Accompanying the Phoenix/ The Prince is Here by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang
《与凤行》 作者: 九鹭非香
Ch 81 ~ Side Story 2 ~ Wedding
Editor & Translator: Sonrisa t.n.t
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It was noon and Xing Zhi was cooking in the kitchen, while Shen Li was practicing with a short spear in the yard. When Xing Zhi had all the food served on the table, without him needing to call out to Shen Li, she immediately put away the spear and with a few quick steps, she arrived at the dining table and sat down. When she saw that there was meat, she jabbed it with her chopsticks.
As Xing Zhi held his rice bowl, he scrutinized Shen Li from across the table. Suddenly, he said: “Shen Li, do you think we are a little out of harmony?”
Shen Li quickly gobbled up the food in her mouth and blinked fixedly at him: “Nope, our yin and yang are at peace, so we’re very harmonious.”
“That’s incorrect,” Xing Zhi said solemnly, “Where do you think you have the look of femininity?”
As Shen Li put down her bowl and chopsticks, her expression was just as unflinching, “What I meant was, you are yin and I am yang. Our yin and yang are at peace, so we’re very harmonious.”
Xing Zhi finally could not continue bluffing and broke into a smile: “That’s not bad either.”
The two were chatting happily when they heard a thumping knock on the door outside their residence. Shen Li looked at Xing Zhi: “The people from the Heaven Realm are looking for you again?” When Xing Zhi declined to make a comment, a girl’s crisp-sounding yell came from outside the door, “Is this the home of the Azure Sky King and the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi? I’m the Northernmost Snow Mountain’s Lady Jin’s servant.”
“Lady Jin?” Shen Li was stunned. They have been in the Mortal Realm for twenty years. In these twenty years, they practically did not have anything to do with Lady Jin. The news about her, no matter how small, was still heard from other people.
It was said through the grapevine that after Lady Jin had parted with them, she tracked down that evil energy of hers to the Mortal Realm. No one knew if she found her evil energy or not, but no one expected that she would find a man that she was fond of. However, this man was an immortal cultivator, influenced by the fallacies of the immortal sects in the Mortal Realm; his mind was somewhat contentedly wooden. He was very devoted to the concept that human beings and spirit beings were from different paths. Therefore, he refused to accept Lady Jin. Lady Jin was also a very devoted person; she stayed by that man’s side for twenty years. In the Mortal Realm, she made such a disturbance that everyone in the immortal sects knew all about it. Shen Li heard about it while engaging in idle gossip with the bordering land immortals.
So far, Lady Jin’s courtship had not been fruitful, so why did she suddenly send someone here? Perhaps she wanted Shen Li and Xing Zhi to give her a hand?
With a doubtful mind, Shen Li put the bowl down and went to open the door. At the door’s entrance, a little girl in her teens was standing there. She looked up at Shen Li, bowed and saluted: “Hello, my lord. I’m here to deliver the invitation for my master.”
“Invitation.” Baffled, Shen Li asked. “She also celebrates birthdays?” She could even keep count of her own age… Shen Li took the red invitation from the little girl and opened it. All at once, Shen Li’s entire body was shocked, “She-she’s getting married?”
“With that rumored Taoist priest?” Shen Li read the invitation again and again, “Next month?”
Shen Li was silent. These two people have made such great progress, but she did not hear any of those bored land immortals talking about it. It could only mean that this matter was really sudden, so the news about it had not spread. Once again, the little girl gave Shen Li another bow and said: “The master has specifically ordered me to tell the King and the Divine Sovereign this, please remember to bring the stars from the Outer Bounds of Heaven. You have owed her for several decades.” Then the little girl respectfully took her leave.
After Shen Li closed the door, she took the invitation into the room and placed it on the table: “The Outer Bounds of Heaven has already collapsed, where can we go to find stars for her?”
Without a change of expression, Xing Zhi kept eating: “Just pick up some stones.”
“That’s not good… After all, it’s Lady Jin, who’s getting married. It only happens once every tens of thousands of years.”
“Shen Li, do you know what the stars in the Outer Bounds of Heaven look like in your hand?” Shen Li shook her head, while Xing Zhi smiled, “That’s just it. Give her some stones and tell her that these are the stars in the Outer Bounds of Heaven. Right now, there’s really no stars left for her to do any comparison. She will still be very happy to receive them.”
Shen Li clasped her forehead: “The question is not whether or not she will be happy, but rather won’t you feel unconscionable by doing this?” Looking at Xing Zhi’s calm eyes, Shen Li halted for a moment, “Whatever, forget that I even asked.” She opened the invitation again, “When will we set off? Can your body withstand the freezing cold of the snow-capped mountains?”
“In any case, I have the body of a deity.” Xing Zhi smiled and looked at Shen Li, “You should know how healthy my body is.” Immediately, Shen Li’s cheeks flushed red and she coughed lightly, “No matter how good it is, it’s not as satisfyingly fast as before. We should leave a little early. I haven’t seen Lady Jin for so many years, I miss her terribly.”
