PUP Volume 1 Chapter 28

“Dear Xia An, why won’t you wake up?” Xia An heard a voice calling him, but the voice was so strange and its tone so contemptuous that he was a bit scared.

“Dear Xia An, don’t you want to wake up? Does that mean you never need to wake up again?”

“No!” Xia An was frightened and opened his eyes, but he only saw darkness. Open or closed, there was not much of a difference.

He raised his hand and touched his cheek and felt that it was wet—he was clearly in a panicked state.

Noises from his surroundings gradually entered his ears. Qiqi licked his fingers, meowed, and Xia An found a little familiarity and comfort in those actions.

He fumbled around and ran his hands over the space around his body. He seemed to be lying on his bed, but the bedding was full of something broken and coarse to the touch. He did not recall how he got there.

His walking stick had disappeared, so Xia An moved slowly out of bed. Unfortunately he had just taken a single step forward when he stumbled on the debris littering the ground and fell down hard.

The blonde teenager seemed stunned. It was so long since he had actually fallen down due to his blindness; in fact it many years had passed since the last time he experienced it.

Ordinarily he would not be bothered by this kind of thing, but on this day, for some unknown reason, his hidden bitterness and secret grudges rose up within his heart.

Those negative emotions were not that wonderful, and Xia An quickly tried to control himself. When he got up, he experienced a dizzy spell and he was unable to assume control over his own body.

He lost the ability to consciously move his body, although he could still feel the body’s seemingly independent movements.

“Xia An,” the scornful voice sounded again, “Do you want to know the true face of this world?”

Xia An failed to understand, and being unable to control his own panic left him at a loss.

Still, the voice refused to let him go, “Didn’t you always think that the world should be beautiful? Have you forgotten the humiliation of your childhood?”

Xia An wanted to shut the voice up and stop it from saying more. However, he could not speak out and could not shut it out. He could only listen to the voice slowly speak—it was like the death of a thousand cuts for his psyche. After all, without his sight, his hearing was many times more sensitive.

“Do you want to see the ugliness of human nature?”

“Do you want to know the reaction of the world in the face of disaster?”

“Do you want to escape this disgusting environment?”

Over and over, his words were like a curse that wore down Xia An’s brain.

The voice seemed to ask, but in fact, did not give him a true choice or alternative. Xia An felt that he was passively walking in one direction. Originally blind, he gradually felt that everything around him was clearly visible inside his mind, and that a powerful force was surging within his body.

That was the power of magic.

Xia An ‘looked’ at the bleak streets, skinny beggars, broken walls and debris. After the earthquake, Ye Sa City was left devastated.

“Xia An, do you know why you live in Ye Sa city?”

Xia An tried hard to remember, but only drew a blank—it was as if he was born out of thin air.

“This place is my chosen burial place for you.”

Xia An felt a chill in his heart.

‘Xia An’ walked all the way towards the north end of the city without showing any hesitation. He was wearing very thin clothing, but he did not seem to be afraid of the cold. Like that, he went straight to Nice’s snowy mountains, alone and empty-handed, and disappeared into the unforgiving, snowy atmosphere. The sky was a deep azure, and only the soft call of a cat echoed for a short while and then disappeared without trace.

From that day onwards, the Mercenary Guild no longer received any requests to bathe a certain cat.

Three years passed by.

Zeno held a stack of folders so tall they covered his face, exposing only a small bald head as he leaned towards the counter. Nami removed the folders from his arms, then asked, “Little Zeno, so diligent, where is your family?“

“Big Sister Nami, Baba to the west part of the city to deliver grilled fish.”

Nami was cheerful for a moment and then reminded him, “I’ve told you many times, you can call me Auntie Nami.”

At that moment, Charles had just come over to hand in his completed task list. When he heard that, he heckled them, “Precisely. You’re much too young, do you feel no shame calling her your big sister?”

With a ‘bang’ sound, Nami’s folder attack was launched again. Charles’s forehead was dealt a heavy and direct blow.

