"Wow! Li Guinian! Wait, who's Li Guinian?"
Minor spoilers for later events in Dinghai and the general appearances of characters from the Mingwang donghua coming out soon! Also contains the Tianbao donghua scene from the Nightingale of the Spring Dawn, though knowledge of those events are definitely not necessary (but will add mildly to the fun)
Translator(s): moon, juurensha, Elestrea
Editor(s): jane, jelly, namio
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Tianbao Fuyao Lu, season 1, episode 4, in Pingkang Li:
In the alleyway behind the Nightingale of Spring Dawn:
Hongjun: "Yi, Zhangshi? Why have our looks changed?"
Li Jinglong: "!!!"
At the front door of the Nightingale of Spring Dawn:
"What happened?" Chi Xiaoduo asked, confused. "Hubby? How come you’ve become flat? Oh, you haven’t, but from the side you do look a little flat…"
Xiang Cheng: "???"
"Waaah --!" Chen Xing said. "This-this-this…"
Xiang Shu: "..."
"2D!" Chi Xiaoduo was the quickest to realize, and in disbelief, he said, "We’ve… become 2D! Why would this happen! Wow! Such a strange phenomenon, everything has become 2D!"
Chi Xiaoduo, Xiang Cheng, Chen Xing, and Xiang Shu, the four of them had at some point turned into cartoon people, and they stood in the streets of Chang’an at night. Their surroundings were gaudily lit with bright life, and light and shadow danced over the railings. The entirety of Chang’an had turned into a large city that never slept.
Chen Xing still remembered Chi Xiaoduo, and he said, "You… aren’t you that Chi… whatever from later generations? We’ve met in the illusory realm before."
Chi Xiaoduo instantly grew excited and replied, "Right! Why is it you guys again?"
"Isn’t it not yet a holiday?" Xiang Cheng glanced quizzically around at his surroundings.
"And where is this?" Xiang Shu asked.
Xiang Shu and Chen Xing were wearing Jin robes, as they had been in Jiankang. They had just finished attending a banquet hosted by the royal family and had been walking down the street, preparing to head home.
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo were wearing loose t-shirts and board shorts. They had just finished playing around with skateboards outside their home, and were passing through the streets lit with streetlights. Suddenly, without any warning, they were sent just like this into the Chang’an of the Great Tang Dynasty.
"Is anyone there?" Chi Xiaoduo immediately realized. They had probably crashed into Li Jinglong and Hongjun’s territory.
"So weird!" Chen Xing looked at himself, then at Xiang Shu; the four of them had all become 3D models. But Xiang Shu was still very handsome. After becoming a drawing, his eyes had grown significantly bigger, and his skin was even better, what was going on there?
"Thank goodness this is a 3D donghua!" Chi Xiaoduo said to Xiang Cheng. "Otherwise, we’d have become flat pieces…"
Xiang Cheng: "We’re attracting too much attention, let’s find a place first…"
"Is anyone here?!" Chen Xing and Chi Xiaoduo completely ignored Xiang Cheng. They shouted again, "What’s going on! Someone, come quickly and explain!"
Xiang Cheng: "..."
Xiang Shu: "..."
The Great Tang citizens passing by sent odd glances towards these four people wearing such unique clothing. Just as the patrolling soldiers were about to step forth, Hongjun suddenly rushed out from within an alley, and with a skid, he grabbed Chen Xing’s hand, indicating that the group follow him quickly.
In the back alley, Chi Xiaoduo pointed at Hongjun and laughed loudly. Hongjun felt his own face; everyone’s skin was smooth, their figures flawless, and even the quality of their clothes had changed. He then stroked Li Jinglong’s face.
"I don’t know what happened exactly," Li Jinglong said. "But most likely, it has something to do with Yongsi’s brush. We have to get it back as quickly as possible."
"Wow, your skin’s become so nice," Chi Xiaoduo said. "They must have put a lot of work into this model."
"Your skin is also pretty good," Chen Xing said. "Also, what is a model? Even now, I don’t know what happened."
Hongjun: "Just think of it like a dream."
Chi Xiaoduo: "That’s right, that’s right, perhaps sooner or later, you guys will also experience this."
Chen Xing: "?"
Xiang Shu: "Cough!"
Li Jinglong explained for a long while, and only then did the four people (Xiang Cheng and Xiang Shu) understand that for who knows what reason, they had been summoned into a scene that the Exorcism Department had once experienced before -- inside the Nightingale of Spring Dawn, in Pingkang Li.
"I suspect that the Landscape Brush is with one of the fox yao here," Li Jinglong said, at the very end.
Xiang Cheng: "So we just need to find your compa- your colleague’s artifact, and that’s it?"
Li Jinglong also couldn’t say for sure, but he nodded reluctantly. Xiang Cheng then looked at Xiang Shu, who said, "Whatever. Since it’s catching yao, then let’s go in ba."
