Chapter 108 - Xuanji (1)

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"Attached is a friendly reminder: The plot between the Cold Immortal and the Evil Disciple involves some intimate physical contact, so the system deliberately increases the probability of 'substantial romantic relationship' for couples who draw these two characters. Please strictly follow the plot enactment."

One could say that even though this melodramatic drama was melodramatic, it was quite thrilling.

In front of him, Cold Immortal, played by Gu Liang, with disheveled hair, a slightly red neck and all four limbs bound, was indeed too tempting.

Following the instructions of the plot, Yang Ye's sword in his hand turned downward and slashed Gu Liang's clothes.

Gu Liang raised his head and recited a line of dialogue. "What do you want to do?"

Yang Ye said, "I don't want to do anything, but after watching you high and mighty for ten years... I suddenly realized that I've had enough. I really want to see what it's like for you to be stepped on and trampled by me underfoot."

At this moment, Yang Ye remembered a sentence on the card.

Thinking of this sentence while looking at Gu Liang in front of him, Yang Ye's throat couldn't help but roll up and down.

"Just imagine... a high and mighty immortal, someone who constantly refers to themselves as 'master' to me, submitting to me beneath my body, what kind of situation would that be?"

Gu Liang: "..."

Gu Liang looked at Yang Ye in front of him and thought to himself that his acting skills were getting more exquisite, or perhaps this plot was in line with his perverse tastes, allowing him to play the role naturally.

Well, let's go along with him.

For a moment, Cold Immortal bit his lip and remained silent, only coldly staring at the Evil Disciple.

The Evil Disciple's sword continued to move smoothly, just like when he practiced swordsmanship under Cold Immortal's guidance years ago.

Back then, the Evil Disciple had learned quickly, and his swordsmanship was graceful and fluid, like a dragon swimming and clouds flowing.

After turning away, his long hair hung down, and the faintly visible butterfly bones and slender, powerful waist muscles were evident.

[tn: butterfly bones refers to collarbone]

Now, his sword movements were still smooth, but the difference was that he was slicing through the Master's clothes. Cold Immortal felt extremely embarrassed and turned away, causing the iron chains to make a sound.

Most of his back was covered by long hair, but the way his back was partially revealed amidst the black hair was even more enticing.

The tip of the Evil Disciple's sword continued forward, striking the Cold Immortal's back with the cold blade, and then lifting his long hair.

When the Evil Disciple was about to make another move, he saw a peach blossom tattoo on Cold Immortal's butterfly bone.

The hint of pink at the peak of the flower, nestled on his perfectly curved shoulder, was the most beautiful colour in the world.

A hundred years ago.

Immortal Lord Gu Liang was still a young disciple, under the tutelage of Senior Qing.

The two of them were by the waterfall at that time.

Senior Qing sat on a rock, meditating, while the young disciple slept on his lap.

Next to them, the peach blossoms were in full bloom, and when the wind blew, it carried a petal that landed in the young disciple's hair.

Senior Qing opened his eyes, and this beautiful peach blossom disrupted his meditation.

He looked down and saw the peach blossom clinging to the young disciple's hair, adding a touch of colour to him. Senior Qing raised his lips, reached out, and picked up the peach blossom from the disciple's hair.

The young disciple woke up because of his movement, opened his eyes, and raised his head to see the flower in Senior Qing's hand.

Seeing that Senior Qing was about to discard the flower, the young disciple quickly grabbed his hand. "Master, don't throw it away! It's beautiful!"

Senior Qing stared at the young disciple in silence for a moment, then said, "Take off your outer robe and turn around, my disciple."

"Alright, but Master, what do you want to do?" The young disciple turned around as instructed and removed his robe.

Senior Qing drew a spell with his fingertip and cast it on the disciple's back. When the spell was completed, the peach blossom became like a mark, engraved on the disciple's back.

"Master, what is this?" The young disciple asked innocently.

