Estranged - Chapter 45
“Take your clothes off.”
Xu Jingxian heard Yun Weisi’s words.
She stared at him with wide open eyes. Her drowsiness was completely gone.
Changming was also a bit surprised: “Take off my clothes to do what?”
Yun Weisi said indifferently: “Isn’t your back wounded?”
This wound he received in his battle with Zhang Mu was certainly painful, but he could endure it.
“Maozhao Grass has to be applied to scratches one got from demons within three days, otherwise, the poison will get to the marrow.”
Maozhao Grass: Radix Ranunculi Ternati, or buttercup root. In Chinese it is literally “cat’s paw grass”
Changming smiled: “If the poison gets to my marrow, I’ll go mad and die, and my beloved disciple won’t even have to do it himself, isn’t that your wish? Or are you reluctant to kill your teacher and part with me?”
He was teasing him yet taking his clothes off at the same time. There were indeed several wounds on his back, and the purple swellings had almost turned black already. Xu Jingxian could not help but to flinch, but Changming only gathered his hair and slightly tilted his head so that it would be more convenient to apply the medicine. His expression was calm as if nothing had happened.
Yun Weisi said nothing, ignoring Changming’s words.
He washed the grass clean, removed the leaves, put it into his mouth and chewed it, then took it out again and applied a bit on Changming’s back.
It was just skillfully putting the medicine on, but it seemed like a gentle caress.
Yun Weisi was fully concentrated on the task, and had no lewd thoughts, but his actions made their observer blush nevertheless, and she was unable to take her eyes off.
Naturally, their only observer was Lady Xu.
She thought that she had seen thousands of boats sail away and come back, and had more admirers grovelling under her red skirt than the Yangtze had carps. She would not pay attention to just anyone, so of course, they all had to have beautiful appearances and remarkable talents. But, comparing them to the man in front of her, she now felt that they all used to insult her eyes.
Had seen thousands of boats sail away and come back: had experienced everything
Grovelling under her red skirt: wrapped around her finger. Red skirts were popular during the Tang dynasty
As many as there are carps crossing the Yangtze River: an excessive number
That slightly bent neck seemed to glow in the sunlight, as if there were water drops that would soon vanish sprinkled on it.
A few strands of his hair slipped through Changming’s hand, scattered on his shoulders by the wind. The snow-white tips of his hair wrapped around Yun Weisi’s hand, as if they were reluctant to let it go, and silently urged it to stay.
Xu Jingxian felt thirsty.
She regretted that it was not her who was giving Changming the herb, that she could not touch him and find out whether his skin was as smooth as it seemed. She could only covet the moment in her heart and imagine Yun Weisi’s hand to be hers.
Her line of sight moved lower, to the wounds covered with herbs on his back. Originally purple-black scratches turned bluer, criss-crossing each other in disorder. But Xu Jingxian, who always liked beautiful things, unexpectedly did not find them ugly; on the contrary, no matter how she looked, they made her heart flutter, and she was carried away by their bewitching looks.
Why did she think that Changming was not as handsome as Yun Hai before? Obviously, this person’s good looks were beneath the surface, and only when one understood him and probed him would they notice that kind of inscrutable beauty.
For example, that happened to her.
At this moment, Yun Weisi suddenly turned his head and glanced at her once.
This glance, like ice-cold water poured on her head, made Xu Jingxian sober up in an instant.
Only then did she notice that she had somehow gotten closer and stretched out her hand.
Xu Jingxian coughed lightly, and said with an insincere courteousness: “Is daoyou Yun tired? Why don’t you let me help you?”
Yun Weisi looked at her once again.
Xu Jingxian did not dare act rashly again.
Back then, when Zhang Mu was talking with Yun Weisi, she had already guessed Yun Weisi’s identity. But now she felt that this man was very different from that “daoyou Yun Hai” whom she used to know.
One, concealing his intentions under a smiling face, handled things unscrupulously, having no bottomline; if he liked something, then he loved it ardently, if he was angry, then he hated vehemently.
The other party did not even say half a sentence out loud, and seemed to have the outstanding behavior of an immortal, but Xu Jingxian feared him more than the one she knew.
No matter how beguiled one is, life is still more important.
If she had known earlier, she would have found an excuse to take care of Changming on Lingbo Peak, but the rice was already cooked. It was painful to see food, but be unable to taste it.
