Chapter 39 – Escape from the Water Prison
The inside of the cave was dark and gloomy. Whenever the cold wind blew, Shen Qingqiu’s wet clothes would stick to his skin, making him shiver violently.
To one side, Luo Binghe’s outer robe still lay tossed on the ground.
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but get caught up in a bout of nostalgia. Even though Luo Binghe never got angry during the time that he trained Qing Jing Peak, unlike his current explosive temper, just then the way he looked when he retreated in a rage after Shen Qingqiu threw off his robe unexpectedly made Shen Qingqiu see a shadow of the little sheep he used to be.
After his bout of nostalgia, a vicious burst of cold made him want to sneeze. Shen Qingqiu didn’t have a better option, so he might as well grab that black robe and slowly pull it over his body.
There was nothing that could be done. After all, by refusing Luo Binghe’s robe he was not expressing self-righteous distaste—he simply couldn’t do this sort of thing in front of Luo Binghe.
In the original work, didn’t Luo Binghe give girls this very robe each time after sex?
What sort of indignity would this be in front of the protagonist!
Shen Qingqiu discovered that every time he sat to meditate, there would always be some form of outside interference. It happened that time at Ling Xi cave, and again now in the water dungeon.
The stone path rose and the water curtain stopped flowing. Gongyi Xiao hurriedly ran over the path, only managing to glance at Shen Qingqiu before his feet slipped under him.
He stammered, “S…s.. Elder Shen, you…”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t notice anything strange. “What about me?”
Gongyi Xiao had a strange look on his face like he didn’t know whether or not he should turn around and retreat. He hesitated outside of the stone platform and didn’t continue to advance. Following his gaze, Shen Qingqiu looked down.
Gongyi Xiao said, hesitantly, “Those clothes, aren’t they…”
Shen Qingqiu sighed. Luo Binghe’s outer robes.
Gongyi Xiao finally reacted. He hurriedly coughed, then asked, “How has Elder Shen been these past two days?”
Shen Qingqiu replied, “Satisfactory.” You don’t need to pay this much attention to me! Within the space of two days, three people had already visited. During this temporary detainment, he had been receiving such luxurious treatment. Huan Hua Temple must have upgraded their water dungeon recently to include such exceptional hospitality!
Gongyi Xiao said, “I heard that last night Luo Shixiong… was in a terrible rage when he left, so this junior was worried that he might have done something to Elder Shen…” As he spoke, his eyes couldn’t help but linger on the black outer robe.
Under his stare, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but pull the robe tighter over his chest.
What could he do? Luo Binghe had only thrown a tantrum and knocked holes all over the place1, knocking over half the cave. What’s with that look in your eye!
Shen Qingqiu sighed. “Luo Binghe is really like a fish back in water2 at Huan Hua Temple.”
Gongyi Xiao laughed bitterly. “Not only that, but Luo Shixiong’s spiritual power is outstanding, his conduct is unwavering, and his actions swift and decisive.3 Other people are left in the dust—it’s no wonder Shizun regards him so highly. If he weren’t so insistent on not becoming a formal disciple, I’m afraid it would never be my turn to take the place of the head disciple.”
Seeing the look on his face, Shen Qingqiu could sincerely sympathize.
Gongyi Xiao resolutely said, “This junior came to see you for an important matter. This morning, Peak Lord Shang requested a passage waist card from my master but was delayed by other matters and didn’t know when he could slip away. He seemed like he had some pressing business and let this junior bring in a letter.”
He reached into his bosom, where a letter was nestled.
Not only was the letter just hastily folded twice, but it also didn’t have a wax seal or a seal spell.
Shang Qinghua, how courageous!
Gongyi Xiao said, “Please relax, Elder, I’ve already looked through this letter.”
Relax my ass!
Gongyi Xiao continued, “However, I couldn’t understand what it was saying.”
Shen Qingqiu inwardly released a held breath. Good, it looked like he misread the situation. Shang Qinghua wouldn’t f*** up this badly. He most likely used some sort of secret code in the letter, so there was nothing to fear even if someone had intercepted it.
Shen Qingqiu shook open the paper with two fingers. After skimming it, his face turned green. After reading two lines, his face turned white. All sorts of colors bloomed on his face and crisscrossed with each other in a lively show.
Shen Qingqiu: “…”
This letter was written in English.
The grammar was entirely Chinese, and uncommon words were just replaced by their Pinyin equivalents.
Great author Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, did you not consider the possibility that I can’t understand your toilet-tier English?
