Cherry Blossoms Upon a Wintry Sword Extra 1-7

Extra 1: Dajing’s Old Affairs (I)

The Spring rain in Dajing was extraordinarily heavy.

The monk was wearing a bamboo hat and walking barefooted on the green paved floor. Fine and dense raindrops rustled down, wetting the corners of his clothes. Suddenly, a stone-like hard object was thrown at the monk’s hat, he raised his head and saw the smiling Prince sitting in the loft.

“Monk Xuan Qing, why are you here?” The Prince was holding a glass of wine in one hand, leaning down to look at the monk, as the other hand weighed a piece of silver with interest. It seemed that just now, this thing was used to throw at the monk’s hat.

The monk looked up at him and some of the rain fell onto his eyelashes. He blinked and the rain turned into droplets of water falling down his cheeks. At first, it looked like a tear and when the Prince took in this scene, he chuckled and yelled at him: “Monk, do you want to drink?”

The monk shook his head, saying he did not touch such things.

“Then come up, sit and chat with me for a while.” The Prince’s fingertips hooked the wine glass as he lazily said, “When the rain stops, I will take you into the palace.”

The monk folded his hands and nodded his head slightly.

A few moments later, the monk reappeared in front of the Prince and took off his straw coat. His shoulders were already wet from the rain, but he did not care. He put the straw coat aside and slowly walked to sit in front of the Prince.

“Long time no see.” The monk smiled, his appearance was born delicate and pretty with his half-lidded eyes. Looking at it this way, it gave off a somewhat compassionate taste. However, the Prince did not like this appearance of his. With his hand tilted, the cup of wine was poured all over the monk. The monk was surprised at his sudden actions and raised his gaze to look at the Prince. He was somewhat puzzled by the Prince’s action and asked: “Your Highness?”

“Call me by my name.” Bai Tianrui looked at him and said seriously.

Xuan Qing sighed, “Bai gongzi……”

“Annoying.” Bai Tianrui threw that wine glass to the side. The wine glass rolled down the table and onto the floor. Despite making a few crunching sounds, it did not break, “Since the wine is on your body, it is also considered breaking a restriction.” 

Xuan Qing quietly looked at Bai Tianrui, silent.

Bai Tianrui gave a somewhat indecisive tsk, “Alright, alright, I was just joking with you. I haven’t seen you in so long, how come you’re getting more and more boring?” As he said this, he propped up his chin and narrowed his eyes.

According to Xuan Qing’s understanding of Bai Tianrui, whenever he revealed this expression, it meant that he was probably angry. However, Bai Tianrui was perverse in nature, and often got angry for countless reasons, so this time Xuan Qing just sat still, waiting.

Sure enough, Bai Tianrui was annoyed only for a while, before he started to smile again, asking, ‘Did my brother tell you about the matter carefully?’

Xuan Qing replied: “Most of it.”

Bai Tianrui asked: “What can be done?”

“Still have to go see in order to know.” Xuan Qing said, “Where is the woman now?”

Bai Tianrui answered, “Imprisoned in the palace. You know, my Father said that if she really is a rabbit spirit, after a few days, her head will be cut off.” He smiled, “My brother was so anxious that his eyes were almost even redder than that rabbit’s. But you’re in a good position that you didn’t even bother hurrying over.”

Xuan Qing replied, “There were some things on the way, and I was delayed.”

Bai Tianrui asked, “What was it?”

Xuan Qing smiled: “An old matter.”

Bai Tianrui persisted, “Whose old matter?” He stared at Xuan Qing, his tone tightening, wanting to get to the bottom of it.

Faced with this aggressive Bai Tianrui, Xuan Qing didn’t have the slightest intention of getting angry. He sniffed the rich wine smell emanating from his outfit, sighed, and responded, “Old friends I met in the past.”

Bai Tianrui asked, “Oh, you have friends?”

Xuan Qing smiled: “The world is big, who doesn’t have a few friends.”

Bai Tianrui replied, “You’re right.” In the end, Xuan Qing was reluctant to say anything.

Although they were waiting for the rain to stop, the Spring rain didn’t seem like it had any intention to stop. Bai Tianrui didn’t mention anything about leaving so Xuan Qing found it quite difficult to bring the topic up. He just watched as he drank cup after cup. Xuan Qing had seen this Prince’s wine capacity before, he was a very good drinker. Just these several drinks wouldn’t even get him drunk. 

So he continued to drink and only until the sky was dark, did this Spring rain finally stop.

 A carriage came from outside the inn and when Bai Tianrui noticed it, he put down the wine cup in his hand, dusted off his clothes, and stood up: “Let’s go.”

Xuan Qing got up.

Bai Tianrui gave him a sidelong glance and said with a smile, “But before you face His Holiness, monk, you should come with me to my residence.”

Xuan Qing asked, “Why?”

Bai Tianrui replied, “You are covered with the smell of alcohol. Wouldn’t it be a little bit disrespectful if you met my Father like this?” He laughed and came towards Xuan Qing’s ear, murmuring, “This smell of alcohol, you best be careful. Otherwise, they will treat you as a drunken monk.” That look and the tone of speech, was like a smug child who had done bad things.

Xuan Qing had always been very tolerant of children, so he just smiled and said okay in a gentle manner.

The carriage went all the way forward, through the heavily guarded palace gates and into the palace.

Bai Tianrui very quickly found new robes for Xuan Qing. At first, Xuan Qing thought they were casual clothes, but after putting them on, he realized that they were also monk’s clothes. They were almost identical in style to his, except that the color had turned white.

When Xuan Qing was changing his clothes, Bai Tianrui was watching from the side. He was muttering something and although it was done so quietly, it was still heard by Xuan Qing.

What Bai Tianrui had said was that white really suited him.

Xuan Qing, however, did not say a word. After changing his clothes, he muttered Amitabha Buddha to Bai Tianrui, indicating that he was ready to leave.

Bai Tianrui turned around to lead the way for Xuan Qing. The two followed the long corridor all the way forward and along the way, he noticed that the corridor still hung with fiery red palace lanterns. It was probably from the New Year and had yet to be taken down. However, at this time, the red didn’t look lively and instead exuded a lonely taste.  

After walking for a long time, they finally arrived outside the study of the current emperor. Bai Tianrui called someone to go in to inform of their arrival, and then stood outside with Xuan Qing, waiting.

“Master Xuan Qing, His Holiness invites you.” The palace attendant serving the emperor soon delivered the news.

The two entered together and saw the emperor sitting on the side along with a gloomy-looking Bai Jinglun. When Bai Jinglun noticed Xuan Qing’s arrival, his expression was slightly relieved, but soon tightened up again. The emperor greeted, “Master, you are here.”

Xuan Qing smiled, “I was delayed by some matters on the way and came a little late, I hope Your Holiness will not blame this monk.”

“How can I blame Master?” The emperor said, “This time I invited you to come here because I have a request.”

Xuan Qing said, “Your Holiness, please speak.”

The emperor then pointed to Bai Jinglun, who was currently kneeling on the ground, and said in a cold voice, “My son wants to marry a woman, which is a beautiful thing. However, an immortal master suddenly appeared and pointed at the woman and said that she was a rabbit spirit——” His expression was extremely cold and he could hear the taste of anger in his tone, “Countless people died at the hands of demons in Dajing that year and it was only thanks to the Heavenly Ruler that we were saved. Now, how could I allow a rabbit spirit to defile the imperial bloodline?!”

Xuan Qing smiled, his expression looking light, “I wonder where that immortal master is now?”

The emperor said, “Right inside the palace!”

Xuan Qing pondered for a moment before responding, “I can’t make a judgment without seeing the person. How about this, Your Majesty, you summon that immortal master and the woman here together……”

“Alright.” With a wave of his hand, the emperor asked his subordinates to invite those two people here.

Xuan Qing asked again, only to learn that the immortal master also resided in the palace. His origin was a bit bizarre, but he seemed to have some skills, otherwise, the emperor would not be so gullible to his words.

Taking advantage of the time he sent his subordinates to summon the two people, the emperor asked someone to show Xuan Qing a seat.

Not long after, the guards brought in a delicate girl and a man in Daoist clothes. When the two of them saw Xuan Qing, they were both stunned.

The girl’s appearance wasn’t too beautiful but won with her aura of pity. While the man showed a wary look at Xuan Qing.

“Master, I know you and Jinglun are close, but I think he has been hoodwinked by this matter.” The emperor’s voice was cold, with a meaning that could not be denied, “So, whether she is a rabbit spirit or not, I hope the master will judge properly.” The implication was that Xuan Qing should not bend the law for personal gain and deliberately conceal the truth.

Xuan Qing nodded his head.

He got up and headed over to the two people, observing them carefully. He then frowned and said, “I do feel the demon Qi.”

The breath in the room instantly became heavy.

“Demon Qi?” The emperor’s tone was cold, “Is Master sure?”

“Naturally, I am certain.” Xuan Qing smiled as he said this.

“Then how do we discern it?” The emperor asked.

