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Peerlessly Cold and Shooting Towards the Heavens

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Warm, it was so warm.

Comfortable, warm, safe. It felt like home and he didn’t ever want to leave.

It continued like this, for what felt like stretched eternal. Home, home, home, safe, the hospital had never felt like this, this must be his apartment.

It didn’t matter that the last memory he had was of dying, didn’t matter that there was no way they would let him out of the hospital until he was conscious. All that mattered was that it felt safe and like home in this warm, dark space.

Curling in, the space seemed to be getting smaller. Or was it that he was getting bigger?

He kicked and stretched, trying to get more room.

He didn’t even know what was happening when a panic seized him. Don’t take me away from here! I don’t want to go, put me back!

He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t breathe! Cold, cold, so cold and he cried and cried.

A holographic screen popped up in front of him.

[Congratulations, user Shen Yuan! You have transmigrated to the body of Shang Qinghua of Proud Immortal Demon Way. This system operates on the basis of “You can, you up. You can’t, tb”]

Shen Yuan cried for an entirely different reason this time.

-~•~-

Here was the thing about transmigration.

It absolutely, completely, utterly sucked.

No matter how much authors romanticized it, it sucked as much a vacuum cleaner. Knowledge, laughable and nothing when you were a child with no access to anything. Cheat, haha, what is that, can you eat it? System, he had one, but it was trying to kill him.

It was after many, many hours of trying to remember who this particular cannon fodder did he remember. Qing, meant he was a Peak Lord in Cang Qiong in the generation that it would be destroyed by Luo Binghe. Shang Qinghua, was that one particular cannon fodder that had only been mentioned once!

The An Ding Peak Lord, Shang Qinghua, who was also the one who sold the sect out to Mobei-Jun and was part of the cause the tragedy of that Immortal Alliance Conference happened! Not only that, but this cannon fodder was also killed by Mobei-Jun after his worth was finished. Right, he would also die because he betrayed Mobei-Jun, leaving him vulnerable to his uncle, Linguang-Jun.

Hooray, hooray, hooray. Important things need to be said thrice.

Could you sense the sarcasm dripping from that?

All in all, life sucked.

The system had only issued one mission thus far, and even that was just a general thing he had to do to in this world. That was make sure the plot ran smoothly and survive.

He was born into a relatively wealthy merchant family with a younger sister and two older brothers. They were all really nice to each other and his father did not have any concubines or other wives so his parents were loving. It was either weird or intentional that it was a direct parallel to his old family.

Shen Yuan, or rather, Shang Yuan now couldn’t help but think back to his old family every now and then.

-~•~-

Shang Yuan received his first mission when he was thirteen.

[Mission: Get in Cang Qiong Mountain Sect. Failure to complete the mission will lead to the deduction of 500 B Points. Success will be rewarded with 100 B Points.]

One must know that in the thirteen years he has been here, Shen Yuan has only received, oh, I don’t know, 1000 B Points. All from random things.

So it actually was completely possible for him to just skip out on the plot and watch from the sidelines. It would also be the best way for him to survive, if it wasn’t for the fact that even if the system issued him a mission, he would have been forced onto Cang Qiong anyways.

His dear family—the traitors!—decided to dump him in the place where the test was being held, after successfully guilt tripping him into at least trying. Trying his hardest, that is.

And so he dug and dug and dug.

Looking around him, suddenly, it felt so average. That was fine, he didn’t actually want to get in. He was just trying for his family.

It was no big deal, an adult like him shouldn’t be competing with children anyways. It didn’t matter that he tried his best, it didn’t matter that he was beaten by children who probably had better physiques than him because of their families.

But it hurt anyways.

Shen Yuan focused back on digging his hole when a shadow came upon him. A disciple in the An Ding Peak’s uniform was in front of him, wearing a listless face.

“Come with me, Shizun wants to bring you in.”

-~•~-

There was a lull of silence as Shang Yuan went through the motions of the tea ceremony. The An Ding Peak Lord looked at him with even eyes, gaze never once leaving until he kneeled down.

He asked the boy the required question, “Why did you join the Cang Qiong Mountain Sect?” not one opinion forming as the boy answered perfunctorily, “I have always admired the immortal cultivators way and my family will be happy if I am able to get in.”

Ah, that meant that he was only trying for his family. Meaning he would try as long as it benefitted or interested him.

There is another lull of silence as he sipped the tea.

The tea was actually quite good, so he welcomed the new disciple to An Ding.