Charles held his head mournfully and cried, but even then he did not forget to run his mouth, “Oh, my dear Nami, did you have a martial arts level breakthrough again?”

Nami glanced at Charles briefly and then turned back to Zeno, her cheerfulness instantly restored as she said, “Little Zeno, tomorrow is New Year’s Day. Talk to your Baba, I will join him and guide him in martial arts training.”

Zeno nodded with bright eyes. He would not let go of any opportunity to increase his protagonist’s fighting strength.

At this moment, all the people in the guild started to feel cold, so they all stared towards the front door simultaneously. They all knew that the entryway of the Mercenary Guild had a magic array to maintain the air temperature. It was always cool in the summer and that same temperature felt warm in the winter. That sudden cold was not normal.

The snow drifted down outside, and a blonde youth draped in a black robe stepped into the building.

Nami’s expression became serious. The young man’s whole body was wrapped in a deep cold and darkness; his aura assaulted everyone’s senses and he could not be ignored.

However, this was not the most important point. On the young man’s shoulder was a pure white cat that seemed like it would never grow or change.

Nami took a deep breath, restrained the uneasiness in her heart, and stepped forward to welcome him, “Mr. Xia An, do you need to set up a commission?”

A smile with an unknown meaning faintly showed on the youth’s face when he heard Nami’s words. He turned his head and stated bluntly, “It seems you remember me. Well then, this task should not be difficult. I need to hire a team to explore the snowy mountains near Nice.”

Nami was surprised, but quickly responded, “So Mr. Xia An also wants to hunt for treasure. There are countless teams that have been buried in the snow-capped mountains in the past three years. Don’t think about it anymore…okay?”

As Nami said those words, she was stared at oppressively. Finally she stopped speaking and said no more.

Zeno shrank down to reduce his sense of presence. When he heard those words he could not help but silently think, “Truly a local tyrant ah.”

Zeno did not want to be a saviour at all. He only wanted to save one man—Xi Wei. He did not want anything to do with Xia An and his people. Not to mention, the last treasure hunt there was no lack of people to help. No matter what metamorphosis Xia An had been through—it was not like he could destroy the whole continent. If that were the case, then the author would have had to re-assign the protagonist role. (T/N: I’m sorry this doesn’t really make sense)

Zeno was not afraid of the heavens falling down, because there would always be someone to prop them up.

Xia An was clearly in ‘boss mode’ again, so although Zeno had a strategy to get past him, but he did not have hundred percent assurance. Who knew when the time was right and the geographical and social conditions were favourable1; one could only act precisely at the right time.

The situation was already very confusing and then the protagonist halo did not work; Xi Wei marched through the door and came upon this strange scene. Zeno could not bear to look straight at his protagonist as he passed the boss’s side. Xi Wei spoke in a cold, flat voice, “Let me by.”

Xia An actually revealed a good temper and let him pass without a word. He merely continued his discussion with Nami about his mission for the guild.

Zeno ran to Xi Wei with his short legs. Xi Wei grabbed his hand out of habit and frowned when he felt the cold temperature of his fingertips. He asked, “What did you do?”

The current mood was not appropriate to explain things to the protagonist, so Zeno quickly pulled him aside. Then he quietly pointed to the boss who was still standing in front of the door.

Xi Wei certainly saw him, but Xia An had not appeared for three years and he had nothing to do with them. Even if he came to the Mercenary Guild to commission a task, at the most Xia An and Xi Wei would re-establish their employment relationship. Even if the current Xia An did not seem like a good person, he had never refused to do business with someone because of their aura.

After all, Xia An did not really do anything bad.

Um, for the time being.

Xia An seemed to agree with Nami. When she turned back, she glanced over at Xi Wei, hesitated for a second and then asked, “Xi Wei, Mr. Xia An wants to organize another mountain expedition and hopes you will go. What is your opinion?”

Xi Wei glanced at Xia An and the evil look that was clearly displayed on his face caused Xi Wei to quickly retract his gaze. He bowed his head and asked, “Do I have a choice?”

Xia An answered in a leisurely manner, “Of course…you don’t.”

