Chapter 1: Devoted
The clamor outside woke Ning Qingqing up.
She opened her eyes, subconsciously reaching beside her jade pillow for the cold transmission mirror.
Complicated decorative designs were carved on the bronze octagonal mirror. With trembling fingers, Ning Qingqing hastily followed the rough vein lines and felt for the center of the mirror. She sent some spiritual energy into the mirror and sighed softly, waiting for a response.
For ages, the transmission mirror remained silent. She could only hear the noise from afar, a symphony of instruments and singing as the party clamored on.
It came from Qianyuan Palace Hall.
Ning Qingqing was fully awake now. She wrinkled her brows and got up, puting the transmission mirror in front of her to take a closer look. The surface was a dull gray color, with no spirit power fluctuations at all.
Her heart thumped as she stroked the decorative patterns of the transmission mirror in disbelief.
Why...was it motionless?
Before she fell asleep, she had messaged Xie Wuwang, telling him the seal suppressing the wicked beast in the Spirit Warding Cave was loosening. She got injured while restoring the seal and requested his return.
She fell asleep after sending the message but her dreams kept bothering her. She felt really anxious when she dreamed of Xie Wuwang’s hoarse voice ringing from the mirror, his tone pained and worried. He shouted at her to live. Ning Qingqing wanted to tell him she was fine but she couldn’t reach the center of the mirror in her dream. The more anxious she was, the more she had trouble holding the transmission mirror.
She fell asleep after sending the message, but it was impossible to rest peacefully with her dreams bothering her. The one that made her the most anxious was when she dreamed of Xie Wuwang shouting hoarsely through the mirror, his voice anxious and pained as he repeated her name, telling her not to die. Ning Qingqing wanted to tell him she was fine, but no matter what she did in her dreams, she couldn’t touch the mirror. The more anxious she felt, the harder it was to even hold the transmission mirror.
It was like she was drowning in water and she was trying her best to come to the surface. However, the weight of the water was too heavy so her struggles were useless. She regretted her decision. She shouldn’t have told Xie Wuwang that she was hurt.
Her dream made a dramatic change, turning into a complete nightmare. She dreamed of the restless Xie Wuwang being ambushed by devils, demons, and traitors one after the other. His robe was drenched in blood, seeping down the corner of his sleeves. Ning Qingqing fought to escape the nightmare but failed. She flailed out, trying to reach the transmission mirror only to push it further away...
The nightmare tormented her down to an inch of her life.
It felt like knives were stabbing her heart and she was helpless. She wanted to take Xie Wuwang’s pain for him.
In the dream, she fell into despair, unable to break free. She never thought that when she was finally pulled out of the nightmare, she would wake up to a feast in Qianyuan Palace Hall.
Nothing happened to Xie Wuwang. He returned. Without his return, Qianyuan Palace Hall was a restricted area that nobody dared to step even half a foot in.
He returned, but he didn’t answer her message or go to Yuli Pavillion to check on her wounds.
Her cold sweat made her robes cling tight to her body, leaving her feeling uncomfortable and cold. The fear from her dreams still lingered, her heart still beating uncontrollably as waves of numbness ran over her hands and feet. She gasped for breath, hyperventilating before slowly calming down.
”It was just a dream.”
She held the silk quilt in a daze, suddenly feeling very stupid.
There was no way Xie Wuwang would act the way he did in her dream.
He would never scream hoarsely like that or lose his calm for her.
That man always wore a faint smile, but his heart was cold.
In a battle with Taixu Sect, Xie Wuwang’s oldest and most capable subordinate, Zhang Pingyang, died tragically in front of his eyes but Xie Wuwang didn’t even blink.
After destroying the Taixu Sect, he sat in the seat of honour and rewarded the armies with fine liquor. From beginning to end, he just sat there with a faint smile. After three days of drinking, he pointed at the one with the strongest capacity and taste for liquor, Bai Yunzi, and designated him to take over Zhang Pingyang’s duties.
But despite his coldness, all of Tiansheng Palace were willing to swear loyalty to him.
His attitude towards her fluctuated, sometimes warm, sometimes cold. She was like a moth flying into the flame, loving him all the same.
Ning Qingqing set the transmission mirror back by her pillow and stepped on the floor, barefoot. The feeling of the warm, soft texture travelled up her body into her brain, alleviating the melancholy of spring fading to fall.
