Grasping Evil - Chapter 348.1
Becoming A Mortal Once Again
A nominal apprentice was Ning Fan’s answer to Yang Gu.
He would tentatively accept him as a nominal apprentice. If Yang Gu does not fit Ning Fan’s standard, then he would be kicked out. However, if he is useful, then he could be trained for a bit and cultivated.
Even though Yang Gu only received an ambiguous reply, he was very excited about it and immediately excused himself to rush back to the Pill Island in the Internal Endless Sea.
His departure this time had two purposes. Firstly, he wanted to recommend Ning Fan to join the Pill Island and become a feudal ranking elder.
Secondly, he wanted to find a big group of people to help Ning Fan eliminate the Alliance of Ming Assassins!
As for roughly how many people he could find, it was still uncertain. Yang Gu was very popular. With his amiable character, nearly everyone beneath the heavens are his friends. Adding up some of his good friends from the Pill Island, perhaps this group battle would be a spectacular one.
The matter regarding Yang Gu was set aside for the time being. The next concern that Ning Fan had was to remove the hidden threat in Xu Qiuling’s body.
Firstly, that remnant piece of the Immortal Entrapping Sword must be taken out.
Next, he must thoroughly solve the problem of having insufficient gold elements in Xu Qiuling’s life force.
For several consecutive days, Ning Fan meditated hard in seclusion, deducing the outcome of dozens of therapeutic methods and eventually picked three of them.
Once he got out from the Profound Jade Palace, Ning Fan headed to the Blissful Summit to look for Xu Qiuling. However, it was empty when he arrived at her room.
As he spread his spirit sense encompassing half of the Pleasure Devil Island, he also could not find Xu Qiuling’s whereabouts.
Ning Fan was then inwardly surprised when a thirteen-year-old girl who was dressed like a maidservant servilely approached him and gave him a paper butterfly in the flower mound.
“Y-Young Master Zhou, this is f-from the young mistress… She asked you to seek her…”
The little girl’s voice was trembling as she spoke, as if she was very afraid of Ning Fan.
“You are Xiao Lian?”
“You folded this paper butterfly?”
“I-I… This is my fault. I won’t do it again…” The girl fell to her knees and cried for mercy, as if maidservants were not allowed to fold a message-transmitting paper butterfly in order to prevent information leaks.
“Mm… Don’t worry. I won’t tell others about this. This paper butterfly is quite nice. Not bad.”
Ning Fan patted Xiao Lian’s head. He unfolded the paper butterfly and glanced through the words within. Right after he finished reading them, he did not know whether to laugh or cry. He then made a step forward and vanished without leaving a trace.
Only the maidservant, Xiao Lian, was left at the flower mound who remained kneeling. After making sure Ning Fan had left, only then did she dare to to raise her head. Even so, her expression was still plastered with fear.
After Ning Fan was gone, almost eight young, little maidservants immediately came out from behind the flower bushes to help Xiao Lian get up. Each of them were in dread.
“Xiao Lian, you’re so bold. That Young Master Zhou is the devil whose reputation is being spread like wildfire in the External Endless Sea. The number of lives he has taken is innumerable. Yet you actually dared to have three lines of conversations with him!”
“That’s still fine. I’ve heard that he is the big devil who lusts after other’s wives and daughters. Did he do anything to you?”
“I saw that he has just touched your head. Could it be that he has planted some kind of mental seal on you?”
These girls were feeling worried about Xiao Lian, but the latter shook her head and blushed. She then said with a soft tone.
“I-I think that Young Master Zhou does not seem to be a bad person… He actually complimented me and said that the paper butterfly I folded was attractive…”
“Oh, my! Xiao Lian is lovesick…”
“I think she’s not just lovesick, but her soul has also been taken by Young Master Zhou.”
A group of young girls began to frolic amidst the path adorned with flowers, totally forgetting how intimidating Ning Fan was.
In the sky above the Pleasure Devil Island, Ning Fan swept over the palace with his spirit sense. After sensing that the maidservants were frolicking with each other, he let out a sigh.
Even though these maidservants do not have a high status and strong innate talent to attain the Gold Core Realm or even the Nascent Soul Realm in their entire lifetime, they can stay innocent and naive and live a normal life like that of a mortal’s.
Indeed, Ning Fan was envious of someone who could live such an ordinary and peaceful life where one could have the room to have fun and have no worries. However, his life did not give him any choice.
There were only a few words from the message transmitting paper butterfly. It was Xu Qiuling’s soft and gentle voice.
“Beauties are like water that never flows in reverse, it’s a pity that a young master never thinks of worldly pleasures…”
This line was a short poem that Xu Qiuling made casually. She was without a doubt a talented girl.
Although she was on the brink of dying, she still had the mood to play hide-and-seek with Ning Fan by purposely hiding herself to let him search for her.
It’s a pity that a young master never thinks of worldly pleasures… Was she showing compassion to Ning Fan for being too laborious in cultivation in his lifetime?
Ning Fan shook his head. It was the most helpless thing for him to handle an independent lady like Xu Qiuling.
He closed his eyes and placed his fingertips on the paper butterfly, using the slight wisp of qi left on the paper butterfly to trace the qi left in the air. Then, Ning Fan pursued Xu Qiuling relying on the direction to where the wisp of qi led him.
Xu Qiuling’s qi was rather unique as she always immersed herself in flowers every day. She reared flowers and she loved flowers. Therefore, there was a floral fragrance in her soul.