However, marriage? Shen Li stared at the invitation and frowned. She really could not associate Lady Jin, the one in her memory, with the word marriage. Shen Li had always thought that Lady Jin should be a woman who was always free and happy, untouchable from the mundane world. How could she be associated with such a mundane thing?
Above the snow-capped mountains, a cold wind with magic was blowing as always. Xing Zhi did not care about his dignity; he just kept adding more clothes onto himself along the way. From the foot of the mountain to halfway up the mountain, he was already wrapped up in four to five jackets with a large fox fur coat on the outermost layer. From a distance, he looked like a snowball. However, Shen Li was only wearing a single coat. She gazed at the endless mountain road in front of her, then she turned back to look at Xing Zhi, whose lips were slightly blue from the freezing cold. As her heart ached, she could not help but criticize: “Didn’t you say that you were in good health?”
Xing Zhi sighed helplessly, “I thought you would understand it when I added a few more clothes onto myself.” He glanced at Shen Li rather aggrievedly. Then he untied his fox fur coat, opened his jackets, and embraced Shen Li into his arms, “I’m cold, don’t you know how to take the initiative to fawn over me?” He wrapped Shen Li in his loose jackets and complained softly, “So unromantic.”
The temperature from Shen Li’s body quickly made his clothes nice and warm. Even though they had been together for a long time, Shen Li’s face still got red: “It’s not easy to walk like this.” She struggled slightly.
Before Xing Zhi could speak, a gust of wind suddenly passed by before him. Lady Jin in a wedding dress abruptly appeared in front of the two of them. Seeing Shen Li and Xing Zhi in compromising positions, she feigned shyness and covered her face: “Oh, my, my, I haven’t seen you, my little sis, for so many years. As soon as you appear, you make my humble self jealous.”
Shen Li gently pushed Xing Zhi away. Xing Zhi had no other choice but to let her go, he said disappointedly: “The jacket is no longer nice and warm.” Seeing this person with an indifferent face acting like a spoiled child, the corners of Shen Li’s lips quirked up. Lady Jin covered her lips and laughingly said, “It’s all my humble self’s fault for allowing the Divine Sovereign to freeze. But who told my humble self to be anxious? After so many years, my humble self misses my little sis very much.” After saying that, she took a few steps down the stairs and lifted Shen Li’s hand up, stroking it again and again, “It’s still a woman’s hand that feels the most comfortable to the touch. I heard that my little sis has been living in the Mortal Realm for the past few years. How’s life?”
As Lady Jin kept chattering on incessantly, Shen Li was keenly aware of the weak aura in her body and held her wrist in return.
Xing Zhi’s health had always been poor. So, when she was in the Mortal Realm, Shen Li also learned some medical skills to a certain extent. When Shen Li explored her pulse, she frowned: “Why is the aura in your body so weak?”
Lady Jin’s smile did not change, as she pushed Shen Li’s hand away seamlessly: “It’s just that I’ve been busy recently, so it’s not a big deal.” She did not wait for Shen Li to respond and said to Xing Zhi, “The Divine Sovereign doesn’t look as good as before, hmm. Let’s not stay too long in this snowstorm; I’ll take you all to the manor now.”
Lady Jin’s place was still the same as before. She was only open for people to do business at certain times of every day. Lady Jin used an array to send Shen Li and Xing Zhi to the main hall where business transactions took place. The hall was resplendent, bustling with noise and excitement than ever before.
When everyone in the hall saw Lady Jin suddenly appear with two other people, they all stopped their work and stared at them. Lady Jin smiled: “Oh my, my humble self is about to get married, so I can’t let all the guests see me this way. My husband will be jealous.”
Immediately, the atmosphere in the hall became lively. Someone jokingly said: “Lady Jin, are you really going to get married? In the past three days, I have been coming to do business every day, but I have never seen your husband. Maybe he doesn’t care about you, his wife, at all?”
“Naturally, it was because my humble self had hidden him, so how can I let you see him?” Lady Jin stared at the person, who was just talking, her eyes slightly cold, “Today, these distinguished guests have come by to visit, so we will not be doing business anymore. Please take your leave.”
For a moment, that person was stunned. Only then did he realize that he had said something wrong and wanted to apologize, but when he saw Lady Jin’s expression, he suddenly felt a chill settle in his heart. He threw the item in his hand away and ran off hastily. The people in the hall were in an uproar for a while, but they all consciously dispersed. Shen Li quietly glanced at Lady Jin and asked: “You’re not forcibly snatching a man?”
Lady Jin glanced at Shen Li helplessly. Then she immediately released a long sigh: “It’s just coercion and a promise. He and the people in his sect were injured, so my humble self promised to save them if he promised to marry me. This can’t be considered as snatching. Additionally… My humble self instinctively feels that he probably likes me too.”
