Volume 3 Chapter 10: A Piece of God’s Boned
When the princess returned to the room, Chen Nan curiously asked, “You didn’t have that lustful tiger help you escape?”
The little demon stammered, “I… don’t have money. You… Can you… give me a little?”
“What happened to the money you stole?”
The princess was forced to describe what had happened at Shenfeng Institute in embarrassment. After he heard her story, Chen Nan laughed out loud heartily.
Annoyed, the princess said, “Degenerate—no—Chen Nan, don’t laugh. Are you going to give me some or what? Last time you stole my ‘profit’, so return it me. Right now, I don’t even have a cent.”
Chen Nan smiled, joyful. He hadn’t expected this would happen in his wildest of dreams. He fished out from his pocket a handful of gold coins. “Here.”
Right after the princess snatched the money from his hands, she hugged Xiao Yu and ran outside. Chen Nan didn’t stop her. Now that he was certain the old monster had indeed followed them, he wasn’t daring enough to act too excessively with the princess.
After a few days, the City of Crime’s rumour of the god’s hand reached a new level. Several thousand practitioners had hurried here from every cranny of the continent. The ruins of the ancient gods’ battlefield was scoured by countless people all day long. Many practitioners searched tirelessly.
During these few days, Chen Nan didn’t see the Little Princess again. He was unoccupied and incredibly bored, so he decided to try his hand at searching the ruins of the gods’ battle. Seeing the people in the forest, he sighed, “There’s so many people looking for the ancient god’s severed hand. Even if I find it, I’d be forced to wage war over it. This desire is truly terrifying!”
A gentle, warm voice sounded from behind him, “Desire can give someone the power to continue forward relentlessly, or it can be a sweet-tasting poison. It can energize and excite someone to the fullest, or it can cause the ruin of someone like a moth flying into an open flame.”
Startled, Chen Nan jumped. He hurriedly turned around to see who was speaking, but all he saw was a head of gray hair. An old man with astounding vigor and spirits appeared three zhang before him. The old man’s hands were crossed behind his back as he gazed at the mountains. He flatly said, “The two ancient gods weren’t merely fighting over a treasure. Because of their battle, didn’t they both perish together? In this world, no one is capable of transcending from worldly possessions. Even gods aren’t exempt from this convention!”
The old man was high in vigor and had the appearance of a grand Daoist. Chen Nan was bewildered. He couldn’t help but ask, “Are you a Daoist?”
“Hehe, are Daoists particularly special?”
Chen Nan knew that he had encountered an expert today. This old man’s cultivation was at least of the fourth rank. Otherwise, how could he appear behind him with him being completely oblivious?
“That’s not it. I’m just wondering because Daoists are quite rare, especially Daoists who have as profound cultivation as yourself.”
The old man said, “Daoists aren’t really like the secluded hermit living in the mountains that the normal people believe they are. There are some Daoists who actually practice in the world of mortals.”
Chen Nan was surprised. This was completely different from what he had known before. He asked, “Don’t Daoists loathe being disturbed by people? Don’t they all cultivate in places of extreme seclusion?”
“There are some people who are as you describe, but there are also some people who have continuously been a part of the world of mortals. The secrets behind cultivation are not all the same, and the hardships one must experience are not all the same.”
“Oh. I’ve heard of the first type of people. So are you classified as that of the latter?”
The old man smiled. “No, I am a martial artist—not a Daoist at all.”
“Huh?!” This time, Chen Nan was truly marvelled. He had thought all along that this old man was a Daoist.
“Young man, do you really not recognize me?”
Alarmed, Chen Nan said, “Ah! You are…”
The old man said, “Didn’t I tell you before? I’ve been leisurely going wherever I please lately. I go wherever I want. I didn’t think we’d meet up again so soon.”
Chen Nan’s mind was blown. With a trembling voice, he said, “You’re… the old monster? Ah, no! You’re the Emperor of Chu’s great-great-grandfather?”
The old man smiled as he nodded his head. “That’s right, it’s me. It seems like the two of us really are fated to meet, hehe…”
In this scorching summertime heat, a chill went through Chen Nan’s body.
