His tone was light and casual and nearly fooled Yi Ning into believing that he was truly enraged just because Liu Rugeng called him a wild man.

As Yi Ning was in a daze, Yan Xuan walked over and took over the saber in his hand. 

This saber was called Yinzhen; in the past, Yi Ning had seen this saber hung at Yan Xuan’s waist, but had never seen him use it.

Or maybe Yan Xuan had used it, just not against him.

But why?

“Rugeng, are you okay?!” Gong Xiuxian’s worried voice broke through his thoughts and snapped Yi Ning back to reality. 

Yi Ning watched as Gong Xiuxian carefully supported Liu Rugeng, who had cried until his face was a mess, up from the ground and looked angrily towards Yan Xuan as he said, “You dare!”

Gong Xiuxian’s sword intent was churning, on the verge of bursting forth; it seemed like his desire to kill had been roused. What a pair of intimate childhood friends, their bond was stronger than Gong Xiuxian’s bond with a dense Shizun like him. Yi Ning watched coldly and suddenly felt that he was laughable.

Like Yan Xuan said, how could scum like this pressure him to such a degree?

“Shizun, how did you become like this? Didn’t you used to vehemently hate demonic cultivators?” Gong Xiuxian was afraid that his sword energy would hurt Yi Ning so he stayed his hand. The more important matter was that Gong Xiuxian thought, as long as Shizun would obediently come back to him right this instance, he would forgive what Shizun did with that demonic cultivator.

If Yi Ning knew what he was thinking of, he would probably be angered to laughter. He said mildly, “Whatever I’ve become like, it is all thanks to you.”

Gong Xiuxian wanted to say something, but was interrupted by Yan Xuan. “You were the one who forced your Shizun into coming to me, so why are you pretending to be reluctant now?” His words were as cutting as a sharp sword, sealing Gong Xiuxian’s throat. He didn’t know how to explain himself, he obviously only did it because he loved his Shizun, so how did it turn into him forcing him?

What would force a solitary and lofty Immortal Master to have no other choice but seek help from a demonic cultivator?

Gong Xiuxian couldn’t even understand this? 

Yan Xuan laughed coldly, yet when he turned his head back, he saw Yi Ning with a troubled expression. Yan Xuan crossed his arms and stood by Yi Ning’s side, leaning over and asking lowly, “Lingering affections?”

“No.” Yi Ning turned his head away, leaving the main hall with a parting word, “Disgusting.”

As soon as they left the main hall, a fierce sword energy rushed at them. Yan Xuan waved a hand to dispel the energy with his demonic fog, while the other hand raised his saber to block the incoming attack. When the blades clashed, there was a shrill, quavering sound like a dragon’s cry.

“Shizun, today, if you leave this hall, this disciple will do as you wish and marry Rugeng.” Gong Xiuxian’s eyes were filled with obsession, staring unwaveringly at Yi Ning’s back. 

He was making a gamble, betting that Yi Ning couldn’t bear to see him marry someone else. In the past, they had promised to cultivate together, ascend together, and finally get married. Yet now, Shizun wanted to leave the Mount Yunqing where they had spent countless days together, and with a demonic cultivator no less.

He was unable to accept this, and would never accept this.

“Then I wish you two a long and happy future together.” Yi Ning smiled slightly and looked toward Yan Xuan, who was standing behind him. He had wanted to call out “husband” to agitate Gong Xiuxian, but in the end he couldn’t speak the word aloud and ended up saying, “Are you leaving or not?”

Yan Xuan forced Gong Xiuxian back with a slash, his expression gloomy as he glanced at him before saying, “Go.” 

If he chased after them even another step, then he would cut down Gong Xiuxian.

After stabilising himself with much difficulty, Gong Xiuxian watched, stunned, as Yi Ning resolutely left.  He and Yan Xuan’s silhouettes side by side looked like a match made in heaven, they only needed a few words to understand the other’s intentions.

This kind of Yi Ning made him have the impression that he would never be able to reach him again.

Tl Rlcu jirb erfv ab rajcv ys tlr rlvf ilxf atlr. 

“Tbe’gf cba jiibkfv ab ifjnf! Vtlhec…” Xbcu Wlezljc gbjgfv jcv lcafcvfv ab gert bnfg, yea kjr rabqqfv ys Ole Eeufcu’r tjcv ugjyylcu atf fvuf bo tlr mibatlcu. Lf ibkfgfv tlr tfjv ab ibbx; Ole Eeufcu gjlrfv tlr tjcv klat afjgr yiegglcu tlr fsfr, tlr olcufgr tjnlcu jigfjvs yffc mgertfv ys Tjc Wejc lcab j wfrr bo oifrt jcv ybcf.

His footsteps abruptly halted, Liu Rugeng hugged him and said in a voice choked with sobs, “Xiuxian, it hurts… it hurts so much…”

But Gong Xiuxian was fully preoccupied with the image of his Shizun and Yan Xuan’s leaving backs, he didn’t have the mind to care about Liu Rugeng.