Beforehand, Shen Li had heard from the land immortals that Lady Jin had chased that man for more than twenty years and he had never relented. He must be a very stubborn person, who also cared very much about his dignity. Now that he was being coerced by Lady Jin, he must definitely dislike Lady Jin. So, how accurate could Lady Jin’s “instincts” be…
When Shen Li was about to say a few words of persuasion, she heard Xing Zhi say: “That’s how it should be.” His expression was deadly earnest, “That person must like you, or he would never agree to marry you anyway. Don’t worry about anything else. First, you have to cook the rice with him, and then you won’t have to jump around.”
Xing Zhi’s words shot right into Lady Jin’s heart. Immediately, she chose a fox fur coat off a vendor’s stall next to her and beaming with delight, she presented it to Xing Zhi, “The Divine Sovereign is right. You can take this fox fur coat made from a thousand-year-old snow fox; it’s much more useful than your layers of jackets.” Without any ceremony, Xing Zhi accepted the fur coat. Lady Jin laughed squintingly, “My humble self has already arranged a room for you both. You all get there first. After my humble self tidy up the place in here, I’ll go find you, little sis, and explain the entire situation clearly.” When Shen Li and Xing Zhi exited the resplendent hall, Shen Li frowningly looked at Xing Zhi, “How do you know that the man likes Lady Jin?”
“I don’t know.” Xing Zhi said, “But it’s better to let her pester that man than to let her pester you.” Xing Zhi squinted his eyes and smiled, “You are mine.”
Shen Li commented: “Selfish and shameless.”
After Lady Jin ordered the servants to tidy up all the things in the room, she had just left the hall when she saw a maid in a hurry, “Lady, Mister Mu is coughing again.”
Nervous, Lady Jin hurriedly followed the maid. Stepping into the small Red Plum Courtyard, Lady Jin burst into the room. She saw Mu Zi Chun leaning against the head of the bed, coughing up blood. Without saying a word, Lady Jin stepped forward, grabbed his wrist, and heedlessly sent spiritual energy into Mu Zi Chun’s body. It was not until he stopped coughing and was lying down peacefully, did she feel a sense of relief.
With trembling fingertips, she wiped the cold sweat from her forehead. Then Lady Jin closed her eyes and calmly adjusted her inner aura.
“Are you unwell?”
When Lady Jin opened her eyes, the smile on her face was the same as before, “My husband, does this mean your heart aches for my humble self? My humble self is really happy.”
The eyes of the bedridden person lingered calmly on her face for a moment. Then he immediately turned his eyes away, “Stop imagining that your love is reciprocated.” He paused for a moment and then he said, “Before, you said that you had cured the members of my sect, and then you drove them down the mountain. At this moment, can they end up like me?”
His words were full of doubts. The smile on Lady Jin’s face subsided slightly, “Zi Chun, I disdain lying to people.” Lady Jin had never been someone who was fond of explaining, but in Mu Zi Chun’s presence, she had always made an exception, “Those injuries sustained by the members of your sect may be tricky to human beings, but it’s not too much trouble for me. When I said that I cured them, then I wouldn’t lie to you. While you, you’re still lying here, coughing up blood because your injuries are different from theirs.”
Mu Zi Chun was speechless.
Lady Jin’s heart was slightly stung, but the smile on her face brightened, “These words were what I said. My husband, if you don’t believe me, then my humble self is at a loss, too.” She got up and left, “It’s not good for your health to stay in this room all the time. Today, the weather is sunny and cloudless. When you have enough rest, go out for a stroll.”
As Mu Zi Chun’s eyes followed the back of her silhouette, the closed door blocked his vision. Lady Jin could not stand upright any longer and held onto the door frame. Beside her, the maid went forward worriedly. Lady Jin shook her head in refusal. After a while, she regained her strength and walked away.
It was nighttime, the white snow reflected the red plums in the courtyard. Mu Zi Chun walked into the yard wearing a snow-white fox fur coat. The stars in the sky were so bright that they appeared to have been wiped spotlessly. This night sky was rarely seen in the Mortal Realm. Mu Zi Chun could not help but become a little enthralled. Suddenly, he heard whispering voices from outside the courtyard: “Today, there’s a guest. The lady went out to pick the guest up in person.”
“It’s so rare to see our lady take this so seriously.”
“I was fortunate enough to have a look from afar. That man is very beautiful. He’s a hundred times more beautiful than the man in this courtyard. His body and his temperament, mmm-mmm. I heard that our lady has a very close relationship with him…”
“Really? Today, this person seems to have made the lady unhappy again. It’s practically every day. No matter how good the lady’s patience is, the lady’s patience will still be worn out. Now that there is another person… Tell me, do you think that this wedding will go as planned?”
“How can you and I guess what the lady is thinking?”