(If in the future he admitted that he only accepted this disciple because he made good tea, then it was because he wanted to purposely enrage this silly disciple of his. An Ding has gained a lot of respect because of this head disciple, it was a good thing he accepted him back then.)

-~•~-

During his time in the sect, Shen Yuan found out that of the future Peak Lords, there were only Yue-shixiong, Wei-shixiong, Mu-shidi and Qi-shimei that he knew from the original novel were already here when he came.

It had been a long time since he had thought of the novel. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t help but curse Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky for not! Even! Mentioning! The other! Peaks!

There was a Beast Taming Peak, if he knew that them he would do his best to get into that! Or maybe the Spirit Formation Peak, even the Treasure or Spy Peak would be cool, alright! But, no! He got stuck with logistics!

Do you know how boring it is?!

If he wasn’t in accounting, then he was helping with labor, if he wasn’t helping with labor, then he was a messenger and if he wasn’t being a messenger then he was being beat up by other Peaks’ disciples!

Ok, maybe it didn’t seem boring, but it was horribly tiring. But even though Shen Yuan was somewhat lazy, he was very diligent when it came to trying to save his own life, alright!

So, unlike all the other An Ding disciples who were smart enough to rest when they could, he devised a schedule that gave minimum rest and maximum work.

By doing so, Shen Yuan unknowingly inspired the other disciples.

(Also, he proved to himself the theory that the quality of sleep is more important than the quality of sleep. Even if that meant perpetual bags under his eyes.)

(It also meant that his Shizun knew of this and decided to make him as Head Disciple. The system awarded him quite some points for completing a mission before it was issued.)

-~•~-

Shang Yuan was fifteen and Shen Jiu aka Shen Qingqiu came into the sect. He heard it from shamelessly eavesdropping on his shidi-s and shimei-s’ gossip.

Shen Yuan had gained somewhat of a reputation for being horribly sharp-tongued and quite vengeful, going as petty as he could be if needed as the Head Disciple of An Ding.

So after scolding them without any real anger behind it, he continued on with calculating the amount needed to fix this month’s batch of Bai Zhan disciple’s uniforms and deducted it from the allowance they got. Cang Qiong was not Huan Hua, alright!

Let’s see... Qian Cao’s Peak Lord asked for a small fortune and deduct it from his allowance because there would be an auction that was said to have an extremely rare herb that he wanted to experiment with. See, this is the kind of intelligence he wanted to see!

You didn’t need to be an ultra smart genius, just have common sense, please!

It was also the same time that Liu Qingge came in so Shang Yuan was just waiting for Bai Zhan to go f*ck themselves up.

As for Shen Qingqiu, well, he was really pitiful. But if he helped make Shen Yuan’s job lighter then he would help him in return.

His Shizun just watched him, amused by it and enjoying the free time he has had lately ever since he outright dumped about as much work as he could to his Head Disciple. At this point, Shang Yuan, about to be Shang Qinghua might as well be training himself for the position of Peak Lord.

-~•~-

Shang Qinghua was sixteen when he finally met the person who would later kill him. Mobei-Jun crashed into the street that they were on and the intense demonic energy destroyed the carriage he and his shidi were in. A lot of them were injured by it, the products they were delivering all broken and salvageable but unable to become the initial quality.

So he was understandably very pissed. Even if you were a demonic monarch, please have some thought to us commoners alright?!

Then the system issued a prompt.

[New Mission! Save Mobei-Jun, failure to complete this task will result in the deduction of 5000 B Points, success will be rewarded with 100 B Points.]

System, you’re scamming me, alright?!

-~•~-

There is a lull of silence as Mobei-Jun aka his future murderer wakes. The demon looks at Shen Yuan with cold eyes and a colder heart and he didn’t blame him.

Mobei-Jun’s background has some bad history with humans. To find that he was saved by one would make him think of it as a trap.

Shang Yuan internally snorted at that, he greeted the demon, “You’re awake, Your Highness?”

It truly wasn’t very sincere, but Mobei-Jun just continuously watched him for any threatening moves

“Why did you save me?” the long dreaded question.

“Why shouldn’t I save you?” He wanted to ask back, instead, Shang Qinghua told him, “I don’t want to die.”

And thus was this universe’s first meeting between Shang Qinghua and Mobei-Jun

-~•~-

Mobei-Jun had long been healed and left when Shen Yuan’s shidi-s woke up. They were still incapable of too much movement but thanked him and told Shang Qinghua to leave them be and find a senior cultivator from the sect.

