Volume 1 Chapter 8: Falling from Heaven to Hell
Chen Nan dangerously dodged the large toppled tree. He whirled around and dodged to the side. The giant didn’t halt its steps; it continued taking large strides onward. While the giant was in the process of turning around, Chen Nan, carrying the princess, already ran twenty or so meters away.
The princess shouted, “So dumb! Hurry and run up ahead so we can hide. Ai! Idiot, why are you stopping? Hurry and run.”
Chen Nan abruptly stopped and stood still. All of the sudden, he threw the princess to the ground.
“Ah~!” The princess’s charming butt immediately came into close contact with the ground. “Degenerate, you… ow! That really hurt… You big bastard, ow…”
Chen Nan didn’t pay any attention to her. He reached out and removed Houyi Bow from his shoulder. He bent his left foot a step forward. With his right hand, he nocked a dry stick into the bowstring. At this moment, Chen Nan seemed to have had devoted his entire mind on the giant before his eyes.
His right hand strained to pull the bowstring. The black Houyi Bow suffused with a faint gold. The strength of heaven and earth frantically surged into Houyi Bow. Chen Nan and Houyi Bow seemed to be of the same flesh and blood, bound together. A golden light emanated from the duo. A tremendous power undulated from his heart and diffused out in all directions.
The giant sensed the tremendous power fluctuating in the air and displayed a hint of fear. He stopped in his tracks.
A boundless, limitless strength borrowed from heaven and earth turbulently surged towards Chen Nan and Houyi Bow in waves. From head to toe, Chen Nan emitted a dazzling golden light. The blinding light even eclipsed the splendour of the celestial sun.
The giant involuntarily drew back a step. He was deeply frightened.
The princess’s heart shook. In no way was she able to relate the man in front of him with that degenerate Chen Nan; the two of them were as different as the sky and the earth. The man before her eyes right now was like the peak of a mountain. His formidable, imposing manner was similar to that of gods and devils. It was enough to give someone the urge to prostrate themselves in front of him and worship him. Under this compelling, imposing manner, the ancient giant no longer seemed so grand. The man standing still up ahead resembled a giant who could raise his head to face heaven and could bow his head to the earth.
“Is this really that degenerate Chen Nan? Is this really that smelly thief?”
Between the sky and the ground, the winds rose, clouds surged, and blackness thundered. The light surrounding Houyi Bow grew denser and denser. The golden light rushed like running water towards the branch nocked to the bowstring. In this brief amount of time, the branch transformed into a bright, golden ray. It emanated a fearsome force capable of making one’s heart palpitate in fear.
With the golden ray directed towards him, the giant trembled. Chen Nan softly released the bowstring, but at the final juncture, he angled Houyi Bow to the side and shot it in another direction. A fierce gale erupted. Black thunder surged on. Like lightning, the golden ray shot through the vacant space beside the giant. In the blink of an eye, it reached the forest’s tallest, grandest tree.
The thirty or so meter tall tree disintegrated instantly. Wood shavings filled the sky. The ancient giant let out an uncanny scream, turned, and fled. The forest was thoroughly trampled to the ground by its massive steps. The mountainous forest trembled.
The ancient giant’s lofty silhouette finally faded into the distance. The frantically surging strength from heaven and earth slowly died down until it was still again. In a short while, the mountainous forest regained its peacefulness. The golden light surrounding Chen Nan’s body also gradually dimmed before finally vanishing. But his formidable, imposing manner was still the same as before. His figure gave off the sense of a lofty mountain.
The princess’s voice trembled. “Degenerate… Chen Nan… how can your shooting technique be so lacking? There was such a giant target in front of you, but you still couldn’t hit it.”
Chen Nan’s imposing manner gradually became restrained. It seemed like his whole body underwent another transformation. He resumed his ordinary appearance. The princess let out a breath of air. She was truly somewhat afraid of the Chen Nan that had just been in front of her. He had seemed comparable to gods and devils.
Chen Nan sighed out a breath of air and said, “I don’t know if I’ll still have the chance to have another taste of the feeling of the true martial way in this lifetime.”
