This translation is by Lily (BC Novels) at bcnovels d͎o͎t͎ c͎o͎m͎
Of course, the reason an urge was an urge was because it could usually be checked, and could not be carried out.
Not even removing his boots, Mobei-Jun laid down on his brand-new, not once slept on bed. Shang Qinghua felt incomparably sick at heart.
“My King, this is Cang Qiong Mountain.”
A pillow full of strong destructive power flew over, striking Shang Qinghua and making him grimace in pain.
Shang Qinghua picked up the pillow, saying tactfully, “My King, this is my bed.”
Mobei-Jun stuck up a finger and waved it at him.
Noble and cool, he said one word: “Mine.”
Because his whole person belonged to Mobei-Jun, his things also belonged to Mobei-Jun. Naturally, his bed also belonged to Mobei-Jun.
And as for the reverse, did it stand? At this time, the fat tiger theory should be applied: what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is still mine.
Shang Qinghua resentfully rolled off the chair, silently going to pick up the broken pieces of teacup at his feet. He began to hum a little tune of “I lie on the ground while you sleep on a bed, I eat radish husks and you drink meat soup” while tidying up his new room.
At least he had been kindly bestowed a single pillow for himself. Before, he didn’t even have a pillow. Content with his situation, he hugged it and slept, might as well retire.
[T/N: The exact phrasing used here is 跪安吧. 跪安 (gui4 an1), which can mean ‘to kowtow’, was a relatively nice way for the emperor to tell someone to withdraw. Shang Qinghua is placing Mobei-Jun as the emperor here.]
Today, Shang Qinghua was also as hardworking as a happy little honeybee.
Mobei-Jun slept in the Leisure House for three days, then disappeared without a word.
With this, Shang Qinghua finally got the full experience of how unscientific the halo he had given Mobei-Jun was——three days. In three days, there was no warning raised, no suspicion, no nothing! Not a single person had found out. A demon had strutted all the way up to live on An Ding Peak and ordered about a future elite (logistics) disciple as his own beast of burden!
Like a freed serf singing a song, Shang Qinghua felt quite the wave of thrill for a while, right up until he received the next mission from the old An Ding Peak Lord.
Even though An Ding Peak’s missions were only the miscellanea of day-to-day life, the difference was only in whether you fought in the rear or struggled on the front lines. But, the closer one was to dangerous organisms, it was inevitably stressful and frightening.
For example, rushing up to deliver blood replenishing talismans and pills when Bai Zhan Peak was in the thick of battle with resentful spirits, this type of mission was cruel and frightful no matter how you looked at it!
At least Mobei-Jun was very good at protecting people.
Shang Qinghua thought he had already tossed him to the back of his mind. He never expected that many times when he had fallen into dire straits, he would be fished up in passing by some strange creatures who appeared demonic any way you looked at them, saving his little life.
… This really counted as “hang out with me, and I’ll protect you”, right?
Shang Qinghua couldn’t resist thinking, hugging thighs or whatever, it was quite useful, quite necessary.
Or else there was no way he could have survived until today!
And while it was at it, the concise and comprehensive System grandiosely passed a new command to Shang Qinghua: Become the An Ding Peak head disciple within three years.
Other than running missions outside and having to give a good showing under Mobei-Jun’s “care”, if he wanted to become head disciple, he also had to pay more than a little attention within Cang Qiong Mountain.
As everyone knew, all the supporting cannon fodder in《Proud Immortal Demon Way》only had an IQ of 40. Therefore, the so-called palace intrigue just reached about this type of degree:
So, the old An Ding Peak Lord already had a head disciple A, outstanding to the max (outstanding = serving tea, taking water, washing clothes, folding blankets, all kinds of mastery, could be rated as a dab hand in the housekeeping service center). Some day, the old Peak Lord requested that A make twelve delicious flatcakes and send one to each peak. What Shang Qinghua needed to do, was stealthily scatter a ton of salt or sugar on each flatcake A meticulously made to make them completely unpalatable each time. And repeat the above process three times. OK, the old Peak Lord finally lost all hope in his former prime disciple.
Think about it: if you can’t even make a good flatcake, what else can you do.
At this time, if Shang Qinghua displayed his expert culinary skills a few more times, he could successfully ascend!
It’s precisely that so-called: not enough IQ, tsukkomi points come to gather. If you can’t do the best, then do the worst.
If the plotline is imbecilic enough to make the readers roast it like crazy, it’s also a kind of success!
These types of plotlines were too numerous to count in Proud Immortal Demon Way. The grand occasions when readers would flock together year-round to spew could be said to be one of the great spectacles of the Zhongdian reviews section. And the one who spewed the hardest was precisely that Peerless Cucumber.
Thinking of this, Shang Qinghua couldn’t resist feeling a bit of longing for those young companions and this dear friend from the review sections.
He really missed his gleeful and inexhaustible howls of “Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, It’s exactly because you have this type of ideology that you’re only a third-rate stallion writer!!!”, that heroic disposition!
