Chapter 9 – I Also Want To Spiritually Cultivate With Shizun Today

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Qi Shu didn’t even notice when his Shizun entered the illusion.

The two people in the room were still kissing, and he didn’t know if they were comfortable or uncomfortable. The illusory “Qi Shu” was groaning and making a lot of noises that were blocked by the other’s mouth.

Even a fool could tell what he was doing.

What could he do now?

Illusions of this sort were mostly generated from the hidden thoughts and desires of people. Although he hadn’t experienced the scene that was being shown by disillusionment, he had thought about it a lot.

Shizun couldn’t fail to understand this truth.

Qi Shu was extremely ashamed and uneasy.

But Gu Hanjiang just grabbed Qi Shu’s wrist, that was about to draw his sword. With a gentle push, he pushed the half-sheathed sword back.

His expression was impassive1, showing neither joy nor anger.

“Shi… Shizun…” Qi Shu felt too guilty to look up.

What did Shizun think when he saw that Qi Shu had such thoughts in his mind? Would he feel disgusted and drive him away?

The activity inside the house did not abate, but became even more intense. Qi Shu really couldn’t bear to listen to it anymore, and wanted to pull out his sword to break the illusion, but Gu Hanjiang stopped him again.

“Shizun, the aim of this illusion is to confuse people’s minds. It’s impossible for this disciple to do such a wicked thing.” Qi Shu tried his best to look righteously indignant. “I will destroy it now.”

“…”

It was Gu Hanjiang’s turn to fall silent.

He gave Qi Shu a strange look, but it was only for a moment, and he immediately looked away.

“Something’s not right here. Let’s leave.” After saying this, Gu Hanjiang spread his arms and embraced Qi Shu. The next moment, the two of them reappeared in the same place they had been, but this time, they were back in the woods.

The forest was silent, and Qi Shu bowed his head, frozen in place. He didn’t dare to move because Gu Hanjiang’s arm was still around his waist.

Qi Shu thought to himself that he was not particularly short or slender. On the contrary, years of sword training had honed his body. Yet he was still a lot smaller2 compared to his Shizun.

Gu Hanjiang’s limbs were long, and Qi Shu was easily encircled by his arms.

Qi Shu used to comfort himself with the thought that he was still young and could still grow bigger. However, he had done his best to train his sword, and he was now in his early twenties, but he was still half a head shorter than his Shizun.

Alas, I really haven’t grown much.

While Qi Shu was lost in thought about irrelevant things, Gu Hanjiang took a step aside and let him go.

“Just now…”

“Shizun……”

Both of them spoke at the same time.

Qi Shu:“…”

Qi Shu: “Shizun, please speak first.”

Gu Hanjiang has been preoccupied since he appeared. It’s a pity that Qi Shu was lost in his own improper thoughts3, and therefore hasn’t dared to carefully observe the other person’s expression.

Gu Hanjiang sighed silently and said, “What you see and hear in the illusionary realm is fake. You shouldn’t take it to heart and be swayed by it.”

“… Yes.”

Since Shizun said that, it means that he didn’t take the illusion seriously. Qi Shu sighed with relief but also felt a little disheartened. The fact that Gu Hanjiang was able to dismiss what he had just seen so lightly meant that Gu Hanjiang did not have any such thoughts, and probably did not care, about what Qi Shu had in mind for him.

It seems that the difficulty of chasing Shizun has increased again, Qi Shu thought sadly.

“When you entered the illusory realm, did you see the person who set it up?” Gu Hanjiang made a timely interruption to his thoughts.

“No,” said Qi Shu.”But I met a female corpse manipulated by someone in the forest. It was the female corpse that brought me into the illusory realm. I wanted to go in and have a look, but I didn’t find any clues, so…”

I saw such a shocking scene.

The man who created the illusion was really wicked.

Gu Hanjiang said, “That illusion was very clever. Ordinary illusions aim to confuse people’s minds by making them think it’s real until they become addicted to them and eventually lose consciousness. But the illusion just now works in the opposite way. After entering the illusory realm, people stay conscious and aware that’s a fake, a lucid dream. But once you forcefully break through the illusion, you will fall into the trap and suffer a backlash4.”

