Chapter 48 – Eating Fish Together
The cold and rainy sky was filled with thick, inky clouds high above them, slowly churning, as if they were opening a door into the unknown.
The expressions on the faces of the people who managed to escape from the secret realm were quite ugly, especially when they looked at Song Jingyi who was being carried by Lin Shidi. Blue veins twitched on their foreheads and they could barely contain their desire to kill him right away.
Chu Yu quietly glanced at the others’ faces, and his heart was filled with a dark pleasure.
He could guess how complicated they all felt right now.
They had been forced to return without having achieved anything. One person had crippled himself. In the end, they were almost killed by a fellow disciple of the same sect. Most of all those people who followed closely behind Song Jingyi everyday had nothing to say. When they had been rescued by Xie Xi, the expressions on their faces were wonderful to behold.
This mission had gone really smoothly. Song Jingyi’s spirit veins had been crippled but Song Yuanzhuo wouldn’t even be able to say anything. After all, they had all these people as witnesses. No one who had been almost killed by Song Jingyi would dare to make unfounded accusations against Chu Yu to help Song Jingyi now.
After they returned, anyone would be able to tell at a glance whether it was Song Jingyi and Song Yuanzhuo or Chu Yu and Xie Xi who had fallen upon unlucky times.
However, Chu Yu simply wanted to let Song Jingyi cripple himself and become useless trash, not to create a demon. Song Yuanzhuo is up to something suspicious1 but he probably wouldn’t do anything in secret. In the end, regarding what Song Jingyi will do, it could only depend on other people.
“Shixiong…” Xie Xi’s soft voice came from behind him. Chu Yu turned around to look at him. Chu Yu hadn’t noticed when Xie Xi had managed to place himself behind Chu Yu again.
Without waiting for Xie Xi to come up with an excuse, Chu Yu smiled and said: “Are you tired? Or is your spiritual energy exhausted? Shixiong will take you with him. You can lean on me but don’t let your hands wander.”
After a pause, Chu Yu added, “You can’t let your mouth wander either.”
Xie Xi smirked then reached out to embrace Chu Yu’s waist, breathing in deeply to savor the fragrance of his body.
It was early morning when they had set out and it was already nighttime when they returned to Qing Tu. The day’s battles had already ended a while ago. The demonic and the righteous cultivators had a tacit understanding that at the end of each day they would put aside their weapons and return to their respective camps to rest and wait for the beginning of the next battle.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the night was guaranteed to be peaceful at all. On the contrary, it was very likely to be the prime time to carry out a sneak attack.
Chu Yu spoke a few more words to the Chu family disciples as he told them to go return to camp by themselves since the day was almost over. If he were to return to the Chu family camp to rest, he would only be roused from his sleep by Xie Xi at midnight. Therefore, it would be better for him to stay at the Tian Yuan Sect.
The remaining senior disciples from the other peaks talked it over for a while then suddenly looked at Chu Yu. After a lot of shilly-shallying, they said: “Chu Shixiong, concerning Master Song… this matter regarding Song Jingyi, you…”
Chu Yu knew that this group of people wanted him to go with them to settle the matter so he coldly interrupted: “You should solve the problem by yourselves, I will not interfere..”
He had merely thrown out some bait in front of Song Jingyi. Song Jingyi was the one who took the bait and sought his own death through his actions. Chu Yu had achieved what he set out to do and didn’t intend to intervene again. Besides, everyone knows that Chu Yu has a grudge against Song Jingyi. At a time like this, it’s bad form to kick a man when he’s down.
However,… it would be nice to go with them and take a look at the exciting scene that was sure to follow.
The elders of the Tian Yuan Sect were sitting at the lobby. Even Song Yuanzhuo, who was said to be seriously injured and hardly able to get out of bed, had come out. Lin Shidi walked in front of the others, carrying the half-dead, unmoving Song Jingyi into the lobby. He threw Song Jingyi down on the floor then walked around behind his teacher, bending over as he whispered something to him.
The other disciples followed his lead.
