TN: In case you missed the news, Luen’s going to be our editor! Welcome and thank you! *throws confetti and candy*
We find out more about the Skinner in this chapter. Plot ball’s going to start rolling, rolling, rolling~ :3
Having learned his lesson, Shen Qingqiu was more careful afterwards. His expression was a frown the rest of the way because he wished for a peaceful and uneventful trip. Finally, they arrived at Shuang Hu City.
The city wasn’t large but could be considered quite bustling. After entering, they visited the city’s richest man, the same Old Master Chen who had led the others in pleading for help from Cang Qiong Mountain sect. Old Master Chen’s two beloved little concubines had both died tragically under the Skinner’s hands. With Shen Qingqiu’s arrival, he was filled with hope.
He touched the white jade hands of the third beautiful concubine. With mournful sighs and groans, the old man’s tears dripped down.
“You cultivators must make the decision for us! I don’t dare let Butterfly1 leave my side for fear that if she loses her way by even a single step, she will be killed by that unnatural creature2 the very same day.”
Such an important mission NPC, yet he was making Shen Qingqiu’s face twitch.
He didn’t like looking at an old man in his sixties and a teenage girl fondling each other in front of him at all!
The good part was that Shen Qingqiu was a lofty expert. After briefly meeting them, he could coldly turn around and leave. Only Ming Fan was left behind to greet Old Master Chen. Lofty people had special privileges; towards experts, the regular people beside them couldn’t say anything. The loftier they were, the colder they were even as the people around them watched with admiring eyes.
Ning Yingying knocked on the door and entered. Sweetly, she said: “Shizun, Ying-er3 is going to go out for a turn in the market. Shizun, do you want to come with me?”
Shen Qingqiu’s back faced her. Putting on a perfectly intellectual appearance, he lightly said: “If Ying-er wants to go out for a turn, find some apprentice-brothers to accompany you. I still have some things to do before we face the Skinner.”
Who she would bring with her, how could Shen Qingqiu not know?
Shen Qingqiu felt bitter to death. Didn’t he want to go out and play too? Before this he was cooped up in Qing Jing Peak’s bamboo house compound and daily pretended to be that highly-educated Shizun. When he could finally go down the mountain for once, he had met with the system’s beginning stage checkpoint for ‘Shen Qingqiu’ and holed up in his room without meeting anyone. He didn’t even want to pretend to cultivate, he just laid on his bed and pretended to be dead for a while. Then he truly started to think about how to deal with this Skinner.
According to the information gathered from the nine victims, the Skinner picked young and beautiful girls. So those in Shuang Hu city with beautiful daughters, wives, and concubines all closed their doors when night fell. But even this failed to stop the Skinner from coming and going.
After sunset, Ming Fan entered his room to report what he learned.
Finally, there was someone to talk with. Shen Qingqiu’s half a day’s worth of loneliness finally dissolved: “Did you visit the coroner?”
Ming Fan said: “Yes. This disciple interrogated the coroner and carefully inspected the bodies.” Here, he stopped speaking. His expression was solemn as he offered something over.
Shen Qingqiu didn’t receive it in his hands. Examining closely, there were two stacks of yellow paper written on with cinnabar. The surface of the papers had already become a rotten black color.
He nodded and said: “You used these papers to test the evil energy4 of the deceased?”
Ming Fan said: “Shizun is insightful. These yellow papers were used by this disciple in two places. The first place was in the dirt at the grave of a woman who had already been buried. The second place was at the coroner’s among the deceased who hadn’t been buried yet.”
If even the grave dirt had been saturated with evil energy like this, they could confirm that the Skinner’s identity was that of a demon. Finally, he knew what he was up against.
Shen Qingqiu hmphed coldly: “They dare to intrude upon Cang Qiong Mountain sect’s hundreds of li5 span of territory, cruelly harming and killing the common people. These puny demons hit our door6 so they can’t blame me for sending my disciples up to punish them in Heaven’s place.”
Believe him, he really didn’t want to speak these dramatic actor’s lines. But if he didn’t say them, there would be OOC!
Ming Fan looked at him with a face full of admiration: “Shizun is wise! If Shizun acts, the monster will definitely be brought in for the common people’s justice!”
“……” Looks like this master-disciple relationship was built on the ‘you dictate, I worship’ model. Cooperation was a very happy thing.