Senior Qing helped him put on his clothes, ruffled his hair, and said, "It's nothing. You said it's beautiful, so I'll leave it on you. It will always accompany you. If I'm not here in the future, having it with you will be the same."

The young disciple asked, "Master? Why wouldn't you be here?"

Senior Qing touched his head and sighed, "No one can be by someone's side forever. Your path in the future will always be walked alone."

A hundred years later, the once young disciple had grown up completely and become the sect leader of the top immortal sect in the world.

In a state of confusion and about to lose control, this peach blossom suddenly awakened something in the Evil Disciple, causing him to stop all his movements.

It seemed that Senior Qing was also somewhat surprised at why the Evil Disciple had stopped all his movements. He turned to look at him, and in that moment, his gaze seemed to overlap slightly with that of Senior Qing from a hundred years ago.

"You..." Immortal Lord Gu Liang couldn't help but furrow his brow.

"Did I allow you to speak?" The Evil Disciple rebuked, pressing the sword against his throat.

Just then, the hidden door opened again.

Following that was the voice of the Earth Peak Leader. "Evil Disciple, stop. You cannot kill him. He is destined to die, but it should not be at your hands."

Upon hearing these words, the Evil Disciple finally put away the sword in his hand.

To prevent Immortal Lord Gu Liang from escaping, a formation was still in place here, blocking all magical techniques.

In a situation where no one could use magic, the Earth Peak Leader threw down a rope ladder and climbed down. The Evil Disciple, with a deep look at Cold Immortal Lord, climbed up the ladder.

The Earth Peak Leader seemed to have seen something from the hidden door, so he temporarily left.

After a moment, when he climbed down the ladder, he had an extra robe in his hand.

Seemingly considerate of something, the Earth Peak Leader sat down far away from Cold Immortal and simply tossed the robe to him.

With Yang Ye gone, Gu Liang had no interest in continuing to act out his character's role.

He lazily draped the robe over his shoulders, yawned, and maintained a poker face, listening to the Earth Peak Leader say, "In these hundred years... how have you been?"

Gu Liang recited his lines without any emotion. "Pretty good."

The Earth Peak Leader said, "In these hundred years, you have become the leader of the world's top immortal sect, enjoying great prestige and all the pleasures that come with it. This was granted to you by the Heavens and also bestowed upon you by the four of us peak leaders, along with the three elders. In this way, none of us, nor the Heavens, owe you anything."

Gu Liang: "I don't quite understand. Over the past hundred years, I indeed held power, but in my position and political strategies, I worked day and night dealing with the trivial matters of the sect, which was quite laborious. I believe I have contributed to the Qingqiong sect. Now that you've imprisoned me here, what is your intention?"

The Earth Peak Leader asked again, "I'll ask you one question. If the lives of the common people are in imminent danger, what will you do?"

Gu Liang countered, "Why would the lives of the common people be in imminent danger?"

The Earth Peak Leader replied, "An ancient demon is about to return. You should have heard of its power. It has been sealed beneath Qingqiong Mountain. A thousand years ago, it nearly destroyed half of the divine land with its own power. Later, our Qingqiong ancestors used all their knowledge to deceive it into being sealed within Qingqiong."

Gu Liang said, "If it reappears, I'll kill it. As the head of Qingqiong, I'll do everything in my power to exterminate it."

The Earth Peak Leader asked, "Even at the cost of your life?"

Gu Liang nodded, "Of course."

The Earth Peak Leader said, "Good. Then I will tell you the whole truth."

A thousand years ago, an ancient demon swept across the divine land, leaving floating corpses for miles, rivers of blood, and a miserable populace.

Under the leadership of their ancestral master, Qingqiong used all their strength to seal the ancient demon in the Qingqiong Clear Spring Cave and left a warning for future generations: "A thousand years later, the ancient demon will return, and only by sacrificing one person can its anger be appeased, allowing it to willingly remain dormant beneath Qingqiong Mountain. In this way, a hundred years later, the ancient demon will be completely annihilated, posing no threat to the divine land."

