Chapter 73: Right on Schedule
Shen Qingqiu’s outburst wasn’t because of the other’s face. If only that were the case, but the crucial thing was that the youth outside the door—f***, his entire face was burnt off. It was like there was a mosaic over the whole thing!
Even though the Dream Demon had said at the start that there was a certain possibility of people’s faces being obscured or ruptures appearing in the memory—after actually running into this possibility, Shen Qingqiu felt an intense desire to vomit blood.
Dream Demon-juju, can’t we give fixing this bug a go? I really want to know what this face looks like ah ah ah!
Just when Shen Qingqiu wanted to pass through the door and see if closing the distance could make the mosaic drop off, another rupture appeared in the memory.
This time, the setting was a study.
Young Master Qiu was writing on a table. Shen Jiu stood in attendance to the side, silently grinding his ink.
The Shen Jiu of this time was still a thin and weak youth, but he had stretched in the vertical direction. Among his peers, he would count as rather tall and thin. Standing there to wait upon Young Master Qiu, he gave off a kind of cold and tranquil scholarly aura.
When one sheet of paper was almost complete, Shen Jiu spoke, head lowered and gaze obediently. “Young Master, there’s one matter…”
Young Master Qiu didn’t even lift his eyes. “The matter you wish to speak of, is it that charlatan in the city?”1
Shen Jiu defended, “Elder Wu Yanzi isn’t a charlatan.”
Young Master Qiu set down his brush and frowned. “Just behave yourself and stay at home, be a good son-in-law, stay peacefully with my younger sister and live your life, that’s enough. What use is thinking of those illusory fantasies all the time?”
After a spell of silence, Shen Jiu suddenly gritted out, “…live your life, live your life… I don’t want to live this sort of life!”
Young Master Qiu finally lifted his eyes. Shooting him a gaze, he suddenly shot out a foot and kicked him in the back of the knees.
With a plop, Shen Jiu smacked face-first into the ground. Shen Qingqiu subconsciously rubbed his own intact calves. Could it be that these two spent this many years with this mode of interaction…
Young Master Qiu rose from his seat and sneered, “I taught you this many years, and the things you’ve learned can’t even compare to that charlatan’s evil little tricks.”
Shen Jiu, nose covered in ash and blood from his fall, lifted his head to scoff with a faint air of arrogance. “They aren’t evil little tricks; they’re immortal techniques. Someone with a trash constitution like you can only call them charlatans to trick and comfort yourself.”
Young Master Qiu crouched down. Grabbing a handful of his hair, he crooned in his ear, “Immortal techniques? Could it be that you, these little cheap goods, want to cultivate to immortality?”
Shen Jiu tilted his head to avoid his grasp, but Young Master Qiu gave him a slow pat on the forehead, the action brimming with intent to insult. He smiled, “You don’t even count as human, and you still want to become an immortal?”
Shen Jiu held his head, not saying a word. Seeing him wilt like this, Young Master Qiu did lessen the strength of his grip a bit, and his next words were serious and heartfelt. “Staying here obediently, being well-behaved and playing your part—what’s so bad about that? You’re fifteen already. You’re not young; you’re even about to get married. You’ve long missed the optimal time to begin cultivating—what can you become? If you muddle along with him, he isn’t even guaranteed to want you.”
This was just looking for death. The thing the original goods cared the most about in life was his cultivation. He couldn’t tolerate anyone being better than him, and especially couldn’t tolerate others saying half a bad sentence about him. Or else, he wouldn’t have been driven into such a deranged state out of resentment for Luo Binghe. And this guy dared to out and say he had no prospects!
Shen Jiu suddenly turned his arm, grabbing the inkstone on the table and throwing it towards Young Master Qiu. From this angle, it looked like it was flying towards Shen Qingqiu, and he subconsciously dodged to the side.
Of course, the inkstone couldn’t hit him, and it couldn’t hit Young Master Qiu either. But, the latter was covered in a half arc of black ink spray, a set of exquisitely embroidered robes ruined just like that. Young Master Qiu’s face promptly collapsed, and he berated, “Tang-er likes you, that’s good fortune you’ve collected over several of your lifetimes! If not for our family, right now you would be on the street begging and swindling to eke out a living. This life you have—without worry for food or clothes and the chance to read and write, who gave it to you?”
