Translated by liyou. Edited by seal.
“You didn’t let me eat,” Gu Mang said. “I. AM. HUNGRY!”
Standing in front of him was a very low-ranking female cultivator in the Bureau, around forty years of age, who was usually quiet.
Mo Xi was a little surprised. “What is it?”
“I…the academy just sent a note, it says that my daughter was beaten up by Changfeng-Jun’s precious daughter, and suffered some injuries. I’m worried about her, and want to go over to take a look. But I still have many cases to settle….”
As she spoke, awkwardness and anxiety bloomed across her face.
“I, I have begged a few of my colleagues, but they all have something on, even Yue-gongzi is meeting his friends to drink at the Eastern Market…so I thought, if I could trouble you…”
Mo Xi frowned slightly.
He was perfectly alright with helping her out, except that Changfeng-Jun, a name that had been dormant for many years, seemed to be appearing a little too frequently nowadays.
“Are the injuries serious?”
“I heard that she sprained her arm,” the female cultivator said. “Even though it’s nothing major, she keeps crying and making a fuss, even the elders are at a loss.”
“Go, then. Take care on your way there.”
The female cultivator originally had not much hope in this frigid commander. Never did she think that after begging so many people, he would be the one who agreed in the end. Her eyes widened involuntarily, and joyous colour finally rose to her cheeks.
“Many thanks to Xihe-Jun. The scrolls in the baskets are, are all there…” Once elated, she had a stammer to her words. “I, I have already tidied most of them, I am really sorry that I have to trouble you for something this minor…”
“It’s alright, your daughter takes priority.”
The female cultivator thanked him repeatedly again, and left hastily, leaving Mo Xi alone in the Bureau to sort through past cases.
He was of high rank, and had never handled these sorts of trivial matters in the past. As he started on them now, he found that it was not easy. There were many cases that had to be sorted according to the year they occurred in and their clearance level; important ones had to be sealed with a spell, while useless ones had to be destroyed instead. Inexperienced, he was slow at it. When he had nearly finished, it was already very deep into the night.
There was still one last crate.
This dust-covered crate contained the documents of notable cultivators in the history of the Bureau. Sweeping his gaze across it, Mo Xi noted a familiar name along the side of the box. He stood there for a moment, eyes downcast, but still could not help himself from reaching for the casenotes on Gu Mang. He dusted them off, and opened them slowly.
There was a lot of information inside.
Gu Mang’s birth, the type of slave he was, his heavenly weapon, his signature moves.
Mo Xi browsed it page by page. It was a thick stack, and he stood there, reading from the beginning. Suddenly, a piece of silk dropped out of those casenotes.
The silk1[t/n: Before the invention of paper, people used to write on silk or carve words onto rock, but because the academy’s loaded, silk it is.] had already turned yellow with age. At the top of it, the large and straight words “The 33rd Cultivation Academy Examination on Morality and Ethics” were written.
Mo Xi was momentarily stunned, this was Gu Mang’s submission for his graduation from back then?
Looking downwards, the handwriting was indeed familiar, a mess flying all over the page, and its contents left Mo Xi speechless.
–The 33rd Cultivation Academy Examination on Morality and Ethics
Candidate: Gu Mang
Q: “I reflect upon myself three times a day.” The student should meditate upon what he lacks, and answer truthfully.
A: I lack money.
Q: As a Chonghua cultivator, when exterminating demons outside of the academy, what are the three major things to avoid? How should you avoid them?
A: Firstly, be on your guard against penniless clients. Secondly, be on your guard against clients who try to run. Thirdly, be on your guard against clients who give you the slip without paying. How to avoid these: Demand payment upfront for peace of mind when exterminating demons, no ‘putting it on the tab’.
Q: Please list the three great forefathers that have been most merciful and kind in the history of Chonghua.
A: I don’t know. But the most shameless three are–
The portion afterwards had three holes scorched out of it with magic by the enraged elder that had been reading his script back then. As a result, Mo Xi could not figure out the three names Gu Mang had written down.
Mo Xi looked at this answer script. The familiar handwriting was still immature. He was amused, but also felt melancholy, and he stared at it dazedly in this manner for a long while, until a commotion sounded outside all of a sudden.
“Someone, anyone! Something’s happened at Luomei Garden Villa!!!”
Luomei Garden Villa?!
Mo Xi jolted–Gu Mang?!
The situation had broken out suddenly; when he hurried over, only around twenty members of the team of guards on duty had arrived and were setting up the demon hunting formation, warily eyeing the gate of the Luomei Garden Villa that was on the brink of collapse. All of them were bleeding, and the stone slates underfoot were shattered from the earlier fight. The surrounding alleyways were no better off, with a few shops collapsed, brick and tile reduced to debris, the broken wood smoking.
The head cultivator, upon seeing Mo Xi, immediately shouted, “General Mo!”
“What’s the situation?”