Originally, the old monster’s eyes were turbid and lifeless, his teeth without gloss, the creasing of his skin was as crumpled as a ball of paper, and there were but a few sparse hairs on top of his head. The current old monster had a mouthful of snow, jade-like teeth, a head and face full of hair, a hale and hearty spirit, and was completely different than the person in the imperial palace of Chu.
An intense unease welled up in Chen Nan’s heart. It was possible that the old monster of today was created by his own actions: if he hadn’t helped the old monster translate that demonic book, perhaps the old man standing before him would still wobble as he walked.
No matter how profound the old monster’s cultivation had been when he had first met him, he had indeed been in a condition resembling an oil lamp exhausted of oil. Although his heart was evil, he had few years left. But after cultivating the secret techniques left behind in that demonic book, he had once again signed a new lease on life. The old man before him was already a completely new person. It was all out of his expectations.
Chen Nan was never able to comprehend this old man. He didn’t know whether or not he was some unique demon. He was afraid of the current old monster having had attained cultivation that completely eclipsed the five ranks all the way to the sixth level! A legendary sixth-ranked expert! Just thinking about it was terrifying!
The old monster grinned and said, “Thank you. Now I can live another twenty, thirty years in this world. Living is the greatest joy!”
Chen Nan reluctantly smiled. “Senior really has created a miraculous feat, recovering your youth a second time, congratulations!”
“It isn’t recovering my youth this time. I can only continue my life for a few more decades.”
Chen Nan adjusted his mood and slowly settled down. “Have you also come for the sake of the unknown treasure in the ancient god’s severed hand?”
The old monster lightly shook his head. “No. I have no interest in it. You should know that my cultivation of that demonic book required a tremendous amount of fresh blood. Although there was enough blood from the livestock butchered by the imperial kitchen every day, there wasn’t any spiritual nature in those animals, so the effect wasn’t ideal.”
Hearing this, a chill went up Chen Nan’s spine.
The old monster looked at him and said, “Don’t be afraid, I won’t follow in the footsteps of that demon and start a massacre in order to get fresh human blood. This tremendous mountain range at the centre of the continent has bountiful spiritual beasts. I don’t have to kill anyone at all. Taking the blood from those rare beasts every day is enough for me.”
With that reply, Chen Nan’s heart was able to calm. “You’re… planning to live in the City of Crime?”
“I plan to stay here temporarily for about a year.”
The old monster laughed. “Did that unruly, troublesome little girl from the imperial palace come with you here?”
Chen Nan’s heart shook when he heard these words. But if the old monster didn’t point out that Chen Nan was the one that seized the Little Princess and brought her here, then it wasn’t necessary for him to mention it. Bracing himself, he said, “Yeah, she’s lively; I’m not sure where she’s playing right now.”
“Help me look after that lass. No matter what, don’t let her cause a disaster here.”
“I’ll try my best.”
“Hehe. This scenery is pretty good. I’m going to go take a look. If we get the chance, we’ll talk more later.”
The old monster leisurely walked ahead. As Chen Nan watched him leave, he was flabbergasted. With only four or five steps, the old man traversed a hundred zhang! Every one of his steps seemed to be teleportation—he’d disappear from one point in space and appear at the next. This terrifying cultivation was more astonishing than Zhuge Chengfeng’s ‘traversing the distance like it was an inch’!
“The old monster’s power is truly incredible. It seems like his cultivation really has surpassed the level of the fifth rank. I’m afraid he might already be capable of releasing the princess from the God of Imprisonment’s Finger.”
Chen Nan’s intuition hadn’t been wrong. When he had just fled the Empire of Chu, he had faintly felt a strange yet powerful and frightening aura. It was without a doubt the old monster. However, that feeling was not nearly as intense as the one he just felt. The current old monster aura was now much more powerful than before. In these few weeks, the old monster’s cultivation had tremendously improved. Most likely, the vitality that his body was brimming with had caused his cultivation to leap to a new level.
This terrifying cultivation left Chen Nan shocked and excited. With merely four steps, he had moved over one hundred zhang away! His skill was close to perfection! This level of cultivation could be unrivalled under heaven; other practitioners could only dream of such power!
