(translated by xia0xiao1mei)
(edited by anniaxx)
As Sheng Gu’s tacitly acknowledged husband-to-be, He Qing Lu grandly stays in Bai Yue Sect. During this time, towards matters such as the bed not being made of golden sandalwood, the quilt not being made of brocade fabric, and other minor details like these, he has not been expressing any discontent at all, and has always remained quiet about it.
And seeing him be so kind and considerate, Pang Wan also cannot help inwardly sighing in relief —— although Bai Yue Sect is not lacking money, should this noble gentleman really speak up to have her go finding those sort of scarce luxuries, it will still require spending quite a bit of effort.
The only matter that has been troubling her is Senior Brother’s whereabouts, Zuo Huai An has been searching everywhere like looking for a needle in the ocean, Nan Yi seems to have completely vanished within a night.
As she gets ready before the dressing table this morning, behind, the maid coiling her hair suddenly sounds a soft cry of “aiya”.
“What’s wrong?” Pang Wan turns to face her.
The maid says in slight surprise: “How could Sheng Gu have grown a strand of white hair?”
Shocked by this, Pang Wan hurriedly turns her head back: “Pluck it off for me to see.” She doesn’t really believe the maid’s words —— her current body is not even seventeen years of age yet, how could she possible have white hair?
The maid plucks off the strand of hair in accordance to instructions, gracefully giving her a reassuring smile, “It’s only half white, presumably due to Sheng Gu overly straining yourself for Sect Leader’s sake these past days.”
Pang Wan takes a look at that white hair, an unamused feeling momentarily flashes past her heart.
Right at this moment, a maid comes reporting, saying two guests have arrived for Gentleman He, and invites Pang Wan over.
Pang Wan thus allows the maid to adorn her hair with a yulan magnolia hairpin, and dress her in a cotton wadded gown, then heads out.
They are currently deep into the winter season, perfectly in time for the blooming of wintersweet flowers on the mountain, its pleasant fragrance faintly spreading along the way, soothing the hearts of the people.
Leisurely stepping into the courtyard, she had not yet entered building, when she already hears a familiar voice.
“When does Young Master intend on setting off?” It’s Jin Di Luo.
“There is no hurry, let Ah Zhuo take a look at her first.” He Qing Lu’s voice is calm.
“Young Master left in such a hurry this time, Madam is very worried.” Once again hearing Jin Di Luo speak, “Madam is reproaching Young Master for only bringing a bottle of Soul-Calming Pills along with you, not even having the time to pack any clothes and other valuables, thus specially instructed this subordinate to bring Young Master’s luggage here.”
“At the time, how could I waste any effort in caring about mere worldly possessions?” He Qing Lu’s voice sounds a little impatient, “When away from home, less things to care about isn’t a bad thing either.”
At the end, he further adds: “Did you tell Madam the real reason why I left?”
“I have not.” Jin Di Luo answers very cautiously, “Your subordinate had only said Young Lady Pang’s illness had suddenly acted up, Young Master has rushed away for this reason.”
“En.” He Qing Lu seems to have sighed in relief, “Remember to speak little of irrelevant matters, lest any further complications with the matter of requesting medicine.”
Jin Di Luo pauses, then hesitantly speaks with unease: “Young Master, don’t know if that Chrysanthemum Dragon……” (Chrysanthemum Dragon/Jiu Hua Qiu/九花虬: name of a famed horse)
“Already died, I had it buried below Cloud-Rising Mountain, you go ahead and give it a headstone in my stead.” He Qing Lu faintly says.
Jin Di Luo lets out a long sigh, seeming extremely sad and regretful.
Speaking of illness one moment and requesting medicine the next, Pang Wan grows extremely curious by the sound of it, inwardly thinking “why do these two people always say things she doesn’t understand”, before pushing open the room doors and walking in.
“Gentleman.” Her clothing flutters as she heads towards He Qing Lu, at the same, nodding at Jin Di Luo in greeting.