“Don’t shamelessly show off. Even my teacher is only lingering at the fringe of the legendary true martial way, forget about you. Hmph, you’re really labouring under a delusion!” The princess didn’t give up an opportunity to attack Chen Nan’s wishful thinking.
Chen Nan glanced at the grand tree’s powdery fragments wafting boundlessly through the sky. He seemed to be speaking to himself, but also seemed to be speaking to the princess: “I used my heart to shoot that arrow! Just then, my heart already clambered up to the level of the true martial way. If I had enough power then, I could’ve shot dead a heavenly god!”
“Pei! You’re truly shameless. You couldn’t even shoot the giant, a huge target, yet you still want to shoot a heavenly god. Who do you think you are!”
Presently, Chen Nan completely resumed his original appearance. He smiled. “I’m your husband.”
Chen Nan paid no attention to her and continued, “After a godly arrow has been shot, it won’t stop until it comes into contact with the target’s blood. Do you honestly think that arrow missed its target? I just didn’t seize the opportunity to kill him in one move. If by chance it was like that time you somehow messed up when dealing with the Monolithic Snake, wouldn’t it end up causing a fatal disaster? Therefore, I only used the power of a godly arrow to deter him. If I had used enough strength and drew the bowstring back just a hair more, it would’ve shot towards him without hesitation.”
“I just realized something. Degenerate, not only are you super shameless, but you’re also a super disgusting, narcissistic madman!” Although the princess’s mouth was mercilessly insulting Chen Nan, recalling the scene that she had just witnessed, she couldn’t help but become despondent. The might of that arrow just now had left an incredibly deep impression on her. Her heart couldn’t help but acknowledge that at that moment, Chen Nan’s heart and mind were fully in tune with Houyi Bow.
The princess felt aggrieved and inwardly said, “I can’t believe this mediocre guy could actually get the Godly Bow’s approval. Repulsive!”
“Wife, let’s go. Let’s go home and have our wedding ceremony!” Chen Nan embraced the princess.
“Damn degenerate, let me down, hurry and let me down…” the princess incessantly cursed at him.
Just when Chen Nan carried her on his shoulders, the princess seized the opportunity to open her mouth and bite down on Chen Nan’s shoulder ferociously.
“Ah~!” Chen Nan painfully cried, “Ah, you little demon, don’t bite…”
He reached out a hand and pinched the princess’s chin. He expended quite a bit of energy to pry open her mouth.
Chen Nan once again threw the princess onto the ground. For the second time, the princess’s butt came into close contact with the ground. The pain caused her face to turn pale.
“Ah~! You bastard, ow!… It hurts so damn much… Damn degenerate… ow…”
Chen Nan undid his upper garment and pressed it against the orderly row of teeth marks on his shoulder. His face was purple.
“Little demon, you’re still so fierce!”
In pain, the princess’s eyes were gleaming with tears.
“Serves you right, I hope it hurts… ow…”
“Haha~!” Chen Nan couldn’t help but give a big laugh. “How was it? Did it feel better? If I throw you again, your beautiful butt might have to ‘fight to see whose superior’ with the Third Prince’s.”
The princess hatefully glared at Chen Nan and fiercely said, “Wretched guy, you actually have the impertinence to treat me like this. Sooner or later, I’ll have you killed. Ow… it hurts…”
“Wife, actually, I know I can’t blame you for this; I know you’re hungry. But next time, you must remember you can’t eat your husband’s shoulder. Alright, let’s go find a comfortable place, then eat something there.” Chen Nan smiled. This time, he ‘cautiously and solemnly’ hugged the princess. After that, he carried her on his shoulders, disregarding her cursing.
“Chen Nan you wretched guy, how can you treat me like this? No matter what, I’m still a royal princess, how can you carry me on your shoulders like prey? You’ve sealed my whole body, so can’t you at least let me walk on my own?”
“No way, that’s too slow.”
After crossing over two mountain peaks, a light blue jade-like band of land emerged at the base of the mountain. A clear spring running down the mountain converged with a brook meandering through the rest of the mountain range. Even from a great distance, the crashing of water could be heard. Under the scorching sun, this sound was without a doubt the most alluring melody to hear.
