Chapter 68: To Silence or Not
Translator: Strivon / Ash Editor: Geoffrey / Lancent
“I’m not a Demonic Cultivator! You should have learned this from the school textbooks; ‘To enter Demonhood is to be Demon for life’. When one falls to the Demonic Way, when they’re purged with Tenebrum, one will lose their minds and become a puppet of the Beyonder Demons. An incomparably powerful aura of Tenebrum Energy lingers around their bodies. They absolutely won’t be like I am now!”
Zheng Dongming spoke suddenly at rocket speed, “Look! Other than when I shot my Demonic Blood Cannon, there isn’t any Tenebrum Energy lingering around my body. My mind is also quite clear, absolutely not that of one who fell into madness! I only… had some lucky encounter to be able to cultivate in both Essence and Tenebrum!”
Li Yao’s expression remained unchanged and spoke seriously, “Young Master Zheng, you’re mistaken… I’m not going to kill you because you’re a demonic cultivator; I’m going to kill you because… I’ve inadvertently discovered your big secret. You will kill and silence me for certain when you finish recovering, in order to keep your identity and your fortunate encounter from being exposed. I want to save my own life, so I shall make the first move and seize the advantage!”
Li Yao took a moment to sigh. “I hope you can understand. There’s no private enmity between us two. Originally, it was still possible for us to become decent swine friends. But now…”
He shook his head and raised the Burning Sky Battleaxe.
Zheng Dongming’s expression changed as he urgently asked, “If you really want to protect your life, then you really shouldn’t kill me. Can you give me a minute of time to clearly explain to you why?”
Li Yao squinted his eyes as his eyes radiated with vitality. His telepathic mind spun at lightning speeds, blazing his computational power to the limits. He answered a short time later, “Thirty seconds!”
Without half a second of hesitation, Zheng Dongming opened his mouth and shot in rapid fire, “First, the reason why you want to kill me is because you’re scared that I’ll kill you later to silence you! But when you slayed this large-eyed ape, you can be said to be my life-saving benefactor. I, Zheng Dongming, may be a scoundrel, but how could I ever lay a hand on my life savior?”
“Bullshit! You still have twenty-five seconds!”
“Second, you assume that the reason why I would kill you is to protect my own secret of cultivating in Tenebrum — to silence you from divulging my secret! But it’s pointless to kill you since, right now, Fellow Student Li Yao placed number one in the ranking and has already garnered the reputation of being a rising star of hope. The Nine Elites will always have quite a few eyes observing you! And, you must certainly have had your own lucky encounter to have your actual strength soar at a rate that’s higher than mine. It wouldn’t be that easy to silence you. I would need to use large quantities of influence and resources for sure!”
“Your Zheng Family… Don’t you have large quantities of influence and resources?” spoke Li Yao coldly.
Zheng Dongming forced a bitter laugh and spoke, “To mobilize large amounts of resources to kill you isn’t actually the problem. The problem is the justification, see? You’re right. My Zheng Family has several cultivators of the Refinement stage. We even have two powerful Foundation Building stage cultivators. But all these cultivators are my uncles or even grand uncles! If I ask them to come kill you, they would ask me for a reason. How should I respond? Should I simply say that you’ve discovered my secret? If I explain it like this, not only would they not get someone else to do the work, these cousins and grandparents will kick me out of the house! They’ll get rid of me!”
“Sounds reasonable. These words you’ve spoken have won you ten more seconds. Continue speaking!” Li Yao gripped the Burning Sky Battleaxe tightly; he did not relax in the slightest.
“Even if I was able to convince my relatives to come and get rid of you, it would be very difficult to not leave behind tracks and clues. Everyone knows of the secret special police unit of the Federation. They specialize in handling cultivator crimes. Quite a few of the secret police possess super powerful computation capabilities. It’s very rare for criminals to escape their investigation. What if they track things down to their roots all the way back to me? Wouldn’t I have overextended myself?”
Zheng Dongming had finished speaking using a single breath. He concluded by saying, “In short, to kill a ferocious person such as yourself wouldn’t be easy at all. Even if I’m successful, there’s still a 99% chance of being discovered. Rather than go down this route, I would rather place my bets on you keeping my secret. The chances of you keeping my secret is still greater!”
“You have a few reasonable points, but it’s still not enough to convince me. Do you have any more reasons? I’ll give you twenty more seconds,” Li Yao spoke without relaxing a single bit.
Zheng Dongming’s pale white face let out a red glow. He shouted himself hoarse saying, “You want to kill me because you’re scared that I’ll silence you when I recover. So you’ve decided to make the first move and seize the advantage. You just want to preserve your own life! But did you ever think about this? That after you’ve killed me you will leave behind some tracks and clues. What if my Zheng Family discovers that you’re the killer! Then you will be hunted and killed by Refinement stage and Foundation Building stage cultivators! Do you think you can escape death?”
