Volume 3 Chapter 6: God’s Left Hand
“Pei! Damn degenerate, you can’t get any more shameless! Just wait until my teacher recovers from his injury; he’ll definitely come looking for me here. When that time comes, you’ll be left dead without a proper burial site.”
The princess’s abrupt mentioning of her teacher truly gave Chen Nan a fright. Even though Zhuge Chengfeng’s supreme cultivation was not as profound as that old monster’s, he still wasn’t too far off.
Remembering how there were two remarkable experts that could come knocking on his door at any point in time, he grew nervous. Even the superior old monster was unable to neutralize his God of Imprisonment’s Finger, however, which relieved him from some stress.
“Why hasn’t that old monster shown himself yet? Did he actually follow us?”
The princess said, “Smelly thief, what are you muttering about? Are you scared? If you’re scared, hurry up and release me, and perhaps I might still spare your life.”
“Release your head. If you don’t behave, I’ll immediately punish you.”
Although the princess was beyond indignant, she was mostly intimidated. She angrily crawled back onto the Tiger King Xiao Yu’s back and said, “Xiao Yu, let’s go. Let’s get some distance from this bastard.”
Chen Nan said, “Don’t go flying wildly around on your lustful tiger. You just attracted the ire of some eccentric woman; you don’t want to provoke even more terrifying people. The God of Imprisonment’s Finger I placed on you will resurface soon. If you stray too far away from me, don’t come looking for me when you suffer.”
Although the princess was furious enough to take a life, she didn’t have any alternative. Guan Hao chuckled furtively from the side—and was caught by Xiao Yu. With a roar, he scared away Guan Hao.
From behind, Chen Nan cried out, “Hey, don’t run away so fast!”
Without turning his head, Guan Hao shouted back, “I have something urgent to attend to, so I must leave first.”
The princess yelled after him, “Damn rat, you haven’t said goodbye to me yet.”
Guan Hao’s voice echoed from the distance: “See you, little witch—no—I never want to see you again!”
The princess angrily said, “Damn rat, you can’t run from me. I’m also headed to Shenfeng Institute.”
A wretched scream could be heard from the distance: “God… save me!”
Chen Nan loudly chuckled. “It seems like in comparison, you’re simply more frightening than even natural disasters and beasts… Ai!”
The princess shot him a fierce glance. She embraced the Tiger King, who had already transformed back into the size of a kitten, and stepped forward.
“Degenerate, I need to go to Shenfeng Institute.” After taming Xiao Yu, the notion of fleeing had made many a pass through her mind, but she was worried about the God of Imprisonment’s Finger’s symptoms suddenly flaring up. Ultimately, she decided to go to Shenfeng Institute. It was rumoured that there, the experts were as common as clouds. There must be some supreme master hidden among them that she could ask for help in releasing her body from the imprisonment.
“No. I don’t want to look for trouble,” Chen Nan immediately refused.
Upon entering the City of Crime, a spectacular scene of prosperity presented itself. The fact that this city was hidden so deep within the mountains was nearly inconceivable. The pedestrians walking about were countless, and the cries of ongoing transactions endlessly fell upon open ears.
There were many different ethnicities within the city. With one glance at the street, one could see black hair, blonde hair, red hair, blue hair…
After entering the city, the princess suddenly became excited. The first thing she did was reach out and snatch a bingtanghulu skewer from the hands of a local seller. She then turned her head and went the other way.
The distressed man shouted after her rather straightforwardly, “Young lady, you haven’t paid me yet.”
The princess turned around and said, “Request it from my attendant following me.” She pointed at Chen Nan.
Chen Nan simply smacked her upside the head. In pain, the princess nearly fell over in tears. She angrily ran headlong down the street . However, Chen Nan still had to obediently pay the seller who pushed his way in front of Chen Nan’s path.
After pressing into the city for more than one li, the princess had already incurred the wrath of countless people.
With great difficulty, Chen Nan finally captured her. “Please! Little demon, you don’t have to act like a child and take whatever you want. You don’t even feel embarrassed—it makes me even more ashamed.”