"According to the calculations of wise men, the chosen person is one born on the seventh day of the seventh month of the 360th year of Emperor Gao Yang's reign, possessing an extreme Yin destiny."

"Only the extreme Yin power of this person can suppress the ancient demon."

"At that time, this person will be found, turned into an elixir, and thrown into the Clear Spring Cave."

Listening to the Earth Peak Leader's explanation, Gu Liang asked, "My birth date is indeed on the seventh day of the seventh month, so am I the person you've been looking for... the one to be sacrificed? You want to turn me into an elixir and feed it to the ancient demon?"

"That's right," the Earth Peak Leader confirmed. "A hundred years ago, it was Senior Qing who first found you. He took you as his disciple with the intention of having you offer yourself as a sacrifice a hundred years later. Everyone knows about this."

"In truth, everyone felt sorry for you, including Fairy Yun. She was skilled in divination and a hundred years ago, she specially used her divine sense to cast a divination for this matter. She determined one thing: if you don't die, the ancient demon will return, and the world will face a great calamity."

Gu Liang began to understand. "So, after taking me as his disciple, my master never taught me any magical techniques because he knew... I would die anyway. He wanted me to... enjoy life a bit more, is that it?"

"He just didn't want you to suffer so much."

The Earth Peak Leader explained, "However, later on, we peak masters discussed it. We realized that if you spent your entire life only to be sacrificed, it would be too tragic. Just imagine, if we had imprisoned you for a hundred years and denied you the chance to experience anything, only to send you to die directly a hundred years later, it would have been too cruel."

"So, after your master passed away, we did our best to teach you everything you needed to know."

"Not only that, we even made you the sect leader, allowing you to enjoy the taste of supreme power. What it's really like."

Gu Liang sneered, "So, you mean I should be grateful to you for having lived for a hundred years in this way? If I'm not willing, then I'm just ungrateful? Listening to you, I should be thanking you?"

The Earth Peak Leader's expression stiffened, and he finally said, "In any case, you have enjoyed a hundred years, and you have everything you should have. Qingqiong has shown kindness to you. Now, it's time for you to repay that kindness to Qingqiong and to the world."

"Tomorrow night, at midnight, is the best time for the sacrifice."

"Underneath where you are standing is a mechanism. Beneath it is the Samadhi True Fire."

"At midnight tomorrow, the mechanism will automatically open, and you will fall down, after which you will be refined into an elixir by the Samadhi True Fire."

"At that time, we will place it in the Clear Spring Cave."

With this explanation, Gu Liang finally understood the entire plot.

He understood why this secret room had been prepared a hundred years ago, why his master never taught him any magical techniques, why the elders did not vie for the position of sect leader after his master's death, and why the three fairy elders had silently allowed everything to happen.

Everything had finally been explained.

However, there were still a few questions that Gu Liang didn't understand, questions that Cold Immortal had also failed to comprehend.

Speaking as Cold Immortal, Gu Liang asked, "So why did my master die? Why did you kill him?"

The Earth Peak Leader replied, "Because he had a change of heart. He raised you and formed a deep master-disciple bond with you. He couldn't bear to send you to your death. A hundred years ago, we discovered that he had set up a plan to take you far away with him."

"A hundred years ago, Senior Qing intended to leave after exterminating the demons in the front mountains, fulfilling his last duty as the sect leader, and then take you with him."

"We couldn't persuade him to stay. For the sake of the common people, we had no choice but to kill him."

So, a hundred years ago, when Senior Qing returned to the mountains to exterminate the demons, he had planned to attend the grand ceremony in the front mountains and then take his disciple far away.

He had abandoned his duties as sect leader and the greater good for the sake of ensuring that his disciple could live a good life.

