Chapter 68 – In Zhao Hua Temple
He had lowered his head in contemplation, but Liu Qingge thought he was ashamed after the scolding. His expression relaxed and his tone became less severe. “All our comrades don’t understand why you insist on being so good to him.”
Liu Qingge leaned slightly forwards and the bright candlelight painted a layer of warmth onto his snow-pale face. He asked tightly, “Or to say, those rumors, are they all true?”
He really had been too naive and innocent to believe that Liu-juju would turn up his nose to that gossip. Shen Qingqiu’s grip tightened on his fan. “So even Liu-shidi would believe those nonsense rumors.”
Liu Qingge sat straight again. “I don’t believe them. But you have been wholeheartedly shielding that thankless wretch.”
Shen Qingqiu said helplessly, “I haven’t been shielding him. I just don’t want to misunderstand him again.”
Liu Qingge said coldly, “I don’t understand the things between you two. It’s easier to shift the mountains and rivers than to change one’s essential character.1 Luo Binghe is absolutely not the benevolent type, you take good care.”
He finished, rose, and walked out. Naturally, Shen Qingqiu also knew Luo Binghe was absolutely not the benevolent type. But, up until now he still could not determine whether or not he was the wicked type━still such a headache. Liu Qingge was almost out the door when he gave the small table a glimpse as he passed by and seemed to have seen something unbelievable, his foot stepping on air.
Raising his head, Shen Qingqiu saw that Liu Qingge still had not left the room. He sensed that something was off. “What?”
Liu Qingge stiffly turned his head, looking him up and down with the complex gaze of someone regarding something they had never seen before. After a while, he shook his head and finally opened the door to leave. In those short few steps, he seemed to have tripped over the door sill.
What is it?!
Shen Qingqiu slept soundly that night.
Early in the morning the next day, when he was still half in a dream, he sensed someone else in the room.
This person was quiet and light-footed, moving about every corner of the room. Shen Qingqiu lifted an eyelid to look and froze, staring on spot.
The only one who’d be interested in slipping into his room first thing in the morning, of course, it would be Luo Binghe.
But, this was a very different Luo Binghe.
He had changed into a set of white clothes, black hair also bound up in an orderly fashion with a light-colored ribbon. He hurried about the room with a relaxed and contented expression.
This attire and this look were entirely identical to the Luo Binghe from before the Immortal Alliance Conference. A model of a pure and busy disciple from a major sect (cross that out), the image of a diligent and competent young charming maiden (cross that out), it’s really… it really is…
Luo Binghe turned his head. Seeing him propping himself up on one arm, he reached out a hand and said, all smiles, “Shizun is awake? The morning meal is on the table.”
Shen Qingqiu propped up his forehead on one hand, but his body responded on its own and took Luo Binghe’s hand, getting off the bed.
The strange thing was, this sort of morning ritual was the exact same type of service he received every morning long ago on Qing Jing Peak. Getting up, getting dressed, washing up, sitting down, eating breakfast━the whole set was done automatically under Luo Binghe’s careful service.
If the setting was swapped for the bamboo house on Qing Jing Peak, there really would be a frightful illusion of time flowing backward!
Luo Binghe said, “This guest house’s breakfast really is unpalatable. I’ve wronged Shizun.”
If the object of comparison was Luo Binghe’s handiwork, this evaluation was very polite. Shen Qingqiu sighed deeply and asked, “Where is your shishu?”
Luo Binghe said with a smile, “I don’t know.”
Whenever one mentioned one of those two to the other, it would always be those simple and rough three words. Shen Qingqiu figured he had gone as far down that path of inquiry as he could; asking him would be wasting his words. In a lively flash, Luo Binghe had gone to make his bed.
This devil incarnate was making his bed! This scene was too satisfying, but Shen Qingqiu didn’t dare to look. Suddenly, Luo Binghe’s voice rose again. “But, since Shizun is willing to let me call Liu Qingge Shishu, this is to say, you still acknowledge me as a disciple of Qing Jing Peak.”
How many times have you chased me yelling Shizun this, Shizun that?
Shen Qingqiu said, “When has this teacher said you’re not my disciple?”
Luo Binghe said in a low voice, “I always thought Shizun had long tacitly driven me from his door. I always chased you yelling Shizun, but in fact, I was very much afraid it was just my one-sided wishful thinking.”
… He couldn’t take it.
Shen Qingqiu facepalmed. Have some backbone, won’t you? Bing-ge!
You’re the one who stood up in front of the harem and said, “I have this many women and there’s only going to be more and more━take it or get lost.” This type of tyrannical and callous declaration was from a peerless stallion protagonist.
This pure-hearted young man, bringing tea, fetching water, washing clothes, and making beds while bashfully only speaking when his back is turned━who is he?
Who’s possessing your body?
