Chapter 231: Back To That Key Moment ⑥
The days of seclusion in the forest and mountains passed slowly in leisure and happiness, and unknowingly, twenty winters and summers had already passed. Shang Ke’s teahouse is doing very well, mainly serving low and mid level cultivators. He helped them to solve the various problems they encounter in their cultivation using a variety of drinks and food with different effects. The big sects have their own accumulation and capital, so they don’t need or care to seek outside help, but for the majority of the individual cultivators and cultivators from small sects, Shang Ke’s teahouse undoubtedly provides them with another channel for cultivation.
The remote Great Shadow Mountain is also gradually becoming known because of the existence of the Resting Teahouse, and many individual cultivators have even set up cultivation areas around the vicinity. In just a few decades, Great Shadow Mountain, with the Resting Teahouse as its center, has become a special cultivation area, and its defensive array was maintained by 10 individual high level experts. Anyone who doesn’t abide by the rules and tries to cut the queue to snatch a seat were all sent out in a ‘friendly’ manner.
The rules of the Resting Teahouse are very simple: First come first serve, everything(food) is by fate, enjoy in peace, and do not dine and dash. When you are in a teahouse, you are all fellow tea lovers, and personal grudges are temporarily placed aside.
Shang Ke’s business hours were not fixed, but it would open at least three days a month. The rest of the time is mainly used for cultivation and finding ingredients. While Shang Ke’s cultivation progressed rapidly, Yan Lu’s cultivation became lower and lower. But in contrast, his mental clarity lasted longer and longer.
Although the inner demons continued to torment Yan Lu’s mind, he still managed to control his desire to kill very well. Shang Ke estimated that in less than a few decades, they would be able to begin true dual cultivation. By then, Yan Lu’s cultivation would also start to increase.
When there was nothing else to do, Yan Lu would also go out to look for immortal herbs, but each time he would take the rabbit with him. This rabbit was also a rare odd creature. It has been living with Yan Lu and Shang Ke for decades. Although it has spiritual intelligence, it didn’t know how to cultivate. Yet, it didn’t age nor die and has a very bad temper. Numerous cultivators have been ‘bullied’ by it before.
The reason why Shang Ke insisted that the rabbit follow Yan Lu was mainly to prevent him from not being able to find his way home if he suddenly loses his senses halfway. For this reason, Shang Ke deliberately hung a pouch around Yan Lu’s neck, which contained three emergency measures.
The first solution: Let the rabbit bring you home.
The second solution: Wait in place and let the rabbit go home to find Little Mushroom for help.
The third solution: Crush the summoning charm in the storage ring.
When Shang Ke handed the pouch to Yan Lu, someone’s expression was so colorful as if he had opened a dye room, but he ultimately hung it around his neck in silence.
Every time he went out, Shang Ke would urge him to go early and return early and to stay safe.
On this day, the teahouse was closed, and Shang Ke was transplanting newly cultivated herb seedlings when a familiar fluctuation suddenly came over his spiritual sense: Yan Lu was back.
He immediately put down the tools in his hands and headed to welcome him back with a smile. But before he reached the door, he smelled a faint scent of blood. Yan Lu’s clothes were stained with blood, and his body exuded an undissipated murderous aura. His eyes were fierce and emotionless.
“Little Deer?” Usually, Shang Ke would only call Yan Lu “Little Deer” when he was silly, but he would also call him that way if he found that he could not restrain his killing intent.
Yan Lu’s cold eyes reflected Shang Ke’s figure. Then, a new expression appeared.
“You killed someone?” Shang Ke asked.
Yan Lu replied with a deep voice, “Yes.”
“Why?” We’ve already spent 20 years peacefully. Why would you suddenly kill someone?
“I don’t know.” Yan Lu looked tense, “When I saw the faces of those three people, I couldn’t help but kill them.”
You killed them just by seeing their faces? And three at one go. Just how terrible did they look? Shangkai looked at him incredulously.
Yan Lu looked away. As if he had done something wrong, he did not dare to look at Shang Ke.
Shang Ke was silent for a moment and said, “Go to the backyard and plant mushrooms for a month. I don’t want to talk to you for a month.”
Shang Ke did not agree with Yan Lu’s act of killing for no reason. This was not purely for the sake of so-called morality, but for fear that he might aggravate his own inner demons.
When Yan Lu heard this, he didn’t say anything and silently went to the backyard. He was not such an obedient person in the past, but after hundreds of years of loneliness, he cherished the little mushroom that he had lost and regained more than anyone else.
Shang Ke felt terrible about it, but he had no choice but to be cruel. He can’t be gently comforting Yan Lu after he killed someone. His own indulgence might well become a reason for him going on a massacre. Only by keeping him on his toes would he alway remind himself not to kill indiscriminately.
At night, Shang Ke lay in bed and kept tossing and turning.
Just as he was wondering if a month was too long, the voice of the system suddenly sounded in his head: 【Dear host, a friendly reminder that Yan Lu triggered the divine retribution and will soon be in great trouble.】
“What? Divine retribution?” A thought came to Shang Ke’s mind and he asked, “Is it because he killed someone today?”
“What is divine retribution?”
