CHAPTER TWO (PART 2)
“Hero Liu!” A surprised voice interrupts the two people’s conversation.
Liu Feng turns to the sound, curtly responding to the person with a fist holding greeting, “Sect Leader Jiang, long time no see.”
“Come come come, Hero Liu come sit over here, if we have somewhere to sit, how could there not be any space for you.”
“Excuse us for intruding.”
“This lady is?” The Jiang Shan Sect Leader hesitantly asks.
“A friend, surname Qu.” Liu Feng smiles as he makes a simple introduction.
Sect Leader Jiang’s eyes suddenly changes to become somewhat ambiguous, when looking into them, you can see a smile in its glances, “Lady Qu, sit, Hero Liu is a friend of ours, you too shouldn’t hold back.”
Qu Qing Yin had originally wanted to leave, but now that it’s already getting late, she could only sit with them. Smiling, she curtly responds, “Many thanks.”
“And here we thought Hero Liu had already arrived, who’d have thought you would get here so late, but, wanting to come to Mount Zhong Yi we have already set a room aside for you, whether you come early or late you would have nothing to worry about.”
Liu Feng smiles, picking up the newly placed wine flask, he pours himself a cup of wine, raising the cup up around the table, “This Liu thanks you for your gift, let us drink up with this cup of wine.”
“Good.” Everyone simultaneously toasts.
Qu Qing Yin could only lift up her cup too, she did not down it all, but takes a little sip.
Liu Feng explains for her, “She is not a good drinker, I shall drink in her stead.” Saying that, he downs the cup in one go.
“Hero Liu sure is refreshingly direct.”
At the same time, the way everyone looks at Qu Qing Yin changes.
Appears with Liu Feng, yet leaves him to safeguard her without giving him the chance to avoid the situation, the meaning behind this seems intriguing.
Qu Qing Yin does not interfere with Liu Feng’s social circle, only quietly accompanying him in sitting there.
In her view these Jiang Hu pugilists are different from her, when taking jobs from the government officials she has come across many Jiang Hu people, she is used to marking the price clearly, according to the order of labour, search, and payment, whilst these people are filled to the brim with the hot bloodied nature of the Jiang Hu, she is more indifferent.
Right now they are unaware of her identity, if they knew, they would definitely look at her with colours of contempt, and that is what she is more familiar with.
Shi Fu once said, since we walk different paths, then there is no need to care about others’ lack of understanding, nor is there any need to explain yourself. In Jiang Hu, famed people have their own path of fame to walk, every person have their own lives to attend, there is no need for bystanders to pitch in their thoughts.
The people sees that she is only quietly sitting there eating slowly, assuming she is just a shy one, they do not forcefully try to pull her into the conversation.
Liu Feng understands, though she is from the Jiang Hu, she is indifferent towards the matters that goes on in the Jiang Hu, only doing what she needs to do, be it praise her or blame her, what others say is none of her concern.
She can say without the slightest care in the world “I’ve stopped being a nice person a long time ago”, but can also say with eyes filled with sadness “If I am to describe the feeling, I guess you could use the words grave mood to describe it”, the her that is like that, Ou Xiao Chen likes, he too also likes, thus he believes that his many friends would like.
Filled with feelings and recklessness is just what Jiang Hu people are like by nature, but she is restrained and subtle.
After three rounds of drinks, these people are getting chattier, moving onto discussing the reason for this Mount Zhong Yi Manor’s hero gathering.
It is said that this gathering of pugilists is to assemble a force to get rid of the rapist Mo Zi Qi, the very mentioning of this person, has Jiang Hu people gritting their teeth in resentment.
This person is highly skilled in martial arts, cruel in the way he works, his mind seems unstable, is also very perverted, in order to satisfy his own animal-like desires who knows how many innocent maidens he has defiled, some Jiang Hu people had tried capturing him, but he had always managed to escape their pursuit, and later exerts revenge in a rampage. Many Wu Lin sects have suffered huge losses, what more, the maidens under them had pitifully been trampled all over.
Now, this rapist has finally sparked anger amongst those in Mount Zhong Yi Manor, hence them issuing a notice to the Wu Lin, calling for Jiang Hu people to join forces and eradicate this demon.
Qu Qing Yin lets out a sigh in her heart, has this person already gotten to the point of breaking such unpardonable sin?
“It is said that the rapist has now started to target those who knows martial arts, Jiang Hu people have always been strong, yet many maidens of famed sects are afraid to be added to list of victims, it is indeed a traumatic panic.”
“The most agitating thing is, this criminal arrogantly leaves a note beforehand listing the maidens he plans to target, provocatively testing the tolerance of the Jiang Hu.” Someone got so angry they slam their hand down on the table, causing the dishes to jump several times.
“If that’s the case, then he should be targeting from weak to strong, everyone must stay on alert, we cannot allow him to take the first step and cause disarray.”
Qu Qing Yin’s sudden words left the whole table of people stunned, bringing the conversation to a halt.
