Chapter 25 - The Demon Palace With a Collection of Paint Palettes

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The young man bowed with fear and respect. "I don't know, Madam."

"Fine." Wen Ruan glanced at the golden pancakes in the food container and turned around, disgruntled. "Lu Zhu, let's go. We can have an extra meal for lunch today."

On the other hand, the young man saw her despondent expression and, not knowing what he was imagining, hesitated and added:

"The Lord usually takes 10 days to half a month when he goes out for errands before returning home, so Madam need not worry too much."

Isn’t this a great opportunity to take a vacation?!

This is such a good thing!!

Wen Ruan's eyes lit up, and she turned back to him with a grateful smile. "Thank you. By the way, what's your name? I'll treat you to some pancakes."

The young man was dazzled by her smile and quickly lowered his head, not daring to look at her. "Madam, you're too kind. My name is Zhu Sha."

Wen Ruan went speechless.

She asked subtly, "Were all your names given by the Lord?"

Zhu Sha replied, "Except for Lady Zi Ji, all the other demon generals were named by the Lord."

She smiled dryly and said, "The Lord is really good at naming."

In the Demon Palace, people were either Chi, Zhu, or Zi and Lu*.

translator’s note: chi = crimson, zhu = vermillion, zi = purple, lu/lv = green

With a few more people, the paint palettes would probably be complete.

She shook her head, took out a handkerchief, wrapped a piece of pancake in it, and handed it over, speaking before Zhu Sha could refuse.

"Even if you're a demon and don't need to eat, you can still taste it. Thank you for telling me these things. There's no one else here, so no one will know."

Looking at the soft, snow-white handkerchief, Zhu Sha hesitated for a moment, pursed his lips, and ultimately accepted it.

"Thank you, Madam."

Lu Zhu glanced at him calmly, catching sight of his slightly blushing ears.

Her eyes flickered, and her lips curled up slightly, but quickly lowered again, forming a straight line.

Her expression returned to indifference as if she hadn't seen anything.

On the way back, Wen Ruan and 996 had an argument.

Now that she finally got a break, she just wanted to stay in the Canglang Water Pavilion, enjoy eating and drinking, and be a carefree person without goals.

But 996 insisted that she should come to the Everlasting Pavilion every day to clock in for work.

Clock in?

What a joke! The boss is on a business trip, so why would I clock in? Absolutely not!

996 impatiently said: "Haven't you watched TV dramas? Even if the female lead knows that the male lead is not around, she can't help but go and find him every day."

"Then when the male lead comes back and someone accidentally lets it slip, the male lead will be deeply moved and confess his true feelings on the spot. Then they’ll naturally get together, right?"

Wen Ruan snorted, "Life is not a TV drama, and I'm not the female protagonist. I'm just a small cannon fodder."

"Go ahead and give it a try. Art imitates life, so who knows, it might work. Don't you want to increase his level of affection for you? Don't you want to finish the mission and go home early?"

Wen Ruan remained unmoved.

996 continued: "Besides, you've already met Zhu Sha now. Even if you just go to him every day to get familiar, it will benefit you. What if he 'accidentally' lets it slip in front of Mu Zhe?"

Wen Ruan suddenly became serious. "I don't want to use others."

996 went speechless.

Unable to find another argument, it played its final trump card. "Isn't your foster father's memorial day approaching?"

"Although he left a will forbidding you from visiting his grave, are you really not going? Have you forgotten how he carried you out of the snow all those years ago?"

Wen Ruan's steps halted, and she fell into silence for a long time.

It was so long that Lu Zhu, who was walking ahead, couldn't help but look back at her. "Madam, what's wrong?"

She instinctively put on a smiling face and said to Lu Zhu, "You can head back first. I'll take a walk. I ate a bit too much this morning."

Lu Zhu happened to not want to stay with her at the moment, so she didn't say much and walked away quickly.

As soon as Lu Zhu turned around, Wen Ruan's smile faded. The lifted corners of her mouth gradually drooped, and finally, her lips formed a straight line.

She casually chose a direction and walked forward, lost in her thoughts.

