"Chen Xing, this guy, has actually started to eat vinegar?"
This is a post-canon extra set some years after the main text but before the time skip in the epilogue. It's spoiler-free, so feel free to read! It's very, as juu said, Shuxing vibe LMAO
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
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Tenth Year of Taiyuan Period. After the Battle of the Fei River and Fu Jian's death, the age of peace once again returned to the South while chaos reigned constantly throughout the North. The Dis, Xianbeis, Jies, and many other clans waged war against one another, causing the common people to suffer a lot of hardships; refugees plundered all over the place, and many people fell into banditry.
Outside Shanyin County, there were only abandoned, old village settlements on both sides of the road. The autumn was blowing its cold and chilly gusts, yet amidst that barren scenery, a bridal send-off procession wearing all red, with people blowing and beating instruments to create many kinds of lively sounds, was moving along. A bridal sedan chair, which was pulled by a horse, was also present, along with a donkey cart carrying the dowry following it.
"Why haven't they come yet ah." Bored with nothing to do, the bride inside the carriage was currently cracking melon seeds. Facing the carriage curtain, the bride told the people outside, "What kind of joyful music is this, you people play so badly ba!"
From the send-off team to the coachman and even the performers, all of them were trembling in fear, to the point their suonas were all blocked up by their own saliva. A musician scowled miserably as they said, "Daye... it's not that we’re playing badly on purpose, it's just, we're really scared ah!"
"I told you there's no need to be afraid." The bride waved his hand to the outside before saying, "Slow down."
A gust of chill wind blew from inside the ravine. All of a sudden, an arrow flew in with a whoosh and landed right on top of the bridal sedan.
"Hula——" from both sides of the road, mountain bandits appeared one after another as they let out a belly of savage laughter.
"It's finally the time, mwahahahahahaha——"
Mountain Bandit A snarled, "If you don't want to die, freeze!"
The entire procession stopped moving that instant. After receiving information, these mountain bandits had squatted in this place for a long time before finally catching this big fish.
The ringleader of said bandit gang, with a sabre slung over his shoulder, moved forward with swagger. With smiles plastered all over his face, he opened the carriage curtain using the edge of his sabre to look in, and saw a graceful and remarkable bride sitting upright inside; dressed in magnificent attire, the bride's face was covered with a veil.
"Little niangzi," the ringleader said, "come with us ba. I guarantee you won't be treated shabbily——"
As he spoke, the ringleader brought his hand forward, wanting to take the bride's veil off. But then, the bride suddenly shook both of "her" sleeves and did a chain punch as "she" shouted, "Eat my punch!"
Never in his life did the ringleader ever think that there would come a male voice from under the veil. Stupefied, he was caught off-guard and ate that punch head-on, shouting immediately afterward.
Meanwhile, Chen Xing turned to the side and, pressing against the front of the carriage, he first gave him another punch before proceeding to strike the other party with his leg, kicking that ringleader over to the ground.
"Hehehe," Chen Xing said, "I've been waiting for you guys for quite a while, too."
Appearing in the bandits' sight was Chen Xing, wearing a woman's wedding dress, both of his hands on his hips. Then, throwing the veil to one side, he faced the sky as he let out three unrestrained laughs. "Running somewhere?"
Silence befell all corners. After barely managing to crawl up, the ringleader, with a bloody nose and a swollen face, glared at Chen Xing who was currently surrounded by dozens of black-hearted mountain bandits armed with weapons in four corners and eight directions.
Chen Xing looked left and right, but as he was about to say something, someone already shouted:
"WAAAAA—— DON'T KILL ME AAAAH——!" In an instant, the bridal procession, who had already been scared shitless, scattered all over the place.
Chen Xing: "..............."
"Hehehe," the ringleader once again approached Chen Xing and sneered. "What a violent little niangzi, I like it."
"Wei." Chen Xing looked at his surroundings and also sneered. "Don't come over ah. Be careful not to let this xiaoye beat you to death! Look at my world-shattering meteor bow!"
"Whatever! Bring him back! A man is also fine!"
