“Well, you don’t look like you are in a condition to talk?”
Cale subconsciously took a defensive attitude toward the Heavenly Demon>
‘Raon called it a scamming smile, but…’
In Cale’s opinion, the Heavenly Demon was a bit different from people like Alberu and himself.
‘He’s just the type who says whatever he sees and moves according to what he says.’
He was the type who didn’t see the point of using a glib tongue to gain benefits. However, the way he looked at the world might be similar to Alberu and himself.
There was a simple reason he felt this way.
‘There is nothing hidden in his eyes.’
He was openly revealing his feelings. However, that did not make him look innocent or not serious.
In fact, despite looking like he was in his teens, the Heavenly Demon’s eyes gave off a depth that made it difficult to know his age.
The fact that someone with a deep gaze could also fully show their emotions…
This was not easy.
‘But there is no reason for me to get anxious.’
Cale heard the Heavenly Demon’s voice.
“I guess I do look like shit.”
The Heavenly Demon brushed back his extremely sweaty hair.
“But there are things I can say because of how I am right now.”
Cale plopped down on the ground after hearing that. The Heavenly Demon’s face returned to its gruff look as he continued to speak.
“But you are a bit different from what I have heard.”
“What did you hear?”
“So benevolent that someone like you could never be seen in the world ever again, gentle, and warm.”
The Heavenly Demon calmly commented before Cale could even say anything.
“All of it was bullshit.”
Cale was slightly wowed.
‘I guess the Heavenly Demon really is the Heavenly Demon?’
This guy understood that Cale was not that kind of person.
– You, you! That’s not true! Human, you may hold a bit of a grudge, no, it might be more than just a little, but, regardless, human, you are gentle-, actually no, but anyway, human, you are a really good person!
Cale ignored Raon’s chaotic rambling and looked around.
“I guess this is a good place to chat since the formation keeps the noises out.”
However, his face turned a bit emotionless.
“Of course, your Guard still seems to be here.”
The Heavenly Demon slowly raised his head.
“She’s on top of this room’s ceiling.”
“The Shadow Guard?”
“Yeah. The Shadow Guard only shows herself to the leader, so I ask for your understanding.”
Cale was about to nod his head before looking at the Heavenly Demon with an odd gaze after hearing this comment.
“It also looks like you brought a friend with you.”
– Human! This Heavenly Demon guy is looking in my direction!
Cale held in his astonishment as he nonchalantly asked.
“The Heavenly Demon can even see things like that?”
The Heavenly Demon pointed to his head.
“I can slowly see things hidden in the world since my upper dantian opened.”
Cale nonchalantly nodded his head before casually asking.
“Is that how you were able to realize that you were a living jiangshi?”
The Heavenly Demon was silent.
He just quietly observed Cale.
Cale flinched internally after seeing his gaze.
‘What the hell? Why is he suddenly staring at me silently? He’s the one who wanted to chat.’
Weren’t the living jiangshis and the Blood Cult the only things they had to talk about?
Cale looked at him with confusion as the Heavenly Demon started speaking again.
“I guess I should tell you everything since I myself said that you were the answer.”
The Heavenly Demon looked up at the ceiling.
“Do not allow anybody to approach.”
There was no response.
However, he nodded his head before making eye contact with Cale.
“I’m sure you heard about some of it from the Sage Demon. I am fighting against the other me for control and am trying to fight against the Blood Cult.”
It was then that Cale felt the fatigue on the Heavenly Demon’s young face.
“This next part should be new for you since even the Sage Demon doesn’t know about it.”
He looked like someone who was being weighed down by a heavy burden.
“I am currently dying. I will probably die within the next two weeks.”
The Heavenly Demon looked up toward the ceiling before Cale could say anything.
It was because they heard a clunking noise from the center of the ceiling.
The Heavenly Demon commented while looking at the ceiling before smiling bitterly toward Cale.
“She’s grumbling that I should not tell you everything. But I think I need to tell you everything.”
“…Why are you dying?”
“I made a wrong move.”
He nonchalantly responded before pointing toward his heart.
“I learned that the evil aura started from here and is gathered inside.”
His hand moved past his heart toward his belly button, the lower dantian.
“It then mixed with my internal ki in my lower dantian. Basically, the middle dantian and the lower dantian have been taken over by this evil aura. Either way, it started from the heart.”
The Heavenly Demon’s story continued.
“That allowed me to figure out how the living jiangshis live like normal people without recognizing that they were brainwashed.”
Cale crossed his arms and focused on the story.
“If the brain is the territory of recognition, the heart is the territory of instinct. The Blood Cult implants it inside the heart, inside a person’s instinct. They instinctively feel the mission the Blood Cult has given them.”
Cale recalled the grotesque black heart of Namgung Tae Wi that had turned red.
‘If the Heavenly Demon’s hypothesis is correct, I guess Namgung Tae Wi’s instinctual mission was to assassinate the Sword Saint.
That was probably why he tried to die together with the Sword Saint.
