritual power has yet to recover. Even if she is at full strength, an initial-level Core Formation stage Righteous Cultivator is no match for a Solid Aspect Demonic Cultivator. With a disdainful sneer, his hand curls into a claw, freezing Shen Jiayi mid-air. A fling of his sleeve and the woman is thrown out of the small room like a kite with a broken string.

Sui Yuan starts in alarm, wanting to rush out and check on her condition, but is instead pulled back into He Linayu’s arms. Lips brushing his ear and travelling downwards, He Lianyu bows his head and presses a kiss on the smooth skin of Sui Yuan’s neck, then laughs lightly. “Relax, I am still under a Blood Demon Oath. Your Junior Martial Sister is safe and sound outside!”

Knowing that He Lianyu will not tell lies when it comes to his oaths, Sui Yuan breathes a sigh of relief. As the Demonic Cultivator promised, Shen Jiayi is indeed safe and no longer under his control.

She herself is not too clear about what just happened. All she felt was a burst of dizziness, and when her vision clears, she finds herself laying on the ground, in the wilderness. All around her, she cannot spot a trace of He Lianyu’s hideout, and can’t feel Senior Martial Brother’s spiritual signature. Getting to her feet, this is the first time she feels so helpless and muddled, but this unwelcomed sensation is quickly interrupted.

“Junior Sister Shen!” A familiar voice reaches her ears. Whirling around on her heels, she spots the figures of Xuan Ling and Shao Peiyuan hurriedly making their way over, the former bearing a frostier than normal expression while the latter’s face is full of anxiety. “You’re safe! Where is Minghui?!”

“Senior Brother Liu, he…” Shen Jiayi rushes up to them as though they are her lifesavers. Bitterness seeping into her eyes, she cries out emotionally. “Master! I beg you to save Senior Brother Liu! He exchanged his life for mine and I was thrown all the way out here. I don’t know where they are now!”

Hearing her words, the sliver of hope in Shao Peiyuan’s eyes vanish, replaced by pain. “Do you remember anything distinctive in the surroundings of that demon’s hideout?!”

Shen Jiayi is about to answer, but notices her master doesn’t even spare her a single glance. Instead, he steps back onto his jian and soars into the air, heading towards a seemingly random location and disappearing in a span of a few seconds. Shao Peiyuan and Shen Jiayi exchanges a dismayed glance, subconsciously trying to catch up even if they don’t know what is going through the Elder’s mind.

It’s a pity that Xuan Ling’s speed is too fast, causing them to lose sight of him due to their split-second hesitation.

“With Master here, there wouldn’t be any problems,” Shen Jiayi murmurs, uncertain if she is trying to convince Shao Peiyuan or herself.

The other youth’s hands clench into fists as self-reproach floods his being. He resents his own strength being inadequate, unable to help even when a close friend is in danger. He loathes how he is reduced to only being able to watch, wait, and hope that Minghui will be fine.

If…if he too steps on the path to Immortal Ascension, and gain formidable power, would everything be different…?

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Chapter 4.9

No matter how much effort Sui Yuan wastes to try contacting He Linayu again, he only gets one sentence in reply each time – “I’m very clear about what I want, no need to continue negotiations.”

Sui Yuan really wants to fall on his knees before him! Wanting to obtain the female lead is impossible, and wanting another supporting male lead is illogical! Comrade, please wake up ah!

He is unable to make sense of why besides the unreliable male lead, even the other supporting male leads are beginning to run around in all directions and frantically messing up everything in their path. Presently, the only thing he can do is conscientiously play his role and fulfil all his scenes until the end.

Therefore, even though He Lianyu refuses to contact him again, Sui Yuan does everything according to the plot and invites Shen Jiayi down the mountain to participate in the Cultivator Convention. At the same time, he notifies his villain compatriot that everything will proceed as planned.

While the Cultivator Convention might sound grand, it is, in fact, simply an auction where fellow cultivators can sell any items they crafted or gained. This particular convention opens once every ten years, and only cultivators who got a personal invitation are entitled to enter. However, each card allows the holder to bring a companion or two in.

Although Shen Jiayi is already a Core Formation stage cultivator, she hasn’t yet made a name for herself within the cultivation world, so naturally, she did not receive an invitation. On the other hand, Sui Yuan’s current character, Liu Minghui, is a well-known genius, a young talent within his sect. Even if Shao Peiyuan has entered the Nascent Soul stage a step before him, he is still thought of well enough to receive an invitation.

When Sui Yuan raised the issue of going down the mountain with him, Shen Jiayi’s initial reaction is one of pleasant surprise, followed by shyness. With the rumours regarding them circulating around the sect, she is naturally privy to them. Although Sui Yuan has always been an upright gentleman whenever they interact, and has never shown more than friendly regard towards her, Shen Jiayi is still somewhat touched.

In the premise before she discovers Sui Yuan’s ‘true identity’, his status, strength and so on all appeal to the realistic Shen Jiayi. Similarly, she has a rather good opinion of this Senior Marital Brother who is always taking good care of her, which is why she doesn’t loathe the gossip going around. Only, these rumours also involve her master whom she deeply respects, causing her to feel a little downcast under all the happiness.

Being his succeeding disciple, Shen Jiayi knows better than anyone else that while Master Xuan Ling does treat her well, he doesn’t see her as a friend. All the concern he shows is the responsibility of a master towards his disciple, that’s it. Most importantly, who will treat a woman they like so icily? In her opinion, this master of hers is even more affectionate towards Senior Brother Liu. After all, he has never taken the time to check on her every day without fail whenever she is injured!

Shen Jiayi is still unclear where the rumours pertaining to Master Xuan Ling’s intentions towards her came from, and was rather astonished to discover even the sect leader and several other Elders apparently believe it wholeheartedly. She really doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry ah. Still, she is incapable of taking the initiative to explain everything in public. Shen Jiayi can only hope for these baseless gossips to fade away as quickly as possible and return her Master’s clean reputation.

In order to prevent others continuously mistaking her master and her being a couple, Shen Jiayi gradually becomes closer to Sui Yuan, immediately accepting the invitation when Sui Yuan brings it up. Truth be told, she is also very curious about the Cultivator Convention, and wants to take this great opportunity to check it out.

This subplot regarding the convention is actually pretty peaceful. Sui Yuan only needs to follow the script to purchase a few relatively inexpensive materials for charm-making. As for Shen Jiayi, her natural charisma snags her the favour of a young master from an influential cultivator family, who proceeds to stake a thousand pieces of gold in one throw just to win a single smile from the beauty. In a world where some characters have bent out of shape and are causing him despair, this scene gives Sui Yuan a sliver of confidence.

Sure enough, this is the way of BG worlds!

This young master is distinguished, attractive and intelligent, somewhat arrogant but not malicious. Inwardly pleased but outwardly unmoved, Sui Yuan savours this feeling of finally being treated as a love rival by another male character. At the same time, he also witnesses a handful of supporting male leads hovering around the female lead, enamoured by her.

This convention scene can also be considered the very first stage where all the supporting male leads are gathered in one place. After all, those worthy of this title should have at least some sort of status. Therefore, as one of the ‘predestined supporting male lead’, Shao Peiyuan naturally appears.

However, when the others flock towards the female lead, Shao Peiyuan doesn’t conform to the norm. As soon as he catches sight of Sui Yuan and Shen Jiayi, he hurries over and directly occupies the seat next to Sui Yuan before inquiring about his health.

Needing to pay close attention to the female lead and her unofficial harem while the other half of his brain is constantly worrying about whether or not He Lianyu will act accordingly, Sui Yuan’s heart is extremely stressed! Therefore, he inevitably becomes a tad absent-minded with conversing with Shao Peiyuan.

“Minghui, you…” Seeing Sui Yuan’s eyes travel back to Shen Jiayi for the seventh time in as many minutes, Shao Peiyuan eventually cannot resist asking. “Do you have some intentions towards Junior Sister Shen?”

Sui Yuan stiffens, turning to look at him. “Why do you ask?”

“I just heard a few rumours pertaining to the both of you immediately after emerging from closed-door cultivation…” Shao Peiyuan admits somewhat awkwardly.

A small smile troubled curving his lips, Sui Yuan replies, “I didn’t expect it to spread all the way to the Heavenly Element sect…”

An indescribable itch in his heart, Shao Peiyuan presses on. “Are the rumours true?”

Eyes dropping down to his lap, Sui Yuan recites one of Liu Minghui’s lines concerning the female lead, “Wise, virtuous, sweet and graceful. A nobleman will naturally pursue.”

“……You are right, I suppose.” Shao Peiyuan laughs, sounding a little strained and less cheerful. Even he himself also feels that his reaction is a little strange. Subconsciously pondering over the sudden gloominess that settles in his heart, he quickly returns his attention back to the items on the auction stage.

Sui Yuan secretly exhales in relief. A moment ago, he was so afraid that he will hear “but the one I love will always be you” or something cringe-worthy and melodramatic along those lines. Thank god that he was proven to be merely overthinking.

Everything has not fallen to such a terrible state! Shao Peiyuan is still a good comrade walking down the BG path!

Cultivators are actually rather busy people too, so once the convention concludes, the female lead bids farewell to the group of supporting male leads, preparing to return to the Heavenly Cosmos sect with Sui Yuan. Shao Peiyuan will also be returning to his own sect, but seeing as the Heavenly Element sect is on the same Distant Heavens mountain range, he decides to tag along.

The plot is making headway according to the original text. Thus, the villainous plan formed between Sui Yuan and He Lianyu slowly comes to fruition.

Following their agreement, Sui Yuan leads Shen Jiayi – and the additional Shao Peiyuan – to the pre-arranged location. Afterwards, he will only have to disappear from the female lead’s side and allow He Lianyu the perfect opportunity to strike. Since the Demon Cultivator has reached Solid Aspect stage, which is the equivalent of Nascent Soul stage in Righteous Cultivators, dealing with an initial-level Core Formation Shen Jiayi will be a piece of cake.

A pity that no matter how strong he is, He Lianyu is no match for Shen Jiayi’s master. After receiving information that his disciple has suffered losses in his hands, Xuan Ling immediately exacts revenge on her behalf, chasing this villain with the intention to kill until the Demon Cultivator’s face turns blue. He only manages to save his little life when he eventually succeeds in returning to the safety of his sect. Having been beaten to a near-death state, the arrogant He Lianyu develops a deep resentment for this master and disciple pair, and his feelings towards Shen Jiayi becomes exceedingly complicated.

Scanning through the small slip of paper from He Lianyu confirming all preparation is completed – and ignoring the last line of “will you hand over Shen Jiayi or give yourself in exchange” – Sui Yuan pushes the guestroom’s door open, walking out to the hallway. Lifting his head to stare at the full moon above, he remains motionless, guarding the room to ensure the female lead does not go anywhere without his knowledge.

This is the scene Shen Jiayi chances upon when she exits the room a while later. A trace of worry rises in her heart as she beholds the faint, bleak aura clinging to him. She takes a step forward with the intention to approach, only to realise Shao Peiyuan is already beside Sui Yuan, asking in a low tone, “What’s the matter? Couldn’t sleep?”

Glancing at the man next to him, Sui Yuan deeply wishes he can toss the other away and watch him disappear amongst the clouds. “Cultivators like us don’t need much rest. The moonlight is brilliant tonight, so I decided to come out and admire it.”

Compared to Liu Minghui, Shao Peiyuan is less appreciative of nature and art. Following Sui Yuan’s gaze, he stares out the window at the moon above, but doesn’t feel anything at all. However, he doesn’t spoil the other’s enjoyment and agrees. “Indeed, clear and cleansing. Since you don’t feel tired, how about accompanying me for a walk under the moonlight?”

Sui Yuan chokes, nearly grabbing Shao Peiyuan by the shoulders and shaking him vigorously until this person spits out blood!

The lines being exchanged during this conversation is without a doubt according to the script, but Shao Peiyuan’s last sentence is what Liu Minghui says to woo the female lead ah! You shamelessly steal my lines and say it to the wrong target, is this really all right?!

In his peripheral vision, he notices the female lead smiling lightly and exhale. A second later, she quietly retreats, turns around and goes back into the room. Luckily, Sui Yuan’s hands are clamped on the window sill, or else he would have fallen to the ground on all fours in anguish.

“…Sure.” Swallowing a mouthful of blood, Sui Yuan reckons that if he can’t get the female lead to go out for a walk with him, then he should adapt to the situation and bring Shao Peiyuan away. For better or for worse…he just needs to ensure Shen Jiayi is alone, right?