Qi Shu understood. “So… that room just now was deliberately leading me to break free of the illusion?”

Gu Hanjiang nodded.

“Fortunately, Shizun came, otherwise I wouldn’t know how to get out of it intact.” Qi Shu paused and asked, “By the way, why is Shizun here?”

The Heavenly Venerable Immortal has not been involved in earthly affairs for a long time, and the last time he came down from the mountain was when he picked Qi Shu up to take him to Kunlun.

“Demons are tricky. I was afraid that you wouldn’t be able to handle it,” said Gu Hanjiang.

“Then how come Shizun didn’t go down the mountain with this disciple this morning?” asked Qi Shu.

Gu Hanjiang: “…”

“Oh, I see.” Qi Shu understood what happened from the way Gu Hanjiang’s eyes avoided his. He smiled and said, “Perhaps Shizun was worried about this disciple’s safety, but was afraid that Immortal Venerable Qing Lan will say that you are spoiling your disciple too much, so Shizun secretly followed.”

Gu Hanjiang was silent for a moment. “… Perhaps.”

Qi Shu asked, “Yes, no, which is it?”

But Gu Hanjiang ignored him and walked forward. “It’s getting late. I’ll go to the foot of the mountain first.”

When Gu Hanjiang was far away, he sighed.

It’s true that Gu Hanjiang was worried about Qi Shu, but since he didn’t take the initiative to travel along with him, naturally, it meant Gu Hanjiang didn’t want his actions to be discovered.

This silly disciple.

***

At the foothill of the Misty Shadow Mountain was a small market town.

When cultivators go down the mountain, they don’t care about things like where to get food and shelter. The members of the Kunlun Sword Sect, in particular, practice asceticism so they do not bother about such worldly concerns, since they can easily spend a night in the wilderness.

However, this time, the purpose of their trip is to investigate the disappearance of the women.

The market town was on the main road, so this inn was the best place to look for clues.

It’s just that…

“Can’t you give me credit?” Qi Shu leaned against the counter and tried to negotiate with the innkeeper. “I’ll give you all my money.”

The shopkeeper tapped the “no credit” sign with his finger. “Sir, I’ve said many times that we don’t accept credit. All your money can only pay for one room.”

“…” Qi Shu was helpless.

The members of the Kunlun Sword Sect have lived in seclusion for many years. Though they have many miraculous medicines and magic weapons, they have little money.

Qi Shu has been traveling down the mountain for many years, therefore he is used to sleeping in the open and has never needed to spend a lot of money. This time he thought he was just going to kill a demon, and, because he didn’t think it would take a lot of time, he didn’t bring a lot of money with him.

As for his Shizun…

He may not even know what kind of coins are used in the mortal world.

Qi Shu secretly glanced at the Heavenly Venerable Immortal standing in the lobby, pure and untouchable as a flower of the high mountains5, and got a headache.

After all, he couldn’t make his Shizun sleep in the woods with him, right?

Qi Shu’s heart ached. “Alright, lead us to our room, then.”

They were left alone in the room.

The guest room was so small that it seemed cramped even with only two grown men standing in it. Qi Shu looked around and thought that the Heavenly Venerable Immortal had probably never lived in such a shabby place since he was born.

He could not let Shizun suffer this injustice.

Qi Shu said, “Shizun, I didn’t mean to get only one room, but I didn’t bring enough money with me… I’ll discuss it with the inn owner again!”

“No,” Gu Hanjiang said calmly. “It’s good here.”

Qi Shu didn’t see what was good about it.

When both of them lay down on the bed, it was even more difficult to know what his Shizun meant.

The inn’s room wasn’t only small, but the bed was also tiny and hard. Qi Shu lay down on the inside part of the bed, almost pressing his entire body against the wall so he wouldn’t touch his Shizun.

“You don’t have to…” Gu Hanjiang started to say something, then hesitated.

Qi Shu was facing the and half of his face was buried in the quilt, with only the back of his head exposed. He said, in a muffled voice, “What did Shizun say?”

