"Bad news! The debt collector has come again!"
Chen Xing had just stood up when Xie An pulled at him, saying, “Junior brother, teach me how to cultivate so I can use the spiritual energy of heaven and earth.”
“There, is, no, more, spiritual energy of heaven and earth! There is no way! Senior brother, just how much do you want to learn magic?” Chen Xing felt that Xie An was helpless.
“I can learn the theory first, that way when an opportunity comes, I can cultivate.”
Chen Xing was dragged by Xie An into his meditation room. Who knew that a southern minister would want to be an exorcist so much. After thinking through things clearly today, he felt that his master in the past had just randomly gave Xie An some points, said he would accept him as an apprentice, pointed out the so-called “right path” to him, and let him go home and buy magic artifacts himself to practice on his own so he didn’t run over to Mt. Hua to cling onto him.
“Fine.” Seeing Xie An so enthusiastic, Chen Xing thought to let it slide, “I’ll teach. Senior brother, I’ll teach you about the five elements first.”
The spiritual energy of heaven and earth may be gone, but the trick to meditating still existed. An exorcist’s practice was diverse, similar to a martial artist’s internal meridians. Chen Xing casually brought out some basics and let him meditate. He said, “You can’t get up or move for two shichen.” To prevent Xie An from clinging onto him, he left, deciding to go argue with Xiang Shu.
When he arrived at the other courtyard, he saw Xiang Shu facing towards the spring sun, with the bamboo scroll spread across his knees, and using his left hand to carefully press on the meridians of his right arm. He was clearly studying how to use the exorcist sword. Under the sunlight, the young martial artist was incomparably handsome. Chen Xing’s anger dissipated the moment he saw this.
“There is no spiritual energy of heaven and earth.” Chen Xing spoke, “Even if Budong Rushan is a peerless divine weapon, it will be ineffective.”
When Xiang Shu saw that Chen Xing had come, he retrieved the scroll, his expression a bit unnatural. He asked, “How did it work before?”
“Because of the heart lamp.” Chen Xing answered wearily, “The mana you used was from my heart lamp. You took all the mana from my heart lamp when you grew anxious the last time, which is why I vomited blood.”
Xiang Shu immediately understood. That was to say, currently the Protector did not have the ability to slay demons. It was when the exorcist by his side was drawing power by burning his life force that Xiang Shu was able to borrow that mana to use Budong Rushan.
“Would using resentment be able to activate the divine weapon?” Xiang Shu suddenly asked.
“It’s best not to,” Chen Xing immediately replied, “I’ve always felt that resentment can easily bite back at you. In case Shi Hai’s mastery over resentment is stronger than I thought, it would be unthinkable if they could in turn take advantage of this.”
Xiang Shu packed the scroll away. Chen Xing said, “You should wait and see, when the day comes… “
“Then what do you want me to do?” Xiang Shu earnestly asked, “Can you show me a clear path?”
This is a really contradictory matter. If Xiang Shu wanted to protect Chen Xing, he must use the relationship between Protector and Exorcist to draw out the mana from Chen Xing’s heart lamp to wield the sword. If he drew out too much, Chen Xing could get seriously injured, or maybe even die.
“What else can I do?" Chen Xing said exasperatedly, "When the time comes for you to use it, of course you have to use it. I'm just reminding you that you don't have to be so anxious when fighting... "
Suddenly, he had a faint idea and recalled that he only had three years of life left. He is destined to die at the age of twenty, could it be that... it may be heaven's will that when Xiang Shu and Shi Hai fight the decisive final battle, for the sake of supporting Xiang Shu, he would completely burn away his life to use the heart lamp?
It really may be that way. Chen Xing showed a rare expression of loss, and Xiang Shu stared at him strangely.
He only saw Chen Xing's expression rapidly change multiple times for a short moment before returning to normal.
"Ah," Chen Xing muttered to himself as he thought, "that's right, it must be like this."
"Like what?" Xiang Shu became confused.
Besides this, what other accident could happen in his life? Most accidents are avoidable. Mortals are all destined to die one day; to die in such an impactful way shouldn't be too bad.
Chen Xing smiled again and turned to speak to Xiang Shu, "I understand now, it's all heaven's will. It's fine, just use it however you wish."
"Are you sick?" Xiang Shu asked.
Just as Chen Xing was about to come up with something to reassure Xiang Shu, the Xie family's steward shouted, rushing through the corridor.
“Laoye! Laoye!” The housekeeper cried, “Bad news! The debt collector has come again!”
Chen Xing: “……”
Xiang Shu: “……”
“Your Laoye is in seclusion,” Chen Xing came to the door, explaining, “Don’t bother him. If he doesn't succeed later on, let's see how you plan on explaining yourself.”
The housekeeper pulled a long face. Pointing outside, Chen Xing spoke, “There’s still nearly two shichen left, how about you first let the guest… wait, the Xie household owes money? The Xie household is so rich, how could they be in debt?”
“Xie Anshi!” A voice resounded from outside, “Come out! I know you’re home! You have to go to court today!”
Xiang Shu and Chen Xing both whipped their heads back at the same time and were shocked stiff.