Before Xuan Qing could say anything, the Daoist Priest laughed, “Your Majesty, don’t worry, I have a method to make the demon reveal its original form.”

The emperor asked: “Oh? What method?”

The Daoist Priest suddenly took out a blood-colored talisman from out of nowhere. When Xuan Qing caught a glimpse of this talisman, his eyes narrowed slightly. Just as he was about to speak, the Daoist Priest started chanting loudly, and then with great speed, the talisman was attached to Bai Jinglun’s lover. The girl looked confused, but once this talisman was placed on her, she let out a harsh scream the next moment. She then shriveled up on the ground as her body suddenly shrunk and in full view of everyone, she turned into a snow-white rabbit.

Everyone in the audience was shocked by this scene, especially the emperor. He slapped the table and became furious, yelling, ‘this really is a rabbit spirit. Bai Jinglun, look at what you have done!’

“Your Majesty, wait.” Seeing that the whole situation would soon be settled, Xuan Qing suddenly spoke to stop it from happening. His voice was still gentle like usual and made the atmosphere, which was about to erupt, instantly calm down. The emperor said: “Master Xuan Qing, what else do you want to say?”

Xuan Qing smiled, “Although I do not know the use of that talisman, to discern a demon with this method is not quite credible.”

The Daoist Priest, however, didn’t know Xuan Qing’s origin. He smiled coldly and asked, ‘this Master, you say this method is not credible, then I wonder what other methods you have in order to discern the demons?’

Xuan Qing replied, “Naturally, there is.”

The Daoist Priest asked, “What method?”

Xuan Qing said, “There are countless ways for demons to imitate humans in this world, but there is one method that is the most reliable.”

The Daoist Priest seemed to have felt something and suddenly, he revealed a little bit of uneasiness. Xuan Qing smiled and asked, “This immortal master, are you not curious about what method I’m talking about?”

The Daoist Priest forced himself to calm down and snorted, “What method?”

Xuan Qing responded, “As long as the demon is dead, it naturally cannot imitate again and will definitely return into its original form.” Although his tone was as gentle as water, the words that came out were chilling, “If you happened upon someone who you can’t tell the difference, simply cut off that person’s head. Then you will know right away, whether they are human or demon.”

“Be that as it may! But in case you get it wrong……” the Daoist Priest immediately had back chills from Xuan Qing’s stare. He also didn’t know why this gentle-looking monk in front of him would give him such a strong sense of threat, but he continued anyway, “In case you get it wrong, wouldn’t it be a human life as a grass[1]?! “

But Xuan Qing simply responded indifferently, “Immortal Master, your words are a bit heavy. Life and death are not as important as that. Early attainment of ultimate happiness, perhaps it isn’t a bad thing.”——as he said this, he drew the sword on the side of his waist.

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The author has something to say:

Taking my time to write extra-ing[2]

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[1] Idiom: Killing people like scything grass (i.e. a politician acting with total disregard for the life of his countrymen). 

[2] Might not make sense in English, but meaning as is (i.e. doing something) In Chinese, it is quite often used as a way of saying they are doing something (though not grammatically correct in English). So “happy-ing” means being happy, and “extra-ing” just means the author is writing the extras (despite it being redundant). 

Extra 2: Dajing’s Old Affairs (II)

The Daoist Priest was startled at the sight of Xuan Qing’s action and with a frightened look on his face, he turned around and took a few steps back, “What are you going to do——”

Xuan Qing, holding his sword, smiled and replied, “I have a good relationship with the eldest prince, so I know him well. However, there is a demonic aura in this room, which is really strange.”

The Daoist Priest was furious, “You’re talking nonsense, how can I be a demon!?” Despite having said that, his words didn’t sound confident at all and he took a few more steps back. Now, on his side was the eldest prince, kneeling on the ground silently. The eldest prince had been looking very respectful as he knelt on the ground, but when the Daoist Priest retreated to his side, he suddenly rose up. Like Xuan Qing, he also pulled out his sword and slashed towards the Daoist Priest’s neck.

The Daoist Priest’s attention was on Xuan Qing so he was not expecting the move made by the eldest prince. In the end, because of his ignorance, he was cut. He let out a miserable scream and simply fell to the ground. The sharp sword blade in the eldest prince’s hand easily chopped off his head and the bright red blood splashed all over the room. Everyone in the room was stunned by this scene, but before they could react, they discovered something even more terrifying——the moment the Daoist Priest fell to the ground, a cloud of black smoke rose from his body and when the smoke dispersed, the Daoist Priest’s body actually turned into the appearance of a demon.

“Jinglun!” The emperor was still shaking with anger because of Bai Jinglun’s action, but when he saw the corpse of the Daoist Priest, he fell into silence.

Bai Jinglun, whose body and hands were covered with blood, looked calm. He threw the sword in his hand aside, knelt heavily towards the emperor, “Father, forgive me!”

The emperor surveyed the corpse on the ground for a long time before saying sorrowfully, “How did you know he was a demon?”

“Your son didn’t know.” Bai Jinglun replied, “Only after listening to Master Xuan Qing’s words did I end up guessing a thing or two.”

The emperor muttered, “Oh?”

Bai Jinglun continued, “I know that my beloved one is not a demon. However, Master Xuan Qing said that he had smelled a demon, so there can only be one demon and that is the Daoist Priest who told the big lie.” His cheeks were still stained with blood and he had little to no expression etched on his face. He looked tremendously different compared to how he usually was, “This demon Daoist Priest dares to deceive His Majesty, naturally, it is a death sentence. Your son simply took the courage to eliminate this demon for father.”

The emperor looked at his son and for a moment he actually felt that his love was quite strange, but he did not hate this version of Bai Jinglun, instead, he smiled and said, “But your beloved has already turned into a rabbit.”

“There are always ways in the world to turn people into something else.” Bai Jinglun replied, “Your son does not know anything about this, but now that Master Xuan Qing is here, there will always be a way to solve it.”

The emperor looked at Xuan Qing, who smiled and nodded, “She has turned into a rabbit because of the talisman, so she doesn’t need to do anything. In a few days, she should be able to recover.”

The emperor gave a nod and accepted Xuan Qing’s explanation.

The corpse of the Daoist Priest, who had died suddenly, was still in the room. The emperor called in the guards and ordered them to take the corpse out. He then smiled and said he had already set up a banquet and invited Xuan Qing to go, as if just now that incomparably harsh attitude was only the crowd’s imagination.

Bai Tianrui also accompanied them to the banquet, but the blood-covered Bai Jinglun, holding his poor rabbit girl, retired first to head back to his residence.

After the wine and food, Xuan Qing got up to say goodbye and got into the same carriage with Bai Tianrui to leave the palace.

After the carriage drove out of the palace, Bai Tianrui, who had closed his eyes and leaned in the carriage to rest, suddenly re-opened them, “They say that monks do not deceive. Xuan Qing, I think you aren’t really a serious monk.”

With an innocent face, Xuan Qing asked, “Why does Your Highness say that?”

Bai Tianrui asked, “The girl that my big brother likes, is she really not a demon?”

Xuan Qing responded, “But from the beginning to the end, I never said that she wasn’t a demon.”

Bai Tianrui smiled and froze. He thought carefully about what Xuan Qing had said after entering the palace, and then suddenly realized that the monk’s words in front of him were rigorous from beginning to end. He did say that there was a demonic aura, but he did not say who the demonic aura was coming from.

Bai Tianrui was speechless.

Xuan Qing still had that gentle look, as if the first person who just drew the sword was not him. Bai Tianrui disliked his seemingly “compassionate, but was actually heartless” look the most. His eyes darkened a little as he pursed his lips and kept quiet.

Xuan Qing seemed to be completely unaware of Bai Tianrui’s discomfort. He simply folded his hands with half-lidded eyes and gentle eyebrows.

The carriage stopped and just as Xuan Qing was about to turn around and get off, he was grabbed by Bai Tianrui, who was behind him. Xuan Qing looked up in surprise and asked, “Your Highness?”

Bai Tianrui glanced at Xuan Qing’s wrist, which he had just grabbed, and suddenly felt that he had been burned. He quickly let go of his hand and mumbled, “It’s nothing.” 

Xuan Qing looked puzzled.

The two of them got down from the carriage and entered the residence.

Bai Jinglun was already waiting in the residence. He had already changed out of the blood-covered clothes and was sitting in the study, holding the frightened rabbit spirit in his arms.

The rabbit spirit in the arms of Bai Jinglun shivered with a pitiful look. Anyone who looked at her would feel their heart soften into mush. 

Xuan Qing laughed: “Scared, right?”

“Yes, she’s quite scared.” Bai Jinglun replied coldly.

“Big brother.” Bai Tianrui smiled as he got together next to him, “You are a big tree that attracts the wind[1]. Although we all know that you don’t intend to be in that position, but other people, they don’t necessarily know that.”

Who wouldn’t want to become the one above all others? Facing such a huge temptation, how many people could really give it all up? Therefore, probably not many people would believe that Bai Jinglun, who had prestige and was also the eldest son, had no interest in the throne.

