Chapter 42 – Question of Affiliation
A group of cultivators had just walked over to them. The group was composed of more than ten men and women and Song Jingyi stood at the very front. The look on his face when he saw Chu Yu was as if he had seen a ghost. His face was pale and his lips trembled.
His body had begun to shake, it was particularly bad after he saw Chu Yu’s smile. The fear and guilt within the depths of his heart had surfaced. He unconsciously took a step backward.
In comparison, Chu Yu’s mood was quite good.
Ever since he had left the Mausoleum Ruins and arrived at Qing Tu, every time he mentioned the name Song Jingyi, all the cultivators would shake their heads and lament that he was “unfortunate.” There had never been anyone as unfortunate as him. Every time he fought with demonic cultivators, he would always be the unluckiest one with the most wounds. Moreover, the Demonic Path’s Mei Yin Valley seemed to be unusually interested in him for some unknown reason and would take care of him every time.
It could only be said that for Song Jingyi to be still alive right now was a testament to his strong vitality and determination.
Chu Yu silently praised: As expected, the young master of Mei Yin Valley was someone who followed through with his promises. He had said that he would make an effort to take care of Song Jingyi and he did exactly that.
Although Song Jingyi was still putting on airs, he was clearly both mentally and physically exhausted. He looked completely dispirited. Not long ago, Chu Yu had heard that Song Jingyi’s yang energy had almost been absorbed. What a pity, why was it only almost?
Seeing Song Jingyi remain at a standstill, the genuinely excited sect members behind him became more agitated and called out: “Song Shixiong, why are you just standing there?”
“Chu Shixiong! It’s really is Chu Shixiong! I’m not seeing things!”
“Chu Shixiong has managed to get out of the Mausoleum Ruins!”
Chu Yu gave a slight nod in their direction. Song Jingyi finally came to his senses and strode over to Chu Yu and grabbed his hand. With an expression that implied he was extremely emotionally moved on his face, he said: “ Chu Shidi? Is it really you? I, I’m so overwhelmed……”
Chu Yu’s eyebrow twitched, disgusted by this man’s fake enthusiasm. He hadn’t slapped his hand away yet when Chu Sheng, who was standing beside him, flipped out.
Chu Sheng had a cold look on his face as he pulled out San Huo and placed it against Song Jingyi’s neck. In an icy tone, he said: “Remove your filthy hand. Otherwise, I will cut off your head.”
Song Jingyi stiffened.
It wasn’t that he hadn’t known about Chu Sheng’s famous overprotective attitude, it was that he had simply wanted to use this gesture of intimacy to relieve the previous awkwardness. Unexpectedly, the usually soft-tempered Chu Sheng had skipped saying any words and instead directly pulled out his sword.
The several disciples behind them were also frightened by this: “Lord Chu! Show mercy!”
The cold look in Chu Sheng’s eyes only got worse. Song Jingyi felt his back chill from Chu Sheng’s gaze. He forced a hollow laugh and let go of Chu Yu’s hand before cautiously shifting away. He shook his head: “Is there a reason for Noble Lord Chu to be this angry? I merely saw that Chu Shidi had safely returned and momentarily forgot my manners out of joy……”
Chu Sheng didn’t believe him and gave him a frosty look before withdrawing San Huo. If it weren’t for the fact that Chu Yu had to take his sect into consideration and had forbidden him from going over the top, he would’ve sliced his sword all the way through.
The group of disciples behind them, on the other hand, hadn’t detected Chu Sheng’s slight killing intent and the unnaturalness of Song Jingyi’s subsequent actions. Like a swarm of bees, they rushed forward and asking Chu Yu this and that, all while talking over each other. Chu Yu wasn’t able to reply fast enough and he also had to maintain the original’s outside image without being OOC. As such, he immersed himself in a calm aura, clasped his hands behind his back, and remained mostly silent.
It had been so long since he put on his cool and noble act. That he suddenly was able to use this skill again gave him a surprisingly nice feeling……
Seeing that Chu Yu was only indifferently nodding or shaking his head, the female disciples whose brains had been muddled by this unexpectedly pleasant surprise finally came back to their senses. Recalling Chu Yu’s temperament, they pulled back their necks and moved back.
