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Shen Mu – Volume 1 Chapter 10

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Volume 1 Chapter 10: Fairy Tantai

The princess couldn’t be said to not be beautiful. Among mortals, she was absolutely beautiful, but in the end, she was still young. Chu Yue was in the prime of her life. Compared to her, the princess was still far too young and inexperienced. She was like a vivacious elf, teeming with cleverness. She stuck closely to Chu Yue’s side, giving her an intimate look that displayed her dependence on her.

A pair of beautiful woman. It truly was an exquisite scene.

“Hmph! This shameless degenerate’s courage isn’t that low, he actually dares to gaze like this at jiejie.”

Chen Nan hurriedly saluted. “Formally greeting Your Highness the princess.”

Chu Yue dully said, “Forgo your formalities.”

“Jiejie, take a look. It’s this guy. Don’t just judge his foolish, laughable outward appearance. His heart is utterly corrupt. He’s the most shameless degenerate, smelly thief.”

Fainting! Chen Nan was depressed beyond compare.

“From head to toe, this guy is completely bad. He…” The princess was suddenly somewhat embarrassed. She minced her words. “If not for his trace of usefulness, I would’ve already killed him.”

Chu Yue gave her a smile. “What did he do?”

“Jiejie…” The princess’s face suddenly reddened. She incessantly shook Chu Yue’s arm.

From the start, Chen Nan continuously observed this pair of sisters. He never expected the princess to have such a sincere, lovable aspect to her, clinging onto Chu Yue’s arm. He simply couldn’t believe his own eyes. Was this still that girl who had a fierce battle of wits with that Third Prince Ren Jian, that well-seasoned, resourceful princess? Was this still that girl who tormented him to the brink of death, that incomparably evil little demon?

“Jiejie, look. He’s lecherously stealing a glance at you.”

The princess raised a little fist and gave Chen Nan a reckless punch.

Chu Yue pulled the princess towards her, a smiling expression across her face. She patted her head. “Alright, tell jiejie. What has happened these past few days you were gone? What did you do?”

The princess immediately perked up with delight. Like a cheerful sparrow, she giggled as she began to tell the story of her thrilling adventures in the mountains.

From rare, strange beasts to giant flying dragons, she described all of the unusual flowers and even the bizarre grass from the mountains as if they were living things with living spirits right in front of them. When her description arrived to the point at which she met Chen Nan as she was bathing in a pool, she instantly sobered up and stopped talking.

From only these words from the princess, Chu Yue was able to guess what had roughly happened. Her two eyes couldn’t help but emit a cold light, breaking Chen Nan out into a cold sweat.

Chen Nan exclaimed in his mind, “An expert! Her aura is reserved and profound, with somewhat of an enlightened temperament. Is she a Daoist?”

Chu Yue’s body exuded a faintly discernible Daoist aura, reaffirming Chen Nan’s belief that she cultivated Dao. The cold light seemed to be tangible as it frightened Chen Nan’s innermost being. He was unaware whether or not Chu Yue, for the sake of maintaining her younger sister’s reputation, would kill him in order to silence him.

Chu Yue pulled the princess farther away from him and whispered, “Tell jiejie, what happened?”

The princess bashfully said, “N-nothing.”

Chu Yue’s voice was soft. “With jiejie, what do you have to be embarrassed about? Jiejie won’t cause trouble for you. Hurry, tell me. Let jiejie hear what has happened so she knows how to handle that degenerate… en… Chen Nan.”

“It’s like this…” Red-faced, the princess shyly described what had happened at the pool.

Chu Yue’s face turned ashen. She almost immediately unsheathed her sword and beheaded Chen Nan who was standing not too far away from her.

“You… Why haven’t you killed him yet?”

The princess shot the nearby Chen Nan a fierce glance but turned back to Chu Yue and said, “I originally wanted to torment him, but afterwards…”

Listening to how the princess and Zhuge Chengfeng had battled the Monolithic Snake on equal terms, Chu Yue was on the edge of her seat, secretly anxious. When she finally heard how the Monolithic Snake had transformed into a golden dragon before finally being defeated, she opened her eyes wide in astonishment, repeatedly clicking her tongue in praise.

