Liu Li transformed into a red streak of light and flew out of Beiquan City. Beyond its outskirts, Liu Li searched for a forest and settled down there.
He gently spat out his inner core. Liu Li floated just slightly above ground. His inner core, red-colored and about the size of a fingernail, hovered above his head. A faint silver light enveloped it.
He smiled and closed his eyes. A soft breeze blew over, tousling his hair and lifting the bottom of his robe. Liu Li stretched out and basked in the soothing moonlight.
Unlike humans who could easily absorb the rich energy of the sun, other creatures who cultivated themselves to become demons had a yin body type. To them, the sun’s energy was too overpowering so normally, they could only absorb the power of the moonlight. Undoubtedly, night of the full moon was the best time for that.
Once these demons allowed their inner core to absorb the moon’s power, a month's time was required to completely assimilate that power and then their cultivation level would increase.
Soon, Liu Li's inner core finished rotating and he allowed it to begin the absorption. Meanwhile, as he faced the moon, his thoughts drifted.
In order to find his sister who had long entered the human world, Liu Li had wandered for a thousand years already. Ever since he was young, he had always heard how the elders say how dangerous the human world was but many of his kind nevertheless left the mountains. To the demons, the human world was exciting and colorful. Liu Ling was one of those who had left.
On average, it would take a creature five hundred years to form a human body. After that, their body would need another five hundred years to fully develop. Under the rules of the Red Fox Clan, they had the option of staying or venturing after cultivating for a total period of one thousand years. Not long after she had cultivated, Liu Li's mischievous and happy-go-lucky older twin sister coaxed him to leave the Fox Mountains.
In a drunken stupor for half a year's time, Liu Li finally woke up and realized that sister was long gone. Worried, he chased after her. No matter what methods he used to try to contact Liu Ling, she never replied back. Liu Li didn't know if she was doing this on purpose or she was in some sort of trouble. Unable to do anything else, he continued to stay in the human world in search for her.
Because of his appearance, trouble kept coming its way. The human world was too complicated and dangerous. At first, Liu Li was curious. Then from disappointment to disgust, he finally grew numb.
He wondered how his sister was doing right now….
That person was very unique!
An Junyue would read books and practice calligraphy every day. He should be a scholar yet he had no intention of taking the imperial examination and becoming an official.
He was never lacking in money. He projected a very elegant aura around him. He should be someone with a noble status yet he handwashed the toddler's clothes and prepared meals for him. There was nothing that he couldn't do….
Thinking about An Junyue's helpless expression and wry smile in response to him, Liu Li unconsciously smirked.
The truth was that he purposefully bullied Qingran on occasion and subsequently let An Junyue pacify the crying child. He would then innocently watch An Junyue and An Junyue would never once blame him.
Sometimes, he would even neglect to bathe Qingran, dress him, etc. He would make him uncomfortable on purpose and then the little guy would call his 'Papa' to rescue him.
The more An Junyue worried about him not being able to take good care of Qingran, the more responsibilities An Junyue would take upon himself. Eventually, he would tell Liu Li to just ‘eat with him, play with him, and sleep with him.’ He even shortened these to Qingran's ‘three's tasks’….
He didn’t know why but he felt that whenever An Junyue said these and then smiled, he looked particularly pleasing to the eye.
How long had it been since he was this happy?
Back then, he would fool around with his fox friends as they cultivated together. Life was very simple and joyous, but once he stepped into this world, he seemed to never smile again.
Might as well hang out with An Junyue all the way through. He wouldn’t reject him, right? He said that he wanted to reside in the capital city. Since Liu Li had no specific destination, he should just tag along.
Liu Li suddenly bitterly smiled.
Was it alright to trust him? Could he treat him as a true friend? If he knew that he was a fox demon….
“YOU DARING DEMON!”
A sudden loud holler carrying dense Buddhist spiritual powers sent shock waves through Liu Li’s psyche. Caught off guard, he turned around and saw a ray of golden light aiming for his inner core.
Frightened, he instinctively retrieved his core, barely avoiding the attack. However, the quick absorption of his core caused a sudden release of the powerful moon energy which then flooded his entire body. As a result, Liu Li suffered serious internal damage. Just barely, he used his spiritual power to suppress it. He painfully threw up a few mouthfuls of fresh blood.
He furiously looked at the one flying towards him. He wore an old, faded Buddhist robe and was bald with Jieba on his head. It was a bony, tanned, and ugly looking middle-aged monk!
“You shameless bald donkey! Sneaking an attack on me!!!”
Liu Li was on high alert. This monk had high level spiritual power!
“Hmph! It is my duty to kill demons and exterminate monsters!”
The monk raised his staff, ready to strike Liu Li on the head. Tolerating the pain, Liu Li once again spat out his inner core and transformed it into a sword. He was able to parry the dangerous blow but flowing through the staff was the monk’s spiritual strength, knocking Liu Li flying.
He knew that with his injury, he was no match for the monk. He then quickly fled and flew towards Beiquan City.
“Demon, you won’t escape far!”
The monk swiftly pursued him.
Liu Li cursed. Angry, he released all the moon energy from within his core, concentrated it into a ball of light, and shot it towards the monk.
Sensing the dense concentration of power, the monk didn’t dare to counter. Seeing as he had no way of avoiding it, he quickly stopped his pursuit and formed a protective barrier around his entire body.
It exploded upon contact. After the smoke had dissipated, the monk lost track of Liu Li.
“Fox demon, I, Zhiguang, won’t let you escape this easily!!!”
Liu Li, in great distress, flew back to the house. He didn’t want to disturb An Junyue. Struggling with all his might, he quietly walked back to his room and closed the door. Liu Li staggered over to his bed and weakly lay down.
In the darkness, Liu Li covered himself with his blanket and breathed heavily. He didn’t want An Junyue to find out. He didn’t want to be hated….
An Junyue suddenly opened his eyes. He sat up and conjured a protective seal around Qingran who was sleeping next to him. He then quietly walked towards the door. The demon aura was getting heavier. An Junyue focused his spiritual energy in his eyes to look through the door beyond the corridor.
An Junyue lightly furrowed his brows. Seeing Liu Li’s face full of anguish yet trying hard to suppress it, he knew that it wasn’t a small injury. An Junyue didn’t proceed to do anything. Judging by his expression, he knew that Liu Li didn’t want his identity exposed.
Until Liu Li went back into his room and closed his door, An Junyue then turned around and went back to bed. He lovingly looked at Qingran and wiped the drool that was dripping from his mouth.
Qingran, your ‘Mama’ wasn’t an ordinary human after all….
T/N: This chapter was a little tricky for me. It’s actually my first time translating xianxia so please go easy on me.
Besides Taoists and cultivators, monks also have powers that can contain demons. The most famous mythical monk is Fahai from ‘Legend of the White Snake’ who seals the White Maiden in the Leifeng Pagoda.
Jieba 戒疤 – an ancient painful Buddhist ritual (at least common in China, particularly Shaolin) where the abbot lights nine sticks of incense that are pasted to the monk’s head, waits for it to sizzle, thus branding the dots on the scalp; they represent Triratna, his vows, and training. Tulü 禿驢 – literally bald donkey, an insult directed at monks; not sure why.