However, as the An Ding Peak head disciple, his worries would only increase, not decrease.
For example, before, in his time as an outer disciple, he would never have the chance to descend the mountain on missions with Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge.
This, how many fucking lives of disastrous fate must he have lived to draw this special prize.
Cang Qiong Mountain emphasized maintaining kinship between peers to the utmost. It was common for several head disciples to head out together on tasks at regular intervals. This time, the division of labor between the three was also very clear. Liu Qingge was the hired thug on the vanguard. Shen Qingqiu was the center, in charge of feigning civility, sneak attacks and snarky retorts, as well as waving his fan and being pretentious (cross that all out).
[T/N: 补刀 (bu3 dao1), lit. ‘repair knife’, awfully specific internet slang referring to when you respond to a question with an answer so proper it’s either a sarcastic attack to the other or a corny joke. I’m going to assume it’s the former here.]
And Shang Qinghua?
Of course he was in charge of driving the cart, making inn reservations, carrying luggage, as well as all the income and expenses of this trip. Logistics, right.
It would be great if he really was let off so easy.
“It’s said that at night, if you stick out your head and look into the mouth of that well, you’ll see your reflection inside looking up, smiling faintly and beckoning. Out of nowhere, it will drag people inside to drown. Sometimes you’ll even see your dead relatives… cough cough, Shen-shixiong and Liu-shidi can you… can you let me finish first…”
Shang Qinghua set down the scroll.
Shen Qingqiu pulled out a book from his sleeve in one move. He could act pretentious on his own anywhere and anytime, sitting or standing, and right now he was leaning on that old banyan shade tree, displaying that he had the magnificent essence of the Book of Songs and the Book of History emanating from within. And Liu Qingge had long gone to stand by the mouth of the well, sticking out his head to look inside.
Liu Qingge wanted to use a blitzkrieg strategy to avoid having to keep getting along with Shen Qingqiu this whole trip, and Shen Qingqiu wanted to let Liu Qingge do all the hard work so he could get lost a bit earlier. Neither one wanted to disgust himself by getting close to the other, each had their own plans, and not a single person was listening to his whole-hearted conscientious explanation of the mission.
Liu Qingge lifted his head, saying, “Nothing there.”
Shang Qinghua understood. He meant “My reflection didn’t smile faintly at me and beckon.” He spread his hands and said, “This… how about, we have Shen-shixiong come over and try?”
Shen Qingqiu put away his book, swapping it for a folding fan. He strolled over to the side of the well. “I’ll trouble you to allow me.”
Liu Qingge had long “allowed” him ten or so steps. Shen Qingqiu carelessly took a look in the well, but also seemed to get no results.
Shang Qinghua flicked the scroll, pages rustling, “It’s really strange, this clearly said…”
The sad thing was, no matter how hard he rustled the pages, he couldn’t cover Shen Qingqiu’s malicious voice. “We have all tried, isn’t it your turn?”
Sure enough, in this world even the monsters feared the hard and bullied the soft. When the other two looked, they didn’t see a damn thing, but when it was Shang Qinghua’s turn, only he could see his own reflection coquettishly moving its hand.
Liu Qingge didn’t say a second word, slapping his sword hilt. Cheng Luan flew out of its sheath, rushing into the well water in a rainbow of power.
After a moment of silence, the tranquil surface of the well began to churn and bubble. Shang Qinghua discreetly retreated a step, then another, pulling back a safe distance. He only heard a burst of ghostly wailing, then a huge wad of wispy spirit spurted out of the well, rushing into the sky!
Liu Qingge smashed apart the clump of women’s heads chasing and biting him. “Retreat!”
By convention, once the fighting started, any An Ding Peak disciples not in charge of replenishing supplies should scram far away and hang around anywhere cool. Unfortunately, Shang Qinghua had miscalculated and did not scram far enough away, his advance and retreat both blocked off by the resentful spirit, dispersed into a white haze. Now that things had gotten to this point, he could only break out his special ability. Eyes rolled back in his head, and he collapsed on the spot.
Playing dead was always a time-tested trick!
In the chaos of battle, Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu accidentally pressed their backs together. The two simultaneously showed a look of revulsion. Shen Qingqiu already shot back an attack, brushing by Liu Qingge’s shoulder as it passed. Liu Qingge, angered, immediately also returned a blow.
Everything’s going great now, the whole of their combat force was completely ignoring the enemy to fight among themselves. Shen Qingqiu scolded, “Are you blind? Where are you hitting?!”
Liu Qingge wasn’t any more courteous than him. “Who hit first? Who was blind first?!”