Speaking of, Shang Qinghua should go find a way to make flares or something. So this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

How annoying.

-~•~-

Really, Shang Qinghua should have expected the system going ballistic over the fact that he did not subordinate himself to Mobei-Jun. He shushed it using logic that even if demons did not care about it, Mobei-Jun was probably the type to care enough that he was saved by a human and has to repay the debt.

It was true, Mobei-Jun just wordlessly appeared and asked, “What do you want of me?”

He shrugged, “Someone suggested I be a subordinate of yours, let’s go with that. I’ll be a spy,”

“Who even are you?” Mobei-Jun bluntly asked, plopping down with fingers tapping impatiently. Wow, it was cold in here now. His fingers were freezing up, that is bad for writing, so he balled them up and shoved them into his sleeves.

“Head Disciple of An Ding, it’s good enough.”

He was walking on a tightrope without safety precautions here.

Mobei-Jun thinned his lips and was probably thinking. Then he nodded and left.

-~•~-

He is seventeen when the Saintly Ruler of the demon realm, Tianlang-Jun aka Luo Binghe’s biological father was defeated.

-~•~-

Shen Yuan is eighteen when he actually meets Shen Qingqiu. The current Peak Lords have finally chosen all their successors and decided to have them meet once a month to bond, because Cang Qiong was supposed to be like family.

It was so utterly a disaster that Shen Yuan wonders how they ever function in the future. Yue Qingyuan was stuck between placating Shen Qingqiu and asking the rest of them to please settle down, Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge might as well be on each other’s necks, Wei Qingwei and Mu Qingfang were talking to each other and ignoring the rest of the world, Qi Qingqi and Shang Qinghua himself looked way too done with this while the other unnamed—damn you Airplane—future Peak Lords were fanning the flames between Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge.

Really, if it had not been Shang Qinghua who did this, Qi Qingqi would have.

“Everyone, SHUT UP!” He slammed his hands down onto the table which was actually quite sturdy to have withstood everything. The big noise had everyone looking at him instead.

Shang Qinghua inhaled then exhaled heavily. He put on a carefully blank face and told them, “If everyone—except Yue-shixiong, Wei-shixiong, Qi-shimei and Mu-shidi—will keep acting like children then please find a children’s playground!”

Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge gave him sharp looks before settling down, the unnamed ones actually quite quelled by the wrath of An Ding’s Head Disciple and Yue Qingyuan gave him a grateful look.

“We’re all calm now? Good, now talk like civilized adults.”

Shen Qingqiu snorted derisively behind his fan and threw a barb at either everyone or him(?), “Thank you Shang-shidi for reminding us.”

Shen Yuan didn’t understand what he was disdaining, but he shrugged instead and threw back, “It’s fine, Shen-shixiong. That seems to be my and Qi-shimei’s role around here.”

Qi Qingqi timely huffed and joined in Mu Qingfang and Wei Qingwei’s chat.

They kept talking and Shang Qinghua realized that he was having a good conversation with the scum villain of Proud Immortal Demon Way. Huh, how nice.

They were friends(?) after that.

No one knew whether they should be scared or scared of this particular duo.

-~•~-

Shang Qinghua is nineteen when Mobei-Jun finally actually uses him.

It was the first time in years that they met again and Shen Yuan pondered it for a moment before saying dryly, “My king, is there anything you need?”

He narrowed his eyes and the air got colder.

Shang Qinghua shivered, partially listening to Mobei-Jun and partially calculating the numbers in front of him. “Huan Hua,” Mobei-Jun simply demanded somehow?

Shen Yuan held in a sigh, exasperated and annoyed at the lack of words already. “My King, what about Huan Hua Palace do you want to know? Security? Amount of disciples? The agreements between Cang Qiong and Huan Hua?”

Mobei-Jun furrowed his brows, probably frustrated with his own lack of vocabulary. “...everything(?)” Shang Qinghua almost thought that he had asked that.

Shang Qinghua took out a scroll and started writing.

During that, he chattered a bit to the demon, “You know, I pretty much forgot that I’m a spy for you. Could we do something like weekly reports or something?”

Mobei-Jun nodded, Shen Yuan didn’t catch it.

(For some reason, Mobei-Jun smacked him over the head several times and kicked him for good measure{?}. That...left bruises. It really hurt.)

