Edited by Renderedreversed
I was already so familiar with the road to the Netherworld that I didn’t need the soul collectors to lead me. As such, we arrived in no time.
There, I saw Chu Kong talking with one of the ghosts. As I approached them, I faintly heard him say: “I must trouble you to inform Yanwang that I’ve something important to see him about.”
Seems like he had just gotten here himself.
The ghost, who was half the size of Chu Kong, nodded. He was about to leave when he saw me. His dark face turned even darker. Taking a few steps back, he shouted: “They have come again! They have come again! They’ll face each other again!”
The Netherworld was a silent place. When he shouted, the whole Netherworld stopped what they are doing. Both the worker ghosts and the souls that were about to be reincarnated all scattered away, leaving me and Chu Kong standing there awkwardly. I bit my lips and silently wiped the cold sweat off my forehead. In my heart, I was thinking that Chu Kong and I, standing here together just like this, must’ve been a traumatic experience for them…
I was lamenting exactly this when Chu Kong looked at me. He narrowed his eyes, and I saw danger in them. “Didn’t I tell you to look for an opportunity to escape? How come you’re so stupid?!”
I didn’t want to have to explain all the feelings in my heart, and I certainly didn’t want to explain them to him. So, I said: “Do you think it’s comfortable wearing a fur coat all the time? I don’t give a damn about being a tiger demon.”
I walked straight to Yanwang’s palace.
“After we inform Yanwang about that issue…that’s it for me. When we have to drink the Soup of Oblivion, we’ll drink the Soup of Oblivion. When we have to reincarnate, we’ll go reincarnate. I don’t care about how Heavenly Emperor Li will arrange our next lifetime; I’m done. I don’t want to waste my effort fighting with you anymore. I’m worn out.”
The route to Yanwang’s palace was long, and all the while, I didn’t hear Chu Kong’s cynicism. I also didn’t hear the sound of footsteps behind me. Curiously, I looked back and saw Chu Kong staring blankly at me. I wondered: “Don’t you need to go to Yangwang’s palace? Come.”
Chu Kong blinked, and it seemed like his soul had finally returned to his body. He arrogantly declared: “Humph, of course xiaoye knows what he has to do. Who wants you to remind me?”
I squeezed my fist. This guy, really… Control my anger, control my anger.
I didn’t bother with him anymore. In my heart, I felt that letting him off the hook every once in awhile was no big deal.
After pushing the big, heavy door open, I walked into Yanwang’s palace. The thing that surprised me the most today was that Yanwang was not asleep on his desk. In all seriousness, he was awake, writing in a book. The magistrate beside him was watching him. Looking at Yanwang, I saw the veins on his forehead look as if they were about to pop.
I bowed, full of respect.
“I’m here again.”
Yanwang raised his head and looked at me. His eyes brightened up: “Oh! Xiao Xiang Zi! Good, good, you’re here again? Didn’t Celestial Star Chu Kong come?”
His face was full of excitement. Only when he saw Chu Kong walk into the palace did he nod. Yanwang put down his brush and said: “You came just in time. Just now, Heaven sent me a letter.”
Yanwang leaned back in his chair. He patted the arm of it with his left hand, looking at both me and Chu Kong with a smile on his face.
I was scared to see him smile like that and took a few steps back. At the same time, Chu Kong stepped in front and covered me with half of his body. He asked: “What did the letter from Heaven say?”
“It’s for the two of you.”
Yanwang picked up the letter.
“Well, before I read it, don’t you two have a fight scheduled first?”
I bit my lips. Being a Yanwang must be really boring. Why else would he be so eager for Chu Kong and I to create a mess in the Netherworld?
Seeing that we were ignoring him, he sulked: “Alright, this letter is from Heavenly Emperor Li. He said that what you did in the human world and in the Netherworld was just too much. He had personally written so many fates for you, yet none of them have played out. In the first lifetime, the wrong person died. In the second lifetime, the fate he wrote completely changed. In the third lifetime, well, he hadn’t yet finished writing when you already came down. All of that has completely discouraged him. He has a lot more white hairs now.”
Hearing Yangwang say that, I felt a little sorry for big-bearded Li.
“So, Heavenly Emperor Li’s letter said that for your next life, you must live in the human world for twenty years. Otherwise, if you come down to the Netherworld too early again, you’ll be handed over to me for punishment.”
Yanwang giggled for a while.
“I foresee that you won’t be able to live an entire twenty years there.”
Hey…what kind of inappropriate mentality does this guy have? Isn’t he supposed to be a Yanwang, ah? Exactly what kind of work is he producing with an attitude like that…
Yanwang laughed heartily: “You two immortals must know that working as a Yanwang is very suffocating. It’s a very rare opportunity to get to punish someone however I want…heiheihei hei. You see, I’ve already written down ways to punish people.”
I took a closer look. Once I saw his list, I was startled and cursed: “Damn you.”
Chu Kong, who was in front of me, was also startled: “Fuck you.”
Make the hilarious Yanwang laugh ten times.
Massage Yanwang’s aching back ten times.
Kiss Yanwang’s soft cheeks ten times…
What the fuck are these?!
So it turned out that what he had just been so seriously writing was this…this…this ridiculous thing! No wonder the magistrate’s face had been twitching.
Yanwang looked up at the ceiling with a face full of hope.
“You two, do try to come down earlier for Yanwang.”
