Chapter 45 – Astray Demon Lord’s Son (3)

Zhou Ji settled here and stayed for several years.

When his injuries were severe and he couldn’t use demonic energy, he stayed at home to recuperate. Once he healed, he went to town and started helping at a shop.

He helped there for several years, becoming well-known among the townsfolk, who referred to him as “the young one from the pharmacy.”

Though called a town, it was actually more like a small city in size, bustling with people on the streets.

Willows brushed along the embankment, pedestrians continuously walked by, and a figure strode briskly over the stone bricks of the bridge. Seeing this person, those nearby instinctively moved aside.

This was the person taken in by the pharmacy, who had changed significantly since appearing in town a few years ago. He had grown taller and his temperament more volatile.

People in the vicinity could no longer remember the silent demeanor he had when the owner of the pharmacy first brought him here. They only knew that his temper and stature had grown over the years, and he was a formidable fighter. The owner of the pharmacy was in poor health, and those who had gossiped behind his back had all been beaten by this person over the years.

With a fierce reputation, no one dared to talk about the owner of the pharmacy anymore, nor did they dare to provoke him.

The pharmacy was at the end of the street along the riverbank. The person, carrying a wooden box, walked straight into the shop, nodded to the helpers inside, and went up to the second floor.

The person he was looking for was sitting by the window on the second floor, dressed in a white robe, with long hair simply tied back, holding a brush and going through accounts.

Noticing the sound from the stairs, Chen Luosong turned his head, his gaze meeting the dark pupils looking back at him, and he put down the brush with a smile.

Red eyes were a characteristic trait of the demonic cultivators. A few years ago, after recovering from his injuries, Zhou Ji had confessed his demonic identity. Knowing that most humans hated demonic cultivators, he sealed his demonic energy and outwardly appeared as an ordinary person, his eyes changing to their current dark color.

Placing the wooden box on the table, Zhou Ji opened it while saying, “This is chestnut pastry from Taozhai, a thank-you gift for the herbs last time. It’s not sweet, so you can eat it.”

Setting the account book aside, Chen Luosong took the pastry and, to be polite, took a bite.

It was indeed not sweet.

This body had a weak constitution and many dietary restrictions; it couldn’t handle anything too salty or sweet. The thinness was partly due to illness and partly due to these dietary restrictions.

Zhou Ji pulled a stool over and sat down next to him, smiling. “See, I told you.”

Chen Luosong glanced at him and asked, “Did you get into another fight today?”

The person sitting beside him paused before responding, “He said something he shouldn’t have.”

In the past, when Zhou Ji’s fights were discovered, he would feel guilty and apologize. Now, he seemed entirely justified, with his dark pupils reflecting the light, showing no sign of avoidance.

Chen Luosong tapped him on the head.

In just a few years, the person who was once shorter than him had grown significantly taller, and his personality had completely changed. From lifelessness to constantly picking fights, in some ways, he had gone from one extreme to another.

At least he no longer seemed like an empty shell devoid of life.

Zhou Ji was already used to the taps on his head and didn’t feel any pain. After rubbing his head, he turned and leaned on the windowsill, looking out at the riverbank.

Outside, a carriage passed by, the sound of the horse’s hooves on the cobblestone audible even as it moved far away.

Half-hidden in the sunlight, he turned back to look at the person who had resumed writing with the brush and said, “On my way back from Taozhai, I heard someone mention there’s something happening in the capital tonight.”

“It should be a festival,” Chen Luosong glanced at the person sitting beside him and said, “It’s for lovers, quite lively.”

He asked, “Want to go take a look?”

After finishing the accounts, there was only the inventory left to check, leaving plenty of free time. The town was close to the capital, only a half-day’s journey away. If they wanted to go, there was enough time.

Zhou Ji wasn’t particularly interested in such events, or rather, he wasn’t fond of gatherings with many strangers. But when he spoke, he looked at the person beside him who had slightly lowered his eyes and said, “I want to.”

He wasn’t interested in gatherings of unrelated people, but he wanted to go out with him.

Anywhere would be fine, as long as it was with him.

Starting to write the last line in the account book, Chen Luosong held the brush and said, “Help me with the inventory later.”

Zhou Ji agreed, standing up and quietly watching him write.

Those slender hands were unexpectedly well-suited for holding a brush, and his handwriting was beautiful. Because it was an account book, he wrote more neatly than usual. The black ink contrasted sharply with his pale hands.

After writing the last character and waiting for the ink to dry, Chen Luosong organized the scattered account books.

Zhou Ji instinctively took the stack of books.

After delivering the account books to their usual place and finishing the inventory together, they returned to the main hall of the pharmacy. The shop assistant saw them and stroked his beard, asking, “Boss, are you heading back?”

Chen Luosong glanced at the person standing beside him and smiled, “Taking him to the capital for a stroll.”