The voices gradually faded away through the wall, where a red plum branch passed through from the yard’s wall to the other side. Mu Zi Chun was standing under the plum tree, he reached out and broke off a red plum. He held it in his hand, looking at it. Then he threw it in the snow, stomped on it with his foot, and went back to his room.
Meanwhile, in Shen Li and Xing Zhi’s wing of the courtyard, Lady Jin downed a mouthful of wine and sighed melancholically: “Back then, after I got rid of that evil energy, I reverted back to my true form. That was when he saved me. It was just a slight glimpse! It was that damn glimpse that made my humble self spend twenty years on him!”
As Shen Li ate, she kept her silence. Whereas, Xing Zhi was drinking tea and listening with relish.
Originally, this was supposed to be a welcoming dinner, but it unknowingly became Lady Jin’s complaining session. While drinking, she recounted her past with Mu Zi Chun, and now she started to complain again.
“It’s been twenty years; even a stone should already warm up. This mortal is really a thousand-year-old block of ice. Even if I have the True Fire of Samadhi, I can’t thaw him.” She leaned on Shen Li, hugging her arm and saying aggrievedly, “Tell me, my humble self has lived for so many years, is it easy to find one that’s pleasing to the eye? I have spent so much blood, sweat, and tears, the heart of my humble self feel so bitter!”
She rubbed against Shen Li’s shoulder, looking like a coquette. Shen Li put down her chopsticks and asked: “Does he have someone he likes?” Thinking of the rather harsh but passionate path between herself and Xing Zhi, Shen Li sighed ruefully, “Or does he have some sort of difficulty that makes it hard for him to be with you.”
“Do you think that everyone is like the old Divine Sovereign; weighed down with responsibilities and couldn’t fall in love?”
As if he was being praised, Xing Zhi nodded: “That’s right, not everyone is as patient as I am.”
Shen Li’s lips twitched. For the past few years, Xing Zhi’s behavior had become more and more shameless…
Lady Jin said, sighing: “Mu Zi Chun is just a lump of wood! Those immortal sects from the Mortal Realm have instilled their teachings into his head. He insists on believing that if I am not a part of his race, then I must be different. He always thinks that I have some sort of ulterior motive in getting close to him. Even when I coerced him into marrying me a few days ago, he still asked me in a deadpan way…” Lady Jin gave an impression of Mu Zi Chun’s frown and seriousness: “In the end, what do you want?”
Lady Jin slapped the table and shouted: “In the main hall, did you not see the rare treasures that my humble self have? A mortal even had the nerve to ask my humble self what I wanted! But at that time, I wasn’t even angry.” Lady Jin reenacted the look she had at that time, softening her expression and smilingly said, “At that time, I replied, ‘I want you.’ What a sweet reply, no?” She paused, her expression changed again. She imitated Mu Zi Chun’s expression and said solemnly: “‘You’re not even serious! Just babbling nonsense!’ Did you hear that?! Did you hear that?! That’s what he said about me! After he said that, he turned around and left!”
Shen Li was amused by the many changes in her expression. Lady Jin said aggrievedly: “Do you know how sad I was at that time?!”
“Oh, why don’t you interpret his boring behavior as an expression of shyness?” Xing Zhi suddenly said, “I have dealt with a lot of immortals. Those who became immortals with their mortal bodies were mostly taciturn and wooden. They’re very constrained about their own emotions. Maybe, he thinks that you’re just teasing him and he can’t get back at you, so he can only quickly escape. “
Lady Jin widened her eyes at Xing Zhi. While Shen Li was frightened by Xing Zhi’s analysis, she had to ask: “In your opinion, what kind of mentality do those mortals have?”
Xing Zhi whirled the teacup in his hand and smiled: “He doesn’t have someone he loves, nor does he truly hate you. What he can’t let go is just his stubbornness. So, let’s put him to the test. Let’s see what kind of mentality this mortal man has towards you, Lady Jin?”
Lady Jin looked at Xing Zhi expectantly: “How do we test?”
Xing Zhi laughed: “You’ve stuck by his side for 20 years, and he’s aloof and indifferent. It may be because he’s used to you being there and has long accepted it. Then, how about if you take back all the things you gave him?” Xing Zhi dumped the remaining tea in the teacup onto the ground, “Leave him with nothing. Come, think about what you have given him. Let’s take it back one by one.”
Seeing the smile in his eyes, the corners of Shen Li’s lips twitched. This guy, was he helping Lady Jin, or…Was he thinking that this was fun?
What a bellyful of evil tricks…
Lady Jin pondered for a while. In the end, she said: “It seems like I have never given him anything.” She was at a loss, “But then again, it seems like I have given him everything that I have.”
These words not only left Shen Li stunned, but even Xing Zhi was stunned. Xing Zhi knew better than anyone what kind of person Lady Jin was. Therefore, for her to say these words so despondently, her love was deeply rooted. Xing Zhi restrained his stunned expression and smilingly said: “Then, let’s take you back. Oh, during this time, you will fall in love with someone else first.”