Chen Nan wanted absolutely nothing to do with that old man. He didn’t want to stay at the ruins any longer. So as not to bump into that mysterious old man again, he rushed back to the City of Crime.
The reason why the Little Princess wanted to attend Shenfeng Institute was mainly so that she could find an expert that could release her body from its imprisonment. In all honesty, she wasn’t actually that interested in Shenfeng Institute. However, the vice-president’s previous words had irked her and pushed her into attending at all costs.
For the past two days, the princess had taken Xiao Yu to roam the ruins of the gods’ battle. Not only did she want to find the ancient god’s severed left hand to taunt the vice-president, but she was also interested in the treasure that the hand was rumoured to be holding.
But she didn’t find a trace of it amongst the ruins. Today, she was lying in bed, ceasing her search. She patted Xiao Yu’s furry head and said, “Where’s that broken hand? Not finding it is not an option. Xiao Yu, haven’t you lived here in these mountains for over a thousand years? Have you never felt anything peculiar here after all this time?”
The princess didn’t notice, but a look of excitement appeared on the Tiger King Xiao Yu’s face. But he seemed to hesitate, as if deciding on what to do. Finally, he looked as if he came to a decision. Struggling out of the princess’s embrace, he raised a paw and made a gesture.
The princess was surprised. “You know where it is?”
Xiao Yu nodded.
“This is great! Hurry, take me!” The princess delightedly hugged him and said, “Little thing, do you actually know where the god’s hand is? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
Xiao Yu, feeling misunderstood, shook his head, and again broke free from her embrace.
The princess began to feel worried. “What’s wrong? Quick, let’s go.”
Xiao Yu shook his head again and began to transform. This time, he didn’t grow any bigger. Instead, he only grew out the immaculately white wings and the sparkling jade horn. Finally, he unfolded his small wings and suddenly flew out the window.
“Damn Xiao Yu, where are you going?! Come back!” The princess quickly threw on her clothes and left.
Outside, a waiter holding a teapot watched as Xiao Yu flew out of the window into the sky. Convinced he had just seen a small, winged kitten fly, he cried out, “Oh my God! Flying tigers—and now even cats?! What world am I in?!”
The princess rushed out of the room. Seeing Xiao Yu streak off into the distance like an arrow, she angrily jumped and shouted, “Damn Xiao Yu! You left me and went by yourself! Come back…”
As if staring at a demon, the waiter fixed his gaze on the Little Princess. The princess shrieked, “What are you looking at?!”
Scared, the waiter ran away. The princess furrowed her brows. Afraid of causing a commotion, she quickly went back inside, packed, and left the inn. Arriving on the main street, everyone was amazed at the princess’s beauty, feeding into her vanity. That is, until two good-for-nothings began to saunter over to her with impure intentions. She quickly sobered up and hurried on her way, escaping into the inn that Chen Nan had been staying in.
When Chen Nan returned to the inn, he found the Little Princess in his room. He was shocked. Laughing, he said, “Wow! Did you finally realize you wanted to be my maid?”
“Rubbish. Only ghosts would be willing to serve as your maid!”
“Did you already waste all your money and have come back to steal more of my things?”
“Rubbish. I’m not some petty thief.”
“Who was the person looking through all my stuff last time?”
“Last time… I just wanted to take back the money I had earned.”
Chen Nan scoffed. “Heh heh. ‘Looting’ is ‘earning’, and ‘steal’ is ‘take back’. Are you still trying to act innocent?”
Annoyed, the princess said, “Why do you have to make it sound so bad? I really didn’t come this time to steal from you. Damn Xiao Yu left me and ran off into the mountains. I can’t protect myself at all right now. Hurry and release my restraints.” With Xiao Yu’s sudden disappearance, the Little Princess was truly dispirited and upset.
“What? That lustful tiger actually ran away? Haha…! That’s hilarious! I always knew he was using your overly sympathetic heart by acting all cute while he cultivated. Now that he’s almost fully recovered, he left. I didn’t think that lustful tiger had you, a little demon, wrapped around his finger. That’s hilarious!”
“Damn degenerate, how can you still laugh at me? Release me from the restrictions you placed on my body.”
“Who knows whether or not you’re telling the truth? It’s possible you purposely tried to make me feel sorry for you so that I’d release you from the restrictions, right?”