He slapped Shen Jiu’s head down onto the ground. “Not the least bit of gratitude!”
Shen Jiu seemed to have thrown caution to the wind, viciously spitting, “I am human. Why do I have to feel gratitude towards a beast?!”
Young Master Qiu one-handedly flung him to the wall, cursing, “I thought you’d actually made some progress in these few years, but it turns out rotten mud really doesn’t stick to the wall!”2
A sword hung on the white wall. When Shen Jiu knocked into it, it dropped to the ground. Shen Jiu collapsed into a seated position at the foot of the wall, found the hilt with his hand, and, in a moment of desperation, drew the blade with a shaky two-handed grip and pointed it at the red-eyed Young Master Qiu.
The latter didn’t at all believe he would actually make a move, pointing at him and saying, “You’re quite fired up. Are your bones itching?”
Seeing him approach a few steps closer, Shen Jiu’s soul just about flew off in fright. He yelled, “Don’t come over here!”
Young Master Qiu said, “No future prospects! You…”
After this “You,” he would never again speak a word.
Slowly lowering his head, he saw that sword sticking straight into his stomach.
While Young Master Qiu’s face was still full of disbelief, Shen Jiu suddenly pulled out the sword.
Shen Qingqiu stood to the side, enraptured…
F*** f*** f***, an on-site live broadcast of murder!
The atmosphere changed in such a split second. They hadn’t even spoken a few sentences and a massacre occurred!
Shen Jiu stood in a daze. One hand covering his abdomen, Young Master Qiu aggressively snatched back the sword and kicked him to the ground, yelling, “Help!”
Shen Jiu hurriedly threw himself over to grab his boots. During the ensuing violent scuffle, a few old servants rushed in the door. Seeing this type of scene in the study, they began to shout in loud voices. Shen Jiu, in panic and fear, made some sort of seal and the sword in Young Master Qiu’s hand suddenly shot out to skewer the old servants through their chests.
The next he turned his head, Young Master Qiu was staggering towards him, scarlet-covered hands reaching for his hair. Shen Jiu stabbed out again, this time piercing his lung.
And then, stab after stab, using his full strength, Shen Jiu stabbed fifty times in a row, fiercer and fiercer, the expression on his face growing more and more malevolent until the body’s face and vitals were a bloody mess of flesh. Then, he finally stopped, panting for breath.
This must have been Shen Jiu’s first kill, and the first time he killed someone using his own spiritual energy.
Shen Qingqiu watched from beginning to end, astonished.
The first time and already this savage!
Shen Jiu stared blankly at the room full of toppled corpses for a while. Suddenly, he awakened, throwing down the sword with a clang. He paced back and forth through the study, subconsciously wiping his hands on his clothes again and again, looking like he was out of his wits.3 But, he was only distracted for a spell and managed to calm down extremely quickly. This whole process of changing states of mind took less than a minute. This type of mind.
Shen Jiu halted, experimentally hooking his finger. The ghastly blood-covered sword on the ground slowly rose.
Seeing the sharp sword flying before him, a strange sort of excitement blossomed on Shen Jiu’s face, and he took the sword firmly in his grasp!
He flicked the point of the sword and strode out of the study, murder weapon in hand. Shen Qingqiu stood for a while before the System notified: 【Hint: please focus on the plot hole-filling objective. Recommended distance is within 10 meters to guarantee the complete collection of plot line!】
So if he doesn’t follow, he’ll lose points on the plot hole-filling objective? Shen Qingqiu hurriedly went to follow behind, not daring to fall behind a single step. Shen Jiu had just turned a corner when he ran into two burly house servants. With a wave of his arm, a cold light flashed out to skirt against two oily-fat necks and blood spurted like fountains.
Shen Jiu was practically killing people on sight. The more he killed, the more enthusiastic he was; the sinister smile at the corner of his mouth tilted up into a more and more ferocious expression. Unceasing blood-curdling screams followed his path as he efficiently beheaded a dozen people. Shen Qingqiu noticed that he only killed men and not a single woman. The division between sexes was clear, and the direction of his hatred was very obvious. The little maids and servant women all hid in the corners of the kitchen, not daring to come out, and he didn’t go out of his way to silence them.