Li Jinglong lifted his gaze to look at the brightly colored carved pillars, before saying, "Brothers, your clothes are too conspicuous, you should change outfits first. I’ll have someone bring over the local attire of the people here right now."
Less than a moment later, Li Jinglong had a soldier bring over Tang robes. Xiang Shu was dressed in a light silver outfit, while Xiang Cheng’s robes were deep black. Li Jinglong then asked, "Do you have weapons?"
Xiang Shu had a long sword. Xiang Cheng looked around, but he didn’t have anything on him except a skateboard in his hands, so he could only put the skateboard on his back. Curiously, Hongjun asked, "What is this?"
Chi Xiaoduo said, "I’ll give you guys a demonstration…"
"Let’s go quickly ba, what time is it already." Xiang Cheng and Xiang Shu quickly helped Chi Xiaoduo and Chen Xing change clothes respectively.
Li Jinglong had an epiphany at this crucial moment and said, "The performance is about to start, let’s talk about it later."
Following that, they all swarmed into the Nightingale of the Spring Dawn.
"Wow," Chi Xiaoduo said, "So luxurious!"
Chen Xing: "So pretty!"
In the Nightingale of the Spring Dawn, the lights shone as though it was day. Light and shadow mixed gracefully all around, rolls of silk flew across, and the revolving scenic lantern cast out the mountain and lake scenery like a dream.
"We’ve experienced this scene before," Hongjun whispered.
Hongjun, Chen Xing, and Chi Xiaoduo sat on the inside end of the low couch while Xiang Shu, Xiang Cheng, and Li Jinglong sat on the outer end, scrutinizing the stage. Li Jinglong said, "I know now that later that pipa yao will appear. Those fox yao may have gotten Yongsi drunk and gotten him to give her his brush…"
"Whoever you say to beat up," Xiang Shu said, "then we’ll beat up, enough."
Xiang Cheng said, "Yes, you just issue orders."
Li Jinglong wiped away his sweat and nodded. He was still a bit restless right now because this point in time just so happened to be when he couldn’t use any arcane abilities. However, with the help of two martial god-level guys here, he relaxed a bit.
Although it was hard to tell, the Heart Lamp was indeed in his body. If Li Jinglong tried his luck, maybe he could use it...
A-Tai and the others were seated next door, and Li Jinglong nodded at them. Pulling away the screen for a bit, he could see that Qiu Yongsi wasn’t there. Obviously last night, he must have gotten drunk.
"Wow--" Chi Xiaoduo, Hongjun, and Chen Xing all started applauding again.
"Shh," Xiang Shu turned back and motioned at them.
"Haven’t you seen this before? And you’re still like ‘wow’," Chi Xiaoduo said.
Hongjun replied, "But it’s still really wonderful."
The Nightingale of the Spring Dawn’s performance began, and Chen Xing whispered, "Are you guys in the Exorcism Department always this extravagant?"
Hongjun replied, "Just every once in a while, Zhangshi doesn’t have that much money…"
Li Jinglong: "......."
Chen Xing: "What is this, it’s really delicious."
"Are they bing cherry biluo?"
Li Jinglong, Xiang Cheng, and Xiang Shu all looked back.
"In spring the river rises as high as the sea, the bright moon over the sea seemed to be born of the tide…"
The entire Nightingale of the Spring Dawn stirred, everyone seated shouting out, "Li Guinian--"
"Li Guinian ah!" Chi Xiaoduo said excitedly .
"Wow! Li Guinian!" Chen Xing also went along and said excitedly.
"Wait, who’s Li Guinian?" he then blankly asked.
Hongjun had already mastered the key to explaining things to Chen Xing by now and hurriedly said, "You just need to know that he sings songs really well."
Chen Xing: "Oh, he really does sing very well."
Li Jinglong listened for a while and then whispered, "How come Guinian-xiong’s voice is different now?"
Xiang Cheng: "Maybe it’s a dubbed over voice ba?"
Xiang Shu asked, "What’s that?"
Xiang Cheng: "Someone else who sings well sings for him to the side."
"Lip-syncing?" Xiang Shu actually knew what that was.
Li Jinglong: "............................"
"No dust mars the blend of the water and the skies, a lonely wheel-like moon shines bright in the sky…"
"It’s here!" Li Jinglong saw the pipa yao come onstage and immediately notified the two people, "Attack!"
"Who knows how many will return by the light of the moon, the setting moon scatters yearning all over the trees by the river…"
Almost simultaneously, Xiang Shu and Xiang Cheng both turned into shadows that charged toward the stage. The pipa yao absolutely didn't expect that Li Jinglong would take action right away and actually come over there that fast.