He Qing Lu freezes, then places down the teacup he was playing with in his hand, standing up to pull her into his arms, “You’re here? Did you eat the Soul-Calming Pill yet?”
The latter sentence he has been repeatedly saying every day like pouring exhortations into her ear.
Pang Wan catches eye of that gold rimmed white jade cup he had just placed down, and cannot help bitterly pursing her lips —— great, luggage has only just been sent back and he’s already starting to parade his wealth, yet he still have the nerve to say “less things to care about isn’t a bad thing either” and whatnot.
“Have you eaten it yet? En?” Seeing that she isn’t answering, He Qing Lu pinches her nose.
Pang Wan smacks away his hand and yell: “Ate it, ate it, three times a day, two pills each time, how many more times do you have to say it for you to be assured?!”
Yet He Qing Lu seems to not dare to thoroughly believe her, he takes down the silk pouch by her waist and opens it, personally counting the amount of pills remaining, before finally sighing in relief.
Seeing him care about these pills so much, Pang Wan cannot help bursting out in laughter: “I’m lying, actually I haven’t even eaten a single one, all have been fed to the oriole brothers in the cage.”
These words were originally a joke, who knew Jin Di Luo would immediately gasp, He Qing Lu’s face also instantly darkens as though ink was spilled all over it.
“Ah Zhuo! Ah Zhuo!” He clasps onto Pang Wan’s hand and loudly shouts, even the veins on his hands were popping up.
The doors to the inner chambers open with a sound of “zhi-ya”, Ah Zhuo with a head full of sweat comes stumbling out as she runs over, arms still carrying a thick ginseng that’s as big as a radish.
“That ginseng is almost transforming into a spirit right?” Pang Wan is startled by the sight.
No one answers her, Ah Zhuo holds her wrist and starts to read her pulse, whilst Jin Di Luo and He Qing Lu eyes Ah Zhuo’s change in expression like tigers.
Until Ah Zhuo lets go of her hand and nods at He Qing Lu, do the two of them finally reveal looks of surviving a disaster.
“Speak nonsense again I’ll have your mouth sewed shut!” He Qing Lu glares at Pang Wan, eyes glowing a dull red, showing that he’s extremely angry.
Pang Wan inwardly mumbles, “Does it really have to amount to such a fuss?”, but her mouth still obediently says: “I will never dare to again.”
Ah Zhuo bows, and then very quickly withdraws back into the inner chamber, Pang Wan curiously leans against the doorway to take a look, only seeing various types of medicinal herbs, a little stove currently set on the ground emitting white smoke, she could not refrain from getting a shock: “Are you lot opening an apothecary store here?”
He Qing Lu’s gloomy voice sounds from behind: “If you’re not willing to leave with me, I’m afraid the entire Cloud-Rising Mountain will become a medical centre.”
Hearing him mention this again, Pang Wan could only turn back and smile apologetically: “The situation in the sect is unstable right now, it really isn’t time to be leaving, and it wouldn’t be too late for me to wait around for now.”
For consecutive days, He Qing Lu has often been talking over and over again, about wanting to take her to go see his parents, and have the wedding arranged whilst at it.
Towards the matter of betrothal with Gentleman He, from the bottom of her heart, she is not against it, just that she isn’t completely willing either.
Marrying this Young Master of the Solitary Palace, will mean that there’s the possibility of breaking away from Bai Yue Sect, deep down, she cannot let go of Nan Yi and Sect Master, of course, she even more so isn’t willing to let Gu Xi Ju achieve his desire of dominating the world.
“One month.” He Qing Lu quietly gazes at her smiling face that’s trying to appeal to him, “I will wait another month for you, this is the ultimate limit.”
In the Capital, Misty Wave Manor.
“……the news have already been confirmed with no mistakes, Zuo Nan Yi has not returned since leaving, Zuo Huai An is busy with searching for his whereabouts, Bai Yue Sect currently has Lord You, Shi Jue Ming in charge, it is already a strong arrow at its end.”
The woman in green kneels before the master seat, head bowed as she reports this.