While watching this shocking scene in trepidation, a cry of fear suddenly sounded out from behind.4
Qiu Haitang stood at the end of the long corridor, blankly staring in their direction. Shen Jiu was covered in fresh blood like some sort of living ghoul, just drawing his sword from a servant’s neck.
Qiu Haitang’s bright and beautiful face twitched a few times. Her eyes rolling back, she collapsed in a puddle of blood.
Clearly, this girl was the type to faint at crucial times all along.
Seeing Qiu Haitang, Shen Jiu cooled down a bit and his sword hand drooped down. After muttering to himself for a bit, he set off for the kitchen.
Not long after, a fire began to burn. The black night clouds above the Qiu residence reflected red light like the lava of purgatory.
Shen Jiu had dragged Qiu Haitang’s body outside into a shrub when a wordless figure appeared from behind. He threw his head around, sword in hand and an ominous glint in his eye, but let out a held breath when he saw who it was. “Elder.”
This “Elder” had to be that Wu Yanzi who set up shop in the city to show off spiritual tricks, the one who incited Shen Jiu’s rebellious uprising.
The other said cruelly, “You didn’t kill them all?”
Shen Jiu was silent for a time, then said, “The person I wanted to kill is already dead.”
The person said, “Actually, one of the things your brother said was not wrong. Though your innate talent is admittedly good, you’ve already passed the optimal time to begin cultivating. In addition, after suffering torture, even your bones are somewhat damaged. From now on you should be able to achieve some success, but actually climbing to the peak is impossible. If it were a few years earlier, then it would be a different question.”
Since this person had heard Young Master Qiu’s words, that meant he had watched this wretched play from head to tail. But, he had no intention of interfering, only making like a wall to observe. Looks like this “Elder” wasn’t any sort of gentle character. If Shen Jiu really followed him, it probably wouldn’t be on any sunlit open road.
Shen Qingqiu had thought that even after entering late, one could reach core formation in ten or so years. This body’s aptitude was already quite impressive—how could he guess that the original Shen Qingqiu’s ability was another level higher? Knowing the truth of the situation, even an unambitious person like him would inevitably sigh in regret. In addition, it wasn’t hard to understand why the ambitious and aggressive original goods always had a heart full of resentment and always felt aggrieved. After all, it hurt much more to have had and lost than never to have had at all.
Blue veins popped up on Shen Jiu’s sword hand. He said coldly, “That beast isn’t my brother. In addition, now that things have reached this stage, is there another path I can take? Are you giving me another path?”
That person had already turned around. Seeing Shen Jiu still standing at the gate of the Qiu residence, he asked, “You’re still not coming? Who are you waiting for?”
This “Who are you waiting for?” should have just been a throwaway rhetorical question, meant to urge him to follow. Shen Jiu turned to gaze into the blaze shooting into the sky, his pupils seeming to ignite along with the Qiu residence.
The lucky survivors of the Qiu house servants fought to escape, all fearing to be the last. In the chaos of cries and howls, only his pale silhouette stood steadfast in front of the gate, scarlet and yellow firelight playing shadows across his body, intertwining in a messy dance.
The fire in the Qiu residence blazed higher and higher, and the roof beams collapsed. A pale track seemed to have washed itself into the layer of ash on Shen Jiu’s smoke-covered face.
He forcibly tossed the sword into a sea of fire, turning to follow his master.
“I won’t wait anymore.”
It was then that Shen Qingqiu knew that the youth who promised to come back and save him—turns out he didn’t come back after all.
Wasn’t this natural and inevitable? This was a legendary flag ah. It’s one of the two great flags along with “I’ll come back home and get married.” People who solemnly vow that “I’ll definitely come back” or “I’ll come back right away”—you’ll definitely never see a shadow of them again!
In particular, these two kids’ wishes were too beautiful, too naive. If they went to find a master one by one, was it certain that there’ll be one house that’ll accept both? Completely wrong.
Even if he successfully found a master and, after a few years, really achieved some success in his education, after seeing the face of the wide world and gaining more worries that demand his attention, it’s not certain he would be willing to come back to find his childhood playmate. In addition, the jianghu was unpredictable and full of all kinds of unexpected dangers. All in all, the chance that this youth would really be able to come back and save Shen Jiu was less than 5%.
