Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 475
Chapter 475: An Unusual Holy Maiden
When Madam Li noticed how reserved Yun Ruoyan was acting, she thought that Yun Ruoyan had been scared by the conversation between her and Huang Chuan. “Actually, the holy maiden isn’t as scary as they say, but she does have a bad temper. Remember: when dealing with the holy maiden, you must be patient and meticulous. You can’t act fragile in front of her, and you absolutely cannot cry if she slaps you.”
As Madam Li instructed her in the etiquette of dealing with the holy maiden, they walked to the core of the silver dragon castle and into an elegant white palace. “This is the holy maiden’s residence. Follow me.”
She walked forward quickly, and Yun Ruoyan followed behind her. The palace was unusually big and had several courtyards. Yun Ruoyan wasn’t very good with directions, and she gradually became lost.
They encountered quite a number of patrolling guards along the way. Just like the servants from before, they moved in a particularly orderly and soundless fashion, clearly having received exceptional training.
“The holy maiden’s inside. Wait here and let me enter first.” Madam Li stopped Yun Ruoyan outside a rather large room. Yun Ruoyan glanced all around her, now completely unaware of where she was.
“Madam Li, how many servants have you tried to bring me now? They’re all useless, and all they do is rile me up! Madam Li, you’re as useless as they are!”
Just then, from within the room came a lovely female voice—and yet her words were coarse and boorish.
“Goodness!” Madam Li lowered her voice. “Don’t let the elder hear you speaking like that, or my life will be forfeit!”
“I know, I know. I’d only speak like that in front of you, and I won’t let him overhear me.” The holy maiden had initially sounded furious, but now she seemed to be giggling. “Alright, Madam Li, bring my new servant here. It’s been quite a few days since I had someone to play with.”
“Alright, alright. Please go easy on her, though—if you chase even this one away, I don’t know where I’d find you a new servant.”
“I understand, Madam, stop fussing!”
From this conversation, it seemed apparent that the holy maiden was somewhat childish, and whether or not she would get along with her depended solely on her taste. If the holy maiden disliked her, then she would have to leave immediately. I thought that holy maidens were supposed to be as cold as Empress Xue Tong, but this holy maiden seems just like a spoiled little girl.
Madam Li left the room, then beckoned for her to enter.
Yun Ruoyan schooled her expression, lowered her head, clasped her hands, and walked in. She had learned this from the servants that she had encountered along the way into the interior of the castle, and she thought that she had done a good job of mimicking them.
When Madam Li saw her posture, she praised her inwardly. She looked dim-witted at first, but it’s good to see she can pick things up quickly—but that won’t be enough. Best to get a few more substitutes, too.
Yun Ruoyan heard Madam Li sigh, but she didn’t know why. She sucked in a breath and prepared for her first encounter with the holy maiden.
The interior of the chamber was even more exquisitely decorated than the exterior, with high-grade spirit crystals lining the walls of the chamber. The vaulted ceiling was decorated with jade, gold, and other precious gemstones, along with a few ornaments Yun Ruoyan couldn’t name but which were clearly valuable on first glance.
However, the holy maiden was nowhere to be seen. Yun Ruoyan stood with Madam Li in the empty chamber, her gaze still lowered.
“Holy Maiden, I’ve brought you your new servant. Will you come out to have a look at her?”
“I can see her. She’s pretty ugly, and I’m very satisfied.” Although Yun Ruoyan couldn’t see the holy maiden, she could clearly hear her voice. “Madam Li, leave her behind. You can leave now.”
“Yes, Holy Maiden.” Madam Li replied. She glanced again at Yun Ruoyan, sighed, then walked away.
“What’s your name?” the holy maiden asked, after Madam Li walked out of the chamber.
“I’m Yun Ruoyan, Holy Maiden,” Yun Ruoyan replied.
“How audacious!” she suddenly shouted. A regular servant would likely have been quailing on the ground. Yun Ruoyan had been surprised by the sudden shout, but it wasn’t sufficient to scare her.
“Holy Maiden, may I ask how I have offended you?” Yun Ruoyan replied calmly.
“You don’t know how you’ve been audacious?” The holy maiden seemed to find Yun Ruoyan’s ignorance funny.
“I’m afraid not,” Yun Ruoyan replied.
