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Qin Wanwan and Jian Xingzhi left the tent and got on the carriage together. Getting inside, they saw Junshu already sitting in the carriage. His face looked pale and he also seemed very weak. He forced a smile towards Qin Wanwan, and Jian Xingzhi before greeting them: “Good morning, you two.”
Jian Xingzhi nodded, and sat between Qin Wanwan and Junshu. He looked him up and down before asking, “Have you sent a message to your family?”
“Yes.” Junshu nodded, “but the sound transmission bird is not as good as the divine sense of a cultivator. The distance from here to Lecheng is very far. I’m afraid it will take more than ten days for the sound transmission bird to send the message and for my father to come here ……”
“Just pass the message.” Jian Xingzhi didn’t want to listen to his nonsense and quickly interrupted him. Then he leaned back in the carriage and closed his eyes.
Qin Wanwan sat on the side, sizing Junshu up and down for a moment and showed a concerned look, “Daoist friend Wu Ming, do you feel uncomfortable?”
Junshu smiled, feeling gratitude for her concerns.
His body had been severely wounded yesterday. As his body relaxed, last night, the wounds flared up and gave him excruciating pain. He became a mortal so even though he used a lot of expensive medicine given by his mother, he still couldn’t free himself from the discomfort of having wounds all over his body. But he couldn’t even complain. That Cuilu was obviously annoyed with him. If he tried to be more demanding, he was sure they would throw him away, so he dared not speak out of his discomfort to anyone. Now hearing Qin Wanwan asking if he was alright and showing concern, he felt his frozen heart melted. Junshu was touched.
“No……” Junshu smiled. He wanted to say many things but choked on the suppressed emotion.
At that moment, Jian Xingzhi opened his eyes and saw that the ‘Favorable Impression’ on top of Junshu’s head increased in five points. Seeing that, he couldn’t help but frown.
What’s wrong with this person? How could his impression grow so frivolously!
“Lie down if you don’t feel well.” Jian Xingzhi was afraid that if Qin Wanwan said something good once more, this person’s impression towards her would increase. So he got up from his place and let Junshu lie down before instructing Qin Wanwan, “Bring some medicine for him. Can’t let him die halfway.”
Qin Wanwan nodded and got up to get medicine, leaving Junshu and Jian Xingzhi staring at each other in the carriage. Junshu didn’t dare to look at Jian Xingzhi, only said thank you and laid down.
Although the carriage ride wasn’t too bumpy, because of having a mortal body, his head was dizzy and he felt a little cold.
The tiger ruling the mountain would be bullied by dogs after leaving the mountain*. He never thought that one day, he, Junshu, the Young Master of Lecheng would also have a day like this.
[T/N: An Chinese idiom, which probably means; people of higher status will be mocked once fell from their positions.]
Life is disappointing. He began to think back to his past successes, thought about his past illnesses, and how he was taken care of.
In fact, he rarely got sick, mostly injured. But even when he was injured, someone would always be with him to nurse him back. Even when he went to the Secret Realm, he was accompanied by Qin Wan. Qin Wan had always stuck to him. He used to dislike her, only to think that she was greedy for the position of his, the Young Master of Jun’s wife’s status. She is just an orphan girl, if not because of their childhood engagement, how could he let someone as insignificant as her bounce around him? But now that he’s at his lowest position, he feels that it’s not wrong for someone to covet status and power. At least at that time, there was someone to keep him company. Now that Qin Wan is nowhere to be found, he understood that even money and power won’t give him a companion to accompany him……
As he fell asleep in a daze, he felt the presence of Qin Wanwan entering the carriage. He opened his eyes and saw Qin Wanwan was holding a quilt and carrying a medicine bowl. She was dressed in red from top to bottom, and felt that her figure overlapped with the person in his memory.
He murmured lowly, but Qin Wanwan couldn’t hear what he was saying. After covering him with the quilt, she heard him calling someone, and thought it was probably her. Turning her head, she asked Jian Xingzhi: “He’s shaking so badly. Do you think he is okay?”
“Mortal people,” Jian Xingzhi replied carelessly, “just let him die.”
Qin Wanwan: “……”
“Tell me.” Suddenly Jian Xingzhi frowned and asked with a dissatisfied tone, “why are you being so nice to this old man?”
“Master.” Qin Wanwan was helpless. She put down the medicine bowl, sat next to Jian Xingzhi and glanced at Junshu who was still shivering. Leaning close to Jian Xingzhi’s ear, she whispered in a low voice: “Have you forgotten why he became like this?”
As she spoke, her hot breath gently blew on Jian Xingzhi’s ear. Jian Xingzhi suddenly felt itchy in his ears and subconsciously moved his head away. He felt a bit uncomfortable and strange at the closeness.
