Chapter 41: Escaping Death at Huayue (2)
His entire figure was soaked with the ghastly crimson color of blood. Innumerable injuries could be seen all over his body, and even more blood leaked from the corner of his mouth. He seemed to have forgotten how many swords had been directed towards him already. A deranged anger covered his face, and it was clear that he had long let go of sanity, devolving into qi deviation.
This scene, under the brilliant, dizzying illumination of the fire, was terrifying beyond measure. For a moment, Shen Qingqiu forgot that he was within the Dream Realm, and threw himself towards Liu Qingge to pull out Cheng Luan.
The sword had already pierced through Liu Qingge’s heart. Shen Qingqiu gently nudged it, only to be met with a spray of blood. Seeing this shocking sight, he slightly sobered up, retreating two steps back and bumping into another person.
He jerked around violently. Yue Qingyuan faced him, his head lowered.
Although they were facing each other, Yue Qingyuan’s eyes were empty of any light. From his neck to his chest, through all four limbs and his abdomen… he was punctured with black arrows.
Ten-thousand arrows had pierced through his body.
Shen Qingqiu suddenly realized what he was seeing in front of him—these were their original deaths!
The deaths that the original Shen Qingqiu had caused with his own hands!
Shen Qingqiu could not bear looking at the sight any longer. He would have rather been surrounded by a crowd of the faceless figures outside than to continue looking on at this kind of scene!
He retreated towards the direction where he had first entered. Unexpectedly, he was still able to find the sliding wood door. Shen Qingqiu ran like a man who had just been granted amnesty, speeding away from the door as soon as he stepped foot outside. This time his mind was unstable, his thoughts a scrambled mess. As he staggered along the street, he couldn’t help but stumble over himself a few times, cutting a sorry figure.
The “people” on the street stared at him. The surroundings were deathly silent.
When he had been running for who knows how long, he suddenly ran head-on into the chest of a passerby.
This person’s reaction was to immediately envelop him into an embrace filled with heavy emotions.
The other person was taller than him by quite a bit, with a slim and lanky build. He was clothed entirely in black, except for a small exposed area around his neck. Above that, he was wearing a ferocious ghost mask.
Shen Qingqiu hadn’t even been able to say anything before he heard an amused voice come from above:
“Shizun, be careful.”
He didn’t need to look under the mask to know who the person behind it was.
Shen Qingqiu suddenly fought against the other’s embrace. The other person didn’t attempt to suppress him, and struggling free wasn’t hard. Only after he had retreated enough footsteps to guarantee his safety did he look at the figure.
Shen Qingqiu asked, “Did you make this city?”
Luo Binghe slowly removed his mask. The expression on his face almost looked like he regretted the “ghost-chasing-human” game didn’t last longer. “Not bad. What does Shizun think?”
Shen Qingqiu slowly nodded his head. “You really are worthy of being called the Dream Demon’s prized disciple.”
To be able to craft an illusion at such a meticulous level was an impressive task. Compared to the one that the Dream Demon had trapped them in so long ago, this one wasn’t lacking.
Furthermore, this illusion had managed to accurately grasp on to his greatest fear.
Originally, Luo Binghe’s mood had been somewhat good. Hearing this statement, however, his smile vanished. “I’m not the Dream Demon’s disciple.”
Shen Qingqiu found this somewhat strange. “Didn’t you pay your respects to him as your teacher?”
Luo Binghe choked, then indignantly replied, “No!”
Alright. No meant no. Shen Qingqiu didn’t feel like lingering on this question.
Luo Binghe said, “Shizun, if you’re willing to come back on your own, you can negotiate any terms.”
Shen Qingqiu replied, “Can this be considered ‘lenient sentencing’?”
Luo Binghe said, “As long as I don’t remove my blood from your body, any attempts to flee are futile.”
Shen Qingqiu said, “Oh. Is that it?”
He laughed. “Then, right now, why aren’t you trying to grab me?”
Luo Binghe stiffened, a flash of light flickering in his pupils.
Seeing this expression, Shen Qingqiu’s heart suddenly sunk.
Slowly, he asked, “That sword of yours, is something wrong with it?”
Heavens help me, ah!
When Luo Binghe had fallen into the Endless Abyss, he had found, inside the corpse of an ancient creature, a strange sword that a master Devil master forged using his own heart blood.
This sword was known as Heart Devil.
Hearing this name was enough for one to know that this was a dangerous item, right?!
That was, of course, a must! The more powerful a spirit weapon was, the more difficult it was to control. From the eons of time between the ancient era and now, the Heart Devil sword had gone through hundreds of owners. All of them were formidable geniuses within their sects—yet, despite this, there wasn’t a single one that was able to escape the fate of dying by their own sword.
The Heart Devil sword fought against all that wielded it. If one could force the spirit to acknowledge you, it would serve as a formidable weapon; yet, if there was a day in the future where one was unable to suppress the sword’s evil nature, then they were nothing more than a sacrificial sheep being led to the slaughter.