Bai Jinglun sighed, “You are right.”

Bai Tianrui continued: “Look, if you don’t fight, she will have to suffer such accusations. Any Tom, Dick and Harry, could call her a demon……”

Bai Jinglun’s expression gradually turned cold.

“Besides, did you really think Father did not see that the Daoist Priest had a problem?” Bai Tianrui, in front of his own brother, had always gone with the flow with no restrictions and at this time, he was also the same. He was different from Bai Jinglun. Although he was only a teenager, his sword skills had been very outstanding. He did not have to be bothered by mundane matters in the mortal world and no one dared to plot against him, “I think father just wants to take this opportunity to knock you out, the trees long for peace but the wind will never cease[2]……”

Bai Jinglun interrupted sharply, “I know.”

His expression became more and more gloomy, but when he lowered his eyes to look at the white rabbit in his arms, his expression became much gentler, as if only this cute rabbit in front of him could arouse the tender feelings in his heart.

The rabbit was indeed cute, but it was born to be prey. Even if it became anxious, at most, it would only just give a bite.

Bai Jinglun took in a deep breath, “Master Xuan Qing has worked hard, why don’t you go and have a good rest first. When tomorrow comes, we can catch up again?”

“Alright.” Seeing that Bai Jinglun was not in good spirits, Xuan Qing also did not force him. He turned to follow the subordinates to his own resting room, leaving the two brothers, Bai Jinglun and Bai Tianrui, alone.

In the end, they were blood-related brothers and they could already tell what was in each other’s minds just by looking at each other.

Bai Jinglun said, “Tianrui, don’t get in too deep.”

Bai Tianrui chuckled, “Brother, what do you mean by that?

Bai Jinglun gave him a deep look and asked, “You don’t know what it means?”

Only then did Bai Tianrui stop laughing.

“Monk Xuan Qing is not simple.” Bai Jinglun continued slowly, “Although I don’t know where he came from, you and he are not the same.”

Bai Tianrui clenched his teeth, “I know.” He knew that he and Xuan Qing were not the same. This monk seemed gentle, but in fact, his eyes could not hold anyone. He was as compassionate as the Lord Buddha, but he saw all life as grass. No matter how powerful he, Bai Tianrui, was, in the eyes of Xuan Qing, he was about the same as a fish in the river.

Bai Jinglun had still wanted to say more words to his brother, but Bai Tianrui no longer wanted to listen. He got up and left and his figure showed a few traces of loneliness. Bai Jinglun let out a low sigh, looking at the still-not-too-good little rabbit in his hands, his heart already had a decision.

By midnight, there was another light rain.

Xuan Qing sat on the bed, listening to the rustling sound of rain outside the window interspersed with the sound of breaking air—it was the sound of sharp weapons stabbing. Xuan Qing tilted his head and through the half-open window gap, he saw a young man practicing sword in the rain. The teenager was seventeen or eighteen years old and although his body hadn’t yet opened up, he was vaguely able to see the sharpness he would have in the near future. The long sword in his hand slashed out a piercing sword Qi and in the darkness of the night, it looked very conspicuous. The rain moistened the teenager’s hair and forehead so that his sharp face was somewhat a bit softer. Xuan Qing took a look and then withdrew his gaze. The Spring night was long, he just didn’t know when this rain would stop.

The next morning, Xuan Qing was woken up early by Bai Jinglun.

The eldest prince, who usually looked calm and unhurried, showed an unprecedented panic at this time. He rushed into Xuan Qing’s room with his chest heaving up and down, panting sharply: “Master Xuan Qing, Master Xuan Qing——”

“What’s wrong?” Xuan Qing asked.

“She’s gone, she’s gone——” Bai Jinglun didn’t even have an outerwear over him as he came over in his pajamas, he could tell at a glance that he was self-disorganized.

Xuan Qing instantly understood what Bai Jinglun meant and frowned, “That little rabbit of yours?”

“Yes.” Bai Jinglun exclaimed, “Last night she was still sleeping well at the head of my bed, today when I got up, she was gone……”

Xuan Qing said, “I’ll go check.”

Saying that, the two headed off to Bai Jinglun’s room. After Xuan Qing carefully examined the area, he frowned.

Bai Jinglun asked, “Master Xuan Qing, did someone come and take her away??”

Xuan Qing shook his head and replied hesitantly, “There is…….no third person’s breath here.”

Bai Jinglun exclaimed, “How?! Someone must have gotten word from Father and knew how much I liked her——that’s why——”

“No, there is no third person’s breath here.” Xuan Qing, however, figured out what was going on and sighed, “If she was going to leave, it would probably be on her own will.”

Bai Jinglun froze.

Xuan Qing also revealed a helpless look.

Bai Jinglun was stunned in place for a quite some time before he understood what Xuan Qing meant from his tone and demeanor. And with a look of disbelief in his eyes, he muttered in a trembling voice, “She, left by herself?” His eyes showed panic, “How could she leave by herself? She still looks like a rabbit, if others see her, won’t she be hurt as a demon?”

Xuan Qing called out, “Jinglun.”

Bai Jinglun looked up.

Xuan Qing sighed, “She’s actually not as weak as you think.”

Bai Jinglun looked at Xuan Qing expressionlessly.

Xuan Qing continued, “Since the Heavenly Ruler has laid the Grand Formation on Yaoguang, demons that are too weak cannot survive on Yaoguang, she……may not need as much protection as you think.”

Bai Jinglun’s face was pale, he had wanted to speak out several times, but he could not say the complete words. Xuan Qing looked at him compassionately, until Bai Jinglun desperately grabbed the corner of his outfit. In the end, it was teenage Bai Jinglun whose tone carried a crying voice, “Xuan Qing, I do not want her to go. Please, I beg you, help me find her, Okay?”

Xuan Qing sighed, “Okay.”

Since taking Bai Jinglun’s gold, he was destined to be entangled with the Dajing Imperial Family for decades. Whether it was fate or sin Xuan Qing couldn’t say, but in the end, it had already happened so he could only let nature take its course.

Although the white rabbit had left, it did not deliberately conceal its breath. Xuan Qing took some time before he ended up finding her in the outskirts of the Imperial City of Dajing. At this time, she had changed from rabbit form to human again. Her appearance was still charming and pitiful, but when faced with Bai Jinglun, who begged her to go back, she showed a different kind of determination.

“I won’t go back.” She lifted the hair around her ears and whispered warmly, “Although I like you, I don’t like it there.”

Bai Jinglun was dumbfounded.

She continued, “You can go, I won’t go back.”

Bai Jinglun hissed, “You don’t have to be afraid, I can protect you.”

She asked, “Protect me?” She skewed her thoughts and smiled, “Well……when you can protect me, come back and find me.”

Bai Jinglun clenched his teeth harshly, turned, and then left.

Xuan Qing followed behind and saw his fist clenched tightly. His nails probably pierced through the skin as a little trail of blood could be seen dripping down his fingers.

Xuan Qing lowered his eyes and let out a low sigh of Amitabha Buddha. With wandering thoughts, he thought that people in the matter of love really made people feel troubled. And with troublesome matters——he would never touch them.

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[1] Idiom: a famous person attracts criticism; If you’re rich or famous, people will envy you. 

[2] idiom: the world changes, whether you want it or not. 

Extra 3: Dajing’s Old Affairs (III)

A cold Spring day.

Before Xuan Qing had left Dajing, Bai Jinglun invited him out to have a drink. Xuan Qing drank tea instead of wine, watching as Bai Jinglun downed cup after cup, drinking away his sorrow.

Xuan Qing did not try to comfort him. Looking down at the table in front of him, he noticed a slow crawling insect. With the point of his finger, he blocked its way. The little insect was so frightened that it started crawling around in panic. The corner of Xuan Qing’s lip hooked up as he gently pressed on its wings, letting it crawl along his fingertips to his finger. And then with a wave of his hand, the little insect started its wings up and headed off somewhere else.

He played with such interest, as if he did not notice Bai Tianrui, who had been sitting on Bai Jinglun’s side, casting a deep and meaningful gaze towards him.

“I thought if I didn’t join in on the fight, everything would be fine.” Bai Jinglun had drunk too much and became more talkative than usual. He narrowed his eyes and the aura that came through inexplicably had a few similarities to the current emperor, “Really annoying.”

The emperor was affectionate, the more children he had, naturally the better it was. After Bai Jinglun, there were about six or seven of them being just sisters alone. Adding on his brothers, there were more than two dozen people. Some of the imperial princes and princesses were from palace maids and he couldn’t even remember all their names.

Many sons and daughters, for the emperor, it should be a good thing, but the children were quite pitiful. 

Bai Jinglun talked and Xuan Qing also listened. His eyes were smiling, but no words came out from his mouth. It was as if he was just a Buddha statue, listening to his believers’ daily woes.

But how could the Buddha comfort his believers?

“When will Master Xuan Qing leave?” Bai Tianrui suddenly asked.

“I’ll be leaving in a few days.” Xuan Qing replied, “I’m waiting until the rain calms down a little.”

