Grasping Evil - Chapter 348.2






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 Xu Qiuling stroked the hair on her temple gently and lifted the corners of her mouth. A smile as beautiful as an orchid bloomed on her face.

“Of course I will come for you!” Ning Fan felt angry but also amused at the same time. 

This Xu Qiuling really is a troublesome woman, being second only to Yin Suqiu… No, perhaps from a certain aspect, she could be as troublesome as Yin Suqiu.

“Do you know the origin of that line in the poem…” Xu Qiuling suddenly changed the topic. At the same time, she hurriedly navigated the boat, sailing towards a specific direction at a faster speed.

“Which line? Since the day we met, you have uttered quite a lot of poems.”

“It’s a pity that a young master never thinks of worldly pleasures! Do you know that this is what I felt when I first met you … Pity, yes, it purely means having pity for you, not admiring you like what you were thinking… You’re too stubborn. It was obvious that your cultivation base was not strong enough, but you still chose to fight with that Zhao Zijing just for an orchid. Was it really worth it…”

Xu Qiuling seemed to have recalled the dream she had. She felt like helping that orchid ask the butterfly. 

Butterfly, was it really worth it for you to stubbornly fly towards the sky even if you have to risk your life… 

Even though the orchid had not gotten the chance to ask the butterfly before, it believed that there must have been a reason for the butterfly to persistently fly towards the sky, a reason which was more important than death… 

“I won’t ask anything about your past because I wasn’t part of it in the first place…” Xu Qiuling said composedly. Then, she pointed in the direction in front of them and suddenly smiled.

“I’ll take you to a place. That was the first place that I visited after sneaking out from the Pleasure Devil Island for the first time. It was my master who brought me there. It’s a kingdom of mortals. In the past, my master also used this boat to bring me there to watch the life led by these mortals… At that moment, I realized that I was not the only person who had the most bitter life in this world…” 

“My physique is too weak. Thus, I am unable to attain the Nascent Soul Realm. Besides, my lifespan is too short. There is not much hope for me to live for more than ten more years. But even so, I have already been living for hundreds of years, haven’t I? These mortal people, on the other hand, have to suffer the torments of wars, plagues and natural disasters. However, they are still tenaciously surviving. Even if they can’t have three square meals a day, and they have to suffer many mishaps in their life, they are still struggling to live…”

“At that moment, I finally understood that no one can choose their own fate in their life. However, what we can decide is our attitude in facing our fate. No matter how hard life is, we can choose to live on with a smile… If one can meet his or her beloved at the right time in their life before passing away, so what if one has to go against what was common?”

Xu Qiuling’s eyes were filled with affection as she looked deeply at Ning Fan. “As long as you dare to defy it, then I will never back away!”

“Is that so?”

Ning Fan looked at Xu Qiuling, feeling great pity for her. He was at a loss for words all of a sudden.

Even his thought of scolding her for secretly leaving the island had also subsided.

If Xu Qiuling has not met me, perhaps she would have died alone inside her own hollow valley in this life.

"I will take you to wherever you want to go. But you need to promise me that after that, you will follow me obediently back home and receive your medical treatment with a peace of mind.”

"No, can I receive my treatment at the mortal kingdom? I like the ambience over there."

"There are a lot of people there. The more people, the more interference there is. If anyone harbors bad intentions and wants to conspire against us…”

"With that powerful strength of yours, can’t you even protect me, a weak, feeble lady from a bunch of mortal people?” Xu Qiuling asked and her eyes flashed with a hint of mischief. 

“... I’m not as powerful as you think. But if this is your will, I will try my best to protect you.”

Ning Fan shook his head. Somehow, he just instinctively felt that he did not want to reject any requests that Xu Qiuling makes today.

It was as if he had once harmed her and owed her something in his previous life.

Xu Qiuling's eyes were brimming with happiness. This was the only time she could be so willful in her whole life. She just wanted to see whether the person she loved would be willing to tolerate her willfulness.

However, just as the blissful feeling rose within her, her face became filled with surprise and shyness right afterwards.

Ning Fan suddenly placed his hand around Xu Qiuling's waist and swept her off her feet, bringing her into his arms. Then, he made a light step on the boat. When the tip of his toe touched the boat, it immediately turned into a ray of light which then flew back into Xu Qiuling’s storage pouch.

