[English chapter 06] Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation | 魔道祖师 | Mó Dào Zǔ Shī | Danmei BL






CHAPTER 06  : PROUD
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Within a few days, Wei Wuxian found that he might have made the wrong decision.

This conveniently led along flower donkey, was very high maintenance.

It was obviously just a regular donkey, however it would only eat fresh tender grass. If the grass was even a little yellow it would refuse to eat.
Passing by a farmhouse, Wei Wuxian stole a little bit of barley straw to feed it. After a few chews, it spit it out. Almost like a person, its attitude was loud and clear.
If the food wasn’t acceptable, it would refuse to walk. It would get angry and kick with its back hooves. Wei Wuxian several times narrowly escaped being kicked.
Moreover, its braying was extremely unpleasant.

No matter as a horse or as a pet, it didn’t have a single good point!

Wei Wuxian couldn’t help but to miss his sword (1).
Presently that sword’s most likely location was hanging on display on the wall of a big clan master, treated as the spoils of war.

Forcibly dragging the donkey down the road, he passed through a wide expanse of village fields.
The scorching sun burned down. On the edge of the path between the paddies there was a single large locust tree. (2) The locust tree’s shade was very dense, furthermore there was a convenient old well. Villagers had placed at the well’s edge a single bucket with a ladle, to allow passersby to quench their thirst.
The flower donkey ran over, not willing to walk. Wei Wuxian jumped down and slapped it on its rump saying: “You still have a rich life. You’re much more high maintenance than I am.”
The donkey sprayed him with water.

As he was scolding the donkey, he saw walking over on the path leading north and south a party of people.
These people were burdened with woven bamboo baskets. They wore cloth garments and straw sandals. They all shared an unsophisticated countryside villager look from head to foot.
There with them was a young girl with a round face. Her appearance reluctantly could be regarded as delicate and pretty. Perhaps she had been walking in the scorching sun for a long time and had also thought to come over and cool off in the shade and drink water. However, seeing below the tree on one side a flailing hooves braying flower donkey and on the other side a madman with a red painted smeared white face and disheveled hair, she didn’t dare come over.

Wei Wuxian had always presented himself as a person having protective feelings towards women. Upon seeing this move he shuffled over and tossed aside the flower crowned donkey.
The crowd, seeing he was harmless, felt relieved and walked over.
Each one’s brow was beaded with sweat. Having very red cheeks, they fanned themselves. Drawing water, the girl sat at the edge of the well. Seeming to realize he had deliberately yielded his position, she smiled faintly at Wei Wuxian.

Among them, a villager holding a compass, gazed into the distance and bowed his head in a bewildered fashion: “We’ve almost reached the foot of Dafan mountain. Why is this pointer is still motionless?”

The compass’s markings and pointer were all extremely strange. It clearly wasn’t an ordinary compass.
It was not used to indicate NSEW, but rather was used to indicate evils, demons, and fiends. It was a “Fengxie board”. (3)
Wei Wuxian knew he had met up with a whole family of down and out hard, pressed for money, peasants.
Other than the highbrow rich aristocratic families, there were also many such hunter groups. They were small self study families.
Wei Wuxian thought: ‘Can’t say for sure. They could be from the countryside rushing over to seek shelter and the advantage of a large family clan, or possibly they’re going night hunting.’

The leading middle age man on the side called out as he passed by to drink water: “Is your compass broken? Later I’ll exchange it for a new one. It’s still less than 10 li (4) to Dafan mountain, we cannot rest for long. Although everyone’s tired, if we relax here we’ll fall behind the people ahead of us. If we allow someone else to snatch it first we’ll have wasted our time.”
Sure enough they were night hunting.
Many xianmen (5) aristocratic families preferred to do things in an elegant manner. They took pleasure in travelling in all directions to get rid of devils and subdue monsters. These “hunting expeditions”, owing to the fact that these people were always coming and going at night, became known as “night hunting”.
There were many cultivator clans such that. However to become famous enough to rise to that level, of the great number that came and went, only a few managed to succeed.
In the xuanmen, (6) if one did not have ancestors to accumulate abundant riches, ordinary clans who wished to be included in the top ranks and to rise as a famous clan, had to obtain results or true merits.
If a clan was able to bring down savage demonic beasts or clear a disaster area of a malicious fiend, they then would be able to speak with weight.

This was originally Wei Wuxian’s forte. These days he was rushing about on the road, robbing tombs and hunting small ghosts.
In hand he had his ability to ride roughshod over ghosts and so he determined that he should go to Dafan mountain to try his luck.
If things went well, afterwards he could snatch up some funds to relieve his expenses.

