Liang Jiujiu looked flustered. “I was wrong. It was not at the General Residence but the Ninth Prince’s chamber where I met Liang Shuhong. I thought both of you look similar.”
Song Ci thought for a moment, but he did not have any impression. He had also never heard of someone from the Liang Clan serving in the Ninth Prince’s palace. He asked, “Who are your parents?”
Liang Jiujiu replied, “I don’t know. Master Yanbei bought me off the streets, then gave me to the Ninth Prince, who then kept me in Xi Yang Palace. Later, after the Ninth Prince feigned death and left the palace, I fled too.”
Song Ci had never heard of Liang Yanbei sending a person to Wen Chan, but he knew that Liang Yanbei had previously bought a flaming red bird at a high price from a traveling salesman in the capital and gifted it to Wen Chan. Everyone in the city knew this.
Song Ci looked at him doubtfully and asked uncertainly, “You couldn’t be that bird, could you?”
Who would have thought he had guessed right? Liang Jiujiu nodded. “I am.”
Song Ci wondered if that cousin of his, Liang Yanbei, knew that he had sent a bird demon to the Ninth Prince.
Straightening out his thoughts, Song Ci asked, “Is there a reason you confessing this to me?”
“No. It’s just that I met you in another place and found you familiar, so I couldn’t help but feel close to you.” Liang Jiujiu said. Although Song Ci had not admitted he was Liang Shuhong, Liang Jiujiu could hear it from his words.
Song Ci was still not convinced. That period of time was precisely when he had consumed the demon blood by accident. Usually, he would don a big, black robe and wore a mask when he showed his face. If not, he would hide in a corner. He had never gone to the Ninth Prince’s Palace during this time, and he had never seen this bird either. So how would this bird find him familiar?
However, it had been four years, and it was meaningless to ask about these now. Song Ci warned Liang Jiujiu, “My name is Song Ci now, and I have nothing to do with the Liang Clan. Let’s not bring up the past.”
Liang Jiujiu seemed happy to make acquaintance with a familiar face and nodded excitedly. “Then, let’s have dinner together. I heard the menu today differs somewhat from yesterday…”
On seeing that he still had the heart of a child, Song Ci let him do as he wished and had dinner together with him. When they returned, Wen Changchu had already woken up and was sitting on the bed looking at something. Rong Bai was still lying on the bed, sleeping soundly.
There was no one else in the room. The other youths had gone off to practice what they had learned these past two days. The entire room was quiet. When Liang Jiujiu came to the doorway and saw that there were only the two of them inside, he made an excuse and went off to revise with the others.
The moment Song Ci stepped into the room, Wen Changchu heard him and raised his head. When he saw that it was Song Ci, he quietly stepped down from the bed.
Song Ci took a few steps back until both of them were standing outside the room. “Zhu Yishu is calling for you.”
Wen Changchu looked worried as he frowned and stressed over it for a moment before saying, “I won’t go to him today. I have more important matters to attend to.”
“It’s a long story. Come with me.” Wen Changchu motioned with his hand and slipped the book he was reading earlier into his bosom. He sneakily led Song Ci around those youths and headed for a secluded spot.
They walked on until it was trees all around them. There were no buildings. Song Ci could not help but ask, “Where are we going?”
“To the back mountain.” Wen Changchu slowed his pace. His expression was solemn.
At the back mountain of Mo Yao, there was a dungeon that held demons captive. It was where demons from all over the world that Mo Yao had been taken into custody were imprisoned. Those demons that had sinned too deeply were slain on the spot, while those with difficulties or were of unknown origins were detained here.
“Why are you going to the back mountain? To release your demon brothers and sisters?” Song Ci asked.
“Where in the world would I have that many brothers and sisters? I suspect that the Devil Seal Fragment may be there.” Wen Changchu said.
“Devil Seal what?”
Wen Changchu took out the book from his bosom, flipped to a specific page, and said to Song Ci, “See, there’s an account for the Devil Seal here.”