Liu Feng is the first to snap out of it, “Why do you think he will start from the weak to the strong?”
Liu Feng nods, “I trust lady’s instincts.” She is a bounty hunter, regarding these matters she is more experienced.
“If you trust me then great, although Mount Zhong Yi Manor has invited all the maidens on the list, wanting to focus on protection, but this move will give him the chance to take action whilst on the road, it’s definitely risky.”
So direct with the right and wrongs of Mount Zhong Yi Manor, she truly is fearless. Deep inside, he shakes his head.
The people once again changes the way they look at her, originally thought she was a dodder flower, now, she’s more like a man eating flower. Then again, a woman who is with gentleman Liu, how could she possibly be a simple figure.
“Is lady also on his list?” Someone inappropriately but hesitantly asks.
Liu Feng furrows his eyebrows at him, his heart firing up with anger.
Qu Qing Yin laughs, “Must be because I am difficult to find, aren’t the people on his list all easy to find?”
Once the words were spoken, everyone felt as though they were struck by lightning.
Yes! It is indeed so! Liu Feng says: “Lady is ingenious.”
“It is but an obvious point.”
That one sentence left many rendered embarrassed, her one word “obvious” really hit them hard in the face, such blow even all the other Jiang Hu people could deeply feel it.
Their concern in following directions seems to be lacking that little bit of deviation, but it was this little deviation that could have ruined everything, only thinking of how the rapist is deliberately going against the famed sects and righteous cults with such resentful revenge, and completely ignoring the fact that his next target is someone easy to search for.
Now that the lady’s words have knocked some sense into them, it finally dawned upon them, within the Jiang Hu there is clearly many independent heroines that fits into his standards, yet their names are not on the list.
Their movements became erratic, not knowing where to start, what the rapist himself could possibly be thinking, this problem itself is giving the people of Jiang Hu the biggest headache. He has no place and is no part of any sect nor cult, with no roots nor base, often suddenly appearing, abruptly disappearing, catching people off-guard. He really is despicable.
Liu Feng looks a little helpless, “Lady Qu, sometimes you cannot speak of the truth like that.”
Qu Qing Yin looks puzzled, “Is it not good for me to speak the truth?”
Liu Feng being questioned by her like that, it is not like he can possibly say that her words of truth has left many people beyond embarrassed right? But, the moment he spots the flash of cunningness in her eyes, he cannot help but to laugh.
Liu Feng almost forgot what this person is like, she puts on that look of innocent ignorance, always managing to deceive people with such ease. Everyone often says not to judge one by appearances, yet far too often do we judge people by appearance. Perhaps there really is no solution to this problem.
Once the wine started getting a little intoxicating, Mount Zhong Yi Manor had sent for someone to get Liu Feng.
After Liu Feng said his goodbyes to Sect Leader Jiang, he along with Qu Qing Yin left the Qing Yun Inn with the envoy who was sent to get him.
Qu Qing Yin did not actually want to go to Mount Zhong Yi Manor, so after they left the inn she stops in her track, with a sincerely apologetic voice she says: “Hero Liu, I still have things to do, how about the two us go our separate ways now.”
Liu Feng raises his eyebrows in surprise, “Ai~ didn’t you say you had already sorted out whatever you needed to? There’s no need to feel bad, since they prepared a place for me to stay, preparing an additional place for you wouldn’t be a hard task.”
Upon seeing this, the envoy from Mount Zhong Yi Manor hurriedly speaks: “Since lady is with Hero Liu, then do come along, our spacious manor will be honoured to have you as guest.”
Qu Qing Yin looks at Liu Feng with a meaningful stare, he turns his back with a laugh, acting as though nothing happened. She could only reluctantly say to the envoy: “That would be too bothersome of me…….”
“If lady does not stay with us, then master would definitely believe that this little one lacks hospitality towards lady. Then this little one has committed wrong.”
Liu Feng speaks up: “Let’s go, it will get dark soon, there is still quite a distance to the manor, it would not be good to travel through the night.”
“That’s right. Lady if you please.”
Qu Qing Yin inwardly sighs, backing down, she nods her head, “Then, I apologise for the trouble.”
The horse carriage that came to collect them was parked at a place, tens of li away from the inn. It’s low-key but still carries a grand air, a glass lantern hanging at all four corners.
In the driver seat sits a burly man, and in front of the carriage are four female attendants, each with a lantern in hand, assuming it is used to light up the roads.
Liu Feng and Qu Qing Yin are the guests, therefore only they are allowed to enter the carriage, the envoy could only sit next to the coachman at the front.
Entering the carriage, one can see how amazing it is. On the walls there hangs a few night shining pearls for lighting. Inside is spacious and comfortable, there are a few tables, some with fruits and snacks placed on top of them, on others there were also some books, this is considered to be very considerate.
Qu Qing Yin sincerely states, “They are indeed Wu Lin’s number one manor.”
Liu Feng extends one leg, crosses the other, leaning against the carriages wall smiling, “Now lady can stop blaming me so much?”
