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Chapter 118 - Stone Memorial

Dinghai Fusheng Records


“Xiang Shu, you’re so smart, you’ve thought of so much!”


Content Warning:
non-explicit, implied NSFW

Translator(s): moon
Editor(s): juurensha, namio

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Across the vast wilderness, the wind swept across Youzhou. It was early winter, and the entirety of Youzhou was covered with a dense white fog. On the southern bank of the great Liao River, there were already people residing in a village that had once been falling into disrepair.

This was a village where Xianbei people lived together with Han and Dongying people. Chen Xing and Xiang Shu were passing through, so they temporarily took up lodgings here.

No one figured out who Xiang Shu was, but no matter if they were Hu or Han, they were very polite, treating them as just some more passing travelers. In the Han language the villagers asked Chen Xing, “What did you two come here to do?”, to which Chen Xing responded with, “We are brothers, he’s my Ge. He’s born from the legitimate wife, so he’s tall, handsome, and knows how to fight, while I was born of a mistress, so I didn’t get enough nutrition. That’s why I’m so weak.”

But Xiang Shu replied, “Don’t listen to his nonsense. I’m his servant, he’s a young master, a scholar.”

Chen Xing gestured for Xiang Shu to stop causing a ruckus, but Xiang Shu replied in the Tiele language, “Brothers can’t be married, do you understand?”

Chen Xing didn’t know whether to cry or laugh at that. The village was currently preparing quarters for them, and there were quite a few rooms in the village that had been emptied out. Theirs had been swept and cleaned up well, and there was freshly-felled firewood stacked against the wall. In the room, Chen Xing used the pine wood to start a fire in the stove. Xiang Shu, meanwhile, went out and hunted a few wild rabbits for dinner. There was meat simmering in the pot, and the room was nice and warm. Xiang Shu changed into clothes that he wore at home and sat to one side drinking tea, while Chen Xing, in just his inner robes, started to prepare dinner.

It was their own little world, and it was filled with a warm and gentle charm.

This scene and these actions were just like those of any normal Tiele, Dongying, Xianbei, or Han family.

Sometimes, Chen Xing thought that if things were like this, that’d also be pretty good. As long as he was with Xiang Shu, anywhere was a land of otherworldly beauty.

“What are you thinking about?” Chen Xing asked him while smiling, believing that he was still thinking about Xiao Shan.

But as soon as Xiang Shu glanced at Chen Xing, his face actually turned red.

“Not much. I’m thinking about the residents here,” Xiang Shu said stiffly.

“The residents?” Chen Xing asked curiously. “What’s wrong with the residents?”

Xiang Shu replied, “You didn’t notice? There’s people of all races here, and they’ve all intermarried.”

“Oh yeah,” Chen Xing said. “This is where the three countries of Han, Hu, and Dongying intersect in Youzhou. I even heard people speaking in the Tiele language. When did they come here?”

“The ones who moved south may have done so some decades ago. When Tiele people turn sixteen,” Xiang Shu said, focusing first on the stove, then turning to Chen Xing, “they have to prepare to get married.”

Chen Xing chuckled. “Thankfully you waited four years for me.”

Xiang Shu replied, “No matter if I was the Great Chanyu or not, I’d still head south to search for you. It’s just that you were hiding too far away, and finding you would be a very difficult task.”

Chen Xing replied gleefully, “Will a magical artifact always wish to seek out another? Though at the start, I didn’t know who you were, and you didn’t know where I was, but because it was fated to be, you would have found me regardless.”

Xiang Shu finished the tea in his cup, easily handing it off to Chen Xing, who filled it up again. Their fingers touched. Though they had already hugged each other and gone to sleep, Xiang Shu still seemed a little nervous, and he added, “Most Tiele young men don’t like to marry those of the same tribe as them. Sometimes, they’ll head down south and cross the Great Wall to go wandering, but they won’t kidnap people.”

Chen Xing replied, “So it’s a tradition then, for you all to find people of other tribes to marry.” And as he said that, he recalled that most of the wives and children he saw in the Tiele tribe were not from within the tribe. Many of the tribes in Saiwai did not have large numbers, like the Akeles, who numbered in the mere thousands. For them to marry within their tribes for long periods of time meant that it was easy for problems of blood and succession to arise.

Aside from that, the prophets of the Tiele people had also learned much from watching the horses. Many of the offspring of their own horses and the wild horses of the Yin Mountains were strong, whereas foals bred from horses kept in close captivity oftentimes were a mixed bunch.