Song Yuanzhuo had been leisurely having a cup of tea. As soon as he saw Song Jingyi, who was lying paralyzed on the ground, the hot tea squirted out of his mouth. He then quickly got up, lifted Song Jingyi, and put his hand on his wrist while holding his disciple in his arms. The expression on Song Yuanzhuo’s face immediately changed into something too horrible to look at.
Chu Yu secretly exclaimed in admiration: Full marks for this facial expression!
He and Xie Xi silently watched Song Jingyi before walking behind Lu Qingan. Lu Qingan, with his normal look of indifference on his face, looked over at Chu Yu. Though Lu Qingan didn’t ask out loud, Chu Yu knew what he wanted to know. After thinking about it for a moment, Chu Yu whispered, “Shidi was hit by a Heavenly Thunder Egg.”
Lu Qingan’s eyebrows knit together and he when he looked at Song Jingyi, his eyes flashed with faint killing intent.
Song Yuanzhuo, held Song Jingyi. In his grief, tears overflowed from his eyes. He pounded his hand on a table for a long time, the wind from his palm strikes also carried a killing intent. Angrily he said: “Who did this?!”
The other elders had already listened to their own disciple’s explanation. They all looked at each other then at the one who had lost his head disciple. When they heard Song Yuanzhuo speak, they sneered and kept silent, indifferent.
When there was no response, Song Yuanzhuo’s face grew darker and he looked behind Lu Qingan: “Xie Xi, you were the team leader. Why is Yi-er like this?”
The expression on Lu Qingan’s face was cold: “If Song Shixiong wants to know, listen to your elders.”
Then he rose and left with Chu Yu and Xie Xi following close behind him.
Shizun had no great desire to watch the lively scene that was sure to follow. Neither did Chu Yu want to stop his Shizun from leaving. Chu Yu just looked at Lin Shidi silently, hoping that this junior would properly add fuel to the fire and make Song Jingyi’s fate even worse. It would be best if he could paint the scene in such a way to get Song Yuanzhuo into trouble and drag him down from the position of sect master.
Lu Qingan was somewhat more energetic than normal. Sweeping his sleeves, he ushered Chu Yu and his second disciple into the small courtyard.
Third Shidi was squatting down scratching out circles on the ground in his boredom. When he saw the three people who had come back, he hurriedly spat out the thing he had been chewing, a bit of grass of unknown origin. He threw away the twig in his hand and jumped up happily: “Da Shixiong, Second Shixiong, you’re back…”
He hadn’t finished speaking yet when his voice was frozen by the cold look in Xie Xi’s eyes.
Third Shidi was killed in action.2
All day long he had to face the (truly) noble, cool, elegant, and magnificent Shizun, along with the (pretending to be) noble, cool, elegant, and magnificent Da Shixiong. Not to mention, behind Da Shixiong’s back was the noble, cool, elegant, and magnificent Second Shixiong. Third Shidi felt that today was still a very exhausting day…
Now that they were back in the courtyard, Lu Qingan was no longer such a hurry. He calmly turned around, stared at Xie Xi and opened his thin lips: “Take off your clothes.”
Chu Yu: “…”
Chu Yu: “…???”
Shizun, you were in such a hurry to come back because you wanted to make Xie Xi take off his clothes?
Xie Xi pursed his lips. His face had paled a little, perhaps because he felt intimidated by Lu Qingan: “… Shizun, I’m fine.”
Lu Qingan was concise and direct in his speech: “Take it off.”
Xie Xi had no alternative but to yield: “Master, will you permit Da Shixiong and Third to withdraw?”
Lu Qingan said in a respectful tone of voice: “Xi-er, not wanting people to worry about you is a good thing, but if all the people unexpectedly are already worried your good intentions will just go to waste.” He seemed to think of something and closed his eyes, “Not asking for something in return is not necessarily good.”
Chu Yu was mystified by these words.3 Xie Xi nodded thoughtfully then glanced at Third Shidi: “Leave.”
Third Shidi had already realized4 that he was going to be kicked out and obediently left the room.
Xie Xi glanced at Chu Yu then took off his robe.
He had replaced his robe on their way back but the lining was still a little shabby. Chu Yu’s gaze was drawn to Xie Xi as he slowly took off his robe. His complexion was visibly pale.