Chu Yu looked over at Song Jingyi who had been pushed to the side and calmly said: “I was just about to pay a visit to the Sect Master Martial Uncle. Song Shixiong, come with me?”
Song Jingyi’s mind was in utter chaos right now. He felt guilty just by looking at Chu Yu. Hearing his suggestion, he was just about to give a flat refusal when a few female disciples happily replied: “Alright! Song Shixiong, should you not quickly go over?”
Song Jingyi wanted, so badly, to get angry and roar at these female disciples who only seemed to care about superficial beauty. However, after taking his modest and noble image into consideration, he relented as the corner of his mouth twitched as he slowly nodded his head. The look in his eyes as he gazed at Chu Yu was complicated and strange.
Since the first and second attempts had failed, he’d have to try a few more times.
Unless Chu Yu could actually obtain Heaven’s protection and survive each and every time?
Chu Yu’s original intention had been to see Song Yuanzhuo while he was passing by and let everyone know that he was back. This way he wouldn’t be seen as a ghost later on when he went out patrolling on behalf of the Chu family. He had never imagined that he would be turned away before he even reached Song Yuanzhuo’s room.
“The Sect Master has been gravely injured and is therefore unable to meet with any guests at this time. After hearing that Chu Shidi had safely returned, the Sect Master was very happy. Once the Sect Master has finished recuperating, he’ll definitely come to personally congratulate you.”
Song Yuanzhuo had taken a group out several days ago and the group had coincidentally encountered Chu Yu when they came back just now. At the news that the Sect Master was injured, everyone’s expressions then changed. Especially Song Jingyi’s whose face instantly paled and even showed some fear.
This display of emotion from him actually seemed genuine for once. Chu Yu glanced at him and stretched his mind to recall Song Jingyi’s background.
Utterly mediocre. He was merely the offspring of a small, puny clan in the large world of cultivators. The number of people who had spirit veins in that small clan wasn’t much and had also declined over the years. Although Song Jingyi had spirit veins and his overall aptitude wasn’t bad, he lacked access to a suitable technique to cultivate in.
Up until one day when Song Yuanzhuo had taken a random fancy to Song Jingyi while he was passing through the area. He even allowed Song Jingyi to change his surname to Song, which he had happily accepted and had then brought him back to Tian Yuan Sect. Perhaps it was because Song Yuanzhuo and his Dao companion didn’t have any kids of their own that they had therefore treated Song Jingyi just like their own son. The feelings between them ran deep.
Song Jingyi’s face was therefore now a deathly pale: “Gravely injured? How grave?”
That disciple hemmed and hawed but didn’t give an answer. Song Jingyi’s eyebrows rose and he pushed the disciple out of the way to immediately run into the small courtyard.
Since that disciple hadn’t stopped him, Song Yuanzhuo had probably ordered to only let Song Jingyi pass through.
Chu Yu raised his eyebrow by a fraction. Something here just didn’t feel right.
In any case, this visit to Song Yuanzhuo had originally only been done as a mere formality. The most important matter was still to go and see Lu Qingan. Chu Yu nodded at the crowd of disciples behind him and then turned on his heel and left with Chu Sheng to go find Lu Qingan.
The crowd of disciples exchanged looks at each other of blank dismay. Calling to mind Lu Qingan’s frosty, coffin face, they could only shiver and therefore didn’t dare to go with them to create more trouble.
When they reached the small courtyard, Lu Qingan was sitting down and wiping his sword as usual. Third Shidi had on a sullen expression as he squatted down somewhere off to the side. Unexpectedly, Xie Xi was nowhere to be seen.
Chu Yu greeted Lu Qingan and was right about to speak when Lu Qingan nodded his head and cut him off: “In the future, follow master out for patrols.”
Chu Yu was shocked.
Could it be that Shizun was capable of mind-reading?
Lu Qingan didn’t raise his head and continued to wipe his sword, but it was as if he had heard Chu Yu’s thoughts: “Chu Sheng has been injured so it’s up to Yu-er to take on the burden of responsibilities.”
Chu Sheng couldn’t help but adding in: “Little brother is only temporarily replacing me for a while.”
Lu Qingan nodded: “During this period of time, let Yu-er come back and live here.”
Chu Sheng turned pale with fright: “Out of the question!”
