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Cherry Blossoms Upon a Wintry Sword Chapter 71-80

Chapter 71: She Yizhi

Lin Rufei also couldn’t say how long the two of them had been fighting in the sky, but gradually, the two days of rain finally stopped. The people, who had been worried about this matter, finally were able to sigh in relief. The fight above also gradually came to an end and Lin Rufei saw a huge cat-shaped demon, holding something in his mouth, flying towards his side. The closer he got to him, the smaller the demon’s figure became. Lin Rufei fixed his eyes on it and confirmed the identity of the demon—it was the one he had thrown out with his sword. The most striking thing was that he was holding a man in green clothes in his mouth. The man seemed to have been beaten up by Chi Yu since his face was swollen and his mouth was still chanting about something. Chi Yu was so irritated by his chants that he raised his hand and gave him a claw, almost knocking him out completely.

When Chi Yu returned to the inn, he had almost become the size of a normal cat, so the person he was carrying in his mouth, soon became out of place. With a “bah”, he threw the man onto the ground like garbage and then stomped on him, cursing at Lin Rufei: “Shameless! Do it again[1]!”

He was still bothered about the fact that Lin Rufei had pulled him by the tail.

Lin Rufei quickly waved his hand and said, “No more, no more.”

“Why not? You were so excited about it just now!” The Ye Mo ground his teeth and said hatefully, “The tail of a Ye Mo is a man’s waist and a woman’s hand! You actually dare reach out and touch it, you are really looking for death——”

Lin Rufei muttered, “But didn’t my maid also touch it just now?”

Ye Mo frowned: “How is that the same?”

Lin Rufei stared, “How is it different?”

Ye Mo replied as a matter of fact, “Your maid is a lovely and cute girl! What are you? You’re a disgusting man——”

Lin Rufei mumbled in his heart, “Can you not say the words ‘disgusting man’ so cutely?” but since the Ye Mo was still angry, he didn’t dare to say it out loud. In the end, he could only laugh dryly twice, barely easing the atmosphere.

The man, who had been thrown to the ground by the Ye Mo, woke up in a daze while they had been talking, attracting Ye Mo’s attention. As soon as the man woke up, he heard the conversation between Lin Rufei and the Ye Mo and immediately got up from the ground. Pointing at Lin Rufei, he accused in shock: “You, you, you are actually having an affair with a demon!”

Lin Rufei ignored him and pointed to the newly cleared sky outside, “Did you make the rain come down?”

“It was me.” This person had actually admitted it with a pat on his chest, not feeling anything wrong with his actions at all.

Lin Rufei stated, “If it had continued to rain, the whole city would be flooded. Do you know how many people would have died?”

The man said indifferently: “Life, old age, sickness, and death are things that people must go through. As for drowning, it’s just a different choice, what’s so strange about it?”

Lin Rufei answered, “Your reasoning is very strange.”

“Not strange, not strange.” This man was young in appearance, if he only looked at his face, he would most likely have thought that he was just a teenager. But judging from his cultivation level, those who dare to set up a formation in the sky, could not be a teenager. Faced with Lin Rufei’s question, he shook his head, “I am eliminating harm for the people. Perish a city of people to ensure a side of peace.”

Lin Rufei paused: “Peace?”

He said, “You probably don’t know, recently a jiao has entered the Ruo River. That jiao has got a human’s seal of approval and as long as it heads into the sea, it will turn into an evil dragon. Then, when the time comes, it will be more trouble.” He continued with a serious face, “That’s why I will set up a formation on his way in order to stop it. At most, the rain will continue for half a month and half a month later, this jiao will be trapped here by me.”

After he finished, he seemed to remember something and then glanced at the Ye Mo’s unpleasant eyes. He immediately sat up straight and whispered: “It seems I have said this all in vain. You and this demon also have a relationship and it looks like a pretty good one……”

Ye Mo angrily retorted: “Who has a good relationship with him! What nonsense are you talking about!”

Lin Rufei ignored the big angry cat and asked, “Half a month of rain? How many people are you trying to kill here?”

The surrounding areas were all plains. If it really rained for half a month, most likely there wouldn’t be many people left in this area.

This person spread his hands and shook his head, making an “I do not know what you are talking about expression.” When Lin Rufei saw this, he was angered and amused: “Since you did things this way, did no one say anything?” 

“They dare?” The man puffed up his chest, “None of them are as good as me, so why should they say anything about me.”

Lin Rufei asked, “If they are better than you, then they can say something about you?”

The person responded, “Of course.”

Lin Rufei pointed at the Ye Mo, “Look, you were captured by him, so he is naturally more powerful than you. According to you, shouldn’t you listen to him?”

Ye Mo smiled and snorted cooperatively from the side. He twisted and jumped onto the table, licking his front paws and growling disdainfully, “Who wants this kind of waste to be my little brother.”

“Who are you to call me a waste?” The man was irritated by the word “waste” and jumped eight feet high.

Ye Mo said, “Just to kill a simple jiao and you need so many people to die as well. If you’re not a waste then what are you?” He laughed coldly.

The man’s jaw dropped and he was momentarily choked to death by the Ye Mo’s words.

“Besides, what is an evil jiao? If it eats people then it’s an evil jiao?” Ye Mo continued, “People eat pork and beef, demons eat people, it’s just a cycle of the divine principle. There’s nothing wrong with humans killing jiao, so why do you need to add the word ‘evil’ to the word jiao?” He stood up and came up to the man: “In terms of pork and cattle, then aren’t you also an evil person?”

The man said, “How am I an evil person——”

Ye Mo asked, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

The man was speechless.

Lin Rufei listened with great interest as the two of them fought. He realized that the Ye Mo’s eloquence was not bad at all and that he was able to block this man from saying another word. In this Jianghu, many people had strange reasoning and only those with a stronger fist could tell others the ideals they wanted them to say. 

“What you say seems to be somewhat reasonable.” This person stroked his chin and also took in the Ye Mo’s words, “So it is reasonable if the pig or cow came to me for revenge and it is also reasonable for me to kill the jiao.” He was also a smart one and was able to actually rationalize Ye Mo’s logic in such a short amount of time, “Since we all have a point, what did you bring me back for?”

The Ye Mo grinned and extended his sharp claws, “I am a demon, what do you think I brought you back for?”

When the man saw Ye Mo’s claws, he looked at Lin Rufei with a frightened expression, as if he wanted to ask Lin Rufei for help.

However, Lin Rufei simply smiled and added for the Ye Mo: “Naturally he brought you back to eat.”

This person: “……”

Ye Mo said, “It makes sense for you to kill demons and it makes sense for me to eat people. Since everyone has a point, what are you waiting for? Unless you’re going to drill yourself into my mouth?”  As he said this, he opened his mouth, revealing rows of snow-white teeth. 

The man let out a long sigh: “You’re right.” After saying this, he actually tried to drill himself into the Ye Mo’s mouth.

This rash action cause both the Ye Mo and Lin Rufei to freeze in their position. The Ye Mo, whose teeth had been pressed down, instantly jumped far away. He spat out bah, bah, bah, several times, “What are you doing touching my mouth, stinky man——”

This person: “Weren’t you going to eat me?”

Ye Mo: “……”

The man added: “I’ll drill myself into it.”

The Ye Mo’s face distorted and his voice became vicious: “Who wants to eat a man? If I want to eat, I will definitely eat a cute little girl.” After saying this, he didn’t know what he had remembered, but he let out an uneasy “hmph.”

This person’s actions made Lin Rufei not know whether he should cry or laugh. He didn’t know whether to say that the person was simple-minded or say that he was stubborn so in the end, he simply waved his hand, “If you want to catch the jiao, you can. But using a professional formation is not allowed. Otherwise, the people who died in your hands will perhaps be more than the people who died in the hands of the jiao.” 

The man sighed: “Your words have some truth.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Where exactly are you from and what is your name?”

“My name is She Yizhi.” He said, “From the She family.”

When Lin Rufei heard this, he thought that this matter was very coincidental. He didn’t expect to meet the She family here and he had a good name, a snake[2]. He had long heard that the She family was very good at formations but he did not expect it to be so powerful that it would rain for half a month.

“And who are you? Why are you hanging out[3] with this powerful demon?” She Yizhi asked.

“Who’s hanging out with him!” Before Lin Rufei could answer, Chi Yu sat up first and growled angrily, “If you say any more nonsense, I will really swallow you in one bite!”

She Yizhi stated: “Then swallow, ah, didn’t I agree to it just now?” 

Chi Yu replied coldly, “Do you think anyone would rush to eat sh*t.”

She Yizhi, who had been compared to sh*t, glared. He almost rolled up his sleeve and discussed with Chi Yu his taste but Lin Rufei hurriedly stopped him, saying that he should calm down. Sometimes it was good to taste bad, if the taste was too good, he may not see the sun tomorrow.

She Yizhi barely took in Lin Rufei’s words and thought, “What you said seems to make sense.”

Only then did Lin Rufei breathe a sigh of relief.

This She Yizhi was really a rash young man. If he really pissed off the already bad-tempered Chi Yu and was really eaten, Lin Rufei would not be able to explain properly to the She family.

Lin Rufei asked about the jiao again and She Yizhi started to talk very slowly. 

He said that the jiao had been found in the Ruo River and was very powerful. The first to find that jiao was actually his elder brother. However, his elder brother was somehow bewitched by the jiao and did not tell others until recently, when he was suddenly injured by the jiao and almost lost his life. Only then, did the public know the existence of the jiao. Him being the younger brother, naturally, he could not just sit idly. Thus, he searched for the jiao’s traces for a long while and also set up a formation in the clouds so that it would rain. He wanted to kill the jiao in this place, but who knew that only after two days, a big cat suddenly appeared in the sky and then, he was plucked down by it. 

Speaking of demons, She Yizhi was very indignant. He said that they were completely free of human moral restraints and more than that, they were not reputable. They become hostile in just a blink of an eye and were simply not trustworthy. Only, when he said this, he forgot that he was sitting next to an unkind demon until he heard the sound of Chi Yu’s tail whirring in the air. Soon, he realized that he seemed to have said too much and laughed embarrassingly: “Of course, we can’t generalize either. There are still some……credible demons.”

“Hmph, what good are you humans again?” Chi Yu sneered, “If someone hadn’t stolen my egg and tried to rob my son, you think I would be here?”

She Yizhi was shocked, “There was someone who was able to steal your egg?” 

Chi Yu: “……”

She Yizhi pondered for a moment: “It seems you are not as powerful as I thought.”

Chi Yu pounced towards She Yizhi once again and by the time he had gotten up again, She Yizhi’s face had a few more bloodstains. Although She Yizhi’s formation was powerful, his combat ability seemed very bad. He was trampled on by Chi Yu without the ability to fight back and could only lie on the ground screaming in pain.

Lin Rufei was very impressed with him; he admired his ability to poke at Chi Yu’s pain points with every word.

Lin Rufei pondered over this matter and in the end, he decided to introduce himself. She Yizhi also knew of the Lin family but was a bit surprised to hear that the person in front of him was Lin Rufei: “I have long heard of Lin gongzi’s name. My father has been waiting at home, why did Lin gongzi stay here for so long?”

In his heart, Lin Rufei thought to himself: How dare you ask, it’s all because of you. He reached out and pointed out the window, “I haven’t bought the boat I want to row with yet.”

She Yizhi didn’t understand so he asked, “Why do you want to row a boat?”

Lin Rufei replied, “Look outside.”

Although the rain had stopped, the water outside still had not yet receded and the whole street was filled with cloudy rainwater. She Yizhi took a glance at it, laughed embarrassingly, and said, ‘so that’s how it is. But it does not matter, after the formation stops, the rain will also stop. Soon the water will recede. It’s only a pity that the jiao will run away again. I don’t know when I can find its trail again.’

Chi Yu was not a nosy demon, if Lin Rufei had not thrown him out, he would not have been interested in She Yizhi, so She Yizhi did not say anything else and the atmosphere in the room gradually melted down.

Lin Rufei originally had thought to send She Yizhi back after the water had receded so that he would not cause further harm to others, however, Gu Xuandu suddenly appeared out of thin air and came up to Lin Rufei’s ear, asking him if he wanted to be happy.

“Happy?” Lin Rufei asked curiously.

Gu Xuandu raised his chin towards Chi Yu’s tail.

Lin Rufei’s hands instantly itched, but there was still some hesitation laced in his tone: “It doesn’t seem good to just take action……like this, right?”

Gu Xuandu answered, “If you don’t take action now, then there will be no one to take the blame for you later.”

Lin Rufei: “……”

“Come on, come on.” Gu Xuandu was instructing his own family’s little gongzi to do bad things, “Reach out and grab it, leave the rest to She Yizhi.”

Although Lin Rufei was a little hesitant, under Gu Xuandu’s best efforts of compulsion, he still slowly walked behind Chi Yu, who was now looking out the window with his back to them with a lazy look. His tail wagged from time to time, looking very languid. 

She Yizhi was behind Chi Yu, sitting in a very obedient posture. When he noticed Lin Rufei, he didn’t understand why he was coming over and cast a confused look at him.

Lin Rufei returned his glance with an apologetic smile.

Before She Yizhi could react to what Lin Rufei’s smile meant, he saw the handsome, noble little gongzi extend his white, slender hands and, with a swift movement, he gently pinch the tail that was slowly wagging in front of him.

“OW!!!” The owner of the tail immediately jumped eight feet high. When he turned around and saw She Yizhi sitting behind him, he almost immediately locked onto his target, “Damn you! Who let you pull my tail——” After he finished growling, he immediately lunged at him. She Yizhi had no time to explain before he was pinned to the ground, letting out a miserable scream.

Lin Rufei had his hands tucked behind his back, looking innocent, and he even said in a warm voice: “Chi Yu, be gentle, don’t hurt the person.”

She Yizhi: “……????” What’s wrong with you, Lin gongzi??

By the time She Yizhi got back up from the ground, he had a few more bruises on his face. He looked at Lin Rufei with incredulous eyes and pointed at Lin Rufei in a trembling voice: “Lin gongzi……you……you……”

Lin Rufei grieved and lamented: “She gongzi, ah. He even said that the tail could not be touched. Why couldn’t you resist the urge?”

She Yizhi was so angry with Lin Rufei that his eyes were about to pop out of their sockets. 

Chi Yu was now considered to be pissed off. He no longer had his back turned to them and narrowed his eyes at the both of them. Lin Rufei’s hand, that was currently behind his back, was rubbing with satisfaction, thinking that no wonder Gu Xuandu had touched it twice, the tail felt too good. It was soft, slippery, and fluffy. When he grasped it, it was like he was touching a soft cloud and it really made it hard for someone to stop. He could not help but envy Fu Hua who could stroke the cat casually. 

I hate not being a daughter, ah, Lin Rufei secretly let out a sigh.

She Yizhi began to doubt the whole world after seeing Lin Rufei’s ugly side. He stared at Lin Rufei’s gentle and innocent expression and if it weren’t for the wounds on his face that were still aching in pain, he probably would have thought that everything that had just happened was just his imagination.

However, She Yizhi’s strong desire for survival still made him silently move away from Chi Yu and coincidentally, he noticed the little kitten sleeping on the bed. He had just suffered a lot from Chi Yu and now when he saw such a cute kitten, most of his heart softened and he reached out to pet it: “Where did the kitten come from?—”

Lin Rufei had no time to stop him when She Yizhi took action.

As for the result of this touch, Lin Rufei could not bear to continue describing it. He could only say that Chi Yu’s methods were extremely cruel and She Yizhi, who was unable to fight back, shed crystal tears.

When Fu Hua entered through the door, she saw a strange young man sitting by her gongzi’s bed crying and the big cat, the one that she had touched before, was screaming viciously at the strange man. The man’s face was full of claw scratches, although not too serious, it still looked very miserable.

Lin Rufei was standing by the window sighing, saying: ‘humans, once they become unlucky, even cold water would get stuck between their teeth.’ 

“Gongzi?” Fu Hua did not know what had happened and took a few steps towards the bed. With natural movements, she picked up the big cat and tenderly stroked its head, “Who is this. ah?”

Lin Rufei replied, “She family’s She gongzi.”

Fu Hua asked, “She gongzi? How come he is here?”

Lin Rufei answered, “That’s a long story.”

Fu Hua said, “I saw that the rain outside has stopped and it seems that the water will recede tomorrow.” She looked at She gongzi but noticed him staring at her with a stunned expression. She was suddenly bewildered, “She gongzi, why are you looking at me like this?”

She Yizhi was actually not looking at Fu Hua, instead, he was looking at a certain demon, who was now nestling in Fu Hua’s arms, tenderly squinting his eyes with a face of enjoyment. He almost wanted to sob and accuse the demon of differential treatment, but due to the wound that had just fallen on his face, he finally closed his mouth, hung his head, and said sadly, “Maybe it’s because you look good.”

Fu Hua didn’t understand.

Lin Rufei smiled and then proceeded to ask Fu Hua to book another room, saying that tomorrow She gongzi would leave with them. Fu Hua let out an “oh,” and reluctantly let the big cat down before heading out.

When Chi Yu saw that Fu Hua had left, he slowly jumped onto the bed and then kicked She Yizhi to keep him away from him.

She Yizhi was also considered to have his temper bullied out of him. He silently changed his position and continued to look at Lin Rufei with sorrow.

Lin Rufei could only pretend not to see. In his heart, he thought to himself that he really shouldn’t do any more bad things otherwise, he would always feel guilty. 

Gu Xuandu was very indifferent and was full of bright smiles. If he hadn’t been worried that She Yizhi’s face would be scratched into a fleshy mess, he would have made a move on Chi Yu’s tail again. 

After a difficult day, when they were about to depart the next day, She Yizhi was dying in the corner. Lin Rufei sat next to him, holding the kitten in his arms while Chi Yu was being held in Yu Rui’s arms. One moment he was being fed a piece of corn candy and the next, he was being fed a piece of plum cake, in the end, he became the most dashing one out of all of them. 

She Yizhi let out a long sigh and the sorrow in his eyes almost turned concrete. He didn’t know whether he was envious of Fu Hua, who could pet Chi Yu’s hair, or envious of Chi Yu, who could lie in the arms of a beautiful maid, or even both.

Lin Rufei had his head bowed and still donned a harmless and gentle look. If not for yesterday, where She Yizhi was set up by him, he probably would have believed in his harmlessness. 

After the water receded, there was still a lot of mud on the road and the carriage did not dare to travel too fast on it. 

But halfway through their travels, Gu Xuandu, who had been relaxed, suddenly straightened up as if listening to some sound. When Lin Rufei saw this, he asked in a low voice: “What’s wrong?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Something is following us.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What is it?”

However, Gu Xuandu did not answer. Instead, he glanced at She Yizhi, who was currently dozing off, and slowly relaxed his posture again, “I guess it’s coming for this guy.”

Lin Rufei, “Hmm?”

Gu Xuandu answered, “Nothing hostile, don’t mind it.”

Lin Rufei gave an “oh.”

Chi Yu, who had been taking a nap with his eyes closed, also seemed to sense something. He opened his eyes halfway and glanced in Lin Rufei’s direction, but very quickly, he withdrew his gaze and gave a lazy meow. Lin Rufei also seemed to have noticed something strange. He seemed to have smelled a strong scent of water. Logically speaking, the rain had just stopped not too long ago so it was very normal if there was a strong scent of water. However, this scent seemed to be a little different from the ordinary smell of water and it was right now circling around them. It was only faintly discernible and made it impossible for people to ignore. 

She Yizhi, whose eyes were closed, also woke up and he seemed to notice something. Sitting upright, he asked, “Do you guys smell anything?”

Chi Yu lifted his eyelids and gave him a look.

She Yizhi wondered: “Why did it suddenly decide to come to me? Is it not afraid of death? Strange, strange, before, it desperately tried to avoid me, did it eat some kind of wrong medicine today?……”

Lin Rufei asked: “Is it the jiao you wanted to kill before?”

“Mnn.” She Yizhi took a deep breath and savored the watery smell that permeated throughout the air. His voice was a bit cold as he spoke, “This disgusting fishy smell, I can’t forget it in my life.” As he spoke, he pulled out an orange-yellow talisman from his pocket. The symbols on that talisman were actually a rare ice-blue color and before it was even used, a surging spiritual aura came through.

“Since it has come to my door.” She Yizhi grinned, “Then I will not be polite.”

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[1] It’s like saying, “I dare you to do it again!” 

[2] Not sure if this was on purpose or a typo, but She Yizhi’s name is 佘一之: and the word for “a snake” is 蛇一只, sounds similar to She Yizhi just different tonations on the zhi. So maybe LRF heard it wrong or it’s the author’s typo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

[3] This is more derogatory, it’s like “mixing in with the wrong crowd.” 

Chapter 72: Sea and Sky

Sitting in the carriage, She Yizhi was about to fling out the talisman, however, a cold wind suddenly blew up in mid-air causing the entire carriage to shake. Accompanying this strange wind, was a strong fishy smell. When She Yizhi noticed this, his expression suddenly changed. He shouted a “bad” and intended to get up and leave the carriage. However, who knew that Chi Yu, who had been sitting on the side, would suddenly lift up his claws and make a move on She Yizhi, whose back was currently facing him. She Yizhi was directly scratched into confusion. He staggered a few steps and fell back down into the carriage.

Just as he was stunned, the wind outside stopped and the fishy smell, which made people feel uncomfortable, quickly faded away.

“What did you swipe at me for?” She Yizhi twisted his head and looked at Chi Yu with grievance.

Chi Yu licked his paws without a single concern and lazily replied: “If I want to swipe, then I will swipe.” 

She Yizhi: “……”

Chi Yu asked: “What, you got a problem with it?”

She Yizhi didn’t dare to have a problem with it since he couldn’t win against Chi Yu. After feeling that the thing outside was gone, he shrunk his neck and continued sitting in the corner sighing. Chi Yu narrowed his eyes and glared at him causing She Yizhi to not even dare to breathe out. 

His little daughter-in-law’s appearance really made Lin Rufei want to laugh. 

The next few days, the sky did not rain again and Lin Rufei no longer felt the aura of the jiao. It seemed that since that time, the jiao had completely disappeared.

Although She Yizhi still wanted to catch the jiao, he still did not dare to offend Chi Yu. Even though he was proficient in formations, he was really powerless against face-to-face combat and just a single attack from Chi Yu’s claws could take half of his life. 

Helplessly frightened, She Yizhi chose to endure in a very sensible manner. 

It wasn’t until the carriage had traveled for about six or seven days and had finally entered the She family’s territory that he rose up and laughed at Chi Yu, “Hahahahahaha, once we enter this city gate, it will be my She family’s territory!!”

Chi Yu was, at the moment, enjoying a gentle caress in Fu Hua’s arms and when he heard She Yizhi’s words, he lifted his eyes indifferently, “So what do you want to do?”

She Yizhi loudly announced, “I want to touch you! I also want to touch your son! I want to touch your whole family——”

It must be said that if Chi Yu wasn’t in his original form, She Yizhi’s words would have sounded immoral, but even if Chi Yu was in his Ye Mo form, he still had a bad temper as usual. So in broad daylight, in full view of everyone, She Yizhi, who was attempting to be immoral, was beaten up and finally entered his house with a few more blood marks on his face, looking very messy.

Lin Rufei followed the downcast man and entered the She family’s compound.

The She family wasn’t too big, but he could clearly feel the difference it had with other sword-cultivating families. Whether it was the walls or the beams, almost every place he could see was covered with all kinds of talismans. Some of these talismans Lin Rufei knew and some of them he had never seen before, so it was quite clear that the family did attach great importance to these. The invitation in Lin Rufei’s hand was for She Yizhi’s elder brother, the one he said that had been injured by the jiao.

The She family was a bit surprised by Lin Rufei’s arrival, but their attitude was quite eager, except that She Yizhi’s mother was surprised when she saw the various bruises on her son’s face. She said, ‘Son, ah. This time you went out, which girl did you molest for you to be scratched into this messy state?’

After hearing his mother’s question, She Yizhi howled and cried, “Mother, you do not know, I messed with a powerful little wild cat and he almost scratched me to death……”

When Mother She heard the word “wild cat,” her expression looked slightly strange: “Little wild cat? Is it pretty?”

“It is pretty.” She Yizhi rubbed his nose, “Shiny and smooth, it just won’t let me touch it. Even if it doesn’t let me touch it, it wouldn’t let me touch its son either…….” 

Mother She froze, “It already has a son?”  

“Yes.” She Yizhi replied, “The son is as beautiful as he is.”

The two of them were like chickens speaking to ducks[1]. He didn’t know what Mother She had misunderstood, but her eyes soon turned from pity to condemnation, ‘Son, we are a decent family, how can we just touch others? And besides, they already have a son. You deserved to be scratched into this messy state!’ She Yizhi was bewildered: “Then what should I do to be able to touch it?”

Mother She answered, “You have to at least welcome people into the door[2].”

Hearing this, She Yizhi shivered and shook his head like a rattle-drum[3], “No, no, I must be crazy if I was to welcome him in.”

Lin Rufei, who had been standing on the side and listening in on the conversation between mother and son, found it funny. He didn’t know what kind of picture Mother She had conjured up in her mind to look at She Yizhi with such a reproachful look, but little did she know, her son had met not some charming young woman, but a real wild cat.

The wild cat did not follow She Yizhi in and instead, he went to someplace else with his son in his mouth. Only after Lin Rufei was settled in, did he emerge from the window with a crooked head, casually throwing his son onto Lin Rufei’s bed. Then he lay down by the window, tidying up his fur slowly and methodically, “I don’t like it here.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What’s wrong?”

The Ye Mo narrowed its eyes, “There are quite a few talismans in this residence that can inhibit demonic power, which is annoying.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Does it have an effect on you?”

“Yes, but not much.” Ye Mo replied, “But for many small demons, it’s something very deadly.”

Lin Rufei wondered, “Is the jiao considered a small demon?”

The Ye Mo answered, “All demons that live on Yaoguang are small demons.” His crimson eyes revealed a disdainful look, “Only those who can survive on Bu’e are big demons.”

Lin Rufei showed a thoughtful look.

When She Yizhi came to find Lin Rufei, he didn’t dare to come in directly. He first looked left and right with his head, and only after seeing the Ye Mo on the bed did he cautiously enter the room, standing far away from the Ye Mo, “Lin gongzi, my elder brother knows you are here and has set up a banquet to invite you over for a little chat.”

Lin Rufei laughed, “Why do you have this expression?”

She Yizhi said honestly, “I’m afraid he will beat me up.”

Lin Rufei laughed, “Why would he beat you up if you don’t provoke him?”

She Yizhi muttered, “I’m afraid that Lin gongzi will provoke him.”

It seemed that he still remembered the time when Lin Rufei pulled the Ye Mo’s tail and made him take the blame for it. Lin Rufei laughed out loud while the Ye Mo threw a blank stare at She Yizhi and said, ‘You think Lin Rufei is as disgusting as you are. Wait, Lin Rufei, didn’t you also grab my tail twice? So both you and that She Yizhi are not anything good——’

In the end, the room became a scene where She Yizhi looked at Lin Rufei with resentment and Lin Rufei looked at Gu Xuandu with condemnation.

After traveling to many places, Lin Rufei had finally gotten used to going to banquets and had even learned to say a few dignified-sounding polite greetings compared to when he first came down from the mountain. He thought that the banquet set up by She Yizhi’s elder brother was no different from the previous one. However, when he went there, he saw that She Yizhi’s elder brother was still lying in bed, looking like he was not able to recover from his serious injuries, despite there still being a sumptuous banquet in the room. When he noticed Lin Rufei arriving, he got up from bed with difficulty and greeted Lin Rufei to sit.

