Grasping Evil - Chapter 274 (1)
The Cloud Platform
It was another windy season.
Seven months had passed and in the sky above the Luo Yun Province, there was an enormous platform floating in mid-air, just like a massive cloud except that it was as hard as steel.
The Cloud Platform! It was a platform congealed from the grand formation which was established to protect the province. It used to be the place where the Demon Generals of the Luo Yun Tribe were officially promoted.
Today, however, it was turned into a battle arena for the contenders of the map pieces of the World Passage!
Many experts from the nine divisions flocked to the Luo Yun Province with a single intention in mind – to strive for the map pieces of the World Passage!
Assembling nine pieces of the map into one and obtaining a spot within the top fifty. Most of the experts did not dare have any hope of achieving the first place and obtain all the map pieces by participating in the fight as it was just too far from their reach. Instead, they only wished that they might get a spot to enter the Third World.
If there really was a Demon Marshal slumbering in the Third World, they might get a bestowal from the Demon Marshal when they wake him up. For them, it was a rare opportunity.
Furthermore, rumor has it that the Demon Marshal, Lu Wu was once the guardian of the Celestial Emperor’s medicinal garden. If one is lucky enough, they might get half a piece of the remaining ancient medicinal leaves.
Aside from that, the Demon Marshal, Lu Wu was said to have gouged out one of the demon stars in the Celestial Emperor’s left eye… If one could enter the Third World, it meant that they would even have the chance to obtain that star.
In short, the World Passage connecting the Third World was like a door to a world full of tempting opportunities that could entice just about anyone regardless of what their true intentions were.
A minority of the demons might have already heard about the shocking unforeseen event that had occurred in the Third World… The Demon Marshal was dead and a Star Palace emerged!
But it did not dampen the feeling of excitement among the experts of the nine divisions. The war between the nine divisions was stopped for the moment and nearly every Demon General from every tribe had come and gathered at the Luo Yun Province!
Lu Sheng and the other generals who guarded the borders were also called in to maintain public security and order in the province while preparing themselves for the fight.
A few demon cities were built outside the province for the occasion to provide a temporary shelter for cultivators from the foreign tribes.
The atmosphere was filled with noises and it was rare to find a moment of peace and quietness… In the province, there was a constant wave of people walking in and out everywhere.
Buying spiritual minerals, forging magical treasures and demonic weapons, purchasing spiritual equipment and pills, being busy in enhancing their own cultivation level; gathering materials, exchanging them for immortal jade, spending the immortal jade in the Scripture Tower for demonic techniques and cultivation methods…
The auction, the demon workshop, the Scripture Tower… Everywhere was crowded with busy figures.
There was still half a month left before the actual day of the fight! All the experts from the nine divisions who were supposed to come had already arrived!
Among all the places in the province, only one was still able to maintain its serenity under the special order from Lu Daochen – the Dragon Pond!
At the side of the pond, the Wind Demoness with purple hair and the Flower Demoness in red robes were keeping watch on the pond while holding a copper basin filled with clean water, a towel and a bowl of vegetarian food.
After eleven years, these two women’s cultivation level had reached at the Late Gold Core Realm.
Ning Fan once said that he would complete the Divine Transformation in 10 years. Therefore, from the beginning till the end of that period of time, they had been staying there waiting for him. Now, it seemed like Ning Fan was slightly late from the time he had promised.
But it was not an unusual thing because matters regarding advancements in cultivation levels were hard to tell after all.
“11 years, 7 months and nine days… Master still hasn’t returned… The fight is going to commence soon… Is Master going to be alright?” The Wind Demoness twirled her purple long hair with the tip of her finger while wearing a worried look.
“I heard that this Dragon Pond is full of dark beasts. Hopefully Master will be safe and sound…” The Flower Demoness put her palms together devoutly and silently prayed.
They had been waiting and waiting but Ning Fan still did not emerge from the pond.
When the two women gently turned around, they could see another woman walking towards them.
That woman was clad in green feathered robes. Her appearance was charming and every move she made was enchanting. Her eyes curved into flirty smiles but her presence still emanated a noble majesty that would keep everyone away for a thousand li*.
“Greetings to Empress Demon Imperial Concubine…”
“No need for politeness… Has Lu Bei come out from the pond…”
“No. He hasn’t…”
The two demonesses hurriedly curtsied. The woman right before their eyes was one of the imperial concubines from the Spirit King Palace – Wu Yan. They had never imagined that they would have the chance to look at a significant personage like her, let alone meet her in person.