The princess was captivating. “Afterwards, only a single petal of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus remained. That smelly thief Chen Nan also ran away… We came across the Empire of Baiyue’s Third Prince Ren Jian. That wretched degenerate was actually unfortunate enough to be captured by them… Then…”

The more Chu Yue heard, the more anxious she became, until her face turned icy. She coldly said, “This Ren Jian is too arrogant. To actually dare attack our Chu Empire and harbour evil plots to steal our national treasure Houyi Bow and bully my meimei, he truly deserves to die!”

The princess was very unaccepting of what had happened. “If my subordinates weren’t already seriously injured, the victor of that battle could have been anyone; either of us could have been the one to kill the deer. Even though it was like that, he still fell into my ambush and almost all of his subordinates died.”

Chu Yue laughed, “Hehe. Our little naughty girl actually has some real ability.” With that, she became more focused. “And then?”

“And then… and then…” The princess again became bashful.

“Tell me. Jiejie won’t laugh at you.”

The princess steadied her mind. After a breath of air, she told her everything that happened.

Chu Yue’s refined eyebrow creased. She heavily said, “Yu’er, you didn’t kill him even after he humiliated you—you’ve matured. You’ve done very well. If we’re able to subdue him, then our Empire of Chu will definitely gain another exceptional expert. But you’ll have to stop insulting him. Since you’ve spared his life, he should be extremely grateful; don’t let resentment and indignation grow in his heart.”

“Don’t tell me you want me to cheerfully laugh and chat with that smelly thief? My teeth begin to ache with just the sight of him. He actually treated me like that before… Hmph! Not killing him is already treating him with utmost benevolence.” The princess looked unhappy.

Chu Yue said, “Aren’t you usually rather clever? You want him to be deeply grateful, but you don’t have to be cheerful around him. You can gain his favour and be dignified at the same time. You just have to make sure you at least have his loyalty, nothing less.”

The princess’s face was bitter. “I really regret not killing him. As soon as I think about having to see that dirty bastard regularly hereafter, I just want to explode in rage. It makes me furious!”

Chu Yue laughed, “Hehe. You can, for the most part, avoid him.”

“Ai, this useless guy can actually become quite impressive when the moment calls for it. Thinking about it just makes me mad.”

“You call him useless even now? Could an ordinary person dispel the seal placed on Houyi Bow? Even Elder Zhuge, whose cultivation reaches sainthood, can only draw back the bowstring of the Godly Bow by a hairsbreadth. If his martial arts was ordinary, forget about drawing the Godly Bow’s bowstring, would he even be able to lift it up? If this matter were to become well-known, every successful practitioner would inevitably be alarmed.”

The princess seemed to be in thought. Recalling how Chen Nan had confronted the ancient giant, the way he had produced that resplendent golden brilliance, she approved of Chu Yue’s words.

“Okay. Next time, I won’t hit his head anymore, I won’t pinch his arm, and I won’t twist his ears.”

Chu Yue didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She didn’t expect the eccentric fairy that was her younger sister would actually take revenge against Chen Nan in this way.

Nearby, Chen Nan was wallowing in dejection not knowing how Chu Yue would handle the ‘hoodlum’ who committed blasphemies against the princess and her reputation. In a moment, Chu Yue pulled the princess by her hand and walked towards him. Every step was as graceful as a lotus. Her body was lithe and elegant. Her movement truly held endless exceptional magnificence.

“Chen-gongzi.”

“Commoner present.”

Chu Yue smiled. “Chen-gongzi, you need not be so courteous. For my Empire of Chu to obtain another remarkable talent, even when meeting the sovereign king you need not stand on ceremony. For all intents and purposes, you will be treated as a state official. Chen-gongzi, to be capable of using our Empire of Chu’s national treasure Houyi Bow, various countries would bestow upon you a high rank. You would be revered by all.”

Chen Nan let out a long breath of air. His imagined misfortune hadn’t arrived. Instead, it seemed like it was finally the time for his fortune to turn.

Chu Yue continued, “But the fact that Chen-gongzi is capable of using Houyi Bow—it is best not to make this public. After all, this matter is too astonishing. In order to avoid unnecessary troubles, I’m afraid we’re forced to offend Chen-gongzi and have him be a nameless official.”

Chen Nan hurriedly feigned a thankful appearance. “I will heed all of the princess’s arrangements, but…”

“But what?”

“The Empire of Baiyue’s Third Prince already knows I am capable of wielding Houyi Bow. Will he…”

Chu Yue said, “He won’t dare mention it. He’ll be more than happy over the fact that we’re not going after him and troubling him further.”