“With the way things are now, even if I continue to blame you, I’ll get nothing good from it.”
“Those words are indeed correct.”
Qu Qing Yin sits aside, from the table she grabs a few pieces of fruit to snack on. Before at the inn she had barely ate her fill and is actually hungry right now.
Liu Feng grabs hold of a long cushion to lean on, his legs still one stretched one bent, relaxing himself as he grabs a bunch of grapes to eat, “Outside Dan Xia Valley now, is a mingling of good and evil, though lady is fearless, but to leave lady alone outside, makes it difficult for me to feel at ease, therefore I myself decided to invite lady to stay with us.” Liu Feng explains his actions.
Qu Qing Yin’s mouth stops chewing, she frowns, “I can understand your view, but that does not mean that I will accept your kindness.” Even those with good intentions can do bad things, on this trip she was never supposed to get involved with others.
Liu Feng disagrees, “No matter what, lady has come here to achieve something. If so then at the manor, you may find out so much more, is that not better?”
But she had a different opinion, “Though I may find out more at the manor, but it would also be easier to arouse suspicions and therefore expose my identity. If I want to know more, it’ll be less risky to get things done in secret.”
“This time the one you’re dealing with is the rapist, I cannot allow a lady to act alone.” He does not doubt her abilities, but he is worried that against Mo Zi Qi, what are the odds of her winning? If there is even the slightest trace of error, her fate would be difficult to imagine.
And he, definitely does not wish to see such outcome, nor does he even want to think of the possibility of it happening. Therefore, even if she is unwilling, he will keep her at his side, only then would he be at ease.
Qu Qing Yin remains silent for a while, not long after, inside the carriage you could hear the sound of eating again.
Liu Feng silently laughs, he just likes this personality of hers, clever through and through without any formality.
The carriage was going very steadily, with the alcohol settling in, Liu Feng finally lays down on the floor, both hands cushioning his head, closing his eyes, he says, “I drank too much today, the wine is getting to my head.”
Qu Qing Yin was turning a page of the book in hand, when she heard his words, “This thing called wine is better left put, drinking it will only make yourself suffer.”
“Lady really doesn’t drink?”
“I don’t drink often,” her voice slightly lowers “Nor do I drink with unfamiliar people. Shi Fu once said, never give men the ‘influence of alcohol’ excuse, because the ones who receive the short end of the stick is always the woman.”
Liu Feng lets out a stuffy laugh, “Lady really takes your Shi Fu’s words to a high regard.”
“Since they are right, why shouldn’t I listen to them?” She asks.
“You are most correct, words of truth must be listened to.” He turns over, lying on the ground, he squints his eyes looking at her. Under the softly glowing night shining pearl, she looks so stunning, with an added enchanting charm, it really is the light shining upon the beauty, and the beauty looking three times more prettier, causing his heart to pound restlessly, “Qu Qing Yin.” He softly calls.
Hearing him sound her name she lifts her head. This is weird, why is he calling out her name out of nowhere?
“That is a nice name, a single clear sounding melody flows alone, your father must be very talented in literary.” (Qū Qīng Yīn / 曲清音 this name roughly means a song of clear melody)
Qu Qing Yin’s eyes dims, “Who knows, he passed away before I could form any memories of him, I guess he is though.” To her, the word ‘father’ is just an unfamiliar word to her, although Shi Fu had taken up the role of ‘father’ in her life, but in the end he is not her father.
“I have spoken out of hand.” Liu Feng felt apologetic.
“There was no harm done, facts are facts. Even if we don’t mention it, the fact remains.”
“In the end it is I who made lady think of the unhappy things.”
“Not unhappy.” She hesitates, “Just regretful.”
Liu Feng lies back down again, speaking in a lazy tone, “Are you not tired?”
She raises the book in her hand, saying, “This books seems quite refreshing, if you’re tired then sleep, once we arrive someone would naturally call you.”
“En, Qu Qing Yin.” He calls her name again.
“This name really sounds good to the ears……” His voice trails off.
Qu Qing Yin hears his breathing gradually settle down, and knows he had fallen asleep. Smiling, she shakes her head, and continues reading the book.
 I had to slightly alter the meaning of the translation here to fit it into context better. Xi Meng uses another idiom here, jiè huā xiàn fó / 借花献佛 – to present the Buddha with borrowed flower which means to receive something and make gift of it.
 Here the term that Xi Meng had used for rapist is Yīn mó / 阴魔. Yin can refer to women (whilst Yang refers to men) and Mo means demon. Hence why he is seen as some sort of evil demon, basically the term means something along the lines of a woman’s worst demon (or nightmare).
So now we know what the hero gathering is about, notably this novel isn’t that action packed but you still have some cool tidbits here and there, though they are quite…lackluster. Hahahaha
The novel is very dialogue driven, but you just fall in love with the female lead’s wits. I mean don’t you just love how Qing Yin’s one word just puts all the Jiang Hu people to shame? Whilst looking all innocent too 😄