Besides, a great personage like her would never have bothered to cast the two demonesses a glance in the past, not to mention give them a friendly smile.
The Wind Demoness and the Flower Demoness realized that the reason why Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan was treating them in that manner was because she was giving face to their master.
“Please excuse us, Empress…”
The two demonesses left with a hint of regret.
Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan was one of the few people who obtained permission from Lu Daochen to visit the Dragon Pond. During Ning Fan’s seclusion which was seemingly endless, she had been here for a few times.
Perhaps this demon imperial concubine is a close friend to master… The two demonesses guessed while feeling a little dispirited.
After the two of them disappeared in the distance, Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan got closer to the black pond. But when she tried to take another breath, a strong bloody stench assailed her nostrils, causing her to immediately cover her mouth and nose with her sleeve.
With her brows tightly knitted together, she blamed, “Stinky thief, how could you stay in such a disgusting place for more than 11 years and not come out? Don’t tell me that you have been choked to death by the stench under the pond…”
“Do you know that the fight is going to begin soon? Why haven’t you come out…”
Wu Yan seemed to be talking to herself but at the same time, she looked like she was talking at the black pond instead. However, no one replied to her. The silence in the atmosphere was occasionally broken by the sound of the blowing breeze which would give anyone an uneasy feeling, as if a chaotic event was going to happen.
A brief moment later, Wu Yan gently squatted down with her eyes staring at the viscous black pond and started talking more to herself.
In a way, she seemed to be pouring her heart out to Ning Fan. But she knew that the liquid of the pond was able to block one’s spirit sense. Therefore, Ning Fan who was below the pond would not be able to listen to anything she said.
Loneliness. Exhaustion. The burden of her identity. She literally recounted everything of her past at the pond.
This was not the first time…
“Anyways, you little thief won’t be able to hear. So what if I tell you about it…”
Eventually, she stood up and tidied her sideburns which was messed up by the wind before she quietly left.
But just as she walked out from the Dragon Pond, she suddenly realized that Lu Wan’er was staring straight at her with a strange expression outside.
“Elder Sister Yan, you’ve come again?”
“Yes. I want to check whether this Lu Bei has already ended his seclusion or not. I want to know whether he is able to catch up to the fight. If he hasn’t, I’m afraid he can’t participate in the fight anymore. But whether he is going to participate or not, it won’t affect the outcome of the fight. He might possess one out of the nine pieces of the map, but his cultivation level isn’t strong, be it Prince Qu or Demon Imperial Concubine Zi, both of them are confident that they could seize his piece after obtaining the rest of the eight pieces…”
“Why does Elder Sister have to explain so much to me? It’s not like I am unaware of it. Could it be that…Elder Sister is feeling afraid of being found out and trying to cover up something?” Lu Wan’er’s eyes sparkled as they mischievously blinked a few times and her lips curved into a broad smile.
“Pah! The little girl who has broken through to the Late Nascent Soul Realm seems to have gained some guts. Now, she’s daring enough to tease this Elder Sister!”
Wu Yan’s expression turned sulky.
Cover up? What did she have to hide? She did not even have any good feelings towards Ning Fan other than…hatred…
After that, Lu Wan’er’s face revealed a serious look.
“Elder Sister, could Wan’er ask you for a favor…”
“Speak. If it isn’t difficult, this Elder Sister won’t refuse to help.”
“If Lu Bei is able to make it in time and participate in the fight, could you please have some mercy on him…Don’t, don’t hurt him please…”
“Silly girl, even if he fails in his Divine Transformation, it won’t be easy for me to hurt him. This little thief’s bewitching technique is extremely powerful…” Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan’s ears turned pink, as if she had just recalled the incident that had happened in the Scripture Tower where her wrist was held by Ning Fan and she was teased by him after being invaded by the power of the Yin Plucking Finger…
“Little thief? Bewitching technique?” Lu Wan’er asked in a doubtful manner.
“It’s nothing… You go and accompany your sweetheart. Elder Sister is going to make a move first. Since the fight is just around the corner, I’m afraid Demon Imperial Concubine Zi is going to assign some tasks to me…”
As she finished speaking, she left hastily as if she was hiding something up her sleeve.
Looking at Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan’s back, Lu Wan’er seemed to have understood something and let out a faint sigh.