Lady Jin asked: “Who?”
The three people were silent for a moment. Then Xing Zhi sighed: “There’s no other way, then I’ll have to…”
“I’ll do it.” Shen Li suddenly interrupted Xing Zhi’s words. She shot Xing Zhi a glance, “What’re you looking at? You are mine.” After saying that, she flicked a spell and turned into a handsome man. Beside her, she grabbed Lady Jin’s hand and said, “Lady, in the next few days, you’ll love only me.”
Lady Jin looked sideways at Xing Zhi’s subtle expression. As she covered her lips, she smilingly said: “Didn’t my humble self fall in love with the King long ago?”
Even as Xing Zhi sighed, there was nothing he could do, so he just let Shen Li do as she pleased.
Shen Li was just discussing about some details with Lady Jin again. As the twilight was getting a little darker, Lady Jin was getting a little more clear-headed. She slapped the table and stood up, it was like she had suddenly remembered something, “What time is it now? Tonight, I haven’t checked on Mu Zi Chun yet!”
Shen Li and Xing Zhi looked at each other quickly. Then Shen Li asked doubtfully: “You go to see him every night?”
Xing Zhi commented lightly: “Will he die?”
“It’s not to that point…”
“Then don’t go.” Xing Zhi smiled, “Did you forget what we said just a moment ago? We’re taking it all back and leaving him with nothing. Let’s get started tonight.”
It was late at night and Lady Jin had just left the wing. Xing Zhi released a sigh: “This drama of helping another person teach her husband a lesson is really not worth it when my wife is caught in the mix.”
Shen Li raised her eyebrow, “You were clearly teasing her!” She paused, “How can I just stand by and watch you play around?”
“How can this be good?” Xing Zhi stood up and embraced Shen Li, who was arranging the sheets at the bed, from behind, “Our upright Azure Sky King has gone bad.”
“Since the day I met you, I’ve been bad.” Shen Li allowed him to embrace her for a while, and then she suddenly asked, “However, will this plan of yours really work?”
“Of course, it’ll work.” Xing Zhi said softly, “I understand the sense of loss better than anyone else.”
The snowy scenery in the entire garden was just perfect. Mu Zi Chun was standing in the garden surrounded by the overwhelming scent of red plums, making him feel slightly absent-minded.
From last night… He had experienced such a rare peaceful day. Since he was brought here by Lady Jin, there was not a moment that went by that he was not pestered by her presence. Suddenly, he acquired a day of freedom. Unexpectedly, he felt disappointed that this peaceful calm made his entire body feel so out of place, even his heart felt absolutely empty. Thinking back on yesterday, when he heard that Lady Jin had personally gone to pick up her guest, he could not prevent his eyes from darkening.
Was that her old friend? What was their connection? What was that person like…
“The red plum blossoms in the Lady’s courtyard are really gratifying to look at.” A man’s clear and lively voice came from the other side of the garden, “It’s a pity that I didn’t see this scene the last time I was here.”
“My humble self’s place is an illusion of magic with four rotating seasons to capture the most beautiful sceneries in the world. The last time you were here, the scenery just happened to be late spring and early summer. This time, you get to see the following scenery, which is midwinter. There are still quite a few other sceneries of the four seasons that you haven’t even seen yet.” As Lady Jin’s voice became soft and tender, she chuckled lightly, “If Ah Li likes it, then you can stay at my humble self’s place for a long time, how about it?”
Mu Zi Chun stared fixedly at the path where the voice came from. Slowly, two silhouettes came forth, leisurely strolling through the fine wintry forest. Lady Jin and the man were very close together, looking very intimate.
“Ai-ya, Zi Chun.” When Lady Jin saw him, her expression was the same as usual, but she did not rush up to grab onto him like before. She just stood beside that man and introduced him: “Ah Li, this is the husband who is going to marry me, Mu Zi Chun.”
The man raised his eyebrows and sized him up with an inquisitive eye. Mu Zi Chun frowned, feeling a bit resistive towards this type of stare, secretively thinking about the relationship between this person and Lady Jin. Suddenly, he saw that man, whose name was Ah Li, gave a bitter smile, held Lady Jin’s hand, and said: : “Lady Jin, oh, Lady Jin, did you ever blame me for leaving you so heartlessly back then? When we meet again after so many years… You tell me that you’re about to get married… Oh, do you know how much my heart hurts?”
To hear the other party suddenly blurt out such straightforward words, not only Mu Zi Chun was stunned, but Lady Jin was also stunned. She looked at Shen Li for a long time, until Shen Li stealthily poked her in the back, and that was when she suddenly came back to her senses. “Oh…” Having lived for so many years, Lady Jin quickly joined the conversation. As her eyes filled with the radiance of spring, she bashfully smiled, “What are you saying, Ah Li? Even in front of Zi Chun.”