The princess’s eyes shone. Cheerfully, she said to Chen Nan, “Degenerate, there’s a river up ahead. Let’s go immediately, I’m about to die of thirst.”
“Okay, let’s take a rest over there and eat something.”
The brook was unbelievably clear. The riverbed was littered with pebbles of assorted colours. Small fish swam around cheerfully and lightheartedly, unafraid of the presence of humans. After washing his face, Chen Nan threw off his shoes and socks, soaking his two feet in the cool, refreshing river water. He felt the torrid heat be swept away with the current.
The princess was placed on the shore. As she watched Chen Nan leisurely refresh himself in the river, she resentfully shouted, “Smelly thief, how can you leave me under the scorching sun while you go cool down by yourself? You’re so selfish!”
“It’s so comfortable!” Chen Nan exaggeratingly stretched out his arms. “Demonic wife, don’t be in such a rush. You wait here for a bit first. Wait for me to return from hunting and I’ll give you a period of freedom.”
Chen Nan put on his socks and shoes and headed towards the nearby forest.
The princess incessantly cursed, “Hey, degenerate, smelly thief, come back here. How can you leave me here by myself? What am I supposed to do if a beast happens to come? You deserve to die, you bastard.”
In a short while, Chen Nan returned from his hunt in the forest. He held up two plump snow fowls in his hands. He called out to the princess, “Demonic wife, this time you have to be convinced. Look, delicious game of the highest quality!”
The princess took a look at the snow fowls. They were completely white with bright wings. She reprimanded Chen Nan, “How could you be so cruel? These two birds are so cute, how could you slaughter them like this? You’re a butcher!”
“You’re a murderer!”
“You’re a devil!”
“You’re a guy without any sense of humanity!”
“Enough, please! These two snow fowls are nothing more than food to allay our hunger. You don’t have to elevate them to the status of humans, alright? If you truly have compassion, then you wouldn’t have treated me like that before. I know you’re a person who has a close relationship with your family of devils.”
Chan Nan reached out and gave the princess a few pats on her body. “I’ll give you some freedom for a little while, but you mustn’t run away. I’ve sealed all of your martial arts. In this condition, you’re no different than an ordinary person. If you run around everywhere and aren’t safe, then you’ll probably end up as some beast’s dim sum.”
The princess grinded her teeth in indignation and angrily cursed at him. Chen Nan ignored her. He pulled out the longsword at his waist to tidy the plumage of the snow fowls.
The princess took a glance at the wide expanse of mountainous forest and took a glance at Chen Nan. She was helpless. She whipped around and headed towards the riverbank, but right when her body was turned, a proud smile emerged from the corner of her mouth. If Chen Nan had seen it, he definitely would have shivered with fear; this was the princess’s signature move—a demonic smile.
Treading over the pebbles, the princess walked towards the center of the brook. The cool river water soaked through her clothing. She clasped her two hands together, cupping some water to her lips. After that, she took off her hair clip. Like a waterfall, her shining, long, black hair unrolled and dispersed over her shoulders. The water wet her hair. Like a lively fish, she swam to and fro unhindered in the river.
Chen Nan sharpened two wooden sticks, pierced the two cleaned snow fowls with them, and began roasting them. Shortly later, an aroma wafted towards him. The snow fowls gradually turned a splendid red and a glossy golden glaze. Oil dripping into the open fire made a sizzling sound. Balminess spread throughout the riverbank, forcing Chen Nan to drink a gulp of water.
At the same time, the princess was diving into the depths of the water, only re-emerging about half a minute later. Her drenched hair was covered in water droplets. Her complexion was elegant and refined. She seemed like a luminous hibiscus at the epicenter of a ring of ripples as she emerged from the water.
Chen Nan turned his head and, by lucky coincidence, saw this scene of a lotus rising from the water. The scene made him temporarily lose his bearings as he murmured:
Goddess of Luo1…
Her slender, curved throat and neck,
Immaculate skin emblazoned for all,
Bare of cosmetics,
And fruitless leaden powder.
Cloud topknot erect,
Exquisite eyebrows gracefully arched.
Red lips shining from without,
White teeth dazzling from within,
Glowing eyes of longing,
Dimples of overpowering authority.