She lived in Yuli Pavillion, located on the cliff behind Qianyuan Palace Hall. The whole pavilion, from the courtyard, floors, walls, roofs, corridors, everything was built with the finest grade of jade pear immortal wood. It would retain warmth during winter, stay cool during summer, and was infused with spirit power which brought a light, pleasant fragrance that calmed the heart day and night. One stump of jade pear immortal wood was enough for two small to mid grade sects to fight over it. Xie Wuwang built this pavilion just for her.
Before she fell asleep, she took a Primordial Harmonizing Pill. Most of her internal injuries were already healed.
She lived in a place with such rich spirit power and used the finest healing panaceas. How could anything happen to her? Such a small injury wouldn’t even be worth mentioning to Xie Wuwang. If he was in a good mood or feeling bored, he might say a few words to appease her, but if there was work, he would just flat out ignore her.
If she argued about it, it would be acting unreasonably.
In the early years, she thought that becoming dao companions would make them as close as husband and wife, but she was wrong. When he treated her coldly, she would always stupidly go to argue with him. Every time, he wouldn’t say a word and just stare at her indifferently, his eyes gentle yet apathetic. After that, he would treat her even more coldly, leaving her go from anger, to indignance, to sorrow. In the end, she could never bear her longing to see him. She would reflect on her own mistakes, tell herself that he had always been like that and she shouldn’t demand too much from him, then find an excuse to make up with him.
Xie Wuwang wouldn’t bicker with her. If she proposed peace, he would always accept.
After countless times like that, Ning Qingqing finally understood that it was pure wishful thinking to try and change Xie Wuwang.
Nowadays, if something happened, she had already learned to first adjust her mood and not let her emotions get hurt again.
Ning Qingqing walked out of the bedroom and looked at the half moon hanging above the courtyard. Moonlight casted on the exquisitely built roofs and corridors, brightening up the space as it layered with the warm orange glow from the jade pear immortal wood. Needless to say, it was well illuminated.
The winding outdoor corridors were also made of jade pear immortal wood. Ning Qingqing passed through a carved door, the spiritual wood under her feet dense with spirit power as she walked to the lookout platform behind the main house.
Yuli Pavilion was built on top of an extremely high cliff and the lookout platform was right against the main house’s porch. When the weather was good, she could move over a soft couch and bask in the sun. It was a very warm and cozy feeling.
Below the lookout platform was a bottomless abyss. Wisps of cloud and mist covered the wooden floor, hiding her ankles. Ning Qingqing rested her hand on the fence as she looked out. It was a vast scene, a panoramic view of never ending mountains and rivers. The starry specks filled the sky, spread out to the ends of the earth. It was a beautiful, flourishing scene.
Everything she saw was all the Daoist Lord Xie Wuwang’s land.
He had cultivated to a position of such status and power, that he was like the monarch of the world.
Ning Qingqing looked away and turned to the cliff east of the lookout platform. Hundreds of meters away, there was a cave infused with a burning light. That was the Spirit Warding Cave and sealed inside, was an ancient, vicious beast.
The seal was made by Xie Wuwang with his own primordial fire. Only he and his daoist companion could approach it. When Xie Wuwang went out, he would have Ning Qingqing watch over the seal- but of course, there was never any danger. The ancient beast laid dormant most of the time. It occasionally awoke with a roar, but it could never break through Xie Wuwang’s seal and could only loosen the seal a little at most.
Ning Qingqing quickly mended the seal, but it was the same as guarding against ants.
She had long gotten used to taking care of everything at home, making the whole house neat and tidy so every time Xie Wuwang came back, he could completely relax and wouldn’t have to worry about these little things.
Yesterday, she was careless and accidentally hurt herself. If it was Xie Wuwang’s subordinate who made such a heedless mistake, they wouldn’t be able to escape punishment. He just didn’t care about her, though you could also say he was very tolerant.
When she thought that, she seemed to faintly feel something rustle at the bottom of her heart, buried in a corner that she would never look at.
She looked at the well fortified seal one more time before slowly turning around, preparing to continue meditating in her bedroom.
She had just taken two steps out of the cool, refreshing mist when a breeze suddenly blew from the top of the cliff, carrying a girl’s sweet, beautiful singing to her ears.
The tone was extremely soft. Even a woman like her felt her ears turn hot when she heard it.
It was another person giving Xie Wuwang a beautiful woman.
Ning Qingqing’s petal-like lips pursed into a soft frown. This was her bottom line that she would never let be crossed.
