Aspiring to the Immortal Path - Chapter 673
Chapter 673: Favorite
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A human’s nature could change, as could their likes, but there were some things that could never change.
The harem was one of these.
Even though Tang Jie did his best to find reasons to avoid the concubines, as time went on, he gradually found that they were unavoidable.
More than half a month had passed, during which the concubines passionately threw themselves at him, coming one by one and almost melting him down purely through their love. Even though Tang Jie tried to stave them off with his government duties and cultivation, he knew that this was no long-term solution. If this continued, the concubines might end up exposing him.
He needed a solution.
In the study, Tang Jie held a book on fiends as his mind pondered this question. He was so immersed in the problem that he unconsciously began to tap his finger on the desk.
“Reporting!” A minor fiend prostrated in front of the door.
“What?” Tang Jie put away the book.
“Your Majesty, the Mountain Holding King of the southwest has searched the land and found a Hoverstone that he offers as tribute. In addition, he also has gifted a pair of Spiritfeather Birds, saying that they are for the Jade Pearl Concubine.”
Hoverstone was an extremely rare Space-type material, almost as valuable as Withering Yin Vines. When those above took a liking to something, those below were bound to try to fulfill it. Since Tang Jie had said that he needed Space-type treasures, there would be those who would do their best to find them in order to gain his favor.
As for the birds for the Jade Pearl Concubine, this was the Jiao’er who had appeared the first day. Through careful probing, Tang Jie had gradually managed to grasp the situation here and was no longer fumbling around like a blind man.
The Jade Pearl Concubine was a rare beaver that had become a fiend. After attaining human form, she had skin as glossy as jade and as soft as satin. When Silver Eyes had his first taste of her, he had praised, “Icy flesh and jade skin, a national beauty.”
The Jade Pearl Concubine gained her title from this, referring to her “jade flesh”.
Before the death of Silver Eyes, the Jade Pearl Concubine had been the most favored woman in the harem, which was why she had been able to get into the palace and “ambush” him. It was said that at the peak of her favor, Silver Eyes had kept her in his palace for more than half a year, not spending time with any other woman in that period.
Upon hearing this report from the minor fiend, Tang Jie said, “Understood. Reward him with ten thousand spirit stones and an ultimate-grade art relic. Also grant him Seahorn Mountain.”
The minor fiend didn’t leave, insteading saying in a soft voice, “The Jade Pearl Concubine dispatched this lowly one to ask Your Majesty if you have time to spend with her today.”
Tang Jie impatiently waved his hand. “I’ve been busy lately, so not now.”
He stood up and paced back and forth for a while, and then he left the study.
An hour later, he appeared in front of the back mountain.
He opened the mountain gate and went to the central hall, where the two elders within bowed to him. “Your Majesty.”
“Elder Ice, Elder Fire,” Tang Jie said.
Tang Jie had managed to find out who these two old men were in the time he was here. One was Elder Ice, and the other was Elder Fire. Both were fiends who had followed Silver Eyes for a very long time, later-phase Transformation fiends. They were willing to give up their status as fiend kings to be the servants of Silver Eyes, and they were his two most trusted fiends, and Silver Eyes usually treated them with utmost respect.
After greeting the two, Tang Jie went down one of the passages, at the end of which was a metal cage.
The woman in the cage didn’t rush to the bars like before, simply giving him an icy stare.
Tang Jie first applied a seclusion spell over the area to prevent any noise from getting out. Taking a deep breath, he said, “What’s your name?”
Tang Jie had gathered information about many things in his time in the palace, but he still knew nothing about this caged woman. This was primarily because few people knew of her existence. Even Elders Ice and Fire were not completely inscrutable, since the pair at least knew about each other, but this woman was all by herself and shut away, so there was naturally no place he could gather information from.
In other words, he could only ask the person directly, which Tang Jie was prepared to do.
But the woman didn’t seem at all surprised, grunting and looking away.
Tang Jie considered this development.
He suddenly asked, “Do I know your name?”
This question drew a reaction from the woman, a hint of confusion in her eyes. She clearly didn’t understand why Tang Jie had asked this question.
Tang Jie took out a meal box which carried a variety of gourmet foods. He didn’t know how long this woman had gone without eating, or even without water. While cultivators wouldn’t die for lack of food or drink, food was still a source of energy. Surviving solely on spiritual energy was too monotonous and would eventually cause one’s condition to deteriorate, even affecting their cultivation. This was why even a Soul Transformation cultivator like He Chong still needed to eat.
Sure enough, the woman’s eyes lit up at the sight of food.
This was a body’s innate desire for food, something that the mind couldn’t control.
Tang Jie took out a small dish and said, “Answer me and this will be yours.”
She looked at Tang Jie, and then, finally, she shook her head.
Is that how it was? So even the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor didn’t know her name?