Shang Qinghua lay on the ground, eyes still rolled back. He could see clearly, just then there was a faint white strip of shadow diagonally above Liu Qingge. Shen Qingqiu’s attack had passed by Liu Qingge’s shoulder, dispersing it. As he watched, the blows the two rained down on each other grew bigger and bigger, eyes nearly red with bloodlust. He couldn’t even bother to play dead anymore, sitting up and shouting weakly, “You guys, don’t argue. Liu-shidi, you misunderstood, in fact just then Shen-shixiong he was…”
Shen Qingqiu flung out his hand, and a few deep, deep cracks were smashed into the wall by Shang Qinghua’s head, ash and pebbles streaming down.
Shen Qingqiu said coldly, “If you are going to die, die completely, don’t get up halfway.”
Shang Qinghua didn’t say another word, collapsing and continuing to contentedly play corpse.
They sealed the well creature and all the resentful spirits it had collected in a retrieval vessel, not missing a single one. Shang Qinghua led over the horse cart. Not sparing them a single glance, Liu Qingge took off onto a different road. Shang Qinghua said hurriedly, “Liu-shidi, where are you going?”
Liu Qingge snorted. “I will not journey together with a backstabbing comrade.”
Shen Qingqiu clapped his hands and smiled. “That’s very good, I also do not want to journey together with someone with strength but no brains. Shang-shidi, let’s go.”
He pinched Shang Qinghua’s shoulder, and Shang Qinghua squeaked an agreement through teeth clenched in pain. Finally struggling free of his evil clutches, he chased up to Liu Qingge and cautioned him, “Liu-shidi, Shixiong has a word of advice to offer. Do not cultivate by yourself all the time, it is easy to have a qi deviation.”
Liu Qingge still hadn’t responded when on the other side, Shen Qingqiu used the base of his fan to knock on the beams of the cart. Shang Qinghua hurried back.
The whole way, he drove the cart while watching Shen Qingqiu closely.
Shen Qingqiu was learning on the side of the carriage reading a book, but under his stare his expression grew darker and darker. Squinting his eyes, he said, “What are you looking at me for?”
Shang Qinghua said timidly, “…Shen-shixiong, I fact I didn’t want to remind you. But since you are asking me so sincerely, then I… you are holding your book upside-down.”
Shen Qingqiu’s face reddened in a split second, and he suddenly rose and drew his sword.
“NONONONONONO DON’T DO ANYTHING RASH!!!”
Shen Qingqiu, this guy, his face was the thinnest. If you tore down his stage in front of his face, he would remember you for a lifetime. Shang Qinghua was regretting his greedly slip of the tongue a bit. But, for a person like Shen Qingqiu who had mastered the art of pretension to the point of perfection to hold his book upside-down, it looks like he really was seriously angered just then.
Ah right, he had gone to all the trouble to do a good thing, but the result didn’t meet expectations. If it didn’t meet expectations just go out and tell Liu Qingge, I only wanted to help you out just then, but he wasn’t willing to do it. If you’re not willing just let me help you explain, but he couldn’t tear down his face, maybe he was embarrassed. This person really was full of twists and turns, always tormenting himself.
Shen Qingqiu stared at him with a snake’s gaze, and cold sweat flowed all down Shang Qinghua’s back.
After a while, Shen Qingqiu finally sat back down, re-sheathing his sword. He composed himself with great effort, then said with a skin-deep smile, “Shang Qinghua, you shut up, alright?”
Shang Qinghua’s heart itched, difficult to endure. He raised a hand and said, “Can I say one more thing?”
Shen Qingqiu rubbed his temple with his right hand. He lifted his chin to indicate permission to speak. Shang Qinghua looked at him earnestly, and spoke the most meaningful and heartfelt series of words he had spoken since an electric current drew him into Proud Immortal Demon Way.
“If, in the future, you see someone going into qi deviation, do not panic, and do not rashly go up thinking you can save them. You must stay calm and go call for help, do not make a move yourself. Or else, you will definitely be more a hindrance than a help, poke a big hole in the basket, and abandon yourself to despair from then on, unable to free yourself for the rest of your life, not even jumping into the Yellow River could wash you clean!”
Shen Qingqiu was mystified. “If someone else is going into qi deviation, what does that have to do with me? Why would I panic, why would I want to help?”
Shang Qinghua, face full of “I knew it would be this type of response”, said, “Either way, just make sure you remember.”
Once Shang Qinghua became the Peak Lord, he finally didn’t need to be a blatantly bow and scrape and hug the ground anymore.
A busy life was still a busy life, but at least he had been promoted from roughly treated servant girl to chief inner head official, it counted as rapid process on long steps.
He hears, that master on Qing Jing Peak you couldn’t afford to offend had been ill. After he recovered, a secret meeting was held quietly on Qiong Ding Peak.
Qiong Ding Peak side hall. Of twelve Peak Lords, eleven were present and accounted for.
Yue Qingyuan said, with fixed concentration, “Do you feel that Qingqiu-shidi… has been very odd these past few days.”
Several Peak Lords agreed, one by one. Liu Qingge said solemnly, “More than just odd.”
Qi Qingqi muttered, “He’s practically a whole different person.”