The Little Princess was the Emperor of Chu’s youngest daughter. Ordinarily, she truly could be considered as heaven’s arrogant daughter. Almost no one dared to oppose her. But day after day of suffering made her feel wronged. Going on a shopping spree helped her vent her pent up anger.
Finally, the two of them arrived at an inn.
At night, the princess’s symptoms from the God of Imprisonment’s Finger flared up. The pain caused her to cry out and curse. Chen Nan helped cleanse her blood vessels in order to alleviate her pain.
After the princess washed off the hardships of journeying off of her body, she put on a new set of clothes. When she walked into the room, the entire place seemed to shine. Her black hair, gorgeous complexion, and elegant body emanated a captivating charisma.
After Chen Nan washed up, he felt as if the exhaustion from travelling was spirited away. Now, seeing the gorgeous princess enter and illuminate the room, he felt even more pleased and couldn’t help but steal a couple more glances.
The princess perceptively looked over at him, truly afraid of his ‘boiling excitement’.
“Damn degenerate, you’re sickening. Stop showing off your heart’s watchful eye. I want to book another room. Today, I, the princess, will not endure your menacing presence no matter what. I must stay in a different room than you.”
“How is that okay? There are many bad people here. For the sake of safety, we’ll stick with the traditional custom: one room, two beds.”
“Pei! Is there anyone as bad as you in this world?”
“I’m a good person…”
“Shameless! Hmph, we’ve already arrived at the City of Crime, aren’t you afraid of me running away? If I want to run, I have many opportunities. If you won’t book it, I will.” With that said, the princess embraced Xiao Yu and ran out.
But right when she ran outside into the courtyard, she cried out, “Xiao Yu, hurry and transform! Let’s quickly flee!”
Xiao Yu released a roar that shook the inn. All the guests staying inside were petrified.
When Chen Nan arrived, the princess and Xiao Yu had already soared up into the sky.
“Hey, little demon, where are you going?”
“I think staying beside a degenerate like you is too dangerous. Xiao Yu and I will stay somewhere else.”
“Little demon, aren’t you afraid of my God of Imprisonment’s Finger?”
“Bastard, smelly thief, scoundrel…” The princess cursed at first, but she finally said, “When the time comes, I’ll find you. Damn degenerate, I curse you to have bad luck from today onwards. Farewell.”
With the blink of an eye, a white ray of light disappeared above the inn.
Although many people from inside the inn asked him what had happened, Chen Nan uniformly ignored them all, as if not a single word reached his ears.
“This little girl is way too diligent. Little demon…” Chen Nan wasn’t afraid of the princess escaping. He believed that before the God of Imprisonment’s Finger erupted again, she’d definitely obediently return.
Early the next morning, after Chen Nan ate breakfast, he began leisurely strolling around the City of Crime.
The City of Crime was enormous. In half a day’s time, he barely made a trip around only half of the eastern regions of the city.
“Old Poison Devil should’ve came here, too. How can I find him? Forget it, that old guy won’t just hide around here—he’ll be having the time of his life. I won’t go looking for him; eventually, I’ll run into him.”
At noon, he stepped into a restaurant and took a window seat on the upper floor. He ordered several dishes and a jug of wine. As he drank, he looked down at the streams of people on the street unceasingly flowing back and forth.
After downing over a dozen cups of strong wine, he already began to sense the light sensation of intoxication sweep through him. He said to himself mockingly, “Life is but a dream. Who could guess I’m someone from ten thousand years ago? After the passage of ten thousand years, I’ve come back to life!”
Under the haze of intoxication, his heart fluttered in lamentation. He was originally a man from the past, but he was unexpectedly resurrected from the ancient Shen Mu. This was a bit hard to imagine even for him.
In Shenmo Cemetery, excluding the buried experts who were once at the epitome of power and other strange, top-ranked practitioners who were laid to rest, at every tomb was buried either a god or devil. When he had died, his cultivation had only been so-so. For him to be buried there, there must be some ulterior motive. The fact that his lowly, small resting place had been void of a tombstone supported this theory. His ‘corpse’ was apparently not on the same level as the others. He couldn’t see the reason clearly. He was obscured by layers of dense fog and couldn’t see past it and couldn’t understand it!