Chu Yu was facing Xie Xi’s front and couldn’t see his back’s condition but when he saw Lu Qingan’s brow wrinkle and the expression on his face become more solemn, Chu Yu’s heartbeat sped up. Swallowing nervously, he prepared himself mentally before quickly walking round behind Xie Xi.
…The flesh was clean and unmarred???
I was only imagining badly mutilated skin???
Shizun, what are you doing?
Chu Yu, silently staring at Xie Xi’s beautiful back and supple waist, said slowly: “…Shizun?”
Lu Qingan was silent. He raised his hand and patted Xie Xi on the back. Suddenly, blue light flashed behind Xie Xi. Lightning-shaped patterns flowed along his back, flashing a cold, electric light as they slowly following the path the master had traced.
“What is this?” Lu Qingan whispered: “When a person is hit by the Heavenly Thunder Eggs, his spirit veins will be damaged. This is the sign.”
Chu Yu was shocked: A cultivator’s spirit veins are the root of his power. If his spirit veins are damaged then the protagonist would have no future!
Lu Qingan continued solemnly: “But repairing his spirit veins is not impossible. There is an Immortal Spring in the Ming River past Qing Tu, which can mend the damaged spirit veins. Yu-er, you can take Xi Er to the Ming River immediately. Come back when the pattern on his back has disappeared.”
Chu Yu was still badly shaken. He hurriedly nodded his head and blinked his eyes, hoping that Lu Qingan would give him some more hints.
Lu Qingan thought for a moment then nodded his head, saying: “I will help deal with the Chu family, you don’t have to worry about it.”
Lu Qingan is a decisive person whose actions are as powerful as thunder and swift as the wind. This guarantee was rock-solid.
If the protagonist is crippled, the novel would be completely ruined…
Despite his desire to cut down Song Jingyi, Chu Yu resisted the urge to kill. Nodding his agreement, he went to help Xie Xi put his robe back on. He gently stroked the child’s head, distressed.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Xie Xi had been silently listening to the conversation between the two. The expression on Xie Xi’s face was a bit strange. After a pause, he took Chu Yu in his arms and murmured: “I didn’t want Shixiong to fear for me.”
Chu Yu almost burst into tears.
This spoiled child who likes to throw tantrums and act cute and clingy, but really he is like a loyal dog who is good at understanding others. Even if one searched throughout the whole country holding a lantern, one wouldn’t be able to find another like this kind of child. To be able to raise such a child is good. As for him being bent, it’s also good.
Thinking of Chu Sheng, Chu Yu decided to leave a letter behind. When he had finished, after thinking about it some more, he solemnly wrote a few more lines saying “I must quickly go on a rescue mission with my Shidi. Big Brother, stay calm, don’t overreact and rush to the Ming River.”
Chu Yu then activated Xin Sheng and left with Xie Xi.
Lu Qingan looked at the letter twice, quite calmly. In the cool moonlight, his cold, solemn face grew colder, but then his lips suddenly curved.
Glancing around at the cold and quiet courtyard, his smile gradually faded. His hand unconsciously touched the Bu Heng sword at his waist. He was in a daze when all of a sudden a familiar distinguished voice suddenly sounded in his ear.
“Tsk, tsk.5 I haven’t seen you in many years. Yet you still like to scam people?”
Lu Qingan’s face froze.
The voice was still laughing: “Eh? It seems like I don’t know you yet still inexplicably I feel that you’re an amazing scammer. Looking at your little disciple, he was hoodwinked by you and made to run around in circles.”
Lu Qingan’s fingers that were holding Bu Heng’s hilt turned white and his lips trembled. It took some time before he was able to speak. Trembling, he said: “… Shen Nian?”
That dying soul he had been nurturing in his body has finally awakened from its deep sleep.
Chu Yu flew away from Qing Tu to the Ming River with Xie Xi without resting even once. His eyes almost turned red with fatigue.
