Volume 3 Chapter 1: Princess Coming Across Misfortune
Although Chen Nan had rushed into a cataclysmic situation at the imperial capital, he wasn’t the least bit scared. With the Little Princess—heaven’s proud daughter—in his possession, he wasn’t worried about the people in pursuit of them causing him any difficult problems.
The only person he was concerned about was the emperor’s great-great-grandfather, that one hundred and seventy year old monster. The old monster’s terrifying cultivation was unfathomable, and he did not want anything to do with it.
The princess was wedged against Chen Nan’s ribs. Her heart grew enraged, but with her acupoints sealed, all she could do was curse him in protest.
“Damn degenerate, if you still refuse to let me down, I’ll commit suicide by biting off my tongue.”
“Well then bite it off. The earlier you do it, the earlier this world will become considerably more peaceful.”
“Smelly thief, damn smelly thief, how dare you treat me like this? If I really did commit suicide by biting off my own tongue, you’d be killed and left without a proper burial site. Every passing moment, there would be someone chasing after you to kill you.”
“The lives of good people are short, while the terrible consequences of bad people can be timeless. Little demon, if you died right now and don’t end up reuniting with your demonic brethren in hell, then that’d be a miracle.”
“What about me? Hurry up and commit suicide, already. I’m begging you.”
The princess furiously clenched her teeth. She heatedly said, “Smelly thief, you actually urged me to kill myself, I hate you to death. Sooner or later, I’ll kill you one day. Not only that, but I’ll use the most ruthless and callous methods to do so. I’ll hack you into a million pieces, I’ll rip out all of your tendons and skin, I’ll break every finger and slice off every toe…”
Chen Nan squeezed the princess’s slender waist and said, “You little demon, you’re too vicious. If you act like this, how can you serve as my maid? On our journey, I must properly train you.”
The Little Princess was painfully squished in Chen Nan’s arms. She cried out, “Degenerate, you deserve to die. Hurry and take your hands off me, it hurts me to death.”
The weather was blazingly scorching. The painful heat from the sun roasted and baked the ground. The leaves of the trees were rendered listless, drooping without any signs of vitality. Only the cicadas were ‘joyful and lively’, ‘endlessly singing’.
After the princess’s cultivation had been sealed by Chen Nan, it grew increasingly difficult for her to resist the sizzling hot summertime heat. Drop after drop of perspiration flowed down her cheeks.
“Damn degenerate, I’m boiling to death. Hurry up and bring me to the shade underneath the trees.”
Currently, the two of them had already traversed a distance of five li from the imperial capital. After they walked into a forest, he let the princess down and said, “Little demon, you have to understand: right now, I am the butcher’s knife, you are the fish meat. Henceforth you are no longer a princess. You are now my personal maid, understand? From now on, you must be obedient.”
Hearing these words, the princess was livid. She fiercely took a bite of his shoulder.
Chen Nan rushed to pinch her chin up. “Truly terrifying. This won’t do; if you continue to be insincere, then I may lose my tender feelings for you.”
The princess was both hateful and angered, but at the same time, she was also a bit scared. She never imagined she’d fall into the hands of Chen Nan again. She considered the last time Chen Nan had captured her to be an unprecedented, shameful humiliation. Now that she had fallen into his hands again, she nearly went insane.
Fuming, she turned her head to the side. She didn’t want to look at his repulsive face any longer. Simultaneously, she incessantly cursed him in her mind.
The verdant leaves and thick branches screened them from the smoldering sun. A light breeze gently swept through the trees, carrying along with it the relaxing fragrance of flowers and fresh grass.
Chen Nan reclined on the soft meadow. Content, he squeezed his eyes shut. During the battle just now, he had consumed quite a bit of power. He needed to rest for a while.
Although the Little Princess was currently able to move around on her own, her power was still sealed. Even if she fled, she wouldn’t flee successfully. She sat down with her back facing Chen Nan. She ripped up some unknown flowers out of the ground and shredded them to pieces in order to vent out her rancour and resentment towards Chen Nan.
About an hour passed like this. Chen Nan remained motionless, pretending like he was still asleep.
The princess carefully observed the repulsive guy lying on the ground. After seeing him still remain motionless for another fifteen minutes, she cautiously stood up and furtively snuck away from the forest.
Right then, that repulsive voice rang out: “It’s so comfortable here. If someone were unwilling to stay in the trees, I would definitely satisfy her wish and allow her to sunbathe.”
Angered, the Little Princess threw a fist that flashed passed Chen Nan’s face. Extraordinarily unwilling, she sat down again.