Xi Wei again looked at the familiar and yet unfamiliar young man with a hint of mockery in his eyes, “So, then why bother asking?”

After speaking those words, Xi Wei pulled the dazed Zeno away.

Zeno was still in shock. Whenever he thought he was clear on the protagonist’s temper, Xi Wei would always give him a big surprise. He sounded pretty cool, but was there really no problem speaking to the boss like that?

Zeno wondered what a five-year-old child’s mind should be like. He did not raise any children so he did not understand. Every day he carefully sold meng in order to prevent others from noticing any problems. The whole process could be described as painstaking—he was even afraid of his own protagonist. According to Xi Wei’s level of vigilance, if he ever harboured any doubts about Zeno he would probably throw the little one away and never deal with him again. He was that tyrannical and paranoid.

The small boat they lived in was even more ragged than it was three years ago. There were even more holes on top of the cabin. This actually made it considerably easier for Hua Li to fly in and out.

The Elven Queen said she was satisfied.

After Hua Li had recovered some of her power, she was no longer bound to remain a certain distance from the ring. It had become commonplace for her to disappear for ten days up to half-months. The fact that she still returned was more surprising.

When Xi Wei carried him in an embrace onto the creaking boat, Zeno was very surprised. Hua Li came along and sent them a flirtatious smile, her two thin legs swinging along the edge of the boat.

When they first met, Xi Wei had chopped off her long green hair. It had completely grown back, and her two pointed ears trembled from time to time—she was still so cute.

Speaking of Zeno’s gratitude towards Hua Li, he was still called Zeno thanks to the Elf Queen. She said he was named after a plant that grew near the tree Xi Wei was named after, and the name meant that he would never betray him.

Consequently, Zeno’s name was proposed by Hua Li and accepted by Xi Wei.

Hua Li fluttered her wings and lifted up into the air, circled around Zeno twice, then asked with dissatisfaction, “Why didn’t you say hi to me?”

Zeno turned back to her, opened his palm for her to stand on, and asked, “Hua Li jiejie, where have you been?

Speaking of this, Hua Li suddenly grew excited, “Little one, you come to this place with me, I found something fun.”

Xi Wei paid no heed to her behaviour, and instead carefully considered what he should pack to bring to the mission to explore the mountain. In fact, with only four bare walls for a home they really had nothing that they could bring.

Instead, Zeno paid great attention to the words of the original work’s first lady, “Where are you going?”

She showed an indignant look directed at Xi Wei, “Nice’s mountain range.”

Unexpectedly, her target coincided with the boss’s aim. Hua Li was the Queen of the Elves and could not be compared to ordinary people. She said that she found something fun, was it a legendary treasure?

In any case, since the goals were the same, it would inexcusable if they did not accept the help of the Elven Queen.

Nice’s snowy mountains were, as always, frigid. Zeno rubbed his arms while trembling, his teeth chattered, and he bitterly stared at Xia An. Travelling with the boss, of course, was not as good as travelling with Hill–who doubled as a portable heater, but even Xia An would not be abusive to a frail child.

Xia An was worthy of being the boss. Not only could he force Xi Wei to follow him, but he also made him bring Zeno along and claimed it was to ‘take care of’ the little one.

To hell with ‘take care’, it was simply a threat!

The reality was that this world was cruel and the strongest fist had the last word. Xia An was rich and powerful, so he could arbitrarily control their life and death.

This time, as they climbed up the mountain, Xia An seemed to have a clear-cut goal. He directed the team to walk towards a specific location confidently.

The further they ventured, the greater the anxiety in Zeno’s heart grew. Although the snow-capped mountains were always bitterly cold, coniferous evergreen trees grew ubiquitously. However, with Xia An leading the way, the surrounding trees all appeared to produce a depressing atmosphere. Strangely enough, despite the quietness of their surroundings, they could not even hear the sounds of any animals.

Since Hua Li was an extremely conspicuous elf, she did not join them to travel and they could not count on her.

