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Chapter 151

For many years, Qin Niang had been giving life-extending elixirs to other demon cultivators, using them as leverage to protect Qiao Yan. This caused most of her spiritual energy to deplete, leaving her with little time left to live.

Moreover, after today’s fierce battle with her own kin, her already dwindling spiritual energy was nearly exhausted, unable to sustain her much longer.

Ning Ning’s mind drifted back to her past conversations with Qin Niang.

She wondered how much truth there was when Qin Niang said, “I only wish for Xiao Yan to live.”

The night breeze gently dissipated the oppressive smell of blood. Ning Ning felt a heaviness in her heart, squatting down to be at eye level with Qin Niang and wiping the blood off her face.

After all, she was just a young girl who had never faced such great hardships. Even though she knew the other was a demon, she couldn’t bring herself to reprimand her under these circumstances. After a long silence, she softly asked, “Do you have any last wishes?”

Qin Niang seemed surprised by her words. A touch of softness flashed in her dark eyes. After a brief moment of daze, she gently shook her head.

“Remember, the Demon Lord’s power is unfathomable. It is difficult to defeat him by ordinary means… But if you can destroy the formation’s core, damaging the formation from outside, it will severely weaken him.”

At this point, she finally ran out of strength, leaning weakly against a tree stump in the yard, allowing her long hair to cover her bloodstained face.

“The Spirit Fox clan has been tainted by demonic energy for a long time. It won’t be long before they turn into mindless, evil creatures… If you want to save them, it’s up to you now.”

Ning Ning clenched the hem of her dress with her right hand, her voice hesitant, “Shouldn’t you tell Qiao Yan the truth? Everything you’ve done was for her, wasn’t it?”

Giving up the life-saving elixirs and sustaining herself with this damaged body, fighting against the demons in the secret realm, and exhausting all her spiritual energy until death—she did it all willingly for that girl. But from Qiao Yan’s perspective, this fake mother was just another deceiver, no different from the other demon cultivators.

It was truly… unfair.

Qin Niang just shook her head, forcing a smile. Even though she was the one who was dying, her tone was like that of a gentle elder comforting a child, devoid of any sorrow: “There’s not much time left. Go find the core of the formation quickly.”

The “Demon Lord Qi Han” mentioned by the demon cultivators could return at any moment. If he found the two of them, it would be hard to escape. Ning Ning looked up and exchanged a glance with Pei Ji, finally nodding.

Pei Ji had killed all the other demon cultivators around them. Qin Niang watched them leave in silence. As the silhouettes of the young man and woman faded from view, it felt like the whole world had gone silent.

Her spiritual energy was like a dried-up spring; her entire body was wracked with excruciating pain. She took a light breath and, through her increasingly blurred vision, looked up at the familiar yard.

This was Qiao Yan’s house.

All around, the little girl had carefully planted many flowers and herbs, including those that could restore spiritual energy and heal injuries. The summer night was lush and green, with a fragrant breeze, and occasionally, groups of fireflies would fly by, making Qiao Yan very happy.

She had struggled in a bloody mire for many years. The memories of slaughter and survival seemed like someone else’s life, yet the bloodstains on her hands could never be washed away. Qin Niang didn’t expect to be forgiven.

“Turning back from a lost path”—such words sounded so nice, but she knew that the sins she had committed would follow her for life.

—She truly didn’t deserve to be by Qiao Yan’s side; it had always been this way.

The night sky was clear as a mirror, reflecting the lonely shadow of the woman. Qin Niang knew her time was short, but a faint, gentle smile appeared in her eyes.

This was her and Qiao Yan’s home.

She had once been homeless, wandering from place to place.

“Home” was such an unattainable word, but now, dying in her own home… it didn’t seem so bad.


After leaving the yard, Ning Ning didn’t say much.

She had rarely seen life-and-death separations, and Qin Niang’s departure was filled with too much regret. She vaguely thought of Chen Lubai from the Floating Tower, making her feelings even more complex.

In the world of cultivation, the law of the jungle prevailed, and life and death were uncertain. Their deaths went unnoticed, and their sacrifices and efforts were silent.

Pei Ji walked silently beside her, suddenly speaking, “Are you still thinking about her?”

“Thinking about many things.”

He rarely spoke first, and Ning Ning seemed startled, quickly looking up at him before averting her gaze. When she spoke again, there was a hint of hesitation: “Pei Ji, if someone close to you had ulterior motives and wanted to use you, what would you do?”

She finally asked.

Ning Ning felt nervous, slowing her breathing.

Qin Niang and Qiao Yan’s relationship seemed similar to hers and Pei Ji’s.

Although they were getting closer, she still had to play the role of a villain, forced to do many things against her will by the system.

If Pei Ji ever discovered the truth—Ning Ning’s thoughts were in turmoil, but Pei Ji answered without hesitation, “I have no one close to me.”

Ning Ning was taken aback.

“What if it’s me?”

She mustered the courage to look him in the eye. In the thick night, the boy’s dark pupils were like abysses: “If I did something bad to you, what would you do?”

Pei Ji stared at her, replying just as quickly, “You wouldn’t.”

Ning Ning was stunned.

“What do you mean, ‘I wouldn’t’?”

His words made her laugh, but halfway through, she felt a strange bitterness. She pursed her lips and continued, “Do you trust me that much?”

The boy walking beside her paused, his fingers gripping his sword tightly as he turned away, avoiding her gaze.

This time, there was a long pause. When Pei Ji finally spoke again, his voice was awkwardly stiff: “It’s just a feeling.”

Cheng Ying almost died of frustration on the spot, screaming madly internally, “What do you mean, ‘just a feeling’? Can’t you tell the truth for once?”

It was exasperated, rolling around in anger, but Ning Ning lowered her head, a barely perceptible smile forming on her lips.

“That’s not certain. I might bully you someday.”

Her mood seemed to lighten, her voice carrying a hint of a smile: “We probably won’t find any clues here. Let’s check the other side of the formation?”

Pei Ji grunted in agreement.

Then he mumbled, “Don’t be sad.”



“Taoist Xu, where are you taking me?”

As dusk fell, the reflections of the trees flowed like water, falling on the man and woman in the forest.

Qiao Yan was confused, having been led out of the settlement by Xu Ye. She still didn’t understand his intentions, and, seeing they were moving farther from the waterfall, she couldn’t help but pull her sleeve from his grip, stopping abruptly.

“You keep saying you want to show me something, but where exactly are we going? What is it you want to show me? Why are you being so secretive?”

Xu Ye was taken aback by her series of questions, standing there awkwardly, unsure of how to respond.

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