Bai Tianrui looked outside. This Spring rain was continuous. Even after a few days, he didn’t see the sun. He would usually complain a few times but, today, listening to Xuan Qing’s answer, he actually hoped that the Spring rain continued to fall.

The three of them drank and chatted but the atmosphere wasn’t considered lively. Xuan Qing always spoke very little and Bai Tianrui had something on his mind, so only Bai Jinglun was left to talk quietly occasionally. It should have been a lively banquet, but they ended up tasting a hint of loneliness.

When the sun finally appeared in the west, Bai Jinglun fell down onto the table from drinking. Xuan Qing got up to say goodbye, saying he intended to head back to rest.

“Master Xuan Qing.” Bai Tianrui called out to him.

Xuan Qing turned back.

“Have you ever had a very good friend before?” Bai Tianrui asked.

“Of course I have.” Xuan Qing replied with a smile.

Bai Tianrui asked, “What kind of person were they?”

Xuan Qing thought for a moment, “What kind of person……if I must say, they are probably the heart of the world.”

Bai Tianrui continued, “What about you?”

Xuan Qing inquired, “Me?”

Bai Tianrui asked him, “Do you also have a heart for the world?”

Xuan Qing blinked. He then shook his head and replied seriously, “The world is so big, how can I, a monk, be able to care for it all?” 

Bai Tianrui said, “Then what is in your heart?” As he spoke, his eyes were dead set on Xuan Qing’s body.

Xuan Qing faintly froze but then smiled again and answered in a warm voice: “In the heart of this monk, naturally, it is filled with the Lord Buddha.” He then turned around and did not turn back.

Bai Tianrui drank the wine in the cup and took a glance at his drunken brother on the side. Suddenly, he felt his body become a little cold. 

This Spring, it seemed to be a little colder…….than in previous years.

He didn’t know if the thoughts in Bai Tianrui’s heart played a role, but this Spring rain lasted for a full three or four days before it finally stopped.

The maid complained that if this rain continued, the people were going to grow mold. Bai Tianrui listened to her words as his fingers hooked the teacup, taking a sip of hot tea.

“You’re not going to go over and check?” Bai Jinglun happened to come in from outside and took noticed of his bored brother, “He’s leaving.”

Bai Tianrui replied, “If he leaves then he leaves, it’s none of my business.” Having said that, he still got up anyway and took the oil paper umbrella he had placed next to him, and hurried out.

When Bai Jinglun saw this, he helplessly sighed.

Xuan Qing had already put on his bamboo hat and was walking towards the outside of the imperial residence. When he reached the door, he noticed Bai Tianrui holding the umbrella.

Bai Tianrui gasped and questioned him, “Didn’t you say that you would leave when it stopped raining?”

Xuan Qing replied, “I don’t know when this rain will stop.”

Bai Tianrui frowned.

Xuan Qing continued, “I still have some things to do, if I continue to delay, I’m afraid it won’t be good.”

Bai Tianrui looked a little agitated. He held the umbrella handle with a death grip and muttered through clenched teeth, “Then you should leave.”

Xuan Qing folded his hands, bowed to him, and strolled out of the door of the palace, heading off towards the distance. A soft sound faintly came from behind him, as if the bad-tempered teenager had thrown the oil paper umbrella in his hand onto the ground and stomped hard on it a few times.

Sigh, in the end, he was still a child, Xuan Qing thought, as his body was once again soaked by the rain.

In the end, exactly how high was Xuan Qing’s cultivation, even Bai Tianrui, who later reached the eighth level cultivation, found it difficult to tell. Just from the conversation he had with Xuan Qing, he perceived that this monk was not from the same dynasty as him at all since Xuan Qing even knew a lot of things regarding the Heavenly Ruler. 

But as with his cultivation, Xuan Qing came without a trace and only Bai Jinglun could find him. In essence, the origin of Xuan Qing and their Bai family was only because of that ingot of gold stuffed in his arms. However, the gold was stuffed into his arms by Bai Jinglun and had nothing to do with him, Bai Tianrui.

Although Bai Tianrui was jealous to the extreme, he couldn’t do anything about it.  

During these ten years, the time Xuan Qing came to Dajing time could be counted with one hand. However, every time he came, he donned the same old expression. No matter how much Bai Tianrui provoked him, he would not get angry. Later on, Bai Tianrui also grew tired of this and he finally realized that Xuan Qing’s heart really only had the Lord Buddha.

If Xuan Qing treated everyone like this, then Bai Tianrui also resigned to his fate. But at this time, he suddenly found that someone, in Xuan Qing’s eyes……was special.

Lin Rufei. This name was unfamiliar to Bai Tianrui. Although the Kunlun Lin family was very famous in Jianghu, he had never heard of Lin Rufei, this name.

But such a person was able to enter Xuan Qing’s eyes. 

The fourth son of the Lin family, Lin Rufei, had been weak and sickly since childhood and he had never even been down from Kunlun before. Now, assigned by the Lin family, he came to deliver the invitation to the sword competition—Bai Tianrui processed this information over and over again and could not find anything special from it.

Now, he had seen Lin Rufei. He was a handsome and frail gongzi, just, his cultivation wasn’t even as powerful as him. So exactly how did such a person enter Xuan Qing’s eyes? Bai Tianrui could not understand. Annoyed, he crumbled and smashed all the wine cups and papers in front of him onto the ground.

“Xuan Qing, you monk, you really know how to cheat people.” Bai Tianrui laughed coldly, “In your heart, do you really only have Lord Buddha?” He reached out with his hand, took his outerwear, and headed out the door with a gloomy expression.

The maids on the side didn’t dare to come out when they saw this scene. Now, Bai Tianrui was no longer a young prince, he was now the Prince. Along with the growth of his sword intent and hostile nature, it could be said that in the whole of Dajing, those that dared to provoke him were just a handful of people. Not to mention his powerful sword skills, just the fact that Bai Tianrui became the brother of His Majesty, was enough to block everyone’s mouth.

In the past few days, there were some accidents in Dajing. The princes and princesses were nearly killed, and for a time, the people of Dajing were in panic. It was only until Master Xuan Qing came to catch the murderer that the curfew in the Imperial City was finally lifted. By definition, this should have been a good thing, but looking at the murderous expression on Bai Tianrui’s face, it was as if he had seen an enemy that had killed his father……

At this time, the sky was dark and when the curfew was finally lifted, the Imperial City once again became bustling. 

Bai Tianrui saw the person he was looking for in the crowd. Xuan Qing had a smile on his face and was saying something to the gongzi beside him. The two of them looked harmonious with the tenderness he had never seen between the corners of his eyebrows.

Bai Tianrui was watching from afar and it seemed like he was gnashing his teeth.

Xuan Qing was looking sideways at Lin Rufei as he(LRF) was looking down and picking out small objects. Suddenly, his(XQ) wrist was grabbed by someone and before he could react, he was dragged out of the crowd and into an alley on the side.

“Bai gongzi?” Xuan Qing was surprised.

Bai Tianrui stared at him with hatred.

Xuan Qing looked puzzled, “Bai gongzi, you’ve been drinking?” He smelled the strong scent of alcohol on Bai Tianrui’s body.

“So what if I drank?” Bai Tianrui asked, “It’s not like I’m going to get drunk!”

Xuan Qing sighed, “This wine……it’s better if you drink less of it.” 

“Shut up!” Bai Tianrui yelled, “Who is he? Why are you so good to him? Didn’t you say you only have Lord Buddha in your heart? This pretty little gongzi has only been here for how long? What makes you like him so much?”

With an innocent face, Xuan Qing questioned, “Bai gongzi? What do you mean by that?”

Bai Tianrui gritted his teeth, “Stop pretending——”

Xuan Qing only thought he was drunk and was so helpless that he had to stuff the candy person he had just bought into his mouth. As if coaxing a child, he said that once he ate the candy, he should stop making a scene. 

Bai Tianrui bit into the sugar and with a bitter smile, he said: “Xuan Qing is actually sweet, I thought……you would be bitter.” 

Xuan Qing replied, “Monks are indeed bitter.”

Bai Tianrui said, “Yes, there won’t be a more bitter monk than you in the world.”

Xuan Qing smiled bitterly.

However, the next moment, before he could say anything else, Bai Tianrui swallowed the sugar in his mouth, leaned down, and viciously covered his lips.

This action came so abruptly that even Xuan Qing did not react in time. He felt that Bai Tianrui’s lips, which were cold and soft and stained with wine, carried a childlike persistence.

Xuan Qing reached out and pushed him away. Bai Tianrui took a few steps back as he stared greedily at Xuan Qing, “Monk, does the wine taste good?”

Xuan Qing frowned at him, like looking at a child who was fooling around.

Bai Tianrui yelled angrily, “Don’t look at me with such eyes, I’m not a child!!!”

Xuan Qing sighed: “You’re drunk.” He slowly took a few steps back and whispered, “Bai gongzi, in my eyes, you’ve always been just a child.” Although Bai Tianrui’s actions were too offensive, he was not going to be angry with a child so his expression was tinged with pity. However, he also did not want this pity to sting Bai Tianrui’s heart viciously.