I rubbed my temples. Chu Kong also rubbed his temples. He was silent for a while, and then masking all his emotions, he said with a solemn face: “Yanwang, serious information.”
He took two steps forward.
“This time, we saw a cave in the human world connected to the Netherworld. Someone is receiving living sacrifices there.”
When Yanwang heard this, his face turned a shade darker. All the humor of his expression disappeared from his face.
“At the foot of Hua Mountain. If the Netherworld hasn’t received any souls who had died because they were living sacrifices…that means that the one accepting the living sacrifices also consumes their souls. This is the road to transforming into a demon. We need to inform heaven as soon as possible to let them make early preparations.”
Yanwang nodded and thought for a while. The magistrate beside him said: “I’ll go take a look at the eighteenth floor.”
Knowing that it was something serious, the magistrate didn’t dare to delay and rushed out. Yanwang sat for a while, but he seemed impatient. He rushed after the magistrate. While he was running, he said: “You two don’t need to worry about this matter. Go reincarnate.”
I looked at Chu Kong and Chu Kong also looked at me.
“What are you staring blankly at? So stupid,” Chu Kong said coldly. “Didn’t you want to go reincarnate? Go.”
“What are you being angry about? I didn’t say I wouldn’t go.”
I turned and walked out of Yanwang’s palace.
The Netherworld didn’t have many staff on hand. There was even less staff now that Yanwang pulled ten ghosts to go with him. Now there was only one ghost left, overlooking the drinking of the Soup of Oblivion. This ghost looked somewhat dull…
The vicious part of my heart came rolling out, tempting me to commit evil. I recalled the lifetime where I didn’t remember anything, the suffering of being under someone’s control. I suddenly felt that whatever Heavenly Emperor Li had planned in his discouraged state could stay far away from me.
I lifted my skirt and was about to take the bowl of soup when suddenly, Chu Kong’s voice called from behind me: “Hey, Xiao Xiang Zi, let’s discuss.”
I turned and looked at him. He pointed at that ghost: “Let’s deceive him, and neither of us will drink the Soup of Oblivion. After reincarnation, we can continue with what you said in the previous lifetime: draw a clear line and never come in contact with each other.”
Hearing this, I don’t know why my heart felt empty. I blinked and froze for a moment, and then returning to myself, I said: “Good, good plan, ah. Of course that’d be good.”
Chu Kong stared at me for a while. Then he brushed past my shoulder and went straight up to the ghost. He took a bowl of soup. I didn’t know what tricks Chu Kong had up his sleeve, so I mirrored his movements and also took a bowl of soup.
Chu Kong held the bowl with one hand, but he didn’t rush to drink it. With the other hand, he pulled out a round bead and said: “Heaven has only one of this bead. It has great power. Unfortunately, I can’t bring it with me to the human world. When Yanwang comes back a while later, help me give it to him.”
I looked at that one-and-only bead from Heaven. Yes, the one-and-only bead from Heaven, with powers untold but undoubtedly great. Amazing. I bit my lip. Chu Kong, are you sure that this isn’t just the broken stone you picked up from the road a few moments ago?
Chu Kong handed the bead to the ghost, but his hand slipped. The round bead fell onto the ground and rolled far away. The ghost, thinking that this was a great responsibility entrusted to him by an almighty Celestial Star, quickly chased after it.
Chu Kong turned sideways and threw the soup bowl into the River of Forgetfulness. In my heart, I spurned his bullying behavior, but I also turned and threw my soup into the river, letting it follow the current to who-knows-where.
When the ghost came back, he scratched his head and apologized to Chu Kong for not finding the bead. Chu Kong waved and said with an inscrutable look: “Forget it, forget it. It’s destiny.”
A stone rolled into a pile of stones. If the ghost had managed to find it, that’d have been the real destiny…
After crossing the bridge, we arrived at the side of the Well of Reincarnation. I looked into the well, eyeing the separation between the yin and yang worlds.
A thought suddenly flashed through my mind. “Chu Kong, accidents happen. I think it’s a little unrealistic to draw a line and expect to never come in contact with each other again. Let’s just make one thing clear…”
Chu Kong glanced at me from the corners of his eyes. I solemnly declared: “In the next lifetime, you better be reborn as a woman.”
His eyes narrowed dangerously.
“Xiao Xiang Zi, let’s change our ways,” he said. “You should simply go and reincarnate as a man. Think about it: you have a fierce heart. As a man, your body and mind can finally achieve unity. It will also let us avoid forming any feelings. Would it not be better this way?”
“I will not be a man. I can’t get accustomed to a man’s body.”
Chu Kong harrumphed coldly: “Funny. So you think that xiaoye, a hot blooded man, can get accustomed to a woman’s body?”
Whenever he spoke to me in such a tone, it never failed to stir up my emotions. I took a deep breath and forced myself to calm down: “Alright, fine. Let’s just go our separate ways.”
I stepped onto the lip of the Well of Reincarnation and prepared to jump in. However, before I could, something grabbed my shoulder…or rather, someone. Chu Kong grabbed ahold of my shoulder and pushed me toward the yang side. He wanted me to reincarnate as a man! A man, of all things!
How could I let myself suffer such a big loss? I mirrored Chu Kong’s moves, grabbing his neck and pushing him over to the yin side.
Amidst the chaos while we were tugging back and forth, I didn’t know what position I was in when I fell into the well. The one thing I remembered was this: before the darkness came, it felt like my heart had suddenly run out of breath, sending waves of confusion to all of my extremities…