But the rice was already cooked: what’s done is done
But, thinking about Lingbo Peak, Xu Jingxian felt a bit nostalgic.
There were not many people on the peak, but they all were her trusted subordinates. Even the maids sweeping the floors there were prettier than elsewhere.
The chefs’ cooking skills were unrivaled. They were all invited by her from places she had visited before. Although she cut off her connection with her family since she started cultivating, her habit of living a luxurious life had not changed over the years, and she could never deprive herself of good things. But there was no time to take care of other things in the Nine Layers of the Abyss, as for every dawn she saw here, she was unsure of surviving till evening. At this moment, finally out of danger, Xu Jingxian remembered that she had not bathed for many days, and felt so uncomfortable all over that she could not even appreciate the beauty.
“Lady Xu, do you perhaps know Xiao Cangfeng?”
Xu Jingxian’s wandering mind was brought back to reality by his words. Changming’s clothes were already worn properly again.
She regretted it in her heart, but said aloud: “I’ve seen him several times, but we are not acquainted. The Xiao Family are officials of the country of You; except for Xiao Cangfeng, they all follow Confucianism. He was young when he entered the Wanjian Immortal Sect, and later fought against several famous masters. I’ve met him a couple of times at the past Qianlin Assemblies. This man is handsome and speaks well. But, of course, he is not as good as Ming-lang.”
Changming was combing his hair with his fingers.
The Wanjian Immortal Clan again.
Xu Jingxian smiled sweetly: “So to speak, he has a relation to you.”
Xu Jingxian: “He has fought Sun Buku once. If I’m not mistaken, Zen Master Buku used to be your disciple.”
Changming: “Who won?”
Xu Jingxian: “They were evenly matched. But for this reason, Xiao Cangfeng became even more famous. He is also known as a great talent from the Xia family. They say that he likes travelling everywhere, showing the dragon head one moment, and its tail another. It’s hard to find him even if you try.”
Showing the dragon head one moment, and its tail another: mysterious person whose whereabouts are unknown
Changming: “Then what about Chi Bijiang, the Master of the Wanxiang Palace?”
Xu Jingxian was at a loss: “Chi Bijiang? She died many years ago. Nowadays, the Wanxiang Palace’s master is Zhao Sizhu, she is Chi Bijiang’s shimei.”
Changming could not help frowning.
“Did the Wanjian Immortal Clan’s master, Jiang Li, die as well?”
Xu Jingxian: “No. You don’t know what has happened after the Liuhe Zhutian Formation failed that year? Counting you in, many cultivators died on the Sacred Mountain Wan. Few survived. Jiang Li had the highest cultivation level among them, but he suffered a severe wound and went into seclusion for many years, only coming out some time ago. After the seclusion, his cultivation advanced greatly, and he is even more formidable than he used to be. The Wanjian Immortal Clan has also been expanding its influence more and more for these years, and there are many others like Xiao Cangfeng. They are considered the largest clan nowadays, slightly more powerful than the Celestial Abode Shenxiao.”
Changming: “And Chen Ting?”
Xu Jingxian: “That Chen Ting we met in the Nine Layers of the Abyss? He stated that he is a disciple of the Wanjian Immortal Clan, but I’ve never met him before; maybe, he is one from the last generation. But I actually recognised his sword, Guyue. It belonged to Jiang Li’s eldest apprentice, Lü Shuheng, but he died many years ago. I’m guessing that it was kept in storage since his death, and now perhaps brought out again and gifted to Chen Ting?”
It seemed that his conjectures were almost all right.
It was impossible for a person who was not exceptionally capable to run into the Nine Layers of the Abyss rashly. If Chen Ting was part of the Wanjian Immortal Sect, he definitely would not be a mediocre person, but Xu Jingxian had never heard of him; yet the clan master personally unsealed the Guyue Sword for him, which proved that what Changming had previously speculated should have been correct: that Chen Ting was very possibly an incarnation of Jiang Li.
But he was not an easy problem to solve.
If they came to the Wanjian Immortal Clan, not only would they be unable to find Jiang Li, but could even get into trouble.
Since the enemy was meticulously involved in each step of their elaborate plan, and now Changming ruined this all around, even dragging Yun Weisi out of the Nine Layers of the Abyss, even if Changming did not go to find them, they would visit him sooner or later.