Xuan Qing sidled out of the alley, leaving Bai Tianrui wretchedly standing in place. The corner of his lips was still stained with crystal sugar crumbs.

A hundred years of time; the Heavenly Ruler was no longer the Heavenly Ruler, but Xuan Qing was still Xuan Qing. The vicissitudes of the world, whether it was Bai Jinglun or Bai Tianrui, in his eyes, were just newborn offspring.

Xuan Qing naturally would not take it seriously and he also hoped that he(BTR) would not take it seriously as well. 

But now it seemed that this hope was destined to not come true.

Xuan Qing headed back to the inn and wiped away the traces on his lips with his fingers a little by little; the wine, sugar, and the heat left by Bai Tianrui.

The heat was unfamiliar, but it wasn’t annoying. Xuan Qing lowered his eyes, folded his hands together, and looked out the window lights with no sadness, no joy as he simply muttered an Amitabha Buddha.

Extra 4: Dajing’s Old Affairs (IV)

The sound of the phoenix flute moved, the light of the jade pot turned, and it was a night where the fishes and dragons danced. 

Bai Tianrui enjoyed drinking, but rarely got drunk.

The moment he kissed the lips he had longed for, he wished that he really had been drunk. If he was drunk, he wouldn’t be able to see the pity and mercy in Xuan Qing’s eyes. If he was drunk, he wouldn’t know that Xuan Qing didn’t have a hint of affection for him. 

Being pushed away as a matter of course, Bai Tianrui took a few steps back and greedily stared at Xuan Qing. However, when he saw Xuan Qing’s eyes clearly, the desire in his heart turned all into anger.

“Do not look at me with such eyes, I am not a child!!!” He angrily roared, but it seemed so powerless. Bai Tianrui just stared as Xuan Qing walked away.

The monk’s back was the same as when he had arrived; his spine was straight and his hands and feet were light and breezy.

Bai Tianrui just watched as Xuan Qing left and stood alone in the alley for a long time. It was only until nightfall, when the lights of the whole Dajing gradually extinguished and fell into the boundless silence, that he turned to leave.

That night, Bai Tianrui did not sleep. As long as he closed his eyes, what swarmed in his mind was the touch of Xuan Qing’s lips. He didn’t know if it was his own imagination, but he always felt that Xuan Qing’s lips had a faint sandalwood scent to it.

Bai Tianrui smiled bitterly and thought, this was probably Marauder’s barrier.

In accordance with past habits, Xuan Qing would head off to the palace before leaving to say goodbye to Bai Jinglun, therefore, Bai Tianrui was not too anxious. But who knew that this time Xuan Qing did not follow his usual rules and when Bai Tianrui arrived at the inn, he was actually informed that he had already left.

Looking at Lin Rufei’s innocent look, Bai Tianrui cursed in a low voice, turned around, and left with his back showing a bit of wretchedness. However, by the time he rushed to the city gate, the monk was long gone.

Xuan Qing’s trail became a mystery and as long as he left Dajing, it was impossible to find him. Bai Tianrui felt hatred in his heart as he stood at the city gate cursing. He did not care about the astonished and fearful eyes of the people around him. 

“The monk can run away, but the temple won’t run with him[1].” Bai Tianrui clenched his teeth and almost crushed the sword in his hand.

In the following years, as Bai Tianrui expected, he could not find Xuan Qing’s trail at all.

Xuan Qing, this monk, had no name in Jianghu. Even if he did something, he wouldn’t necessarily know that it was him. Wanting to find his whereabouts was like finding a needle in a haystack.

But Bai Tianrui was not in a hurry, he knew where Xuan Qing would go.

Four years later, at the Kunlun Sword Competition.

With the invitation sent by Lin Rufei, Bai Tianrui headed off to Kunlun.

At this time, four years had passed since the two last met. In mortal terms, four years may be very long, but for them, it was just a snap of the fingers.

At the sword competition, Bai Tianrui really met Xuan Qing.

Xuan Qing was smiling as he said something to the little gongzi of the Lin family. Both of their faces surfaced with a gentle look and at first, they looked extraordinarily similar. This gentleness was different from the compassion that he had used to view all objects; this gentleness carried real temperature. 

Even if Bai Tianrui didn’t want to admit it, he was indeed jealous. He clasped the sword at his side with a deadly clasp and slowly stepped forward, walking up to Xuan Qing.

Xuan Qing smiled and turned back. Just as he had when they parted four years ago, he called out to him tamely: “Bai gongzi.” With his tone of voice and demeanor, there wasn’t a trace of impropriety, as if he was just seeing an old friend who he hadn’t seen for a long time.

Bai Tianrui greeted, “Master Xuan Qing, long time no see.”

“Long time no see.” Xuan Qing gently responded.

“I didn’t expect Master Xuan Qing to really come.” Bai Tianrui narrowed his mesmerized eyes, “It seems that Master Xuan Qing and Lin gongzi’s relationship is indeed good.”

“Lin gongzi is my friend.” Xuan Qing replied as he lowered his head. Thus, he did not notice that when he said the word “friend,” the pupils of the powerful Prince of Dajing in front of him, contracted fiercely, as if he had heard something incredible.

“Friend?” Chewing on this word, Bai Tianrui laughed, “So that’s how it is.” He then turned around and left.

“Isn’t it a bad idea to stimulate him like this?” In the end, Lin Rufei noticed what was going on and hesitantly asked.

Xuan Qing looked puzzled, as if he didn’t know what Lin Rufei meant by this: “Stimulate?”

When Lin Rufei noticed that the confusion on Xuan Qing’s face did not seem to be fake, he lost his smile: “Has this monk ever liked anyone?”

Xuan Qing replied, “Monks only believe in Lord Buddha, how can they be moved to lust.”

“That’s true.” Lin Rufei sighed, “Then it’s going to be hard for that little Prince.”

During the lively banquet, Lin Rufei, as the host, naturally had a lot of wine poured for him. However, Bai Tianrui did not join in on that lively party and simply sat on the side, drinking alone. 

Probably because the drinks on Kunlun were different from the mortal world, after he drank a lot, a slight drunkenness seemed to have also surfaced. It seemed that someone next to him was asking him something with a smile; asking if this gongzi had something unhappy and why he was sitting here drinking by himself. However, Bai Tianrui ignored it.

Only until the banquet came to an end did a certain monk, sitting in the corner, rose to say goodbye.

Bai Tianrui put down the glass of wine in his hand and also followed him out.

The two walked outside. Xuan Qing noticed his movement, stopped, and turned to look at him. Four years had not left the slightest trace on this monk’s face. He still looked the same as he did four years ago and still looked at him with the same gaze as he did four years ago.

“Xuan Qing.” He did not call him monk this time, but called him by his name.

Xuan Qing raised his eyes and looked at Bai Tianrui.

“Four years ago, why did you leave without saying goodbye?” Bai Tianrui asked him.

Xuan Qing smiled, “This monk had already sent a letter to the emperor, how can you call it an unannounced farewell?”

Bai Tianrui gritted his teeth, “You sent a letter to my brother, what about me?”

Xuan Qing sighed, “Bai gongzi.”

Bai Tianrui, “Mnn?”

Xuan Qing asked, “Do you like flowers?”

Bai Tianrui frowned at him, “So what if I do?”

Xuan Qing continued, “Have you ever planted any?”

Bai Tianrui pursed his lips but did not say anything.

Xuan Qing said, “This monk likes flowers, but never planted any.”

Bai Tianrui understood what Xuan Qing meant and he clenched his teeth once again, “Just because the flowers will wither?”

Xuan Qing smiled, “No, only because flowers and grass look the same to the monk. Whether it blooms or not and whether it withers or not.”

Bai Tianrui smiled miserably: “So you use me as a metaphor for flowers, meaning that whether it is flowers or grass, or a stone on the roadside, in your eyes, there is no difference?”

“Yes.” Xuan Qing’s voice was still so gentle. However, for Bai Tianrui, that simple reply “yes,” pierced through him as if blood had flowed everywhere. With his hoarse voice, he roared, “What about Lin Rufei——Lin Rufei——”

Xuan Qing looked at Bai Tianrui strangely.

Bai Tianrui questioned, “Is he a stone in your eyes too?”

Xuan Qing replied, “Naturally not.”

Bai Tianrui asked, “Then what is he?”

Xuan Qing blinked and smiled, “He is……the ruler of the world.”

Bai Tianrui’s eyes were red, “Xuan Qing, you’re not willing to give me even a single chance?” 

Xuan Qing, however, did not speak and just quietly looked at Bai Tianrui. Probably because Bai Tianrui’s eyes were too desperate, he couldn’t help but let out a low sigh, “Bai gongzi, why are you doing this?”

Bai Tianrui laughed miserably, turned around, and left. His steps looked a bit staggering as he walked away from him.

Xuan Qing looked at him quietly before bowing his head and reciting, Amitabha Buddha.