Just at this time, Shang Qinghua stepped into the side hall, still dusty and windblown from travel. The past few years, Qian Cao Peak’s dragon-bone cantaloupe seeds had been selling quite well on the outside, and he had already spent several months rushing about on sales trips. He had been mysteriously dragged into this meeting as soon as he got back, and still did not quite understand the situation. He rubbed his hands and said, “This, I have not seen Shen-shixiong for some days, could everyone please elaborate, how exactly has he been odd?”
Yue Qingyuan said, “He could speak with me tranquilly and without stress for a whole shichen.”
“…” Shang Qinghua said, terrified, “Aiyah, my god! So odd! That really is very odd!”
Ordinarily speaking, there was an impassable knot tied between these two. Without dissolving this knot, there was absolutely no chance of harmonious relations. Before, the rule that they would absolutely part on bad terms by the fifth sentence was the normal state of things. A whole shichen’s worth of tranquil and stress-free exchange, this was more than a fantastic level of progress!
Liu Qingge said, “In the Lingxi Caves, he… helped me.”
Shang Qinghua finally remembered, ah right, at this time, Liu Qingge should already have been helped to death by Shen Qingqiu, how could he still leap and frisk about, sitting here to attend a meeting?!
Could it have been that after defeating the well creature, the reminder he had given Shen Qingqiu had taken effect?
The others continued to summarize Shen Qingqiu’s every kind of oddity in the last few days. Why would he himself sustain injury beating back an ungrateful devil woman from the Demon Race, why would he stand up and protect his disciples to show concern and care… hearing this, Shang Qinghua’s face began to twitch.
He thought it over front and back, this type of altruistic self-sacrificing character design, no matter how you looked at it, it was seriously OOC!
He couldn’t resist saying, “Stop. He… his body couldn’t have been seized, right? Wei-shixiong, how is your sword-testing station, did he visit?”
At Wei Qingwei’s Wan Jian Peak sword-testing station, there was a mystical sword “Hong Jing”, which no person had ever been able to draw. As long as something like a resentful soul or evil spirit approached, the sword would unsheath by itself. If Shen Qingqiu really had been possessed by some unclean creature, as long as he approached the sword-testing station, Hong Jing would definitely sound a major alarm.
But, Wei Qingwei said, “He went three times, and tried to draw it three times, absolutely no sign of movement.”
“There is no demonic energy on his body.” Yue Qingyuan said slowly, “I could not detect any signs of his body having been seized.”
Qi Qingqiu spread her hands and said, “If his body had been seized, that wouldn’t make any sense at all. There is always some sort of conspiracy behind body seizure. These days, he has not been doing anything, even more idle than before.”
After a session of discussion, they were still unable to reach a decision. In the end, Mu Qingfang said, “And it is not necessarily a case of body seizure. In my opinion, maybe Shen-shixiong’s old problem has reappeared.”
All the Peak Lords looked at each other in dismay.
What this “old problem” was, it did not need to be said, everyone understood.
Shen Qingqiu, as a person, was ambitious and aggressive, proud and arrogant. This would not be the first time he tried to demand instant success, maybe he went to cultivate in secret again, and ended up suffering a qi deviation.
Mu Qingfang continued to analyze, “I have heard of quite a few cases, when a person is hit on the head with a large rock, or perhaps suffers a violent irritant, sometimes they will lose a few of their past memories. So, to suffer a qi deviation and forget the past, making one’s temperament undergo major changes, is not necessarily an impossibility.”
Yue Qingyuan said, “Then, is it possible to recover?”
Qi Qingqi wrinkled her nose. “Zhangmen-shixiong, could it be that you still wish he would remember, recover his previous… character and conduct.”
Yue Qingyuan started. “Me? I also do not know.”
He said earnestly, “Even though how he is now is also very good… but, if he can remember, it is better if he does.”
Some of the other Peak Lords did not understand. “Before, he would never give a proper greeting when he met Zhangmen-shixiong and our other comrades, he would not pay visits at our homes, when he spoke it was always a needle concealed in silk floss, a weird temperament, hot and cold, what was good about it. How he is now is quite a bit better.”
Yue Qingyuan smiled faintly, but did not speak. Mu Qingfang said awkwardly, “The last time I went to write his prescription for Without A Cure, I helped him take a look while I was there. There were not any major signs, and it would be difficult to begin. I am afraid we can only let nature take its course”
After achieving the verdict of “the Qing Jing Peak Lord has lost his memory, celebrate and spread the joyful news”, the meeting dispersed.
After this meeting had concluded, Shang Qinghua felt, in response to these strange happenings, he was very much obligated to (in passing while delivering Qing Jing Peak’s funds) investigate a bit.
Before his investigation, the first place Shang Qinghua went was Bai Zhan Peak.
