Chapter 45: Everyone Loves Little Immortal Mushroom (III)
Shang Ke and Yan Lu escorted Yu Wenjie to Xialiang City. Yu Wenjie used a secret skill to notify his sect and then, they went to find a hotel to stay in for the time being.
Yu Wenjie rented three rooms but Yan Lu did not go to his room. Instead, he very naturally followed Shang Ke to his room.
“A room was rented for you but you’re not using it. Why didn’t you say anything before we got it?” Shang Ke glanced at him.
“He did his renting and I am doing my dwelling, what does it have to do with him?” Yan Lu sat and leaned against the window sill, taking out the space ring he had ‘picked up’ during the day. From within, he took out a jade strip.
Shang Ke moved closer and asked, “What’s this?”
“A cultivation method.” Yan Lu handed the jade strip to him.
Shang Ke used his divine sense to check its contents. It was pretty much a heavenly (gibberish) book. Non-humans cultivated very differently from humans.. They did not have a specific way to cultivate and needed to absorb the essence of heaven and earth. As such, their cultivation speed was a far cry from that of humans. And in order to set himself as a good example to Yan Lu, the Devil Mushroom Shang Ke never absorbed the energy of people. So, his cultivation speed was even slower than a snail’s.
“Can you cultivate it?” Shang Ke’s eyes shone as he looked at Yan Lu. Although he couldn’t make sense of it, he knew that this was a righteous method of cultivation. What Yan Lu lacked most was a complete righteous cultivation method.
“Then…” Hurry up and cultivate it! The gates to the immortal realm have been widely opened for you.
“I don’t like it.”
“What?” Shang Ke was confused.
“I don’t like this cultivation method.” Yan Lu took out a spirit stone from the space ring and played it around in his hand, but he still showed his disdain towards that jade strip.
“Then what kind of cultivation method do you like?” As long as he was given a goal, even if he had to go to the ends of the world or jump into a pit of fire he would get it.
Yan Lu looked at him. Then, he seriously answered, “Your type.”
Shang Ke wore a thoroughly confused face, “What type is my type?”
“Free to do as you please, your cultivation is like it’s made by heaven as it can absorb the essence of all living things.” He paused, then added, “And carries a damp Devil Mushroom smell.”
The first part can be ignored, but what was the meaning of the latter part? What ‘damp Devil Mushroom smell’?
“Being a mushroom is innate. You can’t obtain it no matter how much you want it!” Shang Ke angrily retorted, “You better choose a cultivation method that a regular human can practice and leave it at that!”
“Hm, you’re right.” Yan Lu nodded his head, “Although I can’t be like you, I have my own way.”
“What way?” Shang Ke stared at him blankly.
“Refine a cultivator’s nascent soul and make their powers my own.” Yan Lu said casually, as if he was talking about the day’s weather.
Shang Ke: “…” This guy’s devil character was simply like nature itself.
Shang Ke took a deep breath and attempted to correct his belief, “That isn’t right. Cultivators should pursue the righteous path and abandon evil thoughts. Otherwise, they will fall into the devil path.”
“So what if I fall into the devil path?” Yan Lu was bewildered, “Little Mushroom, aren’t you a demon spirit of the devil path?”
Shang Ke was speechless. Unfortunately, this was a bloody fact. But as for why he entered the devil path, it was all caused by someone, okay?
Yan Lu placed his hand on top of his head, comforting him, “I think being a Devil Mushroom is pretty great. You don’t need to undervalue yourself and forcibly chase the righteous path.”
He unexpectedly flipped it and comforted him! Who was undervaluing himself? Who was chasing the righteous path?
Shang Ke turned and powerlessly fell onto the bed.
“Are you going to sleep?” Yan Lu jumped off the window sill and took off his coat and placed Shang Ke within it. After he tidied it up, he lay beside him and said a “Goodnight.” and immediately closed his eyes, peacefully falling asleep.
Shang Ke: “…” He didn’t know why, he suddenly felt that if a person like Yan Lu did not practice devil cultivation, it was simply a waste!