Lin Rufei was frightened by the situation and quickly said, ‘if you have injuries you should recuperate first. Eating isn’t urgent.’ 

She Yizhi’s elder brother was named She Jingxian and he had a cultivation at the seventh level. Although he was born into a formation family, he had pretty good sword skills. However, now that his body was wrapped tightly all over, at first glance, his figure didn’t look human and it was very terrifying to see. 

Lin Rufei muttered in his heart that didn’t know how he got into this state. 

“Nothing, nothing, I’m not really hurt, it’s just that my mother is too nervous.” She Jingxian waved his hand indifferently, “My father passed away early and I am in charge of the family, so if there is any poor hospitality, Lin gongzi is not to blame.”

Lin Rufei smiled, “That’s not true.” He simply took out the invitation and handed it over to She Jingxian.

She Jingxian took it with his hand and thanked Lin Rufei, and casually asked how Lin Rufei came back with She Yizhi.

Lin Rufei then casually retold the situation of how he was passing through a small town and suddenly it started raining heavily, only to find that She Yizhi was setting up a formation to catch demons. Who knew that after listening to Lin Rufei’s description, his expression became more and more ugly, and finally he slapped the table in anger, pointing at She Yizhi’s nose and scolding: “Who told you to catch it!?”

She Yizhi was still holding his chopsticks and eating his food, so when he heard She Jingxian’s voice, he was at a loss, “Big brother was hurt by the demon, isn’t it natural to kill the demon?”

She Jingxian yelled, “Even if you want to kill the demon, you shouldn’t dare to hurt the innocent like that!”

She Yizhi had wanted to say something else as well but was soon interrupted by She Jingxian, who angrily told She Yizhi to go to the ancestral hall to reflect on himself. She Jingxian then apologized to Lin Rufei, saying that his younger brother had been spoiled by the family since he was young and had little contact with outsiders, so it was difficult for him to distinguish right from wrong in certain matters, and that he was grateful to Lin Rufei for stopping him and not letting him create a big disaster.

This She Jingxian, although wrapped tightly in a messy white cloth, his eyes that were peeking out from behind the white banadages were still very good-looking. His appearance should have been very handsome and when he reprimanded She Yizhi, he was even more imposing and stern so that people could not refute.

In the end, this was the She family’s business so Lin Rufei didn’t feel appropriate to comment. He nodded his head and said that there was no need to punish so heavily, after all, nothing big ended up happening. 

She Jingxian smiled bitterly: “If something really had happened, then it would be too late.” Then as if nothing had happened, he asked Lin Rufei about the jiao. He probably wanted to know if the jiao had suffered at the hands of his brother. 

Lin Rufei laughed: “It definitely suffered some loss.” 

She Jingxian went rigid. 

“But it should be nothing major, just some minor injuries.” Lin Rufei remembered the man he met in the alley wearing a bamboo hat and a woven coat, “What is the relationship between She gongzi and the jiao?”

“There is no relationship.” She Jingxian muttered, “I just happened to meet him when I went to control the flooding.” When the jiao entered the sea, it would be followed by a flood. The She family was next to the Ruo River, so it was only natural to have floods. But looking at She Jingxian’s words and attitude, Lin Rufei did not believe that he had nothing to do with the jiao at all.

However, She Jingxian did not want to admit to it so Lin Rufei also could not say anything more about it. After the wine and food, he then got up and said goodbye in order to let She Jingxian have a good rest.

The weather was not as hot as it had been a few days ago. Lin Rufei had nothing to do so he and Gu Xuandu took a stroll together towards the Ruo River. The terrain here was wide and flat and the river was also endless. It was vast and mighty, a very spectacular sight to see. If he followed the Ruo River a little further, it would be the sea that Lin Rufei had never seen before. He had begun to look forward to the seaside scenery and was very eager to try.

At this time, it was exactly evening and the beautiful sunset dyed the everlasting clouds red and the area where the sky and the sea met became blurred, as if the ground and the sky had become one. The wind at the river was a bit strong and there were many willows planted by the roadside. Furthermore, there were plenty of children playing on the river bank, seeking the coolness it provided.

Lin Rufei simply took off his shoes and socks and also walked along on the river bank. He felt the cold river water over his ankles, bringing a comfortable coolness.

“Don’t be greedy for the cold, be careful of getting sick.” Gu Xuandu said at the side, although he had said this, he also did not want to stop Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei answered, “I think I am not that weak now.” After saying this, he patted his not-so-sturdy chest. He didn’t know if it was because he used too much force, but he started coughing violently and almost passed out directly.

Gu Xuandu was crying and laughing: “You can’t be a little lighter on yourself?”

Lin Rufei: “Cough cough cough cough——”

After finally recovering from the cough, Lin Rufei headed to the river to find a stone large enough for him to sit down and rest. Because it was Summer, the sky turned dark relatively late. After the sun went down, it became the best time for people to move around and the Ruo River was soon bustling with activity. In addition to children, there were many patient anglers.

Lin Rufei looked for a while, then intended to leave. But who knew that the touch beneath his feet would suddenly feel somewhat wrong and the originally clear water seemed to have become swampy, grasping his feet with a death grip. 

Just as Lin Rufei was thinking about what this was, a familiar figure showed up not too far away. Although the sky was still sunny, that person was still wearing a straw coat and bamboo hat and in the crowd, he looked very out of place. However, the smell of water on his body told Lin Rufei his identity. His steps stopped in front of Lin Rufei and through the bamboo hat, Lin Rufei saw a touch of gold. Lin Rufei was immediately on alert and his hand went to the Gu Yu that was hanging on his waist. The man slowly approached Lin Rufei and just as Lin Rufei was about to draw his sword, he heard a faint: “Lin gongzi.”

This voice was something Lin Rufei had never heard before, but for some reason, Lin Rufei somehow felt that it was also familiar. As he was thinking so, the man parted his veil, revealing a handsome face. On this face, there was a pair of beautiful golden eyes and it was very different compared to the pupils of a normal person. His pupils were as vertical as a snake’s and in the area of his left eye, there was a very obvious scar. This scar ran from his forehead to the corner of his eye and was particularly eye-catching.

“You know me?” Lin Rufei asked curiously, “Have we met somewhere before?” He had already confirmed the identity of the person in front of him and after thinking over it, he finally remembered something, “You……are the evil jiao in the Canglan River?!”

The man nodded his head.

“Why are you still here?” Lin Rufei was puzzled, “I remember that you already got the title, have you already gone to the sea?” 

The evil jiao shook his head, he didn’t seem to be able to speak well and the words he spat out were very difficult to understand at times. Lin Rufei listened for quite a while before he finally understood what he meant. It turned out that heading to the sea was not something easy, especially if it was an evil jiao that wanted a title and was also being targeted. But the cycle of divine principle was the way it was. Even drinks all had a fixed number[4].

“Why did you want to find me?” Lin Rufei asked him.

“Go……to see him……” Muttered the evil jiao.

Lin Rufei questioned: “Who?”

The evil jiao replied: “She Jingxian.”

Lin Rufei was curious, “What are you going to see him for? You injured him and now the She family is itching to skin you.”

The evil Jiao pursed his lips slightly and whispered, “It’s all my fault.”

Lin Rufei became even more and more curious. He simply sat down on the ground and asked the evil jiao exactly what was going on between him and She Jingxian. The evil jiao began to intermittently talked about him and She Jingxian and after Lin Rufei listened thoughtfully, he said, “So you are actually very close friends?”

The evil jiao nodded and continued slowly: “That’s right, but then something happened and I inadvertently hurt him.”

Lin Rufei let out an “oh,” then continued: “So you want to go see him, right?”

“Mnn.” The evil jiao said, “That’s right.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Can’t you get into She residence?”

“There are formations, so I can’t get in.” The evil jiao replied, “It will make my original form appear.”

It seemed that the evil jiao was indeed not as powerful as the Ye Mo. The Ye Mo was not afraid of the formation in the She residence in the slightest and even the kitten wasn’t affected, but it seemed that the evil jiao was not like them.

Lin Rufei asked, “Then how am I going to help you?”

The evil jiao replied, “Bring him……out.”

Lin Rufei frowned: “I’m afraid that won’t work.”

“Why?” The evil jiao asked.

“He seems to be badly injured.” After all, when Lin Rufei had took in She Jingxian’s appearance, he was very tightly wrapped up all over his body.

When the evil jiao heard this, he revealed a look of anxiety, “But, I, I clearly didn’t exert any force.”

Lin Rufei doubted, “Exactly what is going on between you two?”

The evil jiao refused to say. He only shook his head and a look of embarrassment appeared on his face.

Lin Rufei immediately sensed something but he did not continue to press on this matter. He just said that he would try, but he couldn’t necessarily guarantee success. He also asked the evil jiao when it would continue its journey towards the sea. The evil jiao said that when the next rain comes, he would leave this place and that if Lin Rufei could, he hoped that he would be able to bring out She Jingxian before then.

Lin Rufei nodded and said okay.

Only then did the evil jiao turn around and leave.

Looking at his back, Lin Rufei pondered, “Are the evil jiao and She Jingxian really friends?”

Gu Xuandu asked, “Otherwise?”

Lin Rufei said, “Why do I feel that the two of them are strange?”

Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei and laughed: “Xiao Jiu is finally starting to understand things properly.”

Lin Rufei: “Understand what properly?”

Gu Xuandu, however, didn’t say anything in response. In his heart, he thought that if it had been a few months ago, Lin Rufei would have never have thought about the things between men and men in that way, but fortunately, after experiencing a lot of things, Lin Rufei had obviously understood the possibility of men and men, which was convenient for him.

“Ah-choo!” Lin Rufei suddenly let out a sneeze. He rubbed his nose and muttered, “Who is thinking of me[5]……?”

After meeting with the evil jiao, Lin Rufei returned to the She residence. The punished She Yizhi had just come out of the ancestral hall when he bumped into Lin Rufei in a listless manner. When Lin Rufei noticed his appearance, he found it amusing and asked, ‘She little gongzi, what’s wrong? Why are you so downhearted?’ 

She Yizhi responded, “Lin gongzi, what exactly do you think my brother is thinking about?”

Lin Rufei asked, “What do you mean?”

She Yizhi continued, “Obviously, it was his intention to catch the jiao, but when it came to me, it became a reason to be punished.”

Lin Rufei hummed, “Hmm?”

“Strange, strange.” She Yizhi stated, “I can’t understand what he is thinking.” After saying these words, he sniffled and muttered out two sentences, “But if the evil jiao becomes a big cat, I guess I would be reluctant too.”

Lin Rufei repeated, “Reluctant?”

She Yizhi nodded.

In fact, the whole She family was quite strange. Logically speaking, if She Yizhi hated the jiao so much, he should have naturally dislike the demon known as the Ye Mo. But there was never an excessive disgust from him. Especially if he could, then he would prefer to take the Ye Mo into his arms and love it properly. But if it was to say that the She family had no prejudice against demons, then why would the entire courtyard be arranged to prevent the demons from entering the formation? No matter how he looked at this situation, it was quite contradictory. 

But She Jingxian definitely had history with the evil jiao. Exactly what was going on between this person and this jiao, Lin Rufei also could not say. If he couldn’t say it, then he won’t bother to say it. He simply found She Jingxian and relayed the evil jiao’s message from this morning to him.

Originally, She Jingxian had still been lying on his bed, but as soon as he heard Lin Rufei’s words, he sat up and said he would go out with Lin Rufei immediately after changing his clothes.

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded at his lively appearance, “She gongzi, aren’t you injured?”

Only then did She Jingxian remember what happened and let out another “ouch,” deliberately limping. He said that as long as he could see his old friends, this injury did not matter.

As he said this, he went to the back of the screen to change his clothes and came out in high spirits, dragging Lin Rufei and heading out.

When he left through the door, he happened to meet his brother, She Yizhi, who looked at his brother’s appearance and was dumbfounded, ‘Brother, when did your injury heal? Weren’t you still lying in bed half-dead yesterday?’ 

She Jingxian responded, ‘What do you know, you little brat? If I wasn’t half-dead, then I would be driven out to work again.’ 

She Yizhi was completely speechless at this and simply watched as She Jingxian and Lin Rufei headed out.

Lin Rufei and the evil jiao had agreed to meet at the riverside. She Jingxian walked as fast as he could that he almost had wanted to use the sword instead of walking. In the end, Lin Rufei stopped him and said politely, ‘yesterday you were still at home wrapped like a dumpling, it wouldn’t be good if you act so high-profiled today.’

She Jingxian pondered over those words and realized that he was right so he endured the urge. 

The two soon arrived at the river and summoned the jiao under the blistering sun. Only then did Lin Rufei learn that the jiao’s name was Tian Shui, it was rather quite elegant.

After calling for a while, they did not see the shadow of the jiao. Just as Lin Rufei wondered if there was an accident, he suddenly noticed that in the middle of the Ruo River, a column of water had appeared and then the column of water condensed into the shape of a man. It was the jiao who had come to ask Lin Rufei for help yesterday.

“Tian Shui!!!” She Jingxian shouted surprisedly.

Tian Shui walked up to She Jingxian and before he could react, She Jingxian reached out and hugged him heavily. He looked a little uncomfortable but still didn’t reject She Jingxian, “She Jingxian, I heard that you are very badly injured.”

She Jingxian mumbled: “Mnn……it is quite bad.”

Tian Shui asked, “Really?”

She Jingxian continued, “How about I show you?”

Before Tian Shui could finish, he happily unbuckled his trouser belt and Tian Shui chided angrily, “What are you doing?”

She Jingxian asked, “Isn’t this what you wanted to see?”

Tian Shui responded, “I wanted to see your wounds, why did you unbuckle your belt?”

Thus, Lin Rufei heard this decent-looking She family member spit out, “But what I hurt is my butt.”

Tian Shui: “……”

Lin Rufei: “……”

After a long silence, Lin Rufei finally got up and said farewell, saying, ‘You guys should talk first. I still have something to do so I’ll leave first.’

(t/n): D-Did what I think happened? Σ(っ °Д °;)っ

********

The author has something to say:

Lin Rufei: It’s good being friends with Senior, but there is one disadvantage. 

Gu Xuandu: What disadvantage?

Lin Rufei: My butt hurts.

Gu Xuandu: ……….

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

[1] People not understanding each other. 

[2] Welcome into the family; i.e. marriage. 

[3] Rattle-drum. 

[4] Even a mouthful of water and a mouthful of food is determined by heavenly numbers: everything is determined by heavenly numbers; everything is according to fate. 

[5] It is believed that if you sneeze, someone is talking about you or thinking about you. 

Chapter 73: The Jiao Enters the Sea

Lin Rufei did not dare to continue to listen. Despite Tian Shui’s obstruction, he walked to the next riverbank and watched the two from a distance, but did not come closer. Although he could not hear their conversation from this distance, he could still see the two of them. She Jingxian and Tian Shui talked for a while when suddenly, there seemed to be some kind of argument. Tian Shui’s expression showed obvious displeasure and he turned around to leave, however, She Jingxian reached out with his hand and pressed them on his shoulder, saying something to him emotionally.

Lin Rufei asked, “What is going on between them?”

Gu Xuandu stroked his chin, savoring their movements: “There must be something fishy.”

Lin Rufei twisted his head to look at him: “Could it be that Tian Shui and She Jingxian really do have an affair?”

When Gu Xuandu heard those words, he was silent for about two seconds, and then replied rejoicefully: “My family’s Xiao Jiu has really grown up……”

Lin Rufei: “……” What’s with this tone?  

On the other end, She Jingxian and Tian Shui’s argument had reached a fierce point. She Jingxian suddenly reached out and hugged Tian Shui, kissing him heavily on the lips. Lin Rufei looked dumbfounded from the side and his eyeballs almost popped out of their sockets. Gu Xuandu then covered Lin Rufei’s eyes with his hand and his voice was thick with laughter: “Don’t look, don’t look[1].” 

Lin Rufei asked vaguely, “Are they really in……that kind of relationship?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Isn’t it obvious?”

Lin Rufei was silent for a long time. Although he had a hunch at first, it was still very shocking when he actually saw the two entwined together. After all, She Jingxian was a real human and his family’s attitude toward demons wasn’t all to good. Furthermore, he actually had feelings for a jiao……

The two of them kissed for quite some time on the riverbank. Lin Rufei felt that he was an eyesore standing here so he simply turned around and walked away.

He also did not know when She Jingxian had finally left. Instead, it was not until the evening that She Yizhi said his brother had returned. 

“Where exactly did my brother go with you yesterday, Lin gongzi?” She Yizhi asked, “How come when he came back, his injuries were all healed and he even bounced around.”

Lin Rufei shook his head, indicating that it wasn’t easy for him to explain. 

“That’s strange.” She Yizhi was very suspicious and his mouth began chanting one after another.

Chi Yu, who had been lying in the room, obviously knew where She Jingxian had gone and snorted at She Yizhi’s words, as if he was laughing at him.

She Yizhi glared, unconvinced, “What are you laughing at me for?”

Chi Yu responded, “I’ll laugh if I want to, what are you going to do about it?”

She Yizhi muttered angrily, “You are only——” He was going to say “big cat,” but the scar on his face reminded him that he could not say some things casually, in the end, he made a hard turn on his words and responded, “You big Ye Mo, you are so annoying!”

Lin Rufei thought to himself; the words “big Ye Mo” didn’t sound imposing at all. 

Chi Yu sneered, “Is that so?” He then flashed his white claws.

She Yizhi immediately shrank his neck. In the end, he still conceded and muttered, “He’s really fierce.”

Lin Rufei laughed, “Aren’t all demons fierce?”

She Yizhi replied, “Hey, not necessarily.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Not necessarily?”

She Yizhi stated, “Actually, my mother said that our family was originally not demon hunters.”

Lin Rufei then showed a curious look.

Only then did She Yizhi slowly talk about his family’s history. It turned out that in the beginning, She Yizhi’s family was actually not very proficient in formations and that they were all actually quite good at swordplay. But his She family physique was special and they would always attract some strange demons. Most of these demons came for the She family’s bodies, wanting to devour their flesh to enhance their cultivation. However, the most troublesome thing was that when these demons appear, they usually disguise themselves and do not reveal their hideous faces right from the start. The She family was cheated again and again, and finally, they learned their lesson. They began to learn formations specifically for the demons and sealed the family courtyard off, not allowing the demons to enter. As time went by, the She family’s formations became more and more powerful, but their sword skills soon deteriorated. But this was considered a good thing since the She family was never cheated by demons again and everyone became a great demon hunter.

Although She Yizhi’s swordsmanship was terrible, his formation was one of the best. If Lin Rufei had not stopped him a few days ago, most likely Tian Shui would have been trapped in the formation.

As Lin Rufei listened to She Yizhi’s words, he asked, “So your family was often cheated by demons in the past?”

“Tell me about it, it’s clearly written in the family tree.” She Yizhi replied miserably, “So since I was a child, my mother has told me to stay away from those demons——”

Chi Yu said coldly, “If you’re going to talk then talk, don’t gesture at my tail.”

She Yizhi glared: “I really didn’t pull it last time.”

Chi Yu: “If you didn’t pull it then are you telling me that Lin Rufei did?”

Lin Rufei: “……Actually, I didn’t pull it that time either.”

Chi Yu: “If it wasn’t you,  could it have been a ghost then?!”

Lin Rufei: “……”

She Yizhi: “……”

“Heh, you humans like to lie the most.” Chi Yu spitefully stated, “They will do anything to achieve their goals and in the end, they even put the blame on the demons!”

She Yizhi muttered, “How can you say that? I have seen with my own eyes how one of my uncles was almost swallowed by his wife on his wedding day.”

“Swallowed in one bite?” Chi Yu narrowed his eyes, “The higher demons are most faithful in the matter of companionship, how could they swallow your uncle in one bite?”

She Yizhi replied: “You’re lying. He really did almost get swallowed in one bite.”

Chi Yu answered, “No. What kind of demon did your uncle marry?”

She Yizhi responded: “A beautiful mantis girl.”

Chi Yu was silent for a while, then he let out a long sigh, ‘your She family really isn’t afraid of death. You guys even dare to marry a mantis girl. Being able to survive until now is really a miracle.’ 

(t/n: for those who may not know, female mantis would eat their male partners for nutrition during or after mating.)

She Yizhi then said very frankly, ‘my ancestors had even married cockroach spirits, how could they be afraid of a praying mantis?’

Lin Rufei and Chi Yu both showed their admiration for She Yizhi, thinking that the She family members were really powerful, being able to make this move. 

“But not now, since the Heavenly Ruler’s great formation was set up, there are fewer and fewer demons nearby.” She Yizhi lamented the recessionary business today, “They are little demons that can’t take shape and after finally finding an evil jiao to practice on, I got scolded by my big brother.” 

Chi Yu said strangely: “Practice? If you want to practice, why don’t you go to Bu’e? Instead, you’re here bullying the little demons.” 

She Yizhi replied honestly: “Can’t win against them and I’m afraid of death.”

Chi Yu: “……” This person, he didn’t want any face. 

The dazed little cat cub sleeping on the bed grunted and moaned and Lin Rufei had long gotten used to it. He reacted faster than Chi Yu and in a few steps, he was at the bedside. He picked up the little cat cub and started coaxing it. Chi Yu coldly said, ‘you don’t have to be so competent. This is my son, although it is still very silly, later it will certainly be smart.’

She Yizhi curiously asked, “Where is its mother?”

“It doesn’t have a mother.” Lin Rufei replied.

“How was it born without a mother?” She Yizhi froze.

Lin Rufei pointed at Chi Yu: “He gave birth to it himself.”

She Yizhi sighed: “Then he probably won’t become smart in the future.”

Because of this sentence, She Yizhi’s face had another seven or eight more bloodstains, and if Lin Rufei had not stopped him, his whole face might have been completely finished today. At the evening meal, both She Yizhi and She Jingxian arrived, but the two brothers’ faces were full of depression. Mother She questioned, ‘did the two of you have a fight? How come you guys have several blood marks on your faces?’ However, both of them spoke almost simultaneously, saying they had been scratched by a cat.

Lin Rufei thought in his heart that She Yizhi’s face could be explained, but the problem was how She Jingxian was also scratched so badly. Did he do something to piss off Tian Shui?

But given the presence of Mother She, he did not dare to ask.

After dinner, Lin Rufei found She Jingxian and asked him what was going on between him and Tian Shui.

She Jingxian sat on a chair, looking a bit depressed, “It’s nothing really, it’s just that he’s leaving and I’m a bit sad.”

Lin Rufei, “Hmm?”

She Jingxian continued, “He’s going to the sea.” And then smiled, “Has Lin gongzi ever seen a jiao go into the sea?”

Lin Rufei replied, “No.”

She Jingxian said, “It is very difficult for a jiao to travel to sea. The more bad things he has done, the greater the calamity. He wasn’t a kind demon so when he walked to the edge of the seaport, he was already covered in wounds. When I saw him on the beach, I picked him up.”

When he first saw Tian Shui, Tian Shui had shrunk into a small jiao the size of chopsticks. There were wounds all over its body and it was on its last breath. If he had only looked at its appearance, he really could not see any hint of it being a jiao. 

“Doesn’t your family dislike demons? You just brought it back home?” Lin Rufei thought it was a bit strange.

She Jingxian answered: “Maybe because it was in such a miserable state, I did not see that it was a jiao and thought it was a beltfish spirit…………”

Lin Rufei: “……”

Gu Xuandu laughed loudly next to him. 

“Like one of those very ordinary kinds of beltfish spirit.” She Jingxian sighed, “I thought it had created a little flood and tricked a few children into drowning so he was not able to transform. The taste of these beltfish spirits could not be better and it tasted best when used for stews.” He then smacked his lips nostalgically.

Demons could eat people, but people could also eat demons and there seemed to be nothing wrong with it. Just when Lin Rufei remembered the scene of She Jingxian and Tian Shui kissing, he automatically thought that the two probably had a romantic encounter. But who would have thought that their encounter would not only be unromantic, but it would also be mixed with the fishy smell of seafood.

Lin Rufei cried and laughed: “So you cooked him?”

She Jingxian touched his nose: “The jiao is powerful, it couldn’t be cooked[2].”

Lin Rufei: “……”

He had to say, judging his appearance alone, She Jingxian should have been a very stable type of person, but soon after getting to know him a little bit more, Lin Rufei saw that She Jingxian’s stable outer appearance showed a restless soul.

Not only was She Jingxian unable to cook Tian Shui, but he also woke him up and the two immediately fought thereafter. Tian Shui had been seriously injured so he was naturally not a match against She Jingxian. So She Jingxian then grabbed this dying little jiao and locked it up in the room. The jiao heading to sea was really not a good thing for the people living by the Ruo River. As a result, She Jingxian did not let Tian Shui go. After some time and being tormented for quite a while, the two of them developed feelings that should not have been there.

Lin Rufei listened from the side. Originally, he was a little touched at this story, but ever since hearing She Jingxian said that he mistook Tian Shui as a beltfish and wanted to stew him, his face became expressionless. After listening, he asked: “Why do you like Tian Shui?”

She Jingxian looked deeply at Lin Rufei and then spat out three words, “He’s good looking.”

Lin Rufei:”……” He was shocked at the shallowness of humans.

“If he was a beltfish spirit, would you still have such a phase?” Lin Rufei asked a question to which the answer had long been obvious.

She Jingxian thought for a moment: “Does Lin gongzi want to taste the beltfish spirit?”

Lin Rufei: “……”

She Jingxian: “It’s really delicious.”

Lin Rufei let out a long sigh and then decided to give up.

She Jingxian then continued to talk about what had happened next between him and Tian Shui. It turned out that after Tian Shui had recovered from his injury, he wanted to continue entering the sea and then after entering the sea, Tian Shui would transform from a jiao to a dragon. She Jingxian knew that the seawater could trap a jiao, but not a dragon, and Tian Shui, who had become a dragon, would leave Yaoguang sooner or later. So the two of them had an argument and Tian Shui unintentionally injured She Jingxian. Then, it attracted other members of the She family and Tian Shui fled in haste while She Jingxian was forced to recuperate at home. He was not seriously injured, but in order to make Tian Shui worry, he deliberately acted as if he was dying. However, the plan of man was not as good as the plan of God. Tian Shui was indeed worried about She Jingxian, but She Yizhi suddenly struck out and almost killed Tian Shui.

Now that Tian Shui and She Jingxian have met again and after knowing that She Jingxian’s health was fine, Tian Shui wanted to leave.

She Jingxian persuaded in every possible way but was unable to move him so he could only return home disappointed. 

Lin Rufei asked, “So he’s gone?”

She Jingxian blinked his eyes, but there was not much loss in his demeanor: “Maybe.”

However, Lin Rufei perceived something else from his expression. The two of them stopped talking and sipped the cold tea in front of them.

This day’s dinner was actually soup stewed with a beltfish spirit.

The beltfish spirit had been caught by Gu Xuandu and it looked no different from an ordinary fish. The only notable difference was that its body was particularly long. 

Lin Rufei, Fu Hua, and Yu Rui grew up living on the Kunlun Mountains and the chances of them eating fresh seafood were very little so this was actually their first time seeing such fresh seafood.

“How do we cook this?” Fu Hua asked in bewilderment while carrying the beltfish. 

Lin Rufei responded hesitantly, “Stew?”

“I think it’s good to eat it directly.” Chi Yu narrowed his eyes and waved his tail.

Fu Hua and Yu Rui already knew Chi Yu’s identity, but still weren’t too wary of the cute big cat being a powerful demon, “Eating it raw will give you diarrhea, so why not make a braise and then a soup.”