The original Luo Binghe had first suffered the side effects only after entering the Demonic Secret Realm and narrowly escaped being devoured by the sword. In order to resolve this problem, a 500 chapter side plot had occurred, where Luo Binghe had then collected eight or nine more little sisters.
But now, the entire plot of the story was in shambles. The plot event of the sword’s counterattack was now occurring too far ahead of schedule!
The Heart Devil sword’s counterattack was not at all easy to deal with. It was no wonder that Luo Binghe had been unable to chase him. Being so preoccupied with finding the remedy, of course, he could not catch Shen Qingqiu himself!
Suddenly, Luo Binghe grabbed one of his shoulders, forcefully pulling at his robe.
Why was he back?
Luo Binghe’s expression looked as dark as the burnt base of a pot. Slowly, one word at a time, he spat out, “Even if I can’t personally come right now, Shizun shouldn’t celebrate too much.”
Still, don’t rip my clothes! Shen Qingqiu grabbed at the remaining cloth, angrily shouting, “What are you doing?! Is this the only way you know how to humiliate someone?”
Luo Binghe replied, “It was clearly Shizun that first humiliated me!”
System: 【Coolness +50】.
This could also add points? It was too abnormal! Why did he feel like this was too abnormal?
Luo Binghe’s hand exerted force, instantly crushing the white fabric into small pieces that disappeared with the wind. He moved forward, his expression not quite hateful yet, and pressed towards Shen Qingqiu’s direction. Seeing Luo Binghe’s eyes, Shen Qingqiu felt at once a violent dread form inside him.
Although he had never known that Luo Binghe possessed a tendency to rip up clothes, he wasn’t about to sit around and wait for death. He aimed a dozen attacks towards Luo Binghe, then quickly tried to make his escape.
Luo Binghe was clearly capable of gaining the upper hand, and yet preferred to play cat-and-mouse, patiently playing around with him.
Shen Qingqiu’s speed was extremely fast, but in Luo Binghe’s eyes, he was always a beat slower than him. Whenever Shen Qingqiu attempted to strike him, he was able to step aside calmly, then symbolically return an attack. Combined with the annoying people commenting on the System, and with the protagonist’s coolness constantly going up 20, 30, 50 times incessantly, it really was enough to drive someone crazy!
After a few back and forths, Shen Qingqiu’s face blackened.
Where are you trying to hit?! Are you playing around with me?! Isn’t the objective of a fight to knock the opponent down?!
How was this a fight! This couldn’t even be considered exchanging pointers—it was practically assault!
When he thought of this, Shen Qingqiu became distracted and accidentally went too fast, crashing towards Luo Binghe.
Luo Binghe unexpectedly did not even cower, allowing Shen Qingqiu to crash into his embrace. His voice spoke, amused and cheerful: “This maneuver Shizun used was something that he personally taught me. Of course, using it has its pros and cons, the greatest disadvantage being that the lower body becomes unstable. How has Shizun forgotten it?”
At this moment, Shen Qingqiu’s mind became filled with a colorful array of “you little ****er” emotes.
F***! This maneuver really was something that he had taught to Luo Binghe!
His memory went back to the time when Luo Binghe had just moved out of the firewood room. At that time, with his extraordinary Heaven-gifted talent, Luo Binghe had managed to tentatively develop his own style of fighting. However, other than the few moves that all the disciples were taught, everything else he had learned was worth dog sh**.
Shen Qingqiu, seeing him practice a set of sword, foot, and palm exercises, couldn’t help but facepalm. Luo Binghe, at the side, waited for his verdict.
At a time like this, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t bear to strike him down. After a while, he finally squeezed out a line: “It’s very flexible.”
In order to correct Luo Binghe’s painful-to-look-at form, Shen Qingqiu painstakingly went to great lengths to give him daily personal training. However, for whatever reason, this smart and perceptive child performed extremely poorly. Luo Binghe, who should have been able to pick up on lessons easily without being instructed twice, in reality forgot what he was taught almost immediately. He would frequently use too much force, crashing into Shen Qingqiu’s arms for who knows how many times, until eventually Shen Qingqiu reached his breaking point.
Are you doing this on purpose?!
He couldn’t help but firmly slap Luo Binghe’s forehead, yelling, “Is this how you fight your opponents? You’re practically throwing yourself into their laps!”
After this, the red-faced Luo Binghe finally began to learn properly, not daring to make any more mistakes.
However, today, Shen Qingqiu had unexpectedly been lectured by Luo Binghe on his incorrect posture.
What kind of world was this!
Shen Qingqiu felt like his pride as a teacher had suffered a great blow.
While he was distracted, Luo Binghe’s hands began to trail down his back, causing a line of goosebumps to form on Shen Qingqiu’s skin.
Shen Qingqiu gritted his teeth. “Luo Binghe!”
System: 【Coolness +100! Congratulations!】
Congratulations my a**!
Luo Binghe tore off another fragment of the white robe, remarking, “When I see Shizun wear this robe, my heart becomes ten times unhappier. It’s better to take it all off.”
Was he implying that he wouldn’t be happy until Shen Qingqiu was naked?