But, after getting to this stage in the plot hole-filling, Shen Qingqiu could understand Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky’s outline-chopping tendencies a little bit more.
If he actually wrote this type of character with his original backstory, it would definitely be an arduous and thankless task. If you said he was scum, he was also pitiful; if you pitied him, he was undeniably ruthless. A character who was both scum and wretched was usually a godly body and prime disaster area for fights to break out. Might as well chop him down into a bare-faced cheap character for the protagonist to stomp under his foot—easier to write and more satisfying for the readers.
Nevertheless, Qiu Haitang was innocent. Her love was deep, her hate was righteous, and she hadn’t really done anything wrong in this whole affair. But, revenge had ground this artless and innocent girl into a bitter woman with a heart full of schemes. Her death in the Holy Mausoleum was even more of an injustice. Her conclusion wasn’t even as fortuitous as the one she got in the original stallion novel.
If he was able to give her a hand at the beginning, that was for the best.
Right when Shen Qingqiu was sighing in sorrow, the scene suddenly warped like a picture on an old TV, black and white snowflakes flashing wildly. The scenery and people’s faces all distorted into a spectacle too horrible to see, the sound scritching, the clamor as if in an alien language.
The System notified:【Memory badly damaged, data loss at 5%; data loss at 7%; data loss at 9%……】
The ruptures in the memory were getting bigger and bigger!
The loss percentage grew higher and higher. Shen Qingqiu madly slapped the System notification window like how he tried to “fix” bad signal or bad connection on the TV when it was little. After a couple dozen slaps, it was actually weirdly effective. The data loss percentage hit 10%, and the notification sounds finally ground to a stop. The snowflakes in the scene suddenly disappeared and the picture became clear.
Shen Qingqiu finally released a held breath, withdrawing his hand and retreating. Before he had steadied his stance, he stopped to stare.
A few steps in front of him squatted a small young boy.
A few streaks of ash crossed a pale and tender face that might have accidentally been smeared there when wiping sweat. A jade Guanyin on a red rope hung around his neck and a shivering rag bundle was tied on his back. He was earnestly huffing and puffing on the ground… digging a hole.
Shen Qingqiu blurted out, “Luo Binghe?”
Little Luo Binghe didn’t hear him, still striving to dig holes and fill them with dirt.
Casting a glance around his surroundings, hundreds of boys and girls of mixed clothing and differing ages stood in an open valley, each putting their whole strength into… digging holes.
A realization flashed through Shen Qingqiu’s head, and he raised his head to look. Sure enough, above the valley was a steep mountain cliff and two people standing atop its peak.
One wore dark-colored ceremonial robes, bearing steady and calm, overlooking the people in the valley with fixed attention.5 A longsword hung at the other’s waist and a folding fan slowly turned between his fingers. His robes were green as clear water, ripples stirred by the wind. He subtly raised his head, looking askance at the ants below like he didn’t particularly care to watch.
That’s right, it was Yue Qingyuan and “Shen Qingqiu.”
This was Luo Binghe’s trial site the year he took a master and entered Cang Qiong Mountain.
You didn’t see wrong; you’re not wrong—the trial subject was digging holes!
Even though Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky had spent many paragraphs and author notes explaining that digging holes was not just digging holes, but a way to test through a seemingly simple action the hole-digger’s endurance, speed, perseverance, spiritual methods, even their character etc. etc., Shen Qingqiu didn’t remember a single justification. In his heart, no matter how many explanations you rip out it was just digging holes, pure and simple!
The Shen Jiu of this time should have already taken the seat of Qing Jing Peak Lord.
Cang Qiong Mountain Sect’s rules were like this: the twelve Peak Lords advance and retreat together. They receive their assignments together, and when they abdicate they abdicate together too. When they hold ceremonies, they would partner up and crowd into a clump, and especially when they retreat into seclusion they would join up and retreat in groups. Even if any Peak Lord meets misfortune and perishes in office, they would just leave their seat empty. Those five years Shen Qingqiu had faked his death and fled, the Qing Jing Peak Lord’s seat had remained empty. This was so that there wouldn’t be a situation of Peak Lords of different generations working together.