996 didn't urge her and quietly waited for her response.

After a while, Wen Ruan finally brought her thoughts back from who knows how many years ago and stopped walking.

"I'll go." She lowered her head, her shoulders slumped, casually kicking a small pebble on the ground. She emphasized her words and repeated:

"I'll go!"

996 scratched its head and "whooshed" out of her mind. It gently tugged at her hair, displeased, and said:

"Why are you yelling at me?"

Wen Ruan didn’t know what to say to this.

She grabbed the little chinchilla on her shoulder, gripping its nape with one hand, and said fiercely:

"If you dare to threaten me again, I'll pluck every single hair off you one by one!"

996 trembled and looked at her pitifully. "Y-yes, I know I was wrong."

Wen Ruan's expression softened slightly, and it immediately continued. "I'll do it again next time."

After speaking, it transformed into a stream of light and dove into her mind, pretending to be dead.

Wen Ruan cursed, “Damn it!”

The more she thought about it, the angrier she became. She kicked the small pebble away, saying, "996, you better not come out while I'm cooking."

The pebble collided with the empty space ahead of the stone steps and instantly turned into dust without making a sound.

The slight movement didn't attract the attention of Wen Ruan or the system. She continued:

"Otherwise, I don't mind having an extra dish on the table."

Inside her mind, 996 remained quiet as a chicken.

Feeling frustrated, Wen Ruan scratched her head. She was about to return to Canglang Water Pavilion when she raised her eyes and felt slightly surprised.

After looking around, she was astonished by what she saw.

She had unknowingly arrived here while thinking about something on her way.

Before her were the familiar stone steps, about a dozen of them, leading to a spacious platform. She could vaguely see the rolling sea of clouds at the edge.

Wasn't this the place where Mu Zhe admired the moon?

Wen Ruan couldn't help but recall that night.

Under the soft moonlight, the young man sat alone on the high platform.

His face was undoubtedly beautiful, but it gave people an inexplicable illusion, as if he was made of glass, ready to shatter into countless pieces with a single touch.

And the heavy snowfall was silent, leaving him with a sense of desolation between his brows.

She tightened and loosened her grip on the food container in her hand.

Unconsciously, she began to move forward, and when she reached the stone steps, a faint light illuminated her for a moment before disappearing.

Unaware, she calmly ascended the steps, step by step, until she reached the platform.

Everything here was the same as that night, except for the chair. It had some scratches on its surface, as if it had been kicked over.

Wen Ruan averted her gaze and walked to the edge of the platform, facing the boundless sea of clouds. She paused for a moment.

Unlike the previous night, the clouds in the early morning rolled with the wind, even carrying the faintest rays of sunlight as they rushed towards her. The soft golden light gently traced their edges.

It was a vitality that the Demon Realm lacked.

Finally seeing a ray of sunlight, she decided to sit on the edge of the stone platform, greedily breathing it in.

The restlessness from earlier vanished instantly.

It was just a check-in, after all. She had endured early morning self-study for more than 10 years, a few days wouldn't make much difference.

She felt relaxed and casually lifted the lid of the food container, taking out a golden pancake with a slight smile.

No matter what, she was still alive with her complete limbs and tail, and life was going pretty well for her.

That was enough.

"Come on, Wen Ruan!" She took a big bite of the pancake, her cheeks puffed up. Her speech was slightly unclear, but her voice was surprisingly loud.

"Mu Zhe is just a fictional man in the end. You can definitely do it!"

The misty clouds echoed her words.

At the same time, in the cultivation world thousands of miles away.

The black-clad youth crushed the skull of a well-known monster under his foot. As if sensing something, he looked up to the southeast.

No light could be seen in the cave, only a fluorescent stone hung high above his head, illuminating his pale complexion clearly.

"I underestimated you. You actually broke through my barrier."

Mu Zhe raised an eyebrow, wiping away the bloodstain from the corner of his mouth, his tone playful. "But that Northern Underworld Fish might not be so easy to deal with."

"Who knows how many bones you'll have left when I return."

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