All of the sudden, Chen Nan sat up and brought the princess into his bosom. One hand snaked around her throat. He shouted to outside the forest, “The people outside the forest, immediately show yourselves! If you continue to sneak around in the dark, don’t blame me for being rude to your princess.”
The Little Princess quietly cursed Chen Nan and muttered, “What idiots for them to actually be discovered by this guy. Why not send some real experts to come rescue me, the princess?”
The figures of seven martial artists emerged from behind the trees. The cultivation of these people really weren’t too high, and Chen Nan was in peak condition, so the instant they had approached Chen Nan and the princess, he had already detected their aura.
“There are others. If you still refuse to come out, I’ll truly act rudely.” With that said, he tightly pinched the princess’s smooth cheeks, making her screech, “Smelly thief, degenerate, you…”
A burst of magical elements came through the air. A magus came out of a tree with a hovering spell and landed on the ground.
Chen Nan creased his eyebrows. He had originally thought that after pacifying those eccentrics from the Residence of Eccentrics, the imperial capital wouldn’t have any other experts. But that didn’t seem to be the case. These several people were ranked experts. In fact, there was an old man whose cultivation was not inferior to his own.
“Do you guys still wish to keep this little demon’s life? If you keep sneaking around following me, don’t blame me for acting impolite.”
Among the people that had emerged from the trees, the magus said, “His Majesty has already bestowed upon you the title of Eccentric Protector of the Nation, but you are rebelling against him like—“
Chen Nan interrupted his words. “Don’t speak so many lies. Are you guys going to leave, or not?”
The old martial artist who had the greatest cultivation among them said, “Chen Nan, don’t take action. We shall immediately depart from here.”
Just then, the ground suddenly began to quake. Vast amounts of smoke and dust pervaded the air above the roads outside the forest. Countless armoured cavalrymen were rushing here.
There was a ruckus as thousands of cavalrymen encircled the forest.
On the road, a peerlessly magnificent woman sat upright atop a white dragon horse. The smoke and dust struggled to conceal her gorgeous complexion. The person who had just arrived was the Eldest Princess Chu Yue. She dismounted from her horse with a leap and directly strode into the forest. She carried on her face a faint look of fury.
“Chen Nan, since you have already escaped from the imperial capital, why have you not released my meimei yet?” She glanced at the Little Princess, her gaze full of pity.
The Little Princess looked happy. She cried out, “Jiejie!”
Chen Nan reached out and sealed her mute acupoint. He said to Chu Yue, “If I had released her earlier, I’m afraid my corpse would be on the ground right now.”
Chu Yue said, “You have Houyi Bow in your hands. Who dares to obstruct you? You can easily leave from this place without a fuss.”
Chen Nan sneered. “One Houyi Bow can oppose how many soldiers and horses? If I used Houyi Bow to shoot someone related to the imperial family—nobility—or perhaps a major official of some border region, it would probably stun and shake the politics of the Chu court. What use would it be for me to shoot dead some run-of-the-mill soldier? At the imperial capital, I could use the Godly Houyi Bow to make the emperor and his officials cower in fear of my might, but after I leave the imperial capital, my advantage disappears. If I didn’t have an important hostage in my hands, wouldn’t I be trampled into mincemeat by the army after they caught up to me in the blink of an eye? Right now, I simply cannot afford to let your meimei go.”
Chu Yue was somewhat anxious. “What do you need for you to agree to release Yu’er?”
“At the very least, I need to safely leave the borders of the Empire of Chu. And during this time, you mustn’t send anyone in pursuit. If not, it’ll be too late for you to regret.”
Chu Yue clenched her jaw. She gingerly looked at the Little Princess and said to Chen Nan, “Fine, I agree to your terms. But you must guarantee that Yu’er doesn’t feel wronged at all on your way. If not, I will issue the command for your death. I’ll unleash all the power of my Great Chu to kill you!”
Chen Nan replied, “Since this is the case, I would like to ask you to lead your troops away from here promptly.”
“When you leave the borders of my Empire of Chu, if you don’t release Yu’er, you should know the consequences.” With a final, deep look at the Little Princess, Chu Yue led everyone away from the forest.
Kicking up the dust and sand, the thousands of cavalrymen left in a cloud of smoke.
Chen Nan let get of the Little Princess. He reached out and released her mute acupoint.
