The black figure stuck onto the ground as it rapidly slunk its way to the cabin’s room. Mu Sheng’s half-shut eyelids immediately flew open. There was vicious ruthlessness in this gaze.
He was sitting on the ground. His body shook once and he immediately blocked the entrance, his fingers letting out creaking sounds.
The black figure stopped for a moment; the human shadow that appeared when it moved was covered up. The ball of black air like a black cloud started to boil actively and the spot it stopped at very quickly, was covered with water, piling up into a small puddle.
In the next moment, this churning black cloud was like a beast ready to pounce, a bowstring that was drawn to its limits. This was a stance that signified it was ready to attack.
“Fool.” Mu Sheng smirked. His gaze was sharp and he had already removed the metal bracelet on his wrist.
The black figure stood up. It was about half the height of a human. The youth on the ground was covered by its shadow, like he was swallowed by darkness.
Light suddenly shone from Mu Sheng’s Demon Restraining Circlet, like the first rays of dawn, to expel the black cloud. The black figure was battered and lost two chunks of itself. A stream of black suddenly burst out of its waist area, causing the hold of the ship to be permeated with a rotting smell.
After the black smoke dispersed, there were many water stains on the ground. There was a ferocious looking ivory skeleton head rolling about on the ground. Next to it was a few scattered pieces of white bone soaking in water.
Ling Miaomiao had her mouth wide open. This was the fabled… water demon?
The youth had his eyes half-shut. He noiselessly loosened his belt and removed his outer robe that had been stained by water and tossed it onto the ground. He used his leg to mop up the ground before once again sitting down at Mu Sheng’s doorway.
Mu Sheng was only wearing snow white inner garments.1  Inner Garments: Not the underwear layer but the light clothing one might wear on top of it. In ancient china I think seeing someone in this was almost as bad as seeing them naked (but ofc, naked is far worse). Most people always wore three layers of clothes: Underwear, inner wear and outerwear. His hair gently covered his forehead. He slightly raised his lashes and looked rather frail and soft.
His expression was peaceful but his eyes were alive. They would occasionally let out paranoid currents due to his heart being unsettled.
Miaomiao couldn’t help but sigh repeatedly. The black lotus was so infatuated that it caused one to feel heartbroken.
Mu Sheng only sat there for less than a minute.
The hold suddenly darkened and a strange odor rapidly filled up the ship’s hold. It was the thick smell of salted fish, just like… the stench of the water demon he killed just now.
However, this time it was so dense that it caused them to have to hold their breath.
Mu Sheng slowly raised his eyes, their pitch black pupils reflecting a dark aura that was earth-shattering.
“Youngster. Destroying other’s livelihoods and taking their lives… isn’t a good habit.”
She couldn’t tell whether the voice was of a man or a woman. It sounded like they were separated by a piece of paper. Its voice kept shaking as it stopped intermittently.
He had just defeated a small one and now this big one came?
The entire hold was filled with a humid fishy stench. The black smoke was like a wall blocking Miaomiao’s line of sight.
At the moment, she could only hear this big demon talk. She couldn’t clearly see Mu Sheng’s expression. So, she took two steps forward.
“You think you can hit on my sister just by yourself?” The youth raised his eyelids as his mouth curled up into a ridiculing smile.
“Do you know who this seat is?”2  Seat: A way for people to refer to themselves if they have a high status/feel that they should be respected. The voice was very hoarse, hoarse enough to make listeners have goosebumps appear all over their bodies. “If you don’t want to die, scram.”
Mu Sheng dusted off his hands as he stood up. He silently stuck a few silence talisman on Mu Yao’s door with his hand behind his back. In an instant, a formless barrier wrapped up the entire hold.
He lightly smiled, “Aren’t you just a water demon?”
Miaomiao extended a hand to touch the soft barrier. A door away, Mu Yao was still deeply asleep and completely ignorant of what was going on outside.
The black cloud-like dark smoke increased explosively and quickly covered up the last vestige of light coming in through the window. The ship was still in motion and Miaomiao was rocked up and down in the darkness. She felt her stomach turning and could only lean on the side of the ship.
Mu Sheng relied on his keen senses to quickly dodge to the side, evading its attack. The Demon Restraining Circlet on his wrist was already flying up into the air. In an instant, it grew larger and in the darkness suddenly shone with a bright white light. Like a blackhole, the black fog immediately turned into a whirlpool as it was sucked into the circlet.
“Did you think that this kind of low-level dharma treasure…” A part of the black figure suddenly protruded out like a long arm. It shockingly grabbed onto the Demon Restraining Circlet, “Can do anything to me?”
The white circle of light was violently shaking around like it was in a noiseless struggle. Mu Sheng tried to mentally control the Demon Restraining Circlet but it seemed to be held down, like its heart was being tightly squeezed. A savage stream of baleful qi flowed back into his body and his expression turned more and more pale. He couldn’t help but spurt out a mouthful of fresh blood.