Those travelers after sufficiently resting their feet, prepared to resume their journey.
Before leaving, the round faced girl took out a single semi ripe small apple from the box she carried on her back and held it out towards him: “This is for you”.
Wei Wuxian smiled happily and reached out to receive the apple. However the flower donkey raised its head to bite with ivory teeth.
Wei Wuxian hurriedly snatched the apple up.
Seeing the donkey drooling endlessly at the small apple, his thoughts turned towards his good fortune. He picked up a single long branch, tied string at the end, and hung the apple in front of the flower donkey’s head.
The flower donkey, smelling the sweet scent of the apple in front and desperately wanting a bite, chased after the hanging apple in front of its face. With a raised head it vigorously dashed forward. Surprisingly, as Wei Wuxian compared it to all the horses he has seen, it much faster. It left them in the dust!

Under the power of the donkey’s incessant hooves, Wei Wuxian hurried to Dafan mountain before it could get dark.
Once he reached the foot of the mountain, he then discovered that it used fàn(梵-Buddha) not the other fàn(饭-food) as the spelling of its name.
Seen from afar, the mountain’s form was similar to to a big hearted and serene short Buddha. Therefore this was the origin of its name.
Just under the mountain there was a small town called Fujiao.

Far many more cultivators had assembled in this place than he had imagined. Like fish and dragons mixed together, going back and forth on the street people were wearing the uniform colors of every clan and school leaving onlookers feeling dazzled.
It was unclear why, but everyone wore anxious expressions. Seeing this he understood that even with his ghost-like appearance, they were not at leisure to mock him.

Speaking seriously in the middle of the main street, there was a variety of cultivators gathered.
It seemed that they were not able to come to a consensus. Wei Wuxian at a distance conveniently eavesdropped on their discussion. Originally it was not too interesting but after a moment his interest sharpened:

“…I think that there absolutely aren’t any soul eating beasts or soul eating fiends here. Clearly all the fengxie boards indicator’s have had no reactions.”
“If they don’t exist, then how would these seven townspeople have lost their souls? Where else would this soul sickness come from? It’s very unlikely for so many people to get the same kind of illness, OK? I have never heard of this kind of illness!”

“The fengxie board hasn’t reacted so that means nothing is there? It’s only capable of indicating the general direction. Because the accuracy is poor you cannot solely rely on it. Perhaps in the vicinity there is something capable of thwarting its abilities.”
“Do you not believe in the creator of the fengxie board?  I have never heard of anything that could block its abilities.”
“What kind of strange idea are you spouting? I’m well aware that the fengxie board is Wei Ying’s creation. What, are you saying it’s impossible for him to make something imperfect? Don’t tell me you don’t allow other people to bring up any flaws?”

“I haven’t said that you aren’t allowed to question its abilities. I never said that the thing he made was perfect. You don’t need to keep making unfounded accusations!”

As a result they began to quarrel with each other. Wei Wuxian riding the flower donkey laughed as he passed by.
Unexpectedly after so many years have gone by he was still seeing cultivators fight about the subject. It didn’t fail to inspire awe inside of him. The so called “encounter Wei will quarrel”. If there had been a vote that of the many families, who’s popularity would be the most enduring, who would have thought it would be his own that would win?

To be fair, what this cultivator was saying was actually correct. At present the common fengxie board was the result of his first attempt to create such a thing. Indeed, the accuracy was insufficient.
He originally at that time had set out to improve it, but before he could finish, his old lair was attacked. So afterwards without any better options but to endure its deficiencies everyone continued to use the flawed first edition.

Returning to our main topic, flesh eating bone chewing creatures were for the most part low leveled existences such as zoushi. Only comparatively superior of above average type demonic beasts or perhaps ligui would have sufficient ability to take in and to digest a soul much less eat seven in such a short period of time. No wonder this many clans had all assembled in this location.
Since night prey were extremely important, making mistakes when using the fengxie board was unavoidable.

Wei Wuxian pulled in the string and jumped down from the back of the donkey. He grasped the apple he had been suspending in front of the flower donkey and brought it to its mouth: “A bite, only a bite…. hey, don’t eat my whole hand!”
He took a bite out of the other side of the apple and then returned it again to the donkey’s mouth. Thinking back over everything he wondered how it could be possible that he had degenerated to the point of sharing the same apple with a donkey. Suddenly another person knocked into his back.
Turning around he saw a girl. Although she had knocked against him she seemed completely oblivious to what she was doing. Her eyes lacked spirit. Wearing a smile on her face she looked in a certain direction with a fixed gaze.

Wei Wuxian followed the path of her her gaze.
In that direction was a densely massed hilltop. It was precisely Dafan mountain.

Suddenly, this girl without warning faced him and began to dance around wildly.

These movements were coarse and wild, almost threatening. Wei Wuxian looked behind her with keen interest. A lone married woman raised her skirt and rushed over. Attempting to bring her to a stop she cried out: “A’Yan (7), we must return, ok?! Let’s go back, ok?!”