"W-why did you…”

It was her first time being hugged by a man in such an intimate way. No matter how calm Xu Qiuling was, it was difficult for her not to feel surprised and shy.

"Your boat is too slow!" Ning Fan's eyes flashed with a sense of pride. A pair of massive purple black demon wings spread from his back. As he flapped his wings, they stirred up waves as high as the skies on the surface of the sea. If he was hovering among the clouds above the sky, a single flap would be able to propel him ninety thousand li (500 m per li) forward!

“There is actually such an incredible speed in this world!?”

Xu Qiuling was totally stunned.

The boat that Dong Xu gave her was built focusing on two kinds of special abilities: staying stealthy and allowing the user to hide in the space of an Immortal’s Abode. Its speed, however, was not very fast as it was just equivalent to the movement speed of the usual Nascent Soul Realm cultivator. 

No one had taken Xu Qiuling on a trip in the skies before. Other than the few times she left the island, she could be said to have spent most of her life cooped up inside the Pleasure Devil Island. Therefore, it was her first time being carried by a man while flying in the air.

This man’s speed allowed them to travel ninety thousand li* (500 m per li) in an instant. In terms of speed, he could be regarded as the fastest being among the cultivators under the Void Refinement Realm in the entire Endless Sea.

Xu Qiuling laid in Ning Fan's arms, putting her arms around his neck. Her eyes were glued to his face and was gradually enthralled by his features.

For a moment, she saw him as a butterfly, a butterfly that didn't even bother to have a second glance at her in her previous life. That butterfly, however, was hugging her tightly in this life.

"Speaking of which, where exactly do you want to go? Is there really a mortal kingdom here?"

"Yes, there is. To be precise, it is a half-mortal kingdom. It is a small country located on an island in the northern part of the sea. This kingdom was originally established by a few Nascent Soul Realm old monsters who wanted to comprehend the life of mortals, as a preparation for ‘Being Mortal’[1] and ‘Mortal Severance’… That is to say that most of the mortals here were actually caught and brought to this island generations before our ancestors. They have never been told that there are actually other kingdoms in this world, and neither have they been told about the existence of cultivators. Any cultivator who enters this island will be affected by the mortal ambience of this place, making them voluntarily restrain their magic power and live incognito here. Of course…”

Xu Qiuling suddenly paused and her expression changed.

"Of course, there is a minority of cultivators who see that mortals are weak and nice to be bullied. Thus, they came here to kill or to avoid their enemies. This kind of people will usually be secretly eliminated by several Peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivators who are hiding on this island of mortals… They are the guardians who maintain the safety and peace of this kingdom.  According to rumors, they were once mortals on this island a few generations ago. However, they wanted to protect this kingdom and therefore…” 

Ning Fan's eyes lit up with interest. He did not expect that someone would deliberately build up a haven of peace in this so-called ‘The Grave of Cultivators’ which was stained with blood.

Perhaps many cultivators who resided in this land with their identities concealed had grown tired of the bloodshed in the cultivation world and chose to spend their remaining life here. Or maybe some of them were just passersby who would leave after they gain enough insights.

Suddenly, Ning Fan seemed to have understood something. He turned his gaze at Xu Qiuling who was in his arms and gave her a grateful look.

"Thank you."

"What are you thanking me for?" Xu Qiuling blinked her eyes curiously.

"Thank you for this line in your poem - “It’s a pity that a young master never thinks of worldly pleasures…”

Ning Fan sighed with emotions. 

This Xu Qiuling isn’t a willful lady but a person with keen eyes. She must have felt that I became too tired of the endless killings in the past twenty years, and she was afraid that I might lose control of my fiendish self and go crazy. As such, she plans on bringing me to see the life of mortals and remind me of some of my past to calm down my devil heart.

Xu Qiuling is clearly caring for me, but she didn't say anything about it and neither did she ask for any credit. What she did was just contributing silently.

If you don’t pay attention, perhaps you will miss it and you will never know that she has contributed everything for you.

While looking at Xu Qiuling, a sense of familiarity suddenly rose within him. He just felt like he had seen her before somewhere.