“As long as you have Ah Q’s[1] mentality, we will always be victorious.” 5237 hovers by his side, subtly roasting its partner.

Flinging his sleeve, Sui Yuan knocks the mouthy system away and shoots Shao Peiyuan a smile. “Let’s go, then.”

Brought out of his slight daze by the sound of Sui Yuan’s voice, Shao Peiyuan quickly realises he has forgotten his manners. A strained smile on his face, he catches up to Sui Yuan and falls into step beside him.

Inwardly weeping, Sui Yuan employs a ‘honey trap (?)’ method to lure Shao Peiyuan away, leaving the female lead alone at the inn. Unknowingly, the two men leave the city walls, a short stroll turning into a rather long walk. Due to his solemn mood, Sui Yuan can’t be bothered to converse with Shao Peiyuan – in any case, the person he likes is Liu Minghui, not the actor wearing his face. Seemingly able to detect his desires, Shao Peiyuan is content to accompany him in silence. Beneath the brilliant moonlight, the quiet atmosphere is not the least bit awkward. On the contrary, the taciturn air is rather harmonious, allowing a person’s heart to relax.

Suddenly, dark clouds begin to draw towards the centre of the city as an indistinct, demonic roar breaks the night’s silence. Sui Yuan’s heart leaps in cheer, but he quickly plasters on a look of fear. “Not good, it’s the Demonic sect!”

“Junior Sister Shen is still in the city!” Shao Peiyuan exclaims, inwardly annoyed at himself for proposing Sui Yuan to go for a walk and completely forgetting about the Junior Martial Sister who possesses the weakest cultivation amongst this group of three. Grabbing Sui Yuan’s wrist, he is just about to haul the other away and rush back when the two of them are abruptly surrounded by Demonic Cultivators.

Although Demonic and Righteous Cultivators are of two different paths and cannot work together, they are not completely incompatible. Under ordinary circumstances, both sides will not war with each other. As long as they stay courteous, they can exchange conventional greetings civilly. At present, however, even an idiot will be able to tell these guys are not out for a moonlight walk. Immediately unsheathing his sword, Shao Peiyuan pushes Sui Yuan behind his back in a protective gesture just as the latter pulls out a few charms.

This short skirmish is not at all intense as Shao Peiyuan is not aiming to thrash them all. His goal is breaking away from the enemies and quickly return to the inn to help Shen Jiayi. On the other side, the Demonic Cultivators’ orders are not to kill them, but to delay. Adding on Sui Yuan’s subtle impediment, the two youths wasted quite a lot of time and effort fending the group off. By the time the Demonic Cultivators retreat and the dark clouds scatter, it is already deep into the night.

Shao Peiyuan watches them go, expression hard and filled with self-blame. A step behind him, Sui Yuan is rejoicing over the fact that He Lianyu did not let him down at the crucial moment. But is also equally worried about the off-chance he might kidnap the female lead and carry her off to who knows where.

Hastily making their way back to the tavern, Shao Peiyuan jerks in shock as soon as he lands on the roof of the inn. Peeking over his shoulder, Sui Yuan too, cannot help the furious glare seeping through his calm façade.

Because the very person who should have snatched away Shen Jiayi’s possessions and fled is still lingering here. Sitting nonchalantly on the tiled roof with one hand pressing the female lead down and a jug of wine in the other, He Lianyu still has the cheek to greet them cheerfully as soon as he notices their presence.

“Let go of Junior Sister Shen!” Shao Peiyuan growls in anger, charging towards the smug, purple-robed man with sword swinging down.

Leaping to his feet, the Demonic Cultivator merely smirks wider, leaving behind a single sentence, “Hand Liu Minghui over if you wish to save Shen Jiayi,” before disappearing without a trace. Failing to land a hit on He Lianyu, Shao Peiyuan takes out his rage on the now-vacant roof tiles.

“It was merely a phantom image. He Lianyu has most probably left with Junior Sister Shen. By now, he would already be more than a thousand miles away,” Sui Yuan states in a low voice, expression dark.

Shao Peiyuan snaps around immediately, clamping a hand on his shoulder, tone earnest as he speaks. “The words of a Demonic Cultivator are untrustworthy. He is using Junior Sister Shen as a bait, but there are no guarantees he will let her go after getting his hands on you. Minghui, you must not do something as foolish as exchanging your life for Junior Sister Shen!”

Shao Peiyuan can’t help spurning himself right this moment. Although he is naturally worried about Shen Jiayi, a human’s heart will always be biased. For Liu Minghui to risk his life in order to ensure Shen Jiayi’s safe return is something Shao Peiyuan is absolutely unwilling to allow.

Forcing a small smile on his face, Sui Yuan’s gaze drops to the roof beneath his feet, eyelashes trembling slightly. Acute sorrow rushes through his being.

A pig teammate. Yet another pig teammate! Even if he is oppressed and crushed to dust, it wouldn’t be able to fully express the full despondency in his heart right now!!



[1] Ah Q: The antihero of a popular satirical text called “The True Story of Ah Q”. It follows the first-person recount of his fellow villagers and as such, is an unreliable narrator. Ah Q is always thinking everything has/is/will unfold according to his wishes because he stubbornly chooses to view things this way.

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Chapter 4.8

When Sui Yuan finally recalls what he has forgotten, said forgotten thing is returned whole and intact by a certain ‘kind-hearted person’.

…Perhaps one shouldn’t say whole and intact. Sui Yuan stares at the Crystal beast burrowing into his arms, covered in wounds and meowing incessantly. Seeing it in such a pitiful state, Sui Yuan can only stroke its fur soothingly.

That day, he had allowed the Crystal beast out to play and forgot to call it back to his side before acting out the scene where he nearly treaded on the Demonic Path. Following that, Xuan Ling suddenly appears and dragged him back to the Heavenly Blade Peak to tend to his internal injuries. Immediately after, all sorts of worries emerge, pushing back any thoughts about the pitiful, lost spirit pet.

Suffice to say, Sui Yuan is someone incapable of being an owner. Not only is he unsuited to raise a pet, he can’t even take care of himself properly!

“This…many thanks to Elder Xuan Ling.” Sui Yuan clasps his hand before him and bows. Ever since pegging him as Zhao Xihe, his heart is once again calm. With a clear grasp of his current circumstances, he has no alternatives but to continue down this path, nimbly coping with any unexpected situation that arises. Still, the major cause of his worries is only the unknown. Everything else would be relatively simple. “May I ask where Elder Xuan Ling found it?”

“The cliff behind the mountain,” Xuan Ling replies, glancing down at his feet. “My spirit pet was the one who discovered it first.”

Following Xuan Ling’s gaze, Sui Yuan finally notices the ‘Crystal beast’ lying on its stomach near the bed. Due to its snow white fur, the crimson blood flowing from its wounds is especially distinctive. On the other hand, his spirit pet’s black fur conceals most of its injuries, so it looks as though Xuan Ling’s pet is the more pitiful of the two. However, one can say that both parties suffered losses today.

This time, the ‘Crystal beast’ is evidently infuriated too. No traces of its previous aloof bearing can be seen as its white fur bristles in anger, red eyes glaring at the little beast in Sui Yuan’s arms. Low growls rumble deep in its throat, as though it will throw itself forward at any moment. Nonetheless, with Xuan Ling’s spiritual power firmly pressing it down, it is incapable of moving no matter how much it wishes to.

Compared with the Elder’s high-handed way of dealing with his pet, Sui Yuan is much kinder. Cuddling up to its owner and being stroked, the ‘Nightmare beast’ glances smugly down at its archenemy. It doesn’t matter if the two pets are currently under disguise, for nothing will change their true nature. Judging by their reactions, it is also pretty obvious how Xuan Ling’s spirit pet ‘discovered’ the Crystal beast – it’s probably a natural instinct between predator and prey…

In any case, with his current status being lower than Xuan Ling’s, Sui Yuan can only apologise on behalf of his pet for “offending one’s superiors” and reducing the Elder’s own pet to such a state. With an indifferent answer of “no harm done”, this matter is closed.

Soon after, Xuan Ling once again injects a little spiritual energy to assist in his healing process. This time, the other man lingers a second longer, seemingly wanting to say something but ultimately deciding against it, spinning on his heels and departing.

Breathing a sigh of relief, his attention returns to the Crystal beast demanding his attention with a series of meows. It doesn’t stop for a long while, and Sui Yuan plasters on an attentive face, nodding from time to time.

Seeing this interaction between them, 5237 can’t help exclaiming in surprise. “You can understand what it is saying?!”

“I don’t understand ah,” Sui Yuan replies blandly. “I’m humouring it, that’s all.”

Crystal beast: “……… QAQ”

As the days pass, Sui Yuan half expects the tranquillity to be shattered sooner or later. However, Xuan Ling doesn’t do anything strange, merely entering his room to help sort out his meridians before leaving again. Even the times when he opens his mouth to talk is very little, causing Sui Yuan to begin doubting his prediction. As far as he is aware, Zhao Xihe will definitely not be content with this little interaction between them.

During this period of time, the now Nascent Soul stage Shao Peiyuan naturally rushes over to visit Sui Yuan after receiving news that he nearly wandered off the Righteous Path. Deeply concerned by this mishap, he inquires Sui Yuan what his inner demons are. Of course, Sui Yuan cannot say it is jealousy over Shao Peiyuan’s achievements, so he can only force a laugh and give a vague reply. Swiftly turning the topic of conversation to Shao Peiyuan recently breaking through, he encourages the other to enter closed-door cultivation soon in order to stabilise his foundation, using this excuse to chase the other Head Disciple out of the room.

That fact that a deeply-touched Shao Peiyuan exits the room believing Sui Yuan is still showing such concern for him despite his own injuries is something Sui Yuan would never know…

Shao Peiyuan only came two or three times, and even though Xuan Ling appears every day, he leaves immediately after his task is done. Thus, the person who spent the most time interacting with Sui Yuan during his stay in this Peak is the female lead Shen Jiayi. As she is also allowing her base to stabilise during this period, she is not allowed to go out, so she is able to visit Sui Yuan three times daily. After the shocking talk with his master regarding cultivation partners, Sui Yuan dares not try to do anything to further increase the female lead’s affection towards him, deathly afraid that he might accidentally become the male lead. That ending will certainly be the most miserable scenario…

Day after day, along with Xuan Ling’s increasingly sharp stare whenever She Jiayi and Sui Yuan interact, his condition steadily improves. At the same time, rumours pertaining to Liu Minghui and Shen Jiayi being a harmonious couple begin to spread throughout the Heavenly Cosmos sect, as well as hearsay that the sect leader’s proposal to wed these two disciples was harshly rejected by Elder Xuan Ling.

When Sui Yuan leaves the Heavenly Blade Peak and returns to the main Peak, he is met with not only the usual friendly greetings, but also more than a few admiring and sympathising looks, leaving him rather perplexed.

– Not to mention, what with all these blessings denoting his love with Shen Jiayi will find a way to come true?!

“……Restrain your grief and accept it.” 5237 rubs its body against Sui Yuan in sympathy. “What you need to do next is to keep your distance from the female lead, then these gossips will gradually dissipate.”

“But the problem is I still need to follow the storyline ah! What can I do if I basically cannot keep my distance!” Sui Yuan’s mental state has collapsed slightly.

Draped around his shoulders, the Crystal beast licks its master’s cheek comfortingly even if it doesn’t understand why Sui Yuan has suddenly become so downcast.

That’s right. According to the plot, Sui Yuan cannot keep a distance from the female lead at this point. Rather than avoid tangling with her, he needs to take the initiative to invite the female lead to go down the mountain with him.

Since the story has developed up to its present place, it is officially time for Liu Minghui to start exploiting the female lead. After failing to advance to the next stage and receiving a bite-back from being too hasty, he doesn’t step back to consider his options, instead turning his mind to dishonest practices. Amongst the loot Shen Jiayi managed to get her hands on when she entered the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Grounds is a rare cultivation tome passed down from generation to generation, as well as more than a few precious and incredible herbs. When Liu Minghui accidentally overheard about the treasure trove in her hands, his mouth waters and he tries all ways to get his hands on them.

These herbs are able to concoct Immortal pills that will allow him to increase the amount of spiritual power within his body and reach the Nascent Soul stage. In addition, the rare cultivation tome is a priceless gem, one that people have been longing for but fail to obtain. As such, Liu Minghui begins to approach the female lead, gaining her trust one step at a time. On the other hand, he secretly schemes to steal away the treasures in her hands.

