Grasping Evil - Chapter 44
Lie to Yourself First Before Lying to Someone
The sun rose from the east along with a purple light. It was daybreak. The Three Black Demon armies started their drills. The murderous aura outside the city was overwhelming!
The Nan Lou guards that were led by Nanyang Zi and Lu Nanzi were late. They came half an hour later than planned.
Nanyang Zi seemed as if he was sleep deprived. As for Lu Nanzi, his face was full of pride. He had decided to give Ning Fan a shock by performing the formation using his Nan Lou guards.
“Brother Lu Nanzi, it seems like you didn’t sleep well yesterday.” Nangong smiled softly.
“Thanks for your concern, brother Nangong, but it’s none of your business whether I had a good sleep or not.” Lu Nanzi’s eyes twitched. He somehow felt that Nangong was insulting him.
“Hehe, brother Lu, why do I sense anger in your words?”
“Let me ask you. You have already become our master’s slave, who can you show your anger to? If you didn’t attack Ning City in the first place, would you met such repercussions? To say it bluntly, all of these was your own doing.”
Nangong’s comment didn’t sound pleasant, but it had disturbed Lu Nanzi’s current state of mind. Originally, Lu Nanzi was a person who blamed others but himself. He then spoke with a sigh. “That’s right. I should blame myself for this. I’m the one who brought trouble unto myself. I deserve all of these!”
His personality was truly awkward. The others were trying to show him concern but he condemned them instead. He was unable to accept others opinion.
“Brother Lu’s words were indeed preposterous. I’d say that following our master isn’t a misfortune, but our fortune instead.”
Lu Nanzi didn’t reply, but he was condemning in his heart. ‘I was caught and had the Restrain Spell planted on me and have become a slave. My future is gone. Is this called fortune? You should put some common sense when making a statement!’
“Hehe, I heard that brother Lu is a Formation Master. Do you want to have a competition with Ning City’s guards?”
Nangong smiled lightly. His eyes would be slightly narrowed when reading someone’s expression.
This had stupefied Lu Nanzi as this was what he had been thinking. His main reason of attending this training was to compete with them in battle formations, to win the pride that he had lost.
A moment later, his eyes glittered with vigor. He instantly gave the order to the two hundred Nan Lou guards to form the ‘incomplete moon array’.
The actual formation that Nan Lou guards were skilled at was ‘coercive moon array’ that was an offensive strategy. Due to their number having been reduced from five hundred to two hundred, Lu Nanzi could only change the formation to the incomplete moon array that focused on defense. It was considered quite a strong defensive formation, given the fact that they only had two hundred people and Lu Nanzi’s current formation level.
Nangong’s eyes glittered with surprise. He had to admit that Lu Nanzi was a real talent. Lu Nanzi should be convinced to join them, increasing the overall strength of their forces. Forty years ago, Nangong was named ‘Rebellion of Heaven’s prediction’. He served under the old monster as an advisor and logistical support. He would’ve been the commander, in the absence of the older monster. In order to composedly handle any circumstances and for the old monster’s sake, he had disabled his early-Gold Core Lightning Immortal Veins to alter his indifferent behavior in killings and to grow the Ice Soul Immortal Vein.
Lightning was an element that would trigger one’s impatience, as opposed to ice, which would make a person become calm and composed. Nangong’s icy calm composure had concealed his slaughtering evil heart. No one would know that this handsome young man was actually a man who slaughtered people like cutting grass.
The old monsters’ powerful forces were formed by Nangong’s effort in inducing their enemies to capitulate. Yu Chi was a loyal general, but he lacked the versatility in emotions and planning. Situ only focused on cultivation. Despite the fact that he had the ability to lead, he couldn’t communicate well, much less dealing with the other affairs. As for Nangong, he was the commander of the entire army as well as the moderator.
Ning Fan certainly had received a precious gift when the old monster let Nangong become Ning Fan’s assistant.
“Induce him to capitulate, the use of psychological attacks. Firstly, I have to destroy the thing that he is proudest the most.”
A trace of a spark glittered in his narrowed eyes. The way he looked at Lu Nanzi was like looking at a puny goat.
“Eh…may I know why brother Nangong is staring at me in such a way? Is my incomplete moon array not good enough?”
Lu Nanzi’s soul shuddered. Nangong was an intermediate Harmonious Spirit cultivator, but his eyes were more aggressive and scarier than an early-Gold Core old man, Lu Nanzi couldn’t help but swallow his saliva.
“Brother Lu is truly a genius in formation. Nangong is impressed, but would brother Lu mind enjoying my ‘Three Black Demon Guards’ formation?”
“‘Three Black Demon Guards’? It sounds very familiar. I wonder where I have heard it before...”
