“You’re in charge of protecting me, and I’m in charge of protecting the dog.”
Editor(s): Juurensha, Namio
Two hours later, Beishi.
Xiang Shu: “That last sentence of yours almost drove Jiantou into his grave.”
Chen Xing was holding onto a dog leash. He had changed into a set of plain clothes and was walking the dog with Xiang Shu. Today, Xiang Shu wasn’t wearing a royal robe anymore - firstly, it was to avoid being surrounded by curious onlookers; secondly, it wasn’t convenient to move around in either. But now that he was dressed in Han clothes, it instead made him appear even more handsome.
“I thought you wouldn’t wear Han clothes,” Chen Xing said.
“I’m half-Han,” Xiang Shu stated.
Chen Xing sighed. “When the Jin people detained you in Xiangyang, you must have been very disappointed in them, right?”
Xiang Shu casually replied, “But there are those who are like you too. Since I’m out now, the broad-minded Great Chanyu doesn’t think much of it anymore.”
Chen Xing laughed. He asked, “How is it going on Princess Qinghe’s side?”
Upon thinking of that, Xiang Shu’s face darkened. “I’ve warned her. If she continues to insist on her ways, then she can’t blame me for what happens next. We haven’t met in a long while, and she’s too obstinate, I can’t convince her.”
Xiang Shu and Chen Xing went up to the second floor of the Tingqu building as usual, then tied the dog to one side. With a smile unfurling across his face, Chen Xing spread out the White Tiger Pennant and the Zouyu Pennant.
Xiang Shu first looked at the two rag pieces, then at Chen Xing’s smile, the corners of his lips lifting into a smirk.
Chen Xing was unbelievably happy. He was about to explain to Xiang Shu when he looked up and saw his expression, so he said, “You must be thinking about what’s there to be so happy about over two rag pieces.”
Xiang Shu replied, “No, since you like it, you must have your reasons… I just find it funny to see you so happy like that.”
Chen Xing was all proper as he said, “These two are actually magical artifacts that have been lost for a long time.”
Xiang Shu raised an eyebrow. Chen Xing spread out the White Tiger Pennant on top of the table in their private room and explained to him earnestly: the threads of embroidery were made with mana, the dark ones were runes, while the White Tiger and Zouyu were two mythical beasts… Xiang Shu listened, not quite grasping what he was talking about, and instead spent most of his time staring at Chen Xing’s face. Evidently, Chen Xing’s focused expression was a lot more lively than these two rag pieces.
Before they knew it, the sky had turned dark. Feng Qianjun didn’t come today either.
It was the second day now, and Chen Xing began to feel like something was off - it was already two hours past the time they were supposed to meet.
“We have to go take a look,” he murmured. “Don’t tell me something happened.”
At dusk, Xiang Shu and Chen Xing held the dog leash as they walked onto the road outside Songbai Residence.
“If there’s any trouble later,” Chen Xing began. “You’re in charge of protecting me, and I’m in charge of protecting the dog.”
Xiang Shu: “...”
Xiang Shu glanced at the dog. The dog was rather smart, it just stayed put without making any noise. Chen Xing knew that Xiang Shu thought it would be better to send this dog back to the palace - why bring it on an investigation?
“I insist on this,” Chen Xing said. “Just let me ba.”
The memory of the crazed Princess Qinghe stabbing an innocent dog to death was still as clear as day to Chen Xing, so this time, he didn’t dare to let it stay in the palace alone no matter what.
So Xiang Shu could only let him. With Chen Xing leading the way, they passed through the garden and walked around, making detours. Xiang Shu frowned. “You’ve been here before?”
“It’s Qimen Dunjia,” Chen Xing whispered as he continued navigating. “It’s an array. Just follow me.”
Soon, Chen Xing found the path. They left the garden and arrived at a bright sliding door - shouts could be heard from within.
“Overthrow Fu Jian, restore Great Jin--”
Xiang Shu, “...”
“They’re plotting a rebellion,” Chen Xing whispered. He leaned on the door and peeked inside - the lights were bright, but he couldn’t see Feng Qianjun, while Feng Qianyi was sitting in the center. Xiang Shu grabbed Chen Xing’s collar, motioning for him to leave.
Chen Xing navigated through Songbai Residence with ease. The corridor was quiet. He pushed open the door to Feng Qianjun’s room, but all he saw was a tidied up interior.
“Doesn’t seem like someone has stayed here.” Xiang Shu pulled aside a folding door, revealing the empty wardrobe behind.