“It’s true! Damn Xiao Yu left. Just now on the street, I met some bastards that are even worse than you. They wanted to mess with me. I would’ve been screwed if I didn’t run so fast. Release me already, alright?”
“Little girl, are you asking me for something or cursing me? It’s better now that that lustful tiger is gone. Now the two of you can’t act as ‘colluding villains’ and run off and stir up trouble.”
“Hey, damn degenerate, what are you saying? What ‘colluding villains’? Release me already!”
Chen Nan didn’t release her from the God of Imprisonment’s Finger. Instead, he bonked her twice on the head. In pain, the princess’s eyes glistened with tears as she angrily grinded her teeth, but she couldn’t do anything. She didn’t want to stay near Chen Nan—she wanted to stay at another inn—but she was too afraid to be alone due to her encounter on the street. Although Chen Nan wasn’t a good person in her eyes, he was still a bit better than those assholes. In the end, she stayed in another room at the inn.
For the next two days, the Little Princess incessantly pestered Chen Nan, asking him to restore her power. Chen Nan was so annoyed, he was forced into threatening her to go to sleep so that he could have some time of peace.
On the third day, the missing Xiao Yu suddenly returned, bursting into Chen Nan’s room.
When the princess saw the Tiger King again, she was delighted. When she stepped forward, the Tiger King suddenly stepped back. After spitting a shining object out of his maw, he miniaturized and pounced into her open arms.
“Damn Xiao Yu, you didn’t abandon me! You were gone for three days, you thoughtless little thing! Why have you come back?”
Feeling wronged, Xiao Yu looked at the princess. Then, he lifted up a small paw and gestured at the floor.
The princess’s gaze shifted towards the floor. Suddenly, she cried out, “This is…!”
Chen Nan had already been enamoured by that shining object on the floor. His gaze was fixated on it, unblinking. It was an immaculately white, jade-like bone of a hand. It didn’t seem awe-inspiring or terrifying at all. On the contrary, it had a pure and holy aura to it. Most astonishingly, it actually had a faint glow around it. It seemed truly divine.
The princess jubilantly cried out, “This must be the severed left hand of the ancient god! Xiao Yu, you’re awesome!” She embraced Xiao Yu tightly against her chest. Afterwards, she leaned over and picked up the skeletal hand.
“Something’s wrong… This is… a right hand.” The princess was baffled.
Chen Nan was also amazed. “This should be that ancient god’s skeletal hand. Gods and humans are physically different—a faint shine persists on just a piece of their bone thousands of years later! How unusual! But why is it different from the rumours? Why is it a right hand?”
The two of them looked over at the Tiger King Xiao Yu. Xiao Yu put on an innocent look and shook his small head.
Chen Nan said, “This lustful tiger must be a spirit. Still pretending? He definitely knows the secret of the ancient gods. Otherwise, how could he bring back this skeletal hand?”
The princess also chimed in, “Xiao Yu, do you know the place where that secret is hidden? Bring me there, okay?”
When Xiao Yu heard her request, he shook his paw back and forth continuously, and his head shook like a rattle drum. He was utterly petrified.
Chen Nan stepped forward and threatened, “Lustful tiger, if you don’t take us, I’ll be eating tiger meat and drinking tiger wine today.”
The princess quickly stepped in between them and said, “Don’t scare Xiao Yu.” Xiao Yu seemed to not be afraid of Chen Nan at all as he lowly growled at him.
“Lustful tiger, do you think I won’t do it? Let’s see how I deal with you.” Chen Nan turned around and picked up some dirty clothes off of the bed, wanting to cork Xiao Yu’s mouth with them. Xiao Yu looked nauseous and hastily shut his mouth. The princess burst out laughing, amused.
Chen Nan cursed, “This lustful tiger must be a spirit; look at how many facial expressions he has. Don’t try to distract me by acting all weird. If you don’t take us, don’t blame me for being rude!”
Xiao Yu looked pleadingly at the princess. He looked miserable. The princess hugged him tightly and said, “Don’t be scared. If you don’t want to take us, I won’t make you. Just don’t run away anymore, okay?”
Xiao Yu nodded his furry head in response.