-~•~-

Shen Yuan nearly had a heart attack when he woke up to see a big blue humanoid with eyes so cold it could freeze hell over thrice standing over his bed in the middle, of, the f*cking, night.

So, it really wasn’t his fault that he shouted—no he did NOT scream like a girl—and threw a pillow right to its face.

Mobei-Jun froze imperceptibly for a moment before reacting and smacking Shang Qinghua. Which, ow, that really...hurt.

It had just suddenly gotten really cold so he thought that the window opened or something, then he looked up and saw Mobei-f*cking-Jun. Who later told him that he had come for the weekly reports. That was, uh, well.

He didn’t think that Mobei-Jun had listened or even ever considered it.

-~•~-

Shang Qinghua had stopped helping in the labor section ever since he started doing weekly reports. His shidi and shimei all ask him if there was something wrong and if they could help.

They were all very good children, really.

Children should be children then. They shouldn’t be burdened by anything else.

He winced as he accidentally pressed his arm the wrong way again, ignoring his shidi’s sharp glance at that.

-~•~-

Apparently, Shen Yuan wasn’t a very good actor. It was the second monthly meeting between future Peak Lords that Mu Qingfang of all people called him out. “Shang-shixiong, are you alright? Do you need Qingfang to check up on you?”

Shang Qinghua raised a brow, replying to him, “I’m fine, thank you for your worry.”

“Shang-shidi,” Shen Qingqiu smoothly cut in, throwing a look at the currently bruised shoulder of his and the foot he avoided using too much. “You must have been working very hard lately, you should take up Mu-shidi’s offer.”

And of course, now that Shen Qingqiu gave it his two cents, Yue Qingyuan joined in which made everyone else agree.

Shang Qinghua sent a brief glare at the Qing Jing Head Disciple, who gave him a triumphant glance back.

-~•~-

The clinic was silent.

Mu Qingfang had taken one look at him and paled, Shang Qinghua was just happy that he had the mind to speed up the healing of that one black eye. It had bothered his reading. The split lip made eating difficult and painful too.

It would certainly raise too many questions.

Mu Qungfang asked about it and Shang Qinghua couldn’t answer.

He was walking on a tightrope without safety precautions and underneath was a descent of insanity and death. Ah, the things he has to do to survive.

-~•~-

His shizun asked him about it too, one day. What happened, whats wrong?

Shang Qinghua smiled and answered “I’m fine, nothing happened.”

-~•~-

Shen Qingqiu had finally started on about it when it bothered him. The fifth month, he reminded himself to get some salve because his stock was quickly vanishing.

They sometimes visit each other, which is, a thing. Somehow.

Oftentimes when it was Shang Qinghua that goes to Qing Jing, Shen Qingqiu would be reading in the library or practicing guqin or doing practically anything useful. Shang Qinghua would just sometimes watch and sometimes join him.

Shen Qingqiu has been practicing his swordsmanship a lot lately. Shang Qinghua took to watching him again, not wanting to irritate the scratch on his leg and that bruise that somehow always manages to get itself onto his back.

Qing Jing’s future Peak Lord threw him a glance, the ones that were becoming more and more unreadable lately, but Shang Qinghua could guess the sentiment. Annoyance, probably.

“Shang-shidi, won’t you join shixiong and spar with me?”

Ah. Well.

(He was later dumped onto Qian Cao, a very unimpressed but worried Mu Qingfang fussing and nagging like he was his mother.)

-~•~-

Shen Yuan would be lying if he said he didn’t dread the weekly reports he had to give. If it weren’t for his big mouth, really.

(Could you blame him? He was tired and wanted the system to just stop blaring sirens at him, not to mention that no one really ever actually listened to him despite everything.)

It went like usual.

Usual meaning he turned in the scroll, informed Mobei-Jun of the things that didn’t get onto the paper he had given then be used as a punching bag.

...it hurt.

-~•~-

Shang Qinghua was twenty-one when he and the others became Peak Lords.

-~•~-

He had become quite good in tolerating the pain and oretending it wasn’t there when it was a habit for everyone to send him to Qian Cao the moment he f*cking sneezed. So.

He felt warm with all the care they gave despite it probably only being polite.

-~•~-

Sometime later, Shang Qinghua couldn’t remember very clearly how much time has passed, but Luo Binghe finally came up to Cang Qiong and was accepted.

The system was very happy to have the main power source near enough and kept sending him prompts.

Shen Yuan continued on.