Shen Mu – Volume 1 Chapter 3

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Volume 1 Chapter 3: Little Demonic Princess

Seeing the little demon smiling so sweetly, he felt his body shudder. He wanted to struggle, but he couldn’t move a single step. He wanted to yell, but no sound came out. His clothes clung to his skin from the cold sweat.

“On someone’s cutting board, I serve as the fish meat1. I just recently began travelling, so of course I’d suffer some tragic experiences. Heaven, you won’t make a fool out of me, right?” The fear in Chen Nan’s heart reached an extreme level. If he were castrated, he might as well be dead.

After issuing her order, the little demonic princess turned to the side. The faces of the female guards flushed red as they followed her.

One of the male guards unsheathed his longsword and deliberately waved it back and forth in front of Chen Nan, scaring him into shutting his eyes. The chilling point of the sword pushed up against his skin, immediately raising a swell. The guard flashed Chen Nan a smile filled with evil intentions as he moved his longsword towards Chen Nan’s lower body. This ‘wait’ caused Chen Nan unbearable suffering. In just a miniscule amount of time, he collapsed in convulsions.

The little demonic princess, after waiting so long, still didn’t hear his scream. She couldn’t help but feel that this was strange. She turned around and saw her subordinate mentally torment Chen Nan and thought that this was rather amusing.

The princess quickly walked towards them and, with a pleased expression, nodded her head towards her subordinate. Everyone was left wide-eyed and slack-jawed when they saw the longsword in her hand. She patted his face with her longsword and said, “Interesting, who knew this rapist would be so afraid of death.”

Chen Nan noticed that the little demon had returned, and with a longsword in hand at that. She held the blade between his nose and eyes, incessantly rocking the sword until his face turned a fearful green. If she wasn’t careful in swinging that sword around, then he wouldn’t need to worry so much about being castrated anymore.

Seeing Chen Nan so terror-stricken, the princess was delighted. She gently stroked the side of his ear with the edge of her sword and cut off a strand of hair. When the strand of hair reached his neck, Chen Nan’s face changed.

He saw the guards looking at him with smiling expressions; they understood the princess all too well. Although the princess was already sixteen, she raised a ruckus like no one else could. She was witty and naughty, sometimes resembling that of a mischievous child. She was unpredictable, leaving others unable to protect themselves against her.

The little demonic princess seemed to be tired of her play. Wielding the longsword, she directly swung it towards his lower regions, startling the guards who promptly shouted, “Your Highness the princess, you cannot!”

These assistants were really frightened, but their level of fright was second to that of Chen Nan. If the emperor were to discover that his young daughter had taken matters that would disgrace the imperial household into her own hands, he would be enraged, and those guards would be put to death.

The princess’s face was void of joy as she questioned, “What are you guys doing? You still want to meddle in my affairs?”

A female guard broke out of formation and said, “Princess is of great importance and nobility, she mustn’t… She mustn’t do…”

“Hmph!” The princess threw her sword onto the ground, and her face resumed its cold demeanour. She turned around and ordered, “Bring him with us. I’ll need to sort him out slowly.”

Chen Nan, who had been wallowing in despair and fear, seemed to hear the call of an immortal rescuing him from the netherworld as he finally saw a trace of hope. He let out a long sigh. This really was a little demon!

At the princess’s side, there were altogether twelve guards, six of which were male and six of which were six female, and three male magi.

All of them were young, but their skills weren’t inferior. The three magi had effortlessly forced Chen Nan out of the water. Then, the female warrior had knocked down Chen Nan in about thirty moves. From this, one could sleuth a little of their actual strength.

Chen Nan’s body regained its freedom, but the little demonic princess didn’t release his mute acupoint2. It was true that ‘obstructing the people’s voice is more frightening than obstructing the flow of rivers’!

He inwardly muttered, “These people also have black hair and black eyes. It seems like they’re also easterners, but some of them can also actually use magic. In all likelihood, when the two continents merged together, the upper class people already started to learn all kinds of different methods of cultivation, resulting in easterners being able to grasp a little bit of western magic. Westerners can probably grasp some eastern martial arts now as well.”

Chen Nan watched as the little demon hopped and skipped through the mountain forest and he inwardly cursed, “Twist your back, sprain your ankle, fall over…”

But he was disappointed each and every time. The little demonic princess resembled a little bird broken free from its cage—cheerful and lively. Occasionally, she would even run up to him and brutally smack his head or painfully pull at his ears.

Chen Nan truly suffered under her onslaught. Although he had already used his ancestral profound skill to secretly release the little demon’s Single Acupoint-Attacking Technique, he had no choice but to ‘cutely’ remain mute.

