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MCAB - Chapter 45

[This is the Demon Cult, Host. They're currently choosing a Saintess.]

After seeing Jun Zishu regain consciousness once more, Little Fairy quickly relayed the information she found out to Jun Zishu.

Apparently, the Demon Cult's Saintess had left this world some time ago, and the Demon Cult needed to find a replacement for her. However, the Demon Cult's Saintesses practiced a special cultivation technique that only people with a special bloodline could use. Thus, the Demon Cult couldn't simply choose a random girl to become its new Saintess.

To rectify this problem, the Demon Cult cultivated a special kind of bug whose express purpose was to locate girls with the bloodline needed to become the Saintess. However, not all girls who possessed the special bloodline could practice the Saintess's cultivation technique, either. So, even after the bug located the girls with the special bloodline, these girls would still need to undergo the Red Spring's trial.

Meanwhile, the Red Spring was none other than the pool of red liquid Jun Zishu was soaked in.

[You should prepare yourself, Host. I received more information on the original storyline while you were unconscious. It seems that the original owner of your body also got captured and brought to this place in the original storyline. However, she failed to overcome this process and died.]

Hm? But I feel fine.

As soon as Jun Zishu finished speaking with Little Fairy in her mind, she suddenly felt an intense pain spreading throughout her body. The pain was so excruciating that it felt as if someone had just shattered every bone in her body.

Jun Zishu's first thought was to jump out of the Red Spring. However, she quickly dismissed her thoughts when she saw the girl sitting in a nearby tub get violently forced back down after trying to climb out of the wooden tub.

The girl in question was only four years old, and she screamed and wailed her lungs out as she suffered through the intense pain.

Hearing the girl's cries, Jun Zishu bit down on her lower lip and tightly gripped the edge of the wooden tub.

[I've already raised the pain reduction function to the current maximum for you, Host. You will have to endure the rest by yourself. Do you want to chat with me as a distraction?]

Little Fairy anxiously said. She had already done everything she could for Jun Zishu, so the only thing she could do now was watch.

No need, thanks.

Jun Zishu closed her eyes and tried her best not to think of the pain. She also couldn't help but curse at the person responsible for coming up with this Red Spring trial nonsense.

However, Jun Zishu had no choice but to endure this pain now. Otherwise, death would be the only fate awaiting her.

Meanwhile, the guards couldn't help but be surprised as they looked at Jun Zishu. Out of the five girls undertaking the trial this time, four of them were screaming and crying incessantly. Only Jun Zishu remained exceptionally quiet. If it weren't for Jun Zishu's fingers tightly gripping against the edge of her wooden tub, they would've thought that she had died already.

As time passed, the guards carried out one lifeless body after another from the wooden tubs. Eventually, only Jun Zishu remained soaked in her tub of herbs and blood.

By this point, though, Jun Zishu's head was already covered in sweat, the sweat causing her hair to clump up. Her face had also turned as white as snow.

In the beginning, Jun Zishu managed to keep her mind occupied by reciting the laws of physics and other things. However, the pain eventually got so bad that she couldn't even think properly.

Jun Zishu couldn't help but regret coming to the Harmony Maintenance Division. Never did she have to go through such suffering in the previous two worlds she visited. Not only did she have to deal with a much more troublesome mission in this world, but she also had to endure such hardships shortly after her arrival. The only bright side to this situation was that her returns for enduring this torture should be promising.

This place was the Demon Cult. If she could become the cult's Saintess, she could gain martial prowess and stay close to Shen Zheyan. Although being on opposite factions with Shen Zheyan might prove to be somewhat of a problem, with things as they were right now, Jun Zishu had no other choice.

After coming to this conclusion, Jun Zishu started thinking of ways to utilize her circumstances to split up Shen Zheyan's future reverse harem.

In reality, Jun Zishu was tempted to seduce Shen Zheyan herself. Based on her experience in her past two missions, she knew that if Shen Zheyan didn't take the initiative to like her future harem members, those people were also unlikely to stick to her side.