Chen Xing was filled with doubt now. Feng Qianjun should have been home.
Xiang Shu walked out and took a look. “Feng Qianyi’s room is in the main pavilion, let’s go in to take a look?” Then he carried Chen Xing, avoided the Feng family servants, jumped up a wall, went past the garden, and headed toward the master’s room.
“Don’t let the dog in,” Xiang Shu said. “Let it wait outside.”
Xiang Shu was afraid that the dog would mess with the things inside if it went in, so Chen Xing let it stay put outside and wait.
The Songbai Residence was quite heavily guarded, but with how adept Xiang Shu was, it was as if they had entered a place that was devoid of people. They could march right in unchallenged and go wherever they wanted. Chen Xing pulled open the sliding door to Feng Qianyi’s room, and they saw the table and bed they had seen the last time they were here.
Xiang Shu closed the door behind Chen Xing. The lamp was lit in the room. When Chen Xing saw what was on the table, he let out a gasp in surprise.
Senluo Wanxiang was emitting a black vapour. Within a few short days, it had already been recast and split into two sabres. But from the qi it was emitting, Chen Xing was sure that he wasn’t wrong about it.
“His sabre?” Xiang Shu had discovered it too. He wanted to pick it up to take a closer look; those two sabres had been left on the table, yet the wielder was missing - Chen Xing started to have a bad feeling about this.
At that moment, voices could be heard outside. Feng Qianyi’s rebellion meeting was over, and the attendees were engaged in idle chatter as they returned to their rooms. Chen Xing and Xiang Shu turned around at the same time. The chattering could be heard right outside the door, so they had no time to leave. Within a split second, Xiang Shu decisively ducked under the bed, bringing Chen Xing along as he bent down and rolled in. On the other side, Feng Qianyi entered the room at the same time - their timing couldn’t have been better.
There wasn’t much space under the bed; it was just high enough for two people to squeeze below, but it was too narrow. With Xiang Shu lying down, Chen Xing could only lay on his body and not move. Both of them were hugging each other tightly. They could feel the other’s breath on their faces, and their lips were so close they almost touched. Chen Xing turned his head sideways to peek out from the gap under the bed. With just a slight turn of his head, he almost kissed Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu’s breathing grew rapid.
“Shulü Kong suspects something.” Princess Qinghe took off her hood, whispering, “That bastard’s too nosy. As the Great Chanyu, why must he care about Fu Jian’s life.”
Feng Qianyi didn’t answer. He went over to the table and sat on the ground, then began boiling water for tea. In a low voice, he said, “Daren has discovered something unexpected and has decided to activate our setup as soon as possible. What’s the progress on your side?”
Princess Qinghe hesitated for a moment and didn’t reply.
Chen Xing was laying on Xiang Shu’s chest, so he could hear the thumping of his heart - it was both fast and vigorous. Suddenly, he thought of something and turned his head to whisper into Xiang Shu’s ear. However, with one hand wrapped around Chen Xing, Xiang Shu freed his other hand and gently pinched Chen Xing’s warm lips to signal that he knew.
“I…” Princess Qinghe’s voice was trembling. “Not now, Shifu, Chong’er isn’t ready.”
Feng Qianyi fished out a medicinal bottle from his robe and poured its contents into a cup.
Chen Xing, “!!!”
Devil God’s blood!
Chen Xing immediately pulled on Xiang Shu to get him to look. Xiang Shu had been holding Chen Xing’s hand, but when he saw this, his fingers subconsciously curled up.
Ouch ouch ouch...Chen Xing’s face twisted. When Xiang Shu saw this, he quickly let go.
That bit of purple-black blood was rolling around within the cup. Feng Qianyi placed the teacup in front of Qinghe. Qinghe fell silent, then said with a trembling voice, “I…”
Feng Qianyi: “Drink it ba. Once you drink it, all of the arts you’ve been practicing will experience rapid progress. And you’ll be able to see the truth of this world through the Lord’s eyes…”
Qinghe’s breath turned frantic. “I...Shifu, I’m not prepared for this. I…”
Now that it has come to this, Qinghe was a little afraid. Feng Qianyi had his gaze fixed on Qinghe’s eyes. He slowly said, “Don’t you want revenge? Revenge for your family, revenge for the humiliation Fu Jian bestowed on your Murong clan.”
Qinghe: “It’s too early. Today, Shulü Kong told...told me.”
