As they watched Jiuying gradually dissipate, silence fell over the group. Only Xie Li felt curious and jumped up, trying to grab the starlight, but he ended up falling flat on his face.
“Your Highness, did that big snake die?” Xie Li asked casually.
“Yes,” replied Si Lan.
“Wasn’t he the monster that split the mountain in two earlier?”
“Well, he must have been a pitiful creature, with just a single head floating around…” Xie Li continued, gesturing with his hands.
Seeing this, Qu Ze pulled Xie Li behind him, preventing him from bothering Si Lan any further.
Si Lan looked a bit exhausted at the moment. He was about to lead a group of children out of the cave when he remembered someone and quickly woke up the Snake Mother who had been choked behind the statue.
The Snake Mother had taken human form and was lying on the ground. When she woke up, she looked around cautiously, not seeing the nine-headed snake’s figure. Her voice trembled as she asked, “Is he dead?”
Si Lan nodded.
The Snake Mother sighed in relief, and her gaze became steady as she looked at Si Lan. Then, she tried to stand up but her body gave way, and she fell into Si Lan’s arms.
Si Lan hurriedly supported her and said, “Be careful.”
“I… I can’t walk.”
She hadn’t eaten since being imprisoned, and her cultivation had been sealed, leaving her with less energy than an ordinary woman.
Si Lan originally intended to have Qu Ze carry the Snake Mother, but he noticed that one of Qu Ze’s iron arms had broken. So, he ended up carrying the Snake Mother himself.
The Snake Mother lowered her head slightly, her cheeks blushing.
Si Lan suddenly heard a sound and turned to see that Hao Wei’s small hand was pinching the rock wall. When he pulled his hand back, the part he had pinched crumbled and fell.
Hao Wei clapped his hands lightly and said, “The rock wall is a bit soft.”
Si Lan was speechless.
As they walked out of the cave, disciples from the Xuan Ling Sect and the Charm Snake Clan immediately approached. Although they didn’t know what had happened, they had heard the desperate and agonized cries of Jiuying in the forest, so they guessed that Jiuying had died.
“Lord Si, is that monster dead?” Xu Yi asked.
“That’s great!” Xu Yi and the other disciples cheered. “Our master and mistress can finally rest in peace. The only regret is that we didn’t get to see the monster die a miserable death!”
“But, even though his head is dead, there are still eight of his heads sealed under Xuan Ling Mountain. So in the future, you will have to continue guarding this place to ensure the safety of this realm,” Si Lan said to encourage them.
In reality, Jiuying’s eight remaining heads couldn’t gather his soul anymore. Even if the seal were broken, they would rot instantly.
He said this to motivate the Xuan Ling Sect disciples. Although Lou Yu was gone, the Xuan Ling Sect still had a role to play in this world.
After discussing with his junior disciples, Xu Yi began cleaning up Xuan Ling Mountain, determined to rejuvenate the Xuan Ling Sect.
On the side of the Charm Snake Clan, the Two-Headed Charm Snake saw Si Lan hugging the Snake Mother and led a group of young Charm Snakes over to take the Snake Mother. They quickly expressed their thanks and then gathered around her to help her heal.
Si Lan observed the situation around Xuan Ling Mountain and found the center of the Eight Trigram Array. He reached out and, in an instant, a huge Extreme Sound Eight Trigram Array appeared on the ground.
The array had eight directions and a central point.
The central point of the array was missing a piece, which had caused Jiuying’s head to wake up.
Si Lan gently touched the central point of the Eight Trigram Array and repaired the missing piece.
Although Jiuying would no longer cause chaos in the world, the Eight Trigram Array contained countless illusory phases. If someone accidentally fell into it, they would likely be trapped inside and die.
After completing these tasks, the Two-Headed Charm Snake inexplicably walked over and respectfully said, “Lord Si, our Snake Mother wants to speak with you.”
Si Lan raised his eyebrows in surprise and turned to look at the Charm Snake Clan. He saw a group of young Charm Snakes surrounding the Snake Mother. The Snake Mother was gently touching their heads one by one, smiling at them.
What did the Snake Mother want to say to him?
Perhaps sensing Si Lan’s gaze, the Snake Mother raised her head slightly, and her eyes met Si Lan’s with a gentle and affectionate look. She then quickly lowered her head.
Si Lan hesitated and said, “Alright.”
By a babbling brook, Si Lan and the Snake Mother walked side by side without a clear destination.
The Snake Mother had a graceful and elegant figure, with a slow and steady pace. It seemed that her injuries had not fully healed, and she occasionally coughed softly, appearing more fragile and pitiable.