Finally able to speak again, the princess began cursing. “Degenerate, smelly thief, pig head, how dare you actually seal my mute acupoint; I couldn’t even say a word to my jiejie. You bastard, I curse you to the eighteenth—no—the nineteenth level of hell…”
Chen Nan corralled her back towards him. With one hand, he pushed up her chin. “You’re my captive, now. If you still dare to challenge me, don’t blame me for being impolite.”
The Little Princess shrieked, “Damn degenerate, smelly thug, what the hell are you doing?” She quickly struggled to break free from Chen Nan’s grasp on her chin. After creating a distance of four, five meters between them, she stopped. Her face had a nice red blush. She angrily said, “Sooner or later, I’ll kill you…”
Chen Nan maliciously said, “If you refuse to be obedient, tonight, I’ll have you accompany me as I sleep.”
Sure enough, the princess was frightened enough to put a stop to her loud discord.
Chen Nan laughed. “You should’ve acted like this earlier. What kind of girl is loud and annoying?”
The princess hatefully gazed at him before turning her head to the side.
Although Chen Nan had seized the princess and fled here, a hint of concern had continuously remained in his heart. The emperor’s great-great-grandfather, that one hundred and seventy year old monster, made it impossible for him to feel safe. After a period of rest among the trees, he dragged the Little Princess back onto the road. This time, he didn’t squish her between his ribs. Instead, he permitted her to walk on her own. He followed behind her closely.
The Little Princess bemoaned her circumstances over and over again until dusk. By then, they had arrived at a small town one hundred li away from the imperial capital to take a break. After booking an inn room and eating dinner, when he brought the Little Princess into the room, she was scared senseless, a look of panic written across her entire face.
With a quivering voice, she said, “Damn degenerate, you… Don’t do anything to me, or else my jiejie… my father the emperor won’t let you off…”
Chen Nan had a ridiculing expression. Although his mind wasn’t harbouring any despicable thoughts, he still didn’t relinquish the chance to tease the princess. With a gulp of some tea, he said, “Obedient little maid, make the bed for me.”
“You… Sooner or later, I’ll kill you.” The princess was angered, but her face was ghastly.
Chen Nan said, “If you don’t want me to do anything to you, you had better do what I say without delay.”
With a vicious glance at him, she very unwillingly dragged herself to the bedside. She carelessly spread out a bamboo sleeping mat on top of the bed. “There. Are you happy now?” With that said, she sat down at the side, enraged.
“Seeing your gorgeous complexion as your slender, jade-like hands unexpectedly spread out the mat in that rough, crude way is really—“
The Little Princess angrily said, “Enough. Damn degenerate, I’ve had enough of you. No one has ever dared to provoke me like this. You are much too unreasonable and wanton to have a princess like me make your bed. Don’t forget the words of my jiejie: if I feel wronged at all, you’ll be left dead without a proper burial site!”
“Hehe…” Chen Nan laughed out loud. “Wronging you is exactly what I aspire to do. Let’s see what your jiejie will do about it.”
“Damn degenerate, sooner or later, I’ll arrest you and have you become a eunuch of the palace.” The princess was exploding with rage. She was simply going insane.
“Little demon, you are indeed very sinister. Hmph, I’m afraid you’ll never have that sort of opportunity. In this lifetime, you will serve as my obedient maid. Alright, don’t be noisy. Go sleep on the other bed. We must hurry and set off tomorrow morning.”
The Little Princess was fuming. She hatefully said, “No way. You must give me a separate room to sleep in. I am a princess of Chu, how can I wantonly stay in the same room as a man?”
Chen Nan said, “Little demon, when you get an inch, don’t ask for a mile. If you refuse to properly sleep on the other bed, then just simply come sleep beside me.”
Hearing these words, the princess paled in fright.
Suddenly, an intense feeling of unease erupted in Chen Nan’s heart. He felt like there was an expert with terrifying cultivation observing him from the darkness. But when he carefully tried to examine it, that feeling instantaneously vanished without a trace.
“Did that old monster really follow us? Why hasn’t he done anything all this time?” A seed of doubt was planted in his heart. Gritting his teeth, he came to a secret decision.
Chen Nan arrived beside the princess who was currently pissed off. With strikes at breakneck speed, he sealed several of her major acupoints, immobilizing her body and sealing her mouth shut.
The Little Princess began panicking. A look of dread was evident in her eyes.
Chen Nan looked completely focussed. The vital qi within his body began turbulently surging. A faint, golden light was released from his body. He concentrated his power to his fingers. Specks of faint, golden light with the width of a hairsbreadth coalesced at his fingertips. All ten of his fingers began dazzling and sparkling in an instant. Their radiance was blinding.