Precious beauty of splendid elegance,
Placid manner of unrestrained form.
Tender sentiments, graceful demeanor,
Allure etched in every word…
He became entranced as he watched the princess in the water. He couldn’t help but recall the scene of the princess when he had first seen her. At that time, she wasn’t even covered in a thread of clothing. She had been as beautiful as a spirit, just like a little fairy. Chen Nan stuck the two sharpened wooden sticks holding up the roasted snow fowls into the ground and slowly headed towards the princess. Sitting at the shore, he absent-mindedly watched her.
Slowly, the little fairy-like spirit made Chen Nan recall warm memories hidden deep within his mind. The beautiful image of a woman gradually emerged in his mind. The resurfaced feelings and scene made him recall her from his heart—Yu Xin.
Gradually, his eyes lost focus as the distant memories began to resurface a bit at a time. He felt as if he had returned ten thousand years into the past. At the moment, it seemed Yu Xin was gently walking towards him. She was smiling sweetly, a beautiful longing in her eyes. He seemed to hear the cheerful chatter and laughter of a beautiful woman in his ears…
He awoke from his dream, heartbroken. He knew that Yu Xin couldn’t possibly reappear. Ten thousand years ago, the ascended immortal Depraved Peerless Expert Dongfang Xiaotian had battled with his father, Chen Zhan. He had attacked the Chen Residence at night and delivered them a crushing defeat. For the purpose of saving Chen Nan’s life, Yu Xin had endured the Depraved Supreme Attack: the Ten Heaven-Splitting Strikes. Every inch of her blood vessels had snapped. In the end, she sealed herself within Baihua Valley’s Death-Warding Pass.
“You were still comforting me even at the very end, wanting me to live on well…” Chen Nan shut his eyes. Tepid tears flowed out of his eyes and down his cheeks.
“Can you really comprehend and transcend life and death? Is it something you can just overcome and leave? Can you really meet me again? I know it’s all impossible; that was our final parting! Yu Xin…” Yu Xin was the eternal pain in Chen Nan’s heart—his lifelong regret.
Only after a long time did Chen Nan’s mood gradually settle. Using the river water to wash the tears off his face, he softly said, “I thought I already let go of all those matters from ten thousand years ago… ai! There are some things that people will never be able to forget. The truth that’s engraved in my bones and inscribed in my heart will never be erased. Yu Xin, I turned my back to your wish ten thousand years ago. Not too long after you left, I abandoned myself in despair. Without telling father, I secretly went to a duel to the death… I didn’t think I’d be revived ten thousand years later. Life is but a dream. This time, I’ll definitely live well.”
“I know I’ll never be able to forget about you, but I still need to say it: let bygones fly away!”
Suddenly, wave after wave of white mist rose from the brook. The water surrounding the princess seemed to be boiling, constantly churning out surging bubbles that sent out heat waves when they popped with a splash. Steam curled and lingered at the surface of the river. The little fish swam all over the place in the water, panicking and in disarray.
The princess stayed motionless in the water. Her skin was a glistening scarlet with a dim circulating incandescence. The white mist made her appear even more elegant and refined.
Chen Nan was utterly shocked. He knew that the princess’s blood was currently boiling. Her vital qi was circulating with a speed a hundred times faster than normal. He cursed, “So muddleheaded, how could I overlook the Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus.”
He sprinted towards the river and, when he arrived in front of the princess’s body, he threw out his palms in a flurry to slap major acupoints all over her body. Perspiration began to run down his face, not because of the boiling river water, but because of his urgency. He already sent out over ten palms, but his palm strength was obstructed by a force whenever his palms made it within half a cun from her body. He simply didn’t have the strength to seal even half of her acupoints.
Not only had the princess’s formerly sealed acupoints all burst open, but the vital qi in her body was continuously circulating throughout her blood vessels. A layer of protective vital qi had taken form on the surface of her body, causing all of Chen Nan’s palm strength to dissipate into nothingness.
Suddenly, a great force propelled outward from the princess’s body, giving Chen Nan a jolt and pushing him to a reclining position on the surface of the water. The princess was the epicenter of a monstrous wave of water. The Blazing Inferno Immortal Lotus’s medicinal strength was finally completely unleashed.
