Pulling Together a Villain Reformation Strategy Chapter 19

Pulling Together a Villain Reformation Strategy Info
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I most likely won’t be able to post any more chapters in the next week or two since my finals are coming up.
As always, please let me know if any translations could be improved!


 

Chapter 19 – Dream Within a Dream

Jiang Xunyi was taken by surprise——could it be that the abnormality with Yun Xie was actually related to the corpse of this Demon Sovereign?

Upon thinking to this point, an idea suddenly sprang to his mind. A type of spiritual flower grew on Hidden Spirit Mountain, named the Prajñā Wisdom Lotus1. This five-petaled flower was extremely beautiful and tender, excellent material to suppress demonic energy and clear one's mind and spirit. When the two of them had been binding their wounds back on the mountain, Yun Xie had picked one of these flowers as a joke and gifted it to him. Even though Jiang Xunyi had scoffed and turned up his nose, he had still offhandedly stuffed it into his storage. Now this flower had ended up coming in handy.

At this time, Yun Xie's hand was no longer pressing down on him but was instead touching along Jiang Xunyi's belt. Jiang Xunyi took advantage of this opportunity to rapidly retrieve the already dried flower and send it into his own mouth.

With a hissing rip, his outer robe was torn open.

Jiang Xunyi cursed: "Useless piece of trash." He ground his teeth and mustered his resolve, and then suddenly lifted his body slightly to kiss Yun Xie's lips.

Even in the midst of Yun Xie's madness, this movement by Jiang Xunyi brought him a surge of pleasure. Yun Xie ignored everything else to hold Jiang Xunyi's cheeks in his hands, frenziedly using his tongue to open Jiang Xunyi's lips.

——And then he toppled straight over onto the ground.

Upon successfully sending the flower petals into Yun Xie's mouth, Jiang Xunyi had just breathed a sigh of relief when he noticed Yun Xie fainting over. He couldn't help but startle. He sat up and reached his hand to touch between Yun Xie's brows, urging his consciousness2  to explore into and inspect Yun Xie's primordial spirit3.

Because they had known each other since childhood, Jiang Xunyi was very familiar with Yun Xie's primordial spirit. He could currently feel that Yun Xie's primordial spirit had already settled down to become peaceful and tranquil. But Jiang Xunyi could continuously sense a whiff of inexplicable demonic energy, so imperceptible as to be almost imaginary, coming from some unknown location.

He closed his eyes and controlled his spiritual power. When he urged his consciousness in once again, the sensation was much clearer. Jiang Xunyi could faintly glimpse a black mist curling around Yun Xie's silver-white primordial spirit. Upon taking a closer look, that mist was actually one of Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's mortal souls!

Oh, so that's why!

This was why that woman became so terrified upon seeing Yun Xie during their meal in the market. This was also why Yun Xie went into a frenzy when Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's body was revealed. It seemed that when Demon Sovereign lost a mortal soul4, it actually somehow entered Yun Xie's body!

Jiang Xunyi deliberately paused, feeling this was all a bit strange——the System had not spoken to him for a long time now. It stood to reason that these kinds of important events related to the protagonist should all have a corresponding task assigned by the System.

He frowned slightly, but he currently didn't have any other solution. He could only use the Prajñā Wisdom Lotus to temporarily seal away that mortal soul, and then help Yun Yun nurture his primordial spirit.

After all this work, Jiang Xunyi coughed up a mouthful of blood, but he finally breathed a sigh of relief in his heart: Yun Xie probably was incapable of either dying or going crazy now.

Now that he had calmed down, Jiang Xunyi could feel faint pains and aches all over his entire body. In particular, any slight movement would cause waves of pain to ripple both in his lower back that the coffin edge had banged into and in the wound in his neck from Yun Xie's bite.

After a while, Jiang Xunyi slowly stood up. Grinding his teeth, he exerted his strength to push Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's coffin cover shut, and painted twelve talismans in succession on the top. Then he turned around and gave the unconscious Yun Xie a kick to vent his anger. He harrrumped coldly: ” If it weren't for me keeping in mind how you weren’t in control of your own body and had lost your mind, I'd goddamn kill you today.”

After guiding the Demon Sovereign's soul, Jiang Xunyi’s own primordial spirit had also been wounded. He currently did not have the strength to break out of this place carrying both Yun Xie and Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's coffin, He simply lay down on the ground, controlling his breath while waiting for Yun Xie to wake up.