Lin Rufei nodded his head in agreement.

So Fu Hua and Yu Rui then headed out while holding the beltfish spirit. Although they have not cooked beltfish before, they have cooked ordinary fish before and it probably wouldn’t be too much different.

Thus, in the evening, Lin Rufei’s room had a constant stream of tempting aroma. The beltfish spirit was quite long so section of it was stewed, a section of it was braised, and another section was stir-fried. Although they had not taken a bite of it yet, just the aroma wafting out was already very delightful.

Lin Rufei tasted a piece and exclaimed in amazement: “Delicious!” The meat was firm and flavorful and most importantly, there were no small bones like the ones in the freshwater fishes. With seaweed together, the taste of the soup was extra delicious and Chi Yu was also very satisfied. Although he was still in his original form, Fu Hua and Yu Rui had long prepared a fill that belonged just for him. He ate without chopsticks and gulped it down even the meat with bones together.

Lin Rufei finished eating and then wandered around the area, perfectly content. Since he was busy for the first two days, he also didn’t think much about the surrounding scenery.

The Ruo River was near the sea and most of the surrounding residents also fished for a living. In the stores along the street, there were many beautiful-looking shellfish and coral. Lin Rufei picked out quite a lot and intended to gift them to his brothers and sister when he headed back home. There were also vendors with fish baskets selling fish on the roadside, but most of the fish in the deep sea was dead after being salvaged. Furthermore, the weather was hot, so they didn’t look very fresh anymore.

Gu Xuandu asked, “Xiao Jiu likes to eat fish?”

Lin Rufei replied, “I’ve never eaten sea fish before.”

“Then I’ll catch some more for you tomorrow.” Gu Xuandu answered, “There is a particularly delicious redfish in this sea, I don’t know if it’s still there after several hundred years though.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Senior has been here before?”

Gu Xuandu responded, “I came here with an old friend before.” An intoxicating tenderness surfaced on his lips, “He also likes to eat fish.”

For some reason, Lin Rufei’s heart slightly paused when he heard the words “old friend” coming from Gu Xuandu’s mouth. It seemed that he often heard the existence of such a person from Gu Xuandu’s mouth and he seemed to have taken up a great amount in Gu Xuandu’s life. Lin Rufei said, “The old friend who made mung bean cakes for senior and made wine for senior to drink?”

Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei: “Yes.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Where is he……now and does he know that senior is still alive?”

Gu Xuandu smiled and replied, “I think he knows.”

Lin Rufei continued, “Then why doesn’t he come to find senior?”

Gu Xuandu answered, “There must be some reason for him not to come to find me, but it doesn’t matter. If he doesn’t come to me, I can go to him.” His tone was firm, as if he was repeating a vow.

Lin Rufei slightly pursed his lips. For some reason, there was some strange feeling in his heart, but he quickly put this feeling to the back of his mind and conversed with Gu Xuandu about other things.

Gu Xuandu then proceeded to talk about this place hundreds of years ago, saying that he had once passed by here before, but at that time it was still a small fishing village and now several hundred years later, it had become a lush town. At that time, the demons were rampant, and not many people dared to live by the Ruo River. It was only until later, when the Heavenly Ruler laid a large formation in Yaoguang, did people flourish and their strengths gradually prevailed.

However, this person, who had laid down the Grand Formation, was right now beside him at this time causing Lin Rufei to naturally look at him in a different way, but Gu Xuandu disliked it very much when Lin Rufei called him Heavenly Ruler. As long as Lin Rufei called him that, he would slightly frown and sigh: “I don’t like it when Xiao Jiu calls me that.” He would then blink, showing a cunning look, “You can just call me senior.”

“But isn’t senior the Heavenly Ruler?” Lin Rufei did not understand why Gu Xuandu was so sensitive.

Gu Xuandu laughed, “Xiao Jiu will know sooner or later, but for now, let me keep the suspense.”

Lin Rufei could only agree.

Unknowingly, the two had walked to the Ruo River where they saw many fishing boats fishing. Lin Rufei then picked up a few flat sand stones on the riverside and made an action that showed he wanted to skip the stone. He threw the stone out and just as the stone was thrown out, he saw a familiar figure floating in the middle of the river. It was Tian Shui, who he had seen yesterday.

“Tian Shui, why are you here?” Lin Rufei asked.

Tian Shui shook his head and then took out something from his pocket. He handed it to Lin Rufei and asked him to give it to She Jingxian on his behalf. Lin Rufei received the item, when he noticed that it was a very beautiful scale, he wondered, “Why don’t you give it to him yourself?”

Tian Shui replied, “I have to go.”

Lin Rufei: “……”

Tian Shui continued, “Thank you, Lin gongzi.”

Lin Rufei asked again, “Why don’t you give it to him yourself?”

Tian Shui then sighed, “I’m afraid.”

Lin Rufei frowned, showing a disapproving look.

However, Tian Shui simply smiled as he said, “How long does Lin gongzi think that one person can wait for another?”

Lin Rufei questioned, “What do you mean?”

“It’s just a futile wait.” Tian Shui continued, “You don’t know when he will return and you don’t know if you can still see him. How long do you think such a wait can be?”

However, Lin Rufei did not understand Tian Shui’s words.

“When I was once a jiao, I was so delirious that I vaguely remember what one person once said to me.” Tian Shui said, “He said it didn’t matter how long he waited, as long as that person had the slightest possibility of returning, he would wait again.” He lifted his hand and touched the scar on his forehead, “He seems to have really waited.”

“But I can’t let She Jingxian wait for me.” Tian Shui continued, “I am an evil jiao and have eaten countless people. Whether I can survive the last tribulation is unknown.” He smiled beautifully, “Although I was lucky and was able to get Lin gongzi’s seal of approval, the matter of traveling to the sea is inherently difficult and dangerous; entering the sea as a jiao is not an easy task.”

Everything had a cause and effect

“Then you should at least talk to him face to face.” Lin Rufei said.

“I did.” Tian Shui replied, “I told him to wait for me for six months.”

Lin Rufei: “……”

Tian Shui continued, “If I can pass the lightning tribulation, I will come back. If I can’t, tell him to stop waiting.” 

Lin Rufei called out, “Wait……”

Tian Shui gave a hum in acknowledgement.

Lin Rufei asked, “The person you said that was waiting for someone, does……..it have something to do with me?”

Tian Shui smiled charmingly and then shook his head: “Lin gongzi will know later. This matter is not quite appropriate for me to say.” After he said this, he didn’t know if it was intentional or unintentional, but he actually glanced towards the direction where Gu Xuandu was. Gu Xuandu’s complexion had become dark and he reached out, gently grabbed onto Lin Rufei’s wrist.

Lin Rufei’s attention was on Tian Shui so he was unaware of Gu Xuandu’s strangeness. He still wanted to persuade Tian Shui, but Tian Shui had already decided to go. He turned around and left, blending together with the Ruo River in front of them. 

The scale was cupped in Lin Rufei’s palm. The scale was beautifully rounded and at first glance, it looked like jade. However, Lin Rufei was a little anxious since he didn’t know how to talk about this matter with She Jingxian.  

It was only when Gu Xuandu held his hand and led him back a few steps that he came back to his senses.

“Senior.” Lin Rufei muttered, “I don’t want to get involved at all.”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Then let’s not get involved.”

“But we can’t just not give the scale.” Lin Rufei continued, “So troublesome……”

Gu Xuandu pondered over this matter, “Then why don’t we just chase that jiao back?”

Lin Rufei asked, “He already headed off into the sea, how are we going to give chase?”  

Gu Xuandu then let out a wry smile: “Isn’t the She family’s youngest son quite powerful at catching demons? If he could force the jiao to other places, then wanting to chase it back is also not a difficult thing. Come, let’s go find him.” 

She Yizhi, who was still at home drawing talismans, sneezed a few times. He rubbed his nose strangely, muttering about whether he had caught a cold or not. Just as he finished muttering, the Lin family’s gongzi barged in energetically and with a nervous face, he said, “She Yizhi, not good, your big brother was captured by the demon.”

She Yizhi exclaimed in horror, “Ah? Really?”

Lin Rufei continued, “Naturally it’s true, I never lie. Quick, come with me.”

She Yizhi grabbed the talisman and followed Lin Rufei outside, but before running a few steps, he suddenly felt that something was not quite right. Lin Rufei never lied? This sentence, after thinking it through carefully, seemed to be not quite right……

********

The author has something to say:

Lin Rufei: Every day senior is teaching me to do bad things. 

Gu Xuandu: Hello everyone, my nickname is Gu Bad things[3]. 

Lin Rufei: ? ? ? ? ?

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

[1] The full meaning of these words is “Don’t look at something that is not consistent with propriety” But that’s too long and GXD says it twice so I shortened it. 

[2] Right here it actually means undercooked, what it means is that no matter how long he cooked it, the jiao remained undercooked. 

[3] I think the implication here is that the “do” is the double entendre since “doing” someone could also mean s*x. So I believe that GXD turned his nickname into that(bad things) so that LRF is considered “doing” him, if you get what I mean ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) 

Chapter 74: Shen Wucui

However, before She Yizhi could fully comprehend, he was dragged off by Lin Rufei again. He didn’t know where this Lin gongzi, who had a weak body, got all his strength from but he pulled She Yizhi and walked as fast as if he was flying. Soon, they arrived at the edge of the Ruo River: “Quick, quickly catch him back.”

“Don’t be in a hurry.” She Yizhi took out a stack of talismans from his pocket and slowly said, “First let me set up a formation.”

Lin Rufei had never seen anyone set up a formation before, so he watched with curiosity from the side.

She Yizhi took in a deep breath and then held a talisman with his finger. Suddenly, there was a flash of spiritual energy at his fingertips and the talisman lit up in a flash. With the talisman as the framework and the cinnabar as the flesh and blood, a complete spell formation was soon constructed right in front of Lin Rufei’s eyes. After this spell formation was laid, with She Yizhi’s mouth whispering the mantra, it began to slowly rise into mid-air, forming a swirling cloud as it gradually spread out towards the surroundings. The cloud formation was accompanied by lightning and thunder and a cold raindrop fell from the sky, hitting Lin Rufei right on his cheek.

“It’s about to rain.” She Yizhi also floated in mid-air and called out to Lin Rufei, “Lin gongzi, you’d better go and find a place to take shelter from the rain first, I’ll come back to you after I catch that jiao.”

Lin Rufei asked, “How long will it take?”

She Yizhi thought for a moment and then gave Lin Rufei an affirmative answer, “With the experience from last time, he can’t escape this time. Don’t worry, it will be quick.” He even confidently patted his chest.

Lin Rufei nodded then turned around and walked to an abandoned hut by the river. The hut had a fisherman’s boat inside and was not locked, so it was just right for sheltering from the rain.

She Yizhi seemed to be very excited, so much so that there was even a smile on his face.

Made sense. After learning for so long and finally being able to encounter a demon to practice on, it was normal for She Yizhi to be happy. As Lin Rufei thought so, he didn’t forget to raise his voice to tell She Yizhi not to hurt the jiao’s life, but just to catch him.

She Yizhi responded distantly and he didn’t know if he had heard him clearly.

She Yizhi’s figure disappeared into the clouds with the slowly rising formation and as soon as he entered the clouds, it immediately began to rain in the sky, just as Lin Rufei had seen before.

“Can we catch it?” Lin Rufei was a little worried, “Before catching it, would it flood the She residence first?”

Gu Xuandu smiled, “That is a possibility.”

“But this She Yizhi is really something.” Lin Rufei muttered, “I haven’t seen such a complicated formation before.”

Gu Xuandu stated, “It’s not something profound, if Xiao Jiu wants to learn, I can teach you.”

Lin Rufei gave Gu Xuandu a look, “Is there anything else, something that senior doesn’t know?”  

Gu Xuandu answered, “It’s because my teacher was great at teaching.” 

Lin Rufei came to life: “Senior’s teacher?”

Gu Xuandu smiled, however, he did not elaborate further.

As the two people’s conversation ended here, there was suddenly a loud thunder resounding outside. Lin Rufei looked up and saw a long, narrow figure weaving back and forth in the clouds, eagerly trying to fly away from here, but instead, was trapped by an invisible barrier.

“Since the Yaoguang Grand Formation was laid down, it has had a huge impact on demons.” Gu Xuandu said indifferently, “I did not expect that after only a hundred years of work, the jiao would be so weak that a formation of little power could trap him into such a wretched state.” He spoke with a touch of lament and at first, it sounded like he was speaking out for the jiao, but in fact, he was feeling sorry for the gradual loss of the talismanic formation skills.

Previously, Tian Shui had been injured in She Yizhi’s formation. He didn’t know if the injury was serious but it seemed that he still suffered some effects at this time. In the rumble of thunder, Lin Rufei seemed to have vaguely heard a few low dragon’s roar. However, the dragon’s roar was soon interrupted by the burst of thunder and between Heaven and Earth, only the sound of rain was left.

Lin Rufei simply found a position to sit on the ground, quietly waiting.

The darkness of the sky made it impossible for Lin Rufei to tell how long it had been outside. Around evening, the majestic rain suddenly became much less intense and the thunder and lightning gradually dispersed. When Lin Rufei heard the sound of feet stepping in the puddle, he stood up and noticed She Yizhi standing outside, smiling brightly.

Despite She Yizhi’s body being soaked through, he was still all smiles. He walked towards Lin Rufei with his chest puffed up and he seemed to be carrying something in his hand. When he saw Lin Rufei looking over, he raised his hand happily and shouted, “Lin gongzi, I caught it!!”

“So fast?” Lin Rufei was a little surprised.

“Yes, I didn’t expect to be so fast either.” She Yizhi was also a bit puzzled, “But he doesn’t seem to be planning to escape……”

Lin Rufei asked, “You didn’t hurt him, did you?”

“No.” She Yizhi shook his head.

As he said this, She Yizhi walked towards Lin Rufei and only then did Lin Rufei see clearly what he was carrying in his hand. It seemed to be a bag made of cloth. At first glance, it seemed ordinary, but after careful observation, he found that the outside of the bag was embroidered with a layer of complex talismanic symbols. At this time, under the catalyst of She Yizhi’s spiritual power, it was glowing light white.

“He’s inside?” Lin Rufei asked.

“Mnn, want to take a look?” She Yizhi replied.

“Let’s take a look.” Lin Rufei took the bag from She Yizhi’s hand and opened it to see the trapped Tian Shui inside.

Unlike the ferocious Tian Shui that he had seen in the river, the current Tian Shui had shrunk in size and was banging around in the bag, looking pitiful and cute. However, seeing him in this state, Lin Rufei finally understood why She Jingxian mistook it as a beltfish spirit and cooked it. He had to say, this appearance of Tian Shui, and the beltfish spirit he saw yesterday, were really quite similar…….  

Lin Rufei said, “Let’s go.”

“Where to?” She Yizhi asked dumbly.

“Go back, ah.” Lin Rufei answered.

“Go back?” She Yizhi was puzzled, “Why go back? Don’t you need to find a place to kill the jiao first to avenge my big brother?”

Lin Rufei replied in a warm voice: “If you take revenge, it wouldn’t be enjoyable. This jiao hurt your big brother, let him do it, wouldn’t that be better?”

She Yizhi was dazed by Lin Rufei’s remarks. Scratching his head, he couldn’t think of what was wrong and agreed, “There seems to be some truth, so let’s hurry back.”

Lin Rufei showed a kind smile and patted the little fool’s shoulder.

The two then headed back to the She residence.

Once the formation stopped, the rain under the sky had also stopped. However, there were still some shallow puddles on the street. Lin Rufei stepped on the stone slab, carrying the jiao in his hand, and entered She Jingxian’s room with light steps.

She Jingxian was sitting on a chair meditating. No one knew what he was thinking about, but when he heard the two’s footsteps he casually asked without even turning his head back, “Who is it?”

“Big Brother, big Brother.” She Yizhi felt that he had done something big and happily called out to his big brother, “I helped you get revenge!”

She Jingxian was surprised and turned around, “Revenge?”

She Yizhi asnwered: “Yes! Weren’t you injured by the jiao? Just now I went to set up a formation——”

Before he could finish his sentence, he saw She Jingxian almost jumped down from his chair, rushing to him and yelling angrily, “Did you go find him again? Didn’t I say you weren’t allowed to go? What have you done? What have you done?”

She Yizhi was stunned and turned to look at Lin Rufei in a hurry. His eyes were horrified as it expressed to Lin Rufei…….‘this wasn’t the same as how you said it would be, ah.’

Lin Rufei very calmly revealed a smile: “Yes, She little gongzi, why won’t you listen to your big brother?”

She Yizhi: “……”

Lin Rufei sighed, “What a naughty child.”

She Yizhi: “……” He finally figured out what was wrong at this point. Why on earth would he believe such nonsense that Lin gongzi wouldn’t lie to people——he was obviously just being lied to——

However, at this point, it was too late to say anything. Hearing that She Yizhi had once again made a move against the jiao, She Jingxian was like a cat whose tail had been stepped on. He practially jumped eight feet high until Lin Rufei handed the bag in his hand over to him, “Brother She, calm down first. Your brother did not hurt the jiao, he just trapped him in the bag.”

When She Jingxian heard this, he instantly calmed down. He carefully reached out to take the bag and saw the beltfish spirit’s uncontrollable struggle inside……no, this was the jiao. 

“You didn’t hurt him, did you?” She Jingxian worriedly asked.

“No.” She Yizhi was very aggrieved, “Big brother, why are you like this, ah? In the end, is your brother, me, more important or is this demon more important? “

She Jingxian didn’t even raise his head: “Of course you are important.”

She Yizhi asked, “Then why did you yell at me?”

She Jingxian stated: “I am your big brother, what’s wrong with yelling at you? If you dare not listen to me, I will even beat you up.”

She Yizhi: “……” You two are both big liars.

Lin Rufei held back the smile on his lips. He said that he had something to say to She Jingxian and asked She Yizhi to leave for a while. She Yizhi was going to retort, but when he saw his big brother’s fierce look, the words that were about to spill out of his mouth were swallowed back down. In the end, he still felt wronged and left the room with tears in his eyes. 

Looking at him like this, even Lin Rufei felt a trace of guilt surfacing in his heart. But he didn’t feel guilty for long and soon, he put it behind him. He took out the scale from his bosom, the one that Tian Shui had given to him, and handed them to She Jingxian. He then repeated what Tian Shui said to She Jingxian.

She Jingxian was shocked to see the scale and said, ‘Isn’t this the reverse scale of the jiao? It grows on Tian Shui’s tail vertebrae, how could it be in Lin Rufei’s hand?’ Then, when he heard that Tian Shui had handed the reverse scale to Lin Rufei, his expression suddenly changed and he asked sorrowfully, “Is he trying to run away?”

Lin Rufei said, “…… Replacing the word ‘run’ with the word ‘leave’ may be more appropriate.”

She Jingxian exclaimed: “He is trying to leave home?!”

Lin Rufei: “……” Forget it, do as you please.

“Is Lin gongzi aware of Tian Shui’s plan and that’s why you had my brother go and capture him back?” After She Jingxian realized what had happened, his nervous expression finally relaxed, and he let out a long breath, “So that’s how it is, I was wrong about my brother.”

Lin Rufei laughed, “Yes, he’s a good boy.” Then inwardly muttered, if he wasn’t a good boy, he wouldn’t have been fooled so easily.

“Thank you, Lin gongzi, for making this possible.” With Tian Shui in his hand, She Jingxian thanked in a warm voice, “If it wasn’t for the help of Lin gongzi, I’m afraid I would have really let Tian Shui go.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What does She gongzi plan to do next?” Although Tian Shui was temporarily kept, it was not a permanent solution.

She Jingxian responded with a smile, “There is always a way.” But he didn’t say what it was. Instead, he raised his voice and called in She Yizhi, who had been waiting outside. She Yizhi thought he was going to be lectured again and shrunk his neck with an aggrieved expression, looking as if he was about to cry.

Who knew that his elder brother, who was always stern, would pat his head with a gentle expression and say, ‘little brother, you finally understand things.’ 

She Yizhi was frightened as he stared in horror: “What’s wrong with you, big brother?” Reaching out again, he grabbed Lin Rufei’s sleeve and asked in a trembling voice, “Lin gongzi, what did you do to my brother? Did he take the wrong medicine?”

She Jingxian suddenly had a cold look on his face once again as he said morosely, “She Yizhi, I think your skin is itching again[1].“

She Yizhi sighed with relief, “This is the big brother I know.

Lin Rufei had nothing to say as he looked at She Yizhi. In his heart, he thought that maybe this is what it meant to learn things the hard way….. 

All in all, She Yizhi was complimented by She Jingxian and after making sure that his big brother was really complimenting him, the innocent little gongzi of the She family resumed his bright smile and left with a skip in his step. Lin Rufei looked at his retreating figure and it was like he had seen himself when he was still on the Kunlun Mountains.  

But now he was no longer the same little gongzi of the Lin family. Under his senior’s teaching, he had successfully mastered the skills of deception and integrated into this complex Jianghu.

While thinking this, Gu Xuandu suddenly reached out and pinched Lin Rufei on the cheek. Lin Rufei was a little confused by this pinch and asked, ‘senior, why did you pinch me?’

Gu Xuandu said: “Looking at your silly smile made me want to pinch.”

Lin Rufei: “……” Oh well. If he pinched then he pinched. Anyway, it wasn’t like he lost a piece of meat. 

In the end, what She Jingxian was going to do with Tian Shui, Lin Rufei did not ask. Originally, he had planned to rest in the She residence for a few more days, but who knew that he would suddenly receive a letter from the Kunlun Mountains.

The letter was sent by Lin Weirui. Lin Rufei originally thought it was a family letter, like the old days, but after reading the contents of the letter, he immediately got nervous.

It turned out that something had happened to the Shen family. Shen Wucui, whom Lin Weirui loved, was seriously injured by an unknown swordsman. The swordsman came and went without a trace and his identity was a mystery, disappearing right after injuring Shen Wucui. Lin Weirui was very anxious when she received this news that she wanted to trouble Lin Rufei to go and see her beloved on the way.

After reading the letter, Lin Rufei sent a message back to Lin Weirui, saying that he was now at the She residence and would leave for the Shen residence immediately to see what was going on there. He also said that Lin Weirui should not be anxious, saying that Shen Wucui should not be seriously hurt.

After getting this letter, Lin Rufei had planned to leave immediately, but before leaving, he went to look for She Jingxian once again. When he arrived at She Jingxian’s residence, he noticed that in She Jingxian’s house, there was an additional large transparent fish tank made of crystal. This fish tank was filled with beautiful fishes, seaweeds, and corals, making it look very stunning. Lin Rufei took a look at the fish tank. He seemed to have a hunch about something and showed a hint of hesitation.

She Jingxian probably noticed what Lin Rufei wanted to say and smiled, “Lin gongzi, life is only a hundred years long, if you meet someone you like, you must be quick.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Wouldn’t it be too forced?”

“It is most difficult for two lovers to love each other, so why would there be any of what you said?” She Jingxian questioned back, “He is timid so I will carry his burden for him.”

He looked quite aloof about this and soon returned to the steady demeanor he had when they first met.

Lin Rufei balled his hand and gave a salute to She Jingxian, before turning around and leaving.

She Jingxian asked She Yizhi to send Lin Rufei to the carriage. She Yizhi stood in front of the carriage and was still a bit reluctant to leave, saying, ‘how come Lin gongzi is in such a hurry to leave. Are you really not going to stay for a few days?’

Lin Rufei said there was something back at home and he had to leave, but if there was a chance to meet again in the future, he would come back.

She Yizhi wanted to say something else but stopped.

When Lin Rufei noticed this, he told him to say what he had wanted to say.

She Yizhi replied, “Actually, it’s not anything important.” As he said this, he went up to the carriage and sat close to Lin Rufei. Then with a swift move, he pulled on the tail of Chi Yu, who was currently lying next to Lin Rufei, taking a nap. Chi Yu’s furry tail once again suffered, only the next moment, the person screaming in agony became She Yizhi. However, he did not care. After being scratched, he stood on the side of the carriage giggling and waving at Lin Rufei. He said that Lin gongzi should come and play again next time. 

Chi Yu was so angry that he hurled insults at She Yizhi and even Lin Rufei was also called “a mean and cunning human being.” Lin Rufei pretended not to hear, waved at She Yizhi with a gentle expression, and said goodbye to the She family.

A dozen days have passed, but the little kitten was still clinging to Lin Rufei as usual. Usually, it would only eat when Lin Rufei fed it. But as long as it left Lin Rufei for a distance greater than a foot, it would grunt and scream. It made Chi Yu so angry that he exclaimed he had never seen such a stupid cub before. 

Lin Rufei did not care. He smiled and stroked the soft pink belly of the kitten: “Maybe it is inherited from the father.”

Chi Yu: “……” You’re quite good with your mouth, eh.

Fu Hua and Yu Rui completely ignored the underlying turmoil between Chi Yu and his own son. They held Chi Yu in their arms and have almost touched him all over. Although Chi Yu said that humans were stupid, his body was still very honest. After being touched by Fu Hua, he could not help but squint his eyes and meow with a coarse voice. This made Lin Rufei, who had been looking, feel a wave of emotions and made him hate that he was not born a beautiful woman.

The distance from the She family to the Shen family was not that far. As long as they followed along the Ruo River, they would arrive in about four or five days.

The Shen family lived at the mouth of the sea. After Lin Rufei traveled for a few days, he saw the vastness of the ocean for the first time. As a person who grew up on the Kunlun Mountains, it was his first time seeing the sea so Lin Rufei was still a bit shocked. He stopped the carriage and stared for a good while before continuing on the road.

At this time, the sky was blue and cloudless. The area where the blue sea and the blue sky met, almost melted into one, turning into a single color. The sea was billowing along with the salty sea breeze, and from time to time, he could hear tweeting terns gliding low in the air. On the azure sea, a few fishing boats could be seen faintly; some were big and some were small, but they all became part of the scenery.

When they arrived at the beach, the temperature had dropped quite a bit instead. Lin Rufei followed the coastline and soon found his destination—the Shen family, who lived in the Mirage City by the sea.

But before he even got close, Lin Rufei then perceived the unusual atmosphere of the Shen family. Chi Yu seemed to have felt it too. Originally, he had been lying tamely in Fu Hua’s arms but suddenly, he stood up with a grave expression. He grabbed the cub by its scruff and directly jumped out of the carriage window, off into the unknown.

Lin Rufei could not even stop him in time and could only see his snow-white back disappearing into the shoreline.

“Who’s there?!” The carriage was stopped by the guards at the city gate and questioned in an unkind tone.

Lin Rufei lifted the vehicle and made his intentions clear. The guard’s expression softened when he heard that he was from the Lin family but still said that he had to go and ask for some instructions before he could let Lin Rufei in.

Lin Rufei nodded and did not make things difficult for the guard.

The guards acted quickly and soon got the news and allowed Lin Rufei’s carriage to pass through.

The name Mirage City was taken from the meaning of mirage and the Shen family had been flourishing in this place for a hundred years. The Shen family had outstanding sword skills and their family’s style was strict. Lin Rufei once had the privilege of meeting his third sister Lin Weirui’s interest, Shen Wucui. It was just that the characters of this Shen gongzi and Lin Weirui were completely different. Although he was handsome, everything was about rules. He behaved straightforwardly and rarely did anything out of the ordinary. Lin Weirui was the kind whose nature could turn the whole world upside down. Initially, she said she liked Shen Wucui and everyone only thought she was joking. However, they did not expect Lin Weirui to actually be serious. 