Actually, what Chen Nan wanted to say the most was: “Will he send people to come assassinate me?” But listening to Chu Yue speak like this, he felt it was better to say nothing else.

The princess stood to the side, pouting unhappily. When Chen Nan noticed her stealing glances, she promptly shot daggers at him. To avoid looking for trouble with the little demon, he promptly turned his head to look elsewhere.

Chu Yue said, “Alright, let’s be on our way.”

The cavalry remounted their horses; the infantrymen returned to their units. The mass of troops majestically set out towards Fengning City.

Chu Yue and the princess leisurely led the troops on their horses at the very front. Chen Nan and the Lord of Fengning City Zhao Sheng followed closely behind them.

Mounted on her horse, the princess shifted her eyes. “Jiejie, did father and mother ask you to come find me?”

Chu Yue reached out her lily-white hands and patted the princess’s forehead, smiling. “Afraid? This time, a mythical qilin has appeared at the western border of our Chu, attracting the interest of numerous practitioners from Tianyuan Continent. A lot of them came to inquire about it. Father was worried and had me bring five hundred elite armoured cavalry to come and take a tour of the place. Of course, if I were to find you, I’d definitely need to grab you and bring you back, hehe.”

The princess exhaled. “I was scared to death. I thought you had come specifically for me.”

“Do you understand fear now? To slip away and leave without telling anyone, you don’t know how worried we all were. Fortunately, Elder Zhuge guessed where you were headed and followed you the entire way.”

“Okay, I understand my mistakes.”

Chu Yue gazed attentively at the princess. “Yu’er, have you felt anything strange in your body these past few days?”

“Nothing, I’ve only felt a little warmer, that’s all.”

Chu Yue said, “I looked through an ancient book. Regarding ordinary people, heavenly medicinal herbs that are spiritually nurtured are treasures that can be discovered but not sought after. A dose can increase one’s cultivation by many times, but nevertheless, people in pursuit of the absolute strongest power avoid it. People who take miraculous flowers and spiritual grass find it incredibly difficult to actually dissolve the medicinal strength. Even though only a portion of the medicinal strength is needed to raise one’s cultivation by several steps, after that, it will be incredibly difficult to improve their cultivation further. Most importantly, after one’s cultivation reaches their peak, the negative effects are even more apparent.”

“Huh? Why?”

“The medicinal strength of medicinal herbs will infuse with your own strength. It will restrain the development of your power and make it so that you will never be able to make a breakthrough.”

“Oh, why is it like this? No wonder I’ve felt a little feverish for the past two days, I haven’t fully diffused all of the medicinal strength. What can I do?”

Chu Yue said, “Luckily you only took a smidgen of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus. Moreover, the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus isn’t meant for improving one’s martial arts, but rather, its main use is to extend one’s life. At the moment, your own power is still the dominant force in your body. After we go back, I’ll help you use that medicinal strength to refine your own power.”

The princess immediately cheered, “That’s great! If this happens, then my power will advance another step.” She also asked, “Jiejie, why don’t you also take a tiny bite out of the Immortal Lotus? Wait for my teacher to return, then he can help you refine it.”
Chu Yue smiled. “You little lazy kitten, you’re full of tricks. Remember, only cultivate your own power. Only then will your power be the most pure.”

Chen Nan, listening from behind them, inwardly nodded in agreement. The contents of the ancient book that Chu Yue had read and the point of view of his father Chen Zhan were in agreement with each other. He couldn’t help but inwardly sigh, “It seems in the past ten thousand years, figures still existed that can rival my father’s heavenly power. I wonder whether they were able to ascend to immortality, or if they remained forever in this mortal world.”

After four hours, the princess and the troops arrived at a small town at the border of Fengning. Chu Yue said to the princess, “Yu’er, go stay at Fengning City for two days. After two days, we’ll go back to the capital city together.”

“Jiejie, where are you going?”

“I still need to patrol the vicinity for two more days, so be patient and wait for me here.” Chu Yue arranged for the princess to stay at the city lord’s residence and then hurriedly went on her way.

Although Chen Nan had full control over the movement of his body, all of his power was sealed. The tight security around the city lord’s residence was also a problem. He wouldn’t be able to escape unless his power somehow rapidly improved to rival the heavens.