“Oh? I have always been very curious, why is Zuo Huai An so anxious about having Nan Yi marry his own daughter, and why is he so dedicated in finding Nan Yi?”
Gu Xi Ju sits high above the hall, face fading amongst the flickering candlelight.
“Does suppressing the evil yin energy in Nan Yi’s body require a price? Why does Zuo Huai An seems to be acting like he’s arranging his own funeral?”
The woman in green raises her head: “Bai Yue Sect’s Xi Sui Jing is never taught to outsiders, but seeing how Zuo Huai An’s performance of not taking the initiative to act against Supreme Chief at the wedding hall that day, and had even repeatedly exercised tolerance and patience, it is very likely that his martial arts have fallen behind by great amounts from before.”
Gu Xi Ju smiles.
“Rong-er, you tell me, did something go wrong with Bai Yue Sheng Gu, for her to not be able to succeed the Sect Master title, hence why Zuo Huai An is risking his all to find Nan Yi?” He raises the teacup besides him.
The woman in green’s body stiffens.
“Rong-er, no matter how soft-hearted you are, you too should be very well aware of who is your true master.” Gu Xi Ju blows at the tea, fragrant air overflowing.
As though receiving an immense threat, the woman in green bows to floor below his feet, entire body trembling.
“It is said Sheng Gu completely lost all internal energy after returning to the sect, during the battle on the eighth day of the twelfth month, with the price of ten years of her life, she had Elder Qiu transfer thirty years of cultivation into her body, to be able to enter battle.” With a pale face she continue, “This subordinate had not yet obtained the Soul Calming Pill sent by Supreme Chief at the time, was in deep sleep all along, therefore failing to immediately notifying Supreme Chief.”
Gu Xi Ju stops the action of drinking the tea, his brows furrowing together.
Ten years of her life?
Even though he is very much looking forward to her revenge, that does not mean, he is happy to see her take her own life.
——what can be more uninteresting than that of your opponent dying far too early?
Moreover, this opponent is one whom he had personally raised, her everything including her fate, should be firmly controlled by him and no other.
Seeing that he does not respond for a long time, Rong Gu cautiously adds: “It is said Sheng Gu’s martial arts can only be maintained for seven days, from then on, all will return to its original state, presumably, this is also the reason why Zuo Huai An is desperate to have her and Nan Yi married.”
Gu Xi Ju hums in reply, softly asking: “What about Mister Huang?”
Rong Gu deeply sighs: “Already been executed by Zuo Huai An, his head had long been displayed outside the mountain villa’s gates.”
Gu Xi Ju raises his brows, not saying a word.
Mister Huang is a spy he had planted inside Bai Yue a long time ago, it is precisely he who discovered the mystery behind Nan Yi and Pang Wan’s backgrounds, originally thought that his identity as a deaf and mute servant would be unobtrusive to the extreme, didn’t think his identity as an enemy spy would be discovered by Zuo Huai An so quick.
However, since he chose to publicise the past back then, he too had already prepared to sacrifice this last spy of his.
“Give him an elaborate funeral.” He waves his sleeve, saying no more.
Rong Gu quicky withdraws, Gu Xi Ju sits in his seat, slowly enjoying his tea, occasionally looking at the bright moon outside the window.
For this battle with Bai Yue Sect, he had started setting up this chessboard twelve years ago, now he has finally succeeded in drawing back the net to get what he had wished for.
He has a nine out of ten grasp, Zuo Huai An’s martial arts is no longer as great as before, and the two descendants of his whom he held such high expectations of, one has turned against him, one no longer holds matchless skills, simply nothing to fear.
Having his opponents suffer the pain of despair, is much more significant then directly killing them off.
He smells the fragrant tea in satisfaction.
The bright moon vaguely reveals a pretty oval face, rosy cheeks, almond eyes, sweet dimples, as though forever ignorant of the worries and distress in the world.
“You have finally become like me.” He raises the cup towards that distant face, “Congratulations.”