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Chapter 58: Keeping One’s Word
“Kong Hou!” Seeing the young girl in the water, Huan Zhong flew down to the surface and bent down to carry her out without even thinking.
The young girl was icy all over. Huan Zhong’s hand trembled as he held her hand, his face pale as he spat out a mouthful of blood. He wiped away the blood at the corner of his mouth and took her pulse with trembling fingers.
“Huan Zhong…” The blow which had made her fall from the sky into the pond was too great. Kong Hou had fainted after entering the pond. In a daze, she felt something warm come close to her. She opened her eyes and saw a paper-white Huan Zhong holding her. His usually neat hair was in disarray. However… this did not harm Huan Zhong’s beauty but made him even more beautiful instead.
Seeing Kong Hou open her eyes, Huan Zhong discovered that his heart which had been in the air all this time finally landed. “How are you?” His hoarse voice trembled.
“I am fine.” Kong Hou sat up in Huan Zhong’s embrace and pulled off the damaged seals off her body. “So many seals, all ruined.”
Lin Hu and the Auspicious Pavilion disciples who had hurried over saw the pile of seal paper by Kong Hou’s feet. “…”
“You are all fine, this is wonderful!” Kong Hou saw them standing unharmed in front of her and sighed in relief. “Huan Zhong, did you defeat that evil cultivator?”
“Evil cannot triumph over good.” Huan Zhong took out a cloak from his storage ring and put it over Kong Hou. “You are mostly fine, but your inner energy is not stable. Rest here for a few hours. We will resume travel once your inner energies stabilize.”
He threw out the golden palace which transformed into a magnificent palace. With a wave of his sleeve, the gates to the golden palace opened. Huan Zhong looked down and tied the cloak. “Go in, wash up and change.”
Kong Hou looked at Huan Zhong’s almost transparent face. “Huan Zhong, is your spirit platform all right?”
“It is fine.” Huan Zhong wanted to touch the young girl’s face but he only twitched his fingers. He felt his action was slightly strange. Regardless of how much he liked this young girl, and even wanted her as his apprentice, he should not have such improper thoughts.
He took out a handkerchief to wipe away the water in her hair. Huan Zhong used a spell to dry Kong Hou’s clothing. “Let’s enter first.”
“That evil cultivator is dead?” Kong Hou walked at the front and did not look back at Huan Zhong’s expression. “The storybooks have protagonists who let the villains go, then the villains caused even more calamities—that is causing trouble for oneself.”
Lin Hu turned to glance at Huan Zhong. Huan Zhong said expressionlessly, “You are correct.”
Now, even the Auspicious Pavilion disciples turned to look at Huan Zhong.
“I just knew you would not do something like this.” Kong Hou had used too much spirit energy and had not recovered. She walked into the courtyard she previously resided in and said to the group, “I will go meditate.”
“Rest well,” Huan Zhong said. “Put the incense ball I gave you last time beside you. It can help you recover sooner.”
“Yes.” Kong Hou nodded. She walked a few steps and saw Huan Zhong still standing at the entrance to the courtyard and looking at her. She gave him a big smile.
Huan Zhong saw the young girl’s smile and curved his lips. “Go sleep.”
“Oh.” Kong Hou ran to Huan Zhong and put a bottle of pills that Qing Yuan Shishu had made into Huan Zhong’s hands before running back in a good mood to her room. After closing the door, she felt some regret. Since Huan Zhong was able to kill such a powerful evil cultivator, his swordsmanship must be strong. What a pity she hadn’t been able to admire it just now.
Huan Zhong looked at the pill bottle in his hand. He poured out two pills. The pill patterns on the pills were distinct, and were in the shape of lucky clouds. This was an extremely high quality energy returning pill. Less than ten people in the cultivation world could make such a thing. Peak Master Qing Yuan of Splendid Cloud Sect was one of them.
He put the pills into his mouth. Then, Huan Zhong summoned the Dragon Roar sword again.
“Master?” Lin Hu saw Huan Zhong take his sword out again. “What are you doing with your sword?”
“Killing someone.” Huan Zhong returned two short words before he turned into a stream of golden light and disappeared from the golden palace. Lin Hu took two steps and then gave up on stopping Master. He turned to look at the five Auspicious Pavilion disciples and said calmly, “My master usually has a good personality but dislikes people talking about his private matters.”
“Juniors will not say a word of what happened,” the young shidi hurriedly said. “Elder, do not worry.”
Ge Jin covered her shidi‘s mouth and laughed. “Did something just happen? Us juniors have low cultivation and did not see anything.”
Lin Hu did not argue with them. He nodded minutely. “Come with me. I will take you to a place to rest.”
After watching the battle between Spirit Master Huan Zhong and Old Man Wu Ku, the disciples of Auspicious Pavilion had a clearer understanding of Spirit Master Huan Zhong’s cultivation. The powerful Old Man Wu Ku wasn’t able to fight back at all against Spirit Master Huan Zhong. Each of his sword moves was able to shake the earth and upturn the ocean.
In front of a true power, the smartest method was to be docile and silent. Moreover, the aforementioned true power had just told a minor white lie. An expert with a shortcoming was more human. They understood, they really could understand.
In any case… if they did not understand, they would not dare to speak of it.
Old Man Wu Ku was heavily wounded but he did not dare to return to the evil cultivators’ world. He also did not dare to appear where there were many cultivators. He disguised himself and rapidly moved east. He prepared to find a remote village to hide in.