Perhaps she was a flower in her previous life…
Amidst the black snowstorm in the Pleasure Devil Sea, a brightly-painted boat drifted out in the sea and only Xu Qiuling was on it alone.
She was indeed very bold to travel around the Pleasure Devil Sea alone with just her Peak Golden Core Realm cultivation base.
However, she was not being bold without wits. In fact, that little brightly-painted boat was an Immortal's Abode Treasure gifted by Dong Xu. If anyone were to target her, she could then hide herself in the space of the boat. Whoever below the Void Refinement Realm would never be able to find her hiding spot.
However, these were just some basic precautions for her security based on her rationale. In reality, more of her was being emotional.
She believed that Ning Fan would surely come for her. The belief she had in him was as strong as how she was captivated by his temperament during their first meeting.
She had always thought that it was love at first sight. Until three years ago, her illness began to worsen and she fell into a coma. During that period of time, she had some strange dreams.
In her dreams, she was a pitch-black orchid plant standing alone at a hollow valley, staying isolated from the rest of the world.
No one could enter her world and there was no need for her to understand anyone else's world. She could indulge in her own self-admiration and sing alone all day long.
Until one day, a snow-white butterfly flew into the valley.
It was spotlessly clean and white but extremely delicate. It was so weak that it could not endure the gentle wind which blew against it. It looked like it had been struck by wind and rain somewhere as half of its wings had been ripped apart.
Even so, that butterfly was still stubbornly flying upwards, refusing to yield or surrender.
When the butterfly flew over the orchid by coincidence, it lost its strength to fly any further and fell right into the orchid’s pistil.
The butterfly’s breathing gradually grew weaker and weaker. Slowly, it lost its memory. However, it was still persistently flapping its wings, trying to fly towards the sky.
At this moment, the orchid understood. She understood why the butterfly was injured. It was because this butterfly was too foolish, trying to fly above the sky with its fragile wings.
Its wings were torn by the howling wind.
“Silly butterfly, that place is the immortals’ world. You’re just a little butterfly. Why are you being so stubborn...?”
The orchid was speaking the flower language which the butterfly could not hear. Naturally, there was no way the orchid could change the butterfly’s mind.
The butterfly flapped its feeble wings again and again, but no matter how hard it tried, it still fell back to the pistil of the flower. Eventually, the orchid felt pained for it.
She did not understand why she would feel that way, but when she saw the butterfly’s expression while it was making its final struggle, she could not bear it anymore. She wanted to save this butterfly.
“Silly butterfly, pluck my pistil and you can recover your strength.”
“Silly butterfly, tear off my petals so that you can replace your wings.”
“Silly butterfly, you’re too weak and your body is not strong enough to withstand the howling wind. I’m willing to give you the gold qi of my life force to make your wings be as firm as iron and stones. You will then be able to withstand the howling wind…”
“Silly butterfly, why don’t you take a look at me…?”
That orchid secretly sprinkled the floral dew on the butterfly, patched her petals on its torn wings and passed the gold qi of her life force to the butterfly.
After that, that butterfly was no longer pure white. Half of it turned black because of the petal given by the orchid.
Her gold qi was not absorbed by her father’s Primordial Magnetic Force…
Instead, her gold qi was given to a butterfly in her previous life.
In the end, that butterfly recovered its power and became strong enough to fly into the sky. However, it never knew that there was an orchid that saved its life…
That orchid eventually withered day after day after losing the gold qi in her life force.
Until one day, a trace of remnant ashes from the butterfly drifted into the mortal world along with the blowing wind and fell on the orchid.
At that moment, the orchid’s heart was shattered, as if it was sobbing in sadness and eventually lost her final trace of life force.
“What a sad dream… Am I being too sentimental…?” Xu Qiuling sighed with emotions.
“That butterfly, where did it go…?” Xu Qiuling mumbled to herself while folding a message transmitting paper butterfly with her fingers.
She loves flowers, but she also had a bias for butterflies…
Perhaps she once had an unrequited love for a butterfly a very long time ago…
Xu Qiuling activated the boat, making it sail with an unimaginable speed. The cultivators coming to the island flew past her boat from above in rays of light but all of them were unable to sense the hidden aura of the boat.
She stood alone on the boat, drifting aimlessly on the sea like a vagrant.
However, she firmly believed that Ning Fan would come for her.
Amidst the gentle breeze, a young man dressed in white robes and draped with black cloak caught up with the boat following the tiny wisp of qi left by Xu Qiuling and landed on the stern.
He originally used to wear a set of white clothes. However, after following the path of devils, he symbolically draped a large black feathered cloak on his white robes.
The color of his outfit symbolized the interchanging kindness and evil…
“It’s not a trifling matter roaming the sea all by yourself!” Ning Fan frowned and scolded. Throughout the endless killing on his path, he knew how dangerous the Endless Sea was, especially at a lawless territory like this Pleasure Devil Sea.
In the past, Yuan Yao was ambushed at this place. Even though there was no action today and the cultivators from the Internal Endless Sea rarely came, it was still dangerous for Xu Qiuling to travel alone, even if she had a Treasure of Immortal Abode to protect herself.
At the very least, Xu Qiuling was ill and her body was weak. It was inappropriate for her to be exposed to the chilly wind.
After being scolded by Ning Fan, Xu Qiuling did not feel sad or angry but she laughed instead. It was because only people who were lonely could understand that having someone to scold you was actually bliss. Scolding, in other words, meant concern.
“I’m sorry… I was being reckless. But I believed that you will come for me!”
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.