The princess was extremely bored. In the city lord’s residence, people were disorderly running up and about, not even chickens or dogs were left undisturbed. Finally, she recalled Chu Yue’s words: if she didn’t completely refine the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus’s spiritual energy and augment her own power with it, then she’d find it exceedingly hard to improve upon her cultivation in the future. Bored, she attempted to refine it by herself.

The princess sat cross-legged on her bed. A gentle white light suffused from her body. A faint fragrance floated throughout the room. At the moment, the little demon seemed to be solemn, pure, and holy. Not a single trace of naughtiness or stubbornness remained on her face.

Soon, drip after drip of sweat slid down her face. Her skin was glistening scarlet. She was currently forcibly dissolving the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus’s spiritual energy, but the fire attribute spiritual energy was heating up her body, causing her to endlessly sweat.

In a moment, the faint white light around her body slowly began to expand outwards. A thin layer of glowing mist took shape in the area surrounding her. The princess’s entire delicate body became hazy. The temperature within the room increased more and more. Raging flames flashed and flickered in her surrounding area. At last, the princess could no longer hold out and let out a loud scream, rushing out of the room.

The guards in the courtyard only saw a human figure run towards the garden. After the princess arrived in the garden, she plunged into the garden’s small lake with a plop. The city lord’s daughter, strolling through the garden, was the first to discover the princess submerged in the water. She screamed, “Not good, the princess is under the water! Come men! The princess is drowning!”

A cluster of guards immediately rushed towards the screams. Chen Nan also heard the yell and was the first to arrive at the scene, just in time to watch the princess climb out of the lake in a sorry state.

The princess was dripping wet from head to toe, particularly embarrassed. To the guards who had arrived after hearing the commotion, she angrily said, “What are you looking at? This princess was hot; can she not take a bath? Hurry and screw off.”

The expression of embarrassment on the princess’s face made Chen Nan break out into a large grin. Seeing her clothes absolutely drenched, showing off her detailed, delicate body, a ridiculing look appeared on his face. Chen Nan only wanted to follow everyone else and leave, but the princess shot him a seemingly tangible cold light from her eyes, clashing with his amused line of sight.

“Degenerate Chen Nan, come over here.” The princess was furious. She used her martial arts to instantly evaporate the water from her clothes as she angrily chided, “Smelly thief, you really have guts, huh? You dare laugh at me. Let’s see how I’ll deal with you.”

Chen Nan let out an exasperated sigh out as his luck ran out. Feeling regretful, he slowly dragged himself towards her.

The princess really wanted to hurt him in order to vent her anger, but in the end, with a shift of her eyes, she suddenly changed her plan.

“Follow me.”

Chen Nan assumed a look as if the wind turned desolate and the water turned chilly. With the attitude of a hero who knew he would never return after going off on their journey, he followed the princess into her room.

“Heihei…” The princess let out a smile teeming with malicious intent.

Chen Nan turned cold.

The princess whipped around and began slapping him at various points, sealing over ten of his major acupoints. With that done, she dragged him onto the bed.

Chen Nan thought to himself, “No way, don’t tell me she…”

“You smelly thief, your brain must be full of dirty thoughts right now. The look in your eyes makes me sick. You’re really too disgusting!”

The princess sat Chen Nan up on the bed. She sat herself cross-legged behind him. She reached out and placed both of her palms onto his back. Her small palms gradually became sparkling like white jade until they began to be suffused with a faint glow.

Chen Nan was alarmed. He sensed the power in his body was quickly being drained away. The vital qi in his countless blood vessels surged like water towards the princess’s devilish hands. The princess grew more and more excited. This was her first attempt at using the Transforming Heaven Thawing Earth Technique to use Chen Nan’s power to continuously refine the spiritual energy of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus.

Transforming Heaven Thawing Earth was famous. At its absolute strongest, it was even capable of melting living material. It was beyond formidable, and a little bit on the eccentric side. This technique’s other profound use was precisely to dissolve someone else’s energy for one’s own use. Of course, this was only for a moment. After a short amount of time, the power that was absorbed would diffuse away.

As the princess’s lineage originated from the golden branches and jade leaves of nobility, she was never once wronged even in the slightest. Chen Nan had captured her and teased her incessantly, causing her great shame and humiliation. Because of this, she had wanted to torment him throughout their entire journey. This time, after seeing Chen Nan’s mocking expression, she immediately recalled the events that had occurred a few days ago and instantly became infuriated.