The next day, Shang Ke regained his spirit and encouraged himself. He continued to do good deeds and worked on reforming this devil who was entire evil.
Yu Wenjie injured his foundation during the fight. Shang Ke went up the mountain to find him some spiritual herbs which made the other feel moved endlessly. Not only him; he helped anyone he ran into who was in a difficult situation. He earned money every day by gathering mountain fruits and herbs, making little toys or selling his skills through music. The wealth he obtained in exchange was used to help others.
When Shang Ke first started doing this, he had felt mentally tired. But gradually, he noticed that this was also a type of cultivation for him that could mix heaven and earth spiritual qi even faster. As a result, he put more effort into this kind of ‘kind and charitable’ thankless task.
Yan Lu was unable to understand but he also did not stop him. He watched every day as he energetically ran all over.
Yan Wenjie admired Shang Ke wholeheartedly. He was almost treating him as his white moonlight (first crush). In merely half a month of interaction, he had completely fallen for Shang Ke.
Under a tree, Shang Ke was sitting on the ground with a Chinese lute in his hand. His fingers moved and played a fast tune. His face drooped low as he concentrated. His white hair lightly floated in the breeze and sunlight sprinkled down on him with a mottled pattern through the leaves. His long gown was simple yet elegant, while his temperament was like the clouds. Only his lips were a dark blood-red, glossy and lovely.
Sitting around him were seven to eight children. They quietly listened to the sweet-sounding music as their heads bobbed and swayed along with the music occasionally. Not too far from them, even the adults placed down their work, smiling as they took a break.
Yan Lu leaned against a rock, silently watching Shang Ke below the tree. In his steady eyes, his figure shone.
Yu Wenjie’s mind was entirely taken by Shang Ke. His usual infatuation appeared on his face.
Shang Ke, who was immersed in his performance, did not notice that the noise and voices around him had disappeared, leaving behind only the sound of the melodious lute being played.
His slender fingers left behind a faint purple fog as he plucked the strings. The light in his eyes flickered and the corners slanted up. His red lips curved into an alluring smile, making him so much more devilishly beautiful. The music that was originally joyful for the listeners gradually become a devil sound that swallowed people’s souls. The people in the surrounding one kilometer wore dazzled expression as if they were intoxicated to the point of losing their senses. Strands of essence qi floated from their bodies and slowly converged in Shang Ke’s direction.
Only Yan Lu smiled among all the people present. Without any qualms, he started to absorb the essence qi that filled the air.
“Which devil is causing trouble?!” At that moment, a loud shout came from a distant place. The voice slashed through the horizon and shot towards Shang Ke like an arrow. The great spiritual power interrupted his performance.
Once the music stopped, the people gradually recovered their senses and once again started moving about. They did not notice the unusual event at all.
Just as Shang Ke was startled by the unexpected interruption, a couple of righteous cultivators had arrived. A white-haired old man among them berated, “It is just an insignificant spirit daring to cause trouble here and futilely absorb people’s essence qi.”
Shang Ke thought about what had just happened when he finally realized what he had just done. He was transformed by the devil tribulation and had formed a devil dan(tian). Although he didn’t want to harm people, the power in his body was the opposite of his nature. He accidentally activated his devil dan and absorbed the people’s qi.
The old man activated his sword qi, causing a distinct sound that dispersed all the surrounding children away.
Seeing how only Shang Ke remained before him, the old man showed no mercy as he started his attack.
“Martial Uncle Qing Chong! Don’t!” Yu Wenjie cried out in alarm behind him, “That is my friend.”
The old man did not heed his words and continued to wave his sword.
Shang Ke knew he wouldn’t be able to beat him even without fighting. He held his lute and made a run for it. The old man and the other cultivators followed closely behind, sending countless sword qi and slashing his back.
This was the first time Shang Ke experienced the attacks of a cultivator. That really was such a sharp and bright sword; the killing intent pressured him and they were able to injure him despite being several hundred meters away.