Even though there were extenuating circumstances when this rule would be rather inconvenient, it had succeeded in preventing a generational gap, and it maintained particularly strong cohesion and bonds between Peak Lords.
Thinking of this, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t resist jumping to another rule.
After the past generation of Peak Lords confirmed their head disciples, they would change their disciples’ names according to the generation name to demonstrate their change in status.6 Out of all the “QingX” names under the sky, Shen Jiu was unfortunately given the character “Qiu.” It was truly the malice of the world.7
Shen Jiu hated this character “Qiu” to the bone. Having this name, of all things, conferred upon him, how couldn’t he feel sick to death at heart? Even Shen Qingqiu couldn’t resist wanting a tender moment of silence for this guy. No wonder the original goods didn’t hold much reverence and gratitude towards the last generation’s Qing Jing Peak Lord.
On top of the cliff, the two people seemed to be having a discussion. Shen Qingqiu looked at the small Luo Binghe, immersed in his endeavor. He placed an immaterial pat on his head, then leaped up the cliff to stand beside the two people and listen to their conversation.
Yue Qingyuan said, “This year, there seem to be even more people than in years past.”
Shen Jiu narrowed his eyes, no happiness or anger on his face. Two fingers twitched, the folding fan in his hand spreading slightly open.
A person walked up from the side, greeting Yue Qingyuan: “Sect Leader-shixiong.”
This person did not even spare a glance for Shen Jiu, the one standing to the side, resentment about to spill over from his eyes.
This cool a character, who could it be but Liu-juju!
The Liu Qingge of this time had only officially occupied the seat of Bai Zhan Peak Lord for a couple of years, and an unseasoned air was still visible in the outline of his features. His gaze was swift and fierce, and there was a type of youthful mettle beneath his movements.
Yue Qingyuan said, “Liu-shidi, you’ve come just in time. There’s no harm in looking. See which ones are good.”
Liu Qingge only took one look and said, “He has the best innate talent.”
Shen Qingqiu nodded, pleased. Sure enough, Liu-juju had some good eyes. The one he pointed to was precisely Luo Binghe, his back towards the three, still striving to dig holes.
Yue Qingyuan said, “Liu-shidi, do you want him?”
Liu Qingge said, “If he wants to come, he’ll come himself.”
Bai Zhan Peak was always like this: whether you wanted to come or not, if you came then get ready to get thrashed. If you didn’t take the initiative to go up to Bai Zhan Peak crying and shouting, looking for tyrannical beatings, but sit there waiting for others to pick their disciples, then you had no way forward, destined not to find your fate at Bai Zhan Peak.
Shen Jiu said placidly, “Good natural talent doesn’t guarantee any achievement.”
Liu Qingge didn’t spare him a trifling glance. “Compared to the unorthodox method of officially starting cultivation at sixteen, achievement will definitely be higher.”
… Sure enough, these two despised each other from the beginning. Liu Qingge didn’t like to talk, he especially didn’t like to talk with people he disliked, but he even got out sixteen words to taunt Shen Jiu!
His okay relationship with Liu Qingge today was nothing short of a miracle.
Yue Qingyuan reprimanded, “Liu-shidi.”
Liu Qingge didn’t listen to his preaching, turning to leave. “Going to practice.”
Says he’ll go and he goes, coming and going like the wind. Shen Jiu was rooted to the spot, shaking with anger at his few sentences. He squeezed his fan with too much strength and the ribs cracked under his grip. Yue Qingyuan said helplessly, “Liu-shidi just doesn’t know how to talk; you’ve always known not to let him get under your skin.”
Shen Jiu humphed, giving off a strange air. Before they got a chance to find out what he was preparing to say, Ning Yingying climbed up.
She hugged Shen Jiu’s waist and shouted, “Shizun, Shizun, will Yingying have a shimei or shidi?”
Seeing her, Shen Jiu’s face relaxed. “Do you want a shidi or shimei?”
Ning Yingying nodded over and over. Shen Jiu lifted his head, waved his open fan, and once again carefully calculated something with narrowed eyes.
He suddenly said, “I want that kid.”
He was staring at Luo Binghe. Yue Qingyuan started.
He’d reckon the original goods’ spotty record of treatment towards disciples with exceptional innate talent was long renowned throughout the whole sect. Now that he was opening his mouth to ask the Sect Leader for the good seedlings, Shen Qingqiu could understand Yue Qingyuan’s hesitation. It was really… something you couldn’t be too careful in considering.
