TN: From now on, you’ll experience a peculiarity unique to cnovels. Sometimes you’ll see an “I” perspective thought smushed together with a more third-person POV. Luen and I decided to italicize the 1st/2nd person POV bits for clarity.
Also, don’t forget to click ‘next’ and read Chapter 8! No need for cliffies, mwahahahaha~
Even though it was only his top half that was stripped bare, it was already horrifying enough.
Whether good or bad, Shen Qingqiu was still an important master! This upper body revealing two red fruits1, wearing only pants and a pair of white boots, having his limbs tied tightly together and lying fallen on the ground – an image! Like! This! It’s like a tender-skinned pretty boy in a bedroom rape scene; no wonder the system deducted so many points!
Shen Qingqiu’s face flushed red and white. He wanted to use his sword to dig a hole in the ground and bury himself, but he didn’t know where his sword had flown to.
No wonder Luo Binghe looked a little embarrassed earlier. He must have been thinking that he’d seen Shen Qingqiu in such an awkward position that he had had enough revenge and that he wouldn’t need to beat him up as severely in the future.
Ning Yingying weepily said: “Shizun, you’ve finally woken up. Yingying is very scared……”
Scared? If you’re scared then don’t run around like this, little sister2! Shen Qingqiu was helpless.
At this time, a burst of weird laughter came from behind him.
A black silhouette jumped out from the darkness.
“Cang Qiong Mountain sect’s great and lofty expert is nothing great after all. It seems like the world’s number one big sect, Cang Qiong Mountain sect, is only to this standard and the Demon Realm’s rise is just around the corner.” Another burst of loud laughter sounded.
The other person’s face and head were all covered in black veils, the voice coarse and unpleasant just like an opium addict’s.
Shen Qingqiu squinted, “The Skinner?”
“Hehe, the famous Xiu Ya Sword has fallen into my hands, I’m so happy! Shen Qingqiu, Shen Qingqiu, even if you break open your head you won’t be able to guess who I am!”
Shen Qingqiu said: “What’s so hard to guess?”
The Skinner: “……”
Shen Qingqiu: “You are Butterfly.”
The Skinner: “……” She drew aside the black veils and said irritably: “Impossible! How could you guess!”
Shen Qingqiu was speechless.
Could he say, do you think I’m blind? Can’t tell by the body shape? The first thing men take note of is the body, looking at a person’s prospects comes after. The waist is small, so it must be a woman. And this sort of noveau riche decoration can’t be seen just anywhere; did you think I didn’t know that I’ve already been shipped back to the Chen estate? Though the women in the Chen estate are many, I’ve happened to meet just a few and only know Butterfly’s name. If you want me to guess, of course I can only guess ‘Butterfly.’ I don’t even know the names of the others, how can I guess? Who knew I guessed right on the first try? Who knew you were so temperamental and couldn’t even deny it, directly drawing aside those mysterious veils!
Could he say that? Could he?!
If he spoke aloud about the deductive reasoning and thought process detailed above, he’d surely be judged OOC. So, he couldn’t breathe a word and could only hide his pain in his heart and secretly curse ‘fuck’ endlessly.
Butterfly – or rather the Skinner, quickly readjusted herself and put on the face of Old Master Chen’s beloved concubine again. Her expression was incomparably tender and proud as she smiled: “Not bad, it’s really me! Shen Qingqiu, even if you broke your head thinking you wouldn’t have thought it would be a soft and weak woman like me, right?”
Shen Qingqiu straightened his body and shifted into a more comfortable position.
Every BOSS traditionally had a confession time. He couldn’t avoid giving this face.3
Butterfly didn’t need his encouragement and continued herself: “The Skinner is untraceable not because I have exceedingly high ability, but because every time after I killed someone I switched to a new skin. Wearing the skins of those women and imitating their behavior, I passed unnoticed in the confusion to search for the next target.”
Shen Qingqiu was a bit doubtful: “Wrong.”
Butterfly’s face was frighteningly gloomy: “Where is it wrong?”
Shen Qingqiu said: “Even if you switched skins after killing someone every time – for example, after killing Butterfly – donning her skin, you become ‘Butterfly’ but there’s still her skinned body left over. Won’t someone find it strange for there to be two Butterflys?”
He thought for a bit, then suddenly realized.
This world didn’t have DNA analysis. After pulling off the skin, only the bloody mess of flesh would be left over. It would be very difficult to figure out who it was.