Lu Qingan said: “Since we’re going to be taking part in the patrols together, it will be much more convenient to live together.”
When all is said and done, the Chu family were the ones asking for help here. Chu Sheng had a complicated look on his face for a while before grinding his teeth: “Out of the question!”
“Let Yu-er come back.”
“Out of the question!”
Chu Yu glanced over at Chu Sheng and Lu Qingan. Seeing that they were only repeating a meaningless argument, he massaged his temples and then turned to look at Third Shidi. In a flash, he stepped out to appear in front of him and amiably called: “Third Shidi.”
Third Shidi was so scared he almost jumped out of his skin.
He actually did jump though. He suddenly scuttled up and jumped backward. With a “bang,” his head hit the tree trunk behind him and the pain caused tears to form in his eyes. Lu Qingan and Chu Sheng who had been repeating their pointless debate turned their heads to look and after a moment of silence, they continued their conversation.
Chu Yu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he went to gently rub Third Shidi’s head. Third Shidi’s expression immediately became even more alarmed and panicky: “Don’t, don’t, don’t! Da Shixiong! I’ve heard Second Shixiong talking in his sleep. He said that he’ll kill anyone who dares to touch you……”
Chu Yu was momentarily speechless. He retracted his hand and showed a thin smile: “You returned? Where did you run off to?”
“I……” Third Shidi felt that he had been incredibly wronged, “Da Shixiong, you have to help me!”
Chu Yu kindly said: “Who bullied you? As long as they’re not Nascent Soul stage, I’ll help you kill them.”
“A pervert!” Third Shidi angrily said, “A tall man who unexpectedly actually looked like a woman, not to mention how indecently lewd he acted. As expected, there’s no such thing as a decent demonic cultivator! If it weren’t for Second Shixiong arriving just in time, I, I would’ve been……”
Chu Yu rubbed his chin: “Do you know who it was?”
Third Shidi tearfully nodded: “I heard someone call him young master. He seems to be a demonic cultivator from Mei Yin Valley.”
Chu Yu’s smile froze: “……”
……Oh, so it was that distinguished young master. It seems that despite not seeing him in ten years and he was still that perverted. He’d even acted perverted towards Chu Yu’s Shidi.
Wait, Xie Xi also knew that young master? There was no way Mei Yin Valley’s young master would travel alone. Where was Xie Xi? He couldn’t have gone head to head with them and been injured again right?
Chu Yu trembled and then immediately asked for more details.
Third Shidi said: “When that pervert saw Second Shixiong arrive, he asked me if I knew Da Shixiong and I answered that I didn’t know. He then asked me if you had left the Mausoleum Ruins. Of course, I originally wasn’t going to answer him, but the moment I looked into his eyes I lost control of myself and told him……”
Speaking up to this point, Third Shidi felt a bit guilty so he snuck a look at Chu Yu’s expression. Seeing that he didn’t seem to be mad, Third Shidi had the courage to continue speaking: “After he found out you had returned, he said ‘interesting’ and then just left. However, the moment Second Shixiong saw him it was as if he had been driven mad. He had me return first and then immediately chased after them. He has already been gone for one night……”
After seeing the main culprit that had caused him to be confined in the Mausoleum Ruins for ten years, it would have been weirder if Xie Xi hadn’t gone insane.
Chu Yu’s eyebrow twitched: “Gone for a whole night? He still hasn’t returned yet? Why didn’t you send anyone after him? How many people do the other groups have?”
Third Shidi shook his head: “Shizun said that there was no need. Second Shixiong……ah! Second Shixiong!”
Chu Yu was a bit worried about Xie Xi and was rather impatient: “Saying Second Shixiong once is enough. What did you want to say?”
You even went “ah.” Is this the start of a lyric poetry session?
Third Shidi was trembling: “Da, Da Shixiong……Second Shixiong is right behind you.”
Chu Yu was silent. He stayed crouched on the ground and refused to look behind him. Just now……did he seem too frantic when he asked for the details? Did he expose his true nature a little too much?
He hadn’t been acting aloof at all!
A voice came from behind him, as unhurried as the wind. It was clear and carried hints of laughter in it: “Shixiong, I’ve returned. The other group had thirteen people and I killed five of them. Unfortunately, that young master managed to escape.”