Lu Nanzi shook his head as he tried to remember the name that he had just heard but failed to. It was forty years ago after all. During that time, although many people knew about Three Black Demon Guards, it appeared like a broad-leaved epiphyllum and was rapidly exterminated by someone.
He lifted his eyes to focus on their formation. Nangong didn’t give any command but the guards had formed three big formations in a just few seconds due to the regularity of their training.
“The formation speed of this army was very fast!” Lu Nanzi was amazed There couldn’t be more than three armies in Yue Country that possessed such speed.
As he continued to gaze the formation, he was suddenly stupefied. The formation of Three Black Demon Guards was an ancient formation!
The formations were Disorderly Apricot Array, Zhu Sword Array and Ice Royal Array.
The three of them were extremely rare. The thing that shocked Lu Nanzi the most wasn’t the formation originality, it was the modification of the formation.
This was an ancient formation that had evolved to near-perfection, but there were still room for some improvements? Who was the one who modified it?
Lu Nanzi imagined himself being the commander of the Three Black Demon Guards and attempted to modify the formation, but he found out that he couldn’t.
He was already considered amazing, to be able to discern the changes in the these formations, given his formation level. An outsider would not be able to detect the changes because it had completely merged with the formation itself.
“May….May I ask… brother Nangong that….has this formation been modified before?” Lu Nanzi swallowed his saliva and asked with extreme humility. His formation level was nothing compared to this. Anyone who could modify the ancient formation would be a Master of formation!
“That’s right, the formation is modified and the person who modified it is the Lord of the city, Black Devil Ning!”
“Tsk! It's the Lord again! The Lord’s skill in concocting dan is already superb but his skill in formation has reached a profound level as well? How could this be possible? Every one of us has limited amount of effort, same goes for me. I have expended all of my efforts but has only reached such level in formations. I don’t believe that there is such a versatile genius in the world! Let alone, in Rain Immortal World!”
“If there isn’t such genius in Rain Immortal World, what about in the Immortal World?” Nangong gave a gentle smile and said in a gentle tone, but those words were ringing in Lu Nanzi’s ears like thunder.
Even Nanyang Zi who was standing by the side gasped in astonishment.
Could Black Devil Ning be an eminent figure of the Four Heavens Immortal World? If he truly was one of them, it wouldn’t be unusual for him to be a master of formations and dan concocting. If this was the case, the both of them wouldn’t suffer any losses by serving under this Lord.
A lot of people desired to become the slaves of the immortals from Four Heavens Immortal World, but why would an immortal accept these beings as their followers?
Lu Nanzi and Nanyang Zi exchanged a glance with one another. They saw surprise in each other’s eyes.
This was actually a loss before but it turned out to be a gain! The two of the old men were accepted by such an eminent figure as servants. In other words, there would be a day when they would rise to the Four Heavens Immortal World and become immortals!
Their frustration, melancholy, arrogance and insolence were all replaced by one single expression – excitement.
It was really good to be Black Devil Ning’s servant.
Nangong gave his usual smile. Just a couple of sentences and it had brought these two snobbish old dudes into submission. This time, the both of them had sincerely given themselves in. Even without the restrain spell, they wouldn’t do anything that would betray Ning Fan.
Situ, who stood beside Nangong, had a rigid expression on his face while Yu Chi pushed his mouth to one side as if he had some unspoken criticism. This was because he knew that their young master was not an eminent figure of the Four Heavens Immortal World but merely a kid who had six months of experience in cultivation.
“Big Brother Nangong is lying again. Last time, the Seven Apricot Four Clans fell into master’s hand because of his art of deception.”
Unfortunately, Nangong’s deceiving tactics didn’t end there.
“Brother Lu, Brother Nanyang, what do you think of my position today? Three hundred years ago, I was just like you two, I had offended the Lord. After that, I was kept as a servant. At that time, I had the wish of committing suicide because I thought that all of my opportunities and talents were already wasted and gone. Nonetheless, look at me now. I, Nangong, am the commander of the Three Black Demon Guards today. Can you imagine how much the Lord appreciates a talented person like me? If the both of you remained loyal to the Lord, for sure you two would also be able to obtain a position like this and it wouldn’t even be impossible to rise to the immortal path anymore!”
“What? Brother Nangong was just a servant before? How…”
Lu Nanzi and Nanyang Zi were stuttering to say something. Their hopes in life were like dying embers that suddenly flared up.
Nangong had been a servant for three hundred years, but had finally extricated himself when he got noticed by Black Devil Ning. If they too became loyal servants of the Lord, one day, the Lord would remove their restrain spell and grant them the freedom to utilize their talents again.