Hundreds of years ago, it was the Tiele people who first had such thoughts, and they encouraged their people to marry those of other tribes. They hoped that through marriage with the Han people, they would be able to inherit their intelligence and their learning, and through marriage with the Xianbei people, to inherit their fair skin… so on and so forth. The mixing of the blood of the various Hu tribes, and when the blood of the Hus and the Hans coursed through the same body, caused the Tiele people to swiftly grow in influence in a mere few hundred years, becoming the strongest tribe north of the Great Wall.

En.” Xiang Shu watched Chen Xing absentmindedly through the fire, taking the milk tea that was handed to him. “Once in a while, they’d gather up in groups and head south, going to your people’s lands. When they saw someone they liked, they’d go back to fetch the bride-price. If the person was willing, then the two of them would go back to the qinglu in Chi Le Chuan and exchange vows there. If they were unwilling, then the Tiele person taking up residence in the south was also not a problem.”

This kind of internal migration was very slow, but was also one of diffusion. Compared to how Liu Yuan, Yao Chang, Fu Jian, Murong Huang, and the rest had conquered the Han people’s territories, burned their houses, and turned them into slaves, this was a more gentle, and more effective method.

Chen Xing said, “In our Han people’s customs, we rarely marry outsiders. For those outside of our tribe, their hearts will inevitably differ; even within us Han people, there are rules to be followed when it comes to marriage, let alone with Hu people.”

“Gentry clans of power and influence have differences,” Xiang Shu said, matter-of-factly, “but every family has their own origins. You Han people always look down on foreigners, which is why in the end, you all ended up where you are today under Liu Yuan’s hands.”

When Chen Xing heard these words, he grew unhappy. Criticizing him was okay, but criticizing his people was not, so he said, “We’re not like that.”

Xiang Shu didn’t argue any further. Instead, he raised an eyebrow in a silent query, is dinner ready?

Chen Xing then ladled some out for him to eat, before suddenly thinking about how the people living in the village, the Hans, the Hus, and even the Dongying people, were all living together. On them, just like with Chen Xing and Xiang Shu, was there also some hint of destiny that spanned thousands of years on this divine land? Even if they had blood feuds between them so deep that it was impossible for them to live under the same sky, there would always come a day when all of this would be in the past. Just like a vast land covered with ruins after the fires of war raged across it, within these remains, new life would blossom, returning to that former vitality.

Perhaps, there would come a day when Hus and Hans would multiply, generation after generation, on this land, marrying each other and giving birth to the next generation. Thousands of years later, the residents of the Divine Land, after the melding of bloodlines, would be unable to be distinguished from each other.

 

As night fell, the two of them left the charred remains of the campfire, lying down to sleep in the house. The floor bunk was very small, and for both of them to be under the blankets, they had to hug each other very closely. After their bodies rubbed together for a bit, Chen Xing and Xiang Shu’s bodies grew burning hot again.

“I… I can’t hold back any more,” Xiang Shu said, quiet and hurried. “Give yourself to me, Chen Xing… I will definitely marry you. Other than you, I will be with no one else in my life, nor will I let you leave me, never, so give… give in to me.”

Chen Xing felt that one of Xiang Shu’s hands was stroking him, so he turned his head and kissed him, stopping any further words. He then nodded nervously, and for a while, his nervousness was incomparable. He turned. That feeling was foreign, but also exciting, filling him with anticipation.

But Xiang Shu was even more nervous than Chen Xing. When they pressed together, Chen Xing felt that his heart was beating very fast, so fast that it was about to leap out of his chest.

“Okay… okay,” Chen Xing said in a small voice.

A moment later, Chen Xing let out an anguished howl.

“AAAAH--! IT HURTS!”

Xiang Shu was a little at a loss for what he did wrong. “What? It hurts?”

“It hurts so much I’m going to die!!!” Chen Xing’s volume was rising to a wild shout, and Xiang Shu immediately said, “Don’t… don’t move just yet! It’s going to twist! Alright, alright, I’ll come out right now!”

Chen Xing: “...”

Xiang Shu: “...”

“It hurts… it hurts too much.” Chen Xing was on the verge of a storm of tears, so Xiang Shu could only stop.

“I haven’t even gone in,” Xiang Shu said dejectedly. “It hurts that much?”

Chen Xing nodded vigorously, his entire face bright red. It really hurt a lot, so he said, “This won’t work ba!”