She and Xie Wuwang had quarreled about this many times. She could only make him concede and give in once.
200 years ago, the East Sea Marquis sent him a beautiful woman. She had an incredibly rare water-type pure yin body, an exceptionally good calming tonic for Xie Wuwang’s Extreme Nine Flame body. Even if he didn’t pluck her, it would bring great benefits just keeping her by his side.
Xie Wuwang accepted her, allowing the East Sea Marquis to capture the South Sea’s Sunset Sky Immortal Island.
That time, Ning Qingqing had a big argument with him and in the end, she left Tiansheng Palace.
She found a quiet bamboo groove forest to stay in seclusion, trying to pull him out of her heart bit by bit. After a few days, Xie Wuwang’s fattest subordinate, Fu Tuzi found her and told her the daoist lord had already sent the furnace away and never used her.
Furnace as in cultivation furnace. Women with pure yin bodies are often taken advantage of as “furnaces” for the other party to increase their cultivation through bedroom activities.
Although Ning Qingqing didn’t return with Fa Tuzi to Tiansheng Palace, her heart was already swayed. After a few more days, Xie Wuwang, dressed in white robes, walked through the moonlight to her and extended his hand.
Bamboo shadows forming a backdrop behind a tall, handsome man. It was a beautiful sight like no other.
The cold fragrance on his body made him even more alluring to her.
That was the first time Xie Wuwang yielded to her. Ning Wuwang simply couldn’t resist and immediately accepted his hand, allowing him to draw her into his embrace.
After that, no matter who presented Xie Wuwang with women, he would refuse and not give the slightest leeway.
Ning Qingqing slowly relaxed.
She knew Xie Wuwang wouldn’t accept anybody. It’s already been many years now since anybody’s tried to give him a woman. Who came today with such evil intentions?
Ning Qingqing unconsciously left Yuli Pavillion and followed the white jade trail that led to the peak of the cliff.
Perhaps it was because of that dream, or maybe because her wounds still weren’t recovered, that she was feeling a little weak right now. Her heart was filled with worry for him and she wanted to get closer to him. It’d be best if she could hear his voice too.
She didn’t know how Xie Wuwang usually rejected stunningly beautiful women either. Would he say it was for her sake?
Ning Qingqing’s ears heated up as she quickly climbed to the peak of the cliff.
Qianyuan Palace Hall was like the head of a huge, black creature. It laid heavily on the tip of the cliff and not even moonlight could light up its surface. It was the main hall of Tiansheng Palace, where Xie Wuwang gave his orders.
Her own Yuli Pavillion and the rear of Qianyuan Palace Hall were Xie Wuwang’s private property. Ning Qingqing didn’t meet anyone on the way there.
She walked into the empty rear palace hall. Only a screen wall and curtain separated it from the front palace hall, so she could hear everything that happened in the front hall clearly.
The singing had already stopped. A man’s high, thin voice tsked, “Not even such a good woman appeals to the Daoist Lord? The Daoist Lord is truly devoted to his madam. Such loyalty is matchless!”
Ning Qingqing’s heart couldn’t help but thump when she heard that. A warm feeling welled up inside her. Little bubbles of bravery boiled inside her head and her whole body felt as light as a feather. For a moment, she couldn’t even feel the pain from her internal injury.
She held her breath and strained her ears, listening with rapt attention. She wanted to know how Xie Wuwang would reply.
Hihi~ a few notes about the novel that I thought would be good to share so… you guys didn’t go through the same frustration as me… ;-; Kept flipping between XWW is scum vs not scum.
Our MC, Ning Qingqing is an unreliable narrator (or at least when she's a person, not mushroom). Her perception is pretty warped from years of lowering herself.
Our male lead, Xie Wuwang, is a pretty bad husband, but don’t worry, he absolutely gets better later and grows to understand how to treat NQQ properly. He’ll regret it a lot afterwards ;). We all know how satisfying that moment is hahaha.
I’d describe the first 17~ chapters where she’s human as a tragedy, then after she turns into a mushroom, it becomes a comedy ahaha. If you don’t like the beginning, at least stick around until after she becomes a mushroom because that’s where all the growth and changes start happening. Ning Qingqing completely changes back to her original boisterous and mischievous self. The first 17 chapters are really important to lay down the setting and how she got to that point.
That’s all! I hope you guys enjoy the novel brought to you by Ri and Kiki <3 we loved it and we hope you guys will too! Ratings and reviews on NovelUpdates are greatly appreciated.