Seeing Yue Qingyuan muttering to himself, not answering, Shen Jiu coldly repeated himself. “I want him.”
Daring to speak like this to the Sect Leader, are you looking for a beating? Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but break out in a cold sweat.
Unexpectedly, Yue Qingyuan slowly nodded—he really agreed. “Okay.”
Shen Qingqiu had nothing to say.
That Yue Qingyuan could still tolerate him… how did this body live peacefully until today!
And there was Liu-juju. So it turns out the reason why the original goods was so bent on getting Luo Binghe into his own hands was the root of the problem you buried!
Ning Yingying cheered, rushing down the cliff to pull Luo Binghe out from the crowd in the valley. This section was the beginning of the “Luo Binghe comes under ‘Shen Qingqiu’s’ tutelage” arc in the original work!
But, because it was the male protagonist’s POV, Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky-juju didn’t bother describing in detail the bright currents and dark tides between these three Peak Lords. Instead, he started to put pen to paper right where a fragrant little loli suddenly dropped from the sky to pull out Luo Binghe. He would believe that seeing this section, every single reader, like Shen Yuan at that time, thought this was the fortuitous opening of the protagonist’s life-long bullshit luck in continuous romance plots. Little could they have imagined this was just a scrap of candy before the big knives came stabbing down.
Shen Qingqiu knew what was waiting for Luo Binghe next. But, he could only look on helplessly and watch—watch Luo Binghe follow Ning Yingying into the bamboo house on Qing Jing Peak. Shen Jiu sat in Shen Qingqiu’s favorite seat holding a teacup, still blowing on the leaves.
He had long sent away the chattering Ning Yingying. Ming Fan stood in attendance to the side and started to speak for him. “From now on, you will stay at Qing Jing Peak.”
A surprised and flush rose on little Luo Binghe’s face. He kneeled down to present his orderly salutations in a clear voice. “This disciple Luo Binghe has seen Shizun!”
Shen Jiu tugged at the corner of his lip, at long last lowering the teacup from his chin.
He said leisurely, “Tell us, why did you come to Cang Qiong Mountain Sect?”
Like he was reciting a lesson, nervous but conscientious, Luo Binghe said, “This disciple has admired the elegant manner of all the masters atop this mountain of immortals since youth. If I could gain entry and achieve success in my studies, my mother’s spirit in heaven could also be gratified.”
Shen Qingqiu knew this was the answer he had tossed and turned again and again on the road here to polish.
Shen Jiu let out an “oh.” “You had a mother at home?”
He said, almost absent-mindedly, “What was she like?”
Luo Binghe raised his smiling face, both eyes sparkling. “My mother was the person who was best to me in this world.”
Shen Jiu’s face twitched, raising a hand to stop him.
He looked Luo Binghe up and down. “You are indeed at the age that’s best for cultivation.”
Shen Qingqiu could see three words on the original goods’ face.
Envy, envy, and more envy.
He envied Luo Binghe’s “mother who was best to me in the world,” envied Luo Binghe’s innate talent, envied that Luo Binghe was accepted into Cang Qiong Mountain Sect at the optimal age. To have an indignant heart full of envy for a small child, he really was this type of person.
Shen Jiu stood up, walking over to Luo Binghe step by step. Shen Qingqiu subconsciously blocked him, but how could he stop him?
Luo Binghe lifted his face and looked at the Qing Jing Peak Lord walking towards him like he was beholding a god.
But who would have thought the god would walk by him without a sideways glance and pour the cup of tea in his hand onto him as he passed, lid and all?
The tea wasn’t just boiled, so it was only somewhat hot, but Luo Binghe’s whole body was frozen, dumbfounded.
Shen Jiu, hands tucked behind his back, walked out of the bamboo house without taking his leave. Ming Fan tapped along behind, turning round to chide, “Kneel down! Shizun didn’t tell you to rise. If you dare to rise, I swear I’ll hang you up for a beating then shut you in the woodshed for three days!”
… This was the first time Shen Qingqiu discovered—this kid Ming Fan, his gift for looking for death like a cannon fodder really was fully leveled!