The Demon Restraining Circlet was completely submerged in the black smoke and it started letting out sounds as if it was being crushed to death.
Mu Sheng’s expression grew dark. He flew up with full force like an Apodidae3 Apodidae: Aka swifts. A type of small bird and look similar to swallows. Fun fact, the ‘birds nest’ you see in chinese culture is literally the nests of these birds., charging without any forethought in the direction where it was the darkest and most dense.
Miaomiao was dumbstruck: What kind of suicidal fighting style was this…
Sure enough, the black figure took half a step back. The ball of smoke was raging like an inferno as it once again shot forward. Mu Sheng’s entire body was tied up by countless vine-like black arms and pulled towards its center.
At the moment, he was just like a little bug stuck on a spiderweb, about to turn into a spider’s meal.
”Dying because of a dharma treasure.” The voice spoke again in a strange laughing tone, “However… your body…” The black figure suddenly seemed extremely shocked for a while before laughing coldly, “Just because of a low-level dharma treasure, you took the initiative to look for death?”
Mu Sheng was already close to the center of the black mass. He exerted himself to stay suspended in the air, maintaining a distance from it. His lips had turned dark red and the look in his eyes had some sluggishness.
One of the circlets had already returned to his wrist and was covered by his sleeve. He acted as he didn’t hear it, trying hard to retrieve the other.
I can’t lose one, not a single one at all.
“Sis, why are there so many demons? I feel like there’s no end to them.” A young boy held onto his wound. There was a faintly discernible ruthlessness visible in between his brows.
”Why don’t you take a look at what your sister has gotten you?” The girl had a smile on her face as she opened a box. There laid a pair of small shiny metal bracelets. “Ah Sheng, you still don’t have your own dharma treasure yet right? I made a pair of Demon Restraining Circlets for you. Now you don’t have to fear demons in the future.”
“I’ll return it to you.” That voice was cold. The silver metal loops fell from the black fog. Suddenly landing on the ground, it bounced up and rolled over to Miaomiao’s foot.
Then, Miaomiao watched as black arm pierced through Mu Sheng’s shoulder with a ‘pu!’.
Red blood suddenly sprayed out onto the opposite wall. The youth’s face instantly turned as pale as paper.
’How unfortunate. You have such a precious body yet you were born in the Mu family.” There was a thread of pride in the midst of its extremely enraged voice. “If you had moved aside earlier, you wouldn’t have thrown away your life for nothing.”
Ling Miaomiao was completely filled with suspicion towards Mu Sheng.
“Are you an idiot? Do you even know how to use Exploding Sparks?”
She couldn’t hold herself back and wanted to shout out loudly yet she found that in actual fact, her voice had become very small, like it was being stifled.
There was a strong pressure compressing the air. Miaomiao felt her eardrums swell making her have the misconception of being deep in the ocean..
The occasional sounds she could hear seemed like they were coming from under water. After having passed through compression and twisting, she couldn’t make anything of the vague remnants she could hear.
A sudden gale burst through the hold and the youth was suspended in the air. His white sleeves and black hair both floated up. His headband was like a butterfly trying to take flight, flapping its wings will all of its might.
He opened his lips, stained with fresh blood, and he looked extremely pretty and flirtatious doing so.
”Before you die, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get your great name.”
In his sleeves, a star of light suddenly burst out from his fingertips. It was the beginning of a vortex. A massive vortex suddenly lifted itself up from the flat surface. It was an exceedingly spectacular sight —- the vortex turned into a massive funnel, like a massive ravenous monster trying to swallow the world. It ripped the black cloud into pieces as the red light grew brighter at a tremendous rate; The entire hold turned into a stunning scene.
Miaomiao heard the sound of bones being shattered. ‘Crack shatter’.
A yellow talisman floated out from Mu Sheng’s sleeve before slowly falling to the ground.
The crazed black figure struggled to grab it—-
The yellow paper emitted light, the blood red words on it leaking out.
Miaomiao tried hard for a long time to recognize the characters on it but couldn’t even recognize a single one. It just looked weird.
“Reverse character talisman…” The voice was incredulous, its tone had changed a few decibels, “How is it possible for the Mu family to draw reverse character talismans?”
Red light covered up the sky as Mu Sheng slowly floated down to the ground. There was a shocking bloody hole on his shoulder. There was a colorful and sly smile on his face. The red light in the hold reflected off of his face, “I must’ve disappointed you.”
He was covered with blood yet he stood perfectly straight with a smile on his face, it was extremely unsettling. “I’m not a member of the Mu family. I’m just Mu Yao’s little brother.
Before his voice faded, all of the shadows on the boat instantly dispersed. The beautiful sunset glow of the setting sun reflected off of the surface of the water to pierce into the hold of the ship. The previously aberrant feeling the red hue gave off turned into a warm feeling.