When they were resting at night, Chen Nan wanted to covertly slip away, but whenever he moved his body even the slightest bit, the guards standing night vigil would cast a cold gaze into his direction. They left him no choice but to abandon his plans to escape.

“I didn’t think that I, Chen Nan, would actually be reduced to this state. Little demon, you mustn’t chop off my…”

The party had already spent three days traveling through the great mountains. Previously, they had spotted a massive dragon flying above them and the huge footprints of an ancient giant. These sightings granted the little demonic princess plenty of excitement. Every time this happened, she would make Chen Nan ‘voice’ his happiness, leaving Chen Nan to spit his ‘excitement’ out onto the ground.

To Chen Nan, this was a truly painful journey. He felt nothing but hate and irritation towards the princess, but he could only endure.

After two days, Chen Nan finally figured out the identity of this group and what the journey’s goal was.

The little demonic princess was the Emperor of Chu’s youngest daughter, Chu Yu. She was the emperor’s favourite and was endlessly doted upon by the Emperor of Chu and the Empress. The guards protecting her were trained by the emperor as specialized men of sacrifice, loyal and devoted to the princess. As for the three magi, they weren’t genuine magi, but were currently still in training.

In a few more months, it would be the Emperor of Chu’s sixtieth birthday. In order to convey her filial piety, she had secretly snuck out of the palace in order to travel to the western borders of Chu to pluck a legendary Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus to serve as a present for the emperor. In regards to her subordinates, she had threatened them again and again to accompany her out.

“You guys tell me, after I obtain the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus and give it to father, what will his facial expression be like? En, I think he’ll certainly smile from ear to ear and allow me to freely enter and leave the Imperial City as I like. Hehe, this is too great! Afterwards, I can play wherever I want, and no one can stop me, hehe…”

Chen Nan exclaimed in his heart, “Right now, she seems so cute, just like a genuine angel. She has the appearance of an angel, but the temperament of a demon!”

All the imperial guards cringed. Although they were forced by the princess to accompany her, the emperor surely wouldn’t just let this be. Instead, he’ll probably punish them once they return.

“Hmph! Did you guys eat bitter melon? I’ve told you guys many times already, father certainly won’t punish you guys.” The princess was somewhat unhappy. Seeing Chen Nan beside her, she said, “Hmph! This degenerate has the cheek to secretly smile! Come over here and let me practice my skills on you!”

Until two days ago, the princess always called Chen Nan a rapist, but after a female guard quietly told her a few things, the princess became aware of what she was implying and, feeling ashamed, beat Chen Nan up in a fit. Afterwards, she stopped called him a rapist, choosing instead to call him a degenerate or a smelly thief.

Chen Nan braced himself, unwilling to go over. He prayed in his heart, “God, Buddha, angel sisters, although I know you guys are living ‘happily and prosperously’ in Shenmo Cemetery, don’t you guys still have this faraway relative? Please descend here. Demons, ghosts, Lord of the Netherworld, quickly come grab your sister and bring her away.”

In these two days, he had served as little demonic princess’s punching bag a number of times already. The princess’s skill in martial arts was unusually high. She devastated him, giving him a bloody nose and a swollen face. It was too detestable to even look at.

The princess evilly laughed at Chen Nan, “Why do have such a worried look and a bitter face? Don’t tell me that accompanying me in practicing my martial arts is too difficult to bear? Hmph!”

“Hehe, I’ve progressed. Not bad. I’ll test out these moves again. Hehe, now you know how awesome I am. It’s too funny, hehe…” The joyful laughing of the princess, proud of herself, echoed throughout the forest. Another nightmare began for Chen Nan.

On the sixth day, the party finally arrived at their destination. A volcano appeared in their sights. Clouds of smoke poured out from the volcano, as if it could erupt at any time.

Chen Nan was inwardly fearful. “This terrible little demon really is insane, coming to a volcano to pluck a Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus.”

The princess’s imperial guards were unceasingly anxious. One of the magi-in-training asked, “Your Highness the princess, does the mouth of the volcano really hold a Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus?”

The princess was slightly unhappy and replied with a groan, “Naturally it does. Are you guys scared?”

That magus-in-training hurriedly replied, “No, of course not. We pledge our lives to help Your Highness the princess pluck the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus.”

The princess explained, “When my old teacher accidentally found the Immortal Lotus here, it hadn’t matured yet. After calculating it, these two days are the most optimal to pluck it.”

A female guard reminded her, “Your Highness the princess, I’ve heard people say that all immortal treasures will have spiritual beasts protecting it. I don’t know if this Immortal Lotus…”

“Oh, if you didn’t remind me, I would’ve forgotten. My teacher said there are some small snakes there. En, can’t you guys deal with some small snakes? You just have to pay a little attention,” said the princess, carelessly.