In other words, he had not captured this woman because of her status, so she probably wasn’t some Fengshan princess. This made sense. A Fengshan princess would have been sold back to Fengshan at a high price rather than kept in a cage.
He threw the food over to the woman, who caught it and began to eat it, bit by bit. While she might have been very hungry, her way of eating wasn’t sloppy, indicating that she had some education.
Tang Jie took out a jar of water. “How long have you been here?”
The woman looked at the water and then at Tang Jie, the confusion in her eyes deepening.
She raised three fingers.
She shook her head.
She still shook her head.
Tang Jie frowned. “It can’t be three hundred years, can it?”
The woman laughed, revealing a mouth full of white teeth, and a raspy voice issued from her throat: “Three hundred days.”
Tang Jie nodded and gave the woman the water jar.
The woman hugged the jar and began to gulp the water down, and then she smiled as if she had partaken of some sweet elixir.
“Why are you imprisoned here?” Tang Jie asked.
But the woman didn’t answer.
Holding the jar, she casually said, “I’m no longer hungry.”
Tang Jie frowned again. “If you aren’t stupid, you should know…”
“Know that you’re not the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor? Does that mean I should trust you?” The woman coldly cut him off. “Who knows if this isn’t some plot, an attempt to deceive me into trusting you?”
“I can prove it.” Tang Jie’s face began to shift into his original appearance.
But to his surprise, the woman shook her head in scorn. “You can transform, but so can the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor. Don’t you know that that piece of trash Silver Eyes is actually a centipede?”
“Everyone can learn transformation spells, but to cultivate them so that others can’t tell is difficult,” Tang Jie sternly said.
The woman waved her hand. “It’s all the same to me. I wouldn’t even be able to see through the worst kind.”
Startled, Tang Jie was about to say something else when the woman added,
“Because I’m not even a cultivator. I don’t know any spell arts.”
Tang Jie was dumbfounded.
Not a cultivator?
If this woman wasn’t a cultivator, why was she in a cage made of Deepsea Cold Iron and guarded by two Transformation fiends, and how could she go three hundred days without food or water?
The woman nodded upon seeing Tang Jie’s stunned expression. “It seems that you really didn’t know. Perhaps you really aren’t him.”
“So you trust me now?” Tang Jie asked.
The woman scoffed, “Even if you’re not really him, so what? You pretended to be the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor and came here, exposing your identity in front of me, so you must be thinking about finding out the secret and then silencing me, right?”
Tang Jie chortled. “You’ve got quite the imagination. You think I came for the back mountain’s secret? That I will silence the witness once I get the information I want? You think I’m only temporarily playing the role, but you’ve never imagined that I plan to keep playing the role, never imagined that Silver Eyes might be dead, right?”
The final words made the woman shudder.
The Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor was dead?
She looked at Tang Jie in disbelief.
Tang Jie was right. Although she realized that Tang Jie probably wasn’t some new ploy by the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor, she had never imagined that the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor would be dead. She simply thought that some audacious fellow had pretended to be him and infiltrated this place to learn the Fiend Emperor’s secret. Tang Jie’s words just now had completely overturned her theories and left her doubting her hearing.
Tang Jie suddenly grabbed her chin, his other hand taking the water jar and pouring water over her face.
No matter how the woman struggled, she couldn’t break Tang Jie’s grip, and the water washed away the dirt on her face, revealing a simple and elegant face.
Tang Jie examined the face as he washed it.
“Let me go!” the woman yelled in anger. Her voice, isolated by the spell, echoed about this limited space.
Tang Jie let go, and the woman retreated into the depths of the cage, warily eying Tang Jie.
Tang Jie’s eyes flashed with disappointment. “A pity.”
“What are you trying to do?” the woman barked, fury in her raspy voice.
“‘What am I trying to do’?” Tang Jie laughed. “As you can see, I’m a human. I killed the Silver Eyes Fiend Emperor and replaced him, ruling the country and people in his place. I’ve found this to be very advantageous. I can use this identity to do anything I want, including having those fiends gather resources for me, attack other fiend countries, release humans, and so on.”
The woman’s eyes gleamed.
Tang Jie continued, “But there’s a problem here. It’s that I can’t be discovered…”
Tang Jie voiced his troubles.
When it came to the concubines, Tang Jie sighed. “I can’t do it with them, but the more I push them off, the more I risk exposing myself.”
“Why can’t you do it with them? Is it because they’re all fiends?” she asked. At some point, she had begun to follow along with Tang Jie’s words.
“No, it’s because I already have a woman I love… No matter what, I can’t betray her, no matter what the reason is!” Tang Jie firmly said.
“For the woman you love… I see…” the woman muttered. She seemed to be tearing up.
She looked at Tang Jie. “But what does that have to do with me?”
Tang Jie replied, “I need to find a reason to satisfy them. Cultivation or governance aren’t appropriate. Only one reason will work: a favorite.
“I need a woman to be my favorite concubine.”