Meticulously involved in each step: lit. “[an army building] barracks by each step”; fig. “advance gradually and entrench oneself at every step”. It was first used in “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”
He simply wanted to tread his own way, solving mysteries that he found interesting.
The flood dragon trapped in the Yellow Springs, the beast roaring under the Zhongfa Mountain Range, and Zhang Mu—
“Don’t get distracted.”
His chin was grabbed, and Changming was forcibly pulled towards the other person.
He noticed that Xu Jingxian had disappeared, and only Yun Weisi was still there.
“Said that she wants to return to Lingbo Peak,” Yun Weisi said.
She was bidding farewell to Changming, and he was not listening; Yun Weisi said something to him, but Changming did not hear him as well.
Then Yun Weisi raised his arm.
Changming grabbed his wrist firmly and rolled his sleeve up.
The red line had almost reached the Neiguan Point.
The Neiguan Acupuncture Point: the “beauty acupuncture”: relieves mental stress, regulated qi to alleviate pain. Three fingers up from the wrist
“Why so fast?”
He remembered that the last time it was only near the Xi Gate, but now it grew much longer, nearing the Neiguan Point.
The Xi Gate: relieves mental stress, alleviates depression and stops bleeding. Seven fingers up from wrist
If it reached the palm, he would turn into a demon.
“It doesn’t matter.”
Yun Weisi was calm and indifferent, and paid it no attention. He retrieved his sleeve.
Changming looked at the space between his brows. A light red mark appeared there at some point.
It was so pale that it was almost impossible to notice, and quite surprising to see, because Changming remembered clearly that Yun Weisi did not have this red mark when they met in the Nine Layers of the Abyss.
When Zhang Mu ridiculed Yun Weisi for being his kin, he must have felt vague traces of demonic qi on Yun Weisi.
Each generation of the Yun family were humans, and they had no relation to demons. Obviously, Yun Weisi was not born with demonic blood.
“What happened to you in the Nine Layers of the Abyss?”
“I don’t remember.”
That line again.
Yun Weisi had lost many memories because he gave up on them willingly, but that did not mean that he was willing to be a part of someone else’s plan.
After experiencing the events on the Void Shore, even without Changming’s explanations, he knew that the mishaps of past years were very mysterious, and him protecting the Nine Layers of the Abyss might have been a part of someone’s scheming.
If he did not break free from this trap, it would become a heart obstruction in his cultivation.
So Yun Hai went out.
He wanted to find out the truth about the past.
He also wanted to know why he was so dissatisfied with Jiufang Changming.
He had no memories of events that Long Ding, the flood dragon, told him about.
Yun Weisi always felt like he was overlooking something.
Overlooking a very important thing.
And this thing was connected to this man in front of him.
He was afraid that even if he killed Changming now, making him disappear from the earth and sky, this feeling would not go away with him.
He wanted to know the answer.
“You were talking about Zhang Mu.”
Changming: “Right. When I left the Yellow Springs, I settled at the Qixian Sect. There, Liu Xiyu, a disciple of the Qixian Sect, died tragically at the back mountain of the outer circle in the middle of night, and even his soul couldn’t be summoned. In the Nine Layers of the Abyss, Zhang Mu killed Bei Shu in the same manner. I found a Moonlight on the Blue Ocean in Bei Shu’s residence; a Wuqiu Pill is stored inside it, the one that can make people lose their minds. Later, Xu Jingxian said that there was also a Moonlight on the Blue Ocean in the dowry of Xiao-shi, who was engaged with Liu Xiyu. Xiao-shi is Xiao Cangfeng’s niece, and he is a disciple of the Wanjian Immortal Clan. He went to find Jiang Li, obviously, to no avail. Xiao Cangfeng has no fixed residence, and it was difficult to find him quickly. Since the Qixian Sect has almost united with the Xiao family by marriage, there might be clues remaining there. We might as well start by inspecting the Qixian Sect.”
Yun Weisi nodded. He had no impression of these people, so, naturally, he let Changming decide.
“Then we shall go to the Qixian Sect first.”
This is the last chapter of Book 2, [At The Edge Of The Yellow Springs Lies The Nine Layers Of The Abyss].
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