“You want me to cooperate with you? It’s possible, but what shall we do if you renege halfway through? I cannot trust you so easily.” The purple-robed youth sitting opposite Sui Yuan smirks maliciously, swinging a wine cup in his hand. “Cultivators of Righteous sects are all sanctimonious hypocrites. They can even calculate the downfall of their own family without a single change in expression, let alone towards I, this Demon Cultivator.”

Faced with the disdainful sneer of the other party, Sui Yuan’s expression…indeed doesn’t shift even a little. “I can vow upon my inner demons, if I go against our agreement, I will eternally be unable to continue down the path of a cultivator. What about you? How will you guarantee you will keep to your word? Similarly, I don’t trust you.”

The youth grumbles under his breath, sizing Sui Yuan up before his smirk returns. “I will make a Blood Demon Oath. Should I break it, my cultivation base will be devoured and I will die, how about it?”

Sui Yuan nods, expression easing a little.

In order to showcase the female lead’s appeal, authors will generally arrange for her to have a couple of villainous admirers. This way, there is proof that her charm works on both the righteous and the unjust. This world is no exception. First, we have Liu Minghui, this outwardly pure but inwardly black hypocrite. Second is this Demon Cultivator who possesses a once-in-a-generation talent, He Lianyu.

He Lianyu is wild and unruly, headstrong and rash. Together with Liu Minghui, these villains collude to snatch away the female lead’s treasures, but in the end, they have to prostrate themselves before the female lead’s skirts[1]. However, Shen Jiayi is someone they can only beg for but never obtain. Sui Yuan truly wants to cry a bucket of tears on their behalf!

Because He Lianyu will never have the potential to be the male lead, Sui Yuan is not afraid to be more relaxed around him, or expose his natural habits. Ignoring the Demon Cultivator’s burning gaze, he taps the wooden surface before him lightly. “Shen Jiayi has an ancient cultivation tome on her person. Being a Demon Cultivator, it is of no use to you, so that will be mine. Besides that rare book, she also has many fine items that you can choose from, how does that sound?”

He Lianyu considers this offer for a moment, then his picturesque visage lifts to face Sui Yuan full-on, a faint smile appearing. “I have seen this Junior Sister Shen of yours once before. I have some interest in her. I don’t want any of her material possessions. I only want her person.”

“Absolutely not!” Sui Yuan startles slightly and blurts out a firm refusal before his brain catches up to his mouth, glaring at He Lianyu. “What do you plan to do to her?!”

“Her appearance matches my taste, and her cultivation level is not bad either. I want her to be my furnace[2].” The faint smirk on his lips turn provoking. “Why? Can’t bring yourself to do it?”

His heart is currently in a mess! Since the original text is written from the female lead’s point of view, there naturally wouldn’t be details of He Lianyu and Liu Minghui’s negotiations. There are also no mentions of He Lianyu’s interest in her this early in the storyline. Since there is nothing indicating the female lead would ever be anyone’s furnace, Sui Yuan cannot let that happen, of course. Now, he has to rack his brain for a method to dissuade He Lianyu from this terrible idea.

Seeing Sui Yuan’s complicated expression, the purple-robed youth laughs lightly and gets to his feet, tossing out a “then we have an agreement”, before flicking his sleeve and strolling away.

Sui Yuan will not allow the other party to leave just like that. Subconsciously, his hand darts out to grasp He Lianyu’s sleeve. “Hold on!”

A little taken back, He Lianyu turns his head to stare at the still sitting cultivator who caught a corner of his sleeve. Quirking an impatient eyebrow, his gaze momentarily stagnates.

Realising his current actions does not match his current persona, he rearranges his features back to an apathetic, hypocritical image. Withdrawing his hand and straightening his back, he states, “Do what you will with whatever you manage to take from her, but you are forbidden from touching her person.”

Fully turning his body around, He Lianyu regards the other mutely for a while. Neither haughty nor humble, Sui Yuan returns his stare evenly. Although the latter is looking up, he certainly doesn’t appear submissive, imposing aura clear for all to see.

After a moment of silence, a sneer curves He Lianyu’s lips as he abruptly leans closer to Sui Yuan. “This condition of yours, if I don’t agree, does that mean our partnership is void?”

Inwardly gnashing his teeth, two options war in Sui Yuan’s heart – is the female lead more important? Or should he ensure this part works out first?

Jade-like, flawless complexion, elegant and delicate facial features, all enhanced by his pure white robes. Such a refined, cool-headed youth showing a rare moment of internal struggle really incites the urge in people to rip his calm façade to shreds. To see him display genuine emotions. He is clearly a vile-minded individual, a scum of society willing to sell out his friends and family. But contrary to his crude personality, he still exudes a warm, gentle air devoid of the slightest impurity. Just thinking about that split-second of vulnerability flashing across his face causes He Lianyu’s eyes to narrow in consideration. His heartbeat spikes for a second, then extends a finger to caress Sui Yuan’s chin. “If you still want to cooperate but refuse to hand your Junior Sister Shen to me, then how about offering yourself in exchange, hmm?”

Sui Yuan’s serene expression cracks instantly, fiercely smacking He Lianyu’s hand away from his face.

The Demon Cultivator laughs uproariously, feeling extremely pleased with his reaction. Not waiting for Sui Yuan’s reply, he departs swiftly, uncaring about what the other wishes to say. His speed is rather fast, silhouette disappearing from view in a span of a few seconds. Even if Sui Yuan wishes to call him back, it would be impossible.

Staring blankly at the spot He Lianyu was just moments ago, his hands clench around the corners of the wooden table.

“Does that mean the negotiation is unsuccessful? What should we do now?” 5237 is completely resigned to its fate. Its partner is a natural man-magnet. First, it’s a senior actor taking on male lead roles who relentlessly pursue Sui Yuan due to a ‘vendetta’. Second is a somewhat bent but still redeemable – hopefully – supporting male lead Shao Peiyuan. Now, another He Lianyu who evidently lacks all integrity, eating both male and female is aiming for its partner too. Isn’t this very normal?! Ahahaha… Normal, your mum!

5237 feels that it has already ran out of tears and blood. Its heart has shattered beyond reason, and its collapsed mental state unsalvageable. Now, this system who has gone through various disasters can finally have a very optimistic outlook on life!

“……A supporting male lead and another supporting male lead will have no future together. A supporting male lead and a female lead is even more impossible. This negotiation has surely failed. Next…we can only weigh our options and see…” Sui Yuan replies sullenly.

“Actually…” 5237 hesitates for a heartbeat. “I feel that I should perhaps apply for BL worlds instead of BG… if I continue on like this, I don’t think I can survive…”

Sui Yuan pats its head in condolence. Although he doesn’t want to burst his system’s bubble, he can’t help wondering…will things go smoothly even if he goes to a BL world?

– Sui Yuan feels that he is fast becoming a pessimist.



[1] Prostrate themselves before someone’s skirts = wholly give in to/is drawn in by that person’s charisma

[2] Human furnace/cauldron: I was going to go with the assumption that all the readers will know what it is, but then decided to put a footnote anyway. It’s a rather lengthy explanation, so I will just link the website here.

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Chapter 4.7

Being unceremoniously seized by Xuan Ling and brought back to the Heavenly Blade Peak, no matter how Sui Yuan deliberates on how to leave, he is never able to put his plans into action. Therefore, he can only stay until the sect leader hurriedly rushes over as soon as he receives news from Xuan Ling himself. After hearing from Sui Yuan’s own mouth recounting the incident as well as his wish to return to the main Peak to recuperate, the sect leader sighs.

“Nearly succumbing to one’s inner demons is no small matter. Since Junior Brother Xuan Ling is willing to have you stay here, taking a lot of trouble to ensure your cultivation is not damaged, you should accept this rare chance!”

Seeing his master’s disapproval regarding his request to return, Sui Yuan really wants to scratch the wall in frustration. “Disciple…doesn’t dare trouble Elder Xuan Ling too much…”

A faint smile pulls at the sect leader’s lips, a hand patting Sui Yuan’s head comfortingly. “Master understands you are a thoughtful child, but Junior Brother Xuan Ling personally requests that you remain here for the time being, and emphasises that you wouldn’t be a trouble. Perhaps he noticed your talent and intelligence, thus resulting in something good that is beyond even Master’s expectations. With him helping you to pass this obstacle, Master’s heart is at ease.”

With all reasoning already laid out in the open, Sui Yuan naturally cannot continue objecting. Inwardly restless but outwardly serene, he gives his master a verbal agreement. In his heart, he swears to recuperate quickly in the Heavenly Blade Peak in order to leave as soon as possible.

Concerns pacified, the sect leader strokes his beard, glancing towards Shen Jiayi, who is currently walking in and out, busying herself with tidying Sui Yuan’s room. Eyes twinkling, he laughingly says, “Congratulations on entering the Core Formation stage so shortly after commencing your cultivation. Indeed worthy of being Junior Brother Xuan Ling’s succeeding disciple.”

Overwhelmed by favour, Shen Jiayi promptly bows deferentially. “Sect leader over-exaggerates.”

Sweeping his gaze up and down Shen Jiayi, the sect leader’s gaze shifts to Sui Yuan. “For this short period of time, I will trouble you to take care of Minghui.”

“Senior Brother Liu has helped this disciple countless times before. This disciple is only doing what I ought to do,” Shen Jiayi replies humbly, shooting Sui Yuan a soft smile.

Nodding his head in satisfaction, the sect leader converses with Shen Jiayi for a little longer before allowing her to return to her task. When she departs, he addresses Sui Yuan, “What do you feel about this woman, Shen Jiayi?”

“Junior Sister Shen is naturally good,” Sui Yuan praises, slightly puzzled as to why this one sentence causes his master’s smile to turn gentle. So gentle his scalp is fast becoming numb.

“Minghui, you are just half a step away from Nascent Soul stage. Have you ever given thought about who you wish to be your cultivation partner?”

Sui Yuan freezes, eyes widening slightly in shock. “Disciple…has never thought about it.”

“How about pondering over this matter now?” The sect leader asks genially. “I feel that this Shen Jiayi is not bad. Independent and unyielding but still retaining a gentle disposition. Her potential is remarkable and is rather gifted. Being able to enter the Core Formation stage at such a young age, she will certainly be able to walk down the same path together with you as a cultivation partner. I see there is genuine friendship between the two of you. If you have intentions towards her, Master will be willing to bring this matter up with Junior Brother Xuan Ling. Once you have reached Nascent Soul stage, I will arrange for a dual-cultivation ceremony for the two of you, how does that sound?”

Every word falling from the Elder’s mouth is very clear, nearly causing Sui Yuan to break out in cold sweat the longer he listens. Even if the plot inevitably begins to derail from this point, it shouldn’t fall into such a mess right at the very start ah! The female lead has never taken a cultivation partner! Supposing she did, it will absolutely not be a villainous supporting male lead like him ah!

Of course, he also knows the sect leader has his own motives for proposing this. First of all, Shen Jiayi’s potential is indeed very good. One shouldn’t let one’s fertile water flow into another field[1]. Rather than allow someone else to profit, it would be better to tie her with his beloved disciple. Secondly, Xuan Ling is a righteous man. No matter what ambiguous feelings he has towards Shen Jiayi, it will all be thrown away the moment she marries someone else. This way, he can gain two birds with one arrow. Hence, the Elder is making such an effort to facilitate this plan of his. Still, no matter how well thought out it is, he cannot force the unwilling to give consent.

Before Sui Yuan, who is currently pale with fright, can open his mouth to refuse, a frigid, monotonous voice interrupts the conversation between master and disciple, leaving no leeway. “I don’t approve.”

The sect leader’s expression stiffens as he turns to regard Xuan Ling as the other man walks through the room’s door. His face is set in its usual frosty countenance, but one can see the suppressed emotions rolling beneath the indifferent surface. Clearly indicating that if the sect leader pushes further, he will not give the other any face.

Never has the sect leader seen such an expression on Xuan Ling’s face before, and his heart can’t help sinking. His suspicions regarding Xuan Ling’s feelings towards Shen Jiayi has just been confirmed, and it is not as shallow as he had originally believed it to be.

“Junior Martial Brother…” The sect leader says, hoping to conciliate the other Elder, only for him to be interrupted.

“Senior Martial Brother do not need to be wordy. This proposal, I will absolutely not agree to.”

The sect leader sighs heavily. “Then so be it. However, Junior Martial Brother, don’t forget that you practise a ruthless Sword Art. Deep emotions are something destructive to you ah… You are already nearing Immortal Ascension, and every step requires utmost caution. One small slip will relegate you to eternal damnation!”

Xuan Ling falls silent, eyes shifting away from the sect leader before he speaks slowly. “I am naturally aware. Don’t trouble yourself needlessly, Senior Martial Brother.”