Luo Binghe had just been accepted into the sect, so his heart had been full of joy and gratitude. After inexplicably getting tea poured over his head for no reason, it was like a bucket full of cold water with ice cubes mixed in had been thrown in his face. His entire heart was quenched by the cold.
He kneeled dumbly in place, not even blinking.
Soundlessly, two teardrops rolled down his cheeks.
This was the first time Luo Binghe cried since he buried his adoptive mother with his own hands, and it was also the last time he cried on Cang Qiong Mountain.
Since then, no matter what wrongs he suffered, no matter what “Shen Qingqiu” did to him to vent his own twisted feelings, Luo Binghe never again let out unrestrained tears like he did that day.
Shen Qingqiu crouched in front of him, but his sleeves passed right through—he couldn’t touch, couldn’t hold, couldn’t even wipe his tears. His heart hurt for him; it was unbearable enough to drive him to death.
Knowing very well that Luo Binghe couldn’t hear, he still said, “Come on, don’t cry.”
Luo Binghe stared at his own knees, fists slowly tightening on his legs. The tears flowed faster and fiercer, dripping onto his lapel.
Shen Qingqiu futilely attempted to wipe his cheeks, coaxing, “Shizun won’t hit you ever again. Don’t cry.”
Luo Binghe raised his palm to rub his eyes. He picked up the teacup on the ground and set it to the side. Grasping the jade pendant over his heart, he straightened up into a proper kneeling posture.
Shen Qingqiu knew the current motions of his heart.
It must have been some rule he didn’t understand, something he did wrong to offend the Peak Lord, and he was educated for that reason. As a disciple, kneeling for Shizun should be expected.
Seeing these tiny movements, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t resist turning to face him, kneeling down as well.
Reaching out his arms, he held Luo Binghe’s oh-so-tiny body tightly in his incorporeal embrace.
After closing his eyes to a field of darkness for some time, the next time he opened them was to snow-white bed curtains and tassels in the four corners occupying his field of view.
Suddenly seeing a different scene, Shen Qingqiu hadn’t quite adjusted, not making a move up until Yue Qingyuan’s voice sounded from beside him. “You’re awake?”
Shen Qingqiu mechanically blinked his eyes a few times. His throat a bit dry, he forced out, “Zhangmen-shixiong.”
Yue Qingyuan sat by the bed. After looking at him for some time, he said, “You kept calling Luo Binghe’s name.”
Shen Qingqiu: “… En.”
Yue Qingyuan: “Crying and calling.”
Shen Qingqiu wiped his face. Aside from cold sweat, there really was some other liquid there. Sure enough, tears were an infectious sort of thing.
“…” He said meekly, “Shixiong, I can explain.”
Can explain what? What reason for the true story “Qing Jing Peak Lord cries and calls out his own disciple’s name in his dreams” would be sufficient for people to believe?
Seeing him unable to come up with the words, Yue Qingyuan sighed and said, “Let it be. It’s good that you’re awake; you don’t need to explain.”
Shen Qingqiu sat up, embarrassed. He suddenly realized that this scene was a bit familiar. The first time he had woken up in this world, it was also Yue Qingyuan keeping guard at his bedside.
Yue Qingyuan observed his complexion and said, “You’ve been asleep for five days. Do you need to sleep some more?”
Asleep for five days! Shen Qingqiu scarcely avoided toppling over again on the spot.
System:【Plot hole-filling event “Shen Jiu”: completion progress 70%】
He’d only completed 70%? Hold it, other than that 10% incomplete material from memories damaged beyond repair, what about the other 20%? Where did it go!
He didn’t have time to ponder it that much. Shen Qingqiu grabbed Yue Qingyuan. “Sect Leader, the first day it snowed was at Luochuan!”
Finding that he was excessively agitated and that his words were without coherence or order, he fixed his expression and began again with a calm and solemn tone. “What I meant was, it’s very likely that Tianlang-Jun will use Xin Mo to open a rupture and begin to merge the Two Realms at this time and this place.”
Yue Qingyuan: “How do you know?”
Shen Qingqiu was stuck again. Could he out and say it was because the original work said that this time and this place was the most fitting one?
Shen Qingqiu said, “I spent some time in Tianlang-Jun’s possession.”