Quickly moving his butt to the side, he vigilantly stared at Qin Wanwan and gave her a look: “Talk if you want, why are you leaning so close to me?”
Qin Wanwan: “……”
She was leaning and whispering, wasn’t it because she didn’t want the person next to him to hear?
Jian Xingzhi looked at her dumbfounded expression and realised it was his own problem for feeling this way. So he lightly coughed and said, “Okay, I’ll take care of him. It will be inconvenient for you to take care of him anyway.”
Hearing Qin Wanwan’s words, Jian Xingzhi realised that last night’s incident was indeed his fault. After all, it was him who tossed the person into such a state. Being reminded by Qin Wanwan, he suddenly had no problem with taking care of Junshu.
He moved away from Qin Wanwan, took the medicine bowl from the table and pinched Junshu’s chin before pouring all the medicine in one go.
Qin Wanwan hurriedly grabbed the medicine bowl to stop him: “He is now a mortal. Even if he didn’t die of disease, you will surely choke him to death!”
Her words just finished, when Junshu began coughing. Opening his eyes halfway, he saw Qin Wanwan holding the medicine bowl. She froze when he saw him opening his eyes, with her eyes full of panic and worry, she asked: “Wu Ming? Are you okay?”
Maybe he doesn’t know that Jian Xingzhi was about to choke him to death with medicine, right?
“You ……” Junshu coughed and felt bitterness in his tongue. Looking at the medicine bowl in her hand and the bitterness in his mouth, he immediately understood what had happened.
Just now, this pretty fairy must have taken good care of him, covered him with a quilt and fed him medicine.
When everyone was pushing him away, only this person was so kind and gentle!
Junshu’s heart was greatly moved. He looked at Qin Wanwan’s worried look and assured her with a smile, “Fairy, do not need to worry. I am fine.”
Seeing that Junshu seemed to know nothing, Qin Wanwan breathed a sigh of relief. She gently pulled up the quilt for Junshu as kindly as possible as if she was taking care of her own grandfather, “Rest well, and get more sleep to heal your injuries.”
After soothing Junshu to sleep, Qin Wanwan set up a soundproof boundary around Junshu to ensure that he wouldn’t hear what she and Jian Xingzhi would talk about before returning to her position.
Jian Xingzhi was already meditating, and when he saw her return, he showed no mercy: “Sit down and cultivate.”
Qin Wanwan sat cross-legged on the futon and closed her eyes. Just as she began to cultivate, she began to recall the figure she saw in her sea of consciousness last night again.
She couldn’t help but think who it could be. Jian Xingzhi heard her breathing unevenly and asked with his eyes still closed: “What are you thinking about?”
“Master.” Qin Wanwan hesitated. She was feeling embarrassed to say this kind of thing to someone but still couldn’t help herself from saying, “Last night, I used a technique to find out who I like.”
Jian Xingzhi got startled and opened his eyes, “A technique?”
“Just …… a heart method that my mother taught me.” Qin Wanwan was a little worried about exposing her identity to Jian Xingzhi so kept some information hidden before saying, “This one heart method can help a person see the reason for their distraction. If the person likes or desires someone, they will be able to see him/her with this technique.”
“Who did you see?” Jian Xingzhi frowned. His heart was torn between two; want to know but didn’t want to know.
Qin Wanwan recalled: “I couldn’t see his appearance clearly. I just started the method thinking of the person I like when the surrounding was covered by fog. I looked for a long time, and only saw a silhouette.”
“Mm.” Qin Wanwan nodded her head, quite seriously, “The silhouette looked like he was a man.”
Jian Xingzhi nodded, “Are there any other clues?”
“He’s a sword cultivator.”
Jian Xingzhi continued to ask, “What else?”
“Just ……” Qin Wanwan recalled, “the figure was quite thin, but not that kind of dry-branch like thin.”
“Sword cultivators can refine their bodies.” Jian Xingzhi reminded her, “With the appearance you described, nine out of ten sword cultivators are like that.”
Qin Wanwan couldn’t say anymore, the figure really had no distinctive features. She thought for a long while and replied feeling frustrated: “Then I can’t describe more.”
“It seems the person you like is quite popular, ah.”
Jian Xingzhi pondered: “Moreover, the surrounding was covered with fog. Even after looking for a long time, you only saw a silhouette. You shouldn’t consider the shadow as the person you love. At most, he must be someone likeable to you, just a bit of a good feeling.”
As Jian Xingzhi pondered, he felt comfortable in his heart. Seeing Qin Wanwan frowning, he began to assure her, “Don’t think too much about it, it’s not a big deal. Rather than practicing this kind of useless technique, it would be better if you use the mind techniques I taught you. This kind of mind techniques aren’t as good as mine and can easily backfire. Rather than showing the distraction of mind, it is giving you distracting thoughts.”