After residing in that small town at the western borders of Chu for a year, Chen Nan had continuously adjusted his mentality. His once lost self gradually shed the shadows from the past. He gradually began to consider himself as a modern man. Massive changes were hidden in the deepest depths of his heart. But for the sake of living a better life, he could merely suppress it all at the bottom of his heart.
“External matters are simple, internal matters are complex. Everyone’s mind and heart are different. But for the sake of living, no one fails to put on an act, concealing the truth and presenting a lie.” Chen Nan gradually lost himself in his thoughts. His past resurfaced in his thoughts: the figures of Yu Xin, Tantai Xuan, and others swept through his mind one after another.
“Which path should I take this life? Perhaps the first thing I should do is explore the secrets of Shenmo Cemetery. If I can’t even understand how and why I came back to life, how can my heart feel at ease? Shenmo Cemetery… Shenmo… In this life, I will endlessly pursue the remnants of Shenmo…”
Intoxication swept Chen Nan off his feet, and he gradually lost himself to the alcohol as he lied on top of the table. In his state of drunkenness, he sensed several male and female youths walk upstairs.
“How can this drunk be in possession of such a fine seat beside the window? Boss, can you move this guy away? We want to sit here.” This voice sounded like that of a young man. Although these were casual words, they nevertheless carried a commanding aura.
One woman said, “Forget it, don’t make trouble. We can sit at that empty table over there.”
The other youths nodded in agreement and began walking over to the table.
After the youths finished ordering their dishes, they ate as they chatted.
“This semester’s exam problem is too hard. Making us investigate the lost God’s Left Hand is too much.”
“I suspect those fossils at the college are purposely making things difficult for us.”
“That’s right. It’s something straight out of a legend—its very existence should be questioned.”
“You guys must’ve not been listening very carefully. Those fossils added that there were other exam problems that you could choose from.”
“God, I want to kill that guy! Why hasn’t any told me this earlier? If I can’t find any clues leading to the God’s Hand, how can I even get a single point of credit…”
“Wu… I didn’t hear this either.”
“But that legend is seriously outrageous. Thousands of years ago, two gods once fought a great battle in the nearby mountains. Do you guys think it’s true?”
“It’s possible. Those mountains really do seem like they have been through incredible battles.”
“It’s too exaggerated. There were avalanches, diverted rivers, lakes drying up, and other things all happening there—it just doesn’t really seem like the result of a battle.”
“Why can’t it be? They’re gods, not humans. Besides, it’s a battle between two gods trying their best to kill one another.”
“Tell me, what do you guys think is being held in the hand that was cut off of the god? What could it possibly be to force two gods into risking their lives to fight over it?”
“It must be something extraordinary. For two gods to attach so much importance to it, we probably can’t even begin to imagine the possibilities.”
“If we can really find the severed God’s Hand and obtain whatever it’s holding, maybe we will embark on an unimaginable adventure.”
“You’re dreaming. So many experts have failed to find it, how can we possibly hold up? I just hope we can find some clues and at least get some credits from that fossil.”
“Right now, those old pedants are translating the ancient text on that old sheepskin scroll. In a few nights’ time, we’ll find out whether or not it was a mistake to choose this exam problem.”
“That’s right, how convenient.”
“The person who recorded it all thousands of years ago was actually fortunate enough to be blessed with the chance to watch two gods battle and see one god chop off the hand of another. It’s inconceivable!”
“That guy was also unfortunate. He spent a lifetime searching in the mountains, but he never found the God’s Left Hand.”
“Do you guys think that ancient sheepskin scroll’s written account is true? I feel like it’s just a legend.”
“Stories of gods are obviously just legends”
“The City of Crime’s native inhabitants have all said that a battle between gods happened here. It was so long ago that the story that has been passed down must be filled with irrelevancies and exaggerations—there’s no actual useful information. But thinking about it, the stuff written on that ancient sheepskin is probably true.”