Zeno was forcibly held in Xia An’s arms. The only feeling he had was that of being cold and shivering all over, and the even more intense cold and dark aura Xia An released almost made him breathless.

Finally, Xia An stopped walking, so all the mercenaries stopped and waited for his instructions. Those in power used their wealth to employ people in order to avoid calamities. Those mercenaries lived on the edge of a knife, and they generally followed a specific code of ethics—do the job and make their money. From the moment they accepted their missions, their life was simply no longer their own.

Nami, leading the Wind Wolf Corp, could sense a tremendous source of power—there should be a magic array in that location. She could not discern whether it was a sealing array or a transportation array. Unfortunately, due to Ye Sa City’s chaos, there were almost no magicians within the mercenaries.

Xia An jeered, “It’s no trouble. I’ve seen this magic array, and I also know the method to activate it.”

The mercenaries were suddenly abuzz. It was almost impossible for anyone who was confronted with a magic array to be able to unlock it except for the magician who made it. Xia An was definitely a noble magician!

Xia An’s eyes were still as milky white as ever, yet it seemed that he was always able to see everything around him. Everyone was already more or less in awe of him, and then he revealed that he actually knew a way to unlock the magic array.

“There’s a total of nine people here,” Xia An said with a smile, “The magic array is ​​in the pattern of a six-pointed star. It takes only six people to mix their own power into a drop of their blood and place it into each of the six corners of the magic array. Then the transportation array will be activated.”

When choosing the six, it only made sense to remove the weaker Xi Wei, Zeno—who was solely a tag-along, and the employer Xia An.

The six mercenaries, including Nami, moved into their places. Xi Wei was on the alert as he silently stood in the center of the magic array with Xia An.

Once the magic-infused blood had been dripped onto the array, it started making a thin buzzing sound, and then emitted a black ray. The three people in the array were engulfed, and then Xia An, Xi Wei and Zeno disappeared.

Only the six horrified mercenaries were left behind, and they found themselves unable to move. The magic array seemed to have produced some sort of tentacles that bound them tightly in place, and it was uncontrollably sucking out their blood in order to maintain the array’s operation.

Nami’s face was desperate and she mumbled the words, “Black magic.”

However, everything that was happening outside had nothing to do with Xi Wei. After being enveloped in darkness, the three of them appeared in a closed hallway. At each end of the hall, some kind of ancient magic stone lamp burned silently. This path seemed to continue past the light, its depths and direction unknown.

To Zeno’s horror, the corners of Xia An’s mouth lifted into a sinister smile.

However, they could not resist him; Xia An apparently possessed powerful magical abilities. The protagonist, at his current level, could not contend with him.

Xia An walked leisurely along the pathway. From time to time, from the depths of the walkway, they could hear a deep groaning sound puncture the silence. It sounded like a trapped beast.

Finally, the hallway they were in opened up into a stone chamber. There were many magic stone lamps placed within the room, and the lights all shone on the ground within the room’s center.

Looking at the place where the light gathered, they saw a man. Many large chains bound almost his entire body, and his clothing had long decayed with age. Nothing else covered him, and from time to time a deep and low gasp for breath was issued from his mouth. The noises they heard in the passageway were certainly from him.

Xia An, ignoring Zeno’s struggles, slowly walked over to the man with scarlet eyes and stopped in front of him. He kneeled down and spoke in a strange language, “Plague demon. For bringing catastrophe to the world in the First Era you were sealed away, but I finally found you.”

The plague demon’s voice was hoarse as he asked, “Human, do you want to release me?”

“I believe that after being sealed away for five thousand years, you should not be as stupid as you were in the First Era.”

The demon gazed at the ‘blind man’ with his scarlet eyes, as if to judge the credibility of his words. However, he was sealed away for so long that he was willing to believe the only person he had seen in five thousand years. “If you can free me, I, the plague demon Resheph2, am willing to form a contract with you that will give you a portion of the power of the plague demons.”

“No, you misunderstand,” Xia An rejected the proposal, “I only need you to make a contract agreeing that you will never hurt me, and then abide by two of my conditions.”

