Jiang Yinghe was clothed in light green with bamboo leaves woven on his coat. His foundation was still unstable after his recent tribulation, but he was in no rush to repair it. Instead, he lifted his head to look deeper into the cave at the youth encased in ice.

A hundred years ago, he stumbled upon this frozen shell while looking for a place to invoke his tribulation. By deciphering the words carved nearby, Jiang Yinghe concluded that this used to be the den of a fallen ancient archdevil.

Yet there was no trace of devilish aura present. The body within was well-preserved, as if it was intended to be eaten later or kept as a ‘pet’ by the owner, who for whatever reason did not return.

There were many ways for devils to quickly raise their cultivation levels. Only those who choose to borrow the methods of humans got stronger at a more gradual pace.

Jiang Yinghe stood up and approached the sculpture. He glanced over the youth’s face.

His hair was dark and his skin was fair. Faintly red lips highlighted his exquisite appearance. If it wasn’t for the shape of his Adam’s apple, he could almost be mistaken for a girl. It’s just that the left side of his face was horrifically disfigured, as if a beast had gnawed on it.

The contrast was devastatingly cruel to behold.

When Jiang Yinghe’s hand touched the ice, it shattered and the body within fell into his embrace.

It was too cold.

Due to the nature of his cultivation, his body temperature was already cooler than most. But the youth he was holding was like a block of ice.

A block of ice that could move. Like he was waking up from a deep sleep, the youth hugged his neck and whispered pitifully, “Cold……”

Even his voice was shivering.

Jiang Yinghe took out a black coat from his personal dimension and draped it over the other’s shoulders. He then lifted the youth into his arms. While the boy warmed up, a notification suddenly appeared from the system that had been silent for a century.

[Target located! Assessment result is: A stunning masterpiece.]

Jiang Yinghe paused. He felt like a compulsion to collect them all had been satisfied for some strange reason. The road to immortality was ever changing, so maybe it was easier to raise three outstanding disciples after all?

He reached out a hand to examine the other’s meridians. He had nothing left to say after finding the shattered fragments of frozen spiritual veins. Just as he was questioning his life, the youth in his arms raised his head to reveal a half beautiful face.

Eyes as clear as water looked up, accompanied by a voice weak from disuse.

“Please help me...I’m, I’m so cold…”

Jiang Yinghe felt like he had been hit. An uncontrollable current of paternal love welled up from his heart. Although he was only in his twenties when he left Earth, he had been alive for almost twelve hundred years in total. He sent spiritual energy into the youth’s body, bypassing the frozen veins to his forehead, where he created a silvery seal of protection.

He rested his chin on the top of the youth’s head, saying in a soft tone, “Don’t worry, I will help you.”

The boy covered by a black cloak tightened his hold on Jiang Yinghe and breathed in deeply.

The slightly cold air filled with spiritual energy rushed into his lungs and broke past the fog of his recently revived mind.


The child in the cave was called Chang Ye.

Jiang Yinghe did not head back immediately to Peng Lai using his light form. After he took Chang Ye away from the Frozen Plains, the duo spent several months walking to the sect.

Chang Ye was a lively child, but he knew when to be obedient. His only fault was his clinginess. According to him, he was sold to slavers after getting lost from his refugee family. Then a devil captured him and imprisoned him in the Frozen Plains.

He said that he owes Jiang Yinghe one life debt for saving him and another [1] for becoming his teacher.

The candlelight wavered.

Jiang Yinghe was sitting cross legged on the cushion polishing Wangchen. The snow white sword pendant swung under his ministrations.

The door sounded, and Chang Ye who was wearing dark green brought over a small plate of sweets.

Jiang Yinghe looked up to carefully examine Chang Ye, ignoring the sweets. He said, “You were walking faster and your demeanour is troubled. What is on your mind?”

Chang Ye did not think that he would notice. He raised his head in panic and said in a slightly awkward way, “...Shizun. I...am I really ugly?”

Jiang Yinghe was stunned.

“I just bumped into a young lady. She said that...that my face was like a jigsaw puzzle. She told me to leave before her eyes were stained by the sight of me.”

Chang Ye’s voice became more and more quiet. He carefully wiped his tears.

“Shizun, I know that cultivators should learn to look...look at what is within. But I…”

His hand was held by another.

Jiang Yinghe’s fingers were slender and soft, with the sheen of frost. Yet the spot where they touched Chang Ye’s palm radiated warmth.

“The ugliness of her heart is the only thing that will stain others.” Jiang Yinghe looked at him, “Promise Shizun you will remain pure. Chang Ye should forever be a kind and agreeable person.”

Chang Ye paused. He swallowed, then dove into Jiang Yinghe’s embrace.

It was quite a while before Jiang Yinghe heard the other say quietly.

“I will become the best person in Shizun’s heart.”


Author's Corner

Jiang Yinghe: Add a spoonful of kind teachings, a spoonful of good nature, then add a whole bucket of respect for the teacher and the Dao…

Devil Race: For some reason we’re kinda scared too QAQ

Footnotes

  1. ^ 再造之恩 - lit 'Kindness of remaking'