‘The little fox’s delicate body was caught up in the branches; wounds abounded.’
???: ‘Oh little fox, how careless. Did the Sibuxiang scare you?’
‘The Xian ascetic carefully helped the little fox out, and turned to admonish Sibuxiang. With a wave of his hand, the ascetic sent a wave of gentle magic onto the little fox, dissipating the wounds on its body. The little fox lifted its head to look up at the radiant smile on the Xian ascetic’s face.’
Daji again snapped awake in fright.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: It’s that dream again...
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: Who actually is he?
Since the fox elf forced itself into this body, the melding of the memories between it and its host had cost its childhood memories. Unfortunately, this loss had simply increased her cruelty — death by burning with bronze pillars or by a thousand cuts, or even pulled apart by five horses — the gorier the better for Daji. All who opposed her on the imperial court had a fate so tragic.
In a short time, voices of opposition had all but disappeared from the imperial court. But while those who would oppose her openly were gone, many loyal officials secretly conspired to remove the demonic concubine.
Old Court Official: If we do not remove this demonic presence,
Old Court Official: how can I face the late Emperor who had entrusted governance to me?
Young Court Official: You are correct, Your Honor.
Young Court Official: On the Emperor’s birthday, I will arrange for assassins.
The young court official drew his thumb across his neck.
Old Court Official: Good! That demonic woman shall die on the Emperor’s birthday.
On the night of the birthday, the Emperor arranged for massive celebration; dance and song was paired with delicacies. Joy abounded.
Young Court Official: I have arranged martial artists to perform for Your Majesty as entertainment.
Emperor: Alright, go ahead!
The martial men waved their long and sharp swords on the stage, impressing all with their moves. But suddenly, they charged sword-in-hand towards the throne.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: How useless!
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: Working as assassins with that skill level? They deserve their deaths.
After that, all court officials who conspired in the assassination were executed. All opposition in the imperial court had ceased. Daji’s power was now truly unrivaled.
Daji stared seductively at Yang Jian who stood before her.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Honorable sir. Why didn’t you inform us of your arrival?
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: I should have journeyed to greet you.
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: You can stop with your flattery. It is useless on me.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Don’t kid me; how would I go about flattering you?
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Cut the crap. You have two choices:
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: A, come with me; B, I tie you up and take you with me.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: I am just a delicate woman who does not threaten you anyway.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Why would you take me?
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Stop pretending. You know exactly why!
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: I do not. Your journey must have tired you, sir. Come, serve him!
A group of soldiers rushed at Yang Jian, who simply smiled with contempt. A black shadow leapt out from behind him, fangs bared, and tore the soldiers apart. Yet, there was less blood than one would anticipate as the soldiers shrivelled until they were wisps of black smoke. After slaughtering the demonic soldiers, the black shadow returned excitedly to Yang Jian’s side. The shadow was actually Yang Jian’s long time companion, the Skyhowling Hound.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Useless trash!
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Enough! Stop resisting, demonic fox!
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Sir, you really think I would stand down?
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Your fame is undeserved, Yang Jian.
As Daji reached out to land a killing blow on Yang Jian’s skull, a hand grabbed her.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Stop.
Daji felt a wave of familiarity. Looking back, her seductive smile suddenly froze.
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Mr. Jiang!
Yang Jian yelled at Jiang Ziya, but was ignored. Jiang Ziya simply looked at Daji with a small smile on his face.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Come with me, little fox.
Recognizing the term of endearment, combined with the familiar smile, Daji was nodding before she was conscious of her acceptance. Mystical light surged out from Jiang Ziya’s hands into Daji’s; enveloped in the light, Daji shrank and when the light dissipated, Daji had become a little fox again. Jiang Ziya picked up the little fox and mounted his Sibuxiang. He left after exchanging a few words with Yang Jian.
‘The little fox slept soundly as Jiang Shang held it. Sibuxiang seemed to speak to Jiang Shang.’
Jiang Shang the Tao Achiever: ‘You believe that I should not have rescued it. Why?’
‘Sibuxiang scratched the floor.’
Jiang Shang the Tao Achiever: ‘You are worried that it will bring calamity to Humans?’
Jiang Shang the Tao Achiever: ‘Haha, Sibuxiang, you are worrying too much.’
Despite Jiang Shang’s talents in his youth, he had also suffered from arrogance. He did not think that his godly powers could have changed a little fox’s life. Later, when Jiang Ziya thought back to that time, he would always smile. Fate is predestined; if the predestined change, that would also be an arrangement of fate.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Jiang Shang, can I really not resolve this myself?
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: The Supremacy had restricted all from leaving unless they are on a mission.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: But can’t you still travel out of the realm unrestricted?
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Hence, I have built a manifested double for you.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: This way, the soldier can rest in peace.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: But if I do not personally resolve this, it would feel like I have wronged Wanyue.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Your willingness to take responsibility shows you have learned your lesson.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: She will forgive you.
Since Daji returned to the Heavenly Kingdom by Jiang Ziya’s side, she found that the other elves endowed with godly powers were also brought back. Yuanshi Tianzun did not punish any of them. In fact, to the contrary, he assigned people to help these elves control their godly powers and teach them moral philosophy.
Daji’s elvish abilities had long since peaked, and had no interest in lessons on how to control this power. So daily, she would stay by Jiang Ziya’s side, listening to his lessons. Her boredom led her to think back to her past, and this combined with the moral lessons meant constant reflection. She remembered the friend once as close as sisters — Wanyue.
Daji always felt like she had wronged Wanyue. She beseeched Jiang Ziya to investigate on her behalf, and he discovered that the tragic couple had perished. Yet, the warrior retained a strong grudge against her, and this rage had manifested into a burning vengeful monster hunting her.^ Daji had hoped to travel to the realm of Humans to deal with this herself, but was stopped by Jiang Ziya.
Suddenly, the palace door was pushed open.
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Mr. Jiang, I challenge you to another duel.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Do you want your butt kicked again, you yellow-bellied dog?
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Darned fox, I want a duel with Mr Jiang. How’s that any of your business?
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Jiang Shang’s business is my business.
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Do you have no shame?
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: You are the shameless one!
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: You have lost so many times; yet, you still come for Jiang Shang again.
Yang Jian the Deity of Fidelity: Shut up, darned fox!
Jiang Ziya did not know whether to laugh or cry about the Xian and elf who stood before him, who has started fighting. Jiang Ziya glanced at Sibuxiang and saw that it was also unsure how to act and so, all he could do was to pull Daji with one hand and Yang Jian with the other.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Enough, stop! If you continue this, you would destroy my palace.
Daji turned back into a little fox and returned into Jiang Ziya’s embrace, staring at Yang Jian with menace. Yang Jian was enraged by the sight.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Yang Jian, I have told you this before;
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: your aggression makes it difficult for your abilities to improve.
Since the war of Gods’ Investiture, Yang Jian had realized his deficiency. However, he understood that if his ability was to have a breakthrough, the only way to proceed was to defeat Jiang Ziya. To him, Jiang Ziya was the great wall in his heart that he must transcend for great achievements. He would challenge Jiang Ziya for a duel after brief intervals; after each duel, Jiang Ziya would point out his weaknesses so he could improve constantly.
Daji watched the pair which was about to start dueling and pondered...
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: ‘This life isn’t bad at all!’
As the ballad says: ‘The fox elf hoped for Xian-hood, but became a demonic concubine who usurped imperial power. With help from the Xian marshal, the elf attained Xian-hood, dissolving all worldly affairs through powers of manifestation.’