The plan she had hatched for revenge had made her excited. She had decided to use the Transforming Heaven Thawing Earth Technique for her first time ever to absorb a portion of Chen Nan’s power and use it to help her refine the spiritual energy of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus. Seeing Chen Nan’s sour expression as his power was drained from him, she couldn’t help but smile.

At first, the princess was indeed excited. A steady stream of energy surged forth from Chen Nan’s body, causing her own vital qi to react wildly with it. The spiritual qi of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus gradually began to dry up, cheering her on. But afterwards, the princess began to feel that something was amiss. When she wanted to stop, she found her control over the Transforming Heaven Thawing Earth Technique was almost nonexistent. She wasn’t able to stop it, and it continuously operated.

The princess first began cultivating Transforming Heaven Thawing Earth after she had accidentally discovered it in a collection of ancient royal records, but it was merely a remnant of a bigger document. Additionally, she had only spent a brief amount of time cultivating it. She wasn’t yet proficient in using it. She was secretly anxious. If this continued, all of Chen Nan’s power would be completely absorbed by her. Although she extremely hated this ‘smelly thief’, she never had the desire to cripple him and rob him of all his power.

Chen Nan felt like ten thousands ants were currently painfully biting at him. All of his power was being forcibly removed from his body. The years he spent bitterly cultivating were ruined in just a moment. His heart felt numb. All his hopes turned to dust. He felt his spirit float out of his body alongside his escaping vital qi.

But when his heart felt dead, when all his hopes were completely obliterated, a feeling that he hadn’t felt for ages slowly emerged in his heart. His six senses grew1 keener and keener. The spiritual awareness that he had lost when he turned sixteen seemed to return to its former glory. Feeling its return into his body, Chen Nan wanted to cry out in excitement.

He was once revered by others as a genius martial student. He was also once mocked by others behind his back. The origin of all this was simply because he had lost his innate spiritual awareness when he had turned sixteen years old. The time when he was between sixteen and twenty years old was an unforgettable nightmare. No matter how much effort he had put in, his cultivation had refused to improve. The frigid mocking and scorching insults that came from behind him blocked out the sky and covered the earth. Heaven’s proud son was beaten from the flower fragrant heaven to the endlessly dark hell.

Chen Nan’s vision gradually blurred. Tears rolled down his face. A smile and tears. The unwillingness in his heart, what he had always dreamt of… In this one instant, everything changed!

With the return of his spiritual awareness, Chen Nan inspected the circulating vital qi within his meridian channels. Seeing his vital qi surging out of his body like water, he no longer felt vexed. He faintly sensed that the princess had had evil intentions, and it was just by coincidence that it resulted in him successfully recovering his spiritual awareness.

“What’s a little bit of power anyway? As long as my six senses regain their sensitivity and my spiritual awareness is recovered, in a short amount of time, I can cultivate it all back and exceed it by many times as well. To take a step forward towards the true martial way, being able to fight on par with eastern Daoists and western magi is no longer just a dream. With this step, ascension to immortality is no longer an unattainable flower within the mirror, moon within the water2.”

As they continued, the golden coloured vital qi leaking out of Chen Nan’s gradually became thinner and duller. At the same time, Chen Nan discovered some sort of abnormality within his vital qi. Within the bright golden light of the pure essence of his vital qi, there was an unexpected unmixed light yellow colour.

“This… What’s going on? Why is there vital qi that isn’t glowing and is such a pale yellow colour?” Suspicions arose in Chen Nan’s mind. His ancestral obscure martial technique definitely wouldn’t bring about such indescribable vital qi.

Carefully observing it, he discovered that although the pale yellow vital qi was miniscule, it was distributed throughout every inch of his blood vessels. If his vital qi hadn’t become so thin at the moment, it would be incredibly hard to be able to detect this peculiar, light yellow, pale vital qi.

“It was her…” Chen Nan’s heart turned cold. A layer of cold sweat formed on his body.

The peculiar, light yellow, murky vital qi caused him to recall a distant memory. That previous memory, that forgotten memory, that unforgettable memory… the events of ten thousand years ago flashed through his mind bit by bit.

