Pulling Together A Villain Reformation Strategy - novelonlinefull.com
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Phew, blitzed through this translation pretty fast. Please let me know if any translations can be improved!
Chapter 3 – Acting the Fool
Jiang Xunyi narrowed his eyes. He could feel that under their frightening guises, these men were wooden and slow. They must be Xuan Li's loyal subordinate demonic puppets. These things were not humans or ghosts, but more like walking corpses with a certain amount of cognitive ability. They had the advantage of strength and power, but the disadvantage of… being stubbornly one-track minded.
Jiang Xunyi had previously been the chief disciple of one of the two major sects of the cultivation world, the Hidden Spirit Faction1. He had even been recognized as the likely succeeding sect master for the next generation. For one who had achieved fame in his youth as one of the Dual Jades of the Spirit Stage alongside this book's main protagonist Yun Xie, dealing with these things wouldn't be much trouble for him. The only problem was that it wasn't just him in this situation; the other trapped people had mixed qualifications. If Jiang Xunyi swaggered around openly to break them out, knowing Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's cruel disposition, these kids would likely be done for.
Jiang Xunyi did not act blindly. Amongst the crowd of trembling young men and women, he stood up obediently and was the first to exit the cave door.
Numerous demonic puppets lined the way forward. In the back, one squadron of puppets waited for all the sacrifices to go out of the cave, and then followed behind as an escort. It seemed that this demonic cave was located underground. The group of people walked uphill along a long narrow road. Gradually, noisy talking could be heard over their heads, from above the ground.
Carefully discerning between the chattering sounds, Jiang Xunyi heard a familiar voice that sent a sudden shock through his heart. He couldn't help but pause his steps. In that moment, he felt hot blood rushing to the top of his head, and his heart almost jumped out from his throat.
This body was a little thin and weak, so with this burst of excitement, he instantly felt his vision going black. The demonic puppet by his side saw he wasn't walking and immediately raised the long spear in its hand, fiercely smashing down on Jiang Xunyi's shoulder.
But the spear did not smash down. Instead, someone stopped it halfway down.
Jiang Xunyi finally recovered. Looking back, he couldn't help but freeze slightly.
Behind him was a handsome young man wearing blue. Despite being young, his expression was mild and gentle, with an elegant bearing. His hand grasped the other end of the spear as he politely reasoned with the puppet: “This elder brother2, Young master Du only walked a tad bit slow. He did not intend to defy your orders. Can this elder brother please be a little accommodating and refrain from using violence? I will urge him to hurry."
This charming and urbane bookworm aura, this simple and slow temperament that insists on doing good deeds even on the verge of death… Even without looking at his face, Jiang Xunyi could recognize him. This person was the eldest disciple of the Solar Envy Sect3, named Xue Yingzhi. Back in the day, Jiang Xunyi and Yun Xie had found him abandoned atop a great snow mountain. He was also born on the day of the Ghost Festival. Without even thinking about it, Jiang Xunyi knew Xue Yingzhi must be the undercover agent sent here by Yun Xie.
He praised this kid in his heart. The demonic puppet seemed to be moved too and slowly took back the spear in its hand. Suddenly, it lifted the spear again. Before Xue Yingzhi could react, it slammed down on Jiang Xunyi's shoulder and harshly ordered: "Go!"
Jiang Xunyi: "……" Didn't we establish that these things had low intelligence? This thing's even smarter than him!
Xue Yingzhi was also shocked. Afraid of Jiang Xunyi exploding with anger and attempting to resist, he hurriedly grabbed Jiang Xunyi's hand and quickly walked forward. Only then did he whisper: "Brother Du, are you alright? At the moment we are all in danger, so you will have to unfortunately endure this for now…"
Xue Yingzhi definitely did not know the inside story of the Du clan and was likely treating him as Du Li. Jiang Xunyi had never seen this cheap big brother of his, so he didn't know how he should speak to imitate him. Just as he was pondering this over, he listened to Xue Yingzhi continue with a sigh: “Brother Du's illness still hasn't gotten better? A few days ago, when I heard the news that the Du family head was suffering from Lost Soul Disease, I had trouble believing it. I didn't expect the news to be true."
“…” Jiang Xunyi closed his mouth and walked along in silence.
When they finally reached a large pool filled with dark red magma, the leading demonic puppet stopped: “Take off your clothes and jump down.”
——This sacrifice was truly too simple and crude!
Jiang Xunyi looked at the molten magma seething and bubbling in front of him. He stood absolutely firm, refusing to move an inch. The people behind him were shoved and jostled on up until they surrounded the magma pool in a circle. Every face looked dim and ash-gray as they faced off with each other, but no one dared to jump.
The demonic puppet became impatient. It did the same old technique of lifting its spear and then smashing down towards the nearby Cheng Wei. Seeing her little sister about to be pushed into the pool, Cheng Fang's terrified face lost all color, but she did not dare to scream out loud. She could only press her hands tightly over her mouth and shut her eyes.