“You—alright, I’ll teach you,” the holy maiden continued. “You need to address yourself more deferentially when speaking with me!”
Yun Ruoyan opened her eyes wide in shock. “Your humble servant thanks you for your instruction.”
“Hehe.” The holy maiden suddenly laughed coldly. “Instruction won’t be sufficient. It looks like you need some punishment!”
Yun Ruoyan frowned, realizing what Madam Li had meant by ‘going easy on her’.
“Please wait, Holy Mai—” Before Yun Ruoyan could finish, she heard the whistling of the wind, only to raise her head to see gleaming arrows being shot out from the four walls. She had hardly expected to find such traps in the holy maiden’s personal chambers. The exterior of the chamber was clearly heavily guarded, so why were these traps necessary? Who was she guarding against—or did she have them installed just for fun?
Yun Ruoyan didn’t have time to contemplate the answer to these questions. She somersaulted into the air, then dodged the arrows that flew at her. When the first wave of arrows had passed her by, she easily landed back on the ground. “Your humble servant has received your punishment, Holy Maiden.”
“Not bad. Try this!”
“Mistress, she’s going to start a fire,” Qiuqiu suddenly said. “It’s a particularly vicious fire, and I’d recommend countering it with your own flame, Mistress.”
Yun Ruoyan’s fire-attuned spiritual techniques had been taught to her by the demonic dragon forefather himself, and her attacks were far stronger than they had been. Given the meteoric rise in her cultivation, it wouldn’t be a problem to handle this holy maiden.
However, she couldn’t actually fight her. After all, she was here to please the holy maiden and to keep an eye on her. Furthermore, Madam Li had explicitly warned her against using spiritual energy, or there would be dire consequences.
Yun Ruoyan guessed that the silver dragon elder had laid some sort of array around this chamber to prevent unauthorized use of spiritual energy. Before she was certain of the consequences, she didn’t dare use her spiritual techniques.
“Please spare me, Holy Maiden!” Yun Ruoyan dropped her earlier persona, curled into a ball, and knelt on the ground.
“Hmm?” The holy maiden made a confused croon, then began to laugh. “I thought you were a bold servant, but you’re just as timid as the rest! I won’t go easy on you. If you can take this second punishment, then I’ll let you stay.”
“Mistress, it’s coming from your left!” Qiuqiu piped up. Yun Ruoyan blindly followed Qiuqiu’s instructions and rolled to the right.
With a hiss, a tongue of flame licked the spot where Yun Ruoyan had been standing. Just like the arrows from before, it had been shot out from the wall to her left. Undoubtedly, there were also water- and poison-spraying traps. Although they wouldn’t cause serious injuries, it would have been difficult for regular cultivators to dodge the blows, and it was clear how the servants before her had been driven away.
“Qiuqiu, I need your help,” Yun Ruoyan said, after dodging another tongue of flame.
“Alright, Mistress, what do you want me to do?”
Yun Ruoyan explained her plan. When Qiuqiu told her where the next flame trap would be triggered, Yun Ruoyan didn’t dodge. Instead, she defended herself with the hand which had her silver bracelet on it.
What’s she planning? The holy maiden, who was in a hidden corner of the room, hesitated when she saw Yun Ruoyan standing still when she could easily have dodged the blow—and then her eyes went wide.
The flame that shot out of the wall was actually absorbed by Yun Ruoyan’s palm! The holy maiden was very surprised by the sight, because she hadn’t ever seen its like. It was easy enough to release spiritual flame, but being able to absorb spiritual flame that wasn’t one’s own?
While the holy maiden was still stunned, Yun Ruoyan rushed to where the hidden trap was located behind the wall, waited for the brief moment when the trap revealed itself to strike her, aimed directly at the nozzle, and released the spiritual flame that Qiuqiu had absorbed within the silver bracelet.
1. In the sense that “I’m Yun Ruoyan, Holy Maiden.” should be replaced by “Your humble servant’s name is Yun Ruoyan, Holy Maiden.” This is how the servants have been speaking in the novel, but I chose to simplify the dialogue in the English translation. For the purposes of this chapter, I’ll use the “your humble servant” construction to identify when Yun Ruoyan is speaking politely. Incidentally, I have no idea why Yun Ruoyan would disguise her appearance but still go by her actual name.