When Yun Xie opened his eyes, he was still partially in a trance. It seemed that he had been dreaming just now. In that dream, he had become insane and uninhibited, setting down all his prior restraints, fulfilling his long-held yearnings towards that person he longed for. That scene had been so realistic and authentic to his desires and reactions, as if it really were true.

No, that wasn’t right… in the end, that was only an insane dream. If it occurred in the real world, he absolutely would not bear to hurt Jiang Xunyi the tiniest bit, let alone coerce him with such brutality.

——Neither Yun Xie nor Jiang Xunyi knew that this Heart Demon Sea could magnify people's desires and weave the most realistic dreamscapes. As a result, even though nothing really happened between them, the unconscious Yun Xie still saw a scene of himself forcing Jiang Xunyi. On the other hand, because Jiang Xunyi was foreign to this place and lacked any obsessions in his heart, he was not affected.

Closing his eyes, Yun Xie recalled the feeling of kissing Jiang Xunyi in the dream and could only feel a display of ten thousand fireworks going off in his heart. He had never felt so satisfied in his life, and almost did not want to wake up.

“Sigh… though fortunately it was all false. If it was not a dream, how could I treat Ah-Xun like that? Wait, something's wrong, how exactly did I fall asleep? Ah-Xun!” Upon thinking to here, Yun Xie's heart turned cold at the fearful thought that Jiang Xunyi had run into trouble, and he suddenly sat up.

As soon as he turned his head, he saw Jiang Xunyi lying down not far from his side, also sleeping peacefully. He immediately breathed a sigh of relief, and his lips unconsciously curved into a smile.

Suddenly, his smile froze at the corner of his lips——Yun Xie discovered that Jiang Xunyi currently cut an extremely sorry figure, actually the exact same appearance as in his dream!

Red and swollen lips, dark purple teeth marks on his neck, rope marks around his wrists, and… and completely torn and ripped clothes!

Was that not a dream?! What… what was this?

Did he actually truly hurt him? That's Ah-Xun we're talking about!

Yun Xie wasn't sure whether he was currently dreaming right now. He wanted to fiercely slap himself in the face, and also wanted to rush over to check out Jiang Xunyi’s situation, but his entire body was stiff and incapable of movement.

If this was a dream, then this must be the cruelest and most terrible dream in the world! He actually personally hurt his most treasured person…

At the thought that this matter would cause Jiang Xunyi to suffer and even be disgusted with him, Yun Xie only wished to die right now. He had bitterly endured his feelings in silence for all these years, out of fear that Jiang Xunyi would grow estranged from him. Now everything was ruined, in such a horrible way too.

Jiang Xunyi had originally wanted to lie down and rest, but since he had been far too exhausted, he had actually fallen into a bit of a daze. But he had still kept his vigilance up, so he was awakened when Yun Xie sat up. At this time, he opened his eyes to see Yun Xie with a pained expression on his face, gaze fixated on himself. Jiang Xunyi couldn't help but freeze: Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's mortal soul had clearly already left his body, so why did Yun Xie still look possessed?

Yun Xie saw Jiang Xunyi's eyes opening and subconsciously held his breath, observing his reactions. He saw that this intimate and close friend of many years first froze in place and then immediately put up his guard, placing his right hand on the Extinguished Flower sword by his side. Yun Xie felt as if a knife was being twisted in his heart.

Yun Xie shut his eyes. His voice was hoarse: "Ah-Xun, I……."

Jiang Xunyi frowned: "You recognize me? You're no longer possessed? Do you have any impression of what happened just now?”

Yun Xie had already thought everything through: even if Jiang Xunyi wanted to kill him, as long as he lived well, Yun Xie would never fight back. He didn't expect that Jiang Xunyi's reaction to actually be so peaceful. He hurriedly said: “Ah-Xun, I'm sorry, I…….hurt you just now…. You… you….”

Jiang Xunyi saw the sheer pain and torment with which he said those words, as if Yun Xie was even more of a victim than himself. He let out a sigh of relief and casually tossed Extinguished Flower down: “That's enough, I know you were trapped by an Inner Demon just now. What just happened… sigh… wasn't your intention. We're all men here, there's nothing worth caring about in the first place, so don't bring it up."

Yun Xie had not expected Jiang Xunyi to forgive himself so easily, but his mood had not improved by much. While feeling 30% fortunate, he also felt 70% guilt. Remembering Jiang Xunyi's injuries, his heart couldn't resist aching in distress, without any more of his usual lively willfulness. All of a sudden, he got up and then knelt down in front of Jiang Xunyi, looking up at him to say: “Ah-Xun, if you feel wronged, just kill me. I, Yun Xie, will absolutely have no complaints. I only beg you that if I die, refine me into a puppet to protect you.”