Upon seeing that Chen Xing was shouting as if he had been stabbed by some divine weapon, Xiang Shu let go of that desire. He changed his tune and said, “Alright, let’s talk about it later ba.”

“No no,” Chen Xing replied, “I’ve recovered, let’s continue, I’ll… just bear with it for a bit.”

“Forget it.” Xiang Shu didn’t dare to try again; he was afraid that if he went for it with brute force, he would hurt Chen Xing. Though he really wanted to in his heart, in the end he still cared for him too much. He had Chen Xing turn around instead, pulling him into his embrace as they always had, their bodies pressed together. He pulled up his pants for him.

Chen Xing still felt a little lingering fear towards that move just now, because it hurt even more than when he was hit by an arrow last time. After all, the most serious injury and the greatest suffering he had experienced in his life was that stray arrow that had been coated with anesthetic in Xiangyang, but he hadn’t thought that this would hurt so much! What good was there about this! Why did they all have to do this when they got married?! The one hundred days after they exchanged vows in the qinglu, was that to torture them?

“You and Huleishan are really alike,” Chen Xing panted. “Too big and also rock hard!”

“What?!” Xiang Shu said in disbelief. “Who’s Huleishan?! You… before, you’ve…”

Chen Xing replied, “That horse of King Akeles’ tribe. Haven’t you seen it before?”

Xiang Shu: “.....”

Huleishan was the king of the horses that the Akeles tribe, who were known for raising horses, had raised, and it was a majestic stallion, bigger than all the rest. It was a fierce horse, and it galloped as swiftly as the wind. It never let anyone ride it, and if they wanted to have it breed, that would depend on its mood. Chen Xing had inadvertently seen its divine weapon once, and his entire being had been shaken to his very core right then.

Xiang Shu: “.......”

Just as Chen Xing was about to describe his feelings at that moment, Xiang Shu revealed an expression tinged with defeat, and he said, “Sleep ba.”

“How about we try…” Chen Xing kept feeling sorry for Xiang Shu, so he said, “I’ll grit my teeth and bear it ba. This process of b… breeding, how long does it usually take?”

Xiang Shu: “You think I’m a horse? Sleep! Stop talking nonsense!”

Chen Xing: “Are you angry?”

“No,” Xiang Shu replied. “Let’s talk about this later, I’m really not.”

Though he said he wasn’t, Chen Xing kept feeling like Xiang Shu had taken it to heart a little. When they woke the next morning, as Chen Xing was washing up by the well, he saw that Xiang Shu was a little irritated; he clearly hadn’t slept well last night either.

 

“What is this place called?” Chen Xing studied their surroundings, only to see that despite it being winter, the water was blue and the mountains were green. During the day, it was another kind of beautiful landscape.

“Walunnu,” Xiang Shu replied. After washing his face, he had grown a little more animated.

“Walunnu!” Chen Xing suddenly remembered. Wasn’t this the place last time where Xiang Shu had been investigating Wang Ziye’s whereabouts and had crossed swords with him the first time?

“That’s right,” Xiang Shu replied. “Once upon a time, all of the villagers in this village had turned into drought fiends, and I burnt them all to death.”

The last time Xiang Shu had come here, Wang Ziye had been transforming the corpses in the village. After that, Xiang Shu burnt all of the drought fiends and chased after Wang Ziye’s tracks, all the way down south. Youzhou was out of the way and not many people resided there, as early as when the Xianbei were governing the area. When Fu Jian defeated the Great Yan dynasty of the Murong clan, the Jin king Sima Yao had gone to great expense to help the several counties of Youzhou become independent, intending to have them defeat the Qin and revive the Jin dynasty. He also used ships to bring many Jin troops, supporting Youzhou in defeating the Qin.

Though Fu Jian’s power stretched far, the waves of rebellion were not large. And because this was an intersection of four powers -- the ancient Chi Le Covenant, the Dongying, the Qin, and the Han -- things were very sensitive, and this place would not be easy to conquer by force. Therefore, he listened to Wang Meng’s proposal and set it aside, allowing it to become a region where no one was in control. He would wait until after the Jin dynasty was annihilated to take over.

At this time, the Jin troops were taking action on a small scale, and after finding out that the village had been destroyed, they had surrounded Xiang Shu. After Xiang Shu broke through the ring, he had headed south along the ancient Youzhou road, entering the territory of Shandong, only to be captured when his energy ran out along the Si River...

“The Si River!” Chen Xing said. “Where Xin Yuanping defeated the black jiao!”

En.” Xiang Shu climbed onto his horse and left the village. He glanced back and said, “Come with me.”