Holding a slingshot that was faintly emitting light in his hand, Chen Xing nocked a pebble, yet the bandits weren't in the slightest bit afraid. After all, there was safety in numbers, and moreover, Chen Xing only had one slingshot. So what if one or two stones hit them on the face?
"Wei!" After retreating again and again, Chen Xing finally shouted in the end, "HEEEEELP MEEEEEEE——"
The moment this "HEEEEELP MEEEEEEE——" sounded, a dragon roar similar to the sound of a powerful army echoed from a distant location. Golden light burst off on the horizon and amidst the wilderness, a figure dressed in a sunset red shoot out, flying toward the spot where the bride's escort party was being robbed.
Appearing on the bandits' sight was Xiang Shu, in his magnificent bridegroom attire, urging his mighty horse to move faster. With a steelyard in his hand, he loudly shouted, "Jia——"
"Yu!" Xiang Shu reigned his horse in the middle of the road and looked at Chen Xing expressionlessly.
The mountain bandits shifted their attention immediately. Knowing that a big shot had arrived, they bent their bows and nocked the arrows before shooting at Xiang Shu, one after another.
Xiang Shu was practically blowing his top. The two of them had been on their way to pass through Shanyin County when they had asked for lodging at a large family's house. There, they learned that the nearby mountain bandits were going rampant, even threatening to rob the bride on the day the daughter of the family head was about to be married, making them worry so much they had no idea what to do. Chen Xing had then volunteered to eliminate those pests for common people.
And so, he chose an auspicious day based on the celestial chart and did enough of a wedding ceremony as a show to deceive the mountain bandits. Xiang Shu was dressed as the bridegroom, while Chen Xing was disguised as the bride. However, since Xiang Shu had wasted a lot of time changing to his wedding attire, Chen Xing didn't feel like waiting for him and came out ahead of time.
Of course, before this, the two also had a quarrel over a very small matter, probably along the lines of "which fork to take on the road" or some other minutiae, which made them ignore each other the next day.
Only now was Xiang Shu finally invited back to the scene.
"Who was shouting 'help me'?" asked Xiang Shu in a cold and indifferent manner. He was waiting for Chen Xing to make peace first.
"Ah, yes, ah." Chen Xing, who was currently surrounded by a group of mountain bandits, remained unruffled in face of a crisis. Unperturbed, he sized them up as he asked, "I'm asking you all ne, who was shouting 'help me'?"
Mountain Bandits: "..............."
"What were you running so fast for?" Finally fed up with it, Xiang Shu approached Chen Xing in a rage.
Chen Xing asked, "Didn't you have to change your clothes? And dress up! You beautiful man ah! With those little jiejies surrounding you, I didn't think you could spare the time, so I just came here first la."
"So, why haven't you started yet?" Chen Xing asked Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu: "Sort it out yourself. Don't you run very fast?"
No matter how foolish those mountain bandits were, they could see that these two people were on the same team. Since Chen Xing had no combat strength, they would deal with him later after eliminating Xiang Shu.
And thus, the bandits rushed forward. Flicking his hand, Xiang Shu intended to use the steelyard, which was meant to be used for lifting up the bridal veil. He wanted to conveniently use the steelyard weight to replicate a meteor hammer, but he didn't expect that Chen Xing over there would escape the encirclement and draw on his slingshot.
WHOOSH—— Chen Xing immediately shot stones upon stones in rapid succession. Surprisingly, the pebbles shot by that slingshot could actually follow the bandits' tracks. In the air, they drew arcs in all directions, whizzing as they chased after the mountain bandits, eventually catching up with them. This was Chen Xing’s latest weapon design that was intended to take someone by surprise on the back of their head, all with a prerequisite: Xiang Shu was there to attract people's attention for him.
By the time the mountain bandits realized there was a surprise attack from behind, it was already too late. Xiang Shu had barely thrown off the steelyard weight when those mountain bandits had already fallen all over the place in chaos.
Xiang Shu: "..............."
Chen Xing: "..............."
Chen Xing mounted the donkey after managing to catch up with it. Xiang Shu impatiently said, "Where are you going this time?"