Unexpectedly, in the end, it was the disciple who bound his hair and straightened his clothes, watching him go to his death.

Gu Liang asked, "What about the Evil Disciple? What's his story?"

The Earth Peak Leader explained, "Fairy Wind admired Senior Qing for many years. Back then, for the greater good, she had no choice but to send him to his death. But she planted a reincarnation fruit that would allow Senior Qing to be reborn."

"Your situation is different from Senior Qing's. His soul remained intact, allowing him to be reborn through the reincarnation fruit."

"But you will be transformed into an elixir by the Samadhi True Fire and offered to the ancient demon. You won't have any chance of reincarnation."

"Ten years ago, when you went down the mountain on a mission, you encountered Senior Qing's reincarnated evil disciple. You brought him back and raised him to adulthood. We observed all of this and tacitly approved."

"In fact, this can also be seen as a form of reincarnation and inheritance. Back then, Senior Qing took you as his disciple and died for you. Now, you've dedicated ten years to teaching and nurturing him into a talent that can benefit Qingqiong. For Qingqiong, this is a good thing."

"The truth is, whether it's Senior Qing or his reincarnation, their talent in magical arts and governance is unmatched in Qingqiong. Therefore, even after your death, we are willing to support the Evil Disciple to become the next Qingqiong sect leader. That's why we allowed him to stay by your side."

Gu Liang thought for a moment and then asked, "But it seems like the Evil Disciple doesn't remember the events from back then. Or should I say, he doesn't remember them completely. He only remembers that I sent him to his death, and he only remembers his hatred and resentment towards me. But it seems like he has forgotten all the warmth between us. Did you tamper with his memories?"

The Earth Peak Leader paused for a moment and said meaningfully, "It's better for him to be mistaken. To prevent history from repeating itself, right?"

The current state of the Evil Disciple was very unusual.

Even though he blamed his disciple, Cold Immortal, he should have held even more resentment towards the four peak leaders who had actually killed him.

But he only harbored hatred towards Cold Immortal and showed no ill will towards the four peak leaders. This was very strange.

So, Cold Immortal believed that the memories of the Evil Disciple had been tampered with by the four peak leaders and the three elders through some means, which was why he asked the Earth Peak Leader.

The Earth Peak Leader's previous response confirmed Cold Immortal's suspicion.

The four peak leaders and three elders had indeed altered the Evil Disciple's memories, making him remember only that Cold Immortal had betrayed him and sent him to his death, while erasing all other memories, including their master-disciple relationship.

Only in this way would he continue to hate Cold Immortal, leading to his decision to send him to his death, rather than rekindling their old bond and attempting to escape together.

The four peak leaders were entirely convinced that they had manipulated the memories of both the former Senior Qing and the current Evil Disciple through some means. That was why they allowed him to cultivate by Cold Immortal's side.

With all his questions finally answered, Cold Immortal didn't speak for a while.

The Earth Peak Leader asked him, "Do you have any more questions?"

Cold Immortal shook his head.

The Earth Peak Leader finally asked, "So, you willingly accept your fate, right? After you die, Qingqiong will publicize your deeds. Your name will be remembered for generations as the hero who saved the world."

Cold Immortal simply said, "There's no need for everyone to remember me. Just let me go peacefully."

The Earth Peak Leader said, "I came here to tell you all this because we still share a bond as fellow sect members. I've come to bid you farewell."

"In truth, even if you didn't agree, it wouldn't change the outcome. This place where you are imprisoned was built a hundred years ago, and we four peak leaders reinforced it with magic for a hundred years. It's unbreakable, and there's no way you can escape."

Cold Immortal closed his eyes in silence and said nothing.

The Earth Peak Master paused for a moment, then said, "Let me tell you one last thing. The poison I administered to you a hundred years ago was fake. I claimed that if you told your master about our plans to kill him, you would die a sudden death. That was a deception."