The sky was near dark and he did not encounter any cultivators on his way. Old Man Wu Ku sighed in relief. He had managed to preserve his life. He shoved a few pills into his mouth. Wu Ku prepared to land and borrow a residence from the village below. He suddenly heard a dragon’s roar behind him.
He changed expression, hurriedly summoning his lifebond talisman. When he turned around, Huan Zhong was pursuing him as expected. His expression was black. A few hours ago, this demon had ignored him. Why had he come chasing after him again?
This feeling of having hope and then becoming hopeless caused Wu Ku’s mental state to almost destabilize.
“I really had not expected to have the honor of being chased by you.” Wu Ku summoned a soul summoning banner. He said viciously, “While my cultivation cannot compare to yours, since you will not allow me to live, I will fight you to the death.”
Huan Zhong ignored him, only lifting his sword and thrusting. In just twenty moves, Wu Ku was in retreat, several more holes in his body. The Soul Summoning Banner in his hand had been cut in half.
“Ah!” As an evil sage of the evil cultivator world, Wu Ku had not been humiliated like this for a long time. He knew he had no hope left. He threw out the lifebond talisman to block Huan Zhong’s fatal attack. He then hit where his spirit platform was and forced out his mind manifestation.
Even if he died, he would not let this demon go so easily.
When Hong Zhong saw Wu Ku prepare to have his mind manifestation explode, his movements became as quick as lightning. Before Wu Ku could explode his own mind manifestation, his sword cut off Wu Ku’s arm and then his backhand blow destroyed Wu Ku’s spirit platform.
He looked down at the trembling mind manifestation. Huan Zhong forced a thread of his consciousness into the mind manifestation and it turned into dust. On the ground, Wu Ku wailed. His skin started to turn wrinkled and old, the wrinkles climbing onto his face, and his hair fell off in bunches.
“Argh, argh…” Wu Ku’s muddy eyes stared at Huan Zhong as though he was asking why.
“I do not like lying to other people, especially juniors.” Huan Zhong stabbed through Wu Ku’s throat with a single move and watched as the corpse turned to shrivelled bone. He said expressionlessly, “I have to do what I said to the junior.”
He drew out a wisp of essential fire and destroyed the storage items Wu Ku had left behind. Then, Huan Zhong turned and left.
Soon, the dried bones on the ground turned to dust. The night wind rose, and the dust dissipated in the woods.
When Huan Zhong walked out of the forest, he supported himself on the tree trunk and coughed ferociously. He looked at the crescent moon in the sky. Swallowing one of the pills Old Man Nameless had made, he jumped onto his flying sword and quickly made his way back to the golden palace.
“Master.” Lin Hu stood at the gates of the golden palace. Seeing Huan Zhong return, his gaze swept across the other’s face. “You should not have gone today.”
“I am a sword cultivator.” Huan Zhong moved up the steps to the gates of the golden palace. He did not turn his head. “What is a sword cultivator who cannot use a sword?”
“What was Master unable to put down today—the sword or Miss Kong Hou?” Lin Hu asked. “Does Master truly understand?”
Huan Zhong turned to look at Lin Hu, his eyes expressionless.
Under his gaze, Lin Hu started to sweat.
Huan Zhong turned his gaze away and said, his face lowered, “If Kong Hou had not joined Splendid Cloud Sect already, I would have taken her as my first apprentice.” In this lifetime, this was the only young person he had met who suited his tastes so well. Even though she was already a disciple of Splendid Cloud Sect, he did not bear for her to be slighted in any way.
When he thought of her beautiful eyes showing disappointment or sorrow, he couldn’t help but desire to satisfy all of her wishes. Pity… pity… he could not have her as an apprentice. Otherwise, he would make her the disciple with the highest status among the younger generation of the cultivation world.
Lin Hu looked at Master’s serious expression. His brow twitched slightly. “Master, Wu Ku is dead?”
“He was already killed during our battle today.” Huan Zhong turned around and said, “After today, the evil cultivator world will no longer have this person.”
Lin Hu: “…”
The highest level of lying was to make other people suspect their memory was wrong.
After interacting for a long time with a beautiful young girl, Master finally became a man that easily lied abundantly.
The next morning, Kong Hou sat up from her couch. Yesterday, she had been meditating and she didn’t know when she fell asleep. After she slept for a night, her meridians had recovered. However, the side-effects of overusing her spirit energy had not completely faded. Other than her hair and fingernails, all parts of her body ached.
Lazily lying back onto the couch, Kong Hou summoned the blanket from the bed with a wave of her hand. She wanted to turn herself into a ball. This way, she could curl up and not move.
Very soft footsteps sounded outside the door. They stopped outside her door and then moved away.
Kong Hou managed to open her eyes and said to the door, “Is it Huan Zhong?”
Huan Zhong, who had been leaving, heard Kong Hou’s voice and stopped. “You are awake?”
The door opened. The young girl dressed in loose robes and with her hair down leaned against the doorframe. “We are going to Auspicious Pavilion right now?”
Huan Zhong looked at Kong Hou’s exposed neck and collarbone. Hearing footsteps outside the courtyard, he went forward, pulling her into the room, and closed the door.
Hong Ling, who had walked to the courtyard entrance: “…”
Just now, the man who went into Celestial Kong Hou’s room was… Spirit Master Huan Zhong?
Translator Ramblings: Huan Zhong still has a ways to go …
We are a hundred chapters away from the end (technically 98 and 2 epilogue chapters).