The plague demon gasped for breath. The large chains restraining him had been embedded down to his marrow. They tormented him constantly, making it difficult for him to think clearly. So it was that the demon that was sealed for five thousand years agreed to such conditions in exchange for his freedom.

Upon completion of the contract, Xia An grabbed one of Zeno’s hands, pulled out a sharp dagger and swiftly drew it down his wrist, leaving a bright red line of blood behind. The blood flowed down onto the chains and was quickly absorbed. Little by little, the chains seemed to squirm, and pulled away from Resheph.

“Human, what do you want me to do?”

“First thing, have the boy behind me catch your plague, and second, spread your plague to Ye Sa City near this mountain.”

Xia An neatly put forward his demands, and these requirements were clearly in line with the wishes of the plague demon. He merely raised his hand and then disappeared from the stone chamber.

Xi Wei and Zeno were unable to understand this dialogue and found themselves completely at a loss. Despite that, they both understood one thing; the so-called treasure within the mountain certainly did not exist. Xia An’s journeys up the mountain to find treasure were probably a cover to search for this chained man. For some unknown reason, it seemed he needed Zeno’s blood.

When the unchained man disappeared, Xia An spoke to Zeno, “Little guy, your Baba is sick. Will you save him?”

Zeno felt an inexplicable strangeness. His family’s protagonist was well, how could he get sick? Out of fear of the boss, he took a careful look at Xi Wei’s face and found that it seemed to be shrouded in a layer of black gas.

Xia An turned to Xi Wei once again and said, “That man was the plague demon who was sealed in the First Era because of the mass epidemic he caused. I regret to tell you that you were unfortunate enough to have contracted that plague, but you are also lucky. This child’s blood is the best medicine to cure your illness. You only need to drink a small cup of his blood everyday without stopping and you won’t die.”

It was truly a strong temptation to drink Zeno’s blood so he would not die.

Xia An held Zeno’s arm close to Xi Wei’s face so that the unhealed wound was right in front of him, then said temptingly, “Drink, it’ s only a small mouthful. He won’t die and you won’t die.”

Zeno’s arm was in pain from the man’s grip on it, and his heart was full of contradictions. If it could save Xi Wei, Zeno would stand losing any amount of blood, but as a result their relationship would no longer be a purely adoptive relationship. Zeno would become a portable antidote for Xi Wei.

Such a future was not what he wanted for them.

Xi Wei was silent. Gradually, he brought his head towards the garish red wound and stuck his tongue out to lick it slowly. Zeno felt only a tingling sensation on his wrist, and then the soft, warm touch of Xi Wei’s tongue. However, he only licked it and did not suck.

Once again a ruthless, cruel smile showed on Xia An’s face, and at that moment Xi Wei looked up with a trace of blood on his mouth and asked without hesitation, “Who are you?

Xia An was surprised for a moment and his complexion became malevolent, “What did you say?”

Xi Wei continued to ask without any expression, “You aren’t Xia An, who are you?”

Who would have thought that this question seemed to poke at a sore spot for Xia An. He threw Zeno out of his arms like he was crazy. Xi Wei barely caught Zeno, and the two fell to the ground together, watching the boss’s madness in horror.

Xia An screamed, “What do you know? What do you know! I am Xia An! I am Xia An! That weak and incompetent fellow was not Xia An. Why was he so tranquil? I wanted him to see that this world was ugly and disgusting—that even you are selfish and stupid. He was merely a shadow born from my imagination, and now I don’t need him. He should disappear forever!”

The amount of information contained in his words was a bit too large. Zeno took a while to digest all he said and it caused him to revisit his past speculations that this youth had split personalities. Listening to ‘this’ Xia An’s tone, it seemed that the original boss was his true self, and the beautiful, shy teenager was just a secondary personality. Everything the boss did seemed to have the purpose of annihilating that personality.

Xia An seemed insane, and then suddenly calmed down and said, “Xia An, I will not disappear. You want to use Xi Wei and Zeno to make me desperate, but on the contrary, I see the things I need from them. I will always be there restrict you and fight against you.”