Song Ci took the book for a look and saw a rough drawing of a seal at the top, which looked like a jade seal.1 There was a written record below it. To put it simply, this Devil Seal was a divine artifact refined by the Ancient Deities. It could seal everything in the Six Realms, even a deity or devil. It was a treasure that the deities have always used to condemn evil and uphold virtue, so it was also called the Devil Seal.
“The last time the Devil Seal was seen was hundreds of years ago, when Realms of Deities, Immortals and Mortals joined forces to fight against Mo Zun Lou Muge.2 In the end, Lou Muge was defeated and sealed away by the Devil Seal, and his primordial spirit disintegrated. The Devil Seal was then smashed into four fragments by the Demon King and scattered all over the Six Realms.” Wen Changchu explained.
“But this thing is broken, what’s the use of it?” Song Ci did not understand this ancient stuff very well.
“An Ancient Divine Artifact can be damaged but not destroyed. The Devil Seal can be repaired if all four fragments were found.” Wen Changchu said, “The Devil Seal Fragments have been scattered for hundreds of years. Although there have been people looking for it, the search was not as intense as it is now. Mo Zun has returned to the world, and thousands of demons and devils are now holding their breaths in anticipation of his homecoming. This is a great catastrophe to the deities, immortals, and the mortal realms.”
“That Mo Zun is that abominable?”
“Rumor has it that he…” Wen Changchu spoke and suddenly stopped. “Forget it. You wouldn’t know even if I told you. In any case, his reputation stinks, but it’s also solid. Anyone who heard the name ‘Lou Muge’ in those days would be so scared they went weak in the knees. He was a nightmare to everyone in the three realms.”
“So they’re looking for the Devil Seal to seal Lou Muge away again?”
“For the deities and immortals, yes. But for demons, it’s more likely they wanted to get their hands on the fragments first to prevent those deities and immortals from restoring the Demon Seal.”
“That’s to say, this Demon Seal is now so hot the Six Realms are scrambling to get their hands on it?” Song Ci remembered the piece in Lu Shaoqing’s hand and wondered which side he was on.
“There are two fragments hidden in the Mortal Realm.” Wen Changchu said, “One is that piece from the small city earlier, but someone has already snatched it away. And another one is at the mountain peak of Mo Yao. However, it doesn’t give off an aura after the Demon King had sealed it, so there is no way for divine consciousness to detect it. We have to search for it manually one step at a time.”
“Why do you want that thing? Are you on friendly terms with Mo Zun?”
Rong Bai was a Daoist priest; presumably, he stood on the side of those who wanted to slay Mo Zun. Lu Shaoqing was buddies with Rong Bai, so both of them must have the same goal.
However, Wen Changchu was a demon. There was no reason for him to side with the deities and immortals unless he had an enmity with Mo Zun.
Song Ci thought, if both of their goals weren’t the same, then wouldn’t they be on opposing ends? If they really found the Devil Seal Fragment, then wouldn’t they fight over it when the time comes?
“It’s a treasure. Who wouldn’t want it…?” Wen Changchu said vaguely. “I hope this won’t end up being a futile trip.”
“If it is as you said, then there would be countless of immortals and demons infiltrating and lurking within Mo Yao Sect for that fragment.” Song Ci sighed. “They’d better not stir up any trouble.”
“Trouble?” Wen Changchu sneered at him. “If you ask me, the most troublesome thing is that ‘Great Buddha’ beside you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Because I just recalled today that the name of that peerless Demon King of the Demon Realm seems to be Rong Bai.” Wen Changchu enunciated each word seriously.
Jade seal, also known as the Imperial Seal or the Emperor Seal, are name stamps that are used as signatures in both personal and official documents.
- 魔尊楼慕歌 Mo Zun Lou Muge. Mo Zun, or the Devil Lord, is Lou Muge’s title. He is not the Devil King of the Devil Realm. Also, he has his own (BL) story in the author’s latest ongoing novel on JJWXC, 《魔尊今天也在逃命》 , literally translated as ‘The Devil Lord (Mo Zun) is Fleeing For His Life Again Today’. [Link]