What the hell? What's this for?

Jiang Xunyi was shocked. Looking at Yun Xie's current appearance, he must have clearly remembered everything that happened when he was possessed. But they are both two grown-up men who only kissed a few times, that’s all. This guy… He usually seems utterly shameless, how did he get like this now…

Jiang Xunyi could not help but lament with a tinge of emotion: “I didn’t expect you to be so protective of your dignity, brother, I really couldn't tell beforehand.”

His tone was half-joking, but when he finished speaking he noticed that Yun Xie's face had turned even more pale, looking as if he wanted to knock himself dead on the ground.

Could this be the legendary… "dignity of a straight man"? But I'm not bent either.

Jiang Xunyi could only pick Yun Xie up from the ground: “I say, are you not done going crazy? I already said it's nothing, what are you doing this for? Sss——” Upon bending halfway down, he felt an aching pain and hurriedly moved his hand to his waist. It seemed he had probably banged too hard on the coffin, injuring his bones and muscles.

The frightened Yun Xie's remorse and self-blame grew even further. He stood up to support Jiang Xunyi and hurriedly said: “How bad are your injuries? Let me see.”

Jiang Xunyi waved him away: "It's nothing. Yeah right letting you see, quit taking advantage of me.” He had originally seen Yun Xie's excessive self-blame and wanted to lighten up the atmosphere. But he didn't expect that after saying this, Yun Xie's face paled so as to be almost bloodless. It looked like he wanted to let go of Jiang Xunyi, yet was also worried about his wounds, so overall he seemed practically at a loss for what to do.

Jiang Xunyi had never seen Yun Xie like this, and felt a little discomfort in his heart at this sight. He sighed and patted the back of his good friend's hand, and spoke seriously: “Yun Xie, I truly do not blame you. This place has an evil influence, plus you did not act on purpose, so how could it be your fault? You have been my brother for so many years and our friendship was originally forged in fire, so this kind of event of course will not separate us.”

Yun Xie wanted to speak but then hesitated. He finally forced a smile: "Alright, I won't bring it up any more. Since you're not willing to let me check your wounds, let's think of a way to get out of here. We can look for some medicine and rest.”

Jiang Xunyi knew the knot in Yun Xie's heart was currently difficult to solve, but he thought it should improve after a few days. He therefore did not say any more, only nodded and turned around to check Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's coffin.

Although Yun Xie did not know the specific cause for his abnormal behavior, he clearly understood the reason was absolutely inseparable from this accursed place and Demon Sovereign Xuan Li. At this time, an aura of fury flashed over his eyes and he raised his hand. Nine bolts of silver-white lightning followed the wave of his hand to strike down, immediately shattering that coffin into dust. However, Xuan Li's remains were perfectly intact.

With a cold laugh, Yun Xie slammed his sword handle. Bright River answered his call and came out of its sheath. The sword radiance exploded as it flew at Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's body. The wrath of the protagonist was really no small matter: in the blink of an eye, Demon Sovereign Xuan Li's corpse was broken into pieces.

Author's Notes translated): I just happen to like these kinds of misunderstandings arising from a freak combination of factors ^_^ Oh, unfortunate little Yun… you're truly stupid ╮(╯▽╰)╭

Footnotes:

1. 般若莲: 般若 = the Buddhist concept of Prajñā (Wisdom), AKA insight into/intuitive understanding of the true nature of reality; 莲 = lotus
2. 神识 = spiritual knowledge/consciousness/wisdom. I believe this term originates from Buddhist teachings, but I’m not super sure how to explain it lol.
3. 元神 = “Primordial Spirit”. I’m not good at translating these very spiritual terms, but here’s a rough translation from a Chinese encyclopedia: “The primordial spirit is a kind of substance higher than one’s flesh body and capable of existing on its own. By cultivating it, cultivators can gradually exert greater control of their soul. It is the true essence and meaning of everything in human life.”
4. In Daoism, every human is supposed to have 3 Immortal Souls 魂(hún) and 7 Mortal Souls 魄(pò). The Immortal Soul represents one's spiritual side, ethereal and yang, ascending to heaven after death. The Mortal Soul represents one's carnal side, corporeal, yin, substantive, usually attached to one's mortal body.

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