Qin Wanwan nodded her head, feeling that what Jian Xingzhi said was right.
Jian Xingzhi thought about it and seeing the little apprentice desperate for love, he proposed: “Why don’t I teach you the way to be heartless? You can learn how to break up a relationship very fast, and you won’t have any messed up ideas either. You are already afraid of pain and fighting, the road to Sword isn’t suitable for you. Why not practice the road to emotionlessness. Even at the critical moment, it will only harm your partner, not you. It’s very suitable for someone like you. What do you think?”
Qin Wanwan immediately refused: “Master, learn your own thing, I will learn my own.”
Learning the way of emotionlessness, isn’t it the same as burying her emotions alive?
She doesn’t want it, she refuses.
Seeing Qin Wanwan refusing so decisively, Jian Xingzhi had some regret. With a sigh he said, “Then, since you want to know who the person in your mind is, look for him. I’m sure you will hardly have a peace of mind till you find him. Anyway, if you are sure that the person is a sword cultivator, you just search him among the sword cultivators you know.”
Qin Wanwan nodded, feeling that Jian Xingzhi was right. She recalled all the sword cultivators she knew, even Shen Zhiming, and compared them with the figure in her mind when she suddenly felt that all of their figures were very similar.
Several days passed like this and they finally arrived at the border of Ning’s capital city.
“Ahead is a series of canyons. The Ning Clan specially made them as a form of defense. No cultivators below the Nascent Soul stage are allowed to fly above the canyons. These canyons are very dangerous, and are the only way to the capital of Ning. If Wu Ming really has a strong enemy, it’s the right time for the enemy to attack him.”
Looking ahead at the cloudy mountains, Xie Lutang said with a worried expression.
The mountains were bare, the two mountains on each side were connected by an iron bridge where they were approaching. Opposite of the iron bridge, several lines of tall canyons were stacked high, so the road was extremely narrow. Only a carriage can pass such a narrow road.
Cultivators don’t like to use longswords for long distance travel, because this method loses a lot of spiritual energy in a short time. So most of the time, they use spiritual animals or magic weapons for long distance travel.
And the people of Ning Clan do not allow cultivators below Nascent Soul to fly above the canyons. So the narrow road ahead is the only way they can enter the capital of Ning.
“Then let’s transfer Wu Ming at the end of the group.”
Jian Xingzhi observed the terrain and said seriously. Qin Wanwan looked at Jian Xingzhi and said curiously, “At the end? What if he’s discovered ……”
“You and Xie Lutang will be inside to protect him.” Jian Xingzhi said as a matter of course, “Even if you can fight, don’t fight. Wait till we reach the canyons.”
“The canyons.” Qin Wanwan nodded, “Then what?”
“When the time comes, you will cut the rope of the carriage. When the carriage runs down the slope, the people in ambush will definitely chase that old man. We can take the opportunity to escape in the opposite direction.”
Jian Xingzhi analyzed seriously before saying, “I call this plan, ‘Breaking the tail to survive’.”
“This ……” Qin Wanwan listened and asked in hesitation, “He’s a mortal. Would it be okay to treat him like this?”
“He refused to tell us the truth even after coming so far, but you want us to fight for him regardless of this?”
Jian Xingzhi snorted, “He doesn’t seem like a good person, and we don’t know which big dog is chasing him around. I’m not willing to risk my life just for the sake of points.”
Qin Wanwan thought about it and nodded: “What Master said is true.”
“All right.” Jian Xingzhi jumped on the flying sword before declaring, “I will go ahead and check the road. Take your time.”
With that, Jian Xingzhi’s figure disappeared.
Qin Wanwan looked at Xie Lutang before saying, “I’ll go into the carriage to guard him.”
Xie Lutang nodded: “Then I’ll take Nan Feng outside.”
Qin Wanwan nodded and instructed the carriage to move forward. The carriage carrying Junshu was moved at the back of the group as she trotted back to the carriage.
Junshu was sitting in the carriage, his face had a melancholy look as his gaze was in the distance. When he saw Qin Wanwan entering, he smiled, “Miss Qin.”
“We will arrive at Ning’s capital city soon, I will protect you if danger arises.”
As Qin Wanwan explained, the carriage moved onto the iron bridge. Junshu smiled full of gratitude towards her, “Guniang just met me while passing by, I don’t want Guniang to risk her life for ……”
“It’s okay, there must be a reason why we met.”
Qin Wanwan waved her hand as she said before asking, “Is Daoist friend feeling better now?”
“My body is recovering well,” Junshu smiled, “Thank you for your concern.”