"I'm going to take out the bandits' lair," Chen Xing said. "You go back ba."
Xiang Shu was so damn frustrated; Chen Xing, this guy, has actually started to eat vinegar? Though when you think about it, eating vinegar is proof that Chen Xing truly loves him... This made Xiang Shu's mood turn complicated; he didn't know whether he should be angry or take advantage of this.
"Donkey is too slow," Xiang Shu said, "get on the horse ba!"
Chen Xing looked at him. Since riding on a donkey like this truly wouldn't get him there even until the sky turned dark, he got on the horse. Xiang Shu shouted "Jia!" and spurring the horse as fast as possible, they left the place.
One shichen later, Shanyin County's Martial God Stronghold.
"Who?!" the whole stronghold was startled.
"Here to deliver to you the bride!" Xiang Shu shouted before dismounting from his horse and launching a one-sided mass beating.
CRASH—— Chen Xing was still fiddling with his guided slingshot when he saw Xiang Shu, holding the steelyard in one hand with his legs slightly apart in the middle of the stronghold, stood tall and mighty in a way similar to Mt. Tai, fallen mountain bandits all around him.
Chen Xing still had something he wanted to try. After all of the mountain bandits had fallen, he shot one last pebble. But the pebble, which couldn't locate any enemy, turned around and flew toward Xiang Shu. Turning his back to Chen Xing, Xiang Shu nimbly raised his hand without even looking and caught the pebble with a "pow."
Chen Xing wiped his sweat. Next time, he needed to count the exact number of people, otherwise, if they were all knocked down already, the rest of the active ones would turn back and target themselves.
"Satisfied?" Xiang Shu glanced at Chen Xing.
The chief of the Martial God Stronghold struggled to crawl away while groaning to himself.
Chen Xing was sizing Xiang Shu up when he saw that this Martial God Stronghold was decorated with lanterns and banners. The chief, who had been waiting for a wife, had properly arranged the place in advance; under the red candlelight, the scene looked very ambiguous. Xiang Shu looked at his surroundings before turning his head to look at Chen Xing, whose appearance looked incomparably charming.
Chen Xing went up to the chief's throne and sloppily sat down. He then said with a smile, "I guess it's barely enough to be counted as satisfying? Yo, the sky has gotten dark."
Looking out, Xiang Shu pondered for a while before picking up the veil and casually throwing it. The veil flew toward Chen Xing and landed, safe and secure, on his head.
When Chen Xing was about to say something, Xiang Shu came forward. And then, using the steelyard, he raised the veil and threw it aside.
"Get down, that is Dawang's seat," Xiang Shu motioned to Chen Xing.
Chen Xing laughed and asked, "Where do I sit then?"
After sitting down, Xiang Shu looked around before patting his own thigh and said, "Dawang allows you to sit on his leg."
"Does Dawang want to eat grapes?" Chen Xing saw that there were all kinds of fruits on the side. Bringing them over, he pretended to feed Xiang Shu before pinching the fruit on his face at the last moment and causing the juice to spurt on Xiang Shu's face.
Xiang Shu restrained Chen Xing, which prompted him to immediately beg for mercy. "Ai! Don't play anymore!"
"I'm not playing with you..." Xiang Shu said as he pressed Chen Xing into the mountain bandits' chief's throne, red candles reflecting on both people who were still on their wedding attires.
"There is a well-decorated bridal chamber at the back..." Chen Xing said, "Let's go there and have fun."
And thus, Xiang Shu proceeded to lift Chen Xing in a princess carry before moving to the back room.
The next day, at the first glimmer of dawn, Chen Xing and Xiang Shu rode together on a horse and left Shanyin.
"Where to next?" asked Xiang Shu.
"Go west ba." Chen Xing smiled. "You once said, you would bring me all the way until we leave the Central Plains and go to places we've never been."
—— Extra · End ——
Raws available on Weibo here. This is originally shared on May 2021 by the winner of the raffle being done in commemoration of Tiandi Baiju’s physical copy release. Also, uh, there is no title for this…
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Elestrea.