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Volume 1 (Human World): Chapter 20

Long Er moved his palm, and a gray robe unfurled, resembling the color of his donkey hide.

“This is a treasure I obtained from Muxiao Mountain when I came to the human world from the demon realm, the Wanxiang Robe. It can change its shape at will and conceal the wearer’s original aura. Whatever you think of while wearing it, you will become. Sacrifices will cause a demon energy fluctuation that will attract the immortals. Only the imperial tomb behind the imperial city can suppress demon energy. I’ll help you rescue Chong Zhao, and we’ll meet at the tomb.”

“The imperial tomb?” Bai Shuo was startled but nodded and accepted the Wanxiang Robe.


Long Er donkey turned and leaped out the window, heading towards the prison under the cover of darkness.

Bai Shuo kneeled respectfully and kowtowed three times at the ancestral hall, then donned the Wanxiang robe and left without looking back.

The General’s Mansion was heavily guarded. Bai Shuo moved cautiously, narrowly avoiding detection several times. Moments later, she crawled out of the mansion through a dog hole and ran towards the outskirts of the city.

Long Er Donkey used the same trick at the prison entrance, blowing out a mist that put the guards to sleep. He sneaked into Chong Zhao’s cell and found him lying on the ground, covered in blood. He pushed Chong Zhao, who didn’t respond, revealing half of his face.

Long Er, still with a child’s temperament, pouted and muttered.

“Just a mortal. Bai Shuo is smart, but she risked everything for this pretty face.”

Long Er lifted Chong Zhao onto his back and swiftly escaped the prison. After a short while, he appeared at the entrance, relieved that the guards were still unconscious. He leaped over the final high wall.

As Long Er Donkey crossed the wall, several beams of immortal light suddenly appeared. A massive immortal net descended from the sky, surrounding him.

“Damn! I’ve been discovered!” Long Er Donkey’s expression changed. He summoned an old cane from his palm and swatted at the immortal net.

A group of immortal soldiers appeared in mid-air, controlling the net. No matter how Long Er Donkey tried to evade, he couldn’t escape.

Qingyi stood at the forefront of the soldiers, surprised to see that Long Er donkey was just a tree demon.

“Just a tree demon?” Qingyi looked around the imperial city, puzzled.

The city had been shrouded in demon energy for half a month. How could it be caused by just this tree demon?

In mid-air, Long Er Donkey was outnumbered by the immortals but didn’t surrender. He wielded his cane skillfully. As dawn approached and the city’s inhabitants began to wake, Qingyi stepped forward and struck Long Er Donkey with his whisk. The blow made Long Er Donkey see stars. He and the unconscious Chong Zhao plummeted to the ground, and the immortal net enveloped them.

Outside the imperial tomb, Bai Shuo waited anxiously. The last vestiges of night vanished, and the first light of dawn touched the rocks. Suddenly, she heard footsteps and turned around in surprise.

“Ah Zhao!”

Seeing the person who had arrived, Bai Shuo’s joy turned to fear, and she stepped back.

An incense stick’s time earlier, just as the immortal net was closing in on Long Er Donkey and Chong Zhao, a sudden chill froze the area within a mile of the prison. Everything but the falling Long Er Donkey was encased in ice.

A silver light shot towards Long Er Donkey, who looked terrified. He tried to fend it off with his cane, but it was easily shattered. The silver light struck Long Er Donkey’s forehead, and the green-robed boy instantly transformed into a small wooden donkey, which spun around a few times before falling silent.

The wooden donkey flew up into the air and landed in a pair of slender hands.

In the moonlight, the figure was hidden within a demonic aura, making his features indistinguishable. He casually toyed with the wooden donkey and said coldly, “Since you wanted to be a donkey so badly, you can stay one forever.”

The wooden donkey, unable to speak or move, looked like a lifeless object, yet its dull eyes reflected endless sorrow and despair.

The figure tossed the wooden donkey into his sleeve and waved his hand, causing the ice-bound Chong Zhao to disappear. He ignored the immortal soldiers and turned to leave.

Behind him, Qingyi struggled to break the icy grip with his immortal energy, finally freeing the other immortals. He tried to stop the figure with his whisk.


As the whisk touched the figure’s back, a powerful demonic force appeared and shattered the whisk. Qingyi spat blood and stumbled back.

Under the full moon, the figure’s cold and powerful aura was evident.

The immortal soldiers rushed to support Qingyi.

“my lord!”

“my lord!”

Some soldiers wanted to pursue them, but Qingyi stopped them.

“Come back!” His face was pale as he watched the figure leave.

“There’s no need to chase. That was the Lord of Haoyue Palace.”

His words left the soldiers silent. They had thought they were dealing with a minor demon, not expecting the Lord of Haoyue Palace to appear. Rumor had it he never left the extreme northern realm. Why would he come to the human world to save a mortal?

Qingyi was also puzzled and fell silent.

At the General’s Mansion, Bai Xun stood in the hall, barely containing his anger.

“When did the young lady go missing?”

The guards knelt, trembling. “General, we don’t know.”