This was the last time they saw each other after more than a hundred years. Bai Tianrui left the sword competition, but did not return to Dajing and Xuan Qing also never saw him again.

Until one day, when Xuan Qing went to pay respect to Bai Jinglun. At this time, Bai Jinglun had been dead for many years so Xuan Qing took advantage of the Qingming Festival to sweep his tomb in the light rain. 

In the end, he was the emperor so his tombstone was extraordinarily clean. However, Xuan Qing noticed that in the corner of the tombstone, a small white flower bloomed.

Ghost messenger. Xuan Qing squatted down halfway and gently stroked the small flower that was trembling in the rain. He raised the oil paper umbrella in his hand and gently sheltered it. 

“Xuan Qing.” Someone was calling him.

Xuan Qing looked up, but saw nothing.

Was it just his imagination? Xuan Qing thought. He felt that he heard the voice of Bai Tianrui.

─────────────────────────────────────────────────

[1] Idiom: “I’ll get you sooner or later.” 

Extra 5: Chi Yu

Even in the Bu’e Continent, where great demons were prevalent, the Ye Mo was not a common demon. They were very few in number but were born to cultivate. As long as they grew into big demons, they would definitely dominate. It was just a pity that it wasn’t easy to grow to adulthood on the Bu’e Continent.

Unlike Yaogang, the Bu’e Continent was disorderly. Killing and being killed was common like eating, and because of this, every demon that survived was an elite among the elite. If they weren’t too few in number, they probably would have long taken over the Yaoguang Continent. 

Chi Yu was young at the time but he knew some old stories from the past, such as the fact that the demons had already taken the lead on the Yaoguang Continent. However, who knew that a Heavenly Ruler had suddenly appeared out of nowhere and laid down a great formation to protect the whole Yaoguang Continent, completely stopping the invasion of the demons. This formation could stop most of the demons with lower cultivation and even if there were big demons that could enter Yaoguang through the formation, there were other cultivators to stop them which ended up being not a big deal.

Because of this formation, the name Heavenly Ruler had not only spread throughout Yaoguang but was also known on the Bu’e Continent. Just the demons weren’t dumb. They knew that even if the Heavenly Ruler, such a powerful person, was able to lay down such a powerful formation that could protect the entire continent, he would have had to pay a painful price. 

“No wonder the Heavenly Ruler disappeared after that day. Perhaps after laying down the formation, his vitality was greatly wounded.”

“Yes, such a powerful formation, I don’t know how he achieved such a thing.” 

“Maybe the Heavenly Ruler really is dead now, if so, it’s a good opportunity for us……”

Such statements were very loud at that time that at a certain point, the demons were also quite restless. The Demon King also had some thoughts. After all, if the Heavenly Ruler was no longer there, once he arrived at the Yaoguang Continent, no one would be able to beat him. He just had to wave his hands and he would be able to destroy countless cities and take thousands of human lives.

So the Demon King gathered his men and planned to have a long discussion on this matter.

At that time, Ye Mo’s cultivation had just begun and was fortunate enough to also join this discussion. He had thought that he could see the beginning of the demon’s revival, but who knew that during the meeting, a red outfit floated past. 

Chi Yu was far away, so he only saw a back. That back seemed like a leisurely fall of red leaves overhead as suddenly the sword was unsheathed and a move was made. 

And it was only one move.

After one move, the head of the Demon King, with his unbelievable eyes, fell to the ground with a thump as blood splashed out, reddening the morning sun.

The whole room was silent and all eyes fell on the man in red, but his posture was lazy. He shook the long sword in his hand slightly, shaking off the residual blood on the blade, and then with a clank, he returned the sword to its sheath. His attitude was very relaxed, as if he did not feel at all the surrounding temperature of the burning gazes.

Until the man in red left, not a single demon made a sound. The Demon King’s head rolled to the ground and fell off the high platform as it became stained with mud.

The man in red rode his sword and just disappeared from their views like that.

Ten steps to kill one person, not staying for a thousand miles.

That was about it.

After the man in red left, the silence that had been maintained for a long time finally ended, and with it came a huge cacophony. Some were roaring, some were screaming, some were in distress, and all the demons were in chaos.

“Didn’t they say that the Heavenly Ruler had been ruined? Why is he still alive——”

“His cultivation level not only didn’t regress, but it had also even improved!” 

“Demon King, Lord Demon King is dead!!!”

“Help, help——”

Chaotic voices filled the whole world and Chi Yu silently stood in the corner, quietly hiding his form.

As soon as the Demon King died, a hundred-year-long chaos was ushered in. The warlords were divided, the whole continent was in disarray and no longer unified.

Chi Yu also grew up. One hundred years was enough time for him to grow into a great demon from a small demon that had no self-protection ability. The Ye Mo tribe was rare and as soon as they reached adulthood, their strength would grow a hundredfold.

After the turmoil in Bu’e finally subsided, although there were no more demon kings, there were seven new kings, one of which was Chi Yu.

Although the Ye Mo was divided into male and female, in fact, reproduction did not require a male and female to □□. As long as their cultivation was high enough, they could divide a part of their body and turn it into a demon egg for reproduction. It was because of this that the Ye Mo had never had a strong desire to reproduce and it was after a long time of consideration that Chi Yu made this decision.

However, the egg was stolen not long after it was birthed. Ye Mo was furious and headed to Yaoguang in pursuit of the trail. Who knew that he was one step too late and his stupid son had recognized someone else as his father.

Pinching the flesh of the kitten’s neck in his hand, Chi Yu looked at it straightforwardly with disgust and anxiety. The little thing was stubborn and refused to eat what he fed, helpless, Chi Yu had to follow Lin Rufei for a while.

Who knew that as he followed along, he actually perceived an incredible thing. He actually felt the breath of the Heavenly Ruler……

Although this breath was unfamiliar, it was one he would never forget. The accident a hundred years ago left an indelible trace in his memory. Even if he died, he would not forget.

This Lin gongzi in front of him, could it be that he really had a relationship with the Heavenly Ruler? Chi Yu thought confusedly. He used the sword blade of the Heavenly Ruler and carried the aura of the Heavenly Ruler, this……was probably not an accident.

Until one day, he finally met the owner of the breath.

It was still the same extremely recognizable red outfit. He stood at the Lin family’s youngest son’s side and with a slightly inclined head, the tender loving in his eyes almost turned concrete. Although Chi Yu had never seen his face, he still was able to learn of his identity from that familiar breath. This was the Heavenly Ruler who beheaded the Demon King with his own hands a few hundred years ago.

Chi Yu revealed a look of astonishment.

Seemingly sensing his gaze, the man slowly turned his head and looked at him. The two men stared at each other, one stunned, one flat.

Then the man in red withdrew his gaze and his figure gradually faded away.

Chi Yu anxiously rubbed his paws on the ground.

This was his first meeting with Gu Xuandu. In fact, the two of them didn’t meet very often since most of the time, his attention was focused on Lin Rufei.

Who was Lin Rufei? Why was the Heavenly Ruler following beside him? He probably wasn’t just the youngest son of the Kunlun Sect. Chi Yu felt some unusual flavor in this matter, but still could not completely figure out the overall context of it for a while.

Until that day, when Chi Yu helped Lin Rufei and took him to see the dead swordsman.

“Why have you just arrived?” Standing at a distance and watching Lin Rufei trembling with the swordsman, Chi Yu coldly asked, “You’re not afraid that your little gongzi will die like this?”

“No.” Gu Xuandu replied, “You know of my existence?”

He spoke in a light tone, as if he hadn’t even met Chi Yu’s eyes. Chi Yu snorted and said that he wasn’t a fool. Since Lin Rufei liked to talk to himself so much and he also wasn’t suffering from hysteria……

Gu Xuandu laughed but did not speak.

Over there, Lin Rufei and the swordsman fought passionately. Chi Yu mulled over this thought for a moment, but still voiced the doubts in his heart, “You are the Heavenly Ruler, right?”

Gu Xuandu took a glance at him.

Chi Yu continued, “A few hundred years ago, you personally set up the Grand Formation and beheaded the Demon King, I was present at that time and remembered your breath.” He observed Gu Xuandu’s state and narrowed his eyes, “How come you only have your soul left now?”

Gu Xuandu smiled, “Not telling you.”

Chi Yu bared his teeth.

Gu Xuandu laughed: “Just kidding. I just ran into something and became this way, if you want to take revenge, I really can’t do anything about it.”

Since Chi Yu was able to pass through the Yaoguang Grand Formation, his cultivation level must have broken past the eighth level. Now he was still in the state of soul, naturally, there was nothing he could do with this demon. However, who knew that Chi Yu smiled coldly at his words, asking since when did he and Gu Xuandu have a feud.

“I killed the Demon King of your Bu’e Continent, am I not considered to be Bu’e’s enemy?” Gu Xuandu wondered.

“If you didn’t kill him, how could I be a king?” Chi Yu smiled, “In the end, I should also thank you.”

Gu Xuandu raised his eyebrows.