Qin Wanwan nodded and didn’t say much. Turning her head, she looked out the window, observing the surroundings.
Junshu followed her line of sight and looked out, only to find that their carriages seemed to have switched positions and were running on the back. He couldn’t help but frown as he asked, “Why is our carriage running in the back?”
“Oh.” Qin Wanwan became nervous, but still lied with a serious face, “It was done to protect you. The road ahead is very dangerous, ordinary people must be placed in the middle of the group to protect. If there is someone in need of extra protection, they are placed at the back. That’s why our carriage is running at the back.”
Qin Wanwan was afraid that he would be suspicious, so hurriedly assured him: “My master went to check the road ahead. I and Xie-daojun together will protect you. No need be afraid.”
Hearing that Qin Wanwan and Xie Lutang both will protect him, Junshu was quite relieved. He felt moved at their ‘generosity’ as he spoke: “We have never met before but you still treat me nicely. Really ……”
“Just …… Our meeting was fate.” Qin Wanwan put on a face of righteousness, “you don’t need to think so much about.”
“How can I not?”
Junshu’s sad eyes looked at Qin Wanwan with a sincere face: “The people who I believed in the past have all betrayed me. Even the girl I thought was my true love broke my heart as if it was a dream. I used to think that the world was only black, people only knew how to betray each other. But I never expected that there are still good people existing in the world to care for me so much.”
“Don’t need to be so….. Poetic ah.” Qin Wanwan looked at Junshu’s old face, saying honeyed words to her, a beautiful fairy and scooted further away from him.
Seeing Qin Wanwan’s defensive posture, Junshu suddenly remembered the state of his own face and suddenly felt embarrassed. Thinking about it, he couldn’t help but explain: “Guniang, I now look like this because my cultivation is destroyed. In fact, when I was still cultivator….my face was… okay. ”
Qin Wanwan didn’t doubt him. After all, the system gave his face ninety points, so she nodded: “I believe you.”
“Guniang really looks like a person I used to know. She has the same habit as Guniang, likes to wear red clothes. Although she is colder and grumpier, she is very simple-minded and very caring to me. I used to think she was greedy for glory and wealth, so I ignored him. I wanted someone who I would love, and so I hurt her for another woman. But I didn’t think the other woman would actually cheat me too ……”
Junshu reminisced about the past and regretted the decision he made.
Qin Wanwan listened to his blabbering and couldn’t help but think, isn’t this man’s story so similar to that of Junshu? It seems he’s also a scum ah.
And, besides wearing red clothes, where does she resemble that woman? Imaginary affection.
Thinking like this, all the guilt she felt for sacrificing him to escape instantly evaporated like air. She even felt Jian Xingzhi’s ‘Breaking the tail to survive’ plan was perfect.
By that time, the carriage had already crossed the iron bridge and reached the canyons. Making a turn, the carriage run towards the Ning’s capital city in the distance.
The city in the distance was pure white, covered with snow and ice from top to bottom. When the maids who came with Cuilu at the front of the carriage saw the city, many let out an exclamation of wonder.
Shen Zhiming, who was waiting for the group to reach there, watched from afar and asked the crow over his shoulder, “Is it all done?”
The crow nodded, and Shen Zhiming lightly smiled: “Now he’s only a mortal, I can blow him up with a few blasting charms. Since they saved Junshu, they will surely protect him well. They must have placed him in the middle of the procession as a form of protection. As soon as the carriage in the middle passes, we will immediately ignite the blasting talisman. Even if we can’t blow the carriage to pieces, as long as it falls off the cliff, it will be enough. There is molten lava under the cliff. Even ordinary cultivators can barely save their lives. He, a mortal, wouldn’t he die if he fell?”
Shen Zhiming speculated and watched the carriages running through the place where he set blasting charms a long time ago. Just as the carriage in the middle was about to pass, with a loud boom, the charm blasted and many stones and rocks collapsed from above. The maids shrieked and retreated to the side. Looking behind, they saw the carriage inlaid with gold and jade was still firmly standing in the middle, without any scratch.
“There are still powerful people inside?”
Shen Zhiming snickered, “I’d like to see, how many times can you withstand the blasting talisman.”
The explosion was sudden, and soon everyone reacted as the attendant rushed into the carriage in a panic and hurriedly called, “Lord Cuilu!”
Cuilu didn’t say anything, she sat in the carriage, her eyes wide open as her hair were blown away into a bird’s nest. The jewelleries in her body and her neat clothes were burnt to coal. The maids stared at her with anxiety. Cuilu raised her hand, and the carriage was instantly repaired. With a deathly cold voice, she commanded, “Don’t let any words about it to spread.”
The matter of her being blown up by a mere blasting charm, must not be known by others.
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