“As long as you are aware.” Helpless in the face of Xuan Ling’s stubbornness, the sect leader can only sigh again and nod. Eyes falling on Sui Yuan who can’t quite conceal his rejoicing heart, he inwardly muses over nearly dragging this child into the mess. In the off-chance he suffers from Xuan Ling’s displeasure, then he as the Master has failed his duty. “I shall lay this matter to rest for the time being. Minghui, rest easy here and get well. I believe Junior Brother Xuan Ling will not give you a hard time.”

Sui Yuan forces a smile on his face while Xuan Ling turns his head slightly in dismissal. Neither missed the sect leader’s jab at his Junior Martial Brother.

As this discussion is dropped, the atmosphere lightens again. Getting up from the chair in preparation to leave, he quietly comforts Sui Yuan. “Master knows you have always treated the Heavenly Element sect’s Shao Peiyuan as a rival. Now that he has entered the Nascent Soul stage before you, your heart is filled with grievance, hence prompting you to push yourself too fast. However, you must remember that advancing to the next stage also relies on Heaven’s will. It is useless to worry too much. The more impatient you are, the more your mental state will be unsettled, resulting in a more difficult progress. You must learn to master peace and tranquillity in all things.”

Sui Yuan’s cheeks flush and he murmurs in a low voice, “Master’s teachings are valuable, disciple knows my wrong.”

“That’s all I ask for. Cultivate at ease here. Master will wait for the day you step into the Nascent Soul stage,” the sect leader chuckles fondly, patting Sui Yuan’s shoulder before walking out of the room.

Sui Yuan exhales, then notices Xuan Ling still standing at his bedside. Somewhat bewildered, he asks, “May I know what further advice does Elder Xuan Ling have?”

Eyelids at half-mast, Xuan Ling sits down on the edge of the bed, raising a hand to press slender fingers against Sui Yuan’s wrist.

Once the now-familiar trickle of ice-cold energy flows through his meridians, Sui Yuan knows the other is helping him heal, thus hurriedly closing his eyes. His subconsciousness lingers at his golden core for an entire week as he straightens out the frayed tendrils of power and ensure all blockages are slowly being eroded. When he next open his eyes, the first thing he registers is Xuan Ling’s somewhat paler than normal face.

“Elder Xuan Ling, you…?” Sui Yuan opens his mouth to inquire, but the man simply removes a jade bottle from within his robes and shoves it in his hands. The youth can’t help staring blankly at it.

Another bottle of expensive Jade Pearl pills worth five hundred points. Although Sui Yuan is thirsting for it, his skin is not thick enough that he can easily accept something like this without question. Feeling a little awkward, he mumbles, “This…Elder Xuan Ling, I am undeserving of this…”

Xuan Ling doesn’t reply. Sweeping a cold glance over Sui Yuan as though he can’t be bothered wasting his breath to explain, the Elder stands up and departs so swiftly that Sui Yuan cannot call him back to return the bottle even if he wants to.

“Since he gave it to you, then keep it. Such a good item. It’s a sacred healing panacea, you know?!” Unlike its partner, 5237 has no concept of embarrassment or shame, all but drooling as it stares at the jade bottle in Sui Yuan’s hand. “If you don’t use it all up in this world, just hand it over to me and you can use it in the later worlds too. This way, it will be impossible for them to go to waste!”

Sui Yuan eyes 5237 wordlessly, then tucks the jade bottle into his interspatial pouch. He intends to find an opportunity to return this after his injuries have recovered, or at least give him something of equal value in exchange.

“You are currently acting the role of a villain. What are you doing being so upright,” 5237 mutters under his breath in resentment, but doesn’t say anything more as his attention is wholly drawn by Sui Yuan’s next words.

“How likely do you feel is the possibility for Xuan Ling to be Zhao Xihe?”

“Him?!” 5237 jumps in shock. “You feel he might be Zhao Xihe?”

Sui Yuan nods, somewhat distressed. “Although his every move doesn’t raise any questions, and any action that deviates from the plot has a plausible explanation, I still feel there is something odd.”

5237 reflects on past events together with its partner, then nods after a while. “His attitude towards you is a lot better than the original text. After all, the script clearly shows beside the female lead, Xuan Ling will never initiatively help others, let alone bring you to Heavenly Blade Peak to recuperate. He even personally injected his own spiritual energy to straighten your meridians and gave you another bottle of precious Jade Pearl pills.”

“On top of that, there is another problem.” Sui Yuan frowns. “Do you still remember the descriptions in the text about Liu Minghui’s Nightmare beast and Xuan Ling’s Crystal beast?”

“Of course!” 5237 nods gravely.

“Don’t you think that Xuan Ling’s Crystal beast is much too haughty and doesn’t match the description at all?”

5237 gasps in realisation. “That’s right ah! It’s totally different! In other words…”

“In other words, if I am able to make the Crystal beast disguise as the Nightmare beast, he can naturally use the Nightmare beast to serve as the Crystal beast.” He rubs his face with a hand, tone extremely depressed.

“So…we are exposed?” 5237 murmurs.

“Un, we have definitely been exposed. Both him and me.”

The system predictably becomes distressed. “Then, his firm declination over the matter of your marriage to Shen Jiayi is not because of her, but you? To think I was overjoyed about it!”

Sui Yuan silently pats 5237 consolingly.

“So what should we do now?” It had been so proud of its perfect plans, but never did it expect that everything has been crumbling from the very beginning. Staring blankly at the wall, it feels it has ran out of ideas. “How about killing yourself right now, seizing the opportunity to escape first while he is away?”

Sui Yuan shakes his head after muttering under his breath for a while. “Since I have been entrusted with this role and have already entered this world, I will continue acting responsibly. I will not give up halfway just to avoid a certain someone.”

“All right, since you insist…” 5237 also doesn’t like the idea of not seeing a mission to the end. “Then, do you plan on coming clean with him?”

“Since he hasn’t said anything, I will treat it as if I have no idea. Doing things this way might dissuade him from acting too out of character.”

“…You are right. If the both of you acknowledge each other, he will definitely act recklessly again.” 5237 nods in approval, bringing this heavy subject to a close.

“…That’s right,” Sui Yuan speaks up again a while later as another thought strikes him. “I keep feeling as though I am forgetting something. And I simply imagining things?”

“Possibly?” The system answers uncertainly. “But I also feel like something is missing…”

Crystal beast: “You forgot about me, idiots! I’m completely lost! Oi! QAQ”



[1] One shouldn’t let one’s fertile water flow into another field = One should keep all good things to themselves and not allow outsiders to snatch it away

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Chapter 4.6

Upon returning from the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground, the first thing Sui Yuan has to do is, of course, to formally apologise and seek punishment for his misdeeds. As the Head Disciple for Heavenly Cosmos sect, his momentary lapse resulted in the loss of a few fellow disciples. This error can be considered light or severe, depending on whether or not the various Elders decide to lay the blame on his shoulders.

Naturally, due to Sui Yuan – or should one say, Liu Minghui – always displaying his remarkable talent and good-natured disposition, he has the trust of almost the entire sect. No one would ever imagine that little incident was his deliberate handiwork. According to the original text, the punishment Liu Minghui got was being sent into isolation for a year to face a figurative wall and ponder over his misdeeds. On the surface, they call it punishment, but one would be better off saying it is indirect protection. By sending him away, he would be able to escape any hatred and slander circulated by the other disciples, maintain a peaceful frame of mind, continue cultivating in isolation as well as go through all the rewards he managed to acquire from the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground and hopefully, enter the Nascent Soul stage as soon as possible.

Therefore, Sui Yuan is not the least bit worried. Keeping a tranquil expression with a trace of self-blame on his face, he stands ramrod straight in the middle of the temple hall, speaking frankly and not even trying to deny his accountability. This honest and sincere bearing invokes approval in the hearts of the onlooking Elders. Even the sect leader himself is extremely pleased, stroking his beard to conceal the upturned corners of his mouth.

On the outside, the cultivation world appears benevolent and peaceful, but beneath the surface, it is a cold place where the strong prey on the weak. Although it is regretful that quite a few young lives were lost in the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground, it served to prove that they lacked the mental strength to survive, and showed they were ill-suited to continue walking down this path. Either way, they would have been washed out sooner or later. Even adding all their potential together, they would never be able to hold a candle to the bright future of Liu Minghui. Besides, dying is merely like a lamp being extinguished. To make the life of a living person difficult due to the deaths of some worthless people is not beneficial to the sect at all.

It’s not only the hearts of these Elders that are biased. Even the surviving disciples who made it out of the mirage array alive are pleading on Sui Yuan’s behalf due to a myriad of reasons. Some are like Shen Jiayi who is good-hearted and genuinely wants to help, feeling that he doesn’t deserve to be blamed for what happened. Others plead because they know how much power Sui Yuan holds within the sect and want to grasp this opportunity to get in his good graces. In short, the end result lies overwhelmingly in his favour. If Sui Yuan had not known he will be ‘punished’ by being isolated for a year, he would have assumed this verdict means he wouldn’t be penalised at all.

Although they don’t wish to punish Sui Yuan, they know this matter will act as a precedent for the other disciples in the sect – or at least, it will sound good if news of their impartiality spreads. After consulting with the other Elders, sect leader Jie Lu then turns to the apathetic Xuan Ling standing on the other side of the hall, who hasn’t spoken a word the entire time. “Junior Brother Xuan Ling, you are the Elder in charge of supervision this time so you would have a much clearer understanding of this matter. How do you feel we should handle his punishment?”

Once this question is aired, Xuan Ling becomes the target of everyone’s stare, even Sui Yuan’s.

Xuan Ling’s conduct is icy and detached. In his heart, he possesses only a single, narrowed view: his own. When judging someone, there is only right or wrong. Never will he take into account what will benefit the sect, or how the world outside has changed. In the original text, he was the only Elder who offered a different opinion regarding Liu Minghui’s punishment. However, under his disciple’s pleading for mercy, he doesn’t persevere with his proposal to increase the sentence, finally choosing to compromise.

Therefore, when he opens his mouth now, the words falling from his mouth causes the other Elders’ complexion to change. “According to the sect’s law, improper action resulting in the endangerment and death of disciples should be punished with ten lashes.”

The whip used for carrying out sentences within the Heavenly Cosmos sect is no ordinary whip. Rather, it is a Spirit weapon forged by the Heavenly Smith. Every lash will block a meridian within the victim’s body, making spiritual circulation sluggish and ebb one’s cultivation. If Sui Yuan is subjected to ten lashes, he would need approximately more than one year to recover, and will greatly influence his rise to Nascent Soul stage.

The sect leader’s face darkens, becoming rather unsightly. He is naturally aware of his Junior Martial Brother’s temperament, but never did he think Xuan Ling would call for such a heavy penalty. Just as he is racking his brain for a good way to refute this proposal, he hears Shen Jiayi cry out a single word of “Master!” in alarm.

Typically, a mere disciple is not allowed to interrupt as they please during a serious moment like this, but seeing as Shen Jiayi is pleading on behalf of his beloved succeeding disciple, he doesn’t stop her. Xuan Ling glances at Shen Jiayi with a trace of annoyance, but conversely corrects himself. “However, on the account of him nearing a breakthrough, and that his actions were unintentional, even acknowledging his faults without trying to shy away from responsibility, I am willing to allow a reduction in his sentence.”

Every Elder can’t help freezing for a split-second, taken back by his sudden amendment. Their eyes travel between Shen Jiayi and Xuan Ling, gazes somewhat complicated. Even Shen Jiayi herself is shocked silent, eyes widening as she hesitantly glances up at her master, a faint, gratified smile on her lips.

Sui Yuan purses his lips, feeling a little strange as he wonders why Xuan Ling agrees to compromise so easily, not acting as unyielding as described in the script. Nevertheless, he turns to face Elder Xuan Ling and bows, showing his appreciation.

“Since Junior Martial Brother has given his verdict…” One of the Elders clears his throat and composes himself before looking at the sect leader. “Elder Jie Lu, what do you think is the proper way we should handle this punishment?”

“We shall sentence him to isolation for an entire year, how does it sound?” Elder Jie Lu replies after a short while.

Sui Yuan’s punishment is thus decided. Even if some things didn’t exactly go the way it should mid-way through, this scene can be considered successfully completed. After experiencing worlds being flipped around on its axis, Sui Yuan has already learned to turn a blind eye to minor alterations. The question is whether or not he should count being unfazed as progress to becoming a veteran actor…

When the assembly is dismissed, Sui Yuan is asked to remain behind by his master. The Elder questions him about the loot he managed to gather from the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground, at the same time advising him not to take the punishment to heart, that he should quietly continue to cultivate in isolation and reach the Nascent Soul stage as soon as possible.