Chen Nan sprang out from the water and hastily ran towards the shore.
The princess shouted, “You want to run? It won’t be that easy!”
Another monstrous wave emerged from the middle of the river and smashed into Chen Nan’s back. He staggered, almost stumbling.
The princess, like a mistreated water fairy, leapt from the surface of the water. In a flash, she arrived behind Chen Nan. Gnashing her teeth, she sneered, “Heihei, degenerate, smelly thief, I’ve tolerated you for how long now? I can finally get my revenge.” With that said, she delivered a palm towards Chen Nan’s back.
Chen Nan hastily turned around to face the attack head on, fiercely battling with the princess directly. In the middle of the water, the two of them twisted and turned. The traces of fists and afterimages of kicks were flying, creating a raging gale. Waves rolled in the brook. Turbulently surging vital qi recklessly splashed water all over the place. Now and then, little fish and shrimp would be caught in the waves and rolled onto the shore to be left leaping and frisking about for their lives. Although Chen Nan was battling with his full strength, the difference between his and his opponent’s cultivation was simply too large. After over ten exchanges of blows, he was kicked in the left rib by the princess. He heavily collapsed into the water with a plop.
The princess vaulted towards him at breakneck speed and sealed his acupoint. She grabbed him by his neck and dragged him to the shore. After arriving on the shore, she used her skills to immediately dry her drenched clothes. She gave Chen Nan a cold laugh. “You bastard, I bet you didn’t think I’d descend upon you again so soon, eh?” Recalling how Chen Nan had treated her, the princess simply went insane. With a shriek, she beat the living crap out of Chen Nan.
“Smelly thief, degenerate, to think you’d be audacious enough to treat me like that. Hitting me, kicking me, grabbing me…” The princess had put aside her image as a princess for a while now. At the moment, she was simply an angry girl throwing a fit.
Chen Nan repeatedly screamed in misery. In a short amount of time, his head was swollen like that of a pig.
“Little demon, you… The way I treated you before could be considered as utmost benevolence, you… aiyah…”
She was fine if she didn’t hear him say a word, but once she heard him mention past events, the princess’s two eyebrows would suddenly bend angrily, her gorgeous complexion covered with a chilly frost.
“You still dare to bring up what happened before?! Y-you damn bastard! For you to actually treat me in that unreasonable way, I want to kill you!” Remembering the profanity that the repulsive guy in front of her had spouted towards her highly royal princess, she felt beyond ashamed and resentful. She picked up the nearby longsword and walked towards Chen Nan with murderous intent.
Chen Nan’s face turned miserable. Just a moment ago, he had vowed in his heart to Yu Xin to live on well. In an instant, he was on the brink of death again. The pace at which the situation had turned was astonishingly fast.
The princess suddenly smiled. Her smile was filled with all kinds of flattery, but in Chen Nan’s eyes, it was undoubtedly the smile of a demon—her smile was brimming with viciousness.
At first, the princess had wanted to use the sword and put an end to him and be done with it, but she suddenly remembered that Houyi Bow was in his possession. She recalled that time in the forest when this useless guy had reversed heaven and earth with three arrows and ended up as the ultimate winner. It was obvious that this seemingly mediocre and ordinary guy wasn’t that simple. Otherwise, there would be no way for him to be able to break the seal put on the Godly Bow. And again when he had confronted the ancient giant, he had shot out an arrow that had paled the world. He and the Godly Bow had become one, emanating an endless light. Even now, the princess still couldn’t help but be moved.
In her mind, she was constantly calculating. If she were to vent her anger out on him and kill him, there would no longer be anyone who knew about the humiliation that the Empire of Chu’s princess had suffered under that bastard’s hands. But if she were to bring him back to the imperial palace and let him take control of Houyi Bow, then the Empire of Chu would definitely gain another exceptional expert.
Weighing the pros and cons, reason prevailed over her impulsiveness. The princess decided to spare Chen Nan’s life and bring him back to serve the Empire of Chu. But still, her heart was completely unwilling. Inwardly, she was full of hate and resentment over the various rude things that he had done to her. Fiercely, she stared at Chen Nan and grinded her teeth. “Degenerate, do you want to live?”