Yet, in the time it took for him to be distracted by Liu Rugeng, then uneasily raise his head again, there was already nobody outside the hall. What remained were a few autumn leaves struck off the trees by the rain, and a crushed lapel pin. 

It was something he gifted to Yi Ning.

They were already gone. Gong Xiuxian gazed disappointedly at the lapel pin and suddenly shoved Liu Rugeng away. Liu Rugeng, who had been pushed aside with tears still staining his cheeks, looked blankly at Gong Xiuxian, a bad feeling rising in his heart.

Yet, Gong Xiuxian wasn’t looking at him at all. He walked towards the lapel pin and picked it up, wiping it clean of mud and carefully tucking it away inside his sleeve.

He wanted his Shizun back. He wanted his Shizun back! 

Yan Xuan hugged Yi Ning and swiftly left Mount Yunqing, easily breaking through the formations.

Yi Ning’s lips twitched. It seems like he’ll have to fortify the formations even more.

But Yan Xuan didn’t know what he was thinking about, muttering, “Troublesome.”

When he thought about how the multitude of formations were to prevent his escape, yet Yi Ning had lived under the same roof with his stupid disciple for nine years, Yan Xuan’s heart felt incredibly displeased. 

Yi Ning thought he was calling him troublesome, so pursed his lips and said, “Once we leave Mingguang Sect, you can find any random location and leave me there.”

When he heard this, Yan Xuan’s eyebrow ticked up and he replied, “And then you’ll wait there for your disciple to come drag you back, is that it?”


Seeing the mockery in his eyes, Yi Ning couldn’t help the irritation that bubbled up, but there was something that was a little strange. “Since when did you care about things like this?” 

According to Yan Xuan’s usual modus operandi, after acquiring his freedom, wasn’t the first thing on the agenda to kill him off? Why was he so concerned about Yi Ning’s troublesome matters?

Yan Xuan turned his head away, saying lightly, “If you dispel the hex on me, you can go wherever you want.”

He was referring to the Thirst Hex. Yi Ning took a moment to react, coughing lightly before replying decisively, “I won’t.”

If he dispelled the hex, wouldn’t Yan Xuan kill him instantly? 

Although… he didn’t sense any killing intent directed to him at all. In the past, were their interactions like this too? After the incident from nine years ago, Yi Ning rarely interacted with Yan Xuan beyond reinforcing his seals.

As Yi Ning contemplated other things, he missed Yan Xuan’s eyes narrowing slightly and the faint uptick of his lips.

The next moment, Yi Ning’s heart erupted in pain, followed by a familiar splitting pain in his head. It was the hex poison set by Liu Rugeng!

He didn’t use any spiritual energy, yet the poison still flared up. Could it be that the poison wasn’t triggered by spiritual energy, but rather the person who set the hex? 

“What is it?” Yan Xuan’s sharp senses detected Yi Ning’s heart rate increasing and his body trembling, as if he was enduring great agony. He frowned and looked over, catching sight of the thin layer of sweat on Yi Ning’s face.

“It’s the demon race’s hex poison.” Yi Ning’s voice traveled weakly into his ear. Yan Xuan’s body stiffened and he hugged him tighter.

They couldn’t stop yet, Gong Xiuxian could catch up. Yan Xuan forcibly suppressed the anxiety in his heart and spat out, “Endure a little.” His movements, however, sped up.

When they rushed to the Demon Palace, it was already nearing dusk. This location was outside the realm of demons and humans and was Yan Xuan’s palace when he was the Demon Venerable. 

So many years had passed, yet there wasn’t a speck of dust inside the Demon Palace, it looked like someone had been cleaning it all this time.

Yan Xuan didn’t have the mind to care about anything else, placing Yi Ning onto a daybed in the inner hall of the palace. Yi Ning’s face was flushed and his body drenched with sweat, on the verge of passing out.

Knowing that there was a chance he could faint, Yi Ning felt a chill in his heart, because this meant that he wouldn’t have a way to use the Thirst Hex.

He fought to open his eyes, yet what entered them was a sea of darkness. 

Yan Xuan immediately understood what Yi Ning was thinking.

Even though he had been poisoned, he refused to faint in front of anyone. It was because Yi Ning trusted no one.

Continue resisting, I want to see how much you can continue to endure. Yan Xuan shot him a look and scolded him in his heart, yet his hands were pressed against Yi Ning’s dantian region.

As expected, it was a hex poison, and the type of hex poison that had only one cure. Yan Xuan’s expression became solemn. 

“Venerable Lord! Are you really back?”

The soft voice of a child sounded out, Yi Ning almost thought he was hallucinating from the pain.

Yan Xuan froze when he heard the voice; when he turned around, a little girl hugged him tightly.

