Sorry for the long wait! I hope you guys didn’t miss me too much! It’s been about three weeks since I last posted. I have been doing a lot of writing for my graduate classes this summer. It was exhausting because I dislike writing very much, therefore, it was hard to get back in the groove of translating. It’s been three weeks, so I am three chapters behind. Hopefully, I can catch up… Or maybe not. ~ Sonrisa t.n.t
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Ostentatious Zhao Yao by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang
《招摇》 作者: 九鹭非香
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Sima Rong led me to the back courtyard where the wooden blocks were kept in a room. Inside there were all kinds of wood that I saw dazzled my eyes.
I usually dreaded these tedious inconveniences, when I choose something; there was always only one principle–
“Whichever piece is the best and the most expensive.”
Sima Rong laughed: “Miss Zhi Yan is actually not a modest person.”
I had never before been modest towards West Mountain Lord. But at present, my identity had changed, so I had better make up an excuse to deceive him: “Mister Sima, the relationship that you have with my master is so good, if I am modest towards you, then won’t that make us strangers?”
He did not say anything more about it and pushed his wheelchair into the innermost part of the small room. He took out a piece from underneath a pile of wooden blocks: “The wood here is not cheap, but if we’re talking about the suitability, then this piece of Jade Dragon’s Blood Wood can even be described as a perfect match to Liu He Tian Yi Sword.”
I looked at it carefully and only saw that it was a dark gray block of wood, which was very similar to the rough stone patterns on the hilt of Liu He Tian Yi Sword. In the middle of the gray, there was a little hint of bright red which was faintly discernible. It looked low-key but it was impossible for people to ignore those eye-catching existences.
It had a rough and ordinary look with no special characteristics but when examined carefully it displayed ostentatious properties inside.
It was the style that I liked: “Okay, that’s the one.”
Sima Rong agreed, and as he was wiping the dust on the piece of wood, he pretended to accidentally ask: “I heard that you, Miss Zhi Yan, can communicate with the previous Sect Leader in your dreams?”
I was taken aback and asked myself, could it be that Mo Qing avoided me just now was for Sima Rong to talk to me about this? But if he just simply talked about this matter, it was not necessary for him to totally avoid me.
Could it be that… In fact, Mo Qing had already discovered the hidden secrets inside this body of Zhi Yan? Or were there still other secretive matters that Mo Qing wanted to discuss with Sima Rong…
I hid my feelings and acted normally: “Beforehand, I accidentally hit my head on the previous Sect Leader’s tombstone; afterward, I often dream about the Sect Leader wanting me to burn paper offerings for her. So it can be considered as some sort of interaction…”
“Oh.” Sima Rong nodded his head and raised his eyes to look at me. His gentle eyes reflected the carefully covered lights in the room with some haziness, “If that is the case, then my humble self am afraid that I have something that I want to trouble miss. Miss, if the next time you’re fortunate to see the previous Sect Leader again, then on my behalf can you give her an apology.” As he was speaking, he lowered his eyes, “If my humble self’s pair of legs were still well, then in this moment, I would kneel down to apologize. But unfortunately this handicapped body not only cannot express my regrets; it also cannot show my sincerity…”
His voice was lost in pain; it was words of apology that I had never heard before when I was alive.
“What guilt do you want to apologize to her for?”
In my heart, West Mountain Lord Sima Rong had never owed me anything. His repayment of my kindness was already much greater than the friendship that I bestowed upon him. There was no guilt that he needed to apologize to me about at all. On the contrary, it was at the time that I did not know he lost both of his legs. As the Sect Leader, I promised to protect them from the rampages of the world; I was the one who should feel ashamed towards him.
Sima Rong lowered his eyes and silently stared at the piece of Jade Dragon’s Blood Wood in his hand: “That year, the battle at the Sword Tomb was ambushed by the celestial sects. If not for my false information, then the Sect Leader was unlikely to die in that strange place.”
I heard that and was startled; I actually had never imagined in Sima Rong’s heart, he would surprisingly have that way of thinking.
However, if that year’s actual situation was to be discussed, it was true because I did not receive the news about the Ten Great Celestial Sects’ ambush in the Sword Tomb; therefore, I willfully ordered the disciples to all stay outside with the other demonic sects’ disciples to fight, while I entered alone…
I clicked my tongue once and reached for the wooden block in Sima Rong’s hand to prevent it from hindering him pushing his wheelchair. As I walked out, I said:
“Jiang Hu is dangerous, especially people of the demonic path, they live days that are always spilling blood with the edge of their swords. I’m completely aware that on this path, there’s no glory that exists without the gamble of life. In the world, Lu Zhao Yao was a very famous Great Demon, she was both beautiful and intelligent; she would definitely understand this kind of logic.” I said these words smugly, and then reverted back to my solemn expression,
“She was ambushed and died in a strange place; it was because she didn’t handle it appropriately, it wasn’t your fault. But this apology of yours, I will give it to her.”
Sima Rong gazed at me for a moment and smiled softly: “I know that the previous Sect Leader wasn’t someone who fussed over minor details. In the world, there’s not that many people like her, penetratingly open-minded.”
[Mhm, well brat, it’s no wonder you deserved to be my right-hand man. You definitely understand me somewhat better than other people.]
“It’s just that in this lifetime of mine…” Sima Rong patted his own legs, “I’m afraid that I can never forgive myself.”
After choosing the wooden block, we returned to the front hall. Sima Rong placed the wooden block above Liu He Tian Yi Sword for a quick measurement, calculated the manufacturing time, and instructed me to come get it five days later.
He and Mo Qing did not say anything else, they bid each other goodbye, and Mo Qing led me away.