Shen Qingqiu finally had another opportunity to instruct his disciple. He drank a mouthful of tea and said, “It’s very good that you think this way. Since you know you are still a disciple of Qing Jing Peak, then from now on you cannot be this rude to your shishu and shibo.2 Especially when we return to Cang Qiong Mountain today, you must obediently apologize for the last time you encircled the mountain and smashed their halls.”
Of course, the apology would not only be a verbal apology. You have to compensate for the original cost of construction of every building you broke. This was the minimum amount of good faith you could afford.
While efficiently storing away the breakfast dishes, Luo Binghe said carelessly, “We don’t need to return to Cang Qiong Mountain today.”
Shen Qingqiu: “En. En? What are you talking about?”
Luo Binghe said, “I’m saying, if Shizun really wants to see all… my shishu and shibo, we need not return to Cang Qiong Mountain. We can just make a turn and proceed directly towards Zhao Hua Temple.
As soon as those three words “Zhao Hua Temple” left his mouth, the System sent a notification:
【The “Zhao Hua Temple” mission has been officially assigned! Assigner: Luo Binghe. Please select whether or not to accept!】
【Accept Gladly】【Accept reluctantly】【Refuse】
Luo Binghe himself initiated this mission. Shen Qingqiu squinted. “How did you know?”
Luo Binghe said, “Won’t Shizun know if he goes? Let’s go while Liu… Liu-shishu hasn’t returned.”
Before his words had fallen, Liu Qingge returned, kicking the door open with a bang. Though the door had been kicked over, Shen Qingqiu felt that this was the style and entrance method the normal Liu Qingge should have, so his expression did not change. Liu Qingge didn’t spare Luo Binghe a glance as he said to Shen Qingqiu, “Change of plans. We’re not returning to Cang Qiong Mountain today; we’re going to Zhao Hua Temple.”
Shen Qingqiu stood up. “Did something happen?”
Liu Qingge said severely, “Something happened. The news came midnight last night. Today, many sects are going to discuss at Zhao Hua Temple on the head cultivator’s invitation. Cang Qiong Mountain Sect is included. This city’s cultivator clan just got ready to set off.”
On the way to Zhao Hua Temple, they passed through Jinlan City.
In those few years, this formerly flourishing merchant capital had undergone some unknown calamity to be the way it was today. If they weren’t hurrying on an urgent journey, Shen Qingqiu would definitely fly that thick layer of cloud to go take a look.
Not long after they passed Jinlan City, they reached Zhao Hua Temple.
The treasured temple was dignified and stately, nestled at the waist of an ancient verdant mountain. It was usually a quiet and secluded temple, but now it was a boiling cauldron of voices, silhouettes darting back and forth, an unceasing parade of troops on flying swords sailing in and out of the mountain’s waist.
The three stopped at the foot of the layers upon layers of stone steps to the Hall of Great Strength. Liu Qingge said to Shen Qingqiu, “Come with me to go see Zhangmen Shixiong.”
Shen Qingqiu was just about to nod when Luo Binghe followed behind. His status was unusual and his appearance in this context would cause a sensitive situation. Shen Qingqiu said, “You go hide first; don’t let all the sect heads point their spears at you.”
Luo Binghe said indifferently, “If they want to point then let them point. Of course, I have to go with Shizun.”
This one really wouldn’t listen to advice. If he actually followed and someone recognized him, it would add a lot of unnecessary annoyances. Shen Qingqiu said, “Liu-shidi, you go ahead. I’ll come soon after.”
Liu Qingge shot them a cold glance and flew up the steps, going to rendezvous with Cang Qiong Mountain.
As long as he meticulously curbed his energy and adjusted his expression, Luo Binghe could make himself look like a harmless stock character and slip into the bustling crowd. He really did look like a fine youth from a normal sect━it’s just that his face was a bit excessively good-looking and it was hard to avoid drawing people’s attention. As for Shen Qingqiu, aside from that one not-quite-splendid time he showed his face in Jinlan City, he had been buried in the dirt, not showing his face for many years. The chance of being recognized was even lower.
Spectators, packed into layers, encircled the temple hall and plaza in a wall of humanity. In the past, the most numerous and the most high and mighty definitely would have been Huan Hua Palace’s disciples. But, now that Huan Hua Palace had become a demonic cult, they were naturally excluded. They had not even received an invitation, and not one of them was in sight.
Several Zhao Hua Temple abbots presided over the conference in the center of the Hall of Great Strength. Even Great Master Wu Chen was standing among them.3 Only after looking closer was Shen Qingqiu able to discover that both his lower legs were wooden prosthetics. With these, he would be able to stand and walk as normal.
Cang Qiong Mountain, with Yue Qingyuan as head, sat at the side of the hall, holding a solemn and respectful gaze. Liu Qingge had just arrived behind, stooping over to mutter a few words. Yue Qingyuan’s expression stirred. Slightly inclining his head, he cast his gaze around to all sides.
Beside Great Master Wu Chen was Zhao Hua Temple’s host, abbot Wu Wang.4 This grizzled old monk held his palms together, his deep and low voice resounding through the great hall loud and clear.