Normally speaking, each Peak of Cang Qiong Mountain was ranked by seniority, Qing Jing Peak was number two, and Bai Zhan Peak was number seven, after he made his deliveries to the first-ranked Qiong Ding Peak, the next should be Qing Jing Peak first according to the order. But on one hand, Shen Qingqiu was too hard to please, and every time Shang Qinghua had to rack his brains to figure out how to speak so as not to offend him; and on the other, Bai Zhan Peak was good at fighting, and Shang Qinghua felt rather secure giving them their funds first.
What type of security? En, precisely the security of a self-employed small shopowner handing over his protection fee to the local tyrant lord…
The one who met him was Liu Qingge’s Shidi, Ji Jue, as enthusiastic as always. The two exchanged a few greetings, and after the handover was complete, Ji Jue said, “Shang-shixiong take care, I’m returning to the practice grounds.”
Watching his expression, Shang Qinghua seemed like he didn’t want to walk very fast himself. He asked, “Recently, Liu-shidi has often been staying on Bai Zhan Peak. Has any Shidi had a sudden increase in cultivation?”
[T/N: 慢走 (man4 zou3), lit. ‘walk slowly’, is a standard parting phrase to a departing guess with the meaning of ‘take care’. The first sentence plays on this a little.]
Liu Qingge was outside looking for people to fight year round, no one on Bai Zhan Peak was a match for him. At most, he would come back once a month. And when would Bai Zhan Peak flock over to Qian Cao Peak to seek treatment, that would be just after he took a trip back. But, recently, Qian Cao Peak’s thresholds were almost trampled by those uncles from Bai Zhan Peak, and their funds were hard-pressed. Mu Qingfang came to look for Shang Qinghua every few days to ask for loans, he felt it was very strange. He wondered, did some new extraordinary genius appear on Bai Zhan Peak who could stand up to Liu Qingge, so he asked this question.
Ji Jiue said gloomily, “It’s not our Peak. It’s Shen Qingqiu.”
Shang Qinghua was entirely not counting on hearing some earth-shattering response, so he smiled and nodded. “Oh, Shen Qingqiu, ah… Shen Qingqiu?!”
Digesting the enormous amount of information contained in those three characters, Shang Qinghua was almost startled into ascending on the spot.
Shen Qingqiu? At Bai Zhan Peak? And at the Bai Zhan practice grounds? Doing what? Getting one-sidedly beaten up by Liu Qingge? No, according to his skill in drawing hatred, it should be a group beating——what if it was fatal? He’s an important scum villain, ah! If he was beat to death, to whom would Bing-ge be sent to be oppressed?!
Ji Jue: “… Shang-shixiong, what’s that look in your eye! Don’t look at me like that, we didn’t kill anyone! Shen Qingqiu is still alive, no one did anything to him! You should be asking what he did to us!”
So, Shang Qinghua jogged with him all the way to the practice grounds.
On the high basalt platform, Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu were actually really just peacefully crossing swords.
Liu Qingge’s movements were much slower than usual. Rather than calling it crossing swords, might as well call it feeding strikes. The space between his brows was still rather smooth and calm, with none of his former murderous spirit.
[T/N: 喂招 (wei2 zhao1), ‘feeding moves/strikes’, a term which arose out of jianghu fiction to refer to when a master would feint blows for a disciple to receive in order to test their progress and train their reaction time.]
Just then, Shen Qingqiu’s sword struck air and he knit his brow, his left hand slightly moving,
Shang Qinghua’s heart suddenly stretched taut, glancing at Ji Jue out of the corner of his eye to see his expression also flash cold, like he had an urge to shout out loud.
The two glanced at each other, a flash of wordless understanding.
[T/N: Exact phrase used is 心有灵犀 (xin1 you3 ling2 xi1), ‘rhinoceros horn in heart’. Rhinoceros horns were reputed to confer telepathic powers.]
Ji Jue, his heart still holding lingering palpitations, spoke in a low voice. “I always feel like Shen Qingqiu is about to deploy a concealed weapon dipped in poison or something.”
Shang Qinghua expressed his deep concurrence. “Heroes think alike!” It looks like Ji-shidi understood this character very thoroughly. None other than than the one who once got into a fight with Shen Qingqiu at a brothel, old enemies who completely lost two peaks’ faces…
Shen Qingqiu drew back Xiu Ya, stopping to think. He one, didn’t let out a rustling sneer, two, didn’t look askance at anyone. Looking at him this way, he had a mild brow and peaceful gaze, but still carried a modest air of elegant nobility.
Soon after, Shen Qingqiu said, “I don’t understand.”
Liu Qingge flicked a swift and fierce flourish with his sword. “Don’t understand what?”
A disciple by Ji Jue’s side suddenly muttered, “Heavens, he doesn’t understand again.”
Another disciple said in a low voice, “I… I can’t anymore… my stomach feels unwell, I’m going back…”
Ji Jue said hurriedly, “Shidi, wait for me, me too…”
His shidi pushed him back. “Stay! Didn’t you just return?!”
On the platform, Shen Qingqiu said, “Just then, with those few moves, if I blocked your sword with my right hand and struck a sudden attack with spiritual energy in my left hand, taking the opportunity to strike your stomach, that would have been an opportunity to win.”
