Chapter 52 – Eternal Regret of the Chunshan
(TN: Chunshan means “Spring (time) Mountain.”)<
Not long ago, Shen Qingqiu would still have been able to believe that Luo Binghe was naturally still holding a grudge and kept the scars so he could remind himself of his hatred at any time. But now, Shen Qingqiu could not deceive himself any more about the meaning of these actions.
After reading that long a novel, even after raising him from childhood, he had never discovered that Luo Binghe was actually a pure-hearted young man. This deeply emotional stallion protagonist, after becoming a cut-sleeve, went so far as to completely drop the ‘stallion’ part of his character. This Luo Binghe, who he had raised bent to who knows where, had a heart more delicate than a young maiden—both a masochist and easy to harm.
Or maybe it wasn’t that he had never discovered it, but that he had never thought to find out. When all was said and done, Shen Qingqiu had still regarded Luo Binghe as the protagonist in a novel and himself as an observer from afar, occasionally playing around for his own amusement. Most of the time he had kept himself at a distance. In his eyes, he had superimposed an image of the original Luo Binghe who had the strongest presence onto reality, attaching the most importance to that model of behavior.
Even though Shen Qingqiu felt that this kind of Luo Binghe was extremely inconvenient to deal with, he was really at a loss for what to do.
He was still wracking his brain for solutions and, from this angle, couldn’t see the wisp of a twisted smile that tilted the corner of Luo Binghe’s mouth.
After waking, Shen Qingqiu opened his eyes and saw a snow-white muslin veil above him. Someone pushed open the door and walked in. Lightly closing the door behind them, they said, “You’re awake?”
Shen Qingqiu rotated his neck and looked at the other out of the corner of his eye.
Under the light of lanterns and the warm moon, that man was indeed born with a good face. The corner of his mouth held in a smile, and he was clearly of incomparable intelligence and talent. His eyes, especially, exhibited a kind of warm and quick-witted air.
He knew this pair of eyes. Eyes that had risen from Lushui Lake.1
Shen Qingqiu rolled to a seated position and an ice bag fell from his forehead. The man stooped to retrieve it and placed it on the table, replacing it with a new one.
Upon seeing this, Shen Qingqiu would be embarrassed to say the flood of “Who are you”s and “What do you want”s piling up under his tongue. Coughing once, he said with a reserved tone, “Many thanks to your distinguished self for your assistance in escaping Huan Hua Palace.”
That young man stood up by the table and said, smiling, “Humans have a saying, a drop of kindness is repaid as a gushing spring.2 Besides, the kindness that Master Shen offered me far surpassed a drop.”
First of all, this young master was indeed that snake man from Bai Lu Forest.
Second of all, this young master knew that the person under this shell was Shen Qingqiu.
Shen Qingqiu sounded out a name. “Tianlang-Jun?”
The reason why the ancient line of Heavenly Demons was called “Heavenly” was because, according to legend, their bloodline had chosen to fall from grace and leave the heavenly realm to become demons. Only a Heavenly Demon with a lineage purer than Luo Binghe’s could suppress the Heavenly Demon’s blood within Shen Qingqiu’s body. In that case, a problem arose. Of the Heavenly Demon lineage, Shen Qingqiu knew, the original work had only named two: Luo Binghe, and his father. Who else could it be?
But he couldn’t strike gold more than three times.3 Shen Qingqiu’s genius riddle-solving method, which had succeeded every time to date, finally hit a wall here.
The man shook his head and said, “Master Shen, treating me as Junshang is really an excessive honor.”
Hearing these two characters “Junshang,” Shen Qingqiu finally knew which character this person was.
At the opening of the original work, Tianlang-Jun had already been suppressed under a high mountain. As for this war of many years past, Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky only roughly covered the matter because it had little to do with the protagonist’s slaughtering and stallion habits. He merely said that Tianlang-Jun was “no match for a siege by the combined powers of the cultivator magnates of the Human Realm, he was suppressed under XX mountain, eternally unable to turn around, separated from his trusted general and confidant by death or injury.”