Chu Yu’s body was completely stiff for quite a while. Seeing Third Shidi frantically running away, he inwardly cursed at him for not having any loyalty. After crouching for a bit longer, Chu Yu clenched his teeth and shot up to stand at his full height. It was unknown whether it was because he had been crouching for too long that his legs had gone soft or something else, but his body swayed and was about to fall down. Something then suddenly tightened around his waist and then his back collided with a chest.
Xie Xi was still smiling: “Shixiong you should be careful.”
From the side, two gazes had already shifted over here. Chu Yu’s eyebrow raised as he gave a dry cough. He wanted to struggle out of Xie Xi’s hold but the kid’s hug was inescapably tight. Chu Yu unexpectedly couldn’t pull his hands out.
From the corner of his eye, he could see that Chu Sheng was already pulling out his sword. Chu Yu’s face darkened: “What next? Do you still want to lose your head? Let go of me.”
Xie Xi had already been rejected when he sought love yesterday so he felt quite aggrieved. He cast a sidelong glance at Chu Sheng and then indifferently said: “If Shixiong would be willing to be with Shidi after I give up my head, then that would be a fair trade.”
Hearing his serious tone, Chu Yu’s breathing hitched. He gave out a hollow laugh, not knowing how to continue the conversation. He turned his head to the side and saw that Chu Sheng was seriously about to come over with his sword raised. Chu Yu then hurriedly pushed at Xie Xi. Xie Xi lowered his eyes to look at him but he didn’t continue to be willful. Although his gaze was strange, he let go of Chu Yu and stood to one side while unenthusiastically watching Chu Sheng walk over to them.
Light flashed off the sharp blade of Chu Sheng’s sword. His gaze was brimming with killing intent and his aura was utterly overbearing. Before he had time to say a word, Chu Yu changed the topic as he tried to extinguish the fire: “Big brother, how did the discussion go?”
Chu Sheng paused. He glared at Xie Xi and was rather indignant as he said: “From now on, little brother will stay here for one day and then he will return to the Chu family camp for one day. Don’t worry little brother, big brother will definitely get better soon. I won’t let you suffer for long, running back and forth like this……”
Third Shidi suddenly popped his head out from behind a tree and timidly said: “Noble Lord Chu you should let Da Shixiong stay here longer. That way Da Shixiong won’t need to run back and forth……”
Chu Sheng sent a single bone-chilling look, as if it were a knife ready to kill, over there at him: “Shut it.”
Since the question of Chu Yu’s overall living situation had been cheerfully resolved, there was now another big problem and that was whether Chu Yu was going to be staying at Tian Yuan Sect or at the Chu family’s this evening.
Chu Sheng didn’t appear have time to bother with Xie Xi and began another pointless conversation with Lu Qingan. Chu Yu secretly peeped at them and then pulled Xie Xi with the intention of finding some other place they could have a heart-to-heart talk. They hadn’t even walked two steps before Chu Sheng’s tranquil seeming voice reached his ears: “Little brother, come back.”
Chu Yu gave up on struggling. He then pulled Xie Xi over to the side of the courtyard and sat down. His face was solemn as he carefully looked up and down, examining Xie Xi.
Not bad. His complexion was still as rosy as before and his snow-white satin robe was still snow-white. The scented sachet at his waist was still as clean as if it was new. The sword tassel hanging from his sword swayed in the breeze and wasn’t tainted with the slightest stain of blood.
“How many were around Nascent Soul stage? Have you been injured?”
Xie Xi’s momentary gloominess from before had already seemed to dissipate. He gave a radiant smile and said: “There were just two. I’m not injured. So there’s no need for Shixiong to be concerned.” After a pause, he frowned, “On second thought, Shixiong should be concerned. It’s been a long time since Shidi has had Shixiong worry over him.”
Chu Yu was temporarily stunned and immediately felt saddened. His heart hurt as he stroked the child’s head. In a moment of impulse, he blurted out: “Big brother, I’ll stay here today.”
Chu Sheng turned his head to look and in the nick of time, he was able to catch sight of Xie Xi revealing a proud, smug, smiling expression directed at him. He was immediately furious: “Out of the question! You’re staying at home today! This decision is final!”