“Of course, not recognizing it and delivering information to the Blood Cult was probably instinctual as well. Obeying their commands was probably stealthily placed in a person’s instincts as well.”
The Heavenly Demon scratched his cheek. He then smiled awkwardly.
As Cale thought that this was weird…
“Once I fully reached the Profound Realm and figured this out, I had this unexplainable confidence. Wouldn’t someone as strong as me be able to get rid of this evil aura and suppress my other self?”
Cale’s face turned odd but the Heavenly Demon calmly stated the results.
“However, I failed.”
He shook his head.
“I underestimated this thing. I have made a wrong move and the middle dantian and lower dantian are attacking my upper dantian nonstop. The situation became one where the evil aura is now aiming for the upper dantian as well.”
Tap. Tap. He tapped his head.
“And I will die once the evil aura takes over the upper dantian as well. Pfft.”
He let out a self-deprecating chuckle.
“It all happened because of my arrogance.”
It was at that moment.
“You’re wrong, my lord.”
They heard a woman’s voice from the ceiling.
The Heavenly Demon called out in a low voice with a stiff look on his face but the voice in the ceiling continued.
“My lord, you did not do this out of arrogance but because you wanted to stop the Demon Cult from crumbling.”
Cale got chills on his arms.
A dark red aura started to rise from the Heavenly Demon.
It was a heinous and violent aura unlike his calm self.
However, the voice in the ceiling did not stop.
“My lord, it is you who should stop trying to carry all of the burdens by yourself.”
“I will not accept your saying anything else.”
Gulp. Cale subconsciously gulped.
The Heavenly Demon was the strongest person Cale had met here until now.
That was potentially why the pressure this dark red aura was giving off was no joke.
– Human, it is similar to your aura!
Cale stared at the dark red aura in a bit of shock.
He did not hear the voice in the ceiling any longer and the Heavenly Demon flinched after seeing Cale staring at his aura.
‘Did I stare too much?’
Cale became embarrassed and his face stiffened. He quickly opened his mouth because he thought he should say something.
“Are you sure that you are dying? It sounds more like you are just planning on killing yourself.”
The Heavenly Demon’s pupils started shaking at that comment.
Cale felt that presence in the ceiling again as well.
Cale didn’t care and continued to say what he wanted.
“According to what you just said, wouldn’t it be fine if you just did as the evil aura told you once it takes over the upper dantian?”
Then the evil aura, that dead mana, would spread through all three of his dantians.
“It taking over will not kill you.”
He did not die even though that aura had spread through the middle and lower dantians.
What did that mean?
“Heavenly Demon. You are planning to kill yourself the moment that happens, aren’t you?”
“For the Demon Cult.”
All emotion had disappeared from the Heavenly Demon’s face.
“Probably because you think that if you become a living jiangshi, that other you will declare war on the Central Plains, which will also end up destroying the Demon Cult. If there is no answer after trying everything you could to stop that, you probably think that killing the source of the issue, which is you in this case, is the answer?”
As Cale finished his comment with a question…
The Heavenly Demon responded without any hesitation.
“Yes, I did think that.”
Cale chuckled before pointing at himself.
“The reason you are saying you ‘did’ think that is because things changed now that I am here?”
The Heavenly Demon responded stoically. This guy was oddly easy to talk to.
“I heard about your purification through the Sage Demon. After having experienced it myself, you have a power that can get rid of that evil aura.”
An odd smile appeared on the Heavenly Demon’s face.
“However, that power seems to be completely unrelated to the Nature Realm that people seem to believe that you are in.”
“I wasn’t the one who spread that rumor.”
Cale subconsciously commented back. The Heavenly Demon nodded his head.
“I know. However, it was quite an entertaining rumor. I like those kinds of rumors and exaggerations. The exaggerations and delusions of martial artists are quite entertaining.”
Cale wondered what he had just heard but the Heavenly Demon changed topics as if it wasn’t that important.
“Can you get rid of this evil aura?”
Cale answered this question first because it was the most important issue right now.
“Yeah. I can get rid of it.”
He then immediately added on.
“But you will lose your internal ki.”
Cale felt a scary aura at that moment.
The moment he felt murderous intent aimed toward him…
– You dare!
Raon must have felt it as well as he became angry.
Black mana fluctuated around Cale. It was Raon’s mana.
Cale heard a voice from the ceiling as soon as the Heavenly Demon scolded the Guard.
“I’m sorry, young master-nim.”
Cale nonchalantly responded before adding on.
“But I can’t guarantee what will happen if you do something like this again.”
‘I have no idea what an angry Raon might do.
I’m also a chicken so I will get really scared.’
Cale didn’t say that part out loud.
“…I understand what you mean, young master-nim. I will keep that in mind. My deepest apologies.”
The person in the ceiling gave a good response back.
Cale nodded his head and thought to himself.
‘The Guards seem to cherish the Heavenly Demon quite a bit. The Sage Demon as well.’
