Chapter 55 – Don’t Play with Fire
Qing Tu was far from Yun Cuo.
Even after crossing the Jin River, they still had to traverse the wilderness. Xie Xi was worried about Chu Yu being jostled too much so they found a place to rest every two days. All along the way, Xie Xi pinched and caressed little Chu Yu to his heart’s content.
Chu Yu deeply regretted all the many liberties that he had taken when the protagonist was a shota. With an impassive face, he allowed the protagonist to play with him as much as he wanted. Anyway, with every passing day this child will get used to his current childlike appearance, therefore, it will eventually lose its novelty.
However, he hadn’t expected that when Xie Xi noticed that Chu Yu was not resisting, Xie Xi got even more excited and started to enjoy himself more and more. Chu Yu was thus hoist by his own petard. Though he was indignant, he was powerless to resist so he simply resigned himself to this treatment and proceeded to ignore it.1 Xie Xi then lifted him up and continued to tease him, trying to get a reaction.
Each of them used their ultimate skill and, as a consequence, each had to reap what they had sowed. Chu Yu’s face was rubbed and pinched until it was swollen and Xie Xi’s eyes turned red. In the end, Xie Xi lost.
Chu Yu was satisfied.
If he avoided thinking about the consequences, it was fun to see the protagonist so deflated.
Half a month had passed before they arrived at Yun Cuo. A snowstorm was raging. Snow and hail crashed against their faces like sand and pebbles. The moaning of the wind filled the air and there was no one in sight.
Although the demonic cultivators had discovered a top quality Lingshi (translucent crystals with spiritual energy trapped within) vein in Yun Cuo, there were too many people who wanted to use it and not enough crystals so it was impossible to satisfy all of them. In the end, the distribution of resources was uneven. Thus, when a top quality Lingshi vein was excavated, a great war broke out. With their last dying breath, they used up all their human and material resources to create one large array that locked in all of the spiritual energy near the Lingshi vein. The land that was enclosed in that large array was called “Ling Jing.”2 Outside of Ling Jing was a vast, desolate wilderness.
After a few days of traveling in the bleak outskirts of Yun Cuo, they finally reached a city.
Well, it looked like a city but at first glance, it appeared to be deserted. The city walls were in ruins; the gates were decaying, and the city’s sign was blurry and hard to read.
Chu Yu stared at the blurry calligraphy for a long while, trying without success to read it, but in the end, he had to give up.
Despite the harsh environment and the fact that this was the demonic cultivators’ stronghold, there were still mortals living in this place. They didn’t know if this was just their luck as newcomers or whether this was bad luck for those mortal residents.
Chu Yu looked around as they entered the city. The inside was as dilapidated as the outside. It couldn’t compare at all to the cities and towns in the Righteous Path cultivators’ territories that were all very prosperous. Here there was only desolation and silence. The few people they saw didn’t make any noise.
This was a barren land under the demonic cultivators’ control and he feared that the few mortal inhabitants were simply not enough. Even so, these mortals all looked to be a bit more violent than ordinary people.
Chu Yu, who wasn’t used to being in such a place that was full of such vicious undercurrents and antisocial behavior, leaned closer to Xie Xi. Unconsciously grabbing Xie Xi’s sleeve, Chu Yu whispered: “Hurry up and ask someone for directions.”
When Xie Xi lowered his head. When he saw the nervous expression that was present on that child who had a face like white jade with pink cheeks, a warm current seemed to flow into his heart. This soft, tender feeling made him reach out and gently pinch Chu Yu’s little face. Xie Xi nodded.
Chu Yu rolled his eyes as he listened to Xie Xi say: “Shixiong, do you really not want Shidi to carry you in his arms?”3
Chu Yu snorted.
Xie Xi sighed in regret and casually looked around for someone to ask for directions.
He asked a middle-aged man, with an indescribable dark air and a numb expression. He looked at Xie Xi coldly then at the cute little fish. His voice was husky and low: “You are outsiders?”
Xie Xie frowned, took Chu Yu into his arms and nodded.
The man’s face was still expressionless as he carefully looked Xie Xi over. “Your clothes aren’t like the clothes that the people from Yun Cuo wear.” He paused, then seemed to think of something. The expression on his face suddenly turned to one of shock. “You’re a righteous cultivator?”
Chu Yu was keenly aware of the strange tone of his voice, which sounded like he was extremely displeased. Turning his head around to look at the people who had heard that sentence, Chu Yu suddenly felt uneasy.
Xie Xie paused and nodded again, but his hand silently moved towards Duan Xue’s hilt. Chu Yu saw the situation and quickly grabbed Xie Xi’s hand.
Although the atmosphere in this city was very strange and the man’s tone of voice wasn’t very good, it was easy to see that all of these people were just mortal without any spirit roots. If Xie Xi got too excited, one sweep of his sword would be enough to leave the city without any living beings.
“A Righteous Path cultivator?” Muttered the man with his head hanging low. Suddenly, his face became grim and twisted, and he roared: “A Righteous Path cultivator?! Just what are you doing here? All of Jing Ling’s cultivators have already left.4 Do you still want to pursue them relentlessly and strike another blow? You clearly want to drive us to our deaths?!”
