To Pillar of Nature Arc🠐 | 🠑To Novel

These chapter summaries are based on RainbowSe7en 's translation and use terminology coined by the translator.

The chapter "names" are made-up summaries neither taken from the novel nor the translation. The subscripts in this article are the original novel's chapter headings (which are really quotes from the chapter) and the translations thereof are (mostly) from RainbowSe7en's translation.

This arc deals with the Ink Brush of Virtue.

Chapter 46 - Guo Changcheng Meets the Man in the Hat[edit | edit source]

从大雪山回来已经有半个月 - It has been half a month since their trip to the snowy mountain ranges.

Guo Changcheng is on a charity errand in a snowed-in Dragon City, when a suspicious person runs into the street in front of his car. Nobody is hurt, since all the cars were going slowly in the snow.

The person is described as pale and "so skinny as to appear deformed". The person has "a weathered and withering face" and their whole body seems "shrouded in darkness". There is a black smudge under the person's ear.

Guo Changcheng gets out of the car to help, but the person refuses his help and runs off.

When Guo Changcheng tries to get back into his car, he sees the person again in the reflection of his car window - much like he saw the skeleton in chapter 3. He sees the person hiding in a corner, and when two women pass by, the person opens a huge, inhuman mouth with a long tongue, and "makes a sucking motion" at the two. One of the women staggers, and an "insubstantial cloud" floats from her into the creature's mouth.

When Guo Changcheng turns around, he can no longer see the creature. He drives off, frightened.

At the office the next morning, Chu Shuzhi notices something odd about Guo Changcheng, saying he is "oozing bad luck". Chu Shuzhi performs some kind of ritual with his hands, pronouncing Guo Changcheng "clean" afterwards. He comments that Guo Changcheng must have been cultivating himself, since apparently "his virtue is so thick it's dripping off of him like oil".

Zhao Yunlan makes a short, cryptic appearance, rushing into the library and out again with an old book, stealing Chu Shuzhi's and Da Qing's food on the way.

We learn that the library is hidden from view for those who are not cultivated enough to understand any of the books in it, like Guo Changcheng. They cannot see the door to the library and anyone entering the library looks to him like they are running through the wall. It's even worse for Chu Shuzhi, who can see it but is forbidden from entering the library because he has a criminal record.

We learn that Sang Zan has trouble understanding people, except for Wang Zheng, since language has changed a lot since the time he was alive. He is putting a lot of effort into learning to speak Mandarin, but often gets things wrong. He can only say simple sentences, and otherwise tries to repeat what other people tell him. This results in puns in Chinese, which are exceedingly hard to translate into English.

When everyone is about to go home, Zhao Yunlan calls with a new case, and Chu Shuzhi and Guo Changcheng drive to Yellow Stone Temple Hospital to investigate.

Chapter 47 - No Bed, Only Kunlun[edit | edit source]

楚恕之虽然不大和他说话,但是不多的几次在他面前露一手的机会,都…… - Although Chu Shuzhi doesn't talk to Guo Changcheng much, in the few times they've come in contact with each other, he always……

Guo Changcheng thinks about how Zhao Yunlan may be impressive, but not at all mysterious, whereas he sees Chu Shuzhi as some kind of "otherworldly sage".

At the hospital, they find a man who is in unspeakable pain, complaining about his legs being broken, even though no injury to his legs is visible. The doctors suspect food poisoning, because he ate an orange he bought at a street stall.

Chu Shuzhi looks at the patient's eyes and ears, then performs some kind of spell and presses his fist against the man's solar plexus. This stops the pain immediately, until he takes his hand away again.

For Chu Shuzhi, the case is clear, and he leaves again, but everyone else is confused.

Shen Wei returns to his "home on Earth," where he goes into his bedroom, which he always keeps locked. In it, there is no bed, only paintings and pictures of Kunlun aka Zhao Yunlan through the centuries.

Shen Wei thinks about Zhao Yunlan's disinterest in writing letters and his own distrust of mobile phones. He remarks that Zhao Yunlan has stopped contacting him after their trip to the mountains, and he muses that it is just as well, since "his very existence is a mistake." He decides to keep watching him from afar, since human lives are so short, and Zhao Yunlan will forget him again when he dies, anyway.

He then travels to the Underworld, where the Judge, some "Retainers, including Black Ghost and White Ghost, as well as Ox-Head and Horse-Face" are waiting for him at the Bridge of Fate.

The Judge is subservient but obviously scared of the Ghost Slayer. He tries to reassure Shen Wei that even though Zhao Yunlan has seen the Book of Life and Death, and "almost" found out about Shen Wei's identity, every memory of Kunlun has been removed since he has entered the mortal world. He tells Shen Wei that "as long as Ghost Face doesn't tattle," Zhao Yunlan will not find out anything.

Chapter 48 - The Line of Karma and the Mark of Virtue[edit | edit source]

“刚失恋,还不让人借酒浇愁?” - "I'm broken-hearted, why can't I drown my sorrows in alcohol?"

Guo Changcheng and Chu Shuzhi type up their report from the hospital - Chu Shuzhi dictates and Guo Changcheng writes. Chu Shuzhi is convinced that the man is a victim of a demonic attack, and that this attack was against the law, and thus falls under SIU jurisdiction.

Da Qing and Chu Shuzhi explain to Guo Changcheng the basics of Karma (as it applies to the Guardian novel):

Both humans and demons get their karma and their virtue recorded on their bodies. But it is more important for demons, since they live longer. Da Qing even says it is irrelevant for humans, since "most people never get to reincarnate anyway. Life is so short, and men die like ants, long before karma can catch up to them," so he concludes that "accruing virtue really does a human no particular good."

The Line of Karma is a mark beneath someone's eyelids. The deeper the line, the stronger the karma.

The Mark of Virtue is a mark behind someone's ear. The darker the mark - it is compared to a "dirty fingerprint" - the less virtue. If someone has a lot of virtue, the mark is so bright it shines "like a ray of light".

It is mentioned that Guo Changcheng has great virtue, and that Chu Shuzhi (who has the third eye) can see that. But even someone with the third eye has to concentrate hard to see the mark. Humans can't usually see them, and Da Qing and Chu Shuzhi are surprised when Guo Changcheng tells them he saw a mark on the person he almost ran over the day before.

While they are writing their report, Zhao Yunlan stumbles in, dead drunk. He first goes to vomit in the bathroom, complains about being heartbroken over Shen Wei, then falls asleep at his desk. He blindly signs the report and other papers Wang Zheng brings him.

Chu Shuzhi prevents him from calling a taxi home by stealing his phone and calling Shen Wei instead, in the hopes of making Shen Wei more sympathetic to Zhao Yunlan's plight.

When Shen Wei arrives at the SIU office a short time later, they practically throw Zhao Yunlan at him out the door.

Chapter 49 - Shen Wei Takes Zhao Yunlan Home[edit | edit source]

生者可以死,死可以生。生而不可与死,死而不可复生者,皆非情之至也 - For love, the living can die and the dead can once again live. The living who fear death and the dead who cannot again live are those who haven’t known enough love.

Shen Wei takes a drunk Zhao Yunlan home. He puts him in his car, making him drink some water he heats with his power.

Zhao Yunlan thinks about how he never dared contact Shen Wei since their trip to the mountains, but he also can't forget him, comparing everyone he meets to Shen Wei and finding them lacking: "none of them have the charisma of a well-educated scholar, none of them have features that look as if they'd been lifted from a famous portrait." He also remembers the time Shen Wei spent time with him at his apartment and how companionable and comfortable it was. He is sure that it's love, and he can't bring himself to give it up.

When they get to Zhao Yunlan's apartment, Shen Wei puts him to bed. Zhao Yunlan isn't as drunk as he pretends to be, surreptitiously watching Shen Wei clean his apartment and collect trash and dirty laundry. He ruminates on how nobody in his life - except for his parents - has ever cared about him before.

When Shen Wei is done, he returns to watch a 'sleeping' Zhao Yunlan, and instead of leaving, he leans in to lightly kiss Zhao Yunlan.

Zhao Yunlan almost goes out of his mind trying to fake sleep, but with the kiss, he throws caution to the wind, like a "thread in his heart that has been holding up countless tonnes of weight finally breaks," and he decides to pursue Shen Wei, Ghost Slayer or not.