There stood Feng Qianjun donning an indigo brocade robe, dangling jade pendants, with two longswords strapped to his waist, and wearing a pair of cloud-embroidered boots. Walking with loud steps into the Xie house, he shouted, “Lord Xie Anshi! You agreed to return the money yesterday! Yesterday night you said you had guests so fine, I let it slide, but today… Tianchi? Brother Xiang?!”
Feng Qianjun greeted the two that were still shocked stupid.
Chen Xing cried out loud. He rushed up to him screaming, “Feng Dage-!”. He leapt up and threw himself onto Feng Qianjun. Xiang Shu wanted to say hello but upon seeing this scene, gave a slight frown. Displaying a little irritation, he didn’t bother to greet Feng Qianjun.
“Tianchi! Tianchi!” Feng Qianjun laughed loudly, “How come you’re here? When did you arrive?”
Feng Qianjun looked at him like he might as well gobble Chen Xing into his stomach, grabbing onto him and rubbing at him. Chen Xing couldn’t stop laughing. Xiang Shu only gave a slight nod, obviously not intending on catching up with Feng Qianjun, and turned around and left.
“Aye! Xiang Shu!” Chen Xing called out, “Don’t you want to chat for a bit?”
Xiang Shu turned around to leave but Feng Qianjun called loudly after Xiang Shu’s silhouette: “I’m going to get married in a few days! No need for you to get jealous, Brother Xiang!"
Chen Xing turned towards Feng Qianjun and made a “hush” gesture, exasperatedly saying, “What are you talking about?! Wait, why did you come here to collect debt?”
“It’s a long story,” Feng Qianjun replied, “We can talk about it when we go to my bank.”
Chen Xing informed him that he was currently residing here. He grabbed onto Feng Qianjun and borrowed one of Xie An’s house’s tea rooms. When the housekeeper saw that the debt collector was being taken away, he hurriedly served tea as the two sat down and told each other of the things that happened whilst the other was away.
“So that’s how it was.”
When passing by Chi Le Chuan, Feng Qianjun had only heard the gist of things. He sighed and nodded his head.
Chen Xing couldn't help but feel guilty when he mentioned Xiao Shan. He had originally wanted to entrust Xiao Shan to the Xiongnu tribe and let him stay and grow up there, but he had never asked Xiao Shan what it was that he wanted. After having a long talk with Xiang Shu on the ship that day, Chen Xing gradually realized that everyone has something they wished to do and places they wished to go.
He had to write a letter to Xiao Shan to tell him that they are in Jiangnan, and if Xiao Shan wished, he could ask somebody to pick him up again. He was letting him make his own choice. But what could he do when he was about to die? Chen Xing’s mood was in a turmoil. On one hand, he liked the child very much; he was willing to take care of him until he didn’t need him anymore. But on the other hand, he subconsciously doesn’t want to deepen the feelings between them, lest when the time comes for him to go, Xiao Shan would definitely be very miserable.
“Can you help me send a letter to Chi Le Chuan to Xiao Shan?” Chen Xing recalled that the Xifeng Bank dabbled in the information industry. Feng Qianjun must’ve already been aware of many things so he casually remarked, “You must’ve already heard some of the things that happened.”
“No,” Feng Qianjun replied, “There’s still some things that I don’t understand. But the fact that Brother Xiang Shu resigned from his position as the Great Chanyu and left Chi Le Chuan with you, I already knew a long time ago…”
“What?” Chen Xing nearly knocked over the tea bowl, shocked, “Resigned from being the Great Chanyu?”
“Yeah,” Feng Qianjun was also surprised, “He didn’t tell you? Both inside and outside the Great Wall, the Central Plains, Jiangnan, and other places, everyone knew everything in one night.”
Chen Xing asked blankly, “When did this happen?”
Feng Qianjun told Chen Xing the general date. Chen Xing remembered that it was during the time they were in Karakorum. Had Xiang Shu already decided to no longer be the Great Chanyu at that time?
He could only hear Feng Qianjun say, “The information I received was that Shulü Kong had handed over the Jade Tallies of the 16 Hu People to the Tiele Chief, unsheathed the sword, returned the bow, sealed the strings, made a sacrifice to heaven, and even played the ancient flute music to express his intentions. Now the Great Chanyu is the Tiele tribe’s Shi Mokun. Fu Jian has already sent a letter to Karakorum asking the elders to host a purple scroll and golden mandate ceremony as soon as possible, prepare to mobilize troops, and attack the South.”
Chen Xing’s mind went blank and was at a loss for words for a long time.
“Why did he resign from being the Great Chanyu?” Chen Xing had difficulty processing.
Feng Qianjun was even more incredulous, asking back, “Isn’t he your Protector? It’s only expected that he would resign from being the Great Chanyu.”
Chen Xing, “No, no… Xiang Shu!”
Chen Xing instinctively stood up and was just about to bolt out right as Xiang Shu was about to come in. The two nearly crashed into each other. Xiang Shu had a cold look on his face, glaring at Feng Qianjun with a look of reproach.
What kind of person was Feng Qianjun? Naturally, he was long aware that Xiang Shu did not want to tell Chen Xing. He smiled to himself.
Ice: Hahahaha, don’t be mean Xiang Shu… Feng Qianjun is the best wingman!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro and opal.