"This isn't right ah!" Hongjun said, "Wei, why did you guys begin a qin fight?! This isn't the same as what I remember..."
Chi Xiaoduo: "Maybe this part of the original work has been altered ba!"
Chen Xing: "Wait... what does that mean? The more you talk the less I understand."
"The past has been modified!" Hongjun also gave a one-sentence explanation amidst his busy schedule.
On the stage, both the pipa and Li Guinian's ruan let out sound waves which resounded in all directions. Li Jinglong shouted loudly, "Exorcism Department's official business!" A burst of shouts came from the viewing platform, and the Nightingale of the Spring Dawn was plunged into utter chaos.
"If you want to fight then go fight outside!" the proprietress appeared with her hands on her hips as she roared angrily.
Chi Xiaoduo: "I'm leaving first!"
Chi Xiaoduo took the skateboard off Xiang Cheng's back and whoosh-ed away.
"Wait for me ahhh!" Chen Xing, who was thrown inside the inn by Hongjun and Chi Xiaoduo, shouted, "Take me as well!"
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo were on a skateboard as they zipped over the roof. Chi Xiaoduo leaned on one side, pedaling the skateboard and causing the eaves to rattle as it moved downward. The pipa yao, flying into the air, shot out dark qi from all over her body as she roared angrily, "Li Jinglong, are you calling for help so soon?"
"Acalanātha! Lend me your divine power!" Xiang Cheng made a hand seal with both of his hands. Acalanātha descended!
"Acalanātha! Lend me your divine power!" Xiang Shu swung his long sword. His whole body, bathed in an everlasting golden light, shone upon Chang'an, seemingly turning the night into day!
"Tw-two Acalas??!!" The pipa yao was totally dumbfounded. That's just impossible!
"Aca-" Li Jinglong was clearly not confident enough to try it. Hongjun drifted in and shouted toward the sky, "Zhangshi! You can do it!"
Xiang Cheng and Xiang Shu had simultaneously summoned the manifestation of the god. Li Jinglong's heart was in a jumble. In any case, golden light was all over the place. Maybe even if he failed, he could still pretend to have succeeded in calling the god and muddle his way through.
"Acalanātha! Lend me your divine power!" Li Jinglong swiped his Sword of Wisdom across.
Only to see Xiang Cheng and Xiang Shu's summoned divine forms moving toward the center at the same time, before injecting power into their own Swords of Wisdom, prompting Li Jinglong to also swing his Sword of Wisdom. Golden lights exploded!
Three-fold dharma manifestations of Acala!
Li Jinglong, holding his Sword of Wisdom downward, flashed forward; Chi Xiaoduo on the side, stepped on his skateboard, almost unable to brake his board.
"Wei! Let me through!" Chi Xiaoduo, riding his skateboard, ran directly into the pipa yao's face, followed by Hongjun shooting out four flying knives from one side to surround the pipa yao.
"Dharma manifestation of Dīpankara, lend me your power!" After much difficulty, Chen Xing finally managed to climb up the roof and released the Heart Lamp.
In a split second, the light burned as bright as day, leaving their holders and appearing similar to a multitude of stars amidst the darkness of night. Just like the Milky Way on the horizon, all the lights in the whole city of Chang'an converged in Chen Xing's hands.
Powerful lights shot out from everywhere, hiding the sky and covering the earth, while the brilliance of Li Jinglong's Acala's dharma manifestation blocked out many of them.
"Too bright!" Chi Xiaoduo yelled, "I'm going blind!"
"My bad!" replied Chen Xing.
Li Jinglong charged forward and patched up the last blow. The pipa yao, bathed in golden fire, scattered in all directions, and the Landscape Brush fell with a clang.
"It's a success," Li Jinglong said. "My luck this time is not bad..."
After everyone had gathered together once more, Hongjun said, "Let me try."
Picking up the Landscape Brush, Hongjun waved it in the air. The tip of the brush transformed into a brushwork that resembled a flying dragon, which, with a whoosh, wound around buildings, mountain ranges, lights, and rivers. All of the scenes gradually recovered; bright colors faded and were replaced by rich inks —— the world was akin to a piece of gradually lifted xuan paper. When it passed through their bodies, Chi Xiaoduo discovered that he had regained his 3D body.
"Thanks!" said Li Jinglong.
"Don't mention it!" Xiang Cheng held Chi Xiaoduo's hand. After withdrawing from the world of the fading ink, in the space between heaven and earth, a pure light flashed, and they returned to their real world.
Xiang Shu whistled and, putting his arm around Chen Xing's waist, they returned to the residential street of Jiankang.
The Landscape Brush in Hongjun's hand was like a wand that could stir up the world. The donghua full of dazzling colors disappeared, and Chang'an returned to reality. The two, shoulder to shoulder, looked at this vast and flourishing city that never slept.
—— Extra · End ——
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.