Chapter 38: Grass Enchantress
In the western regions, hexcrafts were dubbed as “Grass ghouls”. It’s been said that they only dwell in the bodies of females, bringing harm to other people. These so-called women with hexcrafts have been called “Grass Enchantresses”.
Rather than directly making him go rest, Bai Yiran proceeded to tell some stories of Grass Enchantresses.
The Old Devil Dame’s surname was Zhu. As for what her first name was, nobody knew. Everyone called her “Old Dame Zhu”. He had heard that Old Dame Zhu, in her youth, was beautiful. Practically everyone in the village liked her. Later, she chose a very good man from an influential family and was married off.
At first, the man was very good towards her and probably wished he could give her the entire world. Who could have known that the village’s Grass Enchantress, upon hearing of this, conveniently sent someone over to announce that she was looking for a disciple. The man did not respond, so she captured him and asked whether he wanted to keep his life or his wife.
The man panicked and could only say that he wanted his life. So, she was sent to the Grass Enchantress…
However, because Old Dame Zhu’s temperament was very stubborn, she had firmly refused. Her father’s life was held hostage so that she could only give in.
“You must go alone when you visit Old Devil Dame tomorrow. She would definitely disagree if too many people go!” After finishing his story about Old Dame Zhu, Bai Yiran urged him.
Xuanyuan Ying nodded his head and asked, “Can I go accompany her in the ice cave? Or I can just bring her out!”
“Go ahead!” Bai Yiran hesitated at first, but then nodded his head.
As Xuanyuan Ying carried her out and walked towards the neighboring room, he suddenly halted his steps. “If your little sister comes over, just tell her that I’m still within the restricted grounds!”
“Alright!” Bai Yiran held a hint of bitterness in his smile. On one side was his good friend, on the other was his sister who held a one-sided love for him. Sigh!
Sure enough, after not even half an hour passed, Bai Nightspring came yet again. She stuck out her head towards the study room and asked, “Big brother! Where’s Big Brother Xuanyuan?”
“He’s still in the restricted grounds and hasn’t come out yet! You’re running around late at night to a man’s room to look for a man, doesn’t that seem wrong?” Bai Yiran looked very angry. This little girl was becoming more and more unreasonable!
“Then when will he come out?” Bai Nightspring asked, unfazed.
“There’s no need for you to care so much, just hurry and go to sleep!” Bai Yiran’s face ashened as he pushed his little sister out. Seeing how popular Xuanyuan Ying was with the ladies, then seeing how pestering his little sister was, he couldn’t help but mourn in his heart.
“Big Brother! Good Big Brother!” Bai Nightspring was continuously pushed back and could only yell out like a spoiled child.
“Bam!” Before she could finish speaking, the door of the study room was slammed shut.
“Bro…” Bai Nightspring yelled out again. Seeing the door had absolutely no sign of moving, she could only turn around and leave.
The second day.
“Old Dame Zhu!” Outside the courtyard, in front of a two-story tall bamboo house, Liu Ironfour peered out his head. The house was devoid of any answer. Liu Ironfour immediately beckoned his hand behind him.
Xuanyuan Ying directly carried the unconscious Gu Yunlan as he walked in with big strides. The courtyard was very clean, almost completely spotless.
He stood in the middle of the courtyard and said, “Old Dame! Xuanyuan is here seeking hexcraft!”
“This Old Dame’s hexcraft isn’t for foreigners!” An aged and rough voice sounded out, halting behind him quietly.
“Old Dame!” Bai Nightspring peeked out her head from the courtyard gate quietly. She then pulled along Xuanyuan Meng as she ran over, “Just give it to Mister Xuanyuan!”
“This Old Dame has already said that her hexcraft isn’t for foreigners!” Old Dame Zhu turned expressionlessly towards the inside of the room and walked over. She wore a full black gown, the hood worn over head. She hid herself within a shaded area.
“Old Dame!” Xuanyuan Ying creased his brows, how come she followed them here?
But, when she walked past Xuanyuan Ying, she halted her steps and creased her brows. She immediately pressed on her rucksack and said softly, “She has contracted corpse poison!”
“Corpse poison? How does Old Dame know?” Xuanyuan Meng moved closer in astonishment. To think that Big Brother didn’t tell her. No wonder he would come to such a remote mountain area.