Leaving Sima Rong’s residence, Mo Qing did not take me directly back to Chen Ji Mountain; instead, we walked for a moment through Feng Zhou City’s markets. He was not anxious to return. I saw that it would still take a while for the sky to brighten, so I was also not anxious.
In my heart, as I pondered about some things, I followed him. Suddenly I smelled a place selling grilled skewers along the road; the wafting aroma was absolutely mesmerizing. My nostrils barely twitched twice, Mo Qing had turned towards that direction. He walked over there and I naturally followed him.
Sitting down at the small roadside stall, I ordered some food. At first, I was captivated by the grilled skewers’ aromas, so I did not think about anything else. I only paid attention to this meat skewer with sufficient ingredients and alluring spices. When I bit into the crunchy outer layer, the inside was juicy, it was crispy and tender, and left a savory taste in my mouth. I excitedly ate ten skewers in succession until my stomach was a bit full. Then I looked up and saw Mo Qing intently staring at me.
I turned to look all around me.
I merely saw that the surrounding was a group of low-level demonic cultivators, several were shouting loudly, sitting at this stall eating meat and drinking wine simultaneously. They gossiped idly about major events in the world as if they had walked in the same shoes as the Ten Great Celestial Sects and my Wan Lu Sect’s successors; completely without standards.
And just now… It seemed like I, the previous Wan Lu Sect Sect Leader, and the current Wan Lu Sect Sect Leader disregarded our statuses to sit together with these completely-without-standards people on the roadside stall of grilled skewers eating ferociously for a while…
[That was incorrect, it was just me eating ferociously for a while…]
Mo Qing asked me: “Still want to eat?”
I licked my lips repeatedly, Ugly Little Monster, you surprisingly dared to tempt me. Today, I… Would accept your temptation!
I decided to thoroughly let go of all the burdens associated with my past identity. In any case, it was Zhi Yan’s body that I was using right now. I did not realize that this small girl’s stature was skinny but the capacity of her stomach was huge! It all depended on her!
My eyes steadily gazed at Mo Qing: “Master, I still want ten more skewers.”
Mo Qing gave a low chuckle: “Okay.”
I picked up another skewer, took a bite, and looked at him: “You don’t want to eat? The flavor is pretty good.”
He stared at me in a motionless manner: “I’m watching you eat.” He paused for a moment and smilingly said, “The flavor is also very good.”
I choked on the piece of meat in my throat.
[Almost died prematurely, what did I just hear?]
This outwardly-cold-inwardly-passionate Ugly Little Monster was like flirting with me? Furthermore, I unexpectedly… Even heard my own heart… “Ba-dum” once, just like the previous days when I caught sight of Ugly Little Monster’s smiles.
Completely caught off guard, it arrived suddenly, it felt like someone in my heart knocked against the bell, after a loud ring, the echo continued, and the hum trembled.
I swallowed the piece of meat and averted my eyes. However, I thought better of it, what was I hiding for; right now I was the one seducing him. He was properly seduced by me into this image; I should feel very proud and promptly climbed all over him.
[I… Should be shy of what?]
In my heart, I encouraged myself and turned my head back. I decided to show my sweetness and act coquettishly towards Mo Qing to make words of love blossom. When I went to lift my head, I only saw the side profile of Mo Qing’s head. His hand supported his cheek to slightly obstruct his face and his gaze was directed intently into the distance.
He did not dare to look at me, was it because after he said those words… He himself also became shy?
Just now, could it be like in the legend, he blurted out his feelings?
I currently watched Mo Qing who refused to look at me. His head turned to look far into the distance, disguised to be cold and detached, and pretended to be deep in thought. But I did not know why two words that suddenly surfaced in my heart… Too cute.
I unexpectedly felt that this Mo Qing was ruthlessly adorable.
I turned my head, just in time, to see a big burly man carrying a broadsword sitting down at the next table. His sword was polished to the point it sparkled, just like a mirror, it reflected my face. Just that sudden glimpse, I saw the corners of Zhi Yan’s lips actually curved up, as if there was a wispy smile.
I surprisingly… Did not realize that I myself was smiling?
That was too scary, could it be that this body of Zhi Yan was capable of being occupied by other souls besides me? I investigated to the left, and then to the right. I finally accepted it at last, that smile could only be mine.
I cleared my throat once and planned not to delve deeper into this matter. I promptly found another topic and asked Mo Qing: “Just a moment ago, I pondered for a moment in that small courtyard and remembered that Sima Rong was Wan Lu Sect’s West Mountain Lord. I heard that when Lu Zhao Yao was still alive, he was her right-hand man; he should be very powerful.”
“Mhm.” Mo Qing responded once and said nothing more.
I had to ask one more question: “So why don’t you think of a way to make him return? Or why isn’t he willing to return to Wan Lu Sect anymore? Master, you are already so powerful now, having him to help you will definitely be half the work, twice the effect.”
“I can take over Wan Lu Sect’s affairs. As for his life, it is best that he follows his heart.”
To protect Sima Rong to this extent, I personally thought that it was something that even the previous me could not do. Mo Qing… Had regarded Sima Rong as his closest confidant.
When the newly ordered roasted skewers came, I did not continue to ask.
Wan Lu Sect’s West Mountain Lord’s legs were broken, this was a very big matter. This matter in Jiang Hu was impossible to be completely without secrets. At present, I could not directly ask Mo Qing, it would make him suspicious. I had better go ask Zhi Yan first and understand the general situations, and then I could go to investigate this situation carefully.
There was also that Small Round Face that hovers in the room to frighten people… As well as, Sima Rong, he apologized to me today. He said that because the information was wrong, therefore, it led to my death. But in the end, how was the information wrong?
This West Mountain Lord of mine, it seems that after I died, he had matters that I still needed to understand.
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Enjoy your reading pleasure!
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