It was a pity that after Shen Wucui was teased by Lin Weirui several times, he became somewhat afraid of this quirky Lin family’s young miss. Every time he saw Lin Weirui, he desperately wanted to hide. 

This time, Shen Wucui was injured, Lin Weirui would probably also be very heartbroken.

The Mirage City was heavily guarded. From time to time, he could see the guards searching through the crowds. They must have been trying to find the person who injured Shen Wucui, but Lin Rufei thought they were being a bit redundant. If they were able to injure Shen Wucui, then they must have very excellent sword skills, how could these guards possibly find any traces of that person?

But since the Shen family had made such a big deal, most likely Shen Wucui’s injury wasn’t all that light. Lin Rufei thought with some concern.

When he arrived at the entrance of the Shen family, there were already underlings of the Shen family who had received the news and were waiting in advance. When they noticed Lin Rufei’s arrival, they were very enthusiastic and helped him take the carriage. They then said that the Shen family had arranged a residence for Lin Rufei and would take him there immediately.

Lin Rufei asked about Shen Wucui in the passing and the servant hesitantly responded, “Lin gongzi, my gongzi is awake, but he is not willing to see the guests……”

Lin Rufei asked, “Is he badly injured?”

The servant replied, “Yes, the injury is very serious. He was in a coma for almost ten days and only woke up yesterday. But after waking up, he seems to be in a bad state. Dozens of physicians came and went already……”

Lin Rufei questioned: “And the swordsman that wounded him?”

“He left after injuring gongzi, but he gave word that he would come back.” The servant continued, “Our gongzi is good-tempered and kind, I don’t know how he ended up provoking such a God of killing.” 

Lin Rufei soon fell into silence.

“If you want to see my gongzi, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a few days.” The servant answered.

Lin Rufei nodded his head, indicating that he understood.

Seeing Lin Rufei’s sad expression, the servant said comfortingly that Lin gongzi shouldn’t worry too much. After all, he had now woken up. That means that his life was not in imminent danger, although he was injured, he could always recuperate……

Lin Rufei, however, just listened and did not answer.

He followed the servant into the residence, which was a beautiful floating house[2] facing the sea. Outside the window, he could see the beautiful sea horizon and the beach. The house was cleaned as the servant told Lin Rufei that he should rest here for a while and that the head of the Shen family was still busy at the moment. When he was finished, he would send someone to invite Lin gongzi over for a chat.

Lin Rufei waved his hand, indicating that he was not in a hurry, and allowed them to finish the important things first.

Gu Xuandu did not look too well from the moment he stepped foot into Mirage City. Lin Rufei waited until the servants had retired before he found the opportunity to ask.

“I felt a familiar aura.” Gu Xuandu responded, “Like meeting an acquaintance.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Acquaintance? Is it your acquaintance or mine?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Ours.”

Lin Rufei froze. He had rarely seen such a displeased look on Gu Xuandu’s face and he did not know why that acquaintance would cause such strong antipathy from Gu Xuandu.

********

The author has something to say:

Tomorrow I have to take my mother for a re-examination, so I may be late updating, and will be taking a leave of absence in advance.

Lin Rufei: Today, I learned how to lie to others from senior. Lying to others was very fun. 

Gu Xuandu: Why don’t you learn something else with me? 

Lin Rufei: What? Formations?

Gu Xuandu: …….

Lin Rufei: Wait, Wait, Wait. Senior, why are you untying my belt?

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[1] Someone whose skin is itching is implying that they want to be beaten. 

[2] Something like these 2. 

Chapter 75: Seriously Injured

Shen Wucui’s situation was indeed not good. Lin Rufei had stayed with the Shen family for three days before he was finally able to meet him. During that time, Lin Rufei and the Shen family head also met. From the family head’s tired face, it could be seen that things were not going too well. The family head did not say anything more to Lin Rufei and simply described the situation that had happened that day. It turned out that Shen Wucui had been idly wandering on the beach and suddenly, encountered a strange swordsman. When the swordsman noticed Shen Wucui, he did not say single word before he made a move right as he went up to him. Logically speaking, Shen Wucui, who was a cultivator at the seventh level, should not have been taken down by just a few moves, but Shen Wucui was easily defeated by the rogue swordsman. He actually failed to keep a round under that person! And by the time the others found Shen Wucui, he had already been stabbed with a sword right through his lifeline. They nearly failed to save him. 

Although the Shen family head calmly told this story, Lin Rufei could still experience a thrilling taste from it. 

“Lin gongzi has come at a bad time.” The Shen family head said with a bitter smile and let out a sigh, “Otherwise, I would have asked Wucui to receive you personally.”

Lin Rufei replied, “No matter. It was my sister who heard that something had happened to Shen gongzi and she was a bit worried, so she asked me to rush over here on a fast horse.”

The Shen family head revealed a smile, “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Weirui, is she doing well?” 

“Very well. Just before I left, my elder brother took her into the ancestral hall and beat her up.” Lin Rufei, however, did not hesitate to betray his own sister.

The Shen family head laughed at his words and then told Lin Rufei to stay for a few days. When Shen Wucui recovered from his injuries, he would invite him to meet again. However, it was still best not to wander around, after all, the murderer had not yet been found. Lin Rufei nodded his head in agreement.

The two of them then proceeded to chat for a while longer before the Shen family head was called over for other matters. It was obvious that he was indeed very busy, but in view of the relationship between the Shen and Lin families, he still took the time to meet Lin Rufei alone.

Although Lin Rufei was worried about Shen Wucui, there weren’t many things he could do so he simply rested for two days. During these two days, he spent most of the time at the beach. As a person who had never seen the sea, he had to say, this place was really too fascinating.

The beach skerries, small fish, shells, and even the plain seaweed, in Lin Rufei’s eyes, were all endowed with magical power. He liked to step on the soft sand with his bare feet and watch as a small crab rested in a conch. And when his finger gently pressed on the tiny critter, it would shrink back into its shell in fear. On the coast, he could also often see beautiful little fishes. Most of them were colorful and very different from the inland fishes. Gu Xuandu lazily sat on the skerry, that was on the side, and introduced these fishes to Lin Rufei seriously. Only, these introductions were very unromantic. It was mostly about which fish tasted good and which fish could not be eaten. 

Lin Rufei also did not know what to say. He looked at Gu Xuandu in puzzlement, ‘Senior has eaten all these fish before?’ 

“Almost.” Gu Xuandu responded, “I was born by the seaside. The seaside has mostly fish. I had eaten so many that I wanted to vomit.” 

Lin Rufei asked, “Senior was born in Yaoguang? “

“No.” Gu Xuandu said, “I was born in Xuandu.”

(t/n: just realize that the Xuandu Continent has the same characters as GXD)

Lin Rufei revealed a surprised look. The Xuandu Continent was right next to Yaoguang, but the two continents were separated by a wide ocean so very few people could travel between the two places. Because not only were the waves rough, there were countless ferocious demonic beasts at the bottom of the sea. To go back and forth between the two places was simply a matter of death. Gu Xuandu was the most famous Heavenly Ruler on the Yaoguang continent, but he was not born in Yaoguang and was instead born in Xuandu, Lin Rufei was naturally a bit surprised by this. Without waiting for him to ask, Gu Xuandu continued, “At that time I was still young. I was adopted by an old friend and came to Yaoguang from Xuandu and never went back after that.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Did that old friend bring the young senior from Xuandu to Yaoguang?” As he asked this, he was thinking about how powerful that person must have been. Not only did he pass through this vast sea by himself, but he even brought a small doll with no strength at all along with him.

Gu Xuandu responded, “He is indeed powerful.” Then continued indifferently, “At least much more powerful than me.”

A person who was more powerful than the Heavenly Ruler? Did a person like that really exist? In Lin Rufei’s impression, the Heavenly Ruler was already insurmountably powerful, “Then where is he now?”

“Dead.” Gu Xuandu spat out the word.

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded.

Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei and a faint smile surfaced on his face. However, what came out of his mouth were heartbreaking words, “He was too kind-hearted and always couldn’t stand to see people suffer. You should know, such a person becomes tired as he lives on and when he dies, he becomes extraordinarily miserable.”

Lin Rufei muttered softly, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s nothing.” Gu Xuandu waved his hand. He, however, had no sadness on his face, “But it’s okay now?”

Lin Rufei was stunned: “Okay?”

Gu Xuandu said in a warm voice: “Luckily there are fishes to eat.”

(t/n: so the meaning of the characters “还好” change according to context. In the previous case it meant “fine/okay” But in GXD’s next sentence, it can mean luckily/fortunately/thankfully. This is something that gets lost in translation that’s why the words might not exactly make sense in English, but just know they are the same Chinese characters)

Lin Rufei revealed an unsure look.

However, their last lunch was the fish that Gu Xuandu had caught from the sea. He already knew what kind of fish tasted good so catching fish was not a difficult task for him. In the end, their trip to the sea was a full harvest. Not only did he catch fish, but he also gathered some beautiful shells and gave them to Lin Rufei with a smile. The shells in the deep sea were naturally no match compared to the ones by the seaside so Lin Rufei took them with surprise. He carefully hid them in his bosom and then placed them on the table in the room for viewing. When Fu Hua noticed these, she smiled and asked her gongzi where he found such beautiful shells.

Lin Rufei replied, “Someone gave it to me.”

“A gift?” Yu Rui brightened up and blinked, “Gongzi, you can’t just casually receive these seashore shells.”

Lin Rufei was confused, “What do you mean?”

Yu Rui responded, “I heard that there was a custom here. They said that in the past, the fishing village conditions weren’t too good. If you had a person you love and couldn’t prepare a betrothal gift, you would go to the deep sea to find the most beautiful shell as a betrothal gift to give to your lover. If the lover accepts, the two of them would be considered finished with the ceremony……”  

Lin Rufei stared: “But I am a man.”

Yu Rui replied with a smile: “Both men and women are the same. Gongzi, did you not see that on those fishing boats during the day, there were many girls picking shells? Seeing that the shells in gongzi’s hand are so unique, I think that person also spent a lot of effort selecting them.”

When Yu Rui stated this as a matter of fact, Gu Xuandu had also been listening. He propped up his chin, but did not say anything. He simply stared at Lin Rufei with interest. Logically speaking, Lin Rufei should be used to it, but his ears still became red under Gu Xuandu’s intense gaze. He gritted his teeth and pretended to be calm and then asked Fu Hua what they were eating tonight.

Fu Hua answered, “Let’s eat fish, didn’t gongzi bring back some fish?” She laughed, “Did the girl who gave you the shells give them to you together? These fishes are strange-looking, I have never seen them before, but since the shells are so nice, the taste of these fishes must not be bad either.”

Lin Rufei could not stand it anymore and pushed the two maids out of the room, rushing them to cook.

As it turned out, Fu Hua and Yu Rui were right. The fish that Gu Xuandu caught were oddly shaped, but they all tasted quite good. Because they were so fresh, just steaming them was enough to be tasty. Lin Rufei praised it after tasting a piece.

As the three of them, master and servants, were eating the fish, Chi Yu, who had escaped halfway yesterday, appeared at the window again with his cub in his mouth.

After dumping the cub onto the table, he circled around the fish in front of him. Lin Rufei wanted to feed Chi Yu something, but Chi Yu refused.

“Don’t want to eat.” Chi Yu narrowed his eyes in disgust, “This Shen family stinks, no appetite.”

Lin Rufei asked, “It stinks?”

“Yes.” Chi Yu answered, “Even before I came in, I smelled the overwhelming stench of corpses.” He tsked and nudged his son, who was currently wailing, “If it weren’t for this little thing, I wouldn’t have come in.”

Lin Rufei sniffed hard with his nose, but he didn’t smell the scent that Chi Yu had described.

Chi Yu muttered disdainfully, “Stop sniffing, you are human.”

Lin Rufei spread his hands: “Then should I feed your son first?”

Chi Yu’s tail flicked, signaling that it was okay.

Lin Rufei then took the kitten into his arms, rubbed its little head, and asked Fu Hua to bring over the extra fish to feed it to the little kitten. Just as the kitten had eaten his fill and revealed a look of contentment, Chi Yu picked it up with its mouth once again and jumped towards the window. He turned his head towards Lin Rufei and advised, “You’d better leave here early, it’s disgusting.” After saying that, he turned around and jumped away. He indeed looked annoyed with the place.

“Do you guys smell anything?” Lin Rufei asked the maids.

Fu Hua and Yu Rui all had blank looks on their faces and shook their heads together.

As they were chatting, they suddenly heard a loud commotion outside. It was followed by several people shouting at the top of their lungs and Lin Rufei vaguely heard someone shouting: “Go get the doctor!——”

Lin Rufei headed to the window and saw the chaos outside. He guessed that something had happened to Shen Wucui but there was currently no way to know.

“What’s wrong with the Shen family?” Lin Rufei remembered that Gu Xuandu had mentioned a phrase yesterday, “smelled a familiar aura” and opened his mouth to ask in a low voice.

Gu Xuandu narrowed his eyes, “Let’s go and see what’s going on with Shen gongzi first.”

Lin Rufei nodded, “Okay.”

Although he had wanted to see Shen Wucui, it was not actually an easy task. Lin Rufei made a request beforehand and it still took another day before he was arranged to meet with Shen Wucui.

Before they met, Lin Rufei was carefully instructed by the physician to try not to let Shen gongzi say too much. Although he had woken up, his body was still not in good condition. But the Shen family head was still a little embarrassed and asked Lin gongzi to understand.

Lin Rufei smiled, “Being able to see Shen gongzi is naturally good. What’s there not to understand?”  

The Shen family head then nodded his head gratefully.

As an important son of the Shen family, the place where Shen Wucui was recovering from his injuries was heavily guarded. Lin Rufei passed through several guards before finally entering the inner room. But as soon as he stepped into the room, Lin Rufei felt that something was wrong. The smell of medicine was not the only thing that permeated the room, there was also a faint smell of rotting blood. Although this smell was mixed with the rich scent of medicine, it was still caught by Lin Rufei’s nose.

At this time, a full dozen days have passed since Shen Wucui was injured, but Shen Wucui’s wounds were actually rotting. It seemed like Shen Wucui’s condition was far from good.

Although he mentally prepared himself beforehand, Lin Rufei’s heart still gently thumped.

After turning a corner, Lin Rufei finally caught sight of Shen Wucui lying on the bed. It was currently the height of Summer, but the cooling inside the house was very well done as large amounts of ice were placed in the four corners. Shen Wucui was lying on the bed, wearing white. His clothes, however, were not completely tied and it revealed his waist and abdomen wrapped in white cloth. It could be faintly seen that the white cloth was stained with dark red bloodstains.

Shen Wucui’s face was ashen and his breath was weak, but when he saw Lin Rufei coming, he still braced himself to smile at him and greeted in a warm voice: “Lin gongzi has come a long way but I could not receive you, I am really sorry.”

“Don’t you move now.” Lin Rufei said hurriedly, “Don’t tear the wound.”

Shen Wucui replied, “It’s not a big deal.”

Lin Rufei thought to himself: Your ‘not a big deal’ is very unconvincing. However, he did not argue with Shen Wucui further and simply sat down beside him. He then noticed that the scent of rotting had become even stronger once he sat down and it was as if the wound had not been treated properly.

Shen Wucui asked, “Is your sister doing good lately?”

Lin Rufei answered, “She is very good, just a little worried about you.” He hesitated for a moment before asking, “Shen gongzi, can you tell me what the swordsman, who had hurt you that day, looked like?”

“What did he look like?” Shen Wucui mumbled, “He was young and looked like he was a teenager, but his sword skill was very fierce. If I must say something something special about him then…….” 

Lin Rufei became curious, “What?”

Shen Wucui replied, “That is, I cannot see through his cultivation.” He, himself, also showed a somewhat doubtful look.

“How is that possible?” Lin Rufei exclaimed incredulously, “Shen gongzi couldn’t even see through that person’s cultivation?”

“Yes, I didn’t even detect that person’s breath.” Shen Wucui sighed, “From the time he appeared to the time he disappeared, I……couldn’t even sense his presence.”

Lin Rufei frowned, “Could it be that that person has a powerful magic treasure?”

Shen Wucui shook his head and soon stopped talking again.

It seemed that he was indeed seriously injured. Even just saying a few words was very laborious for him. Although Lin Rufei still wanted to ask for more details, he also could not bear to disturb Shen Wucui. Coincidentally, the doctor also came in to change Shen Wucui’s medicine so Lin Rufei stepped back and stood to the side.

But when the physician lifted the white cloth and revealed the wound between Shen Wucui’s waist and abdomen, Lin Rufei still sucked in a breath of cold air. He noticed that Shen Wucui’s abdomen actually had an open large hole and the surrounding flesh muscles, that were wounded by sharp weapons, had no signs of healing. Not only that, but it also revealed a rotting color. Shen Wucui closed his eyes and whispered: “Still no?”

The physician shook his head with difficulty.

“No matter.” Seeing this scene, Shen Wucui looked calm and said indifferently, “This is probably my Shen Wucui’s life.”

The physician answered, “Gongzi does not need to be too pessimistic. As long as you catch that swordsman and interrogate him to find out exactly what poison he used, you can……”

Shen Wucui smiled, but with it carried a hint of self-deprecation: “If I, a swordsman with a cultivation at the seventh level, could barely survive a round under him, what will the Shen family use to catch him?” He then exhaled a breath and continued, “You……don’t say anything too serious to my father, lest he worries.”

The physician, however, did not dare to reply.

Shen Wucui also no longer spoke and continued to close his eyes to recuperate.

The process of changing the medicine was very slow and painful and when the medicine was finally finished being changed, the only traces of blood left on Shen Wucui’s face could no longer be seen. Lin Rufei knew that the situation was not good and he became extremely anxious. He didn’t want to bother Shen Wucui anymore and intended to leave with the physician, but Shen Wucui stopped him. 

“Lin gongzi.” Shen Wucui called out in a low voice, “I have a favor to ask.”

Lin Rufei responded, “Please speak, Shen gongzi.”

Shen Wucui stretched out his hand and with great difficulty, pulled out something from the bedside cabinet and placed it in front of Lin Rufei. Lin Rufei took a good look at it and noticed that it was a beautiful pouch. The pouch was embroidered with two ducks making threatening gestures and Lin Rufei hesitantly said: “This duck pouch……”

Shen Wucui was breathless: “These are mandarin ducks[1].”

Lin Rufei: “……” Sorry, he didn’t mean it.

“Your sister embroidered it.” Shen Wucui let out a low laugh as he sensed Lin Rufei’s embarrassment, “She gave it to me, I lied to her and said that I lost it……you……return it to her for me.”

When Lin Rufei heard this, he knew that things were heading downhill. He was about to open his mouth to persuade but stopped himself when he noticed Shen Wucui waving his hand before calmly speaking, “I know what you want to say, no need to persuade me. If I can get well, I will personally give it to your sister. If I can’t get well, please do it for me.”

Lin Rufei said firmly, “You will definitely be able to get well.”

Shen Wucui only smiled at his words and didn’t say anything in response. However, this smile of his had a few traces of sadness. He also no longer spoke and tiredly closed his eyes once more.

Lin Rufei held the pouch in his hand and came out of the inner room with his eyebrows tightly knitted, keeping quiet for a long time. Only when he reached a place where there was no one, did he hurriedly ask Gu Xuandu, “Senior, who exactly hurt Shen gongzi? How did he get hurt so badly—can we find him——”

Gu Xuandu frowned, “But even if we find him, Shen gongzi may not necessarily be saved.”

“Why?” Lin Rufei froze and asked, “Isn’t Shen gongzi poisoned? As long as we find the person who gave the poison……”

“That’s not an ordinary poison.” Gu Xuandu responded, “It’s corpse poison.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Corpse poison?”

Gu Xuandu muttered, “That’s right, the poison that exists only on the corpse.” He sighed and then said, “I……will try my best to help you look for it, but it depends on Shen gongzi’s luck if I can find it.” He suddenly paused for a moment, stroked his chin, and thought, “Or you can ask Chi Yu. He should be a little more sensitive to this kind of stuff and his efficiency may be faster than mine.”

Lin Rufei pondered about it and nodded, “Okay, senior will help me find it first and I’ll see if I can get Chi Yu to help.”

Chi Yu’s cub needed to be fed twice a day, once at noon and definitely again at night. Gu Xuandu was currently nowhere to be seen, so he must have gone to search for that person while Lin Rufei waited anxiously at home. Luckily, Chi Yu came early. When he noticed Lin Rufei walking in a circle like a headless fly, he fussily asked, “What are you walking in a circle for?”

When Lin Rufei heard his voice, he hurriedly asked, “Chi Yu! Can I trouble you to do me a favor?”

Chi Yu narrowed his eyes, “You, a human, want me, a demon, to do you a favor? Did I hear you right?”

Lin Rufei muttered, “Yes……”

Chi Yu lazily licked his paws and lazily interrupted Lin Rufei, “Tell me what it is first, and then I will consider whether to help you or not.”

Lin Rufei then proceeded to tell him about the matter regarding Shen Wucui, highlighting that he was heavily poisoned.

“Oh, so you are trying to find the origins of the stench, right?” Chi Yu asked.

Lin Rufei nodded his head.

“Then if I help you, how are you going to repay me?” Chi Yu narrowed his eyes and stared at Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei inquired, “What do you want?”

Chi Yu, “Tsk, what I want, I’m afraid you can’t give.”

Lin Rufei let out a sigh, but after thinking for a moment, he said seriously, “How about this, if you help me find that person, I will promise you a request. As long as I don’t do any evil and don’t hurt others’ lives, I will try to help you achieve it.”

Chi Yu surveyed Lin Rufei for a long time and just when Lin Rufei thought he wouldn’t agree, this Ye Mo stretched his back lazily and responded, “Alright.”

Then he threw the little kitten, that was playing on the side, into Fu Hua’s arms and raised his chin at Lin Rufei, signaling him to follow him.

Lin Rufei stepped out of the house.

He probably realized that he was running too fast and that Lin Rufei would not be able to keep up, so Chi Yu deliberately slowed down his pace and took Lin Rufei all the way out of Mirage City, towards the sea.

At this time, the sun had already set and the original azure seawater turned a deep black, lapping hard against the beach and skerries, stirring up a burst of clattering water. If the sea during the daytime still carried a gentle and accommodating taste, then the sea during the night was like a horrible abyss, as if it was going to swallow everything that came near.

“That smell is coming from this direction.” Chi Yu’s sense of smell was really sensitive and he took Lin Rufei all the way forward almost without the slightest hesitation. Only, his expression was somewhat unpleasant. It seemed that this smell was very disgusting, “If you find that person, what do you want to do?”

Lin Rufei said, “Since it was him who gave the poison, he should have the antidote. If not, then we can only take him back first before discussing anything else.” Treat a dead horse as if it were a living one[2]. Looking at Shen Wucui’s appearance, he probably wouldn’t last for long, otherwise, he wouldn’t have been so anxious and even troubled Chi Yu for help.

“Take him back?” Chi Yu asked, “Aren’t you afraid that you can’t beat him?”

Lin Rufei replied, “One always has to try.”

Chi Yu looked critically at Lin Rufei and then muttered with dissatisfaction, “You humans really don’t know how much weight you have[3]. That thing can beat the Shen family’s gongzi into that state, even if you find him, you are simply delivering yourself on a silver platter.”

Lin Rufei was noncommittal and responded indifferently, “Let’s talk about it when we find him.”

Chi Yu sighed, “Troublesome.”

Although he disliked Lin Rufei’s insouciance, his pace did not slow down. Soon, the lights of Mirage City behind them were getting farther and farther away. Lin Rufei followed Chi Yu along the seaside for a long time until the surrounding scenery became more and more unfamiliar.

There were no more lights or people around, only waves and noisy insects. The surrounding was also getting darker and darker and Chi Yu’s footsteps gradually slowed down. His expression became grave and his blood-red eyes in the darkness were like two beautiful night pearls as he suddenly spoke out: “The stench is getting stronger, that thing is nearby.” He twisted his head and looked at Lin Rufei, “I’ll warn you first, this thing is certainly not ordinary. Even though we are so far away, the smell from the Shen family is still so strong. If you are injured by him, you may die even faster than the Shen gongzi……Lin Rufei, you have to think carefully.”

Lin Rufei stated, “I’ve already thought about it, lead the way.”

Chi Yu no longer spoke. He turned and jumped onto a desolate skerry. That skerry was attached with moss and was very slippery. Lin Rufei had to slow down and walk slowly. But fortunately, Chi Yu did not go far before he suddenly stopped and whispered, “It’s just ahead, see?”

Lin Rufei looked carefully and under the moonlight, he caught a glimpse of a person sitting on the skerry. The person’s back was facing him and his dark figure was like a black ink stain.

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[1] Mandarin Ducks: can be used to symbolize an affectionate couple. 
[2] Idiom: to keep trying everything in a desperate situation. 
[3] It means that you do not know how much you can do or how much ability you have. 

Chapter 76: The Swordsman Changshan

The man did not seem to have noticed Lin Rufei’s arrival. He was still sitting on the edge of the skerry and not moving, like a frozen statue. Lin Rufei’s hand gripped the hilt of his sword by his waist and walked slowly along the slippery skerry, towards the man step by step. As he got closer, he was barely able to see the outline of the man in the darkness. He seemed to be a young swordsman, the shape of his back seemed somewhat thin and his long black hair was not tied up, rather, it was just draped roughly and scattered over the back of his head.

Probably because he got a little closer, Lin Rufei also finally smelled the scent that Gu Xuandu and Chi Yu had once described. It was a hard-to-describe smell, like the scent of meat in the hot Summer gradually rotting. Just sniffing it alone could make a person’s chest uncomfortable.

“You’re here.” When Lin Rufei came close to a certain distance, that person had suddenly opened his mouth. His voice was unexpectedly young, like a teenager, but it was very unfamiliar. Lin Rufei was sure that before this, he indeed had never heard this voice anywhere else. 

Lin Rufei asked, “Are you the one who injured Shen Wucui?”

“It was me.” The man slowly stood up and turned around.

The moonlight was not bright, but it was enough for Lin Rufei to see his face clearly. Lin Rufei originally thought that he did not recognize him, but when he caught a glimpse of his face, he realized that Gu Xuandu’s words were right. The swordsman in front of him was indeed an acquaintance of his and the two of them had met once before. However, how could Lin Rufei have imagined that he would see him again here?

That was right, he was the swordsman, Mo Changshan, who had always been protected in the arms of that heartfelt guard dog, Mo Zhaocai, on the Xiliang Mountains. Mo Changshan, who originally had one head left, actually came back to life. Not only was he alive, but he also once again held a sword blade in his hand and became a powerful swordsman. There was a circle of black lines on his neck, which at first glance looked like a tattoo, but if he were to observe closely and carefully, he would find that it was simply a thin circle of needle and thread that had sewn Mo Changshan’s head on top of this body.

“Mo Changshan?!” Lin Rufei’s eyes widened in surprise. He never expected to see Mo Changshan here. That day, when Mo Zhaocai died, he had buried Mo Changshan and Mo Zhaocai together, so how could Mo Changshan appear here?!

Mo Changshan’s black pupils were as dark as night and he did not have the slightest reaction to Lin Rufei’s words, “Lin Rufei, I have been waiting for you for a long time.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Waiting for me?”

Mo Changshan smiled slightly: “Draw your sword, let me see if you are still you.”

These words were really inexplicable, but before Lin Rufei could react, the sword on Mo Changshan’s waist was already out of its sheath. The snow-white blade was so striking even in the black night. With a strong fishy smell, it waved an inescapable arc as it was held in Mo Changshan’s hand.