“I’ve heard many practitioners of the continent are already hurrying over here. In the near future, the City of Crime will definitely be busy.”
“Right, but it just creates more troubles with our problem.”
“I didn’t think a battle between gods that happened millennia ago would still attract such a big crowd.”
“Just being able to see the battlefield would render people excited. If I had that sort of godly power, in this world, who’d be able to stand against me?”
“You’re dreaming. If you had that sort of power, what the hell would you do with it?”
“The first thing I’d do is head to the Empire of Chu and ask the Eldest Princess’s hand in marriage. I’ve heard she’s a woman who possesses beauty capable of destroying a country!”
Everyone laughed out loud.
“Don’t laugh, you guys! That Chu Yue is truly that beautiful—like a fairy! Even other girls who see her are moved. It is said that she has a younger sister who’s only sixteen, but her looks are not at all inferior. In another two years, the world will gain another exceptional beauty.”
“Their looks aren’t that far above others. I think the rumoured beauties at our college are not any way inferior to the Empire of Chu’s princesses.”
“You lechers, can’t you at least gossip quieter? If someone were to hear you guys, then we might attract trouble.”
“Right, be careful of misfortune coming from the mouth!”
“Let’s eat fast so we can head out quickly.”
After the youths went back downstairs, Chen Nan lifted his head up off the table. Although he was muddled, he still overheard the recent conversation.
“Boss, give me the bill.”
“Here. Keep the change.”
Chen Nan casually tossed the boss, beaming in delight, a gold coin.
“Wait a moment, I have something I want to ask you.”
The boss said, “Please go right ahead.”
“Were those youths that were just here students from Shenfeng Institute?”
“Your vision is as bright as a torch. Those arrogant children of heaven are indeed students from Shenfeng Institute.”
“Arrogant children of heaven? Aren’t they just some students?”
The proprietor of the restaurant laughed. “Are you not a native or a practitioner?”
Chen Nan grumbled a yes in response.
“No wonder. Let me tell you, the youngsters who are admitted to Shenfeng Institute are all out of the ordinary. If they aren’t some relative of royalty, then they’re true ranked experts. The college is filled with hidden talent… Many of the influential individuals of the continent have graduated from Shenfeng Institute. Those few youths that were here a moment ago, one was a small state’s prince, another was a nation’s prefectural lord…”
Chen Nan wobbly returned back to the inn. After entering his room, his head hit the pillow.
Because of the poor sound-proofing of the room’s walls, the conversation between two people from the room next door could be clearly heard. Their distinct words landed in Chen Nan’s ears.
“Many strange things have happened in these past few days.”
“There’s been a strange number of pigeons in the sky.”
“Pft. So what? These days, the severed God’s Hand has caused quite a hubbub. Do you think someone has enough free time on their hands to release a bunch of pigeons for fun? Those are all messenger pigeons heading everywhere across the continent in order to relay news.”
“Even if those were just a bunch of pigeons flying around, today, I actually saw a flying tiger in the sky.”
“You were daydreaming.”
“What daydreaming? Did you forget about those tiger’s roars we heard last night? Most likely, they came from the flying tiger that I saw. How else could there be a tiger roaming the city?”
“You… you actually saw a flying tiger?”
“I absolutely did. It was in the direction of the eastern end of the city. Every so often, it would appear again.”
“That little demon has been showing off so brazenly…” After Chen Nan washed his face, he left the inn and headed towards the eastern end of the city. When he arrived at the river encircling the city, he saw five or six people staggeringly fleeing across a bridge.
He stopped one of them and asked, “What’s going on?”
The man said, “A flying tiger demon has appeared in the east. A girl is riding it as they plunder everyone.”
“What?!” Chen Nan’s jaw dropped in shock. He didn’t think the Little Princess would actually begin committing thievery.
The man had a traumatized appearance. After his explanation, he quickly ran deeper into the city.