“We, with the utmost sincerity, will submit ourselves to the Lord of Ning City. Brother Nangong, do you know what the thing that the Lord is most fond of? Hehe. Why not you share some with us? We would like to cater our services to the Lord’s cause.”
The both of them took out a storage pouch that carried two thousand immortal jades and gave it to Nangong. One has to give some compensation when asking for someone’s help.
He kept the money in a well-practiced way and showed a soft smile.
“It is very handsome of Brother Lu and Brother Nanyang to gift me this fortune. Hehe… I will share with you some tips since both of you are so sincere. I have followed the Lord for three hundred years, so I at least know what the things that he likes the most”
Yu Chi had widened his eyes upon witnessing what was happening in front of him. He could earn four thousand immortal jades with just a few words? Big brother Nangong was too good at deceiving.
Subsequently, Nangong started creating a story as if he had really lived with Ning Fan for three hundred years. And for Lu Nanzi and Nanyang Zi who were listening, they showed different expressions, such as astonishment, excitement, solemnity and etc.
“The Lord likes girls? En, I will get some pretty human cauldrons and present it to the Lord when I have the chance.”
“What? The Lord like money? En, this is good because I like money as well. It seems like we would hit it off when we meet again.”
“Huh? Dudou? This couldn’t….be obtained so easily.”
“What! The Lord likes to watch a girl showering?”
Nangong instilled unrealistic information to Lu and Nan but his eyes showed some worries. His concern didn’t involve the both of them since they had turned loyal, not a latent threat anymore. This was his actual function, to root out any hidden and possible danger.
There were hidden threats that he himself didn’t know how to get rid of.
He was practically concerned about how to protect Ning Fan’s identity. There wasn’t a lot of them who knew the Three Black Demon Guards, but there are some people who would eventually recognize them. And if these people would come and request for dans, some of them might even realize that they are connected to the old monster. He was afraid that Shun Teng might be able to find out that Ning Fan was the new disciple of the old monster.
On the auction day, although only a few people knew Ning Fan, many had attended and his violent expression would without a doubt leave a strong impression in their minds.
“I have no idea how to hide the true identity of ‘Black Devil Ning’ but it doesn’t matter if it can’t be hidden. Even if young master’s identity as a Fourth Revolution Dan Master with only a Harmonious Spirit realm cultivation was exposed, and the people coming from all the sects and factions would try to capture young master, or even the immortals and gods, I would sacrifice my life to guarantee young master’s safety!”
In Ning City, Ning Fan did not cover his face with Broad Wintry Cloth. He gently pushed out the door and stepped outside. Beside him were little Zhihe and the old man in black.
The old man’s gaze the same as Ning Fan’s. This was all because of the Broad Wintry Cloth, which made it hard for anyone to see his face clearly. If the cloth wasn’t removed, some of them might think that this old man was Ning Fan, but after realizing the early-Gold Core cultivation level of this old man, it would contradict with their judgment.
His light-colored eyebrows were feminine-like that would frown randomly. A sound of unsatisfied but charming bum came out from the old man’s mouth. It was very pleasant to hear that it could change a person’s mood.
“Master, why did you want Sisi to use the ‘facial art’ to change my face. Sisi doesn’t want to be an old man. Sisi doesn’t like it…”
This old man in black robe was no doubt Si Wuxie who had altered her face using the ‘facial art’.
“Sisi, be obedient. Don’t complain anymore.” Ning Fan was having a headache while replying to such annoying comments.
Ning Fan’s intention was to let Si Wuxie become– Black Devil Ning. To hide his identity, he and Black Devil Ning appeared together.
Among the Three Black Demon Guards, a thousand of them knew who Black Devil Ning was. Their secret would eventually be exposed even if they put their best effort to conceal the truth.
The only way to truly conceal his true identity was to deceive his own people first. He needed to separate the identity of Black Devil Ning from himself.
Devils should know how to deceive or else you couldn’t survive in this world. The golden words of the old monster resurfaced in his mind again.
He would tell and show the Three Black Demon Guards that he wasn’t Black Devil Ning!
The role of the fake Black Devil Ning would be played by Si Wuxie, while he would be the one refining dans. Si Wuxie was a late Gold Core cultivator. If she became Black Devil Ning, no one, not even evil sect would dare to lay a hand on him. In such a scenario, he would be able to swim in between the righteous and evil forces like a fish in the water.
This method was one of his battle strategies. It was called ‘creating an incarnation of oneself’. Who knew that Ning Fan could apply it so well?
Before Si Wuxie was refined into a spirit puppet, she acted like a man for countless of years. This had honed her acting skills to perfection. No one could see through her acts. Now every twinkle and every smile was similar to Ning Fan there was no imperfection.