Sui Yuan is naturally not at all resentful, and shows as such when he bows in consent with his master’s words. Seeing that his reaction doesn’t carry the slightest trace of falsehood, the sect leader relaxes, turning his thoughts to another worrying matter. “Minghui, did you pay attention to the interaction between Junior Brother Xuan Ling and his disciple Shen Jiayi when you were in the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground this time?”

Sui Yuan pauses, not clear as to why the sect leader is asking this question. Frowning in reflection, he cautiously replies, “Disciple did not pay close attention. Dare I ask Master why you are inquiring about it?”

“Master feels that Junior Martial Brother cares about that Shen Jiayi too much…” The Elder sighs heavily. “Junior Brother Xuan Ling is someone I watched grow up, therefore, I know his temperament better than anyone else. For him to agree to compromise and not reprimand someone for speaking out of turn, even relenting in the face of their appeal… Master is very worried on his behalf ah…”

Sui Yuan remains taciturn and retains a concerned posture as he feels his present status is not qualified to offer baseless speculations.

“Minghui, do you feel Junior Brother Xuan Ling may be enamoured with Shen Jiayi?” Try as he might, the sect leader really finds it difficult to understand Xuan Ling’s inner thoughts. That man sometimes remains so cold and distant, other times displaying his emotions clear on his face. With no definite answer, the Elder can’t help but question his most trusted, well-connected and sociable disciple. “You do not need to overthink it, just directly tell me your sincere thoughts.”

Sui Yuan purses his lips. “Although disciple is a younger generation and is unworthy of offering an opinion…” Pausing for a second, he recalls what he read from the original text and raises his head to meet his master’s eyes, bluntly cutting to the heart of the matter. “Disciple believes the Elder Xuan Ling has indeed fallen in love with Junior Sister Shen.”

With someone else confirming his earlier speculations, the sect leader can only exhale worriedly. Waving his hand to allow Sui Yuan to be excused, he sinks into his thoughts. As for Sui Yuan, he initiatively scrams to the cliff located behind the sect after putting his affairs in order, beginning his one year of isolation.

As Liu Minghui will not reach Nascent Soul stage even after one year, Sui Yuan doesn’t need to continue cultivating as seriously as he did at the start. Permitting the Crystal beast to roam freely, he watches it play joyfully for a long moment before settling down on top of a large boulder. Crossing his legs as though meditating diligently, he begins to discuss the recent developments with 5237.

It is yet unknown if it is Sui Yuan’s presence causing a butterfly effect, or if this is Zhao Xihe’s doing hidden in the dark, but either way, both characters suspected to be the potential male lead – Xuan Ling and Shao Peiyuan – has more or less displayed inconstancies in their speech and actions. The former corrected himself too quickly when She Jiayi pleaded to lessen the penalty, and the latter appear to harbour ambiguous feelings for Liu Minghui – Sui Yuan persistently wants to believe it is towards Liu Minghui. Both events are giving him a headache.

However, after considering all aspects of the story, Sui Yuan and 5237 fail to conjure up a good plan to nudge the plot back on track. The only thing they can do right now is to take one cautious step forward at a time and try their best not to mess up further.

Just as he makes a firm decision, a sudden spike of spiritual energy erupts from far away. Sui Yuan’s eyes snap open and turns towards the direction of the surge only to see dense clouds gathering in the horizon. This is the unmistakable omen of someone in the process of entering Nascent Soul stage!

“It appears that Shao Peiyuan has broken through to Nascent Soul stage just like what’s written in the script.” 5237’s sigh of relief is echoed by Sui Yuan. However, his pleased expression instantly morphs into a dark, hard look.

5237 freezes for a split-second, then realises its partner has immersed himself back into his role, heavy silence permeating the air around him as hatred and envy fills his eyes.

“In the plot, Liu Minghui nearly walked down the Demonic Path after discovering Shao Peiyuan advanced one step before him?” The glint in Sui Yuan’s eyes is cutting and full of malice.

“That’s right. It was the sect leader who promptly sensed Liu Minghui’s life-force flickering indefinitely, realised his disciple was met with an accident and arrived on time to pull him back from the edge,” 5237 replies a little apprehensively. “Do you know how to act like you are about to enter the Demonic Path?”

“……Don’t know,” Sui Yuan answers honestly. “In any case, all I have to do is follow what is described in the text, the more plaintive the better, right?” Saying thus, he begins to compress the spiritual energy in his body, disrupting the calm flow circulating through his meridians. Consciously doing so results in severe, piercing pain that borders on unbearable. Only when he feels his internal organs has become a mess does he stop suppressing the agony surging through his body, and coughs out a mouthful of blood.

“Fuck! Aren’t you being too excessive?!” Seeing the pale complexion and red blood dripping out from between his lips to the rock below, 5237 jumps up and down in agitation. However, before Sui Yuan can bring his gasping under control and comfort the distraught system, he suddenly feels an ice-cold spiritual presence enveloping his body. Soon after, two hands clamp around his limp waist, supporting him to remain sitting upright.

“Calm your emotions. Clear your mind of everything!” One can hear faint worry in that frosty voice as the owner draws Sui Yuan’s powerless body back to lean against his chest. One arm around his waist, the other free hand settles on Sui Yuan’s chest. Struggling to lift his head and look at the person, he freezes instantly as his gaze locks with a pair of cold, angry eyes.

Holding himself absolutely still, he can only ask one sentence. “Why is it not the sect leader? Where did the sect leader go?!”

“You ask me, I ask who ah!” 5237 responses irately.

A steady stream of chilly spiritual energy seeps into him, boldly flowing through his meridians and placating his chaotic inner energy. Sui Yuan inhales deeply to counter the ache as perspiration soaks his robes. Whenever he thinks about breaking away from the other’s grasp, the arm around him tightens, forcing him to sit still and endure until it is over.

As soon as his inner spiritual energy calms and his internal organs doesn’t feel like porridge, Sui Yuan inhales deeply once more and struggles to his feet, turning around to thank the Elder. “Many thanks to Elder Xuan Ling for your timely assistance.”

Xuan Ling eyes him silently for a short period of time, then his hand drops away from Sui Yuan’s chest and moves a step back. “Why were you on the verge of falling to the Demonic Path?”

“Disciple’s heart…was restless. I was too anxious and tried to advance prematurely.” Sui Yuan answers the Elder with the scripted reply from the original text, then shifts the topic. “May I ask why Elder is here?”

“I train here daily,” Xuan Ling replies.

Sui Yuan chokes a little at the unexpected answer, poking 5237 in wordless question. The system flips through the pages quickly, nodding its head helplessly at long last. “It does say here that Xuan Ling likes to practise his Sword Art behind the sect’s mountain… It seems our luck was bad this time, running into him just as he is in the middle of training. Or could it be you wandered off the Righteous Path too early?”

Sui Yuan: “……”

There aren’t any specifications when Liu Minghui nearly fell to the Demonic Path after Shao Peiyuan’s breakthrough, so how is he supposed to know ah! Peh!

Seeing Sui Yuan’s swaying slightly on his feet, Xuan Ling close his eyes. “Do you still have the bottle of Jade Pearl pills I gave you?”

“I do,” Sui Yuan replies deferentially.

“Take one,” Xuan Ling orders curtly.

Removing the jade bottle from within his robes, Sui Yuan dumps the last remaining pill in his palm. Although his heart mourns at the waste of it, he cannot disobey an Elder’s direct command. Thus, under his sharp gaze, Sui Yuan swallows it down.

“There’s none left?” Xuan Ling abruptly asks, taking note of every little twitch and hesitation.

Sui Yuan stiffens, then nods in affirmative.

“You use it up pretty quickly,” Xuan Ling states, tone vague.

Sui Yuan is momentarily lost for words. He can’t say that the first pill was him unknowingly wasting it to heal a superficial injury, and the second was used to save the life of an important supporting male lead who might be the male lead, can he?

Luckily, the Elder doesn’t interrogate him further, merely flinging a sleeve and walking away.

Heaving a soft sigh of relief, Sui Yuan is about to bow and say “respectfully seeing Elder off” when Xuan Ling halts in his steps and glances over his shoulder. “Come with me.”

Sui Yuan: “……Disciple has to stay here to reflect…”

“Nearly going down the Demonic Path, what’s there to reflect?” Xuan Ling interrupts Sui Yuan’s protest.  “I will report to the sect leader after. For now, follow me.”

With no way out, he desperately tries to remember what happens after this scene. In the story, Liu Minghui’s isolation period also comes to an end immediately after he nearly wandered off the Righteous Path. With this in mind, he doesn’t argue, saying a single respectful “yes” before walking over to the Elder. However, before he can take a single step, his knees nearly give out, causing him to stumble.

Succumbing to one’s inner demons is similar to experiencing a serious illness. After walking past the gates of Hell, wishing to recover immediately is, of course, impossible. Not waiting for Sui Yuan to regain his balance, he is once again dragged into an embrace. An expressionless Xuan Ling draws his Spirit sword and steps onto the flat of its blade with Sui Yuan in his arms. A second later, the jian soars into the sky, streaking towards the Heavenly Blade Peak. Sui Yuan’s voice is left wafting in the wind.

“Requesting…to…return…to…Master’s Peak…! QAQ”

5237: “……This forceful kidnapping scenario…it’s all a delusion, right?!”

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Chapter 4.5

Learning his errors after witnessing Shao Peiyuan’s situation, Sui Yuan dares not run around the place and touch anything. Finding a good hiding spot, he hunkers down to wait things out, resolutely ignoring the whining Crystal beast. Failing to move its new master, the spirit pet can only quieten, gnawing on its tail to cure its boredom.

Like this, Sui Yuan weathers another subplot in the story, waiting for an earth-shattering sound as though the skies are being torn apart to ring out. A sharp sword intent rips through the illusion sky hanging above, allowing natural sunlight to shine through. Raising his head, he spots a white-clothed figure standing on the blade of a sword, moving gracefully through the air. A bright tendril of light flies back towards an outstretched palm. Dark eyes beneath sword-like eyebrows sweep coldly across the land for a moment, then the figure turns slightly and disappears from sight.

According to the script, after discovering the Heavenly Cosmos’ disciples are trapped within the mirage array – including his beloved succeeding disciple – Xuan Ling immediately hurries over, cleaving through the array with a single swing of his blade.

Sword Cultivators are strongest in terms of combat, but their road to Ascension is the most difficult and risky one. Very few are able to acknowledge their inner demons and overcome them in order to become an Immortal. In this period, where the strongest Sword Cultivators are still lurking around the Core Formation stage, the Nascent Soul stage Xuan Ling is the sole exception. Although he sustained grievous injuries after prevailing against two Daoist Immortal spell-masters in the past, he showed the cultivation world just what a Sword Cultivator is capable of. From that moment onwards, Xuan Ling’s status became on par with any Daoist Immortals’. Having seen his formidable power, none dares provoke him again.

While this one slash is capable of raising earthquakes and alarming the Heavens, it doesn’t even display one-tenth of Xuan Ling’s true strength. Such power can only be obtained through not caring about worldly matters, wholeheartedly dedicating oneself to cultivating. He is a living treasure of the Heavenly Cosmos sect. As long as Xuan Ling is an Elder there, no one dares to get on the sect’s bad side.

Standing up and massaging his stiff muscles, Sui Yuan beckons for the slightly reluctant Crystal beast to return to its original position around his shoulders. Levitating in the air with the aid of a wind spell, he flies towards the rift Xuan Ling tore.

Feet touching solid ground outside the barrier, Sui Yuan glances around to see Shen Jiayi, Shao Peiyuan and a few other disciples gathered around. Only, a few other cultivators will eternally be incapable of seeing daylight again after losing themselves to excessive greed.

Supported by another male disciple, Shao Peiyuan looks a lot better than the last time Sui Yuan saw him. At minimum, his eyes are clear and he appears sober. A forced smile on his lips and his head hanging, the injured youth patiently accepts the reprimands of the Heavenly Element sect’s supervisor. Equally, as the Heavenly Cosmos sect’s Head Disciple and the one who misjudged the situation, endangering the lives of his Junior Martial Brothers and Sisters, Sui Yuan naturally cannot hide. Setting his face, he heads over to Elder Xuan Ling, who is standing alone with his back to everyone and apologises humbly.