The words of his father from a time long past echoed through his ears: “The God of Imprisonment’s Finger can seal someone’s power and lock the essence of their blood. If the user of this technique does not neutralize the effect on the victim in a timely fashion, then within a fortnight, their blood vessels will face desiccation and they will die. You must use caution! The power of this finger method is boundless. At the highest level, it can even seal immortals, but if you have insufficient power, you cannot rashly use this technique no matter what. Otherwise, you risk crippling your own constitution.”
Chen Nan was not fully confident in his decision. He wasn’t sure if he was able to smoothly use the God of Imprisonment’s Finger at his current level of cultivation, but the pressure being exerted on him by the old monster was too much. It was enough to force Chen Nan into taking a risk.
After circulating his power throughout his body nine times, both of his hands simultaneously moved. His golden vital qi came out from his fingertips and entered the Little Princess’s body with endless ‘bipa’ sounds. The golden light caused the entire room to be illuminated in a flickering gold.
Chen Nan felt the creeping exhaustion attacking him. Perspiration ran down the side of his pale face drip by drip. After the last of his vital qi penetrated into the Little Princess’s body, he was utterly exhausted. Without any remaining strength, he gently collapsed to the floor.
He finally recovered a bit of his energy after a long period of time—it was barely enough for him to sit up on the ground. Feeling that his body was incomparably weak, he began to meditate and harmonize his breathing right away. He opened his eyes after two hours of meditation.
Chen Nan inwardly said, “I’ve finally succeeded. I’m afraid I won’t be able to fight with anyone for the next few days. I only wish that the old monster’s phenomenal power is insufficient in breaking through the power of the God of Imprisonment’s Finger.”
After leaving the imperial capital, the Little Princess was his only protective talisman. As long as the princess was firmly under his control, he’d be able to escape from the Empire of Chu. The princess had clearly watched Chen Nan do some unknown thing to her. Although she didn’t know what it was, she knew it definitely wasn’t anything good. Her heart filled with rage. Seeing Chen Nan’s weak appearance, she couldn’t help but perk up at his evident hardship.
Chen Nan walked over to her, unsealed her mute acupoint, and said, “Little demon, don’t be happy at my discomfort. If I come across an abrupt accident, you’re screwed. I have already used the God of Imprisonment’s Finger against you. In this world, other than myself, there is no one that can help you neutralize its effect. Within a fortnight, if I don’t cleanse your blood essence, your blood vessels will be met with desiccation and you’ll die.”
Hearing his words, the princess’s face turned tragic. She angrily said, “Degenerate, you’re too vicious. There are no grievances or enmity between us, yet you have actually used some rotten finger technique against me. You’re utterly despicable, without any morals whatsoever, thoroughly disgusting, and absolutely shameless!”
“Little girl, with a mouth this coarse, I really can’t tell if you were truly raised in the imperial palace. If you dare curse at me again, this will be the result.” With that said, he raised his palm and sliced off half of the table’s corner. Then, he used the same palm to pinch the Little Princess’s jade face.
The princess painfully shrieked, “Ah! You smelly thug!”
After Chen Nan threw the princess onto the bed, he lied down on the other bed. He wasn’t concerned about anyone secretly coming in; ever since his spiritual awareness had returned, his six senses had sharpened beyond compare. The instant danger approached him, he was able to detect it one step earlier.
After the battle at the imperial palace, he turned into the public enemy of the Empire of Chu. He lamented in his heart, “Ai, I’ve actually offended an entire nation!”
Nalan Ruoshui hadn’t left the imperial capital with him, but his heart was completely free from misery. Recalling the experiences of the past few months, he grew somewhat absent-minded. With a final flash, the candlelight blew out. The moonlight shone into the room like a stream of water, and Chen Nan entered the realm of dreams. The Little Princess had already fallen asleep, but her mouth pouted even in her sound dreams, as if she was upset with the rude antics Chen Nan had pulled during the daytime.
Meanwhile, within the imperial palace of Chu, the empress was currently wailing. She sobbed, “My pitiful Yu’er… Wu… My good child…”
The emperor comfortingly soothed, “Don’t cry, nothing will happen to Yu’er. Chen Nan doesn’t dare cause trouble for her.”
At the side, the Eldest Princess Chu Yue said, “Now that all the eccentrics have become strangely poisoned, no one can take action for the time being. If we dispatched some men to go rescue my meimei, I’m afraid it’ll only scare the snake off because of our hitting the grass. I fear too much time has already passed to summon the super experts from other places to come assist us. For now, we can only request Elder Zhuge Chengfeng to leave his seclusion prematurely.”
