A rustle came from the bamboo forest, and with the sound, a nymph-like young girl in a white dress wandered out. She looked at most sixteen, but her figure was gracefully slender, her breasts bulging from her blouse, her feet as white as pure snow, her dark black hair tumbling until her waist; as her large bright eyes blinked, beautiful glances of light flashed from her liquid orbs, and a seducingly amorous fragrance could be scented all over her body, which not a single man would be able to resist.
Seeing this barefoot nymph-like girl, the Taoist priest shouted harshly as if he’d seen a hideous snake or scorpion, “The Demon Witch, I’d never thought you’d still be tailing me? Do you really think my cold sword would shrink before your witchcraft?”
“Cold Sword , you should be the one most clear of my reason for following you. Dear poor sister Lan Yun, she was so into you; how can you be so at ease while she lays under the ground, unable to rest in peace?” The beautiful girl’s eyes blinked, clear and shining, as if heavenly streams. She walked steadily but slowly towards the middle-aged Taoist priest.
“You witch, I’ve told you a hundred times, Yun Er’s death has nothing to do with me. She’s only died because our appointment venue was leaked out. “ The middle-aged Taoist’s face twisted with fierceness, he swished out his sword, reflecting cold blue light, and roared at the girl.
“I don’t care if you are truthful or not, but you did make the promise to live and die with Yun Er, so I’m only here to help you fulfill your oath. You don’t have to thank me“, the barefoot girl said this with a light smile, while raising her sleeves, a short ruler, as white as jade, appearing from inside.
The ruler was no longer than a half chi , two cun in width, but there were wisps of white fog coiling up around the surface, looking extremely mysterious.
“The...the Legendary Ice Ruler, isn’t it your Tian Yin Sect’s ultimate weapon? You lunatic, stealing such a sacred weapon just for a dead woman? Aren’t you afraid of your sect’s seniors? They’ll render you incapable of martial arts once they find out!” The Taoist priest had prepared to put up a desperate fight, but his face froze at the ruler, only stammering the weak threat.
“Well, that’s not your business then. Let’s waste no more time; I’ll send you to meet Yun Er now.” The barefoot girl only gave him a faint smile while shaking her ruler slightly. Suddenly the nearby air stirred invisibly and white fog appeared, rolling out of thin air; from its swirl, the fog quickly turned into white flowers as big as bowls.
“Kill me? Stop dreaming!”
In a flash. the Taoist priest flung the little animal out of his hand at the girl unexpectedly, while he stomped hard onto the ground and shot himself backward, right into mid air, before finally vanishing like a giant bird into the nearby dark woods.
“Witch, I’ll tell about your theft of the Legendary Ice Ruler, see what your sect will do to you.” The vile oath came from the woods, the last words of the oath already growing faint as he fled deep into forest. Obviously, he had already gone far away.
“Idiot man, that a mere fake should have scared you out your wits! But my Soul-Hunting Incense has got you now, you can never run out of its power range…. Why, this golden hamster has opened its holy pupils!” The barefoot girl lifted her slender fingers, catching the golden hamster with ease, and was just about to ridicule the Taoist priest when her eyes turned alight with surprise: just as she lowered her head and looked briefly at the little animal in hand, she found something out of her expectation.
“Well, I was wondering why Cold Sword would grab an ordinary golden hamster without scruples. It turned out to be a holy-pupiled hamster, soon to become a holy animal!” Taking back her jade ruler, the barefoot girl held the golden animal at her breast, stroking it tenderly, full of affection.
The mouse-looking golden animal trembled its tiny green eyes the entire time, while it dared not to move its body as it was stroked by the ten slender fingers.
“Oh yes, there’s another little guy. “ After fussing over the golden hamster for a while, the barefoot girl suddenly found Shi Mu as still as ice, standing nearby, his body sporting a thin layer of white frost and only his eyes being able to move, with which he was staring fixedly at the barefoot girl.
She giggled and wandered over to Shi Mu at an unhurried pace.
Shi Mu’s eyes rolled slowly with difficulty as the girl’s figure moved, without turning away once.
“Well that’s funny.” Seeing this, the barefoot girl cracked a smile, a trace interest shown on her face. Suddenly, she deliberately swung her body left and right.
Though unable to move, Shi Mu’s eyeballs began to move left and right to trace the girl, a hilarious sight indeed.
“Haha, that’s so funny!” The barefoot girl halted in front of Shi Mu, with the little animal at her breast, she giggled demurely, her back arched, as if her stomach was aching due to all the laughing.
The girl laughed for a good while before she straightened her back again, her sleeves raised while a puff of white fog rushed out and quickly seeped into Shi Mu’s body .
Then a surprising scene occurred.
The frost on Shi Mu’s body began to melt at such a rapid speed that even the naked eye could see the process clearly.
With a loud thud, Shi Mu fell down heavily into the mud, so hard that he could not manage to raise his back and only slightly raise his head.
Then he suddenly saw a pair of slender feet, like lotus rhizomes[A], her ten toenails painted bright red, as seducing as fresh petals.
The owner of the slender feet asked, leisurely.
Shi Mu’s entire face blushed at the question; suddenly a strength grew inside him, quite strangely, which even made him rise from the ground slowly. He then studied the extremely beautiful face with strange looks unknown to himself before.
“Well little guy, you know, if you were two or three years older and looked at me in this way, I’d have gouged your eyes right away. “ The barefoot girl rolled her beautiful eyes, the little animal in her breast, made a horrified squeak.