He kisses Shen Wei back, who is stupefied and lets him, before finally pushing him away.

They stare at each other for a while, and Zhao Yunlan tries to guess why Shen Wei doesn't want to be with him. But when he mentions that "humans die and become ghosts too," so maybe someday he'll become a ghost and be a worthy partner for Shen Wei, Shen Wei puts a hand on his mouth and stops him from finishing the thought.

Zhao Yunlan then shows him a property contract for a house he bought for the two of them. He tells him about the plans he made for their future, how he imagined them living together.

Shen Wei sees his long-suppressed desires come true, and it almost drives him insane.

Chapter 50 - Shen Wei Bites, Zhao Yunlan Cooks[edit | edit source]

功德笔 五、一如往昔,历历在目 - The past is still present, flashing before his eyes

Shen Wei thinks back on how conceited he was - thinking he could live without emotions, away from Zhao Yunlan. He recriminates himself for not being able to stay away, for being evil hellspawn, and for generally being unworthy.

When Zhao Yunlan tells him that the only thing of value he possesses is his heart, and if Shen Wei doesn't "want to catch it, [he should] forget about it," Shen Wei remembers Kunlun telling him the exact same thing thousands of years ago, in almost identical words: "There is probably only this one thing about me that's worth a little something: my heart. You want it? Take it."

At that offer, Shen Wei feels his emotions running out of control, and the only thing he can think to do to diffuse them is to bite himself.

Zhao Yunlan is shocked at the blood. He thinks Shen Wei bit himself because he is afraid Zhao Yunlan was going to force himself on Shen Wei.

Shen Wei tells him that he indeed caught Zhao Yunlan's heart. He then makes a very possessive speech about how he "will never let go anymore," even if Zhao Yunlan ever wants to leave him, "there is no way [he] will let [him] go."

Zhao Yunlan is taken aback again, but he can now see that Shen Wei is the Ghost Slayer.

He cleans up the bloodied bedsheets and they fall asleep, exhausted.

Shen Wei sleeps soundly for the first time in ages. He wakes to weird smells in the apartment, and it turns out Zhao Yunlan made five different kinds of instant noodles for breakfast, one kind even cooked in coffee. Shen Wei is disgusted but eats some anyway.

At the end of the chapter, Zhao Yunlan is called to the hospital again, to meet the next victim of their current case.

Chapter 51 - Guo Changcheng Sees Another Ghost[edit | edit source]

功德笔 六、要是给他穿一身长袍,他就要拢袖低头,来一句“光天化日之下,男男授受不亲”了。- If he had been wearing a traditional robe, he would have flicked his sleeves and lowered his head, reciting, "In broad daylight, men shall not stand too close."

Even though Zhao Yunlan's brain is "full of rainbows, butterflies and unicorns," he remembers to call Guo Changcheng to meet them at the hospital.

Guo Changcheng rushes to the hospital early and ends up waiting in the cold for almost three hours before Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei arrive. Zhao Yunlan doesn't blink an eye, used to his strange behavior, but Shen Wei is concerned about Guo Changcheng.

We learn that Guo Changcheng has frequently been seeing ghosts in reflective surfaces and has since avoided doing that, by "closing the curtains and turning on the TV as soon as he gets home, covering the reflective tabletop with a tablecloth, and only ever opening the laptop when he's using it."

Now Guo Changcheng sees a ghost without legs floating outside a window on the sixth-floor of the hospital. Guo Changcheng is shocked to see that the ghost's legs have been cut off, and blood is flowing from its wounds through the window frame and onto the floor.

Zhao Yunlan notices Guo Changcheng being frightened, and he believes what Guo Changcheng tells him, but he can't see anything, himself. Nobody but Guo Changcheng can see the apparition. Zhao Yunlan's revealing watch, which reacts to ghosts in the vicinity, doesn't turn red either.

Shen Wei has noticed Guo Changcheng's ability to see things in reflective surfaces before. He tells them about the incident when he first met Zhao Yunlan in chapter 3. Back then, he called out to Guo Changcheng on purpose, to interrupt his vision of the skeleton puppet and the Ghost Slayer in the window of the university dorm, thus inadvertently causing him to fall.

This led to Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei meeting in person, which Shen Wei had always been avoiding. He wonders why he didn't know Zhao Yunlan was close by, suspecting that someone must have hidden him from Shen Wei on purpose, to cause the meeting to happen.

Chapter 52 - Guo Changcheng Accidentally Cures the Victim[edit | edit source]

听老婆的话跟党走 - Listening to one’s wife

In the hospital room, Zhao Yunlan completely ignores the screaming victim, calmly explaining the use of talismans to Guo Changcheng. He attaches a "Third Eye" talisman to Guo Changcheng's forehead, so Guo Changcheng will be able to see the Mark of Virtue on the victim.

As Guo Changcheng looks on, Shen Wei explains that "the Book of Life and Death holds records of a person's virtue. Whenever a person commits a bad deed, small ghosts will leave a black hand print behind their ear." He goes on to say that on this woman's skin, "none of the marks are very deep, but the area is large, which means she never did anything too out of line, but she's selfish and does small evil frequently."

Zhao Yunlan uses another talisman to exorcise the curse (or grudge) from the victim - mostly to judge its strength. It works immediately, that means the grudge wasn't that strong.

"A cloud of black smoke" spouts up out of the woman, turning into a howling face. Guo Changcheng is so frightened that he accidentally discharges his electric rod, which kills the grudge. Zhao Yunlan is angry at him, because he had intended to interrogate it first.

Once the woman is cured, she stops screaming, and Zhao Yunlan asks her about what happened. She tells him that she bought oranges from a street food vendor with a limp. The description matches what Guo Changcheng saw reflected in the window.

Without being prompted, the woman starts complaining about disabled people in general and mentions having poisoned her neighbor's dog.

Zhao Yunlan gets angry at her meanness, and uses his Guardian power of mind manipulation with more force than necessary, making her fall unconscious. Having erased the memory of the ghost from her mind, he replaces it with an alternative course of events. But when he doesn't stop there and goes on to implant hurtful memories and to wish her nightmares, Shen Wei objects and stops him.

Zhao Yunlan concludes that the woman didn't know the fruit vendor. But even if she had killed him and he cursed her out of revenge, there's nothing the SIU can do, because even though "human laws forbid revenge, the order of Karma and Yin and Yang does not."

Zhao Yunlan then calls Zhu Hong and tells her to organize the transfer of the case to the SIU, since the ghost is apparently harming innocent humans.

Chapter 53 - The Team Sets A Ghost Trap[edit | edit source]

“看什么看,没见过帅哥搅基是不是?” - "Whatcha looking at? Never seen handsome gay guys before?"

Zhu Hong joins them at the hospital, and Zhao Yunlan makes her call in the rest of the team, who all arrive before sunset.

Zhao Yunlan embarrasses everyone with his public displays of affection, justifying Shen Wei's presence with the argument that Shen Wei is "his wife".

Da Qing and Lin Jing wonder why Shen Wei has a bandaged wrist. They imagine that Zhao Yunlan must have injured him during sex.

Zhao Yunlan pulls out a bottle in which he collected a piece of grudge from one of the victims. We learn that every ghost leaves traces of grudge on humans with whom it interacts. These traces stay connected to the ghost and can be used to lure it in.

Zhao Yunlan gives each team member a task: Chu Shuzhi must construct a net to trap the ghost, Guo Changcheng must go help him and write a report, Zhu Hong must set an alarm perimeter and keep out hospital staff, Da Qing must help her to make all of it invisible, and Lin Jing must crush the grudge, acting as bait.

When Shen Wei asks what he can do to help, Zhao Yunlan suggests he accompany him to dinner.

Shen Wei proposes to support Chu Shuzhi's net instead, revealing that he knows exactly how the trap works: "Two Layers, Four Doors, Eight Trigrams; Life Door, one way in, Death Door, no way out."

As soon as Shen Wei leaves the room, the remaining team members start questioning Zhao Yunlan about Shen Wei's identity, but Zhao Yunlan refuses to tell them anything.

When Zhu Hong mentions that he mysteriously appeared when they were investigating the Sundial and the Pillar, Zhao Yunlan admits that this was no coincidence, but doesn't tell them any more about Shen Wei.