The only thing that gave Ning Fan a headache was Si Wuxie’s voice. Her delicate voice would instantly reveal her identity.
“Sisi, remember, don’t open your mouth when you are outside.”
“If Sisi doesn’t talk, Sisi would feel very unwell and bored.” The old man in black pouted his mouth.
“You would get me killed if you talk.” Ning Fan was trying to frighten Si Wuxie.
“It would get you killed? Then I won’t speak. Okie…Sisi will hold it.” Si Wuxie used his hands to cover her mouth, showing an adorable act, but unfortunately, it was done with an old man’s body.
Ning Fan’s brows twitched. He really couldn’t do something harmful towards her, seeing how obedient she had become and how willing she was to protect him.
‘Why am I thinking of taking advantage of her? Perish all the thoughts! I have made her become like this but I can’t wipe off my memories of her. I don’t know whether she would do something that would surprise me or make me die. Si Wuxie’s was an eminent figure in the Four Heavens Immortal World - Jade Lake Saint.’
‘How am I going to handle this woman in the future…’
Ning Fan was troubled, while little Zhihe was fixing her big eyes, looking at the two of them in a strange way.
“I don’t know from where did brother Fan bring sister Sisi back, and I don’t understand why, but sister Sisi is treating brother Fan very well. And, that sister corpse…Brother Fan, would you bring a sister beast next time?”
Meanwhile, experts from eight directions were on their way to Ning City. Even the Sinister Sparrow Sect, which had been preparing for their disciple recruitment, had sent an elder to establish rapport with Ning City.
Who was Black Devil Ning? They had to come and find out! However, they were destined to not be able to see the real Black Devil Ning.
“Eh! When do we have two young masters?”
Yu Chi was foolishly scratching his head, while staring at the black-robed elder and Ning Fan in confusion.
Situ’s eyes swept across them. He then gave an unusual glance to Ning Fan as if he had discerned something but remained silent.
As for Nangong, he was slightly panic-stricken. He then looked at Ning Fan in admiration and nodded with tacit understanding.
“Young master is going to give a speech to the Three Black Demon Guards? This is interesting.”
The Three Black Demon Guards were petrified as soon as they saw Ning Fan appeared together with an old man in black-robed.
“I am Ning Fan, the young master of Seven Apricot City. This senior beside me is Black Devil Ning, the Lord of Ning City, and also my great grandfather.”
Tsk! Young master wasn’t the Lord of Ning City? Someone else was the Lord of Ning City? The old man was young master’s great grandfather?
The Three Black Demon Guards were confused. When had young master have a great grandfather?
“Pu…Sisi has become master’s great grandfather.” Si Wuxie couldn’t stand it anymore and was about to laugh but Ning Fan squeezed her and gave her a stern look.
That look meant that once she spoke, she would get him killed. Thus, Si Wuxie immediately suppressed her laughter. A strange electricity flowed from her palm, coming from Ning Fan’s hand, making her heart flutter.
“Greetings, young master. Greetings, Black Devil City Lord.” Nangong understood the implication and led the two of them to greet him. Situ who had been silent, also did the same. Yu Chi was still lost in his doubts but he greeted anyway because he knew there must be a reason behind all of these.
The Three Black Demon Guards didn’t hesitate and greeted Ning Fan and ‘Black Devil Ning’ at the same time.
Lu Nanzi and Nanyang Zi who were standing on the side hastily paid their respects to the two of them in a very respectful manner, but they found it strange that ‘Black Devil Ning’ kept his mouth shut, as though he was ignoring the both of them.
Both of them were very desperate to establish a good relationship with Ning Fan. Ning Fan was the young master and the great grandson of ‘Black Devil Ning’.
Gee! This young master deserved to be called the great grandson of Black Devil Ning. He had reached the intermediate Harmonious Spirit at such a young age. He is truly awesome!
Besides that, the true cultivation of Black Devil Ning wasn’t at Harmonious Spirit realm, it was the late Gold Core realm. No wonder he could kill Chen and Zhu old man so easily. He just concealed his cultivation realm at that time.
It was rational for a Fourth Revolution Dan Master to have so many followers because he was a Gold Core realm expert.
‘They were deceived, they were all deceived…’ Ning Fan shook his head helplessly. For the time being, he had to keep this lie to cover up his identity.
This was an act of a devil. A devil must know how to deceive, otherwise he couldn’t survive for a long time. You have to deceive your own people first before deceiving the enemy. There were only two ways, either you persuade the whole world or you deceive the whole world!
Dudou – A traditional Chinese form of the bodice.
All name of skills will not be capitalized as they are considered common nouns. Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.