“I beg Old Dame to save her life!” Xuanyuan Ying ignored his nearby little sister.
“Unrelated people, get out!” Old Dame Zhu was gloomy and cold towards the two people who butted in. She spat out a sentence before lifting her feet to enter the room, “Carry her in! We’ll talk inside.”
“I am his little sister, not someone unrelated!” Xuanyuan Meng stared blankly. She wanted to rush in there and debate but was dragged out of the courtyard by Bai Yiran. She could only quietly watch as her big brother carried Gu Yunlan into the house.
“Let’s go now! Old Dame Zhu has an eccentric personality We don’t want to provoke her!” Bai Nightspring strained to pull her out of the courtyard.
“Let go of me. I want to protect my sister-in-law!” Outside the courtyard, Xuanyuan Meng struggled free from Bai Nightspring’s grip.
“That woman Mister Xuanyuan was carrying is his wife?” Bai Nightspring froze and stared at her in astonishment. Her eyes showed disbelief, how could it be? Only a few years have passed, yet Mister Xuanyuan has, unexpectedly, been married off.
“Although they haven’t married yet, sooner or later they will be!” Xuanyuan Meng turned her head away somewhat awkwardly. Big Brother is too slow, why hasn’t he hurried to bring Gu Yunlan home yet. They’ve slept together already! It’s something that’ll happen eventually! As if on purpose, she lifted her head. “Plus, I have already acknowledged her as my sister-in-law!”
“Humph! You even said it; they aren’t married right now! Say that when she actually becomes your sister-in-law! Maybe you’ll be calling me sister-in-law in the future!” Bai Nightspring humphed coldly, disdainfully hooking up the corners of her mouth. She and Mister Xuanyuan just aren’t the same kind of people. They won’t necessarily get married!
“Humph! What I say regarding matters of my Xuanyuan Family counts!” Xuanyuan Meng briskly turned around and departed from Old Dame Zhu’s home. The same type of people still dare to talk so openly. For someone to use such a tone to speak with her, allowing her to enter the Xuanyuan family, wasn’t it just asking to be tyrannized? Yunlan was still the better choice!
“Humph! Wait and see!” Bai Nightspring stared blankly. It can’t be? What a little girl says regarding the clan counts, unless the Xuanyuan Family isn’t a clan?
Xuanyuan Ying followed Old Dame Zhu into the room. In the center was a long table with a silver bowl full of clear water. It was like the courtyard; The room was neat and clean, however it was just a bit dusky.
“Put her on this table, then sit down!” Old Dame Zhu’s hoarse voice sounded somewhat faint as she pointed towards the table in the middle of the room. She hinted at him to sit down on the seat to the left side of the room.
“With you here, how could she have been contracted with corpse poison? How did such a thing appear?” Old Dame Zhu beckoned with her hands, and the courtyard gates slammed shut with a loud sound. She sat down in front of the table, facing square towards the entrance gate.
From Old Dame Zhu’s words, one could obviously tell that she clearly knew about Xuanyuan Ying’s abilities.
“I wasn’t there at that time. She was invited as a guest by the Zi Family and got mixed up with a white bone spirit!” Xuanyuan Ying smiled a bit bitterly. The blame was on him too. He was keeping guard outside at that time.
“Humph! You’d come to find this old woman after something bad happens!” Old Dame Zhu softly humphed out loud as she took off the hood on her head. With closed eyes, she slowly stretched out her hands. Her arms loweredt, revealing stripes that completely covered them. She used her hands to make a splitting motion in the air, from her hand to her feet. She suddenly opened her eye. “Pure Yin Physique! How can a Pure Yin Physique get infected with corpse poison? Did you take her in?”
Xuanyuan Ying watched her cinnabar-red pupils, shaking his head. “We’ve only exchanged blood.”
“Humph! It’s fortunate you are not lustrous, otherwise she would have headed straight to death!” The only alternative, other than death, after getting poisoned by corpse poison was using corpse hexcrafts. But corpse hexcrafts only have interests towards females! “It’s just that, since the white bone spirit suddenly appeared, there definitely will be unusual things appearing around her!”