What? What? What is the situation?
Chu Yu looked confused.
Why did it seem as though he was saying that… it was the righteous cultivators who started the war?
However, the other people all around didn’t give him time to mull it over. When the people around them, who had been hesitating over what to do, heard the man’s roar they suddenly rushed over to swarm Xie Xi and Chu Yu. Their faces twisted with hatred and wielding kitchen knives, they attacked with complete disregard to the gap between the strength of mortals and cultivators.
“Scram! Righteous cultivators, p**s off! Leave Yun Cuo!”
Amidst all the shouting and commotion, Xie Xi’s eyebrows drew tighter together in a frown. He quickly picked up Chu Yu and rose abruptly off the ground. Chu Yu hugged Xie Xi’s neck and looked down at the people who were still angry and cursing at the righteous cultivator, he was somewhat speechless.
If someone didn’t know about the war, they might think, based on this widespread indignation and discontent, that the righteous cultivators had done something that was offensive to the heavens and human morality to the extent that it was now impossible for them to live under the same sky.
Ah, but that could not be the case…
Normally, mortals are more friendly towards righteous cultivators and hostile towards demonic cultivators. Why was the situation reversed in Yun Cuo?
Could it be that these people who were under the control of the demonic cultivators had been brainwashed?
Perhaps to them, virtue was evil and vice was good?
Chu Yu was puzzled by this unexpected situation. After some consultation with Xie Xi,
But… Now that he has shown his face in front of a group of ordinary mortals, then there was no doubt that the news will be spread that two righteous cultivators were asking about the location of Jing Ling. It was highly probable that there would be demonic cultivators waiting for them to enter now.
Chu Yu’s got a headache and sighed. He decided to let Xie Xi beat up Wei Ciyin when they met.
If Wei Ciyin hadn’t played such a trick on him then he wouldn’t have had to worry about the whole situation here and could have just stayed in the Chu family land in Jiao Xia.
However, it was useless to think about it any more. The most urgent matter now was to find Jing Ling and get rid of his curse at Mei Yin Valley. Waking up the lord of Mei Yin Valley with the soul-calling bell was unimportant to him when compared to his true goal of dispelling the curse.
After leaving that gloomy city, they traveled over vast, snowy fields and bleak and lifeless mountains over the next few days. Yun Cuo was barren and lacking in spiritual energy such that its climate was much worse than that of Jinhe. The deeper they went, the fiercer the snowstorms became. The temperature had become much colder, too.
Chu Yu stubbornly flew on his own sword. Xie Xi was in a good mood as he flew alongside Chu Yu, watching the adorable spectacle. Whenever Xie Xi tried to grab Chu Yu to take him into his arms, Chu Yu would use one of his talismans to burn Xie Xi. Thus, Xie Xi had no alternative but to carefully guard Chu Yu, for he feared that he could be easily swept away by the snowstorms.
After two days, Chu Yu was a little overwhelmed.
His cultivation was currently suppressed because of the curse so he wasn’t able to control his spiritual energy properly. If he was on his flying sword, it would be hard for him to pass through the barrier. Even if he was able to pass through the barrier to Jing Ling, his flying would become unstable. Xie Xi used this line of reasoning to try to persuade Chu Yu. It took a long time but Chu Yu, with a serious look on his small face, eventually flew into Xie Xi’s arms after much disgruntled muttering. Chu Yu kept on sneezing until he realized that something was wrong with his body.
Shen Nian had said that “it’s nothing, just a nuisance.”
But what does this sentence really mean? What is “just a nuisance”?
Nearly a month after Chu Yu became a child, he finally understood what the “nuisance” was.
Because he had become a child, he had almost none of the strength of physique of a cultivator.
After two days of being in the midst of a snowstorm, Chu Yu was cold.
His interspatial storage bad had a lot of items that could heal internal and external injuries. There were even items that could save his life one day. Unfortunately, when Chu Sheng prepared all of these items for him, he hadn’t expected that Chu Yu would be so affected by the cold. Chu Yu rummaged around inside his storage ring but all he could do was sneeze uncontrollably, his face red and his eyes streaming with tears.
It’s been years since he’s suffered from this type of minor inconvenience.
This was a terrible time to suddenly become afflicted.
Full of guilty feelings and heartache, Xie Xi hurriedly found a piece of land to camp in, he then put up a tent, and took out the layers of clothing that Chu Sheng had prepared and used them to wrap Chu Yu up. He didn’t quite know what to do.
Cultivators stand high above mortal concerns, aloof and remote. They hardly know what “hypothermia” is, thus they would hardly know of any way to alleviate it.
Watching Chu Yu breathing hard, but not knowing how to help him, Xie Xi licked his lip and held Chu Yu close in his arms. The expression on his face was very ugly.
He hated this feeling of powerlessness.