Chen Nan muttered in his mind, “Pay a little attention?! Are the spiritual beasts that protect immortal treasures so easily beaten? The nerve of this little demon really isn’t that of an ordinary shit. Not good, I mustn’t be at the front. I should stow away at the back.”

The party embarked on their trek. Chen Nan moved slowly until he was finally left at the rear.

“Degenerate, you go to the very front.” The crystal clear sound of the princess’s voice ruined Chen Nan’s plan.

He cursed in his heart, “Little demon…” He was extremely unwilling to lead the party at the very front.

“Yi! Degenerate, what’s up with your face, you really don’t want to? Don’t tell me that you want to learn whatever whatever skills like those experts and have a battle with me at the summit? Wow, very good! Then let’s have a battle at the peak of the volcano,” the princess called out happily.

Chen Nan sighed in his heart, “Demonic princess!”

The closer they got to the mouth of the volcano, the higher the temperature of the air became. The heat left them stifling hot and the rocks under their feet became increasingly more scalding. Chen Nan was somewhat nervous, constantly guarding against and dodging the little snakes hiding in hidden crevices.

Everyone finally reached the summit. Bursts of smoke bellowed out from the mouth of the volcano. The air was unbearably scorching. The mouth of the volcano was like an oven. Beads of sweat that dripped onto dark brown volcanic rocks on the ground would immediately vaporize into steam.

A strong, flowery aroma could be smelled from the bellowed smoke, causing the gloomy and exhausted party to immediately perk up and become refreshed.

Inside the mouth of the volcano, on the side of a steep precipice, a bright, fiery light could be seen through the smoke. The fragrance was coming from that exact place.

The princess laughed, “There really is a Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus! Teacher didn’t lie to me. Hehe, this is too great.”

Everyone equipped protective muslin masks around their mouths and noses. The princess took a look at Chen Nan, threw him one, and said, “Hurry and put it on. The toxicity of this smoke is really high.”

Chen Nan felt a hint of appreciation towards her, but it immediately disappeared when he heard her continue to say: “Hurry and put it on well. Hurry and pull that snake out of it.”

He inwardly said, “A demon is always a demon!”

The smoke continued to bellow out from the mouth of the volcano. Their vision was awfully limited. As they looked down, they could only barely make out a dim brightness; it was without a doubt the glow of lava. Chen Nan trembled in fear as he circled the volcano’s mouth. He prayed in his heart that the snake had fallen asleep.

The aroma emanating from the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus grew stronger and stronger. A light wind dispersed the smoke coming from the volcano and Chen Nan’s vision immediately cleared.

The Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus took root three zhang down the inside of the volcano and was about half a meter tall. Its whole length shone in fiery brilliance. Nine sparkling, translucent red leaves grew off its stem. The top of the flower was shaped like a lotus, but was far brighter and more beautiful by a hundredfold. Luminous, blazing petals glistened as if they were carved out of jade. Its remarkable lustre seized the eyes.

More smoke bellowed out from the volcano and the sight of the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus gradually became more and more obstructed, until only a sliver of its blazing glow could be made out. Suddenly, Chen Nan sensed an immense crisis in his heart, as if he were prey being stalked by ‘someone’.

A pitch-black cave mouth appeared not too far from where the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus was situated. In the cave, two blood-red spots glistened and dazzled. With a deafening rumble, a countless number of gigantic rocks tumbled from the cave and dropped into the volcano’s depths. A colossal monster emerged from the cave.

Chen Nan was beyond terrified; his soul simply spirited away from his body. That colossal monster was actually a massive snake’s head, about the size of a house. Those two glistening and dazzling blood-red spots were actually its pair of scarlet eyes which were each about the size of a washbasin.

Honglonglong!

With another rumble, countless crushed rocks poured into the volcanic abyss. The Monolithic Snake slowly pushed out of its cave, exposing a length of its gorgeously-coloured serpentine body. Its body was fully covered with scales the size of palm-leaf fans. They flickered and flashed, bewitching and frightening.

“W-we’re going to die. Th-this is what the little demon told us… the little snake? F*ck… Th-this is too ridiculous,” cursed Chen Nan as he shuddered.

The Monolithic Snake stopped moving and its two blood-red eyes stared at Chen Nan. Meanwhile, it opened its gigantic mouth, exposing a set of thick, white venomous fangs as sharp as swords. They were each about half a meter long, malevolent and terrorizing.

Chen Nan felt a cold stream rapidly spread from his head to toes. His body broke out in goose bumps.