There was once a girl shrouded in mystery. Like a comet streaking across the vast sky, she lit up the entirety of Xianhuan Continent. Regarding that gorgeous, wise, and mysterious girl, no one knew who her teacher was. No one knew where she came from. She wandered between all the big powers of the world. At that time, many major incidents of the continent were connected to her in one way or another. Mysterious, good-looking, wise, countless young men were captivated by her. She was Tantai Xuan.

When Chen Nan turned sixteen, his ancestral profound skill had just reached the second Chongtian of his Mahayana. Among his peers, his cultivation had been the very best. At that time, he was still high-spirited. That year, the eighteen year old Tantai Xuan searched for Chen Nan. At that time, Chen Nan had been famous. People would immediately cower in fear when they saw him, like he was God. The two of them discussed martial theory. Tantai Xuan’s knowledge was extensive and profound, leaving Chen Nan in admiration. Afterwards, the two of them battled. No victor was determined.

After that, Chen Nan became caught in a whirlpool of emotions without an antidote. Deep in his heart, he was infatuated with Tantai Xuan, but he never expressed it outwardly.

During those days when Tantai Xuan visited Chen Nan’s home, he discovered that every day, she would cultivate an eccentric technique. The vital qi that resulted from the cultivation of that technique had been neither splendid nor bright—it had been a dull, light yellow. Additionally, its might was rather little. Curious, Chen Nan had asked her what the use of that technique was.

Tantai Xuan had smiled, but didn’t answer him. After being questioned over and over again by Chen Nan, she finally profoundly said, “This is an ancient eccentric technique. It allows for your power to reach the heavens. Without experiencing it on your own, it’s hard to understand its advantage.”

Before too long, Tantai Xuan floated away. Soon after, rumours said that she once again had a Daoist on the verge of piercing the sky and ascending to immortality to serve as her teacher. From then on, she devoted herself to cultivating Dao.

Three months after that, Chen Nan’s nightmare had begun. His power had taken a giant step back. He had fallen from his position high in the clouds to the bottom of an abyss. He had felt the gap between himself and Tantai Xuan grow larger and larger. Ashamed of his own inferiority, his heart abandoned all its fantasies; Tantai Xuan had become a goddess too right for him to reach. He could only silently wish her well…

He suffered, ruminating by himself. He wallowed in despair, bitter and agonized…

Two years later, he met that girl in the mountains. He met that merry girl. That spirited fairy. Yu Xin. A hint of brilliance finally penetrated through the dark haze in the sky…

Suddenly remembering all those past events, Chen Nan’s heart turned incomparably icy. Tantai Xuan’s unique beauty vanished like smoke in an instant. The perfect goddess toppled over with a loud bang in his heart…

When the princess finally removed the last trace of vital qi in Chen Nan’s body, his mind gradually grew more muddled until he completely lost consciousness.

Two days later, Chen Nan finally awoke. Opening his eyes, he saw the princess propping her chin up with her arm, gazing out the window, bored.

He moved his body slightly. The princess instantly detected it.

“Ah, smelly thief, you’re awake.”

Pleasantly surprised, the princess ran over to his bedside. She hardened her face into a wooden expression and said, “Degenerate, my jiejie will come in a moment and ask you what happened. You have to tell her that you were the one who provoked me first. Understand?”

Chen Nan let out an abrupt, annoyed laugh. This little demon truly made him not know whether to laugh or cry. She had laid waste to his power by herself, yet she still needed him to speak well of her. But Chen Nan didn’t really particularly resent the princess. In the end, it was because of the little demon that that his spiritual awareness which he had lost for so long had finally returned.

Chu Yue lightly pushed open the door and said to Chen Nan, “Chen-gongzi, you’re awake.”

“Thank you for your worry, princess.”

“Xiaomei is thoughtless. She doesn’t know the severity of what she has done. I hope you can forgive me. After returning to the imperial capital, I’ll definitely seek someone to aid you in recovering your power.”

Seeing that Chu Yue wasn’t blaming her, the princess became vivacious again.

“Be at ease, degenerate. After returning to the imperial capital, I’ll definitely find someone to help you recover your power.”

Chu Yue gave her a cold glance. “So you know the trouble you’ve caused.”

The princess charmingly wrinkled her nose.

The next day, Chu Yue and company departed from the small town at the border of Fengning. Five hundred armoured cavalrymen began their trek back to the capital city of the Empire of Chu.