“The Zi Family’s household is quite odd!” Xuanyuan Ying creased his brows. He could only think about whether or not Gu Yunlan will wake up this time. Immediately following suit, he asked, “Old Dame, is her situation certain?”
“It’s just that this Old Dame’s hexcraft isn’t for outsiders!” If one looked closely, they could see different colored stripes appearing on Old Dame Zhu’s face. She wasn’t actually old, merely thirty years old. She hooked up the corners of her mouth slightly, her red pupils suffused with red light.
“Any condition you have, there’s no need for Old Dame to hesitate to sa!” Xuanyuan Ying gave a cupped fist salute.
“Have her become my disciple or get married to Nightspring!” Old Dame Zhu said a few words out loud, then closed her eyes, not saying a word more.
Xuanyuan Ying’s heart jumped. He glanced at Gu Yunlan, who lay sleeping on the table. Her features were delicate and pretty. If she were to dress up, she’d definitely be devastatingly beautiful. Just that, to let her raise hexcrafts, it would definitely spoil her beauty. But for him to marry Bai Nightspring, he definitely could not do so.
He thought for a bit before saying, “Old Dame! You shouldn’t be affected by me marrying Bai Nightspring. I’m just afraid that at that time, you still wouldn’t save her. So I won’t marry her!”
“Ha ha ha ha!” Old Dame Zhu suddenly snapped open her eyes and tilted her head back, laughing. “Not bad! This Old Dame has some plans. Unless you choose for her to become my disciple?”
“No!” Xuanyuan Ying shook his head. He remembered something he heard when Bai Yiran and him were heading off towards Old Dame Zhu. His eyes suddenly flashed, saying, “Whether or not she becomes your disciple, it’s not within my power. Even if she were to be my wife, that would not be possible. Even more so since were are not a married couple! If you want to take her in as a disciple, you can only wait until after she awakens!”
“Alright! To counter your words, this Old Dame will agree to save her.” Old Dame Zhu nodded her head in satisfaction.
“Many thanks to Old Dame!” Xuanyuan Ying immediately cupped his fists in a thank you salute. “That’s right! Old Dame, will raising hexcrafts spoil her beauty as it’s done to you?”
“What? You really care about appearances?” Old Dame Zhu’s complexion looked a bit annoyed.
“That’s not it!” Xuanyuan Ying shook his head. How could he care about appearances? In his most ugly state, he was much more frightening looking than Old Dame at the moment, “A woman’s pride, even if she herself did not care, he was afraid others would point and gawk at her.
“You actually have a heart!” Old Dame glanced at him sideways, saying, “There are many ways for us to raise hexcrafts. We can make our body into a farm, raise them within a vessel or even raise them outside freely. I’m pretty unusual since I prefer to raise them using my own body as a farm.
Xuanyuan Ying nodded his head, indicating that he understood.
“However, you must stay here at my place for three days. She has to soak for three days in a medicinal bath! After three days, we’ll begin.” Old Dame Zhu stood up, instructing, “Carry her and follow me. This afternoon just happens to be fitting for the first soak!”
“Alright!” Xuanyuan Ying immediately stood up and carried Gu Yunlan, who was on the tabletop. He followed Old Dame Zhu out of the room, skirting past the main room and walking towards the back courtyard.
“Creak!” Old Dame Zhu pushed open a door to a bamboo house. The inside of the room was, once again, spotlessly clean. The furniture inside wasn’t many: one bed, one table, two stools, and a big wooden cask. On the bed was a snow white bed sheet.
“In the three days you guys stay here, there will be no need to exchange blood. Medicinal bath…” Old Dame Zhu looked at him hesitatingly, will he be alright? Would the girl blame him after waking up? That’s not right! She suddenly remembered something. “I assume that you already know that the corpse poison has already corroded her mind. If corpse hexcraft were used, it’s very possible that she’ll lose her memory!”
“I know this. Old Bai and I have already talked that over!” Xuanyuan Ying nodded his head. Memory, no problem. At least she’s alive.
“Then that’s good. Medicinal bath. If you can’t, then go find Nightspring!” Old Dame Zhu turned around expressionlessly, walking towards the entrance door. She suddenly halted her steps, “That’s right! You’ll have to take care of meals by yourself!”