Lin Rufei raised his hand to counter. Gu Yu buzzed with excitement, as if it had met an evenly matched opponent. The white blades met and an ear-splitting sound of metal touching metal pierced through the nightly air. Lin Rufei felt Mo Changshan’s aura soar and he heard him say, “Good sword.”

Not a praise, just a comment. Then he withdrew his hand and made another move. 

At first, Lin Rufei’s counterattacks were a bit stiff, but soon, he developed a strange feeling, as if he was fused with the sword in his hand. Gu Xuandu had personally taught him every move and style and it became his instinct. Under the concentration and quietness, wielding the sword had become instinctive.

The snow-white sword light became faster and faster and the two figures also became a blur of a shadow. A harsh sword Qi left a deep trace in the skerry and Chi Yu narrowed his eyes as he watched the two figures intertwine before jumping to a distance. He watched for a while but suddenly, perceived the appearance of someone by his side. He turned his head and caught a glimpse of striking red.

“Why have you just arrived?” Chi Yu coldly asked, “You’re not afraid that your little gongzi will die like this?”

“No.” The person who came was none other than Gu Xuandu, who looked slightly cold, with his hands crossed against his chest, “You know of my existence?”

“That little gongzi talks to himself every day. I thought he was stupid at first.” Chi Yu replied, “Only later did I find out that he seemed to be talking to someone who could not be seen.” He wagged his tail and continued, “After all, he was sane from beginning to end and wasn’t quite like a madman.”

Gu Xuandu smiled slightly at his words.

Chi Yu asked, “Who is that person?” He was referring to the swordsman who was currently fighting with Lin Rufei.

Gu Xuandu answered, “An old friend.”

Chi Yu said, “It’s really unlucky to have such a friend.”

Gu Xuandu actually did not retort either but instead nodded approvingly, “Who says it isn’t.”

While they were talking, Lin Rufei and Mo Changshan had already entered the fierce point of the battle. Lin Rufei did not intend to kill, but was not quite able to control the sword in his hand. The raging sword intent that he cleaved out already left a few marks on the sword blade in Mo Changshan’s hand and also left a few wounds on Mo Changshan’s body. However, the places where Mo Changshan was injured had no traces of blood at all. He was like a lifeless puppet that was just using his instincts to cope with Lin Rufei’s attacks. Lin Rufei panted slightly. Sensing that Mo Changshan was deliberately stalling, he took a deep breath and intended to fight quickly and end the battle quickly. 

“Gu Yu.” Lin Rufei let out a soft cry.

Gu Yu answered and the white light above the sword blade shone brightly as Lin Rufei exclaimed, “Come——”

Mo Changshan felt the surging sword intent on Lin Rufei’s body and he took two fierce steps back.

Previously, Lin Rufei used the sword moves taught by Gu Xuandu, but the current appearance of him raising his sword looked a bit jerky. He took a deep breath and felt the sword intent in his body, as if it was tumbling and surging. He raised his hand, waved his sword, and the majestic sword intent that was induced by Gu Yu, chopped down heavily towards the opposite person.

Mo Changshan’s pupils shrank. He did not dare to take this move directly. He had intended to dodge by flying away with the sword, but who knew that the range of this move was so great that even though he had escaped dozens of feet away, he was still struck by Lin Rufei head-on. He turned around to receive the attack, but the moment the sword blade in his hand touched the raging sword intent, it directly shattered and even Mo Changshan’s right arm was cut off. However, his face did not have any color of pain and he simply frowned, as if in disgust with his bulky body.

“Don’t run, hand over the antidote!!!” Lin Rufei roared.

“Antidote?” Mo Changshan was still suspended in mid-air as he looked at Lin Rufei from above. Although his right hand was gone and his clothes were torn by the wind, his expression was still calm, as if it was not himself who was injured.

Lin Rufei said: “Shen Wucui——”

“There is no cure for corpse poison.” Mo Changshan smiled. He tilted his head and looked at Lin Rufei, “But there is another method.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Another  method?”

Mo Changshan then pointed his hand towards Gu Xuandu, who was standing on the shore, and said, “He knows, you can ask him.” Then, with the only hand left, he slowly patted his clothes, as if to pat away the dust on it. He smiled and continued, “Lin gongzi, I am satisfied with you. Let’s stop here today, you and I……will talk again some other day.”

“Who are you? Why did you turn Mo Changshan like this—” Lin Rufei shouted sternly, “Stop. You can’t go——” But his words were still a little too late. With a turn, Mo Changshan disappeared into the boundless night. Lin Rufei gasped heavily and felt a tickle in his throat. After letting out a few low coughs, he actually coughed up bright red bloodstains. When he noticed the bloodstains in his hand, he frowned. He casually took out the silk handkerchief in his sleeve, wiped haphazardly, and threw it into the seawater next to him.

(t/n: Littering is not good guys, don’t learn from LRF D:)

“Xiao Jiu, are you all right?” Gu Xuandu arrived late this time.

Lin Rufei frowned at him and asked, “Senior, you heard his words just now, right?”

Gu Xuandu nodded his head.

Lin Rufei continued, “There is no cure for the corpse poison? But then he said you had a method?”

Gu Xuandu sighed and his tone was somehow a bit helpless: “Although there is a method, it’s better not to use it.”

Lin Rufei was exasperated, “You should at least tell me about it.” 

Gu Xuandu frowned: “Let’s go back first, I’ll tell you slowly on the way.”

Lin Rufei finally nodded, “Okay.”

Chi Yu had disappeared some time ago. He probably really hated that thing. After all, for him, who had a keen sense of smell, Mo Changshan was a corpse that had decayed, and the smell that was emitted from his body made him very uncomfortable. On the way back, Lin Rufei looked quite worried at the whole situation.

Gu Xuandu couldn’t stand to see this look on his Xiao Jiu, so he reached out and held Lin Rufei’s hand. Their fingers were interlocked, causing Lin Rufei to freeze.

“Don’t frown, Xiao Jiu.” Gu Xuandu said in a warm voice, “I can’t stand to see this look on Xiao Jiu.”

Gu Xuandu’s hand was still cold as usual. However, on this hot Summer day, holding it wasn’t unpleasant, so Lin Rufei did not struggle and allowed him hold it. He then whispered: “If Shen Wucui died, my sister will be very sad.”

Gu Xuandu sighed, “But that really isn’t a good method.”

“Even if it’s not a good method, we should still try it.” Lin Rufei was firm, “Although my sister looks easy-going, her nature is actually very stubborn. She first met Shen Wucui when she was only a few years old and immediately took a liking to the handsome little gongzi. However, I heard my second brother say that at that time Shen Wucui was pampered and was even more timid than a girl. My sister likes him but did not know what to do, so every day she would go to the mountains to catch some strange insects. She had to scare him into tears at least once every day before she was satisfied.” As he reminisced this story, he had wanted to laugh aloud, but when the smile reached his lips, they soon melted away and he whispered, “I originally thought Shen Wucui only felt fear towards my sister until today, when I realized that he was also interested in my sister.”

Gu Xuandu let out a long sigh, “But Shen Wucui may not be willing to use that method.”

Lin Rufei stated, “You can tell me first.”

Gu Xuandu answered, “It is true that corpse poison is incurable, but it can be eased by other methods. There is a method in the world that allows the lives of two people to be interconnected. Shen Wucui is badly injured and his vitality is gradually decreasing. But if you add the vitality of the other one, he may be able to pull through.” As he spoke, his emotions seemed a bit agitated, “And as long as this method is used, the two lives will be linked together forever, bound together for good or ill, and in this life, they can not be separated.”

Lin Rufei slightly froze, he did not expect to hear such a method: “T-There is no other way?”

Gu Xuandu shook his head.

Lin Rufei knitted his brows and gave it a good thought.

Gu Xuandu continued: “Although this method can solve the problem for a while, the consequences are endless. Think about it, if the two people are connected, I’m afraid they can never be separated in this life……For some people, isn’t it more terrible than death?”

Lin Rufei sighed, “I’ll think about it again.” He then coughed a few more times and his face was becoming slightly more pale.

When Gu Xuandu took notice of this, his heart slightly ached and he held Lin Rufei’s hand a bit tighter. 

After that, the two proceeded to talk about the fleeing Mo Changshan. Gu Xuandu explained that the person controlling Mo Changshan should be near the Shen family, however, since he did not have the smell of rotting on him it probably wouldn’t be easy to find. Lin Rufei then asked Gu Xuandu strangely; asking why that person wanted to hurt Shen Wucui, however, Gu Xuandu did not say anything. He just took a deep look at Lin Rufei and said: “Some people do not need a reason to do things. If they want to, then they’ll do it, and will not care about the consequences.”

Lin Rufei inquired, “Isn’t such a person very scary?”

Gu Xuandu agreed, “Indeed, they are scary.”

The two of them headed back to the house. After showering and dressing, he then hurriedly went to sleep. Originally, Lin Rufei’s mind was full of thoughts and he wasn’t able to sleep, but because he had just fought with Mo Changshan for a good amount of time, he was a bit tired and he closed his eyes. However, all he could think of was Shen Wucui’s frail appearance and his heart entered into a turmoil for a long time before he reluctantly fell asleep.

The next day, it was a sunny day.

Lin Rufei got up early. Fu Hua brought freshly boiled seafood porridge and several delicious side dishes. But unfortunately, Lin Rufei did not have an appetite and after a few bites, he stopped moving his chopsticks.

Just as Fu Hua was about to persuade Lin Rufei to eat some more, there was suddenly a loud noise outside the door. Lin Rufei’s heart dropped, thinking that something had happened with Shen Wucui. Just as he anxiously wanted to stand up, an energetic figure burst through the door. Before Lin Rufei could react, he was hugged by that person. The young girl’s delicate voice rang out and Lin Rufei immediately recognized it as his third sister whom he hadn’t seen for a long time.

“Xiao Jiu, sister misses you to death. I haven’t seen you these days, have you eaten well? Let sister take a look at how much weight you have lost.” When Lin Weirui saw Lin Rufei, she started talking endlessly.

Lin Rufei was surprised: “Sister, why are you here?”

“It’s because I was worried about you.” Lin Weirui laughed.

“Are you worried about me, or about your little lover?” Lin Rufei teased his sister.

“Both of them.” Lin Weirui rubbed her nose and muttered, “I’ve been having a lot of panic attacks these past few days. I thought something was going to happen, so I rushed over here……Xiao Jiu, how is the situation over there with Wucui? I heard that he woke up, has his injury been stabilized?”

Lin Rufei hesitated slightly, but still replied, “Yes……”

Lin Weirui’s face froze. She obviously felt the lack of confidence in Lin Rufei’s words, “Or, was there an accident? Xiao Jiu, what has happened to this Shen family, you must not hide it from me.”

Since Lin Weirui had arrived at the Shen residence, he certainly was not able to hide this matter forever. Although Lin Rufei was afraid that Lin Weirui would worry, he still slowly told in detail about the whole situation that had happened. When Lin Weirui heard that Shen Wucui was seriously injured and the poison had not been resolved, her whole breath became gloomy and she uttered coldly, “What a waste. It’s been so many days and they still can’t catch a single person.” After finishing her words, she held her sword and was about to head out. When Lin Rufei took notice of this, he immediately asked, “Sister, where are you going?”

“Of course I’m going to catch someone.” Lin Weirui said as a matter of course.

Lin Rufei questioned, “Don’t you want to go see Shen gongzi first?”

“It’s worrying even if I go see him, so I might as well catch the person first.” Lin Weirui frowned and explained thusly so.

Lin Rufei stopped her: “Don’t go, I saw that man last night.”

Lin Weirui was surprised: “Saw him? Then how come you didn’t catch him?”

Lin Rufei forced a smile: “Because that person said, Shen gongzi was poisoned with corpse poison. There is no……antidote.”

Lin Weirui’s expression blanked out for a moment, as if unable to accept the meaning of Lin Rufei’s words. But very soon it picked right back up and she became spirited once again. She waved her hand and said seriously: “Xiao Jiu, you do not know, Jianghu is dangerous. That person must have lied to you when he said that there was no antidote………Moreover, the corpse poison is such an obscure poison, how could Wucui be so unlucky?” When she muttered the last part, it was like she was talking to herself——like she was comforting herself.

After saying this, she nodded to herself and said, ‘You’re right. I have just arrived so I shouldn’t have to rush to that person. I should first take a look at my family’s petulant little girl.’

“Petulant little girl” was the nickname Lin Weirui had given to Shen Wucui and at that time, it made Shen Wucui very angry. Lin Weirui joked that when Shen Wucui was able to beat her, she would give him a name change. It was actually teenage Shen Wucui who angrily asked her what she was going to change the nickname to and Lin Weirui smilingly said that she would change it to “big girl.” Shen Wucui was speechless as he was teased by Lin Weirui. He really couldn’t do anything against Lin Weirui. 

The laughter of the past was still vivid in his mind. However, in the blink of an eye, Shen Wucui was dying. Even Lin Rufei couldn’t accept it, let alone Lin Weirui.

Before Lin Weirui headed out, Lin Rufei clearly saw the faint vapor floating under her eyes. It seemed that Lin Weirui also had a premonition in her heart.

Lin Rufei sat in the house looking anxious. With anxiety on his mind, he continuously drank the tea. After finishing about two or three pots, Fu Hua finally could no longer stand it and held down the teapot saying, ‘Gongzi, don’t drink anymore. If you drink too much tea, you will also lose moral integrity. Your body is inherently weak, if you drink too much I’m afraid you would lose appetite later.’ 

So in the end, Lin Rufei’s right to drink tea was also deprived. He could only sit idly and propped up his chin while being deep in thought. Finally, he slapped the table, gritted his teeth, and said, “It can’t stay like this.”

Gu Xuandu was surprised by Lin Rufei: “What?”

Lin Rufei replied, “We can’t wait any longer. If Shen Wucui really dies, there’s no chance of redemption.” He took a deep breath, “I have to save him. Senior, that method you said, how exactly should I use it?”

“Wait.” Gu Xuandu listened, feeling as if something was wrong somewhere, and immediately tensed up, “You want to save Shen Wucui?”

“Of course.” Lin Rufei answered, “If Shen Wucui died, I don’t know how said my sister would be.”

Gu Xuandu said, “Even so, you can’t go——”

Lin Rufei faintly froze before he realized that Gu Xuandu had misunderstood his meaning and he explained with a bitter smile, “Of course it’s impossible for me to go. Even if I wanted to, my sister wouldn’t be willing. Who would be willing to let the person they love the most be linked to another person’s life?” 

Gu Xuandu quieted, “Then what you want to do…..” 

Lin Rufei stated, “Take this method and tell my sister.”

Gu Xuandu wanted to say something but stopped.

Lin Rufei continued, “I will tell my sister, as for how she chooses, it’s her business.”

“What if she regrets it?” Gu Xuandu asked, “This could be a lifetime, a few hundred years……”

Lin Rufei shook his head, “I just know that if I tell her now, she may regret it later. However, if I don’t tell her now, she will regret it now.” The Lin family had always had a long-lasting love. After his mother’s death, his father was devastated for a long time. Lin Weirui was stubborn, otherwise, she would not have liked Shen Wucui for more than ten years. It was hard to imagine if in such a situation Shen Wucui suddenly passed away, Lin Weirui probably could not bear this huge blow.

Lin Rufei already had a decision in his heart, so he no longer hesitated and stepped out. Gu Xuandu also did not continue to persuade and followed behind Lin Rufei, but his expression looked quite a bit complicated.

Since Lin Weirui suddenly came to the Shen family, it didn’t seem to be a good thing for the Shen family because she came due to the uneasiness in her heart. Swordsmen, who cultivated, would give rise to some premonition in advance for certain upcoming events.

Lin Rufei went to Shen Wucui’s room and from afar, he heard Lin Weirui talking to Shen Wucui, who occasionally let out a low laugh and seemed to be in good spirits.

When Lin Weirui saw Lin Rufei coming, she got up and smiled, “Then you rest first, I will talk with my brother.”

“Okay.” Shen Wucui replied with a smile.

Lin Rufei had just arrived when he was pulled out of the room by Lin Weirui. Just as he was wondering why Lin Weirui was in such a hurry, Lin Weirui jumped into Lin Rufei’s arms and cried out in grief the moment after she had left Shen Wucui’s room. She was afraid that Shen Wucui would hear her so she did not dare to cry too loudly and only silently shed her tears, which made Lin Rufei’s heart ache even more.

“Don’t cry, good girl, don’t cry.” Lin Rufei patted her head, like when she had coaxed him to drink medicine when he was a child, “Don’t cry, it will be okay.”

“How can it be okay?” Lin Weirui wailed in despair, “Did you see that? They have already started using spirit stones for him to hang on to his life…….I should have come earlier……how come I decided to delay so long?…….”  

Using spirit stones to hang onto one’s life, already meant that the person was dying. Shen Wucui’s spirited appearance was probably a final radiance of a setting sun. Lin Weirui was no longer a child who could be fooled. When she saw this scene, how could she not understand what was happening? She was sad, but she didn’t dare to show it in front of Shen Wucui. She could only be strong and tell Shen Wucui some interesting stories. And only when Lin Rufei arrived could she not hold on any longer. She hurriedly pulled him out of the room and just as they left, the tears that she had desperately held in, burst out and couldn’t be stopped.

When Lin Rufei looked at her painful appearance, he was also heartbroken.

Lin Weirui said, “No, we can’t wait any longer, we must catch that swordsman. He is the one who gave the poison, only he can cure the poison on Wucui.” She didn’t wallow in her great sadness and forced herself to calm down and grasp onto the only hope, “He must be found.”

Lin Rufei said, “Sister, listen to me……”

“I know what you are going to say. Even if there is no cure for the corpse poison, can I only watch Wucui die in pain like this?” Lin Weirui gritted her teeth. Her eyes were scarlet from hatred and pain, “No, I, Lin Weirui, will never resign myself to fate!”

Lin Rufei whispered: “Actually……there is another way to save Brother Shen’s life.” 

Lin Weirui asked, “What method?”

Lin Rufei pursed his lips before slowly telling Lin Weirui the method that Gu Xuandu told him about. Lin Weirui looked extremely serious, afraid that she would miss a word, and when she heard that she could give Shen Wucui a shared life, Lin Rufei witnessed his sister’s eyes lighting up.

Not only did Lin Weirui not feel afraid, but she rubbed her hands with excitement: “Is there really such a good thing in this world?”

Lin Rufei uttered helplessly, “Sister, you call this a good thing?”

“Of course it is.” Lin Weirui smiled cheekily, “When a woman marries, aren’t what they fear most is that their husbands are unfaithful? With this method, he still dares to be unfaithful and go out to hook up with others?”

Lin Rufei could only admire his sister’s way of thinking and said helplessly, “Do you think Shen gongzi will go out and hook up with other girls?”

“No.” Lin Weirui still had confidence in Shen Wucui and replied honestly, “But he is so beautiful, there will always be other girls who would hit on him.”

Lin Rufei: “……”

Lin Weirui continued, “This is also not allowed. Not to mention girls, I won’t even allow him to keep a female cat.”

Lin Rufei suddenly felt sympathy for Shen Wucui. In his heart, he thought that being liked by a girl like his sister was, in a way, quite a troublesome thing.

“My silly little brother.” Although Lin Weirui was quite a bit shorter than Lin Rufei, she still liked to hug Lin Rufei’s neck like she did when she was a child. She came up to Lin Rufei’s ear and said, “Since there is such a good method, why didn’t you say so earlier. You even made me lose face by shedding horse urine[1]. Pah! Pah! Pah! Shameful.”

Lin Rufei let out a long sigh, “I’m just worried about……”

“I know what you are worried about.” Lin Weirui cut in, “But that is something that regular people have to worry about, I, Lin Weirui, am not afraid at all.” She patted her chest and continued with a serious look, “My entire life, I have set my mind on only one person. It may be a burden for others to be connected to his life, but for me…… “ She smiled shyly, “It is a kind of reward, ah. “

Lin Rufei looked quite helpless. Although he saw that Lin Weirui was joking, the determination in her expression didn’t look fake, so then, he also knew his third sister’s intentions.

After Lin Weirui finished conversing with Lin Rufei, she turned around and left. She also waved her hand at Lin Rufei when she was leaving and told him to go back first to rest. She said that since she wanted to marry the Shen family’s son, she had to go to the Shen family head to propose marriage. This matter was after all, about a lifetime so it could not be done in a sloppy manner.

Lin Rufei was helpless. He really admired his sister. Even at this time, she still had the heart to joke.

Although Lin Weirui said that she was going to propose marriage, she was certainly going to the Shen family head to discuss this matter. After all, Shen Wucui was his most beloved son, before performing such a method, they had to get his family’s consent. As for Shen Wucui himself, Lin Weirui had no intention to listen to his opinion from the beginning to the end. After all, Lin Weirui knew her childhood friend very well after so many years and he definitely would not agree to this method. But Lin Weirui didn’t care. She didn’t need his consent, she just wanted him to live.

Lin Rufei, however, did not rush back to the house and instead walked around the beach, as the refreshing sea breeze blew away some of the dryness in his heart. Lin Rufei bent down and idly fiddled with the seaweed and small fishes that were swimming in the sea.

Seeing this, Gu Xuandu asked him why he was unhappy and Lin Rufei muttered, “Actually, I’m quite happy.” He sighed, “I just hope that when Shen gongzi gets better, he won’t blame me for this.”

Gu Xuandu did not comment on this and simply responded lazily, “What is there to blame you for? To live and die with the one you love is supposed to be a happy thing.”
After he finished, he added in a low voice: “It’s better than being left alone in this world. A hundred times better.”

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[1] Cantonese humor: meaning to cry, to weep, to burst into tears. 

Chapter 77: Healing

For some reason, Lin Rufei actually heard a bit of heartache in Gu Xuandu’s words. He wanted to say something but did not know what to say and finally, decided not to say anything at all. He simply reached out his hand and held Gu Xuandu’s hand, just as he had done before. When Gu Xuandu noticed Lin Rufei’s action, he was slightly stunned at first, but in the next moment, the corners of his mouth curved up, “How can you take advantage of me, Xiao Jiu?”

Lin Rufei blinked and said seriously, “Maybe because senior took advantage of me first.” After saying this, the two looked at each other and laughed, the heavy atmosphere in the room suddenly relaxed a lot.

Over there, Lin Weirui went fast and came back fast. However, she came back with the Shen family head. The gaze that the Shen family head had when he looked at Lin Rufei was a bit complicated and he said arduously: “Many thanks……Lin gongzi.” He was probably thanking Lin Rufei for telling such a method to Lin Weirui. After all, if Lin Rufei had not said so, Lin Weirui would also not have had to take the risk.

Lin Rufei waved his hand, indicating that the Shen family head did not need to be polite.

Lin Weirui, on the other hand, couldn’t wait any longer and once again asked Lin Rufei about the process in detail, asking for every single little detail. This method of exchanging the life force between two people required a complex formation. It required a dozen pieces of high-grade spirit stones as a base and then use live animals to start the formation after the complex pattern was drawn with cinnabar.

Lin Weirui was a bit curious as to where Lin Rufei learned this method from and Lin Rufei’s excuse was that he had met a powerful formation expert before coming here. Fortunately, Lin Weirui’s mind was not on it. She nodded after listening and did not ask in detail.

The place where the formation was to be set up was a relatively open mud field chosen by Lin Rufei. He carefully set up the spirit stones and then Gu Xuandu held his hand from behind before lying on the ground to draw up the formation in detail. The weather was hot and Lin Rufei was sweating profusely after drawing most of it. His chest was heaving so much and he couldn’t stop panting.

Lin Weirui looked really heartbroken, however, she couldn’t draw for Lin Rufei. She could only hold up an umbrella to help him shade from the sun. While fanning him, she would keep saying that Xiao Jiu had worked hard. 

Lin Rufei smiled and shook his head, saying that it was okay. He wasn’t that fragile nor was he made of paper mache.

Lin Weirui continued with a sad face, ‘Even if my Xiao Jiu is a piece of paper, then it is still a gold foil one.’  

Lin Rufei was amused by her. He wiped the sweat on his forehead with a handkerchief and continued to bend over to work hard. This was Lin Rufei’s first time setting up a formation, but with Gu Xuandu’s help, the drawn formation looked decent. After a morning of tormenting, the formation finally took shape, however, Lin Rufei was soaked through and his expression didn’t look too good.

But the good thing was that the formation was finally finished. The next thing they needed was to bring a live chicken into the formation. And then after killing the live chicken, they could start the formation spell.

Of course, all this must be said by Lin Weirui. However, before that, they needed to place the protagonist into the center of the formation.

Lin Rufei finished drawing the formation and his whole body was stripped of strength. When he stood up, he almost fell back down again. Luckily, he was held by Lin Weirui, who took noticed of his situation, so he didn’t fall to the ground.

“Why does your expression look so bad?” Lin Weirui was a little worried, “Xiao Jiu?”

Lin Rufei replied, “It’s nothing serious, it just seems to take some energy to set up the formation.” He coughed a few times and his thin shoulders shook uncontrollably.

“Does Xiao Jiu need to go back and rest first?” Lin Weirui added, “The weather seems to be very hot……have the maids prepare ice for you to relieve the heat.”

“No need.” Lin Rufei said, “I’ll just sit on the side. Let’s talk about the rest after the formation is finished.” 

When Lin Weirui saw Lin Rufei’s firmness, she could only helplessly agree. Then she carefully helped him to the shade of a nearby tree and helped him sit down before turning around to continue with her next task.

Shen Wucui was soon carried over and his expression was ugly as hell, but his consciousness was still clear. When he saw the formation, he frowned and breathlessly asked: “This is the antidote to the poison? Why does it look……strange……”

Lin Weirui let out a sigh and then said, ‘Anyway, it is able to detoxify the poison, so why do you care whether it is strange or not?’ As she said this, she waved her hand, allowing the subordinates to bring Shen Wucui to the center of the formation. Then she lifted up the long-prepared live chicken and walked to Shen Wucui’s side.

The atmosphere around was very tense and the Shen family head did not dare to breathe. Almost all of them stared with bated breath at Lin Weirui’s movements.

Although Lin Weirui was joking with Shen Wucui, her hand holding the knife trembled slightly which revealed her nervousness. Shen Wucui inquired, “Weirui? What are you doing?”

“To detoxify the poison.” Lin Weirui took a deep breath and smiled more brightly, “This is a formation to dispel the poison. After activating it, it will be able to pull out the corpse poison from your body.” After she said this, she raised her hand and cut the neck of the live chicken. The bright red hot blood gushed out but did not fall to the ground. As if by an invisible force, it was slowly pulled into every corner of the formation. When the blood entered the formation, a burst of red light wrapped around Lin Weirui and Shen Wucui, who were in the middle of the formation. Lin Rufei could not see the scene inside and became slightly worried. 

This scene, however, did not last long and soon the red light gradually dissipated, revealing the two people in the center of the formation.

Lin Weirui, who was originally standing in place, was now half kneeling on the ground and her flushed face was now pale. Shen Wucui, on the other hand, had fainted directly. However, his breath seemed to be much smoother than a few days ago when Lin Rufei saw him and his cheeks also had some more color to it. 

“Uh……” Lin Weirui tried to stand up, but stumbled a step and fell to the ground.

Lin Rufei’s heart tightened and he hurriedly stepped forward to hold her, “It’s OK now, quickly take them both back.”

After Lin Rufei’s command, the underlings of the Shen family, who had been around because they were afraid of breaking the formation and did not dare to go forward, swarmed up and placed both Lin Weirui and Shen Wucui onto chairs. Then they carefully carried them back to the room.

