Estranged - Chapter 56
hapter 56. It’s yours, and Jiufang Changming’s future
Proofread by Snake
Changming was not in a hurry to answer the empress dowager. His gaze swept across everybody.
Some of them hung their heads, afraid to meet his gaze, and some averted their eyes after he looked at them.
Especially one of the attendants standing near the emperor. He had been tense from the very beginning. When Changming threw him a glance, he trembled, feeling that Changming’s gaze was as sharp as a knife, piercing his heart, and leaving him no room to escape. He could not help but take a step back.
No one was moving inside the chamber, so the empress dowager noticed him stepping back.
She said immediately: “Seize him!”
She did not even need to give that order. Kuhe, who was standing close to the attendant, moved faster than lightning, and quickly subdued that man, rendering him motionless.
“Empress Dowager, spare my life! Everything this servant did was ordered by Concubine Liu! She was saying repeatedly that this was for His Majesty’s sake, that it was just soup she had cooked herself. This servant didn’t mean to harm His Majesty at all, and would have never dared to, ah!” The attendant collapsed to the floor, but as he could not earn forgiveness by begging on his knees, he also started weeping bitterly.
Concubine: her title is zhaoyi, one of the high concubine ranks in the imperial harem
The empress dowager said angrily: “Just what on earth happened!”
The attendant was sobbing and sniffling: “Concubine Liu was suffering because His Majesty didn’t agree to visit her, so she made a bowl of lotus-seed soup with her own hands, and asked this servant to deliver it. His Majesty tried it, said it was too sweet, and then…”
The empress dowager: “Where is that lotus-seed soup?!”
The attendant: “This, this servant has poured it away!”
Kuhe: “But the bowl should be left. Bring it here.”
The empress dowager hurriedly sent people to find the bowl. She hated the fact that she could not tear this person into pieces, since she knew she should be restraining herself right now.
This Concubine Liu was someone who showed a lot of initiative. She tried getting closer to the emperor many times, but he was still young. Furthermore, he did not like a woman like her who was two or three years older than him, and thus, Concubine Liu was forced to resort to such unscrupulous methods. While she certainly did not have the courage to poison the emperor, who could know if she was being manipulated by someone?
Very soon, the bowl was brought over. Kuhe and the others looked at it carefully, but noticed nothing unusual.
“Judging by the soup that has been left over in the bowl, it must have been a simple drug that lifts the mood.”
Because of Changming’s display of power after being provoked by Xie Chunxi, others naturally could not pretend he was not there.
The empress dowager took the initiative to ask him respectfully: “Does Minister Song’s teacher perhaps want to take a look as well?”
Changming shook his head, saying nothing.
Kuhe suddenly thought, he isn’t looking at the bowl, so obviously he doesn’t believe that the problem lies with the palace lady; then, why has he said so many words about demons? Could it be that he was only saying whatever came to mind?
The empress dowager was not thinking that much. She was angry and aggrieved, and her grudge still had not been avenged.
“What do you think, Immortals? Should we bring Concubine Liu here and question her?”
When Xie Chunxi had suffered a setback just now and did not manage to leave, his expression was grave. After that, he maintained an indifferent composure, causing no trouble and saying nothing.
Yue Chengbo was looking at him mockingly, and wanted to taunt him several times, but had to bite his tongue because of the circumstances.
Han Ye was the most benign and low-key among the four of them, and he would not interfere needlessly.
Only Kuhe responded to the empress dowager: “It’s best if she is brought here so that we can ask her some questions.”
But Changming said: “I don’t know whether Concubine Liu was one of those who injured the emperor, but there is another person here who was involved. Isn’t that right, Daoyou Han Ye?”
Han Ye was suddenly singled out, so his expression darkened slightly.
“What do you mean, daoyou?”
Changming said: “There are two types of culprits: those who have a guilty conscience, and those who pretend to be calm. Daoyou Han Ye, which type are you?”
Han Ye was now sure that Changming was picking fault with him.
“Daoyou’s words are utterly baffling. How are you so sure I’m guilty?”
Changming said: “While Yue Chengbo was arguing with Xie Chunxi, you took a step forward to smooth things over and find the emperor’s soul. What did you do at that moment?”
Han Ye: “My humble self’s skills are not refined, so I returned without accomplishing anything; I’m sorry for letting you down, daoyou!”