Yue Qingyuan: “So he just told you directly?”
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t find an explanation on short notice. He could only harden his face and say, “Zhangmen-shixiong, please, I need you to trust me.”
Yue Qingyuan looked at him for a while. Closing his eyes for a spell then standing up, he said warmly, “You rest first. This thing can be handed over to our other comrades to handle.”
Rest. Do you mean sleep? I’ve already slept for five days!
A core formation cultivator needing to sleep for so many days—only in《Proud Immortal Demon Way》would this be taken as nothing out of the ordinary. If you switched for a different novel author, they would definitely be ridiculed until their own mother wouldn’t recognize them!
Yue Qingyuan had just left when Shen Qingqiu rolled off the bed, looking all over for an outer robe. He turned this way and that, when a person took advantage of his distraction to sneak up behind him, a hand coming up to cover his eyes.
Shen Qingqiu subconsciously struck out with an elbow, yelling, “Who is it!”
A person with this much guts, who also likes playing this sort of senseless game with him, who else could it be? His elbow was firmly caught, a familiar voice saying by his ear, “Shizun, why don’t you guess?”
He’d already opened his mouth to call him Shizun, the hell do you want him to guess? Shen Qingqiu rolled his eyes. The person behind him suddenly grasped his waist, rolling them both onto a bamboo couch at the side. The bamboo creaked under two people’s weight. The object covering his eyes shifted away—of course, it was Luo Binghe.
His hand changed places to cover Shen Qingqiu’s mouth. “Don’t blink. Shizun’s eyelashes are so long, they’re making my hand itch, and my heart itches too.”
You have long eyelashes; the one with the longest eyelashes is you!
Shen Qingqiu blinked some dozen times in a row to express his fury. Luo Binghe smiled and leaned in to press a kiss on his eyelid.
He said, “Don’t yell under any circumstance. If we’re discovered at Qing Jing Peak, Shizun’s clean reputation really will be wrecked at once.”
What clean reputation do I have left? It’s all long been wrecked by this rebellious disciple.
Luo Binghe kissed down the line of Shen Qingqiu’s eye. “I said I’d come to get you. We haven’t seen each other for so many days—did Shizun miss me?”
The correct response, in his mind’s eye, should be first a knee to the stomach to kick this degenerate disciple off the couch, then a graceful rearrangement of his appearance, and finally an elegant and aloof “No.”
But for some reason, thinking of the Luo Binghe in the memory kneeling all alone in the bamboo house, silently picking the teacup up from the ground, he couldn’t bear to raise his leg.
Shen Qingqiu began to breathe like he was trembling in Luo Binghe’s palms.
He closed his eyes and nodded.
- This chapter is by Lily of BC Novels.
- Wow, there was some romantic development this chapter, huh?
- Please let me know if there are any errors.
- I haven’t been able to fix next month’s schedule yet since I am waiting for some chapters to be finished. Sorry about that! I’ll publish the next chapter on May 5.
- Thanks for reading.
- Original wording used for ‘charlatan’ was 江湖骗子 (jiang1 hu2 pian4 zi), lit. ‘jianghu cheats,’ or traveling conmen. It contains a specific reference to the jianghu, a term for the martial arts world in general.
- 烂泥扶不上墙 (lan4 ni2 fu2 bu4 shang4 qiang2), lit. “rotten mud can’t stick to the wall.” Useless or worthless.
- 六神无主 (liu4 shen2 wu2 zhu3), lit. “six spirits without master.” The six spirits (liu4 shen2) refer to the six spirits that rule the vital organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, and gallbladder). Out of one’s wits or distracted.
- 心惊肉跳 (xin1 jing1 rou4 tiao4), lit. “heart alarmed, body leaping.” An idiom which refers to fear and trepidation in the face of disaster.
- Specifically, Yue Qingyuan wears 玄端 (xuan2 duan1), a type of dark-colored pre-Qin court dress.
- In older Chinese naming tradition, all (usually male) cousins of the same generation would be given a courtesy name containing the same 字辈 (zi4 bei4) or generation name. This is a single character (清/qing1 for this generation of peak lords) sometimes determined by a 派字歌 (pai4 zi4 ge1), or generation poem.
- Yes, the same Qiu (秋/qiu1) as the Qiu family.