Seeing that the other party remained silent, Si Lan took the initiative to speak, “Are your injuries getting better?”
“Somewhat,” the Snake Mother replied, lowering her head even more. “Thank you for saving me.”
“It’s nothing. You don’t need to thank me for that.”
“But I really don’t know how to repay you. Yet, I also want to repay you in my heart…” Suddenly, the Snake Mother turned around, raised her eyes, and gazed steadily at Si Lan.
Most likely due to the nature of snake women, the Snake Mother’s crimson eyes inexplicably captivated one’s heart and soul, with a hint of hidden charm. Her eyes reflected a few strands of hair swaying in the wind, making her enchanting.
Seeing the sincere look in her eyes, Si Lan spoke honestly, “Actually, I have killed three wives on my wedding day, and I have carried a bad reputation with me. No woman is willing to marry me.”
Upon hearing this, the Snake Mother lowered her head, her hands entwined in front of her.
“So, I probably won’t get married in this lifetime, and I won’t have children. This is the biggest regret in my heart. If you really want to repay me…”
“I’m willing,” the Snake Mother softly interrupted Si Lan.
“Alright… then call me ‘Father’ to make up for the regret of not being a father.”
“…” The Snake Mother.
In no time, Hao Wei and the others saw the Snake Mother returning, grumbling and completely different from the frail and pitiful appearance she had earlier.
Seemingly filled with anger, the Snake Mother beckoned and led the Charm Snake Clan away.
Si Lan followed from behind, picking two wild fruits along the way. He saw the Charm Snake Clan leaving in a hurry, and on his face, there was a trace of helplessness and confusion. But out of kindness, he reminded the Snake Mother, “Please don’t get angry easily because you still have restrictions in your body.”
The Snake Queen’s body staggered for a moment, but she didn’t say a word, only quickening her pace.
At this moment, a lone little Enchanting Snake transformed into a human form, specifically waiting for Si Lan to return. After waving farewell to Si Lan, the little Enchanting Snake set off to catch up with the Enchanting Snake clan.
It was Yu Shi.
The little Enchanting Snake whose two fangs had been removed by Si Lan.
Si Lan hadn’t seen Yu Shi before and had thought that Yu Shi had died in that massacre. His lips twitched, and he gave Yu Shi a faint smile.
“Your Majesty, what happened between you and the Snake Queen?” Xie Li curiously tugged at Si Lan’s robe and asked with gossip in his eyes.
Si Lan sighed and recounted his conversation with the Snake Queen. After finishing, he added, “She’s four hundred years old, and I’m over a thousand. She could be my daughter, right?”
Except for Xie Li, who didn’t understand, Hao Wei and Qu Ze, upon hearing this, had slightly twitching faces.
It’s unclear whether this Demon Lord genuinely didn’t understand or was pretending not to.
“Oh, Your Majesty, I understand now. Maybe she wants to be your granddaughter.” Xie Li plucked a wild fruit from Si Lan’s hand, took a bite, and mumbled.
Si Lan nodded in agreement, “I think so too.”
Hao Wei and Qu Ze…
Si Lan remembered that Hao Wei hadn’t eaten in a while and couldn’t let the Crown Prince of the Heavenly Realm go hungry, so he handed another wild fruit to Hao Wei. “Here, it’s fresh.”
Hao Wei took the wild fruit, his eyes twitching slightly.
Did this Demon Lord remember to pick some fruits for himself while chatting with the Snake Queen?
This Demon Lord had a bit of a conscience, but not much.
Before leaving Xuan Ling Mountain, Si Lan made another trip to Lou Yu’s grave.
Lou Yu, apart from practicing the sword, didn’t have many hobbies. Si Lan didn’t know what to bring to Lou Yu, so he brought a jar of wine.
He had many things he wanted to say in his heart, but when he actually opened his mouth, he found that he couldn’t say a word. In the end, he could only say helplessly, “Idiot.”
Perhaps this idiot didn’t think of himself as foolish but believed he was happy.
Si Lan took out the small stone that Nine Infants had given him, used a spell, and looked at the dream world where Lou Yu and Zhong Mu were.
In the dream world’s Demon Valley, it appeared as it had before the great fire. The enormous Soaring Dragon Tree stood intact, its brown branches and leaves densely covering the sky.
Beneath the tree, Lou Yu was dressed in a red wedding gown, his figure tall and straight, standing there without moving.
Zhong Mu, as if waking from a nightmare, hurriedly rushed outside after putting on a long robe. As if guided by something, he stumbled his way to the Soaring Dragon Tree and saw a tall figure standing beneath it.
Leaves gently fell with the wind, Lou Yu turned around, his eyes gentle, and a slow smile appeared.