Hearing Sui Yuan’s voice, Xuan Ling turns his head slightly, glancing at the ‘Nightmare beast’ on his shoulder, then at the youth himself. “Since you realise your mistakes, then directly ask Elder Jie Lu for punishment after we leave this place.”

Sui Yuan bows once more, the self-blame in his eyes grating at Shen Jiayi’s heart when she catches sight of it. Unable to bear it, she approaches Xuan Ling to speak up on his behalf. “Master, the fault doesn’t rest solely on Senior Brother Liu. We were too eager to enter the unknown…”

“You do not need to speak up on his behalf,” Xuan Ling icy voice interrupts Shen Jiayi’s words. “I have absolutely no interest in whether or not he has to be disciplined. This matter will be left up to Elder Jie Lu. I will only report what I saw as it is.”

Shen Jiayi doesn’t protest further, glancing helplessly at Sui Yuan, her eyes carrying a trace of solace. Sui Yuan answers her with a faint smile and shakes his head lightly, indicating he is not troubled and she shouldn’t worry on his behalf.

Xuan Ling’s expression remains indifferent as he regards Sui Yuan and Shen Jiayi’s silent, private exchange.

At this time, Shao Peiyuan comes over after being reprimanded, still supported by someone. Greeting Xuan Ling respectfully, he offers Shen Jiayi a polite nod, then hands an interspatial pouch to Sui Yuan.

Not permitting the nervousness in his heart to surface, he doesn’t take the pouch, merely staring at Shao Peiyuan doubtfully as he wordlessly inquires what this is about.

Shao Peiyuan smiles lightly, shoving the pouch in Sui Yuan’s hand despite his refusal to accept it. Eyes unblinking, he watches every flash of emotion crossing Sui Yuan’s face. “Minghui, I killed a Golden Python when we were trapped in the array. Its skin has not been contaminated by water nor fire so it is the highest quality material for creating talismans. Since I have no need for it, I might as well give it to you.”

A surprised expression finally settles on Sui Yuan’s face. “The skin of a Golden Python has the cultivation base of a Nascent Soul stage beast. Peiyuan, you really make me consider myself as an inferior friend. I will keep this skin first. When I have created talismans from it, I will be sure to give you a fair share.”

“Then I thank you in advance.” Shao Peiyuan smiles. “However, you don’t need to hold me in high regard. This time, I nearly lost my life confronting the Golden Python. Originally believing I wouldn’t make it, I was saved by a mysterious benefactor who pulled me away from mortal danger…” Shao Peiyuan’s mood turns equal parts frustrated and disappointed, but his eyes never stray from Sui Yuan. “I don’t know who this person is, so I am incapable of expressing my gratitude, making me feel rather ashamed.”

Sui Yuan’s scalp becomes numb from the intense stare, but his superb acting skills ensure his expression doesn’t shift in the slightest. “In my opinion, if that mysterious saviour did not leave behind a name or a token, then they naturally wouldn’t care if Brother Peiyuan is able to express thanks. If there is karma between you, you will certainly meet again.”

“……You may be correct.” Shao Peiyuan laughs lightly, gaze softening as he nods. However, his tone is firm as steel. “I believe I will be able to meet that person again and personally express my thanks. This life debt will definitely be repaid, even if my body is torn to shreds and my bone ground to dust!”

Sui Yuan…can only keep smiling…because he feels that no matter what he says, the situation will remain this odd!

Seeing Sui Yuan refusing to continue, Shao Peiyuan also doesn’t say anything more, simply shifting the topic by asking another question. “Speaking of beasts, I wasn’t able to ask you before. Minghui, did you find this Nightmare beast in the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground?”

Glancing down at the Crystal beast still sticking to him, he nods curtly.

“Then I should congratulate Minghui. Nightmare beasts are intelligent and prideful, seldom recognising anyone as a master. Those worthy of claiming them as spirit pets are all outstanding talents. Being able to obtain its love truly proves that Minghui is an extremely capable person!” Looking at the Crystal beast, Shao Peiyuan cannot help the adoration from surfacing as those huge, limpid eyes lock on his. Stepping closer to Sui Yuan, he lifts a hand to stroke its furry head.

Since Shao Peiyuan is also the kind of person with a pure heart and selfless mind, the Crystal beast doesn’t reject his touch. Far from shying away, it pushes against the youth’s palm, eyes narrowing in pleasure at the gentle caresses. Meowing twice, the lovable and slightly foolish look makes Shao Peiyuan chuckle.

Even Shen Jiayi is attracted by the Crystal beast and drifts closer, hoping to pet it a little.

Being so close to Shao Peiyuan, Sui Yuan can feel every hot exhale. No matter if the other person is Zhao Xihe or not, Sui Yuan cannot help his muscles stretching taut when he recalls the hints littering the Shao Peiyuan’s words before. Without confirming his true identity, Sui Yuan naturally cannot put up with this level of intimacy. In order to break away from this situation, he lifts the spirit pet from his shoulder and stuffs it in Shao Peiyuan’s arms, letting the two disciples play with it to their heart’s content.

Little does Sui Yuan know, his attitude pierces straight through the Crystal beast’s fragile glass heart. Recalling how hard it had to coerce Sui Yuan in order for the human to form a contract with it, the beast’s fur stands on end, displaying its fear at being abandoned by its new master. Effortlessly leaping out of Shao Peiyuan’s hold, it scrambles up Sui Yuan’s robes and returns to its original position around his shoulders. Rubbing its face and tail intimately against the human’s face and body, it acts extremely cute, strenuously trying to show Sui Yuan its only true love is him!

Shao Peiyuan snickers at the Crystal beast’s cajoling behaviour. “Minghui, your relationship with your Nightmare beast is really good. This is the first time I am seeing such a sticky Nightmare beast. It can’t even bear to be separated from you!”

“That’s right ah. I always thought Nightmare beasts are especially aloof and haughty, so it’s difficult for others to get close,” Shen Jiayi voices her agreement.

Xuan Ling, who is still standing not far away from the three disciples, suddenly freezes. His emotionless eyes fall on the ‘Nightmare beast’ persistently acting like a spoiled child to gain Sui Yuan’s favour, a trace of thoughtfulness arising.

Unable to endure the Crystal beast’s silly actions, Sui Yuan lifts a hand and strokes its body absently, trying to soothe his spirit pet. Although it feels that its master’s response is still somewhat apathetic, the beast knows when to quit while it is ahead and eventually calms. Only, not long after it settles, it unexpectedly explodes again, its meows filled with anger and warning.

Following the direction of its glare, everyone’s eyes turn to see a white Crystal beast leisurely sauntering over. Lifting its head, the pair of cold, red eyes fix on the ‘Nightmare beast’ riding on Sui Yuan’s shoulder, provocation clear for all to see. The long, fluffy, snow white tail flicks lazily in idle amusement.

Infuriated, the ‘Nightmare beast’ jumps down and lands opposite the Crystal beast, as though it will pounce on the other at a moment’s notice. The Crystal beast glances at the ‘Nightmare beast’ with contempt, then flicks its tail dismissively and walks over to Xuan Ling. Sitting on its hunches not too far but not too close to the Elder, it seems to exude an air of “such a stupid pest ah.”

“The Crystal beast and Nightmare beast have always been archenemies. They need little provocation to start fighting,” Shao Peiyuan explains as he picks up the furious ‘Nightmare beast’ and returns it to Sui Yuan, at the same time advising him to keep an eye on his spirit pet.

Glancing between the two beasts, Shen Jiayi covers her mouth with a hand and giggles. “A pet truly reflects its owner. Master’s Crystal beast is indifferent and haughty, while Senior Brother Liu’s Nightmare beast is very much like him!”

Hugging the disguised Nightmare beast to his bosom, Sui Yuan’s forehead is filled with black lines. Female lead, my character is meant to be an outwardly kind but inwardly evil hypocrite! What exactly do I have in common with this slightly foolish, like acting cute and spoiled Crystal beast ah! You must not call my acting into question in such a way!

“……I suddenly feel that using a Crystal beast to act like a Nightmare beast is not such a good idea after all,” 5237 says abruptly in a melancholic tone.

“Yeah, I feel the same way,” Sui Yuan replies in the same tone, making a supreme effort to suppress a sudden urge to toss this Crystal beast back to where he found it. “With a spirit pet like this, I feel as though my villainous air has decreased quite a lot.”

5237: “……”

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Chapter 4.4

As soon as he leaves the spirit-land, the tile denoting one as a disciple of the Heavenly Cosmos sect tucked away in his sleeve begins to vibrate violently and heat up. This indicates a fellow sect disciple is met with danger and is requesting help from their peers.

Well aware that the victim this time is the female lead, Sui Yuan immediately abandons his efforts to decipher his spirit beast’s meows. Extending his senses outwards, he pinpoints the direction where a spike of spiritual energy is coming from, then dashes away.

His current location is quite a distance from Shen Jiayi, hence, even if there is nothing to delay him on the way there, someone has already come to the female lead’s aid by the time he reaches. Seeing that everything is developing accordingly with no alterations, Sui Yuan’s heart relaxes. Quickly striding over, he calls out. “Junior Sister Shen!”

“Senior Brother Liu…” Shen Jiayi raises her head, gaze falling on the harried-looking Sui Yuan. A touch of gratefulness enters her eyes and she hurriedly greets him with a bow. “Many thanks for Senior Brother Liu’s timely assistance.”

“It’s a shame that I appear to have arrived too late, and didn’t manage to lend a hand,” Sui Yuan says somewhat regretfully, then his tone turns concerned. “Junior Sister Shen, are you injured?”

“Only a few scrapes, nothing for Senior Brother Liu to trouble yourself over.” Shen Jiayi smiles, then turns to the youth standing by her side. “Senior Brother Shao was the one who rescued me.”

Sui Yuan shifts his gaze to the other supporting male lead, offering him a faint smile and cups his hand before him[1] in thanks. “I thank Peiyuan for your assistance.”

“You’re too kind.” The youth named Shao Peiyuan waves a hand dismissively, bearing confidence and at ease as he walks up to Sui Yuan, dropping a friendly hand on his shoulder. “Our Heavenly Cosmos and Heavenly Element sects are brothers. Seeing a Heavenly Cosmos disciple in a difficult situation, we are obliged to help. However, I didn’t expect to meet Minghui. Indeed, it is karma!”

Even though the polite smile is plastered on his face, Sui Yuan subconsciously stiffens, unease surging through his being – because this Shao Peiyuan is one of the important supporting male leads, and he fulfils all three criteria for the male lead: white clothes, bland smile, and high cultivation!

Shao Peiyuan is the Heavenly Element sect’s Head Disciple, meaning he shares the same status as Liu Minghui. These two are equally gifted, willing to help others, and receives the respect and adoration from the other disciples. Besides the fact that one is a genuine gentleman and the other is a hypocrite, both youths are not much different from each other.

Shao Peiyuan stood out from amongst his peers at an earlier date then Liu Minghui. One can say that the latter used the former as a template to create a false front. He carefully studied Shao Peiyuan’s naturally warm character and gracious attitude carefully, then gradually refines himself to be one step more kind, gentle and gallant. As time passes, his popularity amongst the disciples of both sects overtakes Shao Peiyuan, making him the number one most desirable talent in this region.

Only, Liu Minghui is well aware of his true personality. Perhaps it is due to discomfort at knowing he is only pretending, he fears the consequence of being discovered whenever he is in the presence of the genuinely nice Head Disciple. Therefore, he has always regarded Shao Peiyuan as a threat to his safety, and a thorn in his side. On the surface, Liu Minghui and Shao Peiyuan are a couple of close, like-minded friends. But in reality, Liu Minghui is constantly thinking of ways to pull the other down from his horse. As long as the genuine product is destroyed, then this fake will be unique and unmatched. However, the big-hearted Shao Peiyuan treats Liu Minghui sincerely, completely unaware that this close friend is like a tiger stalking its prey, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Sui Yuan’s muscles become taut not simply because of Liu Minghui’s reservations towards Shao Peiyuan, but also due to his misgivings regarding him possibly being Zhao Xihe. Originally accustomed to receiving friendly or even intimate gestures, Sui Yuan is now feeling all kinds of unease. Instinctively, he knows that he cannot continue ignoring these sorts of behaviours as long as he is in this world.

Smoothly avoiding Shao Peiyuan’s arm, Sui Yuan strides over to Shen Jiayi’s side, inspecting her for visible injuries. The other youth, who completely doesn’t detect Sui Yuan’s evasive manoeuvre, cheerfully allows his hand to drop back to his side as he suggests tagging along with Sui Yuan from here on.