To tell the truth, Shen Qingqiu was quite satisfied. Speaking from Shen Qingqiu’s point of view, this disciple Ming Fan wasn’t bad. Though he was a rich family’s young master and used to being arrogant, he dared not reveal a bit of that arrogance in front of his shifu. Instead, he was reverent and respectful.
Men will never think of the lives of those who worship them. Ming Fan’s ability to carry out tasks was precise, figuring out major stops along the road and arranging things in a timely manner; all of it was taken care of by him. If he hadn’t met the protagonist and found him displeasing to look at, experiencing a sharp drop in intelligence, he wouldn’t be a small evil school tyrant. He would be a good little seedling!
And facing this cannon fodder who was thrown by Luo Binghe into a pit filled with tens of thousands of ants and bitten to death alive, Shen Qingqiu shared the common feeling of being in the same boat……
“Descending the mountain this time is for the sake of gaining experience. This teacher will not be able to help you. Ming Fan, as the head disciple, you will need to vigilantly prepare so the demon won’t harm your fellow disciples.”
“Yes! This disciple has already laid out strategies. If the demon……”
Ming Fan hadn’t finished speaking when a person burst through the door and interrupted.
Luo Binghe’s face was pale as he cried: “Shizun!”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart thumped though his expression was still cold and calm: “What matter is there to shout so loudly, or be in such a panic?”
Luo Binghe said: “Apprentice-sister Ning Yingying and this disciple went outside during the day to go to the city’s market. I urged her to come back but she refused. I don’t know how, after turning around she disappeared. This disciple searched the entire street but couldn’t find her, and so came back to ask for Shizun’s help.”
To be missing at this critical moment, it wasn’t a joke. Ming Fan listened and somehow restrained himself from leaping up: “Luo Binghe! You……”
Shen Qingqiu waved his sleeve, exploding the teacup sitting on the writing desk. Not only did he avoid OOC, he also temporarily stalled Ming Fan’s impending death.
Putting on an angry appearance, he said: “Since things have already happened, more words are of no use. Luo Binghe, come with me. Ming Fan, you bring along some fellow apprentice-brothers to ask the Chen family for their assistance to go search for your apprentice-sister.”
After responding, Ming Fan hurriedly rushed out. Luo Binghe’s head hung low, not saying a single word.
Shen Qingqiu knew this wasn’t his fault because Ning Yingying was always this kind of almost-dying female character. In the original work, at least fifty chapters were dedicated to Ning Yingying getting lost or sticking out her neck7. Sometimes, Shen Qingqiu quite admired Luo Binghe for tolerating and accepting such a troublesome woman into his harem. He also admired how he hadn’t been gnawed to death; most people couldn’t endure. It could only be said that the protagonist’s powerful halo extended to his cock8.
Luo Binghe originally thought Shen Qingqiu had kept him back to yell and beat him, so he lowered his head and said: “This matter is all this disciple’s fault. If Shizun wants to punish, this disciple will have no regrets and only wants to peacefully find apprentice-sister Ning Yingying.”
Shen Qingqiu looked at his pitifully obedient appearance and wanted to pat his head, but had to restrain himself because of the system. He coldly said: “Come over here. Bring me to where you last were before the disappearance.”
Luo Binghe and Ning Yingying were near the bustling market when she was lost.
Shen Qingqiu stood there and closed his eyes, feeling for traces of evil energy. He walked and followed that almost breaking strand of evil energy to the end. When he opened his eyes again, Shen Qingqiu found he was standing at the entrance of a rouge shop9.
Shen Qingqiu: “……”
Could it be that the murderer be someone from the rouge shop?
But after entering the rouge shop, the thread of evil energy broke and completely dissipated.
“Could it be that the murder isn’t hidden in the rouge shop but had only come here before? Entering the rouge shop…… could the murderer be a woman?” Shen Qingqiu murmured.
This sort of mission getting assigned to him without being able to reference any scene in the original work; his brain cells seriously weren’t strong enough!
Just when Shen Qingqiu was bitterly thinking back to the detective novels he read or deductive reasoning games he had played in the past, the system urgently reminded him: 【Upon encountering difficulties, would you like to pay 100 Points and activate Easy Mode? 】
Shen Qingqiu: ‘Fuck, if there’s an Easy Mode why didn’t you say so earlier! Activate activate activate!’