Chapter 54 - Zhao Yunlan Casts a Spell[edit | edit source]

天地人神,皆可杀—— - Men and gods, none shall survive...

After night has fallen, Lin Jing starts the trapping spell. But he doesn't want to kill it, so instead of crushing the grudge, he recites a prayer of transcendence.

The ghost is unimpressed and grows in size to a huge black smoke cloud. Zhao Yunlan destroys the bottle with the grudge fragment by shooting it with his gun out of a window. Lin Jing scrambles away, up the outside of the hospital to the sixth floor, where the trap is laid.

The six bells ring and trap the ghost. Zhao Yunlan tries to bind it with his Guardian whip, but the ghost is just as strong as he is and they have a stalemate. Lin Jing offers to help, using a pot of lamp oil, but Zhao Yunlan refuses and casts a spell called Shadow Blitz in a dark voice instead: "Depths of the Underworld, heed my call, [...] blood as oath, cold iron as proof, lend thy three thousand soldiers. Men and gods, none shall survive."

This summons the Shadow Troops, an army of dead soldiers on skeleton warhorses, who chase the ghost outside to where Shen Wei is waiting at an important spot of the trap.

Shen Wei simply squeezes the ghost into a small ball, vanquishing it.

Zhao Yunlan is exhausted, but brushes off the others' concern and Da Qing's fury. When Da Qing asks him where he learned that spell, he says he read it in the Book of Souls.

Only Chu Shuzhi is impressed by the powerful spell.

Chapter 55 - The Ghost Tells Its Story[edit | edit source]

沈巍听到这,二话没说,抬起巴掌就扇了过去 - Upon hearing this, Shen Wei says no more and lifts his hand to slap him

Shen Wei is furious at Zhao Yunlan for casting the Shadow Blitz spell, fearing retribution from the Heavens for using dark magic. He drags Zhao Yunlan to the men's room to tell him off, where he almost slaps him in his fury.

Zhao Yunlan promises to be better, even though he doesn't see the problem. But when he asks Shen Wei to kiss it better, Shen Wei gets even more angry at his shamelessness. But in the end, he can't resist Zhao Yunlan's charm and kisses him after all.

Zhu Hong is jealous when she sees Zhao Yunlan's kiss-swollen lips later.

They take the ghost, whom Shen Wei trapped in a small bottle, back to the SIU, where Chu Shuzhi secures an interrogation room before they let the ghost out of its bottle.

Zhao Yunlan reads the ghost its rights, telling it that it will be judged by the Underworld Court.

The ghost tells them that his name was Wang Xiangyang, 62, fruit stall owner, and that he died shortly before the New Year.

He tells them that he only took revenge on people who deserved it, who were involved in causing his death. His death happened because some teenagers hassled him with firecrackers and turned over his cart. Passers-by picked up his apples and oranges from the street and ate or stole them. When he tried to catch one of the thieves, he was run over by a taxi, and his legs were severed in the fatal accident.

He sums up his story by asking the team whether he was wrong to seek revenge on his tormentors, and adds that he accepts any judgement the Underworld will render onto him.

He also mentions that he killed his wife and son, probably to spare them after he as the family's only source of income had died.

Chapter 56 - Shen Wei Issues a Verdict[edit | edit source]

“不去?”赵云澜嗤笑一声,“不去不是辜负了别人特意把你引走的一番心意?” - "Why wouldn't I go?" Zhao Yunlan snickers, "I wouldn't want to let down whoever led you away intentionally."

Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei are convinced by Wang Xiangyang's story. Before Zhao Yunlan can offer him the option to go to the Underworld Court to claim a permit for vengeance, Shen Wei already gives him permission on his own.

Since the Ghost Slayer is older and has more authority than even the Underworld Court, his verdict stands.

Shen Wei explains that Wang Xiangyang will be punished by the Underworld Court in any case, once he is done exacting vengeance, but Wang Xiangyang accepts the deal anyway. Mentioning that he already killed his family and over a dozen others, he figures it's already too late to turn back.

Shen Wei belatedly pretends that all of it is Zhao Yunlan's decision, and Zhao Yunlan helps keep Shen Wei's cover by telling everyone else that the permit must be signed by the Underworld Court.

The others perk up when Wang Xiangyang mentions how many people he has already killed, and wonder why nobody noticed, since evil on such a large scale is usually visible to cultivated tribes and the Guardian Order.

Shen Wei questions him whether he modified his virtue, having an inkling that the Ink Brush of Virtue might be involved.

Wang Xiangyang confirms this, telling them that a person, whose looks he doesn't remember, made a deal with him and gave him a talisman to hide his evil deeds from law enforcement. Shen Wei is sure the talisman was drawn with the Ink Brush of Virtue, even though he only gets a brief glimpse before the talisman turns to ashes.

All Wang Xiangyang remembers is that he most probably met the person in his home village, Plum Village, twenty miles, or two hours, west of Dragon City.

Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan leave to discuss the case, but the Ghost Slayer is called away by an urgent missive delivered by a skeleton puppet to Zhao Yunlan's office.

Before Shen Wei leaves, he warns Zhao Yunlan not to go to Plum Village alone, but Zhao Yunlan goes and does just that.

In Plum Village, near a hill covered in tombs, Zhao Yunlan finds a fairy-made portal in a cluster of pagoda trees "in the shape of the constellation Big Dipper, gathering shadow in the 'bowl', and the 'handle' extending to the west, representing the connection of Yin and Yang, the realms of the dead and the living."

Chapter 57 - Shen Wei goes to the Underworld, Zhao Yunlan goes to Plum Village[edit | edit source]

“无光之地,有大不敬之狱” - "In the lightless land lies a blasphemous prison."

Da Qing goes to the library, where Sang Zan works, to ask him about the book Zhao Yunlan checked out the week before. Sang Zan tells him that it was the "Book of Souls", but Da Qing cannot read it. It can only be read by sufficiently cultivated readers, and Da Qing wonders how his own cultivation can have faded so much that he is no longer able to read it.

Da Qing wonders whether Zhao Yunlan's soul might be awakening. He also worries about Shen Wei's appearance.

Shen Wei goes to the deepest depths of the Underworld to try and reseal the root of the broken prison that Pangu the Creator put at the border between Earth and Underworld. It had been sealed before, but now is broken again. Through the rift, Ghost Face and other demons have already escaped. Shen Wei adds another temporary layer of protection to the seal.

When he returns home, he realizes that Zhao Yunlan is gone.

Zhao Yunlan is led by a "ghost light" through the fog-covered graveyard outside of Plum Village. The wailing and crying is getting on his nerves, so he banishes them - and the fog - using a flame talisman.

An old grating demon voice speaks to him and offers him deals: the demon will pay him money for pieces of human bodies: heads, skins, and baby corpses. He also offers "merit", meaning good karma: no sins to be taken into the next life in exchange for a person's own current life.

Chapter 58 - Zhao Yunlan Faces Off With a Crow Fairy[edit | edit source]

沈巍几乎是从牙缝里挤出一句话:“放开,别用你的脏手碰他。” - Shen Wei growls between his teeth, "Let go! Don't touch him with your filthy hands."

Zhao Yunlan stands on the mountainside in the dark and feels a presence flit around him. He manages to catch it with his Guardian whip, throwing it to the ground. It seems to be a short,humanoid figure of indiscernible gender: "Its entire face is covered in wrinkles, and it has an exceptionally prominent nose, which takes up over half of the face with almost no space left for eyes and mouth. At a glance, it looks like an ominous bird; the tiny eyes are pitch black, with no white to be seen, emanating a sinister vibe. When it smirks suddenly, jagged and crooked yellow teeth are visible."

Zhao Yunlan tries to force it to answer his questions about the Four Mystical Artifacts and the Ink Brush of Virtue in particular, but the creature resists him. They exchange verbal jabs for a while, until the creature produces a tiny bell.

Zhao Yunlan is scared of the bell, because he knows he has an unstable soul, and bells "can reach the spirit world, and are usually used to summon souls and gather spirits." So he tries to take the bell from the creature, but it seems to weigh several tons and is too heavy for him to lift.