A’Yan strove to shake her off, face still smiling. From start to finish her expression had remained the same and with a kind of hair raising look of love she continued to dance and jump from side to side. The married woman had no alternative but to chase after her down the packed street. Weeping she ran down the edge of the street trying to keep up.
To the side an itinerant peddler said: “Looks like A’Yan of the Zheng blacksmith household is causing trouble again running about.”
“Her mother is really pitiful. A’Yan, A’Yan’s husband,  and furthermore her own husband, it’s nothing good…”

Wei Wuxian strolled about, a few scattered phrases from every mounted stranger was all it took to sort out to what strange thing had occurred in this place.

On Dafan mountain, there was an old graveyard. The townspeople of Fujiao used this as an ancestral tomb and for the most part everyone was eventually buried there. Sometimes it also served as a place for nameless corpses. There they would dig a pit and stand a piece of signboard.
Several months before, there was a night full of flashing lightning and thunder claps. Wind and rain erupted.
The torrential rain eroded the area and overnight a piece of Dafan mountain crumbled away in a rock slide. It was exactly the location of that graveyard.
Many old graves were destroyed. Furthermore several coffins were exposed out from the earth. Together the thunder and lighting broke open coffin lids and continuously corpses from the coffins were split in two and charred black.

The Fujiao townspeople were very uneasy. They all prayed for blessings, reconstructed a large amount of graves, and believed the issue had been settled.
Who could have known that from that time, Fujiao would begin to repeatedly lose people.

The first person was a famous sluggard.
This person was a pauper. On most ordinary days he would idle about. Owing to the fact that he liked to go up the mountain to catch birds for amusement, he found himself exactly in the middle of the landslide that night. He ended up trapped on Dafan mountain. It scared him half to death. Luckily he survived without further incident.
Surprisingly, within a few days of his return, with great fanfare, he suddenly married a young woman. Persuaded that from now on he would do good deeds and accumulate merit he set her at ease regarding his new path in life.

On his wedding night he drank until he was dead drunk, fell onto the bed, and did not rise.
The bride called him but he did not respond. Touching him she discovered the grooms eyes stared blankly; he was ice cold from head to toe. Apart from his breathing, he was no different than a dead person.
In this way he did not eat and did not drink. He lay there for days, and in the end was buried.
A pitiful bride. Married one moment and widowed the next.

The second in the same way was Zheng the blacksmith family’s A’Yan.
The small young lady had barely agreed to marriage. In the end the future husband went hunting the next day up the mountain and was bitten to death by a ravenous wolf.
Once she learned of the situation what then occurred was the same kind of event as the sluggard.
Fortunately, in this case, her missing soul illness unexpectedly was not as severe.
However from now on she had become erratic, every day smiling , laughing, and dancing for the benefit of the people looking after her.

The third was A’Yan’s father Zheng the blacksmith.
So far already there had been seven continuous deaths.

Wei Wuxian mulled it over. Most likely it was a soul eating fiend and not the other blamed possibility the soul eating beast.

For the two of them although they differed just a single character, nevertheless they were completely different things. (8)
Fiends were a ghost type class, and beasts were a demonic beast type.
According to his opinion, probably the landslide had broken open an ancient tomb. The lightning cleaved open the coffin and let out a fiend that had been resting for many years.
Getting to the bottom of the matter required him to get a glimpse of the coffin. It would be sufficient proof if there was or wasn’t a seal remnant.
Most likely the Fujiao townspeople just in case had already burned the coffin and buried the contents separately. The skeleton inside once more would be buried away and any vestiges would not remain in any amount.

Heading uphill towards the landslide, Wei Wuxian mounted the donkey  and unhurriedly ambled up the slope.
After travelling a spell, several people all with wretched faces came downwards.

These people, some with faces showing injuries, were all animatedly talking at once.
The sky was getting dark and they directly knocked against him. Seeing him riding a donkey, with his face wearing the makeup of the ghost of a hanged man, they simultaneously all jumped and cursed at him. Circling around him they hurriedly went downhill.
Wei Wuxian turned around to consider, could it be possible they were a failed hunting party? Thinking deeply, he patted the donkey on the rump and continued up the mountain at a small jog.

Unfortunately he was completely wrong as he missed hearing the complaints of this crowd of people:

“Never have I seen seen such tyranny!”

“The head of such a big clan. Is it necessary to come here to snatch up a mere soul eating fiend? Since he was young, how many has he killed!?”

“Having that kind of ability, who asked him to be the head of a clan? Wanting to offend them, which family can afford to offend the Jiang family? Wanting to offend him, who can afford to offend Jiang Cheng? Go put your things in order, just resign yourself that you have bad luck!”

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NOTE

(1) He specifically calls it a jian. A type of double edged straight sword.

(2) Sophora japonica or Japanese pagoda tree

(3) Evil wind

(4)The li has varied considerably over time but was usually about a third as long as the English mile and now has a standardized length of a half-kilometer (500 meters or 1,640 feet).

(5) Immortal school or sect.

(6) Cultivator society

(7) Same as before, an affectionate way of addressing a person. This time I decided to change it a little bit.

(8) 食魂煞 vs 食魂兽