Chen Nan was now positive that the Tiger King knew where the mystery was hidden. He said to the princess, “Don’t protect that lustful tiger. He definitely knows all about that huge secret.”
“No. I won’t make Xiao Yu do anything, even if someone constantly threatens me.”
Chen Nan thought that he shouldn’t try to force the matter too much. He decided to wait for an opportunity to gradually force the Tiger King into exposing the whereabouts of the mystery. His view of Xiao Yu changed. Inside of his body flowed the blood of both the eastern White Tiger and the western Magical Tiger—the Tiger King was absolutely not a simple creature. Not only that, but he also know a transformation technique and the location of a fantastic place. What kind of place was it? Well it has the skeletal remains of gods. It must be an extraordinary, mysterious place.
The princess was delighted with Xiao Yu’s return with the god’s bone. She petted Xiao Yu’s bright, gentle fur. “Just wait. I’ll definitely taunt that arrogant vice-president—no—I’ll teach that bad old man a good lesson!” With that said, she picked up Xiao Yu and ran outside.
“Hey! Little demon, where are you going?”
“Chen Nan, go to Shenfeng Institute and wait for a good show! I’ll be there soon.” The Little Princess mounted the transformed Xiao Yu and flew off into the sky.
Chen Nan watched as she flew directly to the ruins of the gods’ ancient battle. His heart jumped. He muttered to himself, “It can’t be… That little demon can’t be this fierce, right?!”
The transformed, gigantic Xiao Yu carrying the Little Princess flew over the City of Crime, leading to cries of alarm:
“Heavens! It’s the Great Flying Tiger Thief!”
“Wasn’t she captured by the people from Shenfeng Institute?”
The princess promptly arrived above the ruins. Many practitioners on the ground saw her.
“The Great Flying Tiger Thief…”
“It’s that mean girl who tricked us last time…”
Xiao Yu continued to fly in circles overhead the ruins. The princess shouted, “I really found the ancient god’s severed hand this time! Everyone, look!” As she shouted, she waved the faintly glowing god’s skeletal hand.
At first, the practitioners below began to curse at her. They all thought she had come to create chaos. But when they saw the glowing jade-like ancient god’s skeletal hand, they were dumbfounded and utterly speechless. For a moment, the scene was completely still. Like a tsunami, the voices returned:
“Hey! Little girl, come down here!”
“Little miss, I’ll teach you an incredible martial art in exchange for that god’s skeletal hand!”
“Little sister, what’s being held in the god’s hand?”
The princess put on a clueless look and said, “This piece of bone isn’t any fun. I’ll give it to whoever wants it.”
A countless numbers of hands reached up, all waving towards the sky.
“There’s too many people… I don’t know who to give it to. That’s fine. I’ll give it to whoever makes it to the City of Crime first. I’ll also tell them a big secret!” Carrying the princess, Xiao Yu flew back to the City of Crime. On the ground, countless practitioners ran after them in a frenzy.
Pleased, the princess laughed and said to herself, “Damn old man, I hope you’re ready!” Suddenly, the roaring of dragons resounded from behind her. She turned around to see dozens of magi and dragon riders chasing after her.
“Xiao Yu, flee!” She wasn’t worried about those magi. Although they could fly, their speed was not at all capable of catching up to Xiao Yu’s. But she was worried about those Flying Dragon Riders. She was afraid the speed of Flying Dragons could be comparable to Xiao Yu’s. If they caught her, the consequences would be disastrous.
Xiao Yu turned around to see the Flying Dragons. Unimpressed, he continued on his flight. When those Flying Dragons were about catch up, he suddenly burst forward with speed, leaving those dragons in the dust.
“Haha, Xiao Yu, you’re so cool! We don’t have to go back right away. Let’s fly around a bit while we wait for the people on the ground to catch up.” The princess was no longer nervous. Because of her praise, Xiao Yu worked even harder and flew circles around the Flying Dragons. The Flying Dragon Riders couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly in anger.
In two hours, the princess led thousands of people to the City of Crime. The residents of the city, alarmed, watched as magi, dragon riders, and an army of practitioners arrived.