Shen Li slanted her eyes and met Mu Zi Chun’s head-on. The chill in that man’s eyes made Shen Li extremely satisfied. If before, she was still a little uncertain, then at this time, her heart was completely put to rest and she could focus on acting out this drama. She withdrew her eyes and did not look at Mu Zi Chun again. As if he did not exist, she said to Lady Jin: “If your two hearts beat as one, then never mind. However, I have heard people say before that this person’s heart is not partial to you at all, so why force it?”
Lady Jin was silent, as she was waiting for Mu Zi Chun to refute. However, as expected, there was no sound coming from that side. Lady Jin bowed her head and smiled bitterly. She knew that it would be like this, but she… Still could not help feeling disappointed.
“Whether she forced me or not, what does that have to do with you?” Mu Zi Chun suddenly said, “Your words went too far.”
As Lady Jin’s eyes lit up, Shen Li suppressed the smile on her lips with much difficulty, “Oh?” She casted a glance at Mu Zi Chun’s clenched fists, “If that’s the case, then the rumors are not credible? In fact, you do care about Lady Jin? “
Mu Zi Chun said coldly: “It has nothing to do with you.”
“Of course, it has something to do with me.” When Shen Li seized Lady Jin’s shoulder, she raised her eyebrows and smiled unbridledly, “The woman I love, how can I allow her to suffer any grievances?”
The two of them were stunned again. Then Lady Jin’s eyes immediately brightened even more. She looked at Shen Li with admiration: The Azure Sky King was so bold!
“Since you don’t treat her with sincerity, then forgive me for offending you. Even if I, Shen Li, have to fight for her, I will take her away from you.”
Mu Zi Chun’s expression became even colder. He glanced at Lady Jin, but saw that Lady Jin was looking intently at Shen Li. The brilliance in her eyes seemed to say, “Okay, yes, I’ll go with you.” Suddenly, Mu Zi Chun felt that this kind of gaze was causing him to feel stuffy, which made his fists clenched even tighter. After a while, he sneered, “What were you doing before all this?” Shen Li was thinking about how to answer him, but she saw Mu Zi Chun turn around and leave, “You can do whatever you want. In any case, I’m just a prisoner nowadays.”
Shen Li raised her eyebrows and followed Mu Zi Chun’s back. Seeing his back disappear at the bend of a corner, Lady Jin sighed, “Ah Li, forget it, this is embarrassing me…”
“I think it’s quite effective.” Shen Li laughed, “Lady, why don’t we make a bet.”
“Bet on what?”
“Before you all get married, Zi Chun will completely surrender. Do you believe it or not?”
Stunned for a moment, Lady Jin laughed in spite of herself, “I’ve waited twenty years and haven’t even seen him surrender yet… But I hope that I will lose this bet in utter defeat.”
“This bet will definitely be as you wish.” Off to the side, a red plum branch suddenly swayed, shaking off clusters of new snow. The red plum blossoms on the branch changed brilliantly. In an instant, it changed into Xing Zhi. Bundled up in the fox fur coat that Lady Jin gave him yesterday, he breathed out a white puff of air and said, “If you lose, what’re you going to give my Shen Li as a prize for the bet?”
Shen Li looked at him, “Why’re you turning into plum blossoms here?”
“If not, how can I see a good show?” Xing Zhi replied with a smile and turned his eyes back to Lady Jin.
Lady Jin chuckled, “The Divine Sovereign, you’re still the same as before, unwilling to take any losses.” She paused for a moment and said: “What kind of rare treasures that you, the Divine Sovereign, have never seen before, it all must not be that rare. However, my humble self just happens to have an ancient relic. When worn on the body, it can help the injured gods regulate their energy and maintain good health. In the past, this thing may not have been well-regarded by the Divine Sovereign’s former self, but right now, it is a great treasure to the Divine Sovereign’s present self. If you, the Divine Sovereign, wear this thing on your body every day, then in the future, it is not impossible for you to regain your former divine powers.”
Shen Li said excitedly: “Really? Lady Jin, why didn’t you tell me earlier?!”
Lady Jin covered her lips and laughed, “My humble self doesn’t guard against you, little sis. Isn’t my humble self just guarding against the Divine Sovereign of today?”
Xing Zhi also chuckled, “With such a treasure, I will do my best. In order to make this bet have an earlier outcome, tomorrow, I will also step in.”
Looking at the people around her, Shen Li sighed, “You actually got to watch the show, and now, you’re taking advantage of the situation. Lady Jin’s loss is not light at all.”
The pale slender hand of a young woman in her prime, wearing white robes, brought a white jade teacup up to her lips and took a sip. She curled her index finger slightly, and gently hooked the locks of hair blown by the wind behind her ear. She laughed lightly, “I think Lady Jin is happy to let us take advantage of the situation. After all, she’s the one who benefits in the end.”
Shen Li’s eyes roamed all over Xing Zhi’s face for a while and said, “To be like this today, you are yin and I am yang, which is just like how we used to live together in the past.”
