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The snake demon knelt in front of the bed. He didn't move for a long time.

Yan Hui silently gazed at his back. She had no words to say.

The one who broke the deathly stillness was unexpectedly the one sitting on the other side of the bed, Tian Yao: "I'm sorry......" His tone was low, and his aura was empty. It was obvious his body was still in bad shape.

The snake demon remained silent for a long time before he stirred. His head drooped. He stroked ran his hands over the bed and came across a wooden hairpin encased in ice. This hairpin was worn by Zhenren Qi Yun earlier.

It was probably the only thing that didn't disappear along with Zhenren Qi Yun......

The snake demon held the hairpin tightly in his hand. The coldness covered his hand in frost: "I don't blame you......" The hand holding the hairpin turned white from his tight grip. "It was me......" His jaw was clenched deathly tight. It seemed like his voice was being squeezed out from his throat. "It was me!" Tears fell from his eyes. He bent and collapsed over the daybed. His entire body shook, and his voice was filled with sobs: "I caused her death. I caused her death......"

Yan Hui heard his words, and she tightly clenched her fists.

The snake demon's sobs gradually got louder, like a child who had fallen. It sounded like his heart was breaking. He cried his lungs out, drowning out all other sounds.

Yan Hui looked down. Her mind endlessly repeated Zhenren Qi Yun's two words, "Stop him." She wanted Yan Hui to stop him.

Zhenren Qi Yun died from the Hoarfrost Technique. Aside from her shifu, no one could cast the spell with that ferocity. No one else could cast it at such a degree. The person Zhenren Qi Yun wanted her to stop couldn’t have been anyone else.

Zhenren Qi Yun's death couldn't be blamed on Tian Yao, not on the snake demon, but should be blamed on......

"Why!" His shoulders tensed, and the snake demon's red eyes locked onto Yan Hui: "Why would Ling Xiao kill Qi Yun?!" He cried out angrily.

Yan Hui's face was pale. For a short period, she couldn't get a single word out. She silently looked at the snake demon. It was a long time before she faintly said: "I can't think of any reason."

It was like the snake demon went crazy. He grabbed her shoulders and started shaking her. All the while, he kept asking: "Why would he kill her! Why kill her!?"

Yan Hui only shook her head: "I don't know."

Her mind was a mess. For a moment it would be Zhenren Qi Yun's ice-covered appearance. The next moment, it was Ling Xiao teaching her the sword-dance on the mountain peak since childhood. The next moment was when she was being thrown out of the monastery; Ling Xiao was coldly looking at her. But in the end, Yan Hui started to calm down. What stayed in her mind was Ling Xiao standing in front of her and holding her hand, saying:

"Hold this sword in your hand. Keep benevolence and righteousness in your heart. You cannot harm fellow sect members nor practitioners of the same beliefs. You cannot use your strength to oppress others. You cannot be arrogant or conceited."

It was like a clear voice had washed away Yan Hui's confusion.

She should believe in him. After so many years of following his beliefs, even if others suspect Ling Xiao, she shouldn't doubt him.

Yan Hui looked at the snake demon with determination: "There had to be a misunderstanding at some point."

"What other misunderstanding!" The snake demon released Yan Hui. With one hand, he flipped the table. His face revealed his agitation: "Qi Yun died from the Hoarfrost's backlash! In this world, who else besides your master is that proficient in frost techniques?! Who else could cast that spell on Qi Yun?!"

Yan Hui was silent for a while before she said: "I don't know, but my shifu......Zhenren Ling Xiao is cruel and apathetic toward demons. That is true. I don't deny that he is old-fashioned and inflexible, but because he is this kind of person, he has discipline. He abides by the Dao, values benevolence, and respects righteousness. He would never injure fellow practitioners."

Yan Hui fixed her eyes on the snake demon: "I believe in him."

Tian Yao's gaze slightly moved onto Yan Hui's body. His face looked thoughtful.

The snake demon still stood rigidly in the same spot, holding the wooden hairpin. He was silent again for a long time. His eyes were still red, and he gritted his teeth: "Qi Yun's death, even if I have to spend the rest of my life, I will find the truth. I will definitely deal with the culprit......" He looked at Yan Hui. "Even if the opponent is even stronger, I must devour his flesh to remove Qi Yun's regret."

Yan Hui didn't say anything. The snake demon turned and walked into Zhenren Qi Yun's room: "I won't see you two off."

The snake demon didn't close the door. Yan Hui saw his lonely figure tidying Qi Yun's daybed. His back seemed melancholy.