Which mountain was XX mountain, exactly? Shen Qingqiu had never properly considered this question. But after his curiosity was piqued, he finally recalled what XX mountain was.
Bailu Forest on Bailu Mountain!
Shen Qingqiu looked the man up and down. So this was Luo Binghe’s father’s “trusted general and confidant!”
Looking at him now, he already could see no trace of his snake-like deformities. Shen Qingqiu swallowed and said, “May I venture to ask you, sire… what is your distinguished name?”
The man said, courteously, “Tianlang-Jun’s second-in-command, Zhuzhi-Lang.”4
His words had only just left his mouth when the System gave a notification: 【Repaired completeness of storyline and unlocked secret character, B points +300. Activated plot hole filling event, B points + 100!】
A burst of uncontrollable excitement suddenly welled up in Shen Qingqiu.
“Plot hole filling” definitely referred to those behind-the-scenes deceitful massacres and assassinations with unclear explanations or setup bugs in the original work. This was the number one reason for Shen Yuan’s disdain for《Proud Immortal Demon Way》. It was also a big reason for him beating his chest and stomping his feet, gnashing his teeth in anger and resentment after finishing the novel.
Now, he had drawn out a character that had never directly appeared on stage, and the System had opened a plot hole filling event. Could it be that, next, he would finally uncover the truth behind those giant plot holes ripping through the sky?!
Shen Qingqiu said, “I saved you once, you also saved me once—we’re even now.”
The “saved you once” he spoke of was referring to that time he kept Gongyi Xiao from killing the snake man. But Zhu Zhilang shook his head and said, “More than that. If not for Master Shen, I’m afraid my humble self would not have been able to approach the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed for many more years. How could you say we’re even already?”
Shen Qingqiu understood his reasoning. “Okay, we can discuss this. Can’t you immediately extract these two things from my blood? Do you have to keep them in?”
This was like if you had a parasite in your body and the doctor’s treatment method was to put in another parasite to fight it. No matter how you think about it, the situation is even more terrible!
Zhuzhi-Lang said, “En… this was the first time my humble self utilized Heavenly Demon’s Blood. Before this I really have never heard of any means of dispelling it.”
Though the answer dampened his spirits, Shen Qingqiu still expressed his understanding. After the blood entered the body and dissolved without a trace, it truly would not be reasonable to separate it again. Zhuzhi-Lang said, “Though it cannot be dispelled, so long as my blood is also in Master Shen’s body, that person’s Heavenly Demon’s Blood cannot be activated. After going to the Demon Realm, there will be no trail to follow and there will be no way he can torment you any more.”
Shen Qingqiu said, “Hold on. When did I say that I wanted to go to the Demon Realm?”
Zhuzhi-Lang said, “We’re going very soon.”
Shen Qingqiu examined his expression and said, “The ‘repayment’ you spoke of—it wouldn’t happen to be taking me to the Demon Realm?”
What were they going to do in the Demon Realm? It was short in supplies and natural resources, the culture and custom were incompatible, and he would not be acclimatized to the environment. In addition, there was a whole pile of more urgent worries right under his eyes. Before, while his brain was scared into meltdown by Luo Binghe’s near-necrophiliac behavior, he had let Liu Qingge get away with his original body. Would Luo Binghe clear out Cang Qiong Mountain in anger?!5
He had to return and clear the air between everyone involved. Shen Qingqiu immediately tossed the quilt aside, planning to run away. Who knew that just as he started to move, he would feel something both smooth and sticky, soft and ice cold crawl up his leg?
A jade-green snake slowly stretched its head out from the quilt, flicking a scarlet tongue towards Shen Qingqiu with a hiss.