“Don’t, Martial Uncle!” Watching with his own eyes how Shang Ke was knocked to the ground by sword qi and drenched in blood, Yu Wenjie quickly went forward to stop the old man, “Martial Uncle, he is my friend. Please have mercy on him.”
“Mercy? This is a devil spirit that harms people. If we don’t deal with him today, who knows how many people he will harm.” Daoist Qing Chong used his sword to point at Shang Ke.
“No, he won’t!” Yu Wenjie pleaded, “He saved my life before and also helped many people. Even if he is a devil spirit, he is a kind-hearted one.”
“Are you bewitched by him?” Daoist Qing Chong coldly refuted, “The devil music he just played attempted to absorb other people’s essence qi. This is called kind-hearted?”
A trace of shock flashed through Yu Wenjie eyes and he turned back to look at Shang Ke. Shang Ke struggled up from the ground, his clothes in complete disorder and bloodstained. A bit of distress shone in his dark eyes. The left side of his forehead was cut by the sword qi and blood flowed down to his eye, coagulating into a bloody drop that slowly slid down to his fair face.
A youth like jade, lucid and elegant without compare.
After interacting with him for half a month, Yu Wenjie was unable to believe that Shang Ke was a harming devil spirit. But even he was bewitched by the devil music before. If it weren’t for his Martial Uncle getting there in time, the consequences would be unthinkable.
Yu Wenjie’s gaze was complicated, he didn’t know what to do.
Shang Ke forced a smile inside. No matter how many good deeds you do, once you do something bad accidentally, all the hard work from before fades into nothing.
Daoist Qing Chong did not have the patience to wait for Yu Wenjie to make his choice. He raised his sword and attacked Shang Ke again.
Shang Ke had initially wanted to use devil qi to fight, but when he saw Yan Lu standing in the distance, he gave up that thought. As the matter had already progressed to this point, he would do things his own way. Even if he was forced to an impasse, he would still not use his devil cultivation to harm others.
His body was of a devil’s while his heart was on the path of the righteous. Disdained by other people, but still not willing to change.
Shang Ke tensed his devil heart and only defended without attacking. Injuries piled upon his body while a misty layer of tears gradually fogged his eyes. But his eyes were still firm without fear.
“Immortal Elder, please have mercy! Brother Shang is a good person!” Right at that moment, an old lady suddenly called out and begged.
“Yes, please have mercy Immortal Elder, let him go.” Another person agreed.
“Don’t hurt Big Brother Shang!” This was from the children that had listened to him playing the lute.
More and more people’s voices rose up. They were all people that had received help from Shang Ke. Although they were just small graces, their simple and honest selves, were still very grateful.
Daoist Qing Chong face was full of shock. He didn’t expect this group of ordinary people to still plead for mercy for a devil spirit. Their soul was almost taken by him just now. They were just impossibly stupid!
Yu Wenjie was nevertheless moved, he knelt and begged, “Martial Uncle, please let him go.”
“You!” The common people being ignorant was one thing, but even this Martial Nephew of his was like this. Were they all infatuated to the point of losing their minds? Daoist Qin Chong couldn’t restrain his rage as he pointed a finger at Shang Ke, “Scram! You better not let me see you again, I won’t let you off so easily next time.”
Shang Ke stood up and looked around him. Then he raised his arms and deeply bowed to these good and honest common people. They not only saved his life, but they also gave him the hope of completing his mission.
Shang Ke staggeringly walked and left this small town under everyone’s gaze.
From start to finish, Yan Lu merely watched indifferently from the side. After Shang Ke left, he turned his sight to the members of Flying Star Sword Sect. He stared for a while before turning and heading to the direction Shang Ke left in.
Yan Lu found Shang Ke’s muddy and bloody clothes in a forest. His eyes swept around his surroundings and he accurately found a withered mushroom on a tree root.
He crouched down and quietly said, “You are just a devil mushroom. Why must you walk the righteous path and obey heavenly principles? With your spiritual nature, if you work on your devil cultivation, you can cultivate a devil body in not even two hundred years and ascend. Then, how would those people be your opponent?”