When they arrived at the room, the physician came to check on Shen Wucui’s condition. After lifting the clothes on his waist and abdomen, Lin Rufei saw that the hideous wounds of the previous days were mostly healed, and most importantly, new flesh buds had been issued on them. Furthermore, there was no longer that rotting smell and Shen Wucui’s breathing was now steady and smooth. It seemed to no longer be a serious problem. Rather, Lin Weirui’s condition was a little worse. She was lying helplessly on the bed. After hearing that Shen Wucui was no longer in serious condition, she revealed a smile with difficulty: “Luckily, it was a success. Otherwise, I really hurt myself for nothing……”

Lin Rufei asked urgently, “Where does it hurt?”

Lin Weirui pointed to her abdomen.

Seeing this, the physician hurriedly told the others to leave, not caring to avoid suspicion, and carefully lifted up half of Lin Weirui’s clothes. Although Lin Rufei had been mentally prepared, after seeing the wound that appeared out of nowhere on Lin Weirui’s waist and abdomen, he still had the urge to cry. Lin Weirui and Lin Rufei were the same. Since childhood, they were both spoiled by the Lin family growing up and have never suffered such a heavy injury. The location and shape of the wound and the one on Shen Wucui’s body were almost identical. However, in the end, Lin Weirui was still a girl. Her waist was much slimmer and the wound on her body looked more striking and hideous.

“Is it a big one?” Lin Weirui straightened up her body to take a look at it, however, she accidentally pulled on the injury and couldn’t help but let out a hiss as she was forced to lie back down.

“Auntie[1], you have to stop moving.” Lin Rufei felt his heart ache just from looking, so he quickly pressed her down, “Be careful, otherwise, you’ll aggravate the wound.”

Lin Weirui struggled, “Xiao Jiu, quickly help me check. Is it long? Will it leave a scar? Oh my God, if this is seen, how ugly it must be.” She muttered and was rather worried about this matter.

Lin Rufei was made anxious by her. He knew that their lifeforce was now shared, but did not expect that even the wounds would appear on Lin Weirui’s body. He had a moment of heartache and finally experienced the helplessness his siblings had for him on Lin Weirui. 

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Lin Rufei said, “When the wound is healed, let Wan Yao find you the best scar removal medicine, by then nothing will remain.”

Only then did Lin Weirui settle down and ask a few questions about Shen Wucui’s condition, and only after learning that he was well, did she close her eyes in peace. The Shen family physician carefully administered medicine to Lin Weirui and bandaged her wound before following Lin Rufei out of the room.

Lin Rufei asked about Lin Weirui’s injuries and was relieved when the physician said that it was only a flesh wound and that she would get better in a few days.

Shen Wucui’s life was finally saved. Shen Wucui’s mother cried tears of joy and thanked Lin Rufei, who said with a bitter smile that it was not necessary to thank him but to thank his sister.

Shen Wucui’s mother wiped her tears and said that when Shen Wucui was well, she would let him go to Kunlun to propose marriage. The two children were almost the same age, so it was not beautiful to delay any longer. However, she did not know that Shen Wucui and Lin Weirui’s lives were now linked and was just simply grateful to Lin Weirui.

In fact, in the entire Shen family, in addition to Lin Rufei and Lin Weirui, only the head of the Shen family knew about this matter. This kind of thing, the fewer people who know of it, the better. Otherwise, it would be detrimental to the two.

After Lin Rufei confirmed that Lin Weirui had no problem, he was also a little tired. However, his entire body was covered in sweat which made him unable to sleep, so he asked Fu Hua to prepare a bathtub and went in for a good wash.

The water was warm and not too hot. As Lin Rufei was soaking in it, he soon drifted off to sleep. He leaned against the bucket and his head couldn’t stop lolling to the side. Soon, his consciousness became muddled.

There seemed to be someone whispering in his ears, but Lin Rufei couldn’t hear it clearly. After seeing that there was no reaction, there was a helpless sigh and he felt himself being picked up from the tub, wrapped in a dry towel, and then gently placed on the soft bed.

A comfortable sigh came out of his mouth, and Lin Rufei, like a cat, involuntarily rubbed against the soft mattress and fell asleep.

This sleep ended up lasting for a whole day and when he got up again, it was already the next day.

When Lin Rufei opened his eyes, his mind was still confused and he asked blankly, “What time is it?”

“It’s noon.” Gu Xuandu’s voice was right next to him.

Lin Rufei exclaimed, “Noon? I’ve slept for a day?”

“Mnn.” Gu Xuandu asked, “Are you hungry?”

“A little hungry.” Lin Rufei rubbed his stomach, feeling a bit uncomfortable, “Is my third sister okay?”

“Pretty good.” Gu Xuandu replied, “She woke up earlier than you. She even came to see you just now and when she saw that there was nothing wrong with you, she went out to find Shen Wucui.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Her injury is fine?”

“Sigh.” Gu Xuandu said, “It seems to be nothing, she’s still alive and kicking……”

He didn’t know exactly what Lin Weirui had done to make Gu Xuandu show such a helpless look but Lin Rufei couldn’t help but show a smile, “Then I’m up too.”

After washing up and having Yu Rui prepare some food, Lin Rufei sat at the table and ate slowly. Just in time, Chi Yu had jumped in through the window. As usual, he dropped the cub in his mouth onto the bed and raised his head, indicating that it was time for Lin Rufei to nurse the baby.

Lin Rufei could only ask the maids for some more fresh meat and while feeding the kitten cub, he watched as Chi Yu jumped into the arms of his own maids and gently enjoyed the petting.

“Is that person still around?” Lin Rufei asked.

“I don’t think he’s around anymore.” Chi Yu replied in a slow voice, “The scent is already very faint.”

Lin Rufei let out a soft sigh.

Chi Yu said, “That corpse is easy to find, but it would be troublesome if you want to find the person who is manipulating it.” He narrowed his eyes, “You humans really have so many tricks up your sleeves.”

Lin Rufei smiled and nodded, “That’s true.”

After feeding the kitten cub, Lin Rufei headed out. Although he was a little uncomfortable, he was still barely able to hold it in. He wanted to see for himself how Lin Weirui and Shen Wucui were doing. Who knew that after two steps out of the room, Lin Rufei looked up and saw Lin Weirui and Shen Wucui on the beach. Shen Wucui was sitting and Lin Weirui was standing next to him, gesticulating and saying something, laughing from time to time.

Although they were far away, Lin Rufei could clearly see the helpless look on Shen Wucui’s face.

“Hahahahaha, I thought you were really going to die.” Lin Weirui had her hands on her hips, looking lively. If Lin Rufei didn’t know that she had a wound on her waist, he probably would have thought that this girl was in good spirits, “If you were gone, I’d have to find another man and I’d have to watch them grow up, so troublesome!”

Shen Wucui asked, “Who are you going to find?”

Lin Weirui answered, “Anyone is fine.” 

Shen Wucui frowned.

Lin Weirui was happy again and went over to him. She actually took advantage of Shen Wucui’s lack of reaction and fiercely landed a bite mark on his cheek before quickly running away: “Hahahahahahaha, but since you’re well, then I don’t have to worry about anything else. Come, come, come, let me make a mark first, so that you won’t be hooked away by another demon spirit.”

Shen Wucui sat in place. He was dumbfounded from being bitten directly, however, after reacting he could only look at Lin Weirui’s back and let out a sigh. If it was before, Lin Rufei would probably only hear the taste of helplessness in this sigh from him. But for some reason, this time, he actually perceived this helplessness to be mixed with some hint of doting.

Lin Weirui left, leaving Shen Wucui alone. Thus, Lin Rufei slowly walked up next to Shen Wucui’s side.

“Lin gongzi.” Shen Wucui greeted Lin Rufei.

“Mnn.” Lin Rufei laughed, “My sister really……still has that out of tune[2] look.” Although she and Shen Wucui had not yet confirmed their relationship, she still shamelessly bit Shen Wucui on the face. Shen Wucui couldn’t do anything about her and finally, could only let her be.

“It’s good to be lively.” Shen Wucui said in a warm voice, “Lively girls are more well-liked.”

Lin Rufei nodded and then asked about his injuries. Shen Wucui replied that he could now walk and as long as the corpse poison was removed, his self-healing ability was still very strong. However, when the topic came to getting rid of the poison, Shen Wucui hesitated for a moment and suddenly bowed to Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei was startled by Shen Wucui’s action and asked what was wrong.

“Lin gongzi.” Shen Wucui said, “I want to ask, that poison, how exactly did you get rid of it?”

Lin Rufei replied, “It is with the formation……”

However, he was interrupted by Shen Wucui before he could even finish his sentence. The Shen family’s son, who had always been a scrupulous man, looked serious to the extreme and deliberated his words, “I know it was with the formation, but we all know that there is no antidote for corpse poison. If there was a way to solve it, I’m afraid there would not be so many deaths. Lin gongzi’s formation probably has a special feature, but there is no free lunch in this world.” His tone became a little raw, “I……just now on Weirui’s body, I smelled the same scent.”

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded. 

“I just want to know what she paid in order to save me.” Shen Wucui sighed.

Regarding whether or not to tell Shen Wucui about this matter, Lin Rufei and Lin Weirui never reached a consensus. Lin Weirui, however, did not want to tell him. In her words, if Shen Wucui knew, he would be ashamed of himself and him marrying her would just be him repaying the favor. However, Lin Rufei knew that Shen Wucui was also interested in Lin Weirui, so he thought it would not be good to hide such an important matter from Shen Wucui.

Seeing Lin Rufei’s difficulty, Shen Wucui sighed deeply and said, “Weirui has always had big decisions, so if I ask her, she will definitely not say anything.” He paused slightly, “If Lin gongzi finds it very difficult to say, then let’s forget it.” He was still very understanding. Doing things for others was the way of a gentleman. This was probably the only way for him to attract Lin Weirui.

Lin Rufei thought about it, “Shen gongzi, it’s not a problem for me to tell you, but before that, I have a question I want to ask you.”

Shen Wucui said, “Please speak.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Do you like my sister?”

After he said this sentence, he got an instant answer, because once the word “like” was mentioned, Shen Wucui’s fair face became mostly red. His eyes also became uneasy and he said nervously, “Like……like……” He “liked” for half a day, before finally spitting out the word “her.” 

This shy appearance was a stark contrast to the way Lin Weirui just molested him shamelessly. Lin Rufei thought that it really was whatever kind of pot was matched with whatever kind of cover. Facing a person like Shen Wucui, one should be direct. If both of them are so euphemistic, only a ghost would know when they would share their thoughts. 

“So you do like my sister, right?” Lin Rufei laughed, “Then why didn’t you propose marriage to my sister earlier and delayed until now? My sister has been waiting for you to be enlightened all these years.”

When Shen Wucui heard this, he wilted and bit his lip, “I……actually……always wanted to go, but, my cultivation level is not as high as Weirui’s, so I’m a little embarrassed.”

Lin Rufei froze.

“When I first saw Weirui at the age of ten, I fell in love with her.” Shen Wucui dropped his gaze and his white cheeks flushed with a brilliant red, as if he was drunk, “At that time, my cultivation level was around the same as Weirui’s. Just, mother taught me since childhood that a man was to protect his own wife, so I quietly set a rule for myself……When I have a higher cultivation than Weirui, I will go to Kunlun to propose marriage.”

Lin Rufei: “……” He seemed to have guessed the ending.

“Who knew Weirui was that good?” Shen Wucui laughed bitterly, “I am old-fashioned and uninteresting, I really can’t understand why she likes me. I always worry if she is simply teasing me……I had already prepared a betrothal gift when I was at the sixth level of cultivation, but who knew that your sister……your sister……”

Lin Rufei remembered what happened back then.

That year, Lin Weirui had just reached sixteen. One day, she rushed into his courtyard crying and said that Shen Wucui was a heartless man. He secretly prepared a betrothal gift and no one knew which girl he intended to marry. He didn’t know where she got this news from, but Lin Weirui jumped into Lin Rufei’s arms and cried a few times. Then she dried her tears and rubbed her palms together, saying that Shen Wucui could only belong to her, Lin Weirui, and that if anyone dared to make a move on him, she would definitely beat that person to the point of them being unable to take care of themselves——

At that time, Lin Rufei thought that Lin Weirui was joking and didn’t take her words seriously, but who knew that after a few days, news came from Kunlun that Lin Weirui had gone to the Shen family and snuck into Shen Wucui’s room at night. He didn’t know what she had done but early the next morning, Shen Wucui had put all the betrothal gifts back.

This matter was still a mystery, but looking at Shen Wucui’s humiliated appearance, it seemed that his sister Lin Weirui had indeed done something bad.

Lin Rufei asked a question, but Shen Wucui shook his head repeatedly and refused to say anything. Lin Rufei saw that his eyes were red, as if he was about to cry, and he really wanted to say an admiration to his sister. Lin Weirui had really pitted herself.  

Lin Rufei thought melancholy.

“Because of that matter, I did get angry with your sister for a long time.” Shen Wucui said in a low voice, “Then by mistake[3], somehow it dragged on until now……I was injured this time and my life was hanging by a thread and I also figured out a lot of things. Life in this world must be enjoyed to the fullest, too many concerns……becomes a burden.”

Having said that, Lin Rufei felt that there was no point in continuing to hide this matter from Shen Wucui. He then lowered his eyes and told him about the formation and the life exchange. The more Shen Wucui listened, the paler his face became, and finally, his body started to shake, “How, how could this happen, Weirui, Weirui shared half of my life?” He suddenly became angry, “How could you allow her to do such a ridiculous thing——”

Lin Rufei pacified, “Shen gongzi, please calm down.”

Shen Wucui said angrily, “Lin gongzi, Weirui is your sister, how could you bear it?!!”

Lin Rufei responded calmly, “It is because she is my sister that I respect her opinion. I only ask Shen gongzi one thing, that is, if the same situation were to happen, would Shen gongzi be willing to enter that formation to renew my sister’s life?”

“Of course.” Shen Wucui gave Lin Rufei an answer without even thinking, “How could I just stand by and watch Weirui die.”

Lin Rufei spread his hands: “Then doesn’t that settle it? My sister likes your heart no less than you like hers. Could it be that you want her to watch as you die?”

Shen Wucui was speechless: “Then……you could always have found someone else……”

Lin Rufei sighed: “Do you think that with my sister’s possessive nature, she is willing to see you and another person’s life be linked?”

Shen Wucui did not respond.

“I know what you’re thinking, Shen gongzi, it’s probably about some inner thoughts of guilt.” Lin Rufei said, “In fact, you don’t have to be so. My sister wants everything from you, but that does not include guilt. She does not want to tell you because she is afraid that the feelings between you two will be mixed with other things.” As he said this, he pulled out the duck…..oh, no, it was a mandarin duck pouch, that Shen Wucui handed to him before, from his cuffs, “Since Shen gongzi has recovered, you can give this to my sister with your own hands.”

Shen Wucui pursed his lips and reached out to accept it.

Lin Rufei knew that with his character, it might take some time to accept this matter, but he was in no hurry. After all, it would happen sooner or later.

Lin Rufei smiled and said that Shen gongzi should not make him wait too long for this cup of wedding wine. Then he turned around and left, leaving Shen Wucui standing in the same place, with the pouch held tightly in his hand.

Back inside the house, Lin Rufei saw Lin Weirui sitting by the window, “Weren’t you bullying Shen gongzi outside just now, why are you so listless now?” 

Lin Weirui replied, “I was just thinking.”

Lin Rufei asked: “Thinking about what?”

Lin Weirui said, “I’m thinking about the person who injured Wucui. Where is he and why did he suddenly strike at Wucui.” She cupped her chin, “I heard Wucui say that the two of them didn’t even know each other. They simply shared a glance before he was fiercely stabbed. That person hasn’t been found yet and I don’t know if he will appear again.” When she spoke of appearing, her hand heavily gripped the sword on the side of her waist, and she grinned, revealing rows of eerie white teeth.

Lin Rufei suddenly remembered Mo Changshan’s cold face and felt a little uncomfortable in his heart. That person should not treat Mo Changshan like that. Mo Changshan, as a powerful swordsman, should have died with more dignity.

“What were you talking about outside with Shen Wucui?” Before Lin Rufei could think of anything, Lin Weirui changed the subject and asked with a smile.

“You almost bullied Shen gongzi into tears.” Lin Rufei sighed, “What else can I say? Sister, where on earth did you develop the habit of biting people on their faces, how do you want him to go out and meet people?”

“Whatever.” Lin Weirui replied indifferently, “It’s best for people to see that he is already taken.” She patted Lin Rufei’s shoulder and continued, “Brother, you don’t know how sought-after he is and how fierce my competition is.” She then tilted his head and let out a long sigh, making a gesture of vicissitude.

Lin Rufei felt angry and funny: “Should I tell you that Shen Wucui had intended to come to Kunlun to propose marriage when he was fourteen years old and that the betrothal gift was ready, but someone did something and had the betrothal gift taken away?”

When Lin Weirui heard Lin Rufei’s words, her expression froze for a moment: “What? What did you say?”

Lin Rufei repeated: “I said, that year, what exactly did you do when you snuck into someone’s house? You’ve spoiled a beautiful event for yourself.”

Lin Weirui’s eyes were about to pop out of their sockets: “The person he wanted to propose to was me?!” 

Lin Rufei: “Otherwise?”

“No wonder he was so angry……” Lin Weirui lost her soul, “I’m such a big fool.”

“So what exactly did you do?” Lin Rufei was most curious about this.

Lin Weirui replied, “Can’t be said, can’t be said.” She waved her hand and continued in a low voice, “If I tell you, with his nature, I’m afraid that he’ll be so ashamed that he’ll jump into the sea and kill himself.”

Lin Rufei: “……” He was now even more curious. What exactly did his sister do that could make the good-tempered Shen gongzi angry like that?

(t/n: Weirui and Wucui are low-key giving me Gu Xiang and Cao Weining vibes @.@ anyone else?)

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Xiao Jiu took the initiative to hold my hand for the first time. Rounding up, it’s equivalent to we have become married.

Lin Rufei: You’ve rounded a bit too much, ah.

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

[1] A maternal family’s honorific for a daughter who has been married. 

[2] Unruly. 

[3] I shortened it, but the full meaning is “Error or mistake due to a strange combination of circumstances.” 

Chapter 78: Witch Tribe

However, in the end, it was still the love affair between two young people and Lin Rufei didn’t feel quite appropriate to continue asking questions.  

After using Lin Rufei’s formation, Shen Wucui’s injury was finally gradually healing and his body no longer emitted that uncomfortable scent of death. The only downside was that if he wanted the wound to heal completely, it would still take some days, the same went for Lin Weirui. Luckily, Lin Rufei was finally able to send out this invitation. He had been in Jianghu for so many days and at almost every destination, the invitation in his hand was like a hot potato and it was impossible not to have something happen. Although Lin Rufei felt helpless, there was no other way. Who would have thought that before he arrived, Shen Wucui would get stabbed first? 

The Summer, which was even longer than previous years, finally passed. After the first day of Autumn, it had rained a few times and the weather finally turned cooler.

Lin Rufei stayed with the Shen family for some days before he planned on leaving after he saw that Lin Weirui’s injury was almost healed.

Lin Weirui told Lin Rufei a thousand times not to tell their elder brother about what had happened at the Shen residence. She said that if he found out about this matter, she would have to suffer a flesh wound.

Lin Rufei smiled, “You haven’t returned in so long and the Shen family’s matter also became very serious, how could elder brother not know?” 

“Then what can be done?” Lin Weirui was most afraid of Lin Minzhi and asked with a worried face.

“It’s not a big deal.” Lin Rufei teased his sister, “At most, you’ll just get a whipping. You know elder brother has a sharp mouth but is soft-hearted, he won’t hit you too hard.” 

Lin Weirui stared straight at him and said, ‘Xiao Jiu, you’ve turned bad.’ 

“Actually, if you don’t want to get whipped then that’s fine too.” Lin Rufei said, “When the time comes, just show elder brother the wound on your waist and abdomen. I can guarantee that elder brother would be too heartbroken to beat you.” 

Lin Weirui muttered, “No, no, big brother will definitely be more angry when he sees it. Although he can’t bear to beat me anymore, he probably won’t say a word to me for ten days to a half month……”

Lin Rufei spread his hands and made a helpless look: “Then I don’t know.”

Lin Weirui let out a long sigh then scratched her head with an extraordinarily distressed look. Lin Rufei watched from the side, smiling, and said that he would leave the Shen family in a few days. If sister’s injury was better, remember to go back earlier and not let their brothers worry again. 

“You’re gonna leave just like this?” Lin Weirui was still a little reluctant, “I haven’t seen Xiao Jiu for some days, quickly, let sister give a kiss or two.” As she said this, she reached out her arms.

Lin Rufei ruthlessly refused Lin Weirui’s request, saying she’d better go kiss her Shen gongzi.

Lin Weirui shook her head and sighed: “You’ve grown up and won’t kiss your sister anymore.”  

Lin Rufei simply pretended not to hear.

He didn’t know what was going on these days, but Chi Yu, who had always been calm, was a bit agitated now. He was no longer leisure anymore and every time he brought the little one over, he stood at the window and couldn’t stop pacing back and forth. Lin Rufei asked him what was wrong and he looked at Lin Rufei before replying in a deep voice: “It’s almost a month.”

“A month?” Lin Rufei still hadn’t reacted yet.

Chi Yu pointed to the kitten in Lin Rufei’s arms, which was happily sucking on Lin Rufei’s finger, and Lin Rufei finally let out an “oh” before saying, “So fast.”

The kitten was growing fast. Not only had his body become fat, but the teeth in his mouth have also emerged. However, he had been smart since childhood. Although he liked to suck on Lin Rufei’s finger, he never bit through Lin Rufei’s skin, so Lin Rufei also allowed him do as he pleased.

Chi Yu narrowed his eyes and said, “Hopefully, he’ll be smarter.” 

And to stop recognizing Lin Rufei as his father. A month-old Ye Mo would have a clear mind and could also take on human form.

Take on a human form? Hearing this, Lin Rufei was a bit curious.

But Chi Yu obviously did not want him to see it. After he finished feeding, he quickly carried the cub away and Lin Rufei showed a regretful look.

After deciding to leave, Fu Hua packed their bags and planned their departure in a few days. The weather was getting cooler so Lin Rufei changed into his Autumn clothes early and the talismans in the carriage were also changed.

Lin Rufei thought he and Chi Yu would never meet again. But who knew that within a few days, Chi Yu reappeared at Lin Rufei’s doorstep with a livid look on his face, only this time in human form and with a small little doll in his arms that was making faint crying sounds. The little doll had a chubby little face with a pair of big eyes that surfaced with thick vapor. In Chi Yu’s bosom, he became a small crying person until he saw Lin Rufei, and only then did he cry out: “Dada……”

Lin Rufei was shocked when he heard it calling him “daddy.” Chi Yu took a few steps to Lin Rufei’s side and threw the little Ye Mo into Lin Rufei’s arm, like he was throwing garbage, just short of spitting on him.  

When the little dumpling got into Lin Rufei’s arms, it immediately laughed happily and the Ye Mo complained gloomily, “Laugh my ass, laugh again and I’ll cut your tongue off.”

The little dumpling seemed to understand his own father’s words and immediately shut his mouth before looking at Lin Rufei with an aggrieved look.

Lin Rufei said: “This……”

“Continue to nurse it.” Chi Yu crossed his hands against his chest and muttered coldly, “How could I have given birth to such a stupid thing.”

Lin Rufei lost his smile. After asking a few more questions, he learned that the little Ye Mo had indeed successfully transformed. However, after the transformation, he was still not a fan of Chi Yu, this old father. Under the threat of the Ye Mo, it barely endured a few days before finally breaking down and at the risk of annoying his own father then being swallowed in one bite, it cried, wanting to see Lin Rufei.

As a result, when Chi Yu saw Lin Rufei now, he secretly ground his teeth and even seriously thought about whether he should simply eat Lin Rufei and be done with it.

Lin Rufei just pretended that he didn’t see Chi Yu’s threatening eyes and warmly summoned Fu Hua to bring the little Ye Mo’s favorite food. He then asked in passing if the little Ye Mo had a name.

“It’s called Stupid.” Ye Mo replied.

Lin Rufei said: “……” You are really a demon scum.

After feeding the child, Lin Rufei handed it back into Chi Yu’s arms. And when Chi Yu was ready to leave, he turned his head to look at Lin Rufei, “You should be more careful these days.”

“Hm?” Lin Rufei faintly froze, “What?”

“The person who hurt Shen Wucui before seems to have returned.” Chi Yu answered, “The scent on him is too faint, I can’t be sure, so I’m warning you in advance.”

Lin Rufei’s expression tightened, “Thanks for the reminder.”

Then Chi Yu left with the child in his arms.

“That person came back? Came back for what?” Lin Rufei got anxious, “Should we catch that person first……Besides, isn’t Mo Changshan already dead, how on earth did he manage to bring the dead back to life?”

Gu Xuandu said, “There is no method in the world to bring the dead back to life.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What about Mo Changshan?”

Gu Xuandu questioned him back, “Do you think he’s alive?”

Lin Rufei remembered that night when he saw Mo Changsan’s appearance. Indeed, rather than saying that that man was Mo Changshan, it would be better to say that he was a weapon that held Mo Changshan’s head. He didn’t know what kind of mastermind was behind it that could do such a desecration of the dead.

“If I just leave, will he turn against the Shen family again?” Lin Rufei thought about it and felt that this matter should not be left like this, “Senior, can we still find him?”

Who knew that after hearing Lin Rufei’s words, Gu Xuandu’s expression looked a bit strange, “Xiao Jiu wants to see him?”

Lin Rufei nodded his head.

Gu Xuandu replied, “Then there is no need for us to look.” He leaned on the edge of the bed, looking at the waves outside the window, and continued lightly, “He will come to us himself.”

Lin Rufei was stunned, “You mean Mo Changshan? Why would he want to find us? Is he here to avenge his dog?” But that seemed to make no sense, “But it wasn’t us who killed Mo Zhaocai……”

Gu Xuandu smiled, but kept quiet. It seemed that he had no means of explaining the meaning behind his words. 

Although Chi Yu had warned Lin Rufei, the next few days were calm and quiet and there were no accidents at all. Lin Rufei’s luggage was almost ready and the day before he left, Lin Rufei, who had finished his bath and was planning to sleep, saw an unexpected guest at the door.

The man’s face was wrapped in a thick white cloth, revealing only a pair of gloomy black eyes and the most striking thing was the long black snake wrapped around his arm. The long snake hissed and spat out its tongue. Before approaching, it emitted an overly obvious dangerous aura.

Lin Rufei was still leaning against the side of the bed looking at miscellaneous books and only when he was tapped by Gu Xuandu on the back of his hand, did he realize that at some point, such a person stood at the doorway of his room. He appeared silently, as if he was a ghost, and startled Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei immediately sat up straight and looked at the man warily: “Who are you?”

The man slowly walked up to Lin Rufei. And with an extremely uncomfortable gaze, he looked Lin Rufei up and down.

Lin Rufei pressed on the sword at the side of his waist and asked in a cold voice: “Isn’t it inappropriate for you to come here uninvited?”

The man suddenly smiled. Although the lower half of his face was covered, the curved corners of his eyes still revealed his very good mood. He didn’t know if it was Lin his imagination, but when this man smiled, Lin Rufei felt that the gloomy aura surrounding this man’s body had mostly dispersed and on the contrary, there was a little bit more innocence.

This person took a few steps towards Lin Rufei and before Lin Rufei could react, his next action was actually to bend down halfway and kneel in front of Lin Rufei. 