Chen Xing stirred. What did Xiang Shu say to Qinghe? Then he turned his head and looked at Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu hesitated, looking like he had a difficult decision to make. His grasp on Chen Xing’s hand tightened, then he pointed at the bottom of the bed, motioning for him to not go out later.
“He said…'' Qinghe's gaze became a little dazed for a moment as she murmured, “The people Chong’er and I cherished then, if they were still alive now, what would they say? Would they want us to avenge them this way?”
Feng Qianyi: “...”
Feng Qianyi’s eyes widened in an instant. Qinghe looked up at him, saying softly, “In this lifetime, I only wish for Chong’er to live well, and I wish to protect the Murong family. If we… we take action tonight to kill Fu Jian, wouldn’t the families in Chang’an get caught up in… a war… just like when Luoyang City fell?”
Feng Qianyi enunciated every word, “Qinghe, you’re afraid.”
Princess Qinghe was distraught. “I just don’t-don’t want to...let me think about it a little more, if we can just get rid of Fu Jian alone…”
Feng Qianyi said in a deep voice, “Lord Shihai guarantees that as long as you can keep Fu Jian under control, no innocent people will be killed. Not only will the Murong family be safe, but it would also usher in… drink ba. Qinghe, you can’t turn back anymore.”
Qinghe was still bewildered, but he held her hand and gazed into her eyes, then placed the cup on her palm.
That drop of Devil God’s blood was still rolling about in the cup. Qinghe wanted to retract her hand, but Feng Qianyi murmured, “Drink it, Qinghe, why cower at the last moment? Haven’t you always been waiting for this moment? Drink it…”
Qinghe tried to break free of his grasp. Feng Qianyi whispered, “This was made specially for you by my Lord. After you drink it, all you need to do is go back and go to bed with Fu Jian…”
“No,” she said. “Forget it, I have to go! Let go of me!”
He replied coldly, “Even at this point, you still want to--”
“Let her go,” Xiang Shu said. “You trash.”
Then, Princess Qinghe let out a loud shout. Xiang Shu flew out from beneath the bed. Feng Qianyi turned around at once, and at that moment, Chen Xing rushed out with his head in his hands and lunged towards Princess Qinghe. Xiang Shu grabbed the bed with one hand, and using the ebony bed that weighed nearly 300 jin as a weapon, he swung it onto Feng Qianyi. Along with it, the table, as well as the stove, teapot, screens, and Devil God’s blood… he swept them all out!
Chen Xing: “…………………………”
Chen Xing had seen Xiang Shu fight too many times, so he was mentally prepared, but seeing it in person was still too much to take in. All he heard was a loud crash, then Feng Qianyi and the bed smashed through the door and flew right out like a kite with a cut string!
Xiang Shu roared, “Take Qinghe away! Go back and notify Jiantou!”
Chen Xing grabbed Qinghe’s wrist and rushed out. Feng Qianyi had flown off somewhere from Xiang Shu’s strike, and the entire Songbai Residence exploded into an uproar. Guest swordsmen rushed over in all directions, roaring, “There’s an assassin! Catch the assassin!”
But Xiang Shu just stood in front of the courtyard, standing straight and tall. He started by striking out with his left palm, then his right. He took a step back and flipped both palms, and the dozens of experts in front of him were forced back through this set of unarmed martial arts! “This way!” Chen Xing shouted, “Go back to the palace!”
Princess Qinghe’s eyes widened. Chen Xing whispered, “It’s good you didn’t drink it. Go back and think about it more clearly! Don’t harm your younger brother!”
Princess Qinghe: “You…”
Chen Xing: “I have to go back to save my dog!”
Soon after, a pained cry travelled over not far behind. People were lying everywhere on the ground in front of Xiang Shu, but not far away, Chen Xing let out a loud shout.
Chen Xing: “Xiang Shu! Come here! I got him!”
Feng Qianyi appeared under the night sky, saying coldly, “Who on earth are you?”
Chen Xing kept retreating, then swept his hands outward and started forming hand seals. Just when he was hesitating about whether he should light up the Heart Lamp Feng Qianyi mocked, “So what tricks do you have up your sleeves? Why not you show me what you have this once?”
Then, Feng Qianyi made a gesture with his hand, revealing the Yin Yang Mirror!”
That’s it! Chen Xing was about to snatch it, but a mass of black vapour burst out of the Yin Yang Mirror and enveloped the entire courtyard!
Chen Xing sneered. “Hehe, my apologies, but magic is restored now!”