“Of course I do.”
“Okay, I’ll give you a chance. Pledge to never mention the matters that have occurred between the two of us. Ever. Always leave it in your mind only. Can you do that?”
Chen Nan already knew what the princess was thinking. She definitely recognized that Chen Nan had the capability to draw back Houyi Bow and wanted him to keep wielding it, but at the same time, she was worried about people finding out about how she was humiliated at his hands, making her lose face. Figuring out this crucial point, Chen Nan agreed without a moment’s notice.
“Alright, I guarantee I won’t mention to anyone the things that have happened. Oh, nothing has ever happened between us, so there’s nothing that I can mention, right?”
Obviously, the princess was very pleased with Chen Nan’s answer. She coldly laughed, “I’ll consider you clever. I hope you’ll always be this clever.”
“I certainly won’t make Your Highness the princess disappointed.”
“I hope your words and actions coincide.”
The princess used the longsword to prod at Chen Nan’s lapel. With a shake of her hand, she sliced off a length of his lapel and then pointed the longsword at his finger.”
“Ah! What are you doing? Y-you want to back out now?”
The princess mocked, “Hmph, you have the guts of a mouse.”
All sorts of feelings swelled in Chen Nan’s heart. He wholly did not expect that in only half a day’s time, he would again be under the little demon’s control. If he wanted to escape from her ‘demonic clutches’ this time, he’d need a divine intervention.
Seeing the fear across Chen Nan’s face, the princess happily smiled. She used the longsword to cut open Chen Nan’s right middle finger. She reached out and gave him a few pats on his body and said, “Smelly thief, hurry and write a contract selling yourself to me.”
“Ah? A contract selling myself to you?”
“Correct. Today, you need to sell yourself to me as a slave in return for your life. From today onwards, you’ll be my privately-owned property.”
“What? This… Didn’t I already pledge an oath? I absolutely wasn’t speaking irresponsibly, so why are you still so worried? You don’t have to do this, right?”
“Hmph, you shameless degenerate, what kind of trustworthiness do you have? Only a fool would believe your oath. Hurry up and write.”
Chen Nan was exceedingly depressed. Just now, the princess had been his prisoner. In an instant, he became the other party’s slave instead. If he had the strength, he’d instantly strangle the little demon. He inwardly regretted the sordid and contemptible way he had treated her. He truly regretted his past conduct!
The little demonic princess sneered. “To be benevolent to one’s enemies is to be merciless to oneself. You shameless idiot—serves you right!”
Chen Nan wanted to vomit blood. He really wanted to give himself some slaps in the face.
“Smelly thief, hurry up and write.”
The princess’s words dragged Chen Nan back to reality. He wrinkled his eyebrows. “I… won’t… write.”
“What? You dare not to?” The princess was furious.
“It’s not that. I’m illiterate.” Chen Nan was remorseful and annoyed, as well as somewhat embarrassed. For the past year since he had begun his new life, he had only learned Tianyuan Continent’s spoken language. As for the written language, he hadn’t had the time to learn it yet.
“You’re illiterate? Haha~!” The princess impudently laughed out loud. “With just one look at you, it’s obvious that you’re not a good person. To go as far as to be too lazy to learn how to write, you’re truly a degenerate.”
Chen Nan was truly suffering now.
The princess lifted up the longsword and dragged it across the ground. Graceful calligraphy appeared on the ground following it.
“Write what’s written according to the ground.”
Someone beneath the eaves of another’s house has no choice but to bow their head. Chen Nan forced himself to write up the contract to sell himself off as a slave. Then, he pressed down his finger, leaving his fingerprint as the signature. He sighed in his heart, “I’ve fallen from heaven to hell!”
1 Chen Nan is quoting poetry by Cao Zhi: 「……延頸秀項，皓質呈露 。芳澤無加，鈆華弗御。雲髻峨峨，修眉聯娟。丹唇外朗，皓齒內鲜，明眸善睞，靨輔承權。瑰姿艶逸，儀靜體閑。柔情綽態，媚於語言……」from 《洛神赋》.