“Ridiculous! With so many of you guarding her, how could she disappear?”

“We stayed outside the ancestral hall the whole time and never left. General, the young lady didn’t leave the hall!” The guards exchanged uneasy glances, fearing the rumors that the young lady had attracted some evil spirits were true.

Bai Shuo’s return to the capital that day caused a sensation in the city, and this time she disappeared inexplicably under the watch of everyone. The guards were worried, wondering if their young lady really offended some evil things as the outside world rumored?

Bai Xun’s face changed. He suddenly said, “Check the backyard. Is the donkey that brought the young lady back still there?”

The guards were stunned but hurried to check. “Yes, General.”

Moments later, they reported that the donkey in the backyard had disappeared, coinciding with news of Chong Zhao’s escape from the prison reaching the Bai family.

Bai Xun staggered and nearly fell, but a pair of hands supported him.

“Father.” Bai Xi, dressed in plain clothes, lowered her veil, revealing a face not very similar to Bai Shuo’s.

“Xi’er, why are you back? Your sister…”

“I know everything.” Bai Xi waved her hand.

“Leave us.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

The hall quickly emptied.

“Father, since Ah Shuo returned, I’ve had people in the Eastern Palace keep an eye on our family and the Chong family. As soon as I heard she was missing, I rushed back.”

“Do you know where she went?”


Bai Xi shook her head.

“But I suspect her sudden disappearance and Chong Zhao’s rescue are connected.”

Bai Xi looked calm as she gazed outside the hall.

“Since you brought her back from the imperial tomb years ago, I’ve known we couldn’t keep her. I didn’t expect this day to come so soon…”

Bai Xun’s face changed, and a suspicion grew in his heart.

“Xi’er, you…?”

Bai Xi nodded slightly.

“Yes, I remember what happened when I was eight.”

Bai Xun was stunned and sighed heavily.

Outside the imperial tomb, Bai Shuo had no room to retreat; her back was against the cliff’s edge.

“Why are you here?”

Fan Yue approached, his expression dark and cunning.

“Brother Bai, you are so clever. Do you really not know why I’m here?”

“Lord Fan, you flatter me,” Bai Shuo laughed nervously.

“I wouldn’t dare presume to call myself your brother. Lord Fan! Long Er really isn’t with me! I swear!”

“I know.” Fan Yue leaned lazily against a tree trunk, speaking casually.

Bai Shuo was stunned, unable to respond, before Fan Yue moved his palm, revealing a small wooden donkey spinning in his hand.

“Long Er?” Bai Shuo blurted out, then quickly covered her mouth.

“So, you two are old acquaintances,” Fan Yue’s eyes glinted.

Bai Shuo’s expression suddenly changed.

“You captured Long Er! Damn! Ah Zhao!”

She glanced at the high-hanging sun and turned to run towards the city, only to be stopped by a wall of ice that appeared out of nowhere.

“Move aside!” Bai Shuo’s eyes were red with urgency.

“Are you in such a hurry because of him?”

With a wave of Fan Yue’s hand, the unconscious form of Chong Zhao appeared beneath a nearby rock.

“Ah Zhao!” Bai Shuo rushed forward.

Seeing that his bloodstains had disappeared and his wounds were healed, she breathed a sigh of relief before turning to Fan Yue with a complex expression.

“Did you save him?”

“Of course. Who else but me? That stupid donkey?” Fan Yue frowned, displeased.

“Why?” Bai Shuo stammered.

“On a whim.”

Bai Shuo was stunned as Fan Yue walked toward her.

“I never owe anyone, especially not mortals. I saved him to repay you for helping me out of a bind at Muxiao Mountain. From now on, we’re even.”

Fan Yue stopped in front of Bai Shuo, the sunlight casting sharp shadows on his face. Bai Shuo looked up at him, momentarily dazed.

“Thank you,” she managed to say, not finding anything else appropriate.

Maybe demons aren’t so bad after all, she thought, contrary to what the storybooks said.

“Since we’re even, there’s no need for you to remember certain things.”

Before Bai Shuo could react, Fan Yue leaned down, placing his long fingers on her forehead.

A demonic light flashed, and Bai Shuo’s eyes slowly closed as she collapsed to the ground.

The youth stood up, glanced indifferently at the two on the ground, and then turned to leave without hesitation.

In the sunlight, Bai Shuo’s closing eyes captured the sight of the youth’s retreating figure, feeling a strange sense of familiarity.

Who is he? The Lord of Haoyue Palace? a demon?… It seems to be just that…… Bai Shuo’s thoughts faded as she fell into darkness.

When Bai Shuo woke up, she was in a carriage, dressed in plain clothes instead of her usual finery. Chong Zhao was sleeping beside her.

The carriage stopped as Bai Shuo awoke. She lifted the curtain and saw no one around, not even the driver. In the distance, at the end of the official road, a figure stood by a pavilion.

What is she doing here?! Bai Shuo was startled and hurriedly jumped off the carriage.