Changming shook his head: “The Donghai Sect has a unique technique named Primal Deity Formula. If the caster’s cultivation is far greater than the victim’s, this technique allows them to capture the opponent’s spiritual power, find their immortal souls and suppress their mortal forms smoothly. Did I remember correctly?”
Han Ye smiled coldly: “Daoyou is remarkably knowledgeable about my Donghai Sect! But I needed to carefully check whether His Majesty’s lost soul is still inside his body, so what’s wrong with me using the Primal Deity Formula?”
Changming: “Of course, using the Primal Deity Formula is fine. What’s wrong is that while you were using the Primal Deity Formula, you silently left a bit of your spiritual power to clear away the traces of demonic qi inside the emperor’s body to prevent the others from learning the truth.”
Han Ye: “This is downright dirty slander! Just who are you after all, how does a man of dubious background dare enter the palace and talk nonsense! At first, you embarrassed Mentor Xie, and now you are eyeing me, just what kind of sect did you come from?!”
Who knew that Xie Chunxi would refuse to be dragged down together with him.
“Please don’t worry about me, Daoyou Han Ye. I was the provocateur, but it turned out I’m inferior in skills; it has nothing to do with him.”
It could be seen that the relationships between the four masters were not all that warm and affable.
Han Ye gritted his teeth in anger: “Fine. His Majesty’s situation is still unclear now, and the task that is of paramount importance now is to find his souls and wake him up as soon as possible. But you’re listening to an unknown man spitting nonsense here. Since the others are reluctant to be the first, I should shoulder this responsibility and get rid of you, you scourge!”
When his last word sounded, he already drew near Changming, unleashing his spiritual power to suppress his enemy!
In the blink of an eye, the two of them started fighting. The empress dowager was concerned about her son who was lying on the bed. She couldn’t help but tug Kuhe’s sleeve nervously, asking him to stop the two of them immediately.
Kuhe smiled bitterly. Had he not already thought of interfering? But he really could not find an opening to intervene.
Surely, this man of unknown origins was not easy to deal with. Kuhe knew his powers should not be underestimated after the man had battled Xie Chunxi. However, Kuhe could also not imagine that Han Ye, a good old chap, who usually resembled a flat mountain or still water, had been pretending to be clumsy. It was very hard to connect his usual behaviour with the man in front of his eyes, who was fighting so quickly and forcefully.
A flat mountain or still water: low-key
It seemed that Han Ye intended to teach Changming a lesson he would not forget. His every attack carried murderous intent, his spiritual power was surging in waves, roiling like a boiling stormy sea, and not a trace of mercy could be discerned.
Changming, on the other hand, was empty-handed, and fended off his opponent’s attack with his bare sleeves. Moreover, it looked like he had no strength to continue fighting.
The empress dowager took two steps back, staggering, and sat down near the emperor’s bed.
Song Nanyan said hurriedly: “Empress Dowager, be careful!”
Let alone the empress dowager, even he felt that this evening, which had been full of surprises, was too much to handle.
The empress dowager looked at him quickly with faint animosity, complaining in her heart about Minister Song bringing Changming here of his own accord. But she could not say much at that point.
“Minister Song, just where on earth did this teacher of yours come from?”
Song Nanyan said: “To tell the truth, when this minister became his disciple back then, this minister only learned that his teacher’s name is Fang Changming. He was the local magistrate in this minister’s hometown. This minister studied Confucian classics with his teacher, and didn’t even know that his teacher was a cultivator. After that, he disappeared for many years, and even I had thought that he had departed his mortal coil. Come to think of it now, this name, Fang Changming, is probably not even my teacher’s real name!”
The empress dowager thought, why were you talking for half a day and yet said nothing useful.
“This being the case, quickly ask your teacher to stop. Immortal Han Ye has been guarding the palace for countless years, and he was a close attendant of the last emperor. There is no way he would—”
Before she could finish talking, her expression changed.
Not only her—Song Nanyan and everybody else was shocked.
At first, everybody thought Han Ye to have gained the upper hand, but Changming suddenly shifted from defense to offense, and summoned the Sifei Sword. The sword glow was pressing back his enemy little by little, cutting off any way of retreat, and even trapping his opponent in a sword array. Han Ye was forced into a corner, and he had no other choice but to rip off his human skin, suddenly revealing his original demonic appearance.
This chapter is scrapped from readlightnovel.org
His movements had been restricted while he had the human skin on, and he could not fight at full strength. Han Ye saw that Changming was not letting his guard down, and was not simply testing him, but intended to kill Han Ye.
If Han Ye did not gather all his strength, he would die right there.