Suddenly, a two zhang long blood-red forked tongue shot forth from the mouth of the Monolithic Snake and coiled towards him. A fishy stench came forth, strong enough to make anyone nauseous.

“Ah~!”

Chen Nan yelled, turned, and jumped, his speed reaching the fastest he’s ever achieved. He ran and shouted, “Demonic smelly princess, I’m going to f*cking—! You want to f*cking kill me~!”

The princess had always thought that Chen Nan’s mute acupoint was sealed. Hearing his loud cursing at her, she became startled, then incessantly angry. But when she noticed the gorgeously-coloured Monolithic Snake behind Chen Nan, her expression took a turn before quickly calming. Finally, she said something that nearly made Chen Nan black out: “This snake is really pretty!”

Like wind, Chen Nan sprinted down the volcano, and when he passed the princess, he cursed, “Creep, lunatic, demon…!”

The princess dispatched those guards worthy of being called well-tested men of sacrifice. After their shock, they quickly calmed down, gripped their weapons tightly, and waited. The three magi-in-training began incanting their spells. Magical elements fluctuated and arose in the sky. But out of their expectations, a Monolithic Snake emerged from the mouth of the volcano, exposing its length. It remained motionless, only coldly gazing at everyone.

The princess was abnormally calm and collected. “Everyone, don’t be afraid! The Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus is about to mature. That smelly snake has already been here guarding it for a millennium. At this pivotal point in time, it won’t take even half a step away from the Immortal Lotus. We’ll attack it from a distance.”

After that, she ordered, “Hurry and grab the realgar and sprinkle it over the body of the smelly snake.”

Ten or so pouches were simultaneously launched at the Monolithic Snake. Meanwhile, the magi-in-training’s incantations completed. A broad blade of wind, glittering like snow, rushed towards it to attack.

The blade of wind pierced the pouches and realgar scattered in the air before gracefully descending and falling onto the Monolithic Snake’s body. Its body trembled and it recoiled backward.

Everyone’s spirits rose and another set of realgar-filled pouches and another blade of wind were sent attacking. The Monolithic Snake’s coldly-flashing scales were pelted with adhesive realgar. Pungent realgar smell flooded the mouth of the volcano. Not too long later, the Monolithic Snake withered up on the ground and remained motionless.

Everyone promptly cheered.

In one breath, Chen Nan had sprinted down half the mountain. Upon hearing the cheers erupting from behind him, he couldn’t help but turn around and look.

“I really didn’t expect this little demon to actually have some real skill. To go as far as to defeat that sort of colossal monster, she truly deserves to be called a demonic sister.”

He recalled the Monolithic Snake’s sharp venomous fangs and sinister, red forked tongue and felt some lingering fear, but he also felt very annoyed.

Chen Nan took a look up at the volcano’s mouth and really wanted to run away from that little demon and resume his exploration of the world, but he also wanted to stay behind and watch the once-in-a-lifetime battle with a Monolithic Snake. His heart wavered. In the end, he couldn’t resist the temptation and quietly climbed back up to the mouth of the volcano. When he was ten or so zhang away from the mouth, he hid himself behind a giant boulder.

The princess cautiously examined the withered Monolithic Snake. Afterwards, she laughed, “Who could’ve thought that this smelly snake would be so cunning, purposely not fighting back in order to fool us. No one go forward, attack it from here.”

Pulling out powerful crossbows, the imperial guards shot arrows at the Monolithic Snake. The three magi-in-training also began chanting aloud their spells, preparing a magical attack.

A row of plumed arrows and flying locusts were launched at the Monolithic Snake, but to everyone’s amazement, when the arrowheads forged from steel essence came into contact with the scales, they only caused some sparks to be emitted before sliding off.

The magi-in-training shot off a tremendous blade of wind to take a stab at the Monolithic Snake, but it barely made it tremble, nothing more. It didn’t even leave a mark.

The princess decisively ordered, “Stop attacking it at other places and concentrate all your attacks on its two eyes.”

The flying arrows were like rain and were shot simultaneously at the Monolithic Snake’s two blood-red eyes. The Monolithic Snake jeered at everyone and closed its eyes. The rain of arrows was defeated.

At the same time, the three magi-in-training gathered a great amount of magical elements and condensed it into three thick spears of ice. Under the sunlight, the three ice spears radiated resplendently and, like a long rainbow, shot towards the Monolithic Snake’s pair of eyes.

Pang!

Pang!

Pang!