“Ah Xi!” Bai Shuo ran forward, nearly stumbling, but Bai Xi caught her steadily.

“Slow down.”

Seeing Bai Xi, Bai Shuo’s pent-up fear and anxiety burst forth. She clung to Bai Xi, sobbing uncontrollably, “Ah Xi, Ah Xi…”

“It’s okay; it’s okay. You’re safe now. Don’t cry.”

Bai Xi comforted her patiently, gently patting her back until the sobs subsided.

“I…” Bai Shuo’s eyes were full of tears as she glanced at the carriage, unsure where to begin.

“Some things you don’t need to tell me. Father found a convict to replace Ah Zhao; no one knows the prisoner wasn’t him,” Bai Xi said softly.

“And the Chong family…?”

Bai Xi shook her head and sighed.

“By noon, the entire Chong family had been executed.”

Bai Shuo’s face turned pale as she bit her lip. Bai Xi grasped her hand. “Ah Shuo, this isn’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself. Ah Zhao was innocent, and you did your best.”

Bai Shuo’s hands trembled slightly as she nodded, then she shook her head.

“Ah Zhao can’t stay in the capital anymore. He’ll need to hide his identity from now on. If you want to come back with me, Father and I will figure out how to handle today’s events…”


Bai Shuo interrupted Bai Xi, glancing at the carriage. “Ah Zhao has lost everything. I’m afraid he might do something foolish. I want to stay with him until he can move on from the tragedy of his family.”

Bai Xi’s expression darkened, and Bai Shuo held Bai Xi’s hand in return.

“It’s alright, Ah Xi, you know me. I’ve never liked being a high-born lady or a general’s daughter. Ever since I was a child, my dream has been to live freely like an immortal!”

Bai Xi looked helplessly at Bai Shuo’s playful smile and tapped her forehead. “You…”

“You’re the crown princess; you can’t stay away from the Eastern Palace for too long. It’s time for us to part ways. You should go back. When I become an immortal, I’ll come back to see you, okay?”

Bai Shuo smiled, and Bai Xi’s eyes reddened slightly.

Finally, she nodded, “Alright, I’ll wait for our little immortal to come back and visit me. It’s not the same out there as it is at home. You must take good care of yourself. If you ever face difficulties or decide you no longer want to pursue that immortal dream, just come home, alright?”

Bai Shuo’s eyes were filled with tears as she nodded firmly.


She let go of Bai Xi’s hand and turned to leave. After a few steps, she suddenly turned back and ran to Bai Xi.

“Big sister!” Bai Shuo hugged Bai Xi tightly, calling her “sister” for the first time in their eighteen years.

“Take care of our parents for me. Stay well!” Bai Shuo suddenly let go and walked away without looking back.

“Ah…” Bai Xi reached out but only managed to touch the corner of Bai Shuo’s clothing.

The carriage disappeared at the end of the road. Bai Xun quietly appeared, standing beside Bai Xi and watching Bai Shuo’s distant figure.

When Chong Zhao woke up again, it had been half a month. He never asked Bai Shuo any questions, as if he knew everything. He remained silent all day, eating and drinking only to curl up in the carriage, as if he were completely numb to the world.

Bai Shuo drove the carriage eastward, showing him all the sights along the way and telling him stories and jokes to cheer him up. She dared not stray far during the day nor sleep deeply at night, fearing that she might lose the dazed Chong Zhao.

A month passed like this. Bai Shuo did not dare to stop, enduring the harsh elements. As winter approached, the winds grew stronger, and her once smooth hands became cracked and rough from driving the carriage. Her face, chiseled by the wind and sand, turned dark and coarse, but the light in her eyes never dimmed.

She believed that one day Chong Zhao would speak to her again, and she believed that one day she would reach the end of the East Sea and find the legendary immortal mountain.

Time passed day by day. When they reached the last city on the eastern edge of the Great Jing, it was the end of the year.

That night, fireworks lit up the sky, and the entire city celebrated. Hearing the people praising the emperor’s grace, Bai Shuo remembered that it was the emperor’s birthday.

In her panic to leave the bustling city, she found herself caught in the crowd under the fireworks. At that moment, a pair of hands took the reins from her.

Chong Zhao had woken up without her noticing. He looked at Bai Shuo with a gentle smile.

Bai Shuo’s eyes filled with tears, but she couldn’t say a word.

“Where are we going, Ah Shuo?” Chong Zhao’s voice was as warm as ever.

“To become immortals,” Bai Shuo choked out, asking, “Okay?”


Chong Zhao patted her head and steadily drove the carriage through the fireworks, heading east.

That same night, in the northernmost part of the demon realm, in Haoyue Palace.

In the cold hall, Fan Yue drank alone under the moon. The small wooden donkey lay carelessly by the fragrant incense burner. A wine cup fell on the table with a clink, and Long Yi Pig, fluttering its wings drunkenly, climbed onto the table, leaning against the incense burner and resting one foot comfortably on the wooden donkey.

“Little wood…” Long Yi Pig hiccuped, “How long have we been back? Why haven’t you eaten this donkey yet?”


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