Chen Nan transformed from an ‘expert’ in the eyes of people back to an ordinary person, but he didn’t feel a hint of loss. He believed that in the near future, his name was bound to stun all of Tianyuan Continent.

Throughout the whole journey, Chu Yue treated him with the utmost care. The only magus among the troops was assigned to his side. Every so often throughout the trip, he would cast a recovery spell on Chen Nan to prevent him from becoming tired.

To this, the princess wrinkled her exquisite nose several times. She wanted to say something, but Chu Yue’s sharp glances made her swallow her words.

After a few days, the party arrived at an ancient city. When Chen Nan heard that this ancient city was named Tantai, his heart pounded.

The ancient city wall was engraved with years of vicissitudes. The scars from blades and the holes from arrows recorded the wind and frost that the city had endured through warfare. The size of Tantai City wasn’t too large. Its population couldn’t be more than a hundred thousand. The residents within the city were just as simple and plain as the ancient city itself. Various displays of art on the street welcomed the two princesses.

As they walked towards Tantai City’s public square, Chen Nan felt like he was suffocating. A statue carved out of white jade towered on a raised platform in the middle of the square. It was a statue of the incomparable, peerlessly magnificent, awe-inspiring Tantai Xuan.

“How is this possible? How can it be… her?!” Chen Nan momentarily lost his bearings. Just a few days ago, the goddess that had captivated him so far in the past was now among his shattered dreams. Now, just a few days later, he unexpectedly had the chance to see a statue of her. The affairs of the world are unpredictable. It seemed like a being in the dark had pulled him to this specific place.

The princess’s cheerful chatter roused him back to his senses.

“Wow! Fairy Tantai is so beautiful, but we’re just as beautiful as Fairy Tantai, hehe.”

A faint smile appeared on Chu Yue’s jade-like face. Her bright eyes roamed all around. The dimples on her jade cheeks left everyone enchanted.

“You really are shameless, comparing yourself to a fairy.”

The princess delicately replied, “I’m comparing jiejie to her. Besides, it goes without saying that we’re just as pretty as her.”

Chen Nan suddenly tugged at the hand of the magus beside him and emotionally asked, “Is that Tantai Xuan?”

Hearing his question, the princess ridiculed, “Smelly thief, how can you be so ignorant and inexperienced? Do you not even know that Fairy Tantai is named Tantai Xuan? Oh, I remember now, you don’t even know how to write. Ai, what kind of guy are you, without any learning whatsoever…” With that said, the princess assumed a bitter and hateful look.

Chen Nan’s voice trembled. “She… Isn’t she a figure from ten thousand years ago? How can people still remember her?”

The princess wanted to laugh at him again, but she was stopped by Chu Yue. Chu Yue saw that Chen Nan really ‘didn’t understand’ Fairy Tantai. She patiently explained it to him. “After ten thousand years, Fairy Tantai had indeed been forgotten long ago, but a thousand years ago, she once descended upon this city. This is one of the very few vestiges left behind by immortals in our Empire of Chu. From then on, people began to remember Fairy Tantai. From this, Tantai City earned its name.”

“She… became an immortal…” Chen Nan muttered to himself. His mood was complicated.

At the moment, everyone was walking towards the statue, but he stood still.

“I thought I already freed myself from it all, but why do all these bits and pieces from my past always emerge in front of me? Tantai Xuan, Yu Xin…”

“The past is like smoke, why does it always linger in my mind?! The past turns into wind, why must it blow so indeterminately, always drifting into my thoughts?!”


1 The six senses refer to his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind/consciousness.
2 鏡中花,水中月/flower within the mirror, moon within the water; derived from 水月鏡花 meaning ‘an imaginary illusion’.


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2 Responses to Shen Mu – Volume 1 Chapter 10

  1. Tyicius says:

    Liquid torture I swear. I must be a masochist too.

  2. Vivi says:

    Whattt
    The why his cultivation went down was her fault, which you could even say that is also why her cultivation went up. And maybe the why the gods died and where all on the same cemetery is also her fault, and the resurrection may have been a side effect of her technic (or maybe because of all that ki of the deities) and why they all had such grand grave is to try and don’t let them resurrect, but Chen Nan was just the beginning/her step stone so he was the most weak and wouldn’t be able to fight her (and wouldn’t be able of getting rid of that power of her) so she thought it was fine, but not anymore huhuhuhuhu

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