Having broken the seal on his body, Han Ye was not hesitating anymore. He rushed at the sword formation with a roar, his demonic qi surging like a sea, and the array soon cracked, torn into half by Han Ye’s bare hands. He escaped the formation!
But, unexpectedly, he did not attack Changming at once, and suddenly disappeared into thin air!
Kuhe, who was a mere spectator, said in his heart, this is bad. He had vaguely figured out Han Ye’s plan, and raised his hands to form a barrier, but was half a step too late.
In a moment, the empress dowager shrieked!
Her soft, delicate and well cared for neck was grabbed by a hand, and dark purple nails entered her skin, silencing the shriek that came from her throat.
Everyone was watching with great alarm, but no one dared make a move, afraid that they would hit the rat, but break the jade jar.
Hit the rat, but break the jade jar: hit the bad guy, but affect an innocent person
Han Ye used this situation and said, staring at them with a gloomy expression: “Everybody, step aside!”
Xie Chunxi and the others did not expect all of Changming’s words to turn out to be true. At some point, this demon had killed Elder Han Ye of the Donghai Sect, then wore his skin, and imitated his manner of speaking, as well as the Donghai Sect’s hidden techniques… No, imitated is the wrong word. Xie Chunxi felt that this creature had sucked Han Ye’s memories and spiritual power, and used it for his own goals, while others had not even noticed the slightest change.
If it wasn’t for Changming, the demon would have probably managed to outwit everyone.
That is to say, be it Song Nanyan’s teacher’s ability to make discerning judgments or his cultivation base, he was better than anyone present.
Others did not dare to take action, and only Changming turned a deaf ear to Han Ye’s words. He gestured to the sword, and, before Han Ye could react, the sword glow transformed into a rainbow that flew towards the other, penetrated the empress dowager’s body, and pinned Han Ye to a pillar behind his back!
How could a demon bear the Sifei Sword’s qi? Han Ye was shrieking and wailing unceasingly, his body slowly darkening; little by little, he turned into a dense liquid that flowed down the pillar.
And the empress dowager who had been pierced together with him had turned into a white sheet of paper.
The real empress dowager had long since been substituted by Changming’s deceptive trick, and placed outside the sleeping chamber. Right now, she was supported inside the room by the attendants. Her knees went limp, and she had not yet recovered from the fright.
“After all this, just where is His Majesty’s fleeting soul?!” Yue Chengbo took a step forward and asked him.
Han Ye grinned hideously. Even while his corporeal form decayed, he did not open his mouth.
Since his fate was sealed, why would he tell them the truth?
Since Xiao Cangfeng had lured Yun Weisi here, naturally, he had come prepared.
After the Chunzhao Sword crushed the barrier surrounding his body, Xiao Cangfeng disappeared.
Yun Weisi found himself inside another illusion.
The scenery in front of his eyes changed.
Yun Weisi saw himself.
A sword had pierced “his” chest, its hilt in Changming’s hand.
The sword point had entered his body, and blood was flowing down its blade ceaselessly.
Changming’s expression was indifferent as he was watching Yun Weisi dying under the Sifei Sword, completely unperturbed.
“It’s the end that you deserve,” Yun Weisi heard his voice saying, “Humans and demons take different paths, and your existence would only bring me and the world more trouble.”
Changming’s voice, which he knew so well, now sounded a bit unfamiliar.
This illusion was done with great attention to detail. Not only were their faces vivid and lifelike, it could even affect Yun Weisi’s mental state.
He wanted to summon the Chunzhao Sword and break the formation, but the sword did not respond to his call.
“It’s not an illusion, it’s the future.”
Xiao Cangfeng stepped out of the darkness, his expression gentle, like an old friend’s.
“It’s yours, and Jiufang Changming’s future.”
Yun Weisi said coldly: “I had no idea that it’s possible to reverse the course of events and turn yin-yang upside down with your cultivation level?”
Turn yin-yang upside down: here, I believe, it means “to distort the truth”
As if Xiao Cangfeng did not hear the ridicule in his words, he offered Yun Weisi an earnest piece of advice: “Daozun Yun, except for cultivating the Heartless Dao, you have no other way to deal with the demonic qi poisoning your heart. I don’t believe that you had cultivated in the Nine Layers of the Abyss for so many years quitely just to reenter society with Jiufang Changming, right? He is but an obstacle on your cultivation path, and he can’t bring you any good apart from dragging you deeper into the mud.”