“What’s your name?” Finally Shi Mu opened his mouth; his voice, though somewhat husky, was calm enough, to the girl’s surprise.
“Do you think I’ll tell you?” The girl was stunned for a moment, then answered with a grin.
“I can only go to your family and propose to you after knowing your name.“ Shi Mu’s fixed his eyes on the girl; there was a small amount of passion shown on his face.
“What, say that again? I didn’t hear you quite clearly.“ The barefoot girl thought she must heard him wrongly. She opened her beautiful eyes widely and asked in great surprise.
“I’d ask you to be my wife. I shall make you my wife.“ Shi Mu answered without hesitation, his looks determined and unchanged.
“What nonsense...Do you know my age or my identity to speak such a daring thing?” The barefoot girl, though she had always been cruel and merciless and her mind shrewd and deep, was caught off guard by the youth’s words.
“Or are you already engaged? Or in your forties, fifties?“ Shi Mu asked, knitting his eyebrows.
“Of course not, and I’m only in my twenties...Wait, why should I tell you so...You...” The barefoot girl answered subconsciously first, only realizing her bluntness with anger and shame.
“In your twenties, and not yet engaged with anyone, that’s perfect. No matter what you are, I fell in love with you at first sight. I’ll definitely make you my wife.“ Hearing the answer Shi Mu relaxed and said earnestly.
“Haha, you like me so you think you can marry me? Even if you were an Houtian Warrior, I wouldn’t agree, let alone a mere Practitioner...Well, it’s only a waste of time to speak with you. To tell you the truth, I don’t believe at all in a man’s honey-sweet words, and I’ve decided to never marry anyone in my life.“ The girl finally resumed her ordinary state to some extent, then giggled, but meanwhile evaded Shi Mu’s fervent looks.
“My mother used to tell me, if you ever met a girl you really liked, you must let her know as soon as possible, so as not to miss a perfect marriage. Here I, Shi Mu, vow seriously to marry this girl in front of me in my life; if ever I eat my word, I shall be pierced by ten thousand arrows and be cut to death by axes.“ Shi Mu’s eyes never once moved from the girl, his eyes not blinking and his hands raised. The deadly oath was made.
But whether or not it was a coincidence, just as Shi Mu finished his last word, there came booming thunders from the sky gratuitously.
The barefoot girl opened her red lips slightly, her beautiful eyes gazing at Shi Mu, but was unable to speak a word. Only after a long while did she burst into a charming laughter.
“That’s...so...so funny! Me! The Demon Witch of Tian Yin Sect, should be proposed to one day, and that too, by a teenage boy! Good, good, don’t say I left you no chance; if you can become a Xiantian Saint[C] before you reach the age of thirty, then come for me in Wan Long mountains, Tian Yin Sect, I’ll tell you my real name then. And take this, it’s the payment for the holy animal.”
Holding her laughter, the girl straightened her back and threw a bottle to Shi Mu, then crumbed something in her sleeves.
“Pu!” A sound was heard.
A strong wind suddenly blew in the nearby air, and white clouds appeared to lift the girl to the height of over ten zhang[B], sending her floating to the faraway sky, as she left Shi Mu with only a faint, melodious last warning,
“I’ll tell you another thing, the holy animal was faking unconsciousness that time. If it was not caught by Cold Sword before it fled, you may really have returned empty handed.”
From the moment the barefoot girl threw the bottle, to the one when she flew off with the animal, Shi Mu only experienced a split second; she left so soon as if she was fleeing from something...
“She really flew...The Demon Witch of Tian Yin...”
Shi Mu stood dumbstruck, frozen facing the direction of the girl’s disappearance, and looked into the distance for a long while. Then he murmured to himself at a loss.
After a long time he finally came to himself. Looking at the bottle and the previously made trap, he smiled to himself bitterly.
“’Try to steal a chicken, only to end up losing the rice’, that’s the saying, isn’t it? Hundreds of silver and the animal, all gone.”
But then he could not help but become curious of the content inside the bottle.
After all, the girl was so enigmatic, the thing she gave him should not be ordinary.
Shi Mu only gave it a brief thought before he opened the bottle, thinking of it as his possession now, and a roundish, white coloured pill rolled out, swirling, as big as his thumb, and silver light seemed to glitter faintly on its surface.
“Qi Ling pill!”
Shi Mu cried out involuntarily after making out the pill’s appearance.
 The Devil With of Tian Yin: The original spelling in Chinese is Tian Yin Cha Nv, which means the beautiful girl of Tian Yin Sect, while “Tian Yin” is the name of the sect. “Tian” means heaven, “Yin” has the multiple meaning of ‘negative’, ‘female’, ‘shade’, ‘cloudiness’, ‘sinister’, ‘of the ghosts’ world’, etc. So the translator here decides to adopt the title of “the Devil Witch of Tian Yin”, since the word ‘witch’ carries as complex meanings as ‘yin’, indicating the girl’s viciousness and beauty at the same time.
 The Cold Sword: it is both the man’s name and his skill’s name.
 Lan Yun: a girl’s name. “Lan” means blue, “yun” means a fragrant herb.
 chi: a unit of length (=1/3 meter).
 cun: a unit of length (=1/3 decimeter).
 Wang Long: a fictional mountain’s name, meaning a huge, verdant mountain.
[A] - Just imaging a large pink flower on a lilypad. (How feet can look like this is beyond my imagination.)
[B] - 33&⅓ meters
[C] - Yes, for those of you that are re-reading this, this used to say Houtian Warrior, that was a mistranslation, sorry!chaptererror();