Xiang Shu wasn’t in a rush to head to Dongying, instead circling around Walunnu, heading east along the banks of the Liao River.

“Where are we going?” Chen Xing couldn’t resist asking.

Xiang Shu said, “When we left Chi Le Chuan, I thought of a problem. Back then, why did Wang Ziye want to come to the Walunnu area?”

Chen Xing replied, “Perhaps he needed drought fiends?”

At that time, Wang Ziye who had turned into Kjera had already revived the old Great Chanyu Shulü Wen with the Devil God’s blood, but he had instead been given a sky burial by Xiang Shu.

Where had he gone after that? When Xiang Shu reminded him, Chen Xing suddenly became aware of that question as well.

“Not long after my shixiong Wang Meng died,” Chen Xing said, doubtful, “Wang Ziye came to Fu Jian’s side. So then, he went to Chang’an to become a government official?”

En,” Xiang Shu replied. “But after a while, he once again appeared in the north.”

In the many years since Shulü Wen’s death, Xiang Shu had not been able to move on, and he had sent out scouts to seek out Kjera’s whereabouts. After catching the trail, he came on his own, only to discover his target.

“Don’t you find it strange?” Xiang Shu asked, looking coldly and calmly out across the nearby wilderness. “Why did he come all this way to this kind of place? Merely to turn a thousand living people into drought fiends?”

“He could always use more. Perhaps he was bored, so he went wandering?” Chen Xing guessed. “Or he was reviving the princes of the Sima family? Is there the grave of Sima Yue or Sima something else?”

“Then he would have his subordinates come instead,” Xiang Shu said. “Look at this place, is it the intersection of earth veins?”

“No,” Chen Xing said. He also found this a little strange. “This place has nothing to do with the earth veins.”

Xiang Shu: “To defeat your enemy, you must understand your enemy. In these past few days, I’ve been constantly wondering, what exactly is Wang Ziye? How long has he lived on this earth? Why did he become a subordinate of Chiyou?”

These were all things that Chen Xing had never thought about, but in bits and chunks, through crossing swords with Wang Ziye and through Xiang Shu’s words, they seemed to have developed a basic understanding of Wang Ziye -- he had lived for a long time, as if he had regrets in his heart. It was just as Gu Qing had said: he was once a mortal, but had been slaughtered and cut into pieces, before being buried under the ground, suffering endless pain for hundreds of thousands of years.

When he was alive, he had even had a girl who he had liked.

“Is this place his hometown?” Chen Xing suddenly had an idea. “Xiang Shu, you’re so smart, you’ve thought of so much!”

 

Xiang Shu took Chen Xing on his horse around the peak. On the slopes of the mountain on the banks of the Liao River, there appeared a unique house that had once built by fangshi - it was a disused temple.

Behind the temple, two large trees that had been planted reached their branches to the sky. But the leaves had already succumbed to the cold winter, and under it was a stone monument.

This temple was not like any building of any country on this Divine Land. It seemed to have stood here for a long, long time already.

“When I first discovered him,” Xiang Shu said, “he was right here.”

Chen Xing remembered that they had run into Wang Ziye in the Canglangyu without making any preparations. He wouldn’t appear here today, would he?

“What was he doing?” Chen Xing asked.

“He seemed to be making an offering,” Xiang Shu said. “You’re more familiar with historical matters than I am, what did this place used to be?”

Chen Xing replied, “During the Three Kingdoms period, it was under the rule of Yuan Shu.”

Xiang Shu: “Even earlier than that.”

Chen Xing thought for a bit, before continuing, “The Youzhou Province of the Han dynasty? Or Youzhou of the Warring States period. They also called it that during the Zhou dynasty.”

Xiang Shu: “How about even earlier?”

Earlier than even the Battle of Muye, during a period where history itself was blurry and unclear, in the ancient Classic of Mountains and Seas, Chen Xing thought of a name that very few people knew of. It was a name that he had seen in the Classic before.

“The country of Youyi,” Chen Xing said. 

Xiang Shu came to a stop under the tree and used his hand to wipe the stone monument. Two large seal script letters appeared on the right monument, and Xiang Shu glanced at Chen Xing. Chen Xing recognized them and said, “Jiang Yao.”

“What about this side?” Xiang Shu wiped clean the words on the left-hand monument.

“Wang Hai,” Chen Xing murmured. He suddenly had a thought, perhaps Xiang Shu had discovered the key point of a certain question.