After putting together the pieces of the puzzle to guess the meaning of this message, Shen Qingqiu directed his energy to his hand. The paper broke into fragments and floated to the floor like snow in June—just like his mental state after enduring the rollercoaster of events that occurred the past few days.
As it turns out, it was him who underestimated Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky.
For Peerless Cucumber’s eyes only:
(Translator’s Note: Shen Qingqiu’s reader ID is Peerless Cucumber)
Everything is set, all the appropriate preparations have been made. The place has not changed. There was only a small mishap with the time. In order to let the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed mature as soon as possible, I got a little something to help it ripen but accidentally overdid it. Right now, it’s as ripe as it will ever get and will rot in no more than a week, so I hope you can leave Huan Hua Temple’s water prison as soon as possible. Don’t worry, it was only something like chemical fertilizer, there shouldn’t be any difference when using it. I hope.
What do you mean a little deviation from the plan? Was there even anything close to a plan in this person’s head?
You dare use chemical fertilizer to ripen that green plant that could be harmed by the pure sky? Just to ripen it! “There shouldn’t be any difference when using it”—this sort of guarantee is as trustworthy as the producers of powdered milk to enlarge your baby’s head!
Gongyi Xiao looked around and said, “Elder, are you done reading? If you have, please toss the letter into the lake to destroy it. In fact, last night Luo Shixiong issued an order that allowed no one but him to enter the prison. This junior must leave as early as possible in order to avoid being discovered.
Shen Qingqiu grabbed Gongyi Xiao and said, “Do me a favor.”
Gongyi Xiao responded, “Please ask, as long as I…”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t wait for him to finish with “can do it,” and sincerely asked, “Let me out.”
“…” Gongyi Xiao said with difficulty, “Elder, this is really out of the question.”
Shen Qingqiu said solemnly, “I have a reason to insist on leaving. I absolutely am not thinking of escaping trial by the four sects. After finishing my affairs, I will return to the water prison myself to await judgment. If you don’t believe me, we can establish a blood oath.”
One could not renege on a blood oath, but it didn’t really matter whether or not Shen Qingqiu returned to Huan Hua Temple’s water prison after completing his affairs. So, he was playing an immoral trick on Gongyi Xiao.
Gongyi Xiao said awkwardly, “I certainly believe you, but isn’t it of primary concern for Elder to stay detained in the water prison? What sort of thing is critical enough that you absolutely have to leave? If Elder Shen is willing to explain, I could inform everyone participating in the investigation….”
Shen Qingqiu had some second thoughts. Gongyi Xiao was a Huan Hua Sect disciple, and to be involved in the escape of a prisoner was no small sin on anyone’s head. This was a pretty upstanding youngster, and it wouldn’t be kind to defraud him. Within the limit of seven days, there were bound to be additional opportunities.
Consequently, he changed his tone and said, “You had better not. It wasn’t any worst-case scenario anyway.”
As he spoke, he collected all the paper fragments on the ground with difficulty, tossing them into the lake to destroy the evidence.
Because most of his body was wrapped by the Immortal-Binding Cables, movement was extremely difficult. Before having shifted twice, the black robe had slid off his body.
Gongyi Xiao had originally bent down to help, but after seeing that black robe cast aside to the ground, he unintentionally raised his head to take a look. His arms and legs went rigid at the scene.
Shen Qingqiu: “…..?”
The white garment on his body had been neatly ripped from his shoulder. It was obvious from a glance that someone had violently ripped it open with their bare hands. In addition, there were fragments of material left hanging, looking like they had been pulled out by a whip. On the fair skin left exposed by the damage, there were more than a few pale red scrapes. If one looked closely, there were also faint traces on his neck which had not yet faded.
Gongyi Xiao’s worldview received a devastating shock.
He said in a trembling voice, “Elder, you….are you sure it’s nothing urgent?”
No wonder Luo Binghe had ordered that no one but him was allowed to enter—even if they had the passage waist card—and blocked even Peak Lord Shang’s attempts.
So it’s like this!
Simply a rebellious disciple!
Devoid of conscience!
Worse than a beast!
Gongyi Xiao inwardly cried tears of blood for Elder Shen. Shen Qingqiu himself said, vacantly, “It’s nothing urgent?”
Gongyi Xiao was secretly moved. How….how can Elder Shen show this kind of indifferent expression even in this kind of moment!
Sheng Qingqiu finished tossing all the paper fragments into the lake and said, “You don’t need to take the words I said just now to heart. You….”
Gongyi Xiao suddenly stood up, turned around, then left!