“… Nothing.” Gu Hanjiang turned over so that his back was to Qi Shu. “Go to sleep.”

“Good night, Shizun,” said Qi Shu.

Perhaps because of the illusion he broke today, Qi Shu dreamt all night of many things. Sometimes he dreamt of his Shizun, who was tormented by the slow progress of his cultivation and fell into a Qi Deviation. Qi Shu also dreamt that he knelt in front of his Shizun, pleading with him over and over again, “Shizun, I am willing to help you. Let me help you.”

Qi Shu fell into countless dreams. In his last dream, he even locked up his Shizun.

The dark dungeon was silent. His Shizun leaned against the stone bed, his hands and feet bound by heavy chains.

Qi Shu walked slowly walked towards the stone bed with a bowl of wine in his hand.

“Shizun,” he heard himself say in the darkness. “Shizun, drink this. Don’t be afraid. It’s a good thing. After drinking this, you won’t refuse my help.

The man on the bed was thin and pale, with loose hair, but even when he had been confined by someone, his expression was still calm. When he heard those words, he merely lifted his eyelids a little and looked at him without sadness or joy. “How dare you?”

Then Qi Shu was startled awake, gasping for breath, lost in that nightmarish dream for a while.

Many times Qi Shu thought that if he had just one ten-thousandth of the courage he had in his imagination, he might have chased after Shizun.

But the truth was that it was no good because he was weak and didn’t dare do it.

Just one look from his Shizun made his knees go weak. How could he dare to commit a crime?

Qi Shu raised his hand and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Only then did he realize that his current position was not right.

Last night before he fell asleep, he was clearly leaning against the wall, but now his back was to the wall and there was half a body’s width of space between him and the wall.

As for Qi Shu, his whole body was pressed against his Shizun, clinging to him with his hands and knees.

He couldn’t really be blamed for this.

Although Qi Shu has never slept with Shizun since he grew up, Shizun used to hold him in his arms and put him to bed every night when he was a child that Shizun had just taken to Kunlun.

Muscle memory was truly a terrible thing.

It was still early, and the sky was dark, so Gu Hanjiang hasn’t woken up yet.

It was rare for the aloof and remote immortal to look amiable and approachable. Qi Shu looked at him in a daze until Gu Hanjiang’s eyelashes trembled lightly and he opened his eyes.

Qi Shu was caught off guard by those beautiful eyes. Trembling all over, he smiled stiffly and said, “Good morning, Shizun…”

But Gu Hanjiang still did not move.

He just continued to look at him sideways, his eyebrows slightly and inexplicably puckered, as if he wanted to say something.

Qi Shu blinked and finally realized something. His thing, which hadn’t completely subsided after an entire night of strange dreams, was pressing against his Shizun’s leg.

Someone, please help me6!

 

********

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Reika’s Notes:

  • This chapter is by Reika (me).
  • I heard men suffer from morning wood a lot. Surely, it’s just something normal?
  • But it must be so embarrassing!
  • What do you think Shizun will do?
  • Thanks for reading!

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  1. 面色沉沉 – Literally, his face was “heavy.”
  2. 足足比他小了一圈 – Literally “one circle smaller.” I thought it sounded weird in English so I simplified it.
  3. 己心头也有鬼 – Literally had a ghost/demon in his heart.
  4. 必遭反噬 – I think that is what is meant. That, or “be eaten.”
  5. 高岭之花 – Refers to a particular plant, but as an idiom, it means something that can only be seen from a distance but not touched. In other words, something or someone that can only be longed for but out of reach for oneself.
  6. 救、命。- Just an interjection like “save me!” I debated translating it as “oh shi-!” instead. I think it’s like that.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 9 – I Also Want To Spiritually Cultivate With Shizun Today”

  1. While it’s normal to have morning wood, in this situation it’s absolutely not just the normal urge to urinate causing it. Though, I wonder if the positions had been just a little different if the awkwardness would be on the other foot? After all, that illusion was clearly a worry BOTH had about being the cause of!

    Thanks for your hard work translating!

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