Zheng Dongming paused before he reached a conclusion. “If you kill me, there’s a 100% chance that my Zheng Family’s Foundation Building stage cultivators will get rid of you! If you don’t kill me, you can still count on a 1% chance for me to have a conscious and treat you as my life-saving benefactor. As for the actual probability, you can calculate that yourself!”
Li Yao thought deeply for a moment before speaking, “Don’t you worry. I won’t leave behind any feasible evidence.”
Zheng Dongming blinked his eyes. “The secret police will need feasible evidence in their investigation. To avenge a cultivator, it would be enough for there to be a suspect!”
Li Yao’s eyebrows shook. “I can say that I purged evil. That I rid the world of a Demonic Cultivator. Would the Zheng Family dare touch me? They might even celebrate and send me a banner as thanks for cleaning the house of the Zheng Family!”
Zheng Dongming’s mouth pulled into a crafty smile. He spoke, “The Tenebrum I cultivate in has an extremely odd characteristic to it… Aside from the moment of stimulation, the Tenebrum won’t leave the least bit of trace. Even the most supreme of cultivators won’t be able to tell. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and look at the corpse of the large-eyed ape. Not even an ounce of Tenebrum energy remains!
Li Yao was shocked. He gazed unwaveringly at Zheng Dongming and swept a glance at the large-eyed ape from the corner of his eyes.
And sure enough, there was actually not a hair’s trace of demonic energy from the gaping hole in the sternum of the large-eyed ape reeking and dripping wet of blood. It was as if spiritual energy had blasted out that hole.
“Look, there’s no evidence at all that I cultivate in Tenebrum. Therefore, you can’t use this reason to wipe yourself clean. Of course, I’m not worried about you spilling my secret. Anyway, you don’t have proof, so I don’t have a strong enough motive to kill and silence you. We don’t need to take things so far where only one of us gets out of here alive!” Zheng Dongming spoke at lightning speed.
Right at this moment, a crackling sound rang from the air. Small Ji had finally struggled free from Zheng Dongming’s camouflage clothing. A stellar aura glowed from its eyes and it flew over above the two’s heads.
“Ha. Your Puji Critter seems to have had its connection restored with the Distant Expanse. Right now, every single movement is under the observation of countless cultivators. You really won’t make a move now right?” Zheng Dongming laughed with complete brightness.
Li Yao kept quiet for a moment before laughing. He tossed the Burning Sky Battleaxe to the side, walked to Zheng Dongming’ side, and sat down on his butt under the gaze of Small Ji. He covered his lips and whispered in a voice that only themselves could hear, “Very good. You’ve convinced me, but in the end, I’ve discovered your big secret. If one day you push your demonic cultivation to an exceptional level that you can get rid of me without leaving behind even half a speck of evidence… I believe you will still make a move!”
“That’s highly likely.”
Zheng Dongming also covered his lips as he spoke calmly, “Wouldn’t I have to worry as well? What if one day you miraculously make it big and you don’t fear the retribution of the Zheng Family? And what if you’re confident that you can escape the investigation of the secret police? And you worry that I’ll kill and silence you, so you will make the first move to gain the upper hand? To get rid of me as before?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment before laughing automatically. “The probability of this happening isn’t small.”
Zheng Dongming took his arms and rested them under his head as a pillow with great difficulty. He comfortably spoke with half opened eyes, “Anyway, right now, we are both meager weakling cannon fodder. It would be impossible for us to kill each other without being discovered by the Secret Police, so before any of us learns an exceptional god-like skill, we can still be friends, right? We might even be friends worth taking a knife for!”
“There’s no need to be friends worth taking knives for. I don’t like to go stabbing around with guys,” Li Yao spoke, “Being swine friends is fine enough. We can be light acquaintances like a pig and a dog.”
“Sure, my beloved swine friend. Many thanks for your kindness of saving my life. I’ll introduce to you beautiful girls to get to know. What’s your favorite type? Hehehe. Surely you’re not one of those upright people who won’t get close to a girl and only likes to cultivate, right?”
Zheng Dongming was beaming with smiles as he asked pervertedly.
“Of course not. I like a pure girl who’s slightly provocative. And within that tease, there would be a faint shyness to her, but she actually wants it under that shyness. And what she wants would be a mix of different kinds of unspeakable passions and desires.”
Li Yao spoke earnestly.
“Got it. You have before you a pure high-class woman who’s a beast in bed. Those are pretty common man~ I know a lot of those. When you have time come over to our school…”
As he spoke, Zheng Dongming’s voice trailed weaker and weaker. In the end, his head lay to the side; he had passed out.
He had forcefully used Tenebrum and so he had overtaxed his body too greatly. Then he used an enormous amount of mental energy in the battle of wits against Li Yao. His mind was practically spent. He was pushing his limits to hold on until now.