However, their respective identities placed them on opposite factions. Under such circumstances, Jun Zishu felt that they might end up in a terrible love-hate relationship should she try to seduce Shen Zheyan.

[Wait! Host! Did you forget that the Demon Cult's cult leader is one of the mission target's harem members?]

That settles it. Let's go with a love-hate relationship then, hehe.

After Jun Zishu soaked in the Red Spring for an unknown amount of time, the pain assaulting her body disappeared, leaving her in a numbed state. Then, at the behest of someone, she stood up from the wooden tub with a dazed look on her face.

When Jun Zishu climbed out of the tub, exquisitely dressed maids quickly approached her, dried her body, and dressed her in a beautiful robe.

Afterward, everyone in the hall, except the man standing in the lead, knelt to her. Then, the kneeling people loudly shouted, "We greet Your Highness the Saintess."

"Do you have parents?"

Jun Zishu's eyes regained their focus when she heard the leading man's question. Then, she looked at the man before her and answered, "They're dead."

"Do you have any other relatives at home?"

"They're all dead," Jun Zishu curtly answered.

"Excellent. I will be your foster father from now on," the man said with a smile. Then, he extended a hand to Jun Zishu.

Jun Zishu silently stepped forward and put her hand onto the man's hand.

"Do you have a name?"

"Yan Xi."

"Yan Xi… The Yan(燕) in swallow(燕子 - yàn zi) and the Xi(喜) in joy(欢喜 - huān xǐ)?"

"Mhm."

"I'm Qian Yun. Remember my name."

"Yes, sir."

"Do you know where this place is?" Qian Yun asked as she led Jun Zishu out of the hall and ascended a long flight of stairs.

When they reached the top of the staircase, Jun Zishu saw a verdant forest beneath her. She could also vaguely see people roaming about the forest.

"I don't know."

"Welcome to the world of martial artists," Qian Yun said in a pleasant tone, his voice dissipating in the howling wind.

Eight years went by in the blink of an eye.

Jun Zishu's life as the Demon Cult's Saintess was relatively relaxing. Because the Demon Cult was a wealthy organization, Jun Zishu got to eat well and sleep well. Moreover, apart from training and doing some miscellaneous work from time to time, Jun Zishu didn't have much to do in the Demon Cult.

Apart from gaining an easy life, Jun Zishu also secured herself an unexpected harvest during her time in the Demon Cult—she met with Qian Xing, one of the protagonist's harem members.

Qian Xing was Qian Yun's son and the future Demon Cult's cult leader. Presently, Qian Xing had yet to become an evil and charming man, as described in the original storyline. Instead, he was still a clingy young man.

"Yan Xi, Yan Xi."

Someone called out to Jun Zishu from a short distance away.

Jun Zishu instantly recognized the person calling out to her, and she couldn't help but roll her eyes. Immediately, she kicked back against the large tree branch she rested on and hid between the smaller tree branches and leaves.

"Where are you hiding again? Are you dislike seeing me so much?"

Qian Xing stamped his feet in frustration when he looked at the empty courtyard before him.

However, Jun Zishu simply crossed her arms and remained hidden. Nothing good had ever come from Qian Xing visiting her.

After Qian Xing walked around the courtyard for a moment, he approached the large tree in the middle of the courtyard and looked up. Then, sure enough, he saw a small patch of red hidden between the dense layer of leaves.

"I see you, Yan Xi. Come out," Qian Xing said, instantly recognizing the red patch to be part of Jun Zishu's skirt.

Jun Zishu refused to budge and continued quietly staring at Qian Xing.

Failing to get a response, Qian Xing picked up a pebble from the ground and tossed it in Jun Zishu's direction.

Jun Zishu tilted her body sideways and evaded the pebble. However, in the process of doing so, she caused the leaves around her to shake and wobble.

"Will you come out now?" Qian Xing asked with a delighted expression.

Jun Zishu jumped down from the tree and pulled a funny face at the youth before her. Then, she said, "If you have something to say, just spit it out. If not, get lost."

"Can't I find you just to have a chat?" Qian Xing said, grinning.