Shen Qingqiu said, “If you hate me, don’t take it out on the robe. It belongs to Gongyi Xiao!”
Luo Binghe’s expression deepened. “Shizun is the one who hates me. You even rejected a robe because I wore it.”
Why? Why were two grown men debating a robe in the midst of a faceless audience? Luo Binghe, were you really the type to have such delicate feelings?
I even brushed it clean and folded it for you, what else do you want? Did you really expect me to hand-wash it and then personally return it to you?!
Shen Qingqiu’s expression changed erratically. Seeing this, Luo Binghe inquired, “Shizun, what are you thinking?”
Coldly, he added, “If it’s Gongyi Xiao, I advise Shizun to stop thinking about him.”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart became filled with an ominous premonition. Heavily, he asked, “…What is it about Gongyi Xiao?”
According to the original plotline, Gongyi Xiao’s banishment into the prospectless border as a patrol guard followed after Luo Binghe and the Young Palace Mistress tumbled together in bed.
But now that the plot had devolved into a mess that not even Airplane Shooting Towards The Sky could recognize it, anything could happen.
But before Luo Binghe could answer, the faceless people around Shen Qingqiu suddenly began to move.
Before, they had either stared blankly like mentally handicapped people or busied themselves with whatever they were doing. Now, however, they began to condense towards Shen Qingqiu, forcing him into the middle. Unable to force them apart, he sent a look at Luo Binghe.
Luo Binghe’s eyebrows were tightly knitted together, with one hand was pressed against his forehead. He seemed to be preoccupied with something, as if he was resisting some kind of force invading his head.
Shen Qingqiu was suddenly brought back to his senses. This reaction must have been caused by the Heart Devil sword counterattacking and invading Luo Binghe’s mind. Unable to produce enough energy to maintain the illusion, the dreamscape was starting to collapse.
If he didn’t leave now, then when?
Since Luo Binghe was currently unable to distract or hinder him, then, according to his experience, he should be able to destroy this weakening dreamscape as long as he could overcome his heart’s greatest fear.
Shen Qingqiu, having decided to leave, left. Luo Binghe’s splitting headache prevented him from moving. He could only helplessly yell, “If you dare to take even one more step, see what happens!”
Shen Qingqiu immediately walked ten or so steps. Afterwards, he turned around, asking, “What?”
Seeing this, Luo Binghe was angered to the point of spitting up blood. Word by word, he spat out, “…Wait and see!”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t turn around. Coldly and loftily, he replied, “Goodbye!”
Do you think if you tell me to wait I’ll wait? I’m not an idiot!
Shen Qingqiu looked around at one of the nearby shops. Kicking the door open, he entered the store.
No matter what was waiting for him inside, Shen Qingqiu had resolved to confront it with absolute calmness.
At the very least, his chances were higher here than facing off against Luo Binghe!
As soon as the door closed, the clamorous sounds from outside were cut as if by a sharp knife, enveloping the room in a deathly stillness.
Shen Qingqiu held his breath, silently waiting.
After a while, as if someone had lit a candle, the surroundings gradually lit up. Shen Qingqiu lowered his head, just in time to lock eyes with a foreign, yet familiar face.
A thin boy knelt in front of him.
He was clothed in a coarse cloth garment. In his kneeling position, he gave off the impression of a crestfallen figure. Behind him, his hands were tightly tied together with rope. Although his face was deathly pale, however, his two pupils were filled with life.
Shen Qingqiu was unable to tear his eyes off of him.
This scene was absolutely not in his memory. However, this face really did resemble him. Only the polish of time and cultivation were missing, and there was a youth to the boy’s face that was no longer present now.
This was Shen Qingqiu, and yet it wasn’t Shen Qingqiu.
What must be made certain was—this was Shen Jiu!
Shen Qingqiu suddenly sat up from the floorboards.
After waking up, he looked around, realizing that he was lying inside an abandoned building. The sky was bright, daylight spilling in from the shabby window frames and the small cracks in the rice-paper walls.
The memories came flooding back. Yesterday, during the festival, he had randomly wandered around until he found an abandoned building. His original plan had only been to rest for a while; however, Luo Binghe dragged him into the Dream Realm once he was asleep.
Thinking back to the dreamscape before its collapse, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but become pensive.
Although the original goods and him were two completely different people, they shared one flesh body. Inevitably, he would suffer some influence. What he saw yesterday should have been the original Shen Jiu’s childhood memories.
This could be considered as cheating. The current Shen Qingqiu suffered no trauma from watching these memories, so naturally the illusion had been easy to dissipate.
However, in retrospect, Shen Qingqiu felt doubt creeping his mind. In the dream, Shen Jiu had been tied up. He had originally thought that this time period was when Shen Jiu was still in the hands of the slave traffickers, yet the room had a soft carpet, all sorts of valuables, and calligraphy scrolls and paintings hanging from the walls. This noble room, instead of a traffickers’ hideout, was more like a rich man’s study…
It seemed like in the Qiu family, Shen Jiu had not received the love and affection that Qiu Haitang claimed he had.
- This chapter is by Cheryl.
- Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you can. I love comments.