The creature - apparently easily - escapes his hold and they start fighting. The creature commands ghost fire and chases Zhao Yunlan around, and he barely manages to fight off its attacks using his whip.

Zhao Yunlan feels outmatched and tries to gain time by talking. Through some leading questions, Zhao Yunlan figures out that the creature must be a fairy, a member of the Crow Tribe. He mentions that he is on good terms with the fairy elders and promises to complain to them later.

Zhao Yunlan sneakily draws a talisman behind his back, using his own blood, and thereby summons "Heaven lightning and Hell fire," which burns the whole mountainside to a crisp. All but the crow fairy, which seems untouched by the flaming inferno. The fairy transforms into a bird and then flies into the bell itself, "like a million streaks of blinding light fusing and condensing in one place." The flare blinds Zhao Yunlan, and the sound deafens him.

Disoriented, he feels someone approach, but he can't properly fight without sight or hearing, so he loses his whip and his opponent knocks him unconscious.

Shen Wei meanwhile gets more and more panicked because he can't find Zhao Yunlan anywhere.

It turns out the unknown attacker was Ghost Face, who carries him back directly to Shen Wei. He gives a speech about how he doesn't understand Shen Wei - he wonders why Shen Wei would risk his life for a puny human, and asks what he sees in him. Shen Wei angrily demands Ghost Face to release Zhao Yunlan, which he does without arguing. He also gives Shen Wei the bell.

Shen Wei accuses Ghost Face of being dirty, and Ghost Face counters that Shen Wei by contrast must be really clean, which shocks Shen Wei.

Shen Wei takes Zhao Yunlan home, puts him to bed, and waits for him to wake up.

When Zhao Yunlan wakes up around noon the next day, it turns out he has gone blind.

Chapter 59 - Zhao Yunlan Is Blind (But His Third Eye Still Works)[edit | edit source]

那种光很眼熟……他觉得自己似乎在什么地方见过 - This kind of light is very familiar... he feels he must have seen it somewhere before.

Shen Wei takes Zhao Yunlan to the hospital, but the doctors cannot find a medical reason for his blindness, so they send them home again.

On the way home, Zhao Yunlan jokingly suggests he'd like to call Shen Wei "daddy" and Shen Wei is shocked and embarrassed, but secretly approves of the idea. Zhao Yunlan keeps flirting with Shen Wei, making him more and more flustered.

Arrived in front of their apartment building, Zhao Yunlan almost walks into a lamppost, but he surprisingly remembers where everything else is, and navigates the stairs and elevator as if he'd always been blind. Shen Wei suspects he remembered the layout on the way to the hospital and now just pretends to know everything, intent on saving face.

Back in Zhao Yunlan's apartment, they meet Da Qing, who seems to be half annoyed and half pitying Zhao Yunlan.

Zhao Yunlan recounts the events of the night before, and Da Qing immediately perks up when a bell is mentioned. Shen Wei produces the bell, and Da Qing recognizes it as his own. He says it was given to him by his "first owner [...] about a hundred years ago," but that he has since lost it again. He snaps it up in his mouth and leaves with it.

Zhao Yunlan tries to seduce Shen Wei again, but Shen Wei brushes him off and goes to cook dinner.

Bored, Zhao Yunlan discovers that he can now make out shadowy shapes. His third eye, located between his eyebrows, still seems to be working, despite his normal eyes being blind. He can see all things that contain spiritual energy: "the flowers on the window sill, the cat fur on the couch, some antique books on the bookshelf," and a "reportedly precious antique painting on the wall," but he can't see any other inanimate objects.

When Zhao Yunlan looks at himself, he sees that "a blazing ball of light is hanging on his right shoulder, but on his left, there is nothing."

Shen Wei looks black to his third eye, "merged with darkness, or even darker than darkness," but his pendant "holds a sphere of dazzling flame, identical to the ball of light on his right shoulder."

Chapter 60 - Zhao Yunlan Tries To Seduce Shen Wei[edit | edit source]

只要你说,我就信。- As long as you say so, I believe you.

Zhao Yunlan joins Shen Wei in the kitchen, and as soon as he touches him, he sees "Shen Wei's incredibly coal-black body overflowing with a blush of blood-red," the colors "gushing out like magma" from his heart, filling his whole silhouette.

They hug and flirt for a while, Shen Wei confessing that he doesn't care whether Zhao Yunlan is handsome or not ("Even if you were hideous with warts and lumps all over, in my heart, there is no difference.").

When Zhao Yunlan asks him whether Shen We would ever lie to him, Shen Wei answers, "I will never lie to you, and I will never hurt you," and Zhao Yunlan believes him. His trust surprises Shen Wei.

Shen Wei keeps fending off Zhao Yunlan's advances, until Zhao Yunlan suspects he might have to marry Shen Wei before he'll ever manage to seduce him.

After dinner, Shen Wei sits down in bed next to Zhao Yunlan and reads to him. When they hear a sound outside the window, Zhao Yunlan rolls Shen Wei over, touching him all over and making his body light up, before hiding Shen Wei under the duvet.

A messenger from the Underworld appears outside his window and inquires after Zhao Yunlan's eyes. Zhao Yunlan tells him that everything is fine and sends him away with the excuse of being in the process of entertaining a lover.

Zhao Yunlan gently admonishes Shen Wei to be careful, since the Ten Kings of the Underworld know about Shen Wei's identity and presence on Earth, and they are likely all plotting against him.

When Shen Wei realizes that Zhao Yunlan is worried about him, he is so touched, he grips Zhao Yunlan in a bear hug and doesn't let him go again - much to Zhao Yunlan's chagrin. He had had other things in mind, but is unable to move and falls asleep in Shen Wei's arms.

Zhao Yunlan has a nightmare about "wandering around in a foggy place filled with ruins and debris," where countless people "prostrate themselves in worship towards the sky." Later, he finds himself "in a barren place, and in utter darkness," where he hears a voice whisper into his ear: "I didn't mean it when I said that, did you have to go that far?"

The dream confuses him, and he wakes up soaked in sweat.

Chapter 61 - Zhao Yunlan Takes a Cab to Work[edit | edit source]

其实它有种赵云澜好像知道什么的感觉 - In fact, it feels like Zhao Yunlan already knows something.

Zhao Yunlan leaves the apartment to go to work. Even though he can't see much, his third eye seems to be getting clearer. He can distinguish humans - and other beings he doesn't recognize - moving around him.

He can also see the three flowers on people's heads and some kind of markings on their auras, "incredibly small, and incredibly dense, changing every second."

Zhao Yunlan hails a cab, and by that time, he "can already see clearly that the symbols written on people's bodies aren't hieroglyphs after all, they are actual words."

When they get to the SIU, Zhao Yunlan lets the cab driver count out the fare from his wallet. At first, the driver takes out more money than he should, and black words cross his aura. Then he puts it back and takes the correct amount and red words appear. Zhao Yunlan concludes that red words mean good virtue, black ones mean bad.

Shen Wei catches up to Zhao Yunlan just before they enter the SIU, telling him how worried he was and admonishing Zhao Yunlan to be more careful. Again, Zhao Yunlan sees "bright red characters on Shen Wei's body, representing good virtue." But "they are immediately drenched in a tsunami of darkness and rinsed away."

Zhao Yunlan can feel something awakening inside him, but he doesn't know whether it's a good or a bad thing. He only knows it started around the time the Pillar of Nature was discovered. It is described as "memory buried deep for hundreds and thousands of years" being uncovered. It shakes Zhao Yunlan, but he keeps his feelings hidden from Shen Wei.

The SIU team are shocked that Zhao Yunlan is blind, especially Zhu Hong is angry that he never seems to show any emotions, and never cares about his own safety.

Da Qing has done some research and pronounces that Zhao Yunlan is blind because he stood to close to the crow when its soul collided with Hell fire. This created a lot of dark energy, temporarily blinding him. He also knows which medicine will likely cure Zhao Yunlan. It is a kind of honey, called the "Thousand Flowers." He says that it is made from the nectar of "thirty three kinds of flowers from the Heavens, thirty three kinds on Earth, and thirty three kinds from the Underworld."

Da Qing also tells them that the honey might be available to buy during the fairy market that is held at the end of every year.

Zhao Yunlan makes some new rules for the SIU that mean he will be informed of all contact with the Underworld. He also forbids visits to the SIU from people who don't work there.