This snake was three fingers thick and, at first glance, was similar to the venomous Chinese green tree viper of the Human Realm.6 The eye sockets were extremely large and the pupils were extremely small, and the contrast shocked the eye and astonished the heart. But Shen Qingqiu did not fear this type of soft-bodied animal. Looking at it with a cool glance, he stealthily collected spiritual power in the palm of his hand, planning on catching it off guard and snapping off seven inches. Suddenly, the jade-green snake reared back, red mouth gaping open.
To the eye it was merely a snake, but from its mouth it issued an ear-piercing shriek that could have come from a human throat. At the same time, thickly packed green darts exploded from behind its head like a blossoming flower. The sharp tips were suffused with scarlet red; it was obvious to see that they were extremely poisonous. The snake’s body inflated several times like it had been pumped up with air. Just a moment ago it could have been said to be a dainty and cute ornamental snake, but now it was some sort of f***ing monster.
The Demon Realm variety was certainly savage. Shen Qingqiu immediately dispelled any intention of touching it with his bare hands.
Zhuzhi-Lang poured out a cup of tea. Placing it on the table, he said cordially, “Master Shen, why do you try to leave as soon as I finish my explanation? I sincerely wish to repay your kind assistance from Bailu Forest.”
Shen Qingqiu bit at his lip. “You want me to go to the Demon Realm, and if I don’t go you’ll put this kind of thing in my bed. Is this your ‘repayment’?”
Zhuzhi-Lang smiled and said, “Not only in your bed.”
Another small snake that was as thick as a thumb slid out from Shen Qingqiu’s clothes.
This snake had been coiled in his clothes all along, and having been warmed by his body temperature was nesting comfortably, not moving a bit. Shen Qingqiu didn’t even notice its presence. With an unceasing hiss, a flood of countless green snakes, some thick some thin, crawled out from under the bed, carpeting the whole floor.
Shen Qingqiu stayed taciturn for a while, then said, “The Snake Race?”
Zhuzhi-Lang said calmly, “My father was from the southern border.”
No wonder he was called this name.
The Demon Race attached very much importance to social class and lineage. Common demons or demons with lowly lineages could not take the title “Jun.” Shen Qingqiu thought it over—this part of his name was a suffix representing his social status, like how one must not encroach upon the taboo name of the emperor.
Luo Binghe’s time occupying the top seat had not gone smoothly, and this was because the demon Juns had much to say about the human portion of his mixed blood. As for the characters with the kind of name “XX-Lang,” Luo Binghe had killed more than a few in the early stages of the Demon Realm plotline. So, Shen Qingqiu concluded, those with this character weren’t all slumming it in caves, but at least were not of extraordinary origin.
Zhuzhi-Lang undoubtedly belonged to the Heavenly Demon bloodline, but couldn’t take the title of Jun. The issue was definitely mixed blood.
The Snake Race lived in a community on the southern border of the Demon Realm. Strictly speaking, they still counted as part of the Demon Race, but their bodies took the form of giant snakes. They were born like this, and with increasing age and cultivation very few transformed to take a human appearance, shedding their scales. Most of them stayed in snake form their entire lives.
Shen Qingqiu said, “Who is your honored mother?”
Zhuzhi-Lang said, “Tianlang-Jun’s younger sister.”
In any case, Tianlang-Jun’s younger sister counted as something like a princess of the Demon Realm. How much can you fret over it, that out of everyone, she had to have a child with a snake━this kink is too f**king hardcore!
Shen Qingqiu endured those two snakes dawdling on his leg and stomach and said, “So, you are technically Luo Binghe’s cousin? … I say, can’t you tell them not to… crawl into my clothes?”
Zhuzhi-Lang said, “Only speaking of seniority, that certainly can be said. They seem to be very fond of Master Shen; there’s nothing my humble self can do.”
Who would believe there’s nothing you can do!
Shen Qingqiu endured it and asked, “Why would you go to Huan Hua Temple?”
Zhuzhi-Lang said with much patience, “I originally went to take care of official business. I never thought I’d see Master Shen.”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart gave a jump. “Official business? This official business you speak of, does it have to do with Luo Binghe?”