Actually, since such a short time had passed, if he tightly held the blankets, he should still be able to feel the warmth from Qi Yun's body......

Yan Hui didn't dare think further.

Tian Yao got off the daybed, put on his shoes, and started to walk outside: "Let's go." He only said those two words. Actually, Yan Hui didn't know where they were going or why she was still following Tian Yao.

It was just that after hearing the command, she would follow him. She actually had no opinion.

Yan Hui silently followed Tian Yao the entire way. She was in a fugue. When they reached the fields, the fierce sun threw shadows into sharp relief besides the fields. Tian Yao suddenly asked: "How did Zhenren Ling Xiao make you believe so strongly in him?"

Yan Hui probably needed someone to ask her this type of question right now. She dipped her head and looked off into the distance. The sun beat down onto the fields. It made the air seem like it was dancing. The road up ahead seemed like it was twisting in a strange dance.

Yan Hui's voice was also like this heat, faintly discernible: "A few years ago, my roommate, Senior Disciple Zi Yue, lost some money. She thought I had stolen it. She and a few other senior disciples grouped up to block me when I just got down from the trial platform. She and I spoke civilly, but Zi Yue still took offense. She couldn't accept it and started to argue with me. At that moment, the Head Senior Disciple came across the scene. He came to mediate, but actually he said he wished that I would return Zi Yue's money. I knew he wanted to keep the peace, but in doing so, he pushed the "thief" label onto me. My temper flared up, and I beat up the senior disciples and the Head Senior Disciple."

"......." Tian Yao tilted his head and glanced at Yan Hui: "Sounds like something you would do."

"I was the victor, but it was no use. I was punished to kneel in front of Qing Xin Shrine. It was late at night when shifu came. I thought he was going to scold me, criticize my stubborn and unruly behavior, my quick temper. However, that time he didn't. He said he believed me."

Yan Hui said: "Everyone believed I was the thief, but he wouldn't. He punished me because I hurt my fellow sect members. He admonished me to keep benevolence and righteousness in mind, to not hurt fellow sect members nor fellow practitioners. Not using his strength to oppress others, not being arrogant nor conceited. He is this kind of person......" Yan Hui stood in place. "Anyone can harm Zhenren Qi Yun, but my shifu won't." She raised her head and locked onto Tian Yao. "I'm like this. I believe in him without any proof"

Tian Yao looked into Yan Hui's clear eyes. He didn't say much and only faintly grunted. He turned around and continued walking away.

For the rest of the way to Old Lady Xiao's courtyard, the two didn't say a single word.

When they reached the courtyard, Tian Yao called out: "Grandmother, I'm back." Then he pushed open the door and entered Grandmother Xiao's patio.

As usual, Yan Hui walked toward her room. However before she could cross the doorway, she heard a "thunk" sound from Old Lady Xiao's room. It sounded like something had dropped onto the floor.

There was no further sound from the room.

Yan Hui thought it was weird and walked toward  Old Lady Xiao's room to take a look. When she reached the doorway, her steps stilled.

Old Lady Xiao's room was filled with the smell of the ever-present medicinal smoke. Tian Yao stood by Grandmother Xiao's daybed. Behind Tian Yao was a table. The oil lamp on the table had been knocked over. The oil spilled all over the table, but Tian Yao didn't move to pick the lamp back up. He only blankly looked at Old Lady Xiao who was lying on the daybed. There was no other movement.

Yan Hui followed his gaze......

Granny Xiao was lying on the daybed with her eyes closed. There was no movement from her chest......

Yan Hui was silent. Her gaze went back to Tian Yao's face.

He just stood there with his back against the light streaming in from the windows. His face didn't reveal any emotion. They stood apart for a long time. Then with his usual tranquil expression, he turned around and faced Yan Hui: "I'll get the burial clothes. In a moment, you'll help me dress Grandmother."

Yan Hui only nodded her head and said: "Mm."

Although she knew Old Lady Xiao would pass in a matter of days, Yan Hui was still quite shocked. Also, it just so happened that Old Lady Xiao would unexpectedly pass when Tian Yao was gone.

The granny never got to see her "grandson".

Yan Hui looked around the room, but she didn't see Old Lady Xiao's soul. It seemed like her passing went smoothly. She had no regrets in her life.......

Today, two people died in Tong Luo Mountain's remote village. One was Old Lady Xiao. The other was the human trafficker, Mrs. Zhou.