Liu Qingge scoffed. “Not possible.”
Shen Qingqiu persisted. “It’s possible.”
Liu Qingge: “If you could win, why didn’t you try it?”
Shen Qingqiu said, aloof, “Aren’t we just comparing notes, attacking for real would be out of line.”
Liu Qingge didn’t bother to reply, yelling at the crowd below the platform. “Someone come up!”
The person he selected was like the hero Yi Shui, face like they viewed death as a return home as they ascended the platform. They traded a few blows with Liu Qingge with the method Shen Qingqiu had selected, and was blown straight off the platform by Cheng Luan.
[T/N: 易水 (yi4 shui3), with the characters for ‘easy water’, a literary/historical martyr.]
Liu Qingge finally resheathed his sword, saying to Shen Qingqiu, “You see? It won’t work.”
Shen Qingqiu spread his fan, waving it in front of his chest. He said, smiling, “I see. Liu-Shidi’s reflexes are too fast. It wouldn’t work after all.”
Ji Jue quietly complained to Shang Qinghua, “Every time he says ‘I don’t understand’, Liu-shixiong grabs someone to demonstrate, until he understands…”
No wonder the injuries at Bai Zhan peak only increased these past few days, and Qian Cao Peak’s front courtyard was as busy as a marketplace.
Shang Qinghua only had one thought to this.
Shen Qingqiu, this guy, he has to be doing it on purpose!!!
After he descended the platform, Liu Qingge continued to train (beat up) the Bai Zhan Peak disciples. Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua exchanged greetings, walking down the mountain together. Just as they were about to exit the gate, Ji Jue came, carrying two sacks to give to Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua.
Shang Qinghua didn’t understand, so he undid the tie to take a look. He saw two balls of bloody, hairy things nestled inside. “This is…”
Ji Jue said, his expression stiff, “Liu-shixiong caught these short-haired monsters, apparently their flavor is very good, my two Shixiong can take them back to your own peaks to exercise your own cooking method.”
Short-haired monster? Short-haired monster? He never created this sort of creature? It’s edible? Are you sure?!
Looks like Shen Qingqiu was also very suspicious of the edibility of this thing. “Thanks for your trouble…”
Ji Jue recited woodenly, “Shixiong said, this is a return gift for the tea leaves Qing Jing Peak sent last time.”
[T/N: 棒读 (bang4 du2), a loanword from Japanese ‘bouyomi’. Refers to reading Chinese like it’s Japanese (without the correct phrasing and word order, etc.), or reading something stiffly/awkwardly in general.]
Tea leaves? He was sending tea leaves?! What is this? Trading presents back and forth?! Shang Qinghua yelled crap internally, a smile on his face. “That’s to say, I caught a bit of Shen-shixiong’s light. I don’t know what type of high-quality tea leaves these were?”
Shen Qingqiu said affably, “They were harvested from my head disciple Ming Fan’s family’s tea fields. As for whether they’re high-quality or not, won’t Shang-shidi know if he comes to take a meal at Qing Jing Peak?”
Shang Qinghua thickened his face and said, “Then I’ll also catch a bit of Liu-shixiong’s light as well.”
So, each carrying a sack, talking about this and that, they walked towards Qing Jing Peak.
As soon as they entered the gate, serene wind brushed their faces, thin birdsong chittering away, entirely distinct from the outer world. The two walked over soft green fallen bamboo covering the ground, the atmosphere several times more refreshing.
For some reason, Shen Qingqiu’s mood was quite good. Looking at him, he didn’t look the least bit like he just lost to Liu Qingge, but instead lazily praised, “Liu-shidi’s swordcraft really is not bad.”
Shang Qinghua couldn’t resist reminding him, “Shen-shixiong you… lost a few times?”
Shen Qingqiu thought it over. “En? En, you’re asking about this morning? It was only seven or eight times.”
Then how can you be this calm?!
Shouldn’t you be gnashing your teeth in fury, raindrops on a pear blossom (…), cuckoo crying blood, swinging your hands to go back into seclusion for three months, swearing to duel again?
[T/N: 梨花带雨 (li2 hua1 dai4 yu3), lit. ‘raindrops on a pear blossom’. Figurative meaning is ‘the tear-stained face of a beauty’.]
Don’t you know you’re being OOC? Can’t you respect your work a bit more?!
Shen Qingqiu used the handle of his fan to tap his nape. “Losing to the Bai Zhan Peak Lord, there’s nothing you can do. You might as well say winning would be the unusual occurrence.”
“…” Shang Qinghua felt there was no way to keep conversing with him.
He’s lost his memory. He definitely cultivated into qi deviation and lost his memory. For this scene of friendly elder and respectful younger, harmonious fraternal love between comrades to appear between Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge——oh heavens, maybe in a few days, Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe would be able to strike up some flirtatious banter!