His gaze focused on the ‘Yes’ option for three seconds. It turned green and disappeared. Then something caused goosebumps to rise all along his back.
Strong, what strong evil energy!
It was as though someone was afraid the target couldn’t be found!
Easy Mode truly isn’t bullying me!
Shen Qingqiu wasn’t ashamed at all in using Easy Mode, elatedly and slowly proceeding towards the evil energy. After five hundred steps, the path deviated sharply from the city area and he arrived at an abandoned and deserted house.
It’s really here! Look at that pale lantern, look at that poor and dilapidated front gate! It’s totally a haunted house, you can’t deny it!
Shen Qingqiu adjusted his expression, focusing on the silently following Luo Binghe: “Return to the Chen estate. Contact Ming Fan and tell him to bring all the sutras and apprentice-brothers to come here together.”
Luo Binghe was about to open his mouth and reply when suddenly, his pupils shrank. Shen Qingqiu saw him staring straight behind him. He knew it couldn’t be good, but it was too late. A gust of yin wind blew and the front gates slammed open.
“Shizun, Shizun, quickly wake up!”
Shen Qingqiu woke up.
After waking, he saw Luo Binghe’s anxious expression. He was tied to the opposite side. Before, he seemed to have been staring at the sleeping Shen Qingqiu.
Seeing Shen Qingqiu wake up, Luo Binghe let out a breath in relief and his eyes brightened. He called him Shizun again.
Ning Yingying was tied together with him and with a crying face, also called: “Shizun.”
Shen Qingqiu felt a bit dizzy and didn’t know if whatever freaking thing the demon sprayed had any bad side effects.
His mood was very bad.
This Easy Mode was very simple and brutal! It delivered him straight to the mini-BOSS’s mouth!
The worst thing was, Qing Jing Peak’s lord was a mini-BOSS to his disciples but was knocked down in front of them! And just when he awoke, the system harshly said: 【OOC: -50 Points. 】
Earlier he’d opened Easy Mode and paid 100 Points. In the blink of an eye, another 50 Points had gone. How could his heart not hurt. Originally, the original Shen Qingqiu’s strength was in dealing with demons. It was like killing chickens with a master’s hand. But the shameful thing was that in this instance, the master’s hand didn’t manage to kill the chicken!
Very quickly, he found something that made his mood even worse.
He felt there was something wrong with his body. It was a bit cold and there was slight pain. Lowering his head, a ‘fuck’ almost blurted out from his mouth.
He! Had! Been! Stripped! Bare!
—End Chapter 6—
1Butterfly (name): Pinyin used for her name is Die-er. Pretty sure that this is kind of a coarse, slutty name in Chinese when written this way. You’d expect a prostitute to be named this rather than a high-ranking or wealthy man’s concubine. LOL
2Unnatural creature: Pinyin is yaomoguiguai. It’s a term referring to a wide variety of evil, unnatural supernatural beings including malicious ghosts and the like.
3Ying-er: Cute version of Ning Yingying’s name. The ‘-er’ suffix again lol. Normally it denotes cuteness, affection, and familiarity.
4Evil energy (魔氣): Pinyin is mo qi.
5hundreds of li: Li is an old measure of distance. How long a li is has changed a lot over time, but the modern li is around 0.5 km or about 1/3 of a mile.
6Hit our door: Literally hitting the door. The meaning is similar to the ‘kicking a steel plate’ phrase you see a lot in Chinese action novels. Imagine a stupid burglar walking up to a door and prying it open. Then he finds out he just broke the front door of a mafia boss. Now just put Shen Qingqiu (or Cang Qiong sect) in the place of the mafia boss. XD
7Sticking out her neck: Revealing a weak spot and asking for death lol. Shen Qingqiu is observing that Ning Yingying was created as the stereotypical damsel in distress who always needs rescuing. XD
8Protagonist’s powerful halo extends to his cock: Okay, this line contained some slang I think. I kept getting a nonsense line about the protagonist’s halo frying the skies but I tried another MTL and got ‘cock’… Considering the preceding line about his harem, I’ll assume that they mean the protagonist has amazing stamina to keep up with all the women in his harem.
9Rouge shop: In ancient China, a rouge shop is the equivalent of a make-up shop. Rouge = blush in terms of modern make-up.
Chinese Profanity 101, continued:
So… Kao (靠) can also mean ‘fuck.’ LOL