Qiqi was quietly laying on its tummy during its master’s strange performance. He did not understand the concept of a split personality and simply started meowing because he wanted to get in on the fun. Anyways, since both personalities were fond of Qiqi, the final owner of the body made no difference to the cat.

Xia An smiled in Zeno and Xi Wei’s direction, “You don’t need to be troubled. As long as you drink his blood two or three times, the plague will be treated.”

It was obviously the secondary personality, the kind and good Xia An, that stood in front of them.

This was the last time Xi Wei and Zeno saw Xia An in Ye Sa City. At that moment, the rock chamber shook intensely and collapsed, and they all fainted.

The Fourth Era of the Hong Yue Continent, in 1746: Ye Sa City, a place synonymous with evil and exile, was attacked by a 5,000-year-old plague demon. The entire city’s population almost died, and the handful of survivors fled. From then on, the city disappeared from the mainland.

Ye Sa City had become a relic of the past.



So. This chapter almost ended me. Soooo long and hard. But!! Lots happened! This marks the end of Volume 1, and Zeno has finally stopped being….a toddler. The author doesn’t have many notes, but noted that this was finally at the beginning of the ‘original’ novel’s plot.

I intend to do two chapters of RAAS before I come back to this novel. They’re normal length. Let’s call it a Canada Day Special! I also promise I’m still picking away at the last chapter of SP.

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  1. Idiom that means a good time to go to war. Somehow a few parts of this chapter don’t really seem to flow together nicely. 
  2. In the pirated raws I found, the demon gives his name here. However, in the novel I purchased from jjwxc, there was no name given at times, and a name at others (弗利休斯的). It’s long and awkward no matter how I do it, so I did my usual. Played with it. The following is an excerpt from https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/demons-and-demonology and the basis for my choice of a {completely unrelated} name. RESHEPH is another major god of the Canaanite religion who becomes a demonic figure in biblical literature. Resheph is known as the god of plague over much of the ancient Near East, in texts and artistic representations spanning more than a millennium from 1850 B.C. to 350 B.C.E. 

38 thoughts on “PUP Volume 1 Chapter 28

  1. Thank you for the chapter!

    We’re finally at the beginning of the novel!
    Now Zeno can finally use his “cheat” as a reader! 😁

    Ehm, on another note, I’m a bit confused about what is said about his name in this chapter…
    Is Zeno the MC’s original name or was it the original name of the baby? (My memory sucks)
    It was said that the fairy gave him that name but he’s been called that during the whole novel, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s both. It is his original name, but it also happened to be the name of something that the elf chose to name him after.

      So he was super thankful because he got to ‘keep’ his name.

      Like

  2. I actually ‘finished’ reading the raws. (And oh god did that killed me! The most garish MTL I’ve read.)
    This is a really great turning point of the story, haha. I know this story did turn ‘boring’ for some, because it isn’t full of fluff, smut, or lovey-doveyness between MC and ML. However~ it really makes you anticipate. Ooh I’m getting giddy for more. Haha I won’t spoil tho. (God, I can’t even remember half of what I’ve read. It’s that terrible!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. It’s a really good thing I love this story because it’s such a pain to get through haha!! That’s good news you’ve shared though. I’m glad!

      Like

    1. I think that Xia An was trying to break the positive spirit of his secondary “good” personality to get rid of it. That personality seems to like the two boys so he wants to show that they’re not as good as they seem. I think.

      Bad Xia An wants to be the only Xia An. It’s possible we see him again. Maybe.

      Like

  3. Time skip you have arrived…! I’m only a little sad that our favorite little bun will be no more; he’ll be a big bun now. Big enough for Xi Wei to eat? I guess we’ll find out. Xia An, though. Bro what a tragedy. Will he be the ultimate villain or just a minor one? Also what heck did Hua Li want in this cursed mountain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Zeno is a super delightful bun 😊. I don’t think he’s edible yet though.

      Also, I don’t actually know what this queen is up to so I’m very curious as well!!

      Thanks for reading.

      Like

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