Shen Qingqiu’s expression turned gloomy. I just said you don’t need to take me seriously and you just immediately leave? Isn’t this a bit too blunt?
Who knew that before an hour had passed, Gongyi Xiao would return with an object in his hand. He walked over to Shen Qingqiu, undid the seals binding it, and waved it in a slanted motion.
With the flash of a white blade, the bindings around Shen Qingqiu’s body abruptly loosened, feeling similar to an electric circuit had suddenly been connected. Stretching his fingers, his spiritual energy was unmistakably back in operation and flowing smoothly. Last time it had mysteriously been blocked by the poison, but after being bound by Immortal-Binding Cables for two days the poison had unexpectedly been suppressed again. Could it have been a fighting fire with fire, two negatives make a positive kind of principle?
The Immortal-Binding Cables dropped to the ground in pieces. Gongyi Xiao tossed over the thing in his hands, and Shen Qingqiu reached out his hand to catch it.
The Xiu Ya Sword!
Holding the sword, Shen Qingqiu was overjoyed and astonished. Looking at Gongyi Xiao, he said, “I thought this was supposed to be with the Old Palace Master.”
Gongyi Xiao said in an apprehensive tone, “Even if I risk being punished by my master, this junior could not sit aloof while Senior is disgraced. I believe Senior Shen, please follow me!”
Shen Qingqiu involuntarily felt a sense of helplessness.
That….I keep feeling like….he seems to have misunderstood something significant….
But….forget about it….this is fine….
Shen Qingqiu said decisively, “Good!”
Although the demonic blood in his body was still dormant, Luo Binghe would be able to know where he had gone no matter where he ran.
However, it didn’t matter if he knew where he was as long as Luo Binghe couldn’t chase him there!
Gongyi Xiao said, deeply worried, “Senior, you… can you walk? Do you need me to carry….”
Shen Qingqiu’s face darkened and he took a step, quickly moving his body to prove that he could in fact walk, and walk very quickly at that!
Gongyi Xiao startled, then promptly followed close behind. Unexpectedly, when the two stepped outside the limit of the stone platform and onto the path, the water curtain which had just been raised started spraying water with a boom.
Shen Qingqiu ran but stopped quickly, or else he would have been caught head-on by the water. The two stepped back onto the stone platform, and the water curtain retreated again.
It was like something was deliberately preventing them from leaving. Isn’t this a bit too well-designed?!
Gongyi Xiao suddenly said, “I forgot, once the water prison has been activated, there must be someone on the stone platform; if this person leaves and there isn’t enough weight on the platform, the water curtain will automatically reactivate even if the mechanism has shut off.”
He didn’t have the experience of helping a prisoner escape, so it was natural that he did not remember this sort of matter.
Shen Qingqiu said, “In other words, there has to be one person left on the stone platform before the others can leave?”
Gongyi Xiao nodded. Shen Qingqiu said, “Then you stay here.”
Gongyi Xiao: “….”
After saying this, he flicked his sleeves and headed towards the outside. Behind, Gongyi Xiao weakly raised his hand and said, “Senior Shen, even though junior is very willing to help—but, if you don’t have me to lead the way, I’m afraid you won’t be able to escape….ah….”
Shen Qingqiu looked back and added, “Wait for me to come back.”
Gongyi Xiao blankly stood in the same place. He had half a mind to follow but was hindered by the fact that he had no way of leaving the limits of the stone platform and had no alternative but to wait quietly. In a short amount of time, he heard a muffled sound from outside. Shen Qingqiu walked in dragging a person by the back of his neck.
Shen Qingqiu dragged the still unconscious pocked-face disciple onto the stone platform, patted Gongyi Xiao on the shoulder, and said, “I happened to see this one on patrol and borrowed him for a bit. Let’s go!”
In reality, he didn’t just “happen” to see him. There were four people on patrol, and Shen Qingqiu had hidden in a dark place and carefully selected this mouthy disciple!
- This chapter was translated by Lily.
- “Worse than a beast!” – Did Gongyi Xiao think Binghe whipped him? Or did he think Binghe had taken advantage of his own master?
- 天南地北 (tiān nán dì běi), literally “sky south ground north”, or all over the place.
- 如鱼得水 (rú yú dé shuǐ), this idiom is translated literally here.
- 雷厉风行 (léi lì fēng xíng), literally ‘to pass like thunder and move like the wind’.
- Written in English in the original.
- 漏洞百出 (lòu dòng bǎi chū) -”one hundred loopholes” meaning full of mistakes