The princess yelled, “So many people arrived at the same time, I don’t know who to give it to…”
The crowd all began to shout:
“Little girl, you’re tricking us again!”
“Damn evil girl!”
The princess quickly cried out, “I didn’t lie to you guys! Isn’t it just some bone? What am I going to do with it? If you don’t want it then fine, I’ll give it to Shenfeng Institute.” With that said, she flew Xiao Yu to Shenfeng Institute.
Many of them already guessed that the princess seemed to be targeting Shenfeng Institute, but so what if they guessed correctly? No one wanted to stop chasing her. There were many students of Shenfeng Institute in the crowd. Although they were inwardly anxious, they persevered.
Soon, thousands of practitioners arrived outside Shenfeng Institute, all stupefied. The vice-president led dozens of students outside. Seeing so many practitioners outside the school, he couldn’t help but be puzzled.
The princess flew Xiao Yu to above the vice-president and said, “Smelly old man, you said if I could find the ancient god’s severed hand, I could attend Shenfeng Institute, right?”
“Well, what do you think this is?” The princess revealed the ancient god’s skeletal hand and said, “Here. Take it.” With that said, she threw the bone to the vice-president.
Someone in the crowd of practitioners yelled, “Charge!” Flying Dragon Riders, magi, and martial artists all rushed towards the vice-president.
The vice-president shrieked, “Holy! So it was you that brought all these people over! Little troublemaker, are you trying to ruin Shenfeng Institute? You’re a terrible little girl!”
“Serves you right, smelly old man! Who told you to make things difficult for me?” The princess looked as if even his death wouldn’t appease her hatred.
The vice-president was so infuriated, he nearly vomited blood. His eyebrows and beard were flying.
Chen Nan was standing on the roof of a tall building inside Shenfeng Institute. He yelled out to the princess, “Little demon, come over here!”
The princess saw Chen Nan and hesitated, but still ordered Xiao Yu to fly over. With one foot, Chen Nan kicked away the Tiger King that had been waving his claws at him. After that, he grabbed the Little Princess and pinched her cheek. “Little girl, you really are a troublemaker. You’ve really caused a disaster this time!”
Outside of Shenfeng Institute was now complete chaos. A disaster was about to occur. On the ground, countless practitioners were howling. The sky was blanketed by figures. Many magi hovering in the air began to gather magical energy. The Flying Dragon Riders urged their mounts forwards. Auxiliary Dragon were swarming in all directions…
Now even the Little Princess was a bit afraid. Despite Chen Nan’s pinching of her cheek, she said, “They… won’t destroy Shenfeng Institute, will they?”
“Are you scared now? Thousands of practitioners are waging a war. The entire pugilistic world will be astonished. If today ends in rivers of blood, your name will be forever recorded in the history of cultivation—of course, it’ll be a name hated by all.”
The princess was lacking in confidence. She said self-reassuringly, “It won’t be that serious… Everything will be fine!”
Chen Nan was slightly annoyed. He pinched her smooth cheek tightly. The princess almost began to cry in pain.
“Aiyah, damn degenerate… That hurts!”
Chen Nan stopped bothering with her. He lifted up the miniaturized Tiger King and said, “Lustful tiger, you were ‘colluding with the villain’, that little demon, again. You’re full of secrets. If you don’t tell me where you found that god’s left hand, I’ll butcher you sooner or later.”
The princess cried out, “Degenerate, give Xiao Yu back to me!”
A monstrous roar from a dragon suddenly echoed out from the depths of Shenfeng Institute. Xiao Yu took the opportunity to struggle out of Chen Nan’s grasp and jumped back into the princess’s arms.
The deafening dragon roar reverberated through the sky like thunder. The practitioners surrounding the school’s entrance were all stunned.
A ray of green light shot up into the sky from inside the school. It steadily flew back down. It truly was a monster. Its body was thirty zhang long. It had green scales, a sinister-looking head, a large, thick tail, and an expansive pair of wings. It was an impressive fourth-ranked Monolithic Dragon.
The Monolithic Dragon blew forth a violent gale as it hovered above the school’s gate. Its monstrous draconic body coiled like a green cloud, obscuring the sun. A massive shadow was cast on the ground. The practitioners standing in its shadow were indescribably terror-stricken.