Although Sui Yuan’s heart thumps in worry, the storyline doesn’t allow him to refuse…

“That spirit beast just now was definitely guarding something.” The delegation of people arrives at the place Shen Jiayi was attacked a moment ago, and begins to examine this place attentively for anything unusual. Being at peak Core Formation stage like Sui Yuan, Shao Peiyuan has been to this Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground a few times too, hence, he is rather familiar with the circumstances one might face here. “Perhaps here is where the hidden reward is located?”

Sui Yuan nods to express his agreement. Unlike the other disciples, he refrains from wandering aimlessly around. Remaining in his spot, his slightly narrowed eyes scan their surroundings thoughtfully.

“Minghui, did you notice something?” Shao Peiyuan stops beside Sui Yuan and questions in a low voice.

Sui Yuan glances at him, then begins to recite from the script. “Don’t you feel there’s something peculiar about this valley’s terrain? As if it…looks familiar?”

Shao Peiyuan knows very well that Sui Yuan specialises in charms, with a lesser specialisation in arrays. Faced with this question, he can only chuckle helplessly. “Minghui, don’t be so reluctant to share. You know I don’t have the slightest proficiency in arrays.”

Shooting him another glance, Sui Yuan directly answers his own question. “This is a mirage array.”

Saying thus, he walks over to the tree on the south-eastern side and sticks a fire charm on it while instructing Shao Peiyuan to stand at the east. Seeing that Sui Yuan is working to break the array, the other disciples spontaneously gather, automatically following his directions and staying within the safe zone. Blindly trusting him and paying close attention to his every movement, they watch with admiring gazes, oblivious to the fact that Sui Yuan is merely doing as the text instructs.

Say the reward is a large cake, and a handful people are waiting to receive a slice of it, then everyone will only be able to obtain a small portion. Having found this fortune with great difficulty, Liu Minghui will definitely not allow so many mediocre people to enter the zone safely. He merely needs a few able disciples to act as his hands and feet, but only those with true strength and talent would be able to break through this predicament to lay hands on the reward.

Undoubtedly, amongst the disciples present, only Shao Peiyuan and him possesses the necessary strength required not to fall victim to the various traps littering the path leading to this reward. And, of course, the female lead Shen Jiayi who has her halo.

The moment Sui Yuan ignites his fire charm, his expression changes and he yells, “Not good! This array has been altered slightly! Everyone, be careful!”

However, his warning comes a second too late as everyone is sucked into the array, and the ground beneath them rumbles and shudders dangerously. Long prepared for this, Sui Yuan reveals an appropriately faint, self-satisfied smirk before abruptly feeling a presence at his back.

His heart leaps in alarm and his mind shouts a warning for his body to dodge. Glancing over his shoulder, he instead sees Shao Peiyuan anxiously throwing himself at Sui Yuan, grabbing his arm and herding him backwards a few steps, neatly evading being smashed by a huge boulder falling from the sky.

Not daring to rush indiscriminately into action, Sui Yuan allows himself to be manhandled. Waiting until everything has settled, he discovers there is no one else in their vicinity.

“Minghui, are you all right?” Shao Peiyuan asks in concern, apparently not noticing all that happened is Sui Yuan’s doing.

Sui Yuan shakes his head. “I’m fine, how about you?”

“Naturally untroubled.” Shao Peiyuan’s smile is bright and honest before a light wrinkle creases his brow as he glances around. “I don’t know where everyone else went.”

Sui Yuan frowns too, but for a different reason.

Since the original text is from the female lead’s point of view, it doesn’t describe what happened to the other disciples the moment the array activated because the female lead is too busy trying to take care of herself, let alone trying to take care of others. Therefore, Sui Yuan doesn’t know if Shao Peiyuan’s display just now is the norm or not. He didn’t bother to save the lower-levelled cultivators who are in more need of protection, instead choosing Sui Yuan, whose strength is on par with his, which seems somewhat strange.

The gaze which Sui Yuan uses to regard Shao Peiyuan now holds a trace of caution as he feels the possibility of this person being Zhao Xihe increasing by the minute. If Shao Peiyuan is Zhao Xihe, then it would clearly explain his actions.

“Minghui, is something wrong?” Feeling Sui Yuan’s burning stare, Shao Peiyuan turns his head around to ask, face displaying simple and honest curiosity.

Sui Yuan hesitates a little, then decides to ask frankly. “Why did you choose to protect me? You are fully aware that my cultivation level is not lower than your own. Dealing with it wouldn’t be any trouble.”

Shao Peiyuan freezes for a second too, then forces a strained smile. “That…not protecting my fellow Heavenly Element disciples is indeed an oversight. But for some reason, my first thought is to protect you.” He pauses, then spreads his arms in a helpless gesture. “Perhaps it is because the impression you left on me when we first met is too deep. You looked so small and innocent that I feel I ought to protect you. But it seems you don’t need it anymore…” Shao Peiyuan seems somewhat lost as he trails off.

Pondering over this, Sui Yuan peruses the original text and discovers a few little things denoting Liu Minghui and Shao Peiyuan’s childhood, eventually accepting this excuse with a healthy dose of scepticism. Adding his suspicion of Shao Peiyuan’s true identity with the storyline, Sui Yuan believes it would be best to separate from the other youth.

If this guy is indeed Zhao Xihe, he needs to lessen contact with him as much as possible. If he isn’t, however, the plot indicates that Shao Pieyuan recovers the reward, and smoothly ascends to Nascent Soul stage before Liu Minghui. This clearly means that the two of them were not together when that happens, or else Liu Minghui will not allow his rival to snatch this rare chance away from him so easily.

Thinking up to here, Sui Yuan opens his mouth again. “This time, I was too rash and didn’t realise the mirage array isn’t an ordinary one with a single entrance and exit point. Although we managed to avoid death’s door today, we were drawn into a maze. While the chances of anyone dying is rather slim, it is still dangerous. In my opinion, we should separate and quickly find the other Junior Martial Brothers and Sisters.”

“You are right.” Shao Peiyuan’s dignified air returns and he nods, then glances at Sui Yuan hesitantly. “Still…Minghui, will you be fine on your own?”

“Naturally.” Sui Yuan smiles. “Peiyuan, are you still viewing me as a vulnerable child?”

Shao Peiyuan laughs and doesn’t waste more time talking. With one last warning to be careful, he picks a random direction and sets off, movements brisk and purposeful.

Seeing this, Sui Yuan’s heart relaxes a little, his suspicion of the other being Zhao Xihe moving down a notch.

Alone, Sui Yuan doesn’t have anything he needs to be doing. With free time on his hands, he absently pats the still downcast spirit pet around his shoulders, then lifts it up and places it on the ground, curious to see what it would do.

As soon as the Crystal beast’s four limbs touch the ground, it shoots off, then halts two paces away. Turning its head, the spirit pet meows incessantly at Sui Yuan, urging him to follow it. With nothing else to do, Sui Yuan falls into step beside the cat, puzzling over what has gotten it so excited.

Following the Crystal beast blindly, Sui Yuan comes across more than a handful of good loot accompanied by a fair share of trouble. Fortunately, he hasn’t slacked even a little in raising his cultivation level upon entering this world. Adding on the fact that he carries a few artefacts and charms on his person, he suffered more heart attacks than injuries. Walking for more than half a day, a heavy scent of blood suddenly wafts towards him from up ahead. Sui Yuan’s eyebrows draw together, calling his spirit pet back before approaching cautiously. His face abruptly drains of colour when he spots a blood-stained Shao Peiyuan collapsing, the corpse of a Golden Python laying close by.

“What happened here?!” Sui Yuan stares at the scene, stunned. Even if the other party is only a supporting male lead, Shao Peiyuan is an important character that cannot die here ah! This thought strikes him like a lightning bolt, causing him to be momentarily at a loss, turning to 5237 for help.

“In the script, Shao Peiyuan was indeed bitten before he beheaded that Golden Python. As he struggles between life and death, he managed to break through to Nascent Soul stage. But now…don’t talk about his breakthrough. Whether or not he is able to live is the question!” 5237 cries bitterly, racking its brain for an explanation as to why the plot suddenly derailed. After a while, it freezes, then turns slowly to regard the oblivious Crystal beast cheerfully licking its front claws.

Feeling the system’s stare, the Crystal beast tilts its head to the side with a “Meh?”, an extremely innocent look on its furry face. Sui Yuan’s gaze locks onto the disguised black cat for five seconds, then covers his face with both hands. “You mean…everything I gathered when following this spirit pet affected whether or not Shao Peiyuan will live?”

“Basically…yes.” 5237 nods its head gravely. “Unless he really is Zhao Xihe. Otherwise, I cannot think of any other reasons why his current situation differs from the plot. Storylines are a finicky thing. Can’t say for sure that amongst what you have picked up, there is something which can save Shao Peiyuan’s life?”

Sui Yuan falls silent for a while, then steps out of the shadows.

“……Are you going to save him?” 5237 hesitantly drifts over to Sui Yuan’s side. “It would be out of character ah…”

“Do you feel that staying in character, or making sure a character who is most probably the male lead survive is important?” Sui Yuan grumbles.

“Shao Peiyuan’s life.” 5237 has to concede to Sui Yuan’s logic. Out of character will one result in a few lost points, but if an important character dies before their time, it will influence the entire story! “However…just in case his injury is a deliberate act to expose you… But we cannot watch him die simply because we suspect he is Zhao Xihe… Wait a minute, I’ll help you exchange points for something!”

Sui Yuan looks at 5237 as his system turns around, then tendrils of light flow out of its plump body, congealing into a sphere that floats over to hang in front of his face. Lifting up a hand to catch it, the light disperses to reveal a feather-light mask.

“This item allows you to break away from the role you are currently playing and act out of character. Wearing this mask when you save him means you will not be penalised by the regulation. It’s worth every point spent!” 5237 puffs up its chest and declares smugly. “However, its period of effectiveness is very short since I bought the cheapest one, so be quick!”

Sui Yuan nods in acknowledgement, then places the mask on his face and rushes over to Shao Peiyuan.

Crouching down, he lifts Shao Peiyuan to a sitting position and fishes out the jade bottle given to him by Xuan Ling a while ago. Taking out a Jade Pearl pill, he feeds it to the injured youth.

Indeed worthy of being called a precious healing panacea. In less than a few seconds, Shao Peiyuan’s fitful breathing evens out and colour returns to his cheeks. Sui Yuan transfers some of his spiritual power to him, calming the other’s disorderly inner energy. Staying until he is sure Shao Peiyuan is no longer in a critical condition, Sui Yuan stands up to flee the scene, only for his hand to be abruptly caught.

Sui Yuan stiffens, gazing down at the dazed Shao Peiyuan valiantly trying to open his eyelids all the way and feels his hair standing on end. He fears hearing “Sui Yuan” these two words fall from the youth’s mouth.

As anxiety grips Sui Yuan, Shao Peiyuan exposes a feeble smile and slurs, “……Minghui……?”

Sui Yuan is torn between sighing in relief and remaining tense. “I am not Minghui, you’ve recognised the wrong person.”

“……Minghui……” Whether or not he heard Sui Yuan’s answer, Shao Peiyuan obstinately calls again, rendering Sui Yuan incapable of forming another response.

“Time’s almost up, quickly leave!” 5237 also doesn’t understand what is unfolding before its eyes, but it dutifully reminds its partner that the mask’s time limit is almost up. Without further ado, Sui Yuan pulls his hand back, not forgetting to lay Shao Peiyuan gently back on the grass before whirling around and sprinting away.

Just as he disappears from Shao Peiyuan’s line of sight, the mask on Sui Yuan’s face falls. Wringing the mask in his hands, Sui Yuan inquires nervously, “Do you think he recognised me?”

“……Actually, I think he is merely muddle-headed.” 5237 comforts.

“……If he still calls out for Liu Minghui even when befuddled……” Sui Yuan’s expression is a tad complicated. After experiencing a few worlds – and having a hand in turning all of them into BL – he has more or less developed a keener sense regarding ‘feelings’ between men.

“……Argh! Don’t say anymore!” 5237 swiftly turns its back on him, tears streaming down its face. “It’s a misconception! It’s definitely a misconception! Shouldn’t Shao Peiyuan be a supporting male lead or potential male lead who likes the female lead?! How the hell did he turn bent for another supporting male lead?! What in the world is going on?!”