The black cloud dispersed all of a sudden, revealing the shocked Ling Miaomiao.
She looked around her in terror, discovering that there was nowhere for her to hide.
The red light slowly hid back into Mu Sheng’s body. There was still an evilness hung on his face that hadn’t left yet. Slowly turning his head around, he squinted at the unexpected situation: “Miss Ling?”
What he basically implied was: It’s you again.
The bloody final rays of the sun reflected off of her shiny hair.
Mu Sheng saw her stand there rigidly for a period then quickly pick up the metal circlet on the ground. She lifted her hand over her face to cover up her expression full of trepidation and fear, “Yo-your… your bracelet.”
He took it from her hand but wasn’t in a rush to put it on. He played with the Demon Restraining Circlet in his hand for a moment before shooting a glance at her, “Do you realize, this ‘bracelet’ as you call it, can smash your brain apart?”
His eyes were extremely bright and an unknown smile colored his lips.
”… Young Noble Mu is so humorous.” Miaomiao already felt numb to fear. The whites of her eyes were clearly defined and her face was full of ignorance and fearlessness. She smiled at him with her bright shiny teeth, “It touched my leg just now but my leg wasn’t shattered. It must only work on demons and I’m a good person.”
Mu Sheng put the Demon Restraining Circlets back on. However, he didn’t rip off the silence taliman on the door. From the side, there was still red light
obvious in his naked eyes. He was still currently in an uncontrollable state.
Even if he were to kill and dismember someone in this barrier, no one outside would know.
Ling Miaomiao tried to maintain her smile, when in truth, she was so worried she felt her insides churning. She didn’t have the main lead’s halo beside her, how could she have gained the courage to send steamed buns to them?
Mu Sheng finally broke the silence, “Just now, you saw me…”
“Just now, I saw demons! They nearly scared me to death! I didn’t think that such a powerful demon would get one-shot by one move from Young Noble Mu! I was very stunned… When can you teach me as well…” Miaomiao’s brows jumped. She rapidly followed with energy like she was a doorstep salesman, she spoke faster and faster, her voice turned both sweet and crisp. “Young Noble Mu, you’re really deserving of someone who was born in a demon hunting family! You clean out evil for the people, every move you make is extraordinary and you’re just like a daoist immortal that all of us normal people eagerly await!”
Ling Miaomiao had lived so many years but this was the first time she spent so much energy and hard work into acting to save her life.
He paused and a layer of dark clouds flooded his face, “You clearly…” He started speaking but then hesitated, seemingly too lazy to speak with her. He curled up his mouth into a sneering smile, “Forget it.”
He used one hand to touch the talisman and it burned up in a very short timespan.
“Is Miaomiao here?”
Ling Miaomiao had only just let loose a sigh of relief when this voice seemingly came from from the sky to smash her head.
Liu Fuyi stood in a dark corner of the corridor. His sleeves were fluttering in the wind as he shouted out doubtfully, “Why are you just standing there? The wine has been cooled. Didn’t you want to drink?”
“….” She really hated that she couldn’t cover up this straight laced man’s mouth.
The hand hanging at Mu Sheng’s side clenched as he slightly narrowed his eyes, “Oh? It’s only been so long, and you’ve followed her over.”
”Ding! — Mission Reminder. Mission 1 Crucial event in the plot: Drink wine and watch the moon together with character [Liu Fuyi].
Three sounds hovered around and layered atop each other in her head and Miaomiao felt like her head was about to explode.
“Oh, I’m coming, I’m coming.” Ling Miaomiao replied at flying speed before turning around to look at Mu Sheng with a beaming smile, “Young Noble Mu, do you want to come with us?”
”What you two are going to do together… I won’t barge in and interrupt.” He looked at her with a meaningful gaze. His gaze then fell onto the wrapped up bundle Miaomiao had been carrying all this time and was momentarily stunned, “What are you holding?”
Ling Miaomiao felt an evil fire ignited in her heart. Why did you only remember to ask now?! Little old me came over to send you guys some steamed buns but I nearly sent myself in as cannon fodder instead…
She thrusted the bundle deeper into her arms. Borrowing some of Liu Fuyi’s confidence, she stomped away while leaving behind a: “Nothing.”
 Inner Garments: Not the underwear layer but the light clothing one might wear on top of it. In ancient china I think seeing someone in this was almost as bad as seeing them naked (but ofc, naked is far worse). Most people always wore three layers of clothes: Underwear, inner wear and outerwear.  Seat: A way for people to refer to themselves if they have a high status/feel that they should be respected.  Apodidae: Aka swifts. A type of small bird and look similar to swallows. Fun fact, the ‘birds nest’ you see in chinese culture is literally the nests of these birds.
TLN: Happy Mid-Summer Festival peoples :). Make sure to eat lots and get stuffed to the brim.