Then Zhao Yunlan goes to the library, looks at the Book Of Souls again - which he can read perfectly well with his third eye - and sees that a page has been torn out and that the book is bleeding.

Zhao Yunlan asks Sang Zan to research the poem the fairy told him, and the name "Kunlun".

Chapter 62 - Two Men Who Fit Together Like Puzzle Pieces[edit | edit source]

只是情之所至,想要讨一个肌肤相亲的吻而已 - It's just that the sensation of love overwhelms him, and he desires an intimate kiss.

Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei are in Zhao Yunlan's office. Zhao Yunlan is painting talismans to sell, and Shen Wei is sitting at the side reading a book.

Zhu Hong feels out of place, intruding into their couple time. When she asks Zhao Yunlan why he is selling talismans, he tells her that he needs money because he now has a family to support and he just bought a house. She gets Zhao Yunlan to sign the year-end bonus papers before leaving again and slamming the door.

Shen Wei guesses that Zhu Hong is romantically interested in Zhao Yunlan, but he brushes it off, saying a human and a fairy don't belong together.

Shen Wei is affronted at first, since he's not human, either. But Zhao Yunlan simply replies: "How are you the same? I like you so much."

Shen Wei is so touched, he can't resist kissing Zhao Yunlan. They only break apart when Da Qing walks in on them.

Da Qing tells them again that they are invited to the fairy market and someone will wait for them "at the western entrance of Antique Street." He reminds them to bring gifts.

Right then, Zhao Yunlan's mother calls. When Zhao Yunlan leaves the room to talk to her, Da Qing asks Shen Wei whether he is human or not. Shen Wei indicates that he is not human. Da Qing approves and tells Shen Wei that Zhao Yunlan is nicer than it appears, and warns him not to hurt him, because Zhao Yunlan likes Shen Wei a lot.

Zhao Yunlan's mother wants him to visit her for New Year's. He lets Da Qing talk him into bringing him along, and he also invites Shen Wei.

Shen Wei doubts his place and declines, but Zhao Yunlan insists that he is family and convinces him to come.

At night, Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei go to the fairy market carrying a big box of gifts. They are picked up by a horseless carriage with a fox driver.

Chapter 63 - The Fairy Market[edit | edit source]

天生万物,始于不周 - "Lives of Heav'n and Earth, born from Mount Buzhou."

Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan are taken to the entrance of the fairy market. During the ride, Zhao Yunlan holds Shen Wei's hand and flirts with him, but Shen Wei tells him to stop, because he doesn't want the fox fairy to overhear.

At the entrance to the market, Shen Wei gives the gift box they brought to two horse-faced fairy guards. It is explained that every fairy must show their animal body parts during the fair, to make it easier for newcomers to recognize everybody.

Uncle Four from the Snake Tribe is waiting for them at the entrance and leads them directly to Yingchun, the Flower Tribe elder.

The market is described as "two roads paved with flagstones on either side of a long and narrow river. A small stone bridge arches across the river, with tall tables set on the bridge." Both riverbanks are crowded with fairies, and there are stalls set up everywhere.

When Uncle Four calls her, Yingchun appears from a small vine. It "suddenly bulks up and quickly spreads across this side of the bridge, covering the stones with a flower rug," from which the body of a young girl springs up. Her "upper body is that of a human, but her lower body is still connected to and virtually indistinguishable from the lush vegetation." She looks about fifteen years old, wears a double bun hairstyle, and has long and narrow eyes.

She is taken aback that a crow fairy would hurt Zhao Yunlan, and immediately hands him a bottle of the Thousand Flowers cure. Zhao Yunlan is confused, because he expected to have to bargain for it. He specifically brought a gift, which Da Qing gave to him: "a small jade cup with patterns of moonflowers engraved on it; indescribably intricate and enchanting. It is said that the cup can preserve moonlight; for the cultivation of flower fairies it would be a priceless item."

Shen Wei wants to leave again immediately, but Uncle Four convinces them to stay for a bit as guests of honor. A woman - or at least a female voice - and Uncle Four sing an ancient and worshipful song together, about how all living beings originated from Mount Buzhou.

When Zhao Yunlan asks Shen Wei about who the god in the song is, Shen Wei prevaricates and pretends not to know. Zhao Yunlan is fascinated by the old song, despite himself, and somehow thinks of the name "Kunlun".

After the worship, Zhao Yunlan drinks a cup with the fairies, while Shen Wei refuses to drink with the excuse of being the driver. As they are leaving, an evil fairy is about to be executed - it is the same one Guo Changcheng almost hit with his car. But before they can execute him, a menacing delegation of the Crow Tribe appears.

Chapter 64 - New Year's Eve[edit | edit source]

他依然固守着一个当事人都已经忘了的承诺,就好像他一辈子都是为这么一句话而活 - Still, he has always abided by the vow he swore to someone who no longer remembers; it's as if his entire life has been about those very words and nothing more.

The Crow Tribe delegation liberates the half-fairy that was about to be executed at the fairy market. This means that they are breaking with the existing alliance of fairies. Their elder explicitly states: "We the Crow Tribe shall no longer be part of the fairies. We shall form our own clan, and we will never turn back. If we go back on this oath, let Heavenly Thunder punish us!"

Shen Wei is angry with them, cursing them for harming Zhao Yunlan and being "ungrateful creatures", and Zhao Yunlan wonders what the connection between the Ghost Slayer and the fairies is.

In the resulting commotion, they leave the market unhindered.

Da Qing later confronts the flock of crows near the fairy market, asking them how his bell ended up with the Crow Tribe. The elder tells him that they obviously must have gotten it from a dead person, and to go look at "a pavilion twenty miles outside Shanhai Pass" if he really wants to know.

The SIU employees are celebrating the New Year at their office. Wang Zheng and Sang Zan dance together, Old Wu and Old Li toast each other, this is their only opportunity to meet. Old Li pole dances with a bone, and the others play a game of mahjong. Zhao Yunlan's eyes are starting to recover, suppressing his third eye again, but so far, all he sees are blurry shapes. He is drunkenly trying to help Da Qing play mahjong, until the players ask Shen Wei to take him away.

For the rest of the night, Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan are sitting on the SIU couch, Zhao Yunlan's head resting in Shen Wei's lap. Zhao Yunlan asks Shen Wei about his name, and Shen Wei tells him that his name used to be 嵬 (wéi), but someone thought it would sound more imposing if it were 巍 (wēi). ("He suggested that I add a few more strokes, and gave me a grander name."). Zhao Yunlan wonders why the words sound so familiar, but is also annoyed how someone can be so megalomaniacal as to change another person's name. Shen Wei just smiles at that.

Chapter 65 - Zhao Yunlan's Secret Plan To Move Shen Wei's House[edit | edit source]

邓林之阴初见昆仑君,惊鸿一瞥,乱我心曲。巍笔。- In the shade of the woods I first saw Kunlun-jun; a glimpse of his grace wrought chaos in my heart’s song. Wei.

After the party at the SIU winds down, Da Qing, Old Li and a hungover Guo Changcheng are the only ones left at the office. Da Qing tries to send Guo Changcheng away so he can be undisturbed and find out more about Shanhai Pass on the Internet. But Guo Changcheng would rather help Old Li clean up, and Old Li is watching Da Qing, too, so he gives up and doesn't investigate. Instead, he logs into his own weibo account, "No. 1 Master Cat in the World", and starts posting selfies out of boredom. This amuses him for a while, although he gets angry at people calling him fat.

Chu Shuzhi comes rushing out of the SIU library, even though he previously said that he can't enter the libary (chapter 46). It "seems that the first day of the New Year is the only time when he is allowed in the library." We don't find out what he did in there.

Da Qing seems to know, and he asks, "How many years?" which Chu Shuzhi answers with, "Exactly three hundred." Then Chu Shuzhi rushes outside, and Da Qing sends Guo Changcheng after him to carry his bag and call him a taxi home. Chu Shuzhi's appearance here is described as incredibly slender and "nothing but skin and bones."

When Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan arrive at Shen Wei's place, Shen Wei is called away on an errand by the dean of his university and he reluctantly leaves the drunk Zhao Yunlan alone.