Just after this frightful scene flashed through his mind, a white shadow darted over. Something sticky suddenly threw itself into Shen Qingqiu’s arms.
That softened lump called, “Shizun!”
Shen Qingqiu was nearly knocked over face-up. Tilting and grabbing onto a thick bamboo stalk, he finally steadied his footing, seeing Shang Qinghua detachedly observing the scene, expressionless.
You can’t fault Shang Qinghua for his expression freezing up. Seeing that little lady-killer embryo, his pair of arms encircling Shen Qingqiu’s waist like steel hoops, a call of “Bing-ge” nearly escaped Shang Qinghua’s mouth!
Shen Qingqiu stiffly waved his fan with one hand, completely unembarrassed. “If you’re going to call then call, don’t drag out your voice and call. Throwing yourself at people all day, your Shishu is still here, what decorum is this!”
Luo Binghe slowly pulled back his hands, standing up straight. He obediently first called “Shang-Shishu”, then said, “After this disciple finished morning lessons, I have been waiting here for Shizun to return, I forgot myself in a moment of excitement…”
Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky-juju’s heart nearly crumbled.
Luo Binghe switched to cradling Shen Qingqiu’s arm. “Shizun, why were you out for so long today?”
“There were a lot of people today.”
Looking at Shen Qingqiu’s leisurely and contented smile, Shang Qinghua couldn’t resist guessing how many times he “didn’t understand” today, and how many times he had Liu Qingge “demonstrate” for him.
Luo Binghe automatically took the sack out of Shen Qingqiu’s hands. “Next time, can I go too?”
“That depends on your progress in your sword skills.” Shen Qingqiu said casually, “There is some sort of monster in the sack, your Liu-shishu said it’s edible. See if you can clean off the hair and figure out how to eat it.”
You’re making Bing-ge into a kitchen girl——only the female protagonists are allowed to eat the male protagonist’s cooking, can’t you keep to your place——ah forget about it, Shang Qinghua didn’t have the energy.
“Oh.” Luo Binghe happily agreed. Shaking the sack, the thing inside suddenly began to struggle.
“Shizun, it’s still alive!”
When they arrived at the drawing room of the bamboo house, Shen Qingqiu’s flock of disciples were still surrounding that mysterious creature, taking turns to poke the sack. With each poke, that short-haired monster let out a plaintive cry, and they were still delighted each time, clicking their tongues in wonder. “Shizun, it really is still alive!”
“What do we do if it’s still alive? Still kill and eat it?”
“Let’s not, it’s so pitiful…”
Shang Qinghua forcibly ignored this flock of young disciples sitting all over the ground, lowering his head to drink his tea, his heart twitching.
He remembered the last time he came, every disciple had a face full of great bitterness and deep hatred, standing like pines or sitting like clocks, ancient texts in hand, reciting wherever they went like they were chanting curses, quoting chapter and verse when they spoke, a musical cadence in their voices. Seeing them today… was this still that renowned Qing Jing Peak which produced countless youths full of pretentious literary airs?
This whole place was a trusteeship for ADHD children.
Shen Qingqiu said, “If it’s still alive, then keep it as a pet.”
Ming Fan hurriedly retorted, “Let’s eat it, let’s just eat it, we’ve never kept one before, we don’t know how much it needs to eat, and changing its water and taking it out for walks and whatnot is very troublesome…”
Ning Yingying pouted, “That’s enough, if we keep it, it definitely won’t be you taking care of it, Shizun would obviously give it to A-Luo to keep.” She lifted her head and asked, “Shizun, where did you get this strange thing?”
“The Bai Zhan Peak Lord gave it to me. A return gift for the tea.”
Hearing this, Ning Yingying whined, “Shizun, I don’t like Bai Zhan Peak, they’re so annoying… last time they came wielding swords to bully A-Luo, they were chasing and beating him…”
Shang Qinghua thought, this is quite normal. Bai Zhan Peak’s ubiquitous malice towards Luo Binghe was entirely natural, this was a type of intuitive reaction of single-celled organisms towards those with an element of hidden wicked potential. This really wasn’t hating on Bai Zhan Peak, Shang Qinghua was a fan himself.
After enumerating their shortcomings, Ning Yingying requested, “Shizun, you have to help us teach them a good lesson!”
“Pu——” Shen Qingqiu choked once, turned towards Shang Qinghua, then smiled politely. “Hai… these kids, what are they going on about. There ought to be harmony and familial affection between comrades, how could I ‘teach them a good lesson’ at will?”
Shang Qinghua repeatedly stated his agreement, returning the same type of forced smile, drinking tea like his life depended on it.
Sister Yingying ah, your Shizun doesn’t need to make a move, Liu Qingge has already taught them quite a cruel lesson. In fact, Shen Qingqiu is in charge of the “harmony and familial affection”, Liu Qingge is in charge of the “teaching them a good lesson”… precisely the true nature of a hypocrite!