“Who is this little gongzi to you?” Chi Yu asked, “Don’t tell me he’s your disciple? No one would look at their own disciple with that kind of eyes.” He had seen that Gu Xuandu’s eyes carried a familiar greed, like a beast that had been hungry for a long time and suddenly saw a fresh piece of meat. Wanting to swallow it all in a few mouthfuls, but also didn’t want to finish it too cleanly. It was best to find a place where no one was and to endure the hunger and discouragement. The best way, after all, was to chew slowly and savor the flavor.  

Gu Xuandu blinked: “Guess?”

Chi Yu said: “Tsk, troublesome.” He didn’t bother to guess, turned around, and walked away with his tail wagging.

Gu Xuandu looked at his back and began to reflect on whether his look was really too obvious that even Chi Yu, an unreasonable demon, was able to see something from it.

After that, Chi Yu saw Gu Xuandu a few more times. However, those meetings were all by chance, until one day, he had intended to leave.

With the little cub in his arms, Chi Yu took on his human form and said to Gu Xuandu that he was leaving.

Gu Xuandu said, ‘If you’re going to leave then leave, why have you come to greet me?’ 

Chi Yu said, “Isn’t it all because your little gongzi seduced my son? Otherwise, why would I waste so much time here?” He grinned, revealing his sharp canine teeth, “If it weren’t for the sake of you, the Heavenly Ruler, I would have swallowed him in one bite.”

After listening to his words, Gu Xuandu looked at him seriously, “Actually, there is one thing that I haven’t told you.”

Chi Yu asked, “What?”

Gu Xuandu sighed, “I am not the Heavenly Ruler.”

Chi Yu frowned at Gu Xuandu and just thought he was talking nonsense: “If you are not the Heavenly Ruler, then who are you?”

Gu Xuandu said righteously, word for word: “The Heavenly Ruler’s man.”

Chi Yu: “……” This person was probably psycho.

Probably because the four words that this man spoke were too shocking, Chi Yu was silent for a long time and did not say anything.

Gu Xuandu chuckled then waved his hand at him, signaling for him to hurry. Chi Yu cursed an expletive and then said, ‘Gu Xuandu you really like to speak without thinking. All you like to do is make up nonsense and talk nonsense……’

Gu Xuandu was too lazy to defend himself and simply replied indifferently: “It’s up to you whether you believe it or not.”

Chi Yu: “……” He wanted to say something else, but when the words came to the tip of his tongue, he swallowed them back down—hard. Finally, he turned away in distress——he actually saw from Gu Xuandu’s expression that this man was not joking and was very serious.

Gu Xuandu was the Heavenly Ruler’s man? But the Heavenly Ruler was originally a man, so wouldn’t the two of them……Remembering the way Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei, Chi Yu’s ears inexplicably reddene. He then cursed lowly, thinking how in the world could there be such a lewd/mischievous thing. This group of human beings was not at all like their pure demon race! He had lived for hundreds of years, but had yet to even hold a girl’s hand—— 

Thinking of this, Chi Yu suddenly regretted it. He shouldn’t have left so fast. Although Lin Rufei was troublesome, his two maids were actually quite cute, ah.

Extra 6: Day-to-Day

The Autumn breeze was rising, the crab’s feet were itching, and it was another golden Autumn. 

Lin Rufei unsealed the yellow wine he had brewed in the past few years and planned to have a sip while enjoying the moon.

He was lowering his head to pat off the mud on the wine jug when he saw Gu Xuandu walking in slowly with a bamboo basket dripping with water.

“What is it?” Lin Rufei looked up and asked.

“Crabs.” Gu Xuandu replied with a smile. With a stretch of his hand, he placed the bamboo basket on the stone table in front of him and then took the wine jar from Lin Rufei’s hand.

Lin Rufei came over curiously. He opened the bamboo basket and saw the fresh crabs inside. He had a weak body and naturally had to eat less of this cold food, so he had only tasted one or half of them in the past and really couldn’t taste anything special from it. Now that he had seen it again, he once again grew some interest in tasting it. 

“Where did you catch them?” Lin Rufei poked the crab’s back with his hand and stared as they waved their pincers in the bamboo basket with an aggressive look. He then chuckled and asked, “So energetic?” 

There weren’t any big lakes near Kunlun, and even if there were crabs, they were only small river crabs. The crabs in the bamboo basket were so big that they were definitely not caught nearby.

“Took a trip to the mountainside.” Gu Xuandu didn’t even elaborate and just looked at Lin Rufei with a smile, “Let’s eat crabs tonight?”

“Alright.” Lin Rufei smiled and nodded, “It’s perfect with this yellow wine.”

Today’s weather was good. The sky was clear and the moon was hanging high in the sky at night. The osmanthus flowers in the courtyard were also in bloom, staining the breeze with a faint fragrance.

Once the green crabs were on the steamer, they soon turned into an attractive red. The yellow wine was also warm and good. It had a delicate flavor as it entered the mouth and it didn’t feel spicy at all. 

Lin Rufei sat in the courtyard and drank a cup, and soon, a sweet red surfaced on his pale cheeks. 

The sound of light footsteps came from behind him and then his shoulders sank; Gu Xuandu had brought a cloak over and carefully placed it over him.

“It’s windy late at night.” Gu Xuandu sat down beside Lin Rufei and said with a smile.

Lin Rufei nodded.

Gu Xuandu picked up a crab and began to break it apart. Lin Rufei rarely ate this kind of stuff so he didn’t really know how to eat it and simply watched with great interest from the sidelines. Gu Xuandu’s fingers were slender and long and when he peeled the crabs, it was quite pleasing to the eye. The crab meat and the crab shell were easily divided into two parts at his fingertips, and the most eye-catching part was the golden crab roe inside.

Gu Xuandu plucked up the crab roe, dipped it in the crab vinegar, and naturally fed it into Lin Rufei’s mouth. Lin Rufei’s mouth opened as he took the crab roe into his mouth. Instantly his eyes lit up as he praised: “Delicious!”

Gu Xuandu lowered his eyes: “Previously, I did not know that Xiao Jiu likes to eat this.”

Lin Rufei propped his hand on his chin, squinting his eyes with insatiable satisfaction: “It’s too troublesome.”

The memories of the Heavenly Ruler were all about running around for the sake of the people of the world. Even during good times and festivals, there was little time to spare, so he rarely touched troublesome food such as crabs. Nowadays though, he felt that the taste was very good, especially the crab roe. It was fresh and soft and once it was dipped in some special vinegar, it was even more delicious.

Gu Xuandu continued peeling as Lin Rufei sat on the side staring at him intently. He originally wanted to do it himself, but Gu Xuandu smiled and pressed his hand back, saying that things like peeling were troublesome. Xiao Jiu should just drink wine first and just wait to be fed.

Lin Rufei could only give up. Lifting up the wine glass, he drank two mouthfuls of warm yellow wine accompanied by some side dishes prepared by Fu Hua and then proceeded to bite half of the baked puff pastry. He was indeed very satisfied.

The yellow wine tasted good and with Gu Xuandu’s crab meat as a companion, unknowingly, he drank half of the jug. Not only were Lin Rufei’s cheeks red, but even his eyes surfaced with some light vapor. There was a vague sense of drunkenness in his expression. 

Gu Xuandu looked on from the side with a smile on his lips. He didn’t say a single word and was only concerned with feeding him food. 

With three or four crabs down, Lin Rufei felt a little full so he stopped eating crabs and lowered his head to drink more wine.

The moonlight was like a waterfall as the wind rolled the fine osmanthus flowers onto his hair and shoulder. He held the rim of the wine glass cup and vaguely chanted Gu Xuandu’s name.

“What’s wrong?” Gu Xuandu turned his head and looked at him with a smile.

“Don’t want to eat anymore, I’m full.” Lin Rufei chanted in a low voice, “You also stop peeling, come and drink with me.”

Gu Xuandu nodded, “Okay.”

The two men clinked their glasses and drank again. Lin Rufei was a little hot, so he casually untied the cloak draped over his shoulders. However, Gu Xuandu stopped him and said, “Xiao Jiu is weak, be careful of catching a cold.”

When Lin Rufei heard this, he narrowed his eyes at him. His gaze carried a hint of provocativeness as his fingers reached up to Gu Xuandu’s lips. He wiped away the wet wine and then placed it into his own mouth, seriously licking it clean: “So what if I am weak. If I am weak does that mean that you have to treat me like a baby that you don’t even dare to touch?”

Gu Xuandu’s eyes turned dark and he was silent.

“Gu Xuandu.” Lin Rufei came forward and grabbed his collar, pulling him close to his face. Their noses were touching as breaths mingled with burning wine puffing out, “I’m not made of clay, I’m not going to break from such things.”

“Won’t break from such things?” Gu Xuandu repeated each word one at a time, as if chewing on these words, and there seemed to be a manic storm brewing in his eyes.

Lin Rufei, however, was oblivious and was still provoking until he was met with a blur in front of his eyes. His vision turned and he then realized that he was directly princess carried off by Gu Xuandu.