Although Chu Han was an emperor, his speech carried an air of respect towards Zhuge Chengfeng. “Although Zhuge Chengfeng is an exceptional expert, he was seriously injured by that mythical qilin and has gone into seclusion. I’m afraid it is not appropriate to disturb him right now.”
After the empress heard this, she said with a hopeful expression, “Do you know where this elder is recuperating?”
Chu Yue said, “Actually, Elder Zhuge has been recuperating within the palace all along.”
The empress was jubilant. “Tomorrow, we must request the help of Zhuge Chengfeng no matter what. I truly cannot stop worrying about Yu’er.”
Chu Han exhaled a breath of air. “Then we’re forced to do it like this.”
The ten thousand flutes were silent. The night was especially serene. Everyone was busily entering the realm of dreams.
A green light as fast as lightning arrived at the small town Chen Nan was staying at. Within the green light was a thin, emaciated figure. With a few flashes, that insipid figure among the green light floated into the inn—directly arriving outside the door of Chen Nan’s room.
The door was pushed open without so much of a sound or breath. The emaciated figure flashed into the room. The sleeping Chen Nan appeared to be none the wiser. Specks of golden light suffused from his body. With a start, the intruder left in a green flash. A void seemed to emerge from his body. The moonlight that struck his body also vanished into nothingness, leaving behind no trace of its existence. It was perfectly dark. There was not a single ray of light or hint of sound.
The golden light surrounding Chen Nan’s body slowly began to fade away, failing to illicit a proper response.
The intruder seemed to vanish into the darkness. There was only a lightless void slowly moving around in the room. Houyi Bow floated into the air. Then, the Little Princess—sound asleep—also floated into the air. As if there was some sort of attraction, they quickly flew towards the void. In the blink of an eye, they vanished into that dark domain.
After the door was closed soundlessly, the moonlight water streamed back into the room. However, Houyi Bow that had been placed on Chen Nan’s bed and the Little Princess who had been asleep on the other bed had already vanished without a trace.
The green light departed from the small town like lightning. In the wilderness outside of town, it halted. The insipid green light seemed like a ghostly lantern of the netherworld. The emaciated figure in the green light touched several of the Little Princess’s acupoints. It stretched out its hands and continuously slapped at her with endless ‘bipa’ sounds. Like water, the green light surged inside of the Little Princess’s body.
An hour passed like this. The emaciated figure finally stopped its movement. Carrying the Little Princess, he brought her back to the small town. A ghostly green light appeared within Chen Nan’s room. After the Little Princess hovered back over to the bed, the green light vanished without a trace.
Early the next morning, Chen Nan awakened and was stunned. Houyi Bow had disappeared. His innate spiritual awareness had actually failed its purpose. He hadn’t been aware of the events that had conspired the night prior at all. If the intruder had wanted to seize his life, it would have taken no extra effort. Alarmed, his body broke out into a cold sweat. He rapidly turned his gaze towards the Little Princess’s bed, only to find the princess still sound asleep. His heart calmed a sliver.
After washing up, he released the Little Princess’s acupoints and roused her from her slumber.
“Annoying. Who dares to disturb me, the princess, from her rest…?” The princess was clearly still groggy. When she regained her bearings, she pushed away Chen Nan and nervously said, “Degenerate, what do you want?”
“I’m telling you to get out of bed.” Chen Nan spoke as he investigated the Little Princess’s internal aura. He soon discovered from his probing that there had been someone who had attempted to neutralize the power of his God of Imprisonment’s Finger—but they had been met with failure.
“Little demon, hurry and wash up.” With that said, he walked into the courtyard.
“The intruder was unexpectedly able to get into my room soundlessly and evade my spiritual awareness. I fear their cultivation surpasses the five ranks by many times, or else there’s no way I wouldn’t have detected them. Most likely, it was that old monster, without a doubt. But why would he need to act so secretly?” Chen Nan recalled all kinds of things pertaining to the old monster. He realized that all along, he had been impossible to unravel. It was impossible for others to see through him, to examine him clearly.
“Since the beginning up until now, he has seemed to be conspiring against me somewhat. If not, he absolutely wouldn’t allow me to revolt against the Empire of Chu. But what the hell does he want from me?” Even thinking over it a thousand times would be unfruitful, but there was one point he was certain of. For the time being, the old monster would not act maliciously against him. This thought helped mollify his hectic mind.