Chu Yu was in a daze as he felt the burning cold invade his body. He reached out to touch Xie Xi’s face as a gesture of comfort, all the while cursing Wei Ciyin in his heart. Feeling Chu Yu’s feverish body temperature, Xie Xi fidgeted, undecided for a long time, before he rose to his feet.
“Shixiong, I’ll get some medicine!”
Chu Yu quickly grabbed him and muttered for a while before he spoke clearly: “… Stay by my side, don’t leave.”
Xie Xi went stiff in shock. Silently caressing Chu Yu’s flushed face, he sat back down.
Actually, there shouldn’t be any serious problems. For a cultivator, even though his condition might not be the best at present, he wouldn’t die from the cold though it would be hard for him to escape suffering.
Chu Yu settled down in Xie Xi’s arms and went to sleep, still in a daze. Xie Xi sighed, took his wrist to start to transfer his spiritual power, then he closed his eyes and meditated.
Outside the wind whistled eerily. Snowflakes whirled around so fast that the sound of them crashing into the tent was clearly audible.
Chu Yu was suddenly awakened by the sensation of heat.
Xie Xi’s thick, heavy clothes were weighing Chu Yu down. So many of them were layered over him that he felt quite uncomfortable. In addition, Chu Yu’s own clothes seemed to be too tight. Turning his head sideways, he saw that his wrist was gripped tightly by Xie Xi’s hand. He could feel spiritual energy being transferred to him. Chu Yu paused then turned around to look at Xie Xi’s beautiful face. Xie Xi’s eyes were closed.
Chu Yu was extremely uncomfortable and therefore he moved. Xie Xi woke up immediately. He opened his eyes and looked at Chu Yu. The expression on his face suddenly changed.
Chu Yu couldn’t tell if Xie Xi was more shocked or happy but he could clearly see the burning desire in Xie Xi’s eyes. Chu Yu’s eyebrows twitched and he opened his mouth to say something but he was stopped short by Xie Xi’s kiss.
Chu Yu was caught off guard and couldn’t react on time when he was suddenly kissed. The clothes covering his body were lifted and Xie Xi pushed Chu Yu down, spreading his legs apart. Xie Xi’s hand wandered downwards, rubbing between Chu Yu’s legs. Lowering his head, Xie Xi kissed Chu Yu’s neck then nibbled his way down like a little beast.
Chu Yu’s head was spinning but snapped out of it when he heard the sound of his robe being torn off and felt his body being exposed to the cold. Chu Yu breathed in the cold air then pushed Xie Xi away. He said angrily, “Xie Xi, are you crazy?”
No matter how thirsty Xie Xi was, how could he lay a hand on Chu Yu when he looked like this?
Xie Xi was panting heavily. His body pressing down on Chu Yu’s body, he wrapped his arms around Chu Yu’s neck and raised his head. Their noses touched, their lips rubbed against each other, and Xie Xi opened his mouth to groan.
“Shixiong, Shidi has been waiting for this for a long time.”
Chu Yu was shocked. “You’re saying…”
Chu Yu was silent before he finished speaking.
… What happened? His voice… It’s not that soft and tender child’s voice. Has his body recovered?
Had the cold broken the demonic curse?
Chu Yu was still feeling dizzy when his lips were recaptured by Xie Xi. They hadn’t been able to be intimate for a long time and Xie Xi was obviously tired of holding back. Wrapping his tongue around Chu Yu’s tongue, Xie Xi kissed him fiercely and passionately, as though he wanted to devour Chu Yu.
After a long and intense kiss, Chu Yu was left gasping for breath. His eyes were bright, his lips were red and lustrous, and his face had blushed to a bright red. He was moaning in either ecstasy or pain.
Xie Xi’s eyes burned even hotter. He propped himself up as he looked down at Chu Yu’s jade white body. Xie Xi tongue flicked out and he licked one of the red fruits on Chu Yu’s chest: “Shixiong, I heard that sweating can heal a cold. Let’s sweat.”
Chu Yu breathing gradually slowed down. He looked up at Xie Xi, wrapped his arms around his neck, and kissed him. But before Xie Xi could kiss him back, Chu Yu suddenly felt hot and fell back down.
Xie Xi suddenly looked shocked. The expression on his face seemed to indicate that he wanted to kill someone.
Chu Yu guessed what had happened from the expression on his face. After a moment of silence, he smiled: “… Shidi, calm down.”
Chu Yu’s voice was back to being tender and childish-sounding.
Sure enough, he has changed back.
- Linguistically, in Chinese it’s not uncommon to say “80 percent” like “80 percent they would be in trouble” but I personally think that it should be translated as “they would probably be in trouble” since the 80 isn’t literal.
- I’m thinking of replacing all the “jade” stuff with “pure” or “flawless” because “jade white” sounds weird …
- I hope everyone has a great time during the holidays!
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- 破碗破摔 (pò wǎn pò shuāi) lit. to smash a cracked pot; fig. to treat oneself as hopeless and act crazily
- 灵境 (líng jìng) spirit border/territory
- 抱 (bào) this means both “carry in one’s arms” and “cherish.”
- 灵镜 – okay, now it’s still Jing Ling but the second character now means “mirror.”