“What are you doing?” Lin Rufei asked blankly.

Gu Xuandu smiled and said softly: “Xiao Jiu shouldn’t talk big.”

Lin Rufei, “Hmm?”

Gu Xuandu said, “Since Xiao Jiu said that he won’t break from such things, then I will test it out.”

Lin Rufei’s eyes opened slightly. It seemed that he did not expect Gu Xuandu to do as he said without giving him any opportunity to react. However, Gu Xuandu’s expression actually made him worried and slightly fearful. Although he was confidently provoking him a while ago, he was now slightly timid. He couldn’t help but reach out and pull on Gu Xuandu’s sleeve, softly calling out “Xuandu,” as if begging for mercy.

But he didn’t know that if he hadn’t said anything, then everything would have been fine. But this begging for mercy was like a spark that fell into the woodpile and completely ignited someone who had been repressed for a long time.

“Today is a good day.” Gu Xuandu muttered, “The moonlight is perfect.” After saying that, he took a big step forward and crossed into the room.

The courtyard was once again quiet. Only the breeze, the moon, and the remnants of crab and wine remained. 

That night, Lin Rufei felt really regretful. He didn’t remember how many times he begged for mercy and that he was going to break, but the person who had been repressed for so long, never cared about such stuff. 

The next day when he woke up, the sun was already high. Lin Rufei opened his eyes, only to feel as if his body had fallen apart while the culprit was sitting on the edge of the bed. Blinking at him, he raised the bamboo basket in his hand, smiling like a flower: “Xiao Jiu, do you want to eat crabs again tonight? It’s just caught so it’s very fresh.” 

Lin Rufei buried half of his face into the bedding and his hoarse voice was as thin as a mosquito: “No more, I don’t want to eat crabs ever again……”

If he still ate them tonight, he was afraid that he would have to die in bed.

(t/n: For those who might not know, crabs are kind of a slang for censorship in Chinese. So if something is censored, one might say that it was crabbed. Thus the crabs in this chapter have a hidden meaning 😉)

Extra 7: (Cherry Blossom Robbery)

Since Gu Xuandu came to that cherry blossom forest, he rarely dreamed.

The cherry blossom grove was located under the Kunlun Mountains. Counting carefully, it had a hundred years of history. The Kunlun Mountains were remote and had wind and snow all year round. Spring here was even shorter than it was in the Central Plains, therefore the blooming of cherry blossom blossoms was only for half a month.

Fortunately, there were many people who loved flowers and the cherry blossom forest wasn’t all too lonely.

Since Gu Xuandu’s body had been destroyed, he could only send his soul onto the cherry blossom tree. However, he was not lucky. The cherry blossom tree that he parasitized was only a small seedling, thin and small. Not to mention flowers, there were only one or two leaves on its branches and as the Spring breeze brushed past, the small cherry blossom tree would sway, so pitiful.

Because of this, Gu Xuandu thought that his encounter with that person would take a long time. However, who knew that one Spring, a little gongzi in fancy clothes headed down the mountain to enjoy the cherry blossom on a whim and noticed his insignificant self on the roadside.

The little gongzi was only seven or eight years old, but he could already see that he had good looks. However, his cheeks were small and too pale, and with the addition of the furry fox fur lining, he looked even more slender and thin. He stood in the luxuriant cherry blossom forest and his pair of black eyes seemed to reflect the pink bud.

The cherry blossoms here were many and very beautiful. Who would pay attention to the roadside cherry blossom tree that seemed to be dying? Gu Xuandu’s hands clutched his chest as he sat on a branch on the side with drooping eyes, his thoughts wandering aimlessly.

As expected, the little gongzi was fascinated by the cherry blossoms. He circled the whole forest until he was bullied by the monkeys in the cherry blossom forest. Then, with an aggrieved expression, he muttered that he wanted to leave.

The maid was laughing as she coaxed him, asking if he wanted her to go and catch the bullying monkeys and teach them a good lesson. The little gongzi sighed and waved his hand with little interest, “No, no, let them go, what’s the point of screaming with a group of monkeys.”

The maid laughed and Gu Xuandu also laughed along.

Some people, even after a hundred years, could be recognized at a glance.

The little gongzi in front of him was him.

The little gongzi lowered his head and walked back with his head hanging. Who knew that when he reached him, he suddenly paused and looked over hesitantly, “Fu Hua……”

The maid named Fu Hua came forward to answer.

“This is a cherry blossom tree, right?” The little gongzi’s eyes fell on the slender cherry blossom tree and asked, “Doesn’t our courtyard happen to lack a cherry blossom tree?”

Fu Hua asked, “You want this one? But this one still looks so small, not even a single flower……Why don’t you choose a beautiful one, tomorrow I will have someone move the tree to the courtyard, so you can enjoy the flowers.”

Gu Xuandu smiled, thinking that the maid’s words were not false. After all, who wanted to plant such a half-dead tree in their courtyard? Wasn’t a more beautiful one better?

But the little gongzi wrinkled his brow and said, “No, I want this one.”

“Why?” His maid was surprised.

“This cherry blossom tree is a newborn, if it keeps growing in the cherry blossom forest, I’m afraid it won’t grow much.” The little gongzi said, “Wouldn’t it be a pity for it to die like this? Why not move it to the courtyard and raise it well, maybe in a few years it will grow and bloom.”

At this time, the cherry blossom forest under the mountain had already flourished for a hundred years and for a new cherry blossom sapling to grow wasn’t an easy task. The big trees that have grown up have taken away the sunlight and rain from the small trees and looking at the appearance of this small cherry blossom tree, there was no chance for it to grow and bloom.

Since his little gongzi said so, Fu Hua also could not refute. The next day, she sent someone to move the little cherry blossom tree to her gongzi’s courtyard with its roots.

Probably because this small cherry blossom tree was really pitiful, the people who moved the tree were very careful—they didn’t even dare to touch a leaf. 

So, Gu Xuandu then headed off to the little gongzi’s courtyard.

The little gongzi was called Lin Rufei and he was the youngest son of the Kunlun Sect’s Head. He should have been the prided son of Heaven, but he was weak and unable to wield a sword. Fortunately, his brothers and sister would spoil him with all their hearts. 

After a long time, Gu Xuandu finally met him again. Only, he could no longer remember the past nor could he remember him.

The little gongzi was slowly growing up, but the cherry blossom tree still remained the same weak look.

Ordinary cherry blossom trees would blossom and bear fruit in two or three years, but this one in the courtyard, after almost ten years, still had a pathetic look with sparse branches and leaves.

Lin Rufei had grown from a handsome child into a charming young boy. His daily routine was to carry a watering can to water the cherry blossom tree.

If it was Spring, he would have whispered a few words to it as well.

“How come it just won’t bloom?” Lin Rufei frowned sadly as he looked at the slender cherry blossom tree in his yard. His fingertips nudged its trunk and he touched its leaves, sighing, “Even the leaves are so few……”

Gu Xuandu stood across from Lin Rufei looking at his little gongzi. Only, unfortunately, the little gongzi could not see him at this time. He listened to the little gongzi’s words, pondered for a moment, and wrinkled his brow, “Then……I will try harder?”

It was as if the little gongzi heard his voice, he revealed a smile, and muttered to himself: “Forget it, just do as you please.” 

Since his little gongzi wanted to see cherry blossoms, Gu Xuandu naturally did not want him to go to the bottom of the mountain to see those sultry ones. So he worked very hard and put in the effort to finally squeeze out a flower bud. 

The flower bud stood alone on the slender branch and at first, it looked very pitiful.

But at least, it was considered a flower.

When Lin Rufei saw his family’s carefully raised cherry blossom tree finally bloom, he was naturally overjoyed. But just as the bud bloomed, suddenly rain and wind fell. The already soft petals were wet by the rain and in Lin Rufei’s frightened eyes, it slowly floated down.

The little gongzi was really scared by this scene. His eyes were round as he opened his mouth to shout. However, Gu Xuandu smiled brightly and with the raise of his fingertips, the falling petal blew with the wind towards Lin Rufei’s cheeks.

Lin Rufei had no time to react before a pale pink shade entered his eyes. He seemed to be shocked by the suddenness of the situation as he covered his eyes and jerked back a few steps, missing the soft laughter in his ears. 

“Xiao Jiu.” Someone was calling his name. Holding his body as he slowly slid down, the burning breath was in his ear. With a twist of the head, he would have seen, but Lin Rufei had already entered a chaotic dream world.

In the dream, he saw a red outfit.

At this moment, Lin Rufei thought this was their first encounter.

But he did not know that this was a reunion after hundreds of years apart.

(t/n): AND THAT’S OFFICIALLY THE END!!!! Thank you guys for sticking until the end and please support the author if you can. I never would have expected to finish this novel in around 4 months, but I am proud of myself for being able to do so and not dropping it. If we are fated to meet again in the future, maybe I’ll see you guys in another novel, but for now, Satsuki peace out~ ❤

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The author has something to say:

And that’s pretty much the end, I will see you guys in the next book ~ love you = 3 =

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