Butterfly said: “Seems like you’ve realized. Not bad. I use the next woman’s body to substitute the previous woman’s body. For instance, regarding killing Butterfly this time: I wore Xiang-er’s skin and everyone still believed that Xiang-er was still alive. After I killed Butterfly, Butterfly’s body was disguised by me to look like Xiang-er’s body. So it was ‘Xiang-er’s’ body that was found by the others.”4
Luo Binghe was listening silently this entire time, a glint of anger simmering in his eyes. His juvenile sense of justice was stirred up by this perverse demon’s poisonous actions. Ning Yingying completely couldn’t understand what was being said but didn’t dare interrupt.
Shen Qingqiu sincerely respected these villains; they truly had professional skills. Not only did they have to expose their psychological activities, they also needed to explain in detail their plans and actions. To be frank, their standards……were even more stringent than that of the teachers who make the college entrance examination!5
Shen Qingqiu said: “Every set period you must change into a new skin; is it for the pleasure of it or for another reason?”
Butterfly coldly laughed and said: “Do you think I’ll tell you?”
You’ve already told me a lot, all right, big sister (or is it big brother)? You won’t be missing anything by telling me!
Butterfly looked towards the bound Ning Yingying and Luo Binghe, walking towards them. Luo Binghe was still as calm and composed as before, but Ning Yingying loudly cried: “Demon! Don’t come over here! Shizun, save me!”
Butterfly laughed mischievously: “Your shizun is bound with my ‘Binding Immortal Cable’ and the spiritual power in his body can’t circulate. It’ll be difficult for him to preserve his own life, how can he come save you?”
No wonder Shen Qingqiu’s earlier effort to feel for his spiritual power only resulted in a weak pulse.
Butterfly entered into a soliloquizing mode: “How hateful; if my demonic cultivation hadn’t suffered damage, I wouldn’t need to keep switching skins. This little girl’s skin is tender like water and she also has a lot of fellow disciples. I can probably use her for quite a while. After your skin is sucked dry by me, it’ll be your shifu’s turn. To be able to use the Xiu Ya Sword will count as a second life for me.”
Luo Binghe: “……”
Shen Qingqiu: “……”
What did you say earlier? ‘Do you think I’ll tell you,’ right?
Not only have you told me right now, you seem to have said something out of the question and even revealed your future plans!
The intelligence of the villains in this world was beyond saving. Shen Qingqiu’s heart suddenly felt very tired. He just wanted to add some points, why was it such a bumpy and difficult task!
Shen Qingqiu spoke with the system: ‘Dearly beloved, if I make a mistake during the mission and die, will I have the opportunity to try again?’
System: 【An undying golden body is the protagonist’s privilege. 】
Damn it. That means my life is completely without a guarantee of preservation. If things aren’t done well, I’ll die first.
Villains always gave ‘excellent quality’ answers. Shen Qingqiu wanted to delay for time and threw out a question to Butterfly: “Don’t you always only target young and beautiful girls?”
“I never said I only choose to target young and beautiful women. If their skin is smooth and exquisite, I’ll always target them. It’s only that most men don’t have skin as good as a woman’s and an older person’s skin is never as good as a young person’s.” As expected, Butterfly’s words surged forth without her awareness. Suddenly, her two eyes flashed green and an envious expression appeared on her face. She stretched her crimson-painted hands and rubbed them over Shen Qingqiu’s upper body: “However, an immortal cultivator is truly different. Even though you’re a man, you have such smooth and delicate skin. It’s…… been a long time since I’ve used a man’s skin……”
Shen Qingqiu broke out into goosebumps after having been felt up by her hands but still had to put on an icy and unassailable appearance. He was disgusted on one hand, sympathetic on the other.
This demon was a bit pitiful. It seemed it used to be male, but for the sake of furthering its cultivation had to keep using women’s skins. After all this time, he was afraid its psychological state had become abnormal……
Nevertheless, he was staring at a bewitchingly charming woman’s smiling face. Getting touched here and there like this, Shen Qingqiu’s face revealed some embarrassment and he unconsciously shrank back slightly.
In Luo Binghe’s eyes, this appearance was not his usual one and made a huge impact.
In the past, he’d seen much of the Shen Qingqiu who was high and unreachable, cold and bitingly sarcastic. This time, he was met with a Shen Qingqiu who had an uncontrollable flush spreading, an attitude of retreat in his gaze, and two □□ on his upper body.6 The unbreakable Binding Immortal Cable left red marks and his jet-black hair scattered down, as though to cover him but failing. Luo Binghe’s heart was full of an indescribable sense of entanglement.
If you asked Shen Qingqiu to find a metaphor for this kind of feeling: it would be like a man watching a movie only to find out the protagonist was the person who kept calling on him to answer in class, who beat him up and punished him to the third degree if he couldn’t answer correctly. It is that very same English teacher. A remarkably subtle mood!
Shen Qingqiu suddenly smiled.
Butterfly guardedly said: “What are you smiling for?”