The shop assistant’s hand froze, accidentally pulling out a beard hair, making him wince in pain. Realizing what he had said, he quickly glanced at Zhou Ji, who had grown tall and lanky, and smiled knowingly, “Indeed, it’s a good idea. Remember to bring back a lantern.”

Although Zhou Ji had a volatile temperament and only listened to the boss, he was indeed good-looking and about the right age.

The shop assistant smiled as he watched the two leave.


On the Midsummer Festival, a day for unmarried men and women to find their ideal partners, only continued and popular in the capital, it was held every few years. Every time it was held, it was extremely grand, attracting people from nearby towns who came to join the festivities.

There were many people here, and being right under the imperial city, members of various immortal sects would often appear here. Even if demonic cultivators from the demonic sect wanted to find someone, they wouldn’t take the risk of being caught and come here on this day, making it a relatively safe place.

By the time Chen Luosong and Zhou Ji arrived, it was nearly dark. The decorative lights were just starting to shine, spreading their glow from the city walls as if there was no end to it.

After all, this was the capital city, far more prosperous than the towns they usually stayed in. The streets and alleys were full of people, mostly young, dressed in splendid clothing with various patterns.

Zhou Ji turned his head to look at the person next to him.

The person walking beside him was still wearing his usual outer robe, with nothing special about it. It was extremely simple, and his long hair was tied up with a simple hairband.

He finally realized that no matter when, this person’s attire never changed; the only variation was adding or removing clothing according to the season.

Not knowing what the person next to him was thinking, Chen Luosong, feeling he was past the age to participate in such festivals, didn’t look much at the people in the crowd. Most of the time, he was looking at the things on either side of the road and the surrounding buildings.

On the high buildings nearby, in every corner, there were people dressed in uniform white robes.

Those should be the disciples of the Immortal Sect, here specifically to protect the event. Wearing white robes with swords at their waists, they might be disciples of the Sword Sect.

Chen Luosong slowly withdrew his gaze.

The reason he came to the capital this time was partly to show Zhou Xiaoji around, and partly because he had other tasks to complete.

To be precise, it was the tasks associated with his current identity.

In the plot of the book, the identity he used was actually that of a cannon fodder, a tool for an Immortal Lord to pass the tribulation of emotions.

Later in this world, there would be a catastrophe, with a great demon, rarely seen in millennia, emerging. This demon would consume the world, eventually leading to the collapse of its rules and the world’s destruction.

If the world collapsed, his task would also fail.

In the story, it was ultimately the Immortal Lord who, after emerging from seclusion, set up a formation to seal the great demon, thereby preventing the disaster. The Immortal Lord went into seclusion to pass the emotional tribulation, and once this was overcome, his strength increased significantly, enabling him to create the formation.

According to the book, the Immortal Lord was not greedy for emotional desires, so passing the emotional tribulation was easy. What he had to do was simple, just appear at a certain place today, meet a few times afterward, and once the other person confirmed there was no such intention, his task would be over.


In just a moment of thought, the person beside him had gone and come back without him noticing. Chen Luosong heard the voice, looked down, and saw the lantern handed to him.

The lantern was in the shape of a flower, looking quite nice and brightly lit.

He reached out to take it and said it looked good.

Zhou Ji retracted his hand and smiled.

The lantern was a spontaneous purchase. Seeing many people holding them, he thought the person beside him should have one too, so he bought it.

As it got closer to evening, there were more people on the street. The lantern in Chen Luosong’s hand served just right to illuminate their way.

Walking along the riverbank, Zhou Ji saw a crowded snack shop. Using his height advantage, he could see the snacks clearly inside the shop.

It looked like something even those with dietary restrictions could eat. Aside from a few bites of chestnut pastry, the person holding the lantern hadn’t eaten anything since the afternoon.

After a few words, Zhou Ji went to buy some snacks.

There were far more people around the shop than before, making it crowded and noisy, with conversations happening all around.

Especially the two people standing behind him, who seemed to naturally have louder voices, easily overpowering the surrounding noise.

While queuing in the long line, these two chatted as if no one else was around, casually mentioning that they had come here from another county just to join in the festivities.

Zhou Ji didn’t care about their background. While he was mentally reviewing the snacks suitable for those with dietary restrictions, he suddenly heard them talking about the lanterns.

“…So this flower lantern wasn’t bought by you; it was given by someone else?”

“Yes, someone gave it to me. Someone gave it to me, so I kept it. What’s wrong with that?”

As soon as this was said, the people around who had been discussing other things turned their heads, all looking at the speaker.

It turned out that flower lanterns couldn’t be casually given or received.

At this time, a flower lantern represented more than just a gift; it symbolized a heartfelt sentiment. If someone had feelings for another person, they would give them a flower lantern. Similarly, if the other person accepted the flower lantern, it meant they were willing to accept the giver. Both giving and receiving a flower lantern at such a time required great courage.


Zhou Ji’s thoughts were forcibly interrupted, and he looked down at his hands.

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