Shang Qinghua felt deeply gratified. Shen Qingqiu, even after going through a qi deviation and losing his memory, was sure enough still that treacherous Shen Qingqiu!
Right at this time, Luo Binghe had fetched the tea leaves, entering the living room to present them to Shang Qinghua. Shen Qingqiu said, “Come, Shidi, we have been indebted to An Ding Peak’s care for a long time now…”
The one on the floor was still unwilling to overlook or spare. Ning Yingying said, impassionate, “Shizun, you have to avenge A-Luo this time!”
“…” Shen Qingqiu was at the end of his patience. “Yingying, go play outside.”
Luo Binghe hurriedly retorted, “You must not avenge me or whatever. It’s just this disciple’s skill is inferior to theirs, and I lost face for Shizun and Qing Jing Peak.”
Shen Qingqiu comforted, “It’s just that your foundation isn’t very good and you are lacking for the time being. As long as you are diligent, given some time, you can definitely surpass them.”
Ming Fan scoffed, “To surpass Bai Zhan Peak, for him, it would take a hundred years.”
Ning Yingying flew into a temper. “You look down on us Qing Jing Peak and look down on A-Luo so much, why don’t you just go to Bai Zhan peak and see if they’ll take you!”
Shen Qingqiu put his head in his hands. “Didn’t I tell you to go outside and play? Why are you still here? Binghe, get them outside quick, don’t make an exhibition of yourselves here.”
“Okay, Shizun. But, as for this thing, are we eating it or keeping it…”
Shang Qinghua felt like he was going to have a heart attack.
This Shen Qingqiu as red candle and gardener, Luo Binghe as close little jacket, what the hell is this!
[T/N: red candle and gardener is supposed to mean being a good teacher. The ‘close little jacket’ refers to clinginess, i.e. ‘as close as the jacket on his back’.]
Don’t fucking tell me Shen Qingqiu really did go to Bai Zhan Peak and mess with people just to avenge Luo Binghe!
This benevolent father, filial son… pei pei pei lifting the tray to eyebrow level… pei pei pei treating the other as an honored guest, this was even more fantastical than Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge harmoniously comparing notes. If it kept going on like this, maybe there really will be a day when they’re exchanging flirtatious banter.
[T/N: 举案齐眉 (ju3 an4 qi2 mei2), ‘raising the tray to eyebrow level’ when delivering a meal. Refers to deep respect between spouses. 相敬如宾 (xiang1 jing2 ru4 bin1), ‘treat each other as an honored guest’. Also refers to… mutual respect between spouses. You get the idea.]
After Airplane-juju finished swearing, he had a rare moment of careful thought. He had never used chengyu quite properly, and he brought out the limited supply he knew to describe Liu Mingyan’s good looks. The ones he used with the highest frequency were “soft bosoms trembling” and “could be knocked over with a breath”. To use “treating the other as an honored guest” should be correct here, right. En, looking at the literal meaning, it should be correct!
[T/N: soft bosoms trembling: 酥胸颤动 (su1 xiong1 chan4 dong4). As far as I can tell this is not, in fact, an actual chengyu. Could be knocked over with a breath: 吹弹可破 (chui1 tan2 ke3 po4). As you can see, he’s not very well-versed with his chengyu and is probably only thinking of the literal meaning of those marriage-related idioms in the paragraph above…]
At that time, the Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky-juju assiduously struggling for his existence still did not know that the scum villain Shen Qingqiu had already replaced by the unmatched hater Peerless Cucumber.
To think that in those days, now and again when this lord’s hate was excessively ferocious, he would casually curse him, maliciously praying that no matter how peerless his cucumber, may he never get a chance to use it all his life. Who could have expected that in some sort of way, this curse had been fulfilled.
These days, Bing-ge’s mood was especially bad.
Shang Qinghua could understand. As the stallion protagonist who could turn the sky by himself in the original work, now he had gotten Shen Qingqiu and imprisoned him——really, just imprisoned him. What he did was imprison him, not do anything else.
Can you believe it?! As the original author, even he didn’t dare to believe!
If the current Bing-ge could still be controlled by his pen, based on the principle of “satisfying the protagonist is satisfying the readers”, he would definitely have Luo Binghe defile Shen Qingqiu hundreds of times ah, hundreds of times, over and over like frying flatbread (there are definitely none of his personal grievances with Peerless Cucumber here. Definitely not.) The props, position, and location need not be the same. It’ll be easier to say once it’s fried though, of course feelings will arise as you’re frying…
[T/N: Um yeah there’s a pun here between 煎 (jian1) which means ‘fry’ and 奸 (jian1) which means… to fornicate or defile, you get the idea.]
- —— marking timeskips was added by me to avoid confusion.
- Thanks to Bob and waterbear on discord for translation tips!
- Baidu thread with more on the red candle and gardener itself, I don’t understand it entirely myself https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/1689029639718617348.html
- Airplane-bro why are you like this. MXTX why are you like this. My poor hands, having to type this utter debauchery.