Linking hands to declare themselves tyrant? Conflicts within the Demon Realm? Or was it a situation of “moving the sky and the ground, a deeply emotional demon family reunion after many years of separation, crying on each other’s shoulders”?
This time, Zhuzhi-Lang smiled and did not answer. Shen Qingqiu said, “I’m afraid it wasn’t a touching situation of visiting new in-laws after a marriage kind of official business.”
Zhuzhi-Lang said, unhurriedly, “I was only obeying my lord’s orders.”
Shen Qingqiu asked, “This body, was it molded from the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed?”
If he had used it for himself, that was not a problem. But if he had not used the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed on himself, then it was probable that he used it to create a body for Tianlang-Jun. Tianlang-Jun had been suppressed under the mountain, propping himself up on a single breath for this many years. His original body was likely long ruined. But, if he could make like a cicada shedding its carapace, Shen Qingqiu really didn’t know what wind and waves would arrive. Shen Qingqiu had a not-entirely-wonderful premonition, that this careless flap of a butterfly’s wings had released an impressive monster. Not having received a reply, his mind could not be put to rest. He continued, “Taking me to the Demon Realm, was that another one of your lord’s orders?”
Whenever his questions touched upon the topic of Tianlang-Jun, Zhuzhi-Lang clammed up and refused to answer, only giving a polite smile which made others choke with resentment. Only when Shen Qingqiu finally withdrew in defeat, he opened his mouth, still with his typical refined and courteous manner. “Rest well, Master Shen. If you have any needs please say and I will definitely handle them for you. We can depart for the borderlands tomorrow at the latest.”
Shen Qingqiu said with a dry mouth and tongue, “Do you have money?”
Zhuzhi-Lang responded, “I do.”
Shen Qingqiu: “Can I use it?”
Zhuzhi-Lang: “As you wish.”
Shen Qingqiu: “I want women.”
Zhuzhi-Lang stared blankly.
Shen Qingqiu repeated, “Wasn’t it you who said if I had a need I should bring it up, feel free to do as I wish? I want women. Get rid of the snakes.”
A slight crack finally split open Zhuzhi-Lang’s smiling expression. After quite a while, he did as instructed. Shen Qingqiu hummed a laugh and turned to get off the bed. Putting on his outer jacket, his outfit was complete. Zhuzhi-Lang seemed to hesitate for some time, considering whether to follow. In the next moment, Shen Qingqiu strode out the door and he followed behind like his back leg.
Before, as Qing Jing Peak’s Peak Lord, he had to be mindful of his image, and though a thousand curiosities grabbed at his mind and itched his liver, he had persevered in that brothels were not to be entered. But now, he had the opportunity. Shen Qingqiu treated Zhuzhi-Lang, following behind, as if he were nothing. Strolling a lap around the town, he picked the intimate-looking “Warm Red Pavilion” and stepped in, completely at ease.7
Before long, Shen Qingqiu was beside brightly colored decorations as his nostrils were assailed by the scent of talcum powder. Zhuzhi-Lang took a seat beside the round table, unmoving like Mt. Tai.
Shen Qingqiu said, “What’s that look on your face?”
Zhuzhi-Lang averted his eyes and said, “It’s just… I’m rather astonished. Master Shen would even have an interest in this place of prostitution.”
Shen Qingqiu said, “In a moment you’ll see what I have an interest in.”
Just as he was speaking, a new songstress leisurely approached. She was slightly older and the cosmetics she wore were somewhat colorful. Hugging a pipa to her bosom, she sat on the floral bench. Meeting eyes with Shen Qingqiu, she seemed startled.
Shen Qingqiu didn’t know the reason, and nodded at her. “Young lady?”
The songstress snapped out of it and said with an easy smile, “Don’t be apprehensive, mister, you have a very good appearance and it reminded this servant of an old acquaintance━my eyes were deceived.”
After speaking, she lowered her head and did not bring it up again. After a few clangs and skritches, she started to sing.