Lin Rufei originally thought he was here to pick a fight but was instead frozen by his action. He stared: “You……”

“Lin gongzi.” His voice was hoarse and very unpleasant to listen to.

“What are you doing?” Lin Rufei was taken aback.

“I’ve been searching for you for a long time.” His eyes were almost greedy, as if he was a traveler in the desert who had been walking for a long time and finally saw a clear spring. Just like that, he reached out his hand towards Lin Rufei. Lin Rufei, however, naturally refused to be grabbed by him. He reflexively stepped back a bit and used Gu Yu to restrain his hand that had wanted to reach over.

“What do you mean by this?” Lin Rufei frowned. He felt that this person’s brain wasn’t quite functioning properly. 

The man, who had been ruthlessly rejected by Lin Rufei, showed an aggrieved look. He gritted his teeth and said, “Lin gongzi, don’t trust Gu Xuandu.”

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded. He never thought that he would hear the name Gu Xuandu coming from this man’s mouth.

“He’s a deceitful liar!” He hissed. Because of these intense emotions, his black eyes also flushed crimson and the black snake in his hand also began to twist and turn with his intense emotions. For a while, the situation looked particularly gruesome. He continued in a fierce voice, “Lin gongzi, if you believe him, you will definitely be harmed extremely badly——”

Lin Rufei glanced at the culprit that came out from this person’s mouth, only to see Gu Xuandu indifferently leaning against the window table. He slightly tilted his head and looked at the man kneeling in front of Lin Rufei like a fool. He seemed to have noticed Lin Rufei’s gaze and smiled charmingly before he made a helpless show of hands to Lin Rufei. However, he did not take this person’s words to heart in the slightest.

Lin Rufei asked, “You know Gu Xuandu?”

The man answered, “I naturally know——”

Lin Rufei continued, “Then do you know……”

“I know. I know everything.” His emotions seemed to be very unstable and his fingers dug harshly into the ground. Because he dug too hard, the nails on his hands were actually chipped open one by one and his voice was also like crying blood. Lin Rufei felt some discomfort after listening as he continued, “I know, but what kind of Heavenly Ruler is he? He does not deserve to be called the Heavenly Ruler——” 

Lin Rufei knitted his brows.

Probably because he noticed that Lin Rufei’s expression was a bit unpretentious, he then stopped and mumbled in a low voice: “Lin gongzi, believe me once, I have never lied to you……”

Whether it was his words or the manner of speaking, there was a strong sense of incongruity floating on this person. Lin Rufei asked, “You and I just met for the first time, so where did the ‘I have never lied to you’ come from? That Mo Changshan was made by you, right? Why did you do that——and why did you hurt Shen Wucui?!”

But the man responded indifferently, “It’s just some minor things, if Lin gongzi doesn’t like it, I won’t do it again in the future.” His face showed a kind of ingratiation and his kneeling foot moved forward. It was like he was itching to come towards Lin Rufei’s side, “Lin gongzi, where are you going next?”

Lin Rufei, naturally, could not trust a person he had only met once so he shook his head.

“It’s okay. It’s okay if you don’t say anything.” He was not annoyed when he saw Lin Rufei’s refusal.

“Of course he won’t tell you.” Gu Xuandu, who had been standing to the side, suddenly opened his mouth. Lin Rufei originally thought that his voice would be inaudible to the person in front of him, but who knew that this person would actually turned his head back. When he noticed Gu Xuandu standing by the window, a light of hatred shot out of both eyes.

“He only listens to my words.” Gu Xuandu raised his head slightly and stepped towards Lin Rufei’s side. He bent down, picked up Lin Rufei’s hand, and with a provocative look, he dropped a soft kiss on the back of Lin Rufei’s hand. His action was so abrupt that before Lin Rufei could react, he heard the man kneeling beneath the bed let out a hissing roar, and then, he rushed towards Gu Xuandu. Gu Xuandu lifted his foot and kicked the man far away. He landed heavily on the table sitting at the side and caused a loud noise.

“It was like this hundreds of years ago and it will be like this hundreds of years later.” Gu Xuandu slowly walked to the man’s side, stepped on the chair next to him, and looked at the man from above. His body was filled with a dense killing aura that Lin Rufei had never seen before. His words, word for word, sounded very gentle at first, but one could feel the gnashing teeth behind them, “Waste is waste.”

The man sat on the ground and stared at Gu Xuandu with resentment. Although he was insulted like this, he laughed with a smile and replied in a strained voice: “Gu Xuandu, what allows you to be so arrogant? Do you really think that you are still the omnipotent Lord Heavenly Ruler from a hundred years ago? Hehe……you can’t even stay solid for long. You’re just a pathetic ghost and still have the nerve to call me waste?”

Gu Xuandu raised an eyebrow: “The ghost can kiss him, can you?”

The man was shaking with anger.

“Can’t, right?” Gu Xuandu mocked him mercilessly, “I told you a long time ago, no matter how much time has passed, the ending of things will not change.”

The man still wanted to say something, but Fu Hua called out from outside the room. She must have heard the noise that had resounded inside the room and came to check on the situation.

Gu Xuandu narrowed his eyes, gave a low laugh, and said lazily: “Fu Hua can’t see me, but she can see you. If she sees you in Lin gongzi’s room, I don’t know how much trouble you will cause him.” After he said this, the man hurriedly got up from the ground and went out directly through the window.

Just as he left, Fu Hua pushed open the door and saw the room in a mess. She revealed a stunned expression and asked, “Gongzi, what happened?”

“Nothing.” Lin Rufei replied perfunctorily, “It’s just that my practice has gone astray just now.” 

“Really?” However, Fu Hua was a bit unconvinced. When she was outside the room, she clearly heard the sound of talking in the room. But when she came in, there was only Lin Rufei.

“There’s really nothing going on.” Lin Rufei waved his hand, yawned, and revealed a sleepy expression, “You can come back tomorrow to clean up, I’m a little sleepy so I’ll sleep first.”

Fu Hua froze, but still responded, “Then……okay.” But she was still a little uneasy. So she said a few more words, saying that if gongzi encountered something, he should not carry the burden alone and that he must tell them. 

What else could Lin Rufei say? He could only nod and say yes.

Only then did Fu Hua turn around and leave. Only when she left, she still looked a bit worried. She probably thought that her young master’s hysteria was getting worse. 

After sending away his maid, Lin Rufei let out a long breath. He looked at Gu Xuandu and saw him standing by the bed with a smile on his face, “Senior, who is that person?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “An……old acquaintance.”

Lin Rufei asked, “A friend?”

Gu Xuandu sighed, “Do you think a relationship like ours is worthy of the word ‘friend?’”

That was true, Lin Rufei thought to himself. Just a few words from Gu Xuandu made that person angry as hell. Although Gu Xuandu was smiling from the beginning to the end, Lin Rufei was still able to keenly perceive that the few words said by that person also made Gu Xuandu a little upset. It seemed that the two of them were not only old acquaintances, but they were also old acquaintances who knew each other very well.

“What exactly happened a few hundred years ago?” Lin Rufei was getting more and more curious. When the Heavenly Ruler suddenly disappeared, most of the people thought that he had stepped through the void and soared away. However, now he was clearly standing in front of him, still alive and quarreling with others. So such an argument, then, was clearly untenable.

The Heavenly Ruler’s cultivation was extremely high. That year, he had been unmatched so who injured him and made him lose his physical body, leaving only the appearance of his spiritual one? 

Lin Rufei could not understand.

“When I can condense into an entity, I’ll tell Xiao Jiu what he wants to know.” Gu Xuandu stretched out his hand and gently stroked Lin Rufei’s hair, his expression was gentle to the extreme.

Lin Rufei asked, “How long before senior can condense into an entity?”

“Just a little longer.” Gu Xuandu answered, “When my heart is found.” He continued, “I will be able to reconstruct a physical body and by then, I will be able to stay by Xiao Jiu’s side all the time.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Heart? Does senior know where his heart is?”

Gu Xuandu answered, “Hundreds of years ago, I handed my heart to a person and if that person is still alive, he will certainly safeguard it for me.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Who?”

Gu Xuandu responded, “Wu Min.”

When Lin Rufei heard the words Wu Min, he froze slightly. He had some impression of this name, as if he had heard it somewhere before. After thinking carefully, he sucked in a breath of cold air: “But senior, Wu Min had already died in the Witch Rebellion a hundred years ago……” He then remembered that he had seen the name Wu Min in several history books. It seemed that Wu Min was a Great Witch of the witch tribe with the ability to pass through the sky. Only, a hundred years ago, he died in an accident during the Witch Rebellion. Later, after the Witch Rebellion subsided, the name Wu Min was passed down for a long time.

“Dead? Really dead?” Gu Xuandu was a little unconvinced.

“Really.” Lin Rufei replied. “I’ve seen it several times in books. It seems to say that he died at the hands of his own younger brother……The exact circumstances, I can’t remember very well.”

Gu Xuandu frowned, “How can he be so careless.”

Lin Rufei also did not know what to say. He contemplated for a while before saying that the Shen family was not too far from the witch tribe so why don’t they head over there and help Gu Xuandu find his heart? Since it was such an important thing, even if Wu Min died, he would definitely hand it over to his descendants for safekeeping.

Gu Xuandu sighed and said he could only do so.

Lin Rufei chatted with Gu Xuandu for another while before he developed a strong sense of sleepiness. He let out a yawn, crawled into bed, and fell asleep in a daze.

The next day, Fu Hua came in and cleaned up the messy room before preparing the carriage, asking Lin Rufei if they would leave today.

Lin Rufei nodded and said, “No more delays. I’ll go greet my sister and then we’ll leave.”

Fu Hua nodded.

Lin Weirui’s injury was almost healed. Even at breakfast time, she did not forget to show affection with Shen Wucui. But the way they showed love was a bit strange. Most of the time it was Lin Weirui who fed Shen Wucui with an evil smile and Shen Wucui with a bitter look on his face. However, he still had to open his mouth no matter what as he vaguely complained: “Weirui……..feed less, I……can’t eat anymore……”

Lin Weirui said: “Look at you, you’re so thin. Your injury also just healed, if you don’t eat more how can you get well faster?”  

If it were not for the fact that Lin Rufei knew the nature of his third sister like the back of his hand, he probably would have really thought that she was concerned about Shen Wucui.

“Sister, I’m leaving.” Lin Rufei knocked on the door to get the two people’s attention.

“You’re leaving now?” Lin Weirui hurriedly put down the things in her hands, “Didn’t you say you were leaving this afternoon?”

Lin Rufei answered, “It’s better to leave in the morning, it’s cooler.”

Lin Weirui stated, “Then I’ll see you off.”

“I’ll also come along.” Shen Wucui swallowed the food in his mouth with difficulty and stood up after Lin Weirui.

Lin Rufei smiled, nodded, and didn’t say anything else. The three of them walked towards the carriage and Lin Weirui watched as Lin Rufei got into it. Fu Hua raised the whip in her hand, cracked it, and the carriage sped away, raising a cloud of dust before gradually disappearing from the view of the two.

“Xiao Jiu seems to have grown up a lot.” Lin Weirui hesitated to withdraw her eyes. She continued looking in the direction where Lin Rufei disappeared, looking despondent, “I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

Shen Wucui answered with a smile, “Naturally it’s a good thing.”

Lin Weirui smiled bitterly, “You’re right.” She pulled up a strand of hair hanging down from her ear and whispered, “Just watching him grow up always makes me feel a bit sad for some reason.”

Shen Wucui replied, “Let’s go back.” Although a bit stiff, he still made an effort to hold Lin Weirui’s hand.

“Okay.” Lin Weirui curved the corners of her eyes, “Let’s go back.”

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: This is not my friend.

Lin Rufei: He’s……

Gu Xuandu: He’s my love rival. 

Lin Rufei: Eh?

Chapter 79: Wuyu

South of Yunxiang, there was a place called Wuyu, which was the hometown of the witch tribe.

Compared with other places, Wuyu was located in a long and narrow canyon, surrounded by mountains and water. The terrain was closed and with Wuyu as the hometown of witchcraft, outsiders were very fearful. Thus for most people, it was a very mysterious place. Qi Yansheng, who Lin Rufei had met in the Meng family before, was his first acquaintance with the witch tribe. However, now it seemed that Qi Yansheng had a pretty decent personality and was not as weird as the witch tribe was rumored to be. 

Gu Xuandu said that the witch tribe being eccentric in nature was actually misinformation. Due to the fact that they were isolated from the world and didn’t know much about the rules of the common world, they rarely left Wuyu except for specific times, thus, giving the people outside such a strange impression of them. Of course, those like Qi Yansheng, who was able to be smooth and slick in establishing social relations, were a minority in the witch tribe as most of them were somewhat introverted.

Lin Rufei whispered: “That person who came to my room the day before was……also a member of the witch tribe, right?”

Gu Xuandu nodded his head.

Lin Rufei asked, “What was his name?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Wu Ao.”

Lin Rufei said, “That’s a good name. It sounds like when Chi Yu cries, oo ao oo ao[1].”

Gu Xuandu almost laughed out loud.

“I feel like this person has a strange temper.” Lin Rufei pondered, “I thought he was going to come find trouble for me, however, he ended up doing that which really surprised me. But if he had good intentions towards me, why would he hurt Shen Wucui? Even my sister was also injured.”

However, Gu Xuandu simply smiled and kept quiet, shaking his head.  

Lin Rufei asked, “And if we go to Wuyu this time, won’t we just happen to be going to his hometown.” He didn’t really like Wu Ao, “Will we run into him again?”

Gu Xuandu sighed and there was a little more helplessness in his tone, “No matter where we go, we are going to encounter him.”

The two talked for another while until Yu Rui muttered, “Who are you talking to, gongzi?” Only then did Lin Rufei shut up and then perfunctorily said that he was memorizing a book.

Yu Rui chewed on the corn candy and looked at her gongzi suspiciously. In her heart, she was a little worried, thinking that her gongzi’s hysteria of talking to himself probably would not get better……

Lin Rufei looked at Yu Rui and asked, “You eat so much candy every day, are you not afraid of ruining your teeth?” 

Yu Rui grinned and opened her mouth, revealing a row of neat little white teeth, “I’m not afraid. I have brushed my teeth properly.” She didn’t care about such a thing at all.

Although it was Lin Rufei’s offhand comment, his prophecy had actually become true and the next night, Yu Rui’s face was suddenly half swollen. Fu Hua pinched Yu Rui’s mouth and looked left then right, before frowning: “Yu Rui, have you really brushed your teeth properly? These teeth are half-ruined……”

Yu Rui cried, “I really did.”

Fu Hua asked, “Then how can the teeth be ruined?”

“Sigh.” Lin Rufei sighed and said, “Although she brushed her teeth, she was chewing on the corn candy her lover gave her at night when she slept. It would be strange if her teeth didn’t become ruined.”

Yu Rui cried out in pain and tears, saying it was all He Wanxiang, that bad thing’s fault; why did he have to make the corn candy so delicious?

Fu Hua was angry but also thought that this matter was funny. She grabbed Yu Rui’s nose and pinched it: “Even tasty things are sugar. If you eat too much, not only will you ruin your teeth, but you will also grow fat. Let’s see if He Wanxiang will still like you after you become fat.”

Yu Rui then cried even more.

Lin Rufei cried and laughed and asked Fu Hua to stop scaring the child. Coincidentally, Chi Yu dragged his family over and when he saw Yu Rui crying, like raindrops on a pear blossom, he frowned and asked how Lin Rufei could bully his own maid.

Lin Rufei let out a long sigh and replied that he didn’t have the heart to bully. Then he proceeded to tell the story of Yu Rui eating corn candy and ruining her teeth. 

When Chi Yu heard this, he also laughed aloud. This made Yu Rui so angry that she pulled harshly on his hair. However, he didn’t resist and simply squinted his eyes in Fu Hua’s embrace as he spread himself out like a pancake with a face full of comfort. 

Lin Rufei hugged the little Ye Mo and asked why Chi Yu was so much like a scum.

“If Chi Yu is a scum, then what are you?” Gu Xuandu asked slyly.

“A wet nurse?” Lin Rufei replied tentatively.

Gu Xuandu didn’t comment on it and instead, he just looked up and gave Chi Yu a thoughtful glance.

Although the next place they were going to was Wuyu, Lin Rufei was still afraid of Wu Ao. Gu Xuandu did tell Lin Rufei not to worry so much, saying that Wu Ao probably wouldn’t make a move against Lin Rufei and even if he did make one, it would be against him. 

Lin Rufei wondered why Wu Ao was so disgusted with Gu Xuandu, however, Gu Xuandu simply answered with a smile, “That’s not disgust, it’s jealousy.”

“Jealousy?” Lin Rufei wondered, “Jealous of what?”

Gu Xuandu answered, “Of course he is jealous that I have someone by my side. Look at how miserable he is. Hundreds of years ago there was only that black snake with him, hundreds of years later there is still only that black snake. I can’t even stand to watch any longer.”  

He had said this in a joking tone so Lin Rufei also could not help but let out a smile. However, this smile still had a hint of worry in it. In short, the feeling that Wu Ao gave to Lin Rufei had not been a good one.

This place was near the sea. And after the beginning of Autumn, the weather was not as hot. An Autumn shower brought in the coolness and this year’s rain was extraordinarily abundant. After Lin Rufei left the Shen family, the sun had not come out once, which was quite a comfortable feeling.

From the Shen family to Wuyu, it would take about ten days of traveling and if he traveled slower, it would probably take even longer. The closer they got to Wuyu, the more Lin Rufei could feel the scornful attitude of the people around him towards this place. As soon as they heard of his destination, most of their faces would show some fear or disapproval. 

“Gongzi, do you really want to go to Wuyu?” The inn’s Xiao Er was very enthusiastic. However, after hearing Lin Rufei ask for directions, he frowned, “That place is very evil, it is said that those who go in never come out.”

Lin Rufei asked, “That powerful?”

“Tell me about it.” The Xiao Er poured tea for Lin Rufei and whispered, “If you want to go, just follow the big road to the east and keep going. However, you have to think about it before you go. But gongzi, what are you going there for?”

Lin Rufei hesitated, “To……do something.”

The Xiao Er then shook his head and sighed, saying that it was better not to do whatever he was going to do. Wuyu, this place, was one they never dared to approach. Even if they did not get close to it, they could still see a lot of strange things. In short, as long as it was related to Wuyu, it wasn’t anything good. 

Lin Rufei asked curiously, “Strange things?”

The Xiao Er replied, “Yes.”

Lin Rufei continued, “For example?” He took out reward money from his sleeve and handed it to the Xiao Er.

The Xiao Er smiled as soon as he saw the reward money. He took it and continued with a smile, “This Wuyu is located in the middle of the canyon. The road on the east is the only way to the inside. The people around all avoid Wuyu so very few people would go. Until a certain year…It was also during the Autumn and that road suddenly fogged up……”

He deliberately lowered his voice, making a ghastly look. It scared Yu Rui into grabbing Fu Hua’s hand as she stared at the Xiao Er with round eyes.

The Xiao Er continued: “Someone just so happened to be passing nearby and saw a dozen shadowy figures appearing in the fog. At first, the person thought that someone was just passing by, but who knew that after a closer look, he felt that there was something wrong. He noticed that the movements of those dozens of people were very stiff, it was not stepped by step like ordinary people but jumping. The more that person looked, the more wrong it appeared to be. Just as he was about to leave, who knew that……..” He suddenly increased his voice, “Who knew that a hand suddenly stretched out from behind him and gave his shoulder a hard slap. He then lost consciousness. By the time the others found out, the dozen of figures actually had another person added in!” 

“Ah!” Yu Rui and Fu Hua were scared paled. However, Lin Rufei listened with great interest and also commented, “Pretty good story.”

“Isn’t gongzi afraid?” When the Xiao Er saw that Lin Rufei did not react at all, he was a bit unaccepting. After all, this was the ghost story that he kept at the bottom of his chest[2]. 

“I’m not afraid.” Lin Rufei took a sip of tea and stated indifferently, “It sounds like a fabricated story.”

“Why?” The Xiao Er wondered.

Lin Rufei smiled, “If something really happened to him, then who told you guys the story? Could it be that the dead can still speak?……” After he finished this sentence, he suddenly remembered Mo Changshan. And then after a moment of silence, he mused, “The dead really seemed to be able to speak, ah.”

“Young master, just stop scaring us.” Yu Rui muttered with a crying voice, “That place is so scary, do we really have to go?”

“Go.” Lin Rufei said, “Isn’t it interesting?”

It was obvious that Lin Rufei was the only one who found Wuyu interesting. Whether it was the Xiao Er or his maids, they all had disapproving looks on their faces. When the Xiao Er saw that he could not be persuaded, he no longer kept trying. He simply sighed and told Lin Rufei to greet his family first before entering that place so as to avoid a sudden disappearance, making his family worry. Lin Rufei thanked his kindness and after pondering over it, it really was about the time to send a letter back to Kunlun.

When the Xiao Er told the story, Gu Xuandu also listened with interest. When they got back to the room, Lin Rufei asked Gu Xuandu if this story was true or not.

“It might be true.” Gu Xuandu answered, “The witch tribe is indeed very good at catching corpses[3]. Occasionally, they’ll accept some commissions from the outside so it’s quite normal to be seen. However, the story near the end was a bit wrong, I think someone probably added some oil and vinegar[4] to it.”

Lin Rufei mused, “You’re right. Most of the folk legends have been added with some oil and vinegar.”

Lin Rufei stayed at the inn for one night. He had originally intended to enter Wuyu the next day, but who knew that just as he got up in the morning, he saw that the outside was covered with a layer of fog. The fog was very dense and he was not able to see clearly anything that was just a few feet away.

“Young master, do we still have to go?” After listening to yesterday’s story, Fu Hua and Yu Rui were a little anxious. And today, there was actually fog just like in the story, which made the two even more afraid. In the end, they were both still little girls. If it was Lin Weirui, this naughty child, she probably would depart immediately in excitement the moment she saw the fog.  

Lin Rufei said: “Let’s wait. Generally, the fog should be dispersed at noon. When that time comes, we will set out.”

Fu Hua and Yu Rui sighed with relief.

But the sky did not follow people’s wishes. This dense fog didn’t seem to be an ordinary mountain mist. Even when the sun came out, there was no intention of dissipating.

Lin Rufei could only go ask the inn’s Xiao Er, asking him when the fog would dissipate.

“It’s hard to say.” The Xiao Er replied, “Usually it clears around noon, but if it doesn’t clear at noon, it will last for several days. Once it took more than ten days for it to clear. Gongzi, are you still going to enter even with such a dense fog?” 

Lin Rufei asked, “Will one get lost?”

The Xiao Er replied, “I don’t know if one would get lost, but there’s only one way in. As for what it looks like inside, no one knows.” 

Lin Rufei thought: “Then I’ll wait until tomorrow. If it doesn’t disperse tomorrow, I’ll go in following the main road.” Although there was fog, he at least had a Gu Xuandu by his side. Gu Xuandu should probably know Wuyu very well so there shouldn’t be too big of a surprise. 

The Xiao Er tried to persuade with a few more words, but seeing Lin Rufei’s firm attitude, he left with a sigh.

The weather seemed to be against Lin Rufei. By the next day, the fog still had not lightened at all. It was still thick and scary and no one could say when the fog would dissipate. Lin Rufei decided not to wait any longer and got on the carriage with his maids. 

Fu Hua and Yu Rui were a bit scared so Lin Rufei simply let them both sit inside while he drove the carriage himself. Of course, the maids were reluctant to hear this order at first. Since when has a servant ever sat inside enjoying while the master did the hard work? Lin Rufei also did not persuade. He simply smiled and asked: ‘if you guys are out driving the carriage, are you not afraid of a hand suddenly reaching out from behind and patting you guys on your shoulders?’ This successfully scared the two maids, who turned pale at his words. And without saying anything, they silently shrank into the carriage. Probably because they were still concerned about Lin Rufei, they refused to put down the carriage curtain, saying that they were going to help and guard their young master’s back.

Lin Rufei laughed at Fu Hua and Yu Rui’s reaction and Gu Xuandu commented that Xiao Jiu was really becoming bad.

Lin Rufei then looked at him, “I learned it all from senior.”  

Gu Xuandu: “……”

Lin Rufei cursed, “Motherf*cker, this fog is really big.”

Gu Xuandu: “……” Did you also learn this from me?

When Gu Xuandu heard this expletive, he gritted his teeth in secret hatred for a long time. In his heart, he thought that the He family was really a disaster that he couldn’t avoid. However, looking at Lin Rufei’s happy expression and laughter, he(LRF) probably felt that he(LRF) had finally learned a phrase that could exclaim his mood——”Motherf*cker!” was much more imposing than “Oh my God.” Gu Xuandu held his forehead in distress. He was trying to think of ways to let his family’s little gongzi forget that word sooner. 

But for now, it seemed unlikely. Wielding the whip in his hand, Lin Rufei drove the carriage all the way along the east road. The fog was too thick so he did not dare speed up the carriage, after all, he was not familiar with the road and could not see the obstacles around him.

However, as the carriage gradually went deeper down the road, the surrounding scenery seemed to change. Lin Rufei, through the thick fog, vaguely felt that many tall mountains had appeared around him. This area was originally a plains area so he could not understand where these mountains had come from.

Lin Rufei asked, “Senior, is it still the same as when you visited before?” 

“Pretty much.” Gu Xuandu responded, “Wuyu is very closed and has a long life per capita so I guess it hasn’t changed much in a few hundred years.” He was a little emotional, “Just didn’t expect that Wu Min actually died. I thought he would live longer than me……”

Lin Rufei questioned, “You and Wu Min were very close?” After asking this, he felt a little ridiculous. Yeah, if Gu Xuandu and Wu Min were not on good terms, how would he give him his heart for safekeeping?

Gu Xuandu then talked to Lin Rufei about some past events back in the days. He said that he and Wu Min were about the same age and had similar personalities. At first, they were at odds with each other, and it wasn’t until something happened later on that his temperament changed drastically and his relationship with Wu Min also eased up. Like this, two mutually disagreeable people finally became close friends by mistake.

Lin Rufei asked, “A lot of things must have happened back then, right?”

“A lot.” Gu Xuandu looked lazy, “Back then, there was no such peace like now. Before the Yaoguang’s Grand Formation was laid, there were demons that plagued the Earth everywhere. But because there was an increase in demons, the cultivators also became more powerful. After all, if people don’t cultivate nowadays, they’ll simply be ordinary humans. However, if they didn’t cultivate back then, then they would die.” 

Lin Rufei muttered, “Senior, tell me some more.” No one would not be curious about what had happened back then. Although history books were also recorded, it wasn’t as vividly described compared to someone who had witnessed it. He straightened up and revealed a curious look, “Everyone said that the Heavenly Ruler gave his best to lay down the Yaoguang Grand Formation to protect all the living beings and that his cultivation was greatly damaged, and only after many years of silence did he emerge again. Senior, laying down the Grand Formation was difficult, right?”

Gu Xuandu gave him a deep look, “It was difficult.”

“Were you seriously injured at that time?” Lin Rufei said.

Gu Xuandu replied, “Very serious.” He sighed, “The Heavenly Ruler was the most kind-hearted and also the most unloving. Although he saved the world’s life by laying down the Grand Formation, I don’t know how many people’s hearts he broke around him.”  

Lin Rufei found it a bit strange. When Gu Xuandu talked about the Heavenly Ruler, he seemed to be talking about someone else, but he was obviously the Heavenly Ruler himself. 

“Has senior ever regretted it?” Lin Rufei asked.