When the Ice Spears reached the Monolithic Snake’s eyes, they completely disintegrated. These three powerful magical attacks resulted in a trace line of blood running down the Monolithic Snake’s eyelids. Meanwhile, the Monolithic Snake lifted its head, transforming from its withered appearance. The Monolithic Snake’s forked tongue flickered in and out of its mouth. Its sharp venomous fangs released a cold, soul-penetrating light. Its two blood-red eyes gazed unwaveringly at everyone.

Chen Nan, hiding behind a boulder, was prepared to flee at any time.

Pu!

The Monolithic Snake opened its gigantic mouth and breathed out a tremendous flame. Scathing, raging flames engulfed everyone. In a flurry, the three magi-in-training read aloud a spell. A light blue magical screen protected everyone inside.

Seeing this, Chen Nan was slack-jawed and wide-eyed, and exclaimed, “No way! This petrifying monster has already finished its cultivation. My God, a Snake Demon!” Seeing this, he retreated another ten zhang from the battlefield.

At this moment, the three magi-in-training again gathered enough magical elements. They opened up a corner of their magical screen and an expansive curtain of light was sprayed toward the Monolithic Snake. The cyan curtain of light transformed into layers upon layers of waves of ice. In the blink of an eye, the raging flames surrounding everyone were extinguished. At the same time, the Monolithic Snake was drenched and left dripping wet. The mouth of the volcano emitted a steaming white mist. Everyone took advantage of this chance to retreat a distance of seven or eight zhang.

The Monolithic Snake was infuriated. With a loud rumble, it extended another four, five zhang out of its cave. Even more crushed rocks fell into the depths of the volcano. Now, seven or eight zhang of its serpentine body was in the air. The Monolithic Snake’s massive head appeared especially fierce. The Monolithic Snake looked down at everyone, in its eyes an ominous glint. It seemed to want to sweep down, but it retreated back to the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus’s side instead. Volcanic rock stuck to its body.

The princess waited for her men to catch their breath. At this time, a female guard stepped forward and said, “Your Highness the princess, this Snake Demon has already finished its cultivation. It’s not something we can defeat. We should retreat.”

A magus-in-training added, “Right, wh-what kind of little snake is this? Th-this is a Snake Spirit. We better—”

The princess shot him a glare, immediately scaring the magus-in-training into shutting his mouth.

Chen Nan, hiding behind a rock, said to himself, “The princess is as ferocious as the Monolithic Snake!”

The princess said, “Didn’t I give you thirty six immensely powerful magical arrows? If we don’t use them now, then when will we? Shoot them now!”

The guards nocked the magical arrows to their bowstrings and simultaneously aimed at the pair of scarlet eyes.

Sou!

Sou!

The magical arrows flew forth like lightning. The arrows quivered in the air. Magical elements oscillated in the air irregularly. The Monolithic Snake, as if smelling the scent of danger, dodged its fierce head toward the side. The magical arrows struck the Monolithic Snake’s mouth and sparks flew. Afterwards, the arrowheads abruptly exploded and a large plate off the left side of the Monolithic Snake’s mouth blasted off. After a few more magical arrows pierced this target, the blood and meat of the Monolithic Snake’s head were left mangled, exposing thick white teeth.

The Monolithic Snake was infuriated. Its enormous coiling body rose up. Between its thick white teeth, its blood-red forked tongue flickered in and out. At the same time, the rest of the snake’s body hidden in the cave continuously came rushing out. The earth quaked and the mountain shook.

Everyone was left stupefied. The princess profoundly called out, “It seems like we’ll have to use our trump card.” From the bundle on her back, she drew out a simple and unadorned case. Opening up the case, she took out a glossy, pitch-black longbow.

Seeing the princess’s movements, Chen Nan’s pupils began to contract, and his gaze fixed onto that longbow.

“Houyi Bow!”

He didn’t expect that after ten thousand years, he’d still be able to see Xianhuan Continent’s Godly Bow. Houyi Bow easily had a number of owners. Ten thousand years ago, its last owner was precisely Chen Nan’s father, Chen Zhan. That year, Chen Zhan relied on this bow to consecutively shoot dead three exceptional practitioners. This battle had made his name famous and his power had shaken the entirety of Xianhuan Continent.

Chen Nan’s lips quivered. He softly said, “Houyi Bow, I didn’t think after ten thousand years I’d meet you again…”

Just then, a thundering, world-shaking sound came forth. Countless giant rocks tumbled from the volcano’s mouth. The Monolithic Snake soared into the sky. The entire length of its one hundred zhang serpentine body was revealed.


1 人為刀俎,我為魚肉/on someone’s cutting board, I serve as the fish meat; meaning ‘to be at someone’s mercy’.
2 啞穴/mute acupoint; an acupoint at the back of your head that controls speaking, among other things.


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