Being quite cooperative, Xing Zhi leaned on Shen Li and said, still using a light tone, “Can you, Ah Li, adapt to it?”
Shen Li squintingly smiled, “I can.”
“Ah Li, do you like it?”
Shen Li lowered her head and gently covered Xing Zhi’s lips with her own, “I like it.”
Then without any hesitation, Xing Zhi embraced her back. With poignant emotions, the two of them snuggled against each other just like how they usually did in the small courtyard every day. Suddenly, a murderous aura came towards them. Shen Li did not even bother to frown. She just waved her hand to block and a protective shield made of magic blocked the menacing sharp sword.
She exerted a little force, only to hear a loud noise. The attacker was pushed about thirty feet away, he staggered a few steps outside the pavilion before he stood still. Shen Li let go of Xing Zhi and stood up. Together, the two of them looked at the person standing outside the pavilion, only to see Mu Zi Chun’s ashen face, a face like an Asura, “Is this how well you treat Lady Jin?”
Shen Li turned to look at Xing Zhi behind her, Xing Zhi was also looking at her in return. Suddenly, he hugged her arm. Then he sobbed like a cute, helpless-looking bird: “Ah Li, who is this person? How can he be so vicious?”
Immediately, Shen Li tingled all over and the corners of her lips twitched. She whispered: “Don’t act too overboard, I can’t endure it…”
Xing Zhi whispered back: “I have faith in you.”
You should not have faith in me like that…
Seeing that the two of them were still whispering intimately in front of him, Mu Zi Chun said sternly: “Such a fickle person like you, who lyingly told her that you won’t let her suffer any grievances. Do you know that what you’re doing today gives her the biggest grievance?”
“Then let her suffer a grievance once in a while.”
Mu Zi Chun gritted his teeth, “You’re lying to her.”
Shen Li raised her eyebrows to look at him, “What’s it to you?”
Mu Zi Chun’s throat choked. Shen Li calmly said: “So what if I’m fickle? So what if I lied to Lady Jin? What does this have to do with you? I only want Lady Jin’s wealth and properties. I’m just deceiving her. After I get all of her prized possessions, I will divorce her…”
“And use her valuables to support a concubine.” Xing Zhi added.
Shen Li went along with it: “That’s right, and use her valuables to support a concubine. What do these things have to do with you? Don’t you dislike Lady Jin? It just so happens, when I get married to Lady Jin, I’ll definitely let you go. Isn’t this exactly what you want? Why are you so angry?”
“You bastard.” Mu Zi Chun gritted his teeth with hatred. When he was about to raise his sword to attack, he suddenly saw a figure. Lady Jin was standing on another path, staring blankly at him. For no reason at all, Mu Zi Chun panicked and shouted sternly at Lady Jin, afraid that she would be hurt, “This type of person, don’t think about him again!”
“Then who should I think about?” Lady Jin’s voice was unexpectedly calm, “Think about you?”
Mu Zi Chun was taken aback.
Lady Jin looked at Shen Li, “It’s fine to have intentions on me, at least it gives me a chance. It’s better than someone who doesn’t have any intentions on me nor gives me anything in return.” The light in Mu Zi Chun’s eyes, little by little, froze into ice, “Do you know what you’re doing right now?”
“What am I doing?” Lady Jin laughed, “Choose a person that I can’t be with. Isn’t this what I did to you? What? Is my humble self only allowed to do this to you? Is my humble self not allowed to do this to another?”
Mu Zi Chun’s face turned completely pale.
“Before, you were so reluctant, and now, you’re almost healed, so just leave. My humble self has been pestering you for so many years. Now, I’ve finally found a way out… I’m letting you go. You’ll return to your immortal sect. You’ll no longer be tormented by me, a demoness.”
After she said that, she walked towards Shen Li. Shen Li stretched out her hand to stop Lady Jin knowingly and said with a smile: “I didn’t expect that Lady Jin would have a deep-rooted love for me.” Lady Jin did not answer Shen Li’s words, she just looked at Mu Zi Chun from the corner of her eye. She only saw the emotions that looked like anger or pain in his eyes, but he did not say another word to stop her.
As the three of them left Mu Zi Chun’s line of sight, Lady Jin smiled bitterly, “Look, I’ve already said it up to this point, but he’s still like that, so I can see that I won this bet. Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi, you can’t win the thing that you want.”
“Don’t be too sure.” Xing Zhi said, “When you return, tell the attendants to pack up all of his things, send him down the mountain, and say that you’re going to marry Shen Li and can’t allow an outsider like him to stay. You’ll see if he agrees or not.”