As soon as Shen Wei is gone, Zhao Yunlan jumps up, no longer appearing drunk, and phones a moving company. He has apparently already organized everything for Shen Wei's things to be moved to the new house Zhao Yunlan bought for them.

He starts making a list of things to be moved and things to be thrown away, when he gets the crazy idea of going to look for Shen Wei's underwear. While he is looking for it, Zhao Yunlan fails to notice a "small box covered by a long trench coat," because his eyesight is still recovering from having been blind. The significance of the box is not explained.

At last, he thinks to check Shen Wei's bedroom. The door is always closed, but "does not have a handle, nor is it overtly locked." When Zhao Yunlan puts his palms on the door, he perceives - with his third eye - a kind of energy flowing within the door.

Zhao Yunlan recognizes it as a "Kunlun lock" - his investigations into the name Kunlun have not yielded much, except "that it is a really awesome and really ancient mountain, and that there are some strange techniques named after Kunlun."

When Zhao Yunlan tries to open it, the lock reacts to him and opens for him, Zhao Yunlan somehow intuitively understanding how it works.

What Zhao Yunlan finds in the room shocks him: all the walls are covered in pictures of what seems to be him, Zhao Yunlan. The largest painting is described in detail: "fine and detailed eyes and brows; his presence vivid as to almost coming to life, with long hair falling down all the way to the ground, and wearing a long and very plain turquoise gown."

The painting is accompanied by a line of poetry, signed "Wei": 'In the shade of the woods I first saw Kunlun-jun; a glimpse of his grace wrought chaos in my heart’s song'. Zhao Yunlan knows it is written in a script he shouldn't be able to read, but he can read it anyway.

After seeing this, Zhao Yunlan scraps his plan to move Shen Wei's things and sends the movers away again.

Chapter 66 - Meeting Zhao Yunlan's Mother[edit | edit source]

我带你回家 - I'll take you home to my family.

As soon as Shen Wei meets the dean, he realizes that his errand was not important after all. Someone intentionally lured him away. He rushes home, afraid that he fell victim to a trap to put Zhao Yunlan in danger.

Shen Wei has been high strung since Zhao Yunlan's blindness, and coming home to a seemingly empty apartment almost makes him snap and go berserk. But then he finds Zhao Yunlan on the balcony, arguing with Old Wu on the phone about how to decorate his (or their) new house. Shen Wei is so relieved he hugs Zhao Yunlan, who immediately seizes the opportunity to kiss Shen Wei.

Then, Zhao Yunlan springs another surprise on Shen Wei: they're going to visit his family. Shen Wei makes sure they at least buy some presents first. He is very afraid to meet Zhao Yunlan's parents, but too much of a gentleman to back out.

When Zhao Yunlan, Da Qing, and Shen Wei arrive at the Zhao family home, only Zhao Yunlan's mother is home. It later turns out Zhao Yunlan planned it this way, because he wanted to talk to her first, without his father being present.

Zhao Yunlan's mother is described as having aged well. She wears rimless glasses and her long hair is tied up. She only resembles Zhao Yunlan a little, around the eyes, but "the shape of her face is much more gentle and pretty." She looks like a "well-educated and elegant upper-class lady."

Zhao Yunlan's mother is very strict with Zhao Yunlan, and even complains that raising him was useless, but she is very taken with Shen Wei once she finds out he is a professor.

While Shen Wei sits stiffly on the living room couch, Zhao Yunlan has to help in the kitchen.

Once Zhao Yunlan is alone with his mother, he asks her what she thinks of homosexuality. At first, she is calm, saying that it's normal and natural. But when Zhao Yunlan gets a little less obscure and asks her what she would do if her son came out to her, she is shocked.

Zhao Yunlan admits that he moved heaven and earth to be with Shen Wei, and begs his mother: "If you're angry just kill me, but don't hurt my darling, or I’ll die of heartbreak."

Zhao Yunlan's mother starts babbling, worrying about Zhao Yunlan's career prospects, and asking more than once if he's joking. When she wonders that Zhao Yunlan seemed straight before, Zhao Yunlan says that he's always been bisexual.

Then she moves her line of questioning to Shen Wei's character and whether he treats Zhao Yunlan well. Zhao Yunlan answers that he is "a perfectly crafted piece of jade, one of a kind in this whole wide world."

Finally, Zhao Yunlan's mother concludes that Shen Wei is much too good for Zhao Yunlan.

Chapter 67 - Talk About Zombies[edit | edit source]

他充满恶意地看着郭长城,轻轻地舔了舔嘴唇:“我就是僵尸。” - He leers maliciously at Guo Changcheng and licks his lips. "I'm a zombie."

Guo Changcheng follows an exhausted and angry Chu Shuzhi home. When they get to the street where he lives, Chu Shuzhi loses his temper and tells Guo Changcheng to stop following him, because he's "not human".

At Guo Changcheng's question, Chu Shuzhi tells him that he is a zombie, and tells Guo Changcheng about eating human flesh in graphic detail, trying to scare him off. Guo Changcheng is not deterred and keeps following him.

Chu Shuzhi shouts about the unfairness of it all, asking "what gives them the right to judge whether I leave or stay?" when he believes he was always well-behaved. He starts choking Guo Changcheng in his anger. Even getting lifted up by the throat with one hand, and barely able to breathe, Guo Changcheng doesn't get angry. He only starts crying.

Chu Shuzhi lets him go. He can see the bright shine of Guo Changcheng's virtue, and it annoys him. He tells Guo Changcheng that his facial features foretell bad fortune and poverty, and wonders why Guo Changcheng doesn't just enjoy his life as a rich kid now that he still has money.

He vanishes into thin air and leaves Guo Changcheng in the empty alley crying and uncomprehending. Guo Changcheng reflects that he likes doing good deeds, because they make him feel useful, when he is otherwise convinced that he is "an utter waste of space."

On the way home, Shen Wei is worried he might have left a bad impression on Zhao Yunlan's mother. Zhao Yunlan tells him it's all his own fault because he shocked her by "accidentally" coming out to her. Da Qing clarifies that Zhao Yunlan has planned the whole thing.

To stop Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei from - in his opinion - tedious love talk, Da Qing starts talking about Chu Shuzhi. He informs them that Chu Shuzhi's shackle of virtue expires that day, after 300 years, but the Underworld has decided not to let him go.

A "shackle of virtue" may be compared to an electronic ankle bracelet: the Underworld Court put the shackle on Chu Shuzhi so he can leave his prison in the Underworld to go work for the SIU, transmuting his sentence into labor.

Shen Wei says that extending a sentence is standard practice. He wants to know what Chu Shuzhi did wrong to become a prisoner of the Underworld. Da Qing wonders how Shen Wei knows so much about the Underworld's criminal law system. He tells Shen Wei that Chu Shuzhi's cultivation path is the "Path of the Undead."

Chapter 68 - A Look At The New Apartment[edit | edit source]

赵云澜轻描淡写地说:“沈巍就是斩魂使,我现在有点担心他。- "Shen Wei is the Ghost Slayer,” Zhao Yunlan says offhandedly. “I'm a bit worried about him."

Da Qing explains that on the "Path of the Undead," the cultivator's tomb is an important focus point. When Chu Shuzhi's tomb was destroyed by a child, Chu Shuzhi got so angry, he killed and ate the child in revenge.

Da Qing goes on to explain that Heaven doesn't consider the crimes of children under seven years of age worthy of note, and that bad deeds commited before that don't influence a person's karma. He quotes a saying: "Heaven doesn't judge children's bad deeds, it only records their good deeds."

Thus, Chu Shuzhi had no right to take revenge, and he was punished and sent to the Underworld 300 years ago.

Even though Zhao Yunlan thinks Chu Shuzhi's reaction excessive, at the same time he questions the Underworld's decision to simply extend his sentence and decides to help Chu Shuzhi. Shen Wei regrets that he wasn't present 300 years ago, or he could have done something, as well.

They try to reach Chu Shuzhi, but he turns off his phone. He then sends a Guardian Order talisman to Chu Shuzhi, summoning him to the SIU offices.

Zhao Yunlan wants to show Shen Wei the new apartment he bought for them. It is described like this: "The house is only one street away from the University grounds. It's a garden villa with a unique architectural style." The apartment takes up one whole floor of the house. The renovations aren't quite finished yet, but even with debris lying around, the apartment looks beautiful in the glow of the setting sun. It is bordered by the lush University gardens on one side, and a dry artificial creek on the other.