It didn’t feel like they were simply treating the Heavenly Demon as a god of the Demon Cult.
They seemed to be taking care of him like a member of their family, like their child or younger sibling.
The Heavenly Demon smiled bitterly after making eye contact with Cale.
‘I guess it is quite complicated here too.’
He felt as if he understood why the Heavenly Demon had hidden his decision to kill himself from everybody except the Shadow Guard.
“Anyway, young master Kim. Can you explain the reason why my internal ki will disappear?”
Cale nodded his head and explained what had happened when he purified Namgung Tae Wi.
He started with the enlarged black heart, then about how the living jiangshi tried to explode using the internal ki from the lower dantian, and about dead mana as well.
The Heavenly Demon nodded his head every so often before closing his eyes after hearing that Namgung Tae Wi was no longer able to gather internal ki in his dantian.
He then opened his eyes, made eye contact with Cale, saw the look on Cale’s face, and started speaking.
“You look like you are expecting something.”
Cale answered honestly.
“You are the strongest martial artist I’ve met. I thought that you might be able to come up with a way to not lose your internal ki.”
Cale had been wrong about something while going through this Central Plains world because he had read numerous wuxia novels.
Everybody had pointed underneath their belly button when mentioning the dantian, so he thought that concepts such as the upper dantian and middle dantian did not exist.
However, the Heavenly Demon said that he had broken through to the upper dantian.
That meant that the lower dantian, middle dantian, and the upper dantian… He had gone through all of them at least once and that a martial art with such a concept should exist as well.
‘Well, they do exist in the wuxia novels.’
Cale shared his thoughts out loud.
“Whether it is a way to gather internal ki in the upper dantian or maybe a way to protect the dantian itself even if you lost a bit of internal ki…”
The Heavenly Demon started smiling.
“You want something like that as a reward for purifying me?”
The corners of Cale’s lips curled up as well.
“Oh. I guess it is possible? You haven’t said it is impossible.”
“You could ask for other things in return for purifying me. But why is it that you want something like that?”
Cale looked at the Heavenly Demon, who had been easy to communicate with until now, as if he could not understand him. It could not be helped.
‘I need it so that I can increase the number of people who can help me fight the Blood Cult?’
The future sect leader of the Kunlun Sect was currently a living jiangshi as well.
There was the Shaolin’s Jeong Chan and Zhuge Eun So as well.
He also had no idea who in the Unorthodox faction was a living jiangshi.
No matter who it was, it was guaranteed to be a person of importance.
If so many people were purified at once, lost their martial arts, and had to vacate their posts, that would make it difficult when fighting against the Blood Cult.
Cale had been planning on taking more of an active role against the Blood Cult in such a situation, but he saw a different path now.
So, shouldn’t he choose that method?
‘Originally, I was going to ask him for the Demon Cult to help us when we fight against the Blood Cult.’
The Heavenly Demon was a person who was willing to kill himself so that the Blood Cult, who had threatened the Demon Cult, would not get their way.
He probably did not need to ask for their help.
Cale looked at the Heavenly Demon, who still wanted his answer, and asked in disbelief.
“Because that is what I need the most. You know that, don’t you?”
There was a reason he was in disbelief.
This Heavenly Demon bastard seemed to have figured out all of Cale’s thoughts. But he was still being annoying and asking.
Cale could see the Heavenly Demon let out a low laugh at that moment.
“I guess I can understand why such rumors have come out.”
The Heavenly Demon was now chuckling.
“You are quite an interesting person.”
‘What the hell is he saying?’
Cale looked unsettled and the Heavenly Demon nonchalantly commented.
“I think I should be able to come up with a way to gather internal ki in the upper dantian.”
That would mean that Namgung Tae Wi would have a way to walk the life of a martial artist once again.
“As for purifying a person while protecting the dantian… I do have something in mind that came up while looking at your power but I will need to test it out to be certain.”
“Test it out?”
Cale contemplated it for a moment before pointing at the Heavenly Demon.
“Are you the test subject?”
The ceiling clunked again.
“Of course it is me.”
The ceiling clunked once more as the Heavenly Demon calmly answered.
The corners of Cale’s lips curled up a bit once again.
“I want to hear this plan of yours.”
“As much as you want.”
The Heavenly Demon started sharing his thoughts.
The ceiling clunked a few times, and…
– Human, human! Are you going to purify someone again? If you cough up blood again like last time, I’m going to break that stone monk statue of Central Plains!
Raon kept saying something but Cale focused on the Heavenly Demon’s explanation and thought to himself.
‘This seems easier than I expected?’
The cheapskate responded as well.
– It does. It should be easy if you use the power of the divine item as well?
Cale’s expression brightened up.
He felt as if he would be able to take care of this easily without coughing up blood this time.
– I have a bad feeling about this! I always get a bad feeling when you have such a look on your face! Human, don’t have such a bright look on your face!
Of course he just ignored Raon’s comments.
Cale, STOP IGNORING RAON!
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