Where was it…

With Ning Fan’s speed and the direction navigated by Xu Qiuling, they reached a calm sea domain very soon.

When they had just entered this sea domain, Ning Fan immediately felt an unusual qi. The atmosphere within this area did not have the slightest trace of spiritual qi. There was no way a cultivator could train at this place at all!

This heaven and earth which had no spiritual power was of course created by some cultivators using formations in order to simulate the same situation as other mortal kingdoms.

Ning Fan came to a halt and lowered his hand to look downwards. There were many sea boats docked below.

There were more than ten sea boats and each and every one of them had a boatman. These boatmen were unremarkable at first glance, but each of them was faintly emanating Nascent Soul Realm aura force.

Upon seeing Ning Fan and Xu Qiuling’s arrival, all of them stood up together at once and gave an unfriendly look at Ning Fan.

"Please stop! This is a place for the cultivators of the Endless Sea to cultivate their hearts and minds and experience a mortal’s life. Any cultivator that enters this place is not allowed to use their teleportation or flying technique and expose a single trace of their cultivation base. Otherwise, you will be pursued by five Peak Nascent Soul Realm experts once you let the mortals in this land realize the existence of cultivators in this world and disrupt their peaceful lives.!"

These boatmen’s reminders made Ning Fan feel stunned. He looked at Xu Qiuling in his arms and shook his head.

"What should we do now? With my personality, there are no places I can’t go. If anyone stops me, I will then kill my way in.”

"Pah! We can just enter the island by riding a boat!"

Xu Qiuling was totally speechless.

This Ning Fan is really a maniac in cultivation and also a madman who favors battle! I brought him here to comprehend the life of mortal people out of my kind intentions but he still wants to kill and cause a bloody conflict in this place. Is he an idiot!?

As if she had noticed an acquaintance, Xu Qiuling pointed in a certain direction.  Ning Fan held her and landed on one of the boats at once.

The boatman on the boat was a middle-aged man with a Mid Nascent Soul Realm cultivation base. He was vigorously smoking a dry tobacco bag.

When he saw Xu Qiuling and Ning Fan, he first revealed a vigilant look and his body instinctively warned him that the young man in front of him was extremely dangerous!

However, when he noticed Xu Qiuling, the middle-aged man was greatly confused as if he recognized her.

"You are…"

"Uncle Wang! It's me, I'm Qiuling!"

Xu Qiuling jumped out of Ning Fan's arms and smiled faintly. Her elegant smile immediately made the simple middle-aged man feel embarrassed of himself, not knowing where to put his hands and feet.

"Qiuling, it's you. You've grown so big! *Cough* *Cough* You're a big lady now and you even have a husband! Now, even this fourth uncle of yours almost can’t recognize you."

"Of course I will grow up. Do you know how long it has been since my last visit to ‘Gu Su’? It was already hundreds of years ago!"

"Aiya, it's been so long… Hehe, I have grown used to living like a mortal person, not remembering the years."

Her fourth uncle put down his tobacco bag and looked carefully at Ning Fan. At this moment, he seemed to be looking at his niece's husband. The longer he looked, the more satisfied he felt.

“Not Bad, Qiuling! You have a good insight. This young man has an excellent foundation. He definitely is a talented person… So this time you came here to marry your lover in conjunction with the ‘Qi Xi Festival’[2]?”

“Marriage?”  Xu Qiuling's eyes turned bright. She turned her head and looked at Ning Fan as if she was asking for permission. She then asked lightly, “Shall we try?”

“Whatever…”

Ning Fan’s tone sounded indifferent, yet his eyes remained alert. He was still in a vigilant mode, secretly paying attention to the Nascent Soul Realm experts around them.

If someone wants to hurt Xu Qiuling, he could kill all of them here within just half a breath.

It was the instinct that was built within him through his experience after countless killings and massacres.

Xu Qiuling gently sighed seeing Ning Fan behave in such a careful manner.

It seems like it isn’t easy to let him be completely relaxed… Fine. I will just treat this as an outing with him. It won’t be a bad thing after all.

Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel

Note:      

1. ‘Being Mortal’= Peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivators restrain themselves and become no different from a mortal being in order to comprehend the life of a mortal being.

2. ‘Qi Xi Festival’ = Chinese Valentine’s Day    

“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.