Then, he drew a circle with both hands, and the light of the Heart Lamp burst out at once like a roaring tide! When it collided with the resentment released from the Yin Yang Mirror, two separate hurricanes formed!
Feng Qianyi immediately shouted in fear. Chen Xing had been hiding that trump card of his too well, such that even after entering Chang’an, Wang Ziye and the rest were still unprepared for it. He was now completely caught off guard. The blinding light intertwined with the resentment. Chen Xing exerted his utmost, and the Heart Lamp rang like a Divine Clock. With a loud dang, the light turned even brighter, such that Feng Qianyi had to release all of the resentment within as he roared wildly.
Chen Xing remained unmoved in the middle of the whirlpool. Light was mixed with resentment around him, feeding on each other in a frenzy, and the resentment was being purified like melting snow.
“Stop!” Xiang Shu shouted, “Stop now! This place will be destroyed!”
Chen Xing had unleashed his full power, but he suddenly realised that the surrounding buildings, rafters, and bricks were all getting torn apart by this huge destructive force. The common people within Songbai Residence had been pulled into the air by this force as well!
Seeing this, Chen Xing withdrew the power of the Heart Lamp. Feng Qianyi was focusing all his attention on dealing with Chen Xing with the resentment in the mirror. When the two forces had collided, an explosion blew up, and then everything was sucked into the Yin Yang Mirror.
The suction force from the mirror didn’t stop - it sucked in all of the grass in the garden, bricks, and the broken pieces of the walls as well! Chen Xing suddenly realised something- when did the resentment in the mirror become this strong?!
At the next moment, Xiang Shu held Chen Xing and protected his head with one hand. Both of them spun around in the air. Feng Qianyi shouted hoarsely, “Die!”
With a loud bang, Chen Xing and Xiang Shu were sucked into the mirror!
The resentment dissipated all at once, revealing the purified Yin Yang Mirror. On his last breath, Feng Qianyi tried to activate the magical artifact, murmuring, “What… on earth is going on? Who was that?”
Then, a bark could be heard. The little dog rushed over from the side, leapt over, bit the mirror, and ran off.
Feng Qianyi’s hair was in a dishevelled mess. He would have never guessed that the magical artifact would be snatched by a dog, and he exclaimed, “It got snatched by a dog again! Chase it! Ch...en?”
Mirror world, in the royal palace.
Feng Qianjun was tightly tied to a pillar with ropes. His body was covered in whip marks, and he was on his last legs.
Wang Ziye was holding the Yin side of the magical artifact with one hand and casting spells with the other, injecting resentment within to supply Feng Qianyi with what he needed to activate the magical artifact outside the mirror.
In fact, just ten minutes ago, he had already felt the Yin Yang Mirror tremble. Just what kind of situation was it that required the usage of so much power? But since the resentment in the mirror was being drawn away by the world outside the mirror, Wang Ziye could only go all out in injecting his mana to support him.
“Your companions seem to have come to save you.” Wang Ziye held up the Yin Yang Mirror to study it. He didn’t even look up at Feng Qianjun as he murmured, “Even now, are you still unwilling to tell the truth?”
Feng Qianjun whispered, “Shihai, you’re...done...for…”
Wang Ziye smiled. “The one who’s done for is you--”
All of a sudden, the mirror in Wang Ziye’s hand spewed out bricks, wood fragments, running water, and mud that weighed hundreds of thousands of jin. They formed a hurricane that rushed straight towards Wang Ziye’s face, and like a roaring torrent, it crushed his head into powder before piercing through the roof of the palace and washing it away. Finally, Xiang Shu and Chen Xing were the last to shoot out of the mirror.
Chen Xing’s head was still spinning. Xiang Shu held him and turned around, his back knocking onto a beam first, then kicked out with his legs. He jumped about the hall a few times before landing on the ground.
“I want to puke so bad,” Chen Xing said.
Wang Ziye planned for many situations, but not once did he plan for his head to be smashed into smithereens by the backlash in the mirror and becoming a headless corpse. He was still holding the Yin Yang Mirror in his hand, but a moment later, it still toppled and fell to the ground. The other side of the Yin Yang Mirror fell to the floor with a “clang”.
Feng Qianjun: “Save me!”
Xiang Shu, “...”
After Feng Qianjun cried for help, half the Songbai Residence and wood pieces could be heard falling from the sky one after the other, crashing loudly onto the ground outside the palace.
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This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Zryuu.