Yu Yanlin did not show any signs of alarm when his name was called upon. He only slowly tilted his head toward the Immortal of a Thousand Blossoms, unconcerned. "My opinion is irrelevant."
"Exactly!" Zhang Wang perked up and bounded over to his supposed lover, "You're the only neutral person here, no? You're unbiased! So tell me, who's the real liar here?"
"That is not difficult to figure out who the liar is among them," he tilted his head up, as though scenting the air. "But me being unbiased is not totally true now is it?" Yu Yanlin shrugged easily as he leaned back on one leg.
"Hm," Zhang Wang narrowed his eyes at the two women. Both of which were sending them death glares. He was no fool either and did not mistake how suspicious his Shijie was acting. Though who wouldn't be curious about the demon king's deduction? Zhang Wang was still trying to nitpick this mysterious person's brain after all. "So what do you suggest we do, darling mine?"
"Zhang Wang!" Chu Changying shrilled and she stomped, "How could you do this to me?"
The Princess of the Steppes only watched him, expectation dancing in her large eyes.
The Immortal of a Thousand Blossoms evaluated the two and put on an air of nonchalance, arms crossed with a casual smile. "What? I'm not even doing anything. Aren't you the one making accusations now, my dear Shijie?"
"Indeed," Yu Yanlin agreed, "We have done nothing. That does not mean that lying is necessary. I am not bothered that you are a thief, Miss Chu."
A bright red color instantly crawled up her neck as she jolted backward, shocked by the blatant admittance of her crime. Shame shook her to the marrow. "I'm not a thief!" She denied vehemently to no avail.
Opposite her, the Princess of the Steppes lifted her chin and held back any more tears from coming loose, "Yes precisely! She is a thief. I demand for what is mine be returned to me. And let my Sansan go! She's innocent!" Confidently, she held her hand out with expectation.
Though she was unaware that the person with whom she was trying to reason with was the one and only demon king who did not care for righteousness.
Yu Yanlin tilted his head, his grasp around the bird only tightening, causing it to screech in panic, "Just because she is a thief, what makes you believe what you have lost will be returned? I plan to make a good meal out of this bird. Your feelings do not concern me. Our hunger, however, does."
Just like that, the poor little Princess was sent reeling again, her eyes glistening, "Y-You demon! You devil!"
'You got that right', Zhang Wang thought absently.
Luckily for her, even if Yu Yanlin's heart was as cold as the arctic poles, Zhang Wang wasn't nearly as cruel. "Now, now," he poked Yu Yanlin's arm teasingly, trying to incite a surprised reaction. "If we're the ones in the wrong I don't think that's the proper reaction now is it?"
"The proper reaction?" Yu Yanlin asked.
"Well yeah. Seems a bit cruel, don't you think?"
But Yu Yanlin only tilted his head, understanding escaping him. Like this, he was almost a little cute, barring the fact this was precisely the attitude this demon king probably faced atrocities with.
Zhang Wang cleared his throat. He reached into his robes and took out the lacquered box. "Is this what you were seeking, Princess?"
The two women jolted at the same time. "Yes!" The Princess of the Steppes exclaimed, her twin braids swaying to her excited childish movements.
Chu Changying however reacted with fury in her eyes. "What are you doing!" She stomped over. Yu Yanlin, sensing her hostility quickly switched places with Zhang Wang, putting himself between her path. The female cultivator wasn't going to approach carelessly when that evil bird was still in the blind man's hand. She could only grit her teeth hatefully at them.
Maybe Zhang Wang should have been a little kinder to her, rebuilt the bond and friendship that had slowly grown distant over time. And it was not the first time that Zhang Wang dipped his fingers into trouble for Chu Changying's sake. But risking their lives just to get one Sikong Ren something as silly as a birthday present seemed a little far, even for Zhang Wang's tastes. He liked to believe that he still had some semblance of reason in his air-filled brain.
The Princess of the Steppes, excited, began to bounce over. Her fingers reached out for the box but Zhang Wang teasingly lifted it just out of her reach.
Princess Aiyunbayar stopped. She hopped on her tiptoes. But even with a few hops, she could not hope to reach the box that Zhang Wang held above her head with his superior height.
Amused by her little jumps, a smirk graced his features. "Before I give it back though, I just want to know what's so great about this jewel of yours?"
The Princess huffed, exasperated. "It's a debugger!"
Zhang Wang thought he heard wrong.
When he tried to ask again, Yu Yanlin cut into the conversation by tapping on Zhang Wang's shoulder.
"What is it?"
"It appears we have let our guards down."
The Princess snapped her head to him, "What are you talking about?"
The ground rumbled in response. This time, it shook violently, knocking them off their balance.
"Look what you've done!"Chu Changying huffed angrily, "This is all your fault!"
Who was she accusing anyway? Zhang Wang didn't know. Was it not her fault that they were all in this situation? Unfortunately, Chu Changying was not the type of person who can be reasoned with when she was flustered or annoyed.
"Zhang Wang," Yu Yanlin said, quickly letting go of the eagle in his hand without a second thought. The beast fled, leaving behind a flurry of feathers. Zhang Wang's reaction was not fast enough to register what happened after.
He only knew that Yu Yanlin had snaked an arm around his belly and pulled him back. There was dust and debris. Chu Changying's cries were merged with whistles.
A string of curses left Zhang Wang's lips as he squinted through the debris, his back pressed against a solid chest. But when his vision finally focused, the cultivator regretted ever opening them in the first place.
Right in front of his face was an endless black tunnel with spirals of serrated teeth coating the pulsing inner walls of the creature.
The circle of teeth contracted and expanded, the innards churned like some sort of living, breathing meat grinder.
Zhang Wang was only partially successful at suppressing the horrified scream, coming out as a strangled wail.
"Do not worry," Yu Yanlin said, as disgustingly unflappable as always.
The overgrown meat grinder-worm shrank back for a moment. There was light coming from above before arrows assaulted the creature's body, bright explosions boomed on its fat serpentine body. But despite its soft, flexible-looking flesh, the arrows failed to pierce its skin, the burns that painted over its beige body were minor at best.
And just as the worm contracted, and then struck out at lightning speed.
Zhang Wang could barely follow the speed at which Yu Yanlin's hand shot out, catching the worm just below its jaw.
Just like that, with a single arm, he threw the worm into the opposite cliffside. A thunderous boom assaulted them with crashing rocks as the worms wiggled and struggled, burrowing into the wall.
Phew! Sorry for the late update I uh... I slept in today by accident...welp.
I hope you enjoy! Lololol.
Even if our demon king can be cute, let's not forget he was the demon king, okay? ehehehe.
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