However, there was no sound of a human body falling into the magma. Cheng Fang opened her eyes to see Cheng Wei standing by her side with a completely stunned expression, while two demonic puppets fought and exchanged blows with a pa.s.sion.
“…” Cheng Fang whispered: “What happened?”
Cheng Wei mumbled: "All I felt was that I somehow moved over here all of a sudden. After that, the first person's spear hit his companion, and then the two of them started fighting…"
On the side, Jiang Xunyi stood with his hands in his sleeves, his eyes wide as he looked around with shocked ignorance. Hidden in his sleeves, his fingers continuously flicked, using invisible manifestations of spiritual energy to silently attack several other demonic puppets.
He manipulated multiple streams of different spiritual energy at the same time, but maintained very precise orientations and positioning. When the demonic puppets were attacked, they would all subconsciously parry with their hidden weapons. But their hidden weapons would only hit air; instead, their own spear-tips would strike their companions. In just a few moments, numerous demonic puppets began to mercilessly beat each other down around the pool of magma. The scene was absolutely beautiful.
Xue Yingzhi was also shocked by this change. He hadn't yet reacted when he suddenly felt a strong force coming from behind him. His whole body instantly flew through the air involuntarily, smashing into the wall. The Solar Envy sect practiced a unique art: including their sect master Yun Xie, all disciples possessed a body strengthening4 skill that made them extremely resistant to injury. Xue Yingzhi was not hurt by this collision; instead, his body smashed a huge hole into the wall. Jiang Xunyi giggled and clapped his hands: "Fun! Fun! I want to go inside to play!" With this, his figure flashed across Xue Yingzhi's body and entered the pa.s.sage created by the hole.
Xue Yingzhi still hadn't realized that his fall was from being mercilessly kicked out by Jiang Xunyi. Upon seeing the situation, his face turned white from shock. He unsuccessfully tried to catch Jiang Xunyi, and hurriedly raised his voice: "Brother Du, be careful of any dangers inside!" Without even thinking, he stood up and ran in too.
Jiang Xunyi put up a happy and cheerful appearance running at the front. In his heart, he couldn't help but disgustedly roll his eyes at the sound of his own silly laughter. If anyone else knew I've actually fallen to the point of acting this G.o.dd.a.m.n stupid, I'll definitely destroy him and his entire sect. After thinking it over, he remembered that even his body had been switched, so most likely no one will ever know--he could still relax a little more.
Looking at the bubbling pool of molten magma before them, everyone's hearts were filled with terror and panic. They had just wanted to take advantage of the demonic puppets going crazy in order to flee. No one understood how Xue Yingzhi smashing into the wall had opened up a pa.s.sageway, and no one dared to lead the pack. With Jiang Xunyi here now to test the waters, everyone saw him hopping and jumping around, still as lively as ever even after covering a great distance. They relaxed and quickly followed one by one, secretly laughing at the Demon Sovereign's idiocy for making such an unconcealed secret pa.s.sage.
They had no way of knowing that this secret pa.s.sage was deliberately designed to ward off trespa.s.sers and escapees, with a mult.i.tude of mechanisms and traps. Jiang Xunyi had broken into here multiple times and could not be more familiar with all these mechanisms. He had expertly woven his steps to extinguish all of them, or else he would have long since become a human skewer.
With Xue Yingzhi's kind and sincere temperament, he had originally been closely following behind Jiang Xunyi out of fear that this "Brother Du" who had lost his mind would run into a mishap. But when he was about to emerge from the cave, he felt his vision blur and Jiang Xunyi blinked away without leaving a trace.
Upon exiting the cave, Jiang Xunyi saw the terrain was flat and open, without the demonic puppet guards that he had imagined. In their place were different disciples with various colored uniforms, scurrying back and forth, apparently in a busy haste. Seeing this, his suspicions could already be confirmed: Xuan Li's new interest in boiling people alive wasn't because of a sudden whim to spice things up, but because he had encountered these trouble-making pursuers!
Before changing bodies, the System had constantly popped up to confirm its existence, but ever since his resurrection it had never appeared again. Jiang Xunyi considered the situation and still decided to follow the protagonist. After all, all the important plots revolved around Yun Xie.
It was just——he had believed he had already bid farewell to all those old enemies and friends, and had not expected to see them again so soon.
Jiang's mood was somewhat complicated, and he took a deep breath. Those following him were all from great clans; no matter how useless they were, they should not be in any danger at this time. Instead, having them tag along would get in his way. His figure flickered and he teleported forward, instantly freeing himself from those stragglers.
1. 灵隐派: 灵=”spirit”, 隐=”hidden/secret/concealed”
2. 大哥(dà gē) lit. elder/eldest brother. In Chinese, you often refer to strangers with these familial terms despite there being absolutely no blood relation
3. 阳羡宗: 阳=”sun, the masculine yang”, 羡=”envy/admiration”
4. 横练 lit. “horizontal training” I think refers to how martial artists strengthen their bodies to smash through wood or steel, etc.