“It’s Gu Mang! For some unknown reason, intense demonic energy suddenly exploded from him, he’s going completely wild!”
“Where is he?”
“We just injured him, he’s currently hiding behind the heavy gate of Luomei Garden Villa, not daring to risk another confrontation. Us too, we’re waiting for reinforcements!”
Mo Xi looked towards that creaking gate, and indeed, saw that the shadows behind the gate hid the vague outline of a person, a pair of eyes shining dimly in the dark.
Gu Mang was evidently also keeping a close eye on the going-ons outside.
Mo Xi fixed his gaze on those wolf eyes, and asked, “Has his spiritual core not been removed? Why is he able to fight all of a sudden?”
“We don’t know either!” The leader seemed near tears. “This person’s abilities are exceedingly demonic, if only they had ended it with a knife at the beginning, how clean things would have been! Why did they have to go through the trouble of shutting him up here in the Luomei Garden Villa, like rearing a tiger that’ll bite eventually!”
The cultivator beside him said angrily, “The way I see it, he’s acting dumb! Some ‘spiritual core shattered, mind damaged’, the way he was just now, does he look like someone helpless?”
“That’s right! If he really has no spiritual energy, who was the one who left this wound on my face?”
“Why is the Emperor still sparing his despicable life!”
While they were still gabbing their complaints, the beating of horse hooves sounded from a close distance away. Mo Xi turned his head, only to see twelve high-level cultivators on horseback escorting a carriage with intricate golden carvings, pulling up to them in the thin snow.
“Wangshu-Jun has arrived!”
The curtain of the gilded carriage was pulled open. Attendants rushed to prepare the steps, umbrella, and incense burner, and after a while, that thin, sickly face emerged languidly from the interior of the carriage.
“Oh my, what a party.” Murong Lian spotted Mo Xi. “And Xihe-Jun’s here too.”
Mo Xi did not intend to waste words on him, and simply said, “Something has happened to Gu Mang.”
Murong Lian scoffed coldly. “Of course I know, I came precisely because of this.”
As he spoke, he sauntered a few steps forwards, and stood firm in front of the red gate, not too far from it. He murmured a spell, and his left palm emanated a vibrant blue light.
“Go. Arrest that reprehensible animal.”
Under his command, that blue glow morphed into a length of chain, which snaked towards the door at high speed. With a “bang!”, the five-inch-thick door was penetrated, and toppled over with a loud crash. Gu Mang, who had been hiding behind the door, was caught off guard, and was instantly bound tight by this blue spiritual chain.
Murong Lian barked, “Return.”
The chain tightened in an instant. There was a smattering of jangling, and Gu Mang stumbled; falling onto his knees, he was quickly dragged to Murong Lian’s feet by the chain.
“Nothing more than a mad dog wrecking havoc.”
A wide-mouthed silk brocade slipper stepped on Gu Mang’s face.
Murong Lian said coolly, “Why bother General Mo to come pay a visit in person?”
Restrained by him, the look in Gu Mang’s eyes was chaotic, the spiritual energy around him going haywire, his teeth chattering.
“Let go–of me…”
“Let go of you?” Murong Lian chuckled coldly. “Since when did it become your turn to give me commands?” As he spoke, he tightened his fingers, and the chain retracted back into his palm, clanking, bringing Gu Mang with it. Murong Lian took the chance to grab his hair, forcing him to look at him.
Two equally, extraordinarily pale faces confronted each other, nearly nose-to-nose.
Murong Lian said, “I am your master, and you are a slave. General Gu, how is it that you still haven’t remembered this, even after I’ve starved you for a month?”
Gu Mang: “…Let go…”
That fine face of Murong Lian’s shone with a light close to perversion. Just as he was about to speak, Gu Mang suddenly narrowed his eyes. Murong Lian’s heart tripped, his gut instinct as a cultivator causing him to immediately let go of Gu Mang and back off swiftly!
Almost in the same instant, the brilliant sword array exploded around Gu Mang once more. This time, the array was much more earth-shaking, each of those individual light swords countless zhang2[丈; ten chinese feet, approx 3.3m] in height. The one closest to Murong Lian wrenched free of the array in an instant, and struck towards Murong Lian’s heart!
“Master, watch out!”
“Wangshu-Jun, watch out!”
The attendants all around gasped and called out. While Murong Lian’s skills were poor, his guard was still up. His hand shot out, and a wall of ice froze in front of him; the instant the swords collided with the wall, the crystalline ice shattered, blasted into fine powder. Using this as a buffer, Murong Lian dodged to the side. The light sword did not pierce him, but opened a slit on his robes…
Murong Lian landed, and glared at Gu Mang.
Panting, Gu Mang ripped off the chain that Murong Lian had leashed around his neck, and threw it to the ground with a thump. He tilted his head back and swallowed, his hands tightly fisted. Intense spiritual energy surged wildly and continuously from under his feet, forcing a few cultivators around with low spiritual levels to collapse unexpectedly on the spot, blood spurting from their mouths!