“Me? I regret every moment.” Gu Xuandu muttered, “But the Heavenly Ruler never had a moment of regret. The Heavenly Ruler, the Heavenly Ruler. As his name suggests, he was born to be the King of Heaven. The King of Kings. Loved by all the people and dedicated to all the people……”

Gu Xuandu was also smiling when he said this. However, Lin Rufei, for some reason, could see some bleakness in his smile. And after a moment of silence, he suddenly reached out and grabbed Gu Xuandu’s hand before continuing in a low voice, “If senior doesn’t want to smile anymore, then don’t smile.”

Gu Xuandu: “I’m a little bit unaccustomed to Xiao Jiu being the one to take the initiative.” He turned his hand around and interlocked his fingers with Lin Rufei. Reluctantly, he picked up his spirits again and talked about something else. Of course, this time, he simply picked something interesting to lighten up the heavy atmosphere.

Lin Rufei and Gu Xuandu were talking with great interest, but they did not know that the maids in the carriage were frightened to death. Yu Rui shrank in Fu Hua’s arms and the two embraced each other while shivering. Yu Rui whispered with a crying voice: “Sister Fu Hua, who is the young master talking to, ah?”

Fu Hua replied in a trembling voice: “He’s probably……talking to himself.”

“But how can there also be questions and answers?” Yu Rui asked, “Why do I feel that something is wrong with young master? Do you think young master is also bewitched?” 

Fu Hua barely replied calmly, “Hasn’t young master always been bewitched?” Stroking Yu Rui’s head, she continued soothingly, “Calm down, we should have gotten used to it.”

Yu Rui answered, “But I can’t get used to it.”

Fu Hua smiled bitterly: “To be honest……I can’t get used to it either.”

Then the two of them hugged each other tightly and continued to comfort each other in the heavy fog while listening to their own young master whispering to himself as the situation became more and more bizarre.

The carriage had been traveling for a day and they didn’t know where their position was, however even as the sky darkened, the fog was still thick. 

After looking around, Lin Rufei chose a relatively flat place to light a campfire for the night. Yu Rui and Fu Hua had been scared all day and were already a bit exhausted so Lin Rufei volunteered to let the two rest first and wait until the second half of the night for their night watch.

However, Fu Hua refused no matter what. She said that young master had been tired all day so how could he continue to keep watch at night? She then told Let Lin Rufei to have a good rest and that she would guard the first half of the night and Yu Rui would guard the second half of the night.

Just as Yu Rui wanted to agree, she then saw Lin Rufei grimly smile: “Although there is nothing during the day, it’s not certain what will come out at night, oh.”  

Yu Rui was annoyed: “Young master you’re so bad! Don’t scare us on purpose!!”

Lin Rufei teased, “How do you know that I am your young master?”

Yu Rui glared.

“The fog was so thick during the day, so maybe you two were distracted and young master was replaced.” Lin Rufei mused, “Actually, what is in front of you is just a demon that looks exactly like your young master……”

“Ahhhhhhhh!!!” Witnessing her young master’s taste for the first time, Yu Rui simply wanted to jump to Lin Rufei’s side and use her small fists to hammer against his chest. 

Lin Rufei could not help but laugh, exposing himself. He said. ‘Alright, alright. How about this; I sleep for the first half of the night and you guys sleep for the second half of the night. You two should keep each other company, otherwise, you might have your souls scared away.’  

Fu Hua and Yu Rui’s expressions were not good but they still agreed.

Sometimes being timid was actually a cute thing and Lin Rufei found his maids’ pale appearance particularly cute. After he urged the two of them, he then went to rest first, leaving the two of them sitting around the campfire.

The sky was getting dark. With the addition of this fog, almost nothing was visible. 

Yu Rui was a little scared so she leaned closer to Fu Hua and asked, “Sister Fu Hua, there really won’t be demons here, right?” 

Fu Hua replied: “Do not be afraid of demons. Look, isn’t Chi Yu also a demon and he is so cute.”

Yu Rui mumbled, “You’re right.”

The two then fell silent and there was only the crackling sound of the campfire in front of them. Yu Rui yawned and was a little sleepy, but soon, she felt her shoulder being patted. She thought it was Fu Hua reminding her, so she rubbed her eyes and said, “Sister Fu Hua, don’t pat me on the shoulder, I’m scared.” She would always remember that ghost story.

Fu Hua turned her head in bewilderment and reeponded, “Huh? I did not pat you, ah.”

Yu Rui froze: “Then……” The moment her words fell, she felt her shoulder being patted again and this time, Fu Hua’s two hands were in front of her so it was impossible for her to be the one patting. Yu Rui’s body suddenly froze and her face became pale as paper.

Fu Hua saw Yu Rui’s changes and also instantly understood. She swallowed heavily and asked, “Someone…….someone really patted you?”

Yu Rui nodded stiffly.

“Let, let me take a look.” Fu Hua slowly twisted her head, however, she saw nothing. Behind them, there was only an endless fog and darkness. It was like a huge vortex, sucking in all the light and heat.

“There’s nothing.” Fu Hua responded, “No demons, no people.”

Yu Rui whimpered and cried. She clearly felt someone patting her shoulder. Who knew that just after two cries, her young master’s voice laced with laughter resounded: “Are you that scared, ah?”

“Wuwuwuwuwu, young master, please don’t joke with us anymore!!!” Yu Rui cried and screamed, “You’ll really scare someone to death, okay?!!!”

In the mist, her young master’s figure loomed and his tone was still laced with some laughter: “Really?”

Fu Hua suddenly felt that something was wrong. She grabbed Yu Rui and shook her head heavily at her. Then, with her chin, she pointed it in the direction of the carriage. The carriage was very close to them and the curtains were not closed, so if they simply took a look, they would be able to see Lin Rufei, who was sleeping soundly inside. However, if Lin Rufei was sleeping in the carriage, then at this time, standing behind them and smiling at them……was exactly…..what?…….

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Xiao Jiu is not afraid of ghosts and that makes it so regrettable for me. 

Lin Rufei: If I’m afraid of ghosts do you think you still have a chance?

Gu Xuandu: …… You have a point.

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

[1] Basically a cute animal cry: kind of like this picture. 

[2] Treasure/something worth cherishing/important/Significant. 

[3] Sending the corpses back to their hometown to be buried in peace. 

[4] Adding details while telling a story (to make it more interesting) 

Chapter 80: People of the Witch Tribe

Fu Hua and Yu Rui looked at each other and they both saw the color of fear in each other’s eyes. They stiffened their necks and took a look at the person sleeping in the carriage and then slowly turned their heads to look at the inconspicuous figure in the fog. The maids seemed to have realized the truth and the figure in the fog took a step backward, disappearing into the covers of the darkness.

“Uwaaa——” The great fear made Yu Rui burst into fierce cries. She grabbed Fu Hua’s hand, like a child who had been bullied, and was crying out of breath, “Sister Fu Hua, what the hell is that thing, ah? I’m really scared……”

Although Fu Hua was also pale, fortunately, she was able to barely control her emotions as she whispered: “Don’t yell, don’t wake up young master……”

Yu Rui cried, “Is that really young master? Could young master have already been captured by the demons?”

Seeing her pitiful appearance, Fu Hua was really annoyed and amused at the same time. She clenched her teeth and responded, “Do not……do not be afraid. Those stories are deliberately used to scare people. Didn’t you see that that thing did not dare to come close?” If her voice was not shaking, Fu Hua’s words may have been more credible.

Yu Rui could only cry and nod her head.

Lin Rufei, who was sleeping, had already woken up. He had always been a light sleeper and the slightest noise would wake him up, not to mention the miserable screams of the two maids. Just as he woke up, Lin Rufei was still a bit confused and it took him a while to recover as he asked Gu Xuandu, who was next to him, in a low voice, “What’s wrong?”

Gu Xuandu then proceeded to tell Lin Rufei about what had just happened in a laughing tone.

“What is that thing?” Lin Rufei came to life as soon as he heard it.

Gu Xuandu mused, “I guess it should be someone from the witch tribe.”

Lin Rufei pondered about it for a bit. He decided not to go back to sleep and climbed out of the carriage.

When Fu Hua and Yu Rui saw Lin Rufei awake, they did not dare to approach. Trembling, they asked their young master why he wasn’t sleeping. Lin Rufei smiled: “Continue sleeping? If I continue sleeping, you guys will have your souls scared away. Get into the carriage, I’ll keep watch.”  

“How is that appropriate……” Yu Rui mumbled.

“What? Not afraid that later on, another young master will tap you on the shoulders again?” Lin Rufei teased her.

As soon as Yu Rui heard this, she immediately stopped insisting. Like a scared rabbit, she dashed into the carriage. Fu Hua’s voice trembled: “Young master, I think I should accompany you.”

“No need.” Lin Rufei put on his outerwear and waved his hand indifferently, “I am not afraid of these, but I would like to see exactly what is pretending to be a ghost. Fu Hua, you and Yu Rui should go to sleep together and remember to let down the carriage curtain.”

Fu Hua had wanted to say something, but after seeing Lin Rufei’s resolute look, she had to give up and followed Yu Rui into the carriage.

Lin Rufei casually sat down by the campfire and surveyed the surroundings. He had to say, this place during the nighttime was definitely a few points scarier than during the day. The darkness and the fog were like a giant hood that covered them all, with only the faint light emanating from the poor campfire in front of them. The fog behind them felt like it was hiding some invisible monster and as long as he turned around, it would pounce. 

This was a canyon, so the mountain wind during the night was also a little strong and the whistling wind added a few layers of eeriness to this place. Not to mention Fu Hua and Yu Rui, even if a man with decent courage kept watch alone, he probably would also feel a little nervous.

Gu Xuandu asked, “Is Xiao Jiu afraid?”

“Afraid?” Lin Rufei shook his head, “What is there to be afraid of?” Lin Rufei’s face did not have the slightest trace of fear. Instead, he surveyed the surroundings with interest, “In fact, the most frightening thing is not what is in the dark, but your own imagination.” The unknown was the scariest because you visualize that thing as what you fear the most.

Gu Xuandu sighed: “Xiao Jiu is quite courageous.”  

The corners of Lin Rufei’s mouth hooked up but he kept quiet.

The mountain wind howled and the campfire in front of him swayed. After being tense all day, Fu Hua and Yu Rui were also a little tired. When they entered the carriage, they soon fell into a deep sleep. Gu Xuandu was chatting with Lin Rufei as Lin Rufei poked the campfire forcefully with a stick. He listened as Gu Xuandu talk about some things from the past; he had said that in fact, Bu’e was a very interesting place. Although it was the land of the demons, there was a lot of beauty that could not be seen on the other continents. For example, a small island named Antuo, which had half snowy days and half sunny days all year round. It was a pity that the demons there were so fierce that only a few humans could go to Bu’e. If there was a chance later, he wanted to go over there with Lin Rufei to check it out.

As Lin Rufei was listening with fascination, a strange wind blew in and directly extinguished the campfire in front of him. Lin Rufei was slightly stunned. Just as he was about to take out a fire torch from his pocket to relight the campfire, a sobbing sound came from behind him, accompanied by a blood-curdling cry.

“Young master, young master, where are you……”

“Young master, we are so scared……”

It was the voices of Fu Hua and Yu Rui.

If this was an ordinary person, they would probably be scared to death by now. Gu Xuandu took a glance at Lin Rufei. He probably wanted to see some colors of fear on his face, but who knew that his little gongzi didn’t have the slightest trace of fear. Instead, he was full of curiosity and directly stood up: “Who is screaming?” With his hand on Gu Yu, he then headed towards the source of the sound. Although it was very dark, the direction was still very clear and the location of the sound was not at all in the direction that their carriage was located. Lin Rufei took a few steps towards the back and the sound became more and more clear, however, it also became more and more creepy.

Lin Rufei asked, “Where are you?”

“Young master……young master……” His maid’s voice was getting closer and closer. Suddenly, Lin Rufei felt as if his foot was grabbed by something. He lowered his head and saw a pair of tragic white hands grabbing onto his ankle. The hand seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and anyone who saw this would feel a numbness in their scalp. However, Lin Rufei grinned, bent straight down, grabbed the pale hand, and said in a warm voice, “Got you.”

The desolate cries instantly disappeared, turning into a hushed silence.

The hand that had been grabbed by Lin Rufei stiffened for a moment. It wanted to retract, but Lin Rufei was unwilling to do so. With a fierce force, he pulled the figure out of the fog. However, who knew that the owner of the hand looked exactly like Fu Hua, only her face was as white as paper and was not at all like a living person. If ordinary people saw this situation, they probably would have long let go of the hand out of fear. However, Lin Rufei just inclined his head and made a puzzled expression. He directly lifted his hands and pulled on that person’s face, “Hey, it’s not a disguise, ah. Then why does it look so much like my little maid?”

“Young master.” The person that was caught by Lin Rufei sighed quietly and said, “Young master, don’t look at my face.”

“Hm?” Lin Rufei raised his eyebrows, “What would happen if I looked at it?”

The person suddenly laughed. And the more she laughed the more her features distorted, and finally, her eyes, ears, mouth, and nose were like melted wax as they all fused together, turning into a white face with nothing on it.

This scene was horrible to the extreme that even Lin Rufei froze. But even though he was shocked, he did not have the slightest intention to let go of the hand. Instead, he grasped it more tightly. The person struggled, but could not break free from Lin Rufei’s grasp, and the atmosphere somehow became a little awkward as they faced each other.

Lin Rufei questioned: “No more?”

The person: “……”

Lin Rufei commented: “It was still quite scary.”

The person: “……” If he still had his facial features, then they would probably be distorted at this time. Lin Rufei could even stubbornly see a bit of helplessness on that white face of his.  

“You’re from the witch tribe, right?” Lin Rufei grabbed his hand and looked him up and down. It was said that a face could be faked, but a figure was very difficult to fake. This person in front of him had a similar figure to Fu Hua and Yu Rui. If he was just a little bit shorter, he would be more like a half-grown child, “Why are you scaring people like this?”  

Having been exposed, the man let out a long sigh and his facial features once again appeared on his face, only this time, it was different from Fu Hua and Yu Rui. It was a youthful teenager’s face and his black eyes looked at Lin Rufei with a bit of helplessness: “You, you are not afraid?”

Lin Rufei replied, “Not afraid.”

The man: “……”

“What’s your name?” Lin Rufei asked.

“I won’t tell you!” As the man said this, he then drew the weapon on the side of his waist and attacked Lin Rufei. Lin Rufei, however, was prepared. He grabbed him with one hand and his other pulled out Gu Yu from its scabbard. He held the blade directly against the man’s neck and with a slight force, it cut his neck revealing a trace of blood.

“Don’t move around carelessly. My sword skills aren’t that great.” Lin Rufei said, “I’m unable to control the strength and a simple carelessness will have your head cut off. By then, if you really became a ghost, you won’t have a place to argue anymore.” 

The man suddenly froze in place.

“What’s your name?” Lin Rufei asked him.

“Wu Xing[1].” Seeing that his life was in danger, he obediently chose to answer Lin Rufei’s question.

“Wu Xing? You really are from the witch tribe.” Lin Rufei muttered, “Why are you scaring people here?”

Wu Xing refused to say until the sword in Lin Rufei’s hand pressed down slightly harder, then he responded in an aggrieved manner, “Because it’s boring.”

Lin Rufei: “……”

“My mother forbids me to go out, saying that there are bad people out there. After finally having a foreigner visit, If I don’t scare them a bit then it would be too much of a loss.” Wu Xing argued with conviction.  

Lin Rufei mumbled, “You’re that bored, ah?” 

“Tell me about it.” Wu Xing sighed, “They are all afraid of the inside and simply don’t dare to come in. I don’t even have a playmate so it’s even more boring…….”

Lin Rufei sighed: “Have you not thought about why they are afraid of the inside?”

Wu Xing shook his head.

Lin Rufei answered him, “It’s all because you scared them away!” 

Wu Xing froze and then showed a look of understanding: “Oh……that does seem to be the case.”

Lin Rufei’s face ended up revealing a look of helplessness, thinking that Gu Xuandu really knew the witch tribe quite well. The people of this tribe looked like they were inexperienced with the outside world and the person in front of them was a perfect example of this. 

Lin Rufei mulled over this situation and then said, “I’m not going to hold you, but you still shouldn’t run. I just want to ask you a few questions.”

Wu Xing hesitated for a moment, but still nodded, intending to agree to Lin Rufei’s proposal. Lin Rufei let go of his hand and turned towards the campfire and Wu Xing asked behind him, “You’re really not afraid that I’ll run away?”

Lin Rufei said, “That’s fine, I’m going to the witch tribe anyway, if you run away, I’ll just go to your house to complain.”

Wu Xing was speechless at this. He no longer mentioned anything about slipping away and silently followed behind Lin Rufei. The best way to control a naughty child was to go to their house and complain. Lin Rufei was already very knowledgeable about this.

Lin Rufei found the campfire, re-lit it, and sat down on the ground. Wu Xing obediently sat next to him and shyly discussed with Lin Rufei, saying that he could not tell his mother about this because his mother’s rattan whip was really painful……

Lin Rufei mused, “I’ll think about it.”

“Don’t think about it. What do you want to ask? I’m familiar with the witch tribe.” Wu Xing responded as he patted his chest. 

Borrowing the light of the campfire, Lin Rufei took a closer look at the child beside him. He found that his attire was somewhat similar to that of Wu Ao, whom he had seen before, only his face was not wrapped in a white face scarf. Wu Xing should only be in his teens, which was the age where one was naughty. No wonder he had nothing to do and came out in the middle of the night to scare people.

“I’ve come to pick up something that an old friend left here.” Lin Rufei relayed, “Has the Great Witch of your clan, Wu Min, passed away?”

“Great Witch?” Wu Xing mumbled, “Yes, he passed away several hundred years ago.” He scratched his head, “What are you asking him for?”

“My old friend’s things were left with him.” Lin Rufei replied.

“Huh? Then you might not be able to ask for it back.” Wu Xing lowered his voice, as if he was a bit scared of something, “After he died, everything about him was destroyed, not even a portrait was left.”

Lin Rufei froze, “How could this be?” Even though it had been hundreds of years, the reputation of the Great Witch Wu Min was still very loud. In many historical materials, one would be able to see his shadow. Originally, his death was already a very regrettable thing, but listening to Wu Xing’s description, this matter obviously goes beyond that.

Wu Xing continued, “Sigh, the winner takes all. No matter how powerful he was back then, as long as he lost, then everything would be gone.” He waved his hand, “I don’t know exactly what had happened, but our clan’s historical materials about Wu Min were all burned. Perhaps, we don’t even know him as well as you outsiders know him…..Since I grew up, I only heard his name a few times from my mother. If you want to find him, you will have to be disappointed. “

Lin Rufei frowned: “What happened to the witch tribe that year?” History said that the Great Witch fought for power, but Lin Rufei felt that if it was only a fight for power, why would it come to this extent.

Wu Xing stretched out his hands: “I also want to know, but the records are all gone, so fewer and fewer people know.” He blinked, came closer, and said, “Gongzi, what did you leave with Wu Min?”

Lin Rufei responded, “My friend’s heart.”

Wu Xing clapped his hands, “So it’s a love debt.”

Gu Xuandu stared from the side, his expression was one that screamed: “Xiao Jiu, don’t joke about this,” and Lin Rufei could not help but laugh.

Wu Xing asked what gongzi was laughing at.

Lin Rufei curved the corners of his eyes: “I’m laughing at the person standing behind you.”

Wu Xing did not believe it. In an indifferent manner, he said, ‘Don’t try lying to me, I am not afraid of these.’ But who knew that in the next moment, he felt his shoulder being tapped and the bright smile suddenly froze on his face. He then slowly turned his head. Not to mention a human figure, even a ghostly shadow could not be seen.

Wu Xing’s pupils contracted and he asked in a trembling voice: “Who……who tapped my shoulder……” Lin Rufei was clearly sitting opposite him and the two timid maids naturally did not have such courage. There should be no one else nearby, so……who was that……

Lin Rufei smiled, “Of course it’s a ghost. This time, I did not lie to you.”

Wu Xing wailed. He stood up and had wanted to run, however, he was stopped by Lin Rufei in a timely manner. Lin Rufei smiled and said that it was a joke. What tapped on Wu Xing’s shoulder just now was actually just a talisman. He told Wu Xing to never scare anyone again. If the person was courageous, then it was still okay. But if it was someone who didn’t have any guts, they would probably die on the spot from being scared to death. 

Wu Xing nodded hastily and said he would never scare people in the future. Then he proceeded to ask if that was really just a talisman? Lin Rufei smiled and replied, “Yes.”

“Talisman, I’m just a talisman?” Gu Xuandu placed his chin on Lin Rufei’s shoulder. Looking at Lin Rufei’s white jade-like earlobe, he couldn’t help but lightly take a bite, “Since Xiao Jiu said this, I am quite unhappy.”

Lin Rufei, however, did not say anything as he felt the itch brought by Gu Xuandu and whispered, “Senior, stop making a scene.” 

Gu Xuandu replied, “I want to make a scene.” As he said this, he unhappily took another bite.

After this fright, Wu Xing became more honest. He sat obediently beside Lin Rufei, who took this opportunity to ask some more questions about the witch tribe. He learned that the witch tribe was currently in the hands of Wu Min’s eldest apprentice and that the people of witch tribe were actually not quite the same as the normal people. Even though their cultivation levels were not high, their life expectancy was long. Wu Min’s eldest apprentice, Wu Yin, not only had a high cultivation level but had also lived for several hundred years.

“If you want to find something that was placed at Wu Min’s place, you’ll probably have to bother him.” Wu Xing continued, “But he has a good temper and is Wu Xing’s disciple. If you go to him, you should be able to ask about it.”

Lin Rufei said, “Many thanks.”

Wu Xing responded, “You’re welcome.”

Lin Rufei asked, “When will this mountain mist dissipate?”

“I don’t know.” Wu Xing answered truthfully, “In the canyon, it’s normal to have the mountain mist and we are used to it. Even if the mist persists for seven or eight days, it’s not much of a problem for us. But of course, for a foreigner like you, it’s very easy to get lost. However, you’re lucky to have met me, I can take you back.”

He was also a big talker and didn’t bother to think about the two little girls lying in the carriage who were scared by him.

As they talked until almost dawn, Wu Xing was getting a little sleepy. He wasn’t that fussy and simply lied down beside Lin Rufei, closed his eyes, and slept. When Lin Rufei saw his defenseless look, he wanted to cry and laugh. He muttered that the people of the witch tribe really didn’t have any guards against people

“The living environment is more pure, right?” Gu Xuandu said, “But what happened in the witch tribe is a bit strange.”

With Wu Xing asleep, Lin Rufei was finally able to talk to Gu Xuandu without any worries, “You’re talking about Wu Min being killed?”

“No.” Gu Xuandu answered, “It’s normal to be killed. It’s just strange why they deliberately erased his traces.”

Although the witch tribe had always respected the strongest, they usually also had great respect for the strongest person who had lost a battle. Even if Wu Min had been the underdog in the power struggle, he shouldn’t have been in such a sorry state, and besides, his disciple Wu Yin was still the current Great Witch, so how could he have allowed the traces of his master to be erased?

Gu Xuandu believed that there was something fishy about this.

Lin Rufei nodded and agreed with Gu Xuandu, “It seems that something has indeed happened to the witch tribe. Let’s follow him tomorrow and check out the situation first.”

“That’s the only way to go.” Gu Xuandu replied.

After the next day dawned, the mountain mists had still not yet dissipated, however, compared to yesterday, it had faded quite a bit.

As soon as Fu Hua and Yu Rui got up, they noticed Wu Xing lying beside Lin Rufei and wondered exactly where Lin Rufei had gotten a child in the middle of the night. Furthermore, they asked why Lin Rufei always had fateful encounters with kids. Lin Rufei thought to himself that he didn’t want this fate; the situation with Chi Yu had still not finished. But in the past two days, he did not see Chi Yu and he didn’t know if the little cub had successfully weaned so that he no longer had to continue following Lin Rufei.

“This little friend is not simple.” Lin Rufei smiled, “You two don’t underestimate him.”

“Why isn’t he simple?” Yu Rui asked curiously.

Lin Rufei replied, “Last night, weren’t you guys scared to death? He’s the one who did that.”

Fu Hua and Yu Rui both froze at his words.

Lin Rufei thought Yu Rui was going to say something, but the next moment she rolled up her sleeves, wanting to go up and beat someone. It seemed that yesterday, she was indeed scared very badly and was now still very angry about it. Lin Rufei quickly stopped Yu Rui, saying not to beat him up. They would soon head to this child’s home. If you beat him up, it would be hard to explain this to his parents. 

Wu Xing was awakened by the noisy sound. Rubbing his eyes, he asked what was wrong, only to find himself being glared angrily at by two beautiful girls. Instantly, he recalled his doings from yesterday’s doings and smiled embarrassingly: “Good morning……good morning, ah……”

“Good? Where is it good? Why are you such a nasty person?!” Yu Rui waved her small fist, “If gongzi didn’t stop me, I would have to beat you up into pulp!”

Wu Xing laughed dryly twice and did not have the guts to retort. He shrunk his neck, but finally, under the auspices of Lin Rufei, he quietly apologized to the maids and the matter was finally considered finished.

Finally, Fu Hua and Yu Rui were relieved since they no longer had to be scared. Wu Xing sat pitifully in the carriage and said that Lin Rufei’s sisters were so fierce, ah.  

Who knew that when Fu Hua heard his words, she smiled and turned her head, revealing a row of white morose teeth: “Is that so? Am I very fierce?”

“Not fierce, not fierce.” Wu Xing once again conceded, “I deserved it[2].”

Fu Hua glared at him and reluctantly gave up.

The journey was much faster with Wu Xing leading the way and Lin Rufei asked him, along the way, what taboos there were in the witch tribe. Wu Xing pondered over this question but couldn’t come up with any. He said that most of the people in their tribe were actually quite good-tempered. Except for the occasional scare for fun, they basically rarely made things difficult for travelers. He just didn’t know why the people outside were always afraid of them. After listening to this, Lin Rufei cursed silently in his heart; with this kind of method for scaring, if there were travelers who still dared to enter, then that was seeing a ghost[3]. Of course, he did not say it aloud. And with a gentle voice, he simply said that maybe the outsiders do not know the difference between good and bad and could not see the witch tribe’s heart of gold. He then casually asked in passing, if Wu Xing recognized someone named Wu Ao.

After listening, Wu Xing actually slapped his thigh: “Wu Ao, you mean the Wu Ao who followed the Heavenly Ruler?”

Lin Rufei grew excited: “You know him?”

Wu Xing said, “Of course I know him. He was a disciple under the Heavenly Ruler……Logically speaking, he should be very famous, ah. Why? You don’t know?”

Lin Rufei replied, “I indeed did not know.” He felt that it was a bit strange, “Wo Ao really was a disciple of the Heavenly Ruler?”

“Yes.” Wu Xing nodded, “It’s just that a hundred years ago after the Heavenly Ruler disappeared, he also disappeared. However, he’s still a celebrity of our witch tribe.”

Lin Rufei glanced at Gu Xuandu.

Gu Xuandu, however, said expressionlessly, “Don’t look at me, I don’t have such an obnoxious disciple.”

That was quite true. The two of them did not look like old friends but more like enemies, let alone like a deep affectionate master and disciple.

Lin Rufei felt that things were really getting more and more complicated.

********

The author has something to say:

Lin Rufei holds his heart: Whose heart is it[4]~

Gu Xuandu: Mines!

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[1] Wu Xing: Wu meaning “witch” and Xing meaning “torture/sentence/punishment.” 

[2] Guilty and deserves to be punished. 

[3] Absurd.

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