"If you hadn't feared death back then and had honestly told your master everything, he might not have gone to the grand ceremony and would have left with you immediately."

"Everything you're experiencing today... it's also the result of your own choices. There's no one else to blame."

Cold Immortal's closed eyelashes trembled, but he bit his lip and ultimately said nothing.

The Earth Peak Leader glanced at him, stood up, and climbed the hidden door along the soft ladder.

He retracted the ladder, closed the hidden door, and the only ray of daylight disappeared, leaving Cold Immortal alone with only a solitary everlasting lamp, which emphasized his solitude.

At this moment, Cold Immortal's heart was undoubtedly filled with a mixture of emotions.

Initially, his master had taken him as a disciple with the intention of having him sacrificed.

But later, his master had changed his mind, deciding to give up everything and take him away from the fate he was supposed to bear.

However, due to his youthful ignorance, he was deceived by the Earth Peak Leader, resulting in his master's death at the grand ceremony.

A hundred years later, his master had been reborn as his disciple.

He no longer remembered anything, only harboring hatred.

Now, he not only had to send Cold Immortal on his way but also marry someone else...

Cold Immortal felt a deep sense of guilt and sadness.

But if his death could suppress the ancient demon and ensure the safety of all people, then... it was also a way to ensure the safety of Senior Qing and, by extension, the safety of his Evil Disciple.

In this way, he could be considered to have repaid the kindness Senior Qing had shown him a hundred years ago.

Thinking about this, Cold Immortal felt somewhat relieved.

Even though he was going to die and his soul would disappear, he only wished for his Evil Disciple to have a peaceful life.

On the other hand, Gu Liang was handling the situation quite well. He was analyzing the plot rationally and didn't show much emotional fluctuation. His only concern was that if Yang Ye, as the Evil Disciple, were to actually marry someone named Wind Celestial, he would definitely not be happy about it. If the plot really progressed to that point, he doubted he would just passively stay locked in the dark room.

As it turned out, the plot didn't progress to that extent.

Gu Liang spent a boring day and night in the dark room. During this time, apart from a touching moment between master and disciple, he received almost no information. It was quite tedious.

In the last script, although he was just fishing for a day, at least there were things to do. He had lunch with everyone, and while he was fishing, he could see parts of Zhao Meili and Proprietess Ling's timeline.

This time, however, he was solidly locked away for a day and night, and he had almost no information to go on except for the emotional interaction between master and disciple.

This day and night were undeniably boring for him.

Fortunately, his PTSD was mainly related to drowning situations, and he had become accustomed to being punished in the small dark room. Otherwise, if the person locked in the room had a fear of confinement or claustrophobia, they might have gone crazy.

He wondered what Yang Ye had experienced during this day and night and how he was doing now.

"Ding ding ding! The plot enactment of 'Xuanji' case has now concluded!"

"Just arrived in the fantasy world of xianxia and fantasy, are players still feeling a bit unaccustomed? Are you also feeling a bit curious?"

"But everyone can put aside your emotions now. We are entering the investigation phase."

"Friendly reminder, there may be more than one corpse. So, please make an effort to first discover the bodies before proceeding with the specific investigation!"

"This time, we won't distinguish the crime scene separately and will directly enter the free exploration stage. You all have 7 hours for exploration. Good luck, everyone!"

"We can announce the detective in advance this time. I believe everyone has already guessed who the detective is, right?"

"By the way, the detective is none other than our Cold Immortal. He has been in custody in an unbreakable dark room all along, and he can't leave midway. Therefore, Cold Immortal is the detective for this case!"

"After the 7-hour free exploration phase, there will be 5 hours of concentrated discussion time."

"Please lead the players in finding the real culprits, Detective!"

"Wishing everyone a pleasant gaming experience!"

minnie : hi hello !! new translator here, please take care of me~ i hope you enjoyed this chapter  ˶ᵔ ᵕ ᵔ˶