Shen Li hurriedly said: “This isn’t possible. It was so difficult for Lady Jin to finally bind Mu Zi Chun to her side. It’s okay to say to let him go, but it certainly can’t happen. Otherwise, Lady Jin’s efforts will all go to waste…”
Xing Zhi only looked at Lady Jin, “What do you say?” Lady Jin was silent for a moment, “If he wants to leave, I will let him leave. I am really tired. I forced him to get married. I wanted to bind him to my side, but this test that you all did, made my heart feel uncertain. If I have to spend the next thousands of years with someone who doesn’t care about me at all, then I’d rather… Just live by myself, free and easy as before.”
Shen Li was stunned.
“I’ll go tell the attendants to pack his things and send him down the mountain.” Even though Lady Jin had a smile on her lips, her eyes were full of disappointment.
Shen Li opened her mouth, but nothing came out.
“Hey!” After Lady Jin left, Shen Li came back to her senses and said regretfully, “I think the two of them have feelings for each other. It’s just that the immortal cultivator is too inflexible and inarticulate… Are we really going to let them miss out on each other like this?”
“My lord, do you really think that I’ll let things develop like this?”
Shen Li’s eyes lit up, “What bad ideas do you have in mind?”
Like a stratus cloud floating in a light breeze, Xing Zhi smiled, “You just need to knock Lady Jin unconscious later.”
“Naturally, it’s because I can’t do it now. Besides, Lady Jin is not wary of you.”
After Lady Jin told the servants to pack up Mu Zi Chun’s things, she ordered them to send Mu Zi Chun down the mountain. She did not bother to go send him off, but just sat rigidly in her room. An attendant came to report that the Azure Sky King wanted to see her. Lady Jin had no suspicions as to why she was there. However, as soon as Lady Jin saw Shen Li, she slashed towards her with a blade. Lady Jin only felt darkness settled in front of her eyes and promptly lost consciousness.
At the same time, Xing Zhi was standing behind Shen Li. He turned his head back and with his extremely indifferent voice, he said to the attendants, who were completely befuddled: “The Azure Sky King just killed your master. From now on, this Northernmost Snow Territory belongs to the Azure Sky King and you all are also her subordinates.”
When the attendants heard this, they were dumbfounded, even Shen Li was dumbfounded.
The attendants cried out loud and scrambled out of the room. Shen Li hauled Xing Zhi over and asked: “What’re you doing by saying that?”
As soon as Xing Zhi gave a reassuring smile, the sound of a deafening bell was heard coming from outside. It resounded throughout the Snow Territory for thousands of miles.
“Hurry up, grab Lady Jin’s neck. Someone will come to take her away later. You can just casually fight back with him and let him take Lady Jin away. Then we just have to wait to get the prize and return home.”
Still in doubt, Shen Li followed Xing Zhi’s words. Sure enough, like what Xing Zhi just said, within a short period of time, Mu Zi Chun hurriedly came over. When he saw that Shen Li was strangling Lady Jin’s neck with one hand, he attacked like a madman, forcing Shen Li to earnestly block two of his strikes so that he could not hurt her. For a mortal immortal cultivator to be able to achieve this level, he must have used all of his might…
When Mu Zi Chun carried Lady Jin away, Shen Li listened to the deep and resounding bell outside, “Did you even think about… How will we deal with the aftermath?”
“The aftermath?” Xing Zhi yawned, “Is that our business, too?”
Lady Jin and Mu Zi Chun’s wedding was held as scheduled. Xing Zhi presented Lady Jin a stone that he had picked up from somewhere, and euphemistically called it a fragment of the stars left in the Outer Bounds of Heaven. In return, Lady Jin gave Xing Zhi a piece of jade pendant.
Lady Jin’s wedding was done ostentatiously, and Shen Li was happy to see the sweet smile on Lady Jin’s face.
On the way back home, Xing Zhi was silent for a long time, and then he asked carefully: “Do you want a wedding?”
“Huh?” Shen Li was stunned.
“I used to think that a wedding was just a formality. Therefore, it was unnecessary. But after attending the ceremony these last few days, I suddenly felt that it was a pretty good thing to announce the identity of my significant other to the world.”
Shen Li continued to stay stunned.
Xing Zhi stroked her head and said: “Ah Li, marry me. I will give you a wedding that is blessed by a hundred thousand deities.”
Shen Li pondered, “Alright, but you have to do it as soon as possible, otherwise when my stomach gets bigger, it won’t look good in wedding attire.”
“It’s really rare to see the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi staring so bewilderedly like this.”
As the corners of Xing Zhi’s lips rose up uncontrollably, his lean fingers pressed lightly against Shen Li’s belly. He bowed his body slightly to rub against Shen Li’s ear, and sighed, “My wife, what more can I ask for…”
~~~~~ Epilogue ~~~~~
The next year…
In the small courtyard, the cries of two babies could be heard…
Then the next year…
Along with Mu Zi Chun, Lady Jin brought her baby to visit Shen Li, who was pregnant again…
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Enjoy your reading pleasure!
Please do not copy my English translations. You are welcome to link back to my website. Much appreciated.
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