As Chen Nan walked, he came across several more victims who were ‘ambushed by a bandit’. These people were left in even worse states: they were scorched black—it was obviously the doing of Xiao Yu’s lightning.
“This little girl has caused a huge ruckus.”
In the distance, he could see the princess wearing clothes that fluttered in the wind. Her face was covered by a veil. Mounted on top of the Tiger King, she flew around in the sky.
“Hand over all your money to me.”
A few people on the ground were shivering in fear. They abandoned whatever gold coins they had on the ground and escaped like they had seen ghosts.
Chen Nan felt both happy and amused. The Little Princess of the grand Empire of Chu, descended from golden branches and jade leaves, actually dared to do something so shady.
“Little demon, what the hell are you doing?”
“Ah! Damn degenerate, you came. Xiao Yu, fly a bit higher.” The princess didn’t descend to collect her belongings, opting to order Xiao Yu to climb to higher altitudes instead.
“Little demon, y-you’re actually looting people? Aren’t you afraid news of this will reach the ears of your daddy the emperor?”
“Smelly thief, degenerate, scoundrel, bastard…” After the princess sent out a barrage of insults, she said, “I need clothes. I need to eat. I need to live at an inn. But all the money is in your hands, you bastard. I have no money, so I have resorted to making my own money.”
“What! Th-this is you making money? This is looting. It’s a crime! If you need money, can’t you just come ask me?”
“Pei! There’s no way I’d ask anything from you, you damn smelly thief. I’ll rely on myself and earn my own living.”
“Oh, please. Don’t sully the two phrases ‘self-reliance’ and ‘earning your own living’, alright? What you’re doing is robbing commoners—no different than what bandits do.”
“Rubbish. I’m robbing the rich to help the poor, making money.”
“What ‘making money’? Frankly, you’re straight up robbing people. Let me ask you, how many of the poor have you helped?”
“I haven’t seen any poor people yet. Everyone I’ve encountered so far has been rich.”
“You…” Chen Nan was speechless. After a pause, he said, “You sure are fierce—you haven’t let off a single person.”
“Smelly thief, leave already. Don’t delay my moneymaking.”
“You… How many people have you robbed? Isn’t that more than enough spending money?”
“It’s not enough. I spend my money quickly—my expenses are great. En, I have decided to rob you. Hand over all the money you have on your person to me.”
Chen Nan suddenly laughed. “Little demon, you want money, but became crazy instead. You actually want to rob me? If you have the ability, come take it yourself.”
“Hmph! I’m not playing with you. If you don’t obediently take out all the money you have, when I’m moneymaking, I’ll say my name is Chen Nan.”
“Scared? Take out all your money and hand it over.”
“No way am I scared.” With that said, Chen Nan bent over and began gathering up the princess’s ‘spoils and loot’ off of the ground.
Up in the sky, the princess shrieked, “Degenerate, you’re shameless! What the hell are you doing? That’s the money I earned! Don’t move! Put it down!”
Chen Nan laughed. “I’ve been a little tight on money recently. Why don’t you help me out a bit?”
The princess was enraged. On top of Xiao Yu, she dived down from the sky. She insulted and scolded Chen Nan, “Damn degenerate, you’re a bandit, a thief! You dare take my money? When I’m moneymaking, I’ll be sure to inform everyone that I’m called Chen Nan!”
“If you dare do that, then when the God of Imprisonment’s Finger flares up, don’t come looking for me.”
“Shameless, low-life, despicable… I curse you to be robbed by a thief when you enter the city…” After the princess’s fierce insults, she rode Xiao Yu flying into the distance like a streak of lightning. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared into the sky.
Chen Nan sighed, “This little girl is truly troublesome. I can’t believe she is actually engaging in these shady acts. I wonder what other ridiculous things she’ll do. But it truly is strange. Why does she need so much money? Maybe it’s…”
He recalled the effort Guan Hao had made in order to earn money. “Does that little demon also want to enter Shenfeng Institute?”
“Does this college really have hidden experts like the outside world gossips about? En, how about I go take a look for myself tonight.”