Shen Qingqiu said very slowly and leisurely: “I’m laughing at you for keeping the glittering casket and giving up the pearls.7 There are three people here, yet you still don’t seem to have noticed the best choice for your next skin.”
Luo Binghe heard his words and his face changed.
He didn’t think he would be inexplicably dunked in cold water!
Shen Qingqiu wasn’t speaking irresponsibly. What kind of person is Luo Binghe? His real identity was that of a descendant of the ancient demons, an up-and-coming figure in the Demon Realm in the future, with the highest pedigree blood. If most demons got his body, don’t even speak about repairing damage from cultivating incorrectly; they might even end up taking over the world!
Butterfly looked up and down at Luo Binghe. His appearance was calm, but at heart he was at a loss for what to do. Even if he broke his head wondering why, he wouldn’t know why the focus had shifted to him.
Butterfly said: “Even if you want to trick me, you should have used a more believable lie. Even though this little guy’s skin hangs on his bones better and is more tender, how can it compare with that of a cultivator who has a consolidated jin dan?”8
Shen Qingqiu tilted his head and laughed: “With your eyesight, no wonder your cultivation has never had the proper environment. Haven’t you considered what sort of person that I, Shen Qingqiu, am? If this child is only good on the surface, then why would I want to accept him as one of my disciples? If I only wanted a disciple who looked good on the surface, there are enough people wanting to enter Cang Qiong Mountain sect every year that they almost reach the skies. You think there aren’t enough for me to choose from? What mysterious process is used to choose from them naturally can’t be revealed to outsiders.”
Butterfly was immediately moved. Very good, this villain’s intelligence is quite low; she put on a very convincing appearance of having considered this already.
Shen Qingqiu struck while the iron was hot: “If you’re skeptical, it’s easy to check. I’ll tell you something that’ll prove my words are right. Go over and hit him on the crown of his head and you’ll see that I haven’t deceived you.”
Luo Binghe’s face went deathly white.
No matter how mature, he was still only a child. Even if it was an adult facing death, there were very few people who would be able to maintain an unchanging expression. Not to mention, he was only fourteen years old.
Shen Qingqiu tried not to look at him, in his heart repeatedly apologizing and thinking that he’d definitely turn the tables around in the future and rescue him!
Ning Yingying was scared to death: “Shi…… Shizun, you…… you aren’t saying this for real, right?”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart was stretched tight like a string and he couldn’t bother to care for her. He could only face Butterfly and smile slightly, saying: “Whether or not it’s true, you’ll know once you try. It’s only striking a little child’s head; even if I’m deceiving you, you wouldn’t be at a loss right? Or is it that you’re worried what I said is true, so you’re afraid to hit and see?”
Even if someone unrelated were to look at this situation, they would think that this was pushing Luo Binghe on the road to death.
Luo Binghe couldn’t believe it; inside he asked, could Shen Qingqiu’s hatred for him have reached this degree?
He couldn’t help rising with all his strength, the ropes bound around him drawing taut. Behind him, Ning Yingying felt pain but didn’t dare say anything.
Shen Qingqiu’s words and tone were very persuasive. Butterfly thought for a while and agreed with his judgment. She’d already killed so many, how could she be afraid of making a single strike!
She snorted: “I really have to see what kind of thing you are.” Speaking up to this point, she advanced towards Luo Binghe and sent a palm striking down!
—End Chapter 7—
1Red fruits: Referring to his nipples lol.
2Little sister: Just a reminder that in Chinese, you can call people ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ without any blood relations. It’s just a measure of closeness. In Shen Qingqiu’s case, it’s also a slang-ish sort of way to express his annoyance with her.
3Every BOSS traditionally had a confession time…: Referring to the long monologues that villains go into about their plans. Shen Qingqiu is saying that he should at least respect them enough to let them monologue uninterrupted. LOLOLOL
4Xiang-er (name): You can assume this is the name of the previous victim.
5College entrance examination: In China, this is even more serious than the SATs taken by students in the US. All education from preschool to high school is geared towards scoring well on this test and the test covers ALL SUBJECTS studied within that time span. The college entrance exam is nation-wide and can only be taken once. That means no retakes. Cheating is a big no-no and means an eternal black mark. If one of the teachers who create the exam make a mistake, it’s also a huge no-no (but less than cheating).
6Two □□ on his upper body: Referring to his nipples again. XD
7Keeping the glittering casket and giving up the pearls (買櫝還珠): A saying meaning someone has bad judgment.
8Cultivator with a consolidated jin dan (金丹中期的修為): Had trouble translating this. It’s another cultivation-specific term. I assume they’re talking about the final step in cultivation to become an Immortal. Shen Qingqiu has cultivated enough to make that final step into becoming an Immortal (and therefore has eternal youth, a better body, etc. than your average cultivator).