The villager said two days ago, when Mrs. Zhou was picked out of the fields and carried back, she kept babbling "Demons, Demons". She screamed in her house for two days until today; she kicked the bucket this afternoon.

After the villagers paid their respects to Old Lady Xiao, they rushed over to do the same to Mrs. Zhou.

Two deaths happened in the tiny village. The villagers suspected ill-omens. Right when evening fell, they locked their doors and didn't come out.

Tonight, it was like there was no one living there. It was so still.

Tian Yao wasn't like the villagers who would've kept Old Lady Xiao's body there for a few days. He acted like he paid no attention to Old Lady Xiao. When the villagers left and night fell, he dug a pit behind the village and buried Old Lady Xiao there.

When he returned to the courtyard, he pulled out several large jars of wine from who knows where. He hugged them wretchedly and started drinking.

He drank one gulp after another without pausing. It was like he was trying to drown himself in wine.

Yan Hui didn't think about consoling him. She watched him unflinchingly drink it down. She touched a wine jar. Then without asking, she picked one up and started to gulp it down along with Tian Yao.

The wine wasn't good, so its taste was inferior. It burned all the way down. However this distasteful burn seemed to burn away the harbored accumulated unhappiness. It made Yan Hui feel the happiness when drunkenness pushed away all worries.

When Yan Hui polished off the jar, her stomach felt heavy. Her head was also slowly becoming dizzy. It was at this point that she turned to look at Tian Yao who was still drinking. She laughingly said: "What allays sorrows, there is only Du Kang's cup."[1]

Tian Yao lowered the wine jar and wiped his mouth. The moonlight revealed an abnormal red flush on his face.

Tian Yao looked at Yan Hui and saw that the jar she was holding was empty. He unceremoniously grabbed the jar and threw it aside. Then he passed her another jar: "Let's drink again."

"The gloomy millennium dragon demon can also be so friendly at times?" Yan Hui picked up the jar. "Then let's drink!"

With two jars of wine now in her stomach, Yan Hui sprawled over the table and started to senselessly laugh: "Hahahahaha, the millennium dragon, taken down by two jars of wine."

Tian Yao leaned at an angle against the table. He was still gulping down wine.
Yan Hui poked his arm with her finger: "Just look at your pitiful appearance. If you said you were a dragon who lived a thousand changes from spring to autumn who would believe you?"

Tian Yao was also getting drunk. He leaned against the table and laughed: "No one would."

Although his words weren't funny, they greatly amused Yan Hui. She started to hit the table in laughter: "You must've been lecherous or else you wouldn't have fallen in the woman's hands."

Tian Yao shot Yan Hui a glance: "You also must've been lecherous. How else would you have fallen in your shifu's hands?"

"It's my destiny to tease." Yan Hui poked at Tian Yao. "Now gossip with me. How in the world did Zhenren Su Ying harm you to turn your appearance into this?

When Tian Yao heard those words, he acted like he heard a joke. He held a wine jar and started to laugh. His pretty face was enchanting when he laughed. Tian Yao laughed for a long time before stopping. He wryly smiled and said: "My true love peeled off my scales, gouged out my heart, chopped off my horns, pulled out my tendons, split my bones, imprisoned my soul, scattered my dismembered body, and placed a strong seal on me. She wanted me to remain a prisoner for eternity." He paused and drank another gulp of wine. The corner of his mouth still smiled: "She did all that to give her true love dragon scale armor. She wanted to protect him, so that he would never die."

Yan Hui's slightly muddled head couldn't fully comprehend what she just heard. She just cocked her head and looked at Tian Yao for awhile: "You've been dismembered so badly. How are you still alive?"

Tian Yao turned his head. His eyes were tinged red from the wine. He stared intensely at Yan Hui with a partly misty, yet partly clear look.

The distance between them was only a half-table's width. However Tian Yao moved his head closer until his lips were by Yan Hui's ear. His raspy voice was filled with seduction: "So I can meet you."

The author has something to say:
Mm, please give a shout-out my late-night-update club~
In the next chapter, the riddle of the male lead's body will practically be solved~~(≧▽≦)/~ lalala


[1] What allays sorrows, there is only Du Kang's cup

This is a line from a famous poem, Short Song Style, written by Cao Cao in 208. Wiki has the entire poem with translation! Du Kang is considered one of the people who invented alcohol in China Yan Hui is just commenting on how he is trying to drink away his pain. I think. Poems confuse me

lol Tian Yao has asian flush. 

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