Xie Xi felt guilty but was too embarrassed at inconveniencing Chu Yu to say anything. He could only rub against Chu Yu, weakly calling out: “Shixiong…”
Chu Yu touched stroked Xie Xi’s head and said in a grave tone of voice: “Is it very painful?”
Xie Xi froze. He was so greedy for this gentleness that he couldn’t bear to let go of it. He tightened his arms around Chu Yu’s waist and muttered: “It hurts alot.”
For ten years Xie Xi had suffered innumerable mental tortures. Day and night he would try to think of of countless ways to keep Chu Yu by his side, even going to the extreme of imprisoning him regardless of whether he wanted it. Now it was so easy for him to get everything that he wanted that he almost dared not to believe that it was true.
It was simply all so beautiful that it was as though he had entered into the illusion in the Mausoleum Ruins again.
Chu Yu thought about it for a moment. Looking down at the mountains and rivers farbelow his flying sword, then he came to a conclusion and said, “Shall we go down and rest?”
Xie Xi nodded quickly.
Along the way from Qing Tu, he had been urging Chu Yu to rest, but Chu Yu’s troubled heart had caused him to continue without stopping to sleep or have a rest.
The Ming River was south of Qing Tu and ran alongside that territory. It was a river that was not too big nor too small either. Chu Yu, carrying Xie Xi, coincidentally landed near a small town. The town was practically empty now since most of the population had left their homes against their will to retreat behind the front lines of the war.
Chu Yu wandered around town for a long time before he finally came across someone. It was an old man. Probably, because of his age, he hadn’t wanted to leave his native soil. Wrapped in thick clothes, the old man was hobbling along the road.
Chu Yu hurried forward and asked about the Ming River’s Immortal Spring.
Squinting, the old man looked both of them up and down. His voice was hoarse with old age: “My second little brother told me that the hot spring should be over yonder at the top of that mountain.”
As Chu Yu looked in the direction he pointed, he saw a mountain in the distance, the peak was covered with mist, and he wondered how high it was.
“That mountain is enveloped in clouds and mist as well as ice and snow all year round. It’s the storm season right now and again and again violent storms will rage. If the two of you want to go there, you must be careful. I heard that previously there was a cultivator who went up there but he was swept away by a storm and died. Ah, the cultivator was smashed to pieces, you two must be careful…”
Chu Yu smiled and thanked him then took Xie Xi with him as they walked away from the town.
Xie Xi blinked and looked at the Chu Yu’s clean and handsome profile. Suddenly, his heart felt a little itchy and restless. He went over to Chu Yu and clung to him acting spoiled: “Shixiong, I’m hungry.”
Chu Yu cast a sidelong glance at him.
Xie Xi licked his lips. The tip of his tongue was bright red and he licked his red lips in an enticing manner: “I want to eat fish…”
Chu Yu paused for a moment then smiled: “Alright.”
Xie Xi’s eyes lit up. He was about to make his move when Chu Yu stepped in front of a river and looked inside the water. Chu Yu muttered something then swung his long sleeves.
There were a few explosions and suddenly several fish from the river hung suspended in the air above it.
“… Shixiong, what are you thinking of doing?” Xie Xi suddenly had a bad feeling about this.
Chu Yu slowly took out a fire talisman and turned to him while he calmly said: “Eat fish.”
- Haha, that’s not the sort of “eating fish” Shidi wanted, Da Shixiong!
- Oooh, so the cold-faced Shizun is actually a practiced liar? Nice, I wasn’t expecting that.
- I was in a kind of a rush so if there are any errors, please let me know. Thank you for reading.
- 心里有鬼 [xīn li yǒu guǐ] have an ulterior object in view; be up to some trick; harbor intentions that can’t bear daylight; have a bad [guilty] conscience
- 阵亡 [zhèn wáng] killed in action; fallen in battle
- 云里雾里 (yún lǐ wù lǐ) amidst the clouds and mist; (fig.) mystified; puzzled
- It’s bit funny that the word used for “understand/realize” is the same one for Buddhist enlightenment 觉悟 (jué wù). I was tempted to write “like a Buddha, Third Shidi had already been enlightened”
- 啧啧啧 – onomatopoeia of clicking one’s tongue