“This old monk will ask directly.”
“Everyone present, how many of you had that same dream last night?”
Needless to say, this was Luo Binghe’s doing!
The latter said softly by Shen Qingqiu’s ear, “Shizun, weren’t you stressing about not having ‘evidence’? This way, won’t you not have to go to the trouble?”
No wonder he had slept for a while on Xiu Ya. Shen Qingqiu had thought he had run out of strength but turns out he had been activating his dream abilities at that time.
Luo Binghe’s gaze was brimming with “Praise me!” and “Pat my head!”, but his head began to hurt. What sort of dreamland had Luo Binghe constructed for them to make the state of affairs so serious that this many people would hastily converge at Zhao Hua Temple for a serious discussion…
He didn’t need to ask before someone else said irritably, “Has anyone said a word about what type of dream this was?”
This person looked very familiar. After pondering for a while, Shen Qingqiu suddenly realized. Wasn’t this that… from Hua Yue City, what sect was it━oh, the Ba Qi Sect, the head disciple 5from Ba Qi Sect!
Great Master Wu Chen said politely, “If I may ask this sect master, what is your cultivation level?”
The person replied, “Late-stage core formation!”
The two abbots sent each other a glance, and many people began to cough lightly.
Mysteriously, Great Master Wu Chen seemed to have come to a small realization. “That… this is quite strange. In this temple, everyone above the core formation stage all had the same dream…”
The meaning behind his words was that if he really was in late-stage core formation, he should also have had the dream…
The people below voiced their agreements one after another. “That’s right, all of us below core formation were perfectly fine last night.”
To have lied about one’s cultivation status under everyone’s eyes, and to have been exposed on the spot, this really was lifting up a stone and dropping it on your own foot.6 Shen Qingqiu inwardly lit a candle for this dear friend who spent so long without a bit of progress.
Though that shixiong’s cultivation hadn’t grown too much in these years, his face had gotten quite a bit thicker. He still didn’t act ashamed and said in a loud voice, “There are exceptions for everything! What’s more important to discuss━what type of dream was it?”
Ba Qi Sect, with this name leaking hegemonic spirit, didn’t even have a single cultivator who had achieved core formation.7 Or else, he wouldn’t have needed to chase this line of inquiry in this plaza full of people. Looks like this one hadn’t received an invitation to the discussion, but purely came to get in on the action, slipping in with a familiar face.
Wu Wang wrinkled his brow. However, Great Master Wu Chen had a good temperament and patiently began to give him an outline: “The contents of the dream were that Tianlang-Jun, who had been suppressed under Bailu Mountain, had regained a flesh body, beginning to raise foul winds and bloody rain…8”
Though Great Master Wu Chen’s phrasing was elegant and full of hidden meaning, the contents were somewhat abridged. Going by Luo Binghe’s taste, those “foul winds and bloody rain” on his tongue definitely were not simple beatings and killings, they definitely left out many more heavy plays…
- This chapter is by Lily of BC Novels.
- Someone asked me why Liu Qingge tripped over the door sill. Well, go back to the previous chapter and check out Shen Qingqiu’s description of the book he was reading. *cough*
- Wow, our cute little sheep Luo Binghe is back! Or is it now a wolf in sheep’s clothing? He even took off his black robes and put on white clothes so as to look more like his old harmless, innocent,
- Shen Qingqiu, as the Peak Lord of Quiet
Peakis ranked second in seniority, right after the sect master. Therefore, Luo Binghe’s shibowould be Yue Qingyuan while his shishuwould be Liu Qingge, Mu Qingfan, Qi Qingqi, Shang Qinghua, and the other Peak Lords.
- Please let me know if there are any errors.
- Thanks for reading.
One a more personal note, I’ve mentioned in my other projects’ chapters that I’m taking care of a family crisis. My mom has a tumor in one of her kidneys. We were hoping that she wouldn’t need an operation to remove it but now the doctors say she definitely needs one.
As you can imagine, this means I will be very busy
Scum Villain will not be affected since this is a group project and I will make it my number one priority.
- 江山易改，本性难移 (jiang1 shan1 yi4 gai3, ben3 xing4 nan2 yi2), literal meaning as translated.
- 师伯 (shi1 bo2), elder martial uncle
- 无尘 (wu2 chen2), lit. “without dust.” Figuratively, can refer to being above the mortal world and mortal desires.
- 无妄 (wu2 wang4), lit. “without absurd.” Probably another Taoist concept but I’m not sure what it means.
- literally “Da Shixiong” – the most senior disciple, normally their leader and head disciple.
- 搬起石头砸自己的脚, the literal meaning is as translated. The story behind the idiom gives it the context of “lifting up a stone” to drop on one’s enemy, but then unintentionally sabotaging yourself instead.
- 霸气 (ba4 qi4), lit. translates as, well, “hegemonic spirit.”
- 腥风血雨 (xing1 feng1 xue4 yu3), the idiomatic meaning is “reign of terror” or “carnage”.