In response, Jun Zishu raised her right hand and threw a hidden weapon at him.

"Why do you keep attacking me all of a sudden?!" Yan Xi cried out as he dodged out of the way. Then, when he turned around and saw the leaf that was partially embedded into the tree trunk, he exclaimed, "Yan Xi, Yan Xi, your skills improved again?"

"So, what did you come here for? I'll beat you up if you continue dawdling," Jun Zishu said as she raised her hand threateningly.

"I'll speak! I'll speak!" Qian Xing hurriedly raised his arms in surrender. Then, he looked at the girl dressed in red in front of him and said, "My dad is looking for you."

"Stepfather is looking for me? What for?"

"Not sure. Won't you know once you find him?"

Jun Zishu shrugged, jumped into the air, and flew toward Qian Yun's location.

Meanwhile, Qian Xing couldn't help but sigh as he looked at the girl's departing figure.

"Stepfather, Stepfather, I'm here! Did you need me for something?" Jun Zishu eagerly asked as she held onto Qian Yun's arm.

After giving his enthusiastic stepdaughter a pinch on the nose, Qian Yun said, "I'm sending you out for an important business this time."

"Let's hear it. What kind of business is it? I'm not going if it's not fun," Jun Zishu said as she released Qian Yun's arm and twirled her braided hair around.

"You little rascal. All you know is to have fun all day."

"Hmph. Hurry up and say it, Stepfather."

"I want you to retrieve an item for me."

"Tch, so you just want me to run an errand for you."

"That item doesn't belong to me. You've heard of the Heavenly Spirit Sect before, right?"

"It's recorded in the book you gave me. It's a hidden sect, right? What about it?" Jun Zishu asked, feigning confusion on her face.

Jun Zishu naturally knew of the Heavenly Spirit Sect. It was the sect that Shen Zheyan belonged to, after all. Shen Zheyan had even started to make a name for herself in the world of martial arts recently.

However, Jun Zishu was slightly surprised to hear that Qian Yun had set his sights on the Heavenly Spirit Sect.

"I want their sect's cultivation technique."

"Hm? Why do you want their cultivation technique, Stepfather? Isn't ours better?"

"I just want to take a look at it. Even if it is useless to me, can't I add it to my collection?" Qian Yun said with his chin raised. Even though his hair had already turned white from old age, he still had the temperament he had when he was young.

"Sure, sure, you can do whatever you want. But how am I supposed to retrieve it? I don't even know where their sect is at."

"One of their sect's disciples has come out to gain experience recently. I want you to approach her and secure her belongings."

"So, you want me to go and trick her? But what if I can't get it?"

Jun Zishu couldn't help but feel a little exasperated. Even though she didn't wish to go down the love-hate route with Shen Zheyan, there were bound to be people who would force her to do so.

"It's fine even if you can't get it. Just treat it as a sightseeing trip and look at how the world of martial artists is like. However, make sure to be careful at all times. If you get into trouble, contact our spies and branch divisions."

"Yay! You're letting me go out to play!" Jun Zishu jumped in excitement.

"Are you listening to me seriously? Do you know what our identity—"

"I know, I know. I'm the Demon Cult's "Witch," and everyone outside is out to get me. I'll be careful, Stepfather. I won't expose my identity unless absolutely necessary. If I get exposed, I'll make sure to run away immediately," Jun Zishu said, a wide grin on her face.

"You cheeky little brat…"

Qian Yun held his aching forehead. He couldn't help but wonder if he made the right decision to let Jun Zishu outside. He kept getting the feeling that his stepdaughter would cause him a bunch of trouble.

"Hurry up and tell me where I need to go, Stepfather! I can set off today!"

"Heavenly Spirit's One Sword, Shen Zheyan. Rumors say that she only needs one strike to kill her opponents."

Hellscythe's Notes:

MCAB's first patreon goal (150$) has been met! So, expect to see two chapters released on Sundays from now on!

If you would like to read ahead and help increase release rates for MCAB, please consider subscribing to my patreon!

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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)
Written by 小吾君 Xiao Wu Jun. Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.