Li Yao rested for a moment, restoring his stamina by a bit. His gaze stopped and remained at Zheng Dongming’s neck artery for quite a while
“Student Li Yao, please remain in the supply point and don’t move. Cultivators are rushing over quickly!” Small Ji suddenly spoke.
Li Yao’s pupils shrank before he moved his gaze. He used a Chainsword to support himself and stood up.
A strand of curiosity had arisen in his heart. He staggered over to the front of the large-eyed ape’s head. And with a kick, the giant head flipped over.
The combat strength of the three-eyed ape actually wasn’t that powerful. Even the mutation of a large-eyed ape couldn’t possibly drive these two into such a sorry state.
What sort of oddity did this large-eyed ape possess to transform into this crazy state?
The large-eyed ape’s face was still frozen in this ugly grimacing state, only that mouth, with crossed canine teeth, would no longer puff out a putrid stench. The bizarre incomparably giant eye on its forehead was closed tightly. It was much nicer to look at.
Li Yao stabbed his sword into the mouth of the large-eyed ape, firmly securing the large head to the ground, and took his daggers. Only then did he feel at ease to squat down and examine it.
Right about the instant he squatted down, the bizarre eye on the large-eyed ape’s forehead opened suddenly, releasing an incomparably strong blood red glow. It was as if an extremely sharp blade had ferociously stabbed into Li Yao’s forehead, reaching to the deepest depths of his mind!
A split second later…
“Kid, how could you!?”
Li Yao felt his head be in incomparable pain. An aged scream came from the deepest depths of his mind. A transparent figure of a person with aged white hair exploded and disintegrated, transforming into countless shards. A handful of these insignificant shards continued fleeing towards every nook and corner in the depths of Li Yao’s mind. And the majority of these shards spun at crazy speeds, becoming a berserk vortex.
Li Yao’s consciousness was also dragged into this strange vortex of shards. He sunk into endless darkness!
The instant before he sunk into this darkness, Li Yao saw three cultivators flying on swords and leaping down from the cloud filled sky. They shot like lightning towards him and Zheng Dongming!
=====Author’s Notes from the original chapter=====
Friends have raised a question in the comments section:
“Since the competitors’ Puji Critters have lost connection with the monitoring center, how are they able to calculate points? Is there meaning for the competition to continue on?”
This question caused Teacher Cow to be blank for a long time.
Things are often like this when writing novels. Some things are considered logical by the author and do not need to be explained, causing the reader to feel the author hasn’t explained things clearly enough, that there are contradictions.
And so Teacher Cow has pondered on this for a long time and has decided to change some things in the previous chapters by adding a few paragraphs of explanation.
Puji Critters aren’t broken. They’ve only lost connection due to the thunder and torrential rain. While it is true that they aren’t capable of transmitting data to the monitoring center during a loss of connection, Puji Critter’s functions won’t necessarily receive too big of an effect. The most that would happen from the torrential storm is a “delay.”
This also means that most actions performed by competitors are still recorded down by the Puji Critters. When connection to the network is reinstated, maybe when the competition ends, all information can definitely be integrated into calculating the points.
In short, the Puji Critter still remains in operation. It just goes from network mode to local mode, losing some functionality. This is also the reason why Zheng Dongming first covered up the Puji Critter’s vision before he launched his Demonic Art.
This sort of method may not be a hundred percent fair. But a real battle was like this — it was filled with various variables.
……Actually, Teacher Cow isn’t really willing to have these explanations outside of the main story. This is because Teacher Cow believes that if the final written work doesn’t allow for everyone to understand what’s going on, then that represents a failure of the author.
But sometimes if every single detail is written comprehensively, although it increases the word count by a lot, it would be way too obstructive. It would lose that natural flowing feel.
To summarize, Teacher Cow will do his best to balance between these two sides and welcome everyone’s valuable insight.
Teacher Cow looks at the comment section everyday. Sometimes Teacher Cow doesn’t give a prompt response, Teacher Cow hopes everyone will understand.
Teacher Cow has to support both elderly and young people. He is normally busy with supporting the family. Time dedicated to himself is few. He usually gets up at 5-6 AM and goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken to write for two hours before he goes to work. After work if there’s nothing busy at home, he goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken to write for two hours. Sometimes he needs to take care of the old and young before he can find the time.
So most of the time Teacher Cow needs to concentrate his energy on writing. The time he has to talk with everybody is really not much.
Today Teacher Cow shall use this question by a novel friend to explain Teacher Cow’s circumstances with everyone. This is also an apology to everyone.
To summarize, everyone please leave more comments. Teacher Cow will certainly read them. Even if sometimes he can’t respond back, he will always remember them in his heart. Everyone’s support and suggestions is Teacher Cow’s greatest driving force in writing. He will certainly write this Forty Millenniums of Cultivation book to be a good book with the help of everyone.