Shen Wei is completely overwhelmed when Zhao Yunlan gives him a key to the apartment and tells him to choose a room to be his new office. Da Qing also shouts for his own room. With his loud requests, he barely manages to keep Shen Wei from throwing himself at Zhao Yunlan right there in the empty apartment.

While Zhao Yunlan and Da Qing are arguing, Shen Wei gets a missive from the Underworld: "Black clouds have emerged northwest of the Thirty Three Skies. Very bad omen. Requesting Your Honour's prompt return."

Shen Wei tersely explains that the last time black clouds appeared in the Thirty Three Skies was 800 years ago. Zhao Yunlan has a hunch that the last time, their appearance was caused by Ghost Face, and asks Shen Wei if it's the same this time. Zhao Yunlan gets immediately suspicious when Shen Wei doesn't answer or make eye contact, but he can't bring himself to dig deeper and thereby cause Shen Wei pain, so he lets him go, just asking him to return home soon.

After Shen Wei has vanished into black smoke in the middle of the room, Zhao Yunlan asks Da Qing what he knows about Kunlun. Da Qing tells him that even though he was alive five thousand years ago, when Mount Buzhou collapsed and Kunlun was a god, he doesn't remember much from that time, since he was "only a lazy kitten." He also explains that animals rarely manage to cultivate, and even after hundreds of years, they can barely be called self-aware. He also says that the most important thing for them is their owner: "I have you as my owner, and that's all I need."

But Da Qing can remember some things from that time, for example Kunlun's smell. He suspects that Zhao Yunlan is Kunlun, but doesn't say it. He is afraid that fate is at work, "pushing everyone towards a destined outcome."

Then, Zhao Yunlan offhandedly tells him that Shen Wei is the Ghost Slayer, and Da Qing is shocked.

Chapter 69 - History Lessons with Da Qing and Sang Zan[edit | edit source]

跳起来之后第一件事就是冲着赵云澜大声咆哮:“你吃了雄心豹子胆了!” - After jumping up, his first reaction is to roar loudly at Zhao Yunlan, "I can't believe you have the gall!" (lit. "you've eaten a ferocious panther's gall bladder")

Da Qing berates Zhao Yunlan for lusting after the Ghost Slayer, saying he wishes he'd known earlier. But Zhao Yunlan tells him that this wouldn't have helped, saying he is "late by a few thousand years."

When Zhao Yunlan asks Da Qing about the Ghost Slayer, he can't tell him much, except that he thinks the Ghost Slayer wasn't born in the depths of the Underworld, but rather somewhere that relates to the Earth.

They stay at the apartment until Zhao Yunlan has smoked a whole pack of cigarettes. Then, they drive back to the SIU offices. After feeding Da Qing, Zhao Yunlan goes into the library to do some more research.

He has realized that there is no information at all about Kunlun. He suspects it has been deliberately erased, so he tries to figure out what has gone missing by reading everything around it, starting with Nüwa. Despite the low-brow impression Zhao Yunlan gives, he is described here as well-read: his "knowledge of ancient texts is exceptionally profound" and his reading speed is "impressive".

Sang Zan is helping Zhao Yunlan by listening and sometimes interjecting his own thoughts. Sang Zan thinks it is possible that someone destroyed the path to Heaven to end a war. Zhao Yunlan finds this idea helpful.

When Chu Shuzhi arrives at the SIU, a cold and frozen Guo Changcheng in tow, he is carrying a blue-glowing bone whistle, which can "control zombies and other undead creatures."

Zhao Yunlan bluntly asks him if he's planning to leave the SIU.

Chu Shuzhi reiterates that while he accepted the shackles of virtue willingly, he doesn't think killing the child that desecrated his grave was a crime. He claims there are only two kinds of people: "those [he] can kill, and those [he] can't."

Zhao Yunlan slaps him for saying that.

Before they can get into a fight, a smoke letter from Shen Wei arrives, warning Zhao Yunlan to stay put, not to do anything the Underworld asks him to do, and wait for Shen Wei's return.

Chapter 70 - Zhao Yunlan Reads About Kunlun and Gets a Visit[edit | edit source]

原来判官是在暗示我,斩魂使与魔物瓜葛不浅 - So the judge is implying that the Ghost Slayer is related to the evil creature.

Zhao Yunlan keeps lecturing Chu Shuzhi on his unrepentant behavior. He accuses him of not having learned his lesson even after 300 years. When Chu Shuzhi tries to leave, he binds him to his chair using a magic shackle he summons with a talisman. But since he has no time to deal with him further, he tells Guo Changcheng to wheel him into Zhao Yunlan's office to "give him time to think things through and come to his senses."

He then returns to his study of ancient books to find out more about Kunlun. He reads and quotes from the “Book of Primeval Secrets”, and tells Da Qing what happened at the Pillar of Nature. The book seems to say that the Four Mystical Artifacts have been created and then hidden away to ensure peace by keeping the door between Heaven and the Underworld closed. When all four are gathered, the "Four Sky Pillars" are reachable again, and Zhao Yunlan concludes that it must be Ghost Face's plan to collect the Four Mystical Artifacts so he can destroy the four pillars (i.e. the world).

Da Qing complains that all of it is giving him a headache. He asks who that Ghost Face is that Zhao Yunlan keeps talking about. Even though Zhao Yunlan has never seen his face, since he is wearing a mask, he conjectures that Ghost Face must look similar to Shen Wei.

Zhao Yunlan says about Shen Wei that he "keeps way too much to himself" and is "kind to everyone, but not to himself." He wonders why, and tells Da Qing that he worries about Shen Wei.

Then the judge announces his visit with a puppet sounding wooden clappers. Zhao Yunlan invites him to his office, where they both try to get the other one to admit what they know without giving away anything themselves.

The judge is wary, because he is "one of the few who know about Zhao Yunlan, and he would really prefer not to anger this mighty god." He thinks of him as having the thickest skin possible, and being as sly as a fox. The god he is talking about is Kunlun.

The judge eventually tells Zhao Yunlan that he wants him to lead the Underworld delegation to the top of Mount Kunlun, using the Guardian Order as a passkey, since it is "a piece of wood from the holy tree on top of Mount Kunlun," and they can't go there without it or the Lord Guardian.

The judge says they want to stop an evil demon who has escaped Nüwa's seal, because the demon intends to gather a lot of souls at the peak of Mount Kunlun to gain possession of the Ink Brush of Virtue. Zhao Yunlan questions the judge's story, which seems to be half truth and half lies. They don't come to an agreement, but Zhao Yunlan manages to make the judge admit that the Ghost Slayer is related to the evil creature.

Chapter 71 - Zhao Yunlan Drives the Judge to the Brink of a Nervous Breakdown[edit | edit source]

斩魂使猛地转身,只见赵云澜穿得严严实实,一身登山装备,脚底下跟着一只黑猫 - The Ghost Slayer turns around abruptly, and sees Zhao Yunlan: he is wrapped in many layers of hiking gear, and a black cat is following him.

Zhao Yunlan keeps pressuring the judge and questioning his story, insisting that he is just a small fry, only a weak human. He cheekily asks the judge if he should just chat up the Ghost Slayer and ask him for help.

When Zhao Yunlan asks the judge how they can guarantee his safety on the trip up Mount Kunlun, and the judge can't answer it, Zhao Yunlan suggests to bring the SIU along on the trip. He immediately takes that back, citing that they are not powerful enough, except for Chu Shuzhi.

Pretending to need Chu Shuzhi to protect him, he gets the judge to promise his immediate release from his Shackles of Virtue. While Zhao Yunlan is at it, he gives the judge a whole list of people he suspects to be treated unfairly by the Underworld, who the judge then promises to release as well.

After all this, Zhao Yunlan decides that he doesn't get along with Chu Shuzhi anyway, so he again suggests letting the Ghost Slayer make the trip in his stead. The judge doesn't want to admit that his whole ploy to take Zhao Yunlan to Mount Kunlun has a different purpose than he stated: they are afraid the Ghost Slayer will turn against them. Instead, he reiterates that the Ghost Slayer and Ghost Face are related, and adds some new information: that they were both born outside of the Underworld, in front of the Tree of Virtue.