Zhong Mu’s heart suddenly moved, and he instinctively moved forward to hug Lou Yu.
But this time, in Zhong Mu’s dream, the figure he hugged didn’t dissipate. The two of them clung tightly together, as if transcending life and death, transcending worldly constraints, with nothing to hinder them.
Zhong Mu didn’t see the moment when Lou Yu, while embracing him, lowered his long lashes and shed tears.
In this dream, Zhong Mu and Lou Yu would have a smooth wedding and spend their remaining days in Demon Valley, free from obstacles.
Si Lan didn’t look any further and withdrew his consciousness from the illusion.
The dream was perfect, and he had never seen Lou Yu smile so gently before. Love truly intoxicated people.
The jar of wine was not yet finished; Si Lan emptied it in front of Lou Yu’s tombstone.
“I don’t know when I’ll have the time to visit you next. If you miss me, send me dreams.”
In the distance, three little kids were still waiting for Si Lan.
Hao Wei and Qu Ze continued to wear frowns that made them look like someone owed them money, despite their young age.
And little Xie Li was on the side, counting his candies with intense focus.
When Si Lan approached them, he purposely made heavy footsteps. Xie Li heard the sound and quickly hid his candies in his pocket, then turned to Si Lan with a silly smile. “Your Majesty, you’re back.”
“Mm.” Si Lan patted Xie Li’s little head, thinking that Xie Li had been through quite a lot these days, so he would let him secretly eat a few candies.
“Your Majesty, are you going back to the Demon Realm?”
As soon as Si Lan finished speaking, Qu Ze used the remaining strength in his left hand to perform a Cloud-Walking Technique and summoned a cloud.
Si Lan remembered that Qu Ze was injured, but throughout the journey, Qu Ze never said a word about the pain, let alone mention the severed right arm.
This child was always unwilling to trouble Si Lan. If Si Lan didn’t ask, he wouldn’t speak.
Calm and mature to the point of being somewhat self-punishing.
Si Lan suddenly looked at him with compassion. “Qu Ze, the images Nine Infants showed you were real. I did indeed cut off your right arm.”
“I know,” Qu Ze replied with an unchanged expression.
Si Lan tentatively asked, “Aren’t you angry?”
“If Your Majesty cut off my right arm, there must have been a reason.”
“…” Si Lan.
Hao Wei, on the side, raised his head and looked at Qu Ze with an expression that probably said, “Is this guy not a fool?”
Qu Ze’s trust in Si Lan, on the contrary, made Si Lan feel somewhat ashamed. He pursed his lips and carefully explained, “I wasn’t planning to tell you this, but now that you know, I’ll tell you the whole story.”
Qu Ze nodded.
“My second wife, Lan Lan, was a koi spirit from the Jing River. Shortly after her death, the Jing River was attacked by the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan, and all the koi spirits were slaughtered. The koi spirit chief, on the brink of death, found me and begged me to take you in. The Blue Shrimp Yao Clan also came and demanded that I hand you over.”
“The enmity between the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan and the koi spirits spans thousands of years and is difficult to untangle. When the koi spirits were thriving, they almost wiped out the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan. So now that the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan is in power, they want to exterminate the koi spirits. I didn’t want to get involved in the war between these two groups, but I owed Lan Lan a debt. You, being a koi spirit and a member of Lan Lan’s clan, the chief asked me to save your life for Lan Lan’s sake, so I decided to protect you.”
During this time, there was a little episode. Qu Ze had been crying continuously, and Si Lan approached him with a stern face, asking him not to cry. Qu Ze stopped crying.
At that moment, Si Lan felt a bit more fond of this obedient little koi spirit.
“I told the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan that I would take care of you from now on and make sure you wouldn’t be a threat to them. However, they didn’t believe me. So, in their presence, I swung my sword and severed your right arm. Only then did they agree to spare you. That night, you asked me why I didn’t give you a new arm, and I told you I couldn’t, but I lied. I could help you regenerate your arm, but if the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan found out, they would still try to eliminate you.”
After Si Lan finished speaking, he thought that Qu Ze’s expression might change, but he realized that Qu Ze remained expressionless. “Your Majesty, I understand.”
“If you hate me, it’s only fair.”
“I don’t hate you. I know you were trying to save me.” Qu Ze replied without hesitation.
Even if Si Lan had no reason to cut off his arm, he wouldn’t bear any resentment. Si Lan had given him his life, and without Si Lan, he would have died countless times.
In his youth, he often found himself in dangerous situations, and every time he cried “Your Majesty,” Si Lan would instantly appear at his side, rescuing him from peril.