Shen Qingqiu was originally whispering in the ears of the girls next to him, not caring to listen to the music. But, after hearing two phrases, he suddenly felt that he had heard two very unbelievable things. Calling for the songstress to stop, he said, “Young lady, what is this you’re singing?”
The woman said with a tender voice, “This servant is singing the new popular ballad《Eternal Regret of Chunshan》.”
Shen Qingqiu said, face full of black lines, “That’s strange━just now I seem to have heard you singing of two names? Could you repeat those?”
The pipa player smiled behind her sleeve and said, “What’s strange about it? Could it be that Mister never heard? The leading roles of《Eternal Regret of Chunshan》, it goes without saying, are those two Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe, ah.”
When did they f***ing get made into a popular ballad?!
Zhuzhi-Lang was declining all service, quietly sitting to the side and pretending to be empty air. What a pity that he exposed himself when his shoulders faintly shook. Shen Qingqiu said, “Uh… could I ask, this… eternal regret of whatever mountain, what story does it tell?”
The women next to him said in a chorus of chirping voices, “Mister, you don’t even know this? The Eternal Regret of Chunshan tells of the lingering sorrow of unspoken desire between Shen Qingqiu and his beloved disciple Luo Binghe, the forbidden and taboo…”
Shen Qingqiu persevered and listened to the story in a petrified state from head to tail.
To clear up the plot, in short, this was a shameless master-disciple couple, spending all day on some nameless mountain ignoring their duties to papapa, going down the mountain to fight monsters and papapa, using papapa to settle misunderstandings, still needing a round of papapa before dying, continuing to papapa after death, continuing to papapa as before after resurrection…… story.
The pipa player sighed faintly, plucking a string with her fingertip. “Never having understood the affection in the other’s heart in life and laying with the body after death, this level of deep love is truly matchless in this age.”
All the women followed with incessant sighs and sobs, not to mention, had already begun to shed tears of emotion.
Shen Qingqiu buried his head deeply in his hands.
How damnable, is this some f***ing por*?
Here is a picture of a Pipa being played.
- This chapter is by Lily.
- How tragic is it when a man goes to a place to buy some female companionship, only to find that they are all
fujoshiswho are fans of your love story with your wayward disciple?
- Regarding the title, spring is the time for romance. For example, 春宵chūnxiāo means “spring night” but it’s also used to refer to a night of
papapa. In the title, it’s a “spring mountain.”
- Papapa – the onomatopoeia of flesh on flesh.
- “…the title of Jun.” 君 (jūn) means monarch; lord; gentleman; ruler.
- It seems like 天琅君 Tianlang-Jun is a title given to the lords or kings of the demon realm with ancient/heavenly demon blood. Tian – heavenly. Lang – onomatopeia of jade, meaning some precious. Jun – lord.
- “Junshang” – 君上 – same as the Jun above and
shangmeans “high” or “exalted.” So it’s something like “the great lord.”
- For those that don’t recall, this is the place from where Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua acquired the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed in Chapter 30.
- 滴水之恩当涌泉相报 (dī shuǐ zhī ēn, dāng yǒng quán xiāng bào), a statement from Master Zhu’s family precepts. The meaning is pretty much literal, I just thought this saying was very poetic.
- 事不过三 (shì bù guò sān). Translates literally as “a thing doesn’t happen more than three times”, chengyu (idiom) meaning “don’t repeat the same mistake again and again” or “a bad thing won’t happen more than three times”.
- 竹枝郎 (Zhúzhī-Láng), with the characters for ‘bamboo’ and ‘branch’, ‘lang’ is a title denoting status.
- 一锅端 (yī guō duān), lit. to ‘carry away the whole pot’. Used colloquially to mean ‘clear’ or ‘eliminate’.
- 竹叶青, lit. ‘bamboo leaf green’, Trimeresurus stejnegeri if you’re curious.
- 暖红阁 (nuǎn hóng gé), translated in text because it maps well to English.