Seemingly having extracted enough information from the judge, Zhao Yunlan finally acquiesces to the plan: he will accompany him up to Mount Kunlun.

On the way out, he instructs Guo Changcheng to receive the visitor from the Underworld. The visitor arrives a short while later. It is a paper man wearing a high hat, who makes Chu Shuzhi's shackles disappear and returns his belongings to him.

At the end of the chapter, we see Shen Wei waiting for someone to walk up to Mount Kunlun with him. He is shocked to see Zhao Yunlan and Da Qing arrive instead.

Chapter 72 - Zhao Yunlan Takes Everyone to the Summit of Mount Kunlun[edit | edit source]

浩然之巅,览六合渺海内,为三十六山川之始,宇内万物之纲 - Upon the colossal peak, a vista of the vast plains of the seas and beyond; the origin of all mountains and rivers, the fabric of the world and all things in it.

The Ghost Slayer is enraged that Zhao Yunlan disobeyed his request not to follow him. Zhao Yunlan is completely unrepentant. He tries to play cute to get out of it, kissing the Ghost Slayer, and innocently asking him whether he's angry. The Ghost Slayer doesn't know how to deal with obstinacy like this.

Zhao Yunlan then offers him to endure any punishment the Ghost Slayer sees fit to administer, pretending that the whole situation was Chu Shuzhi's fault anyway. He calls Shen Wei "baby" to soften him up, until Da Qing can't bear his hypocrisy anymore and slinks out of earshot. Shen Wei doesn't react at all.

They are interrupted by the arrival of the judge and his Underworld delegation - "ox-head, horse-face, black ghost, white ghost, and numerous others". The judge thinks about his thankless position for a bit, but overall he is glad that his plan worked. He knows that the Ghost Slayer will not leave Zhao Yunlan alone in the mountains, so they now have to take him along.

Shen Wei is furious with both of them.

They walk up the mountain, until they arrive at a field strewn with large boulders "arranged in a 64-hexagram array." Zhao Yunlan feels a strange connection to the place. He takes out his Guardian order and steps into the stone circle. He instinctively knows what to do, and the boulders start moving around him.

Shen Wei cannot help but see Kunlun when he looks at Zhao Yunlan, seeing him wearing a "long green gown from years and years ago" in his mind. Shen Wei is overcome with possessiveness and envelops both of them with his dark smoke, so nobody can see Zhao Yunlan but him. He never wanted anything more than for Kunlun to look at him. "He would have died for him, and yet he feared that he was unworthy and too filthy to look upon."

Ghost Face is visible at the top of the mountain, glaring down at them. They can see how his "eerie mask flashes and flickers" in the clouds.

Suddenly, they are all transported to the summit, where an ancient holy tree grows. It is described as sickly, its branches "already half withered; no leaves, no flowers, vital energy fading." It is the Primeval Tree of Virtue.

Da Qing jumps out of Zhao Yunlan's arms and transforms into a human. He has "long black hair flowing down his back and a pair of cat eyes sparkling like precious gems, dazzling with a cold light." But his voice is unchanged. Zhao Yunlan is shocked, he didn't know Da Qing could transform.

Screeching spirit beasts rise from the ground around the tree, and Ghost Face appears from the clouds covering the top of Mount Kunlun. He is huge, his head "a thousand metres long, covering the sun and the sky, grinning devilishly."

He produces a spinning Soul Cauldron and a gigantic axe, which he swings at the group of people. Shen Wei stops it with his small blade, "like an ant holding up a giant boulder," and even breaks the axe and jolts it out of Ghost Face's hands.

Shen Wei seems shocked that Ghost Face brought a Soul Cauldron.

Chapter 73 - Battle on Mount Kunlun[edit | edit source]

“小人多有隐瞒,实在迫不得已,昆仑君赎罪。” - "I really had no choice but to conceal the truth. Please forgive my dishonesty, Lord Kunlun."

They stop fighting and start talking. Ghost Face is willing to wait for the Pillar of Nature, which Zhao Yunlan has. But he absolutely wants the Ink Brush of Virtue immediately. He says that "if two of the four pillars holding up the sky collapse, no-one will be able to stop [him}."

Zhao Yunlan asks Da Qing who is on the mountaintop with them, and together, they list the groups present: the Crows, who sided with the Underworld, other fairy tribes, Arhats of the West, Taoists, and Nüwa herself, the ancient goddess with "the face of a person, the body of a snake." The whole time, more spirit beasts are rising from the ground.

Da Qing advises him to stand back from the fight, so Zhao Yunlan retreats to the Primeval Tree of Virtue. He touches it and talks to it in his mind: "I don't know anything, but you recognise me, right?" In answer, the tree sprouts a green shoot that curls around Zhao Yunlan's finger.

Ghost Face offers to explain the origins of the Ink Brush of Virtue. He tells Zhao Yunlan that "Fuxi and Nüwa wanted to establish order, so they went up to Mount Kunlun and obtained a branch from the holy tree," and that "Nüwa then [planted] the branch in the land of Great Disrespect."

The Ghost Slayer interrupts Ghost Face's explanation, obviously intent on making him stop talking, and attacks Ghost Face again. His blade lengthens into the sky and produces lightning, which Ghost Face simply swallows.

Zhao Yunlan watches them fight, ruminating on the Ghost Slayer's dilemma: "Ghost Face doesn't treat him as an enemy, others do not treat him as an ally." Ghost Face is his only equal, but Ghost Face doesn't want to fight him, either. Ghost Face has been holding back during every fight they've had so far. Otherwise, they wouldn't have won this easily before.

Zhao Yunlan realizes that "Ghost Face has succinctly answered all his questions." He knows that "humans are born with three evils: "greed", "hatred" and "ignorance"." Since "the three eternal evils come from the soil," Zhao Yunlan concludes that the land of Great Disrespect must be the origin of "greed, hatred and ignorance".

Ghost Face continues his explanation: "The holy tree [...] withered and died, and then sprouted again and became the legendary Primeval Tree of Virtue." Before he can say more, the Ghost Slayer rushes him again, shouting at him to shut up.

The Ghost Slayer cuts Ghost Face in half, making him shrink. He drops the Soul Cauldron, which spawns "an endless procession of spirit beasts."

To the Ghost Slayer's shock, Zhao Yunlan himself continues the explanation: "After the battle between the Yan and Yellow Emperors and Chiyou, the Three Sovereigns [...] crafted the Ink Brush of Virtue from the Primeval Tree of Virtue. All things in the world have spirits, and the Ink Brush of Virtue records all deeds, good and bad. [...] Nüwa repaired the Heavens and turned the four legs of the Ao into the four sky pillars. The Sundial of Reincarnation was left on earth, the Pillar of Nature was buried underground."

When he comes to the explanation of the Ink Brush of Virtue, he scolds the Judge for having told him a bunch of lies.

The Soul Cauldron and the whole mountain tremble, and the Primeval Tree of Virtue starts blooming.

Then, Zhao Yunlan simply states that he is Kunlun, and the Ink Brush of Virtue's rightful owner. He also claims to know what Ghost Face looks like.

The Ghost Slayer is shocked, but Zhao Yunlan simply explains to him that "looks are just an illusion," and he can of course tell the difference between Ghost Face and the Ghost Slayer, even though they look the same.

Unexpectedly, a large cyclone rises around them, and the Ink Brush of Virtue appears as a huge flickering form, vaguely visible in the storm. When the Soul Cauldron shatters, the Ink Brush becomes whole.

Before they can agree who will get the Ink Brush, it streaks into the Primeval Tree and merges with it/disappears inside it. When Ghost Face tries to grab for the tree, the tree itself slaps Ghost Face so hard his hand starts bleeding. Ghost Face gets annoyed and vanishes.

The Ghost Slayer's smoky disguise disappears and he looks like Shen Wei again. He fearfully asks Zhao Yunlan if he really remembers everything. It is unclear whether he is happy or afraid about this.

Zhao Yunlan confesses that he made everything up, and scolds everyone else for being too gullible. He then asks Shen Wei to wait, stating that the tree is calling to him. He tells him he loves him and then disappears into the Primeval Tree of Virtue.

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