【The divine retribution is unpredictable and untraceable. Some may become terminally ill, some may die unexpectedly, some may go crazy, and some just die an old age. Yan Lu caused a bloodbath in the cultivation world that year which stained him with the grievances of millions of people. Hence, the divine retribution he would receive will be especially serious. Once it comes, his soul would be scattered.】
“His soul will scatter?” Shang Ke asked again, “If his soul is scattered in this world, can he still reincarnate?”
【The scattering of the soul means complete death, and the host can never find him again in any world】. The reason why Shang Ke had the chance to retry was because the Flaming Red Sky kept him alive. Now that the Flaming Red Sky has shattered, once the soul scatters, the fate between the two will officially end, and the reincarnation lamp will also be powerless.
“He has killed so many people in the past and it didn’t trigger divine retribution. Why is it triggered this time when he only killed three people?”
【You think he hasn’t triggered the divine retribution before?】The system said faintly, 【He got invaded by his inner demons and lost his mind, wandering around the world crazily. If you hadn’t appeared, he is likely to wander for thousands of years until his cultivation is exhausted and he is reduced to a mortal. Then, he will experience old age, sickness, suffering and disability until he reentered a new cycle of reincarnation.】
Shang Ke’s voice trembled: “You mean, because of my appearance, he gradually regained his consciousness, resulting in the strengthening of the punishment by divine retribution?”
Before he appeared, Yan Lu still had a chance to reincarnate, but now his soul will scatter?
【That’s not true. What System has just said is only the presumed result under normal circumstances. The fact is, he was killed in his last life before his divine retribution was over. If you don’t come back, he’ll keep reincarnating in this world until his sins are atoned for or his soul is exhausted.】
“What should I do to save him?” Despite what the system had said, Shang Ke still felt that his appearance is the cause of all this. Yan Lu’s idiocy is actually a form of self-protection, and his efforts to help him regain his sanity have harmed him instead.
【This requires Host to figure out on your own, System won’t comment on it.】 As the main soul’s love rival, the reincarnation lamp is eager for the guy’s soul to scatter. But he also knew that if Shang Ke lost him, it would be too painful and unbearable. So he gave him the choice one last time. If Shang Ke managed to protect the main soul, then he would protect them forever as the reincarnation lamp. If Shang Ke failed, then he would break away from the reincarnation lamp and do everything possible to replace the main soul and become his partner.
Shang Ke was frightened, not expecting that it would be so serious. No matter what pain he had experienced before, his heart was still full of hope, because he knew he could still meet him. But it was different this time. If he died, he was really dead, and there was no more chance of reincarnation.
He would never let that happen!
Shang Ke’s eyes flashed with determination.
“System, I have one last question for you.” Shang Ke calmly asked, “Why did Yan Lu kill today?”
【The three people he killed today are the ones who will kill him in the “future”. 】Although Yan Lu’s cultivation has declined, as a god, he has extraordinary “precognition” ability. The moment he saw his enemy, his thoughts to kill arose.
Yan Lu was sitting in a pile of mushrooms, gazing intently at a bamboo building not far away. Little Mushroom’s room was still lit, and the familiar figure could be seen faintly through the window.
He had a bad feeling in his heart from the moment he killed those three people. Little Mushroom did not want him to kill again, but he had broken the rule today and it was for no reason at all.
Would Little Mushroom be disappointed in him, be afraid of him, and alienated from him? He couldn’t stand it, even if it was just a little. This speculation made him almost go crazy.
He didn’t want to kill anyone and only wanted to resolve his inner demons and be well with Little Mushroom.
So, Little Mushroom, don’t doubt me, don’t give up on me…
The light in Yan Lu’s eyes flickered erratically, faintly revealing a hint of blood. His head hung down slightly, his long hair concealing his expression at the moment. His fingers dug deeply into the soil and it seemed as if his body was shrouded with a black aura.
At this moment, gentle footsteps sounded from far to near. As it stepped on the fallen leaves, fine sounds were produced.
Yan Lu slowly raised his head and saw a slender figure standing quietly under the moonlight, his clothes floating gently in the night breeze, his body exuding a gentle atmosphere.
“Little Deer.” With just a soft call, Yan Lu was brought back from the lost side, only to hear Shang Ke say to him, “I can’t sleep alone.”
“So?” The color of blood in Yan Lu’s eyes gradually faded.
“So go back to your room.”
“No more growing mushrooms?”
“No more planting?”
“And you don’t blame me for killing anymore?”
“Murder is still not condoned. You’re punished to raise Rabbit for three days.”
“… Then you’d better let me grow mushrooms instead.”
“Don’t take an inch and want a mile.” Shang Ke glared at him.
The corners of Yan Lu’s mouth lifted. He jumped up and quickly leapt to his side, holding Shang Ke in his arms.
“There cannot be a next time, Yan Lu.”
Yan Lu knew what he was talking about, but he couldn’t guarantee it. He originally thought he could control it, but today’s events made him rethink it.
Yan Lu was silent for a moment and suddenly asked, “Little Mushroom, what if, what if one day, I’m completely unable to control myself?”
Shang Ke looked at the moon in the sky, and then replied slowly, “Then let me bear the infamy and the sins with you. I will atone for the amount you kill.”
Yan Lu’s eyes were hot and he could no longer say anything.