Sui Yuan: “……Actually, I reckon you are overthinking this way more than me……”



[1] Cupping/clasping hands to greet or salute: (Added on just in case visual reference is needed)

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Chapter 4.3

Although Sui Yuan’s mission is to keep the plot on track, making sure his strength corresponds with that of his acting character is also compulsory. Strength is not something you can obtain without working diligently towards it. Therefore, Sui Yuan is still required to go through various hardships to cultivate. In order not to neglect either the storyline or his cultivation, 5237 doesn’t hesitate to help him compile his scenes from the original text and create a timetable which dictates in detail when he can focus on cultivating and when he has to go out and perform. The system is indeed worthy of being called his little helper.

According to 5237’s timetable, Sui Yuan smoothly crosses the rather dull period preceding the main plot. He also makes headway with the female lead, renewing his existence over and over, imprinting himself in her mind. Gradually, he transitions from a Senior Martial Brother who is ‘a stranger she has a good opinion of’ to a Senior Martial Brother she is ‘familiar with and has a good opinion of’, successfully establishing his trustworthiness in her heart.

As for his cultivation, Sui Yuan did not slack in that department either, progressing from mid-level Core Formation stage to the peak of the Core Formation stage. Soon, he might just be able to break through to the initial-level Nascent Soul stage. Similarly, the female lead also advances at lightning speed thanks to her halo. Not long after entering the doors of the sect, she successfully breaks through to the Foundation Establishment stage, then in the blink of an eye, continues onwards to initial Core Formation stage. This revelation of her innate talent draws the envy of her fellow disciples, and at the same time make others realise she is rather profitable – for example, the original Liu Minghui who began scheming on how to exploit her.

According to the plot, Liu Minghui starts to treat Shen Jiayi differently, from a common Junior Martial Sister to someone he has developed intentions towards. Hence, Sui Yuan also gradually changes his attitude towards her, becoming increasingly amiable and gentle, treating her with the utmost care. Presently, he has reached the level where she can’t help displaying her bashfulness every time she catches sight of him. Sui Yuan feels that his ability in seducing woman has improved a lot!

While all this is happening, he also doesn’t forget to observe the various supporting male leads that have gathered around Shen Jiayi. Besides Xuan Ling, who he has eliminated as the potential male lead, everyone else present so far doesn’t have the slightest possibility to be the male lead. Because their cultivation level is not higher than the female lead, and the crux of the matter is they don’t wear white!

Sui Yuan feels he has become rather jumpy as of late, always getting a little tense whenever he encounters someone wearing white robes. This is really not a good thing…

The Heavenly Cosmos sect that he and female lead are a part of has a brother sect called the Heavenly Element sect. These two sects are located on the same Distant Heavens mountain range, existing in mutual dependency and often compete against each other. Suffice to say, they have a rather complicated relationship.

In the middle of the Distant Heavens mountain range lies a wide, open plain christened the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground. Rumour has it that ten million years ago, during the initial establishment of the Heavenly Cosmos sect and the Heavenly Element sect, both founders expended a huge portion of their energy before Ascension to construct this plain. From then on, every sixty years, this Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground bears witness to all Core Formation cultivators competing amongst themselves. This will allow disciples the rare opportunity to distinguish themselves, as well as blessing both sects with unending prosperity and a continued mutual relationship.

Shen Jiayi, who has just stepped into the initial-level Core Formation stage, will naturally be amongst the participants. As the original text describes it, she manages to grasp this rare opportunity and gained a great reward at the end of it.

Being at the peak of Core Formation stage, Sui Yuan is, of course, called to participate in this competition, especially since he possesses the highest cultivation level amongst the disciples. The sect leader’s succeeding disciple and Heavenly Cosmos sect’s Head Disciple, he is naturally summoned by his master ahead of schedule, warned repeatedly that he has to look after his Junior Martial Brothers and Sisters when they are in the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground. He must ensure they are not arrogant or hot-tempered, be prudent and cool-headed in all matters.

“This time, Junior Brother Xuan Ling is meant to be our sect’s supervisor, in charge of preventing any mishaps that might occur during the tournament. However, you are also well aware of his temper. To tell the truth, Master is somewhat worried ah…” The sect leader strokes his beard and sighs. “If Junior Brother Xuan Ling doesn’t appear promptly when trouble arises, you must assist him in undertaking this responsibility. Our Heavenly Cosmos sect must learn from our previous failures and not commit the same mistakes again!”

In the past, the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground was overrun by an evil sect, causing the two brother sects to lose quite a few of their Core Formation disciples in this disaster, consequently leading to them suffering a huge blow to their overall strength. It took both sects several hundred years to recover from that crisis and flourish again. Ever since that debacle, the two sects will send an Elder with high cultivation to act as the supervisors whenever the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground opens in order to prevent another tragedy from occurring.

Sui Yuan naturally doesn’t dare decline, merely bowing his head and accepting this responsibility. The sect leader’s expression doesn’t ease, however, and he continues prompting the youth to take special care of everyone’s safety, then generously handing over a few pills and charms. “Perhaps this is the last time you can enter the grounds. Master hopes that you are able to grasp that rare chance and smoothly breakthrough to Nascent Soul stage.”

“Disciple will try his best to meet Master’s great expectations,” Sui Yuan bows as he replies before withdrawing from the hall. He has his own preparations to make.

In this part of the plot, Sui Yuan doesn’t have many scenes, and none of them are all that important. The female lead was saved by a hero, but the hero isn’t him. In any case, even if he only plays a minor role in this section of the story, he still works conscientiously to do his part. As for Nascent Soul stage…according to the plot, Liu Minghui is a step too late, losing out to his ‘old rival’. Therefore, the original Liu Minghui becomes jealous of the other’s achievements and begins to scheme, exploiting the female lead and cementing his character as a villainous hypocrite who is willing to sacrifice the person he loves in the name of power.

With no major scenes to prepare for and no pressure of ascending to the Nascent Soul stage, Sui Yuan feels extremely relaxed and carefree, treating this trip down the mountain to the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground like a sightseeing vacation. Presently, the only tasks he needs to accomplish is to subdue a spirit pet that looks like a black cat.

Upon entering the grounds, Sui Yuan follows the description given in the script to find the exact spot where Liu Minghui meets the black cat. Allowing himself to be drawn into the spirit-land[1], he effortlessly dispels the illusions within, which are there to misdirect people. All the while, he keeps an eye and ear out for that black cat, waiting for it to walk right into a trap as it is meant to in the original text. Only, instead of a black cat, he has the misfortune of bumping into a white ‘rabbit’, who proceeds to yell and cry for Sui Yuan to form a contract with it, allowing it to become his spirit pet.

Confirming there isn’t meant to be a white rabbit spirit pet by Liu Minghui’s side, Sui Yuan can only refuse. But it’s a pity no matter how hard he tries to drive it away, that little creature tenaciously sticks to him, refusing to leave.

“…Why are you dead-set on following me?” Sui Yuan cries without tears, wanting to fall on his knees before it.

“Because I saw your heart as soon you entered the spirit-land! Your mind is pure and void of ill thoughts. I like it a lot.” The rabbit (?[2]) opens its sparkling red eyes wide, long, upright ears twitching, it’s unrabbit-like, long, bushy tail wraps around Sui Yuan’s ankle like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. “If I form a contract with you, my cultivation will definitely increase swiftly!”

“A no is a no.” Sui Yuan wants to extract his leg, but he can’t bear to hurt such a soft, fluffy and lovely creature. “My destined spirit pet is not you.”

“Who is it?! Who is it?!” The rabbit cries out in alarm, fur standing on end, wishing it can immediately find that ‘destined spirit pet’ and duel it.

“…It’s a creature that looks like a black cat,” Sui Yuan replies firmly.

The rabbit startles. “That’s impossible! A creature resembling a black cat… Are you talking about the Nightmare beast?! That thing is very detestable and is my natural nemesis! That scoundrel will only follow one who has a scheming heart, willing to do absolutely anything to achieve their desires even if it means harming innocents! It is completely incompatible with you!”

Sui Yuan: “……” He doesn’t know how to explain why that black beast is his ‘destined spirit pet’. “In any case, my spirit pet should be the Nightmare beast, not you.”

Although Sui Yuan is resolute, the rabbit remains unmoved, trying all ways to entice Sui Yuan’s approval by acting cute, showing how obedient and smart it is, comparing its noble and elegant self to that apathetic, ruthless rascal of a Nightmare beast. Most importantly, it emphasises how unsuitable the Nightmare beast is for Sui Yuan. Even if Sui Yuan manages to meet the creature and gets down on his knees to beg for a contract, it wouldn’t even spare him a glance!

“……Then what should I do?” Sui Yuan’s shoulders droop, depressed. He can play an outstanding villain boss, but it is impossible for him to dye his heart black.

“…Why are you so set on having the Nightmare beast?” The rabbit is equally depressed. Never in its wildest dreams would it have imagined someone so compatible wants to avoid it so badly. No matter how it acts, the human remains steadfast in his decision.

“Because I cannot let a certain someone see that my spirit pet is a rabbit,” Sui Yuan mumbles, face buried in his hand. It would be akin to sending a large signal to Zhao Xihe and yelling “I am actually Sui Yuan come catch me ah hahaha…!!”

“I’m not a rabbit!” Said rabbit-like creature explodes in indignation. “I am a precious Crystal beast!”

“Ah, right, you are a Crystal beast.” Sui Yuan nods, feeling that this name sounds very familiar. In the original text, who did it belong to again?

“If…if…” The Crystal beast’s eyes darts around nervously, struggling with itself for more than half a day before eventually locking gazes with Sui Yuan and stammers, its pride fragmenting bit by bit. “If you don’t want anyone to see my true form, I can use magic to transform my outer appearance so I look like the Nightmare beast…”

“Really?” Sui Yuan’s eyes light up. He was just racking his brain for ways to overcome this big bug in the system and find ways to ensure the Nightmare beast will accept him.

“That’s right…” A woeful expression on its face, the Crystal beast reluctantly nods its head. “Therefore, you can make a contract with me, can’t you?”

Sui Yuan agrees instantly. “Come, let’s form a contract.”

Crystal beast: “…Yiyiyi…in the end, just how much do you dislike this Crystal beast’s appearance!”

Successfully establishing the contract and obtaining a false Nightmare beast, the disguised Crystal beast clings to its human, draping its body around Sui Yuan’s shoulder, black tail wrapping around his neck. It still appears rather gloomy, causing Sui Yuan’s heart to soften and rubs its head in sympathy.

Compelled to wear the form of its nemesis, the Crystal beast’s glass heart has shattered to pieces. Fortunately, it acquired its long-desired wish by getting its paws on an extremely compatible master, and said new master’s gentle caress offers it enormous comfort.

Seeing the sticky Crystal beast attaching itself to Sui Yuan and acting like a spoiled child, 5237 somewhat envies it. It’s a pity this plump body is hard and smooth, unable to compare with the velvety soft fur. So this poor system can only display a haughty attitude as though it has never once thought about riding on its partner’s shoulder.

“In the original text, this Crystal beast does indeed belong to someone else.” Incapable of being cute, 5237 decides to continue being the intelligent little helper. “The female lead’s master, Xuan Ling. Although he is a human iceberg, he has a weakness for furry, loveable and slightly dumb spirit pets and the like!”

Tilting his head to stare at the adorable spirit beast who is currently still attempting to build a more intimate relationship with its new master, Sui Yuan tries to imagine Xuan Ling with this cute little creature around his shoulders and can’t help finding it slightly hilarious.

“All right! Since you’ve settled the matter about spirit pets, we should leave the spirit-land. By now, the female lead has probably already met with trouble, so what comes next will be the hero saving the beauty. You should quickly show your face when that scene plays out,” 5237 reminds him.

Nodding, Sui Yuan pats the Crystal beast on the head, hinting for it to bring them both out of the spirit-land.

The spirit pet is extremely unwilling, but it knows it cannot remain in the spirit-land for a lifetime. “It’s a pity that I wouldn’t be able to communicate directly with you like this once we come out of the spirit-land. But you will definitely be able to understand me, right?”

“Un, I will.” Sui Yuan nods, soothing its worries.

Satisfied, the beast’s whiskers tremble faintly before their surroundings disperse like mist and Sui Yuan’s feet lands on the lush green grass of the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground once more.

The black cat around his shoulders turns its head and emits a series of meows, only for Sui Yuan to return its stare silently. Three whole seconds pass before he shakes his head regretfully. “I can’t understand a single thing you are saying…”

Crystal beast: “……You scoundrel! You lied to me!! QAQ”



[1] Spirit-land (幻境): Which actually translates to “land of fantasy” or “fairyland” but I thought neither of it sounds fitting.

[2] It is not actually a rabbit, just that it looks like one, so SY calls it a rabbit. I imagine it to be something like this, sans the wings.

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