“Elder Sister Wu Yan is really a woman with a bitter life… Although she is an imperial concubine, she has no freedom at all… Besides, she must be very lonely after marrying the Spirit King whom she has never even met before…”
Gradually, she walked into the Dragon Pond, passing by the creeping weeds and autumn dew.
The wind has blown, the weather has gone cold, why haven’t you returned…
“The night is getting dark, the night is getting dark, yet why haven’t you returned…”
Lu Wan’er really wished to dive into the pond to see whether Ning Fan was still alright. However, she did not act so recklessly.
She might be a person who preferred cleanliness, but she was not afraid of the stench of the pond nor the danger of the dark beasts. She was only worried that she might disturb Ning Fan.
“You promised me that you will help me refine the phoenix’s wings… If you don’t return, who shall I fly for with that pair of wings…”
“Ning Fan… Ning Fan… The fight is going to start soon. All of them hope that you can return as early as possible. However, although I miss you a lot, I wish that you could come out slightly later. I don’t want to you to participate in the fight… You’re a person who is too eager to outdo others. Even though you haven’t completed your Divine Transformation, you chose to be enemies with the Demon Generals. Do you know how dangerous that was? Do you know that while others might look up to you because of your achievements, I’m worried that you might get hurt instead?”
“There is just half a month left before the battle starts. My elder brother has also returned to the province. A fierce battle will soon unfold in the land of Luo Yun. Even though it appears to be a peaceful and fair fight, no one knows how much risk and danger are hidden within… For the map pieces, they will definitely resort to unscrupulous tactics… During that period of time, you must not come out, though I really long to see you…”
Lu Wan’er placed both her hands together and silently muttered some prayers, hoping that the Demon Ancestor would bless Ning Fan and allow him to succeed in attaining the Divine Transformation Realm.
After standing for a long period of time, the sky had gotten darker. Lu Wan’er reluctantly turned around, intending to leave the place.
But at the moment she was about to leave, a comforting voice suddenly echoed from below the pond.
“Don’t worry. I am and I will be fine… If I’ve finished what I’m doing here, I’ll help you refine the phoenix’s wings…”
Lu Wan’er excitedly turned facing that pond. Her face reddened and her heartbeat raced. That voice was gentle and peaceful. It showed that Ning Fan’s condition must be extremely well.
Even if he does not attain the Divine Transformation Realm, he’s probably doing well down there…
“Wan’er, go back earlier. The wind will make one feel uneasy… The Luo Yun Tribe in recent days isn’t going to be peaceful.”
Lu Wan’er left. Meanwhile, deep inside the pond, Ning Fan’s gaze was affixed to the two treasures in front of him with a light crease between his brows.
Ning Fan muttered. In the past seven months, he had been engraving Spirit Seals on the two treasures as well as his demon wings. Due to the need of full concentration during the time he uses Soul Extraction, his mouth could not utter a single word. Even so, he was still able to listen to everything that everyone said.
An ordinary cultivator might not be able to hear it, but he could. It was because his Mid Divine Transformation Realm spirit sense was able to penetrate through the pond when it transformed into the form of sword sense.
Be it the concern of the Wind Demoness and the Flower Demoness or the passion of love from Lu Wan’er, everything was captured by Ning Fan’s acute sense of hearing.
What he had really never expected was that the Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan was visiting him frequently and emptied out her heart at him.
She thought that Ning Fan would not be able to hear anything because of the effect of the pond but what she hypothesized was completely the opposite.
Now, Ning Fan had even known when she joined the Spirit King Palace, at what age she broke through the Nascent Soul Realm and Divine Transformation Realm…
It’s true that some female cultivators from noble families and reputable clans would talk to themselves while facing a well or a springlet as they find no one to talk to due to the glory and missions they upheld.
But that woman was talking to the Dragon Pond despite knowing full well that I am inside. How interesting is that…
However, because of her, Ning Fan’s understanding towards the fight that was going to be held in the outside world was probably more detailed and comprehensive than normal Demon Generals. After all, the information from the Demon Imperial Concubine Wu Yan was not something that ordinary Demon Generals would know of.
“This Wu Yan is really interesting… There is still half a month left? Good. I can still make use of this period of time to completely learn the Parting Sun Spear…”
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel
“Grasping Evil” is being translated on Veratales (Click here) but Liberspark (Click here) is hosting the chapters as well. You are encouraged to read on veratales.com for project updates. :)
Some phrases or expressions of the original are changed for ease of reading.
If a mistake or mistakes were found in this chapter, feel free to comment below.
Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.
All the internal monologues will be in italic form.