“This is his lover’s grave,” Chen Xing said. “Should we dig it up and take a look?”

Digging up a grave and desecrating it like that was an action that would bring down heavenly thunder on them, but to defeat Wang Ziye, Chen Xing was willing to sacrifice even his own destiny. After all, digging up Jiang Yao’s grave was to prevent Wang Ziye from digging up other people’s graves all around.

“There’s no purpose to digging up the grave.” Xiang Shu turned down Chen Xing’s proposal, and he watched him for a bit.

Chen Xing: “?”

Xiang Shu turned his head, frowning. “Let’s go. I just don’t understand, since he has the ability to revive those that have already died, why doesn’t he revive his lover as well?”

Without knowing why, Chen Xing looked at Xiang Shu, constantly feeling like he was hiding something from him. He could sense that Xiang Shu loved him, very very much, but sometimes, his gaze would remind Chen Xing of back then, when they hadn’t yet confessed to each other, but Xiang Shu had already known of Iuppiter’s existence.

It was just like they would be parted at any moment. This kind of uncertainty towards the future caused Xiang Shu’s gaze to carry a hint of tenacity, as if he was angered and doing his utmost to defy destiny.

Back then, when Xiang Shu had emphasized that “I will never let you leave me”, Chen Xing had taken particular note of it. If he was filled with hope for the future, then he wouldn’t go out of his way to say this, which was to say, it was as if he himself was unable to escape his destiny of dying either way. But with how things were now, hadn’t they already gotten better? They were truly together, and the future was bright. Even if they couldn’t kill Chiyou, they had the foundations laid for how to fight back against him.

What was he thinking about? Chen Xing was very curious, yet he didn’t ask. He repeatedly told himself that this was nothing more than him overthinking it, and he couldn’t come to a conclusion on his instincts alone.

When Chen Xing and Xiang Shu came down the mountain, Chen Xing thought for a bit before saying, “It’s not like that. If he revived Jiang Yao and woke her, she would no longer be that person that Wang Ziye loved.”

In reality, Xiang Shu had never understood what exactly this group of drought fiends that Wang Ziye had revived were. To say that they were themselves wasn’t quite right. But to say that they were not was not right either, because each and every one of them were running around with their previous names. Just like Sima Wei - why was it that when he was revived, he said, ‘I also don’t know who I am’?



This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.

Contributors

moon

Translator, writer, avid reader. 吃刀群众. Jiejie enthusiast.

Reach out to me via the links to the right if you would like to re-translate any of my works. Please allow 2 business days for a response to an email or a DM.

namio

gege simp

juurensha

Fic writer, editor, and translator for GHOFD, PUBG, Fanservice Paradox, and other projects.

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RenTheWitch
RenTheWitch
19 minutes ago

Xiang Shu! u need to prepare him first!!!!

Julia Ghoulia
Julia Ghoulia
11 hours ago

chen xing will you PLEASE stop bringing up horses every. damn. time. you’re about to be intimate

Pez
Pez
2 days ago

Now I get why people said the way he writes sex is much more realistic than most you find in this genre ._.

Zigenbunny
Zigenbunny
4 days ago

Omg these two have me dying over here 😅 this is why I love them!! They’re so silly! I thought XS would be a little more knowledgeable since m/m is not uncommon for his people, how could the great chanyu be so unprepared?!

Linda
Linda
5 days ago

Thank you for the update. You’re so quick!

Emily
Emily
5 days ago

Did no one prep you XS on human anatomy? Going raw???!! Poor CX. Hahahaha. I pity him and laughed at the predicament. Pls try again with lube of this dynasty xD

Kinda curious on Ziye. It seems like every single chara in the novel has a backstory

LadySeara
LadySeara
5 days ago

Oh my Goodness, poor Tianchi… And poor Xiang Shu! But Chanyu is a good man, he’ll wait ❤️

Veihakase
Veihakase
5 days ago

We get two NSFW chapters today, this and tianbao~ what a lovely day 🥰 hahahaha BUT THE HORSE THING.. I JUST CAN’T AHAHAHAHAHA the last one made me think of that phrase.. i think therefore i am .. hmmmm

Thank you so much for the chapter!!!~ 🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻

SeaCucumber
SeaCucumber
5 days ago

Awww, XS don’t be discouraged just cause wifey CX can’t take your well endowed divine weapon, the first time often hurts for a lot of people, especially considering you’re both newbies lol. Pick up a book and learn a bit hahaha. Thanks for translating! I’m always dying for the next chapter!