“Oh no! He’s going wild again!” The head cultivator panicked, face paling. “Stop him, quick!”
“Assemble the formation! Engage, engage!”
But the pulsing energy around Gu Mang had grown too powerful; not only could the bodies of human flesh not draw close, but not even the spells could break into the territory guarded by the sword array.
Seeing that Gu Mang was about to go on another rampage, Murong Lian materialised a talisman brimming with blue light in his palm and cast it out, commanding, “Water ghosts, rise!”
A sinister wind howled. Approximately ten water-blue spectres crawled out from the ground, shrieking as they swarmed towards Gu Mang’s sword array. A water ghost was dashed to pieces by the light swords, but was quickly replaced by another; when one fell, the ones behind pressed on, never-ending. Even though this method was hard going, they still gradually converged onto Gu Mang.
Murong Lian ordered, “Bring him to me!”
The water ghosts rose, howling and moaning, screeching as they pounced towards Gu Mang with the wind and snow in tow. Yet Gu Mang only raised a hand–a burst of light instantly exploded from his fingertips, shredding all these spectres into pieces in the blink of an eye!
Then his head snapped up, blue eyes glaring at Murong Lian, and strode towards him amid the flurry of fine snow.
Taken aback, Murong Lian subconsciously retreated half a step, and asked in a low roar, “What are you doing?!”
Gu Mang did not answer, but the phantasm of a lone wolf suddenly loomed behind him. Blue like lightning, it elevated Gu Mang from imposing, to deeply threatening.
Noticing the danger, Mo Xi bellowed, “Murong Lian, retreat!”
Murong Lian was intending to retreat as well, but a demonic energy that they had never before encountered pinned him to the spot, leaving him unable to move. Gu Mang was already approaching slowly, one step after another, from the snowy ground. Looking at him, Murong Lian suddenly had the feeling that in this instant, Gu Mang was like a wolf king ready to pounce and kill, his ruthlessness enough to make one go cold with fear.
“…Gu Mang! …How dare you! What are you trying to do? You’ve got guts!”
Of course Gu Mang “dared”. He raised a hand, a cluster of fireballs igniting in his palm with a rumble, and he hurled them directly at Murong Lian!
All that could be heard was a few continuous explosions, each fireball blasting a crater of several feet deep into the ground. In that instant, shards of shattered tile flew in all directions; Murong Lian had no choice but to ride the wind, taking refuge in mid-air in order to avoid his attack.
Murong Lian’s expression grew increasingly venomous, a trace of angry red blooming on the face sallow from hallucinogen abuse. He hovered in mid-air, gnashing his teeth at Gu Mang. “You incorrigible scum…”
Gu Mang let him say whatever he wanted; expressionless, he waved a hand. This time, five clusters of flame bloomed on all five fingertips.
“I hit you just now, because you stepped on my head.”
“This hit now, is because I’m hungry.”
Incredulous, Murong Lian asked, “Because what??”
“You didn’t let me eat.” Gu Mang punctuated each word with a pause, loud and firm. “I. AM. HUNGRY!”
The firelight flared, and Gu Mang’s hand fell to cast the spell–Murong Lian’s pupils contracted abruptly!
The author has something to say:
One sentence to provoke rampage:
Gu Mang Mang — “Traitor scum, you don’t get food, starve to death!”
Xi-xi — “General Mo, Gu Mang has abandoned you again and run away!!”
A-Lian — “Wangshu-Jun, Chonghua imposed a ban on smoking!!”
Jiang Yexue — “Elder Qingxu3[t/n: his title 清旭 (qingxu) means ‘dawn’, and this will be relevant later on], someone’s disco dancing on your wife’s grave!!”
Yue Chenqing — “Little Yue-yue, your fourth uncle’s getting beaten up!!!”
The fourth uncle yet to make an appearance (scoffs coldly): “I’d like to see who can beat me up.”
We’re entering the VIP chapters tomorrow, ten thousand words divided into two updates~ one at 13.00, and another the same time at night4[editor’s note: refers to her original update schedule on jjwxc! we are…not gonna post that fast LOL]
kissie kiss little cuties I’m still very lazy, if there are no incidents, I won’t insert anti-piracy chapters, I believe most of you friends here are honest and cute friends!!! And won’t read pirated versions to bully this Meatbun who pukes up blood over writing!! Yeah!!!
Additionally, I suggest that you don’t auto-subscribe to the novel. After all, just because they’re from the same author doesn’t mean that each novel will be to your tastes! Read it chapter by chapter, if you don’t like it, you can always run away~ Meatbun hopes that every reader keeping up with the updates is happy(ily eating knives)! Mwahahahah!!!
Note from seal: Chapter 22 onwards was originally VIP paid chapters on jjwxc. If possible, please do support Meatbun by purchasing the original chapters! Here is a link to a guide on how to use jjwxc, and here is the link to the novel.