Si Lan never thought of him as foolish or troublesome. He would personally teach him how to break through formations, use spells, and subdue monsters and demons.
Si Lan’s kindness to him had accumulated over time, seeping into every aspect of life. His trust in Si Lan was also built in this way, and it couldn’t be easily broken by a few words from others.
Si Lan nodded with satisfaction. Qu Ze was truly a promising disciple, and it was not in vain that he had saved him from the Blue Shrimp Yao Clan.
“Now that you know your origins, do you want revenge?” Si Lan’s innermost wish was for Qu Ze not to seek revenge but to look ahead. However, he couldn’t advise his disciple to be magnanimous when he himself couldn’t overcome his own hatred.
“Your Majesty, no matter what I do in the future, I will always tell you the truth.” Qu Ze didn’t provide a clear answer.
Si Lan knew that Qu Ze was likely struggling with his feelings and didn’t press further.
The cloud descended on the Zhuyun Peak, and the group returned to the Demon Realm.
Si Lan stood on the mountaintop, looking at the twelve peaks in the distance, shrouded in clouds, and turned to Hao Wei, saying, “Look, those are the lands I’ve conquered for you.”
Hao Wei glanced at him indifferently, turned away, and left.
A childish Demon Lord.
“Chong Ying, your father sent someone to the Demon Realm to find you last time. Are you going back?” Si Lan asked as he followed Hao Wei.
Hao Wei made a sound of agreement. His cultivation had mostly recovered, but he still wanted to taste a drop of Si Lan’s blood before returning.
Si Lan seemed a bit reluctant and sighed. “If you miss me, you can come to the Demon Realm to see me.”
“…” Hao Wei.
Who would miss him?
Hao Wei gritted his teeth and decided to drink a bit more of his blood later to make up for the humiliation he had endured during this time.
Si Lan reached out to pat Hao Wei’s head, then checked his spiritual realm, still unable to discern his level of cultivation.
“Chong Ying, when we were in the cave, Nine Infants almost broke out of the formation within me. It was you who used your spiritual power to suppress him, right?” Si Lan asked tentatively. When he was severely injured and on the verge of spitting blood, almost losing half his life to Nine Infants, a powerful force broke into his body, suppressing Nine Infants.
He thought about it, and at that time, there were only Hao Wei and Qu Ze with him in the cave. Qu Ze couldn’t possess such powerful cultivation, so it must have been Hao Wei…
Hao Wei didn’t intend to reveal his true identity to Si Lan to avoid conflicts. Besides, if people found out that the Demon King had captured and toyed with the Emperor, it would ruin his reputation and dignity.
“It wasn’t me,” Hao Wei replied tersely. Perhaps feeling a bit guilty, his expression became even more tense after he spoke.
“Then it must have been you who injured Qu Ze.”
Hao Wei’s lips twitched. “I just pushed him lightly, and he started coughing up blood.”
“…” Si Lan.
After a moment of silence, Si Lan simply said, “Okay,” and didn’t inquire any further.
That night, Si Lan was making a prosthetic arm for Qu Ze and ended up working late into the night. He ended up dozing off in his chair.
Hao Wei walked up to Si Lan, his gaze tracing Si Lan’s forehead, nose, chin, and down to his neck. He leaned closer, his eyes sharp, and suddenly bit into Si Lan’s shoulder and neck.
Si Lan groaned, his eyelashes quivering slightly as if he was about to wake up. Immediately, Hao Wei extended his hand and pressed a point on Si Lan’s body, causing Si Lan to fall into a deep sleep once again.
Hao Wei saw that the bite mark on Si Lan’s neck had faded, and he bit down with even more force.
This mark would probably not disappear easily for a while.
Si Lan slept deeply, only waking up the next day around noon.
The scattered parts and fragments of the unfinished prosthetic arm on the ground had disappeared, leaving only a fully assembled iron arm lying there.
Si Lan picked up the prosthetic arm, licked his lips, and wondered why he remembered falling asleep halfway through making it the night before.
He tried the prosthetic arm and found that the mechanisms inside were much more flexible than what he had initially crafted.
At that moment, he felt a sharp pain on his neck. He reached to touch it and saw a faint bloodstain on his fingertip.
He quickly stood up from his chair, “Chong Ying… Chong Ying…”
This little creature is incorrigible!
And he dares to sneakily drink his blood!
Does he really consider him a walking blood bank?!
He didn’t hear a reply and thought that the little guy had hidden somewhere. He walked out and raised his voice to call him, but there was still no response, only a flock of wild birds on the Zhuyun Peak taking flight.
It was then that he realized that the little one had returned to the Heavenly Court.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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