“Venerable Lord!” The little girl’s hair was braided and tied with a red rope, looking no older than six or seven. She sobbed, gripping onto Yan Xuan as she wailed, “Where did you go? Everybody’s already gone. They said you were sealed and that you were never coming back. Gan’er missed you so much…” 

“Why didn’t you leave?” Yan Xuan’s brow furrowed. He had wanted to say something else, but remembering Yi Ning’s current condition, hurriedly said, “Come take a look and see if this poison can be dispelled.”

Hearing Yan Xuan’s command, Gan’er’s cries abruptly halted, putting on a serious face like a little adult and looking at Yi Ning. Her soft little hands laid on Yi Ning’s dantian region. After a while, she frowned and spoke, “This is the most complicated hex poison, only that person in Ganlin City can dispel it. The person who cast the hex must really want him to die.”

Yi Ning pushed his body up, intending to sit up, but was pressed back down by Yan Xuan who said, severely, “Lie down.”

Yi Ning: … Why does it feel like Yan Xuan was more concerned about this matter than him? 

In the past, there were extremely few people who would care about him like this. Yi Ning didn’t know if it was because the pain had muddled up his brain, but he actually felt like the palm Yan Xuan pressed against his body was emitting heat, it was a little warm.

“I know all this. The cure can wait. First, take care of the pain.” Yan Xuan lifted Gan’er up and set her by Yi Ning’s side.

Gan’er looked at Yi Ning; she only noticed up close but, this was actually a human cultivator, how could the demon race’s medicine be used on humans? She said, a little fearfully, “Venerable Lord, I can’t save him, I need to use your blood…”

When Yan Xuan heard her words, his movements stilled. Yi Ning hurriedly pushed himself up, saying, “There’s no need. I will be fine in a while.” He had just finished speaking when he was once again pressed back onto the bed. 

The next second, Yan Xuan slashed open his palm with a wave of his saber. The blood dripped into the wine cup on the table. As the blood fell into the cup, it glowed with a red light, reflecting the tensed corners of his lips.

Gan’er stared disbelievingly at Yan Xuan, her little mouth dropped open in astonishment as she stuttered, “Y-y-y-you…”

Was this really the Demon Venerable she knew? Wasn’t the greatest taboo to the Demon Venerable taking his blood?

Yan Xuan was a half-demon, this was common knowledge inside the Demon Palace. The blood of a half-demon like Yan Xuan was highly valuable; it could increase one’s cultivation and suppress hundreds of poisons. 

However, the most serious taboo to Yan Xuan was taking his blood.

“Drink.” Yan Xuan casually hung the saber back onto his waist, ignoring Gan’er’s shocked expression, bringing the wine cup to Yi Ning’s lips.

When Yi Ning looked at that cup of blood, he was suddenly at a loss for words. Why was Yan Xuan treating him so well? Before Liu Rugeng came, Gong Xiuxian also treated him equally well.

He suddenly turned his head away, refusing to drink Yan Xuan’s blood. Yan Xuan thought he was looking down on his blood for being dirty, so he grabbed Yi Ning’s chin was a dark expression, turning his head back. 

“Drink.” Yan Xuan’s voice was cold, and he seemed a little angry. Yi Ning continued to keep his mouth sealed, and even went as far as to push the wine cup away.

He didn’t want this kind of good treatment, he also didn’t dare to want it anymore.

“Fine, you win.” Yan Xuan said lowly. It appeared that he had given up.

Yi Ning’s heart trembled. 

No matter, he just needed to endure it a little. After a while, it won’t hurt anymore.

Don’t be greedy for other people’s good treatment, don’t rely on anyone, Yi Ning said to himself.

Suddenly, a pair of large hands pinched his face and Yan Xuan stuffed something into Yi Ning’s mouth.

He jumped in fright, reaching out a hand to grip onto Yan Xuan’s wrist. He wanted to spit out whatever it was, only for a sweet flavour to unfold on his tongue. 

Yi Ning stared blankly at Yan Xuan. What was in his mouth was a piece of rock candy.

“Now can you drink it?” Yan Xuan once again brought the wine cup to Yi Ning’s lips.

This scene brought forth a wave of deja vu, yet Yi Ning couldn’t remember where he had seen it before. Yan Xuan felt a little uncomfortable with his stare, and urged impatiently, “Are you drinking it or not?”

The rock candy still in his mouth seemed to have become even sweeter. 

Yi Ning lowered his eyelashes. His heart ached, so much so that it left him at a loss as to what to do.

He slowly lifted his hand and took the wine cup, swallowing down every last drop of blood. The poison in his body seemed to have encountered a stronger opponent and was steadily beaten back; even the pain of having his spiritual core dug out gradually vanished.

“Thank you.” Yi Ning said in a small voice. When he returned the wine cup to Yan Xuan, he repeated seriously, “Thank you.”